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Event Short Story Writing Event

Discussion in 'Valor Archive' started by Morgaine, Feb 1, 2018.

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  1. Morgaine

    Morgaine Goddess of Shinies

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    It is once again time to get those pens ready and start writing another short story for this event!

    The theme is going to be courage!

    We are named Lake Valor and Valor is another word for courage. Remember that there are all kinds of courage and all are to be admired!

    Rules:

    • Your story has to be between 500 and 3000 words. If you fail to keep between that, your story is disqualified.
    • No plagiarizing!
    • You are not allowed to enter a story that was previously written.
    • Keep to the theme and all will be well.
    • Collaborations are not allowed to enter.
    • You are allowed to rewrite and edit your story until the submission deadline.
    Prizes:

    1st place gets 30 pp and the contest winner medal
    2nd place gets 20 pp
    3rd place gets 10pp

    Deadlines:

    You have until the 21st of February 3 pm PST to submit your story for this event.
    Voting starts directly after on the 22nd of February until the 27th 3pm PST.

    Please PM questions to me instead of posting them in this thread.
     
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  2. BraviaryScout

    BraviaryScout Way of the Wind

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    I shall sign up for this
     
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  3. Junkrat

    Junkrat Demolitions Expert

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    I'll also sign up for this!
     
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  4. Strytho

    Strytho Giveaway Enthusiast

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    I shall join in on this!

    ==============================
    Notes
    ==============================

    Now for some background, the main character is a non-amnesiac Raguna from rune factory 1. This is basically from a fanfic that I was working on in secret. This is the first chapter that I've ever actually put down into text and before anyone asks, this in a new chapter, I haven't done this part of the story yet. (most of it is in my head aka mental fanfic, but I haven't made it past here yet.) If anyone likes it then I'll probably go back from the begining and put it down, then work my way back up to here and finish it.

    To understand this chapter listen to “Pray for Me” from the Black Panther soundtrack.

    Fanfic section post Rune Factory 4

    The quiz contest had finished with Burai taking first place. The Former Kardian was proud that despite Derik's disruption he was able to secure the victory in the festival. The town had shown him quite a bit of support despite descovering the darkest part of his past. He walked out of the plaza with his head held higher until he heard a comotion coming from the town gate. Why on this green earth was it always the town gate? He figured he would have to protect the town yet again, such is the life of a knight. As he got closer, he heard the cocking of a pistol hammer, not good.



    Forte: Darn you!



    Sechs soldier: Alright, bring me Burai the manslayer! I'll take that bounty if it's the last thing I do!



    Burai looked around the corner to see a young Sechs soldier holding Forte at gunpoint with a large crowd around them. The crowd was shouting for him to leave the town and Burai alone. Burai decided that enough was enough.



    Burai: You've got my attention. I'd suggest that you turn around and leave before you lose what little dignity you have.



    Burai Raguna stood firm, right hand over the hilt of his reverse edged sword.



    Sechs Soldier: You're coming with me if you want her to live.



    The soldier pressed the gun into Forte's temple so hard that it began to dig into her skin. Burai gave off a low growl.



    Burai: Let my student go.



    Sechs Soldier: No! You will surrender.



    Burai: Why should I surrender when I could defeat you in three moves?



    Sechs Soldier: Please! I have a gun and you have a sword, no swordsman is fast enough to block or dodge a bullet from a gun at this range.



    Burai remembered the battle against General Duetchek. He had faced the same problem then, now would be no different.



    Burai smirked and began to laugh.



    Burai: True, but I am no ordinary swordsman. Like you I am a soldier trained at the Solengrad Military Academy. Didn't they tell you the stories about the famed “Blue Swordsman”? You know, that guy who was so strong and fast he could SLICE a bullet in half midair?



    Sechs Soldier: Everyone knows that was just a story. Besides, he would be an old man by now.



    Burai: I may be old, but I'm not an old man.



    Sechs Soldier: True, but do you really have the guts or will to kill me?



    Burai's smirk dropped inot a scowl.



    Sechs Soldier: If you kill me, you'll no doubt go back to the way you once were! You're just a kill away from becoing a mindless killer General Ragtag!



    Gasps could be heard throughout the crowd.



    Sechs Soldier: Yes, I recognize the General who betrayed the empire and took three armies with him. This man burned a path to the border with Norad, killing thousands. He may have turned away from killing for now, but how long do you think he can resist his violent nature and stay away from the battle field?



    Burai took his hand away from his blade.



    Bruai: I never turned away from the war private.



    Sechs Soldier: So you are nothing but a killer! You hear that people?



    Burai took a look at Forte as the soldier losened his grip. Forte motoned her index finger towards the ground in the flicks, Burai nodded to he. He turned back to the soldier



    Burai: The truth is that I have never stopped fighting my war with the Empire. I've just been taking a different route. I'm not afraid to kill someone if I'm defending, I'm afraid of attacking and killing someone just for the sake of doing it. I killed the late General for revenge, and I walk a thin line because once you do that, the urge will always be there. Unlike you, I fight to stay in control. Sometimes gthough, it can be difficult.



    Sechs Soldier: Oh really?



    Burai brought his hands back to his sword.



    Burai: You are so green that you would never understand how easy yet hard it is to take a life.



    Burai began to circle the soldier.





    Burai: I'm giving you one chance, leave Norad and never come back. Or you can taste my blade, you have one minute to choose. But if you think you can take me, then go ahead and waste your two bullets!



    The soldier's face contorted in surprise.



    Sechs Soldier: But... but how...



    Burai: I can smell the gun powder on you. You wasted four bullets killing a deer yesterday. You really should've used a rifal or a bow and arrow.



    Burai started to slowly close the gap between them.



    Sechs Soldier: If you come any closer I'll kill your town knight!



    The soldier tightened his grip on the gun.



