As the day progressed the air became dryer and the temperature rose to the unbearable degree that it was yesterday. Still, no matter how hard it got he had to put on a good face, straigthen his back, and lift his head up. If the alpha alliance soldiers saw him or his brothers start dragging their feet or even complain then they would find the excuse to do so as well and their pace would surely be slowed. They only took a few stops to nourish themselves and most of their supplies went to the soldiers, a Gold Tribe member could survive on less if they really needed to. It was one of the things that had been drilled into them from the academies. As they walked the scenery changed. Instead of just walking through sand they started seeing rocks scattered along the ground. Penance had no idea if they were nearing the ruins or if they were still a long way off but just seeing a change helped Penance realize how much ground they had covered.
It seemed to be too good when the group came upon a small pond complete with a few trees surrounding the water. Vigil called a stop and Penance fell in along the crowd of pokemon eagerly seeking the water. Penance gratefully splashed the water upon his face and while it was warm he really wasn't in a mood to complain. He also took the time to fill up his water bottles, there was no telling how long it would be before they found another water source again. All the soldier seemed to relax and then the talking began. Penance was busy with his water bottles and barely noticed the female Roserade come beside him and stick her hands in the water. He was aware of her when she let out a sigh. Turning he saw her 'hands' become a brighter color until the flowers were blooming. She took them and out and sighed, "It's lovely, coming across this little bit of life, isn't it?"
Penance nodded, "Yes, luck I would call it."
The Roserade smiled, "I guest you can call it both. It's a symbol that no matter how rough life can get around you there's always hope somewhere, even in a dessert."
"That's a very metaphorical meaning you just came up with." Penance replied.
"I suppose. I have a question for you. Why all the myster with your Tribe? You have so many different customs, like having titles and not names, and you all are so close knit. I would have thought that you all had spent years together. Why is that?"
Penance blinked in suprise, "Well, it's not all that complicated. It's a..."
"Scouts heading this way!" Hazone said.
Penance glanced up. Scouts all the way out here?
"There appears to only be half a dozen of them. Shouldn't we just take them out?" An Aipom Alpha Alliance soldier asked.
"We shouldn't risk confrontation. We have no idea who they are. Hide behind the rocks!" He heard Vigil say. Wasting no time Penance grabbed the roserade and dove behind a rock formation. Putting up a finger to his lips all Penance did was stay where he was, breathing as softly as he could. He could feel the Roserade next to him doing her best to stay quiet as well. Penance didn't know how much had passed but then he heard a voice.
"Someone's been here."
"Shall we scout the area for Pokemon?"
"No. I imagine they were just refugees fleeing. If they traveled into the Wastes of Will, they're nothing but corpses now, and I have no time nor use for dead citizens. Let's go."
Penance continued to hide until he no longer heard their footsteps. He waited just a bit longer before he got up and walked over to where the rest of the pokemon were gathering.
"That was Sentry. By my count, he's heading east, most likely to Eternity City, but I'm not sure. We should continue south to Poseida." Hazone said.
"Right. Come on, everyone. We should get going. Less than a day ahead of us." Vigil said. Penance turned to the Roserade but saw that she was already joining up with the rest of the Soldiers. Making sure to adjust his pack Penance went back to the front of the group and realized that in all the commotion he hadn't asked for her name.