Chapter 33: A Step too Far

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Sorry this took so long guys, things have been hectic at my place. Have you guys been playing the English release? Who's hand did you choose to take?
I own nothing.
Chapter 33: Beauty Lies Within

Gardevoir and Grim, who had noticed the two sneaking off, followed (Y/N) into the depths of the coliseum, following after Vil who had not noticed them. While the Embrace Pokémon was on guard, the cat monster had no idea what they were doing.
"Hey, (Y/N). What's wrong? Vil said we can go get food since rehearsals are over. So why are you following Vil?"
"I have a bad feeling..." She admitted. "And they've been pretty spot on since I got here."
Flapple, who was still tucked into the girl's uniform along with Applin, chirped as Vil stopped in front of one of the dress rooms and began knocking intently.
"Who's dressing room is that?" Grim asked.
She didn't need to answer him as a familiar, bubbly voice answered back.
"Yes! I'll be right there!"
(Y/N)'s eyes widened. "I was afraid of that."
Neige opened the door and was quite ecstatic to see the blonde. "Ah, Vil! What's wrong?"
Vil crossed his arms, almost pondering for a moment. "...we didn't get to talk much since we were in the middle of rehearsals. I just wanted to talk to you a little more."
"Ah! Yeah, I was thinking the same thing!"
"Oh my, where did your little friends go?"
"Dominique and the others wanted to go back to the petting zoo. (Y/N)'s monsters are just so fun to play with! But geez, they can barely sit still!"
Vil smirked. "So, you're alone...your rehearsal performance was wonderful. Your cuteness always captivates everyone around you in an instant. That's how it's always been."
Neige beamed. "Vil, your performance was amazing too! I wouldn't be able to sing such a cool song. Your dancing was so flawless. You didn't miss a step!"
"You think so?...Thank you. Fufu. It seems we both wish we had something each other has. Hey, Neige. Aren't you thirsty?" He pulled out a familiar looking bottle. "I brought some delicious, refreshing apple juice with me. It's my favorite drink as of recently..."
Neige blinked. "Oh, that one! I've seen you post it on Magicam. I really wanted to try it! I'm so happy! Thank you!"
"We'll then, it's all yours. Enjoy."
"I'll gladly accept it."
(Y/N) looked at the bottle as the image of the poisoned fruit flashed in her mind.
"That's-! Gardevoir, stop them!"
Before the Psychic type could act, someone else came running from down the hall. Surprisingly, it was Rook.
"NEIGE!"
(Y/N) immediately pulled her group back as the hunter appeared in the nick of time.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your chat, but the production staff wanted to ask you something regarding your performance. Roi Du Neig-....No, Neige."
Neige tilted his head. "Roi Du...were you about to call me..could it be...are you..."
"Ah!" Rook proclaimed. "After all this running around looking for you, I sure am thirsty. That apple juice looks so chilled and refreshing. Would you mind giving it to me?"
"Y-yeah. Of course."
Neige quickly handed over the bottle as Vil went pale. Rook beamed.
"Thank you. Now Neige, hurry and go to the stage." His face became serious. "And don't come back here."
"Eh? But, why-?"
"GO NOW! HURRY AND RUN!"
"O-okay." Neige took off, unnerved by the desperation in Rook's voice.
(Y/N) turned her head to Flapple. "Follow him. Make sure he gets to safety."
"Fla!"
Flapple flew off after Neige as the remainder of their group watched the confrontation between the two Pomefiore students.
Vil narrowed his eyes at his Vice Dorm Leader. "Rook, why..."
Rook just smiled, opening the bottle. "Mmm, the fragrance of fresh apples. The image of a bright red apple, it just makes me want to bite one. The specialties of Epel's hometown are truly wonderful. I won't leave a drop, Roi Du Poison."
Vil gasped as yet again, Gardevoir moved to intervene, only for some to barreling in at high speeds.
"DON'T DO IT, ROOK!" 
Kalim crashed into the third year, knocking the bottle to the ground. It shattered as Rook reeled in surprise as the Ramshackle students revealed themselves as well.
"Roi Du 'Or! What are you doing here? (Y/N) and Grim as well?"
