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Old September 19th, 2018 (6:51 PM).
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Bay Bay is offline
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Mhm I remember that flashback with Ciecro beating up that one Pokemon. And wow, that is some temper with his ouburst towards Jasmine there. As for Jasmine slipping she lost someone special, I wonder who she's refering to.

Quote:
Oh. Jaron looked at the ground. I never gave that at thought, he said, following a little self-chuckly, maybe I never really wanted to give it thought.
Vragon gave him a curious look as the croconaw continued.
This is written a little awkwardly, both in puncutation and phrasing. "Following a little self-chuckly" sounds weird. Maybe, "following with a small chuckle" might sound better.

Oh. Jaron looked at the ground. I never gave that at thought, he said, following with a small chuckle. "Maybe I never really wanted to give it thought.
Vragon gave him a curious look as the croconaw continued.


Demetri's reaction to Devon being in training for a year and only just been assigned is priceless.

Don't have too much thoughts on Zak yet, but he seems to know how to keep Demetri in check. Also, is it just me, or some of the dialogue suggest the two are more than just friends?
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Old September 29th, 2018 (9:49 AM).
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This review comes from reading chapter one. Sorry if it's a bit short but honestly there wasn't much there that I'd say needs that much improvement. I'll start with the three things you did really well and finish with the one thing I think needs work.

1. From the get go, your characterisations are very well done. As a general rule, I advise against introducing too many characters all in one hit because it becomes harder to keep them distinct when still setting the baseline for their personalities. Kind of like how it's easier to get to know someone in a one-to-one conversation than in a group setting. That being said, that wasn't a problem for you at all. Of the six characters you introduced all in the first chapter, although I have my suspicions about which ones will be the ones we follow through the whole story if you catch my drift, they each had very distinct and interesting personalities and were written accordingly.

2. You know how to set a scene. Your descriptive language is good and you made it very easy to visualise where characters were and what was happening. I think often authors leave a lot of blanks that need to be filled in to properly imagine a scene but for you the only "blank" that really stood out to me as missing was a description of the crest.

3. Your stories biggest strength is that it pulls the reader in. From the beginning, the tension is there and that is a very good thing. You had me wondering why secret messages are being ferried and what was going to happen next, so that compels me to read more later.

I read right through the actual story without having a complaint. Then I saw your footnotes. So now I do have something that I really would like to see you improve on. I'm going to call it "applied worldbuilding". Now, I am the first to say that the "show, don't tell rule" doesn't apply as strongly to written works as it does media, but I think that you should never have to explain things as footnotes. Everything you need the reader to know should be communicated by your story and if it isn't, then that's a flaw.

What was really weird about that, was that there was no reason to do it. This is chapter one and through the story we already had learned the first few things about the world we live in. There's obviously some sort of factional conflict or tension and the Norfarians are clearly linked to it some how. That was great and you could easily have gradually introduced us to the rest, which would have been amazing. You have a good story here and a good world and giving that random exposition dump in the footnotes hurts that.
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Old October 3rd, 2018 (8:52 PM).
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    Chapter 24
    Plans and Prerogatives

    “Okay, is everyone settled?” Dolly asserted to her troupe. She pointed to the map on the short table in the center and circled a little dot with the writing “Frantal Town” inscribed a third of an inch above it. “This is the suggestion to go. Now, we’re here in Vergium town,’ Dolly said, dragging her finger to its dot. “Now, it’ll take about two days if we break up the trip. There’s a travel rest area here. It’s a bit of a trip to it, being the mountain structure surrounding Mt. Travail, but it should be simple getting to Frantal after a rest. Now.” she took her hand off the map, crossed her arms, and gave everyone a good look. “What’s it gonna be?”

    “Vergium,” Jaron firmly put down, his firm composer in his seat not budging like his answer. He kept his eyes closed and in a scowl. Not even a follow up sigh from Vragon made him change.

    Dolly nodded and turned to Jasmine. “Okay, one for Vergium. Jasmine?”

    The absol seemed dejected, just staring at the map in front. “Frantal,” she lazily blurted out.

    Dolly nodded to that as well. “Vragon?”

    The fraxure looked at the map and scowled. He then looked at Jaron, who was still in his stiff position. He looked to the floor and in a slightly vacillated tone said, “Vergium” He slightly took a look at Jaron, who lowered his head a little and let out a little tension in crossed arms.

    Dolly then said, “Two for Vergium, one for Frantal. Ciecro?”

    The charmeleon was resting his back against a wall, seemingly lost in some tough thoughts.
    Dolly repeated the question to Ciecro, who gave a grunt that he had heard. “Well?” she pressed.
    He seemed to ignore her and gave a scowl to Jasmine. He looked at Jaron for a second too. He stayed silent however, thinking hard about what to do.

    This silence seemed to succeed where Vragon failed. Jaron opened his eyes to look at Ciecro confused. What’s he stalling for?

    All eyes were on Ciecro.

    As Dolly was about to repeat for a third time, he gave a growl and muttered for all to hear, “Frantal.”

    Jasmine raised her head in surprise, Jaron’s jaw almost dropped, Vragon’s eyes stared in shock, Dolly remained quite unaffected and Seliph raised a brow. This reaction, made Ciecro feel a little awkward from the dumb attention and snarled, “Well, dat’s my vote. Yah two lef’ so vote.” He closed his eyes and relaxed against the wall, done with this.

    Jaron looked down, somewhat awestruck by this. Why the fu** did he vote Frantal‽ Jaron ranted in his head, a scowl showing his feelings on that. His frustration only worsened by Seliph walking forward and stating, “Frantal” followed by Dolly ending with, “It’s decided then.”

    Dolly stretched her arms upwards and followed with a content sigh. “Alright, get some rest everyone. We’ll be heading out early in the morning.” She headed to the door, but before she left she gave a little glance to the surprised Jasmine and the distant Ciecro. Heh, smooth. She left.

    Seliph followed suit, without saying a word.

    Ciecro got off the wall and muttered, “I’mma go sleep. Yah heard ‘er.” he turned out into the hallway to head to his lodging, but was stopped before he made it by Jasmine’s voice.

    “Ciecro…why did you vote Frantal?”

    He paused for a second, but then resumed on.

    She followed after him, asking him again. He just stayed silent, all the way till he reached his lodging and was about to go in.

    “Ciecro,” she said putting her paw on the door. She thought for a second and looked at him with a sincere and worried face. “Did you choose it because…”

    “Stawp,” he said in a tough but non-aggressive tone, giving her a less intense scowl in addition. “jus’…give me some space.”

    Ciecro went through the door and was about to shut it, but Jasmine quietly whispered, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to-”

    “Jaz…”

    She looked at him, with a mix of anticipation and concern.

    He kept quiet for a second before saying with a little grin, “Lateh…please.” He shut the door leaving Jasmine alone, to ponder those two words.

    She gave a little grin and said, Alright…I won’t pry till you’re ready. She turned around and headed towards her room.



