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Pokémon: Rise of Shadows

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Daisie

Optimistic Pessimism
Moderator
Arcanus smiled weakly at Nathan. He looked half dead at this point. He didn't know how she was able to do it: being so cheery throughout this entire thing. I mean, he of course knew that just like everyone else, she was inwardly grieving hard... But her persistent positive attitude was tough to beat. "I'm simply elated to see you again, Nathan." He told Nathan in a voice that attempted to match her jubilance, but quickly lost steam. He absentmindedly, albeit nervously, ran his fingertips over the edge of his cut ear. His wise confidence from before was now completely absent, replaced with hesitance and uncertainty.

"Things have been grim... So much has happened during your time away, it almost seems impossible to begin to explain..."

@Assailant
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan reached out to touch Arcanus, but paused a short distance away. She hesitated, unsure, before pulling back. "Right, sorry, I sometimes forget you don't really like... physical... stuff." She paused, scratching her head. "Well! The way I see it, Amber wouldn't want us to be sad, would she? She was always the cheery one, after all. Or... at least..." Nathan's bottom lip trembled slightly through her smile. "She always tried to cheer me up when I was feeling down." She brushed some of her tattered blonde hair out of her face, once again exposing her sunken in cheeks and various scars.

After a few moments of silence, she looked over to April with deep thought. As before, April's eyes were glued to the ground, an expression of pain and shame forced onto her face. After a few moments of staring, Nathan stepped a bit closer to Arcanus and leaned in, speaking quietly enough that only he could hear. "Arcanus... answer me honestly here... what would you do if one of those shadow things killed April?"


@Daisie
 

Daisie

Optimistic Pessimism
Moderator
Arcanus would be lying if he said that this concept didn't strike fear into him. In fact, it had, already done so many times over. His expression visibly shifted, perturbed to the core as his gaze gravitated toward the ground much like April's. He made certain his telepathy only reached Nathan after a short pause of thought. "What would I do...? Arceus... It's nearly happened time and time again..." He recalled, and though his voice was only to be heard by her, his volume was barely above a whisper. Not from a fear of being heard, of course... but out of timidness.

He had to take a few moments for himself to think, a pensive look on his face that was streaked with dread. Eventually, his eyes raised from the ground as his conclusion seemed to strike him down into even more distress...

"I do not know, Nathan. Truthfully. I do not know."

...

"May we speak of something else?"

@Assailant
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan paused before nodding slowly. "R-right, sorry. I just... wonder what a normal reaction to something like that would be." She clenched her fists tight, so tight it caused pain. "Is what I'm feeling... is that normal?" She chuckled bitterly. "I'm certain if Amber were here, she'd say something like 'do not make rash judgements while emotional. Judge yourself with a clear mind.' I could really use that right now, I think."

@Daisie
 

Minako

The Embrace Pokémon

Rosie's group arrived to the funeral site as the men who were carrying the coffin trailed off, and right before getting there the small girl had taken the liberty to release everyone in her party, calling back Cadence from whatever was distracting her before leaving.

They knew. They had all known exactly who this funeral was for.

It was not that this group didn't sorrow for the loss of Genesis earlier and hadn't felt grief when the small songstress had sung in his honor, but... Having a funeral and a body, let alone a GARDEVOIR BODY to honor this time...

This time none of them could really muster up the words to say anything. Even the young and normally cheery and chatty Magnus was as quiet as could be, his cheer lost to the wayside not only looking at April, but everyone else as well. He was happy Amber's trainer could still smile, but... In this circumstance there was no possibility it wasn't forced.

Even if one of them wanted to speak, what would they say? What could they say, for that matter?

Any of their words would be empty and meaningless. They did not know Amber. They didn't even know Nathan. Cadence was the closet among them in their group to any of Nathans party, April naturally, and even the small Sylveon stayed away from her figuring she'd want comfort from her lover and not just her mere friend.

Charise said a small prayer in thanks to Arceus the procession appeared to be closed casket (for now, at the least) and she suspected Rosie was also relieved in her sadness.

Charise has always admired Amber ever since she was mistaken for her seemingly forever ago (but really just a few days ago) by the Lucario that started it all and... in her heart, she knew if she ever died it would most likely not be too different from how Amber did: Protecting her trainer.

