When Mark woke up, the Charmander was still asleep, but this time curled up with the tail flame burning peacefully beside its head. Mark carefully placed his hand onto the Pokémon’s back. It was warm and breathed normally. He gave a faint smile, quickly dressed and then tiptoed into the kitchen, where he was greeted by his parents’ serious faces and folded arms.
“Mark,” his father sighed, “we need to talk.”
“Why not??” Mark shouted across the table, crushing his cornflakes violently. He couldn’t help noticing that despite his parents being very much unlike each other in outwards appearance – his father having black hair and being short just like him, but his mother a tall, thin blonde with big, toadlike eyes – they managed to look remarkably similar when they were both of the same mind.
“It’s very simple, Mark; it’s dangerous out there,” his father sighed.
“So what? I’d have a Pokémon for my protection!” Mark said eagerly.
His mother said quietly: “But what if your Pokémon turns against you?”
“That… that… just… doesn’t happen!” Mark said lamely. In fact, he had no idea, but he would soon learn it, if only they would stop getting in his way.
“Are you sure?” his mother asked kindly.
“Well, no, not really, but…”
“See, we just want to keep you safe,” she said in a voice Mark recognized as the one she used when she was trying to be convincing. Needless to say, Mark had grown completely oblivious to it over these eleven years.
“But, oh, mom…”
“Besides,” his father interrupted, “we’ve yet to check all the reported lost Pokémon.”
Mark didn’t say anything; he was aware of that, but he was still hoping somebody had released the Charmander on purpose. Meanwhile, his father stood slowly up, not taking his eyes off Mark, went to the computer in the corner (which was mainly used to find recipes online) and typed ‘www.lostandfound.com’ into the address bar. Mark quickly jumped to read over his shoulder as he searched for ‘Charmander’.
A broad grin spread through Mark’s face as the results appeared: Two lost Charmander, both of them in Kanto.
His father sighed. “That does not mean you’re about to go on a journey.”
Mark was going to protest, but was interrupted by a sound:
The little lizard carefully stepped into the kitchen and looked curiously around.
“Oh, it’s awake,” Mark’s father groaned.
“I’m not an ‘it’!” said the Charmander in an offended voice, at least if Mark’s knowledge of Pokémonish was as accurate as ever. The Pokémon’s voice, though rather high-pitched on human scale, was clearly masculine.
Mark turned to his father with and said in a scolding tone: “He’s a he, dad. Should I have said ‘Oh, it’s awake’ when I came in here and saw you?”
Charmander looked confused and asked: “What’s going on?”
“We’re arguing over whether you will go psycho and kill me,” said Mark and shot a ‘what-weirdoes-those-adults-can-be’ look back at his parents. Charmander raised an eyebrow.
“Look, hon, that’s not quite the way we put it,” Mark’s mother began in an apologetic tone, but Charmander interrupted loudly:
“What am I doing here, anyway?”
“Er,” was all Mark’s father said.
“I brought you in here when you fell unconscious on the road in the rain yesterday,” said Mark, leaning down to Charmander’s level. “And the reason we’re arguing is that I was… uh… wondering…” Suddenly he felt like abandoning the idea; it was ridiculous to tell a Pokémon that you were going to be its trainer, just because that was what you wanted.
“If you can be my trainer?” Charmander finished for him, sensing that Mark wasn’t about to continue. Mark nodded; the Pokémon smiled. “Sure, why not, since you saved me and all… I need a new trainer anyway…”
“What’s your name?” Mark immediately asked, feeling comfortably warm and light.
“I don’t really have one, just call me Charmander,” he answered cheerfully. Both of them looked hopefully up at Mark’s parents, wearing the broadest grins they could manage.
“No way,” said his father, folding his arms. Charmander’s expression dropped.
“Maybe I should just leave, then,” he said, turning around.
“No, wait… you can stay here! Just as a pet! Or whatever!” Mark’s father called after him, not wanting to send the poor thing out to die in the next downpour. Charmander turned slowly back to them.
“Do you trust me more here than out there?”
“It’s just that...” Mark’s father started, but his wife interrupted:
“You can’t deny that there are dangerous Pokémon out there – and you’re too small to handle them if they do attack.”
“But they’re usually nowhere near Sailance!” Mark argued.
“Usually,” his father emphasized.
Charmander couldn’t think of anything to say – it looked like his and Mark’s silent plan wasn’t working.