    Back in the original room, Vragon and Jaron sat quiet. Jaron was pretty agitated, while Vragon was just confused.

    The croconaw growled and muttered, “Why’d he do that? I thought he agreed with us.”

    Vragon stood up and said in an upbeat tone, “Well…there’s nothing we can do about it now. But hey, at least it’ll be nice to get some mountain air.” Despite trying to lighten the mood, he didn’t really feel any better either. He walked over to Jaron and said, “It’ll be fine, Jaron.”

    The croconaw didn’t reply. He just stared at the floor.

    Vragon gave an agitated moan as said in a louder tone, “Jaron, stop thinking about it.”

    Jaron looked back, turning his scowl to the fraxure. “Why are you getting tense with me?” He demanded.

    Vragon backed off, assessing he wasn’t approaching this in the right way. “Look…there’s no point fighting with them. Let’s just get some sleep, than me and you can go get some provisions with Dolly.”

    “It…How are you okay with this?” Jaron inquired, his tone changing from defensive to uncertainty.

    Vragon looked to the side. “I’m not…but we will be with them.” He looked into Jaron’s eyes, with his worried ones and placed a smile on his face. “They won’t let us down.”

    Jaron gave a satisfied grin as he got up. “Glad you’re just as worried as me.”

    “Don’t flatter yourself.” Vragon stared in annoyance at the window. “I don’t particularly enjoy feeling this way.”

    Jaron just gave a little chuckle as he put his arm over the fraxure’s shoulder. “Thanks…don’t worry. You also got me protecting you.”

    “Well, I guess I can feel a little better,” Vragon teased, “but I’d feel better if you and I got some provisions for ourselves in the morning.”

    “What?” Jaron played along, “these not good enough.” He gave his signature grin and gesturing to the teeth.

    “I have to see the appeal first,” Vragon jabbed with a grin.

    Jaron grabbed Vragon in playfulness and tried rubbing his head. “More than you’ll ever have, punk.” The two laughed amid this struggle, letting their worries get lost amid enjoying each other’s company.


    < O >


    Vex grumbled as he floated through a dark forest, making his way back to the others. “Grr…traveling all day and only stopping for a few hours, gah I don’t get enough for this.” He growled in his head as he glimpsed the edge of the forest. He braced his eyes, as he exited into the moonlight from the clearing. After his eyes adjusted, he looked forward and spied Siegfried and Trishula conversing at the base of Shimmer Hill.

    Great, I bet I’m going to have to be the first fu**ing watch. He groaned in his head, floating on over to them.

    “Did you bring it?” Siegfried inquired, as he and Trishula turned to face the sulking ghost.

    “Yeah, yeah, can’t you see it here?” Vex chided, tossing a small parcel at Siegfried, who caught it and immediately began opening it. Vex then turned to Trishula. “Lemme guess, first watch?” he grumbled as he pointed to himself.

    Trishula shook his head and said, “We press on.”

    “What‽” Vex shouted, “We’ve been traveling for hours now!”

    “Irrelevant,” The dragon dismissed, “Plageues must have reached his port by now. It shouldn’t take long for him to arrive at Crion city.”

    “By boat,” Vex added, skepticism in tone.

    “Even if it takes him longer than my initial guess…” Trishula looked at the starry sky, “it would be best to arrive there early.”

    Vex wasn’t happy with this answer. “It’s a boat, it’ll take him at least two days Trishula. We don’t have to be ther-”

    He was cut off by a Dragon Claw raised to his face, a mere two inches from his left eye. “Do you object?” The dragon said, a little snarl in his tone.

    Vex scowled and uttered a, “no.” he turned around and just paced away. “Lemme know when we’re heading out.”

    Siegfried, watched as Vex stomped off and sighed. “Here,” Siegfried said, handing the item Vex gave him to Trishula. He then went after Vex.

    The dragon stared down at the small cube in his hand. He pressed a button on its top, shooting up a hologram displaying many charts and data. “Hmm…This should help Plagueus in his tracking,” he muttered as he shut it down and placed it into a pack on his belt. He looked at Shimmer hill, gazing at it with less scowling in his look than normal. He opened another packet in his belt and pulled out his red eyes diamond. He stared at it. Should I? He thought. His eyes thinned vertically as he remembered moments when he had gone against Azazel’s requests. He let out a little “Hmph” and shoved it back into the pack. He made his way up the round mound of Shimmer Hill till he reached the top. He stared at the moon, lost in thoughts.

    “That fraxure,” he muttered to himself, “I’m certain. But, he isn’t the first…like Aegis.” He turned to gaze at the moonlit forest. “But even then, we can only go off what we know of the being and how they happen to look in common. What was he like I wonder?” he looked down at his left claw, raising it into view. “Our forefathers revered him as our starter. Perhaps, we strayed as descendants…”

    He looked in the distance, remembering the stories Azazel had told him of the ancient Pokémon. His and Azazel’s ancestor.



    Siegfried walked through dark forest, slowly gazing around looking for Vex. He stopped next to a tree for a second and said, “You there?”

    “Go away,” Vex griped.

    “No need to be nasty, Vex,” Siegfried defended.

    “Well soooorry for getting pissed off at that dragon,” Vex said, phasing from the ground behind Siegfried. He kept his frustrated red eyes on Siegfried, who matched his gaze with the shorter mon. “I mean, isn’t he getting on your nerves too? It’s annoying that we don’t get any respect or say in this.”

    “Yeah,” Siegfried agreed, looking at the tree, “but I suppose all we can do is work our way up.”

    “Snorlax of a chance for that happening,” Vex grumbled, “no way we’ll move up without being special or some big opportunity. Face it Siegfried, we’re one step above ferals.”

    Siegfried gave a frustrated groan and leaned against the tree.

    Vex continued his tirade, “And to make it worse, we’re going to get managed by Plageues. The guy is a walking creep. We should be lucky to not have something bad happen to us.” His eyes scowled as he thought about the group they were after. “And it’s embarrassing for us to have to get sooo much help to capture some stupid kid.”

    “Well…he could be the target. If that kid is Aegis’s reincarnation, we would be able to move up really easily by apprehending him,” Siegfried added.

    Vex didn’t seem encouraged by it. “It won’t matter. Plageues will take all the credit and we’ll still be nothing but extra meat.” He picked up a rock and threw it at a tree. His eyes were filled with anger and somewhat despairing. “I joined so I wouldn’t be used like some yesterday’s seasonal worker. I hate this. I’d do anything to get out of this role and be up there, with Trishula, Plageues and Corivac. Being able to call the shots, knowing the info and not having to just obey, all that good stuff you know. But nope, it’ll never happen.” He threw another rock at the same tree.

    Siegfried just watched him vent, indifferent but at least understanding how he felt. He kept his gaze on the frustrated Vex, as he threw another rock and another, saying the same thing but in a different way over and over, patiently waiting for Vex to end. Siegfried raised a brow as Vex finally stopped and just stood there wheezing in his frustration. “You done?” he asked, in a bland tone.

