The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 13)

It was early the next morning I rose out of bed quietly. I grabbed a comb, a few knives, and my boots before seeking out the door and down the hall. Candice was always an early riser, and it was her I needed to talk to.

I knocked softly on the door and waited for her to open it. She looked slightly surprised to see me up this early and still around the place.

“Hey, what can I do for you?” She asked and opened the door all the way so I could come in.

“Animal and I are heading down to town today.” I told her, “I need a disguise.”

She smiled brightly, “You came to the right place!” She told me.

She opened both of her closets and I sat on her bed brushing my hair.

“What were you thinking?” She asked me.

“Something simple.” I told her, “Covers most of my face, a lot of women from any town would wear it aswell.”

She nodded and turned around digging through everything before she pulled out something long and black, she tossed it to me before pulling two more pieces of cloth out.

“That’s the dress.” She said, “It’s mostly figureless, so you can conceal those weapons. This is the head dress.” She held out the two pieces, “This one goes on your head like a hood, and this one goes across your face, covering most of it.”

“It’s perfect.” I told her, “Thank you.”

“It’s my home too, Jowey.” Candice told me softly, “I don’t want it wrecked because of the King and his guards trying to find you or anyone else. If this helps I do it willingly.”

I stood up and walked over to her, I wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her in for a side hug.

“I know.” I told her, “I know.”

“Wow, you actually look like a girl.” Animal teased when I came down.

I shot him a glare and a playful smirk, “Too bad you don’t get a lot.”

‘OOh’s were heard throughout the room.

He frowned deeply and pulled the bag Martain had just finished packing off the table.

“We takin’ horses?” He asked as I pulled the mask over my nose.

“No.” I said, “It’d take too long.”

“And you sure no one is gonna recognize you?” He asked.

I nodded, “All I have to do is keep my head down and act meek. They won’t suspect a thing.”

He nodded, “We’ll see you later.” Animal said and headed to the door.

“Bye guys.” I said and quickly followed.

“What about, Paul?” Alec asked quickly.

“Say bye to him for me.” I said and ran to catch up with Animal.

Paul’s pov.

I woke up and looked around. Jowey wasn’t there.

I sighed and sat up. I really need to start waking up earlier. Most of the time she’s already left by then. But even the time I get up is still early. Guess it’s not compared to her.

I quickly tied up my boots and threw on a shirt before grabbing my sword and heading down stairs.

When I got there the door had just shut and I made my way to the bar.

“Morning guys.” I said and sat down.

“How come you always sleep in?” Zuren asked.

I looked at him and said, “Usually the time I get up anyways.”

“Late, you ask me.” He said.

“And how many are still asleep?” I challenged.

“Most of the girls, and a few of the guys.” He said, “Course that’s just ’cause of what usually goes on at night with them.”

I shrugged and accepted the coffee Martain placed in front of me.

“So where’s Jowey? She leave yet?” I asked.

Martain nodded, “She and Animal just left. I don’t think anyone would recognize her in what she was wearin’ either.”

I nodded, I was going to be a long day or two without her.

Jowey’s pov.

We hurried down the mountain, and did it in record time too.

“I won.” Animal hissed as me when we reached the bottom.

“Don’t care.” I told him and continued on.

“Aren’t you supposed to be acting like a woman?” He asked me.

I nodded, “When we come across people.” I told him.

He sighed but said nothing about it.

We continued on until we came to edge of the town. There were a few farmers in the fields, we were stopped by an elderly one.

“I wouldn’t go that way.” He warned us, “The king is taking any and all able young men to become his soldiers.”

“For what purpose?” Animal asked politely.

“Son, there are changes in crown going on in a few of our neighbouring countries. The king feels as though it’s time to attack them as the new king settles and expand his kingdom. He needs every man he can get. He sent an entire battalion up into the mountains not too long ago to look for a traitor, not a single one came back. They’re presumed dead.”

Animal nodded, “My sister and I where up in tavern about the same time, resting. They were all killed.”

The old man shook his head, “He keeps sending men to die uselessly. It breaks my heart.”

