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COMPLETE: what the stars said (EVERYONE)


the warmth of summer in the songs you write
May 9, 2013
Reaction score
Hi. Um. This is super messy, and I’m sorry; I just needed some quick and dirty feedback and you guys are my go-to gang for this.


what the stars said​

She was born dead. That was the strange thing. Everyone could see that she was the same all over—too pale, too quiet, too silver, freezing in the snow that matched her eyes.

He was born dead, too. That was the stranger thing. Even though there was no reason for him to know, separated as they were on opposite sides of a vast mountain that, in that day and age, may as well have spanned the world—they both opened their too pale, too quiet, too silver eyes simultaneously and began to live.

And, once upon a time, they never stopped living thereafter. That was the strangest thing. Time rolled on, the stars trudged above them in the skies, empires fell in heaps of twisted metal and stone around them—and so they endured, furiously upright as they roved and ruled across the face of an Earth that had simply forgotten to let them die.


"We met before."

The Rover pulls up short, sinking knee-high into the snow as she does so. There's something unforgettable in his eyes, though, something that cuts short what would've been a curt response. She studies him. It's hard to tell from this angle, but his mantle has the thick tufts of beartic skin. In his right hand, he holds a small dagger, tapered and conical—carved from bone, perhaps. Above all, she cannot help but be drawn to the set of horns mounted on his head, a prize from some past victory. The way that the tines catch the dying sunlight makes them seem like a second set of eyes hovering a foot on either side of his head. She feels ensnared already. There is a story hidden in those antlers, one that she desperately wishes to know.

She has the nagging feeling, however, that she has met him before, and that makes her stop and wonder for a moment longer. "Perhaps, but unlikely," she says anyway, and then pauses. "Your head-covering." She cannot understand it, and there is something driving her to find out. "How did you—" she struggles for the little-used word "—craft it?"

"These?" he asks, pointing to his antlers, but then stops short, biting his lip. She watches the response die on his tongue. His breath freezes in the cold.

She understands. He doesn't want to give up the secret of his handiwork without payment. Sacrifice, she thinks, the same way that her mother taught her to thank the mamoswine as it bleeds out after a hunt. Its life for theirs. The man in front of her in his luxurious skins has a secret, and she must sacrifice something to learn it.

"I know of the wolf-guardian of the North Wind, who first began the snowstorms with Her icy breath," she says, childishly, impulsively. The Rover knows this story well; her father recounted it to her many times many winters ago, before he passed and she took to roving. She will retell his story since he cannot. "I can tell you how She birthed this winter."

For a moment, he is still, as if frozen in the snow that surrounds them. Perhaps he is weighing his options—the secret he so jealously hoards against the one she so freely offers. There is a glint in the man's eyes, and his brow furrows in interest. "Very well," he says, trudging toward a nearby rocky outcropping, where the howling wind is less harsh. He gestures for her to follow. "Tell me of this wolf-guardian who shapes this blizzard. I shall give you the secret of this decoration of mine."


When she sees him again, neither of them are a day older, even though the winters have passed them by. He looks up idly from his meditation in the center of the cave, the rugged palms of his hands facing toward the rocky ceiling. His brow furrows as he recognizes her, and then his rugged palms clench involuntarily. "We met before, certainly," he says at last. His eyes betray nothing.

The Rover dips her head in agreement. "Yes." After they parted ways, she took his secret and forged the horns of the stantler into a head-covering of her own. "You treat me too kindly to be a stranger." And his gift has treated her kindly as well. She is impossible to forget, a strange woman with the head of a stantler who roams the mountain, wrapped in legend and yet offering her stories to anyone who asks. All she wants in exchange is a new secret.

"I see you have taken it upon yourself to tame a companion," he says. The man nods toward the blue, fox-like creature that paces around her, angled features sharp and alert, a miniature version of She who birthed the snowstorms. She reaches out absently with one hand and strokes the glaceon's frosty fur, attempting to calm him. Humans always set him a little on edge, but this is unusual, even for him. "I am impressed that it still leaves you alive. Had I not known better, I would've slain it on the spot," the man continues lightly, lip curling in disdain.

Perhaps the glaceon's unease is not so unusual, the Rover reflects, as the little blue fox hisses and stands defiantly between her and the stranger who threatens them. It is only natural, though—only human, really—to fear that which they do not know.

She has taken the time to know the glaceon, though. She watches the way that her icy companion walks through the drifts, lightly on his feet and hardly leaving a footprint in the snow, and she tries to imitate him now, as she treads carefully around this man, the only human who has stayed the same even as the world around them grows and lives and dies.

So she is fascinated by this man, yes, but a little afraid, if only because she cannot understand him yet. "I find solace in roving, and I am glad that you know better than to end our lives," she says at last, and then, to lighten his mood: "Winter likes you well."

He shrugs and nods his acknowledgement. He has gathered the strongest hunters he can find in these hostile snowdrifts, and together they have gathered here in these caves, high enough on the cliffs that they are safe from most of the monsters that haunt the mountains. When he commands others, who are like him and in so many ways unlike him, he can accomplish far more than he could ever do alone. "Things are better once I stopped freezing. I have accomplished great things since we last met. Have you?"

They both ponder that for a moment. "I have traveled far and learned much since we last spoke, yes." The first thousand times she watched the moon wax and wane above her, she was content to stay where she was. But the world was not, and although the snows froze the land, the humans and the monsters blew away with the blizzards. So she descended from the slopes of this mountain only to climb the hundreds more that rose behind it, until she found a place where the sun began to melt the snow from the rocks.

"I find your stories matchless. Have you any more to share?"

The Rover again dips her head, a motion she has learned from her companions in the sun-lands. "I have learned the secret of trapping the warmth of the sun," she says, and smiles—another movement she has learned in the south. Strange creatures haunt those slopes, slopes of mountains that are so far that she died twice of exhaustion travelling there, mountains that belch blazing heat at Entei's command, mountains that hide fox-like creatures cloaked in fire that bear faces resembling her glaceon's.

Something, the Rover knows, about this fire that she has discovered in the south is more than it seems: it is life. She tells him this.

