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TEEN: Niente [one-shot]

silurica

All shall be well
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When the dragon came to, there was only coldness. The coldness of ice, and nothingness.

Rating: Teen
Word Count: 2,200
Content warning: Reference to war, creeping sense of despair, downer ending (it's a pre-canon story for Kyurem...)

Author's Notes:
Hi, hello, please have this vignette-style fic that hopefully resembles a story.

I was racking my brain about whether to post anything while I put Luceat Lux Vestra on a break to gather materials from Legends: Arceus. Then one conversation shifted into what topic/legendary you want to see getting a Legends-esque game, and I remembered about my headcanon notes for Kyurem. Hey, I should unleash this on the world.

As with LLV, this verse features legendaries as gijinka (i.e. human form). Familiarity with LLV isn't strictly required but may be a nice bonus.

Fun fact: Dragonspiral Tower and Giant Chasm shared the same background music. Yes, this is relevant to the fic.

——————————————​

I. Chick

In the outskirts of one small kingdom, a traveler stood among a small group of armored soldiers and fiery creatures. The traveler was pale-skinned and silver-haired, clad in a robe of pure white. Like droplets of blood on fresh snow, his red eyes were the only trace of color on his person. And before the group, with an appearance conveying a coldness more severe, a gray draconic being of ice was chained down to the ground.

"I will ask you again," demanded the traveler, "is it true that it came from the sky?"

"Yes, sir!" One soldier answered, "It was last winter, sir. A star fell to our forest, then this monster showed up and attacked livestock and townspeople. We have never seen any monster like this before the disaster, so we believe they are connected."

The traveler didn't speak of it, but this was also his first time seeing the dragon. Which of his children brought this irregular existence to this world? And for it to be captured by the humans….

"Pitiful being, I shall allow you sympathy for the confusion in your heart," he said to the dragon, who watched him with wary eyes. "For the world to stop you from following the instinct you were born with is nothing enviable. However, if you are one of my children, instinct cannot be the only thing you carry."

The traveler stepped forward, separating himself from the group, closer to the dragon. Frost crept under his feet; the chains didn't allow movement for the dragon, but still it bared its fangs.

Without any sign of fear – for fear would be unbecoming for someone of his standing – the traveler asked, "Answer me: do you wish to live and find your purpose? Or do you wish to die as a chained beast?"

The barrier between the beings of this planet was tall, but for the traveler who straddled that boundary – and always will – he could invite anyone to walk on the same path as him. And extend his hand to the dragon of ice he did.

Clanks and thuds resounded as heavy chains fell off to the ground. The group readied their swords and flame, but there was no need to. The being before the traveler no longer held the form of a dreadful dragon, but of a person with long, flowing hair in the color of ice, tears welling up in their golden eyes.

"Yes… I want… to know…."

The traveler took off his robe and wrapped it around the newborn. "I shall bestow upon you a name, and with it, my protection. Listen well, my child: from now on, you may call yourself Kyurem. All shall be well, I promise you this."

For the first time, the dragon knew of warmth.

——————————————​

II. Fledgling

"It matters not if you are a sage or a god. We shan't forgive you if you bring catastrophe to this land."

With those words, the traveler in white left the throne room of the castle, his audience with the king had ended. He returned to his tower without delay where his pupil awaited. There was a glint in their golden eyes when they greeted his return with a question about the weather and the path of the stars above.

The traveler had struck a deal when he took Kyurem under his wings: in exchange for lodging and sustenance for the dragon, he was to raise them into something that can be of use for the kingdom. It would be easy to hone their physical strength – and they certainly didn't ignore it – but that alone wouldn't answer their question of what purpose they have beyond their primal instinct.

By now, listening to them musing about astronomy and alchemy like this, no one would expect them to be the same monster that terrorized Lacunosa Town. It surprised him how fast the dragon learned and took on difficult topics – truly irregular. There should be no problem now if he left them to their own devices.

Yet the king's words were so cold.

"My child," he said, cutting through his pupil's enthusiasm, "I won't be able to linger in this place for much longer. What will you do?"

Kyurem's eyes widened, followed by a frown. A moment passed in silence, only the wind blew in from the open window, whispering as it played with both the traveler's and his pupil's long hair – charcoal and ivory intertwined under a sheet of ice.

