Chapter 29: End of a Battle
With Tapu Koko's presence, the battle was turning in their favor. Although Guzzlord could shake off attacks from Pikachu and Zoroark, Tapu Koko was too fast and kept hitting him, allowing Zeraora to get in close enough to deal him a barrage of Thunder Punches and Plasma Fists.
"Great work guys, keep it up!"
Mimikyu snarled to itself, but kept focused on the task at hand. Guzzlord, with a bellowing roar, swung one of its arms at Mimikyu, who jumped out of the way…
Only for Jessie to be hit instead, sending her flying off the cliff.
"I'm alright, but I don't think I can hold onto this branch for much longer!"
"Don't worry Jessie, we're coming!"
But before either James or Meowth could do anything…
"Trumbeak, go save Jessie!"
Just as Jessie lost her grip, Trumbeak managed to swoop down and catch her, bringing her back to higher ground, shaken but safe.
"You…you saved me?"
"Now's not the time!"
Nodding, Jessie turned towards her Mimikyu.
"Alright Mimikyu, Shadow Claw!"
"Iron Tail, Pikachu!"
Leaping up, the two combined their attacks, striking Guzzlord right in its face and causing it to stumble back. But despite the damage it had taken, Guzzlord refused to concede defeat, shaking the ground and forcing his opponents to their feet.
"Alright guys, time to bring out the big guns."
With their Z Rings repowered by Tapu Koko, Ash, Mohn, Dia, and Jessie all launched their Z Moves at the monstrosity. Pikachu was the first to hit, Breakneck Blitz hitting Guzzlord right in the gut. Zoroark followed closely behind, Its Black Hole Eclipse battering Guzzlord to no end. Zeraora slammed him with a Gigavolt Havoc, followed by Mimikyu's Never Ending nightmare. It was clear that the battle was finally beginning to take its toll on Guzzlord, its humongous body struggling to keep upright.
"Alright Mareannie, use Venoshock!"
Mareannie shot out copious amounts of poison at Guzzlord, drenching him completely. The weary beast lifted its head, charging a Hyper Beam…
Only for Tapu Koko to hit him with Nature's Madness, finally toppling the monster and ending the battle as Guzzlord exploded in a mass of dark energy, forcing everyone back. When they all looked up, all that remained was a large scorch mark where Guzzlord once stood.
"He's gone. It's finally over."
Before heading back, they all said goodbye to Tapu Koko.
"Thank you for all your help, Tapu Koko. With your help we finally managed to end this nightmare once and for all."
Tapu koko nodded, before turning to Dia, extending its wing towards him. Seemingly knowing what the Tapu was saying, Dia was shocked.
"You…you want me to be the next Kahuna?"
Tapu Koko nodded.
"B-but surely Mohn would be a better fit?"
Mohn shook his head, smiling at Dia warmly.
"No Dia, but you are. You kept us all going, doing everything possible to keep up our spirits. Besides, one day I'll have to go back to my home world, and who will guide Melemele then? Trust me Dia, there couldn't possibly be a better person to lead."
Encouraged by Mohn's words, DIa shook Tapu Koko's wing.
"I promise to not let you down."
Nodding, Tapu Koko then turned to Ash and the Team Rocket Trio, stepping back to create a wormhole to their shock.
"We can go home!"
"Last one through is a rotten egg!"
James and Meowth ran through excitedly, while Jessie stayed behind to talk to Ash.
"Hey twerp, thanks for saving my life. I guess I owe you one."
"Don't worry about it. Team Rocket or not, no one deserves that."
"Well don't expect us to go easy on you next time we meet. As far as I'm concerned, your Z Crystals are still up for grabs, so you better be on your guard."
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
With that, Jessie went after her teammates, making sure no one could see the small smile on her face. Ash then turned to Mohn.
"Ready to go home, Mohn? I bet you have a lot of work to catch up on."
To Ash's surprise, Mohn shook his head.
"I'm sorry Ash, but I can't leave just yet. There's still a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done, and Dia will need help running things for a while. As much as I wish I could return to my family, I can't leave them here like this."
Ash nodded, and shook Mohn's hand goodbye before turning to Dia.
"Good luck, Dia. I know you'll be a great Kahuna."
"Thank you, Ash. For everything."
Ash entered the wormhole, waving goodbye to the two before the world faded from view.
Ash opened his eyes only to be blinded by a bright light. When the world came into view once more, he found himself at Aether Paradise, everyone staring at him.
"Ash, what happened? Are you alright?"
"What went on in there?"
Ash considered telling them all the story, but eventually decided against it, considering it too outrageous for any of them to believe.
"Trust me, you don't want to know."
Realizing that Ash wasn't going to be sharing his story any time soon, everyone decided to leave the matter be, although Lusamine insisted that he stay overnight so that a doctor could make sure he wasn't suffering any ill effects.
The next morning, after the doctor gave his consent for Ash to leave and they had breakfast with the president, Ash and Ilima were at the docks ready to head for Ula'ula Island, Lusamine and Faba there to see them off.
"I can't thank you enough for all that you've done. Both of you are welcome back any time."
"Thank you, Lusamine. Keep up the good work."
"Man, next time we should bring Lillie! She would love this place."
Ash could've sworn Lusamine's face twitched at Lillie's name, but let the matter slide. After everything was ready, their boat set off, Faba and Lusamine waving until the boat was out of sight.
Later that evening, Lusamine sat in her private quarters, mulling over recent events. Only once before had she seen an event like this, and when it had…
Lusamine shook her head, clearing her thoughts. She couldn't let herself think of him, no matter how much she missed him.
"Oh Mohn, I wish you were here with me. I'm afraid everything we've worked so hard to build is coming apart."
Lusamine allowed her eyes to wander her office, landing on a faded but comforting picture of her and Mohn, two familiar looking children smiling at their feet.
Faba dashed through the back corridors of the massive island, dodging questions and curious glances as he went. Foolish employees, don't they realize they are not even fit to be in the same room as him.
Sighing in relief, he opened his phone and hit the first contact.
"This better be good."
"Oh, it is. UB-05 Glutton has breached the dimensional barriers, although it has been dealt with. No collateral damage."
"Excellent. Stand by for further details."