Perhaps the man knows this too: there is a light in his eyes, a glint that borders almost on greed, but she ignores it. They have all been cold for too long. He is right to yearn for fire. "And in return for this secret?" the man asks, gesturing for her to sit across from him in the worn rocks of their cave.

She pauses, bowing her antlered head for a moment as she looks at her glaceon for advice. He nods. "A night in your company and food to sustain us will be sufficient."

He arches one eyebrow, perhaps surprised at how freely she offers a secret that will change the world, but he shouts for one of his men to bring in the flank of the mightyena from their hunt. The flesh is still warm from its lifeblood, and he offers it to the Rover, dripping. Sacrifice. Its life for hers. "Take, and share with us. Tonight, while we may savor your company, you are my esteemed guest."

"Thank you, old friend," she says, taking his gift and tearing off an enormous chunk for her glaceon, and she and the man exchange a glance that no one else in the narrow cave understands.


The sun rises and sets above her, and the snows melt and recede into the rocks, and even the land itself is shaped anew by harsh wind, and still she is the Rover.

"You there!"

The flareon growls in warning, the warm embers in his fur flaring to life and hissing sparks as his head flicks up and his ears tilt back. "Peace," the Rover whispers to him, as she looks up, unalarmed, at the tall, spear-wielding, dark-skinned man who stands before her.

"You resemble the description of a woman our clan leader has decreed as a vagabond criminal. Do you deny it?" the spear-wielder says haughtily, glaring down at her.

The Rover cannot help but laugh. This man's leader is bold but misguided; if she endured fourteen thousand winters in the snow-mountains, she can handle this. She has starved, fallen, and frozen more than enough times to perish, but each time, it is as if waking up again from a dream. It is as if there is a universal constant dictating that she arise every morning, regardless of the circumstances that sent her to sleep. She does not grow sick. She does not age. She does not die.

She has long since stopped questioning this fact.

"I cannot deny it," she says, and allows the man to lead her toward the sand palace in the distance.

The Ruler sits impassively on his throne of stone as his spear-wielder unceremoniously throws the Rover and her flareon down at the foot of the dais. She catches herself just as she skids to his feet and remains on her knees, tilting her head in mock bow toward him. Their gazes meet, and she cannot help but smile even as she remains kneeling at his feet. "Vagabond criminal, you called me? I traded you the secret of fire for a cold meal, old friend."

The Ruler laughs from his throne and motions for her to rise with his reed scepter. "My apologies. It is far harder to keep track of you now that the world has grown so big. When was it that we last spoke?" Distractedly, he gestures for his guards to leave them in peace.

"We most recently crossed paths on the banks of the Euphrates, I think. I am glad to see you implemented my gift irrigation here, as well. The deserts thirsted before." She pauses, studying the area around her. The Rover nods her head toward the carvings around the walls, a far cry from the cave art that she once helped create when she still wore the horns of a stantler. There is even blue stone inlaid in the walls, carried across the deserts from the riverland. "You are the Head Scribe in these desert parts, I see. Time still treats you well."

The Ruler shrugs. "In these lands, they believe I can speak to their gods. Like Groudon would ever leave Her desert caverns for conversation," he scoffs. The Rover smiles. He'd be surprised. "These mortals have a quaint fascination with recording their history, and I can help them record their glyphs, so they respect me." He glances at the fire-fox that paces nervous circles around her legs. "I see you have taken a new companion for yourself."

"It is better than wandering alone." At her ankles, the flareon mewls something, and the Rover brightens. "We have discovered a great secret from your neighbors by the sea. They have this fascinating creation called an alphabet. Much less cumbersome than your pictographs, I think."

Still distracted, the Ruler nods, and then continues, "I cannot imagine why they would be so obsessed with being remembered. Have you seen the enormous stone pyramids they construct for the dead? Guarded by their golems of rock and steel and ice? With any luck, perhaps, they will make me one as well."

"Perhaps their legacies fascinate them because they are actually concerned about ceasing to live," she replies quietly. She remembers when her parents and those who knew her truly as a child and her glaceon ceased to live, but her memory grows faint with the passing summers. The grounds then were too frozen for graves. It has been so long that, sad as it seems, their lack of continued existence is commonplace. The loss of their lives should mean more to her. She knows this. "This seems to be a pressing concern for the rest of the mortals."

"Have you never considered why we are different from the rest?" the Ruler asks, looking contemptuously down from his throne. "Perhaps we were not meant to toil among them, but to rise above alongside their gods."

The look in her eyes is the one she always wears before she begins a story for him. Centuries have passed, but almost nothing has changed. Almost, but not quite. Perhaps it is this yearning for their old ways that prompts her to misinterpret him. "I have indeed sought the gods in the hearts of our land. Have you never considered why it is I wander?"


"We last spoke when you ruled the Nile. I checked, and they did indeed built a pyramid for you," the Rover says without looking up at the man who stands tall, looking down at the sculpture before him with veiled interest.

"Demigods. They finally recognize us for who we are, and even then they have not made the full connection." He snorts, turning to face her with hands hidden in his flowing robes. The Ruler's footsteps echo clearly in the marble hall, as does his voice. "They couldn't get your face quite right, although I've tried to describe it to them. Something about the eyes never quite carries over..."

She and her sylveon return to studying the statue intently. White marble towers above them, shaped by careful hands into the visage of the immortal hunter twins, bows in hand to welcome the dawn and the dusk. At their backs, the Birds Regent soar. Ho-oh's scintillating feathers burn out the sunrise, while Lugia's gentle glow shepherds in the moon. Their chariots—his drawn by four flaming rapidash, hers by four sawsbuck with snowy fur—bear them away in opposite directions, and they are frozen in the stone's limbo: barely touching, intertwined but forever apart.

He's right, of course. The sister's face is carved with the same exquisite skill as the rest of the statue, but it is blank and devoid of detail. "Unlike you, I cannot bring myself to linger in Delphi long enough for the humans to learn my face, old friend."