The uncertain edges in Kyurem's expression melted away with the wind, slow but sure, until only serenity was left. "I will remain here, in this kingdom," they answered. "It's the place where I was born, and I owe the king for allowing me to live and become what I am today. This is where I belong."

"I taught you, did I not? Living is the right you were born with. To feel gratitude for something rightfully yours is…."

"I understand, Master. Even so, this is how my heart feels. My apologies for the unsatisfactory answer."

A resolute answer. The traveler closed his eyes and muttered, "No, do as you wish."

Slowly, Kyurem rose from their seat and walked to the window. From this height, they could see not only the castle and its gardens, but also the city beyond its gates. Further on, they could see speckles of colors; of the fields, the forests, the rivers, and the mountains. The world, green and gold and grand. Even further on, they could imagine a vast blue sea.

As they took in the sight, a soft smile formed on their face. "I probably wouldn't have understood warmth and beauty if you didn't save me that day, Master. I probably wouldn't even have been able to see it. Trite, isn't it?"

"I have lived for longer than anything else in this world. I care not for a concept like triteness," answered the traveler.

Kyurem chuckled at that answer. "Yes, of course."

What was it that his pupil found amusing, the traveler could only begin to guess. He suppressed the urge, however, for it no longer mattered.

The next morning, when Kyurem woke, they found the bed of their master empty and cold, no trace of him left behind anywhere in the tower.

——————————————​

III. Mother

Many seasons had passed since, and the kingdom prospered through a period of peace. In its history, whispered like a legend, was the sage of the tower who guided the kingdom through decisive moments.

One day, bright light shone on the tower. For a moment the sage thought they would melt away if they didn't take cover, but they soon realized the light had a familiar, nostalgic warmth to it.

"Master…."

When they whispered that word, the figure from the old days materialized in the room. The same white robe, silver hair, and blood red eyes. In their youth, they would have run to him and asked him to indulge their curiosity, but now they bowed down with the grace befitting of a sage.

"You cut your hair," remarked the traveler. He stared down at the floor, muttering, "No, not just that…."

A smile rose to the sage's face. "It has been a long time, Master. As I promised before you left, I have remained and given my all for this kingdom." They stood and began walking toward the stairs – down, to a lower level. The traveler followed his former pupil.

"Have you heard? His Royal Majesty was blessed with not only one, but two heirs, both with promising capabilities. Yes, they are both characters with great conviction, loyal to each of their truths and ideals. I'm sure they will be able to lead this kingdom to even greater heights."

At the end of the spiraling staircase, they stopped and turned around to face the traveler. "Because they are such characters, I found myself alone insufficient in aiding them." From under their robe, they took out a gleaming silver wedge. Pressing it against the base of their own neck, their smile still lingering, they said, "So I offered my body and birthed children of my own, in hope for them to guide the princes. Didn't you do the same when you created this world, Master?"

Yes, they used to have long, flowing hair, now no longer than where that wedge was placed. Even the charcoal and ivory that used to color their ice-like hair had faded. Their golden eyes, which used to look at him with fondness, now had lost their shine and warmth. How much did they give up? The traveler couldn't voice that question. After all, this was the path chosen by his former pupil.

Instead, he whispered, "Forgive me."

The sage blinked in confusion. "For what?"

No answer came. No answer could be voiced.

After sheathing the wedge again, the sage entered the room downstairs – it was the room where the two rested together in the past. With a sweet yet chilling voice, they called, "Reshiram. Zekrom. Rise and shine, my dears."

——————————————​

IV. Death


"You look and smell similar to my master, but something is different. Who are you?"

Yes, this traveler had the same silver hair and red eyes as him, but his robe was a deep, dark blue. "You're Kyurem, correct?" asked the unfamiliar traveler. "And I guess you're talking about my old man— I mean, my dear father."

Hearing that word of affection, Kyurem's frown grew deeper. "Who are you?"

"Good question. I have many names, but to our kind, I'm best known as Dialga. Perhaps that would ring a bell," said the traveler with a polite bow. "Ah, but I'm no more than a passerby today."

Dialga, the guardian deity of time, one of their master's direct descendants. Anyone studying the history of the world would know his name, if not his existence. That bow was unlike their master, however – he was never one to lower his head for anyone.

