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Fanfic / Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily

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"To give an orange lily is one of the most powerful messages you can deliver to a person. One that you hope they get the message loud and clear. And what I meant to Gladion, I meant it from the bottom of my heart…

"'...I hate you'."
Lillie

Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily is a Pokémon and Infinity Train Crossover by Green Phantom Queen, the same author of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail. This story is a Prequel to Blossoming Trail, taking place during the Sun and Moon anime and sometime after Book 2 of Infinity Train.

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The night before Professor Kukui and Burnet's wedding, Lillie wants to give a farewell gift to her brother: a bouquet of lilies. However, they happen to be orange lilies, which hints that Lillie doesn't really have any kind feelings for her brother as she believes that he is mostly to blame for her problems by abandoning her and never confessing what happened in the first place. Frustrated, Gladion walks off and wants to prove that he is the hero, the knight in shining armor who would go through Hell itself to save his sister...

And then finds himself entering a train that somehow is floating in the middle of the ocean.

The story takes a different stance on how the anime treated the Nihilego arc, particularly focusing on Gladion's actions (or lack thereof) when it came to helping his sister recover from her trauma.

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The story can be found here.


Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily contains examples of:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Lillie accuses her brother of being this, as he effectively abandoned her without any explanation when he ran off with Type: Null, and endeavored to keep her Locked Out of the Loop regarding what happened with Nihilego.
  • Accusation Fic: The story takes a dim view of Gladion's actions in the anime, stripping him of his Protagonist-Centered Morality and having Lillie get furious over how he stayed silent about the incident that traumatized her, running off to train without so much as a word regarding where he'd gone or what he was doing.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Mallow ran away from the hospital, got sucked onto a Train and didn't arrive back home for three months, worrying her father and older brother even more than having to see Mallow's mother already passing away.
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    • Gladion is on the Train and no one except Mallow and perhaps Lusamine even shows any concern abut what he might be going through and they won't even know or care about his situation for a few more months.
  • Afterlife Express: Gladion assumes the Train sent him to the afterlife when he wakes up at what looks like the Pearly Gates. Then he hears One-One's introduction video.
  • Alice Allusion: Gladion wished to be a knight like from the tale of the girl who went through a mirror.
  • All for Nothing: Gladion doesn't want to admit that everything he did for his sister was this. All he had to do was show Type: Null/Silvally and explain that it was trying to help her from Nihilego to help her sister get through her trauma.
  • And Then What?: Gladion faces this dilemma after the Nihilego incident; sure it's gone, but that doesn't mean that other monsters from Ultra Space won't appear. Lillie is doing fine now that her trauma is gone, she has a Pokémon partner and plenty of friends. Lusamine recovered from the Mother-Beast incident, so what's left to do now? His reasoning to go take the Island Challenge seems more like an excuse to do something.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • During the sibling's argument on the beach:
      Gladion: I don't have to hear any of this. I'm just glad that it's all over.
      Lillie: Glad that I'm all right, that Mother is recovering, that karma finally caught up with Faba, that Nihilego can never hurt us again or that you can stop playing pretend of being a knight in shining armor?
    • While discussing her concerns about Gladion with Ash, Mallow concedes that it makes sense that he wouldn't be worried, being used to traveling around for months on end as a trainer. However, she then asks why nobody else seems particularly concerned, leaving him unsure how to answer.
  • Awful Truth:
    • In the Prologue's fairy tale, the would-be knight eventually discovers that he died on his quest, leaving his sister to mourn. He rejects this reality, resulting in an Epiphanic Prison.
    • Gladion regarded the Nihilego incident as this, deciding it was better to keep Lillie in the dark about the source of her trauma.
    • The notion that Gladion's quest to protect his sister might have been All for Nothing and ultimately hurt her more than it helped serves as one for him.
  • The Bet: In Chapter 2, Lusamine and Lillie bet to see whether or not Lillie will forgive Gladion within a few months. If Lusamine wins, the two must go to a convention in cosplay. If Lillie wins, Lusamine steps down as Aether Foundation President.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After their argument, Gladion wishes that he could go on a never-ending quest and become a true knight. Cue the Train arriving to pick him up.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lillie lost her Big Brother Worship after the reality of how he'd treated her sunk in.
  • But Now I Must Go: Gladion decides to tackle the Grand Trials in order to learn how to use Z-Moves. He also had no intention of informing anyone that he was leaving; Ash and Lillie only find out because they happen to catch him on the beach.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The dark fairy tale that opens the Prologue features Gladion's counterpart suffering a Fate Worse than Death due to his obsessive pursuit of the King with No Name, much like how the story Chloe pens featuring an Expy of Goh punishes him for chasing after the wish-granter.