The Ruler claps her on the shoulder, chuckling heartily at humor she cannot understand. "You should try it. These humans to truly know how to make one feel like a god, but I grow tired of skulking in the shadows, pretending to know the future. I shall live for the present. Perhaps I shall try for kingship here, soon. Or something higher than that, perhaps."

She knows that his 'perhaps' is a promise, and if he decides to do something, then he shall. There is no perhaps. "But you need my wandering, old friend. How, after all, would you have ever learned of the strange creatures of the western mountains who bequeathed you the steel that won you your kingdom?"

The Ruler smiles at that. She has brought him the knowledge he needed to forge his glory; he sits on a throne of her stories and shall always owe her that. Like the day and night twins, they are diminished without the other, one always on the other's heels. "Your gifts have always been valued, and your strange penchant of roaming. Do you have any new lessons for me, old friend? Like you, I am a god, now." Laughing at his own joke, he points to their stone visages and imitates the stance of the sun brother. "I can grant you anything you require."

The question is hardly real; she always has something new. Her price does not change, even after millennia. "A meal and an evening in your company are all I require."

"Very well. Tell me about this country in the East that you have visited. What possibly could they offer me?"

He speaks with derision about the most skilled shipbuilders in the world, but he soon learns better than to mock them.


She has never killed for sport before. Even when she hunted back in the snows, it was for survival. An exchange: their life for hers.

Roaming for so long has left her wondering, though. She has wondered if perhaps the Ruler is right in his way, if there really is no point to these mortals whose lives pass her by in an instant. Can she truly be faulted? There is no exchange they can offer her that would value her life, surely.


The Rover seeks an opening. She always seeks to learn from those she encounters, but this is different. Now, she wishes to learn the rhyperior's weakness.

There is a slight tremor in its right leg when it charges, one that no amount of stony armor can hide. It roars and swings a clubbed tail in her direction, but her umbreon has it under control and blasts it back with a wave of compressed darkness. She kicks at the creature's midsection and dodges the rhyperior's fierce lunge, feeling the sharp whoosh of air as its horn barely misses her cheek.

The Rover winces a little, but she refuses to break stride as she lunges forward, swinging her sword towards its exposed underbelly. Her opponent catches her blade on an arm as thick as her waist, and they teeter back and forth, both sides seeking to conquer.

The stony beast roars its frustration, and with herculean effort pitches her blade forward, forcing her to take three steps backward before its massive tail sweeps her legs out from beneath her. She stumbles gracelessly, and the earth becomes her sky.

They are frozen for a moment, hovering in time, and then her umbreon seizes the action and lashes out, coating his tail in thick iron as he somersaults downward, aiming for the chink in the rhyperior's armor between its left arm and its torso.

She tastes iron, too, as the clubbed tail fractures a rib while she's helpless on the ground and she doesn't quite dodge out of the way, but no matter. The wound will fade. The rhyperior could stomp her head in and that would fade, too.

In the arena around her, the crowd roars as she rises and spits blood at its feet.

Her umbreon switches course at the last moment and sinks his teeth into the rhyperior's weak leg, ripping through the weakened armor and forcing the creature to its knees. At the same time, she brings her own sword through the rhyperior's horn, and the fire-hardened steel shatters it with little resistance.

But she is already moving forward even as her umbreon dodges out of the way of the debris. The Rover approaches the downed rhyperior. She looks into its muddy brown eyes and savors the life in there, tries to comfort the fear she sees as well.

Without hesitation, she drives her blade into the chink between the armor of its head and chest. It dies instantly.

Its life for hers. Sacrifice. Its lifeblood bleeds into the dirt, and she thanks it silently even as her mouth fills with bile.

The cheering crowd quiets at once as it realizes what she has done.

"Who dares take the life of a gladiator without first asking for favor of the Sun Emperor?" an enraged voice roars out from a raised viewing box shrouded in purple velvet. From here, in the sandy pit with the clearing dust and bloodlust, she can look past the stunned crowd for long enough to see his livid features silhouetted against the deep purple of his cloak. So it is true. He has taken his throne. There was never a 'perhaps' with him.

The Rover removes her helmet and smiles bloodily and fearlessly back up at him, silvery eyes glinting as she sees the recognition dawn across his face.

You will owe me for this. Even from here, she can see the thought form in his eyes as the Ruler sits back in his throne. She will not truly owe him for this, as execution would merely inconvenience her, but he has taken to sparing her life as of late. "Ah. I shall pardon this lowly warrior. Even peasants make mistakes in the heat of battle."

Later, behind closed doors, she shares a strange concept: monotheism, a world where the pantheon of deities—and even them—was created by the singular One. The Ruler, laughing, threatens to crucify her if she dares raise a combatant for his throne.

Like that ever stopped her before.


She walks through the fields of wheat, where she speaks with strangers who draw pictures among the stars. They tell her of a land beyond this one where the gods themselves reside, and where the dead may hope to rest if they are worthy enough.

That's the odd thing about living as long as she does. Things are supposed to fade away with time, leaving behind only their story, destined to fade away from sight and be forgotten. But she, the Rover, keeper of stories, cannot recede, nor can she forget. She feels like a star—distant and untouchable, but always there. The stars have stories, even if they lack the lips to tell them, even if they only speak in flashes of light from a faraway world, and the Rover feels that she must be their voice. Everything has a story.

"Halt, traitor!" shouts a rider in a tiered helmet, levelling his steel spear toward her, and the Rover cannot expect him to speak kindly to her. Not this time, not after she and her vaporeon have—

"Why did you spread my finest silk-producing butterfree across the plains?" he shouts even before his guards have thrown her to the ground. One ring-encrusted hand taps incessantly at the armrest of his throne. "The nobles adore the silk products we can make, and you've robbed me," the Ruler says. He almost sounds angry. "We once held a monopoly on silk before you took to trading it away for mere stories."

"I merely wished to spread the beauty of their existence for the rest of the world to see," the Rover responds without remorse. Even though she hates herself for saying it, she cannot help but add, "Have you not considered how much money—and do not deny it, you do love it so very much—you could make if you established a trade route between your kingdom here in the west and your former holdings in the east?"