For a few days, Charmander was Mark’s pet. They had a really fun time – always went to bed very early, but set Mark’s digital watch to beep at two AM or so, and then in the dark bedroom with Charmander’s tail flame as the only light source, they discussed ways to get out on a journey. Just for fun, they started imagining this was the dungeon in the castle of two evil lords who kept them imprisoned, inventing loads of ideas of how to escape, each more absurd than the other.
“I think we must use our cunningness for this,” Mark whispered, leaning closer to Charmander. “You will set the castle on fire and while they burn, we will run and tell the world of their dictatorship so that peace can reign in Ouen again.”
They both snickered.
“Hey, Mark…” said Charmander thoughtfully, “I think I have an idea. No, not that kind of an idea, a real idea…”
Mark walked into the kitchen in the morning, his face expressionless.
“I don’t want breakfast, mom,” he said gloomily. “I just came to say goodbye.”
“I’m gonna kill myself.”
Crash. Another cup went to waste. His mother’s expression was so priceless he almost burst out laughing, but he had to keep the depressed-and-tired-of-life face.
“No, you’re not!” she screeched.
“It’s just… my friends are all gone,” he went on.
“But how do we fix that, dear?” she asked in a worried tone.
“I just wish I could go and meet up with them, on my own journey.” Mark immediately realized that the smile that followed was far too hopeful. And too un-depressed. His mother sighed.
“You’re not funny, Mark. I mean… do you even have any idea how much that cup cost?”
“A lot, if I know you correctly,” Mark muttered, well aware that the cup was just a random thing she turned her attention to because she had been very upset. Neither of them said anything for a while, until his mother sighed again.
“Are you that desperate to go on that journey of yours?”
“Of course I am!” Mark replied, his expression brightening up. “Mom, Charmander and I have been secretly thinking up plans at night! We’ve been imagining you’re evil dictators keeping us inside a dungeon and planning our escape in the middle of the night!”
“And,” said Charmander’s threatening voice as the lizard Pokémon entered the room, “we will do that every night from now on and there’s no way for you to stop us.”
Mark’s mother got a weird expression halfway between a smile and a hopeless look, and then said: “You’re incredible, boys – I think there’s no way to keep you in here for very long before you think of a way to force us to.”
“YES!” Charmander shouted.
“WHOOOOO!!!!” Mark yelled, giving his Pokémon a high five. He hugged his mother tightly.
She just hugged him back, tears in her eyes.
Things were being packed into an old red and blue backpack that looked like it could burst at any time. Mark’s father was not happy, but he had ended up giving in to his wife, who was suddenly all for it. Mark and Charmander bounced around the house in a wild celebration-dance. He got a nice sum of money to buy things for. Finally, he set off with Charmander by his side.
“Bye dad! Bye mom! I promise I won’t get myself killed!” Mark’s mother smiled through the tears as he waved. Then he turned and started running.
The Gyms in Ouen had been arranged so that the recommended first Gym was in Cleanwater city, a big one which was conveniently not that far from Sailance, then went in a spiral inwards until the last gym was in Acaria city in the heart of the continent. Cleanwater was near the edge of the Pokémon-inhabited part of Ouen, built near a mysterious lake which was famous for being so clear that the bottom was always visible in details, despite being the second-deepest lake in the whole of Ouen. It was therefore called “The Lake of Purity”.
But Mark was not headed to Cleanwater city yet. He was going to the Sailance Library to get Pokémon Training for Dummies.
Mark, despite all his interest in Pokémon, was a rookie when it came to Pokémon training. He knew how it worked, of course, and the rules of the Pokémon League, but he didn’t really know much about how to get started, what he’d have to do. His parents didn’t either seeing as they had never been trainers, so they had advised him to go to the library. Technically Mark didn’t know if a book by that name existed, but it had to exist, right?
The library was a huge, bright white building in the middle of the town. The walls were decorated with carvings of various Pokémon; Mark’s favorite was located over the door and was of a big Articuno flying to the left, its tail swishing behind it and looking amazingly alive. As always when Mark entered the library, he gave a small bow in respect for the magnificent bird. The automatic door slowly slid open before him, and he prepared to walk inside when he remembered that Pokémon weren’t allowed in the library.
“Sorry, Charmander, you’ll have to wait outside,” he said guiltily. “I won’t be long.”
“It’s okay, I’ll just wait,” said Charmander, smiling. “It’s not like anybody could steal me without getting roasted or anything.”
Mark eyed a few people staring at the Pokémon like a miracle, and pride started spreading around his chest. To think of it… he was a trainer.
He smiled back at his Pokémon friend, and then entered the building.
The search computers along with a few shelves of paperbacks with huge titles greeted him, along with the familiar smell of books that Mark had always loved. But he walked right to the elevators, as this book would be on the second floor.
