Thanks for the review and recommendation, icomeanon6. As per your and S.D.'s review, I've taken care to rework the coloquialism to a level of "mere informality" at the beginning and then "afable bluntness" in the next parts.
Anyways, here I am with the second part. Took me long enough, I had some particular troubles with the description of... certain characters. Now our little friend Lileep will get his hands tentacles on a particular method to learn about humans. Also the other Pokémon partners of this Trainer guy, as well as his actual role in all of this, are better introduced.
In this part I try to take a fun and not necessarily canon approach to certain characters of the Pokémon mythology, for the sake of making Lileep's impressions more fun and surprising. I hope you enjoy this.
And yes, I know, it's long. That's how I write. Remember there's a Quick Navigation so that you don't get tired (of me ).
March, slow and unstoppable. March, sibling left and right, brethren short behind.
Follow the waves that make our home, brand the shoals with our mark.
It took me some time to notice and it made me very sad, that life was becoming harsher on me. Probably it was because I fought that Vigoroth, or because I refused Electabuzz's offer. Probably it was because all of a sudden the weather changed, and for a very long time there was only rain, strong wind, and barely any sunlight over the humans' land.
Being the only Lileep here has some complications. Although the water chamber is very large and has plenty of places to hide, and is populated by all sorts of food such as fishes, eels and the occasional Feebas, the fact remains that I could only camouflage for some time before the fishes realized my presence: I was simply too singular to miss. Also I had pretty much no one to talk to. There was a small red creature with pincers who introduced herself as Krabby and her family from another pool, but they were too young and most of the time they would simply talk to each other until their mother came for them.
Gyarados? She wouldn't stop talking about herself, what she could do, what humans thought of her, why she was such a good instructor, where her pupils were now, and so on.
I could not call to my siblings or parents for company.
I got more and more bored as the days passed, with only the emotion of the occasional hunt and the perpetual annoyance of the humans peaking at the chamber, looking at me and taking notes. Sometimes they entered the water and would put up some strange devices over their faces that would allow to breathe underwater. After the whole Vigoroth incident they became more pesky when approaching me or pointing at me with their devices. When there were lots of them they would attach a small device to my neck that would cause me pain every time I tried to spit acid.
All in all, I was feeling too constrained here so one night I decided that the next morning I would go out and take a crawl to wherever I got to go.
As my exit point I chose the same shallow area where Gyarados usually rested. From there I reached a small island, similar to that of Vigoroth's but populated by small reddish land creatures resembling eels with small pointy legs instead of fins, that would crawl around just like me but also climb to the trees. They chatted, ate and never seemed to notice me, so I crawled past them and reached a structure made of dried tissue that connected this island to the next. Unlike the soft tickles that the sand gave to my roots, the new brown-coloured tissue felt quite rough, it was kinda spiky, and smelt like dead. I rushed to leave it behind.
By the time I reached the next island the sun was high but covered by clouds, so there was a din light bathing everything and I could see a lot of particular creatures. They could also see me and after they noticed my presence they sort of welcomed me. They had round bodies, covered in blue and white, and had very thin tails with a round tip that bounced behind them like a toy of some sort. These creatures were quite childish and instantly surrounded me while looking at me and yelling things like “Hello!”, “Who are you?” and “Food?”, showing no sign of fear.
I took a glance at one of them and asked: “Who are you?”
“Marill!” answered all of them at unison, as they started hopping around and cheering as if I had said some sort of joke. Then one of them came closer and asked: “And who are you?”
“Lileep,” I answered.
Now that put them in a frenzy. They started leaping around, playing with their tails and shooting water our of their mouths as the ones closer to me danced around happily chanting: “Lileep, Lileep!”. Some of them would play chasing each other and some others would form large arcs by standing in a row and touching the tail of the next Marill in line. Then some other Marill would leap back and forth the Pokémon-made fence.
I decided that they were too feisty to stand around them for long and started crawling away, but they followed me dancing and chanting loud enough that after a while my head started to hurt.
Thankfully I left them behind when I took to the water and swam around the island looking for another exit, paying no attention to the different creatures around me.
I had almost circled the island when I noticed something yellow walking in the water below me. I got a bit surprised since I had assumed that water creatures could only crawl or swim, so I anchored myself to the floor of the island and took a closer look. I saw Electabuzz walking inside some sort of translucent and hollow root that sprouted from the island floor and stretched to the walls of the Laboratory beyond. A small creature, a green and yellow four-legged with a small tail was following behind. I was bit by curiosity as I was again surprised that land-dwellers would walk around underwater or that I could see them from outside the root.
I floated down to the thick root, this time anchoring myself to the structure and following Electabuzz and his companion from above. Once we reached the great walls I lost them because the root seemed to extend beyond to the other side of the walls, so I decided to emerge again and see if I could trace them from there.