Still, the frown lingered on Kyurem's face. "My master… where is he?"

"Deep in slumber, guiding the world in the way he knows best," answered Dialga.

"I see. That's right, he often dozed off…." mumbled Kyurem, closing their eyes, hands gripping the blanket covering them. It was cold. No matter how many layers they used, it was cold.

"Pitiful being," whispered Dialga. Those words earned him a stare from Kyurem – their eyes were empty, as if asking for something to fill them. Sympathy wouldn't fill them, but it was the only thing he could offer, so he continued, "You gave your blood and your heart, but this is how you end: forgotten and alone in a crumbling tower. Humans can be so cold."

"Can you blame them? The wars have taken a toll on all of us," said Kyurem in a low voice. "I thought I was on the right path. My children fought, but they worked together when it mattered. But eventually the distance between them grew more and more and…."

Dialga stood without moving, his red eyes staring down at the forgotten sage. Could it be that he had heard about their children before? He must have – anyone would have, in this land ravaged by the war between truth and ideal. When he spoke again, there was a quiver in his voice.

"Do you… regret giving birth to your children?"

A frozen sigh escaped from Kyurem's lips. They had asked themself that question more times than they could remember. For such a question, only another question was apt as an answer. "Please tell me, is destruction the only thing I can bring forth in the end? Is this my purpose in this world?"

Slowly, Dialga shook his head. "I'm afraid that isn't a question I'm permitted to answer."

Kyurem closed their eyes again – their guest's silver hair and red eyes had become difficult to look at. "Of course. Even your father never answered that question."

It was cold. They were a dragon of ice, so coldness was something they were used to, but when did it start bothering them like this? Would their master know the reason?

But their master had left them, never to return.

Perhaps they should rest too. They had nothing left which they could give to the kingdom, and they had grown tired of the cold and solitude, of scorn and resignation. To Lacunosa… no, to the chasm where they were born, where everything began.

——————————————​

V. Resurrection

So loud. So bright. There were voices – conversations in a language unfamiliar to their ears. Humans. Between them was a one-eyed man in an ominously patterned robe, laughing with an unpleasant voice. Ah, Kyurem realized, these people must have broken the ice cage they sealed themself in before entering a sleep of oblivion.

Questions began to fill their mind as their consciousness returned, piece by piece. Are these people from the kingdom? Or are they enemies? Does the kingdom still exist? What about Reshiram and Zekrom? How long have I slept? Have I awakened to bring forth destruction again?

Have I…?


The unpleasant man extended his hand to them. At that moment the dragon decided, if they had woken up to destroy, to bring everything to cold nothingness, this time they wouldn't back down from it.
 

System Error

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Like I said, even though it was actually more "in the car while being driven to get food"

Well, different format this time because I didn't stop to take notes every now and then in favor of doing a speed read. But this was an interesting little story, and shows something of a darker - or at least more definitively morally ambiguous side to Alfa. Sometimes I got the feeling Kyurem was not one of his creations and he was simply forcibly 'adopting' him (under thread of disposing otherwise), and particularly from the way Dialga spoke. Something of a different take on Kyurem splitting up to give aid to the princes too. And the twist ending too. Interesting things to think about considering LLV. Only uncertainty I have about it: it was at no point shown that Kyurem was at any point anything but a dragon of ice. So then where did the elec and fire come from in the other pieces of its body? Stuff that may or may not be answered.

And here's to LA not mangling some of the things you had in mind, or if it does, you throwing up your arms and saying "screw it, I'll take inspiration but I write what I want" like I pretty much intend to.
 

kintsugi

the warmth of summer in the songs you write
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Fun fact: Dragonspiral Tower and Giant Chasm shared the same background music. Yes, this is relevant to the fic.
One-shots set in Unova inspired by BW's jam of a soundtrack with esoteric titles consisting of singular words that start with the letter N? How could I not, tbh. Saw this during Blitz but my reading list continues to be endless; here we are instead. Also, hi!

