Diamond 25: Give me Happiness
Diamond 25: Give me Happiness
The streets of Cinnabar Island were filled with both tourists and locals, enjoying the flame festival, a celebration that honored fire pokemon, thought to be the source of energy for the island's volcanoes.
"Giovanni," Delia spoke quietly, "I'm sorry for being so grumpy before." It was simply the way she was, feeling guilty whenever she wasn't miss sunshine, even if she had a good reason.
"It's alright, let's enjoy the festival," to Giovanni, in his current optimistic mood it looked like Delia was evolving after all, beginning to handle things a little better, to realize what she had to do for Team Rocket and for his goals, which maybe she was finally starting to make her own as well. She was slowly reaching towards the potential he saw in her. She was unique indeed, she could charm just about any pokemon into loyally following her, she was skilled in training them and very loyal, the perfect queen.
The main street was lined with stalls selling various things, food, souvenirs and all kinds of items. Music was heard from all around and performers entertained the crowd up on a stage at the end of the main street. Two Flareon let out a line of fire up, as they stood on their hind legs, their front paws joined, the fire curved above them in the shape of a heart. The crowd continued to grow in front of the stage as two men dressed as Magmar joined the pair of Flareon. Their faces covered by masks, identities unknown, they began their act, juggling wooden torch sticks.
The costumes were not full costumes as a sports mascot would wear. Instead they looked as if they came from an ancient tribe modeled after the pokemon. They wore red capes attached to their masks that had a pair of yellow tipped horns on top. The end of their capes was cut in zigzags lined with yellow. They wore red pants to match their capes, with the same yellow zigzag finish on the bottom. Their toned tanned chests were exposed, with a long pair of thin golden ribbons tied to their upper arms, flowing in the breeze as they juggled.
The pair of Flareon threw flames up, the trainers catching them on the torches. They tossed the lit torches to each other, increasing the speed of their team juggling act as the wooden sticks continued to burn out. With the torches nearly burnt out, all eight were tossed up simultaneously. The two Flareon shot fireballs at them, causing the material to burn out completely and the flames to fade away in mid air, like miniature fireworks, before they hit the stage. The crowd clapped and cheered enjoying the show.
A woman dressed as a Vulpix walked among the crowd, her costume making her stand out. She wore a red Vulpix mask with curly red hair on top and triangular ears. Her long light brown hair flowed down her back from under the mask. Her costume consisted of a red strapless one-piece swimsuit, with six red tails, paw shaped gloves and matching boots.
"Now the lovely Vulpix will choose a volunteer to participate in our next act!" One of the men on stage announced.
The crowd was filled with a chorus of "Pick me!" "Over here!" "Vulpix!" "Choose me!" "I want to go on stage!" and similar calls.
The Vulpix woman seemed to know exactly who she was searching for, making her way through the crowd until she reached Delia, "Vulpix!" The woman in the costume spoke as a pokemon would, her true identity a mystery behind her mask.
"Me?" Delia was surprised to have been chosen, but it did sound fun to join the show, "okay," she smiled glancing back at Giovanni, who was enjoying the show as well.
With the volunteer chosen, the crowd opened a path for the Vulpix woman and Delia to get up on the stage. Delia was left to continue the act with the two Magmar while Vulpix disappeared behind the stage.
"Magmar!" One of the men, not the one who had spoken before, directed Delia to a box, large enough so she could stand inside it. "Magmar!" He tapped it asking Delia to do the same on each side to confirm it was solid. "Magmar," he directed her to go inside the box.
The set up reminded Delia of a classic magic trick involving a box being cut up by a Scyther, then the one inside, be it human or pokemon would emerge unharmed after the trick ended. She smiled and waved at the crowd until the Magmar man closed the box leaving her momentarily in darkness.
She heard the other Magmar man address the crowd, "the beautiful Volcano Princess shall now become one with the flames from which she came and reveal herself as our guardian!"
It was an old myth among the many that existed in Cinnabar Island. The man began to tell the legend, while the floor beneath Delia sunk under the stage.