Grim somehow still didn't understand what was happening. "Kalim, why did you knock the bottle out of Rook's hand!?"
The white haired male only gasped for breath. "Hah, hah...I made it in time."
Vil glared at them. "Why are you all..."
(Y/N) cut him off with a sharp look, pointing at the broken bottle. "You better have a damn good excuse for what you were about to do."
As she spoke, the apple juice bubbled, turning a sickening and poisonous green color. Grim yelped, jumping on to (Y/N).
"You put a curse on this juice with your Unique Magic, Vil." Kalim accused.
"W-what?!"
(Y/N) became angrier. "You were trying to curse Neige?! What were you thinking!?"
Kalim nodded. "I got a bad feeling when I saw that look on Vil's face after watching Neige's rehearsal. It reminded me of Jamil's face when he went berserk during winter break."
Vil's face became shadowed as he looked over to his vice dorm leader. "...Rook. Why did you try to drink it? I know that you knew it wouldn't end well if you drank that."
Rook smiled. "Because I believed in you. You, who has always been so dedicated in aiming to be the best, I believed you would do anything foolish that would defile your beauty...but at the same time, you put a curse on that apple juice, and I wanted to drink it. That taste of the poisonous fruit, that obsession with beauty that drove you mad."
"What are you saying Rook!?" Kalim yelled. "That's absolutely crazy!"
(Y/N) rubbed her temples. "Rook, when this is over, you and I are having a long discussion about...whatever the heck this is."
Vil said nothing as Kalim turned on him.
"Hey Vil, do you realize how stupid what you were just about to do was!? Didn't you want us to put on a show that made the rest look like potatoes?! Didn't you say we were going to have the best performance in the world!? Then why...?"
Vil began to laugh. "Hah...ahahaha...that's...what I want to ask myself the most...but now I understand...THAT I WILL NEVER WIN! So that's why I...I...I wanted to finish Neige with my own hands..."
The juice curdled further, turning into a purple smog. Applin burrowed deeper into his trainer's clothes as Grim clung to her leg.
"Fnya!? What's happening!? The juice that spilled on the floor is moving again! It's spreading everywhere!"
"What's this smoke!?" Kalim yelped as he began coughing. "I...can't...breathe..."
"(Y/N), Kalim! Whatever you do, don't inhale the smoke!" Rook yelled. "Vil's Unique Magic, Fairest One of All, can put a curse on any object. The mist can turn into a gas from the cursed liquid. The second you inhale it, you will be paralyzed, but I didn't know a single glass of juice could create all this!"
"He's gonna Overblot!" (Y/N) shot back as she covered her mouth with her shirt and pushed Gardevoir back. "Vil, stop this! You know this isn't the answer!"
The blonde was instead freaking out. "Please, don't look at me...don't look at me like that! Why! I wanted to be the most beautiful in the world, but why am I...so UGLY, UGLY, UGLY!"
"Roi Du Poison...you could never be ugly!"
"That's right!" Kalim agreed. "Neither Neige nor Rook drank the juice! You haven't hurt anyone yet, so come on Vil, wake up!"
As the white haired boy broke out into a coughing fit, (Y/N) extended her hand.
"Please Vil, you need to calm down. You don't have to do this. Let's just talk this out."
"Shut up!" He yelled back at her. "What could any of you know!? Even if the rest of the world forgives me, I...I can never forgive myself!"
The black ink made its vile appearance, making everyone back up further.
"There's black ink coming from Vil's body!" Kalim yelled. "That's what happened to Jamil!"
Grim climbed up (Y/N)'s leg as the smog became worse. "The poisonous juice keeps spreading! Now it's melting the floor!"
"Don't let it touch you!" (Y/N) ordered as she forced everyone to back away, even as her body felt heavy.
"Fu, fufufufu...that's right!" Vil said manically. "That'll do it! If I make everyone else's beauty rot and melt away...then I will be the fairest one of all, right!?"
As the ink swallowed Vil, (Y/N) managed to grab on to one of her Pokeballs.
"Please let there be enough room. Corviknight! Defog!"