    Burai: You don't havew the gumption. Besides, all you have in your arms is a wind clone.



    Forte walked out from behind a building and the Forte in his arms fell apart into a bunch of poofy clouds before disappearing.



    Burai: You were easy to distract.



    Forte: I'll take it from...



    Burai: NO!



    Everyone looked at Burai in shock.



    Burai gave a hard glare at the soldier. He knew just what was at stake. More would come for him if he didn't set a high and strong example. Everyone would see just how cold he could be in battle, but he needed to end it. To heck with the consquences as long as everyone was safe.



    Burai: I know people will hate me, and I know that I have a lot to answer for. I am more than a killer, more than a soldier and I need to show that. But I cannot rest easy with scum like this walking through town. This is my home now and I WILL protect it! This is my fight, and I will see it through.



    Forte: You don't have to do this Raguna.



    Burai thought back to all the people he had killed, the faces of the people Stonemill Town playing through his mind as he remembered the day he always wanted to erase. That day he was a killer, a monster that he never wanted to become again. And now he would have to end this man without killing him. But could he tap into his true strength while still walking the paper thin line between a knight and Burai the manslayer, a protector and a soldier that was ready and willing to kill to obtain his objective? Was war really the only thing he was capable of? Could he really be more than a soldier from the Sechs Empire? Or could he really be the leader of the new Yamato Tribe that he was trying to be?



    Burai: This will never end until Edwin is dead. Fighting is all I really know. So let me fight to protect and pay my blessing price.



    Burai readied his blade.



    Burai: Aud Duntar Aradas!



    The Sechs soldier raied his pistol.



    Burai's eyes flashed from their soft blue to crimson red.



    Sechs Soldier: DIE!!!



    Two shots rang out as Burai unsheathed is blade. Flipping it around he delived two slashes the slpit both bullets, dropping them to the ground a few feet behind him. Two dents were visible in the back side of the blade.



    Burai: As'antar Uric Almara.



    Burai dashed up and delived a diagonal slash with the front end of his blade. The solier crumpled to the ground, a look of shock on his face.



    Burai: Cuff him Forte. He's not dead, just knocked out from fear. Though he will have quite the bruise in the morning.



    Kiel: But how? You slashed him with the front of your sword!



    Burai threw the sword to a nearby Bado.



    Bado: I don't think so Kiel. Look at the front, it's blunt while the back is sharp. This sword was made in reverse, makes it damn near impossible to kill anyone with it.



    As the soldier was taken away, Lest and Illuminata came in to see what had happened.



    Lest: Everything alright? We heard two gunshots!



    Burai: Nothing to worry about. Just some random soldier looking to collect the bounty on my head.



    Forte: Nothing my butt! And what were those words you said?



    Kiel: Yeah, I don't recognize that language.



    Burai: It's an old earthmate warrior creed kinda thing. Courage isn't just facing death or facing the bad when you know it's going to happen. The first was, “In war I find the strength to live” because by facing the war I wage inside I find the way to live not just survive.



    Kiel: And the other?



    Burai: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.



    Kiel and the other were silent for a few moments.



    Burai looked around as the crowd began to disperse. He could hear people talking amongst themselves and not all of it was good. He took the sword from Bado and sheathed it, he would have to spend tomorrow reforging it. Burai began to wonder to himself if he would ever find peace with himself. Shaken by how close he came to slipping back into being a manslayer with just one slash of his sword.



    Illuminata: Do you think people will hate you now?



    Burai: I have a feeling that people won't like me after today so you may ask why do I protect them. It's because I want to help people. Courage is doing the right thing even if you have no one at your back. I swore to protect this world and I will do so as long as I breathe. The Yamato Tribe taught me the meaning of self sacrifice.



    Illuminata: But what if you get nothing from it?



    Burai turned to face her.



    Burai: So be it. I'm not in it for that.



    Kiel: Were you scared?



    Burai: Every second. I was afraid I'd've hauled off and killed him. For now, I don't have to be anymore. I have all the strength and courage I need to be who I want to be.



    Burai walked out of the town gate towards his farm. Ready to go to bed early after this day.



    Lest: This has to be rough for him, being forced to face the worst part of himself twice in one day.



    Bado: He'll be alright. Just incase though I think we should watch him.



    Kiel: He sure is brave to face his demons like this. He said a few days ago that in order to finish his training he need to complete his inner demons trial right?



    Lest: Yeah, and the trial is only a few days away.



    Bado: The question is will he be ready. Don't forget that Forte has to do the same thing.



    Kiel: Don't remind me. Lest do you really think it's a good idea for it to be held in the town plaza?



    Lest: I have no say in the matter. King Ivan Nodrad ordered it to happen in the plaza. Even Arthur couldn't get it to change.



    Illuminata: He has the courage so I'm sure everything will be fine. He will be shaken after today, but he will go through with it.



    --- Later that night ---



    It was late at night and the whole town was at Porco's resteraunt for the meal that Burai had bought for the whole town days before. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but the whole town was uneasy. No one had seen Burai in hours and people were worried about him.



    Doug: Man, and I thought I had it rough.



    Dylas: Yeah, being a Guardian was nothing compared to what Lest told me about what Burai faced.



    Lest walked over to the table with his second tray of food.



    Lest: You know I was hoping you wouldn't spread some of those stories around.



    Burai: After today I'm not surprised.



    Everyone jumped at the sudden arival of Burai with a tray in each hand. He sat down and began to slowly eat.



    Dylas: You must really be hungry to eat after today.



    Burai slurped up a few noodles before answering.



    Burai: On the front lines you learn how to force yourself to eat when you aren't hungry. It's all second nature.



    Burai took a drink of his milk before he stopped eating.



    Burai: Doug Isense a question.



    Doug: How are you so numb to all of this?



    Burai looked down with a sad face.



