Shattered Crests: Book #1 Lines Broken

pokemon-fanfic
Shattered Crests: Book #1 Lines Broken
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#21

Contains: Language, Slight Blood, Violence [13]

Chapter 21
Flickers in the Breeze

Part 1: < O >

Ciecro laid down on a small grassy hill, his eyes looking up at the blue sky above him. His right claw laid unclenched at his side, motionless. His left rested on his stomach, rising along with his breathing. His eyes were narrow filled with longing and disappointment.

He closed his eyes and just let the still breeze fill his nerves with feeling. His breathing slowed and he curved a slight smile. He felt peace and at tranquility, with a slight hint of getting drowsy. However, this was all ruined in a split second from a loud calling directly above him.

“Hey sleepyhead!”

His eyes shot open as he jerked up in fright. He turned around to see Dolly, doing her best to hide her laugh.

“What da Revehse‽ Dolly!” he ranted, getting to his feet and giving her an agitated stare.

Dolly gave a sigh and explained with a grin, “Sorry to interrupt your sleep, but we’ve gotta decide what to do as a group.”

Ciecro gave a snort and muttered, “Why do yah need me?” as he let himself fall back on the ground.

“Why do you think?” Dolly asked, crossing her arms and giving him a sarcastic look. He gave an unamused groan as he spread his arms out. Dolly walked over till her head was directly over his, casting her shadow over his face.

“Come on Dolly,” Ciecro groaned, “Jaron an’ de others can do it without me.” He closed his eyes, gave a scowl and crossed his arms. Dolly gave a sigh as she bent down a little closer to him. She took a few seconds to just merely observe him. She looked at the absent expression on his face. She looked down his fit torso, following the stomach’s rise and fall. Despite trying to look relaxed, she spied some muscle tensions she assumed was due to her presence.

Ah so something is going on. I bet it’s what I saw regarding Jaron.

Dolly got up slightly and looked out towards the horizon. She decided to start simple. “So how was last night?”

“Yah still here?” Ciecro sibilated, showing his annoyance at the continuing of questions. He rolled his head to the right and rested his cheek on the ground, “It was fine.”

“How about this morn-” she stopped for a second, upon seeing a slight reaction from the start of the word. Ciecro’s eyes squinted more and his right arm slightly moved.

Her eyes widened a little as she began theorizing what this meant. Unfortunately she had a good idea what it was. Oh no… Her head fell slightly and she continued in a calmer tone.

“Well…you look tired or something.”

“Yah, just now seein’ it?” Ciecro muttered, not bothering to open his eyes.

Liar, you aren’t tired. She scolded in her head. It was then she noticed he was laying on his right arm, using it to prop the side of his stomach. Hmm…wait…I see. I’ll wait then, probably shouldn’t pester you past your limit.

She stood up straight, shook her head and chimed, “Well, I’ll let you rest. But we can’t decide without you, so come join us when you’re ready.”

He replied with a grunt. Dolly gave a sigh and started her way back to town. She looked back for a second, at the “seemingly” at ease charmeleon laying in the slightly swaying grass. I’ll be there, so that never happens again, she promised to him and went back on her way.

After about five minutes of laying down eyes closed, Ciecro took a moment to spy if Dolly had really gone. He moved his head up slightly and looked as best he could without getting up. After assessing she was indeed gone, he sat up, pulled up his left leg and rested his arm on his knee. He looked down and scowled at his right claw, now resting in his lap. His eyes narrowed as he slowly stretched each individual claw. He let out a little snarl and collapsed back onto the ground.

He just laid there, staring at the blue sky with many white clouds in random places; His eyes lazily looking up with a brooding expression. Despite the lovely view above, he could still see it in his head. That face. That terrified bloody face. He clenched his right fist and stretched his arm out towards the sky. He slowly opened his hand as if reaching out for something in the sky.

“Am I supposed tah feel somthin’? Ack,” he let his fist drop back to the ground, “Vragon, you weird.” He gave a little smirk as he closed his eyes again and slowly began to get drowsy. He tossed a little to get comfortable and tried to forget about his spar with Seliph and the bad memory that it surfaced.

Part 2: ( O )

“Whadya say‽” a sixteen year old Ciecro angrily asked, shoving a monferno back.

“I said you’re an embarrassment to the guild,” the monferno shot back, shoving Ciecro back. “You’re only here because your brother was smart enough to get early beforehand.”

“What?” Ciecro growled, but then gave a snarky smirk, “yah sore we beat yah to them positions?”

“What’s that?” the pissed monferno asked. The two just stared angrily, till the monferno broke the stare to laugh a little.

“What’s so funny?” Ciecro inquired, aggressively.

“You are, heh. You expect to look tough with those angry eyes?”

Ciecro gave a growl as he crossed his arms and muttered, “What’s wrong wit dem, loser? Seems like yah resortin’ tah insults like a kid.”

The monferno remained un-phased as he raised his hand to his ear in a degrading gesture, “What’s that? I can’t understand you? How about you try talking unown like everyone else.”

Ciecro clenched his fists and angrily leered at the joking punk. “I am, yah piece of shi-”

Before he could finish he heard Jaron’s voice call out. “Ciecro!” He turned to see a pissed off Jaron, stomping towards him. “Stop now, that garbage isn’t worth our time.”

“Who are you calling garbage‽” The monferno said angrily, substituting his mocking for Ciecro with irritation at the little hothead intruder.

“The loser that didn’t think of applying early enough despite the fact there were only a few ranger positions open. Don’t get mad at me for your moments of stupid,” Jaron sassed. He then turned to Ciecro and gave an annoyed sighed. “Come on Ciecro, let’s just go. We don’t need to waste our time with whiners.” Ciecro looked away at the ground, with anger in his eyes and violence in his slightly shaking fists.

“Yeah, go with your leash,” the monferno jabbed. Instantly Ciecro shifted his gaze back to the monkey and raised his right fist for a punch, till Jaron got in front.

“Don’t you fucking dare Ciecro,” Jaron ordered giving Ciecro an aggressive stare.

Ciecro looked at his brother’s demanding, but caring face and slowly lowered his fist. He kept his glower, but muttered a “fine”.

Jaron then faced the monferno. “I suggest you be quiet and leave us be, or do I have to report your actions to the guild and all. I’m sure they wouldn’t want sore loser mons like you in their ranks.”

“Heh,” the monferno replied with a smirk, “like how they don’t want submissive hotheads like your feetlicking bro-” He was cut off by a sudden hard punch from Ciecro. This caught Jaron off guard, who didn’t have time to stop Ciecro from lunging on top of the grounded mon and punching him over and over.

“Ciecro, stop!” Jaron shouted, trying to restrict his arms from behind. He was knocked away by a swipe from Ciecro’s tail, before he could pull it off.

I’m not a submissive, feetlicking hothead, yah shit! He screamed in his head, alongside his constant flurry of blows.

“Ciecro stop this! Vray help me!” Vragon, who had just been observing in timid silence, reluctantly joined Jaron in trying to restrict Ciecro’s arms. Vragon however wasn’t strong enough to hold Ciecro’s left arm back, and was shaken off and shoved away easily. Ciecro then pushed Jaron back with his freed arm and was about to resume his punches when a strong grip shackled his right arm. With a growl he turned and raised his left fist to counter this new assailant, only to see the cold, intimidating stare of Dolly.

“Enough Ciecro.” Dolly’s calm voice seemed to pierce him more than her stare. “He’s done.”

Ciecro slowly looked back at the monferno. Is his fury he didn’t even noticed how much damage he had been doing. The mon’s jaw was broken, his noise and eyes pretty bruised and blood slowly coming out of cuts on the face and mouth.

Ciecro shifted to shock. He looked at his left fist with droplets of blood he didn’t even notice. He tried to say something, but couldn’t utter anything comprehensible.

Dolly looked around the area at a few peeps that had stopped to watch, “Piss off, spectators.” she commanded, angry at their inaction in this. The observers parted, some guilty others annoyed at her judgmental comment. She then gently pulled Ciecro off the mon and gave him a little shove with her left arm, “Go with your brother.”

Ciecro felt ashamed and miserable. This was only increased, by the worried and disappointed expression on Jaron’s face, and the scared, concerned one on Vragon’s face. His head fell as he started to form a few tears. He looked again at his fists. He stared at the little blood spots on them. Did I…kill ‘im?

Part 3: < O >

Ciecro, jumped awake, breathing heavily and slightly shaky. He looked around the area. The sky was still the same and the breeze was still cool and pleasing; this eased his mind a little. He looked down at his tail and noticed his flame’s frightful flicker before calming down as he did. He lowered his head and just stared blankly at the ground. He gave a slight snarl, this time at himself. What was I thinking then, or was I not even thinking at all?

He growled. First Seliph and now dat…ugh can’t I just forget all dis? Freakin’ Jaron…why did Seliph have to come back and ruin my peace? He crossed his arms and scowled at the ground, specifically at a single white flower. As if he was trying to make it wither with his icy gaze, he move his head closer to it. After a few minutes of intimidating a still flower, he finally sighed and moved back. What’s wrong wit me? He rested one of his arms onto his knee.

Ciecro was about to get up, when suddenly he heard some footsteps to his left. He quickly looked and spied a golduck staring at him, perhaps browsing. Before replying, Ciecro gave him a look over too. The golduck was about his height, his muscles were thin but solid, though he looked rather young, maybe in his twenties and his eyes were a golden yellow.

“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to stare and all,” the stranger awkwardly said all of a sudden, supposedly realizing he was weirding Ciecro out.

“Uh…” Ciecro didn’t exactly know how to reply. Who is dis weirdo? Ugh… Ciecro was about to tell this stranger to leave him alone, but then his eyes met the strangers. Something about the mon’s warm yellow eyes made him have second thoughts. “Uhhm…You…fine, I guess.”

Seemingly a little relieved at hearing this, the stranger rubbed the back of his head with a smile. “I didn’t mean to impose, I was just well, curious about something.”
Ciecro raised a brow, “Wha about?”

“Well…about that.” The stranger pointed to Ciecro’s Norfarion crest.

“Uh…yeah I’m Norfarion. Yah got a problem wit it?” Ciecro got up and clenched his fists slightly. Strangely the golduck wasn’t defensive or worried, but just gave a hearty chuckle while waving his webbed right hand down in a friendly gesture.

“Oh no, I’m just curious to see one of your species here. I’d expect them in the more north-eastern areas of Triacal. You know, the more Norfarion influenced places.”

“Well, are yah done starin’?” Ciecro asked passive aggressively, not appreciating the weak answer.

“Yes, I do believe so. Pardon about all that-” The stranger walked up a few steps and gave a little bow of introduction. “My name is Tron…what’s yours sir?”

Ciecro hesitated at first, looking at the side. He thought for a few seconds, but as he did he noticed something. The stranger had a little vest not far from Seliph’s design. He also had a few bandages, one specifically on his right shoulder.

An original clansmon eh? Why hide it though? Hmm…he might be with ‘em punks. He crossed his arms and closed his eyes to think about what to say. This long time to respond sent a little uneasy atmosphere to the stranger.

“Well heh, it is fine if you don’t want to,” he assured Ciecro, putting his arms forward and giving a childish eye-closed grin.

Ciecro looked at the mon and decided to go on the offensive. “So, what brings yah here?”

“Oh…” the mon paused in his words to turn and look at the meadow plains in front of them. “I’m just a traveler. I want to see amazing sites and all that.” He turned his head so he could look at Ciecro, “Beauties of this world you know.”

Ciecro wasn’t buying it. There was something so off about this guy, but…something off about himself as well. Ciecro decided to probe further. “Wha’ kind of sites?”

The mon gave a little grin as he looked at the sky. “Have you ever heard of Destiny Tower?”

“Pfff” Ciecro mocked slightly as he joined the stranger in looking at the sky, “of course, I heard of it.”

“I want to see things like that. Amazing mysterious places in our world.” The stranger moved his arms closer as in excitement. The hyper energy from the mon was no doubt emanating out. It almost made Ciecro roll his eyes. Oddly, Tron’s hyperness and eyes slowly dropped as he mumbled something else, “and amazing Pokémon.” Ciecro then decided to ask one more thing.

“So…Tron, righ’?” The stranger nodded. “Yah got any relatives?”

The Pokémon lowered his face further, but put a smile on it. “I have some siblings. I haven’t seen them in a while though. You?”

Ciecro hesitated again. He kinda felt bad he wasn’t answering anything yet giving all the questions, which was weird since he had never seen this mon nor trusted the guy.

“Well…alright, not much of a talker then eh?” Ciecro agreed with a slight guilty nod. “Well that’s fine, we all have our own pace and all.” The stranger took a few steps away and gave a wave, “Well, see you later person whose name I have yet to know. I hope you achieve whatever goal you have with whomever you’re traveling with if anyone at all.”

And right after saying that, the stranger resumed his way. Ciecro was a mix of perplexed at the feeling he had, angry at the obvious call out and a bit guilty for not sharing despite his better judgement.

He walked a little ways down the road thinking about this out of the blue one-sided conversation. What da reverse was that? Who was he an’ what was that feelin’? I probably should tell Jaron about dis…Oh, I’ll tell him when we decide on when tah go!

He slammed his fist down into his open palm with a smile. But it faded when he thought about his flashback. How angry Jaron was and how angry he was. He lowered his arm and stared at the ground. No…he doesn’t need tah know. He ain’t dad and he ain’t my leash. He let go of his fist and squinted his eyes, as he looked forward. He strode onward.

As Ciecro disappeared in the town, Tron watched him from one of the hills in the distance. He looked back at the sky, his smile gone. His eyes were squinted slightly. He looked at his open palm, at a wound in the center of the palm. It was a deep cut mark that crawled up his hand and slightly up his wrist. His eyes squinted more till they were barely open and his frown changed to a rather dark smile. His hand slowly shook a little as his eyes stared at his wound with a rather creepy enticement.

“I can only hope,” He slurred, “you’ll lead me to him.” He looked up at the sky again and closed his eyes, muttering something to himself. He suddenly fell down slightly and clasped his face, taking heavy breaths.

Huff puff…no…huff puff not yet. Huff puff I shouldn’t move too early. Calm down…huff” He got to his feet and dusted himself off. He straightened his vest’s small neck guard, put his arms behind his head and began to whistle as he strolled along the grassy plains.

Part 4: < O >

Dolly stared out the window with a worried expression in her eyes. It’d had been a few hours since her exchange with Ciecro. She knew he was tough, but the “what if’s” were beginning to get to her.

“Come on, where is he?” Jaron muttered out loud with an annoyed tone.

Vragon coincided with a yawn, before he added, “Dolly are you sure he’s coming?”

Dolly looked down and replied without looking at them, “He said he was tired, so give him some time.”

Jaron gave a growl as he laid his face on a lobby table. Vragon joined his friend, save his reason being from tiredness. Jasmine was sitting in a corner of the lobby, staring at the ground lost in thought.

Dolly looked back up again. Her eyes squinted a little. She looked at Jaron, peering at his body language carefully. She then decided to test it. “Hey, where’s Seliph, Jaron?”

“In his room I guess,” The mon lazily answered. She noticed his eyes squint a little, as if he suddenly grew annoyed at something.

I know that already. But how can I ask subtly. She looked at Jasmine for a second. M_aybe…no he wouldn’t tell her. I’m sure he told Ciecro, but I’d assume Jaron kept it between himself and Ciecro._ She crossed her arms and started to think some more. Jaron and Ciecro did something last night and whatever it was, is still bothering Ciecro. He’s seems to still be doing it ‘cause Jaron’s, I’m assuming, asking him to. Undoubtedly it is Seliph related. She looked at the stairs. She broke her position at the window and walked towards the stairs.

“Let me know if Ciecro comes back, yah here.” Jaron slightly lifted his head for a “yes”, Vragon gave a lazy nod and Jasmine didn’t seem to notice.

Dolly ascended the stairs and made her way to the room where Seliph was. She raised her fist to the door to knock, but paused for a second. She took a silent breath through her nose and finally gave two knocks.

“Yes?” Seliph’s voice inquired through the wood.

“Dolly,” she stated, “I’d like to talk if that’s okay?”

“Of course, give me a second.” She heard a little bit of shuffling in there and what sounded like paper being stuffed somewhere, but was cut off suddenly as Seliph showed up to the door. Oddly he opened it widely, as if he had nothing to hide.

“What would you like to talk about?” He asked, but put a little off by her surprised gaze.

She finally snapped out of it and offered, “Mind if we do it over a drink?”

Seliph raised a brow. “Okay sure, but just in case.” He headed to a drawer and pulled out a book with an assortment of disorganized notes. He also pulled out a few items and threw them into his pockets. After this he walked past her, turned to the kangaskhan and asked, “What place did you have in mind?”

“Nothing big, just someplace quiet.”

“Will some local bar do?” He inquired with a cheery grin.

Her eyes widened at the question. “Who do you take me for, some upstanding Triaclian? Reverse yeah,” She exclaimed with enthusiasm, losing her serious gaze for the moment. She headed off ahead of him saying, “I had my eye on one spot, but didn’t want to take the kiddies there and all. I haven’t had a good slap in the face from a drink for a while now.”

Seliph was left completely dumbfounded by this sudden change from Dolly. He nervously followed behind her. He finally shifted to his real concern with Dolly. He began to ponder. I figured this would happen. Out of them all, she is the adult and I can safely assume these questions are for her judgement. I better play carefully. This won’t be like Vragon.

Dolly’s smile was gone now, with her eyes darted at the corner, as if trying to eye Seliph without turning her head. I’ll get it all out from you somehow.

Jaron let out a yawn as he finally got up from his table and stretched for a second. As he did, he spied Dolly at the top of the stairs. “Hey Dolly, you sure he’s-” he stopped upon seeing Seliph walking behind her.

“Hey, if Ciecro shows up, tell him that Seliph and I are getting a little drink. You kids can go ahead and determine what we should do.”

“Uh…okay,” Jaron reluctantly said with a nod. Jasmine who had been isolated had now joined the drowsy fraxure’s side, looking at Seliph, who gave her a nod. She let out a sigh as she put her claw on Vragon’s shoulder and shook him awake.

“Wha! Uh, what was that for‽” the now awake fraxure demanded.

“We might as well talk about it now,” Jasmine suggested, “you two have a good time.” Her sendoff was a bit lackluster, but neither of the two adults pried for a cause.

Dolly gave a thumbs up and proceeded out the door, closely followed by Seliph, who gave her a quick glance before exiting. Jasmine’s eyes darted to the side a little as she thought about what he said. With that the door shut behind them, leaving a silent Jasmine, a waking up Vragon and an annoyed Jaron.

“Great,” Jaron moaned, “now we have three mons to wait for.”

“Well, Ciecro will be back soon and I’m sure Dolly and Seliph won’t take long,” Vragon stated, still a bit irritated by Jasmine’s wake up shake. He took a minute to give her a leer, but then noticed she was looking down at the floor.

