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Old December 26th, 2012 (1:01 PM). Edited December 27th, 2012 by stars.
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→ Cherrygrove City

♦ Soundtrack

After healing her pokémon, Krissu barely turned around to face the entrance of the pokémon center again before she was jumped by two people. Two other players.

"Krissu!" one of them said, a short girl with her orange hair in a bun. "There you are! Me and Stern are going to the shore, want to come with us?" Her smile showed all of her teeth and made Krissu almost want to blink.

"Something tells me she's already been there, Tiasha," Stern said with a meaning look at Krissu's still moist clothes. He was a dark skinned man with bald head and small beard.

"I was," Krissu replied without smiling. She started to walk across the lobby and Stern and Tiasha gave each other a worried look and followed.

When the lockdown happened, Christina and Malcolm had not been alone. A lot of people had been in route 29 at that time and grouping together seemed like a wise thing to do. During their days in Cherrygrove, they became friends and did their best to make plans on how to get out of the game half the time and trying to pretend it wasn't a game at all the other half of the time. Tiasha and Stern had not known each other before MAO, but from what Krissu had been told, Stern had saved Tiasha's life on route 29 that day and she had sworn to one day do the same. So the two of them had stuck together ever since. Krissu could understand them. To have someone to rely on in this strange world... She did not have that anymore.

"I captured this," she said as they exited to the street and took out Tentacool's pokéball. The water type appeared on the ground and let out a bubbling sound, probably as a kind of greeting towards Tiasha and Stern. Tiasha seemed impressed while Stern muttered that he disliked poison types.

"Ok, then, let's go to find some berries on route 29!" Tiasha suggested instead. "Since I'm a berry brewer now, I'll automatically know which ones are the best!"

"It's called alchemist," Stern corrected her and earned an annoyed look.

Krissu watched them bickering, silently. She had been like that with Malcolm too, up until a few days ago. But never again, now. When Tiasha noticed Krissu's sad look, she waved Stern away and opened her mouth to give yet another suggestion.

"It's alright," Krissu stopped her. "I don't feel like doing anything, is all. I'll just train for a bit, maybe."

"Just train? That's not something the Krissu I know would say," Stern commented with a clever look. "She would call that 'reckless'."

The pink haired girl looked up, a tone of anger in her red eyes now. "I am not reckless. I'll train so that I won't white out when it matters. I'll... I will go to the academy in Violet."

Both Tiasha and Stern raised their eyebrows at that. "You'll go to Violet?" the girl burst out. "But that's dangerous!"

She had come up with that idea just now. It wasn't anything she had thought through properly. But she couldn't linger in Cherrygrove any longer. Too many bad memories here now. "Being alive is dangerous," she said and turned away. "Because you might die."

She walked away with her back against her friends, Tentacool following her with uneasy steps on his tentacles. They didn't call her back; she assumed that Stern had gripped Tiasha and prevented her from running after her. It was typical of them. They took care of each other. Krissu would take care of her pokémon now, instead.

At the market, she spent a portion of her last money on food for the journey north. She really needed to get into a profession or begin battling now. The latter would serve several purposes. She'd just have to find the courage to challenge someone.

As she neared the northern edge of Cherrygrove, the weather grew better and the sun was shining through the clouds. A good omen, maybe. Krissu did not notice much; her mind was swirling at the moment.

"Excuse me, young lady!" a voice to her left called out all of a sudden. Krissu turned with a dull look to find an elderly woman, stylishly dressed and with an important air about her. She was walking on the street towards the white coated girl. The mayor. Having been in Cherrygrove for several days, this was another thing that Krissu already knew. She just had never bothered approaching this NPC because she knew that the quest she would propose involved traveling onto route 30. But now... the situation was different, wasn't it?

"Mrs Mayor," Krissu said with a polite nod. This earned her a wide, motherly smile from the woman. Did NPCs have feelings?

"I couldn't help noticing that it seems like you are going north. Is this correct?"

"Yes. I'm going to route 30 now."

"Good. See, I have an acquaintance there who has been bothering me for a while now about an important find that he has made. But he won't send me the item in question. He insists that I should visit him in person to transport it safely."

Krissu nodded absentmindedly as she listened. From what was in the old Johto games, she thought she recognized part of this.

"His name is Mr Pokémon." Ah, there it was. The man in the cabin in the woods. "Now, I'm sure you understand that I'm both too old and too busy to trek the woods for something like that. But I was wondering if you, a young and fresh trainer, might do me the favor of bringing his item back here to me?"

A slight smile escaped Krissu's lips now. But only because she had decided on something. "No, thanks," she said. "I have no intention of coming back to Cherrygrove anytime soon. I'm sure some other trainer will help you, though."

The mayor seemed a bit disappointed, but bid goodbye to Krissu and went on her way. Krissu sighed. Going all the way to Mr. Pokémon and then back again? She would only do that if there was a really good reward for it. Pretending to herself that she was sure of what she was doing, she took her first steps out onto the infamous and long route 30.
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