There was once a time where the Embrace Pokemon fantasized about growing old with her trainer... Maybe even one day telling her how she truly felt... But she was silly and naive then.

Looking at this casket sort of... solidified death.

If not for Latias, they're be holding another procession for Rosie right now as well...



Somehow, looking at this coffin... Charise felt... No, Charise KNEW, somehow, by the end of this journey, it may either be her or Ro in a coffin as well. And the magnolia clad Gardevoir took one look at the praying blue girl beside her and vowed it was most definitely going to be HER in said coffin and not Rosie.

Perhaps tonight, when she was alone and had time to herself... She would write a will and letter...




She realized in all this craziness she still hadn't called who she wanted to... She would do so as soon as appropriate... It may be one of the final times she would speak to him...

"I-imagine if it had been an open casket..." She heard Cadence think, most likely keeping to herself out of respect.

"Ssssh, sweetheart. We're trying to pray for Ambers peaceful eternal rest," Charise gently scolded the Sylveon.

"I was just... I was just saying..." Cadence, surprisingly bashfully, looked away from her, as if unable to even bear the sight of the Gardevoir, lightly kicking a rock at her tiny feet a few centimeters... Charise thought she might have heard a quiet sob a moment... Wait--

"C-cadence... Are you al--"

"I-I'm fine! Lemme alone!"
Cadence glared at her with misty eyes and trotted off on the other side of the line Ro's group had made a few steps away from the coffin.

"Cadence..." Charise sighed to herself as her sister left her feeling guilty for her sisters tears.

It wasn't until it was too late that she realized who that left next to her was none other than the last pokemon she wished to talk to: Ceres.

"Is this what you want, Charise...? To die and leave Rosie without you? Leave us without you? Or worse, do you want us grieving over Rosie in the next coffin?" Ceres asked as well psychically, clearly wanting to talk to Charise but still be respectful of the upcoming procession.

"No, of course not, but if it comes down to me or Ro--"

"Or you could focus on our mission at hand and make sure it DOESN'T COME TO THAT,"
Ceres, rather coldly, interrupted her.

"I'll do my best, but I make no promises..." Charise shallowly replied, more deflated than ever having Ceres talk to her like this.

"Of course you don't," Ceres frostily snared and almost spat, letting a small growl escape her instead, also shot Charise a look before following Cadence's lead and leaving the Gardevoir for the other side of the line.

Well... The bright side was that now that Charise felt like crying, she could freely do so with everyone thinking it was grieving if it was quietly and with some dignity.

Before she could start shedding tears however, she suddenly felt herself being wrapped in side embraces on both her sides, and bumping back into reality would find it was both Felicia and Ro wrapping their arms around her!

"Heh.... Thank you..." Charise gratefully smiled and thanked the Blissey internally for her help once again.

"Looked like you could use it, Hun," The Blissey responded back with a weak smile and a wink.

Charise wrapped her arms around them as well, tightly.

The moment was ruined, however, when, to Charise's surprise, Rosie brought out her cellphone?!

"Sweetheart! The funeral is about to start! Wh-what are you doing!?" Charise asked her trainer in a panic to urge her to put it away.

"It's ok, Chari," Rosie internally comforted Charise, looking up and smiled as brightly as she could in this gloomy time, holding up her phone to Charise to show her what was opened on it.


It was a... banking app?


...She was checking her money?? At a time like this? Whatever for???



"I'm going to see if I can pay for the funeral and other final expenses, or at least reimburse Nathan for what she had to pay for them. She was in the hospital all this time, right? I can't imagine with medical bills and this she'll have much money left for living expenses," Rosie meekly admitted while taking one last look at her phone before finally putting it away.

Charise gasped.

"Heh, do you think she'd accept it?" Charise asked, able to smile just a tad from her trainer being her trainer.

"Well, if she won't then she'll just happen to stumble across an anonymous donation in her bank account or some other way~!" Rosie informed her, being surprisingly sneaky.

"You... I-I..." Charise began, almost saying what she shouldn't say, especially now of all times, instead blurting, "You are something else, you know that?"

