Obscuring the Heart(Part 2)

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I leaned against the bars of the arena as I looked down at the people who were about to face a zipple back.

I coughed again as Gobber explained today’s lesson. The cage doors opened and dust and dirt filled the air in the arena causing limited visibility.

I heard Snotlout, Ruffnut and Tuffnut each say something. I assumed Astrid was in that mix too because she was the partner to Ruffnut.

The dust started to settle, Fishlegs had been knocked over, his bucket spilt. Hiccup was the only one who had his water bucket. He threw it and missed.

I gritted my teeth and held back my cough as I watched them all. Weaponless, shieldless, defenceless.

Suddenly the zipple back started to back up from Hiccup. I stared at the sight in front of me. Everyone did. When the zipple back was in its cage, I saw Hiccup take something out of his vest and throw it into the cage. It was an eel!

I gave it a weird look as he awkwardly exited the situation.

I met him at the entrance to the arena and grabbed him by the arm, holding back my coughs as I asked him in a hushed voice.

“Was that an eel you threw at it?” I whispered.

He hesitated a moment, then nodded.

“How did you know it was gonna-

My cough cut my question off, Hiccup patted my back roughly to help me get it out.

I finished with my coughing fit and re said my question.

“How did you know it was gonna work?” I finally got out.

“I didn’t.” He said sheepishly, “It was a hypothesis.”

I shoved him roughly and shot him a concerned look.

“You didn’t know!” I whisper yelled at him.

“It came out all right.” He said and hurried us home, “Now you need to get home and bundle up before you get worse.”

Hiccup pushed me inside and upstairs into our room, he sat me on my bed and piled the blankets on top of me. Hiccup then went down stairs for a few minutes then came back up with a hot mug of medicine tea.

I grimaced as he handed it to me, but downed it without a complaint.

“There’s bread downstairs on the hearth in case you get hungry.” He told me and took the cup from me, “And there’s a little soup left from last night. I’ll leave the water on, and bring a jug of cold water up for you.”

“You going to see the night fury again?” I asked him.

He nodded sheepishly with a crooked smile.

I smiled back at him and nestled down in the warmth of the blankets.

“Be safe.” I warned him.

“Get better.” He told me.

I turned over and went to sleep, Hiccup brought me up water and then left.

I woke up in the middle of the night. The room was pitch black except for the candle that was on my bed side table.

Hiccup must have put it there when he came in. I thought.

I pulled the blankets off me and picked up the candle. I shivered when my feet touched the cold wood floor.

I was hot. Not just because of the amount of blankets I had, but because of the nightmare I had that woke me up.

Ever since I could remember I always had this nightmare. It was always the same one, and I always woke up at the same time.

A village in utter destruction. Fire blazing, blood staining the dirt path, screams filling the night air where dragons flew and swooped. “Get to the docks!” I heard a masculine person yell. “Dear, are you sure?” A sweet feminine voice asked hurriedly. “Yes, protect her!” He yelled at her again. The woman just ran away from the scene. The woman was young and beautiful. She had long blonde hair and blue eyes and freckles. My gaze shifted to the scene she was running from. The man she was talking to was now facing large reptiles that breathed fire, and had lots of teeth. And he took them on with just a sword. The woman keeps running, through the fire, through the death, through the screams. She just keeps running, until the fire and smoke are just a light in the distance. There was a small sail boat in the dock. The water was all black except for the reflection of the fire in the village. The woman set me down carefully in the sail boat and adjusted the blanket around me. She untied the rope holding the boat to the dock, she jumped in with me. A fairly short distance from the shore, the woman looked back at the island and then at the thing she had in her hand. She tucked the thing she had in her hand into the blanket with me. Her blue eyes were teary as she spoke. “Meja,” She started, holding back tears, “I’m sorry. Please be strong.” She then jumped out of the boat and swam to shore. I then watched helplessly as she was ambushed by the lizards and killed. I just layed there, watching the sky. There was comfort in the stars. The boat drifted for a long time before the boat hit something. I heard voices, and then saw shadows looming over the boat and myself. “What do we have here?” Another, strange masculine voice demanded as he lifted me up from the boat. The blanket and the thing I was given both fell from me, and I felt suddenly naked. I saw a smirk spread across the man’s face who was holding me. I always woke up after that.

I sighed lightly and made my way to the outhouse at the back of our house. After doing my business I took the bread from beside the fire and took a couple of bites.

Bread. I thought sarcastically. Yeah right! This is apple cake in a bread shape.

I had to smile though, I never really liked sweet things. Salty, savoury, spicy, bitter. I liked it, but apple cake was my sweet weakness.

I could only eat a little less than half of the loaf before I began to feel full and a little sick. I put the cake on the counter and made myself some tea. I downed it quickly before going to the storage cabinets to grab a couple more blankets.

I opened the cabinet and pulled out two blankets, a box fell onto the ground with a loud ground. I winced, but looked up at the stairs. Hiccups’ snores traveled down to my ears. I sighed lightly and placed the blankets on the table before bending down and picking up the little chest.

What was it even doing there? I asked myself. If dad had any common sense, this should be in his room.

I picked it up, only to have its contents spill out onto the floor. I sighed again and took the candle off the table and rested it on the floor to make sure I got everything off the floor.

There was a small blanket, a baby blanket on the floor. It was a plush fury blanket. I didn’t remember it, I didn’t have it neither did Hiccup. I folded it up and put it in the box, and I saw a necklace that must have fallen out of the blanket. I picked it up. My eyes went wide as I saw what was engraved on it.

The outcast symbol.

Why would dad have this?

I thought back to my nightmare. I didn’t look like dad in any way, I didn’t look like Hiccup. I had much darker hair, and blue eyes. Dad had red hair, Hiccup had auburn hair, they both had green eyes.

I shook it off. I probably looked like more like our mom, which we never actually met before.

I put the necklace back in the chest, and then put it back in the cabinet. I picked up the blankets and the candle and then went back up to our room.

I put the candle on the night stand and pile on more blankets on the already large mound. Then I climb back into bed and tried to go to sleep. After a while it worked.

I was out of training for the next couple days, but I watched. Hiccup had a good handle on taking on the dragons now. I watched him carefully. When the groncle came out again, he had something in his hand and used it to subdue the dragon. When the nadder came out, he scratched certain parts of the dragon’s neck and chin. I watched it carefully. I think I understood what he did that time.

The next day I was better and ready for training again.

Gobber felt that this time around, since the twins, Fishlegs, and Snotlout had been put in the lower part of the class and wouldn’t always participate in the lessons which they didn’t this time, we should have a bit more of a challenge. He released a timber jack this time.

It’s cage was reinforced with iron, otherwise it would have escaped.

I instantly dodged it’s razor sharp wing as it bombarded out. But I was determined to not use force this time. I had the knowledge and ability to do it the other way.

Hiccup was smart enough to stay down for a little while to let it calm down. The timberjack’s wing span was large enough to block out the sun. I stayed low to the ground until I was near its head and then started to scratch behind its horns, it seemed to like it. I then scratched under its chin and it’s body went limp as it almost purred.

I felt weird, but I kinda liked how the dragon nuzzled up against me, purring like a kitten.

I looked back at Hiccup who momentarily looked concerned, before his crooked smile spread across his lips. He knew I was watching him closely when I was sick. And he was glad I didn’t hurt it.

Astrid was pissed off, her ax was off its handle. And she was glaring daggers at me that would have sent any other viking our age running.

Hiccup peeled away from the group, I followed suit.

We were a good distance into the woods when he finally turned to me.

“You, you, you.”

“Me.” I said laughing lightly.

“You are amazing, Sigrid.” He told me, “I want you to meet him.”

I cocked my head to the side, but knew he was talking about the night fury.

I nodded and followed him towards the cove. He stopped just outside the cove.

“You’re gonna want to leave your weapons here.” He warned.

I nodded and placed my ax on the ground near a rock, same with any knives I had on me at the time. They were slightly hidden by the rock and long grass.

