So I don't really know what to call this. It just came to me last night.
The mark burned.
It wasn't a sharp, all-consuming burn like an attack from a fire type pokemon would be, but rather a slow, dull burn that, while less painful than a normal burn, steadily increased in intensity and heat, causing more damage than a single blast of fire could ever do to his grassy body.
Treecko winced at the sensation, his right paw pressing down on his left arm, where the Mark of Dialga was ingrained upon his skin, never to fade, even through evolution. He refused to let the pain show on his face other than a slight frown, however. His mentor had taught him well, and he wouldn't embarrass his mentor by losing focus for one second, no matter how distracting the pain was.
The Duskclops who had administered the Mark to his arm stared at him with its one eye unblinkingly. Because of its lack of face, and thus lack of facial expressions, Treecko couldn't decipher what it was trying to achieve by the sudden staring match. It could be trying to unnerve him, as many ghost types were known to do. It could also be sizing him up, or challenging him. Whatever it was that the ghost was trying to accomplish, Treecko would make sure to meet or surpass its expectations. He met the ghost type's eye and held its gaze, not backing down as the silence stretched on for an undetermined amount of time.
The silence and staring match was broken by the Duskclops, who suddenly moved his gaze away, straightening itself up and letting out an eerie chuckle as it did so.
"It seems we have a fighter in you, child," it spoke without any indication on its body as to how a voice could escape from the mouthless, hollow body. The voice was deep but filled with a slight echo, testament to its inexperience in the art of telepathy. Duskull, contrary to popular belief, did indeed have mouths, though they were obscured by the skull that they wore under the hood of shadows and wisps.
Treecko had had the unfortunate experience of seeing the underside of a Duskull's skull when one had attempted to swallow him whole a few years back. He had managed to unleash a dangerous technique inherited from his father just in time to save himself, though it had not been without price. Treecko was from then on forever marked by the Spirit World because of his near escape from the terrifying place. All ghosts could sense the mark on him and were drawn to challenge him because of it. He also received dreams of the Spirit World and touched by the darkness that emanated from it. Perhaps this connection with the Spirit World was why Lord Dialga had chosen to enlist his service.
Not that he was complaining. Working for the powerful Legendary Lord had its perks, to be sure, including access to the rare, incredibly expensive TMs, and massive amounts of poke in return for his services in the Lord's name. Some pokemon felt themselves above being hired on as a mercenary, or despised the work to which Lord Dialga employed his Marked Ones, namely hunting down and destroying those who dared to challenge his authority.
Once upon a time Treecko would have been inclined to feel the same way about Lord Dialga's harsh methods of maintaining order in the land, especially since his own parents died fighting the Legendary's rule. But he now considered that short time of his past as just that -his past. He considered those once valued beliefs to be childish, now that he fully understood how the world worked -namely that only those powerful enough to stop their enemies were able to get anywhere in the world. Being kind was all well and good, but kindness wouldn't stop the houndoom who was intent upon eating you from following through on its intent. Kindness wouldn't put food in your belly, and kindness sure wouldn't stop your parents from abandoning you to the world, just to fulfill their idea of what was 'right' and 'moral.'
So, while Treecko might not derive any enjoyment from what Lord Dialga would ask him to do, nor did he particularly want to commit such acts, he certainly wasn't going to let that stop him. He was in need of money, food, shelter. All these things, Lord Dialga would provide for him as long as he just kept his mouth shut and did as he was told, just as his mentor had taught him before his untimely death.
"You're one of those types who like to see themselves as strong, silent, and handsome, aren't you?" The Dusclops' telepathic words startled Treecko out of his thoughts. He had completely forgotten about the ghost type during his contemplations.
"No," he hurried to say. "Forgive me, I was lost in thought."
The Dusclops nodded once. "Very well. You have taken on the Mark of Dialga. I trust that you understand the expectations placed upon you by willing taking the Mark?" the ghost asked.
Treecko gave a short nod. "I know what is expected, and I know what I expect in turn," he stated boldly and confidently. His mentor had taught him that confidence was key in mercenary work. He was being hired to do a job, yes, but he was also to expect his reward promptly and without hitch.
The Dusclops seemed amused by his words, at the very least. "Yes, child; you will receive your dues once a job has been completed, rest assured."
Treecko acquiesced to the ghost's words with another nod of his head. "Very well. Does the Lord have a job for me at the moment, or may I return to my room at this time?"
"The Lord would like to test your supposed prowess in battle and tactics before he will send you on any missions. You are to report to the Grand Arena tomorrow at high noon, where I will be testing you personally. Don't be late, and do try to impress me, won't you? I'd hate for you to get stuck tagging along on the Sableye missions because you were too cocky to bring your all tomorrow." The Dusclops sneered at him.
Treecko flashed the ghost a smirk in return. "Oh, you won't need to worry about ME bringing my all. I'd hate to mess up the chance to shove that ego of yours into the dust, after all." With those parting words, he turned and walked out of the courtyard, entering the tower of Lord Dialga.
The tower was as much a legend as the Legendary of Time himself. It was said that Temporal Tower has stood for as long as Lord Dialga had existed, and that the tower itself helped the Legendary to regulate time. Treecko couldn't imagine the damage that would be wrecked upon Time, were anything to ever happen to the Tower. Thankfully, the Tower was well-protected from attack, even without Lord Dialga's own power that he would surely rain down upon any pokemon foolish enough to storm Temporal Tower. The Tower itself was said to be made from Temporal Diamonds, much stronger and more durable than normal diamonds, and without the cleavage weakness that normal diamonds were known for. The Tower also radiated an aura of Temporal power that prevented all with intentions of harm upon it or Dialga from entering the tower.
And this was to be Treecko's home -at least for now, while he still couldn't afford his own home. He climbed the majestic stairs, avoiding the other pokemon who were going about their business. Plenty of Porygon-Z servants swarmed the halls, at the ready for anyone with the authority to order them around. Technically Treecko could now give them simple orders, the basest authority given to him as the bearer of the Mark of Dialga, but he didn't bother. He knew his way around the tower already, and he wasn't lazy enough to demand food be brought to him rather than just making his way to the kitchens when he was hungry.