"Nah, I'm just a girl who wants to help,"
Rosie telepathically responded humbly.

Charise nearly laughed at that remark while holding them both tighter in her arms, but she had more poise than to do so in public when having these kinds of conversations.

Plus, they were at the funeral to honor a Gardevoir who Charise thought, with not even a shadow of a doubt, was one of the greatest Gardevoirs ever.

@Assailant
@Foxy-Miles
@Emperor Of Embers
 
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Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan looked over to see the others arriving. With a deep inhale, she nodded to Arcanus with a smile and walked off to greet the new party.

As Charise and Rosie hugged one another, Nathan appeared in front of them. It appeared as though she was looking over the new arrivals. She appreciated their respect, of course, but she still wanted to get a good look at them herself.

In front of Rosie stood... well... a broken woman. She was clearly once beautiful, but one would be hard pressed to say that looking at her now. Her face was slim and bony, her cheekbones clearly visible, with scars in numerous places including over one of her eyes, which were sunken in and had thick bags under them. A black dress covered most of her body, so it was hard to get a read on that, though it was difficult to imagine it was much better.

Nathan looked Rosie up and down with the definition of a plastered-on smile. After a few moments, she took her hand and shook it. "I see another human joined the party. Thank you for coming." Nathan turned to the left to see the next individual and paused. As her eyes fell on Charise, Nathan's entire facade shattered for a few moments. Her fragile, forced smile evaporated and her eyes widened as she slowly reached her arms out with her lips trembling. However, after a few moments, she turned and looked at the coffin sitting before her. Her eyes welled up with tears for a moment, but Nathan clenched her teeth and shut her eyes tightly, taking deep breaths. After a few moments, she smiled once again.

"Nice to meet you."

With that, she broke off. She stopped looking Rosie's party over and simply returned to stand amongst her own party.

@Daisie @Minako
 

Latios

The only Black Latios
The Lati all watched from the disguises they wore as to not show themselves to any of the humans they didn’t know see them. Latios watch the proceeding with silence as he at lest knew enough about these sessions to know how to show respect at one, even if it wasn’t a full on formal funeral.

Emlas meanwhile look as the casket curiously. She didn’t quite know what it was. “Hey Latios... what’s the box they are carrying?”

“It’s a casket. It holds the body of Amber.” He said

“Oh... oh! Sorry. I’ll shut up now.” She said now noticing Latios being respectfully quiet.

Edron meanwhile looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of here. He couldn’t care less about this funeral and was only here because everyone else refused to skip this. By this he was forced to stay or travel on alone.

Draka however approached Nathan, giving her a small bow of the head. "I'm sorry there wasn't much we could do to help." She said very apologetic.
@Assailant
 
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Minako

The Embrace Pokémon
Rosie and everyone in her group had anticipated Nathans reaction far before even coming this close to her. Seeing Nathan act in the exact fashion they all anticipated she would when seeing Charise surprised no one, but Cadence hung her head lower and Magnus couldn't even muster flight anymore, uncomfortably using his tiny feet now.

The small songstress glued her eyes to the ground, panicking in her guilt that bringing Charise must have caused Nathan great and unnecessary pain, but she couldn't just BAN Charise from the funeral...!

Charise was also subtly slightly cringing and trying not to look as uncomfortable as she internally was after all that. She wished she and Ro could have talked to Nathan, at least to express their condolences... But shyness, guilt, and uncertainty kept both the Embrace Pokemon and her trainer from stopping the (in Rosie's eyes still beautiful) blonde woman. For a moment, the tiny girls arm and hands reached out to her, but Rosie was old enough to know better and immediately retracted her hand once she realized what she was doing.

"M-maybe... Maybe that anonymous donation will come with either condolences in the form of chocolate, flowers, expensive jewelry or all of the above...?" Rosie internally thought while still not looking up from the floor.

"Dearest, I-I really, really, really don't think we should be gifting Nathan stereotypical "female" items willy nilly like that ... Monetary reimbursement is one thing, as in Nathan's situation she most likely needs it, but gifts to express your condolences via things she would like would only be meaningful if... Well, i-if you... knew what she liked... At best you'd get lucky buying something she happened to like perchance and at worst you could give her something she hates that is completely useless to her..." Charise, while not opposed to the idea, tried to convince her trainer not to rush to order gifts for the blonde woman they had only just met.

