The battle raged on with time passing seemingly ever so slowly. Fighters had already fallen and so few of them remained standing. The terrible entity Tabuu, their enemy floated above them, watching. He did not speak at all yet it seemed like he was almost smirking down at his meager challengers.
Lucario still stood, glaring back at Tabuu. In truth he despised the creature's aura. Or whatever it was. It felt incredibly different, opposite of the life Lucario could sense from the aura in every being and every thing. All he could sense from Tabuu was darkness, a void.
"So... got any bright ideas?" Snake stood near by. Though Lucario knew he was pretty hurt. The soldier still had humor left in him, choosing to light up a cigarette despite being in the middle of a battle.
"Don't really think that's the best time for that."
"It never is." Snake blew out smoke. Despite being tired, certain his arm was broken, and head throbbing, Lucario managed a laugh.
Ike hoisted himself up, using his blade like a crutch. "My friends, we cannot give up yet. If he beats us here, in our last stand, it will be all over. He will destroy our homes, our people, everything we hold dear!"
The sound of movement grabbed Lucario's ears. Sonic began to stand, a leg wobbling as he hopped over. Princess Zelda dusted off her dress as she approached, her very form glowing into the warrior Sheik. Falco - his wing in a makeshift sling - weakly chuckled as he leaned against Samus' side. Her expression was unreadable by most of the fighters there. But Lucario could sense her emotion through the aura - the determination of a soldier.
He remembered just what it was he was fighting for.
"I might have an idea. But I won't be able to move, if you can - " Lucario was cut off by the sound of Samus' arm cannon.
"I know what you're thinking. It's not gonna be enough but I can help with that." Beneath her vizor Samus winked. Lucario didn't see it but he could feel it. He smirked at Tabuu, the entity not knowing of their plan.
"Right, then we'll be his bait." Snake tightened his bandanna. The soldier quickly drew out his pistol.
"Hey doesn't he already know it's not that good?" Sonic pointed out. Ike shrugged as he hoisted his weapon.
"It may be. But he does look cool."
Everyone else stood at the ready. Tabuu watching idly as he floated.
Many ran ahead into the fray. Lucario and Samus leaping backwards readying themselves. Snake began to fire bullets that were deflected by a wave of the hand from Tabuu. Ike snuck around swinging his sword with a powerful spin only to be countered as well.
Sheik attacked next though was thrown back along with Ike by a powerful mind blast. As he retreated back Tabuu was suddenly attacked from Falco overhead by the pilot's charging fire. This seemed a better trick as Falco was within range of attack. Sonic leaping in throwing rapid punches as best he could at the entity.
In all the commotion Tabuu did not sense just what the Aura Master and Bounty Hunter had in store. Lucario began to summon all of his energy into a singular solid form, outwardly appearing as a bright blue sphere. Samus' canon at the same time charging up all of it's power into one direct attack with sparks flying about. Somehow the two were both in sync despite their different forms of attack, yet knowing from each other just the right time to strike back.
In the flurry of bombardment from the others Tabuu suddenly spotted Lucario and Samus. Despite all of his inherent ability which seemed to surpass any the smashers had there was no way for him to escape this. In the mere seconds Tabuu tried to teleport away but it was already too late.
The blasts fired. Bright blue aura and white energy extened together and seemed to mix as it moved at incredible speed. Only Sonic, the fast speedster could properly spot the attacks moving forward. Knowing just what was coming he too used his speed to get himself and the others out of harm's way.
Time seemed to stop when Tabuu was struck. The entity's form began to break as he let out a howl of anger and fury. The attacks exploded into a large flurry of energy which crackled and sparked amongst the Subspace world. Then the area was consumed with bright light as Subspace fell apart.
Lucario wouldn't remember exactly what happened at that moment. But it was then that they had one. The Subspace Emissary was defeated.
Lucario woke up to the sounds of birds chirping out of his window. His vision enveloped by sunlight streaking in from the early morning. For a moment he'd nearly forgotten just where he was or how he'd gotten there. He looked around realizing he was still in bed in a cleanly blue room. An alarm clock at a nightstand read 6:05.
When he'd realized where he was Lucario shook his head. He was at home, in the Chateau, and it was Sunday morning. Lucario almost felt a bit sheepish at dreaming of a fight of so long ago. Without another word in Lucario left his thoughts back in bed as he left to begin his routine for the day.
