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Old July 13th, 2017 (1:33 AM).
DreamSayer DreamSayer is offline
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
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    People say that life is all about making choices. It doesn't matter how dire or trivial our choices are, but they make us who we are and carve us a path to move onward. Sadly, those choices can sometimes overwhelm some us whom are weak willed, and lead them to ruin. War, chaos, suffering and death; these are all a result of the ill effects of the choices we've made at one point or another in our lives. So, I ask this; Would it perhaps be better if we didn't have to make choices at all? Would it be better if we were free from making choices and lived without them? I wouldn't know.

    **(C)**

    A gentle breeze blew through the wild flower vines of a sloped ditch surrounded by mossy rocks and ferns. It sent pollen grains and dandelion seeds drifting away. A young minccino laid there, curled up, and sleeping underneath the shade of rocks while a ribombee gathered pollen in a small hand woven sash. The ribombee put her head into a flower cup and withdrew it with pollen grains all over her short delicate hair. After that, she then collected the pollen into her thin arms and rolled them up then placed them into the sash. Alright, I think I've collected enough nectar and pollen. Now to wake him up so we can head back.

    "Wake up, Harvey!" she yelled into the minccino's ear.

    His eyes pried open when he woke up. He grumbled a few times and began to close his eyes again. "Harvey!" she shouted at him again.

    "I'm up!" Harvey groaned as he rubbed his eyes slowly. He unwrapped his long bushy tail from around himself—which he was using as a pillow—and then stretched his paws while his long white tipped ears fluttered a bit. "I'm awake… You can stop your yelling now." Harvey ended his sentence with a sigh. He glanced at the pink ribombee that woke him. "Are you done already, Rubee?"

    Rubee buzzed her wings as she zipped around over his head. "Of course, I am! Now get up! It's time head back home and start making some pollen puffs!" When he didn't oblige, she started pulling on his ears. "Come on! Get up! You lazy bum!"

    "Ow, ow, ow! Quit doing that!" Harvey leapt up, fully awake. He held the white tips of his ears and groaned. "Geez! You didn't have to pull on my ears!"

    "let's get going. You don't want to keep Moga waiting too long now, do you?"

    "Hey don't forget, you're the one who dragged us all the way out here in the first place." Harvey groggily rubbed his eyes and yawned. He climbed down the rock he was standing on and dropped to the mossy ground. He shuddered as soon as his feet touched the ground. "I don't suppose you could carry me out of here? I really don't want to have to touch any more of these things. They give me goosebumps." Harvey flailed his paw around after getting a bit of moss on it.

    "Sure, Mr. Cleanfreak!" Rubee chuckled and unstrapped her sash. "Hold this first."

    Harvey collected the sash and wore it around his shoulder. He smiled and lifted his paws up. "Up and away, Rubee!"

    Rubee rolled her eyes at him and shrugged. She wrapped her hands around his chest and started flapping her wings until a faint buzzing sound could be heard. Soon, Harvey could feel his feet leaving the ground as she rose him up towards the mouth of the ditch. "You know, Rubee, it never ceases to amaze me how you're able to carry me even though you're like, twice smaller than me."

    "What can I say? You're pretty light! I could probably carry you for a couple of hours without breaking a sweat."

    "You can?! Why don't we do that now?"

    "Nice try." She put him back on the ground once they were out of the ditch. "Can't be bothered. You have two… four strong legs that can carry you around."

    Harvey groaned. He scratched his head and smirked. "Well, it was worth a shot."

    Rubee chuckled and pulled the sash off him. "I guess you'll just have to learn how to fly on your own. Maybe you'll grow wings when you evolve someday!"

    Harvey sighed. I don't think I'll have wings even when I evolve. Come to think of it, can a human-turned pokemon evolve anyway?

    "Hey, I was only joking! I could fly you home now if you want."

    Harvey waved his paw dismissively. "No thanks. I think I'll just walk."

    "Okay. Suit yourself!"

    **(C)**

    They walked past a wide tree on their way back. It was so tall, they couldn't see the topmost branches from where they stood.

