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The Godslayer

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Hey all! This was made for a one-shot competition once, and now it's been edited to be even better. Hope you enjoy this divine comedy! I'll rate this one Everyone, with some fantasy and implied violence.

The Godslayer

With a hat, a grin, and ultimate power
He challenged Our Lord in Destiny Tower


Once peaceful hallways trembled, roars and explosions a hundred floors below. Arceus stood in the Hall of Origin, one realm too close to the carnage, and slammed his golden hoof on the ground.

“Where is he?” he shouted. “Kill the human! NOW!”

The walls echoed with the sounds of guards and fighting far below, ancient pillars of light displaying the carnage that was now ninety floors below him. For now, he was trying to speak with the combatants’ commanders.

“I—I’m sorry, Your Omnipotence, but he’s too strong! Wait—I’ll get back to you, he’s—AAAAAH!”

Communications severed. Arceus snarled and looked back at the hall. The pillars, see-through and made of light, displayed small and moving images of the combat. Colorful screens on the marble walls displayed each floor, though it was mostly the lower floors that had any activity. The Godslayer, as the locals called him, strode through the corridors while all of Arceus’ subjects lay unconscious around him—Pokémon of all species, though none of them his Legends. Some of his soldiers had been so thoroughly defeated that Destiny Tower had ejected them back to their quarters to recover.

Arceus could sense the presence of his of his defeated guards. A few of them were already in their quarters, exhausted and battered, and He flicked his hoof to summon one of them. In a flash of light, one of his soldiers—a crestfallen Staraptor—lay in an exhausted heap before him. Startled at suddenly being at the top floor of Destiny Tower, Staraptor chirped and tried to stand, only to fall to his side, dizzy.

“Y-Your Greatness,” Staraptor said. “I’m—I’m sorry for my indecent posture. I can’t… quite stand.”

“What is happening below me?” Arceus asked.

Staraptor managed to stand upright, though he still kept his head low. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve failed you. He’s—he’s just too strong. We caught word that someone called he Godslayer was approaching, and we defended with all our might, but it simply wasn’t enough. Already, half of our lower troops have been defeated three times. Or more! But that won’t do!” He fluffed up his feathers. “Send me back, please! Fifth time’s the charm!”

A tense silence followed, and then Arceus nodded. “Very well. You will at least be able to slow him down while I prepare the elites.”

“I won’t fail you again!”

With a flash of light, Staraptor was gone. A few seconds later, the agonized sounds of failure echoed from the pillars.

<><><>​

The details etched themselves into Arceus’ mind. The white cap. The casual stride. The humming—he was humming. This was nothing but a friendly stroll to that so-called Godslayer. What song was he singing? Da da dadada… that was the song of a local rescue organization. To the west.

“Yo!”

“GAH!” Arceus whirled around and shot a beam of light, narrowly missing Mew, who had appeared behind him.

There was a small scorch mark at the top of her scalp, and she scowled. “Holy me, what’s got your tail in a knot?” Mew shouted.

“Why are you here?”

“Uh, visiting?” Mew puffed out her cheeks and conjured a psychic bubble. “Wow, you’re even more uptight than usual.”

Destiny Tower trembled again. Mew turned her attention to one of the pillars, where the Godslayer strode through the halls of the seventeenth floor. “Oh, hey, is that what’s-his-face?”

“Yes.” Arceus seethed, doing his best to stop himself from crouching to pounce toward an invisible foe. “He’s tricked us. Got in Our good graces. And now he’s violently ascending Destiny Tower to slay me.”

“Well, Your Omnipotence, that shouldn’t be much of a problem for you,” Mew said with a wry smile. “C’mon, what’s so scary about a human? You know, aside from everything.”

“You’re not helping.”

Mew raised her tiny arms in a faux apology.

Giving up on getting a proper response, Arceus turned his attention to the twentieth floor. “Warriors, prepare yourselves for the Godslayer’s ascent. Defeat him before—where did you go?”

“Looks like they ran down to give backup,” Mew observed.

Distant screams filled the former silence of the twentieth floor.

“Well, tried to.”

“Unbelievable. Formations ruined; plans forgotten—useless! These lower warriors are useless!”

