I just re-read some of this story...and it's in SERIOUS need of a major re-writing...I'll either rewrite it on this article, or probably just make a new article for the new version and keep this 'legacy' version for those people that DID enjoy this version (I won't lie and say I absolutely hate it...I just think it was poorly written)...

This story involves the adventures of Leinad before creating Team Protectorate. It also includes the beginnings of members, such as Natalie, Maya, and Quint.

This story will be written in the style of story that the TV shows goes by (Pokémon able to evolve during a battle, gyms able to be faced in any order, etc), but also have elements from the games, such as the Gyms having trainers that the challenger must battle before facing the gym leader. The story is based on the version of Unova present in Pokémon White.

Chapter 1 *: All Roads have a Beginning

It was Summer in Opelucid City. Leinad Llehctim was celebrating his 10th birthday. His parents, brothers, and sisters, as expected, were in attendance. The same held true for his best friend, Natalie from Lacunosa Town. The 2 had been friends for years. Just recently, Leinad got a Snivy from Professor Juniper, meaning he was almost ready to start his own Pokémon Adventure. The day of his birthday was when he planned to leave, so the birthday party also served as a farewell for Leinad.

Near the end of the birthday party, Leinad was packing up his stuff, when someone entered his room. It was Natalie. Of all the people that attended Leinad's party, Natalie seemed to be the saddest to see him leave. Leinad's parents were happy for him, while Leinad's siblings either looked up to him, or were only taking time from their travels to congratulate the newest trainer in the family. However, for Natalie, who was an adventurous spirit confined to a town of clock-work tradition and superstition, seeing the only one who ever made her life exciting and fun leave was hard for her. "You ever plan on coming back? You know, to visit?" she asked Leinad nervously. She knew that one of his lifelong dreams was to become a Pokémon Trainer and she didn't want him to think she was trying to guilt him to reconsider.

Leinad responded, "Probably." He walked over and put a reassuring hand on his best friend's shoulder. "This chance has been a dream of mine for a long time, but that doesn't mean that I'll forget those that made the wait all the more bearable." With this, he smiled at Natalie, who smiled back. "Besides, who knows? Maybe when you turn 10, you'll get a chance to join me on my journey."

That prospect elated Natalie. Now, she couldn't wait until she was 10 now. Just then, Leinad's mother came up. "Guys, it's almost sundown. Have to take Natalie home."

Natalie hung her head sadly, only raising it again to ask Leinad, "See you soon?"

Leinad responded, "Count on it."

Leinad waved goodbye to his parents as he left his home. Once he was some distance away. He took out his only PokeBall, and brought out his Snivy. "Come on," he said to the Pokémon, "We have an adventure to begin, Zodiark." The Snivy nodded in agreement, and, together, Pokémon and Trainer began their journey together.

Chapter 2 *: Protector

Leinad made his way to Route 9. He spotted the Department Store that his family usually bought food at, as well as the nearby Tubeline Bridge. He knew that, in order to continue his journey, he'd have to cross the bridge.

He made his way toward the building at one end when, suddenly, he heard a man shouting. "You worthless excuse for a Pokémon. Do as I say, now!" Leinad and Zodiark agreed to follow the shouting, and, when they reached the source, they saw an appalling sight: a man in what looked like Medieval attire was beating up a Ralts. Leinad sent Zodiark back into his Poke Ball, and, after putting it in his bag, approached the man.

"What are you doing?!" Leinad exclaimed at the man. The man looked up from his beating of the defenseless Pokémon, to look at the intruder.

"I'm disciplining my Pokémon. Now get out of here, punk," the man angrily responded.

Leinad doesn't take kindly to demeaning names, especially 'punk.' Leinad then said, "Really, looks more like you're beating a defenseless Pokémon, to me."

The man shouted, "Get out of here!" The man launched a punch at Leinad, who merely leaned back to avoid the blow. He'd been attacked by bullies before, and, through excessive training, became able to merely dodge their attacks with simple movements. However, the man didn't settle down. "Go away, you brat!"

Leinad then backed off a few steps, and pulled out Zodiark's Poke Ball. "Zodiark, take your position!" A moment later, Leinad's Snivy stood near him.

"Huh? A trainer?!" The man then looked at his Ralts. "Well, what are you waiting for? ENTER THE BATTLE!" He then kicked the Ralts in front of him. However, the Ralts had taken such a beating from the man that it couldn't stand. It toppled over. "Why, you worthless, little..."

The man lunged at the Ralts, when Leinad commanded Zodiark, "Go, Razor Leaf on the Trainer!" It was normally against the rules of a battle to attack a Trainer directly, but, as far as Leinad believed, this man didn't deserve the title. The attack knocked the man flat on his back, at which point Leinad swooped in and swiped the Ralts' PokeBall off the man's belt, calling back the man's Ralts.

The man reacted with violent rage. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" he yelled, as he prepared to smash Leinad with his fists. Suddenly, a Garchomp leapt in between the raging man and Leinad. A moment later, a woman with long blonde hair and black clothing appeared in a jeep.