    The forest was filled with those kinds of trees along with other smaller ones in between. The roots sometimes emerged above the ground and molded the terrain around them and their branches stretched out for several meters, blocking out a good deal of the sunlight. They were called Sky Arrows by the locals, and despite their wondrous nature, the rest of the world was mostly unaware of them.

    As Rubee buzzed in the air, Harvey walked on an outstretched root. He half listened to Rubee as she rambled on and on about all the kinds of pollen puffs she was going to make that afternoon. He remained mostly distant and absentminded for most of the walk until Rubee paused when she noticed that he wasn't listening to her at all.

    She hovered in front of his face with her cheeks puffed up. "Hey! Did you even hear a single word I said this whole time?!"

    "What? Oh, of course I was listening, one hundred percent!" He joked.

    "Yeah? What was the last word I said?"

    Harvey rose his hand to speak, but he slowly lowered it back down. "Okay, you got me."

    "Seriously Harvey," she said with a sigh. "It's like your head is always in the clouds these days."

    "I'm sorry. It's just that… I've been having these strange thoughts lately…"

    "What kind of thoughts? Oh, you must be thinking of how great a sister I am all the time!" she joked, nudging him on the arm.

    "What? No!" He pushed her face away. "I've been thinking of home. Every time I go to sleep, I keep having dreams about where I came from… Also, It's been six years, Rubee." Harvey sat down on a large root that grew out of the ground. "I still have no idea why I got here or even how to get back."

    Rubee gave him a dismissive wave with her hand while hovering in front of his face. "Didn't Moga tell you to cut it out? You've been having these dreams for months now. None of those things are real. What's real is what you see now, Harvey… This is your home."

    Harvey frowned and placed his paw on his chin. "Is it really though…?"

    He stood up walked ahead of her. She stopped there for a few seconds, staring at the strange blue mark he had always had on his back for as long as she could remember. It was shaped like a blue cone with two hand like protrusions on the sides of the base. There was a round black oval at the center. The mark almost took up the entirety of his back and it had always made her curious.

    She sighed and shook her head. It wasn't that she didn't believe in his crazy stories, it just worried her a bit whenever he brought it up. Rubee knew that it was only a matter of time before he started thinking of doing something crazy, and she didn't want to be a part of it.

    Harvey stopped walking once he could see the village in the near distance.

    "What's wrong?" Rubee asked.

    He lifted his paw up as though he were going to grasp onto something. He wore a determined smile on his face and his chest stiffened. "I think I'm going to leave. I have to. I want to go back to where I came from. I won't learn anything if I keep staying in one place all my life… I need to go to the world beyond this place and find answers."

    Rubee deadpanned. "Good luck convincing Moga about that." She didn't know how to react to his sudden resolve. There was no point in trying to make him change his mind at that point. Once Harvey decided on something, he always saw it through to the end. It was something she both liked and despised about her brother.

    "I don't care if he's not fine with it. I mean, it's about time we went out to see the world for ourselves, don't you think?"

    "Don't know about you, but I'm pretty comfortable with the life I'm currently living. I don't want to go into a dangerous mystery dungeon just to see what's on the other side of the world. Sometimes, it's best to just appreciate what you have without asking for more."

    "Come on, Rubee. Don't you want to know where you came from too?"

    She did not respond. Rubee stared blankly the ground as she moved forward, thinking about the faint thoughts she had of her earliest childhood. Both she and Harvey weren't originally from the village. She recalled the first time they had even met. It was the day when Harvey found her injured, wingless and lost near a creek. By the time he'd found her, she had lost her memories of home and was very weakened. Yet, he helped her to recover up until her wings grew back. They'd been an inseparable duo ever since.

    "Now that you mention it, I do wonder how I ended up there all those years ago…"

    "We can go find out together, if you come with me that is." Harvey stopped and held out his hand towards her. "Well? What do you say?"

    Rubee was tempted to agree with him. Though she wouldn't admit it, she too wanted to see the rest of the world and explore its wonders. She really wanted to push back her desires and turn him down, but the puppy look he gave her made her to give in. She sighed. "Fine! if by some miracle Moga allows us to leave the village, then I'll come with you. But if he refuses, then that's too bad."