    “Screw you,” Vex shot back, not happy about Siegfried’s lack of empathy.

    Siegfried didn’t reply, but kept his gaze straight on Vex.

    The ghost looked away and with a snarl said, “I don’t care; I’m going to get out of this rut.” Their thoughts were interrupted by the flashing light of his and Siegfried’s communication orbs. They pulled them out simultaneously. “What?” Vex asked, not even trying to hide his frustration.

    The voice of Trishula said, “We’re heading out. Rendezvous at the base of Shimmer Hill.”

    Vex groaned as he put his orb away.

    Siegfried put his up in silence and walked past Vex. “Come on, let’s just get this over with,” he muttered heading to the spot.

    Vex stood still for a bit before walking after Siegfried. ‘Over with’, heh. It won’t end…for grunts like us.


    < O >



    “Come on, Come on, there’s gotta be something!” Demetri ranted as he stood there staring at a Zygarde cell on a tree. His eyes were shining the solid green aura as he communicated with the cell. “Grr…alright, give me the data file about Gathor then.” The cell made a little strange noise making Demetri growl. “Grr… Nerve: 13411553259. Authorization: Zeta908PhiKorAlph144Sein. I already told you this…stupid security.”

    The cell nodded and its eye glowed green. Light green symbols, numbers and characters surged from the eye’s base to the top. The same process than happened to Demetri’s eyes as he received the data. “Okay, thank you.” The grumpig closed his eyes and took a breath, relieved there was no problem. He opened his cerise eyes and looked down at his orb. He levitated it with his powers and telekinetically pressed the button. The green hologram activated, and displayed a picture with a bunch of Helixol text.

    “Hmm…Gathor,” he said to himself, as he browsed for the specific data he wanted. “Ah,” he said in victory at finding the spot, “’Offspring recorded 3: Seliph (species unknown), the other two names unknown.’…I knew it. So, it appears he’s one of his children…” his eyes went serious as he rested his back against a tree, the cell watching him with its bland stare. He resumed looking at the data. We have his data, but why not his children’s data? Why just a name “Seliph” being supplied? We didn’t know they existed except for what was reported and the recordings before was that he retired with his wife…hmm…wait? Was the data added to? If so, when? He got off the tree and tried to check for a date. Unfortunately it seemed unrecorded. He grumbled for a second, before just standing still, pondering. Suddenly something else came to his mind. I didn’t give it much thought before…but what if more information was found for it too?

    He quickly turned to the cell and asked, “Is there any information on a, “’Nasch’s request’?”

    The cell eye glowed again, and once more the data crawled. It however ceased after several minutes of looking and replied with a shaking of its head.

    “Hmm…” he looked to the side and got into his basic thinking position.

    “D-demetri?” Devon spoke, slowly buzzing towards him.

    The grumping turned to look at him and said, “Ah, Devon, you’re awake.”

    “Yeah…” he answered, with a little bit of nervousness. “How are you?”

    “Pleased actually.”

    This answer lead to Devon tilting his head and widening his eyes in interest. “Pleazzzed about what?”

    Demetri gave a sigh and turned to Devon. “I think I found someone important. You know that mon, Seliph?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Well…” Demetri took a few steps to give himself time to get his thoughts together. “I met his father…albeit a short encounter.”


    ( O )



    "...Tell me everything..." Demetri said out loud, as he browsed the memory banks of the large feraligatr body lying in front of him. His eyes glowed a bright green light as he probed the memories.

    As he did this, the bushes behind him began to stir. “Fu**ing arceus, this place is remote isn’t it?” Zak stepped out, picking out little pricks in his fur and giving a little whine from each one pulled. After sufficiently freeing himself, he walked over to Demetri and gazed upon the Pokémon Demetri was reading. His eyes curved into a serious scowl as he muttered under his breath, “Bastards”

    “It’s no good,” Demetri admitted with a sigh as he removed his fingers from the body and standing up. “He’s passed and now his brain’s functions are down too.” He blinked, returning his eyes to their normal Cerise selves. He kept them locked on the victim. “I couldn’t get much.”

    “It’s okay Dem,” Zak assured, patting his back, “it’s not like we were expecting to find a body here. Anyways, did you find out who did it?”

    Demetri nodded. “It was a gang of mons…” he moved a clenched fist up to his chin while propping it with his other arm and continued. “They appear to match the reports on a cult called, ‘red eyes’. But…it appears they were here for a reason. At least that’s what Gathor told me.”

    “Gathor?” Zak inquired, with a raise of a brow.

    Demetri gestured to the dead feraligatr in front. “His name was Gathor. He and his family were attacked by these red eyes over something. I believe he said, ‘Nasch’s orders’ but I lost him before I could find out.” Demetri’s arms fell to the side and was followed by a sigh. “He had a wife and three children too.”

    Zak’s eyes widened.

    Demetri nodded, “Yes…I couldn’t get the names of the children though or even an image of them, but his wife was a charizard named ‘Freya’.”

    Zak didn’t reply, but walked past Demetri.

    “Where are you going?” Demetri inquired getting out of his thinking pose and looking at his walking friend.

    “To scout the area. Maybe we can find the red eyes that did this,” he said in a determined voice.
    Demetri gave a nod, and was about to join him. However, he suddenly stopped to think about something.

    Zak rushed off, seemingly unaware of Demetri’s pausing.

    Demetri turned to what remained of a burned house. He walked up to it and with his telekinetic powers, moved some of the burned boards. “Protecting something…that’s what it felt like,” He muttered as he moved another ruined beam out of the way. “Protecting what? The children?” He looked around the ruined structure, trying to find signs of anyone in there. He let out a sigh of relief. At least no one appears to have died in this building. He looked in the direction of the woods behind the house. “If the kids did leave, then where did they go?...Nasch’s orders…” he raised his fist to his chin and propped his arm with the other again. He stood there trying to make sense of the disjointed memories he had gotten from Gathor along with the scene around him.

    It felt like a while later before Zak walked up calling out to him. “Dem!” he shouted, “what are you doing?”

    This snapped the grumpig out of his thought process and turn to Zak. “Oh…just assessing this house. I think this had something important to him.”

    “No duh, Dem,” Zak teased with a grin.

    “No, not that.” Demetri gave a little scowl, before turning to look at the woods behind them. “Something else.”

    Zak sighed and said, “I couldn’t find any red eyes or ferals…let’s check the outlying towns before reporting back.”

    Demetri nodded in concurrence and the two left.

    As they walked along the path on the way to the nearest town, Zak asked in a serious tone, “were there any other memories you saw?”

    Demetri nodded. “Two that are of significance.” He curved his face into a scowl. “The mon that killed him was a white zoroark, that looked rather middle aged, but physical capable. A rather creepy thing.” He gave a jitter as the image of that Pokémon crossed his mind.

