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Old 09-26-2017, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Rude Awakening (Pokemon X Fire Emblem)

A chapter where cat videos.

Chapter 4: A Matter Of Time


It had been about a couple weeks now, and the multiversal visitors were starting to get along with and get to know the multitude of Shepherds, all settling in.


One of the Shepherds, though, was not so settled.


Virion was attempting to move stealthily through the barracks, and failing, considering he quickly literally bumped into a ginger-haired young man in a black cloak and headband, causing the latter to nearly choke on the lollipop he was sucking on.


"Hey! Watch where you're going!"


"Ah! Sorry, Gaius - Do you happen to know where Libra is?"


"I've got no clue where Padre is, I was looking for Bubbles! Why don't you ask The Invisible Man?"


Virion blinked. "Why are you looking for Robin and why did you specify Kellam?"


"I'm right here?" said Kellam, suddenly beside him.


Virion gave a high-pitched yelp as he jumped into Gaius' arms. "How do you do that?"


Kellam shrugged. "It just kind of happens. But Libra's on the loft, praying. You probably shouldn't disturb him too quickly."


"Duly noted!"


Virion would have leapt out of Gaius' arms right there if Gaius didn't drop him first. He picked himself up and dusted himself off before dashing over to the loft and finding Libra sitting there, indeed praying.


Virion stood there a while fidgeting and nervously sweating before Libra finally spoke normally without moving a bit.


"...You can talk to me now, Virion."


Virion wiped his brow, adjusted his ruff, and gulped. "It's about those Cincinnatians."


"What about them? They've been much more well-behaved since they first got here, especially when they help with the cooking."


Virion shook his head. "It's not about how they are now they've been here a while, it's about how they got here at all! You're a priest, a spiritual man... Haven't you noticed anything metaphysically strange about them?"


Libra paused before finally standing up and turning around to face Virion. "Yes, actually, I have... Subdued, well-hidden, but it's still detectable by someone of my cloth."


"Aha!" said Virion. "Fantastique, further evidence!"


Libra raised an eyebrow. "Evidence?"


"It all started when Howard referred to me as Kalosian. Now, I could believe that people as bizarre as him and his companions were from some esotetic faraway land, but when he mistook me for being from another, I grew suspicious. So I looked through every geographical book I could, even" - he shuddered - "sneaking into Miriel's personal library! And there was no mention of a Kalos or a Cincinnati anywhere!"


Libra put a hand to his chin. "That is direly suspicious..."


"And what's more, all the strange spells they seem capable of - Valentia's manipulation of water and space, Quentin's seeming bending of time in lapine form, Howard's mix of dimensional and dark magic, and that one time Bartimaeus did a "trick" to turn into a muscular strongman but was stuck that way for three days - they seem out of this world!"


Virion put his own hand to his chin. "And given the existence of a certain Outrealm Gate they may very well be!"


"So," said Libra dryly, "I assume you want my help figuring out what's really up with these 'Cincinnatians.'"


Virion grinned. "Oui! Precisely!"


Libra raised an eyebrow. "Why me though?"


"Because you're one of the few men I find att-"


Virion gave a hacking cough before regaining his composure.


"-Attentive enough to the divine and spiritual for this task, of course! With their strange powers, these 'Cincinnatians' could be spirits or even deities from another world! That's your department, is it not?"


Libra paused, then nodded. "True... If they were beings of great metaphysical power from another world intruding on ours it could cause a stir amidst the gods..."


"Alright then!" said Virion. "Let's figure out what's really going on!"


He headed off. Libra hesitated, then followed.


---------


Dialga was off away from the barracks, trying to get some peace and quiet in a small wooded area with sunlight dappling through the trees onto moss and fallen leaves.


However, the sharp Taguel ears of his current form made the "quiet" part a fair bit harder, being able to hear every crack of a branch and every rustle of a leaf and every breath of all creatures in a very large vicinity.


"Hello, Panne," he said without turning around.


Panne stopped behind him, twitching her nose.


"I suppose you want something?" said Dialga.


"In a sense," Panne said back.


She started circling him.


"Your time with the Sheperds has proven to me you are no threat. But I still doubt you are truly one of my own kind. Who are you, really?"


"A visitor," said Dialga. "From another time, another place."


"I still hear the voice of someone bending the truth. But I've said that enough. Can you hear something for me?"


Dialga shifted slightly. "Tell what?"


Panne looked through the treetops up to the sky. "The old Taguel gods; I wonder if you could hear them. There were those of my kind that could hear them in days long past, but they are gone now. Can you hear them now?"


Dialga turned his ears, and more metaphysical senses, up to the sky. He heard and felt something, but nothing coherent enough for him to make out.


"...Only whispers."


Panne sighed. "They may be gone or leaving now; there's nothing left of my race but me. And... You, possibly, Quentin."


Dialga was silent as Panne looked off in another direction.


"I... Honestly kind of envy the man-spawn and those scaly Manaketes for still having theirs to pray to; they've got one mutual one they particularly revere, especially in Ylisse..."


Dialga perked one of his ears. "Which would that be?"


