“Ok, well. What is concerning me is Flame and Serene,” said a worried Aero.
“What’s wrong with them?” asked Sage, “Have you foreseen something terrible?”
“No and there is certainly nothing is wrong with them. It’s just that they are the youngest Protectors we’ve ever had and they aren’t married to each other yet,” explained Aero.
“What’s wrong with that? Do they have to be a certain age, and be married?” asked Kage.
“Nothing is wrong with that, it just isn’t normal for the traditions of the Protectors. Think about it: all the Protectors before them were a lot older than they are and they were already married to each other when they accepted their duties. Now, we’re also unsure about Flame’s progress. He needs to do some serious training in his psychic abilities. His fighting abilities, on the other hand, are the best we’ve ever seen before. Eventually Flame needs to stop using his necklace all the time for it will eventually corrupt his soul. I need you two to convince Flame to stop using his necklace. He will have a very bright future if you can do this,” said Aero.
“How will we stop him from using his necklace? I mean, he needs it in order to use his psychic powers,” said Sage.
“Alright: Tell Serene to train Flame for a couple of weeks. I’m sure she could think of some way to train and built up Flame’s own psychic abilities . It might even bring them closer together,” said Aero.
“Well try sir, but there is no guarantee, okay?” Kage said.
“Now go, and find Flame and Serene, and tell them what I have told you,” said Aero. With that, Sage and Kage ran off to go find Flame and Serene. Meanwhile, the young Protectors were walking down one of the palace corridors with Elegon.
“Elegon?” asked Flame, “Do you know what Tim’s condition is now?”
“He is stable right now, but you nearly killed him. How did that happen?” asked Elegon.
“You know, I don’t remember what exactly happened,” said Flame with a shrug.
“Hmm…” said Elegon, “That’s very strange. Anyway, Ice is doing fine: he healed with surprising speed.”
“Where’s Ice at now?” asked Flame.
“He said something about training to restore his honor. So, he might be at the Training Grounds or somewhere else I don’t know about,” replied Elegon.
“When will Tim be up and running around?” asked Serene.
“I have no idea. He is resting as we speak, but he seems to be stuck in a nightmare of some sort. His physical wounds have nearly healed, but the psychological part is the next step for his healing. Also, this nightmare is the worst one we’ve ever seen. The direst part is that we can’t seem to awaken him from his tortured slumber,” explained Elegon as they finally arrived at the center after about ten minutes of walking.
“You will need to be quiet, because right now we have nurses working on Tim’s nightmare right now,” said Elegon. Flame and Serene nodded after he said that. Shortly thereafter, they all teleported into the room; There, they saw four Gardevoir nurses pointing their hands at Tim. He was surrounded by a dark aura and a pinkish one as well. Serene asked Elegon telepathically “Are they trying to cure his nightmare?”
“Yes, they’ve been at this for quite a while now, but I don’t think much progress has been made,” answered Elegon telepathically. The Gardevoirs stopped and backed away from Tim, exhausted. The lead nurse faced Elegon with a look of despair on her face.
“Elder and Protectors: we can’t do much for him right now. We need to do more research on this incident and find out what caused this. But, until we find out, we will be off.” After she spoke, the lead nurse and all the Gardevoirs floated out of the room.
“I know I caused this, but I don’t remember how I did it,” said Flame.
“I know how this happened,” said Elegon.
“How?” asked Serene with confusion.
“It’s your necklace,” answered Elegon bluntly, “The necklace is, how you say, a double-edged sword. It is a sacred treasure, but it is also an accursed item of our city.”
“Then why did you give me the necklace in the first place?” demanded Flame.
“We gave it to you because we didn’t know that you could use its power correctly. It still enhances your psychic power, but we never thought you could actually use its dark power. No one before you could, so we didn’t worry. Anyway, it gives you tremendous power, but at the cost of your soul in exchange for its power. Flame, what made you angry, sad, or some other emotion?” asked Elegon.
“The last thing I can remember before this incident happened is that I thought Serene had died from Tim’s fire blast. But, after that, I don’t remember anything,” explained Flame.
“It’s starting to happen already…” said Elegon in a worrying tone.
“What is going to happen to me?” asked a worried Flame.
“Nothing if we act now. Serene, I need you to train Flame in his psychic power,” ordered Elegon.
