Emerald Knights: A Pokémon Sword Story Chapter 11
Updated: May 22
Chapter 11: Kidnap Plot
The Wild Area greeted the twins like a very loving friend.
Leaving Motostoke behind and returning to the wide open area of nature and wildlife felt very refreshing to both Emerald and Sapphire. Living in Postwick Town meant they were country girls by nature and always enjoyed scenery like this more so than a city. It was the right weather to be in the Wild Area too, the sky a perfect blue and the sun shining brightly. The lakes sparkled in the sunlight and the Pokémon inhabiting the place all looked to be making the most of the beautiful weather today. If there was anywhere to spend the rest of the day in order to relax, it was here. Emerald breathed in and out happily.
"Gotta love that fresh air, eh Sapph?" she asked.
"It certainly feels welcome after the heat of Motostoke Stadium." Sapphire agreed, "You me and our Pokémon are going to feel very refreshed after a while of relaxing here."
The twins chose a good spot to set up their tent and got to work on putting it up. Once the tent had been set up, the duo set down a blanket and their rolled up sleeping bags to use as pillows to lie on. Emerald lay down on the blanket and rested her head on the sleeping bag, sighing contently. She had been ready for a lie down after that intense Gym battle. It felt good to get off her feet for a while. Sapphire didn't lie down with her.
"You don't mind looking after the camp for a minute, do you?" she asked, "I'm going to look for some new Pokémon to catch. You can just enjoy the peace and quiet until I get back."
"That's OK with me." Emerald said casually, "Have fun Sapph! Oh and remember to be aware for Team Royal. They might still be lurking somewhere." She warned.
"I'll be sure to have my Pokémon out with me to protect me if anyone tries anything." Sapphire said reassuringly, "I'll be fine. See you later!"
Emerald waved to her sister as she headed off further into the Wild Area to catch some more Pokémon. As soon as she'd gone, the brunette girl lay back and closed her eyes. She lay still, listening to the gentle breeze play with the grass around her and brush over her hair. She could hear some Water-type Pokémon swimming in the lake nearby. After she finished resting, she'd let Gemstone and Blue out of their Pokéballs to go for a swim themselves. Emerald also planned to look for a Water and a Fire Stone while she and Sapphire were here in the Wild Area. She remembered that Katana had managed to find a Thunder Stone that Thor had ended up using by accident to evolve into Raichu. Maybe other evolution stones could be found here. The Wild Area did have lots of things to find after all from treasures to sell to items that could help in battle. If she found those stones, Vixey and Gemstone could evolve into Ninetales and Starmie respectively. But she would only use them if they felt comfortable with it. Emerald hated the idea of forcing them to evolve. Some trainers were cruel to their Pokémon in ways like that and she wouldn't be one of them.
Half an hour later, Emerald sat up and stretched, feeling completely refreshed after that relaxing lie down. Now it was time for her Pokémon to have some fun and enjoy the cooldown period too. At the moment, she had Kerchak, Katana, Vixey, Gemstone, Blue and Mei-Mei with her. She'd switch up for six different ones when they'd had some time to play. But just as she was about to bring her Pokémon out, a shadow fell over her. Emerald turned around to see what she thought was a walking sack of fat for a minute. Then it dawned on her that the sack of fat was actually a man. How the hell was he able to walk like this with how huge his stomach was?! Emerald thought of him as the kind of man that would think standing up was the equivalent of doing press-ups with how fat he was! He also looked revolting with rotting teeth, an unshaved face and stains of goodness knows what on his jacket. She felt uncomfortable. She didn't know why but something told her this man was bad news and she felt a huge need to run away. But for some reason, her legs wouldn't obey her. It was the kind of nightmare situation where you wanted to run but somehow couldn't.
"Excuse me young lady, you wouldn't happen to be Emerald Silverlock, would you?" the man asked.
"Um, yes, that's me. Why…?" Emerald began.