“Well, if you suggested it Jasmine, then I suppose we should do it.” Jaron slammed his claws on the table and stood out of his seat to stretch his spine. He then went up the stairs for a few minutes and then came down holding some rolled up paper.

“Okay gather up,” He lazily ordered as he rolled the paper out, revealing a map of the ‘silky plains’. Vragon scooted his chair closer as Jaron pointed to their home town. “Jasmine,” he called, not taking his eyes off the paper. After a few seconds of no reply he looked up at the spaced out Jasmine. “Jasmine?” He asked again, with a little more volume and oomph. She didn’t budge.

“Oh for arceus’s gold rings, Jasmine!”

The absol leapt up in a start. Vragon did a face palm and tapped Jaron on the shoulder.

“What? She wasn-” Jaron began, but stopped as he noticed Vragon pointing behind him. Jaron looked and realized his volume was more than enough to get Jasmine’s attention. Every eye in the room was turned directly at him. He gave a weak gator smile and a soft laugh.

Jasmine took notice too and immediately her cheeks went red with embarrassment. She scurried over to the stairs, doing her best head gestures of “follow” before disappearing at their top. Vragon gave the jittery smiling Jaron a shamefaced stare as he got up and whispered as he walked past, “That’s two apologies you owe her.” With an aggravated sigh afterwards, he followed after Jasmine. Jaron sighed as he rolled up his paper and headed for the stairs.

He took a moment to look back at all the Pokémon staring at him and raised his hand upwards with one finger outstretched. He paused for a second, thinking of something to say. He finally gave a growl as he just threw his arm forwards and walked up the stairs, choosing not waste time on some stupid comment.

Part 5: < O >

The sky was dark, the stars were out and the breeze was soft and cold, on a mountain trail. It was illuminated by the light of the white moon glistening through the trees. The dirt road was neatly made and while hadn’t been traversed in a while, hadn’t been touched by the underbrush.

The sound of feet hitting the dirt echoed amid the silent scenery. The steps were heavy and sluggish. The figure was enshrouded by the darkness, with the lights from the moon occasionally showing black scaly skin. The person’s breathing was heavy, almost like a weight on was his back. His arms swayed along with his poor walking form. As he trudged on, the sound of mumbling came from him.

“Where…are you?” it repeated over and over as it continued. Finally it took a second to stop and look at the path he had traveled, “I…where on this damn continent, no this damn world are you!” it roared to the night sky, in anger and … sadness. It kept its gaze at the sight above, looking at the stars. Finally it looked down at his dirt covered feet. It started to squint as he began to cry. He wiped his face with his arm and looked forward with his red eyes. “I know you’re out there. I’ll find you, even if I have to search every damn continent on this world.” It turned around and began walking on the path once more. But first, I must say one final goodbye.

Names:

Tron – (Trohn)


#22

Contains: Language, Strong Drink [13]

Chapter 22
Blunt Questions

Part 1: < O >

Dolly and Seliph stared at the entrance to some small tavern in one of the narrow alleys.

“’The dying Sealeo’, classy,” Dolly muttered crossing her arms, not impressed.

“Well, it seems to be the only one here that looks cheap enough for the change we have,” Seliph said, with a little weak chuckle. Dolly just gave an “Ugh” noise and proceeded to walk in. Seliph waited a second before following her; he pulled out a little orb from his bag, inputted something and put it into one of his vest’s front pockets. Just in case. He joined her at the door.

“What was that about?” She inquired.

He leaned in a little close to tell, “In case we get attacked, I got us an escape orb and set it to Main Street.” She didn’t reply, but gave a concurring nod. She strode on in without another word, followed by Seliph after he gave the perimeter one more eye sweep.

The inside of the place was lit by some orange emeras dotting the ceiling, revealing a pretty small area with some stools to a bar. Dolly and Seliph made their way to two adjacent ones. The server seemed busy with cups.

Dolly gave an annoyed groan. “What’s wrong?” He inquired, looking at her, who was looking at the server.

“He’s doing it all wrong.” She rest her head on her hand, propped up by her elbow. “You’re supposed to wipe the outside first before inside.”

Seliph was a bit confused about why it mattered, but assumed it was due to her job that she had such…intricate critiques. He looked down and started to draw a few circles with one of his frog fingers. Hmm…I probably should wait and see , He said in his head.

He waited for her inevitable questions for ten minutes. She confused him, just sitting their eyeing the server’s wiping job with an occasional little snicker when he started a new one. Seliph was starting to grow a bit bored just sitting here. He decided to call the server over. He raised his left hand to call him over, but before he could raise it, Dolly grabbed it and force it down at great speed. He was a mix of surprised and perplexed.

“Not yet,” she scolded, “Let the mon finish.”

“Why?” he inquired, starting to get a little annoyed.

She gave him a cold look and resumed eyeing the server. “It’d be better to not let the stuff in the cups dry, else it’d get harder to scrub out.”

“Oh…” Seliph felt a little guilty as he returned to staring down, drawing circles again.

Dolly however, was cracking a little laugh in her head. You’ll break. Come on, I can do this for as long as I need to. They waited another ten minutes. The server still doing his jobs, seemingly not noticing the two. Finally he set the last one down, scrubbed clean. Seliph let out a relieved sigh. He was about to raise his hand to call, but once again Dolly force it down.

“What‽” he demanded in a whisper.

“He’ll get to us when he’s ready,” She stated, letting go of his arm. Seliph grumbled as he crossed his arms and gave an aggravated moan. Twenty minutes of nothing but the server doing his own thing or taking other Pokémon’s orders. Seliph finally had enough.

“I’m going to stretch my legs for a second,” he said getting up, “I’ll be outside when you need me.”

“’Kay,” Dolly said, not moving her head from the server. Seliph gave a sigh as he walked out. After making sure he’d gone, Dolly gave a little snap with her fingers. The server came over, and bent in close. “Thanks for the stall, can I ask for another favor,” she said with a mischievous grin.

“Sure thin’, anything for a yah Dolly,” He replied.

Dolly gave a little laugh. “I want you to serve us,” she looked around to make sure no one was listening, “Enigma blend with little bits of blast seed shell in them.”

The server electivire gave a little chuckle as he asked, “What did that guy do to yah?”

“Just something to help convincing.” The server gave a gruff cough as he started to prepare it. Dolly got up and walked outside, letting Seliph know it was ready.

The two congregated at the bar, as the server gave them two cups with some….black liquid in it. Seliph stared at it with an uneasy feeling.

“What is this?” He asked the server, who gave a little grunt, and returned to his work.

“It’s a specialty drink here,” Dolly answered, “House blend. It comes out like that due to the colors mixing. Many berries you know.”

“Sounds expensive.” Seliph gave her a suspicious stare, she just gave a normal stare back. Seliph looked back at the drink. Come on, it’s gotta be a trap. She’s setting me up, I know it!

“What’s the matter Seliph? You’re not thirsty after waiting for so long?” Dolly asked with a joking tone and a little nudge.

“Well…” He muttered. Think of an excuse. Think of an excuse. Think of an excuse. He repeated in his head, though Dolly ingesting her drink and giving a pleased slurp interrupted his thoughts. I know! He grabbed his drink and took a slight sip. As he slipped the drink in, he filled his mouth with some extra saliva and water. He then gulped it down.

“Well, now that was…was…!” Apparently he called the wrong effect. He started feeling dizzy, like a Spinda rolling down a never-ending hill. His vision became a little hazy. He got up, almost falling in the process, he tried to make his way to the door, but after a few stumbles Dolly aided him. He felt sick and a little faint, only avoiding stumbling thanks to Dolly’s strong arms.

“See yah sometime, Jole!” she said to the server as they were at the door.

“Anytime Dolly,” the server saluted with two fingers. Seliph felt stupid, but more sick than stupid. Dolly then waved her arm, and the server tossed a small bottle with something that looked like medicine.

She helped him to some fountain in the town. He managed to cough out, “But I tried water!”

She sat him on the side of the fountain, screwed the lid off the bottle given to her and raised it to his quivering head. “You need to ingest this slowly, I’ll help yah.” She held the back of his shaking head and slowly poured it down. The odd liquid almost made him almost throw up at first, but after some coughing, he felt a lot better.

After finally regaining himself, he gave her an angry face and demanded, “What the reverse was that for‽”

Dolly, however gave him a very cold stare, making him freeze from her “staring through his soul” eyes. “What that was is what I usually drink there when I visit this town for a visit. I’m going to be blunt. I don’t trust you and see you as a threat to them. Now if you don’t want to have me to tangle with as well, you are going to answer whatever I ask of you, clear.”

Seliph was taken aback by this threat. He paused for a little before letting out a little chuckle. “Wow, I was expecting something less direct. Perhaps a drug-” He didn’t get to finish, for Dolly leaned in closer, overshadowing his face with her.

“Perhaps, I wasn’t clear enough. Until you give me a reason to even consider you trustworthy, I’m not gonna give you a damn moment near them alone. If you don’t believe me boy, hah, then I can assure you I have more abilities and war buddies than you do.” Her tone went lower than usual. “Now you are going to answer whatever I ask with the truth, the whole truth. And don’t try to lie,” She grabbed his throat, though not enough to choke. He was about to pry them off, till she held him over the fountain’s side. “I’m not easy to fool, and even harder to cheat.” She let go of him, causing him to splash into the fountain.

He just sat there, eyeing the aggressive kangaskhan. He looked down. Dolly then gave a cough and asked, “Why are you here?”

He paused for a bit going over his options. He finally spoke. “I was looking for subjects to interrogate. Those were the two you fought earlier. I don’t know who the dragon was, though I assume an ally of theirs.”

“Anything else?” She said, still keeping up an oppressive tone.

“…I was looking for them to get some answers about anything they knew. Maybe something I could use as a lead.”

She raised a brow before asking further, “What lead?”

He paused for a second before saying, “Into some potential targets.”

“What targets?”

“Some higher ups in the red eyes. Potential ones that are responsible for them attacking Vragon and other incidents.” Seliph, bit his lip slightly, hoping she’d by it.
Dolly just remained quiet, processing the validity. She sighed, nodding her head. “Fine, next question. Why are they after Vragon?”

“I don’t know…” he gave her a stare for a second, before continuing, “But…I think I might have a theory about it.”

“What theory?” she inquired, crossing her arms.

“The fraxure has amnesia and his looks aren’t from this area. There are other fraxure’s like him yes, but … can I ask you something?”

“Name it.”

“What is his Averion gift, or if you don’t know what does it do?” He asked. She stroked her chin thinking with her eyes closed.

“He can heal wounds by touching them. However it costs him some of his syngery and can hurt him if it’s too severe.”

Seliph nodded as he continued, “Yes, it isn’t totally concrete, but my theory could be correct. And if it is, it would explain why those red eye mons were after him.” He pulled out some of his notes, which thankfully weren’t dampened by the water, “There’s some history on Averia that dates back to their beginning. As you know the starter of the clan of Averia was a Haxorus named ‘Aegis’. He had a gift as well. I don’t know the details, but if it’s like your Vragon’s then it’d prove a link to Aegis.”

“How?” Dolly asked, crossing her arms showing slight curiosity for this theory while keeping up aggression.

Seliph gave a nod. “The clans each have their own ‘original’ Pokémon that started the clans. Each one was a Powerful Pokémon of strong abilities, which makes sense since clansmons tend to be stronger than your basic Pokémon.” He then pointed to the crest on his shoulder, “for example, my clan’s original is Blaine. Scythli is Wikstrom, Phynis is Cyrus and Daemoria is Salem. There’s a legend in each of these clans, one for each of their original. These five Pokémon were able to gather a huge amount of synergetic power and were able to somehow send their existences somewhere into the future. How they did this and for what purpose, no one knows. However, these ‘new originals’ are their reincarnations.”

“So…” Dolly interjected uncrossing her arms, “you think Vragon is a reincarnation?”

“It’s possible. It would explain why the red eyes are after him. However, if he is Aegis’s reincarnation then we need to get him out of here as soon as possible.”

“Because of the red eyes?”

Seliph paused. “Yes, in my findings, regarding them, I found out something. They seem vastly interested in these legends and apparently believe the time of the reincarnations is now. I assume they believe Vragon might be one of them.”

“But the dragon said, ‘candidate’ didn’t he?” Dolly mentioned.

“Yes, perhaps they aren’t certain then. In any case, for me to confirm I need to go to Frantal Town’s library for some research.”

“It’s dangerous for travel with them aroun-”

“I have some friends that are on their way to come help,” Seliph interrupted.

“Who are they?” Dolly demanded.

Seliph raised his hands forward in assurance. “They are two mon’s that were members of a team my parents were. I’ve remained in contact with them, though I’m not exactly a Norfarion agent.”

“So you’ve been doing this alone.” Dolly gave him an indifferent stare. “Quite a lonely life if you ask me.”

“I can assure you it has its benefits. I will say that coming here wasn’t a part of the plan.”

“I’d believe that,” Dolly said with a snarl. She began to walk away to think for a second. Seliph stood up as Dolly thought, but before he could get out of the water she gave him her answer. “We’ll go to Frantal Town…but,” she gave him a cold threatening stare, “if you do anything to any of them…I’ll make you regret it.”

Seliph got out of the fountain as Dolly headed back to their lodgings. He looked down at his notes. He turned to a certain page. Change of plans…Determine my theory, then use it to my advantage…if he isn’t I’ll find another way to draw them out. He closed his book and looked up at the sky. The sunset was starting.

“I’d better head back.” He muttered to himself, putting his notes away. “Well this is going to be complicated. I’ll have to be careful.” He shrugged as he put his webbed hands into his vest’s pockets. “Still nothing I can’t handle.”

Part 2: < O >

“What‽” Jaron and Vragon said in unison. Vragon then added, “What do you mean you’re voting for Frantal Town?”

“Yeah, what about it?” Jasmine replied, trying to keep up a confident face.

“Why do you want to go? It’s dangerous for us to just waltz on over there,” Jaron argued, giving her a scowl.

“Frantal Town has more rangers there, not to mention we know mons in that town. Here, we’re kinda on our own. Only Dolly really has connections.”

“But the trip-” Vragon started.

“It’d only be about a day on foot. Not to mention there’s plenty of us.”

“That dragon was really tough Jasmine and those other two weren’t easy to fight either,” Vragon countered, “what if they find us?”

“They’ll find us if we stay here.” Jasmine walked towards the door and said, “It stands to reason that they’re probably looking for us in the towns. If we don’t go somewhere safer, we’ll still be fighting them ‘on our own’.”

She headed out the door and said as she went down the hallway, “anyways, you know my vote. I’m going to wait for Ciecro in the lobby.”

Vragon and Jaron were left speechless. Jaron let out a growl as he stamped over to a chair and forcibly sat down. Vragon just kept his gaze at the door and looked down. “Well that was uncomfortable,” he mumbled.

“Why the reverse would she want to go?” Jaron grumbled, “We’ll be putting you in danger.”

“I guess…but she does have some good points.”

“That’s not it Vragon.” Jaron got up from his chair and with a worried tone said, “If we go, we’ll have a higher change of being found. Not to mention we won’t have any townsmons to help us.”

“Maybe we could hire some rangers to guard us and all while we go. It could work.” Vragon suggested.

“No, I disagree.” Jaron walked over to Vragon and firmly said, “Look it’d be a full day’s trip to get there so we’d have to stay at a rest spot at some point unless we want to walk all day long. They could be waiting, not to mention they could have gotten more back-up like that dragon guy, maybe even stronger than him.”

“I agree…but-”

“No buts!” Jaron shouted, causing Vragon to flinch back a little. Jaron’s head fell, guilty for his outburst. “I’m sorry Vray.”

Vragon tried to give a little chuckle to lighten the mood. “It’s fine Jaron, it hasn’t been easy after all. With Seliph back and these goons coming in on us, you’re bound to be on edge.”

Jaron didn’t reply, but merely walked to the window. “I just don’t like this idea.”

Vragon’s encouraging smile went away as he looked at Jaron. “…I just get that feeling. After that attack and all…you being in danger twice like that. It scared me.”

“I’m sorry Jaron. None of us saw this coming.” The fraxure walked closer. He stopped as Jaron clenched his fists on the panel suddenly.

“Why is this going on?” Jaron blurted out, “Why you‽ Why out of all the mons on freaking Triacal, you had to be the one they’re after?” A few minutes of silence followed.
Vragon didn’t know what to say. He finally let out a sigh and said, “I’m going to be fine. I have all of you looking out for me.”

“Vray…” Jaron started to say turning around. The two locked gazes. “You’re my best friend. If…I just can’t shake the feeling. I…don’t want you to get hurt, because-”
“I’m not that fragile Jaron,” Vragon said bluntly, but with a light tone.

“I know that!” Jaron stated firmly, “I just…can’t shake the thought out of my head. The thought of you dying or getting hurt. I…I don’t want what happened to my parents happen to you, or jasmine, or dolly or my brother.” Jaron looked to the side for a little bit, trying his best to not let his emotional state draw tears.

Vragon didn’t say anything, but walked up and hugged him. “I don’t want that to happen to you either. You’re my best friend as well. We’ll make it out of here somehow and all. Don’t worry…” He gave Jaron a pat on his back to coincide with his hug, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Jaron gave a little sniffle as he hugged the fraxure back. “Thanks for that.”

Part 3: < O >

Jasmine was sitting outside the lodge, staring at the sunset going on between the buildings. Her paws were tapping slightly as her she let out an occasional sigh. I shouldn’t have been so hard. But, I mean, it’s for the best and well … ack , she growled as she pressed down on her paws. It was mean of me to do it, especially after how our tails nearly got taken off. What was I thinking? Like … why did I even say we should vote now? Argh! She lied down on all fours and put on of her paws over her face. She then proceeded to repeat the word, “idiot” quietly to herself.

Her little cycle of self-degrading whispers were cut off by a bland voice above her. “Somethin’ up Jaz?”

She looked up to see Ciecro staring down at her. His arms were lazily at his sides and his eyes, while still keeping up a stern scowl, had traces of droopiness.

“Uhm… nothing just waiting for you to come back.” She quickly shot back into sitting. He didn’t say anything, but walked by after giving a grunt. She watched him go by, took a breath and followed him in. “Hey, so uhm… where did you go?”

“Some dum trainin’ yawd,” he lazily answered, heading towards the stairs. He slightly turned his head, still not looking at her, “is Jaron and Vragon here?”

“Yeah,” she answered. Again he just gave a grunt and started to head upstairs. “Uhm…are you okay Ciecro? You look expired.”

He stopped about halfway up the stairs. He paused for a bit before saying, “Don’ wanna talk about it.” He resumed his way up the stairs, leaving a curious and concerned Jasmine.