    • Ash's surprise at just how quickly things devolved between Lillie and Gladion hints how in time he'll be similarly caught off guard by just how many boiling problems existed with Chloe.
    • Gladion wished to be the white knight from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The next story's main protagonist was a true lover of Alice in Wonderland.
    • In Chapter 1, Ash hopes that the situation with Gladion and Lillie doesn't repeat itself. Yeah, Goh and Chloe would like a word with you.
    • Mallow's flashback to her run in The Hidden Temple Car has her pass by a list of artifacts yet to be found. One of them is a "Vessel of Solmon", representing the Brass Vessel of King Solomon Chloe must obtain when she enters that car.
    • Larkspur mentions a Pokémon user who fought the Apex but failed. Blossoming Trail reveals that was Trip.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mallow warns Lillie that giving the orange gladiolus to her brother will have one of them enter a bad place. Lillie dismisses it since she already was in a bad place without her brother. Mallow was talking about the Infinity Train as she was on it years ago and that it's in a literal wasteland, a "bad place".
  • Chekhov's Gun: Gladion gives the bouquet of orange lilies to a statue in the Pearl Gates Car. That same bouquet is returned to him later by Larkspur, helping jog his memories
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • The fairytale in the prologue notes that if the boy just asked his mother for help, he wouldn't have ended up not only dead but force to continue his trek for all eternity.
    • The Prologue notes how Gladion could have prevented a lot of heartache if he'd simply told his mother about what happened with Faba rather than assuming she already knew, or talked to his sister, or trusted anyone else with the news, like Professor Burnet or Wicke.
    • Gladion himself considers the idea during the Prologue, only to immediately reject it, reassuring himself that everything he did was for the best.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Gladion wears black and has Dark-type Pokémon on his team, but he cares for his sister which is why he went on journey to become stronger. Unfortunately, even though he had good intentions, he acted in a selfish manner by abandoning his sister to fend for herself without knowing why she had the trauma in the first place.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Given that it's by the same author of Blossoming Trail, this is to be expected.
    • Of Gladion's Protagonist-Centered Morality. Gladion feels like he is the hero who went on an epic quest to help his sister. This story points out that he did more harm than good keeping the Nihilego incident silent and never telling his mother about it, accusing Lusamine of being oblivious of it all.
    • Of grand quests. They're usually romanticized as great things, but the prologue story notes that most people don't want to tell how boring it is, or how people slept in the cold or how they could be injured without anyone to heal them.
    • Lillie's role as a Damsel in Distress. Gladion thought that she was a fragile flower who couldn't handle the weight of what happened, whereas the anime shows that she has a lot of courage and bravery in her — from going through Salandit to get Snowy's egg to even jumping off a building with the high chance of her dying to save her from Team Rocket — and Gladion just can't accept the fact that his sister doesn't need saving.
    • Adults Are Useless: The only reason they're so useless is because they don't have all the info. Gladion's mindset in doing this by himself hampered any chance of his mother to learn what happened to Lillie until the last second.
  • Double Standard: As the Author's Notes point out, the anime presented Gladion as a hero that boldly called Lusamine out for her ignorance, while glossing over the little detail that Gladion withheld vital information. The part he played in their family's tragedy was never called out, treating his quest for strength as noble self-sacrifice, never mind the impact it had upon others. Least of all Lillie, the one he was supposedly doing this all for.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Gladion insists that everything he did was for Lillie's sake... while completely dismissing how she feels about any of it.
    • Though he admired the White Knight's nobility and dedication, he mentally notes that he doesn't want to be a bumbler who missed obvious details. And yet, his willful ignorance and dismissal of anything that doesn't suit his story makes him closer to that character than he cares to admit.
    • His intention to tackle the Grand Trials and gain the power of Z-Moves also reeks of this. Z-Moves require the user to get in sync with their Pokémon; meanwhile Gladion is completely out of sync with his family, and only sees Z-Moves as a way to make himself stronger.
    • While raging against his sister's apparent ingratitude, Gladion thinks that he's the only reason that she was able to remember what happened in the first place. This, naturally, glosses over the fact that that's why she's so upset — because he had the ability to help her right from the start and chose to keep her in the dark.
    • While mulling over the situation, Ash notes how little he knows or understands about it, accepting that he can't really do anything to help them out. Given the Guilt Complex he develops in Blossoming Trail, blaming himself for all the other things he can't control...