We slowly made our way down the rocks into the cove. I looked around slowly, taking it all it. While I felt safe knowing that Hiccup trusted this dragon, I was ready to respond incase something did happen, just out of habit.

After a few minutes a large black dragon came running out of a tree towards us.

Hiccup threw himself between me and the dragon.

“No, bud! It’s okay!” He told the dragon, “She’s a friend, she’s not going to hurt you, I promise.”

The dragon kept growling at me. And I realized something.

“Oh.” I said, realizing I hadn’t left all my weapons up by the rock.

I slowly knelt down, and slowly reached into my right boot and pulled out the knife I always keep it there. The dragon kept growling at me. I tossed it into the lake, and then slowly stood up with my hands up to show him I ment no harm.

The dragon stopped growling and sat calmly looking me up and down.

“Is that a saddle?” I asked as I slowly moved from my spot to circle to the dragon’s right to see it better.

“Yeah,” Hiccup started, “It’s the only way he can fly now.”

I raised an eyebrow and then looked at the leather trail from the saddle down to the dragon’s tail.

I smirked lightly, “You did this?”

Hiccup shrugged and had a sheepish look on his face.

The night fury started to turn to me, and then advance to sniff me.

I stayed still and watched him calmly.

“If I knew I was going to meet you, I’d have brought you fish.” I told him.

He stopped sniffing me then looked up at me, his eyes wide and innocent.

I smiled at him, it was a little hard for me to admit, but he was kinda cute.

“Did you name him?” I asked Hiccup.

He nodded, “Sigrid, this is Toothless.” He said and rested a hand on the dragon’s head, “Toothless, this is my sister Sigrid.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Toothless.” I told him with a sweet smile.

The dragon mimicked my actions, his smile was so much more crooked than Hiccup’s or even mine for that matter.

“I’m glad you aren’t like dad.” Hiccup said as he rubbed Toothless’ head, I hesitantly put out my hand in a non threatening way, the dragon nuzzled my hand with his nose.

“Why’s that?” I asked him, liking the way Toothless’ skin felt.

“He wouldn’t be open minded about this, he’d have hunted him.”

I smiled, “I’m not dad, Hiccup.” I told him, “And neither are you.”

He smiled at me again before I saw an idea pop into his head, “Hey, do you want to ride him?”

“Ride him?” I asked confused, Toothless a similar expression to me.

“Yeah, would you mind, Toothless?” Hiccup asked him.

Toothless let out what seemed like a shrug.

“Come on,” Hiccup urged me, “You love being on the edge.”

I had to shrug and nod at the same time. I hated hunting dragons, but I did love thrills.

“Okay.” I finally said, knowing I couldn’t get out of this situation.

Hiccup smiled at me as he mounted Toothless, he then put his hand out to me. I took it and hoisted myself onto the dragon’s back.

I took a deep breath and held onto my brother. Toothless took off.

It was a little rough to start, but after a little while we straightened out into a smooth flight.

“Wow.” I whispered as I drunk in the sights. We were high up above Berk, almost above the clouds.

“It’s beautiful.” I said in aw.

“I know.” Hiccup said laughing in front of me.

I shoved him lightly at that.

“Over confident because you did something I didn’t first?” I asked him as we started to descend towards the ocean.

“I did do something before you, didn’t I?” Hiccup asked amazed of himself.

“Yes, you did.” I told him and laughed.

I reached down and touched the sea water as we flew so close to it.

After a while longer of flying, enjoying the scenery, and complementing toothless, Hiccup had landed him back in the cove. It was just starting to get dark now.

“And now you know my secret.” He told me as we jumped off.

“You trained a dragon.” I said and patted Toothless’ head, he purred against me.

“Yeah.” Hiccup said flashing me his signature smile.

“I have a secret too.” I started, it had been eating at me since I found the chest and, I knew I could talk to Hiccup about anything if I needed to.

“Shoot.” Hiccup told me.

But after a moment of hesitation, I realized this was probably something I shouldn’t share with him on the grounds of him freaking out, dad not wanting us to know, and our already fractured relationship with him.

“Um,” I started and shifted slightly, I had already said something, and if I told him not to worry about he’d know there’s something wrong, “What do you think about Sigrid Thorston?” I asked thinking on my feet.

He looked at me in disbelief, “You like Tuffnut?”

I shrugged, “He’s not as stupid as a lot of people make him out to be.” I started, “He is brave and has a lot of potential if he wasn’t always stuck with Ruffnut.”

“Tuffnut, really?” He asked again.

“What?” I almost yelled at him.

“Nothing,” He said and rolled his eyes, “I don’t approve and I highly doubt that dad would either.”

I shrugged again.

“let’s go.” Hiccup said to me. We bid Toothless good bye and then headed back to the village. We were quiet, there was a lot to think about at the moment.

The next day I told Gobber I was pulling out of dragon training to tune up my skills where I saw fit.

He didn’t have a problem with it seeing as Hiccup was shaping up very well on his own.

Most of the village was preoccupied with watching what new trick Hiccup had up his sleeve with dragons, so I slipped away into the forest with a large basket of fish.

I headed towards the cove.

I didn’t leave my weapons outside this time, I didn’t think Toothless would see me as a threat to him this time. And I was right.

I entered and saw him drinking from the lake, he heard  some loose pebbles fall and shuffle as I made my way down so his ears perked up and he went into defence mode, until he saw me.

I smiled, and he approached cautiously.

I rested down the basket of fish on the ground as I spoke to him.

“Hiccup is training today.” I told him, “And I thought I’d get to know you a little better.”

He smiled awkwardly as well. I dumped the basket over for him to eat his fill. Toothless dove in instantly, I couldn’t help but laugh lightly as I sat on a near by rock and watched him.

I felt weird knowing that I didn’t need to fight dragons anymore, but my heart was a little lighter.

I thought back to the reasoning why dad would have an outcast emblem in our house. I was debating asking him when he got back, if he got back. But then quickly decided not to. He would be angry and wouldn’t actually answer my question. Hell, he might even send me to outcast island. I mean with Hiccup coming along with dragons and all.

What are you thinking, Sigrid! I yelled to myself in my head. It’s like your jealous of the fact your brother is finally getting recognition about dragons after how many years!? Hiccup’s doing what you couldn’t, and you’re going to be bitter-

“Wah!” I yelled in surprise and landed in the body of water. I quickly scrambled to the surface to see toothless seemingly snickering at me.

“Why you,” I jumped out of the water and started chasing the black dragon all around the cove. He joined in with the game, and it ended when Hiccup came to the cove after dragon training was done.

“How’d it go?” I asked giggling lightly as Toothless was running around in circles around the two of us.

Hiccup braced himself, “Astrid’s going to kill me.” His voice broke at his words.

I smirked and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

“If that Hofferson thinks she’s going to touch my brother because he surpasses the blonde in dragon training, she has another thing coming.” I assured him, “And that would be either my ax or throwing knives, or both.”

Hiccup rolled his eyes and shied out from under my arm.

“You wanna ride again today?” He asked patting Toothless.

The said dragon and I nodded furiously to show we both wanted to. Hiccup mounted Toothless, then I clambered on too.

I set the dough in the bowl to the side and covered it with a damp cloth. The bread had to rise, and now I needed to work on the stew for tonight.

I was about to start chopping vegetables for dinner, when I heard some of the villagers yelling and rushing towards the docks. I hurried out the front door and stopped the nearest viking to ask what was going on.

“You’re father has returned, Sigrid.” Freya Ingerman, Fishleg’s mom told me. I thanked her and threw my apron back in the house before running off to the docks to see the old man.

The ships were all in disrepair, but everyone was alive.

I sprinted down the ramp towards the ships.

“Dad!” I called out to the burly man. He turned around, his angry and stern expression melted away and a smile graced his features when he saw me.

“There’s my little girl!” He exclaimed and threw his hands up before advancing a little towards me and scooping me up in his arms and twirling me around in the air.