When I reached the surface I found myself crawling over a strange kind of soil. It was plain and a bit grainy, but not in the same way sand of the rocks were. It was also full of colours, mostly red and yellow, forming strange patterns that I could not decipher. I inspected this soil with my roots – it felt as if it was formed of countless small tendrils that would brush against me as I crawled forward. I noticed that the walls were rocky and had a particularly strong smell like that of the sandy beaches. I followed the red and yellow patterns until I found a point where this soil split in two.
Decisions, decisions... I didn't know where I was nor where was I headed, so I simply took left.
Not much further ahead I found myself facing three possible choices. I took quick glances to each of the three paths and decided to keep going ahead, because it kept the red tendrily soil whereas the left and right paths were darker and it looked like they had a wet soil.
The road was long and it seemed that I would get nowhere for the time being, but after I don't know how long I noticed that the ceiling was now illuminated as well, with strange protrusions that emerged from the ceiling and split in three small bright-yellow branches, each one ending in some sort of small sun. In exchange, the orange lights from the walls were now gone.
Not much further, the ceiling and the walls were suddenly gone as well. But on further inspection I realized that they weren't gone: they had simply moved far – quite far.
I was now in an incredibly ample space. The floor, the walls and the ceiling were made of a plain material that looked and felt rocky, but had nothing of the roughness I had associated with the rocks so far; in fact, it felt kinda slippery to my roots, and by the way the vibrations in the floor reached my body it seemed this floor was made of several identical boulders literally glued together. I stretched my tentacles and looked up, noticing the several small suns that were literally hanging from above. Close to the suns, four pillars emerged from the ceiling and plunged down the ground, closer to the corners of this giant chamber.
I felt a twist in one of my tentacles, a current of air coming from my left, and I turned to see. Close to the back of the chamber and surrounded by two pillars and strange floating red hides that waved with the soft wind there was a pedestal, and on top of it, Trainer himself.
Quite surprised I turned towards him and approached, but stopped after a moment when I realized none of his vibrations were reaching me. The floor was telling me there was nothing there, no heartbeat, no breathing, no twitching or trembling that would reveal his presence, yet there he stood before me, on top of the pedestal. A bit worried, I circled around and approached slowly, closer and closer, and when I finally reached close enough to perceive the texture of his body I realized there was something very strange going on.
It was him, I was sure: the spiky fur on top of his head, the branches (Gyarados had explained me they were called “arms”) were bent in such a way that they held a strange plaque, he was covered in a set of hides, and he was looking kinda to the ceiling. But he was completely motionless and not only his body but also his hides seemed to be glued together and covered in a dull greyish tone.
I approached slowly and stretched my tentacles to touch him, expecting that he would move and I could sense something. I darted cautiously and felt my body shivering for a moment before my tentacle finally made contact with one of his legs.
Whatever had happened to him, he had become a stone image of himself.
I retreated and examined the figure more closely. Had he been turned into stone during a battle? Where were Electabuzz and the others? What was he holding and why his body seemed so big with those hides? Why was he standing on top of a pedestal--
I moved closer again and examined the pedestal Trainer was standing over. I noticed several symbols I could not decipher, forming some kind of message. Some of them looked familiar to me, but I couldn't exactly understand why. Further examination of the pedestal revealed the drawing of a rectangular object with three circles inside in a vertical line, one of them resembling a sun, but I could not understand their meaning.
Thinking about the pedestal and the message, I focused and tried to think what could the strange symbols mean. Something inside my head ticked when I surmised that not only the symbols seemed to follow a specific pattern, but also that when I closed my eyes and tried to picture them again, I would get strange and not very comforting images of one-eyed creatures of different shapes, coming from the abysses of light. Whatever that meant, I decided that the symbols should have a relation to the images I could see in my mind.
I started to move away when I felt an approaching motion behind me. It seemed to be a large creature followed by a smaller, four-legged creature. I remembered Electabuzz and his mysterious partner and sure enough, as I turned around I could clearly distinguish the yellow and black-stripped fighter walking towards me, with the small yellow-and-green land-dweller following close.
“Lileep?” Electabuzz asked as he showed his fangs, “What are you doing here?”
“Taking a crawl,” I answered dully, thinking whether he would try to fight me. I noticed the small creature looked at me for a while, lowered its head and then hid behind Electabuzz. “Look, I'm not trying to eat anyone here.”
“He was like this when I found him,” I explained as I leaned my head back and pointed to Trainer with one of my tentacles.
Electabuzz simply leaned forwards, looked at me for a moment, and then rushed towards Trainer, asking: “Did something happen to the statue?” He circled Trainer and started examining him, his tail swirling and his eyes darting up and down for a while, until he turned back at me, crossed his arms and said: “But there's nothing wrong here.”
