I run up to the job board, eager to find any new jobs being posted today. Ever since I joined the Florges Guild, it’s been a routine of mine: Every day after class, I come here to look for something challenging, something to get my blood pumping. But for nothing. Just like every other day, today offers nothing interesting posted on this dull, wooden surface. All the good jobs have already been taken; they just fly right off the board like fresh poffins from the bakery before I get the chance to arrive. All that’s left are the five or six requests asking for farm-paws to help pick carrots or potatoes, not even a single one asking for help plowing their fields. What a letdown.
My ears tilt back and my restless foot beats the soft earth below me. I grumble and plant a paw against my side. “Where’s the operator?” I ask myself out loud. “They should be here rotating these out by now. Didn’t I see these yesterday?”
“Oran.” Pecha’s voice boomed from behind me. Wavy streaks run down the buneary’s body, a sign she finished her daily after training ritual of brushing all dirt and grime from her dark brown fur. Her tan button eyebrows slant in an irritated angle, arms crossing her chest. Just as I know her ritual, she knows mine, and she always knows to find me here after class.
Rawst accompanies her like a shadow, and just as quiet as one. His pitch-black zorua fur clashes with the natural lighting of the assembly hall flooding from above. Those deep blue eyes of his always look so sleepy to me, like even a day-long nap won’t be enough to recover from his weariness.
Everyone in Team PRO is now here. A vibrant green bandana hugs each of our necks, adorned with a wood badge as a physical representation of our beginner status. Not too long until we trade these dull, old things for shiny, new bronze badges.
“Give it a rest,” Pecha sighed. “So long as we’re still in training, you won’t find anything. You’re better off doing those farm-paw requests.”
Rawst shakes his head. “She’s right. We should make do with what we have.”
“But what we have is boring.” To prove my point, I hop up and snatch as many posts from the board with one swipe, and read their titles out loud. "'Help Wanted: Pulling Carrots and Beets’; ‘Need Strong Pokemon to Help Push Plow’; ‘Too Many Seeds to Plant on My Own, Need Help.’ Who would actually take these?”
“I would.” Rawst’s head sinks low, and his ears flatten. “I mean, I would, but I can’t manipulate tools like you guys can. If only to support my mom with a little extra money.”
My sister snickers in a playful grin. “Aww, wittle Wawsty is a wittle mama’s boy. You should let her put a big, pretty bow on you.” Her paw combs through the tuft of crimson fur on his head. “you’ll look super cute in a blue one— it’ll match your eyes.”
Rawst opens his mouth to respond, but choked on his words. Instead, he stood there in awkward silence, a fog of red aura engulfing him. “I-I’d look handsome, not cute.”
She has a fondness for teasing boys her age. She once told me it was all in light fun, just to watch how they react. While some were harder sells than others, she especially favored shy, quiet ones like Rawst. They each had their own special way of reacting no other Pokemon could reenact, which she enjoyed.
“U-um, hello?” A new voice catches our attention, soft yet terrified from the sound of it.
In walks a deerling with her legs trembling and face pale, contrasting with her otherwise rich June coat. Her aura flashes like red bolts of lightning to the beat of her heart, fright and exhaustion pouring out of her. What got her so riled up?
She approaches us, her legs threatening to cave in from her overbearing weight. “Please, can you help me?”
Without warning, my curiosity earns me a swift jab to the shoulder by my sister. Normally her hits don’t faze me, but I cringe at just how sudden and sharp the pain was. “What was that for?” The soreness turns into numbness, and I rub at the injured spot until all feeling comes back.
“Be more respectful,” she chides me in a whisper. “That’s not how you’re supposed to address her.”
I didn’t mean her any disrespect. t just slipped my mind how the Florges Guild wants me to address our clients. Civilian pokemon come to the guild seeking help all the time, from those seeking help with their chores because they’re too lazy to do it themselves to the emotionally distraught and paranoid thinking they’re gonna get eaten by a predator. Their safety and satisfaction takes top priority. A single complaint could spread like wildfire and doom the unfortunate guild that caught their ire.
Clearing her throat, Pecha gussies up her voice and delivers her best game-winning smile. “Hello, my name is Pecha, and I’m leader of Team Pecha, Rawst, and Oran—or Team PRO for short. How may we help you, ma’am?” Her smile is obviously fake, but it astonishes me and Rawst how well she’s able to wear it. All those countless hours spent on practicing and experimenting on her responses had paid off for her.
The deerling grunts and her front legs give in, collapsing on the floor. As if on shared instinct, we all rush to her side.
We situate her somewhere away from the busier parts of the assembly hall, somewhere with shade, and a nice, soft patch of grass to lay in. I hand her a dish of water, and she gulps it down at an incredible speed. She could drink an entire lake dry in minutes.
