I pondered throughout the night after our team had arrived back from that island on whatever or not my nightmares along with what Espeon had sensed were signs that something terrible was going to happen. Was I really in danger? Could something or someone on that island be a threat to my life?
But there was one point that Emogla had made: what could it be? We knew nothing of it and plus when Umbreon and the others tried to get near the tower, they found themselves right back at where they started. Could something or someone have stopped them from getting near like Kyurem did with us inside the Glacier Palace?
The fear was starting to build up in me that I was in grave danger and even Paradise and Post Town didn’t feel safe anymore. While I told everyone about the nightmares I was having, there was but one I didn’t tell about – Post Town and everyone suddenly turning against us.
One morning, Bud and I awoke and I went outside our house when I gasped at what I saw in the sky above.
“Is everything all right, James?” Bud said inside the house.
“The Rainbows of Hope! They’re gone!!” I couldn’t believe it.
“What?!” Bud was shocked to hear and came outside and looked up.
We were both stunned at what we saw. The Rainbows of Hope, which could be seen even here in Paradise, were no longer in the sky. For the first time since the rise of the Bittercold, the rainbows had vanished from the skies.
Everyone else from our team arrived at our and was shocked as well to see that the rainbows had disappeared. Quickly thinking, we all rushed into Post Town and found that it was turning into total chaos.
“The Bittercold has returned!!” everyone was panicking and running around.
“Not, not this again!” Bud recalled the panic everyone went through when they saw the Glacier Palace floating in the sky.
I looked at Bud with concern and then I turned to the panicking crowds and said,
Nobody heard me.
“Everyone,” I repeated once more but they were all still panicking and didn't even heard it a second time. My patience was running out.
“EVERYOOONNNEEE!!!” I yelled at the top of my lungs and this time, it got everyone's attention as they all stopped dead in their tracks and looked at me.
“Listen, everyone,” I began to say. “Let me remind you all that the Bittercold was defeated years and years ago and what is happening now has nothing to due with it but please keep calm and don't panic. Remember, fear and panic are the enemies and you can't allow them to take control like they did the last time. Rest assure, we will figure what is happening.”
That seemed to have helped calmed their nerves, but I could still see the fear in their eyes. However, this was the start of worse things to come.
Two days later after the Rainbows of Hope vanished, Bud and I were in Post Town making preparations to tackle another request for the day. Despite trying to remain calm and not show their fears, everyone was still jumpy at the disappearance of the Rainbows of Hope.
“Okay, I got the supplies for today’s request. Let’s go out and do it!” Bud was very cheerful but I didn’t respond back to him.
“Hey, James! Are you okay? You’re not letting your fears about this getting to you?” Bud showed concern.
“No,” I’m not, Bud,” I lied to him.
“Look, everything’s going to be alright. We will figure out what’s going on,” Bud tried to comfort me but it wasn’t helping.
But then, just as Bud said so, the sky turned dark as if someone had drawn a giant pair of window curtains in front of the sun and we all looked around.
“Wh-what’s going? What happened to the sun?” someone called out.
“James, why has the sky turned dark?” Bud became worried at what was happening.
“I don’t know,” I replied back worried as well.
It was then at the corner of my eye, I caught sight of an attack being directed at me and dodged quickly in time. Wait, was that attack from...one of the townsfolk? No, it can't be. I have only a split second or two to think about it before another attack was launched at me and I dodged once more and this time I saw who did it.
“What are you doing, Leavanny?” I was surprised.
Why did Leavanny just attack me? She would never and neither would all of—
That’s when I realized something that she and all the townsfolk’s eyes were glowing red.
No! It can’t be! This isn’t—!
That’s when I realized in horror that one of my nightmares was coming true, the one I didn’t tell Bud and our team members about. Just like in the nightmare, Bud and I were now back-to-back with everyone surrounding us and looking with red glowing eyes.
“James! What’s going on? Why has everyone turned against us?” Bud was looking back and forth.
“It's come true!” I answered back.
“Huh?! What?!” Bud was confused.
“Never mind! We got to get to Paradise, Bud, and warn everyone about this!” I shouted.
Just as we attempted to flee through the town entrance, some of the townsfolk blocked us from doing so. Bud was about to unleash one of his electric attacks but I stopped him and said, “No, Bud! They are still are friends!”
“Then what are we going to do?!” Bud asked.
Now we faced a problem. If we couldn’t attack them, then how could we escape to Paradise?
All at once everyone began to use Tackle and Bud and I dodged quickly and they all collided with each other. Now we had an open window to escape and we did through the town gate.
Bud and I ran across the crossroads and straight into Paradise. Both of us knew that we had to warn everyone there about this and fast!
Suddenly, Bud and I came to a screeching halt near the gate that served as the entrance to Paradise.
“No! Not here, too!” I cried.