“Where one of those men your son?” I had cut in to ask.

He nodded slowly, “His name was Tracey. He was a good boy, very gentle, wouldn’t hurt a fly. And yet he was recruited.”

“I’m sorry.” Animal told him, “My sister just asks things sometimes without thinking.”

The old man shook his head, “It’s alright. I just pray his soul is at peace.”

“We thank you for the warning and your time, sir.” Animal said and we both bowed. Then turned and left the man in the fields.

“What do you wanna do?” Animal asked me when we were far enough from anyone’s ear shot.

“Go around the back.” I told him, “I’ll scale the wall, and see what I can see from the castle.”

“Don’t get caught.” He told me.

“Have I been so far?” I asked.

He didn’t say anything after that as we made our way to the rear of the city. In the shade of the high walls, we hid in the shadows.

I shed the dress and head-piece and left it on the ground next to Animal.

“I’ll wait here.” He told me.

I nodded and spit on my hands to gain the grip I knew I needed. There were small spaces between the tall staked rocks, at times it was harder, but I had made my way up.

I looked left and right over the stone path where guards walked, and waited until the coast was clear. When it was I ran across the wide path and made the five foot jump from the wall of the city to the tower of the castle.

I had timed it right because there was the shift change happening at the moment.

I slowly crawled my way up the steep wall until I came to a specific window. It was the Window to the Princesses room. I was maneuvered in such a way that I could see into a part of the room, but they couldn’t see me.

“You really are like your daddy.” I heard the princess giggle. She walked into my view holding something to her chest covered in blankets, “You must be hungry.” She said and began to undo the buttons of her dress. She pulled her breast out of her undergarment and the child began to suck.

I was disgusted with myself. I had seen the child had purple hair. Hair just like paul’s. He had given her a child, and then he took me.

I was about to move on, I didn’t like this sight anymore, when the door to the room opened without a knock or permission to enter.

Into my sight strolled Cyrus, he stood in front of his daughter holding a large amount of authority over her.

“Has he come?” She asked respectfully.

“No.” Cyrus said flatly, “Our first attempt to bring him back had ended in failure.”

The princess looked down almost ashamed.

“It’s alright.” He told her, I could have sworn he was smiling when he did, “I’ve already made other arrangements about bringing him back. He should be here soon.”

Her eyes lit up and mine widened.

I scurried down the wall, leapt across the pathway, and jumped down to the ground, landing with a muffled thud.

“We have to get back up to the tavern, now.” I told Animal with slightly heavier breath than normal.

He didn’t question anything, we merely went as fast as we could back to the mountain base, and climbed about as fast as our limbs would let us.


The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 12)

I stirred awake and blinked a few times to get the spots away from my eyes, I attempted to sit up, but a headache forced me back down. I glanced around the room. It was as I left it, except for Paul laying next to me shirtless he was on his side and had his head supported by his left hand. He was smiling at me tiredly.

“Please tell me we didn’t do anything last night.” I begged.

“Why?” He teased, “You don’t want me in you drunk?”

He nuzzled his face into my neck.

“I wanna remember every time.” I told him and ran a hand through his hair.

“We didn’t.” He said resuming his original position, “You were a little drunker then you thought, and after the guys went down to bed you were giggling like crazy, pulled your boots and shirt off, then complained about the wrappings as you fumbled with the knot.”

“Must have been funny.” I grinned and successfully sat up that time. The blankets fell from my chest revealing it was bare.

I shoved the rest of them off and stood up only holding onto the wall momentarily for support.

“You’re still gonna drink?” Paul asked and stood up with me as I picked up another bottle on the floor. This one still had ale in it.

“Yeah.” I said and took a swig, “I gotta be drunk to kill ’em.”

He sighed and grabbed his shirt, “You never cease to amaze me sometimes Jay.”

I shrugged and downed the rest of the bottle before grabbing the wrapings and wrapping my torso back up.

“So who is this guy you need to kill anyways?” Paul asked leaning against the wall and eying me as I pulled my shirt on.

“Can’t tell ya’.” I said and sat down to pull my boots on.