"O-oh... right... What... what should we do?" Rosie asked, a bit lost on how to make things right with Aprils trainer.

"W-well, why don't we just ask April what Nathan would like? Not only would she give us reliable answers, but she could also tell us somethings Nathan might need, and the best gifts are not only personal preferences and practical, but useful as well!" Charise suggested, glancing over at Nathans party.

"O-oh! That's a wonderful idea, Charchar! You're so smart and pretty and wise!" The small girl perked up and internally cheered as she agreed on this course of action.

Charise slightly smiled and blushed, looking away. Trying not to lose focus on respectful prayers the magnolia clad Gardevoir closed her eyes, brought her hands together pointing up in front of her chest spike, and went back to thinking of Amber. Charise was relieved her trainer mimicked her and began praying for Amber as well because after such praise sent a kaleidoscope of Beautiflies in her stomach the Embrace Pokémon found it rather difficult to keep her mind away from Rosie!

@Assailant
 
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Daisie

Optimistic Pessimism
Moderator
Arcanus watched the interaction between Nathan and Rosie's group with a look of great concern on his face. Of course... he knew that was going to happen. It was only a matter of time. At that point, though, he was kicking himself for not giving Nathan proper warning... He'd just gotten so caught up in the moment, it'd slipped his mind. Nonetheless... There wasn't anything he could do now. He stayed by Nathan and April's side, remaining quiet. However, with a quick glance over towards the bird mourning next to him, he decided now was the time that April needed some comfort. Of course, her eternal, distant stare at the grass didn't go unnoticed by him - quite the contrary. Softly and with care, he placed a hand on her shoulder above her wing. He contacted her with immense empathy.

"It'll be alright. We'll take this thing down, if it's the last thing we do."

@Assailant
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
April said nothing as Arcanus spoke to her. She still couldn't bring herself to look away from the ground. However, as she shut her eyes tight, as if to prevent herself from seeing what was in front of her, she slowly leaned against Arcanus: lightly, so as to not shove him. She needed something... some sort of warmth or comfort to protect her from this cruel reality.

Even if she didn't deserve it.

Nathan simply nodded to Draka. She was still reeling somewhat, and she could not bring herself to respond to the dragon, although she appreciated the kind words. After a few moments, she stepped forward and tried her best to speak in a cheerful tone with a still forced smile.

"Alright! Now that everyone's here, we can get this thing started!" She walked up to the casket and gently rubbed the wood with her hand. Her smile faded, and she appeared to stare in deep contemplation at it. "I... ah... forgive me, but... it may be selfish of me, but... I want to see her face to face... one last time before I go." Gently stroking the casket, she pulled open the lid.

Mercifully, Amber's corpse was not left in its maimed state from before. Her severed spine had been reset to the correct position, and the hole through her stomach was covered by a thin veil. She also had light makeup applied to her, as if to more closely resemble life. That said... it could only do so much. The wrinkles on the neck from where her neck had contorted around were irremovable, and the veil covered the grotesque display of her stomach, but did nothing to hide its existence.

There was no doubt about it... this was a corpse. A well-dressed, pretty corpse... but a corpse nonetheless.

For Charise, it must have been like looking into a very perverse mirror. She would suddenly see why everyone had confused the two of them: they could have been twins if she didn't know better. There were certainly differences: a slight blemish here, a slant of the cheek there... but it was uncanny nonetheless.

Nathan's hands went to her mouth, covering a pained gasp as she looked at it. Looking down at Amber's beautiful face, she couldn't help but see her once more, head spun 180 degrees on her torso, blood leaking from her stomach, impaled onto a tree. It was almost a week ago... and yet, she found herself right back there once again. She had to, though... she had to see her one last time...

She closed her eyes and shook her head vigorously. "W-w-w-would anyone l-like to say some words? I-I'd like to go l-la-" she choked up and couldn't continue, though her meaning was not lost. She wished to end things herself... anyone else could go first.

