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Riz Impératrice

0 · 106 views · located in New Eve Island

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by ClockworkTowers

Groups

The New Ruulan Empire is a newly founded nation located on Ruula and one of the two notable powers that be on the planet. It is an absolute monarchy ruled by a Crown-Princess who seeks to unite the planet under her sole dominion.

Description


Personal Details

Coming soon.


--Leadership--

As a Nonpareil for Melaine in possession of a Shadow Shard, Riz has been granted a subset of powers, called Shadow Gifts, to reflect her loyalty and achievements in her short time of service to the Crown-Princess. When in a situation where she's not directly fighting, these powers are brought to bear as she leads in the name of her liege.


Team

Riz has a team of five Shadow Pokemon she can call upon, though she rarely uses all of them. She relies largely on her Wormadam and her Vileplume for most situations where she needs a Pokemon. They all benefit from Riz's Abilities that she has as a result of the Shadow Shard, including her Shadow Gifts.

Minior - Lv. 70+
Starmie - Lv. 70+
Stunfisk - Lv. 72+
Vileplume - Lv. 72+
Wormadam (Trash Cloak) - Lv. 74+


Shadow Gifts

As with most of Melaine's stronger followers, Riz accepted the Crown-Princess' blessings and was given access to greater power in the form of a Shadow Shard. Riz's Shadow Sixshard manifests a shadowy aura that passively boosts the accuracy of moves used by allied Pokemon by 10%.

Minor Shadow Gift: Insight | Shadow Charge Cost: 2
The accuracy of moves used by allies this turn is increased by 20%. Shadow boost applies.

Major Shadow Gift: Guidance | Shadow Charge Cost: 6
Moves used by allies this turn bypass accuracy checks to always hit. Shadow boost applies.

Shadow Shard Charge Gauge: ImageImageImageImageImageImage


--Combat--

As Riz possesses a Shadow Shard, she is more than capable of entering combat and fighting on her own, even without a Pokemon. When fighting on her own, she uses her own weapon and Abilities and has her own moves.


Weapons & Equipment

Planh - A unique staff gifted to Riz upon submission to Melaine. It can be used to channel the Shadow energy given to her by her Shadow Shard, allowing her to imbue it with power so it can be used as a weapon. When wielded this way, it bestows her with the Power Spot Ability.


Abilities

Wpn - Power Spot - Just being next to the user powers up moves.
1 - Triage: Gives priority to healing moves.
15 - Friend Guard: Reduces damage done to allies.
30 - Sanctuary: Doubles the user's defenses, but halves move power.
45 - Magic Guard: Prevents all indirect damage.


Standard Attacks**

Weak Attack 1 - Riz assaults her foe with her staff, delivering up to three attacks in quick succession. The first strike is a jab with the head of the staff, the second strike is a jab made with the hilt, and the third is a two-handed strike from overhead. Each attack can be canceled into a Shadow move.
Weak Attack 2 - Riz sweeps the area above her by spinning her staff over her head for multiple hits that interrupt aerial attacks.
Weak Attack 3 - Riz sweeps the area around her by delivering a low sweeping kick to attack all sides of herself for light damage.
Weak Attack 4 - Riz swings her staff like a golf club, striking close foes while knocking them back. If no foes are within reach, she drives a sphere of shadowy energy at them instead.
Weak Attack 5 - Riz leaps into the air while tossing several spheres of shadowy energy in a large area around her.
Strong Attack 1 - Riz smashes the ground with her staff to knock nearby foes off balance.
Strong Attack 2 - Riz pirouettes as she holds her staff above her, striking foes above her.
Strong Attack 3 - Riz dances around her staff, kicking nearby foes away
Strong Attack 4 - Riz slides backward before charging forward into her foe head first while shrouded in shadowy energy to knock them back and do a great deal of damage, though recovery time is long on a miss.
Strong Attack 5 - Riz leaps into the air to dodge attacks before dive kicking her foe, creating a shockwave of shadowy energy upon landing that knocks away nearby foes.
Ranged Attack 1 - Riz throws her staff forward like a boomerang, striking the foe multiple times as it both leaves and returns.
Ranged Attack 2 - Riz launches up to five spheres of shadowy energy at her opponents. Each sphere can attack a different target.
Ranged Attack 3 - Riz fires a beam of shadowy energy from her staff in a straight line, striking everything in its path.
Homing Attack - Riz dashes forward with lightning speed to a single foe, striking them twice with her staff upon arriving before kicking them away.
Dash Attack - Riz teleports a short distance in any direction, lightly damaging and knocking away enemies directly adjacent to her on leave and arrival.
Counter Attack - Riz steps back and shrouds herself in a shadowy aura, parrying the enemy's attack with her staff before striking back at them to knock them away.
Grab Attack - Riz lifts a foe with both hands while her staff enshrouds both herself and her foe in a shadowy aura. She then brings her opponent back first onto her knee in a backbreaker before launching them away with a blast of shadowy energy from her staff.

**Riz's attacks are Shadow attacks, and are always considered super-effective against non-Shadow targets, and not very effective against Shadow targets.


Signature Moves**

Shadow Ruin - Two shadowy beams cross the target with malice. Critical hits land more easily.
Shadow Comet - A shadowy comet of accursed energy falls upon the target. The further away the target is from the user, the greater this attack's power.
Shadow Pull - A shadowy aura entraps the target and inflicts a burned, frozen, paralyzed, poisoned, or asleep status condition on them. If the target is an ally, the shadowy aura instead heals any status conditions and restores their HP. Can pull the target to the user.
Shadow Sky - A shadowy aura floods the sky for a short time, damaging non-Shadow combatants.
Shadow Font - A shadowy aura besets the target with a curse and harshly lowers one of their stats. If the target is an ally, the shadowy aura instead sharply boosts one of their stats and restores their HP.
Shadow Panic - A shadowy aura generates a chaotic sound to confuse foes.

**Riz's attacks are Shadow attacks, and are always considered super-effective against non-Shadow targets, and not very effective against Shadow targets.

So begins...

Riz Impératrice's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: DIN-01 Blue Character Portrait: DIN-06 Serena Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Ryan Lake Mercantile Character Portrait: Flaugnarde Paris-Brest Character Portrait: Charlotte Paris-Brest Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice Character Portrait: Palmier de Lewis
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Hmm. Robots, huh? I see. Indeedee, write that dow-wait. Robots?


The man leaned forward as if to get a better look at the two, all while the Indeedee waited patiently to write down the information.

No shit? Robots? Well, it seems you aren't telling lies. Indeedee, write down that they are robots. One's mute, and the other can speak.


The creature climbed on a stool and wrote more things on the whiteboard before duplicating them on a sheet of paper.