“Wrong?” I said. I heard the small creature wincing close to me, he was apparently scared of me and was slowly moving away, trying to keep distance or maybe trying to reach Electabuzz. I didn't care so I turned to Electabuzz again and asked: “But what about the stone?”
“Oh yes,” he explained smiling: “it's a beautiful piece of art, don't you think?”
Electabuzz stared at me for a moment, blinking, and opened his mouth but said nothing. I waved my body inquiring him about that, and then he said: “You... you actually thought this was Trainer, right?”
I nodded. In response, he started laughing for a while, but stopped himself shortly after. He made a motion to me and the small creature to my side to approach him and then turned back to face Trainer.
“This is a statue, Lileep. An image built of stone to commemorate out Trainer.”
“He's gone to retrieve a new Pokémon.”
I moved forwards slowly. The small yellow-and-green creature rushed past me and sat alongside Electabuzz, taking cautious looks back at me every once in a while. Its white eyes and pointy snout made me remember some land-dwellers I had seen in my dreams, who were bigger, blue, with striking pointy yellow fur, and attacked my kind with pulses of electricity.
As I moved to Electabuzz's left, he explained to me: “This is a yearling Electrike. I have to babysit her while her dad is sick. Kela,” he added as he turned back to the small creature, “say 'hi' to Lileep.”
Cue the small creature pushing herself closer to Electabuzz and grabbing his tail. He seemed to be quite annoyed but said nothing to her, instead he just turned at me and stated with a hesitant growl: “Sorry. Her family doesn't go out much.”
Electabuzz looked up to the statue, knelt besides the pedestal and looked back at us. “I can explain these symbols, if you like,” he offered.
“These words here,” he began as he pointed towards the larger row of symbols, composed of two sets, “is his name among the humans. This name he was born with. And those words below,” he continued, moving his arm a bit lower towards a larger row of symbols, “is the name this land gave to him.”
“The land?” I inquired. I was promptly cut off by a soft and inquiring growl from the yearling Kela as she tried to stick herself to Electabuzz again. I waved my tentacles in annoyance.
“The people of this continent-- come on, Kela, he's not going to eat you... gave him this name: 'CHAMPION'. It means he is the most important among humans in this land, and that we,” he explained as he pointed at himself with his free arm, “the Pokémon who stick with him, are the strongest, fastest and smartest of our kind.”
“'Champion',” I repeated. “sounds like he is superior to everyone else.”
“In a way, yes.”
“Do you mean humans fight each other?”
“No,” he answered, “we serve humans and fight for them.”
“That-- that's ridiculous,” I countered. It made no sense to me. I noticed the small yearling looking at me and at Electabuzz as if she could not understand a thing. I ignored her and continued: “Why would we serve them? Can't they solve their own issues?”
“Because that is how it works,” he explained as he approached me. He tilted his head and said in a slightly unnerving tone: “That is our Pact, period.”
“But wouldn't that mean you're better? You're stronger and faster, the human does not even actually fight, right?”
For an answer, Electabuzz shook his head, raised his arm and released some electric sparks. The small creature by her side howled in admiration while I remained silent expecting his next words.
“I'm just the best,” Electabuzz stated. “The last time I was in a real battle I took down thirty-eight enemies by myself. Sea creatures, tree-climbers, living boulders, you name it.” After that he straightened his posture and lowered his arm. He continued: “Ravir is the one who has taught and trained me, however, that's why he is Champion.”
“Ravir?” I asked. “Is that his human name?”
Electabuzz blinked for a couple of times and then he nodded. “That it is. I'm the only one allowed to speak it,” he growled at us, “so forget about it now.”
“And how about the Pact?” I asked taking the opportunity to finally get some information of value to me. “Why did we make such pact with them?”
“We didn't. The Gods did. They said,” he explained, this time directing his attention to the yearling at my side, “that we would serve humans and help them live at peace with nature, and in exchange they would care for us and lead us to glory.”
“Glory?” inquired the yearling. “Is that important?”
“It is,” Electabuzz answered. “Glory is when others around you appreciate you for being the strongest, the fastest, the smartest. You will be a Manectric one day, kid, and if you battle well alongside your human there will be one day a statue of him. That will be your glory.” Upon those words the kid showed her content by roaring with pleasure. “As for you,” Electabuzz continued this time addressing me, “my offer stands, just in case you want some of it glory, too.”
“Thanks, but not for the time being, thanks,” I replied, then I waited a moment and blurted out the first question that came to my head: “Was nature in trouble?”
“What do you mean?”
“Was she damaged? Why the humans take care of her, I mean?”
“Dunno,” Electabuzz answered with obvious hesitation as he shrugged and moved closer. “Life's always a bit harsh, but I don't remember anything about huge calamities or something in the past. For the most part we live... well.”
“Calamity?” inquired the four-legged kid, essentially robbing me of my next question.
“That means a huge disaster. Something that threatens existence for all of us, maybe?”