She didn't complete her sentence. The man had struck out with surprising speed, backhanding Emerald viciously across the face and knocking her out instantly. The poor girl didn't even cry out. She hit the ground heavily and lay still. Richard laughed triumphantly. So this girl was meant to be the new hot-shot trainer who was the sister of the Champion? What a joke! He'd gotten the drop on her so much easier than he expected. Then again, she hadn't brought her Pokémon out so that had helped. Now Emerald was unconscious, Richard saw to emptying her pockets of her Pokéballs and throwing them in the tent so when she woke up later, she wouldn't have any Pokémon to help her. Then he rolled Emerald onto her stomach and tied her hands behind her back. He'd brought a small length of rope with him for such an occasion. He also brought a roll of duct tape with him so he could tape her mouth shut. If she woke up before he got back to Team Royal's hideout, she wouldn't be able to scream for help. He plastered the tape over Emerald's mouth, making sure it was stuck on good and tight. Then finally, he threw a Pokéball to summon forth his partner-in-crime.
He had a Cofagrigus, a sinister Ghost-type Pokémon from the Unova region. Yamask from Unova evolved into this Pokémon while Galarian Yamask evolved into Runerigus, an entirely different Pokémon. Cofagrigus looked like a possessed Egyptian sarcophagus with ghostly hands trailing out from it. The coffin itself was gold and blue in colour with red eyes and a sinister grin that passed off as a face. It also wore the mask that Yamask carried on its "forehead". Cofagrigus were said to entrap and mummify people that came close, especially grave robbers that made the mistake of trying to raid them thinking they were ordinary coffins. They were considered one of the creepiest Pokémon that existed and very few dared to go near them as a result.
Cofagrigus lay down and opened itself up. Richard picked up the bound and gagged Emerald and placed her gently inside the coffin like Pokémon. The lid closed, trapping her inside. It wouldn't let her out until Richard told it to. This was why Cofagrigus was such a perfect partner for the criminal, it made kidnapping people easy carrying when it could just carry the captive for him. Richard dusted his hands off.
"All too easy!" he sneered, "Why is kidnapping little brats like her so much fun? Ha, ha, ha! I can't wait to get her over to the bosses! With how efficiently I've snatched her, they might even give me a raise!"
He patted his Cofagrigus.
"You keep her locked up good and tight." he insisted, "We can't have her falling out and people seeing we've got a prisoner in there."
The Ghost Pokémon made a slight gesture that vaguely passed off as a nod. Richard whipped out his phone so he could call Edward and ask if he had secured the other twin yet. But just as he dialled the number, a voice spoke out from nowhere.
"Let that girl go now."
The voice wasn't raised, but it still managed to sound threatening regardless. Richard put his phone away, cursing himself for getting spotted. He'd been so sure that there were no witnesses around! How had he been spotted?! He turned around and saw that the voice belonged to none other than Paul. He'd been training in the Wild Area at the time and had spotted Richard putting Emerald into his Cofagrigus. That had instantly told him something was wrong so he'd come over to help. His face was a scowl of disgust, making it clear that despite his anti-social nature, he would not abide kidnapping. Richard smirked, seeing Paul as nothing to worry about.
"Oh what, is she your girlfriend or something?" he taunted.
Paul didn't even flinch at the response. That unnerved Richard. He'd at least hoped that would annoy him but his face remained the same as before.
"Let her go, NOW." Paul said firmly, "I won't ask you again."
"Who do you think you are to order me about you little brat?" Richard snorted, "Nobody orders Team Royal around but our kings, Sordward and Shielbert!"
He clasped a hand over his mouth as he suddenly realized that he'd done the stupidest thing he could've done. Damn! His bosses had stressed the point of NOT saying they're from Team Royal if they got confronted! Paul chuckled humourlessly.
"Only guys as pathetic as Team Royal would spill their secrets so easily." he sneered.
"It doesn't matter, you have only one chance to just walk away and forget you ever saw me." Richard warned, "I have a job to do and an uppity little bastard like you is not going to get in my way! Leave now or I'll have my Pokémon knock you into the dirt!"
Paul didn't move.
"I warned you." he said coldly, "Now you're gonna suffer the consequences."
He whipped out a Pokéball and threw it.
"Aggron, standby for battle!" Paul ordered.
