Regret

Death. War. Destruction. The world of the future lies in ruins. I got the chance to go back and stop it from ever happening, only to discover that I was the cause. This is how I destroyed the world.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5808527/1/Regret

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8. The Prankster Demon

Friendship: A building contract you sign with laughter and break with tears ~ Unknown

 

"A humourless trainer will have humourless Pokemon. A righteous trainer will have righteous Pokemon. However, the best trainer will befriend different Pokemon with different personalities, and use them better than a single-minded trainer.'

- Professor Samuel Oak, 34th Kanto League Champion, PHD Pokemon Behaviour, MSc Pokemon and Trainer Interactions, MSc Pokemon Biology(February 23rd, 3002)

 

By the time we exited the cave, both of us were exhausted. We hadn't realised how much we'd chased my demonic new Pokémon into the cave, and only realised when we left that we had been in there for over a day.

Only when we made such a realisation did our fatigue set in.

Along the way, I'd listened to Adryan light-heartedly scold me about capturing a second addition for my team. While it was in no way intentional; I had no idea what I'd grasped from my bag until the ball had exploded and caught it. He had just laughed it off, telling me to be extra careful until we got to Littleroot. Apparently we could get there in nearly two days, if we made good time.

Regardless, at that moment in time, we'd set up camp, the glow of the fire our only light within the evening's darkness. Irenui had curled up nearby Adryan and fallen asleep, snoring in gentle quietness for something so large. Adryan himself spent a lot of time staring at his phone with a frown across his face, spinning it round in one hand. Apparently it had run out of charge whilst we were in the cave. He'd mentioned that he had an electric type that could charge it for him, but she wasn't on his person then. He also went on to explain to me how much they needed to be trained in order to do such a small task, supposedly people would attempt to get electric types to do the same, and end up overloading and blowing the electrical systems, often electrocuting the trainer too.

Being a trainer was a lot harder than I had first thought. So much for my first impressions of pointing and telling the things to attack on command, I'd never considered everything they did on command needed to be trained first.

"Expecting a phone call?" I asked as my hands plucked the remaining feathers from a Staravia Irenui had captured for us. Truthfully, the silence was beginning to bore me, in the week I'd spent on my own, I'd found a strange longing for human company. Now presented with it, the sudden silence broken on by a crackling fire didn't seem to sit well with me.

"Could say that," he said as he flipped the phone again, catching it and stashing it away within his trenchcoat. "A friend of mine was looking after a Pokémon egg that was meant to hatch into a Pokémon I've been wanting for a long time. She's kept the egg on hold for me, but given the offers she's getting for it, I wouldn't blame her if she sold it on." He whistled once, raking a hand through his hair. "Some of them are offering enough to let her retire now and live comfortably. Even more impressive considering she's only in her late twenties."

My eyebrows shot into my hairline at that. Just how much was this creature worth? My brain began to spin at high speeds in order to figure out what it could possibly be, but I came out empty handed, so to speak. I began to wonder just how Adryan had managed to get a friendship so strong that she'd look pass all the offers just for him. Had he saved her life? Saved one of her Pokémon's lives? Maybe they were even lovers?

I didn't know, and that bothered me. More and more I was beginning to realise that not knowing something irked me. Living a life blindly following orders was wearing off easily, and every possible piece of information was grasped at greedily.

"How many Pokémon do you have?" I asked him, genuinely wondering. He'd mentioned a few Pokémon, and that he didn't keep them on him – supposedly he kept two on him at all times, Irenui and his sea-faring Pokémon, but he'd never mentioned an exact number.

He smiled past the fire, which refracted strangely in his glasses. "I've got sixteen at the moment. If I get the one I'm after, then I'll have a grand total of seventeen." He smirked again, watching as my jaw seemed to unhinge from my skull. "You see, some places hold competitions for one specific type. So I've got one Pokémon from each type range. If they're dual types, I judge it on their primary element, so if I were you, I'd class Xander as my water type."