Even some of the strongest and most loyal Pokémon in the land couldn’t stand up to this challenger. Normally they were at least a hard fight, but this challenger tossed them aside like old apples.

“I mean, this guy’s pretty exceptional.” Mew’s grin just got wider. “You know, there are a ton of legends about this guy.”

“I’m aware. But I’ve never seen him in person; in fact, all of the myths about him say that he’s some sort of great hero. A hero! What has he ever done?”

“I mean, do you want me to list it out?” Mew said, tilting her head. “Let’s see…” She flopped on her back, spinning on her psychic bubble. Arceus saw his warped reflection in the sphere of light and flinched; his eyes showed fear. No! He wasn’t afraid of a silly mortal, no matter how many tales…

Mew went on. “All on his own, he put out a forest fire that had been accidentally set off by Entei. He quelled an incoming hurricane that Lugia conjured up.”

“Preposterous! I never heard about Lugia creating a—”

“Well, yeah, because he quelled it,” Mew said, glancing at Arceus. “They say he also stopped a landslide set off by—”

“Let me guess,” Arceus said, turning to look at the screens that depicted the complete failure of his lower warriors. “He stopped a landslide by Groudon, fixed a time flux for Dialga, traversed a spatial distortion for Palkia, and, oh, perhaps he even granted Little Bulbasaur’s wish as a favor for Jirachi!”

“Well, not the Dialga one,” Mew said. “You know how finicky he is about anybody else doing his job.”

“Oh, wonderful! Did he also have tea with Giratina?” Arceus rolled his eyes.

“No, but assuming he lives through this stuff, I think he’s set for a dinner date with her.”

“I refuse to believe you’re telling the truth.”

The Tower trembled; more warriors fell without any effort. A chorus of defeated wails drowned out the Godslayer’s humming.

“Oh, speaking of tea, that picnic offer’s still open,” Mew said, tilting her head with wide, unquestionably innocent eyes.

Arceus growled deeply. “I’m going to contact the others to verify these myths and discover a weakness. He is still just a mortal.”

Mew shrugged and used the tip of her tail to clean out her left ear. “Well, assuming that one about Xerneas isn’t true.”

JUST A MORTAL. And I will verify with them if they truly gave him any of their power.”

“What, you think that this human was clever enough to befriend a ton of Legends, gather their powers, become a living legend of his own, and then use all that for a single betrayal and take you down in one fell swoop?” Mew tilted her head. “Now why would someone do that? You aren’t a bad god, are you?”

“I—no, that’s—certainly nobody thinks lowly of me. I am the Creator!” Arceus stomped a hoof on the ground. “Now, leave! I’ll take care of this petty fighter myself!”

“And by the way, Godlslayer?” Mew said, stifling a laugh. She popped her psychic bubble and twirled her tail. “Love how you’re picking up on the hype.”

“It’s a mortal nickname. And considering the severity of the situation, I would call it highly appropriate.”

Mew frowned, her eyes somber. Finally! Perhaps now she recognized—

“I mean, why don’t you just run away?”

Always with the foolish suggestions. “No.”

“…That all you’re gonna say?”

Arceus crouched to get to Mew’s floating height. “If you think I’m going to flee from a mere human, you are sorely mistaken.”

“Oh, okay. Just smite him when he comes up, then.” Mew shrugged. “What’s the big deal here? Besides, he’s not a human human. Sure, he’s got a human spirit, but his body’s a perfectly normal Pokémon. Mostly.”

That was precisely what made them so dangerous. Human auras augmented nearby Pokémon auras; that much, Arceus always knew. To have a human as a Pokémon—they augmented themselves, constantly. It was no wonder, then, why he could scale Destiny Tower so easily. But he was still no match for Arceus. Yes. There was no way.

The Godslayer passed by the twentieth floor, his ominous figure strolling past one of the screens, humming again. Arceus felt a chill run down his spine.

Mew’s eyes glinted with amusement. “Afraid now?”

“Absurd! If—if you’re going to be this useless, why don’t you go down there and defeat him yourself?” Arceus tapped his hoof expectantly. “It is my duty to remain here and oversee what I must. You have no such duties. So, go on. Defend me in your honor.”