“Dad!” I all but squealed as we spun around with me in his hands at arm’s length as everyone else watched and laughed.

“Am I not allowed to miss you?” He asked sternly as he set me down  carefully.

“Sorry.” I said with a smile and lunged forward to give him a hug as best I could. He placed a hand on top of my head. I wouldn’t normally do this, but something in my mind flashed while I was being spun. I saw a beard, but it was black in colour and not red.

I pulled back and looked up at him.

“I assume the hunt didn’t go too well.” I said sheepishly.

Dad’s smile faded but he nodded.

“But I do have good news.” I announced a genuine smile gracing my lips, dad nodded for me to continue, “My older brother has risen to the occasion and has taken the top place in his class, even beating out Snotlout Jorgenson and Astrid Hofferson thanks to my assistance.” His face lit up in hope but also curiosity, “All Hiccup needed was a chance dad.”

An even larger smile pulled that the older man’s lips.

“Let’s go see him in action then, shall we!” He suggested and pulled me along to the arena.

There we stood at the edge and saw the groncle making its way over to Hiccup. Astrid leaning against the barrier for a moment before jumping over them and charging forward, only to have her battle cry cut short by a subdued dragon and a scared Hiccup.

I smirked as I saw the glare on her face turn into sheer anger. I’d have to pat Hiccup on the back later. Even I couldn’t draw that kind of reaction out of her.

Gobber put a hand, or hook rather, over both Astrid and Hiccup’s heads. Gothi then decided it would be Hiccup that would have the honour of killing the monstrous nightmare.

I swallowed hearing that, knowing Hiccup wouldn’t hurt a fly. But I knew that Hiccup had to make a choice. It would either be what our dad wanted or what he wanted. There was no in between, there would never be an in between.

I sighed knowing there wasn’t much of a possibility of the village actually accepting what Hiccup wanted, and there was no Hiccup could do what dad and the village wanted. He wasn’t like us. I’d known that since the moment I could form a complex thought.

And now I was so helpless to the situation at hand. Either I was going to lose my brother, or he was going to lose me. And in that moment I had never felt so scared in my entire life.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 5)

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I ran and ran as fast as I could away from that tavern. Away from the man I fell in love with when I was little. From my friends and family.

At that moment I wished I wasn’t the Red Shadow so some one could kill me.

I collapsed when I finally ran out of breath.

I wiped my eyes and looked around. I was right in front of the old cabin we lived at for so long. It was where our father taught us, where we learned, and played. It was our home.

I hadn’t been here in so long.

Weeds had over run the grass around cabin, the wood of the house was starting to decay and rot. Vines drapped down over the roof and tangled in the window frames.

Fresh tears started to form at my eyes as I walked to the back of the small cabin.

There it was, the mound of dirt with flowers and grass growing over it, the moss covered mark there.

I sat down in front of it. Shivering at the cold. It was only now that I realized I’d forgotten my cloak.

“Hey, Baba.” I spoke to the wind and sniffed back tears.

“How are you? We’re alright. Alec and Zuren are still as stupid as ever. Martin’s taken the role of the oldest since we got back. Reggie is still down in the town. Paul just came up.” I paused and let out a sigh, “He’s the biggest idiot of them all.”

I started to breathe a little heavier.

“Me?” I asked the air, “I’ve been trying to prove a woman can be just as strong as a man. But no one believes me. And now with Paul hanging around.”

I choked on a sob again.

“Baba, I honestly think I fell in love with Paul a long time ago. But I could never get up enough nerve to tell him anything like it.” I told the wind, “Baba, I wish you were here right now. You’d tell me what to do.”

The tears had finally cleared from my eyes.

“I really miss you, Baba.” I finally whispered, “Why did you leave us alone?”

Paul’s pov.

I groaned and pulled myself off the floor. Everyone was glaring at me. Zuren offered me a hand up, but didn’t take it.

“Always stubborn.” He muttered.

“She shouldn’t have said it.” I told him.

“How the hell can that princess love you when you don’t understand women at all!” A red head with her hair pulled back into a side pony tail yelled at me.

“What are you talking about wench?” I spat.

“You know Jowey’s always been, sensitive.” Zuren told me picking his words carefully, “Over the time we’ve been apart she’s changed a lot more than she’d care to admit to.”

“What are you saying?” I asked him, “She took the name and you guys did the killing?”

“No, she is the red Shadow.” Martain said walking over to us, “Maybe it’s best explained not in words, but in a sight.”

He motioned for me to follow him, I did along with Zuren and Alec.

They lead me about ten minutes away from the tavern and into the woods. What I saw when we arrived there made my eyes go wide.

A giant pit dig out, the smell of blood, death, and fire filled my nostrils. Looking down I saw a mountain of bodies. All mutilated, all cut, stabbed, bloody. They were robbed and tossed carelessly into there with no respect at all.

“It never started like this.” Martain told me, “Started with going after abusive spouses, bandits that rape and kill, evil dept collectors and the works.”

“She eventually got the name Red Shadow.” Alec told me, “Bounty hunters and the like started coming up here looking for her.”

“She liked the attention knowing that the name she’d gotten had most likely reached you, but she hated the actual fights.” Zuren said.

“Three, maybe four or so years ago, everything changed.” Martain said, “She came back one night from the kingdom, and everyone knew by the look in her eye not to mess with her. But a small group of bounty hunters had come up looking for her.”

“She killed them on the floor in the tavern.” Zuren said, “Right where the carpet is. We couldn’t get those blood stains out of the wood floor.”

“After that she craved any and every fight she could get. Always to the death. We never knew what was wrong, we never asked. She’d never of told even if we did.” Martain had a far away look on his face.

“It was after she killed them,” Alec cut in, “That it was noticeable she changed. She drew her daggers on anyone who wanted a fight, whether it was with her or not.”

“Killing,” Martain said, “it’s the only thing that seems to bring her peace anymore. And these unfortunate to cross her blade are only one of three other pits full that she’d killed.”

“She goes down to the castle every now and again doesn’t she?” I asked and clenched my fists looking down at the faces of Ash, Barry, and the others.

“We never know when exactly, but we know she does.” Zuren asked, “Why? Do you know what might have caused this?”

“It was about three or so years ago,” I started, “That I’d lay with the princess in her bed.”

“And she’s seen.” Martain finished.

“I really don’t know women.” I thought out loud and ran a hand through my hair.

“Why’s that?” Alec asked.

“She might have developed feelings for me when we were kids, and I never noticed.” I admitted.

“They say absence makes that heart grow founder.” Martain told me.

“Sounds like something Reggie’d say.” I told them.

“Think you feel the same about her, Paul?” Zuren asked me.

I only smirked as I replied.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 4)

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“We believe it’s the Red Shadow.” Harley said.

“Give the guy a prize.” Someone said behind them, all of them instantly whirling around to see who it was.

Leaning in the doorway, a shadowy figure cloaked in black stood with their arms crossed.

It looked up to reveal mitch matched eyes of green and grey.

“You grew up, Paul.” It said to him, “You’ve become a man in this time.”

He smiled slightly as his hand was on his sword, “Jowey.”

I smirk pulled on the figure’s lips as it pulled the hood back revealing not only the different eyes, but long black hair and scars and tattoos on her neck and face.

He unsheathed and ran towards her with lightning speed. She sighed softly before pulling out her blades.

With one blade his sword was knocked out of his hand and across the room, with the other, it went directly to his neck as she spun. She stopped a millimeter before it grazed his neck.

“You still need practice.” She said and sheathed her blades as she turned around to look at the taller man.

He sighed, “Guess, I can’t kill you just yet.” He said.

“Not unless you don’t want information about the Red Shadow.” She said and went over to the bar.

“You have information on him?” Drew asked.

“Information or not!” Garry said drooling, “Can I have you for the night?”

She hit him in the face with the back of her fist when he got close.

“I work here you lecture.” She spat, “But I’m a not a woman in the tavern.”