“Don't like it,” roared the kid shaking her head. “I like taking a nap with my dad.”
Electabuzz approached the kid and patted her in the head, their bodies releasing some sparks upon contact. “Don't worry,” he said, “We've never faced that kind of disaster.”
I noticed a faint trepidation in his voice and some sort of uneasiness coming from him as he stated those words. I wondered if he was hiding something, but the soothing breathing of the kid (and remembering that Electabuzz had knocked out Vigoroth with only his touch) convinced me to leave that question for another time.
“And if something were to happen,” he stated as if to complete his train of thought and calm himself, “I'm sure the Gods would do something.”
“I see... I was worried about nothing then,” I mumbled. Then I turned around and started crawling away. “I'll be going back to my pool then,” I said as a goodbye.
“Right,”Electabuzz answered. “Remember that--”
“I know, I know,” I interrupted him as I kept crawling away. “Offer, battles, conversation. I'l think about if if I get more bored.”
I left and silently wandered around, trying to find the way back to the pool. Not that it was difficult with the red-and-yellow patterns in the ground, but it was still quite a lengthy task.
By the time I made it back to my chambers it was night and I was tired. And a bit more confused.
Whatever the Pact said, it linked humans and Pokémon. We were supposed to serve them and in accordance, if I understood correctly, they would serve nature. What was the purpose of it? I had only seen a couple of Pokémon in my life, but between Gyarados, Electabuzz and Vigoroth I was quite sure that we Pokémon were better prepared to serve nature. We were born for Her.
Besides, if there was any truth in my dreams, there was no way humans could have survived for too long. The Great Keeper and the Beast reshaped the world as they fought. What were humans supposed to do against that? Against us?
Had humans do something bad in the past? Was this Pact a sort of penitence for them?
Why weren't we allowed to live freely and serve nature?
And why would be the Gods staying away from this?
I felt something strange with all this story. Had I overlooked something? Had everyone overlooked something? Maybe it was that I had had no one to explain me and thus it seemed too weird for me. But trying to disregard my discomfort this way only made me feel more miserable.
I decided not to have dinner tonight.
The next couple of days I spent exploring the other islands I could reach from my chamber. I had some unfriendly encounters with their inhabitants when I tried to eat them or when they sensed I was invading their territory.
Most of the inhabitants of these islands were quite weaker than Vigoroth, although that didn't mean I had it easy. It took me almost two weeks of effort until I managed to lure a small Pokémon with several legs and a long tail ended in a kind of spear, away from its group, beat it up and drag it to the shoals to eat it.
One strange thing happened one night when I was about to crawl to my chambers from the Marill island. I heard a voice calling my name and when I turned back I saw a small Pokémon with two legs and a pointy snout carrying a small brown object as he walked towards me.
“Are you Lileep?” he asked.
“Who wants to know?” I retaliated, just in case.
“PokémonEx Services. There's a package for a Lileep here.”
I titled my head and nodded. The other Pokémon opened the object he was carrying, which was some sort of bag, made of brown and elastic hide, and produced a large rock with symbols on it.
“This was sent for you,” he said as he handed the object to me. I held the object with my tentacles, muttered a thanks, and saw the small Pokémon leaving and shouting “Grovyle? An urgent message for a Ms. Grovyle?” every once in a while. I waited until the sound of his voice faded in the distance before resuming my crawling.
I wondered what this was about and, remembering I was holding the rock, held it closer to my face. It was marked with symbols I could easily recognize.
“Uxie's Quick Guide to Humans' Communication”, it read.
Uxie? Quick Guide? I skimmed down the rock to get a quick glimpse of the rock's subject.
“In this Fourth Edition: Diamond and Pearl, knowledge master and guarder Uxie offers the readers with the most interesting strategies and secrets to understand humans' expressions and rituals, their vocal and body language, and the most recent variations on their informal speech.
“Avid readers may be interested in the Platinum Edition, which includes two exclusive appendixes: 'Clothing and Hair Style of Evil Teams' and 'The Six Vocal Meanings of the Dreaded «Dodge»'.”
Interesting, I said to myself. Had someone figured out that I needed a quick tour on humans? I wondered if it was Electabuzz or Gyarados who sent this to me, but the strange wording and the ancient symbols made me reconsider that, if I could understand them, probably humans couldn't and their Pokémon wouldn't have to (or would have to lie about it).
I read a bit further and noticed a note running at the edge of the rock. I tilted the rock so that I could better read it:
“Exclusive copy for use by MJV·KORPUS., not to be disclosed to any Pokémon or human.”
“To any”? Not “to anyone but the owner” or “to any other Pokémon or human”? So I was not supposed to have received this?
I could only hope that the “KORPUS”, whoever it was, would not come back to retrieve it, yes?
I was too tired to try and think about what was going on, so I dragged the rock with me and hid it underwater close to the Vigoroth island, in a spot I could easily check should anything happen.