“Wow, how about I get a needle and deflate that ego of yours?” Mew shrugged. “Look, it’s really simple. Just go to the entrance to the Hall of Origin, put up an out to lunch sign on the front door, and then dip! No, seriously, I have a picnic set up with Xerneas. You eat, right? I know you don’t have a mouth but that doesn’t explain what happens to all those chocolates that mysteriously disappear when nobody’s around.”

His anger was building into a throbbing pain in the top corner of his forehead. With as calm and steady a voice as he could muster, he said, “I do not take breaks. I do not need to eat. And I certainly do not sneak chocolates when nobody is looking.” When Mew stared at him with an amused, incredulous look, he went on, “I eat them at a dignified time.”

“Right.” Mew shook her head, cleaning the other ear. “Alright. If you say so. But I’m still not fighting him. Not my problem. I’m gonna go and have my picnic.”

She disappeared in a flash of light. After several seconds passed, Arceus mumbled, “Bring me back some leftovers.”

No reply.

<><><>​

If he had to fight him, he could at least investigate what sort of power was creeping toward him on the… forty-third floor, now. Sixty more to go. But that wasn’t a problem. He had time. The later floors had his stronger warriors and defenders. Wouldn’t be nearly as quick. Why could he already hear screams on floor forty-five?

He should at least try to contact some of the others below him. Perhaps they would have insight on how to defeat him. After all, this so-called “Godslayer” never killed anyone. And now, Arceus knew why—because he was aiming for the top, first. How underhanded.

He had to start backward. How would this mere human—some insignificant spirit… Had he even brought one here? Why? What was the point of humans? On their own, they had nothing, and yet somehow in a faraway time they had been on top of everything.

Someone else from the pantheon must have brought him here. Someone was going to be in for a true divine punishment once this was over…

No, he was getting sidetracked. The Godslayer would be here soon, and Arceus still didn’t know any clear way to defeat him soundly. Of course, this would be a very basic and trivial act no matter what he did, but it was always good to do so decisively, and not even give the human the hope of victory.

How did the human get here so quickly? It must have been—

“Jirachi.”

Arceus hissed at the realization. He was always ever so happy to grant wishes. Humans were clever. Crafty. Deceitful. Capable of infinite malice hidden behind a perfect mask of kindness. And giving a human spirit the body of a Pokémon? Where was the drawback?!

At least, that’s how the myths of humans went. Arceus hadn’t encountered a true human in so long that it had faded from even his memory, and they were not creatures he was interested in meditating about to rediscover their truth. They weren’t worth the time.

Jirachi could have fallen for the human’s silver tongue. But he had spent enough time speculating; he had to contact Jirachi, and pray that he wasn’t asleep. Mew had set something up to wake Jirachi should it be needed, but it was tied to a new technology in the world, some sort of magical communication system.

The strange, newfangled technologies of the world still annoyed and confused Arceus. These inventions coming along from natural innovation and time were moving faster than he’d prefer. Despite this, Mew, who was always keeping up with silly modern trends, had urged him long ago to get at least a few of them to stay in touch. They were useless to him; his pillars were perfectly functional!

Approaching the pillar, he concentrated and tuned the lights to Jirachi’s spirit. The colors swirled until it revealed the internals of a bright, blue, sparkling cave. Snoozing in the middle of the screen was Jirachi, wrapped in his ribbons.

“Jirachi,” Arceus said.

No reply.

“…Jirachi.”

No reply.

“JIRACHI!”

No reply.

Arceus growled, his wheel glowing with power, and then glanced up. He formed a small aperture in the ceiling, a portal that revealed the sky. Once it was bright enough, Arceus fired a single beam of light into the great blue.

He waited. One second, two seconds, three seconds… Arceus glanced at the other pillar, revealing the Godslayer’s ascent to floor 52, and then back at Jirachi. The display in the screen brightened considerably, and when it was possible to see whatever was in Jirachi’s cave again, the slumbering Wishmaker was embedded into the wall, still asleep.

“Unbelievable.” Arceus opened the aperture again.

Jirachi, upside-down and partway inside the rock wall, shook himself awake with a snort and a grunt. “Huh? Oh. Hello, Arceus. Still using that ancient light pillar for communicating, are you?”