Then, the man started babbling to the woman. "That kid just STOLE my prized Pokémon! Make him give it back!"

Leinad was appalled. "PRIZED! You were about a second away from beating the poor thing to death!"

The man yelled in rage, "Don't listen to the thief! That's my only Pokémon, why would I kill it?!"

The trio was silent for a couple moments, before Leinad then called out, "You want proof that he was beating the Pokémon to death? How about this?!" He pulled out the swiped Poke Ball and let out the severely wounded Ralts. Once out, it seemed to shriek at the sight of its Trainer and retreated to cling to Leinad's leg.

Then, convinced, the woman gave an angry look to the man. "First, you try and beat your Pokémon to death, and then you try and accuse a kid of stealing the Pokémon that you tried to kill. I have never seen so little care for the life of a Pokémon."

Suddenly, a pair of police officers appeared. The man panicked and tried to leave, but Leinad, upon seeing the man's reaction to the police, rammed the man in the side, knocking him off balance, allowing him to be caught. "About time we caught this man," one of the cops said.

The woman then told the cops, "He tried to beat this Ralts to death," as she gestured towards the severely wounded Ralts. "Fortunately, this young trainer was able to stop him before he could."

"Well," said the other cop, "You should be happy to know that this man's going away for a long time. Now, if you can just give us the Poke Ball, we can find this Ralts a better home..."

Suddenly, the woman spoke up. "I think it would be better for the boy that saved the Ralts to take care of her."

The cop looked at the woman for a moment, before saying, "Of course. That sounds reasonable. It's obvious the boy cares a lot about Pokémon if he was willing to risk himself to stop an abusive trainer." Then, the 2 cops left, the man in tow.

The woman then looked at Leinad and held out her hand. "My name's Cynthia," she told him.

Leinad reached out and shook Cynthia's hand. "My name's Leinad," he responded. He then gestured towards his Snivy, who was still out and about. "This is Zodiark." The Snivy looked up at Leinad and Cynthia, before coming to Leinad's side.

"He seems to like you," Cynthia said. "How long have you 2 been on your journey?"

"We barely even left town," Leinad said, gesturing towards Opelucid City.

"You've only begun your journey? Hmmm...you show a lot of promise as a Trainer. I hope our paths meet again soon. Until then, farewell." She then drove off.

Leinad then looked down on the wounded Ralts. It looked up at him weakly. He bent down towards it. It flinched as he approached, but all he intended on doing was patting it on the head. He then pulled out a Potion and applied it. "Don't worry, I'll take better care of you then your old, abusive trainer did," he said, before naming it, "Lisilia."

3 weeks later

Leinad's been on his adventure for 3 weeks, and, already, he'd caught a Venipede, Voltik, and Axew. All 3 evolved already, into a Whirlipede, Galvantula, and Fraxure. Also, Zodiark also evolved into a Servine and Lisilia, who proved to have more potential than her previous trainer would ever think, was already a Gardevoir.

He also already had his first Gym Badge. Brycen was a difficult opponent. The Whirlipede, Rageclaw, managed to defeat both the Vanillish and Cryogonal Bryson sent out, but his Beartic defeated both Rageclaw and Leinad's Galvantula, Antlion. It was when Leinad sent out Lisilia, who was a Kirlia at the time, that he won. The Beartic was close to defeating her, when, during the battle, she evolved into Gardevoir. Then, her power seemed to triple, and she easily fended off and defeated the Beartic. And, with that, Leinad won the Freeze Badge. Currently, he was sitting in a nearby field with his Pokémon. Next, he looked at his map, and saw that the next gym he had marked to be faced was in Mistralton City. He was well-aware that Opelucid City had a gym, but he heard about how good the gym leader was. Also, the fact that usually a young girl named Iris and the city's mayor Draydon occasionally took turns as the city's gym leader, so Leinad felt it prudent to save that gym for last. So, he prepared his selection of Pokémon to face the gym.

Suddenly, someone, a young man with green hair, approached him. "So, those are your Pokémon?" he asked.

Leinad detected a verbal tap. "If you mean that as in these Pokémon are my partners, then, yes."

The young man seemed impressed that, despite his age, Leinad so cleverly dodged his trap. "So, you use these Pokémon to battle?"

Leinad detected another verbal trap. "I guide them in battle," he said, avoiding the verbal trap, "They only battle if they choose to."

"So," the young man started, "You believe Pokémon are..."

"My friends," Leinad said, avoiding the 3rd trap, "I believe in them, and they discover their potential, and, through that, I discover mine." At this point, Lisilia came to Leinad's side, both because she sensed a battle coming, and to prove her chosen loyalty to Leinad.

The young man smiled. Leinad dodged all 3 traps. "What's your name?" he asked.

"Leinad," Leinad responded.

"Well, Leinad, I want to hear what your Pokémon have to say," while the young man said this, he pulled out a PokeBall, "and I want to hear them loud and clear."