Right, well then, robots, tell me what you're doing out here. Not many Trainers show up on the doorsteps to Castulgard Town without identification and an excuse for it. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt and assume you're unrelated to the United Pokemon League.


The man seemed to be semi-serious.

--

Melaine's Castle : Throne Room

UNACCEPTABLE!


An upset voice rang throughout the room. It seemed its source was the sylph-like Pokemon seated upon a display throne. She looked upon the messenger boy genuflecting before her, his head almost to the floor. Beside him, a Dartrix was bowing as well.

You tell me we lost with four full regiments of Bataille?! Castelia City remains under United Pokemon League control?!


Y-Yes, Crown-Princess! Most of the Bataille regiments escaped intact, albeit, defeated. Commandants Mikhayu and Marcosha sounded the retreat when we were engaged upon by a new weapon type that was capable of piercing even your well-crafted armor designs.


The man shook with fear, trying to hold his composure as he delivered what was bad news to the ruler before him. However, before any further remarks could be made, one of the many Vitrines within the Throne Room lit up, the crystals comprising the platform glowing to signify someone had a turn to speak. Standing up from her chair on the Vitrine, a younger woman with twin-tailed hair and a sleek bodysuit began speaking.

Hmph! Yeah, yeah. We've got a copy of the weapon too, thanks to quick thinking from one of the Bataille members. I was handed the item and the relevant information when they arrived back. It's a real piece of work. I never knew the United Pokemon League had such items. I'll be handing it to the craftsmen once we've done some preliminary research into it.


After she finished speaking, she took her seat as the crystals stopped glowing. The Vitrine slowly floated back into its designated spot.

Very well. I commend you for your quick turnaround, Chef du Renseignement. It seems this was not a total loss, though I must demonstrate concern that the United Pokemon League forces were far stronger than was briefed on prior to the invasion.


Looking down at the messenger, Melaine nodded.

Do not be afraid. You've done no wrong. Your job was performed admirably, as you have brought the message clear to us. You are dismissed to return to your duties.


The man stood and thanked Melaine profusely before hastily leaving with the Dartrix not far behind him. At this, another of the Vitrines lit up as it floated out of its spot to elevate the speaker. The man sitting in this chair stood and began speaking. His uniform was showy and almost majestic; as if he was a sorcerer of some kind in command of vast magical powers.

I must apologize, Crown-Princess. Allow me to humbly request your forgiveness in this matter; my research into the nature of their forces was clearly not sufficient enough to enable a successful engagement on our behalf.


His robes flowed as he elegantly genuflected in genuine remorse.

Indeed. As Conseiller en Stratégie, you should've known better. I expect only the best of those who serve me, and all of them must continue to prove their worth to the New Ruulan Empire daily. That being said, it was not a full loss. We retrieved a valuable object with which we can assess countermeasures for future engagements, and it is an object we shall give full attention to. No doubt it will prove of suitable assistance.


You are too kind, Crown-Princess.


Unfortunately, it was still a mistake that could have cost us dearly. Overlooking their potential was very careless of you. Underestimating a foe such as them... I cannot fully overlook such an error. There will be a punishment, and that punishment is this: Knowing how much you enjoy your pursuit of literature, you will personally be forbidden access to the Shadow Archival, for purposes outside of official work, for the period of the next three days. This order will be carried out under strict observation. I will know of any breach in this order, upon which a far more severe penalty may be given.


A merciful response, Crown-Princess. Understood. I shall not disappoint you again.


At this, the man's Vitrine dimmed again as it returned to its spot. Following this, a portal opened up within the room, from which a Braixen emerged. It quickly genuflected before looking up at the Diancie. Emerging from the portal behind it then was a woman dressed almost as if a stage magician of some kind.

A grand showing from the youngest of the Shadow Sisters Three, Antumbra! She genuflects before the throne, and thus uproaring applause at her show!


She genuflected alongside the Braixen before standing again.
Forgive my sudden intrusion, Crown-Princess, but it seems there have been multiple assaults against one of our Shadow Crystals located in Unova. We, the Shadow Sisters Three, took a gander and found the one you called "Diamond" as being in the area along with other Trainers. Surely he didn't flip to become an enemy of ours! But perhaps he did?! Such a twist of the plot! We humbly request you to see to the matter yourself, Crown-Princess, to discern the truth with your own wise eyes!


Another genuflection. The Diancie focused her gaze on the woman.

I see. You think he may have gone and betrayed me. It would not surprise me if he did, but nonetheless, he is far stronger a foe than most of the other United Pokemon League types. Not to mention, if truly they possess strength beyond what we know, then I may be best served to visit myself to enforce the matter. Yes, this will work.


Following several voices chipping in to offer their takes, and spirited conversation that occurred, the Diancie silenced them all as she hovered off of her display throne.

Let it be known! I shall go in person to address the issue of this Crystal's assailants and the potential betrayal of a powerful individual. I shall bring my Commandant with me; Aerys Leurent! I also request that my Nonpareil, Riz Impératrice, join as well.


With a further word dismissing the Shadow Sister, and adjourning the court, the Diancie gathered her two compatriots and prepared for them to travel with her to the site of the Crystal. Aerys brandished the special Poke Ball belonging to the Diancie, and genuflected as she held it before her, allowing the Diancie to activate it herself, safely placing her inside the sphere. At this moment, Riz, the woman declared a Nonpareil, waved her staff to create a violet portal that the pair then stepped through. Once both had gone through, the portal vanished while the rest of the court left to return to their daily duties.

The setting changes from new-eve-island to Unova Wilderness

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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As the fighting continued, a large purple vortex would spawn a short distance away from the battlers; from it would emerge two girls. Each girl stood confidently as the portal closed behind them, certain they made it to the right location.

Together, the pair stood quietly, bearing witness to the battle occurring, no doubt beginning their observations right as the Torterra was about to fall.

Hey, Riz. How far away from the Crystal are we?


I do believe we're somewhat close? About a 10 to 15-minute walk north from here, I think. I used the coordinates last used by the Shadow Sisters to get here, so it seems they ended up wandering around a bit before planting it.


I see. Then this is Route 3? It seems...nice...tch. What rubbish. At least I can see the one we came to check on. Seems he's in a fight again.


Fufufu... How interesting! Let us see how this fight goes, then.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Torterra was too weak to continue, and so collapsed on the ground after the second Flame Thrower hit him head on. Diamond couldn't return him, however, as the Shadow Punch slammed into his arms and the impact spread through his body, he was launched off his feet backwards with a cry. He landed hard on his back, skidding back before rolling back to his feet, only to be upper-cutted by the gengar immediately after, and sent back to the ground again with another gasp. After settling, he retracted his arms, returned Torterra, and launched another pokeball into the air.