She let out a sigh as she walked outside again, not really keen on going back to the two she had just finished pissing off, or at least it felt like that to her. She walked back to her spot outside and laid down. How did this all happen? She thought, the evening breeze blowing through her fur. She closed her eyes, the evening drowsy spell starting to get to her. She began mumbling, “I wish I knew how to help.” Her breathing slowed as she dozed off and a smile crossed her face.

Part 4: < O >

Dark water, reflecting the four in the morning sky above it, splashed upon a line of docks at some port. A cold breeze was blowing all through the empty pier. It was on this empty place, Plageues strolled along. A serious gaze had replaced his usual smile. The sound of coins clinking came from a bag connected to his belt.

“Where is it?” He groaned, getting annoyed at how apparently ‘hard’ this place was to find. “Daemon said he’d arrange immediate transportation via some dumb ship here, so where’s the dumb ship Daemon?”

After walking for what felt like an hour down an empty pier, he stopped to growl at the starry sky. “This is wasting my valuable time! If I don’t see a boat here in the next ten minutes I’m going to contact that one eyed-ghost and-”

He stopped, his eyes widened. He felt a presence nearby. His angry scowl, slowly turned to an anticipating grin. Am I being watched? He thought with glee. He decided to start walking again, making sure to take light steps so he could hear someone following. However, all he could hear was the wind and the occasional splashing of bigger waves.

His eyes jumped from one corner of his eyes to another, trying to spot a silhouette or odd movement to follow on, but nothing seemed to move. Despite the lack of results, he still kept the smile on his face, as if getting excited by the challenge. He stood still to think for a moment, to narrow on what it could be. Ghost type maybe, but it didn’t feel like a specter presence the one time I noticed it. It kinda felt like…a…hmmm…huh? He looked forward just in time to spy a purple blob spiraling towards him. He leaped out of the way, getting droplets of the blob on him. He did a recovery roll as the move crashed on the ground a few yards behind him. He pushed his arms forward, firing a quickly formed Focus Blast where the attack had originated. His reply ball move forced some shaded figure leaping away and darting towards an alley.

“My turn,” he exclaimed with a slurp of his tongue as he darted after his target, running on all fours for extra speed. When he neared the alley’s entrance, he leaped up on a side of the wall to prop his pounce on the figure. He stopped however and just clung to the wall in confusion, upon seeing an empty ally. “Drat.” He muttered, letting go of his grip on the wall and landing on the ground. “The prey got away.”

He snapped his fingers and gave a disappointed face to match his disappointed arm crossing. His eyes closed and he let out a big sigh. He opened them immediately, however, when he heard the sound of paper grumbling. Down in front of him was a piece of paper blowing in the wind, but anchored in spot by a stone. He reached down and picked it up. His eyes read the message given.

“…Ugh…another time waster.” his eyes drooped halfway as he stared at the message in front with the words,

“If ye want to get him from the stump
Then you’ll need to get off your sorry rump.
Until you can actually keep up with me
You’re just some smiley, laddie.”

He crumpled the paper up and threw it behind him. He gave a growl as he was about to turn back, but then spied a little light at the end of the ally. He squinted to see what looked like a ship starting to dock. “Is that-” he began, but was interrupted by another piece of paper hitting him in the face from the wind. He peeled it off and read the words,

“There’s your boat
Now go and float
Else, I’ll have more for these, for yah.”

He growled as he tore this one and headed towards the boat. “I can’t wait till we are top Luxrays,” He grumbled to himself as he strode in frustration towards the boat, “then I’ll get to mess with the more fun ones. How did he even find me?”

He shrugged but stopped as he spied another object on the ground. Unlike the prior two, this one was a small sphere. He reached down, picked it up and eyed it. After a few seconds, he accidentally triggered something on it, leading it to shoot up a red hologram in front. He almost fell over at the big widescreen directly in front of him. After regaining his composure, he noticed it was a message, labeled at the top.

Additional orders for Plageues.
Assignee: Azazel

Oh this’ll be fun, he groaned in his head as he read over the “additional” orders. Despite the big screen there were only a few words to spell the “Extra orders”

He whispered them out as he read the message. “’You and your team must complete these task. Failure will result in punishment. If you do complete these it will put you in high favor with me and your critics, which one being the deliverer of this message. I will put in a good word for you should you prove to exceed my expectations.’ Well fuck me,” he whined, taking a moment to voice in annoyance before going on. “’The first, is your original order of capturing the fraxure target. The second, is to recover one of our red eyes liquid flasks in their possession.’ Ugh and lastly-” He stopped as he eyed the last one. He gave a very big grin. His eyes widened to uncomfortable levels and his hands began shaking, making the hologram move along with it. With an excited tone in his voice, he stuttered in saying, “’Third’ heh heh … ‘eliminate Seliph’.”


#23

Contains: Language, Alcohol reference [13]

Chapter 23
Inner Thoughts

Part 1: < O >

The four sat around in a circle in one of their lodging rooms, surrounded by an awkward silence. Jasmine sat on the floor, while trying to avoid looking at Jaron. Luckily for her, his gaze was focused in the form of a scowl to the floor. Vragon, meanwhile, was twiddling his mid-fingers as Ciecro was slacked in his chair, lazily gazing at the ceiling.

Finally, Jasmine decided to do the inevitable and complained, “When are those two getting back?”

Ciecro shrugged, keeping his gaze fixed on the ceiling.

Vragon took a second from twiddling to look at the relaxing charmeleon. He browsed Ciecro till his eyes fell upon the Norfarion Crest on his right shoulder. The fraxure looked at the ground as the image of his Averion crest popped in his head. His eyes narrowed as he thought back to those words said in their first encounter with the gallade.

If you indeed don’t know of the clan’s society then I hope you never go there. That crest on your shoulder may be a mark for you, but to me it’s a brand.

He got up, causing every eye in the room to shift to him. Vragon stretched his right arm upwards, clasped it with his left hand circling between the back of his neck and the curved fraxure spike on his back, and let out a yawn as he concluded the stretch. “I think I need some air. Jaron.” the croconaw raised a brow. “Wanna come along?”

“Sure,” he said quietly. The croconaw could see through the façade, guessing Vragon wanted to talk to him privately. He wasn’t sure what Vragon wanted to talk about, but guessed it was about their conversation before.

He got up and was about to join him when Jasmine interjected with, “Come on, we shouldn’t split up again and have to wai-”

“Don’t worry Jasmine,” Vragon assured her, “I’m just going out front for some air. You can easily see us or come down if you’re unsure, ‘kay.”

The absol reluctantly returned to her sitting position as the two left the room. Nothing but more silence followed. She finally decided to take this time to find out about Ciecro’s day. She scooched a little closer to the still ceiling staring Ciecro. She leaned a little closer and whispered curiously, “So…what was the training?”

Ciecro gave an aggravated groan before replying, “Punchin’ rocks.”

She raised a brow and moved a little back in a gesture of confusion. “Punching rocks?” she repeated.

He turned his gaze to her face and said, “What?”

She shot back straight, saying, “Oh nothing, it’s well … uhm … is that all?”

Ciecro moved his gaze to the right without moving his head. His eyes narrowed, indicating annoyance but also some discomfort. “Y-yeh”

Jasmine got up, walked over and sat down next to him. He kept his gaze at the ground, tensing up at her moving nearer. She didn’t say anything, but placed her left paw onto his shoulder. He twisted his head immediately towards her, but before he could say anything she softly said, “Is that a lie?” Her eyes felt a bit heavy as she stared at his deep orange irises.

He looked down and grumbled, “…Why you care?”

“Do you even have to ask?” Jasmine stated, her eyes forming a slight scowl.

He gave a little growl before looking moving forward, causing her to take her paw off him, and leaned forward in his seat. He stared at the ground at an angled gaze with Jasmine leaning far enough to see his face. “…No…dat wasn’ all. I was trainin’, and well…Seliph showed up. He asked fo’ a spah and well…”

“Well what?” She pressed, in a concerned tone rather than a curious one.

He gave a scowl as he continued. “I almos’ punched his head in. I was reminded abou’ dat moment. Where I punched dat guy’s head in.”

“Oh…” she said, knowing exactly what he was referring to. She looked back at him and gave an encouraging smile, “If you want to stop we can.”

His right fist clenched. “I’ll go on.” He stood up and looked straight forward. “I left ‘im, tellin’ him ‘I was fine’ and left.”

“Why did you spar with him?” she inquired. He said nothing in response so Jasmine then guessed, “Jaron asked you?”

He shook his head, but paused for a second as if there was more to tell.

She was about to ask, but he beat her to it.

“Deh runt an’ I had a moment last nigh’ wit ‘im. He…and I wanna try an’ mend dah ties wit Seliph.”

She got on all fours and said, “What’s wrong with that?”

He crossed his arms and snarled a little. “It was moh his idea dan mine. I wanna mend it too, but… when I was wit ‘im I couldn’…” he let out a sigh as his arms went limp to his side. “I can’ face ‘im. Ev’ry time I do…I ge’ pissed.” Suddenly an angry face replaced his reminiscing one. “Why can’ I jus’ get oveh it!” he ranted.

Jasmine walked in front of him, her face very serious. “Over what?”

He stayed silent and looked to the side. She repeated it, but it just spurred his annoyance, till finally he said, “I’m done.” He growled and turned away to walk out. As he was about to move, he felt a strong force land on his tail. “Ow! Wha’da‽” he turned as best he could with his tail pinned, to see an angry Jasmine with her paw firmly on his tail. “Ge’ off my tail!” he demanded.

“Not until you answer my question.” Her face was as firm as her tone.

“I sai’ I’m done!” He bluntly shot.

“Why are you suddenly stopping? You were fine talking to me about this before and now you just want to stop?” she pointed out, making him look to the side. “What is it with you‽ Why stop when you’re going so far?” She argued back.

“I don’ wanna tawk abou’ it!” He shouted.

“Why not‽” She replied, just as loud as he was.

“Yah don’ need to know,” he firmly stated, crossing his arms.

This answer just made Jasmine frustrated. Not this time. She ranted in her head.“Like I didn’t need to know why you beat that guy’s head in.”

This statement sent Ciecro’s eyes from angry to surprise.

Her face however remained unchanged as she when on. “Why you didn’t stop before you almost killed a mon, because he called you a name.” She moved her head very close to his, the discomfort showing by his attempts to make eye contact, “like you didn’t need to tell me how lost you felt without your Seliph and Jaron was who you were looking up to. Why you put up with Jaron like he is now and let him tell you what to do and walk over you anyways, despite you being the older one. You told me that after I talked with you after you hurt that sore loser, because you trusted me with that! What is it that when I get so close to you and talk about deep stuff, you suddenly shut down?” Her face was as determined as her stance.

These words, really cut deep in Ciecro. He wasn’t ready for an outburst like this, let along Jamine. His eyes started to form little tears clearly against his wishes. He darted his gaze away, as if trying to still compose the situation.

“Ciecro, please stop dodging me when I just want to help,” she pleaded in a much calmer tone. “I know it isn’t easy, but you won’t solve your problems like that.”

He was pissed. He clenched his fists in anger and looked her straight in the face. His teeth grinded as he responded, “Jus’ piss off wit dat!”

It was her turn now to be surprised.

But he didn’t stop there. “Yah keep on like everybody else! Tryin’ tah fix me ‘cos I’m som’ kinda sob poor little boy! Well I’m sick o’ it! I don’ wan’ yah help so fuck off wit dat!”

She returned her scowl back, annoyed at more resistance. “Maybe you do need fixing!” she replied without thinking, “what with how you can’t seem to handle your anger and frustration!”

The tension was hotter than a magcargo, as the two locked raging gazes. Jasmine’s strong stance and Ciecro’s slightly teary but incredibly pissed glare. After a few minutes of silence, he replied with, “Why do yah wanna know anyways‽”

Fed up, Jasmine decided to answer him, but she spoke before being composed. “Because, you, Jaron, Dolly and Vragon are my only family now and I don’t want to lose you like-!” She stopped. Her eyes widened upon realizing what she was saying. She looked away and then back to Ciecro, hoping he didn’t hear. But…he did.

His eyes were no longer the home of anger, but confusion. “Wha?” he said out loud.

Jasmine’s cheeks blushed from embarrassment and anger, and her legs felt wobbly. She immediately got of his tail and slowly stepped backwards.

Ciecro just remained silent, but his scowl returned.

“S-stop it!” she blurted out as if offended by him looking at her that way. “Just…forget I said that!”

Ciecro, gave a snort. He walked out with a scowl on his face, leaving Jasmine alone. When his heavy steps finally were replaced by silence. Jasmine fell to the ground on all fours, covering her face with her front paws. She began sobbing into them, mad at this fight, but mostly at herself. Idiot, idiot! Why did you say that!

Part 2: < O >

“So uhm…is there something up?” Jaron inquired as he followed Vragon to the back of the structure. As he turned into the back with Vragon, he looked up at the twilight sky above them. He looked back to his friend and asked, “You sure we should be behind the building when it’s getting this late?”

Vragon stopped and said, turning to face him, “I just well have something bothering me and want to talk about it.”

Jaron raised a brow, questioning why going behind the building was required, but he chose to not press for a reason, for now. As he rounded the final corner, he stopped. Vragon rested his back against the wall, looking directly up. Jaron joined him in looking up, then look back at the fraxure. “I get it now.” he grinned as Vragon nodded, keeping his gaze up at the appearing stars. “You’re such a sucker for scenery like that,” he playfully teased as he walked past and rested his back against the wall next to Vragon. He joined in watching the stars slowly showing more of their light as the sun gave up the sky.

“Jaron,” Vragon finally spoke, causing the croconaw to break gaze and give him his attention. “Do you think our lives are going to be different now?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, not exactly sure what Vragon meant.

“Like,” he explained raising one of his fraxure feet up and resting it flat on the wall. He looked at the wall in front of them. “These things that have been happening. Do you think something is going to happen to us, or that there’s something important in us that those guys are after?”

“Oh.” Jaron looked at the ground. “I never gave that a thought,” he said, following a little self-chuckly, “maybe I never really wanted to give it thought.”

Vragon gave him a curious look as the croconaw continued.

“I like the life we have. Sure, it could be better, but I enjoy it. I like being friends with you and Jasmine, being with Dolly despite her puns.” The two shared a little laugh at this. “And…I know despite how it may seem…I think Ciecro likes his life too.”

“You sure?” the fraxure inquired, surprising the croconaw.

“Well…he kinda isn’t obvious with it,” Jaron elaborated, drawing a few circles in the air with his right claw. “Why do you ask?”

Vragon didn’t answer immediately, but looked back at the sky. “I dunno, maybe it’s just me being paranoid.”

“For Ciecro,” Jaron joked, causing Vragon to give a little smile.

“I worry about all of you. It’s natural for me to and all. But…” his face went a little serious. “Jaron, remember when I said I want to find out who gave me that pendant?” The croconaw nodded and Vragon looked at him, “I’m worried it might not be what I really should do.”

“Huh? Why the sudden doubt?”

“It’s about earlier…what that gallade said about Averia and why I shouldn’t go there if I care about making my own choices. It concerns me.”

“Well Vray,” Jaron said, in a laidback but still caring tone, “You shouldn’t really take your attacker’s words to heart. After all,” he stood in front of his friend, looking into his eyes. “Even if he is right, that doesn’t change a thing for us.” Jaron then grabbed Vragon’s left arm with his right claw gently and slowly moved it up to his crest on his right shoulder. He then rested his left claw on Vragon’s crest. “We have a lot in common, more than being descendants of the originals.”
Vragon blushed a little, from the awkwardness.

Jaron just gave a giggle as he let go of both Vragon’s crest and arm. “Sorry, kinda got a little silly there.”

“Yeah you did,” Vragon jested as Jaron rubbed the back of his head with a fully tooth grin. Vragon then leaned in a little close, “Jaron, can I ask you something?”

Jaron nodded.

“You trust me right? You know you can talk to me about things.”

“Don’t I?” Jaron answered, confused why he was bringing that up.

Vragon put his claw on Jaron’s shoulder and looked deep into his eyes. “What you told me before about your worries about me. I’ve been thinking about what you said.”

Jaron’s face went from joking to embarrassment. “O-o-oh, yeah uh….sorry about that.” Jaron rubbed the back of his head as it was his turn to blush.

Vragon gave a smirk and chortled, “Oh but it was meaningful and it felt nice to be appreciated.”

Jaron gave him a scowl. “That was uncalled for.”

“True, heh.” The fraxure rubbed his snout with one finger and let out a little chuckle. He then dropped the joking and went to encouraging smile mode. “I’m sorry Jaron, I know you worry about me and the others, but I didn’t know it was that much.”

Jaron gave a sigh, dropping his frustration and accepting the apology. “You’re fine.” He gave a grin of assurance and the two looked back up at the stars. The mutual silence lasted for some time, before Jaron finally spoke. “Vray?”

“Hm?”

“Would you uhm…do something for me?”

The fraxure got off the wall and looked at his face. “What is it?”

Jaron got off the wall too and requested, “I’d like for us to promise to watch each other’s backs in this.”

The request confused the fraxure. He wasn’t exactly slouching in that area and it was safe to assume Jaron was already on top of it on his end. “Aren’t we already doing that?”

“No, I mean, things are getting dangerous and well….I know I’m kinda overbearing right now, but I’d just like some flexibility on it. Like, I can’t help but fret after these things and well since you know I’d like for both of us to watch each other, you know. So it ain’t just me.”

Vragon looked to the side for a second, surprising Jaron. The fraxure then looked back and reached out his hand. “Sure. I don’t know how things will turn out, but I can rest better knowing you and I will do it together.”

“Yeah!” Jaron nodded and put his hand into Vragon’s. The two shook on it. They just stood there for a few seconds before finally letting go.

Jaron looked down for a second, gaining the fraxure’s curiosity. “Something else wrong?” the fraxure asked.

Jaron chuckled, looked at him straight in the eye and was about to talk when suddenly a loud voice came from behind the fraxure.

“Why are you two back here‽” the two jumped up in terror and turned to see a rather pissed off Dolly. As they were trying to form coherent sentences, Dolly walked up and said, “It’s not a good idea to wonder into an alley at night. Now, get inside, we’re going to plan.”

“Yes mam!” they both shouted in unison, as they rushed past the angry Dolly.

She sighed, her anger going away as she looked at the spot where they used to be. She chuckled in her head at the thought of what they were doing.
“You coming?” Jaron said from around the corner.

“Yeah, just head back.” Dolly looked up at the sky and smirked. Hmm, all the more reason to get through this. She turned around and headed out. As she followed them in, she spied Seliph coming, still dripping some fountain water.

“Ensuring we’re all here,” Seliph joked, trying to not be direct about his frustration at their earlier discussion.

“Yes, we need to plan our next move.” She stood at the door’s side and gestured for him to “move it”.

He gave a sigh as he walked in first. Dolly gave one more look at the scenery before going in and shutting the door. She quickly caught up to Seliph and grabbed his shoulder.

“What now?” he asked, agitated.