Leinad knew immediately what he meant. He watched as the young man brought out a Pidove. Leinad countered with his Fraxure. "Go, Twintania!"

The 2 Pokémon stared each other down. Without saying anything, though, the Pidove charged forward with a Tackle Attack. "You know what to do," Leinad told Twintania, and the Dragon Pokémon sprung forward, to intercept the Pidove. The Pidove dodged, but Twintania's intention wasn't to attack, but to break the opponent's attack. Then, Twintania launched an actual attack, Dual Chop. The attack struck home, but the Pidove came around and landed a hard Tackle on Twintania. The Fraxure was knocked off its feet. Leinad then muttered under his breath, "Come on Twintania, I know you can do this, come on..." Twintania, hearing Leinad's encouragement, forced itself to its feet and faced the charging Pidove. It then launched forward at the attacking Pokémon, using Dual Chop. The 2 attacks struck home. For a few moments, both Pokémon stood there, the damage from the other's attacks evident on them. Then, the opponent's Pidove collapsed. Seeing that, Twintania allowed itself to collapse as well. Both trainers called back their Pokémon.

"Nice work, Twintania," Leinad muttered to the Fraxure's Poke Ball, "I knew I could count on you."

The young man then turned to Leinad. "You apparently love your Pokémon. I could hear that from your Fraxure. It did what you told it not out of fear or habit, but that it believed you to be a faithful companion. I heard the same from your other Pokémon too. I hope to hear your Pokémons' voices again." With that, the young man left.

"What a strange man," Leinad muttered to himself when the young man was out of earshot. "Well, guys, next stop: Mistralton City Gym."

(The events that occurred through the next 6 months will probably be released as part of a separate story, but, to be honest, they aren't important to the story, so forward to 6 months later: Leinad's return to Opelucid after defeating the next 6 Gyms)

It's been 6 months since Leinad left Opelucid City, and, already, he was back again. He was back to take on the gym in town. He was warmly welcomed back by his parents and younger siblings.

One thing bothered him, though: he called and told the others that he was coming home, and they said they'd call Natalie. However, when he got there, they said that no one answered. However, Leinad just assumed she'd be there by the time he was finished.

Leinad's parents were impressed with how far Zodiark, now a Serperior, had grown, and also liked Leinad's other Pokémon, too. They were a little shocked when he told them about how he obtained Lisilia, both because of the fact that Leinad took another's Pokémon and of how dangerous the man seemed, but upon hearing of the aftermath: the arrival of Cynthia and the cops, they seemed to settle down.

Now, though, Leinad had to concentrate on one thing: the upcoming gym battle.

Leinad had fought his way through all the trainers in the Opelucid Gym, with Twintania, now a Haxorus, and Lisilia plowing the way. When he reached the end of the gym, he found out that the Gym Leader he'd be facing is the young girl, Iris. When she spotted Leinad, she said, "So, you made it this far? You must be a good trainer."

Leinad smirked at the remark. "Thanks," he replied.

Iris then continued, "I'm Iris, by the way. I look forward to seeing what Pokémon you plan on using. Time to get started!" At that moment, Iris sent out a Fraxure.

Leinad was almost expecting her to use that. He also knew how to best battle them, having trained one himself. Now, though, things were different. "Go, Twintania!" Leinad sent out Twintania, the Haxorus rearing for a fight.

Iris ordered her Fraxure to use Dragon Claw. Twintania made no attempt to dodge, and the attack struck home. However, the attack didn't do much, despite the advantage the move had. Twintania was merely bracing itself, testing the strength of its opponent. Twintania then attacked with Dual Chop, which it had perfected over the past couple months. The strikes hit the Fraxure, who, unlike Twintania, was clearly unable to handle the onslaught of its foe. The Fraxure was thrown back a few feet, and got up, but weakly. Iris called back the Fraxure. "I guess you win this round," she said. She then pulled out another PokeBall. "Let's see how well you do here." She then sent out a Druddigon.

Leinad nodded to Twintania. The Haxorus then returned to its starting position. Iris ordered her Druddigon to use Dragon Tail, and, this time, Twintania nimbly evaded the attack. Twintania waited and the Druddigon used Night Slash. Twintania was clipped by the attack, but still remained standing. Then, Leinad had Twintania use Swords Dance. After completing the maneuver, it barely evaded another strike from Druddigon. Then it used Dual Chop again. The attack hit the Druddigon, but it kept coming. It stuck with Dragon Tail again, this time striking a direct hit at Twintania. However, Twintania remained standing and struck again with Dual Chop, this time defeating the Druddigon. Iris called Druddigon back, commenting, "You're better than I thought! Time to kick it up a notch!" This time, Iris sent out her own Haxorus.