I liked the tone of the first section a lot; there's something appropriately weighty and dramatic about Arceus' dignity and curiosity, along with the humans witnessing in fear/awe. It's a pretty appropriate intro for a gijinka fic featuring legends, and while I'm not familiar with LLV past the first two or so chapters, this worked really well as an intro for me as a semi-blind reader. The description here is the most vivid + we get the most colors that we end up getting out of the five sections here, which I thought was a really effective wording choice for a Kyurem-centric short; as the POV passes further to Kyurem I noticed that those bits started falling out of narration, which I thought was a cool detail.

How long have I slept? Have I awakened to bring forth destruction again?
Vignette stories are hard to structure, but I think this worked pretty well. The broad arcs of--Kyurem's discovery, growth, independence/choice, despair, and then fall--has a neat arc to it; it lets you twine together these interesting themes of destinies/power in the context of gods. I found myself finding that section four felt a little out of place--the pivot to Kyurem's descent into nihilism felt a little abrupt for me, although pacing-wise I'm not sure how to best approach that in a story of this length. It's a little tricky since the first half is all about Kyurem doing more or less normal things with Arceus being vaguely concerned about Kyurem's stranger tendencies, while the second half (fourth section onward) is dominated by the despair/fall into destruction. I think where I stumbled was that we're mostly told that Kyurem is dangerous, then Kyurem is "saved" by Arceus, then Kyurem gives up Resh/Zek and becomes dangerous--the motives are a little opaque and it's difficult to tell, for example, why Kyurem thought that destruction is their "purpose" when the main destructive act that they did happened offscreen. The fifth section with Ghetsis has a similar stumbling point for me imo, where it's difficult to understand what's motivating Kyurem's decision here--and I do think that there's a really compelling story between the lines here, with Kyurem having given up the portions of themself capable of containing truth/ideals or interaction with reality/dreams of something better or something, where without them Kyurem isn't even capable of understanding what's been lost--but it didn't quite land for me, and i wasn't entirely sure if that was your intent or if I was just headcanoning off of your story, haha.

The being before the traveler no longer held the form of a dreadful dragon, but of a person with long, flowing hair in the color of ice
And in general I think gijinka stories are really interesting for straddling that boundary of "person" and "pokemon"--specifically in this case, where it seems like any pokemon can actually become a person if Arceus wills it? There's a lot of interesting questions to unpack in that for sure, but in general there was something really fairy-tale-esque about this setup, of the beast becoming a person and then reducing back to beast, that I thought utilized the setting in a neat way.

(sidebar--not something that I think this story needed to answer; just something I was personally curious about--are the heroes of truth/ideals still human in this one, even if Reshiram and Zekrom are also gijinkas? Or are Resh/Zek birthed from Kyurem but still draconic in a sense? idk! I think the Unova lore in particular would have some really interesting implications if the main heroes were literally combinations of humans and pokemon, but that's neither here nor there with this specific oneshot/I was mostly just curious what your headcanon was here)

Overall I thought this was a neat little vignette--Kyurem's a fascinating pokemon and it's fun to see different takes on the history/lore.

The world, green and gold and grand.
I liked the alliteration in this sentence. That's all!

some line/phrasing notes, mostly grammar/clarity-focused:
a gray draconic being of ice was chained down to the ground.
"draconic being of ice" parsed a little unclearly for me. I think it'd read a bit more smoothly if you broke out which bits appear draconic (maybe he notices the head, or the eyes) and which appear "of ice" (the jagged crystals or the cold crown on their head)
"Yes, sir!" One soldier answered, "It was last winter, sir. A star fell to our forest, then this monster showed up and attacked livestock and townspeople. We have never seen any monster like this before the disaster, so we believe they are connected."
I don't know if there's a particular/strict rule on this, but this would've read more clearly to me as:
"Yes, sir!" one soldier answered. "It was last winter, sir. [...]
Since otherwise it looks like "yes, sir" and "it was last winter" are being spoken by two different people but are on the same paragraph.
Without any sign of fear – for fear would be unbecoming for someone of his standing – the traveler asked, "Answer me: do you wish to live and find your purpose? Or do you wish to die as a chained beast?"
The paragraph break here made it a little trickier to tell what the "fear" might've been about (on reread it's more clear that it's about the frost forming beneath the traveler's feet)--and specifically if the traveler isn't afraid because of pride/appearances/unbecoming, or because it's not particularly scary. I think a reference that the humans shy back but Arceus doesn't or something might help there.

