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Jun 17, 2019 2:40 AM
Solar Ari in Pokémon
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Regrettably, his meditation is too deep for him to notice anything that isn't an immediate threat to his life and/or limb.

His meditation will, if nothing threatens his life, last for just over two weeks.

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A couple of trainers send fire types into the caldera to check if he's okay, but nobody quite dares to pull him out. By the time he comes out of meditation, they've all gone home, but someone has set up some scientific instruments on the edge of the caldera.

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Their instruments will indicate that the light is mostly similar to very intense sunlight, just at an odd wavelength. It's not dangerous, though it may cause mild sunburn on prolonged exposure, and it bleaches cloth placed in the pillar itself.

Aril unfolds his legs and touches down on the ledge he claimed, his anima fading to a mere glow. He stretches with a series of dangerous-sounding cracks, then releases Daana'd and invokes Friendship With Animals Approach.

"Hello, Daana'd!"

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"Rado!" says Daana'd, by which she means, "Hello!"

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"I'm going to make you the smartest Gyarados ever," Aril promises. "Do you want that?"

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"Gyara! Gyarados!" This means, "I trust you, and I want everything that could possibly make me better at fighting."

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"Daana'd, you are a woman after my own heart. This is going to take a little while; do you want to get out of the volcano while we do it?"

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"Dos!" ("Sure, anywhere's good. Climb aboard.")

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Aril does so! He leads them to a spot on the seaward side of the volcano, then begins the ritual.

It's a bit less involved than the meditation was; it only takes five hours, and the enormous pillar of radiant Solar energy only appears for a few minutes towards the end, then fades back into a blaze of glorious golden light around Aril's body.

Daana'd, who previously had the intellect of a normal Pokémon or a six-year-old human child, finds herself elevated. It's a strange thing, to suddenly go from a childlike intellect to the full intelligence of a human adult. There's none of the time to adjust that comes with natural maturation; it's a process of hours rather than years. By the end of those five hours, Daana'd has more space in her head, her thoughts are quicker and clearer, and there's a vague sense that she could think about things more complicated than just fighting and food.

She doesn't have to, though. She's still a Pokémon, so fighting and food are probably more interesting than cerebral pursuits. Another thing that hasn't changed: Aril is great. He's so great.

"How do you feel?"

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"Gyarados!" ("I feel . . . really alive! It's weird, but in a good way.")

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“That’s what I like to hear! You’ll keep gaining intelligence for the next week or so, then I can start to work on your physical power. We’re fully bonded now, so I’m going to make you better in every way I can.”

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"More physical power sounds awesome! What does 'fully bonded' mean?" (She's still talking by remixing syllables of her name, but the narration has stopped caring enough to provide those and is now providing only the translation.)

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“My Essence, the core of my being, is now threaded through yours, and vice versa. The Solar Essence would improve and empower you even without the ritual, that being how Solar Essence works, but I can accelerate the process with some effort.”

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"I don't understand Solar Essence, but if it makes me more powerful I guess I like it. Let's go somewhere with other Pokemon, I want to try fighting now that I'm like this."

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Great idea. We can head back into the volcano, I’m sure there’s something worthy there. Do you want to take it on solo, or should we work as a team?”

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"I've never fought as part of a team before! It could be fun."

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“It could! Let’s go find something to fight, then.”

He hops back onto his newly sapient steed and heads back into the volcano. This time, instead of lighting on a rock immediately, he heads into the inner cave systems. (There are always cave systems.) What new beasts await him?

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There's a beautiful unicorn with a mane and tail made of rippling red flames! It wants to fight.

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Oh hell yes. What is that, some kind of dragonblooded horse? With a spike coming out of its head? This place is so fucked up, he loves it.

Aril won’t spend any motes on this fight unless it seems to be getting way out of hand. This limitation in mind, he launches a flying dragon kick at the horse’s face.

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The unicorn is knocked back by the kick, but rears up and brings rock-hard hooves down on Aril's shoulders.

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Daana'd joins in with a blast of water from her mouth, which flashes into steam and seems to seriously phase their opponent.

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Aril feels his collarbone crack and winces. That’s going to be unpleasant for a few hours. Still, he has Ox-Body Technique for a reason.

"Nice!" he says of the blast of water. Then he punches the horse three times, right hand then left then right again. And he prepares to actually dodge next time it tries to hit him.

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His punches aren't as effective as the water jet, but they do seem to be wearing the unicorn down. Daana'd bites it on the flank, Aril dodges its horn, and Daana'd gets kicked in the side by the back hooves. This thing is pointy at six different ends.

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It's novel, underperforming in combat. But then, he's not a water dragon fighting a fire horse. There are certain natural advantages in play here.

Even so, the might of the Unconquered Sun courses through his body and soul. It shouldn't take the two of them very long to beat the absolute hell out of a horse, even a Dragonblooded one. Aril just keeps fighting.

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And indeed, the horse does not take very long to become too exhausted to fight anymore.

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