@Daisie @Minako @Latios
 

Minako

The Embrace Pokémon
Rosie gasped at Nathan’s break down, surprised (but not too surprised) at Nathan touching and then peeking inside the casket before opening it.

Rosie gasped and looked away almost immediately and Charise just froze in shock. Cadence starting sniffling like she had insane allergies and trying not to cry while Magnus just scrunched his face and closed his eyes while also trying not to cry, he took comfort in the Charizard newly added to the group spreading his wings and covering his eyes, as if shielding him from the sight. Ceres silently stared, as if she wanted to etch this picture in her mind...



Rosie understood why Nathan did this... one last look at her beloved Gardevoir... Still... Poor Amber... Poor Nathan. They deserved better than this. The blue singer knew this is what she would be like without Charise. It was... haunting.

Would Nathan and Amber have been better had they never joined this journey? Would Amber still be alive?

...By the end of this all would Rosie still be alive? She almost wasn’t...

Would Charise still be alive...?

Cadence? Ceres? Felicia? Magnus? Kaine?

Rosie didn’t want to think about here questions or possibilities... it frightened her beyond words, but what was more terrifying was the fact perhaps no one here really had a choice... It was either fight these things or let the world be engulfed in shadow forever...

Rosie flinched and looked down when Nathan gasped, but as soon as she started to cry (at this point it was just inevitable, as strong a front as Nathan was putting on) the small singer dashed to the broken woman and embraced her.

Rosie may not have had enough confidence to speak out loud to Nathan yet but she hoped the hug would bring her some comfort. She couldn’t even fathom how Nathan was feeling... but right now... all Rosie wanted to do was bring her comfort and consolidation, small as it would undoubtedly be.

Even her donation to this funeral wouldn’t heal the wounds inflicted on Nathan’s soul, and Rosie knew that... but regardless she wanted to do everything she could for this brave woman.

Nathan deserves it.
Amber deserves it.

@Assailant
 
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Daisie

Optimistic Pessimism
Moderator
It was absolutely heartbreaking to see Nathan crack open the coffin. Arcanus could feel his throat pulling into his stomach as Amber's body came into his sight... Her kindness, her gentle nature, everything all at once came rushing back to him. Tears seeped through his eyes and down his cheeks as Nathan choked on her own words. He knew the first had to be him. With great care, he pulled away from April, putting a finger under her beak to lift it up to his face. He kissed the top of her beak softly... and he took a couple steps forward and turned to face everyone else, standing by Nathan's side faithfully - a loyal Pokemon to their trainer. A shaky breath came from his lips as he took a few long seconds to compose himself before speaking.

"Amber..." He started slowly...

"Nobody could truly speak enough words to describe her. Among many other things, she was kind, gentle, and loving... Throughout the great tragedies of her life that I've come to know, she's proven to all of us that despite the worst, there's still hope for all of us." With a pause, he looked over his shoulder at the unmoving corpse. Even just looking at her was surrealistic enough to make his head spin... It make him sick to his stomach and weak in the knees just thinking about the shadows' heinous crimes. "... No pain, no tragedy, no death has been quite as impactful as that of Amber's. And Arceus knows we've seen much in our time... Our sorrow will greatly..."

With a frown, his gaze drifted to the ground, the knot in his stomach burning with a flurry of different feelings all of a sudden. He wasn't sure if his gut was telling him something or if perhaps Amber was speaking to him from beyond the grave... but this just didn't feel quite right. Of course, none of it felt right. If it had felt right, there would be something seriously wrong with him and everyone else... But the words that rolled off his tongue felt like they were a disservice. They were somehow incorrect, or inapt. He took a moment to examine what he'd just said, frozen in place as he tried to piece together what exactly was wrong... When with a start, his amber eyes rose from the ground as realization hit him.

"Amber... more than anything, was hopeful and compassionate. She may not have gone through her life without mistakes, but it was her response to her trials and tribulations that truly made her so special. She was entirely sympathetic towards every single member of our crew, - nay, our family - and I'll be damned if she isn't watching over us right this moment with the most proud feeling in her heart for each and every one of us."

