Plains of Valkaria
Zane listened to Dinorah's tale. Her story may have been like many others. A young Pokemon wishing to prove themselves by joining the Gold Tribe, yet being thrust in the invasion and war, going into hiding as each city fell. She had training according to her story, but Zane didn't know on what level the training was. Many have tried to join the Gold Tribe before, and many were turned away. She would have to get a recommendation from an active or retired Gold Tribe member, and then train in one of the Academies. If she would finish her training, she would become one of them, and be given a title and her own emblem.
Of course, that was the way initiation went before all of this. Now, most of it seemed time-consuming and impractical if one were to try to join. Besides, Zane didn't even think it was really necessary either way. What purpose would it serve to have her join a dying group of guardians now that there were so few remaining? Their numbers in the past few years have dwindled from a couple thousand to a couple dozen, if that. Was there really a Gold Tribe to join anymore?
But if she wanted to help, he wouldn't turn her away. They needed everyone they could get. At the very least, if she truly has been trained, she could help in the war effort. "I see. Well, we're currently on the way to Cape City. We're trying to locate a certain artifact, as well as one of our brothers. The three scouts over there," He said, motioning to the Eevee, Pawniard, and Tyrogue, "are leading us to someone who could help find him, as well as potentially help free Cape City from the Silver Tribe. If you like, you can accompany us. We can fill you in on everything that's happened once we're underway. Welcome to the group." Zane stated with a smile. He wasn't sure of Dinorah's capabilities as a fighter, but he was optimistic. Time would tell what she would be able to do, but Zane was more than happy to have another fighter with him. The Gold Tribe all for the most part looked ready to leave, some with anxious expressions. Others with determined features.
Zane approached the three Pokemon next to the campsite. With the Gold Tribe ready to go, he now had to make sure they were ready, before they can take off. Cape City was still a while away, so the sooner they were to leave, the better.
"Good morning." Zane said to the three. "Are you all prepared to depart?"
The three glanced among each other and Lashire stood up, bowing before Vigil. "Yes, we are most collected and prepared. We must leave soon, the time table for the change will happen soon enough. The Ancients are not the brightest but when they change posts that will be the time to move throughout the tunnels."
Saul snorted in response. "Lash, you forget something. We know the tunnels, these idiots will end up going the wrong way or wanting to fight! Don't even get me started on once we get to the winding tunnels and they end up getting seperated!"
Lashire just smiled, "They are Gold Tribe Saul, they can handle it, right Mr. Vigil?"
Zane nodded, returning Lashire's smile, "We'll be alright." He then thought on something that they had mentioned, "So then this Pokemon...your leader, he's located in the tunnels under Cape City? How did he ever navigate them? Even the Gold Tribe don't know all of the passages. It's a maze."
Lashire just grinned in response, "It's... complicated Mr. Vigil. Hey! Once we get you there you can ask him, it just never occured to me to ask how he found out the trick to navigating them."
Saul just grunted as he adjusted his pack. "Well, we ready to head out then?"
Lashire cast a glance at the Eevee who had slept through the whole commotion and picked her up, slinging her over his shoulder with ease. "Yes. Zara will wake up some time later, but we need to head out now, unless you all can wait until evening for another change of the guards."
Zane turned back to the rest of the group, "Gold Tribe! There's no time to lose. We move now."
Some time passed as the three young pokmeon led the group not along a path, but through several wodded areas. As they led the Gold Tribe through the area the three were rather silent. Saul just held his pack close to his back, Lashire confidentally strode forward, and Zara just slept on, every so often turning about or mumbling in her sleep. Some of the Gold Tribe talked with each other, but others did not. Zane managed to tell the newcomer, Dinorah, about everything that has happened, from their past journey to the Gold and Silver Crystal.
Lashire suddenly stopped and held up a hand. "Wait, we're near the tunnel." The Pawniard leaned down and grabbed a part of the grass and tugged it up. Surprisingly the ground yielded and it was shown that the 'grass' was nothing more than some kind of thick blanket heavily camouflaged and had grass weaved into it. "Down this way. We'll be going into a very dark passage, but make no lights. No fire no nothing. Fire is easily seen from a long distance down here. One flame and every Ancient will be on us. Just keep close and you fall behind... well... just make sure it doesn't happen."
With that Lashire lept down the hole with Saul following after him into the darkness.
Zane looked down into the hole after Lahire and Saul lept inside. Cape City was in their sights, thought they were still quite a distance away from it, so he imagined they would have to travel in the tunnels for a bit. The hole was rather large, enough to accomodate the smaller and large Pokemon that traveled with them. He looked back at the others who followed.
"Be wary, keep your eyes open." He said, before jumping in after the scouts.
The tunnel itself was extremely dark. With the hole above them there was enough light to show a very distinct difference from the other parts of the tunnel. Looking down the tunnel all there was to see was a very black darkness. Saul was already moving ahead and as he moved into the shadows it just looked like he had vanished.
Lashire waited for the last Gold Tribe to come down before he climbed up and reached out of the hole to grab the cover and slide it over the hole instantly shrouding everything in darkness.
"Follow me Gold Tribe. For the most part it is a straight shot, but every so often I'll tell you all when to make a turn or what not. Don't miss the turns. We can't spend time searching for you in the miles of tunnels, the best advice I can give you if that happens is try to find your way back to this area and get out of the tunnels. Once an Ancient finds ya, that's it."
With that they would hear the sound of crunching footsteps as the Pawniard headed forward.