The armored corvid appeared in a flash, his wings nearly filling the hall. His wings shimmered blue and in a single thrust of them, shot out shockwaves which cut through the smog. The air immediately became more breathable, but Vil's transformation was already completed. He was in a gown and crown fit for a Queen. His skin was the usual lifeless gray with a royal blue flame in his right eye. Instead of an ink mask, it dripped from that eye like tears.
"It matters little how many times you cut through the poison, your suffering won't last long." He said, chillingly. "Fu...fufufufu...AHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Ah...Vil." Rook sighed. "What a terrifying and despairing appearance. And yet so beautiful that I can't look away!"
(Y/N) shoved him. "Then force yourself cause we can't stay down here! Run!"
The group bolted to the exit as Vil chased them. Corviknight lingered, trying to slow down the manic boy. Gardevoir occasionally shot a Psychic over her shoulder to help.
"What about Corviknight!?" Kalim yelled.
"He'll be fine." (Y/N) insisted. "Vil can't poison him. We need more room to fight him. Just keep going!"
Suddenly, something flashed in front of them, darting at Vil.
"What!?" He stopped dead as the newcomer flew circles around him. "Guh!? You...don't get in my way!"
Thanks to the opening, Corviknight flew in for a Steel Wing, joined by a small, apple form, who used Dragon Rush.
"Flapple!" (Y/N) yelled as Vil cried out and staggered.
Kalim looked up, recognizing the other form. "T-that's...my magic carpet!? What are you doing here!?"
Jamil appeared on top of the carpet as the Pokémon kept Vil busy.
"Geez, I knew something like this would happen. Everyone, get on!"
"JAMIL!" Kalim said, relieved.
Flew by adrenaline, and without time to spare, (Y/N) practically launched Kalim and Grim on to the carpet before whistling for Corviknight. Flapple gave Vil a taste of a Grav Apple as the armored bird scooped up their trainer and Rook.
Vil growled as they all made a break for the exit. "You think you can escape!?"
He perused them furiously. In moments, they broke for the surface, landing on the stage. The once sunny day was now transformed into an ominous rainstorm. (Y/N) pulled out her remaining Pokeballs as Rook reflected on the weather.
"Even though everything was fine just moments ago...now the sky is fiercely raging...as if reflecting Vil's heart."
Kalim turned to Jamil. "Jamil, we need to evacuate all the students and staff!" He then glanced around at the empty Coliseum. "Eh, wait? There were a bunch of staff here earlier, but now there's no one!"
"How many years do you think I'm going to wait to keep up with your crazy decisions?" Jamil questioned, unamused. "Everyone is already evacuated."
"EH!?" Grim shrieked. "HOW'D YOU DO THAT!?"
"I ran into Neige earlier and saw Flapple following him. Judging by how frantic he was, I knew something was wrong. So I placed Neige under my Unique Magic and told him to lure everyone away with his singing, and had Flapple lead me back to you."
"As expected from Scarabia." (Y/N) joked.
"I also had a bad feeling when I saw Vil's face after Neige's rehearsal. I was just wonder who was going to hit the beehive and make everything worse." He looked at Kalim.
(Y/N) snapped her fingers. "Hey, Kalim stopped Rook from cursing himself. He doesn't deserve shade this time."
The male sighed. "Good intentions or not, the beehive has already been dropped. All we can do now is try to put an end to it."
"Awww man!" Kalim moaned before perking up. "But, you did save us! Thank you, Jamil!"
"If you lot had stayed quiet, Neige would have been the only one hurt. All of this was unnecessary."
(Y/N) smacked the back of his head. "No, we do not standby and let innocent people get cursed!"
Rook ignored her scolding. "Marvelous Jamil! Your sharp eyes never miss a thing and you detect any bot of discomfort from Kalim! You two share such a deep bond that transcends the boundaries of servant and master...truly beaute!"
Jamil glared at him. "Stop that. That's not why I did it. I just have experience, and...unless I do something, my plans for restoring my reputation will be ruined!"
"JAMIL!" Ace's voice shouted as he, Deuce, and Epel appeared. "We gave everyone left in the Coliseum an excuse to leave, just like you told us. Afterwards, we tried to get out, but some weird purple smoke is covering the Coliseum."
"We couldn't get through the smoke without it burning our skins." Deuce added. "What is that stuff?"
"What the heck is going on!?" Epel asked.