“I want you to tell me everything you know about the Godslayer.”

Jirachi yawned and rubbed his eyes. “What? Who? Oh, you mean that guy who halted a massive flood when—”

“Yes. Everything.”

“You know, you could have just messaged my assistant. He’s really diligent about—”

“NOW, JIRACHI.”

“What’s the ruuush?” Jirachi groaned, flopping onto the ground with a metallic clink. “Ow.”

“He is ascending floor—” Arceus checked. “—54 now, on his way to challenge me. You are to tell me everything.”

“Wait, so he’s seriously going by Godslayer? Wow! Flashy.”

Arceus readied another Judgement to wake Jirachi up.

“Okay, okay,” Jirachi said. “Right, Godslayer, Godslayer, what was his actual name again… Can’t remember. But he did wish to befriend the gods. He said that he wanted to be as strong as us so he could help the world! With the power he had at the time, he said he just couldn’t do it.”

“You obviously don’t have the power to grant such a wish.”

“Yeah, I didn’t,” Jirachi said, tilting his head. “But I did point him in the right direction because the guy seemed to have a heart of gold, you know? A real shining spirit. I guess now it’s literally shining if he acquired that much power …”

“What did you do?” Arceus said, doing his best to keep his voice level.

“Sent the guy to Palkia. Figured the first thing he’d need if he wanted to travel around was to get in that loon’s good graces. So, if anything, you should start there.”

Arceus wasn’t in a mood to say goodbye, so he ended communications wordlessly. He refocused and tuned his pillars to Palkia’s spirit next. He was always so hard to contact. His powerful, distortive spirit always threw his devices off. He thought he saw a flash of him, but then it turned to Darkrai staring at a clay oven. Arceus, growled, concentrating more, and the image flashed to Xerneas trying to evade a crowd of fans. Then, to Azelf arm wrestling with Regigig—how was he arm-wrestling with—ah! Palkia’s realm.

“…Palkia. Palkia, are you—”

“Ah, hello, Arceus! A pleasure.”

At first, Arceus didn’t recognize him. He was positive this was not Palkia, and was in fact a Dwebble. “Who are you?”

“Ah, it’s just me, Palkia! Though I suppose at the moment Dwebble would be more appropriate, but I am certainly normally Palkia. Performing an experiment.”

“If Manaphy is doing another Heart Swap, I’m going to—”

“Nonsense, nonsense! Just an experiment! A very simple one that should end very soon!”

“Where is your real body?”

“I’m not quite sure! That’s part of the experiment.” He clicked one of his claws together and spat out a few small pebbles. “Oh! That was a strange, new feeling!”

He needed to suggest a better hobby for Palkia. “Tell me about the Godslayer.”

“Ahh, that fellow.” The Dwebble skittered away and scurried into a book that, while appropriately sized for Palkia’s typical form, was now several times larger than his current form. “What an interesting specimen. He was actually what inspired me to investigate this strange phenomenon of another myth, well, no, theory, yes! Theory! The theories about phenomena that transform humans into Pokémon when they enter this world. I suppose it’s quite the convenience, as a human would probably be able to do little in their normal forms, but—”

“So, you met him? What did he do to you? Did he turn you into this Dwebble?”

“Goodness, no. I met him quite a long time ago. I’ve no idea what he’s doing now, but his nickname is adorably ambitious. Godslayer. Rolls right off the tongue! Hmm. Do I have a tongue now?”

“Palkia, please. Focus. What did he do when in your presence?”

“Hm? It was quite odd, actually.” Palkia pinched the corner of the paper and crawled across the book, pulling it with him to advance to the next page. “He appeared out of nowhere one day, Jirachi if his claims are correct, and asked if there was anything he could do to help me with my work! Apparently, he’s very restless. A real hero’s aura about him. Ahh, and then I simply asked him to be a participant in one of my experiments. One Spacial Rend later, and some quick patchwork of the flesh, and the experiment was a complete failure!”

“Why do you sound so cheerful?”

“Science is full of failures! It tells us what not to do. It’s a wonderful process!”

Arceus probably wasn’t going to get anything useful out of Palkia at this point, but he had to try anyway. “And when that was over, what happened?”