He stiffens sharply at her impertinence, and her vaporeon growls back. She wonders when it came to pass that they were foes, and if they can ever reconcile.

His eyes narrow. "I will fund your travels for a century if you fulfill your promise."

"For a century?" the Rover asks, one eyebrow raised. "Is my knowledge worth so much, or your money so little?" She is hopeful, at least for half a moment, that he is learning to release his greedy claws from the affairs of mortals, but she also knows that she should learn that he never will.

"For a century, if you just give me that," the Ruler confirms, one jewel-encrusted finger tapping out an empty rhythm on the edge of his gilded throne. "We shall both be rich."

They both know how little she cares for his riches. "I have walked the lands for millennia," the Rover says with a small smile. "I would not have to roam for a moment to tell you of a route you do not know, although I gladly will."

She has learned something over the years. Every time they meet, she has agreed to help him out of some small hope that he has changed, that he has seen that there is more to this world than bringing it under his heel. And every time they meet, he has disappointed her. And yet the call of wanderlust still stirs in her heart, and she travels and shares and loses again, for reasons she cannot fathom. Does she seek forgiveness from him? Companionship?

But she knows better than to expect him to give her anything, now. It is millenia too late for that hope.

The Ruler stops his tapping and raises a hand. "I know that you have grown weary of the land-pathways, having walked on them so much," he says. Little does he know that she will never tire of the ceaseless wheel of human innovation as it splays out beneath her feet. Almost out of habit, one eyebrow arches. "So have I. It slows down trade immensely. I want you to find me this route by way of water. The ocean is still new to you, is it not?"

"This is true. Will you come with me? It is high time that I speak with Kyogre again, and He will be pleasantly surprised to meet with you." Her vaporeon is a new companion, and the land bridge was washed away by the ocean thousands of years ago. Even the Nords with whom she sailed could not carry her so far. She hasn't attempted to enter the depths yet, but she does not mind the promise of toeing the edge of the world.

"I cannot leave my seat here. I shall permit you to journey in my stead," he decrees, smiling grandly as if he has given her something precious. "You will travel as far as you require so you may repay your debt. The sea route for your pardon, as you have ruined my silk roads, and a hundred years of my might at your back as a sign of my generosity."


Even though her arms are tied behind her back and one of his guards holds an obsidian knife to her throat, she does not flinch. Her leafeon hisses back his defiance as one warrior strays too close. "I see you have taken your love of thrones across the sea," she adds conversationally. Here, pyramids are to sacrifice the living rather than entomb the dead, but she sees the similarity. "And you took it upon yourself to follow me here. Are you so curious about where we came from that you would abandon your empire?"

The Ruler—in this time and place, he is the priest of the sky god Rayquaza, he who whispers to the growlithe—arches one eyebrow. "You should remember your place and beware that your words not cost you your life," he remarks lightly, enjoying the weight of power on his tongue. "Currently, my soldiers await my command to cut your heart out for the sky serpent."

"The usual price, then? My heart for my story?" A jest. Cutting out her heart would not even slow her. She knows already that her bargain is too tempting to refuse. Barefoot and always searching, she has followed the wanderlust here, to the heart of the forests, and she found the central tree that pulses with life, its great power ensconced in hibernation.

"Is your story truly worth that much?" the Ruler asks, drawing himself up to stand a little straighter. She notices the way that his hand unconsciously points to the growlithe at his side. See this, old friend? he seems to be saying. I, too, have tamed a legend for my own. I have learned and grown since you first taught me. What do you truly have left to offer?

The Rover believes that all stories are worth that much, and that each should be carefully treasured and recorded so it may be shared with the world after its author passes, but she knows the Ruler has never seen it like that. This is why, she realizes now, that she chooses to admire the humans even as he demands that they admire him. "In the heart of this forest is a tree with immeasurable power. Can you not feel it even now, singing to both of us?"

"The ancient gods are but legend, old friend," the Ruler says, shaking his head and smiling and preparing to give the command for her death, as futile as trying to kill either of them would actually be. "I have no need of legends."

She allows one eyebrow to quirk up as she meets his gaze firmly. "Do you truly believe that?"

And so she finds herself and her leafeon roughly leading the way across the forest, her feet nimbly tracing a path over the vines and roots splayed across the ground. Through her bare toes, she can feel the lifeblood pulsing into her from the trees. She traced this power from across the ocean, wandered here with her leafeon into the heart of the forest.

They reach the tree.

She stares at the maze of branches in quiet awe. The Rover has travelled this world a thousand times over, but she will always be surprised by it somehow. Here, she can feel the music emanating from the thick trunk, whispering a song into her ears that twines around her pounding heartbeat, an unfinished symphony. But she is afraid to go closer, afraid to reach out and lay her hands on the rough bark of this tree, for surely it is sacred.

"Go on," the Ruler says, his face contorted into a frown. "Show me the power you speak of."

One of his warriors prods her with the point of his spear, and before she can stop herself, she trips and stumbles forward, one hand out to catch herself. She realizes too late that—

Her hand touches the tree.

There is light.

Once, she met Raikou, He who made the thunder. The very air around her was electrified, and she could feel her hair standing on end, each particle of her charged with energy.

She feels like this now, as if she had reached out and touched the condensed lightning that Raikou carries on His back, and every inch of her is galvanized. Out of the corner of her eyes, she watches as a stray arc of her power reaches out to the growlithe and lights its body with the same energy, granting new life, new strength, new form. Evolution has always been her gift.

She looks back to the humans, all but one of which have thrown themselves on the ground in front of her, and the Ruler meets her gaze, terrified. He sees her, ablaze with power, her set of antlers returned in searing light. And he understands. Her eyes were too-silver to be human because she wasn't.

The Rover had told him that the gods were real and roamed the lands. The Ruler had told her that they were meant to look down on creation as gods.

They were both right. Xerneas and Yveltal, the Rover and the Ruler, the absent members of the pantheon, have been present since the beginning. The giver of creation, who walks among the lands, and the wielder of oblivion, who surveys from above, have been in their true places all along.