"It's Vil's magic." (Y/N) answered. "He's Overblotted and locked us in."
"WHAT!?" The three yelled.
Jamil narrowed his eyes at the entrance. "Explain later! He's coming! (Y/N) I hope you have some strong Pokémon with you!"
"A few. Swampert, Dragapult, Decidueye! Lend us your strength!"
The three remaining Pokémon joined the line, along with Flapple, as Vil burst onto the stage with a crash of lightning. He smirked down at them.
"I won't let you escape...anyone who witnesses my hideous form will not leave here alive! AHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Since the cultural festival is happening right now, there should be a bunch of magicians gathered here at the school." Jamil noted. "This situation isn't going to go unnoticed."
"We'll just have to wrap this up quickly then." (Y/N) stated. "We can't risk Vil hurting anyone else. Decidueye! Spirit Shackle!"
The grass type fired off its signature move, trapping Vil in the Coliseum.
"Vil's life is on the line!" Kalim added. "If he runs out of magic before help gets here, he will be in grave danger. We have to get him back as soon as possible!"
Epel nodded. "Today...today is the day I am not going to lose to you!"
"Vil..." Rook said. "We'll release you from that cage of pain you are in."
Everyone charged in. Thanks to the space, (Y/N) finally got a good look at the Blot Incarnation: A bottle headed, hunchback covered in rags and carrying a basket of apples. Rook, Jamil, Swampert, and Corviknight kept Vil's primary focus, landing powerful strikes while creating openings for the others to strike as well. Swampert hit an Earthquake, which caused Vil to stagger.
"MEDDLESOME MONSTER!"
He swung, only for Swampert to dodge with an Aqua Jet. Thanks to the rain, he was that much stronger. With his side now exposed, Rook and the two ghost types leapt in for a vicious counter. The hunter would've been pummeled if Decidueye had not grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back at the last second.
"Keep it up, guys!" (Y/N) shouted as Kalim and Jamil landed a partner attack, only to be swatted away.
"You potatoes...I will not forgive this!!"
Purple smoke began to fill the area once more, causing everyone to cover their mouths and noses.
"Corviknight!" (Y/N) choked out.
The armored avian dove to Defog, but the Blot Incarnation snatched him out of the air, holding him tight.
"You will not interfere again!"
"Damnit! Can't breathe!" Ace choked.
Epel tried to stay on his feet, but he was struggling. "We can't keep this up!"
"(Y/N), do something!" Grim pleaded.
As the trainer staggered to her feet, Vil turned on her.
"What can one, pathetic potato do in the presence of a Queen."
"A Queen may rule, but a Champion fights." She held up her Mega Bracelet. "Gardevoir!" The Psychic type responded, touching her necklace. "Beyond evolution! Mega Evolve!"
Light engulfed Gardevoir as her dress grew into a gown and her heart shard bloomed. With a cry she revealed her new, elegant form.
Vil blinked. "What is this!?"
"Our true power. Gardevoir, send em flying!"
With a surge of psychokinesis, Vil and his Incarceration flew into the giant screen, cracking it. The Incarnation dropped Corviknight, who immediately cut through the poisoned fog. Everyone stood up, their strength returned.
"Magnif, Madame Dompteur de Bêtes! I did not think Gardevoir could become even more elegant!"
"And strong!" Epel added. "She sent Vil flying like he was a feather!"
"That's the power of Mega Evolution!" She then readied herself. "He's getting back up! Let's put him in his place!"
With the addition of Mega Gardevoir, the battle turned to the group's favor. (Y/N) hadn't noticed it recently, but Ace, Deuce, and Grim were all better at using their magic. The Heartslabyul duo were now doing combination attacks in perfect sync and Grim was way more precise with his fire. Rook had perfect aim, matching Decidueye's Spirit Shackles and Dragapult's Dragon Darts. The Scarabia duo were also working well together, protecting Corviknight in case Vil tried to grab him again. That left Epel. The light haired boy may not have been the strongest, but he made up for that in sheer tenacity, always getting right back up after being launched. Fortunately, Flapple and Swampert were more than happy to back him up, pelting Vil with Waterfalls and Grav Apples.