“Why not?” He asked, “If he makes a run for it I can stop him before he leaves.”

“Wont leave.” I told him as I finished tying them up, “No one would expect it to be them, they won’t run. They’ll think I think it’s someone completely different.”

“Who is it?” Paul asked again.

I stood up and turned around to face him, “You’ll have to wait and see.”

He sighed frustrated as I picked up a few knifes and put them in their holsters. I also picked up one last bottle that was mostly full. I assumed it was the one I gave to Reggie, he was never big one ale.

I sipped on it was we walked down to the lobby. When we got there everything stopped. I looked around with the bottle at my lips.

“Everyone here?” I asked Martain.

“Some of the girls are still upstairs.” He replied.

“Candice.” I spoke softly, “Run up stairs and get the girls that are still sleeping if you don’t mind.”

She nodded and hurried up the steps.

I took another swig and pulled out my finest knife.

“The traitor is one in this room.” I told them, “I’ll give you an honourable death, as honourable as one can give to a traitor anyway.”

The girls hurried back down stairs. I quickly chugged the rest of the bottle and set it down on the counter.

Everyone was shifting wondering who the rat was.

“Hey, Jessie.” I called.

The crimson haired woman turned to look at me, looked for only a moment before receiving the promised dagger in her stomach. I walked up to her pulling out one that was serrated. I grabbed the front of her dress and made her look at me.

“You should have known your fate when you crossed the Red Shadow.” I whispered.

And with that I placed the knife at her throat and slit it. Pain was the most evident thing there was on her face.

I allowed her lifeless body to fall to the ground before I pulled the knife out of her abdomen.

“Take this as a warning.” I said as I marched up to the bar and started wiping the blood from the blades, “I wont hesitate to kill anyone who ever crossed me. Be you man or woman. I have no bias. Girls, go up to her room and take what you like of her belongings, find anything that I might like to see, letters, a journal, old books, what have you, bring them to me. Animal, I want you to take care of her body.”

“Will do.” Animal grinned. He got the name as his battle style was as savage as one. I’m sure everyone assumed he’d have been the one to sell me out. We sparred regularly, and there was hardly a day that went by that he threatened to kill me. Everyone knew he never could. But he and I were on good terms, we just had one that revolved around fighting.

The girls did as they were told, eager to go through her closet. Jessie always got first dibs of the cloths that everyone brought home saying she was the oldest so she had to be the first. Her cloths closets were overflowing more than my weapon one.

I sat down at the bar and rubbed my head with my hands.

“Can’t believe you had to kill her?” Reggie asked sitting next to me.

I shook my head, “My head’s killing me.” I told him, “Martain, can you make a Charlie oyster or whatever they’re called to get rid of hang overs please?”

He said nothing but just set a clear glass in front of me. I looked at it to find an egg with god knows what else.

I smiled at him, plugged my nose, and downed it.

“Bet you never want to drink again.” Alec said and sat on the other side of me.

I shook my head, “Just not for a little while.”

“I’ll give her ’till dinner, what do you guys say?” Martain chimed.

I stuck my tongue out at him and he just chuckled.

“How’s the kid doin’?” I asked.

“He’s resting,” He said, “You can go see him when he’s awake.”

I nodded and turned my attention to Maylen when she reached the bottom steps. She walked over shyly with something in her arms, she handed it to me.

“We think there might be more.” She said.

In my hands was a black leather bound book, pages old and worn. The cover was blank.

I went with her back upstairs to Jessie’s room. She had her’s on the second floor.

The girls were still going through her closet.

“Jowey would look so good in this.” Misty said holding up something that was red and shimmered.

“Okay, but you try to wrestle with her to get her to wear it.” Zoe laughed.

“I’m sure I could get Paul to convince her to put it on.”

“I think not.” I cut in.

Everyone froze and looked over.

“You found this in here.” I stated more than asked as I held up the book, “Do any of you have any kind of idea of what this is?”

They all shook their heads.

“Birth records.” I told them and threw it down on her bed, “That means Jessie was used to hide something from someone. From now on nothing leaves this room that I don’t okay first.”