Purely on your preference here, but I think "chick" conveys more birdlike imagery for me, whereas "hatchling" might convey more draconic stuff.
With those words, the traveler in white left the throne room of the castle, his audience with the king had ended.
With those words, the traveler in white left the throne room of the castle; his audience with the king had ended.
With those words, the traveler in white left the throne room of the castle. His audience with the king had ended.

(this is a kind of esoteric grammar rabbithole that's about comma splices--in general, you shouldn't join two independent clauses with a comma)
The traveler had struck a deal when he took Kyurem under his wings: in exchange for lodging and sustenance for the dragon, he was to raise them into something that can be of use for the kingdom.
The swap into present tense is a bit jarring imo--"he was to raise them into something that could be of use for the kingdom"

I also thought it was strange that the traveler still calls Kyurem a "dragon" after the whole deal of making them a person earlier!
It would be easy to hone their physical strength – and they certainly didn't ignore it – but that alone wouldn't answer their question of what purpose they have beyond their primal instinct.
Similar present tense--I'd swap to "it would've been easy to hone their physical strength" and "but that alone wouldn't have answered their question of their purpose beyond their primal instinct"

I also think with "primal instinct", it'd be helpful to dig in a little more into what that instinct is--presumably it's to destroy stuff? But that really doesn't seem like something that they've entertained too heavily, so I wasn't sure.
A moment passed in silence, only the wind blew in from the open window, whispering as it played with both the traveler's and his pupil's long hair – charcoal and ivory intertwined under a sheet of ice.
A moment passed in silence; only the wind blew in from the open window [...]
A moment passed in silence. Only the wind blew in from the open window [...]

(similar thing with comma splices)
Further on, they could see speckles of colors; of the fields, the forests, the rivers, and the mountains.
Semicolons don't quite work this way. You'll want something like:
Further one, they could see speckles of colors: of the fields, the forests [...]
 

InfiniteBakuphoon

battered, but not broken, bakuphoon
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Hello there, @silurica! I’m here as part of the February reviewing challenge, and your story happens to be next! I actually first read this when it came “hot off the press” on its first day of publishing, which means that I might’ve been one of the very first people to read it, haha. I was on the fence about reviewing this for a while, but the review challenge ultimately tipped the scales towards “yes”, so here I am! I’ll just go ahead and start below, then…

Now, as I’m sure that you’re aware (given how you clearly have a deep interest in legendary Pokémon, haha), Kyurem has quite the checkered history as a legendary Pokémon, including the fact that said history isn’t even set in stone within canon itself! With the games, for instance, I believe that there are two conflicting narratives regarding Kyurem’s origins, including (please correct me if I’m wrong): 1) that it burst out of a meteor that crashed from outer space, after which it proceeded to terrorize the citizens of the nearby Lacunosa Town as a monster, and 2) that it was what remained of the mythical Original Dragon after it split into Reshiram and Zekrom — the gray within the black and white, so to speak — after which it proceeded to roam the world looking for a way to become “whole” again.

Given these rather unpleasant backstories that the canon writers seem to love to saddle Kyurem with, it’s unsurprising to see this particular take on its history basically be a tragedy. That said, it also happens to be a tragedy that’s simultaneously quite unique from either of its supposed canon origins yet also kind of makes perfect sense if you’re aware of both, since how it seems that you’ve chosen to draw from both here. On the surface, said tragedy is simple: a mysterious dragon awakens on Earth and wreaks havoc in its confusion, ultimately being captured by the humans who rule the world before being spared by the one who rules the universe — Arceus — disguised as a mere human. Anxious to prove their worth, the dragon — reborn as “Kyurem” in human form themselves — works hard for the humans with pure intentions but with little knowledge of said humans’ darker nature. At the height of their naïveté, they surrender nearly all of their very essence to create the entities that we know as Reshiram and Zekrom, who then proceed fulfill their roles as the Dragons of Truth and Ideals respectively in the legend told in the Black & White games, serving as the vectors for all of the pain, conflict, and destruction that said legend implies. Having seen their “children” become little more than weapons in a doomed war between humans, a distraught and disillusioned Kyurem chooses to exile themselves into an icy slumber for centuries, after which they’re awoken to be used as a weapon themselves by another group of cruel, misguided humans that we know as Neo Team Plasma, thus jumpstarting the plot of the Black 2 & White 2 games.