Panne glanced back at at him and raised an eyebrow. "I do not know why you would be interested, but they call her Naga the Divine Dragon."


"A dragon goddess?" said Dialga. "How curious."


Panne turned her head east as Dialga turned to face her. "She answers the prayers of the Manaketes, at least. And she's said to appear before those worthy of her to the east of here at Mount Prism."


She glanced at Dialga and looked away, shaking her head. "But I don't see any reason for you to take interest in the likes of her..."


She slowly walked off the way she came.


Dialga waited until she could hear her no longer, then turned his ears and divine senses to Mount Prism, expecting to hear nothing more than whispers again.


He was startled to hear and sense something much louder.


"...You don't know how wrong you are, Panne."


He shifted to his lapine form and ran to Mount Prism.


------


Atop Mount Prism, Dialga perked his ears and sniffed around a forested area with ruins of what appeared to be some sort of shrine scattered around a large waterfall at the center of a peak.


"There's really not much here... Could this truly be the home of a go-"


"A... Visitor?" a booming, yet feminine, voice rang out. "I never get visitors."


The waterfall parted, and a woman, tall with flowing green hair and pointed ears, stepped forth from it. Dialga immediately tilted his currently rabbit-like head at her outfit - the bottom half was a long, billowing skirt accompanied by a similar scarf, but the top was something so scanty the being before him was showing most of her skin.


"Isn't that a little risque by human standards? I mean, it's not as bad as what those slavers stuffed that Nowi girl into, but still, you have to worry about how you present yourself to mortals! And aren't you cold, given how high the altitude is?"


The woman stared in surprise before shaking her head and chuckling. "I'd never thought I'd get critique of my fashion sense from a Taguel of all beings. Especially given they're critically endangered."


She furrowed her brow at Dialga. "Though... Given what I sense emanating off of you, and your strange coloration... You're no true Taguel, are you?"


Dialga sighed. "Very well. It's hard enough keeping it hidden from Panne, and I came to find you because I was seeking a being like my true self..."


At this the Adamant Orb attached to his waist glowed, and the woman stared in shock and awe as his form glowed and stretched into its more natural shape. Dialga stretched his limbs to get readjusted, then turned to face the stunned woman.


"They call me Dialga. You are Naga, correct?"


The woman stared in shock a bit longer before shaking her head and nodding "Yes, I am Naga, the one called the Divine Dragon. But my question back is... What in this world are you?"


Dialga huffed. "That's the clincher; I am not of this world. I am another world's god of time come here for a visit. It has mostly proved relaxing so far. But I was hoping to see what at least one of the local pantheon was like."


Naga smiled, and gave a respectful bow. "It is an honor then, Dialga."


She sighed and shook her head. "But I am no god. I am no creator. I possess not the powers of making or unmaking."


Dialga gave her a quizzical look. "You're not? The Manaketes and the Yilliseans seem to hold you in high enough regard. And you have given the Yilliseans your blessing, have you not?"


"What divinity I have is as a protector and guardian," said Naga. "I can indirectly aid but take no direct action."


She looked out over the landscape. "It has been this way for millennia... I have taken many forms over all that time... I have not always been a woman... I have not always been a dragon, even..."


She sighed. "But memories of those fleeting times... They are not truly mine..."


Dialga gave her a look again. "How so?"


Naga looked at him almost solemnly. "I am not the first Naga... There have been others before me... The role and memories are passed down from one incarnation to the next. It is a burden, but one I must bear to help both human and Manakete."


Dialga shifted uncomfortably. "If it helps, there are those of status like mine back home who must go through similar tribulations..."


"Which gets me back to my first question," said Naga, giving Dialga a stern look. "What are you, other than a dragon god of time from another world?"


Dialga paused, then sighed.


"To put it at its most basic level, I am a Pokemon."


Naga blinked. "A... Pokemon?"


"They are the creatures of my world, coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and elemental attributes. They range from mere sapient versions of the 'animals' of your world to beings of divine power like myself. I may be a deity, but I am still a Pokemon all the same, and one classified by others of my world as being elementally affiliated with Dragon and Steel, affiliations I share with countless other lesser Pokemon."


Naga paused, then stepped forward, extending a hand. "May I?"


Dialga raised an eyebrow. "May I what?"


"Touch you."


Dialga cringed. "I'm hoping not... in a bad place that's no good. Especially since you'll be out of luck there in this form."


Upon realizing what he was saying Naga cringed herself. "Oh g-goodness, no! I just... Argh, I just wanted to touch your scales to test something, but if that makes you uncomfortable I can-"


Dialga sighed in relief. "If that's it that's totally fine, thank you."


Naga sighed in relief herself as she closed her eyes and extended her hand to stroke Dialga's scales as he stood perfectly still. Eventually, she smiled.


"You're right... Your scales are much like a Manaketete's, but have the texture and hardness of the finest plate armor..."


She stepped back, opened her eyes, and looked up at him.


"What are the other 'Pokemon' of your world like?"


Dialga shifted uncomfortably again. "Well, there's my siblings, and our companion, but they're more like me. Let me try to show you something more mundane, hold on..."