Though it was still early Lucario began to prepare the days meal. A light breakfast with fruits, bagels, eggs, bacon, and oatmeal sat about a long table. Yet it was too much for Lucario all to eat. It caught him off guard realizing how much he had to cook now in the life he currently lived.
The door the the kitchen opened. A young blonde girl still in her pajamas stepped in, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she sat down.
"Good morning Raven. Are the others awake yet?" The girl nodded, an orange hanging from her lips falling down to the table. Rolling his eyes Lucario continued as others began to clamor in.
"Hey Luc, do we really have to train all day today? Let's take a day off!" Griff, the eldest, yelled still with food in his mouth.
"Training every day is key. If you want to truly master your talents a proper routine is necessary." Lucario recited flipping a pancake onto a plate. Lynn, a girl with black and pink hair, clapped from the table. Lucario smiled, kind of proud at that.
Hurley, a portly redheaded boy, attempted to speak through his heaps of food he stomached. It put off Zara, the second youngest, who slowly inched away as food flew everywhere.
Lucario felt a tug at his side. He then realized that Mari, the youngest of the bunch, had been standing next to him this whole time. Somehow he hadn't noticed that even with his abilities. The girl was a quiet one though, soft spoken but good natured and kind to others. These qualities Lucario liked about his youngest.
"Yes sweetie. Is there something you need?"
Mari's big brown eyes seemed hesitant. Lucario could sense the usual nervousness that surrounded the young girl. She stammered a bit, gripping Lucario's wrist tighter. He minded not waiting patiently until his student was ready. Then Mari spoke so softly.
"Master are... are you feeling okay?"
That was a new one. If ever Mari came to Lucario it was always for advice for her own character. Anything on technique, focus for training, whatnot. It nearly caught Lucario off guard to be asked of his own well being. Outwardly though he smiled patting the young girl by the head.
"Of course I am alright. Why do you ask Mari?"
The young girl looked down at the ground. To others avoiding direct eye contact could be rude or seen as unsightly. But Lucario knew this girl better. He knew her the moment he met her, it was just her way. He waited more, a hand resting on her shoulder to ease her as Mari spoke more.
"I ... I um... what was that, I mean... who made you so angry?"
Lucario's expression dropped. His eyes focused on Mari. The young girl still looking up to him innocent as ever. He masked himself as best he could to hide his surprise.
"You saw my dream?"
"I - I d - didn't mean t- to!" Mari exclaimed. Her face reddened as if she was caught. Lucario sighed. Out of instinct he patted her head once more.
"No it's alright. Remember, you are still a Guardian in training. You cannot help it." He smiled to reassure her.
"Then ... I mean ..." Mari fumbled. Lucario turned away waving off.
"Another time. It's not important. It was eight years ago after all."
Mari looked up. She couldn't remember the last time Lucario spoke of his past, or of anything from before they'd met. Save when he brought on each of the students. Though still having questions Mari left Lucario as he was in the kitchen and joined the others for breakfast.
Lucario looked to his reflection in the window. He'd stopped for a moment leaving what he had cooking to burn for a bit. He needn't think of the past. Not now when he'd gone forward already.
Once it was over everyone was brought outside to the courtyard. The chateau was basked in the bright morning sunlight and stood out against the bright green of the wilderness around them. Each and every kid, Raven, Griff, Mari, Lynn, Zara, and Hurley stood at attention in a line. Lucario walking up and down as he spoke of just what he had in store for them that day.
"Remember students, if you master the Aura, you gain abilities unlike any the world has seen in a very long time. It is your duty to hone your skills. To become Guardians for the world at large."
Lucario glanced at the six. He nearly forgot that despite each of their unique traits and abilities they were a group of kids, youngest at 14, eldest at 18. And modern to boot. Not quite the group Lucario expected to take on as his students. Even so he was glad that they were. Looking at them, some tired, some nervous at the training to come, others eager, Lucario knew they could become the Guardians he saw in them.
Lucario turned away looking into the horizon. "Well then. Let's go and start your next phase. Come on."
With a powerful leap into the air Lucario was gone. The kids groaned knowing they would have to keep up. Zara remarking how it sucked their master cheated. Still they dutifully followed, running out of the courtyard and towards the trees after the blue blur. They had run fast enough that they past by the front gate in less than a second. None paying it any mind as they had all known what it read.