“Did you see anyone suspicious or eyeing any of us?” Dolly inquired, in a serious, but unaggressive tone.

He raised his finger to his chin, trying to recall an incident. He shook his head. “We should ask the others at the meeting just in case.”

Dolly nodded in concurrence, but before they resumed she whispered to Seliph, “For now, I’ll go with what you’ve said. But know I’m not done with questioning you yet.”

“Of course.” He nodded as he shrugged her arm off his shoulder. “I wouldn’t either if I was in your hide. I’m aware your suspicion, which is why I have things to ask you once they are safe.”

Her eyes narrowed, but she nodded in agreement. “Alright, get dried off and join us.” She passed by him and headed up to the next floor.

He gave a little smirk. It’s a start for her I guess. He shrugged as he started looking for something to dry himself with.

Part 3: < O >

The moon shined down on a dirt path in the middle of a wide field as a gentle breeze blew through the plants growing all around. It was a quiet night out in the middle of nowhere.

A figure was speedily jogging down the path, as a bug in the air trailed behind him. His taillight was dimming in sequence with his wheezing.

“De-de-demetri,” he uttered amid his breaths, “We-we’ve been traveling for hourzzz non-zzztop…ca-can we take a br-br-br-break?”

Demetri didn’t reply, but kept going as if the bug hadn’t spoken at all.

Devon put more effort into his wings, making little grunts as his muscles were starting to numb. He picked up speed and slowly caught up to the grumping. He tried his best to keep up with Demetri and asked, “C-can we zzztop pleazzze? My wingzzz are zzztarting to grow numb.”

Demetri closed his eyes and gave a snarl, followed by an “alright.”

He slowed down his jogging to a stop as Devon did his best to make his landing as far from a ground embrace as possible. The grumping browsed around their surroundings, and raised a brow. “Devon,” he muttered, “how long do you need?”

“W-w-what?” he inquired, just now getting back on his legs.

“How long do you need to carry on?” Demetri elaborated in an annoyed tone. “We want to keep out of sight and trouble for our journey to Frantal.”

“I-I just need a fe-” he didn’t get to finish before clumsily falling over after a misjudgment on what weight his legs on one side could handle.

Demetri gave an agitated sigh as he sat down, crossed his arms and closed his eyes. He started grumbling a little to himself, causing Devon to feel ashamed.
“I-I’m sorry, sir.” He gave a bow towards the grumping, “I don’t mean to slow you do-”

“Don’t mention it.” Demetri replied, in more of a dismissing tone than one of assurance. He looked up at the sky and let out a sigh. Why the reverse was I given a different assignment while I was beginning to put some things together. Grrr. His ear twitched upon hearing a weird noise coming from his left. He turned his head slowly to see a teary eye, staring at the ground and sniffling Devon. He gave a sigh as he answered, “sorry I know you haven’t been on such a taxing mission before.” This didn’t seem to cheer up the bug as it kept its gaze at the ground, making Demetri start to feel guilty. “So…” he muttered, in an attempt to stop the crying, “how long have you been in training, Devon?”

The vikavolt gave one more sniffle before answering with, “about a year.”

Demetri eye’s shot open in disbelief. “You’ve been here a year and only now are being sent on an assignment‽”

The outburst from the surprise sent Devon startling back. By the time Demetri realized he had just defeated his attempts to cheer up Devon, he was under the audible punishment for his actions. Demetri grabbed his head at the crying static happening in his head, while Devon laid on the ground crying loudly and at the same time using a bug buzz.

“Dev-on,” Demetri shouted above the bug bawling, “you’re sending….ack!” he caught his forward fall with his right arm and managed to continue, “your crying and using Bug Buzz while doing it…It hurts me more…being a psyc-! Enough!” he lifted Devon telekinetically and shook him a little in the air. “Stop wailing! You’re causing me mental pain and stress!”

Devon stopped and just stared at a frustrated Demetri. His head then fell, embarrassed and ashamed.

Demetri gave a sigh as he slowly lowered Devon back on the ground. “I apologize for the roughness, but it’s important you control you audible moves so they don’t cause unintended damage. Clear?” Despite prioritizing an understanding tone, he could tell it wasn’t going to change anything. He just stood there looking at the depressed rookie. Demetri crossed his arms, closed his eyes and thought, this is more alongside Zak’s skillset. He looked at the path they had yet to travel and muttered to himself, low enough for Devon not to hear. “What would you do?”

Part 4: ( O )

Demetri stood in a dark room, his eyes were blindfolded and his breathing slow. He remained still and composed. Suddenly he leaned to the left, evading a slice from the dark around him. He rolled forward to evade a follow up slice, from something in the dark. Quickly raising his arms above his head, he crossed them to block a downwards chop aiming for his head. He pushed it away and cartwheeled away from his opponent back to his feet.

Demetri had barely made it back on his two legs before having to deflect a firm punch aimed for his face. “Getting tired Dem?” a voice mocked as it followed up with a side swipe, blocked by Demetri’s left arm.

The two began a small melee, the stranger unleashing a flurry of punches with Demetri blocking or parrying them. However, it wasn’t long before Demetri started to notice the trouble he was having to keep up. I’ll lose if I don’t do anything. He waited for that one punch…that one that would give him the opportunity.

Finally it came. A forward punch aimed for his chest was all Demetri required. He swiftly bent to the side, grab it with both arms, and was about to pull the stranger over him and onto the floor. To his dismay…he couldn’t do it. He pulled and pulled, but the stranger wouldn’t go along.

“Wha?” he exclaimed aloud as the stranger laughed.

“Dude, it fucking don’t work like that.” The figure then rolled his back to get off Demetri’s back and get out of the arm grab. Just as swiftly as his arm escape, he did a quick jab with the bottom of his fist to Demetri’s right chest, perfectly predicting the grumpig’s recovery procedure.

Demetri gave a grunt as he was knocked back, clasping his chest from the solid. He raised his free right arm to defend himself, but to his surprise there was no follow up.

“I think that’s enough Dem. Let’s take a break,” the opponent suggested as it walked away.

Demetri growled as he untied his blindfold and opened his eyes. Unfortunately he did so right when the lights were put back on. Demetri closed them from the pain, before slowly adjusting them back.

“Ah there we go.”

Demetri looked over to see a typhlosion activating an illumination orb that was connected to emeras on the ceiling.

“Here,” the figure said as he tossed a piece of cloth to Demetri, who caught it and wiped his sweaty face with it.

“Are we done?” Demetri asked amid a few wheezes.

“Dunno,” the typhlosion admitted walking over. His fur was slightly darker in color to the normal colors of the local typhlosion and his purple iris eyes were warm and inviting. “You’ve had enough Dem?”

Demetri looked over to the wall and sighed, “No, let’s continue.”

“You sure?” The typhlosion inquired, giving him a skeptical look.

“What now Zak?” Demetri asked in an annoyed tone.

“Oh nothing,” Zak replied in an upbeat tone, “we’ve just been sparring ten times straight with this being our first break. You think you should sit down for a bit?”

Demetri gave him a “half-shut eyes” look and said, “I can do more. Plus, I want to be absolutely prepared, meaning I can’t always rely on my psychic skills. This was your idea, so we might as wel-”

“Not what I mean,” Zak interrupted with a smile, frustrating Demetri in the process.

“Then pray tell what do you mean?” he asked in a rather cold tone.

Zak just gave a smirk and looked at him straight in his cerise iris eyes. He pointed straight at Demetri’s annoyed face. “That’s what I mean. You’re tense,” he got up and put his arm on Demetri’s shoulder, “you’re fueled on all that adrenaline we’ve been burning and if I know you.” He tapped Demetri’s chest for emphasis and a little tease at the grumpy grumpig, “it’s that you get pretty invested in a spar. So much that I can tell you’re getting annoyed with losing to me often.”

Demetri was almost offended by this comment. “What do you mean?” he demanded, turning to scowl at the grinning Zak, “I can take losses. Where did that come from?”

Zak laughed and patted him on the back, much to Demetri’s frustration. “I get it, you can take a loss. But what I mean is that when we spar you kinda show some of your less open feelings.”

Demetri gave a snarl as he crossed his arms and raised his nose, “What do you mean? You and I are open with each other about everything.”

“I know,” Zak said, in a less snarky and more caring tone, “I mean how you’re feeling. You don’t really like to share that even with me.”

“What person would?” Demetri countered.

Zak just gave a smile as he moved in front of Demetri and said, “No one and that’s what guys like me are for. Getting you to do it. So what’s up?”

Demetri stared back, un-phased by this. “Nothing,” he firmly stated.

Zak’s smile grew in length as he pressed, “you suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure?”

“Yes,” Demetri said just as sincere as the last.

“Really sure?” Zak continued.

Demetri growled. “Don’t make me throw you into a wall.”

Zak didn’t seem to care as he followed with, “You are frustrated about it aren’t you.”

Demetri looked to the side and stated, “You are crazy.”

“It’s about the admissions isn’t it?” Zak guessed.

“No”

Zak just kept his smiling stare on Demetri, who was trying to not look back.

“…… Well, it isn’t!..” he let out a sigh as he finally gave up. “Yes, it is you louse.”

“Heh, I knew it,” Zak answered a little boasting in his tone. He then leaned in closer and asked, “what about it is making you on edge?”

Demetri looked to the side, his eyes slowly changing from aggression to worry. “It’s……you think we’ll make it?” He pressed the question to Zak, as if wanting an affirming or encouraging answer.

“Probably not,” The typhlosion said, smiling making Demetri sigh at not presuming this would be the answer. Zak noticed Demetri’s disappointment and wrapped his arm over the grumpig’s shoulders again. He then motioned his free arm out to the wall as if pointing to the scenery.

“You know me and you are applying for this and we’re working hard to pass. So tell me, why are we wanting to go there?”

Demetri paused for a second, suspicious of this loose behavior, but finally decided to answer with, “So we can get a job.”

“’Kay but why this job?” Zak asked, subtly telling Demetri the answer wasn’t good enough.

The grumping sighed as he elaborated, “Because it’s where we won’t be a part of some community. We can operate our jobs alone and without having to worry about our pasts.”

“Good, good, so why is it so important to get this job?” He inquired.

“Where are you going with this?” Demetri asked, met only with Zak’s silence and gesturing with his arm to answer. “Grr….because we’d be set and not having to directly associate or work with authorities. So we can in others words, ‘start with a clean slate’.”

“Right, now one more question.”

Demetri gave him a stare, but with a little grin, “is it one sentence?”

Zak gave a smile back, glad to see Demetri was finally playing along. “Yes.” He looked back at the wall and said, “Will this be the dream job?”

“No…but if we don’t get it there’s nothing else for us. It took a lot for us to get his far so failure…” he paused as he looked down. “Is not an option.” His eyes scowled as he clenched his fist. He then gave Zak a skeptical look, “how was that supposed to make me feel better?”

“Simple,” Zak removed his arm and stood in front of an annoyed Demetri, “it means we will win.”

The answer confused Demetri. “How do you know?” he inquired, not totally on board with Zak’s claim.

“You see, you and I have been in the lower tier and only now do we have a shot to get out of the tier. We’ve worked hard and are learning all the ins and outs of how things work there. We’ve also done a good job erasing our unsavory stuff, while still keeping them in mind. Demetri,” he put his arms on Demetri’s shoulders, “we’ll win ‘cos you and I have prepared for a long time for this. We won’t lose ‘cos I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine. We can do this together, no matter what anyone says or what that,” he taps Demetri’s head with a finger, “says. Now why think of the possibility we won’t make it, when we’ve got no other choice but succeed.”

“I don’t quite follow.” Demetri looked down and gave a little giggle, “but I admire the dedication at least. Thanks” He looked up to Zak with a genuine smile. “As much as I hate it, I’m glad I’ve got someone like you by my side.”

“Now you’re just being mushy.” Zak laughed as Demetri blushed in awkwardness, “Don’t worry Dem. You’re my fuckbuddy and we cover each other’s flaws so we can win.”

Demetri nodded. “Zak…do you think…this will work? Even if we get this job that we’ll be fre-”

Zak looked to the side, his face seemingly filled with uncertain. “Let’s not worry about that right now.” He looked back, putting his chipper face on. “Now come on, let’s take a break. Saaaay…Oren Cider?”

Demetri crossed his arms, raised a brow and with a smile said, “Isn’t it a bad idea to get drunk when you’re just on a break?”

“Heh, fine well how does something less strong sound?”

“Hmm…” Demetri thought for a second, “Cones?”

“Hah!” Zak puffed, “what are you seven?”

“Well, then what?”

Zak just slightly shoved him towards the door, “we’ll take a browsing. Whatever to get us out of this place.”

“Fair point,” Demetri laughed as he went out.

Zak took a little look around the small room. The walls were cracking, and the room was quiet empty. He looked at his poke pouch that resided on the floor. He walked over and picked it up and looked inside. “Damn…not for long though.” An assuring smile covered his face as he flipped it in the air and caught it. He walked out and deactivated the illumination orb, filling the room with darkness. “Not long Dem…” he muttered as he quickly rushed out to the waiting Demetri out in the hall.

Part 5: < O >

Demetri stared at the night sky as he struggled to sleep. He looked to the side, watching the sleeping Devon a few feet away. He was glad Devon had settled down, even if he was still wearing a sad face. He looked over at the sleeping vikavolt. He felt guilty about his approach, but was he really wrong? He’d been debating ever since the bug fell asleep and still couldn’t shake how much of a jerk he acted to the newbie.

I mean…it’s his first time. So I guess it’d make sense for this. Though…why put me on this assignment with him? He growled as he laid on his back and gazed up. What is the core thinking?

He decided to get his mind off his “aimless” inner argument and browse his notes on the “former” assignment. He levitated a green orb from his bag and kept it hovering above his neck. He activated it with his telekinesis and a green hologram appeared out in front, obscuring some of the sky. He lazily looked at all the Helixol symbols on screen. He read each line as he slowly scrolled the screen down with his finger.

Amestria, I’m sure of it. It must be why the core was breached….there must have been something needed to be put there.

He let out a sigh as he telekinetically deactivated the orb and let it land on his chest. It’s a well thought out plan. Have a core breach, and thus delete certain data gathered from the cells.

He rolled on his side as he murmured in his head, The cells are invisible, but are limited in number and where they can be. Since they only really reside in areas that are above ground or natural in their element, unless they are required to move somewhere. If someone wanted and could, breaching the core would allow one to temporarily adjust the cells. Whether movements or time observing… He rolled to the other side as he continued. From what I’ve gathered, some Triaclians gave the items used for the breaching to the perpetrator. I also found the cell they…discarded. Still…tracking the cells aren’t easy, but not impossible. If one could get a cell it would allow an access port to the core’s network. But that’s not enough to just breach. It’d take some kind of carefully made link program. No one could do that, unless they have… his eyes widened at the thought. Knowledge of how it works. He got up and stared at the ground as he began thinking harder about it.

He finally decided to check who was going to investigate the breach. He physically pressed the orb and re-displayed the green hologram in front. After fidgeting with the image a little he was stopped by a sudden half red and half blue screen popping up. In both halves there were one Zygarde eyes. This startled him and almost made him fall over, but he managed to avoid the embarrassment, remembering those weren’t the real deal.

He cleared his throat and said, “Request permission to view. Nerve: 13411553259. Authorization: Zeta908PhiKorAlph144Sein.” To his surprise, it replied with the phrase, “Denied”.

“What? Did they take me off the review too?” he said to himself, raising his free fist to his chin. “That doesn’t make any sense‽” he ranted getting to his feet. He looked around the area muttering to himself, “where’s a blasted cell‽ Zyan and Gard need to explain why they took away my ability to review the investigation I was originally assigned to!”

He finally calmed down and look down, sighing. “What’s the point,” he growled, tossing the orb to the side. “They wouldn’t listen or care…They never do.” he plumped back on his rear, bent his back and cupped his right cheek in his right palm. “I might as well as get this assignment over with…find …Hmm…Seliph.”

He levitated the orb back to him, pulled up the hologram a third time, and tried to locate any data on Seliph. “Hmm…” he stroked his chin. “Huh?” he shot up as he read a section of data amid the other details about Seliph. “‘Father: Gathor, Mother: Freya’”

He looked down at the ground, his mouth open and his eyes squinting. “That Gathor?” he muttered.

Terms:

Helixol – a specific language encryption, created by the Core for the planet nerves to communicate. The code changes repeatedly to prevent translations becoming known. Makes use of Cyrptography.


#24

Contains: Language [13]

Chapter 24
Plans and Prerogatives

Part 1: < O >

“Okay, is everyone settled?” Dolly asserted to her troupe. She pointed to the map on the short table in the center and circled a little dot with the writing “Frantal Town” inscribed a third of an inch above it. “This is the suggestion to go. Now, we’re here in Vergium town,’ Dolly said, dragging her finger to its dot. “Now, it’ll take about two days if we break up the trip. There’s a travel rest area here. It’s a bit of a trip to it, being the mountain structure surrounding Mt. Travail, but it should be simple getting to Frantal after a rest. Now.” she took her hand off the map, crossed her arms, and gave everyone a good look. “What’s it gonna be?”

“Vergium,” Jaron firmly put down, his firm composer in his seat not budging like his answer. He kept his eyes closed and in a scowl. Not even a follow-up sigh from Vragon made him change.

Dolly nodded and turned to Jasmine. “Okay, one for Vergium. Jasmine?”

The absol seemed dejected, just staring at the map in front. “Frantal,” she lazily blurted out.

Dolly nodded to that as well. “Vragon?”

The fraxure looked at the map and scowled. He then looked at Jaron, who was still in his stiff position. He looked to the floor and in a slightly vacillated tone said, “Vergium” He slightly took a look at Jaron, who lowered his head a little and let out a little tension in crossed arms.

Dolly then said, “Two for Vergium, one for Frantal. Ciecro?”

The charmeleon was resting his back against a wall, seemingly lost in some tough thoughts.

Dolly repeated the question to Ciecro, who gave a grunt that he had heard. “Well?” she pressed.

He seemed to ignore her and gave a scowl to Jasmine. He looked at Jaron for a second too. He stayed silent, however, thinking hard about what to do.

This silence seemed to succeed where Vragon failed. Jaron opened his eyes to look at Ciecro confused. What’s he stalling for?

All eyes were on Ciecro.

As Dolly was about to repeat for a third time, he gave a growl and muttered for all to hear, “Frantal.”

Jasmine raised her head in surprise, Jaron’s jaw almost dropped, Vragon’s eyes stared in shock, Dolly remained quite unaffected and Seliph raised a brow. This reaction, made Ciecro feel a little awkward from the dumb attention and snarled, “Well, dat’s my vote. Yah two lef’ so vote.” He closed his eyes and relaxed against the wall, done with this.

Jaron looked down, somewhat awestruck by this. Why the fuck did he vote Frantal‽ Jaron ranted in his head, a scowl showing his feelings on that. His frustration only worsened by Seliph walking forward and stating, “Frantal” followed by Dolly ending with, “It’s decided then.”