Leinad nodded again at Twintania, who again returned to its starting position. Then, Iris ordered for her Haxorus to use Dragon Claw. Twintania, who was weakened by the previous confrontations, couldn't dodge, so, instead, tried to counter it with Dual Chop. Both attacks struck home, but Twintania fell defeated. Leinad called him back. Then, he sent out one of his newer Pokémon. "Go, Garuda!" From Leinad's PokeBall came forth a Sigilyph, who appeared ready for the fight. The Sigilyph floated, ready to fight. Iris ordered her Haxorus to use Night Slash, which missed Garuda, as the Sigilyph launched a Psychic attack. The attack hit, but didn't affect the Haxorus much. The Dragon Pokémon launched another Night Slash, this one striking home, knocking Garuda out of the fight. Leinad looked down at the Premier Ball in his hand. "I believe in you," he whispered to it, as he knew that the Pokémon inside fought its hardest when encouraged. He then threw the PokeBall. "Go, Lisilia!" The Gardevoir came out of the PokeBall, ready to fight. So far, the was the only one of Leinad's Pokémon to go undefeated. He was hoping that reputation would continue. In the corner of his eye, he suddenly noticed his family run into the gym, but stopped dead when they saw the battle taking place. Without turning away from the battle, he prepared for this final round. For better or worse, this was the last match-up: Lisilia vs. Iris's Haxorus.

Iris commanded her Haxorus to use Dragon Pulse. Lisilia gracefully dodged the attack and used Calm Mind, in order to ready for the next attack. Again, Haxorus struck with Dragon Pulse. This time, the move missed Lisilia completely, while she just readied herself. Then, she released a Charge Beam, leaving behind residual energy that charged her up for her next attack. The Charge Beam was a direct hit, but didn't cause much damage. It wasn't meant to. The Haxorus then released its ultimate attack: Draco Meteor. Lisilia countered with a massive Psychic bombardment. Time seemed to slow for a few seconds as Lisilia and the Haxorus were both thrown into the wall by the attacks. They managed to work their way out and stared for a few moments, both weakened in the fight...and the Haxorus collapsed, defeated.

Iris called back her Haxorus, and said, "Well, looks like you won. You're pretty strong."

Lisilia made her way back to Leinad, who put a hand on her shoulder, saying, "Good job, as always, I can count on you." Lisilia seemed to smile, before Leinad sent her back into her PokeBall. Then, Iris handed him the Gym Badge, before he finally went to see his family.

His family seemed a cross between frightened and worried. "What is it?" Leinad said, their expressions causing him to worry.

"Natalie...she's been kidnapped!"

Chapter 3 *^: The Shadow of Death

"She's been what?!" Leinad exclaimed.

"Kidnapped," his father said, "Her parents got here while you were gone and said that, the previous night, she went outside against tradition in the town. Next thing they knew, they heard her scream and, when they went out to investigate, they saw her being taken by a large Dragon Pokémon."

Leinad barely took that in: he was still stuck on 'Natalie has been kidnapped.' However, after a few moments, he managed to pull himself together. When he did, he sent out all of his current Pokémon. Zodiark, Lisilia, Antlion, Twintania, Rageclaw, and Garuda came out, and Leinad began to talk to them.

"Ok, guys, I just found out that an old childhood friend of mine has been kidnapped," he said. The Pokémon seemed to be shocked by this. Lisilia and Zodiark, Leinad's best Pokémon and closest friends in the team, were taken aback even more. "I plan on going to find her, but I need your guys' help." The Pokémon then stood at attention, ready to help. "Thanks, guys," he said, "her parents said they saw the kidnapper, so maybe they can help. Next stop: Lacunosa Town."

Leinad entered the rustic, small town. He knew that this was where Natalie was from, but had never been there himself: Natalie never wanted to stay here. Of all the children in this town of clock-work tradition and superstition, Natalie was the wildest and most adventurous, never wanting to stay indoors. That is why, whenever she and Leinad would get together, they always did it in Opelucid, which, although it was also somewhat old in appearance and mannerisms, it wasn't nearly as tradition-bound-restrictive as Lacunosa. Leinad, however, knew when he reached Natalie's house when he found a house with police and a woman sobbing. She and her husband looked up and notice Leinad. They met Leinad twice before, and, because of the fact that the 2nd time was not long before he left Opelucid for his Pokémon Journey, they recognized him. "Your...your Natalie's friend, aren't you?" Natalie's mother sobbed.

"Yes, I am," Leinad said.

"What are you doing here?" Natalie's father asked, "I thought you were on some sort of adventure or something." He seemed more than a little irritated. Leinad didn't need to think too hard to suppose that Natalie's father partially blamed Leinad for Natalie getting kidnapped.

"I came when I heard that Natalie was kidnapped," Leinad answered, "No way am I going to sit around while my best friend could be in desperate trouble. What happened?"

Natalie's mother, calmed down by what sounded like someone finally coming to really help, explained, "The night before, we got into an argument with Natalie. She told us about how she wanted to be a Pokémon Trainer. Neither of us were ok with that, but I decided it's what she wanted to do, so I wouldn't stop her. As for her father..."

"Why be a Pokémon Trainer?" Natalie's father asked, clearly not fond of the concept, "What's wrong with leading a simple life here?"