"Just give up, Vil!" Epel yelled. "As annoying as you are, I don't want you dead!"
"Please Vil!" Kalim called out. "Your body can't take much more of this!"
The rain started to subside, revealing the ruinous state of the stage. Vil, weakening but refusing to surrender, growled at them.
"Ah...you meddling potatoes! If I go down...I'm taking you all with me!"
More smoke poured out of him as Corviknight moved to cut through it.
"Vil, stop this!" Kalim pleaded. "If you don't stop now, your life will...!"
Jamil clicked his tongue. "Ugh! I thought we'd be able to defeat his blot!""
The Pokémon regrouped by their trainer, Swampert now carrying the exhausted Epel and Ace back to her.
"Hah, hah...!" Ace huffed. "I've already exhausted all of my magic!"
"Me too." Grim moaned. "I can't make fire anymore!"
"Everyone, stand up!" Rook insisted as Corviknight struggled to get rid of the fog this time as it continued to respawn. "We need to at least get out of reach of this poisonous fog!"
Gardevoir pulled everyone in, using Psychic to create a safe space in the fog. Deuce, however, had another idea, stepping up.
"EVERYONE STAND BACK!"
"Ah...that's right!" Epel realized. "Everyone, listen to Deuce!"
"Huh!?" The boy yelled as (Y/N) called out.
"Deuce, do it quickly!"
"I'm not good at things where I need to use my head. I can't understand things sometimes even if it's repeated again and again. But...after a dozen, even after hundreds and thousands of times, I'll figure it out!"
Energy began to surge around Deuce, just like back at the beach. (Y/N) turned to Gardevoir.
"Gardevoir, Helping Hand!"
As the Embrace Pokémon powered up the bluenette further, the others just stared in shock.
"What's going on?" Rook asked. "There's so much magic swelling up around Deuce!"
Ace seemed to realize what was happening. "Hah? What, it can't be!"
Vil was also concerned. "What...did you say!? Where is all this magic coming from!?"
"This isn't my magic, Vil." Deuce answered. "This is the magic you slammed into me! And this is the power only I HAVE! Let's end this now! Grit your teeth! BET THE LIMIT!"
Deuce launched a devastating blast of pure energy straight at Vil. It tore through the Incarnation, leaving nothing. Vil didn't even have time to say anything as he was knocked unconscious, letting the battlefield settle into eerie quiet. As the others raced to Deuce and Vil, (Y/N) pulled out the Ghost Camera with Gardevoir at her side. The two fell into the memory theater and watched as the screen played out. They were in a well furnished room with the usual monochrome tone.
"Dad! Listen to this!" Little Vil said, appearing. "I passed the auditions and now I'm in my school musical drama!"
Vil's father then appeared. (Y/N) didn't know anything about him, but unlike the other parental interactions she had experienced, she didn't sense any tension between the two.
"Congratulations, Vil! What role did you get?"
"Of course I'm the main character's...rival. I'm the 'mean villain' as usual."
"The director must have an outstanding selection of talent to make the cutest boy in the world the villain." His father encouraged.
Vil didn't seem to be moved by it. "The last stage play I did, I was cast as the bully too. Why am I always cast as the bad guy? Do I look like a bad guy dad?"
"Not at all!" The elder male insisted. "But, it might be because you are such a beautiful and kind boy. The villain is such a special key element that's needed to make the story more dramatic. Sometimes, the casting for the villain is more specific than the lead. So, just give it your all."
"Okay. I understand, dad."
[But...the villain never stays on stage until the end.] Present Vil narrated. "After their role is finished, all that's left for us is to watch the happy ending from the shadows. All I want...is to be on stage longer than anyone else.]
"Vil..." (Y/N) said, understanding now where all his anger and frustration was coming from.
It wasn't easy being shoved into an ideal image, especially when you didn't want to be in that role. The setting shifted to a small town street lined with shops. Younger Vil was passing by as a few other boys caught sight of him.
"Ah! Look, there he is! He's the one who was bullying our hero on TV yesterday!"
"He must have a horrible personality if he can be that much of a bully."
"Seeing him up close, he looks so weak. Let's avenge our hero!"