Lucario's Aura Academy.
The wind howled as the sound of the thundering hooves echoed across the forest. Riders on horseback brandished spears and swords as they pursued their quarry. Other riders, brigands cloaked with meager weapons in hand, ran as fast as they could to evade them. None sought to be captured tonight by the soldiers. They had already done their raid and gotten enough coin to settle, they weren't looking for a fight with the Exalt's men any time soon.
Up ahead Lucina stood on foot. She watched as the brigands were led closer towards her. Normally the riders would try to surround who they were hunting, but that was thwarted by the denseness of the woodland. Lucina however had no problems with movement and awaited as the riders made it straight towards drew Falchion. The blade undamaged despite having seen battle across time and space. Holding it to her face Lucina gazed into the blade, sensing the power of the age old weapon.
"Please, give me strength." Her blue eyes focused. She ran into the fray.
The first brigand knew not what happened when he had fallen to the ground. Lucina moved incredibly swift swinging her blade at the other brigands. The horses shrieked and ran off away into the night. This startled the other horses enough to knock the riders off of them on their own. None had even seen Lucina approach and strike them down with a powerful blow of Falchion. She moved faster than the horses ran past the trees, silently taking out one man after the other.
"What the hell is happening?" A poor soul managed to scream. He'd even managed to draw his sword, shaking as he stood to defend himself.
I feel almost sorry for you.
Lucina snuck up behind the man. With the strike of the butt of her hilt the he fell unconscious to the ground.
Taking a last glance Lucina counted at least 11 men, all of the brigands reported accounted for. Without another word in Lucina sheathed Falchion waiting for the soldiers to meet back up. Already however a lone horse rider beat the rest of the cavalry and met Lucina face to face. They wore a hood yet the sliver of silver hair shining beneath gave their identity away.
"I told you we didn't need the whole cavalry for this. They're just petty thieves Robin."
"You confirmed it. But you never knew if any of them could've been a mage or another kind of specialist. Always good to plan out in case things don't go south." Robin chuckled lifting down her hood. She hopped off of her horse to better look at the brigands whilst Lucina leaned back against a tree.
"You're still the same tactician I see."
"And you're still the same little girl wanting to solve things on her own." Robin smiled back. Lucina turned away from her arms crossed. Robin laughed then as she made sure the brigands were properly secure.
The rest of the soldiers had made it by then. Their captain spoke with Robin over what to do with them whilst planning the return of the stolen goods back to their proper owners. Lucina stood away to the side cleaning off Falchion. Even in that battle the weapon hadn't a scratch or wear, yet out of habit Lucina wiped it down. When the soldiers had the brigands ready to go Robin patted the younger girl by the shoulder.
"You know, we could use a drink by now. What for all of our hard work."
Lucina raised a brow. "I thought you were here for ulterior motives."
"Oh I am still trying to get you back. But bringing you back can wait, we earned it." Robin waved to the soldiers as she said this. The cavalry leaving the two women alone.
"I won't go back with you. Father - I mean, Chrom - can manage. He doesn't need me there."
"No. But he wants you there. Alternate timelines be damned, you're still his kid." Lucina tried to walk away. Robin grabbed her wrist stopping her. She looked back at the silver haired tactician. "C'mon. I've know Chrom. And I know you. You don't really want to leave it like this."
"Chrom ... he already has a daughter. If I stay, that'll only complicate things. This isn't my world."
Lucina pulled her wrist out of Robin's grasp. Robin sighed shaking her head. Thinking she was out Lucina continued to walk away on foot. But then she suddenly felt her waist get pulled upwards onto a horseback. Robin laughed from atop of her mount.
"Fine, I'll let you go do your thing. You're not my kid so I can't tell you what to do. But you've still got to join me for ale!" Her horse neighed before taking off. Lucina gawked from the back of the horse as she was taken away without another word in.
"Aura surrounds us. It binds us together with everything and every being. Living things, animals, humans, even non living has an aura. The rocks, the trees, the sky, it is within you and me."
Lucario would repeat this mantra every day to the students. Even though he'd told it now for at least the thousandth time, it still felt strange coming from his lips. He remembered it back from his own time, so very long ago, the mantra of the original Guardians. Now Lucario found himself the master reciting those words from his own training to this new generation.
... granted, half of them had fallen asleep in meditation. At this point this was at least getting there.