His newly evolved Aggron materialized onto the field and roared menacingly. Richard recoiled in shock. How did this punk have an Aggron? They lived in the Crown Tundra! He shouldn't have one all the way out here in the mainland! The metal dinosaur stomped his huge feet and growled, making Richard shudder as the noise tore through him.
"Aggron, use your tail to knock that guy away!" Paul ordered.
Aggron obeyed instantly. The colossal Pokémon stampeded towards Richard and spun on its heels. Richard could only scream as he was sent flying through the air by the Steel/Rock Pokémon's huge tail. He felt as if he'd been hit by a demolition crane. Richard spiralled through the air and crashed down heavily. The impact had knocked him clean out. Cofagrigus shuddered nervously. Its trainer was knocked out! Who was going to give it orders now?! Paul turned to the Ghost Pokémon.
"Use Shadow Claw on that Pokémon!" he snapped.
Aggron raised its hand and pounded towards Cofagrigus. Ghostly energy surrounded Aggron's claws. It looked as if the energy of the living dead had come to give Aggron its power for the attack it was about to launch. Cofagrigus was completely defenceless. It could only take the blow as Aggron raked its claws across its solid gold surface, the shadow energy sapping away all its strength. Cofagrigus fainted on the ground, its ghostly hands disappearing to signify as such. Now it looked like an ordinary coffin that had been taken from an Egyptian tomb and randomly dropped in the middle of nowhere. Aggron sniffed at the unconscious Pokémon to make doubly sure it was down and then grabbed at the lid. It opened it up, revealing a tied up and unconscious Emerald inside. She was still unconscious but otherwise unhurt. As Paul expected, Aggron's attack only hurt Cofagrigus. He approached it as Aggron gently lifted Emerald out of the coffin Pokémon.
"Her camp's just there. We'll take her there and untie her." Paul commanded.
Aggron nodded and carried Emerald over to her tent. The iron-coated Pokémon gently lay her down on the blanket she'd been relaxing on just earlier, being careful not to bang her head against anything. Once that was done, Paul saw to untying Emerald's hands and carefully peeling the tape from her mouth. While he would never consider Emerald a friend, it still sickened him to see such innocence being preyed on like this. How pathetic could people be to resort to disgusting actions like this? He looked up at Aggron.
"Get that guy you just knocked out and bring him here." he said, "We'll get Emerald to call her sister so she can pick him up."
Aggron nodded and plodded off to get Richard. While Aggron was gone, Paul shook Emerald vigorously.
"Wake up." he said firmly.
Emerald groaned groggily as she started to come round. Her brown eyes opened slowly and she moaned as she woke up.
"Ummm…huh…wh-wha…where am I? What happened?" she asked wearily.
"You're in your camp." Paul explained, "I saved you from one of Team Royal's men."
Emerald was wide awake in a single second. She shot up and looked around wildly.
"Team Royal?! They're here in the Wild Area?! Where?!" she exclaimed.
"I had my Aggron knock the man out that tried to kidnap you." Paul continued, "He'd tied you up and stuffed you inside a Cofagrigus."
He pointed over to the unconscious Pokémon that had imprisoned her. Emerald saw it and gasped. Her stomach churned as the horrible thought of being trapped inside that Pokémon filled her mind. Emerald was extremely claustrophobic so the fact she'd actually been shut in that Cofagrigus was enough to make her shake with terror.
"I was actually put in there?!" she cried, "Oh no, how horrible would that have been if I woke up still trapped in that thing?!"
Emerald suddenly realized she was beginning to hyperventilate so she took a moment to breathe in and out slowly to regain her nerves. Paul waited for her to recover. After that, Emerald turned to Paul, her eyes wide with awe.
"You…you actually saved me?" she asked, "Oh Paul…I didn't realize you cared! Thank you so much!"
"Yeah, whatever." Paul said bluntly, "You should call your sister so she can take that man away. Team Royal has just inadvertently made rounding them up easier for us." he said, smirking.
"True that." said Emerald.
Then she cried out in horror as something else hit her.
"Oh no! Sapph!" she shrieked, "She has no idea that Team Royal are here! She could be in danger right this second! I have to find her!"