“But you said,” May tried to say.

“And now I’m saying this.” I told her, “I don’t know what Jessie had in here, and as much I really don’t want to know, there might be something else in here that could tell us why she sold me out and who she’s working for.”

“Think so?” Maylen asked.

I nodded, “The cloths you can still have, but I want to go through everything first. Is that fair? Speak now or forever bite your tongue.”

“It’s fair.” Zoe said, “But I just wanna ask one thing.”

I nodded and crossed my arms.

“What do you think she was trying to hide?” She asked.

I paused a moment thinking it over before I sighed, “I have the faintest of feelings she was working for Cyrus.”

Back down the mountains in the castle. Cries were coming from the princess’ chambers.And not long after, new cries, that of a new born baby could be heard echoing through out the stone walls.

One of the doctors cleaned off the child before handing it back to its mother.

Dawn held her new son to her chest lovingly. She sniffled wishing Paul could have been there to see his son.

“You did well, my princess.” King Cyrus said stroking her hair.

“I wish he were here.” She whispered.

“I know.” He said and kissed the top of her head, “I’ll get him here, don’t worry.”

“Thank you father.” She said trying not to cry.

I sat at a table in the lobby late that night with the five of them.

“What would you guys make of this?” I asked as we looked over what we found. In total there was one birth record book, seven or eight books recording the reign of king Valkner, more than a dozen letters addressed to Jessie, and one medallion that didn’t belong.

“Cyrus is defiantly hiding something from everyone.” Paul growled, “And I served that bastard.”

I placed my hand on top of his fist gently to calm him down, it worked but not very well.

Alec lit another candle for more light.

“I think the best way to find out exactly what’s going on is to check the birth records.” Reggie said and reached for them.

“Why the birth records first?” Zuren asked.

Reggie stopped and looked at him, “I remember hearing one of the guards in the castle speaking to another about the day the king was over thrown, something about a birth in the middle of it. Regardless of what was going on at that time a doctor would have recorded the birth of any child born when he delivered it.”

“And you think that’s what started all of it?” Alec asked.

He shook his head, “But I think it might help to find out why Jessie was hiding all of this and what role she played.”

“You’re the best reader.” I told him.

Reggie picked up the book and flipped through the pages, he stopped about half way through.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“King Valkner had a daughter.” He said, we all stared at him, “She was born just before Cyrus went into overthrow him. Says here, she was seven pounds two ounces. Black hair, eye colour- it’s smudged.”

“It’s a start.” I said, “Valkner had a daughter, she’d have been the princess of the country. But that leads to another question, did Cyrus over throw the king just for power or was there an actual reason behind it?”

“If I remember right,” Reggie said, “Baba always said that king Valkner was a good king and just. There was little to no poverty when he rained, the county was completely happy, even bandits would come into his kingdom and be redeemed for their sins and they got to live in happiness and peace.”

“I’ll assume those books will go into depth about what he did.” I said.

“I also remember something he told us.” Alec said, “Baba told us about all those precious jewels he had. And about whoever had them would live in eternal happiness and prosper. But he also said that only one true to the royal blood could touch them, and the rest would die a slow and painful death.”

“I remember a story I head while in a tavern not too far from the castle.” I said, “There once was an old king with not a child nor wife to give one. He brought in woman after woman to try their luck, not one had given him even a daughter, so he killed every last one. One after another women everywhere started to become scares on the streets in fear of being his next victim. One day in church the king cursed the heavens for not giving him even a wretched daughter to carry on his blood. A voice from heaven replied ‘Thou art but being punished for thou’s sins, thou hadn’t been the king thy people needed. thou shalt now parish a untimly death.’ and at the snap of fingers the king fell in unbearable pain. A kind peasant boy brought him back to his hut to care for him. The king had actually recovered, and upon opening his eyes he found the boy in an empty hut, he was close to starving too. He asked him where his parents were. And he replied that his mother was sent to the king to try to give him a son, and his father was killed refusing to hand her over to the king. His heart was broken hearing that. He then thought of all that he’d wronged. He went around the village and collected those orphans and brought them to the castle. He cared for and taught them. One day he fell ill again from another disease. But this time he died with all those he’d cared for around him. Before he had died he gave that kingdom over to the boy who had saved him that day. And from the heavens another voice came saying he had atoned for his sins. and his body and soul were brought up to heaven. in his place on the bed where he lied there were millions of jewels and much gold. The children where told to protect it as it would give them the strength to run the country for as long as their blood existed. And with the help of each of them the kingdom prospered. Same time that guy was really drunk.”