A chubby middle-aged woman wearing what looked disturbingly much like a Sentret fur coat came through the metallic door, eyed Mark like some kind of a big disgusting insect and then walked away with her nose in the air. Mark decided she was a grumpy old snob as he stepped into the lift.
An endless row of Marks stared back at him from the mirrors on the sides. All of them turned to the buttons at the same time and all of them managed to slip their fingers between buttons two and three, accidentally highlighting both as the elevator started ascending.
It stopped on the second floor and a tall, thin man with a suitcase stepped in, but Mark suddenly felt a weird longing to go up to the third floor. First floor was novels, second was Pokémon training and third was Pokémon. He usually did go to the third floor, after all; he was always looking for books he hadn’t read before.
He didn’t want to keep Charmander waiting for too long, but of course he would just go and have a look around and see if there were any new books. It wouldn’t take long.
He went out on the third floor and looked curiously around. He could go left or right; a voice in his head told him to go right.
For whatever reason, Mark saw one particular shelf and walked firmly towards it, seeing nothing else. On it there was a book that looked older than most of the others, one that he had certainly never seen before:
The Ouen Legends
Mark’s attention was instantly caught. His heart started pounding in his chest. Despite knowing everything there was to know about the Legendary Pokémon of Kanto, Johto and Hoenn, for whatever reason he had never found any decent books about the Legendary Pokémon of his own region. His burning interest for Legendaries, of course, had never fully accepted this. He did have a vague knowledge of their names and what they looked like, but he didn’t know much else
But now was his chance. He reached forward with his hand and took the book out. On second thought, it was dusty, but not all that old. Like it had just not been moved out of the shelf since… before it was printed? Odd.
Mark shook his head and slowly, with the book in his hands, walked over to a big, fluffy and comfortable-looking green couch. He flung himself into it, examining the cover image. At the top, it had six differently-colored dragons soaring in the sky. He figured that those must be the so-called Color dragons, named so because their basic structure was all the same except for the colors, elemental powers, and some markings and additional things representing their element.
Below the dragons, there were eigth winged unicorns. Like the Color dragons, they all looked basically the same apart from their colors, wings, mane, horn and tail.
But at the very bottom, there was… Mewtwo?
Yup, he was sure of it. The whitish-purple anthro cat-like shape was unmistakably that of the first super-clone that had ever been created and had gotten such experiments banned. A Kanto Legendary.
What’s Mewtwo doing on the cover of a book about the Ouen legendaries? Mark thought. He looked better at Mewtwo’s shape. The eyes were closed, but looked creepily open all the same. It’s that highlight, said Mark’s artist eye. The shading gives that effect, the highlight on the eyelid looks distantly like a pupil. But it was still scary, with those closed eyes that seemed to be watching. Had the cover artist drawn it like that on purpose?
Either way, Mewtwo wasn’t supposed to be there at all. Mark scanned his head for a reason why Mewtwo would be on the cover of a book about the Ouen Legendaries, but found none.
Mark shrugged and opened the book. He flicked past the title pages, apart from checking the publishing date. It was just a little less than five years old.
The book started with the Color dragons. The left page had a watercolor illustration of them, with their names written near them.
There was a small, silver one in the middle of the page with a big, innocent-looking head and tiny wings, apparently called Lidreki. What caught Mark’s attention about it, however, was that where the light reflected off the dragon’s scales, it broke up into the colors of the rainbow.
The other ones were the real Color dragons themselves. They were all larger than Lidreki, European-style dragons with big, clawed legs, small arms and broad wings spreading out from their shoulders.
The bottom left one was a deep metallic green color with no special outstanding features. The name beside it read ‘Dragoreen, the Dragon of the Poor’.
Opposite Dragoreen so that both stared hatefully at each other, there was a golden one, apparently ‘Preciure, the Dragon of Wealth’. An occasional ruby poked out between the shiny scales; silver spikes were lined down its whole back and to the tail end.
Above them, there was another pair of dragons that seemed to loathe each other. The right one Mark recognized even before he read the description as Raudra, the Fire dragon. Two bony white, sheep-like horns grew from the top of its forehead; fiery red scales covered its whole body except the yellow belly and a thick, golden mane flowed down its whole back.
The left one however, was apparently ‘Dracobalt, the Water Dragon’; it was dark blue, with a large fish-like fin on its back and two long, swirly, narrow, white horns.
The third and last pair of rivals was at the very top. Puragon, the left one, was pearly white all over, with four narrow crystalline horns. Venoir, in the top right, was pitch-black. It had dark purple horns similar to Raudra’s and glowing red eyes with slits for pupils, making it look very creepy and terrifying.