    Burai: I'm not numb, I just learned how to put a mask on. The truth is I've been rocked to the core.



    Dylas: Then how are you able to face your demons like this?



    Burai: Because I have to. I'm tired of running from the past. I'm tired of all the anger and guilt. I want to live again.



    The whole establishment became quiet. Burai paused before he continued.



    Burai: This whole trial has me scared out of my mind. I'm afraid of what could happen, what I could do.



    Lest: Then why even take the trial now? Couldn't you wait until you are ready?



    Burai: No, for better or worse I need to do this. However I do have a trump card for if I fail.



    Dylas: Will we have to use it.



    Burai: I'm not sure what answer to give you. But I will tell you this: All my life I have been running from something. Ethelbard, The Masked Man, My tribe, The Sechs! I've been running because I have been true afraid of the man in the mirror to face them!



    Burai stood up and slammed his fist on the table.



    Burai: WELL NO MORE!



    A golden aura began to crackle to life around the ancient earthmate.



    Burai: I won't run anymore, I will learn to love myself for who and what I am. I will take that part of me and make it submit, turn it into a better part than it has ever been. I will never run again for I will stand and fight! I don't have to be a killer, I will be a protector! I will not only face my demons but tame them and be proud of who I see in the mirror. If I'm going to die then I'm not going down as some scared soldier! I'm going down and a Elder Dragon damned hero! This is my story and I decide how it ends!



    The whole resteraunt erupted into applaus.



    Porco: Oooh my! Such bravery, such valor, such courage! Everyone, raise your glass for a toast! To the victory of our handsome Elder Dragon Knight! May we be back here to celebrate his victory in his trial!



    Every glass in the house clanked as beverages of every kind were downed. Burai sat down not sure what to think.



    Lest: Well, you have the support of the town now.



    Burai: And I won't betray it.



    Burai raised his fist to the sky.



    Burai: Entaro Ventuswill!


     
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    #4 Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  5. HiddenLore

    Time Master
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    I'm down to do this.
    Here's my Story: Courage -948 words
    Courage


    Valerie slowly walked up the stairs.The road here had been a long one. The many deaths and the obstacles of life had almost destroyed her. She felt that her struggles had started the moment she met her first Pokémon, Undertow, and each step in her journey was a step into the unknown. When she lost Undertow she nearly gave up, and each death after that had been just as hard. Just thinking of those fallen friends brought tears to her eyes, which she violently brushed away. Now wasn’t the time. She had carefully prepared and trained her team for the Elite Four. These were the strongest trainers in the region and she knew that there was a chance that all her struggles would end here. She had defeated each member of the Elite Four, but not without sustaining casualties. Each member of the Elite Four had taken a Pokémon from her team. Marina fell to a critical Take Down fighting Sydney’s Mightyena. Delta had been hit by an unexpected earthquake fighting Phoebe’s Dusclop. Ford had been unlucky enough to take a Sheer Cold, nothing Valerie could have done would have saved him, but it still hurt. The last match had been brutal. The dragon user Drake had been a tough opponent to match, and she knew that she had leaned on Kracken too much in the battle. She worried about facing the champion without him.

    Her mind went back to the day in the Pokémon center surrounded by her team, more than a month ago now.

    “I think that I should challenge the Elite Four,” she had told them, “After all it was what I set out to do, and it is why I continue to push forward,” Valerie stared at the intelligent faces surrounding her, “However, there’s always a chance that you won’t make it,” Her eyes began to sting, memories of the most recent death threatening to push free of her eyes. She fought them back and continued, “I won’t force any of you to fight in those conditions,” Here she took a deep breath she had thought about this for awhile now, “If you would like to back out now, I offer you the opportunity to leave. You can stay in the PC, or even return to your wild homes. I won’t make you fight, and I won’t hate you for leaving,” Valerie’s vision began to blur, and she was staring at her legs, travel worn and strong. She felt a touch from one of her Pokémon, and looked up, without fail each Pokémon looked her in the eye, and stepped forward, ready to help her achieve her goals.

    The memory faded into the massive staircase in front of her, and now four of those brave Pokémon were dead. They would never see if she succeeded, if their sacrifice was worth it. Only one thing still stood between her and the end. It was the champion of the region. This trainer was said to be the most powerful trainer in the world, though with so many regions having champions, Valerie found this a little hard to believe, regardless though, she knew that he would be the most powerful trainer she had yet faced. He specialized in no Pokémon type, and each of his Pokémon was rumored to be a force to be reckoned with.

    Finally she saw the top of the stairs and saw what lay ahead, before her stood a door that was fittingly large and imposing. No crack or handle indicated how it opened. On the wall was simple touch pad. Her hand hovered over the device, and she looked at the display. There were two buttons she could press. One would open the door, and lead her into the final battle. The other would activate a teleport pad which would let her escape. Her finger floated towards the escape option. Her last two Pokémon would be safe. They wouldn’t have to fight and die for a meaningless dream. Valerie would be doing what was right, wouldn’t she? On the other hand Valerie would most likely never be back here. With only two able Pokémon, she would be hard pressed to make it this far again.

    She heard a whisper in her mind, there were no words, but she felt memories of her journey fill her mind.

    She stood before the professor, who offered her a choice of starters. She looked at the three choices and felt a connection to the water type. She had named him Undertow and began her journey.

    She was sitting on a blanket in the forest a plate of berries surrounded by the four Pokémon that she had caught.

    She was standing side by side with a green haired boy, facing down petty criminals. As they defeated them, the two shared a friendly victory hug.

    She stood beside a fallen Pokémon, crying into the neck of another who still lived.

    She thought of the four departed Pokémon again, and let a single tear fall. What was their death for if she left now? She took a deep breath. Held onto it for a second, then released it in a rush. Her hand slammed down on the button that would open the door. She closed her eyes as the massive door slid into the floor.