Paul grabbed her arm and gave her a firm look that told her not to panic and to sit still.
"Text her." he suggested, "Then call Ruby so she can take this man away. Then you can go find her while me and Aggron make sure he doesn't get away."
"OK, I'll do that." she agreed.
Her Rotom phone came out of her bag and hovered in front of her. Emerald used it to quickly text Sapphire. She wrote:
Sapph! Look out! Team Royal is in the Wild Area! One of them tried to kidnap me but Paul saved me! I'm coming for you as soon as I've told Ruby!
After the text had sent, she quickly dialled Ruby's number so she could call her. As she waited for Ruby to answer, Paul's Aggron had returned to the camp, carrying Richard in its arms. He was still knocked out. Paul took the rope and tape that had been used to tie up Emerald earlier and tied Richard's hands together so he couldn't try and fight back. He taped his mouth shut as well so he couldn't call for help. As he did so, Emerald's call was accepted and Ruby's face filled her Rotom phone screen.
"Ruby! Thank Arceus you answered!" Emerald shrieked, "Team Royal are in the Wild Area! We've got one of their men now!" she paused to aim the phone at the unconscious Richard so Ruby could see, "He tried to kidnap me but Paul saved me! There might be more of them in the area so we're going to look out for them!"
"Great job Em and Paul." Ruby complimented, "I'll come straight over and get that guy to a prison cell right away. Did you warn Sapphire as well?"
"Yes. I texted her." Emerald answered, "I'm going to find her right now!"
"I hope no one's got her already…" Ruby said worriedly, "If you see any more Team Royal members, use your Pokémon and take them down quickly. Don't give them even an inch to fight back, understand?"
"Yes! I'm going to find Sapph right away!" Emerald cried, "See you later!"
She hung up and pocketed her Rotom phone. She picked up her Pokéballs and slung her backpack onto her back. Then the teenage trainer took off like the wind, desperate to get to her sister before it was too late. Paul watched her leave, hoping that she'd find her sister in time. He knew he should go too as a strong trainer like him would provide great protection but he also knew that someone had to watch over Richard. If any other Team Royal members were here, he'd make them sorry they ever messed with him or any other trainer…
Sapphire had just finished catching another Pokémon when she'd received Emerald's text.
After leaving Emerald on her own to relax, Sapphire had spent the half hour looking for new Pokémon. She wanted to continue expanding her team in response to the greater challenge the other Gyms provided and also to keep Ashley on her toes for next time they inevitably battled. She hadn't had much luck but she had managed to catch at least two new Pokémon.
The first one had been a Vikavolt that she'd found buzzing around in the Giant's set area. Vikavolt was an Electric type Pokémon first discovered in the Alola region and was known for its enormous pincers and powerful electrical charges. Sapphire thought Vikavolt were very cool looking Pokémon and knew she had to have one for herself so she'd caught it. She'd managed to creep up on it and throw a Pokéball, capturing it before it had even realized she was there. Upon capturing Vikavolt, Sapphire had named it Hercules and welcomed him to the team. Hercules was all too happy to be part of a team, saying he'd been looking forward to becoming a trainer's Pokémon one day.
Her second catch had been a Flareon, one of the many evolutions of the popular Eevee species. Flareon was the Fire type "Eeveelution" as they were nicknamed. It looked a little like a fennec fox with long ears, red fur and a bushy yellow mane and tail. Flareon was Sapphire's favourite Eeveelution and she wasted no time adding it to her team. She didn't even need to catch it for the Flareon had willingly decided to join her. It was a female Flareon and as Sapphire had learnt, she had craved companionship for a long time. Sapphire gleefully accepted her and had given her the nickname of Starfire.
"You two are going to be great additions to my team!" Sapphire declared, "I can't wait until I can use you both in a battle."
"I bet it'll be glorious and full of the fun and frolics!" Starfire cried excitedly.
"I hope we get lots of tough opponents so I can show how strong and mighty I am!" Hercules said, flexing his huge pincers.
"I bet you'll get plenty of chances to show your strength." Sapphire said happily.
