Arthur looked at Blue again and several scattered thoughts that swam through his cloudy mind connected with each other and formed a slightly better picture of him.
"Blue Oak ... the Gym Leader of Viridian City ... Rival of ...", he mumbled a little when Khali interrupted him loudly,
"So you are really Blue Oak?! The Blue Oak?! The biggest Rival of Pokemon Champ Red Foster?! Gym Leader of Viridian City, victor over the infamous leader of Team Rocket Giovanni and one of the biggest war heroes of all time?!", Khali asked again, as if he still didn't believe he was standing in front of hero like him.
"Red ... sigh ...", Blue glanced at a picture standing on the bookshelves. It depicted two young boys and a girl, one boy with orange hair, a green jacket and dark pants, the other with brown hair, a red jacket, blue pants and a red cap, and the girl with blond hair, yellow clothes and a straw hat on. They looked happy and seemed to have fun on the picture. Sorrow escaped his eyes and he just shook his head.
"Why do people always have to compare the both of us? Haha, well, it doesn't help that his name is Red and mine is Blue. But to answer your question, yes I am that Blue Oak that you have heard about, sigh."
Khali then looked at the missing arm at the left side of Blue's body:
"And, and that arm is that really ...", before he could continue though, Arthur had rammed his elbow against Khali's side,
"Auuu, what's wrong with you?! That hurt?!"
"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you?! Have you flushed your manners down the toilet or what?", Arthur responded a little baffled.
"Haha, it's ok boys don't fight over such small things ...", he then remembered himself and Red, how they always bickered about the most uneccessary things in the past,
"people always do that, when they find out who I am, so I don't fault you for that. Ask your question, Khali."
Khali gulped down his over-excitement a little. He might have overreacted when he saw this legendary character personally in flesh and blood:
"Ehem, legends say that ..., eh no hehe, rumours say that you have lost your arm during the Great War when one of the hostile Pokemon bit off that arm by force, and that you still continued to fight after that!!! Is, is that true?"
Blue's left arm, or the rest that was left trembled suddenly and Blue felt a headache coming. But he suppressed those thoughts and memories and grabbed his arm stump with his right hand. He took a deep breath and let out smile when looking at Khali:
"Do you want to hear the truth boy?"
Khali still excited, didn't notice anything wrong and answered faithfully:
"I actually got hit by hostile shrapnels and left the wound untreated. I kept fighting and fighting till ... everything was over. But by then the wound was already heavily infected and sore. It was beyond possible recovery with the medicinal standards at that time, so they had to amputate it. That's how it really happened."
"Ohh.", was the only response Khali had for this.
"Hahahaha, yeah, sounds much less heroic then a bitter fight to the death with a monstrous Pokemon, hahaha!"
"Was, was Red also there? On the battlefield? How was he?"
But when that question came, it shocked Blue to the core. Many memories came back, death, corpses, blood and the smell of decaying flesh. Things he never wanted to remember again. His whole body started shivering and he pressed his eyelids together to keep his eyes closed shut in the hopes to not see these memories anymore.
Suddenly an image crossed his mind. A young man in red clothes, lying in a field of corpses and the body of a young woman was in his arms. A torn straw hat lied next to that lifeless body. He hugged her tightly and a stream of tears ran down his eyes and fell on the woman's pale face. He cried, screamed, cursed loudly and damned the heavens for being cruel!
Blue opened his eyes again and realized his face was a little wet. He asked the boys weakly:
"Hey, could you give me that small box over there on that shelve?"
Arthur was the first to see that something was wrong with Blue and quickly brought him the small box over.
"Thanks Arthur, ha ha, you are the one saving me now, I guess we are even then ha ha.", Blue told him with a weak voice. He opened the small box and took three pills at once out of it and swallowed them quickly.
He then grabbed himself a bottle of water and drank like his life depended on it.
"Ahhh, that's better. Thank you very much!", he exclaimed with a heavy sigh. His breathing also started calming down.
"Ehh, Sir, are you ok?" Arthur and Khali asked him both concerned.
"Hehe, don't worry about me. I won't kick the bucket this soon. The doctors call it PTSD, ehh I guess you don't know what that is. Well, let's say sometimes some very nasty memories haunt my mind every now and then and I need to take some pills to counter them. Don't worry too much about this.", he told them and waved their questioning looks off.
"Rather, let's talk about why you are here actually.", he said to continue their conversation but to subtly change the topic as well.
"PTSD?!", Arthur was shocked inwardly. Somehow he knew exactly what this meant. Posttraumatic stress disorder, a mental illness caused by traumatic experiences ... and in Blue's case it was obviously his time during this war ... but why didn't Arthur remember anything related to that so-called Great War?
"Ehem, I just tagged along with Arthur, so you will have to ask him!", Khali answered awkwardly. Somehow he felt responsible for what just happened with Blue so he would rather avoid talking for now, in case he might cause another attack on Blue's mind.
Arthur came back to his senses and looked at Blue:
"Sir, you said you found something that belonged to me?"
"Yeah, haha. It was surely a scary trip in the forest but It's not like you didn't gain anything from it, right?", he suddenly grinned broadly and opened a compartment under his desk and brought out a rusty old ball,
"I assume, this small Pokeball is yours, right?"
Congrats, 2.Bonus chapter goal cracked!
please enjoy ;)
Red Foster, I had to give him some name, and I didn't find anything cannon so ...
PTSD is a serious issue and health problem, hope no one feels offended by using it in this case here.
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