    “And the other?” Zak asked, looking at his friend.

    Demetri looked back at Zak and stated. “A thing called ‘Nasch’s orders’. I’m guessing his orders and commanding officer.”

    Zak gave a little scoff at hearing “orders”. “Tck, guess he died in the line of duty.”

    “Zak?” The typhlosion’s eyes were in a firm glower, leaving Demetri a little uneasy.

    Zak crossed his arms and gave a growl. “What are orders, than just things to get you to do the work for someone else? And it looks like this guy and his family were the repercussions of these ‘orders’” he made gesture for emphasis on the “orders” part.

    “That’s a bit assuming,” Demetri pointed out. “I mean, we follow orders.”

    “Yeah, but you and me don’t really enjoy that.” He looked at Demetri with a less frustrated look. “We’re more than just our orders you know.”

    “Perhaps he was too,” Demetri added, thinking his thoughts out loud. “Either way, thinking about this isn’t going to get us closer to getting the results.”

    “Yeah.” Zak looked to the side, sort of annoyed having to return to their task. “Gotta keep the ‘core’ pleased and all,” He grumbled walking off.

    Demetri followed in silence. Not quite agreeing with Zak’s sentiment on this situation, but at the same time understanding the hostility to topics like this. He didn’t like it either. The discomfort of thinking about “the core” made him a little angry too.

    We’ll make due, He thought to himself, We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Same as it ever was. You and I, Zak. A little grin crossed his face as he followed the typhlosion down the path.


    < O >


    “Wow,” Devon buzzed with interest, “and you never found thozzze attackerzzz.”

    Demetri shook his head. “Nope, and eventually it was dropped due to well…nothing to go off of. At least with what we had, there wasn’t much.” He looked at Devon with some determination and a hint of haste. “But that’s changed now. I think I’ve found a lead, and luckily it’s in regards to Seliph.”

    “Zzzo why are you doing thizzz?” Devon inquired.

    “Because it’s my orders,” Demetri answered, rather confused he needed to tell Devon what one does when one gets an assignment.

    “No, no, no,” Devon said with a little annoyance at being belittled in the brain. “You zzzeem invezzzted. Like you’re wanting to zzzolve thizzz.”

    “Ah.” Demetri nodded. “Yes well.” He looked to the side. “That’s because I was asked to do it.”

    “By the core?” Devon tilted his head.

    Demetri gave a smirk as he corrected. “By that Gathor mon before he died. He asked me to take care of his kids. But he couldn’t give me the names before finally passing.” His eyes narrowed. “If this Seliph is indeed one of the children…it’s imperative I get to him.” Demetri turned to Devon and asked, “Are you able to travel on?”

    Devon buzzed his wings a bit, displaying their vigor attained from the rest. “Yep!” he happily chirped.

    Demetri nodded and immediately began rushing off down the path, with a buzzing Devon following.

    The sun was slowly beginning to come upon the horizon as Demetri and Devon made their way swiftly down the path. Demetri’s face was strangely upbeat due to the leads he found. How lucky that this relates back to that case. Too lucky though. I never found out their names, so I couldn’t have recorded it. Zak didn’t know them either, so who then? The breach? But, why would it be from that, what’s to gain? Argh, it was probably some data discovered later. But I can say knowing this actually is pretty helpful. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. He looked down for a second as he ran. Then I’ll be able to fix things with you.
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    Old October 9th, 2018 (7:49 PM).
    Bay's Avatar
    Bay Bay is offline
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    I admit, I already forgot the group's reasoning for going to Frantal and the big deal about it, particularly Cierco's vote to go there. Otherwise I don't have too much thoughts on those scenes until the group finish their preparations there.

    I feel Vex/Siegfried and Demetri's parts are kind of a recap concerning some of the reveals they have found out. There is that appearance of that Zygarde cell and the flashback between Demetri and Zak gives a bit more insight what happened after Gathor's demise.
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    Old October 10th, 2018 (1:58 PM).
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    gimmepie gimmepie is offline
     
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    Chapter Two was interesting and I liked it. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Seliph and Gathor. I think as a whole though, it was weaker than the first chapter.

    You did a good job of showing us a bit more of each character's personality here, which I already mentioned as a strong suit. In particular it was good that we got to see more depth to Seliph and Freya, but especially Gathor.

    You also sprinkled in some more things to keep the curiosity of the reader going. I'm very interested in learning more about this cult and their Life Gatherings and also about Freya's history with her brother.

    Now, as to why I say this chapter was weaker. In a word, it was jumpy. Even in third person it's generally a good idea to consider perspective if you want a cohesive narrative. Instead you jumped from the mind of Seliph to focusing on his brothers after a paragraph, then back to Seliph, back to the younger brothers, then to Gathor, then back to Seliph and then Gathor again. It hurt the flow of the story.

    Additionally, you bounced around settings too much I feel. Much like with the perspectives we started in the bedroom, then we were in the kitchen, then the training field, then out in the forest and then were back out the front of the house. The story would flow better and feel more cohesive if it was broken up more with more detail going into those segments than bouncing from setting to setting and giving less detail about the locations and what happens there.

    Also, having Gathor say "Seliph" as "Selif" doesn't change the way the name sounds at all which bugs me a bit, although it's a very minor thing.

    Overall it was an enjoyable read and I'm still really interested in your story and where it's going, but there were things that could have been done that would have made it a better reading experience. Looking forward to Chapter Three!
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    Old October 14th, 2018 (11:29 AM). Edited November 3rd, 2018 by Vragon2.0.
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    Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
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      Join Date: Mar 2018
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      Contains: Language, Crude Humor, Slurs, Sensual Conversation [14]
      Chapter 25
      Descent (Pulse)

      Rosa gave a little snarl as she stared at some ruined building, the site of this next meeting. It looked like a mess, but only worse inside she assumed. The top was missing and everything else gave off this, “dirty” and “breaking” atmosphere.

      “Grr…I can at least get why here,” She grumbled, “no one in their right mind would think this place isn’t structurally unstable let alone a meeting place.” She stopped for a second to give one more look at the scenery before going through a large hole in the building. The moon was shining brightly over a lake below with a forest building its way up the mountain before shallowing down to nothing at the elevation she was. “…at least this is quiet.”

      Upon entering, she was surprised to see the lack of well…anything. Just some occasional broken boards or fallen wall, but for items to fill it up, there was nothing. “What was this place?” she mused aloud.

      “Some barracks more than likely,” a gravelly voice informed her.

      Despite this surprising intrusion, she only gave a little flinch before realizing who it was. “Oh…they sent you here too?” she lazily asked, turning around.

      She looked with a “half closed” gaze at the roserade in front of her. Her head petal was light purple near the base with it slowly transitioning to white. Her leafy body was a calming green, and her bouquets were blue and red respectively

      “Yes, shocking isn’t it,” she replied with a little mischievous grin, “sending two lovely attractive ladies here to set things up for gentlemen.”