His voice broke painfully as he pushed through his speech, more feeling and passion growing with every word spoken. He sniffled and proceeded, not bothering to wipe the tears matting his cheeks. "We may have lost her physical form, but we will never lose that powerful example she's left behind for all of us to aspire to. We will never lose her memory, and she will never lose us. I encourage you - all of us, together - to take her memory and use it to better yourself and all those around you. Remember her with solemn mourning, but do not dwell without end, for the best way we can honour her is by making this world a better place in her sake. We can show her how much she truly helped us all. We can show her that her short time on this world has made such an astronomical impact on all of us."

"We are the ones who can carry on her legacy, and give both her life and death meaning. Thank you... for everything, Amber."

"We love you."
 

Latios

The only Black Latios
Both Latios, Emlas, and Draka, stayed respectfuly quite during Arcanus speach. Emlas now so that she knew what a funereal entailed. Edson on the other hand was impatiently waiting for it to all end. When it did he grumbled. “Can we go now.” However he quickly received a jab to the gut from Latios standing next to him.

“We leave when you learn to shut up.” Said Latios under a hushed voice. Edron growled while baring his teeth at Latios. He was starting to get pissed off at his brother but made no means to attack.
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan jumped a tad as the strange person hugged her. She wasn't sure who this person was, but she gently leaned against the small girl when she was given the chance. She could use the comfort... even if she wanted to pretend she was alright.

After Arcanus finished, there was a moment of silent pause as everyone seemingly tried to figure out how to continue. The wind brushed the trees and rustled, filling the vacuous silence. It was beginning to get somewhat chilly.

With a sigh and a few thuds from his stick, Max stepped forward. "You are a hard act to follow, Arcanus. I will do my best." He stopped and lowered his head, thinking of the words to say. He had wanted to say something for so long, and yet now that he was given the chance, he found himself at a loss. What could he really say? No words would suffice, and what few would satisfy him had already been said by their yellow friend. What could he say that would be worth it?

Anything, really.

He cleared his throat. "If anything could be said about Amber, it would be this: she was unceasingly generous. In battle, she healed our bodies. In rest, she healed our souls. Now, there is only one thing left to heal: our hearts. I have no doubt in my mind that, were she here, she would stop at nothing to do so. As it stands... that falls to us." He paused, trying to find the words to expressing the convoluted cocktail of feelings.

"Amber meant different things to all of us here. She was an idol, a friend, a mother... and more. She reminds us of the best things in life... what we stand to both gain and lose." Despite his best efforts, the words just weren't forming. He couldn't figure out the right things to say... damn him...

Do what you have always struggled to do...

Speak from the heart...

Max let out a long, shaky sigh, before continuing.

"I was... never particularly close to Amber. I knew her for a great deal of time, having seen her at the shop with Nathan multiple times, but I rarely exchanged more than a curt greeting. Even when this journey began, I rarely spoke to her... a fact I've come to regret. Yet for what little I knew about her, I recognized the wonderful woman she was. She loved without bound. Whether you were, say, a Hypno she had only just met, a Lucario she'd never really spoken to, among her children or her most beloved human companion, she acted with only compassion."

At this point, Nathan finally began to cry, clutching on to Rosie. Despite the girl being far smaller than her, and a stranger, she simply needed to hold something.

"The world is, without a doubt, a darker place without her. However, her love and devotion has inspired all of us to grow. In every moment, from now on, we act with the will she imparted onto all of us. Her loss is one that will never be fully healed. Yet, she will guide us all the same."

With that, Max stepped back to the group. He had never broken down or choked up. His words were measured. Yet despite that, they carried an unmistakable solemnity to them. He was grieving too, in his own way surely.

@Latios @Daisie @Minako @Emperor Of Embers
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan looked around at the assembled group, waiting to see if people were going to step forward. After a few moments, however, it became obvious that they wouldn't. Even her own team didn't seem capable of saying anything. Nathan sniffled, trying to control herself, and stepped forward, breaking away from Rosie.

It was her time.

With a trembling lip, she looked at Amber's corpse. Without even thinking about it, her hand began to move towards Amber, but it stopped short as she realized what she was doing. She closed her eyes tight, trying to gain her composure.