Griff, Raven, and Lynn were promptly awoke by the soft nudge of Lucario's fist. Their master continued the lesson still as they sat at attention in meditative stance. Zara couldn't hide her laugh at that. Hurley was nigh struggling to keep focus. Mari quiet as ever.
"It is much more than crude matter. You must feel the Aura around you. For it is with Aura that many great things can be achieved. And with it we carry on protecting the world." Lucario paused a moment. Chuckling he added. "Well, at least this world."
"What're you saying worlds for? Like aliens?" Raven spoke haughtily.
"Are you an alien!?" Griff yelled. Lucario shook his head.
"Never mind. Let us continue. There is still an hour to this lesson." There was a collective groan from the kids. Lucario turned his back to them at the edge of the cliff that they sat. He now looked out into the horizon of the wilderness and farther on the cool blue ocean beyond.
Master, are you watching? They will be the new Guardians, a new Order to protect the future.
His gaze turned to the kids. Some still not fully grasping the meditation. Griff openly joking causing Zara and Raven to laugh. Mari focused as attentive as he knew she'd be. Hurley and Lynn getting the hang of it fine but still couldn't stop themselves from laughing lightly.
Well... they've still got a long way to go.
He couldn't tell the kids the heart of the matter. That in reality, the future he was ensuring for the kids, it was theirs. Lucario was simply a being out of his time, one who shouldn't even be around. But he was a necessary key to pass on what he knew, what was lost to the ages, to the future. The will of the aura had to live on in the future. But it was not his future.
Even if this future is not mine, at least I have a purpose to keep moving forward. I think, you and the Queen, would want that.
Having been so deep in his thoughts while gazing out into the open Lucario nearly missed the bright spark in the distance. He blinked thinking perhaps he was just seeing things until noticing that the spark didn't fade away. It was there, at the corner of the sky above the far sea. Without hesitation Lucario closed his eyes and began to let himself into the aura.
Zara opened her eyes. She gawked noticing Lucario's aura flare up around him. While the other kids were still to themselves, Zara stood up and appraoched Lucario.
"Master, what is it? What are you doing?" This caught the attention of the others. Mari stood up and stopped sensing his thoughts.
"T- there's something coming. He's sensing it."
"Master hey. What're you doing? Master!" Griff attempted to shake his arm to no avail. Lucario simply stood there, eyes closed, dreadlocks floating as he hummed lowly, clearly in a much more advanced meditative state.
Raven hadn't moved from her spot. Blowing her bangs out of her eyes she re-assumed a meditative stance closing her eyes. The rest of the kids and their master became large bodies of bright blue light contrasted against a dark world. Lucario's aura was however like a burning inferno rising, yet the waves felt from him were almost like cool water. She couldn't explain it into words but remembered the feeling well.
Her goal however was focus on Lucario's emotions, an easy enough task that their master claimed was simple enough for students. But the advanced technique and the root goal was the detection of the thoughts of an aura through emanation. Raven was only third best at detecting emotion compared to Mari or Lynn, but it didn't deter her from an attempt at looking into Lucario's mind. The young girl's own aura had to be in intense focus, reaching out to grab onto the "waves" coming from their master, and then reaching deeper.
She only got a glimpse until being thrown out. Raven gasped falling backwards onto the ground. Lynn noticed and rushed to her side checking her over. She called out to her friend though Raven's ears rung loudly.
"I - I - what?"
"Are you okay? What the heck happened?" Lynn helped up Raven. She shook her head looking back to their master.
"He sensed it. His aura was - I don't know how - it was all the way out to the ocean. There's a ship!"
The rest of the group looked at Raven with confusion. Some looked out into the distance bbut couldn't see exactly what she spoke of. Raven's cheeks were reddened as she looked to the ground avoiding their questioning gazes.
"You are right young one." Lucario turned around. His voice caught the rest off guard as he walked past them to Raven. Looking over her carefully Lucario helped the girl stand up. Raven still didn't look him in the eye.
"Master I... I'm sorry for -"
"No. You used your instincts as a guardian to acquire what you did not know. I commend you for that, but remember your limitations young one."
Raven's red eyes looked up at Lucario. He was not displeased. In the past, had any of the kids tried anything beyond their limits, it'd have earned a slight lecture. Raven smiled back as Lucario led the way into the forest.
"Come now everyone. We must get back home. We are having guests."