      Rosa didn’t reply, but just kept up an unconcerned look. “Let’s just get this over with.” She walked into the large room that covered the entire building’s perimeter.

      “Oh, why in such a rush Rosa?” the grass type asked with a little honeyed titter at the end.

      “Because unlike you, I don’t find moving pillars for tables any more appealing than sitting in a room doing nothing.” She levitated such a pillar with her telekinesis and set it somewhere for the first area. “Now, make yourself useful.”

      “Already did hon,” the lady flower whispered.

      “Huh? Where?”

      “Where else, but a nice lovely little basement,” She answered, pointing her bouquet hand at a spot covered by some rubble. Rosa gave her a skeptical look, but was just answered with a suspicious smile from the associate. “What are you waiting for?” she asked, a little fake confusion added.

      Rosa just kept her grumblings to herself as she levitated the large rocks out of the way, revealing a staircase going underground. She headed down without a word, soon followed by her much more playful and annoying helper.

      The path was lit up by an illumination orb she kept floating two feet in front of her. For a few seconds it was just tense silence, before Rosa scowled at more bi*** questions from the girl behind her. “So, how’s was Brielle?”

      “Boring,” she mumbled.

      “Well with that attitude no wonder,” she teased at Rosa, “I bet you’d like to bring down the ceiling at some get togeth-”

      “How about I bring down the stair’s ceiling on you?” Rosa said back, below a shout but with the aggression of one.

      “Nasty,” she laughed in response, only aggravating Rosa more, “no boy is going to fall for that prickly of a demeanor.”

      “Why don’t you fill your whore mouth Delilah,” she muttered to herself. She let out a little tense snarl at a laugh from behind.”

      “Call me Del, love.”

      Rosa got a little shiver from the tone. How about I call you “mute” when I rip that trap of a tongue out of your mouth and shove it into one of your eyes sockets! She ranted in her head. Thankfully, she reached the bottom of the stairway by the time she finished her inner threats.

      She looked around the room and had to admit to herself it was better than expected. It looked like a minor Amerstrian senate chamber, but a lot less grand and straight to the point. She looked at the three circles of stone, all set up and crafted like connected seats for a play.

      “So…if you have this done then-”

      “Why are you here?” Del interrupted. The Roserade gave a little smirk at Rosa’s annoyed grunt as a response. “Well,” she began, “we have to keep this place secured till the girls and boys get here.”

      Well joy, she complained in her head, however long with this bi***. She gave a groan in frustration as she sat down on one of the circles, crossed her arms, one leg over the other and sulked.

      Del, walked over to a wall on the side and gave a look at how it was holding up. “Wonder how old this is?”

      This question surprised Rosa a little. “You ‘wonder’,” she said, raising a brow, “that’s not like you.”

      “Well,” Del said with a smirk, “maybe if you get out of your sour patch of a room you’ll get to see Pokémon that are more than they seem.”

      Rosa turned her head and pointed her face upwards.

      Del, slowly walked along the wall, moving the petals on her left arm across it while looking at it. “Hmm…Rosa, what race are you?”

      “Why do you care?” She inquired, so swiftly it was just short of offended.

      “Oh nothing.” She stopped and stared at the wall. “Who was your master?”

      Rosa didn’t reply immediately. She just looked at the side.

      Del just gave a laugh that was grating to Rosa’s head. “Well, not feeling in a sharing mood then, well.”

      Del looked at Rosa and leaned against the wall, “Mine happened to be one of our higher members.”
      Rosa gave her a look of indifferent sympathy rather than interest. “…Veranium?”

      “Nope”

      “…Plagues?”

      “Heh, no a currently dead one,” Del hinted with a smile.

      “And suddenly I don’t care,” Rosa sarcastically stated, looking away from Del.”

      “True,” Del replied, sitting a ways away from Rosa, “doesn’t do a mon good for their teacher being killed.”

      “You seem awfully okay with it,” Rosa subtly shot.

      “Oh he wasn’t much,” Del said out loud. She then looked at Rosa and playfully asked, “You sure you don’t want to share.”

      Rosa just scowled.

      Del then wrapped her arms around her torso and sighed. “Could you imagine getting one of them?”

      “‘Them’ who?” Rosa asked, raising a brow amid her scowl.

      “One of those really high level leaders.” She said, looking at the ceiling as if trying to picture them. “Ooh I know,” she chirped squirming in her seat. “Which one would you have?”

      Rosa rolled her eyes. “Don’t care,” she grunted.

      “Sure you don’t.” She quipped. “I bet it’s Daemon.”

      “No”

      Del thought for another guess. “Ah, Veranium. He’s interesting.”

      “And a stuck-up.” Rosa flicked her hair with a twist of her head.

      Del, covered a giggle with her flower hands as she suggested, “Plagueus?”

      “Arceus no!” Rosa reciprocated with a shout.

      Del thought some more, “Azazel?”

      “Getting much colder,” Rosa huffed.

      “Why not?” Del asked, “I mean it’s not like you’re dating him. Plus you’d get near that young haxorus of his.”

      “Trishula?” Rosa turned her head to Del, “What’s so appealing about him?”

      “Well.” Del rolled over on her stomach and looked at Rosa, “He’s hot for one thing.”

      “Of course,” Rosa interrupted with a passive remark and an eye roll to add.

      Del cleared her throat to indicate she wasn’t finished yet. “He’s also: quiet, intelligent and loyal.”

      “To his goal.” Rosa mentioned.

      “Goal?” Del inquired, getting interested as shown be her getting up onto her knees.

      Sh**! Rosa cursed in her head. She tried to find something in the room to divert the discussion to, but couldn’t find anything before Del started pressing her like a little girl.

      “Oh what goal? Tell me, tell me, tell me,” She pestered.

      “No,” Rosa rebuked, “it was a long time ago’ I dunno if he even still has it.”

      “Oh?” a nefarious smile curved over Del’s face, “you’ve known him for a while?” She moved a little closer and asked, “What’s he like?”

      “Grow up,” was all Rosa said.

      Del just gave a little laugh. She looked up at the rock ceiling and said out loud, “I wonder what your goal is Rosa?” Rosa sorta shifted a little, catching Del’s attention in the process. “You do have one right?” Del inquired.

      “O-of course, Del,” she defended. She crossed her arms closely.

      “And what is it about?” Del pressed further, earning a scowl from Rosa.

      “None of your concern.” Rosa got up and was on her way out when Del said in a serious tone.

      “Be careful…”

      This caught Rosa off guard, as she spun around. “What do you mean, ‘Be careful’,” she demanded in an angry tone, that in all fairness was more caught in the moment than sincerely angry.

      Del just stayed silent with a serious face on. She leaned onto her back, looking up at the ceiling. “They say, that moving up has its rewards. But I wonder…what those ‘rewards’ are. You see the ones that are above our little council, and the kinds of Pokémon they are…it’s enough to make you wonder what you would be should you become one.”