    After all, if she backed out now, the courage her Pokémon had shown her would be wasted. Courage was all she had to give in return. They would go into this battle, and they would do their best. She stepped over the threshold and the door closed. Her mind was clear, her doubts were gone, and she began to prepare her strategies.



     
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    #5 Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  6. Eclipse

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    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    And now, for your reading pleasure, I present Commander.

    Word Count: 2879
    (Cutting it very close, I know.)

    “Report!”

    “The 6th Platoon went out to meet it today. Of the 20 soldiers, 17 have returned wounded. Thankfully there are no fatalities, but...”

    “This thing is trying my patience, man! We’re losing so many soldiers to this beast and we are still no better off! Find a way to deal with it that doesn’t involve sending out our best and brightest to lose!”

    “Yes, Your Majesty.”

    Such was the conversation between the ambitious monarch of a city-state and his most trusted and devoted commander. Tension filled the room, but even after the departure it had not diffused. There was plenty of reason for concern – over a hundred soldiers had been sent off on a fool’s errand, and most of them were gravely wounded because of it.

    The commander was a steady man, thirty-odd years old, who had been given the honour of being chief of the army. He was well-beloved by the common man, the soldiers, and the regency alike, well extolled for his bravery and patience. Yet he now felt himself tried as nothing else had, and his physical resources now exhausted, he turned to knowledge. It was this that drove him towards the palace’s library.

    Allow me some time to explain. One week prior, a fantastic and powerful creature strode up to within visibility of the city gates, advancing towards the place. Fearing for the townsfolk’s safety, the commander sent out a platoon to meet the beast to dispatch it. All but 2 men came back wounded in some fashion, some better and some worse, though all alive. With them, they brought a harrowing report: the creature was a large monster, roughly five metres in length and three in height, with hide and claws made entirely of shining flawless metal, set in interlocking plates and scales.

    Undeterred, the king ordered that a second platoon be sent out, better equipped to handle the metal menace. The commander, exercising discretion, privately asked one of the men, a sketch artist, to return with a drawing of the beast if possible. The result of the second platoon was the same as the first, though the picture made it into the commander’s hands. With rising horror, he realised that the beast they now faced was a Dragon.

    The commander had heard various pieces of myth and folklore about Dragons, of course. It was said that the city he now protected was built on the spot where its founder clashed with one, the battle being fought to a standstill and the two duellists parting amicably thereafter. He’d heard that they were a collection of godlike beings, a sort of pantheon that established the Earth – and thus that capital letter would be well-deserved. There were ten in all… or was it twelve? He couldn’t remember. But mere legends would not help him against a living breathing thing, and for that purpose he took to research. He must learn more about the creature now advancing towards them.

    He must prevent any more casualties.

    ::::

    It was a rare sight to see one so revered as a man of action and valour to be walking down the thoroughfare carrying a stack of books. There were a few curious stares, but no murmurings; while they certainly found his behaviour peculiar, no one would dare speak or even think an ill word against the man who kept them safe.

    While at the library, he consulted with several of the scholars, begging them to tell him anything they knew about Dragons and their history or legends, as well as to direct him to any texts that would increase his knowledge of the same. Such a trip ended with several hefty codices in his arms, but no price was too great to staunch the present threat. While His Majesty was a man of war and ambition, and would much rather the Dragon be dead or subjugated, he would certainly understand his commander’s motives. One must consider all of the choices, after all.

    The night saw him wiling away the hours in his study, with sweat beading on his brow, glistening only by virtue of the single candle that illuminated the gloom. It was a strange, foggy evening, but every minute spent meant another minute the Dragon would plot its advance on the town. By some odd grace, it had yet to draw closer, and met the platoons where it stood, but who could say when its patience – or whimsy – would run out?

    Two quick yet soft raps came from the closed door behind him. In response, the man’s clear voice rang out “Come in”.

    A rather fair woman opened the door quietly, and shut it behind her with nary a noise. She was plain yet beautiful, her plainness only accentuating her beauty. Her hazel hair ran down in waves to her elbows, and her grey eyes were continually sharp and missed nothing. She was a rather thinly sort, in contrast to her husband, whose years of service had made him a physically imposing figure, but within which was housed a caring heart. They had been happily married for perhaps seven years or more now, and understood each other perfectly. But when anomalies start to rise, so too does concern – hence the knock.

    “Is it really that bad?” she asked, her voice soft and songlike.

    “I’m hoping not, but I must be sure,” came his crisp answer. “I can no longer send my men to get hurt without cause. This is getting nowhere. You do not hurl men at a wall to knock it down with swords.”

    “And so you read books here about Dragons, hoping to learn something more.”

    “Indeed, I know near nothing about them, and I fight as a man blind.” He idly turned the page. “For hours I have read these tomes, but so many of these are stories on the level of religious zeal or blind reverence. How could these creatures have lived in our world for so long, and yet we know so little about them? Or at least wrote little down of worth.”

    “What about this phrase right here?” She reached over his shoulder to turn to the page he’d just left, and pointed to a particular paragraph thereon. His gaze ran over the words:

    ‘The Dragons have been long revered as icons of great power, embodying the ideals their physical bodies display. They regard humans as curious and eccentric beings, just as humans regard them as imposing and forceful. Rarely do they manifest, but some are regarded as patron deities by certain groups, particularly among those whose own personal qualities are most in accord with that of said Dragon.’

    “And you said the Dragon outside the city is made of metal, right?” she asked.

    “That’s correct,” he responded. At that very moment, he rose, eyes widening and back straightening. In such a simple affirmation, he had the answer to the question he had been so earnestly seeking. As he exited his chair, he spun about to give his wife a firm embrace.