“If it will save Flame, of course I’ll do it” Serene said reassuringly.
“Good, now, you two head to the Training Grounds,” said Elegon as he faced Flame, “Flame, there is one more thing I must ask of you.”
“What is it?” asked Flame.
“Don’t use that necklace unless you absolutely have to do so. Otherwise, it will corrupt your soul and I’m not sure we could bring you back to normal,” cautioned Elegon. The room became silent after he gave his warning.
“C’mon Serene, lets get going. I need you to save me and I don’t want to leave you,” said Flame as he hugged Serene.
“Don’t worry I’ll do anything to save you, anything…” said Serene with sorrow as her eyes started watering up.
“Thank you, Serene: and there is no need to start crying now,” said Flame reassuringly. With that, Flame and Serene were teleported out of the room and sent towards the Training Grounds.
Sage and Kage suddenly teleported into the room where Tim was resting: they looked about the room, searching.
“Elder Elegon, where are Flame and Serene?” asked Sage.
“You just missed them, but don’t worry. I already told them everything,” replied Elegon.
“That’s good to know. Well, we will be on our way then. If you need us, just ask,” said Kage.
“Will do, Kage: Good day,” said Elegon as Sage and Kage teleported out of the room. Elegon was still standing over Tim, watching the Blaziken Tim squirm around in his nightmarish sleep.
“I hope this ends soon,” said Elegon somberly as he left the room.
One week passed since that day and Serene was still hard at work training Flame. They had been working day and night trying to perfect Flame’s psychic power.
“Serene? Can we…stop now?” asked Flame as he breathed deeply from exhaustion.
“Well, you’re now able to teleport a lot further than before. How about I teach you how to talk using telepathy?” asked Serene with a smile.
“I can stop after I learn how to do that?” asked Flame.
“Yes. So, what do you want to try it?” asked Serene.
“I think I will try using telepathy,” replied Flame.
“Okay, Flame. First, you will need to visualize where I am and try and sense a thought pattern coming from me,” explained Serene.
“Alright,” said Flame as closed his eyes to try and find a thought pattern, he found a faint pattern: he heard it say “C’mon Flame… just focus”.
“I’ve found it!” said Flame telepathically with happiness.
“Good, now just keep talking,” was the response Flame heard.
“Talk about…what exactly?” asked Flame.
“Anything you want,” replied Serene as she smiled at Flame.
“Well…I… would love…to”
“Love to what?” asked Serene telepathically.
“I would love to thank you,” replied Flame through telepathy, but suddenly, Flame fell to the ground after saying that, exhausted from the psychic exercises.
“Flame!” yelled Serene, “Are you alright?”
“Don’t worry, I just need a break,” said Flame reassuringly as he stood back up.
“I guess we should stop for now. You did very well for the first time,” said Serene with an appreciative nod.
“Well, why don’t we take a relaxing walk to pass the time?” asked Flame.
“Where would you like to go, Flame?” asked Serene.
“How about…somewhere…romantic?” asked Flame nervously.
“Sure! Lets go, I’ll let you choose where we go!” said Serene excitingly, Flame hugged Serene and promptly teleported off with the young in his arms. Meanwhile, hiding behind a nearby corner, stood Elegon and Aero.
“Aero, what do you think of their training so far?” asked Elegon.
“If they can keep this up, Flame soon won’t need that necklace anymore. Also, I’ve noticed that Flame and Serene are getting ever closer to each other, but what I am wondering is, what are the negative effects of the necklace for Serene?” said Aero.
“I’m afraid I don’t know, my friend. I haven’t seen any negative effects, or at least not yet,” replied Elegon.
Flame decided to take Serene to a cliff top with a view of the ocean. There was a gentle breeze in the air, and it was nice and quiet. Also the sun was about to set and the gentle crashing of the surf down below only added to the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The young Gallade and Gardevoir watched the sun set. Quite some time later, Flame faced Serene.
“Serene, I need to ask you something,” said Flame with a gentle voice.
“What is it?” asked Serene in an anxious tone.
“I…was wondering…” asked Flame nervously.
“Yes, Flame?” asked Serene tenderly as she was being overwhelmed with excitement. Flame started to blush.
“I was wondering: will you marry me?” asked Flame.