Dolly stretched her arms upwards and followed with a content sigh. “Alright, get some rest, everyone. We’ll be heading out early in the morning.” She headed to the door, but before she left she gave a little glance to the surprised Jasmine and the distant Ciecro. Heh, smooth. She left.

Seliph followed suit, without saying a word.

Ciecro got off the wall and muttered, “I’mma go sleep. Yah heard ‘er.” he turned out into the hallway to head to his lodging, but was stopped before he made it by Jasmine’s voice.

“Ciecro…why did you vote Frantal?”

He paused for a second, but then resumed on.

She followed after him, asking him again. He just stayed silent, all the way till he reached his lodging and was about to go in.

“Ciecro,” she said putting her paw on the door. She thought for a second and looked at him with a sincere and worried face. “Did you choose it because…”

“Stawp,” he said in a tough but non-aggressive tone, giving her a less intense scowl in addition. “jus’…give me some space.”

Ciecro went through the door and was about to shut it, but Jasmine quietly whispered, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to-”

“Jaz…”

She looked at him, with a mix of anticipation and concern.

He kept quiet for a second before saying with a little grin, “Lateh…please.” He shut the door leaving Jasmine alone, to ponder those two words.

She gave a little grin and said, Alright…I won’t pry till you’re ready. She turned around and headed towards her room.

Back in the original room, Vragon and Jaron sat quiet. Jaron was pretty agitated, while Vragon was just confused.

The croconaw growled and muttered, “Why’d he do that? I thought he agreed with us.”

Vragon stood up and said in an upbeat tone, “Well…there’s nothing we can do about it now. But hey, at least it’ll be nice to get some mountain air.” Despite trying to lighten the mood, he didn’t really feel any better either. He walked over to Jaron and said, “It’ll be fine, Jaron.”

The croconaw didn’t reply. He just stared at the floor.

Vragon gave an agitated moan as said in a louder tone, “Jaron, stop thinking about it.”

Jaron looked back, turning his scowl to the fraxure. “Why are you getting tense with me?” He demanded.

Vragon backed off, assessing he wasn’t approaching this in the right way. “Look…there’s no point fighting with them. Let’s just get some sleep then me and you can go get some provisions with Dolly.”

“It…How are you okay with this?” Jaron inquired, his tone changing from defensive to uncertainty.

Vragon looked to the side. “I’m not…but we will be with them.” He looked into Jaron’s eyes, with his worried ones and placed a smile on his face. “They won’t let us down.”

Jaron gave a satisfied grin as he got up. “Glad you’re just as worried as me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself.” Vragon stared in annoyance at the window. “I don’t particularly enjoy feeling this way.”

Jaron just gave a little chuckle as he put his arm over the fraxure’s shoulder. “Thanks…don’t worry. You also got me protecting you.”

“Well, I guess I can feel a little better,” Vragon teased, “but I’d feel better if you and I got some provisions for ourselves in the morning.”

“What?” Jaron played along, “these not good enough.” He gave his signature grin and gesturing to the teeth.

“I have to see the appeal first,” Vragon jabbed with a grin.

Jaron grabbed Vragon in playfulness and tried rubbing his head. “More than you’ll ever have, punk.” The two laughed amid this struggle, letting their worries get lost amid enjoying each other’s company.

Part 2: < O >

Vex grumbled as he floated through a dark forest, making his way back to the others. “Grr…traveling all day and only stopping for a few hours, gah I don’t get enough for this.” He growled in his head as he glimpsed the edge of the forest. He braced his eyes, as he exited into the moonlight from the clearing. After his eyes adjusted, he looked forward and spied Siegfried and Trishula conversing at the base of Shimmer Hill.

Great, I bet I’m going to have to be the first fucking watch. He groaned in his head, floating on over to them.

“Did you bring it?” Siegfried inquired, as he and Trishula turned to face the sulking ghost.

“Yeah, yeah, can’t you see it here?” Vex chided, tossing a small parcel at Siegfried, who caught it and immediately began opening it. Vex then turned to Trishula. “Lemme guess, first watch?” he grumbled as he pointed to himself.

Trishula shook his head and said, “We press on.”

“What‽” Vex shouted, “We’ve been traveling for hours now!”

“Irrelevant,” The dragon dismissed, “Plageues must have reached his port by now. It shouldn’t take long for him to arrive at Crion city.”

“By boat,” Vex added, skepticism in tone.

“Even if it takes him longer than my initial guess…” Trishula looked at the starry sky, “it would be best to arrive there early.”

Vex wasn’t happy with this answer. “It’s a boat, it’ll take him at least two days Trishula. We don’t have to be ther-”

He was cut off by a Dragon Claw raised to his face, a mere two inches from his left eye. “Do you object?” The dragon said, a little snarl in his tone.

Vex scowled and uttered a, “no.” he turned around and just paced away. “Lemme know when we’re heading out.”

Siegfried, watched as Vex stomped off and sighed. “Here,” Siegfried said, handing the item Vex gave him to Trishula. He then went after Vex.

The dragon stared down at the small cube in his hand. He pressed a button on its top, shooting up a hologram displaying many charts and data. “Hmm…This should help Plagueus in his tracking,” he muttered as he shut it down and placed it into a pack on his belt. He looked at Shimmer hill, gazing at it with less scowling in his look than normal. He opened another packet in his belt and pulled out his red eyes diamond. He stared at it. Should I? He thought. His eyes thinned vertically as he remembered moments when he had gone against Azazel’s requests. He let out a little “Hmph” and shoved it back into the pack. He made his way up the round mound of Shimmer Hill till he reached the top. He stared at the moon, lost in thoughts.

“That fraxure,” he muttered to himself, “I’m certain. But, he isn’t the first…like Aegis.” He turned to gaze at the moonlit forest. “But even then, we can only go off what we know of the being and how they happen to look in common. What was he like I wonder?” he looked down at his left claw, raising it into view. “Our forefathers revered him as our starter. Perhaps, we strayed as descendants…”

He looked in the distance, remembering the stories Azazel had told him of the ancient Pokémon. His and Azazel’s ancestor.

Siegfried walked through dark forest, slowly gazing around looking for Vex. He stopped next to a tree for a second and said, “You there?”

“Go away,” Vex griped.

“No need to be nasty, Vex,” Siegfried defended.

“Well soooorry for getting pissed off at that dragon,” Vex said, phasing from the ground behind Siegfried. He kept his frustrated red eyes on Siegfried, who matched his gaze with the shorter mon. “I mean, isn’t he getting on your nerves too? It’s annoying that we don’t get any respect or say in this.”

“Yeah,” Siegfried agreed, looking at the tree, “but I suppose all we can do is work our way up.”

“Snorlax of a chance for that happening,” Vex grumbled, “no way we’ll move up without being special or some big opportunity. Face it Siegfried, we’re one step above ferals.”

Siegfried gave a frustrated groan and leaned against the tree.

Vex continued his tirade, “And to make it worse, we’re going to get managed by Plageues. The guy is a walking creep. We should be lucky to not have something bad happen to us.” His eyes scowled as he thought about the group they were after. “And it’s embarrassing for us to have to get sooo much help to capture some stupid kid.”

“Well…he could be the target. If that kid is Aegis’s reincarnation, we would be able to move up really easily by apprehending him,” Siegfried added.

Vex didn’t seem encouraged by it. “It won’t matter. Plageues will take all the credit and we’ll still be nothing but extra meat.” He picked up a rock and threw it at a tree. His eyes were filled with anger and somewhat despairing. “I joined so I wouldn’t be used like some yesterday’s seasonal worker. I hate this. I’d do anything to get out of this role and be up there, with Trishula, Plageues and Corivac. Being able to call the shots, knowing the info and not having to just obey, all that good stuff you know. But nope, it’ll never happen.” He threw another rock at the same tree.

Siegfried just watched him vent, indifferent but at least understanding how he felt. He kept his gaze on the frustrated Vex, as he threw another rock and another, saying the same thing but in a different way over and over, patiently waiting for Vex to end. Siegfried raised a brow as Vex finally stopped and just stood there wheezing in his frustration. “You done?” he asked, in a bland tone.

“Screw you,” Vex shot back, not happy about Siegfried’s lack of empathy.

Siegfried didn’t reply, but kept his gaze straight on Vex.

The ghost looked away and with a snarl said, “I don’t care; I’m going to get out of this rut.” Their thoughts were interrupted by the flashing light of his and Siegfried’s communication orbs. They pulled them out simultaneously. “What?” Vex asked, not even trying to hide his frustration.

The voice of Trishula said, “We’re heading out. Rendezvous at the base of Shimmer Hill.”

Vex groaned as he put his orb away.

Siegfried put his up in silence and walked past Vex. “Come on, let’s just get this over with,” he muttered heading to the spot.

Vex stood still for a bit before walking after Siegfried. ‘Over with’, heh. It won’t end…for grunts like us.

Part 3: < O >

“Come on, Come on, there’s gotta be something!” Demetri ranted as he stood there staring at a Zygarde cell on a tree. His eyes were shining the solid green aura as he communicated with the cell. “Grr…alright, give me the data file about Gathor then.” The cell made a little strange noise making Demetri growl. “Grr… Nerve: 13411553259. Authorization: Zeta908PhiKorAlph144Sein. I already told you this…stupid security.”

The cell nodded and its eye glowed green. Light green symbols, numbers and characters surged from the eye’s base to the top. The same process than happened to Demetri’s eyes as he received the data. “Okay, thank you.” The grumpig closed his eyes and took a breath, relieved there was no problem. He opened his cerise eyes and looked down at his orb. He levitated it with his powers and telekinetically pressed the button. The green hologram activated, and displayed a picture with a bunch of Helixol text.

“Hmm…Gathor,” he said to himself, as he browsed for the specific data he wanted. “Ah,” he said in victory at finding the spot, “’Offspring recorded 3: Seliph (species unknown), the other two names unknown.’…I knew it. So, it appears he’s one of his children…” his eyes went serious as he rested his back against a tree, the cell watching him with its bland stare. He resumed looking at the data. We have his data, but why not his children’s data? Why just a name “Seliph” being supplied? We didn’t know they existed except for what was reported and the recordings before was that he retired with his wife…hmm…wait? Was the data added to? If so, when? He got off the tree and tried to check for a date. Unfortunately it seemed unrecorded. He grumbled for a second, before just standing still, pondering. Suddenly something else came to his mind. I didn’t give it much thought before…but what if more information was found for it too?

He quickly turned to the cell and asked, “Is there any information on a, “’Nasch’s request’?”

The cell eye glowed again, and once more the data crawled. It ,however, ceased after several minutes of looking and replied with a shaking of its head.

“Hmm…” he looked to the side and got into his basic thinking position.

“D-demetri?” Devon spoke, slowly buzzing towards him.

The grumping turned to look at him and said, “Ah, Devon, you’re awake.”

“Yeah…” he answered, with a little bit of nervousness. “How are you?”

“Pleased actually.”

This answer lead to Devon tilting his head and widening his eyes in interest. “Pleazzzed about what?”

Demetri gave a sigh and turned to Devon. “I think I found someone important. You know that mon, Seliph?”

“Yeah?”

“Well…” Demetri took a few steps to give himself time to get his thoughts together. “I met his father…albeit a short encounter.”

Part 4: ( O )

“…Tell me everything…” Demetri said out loud, as he browsed the memory banks of the large feraligatr body lying in front of him. His eyes glowed a bright green light as he probed the memories.

As he did this, the bushes behind him began to stir. “Fucking arceus, this place is remote isn’t it?” Zak stepped out, picking out little pricks in his fur and giving a little whine from each one pulled. After sufficiently freeing himself, he walked over to Demetri and gazed upon the Pokémon Demetri was reading. His eyes curved into a serious scowl as he muttered under his breath, “Bastards”

“It’s no good,” Demetri admitted with a sigh as he removed his fingers from the body and standing up. “He’s passed and now his brain’s functions are down too.” He blinked, returning his eyes to their normal Cerise selves. He kept them locked on the victim. “I couldn’t get much.”

“It’s okay Dem,” Zak assured, patting his back, “it’s not like we were expecting to find a body here. Anyways, did you find out who did it?”

Demetri nodded. “It was a gang of mons…” he moved a clenched fist up to his chin while propping it with his other arm and continued. “They appear to match the reports on a cult called, ‘red eyes’. But…it appears they were here for a reason. At least that’s what Gathor told me.”

“Gathor?” Zak inquired, with a raise of a brow.

Demetri gestured to the dead feraligatr in front. “His name was Gathor. He and his family were attacked by these red eyes over something. I believe he said, ‘Nasch’s orders’ but I lost him before I could find out.” Demetri’s arms fell to the side and was followed by a sigh. “He had a wife and three children too.”
Zak’s eyes widened.

Demetri nodded, “Yes…I couldn’t get the names of the children though or even an image of them, but his wife was a charizard named ‘Freya’.”

Zak didn’t reply, but walked past Demetri.

“Where are you going?” Demetri inquired getting out of his thinking pose and looking at his walking friend.

“To scout the area. Maybe we can find the red eyes that did this,” he said in a determined voice.

Demetri gave a nod, and was about to join him. However, he suddenly stopped to think about something.

Zak rushed off, seemingly unaware of Demetri’s pausing.

Demetri turned to what remained of a burned house. He walked up to it and with his telekinetic powers, moved some of the burned boards. “Protecting something…that’s what it felt like,” He muttered as he moved another ruined beam out of the way. “Protecting what? The children?” He looked around the ruined structure, trying to find signs of anyone in there. He let out a sigh of relief. At least no one appears to have died in this building. He looked in the direction of the woods behind the house. “If the kids did leave, then where did they go?..Nasch’s orders…” he raised his fist to his chin and propped his arm with the other again. He stood there trying to make sense of the disjointed memories he had gotten from Gathor along with the scene around him.

It felt like a while later before Zak walked up calling out to him. “Dem!” he shouted, “what are you doing?”

This snapped the grumpig out of his thought process and turn to Zak. “Oh…just assessing this house. I think this had something important to him.”

“No duh, Dem,” Zak teased with a grin.

“No, not that.” Demetri gave a little scowl, before turning to look at the woods behind them. “Something else.”

Zak sighed and said, “I couldn’t find any red eyes or ferals…let’s check the outlying towns before reporting back.”

Demetri nodded in concurrence and the two left.

As they walked along the path on the way to the nearest town, Zak asked in a serious tone, “were there any other memories you saw?”

Demetri nodded. “Two that are of significance.” He curved his face into a scowl. “The mon that killed him was a white zoroark, that looked rather middle aged, but physical capable. A rather creepy thing.” He gave a jitter as the image of that Pokémon crossed his mind.

“And the other?” Zak asked, looking at his friend.

Demetri looked back at Zak and stated. “A thing called ‘Nasch’s orders’. I’m guessing his orders and commanding officer.”

Zak gave a little scoff at hearing “orders”. “Tck, guess he died in the line of duty.”

“Zak?” The typhlosion’s eyes were in a firm glower, leaving Demetri a little uneasy.

Zak crossed his arms and gave a growl. “What are orders, than just things to get you to do the work for someone else? And it looks like this guy and his family were the repercussions of these ‘orders’” he made gesture for emphasis on the “orders” part.

“That’s a bit assuming,” Demetri pointed out. “I mean, we follow orders.”

“Yeah, but you and me don’t really enjoy that.” He looked at Demetri with a less frustrated look. “We’re more than just our orders you know.”

“Perhaps he was too,” Demetri added, thinking his thoughts out loud. “Either way, thinking about this isn’t going to get us closer to getting the results.”

“Yeah.” Zak looked to the side, sort of annoyed having to return to their task. “Gotta keep the ‘core’ pleased and all,” He grumbled walking off.

Demetri followed in silence. Not quite agreeing with Zak’s sentiment on this situation, but at the same time understanding the hostility to topics like this. He didn’t like it either. The discomfort of thinking about “the core” made him a little angry too.

We’ll make due, He thought to himself, We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Same as it ever was. You and I, Zak. A little grin crossed his face as he followed the typhlosion down the path.

Part 5: < O >

“Wow,” Devon buzzed with interest, “and you never found thozzze attackerzzz.”

Demetri shook his head. “Nope, and eventually it was dropped due to well…nothing to go off of. At least with what we had, there wasn’t much.” He looked at Devon with some determination and a hint of haste. “But that’s changed now. I think I’ve found a lead, and luckily it’s in regards to Seliph.”

“Zzzo why are you doing thizzz?” Devon inquired.

“Because it’s my orders,” Demetri answered, rather confused he needed to tell Devon what one does when one gets an assignment.

“No, no, no,” Devon said with a little annoyance at being belittled in the brain. “You zzzeem invezzzted. Like you’re wanting to zzzolve thizzz.”

“Ah.” Demetri nodded. “Yes well.” He looked to the side. “That’s because I was asked to do it.”

“By the core?” Devon tilted his head.

Demetri gave a smirk as he corrected. “By that Gathor mon before he died. He asked me to take care of his kids. But he couldn’t give me the names before finally passing.” His eyes narrowed. “If this Seliph is indeed one of the children…it’s imperative I get to him.” Demetri turned to Devon and asked, “Are you able to travel on?”

Devon buzzed his wings a bit, displaying their vigor attained from the rest. “Yep!” he happily chirped.

Demetri nodded and immediately began rushing off down the path, with a buzzing Devon following.

The sun was slowly beginning to come upon the horizon as Demetri and Devon made their way swiftly down the path. Demetri’s face was strangely upbeat due to the leads he found. How lucky that this relates back to that case. Too lucky though. I never found out their names, so I couldn’t have recorded it. Zak didn’t know them either, so who then? The breach? But, why would it be from that, what’s to gain? Argh, it was probably some data discovered later. But I can say knowing this actually is pretty helpful. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. He looked down for a second as he ran. Then I’ll be able to fix things with you.


#25

Contains: Language, Crude Humor, Slurs, Sensual Conversation [14]

Chapter 25
Descent (Pulse)

Part 1: < O >

Rosa gave a little snarl as she stared at some ruined building, the site of this next meeting. It looked like a mess, but only worse inside she assumed. The top was missing and everything else gave off this, “dirty” and “breaking” atmosphere.

“Grr…I can at least get why here,” She grumbled, “no one in their right mind would think this place isn’t structurally unstable let alone a meeting place.” She stopped for a second to give one more look at the scenery before going through a large hole in the building. The moon was shining brightly over a lake below with a forest building its way up the mountain before shallowing down to nothing at the elevation she was. “…at least this is quiet.”

Upon entering, she was surprised to see the lack of well…anything. Just some occasional broken boards or fallen wall, but for items to fill it up, there was nothing. “What was this place?” she mused aloud.

“Some barracks more than likely,” a gravelly voice informed her.