    “Wonderful! You’re simply wonderful!” he proclaimed, voice clearly joyous. “What I have been poring over for hours, you have diffused in a matter of seconds. And the answer I would have skipped right over, were it not for your watchful eyes!”

    “You did always love me for my eyes,” she giggled, returning the hug. “But you’re clearly developing bags under yours, so why not rest, now that you’ve found your answer?”

    “As always, you miss nothing. You are quite right. I shall sleep now. Tomorrow, I shall go out anew, and the Dragon will strike fear into our hearts no longer!”

    ::::

    It was first light of the following day. All but the earliest of watchmen still remained fast asleep, awaiting the morning. The commander had left his house early yet quietly, and was preparing for the occasion. To his wife, he left a note saying that a great battle awaited him, and he expressed surety of his return by sunset. To the chief porter, he expressed something similar in verbal terms, and also gave instructions to follow in the event that he should not return. To his garrison, he left a note apologising for his brashness in sending them into hopeless battle, and for not arriving at the answer sooner.

    As to what that answer was, no one knew but he.

    Alone he marched out of the city, onto the sparsely grassed plain that spread out beyond the walled gates. He walked in a singular direction, with only one destination in mind – that, of course, being that where the Dragon lay waiting. He encountered the beast in a slight doze, apparently not expecting company so early.

    The commander definitely cut an impressive figure – full black hair, complete with the full gamut of facial hair, with flecks of silver that only accentuated his presence rather than diminished it. The black armour clad about his body indicated his power and office by virtue of the gold trim and insignia it bore, and several weapons lay sheathed at his side or across his back. An ample buckler was strapped to one arm, and was the most worn part of his equipment, heavily scratched and discoloured from its years of service.

    He did not flinch as the Dragon rose to meet his gaze, but calmly stood there and waited.

    “Oh?” the Dragon spoke, in a deep rolling voice that seemed to echo from many places, perhaps due to the metal nature of its body. “I was expecting a group to come later. Instead, I find an early arrival, and not a group but only one.”

    “I am Commander Mantle,” the man answered, his voice still steady and deep, “and I wish to know both your name and why you tread here, to the discomfort of my people.”

    “I suppose I owe you that. I am known simply as Forge.”

    A chuckle of realisation spread over the commander’s features, which lesser men might have mistaken for cockiness. “Ah, now I see. I suppose my city isn’t called Forgespar for nothing.”

    “It appears you are well versed in folklore and oral tradition,” Forge replied, in a tone which lesser men might have mistaken for condescension. “And yet since I arrived here I have been attacked no less than six times by your people.”

    “I admit I wasn’t sure what to make of it, or even what to do. A Dragon coming here, perhaps to attack us or worse? Naturally, I panicked, but I acted in haste, and many of my men are badly wounded because of me. But now I know what to do.”

    “Oh?” What looked like a smile spread over the Dragon’s features. “And how will you succeed when the others before you have failed?”

    “I have a proposition for you, Forge. I challenge you to one-on-one combat. We will fight until one of us surrenders or is unable to battle. If I win, you must leave here and not return, but I will take no further action against you. If I lose, I will acquiesce to whatever demands you may have.”

    “You wish to reduce the time and scope of the battle to just a simple skirmish?”

    “I don’t want any more of my men getting hurt. I’ll do what it takes to make sure of that.”

    “Ho ho.” Its laugh was bellowing, if not calmly intimidating. “Very well. In deference to your bravery, Commander, I accept your challenge. You may make the first move.”

    Mantle reached over to draw out a small dagger from a sheath on his belt, and brought his buckler into position as he circled the Dragon. Forge seemed to take that action in kind, as it got up to walk on its four limbs in a slow circle as well, never breaking eye contact. With surprising rapidity Mantle rushed forward with his dagger outstretched, but Forge saw through the manoeuvre and brought its massive claw down to trap Mantle’s advance. He appeared to predict that, however, and halted his charge to leap back, thrusting forward with the dagger after the claw had touched ground.

    Forge was undeterred, the small weapon not even breaking its hide. It moved its heavy hand in a reverse scooping motion to fling Mantle back, and this it did, causing the knight to tumble backward, dagger still gripped. Secretly, Mantle was glad that Forge didn’t have wings, else the fight may have been long over already. He changed his tactics and abandoned his dagger for a new weapon, a short spear.

    As before, he cautiously advanced towards Forge in a circle, though he waited for the Dragon to act before charging. He got his wish, as the Dragon’s large tail came swooping towards him through the air. Mantle dropped his spear and flattened himself to the ground, allowing the tail to neatly pass over him, then retrieved his weapon to charge this time at Forge’s wrist. The blow struck true again, though no damage occurred, allowing Forge to take advantage of the situation and bring its tail swooping back again, cleanly knocking Mantle off his feet, flying up into the air and falling in a heap.

    “Now I’m starting to understand,” Mantle coughed, getting back up again, “why everyone came back alive. You don’t fight to kill. You fight to disable, to neutralise.”

    “Is that your deduction?” Forge asked, taking a few paces closer. “Perhaps your reputation and title are well-earned, Commander.”

    Not having any luck with his piercing weapons, Mantle chose now to favour the glaive in his possession, no longer risking a close-quarters encounter, which he felt was surely lost. He would not be able to keep this up; if he did not deal a decisive blow now, it would be for naught. His distance strategy did reward him, as he managed to score several strikes on Forge without receiving one in return, and while the scratches so given weren’t enough to break its scales, they were better than his prior results. Unfortunately, as the battle weaved about, he misjudged a step, causing his foot to jam against a rogue stone buried in the dirt. The metal drake took advantage of the shock immediately, and used a single hand to pin Mantle to the ground, armour and all.

    “I believe the matter is settled, Commander,” Forge spoke, looking down at its adversary, with neither malice nor contempt in its voice.