"Long ago, there was a peaceful village at the foot of a large volcano in the center of this island," the talking Magmar man narrated. "Many years ago, that village, the village of our ancestors, was in danger of being destroyed. The volcano had grown upset after its lonely spirit became tired of sensing the fear people had for it. The volcano's spirit was sad and with that sadness came the wish to make it all go away, to make the village disappear, for everything to be consumed by lava... However, when the volcano roared, the villages did not abandon their home; instead they gathered around the volcano and prayed to appease its spirit. They offered their friendship and hoped for their home to be saved."
"Suddenly, the volcano erupted," the same man continued, "shooting a beam of fire straight up into the skies as lava flowed down its sides. The villagers did not run away, they instead began to sing in hopes of making peace with the volcano. Then, when the beam of fire cleared out, there was a woman covered in flames floating above the volcano, she commanded the lava to return from whence it came. The lava climbed up the volcano before it could reach the villagers and resided inside it peacefully. The woman, the spirit of the volcano, had wished to join the villagers and was sad because she knew they would fear her, but that fateful night she had become their friend and they no longer feared her."
"From that time on, when people approached the volcano they could hear her soothing voice and if they showed trust, she would appear to them floating above the volcano. The mysterious woman came to be known as the Volcano Princess. There was a man among the villagers who had fallen in love with her and would visit her every day, watching her flaming form dance above the lava, singing a beautiful song. The Volcano Princess was happy to spend time with him, but also sad because she could not join him. She was unable to leave the volcano, plus her flaming touch would surely burn him to ashes. Even so, their love was strong and true and they wished very strongly to be together."
"One evening, when the man return to the village after going to visit his love in the volcano, he was not alone, he walked hand in hand with a beautiful woman wrapped in a cape that resembled flames. Their love had been so strong that the Volcano Princess became human and was finally able to live in the village with her beloved. The couple was destined to reincarnate over and over throughout the years and find each other, falling in love again until eternity. It is said that the Volcano Princess lives hidden among us and that when flames consume her body, her true identity will be revealed. A fire pokemon should be able to find her and Vulpix believes she has. Let us reveal the Volcano Princess' true form!"
xoxox xox xoxox
Under the stage there was light again and while the legend was being told above, Delia found someone familiar, whom she was not expecting to find there. The Vulpix woman had removed her mask, "Leah? You're helping with the flame festival?"
"Yes!" Leah was radiant, far happier than Delia had ever seen her, "I found him, I really found him! Han was alive after all, he's up there, the Magmar telling the story of the Volcano Princess, that's him and the other one is Luke, I told him about Han and he came right away. Then I saw you in the crowd and had to choose you for the act, it's so good that you're here too."
"What a surprise, Han is really alive and you've been reunited!" Delia's happiness continued to increase and she was glad she didn't lose hope. Everything was finally fixing itself as if by a miracle.
"There was a reason why we didn't find each other sooner," Leah confessed with a hint of guilt reflected in her voice and honey colored eyes, "Luke and I blame ourselves for this, though I told them the fault was all mine. Han said we shouldn't blame anyone and that only the future matters. We didn't have a lot of time to talk, instead we decided to celebrate first and catch up after the flame festival. Luke and Han used to do this act years ago so it was fitting for their reunion. The festival committee was surprised to see Han alive and immediately let him and Luke perform their act. Most of the people he used to know are not even aware of his return yet, only a few know so far; but that's okay, there will be time for that later."
"Han is right, this is a time to be happy, not to feel guilty," Delia encouraged, her curiosity to know more shining in her eyes.
Leah read her expression and offered, "I'll tell you the story, but while I do, I need to help you get ready to go back on stage and be the Volcano Princess." Leah began to work on Delia's makeup. "After investigating around Cinnabar Island and not finding anything new, I took on an assignment for Team Rocket at Fuchsia City. I was asking around with a picture of Han until someone mentioned having seen a man resembling the picture at the port. I didn't get my hopes up too much, but went to investigate right away."
"There were several ships at port, cruises and cargo ships, as well as smaller boats. I asked around until I was directed to a small cargo ship and there he was, with the crew. I called out to him but he didn't answer, so I went over to him and asked him if he was really Han. He was surprised that someone would ask him that and said we needed to talk."