Leinad sternly told his friend's father, "Based on what I know about her, it's not what she would want to do. She's not the kind of person who's content with an average life..." He then turned to Natalie's mother, "They argued about that, didn't they?"

Natalie's mother nodded, then said, "She then, despite our warnings, went outside. We told her what would happen if she did, but she didn't listen."

"Blinded by that dream, no doubt," Natalie's father accused.

"More likely blinded by rage at you," Leinad commented, Natalie's mother apparently coming to the same conclusion.

"Next thing we knew, we heard Natalie scream, and, by the time we got outside, we saw her being taken away by...by..."

"By what?!"

Natalie's father, now finally being able to see Natalie's point of view, and, therefore, in a less hostile voice, said, "The legends of our town call it 'the Shadow of Death'. It's said that those taken by it are...never seen again." He too began to cry, over the possibility that Natalie was gone forever.

Now, his determination appearing, he then asked Natalie's parents, "Which way did this 'Shadow of Death' take her?"

Natalie's father answered, "In the direction of Giant Chasm, why?"

At that moment, Lisilia and Zodiark, both of whom were with Leinad's other Pokémon a few feet behind him, came to his side, as Leinad said, "Because it's time to bring down a legend."

Leinad got all the supplies he needed. Foreseeing that his return to a Pokémon Center may be a while from now, Leinad stocked up on Potions, Full Heals, and Ethers, in preparation for the long road ahead. He also went to the Pokémon Center to pick up his 7th Pokémon: Darksteel, the Carracosta. This Pokémon was used to defeat the Striaton City. Leinad knew that he'd need this Pokémon’s special skills. He put Darksteel's Pokeball in his backpack, seeing as a trainer usually only has 6 Pokémon, and bringing Darksteel would mean bringing 7. However, this was an emergency.

Just before he left, Natalie's father approached him. "Please be careful. One of the legends say that disaster will fall on those that approach Giant Chasm. I do not want to have to tell your parents that you disappeared too."

Leinad told him confidently (but not to the point of cockiness), "I'll be back. And so will Natalie." Then he left Lacunosa Town, for Giant Chasm. Natalie's parents watched as Leinad left to go rescue their daughter.

"Do you think he'll succeed? Do you think we'll see Natalie again?" Natalie's mother asked.

Natalie's father just kept watching the path to Giant Chasm. "One can only hope."

Lisilia led the way, following the psychic trail left by Natalie. Every creature left such a trail, and each one is distinguishable from the others in some fashion. By following this trail, they made their way to the Giant Chasm. They found their way into a cave, which, due to so many Pokémon inhabitants, the sheer number of trails caused Lisilia to lose track of the trail. With that, they were forced to find some other way out of the cave. At that point, he sent out all of his Pokémon, knowing that one of them would sense a way out.

Suddenly, Lisilia sensed something. "What is it?" Leinad asked, "What do you sense?" Suddenly, a loud, ominous roar sounded. Rageclaw shivered, Darksteel retracted into his shell, and Antlion, in his fright, accidently released some electrified webbing, which struck Zodiark in the face. After getting his Pokémon to return to their senses, Leinad realized that the roar must have come from whatever kidnapped Natalie. Despite the echoing effect, he and his Pokémon followed the sound, until they reached a cave exit, where they found themselves in a crater outside of the cave. A forest had grown in the crater, and there appeared to be plenty of Pokémon there, of many shapes and sizes, some of which Leinad had never seen before, except in books.

Leinad maneuvered his way through the area, when, suddenly, he was attacked by an angry Beldum. The Pokémon launched a Take Down attack at Lisilia, who was still at the head of the party, only to be batted aside by a Dual Chop from Twintania. The Beldum appeared unfazed and redirected to attack. This time, Zodiark launched a devastating Leaf Blade, striking the Beldum, with still didn't quit. Both Darksteel and Antlion, using Dive and Electroweb, struck the Beldum head-on, but, still the Pokémon fought on. Leinad, impressed with the Beldum, took out one of his Nest Balls and threw it at the Beldum, with the intent to catch it. The Nest Ball caught the Beldum off-guard, and, before it could react, it was inside. The PokeBall rocked for a few minutes, before the light on it indicated that it was caught. The PokeBall then teleported to the nearest Pokémon Center. Knowing that there was a chance that he could return, he looked forward to training the Beldum.

As he continued on, he pulled out 2 last PokeBalls he'd hidden. One contained a Fraxure, the other, a Tynamo. He intended on giving both to Natalie when she became a Trainer. Realizing that, while there was a chance he would return, that, there was also a chance he wouldn't, he decided that if Natalie was alive, he would give those Pokémon to her when he found her.

After about an hour of wandering, Leinad and his team found a small pond in the middle of the crater. They all looked at each other, when, suddenly, the ominous roar, now closer, roared out. This time, the roar was accompanied by a blizzard, which added a layer of white to their field of vision. A minute later, the Blizzard ended, and the whole crater was full of snow. Looking around, Leinad spotted a cave opposite of the one they entered from. He commanded his Pokémon to head towards it.