And that was when she'd received the text from Emerald. After reading it, her face went pale and she fell silent for a minute. Starfire and Hercules could see something was wrong and grew concerned for their new trainer.
"What is it, fair trainer?" Starfire asked worriedly.
Sapphire quickly explained everything to her new Pokémon.
"So that's it, eh?" Hercules snarled, "Well if those Team Royal jerks come for you, we'll protect you!"
Whenever he got angry, electricity crackled furiously around his body.
"I know you will. Thank you." Sapphire said appreciatively, "I'll keep you two outside your Pokéballs until we leave the Wild Area. For now, we wait for Emerald to catch up to us so we can stick together. They'll have a harder time picking us off if we do so."
"Who will have a harder time picking you off?"
Sapphire yelped in alarm and spun around, fists clenched and ready to lash out at whoever that was speaking. Her instant thought was that it was a Team Royal member and she wanted to take her out quickly before she could try kidnapping her. Her fist was caught before it could connect and when the voice spoke again, Sapphire cried out in horror, but for an entirely different reason this time.
"WHOA! Sapph, calm down! It's only me! What the hell's got ya so riled up?!"
It was Ashley! The Unovan teen was here in the Wild Area as well! Sapphire's heart skipped a beat. She had nearly punched her crush in the face! She was completely ashamed of herself for reacting so violently without seeing who it was first. Her face went red with embarrassment and she slipped her hands behind her back. She looked like a naughty schoolgirl that had been caught handing sweets out in class.
"Oh Arceus! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I'msorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!" Sapphire yelped, her mouth running at 90 miles an hour, "I thought someone was sneaking up on me!"
"Well consider yourself lucky I have fast reflexes!" Ashley exclaimed breathlessly, "I was worried you was gonna break my nose with that punch! Now take a moment to chill out and tell me what's troubling you. Ya seem very on edge."
Sapphire sighed heavily to relax herself. Once she'd calmed down, she explained everything that Emerald had warned her about in her text message. After she'd finished, Ashley frowned in disgust.
"So trying to steal from us wasn't enough, was it? They have to try kidnapping too?" the brunette girl growled venomously, "The fact one of them tried to kidnap Emerald is quite telling if ya ask me. I dunno for sure, but this smells like a blatant attack against Ruby."
"It probably is." Sapphire agreed, "Maybe they want to get back at her through us, or maybe even use us to get her to do what they want. If they tried to kidnap Emerald, I'm worried they'll come after me too!" she cried, hugging herself tightly.
"Well you don't have to worry about it. You've got two new Pokémon out to protect you and I'll keep you safe too." Ashely offered, putting a hand on the blue-haired girl's shoulder, "I won't let anything bad happen to you."
Sapphire smiled in appreciation. It was sweet that despite the fact they hadn't known each other for very long, Ashley was already willing to protect her from potential kidnappers. This girl had truly earned the right to be a Champion with how she was so quick to protect others. She had truly found the perfect girl for her! Sapphire was about to say something else but something caught her eye. She looked up to see the sunlight glistening off of a shiny surface in the sky. What on Earth was it? It couldn't be a plane, it was much too small. It also seemed to be coming straight towards them. The thing came in, growing bigger and bigger as it began to approach them. Sapphire gasped. It was clearly a Pokémon of some kind, Steel-type perhaps with how it was shining in the sunlight. And it was coming straight at them, homing in on them like a heat seeking missile!
"GET DOWN!" Sapphire screamed, tackling Ashley to the ground.
The girls landed in a heap as the Pokémon soared straight over them, missing by centimetres. It let out a loud squawk in annoyance as it flew off to turn around and come back round again. Sapphire looked up to see where the Pokémon was. She could see it banking round to come at them again so she ordered Hercules to chase after it. The beetle-like Pokémon buzzed off angrily, electricity crackling around him as he pursued the attacker. Luckily for Hercules, his Electric typing cancelled out the usual Bug weakness to Flying types so he'd be safe chasing after a Flying-type Pokémon. As Hercules flew off, Sapphire turned and suddenly realized that she was now lying on top of Ashley after she'd tackled her to the ground. They were so close that they looked like they were about to kiss. Sapphire felt incredibly awkward and blushed in response. Even Ashley was blushing as the blue-haired girl raised herself away from her. Anyone seeing them would probably think they were ready to make-out in the middle of the Wild Area.