"That day in the past when the earthquake happened, the floor of the cave fell in, but the opening was too small for the boulders above to follow Han down and that was what saved him. However, many small rocks fell through; Han hit his head and was injured. When he woke up, he was trapped, in pain and confused, he had amnesia. He completely forgot who he was or where he was, it must have been terrifying. A group of Diglett and Dugtrio helped him get to the surface, but three days had already passed and Han had been assumed to be dead."
"I couldn't deal with his death so I returned to Fuchsia City and locked myself away. I heard that Luke wandered around town in denial and if anyone approached him, he became violent and resented that everyone had accepted Han's death so easily. Han told me he wandered around Cinnabar Island for an entire day hoping that someone who knew him would see him, approach him and clear things up. He noticed that people were avoiding him and keeping their distance so he decided to leave the island and got a job on a cargo ship, off to start a new life."
"If I had stayed in Cinnabar Island I would have been able to tell the difference between them right away, everyone who saw Han assumed he was Luke and avoided him remembering what a terrible mood he was in. If they had just spoken to him they would have recognized him. Unfortunately, Luke didn't run into Han. Luke and Han were never exactly held to high esteem, they had no big family business or anything and they grew up as the mischievous troublemakers of the town. No one truly cared, they just did what they thought was proper for the sake of appearing polite and that hasn't changed. Han was there and no one knew, for such a long time he lived without a past. After I found him, I told him about our time together and about his brother. I contacted Luke and the three of us were reunited in time for the flame festival."
"We had not even finished catching up when a few people saw Han and Luke together, realizing that the other must be Han. That's when we decided to help out at the festival. It doesn't matter if the town's people aren't really interested in what happened; the most important thing is that we're all together. Luke and Han practiced their old juggling act and were surprised at how well they did. It was amazing, as if they found their special connection as twins again. Even if Han didn't remember how the act went, Luke only had to explain it once and Han could keep up with him."
"We haven't told Han about Team Rocket yet; we wanted to tell him everything and started from the beginning, so we talked mostly about the past in Cinnabar Island. It's a very long story, but we'll get to the present soon, we'll fill him in on everything and even if he doesn't remember, he'll know every detail. Maybe he'll join too, then we can all be a part of Team Rocket, I know Luke likes adventure and Han liked adventure too," though Leah had doubted staying with Team Rocket in the past, if Han was there, she would be there too, then Han would have both her and his brother near.
Delia was amazed by the story, the fact that Luke and Han were identical twins played a key role in the way things turned out. It was almost as if Han had been regarded as a ghost, though he was very much alive. The physical resemblance between the two brothers was amazing, albeit the way they spoke was certainly a sharp contrast. Delia could picture Luke picking up his peculiar style of speech if only to be different and feel unique and original. "I'm so happy for you, Han and Luke. I'm sure it will be great when he joins!"
The Volcano Princess costume was now complete, the cloak over Delia flowed down to the floor, but despite the layers it didn't feel hot since the fabric was so thin. It shimmered in beautiful shades of red, orange and gold, the translucent fabric flowing as if it were on fire; that was the illusion it created with multiple shades. The light reflected off the flowing fabric, making it appear to be a different color from each angle as if she was truly burning. Delia's face was highlighted in the same fiery colors, red lipstick, golden glitters and orange eye shadow.
The final piece of the costume was a golden colored crown, with ruby rhinestones. Leah examined the costume, "looks like you're ready."
xoxox xox xoxox
"The box has been burned to ashes and the Volcano Princess has disappeared!" Han, who was on stage dressed as Magmar, announced. "The truth is that her spirit is still here, we must summon her with fire and offer her our friendship. Let's show her we want her to reappear, Volcano Princess!"
xoxox xox xoxox
Delia and Leah could hear people calling out to the Volcano Princess. "It's time, you're going to be surrounded by fire when you go up there, but don't worry; Han caught and trained those Flareon himself since they were Eevee, you'll be fine."
"Everything is going so well, nothing can scare me now, I'm ready!" Delia assured. Leah activated the mechanism to lower the platform, now the trick was not hidden by a box, but by a curtain of fire. Delia stood on the platform as it rose up to the stage.
She was encircled in flames; they surrounded her, but did not touch her. She felt as if she truly was being reborn as the legendary Volcano Princess. The fire stopped, revealing Delia on the stage and the crowd cheered.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I really got carried away with this story; I certainly didn't expect it to turn into a novel when I started writing it. XD