….at least, I believe that’s a reasonably accurate summary of what happens? I believe so, but there’s a reason why I’m slightly nervous about that, which I’ll elaborate on near the end of this review. But for now, let’s go a bit below the surface of this tragedy you’ve written here and I’ll give you some of my thoughts on it all!

First, in regards to the setting, it’s always nice to spend some time in a universe that’s closer to medieval times than the practically sci-fi version of modern society that the Pokémon world represents, with its near-omnipotent technology literally allowing you to keep insanely powerful monsters in your pocket providing the foundation of the entire franchise… as it’s typically given to us in canon, anyway. But with the always-wonderful freedom of fanfiction, we instead get to see a world where a creature like Kyurem can’t just simply be fought and then caught in a Poké Ball, and is instead perceived as an completely unstoppable monster by nearly everyone who comes across it. That said, we’re don’t really get to hear much beyond that from the human side, other than the fact that upon presumably being bestowed with invaluable wisdom and advice from the Pokémon world’s rough equivalent of God himself, they basically told him to go fuck himself, which gives a very clear picture of just how far down the rabbit hole of hubris they’ve gone down at that point. A rather typical portrayal of humans in the company of gods and monsters, then, albeit one that serves the main narrative well enough. Which is good, because for all of its surface simplicity as mentioned before, said main narrative becomes more and more intriguing the deeper you go into it, ultimately becoming more than the sum of its parts and forming the backbone to a quite unnerving tragedy.

Regarding Kyurem, it’s hard to not feel kind of sorry for them as their honest quest to make something of themselves and prove their worth as more than a mindless monster ends with something terrible, with them experiencing the triple whammy of not only fueling a war, but also fueling said war with their own offspring and sacrificing nearly all of themselves to bring said offspring into existence. Their love and gratitude towards humanity — or, perhaps more subconsciously and powerfully, their desire to please humanity and thus become “worthy” of existing alongside them — is what leads them to do what they do, but said love and gratitude is sadly not returned back, because the humans — even after all of the time that they spent with the reformed Kyurem — never grow to actually respect them as an equal. And for extra tragedy points, Kyurem never even seems to have any idea that what ultimately happens to them is even a possibility; that the ones who supposedly “saved” them would so readily and callously use them up and discard them, and all for an utterly foolish and doomed cause, at that (as those who know Black & White’s story are keenly aware). Now, there’s a part of me that’s tempted to disparage Kyurem just a little bit for their naïveté given how badly things tend to go between “monster” and “man” in stories like this. But that’s more on a meta level, I think, and I’d also say that it’s an awfully reductive way of interpreting someone else’s behavior if your intent is actually to “walk in their shoes”, so to speak. After all, looking at the circumstances behind Kyurem’s existence and just how close they were to being put down as a little more than a monster before literally being saved by divine intervention, it’s no wonder that their worldview is a bit “naïve”, perhaps. And speaking of how “divine intervention” influences the direction of this tragedy…

Regarding Arceus, I’d say that this story is as nearly as much of a tragedy for him as it is for his “child” Kyurem, albeit more so because of internal conflicts rather than external ones as it is with the latter. Basically, if Kyurem can’t control the external factor of humanity that ultimately tramples over them and results in the figurative “deaths” of them and their children, then Arceus won’t, or perhaps it can’t in a deeper, more philosophical sense. Because of course Arceus, being Arceus, could easily ignore any folly or defiance of mere humans and end any conflict or threat to himself or the world pretty much instantly… and yet he doesn’t. Rather, he’s clearly more of a “passive” deity who prefers to observe and advise rather than act as an omnipotent mastermind controlling every iota of the universe at all times (and who apparently even prefers taking centuries-long naps rather than doing the former!). As such, free will is what rules this world, but of course that also includes the “freedom” to accept the consequences of one’s choices, which Kyurem unfortunately learns the hard way. What makes Arceus interesting in your story is how he chooses to act in response to the limitations that he places on himself, and one might argue that his actions make him a rather cold and distant father to his “children”, neglecting to even hint at what’s going to happen as a result of Kyurem’s choices. That said, I’d say that it’s all more sad than anything else, as he clearly loves his children, and there’s clearly a part of him that does indeed want to warn his child of the misery that awaits them, if not avert it altogether. The problem is that as a passive deity in a world ruled by free will, there’s little that he can actually do for them without completely upending the world order that he himself established. And thus ironically the single most powerful entity in the Pokémon world ends up being the single least powerful entity of this story: a beautifully, satisfyingly painful twist on the one literally called God both in-universe and out.