      Rosa stayed silent at this, honestly taking those words into her mind. What is she talking about? She thought, before an even more judging question came out vocally, “Why are you talking about this?”
      Del just shifted a little, looking up. “Just curious…maybe even, concerned. Rosa, you met with Trishula right?”

      “Y-yeah.,” was her reply.

      Del rolled off her back onto her stomach again, looked at her with a fixed gaze and said in a tone not like her playful self. “Can you say he’s the same Pokémon as when you met him?”


      < O >


      “…Hm…h-huh?” Vragon moaned as he slowly opened his eyes. “Is it morning already?” he grumbled as rolled over to try and get comfortable, closing his eyes for more sleep. In his drowsy state, he didn’t notice at first he was lying down on something flat. “Hmm..huh? The floor?” he opened his eyes slowly and saw only darkness. “Wait…is it still night?” He was very perplexed, though he attributed to his tiredness. He sat up and looked around. Everything was dark. Everything was quiet.

      “…Huh? This…am I in a soul link?” he muttered out loud, trying to get up on his sleepy legs. “But I don’t remember doing it with anyone. Reverse, I think I was asleep. Did someone do it with me while I was asleep?” He looked around trying to make sense out of all this.

      It was only after he had fully woken that he felt it. It was like a little vibration, reverberating to a slow steady beat. He felt it through the ground and all through his body. What? He thought, even more confused by this.

      He looked in the direction he presumed it was coming from and debated on what to do. Should I? I mean…if this is a soul link, then sitting around doing nothing won’t bode well. I mean, who would do a soul link with me while I was asleep? Seliph? Maybe…or is this even a soul link? Could it be a…dream? He took a few steps towards the origin of the consistent vibrations. Well…no good just sitting here if I’m in a dream or a soul link. Maybe I’ll find something about myself or whoever did this if I look.

      He started jogging in that direction, his fraxure feet noiselessly pacing on the cold floor below him. It felt…weird. He figured this was his soul link, but it felt different. Colder. It wasn’t like any other ones he’d initiated with Jaron, Ciecro or even Seliph. “What’s going on?” he mumbled as he pressed on.

      After some minutes of running he stopped as he heard a sound. Wha? He shot to listen in case it came again. It passed along with the constant vibration and the sound was familiar. A…pulse? He started walking towards the direction of the noise, getting more and more curious as the sound grew louder.

      As he looked closer to the darkness in front, he started to see some light. What is that? He started to run over towards it, but was suddenly set upon by the vibration suddenly surging violently. He fell forward, but managed to catch himself and looked around. His jaw hung open as he slowly turned around to see a huge monolith. In the upper half of the plain stone monolith was some large strange rectangular stone, pulsating a dark blue light alongside the vibration beat. He turned around, once again facing the light that had caught his eyes earlier.

      “…What is going on?” Cautiously, he resumed his path to the light shivering a little. Suddenly he stopped as he noticed something strange. The purple light from the monolith, seemed to stay just as bright behind him. He turned around again, but this time he was shocked at what he saw. The stone in that monolith was floating, pulsating inside some silhouette emitting a strange dark blue aura. His breathing slowed as he just stood there as the silhouette slowly began taking an enormous shape.

      It’s arms slowly grew bulky with dangerous claws, it’s biped legs stretched till it’s inward pointing toes touched the dark ground, It’s body large hunched over slightly sprouting a head from the top that seemed more like a war helmet with eye holes rather than face. Its body was a rather mid-shade of silver, with straight lines of dark blue coursing to areas of his body, but all coming from the monolith in the center.

      The thing slowly moved towards him. Vragon finally snapped out of his frozen fear and began running from it. What is that thing‽ he shouted in his head, not giving the creature another look as he rushed towards the blue light ahead. As he ran, he noticed something odd about the ground ahead. The blue light was reflecting on the ground in front of him, but strangely not for the area ahead of him. He braked his run, narrowly stopping before falling over a cliff into the darkness below.

      His breathing sped up and he started to shake. He had narrowly escaped falling into the void below. He slowly turned around, terrified at his close encounter only to be cornered by this thing after him. He looked up to see it towering over him; it’s head seemingly looking at him though he couldn’t tell due to it not having eyes or even sockets for them. “S-s-stay away,” Vragon shouted, slowly backing to the edge.

      The massive armored dragon like creature didn’t comply. It slowly walked towards him and began raise it’s right arm. Its armor like claw with very sharp fingers widened as if it was going for a slash.

      “W-wha? What do you wa-?” he didn’t get to finish. The creature swung down upon him. Vragon’s nerve broke and he fell backwards, managing to avoid the slice but falling into the darkness below.

      He was in free fall, spinning around uncontrollable. He was screaming in the darkness as he went deeper and deeper, the large figure above him slowly going out of sight. As he dove further, his mind suddenly was assaulted by all kinds of voices. Some he recognized, but others were unfamiliar. He clasped his head from the sheer overwhelming stress and terror it was causing him.

      You will live here now-

      My name is Jaron, what’s your na-

      certainly you can attest that there are things-

      What do you want me to do‽ What can I do‽-

      I understand, but I’m conceren-

      You take after your father a lot.

      You miss him, don’t y-

      You cannot surpass lim-

      -under the false idea we know what we're doing.

      This needs to be don-

      -ther, wait!

      Is this what you intende-

      I’ll miss you, all of y-

      -I hope so to

      I’m always proud o-

      Let’s make a promise together, you and me.

      Vragon shot up from his bed, breathing heavily and clasping his chest. He looked around frantically. It was the room he was staying in. It took him a minute before calming down and just taking a moment to process it all. “What was that thing?...There was that monolith. Was it its core? Also, what was that blue light an-and all those voices. ‘Promise together’ what does that mean? What did I promise?” Vragon reached for his pendant on the desk and looked at it as best he could with only the moon for light. “Are you related to that?” he asked his pendant. He let out a sigh. I’ll worry about that tomorrow. He put it back on the desk and tried to go back to sleep.


      < O >


      Jaron was rolling in his sleep, from one side of his bed to the other. “…Stop it.” He mumbled over and over. “St-stop it, don’t go. V-vray come back!” He shot up in a start, breathing heavily. After a few seconds of heavy breathing, he took a solid big breath and groaned, “It was a dream.” He got up and looked outside. The sun had risen and the sky was alight with morning orange, red and purple. He slowly got off his bed and looked outside, silent.

      I have a bad feeling. He crossed his arms and began rubbing them, as if he was cold. He shook his head and gave a determined scowl at the sky. No, I’m just being silly. Letting a dream like that get to me. He gave a little self-chuckle. He walked out into the hallway and gave a stretch in there. “Whelp, better wake up Vray, like we agreed to.”