"Oh m-m-my…s-s-sorry about that…" Sapphire stammered bashfully.
"I-It's OK. R-really." Ashley said shyly. Her tone of voice suggested she surprisingly enjoyed having Sapphire on top of her like that, "I d-doubt you w-wanted to get up c-close and personal with me like THAT." she added, chuckling awkwardly.
"Oh Arceus no! Certainly not!" Sapphire laughed sheepishly, seeing the funny side of the situation.
The two regained themselves and turned their attention to the sky to see what Hercules was chasing after. It was still hard to see for the two Pokémon were very high up. Sapphire could just make out Hercules behind the other Pokémon, his jaws wide open and ready to attack. She cupped her hands over her mouth and called out.
"Hercules! If you can hear me, use Spark on that Pokémon!" she yelled.
Miraculously, Hercules did seem to have heard for Sapphire could see her was surrounding himself with electricity and charging straight towards the attacking Pokémon. Vikavolt were Pokémon with excellent hearing so despite being miles up in the sky, Hercules could hear Sapphire quite clearly. He slammed straight into the Pokémon and made it cry out as he electrocuted it. The Pokémon squawked in pain and was brought plummeting down to the ground like a falling rock. Hercules flew after it and caught it in his huge pincers so it wouldn't crash. The Pokémon may have been attacking his trainer, but he didn't want it to get seriously hurt regardless. He lowered it to the ground and Sapphire and Ashley got to see what it was that had been dive bombing towards them earlier.
It was a Skarmory, a Steel/Flying type Pokémon first discovered in Johto. Skarmory had a very sharp appearance with bladed wings, a sharp beak and equally as sharp talons. Skarmory were fast fliers and very powerful fighters while also being able to shrug off a lot of blows. It was unusual to see one here on the Galarian mainland as Skarmory were indigenous to the Isle of Armour, not Galar itself. Hercules had hit this one hard and with a super-effective hit so it was left struggling to get up again. Determined to keep it down, Sapphire ordered Starfire to use Flamethrower on it. Starfire obeyed, breathing a jet of flames over Skarmory. As it was a Steel-type, Skarmory couldn't handle Fire attacks and was quickly reduced to unconsciousness by the hit. The flames quite literally sapped away the rest of its strength. Skarmory lay still after the attack and didn't move again. Sapphire sighed with relief.
"Glad that's over." she puffed, "I bet that Skarmory belongs to Team Royal. How did they get it? Skarmory live in the Isle of Armour!"
"Maybe they caught one during a visit there or something." Ashley suggested, "Either way, we better find this Pokémon's trainer before anything else can happen."
"That won't be necessary, ladies. I'll save you the trouble of finding me."
Both Sapphire and Ashley jumped in alarm and looked around for where the voice had come from. They then saw that a man was approaching them, passing under one of the nearby bridges that stretched overhead. The man was the complete opposite compared to Richard, thin in appearance and much cleaner looking with no hair on his face and no stains on his clothes. He was also dressed in a red velvet tuxedo with a frilly shirt underneath. He looked like he should be at a fancy party than out here in the Wild Area. Sapphire and Ashley scowled at him. He had an arrogant look on his face, the kind that suggested that he was superior to everyone around him and they better respect that fact.
"I suppose you're the one that sent that Skarmory to attack us?" Sapphire said coldly.
"Correct, little child." the man sneered. He had a clipped way of speaking and an upper-class accent that somehow made him sound even more conceited, "I am Edward of Team Royal and I'm here for you. My comrade had informed me you'd be on your own so I decided I'd get you while you were vulnerable. I bet Richard has Emerald right now."
"Well too bad, arsehole." Sapphire taunted, "A friend of ours stopped him and she's coming to make sure I'm alright. That and the fact I have the Champion of Unova beside me means you're so screwed!"
"Why is Team Royal trying to kidnap Emerald and Sapphire anyway?" Ashley demanded, "Is this meant to be some kind of revenge scheme against Ruby or something?"