Charizard, now fully healed from his ordeal with Melaine, appeared in the air, roaring triumphantly in challenge to the Gengar and its compatriots. Diamond's Aura flared up again, focusing quickly around his fist as he launched himself to his feet. Knowing that a Fighting type move wouldn't work against the Ghost type Gengar, Diamond darted as fast as he could past him, heading straight for Lucian himself, aiming his Drain Punch square for his jaw, looking to put him on his ass as fast as possible.

"Flare Blitz the Gengar!"

Charizard roared ferociously, and the flame from his tail went wild, covering his body as he spun and then dove straight for the Gengar, roaring the entire time. Wings flared out to course correct and attempt to follow Gengar if he moved out of the way, but hopefully the shock value of being split between Diamond's direct attack on Lucian and the Charizard's Flare Blitz would allow both attacks to hit. Lucy stared on in horror. Still she was too scared to attack her former master, or really to attempt to offer much more advice. Hopefully Chloe and her pokemon would be able to react and counter as needed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Fused Lucian steeled his stance against Diamond, watching him rise to his feet, a fist of energy charged in front of him. He stood and waited for the strike to come, expecting the Shadowy teen in front of him to pass through. But instead, he charged around him, calling a command to direct his summoned Charizard at him. He blinked in surprise at the move and knew that he was probably going to be hit by the Flare Blitz.

"Switch!" he exclaimed to Slurpuff, pointing in the direction of Diamond.

The Slurpuff responded in kind, leaping closer to the two of them and unleashing a large tidal wave in between human Lucian and Diamond, aiming to sweep the human off his feet with Surf. The Gengar was smacked hard with the power of Charizard's powerful move. His newly acquired defense boost was the sole thing saving him from being knocked out completely by the attack. Still, he bounced across the dirt a couple times before skidding to a halt at the edge of the treeline. He gasped as he felt the wind knocked out of him.

Chloe, who was far enough away to spectate and noticed the run up attack. Her response was quicker than Lucian's, "Togekiss, tank it and use Mirror Move!"

Should the Surf miss it's mark, Togekiss would be in front of Lucian, ready to take the hit and retaliate in kind.

All combatants seemed too distracted to notice the newcomers on the scene.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Seeing the Torterra faint and be replaced by the Charizard, Aerys glanced at Riz, who nodded. The pair then watched as Diamond and Charizard attempted a joint attack against the young boy and the Gengar. When the young boy requested the Slurpuff intervene, followed by the young girl and her Togekiss also moving to defend him, Riz noticed that the Lucario did not react as the pair watching had expected.

Noticing that the group before them was too occupied with the battle, Riz waved her staff as it began glowing with a violet/indigo aura. After making some motions, at which the aura fully encompassed her, she pointed it at the Lucario specifically.

Shadow Pull!


Immediately, Lucy would find herself encompassed by a violet/indigo colored aura that would paralyze her fully, preventing any kind of movement or response. Then, almost as quickly as the initial attack's onset was, she would find herself being pulled with haste toward the source of the attack, which was the pair observing the fight at the moment. Face-to-face with the pair of girls, Aerys held her cute, if smug, grin while Riz maintained the paralyzing aura with her staff.

Sorry, but we'll need to borrow you for a moment. I promise we'll return you when we're done here.


Just don't struggle and you'll be fine. We just need to speak to the fine Trainers for a bit.


Lucy being dragged to the pair would be noticeable to all parties involved in the battle.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Diamond's rush was cut short by the tidal wave and an insolent Togekiss. Flipping backwards in a graceful leap, Diamond landed and started to rise to his feet again, searching for a softer, easier target. Charizard roared triumphantly as he slammed into the Gengar, though growled with a mix of pain and disappointment as the recoil damage affected him and the Gengar was still standing thanks to it's stolen Defense from Toreterra.

Diamond darted to the side to get out of the way and not be a standing target, while he did so, he gave his next command. "Finish it with Flame Thrower. Go." Charizard roared and stamped its foot, wings flaring out and tail lashing as a torrent of flame bellowed from its maw, roaring across the space between it and the Gengar while Diamond rushed around looking for another target. Ah, Chloe. The girl was relatively open. Pivoting on the ball of his foot and radiating with his Aura, Diamond darted quickly for her, the Drain Punch still radiating in his right hand.

"Diamond!"

Lucy's instinctive cry for her partner snapped him to reality, the Drain Punch Faded, and his heart throbbed instinctively as well. He stopped and stared after her as the Shadow Aura surrounded her. "You! Release my Lucario at once! She is not yours to do with as you please!" he shouted, gritting his teeth. His blue aura radiated around his body vibrantly as he watched on.

That was HIS Lucario! How dare they?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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The Fused Lucian knew very well that if he didn't try for something here, the next hit would take him out of the fight. He had to try something a little more daring, something with risk.

He looked to the trees at his support.

"Umbreon! Confuse Ray that bastard!" he called out as he began charging up a Shadow Ball in his hand.

Umbreon twirled her tail slightly as she stood up to get a better vantage point, shooting the Charizard from afar with Confuse Ray. It wouldn't be that bad of an attack for Diamond's Pokemon to take, but he hoped that with the damage already dealt by it's own hand and the potential for Charizard to be confused, his last ditch effort would be enough to seal the deal.

Not even waiting to see what happened, he ran forward into the direct line of fire of the Flamethrower. The fire blazed hotly around him, but he had just enough energy to unleash his Shadow Ball, aiming for the center of chest. And then, the heat was simply too much. With a labored exhale, he slumped forward and hit the ground with a soft thud.

The Gengar was knocked out.

At the same time, the glowing lights faded from Human Lucian's eyes and he groaned, clutching his head immediately. He had the wherewithal to pull out the PokeBall and recall his fallen companion, but he would need a moment to recover.

Seeing the Slurpuff miss and the Gengar knocked out, Chloe immediately took control of the situation. "Togekiss, stay in front of Lucian. Do not let that boy near him! Slurpuff, in front of me. We'll take him down together!"

Slurpuff bounded forward, a surprise spring to her blobby appearance as she covered the distance in little time. At the same time, Diamond was rushing forward, aiming his strike at the girl. She gasped as she realized he wasn't going to be above hurting other people with his power and braced herself for possible impact.

They were interrupted by Lucy's cry for help. All participants turned to see the newcomers, holding the Lucario within some weird energy. Given the color of said energy, Chloe instinctively took a step back. Lucian managed to open his left eye, trying to concentrate on who the two strangers actually were.