“What happened?” Pecha asks her, concern lingering in her voice. “Do you want to go to the nurse?”
The deerling coughs, the burn of fatigue still stinging in her throat. “N-no, thank you. I’m just a little exhausted. You don’t know the half of what I went through today. I never ran that hard in my life. My name’s Petaya, by the way.” Her aura dies down from a lightning storm to just a cloud of sparks after she had her moment to breathe. “Who can I speak to to file my request?”
“That would be us,” a clear voice calls to us.
A florges and azumarill emerge from one of the main halls, and approach us carefully.
The florges rivals any gardevoir in beauty. A vibrant bouquet of blue flowers wrap around her neck like a fashionable collar, but I keep forgetting what they’re called. Her thin and frail frame reminds me of a flower stem. Sometimes, I wonder if she’s boneless and hollow like one.
The azumarill’s body is a lighter blue than the sky, her bubble patterns are white like snow. She always looks to be on the verge of tears to me, but I never register any sorrow or sadness from her aura. Not even the faintest trace of irritation.
“Guildmistress Babiri, Assistant-Guildmistress Kelpsy,” Pecha squeaks in surprise. “I thought you were in a meeting.”
“I heard a commotion, and Babiri wanted to investigate,” Kelpsy replied.
Caressing Petaya’s head with a doctor’s touch, Babiri’s face shrinks in concern with each passing scan. Her scarlet aura screams to shower the poor creature with lots of love and care, but she keeps up her professional front.
“Oh dear, what happened? Poor thing, you must’ve worn yourself ragged.”
“I was foraging in Verde Forest for maranga berries, but had a run-in with a predator. I ran straight here.” Wobbly at the knees, she tries standing up. Everyone throws their arms out to support her at the slightest show of weakness, but she manages herself without our aid. Her snout points at us. “But those three helped me out. They found me this spot to rest in, and even gave me water.”
Babiri breathes a sigh of relief and presses a slender hand against her chest to calm her anxious heart, then looks at us with a joyful smile stretching from eye to eye. “Good job, Team PRO.”
Receiving the guildmistress’ thanks sends a swarm of warm butterfree fluttering in my stomach, but I kinda like it. Appreciation feels nice.
“We’ll be glad to assist you in filing your request,” Kelpsy squeaked. “Let us show you to our office.”
“Sure, but can they come along?” She nudges her head towards us. “I want them to join.”
The florges and azumarill trade a glance of uncertainty with each other. After helping her out, Petaya must want us to fulfill her request. They must be thinking, ‘Sending trainees on a dangerous mission? Isn’t that against the rules?’
“If that’s what you wish, I’ll let them come, too.” My ears prick up as Babiri calls for us, signaling us to follow them.
Are we going to her office? A new kind of anxiety settles in my stomach. Most of the time I go to Babiri’s office because I’m in trouble. For once, that’s not the case. This is it. Babiri’s finally gonna give us a real mission. Just thinking about it quickly turns my anxiety into excitement.
Off to a good start, already I'm getting a feel who these characters are and their dynamics with each other. Another thing regarding is I like their seemingly priorities. Oran wanting to do harder missions as the rambunctious boy he is, Pecha being seemingly self centered (as evident by Oran winning her over) and Rawst who sees to be the tagger along of the two but I'm sure more will come from him.
Nothing much to say plot wise, save for a good set up for next chapter and them (I'm guessing) going on that mission despite concern by Charti or Babiri or even both.
First off, I want to say that everything is going fine and I'm working as best I can to publish chapter 2, since it's been in the works for a while. I wanted to make this important notice now so everyone knows what my plan is and not freak out later.
I've recently talked to my beta reader from Fanfiction.net about my plan to shift this story's POV from third person to first person. He suggested that I upload this as an A/N for chapter 2, but since it's not even ready to publish yet, I decided to just stick it here. Writing in third person feels really stiff and limiting to me, and I feel that I'm relying more on telling than showing to get through my scenes, and that's pretty boring to me. By writing in first person, not only will it help get in the heads of my characters a little better, but it'll help improve the overall prose and flow of my work. I can be pretty self-critical about my work lol.
I'm shooting to release chapter 2 either before or during Christmas, but right now it seems unlikely. Once I have chapter 1 rewritten and uploaded in first person, I'll do the same with what I have of chapter 2, then delete this post after chapter 2 is finally uploaded. I know I should have thought of this before I started writing the story, but I think it's better that I realize this now than, say, 10 chapters down the road.
I hope you understand, and sorry for the long periods of inactivity. For further questions, just send me a PM. Happy holidays!
“I mean, I would, but I can’t manipulate tools like you guys can
Kind of frustrated with myself I didn't think of this before, but why doesn't Rawst just transform into something to do it. While yeah, it's an illusion it kind of has shown other times to be at least physically able to do it. Like the Zoroark being the pikachu on the rail.