“What she means is, she’s not here for pleasure. She’s here to keep everything in check.” Martain said, “It’s good to see ya’ Paul.”

Paul nodded, “I just wish the terms were happier.”

“So these were your friends.” Harely said and went closer to Jowey to inspect her.

“How ’bout you get out my face!” She hissed.

He backed up, “You’d actually be pretty if not for that scar.”

She rolled her eyes and drank her ale.

“So what information can you give us?” Drew asked her sitting down next to her.

“The Red Shadow is always underestimated.” She said, “I wouldn’t let my guard down in my sleep if I were against him.”

“You aren’t an enemy?” Garry asked.

She downed her entire drink and whipped her mouth before replying, “He’s my master.”

“So you took your teachings from the most wanted man in the world?” Paul asked.

“You always go to the best don’t you?” She asked, “Besides, I never said anything against you with the princess having you as her favorite.” She cocked an eyebrow and smirked.

“How the hell do you-

She merely pulled out the silk cloth that was given to Paul by the princess days ago.

“You really need to practice more.” She said, “You always leave yourself open.”

“I really hate you, you know that.” He hissed and snatched it back.

“You don’t hate me.” She said and used the same hand she had held the cloth with to support her chin, “You just don’t like me touching anything that came from the princess.”

“What about the Red Shadow?” Drew asked, “If you tell us, we might not bring you in aswell.”

She rolled her eyes, “I could whip each of your asses before you can draw your swords.”

“Wanna bet?” Harley growled.

“You might be pretty, but I never back down from a challenge.” Garry hissed.

“No fighting in the tavern.” Martain said as he filled another mug.

“We’ll take it outside.” She said and got up leading the way out of the tavern.

She had her back to the three that would fight. Paul had had his ass kicked by her already that day, he wasn’t going to go two for one.

“Are you ready, woman?” Harley hissed as he reached for his sword.

“When ever your ready.” She said boardly still with her back to them.

Each of the men had their hands on their hilts. Each about to draw when she disappeared and the three fell to the ground as blood shot out of their bodies in every direction.

“Weak.” She said behind Paul, behind the hunters, behind everyone who was watching.

“Fast.” Paul mumbled, “No wonder you went to the Red Shadow.”

Jowey shrugged and sheathed her blades, “I’m actually faster than he is.” She told him.

“No wonder I couldn’t beat you.” He said.

She didn’t look at him as she went back inside and sat back at the bar.

“Do you at least know where the Red Shadow might be?” Paul asked coming back in and sitting next to her as everyone resumed what they were doing before.

“No.” She said, “He never stays one place too long.”

“Do you at least know what he looks like?” He asked her.

“Yeah.” She said and sipped more ale that was placed infront of her.

“Can you tell me?” He asked.

“Why would I wanna do that?” She asked.

“To help a friend out.” He told her.

She shook her head, “You just wanna hunt him down so you can bring his head back to the b@st@rd king of yours.”

“Jowey.”

“You bring back his head, you get the hand of the beautiful Dawn.”

“Jowey.” He said more stern.

“Why would I want to tell you anything about him when you’ll use it, bring us both in, become the king and marry that princess. And then you forget all about us.”

“Why do you think I’d do that?” He demanded.

“You’ve been here a day!” She yelled and stood up, “You’ve seen and talked with Martain, and Zuren, and Alec! You’ve been in the same room and looked over them closely! And you didn’t recognize them!”

“I recognized you didn’t I?” He defended standing up.

“I’m kinda a hard face to forget with a scar on my neck, burn on my face, and miss matched eyes!” She cried, “Face it, you didn’t remember any of us because you didn’t want to!”

She walked about half way to the door before stopping and turning back, “You didn’t remember us because you didn’t want to.” She repeated, her eyes now becoming glossy, “The King took us in because of the princess. She then became the center of your world. And you know you’d do anything for her.”

“I would not!” He defended.

“What about the nights you held her!” She yelled.

The entire place got quiet.

“How did,

I stopped sob was heard throughout the room.

“I go down to the towns every once in a while.” she said, “I went to the castle a few times over the years. and whenever I did I found the two of you together, in her room at night. And you were holding her, and she was giggling. And you were smiling.”

She sniffed and turned her head fast, “Your on this because you don’t want her hurt incase you got her pregnant.”

He was shaking his head at her, eyes boring into her soul.

“Don’t you dare deny this either.” She spat, “You know it’s true.”

“Why the hell do you care?” He asked.

“Because you’d do anything for your princess.” She repeated, “You’d do anything, even hunt down a friend if you have to.”

“I’m not hunting any of you!” He argued, “I’m going after-

“I’m the Red Shadow! You fucking bastard!” Tears rolled down her face and she fought to keep them away.

“I’m the Red Shadow.” She repeated calmer, she still didn’t look at him, “I killed Barry, and Ash, and those three outside. I was hoping you’d catch on, but I guess that was too much.”

“Jowey.” Paul said like talking to an injured animal.

“What?” She snarled, “Are you going to tell me she wanted you and not the other way around? Are you going to say you didn’t mean to meet again like this? What about yell at me for keeping this from you? Oh, I know! You never liked me since you saw Dawn, and you don’t even see me as a woman right now, but a fugitive that you’re gonna kill and take down to the king and get married to his daughter?”

She sobbed ever so slightly more, “If that’s the case fine. But look me in the eye and tell me knowing this now, you’d happily return to your whore of a princess and marry her.”

She held his gaze intently even with the tears.

“She isn’t a whore.” He argued.

“You don’t know that.” She told him, “You couldn’t have been her first. She might have banged a knight or butler. hell, even a stable boy.”

Paul lunged at her, sending Jowey to the ground. She quickly threw him off of her and into he nearest wall, hard.

She propped herself up on her elbows to see him gasping for breath. She jumped up and took off.

“Jowey!” Martain, Zuren, and Alec yelled after her.

“Oh, no.” Misty said and picked up a piece of cloth, “She left her cloak.”

“And it’s the beginning of winter.” Alec said.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 3)

0

We neared the Tavern as the sun was just setting. It was much larger than I had seen from a distance. We walked in. There was a lot of the wanted men from all regions, and whores to go around.

We all walked up to the bar and sat down. The vaguely familiar bar tender came up.

“What can I do for you gentle men today?” He asked.

“Rooms and a hot meal would be a great start.” Garry said.

I was glaring around the room, every bandit and wanted man inching closer and closer to their blades.

“Any information you can give us about the Red Shadow around here’s be even better.” Harley told him.

“The Red Shadow?” The man repeated, “He comes here a lot after sun down. I can’t guarantee that he’ll be here again tonight. I never can. But I can let you stay here as long as you need.”

“Thanks!” Ash said.

“May!” He called, a young girl with light brown hair turned around, “Take these men up stairs and give them rooms, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31.”

She smiled and nodded grabbing keys from behind the bar before leading us upstairs.

“So you guys are the famous bounty hunters from all over the land aren’t you?” She asked as we climbed the stairs.

“Oh, there’s nothing much to it, really.” Ash bragged.

“A pretty girl like yourself shouldn’t be working in such a dangerous place.” Garry commented as she stopped in front of a door and unlocked it, “Don’t you have a man?”

She shook her head, “I’m here because the owner saved me from my abusive husband.” She told us and swung the door open.

“They aren’t pretty, but they suit basic needs.” She said and smiled.

Harley sauntered in after thanking her.

She unlocked the next few rooms, and it went like this; Harley, Ask, Drew, Garry, me.

“Dinner will be served at eight.” She said to each of us before heading back downstairs.

After we set bags down and locked doors, we met in Drew’s room to discuss what we though.

“There’s defiantly something going on down there.” I said.

Garry nodded, “Maybe the shadow knew we were coming and set it up.”

“Unlikely.” Harley said, “In the amount of time it’d take for the news to spread this far.”

“We’d have left already.” I cut in, “Word travels faster than you’d think. But if he had even an hour head start.”

“We’re dead.” Drew finished.