    “I suppose it is,” Mantle grunted. He struggled in vain to move any of his limbs, but the single hand held him down from his neck to his knees, restricting mobility completely. He could feel the plates sheltering him squeeze against his body like a vice – though he ventured were they not there, his vitals would be crushed instead.

    “You win, Forge,” the commander conceded. “Only I ask that you not harm anyone in the city. You may take it if you wish, but please spare their lives.”

    “What drives you to care so much for them, enough to fight against me, a Dragon?”

    “I didn’t think I’d win, but I at least have to try. After all, if I don’t try, I’ve already lost. I thought it’d be appropriate, given how you’re the Dragon of Metal.”

    There was a deep resonant hum from within Forge’s throat, as if contemplating. Then, without provocation, Forge lifted its hand away.

    “Never have I seen such courage on behalf of a nation,” Forge proclaimed. “Truly I had feared that the principles that founded this place had been lost.”

    “You mean, Forgespar really was founded by--?”

    “He fought bravely, and even in defeat he refused to give up. He wanted a place to start a life and defend his people, and he battled me with everything he had to hold it. Even when outmatched he did not retreat. To not pay homage to that honour would be a disservice.”

    “So you didn’t come here to reclaim what was yours; you came to see if the spirit of courage was alive and well.”

    “To graciously accept defeat is a form of courage. But to run away from those you protect, that is cowardice! You are no coward, Commander. I shall trouble this place no longer. However, there may come a time when I require a service of you. Bear that in mind as we now part ways. I hope when we meet again, it will be under more…pleasant circumstances.”

    Without another word, Forge turned around and departed, sauntering away from the city which had lived in fear of it for seven days. When Mantle re-entered the city gates, news of his act of valour spread and he was lauded as a hero; even the warmongering monarch was proud and pleased of his initiative. Naturally, his wife was the happiest of all, that the man whom she loved had returned alive and in one piece.

    Yet the words of Forge haunted the man. As he had lost the battle, the terms allowed for Forge to ‘require a service’ of Mantle, heretofore unknown. Indeed, there did later come a time for when Forge returned to exact the promised favour, from a man who had shown overwhelming courage in the face of an adversary that far outmatched him.

    But that, my reader, is a story for another day.
     
  7. CharlieWeasleyfan

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  8. Junkrat

    Junkrat Demolitions Expert

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    And here I am with the story!
    Word Count- 745
    I am weak.

    I watch Piplup fall to the ground, hurt, covered in bruises and scratches. I run over to her and cradle her in my arms, too ashamed to look up at the boy in front of me. I hear his scoff and his footsteps as he walked away from me. As he should. Someone like me isn’t worth his time. Someone like me isn’t worth anyone’s time.

    I’ve been on this journey for a week now. I should have been heading to Oreburgh City and start training to challenge the gym leader by now, but all I have is Piplup and Starly, and I’ve barely made any progress. When I chose Piplup, I could see the stars in her eyes, how happy she was to be able to travel all of Sinnoh. But all she’s done is get hurt and lose battles. I know I’m letting her down. I can’t keep doing this to her. Maybe mom and dad were right- I wasn’t ready for this. This challenge, it’s rough, scary, and merciless. Maybe I should’ve stayed home.

    Piplup senses my doubt. Every time I look at her, I can see the determination and willingness in her eyes. Every time I think about giving up, I look at her. I can’t give up. I have to do this for her. I wanted to do this to become a better, stronger person. I wanted something I’ve never had before. I wanted to gain the power to stand up to my fears and obstacles without running away. I wanted to become courageous. I look back at her with the same look in my eyes. We walk forward.

    Now, we’ve made our way to Oreburgh. On the way, I’ve caught a Budew and Shinx. Together, with their strength, they’re able to defeat Roark and we get our first badge. As we celebrate, I start crying- not out of sadness, but pure joy. I was so scared that something terrible was going to happen, but I had faith in them, and they had faith in me. I suppose that’s all we needed. A little bit of faith. I know what our next destination is, and there’s worry in me, but my team dispels it, convincing me that everything will be okay. And I know that as long as I trust them, we can do anything. We walk forward.

    I am scared.

    I watch Prinplup gets thrown back, but she quickly stands up and launches a Bubble Beam at my opponent’s Croagunk. It dodges the attack, but it suddenly tackled from the back by Staravia. Roselia and Luxio are able to take out the enemy’s Zubat and Stunky. They’re defeated and run away, and my team is injured, but they’re okay. The looming warehouse in front of me looks down on me and instantly, I freeze like a statue. Something is going on here, but I’m terrified. I don’t know if it’s a good idea. I don’t know if we should do this. But I look at my pokémon, and I know as much as they do that this isn’t something to ignore. Now is not the time to be hesitant. We walk forward.


    I am ready.


    So much has happened since I started this journey. I’ve seen so many things, met so many people, and experienced battles I never thought I would. I’ve seen pokémon from this world and others. My team and I, with our blood, sweat, and tears, have pushed through all our obstacles. We shouted at everything that told us no, plowed through everything that tried to keep us back, and stormed past everything that told us to quit. We are no longer weak. We are no longer scared. We are no longer hesitant. We’re ready for our next step. Our next challenge. I look at my team- Empoleon, Roserade, Staraptor, Luxray, Lucario, and Gardevoir- I think about how far we’ve come, and I’m overwhelmed with emotion. We’ve worked so hard to get here, all of us. Without them, there would be no me. Without them, my dream wouldn’t have been coming true. It’s because of them that I’m stronger. It’s because of them that I’m happier. It’s because of them that I’m braver. And now, because of them, we stand here before the Pokémon League. The waterfall behind me roars in my ears. The gothic cathedral stares me down, but I stare right back at it. This is our moment.


    We walk forward.
     
