Categories > Games > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola - Book 2 - A Hurting Heart

Chapter 18 - We Cannot Stay

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 18 of Spirit of Alola Book 2

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2023-07-03 - 2182 words - Complete

I wake to a rain-scented wind blowing through the cave but don’t hear the sound of water splashing on the leaf-strewn ground. A dim light shines through my still-closed eyes, my lids heavy with an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, and it’s with difficulty that I finally peel them open. My body feels hot, joints and muscles creaking with even the slightest twitch, and my skin is drenched in sweat. The cave was lit only slightly, the cloud-covered sky struggling to allow the rays of the morning to break through.

Carefully, my jaw clenched in pain; I pull myself to sit and slowly swing my head around to view my surroundings. I look down at the long gash on my forearm, gained during a battle with a creature who was impersonating Professor Kukui to attack Sashi Ashoka. Blood still seeps sluggishly through a patch of sickly yellow puss. The arm was sensitive to the slightest touch and swollen to nearly twice its normal size, preventing me from being able to even move my fingers now. A terrible heat and deep ache radiates off the injury and I can feel my heartbeat pulse through the limb.

I hear a gentle snore and notice my new friend, Kai, was still sleeping nearby. He must have snuck in after I went to bed. I think, recalling the anger the young blonde had let off yesterday after we realized that not only could our savior and captor, Ninetales, understand everything we’ve said, but was able speak as well, using its Psychic powers to push words and images into our minds. The memory of the previous day pulls forward a thought of the terrible lonesomeness the man must have felt. He’s been here, all by himself, for a year now. At least I still had friends and family around after my parents passed. He’s had no one and lost everyone on his ship.

A soft growl echoes off the cave walls pulling me from my thoughts. It takes nearly all my energy to drag my fever-filled body around to view the location of the noise. The Ninetales sat at the opening; its purple fur fluffed up to spikes, the tails lashing agitatedly across the rock floor, looking more like individual writhing snakes. Its ears were flattened on its head, and the black lips were drawn back in a silent snarl, revealing knife-sharp teeth. The pink fur around its lips, normally making the Pokemon look to be grinning, was pushed back and down, further enhancing the fierce look on its vulpine face. The space we sit in is so small that, if I wanted, I could touch the creature on its back.

My throat stings like I haven’t spoken in weeks as I whisper, “What is it?”

While it doesn’t respond vocally, like last night, I still notice a thought of impending danger seep into my mind from it. The feeling engulfs me, and I find myself shivering, no longer from my pain or fever, but from a deep fear of the images the Psychic being brought up.

The sleeping form next to me grunts softly. I reach my right arm out, ignoring the protesting of my muscles as I gently shake him. “Kai,” I murmur. “Hey, wake up.” He shifts uncomfortably. “Kai.” I try again, venturing to raise my voice as my attempts fail to rouse him.

Another growl emits from deep in the throat of the Pokemon. It draws a tail back and stretches it out, whipping him on the shoulder, leaving an angry red welt. Kai jumps awake at the sudden snap, crying out in his surprise, but it's swiftly silenced by that same tail getting shoved into his mouth, muffling any more vocal noises. Once satisfied that the man understood the need for discretion, the black-tipped tail is removed, and the Pokemon returns its gaze to the mouth of the cave once more.

“What is going on?” He grumbles quietly to me, rubbing a hand across his afflicted shoulder and wincing, muttering curses at the beast under his breath. As I make to respond, he stops me with a worried gaze, his blonde eyebrows crinkling as he says. “Sam, you should lay back down. You must feel dreadful.”

“I think it sees something,” I ignore the comment and instead point to the Ninetales, my hand shaking with the effort. He’s not wrong. I feel as though I could pass out at any moment, but the alertness of the creature before me keeps me from doing so, worry at whatever it was seeing forcing my mind to the situation at hand.

“Tell us what it is already,” Kai says loudly to the Pokemon, and I flinch at the anger and loathing in his voice.

Another lashing tail rushes towards him, but he realizes this too and blocks it from making contact with the still pulsing welt on his shoulder. He smirks at the small victory, though he doesn’t say anything in anticipation of the Pokémon’s response.

A black-tipped ear flicks in our direction, and I expect another attack to come flying back. Instead, the feeling of danger is forced into mine, and now Kai’s, minds once more.

It is near. The voice from yesterday returns. It still takes me by surprise to have a Pokemon communicating through human speech, but I was anticipating it now.

Kai squints his eyes, “Where is it?” He hisses, though his voice is so soft it's barely traceable now. “What could possibly have a beast as “powerful” as you so on edge? Maybe it wants to be my friend. We’d have something in common.” He continues bitterly, his words causing me to wince at their seething.

“Please don’t say stuff like that,” I plead. Relief washes over me as Kai returns my gaze silently, his deep blue eyes rounded, already awash with shame, as he realizes why his words hurt me.

“I’m sorry, Sam. It seems I’ve woken up in a bad mood.”

I make to respond to his sincerity, but an image flashes through my mind, and I draw back, fearful at what I might see.