    • Gladion casually dismisses his sister's ability to hold a grudge for long, ignoring how long his own grudges have kept him going.
    • In Chapter 2, Ash assumes Gladion is going through some trials and he'll ask about Gladion's whereabouts. Gladion is going through trials...just not in the Alola region.
  • Easily Forgiven: Just like Blossoming Trail, the story shows how forgiveness is not given so quickly. Chapter 1 has Mallow state that while Lillie doesn't have to forgive her brother so soon, she should be careful about what she does in giving those orange lilies.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Tales of knights and princesses are the focus this time around.
    • Chapter 2 is called "The Snow Queen" which focuses on a woman who takes the protagonist in via brainwashing them to forget their quest and they only remember via noticing a flower (Roses for Gerda, orange lilies for Gladion).
  • Fatal Flaw: Denial. Gladion refuses to acknowledge that his quest for the strength he believed necessary for protecting his younger sister may have ultimately done more harm than good, and that Lillie might no longer need any protection, having grown stronger in his absence.
  • Flower Motif:
    • Orange lilies, which symbolize hatred. Lillie gives her brother a bouquet of orange gladiolus lilies to reveal her resentment of how he abandoned her. The intended message flies over Ash's head, but Gladion receives it loud and clear.
    • While in the Pearl Gates car, Gladion muses about how the bouquet will shrivel and die without water, much like how he expects Lillie's anger will fade without anything sustaining it.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Gladion ends up in this area (the Pearl Gates Car) after boarding the Infinity Train.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Since Gladion returns during the Necrozma arc (Ep 87), that means he'll eventually escape the Train.
    • As Ash had no idea about the Train's existence in Blossoming Trail until Trip arrived, he isn't about to learn about what's happened to Gladion anytime soon. Word of God reveals that Gladion never told anyone about his experiences.
    • Since this is sometime after Book 2, even if Gladion meets Grace and Simon, it won't change anything since they won't be defeated until Chloe confronts them months later except for whatever plan Gladion stops them from enacting.
    • Gladion's denizen partner, Larkspur, will end up alive as she's seen by the Red Lotus Trio during their trek across the Cyan Desert Car and she emails Chloe in The Curry Car.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Part of the driving force of the story is the notion of how differently things might have gone if Gladion had confessed about what he'd witnessed that fateful night much sooner.
    • Lillie confronting Gladion before he slips away to tackle the Grand Trials winds up dramatically changing his plans, as his outrage over her daring to go off-script attracts the Train.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters are named after fairy tales and whatever car Gladion himself is entering at the time.
  • Ignored Epiphany: While contemplating recent events on the beach, Gladion wonders whether it might have been better to simply tell his sister what happened, only to dismiss the notion. When Lillie confronts him, he blows her off entirely.
  • It's All About Me: After their argument, Gladion obsesses over Lillie's apparent inability to understand how much he suffered and sacrificed for her sake... without sparing a single thought to how she felt about being left behind all those years.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Gladion wants to be this, wants to be someone to protect his sister. This story is set to deconstruct this mindset.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The story reveals the source of Lillie's trauma and Poké-phobia, and that this is after Lusamine's transformation as the Mother-Beast. On a side note, it takes place the night before Professor Kukui and Burnet's wedding.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Train emits a light that seems almost mesmerizing, causing Gladion to go from dismissive to curious, and it drops him off at what looks like Heaven.
  • Literal Metaphor: Mallow warns Lillie that giving those gladiolus lilies would send either her or Gladion to a bad place. Lillie assumes that it's a mental place...not the literal wastelands of the Infinity Train.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Deconstructed. Gladion refused to share what he knew about what happened to his sister with anyone, and wanted Ash to help him hide the Awful Truth from her. Lillie subsequently realizes how this did more harm than good, growing resentful of her brother.
  • Mood Whiplash: Gladion's attempt to swear that he'll take down the Apex gets derailed by his Pokémon dogpiling him into a cuddle pile. Followed by his realization that his clothing was ripped to shreds...
  • Never My Fault: Gladion refuses to see himself as anything but the hero. He blamed Ash for Cosmog randomly teleporting Lillie to where he was training Type: Null, and when he learned that Lusamine had no clue about what Faba had done, tore into her for her ignorance while ignoring that he could have alerted her to what happened years ago.
  • Once an Episode: Word of God states that the fairy-tale openings will only be used at the beginning of each new car mostly to avoid burnout.
  • Parting Words Regret: Gladion briefly considers this when he wakes up at what looks like the gates of Heaven, since the last thing he said were him lashing out at his sister.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Lillie's entire life could've potentially been better if Gladion actually told someone like Professor Kukui or Wicke what he knew much, much sooner.
    • Mallow's attempt to warn Lillie that her gift could send her or Gladion into 'a bad place' fails since her friend doesn't realize she's speaking literally.