“Well, it’s the most curious thing,” the Dwebble said, scaling the book to read the uppermost paragraph. “I turned around, and he was gone! Like he wasn’t there, ghostly, almost. A real enigma. You know, ever since that day, I’ve heard stories about that human appearing in places all over the world. Coming and going, seen and then gone, like he was made of a gust of wind.”

This was all useless to Arceus. “Do you know if he visited anybody else?”

“Oh, goodness, so many!”

“No. Any other Pokémon who immediately follow me. Your fellow Legends.”

“Ah. Well, quite a few. Why do you ask?”

Just then, the fiftieth floor’s surveillance pillar went dark, and Arceus quickly watched. Screams, followed by complete silence. And then the light returned; Arceus recognized that darkness.

“No reason,” Arceus said, ending communications. Without a second thought, he tuned the pillars. “Darkrai, are you there?”

A shriek followed, then loud clattering, and then another shriek. Arceus only saw the end of it: Darkrai on the ground, hopelessly trying to salvage the spilled cake batter. He whimpered and rose into the air, looking crestfallen and slumped over, and Arceus did his absolute best to not roll his eyes.

“I’m here,” he said.

“Hello. Why did you give your nightmarish power to the Godslayer?”

“Wh-wh-what?!”

More screams echoed behind him as the Godslayer quietly hummed a lullaby, countless Pokémon swallowed into a void of slumber.

“The Godslayer is ascending Destiny Tower. He intends to fight me. I just saw him use Dark Void. Why does he have your power?”

Darkrai inched away from the pillar of light, pinning himself against the wall. “I don’t know what you’re talking about! Um! Excuse me! But I need to restart my cake recipe! For, um, for reasons that aren’t important!”

Arceus slammed his hoof on the ground. “I will not have you dismiss me simply because you have a cake to bake! Now tell me, why does he have your power?!

“I—perhaps I—well, you see, I…” Darkrai toyed with the white part of his head, gaze darting left and right. “He asked me for a good night’s sleep.”

“…What.”

Darkrai raised his hands, pleading. He would be wise to do so; Arceus’ mood was not improving. “A good night’s sleep! He wished for me to put him to bed.”

“Your presence is meant to cause nightmares and allow Pokémon to face their fears.”

“Yes, a good night’s rest, is how he called it. And, er, I felt quite bad afterward… But I assure you, I didn’t give him my power on purpose, he… well… ah! You know how, er, humans are… Fearless, dauntless, best foot forward! According to the legends, at least. And besides, he isn’t human anymore, right? He’s a Pokémon, just like the rest of us. That isn’t so bad, right?”

Arceus saved his groans of anguish for later. “Did he at least disclose to you what his nightmare was about?”

“Hmm…” Darkrai tried to look casual, but his whole body was shaking. Arceus saw bits of batter trembling on his dark robe-like body. “Oh! He did mention it.”

A glimmer of hope. He could take advantage of this. “What does he fear?”

“Ruining his favorite scarf.”

Arceus ended communications.

<><><>​

The others under him yielded meaningful results. Only more rumors and myths about this enigmatic creature that the mortals regarded as a phantasm. A simple human who had ascended into something greater, and now planned to take down the greatest. And yet the mortals saw it as a wondrous challenge? They were deluded into thinking this was a friendly duel. This was no duel. This was a lunge for power. The human’s charisma had tricked them all.

Floor 70, no, 80 at this point, and his overwhelming power had made trivial work of all his warriors meant to defend him from challengers. Normally this would be nothing for him to worry about; travelers always struggled to get to the top, and he would greet them with a congratulations and a blessing for their valiant efforts and willpower.

But this? This was… a mockery! Blasphemous! Cheating! Using the power of the Legends to ascend the Tower… That made a complete joke of its title.

The Godslayer was already dangerously close to the top. Arceus was certain that he would be able to defeat him should he arrive—he merely needed to make it decisive. No! More decisive. Completely, utterly, will-shatteringly certain of his superiority.

He needed to gather his true warriors.

“Hello? Zekrom? Reshiram? Kyurem? Are you there? This is Arceus. Answer me. It is your duty.”