While Diamond reacted with anger and shouting, the girl took a little more subdued approach, "Wh-Who are you?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Seeing the response, the two began, first with the young girl in a purple dress.

In time, Diamond Royal, in time. My name is Aerys Leurant, of the New Ruulan Empire. Sauvegarde and Main Droite for the Crown-Princess herself.


At her side, attached to a belt, she had a golden book trimmed in brown with a lock placed upon it hanging, opposite five Premier Balls, each with an identical Ball Capsule featuring a golden lock design upon it. Next to the Premier Balls, a single unusual Poke Ball was hanging; a custom affair with a black bottom half and a purple top half. It was also encased in a Ball Capsule, betrayed by the faint shimmer around the Poke Ball itself, upon which a glittering pattern of violet crystal shards was dusted. Lastly, hanging from a red cord wrapped around her left wrist, just above her Z-Power Ring with a Key Stone inlaid, a golden key was present, while slung around her right wrist was an unusual band, primarily black in color, with two trims, one magenta, and one blue. It had some kind of interface upon it and was specifically wrapped around the arm she seemed to favor. She also had a pair of sturdy metal knuckles attached to her belt as well.

The other regal looking girl then responded.

I am Riz Impératrice, of Maison Impératrice; a Duchess of the New Ruulan Empire and a chosen Nonpareil in the Crown-Princess' Parlement.


This girl did not boast nearly the equipment her compatriot had, though she had 5 grey Poke Balls with Capsules upon them as well, featuring a pattern involving stars and rocks. Her staff was the real star of the show in her appearance, as it looked capable and special. It seemed to be creating the purple aura that was surrounding the Lucario. She too seemed to have a Z-Power Ring with a Keystone, though she lacked the unusual band. Somehow, she gave off the air of hiding something far scarier, even as she smiled.

Diamond, we came to check up on you after hearing some questionable rumors. I hope you aren't being a disappointment for our cause.


Your friends here seem to have some disageements with you. A positive sign to witness, and one no doubt to be taken into consideration by Her Majesty.


As the one named Riz looked to the one named Aerys, she closed her eyes and smiled. In turn, Aerys did too.

Of course, that means we are here with another purpose.


Yep! Your friends will obviously need to stay here as well. Especially the girl. She's gotten my interest, and no doubt Her Majesty will be interested to learn more.


Aerys brandished a special Poke Ball. This one was the special one that looked far different than all the others she had.

We'll give you back your "girlfriend" once we're done here. I promise she won't be hurt. Riz is super skilled, so you can rest easy.


The two were supremely confident.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Charizard was caught off guard by the Shadow-Ball, hitting him square in the chest. Shaking his head, he roared in triumph as the Gengar fell regardless, and then snarled in annoyance as the Confuse Ray hit him square in the head. He shook his head and took a step or two back, growling, annoyed. He was hurting, but he was still up. He flapped his wings and took off into the air with a grimace on his face. Noticing Diamond now, he moved over to his trainer and snorted. Diamond didn't respond.

They dared address this situation so casually when it came to his Lucario? To Lucy? He gritted his teeth tighter and his knuckles cracked while his hands clenched tightly into fists. "You will let her go now!" he insisted. He took a step forward, and Charizard grunted in affirmation.

Questionable rumors? He cared not. He hadn't done anything worth punishment that he knew of. He had acted on his own interests, sure, but he'd not overtly done anything to subvert Melaine's power or rule over the land. Yet.

Lucy whined and growled, her own Aura flickering around her body in an effort to try and break herself free. Her eyes radiated with a ethereal glow and she snarled in effort. She brought her paws together and her Aura ignited harshly, snapping herself free of the Shadowy Aura keeping her still. As soon as her feet touched the ground, she back flipped gracefully, landing beside Diamond in a fighting stance.

"You do still care." she smiled.

"Don't push your luck, Lucario. I will deal with you later." he quipped. Lucy pouted. When would her partner be back, dammit?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Chloe and Lucian looked towards one another, the same feeling of dread entering their minds at the same time. They were part of the New Ruulan Empire. And they seemed to be highly regarded members of the ones tearing this nation apart. These were the kind of people they wanted to avoid. And now they were here.

Lucian in particular turned to stare at Lucy with a hateful glare. Son of a bitch led them straight to us... he thought bitterly. That was their plan all along.

As the two strangers went on, they realized they had taken interest in the two of them, which did nothing to alleviate the pit in their stomachs. Chloe visibly blinked in surprise when the girl on the left, the one with black hair, mentioned her specifically. That sent chills down her spine and she shuddered at the thought of becoming like one of them. What were they after? She wondered. Why me specifically?

As an added precaution, she recalled the extent of her team. Jirachi, Togekiss, and Slurpuff all were encased in red and disappeared in the blink of an eye. She did take notice of the special PokeBall the black-haired girl held out in front of her like a lingering threat, but figured that the passive route was the way to get out of this. Besides, if they were high ranking members of the NRE, they would undoubtedly be strong...right?

"What do you want?" she had to ask. "Why me?

"Chloe...stay back," Lucian managed to say as he found his way to his feet. His legs trembled slightly as he struggled, shambling forward with much effort. Chloe turned to look at him, but didn't say anything. She knew he was hurt and that he needed time to get better again. Yet he still positioned himself in between Chloe and the two on the other side of the road. What was he doing? She asked herself.

"Look..." he said in between breaths, "We're not interested...in joining your Empire. We're not trying...to overthrow it. We're just trying...to leave the city...the Region...hell, even the planet if we have to. Just leave us alone...and we'll be out of your way."

The siblings saw Lucy break free using her own methods, flipping to Diamond's side. However, they kept their distance away from them, just in case it was some kind of trick the two were playing to get them captured. What little trust Lucy may have earned back when she was trying to convince them had been shattered completely.

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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When Diamond protested, Riz laughed, formally, refined.

Mweehehehee~ How delightful! You think you're in a position to make demands? That's not befitting your station, Diamond.


Aerys watched Lucian and Chloe carefully as Lucian picked himself up and still moved to stand before Chloe, despite his wounds. She looked impressed at the feat.

What do we want? Why you? Your power and potential have me interested. I like strong and cute Trainers, and you're both at once, whether you know it or not.


When Lucian spoke, her cute smile suddenly dipped into a more sadistic expression, almost as if a shadow crossed the upper half of her face. It was definitely an ominous and stern look.

Whether you are interested or not isn't our concern, handsome. We're not here about that. Consider us here to challenge you to a friendly battle. Though...you aren't capable of battling currently, it seems. No matter, I'm wanting to see what Chloe is capable of, instead.