The “guide” thing turned out to be quite useful. From it I learned some more things about humans when the blue-spiked one returned from his leave. He was quite friendly towards me, unlike the white-hide wearing ones. He even brought food.
I learnt to recognize some of his voice and body patterns and their meaning. I already knew “Lileep” was the humans' name for me. I also managed to identify the sounds humans use for “food” and “water”, among others which were very easy to pick up. Electabuzz was right: once I could learnt the sounds that had similar terminations I could more easily identify the objects he was talking about.
I also learned about their body communication. The end of their arms humans call “hands”, for example, which sounds simple and practical to remember. And hands are very important for them. For example, when a human wants to acknowledge that he has met another, they'll clamp their right hands together, or on occasion the left ones. When they take one of their tendrils to their nostrils and stick it inside, it means they think no one is looking at them. The guide also explained the tendril-up gesture indicating pride or success, and a similar but completely opposite one when they stuck their thick tendril facing down, which means they completely disapprove of what is going on. Humans also press that tendril against a special device that beeps and seems to be yet another form of identification, like the hides (which, by the way, are called “clothes”). That thick tendril is quite nifty to have around it seems.
There was also a particular combination consisting of a sound that was like “Ey” and a waving of their hands that they used as a manner of salutation. I made it a custom to always answer to that particular salutation from Trainer by raising and waving one of my tentacles the same way he waves his arm. He seemed to like it.
One day while I was testing my ability to crawl up walls (something quite hard to do), I sensed a particular vibration coming from the other side. It was a violent wave, similar to the ones I felt in the ground when I fought Vigoroth, but had a strange element added to it that I could not clearly identify. It felt similar to the way it felt when I tried to charge power for the green energy ball, but the waves coming from afar seemed to somehow carry this same energy with them.
Deciding it could be useful to see what was going on, I turned ways and crawled my way towards the open space that seemed to be the origin of the vibrations. As I approached the place, I could hear the voices of several Pokémon, Electabuzz among them, who seemed to be shouting instructions or berating each other.
Curiosity was too much to resist so I made a final leap from the wall to one tree and climbed down. I got down the tree and found Electabuzz was there to welcome me, he must have spotted me while I crawled across the wall.
He led me to the rest of the group, at least twelve Pokémon, most of them surrounding the blue-spiked human while he was shouting instructions to two specific Pokémon who were battling at a clear. I didn't care that the others stared at me every once in a while, I ignored them as I saw the two Pokémon in the battlefield attack each other. The human looked at me for a while but then kept shouting words at the Pokémon.
After some time, the human would point his tendril at another Pokémon who would stand up and enter the fray as the losing Pokémon left to rest. I saw several shifts and remained silent while the other Pokémon would shout their suggestions at the combatants in pretty much the same way the human did, only with more... spirit:
“With the other leg!” shouted a small two-legged creature with strange multicoloured scales and a pointy brown snout as he flapped his wide and flat arms: “You have to hit her from the right!”
“Watch out, Lotad, he's right abo--” shouted Vigoroth, stopping himself and wincing after we all saw a tremendous jet of flames engulf a small Pokémon with a big flat plant on top of its head. “That's going to leave a nasty burn...”
“Come on, Kirlia!” yelled another Pokémon, a strange black orb with a face who was floating all around us and loudly laughing at the battles: “That's not going to work, he has slept enough!”
After a while this floating Pokémon was called into battle. Upon command from the human, he seemed to disappear somehow, and the water attacks from its opponent simply went through him without hitting or making any sort of damage. That was a nice trick. I was also surprised by how easily could this Pokémon perform the green ball attack: he opened his mouth and in just an instant the green ball was projected away and knocked his already tired opponent, a two-legged beast with brown fur who had a ring drawn on its torso, unconscious to the ground.
The battles continued for a while and I paid some attention to the ones who used lightning bolts and green balls to defeat their opponents. The Pokémon who were not fighting kept cheering the ones who were.
“Who the...” shouted Electabuzz at my side, “tries to captivate a Lunatone?”
All the while I was looking at the combatants attack each other by flailing, tackling, shouting leaves, sparks and flames, calling them names, strike poses and even faking being tired or hurt. Some times one of the Pokémon would go into the ground and I could follow their movement with my roots, and other times one of them would detach themselves from the ground and float in the air, making it difficult for me to follow their movement.
What impressed me the most was the incredible resilience most of these Pokémon had.
Suddenly I heard the name of Electabuzz being shout from the mouth of the human. Electabuzz stood up, look back at us, made a gesture similar to the humans when they stick up their thick tendril and said: “Now you're learning how this game is played, kids!”
He leapt to the arena as another Pokémon that looked like a blue turtle with a brown shell painfully took seat close to the so-called Kirlia.