Despite this surprising intrusion, she only gave a little flinch before realizing who it was. “Oh…they sent you here too?” she lazily asked, turning around.
She looked with a “half closed” gaze at the roserade in front of her. Her head petal was light purple near the base with it slowly transitioning to white. Her leafy body was a calming green, and her bouquets were blue and red respectively.

“Yes, shocking isn’t it,” she replied with a little mischievous grin, “sending two lovely attractive ladies here to set things up for gentlemen.”

Rosa didn’t reply but just kept up an unconcerned look. “Let’s just get this over with.” She walked into the large room that covered the entire building’s perimeter.

“Oh, why in such a rush Rosa?” the grass type asked with a little-honeyed titter at the end.

“Because unlike you, I don’t find moving pillars for tables any more appealing than sitting in a room doing nothing.” She levitated such a pillar with her telekinesis and set it somewhere for the first area. “Now, make yourself useful.”

“Already did hon,” the lady flower whispered.

“Huh? Where?”

“Where else, but a nice lovely little basement,” She answered, pointing her bouquet hand at a spot covered by some rubble. Rosa gave her a skeptical look, but was just answered with a suspicious smile from the associate. “What are you waiting for?” she asked, a little fake confusion added.

Rosa just kept her grumblings to herself as she levitated the large rocks out of the way, revealing a staircase going underground. She headed down without a word, soon followed by her much more playful and annoying helper.

The path was lit up by an illumination orb she kept floating two feet in front of her. For a few seconds, it was just tense silence, before Rosa scowled at more bitch questions from the girl behind her. “So, how’s was Brielle?”

“Boring,” she mumbled.

“Well with that attitude no wonder,” she teased at Rosa, “I bet you’d like to bring down the ceiling at some get togeth-”

“How about I bring down the stair’s ceiling on you?” Rosa said back, below a shout but with the aggression of one.

“Nasty,” she laughed in response, only aggravating Rosa more, “no boy is going to fall for that prickly of a demeanor.”

“Why don’t you fill your whore mouth Delilah,” she muttered to herself. She let out a little tense snarl at a laugh from behind.”

“Call me Del, love.”

Rosa got a little shiver from the tone. How about I call you “mute” when I rip that trap of a tongue out of your mouth and shove it into one of your eyes sockets! She ranted in her head. Thankfully, she reached the bottom of the stairway by the time she finished her inner threats.

She looked around the room and had to admit to herself it was better than expected. It looked like a minor Amerstrian senate chamber, but a lot less grand and straight to the point. She looked at the three circles of stone, all set up and crafted like connected seats for a play.

“So…if you have this done then-”

“Why are you here?” Del interrupted. The Roserade gave a little smirk at Rosa’s annoyed grunt as a response. “Well,” she began, “we have to keep this place secured till the girls and boys get here.”

Well joy, she complained in her head, however long with this bitch. She gave a groan in frustration as she sat down on one of the circles, crossed her arms, one leg over the other and sulked.

Del, walked over to a wall on the side and gave a look at how it was holding up. “Wonder how old this is?”

This question surprised Rosa a little. “You ‘wonder’?” she said, raising a brow, “that’s not like you.”

“Well,” Del said with a smirk, “maybe if you get out of your sour patch of a room you’ll get to see Pokémon that are more than they seem.”
Rosa turned her head and pointed her face upwards.

Del, slowly walked along the wall, moving the petals on her left arm across it while looking at it. “Hmm…Rosa, what race are you?”

“Why do you care?” She inquired, so swiftly it was just short of offended.

“Oh nothing.” She stopped and stared at the wall. “Who was your master?”

Rosa didn’t reply immediately. She just looked at the side.

Del just gave a laugh that was grating to Rosa’s head. “Well, not feeling in a sharing mood then, well.” Del looked at Rosa and leaned against the wall, “Mine happened to be one of our higher members.”

Rosa gave her a look of indifferent sympathy rather than interest. “…Veranium?”

“Nope”

“…Plagues?”

“Heh, no a currently dead one,” Del hinted with a smile.

“And suddenly I don’t care,” Rosa sarcastically stated, looking away from Del.”

“True,” Del replied, sitting a ways away from Rosa, “doesn’t do a mon good for their teacher being killed.”

“You seem awfully okay with it,” Rosa subtly shot.

“Oh he wasn’t much,” Del said out loud. She then looked at Rosa and playfully asked, “You sure you don’t want to share.”

Rosa just scowled.

Del then wrapped her arms around her torso and sighed. “Could you imagine getting one of them?”

“‘Them’ who?” Rosa asked, raising a brow amid her scowl.

“One of those really high level leaders.” She said, looking at the ceiling as if trying to picture them. “Ooh I know,” she chirped squirming in her seat. “Which one would you have?”

Rosa rolled her eyes. “Don’t care,” she grunted.

“Sure you don’t.” She quipped. “I bet it’s Daemon.”

“No”

Del thought for another guess. “Ah, Veranium. He’s interesting.”

“And a stuck-up.” Rosa flicked her hair with a twist of her head.

Del, covered a giggle with her flower hands as she suggested, “Plagueus?”

“Arceus no!” Rosa reciprocated with a shout.

Del thought some more, “Azazel?”

“Getting much colder,” Rosa huffed.

“Why not?” Del asked, “I mean it’s not like you’re dating him. Plus you’d get near that young haxorus of his.”

“Trishula?” Rosa turned her head to Del, “What’s so appealing about him?”

“Well.” Del rolled over on her stomach and looked at Rosa, “He’s hot for one thing.”

“Of course,” Rosa interrupted with a passive remark and an eye roll to add.

Del cleared her throat to indicate she wasn’t finished yet. “He’s also: quiet, intelligent and loyal.”

“To his goal.” Rosa mentioned.

“Goal?” Del inquired, getting interested as shown be her getting up onto her knees.

Shit! Rosa cursed in her head. She tried to find something in the room to divert the discussion to, but couldn’t find anything before Del started pressing her like a little girl.

“Oh what goal? Tell me, tell me, tell me,” She pestered.

“No,” Rosa rebuked, “it was a long time ago’ I dunno if he even still has it.”

“Oh?” a nefarious smile curved over Del’s face, “you’ve known him for a while?” She moved a little closer and asked, “What’s he like?”
“Grow up,” was all Rosa said.

Del just gave a little laugh. She looked up at the rock ceiling and said out loud, “I wonder what your goal is Rosa?” Rosa sorta shifted a little, catching Del’s attention in the process. “You do have one right?” Del inquired.

“O-of course, Del,” she defended. She crossed her arms closely.

“And what is it about?” Del pressed further, earning a scowl from Rosa.

“None of your concern.” Rosa got up and was on her way out when Del said in a serious tone.

“Be careful…”

This caught Rosa off guard, as she spun around. “What do you mean, ‘Be careful’,” she demanded in an angry tone, that in all fairness was more caught in the moment than sincerely angry.

Del just stayed silent with a serious face on. She leaned onto her back, looking up at the ceiling. “They say, that moving up has its rewards. But I wonder…what those ‘rewards’ are. You see the ones that are above our little council, and the kinds of Pokémon they are…it’s enough to make you wonder what you would be should you become one.”

Rosa stayed silent at this, honestly taking those words into her mind. What is she talking about? She thought, before an even more judging question came out vocally, “Why are you talking about this?”

Del just shifted a little, looking up. “Just curious…maybe even, concerned. Rosa, you met with Trishula right?”

“Y-yeah.,” was her reply.

Del rolled off her back onto her stomach again, looked at her with a fixed gaze and said in a tone not like her playful self. “Can you say he’s the same Pokémon as when you met him?”

Part 2: < O >

“…Hm…h-huh?” Vragon moaned as he slowly opened his eyes. “Is it morning already?” he grumbled as rolled over to try and get comfortable, closing his eyes for more sleep. In his drowsy state, he didn’t notice at first he was lying down on something flat. “Hmm…huh? The floor?” he opened his eyes slowly and saw only darkness. “Wait…is it still night?” He was very perplexed, though he attributed to his tiredness. He sat up and looked around. Everything was dark. Everything was quiet.

“…Huh? This…am I in a soul link?” he muttered out loud, trying to get up on his sleepy legs. “But I don’t remember doing it with anyone. Reverse, I think I was asleep. Did someone do it with me while I was asleep?” He looked around trying to make sense out of all this.

It was only after he had fully woken that he felt it. It was like a little vibration, reverberating to a slow steady beat. He felt it through the ground and all through his body. What? He thought, even more confused by this.

He looked in the direction he presumed it was coming from and debated on what to do. Should I? I mean…if this is a soul link, then sitting around doing nothing won’t bode well. I mean, who would do a soul link with me while I was asleep? Seliph? Maybe…or is this even a soul link? Could it be a…dream? He took a few steps towards the origin of the consistent vibrations. Well…no good just sitting here if I’m in a dream or a soul link. Maybe I’ll find something about myself or whoever did this if I look.

He started jogging in that direction, his fraxure feet noiselessly pacing on the cold floor below him. It felt…weird. He figured this was his soul link, but it felt different. Colder. It wasn’t like any other ones he’d initiated with Jaron, Ciecro or even Seliph. “What’s going on?” he mumbled as he pressed on.

After some minutes of running he stopped as he heard a sound. Wha? He shot to listen in case it came again. It passed along with the constant vibration and the sound was familiar. A…pulse? He started walking towards the direction of the noise, getting more and more curious as the sound grew louder.

As he looked closer to the darkness in front, he started to see some light. What is that? He started to run over towards it, but was suddenly set upon by the vibration suddenly surging violently. He fell forward, but managed to catch himself and looked around. His jaw hung open as he slowly turned around to see a huge monolith. In the upper half of the plain stone monolith was some large strange rectangular stone, pulsating a dark blue light alongside the vibration beat. He turned around, once again facing the light that had caught his eyes earlier.

“…What is going on?” Cautiously, he resumed his path to the light shivering a little. Suddenly he stopped as he noticed something strange. The purple light from the monolith, seemed to stay just as bright behind him. He turned around again, but this time he was shocked at what he saw. The stone in that monolith was floating, pulsating inside some silhouette emitting a strange dark blue aura. His breathing slowed as he just stood there as the silhouette slowly began taking an enormous shape.

It’s arms slowly grew bulky with dangerous claws, it’s biped legs stretched till it’s inward pointing toes touched the dark ground, It’s body large hunched over slightly sprouting a head from the top that seemed more like a war helmet with eye holes rather than face. Its body was a rather mid-shade of silver, with straight lines of dark blue coursing to areas of his body, but all coming from the monolith in the center.

The thing slowly moved towards him. Vragon finally snapped out of his frozen fear and began running from it. What is that thing‽ he shouted in his head, not giving the creature another look as he rushed towards the blue light ahead. As he ran, he noticed something odd about the ground ahead. The blue light was reflecting on the ground in front of him, but strangely not for the area ahead of him. He braked his run, narrowly stopping before falling over a cliff into the darkness below.

His breathing sped up and he started to shake. He had narrowly escaped falling into the void below. He slowly turned around, terrified at his close encounter only to be cornered by this thing after him. He looked up to see it towering over him; it’s head seemingly looking at him though he couldn’t tell due to it not having eyes or even sockets for them. “S-s-stay away,” Vragon shouted, slowly backing to the edge.

The massive armored dragon like creature didn’t comply. It slowly walked towards him and began raise it’s right arm. Its armor like claw with very sharp fingers widened as if it was going for a slash.

“W-wha? What do you wa-?” he didn’t get to finish. The creature swung down upon him. Vragon’s nerve broke and he fell backwards, managing to avoid the slice but falling into the darkness below.

He was in free fall, spinning around uncontrollable. He was screaming in the darkness as he went deeper and deeper, the large figure above him slowly going out of sight. As he dove further, his mind suddenly was assaulted by all kinds of voices. Some he recognized, but others were unfamiliar. He clasped his head from the sheer overwhelming stress and terror it was causing him.

You will live here now-

My name is Jaron, what’s your na-

certainly you can attest that there are things-

What do you want me to do‽ What can I do‽-

I understand, but I’m conceren-

You take after your father a lot.

You miss him, don’t y-

You cannot surpass lim-

-under the false idea we know what we’re doing.

This needs to be don-

-ther, wait!

Is this what you intende-

I’ll miss you, all of y-

-I hope so to

I’m always proud o-

Let’s make a promise together, you and me.

Vragon shot up from his bed, breathing heavily and clasping his chest. He looked around frantically. It was the room he was staying in. It took him a minute before calming down and just taking a moment to process it all. “What was that thing?..There was that monolith. Was it its core? Also, what was that blue light an-and all those voices. ‘Promise together’ what does that mean? What did I promise?” Vragon reached for his pendant on the desk and looked at it as best he could with only the moon for light. “Are you related to that?” he asked his pendant. He let out a sigh. I’ll worry about that tomorrow. He put it back on the desk and tried to go back to sleep.

Part 3: < O >

Jaron was rolling in his sleep, from one side of his bed to the other. “…Stop it.” He mumbled over and over. “St-stop it, don’t go. V-vray come back!” He shot up in a start, breathing heavily. After a few seconds of heavy breathing, he took a solid big breath and groaned, “It was a dream.” He got up and looked outside. The sun had risen and the sky was alight with morning orange, red and purple. He slowly got off his bed and looked outside, silent.

I have a bad feeling. He crossed his arms and began rubbing them, as if he was cold. He shook his head and gave a determined scowl at the sky. No, I’m just being silly. Letting a dream like that get to me. He gave a little self-chuckle. He walked out into the hallway and gave a stretch in there. “Whelp, better wake up Vray, like we agreed to.”

He strode on over to the door where Vragon’s lodgings were. He knocked on the door and after giving a yawn he asked, “Hey, you up?” There was nothing but silence. “Vray?” He must be asleep. Jaron slowly opened the door and looked inside. To his surprise Vragon wasn’t there. He rushed into the room scared. As he looked around he noticed a note on Vragon’s bed with his pendant on it. He pulled it out and let out a breath of relief.

“Don’t scare me like that,” he muttered to himself as he walked out. He made his way to the end of the hall and went up the stairs to the roof. Upon reaching the top, he opened the trap door to the top of the roof. He looked around and sure enough there was Vragon, staring at the sunrise from the ledge on the building.

“Next time lemme know before you go wandering off,” Jaron chuckled, surprising Vray in the process.

“Oh, you’re up now.” The fraxure gave Jaron a grateful smile.

“Yeah, especially with the scare you gave me,” Jaron teased, making Vray feel a little guilty. “So, what’s with the early morning thing?” He inquired walking over and sitting next to Vray on the edge of the building, letting his legs dangle down over the side.

“I mean, I like sunrises Jaron. You of all Pokémon know that.”

“Well, it’s kinda odd to do it when we’re leaving in the morning. Having after thoughts?”

Vragon gave him a “really” look and raised one brow. “Isn’t that more your area currently?”

“Maybe,” Jaron said, looking down. This melancholy answer took Vragon by surprised.

“Jaron, are you okay?” Vragon leaned in closer to check on Jaron’s spaced out face.

“Hmm…yeah why?” the croconaw said, moving back a little at Vragon suddenly leaning in close.

“…Are you sure?” Vragon asked, giving a skeptical look at Jaron, “I’ve seen better attempts at you playing it cool.”

“Okay, okay, you got me,” Jaron admitted, a little annoyance in his tone. “I couldn’t get it out of my head and having some dumb nightmare didn’t help.”

“Nightmare?” Vragon repeated, his eyes widening as the image of his own flashed back into his memory.

“Yeah,” Jaron said with a sulky tone and crossing arms to match. “Like, I know it sounds cheesy or silly, but … lately I’ve just had thoughts about-”

“About what?” Vragon asked, switching his attention back to Jaron.

“…Argh, like I can’t stop thinking about that dragon and his goons and attacking and just hurting or killing you. I don’t want to think about it, but it won’t go away.” Jaron rest his arms onto his croconow knees and just looked at the ground three stories down.

Vragon just remained silent, joining him in the view to the ground. “I had a nightmare too,” Vragon admitted.

This time it was Jaron to turn and look at Vragon. “You too?” he asked, in a anticipating but not in a happy way tone.

Vragon just kept his gaze on the ground and murmured. “It didn’t make sense. It was weird and…” he let out a sigh. “Jaron…I can’t help but get the idea that something is out there. Something bigger or some kind of thing.”

“Like those red eyes?” Jaron look back at the ground and scowled.

“Don’t worry, we promised we’d watch each other’s back and all.” Vragon turned and gave an encouraging eye closed smile, a rather sudden shift that even made Jaron feel awkward.

“Yeah.” Jaron nodded after being won over. He held out his fist, which was firmly bumped by his dragon friend. “To Frantal town I guess.”

“But first those supplies.” Vragon got up and stood on the ledge. He stretched out his arm at the sun as if trying to catch it, though not closing his fist.

“You know, you do that a lot,” Jaron mentioned, standing up as well.

“I dunno, I like it when the sun is level with us and I can just reach forward as if grabbing myself or whatnot…that was a terrible way to word it.”

The two shared a laugh and got down. They swung their respective arms over each other’s shoulders and headed for the door to the 2nd floor.

Part 4: < O >

Darkness was all around in a large room. There was rubble of stones and broken pillars littering the area, the only area that seemed clean from the gravel was a large circular stone pedestal. It stood in the ray of light coming from a circular window. The design depicted a rectangular like door in a sea of red, purple, yellow, dark blue and orange stained glass. This light made the darkness around seem all the more thick and the light in the center seemingly more pure in the haziness of smoke that it shown.

The light shined down upon a figure in the center. It was slightly hunched in anatomy, but was looking up at the window. Its arms were at its sides and it seemed to be floating. It wore a black outfit, with strong fabric that covered its body. His sleeves were drooped down along with his arms, but curved forwards near the wrist along with the hands. This figure just looked at the window in silence and stillness.

As he stood in the light another figure appeared in the circle, illuminated. He wore an outfit like the other being. A small sliver of the face was visible through the reflection underneath the hood, from some metal as part of a helm. This figure was larger than the one in the center. At the end of his sleeves were two massive gauntlets with sharp claws. This stranger stood on the edge, in silence.

“…What is it?” A deep mechanical like voice inquired from the figure in the center, keeping its gaze on their only source of light.

“I wish to hear of your progress in Amestria.” A much deeper, bass sound came from the other’s suggestion of inquiry. The larger mon folded his arms back behind is back.

“That is my concern…however, I will inform you that everything is going well. We have some senators in talks with us.”

“…Is the progress, satisfactory?” The larger one asked, tilting his head slightly with his hood following.

“Patience Pathos,” the other one declared with a hint of pride, gesturing one arm to his left, “it is better to ensure quality rather than rush something as large as this. I assure you, it will be ready.” The figure then slowly turned around and looked at the other mon. Two thin red eyes lit up beneath his hood as he addressed the one near the darkness. “And what of your mission? How does it fair?”