“You guys might be!” Ash yelled and jumped up, “I’m not going down that easy! I’ll see you at my wedding!”

And before anyone could say anything he was out the door thumping down the steps.

–In the Bar–

“Alright where is the red shadow!” Ash yelled as he bust through the door going from the hall to the bar.

“We don’t know.” The bar tender assured.

“Cut the bull!” He screamed and marched up to the bar, slamming his hands down in the bar, “I know he knows we’re here! And I know that you’re all working with him! Where is he?!”

“I don’t know!” He defended.

“I do.” A quiet voice said, shutting up the rest of the room.

Both men looked over to a girl with orange spiky hair and drown eyes looking at them.

“I know where he goes during the day.” She said again.

“You Zoe?” He asked.

She nodded, “I can take you there.” She assured, “But don’t hate me for it.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere!” He yelled, “Let’s go!”

She led the way out with a sigh.

–Minutes Earlier–

“Psst! Jowey!” Zuren whispered up to the girl napping in a tree.

“What?” She mumbled loud enough for him to hear.

“They’re here!” He said still whispering and looking around so no one would hear him.

“Who?” She asked.

“Ash, Drew, Harley, Garry, and Him.” He said.

She nodded, but he couldn’t see.

“Ash will come down in a matter of moments and demand where I am.” She said, “Tell Zoe to bring him to the crystal rock. I’ll execute him there.”

“You sure?”He asked, Zoe was still so new, she was still so young. She was just adjusting to knowing that the dark haired girl she had come to know as a sister was a ruthless murderer.

“Yeah.” She whispered back and jumped out of the tree right in front of Zuren, She straightened up and looked him in the eye, “It’s time she got use to the sight of blood.”

And she left like that. Zuren had just finished telling Zoe what Jowey wanted her to do when Ash came through the door demanding answers.

Now they were walking through the forest, towards the crystal rock. Zoe leading with her head down. She knew exactly what Jowey was going to do.

She stopped just in front of the rock, but Jowey was nowhere to be seen.

“So this is where the Shadow is?” He asked.

“Supposed to be.” She said.

Muffled screams and cries, caused Zoe to turn around.

Jowey had placed a cloth over his mouth and nose, was holding his wrist so he couldn’t draw his sword, and had him pressed against herself. His eyes started to close slowly, he fought less and less. She held him like that for a couple more seconds before she let go of him and he fell.

Zoe covered her mouth at what she saw.

Jowey kneeled next to him and turned him over so he was on his back.

“He isn’t dead yet.” Jowey said, not looking at the orange haired girl.

Jowey started to strip things away from the corpse and hand them to the girl.

“Put all of these in shed around back along with the other’s stuff.” Jowey ordered.

“You aren’t going to kill him?” Zoe asked as she shifted the things around so they were more comfortable.

“I am.” She said, she finally looked up at the other girl, “But not in front of you.”

A small smiled pulled as Zoe’s lips, “Thank you.” She said.

Jowey held her gaze a moment more before turning her attention back to the body before her.

“Once they’re in the shed, run in there yelling wild animals attacked just as you got there.” She ordered, “I’ll make it look like it.”

She nodded and turned away as Jowey pulled out animal bone knives.

Zoe ran faster as she heard the cries of the hunter that was still alive, being carved apart by the woman she admired so much.

Everyone in that tavern loved and admired Jowey, not only for her name and personality and fairness, but the fact that she is a strong and independent woman who won’t let a man toss her around at all.

Ash kept screaming and gasping for air as he looked up at the woman doing all this.

“Who are you?” He breathed out as she lifted her knife up for the final time.

A smirk tugged her lips upwards as she replied, only growing bigger as his eyes grew.

“I’m the Red Shadow.” She said and slit his throat.

–At the Tavern–

“Help!!” Zoe screamed as she came in, crying.

Drew grabbed her to calm her down.

“What happened?” He asked the hysterical girl.

“W-we were heading towards where he would beee.” She told him, “A-A packkk of w-w-wolves were there instead.” She sobbed more, “He held them off as I ran.” She covered her face with her hands, “He’s still out there!”

“Where?” He asked.

“F-follow-w the stream, a quarter mile.” She said looking back up at him, “When you come to an oak with a broken branch, walk west. You’ll see it.”

He instantly let her go and they ran out with her directions.

Zoe sniffled and wiped her eyes as a smile cam on her lips. She pulled up her sleeve and pulled out the thorn that she had plunged into her fore arm so she’d cry and make it believable.

“You did great, Zoe.” Martain said coming up behind her and placing a hand on her shoulder, “I almost believed you.”

She grinned, “She’ll be happy, neh?”

He nodded, “Three kills, one day. I think she’d be ecstatic.”

–Red Shadow–

I heard them running through the thicket towards his mutilated body. I couldn’t throw that on in the pit just yet.

I sat in a tree top, close enough to see and hear them, but far enough for them to remain oblivious to me watching them.

“Ash!” Garry yelled and ran up to the corps, “Ash!”

He dropped to his knees realizing he was too late.

He, dropped to a knee to examine his wounds.

“I can’t believe he let a pack of wolves do this.” Drew said to himself.

“Not wolves.” He said, “Animal, yes. But not wolves. The thing wasn’t even alive.”

“How do you know all this?” Drew asked.

“The cuts.” He said, “They’re rough, like it was a bone that cut through him. But the way these wounds are. It was a bone knife. And I think we all know who killed him.”

“He did.” Garry gripped.

“Hmm.” Harley thought.

“What?” Drew asked him.

“The Red Shadow has never let any of his victims be seen or be left out in the open like this.” He said, “Why would he now?”

“Maybe he was about to get rid of it when he heard us coming.” Garry speculated.

“Or it’s a sign.” Drew said, “I killed one, I can kill the rest of you.”

“Paul where are you going?” Harley asked.

“Back to the Tavern. I want to have a word with Zoe.” He said and left.

The rest agreed it’d be the smartest thing to do. I waited a good thirty, to forty five minutes before climbing down the tree and going over to the corps.

I grinned as I scooped it up and carried it to the pit. Drew understood what I left him there for. But would He understand that I’m him?

Only time would tell. I tossed he body into the pit with all the rest of them. I was at a hundred and fifty seven so far.

In total I had killed three thousand. But never innocent blood of any kind. I save those who were innocent and brought them here.

I was labeled as the murderer, but I was doing justice that everyone else turned a blind eye to.

–At the Tavern–

“Where’s Zoe?” I asked coming in.

The bar tender looked up from the mugs he was cleaning, “She upstairs resting.” He informed, “She can’t handle the sight of blood very well, why?”

“It wasn’t wolves that did that.” Garry said.

“Who or what was it then?” He asked.

“We believe it was the red Shadow.” Harley said.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 2)

0

Bright and early the next day, all the hunters were gathered outside the castle gates waiting for their king’s blessing to be bestowed on them before they left.

“I’ll win for sure!” Garry gloated.

“Not if I can help it!” Barry argued.

“Yeah right! The princess will be mine!” Ash yelled.

“Enough.” James the tenth best told them, “He’s here.”

The king came out to them with his daughter behind him respectfully.

“I wish all of you luck on your hunt.” He said, “If you feel as though you won’t be able to over throw him, please do not after him. I’d prefer to have eleven failures rather than eleven dead.”

“We’ll take care sir.” Drew told him, “Our fights will not be with each other this time, but with him.”

We all turned to leave, when a sweet voice called.

“Before you leave.” Princess Dawn walked up to me and handed me a silk handkerchief, “A token.”

“I accept with great honour.” I said and placed it in my breast pocket.

“Please do take care, all of you.” She said.

“You shouldn’t worry, Mi’lady.” I told her and bowed before we all left.

“You seem kinda cozy with the princess.” Harley the eighth told me.

“The King raised me and my older brother as his own.” I told him, “I grew up with her.”

“That’s why you became a bounty hunter then?” James teased, “To pay him back.”

I chuckled, “Not even close.”