In front of Electabuzz stood a land-dweller with two legs, a purple body covered with bruises, a tremendous jaw with two large teeth-looking protrusions rising almost to the line of the eyes, and flattened ears. Its dull-white eyes were fixated in Electabuzz and its thick and short tail was waving in the same way Electabuzz's was. The two contestants were staring at each other and most of the other Pokémon suddenly got silent.
I assumed that the human was to command Electabuzz, which he did. With the first command, Electabuzz channeled energy through his hands, making them glow white, and started running towards his opponent who let out a tremendous burst of flames. Before he could move aside Electabuzz was hit by the flames, but he kept dashing forwards and then leapt high to release a strong hit to the ground right behind the opponent who managed to dodge by jumping the direction Electabuzz was coming from.
With the next series of commands, Electabuzz held his still glowing hand high and started running towards the opponent, who charged against Electabuzz too head first, knocking him out of the way. That didn't discourage him, however, and Electabuzz rolled back and dashed to connect a strong hit in the opponent's leg, with the opponent releasing a very angry growl at that move.
After that more commands came by and the two Pokémon tried to hit each other several times, Electabuzz mostly working with his hands whereas the opponent, who Kirlia had named Granbull, tried to knock him away with his head or pierce him by jumping and diving at him head-first with those jaws.
Suddenly a particular order came from the human which made Electabuzz stop in place and put up a face like he was trying to concentrate on a hard problem. I stiffened my trunk and sensed his muscles tensing and his energy building. At the same time, however, a strong vibration came through the ground and I saw the Granbull thing punch the ground with such a strength that a cloud of dust covered him for an instant. I felt movement in my roots and as the dust dissipated he was no longer there – he was making his way to Electabuzz from under the ground.
I looked at Electabuzz, who seemed very confused at the disappearance of his opponent: he was turning his sight left and right and his legs didn't move even a bit. I found it strange that he was having such trouble to locate his opponent when I could clearly see in my head the Granbull stopping about three body lengths to the left and four below Electabuzz and stretching his arms. I also sensed a strange energy flowing from the underground Pokémon and focusing in the locus of his chest, in pretty much the same way I would build up the green ball.
Electabuzz seemed to pick up the vibrations from the ground and stared at the position on the ground right over Granbull, and with the next command from the human he raised his arm and tail and started building energy around them. Then I felt Granbull digging his way upwards in a strange fashion: quick swirling movements and caving a tunnel too wide for him to strongly launch himself against the electric Pokémon. As Electabuzz suddenly crouched on the ground and charged more energy in his hand, I realized Granbull's tactic was similar to my own.
“It's a trap!” I shouted. “He will stay down and launch energy!”
The others, of course, looked back at me. The human did too, although I don't think he understood a thing about what I said. Electabuzz leered at me very briefly and then took an incredible jump, and high in the air he clamped his hands together and channeled a kind of pink-glowing energy to them.
The ground below Electabuzz shattered releasing several small rocks and a cloud of smoke. My roots registered Granbull barely popping out of the hole and projecting a small, pulsating energy ball with his hands upwards to attack Electabuzz, but the airborne Pokémon was now ready to retaliate. As the energy ball emerged from the cloud and reached to Electabuzz, he yelled and hit it with his now glowing hands, returning it to the sender. The ball impacted somewhere down the cloud and I could now feel Granbull's body painfully hitting the edge of the tunnel.
Electabuzz swirled his entire body, concentrated the energy in his tail, and plunged head first towards the smoke. We all felt the tremendous shock and heard a painful scream, and when the smoke finally dissipated, Electabuzz was carrying Granbull by the tail towards the group.
The human seemed concerned and walked towards the pair, spoke some words to Electabuzz that made him put up a strange, amused face, and took the fallen Granbull. Electabuzz shaked his hands with some of the other Pokémon who had gone to him, leaving him and the human surrounded. Meanwhile, Vigoroth approached at me and before I could raise my tentacles to defend myself, he said:
“That was a good tip... I didn't know you could see things in the ground.”
“It's pretty easy,” I answered. “I can feel anything that's heavy and moves in the ground.”
“I'll take that into consideration for our rematch,” he replied.
“What was the pink light, anyway? He bounced back the energy with a swift move.”
“Don't know, but he learnt it from a Medicham,” Vigoroth replied as he pointed at another Pokémon, very thin in appearance, who was talking to the floating laugh-ball. “Now, if you excuse me...”
Vigoroth left to climb a tree while Electabuzz left the side of the human, who produced some small spherical devices and pointed them towards each Pokémon. A small beam of light erupted from the spheres and it made the Pokémon literally melt into the light and disappear. I was about to jump in and attack (or, more likely, to turn roots and try to crawl away), but when I saw Electabuzz' tranquil face I calmed down.