  9. CharlieWeasleyfan

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    As another morning began in Aspertia City, there was a child named Meg. Meg was an 11-year-old trainer with a Lillipup and a Tepig. She was a student at the Trainer’s School. But things weren’t so peaceful at the school. It was run by a 12-year-old kid and nobody would take a stand to the kid. Meg was too scared too. She was like the others. Nobody wanted to stand up to the kid.

    As Meg arrived at school she saw her best friend Jess waiting for her. “Hey Jess,” she greeted. Jess smiled and fist bumped Meg. They were good friends and nothing changed that. “So, where is he? Where’s Jay?”

    “Not here. Let’s get inside before that status changes,” she answered. Meg nodded and ran to Cheren’s class. That was the thing to their bully. He never went after a kid when they were in class. As Meg sat at her desk, Cheren noticed it. There was a fire under Meg’s eyes. She was sick of taking orders from the kid that tormented everyone.

    As class was underway Cheren knew what to do. “So today our talk is going to be about Team Plasma. What can anyone tell me about them?”

    “Team Plasma was run by a sick man. He thought stealing Pokémon from trainers like ourselves was liberating them. It wasn’t. The Pokémon were heart broken. But a trainer took a stand. Fought against Team Plasma. It was said that she ran off with Team Plasma’s king who went by the name of N,” Meg offered. Cheren smirked knowing how she had that much info. Her father was N. She wasn’t embarrassed about it. Just didn’t really need to share it.

    “Hey! Who’s the kid talking low about my dad’s plan?” Meg realized instantly what was about to happen. Jay was the son of Ghetsis. She kept quiet and saw Jay walk in.

    “Jay it’s just a discussion. Nobody is giving opinions about Team Plasma,” Cheren answered. He couldn’t let a fight break out.

    ‘I’m so sure. That’s why your covering for a traitor’s kid,” he snapped.

    “A traitor? My father is the hero. Your dad tricked him,” Meg answered in return. She wasn’t letting her dad be trash talked. Jay looked angry. “I think I can speak for everyone. Your games have to end. Why do this?”

    “Because I’m strong. You’re weak. I’m big you’re small. I’m right and you’re wrong. Accept it Meg. You’re just a tiny cog in a machine run by me,” he answered.

    “I don’t accept something like that. I’ll take you on. Your games end now!”

    “Please,” he scoffed before seeing her face changed. “Wow you’re serious. What you got in mind?”

    “You’ll fight me in a Pokémon match. Tomorrow. After class. It’ll be a 3 on 3. Cheren if you wouldn’t mind refereeing?”

    “Not at all. Now I sense a bargain in your voice Meg,” he answered.

    “Yeah. If I win, you stop tormenting us all. Including our teachers,” she answered with a chuckle. She noticed Jay was waiting. “If you win, I’ll be your slave. Leave all the other kids out. I’ll do what you want,” she finished. He bent over laughing.

    “Done. You better be prepared to work for me,” he answered as the last bell rang. “See you tomorrow,” he answered. Her whole class ran to her scared.

    “Meg, you just signed a death wish. Why’d you bargain your school freedom?”

    “I couldn’t let him go after the whole school anymore. If it means sacrificing my freedom at school, I’ll do it. Nobody messes with this class or my school,” she answered.

    “Be careful Meg. You know this well. Ghetsis was known to cheat. So make sure you’re prepared for a cheaters move,” Cheren warned. She nodded and walked home where she saw her green haired father. Her mom wasn’t at home anymore. She didn’t know where she was. Just that her dad was dating someone new.

    “Hey dad,” she greeted as she walked inside. She knew he’d want to hear the truth. “Um I won’t be home right away tomorrow. I kind of made a deal,” she answered slowly.

    “What kind of deal?” He hated hearing deals. If it meant Meg was in danger he wasn’t for it. “Does it put you at risk?”

    “A little. I stood up to the school bully. I said if I won the Pokémon battle tomorrow, he’d have to leave everyone alone. If he won, I’d be his slave at school,” she explained. N sighed and hugged her.

    “I’m proud that you finally stood up for yourself and your school. I’m just disappointed at the bargain. But let’s try to be positive. I’m bringing home the person I’ve been seeing. You have to promise to keep an open mind,” he answered.

    “I’ll win tomorrow,” she promised and then N waited. “Open minded? You’ve never mentioned that. Is there something I should know about this?”

    “Ever since your mom left, it gave me time to search who I was and who I liked. I discovered that I like the same gender as myself,” he explained. Meg took a deep breath and smiled while nodding. “You’re not saying anything. I’m scared,” he confessed.

    “I’m not mad. I’m not opinionated. Dad, I don’t care what gender your partner is. If you’re happy, then I’m happy,” she chuckled. She was open about her dad having happiness too. “So who are they?”

    “Here’s where I really need your mind to be open,” he began before the doorbell rang. “Stay here and remember to keep an open mind,” he warned. She nodded and waited patiently. As she heard N’s voice come closer again, she also heard a voice she knew well coming forward.

    “Cheren?!” Meg felt her world spin a little. N noticed Cheren was waiting it out.

    “I said open,” N began before she nodded and walked out of the room. “That went better than what I was thinking.”

    “She’s confused. She’s not mad about us. I’ve seen Meg mad. Her rage flared to life this afternoon when she stood up to Jay. She’s just processing it.”

    Meg came back within a few moments and looked Cheren in the face and then walked away. “I’ll be fine in a couple minutes,” she promised. Cheren chuckled and nodded waiting it out. N was impressed and confused. “Dad to explain this is normal. I’ll walk in and out until I grasp this,” she explained.

    “Are you a good confused or bad?” Cheren knew she had 2 confused moments. She walked in and was about to say something before walking out. “I’ll take that as a good confused,” he admitted.

    Finally, Meg could sit down with them and nodded. “It’s a good one. I’m just shocked. I never even noticed the fact. I mean Cheren has taught me a while. So I should have seen it but still. I don’t blame you. Cheren’s a good pick,” she answered as she played around with her Pokéball.