Paul shook his head, “I remember reading something similar to that in the library.”

“The king was good, how’s the economical standing now?” I asked.

“It’s quite poor.” Reggie said, “Heavy taxes, lots of sickness, little food. The castle couldn’t be in better condition, but the villagers.”

“So this was for power and money.” I said, “Wonder what he’s gonna do when he realizes he can’t have that wealth.”

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

I shrugged, “I wanna see how things play out for a little longer.” I told them, “I was gonna go down to the village in the morning, see what I can find out.”

“You alone?” Paul asked, “After you were sold out?”

I nodded, “Trust me,” I told him, “Me and the girls are about the same size, and I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve.”

“Jowey.” Paul warned.

I shook my head, “I go down alone, if I think I need a little back up, Animal, Bull, or Thunder would be the best choices.”

“You’d take animal with you?” Alec asked.

I nodded, “We may not be as close as the six of us, but I can rely on him and he can keep up easily. Trust me.”

“All we ever seem to be doing.” Martain said, “But I do want someone to go with you. Take no chances.”

I nodded, “We should all get some shut eye. It’s been a long day.”

I blew out the candles and went to bed.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 11)

Jowey came back not long before night fell. She pushed open the doors and the lobby fell silent. She glided across the floor up to the bar and sat down.

“How’s the kid?” She asked.

Martain looked over to her with tired eyes, “You really did a number, Jay.” He told her, “I almost lost him twice. But he’ll live.”

“Did you get his name?”

“Tracey.” He told her and yawned, “and your knives are over there.”

She looked over to where he was motioning, next to the sink was a barrel full of sharp and pointy objects.

“Find anything interesting?” He asked her.

She shook her head, “There was nothing. No scouts, no other solders, no camp, no evidence of any one or thing coming up or down the mountain. It’s strange.”

“With you, what isn’t?” He asked.

“Why now of all times?” She asked and got up marching over to the sink, “The planting would have just happened, and that would make large openings for bandits and murderers alike.”

She threw her cloak off, and pulled her gloves from her fingers as well.

“Leaving a town without a large amount of protection is not only stupid, but risky as well.” She muttered and poured some water into the sink, “It doesn’t make sense.”

“Maybe he hired others like you to help protect the city while the guards were away.” Martain offered as he filled up more mugs.

Jowey shrugged as she started scrubbing the blades.

“I just thought he was smarter than that,” She said, “And they just wanted, Paul. How would they even know he was up here? There are a million cabins from there to the base of the mountains.”

“You find out who the rat is?” He asked.

“Not a hundred percent sure, but I got a hunch.”She said.

“Hunch is better than nothing.” He said.

Down the mountain in the kingdom, princess Dawn sat staring out the window to the mountains.

A soft knock came to her doors.

“Come in.” She called softly.

The doors flew open, and her father the king strode across the floor until he reached her.

“You truly think it’s his?” He asked giving her a sideways glance as he too looked out the window she was staring out of.

“I know it’s his.” She whispered, “He was my first, and no one else lied with me as much as he did. Father, I’m sorry for the dishonour, but I love him.”

Cyrus sighed and turned to fully look at his daughter. She had the same beautiful eyes and hair that her late mother had. She was her spitting image. She too was pregnant before any marriage happened. It broke his heart to realize he’d done the same thing her father had to her.

“Have I ever told you how we came to power?” He stated more than asked.

“No, sir.” She said rubbing her swollen stomach looking up the older man.

“We had to throw out the old king.” He told her, “He was evil. Always taxing, always killing, always wagging war. But he had the most beautiful of wives, all of which he’d stolen from those deserving of them. All of them died in childbirth, children too. Except for one.”