The human and Electabuzz came closer to me and the human started talking. I couldn't understand much except some simple sounds, so I shrunk my trunk and waved my tentacles, prompting Electabuzz to translate.
“He was asking if you tipped me. I'll explain that to him later.”
“Was it wrong?” I asked. “You were having a hard time there.”
“Hey!” he shouted as he put up a frown. “I had everything under control, it would've just taken longer.” He looked up to see the human's amused face, coughed, and continued. “He says if you like to watch you're invited to see our training sessions.”
“Isn't it what you offered to me before?”
“Well, yes,” he replied, “but this time there are two differences. First,” he pointed out as he stuck up a tendril, “it's official. You would be part of our group.”
“Well, have you thought about the glory stuff?”
“No...” I answered.
“Then second is, you're welcome to train with us if you feel like you're up to it. I'll teach you the commands and such.”
“I'll think about it.”
He approached me and said with an amused tone: “Tell you what: you teach me how to trace opponents in the ground, and I teach you how to shoot a light beam to blind your opponents.”
I gave the idea some thought. The human kept looking at us for quite a while. It couldn't be that bad, I said to myself. I was very slow when compared to most of these other Pokémon, so having them blind for a while could give me enough time to charge my green ball. It could also help me attract fishes to eat.
Or maybe... I could blind Gyarados so that she would leave me alone? Yes. That would be great.
“Fine then,” I answered. “I'll give it a try.”
From that day and for some weeks, I would leave my place at the water chamber and spend the day with Electabuzz and “the Party”. That's what he called the group of the five best who, in his words, “rock the most in battle.”
Such use of the word “rock” was strange enough that I had to check the Guide that night, and I figured out that he most probably meant “we are the most effective and best looking ones in battle”. It kinda sounded like how Gyarados spoke of herself, but I liked the conciseness and shortness of this “rock” speech.
Electabuzz explained to me that humans had some rules to help and train us, and one of them was that at most six Pokémon could battle for a human at any time. So I was surprised enough when Electabuzz took me to a new chamber, covered in sand, and I saw only four other Pokémon with the human. I would have thought that if the human was that important there would have six of us with him... But I did not ask questions.
The “Party” was split in three different groups. Electabuzz and the human took me to one edge of the chamber and we started practising some stuff. I would show them what I was capable of doing, and Electabuzz would translate some of the commands and inquiries the human had. Vigoroth was at the center of the sand chamber fighting against another Pokémon who looked like a giant, floating rock with the shape of the moon at night: the one called Lunatone; and at another point in the chamber Kirlia was dancing around, emiting a pink aura, while floating in the air three small blue spheres followed and danced around her.
The first days Electabuzz and the human taught me how humans named the attacks and tricks I had, and I learnt I had to be very careful with some kind of things such as bugs (little flying creatures who fought by shooting poison or spores to their enemies), punches (which is what Electabuzz was doing when he tried to hit the Granbull with his hands) and ice (which is like water, except is more white, solid, and one can not swim in it). I spent some time practising my abilities with Electabuzz, and sometimes with Kirlia. They would try to get close to me and I had to attack them and keep them “at bay” which for humans means “far enough”. Some other times, we would try different kinds of food, drink water and do simple things like that.
During one session, while I was trying to aim at a floating Kirlia to spit some acid at her, she floated high enough that I decided to crawl to a wall and try to reach her. She would look at me with funny eyes while I climbed up the wall and when I was about the height of the human, she asked what was the idea of crawling if I was not to reach her. I explained that it would make it easier to spit at her. But she answered that as long as she was floating she could go to the opposite wall and I would have to climb down and chase her again, which she demonstrated.
I was a bit furious when I climbed down because I was getting tired after all the exercise. When I was about to reach the floor, I noticed a part of the wall that stuck out and was made of a particularly strange kind of rock. Very cold and plain to touch and of a strong grey, almost black colour that somehow seemed to reflect light from the suns above, it called my attention and I decided that it could serve me as a shortcut to slide down to the floor.
I did not notice anything strange until I hard Vigoroth running towards me. Then I felt strange vibrations coming from inside the wall, which was very strange. I moved my roots slightly to confirm the origin of the vibrations and was even more confused when I felt that the entire part of the wall I was stuck to was actually generating a dull sound, and pushing itself away from the wall.
I moved my head slightly and was about to ask what was going on when I heard a deep, dull and guttural voice:
“Greetings, biological unit.” recited the voice. “It looks like you are trying to walk up the wall. Would you like some help?”
I shivered as the part of the wall I was sticking to started to move by itself. Two arm-like protrusions emerged from out of nowhere and the wall suddenly seemed to... walk? My roots couldn't be lying. This part of wall had legs.
“Lileep, get off that!” I heard Electabuzz yelling. “What were you doing?”