      He strode on over to the door where Vragon’s lodgings were. He knocked on the door and after giving a yawn he asked, “Hey, you up?” There was nothing but silence. “Vray?” He must be asleep. Jaron slowly opened the door and looked inside. To his surprise Vragon wasn’t there. He rushed into the room scared. As he looked around he noticed a note on Vragon’s bed with his pendant on it. He pulled it out and let out a breath of relief.

      “Don’t scare me like that,” he muttered to himself as he walked out. He made his way to the end of the hall and went up the stairs to the roof. Upon reaching the top, he opened the trap door to the top of the roof. He looked around and sure enough there was Vragon, staring at the sunrise from the ledge on the building.

      “Next time lemme know before you go wandering off,” Jaron chuckled, surprising Vray in the process.

      “Oh, you’re up now.” The fraxure gave Jaron a grateful smile.

      “Yeah, especially with the scare you gave me,” Jaron teased, making Vray feel a little guilty. “So, what’s with the early morning thing?” He inquired walking over and sitting next to Vray on the edge of the building, letting his legs dangle down over the side.

      “I mean, I like sunrises Jaron. You of all Pokémon know that.”

      “Well, it’s kinda odd to do it when we’re leaving in the morning. Having after thoughts?”

      Vragon gave him a “really” look and raised one brow. “Isn’t that more your area currently?”

      “Maybe,” Jaron said, looking down. This melancholy answer took Vragon by surprised.

      “Jaron, are you okay?” Vragon leaned in closer to check on Jaron’s spaced out face.

      “Hmm…yeah why?” the croconaw said, moving back a little at Vragon suddenly leaning in close.

      “…Are you sure?” Vragon asked, giving a skeptical look at Jaron, “I’ve seen better attempts at you playing it cool.”

      “Okay, okay, you got me,” Jaron admitted, a little annoyance in his tone. “I couldn’t get it out of my head and having some dumb nightmare didn’t help.”

      “Nightmare?” Vragon repeated, his eyes widening as the image of his own flashed back into his memory.

      “Yeah,” Jaron said with a sulky tone and crossing arms to match. “Like, I know it sounds cheesy or silly, but … lately I’ve just had thoughts about-”

      “About what?” Vragon asked, switching his attention back to Jaron.

      “…Argh, like I can’t stop thinking about that dragon and his goons and attacking and just hurting or killing you. I don’t want to think about it, but it won’t go away.” Jaron rest his arms onto his croconow knees and just looked at the ground three stories down.

      Vragon just remained silent, joining him in the view to the ground. “I had a nightmare too,” Vragon admitted.

      This time it was Jaron to turn and look at Vragon. “You too?” he asked, in a anticipating but not in a happy way tone.

      Vragon just kept his gaze on the ground and murmured. “It didn’t make sense. It was weird and…” he let out a sigh. “Jaron…I can’t help but get the idea that something is out there. Something bigger or some kind of thing.”

      “Like those red eyes?” Jaron look back at the ground and scowled.

      “Don’t worry, we promised we’d watch each other’s back and all.” Vragon turned and gave an encouraging eye closed smile, a rather sudden shift that even made Jaron feel awkward.

      “Yeah.” Jaron nodded after being won over. He held out his fist, which was firmly bumped by his dragon friend. “To Frantal town I guess.”

      “But first those supplies.” Vragon got up and stood on the ledge. He stretched out his arm at the sun as if trying to catch it, though not closing his fist.

      “You know, you do that a lot,” Jaron mentioned, standing up as well.

      “I dunno, I like it when the sun is level with us and I can just reach forward as if grabbing myself or whatnot…that was a terrible way to word it.”

      The two shared a laugh and got down. They swung their respective arms over each other’s shoulders and headed for the door to the 2nd floor.


      < O >

      Darkness was all around in a large room. There was rubble of stones and broken pillars littering the area, the only area that seemed clean from the gravel was a large circular stone pedestal. It stood in the ray of light coming from a circular window. The design depicted a rectangular like door in a sea of red, purple, yellow, dark blue and orange stained glass. This light made the darkness around seem all the more thick and the light in the center seemingly more pure in the haziness of smoke that it shown.

      The light shined down upon a figure in the center. It was slightly hunched in anatomy, but was looking up at the window. Its arms were at its sides and it seemed to be floating. It wore a black outfit, with strong fabric that covered its body. His sleeves were drooped down along with his arms, but curved forwards near the wrist along with the hands. This figure just looked at the window in silence and stillness.

      As he stood in the light another figure appeared in the circle, illuminated. He wore an outfit like the other being. A small sliver of the face was visible through the reflection underneath the hood, from some metal as part of a helm. This figure was larger than the one in the center. At the end of his sleeves were two massive gauntlets with sharp claws. This stranger stood on the edge, in silence.

      “…What is it?” A deep mechanical like voice inquired from the figure in the center, keeping its gaze on their only source of light.

      “I wish to hear of your progress in Amestria.” A much deeper, bass sound came from the other’s suggestion of inquiry. The larger mon folded his arms back behind is back.

      “That is my concern…however, I will inform you that everything is going well. We have some senators in talks with us.”

      “…Is the progress, satisfactory?” The larger one asked, tilting his head slightly with his hood following.

      “Patience Pathos,” the other one declared with a hint of pride, gesturing one arm to his left, “it is better to ensure quality rather than rush something as large as this. I assure you, it will be ready.” The figure then slowly turned around and looked at the other mon. Two thin red eyes lit up beneath his hood as he addressed the one near the darkness. “And what of your mission? How does it fair?”

      Pathos returned his arms to his side, and replied with a deep tone through the voice distorter. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate the target. However, my other mission bodes well.” He then took a few steps forward and looked down at the thin red lines staring back at him. “Azazel…I’m curious about you sending your apprentice to Triacal. What are you planning?”

      “Rest assured Pathos,” Azazel replied, “I merely sent him to continue the mission I gave him.”

      “Mission or obsession?” the other questioned, crossing his large arms across his the chest area of his cloak.

      “You are quite the intruder Pathos. I don’t ask how you and your apprentice handle things.” The other remarked, not so much offended as pleased by this passive aggression. “How is the little one?” he inquired with a slither at the end.

      “He is better.” Pathos looked past Azazel to the window. “I am pleased with his progress.”

      “Indeed,” Azazel slithered a reply, turning around halfway to look at the window as well. “Trishula will make a fine member I’m sure.”

      “Are you sure he will be elected?” Pathos inquired, raising a clenched gauntlet fist to the base of his hood.

      “Undoubtedly, if he is able to control himself and handle the struggles there is no need to worry. I’ve ensured that his former likeness is all but replaced.”

      Pathos removed his arm from its spot and with a firm but still indoor volume blurted, “Your methods are cruel.”

      Azazel gave a dark laugh as he looked back at Pathos from under his hood, “And you believe yours are superior? You may garner my respect, but not for your wisdom.”

      “…Why did you choose him?” Pathos inquired, tensing his arms crossed across his chest, “did you have an intended purpose for him?”