Pathos returned his arms to his side, and replied with a deep tone through the voice distorter. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate the target. However, my other mission bodes well.” He then took a few steps forward and looked down at the thin red lines staring back at him. “Azazel…I’m curious about you sending your apprentice to Triacal. What are you planning?”

“Rest assured Pathos,” Azazel replied, “I merely sent him to continue the mission I gave him.”

“Mission or obsession?” the other questioned, crossing his large arms across his the chest area of his cloak.

“You are quite the intruder Pathos. I don’t ask how you and your apprentice handle things.” The other remarked, not so much offended as pleased by this passive aggression. “How is the little one?” he inquired with a slither at the end.

“He is better.” Pathos looked past Azazel to the window. “I am pleased with his progress.”

“Indeed,” Azazel slithered a reply, turning around halfway to look at the window as well. “Trishula will make a fine member I’m sure.”

“Are you sure he will be elected?” Pathos inquired, raising a clenched gauntlet fist to the base of his hood.

“Undoubtedly, if he is able to control himself and handle the struggles there is no need to worry. I’ve ensured that his former likeness is all but replaced.”

Pathos removed his arm from its spot and with a firm but still indoor volume blurted, “Your methods are cruel.”

Azazel gave a dark laugh as he looked back at Pathos from under his hood, “And you believe yours are superior? You may garner my respect, but not for your wisdom.”

“…Why did you choose him?” Pathos inquired, tensing his arms crossed across his chest, “did you have an intended purpose for him?”

“I saw something…lethal in there. Potential I didn’t want wasted on a culture that refuses to truly weaponize the true inner nature of mons. What I have brought is a mon that will indeed defeat Aegis. I’m sure of it.”

“And if he comes short?” Pathos asked, uncrossing his arms and looking directly to Azazel.

“Then he will have been the footstool for the next.” Azazel turned to Pathos. “Was there something about yours that gave you the desire to make him your apprentice? Did you sense potential in him?”

Pathos walked past Azazel and looked up at the stained glass high above them. “…No…”

“No? So was it simply just your act of mercy?” Azazel looked at Pathos from behind.

“…Yes.” He turned to look at Azazel, one large solid red light appearing from under the hood.

“Be careful Pathos,” Azazel said, floating over to join him at the side, “attaching yourself to someone isn’t like you.”

“Don’t warn me Azazel,” Pathos softly rebuked, “I haven’t forgotten my true goal and promise.” Pathos return his gaze to the window. “I wonder…what Aegis was like.”

“No doubt like other Pokémon, just with more responsibility,” Azazel answered, joining him in gazing at the window. There was only silence for a while between the two, merely gazing at the window reflecting light through its beautiful colors onto them.

Pathos then turned his head to Azazel and said, “Are you going to apprehend him?”

“If he is the one we’re after, it is a priority. After all, Aegis is someone we require. Though, there is still much time before our next phase can occur.” Azazel turned to look back at Pathos and asked, “What of Mephiles’s plans?”

Pathos shook his head. “He’s all but focused on his…project. He believes it will be optimal in acquiring the originals. Though…I trust you had his guidance in going after Aegis.” Pathos turned to face Azazel and with a cold tone in his distorted deep voice said, “He is the best means for us to find him after all.”

Azazel just gave a chilling laugh as he looked back at the window. “Pathos, Pathos, we have many paths we can tread with many ways to travel them. They all will lead to the same ending. Our victory and truth.”

Pathos looked back at the window and muttered, “Truth…” his fists tightly clenched, earning Azazel’s stern attention. Pathos gazed up at the window, turned around, and walked out slowly.

“Where are you going?” Azazel inquired.

Pathos stopped and remained silent. He then turned his head slightly and said, “It’s time I pay another visit. I need reassurance once more.” He left.

Azazel just let out a little dark chuckle turned back to the window and muttered out loud, “Reassurance indeed.” His head fell slightly as he closed his eyes and grinned underneath his mask. I will first meet with Trishula in Brielle and set him on his next trial. He suddenly moved his head up slightly once more to the window. Jetze Trishula, wirst du bald die Wahrheit aufdecken. Natürlich, wirst du von sich selbst lernen.

Terms:

Jetze Trishula, wirst du bald die Wahrheit aufdecken. Natürlich, wirst du von sich selbst lernen. – “Now Trishula, you will soon discover the truth. Naturally, you will learn from yourself.”


#26

Contains: Language

Chapter 26
Traveling … Joy

Part 1: < O >

“Okay, let’s run through this again,” an energetic Dolly said to her not as thrilled group, as they stood at the edge of Vergium’s main street, leading out of town.

“Come on, we’ve already checked four times,” Jaron groaned, cutting her offer before she could start.

He swung his travel pack to his other shoulder. “I think we’re good.”

Dolly just gave a little chortle patting Jaron on his head, much to his annoyance. “Come now Jaron, this isn’t some simple travel trip. We’re going to be walking for hours so we have to make sure we’re ready. Wanna make this as enjoyable and problem free as possible, after all.”

“Odd that you’d take something like that with such anticipation,” Vragon muttered, equally disgruntled about her bubbly demeanor.

Dolly turned to the frustrated fraxure to share some of her sunshine with him. “Come now guys, this is something I really enjoy. Hiking is good for your muscles anyways and we get to pass by Mt. Travail. Some neat sites to see and whatnot.”

“It’s almost like you forgot we’re heading to Frantal town as a risk of being attacked by crazies.” The croconaw looked to the side and scowled and a little frustrated grunt.

Dolly was about to reply, but was beat to it by Seliph. “Come now Jaron, it won’t be so bad. Besides, a good trip might have more than you’d expect,” the greninja encouraged. Jaron just turned his head further, making Seliph sigh.

The croconaw then looked back at the town and with some snarling parsed between his words. “What’s taking them so long? What are they doing, making out in some alley?”

“Jaron!” Vragon objected walking up to a surprised Jaron, “They wouldn’t do something like that.”

However, his stern gaze shifted to a mischievous smile in an instant as he followed with, “They probably are just holding hands as they shop for something berry juice to share on the trip.” He gave a playful punch onto Jaron’s shoulder. Jaron gave a happy smirk and opened his mouth to add another comment.

“Okay, that’s enough you two,” Dolly interjected putting her big hands on one of their shoulders. “Don’t get all silly with it. After all, they need to-”

“Don’t you dare!” the two shouted in unison, leading to her laughing.

“I’m just playing with you two,” she stated with a smile, “I’m sure they’ll be here soon. Just do me a favor and try and survive the next few minutes.”

“Excuse me!” Vragon objected.

“Well I’m just saying, Vragon, they’ll be back in a second.” She stood up and rolled her arm.

“How do you know?” Jaron inquired, not buying Dolly’s answer. The two stood in front of her, giving her serious gazes.

Dolly had her audience. She cleared her throat and said, “Because,” paused and then finished with the punchline, “it’s second nature to me.”

“Fuck you!” Jaron shouted, turning around swinging angrily.

“Why do you do this to us‽” Vragon exclaimed, equally angry and active, “Why do you make us suffer?”

Dolly just laughed and patted the two on their heads. “Because you both help make the hour go by in minutes .”

“That doesn’t even make sense,” Jaron accused.

“Ah, so you noticed. My Jaron, you’re very wary today.”

There was only silence. Jaron looked on the verge of killing, Vragon was more concerned about Jaron’s wellbeing and sanity and Dolly had her mischievous devil smile on.

Seliph took the opportunity to put a few steps in between him and the three. He headed for the side of a building, pulling out his Norfarion badge. He turned back to see Dolly having Jaron and Vragon in headlocks with Dolly’s arms as they struggled to get their hand on her shouting most, unsavory things and grab her while she merely laughed in a playful manner. He walked around the side and leaned on the building’s wall, and waited till he was certain they were too busy cutting up to notice. He pulled out the badge and pressed the button, pulling up the holocaster. He whispered to the badge, “Seliph, code: pi in the sin of a unit circle results in a zero tolerance and therefore a simple false of an answer.”

It didn’t change, leading him to give out an annoyed groan. He looked around the corner to see if they were stull cutting up. His eyes widened in surprise to see Jaron was on Dolly’s back hanging trying pull her down while Vragon was trying to get to her, but still being held back by one of her hands while the other one was trying to get Jaron off. Vragon was roaring Jaron was cursing and Dolly was laughing really hard. Seliph just watched the scene for a few seconds before going back around the wall out of sight. A relieved sigh came from his mouth and he turned back to the holocaster. After clearing his throat, Seliph said to the badge in a louder tone. “Seliph, code: pi in the sin of a unit circle results in a zero tolerance and therefore a simple false of an answer.”

It accepted the second answer and displayed a request for who to send the message to. He said, “Swift and Garon” and immediately checked on the group again. “Status: call,” he added, keeping his eyes on the group, with Jaron and Vragon still trying to bring Dolly down, while she was making it very hard for them all with a smile on his face.

It displayed a spinning loading circle around a Norfarion crest in the center. However it after a few minutes of the same contacting screen he was starting to get anxious and began pacing up and down the wall grumbling. “Come on, come on, pick up the blasted badge,” he griped in a low voice, getting tense at how long it was taking. He took more and more checks on the roughhousing group and with each one his heart felt like it was speeding up. Thankfully, a voice finally greeted him.

“Hm? Seliph is that you?” the voice said in a happy greeting.

“Shhh, keep it down,” Seliph hushed, taking another look at the noisemaking trio that now was composed of Jaron and Vragon on a laughing Dolly, lying on her back.

“Okay,” the voice replied, “did something happen? Why don’t you have display on?”

“Don’t want to risk being seen.” He looked around the corner to see that the two were now on top of a grounded Dolly. He darted his head back to the badge. “Look, I don’t have much time I-”

As he spoke, the voice of Ciecro boomed from the opposite end of the building. “What are y’all doin’?” Seliph moved his head to see Ciecro walk over to the pile of three and give a snort, while Jasmine just sighed and shook her head. He moved back to the badge and in a speedy pacing said, “I have to go now, but we’re taking the trail passing in the mountain pass near Mt. Travail. Meet us at the trail.”

“Seliph!” Jasmine called out, filling Seliph with a chill through his spine.

“Okay, where on the tr-”

“Seliph out.”

“Wait, tell us wher-” he shut the badge display off and shoved it back into his inner vest pocket. He let out a deep sigh as he gathered himself and strode out from his spot. “I’m here,” he said with a wave gaining everyone’s attention. “Didn’t want to interrupt your little fun and all.” He let out a casual chuckle, hoping they wouldn’t ask what he was doing.

“There, with Seliph that’s everyone,” Dolly announced, getting onto her feet, “alright. One more check around for everyone. Now line up!” Everyone shot into a line as Dolly paced in front. She stopped in front of Jaron and pointed to him, asking, “What are you carrying for the trip?”

“…Is this really necessary Dolly?” he inquired with a tilt of his head and crossing of his arms.

“Yes, we should do one last minute check, plus you all did form a line,” she reasoned.

“Not what I meant, but whatever; I’ve got orbs on there,” Jaron pointed to his belt with some packets on it and then to his backpack lying in the pile they made, “and some provisions and remedies.”

“Good.” Dolly then walked over to Vragon asked the same.

“I have the map, some escape orbs, rope and a few remedies and berries as well.” He replied with a little more excitement than Jaron, as he patted on of his backpack’s shoulder loops.

She moved to Ciecro and asked, “And you ha-”

“Remedies, awhbs, rope, hooks an’ dat kinda shit,” he grunted, interrupting her.

“Okay, Jaz how about you?”

“Some berries for healing status, another copy of the map, some escape orbs and a communication orb for each one of us as well as barrier orbs.” She gave an energetic grin, making Dolly smirk.

“Seliph, what about you?”

Seliph raised a brow, sorta surprised she was asking him. “Oh well…uhm I have some stuff that I carry and my own provisions.” He fiddled in his pockets a little.

“Fine, fine,” Dolly said, getting the message. She then backed from the group, turned around and said. “Okay, now for this trip, safety is important. Therefore I want each of you to choose a partner for the trip.”

“What are we, infants?” Jaron murmured in a low tone, rolling his eyes.

His quiet tone wasn’t quiet enough. Dolly gave a villainous grin and announced, “My partner will be Jaron.”

Jaron’s following expression was a mix of surprise, anger, but mostly dread. “Oh no, no, no,” He said, over and over and over. “No, I wanna be partners on this trip with Vragon, not yo-” He stopped however at gazing into the cold death abyss that was Dolly’s death stare. “Y-y-yes…ma-am….” His head fell down in submission.

“Good now, the rest of you decide,” Dolly said with some beam in her tone.

“Well.” Jasmine looked Vray’s way. “I think I’ll vote for-”

However she didn’t get to finish before Ciecro made his claim. “Vray”

“What? Why me?” Vragon inquired, rather surprised by Ciecro actively choosing him.

“Is dat a problem?” Ciecro asked, with a snarl beneath his breath. This intimidating tactic worked, and Vragon stepped back nodding.

Jasmine wasn’t pleased by this at all, but just let it out in a deep sigh and said, “It’s fine.” She turned to Dolly and stated, “Seliph and me will be a group.”

Dolly then nodded and then gave one big cough for attention. “Okay, now that that’s done. Off we go, everybody!” she exclaimed as she marched in front while Jaron followed grumbling.

Jasmine and Seliph joined them. Vragon started to tail them but stopped upon noticing Ciecro wasn’t moving. “Ciecro?” he walked up to the charmeleon a little worried but mostly curious. “You feeling alright?” As he looked at the mon’s face, he noticed Ciecro seemed to be thinking about something. “Something on your mind?”

“Hmm…huh?” Ciecro, shot up from his inner thoughts, “n-n-nothin’ jus’ git goin’.” He shoved passed Vragon and marched on.

“Sorry to bother you out of concern,” Vragon growled as he followed grumbling a little.

“Phew good progress group.” Dolly wiped the sweat from her forehead as she looked at the trail in front that lead into the mountains. “Ah, finally here.” She looked up to the sun was and after a few minutes of inner debating muttered to herself, “about two hours I think. Better progress.” Amid some pants she turned to the group and said, “you all doing okay?” Jaron was panting up a storm as he hiked his way up to her. Jasmine and Seliph not far behind the overheated croconaw, with Ciecro and Vragon not far behind them.

“I’m so fucking hot,” Jaron stated amid his wheezing.

Dolly gave a little grin as she patted him on the back, “yeah, but I was asking how you were feeling?” He turned an irritated, dry-faced gaze to her and snarled bearing his sharp teeth at her, making her laugh. “It’s fine, we’ve made a lot of good progress. Let’s take a break everyone.”

“Good,” Jasmine grumbled, sitting down and letting out some air as she joined them, “This heat was starting to get to me.”

“Why even is it so hot right now?” Seliph asked looking up and shield his eyes from the sun. “Isn’t it supposed to be spring?”

“Doesn’t feel like it hardly,” Jaron complained, sitting down on a rock. He pulled out some water canteen and began gulping it down.

“In all fairness, Jaron,” Vragon said amid some pants of his own, “It is the last month of spring. You know Kyon.”

“Well why did it have to get so damn hot all of a sudden? It was fine yesterday!” Jaron ranted.

“Now, now, let’s all just relax and whatnot,” Dolly urged the group. She reached into her pack and took out some pre-sliced berry bread she’d made. “Here everyone dig in.”

Everyone shot for a slice and immediately began savoring the rich blend only Dolly could do. Jaron gulped down his first bite. “This is good,” he said with his mouth full.

“Yep.” Jasmine nodded in agreement and said as she took another bite, “I like the blending in of Oran berries. It really adds a familiar flavor to it.”

“Sharp taste,” Dolly praised.

“Food nerd,” Jaron joked.

“I’m not a food nerd,” Jasmine shot back, not pleased with this resurfacing.

“Oh, my bad, food connoisseur,” Jaron joked. Jasmine got onto her paws and the two began to have a little verbal battle. Dolly just sat there eating her slice, watching the whole scene play out. Seliph was eating his slice, but his back facing the group so he could ponder things.

Vragon was nibbling on his not paying attention to the entertaining back and forth. He was about halfway into his slice when he looked up to watch the fun, but noticed something. Huh? Where’s Ciecro? Vragon got up and did a search spin. The fraxure finally spotted Ciecro sitting on a rock a little down the path ahead. Looking at his slice, Vragon took one more look at the show of Jasmine yelling, Jaron teasing, Seliph pondering and Dolly trying not to fall over laughing and decided to check on the lone charmeleon.

Ciecro’s eyes aimed at the ground, though his focus was on words from the past. Something that he hadn’t gotten over.

I’m just a traveler. I want to see amazing sites and all that. Beauties of this world you know.

Wha’ kind of sites?

Have you ever heard of Destiny Tower?

“…everyone’s has heard of i’, but everyone knows it don’ exist anymo’. What does he mean by askin’ me if I heard of dat.” His eyes narrowed as the image of Tron’s arm with that bandage over where his crests would be. “He a clansmon o’ not?”

“Who’s a clansmon?”

Ciecro shot up as he turned and to see Vragon standing next to him, apparently startled as well. “Wha? Don’ sneak up on me.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb you and all.” Vragon scratched the back of his head and looked to the side, while bending a little back. “I mean, we are assigned partners and all and you were off by yourself so-”

Ciecro cut the mon of early with a, “Yeah a’ight” and turned back to his original position.

Vragon felt sort of disappointed in that reaction, but decided to try something. He thought for a second, to set the scheme in motion and how it’d go. After satisfied with his plan, he walked onto a patch of dirt in front of Ciecro and sat down. He then broke off some of his bread and held it out to Ciecro.

The charmeleon looked at it, and then to Vragon, “I ain’t eatin’ it out of yah hand.”

Vragon gave an awkward cough to the side and said, “No I mean, take it.”

“I’m not hungry.” Ciecro gave a grunt and looked back at the ground.

Vragon wasn’t buying it. How can he pass this? This bead is amazing. “We’ve been walking for hours. I mean, you’ve got to keep up your strength,” Vragon reasoned.

Ciecro paused, but finally accepted it and reluctantly began making big spaced out tears into it. As the two ate, Vragon decided to initiate part two of his social interaction scheme. “So…how was your night?”

“…A’ight,” was Ciecro’s reply as he went in for another bite.

“Oh…” Vragon nibbled some more on his bread, trying to think of something to say. He was about to give up when suddenly Ciecro gave a satisfied noise.

“Some damn good bread.” Ciecro licked his chops with a pleased smile as he bit into the bread again.

“Heh, yeah.” Vragon nodded in agreement. “Dolly knows how to please with food.”

“Reverse, yeah…” Ciecro took another big bite into his, but Vragon stopped. It took Ciecro a few seconds to notice, but he finally stopped and looked at the lost in thought fraxure. “Wha’?” he snapped his fingers in front of Vragon, making him jump. “Snap out o’ it an’ eat. It was yah idea.”