"You'd do well to mind your own business you little brat." Edward retorted, "This doesn't concern you. Also, you could do with covering up." he added rudely, "Don't you think those shorts show off a little too much of those legs?" he snorted, gesturing at the teen's strong, shapely legs.
Ashley gritted her teeth, offended by the comment. Even Sapphire frowned at Edward's unwarranted remark on her crush. Who did he think he was telling Ashley how to dress?!
"It DOES concern me actually as Sapphire as my friend and I won't tolerate you bastards trying to kidnap her and her sister!" the Champion snarled, "And my shorts are perfectly fine you snob! At least I don't look like I'm several centuries out of date with the way YOU dress!" she sneered.
Sapphire shrieked with laughter. She was thinking the same thing herself regarding Edward's fashion sense. Edward fumed in annoyance.
"I will not tolerate being insulted in this way!" he growled, "You will respect Team Royal or face the consequences!"
"You're literally plotting to kidnap two innocent teens and you have the Voltorbs to talk to ME about respect?" Ashley retorted, "Does hypocrisy come as naturally to you as breathing?"
That did it. Edward wasn't going to tolerate the Unovan girl's insults any longer. He lashed out at Ashley, moving much quicker than she could've expected from him and she cried out as his hand viciously scythed through the air and into the side of her head. Ashley reeled to one side, disoriented by the blow. She collapsed onto the ground, clutching her head and trying to regain her senses. Sapphire cried out and then yelled in horror as Edward came for her next. His gloved hands closed around her neck and he slowly began to choke her. Sapphire gagged helplessly and tried to wrench open his grip. But it was futile. Edward was much stronger than she was. His grip was like an iron vice around her throat. Edward had decided that he would take Sapphire out himself now he had no Pokémon left to use. He intended to strangle her long enough for her to pass out, not kill her, and then he'd take her away. Starfire and Hercules watched helplessly. What could they do to help their trainer? If they tried to use their attacks, they could potentially hurt Sapphire as well as Edward! Sapphire squirmed helplessly in Edward's grip.
"L-Let g-g-go of me…!" she croaked feebly.
"Oh no missy. I have a job to do and I won't return to my bosses empty handed!" Edward growled.
Sapphire was very scared. She could feel herself slipping away into unconsciousness. Black dots already started swarming around her line of vision. She was losing air and fast. If she didn't break free, she'd be helpless and Edward could snatch her away! But then somebody pounced on Edward's back and a hand closed around his face while a pair of legs wrapped around his waist. Edward cried out as his head was yanked back by the hand.
"GET OFF HER! GET! OFF! HER!"
It was Ashley! She'd regained her senses long enough to help out! Despite only being 15, Ashley showed surprising strength by pulling Edward back and holding onto him. Edward fought to keep hold of Sapphire but then Ashley dragged her nails viciously across his face. Sapphire cringed as he screamed in agony, the noise tearing through her. Four red lines were drawn across him and he let out a scream that could've disturbed all the wildlife in the Wild Area. He was in so much pain that he was forced to let go of Sapphire's neck and put a hand to his face. The moment Sapphire was free, she lashed out with her leg and drove it into Edward's gut. He crumpled and fell to the ground with Ashley still clinging onto him like a lioness trying to drag down a buffalo. Sapphire coughed and rubbed her neck as she desperately fought to get the air back into her lungs. Ashley wrestled with Edward, fighting to keep him pinned down. She brought both fists together and pounded down on his head, growling like a savage tiger. Edward grunted as her fists slammed down on him. He didn't pass out so Ashley hit him again. It took a third try to finally knock him out. As soon as Edward's eyes closed, Ashley stopped and took a moment to breathe in and out heavily. Her shoulders heaved as the adrenaline in her body left her. Sapphire had never seen her be so violent. It was clear that this girl was very protective of her friends and became a beast to deal with. As soon as Ashley had calmed down, she got back to her feet and pulled Sapphire in a tight hug. Sapphire hugged her back, suddenly feeling very protected now she was in this girl's arms.
"Are you OK?" Ashley asked softly.
"I am now that