I filed the knowledge away subconsciously, understanding his motives. Having one of each type could prove to be strategically advantageous, no matter what situation, I would hold an advantage. The only problem would be training up seventeen different Pokémon, all to the same level of experience. If I had more time than my limit, it would be a good idea. Otherwise, I was probably better set having a limit of at most ten, if not something as small as six.

"You really are a novice trainer, aren't you?" Adryan noted with a large touch of humour. I looked up with a defeated expression, unable to argue it in the slightest. I knew how to kill almost every Pokémon I came across in a number of ways, but I was clueless when I was told to train the creature up to attack on my command. And it seemed my lack of competence with training was extremely palpable.

"I've been thinking," he said out of the blue, distracting himself with removing his coat and folding it up beneath him. I caught a quick glimpse of a tattoo on his hip before he quickly pulled his top back down, sheltering it from my view. "You really don't seem to know what you're doing. No offence or nothing, but most trainers your age are either powerful in their own right, or, well... dead." He shrugged simply, unable to avoid the blunt truth of the situation. "Anyway." He shook his head expressively. "I need to get to Rustboro – family matters," he explained with a circular fan of his right hand. "If you want to take the gym challenge, you'll find the first gym that's really on your level there. If you don't want to be a gym challenger, Rustboro has plenty of connections to nearby towns where you can start a number of careers.

"So I need to get to Rustboro, and your best bet is to go there. So how about I stick with you until then, help you out and mentor you?" He shrugged awkwardly after suggesting it, as if to roll the serious weight of the question off his shoulders.

My tongue caught in my throat, brain not knowing what to tell it to say. Eventually words found my throat as I asked, "Why do you want to help me?"

He smiled somewhat sheepishly. "It's one of those unspoken rules among trainers. Don't know how long ago it started, but now days most experienced trainers will help a novice one, teach them the ropes sorta thing. It must have been a government initiative actually," he mused as he rubbed at the stubble growing on his chin. "I mean, since it started, the number of novice trainer deaths has shot down quite a lot."

My head nodded of its own accord as my brain registered his words. He had missed out one major point though; my actual question. "You completely avoided answering me though," I pointed out with a smirk.

"So I did," he admitted with a sheepish grin. He sighed, obviously wondering just what to say – or how to say it. "Well, tell the truth, you look like you need the help. If anything, you look lost – like you don't belong in this world." I forced myself not to laugh at how true his words actually were. "More than that though," he admitted, scratching an arm uncomfortably. "I've wanted to mentor people before... but I think I've annoyed them all." He laughed somewhat solemnly, and I found myself staring at the fully plucked bird in my lap, face hiding in my admitted shame of agreeing with them. "And I know you felt – or feel the same way," he added without any accusation in his voice.

My head shot up, arguments to the contrary ready. However, I caught sight of his raised brow and chuckled self-consciously, unable to lie to his face like that. I resigned myself to setting the Staravia up on a spit above the fire, finding the cooking bird extremely interesting.

"It's alright," he reassured me. "I can't actually blame you; I find me annoying sometimes!" He laughed, twisting something serious into humour again, what he would always do. He looked away, cursing as he tried to pry a boot from one of his feet. "But, whenever anyone else got annoyed with me, they'd make excuses to get away as quickly as they could. You however-" he focused his gaze on me suddenly, and I found myself staring at the cooking food in attempt to avoid meeting his gaze, "- never did anything of the like. Even if I annoyed ya, you still gave me the time of day, even helped me to explore Altering Cave. Which, I may add, after accusing me of trying to groom you, seems extremely strange to agree to."

I couldn't help but laugh at the truth in his words. He laughed too, trailing into an awkward sigh. "So I guess I wanted to help ya as thanks for putting up with me. Either you decided I couldn't be all bad, or you just stop listening to me after a while. Regardless, it's well... a thank you," he drawled into a whisper, finding the ground extremely interesting.

Awkward silence hung between us for a moment. Strangely enough, I found myself wanting to break the tension between us with humour – something which I'd never really attempted before, in all honesty.