Open your minds. The voice of Ninetales snaps. This is what draws near—this abomination of a human.

It’s not clear, and I squint my eyes uselessly, trying to force it to focus.

A person crouches on the ground before us, long, gray-streaked, brown hair blowing in a heavy wind. The image wavers before us, and I find I can’t make out the face, though I don’t recognize their tall slim form anyways.

“I feel like I should know this person, but I’ve been isolated for so long; they could be a complete stranger, and my brain is just playing tricks on me,” Kai says seriously. “Can you make this any clearer?”

I cannot.

“You were able to last night,” I comment shyly, recalling the crisp ones it had shown me the night before when telling me about Malaconda and the other serpents.

It is the human’s power that causes this lack of clarity. It responds. I make to ask another question, but it interrupts me with the answer. We cannot approach them. It growls. We must never trifle with begins who would allow themself to slip into such a state. This human has foolishly allowed themself to fuel their own Psychic powers with their rage. Death will fall to the one who would do this and all who are near, if they are not stopped.

“We should do something to help then.” Kai blurts out, ignoring a furious growl from the Pokemon at his loud remark. He speaks more cautiously as he continues. “What if this person can help us?”

I will never associate with anyone who uses their anger for power. They are just as evil as this time’s Malaconda.

I try to force my mind to focus on the image more carefully as the two before me speak. The person's eyes glow white hot in their sockets, blocking out the color of their irises. Their skin is dark brown under a layer of billowing clothes, though I’m not sure now if it truly was blowing in the wind or by the power being emitted. They move off with a sure, swift gate, and I see a blurred team of Pokemon follow. Just as the legs of more humans come into view, the image before me is snapped off, plunging my sight into darkness.

I blink several times to clear my eyes and then call out to the Pokemon in distress, my voice catching painfully in my throat as I move forward to try and bring the pictures back. “Wait. I might know who was with them. Bring it back.”

It matters not who would work with this idiotic human. The creature before me retorts, spitting a puff of air out of its nose and forcing the leaves by its black paws to scatter. They will all be dead soon. Its pink eyes squint furiously.

I pause, staring in shock at the Ninetales for a moment. For just a fraction of a instant, there was something else in the face of the Pokemon. An emotion other than anger hidden behind its glowing eyes and peaking out in the voice of its growl. Was it sad just now? I question myself, but the look was fleeting, and it was already rising to its feet.

We must go.

“What?” Kai blurts out with more force than was necessary.

It is near. The voice repeats. I will not permit us to remain while one this volatile is so close.

The young sailor casts an apologetic glance at me, then turns to the creature, the man now standing up to emphasize his point. “Sam isn’t fit for travel. If we try to move them now, it could make things worse.”

We cannot stay here. The answer was loud, enhanced by a push of urgency. Its long, black-tipped tails lashed through the air outside.

“It’s alright, Kai,” I say, trying fruitlessly to keep my voice steady and strong. “I’m fine.” Without waiting for a response, I slide my right arm in front of me, my left dragging uselessly across the floor. I try to push off the ground, but my exhausted legs only raise me up just enough to leave my resulting crash back to the rock below me, all the more injuring. My eyes water with pain as my left arm twists awkwardly underneath me, the deep slash getting ground mercilessly into the dirt. I can’t stop myself as I cry out at the pain, lights of agony flashing behind my eyes.

“Sam!” Kai calls out, rushing to my side and placing a hand on my shoulder to keep me from getting up again. “Stop. You’re going to worsen your injuries.”

I can’t get any words out as I force air through my clenched teeth. My world swims, the very ground beneath me tilting as the dizzying spin from my fever worsens. I feel Kai carefully push me onto my back but can do nothing to help as the words being spoken before me waver, their sounds rushing in and out of my ears.

Why have you not healed those wounds yet? You fixed your own without any issues. The question presents itself incredulously.

“Without issue?” Kai retorts, his form shuffling next to me to face the Ninetales. “My leg is still damaged. Probably permanently.” I could tell he was struggling now to keep his voice quiet.

But your wounds have closed. Their’s haven’t. I can smell the infection and rot. It was starting to sound uncertain.

Kai growls out his next words. “I’m not a Pokemon. I can’t just think really hard and heal others. I have to use herbs.” He pauses to breathe angrily but interrupts the reply from the Ninetales. “I was lucky to find the ones I used for myself last year. I had to use the whole plant, so it’s not even been able to replenish.”

I hear the creature shuffle its legs, the fur rubbing against itself as it pushes out. We need to leave this place. We cannot stay near-

Kai breaks past the Pokemon’s response with his own voice once more. “If we’re going anywhere, it’s to get Sam to a hospital. They don’t need fresh water and herbs. They need modern medicine. They need a doctor. Without one, Sam will die.”

I’m trying to keep my mind focused on the words before me, but the world is dimming. The already weak light of the outside darkens as another throbbing wave shoots through me. The heat from my arm burns like it’s been licked by the flames of a Houndoom. I struggle vainly to pull Kai and the Ninetales’ voices back to my ears, but everything fades again. Only my pain is left as I slip into unconsciousness.
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