“Oh right…sorry,” Vragon said, still a little startled.

“Why yah apologizin’?” Ciecro asked, tilting his head.

“Oh sorry, I just-” Vragon began. Embarrassment filled Vragon at how much of a flying wreck his social scheme had gone.

“Vray,” he said with a solid, but soft tone. The fraxure calmed down to listen. “Shut up…slow down.” He nodded to Vragon, who slowly nodded back. The two continued, till Ciecro finished. “Damn good food,” he said with a grin licking his fingers amid his words.

“Yeah,” Vragon said still not done with his.

Ciecro turned and looked at Vragon and said, “Vray?”

“Huh?” the fraxure looked up surprise. “Uh…y-y-yeah Ciecro?”

Ciecro pointed to his bread and asked, “yah gonna finish dat?”

A mix of disappointment and annoyance crossed Vragon’s face. Without a word, he offered the remaining piece to Ciecro, who devoured it in a few seconds. “Tanks for dat,” Ciecro said with a grin, but raised a brow at the now sulking fraxure. “What’s up?”

“Oh nothing,” Vragon lazily replied.

“Okay,” he said with a grunt and began looking that ground. His expression didn’t change, even after Vragon gave an aggravated sigh. Somethin’ bothering the twerp? He mulled in his head, starting to question if Vragon was just attention hungry or genuinely bothered by something. He was about to ask when suddenly he heard some footsteps to his right. He turned to look, but only saw a glance of some black and yellow color whizz by him. “What dah?” he blurted turning to his other side to see his pack vanish around a rock corner. “Hey,” he shouted, getting to his feet, “get back here!”

Vragon shot up in a start at Ciecro’s sudden shouting and dash into some direction. However, it didn’t take him long to put two and two together. “Hold on! I’m coming to!” Vragon shot up and dashed after Ciecro. He darted around the corner as he heard Dolly call out, “Where are you going‽ Wait for us!”

The thief was awfully fast and small enough to navigate through the rocks amid the cliff cracks rather easily and with good speed. Ciecro, however didn’t lessen his effort, and continued to tail the Pokémon. “Get back here, yah shit!” he roared. The figure didn’t obey, much to Ciecro’s frustration. As the figure and Ciecro neared a sharp think turn, the thief jumped onto the wall and pushed off to make the deep angled turn Ciecro caught a glimpse of the Pokémon taking his backpack. The Pokémon was apparently a heliolisk. It darted down the path as Ciecro jumped and pressed off the wall in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Vragon was doing his best just to keep Ciecro in sight. The fraxure jumped over, ducked under, or maneuvered around the many rocks or gashes in the narrow off-beaten path, huffing at every action. “Ciecro!” he shouted amid his panting, trying to but slowly losing sight of his friend. Damnit! Don’t give up now Vragon. He took a big breath and pushed onwards. As neared the turn, Vragon performed the action like the other two, albeit less professionally. As he started on the new course, Vragon spied the path was straight for a while onwards. A grin crossed his face as he climbed up on top of a rather small boulder, but big enough for him to stands over Ciecro’s height. He then opened his mouth, charged up Dragon Breath, and carefully aimed his shot. He unleashed it upon the sides of the cliffs ahead of the two causing a rock slide and forcing the stranger to stop or be crushed.

“Finally!” Ciecro shouted, amid a few heavy breaths as he planted his feet in the ground a few yards from the stranger, ready to fire his Flamethrower should he try something. “Thanks,” he said without moving his gaze as a panting Vragon joined beside his.

“No,” the dragon wheezed, “problem…C-Ciecro.” After a few seconds of resting on his knees, he got up and joined to back up Ciecro.

“A’ight, yah had yah fun, now cough up my bag o’ I’ll put dis in yah face,” Ciecro threatened, as he showed his clenched fist.

“Wha…what he said,” Vragon added, with a few more huffs. He got into his stance, although holding it wasn’t easy for excessive panting.

The thief remained silent, moving the backpack further behind him with his tail. The stare on his smug face showed defiance in the face of the threat and follow up addition.

This pissed off Ciecro as he was about ready to charge at the cocky lizard. However before he did, the stranger pointed behind him and Vragon. “Oh no yah don’,” Ciecro huffed, “I’m not falling for it.” His eyes changed to annoyance at realizing Vragon had fallen for it. “Come on Vray stop bein’ stupid,” he whispered, still focusing on the smirking thief. “Vray?” He slightly turned his head, and noticed Vragon was still looking behind them, trembling slightly. It was then Ciecro heard low growls behind him from some deep vocal cords. He slowly turned around to see a massive garchomp staring down at them, his white iris eyes felt like Dolly’s death stare. He slowly backed up and readied to fight. “Vragon, snap out o’ it and help me,” He called out, not taking his eyes of the garchomp. Not good, Ciecro muttered in his head, Determining Vragon was too frozen to act.

“You know,” the heliolisk said from behind him, “if we were after you and your friend, you’d be caught by now.”

Angered by this, Ciecro spun around and lashed out, “Yeah, well then why did you take my-‽”

“Slow down sport,” the heliolisk urged, with a little chuckle tied down at the end. “No harm intended, we just wanted to see what you’d do, and we…” He leaned back onto Ciecro’s pack with an even smugger grin. “Certainly, you’ve heard of the ‘bait the prize out into the wild’ routine.”

Ciecro growled. “Yeah, well…yah didn’…well…Fuck you.”

The stranger laughed at this last resort of a defiant response. “Oh wow, you do take after him don’t yah? Don’t he Garon?”

The garchomp behind them looked at the heliosik and said, “Certainly, so I take it we’re done teasing these kids?”

“Indeed,” the other answered.

“T-t-t-teasing?” Vragon managed to say, joining everyone in looking at the lizard. “So…this was all just a…”

“Prank scare, assessment, harmless fun, and a little test on the little quick of the thinking.” A less smug smile crossed the heliolisk’s face as he tapped a finger to his head.

Ciecro didn’t take this well gesture, snorting at the guy and hashing, “Well yah can shove it.”

“Now, now Ciecro,” the lizard said with a chuckle, “that any way to talk to someone you know?”

Ciecro raised a brow raised, as Vragon tiled his head, both in confusion.

“…You can’t seriously have forgotten us,” The lizard exclaimed, his turn to be surprised. “I mean, we were your favorite visit. At least…we looked like it. You nibbled on my tail for crying out loud. You didn’t do that to just anyone, right?”

“Swift,” Garon said putting his talon’s on one of Ciecro and Vragon’s shoulders, “it has been some time and he was very little.”

“I know but-”

“Time out!” a voice came from above the group. Seliph stood on the edge of the cliff above them. “Testing now? Not like you two,” he greeted as he jumped his way down to the group.

“Not like us?” Garon repeated turning his gaze to Seliph.

“Well,” Seliph clarified, “I more or less meant the aspect of assessment. I’d have the idea you both would just arrive with no trouble rather than some chase.”

Well sorry Seliph,” Swift muttered annoyed, “not like we were rushing up and down this trail because someone hung up too early and didn’t explain the meeting spot.”

Seliph rubbed the back of his head accompanied with a weak laugh. “Yeah, you got me there.” He then looked at Ciecro, who was now even more confused. “Oh Ciecro, you don’t remember these two?” he pointed to the duo and continued, “They worked with our parents. These two visited us when we were really young.”

“Uh…huh?” Ciecro still didn’t get it. “So…wait, yah both are?”

Swift gave out a big sigh alongside with a face palm, “Never mind, I’m sure you’ll remember us later. For now, we should be getting you all back to-” He stopped. Quickly, he jumped onto the crumbled rocks, leaped off, and formed and threw a focus blast at an incoming Ice Beam aimed at Garon.

Garon in turn, rushed past Vragon and Ciecro and stopped directly underneath Swift firmly planting his feet down, leaned his torso a bit so Swift could land on his back fin and sharply spun as Swift pushed to springboard swift forward.

The heliolisk, shot straight passed the still processing two and tackled Jaron before the croconaw could fire a second time. Their following roll consisted of Jaron’s confused and reactionary yelling as Swift just laughed. When it ended, Jaron was pinned down by Swift’s knee pressing on the kid’s right shoulder and stretched across Jaron’s chest. “Good shot,” the heliolisk complimented with a smile.

“Wha? How did you?” Jaron was about to struggle to free himself, but didn’t have to as the heliolisk got off of him just as quickly as he pinned him.

Swift offered his hand to pull him up and said, “I heard it.”

“Heard it?” the croconaw repeated not understanding, but not enough to not accept the offer to be helped up.

“Yeah, but let’s get acquainted first.” He turned and waited for Seliph to walk up.

“Jaron, Ciecro, Vragon,” Seliph said, looking at all three, “These two are Swift and Garon. They were part of Team Alpha and friends of our parents. They visited us when we were little and when you Jaron were just a few months old.”

Jaron’s jaw dropped. “Wait, then…huh?”

Garon walked up and patted Jaron on the shoulder. “It’s fine. Highly doubtful you of the three would remember.”

Seliph nodded in agreement. “Though, we probably should head back and regroup before we finish introductions.”

“Yeah,” Swift laughed lightly as he put his arms behind his head and leaned a little to the side, “probably the best idea.”

“So…wait,” Jaron said, walking up to Garon, “if…you both were in our past. Why come back now? Why didn’t you see us earlier if you-” he stopped as he noticed Garon’s expression turn to a bothered look. He watched as the large dragon fierce but kind expression was now staring to the side with a big frown. “Wait…what’s wrong?”

“Well,” Swift said walking up to him, “…we didn’t know you two were alive untl a few weeks ago.” He turned to Ciecro who was just joining them along with Vragon. “…Though, finding out was probably the best news we’ve ever had in a long time,” he said in a chipper voice and smile that felt more forced than a quick recover. “But we’ll explain later, let’s just regroup with your other friends first. Come on, Garon.”

Garon moved his back to Swift, who quickly jumped and sat on the garhomp’s dorsal fin. Garon, Swift and Seliph then headed for the site, conversing as they strolled along. The three confused kids just watched, still unsure what just happened.

“…let’s go,” Ciecro finally said, and went after them. Vragon followed with Jaron picking up the rear, scowling at the ground.

Part 2: < O >

“Okay, so let me get this straight.” Dolly leaned forward on her rock seat, resting her hands on her knees and firmly gazed at the two across from her. “You two are friends and comrades of Ciecro, Jaron and Seliph’s late parents.”

“That’s right,” Garon answered, Swift added with a nod.

“And you didn’t know these two were alive until Seliph told you a few weeks ago. And you are here, because Seliph asked you both to come and help.”

“Yep,” Swift answered, giving her a confident grin.

“…Okay…so then it’s fair to say that you both aren’t on duty?”

Garon nodded, “This was a request from Seliph. Nasch knows about it and allowed us to leave, but he hasn’t set a limit or anything. We simple are here to keep you safe.”

“And this ‘Nasch’ is?”

“He’s the former leader of Team Alpha, the team I, this big lug, Gathor, Freya, Tetheron and others were a part of.” Swift tilted his head. “Is there something wrong?”

Dolly closed her eyes and shook her head, “No…it’s sensible.” She got up and looked at Seliph, “so I take it these two were-” She stopped short as Seliph answered with a nod. “I see,” she looked back at the two, “well then it’s good to have some help. I’m Dolly,” she walked over and held out her hand to the larger one. “I’ve been a friend of these kids and whatnot.”

Garon quickly accepted it with his talon, “then I thank you for the kindness you’ve given to them.”

“Of course,” she responded with a nod. “Anyways, Seliph.” The greninja looked up not expecting her to call for him. “Can I see you for a second?”

“Sure,” the greninja scowled slightly as he tailed Dolly, leaving the group of six to converse amongst themselves. After making some distance, Dolly turned around and looked at him with a rather cold stare.

“What’s wrong?” He inquired, not sure what new thing she had to suspect of. “Do you distrust their sincerity?”

“No…I just don’t trust yours.” She looked past him and back to the group. “From what I gather you had years to tell them that Jaron and Ciecro were alive…and yet you didn’t. Why?”

Seliph crossed his arms, annoyed that he had to spell it out. “It’s simple. Knowledge of them needed to be kept secret.”

Dolly raised a brow out of skepticism. “Even from ones that wouldn’t harm them? Ones that I can tell were affected a lot at hearing those two were alive.”

Seliph didn’t reply, but kept his firm gaze locked at Dolly’s equally strong stare. After a few minutes, Dolly uncrossed her arms and walks past him, “be careful,” she whispered as she stopped at his side. “Playing with others like that won’t always end well.”

“I’m aware,” he replied in a rather annoyed tone. “I don’t need you to tell me the obvious.”

Dolly just stared at him for a second, and then resumed to walk back at the group.

Seliph looked forward, frustrated. He then turned around and headed back to the group. Seliph sat down on a rock opposite of the one Dolly rested on. The two kept silent, just staring at each other making everyone else kinda uncomfortable. Finally, Garon decided to break the silence.

“I see you’ve grown up well Ciecro, Jaron.” He gave as friendly a smile he could, despite the sort of heavy atmosphere.

“Uh…thank you,” Jaron replied, sorta uneasy and still coming to terms with who this garchomp was. Ciecro just nodded and gave a grunt as his reply.

“So, when did you visit these two?” Jasmine inquired, leaning in a little closer.

“Well,” Swift crosses his arms, “Jaron was only a few months after hatching. Ciecro was two and Seliph was five. Heh, dang it was a weird time.”

“Weird?” Jasmine followed up.

All eyes went upon Swift who brushes a finger on his snout and said, “You kids were pretty lively. I think I went home with a bigger smile than when I got there, and well that was because of you three.” He gave a short look at all three siblings and looked at the fire. “I have some fond memories, more than just the nibbling of my tail by Ciecro.”

“Nibbling of your tail?” Dolly repeated, leaning in a little, peaking with mischievous interest.

Ciecro shifted in his seat, annoyed at hearing it for a second time and even more so that Dolly was asking for more.

“Well, let me see here.” He leaned back with a smile, looked up and said, “there was one time he was rolling in some grass and I was watching him with Gathor.” He let out a pre-chuckle that sent a chill of dread down Ciecro’s spine. “And well, accidentally rolled off a little hump in the ground and the look on his face was like…so priceless and cute.”

“Daaaaaawww,” Dolly said as she leaned in closer feeling all jelly inside just thinking about what the face could be, “was it one of those like a baby shinx walking into a wall?”

“More like a little squirtle accidentally stumbling into a puddle,” Garon added with a little laugh.

Jaron was trying his best to hide his laughter at the image of Ciecro doing all three of those things. Ciecro however was doing his best to shrink in his rock seat. Vragon just looked down, because he couldn’t stop a few chuckles. Jasmine had to put a paw to her face to keep from being too loud.

Garon then sat up and added, “Course, another thing he did was when he was on Gathor’s head sleeping and Gathor let out a yawn at the same time and he slid down the back. Thankfully, I was able to catch him and he let out a little confused dragon ‘coo’.”

“Oh my Arceus, that sounds adorable!” Dolly gushed out, “I wish I could have seen Ciecro when he was a wittle charmander. Have him sleep on my head or in my pouch and all, maybe even feel his little heart beat.”

A snarl came from the charmeleon. Swift then said, after regaining his breath and wiping some tears from his little laughter fit. “He was cute, but probably shouldn’t make him any redder. Right Ci-“ he took one glance at the curled up charmeleon and just lost it. He fell over laughing, and thus everyone else couldn’t hold it in. Everyone was laughing, but a very red and embarrassed Ciecro.

“Y’all suck!” Ciecro shouted standing up. Unfortunately it was a few minutes before anyone could reply from their little laughing fits.

“I-I-I’m s-s-s-sorry Ciecr-r-r-ro,” Dolly said amid her laughter, “I-It just sound so cute and all a-and I could hear the little ‘cooeing’ inside my head.”

“Of course,” Garon interjected, finally regaining control from his laughter, “we have some interesting little, Jaron, stories too.” His eyes looked at Jaron, who immediately stopped laughing.

Jaron was about to reply, but was cut off by Vragon saying, “yeah, I’d like to hear some nice and embarrassing stories about Jaron.”

“Yeah,” Jasmine added leaning in near Jaron alongside Vragon from the other side.

A scowl surge over Jaron’s face as he quietly whispered a, “fuck you two.”

Part 3: < O >

The sun was down as the group reached the rest stop in the mountain pass. Deciding it was time to rest, the group utilized the smooth made ground and formed a fire in the middle. They began talking about many things, getting to know the two new mons more and them sharing more stories. One by one group retired till only Ciecro and Seliph remained. Seliph gave a few glances at his brother, who was keeping his gaze firmly upon the fire. Seliph stayed quiet, debating whether or not to try and start a conversation. Finally his pro-conversation side won.

“Ciecro,” Seliph ventured, “How was the trip for you so far?” Seliph’s warming smile faded at the reply only being a grunt. Silence resumed, till Seliph gave out a defeated sigh. He was about to get up and leave, when Ciecro said in a low tone, “what were yah doin’?”

Seliph turned and gave him a confused look, leading to Ciecro to snarl a little stand up and clarify, “What were yah doin’ while yah were gone?”

“Oh…just,” Seliph pondered for a moment, a little caught off guard by the question. “I wanted to find out who the red eyes were.” Seliph’s arms flung down to his sides. “I wanted to find who they were. What they were after.”

“Why didn’ yah jus’ git help?” Ciecro asked, his face slowly becoming more longingly curious than his basic hostility.

Seliph didn’t say anything; he just looked at the fire. “I felt small compared to these red eyes.”
Ciecro’s eyes widened at hearing the word “small” from his brother.

Seliph continued. “I wanted to be able to fight them, but I didn’t know what to do. After ensuring you both weren’t tied to me, I went doing whatever basic work I could while making my way in research. Unfortunately…I’m not mother so I don’t have the knowledge so I did my best just to try and find them.” Seliph’s fists clenched. “And get answers for who they are and what they’re after.” Seliph’s eyes scowled as he looked at the flames dance from the logs they were consuming.

Ciecro looked to the side. Does he really feel like dat? Ciecro wasn’t sure. He didn’t get the chance to ask as Seliph walked away after saying a “night” to him before going off to his own sleeping place. Ciecro just stayed at the fire, watching the fire firmly blazing. Is dat deh truth Seliph?..Jaron… his fists went lax as he felt bummed. If dat is true…den… he let out a sigh, not sure what to think.

High on a cliff from one of the mountains, the fire the group were at was viewable. One Pokémon stood on it, watching it smoke rise as he watched that party in the night. Tron stood there with a scowl on his face, eyeing them, specifically Ciecro.

Hmm…that boy from before. Curious. Tron rubbed his head as a migraine started to form. He let out a sigh as he turned to face the mountain peak. But I shouldn’t stay on this hunch. The golduck started walking as he looked up and saw a faint light blue shooting star in the sky. After all, it’s just you drawing me here and I’m aware why that is.