"Good thing you weren't just hoping to protect me," I said, drawing his gaze back up from the ground. "With those noodle arms of yours, I doubt you'd be able to beat a Cleffa in an arm wrestle."

He snorted, appreciating the sarcastic reprieve. "Hey, don't insult the Cleffa. Those things are lethal strong!"

I rolled my eyes, coating the food before me in a number of spices. It would take another half hour to cook fully, and I didn't want to spend the rest of the time in silence. The lack of knowledge about the creature occupying the second Poké Ball on my bandolier burned a hole deep within my brain, which slowly felt like it was growing heavier on my shoulders. I had to know more about it. "So what can you tell me about Sableye?" I asked conversationally, fully aware that the book in my bag could provide good information about the creature.

Adryan snorted. "Well I've wanted one for a long time. Something about them being under two feet tall, and still being ghostly prankster demons makes me laugh – and you know how easily amused I am." He laughed as he poked the ground with a stick, shooting me a half-hearted jealous glare. He rubbed the back of his head, face screwed in concentration. "Urm, not sure I know all that much about them really. They're creatures of the dark, but they also retain ghost qualities." My eyebrows must have met my hairline at that. My second Pokémon was not only a ghost – something that could be the most dangerous trained killer – but a dark type too? Creatures of darkness were notoriously rebellious and individual, preferring to follow their own instincts, rather than the commands of a trainer.

My heart sank deep into my chest, realisation hitting me that I'd have to spend a lot of time and effort training the creature.

"Sableye are best off battling in the dark – even the shadows," Adryan explained with deep concentration – obviously trying to recall buried knowledge. "When they're in the dark, they have access to their ghost abilities. So only in darkness can they become intangible – in the light, they'll be as solid as any other Pokémon." He shrugged once more, seemingly at the end of his knowledge. "Oh, and they're notorious for being evil little buggers that enjoy tricking people as a form of attention seeking." He smirked fiendishly, and I could see him wanting to begin cackling at my impending misfortune. "So don't be surprised if you leave it out, and it runs off with your underwear or something."

I gave him a sceptical look at that, but said nothing on the matter. My mind was busy instead with wondering at how I'd never heard of the creatures before. Obviously it liked dark areas, which were predominantly caves like the one we'd found it in. In my time, we didn't occupy caves much, knowing they were often lairs for powerful or nocturnal Pokémon. It was safest to stay away from them, and that could have lead to my lack of knowledge of the creature – I was never needed to infiltrate a cave.

More and more I began to consider the life I'd led, and how different it was in comparison to the normal within my new times. Only then did it begin to set in how much I'd have to adapt in order to survive in this new world.

Learn, adapt and blend in, otherwise you'd doom the world. It really was a case of no pressure.

 

Dawn broke the next morning whilst I was busy washing in a nearby stream. Xander was complacently bobbing alongside me, occasionally letting out a quack of contentment. I had briefly considered letting out the Sableye with me whilst I washed, though quickly decided against it. I wouldn't trust a dark or ghost Pokémon anywhere near me if I had no clothes on, not until I'd fully trained them. Granted clothes may have been a feeble attempt at armour, but even the smallest barrier between their attacks and my skin made me feel comfortable.

 

When I was fully packed, clothed and ready, I began to consider letting out the creature. Adryan was still asleep, and judging by the depth of his snores, he wasn't going to wake anytime soon. His Flygon had curled up beside him, and he was using the back of her neck as a pillow. Inwardly I decided to make sure I could capture something large enough that I could use as such, though preferable something soft and comfortable to sleep on. While most bedding was made from the downy feathers of birds, only a few creatures themselves could be slept on – most were often frail and bony – as I found out often when I ate different species.

Xander croaked as he nudged my ankles, re-alerting me to the fact I'd yet to release the creature. I nodded in the Lotad's direction as I called the Sableye out, preparing myself for the ghostly creature to attack.

When the light of the ball receded, the Sableye hissed at the sunlight, placing both arms over its face protectively. It made me realise I'd made the right choice in letting the creature out in daytime; no doubt if I let it out the night before, it would have ran away or shredded me to pieces.