Riz prepared to speak at this time, only to be interrupted by Lucy breaking the barrier on her own. Riz lightly shielded herself from the kickback, though Aerys stood her ground unflinching in spite of the eruption of energy occurring just beside her. Regaining her composure, Riz continued.

H-How absurd! Urr... No matter, let's see if you escape a second ti-


Riz was cut off by a shake from the special Poke Ball, as the capsule around it glowed, letting out a dust of violet crystal shards in a grandiose display. The ball enlarged as this effect occurred and it opened to release its occupant with an eruption of shadowy energy that felt terrible and powerful. As the white and black energy beam that was released from the Poke Ball took shape in front of Aerys, both girls quickly genuflected in surprise, with Aerys holding the Poke Ball aloft, adopting a posture down on a single knee.

When the energy beam finished shaping into the occupant once held by the Poke Ball, a sight to behold floated before Lucian, Chloe, Diamond, and Lucy. A Diancie in its Mega Evolution, if any were familiar with the species, or this specific one. It was a dark-purple, sylph-like Pokemon around three-and-a-half feet tall that had a black chest and arms that resembled a dress. It also possessed a headdress, which consisted of purple crystals: the four short ones cresting along the top pointed upwards, and the two longer ones on each side of its head, pointed downwards, with an additional heart-cut centerpiece framed by its slim dark-purple ears. A smaller purple crystal was also embedded in the back of its head, from which two smaller gems grew at the bottom. A red nugget was embedded in its forehead and it also had two ribbon-like structures that were growing from the two small gems on the back of its head, each tipped by two small floating rhomboid gems, one for each ribbon. Its eyes were black with pale-purple irises and a red crescent circled its neck, with the ends of the crescent being joined together by a rhomboid gem. A larger red crescent also circled its torso. Its lower body resembled a dress-like structure made of purple gems, with a larger gem that had red pieces supporting it. It was a beauty to behold, noble in design, but dark in a display, its eyes callously lit with malicious intent.

The Ball Capsule's secondary seals activated, allowing a shadowy wisp and purple sparkle effect to shimmer through the violet crystal shards. As the display finished, the Poke Ball closed and returned to its smaller size. The Mega Diancie turned to face Aerys and Riz. Its voice was powerful, girly, and dark, but regal and firm too, in equal measure. A voice formal and refined, commanding of respect, but soft enough to show mercy and compassion if so earned.

Arise, Sauvegarde! Nonpareil!


Immediately, Riz stood and moved to stand at the Mega Diancie's side, her soft smile returning. Aerys stood and reattached the Poke Ball to its spot on her belt. She then advanced to stand opposite Riz, flanking the Mega Diancie. Her smile remained sadistic, almost as if sneering, despite her cute face as a Lass.

The Mega Diancie turned to face Lucian, Chloe, Diamond, and Lucy.
I had to come forth and see what the intensive commotion was about. All of you have such intense air. I must admit, I am very thoroughly impressed. Duchess Impératrice rarely demonstrates such outbursts. O~hoho-hoho~! I'll give you a standing ovation for flustering her so.


The Mega Diancie clapped lightly, mockingly, almost as if applauding a particularly good swing in a game of golf. She seemed to be assessing those who stood before her.

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"MY station aside, no one takes my pokemon away from me. I don't care WHO you are." Diamond yelled through gritted teeth, pointing at the woman who dared try to take Lucy away from him. Their combined Aura's subsided slightly, but were still visible around their bodies as everything happened around them. Lucy glanced back over her shoulder, a sorrowful, sorry look in her face as she looked to Lucian - she could sense his emotions and knew, or at least, felt that he felt betrayed. Truthfully there was no way for Lucy to know they would show up, if anyone would know it would have been Diamond - he was the corrupted one.

Riz started to lose her cool at Lucy's breaking her hold, to which Lucy's mood shifted to a smug, happy one. She was about to taunt the girl, saying she'd do it again if she tried, but then, of all ungodly things, Melaine had to go and appear. Lucy growled lowly and lowered into deep fighting stance, a Bone-Rush Staff appearing in her paws. Diamond stepped in front of her and held a hand out to restrain her. His stance was.... courteous, but ready. Ready to make a run for it if he needed.

"Crown Princess..... This is an unexpected... pleasure." he was careful with his words, those eyes of his staring at the self-proclaimed princess of the land.

"Unexpected to see you in a pokeball!" Lucy taunted.

"You will watch your mouth, Lucario, or I will knock out your teeth." Diamond snapped. Lucy's bone rush faded and she gasped, horrified at the thought of Diamond doing something so horrid to her.

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When the appearance of the most infamous Diancie around graced the field with her presence, Lucian couldn't help but groan in frustration. Of all people to show up, it had to be her. His bitter thoughts turned once again to Lucy, whom he blamed for getting them into this situation.

Do a nice thing for someone, and ya get shafted for it...yeah, that sounds like my life.

Chloe was visibly shaken at the sight and took many steps back, holding her hand in front of her chest defensively, "I-I'm good, actually. I-I-I don't really want to fight. Sorry Your Grace...er...your Highness, I mean...I-I concede. You win...I can't beat you." She sounded as flustered as she looked, eyes wide as saucers and skin paling.

Lucian didn't say anything. He simply stood in between the three and his sister. He didn't want anything to happen to her. He would do anything to defend her.

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Seeing Chloe's breakdown, Melaine could not help but laugh. It was a mocking noble laugh, with a hand condescendingly placed so as to cover her mouth.

O~hoho-hoho~! O~hoho-hoho-hoho~! Who said anything about you defeating me? Peasants of your caliber are best served providing entertainment for my amusement. O~hoho-hoho~!


Melaine brought a hand to her side after finishing her taunt, extending it toward Riz as she slowly floated sideways, almost as if presenting Riz to Chloe.

If your cowardice proves true, young peasant girl, and you wish not to face me after all, then I shall see you in another light; as the entertainment I so mentioned! It befits your lowly station to serve your superiors after all.


Continuing, Melaine looked to Riz.

Nonpareil, your flustered nature amused me in equal parts to the disappointment it stirred in me. Such a casual mistake from one I judge and rate so highly; it befits not your station! Redeem yourself in this very moment and do battle with this young girl. You alone should be sufficient to wholly showcase her capabilities so identified by my Sauvegarde.


Riz nodded, regaining her confident smile as she stepped forward.

Understood, Majesty. I shall prepare my Pokemo-


Nay! Nonpareil, your abilities failed you. This redemption will be of you versus them. Yourself. Surely one of my Nonpareil, who have been gifted with power unrivaled, can effortlessly handle the pathetic attempts of a little peasant girl who has developed an unfitting case of cowardice!


With a bit of a grimace, Riz stepped forward in front of Melaine and Aerys, readying her staff as she took a bow.