I quickly detached myself and roughly fell to the ground. As I circled my head and tried to stand up again I noticed that the part of the wall I had tried to climb had walked up to my side and was looking at me. It was quite bulky and its trunk was very short, supporting however an incredibly large round head with a plain, almost black face and seven small red eyes arranged in a curious pattern.
Before I could answer anything, some of the seven eyes started blinking in strange patterns and the creature turned its head to one side. I could feel Electabuzz and the human coming close to me.
“Unit Electabuzz, is this Pokémon hurt?” asked the strange creature.
“It's all right, soldier!” shouted Electabuzz as he stood right between the wall-thing and me. I noticed the human grabbing me and helping me to my root. “Lileep was just going to take a rest,” he explained as he looked back at me.
I nodded and uttered a “hi”, which made Vigoroth took his hand to his face while the human walked to the wall-thing and seemed to give it some instructions.
The eyes blinked again and the creature inquired: “Does the biological unit Lileep need rest? Please state the location of Lileep's nest and I will take it there.”
Electabuzz and the human looked at each other for a couple of minutes. Thinking that they had forgotten about my water chamber I made an attempt to explain, but Electabuzz turned around and ordered me to remain silent.
The human said something, a simple word that from what I had gathered meant “here”. In response, the eyes of the wall-thing blinked a couple of times, and then it said:
“Lileep has been already returned to its nest. I now return to the rest mode.”
After that, the wall-thing turned around and walked back to the wall, where it stood for a while until the eyes shut down and I could no longer register its motion, vibration or power. Just like what had happened when I saw the statue of the human, except the wall-thing remained the same.
“Sorry about that,” said Electabuzz as he rubbed my head, “but that Registeel takes things too literal. If you answered that you lived at the water chamber, he would have picked you up and taken you there.”
“What's the problem about that?” I asked.
“Well, he would've gone in a straight line, digging the walls and knocking down all the doors and the gates. But that doesn't matter. Here, let me take you home.”
That night when I returned home I found the same creature with the sac who had delivered the guide to me. He told me there was an urgent message for me, handed me a leaf, and continued his way.
“Salac Berry?” he asked left and right. “Who ordered a Salac Berry...?”
I brought the leaf right in front of my eyes and read:
“Tonight when the lights of the humans go off. Meet me in front of the hollow tube. Bring the Guide. Dispose of this message.”
I did (I ate the leaf, it wasn't tasty) and returned to the depths of my chamber, wondering who was calling me and why.
That night, when the lights of the humans went off (which I could see by watching the hollow tube), I took the rock guide and went to the designated meeting place.
I had to wait for quite a while and I figured out that it was better for me to distract myself doing something until the time came. So I spent some minutes wondering how to speed up the charging of the “Energy Ball” attack like I had seen the floating-ball Pokémon doing.
I was actually getting busy about that, when my tentacles registered a strange pressure building somewhere in the water close to me. I turned my head and observed as from out of nowhere a sphere of white light was forming, as if unrolling itself out of an imaginary water cocoon.
The sphere silently grew larger and brighter. I closed my eyes for an instant, and waited until my tentacles registered pressure no more. But instead I was feeling a strange energy coming from the sphere. An omnipresent power that was sucking life towards it, yet at the same time pulsating with life in all directions. I readied myself to attack as I opened my eyes, but what I saw looking at me left me speechless.
A small white-pink creature was floating in the water no more than three body lengths away. Its small legs and arms were moving in the water and the entire body leaned back and forth. The head of the creature was kinda triangular in shape and had a small snout and two prominent eyes looking deeply at me. Small bubbles were coming out from the creature's nostrils. Behind the trunk a thin and incredibly long tail was swirling all along. And the creature was completely surrounded by a multicoloured aura that emanated from the body and gave the surrounding water an interesting effect of reflection.
With all that I recognized the creature-- no, The Ancient God, on the spot. I managed to gracefully bow towards the figure and drop my tentacles. While I was doing so I felt a voice coming from everywhere at once.
“Welcome, to the world of the present!”
I staggered, not knowing who was talking to me, and nervously looked left and right. I mean, of course I knew it had to be The God, but the voice was ominous, piercing, proud, ineluctable and warming. When I raised my sight and heard The God speak again, I could see no mouth or head movement, only a faint glow surrounding his body as the voice appeared again out of nowhere.
“I said, welcome,” He repeated. Again from everywhere and nowhere at once, and with a bit of questioning and rudeness in it.
“I-- I'm sorry, I mean-- It is an honour to receive your visit, oh Ancient.”
Mew answered by twisting His body around and swiftly moving a bit closer; then He focused His eyes on me and released some more bubbles out from His nostrils as His glow faded slowly.
“Of course it is an honour for you,” he said again, and I could feel a sort of tickling in my entire body as I watched one of the most ancient and powerful creatures of the world joyfully looking back at me. “And in time, too. I understand you have some questions for me?”
To Be Continued...
(darn... character limit again~! )
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