With another hiss it looked over at me, diamond eyes narrowing on my figure. Like when I'd first met it, it raised its skeletal arms above its head and advanced, teeth bared in threat. I tried my best to fight the laugh building in my throat as it advanced – the creature just looked so hilarious, given it's tiny stature attempting to be intimidating. Xander however, growled throatily at the ghostly creature, warning it into submission.

The Sableye lowered its arms and cocked its head to the side, reminding me incredibly of the alien movies I'd watched whilst growing up. Just because we were in camps didn't mean we didn't have access to technology; in fact, some had been developed further than the like I'd seen during the decades of my journey. It seemed to sniff at the air, and I heard a distinctly alien growl erupting from its stomach.

The creature had the self-awareness to look abashed, and quickly wrapped its clawed hands around its stomach, offering a fanged grin. It was hungry.

I reached into my pack and brought out some of the remains of the Staravia we'd ate the night before. Xander wasn't interested in it, much like the night before, though the Sableye's diamond eyes seemed to widen in anticipation. Holding the food out as my legs bent into a crouch, I felt like I was setting myself up for a perfect attack from either of the Pokémon around me. The Sableye advanced curiously, eyes focused on the meat in my palm. Slowly it made its way towards the food, where it sniffed at it again.

And then it bit my hand.

I cursed and jerked back as the creature cackled, catching the meat I'd inadvertently thrown into the air. Light dropped from one of its diamond eyes momentarily before it suddenly appeared before my bag, and promptly began chewing on the rocks I'd found in the cave.

The tiny demon cackled in delight as it began eating the rocks, not noticing my approach. My hand reached out to pat its head, fighting past my instincts to grab and wring its neck. The creature hissed at the abrupt touch, though cared little when it realised I wasn't going to steal the food back.

"So..." I said uncertainly, wondering just what to do next. I had no idea how to check the gender of a ghost, and even less knowledge of how to handle one. Instead I ended up saying simply, "You eat rocks."

The creature cackled once more, and even the usually impassive Xander seemed to laugh at my statement. All the rocks gone, the Sableye began to lick its claws before letting out an abrupt burp.

I couldn't help but laugh at the sound. From such a tiny creature, I'd expected a small sound. It was that, except it sounded like the Sableye had been inhaling helium beforehand. I wasn't sure whether it was an actual burp or a squeak, but it made me laugh regardless. The Sableye noticed this and joined in, seemingly enjoying making me laugh.

All of a sudden, it stood up and lifted a claw as if to say I have an idea. I found myself transfixed, wondering just what the little creature would do. I had never considered before that every Pokémon could have distinct personalities; I'd only really met Xander and Whiskers, both of whom were extremely laid back, almost to the point of apathy. I watched it skulk over to Adryan, keeping an eye trained on Irenui apprehensively as it approached. I scolded a hiss at my new Pokémon, instructing it to stop and leave him alone, afraid it would butcher him in his sleep. Instead, the Sableye grabbed one of Adryan's legs...

... and began to hump it.

I found myself caught in silent astonishment for a moment. The creature was most definitely male, given the actions it was performing. Adryan snored loudly in his sleep, kicking out the leg which the Sableye was busy with. Unable to control myself anymore, I burst out laughing at the sight of it. Seemingly satisfied with making me laugh, the Sableye skulked over to the Flygon sleeping peacefully. It placed a claw to its face in thought, tapping it against its cheek before it suddenly produced a pen – from where, I would never find out – and began to scribble across the dragon's face.

Adryan was right when describing Sableye; they most certainly did play tricks for attention. I growled for my Pokémon to come back to me, but it ignored me in favour of rifling through Adryan's backpack. It let out a gleeful cackle as it found a pair of underpants and ever-so-carefully slipped them over Irenui's tail enough to make them look like a flag on a flagpole.

The trickster demon cackled once more, and I felt for certain he'd woken the dragon, given the snort that emerged from her nostrils. I hastily recalled the creature, watching as it disappeared in a beam of pure red energy. By my feet, Xander huffed in disapproval at either my actions or the Sableye's.