Just like in Post Town, our own friends and other Pokémon here like Quagsire had turned against us with red glowing eyes. Bud and I couldn’t believe it but our own allies that we’ve known for a long time had turned against us like everyone did back in Post Town.
Looking around, I was trying to figure out on what to do next when I noticed that Bud wasn’t next to me anymore. Where did he—?
“Help, James!” I heard Bud call.
I turned and saw that he was being carried away by the possessed Pokémon.
“Bud!!” I shouted and tried to go after him but Umbreon and my team mates stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Guys, snap out of it!” I tried to convince them but it was no use. They all have one goal in mind and that was to capture me.
I couldn’t allow that. I had to escape and fast and get away from both Paradise and Post Town. Through some quick dodging, I managed to escape from Paradise and ran. I didn’t know where I was going but anywhere was better than back there.
I continued to run for a long time before I became completed exhausted and then stopped. As I was trying to catch my breath, I took a glance around. I was in some sort of forest though I had no idea where I was.
Still panting, I then heard a low rumble and I withdrew one of my seamitars to defend myself. There was another low rumble and I then felt a droplet of water land on my reddish nose. Then more began to come down.
It was nothing more than a rainstorm. Satisfied that I hadn’t been followed since I escaped Paradise, I sheathed the seamitar away and started to go through the woods looking for shelter from the rain and a place to sleep for the night. After having to walk through puddles of rainwater and completely soaking wet, I finally found some shelter in the form of a large rock.
I went under the rock and laid down on my fours. The rain was still coming down and water droplets fell at a steady rate from the edge of the rock. It wasn’t all that great of a shelter but it was better than nothing.
While I was resting, I turned my thoughts back to what had happened. I still couldn’t believe that one of my nightmares had actually come true. Bud and I were just preparing to go out on a request and the next thing, we’re both running for our lives and...
I then remembered that only one of us managed to escape, me. Bud got captured and I felt so powerless to try and save him. I couldn’t attack our own fellow team mates after all we had been through.
I prayed that Bud was alright wherever he was. For the first time since we both got separated in the sewers under the city I had came from in my old world, I was once again all alone with no allies and having to fight against something that I didn’t know of. I hated the idea of being a loner like I was back in my childhood.
Don’t worry, Bud. I promise that I will rescue you and find out who’s responsible for this...I thought to myself. It was to be a promise that I was to keep. I wasn’t going to let my best friend down.
Luckily, I hadn’t escaped Paradise empty-handed. I had the bag that contained our supplies of Oran Berries and Reviver Seeds that was meant for today’s request. The bag was hung on my back much like a backpack with straps that went around my arms. Even though I had plenty of supplies, I had to try and conserve them so that they would last. I was also wearing a blue neckerchief around my neck that was an Attack Scarf that boosted my overall attack.
Tired from running, I decided that I should get some sleep and in the morning try to get together a plan on how to rescue Bud. I laid down my head and fell gently asleep while the rain continued on.
* * *
I didn’t know how long I had been asleep before I was awakened up by some noise. I raised my head and looked around squinting as I was still partly haft asleep. The rain had stopped and it was quiet.
I wondered if I just heard some water fall from leaves of a tree nearby and was about to lay my head down and get back to sleep when I heard that noise once more and I jolted up. That clearly wasn’t the sound of water coming off leaves.
I began to hear some faint voices through the woods and thought at first that maybe it was my team mates but then I remembered that they had turned against us. The noises started to come in a little louder and I then realized that it was probably enemy Pokémon possibly of who or whatever it was that turned everyone against Bud and I.
Angered, my first thoughts was to get away as quickly as possible and I was about to do so when I got a much better idea and instead laid my head down on the ground. The idea was to make it look like I was still asleep so that those enemy Pokémon would let down their guard and then, Bam! Attack. Maybe then once they were defeated, I could interrogate them and find out what’s happening. It was worth a shot...
With my eyes closed, I tried to stay as perfectly still and wait for them to discover me and get a little closer before I would attack. I didn’t know how many of them there were but I was still going to carry this out.
“See anything yet?” I heard one of the Pokémon say from a distance.
“Nope, nothing,” another replied.
“Hey, wait. Look! I think see him right under that large rock!” one of the Pokémon shouted.
“Keep it down,” the leading Pokémon whispered. “Do you want to wake him up? We’re not even sure if it’s even him but we’ll check it out.”
But they had already awakened me up and I was now prepared to launch an ambush when the time was right. I began to hear them come closer to me.
“Do you think it’s him?” one of the Pokémon was unsure.
“Yes, it is. It’s definitely the human called James,” the leader replied back.
“Are you sure he’s human? He looks like any other Samurott,” one of the Pokémon was unsure.
“He’s not one of us,” the leader said. “Look at the protrusion on that shell helmet. It matches the description we were given.”
“So now that we’ve found him, what do we do now?” one of the Pokémon then asked.