He looked at the pillar again, but nothing happened. With a low growl, he inspected the base of the pillar; Mew had installed something to make it easier to communicate with the Legends, but the way they weren’t replying, it was clear that they were ignoring him.

She had given him instructions and he’d looked them over, but he supposed seeing if there was an error in her instructions would be useful so he could lecture her about it later.

Step one, activate the pillar. Yes. He had done that.

Step two, turn on the communicator. What communicator? Turn on? How? Where—

There was a small, circular object embedded into the pillar of light with a few indents and other symbols on it. He pressed it with a suspicious glare. The pillar’s colors suddenly shifted to reveal not the sight of the Godslayer ascending to the next floor of the Tower, but a long list of names.

With a grunt—he would surely tell Mew why her instructions were terribly unclear—he arranged a conversation between all four of them and waited for the call to go through.

An awkward silence followed, and Arceus realized that he was staring at a depiction of himself. He tilted his head left, and the image did the same. He growled at it; he did not look that disheveled. This device was lying to him, and he’d correct it later. He didn’t like it. Thankfully, he found a means to turn it off so only sound went through. Instead, he was returned to the sight of the eightieth floor’s smoke and fire.

“’Sup.”

Arceus flinched, squinting at the voice that came through the pillar. He knew that voice but not the tone. “Reshiram.”

Loud shuffling followed, followed by a curse when something loud and fragile fell over. Then, a pause. “…Hey there, uh, Arceus. You don’t usually use this to call someone. Trying out that modernization thing after all? It’s pretty up and coming.”

“Hello?” A new voice. “Hello, who’s—oh! Arceus! Good to hear from you!” Zekrom’s motor drive buzzed in the background, and then she added, “And how are you doing?”

“You are to come to Destiny Tower immediately,” Arceus said. “Reshiram, Kyurem, Zekrom, it is your duty to defend me against the Godslayer so I do not have to trifle with this petty offense myself.”

“So, you’re asking us to rescue you from this nobody?” Reshiram clarified.

“No. I am asking you to perform your duty as my Dragons.”

“Well, the truth is,” Reshiram said, following by an exaggerated, stretching, strained sound, “I just got up from a nap, and it is… still early morning where I am.” A loud yawn. “I’ll have to get through my morning routine.”

“Umm, yes, My Lord,” said Zekrom. “This isn’t the ideal time for me, either. How urgent is it?”

“Extraordinarily.” Arceus seethed, little streams of light dancing around his hooves.

“Sounds like the actual truth here is you’re afraid of this guy, huh?” Reshiram asked, and Arceus could practically hear his smirk. “Fine, fine. Just give me a little bit and I’ll fly right over.”

“There isn’t time for that. Where’s Palkia? I thought I sent him your way!”

“Eh? Never saw him. Maybe he got lost in one of his inventions again.”

“I do wish he stopped that,” Zekrom commented, frowning. “I’ll try to come as quickly as I can, too, Arceus! I’m going to hang up now. Praise be to Your Omnipotence.” She disconnected.

“And what about you, Kyurem?” Arceus said, practically pressing his head against the pillar of light. “Will you be coming to assist?”

“…She hung up a while ago,” Reshiram said.

Complete silence followed, Arceus staring at the two-person group conversation on the interface.

“Wanna play truth or dare?”

Arceus slammed his hoof into the pillar, destroying it.

<><><>​

A human who’d won the hearts of mortals and Legends alike, saved countless lives, appeared and disappeared like a ghost; a fleeting sight that nobody truly got to see for longer than the seconds needed for their rescue. Could such a creature truly exist?

Arceus had been so deep in thought that he’d lost track of how close the Godslayer had come—no, he didn’t deserve that title. The Challenger. No, that gave him too much credit. The Usurper? Too much dread, and it implied a foregone conclusion that was wholly incorrect. The Insolent. Yes. He was the Insolent, now.

And he was on floor 95. No, 96, now, and his strongest warriors were being beaten back without any trouble. Still, even if he took on the entire army at once, Arceus would win, so what did that matter?

Godslayer. Insolent. The human that every single Pokémon wanted to meet to get an autograph, take a picture with, to talk with, to drink with, to—well, Arceus wasn’t going to think about that.