"Maybe we should wake them now," I decided, attempting to distract myself from thinking too much on Xander's opinions. I looked around, trying to find something to carry water in, aiming to soak Adryan in attempt to wake him. A moment later I hit my head in realisation of my stupidity and crouched down next to Xander. "Mind spraying him with a bit of cold water?" I asked, pointing towards the still-snoring human.

Xander croaked happily in agreement before he spat a small stream of water at the trainer. To Irenui's credit, she was awake and ready before the water had even hit Adryan, her wings shielding him from the dribble of water. Her eyes narrowed in obvious anger – which was pretty hilarious given the Sableye's scrawls over her face – and a low, guttural growl emerged from her.

I backed away, knowing I truly stood no chance against her. Even if I had a rifle in my hands, taking down a dragon would have been extremely difficult. Dragons were all cold-blooded, giving them a weakness to cold, but I doubted Xander could produce any effective ice attacks.

Thankfully though, the dragon snorted at me and my Pokémon before she woke Adryan by dragging her tongue across his face. He snorted and attempted to bat her away in his sleep, leading to her repeating the action again. I found myself fascinated; it was like the way a dog would wake its master – except in this case, the dog was a six foot dragoness.

"Huhwha?" Adryan grunted unintelligibly as he woke, placing his hands on Irenui's face as he sat up, squinting at the nearby surroundings. "Oh, morning," he said more coherently, blinking his eyes awake. Moving himself from Irenui, he picked up his glasses and put them on, aiming to stand up with the same movement. However, he abruptly shrieked and fell instantly, only just saved from meeting the floor with his face by Irenui's quick movements.

As he was helped to stand, my eyes caught sight of the string tied around his legs, almost inconspicuously. If nothing else, that Sableye was one sly little demon.

 

"What is  that?"

 

A short while later, I found myself staring at a sea creature that looked as if it belonged in the deep seas, hunting large creatures. It was all blue, save for the large grey shell over its back, although darker blue spots decorated its body. Four fins spread out from under its stomach, though the front two were considerably larger than those at the back. A long neck grew up into its horned head that had small, curled ears, and it stared at me with deep set, somewhat distrustful eyes.

"She is Siren," Adryan proudly informed me. He walked up to her and rubbed a hand across her muzzle, bringing forth a cry of elation from the Pokémon. Her eyes shut and she rubbed back against his chest with enough control as to not knock him back. "She's a Lapras."

I stared at the Pokémon in bewilderment. I'd heard of Lapras, but never encountered one before. In my time, they had been hunted to extinction. Though the tales I had heard of them were grievously exaggerated, such as that they had horrible fangs as long as their necks, and could tower over a Gyarados in height. Obviously those were only tales to make people deem hunting them to extinction a good thing.

He petted the Lapras once more before she turned around, sinking in the water enough to allow Adryan to climb on her back without getting wet. He hopped on instantly, finding a niche within her spiked shell to sit down. After a moment he looked at me in impatience, tapping a hand against his leg. "So, getting on or what? She isn't going to drown you while I'm with her."

His jokey smile didn't really reassure me. Taking a breath, I climbed onto the Pokémon with considerably less grace than Adryan, and found myself wobbling even as I attempted to stand on the unmoving creature. Adryan laughed and rolled his eyes, reaching out a hand to steady me before he guided me to sit beside him, allowing me to hold onto a spike for safety, whilst being able to see fully off her back.

"C'mon Siren," said Adyran. He whistled once and the Pokémon replied with an elated cry, jerking into motion. She swam almost seamlessly through the water, and I found myself staring at her flippers passing to and fro beneath us.

"So you often scribble on Pokémon for fun?" Adryan asked me. I looked up at his light tone, finding a smile plastered on his face. "Cause if you're going to do that a second time, make sure you warn me first. I'm the one who has to wash it off her, and she isn't exactly the biggest fan of baths, let me tell you."

I shook my head, refusing to laugh at the mental image I got of Adryan washing Irenui in a large bubble bath, the dragon wearing a crown of bubbles. "I let out the Sableye for a bit. He ate some of the rocks I found yesterday, bit my hand and scribbled on Irenui."