    “I say we go out to dinner to celebrate. After your win tomorrow,” N decided. She nodded and Cheren looked nervous. “You okay Cheren? You seem nervous,” N prodded.

    “It’s not that I don’t think you can win Meg. But you know what you’re getting into right?”

    “Yes. A battle with Jay for complete freedom. If I lose, my freedom is gone too,” she answered quietly. Cheren sighed and nodded too. It was a fight for everything.

    “Don’t worry Meg. You can win,” N assured. Cheren nodded and then noticed that Meg was looking at a picture of her mom with her Pokeballs. “Hey, I’m going to give you something. Your mom asked me to take good care of her,” he decided. As the Pokéball opened, Meg was impressed. It was a Serperior. “Take good care of her tomorrow. She’ll be your edge should this kid cheat.”

    “He will. He’s Ghetsis’s kid,” Cheren sighed. N nodded and smirked.

    “I know. Don’t give up. That’s the best thing you can do. Is fight with everything you have,” N answered before beginning on dinner.

    As the evening passed, Cheren and Meg were getting along like parent and child. It was different for Meg. She had gotten used to one parent and that was that.

    When morning arrived, Meg went to class and waited it out. Cheren and N had helped her hide her Serperior. When Cheren arrived, he looked nervous. “Cheren what’s wrong?” Jess was curious.

    “Meg, the battle is in 10 minutes. We were right. You’d be duped,” Cheren warned. Meg sighed and nodded. She had anticipated being duped in a way. When she walked outside she saw Ghetsis with a Zekrom and she covered her mouth. Zekrom was her mom’s legendary Pokémon.

    “Where is she? Where’s mom?”

    “Gone,” Jay answered. Meg noticed her mom’s Zekrom looked scared. She smiled and walked over to it and hugged the Zekrom. “Hugging it won’t help,” he warned before pressing a button and Zekrom sent Meg flying into a wall. She groaned and stood up. “We gave Zekrom a special collar that makes it answer to us. So, you lose Meg,” he warned.

    “Serperior stand by!” She knew how to save Zekrom. She had to break the collar off. She watched as Serperior looked scared. “Don’t worry Serperior we will get him back. Use Frenzy plant!” As she watched all the roots shoot at Zekrom she saw Jay smirking. As she wrapped up Serperior, she sent out her Tepig. “Tepig run along the roots and use ember on the collar!”

    “Please,” Jay scoffed. He sent out his Dewott. “Get on the vines and use Hydro Pump on Tepig,” he ordered.

    “Tepig keep moving. Use flamethrower as you move,” she answered. She had a plan. As Tepig followed orders, all the roots were falling while Tepig moved. She knew it’d give the advantage she’d need. As Tepig reached the collar, Meg noticed Dewott and gasped. “Look out Tepig!”

    “Hydro Pump now!” As Tepig was hit, Meg covered her mouth. Tepig was barely standing. “Just accept defeat Meg. You’ll be better off,” he warned.

    “Never,” she spat as she stood up. Jay looked confused. “I am the daughter of the woman who helped King N take down your pathetic group. I will not surrender! Vanillite!” She answered as she threw her Pokéball in the air.

    “Why wouldn’t you? I know you’re scared,” Ghetsis cackled.

    “I will admit Ghetsis. I’m terrified of you. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to face my fears and fight. This isn’t about me. This is about everyone. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to protect everyone,” she answered.

    “That’s my girl,” Cheren whispered. Cheren had adopted Meg as a child of his when she began at the school. He had taught her how to be a leader in tough battles. But he never anticipated his best friend’s Pokémon being brought into it.

    “Tepig use Tackle and Vanillite use Icebeam. Serperior use Wrap with your vines!” As Tepig and Vanillite attacked Dewott, Serperior wrapped it’s vines around the collar and began squeezing. Meg knew to get Zekrom freed, she’d have to get Dewott away from Zekrom. As Serperior broke off the collar, N tossed Meg her Zekrom’s Pokéball. “Zekrom return now!” As Zekrom went in the Pokéball, Jay looked furious.

    “How did you?”

    “I knew to get back my Zekrom that was my mom’s. I’d have to distract Dewott so I pulled out Vanillite that was my soon to be another dad’s, and used it to distract you. When Vanillite and Tepig had Dewott distracted I’d have my shot. So now to end this. Serperior frenzy plant on Dewott!” Within moments, the water type Pokémon was down. “Now as for our deal. You’ve lost. You went back on your deal and cheated. So, it’s an automatic forfeit. I won so now you’ll stop tormenting all of us,” she warned.

    “I hate when you know all the rules,” he muttered.

    “I study up on them. So, either leave the school and never return or stop bullying us,” she answered. Jay ran off and she smirked. “I guess that’s the choice of never return,” she muttered as she walked out of the school with N and her dad.

    “Nice job with Vanillite. How’d you know that Vanillite would be needed?” Cheren was confused and impressed.

    “Easy. He never played fair. I remembered he always mentioned how his Dewott hated Vanillite. So I used that to my advantage. With him distracted by Vanillite, I was free to rescue Zekrom. Speak of, where is mom?”

    “Jay didn’t lie when he mentioned that she was gone. I’m sorry Meg,” N answered grimly. She sighed and nodded while throwing Zekrom’s Pokéball up into the air. “What’s up?”

    “Can we go to Nuvema town? See grandma and grandpa?”

    “We’ll go to my parents’ place. They always have your mother’s parents over. I’ll tell them we’re coming so they can make some food,” Cheren answered. She nodded and immediately hopped on Zekrom with Cheren and N and flew off to Nuvema town. She was proud of herself. She finally made a difference at school and was about to have a second parent again.
     
    #9 Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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