Mark excitedly started reading the information on the right page.
THE COLOR DRAGONS
The legend says that an ancient, powerful dragon Pokémon named Vaxil, the Dragon of the Rainbow, laid six eggs and hid them where no living creature could harm them. One she dropped into the crater of a volcano, one she hid at the bottom of a deep lake, one she secured in a dark cave, one she buried in snow, and two she took with her to her own cave, filled with gold and treasures.
The first egg to hatch was one of the eggs that Vaxil had taken with her. As the other eggs would later, it hatched into a Lidreki. He was greedy and loved nothing more than burying himself in his mother’s gold.
The second egg to hatch was the one in the volcano. That Lidreki was female, and she loved the lava, fed on it and never felt the need to leave the volcano’s crater.
The third egg was the one in the dark cave. It was a male, and he fed on poisonous Pokémon that lurked there in the dark, without ever finding out that there was anything outside the cave.
The fourth egg that hatched was the one in the snow. The young Lidreki was a female, and slowly became oblivious to the cold.
The fifth egg was the one at the bottom of the lake. A male, he adapted to underwater life, hunted fish and rarely went out of the lake.
Finally, the sixth egg hatched – the other egg that Vaxil had taken with her. It was a female, and she instantly disagreed with her brother in everything – she wanted to give the gold to those who were in need instead of keeping it all for themselves who had nothing to do with it except collect it. They disliked each other, and as they grew, the male thought the female took too much space. One day, he fought her out of the cave, and she sought her brothers and sisters to help fighting him.
She went to her sister in the volcano, she went to her brother in the lake. She went to her brother in the cave, she went to her sister in the snow. She lived with all of them for a while, and told them all – because Vaxil had told her – where the other ones were hidden, and asked them to come and help against her oldest brother. They came, more because they wanted to see their mother, but as they traveled, they developed hate for each other in pairs, and upon their arrival in Vaxil’s cave, a big fight broke out. The oldest brother fought the youngest sister, the sister from the volcano fought her brother from the lake, the brother in the cave fought his sister in the snow. Vaxil tried to stop them, but they only started attacking her too and in the end Vaxil threw herself off the cliff to her death. The siblings were horrified, and all blamed each other, but slowly they became enveloped in a white glow and evolved, each to one of the Color dragons. The female from the volcano became Raudra, the male from the lake became Dracobalt, the female from the snow became Puragon, the male from the cave became Venoir, the youngest female became Dragoreen and the oldest male became Preciure.
Due to their mother’s death, they decided not to keep fighting and all went off to different places, and supposedly they still lurk there, desiring only superiority over the opposite sibling…
All of them have very special abilities. Raudra, Dracobalt, Puragon and Venoir have immense powers of fire, water, ice and poison respectively, but Dragoreen and Preciure have different powers; Dragoreen’s attacks are independent on the defender’s weaknesses or resistances, and Preciure’s golden scales can repel any attack well and effectively.
Mark turned past some pages consisting of the few things he already knew, interviews with people who claimed to have seen them and some old paintings of the Color Dragons (as interested as he was in art, he didn’t want to keep Charmander waiting for too long), and finally reached the next chapter.
He studied the picture. It was a watercolor illustration which showed the unicorns all together, dashing towards the viewer.
The first one was all white with normal, feathered wings and a swirly horn. It was Waraider.
The next one was also white, but had a flaming mane and tail similar to Ponyta and Rapidash; the horn and hooves were bright orange and the wings were made of fire. That one was Emphire.
The third unicorn, Seasar, was beautifully dark blue. Its tail and mane didn’t seem to exist at all; it rather seemed like a river burst out from the top of its head and ran smoothly along its whole back, finally gracefully dropping down like a waterfall and then disappearing into thin air just before reaching the ground. The wings seemed made of vapor that took form into a wing.
Electhrone was the fourth one. It was whitish-yellow, but its mane and tail were very dark blue. Small sparks flew between the hairs. The horn was a bit crooked; its wings were composed of oddly pointed, sharp feathers.
The fifth one was called Natruler. It was white like Waraider, but in place of feathers, its wings had long, beautifully green leaves. The horn resembled a branch growing out of its forehead, and the tail and mane looked like bundles of grass and leaves.
Unicorn number six was Freezaroy. Icily white with a tint of blue, its tail, mane and wings appeared to produce snow that spiraled in a trail after it. The horn resembled an icicle.