Inside, he found...Natalie. She was alive, but frozen to the cave's wall. She seemed unresponsive. However, when Leinad ran towards her, she heard his footsteps and turned towards him. "Leinad..." she said weakly, then she said with more urgency, "Behind you!"

Leinad turned around and saw a massive Dragon Pokémon. It's body was as gray as the cave around it, and its claws, head, and wings were as clear blue as ice. Its eyes were yellow and pupil-less, but still stared at him. He stared at it as well. "So," he said to the Pokémon, "You're the one who kidnapped Natalie. You're the so-called 'Legend' called the 'Shadow of Death'."

The Pokémon advanced a step and roared loudly at the human.

"Time to bring down a legend," Leinad said. Then, he turned to his Pokémon, and said, "Zodiark, try and get Natalie off the wall, Twintania, to me!" While Zodiark proceeded to use Leaf Blade of the Ice encasing Natalie, Twintania lunged forward and used Dual Chop on the Pokémon. The blows seemed to bounce off, as the massive Pokémon released a Frost Breath attack. Twintania barely managed to evade, as did Leinad. He whistled, and from the nearby water, Darksteel, who had wandered into there and waited to strike, sprang from the water and released an AncientPower attack. However, like the first attack, this one didn't do very much damage either. Leinad realized that this thing would be almost impossible to beat with that he had now, and he also knew that, if he and Natalie tried to run, it'd follow them to Lacunosa, endangering the populous. He knew immediately what he had to do.

A loud crash sounded behind him, as Zodiark, using Leaf blade, finally managed to break the barrier that trapped Natalie. She fell to the ground, but was caught on a psychic cushion made by Lisilia. Leinad ran over to them, ordering Twintania and Darksteel to continue their bombardment.

Natalie looked up to Leinad and said, "I never thought I'd see you again."

Leinad's expression turned grim, causing Natalie to get worried. He hung his head, and said, "And it may be the last time." Leinad pulled out the 2 PokeBalls and gave them to Natalie. "These are for you. I meant to give them to you when you became a trainer. But, considering what's happened today, I may not be around for that."

Natalie, not knowing why Leinad's saying this, asked, "What...what do you mean?"

"I'm sorry," Leinad said, before giving her one last PokeBall: Lisilia's. Lisilia looked at her partner with anguish. Leinad knew that, if Leinad was sure to leave this world, she'd want to be at his side. However, Leinad needed someone to look out for Natalie, and Lisilia was the only one he trusted that much. "Take care of her," Leinad told Lisilia. Both Natalie and Lisilia appeared to be on the brink of crying. Leinad then told them, "Again, I'm sorry. Farewell, until we meet again." He turned to Lisilia, now tearing up himself, and commanded, "Lisilia, Teleport to Lacunosa." Lisilia lingered for a moment, before complying. In a flash of light, both Lisilia and Natalie were gone. "Goodbye," Leinad mouthed, before returning his attention to the 'Shadow of Death'.

He watched as the beast flung Twintania across the chamber. Darksteel, who attacked from another direction, was also seen and thrown back. Antlion, Rageclaw, and Zodiark all moved to Leinad's side, as Garuda went in to join the assault. Leinad looked to his other Pokémon. They, like the others in combat, were ready to fight to the end. Leinad wanted there to be some chance he'd make it out of this mess alive, so he studied his opponent. The dragon was visually asymmetrical, but, mass-wise, was balanced. However, on its right side, there also appears to be damage.

Then, Leinad remembered listening to Natalie drone on about the legends of Lacunosa told to her by her parents, when she was irritated with the town's tradition-bound ways, and, by extension, her own lack of freedom. According to those legends, Kyurem came to Earth on a meteorite. That damage may have been from its landing long ago. Leinad also realized that that side of the body must have adapted to the damage, making it the harder point of the 2 sides to attack. He then directed his Pokémon to attack the left side.

Twintania charged in and launched a Dual Chop on the leg. Although Kyurem still wasn't damaged all that much, it was also apparent that the attack hit a weak point, as Kyurem released an extremely loud roar of pain. Leinad could hear it echo out the cave and beyond.

Natalie's parents waited near their house, near the Pokémon Center, waiting for Leinad's return. They stood there, crying, while Leinad's parents, who came when they heard that their son was going to Giant Chasm, comforted them. Another individual, Cynthia, had also arrived when she heard that the legendary 'Shadow of Death', which she identified through research as the Pokémon Kyurem, kidnapped someone. When she arrived, she received news that there was already a rescue underway. So, she decided to wait. After several hours of waiting, a bright flash appeared at the Pokémon Center, followed by Natalie and a Gardevoir recognizable as Lisilia. Cynthia immediately recognized Lisilia, and Lisilia also remembered Cynthia. It was then and there that Cynthia realized who was performing the rescue. Natalie's parents joyously ran over to their daughter, who was crying furiously.