“Which one?” Dawn asked like a child would about a fairy tale.

“Hard to say.” He said, “But the wife survived, as did the daughter. But that woman was a witch, making the child unholy. It was just after the birth that we came in. We over threw the king and I made myself a better one then he. But we let the wife and child escape.”

“What happened to them?”

“I don’t know.” He said, “I heard rumors they she escaped up into the mountains and managed to another country, but it was a harsh winter that followed. If either of then are alive, it’d surprise me.”

“Father,” She asked timidly, “Why couldn’t we just imprison them?”

“They were evil, princess.” He told her, “God would have never forgave him or any of his family. Their daughter would have been the equivalent to the devil if she survived to maturity.”

“I see.” She said, “So we made everything better?”

“Yes.” He said, “Things will be even better once we can get your husband down here, and marry the two of you.”

“Father, why do you bring up our over taking of the kingdom now?” She asked.

He didn’t reply for a moment.

“I have a bad feeling that somehow, their daughter did survive.” He told her, “And that she’s keeping him there.”

“But she’d just be a woman, wouldn’t she?” She asked, “She easily could be overthrown.”

“That’s what trouble’s me.” He told her.

Spring wind howled past the tavern. One by one each of the men were asked up to Jowey’s room to be asked a few questions. The girls were in her room the entire time.

It seemed to be going on for hours. And it had, it wasn’t until well after midnight that Misty came down with four or five empty ale bottles and said,

“Jowey wants to see Martain, Alec, Zuren, Reggie, and Paul. She also wants a few more bottles.”

“Why would she want to see us?” Reggie asked the others.

“Probably to show she has no favoritism.” Zuren said and picked up two bottles.

“Probably right.” Martain said and grabbed another three.

Misty had two more and they all headed back up to her room.

Misty knocked softly.

“Come in.” Jowey said softly.

The door slid open and they all stepped in. The girls were all sitting either on or next to her bed in chairs. The divider was pushed off to the side. And Jowey was sitting in a chair in front of the window with her back turned to the door. There was another chair directly behind her, presumably where the other’s would have sat when she talked to them. Next to Jowey was a small table. There was an empty glass, and it was shown that she was holding something.

Misty grabbed and placed all the bottles of ale on the table next to her.

“Glad you guys could make it.” She said still leaning back, staring out at the moon.

She set down the bottle she had in her hand and picked up another one. She didn’t bother with the glass, and drank straight from the bottle.

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” Martain asked her.

“Nope.” She told him and took another swig, “For this kill I have to be drunk, or I wont do it.”

She giggled slightly, then went silent.

“You guys would never stab me in the back like that, would you?” She asked looking back slightly.

“W-why would we ever?” Reggie asked thrown off by the question.

She shrugged, “Didn’t think the one who sold me out would do that either.” She told them, “But then this happened, and here we are.”

“I think you’re drunk.” Martain said.

“Not even close.” She said, “I’m just getting tipsy.”

She laughed again then sighed. It was quiet a minute, then she stuck her hand out like she wanted someone to hold it.

“I can’t trust too many people.” She said, “But you guys I know I can.”

“Forever.” Zuren said and grabbed it.

She grinned up at him, then looked back at the others.

“Can I trust you guys too?”

Reggie went up and took her hand from Zuren, “Yeah.”

“Of course.” Martian said and took Reggie’s spot.

“We’ve been through worse.” Alec said and grabbed her hand.

“Paul?” She asked.

“I thought you knew that answer.” He said and walked up to her. He gently moved her head so she was leaning back and looking up at him, he then gently kissed her lips, “You can trust me you’re life, I’ll do the same.

She grinned again like a little child.

“I knew I could count on you guys.” She said, “Come on, let’s drink.”

She put the chair back down on all fours, and handed each of them a bottle.

“Drinking isn’t any fun alone.” She told them, “Girls, you’re dismissed, I’ll the kill the one in the morning.”

They filed out silently.

The six of them sat, silently, in her room. Drinking ale. And watching the moon.