    "Haha! At least I know I won't be alone out in the world now," Harvey said, smiling.

    **(C)**

    They arrived back at the village a short while later by sundown. The village wasn't very large, but it was still moderately populated. The houses were made of wood harvested from the surrounding forests. Most of them were carved out hollows of already standing trees. Some of the settlers even went ahead and carved in multiple floors in their tree houses. Although they made multiple windows and such, it was a miracle that the trees managed to thrive and not fall.

    The villagers were mainly from three Pokémon species; sawsbucks, brelooms and shiftrees. They were all grass type pokemon, excluding Harvey and Rubee. Due to that, they both sometimes felt like outcasts. However, they have since grown accustomed to living amongst all the other different pokemon, and they were sometimes given special treatment because of that.

    They headed towards the largest tree growing at the heart of the village. That was where the village chief, Moga, lived. It was wide and it had branches stretching out in all directions. The tree had a thick, rough bark that was old and sturdy. Its leaves were bountiful and pinnately compound. There was also a wooden door at the front and a stone slab at the base, forming a floor mat of sorts. Two windows sat on two sides of the tree. Both were carved above large branches which vines hung down from as they swayed back and forth whenever wind blew past them. The tree vines were cut periodically, but they always grew back in a few months. Harvey and Rubee took turns doing it.

    They say that it was the first tree in the forest when the villagers first settled there a little over two centuries ago. The village chief at the time, with the help of other villagers, carved the first tree house. It's a bit murky how the other trees came around, but it's general belief among the villagers that it was the guardian of forests and flowers, Shaymin, that created them.

    Harvey knocked on the door three times and then turned the knob. "Moga, we're back!" they announced as they entered the house.

    Almost everything inside the house was wooden. The chairs, tables, utensils, cleaning equipment, the list goes on.

    There was a large living room inside where some couches were placed in case people came to visit. A straw mat was spread in the middle of the couches and a large chair stood at the end of the room where the chief sat. Numerous paintings hung on the walls ranging from landscapes to portrait images. They were gifts from the other settlers.

    "Ah! You have returned, Harvey and Rubee." Moga gestured them to come over with his hand. "How was your day?"

    "It was great! I found some new flowers not far away!" Rubee said, quickly downplaying the distance they actually went to get the flowers. "I can't wait to see the kind of pollen puffs I can make with them!"

    "I just hope they won't be poisonous this time," Harvey grumbled. Rubee always had him try out the pollen puffs first whenever she made them using new flowers.

    She then scoffed at him. "I apologized about last time, okay?! Stop bringing it back up every chance you get."

    Moga watched as the two half siblings quarreled, and that prompted him to smile almost proudly. He was seated on a chair and held a walking stick in front of him. The shiftree was the oldest settler in the village. The leaves on his hands had grown crimson, and his hair was rough to the touch as a result of his old age.

    "Now stop that you two, you can settle your differences later," he said. "Rubee dear, could you get me some water?"

    Rubee silently abided and buzzed her way to the kitchen to get the water. She left her sash behind on the floor as she left. Harvey picked it up and hung it on a rack next to a window. He then closed the door they left open and used his tail to sweep the dirt they'd carried in with them.

    "So, how's your training with Oldu? What new techniques has he thought you?"

    "What? Oh… well, so far, I've only learned how to do quick attacks and well…" He turned his tail white and jagged as he turned around, before saying, "And whatever this move is supposed to be. I think I'll call it tail slap." He swung it playfully at the air in demonstration.

    "Impressive. You're growing quite nicely, young man." Moga nodded. His lips then curved into a smile. "You almost remind me of myself when I was your age."

    "Heheh, thanks for the compliment…"

    Harvey then grew quiet. He was feeling nervous about how he would approach telling Moga about what was currently on his mind. He scratched the back of his ear and stared at the ground.

    "Is everything alright?" Moga snapped him out of his thoughts.

    "Oh, I was just thinking… well… there's something I need to let you know."

    At that time, Rubee was about to fly into the room while holding the bowl of water over her head to avoid getting wet. But she stayed behind the door and decided to listen to see how things would go.