"What is it?" Natalie's mother asked. "You're safe, what's the matter?"

"L-L-Leinad st-stayed behind," Natalie sobbed, "From the way he sounded...he sounded as though he didn't think he'd return!" Lisilia then made a sound as though to confirm Natalie's claim.

The crowd gasped at the revelation. Now, it was Leinad's mother's turn to start crying for her child.

Suddenly, they heard a low, echoing roar, emanating from Giant Chasm. It was Kyurem, and it sounded like Leinad was putting up one heck of a fight. Cynthia sent out her Garchomp, and said, "Come on, we have to get to Giant Chasm before something happens to him!"

Kyurem fired off its Frost Breath, while Zodiark and Twintania leapt out of the way. Nearby, Darksteel helped Leinad out of the cave's freezing cold water. He'd been knocked in when Twintania was thrown aside by a Dragon Pulse from Kyurem. He knew that his plan of hitting the left side of the creature would work, but, now that it knows that is adversaries know of that weakness, Kyurem seemed intent on making sure none of them could get a shot off there. Leinad knew that, unless he could position either Darksteel or Twintania to the left of the dragon Pokémon, none of them would make it out of here.

Then, he got an idea. "Zodiark, Antlion!" he called. The Serperior and Galvantula heard him and awaited orders. He sent a gesture that he hoped the 'Shadow of Death' couldn't figure out, and knew that Zodiark and Antlion already knew: he was going to call out a bluff. "I can see a weak point on this thing's right side, come over here and hit it with everything you got!" The 2 Pokémon then started coming up on the dragon Pokémon’s right. Now fearing an attack to the right, the Pokémon began rotating to keep its right side covered. The ruse worked. "Now, Twintania!" Twintania went in with a Dual Chop to the leg. Before the massive Pokémon could reposition, Twintania's attack struck home on the leg. The massive 'Shadow of Death' Pokémon collapsed, still thrashing. Leinad pulled out one of his empty PokeBalls. This one was a powerful one, an Ultra Ball. Although finding them in stores was common, he never used them. Now was as good a time as any. He threw the PokeBall at the 'Shadow of Death', who disappeared inside. Now, as the PokeBall rocked back and forth, Leinad waited.

Then, the PokeBall indicated that the Shadow of Death was captured. Leinad sighed in relief. He was alive, this monster had fallen, and, most important to him, Natalie was safe. He called back his Pokémon, and prepared to leave, when, suddenly, Kyurem's PokeBall began to glow. It then fell out of Leinad's bag and rolled away a few feet, before causing a mysterious rift to be formed. Before Leinad could react, the rift engulfed him, and left nothing behind.

By the time Cynthia managed to reach Kyurem's cave in Giant Chasm, nothing remained in it, neither Leinad or Kyurem. Harboring some hope that Leinad made it back to Lacunosa before her, she made her way back. However, when she returned there, that was clearly not the case. Natalie and Lisilia were gone. Apparently, Lisilia sensed when Leinad disappeared, and, when Natalie learned what happened, she ran home, locked herself in her room, and started crying bitterly. Cynthia had no clue as to what to do. All she could think to herself was how promising a trainer Leinad seemed. And now, he was gone forever.

Or, so they thought...

Chapter 4 *: The Other Side

First, he heard a loud ringing in his ears, and all he could see was big white blur. Soon, he could finally see again and the ringing died down. Above him, a Serperior sat making noises as though trying to say, 'Wake up!'. Soon, he finally could move...and Leinad found himself in a world of islands floating in an area devoid of life.

Leinad let out all his Pokémon, and they tried to find some shelter. Leinad remembered that another of Natalie's Lacunosa Legends involved some form of 'Distortion World'.

And this place matched all the descriptions of it.

Now, Leinad was trying to navigate through it, to find a good place to set up camp. Suddenly, he heard a roar. "There aren't any Pokémon in the Distortion World," he said. He then remembered part of the Legend...and there was a Pokémon there. He suddenly looked and saw a large, serpentile, tenticled Dragon Pokémon. The Pokémon spotted him. It prepared to charge, and Leinad, almost instinctively, went to shield his Pokémon.

The Pokémon, Giratina, halted its advanced, surprised by the human's courage. Then, without warning...it left. 'No,' Leinad realized, 'No, it's not leaving. It's...leading...' He followed Giratina, until he reached a certain point, where Giratina then sped off at high speed. Then, Leinad looked around, and spotted a Cavern nearby. Inside, he found a small, crystal clear lake, as well as some unusual plant matter, that appeared to be edible. 'What is this?' he asked himself. At that moment, Giratina jetted off.

Over the next few days, Leinad and his Pokémon set to work on building a shelter. While Garuda cleared out the cavern of all the loose boulders, Twintania used its horns to chisel them into usable shapes. Leinad, with Zodiark's and Rageclaw's help, tried to find food, with minimal results. He just about gave up when a quick portal to the real world opened, not strong enough, or large enough, to be used to escape, but it dropped something in: some berries and seeds. Leinad quickly collected the seeds and, taking it to the lake, planted them on the shore.