He turned around and shuffled about in a place Naga couldn't see and turned back to her with a strange clamshell-like object in his mouth that he placed down in front of her, then moved over to seat himself next to her as he opened up the device with his mind, causing a panel on the upper half to glow to life as Dialga pressed buttons on the bottom half telekinetically.


"This will take just a second, hold on..."


Naga watched in fascination as the panel showed a icon-laden picture of Dialga and two similar dragons posing for an awkward groupshot, then a blank white space filled with oddly shaped brown boxes. She noticed Dialga move a small, arrow-like icon to a brown box with the words "cute cat pokemon videos" on the bottom and selected it to reveal a large amount of pictures with strange boxed bars across the top and bottom. Dialga selected one with the words "littenandfamily.avi" attached to the bottom.


Immediately the screen was taken up by a vision of a small, red-and-black catlike creature pawing at the front of the panel.


"Oh!" said Naga. "It's adorable! What sort of cat is that creature?"


Dialga turned to her and smiled. "A Litten."


"Lit-ten?"


"You'll see what I mean in a bit."


A human girl scooped the Litten up in a hug. Naga blinked in surprise.


"There are humans in your world?"


"Plenty. They live and work together with the Pokemon."


The Litten struggled and mewled in the girl's grip before letting out an annoyed "Lit!" and spitting a flaming furball out into the grass before them, causing the girl to drop it in surprise. Naga gasped and chuckled. "I suppose Litten are affiliated with fire?"


Dialga nodded. "Yep, they're Fire-types."


The Litten's fiery hairball was patted out by a larger creature resembling a cross between a Litten and a bobcat, which the Litten batted at playfully. Naga gasped again. "Is that an adult Litten?"


Dialga shook his head. "Not quite. Pokemon can transform into more powerful Pokemon as part of their life cycle. Litten transforms into Torracat there when the time is right..."


The Litten and Torracat are scooped up by a third, bipedal creature resembling a cross between the previous two and a tiger, who started licking them affectionately.


"...And then into Incineroar."


The vision stopped, and Dialga dissipated it with the same icon he used to open it. Naga looked back up toward him. "Your world seems amazing already! Do all Pokemon transform like that Litten do?"


Dialga chuckled. "It depends; Pokemon of stature like mine typically don't do anything quite like that. We're powerful enough as is."


He thought a bit, then gave a frown.


"Speaking of which... Others and yourself refer to you as a dragon, and yet you have kept this pointy-eared human form this whole time! Is this simply your latest incarnation, or what?"


Naga frowned deeply. "Not quite... You are my first true visitor in a long while, so I suppose I shall show you..."


She pulled a stone out of her dress and rubbed it, chanting. She was enveloped in energy that to Dialga resembled a more floral Mega Evolution cocoon before emerging as a massive, golden dragon that gave a mighty roar and spread its mighty, leaf-like wings to show their full splendor and display their owner's glittering golden scales. It was Dialga's turn to stare in awe.


Naga looked at him, smiling, for a while before her eyes flashed red and she snarled before recovering.


"Ugh..."


She quickly reverted back to her more humanlike form and groaned again, clutching her head.


"Are you alright?" said Dialga.


"Yes, I am... It's just..."


She gave him a solemn look.


"The dragons of this world, including the Manakete, have a curse placed upon us... Where we eventually succumb to madness that robs us of our sapience as our lives go on..."


She shook her head sadly.


"It's already too late for the wyverns... Even the mighty Starfall clan have been reduced to feral scavengers and thieves... We Manaketes have only survived by assuming human form most of our lives... And part of why I must change vessels every few millennia..."


Dialga listened intently, then shook his head sadly himself.


"I could not imagine if such a curse was placed upon the mortal Dragon-types of my world..."


He hurriedly stowed his laptop away, then turned to leave. "I shouldn't have brought you to do such a thing so risky to yourself... If you need rest after that, I shall take my leave now..."


"Dialga, wait!" said Naga.


Dialga stopped. "What is it?"


Naga hesitated before continuing. "During your trip... Could you come back and visit me from time to time? Teach me more of your world?"


Dialga paused, then glanced back and smiled.


"...I most certainly will."


His Adamant Orb glowed, and he shifted back to his more lapine Taguel form as he bounded off.


--------


Panne tried to remain completely silent as Dialga bounded past her.


This explained so much, and yet she still had so many questions. She had managed to hear Dialga heading off toward Mount Prism and followed, and had discovered he was a bizarre being called a "Pokemon" from another world, and one of enough divine power to be on speaking terms with Naga herself.


Question was, what was such a being doing in their world?


She bounded off to the barracks herself, making sure to approach from a far different direction than Dialga. She could not forgive him for masquerading as her species, but there was too much risk exposing him outright, especially given his companions were likely of the same magnitude of power as he, and she still didn't know of their motivations. Thinking further, she realized that Libra would be a good initial aid for this given his knowledge of the divine...


...And was also of the sort not to recruit particularly numbskulled man-spawn to their cause.


***
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