The thought brings her very little joy. She walked among her creations, for reasons she can no longer remember, but while the Ruler helped, she was complacent in perverting her gifts. Sacrifice? Their lives for hers, when she was the one who bequeathed them their lives in the beginning?

The guilt fills her with revulsion in all the ways that the electrifying power did. How could she have forgotten?


The electric lighting of the museum fascinates her, perhaps more than it should. Recently invented and brought across the sea using the very sea route the Rover discovered four centuries ago, they blink like little stars. She wonders why it took the humans so long, when her jolteon can channel the heavens through his spiked fur without a second thought. All they ever had to do was ask.

The answer is already in her mind, though. She's known these answers for a while, refused to acknowledge them, but the humans see the pokemon as something to be feared. Thousands of years have passed, and the humans still cannot understand their neighbors, so they fear them. There is too much of the Ruler in them. While she stood by and roved, forgot who she was, he remembered and taught them that one must always conquer.

Ever since she saw the first humans in the deserts playing with fire, she understood that they would one day need no gods. Another answer she's known for a while. So she finds herself here, visiting the plaque that details the life of the lonely woman and her jolteon who were able to light the world, squinting at the grainy, smudged oil-painting whose features are hardly intelligible.

"They never quite get your face right, do they?" he asks, strolling up behind her. His shining black shoes echo in the exhibition hall.

"You know I never stick around long enough for them to learn."

For once, they are both at a loss for words. Even here, her jolteon does not hiss at him any more. They all know it.

"They are losing their need for us," she says at last. Her jolteon growls, low and mournful, ruffling his fur to let the extra sparks skitter to the ground. She no longer has the heart to reach out and comfort him when she has no more comfort to give.

The Ruler purses his lips but does not say anything.

"Even your arcanine. She once used to be a creature of legend. We journeyed to the tree of life to obtain the power to unlock her ascended form. But now? Growlithe are a family pet, and leafeon a garden pest. They have condensed the power of the tree into a stone a child could carry. They have bred and diluted the legends, and we are diminished. They do not need me to rove and teach them, and they do not need you to rule them. Have you spent long in this quaint little country? They speak of this concept called democracy. Consent of the governed."

The Ruler's eyebrow arches, as it always does, but this time it soars higher than it ever has. "They always need me to rule, even if they no longer wish to learn your peddler's tricks. They will always need me," he repeats. There is a slight hint of derision in his voice, hardly detectable, but his words make it clear enough. He draws himself up to look down on her. "The wolf still has his bite even if the fox has lost her cunning."

Her jolteon snarls now, sparks rippling freely from his fur. The Rover does nothing.

The Ruler sighs. He examines the fingernails of the other as he speaks. "It is only fair to warn you. A great war is coming, I fear. I do not mean for it, but I think I am powerless to stop it."

She has no story to tell him in exchange for a gift that she does not want.


The trenches are filled with smoke, screams, and the blood of the dead.

The Rover is in hell.

"Seismic activity in sector twelve! Incoming!" the sergeant screams, just before the wall of the trench before him erupts into a shower of rubble and he falls silent forever. Rocks fly in every direction as a pair of steel-headed moles roll from the trench, claws tucked ahead of them to form the tines of their drills.

One of the survivors, blood streaming from his right eye socket, proceeds to empty the magazine of his gun into the excadrill's body, only to have his struggle ended by a bullet reflected off the sleek armor of the creature's midsection.

Her espeon crouches forward, focusing his energy into the gem on his forehead, and the excadrill screams horribly as its claws are assaulted by some invisible force. The screeching reaches an unbearable intensity before—

Schnick. The claws snap off entirely, and the espeon's purple glow fades as he returns to her side. They both want to avoid looking at the monster they killed in the name of one day leaving peace, but she forces herself to do it. She owes the excadrill that much for snuffing out its life.

The Rover rolls out of the way as one of the other soldiers throws something toward the second monster, which looks up from mauling a soldier's corpse a second too late to spin out of the grenade's blast radius.

Her ears screaming in protest from the explosion, the Rover vaults out of the trench, ignoring the way that her uniform shreds on the barbed wire that litters the ground. Her espeon shields the brunt of the aftershock with a shimmering barrier, but the blast of wind that follows still nearly knocks her down. She's already moving even as the noise begins to pierce its way through her receding deafness. At first, she thinks it an echo of the explosion in her shattered eardrums; as her head clears, however, she knows they are the unmistakable cries of the dying.

A single glance at the trench behind her, which a weezing has already begun filling with noxious, purple smoke, tells her all she needs to know.

Her revolution was known as an industrial one; his is one that burns. She brought him an era of machines and technology; he brought her an era of war and destruction using her innovation as the engine that drove its core.

Their world has outgrown thrones, but the Ruler always knows where the seat of power really stands. And here, in a trench filled with soldiers who are rapidly turning into corpses, nothing stands save for the Rover and her companion, and even then they stagger.


"You told me that the last war would end this fighting," the Rover says, barely keeping her anger in check. She has let the anger burn for years, centuries, and now the fire threatens to consume her. "That my treaty would allow the pokemon and the people to live in harmony for as long as I was there to keep the balance. And yet here you are, inciting this bloodshed again. What drives you to kill so many?"

"They do not bow low enough. Do you stop to mourn the loss of an ant when you look down from the heavens?"

She once saw the world his way, back when she was blind. That equivalent exchange was the way of the world, that she could trade something else's life for hers. Sacrifice.

The Rover grits her teeth. Back when she traded in stories, she believed that all stories are precious. She still holds that belief even now. But here, faced with the unyielding force of nature that is the Ruler, she holds on to something even more important: each life is a story in itself, and each life therefore is precious. "And how many ants will you kill in the name of your lust for power?"

"As many as I must," the Ruler replies stiffly. "They still need me."

She knows this is a lie. A human dies, but the entire race refuses to cease. They are strapped to the wheel of progress, and no single death, no single catastrophe, no single Ruler can hope to stop them. They will soon reach the stars that she once thought only held stories. When the dust from this atrocity settles, she will help them point their war-engines skyward in the name of peace, and they will no longer need to be chained to the rock that was their cradle. They will walk among the stars.