“Under the orders of our Master, we are to deliver James directly to him. We must also make sure that he doesn’t try to escape like he did from that place that he and his Raichu friend live in. We are to not let down our Master, understand?” the leader made it clear.
“I understand, but,” one of the Pokémon began saying, “how are we going to carry him back? He must be very heavy and plus he’s sleeping like a log.”
“Hey, are you guys sure that he’s asleep and not planning to do an ambush on us when we’ve let down our...” one of the Pokémon was concerned.
“Nonsense! He's fast asleep and is unaware that we've found him,” the leader assured.
The leader Pokémon and his allies were complete idiots. They all began to surround me and because their leader was so confident that I was still snoozing away, they allowed their guard down. My plan was working. Now it was time to strike!
I opened my eyes and jumped right into action and I saw that my opponents were a Zangoose, a Houndoom, a Weaville, and a Sandslash.
“He’s awake!” the Zangoose, who was their leader, was shocked to see.
But because they had let down their guard, it was working against them and they had no time to react. In a blinding flash, I withdrew one of my seamitars and slashed them all at once using Razor Shell. I followed it with another Razor Shell causing more damage. It was enough to cause them all to collapse to the ground defeated.
“Retreat! Retreat!” the Zangoose leader shouted.
The Zangoose along with the Houndoom and Sandslash ran off like cowards into the woods. As I was sheathed away my seamitar, I noticed that the Weaville was the only one left still lying on the ground. Looks like he’s the one that I was going to interrogate.
As I began to approach him, the Weaville, having regain consciousness, saw what I was going to do and attempted to flee and join his comrades but before he could, I grabbed a hold of him and threw against the rock.
“All right! Start talking!” I demanded.
“Never!” the Weaville refused.
With my free claw, I swiped it across the Weaville’s head to cause more pain.
“I want answers! Who is responsible for turning everyone against Bud and I?!” I shook him.
“I will never review to the likes of you, human!” the Weaville spat back.
I was not getting the answers I wanted.
“You better tell me or I’ll—!” I was temping to get more violent to make the Weaville spill the beans.
But just before I could, there was a blinding flash that caught me completely off guard and I shielded my eyes. I couldn’t see anything but pure white but after a minute or so, my eyes reverted back to normal. I then noticed right away that the Weaville whom I had captured was gone. Some other Pokémon must have been watching me and used the move Flash as a way to blind me and rescue that Weaville.
I slammed one of my claws down on the ground in frustration. That Weaville managed to get away before I could make him confess information on whoever it was responsible for this mess I was in. I still didn’t know who or what I was facing against.
I figured it wasn’t safe to be here as more of those minions could come back. It was now oblivious that I was becoming a wanted Pokémon much like how Munna’s minions chased after me in Daybreak Ridge. I needed to do something and fast before my luck runs around.
But there was one thing I needed to do first. I was about to get going when I heard another sound from behind me. I figured that it was more of those minions and so I withdrew one of my seamitars, spun around and attacked.
“Whoa! Wait, don’t attack me, James!” a well-familiar voice said.
“Hydreigon?!” I couldn’t believe it.
Yes, it was Hydreigon, the Voice of Life, before me!
“Sorry, I thought you were one of those enemies I had confronted with,” I apologised and sheathed away the seamitar. “I’m glad that you weren’t affected by that force that turned everyone against us.”
“Yes, I couldn’t believe what was going on, too. There I was, in the Signora’s inn, eating away one of the delicious meals when the Signora and the other Pokémon there began to attack me. I was just speechless that the Signora would attack me when I’m the biggest fan of her food and...” Hydreigon began to blabber on.
“Hydreigon!” I interrupted him. “This is no time to be thinking about your stomach when my own life could be once more in danger!”
“Oh, right, I’ll put aside hunger for now” Hydreigon then remembered.
“The real question is, if it’s not the return of the Bittercold, then who or what is it?” I was puzzled.
“I wish I could answer that, James,” Hydreigon hung his head down. “But, even I as the Voice of Life have no idea what we’re dealing with. It could be something that may be even more dangerous than the Bittercold itself.”
I signed at that thought.
“What are we going to do?” Hydreigon then asked.
I began to start walking forwards and Hydreigon then said, “Where are you going, James?”
“Back to Paradise to rescue Bud,” I answered to Hydreigon.
“WHAT?! But you can’t go back there!” Hydreigon objected the idea.
“I am not going to leave him behind! He’s my best friend in the whole world!” I was filled with determination to not let down my promise.
“I understand that you’re concerned about him, but what if it’s a trap to capture you much like Munna did in Holehills,” Hydreigon recalled of when Munna lured us to Holehills to try and save Bud.
“I don’t care!” I told Hydreigon. “Friends stick up for each other. Bud saved me in the past when Kyurem attempted to send me back to my world and now I must repay him the favour. I’m going no matter what! Either you can help me or get lost! Now, what will it be?”
Hydreigon signed once more and then agreed to come along and help me.