"T-those who came before me s-said pretty much everything I-I wanted to. B-but I'm gonna t-try." She shook her head slightly, trying to clear her mind and let the words come naturally. "Amber w-was... an amazing woman. Far better than any of us deserved. Even in the darkest times... s-she loved. I-I owe s-so much to her..." Nathan sniffled and wiped some tears from her face, trying once more in vain to keep her composure. "She deserved infinitely better t-than the lot she was given. I should've... I should've done something... a-and I..." she trembled before finally collapsing to the ground sobbing.

"I... I should've saved you, b-b-but I couldn't, a-and Arceus I'm sorry Amber why couldn't I have just done something I couldn't do my one job and protect you what kind of worthless companion am I?" She covered her face, crying into her hands. "I love you so much and I should have done something but I couldn't I'm so fucking pathetic why..." She devolved into mostly incoherent babbling at that point, simply crying into her hands. Tyler, Orion, and Darin all rushed forward to begin trying to comfort her, cuddling up against her and hugging her. However, as she gripped them tight and cried with them, the three of them seemed to finally break and begin crying too, huddling close to her.

Warm wings wrapped around them as April enveloped the entire group, pulling them into a hug against her soft undercarriage. As they sobbed against her, she looked over to Arcanus with tears in her eyes and a sad but real smile on her face. She was making amends... one step at a time.

@Minako @Daisie @Latios @Emperor Of Embers
 

Latios

The only Black Latios
"... Can we go now?" Grumbled the blue Eon. However his snarky remark didn't last long as he quickly revived a slap across the forehead. "Fakku!" Grumbled Edron under his breath as he gave Latios a death state. However Latios didn't bother looking back so the stare was wasted.
 

Assailant

The SHSL Shadow Alchemy Stand Using Lab Member
Supporter
Nathan's head whipped around, her tearful eyes glaring with a flame burning within them. She pushed past her party members and made a beeline for Edron. Her fists were clenched so tight it seemed like her bones would snap. Her teeth were gritted so tightly, the grinding could be heard from afar. She glared balefully at the Latios.

"Y-you... you son of a-" she stopped as Max's paw pressed against her chest. Snapping her head over to him, he looked at her sympathetically.

"He is not worth it." Her glare intensified on Max for a few moments before slowly softening. With one last glare at Edron, she turned on the spot to face the coffin. Seconds passed as she silently stared at it before letting out a shaky breath.

"I... I guess it's time... huh?" She lowered her head and somberly walked up to the casket. Looking down at Amber's corpse, she drew her hand across the casket. Her face was so... serene. Death was so calm, it seemed.

Almost... enviable...

With a long sigh and a pained whimper, Nathan slowly closed the lid of the casket. With some help for those around, the casket was lowered into the allotted slot of dirt.

Then came the burial.

Slowly, bit by bit, the dirt was placed over the casket until the ground was flat once again. Nathan gently picked up a stone and, regarding it sorrowfully, she placed it at the head.

R.I.P.
Amber Howitz

May her memory serve to remind us everything we have to protect, and everything we stand to lose.
And with that... it was over.

Nathan silently stared at the ground, playing through the memories in her head. Orion was sobbing on the ground while Darin did his best to comfort him. April was standing by Arcanus, hoping for some comfort of her own. Tyler was silent as well, though his stare was directed in a different direction: at Edron.

...

...

"...alright... let's go..."
 

Daisie

Optimistic Pessimism
Moderator
Arcanus looked about as ready to sock Edron as Nathan was. In fact, he was a little worried that April's silent but deadly wrath would fall upon him sometime after this event. And more to the point, he was afraid that he would turn a blind eye to it. Quickly reasoning that a Pidgeot wouldn't stand a chance against a Latios, however, he begrudgingly came to the decision that it was probably best to use their words, not their fists. After all, the last thing they needed was to have their personal qualms get in the way of saving the world yet again. For the moment, they just had to push away whatever frustrations they had in lieu of dealing with them head-on. It was like getting crushed between two hard places, plus the rock for good measure.

He stroked April gently on the head, providing comfort. Beneath his breath, a soft mutter came. "We'll be rid of that Shade eventually, no matter the cost..." He promised, it not being clear whether he was talking to her or just reminding himself for the future.

He was prepared to leave, his gem under his arm.
 

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