"They have grown greater than us. Let go of what is gone, or I will have to stop you." It is a promise. She brought them their secrets and nurtured their trades, and now she will protect them from their enemies, as she always has. "Please, old friend. Please reconsider your path."

"I will not."

The Rover tries a different approach. "Millennia ago, you and I decided to walk among the humans we helped create. We burdened ourselves with their form." She bites her lip. "Do you remember why?"

Silver eyes meet silver. The Ruler smirks. "Do you?"

His question makes her fall silent.

He answers for them both. "You walked the Earth a thousand times over trying to puzzle through that question. Trying to decide why we would possibly care about insignificance so much that we would lose our legendary bodies, our power. Let me tell you this: whatever reasoning we had, old friend, is in the past. We were wrong."

"I don't believe you."

He doesn't bring himself to respond aloud, perhaps out of contempt, or perhaps out of a tiny modicum of shame for what is to come. Instead, he points with a single hand toward the window.

The Rover frowns but approaches the glass, where she expects to see the gentle sun rising over the sleepy countryside.

When she thinks back, she wonders what she would've done with those extra handfuls of moments had she reacted faster. Perhaps she could've saved a few. Perhaps. But there was never a 'perhaps' with him.

After all, she's had centuries to stop the Ruler from reaching this point. A few more moments would never have been enough. Squinting against the star-splattered darkness spread out against the window, she realizes they are hours too early for the dawn, and yet a brilliant light is ripping across the horizon like a knife.

She sees the silhouette of a great tree in the distance, and she turns back in horror to see the Ruler's smile as he glows as well. She sees the greed and the dark wings and the destruction in his eyes. Yveltal unfolds himself, and he screams.

It clicks. She understands what he means to do, how little the mortals mean to him, how many he is willing to sacrifice so he can remain the Ruler.

Oblivion comes from above and the second world war ends in an instant. The quiet countryside stretched before her is burned into her eyes in a blast of light, and then it recedes into nothingness as the explosion travels outward and consumes them both.


"I should thank you, you know," the Rover says with biting sarcasm, throwing open the double doors to his 'domain' in an abandoned store littered with scorched tins and bits of lead. Even after he has personally ended the world, he still has the audacity to give himself a throne to look down on the survivors. There is no laughter in her voice anymore, no smile in her eyes, and she can hardly look at him straight.

"I didn't mean to," he lies.

"I had feared that the world had grown tired of me, that humanity no longer needed to rove, that all the new discoveries had been discovered. They had almost reached the stars before you blasted them back into the dust," the Rover says, her smile so sad that it is invisible. "And then you give me another one of your gifts. You take the knowledge I give you and you defile it." Her voice shakes. "As your gift, you wipe out the entire world I surveyed. The lands, you reshape. The pokemon and the humans alike, you turn to dust, either to fuel your weapon or in the aftermath. Even our legendary siblings are gone, hibernating or hiding. You used Their power for your nightmarish weapon." She exhales, slowly. In a calmer voice, she continues, "You asked for a world of ants, and gave it to me. Shall I tell you a story in return?" There are so many more words here, and they pound ferociously like a river against the dam that is her mouth. How could you do this to us? To them?

"I'm sorry."

The Rover turns away. "I shall wander again for many years thanks to your gift. I have an entire world to rebuild." This time she knows that she will rove the world alone. Her companions are gone. The humans are all but forgotten. The survivors will rise again, but it will take them many, many centuries to even return to where they have started.

The Ruler looks at her for the first time that day. Their shared silvery eyes are mirrors of each other, reflections of burning regret coupled with insatiable determination.

"I am already mourning my crime, old friend. Please—"

The Rover cuts him off, the Ruler of dust, her anger sharper than the iron she once taught him how to find from the hide of the aggron, now extinct. "You want forgiveness? Then wander. Perhaps it will teach you something, as it once taught me. They name you after the ashes you left in the wake of your weapon. Az, is it? Wear that name in shame, and repent."

She has remembered who she is. She is weakens, but she is Xerneas, a god, creation and wanderlust incarnate, and she passes judgment.


In a quiet town, she teaches them to wander. She plants the seeds of a new tree of life.

This shall be her new beginning. She is an artist; this town is her palette.

This time, she will do things differently. She will do it right. The Rover teaches the humans to work with their pokemon companions from the start, so they may both train and grow strong together. There will be no sacrifice, no trading one life for another. The Ruler taught her that allowing for a single sacrifice will only be the start of more. When she convinced herself that she could sacrifice one life, she already lost the others. The Rover sends their children off together, human and pokemon alike, so they may wander, repair the wounds of the war that she and her brother created.

The humans and pokemon will understand each other. They will not fear what they already know. She teaches them to wander, to ask as she once did, to learn the stories of the others around them. For each story is a life, and each life is precious.

She tends the grounds so that the seedlings may grow unfettered. She, too, wanders alongside them, although she still wonders why. Without a companion by her side, it is quieter, but in her heart of hearts, she hopes that she may find the Ruler again. She ponders what has happened to him, barefoot and repenting, cursed with his monstrous form to remind her children what will happen if they stray too far from the path.

The tiny fox comes to her then, diminished in form like her own, but she sees the potential in his warm, brown eyes. She takes him in and cradles his tawny fur and bushy tail and teaches him to grow, to be whatever he wants to be, to have the power of evolution, and together they show the humans and pokemon alike. She raises the young eevee on the flavors of the land, so that he may see it all and one day make his own choice.

He wanders with her, even as she senses the return of the Legends, as some rise from their groggy slumber, but they never awaken for long. The Rover teaches the humans to fear her siblings, to revere them, but never to let that fear or reverence consume them. She keeps the mortals and the eternal power that shaped them apart. She will not give the Ruler another throne, not now.

It takes her centuries, but she has always been patient. Together, they rebuild.


The Rover strides in, letting the doors slam behind her and sweeping the guards out of the way with the force of her walk alone. "Champion, you call yourself, sitting on your gilded throne at the Plateau. I never thought you bold enough to embrace the destruction." Her words catch in her throat. "I hope you burn."