    "What is it? Please don't tell me it's about those dreams of yours about another life again."

    Harvey swallowed, then continued. "Actually, it's more than just that. I've done a lot of thinking lately, and I decided, I'm going."

    "Going? Where to?"

    "I want to leave the village and find a way to get back home. It's high time I did that. I'll never learn anything if I stay here." He turned around and pointed at his back. "I also need to know what this mark on my back means."

    Moga let out an exasperated sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Listen Harvey, what you're trying to do is too reckless for me to approve."

    "It'll be alright, I promise! I can take care of myself out there in the world. And I know there's a whole world out there beyond this village which is why—"

    "Harvey… I understand that you feel lost and confused at times. We all do. But I cannot let you go on with this… You must not leave this village under any circumstance. The only way out of this village is through Kalledes Dungeon. You know that It's a very dangerous place. None of the people that went to that dungeon ever came back alive. It's the price our people had to pay when they settled here. What makes you think you can do what others couldn't?"

    "You always say that Kalledes is dangerous and to stay away from it! But who's to say that all those other people just wanted to go out and see what's out there and not come back? I wouldn't know whether if it's really dangerous as you make it sound unless I go there and see it for myself."

    "Then you're willing to throw your life away? At what cost? How do you even know whether you'll find the answers you're looking for? You'll just end up on a wild goose chase, and that's even if you can survive the monster at the end of the dungeon you're so eager to go into!" Moga stopped to catch his breath. He used his stick to get up and walk a few steps towards Harvey. "Just forfeit this Harvey. You have everything you need here. There are nice people, abundant food, clean water, what more could you ask for?"

    "My parents. Can this village provide that?"

    Moga glared at him. "Watch your tongue, young man! Go to your room, now!"

    Harvey gritted his teeth and ran his way upstairs. He passed Rubee on his way and almost pushed the bowl she was holding to the ground.

    Rubee's eyebrows lowered in sympathy at him as she entered the room to fulfill Moga's request. "Here's the water you asked for…"

    "Oh, thank you Rubee." Moga stood in front of his chair and exhaled. "I fear for that boy these days." He muttered to himself. "There's still so much that he doesn't know."

    Rubee gently kept the bowl on the table near the chair and lowered her head. She took her hung sash and glanced at Moga momentarily. "I'll go and make some pollen puffs now. Would you like some?"

    "Yes please, dear." He smiled. "I could use some."

    **(C)**

    Harvey sat against the wall inside his small room. He silently stared at the night sky through his window. All he could see was the faint light of a moon shrouded behind the clouds. He tucked in his toes, and clenched his hands.

    His bed was a bucket stuffed with a large cushion. Despite how it looked, though, it was comfortable for him. When he looked at it, it was as if it were begging Harvey to come and sleep on it.

    Harvey sank his head into his arms and tugged at his own fur.

    He was feeling frustrated. At the same time, he was feeling bad for being rude to Moga like that. Even still, why wouldn't Moga trust him to take care of himself? Was that 'dangerous' dungeon really as bad as it sounded? Perhaps Moga was merely exaggerating for his safety. Maybe those people that didn't come back simply didn't want to come back like he'd thought.

    Or maybe Moga was right… maybe it was better if he just left all his past behind him and forgot about everything… But he missed his parents too much. He wanted his old life back. He never asked to become a pokemon in the first place and there was no way he could ever become satisfied with his life the way he was. If Moga wouldn't allow him to leave, he had only one other option. He'd have to sneak out.

    "I don't care how dangerous that 'dungeon' may be, I'm still going. If it means seeing Mom and Dad again, I'd be happy to do anything even if it means sneaking out."

    A few knocks came from the door, followed by a familiar buzz. "Harvey? Would you like some pollen puffs? It's buttercup flavored."

    "No, thank you." He spoke audibly enough to be heard.

    "Oh, okay then. Can I come in anyway?"

    "No, I want to be alone right now."

    "I see…"

    She left.