His Dragons never showed. Lazy. Useless. Inconsiderate. Blasphemous.

97.

He’d just perform Judgement. There was no use in toying with him. He didn’t go through the proper channels; he cheated. He stole the power of the other gods and now he was going to try to use those techniques on him. He wouldn’t give him the opportunity.

98.

Arceus readied his power, bright lights radiating off of his back. He would threaten him. Because even if the Insolent was a usurper, he was still the Creator, and he had to make an example of himself and of this Usurper for being so—

99.

Speech. He needed a speech. Surely he wouldn’t attack immediately. The Usurper probably had one for him. To attack then would be disagreeable. A cheap shot, as the mortals called it. He wouldn’t do that. He would wait for a battle stance, and then—

“Hullo!”

Arceus fired without thinking. Bright lights ripped through the air and bounced off of the marble floors, leaving ethereal holes wherever they’d struck. Even the Hall of Origin itself wouldn’t be able to withstand such blasts, but that didn’t matter, because this didn’t matter; the Insolent didn’t care about honor or rules so he didn’t deserve such treatment.

When the light finally faded, Arceus snorted and let out a sigh, dropping his battle stance. He couldn’t believe that he’d let himself get so worked up over something so trivial. Smoke settled on the ground and the body lay on the—doll.

It was a doll.

Green body and spikes, a cute little tail, slits for eyes, the stuffing ripped open by ethereal blasts.

There was something bright below him, and then the shuffling of paper. “One letter for an Arceus, Alpha Creator?”

He didn’t want to look down. But he had to. The Godslayer was still here, like it had always been there, and he didn’t understand how or why. Substitute. How did he fall for a—

“I do hope I got the right address.”

“What are you.”

“Hm?” The Godslayer tilted his head and adjusted his hat. Then, he used his free hand to close up his bag and then offered the letter again. “I’m just a mailmon. The best there is! No matter the obstacle, I will deliver it. And I was asked to deliver this specifically to you, Arceus! Ah—big fan, by the way. Thank you for everything. Er, literally.”

“You’re a human.”

“I’m sorry?” the Godslayer asked, looking his arms over. He then glanced at his bag, and then his tail—Arceus nearly flinched at it, the way it dripped with divine energy—and then back at the Creator. “No, I don’t believe I am. I’m sorry, but I believe humans are a myth. Surely, you’d know that? Ahh, wait! I’m sorry. That must have been a compliment!”

The Godslayer laughed. “Yes, my strength is certainly mythical among my peers, at least, they call it that, but that simply comes with my experience. I may have a few favors and help from others, but really, it’s just experience working with the Guild! I had learned so much.”

Arceus lost his ability to speak. His eyes drifted to the letter.

“Ah! I’m so sorry.” He lifted it as high as his short body allowed, and Arceus levitated it the rest of the way.

The letter opened delicately and a single paper slipped outside. It was a small message with a picture of Mew, smiling sweetly.

“You should have come to our picnic!”

“Well! With my job done, I must thank you for the honor of meeting you, Arceus. But I must get going; I have quite a few more letters to deliver. Take care! Praise be, and such.”

The letter carrier approached the wall, lifted the tail in his hand, and then drew a line through the air like he was painting a picture one stroke at a time. A portal—a specialized Spacial Rend—opened itself before him, the other side revealing the base of Destiny Tower. The Godslayer adjusted the cap-shaped fur on his head when a gust of wind ran through it. He hopped through and the portal closed behind him, leaving Arceus alone.

He stared at Mew’s smiling face in the picture, a hot rage building in his forehead. “Mew…” Arceus growled, his whole body shaking. “You gave him power… and let him copy the power of the Legends… as a prank?” He breathed deeply, realizing that everybody but him had been in on it. Perhaps the letter carrier, too, was completely ignorant. Mew must have warned him that he would strike as part of a test. The Substitute was planned. The ascent was planned. The myths were planned. How many of his warriors knew?

He could practically hear Mew and Xerneas laughing over sandwiches. He dropped the letter; he didn’t even have the will to burn it with holy light. It gently brushed the ground, but Mew’s smiling face still mocked him.

A small sigh echoed across the Hall of Origin.

“Smeargle was a mistake.”
 
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