The second-last one was called Mysticrown and was white with lavender tail and mane. The horn and hooves looked like they were made out of some kind of a magenta-colored gemstone. Its eyes were creepily purple, and unless Mark was very much mistaken, it seemed to glow with a very faint violet aura. The wing feathers were tipped with purple too.
The last one, however, was pitch-black; evil-looking red eyes glinted in the head. The wings seemed made of smoke, wispy and formless. It was Darkhan.
Mark turned to the information page.
It is said that there were originally eight Waraider, but somehow all but one of them evolved into different elements. Waraider lacks the elemental powers, but is equally powerful overall as the other ones. The last Waraider is the leader of the herd; unlike the Color dragons, all the Waraider and evolutions supposedly keep close together wherever they go. According to the legend, their being together keeps the world balanced, and should they ever be separated, chaos would reign until they reunited.
There have been interestingly many reported sightings of them, but no photos nor Pokédex data exists to prove any of them.
After that, there came a bunch of stuff Mark wasn’t as interested in, so he turned past it. After that, there came what he was probably most curious about: what Mewtwo was doing in that book.
He looked at the illustration first as he had done before. Again, its eyes were closed in that creepily “watching” manner that had been on the cover picture. Mark couldn’t help wondering why it was drawn like that, though. He would’ve believed Mewtwo’s eyes would usually be open.
The answer was on the right page, where the title – partially – explained it:
“Oh, yeah,” Mark muttered to himself. “Stupid me, I should’ve remembered that one. I’ve heard the name before, I’m sure. But… why does it look like Mewtwo?”
He started reading the text.
Chaletwo is the only one of the Ouen Legendaries that is definitely confirmed to exist. He appears every year at the exact same time and place; 4:26:45 PM on the 25th of May, the grass patch outside Green town. His coming always attracts a lot of tourists, and is what made Green town so big in the first place.
The first time that a human witnessed him, he supposedly said telepathically: “Do not fear. I am Chaletwo and do not intend to harm you nor any other living thing. I only wish to come here once a year and have a quick look around the world before leaving.”
Nobody knows why he bears such a striking resemblance to Mewtwo, who is in fact a Kanto Legendary (although that is arguable due to the fact that he is man-created), look-wise.
Too bad, thought Mark disappointedly.
Due to Chaletwo’s limited availability, Mewtwo has been asked about this by a reporter.
“Do you think I wouldn’t like to know?” he answered before teleporting grumpily away. “He said he didn’t wish to tell, least of all me. He wouldn’t reveal anything else.”
People wonder whether Chaletwo might be another Super-clone, backing that up with the name he after all introduced himself with, which ends in the trademark “-two” of a genetically modified Pokémon clone, but experts doubt it.
“He’s not just a simple second Mew clone,” Pokémon researcher Ash Ketchum explained in an interview once. “I’ve studied both of them carefully through making detailed 3D models from close-up photos. I’m telling you, every last hair on their bodies is the exact same! Technically, Mewtwo’s creators could have made an additional one with almost the exact same genetic code, resulting in a clone that looks the same, but face it, according to all sources we have, Mewtwo destroyed the lab and everything in it, which would have had to include another embryo if one had been there.”
It appears that there are only two differences between them: Chaletwo’s eyes and his Dark/Psychic type.
Chaletwo’s eyes are probably the greatest power of this world. If they look upon a living thing, it dies. If they look upon an inanimate object, it blows up. Only his own eyelids can withstand the power, and even through closed eyes, he can see through things. Nobody is quite sure how his eyes work, but there are many theories.
Chaletwo is said to match the Kanto Legendary Molzapart in power, tying them as the most powerful Pokémon in the world.
Molzapart. Mark, obviously, could have recited many books’ worth of information about it if he wanted. It was not confirmed to exist, but said to have been created when Mew found the legendary Mist stone, which was rumoured to have the power to evolve any Pokémon at all, whether it can naturally evolve or not. Mew made a decision to attack the stone in order to prevent Pokémon from stumbling across it and evolving into scarily powerful creatures, and called the Legendary Birds of Kanto for assistance. But even their attacks combined could not destroy such a magical object, and instead they found themselves facing the “evolved form” of their attacks: a large, magnificent, golden bird with a burning flame on its head, brightly blue wing feathers, a long, dark blue tail feather, huge bright orange talons, and the psychic powers to severely injure its accidental creators with one blast. Then Molzapart flew away and trained until his power had no match.
Apart from Chaletwo, apparently.
Mark looked at his watch, discovering how long he had been reading, closed the book, put it back where he had found it and hurried down to meet up with Charmander again.