(Y/N) rubbed her temples as Gardevoir looked appalled at the children's behavior. "I'd chalk it up to kids being inexperienced, but even adults have a hard time separating characters from real people."
Vil looked prepared to defend himself as the 3 boys began to gang up on him, but he also looked used to the treatment. Just then, another with familiar wolf ears came running in angrily.
"HHHHHEEEEEEEYYYYY! You cowards! Stop ganging up to bully one kid!"
"Ah! It's Jack!" One of of the boys yelped as they all began running. "Let's get outta here!"
"Jack?" (Y/N) said in surprise. "Our Jack? I didn't know they knew each other."
The beastchild turned to Vil, a hand extended. "You just moved here, right? Are you okay?"
Vil brushed him off. "I'm actually learning boxing and fencing. I could have handled them alone."
"I-is that so?...Sorry for inserting myself."
"Fufu...don't apologize. Thank you. Kids who can't separate fiction from reality pick on me...how dumb can they be?"
"I don't watch TV that much, so I wouldn't know. That just means your acting was so good that it seemed real, right?"
The blonde smiled. "Right. At my next audition, I will get the leading role and have a performance that will move everyone to tears."
(Y/N) smiled. "Same old Jack..."
[I've always aimed for only one role...and that was the role of the hero. But...I'm always chosen as the villain.]
The new setting was a movie set designed to look like a school. Two crewmen were talking.
"The movie based off that children's novel that Neige starred in made over 20 billion madol in the first week at the box office!"
"Neige is amazing. His charm and pure mess are his innate talents."
"Vil was also amazing. With such a dignified performance, it's hard to believe he's only 12 years old. He'll get a leading role one day for sure."
"But...Vil is so proper and elegant. He's got this beauty that is truly out of this world. Vil is too special to play your 'average teenager' that is supposed to be relatable to the audience. He is so removed from reality, wouldn't it be hard for him to play the leading role when that day comes?"
[I would do anything to be beautiful. From strict training to tedious treatments, I was willing to take the pain for beauty. But...why? Why do they never pick me!? All I want is to be on stage until the very end.]
(Y/N) sighed as the memory came to an end. "You've left a scar on your heart for this." She opened her eyes to the twisted version of Pomefiore and Vil looming over her. "We both know you are lashing out at the wrong person."
He sneered at her. "Are you going to lecture me? Tell me that the opinions of others don't matter? That beauty is overrated?"
She shook her head. "That's not what you need to hear. You know the answer already, Vil. You know lashing out won't change anything."
"AND DOING NOTHING WILL!?"
He struck out at her, only for Mega Gardevoir to hold him back. She stepped closer.
"Of course not. We don't always get what we want, and sometimes, we don't get to achieve the heights we wish we can reach. Someone will always be better, be stronger. We try to force ourselves to do better, even to the point where we hurt ourselves, and we still fail."
"It's agonizing." Vil hissed. "Trying so hard, and always being overlooked, being passed over, being-,"
"Trapped." She finished.
He seemed to calm, a bit shocked she was able to finish his thought.
She smiled at him. "Even when we fail, all we can do is keep trying until we don't. Even if it may never happen, we just keep trying."
He sighed. "The fact you were able to say something like that."
"Says the guy who out stubborned Epel." She held out her hand. "Please, Vil, come back."
He looked at her hand as the void became white. The ink faded as the now restored Pomefiore leader took her hand.
He nodded and looked between her and her Pokémon. "I suppose you should be the first I apologize to."
"No, I think Rook should have that honor."
He chuckled. "I suppose you're right. Thank you, (Y/N)."
"Eh, I'm used to it by now."
The two smiled at each other as the world faded out.

So, in my personal opinion, Vil would be the easiest to snap out of his Overblot at the memory stage because he already understood what he was doing was completely unjustifiable and that he would never be able to forgive himself if something actually did happen. I do think Vil's frustrations were valid, but I feel as though he would yield to someone reaffirming that to him and assuring him that he should keep trying. Just my opinion though. As for Mega Gardevoir in this fight, this was Deuce's moment and I wasn't taking it from him. Anyways, the finale is next, so start leaving suggestions for the scenarios below. I was thinking of a parent day scenario. If I did, what kind of interactions would you guys like to see?

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