The walk out of town was rather uneventful as Yuki walked far ahead of us, leaving Yu and I far enough behind where she was out of earshot from us. Of course, Yu used this as the perfect opportunity to talk my ear off about where he works and how much of a help it is for the Rebellion. He says that it's a great place for members to unwind after stressful missions of beating back lowly soldiers from the Council or having to attack Blinkers that get too close to the town.
"What are Blinkers anyway?" I interrupt his story about how one managed to get into the café and ate up all the oran berry smoothies to ask. "I mean, I get that they literally blink in and out of existence, but just who are they and how can they do that?"
"Oh. Well..." He taps his chin with a vine as he finds his words. "No one really knows how they can do it. Most just assume it's the effect of mystery dungeons, these strange areas that have randomized floors and a plethora of these hostile pokemon. They used to stay just in the dungeon, but lately they've been escaping and venturing into the outside world. The major problem with this is that they are seemingly endless!"
"That's really odd. Nothing can just spontaneously exist like that, can it? They must come from somewhere and go somewhere when defeated." While I'm lost in thought, I bump into a wall of white fluff. Despite it's nice appearance, it's actually kind of coarse.
"We're here." I look up at Yuki but her eyes are set on something to our left. So, I follow her gaze and see something that took me be surprise. It's the remains of a village in the form ash. Some homes were still standing, but they had become soot black and crumbled into a mess. Even more astonishing are the bodies littered around. It seems like this used to be a small village of riolu. They were charred now and some of them had been torn in half or missing some body parts. Another seemed to have tried crawling away before the entirety of its bottom half was ripped from it. The sight left me a little light-headed.
"This is what the Council does." Yu looks on with a sad stare. "They destroy the homes of those who oppose them. Anyone who stands in their way is mercilessly slaughtered."
The light-headed feeling is cut short by a sharp pain through my skull, like a Thunder straight to my brain. "W-What could they want?" I manage to squeeze out through gritted teeth.
"They claim it's the unification of the world and the old ways of tribals stands in the way of progress. However, the truth is, they just want to rule the world."
"Are you okay?" Yuki lowers he head to my level, but I quickly push her away.
"I'm fine!" I stagger off, glad to find a nearby pool of water. I'm sure what I really need is a drink. As I kneel before the water, My reflection stare's back up at me. The mawile in the pool has dead eyes and dried blood splattered all over their body, and in their second maw hangs the entrails of several pokemon. "...It's just a job." They say to me. "One day soon, I will have my revenge..."
Behind the bloody mawile comes a concerned absol. "Are you sure your fine?" I scoff at her reflection. "What?"
"I'm fine. I'm more interested in what's wrong with you." Yuki seems a bit taken aback by my response. "I thought we hit it off pretty well at the fountain, yet when we meet again, you are suddenly so cold and distant. Why's that?"
I swear I can see her fur bristle up with anxiety as she nervously shuffles her forepaws. "I... well, you see. Fuck, how do I say this?" I cross my arms as I wait patiently for the blushing absol to find her words. "That wish thing, it's just a fairy tale. Kiddie stuff, you know? So, it's, um, a little weird for someone as old as me to still believe in things like jirachi or mew. The Rebellion isn't the place for kids and if anyone found out that I actually made a wish... I'd never hear the end of it."
"So, you chose to just avoid me?" I ask with a raised eyebrow.
"I wasn't thinking straight! Anyway, I always imagined the day I finally made a wish, it'd be a bit more romantic. After all, those who wish together are said to be bound for all of time... and... uh..." She trails off, staring at her claws as she nervously digs a mini hole.
"If it's just a fairy tale, it's no big deal, right? I mean if you don't want to believe in such things, you don't have to."
"And if I do?"
"Then you might want to start being more friendly toward me because I'm going be around for a very long time." I playfully punch her foreleg and start heading back to the ruined village. "We should head back and group up with Yu." It doesn't take us long to find our way back to the remains, but oddly Yu is nowhere around and neither are any of the bodies. "Where'd he go?"
"He's probably off burying the bodies. We should look for him. This place could still be dangerous." She looks around for a bit before settling on a direction toward the back of the village. Once we reach the edge, we are greeted by Yu laying on the ground near a mound of corpses, looking weak. "Yu?" Yuki races over and bends down to try and comfort him.
He looks up at her with a strained expression. "R-Run..."
"I'd listen if I were you." An espeon emerges from behind a wall with a confident smirk and sly expression. As she approaches us, her gait is serene, confident, and elegant. Every pawstep seems precalculated as he saunters forward on an imaginary line while never breaking eye contact with us, or rather, with me. "Judge Eliza, at your service. Member of the Council of Humanity and leader of the Court of Judges."
"What are you doing here?" Yuki gets into a battle stance as she snarls her question at the espeon.
"It's simple, really," She casually sits climbs the pile of corpses as she talks, "I came by to admire the handy work of one of my favorite Judges when I am surprised to see an old friend trying to clean it all up! Now, I couldn't let that be," as she reaches the top, she sits down the peak like a queen upon her throne, "so, I put the traitorous bastard in his place." Her eyes begin to glow and the scarf that is draped around Yu's neck begins to rise high into the sky, taking him with it and choking him in the process. "In fact, I may just have to punish him for what he put the rest of us through. Him and his little boy toy."
"You're going to kill him." She casually looks down at me with a familiar smile. Without words, I can tell that I was absolutely right, however I think I can use this. "I wouldn't suggest it, though."
"Oh? And why's that?"
"He's more valuable alive. He could hold information about the Rebellion." Immediately, I see Yuki give me an astonish glare, but I easily push her existence to the back of my mind. "Why kill him now, when you can squeeze all the information out of him then kill every last Rebellion member?"
She doesn't respond. Rather she just stares at me with the same eerie smile and swaying tail. Yu's body long ceased squirming and now is nothing more than a limp noodle. He's lost consciousness, but any longer and he might die right now... "Fine." She drops his body and jumps off the mound. "I want both of you to leave. One at a time though, I don't want you to try and scheme anything until I'm ample distance away." She looks to Yuki. "The absol goes first."
She seems hesitant at first, but complies as she slowly walks out of view. Slowly, but surely, her steps get softer as she ventures farther away. Eventually, there's silence. Slowly, Eliza saunters over to me and stops only when she's within physical reach of me. "I'm glad you're okay." For once, her confident façade fades away as he smiles softly at me. "Everyone thought you had died. Then out of nowhere, Fang comes rushing back yelling that you're alive and I..." She seems to have her words caught in her throat. "I'm just glad you're okay."
"Um, thanks?" She giggles and places a small kiss on my forehead, leading to my face beginning to feel awfully hot. "What was that for?"
She ponders for a moment, her pink split tail swishing through the air slowly. "Think of it as... a good luck charm, or an incentive to make it through this alive. "I'd hate to actually lose you this time." She looks off to the side as she continues. "After all, who else would I have to grind beneath my paw? Beating everyone else up just isn't as fun!" She darts her eyes back at me, the vicious domineering look sends shivers down my spine. "Well I see you during your "rescue mission". " As she turns to leave, she brushes her tail across the underside of my chin as she saunters off, dragging Yu away by his scarf in the process. "Try not to take to long though. I may get bored and... harm the merchandise."
What a strange woman...