“Then why don’t you explain Mr. I’ll-stay-mysteriuse-to-piss-them-off!” Barry yelled.

I smirked at him, “It was a promise I made a long time ago.” I said, “I promised a friend that when they made a name for themself going against the king, I would go after them and we would battle.”

“You must have one hell of a friend huh?” Ash asked.

I smirked again, “Yeah.”

“Have you killed him yet?” Garry asked as we left the town.

I shook my head, “I have no idea where they are, what they’re doing, or what name they go by now. But I know I’ll know them when I see them.”

“Them?” Drew asked, “More than one?”

“One friend left the town, and my others took off after. They didn’t like the king at the time either. I know they’re together though.”

“Wish ya’ luck findin’ them!” Barry said and he was gone.

“He’s always in a rush.” Gary sighed.

We headed up the mountain at our own pace. I had this eating feeling I would see my old friends again as I pressed on. It was something in my bones.

–Else Where–

“Let me know when they get close.” I told Alec, “Then I’ll pull the dame trick.”

He sighed, “You really are ruthless.” He pointed out.

“You could a stayed with Paul you know.” I told him.

“Yeah but that would mean putting up with that king.” He said.

I nodded, “Martin, when one of them hunters come in here looking for me, you put that junk I brought back in their drinks.”

“What is it anyway?” He asked.

“Delusion powder.” I answered bluntly, “It’s the equivalent to eating them blue mushrooms in the forest.”

He cringed as he’d done that before.

“What do you want me to do?” Zuren asked.

I smirked evilly, “You point them in this direction saying I’ve been spotted around here a lot. You know I come in for a drink every night, flirt with them ladies. All that junk!”

He nodded.

I smiled and nodded as I got up off the bar stool.

“I’m headin’ out to the forest to train for a while.” I sai and grabbed my daggers, “I’ll be back about midnight.”

“What about the hunters?” Zuren asked.

I looked back at them over my shoulder, “At the least, it will take two full days of walking straight through to get here. They aren’t stupid, they’ll stop and camp for the night.”

“Why would they camp?” Misty, a young lady who was a new addition to the tavern asked.

“The wild animals outside.” I answered her, everyone who worked in Martin’s tavern knew exactly who I was, “If you’re caught walking around the mountain late at nigh, tired, confused, and you don’t know your surroundings, you might as well be dead.”

“Oh, I see.” She said scared now.

“Everyone’ll be safe here.” I assured her, “You just don’t get in my way.”

She, as well as the rest of the building, nodded.

“Be back about midnight!” I called as I left.

–Back to the Hunters–

“We should stop.” Paul said to the others.

“Why getting scared?” James asked.

“I want you to realize the animals that dwell in these mountains.” I hisses, “Most of them will eat you before you’re dead.”

Most stopped and shivered, others rolled their eyes and kept on.

Ash, Drew, Garry, Harley, and James stayed.

“You sure know your stuff huh?” Ash asked as we gathered some fire wood.

“I grew up in these woods.” I told him as we headed back to camp, “It was in these mountains that the king found us.”

“You and you’re brother?” He asked.

“And my four friends.” I said almost a whisper.

“So four of them, which one’s the one you’re gonna hunt?” Drew asked when we got back.

“You won’t believe me even if I told you everything.” I said.

The rest of the night was entirely silent. The way I liked it.

–Else Where–

I stared up at the moon, the cold air blowing my hair around and my cloak open.

I walked down a small path, I knew quite well. It was where he found us.

“Can’t catch me! Can’t catch me!” I giggled as I ran. Alec, Zuren, Martin, Reggie, and Paul chasing after me. “Slow down! Damn it!” They called. I giggled and ran backwards to look at them. I turned back around only to run into something. I landed on my butt, and looked up to see a knight staring down at me. I backed away slightly. “What are children like yourselves doing out in this forest?” He asked gruffly. “What’s a night like you doing out of the city?” I countered, “I thought the King needed all the protection he could get?” “There’s been a change in government.” He told me staring at me coolly. “We’re so sorry about this, sir.” Reggie said pulling me up and backing us away, “This will never happen again.” “See to it.” He snarled. “Clawdon!” A sweet, high pitched, feminine, child’s voice called. Just behind him came running a small girl, with dark blue hair, blue eyes, and had on the prettiest dress I’d ever seen. I felt out of place in worn out trousers, and an oversized shirt. “Flowers!” She giggled. It was much different from mine. It was sweet, mine was rough. “They are lovely, Princess, why don’t we take them back to your father?” “I like that idea.” She said. But then she suddenly looked behind the night at us. She scampered forward and inspected me closely. I growled when she picked up a piece of my hair. “I want you to be my friend!” She said and smiled, “What if I don’t wanna be?” I asked her. “How about you come back to camp with me, and meet my daddy, and then you can decide.” She said. “I’m not leaving them.” I said meekly referring to the boys behind me. She smiled even larger, “They can come too! And then we can be one big happy family!” She cheered. “Will I have to wear a dress?” I asked as she took my hand lead us all on. “I could have daddy talk to my dresser about it! I’m sure we’ll find something to your taste!” “Wait.” I said and let go of her hand, “We don’t even know you’re name. And you don’t know ours.” She smiled, “I’m Dawn.””I’m Reggie, and this is my little brother Paul.” He said. “I’m Alec.” “Call me Martain.” All eyes were on me now, “Jowey.” I said quietly, “I’m Jowey.” She smiled again and lead us to her father. That was the start of everything.

I sighed as I kept up a good pace back to the tavern. That was when life seemed to take turns for the worst.

All of us were running around in the castle garden playing tag. Dawn and I were running together, she slipped and fell down towards the rose bushes at the bottom of the hill. I pushed her back so she landed on the soft grass we were previously standing on. She landed with a muffled thump, and I went tumbling down the hill, hitting every rock along the way. I knew I blacked out for a second or two, the next thing I remembered was I was blinking away darkness staring up at Reggie and Martain, while Dawn was screaming, and Alec and Zuren were trying to calm her down. Paul was running to get help. I didn’t remember there being any pain. I felt something drip down my neck slowly. I tried to speak but nothing came out. Before I knew it everything went black, only to come back in bright light another minute. “You’re very lucky, Jowey.” The doctor told me as I blinked. “What happened?” I saw Dawn crying on a chair at the foot of my bed. “You took that fall for me!” She cried, “I should have-” “Shut up and stop crying.” I told her, the room went quiet, “I shouldn’t be ordering you around, but I needed to take that fall! Dawn, you are the princess, you are fragile, you are too important to scratch! I’m the opposite. If anything happens it’s gonna happen to me. Understand?” She wiped away her tears before looking back at me, “O-okay.”

I pushed the door to the tavern open and stepped inside. Only one who was there was Martain.

“You should be asleep.” I told him and sat and the bar.

“Coming from someone younger?” He asked.

“We don’t know that.” I told him as he poured some stew into a bowl for me, “Thank you.”

He smiled back and continued to clean mugs.

It was true though. We knew when we met that Reggie was seven, Paul, Alec, Martain, and Zuren where all two. No one knew about me. We all had the same ‘father’. In truth he was a mountain priest who took us in after being thrown out of his temple. He found Reggie and Paul wandering around when Paul was a babby. He rescued Zuren from his father on a ‘camping’ trip(more like killing trip). Martain was a reject of his own temple. I on the other hand was abandoned on the forest floor when I was a baby.

There was no indication of who my parents were, how old I was, where I came from. All I had was a large black piece of cloth wrapped around me, and a note that read, ‘to whomever finds her, please take care of her’. The cloth became my cloak after many years. It was about the time Reggie was twelve, and the boys were seven, that we met Dawn. It was a few months earlier that our father died.

I wolfed down the rest of the stew and washed my bowl.

“You know you never have to do that, Jowey.” Martain told me.

“I know.” I said not looking at him.

“You do enough getting all the gold, and protecting this place.” He said.

“I know.” I told him.