Understood, Majesty. My apologies to you, Chloe, I will make this as painless as it will be swift. Let us both be satisfied with the result.


Riz prepared herself by assuming a combat-ready stance with her staff in hand.

Oh, and one more thing! The peasant's friend, and that good-for-nothing we call Diamond, are both permitted to join the little peasant girl in her bout against Riz! Riz is strong enough to prove a suitable challenge for all three of you, after all. The three of you may even use your Pokemon if you so wish. It may just prove to make it more intriguing a show! O~hoho~! O~hoho-hoho~!


Riz's confident, yet soft, smile returned as her staff glowed with a violet aura. It seemed this was where the actual battle to be had would begin.

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Lucy's Aura sensory bulbs went up and her eyes glowed a dim blue. Her taunt went not only unnoticed, but was completely ignored. So instead she felt out the Aura of the girl approaching at Melaine's command, Riz. The girl's Aura was, as expected, dark, and her staff, while not the source of her power, certainly was an integral part of it. She lowered into a stance and readied a Bone Rush, the staff of radiant blue bone appearing between her paws with an elegant twirl. Her lips peeled back to reveal her teeth, and she growled.

"Lucy. Calm yourself." Diamond barked. Yes, he'd called her by her name. His Aura wavered again, and his eye twitched. "Charizard.... return. You've done well enough for today." he said. His Charizard roared and, enveloped in red, vanished into his pokeball.

Diamond crossed his arms and looked at Melaine. "Good for nothing, Highness? You and I know that isn't entirely true. You just haven't figured out what to do with me." he said sternly, as if talking to a child. Lucy lowered her stance and gripped her staff tighter. He'd called her by her name.... he HAD to be making progress in returning to normal! She felt it!

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Queen Melaine's response to Chloe's stammering was natural, given what she'd already seen. Still, it didn't sting any less to take that verbal statement of power over here. She couldn't help but feel low and stare at the ground while Melaine continued. She couldn't even look the Diancie in the eye. She felt all but worthless. Like the coward she was being called.

But there was something else she was feeling. Along with the paralyzing fear, guilt, shame, and overall despair over the entire situation, something was brewing in her body, spawning from deep within her soul. With each manic laugh Melaine uttered, this feeling pushed it's way forward, little by little, slowly causing the nervous pit in her stomach to ebb. She didn't look up, but a different kind of frown was on her face...one laced with hatred and anger...anger at Queen Melaine. Her eyes grew dark and hard, shadowed behind her hair. Her hands were balled into fists. Her trembling was subsided, replaced by a tense stillness. Her shallow panicky breaths were growing longer and more winded. And all her inhibitions...all her worries and anxieties...they were all being pushed away, replaced by one feeling:

Determination.

Lucian was holding his own, challenging Melaine and Riz's cocky attitude with a stubborn look, "Forget it! We're not here to amuse and entertain you. We decline your challenge. Fight whoever those people are if ya really wanna get some licks in." He gestured towards Diamond and Lucy, "But leave me and Chloe out of it!"

"Lucian..." she interrupted, glancing upwards slightly. It was easy to see the fire in her eyes. "I'm...I'm going to fight her."

"Wh- No! Chloe, listen..." he immediately turned around and hobbled in front of her, grabbed her shoulders, "They're playing you. They want you to fight. They want to see what you can do so they can decide if it's worth taking you with them or not. Don't you see? If you fight them, you're giving them exactly what they want."

"Maybe..." she said in a deadpan serious tone, "Do you think they'll let us go if we refuse? Honestly?"

"I-" Lucian had to stop himself. She did have a point, but he couldn't bring himself to admit it. "I don't know. But we can't win either way. The only way to win is to not play her game."

"I...don't...I can't think that way..." she sighed, "I just have to fight."

"No you don't. Why do you think you have to fight?" he persisted.

"To prove a point." Chloe simply stated, "You've got my back, right?"

"A-Always..." Lucian stammered as he loosened his grip on her shoulder, "You're my sister."

"Then protect me. Watch for their dirty tricks. Do what you do best." She stepped forward and hugged him, "I'll handle the rest."

Lucian blinked, surprised by the sudden movement, but accepted her embrace with a wrap around hug of his own. "I will. You be careful, alright?"

"Always..." she nodded her head. The two relinquished each other and she stepped in front of her brother. She was much steadier than before. There was a little bit of nerves in her stare, but she seemed too resolute to let that bother her much.

Chloe turned a side glance towards Diamond and Lucy. "You two stay out of this. It'll just be me and her."

With that, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened them, they locked hungrily on the redhead with the staff, "Hear that, Riz? Just you and me. I accept your challenge. But if we're doing this, we're doing this my way. I don't care what your queen says. You bring out two Pokemon and put 'em behind you. Call for them if you need a helping hand."

In a swift motion, she grabbed three PokeBalls, chucking two to either side of her while gracefully flinging her third directly opposite of Riz. On Chloe's left was a Sylveon, appearing elegantly out of the PokeBall and taking a nimble stance. On her right was the familiar Togekiss, hovering in anticipation. And front and center stood Slurpuff, tongue as present as ever while standing in a crouched position, palm resting on the ground in front of her.

"You said you wanted to see what I can do." Chloe stood fierce as the adrenaline of battle took over her body. "Let me show you."

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Riz looked back at Melaine upon seeing Chloe's stance and Pokemon, with the Diancie quickly responding.

Very well, it would be dishonorable of us to not battle in complete fairness. So shall it be, Riz! You may use two of your own! I'll leave the rest of the situation to you. I must deal with the insolent Trainer who still refuses to submit to his rightful ruler.


Melaine turned to face Diamond, smug as she stared him and Lucy down, almost as if daring them to take a swing at her.

Riz looked back at Chloe and softly smiled. She then fetched two of her own Poke Balls, the Seals on them activating as a Wormadam and a Vileplume appeared, standing to the sideline, ready to begin. The Wormadam's Cloak revealed it was one made of Trash, and the Vileplume's spots seemed...distorted. Though both Pokemon were definitely not normal at first glance, Lucy and Diamond would immediately be able to see the shadowy aura surrounding them bot, as well as the aggressive look in their eyes.

Understood, Majesty. Then let us begin, Chloe. My apologies for your Slurpuff as well. I will be as merciful as possible, to honor your commitment to this fight.


Riz became surrounded in a shadowy aura as she suddenly dashed forward, approaching the Slurpuff with almost Accelgor speed. When she arrived in front of the Slurpuff, her staff was already raised as she prepared to swing it for a swift one-two attack. If she landed both attacks on the Slurpuff, she would then kick it away from her with surprising force for a girl of her size. Each attack that did land would feel as though super-effective cinderblocks were bashing the Slurpuff, an unnatural toughness in them that left a painful, burning sensation where each hit stuck.