I actually had a little bit more that I wanted to talk about, but the 12 AM deadline awaits, so hopefully what I’ve written gives you a decent enough idea of my thoughts on everything. One final thing to add, though: it actually took me two reads in order for me to fully understand and appreciate this story. I don’t really think that you’re at fault for that, though; this wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve had to perform repeat readings or viewings of any kind of media in order for me to really “get it”. Nonetheless, fine work here overall! It makes me interested in reading your other big fanfic here (Luceat Lux Vestra), which I’ve already sampled briefly. Don’t be surprised to see me write a review for one of your stories again soon!
 
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OrionTheAbsol

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I'm down for some Unova lore. Had a look at LLV earlier so I kinda know what to expect. Alas, I have nothing substantial to comment on here, other than to say that I enjoyed what I read. Kyurem is one of those Pokémon that I find particularly fascinating, a shallow husk of its former glory. A creature that seems to simply exist without purpose, as demonstrated by seeing how much its abilities paled in comparison to Reshiram and Zekrom.

To see Reshiram and Zekrom as Kyurem's "children" is an interesting concept, as the common interpretation of them are being pieces to a greater being. To see the implication that Kyurem split apart, birthing their children, to aid mankind was a simple tragedy that paved the way for a descent into madness. A shadow of its former self, Kyurem would take any chance to be relevant again, even if it means using its power for destruction.

Good read!
 

silurica

All shall be well
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Henlo henlo, thank you for the reviews! I have to say, part of the fun of writing in this kind of minimalistic style is to see how much I can implicate and what other people make of it, so reviews like these really make it feel rewarding. Once again, thank you!

Well so, for reason above, I actually hesitated whether I want to put my intention as the author in plain words... but this looks like an interesting conversation anyway so let's go.

One thematic thread that I had in mind was about a search for purpose and the determination to it. I imagine Kyurem's early days as defined by emptiness and aimlessness; they're a one-of-a-kind creature that came from practically nowhere without a place to belong while other living beings feared them. They eventually saw a purpose in serving the kingdom they love and single-mindedly gave their all to it, pretty literally, and they saw their children as an extension of themself. So when everything went bad, they saw both the children and themself as failure without fully understanding why everything went bad, which ended in them shutting down.

The biggest missing link here is probably the lack of depiction of the kids and their time together. I actually considered including more of them, but wondered if I had the space for it. If I were to write the kids, I'd want their perspective too, and I worried it would muddle the theme. The scope creep threat felt real and ultimately I decided against including it. Maybe I should've done the opposite... not too vexed about it though since either way the Tao Trio is in my "want to write" list after finishing my current longfic. Someday, someday.

(I have a pretty specific concept of Reshiram and Zekrom revolving around the idea of being born for One (1) purpose according to their parent and the era they grew up in. It's something that needs a focused attention, I think.) (Thinking a lot about how in canon Resh/Zek seem as if they existed only to serve the heroes.)

(sidebar--not something that I think this story needed to answer; just something I was personally curious about--are the heroes of truth/ideals still human in this one, even if Reshiram and Zekrom are also gijinkas? Or are Resh/Zek birthed from Kyurem but still draconic in a sense? idk! I think the Unova lore in particular would have some really interesting implications if the main heroes were literally combinations of humans and pokemon, but that's neither here nor there with this specific oneshot/I was mostly just curious what your headcanon was here)
The heroes are still humans with human lifespan. Also the ability here is shapeshifting and can be passed down, so the answer to "are they gijinka or are they draconic" is "yes". Although I'm aware that I didn't make it entirely clear here that it's shapeshifting (there were even moments when I thought of blurring the line more).

Also also, fairytale-esque is a pretty nice way to put the vibe I want to go with for my gijinka. I feel kinda silly for not thinking of it sooner lol[/QUOTE]
 
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