Soon, the small encampment was set, and, with some berries stashed for food, Leinad and his group would last until the planted berries and seeds take root. Leinad looked around, and could have sworn he saw Giratina nearby. It quickly became apparent that it was Giratina that caused the seeds and berries to appear, ensuring the group wouldn't starve.

Leinad also realized something else: someday, he'll have to face Giratina if he ever wants to get home.

Chapter 5 *: The Pact

For 2 years, Leinad and his Pokémon trained and did their best to survive in the Distortion World. Fortunately for them, the plants Leinad planted took root, giving them a semi-reliable source of food. However, the whole time, the one thing Leinad wanted was some sign of how to get home.

Several times, Leinad had seen Giratina flying nearby during the 2 years. Each time, it seemed as though Giratina was getting closer. Leinad came to realize that, one day, he'd have to challenge Giratina.

He then saw Giratina fly nearby again, and he knew the time was almost upon him. He took out one of his PokeBalls: an Ultra Ball he hadn't even touched since he got there, and released it's Pokémon: Kyurem, the Shadow of Death. Kyurem now seemed more passive, as if it submitted itself to Leinad. Leinad realized he must have humbled it by defeating it. Then, he heard a roar, and Giratina approached. That's when Lienad realized: It was time...

Leinad brought his team with him to the edge of the island they were on. At that moment, another island rose, this one looking like a Pokémon Statium. On the island was the serpentile Giratina, waiting for him. Leinad nodded at his Pokémon and they stepped onto the platform.

Suddenly, a telepathic message from Giratina could be heard. "I know how to get you back...but, you must defeat me first..."

Leinad nodded, and nodded toward Darksteel. The Carracosta stepped forward. Giratina was ready, and struck: a massive Aura Sphere attack shot forward at Darksteel. Darksteel as too slow to dodge, but was able to hold on...barely. Darksteel then charged with a Waterfall attack. It struck Giratina head-on, but barely scratched it. Giratina attacked again, and this time, Darksteel was defeated by the attack.

He would have to choose his next Pokémon wisely. Realizing that Giratina was Dragon Type, Leinad let out Twintania. Twintania, although weak to Dragon, was still the best choice to fight Giratina, as it stood the best chance of damaging it. Giratina noticed this change in tactics, and prepared for the attack. "Twintania..." Leinad began. The Haxorus looked back, waiting for orders. Leinad then continued, "Get ready to use Dragon Dance, we're going to need all the power we can get here." Twintania readied to make his move, when Giratina vanished without a trace. Leinad realized immediately that it must be readying an attack. "Now, Twintania!" Twintania was able to perform Dragon Dance once before Giratina reappeared, unleashing a full-on attack. Twintania was struck directly by it, but held on. "Ok, Twintania, use Dual Chop!" Twintania unleashed the attack, but Giratina also struck. While Twintania was defeated...Giratina took the brunt of the attack. While not severely weakened, the attack had a noticable effect on Giratina.

Leinad was about to send Zodiark out, when, suddenly, a PokeBall in his possession seemed to vibrate and glow...the PokeBall with Kyurem in it. "Maybe..." he said to himself. He raised the PokeBall, and readied to released Kyurem. "Well...here it goes..."

Both Giratina and Kyurem looked weakened. The battle had been intense, but, despite Giratina's greater power, Kyurem's Ice Type moves proved to be what would even the odds in the fight. Now, though, both Pokemon were on the verge of exhaustion...and Giratina, appeared, was satisfied.

"I yield..." it communicated. Leinad sent Kyurem back to the PokeBall, as Giratina continued, "You have defeated me...you are indeed a powerful trainer...and from how you treated those under you, you have a heart for Pokemon...Commendable...I would be honored to fight alongside you, should the chance ever come..."

As Leinad thought of how to respond, he couldn't help but think about how great it'd be to fight alongside Giratina. "Why not have another battle, to see if I could catch you and let you join my team-"

"Nay...for doing so would cause me to relinquish some of my power, diminishing my usefullness...although, there might be another way..."

Leinad cocked his head in curiosity. "What other way?"

"A means to tether my power to you, so you could call upon my power at will...without the need for one of those capture devices."

Leinad thought for a moment. As with all humans, the promise for power was quite tempting. However, he shook those thoughts from his head, while realizing what such power could allow him to do: he could leave this place, maybe return to his loved ones. No doubt his disappearance had them distressed...especially Natalie, who would no doubt be blaming herself for all this. "Tell me how this could be done..."

Chapter 6 ^: Leaving the Past Behind

Chapter 7 ^: Not Leaving Just Yet

Chapter 8 *^: 'Neath Darkened Wings

Chapter 9 *^: Unity

Chapter 10 <: Prisoner

Chapter 11 <: Not Quite Human

Chapter 12 *^<: Liberator

Chapter 13 >: On the Run

Chapter 14 ^<>: Saving Grace

Chapter 15 *>: A Chance at Redemption

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