  • Prequel: The story takes place months before Blossoming Trail and the author points out this would take place post-Book 2 of Infinity Train.
  • The Quest: The prologue fairy-tale discusses how quests are actually not as romantic and glamorized as people want to believe. And Gladion himself wants to be on a quest to become a knight, leading to the Infinity Train to pick him up. In Chapter 2, he makes it a mission to topple the Apex.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Gladion's grand quest to become stronger wasn't particularly glamorous. Training and fighting others proved exhausting, and he had to ensure he kept enough money on hand to afford hotel rooms. It's very telling that he considers these to have been great sacrifices on his part, as well.
    • From Lillie's perspective, Gladion left her behind for years, deliberately withholding critical information that could have helped her because he decided she was too fragile to handle it. Naturally, she's not thrilled by any of that, and doesn't stick to the helpless role he mentally cast her in.
    • Because Gladion wasn't around for Lillie's Character Development, he's still seeing her as some fragile flower instead of the feisty girl who will literally throw herself into danger to protect Snowy and take the initiative to save their mother.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Margaret latches onto Gladion as a potential replacement for her son Dar, who was killed by the Apex.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Gladion muses about how without water, the bouquet Lillie gave him will wither away, anticipating that the same will happen to his sister's resentment of him. He then places the flowers into the hands of a statue, bringing them to life, much like how his actions unknowingly nurtured said resentment in the first place.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Larkspur wears a shirt that has a few letters removed. But filling them reads Camp Half-Blood.
    • Larkspur teases Gladion by showing her teleportation ability and stating that she didn't tell him, "Don't drown".
    • The Spiral Car holds the Village of Whirlpools, and Gladion nearly steps on the body of a boy who's mutated into a half-snail creature.
    • After encountering the half-snail child in The Spiral Car, Gladion catches himself clinging to Larkspur much like 'that cowardly dog from those mystery-hunter cartoons'.
  • Shown Their Work: Chapter 2 has a list of Hawaiian/Polynesian foods for Burnet and Kukui's wedding.
  • Skewed Priorities: Lillie effectively accuses her brother of this with her Armor-Piercing Question, suggesting that he doesn't care so much about how she or their mother are doing after their respective ordeals so much as he does his 'heroic narrative'.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Prologue's opening starts out weaving a fairytale narrative around Gladion and Lillie's story before abruptly switching gears:
    But here is the thing you must know about quests.
    They suck.
  • Stealth Pun: The denizens of the Pearl Gates Car always have big grins on their faces, showing off their pearly whites.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In Chapter 2, Mallow plans to state her concerns on Gladion as she assumes there's nothing to bring up at lunch. The author notes states that this takes place during Episode 59, the episode with "Grandpa Forest" Dranpa.
    • Lusamine has potentially done this by betting that it would only take her children three or four months to make up. She's confident enough in her assessment to put her career on the line, stating that she'll step down if they haven't reconciled by then... blissfully unaware that her son is currently trapped on the Train.
  • Time Skip: The bulk of Chapter 2 takes a week after Burnet and Kukui's wedding, during Episode 59.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Mallow has a charm bracelet bearing her number, which she's kept hidden ever since she returned from the Train.
  • Uncanny Valley: invoked The residents of the Pearl Gates Car move like marionettes, with smooth, glossy faces and bodies and elongated limbs. Gladion compares it to a living art exhibit.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Played With. Gladion sees Lillie as one for getting upset about how he left her behind for years, telling himself that she just doesn't understand how it was all for HER sake... despite how his actions ultimately did very little to actually resolve anything.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Gladion questions how no one else except him is seeing a Train in the middle of the sea.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lillie calls out on Gladion basically walking out on her when she needed him the most, stating that he could've prevented a lot of tragedy if he actually told someone about Faba's schemes years ago.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Discussed; Lusamine asks if the dispute between her children has anything to do with her failing to strike a proper work/life balance and spend more time with them. This is also part of why she's willing to wager her position at Aether as part of her bet with Lillie; if the issues between her children are severe enough that their dispute lasts that long, she wants to have more time to work through those problems with them.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Avoiding this is precisely why Mallow has never shared her experiences on the Train with anyone. Even at her age, she realized how unbelievable it all sounded.


"And he continued to chase after the King with No Name, forever hoping to become the knight to save his sister from her nightmares, unaware that this dream would never ever be fulfilled."
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