"I didn't expect to see you here. I thought you were off somewhere, tinkering with your precious little encyclopedia," he replies snidely, a hundred thousand years of arrogance hidden in a calm face.

"I should have known. A thousand years a nomad is hardly enough to temper an arrogant god."

"Could we not return to the time when we were friends?" His voice is almost pleading, but she knows the truth behind his words: he doesn't want her friendship. What he wants, instead, is the promise that she will not interfere with him. A promise she will no longer give.

The Rover pauses to digest his words, his already-broken promises. And then: "I see you gathering your forces, corrupting the League I raised. Know this, old friend: I will stop you at every turn, and, when the mortals are strong enough and no longer need me to fight on their behalf, I will let them destroy you."

The Ruler tilts his head to one side, raises one eyebrow mockingly, and smirks. "I see you're breaking all of your promises, now, old friend. First you join the fray, and now you seek to challenge me directly? You never did this before. Was it because of our friendship? Was it guilt, because I saved your life so many times?" He pauses, suddenly realizing something, and he smiles viciously. "Have you turned to ruling at last?"


"I remembered why I chose this form."

His eyes narrow as he laughs mirthlessly. "I doubt it, old friend."

But the Rover no longer falters. "Because wandering and struggling is the only way for us to grow."


"And it is my burden to give this lesson on to others. You may call yourself Champion now, you may raise your Teams to conquer the land, you may try to enslave our Legendary siblings, but know this: you will fail."

"You cannot stop me."

"It was never my place." She thinks of the wide-eyed children she has sent forth on their journeys, to travel the land and learn. They are young, the human children and their first pokemon alike, but they will grow. "I only bring the first spark. It is up to them to bear the torch. Giovanni, Maxie, Archie, Cyrus, Ghetsis, Lysandre. Wear whatever face you will. Where I have failed, they will carry on. They will stop you. We will stop you."

They lock their too-silver, too-pale, too-dead eyes together, and they both understand the undeniable challenge written there in letters of flame. He sought to battle; she sought to learn. Humanity learned lessons from the both of them, but now they must choose their own path, to strive forward, to be the very best. If they are to succeed where their ancestors failed, they will have to be like no one else ever was. The battle rages already, lines clearly drawn in the sand. There is no turning back from this.

He smirks.

"So be it."

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I'm going to dispense with the usual format, not least because I'd end up with filler. First of all, I'm not sure what you think you've failed at regarding worldbuilding. There's only so much you can do with short vignettes across history. It was an interesting choice to actually not focus very much on the pokémon themselves on Earth, excepting where you turn the ending of the Second World War into the legendary Kalos war. That was quite clever (It goes some way to making the absurdity of the 3,000 year old legend palatable) and avoids a lot of the, well, the tiresome acrobatics involved in figuring out just how pokémon would affect Earth.

For a moment I was prepared to be annoyed at the idea of gods being behind the great advances in human history, but then you subverted it well enough with the two "gods" essentially piggybacking on humanity. It's amusing to note that being immortal does not make them in any real sense special. "Seeing the light" I see thematically as the two of them coming to terms with the fact that humanity has long outstripped them - "Cynthia" learning to accept that, "Cyrus" trying to cling to his old power

It's unusual to see from you a story that is essentially optimistic. Whatever else "Cyrus" has done, the central thread is that humanity grows, continues to grow, and will not be dominated by any god
Okay putting this here took longer than it should've but at least I'mf inally getting it done xD but withotu further ado here is my judgement for this story from the awards, scores and all :p

What the Stars Said

Plot 6/10: What the Stars Said doesn’t necessarily have a plot of its own, it’s mostly just kind of a look at different historic events but with the setting being the Pokemon world and with Pokemon involved, though even then Pokemon don’t really play a big role into the story as a whole. Nevertheless it’s a rather interesting way for the story to be laid out and seeing how the world changes from these character’ perspective is also interesting.

On that note it does get a little confusing at the end though, it kind of feels like the story ended up concerning itself more with showing who these people were by the end of the story than the plot itself and at the end of the day it caused it to become confusing as a whole but I’ll talk more about that later.

Setting 7.5/10: We don’t really get a clear setting as we’re always switching around, heck we don’t even get that much description in regards to the settings, in general the story just follows these two characters through different varying locations with not much description to support it. However, this in itself is also a style to establish the setting.

The story relies on us trying to figure out what time the characters are in now and to use our usual knowledge of said times in order to establish that setting, this isn’t an approach that’s usually seem but allowing the reader to rely on their own knowledge of where they might be while also dropping a few hints also works out well. However, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make it slightly lazy if interesting.

Characterization 7.5/10: The story focuses on only two characters during its run, starting off with their birth and then jumping through history as they learn and adapt more to the roles that they themselves wish to play or feel were destined to play. It’s an interesting way of showing development, the scenes are mostly of dialogue but they’re not too long and yet you can tell how the characters grow and change from the start simply from the way they speak to each other. This comes in handy later in the story as their relation as comrades and then friends turns them into mutual enemies of each other.

The story also gives a pretty interesting approach to themes such as longevity and accepting the change of time. The characters’ personality greatly change the more that they realize that humanity is no longer needing them like they use to and while one accepts that fact the other strives to keep going with his ambition. It’s an interesting method of exploring the aspects of these characters.

However, I feel like the story tries a bit too hard towards the end of pulling off a plot twist by making these characters into people we know from the games, this in turn causes it to get a bit confusing because the story would suggest that these two have been living life since they were born but the end seems to imply that they can reincarnate? Or maybe it’s just me getting it wrong.

There also isn’t much room in regards to their personality even if they get development, it’s more like they both start out as blank slate and end up with a decently implied personality but aside from some focus on them they really don’t fall back on much more besides the fact that one is more heroic than the other.

Style 8/10: Having read a lot of Elysia’s works both in first and third I’ve come to expect the kind of prose this story has. The prose is very adaptable to the character’s personality, even in third person you can see the prose change as the character does, becoming more…emotional if you will as it focuses more on describing feelings and actions than it does on events and surroundings (kind of like how the roamer becomes more attentive to her own feelings and action compared to when she’s trying to learn more about the world when she’s younger) Towards the end it ends up focusing more on dialogue so we don’t get to see much of the prose itself but I feel like that helps enhance the feeling of urgency that we see in later scenes.