It seemed this was her first attack.

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Diamond wasn't expecting to be denied the chance to fight Riz, but if Chloe wanted him to stay out of it, then so be it. He raised his eyebrows, looked to Lucy, lowered them, and steeled his expression once more as he turned to look at Melaine. He crossed his arms and tilted his head, his neck cracking. Lucy stepped forward, her expression hard, her aura radiating gently, ready for battle.

Diamond sighed and shifted his weight to his right foot as he shifted his body to be sideways to Melaine. "I did submit to you. After you stabbed me, remember? I got on a knee and everything. I was then given nothing to do.... so I did what I wanted, as most people do." he narrowed his eyes as a sort of smug expression stretched across his face.

"And what I want... is to investigate how these crystals of yours influence Aura. I can clearly see it on Riz, there. Lucario... where's the crystal?"

"Not in her staff, though it channels the power. Likely on her person.... or embedded in her chest, if I had to guess, Diamond." she answered.

Diamond grunted in amusement. "A shame. Removing it would require killing the girl, and ruining an otherwise attractive body." Diamond's dull eyes glanced over to Riz, and then back to Melaine. "So tell me, Crown Princess..." he paused for effect. "...what is your plan for me?"

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Chloe analyzed her opponent as she prepared. She knew Riz was going to fight personally, using her staff as her weapon. While she had questions about her durability, she knew the Shadow Girl wouldn't be fighting unless she was either cocky or resilient...probably both. While nothing was too noteworthy about her physical appearance or attire, her equipment boasted all the power she would need, her staff in particular. She took note of the quadrilateral ring on her finger, the shape of which looking oddly familiar to her, but she couldn't quite put where. It was something to pay attention to. Regardless, the question remained...what held the power: the girl or the staff? She planned to find out.

Behind Riz were her two Pokemon, one she recognized and one she did not. Chloe couldn't get a clear read on the floating one with what appeared to be a pink coat surrounding it. Psychic...maybe Fairy? The odd color palette was misleading, so she wouldn't make assumptions. But it was the one with a giant flower for a head that was making her think. Vileplume was a Pokemon she knew about. She remembered battling a kid from the White Forest area, carrying a Vileplume as his prized Pokemon. She knew it was weak and slow, but it had a high aptitude for special attacks and status effects. And spores. Lots and lots of spores.

Should've brought out Jirachi... she moaned bitterly in her head. But she knew there was no way she could've known what Riz was packing. Especially since she revealed her team first. Still...it wasn't like she wasn't fully prepared for it.

Riz's blinding speed caught her off guard and by the time Chloe could react, she was already on top of Slurpuff, poised to strike. "Jump back! Flamethrower!"

The first hit of Riz's staff would land, but not the second. The Slurpuff would take the first strike, reeling back from it. But when she backpedaled, she jumped at such a moment so as to barely slide underneath her second swing. It was an odd movement, almost as if a spring was being released. And while it looked like a direct result of her first strike, the knock back was far greater than what would be expected from such a hit.

The round body of Slurpuff had no problem rolling to her feet and returning fire, a distant spray of flame exploding from her mouth, aimed towards Riz. Already, Chloe was calling her next move.

"Sylveon, set up Light Screen!"

A flick of Sylveon's tail was enough to send a translucent barrier onto the battlefield, coating the Slurpuff. Some added defense to keep that Vileplume off her, she thought. If she was going to win this, it had to be in the first few turns anyway. She stood poised as ever, waiting to see how Riz reacted to a stream of fire in her direction.




Meanwhile, Lucian was sitting on the ground, rubbing his head as he watched. He already had something in mind if they tried something and he was holding firm. At the same time, he felt the need to prepare himself for what was to come. As the fight began, he had already fished out a Revive, bringing out his fallen Gengar and coating him with the potion, letting the healing medicine do it's thing. He was transfixed by the fight in front of him, but was also keeping an eye out around his sister, looking for anything that might seem off. He kept his gaze closest towards Lucy and Diamond, despite their evident hostility towards the queen. He was a Shadow being. That was reason enough not to trust them.

All the same, he sat wounded, but ready for whatever came next.

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Character Portrait: Diamond Royal Character Portrait: The Pokken Club Character Portrait: Melaine Diancie Character Portrait: Aerys Leurent Character Portrait: Riz Impératrice
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Riz returned to her fighting stance as she recovered from her attempted attacks, making no efforts to dodge the flames. As the waves of fire surrounded her, she notably did not flinch or show any signs of being seriously hurt by the attack, though it was clear she did take damage, as reflected by the singe marks and clothing damage she had taken, along with blackened patches across the now visible parts of her body as her dress began burning in small parts. From within the flames, she raised her staff into the air this time as a shadowy aura surrounded her, dispelling the flames.

Impressive attack! However, let us play a more dangerous game! Shadow Sky!


A burst of shadowy light fired into the sky, covering it with shadowy clouds that swirled with purple and indigo colors. Then came the shower of flashing lights. The motes of light that rained down would strike non-Shadow entities like hailstones, only without the physical impacts. Rather, each strike instead stung and burned like an allergic reaction to a bug's bite or sting. Curiously, those imbued with the shadowy aura seemed to be unaffected by the flashing lights, and the storm itself raged only above the combatants; those not actively fighting were entirely unaffected.

Riz then swung her staff in an arc before her as five small spheres of shadowy energy formed and launched in the Slurpuff's direction, attempting to block its escape routes. They were speedy, but they seemed to lack any homing capacity, though each one that struck would feel like being hit with a super-effective bowling ball traveling at the speed of a pitcher's fastball, albeit somewhat reduced by the translucent barrier. Each that struck would also once more leave dull, painful, burning sensations at the impact points.

She had yet to call upon either of her support Pokemon thus far, and neither was affected by the shadowy weather, instead, looking empowered by it. Was she planning on using them at all?



As the battle occurred, Melaine continued to focus her attention on Diamond.

I gave you a fair order; you were to occupy yourself with tasks that advance the aims of the New Ruulan Empire here in Unova and beyond; among those being the task of scouting out powerful enemies that could potentially rise to contest me. Instead, you chose defiance and self-interest. I give all who serve me their orders because I feel they can carry them out. However, your investigation of the Crystals, a selfish pursuit born only of your curiosity, does not provide any such benefit to the New Ruulan Empire nor does it advance the order I gave you. Rather, it is akin to slighting the judgment I have. That disappoints me to a great extent.


Melaine's eyes and jewels shimmered a bit, coinciding with the Shadow Sky that had come across the battle right nearby, localized above the combatants alone.