“Jowey.” He sighed getting irritated.

“It’s a bowl Martain.” I told him, “Don’t make me think I’m useless with things like this.”

“I’m sorry.” He said, “It’s just you do so much, and we always let you down in the end.”

“Non of that was your fault.” I told him and dried my bowl, “What happened then, happened. Let’s leave that in the past.”

“Kinda hard, huh?” He said.

I shrugged, “It’s not on your face.” I smiled. He had to grin back.

“Good night Martain.” I told him, “Don’t stay up too late.”

“Sweet dreams, Red Shadow.” He told me.

–With the Hunters–

At dawn we broke camp and kept up the mountain. Memories came washing over me in many waves.

“Why won’t you believe us?” I asked Jowey and Dawn as we walked. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Jowey told me. “I believe them.” Dawn said. “They’re gonna let you down, mi’lady.” Jowey told her. “How?” She asked. “I’ve done more protecting of them, then they have of me over the years.” The princess giggled. “I think they could take care of us if we really needed it.” “Yeah if it’s against giant teddy bears!” they both laughed. “I’ll show you.” I challenged. “be my guest.” Jowey countered as we got in each others faces like we normally would. So we went around the kingdom looking for something to protect them from, but it was a lot harder when you were looking. Dawn and Jowey in a small field just below us picking flowers. We were sitting on the road wondering just what to do. They came back with flower chains for all of us. And we decided to head back to the castle. On the way a speeding cart came down the path, everyone jumping out of its way. Something shot into it. I remembered being pushed, and Jowey screaming. When I looked back, the cart was on fire, but still going. Jowey was on the ground, hand to face clutching the cheek. I noticed some liquid on the ground, and a lot on her dress.

It wasn’t until later that we realized that liquid had been acid, and she saw it coming long before we ever did. She took that so we wouldn’t have too.

Jowey had had scars on her neck when we found her as a baby, we don’t know what from. But I do know even with the scars and that mark on her cheek was prettier than the princess.

The acid burned through a lot of her skin, the doctor said there’d be a permanent indication of where the acid ht her for the rest of her life. I knew she didn’t mind, but hurt the rest of us to know she did that unselfishly.

“How much longer do you figure?” Garry asked, “You do know these mountains well, don’t you Paul?”

I nodded, “The top of the mountain where he’s been spotted is another three days at our pace.”

“That’ll take way too long!” Ash yelled.

“If you want to get there sooner, be my guest and go at your pace for as long as you like. But if you want to get there alive, I’d suggest you stay with me.”

“And why should we trust you?” James asked.

“If I’m not mistaken, in the next hour or so we’ll be coming across the others.” I told them.

“W-what do you mean?” Harley asked.

“They’ll be dead.” I said calmly as if I were talking about the weather, “The animals that dwell in these forests are that of your childhood nightmares, but much more real. They’ll tear you apart, and if not. There’s all those who are wanted up here as well. And when they’re wanted and together, they gang up.”

“So you’re telling us, we’re dead without you.” Drew said.

“Potentially.” I said and kept on.

–At The Tavern–

“Jowey! Jowey! Jowey!!” Alec yelled bursting through the front doors and running to where the rooms were. He pounded on her door a couple times before throwing it open and going red.

“What?” I asked as I finished tying the bandages around my torso. I wasn’t hurt, but they help keep me warm with no movement restriction. They went from just above my nipple to below my belly button.

“O-one of the hunters has come a lot closer than we anticipated this soon.” he said looking any and everywhere but at me.

“I see.” I said and slipped on my black sleeveless shirt, “Is it him?”

“No.” He said looking at me this time, “He’s a blond and he’s in a hurry.”

I furrowed my brows as I picked up my daggers and put them in my belt.

“I thought the king only let them go yesterday.” I thought out loud and grabbed my cloak, “He must be Barry.”

“Barry?” Alec asked.

I nodded, “One of the ten greatest hunters in the land. He’s always in a hurry for his next kill and bounty.” I told him as we headed down stairs, “He’ll be the easiest to take down.”

“Are you sure?” He asked.

I nodded and went over to Zuren.

“One’s come, direct him here.” I told him.

“This early?” He asked.

I nodded, “I’d like a kill now anyway.” I said and sat down at the bar, “Go, Zuren.” I told him getting impatient.

I heard him get up and leave. He wasn’t in a hurry, but he knew better.

–With the Hunters–

We soon came across blood stained rocks, fresh as last night by the looks of it.

“The tavern’d be just beyond here.” I said, Ash went ahead but I held him back, “You’ll go that way if you have death wish.”

I only pointed in between the ridges he was going to go through. They were steep ridges, sheer straight down. No sun shown in that valley because of the cliffs on either side. In between them the valley was littered with skeletons, blood, and loot. Fresh blood and corpses lay there. It was those of the remainder of the eleven of us.

“We go around.” I said and headed off, they followed.

“How do you know all this?” Garry asked.

“I grew up in these mountains before the king took me in.” I told him, “I do most of my hunting here. It’s where most of the bandits and such come for salvation. The tavern on the other side welcome’s them with open arms. It’s their haven.”

“And how do you know all this if you’ve spent most of your life in the kingdom?” Drew pestered.

“I thought all this was common knowledge.” I told him, “Those ridges we just pasted were slaughter valley.”

“Where the seventh king was killed.” Harley said.

I nodded, “It’s been known for having an easy way of allying bandits to kill and share their loot. All of this under the supervision of the tavern.”

“Then why haven’t they shut it down yet?” Ash asked.

“These mountains border on three lands.” Garry told him.

I nodded, “While this is a bandit’s land, there are rules.” I told them.

“There’s rules over here?” Harley asked.

“Yes believe it or not.” I told him, “You never abuse the woman in that tavern, fifty percent of the loot goes to the tavern for supplies, no fighting in the tavern, and if the law comes you work together. After a certain point of time that Tavern becomes a home for all of them. And they’d do anything to protect it.”

–With Barry–

“Oh thank goodness!” I heard someone cry as they ran towards me. He was about my age and he looked out of breath, “I didn’t think the king would send anyone here to help.” He said out of breath.

“He sent me specially.” I boasted, “What can I help you with dear citizen?”

“It’s the red Shadow.” He said, “He’s in the Tavern I work at. He’s starting fights, he abusing our women, and he killed a couple of our staff. The owner sent me to get help.”

“Lead the way, and I’ll deal with him!” I told him.

That princess is as good as mine.

The guy lead me to a really, really, really, large wooden . . . . mansion.

“Wow, this is huge.” I said out loud.

“A lot of people come by traveling.” He told me, “We made it big so there’d be a lot of room for not only the guests, but workers as well.”

I nodded and barged through the doors as everyone was laughing.

“Alright, which one of you is the Red Shadow!?” I demanded.

It got quiet, and then a mug empty of ale slammed down on the bar ahead of me. A long ways away.

“Hate to break it to you.” I woman at the bar told me, “But he only comes at night.”

I sauntered over to her, “And how would you know that?” I asked sliding onto the stool next to her.

“I work here, I’m his favorite.” She said.

She had black hair and green eyes.

“Would you mind keeping me company until he comes back?” I asked suggestively, “It appears the Red Shadow has good taste.”

“I don’t even know you’re name.” She said shyly.

“I’m Barry.” He said, “And you are?” I asked as a mug was set down in front of me.

“Whoever you want me to be.” She whispered.

I gulped.

“Finish your drink and we’ll get outta here.” She said.

I grinned and downed it.

“Thank you kind sir.” I said and put some coins on the counter.

She pulled me out giggling. I started to feel good.

I didn’t know where she was taking me, but I just followed along, it was like my body was moving on its own.

She let go of my hand, and turned around so her back was too me.

“This it.” She said.

“What’ss this?” I asked her.

“Where you meet the Red Shadow.” She said.

“You meet him here a lot?” I asked and hiccupped.

She shook her head and turned around fully. I noticed something about her. One eye was green, the other was grey, she had tattoos on her neck, and a burn mark on her right cheek. She had something in sheaths in her belt.