    **(C)**

    Some hours passed. Harvey watched through his window as the last lights got put out. He gulped and turned to look at his door for a few seconds. He then got down from the window and grabbed a small bag to carry all the things he would need on his journey. The first thing he took was his blanket. Too bad his bag wasn't big enough for him to carry his bed along with him as much as he'd wanted to. The next thing he took was his hand-crafted bow along with some makeshift arrows to go along with it.

    He gently unlocked the door and scanned the corridors to see if anyone was there. It was all clear. He went down on his front paws and tip toed his way through. As he passed by Rubee's room, he noticed that her door was open. When Harvey was able to pick up faint snores from the other side of the door, he proceeded ahead.

    Harvey went downstairs, creating as little noise as possible in his tracks. He went to the storage room and took some berries. That was all he thought he'd need initially. Taking money was completely out of the question. He only took the berries because Moga gave them the privilege to take them any time they wanted, but he'd have to steal to get his hands on money. He could live with being disobedient, but not as a thief.

    Harvey shook his head and went to the front door. It was locked as expected, and Moga was with the key.

    He tip toed back to his room and climbed out through the window. Not cutting off those hanging vines on time had paid off. Climbing down them was easy and he was finally out of the house. He stared back up the window; the same window that he fell out of when he and Rubee were fighting over the last pollen puff. The tall tree that he had learned to climb when he was only as tall as Moga's knees. The very same tree they used to sneak into for berries before Moga took them in. All those memories, and he was leaving them behind.

    "Goodbye everyone. Thank you for taking care of me through all these years." Harvey turned around and ran on all fours. The sooner he got to the dungeon and went into it, the better it'd be, and the lower his chances of being thwarted would become.

    **(C)**

    Harvey stopped to catch his breath as he encountered a cliff. Ahead of him was an old bridge. Ahead of the bridge was the entrance to Kalledes Dungeon, which he could faintly see underneath the moonlight. It was as if it was plastered to the side of the large steep wall that surrounded the forest they were in. Harvey always had a feeling that the village was probably inside an impact crater of some kind, and that pretty much reaffirmed him. A sense of relief and regret hit him at the same time. Was he really going to leave everyone behind and march into what could be his demise?

    Harvey slapped his cheeks and shook his face. "I have to do this. It's like Dad always used to tell me, 'move forward no matter what'"

    "You're really leaving?"

    His heart sink to his stomach when he heard that voice. Harvey slowly turned his head over his shoulder to look at the person. "Rubee? I thought you were asleep."

    "I guess you must've woken me up." She gave him a condescending look. "Actually, I couldn't sleep at all."

    Harvey clenched his paw and turned around to look at her properly. "If you're here to stop me, then give it up. I've already made up my mind, Rubee. I'm leaving."

    She put her hand on her red scarf-like filament. "I could stop you now if I wanted to. I can cut down the bridge you're about to cross. It'd be easy… But that's not what I'm here to do."

    "Huh?" He rose his brow in confusion.

    "I'm coming with you." Her mouth curved into a smile. "You did ask me to come with you before, didn't you?"

    "Didn't you say that you wouldn't come with me if Moga didn't allow it?" His expression turned to that of confusion. "Why change you mind now?"

    "I had a change of heart. I want to come with you on your crazy quest."

    "You don't have to do this if you don't really want to. I don't want to make you feel like you're being forced to do anything. I'm not."

    "We made a promise a long time ago, remember? That we'd always be together, through thick and thin, no matter what. Besides, you once told me that you're nothing without me, and I'm nothing without you either." She flew in front of him and swung her hand. "So, come on, let's go show whatever's in that dungeon who's boss."

    Harvey felt a bit embarrassed. He grinned. "Alright then, suit yourself."

    They stopped in front of the dungeon entrance. It was round and curved. The entrance was entirely made of thick vines and plants. There was a large bulb that grew over it. It seemed to be where all the vines were growing out from.

    Harvey heard his voice echo inside the dark tunnel entrance when he spoke. He and Rubee exchanged looks and then nodded at each other. They had reached the point of no return. There was no going back. They'd made their choice and their paths were set. They entered the dungeon, and disappeared into its darkness.

    Beta-read by
    ArbitraryRenaissance
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