Adryan stared at me for a moment. "So you put my underwear on her tail then?"

"No!" I shook my head emphatically, unable to stop the laughter this time. "That was him too. As well as tying you up."

Adyran shook his head, laughing at the madness of it all. "I knew Sableye were evil buggers, I just didn't realise how far they'd go."

I shrugged, watching as the land slowly disappeared behind us. "He's an evil little prankster demon, intent on getting as much laughs as possible." I looked back at Adryan, smirking. "So really, he's like you. Except he's funny on purpose."

"Ack! You wound me!" Adryan exclaimed dramatically, placing his hands over his heart. I scoffed and looked away, shaking my head as he laughed at his own joke. "Why not let him out for a bit? It's not like he can cause much trouble out here," he said, opening his arms to gesture towards the water surrounding us.

I nodded, agreeing as I called the demonic prankster from his ball. The Sableye jumped around excitedly, openly cackling at Adryan. He jumped about more before he scaled Siren's neck lithely, climbing to her head without protest. Once atop her cranium he cackled once more and begun to launch eerie beams of light into the water, cackling more and more as the fish within began to bump into each other, the nearby rocks, or even leap and get stuck atop the rocks.

"Stop that!" I hissed, standing with wobbly sea legs. However, I managed to grab the Sableye by his ear, forcing myself to ignore the eerie cold texture of his skin. I yanked him down from Siren's head, gripping him in my arms as I sat back down. He struggled for a moment, hissing and gnawing on my arms before he realised he wasn't going anywhere. Reluctantly he calmed, sitting in my lap much like a sulky child.

"Hello there, little demonic urchin," Adryan said sweetly as he leant forwards and tapped the Sableye on the snout. The Pokémon hissed and lashed out, attempting to slice Adryan's finger or face from his body. Instead, it caused Adryan to laugh as he sat back in place. "Dark and ghost Pokémon are hard to train, but they're some of the most protective creatures there are." He nodded towards the Pokémon in my arms, making me note of its reluctance to now attack me. "He's already getting used to you – but don't expect to have trained him perfectly anytime soon. But darks, ghosts and psychics all form extremely strong bonds with their trainers, and will go to any lengths to protect them. The only ones who are more protective are dragons, but that's probably because they're so scarce in the wild."

I nodded, filing the information away. The creature in my arms was still grumbling, though now seemed to be interesting itself with watching the lumineon and magikarp leap from the water's surface. Given that he'd already tried to slice Adryan to pieces, it made me wonder just whether or not the Pokémon was actually trying to defend me or not.

"Got a name for him yet then?" Adryan asked me.

I shrugged. My mind went back to how quietly he'd crept along to play his pranks on Adryan and Irenui, and how low key he'd been in approaching them. Everything about his movements were discreet, even down to the way he was trying to slyly get out of my arms' grip. My mind came to one logical conclusion. "Loki."

Adryan stared at me for a moment before he chuckled. "Perfect for a little prankster. Though naming him after a God of pranks is probably going to make him worse, if anything."

I blinked, surprised at the new information. "I actually just meant 'low key' – as in that he's discreet," I admitted sheepishly, feeling a blush erupt over my face. Loki looked up and cackled at me, seemingly happy with his name, though finding my reasoning for it hilarious.

"Oh, right," Adryan said, looking at me as if I were mad. His face twisted further and further, until he was finally unable to hold in the laughter that erupted full force from his mouth. "S-sorry," he apologised through shaky breaths, waving a hand through the air. "Either way, that name is perfect for him."

I stopped in stupefaction, wondering just what he was talking about. I began to realise he was laughing at my face, and that Loki too was staring up at me, cackling his little ghostly-demonic laugh. In confusion I lifted a hand to my face and wiped it against my cheek, able to see the resultant pen that smeared over my hand.

My face was covered in scribbles, and I had no idea when the demonic creature had even accomplished such a feat.

Discreet prankster God indeed.

 
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