The prose also likes to look back at least, doing comparisons between the different times these characters have met and putting them against how they are now much like the characters do with each other.

Technical 10/10: I’m really bad when it comes to finding errors for her to be honest, I mean she plays with words around a lot of the time but at the same time her grammar is very clean and easy to understand and there aren’t any clear mistakes that might drop you out of the story.

Overall 77/100

The Ruler

Depth 8/10: The Ruler is an interesting character, someone who from the start of his life has always ruled over others, being seen as a wise man that others wanted to follow. As thus this causes him to get a bit over his head and you can see him evolve from a normal man that’s just helping others survive to someone obsessed with standing over others. Unfortunately the story doesn’t necessarily explore his character too much and we’re not able to see more of this depth.

Originality 6/10: The Ruler isn’t exactly original, the way he becomes who he is really is interesting but his overall character basically serves as an antagonist for the Wanderer, in that regard the ruler is basically the incarnation of every bad guy ever and even takes on a few familiar bad guy faces in the story. This sadly doesn’t leave much room for him in regards to originality.

Entertainment Value 5/10: Sadly the Ruler is part of a duo. I don’t think the Ruler would’ve come off as such an interesting character to follow if it wasn’t for his interactions with the Wanderer as opposed to the other way around, this causes him to be a character that needs of another character in order to fully immerse the reader.

Contribution to the Plot 7/10: This story doesn’t really have much in regards to the plot but it basically follows both the Wanderer and Ruler’s interactions throughout their lives. As thus he is an important part of the story. However, as stated before, I think that he needs a lot more of the Wanderer than the other way around in order to be important to the plot.

Overall 68/100
Oh Hello! Would you look at what I dug up here! An eight year old, well-preserved kint-fic! And it is so lovely! You never cease to surprise me.
Very big eyes at that story! It reads like a fairy-tale, or an old legend, and I will gobble that shit up. And I never in ever expected that twist at the end with the Ultimate Weapon and all. (Sadly, we don't get to see the ruler as a crypto-bro, the weapon was fired too early...) I have to say, the end lines referencing the anime-opening are a bit too cheesy for my taste, especially because I now have to envision the rover as ash flipping his snapback around, but oh well... cursed image committed to memory I guess. But the antichrist aside, this was such a fun read! Especially the bronze-age stuff, because damn I love understanding references.
Oh, something that positively surprised me: I could have gone for the cycle repeating over and over again, but at some point, I realised that these two did develop as characters. I frankly did not expect that, because Xerneas and Ylvetal kinda have to be locked in an eternal cycle of death and rebirth, else they'd get to a stalemate. But I'm all the more happy for this development. It's kinda interesting to think about what would happen if the rover didn't give her secrets to the ruler any longer. I can see this end in either an era of stagnation, or a group of mortals uses her progress to rise above the others and then the ruler would inevitably find his way to the top of this group. This assumes that mortals need to conquer and rule, which is kinda sad, but also... weirdly fits what I know... (shill shill socialism shill)
Is this an 8.7k setup for a new communist manifesto? I sure hope so. Until I get that, however, I shall think about this and the style it's written in and shamelessly incorporate it in my worldbuilding.
Good to see you around again! Blue!
Oh Hello! Would you look at what I dug up here! An eight year old, well-preserved kint-fic! And it is so lovely! You never cease to surprise me.
Very big eyes at that story! It reads like a fairy-tale, or an old legend, and I will gobble that shit up. And I never in ever expected that twist at the end with the Ultimate Weapon and all. (Sadly, we don't get to see the ruler as a crypto-bro, the weapon was fired too early...) I have to say, the end lines referencing the anime-opening are a bit too cheesy for my taste, especially because I now have to envision the rover as ash flipping his snapback around, but oh well... cursed image committed to memory I guess. But the antichrist aside, this was such a fun read! Especially the bronze-age stuff, because damn I love understanding references.
Oh, something that positively surprised me: I could have gone for the cycle repeating over and over again, but at some point, I realised that these two did develop as characters. I frankly did not expect that, because Xerneas and Ylvetal kinda have to be locked in an eternal cycle of death and rebirth, else they'd get to a stalemate. But I'm all the more happy for this development. It's kinda interesting to think about what would happen if the rover didn't give her secrets to the ruler any longer. I can see this end in either an era of stagnation, or a group of mortals uses her progress to rise above the others and then the ruler would inevitably find his way to the top of this group. This assumes that mortals need to conquer and rule, which is kinda sad, but also... weirdly fits what I know... (shill shill socialism shill)
Is this an 8.7k setup for a new communist manifesto? I sure hope so. Until I get that, however, I shall think about this and the style it's written in and shamelessly incorporate it in my worldbuilding.
Good to see you around again! Blue!
goodness! what's up, lmao. I'm flattered that you stopped by; this is a story that I haven't thought about in a loooong time but that I remember loving writing, so it's a blast to look at it with fresh eyes.

I'm certainly not going to defend all of the creative choices that I made here--"what if yveltal invents capitalism and also all of human history happened like normal but everyone had little pokemon hoodies on" is, uh, definitely not something I'd find myself writing today, but I'm still certainly fond of the general premise and like 0.75 of the ideas that happened once, and I appreciate your thoughts here. <3

especially because I now have to envision the rover as ash flipping his snapback around
fun fact in the original version of this, which was published somewhere and read by actual people, I had a galaxy brain thought that "AZ" could be pronounced "aahhhz" could be pronounced "Ash" and this was literally a scene with Ash Ketchum sitting on a throne of presumably skulls or post apocalyptic edgy shit (???????????) until people pointed out how utterly nonsensical that was. ah, the glories of hindsight. i'm quite glad that I didn't peak seven years ago, and that my improvements continue to be obvious.

thank you for stopping by this neck of the woods! glad you found it enjoyable, lol.
Please note: The thread is from 9 months ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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