Your insolence mars the very efforts of your peers. My plan is this: If you wish to redeem yourself, you must occupy yourself with actions that prove your existence necessary for the upkeep of the New Ruulan Empire; that being the full execution of my orders. If you cannot fulfill that simple purpose, then I shall do with you as I must: Treat you in fairness such that you have earned.


She seemed to have her guard down, not paying Lucian any mind at the moment, though Aerys watched Lucian with a cute, if not sinister, smile that had "smug" written all over it, implying some level of confidence in the situation.

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Diamond's eyebrows raised again, and he nodded softly as Melaine gave her answer and speeches. The battle raged on merely twenty feet away perhaps, Diamond began to walk away from it, the wind from the impacts ruffling his clothes. He stopped after a few paces, with Lucy still definitively between him and Melaine. Lucy stood ready to leap into combat at the drop of a hat, her Aura idly burning around her body as she stood defensively in front of Diamond.

Then, perhaps, we should come to a compromise, Crown Princess. As you know, my interest in your Obelisks and Crystals is on how they affect the Aura of living things. I can see that it greatly enhances the strength of non-powerful humans, such as Riz over there, what with her crystal and staff. I too benefited - in some ways - from being corrupted by you... but I also lost something too. Lucario tries to pull me back to where I was...." he had no problem throwing Lucy under the bus. He'd deal with her later.

He stepped forward two steps, now properly facing Melaine his arms still crossed. "May I suggest, Crown Princess, that with my further understanding on how these crystals affect the Aura.... it could lead to a better and simpler process to turn more subjects to your cause? The more Shadow Humans and Pokemon you have at your disposal, the more of a chance you'll stand against the undoubtedly united world." he suggested. Diamond perhaps didn't realize how thin of ice he was treading on right now, but regardless, he delivered his proposal with the utmost confidence and grace. A respectable ideal, and one that, while dangerous should Diamond revert back to normal, could pay off hugely if he is not. A double edged sword by all means, and a well balanced one at that. If he remains loyal, Melaine gains a larger army. If he reverts to normal, there is a distinct possibility that - assuming he keeps any of his memories - he can use that knowledge against the Crown Princess.

The loophole there, of course, was Lucy. She was intelligent, and much more skilled in Aura than Diamond ever was. She was also capable of doing damage - however minor - to Melaine herself. The Lucario sighed softly, when would Diamond just shut up and make this arrogant thing calling itself royalty go away? She'd have to do it herself, she reckoned. Her stance deepened slightly, but she made no other movements.

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Chloe was doing her best to hide the unease welling up inside of her, especially when Riz decided to simply tank the attack rather than react in some way. She blinked, but managed to maintain her stoic expression. All the while, her mind was racing at this development. She didn't even seem to care... she thought. Why? Is it because Fire isn't effective? Is anything effective against this power they have?

Her unease morphed into full blown anxiousness when the sky darkened around them and the flashing lights started falling like rain. This is the Shadowy Rain... she realized, recalling from two weeks ago when it had fallen over most of Unova.

Sure enough, her skin started to become irritated as small pellets of pain fell over her body. She remembered this feeling and how bad it was, especially over an extended period of time. She also knew that her Pokemon would be going through the same feeling. It wouldn't be too long before the pain was unbearable and her Pokemon were knocked out. The clock was now running. If she was going to win, she had to do it real soon.

This realization came with another barrage of strikes: large shadowy balls flying at incredible speeds. And for the first time, she actually cracked a small smile. This was the kind of attack she was well versed in fighting, and she knew that Slurpuff was the most capable of taking it on. She didn't even need to tell her to dodge...she only needed to tell her what direction.

"Slurpuff! Forward!"

The first ball would arrive before she could finish the command, but the Slurpuff was already acting, leaping in the air with a surprising amount of force. The height of the jump was well enough to clear the next shadow ball. By the third one's arrival, she was suspended in the air with nowhere to go but down. But even that was okay. As it hit her, she appeared to move with a strange amount of mobility and flexibility, using the ball's momentum to roll around it and place herself beneath it, then launching herself downward from it. The Slurpuff was clearly hurt from the strike, but the sudden movement was well worth it, allowing the last two shadow balls to miss wide right, in the direction she would've gone had she been hit as designed. Now she was heading the opposite direction, slamming into the ground with an exuberant amount of force. A small dirt cloud coated the air around the cupcake-looking Pokemon

Right before impact, Chloe called upon her other support, "Tailwind! Now!"

The Togekiss flapped it's wings once, unleashed a whipping wind. It traveled forward enough distance to sweep the dirt cloud away, revealing the Slurpuff was already charging forward, at normal speed on her first step, but at a briskly faster pace beyond her second step as the wind took her speed and boosted it significantly. This would look like a bizarre sequence and a mixing of speed, almost like it was mistimed. However, the look on Chloe's face told everyone that this was intentional. It was very clear what it was designed to do: throw off Riz's timing.

But what to do now on the offensive? The impulse came quickly to strike fast and hard, but Chloe wanted to bait out some kind of shield first. "Off-Bounce Surf! Grab the staff!"

Already flinging herself towards Riz, it would appear that the shadowy Duchess would only have a split second to react as a rapid wave of water began brewing around the Slurpuff, causing her to rise off the ground until the two combatants were at even height. But the actual attack would come a split second after that split second. Hoping the staff was already in use, the Slurpuff actually fell out of the Surf, leaving it half charged. This would cause her to hit the ground, going under the expected high block. However, instead of stopping, she took her momentum and pushed it forward, bouncing herself ahead of the wave, under the staff, and directly in front of Riz's face. All she would see is the stubborn tongue lick across her face before impact, the speedy pink ball aiming to slam into her face hard before rebounding backwards and try grabbing her staff while her opponent was in a daze. The Surf would help too, timed to rush over Riz immediately after the first strike, adding to the force that would push her back and potentially cause whatever grip she had on her staff to relinquish.

At least...all this was the plan...




Lucian caught Aerys' smirk in his direction. He could feel the aura of intimidation wash over him and he instinctively wanted to turn away. But he knew he couldn't do that. He felt like she would win if he did that. And if his younger sister could stand against them, showing inner strength he had never seen before, he might as well give it a try.

"Don't look at me. Look that way." he told Aerys outright, pointing towards the battle while letting a little bit of his sass loose. It was dismissive and arrogant and it was simply rude. But it was a little cathartic unleashing a small amount of pent up aggression towards them, even if it was just barbs. He knew in the back of his mind that Aerys wouldn't like that and that there'd be repercussions, but at this point he didn't care that much. They were fighting anyway. He didn't have much hope for the situation.