“I’m,” She said slowly, “The Red Shadow.”

–The Hunters–

“We’re making a lot better time then I first thought.” I said out loud.

“How much longer would you think then?” Ash asked.

“We should get there just before sun down if we keep it up.” I said.

“Alright!”

I sighed and quickened my pace.

–Jowey’s pov.–

I stabbed him another two times and he finally collapsed. Cleaning off my daggers and sheathing them again, I dragged his body to the pit that Myself and a few of the tavern residents dug out. We’d burn all that was in here day after tomorrow. We did this every month.

Before I tossed him in I dug in his pockets. He had a good sword, and a lot of money on him, his medallion, and his belt buckle would bring a few good pieces. I went over him one more time and found nothing of value. I pushed him off into the pit, he landed with a thump.

I grinned to myself as I went back to the tavern. I pushed the doors open and tossed the find on the nearest table.

“Hide it.” I told them, “Others will be coming by night, they’ll know. And one of them will be him.”

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 1)

0

The large doors were pushed open and entered a ratty young man in dirty and torn trousers, shirt, gloves, and cape came in.

“Aw, you’ve returned.” The king who sat perched high on his throne mused, “I was expecting you back much later.”

“Don’t underestimate me, your highness.” The man with purple hair and dark eyes told the older man, “His head as you requested.”

He tossed a brown sack to the middle of the floor. One of the guards in the room came over to it and opened it up to pull out the severed head of the poor sap that the king didn’t want around anymore.

The king nodded favorably, “Very well done, Paul.” He said, “I’d expect nothing less of you.”

“I’m honoured sir.” He said.

“My daughter is expecting you for tea, why don’t you go join her?” He suggested.

“I appreciate that sir,” Paul said, “But I must be going.”

“Non sence!” The king boomed, “Paul, if you keep this up her hand will surely be yours in no time. But you mustn’t keep a lady waiting.”

He closed his eyes in defeat, “Yes sir.”

“Oh and, Paul.” The king said as he was about to leave, “Come back here after you have your tea. I wish to speak with you about a special job.”

He nodded and left heading towards the chamber of the young princess.

“Paul!” Princess Dawn cried as he was let through the door by one of the maids, “How nice of you to come. Please do sit down.”

She motioned abruptly to a round table filled with flowers, china tea set, cookies, sandwiches, an other sweets that Paul enjoyed.

“Thank you mi’lady.” He said and pulled out Dawn’s sat.

“Thank you.” She said and pulled out her fan to giggled behind it.

“How was your job this time?” She asked as she poured tea for both of them.

He smirked lightly, he knew she was only doing this because she liked to hear his voice.

“It was that of the usual.” he said calmly, “Nothing a woman like you should even worry her head about.”

“Oh, please tell me more.” She begged.

“Mi’lady,” he started, “Such things a woman should never know. They lay in a man and his life beyond her eyes. I would never hide a secret from you, but I find it best to keep yourself as pure from what I know for as long as I can.”

She pouted, “Can you at least tell me what he was wanted for?” she asked.

He smirked again, “Rape.” He said emotionlessly. The princess tensed and then went on to ramble about the new dresses her father had gotten her, and how her royal blue puppy, Piplup, had gotten the cutest of ribbons.

He listened to her well, he didn’t care much for it at all, but he was polite enough to listen.

“Oh dear.” Paul said standing up after gazing at the clock, “I’m sorry mi’lady, but your father still wanted to speak with me.”

“Come to my room tonight, after you’ve spoken with him.” She begged.

He smiled and kissed her hand, “Of course.”

And with that he was off, his sword in hand and he tied it to his waist.

Paul sighed as his pace quickened, he loved that fair maiden like he loved no other, but when ever he was with the princess another, completely different came to his mind, one who hasn’t come to him in years.

Back in the king’s throne room, Paul was surprised to see all ten of the land’s best bounty hunters in there with him.

“Glad to see you made it.” The king said and smiled evilly, “This is a job for all of you, and the one who carries it out will receive the hand of my daughter.”

“Young princess Dawn?” Ash, the third greatest in the land asked.

“Yes.” the king replied.

“Might as well start planning the wedding, sir.” Garry, the fourth best said, “Her hand is as good as mine.”

“You don’t even know who I want you to hunt your that confident?” He chuckled.

“Who do you want us to hunt anyway?” Barry, the seventh, and most arrogant out of all them asked.

“The man who goes by the man Red Shadow.” He said.

The room suddenly got cold. It made sence why he got all of them here now.

The Red Shadow was the most notorious being out there. He murdered, he killed, he burned, he slaughtered, he rapped, he did everything and no one has ever come close to catching him, let alone killing him.

“My sources tell me he was last seen in the mountain range to the east of here.” The King told us, “I want him eliminated. He could pose a serious threat to us in the future. A rumour I heard says our enemies are going to try to hire him to fight on their side, thus causing them to raise in power greatly. I want him out of the picture before they can set eyes on him!”

“How do we know the enemy hasn’t already made contact with the Shadow?” Drew The fifth one asked.

“The Shadow has been wreaking havoc on this side of the mountains for months now. There is no way that the enemies would travel into our territory to make contact with him. Even if they were desperate.” The King told us.

“It is as if the Shadow is waiting for something or someone.” The King’s advisor, Brock spoke, “His violent actions have had spikes and decreases all over the land. Almost as if he’s wanting a chase.”

“If it’s a chase he wants it’s a chase he’ll get!” Ash exclaimed.

“That’s the attitude I like to see.” The king said, “All of you will leave in the morning. I want you all well rested and fed. It might just be the last time you know comfort.”

–Else Where–

A fainting cough filled my ears as the man on my blade gasped for a breath. I slid him off with ease.

“Last time you underestimate someone, huh?” I asked coldly.

I stared down into his fading eyes.

“Last time you do anything.” I whispered and brought my long dagger down severing his head from his body.

I licked my lips as I watched the red liquid ooze out from him. He never expected me to be the one known as Red Shadow.

The poor sap came looking for a lady friend, and he found his death.

I wiped off my blades with the end of my cloak. The moon had just come out from behind the clouds, the night wind sprawled my long hair around in every direction.

Killing. I was the only thing that seemed to bring me peace anymore. I was just wishing for a time when I could see him again.

–At The Castle–

I pulled out and rolled over as the princess snuggled closer to me.

“As always, my hunter, you never disappoint.” She smiled.

I let out a small one and looked at the ceiling. How much longer could I keep doing this?

I layed a hand on the princess of this country many times over. She never once complained, she wanted it.

That was the reason why I had to do any and everything in my power to get her to be my bride. She’d be killed if anyone found out. And so would I.

“So your going to find the Red Shadow and then come back with his head to be my husband right?” She asked sleepily.

“Yes, Mi’lady.” I said, “I don’t know how long it will take.”

“As long as you come back and we can get married.” She smiled.

I did too as I go out of her bed and gathered my cloths to put them back on.

“Sweet dreams, my princess.” I said and kissed her cheek before I left.

–Else Where–

I stared at myself in the mirror I had in front of me as the drunks around me made such a loud noise. I was in a tavern right now, drinking ale and staring at myself.

I used to be fairly pretty, having nice tanned skin, a rounder face, large eyes my right one grey, my left one green. I had long black hair I kept up all the time. But it was what was on my right cheek and side of my neck.

A burn scar that didn’t seem to heal quite right, and a small scar on my neck that was small but evident even after all these years.

I took a sip of ale and examined what I did with the scar on my neck. I had tattoos on it, tangled and webbed around in a pentagram. It was the one I’d carve into trees to mark my territory.

I sighed as I took another sip, as the doors to the tavern flew open.

“The King!” The Man yelled, “He’s sending bounty hunters up here in search of the Red Shadow!”

Everyone was silent, I put down my mug gently, wiped my mouth with the back on my hand, and smirked.

“Things are about to get interesting boys.”