      “I saw something…lethal in there. Potential I didn’t want wasted on a culture that refuses to truly weaponize the true inner nature of mons. What I have brought is a mon that will indeed defeat Aegis. I’m sure of it.”

      “And if he comes short?” Pathos asked, uncrossing his arms and looking directly to Azazel.

      “Then he will have been the footstool for the next.” Azazel turned to Pathos. “Was there something about yours that gave you the desire to make him your apprentice? Did you sense potential in him?”

      Pathos walked past Azazel and looked up at the stained glass high above them. “…No…”

      “No? So was it simply just your act of mercy?” Azazel looked at Pathos from behind.

      “…Yes.” He turned to look at Azazel, one large solid red light appearing from under the hood.

      “Be careful Pathos,” Azazel said, floating over to join him at the side, “attaching yourself to someone isn’t like you.”

      “Don’t warn me Azazel,” Pathos softly rebuked, “I haven’t forgotten my true goal and promise.” Pathos return his gaze to the window. “I wonder…what Aegis was like.”

      “No doubt like other Pokémon, just with more responsibility,” Azazel answered, joining him in gazing at the window. There was only silence for a while between the two, merely gazing at the window reflecting light through its beautiful colors onto them.

      Pathos then turned his head to Azazel and said, “Are you going to apprehend him?”

      “If he is the one we’re after, it is a priority. After all, Aegis is someone we require. Though, there is still much time before our next phase can occur.” Azazel turned to look back at Pathos and asked, “What of Mephiles’s plans?”

      Pathos shook his head. “He’s all but focused on his…project. He believes it will be optimal in acquiring the originals. Though…I trust you had his guidance in going after Aegis.” Pathos turned to face Azazel and with a cold tone in his distorted deep voice said, “He is the best means for us to find him after all.”

      Azazel just gave a chilling laugh as he looked back at the window. “Pathos, Pathos, we have many paths we can tread with many ways to travel them. They all will lead to the same ending. Our victory and truth.”

      Pathos looked back at the window and muttered, “Truth…” his fists tightly clenched, earning Azazel’s stern attention. Pathos gazed up at the window, turned around, and walked out slowly.

      “Where are you going?” Azazel inquired.

      Pathos stopped, and remained silent. He then turned his head slightly and said, “It’s time I pay another visit. I need reassurance once more.” He left.

      Azazel just let out a little dark chuckle turned back to the window and muttered out loud, “Reassurance indeed.” His head fell slightly as he closed his eyes and grinned underneath his mask. I will first meet with Trishula in Brielle and set him on his next trial. He suddenly moved his head up slightly once more to the window. Jetze Trishula, wirst du bald die Wahrheit aufdecken. Natürlich, wirst du von sich selbst lernen.

      Terms:
      Jetze Trishula, wirst du bald die Wahrheit aufdecken. Natürlich, wirst du von sich selbst lernen.– “Now Trishula, you will soon discover the truth. Naturally, you will learn from yourself.”
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      Old October 18th, 2018 (10:16 PM).
      Bay's Avatar
      Bay Bay is offline
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      The first part with Rosa and Del I find it a bit strange the narration didn't mention Del's name until a bit later. Also while I get Rosa being very annoyed at Del, I feel some slurs she used like "whore" is a bit much and uncomfortable to me. Otherwise their interactions there were fun and Del being the playful time is portrayed well there.

      So I take it both Vragon and Jaron have the same dream due to the soul link? Either way though, the dream in Vragon's POV though sounds like big things are indeed coming.

      I think this is Azarel's first proper appearance, right? Don't have too much thoughts on him yet, but seems he's the type to take things slow and make sure nothing goes astray. He's been mentioned several times I recalled, so I'm assuming he'll be active now or at least fairly soon.
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      Old October 22nd, 2018 (10:08 PM).
      FlaafyFTW's Avatar
      FlaafyFTW FlaafyFTW is offline
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        Join Date: May 2009
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        Okay, so: admittedly, this is my first time reading this fic and rather than starting from the beginning, I've begun on your most recent chapter (25) just to mix it up a bit. Normally, I'd have a bazillion questions and wouldn't like to start midway through something but I'm fairly certain that I was able to ascertain who most of the characters were through your writing so - kudos for that!

        Having said that, I'm definitely going to go back and read some more from the beginning to fill in some blanks.

        I enjoyed the catty back and forth between Rosa and Del, it really showed off their characters well and I also particularly enjoyed the way Vragon's descent into the voices was written - it really was a great way to showcase the confusing chaos of what was happening to him in quite a simple yet effective manner.

        The third part was very mysterious and that was where I felt like pre-reading would have benefitted me as there were a few things I couldn't grasp from context. But going by Bay's review, it seems as if this was Azrael's first 'on-screen' appearance and so an aura of mystery was meant to be a large part of this section, which did definitely come across.

        Something I did notice as a reader was that your story is being told from a third person narrative and it can be very tempting to start your sentences with a pronoun but I noticed this a few times in succession which threw me from enjoying the story as much (this is with my overly-critical teacher head on here) so just something to keep an eye on:

        Quote:
        “Hmm..huh? The floor?” he opened his eyes slowly and saw only darkness. “Wait…is it still night?” He was very perplexed, though he attributed to his tiredness. He sat up and looked around.


        His breathing sped up and he started to shake. He had narrowly escaped falling into the void below. He slowly turned around, terrified at his close encounter only to be cornered by this thing after him. He looked up to see it towering over him; it’s head seemingly looking at him though he couldn’t tell due to it not having eyes or even sockets for them.


        He crossed his arms and began rubbing them, as if he was cold. He shook his head and gave a determined scowl at the sky. No, I’m just being silly. Letting a dream like that get to me. He gave a little self-chuckle. He walked out into the hallway and gave a stretch in there.
        Aside from that, I enjoyed it! Definitely looking forward to reading more.
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        Old November 10th, 2018 (4:40 PM).
        Vragon2.0's Avatar
        Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
        Say it with me (Vray-gun)
           
          Join Date: Mar 2018
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          Contains: Language
          Chapter 26
          Traveling Joy

          Okay, lets run through this again, an energetic Dolly said to her not as thrilled group, as they stood at the edge of Vergiums main street, leading out of town.

          Come on, weve already checked four times, Jaron groaned, cutting her offer before she could start.

          He swung his travel pack to his other shoulder. I think were good.

          Dolly just gave a little chortle patting Jaron on his head, much to his annoyance. Come now Jaron, this isnt some simple travel trip. Were going to be walking for hours so we have to make sure were ready. Wanna make this as enjoyable and problem free as possible, after all.

          Odd that youd take something like that with such anticipation, Vragon muttered, equally disgruntled about her bubble demeanor.

          Dolly turned to the frustrated fraxure to share some of her sunshine with him. Come now guys, this is something I really enjoy. Hiking is good for your muscles anyways and we get to pass by Mt. Travail. Some neat sites to see and whatnot.

          Its almost like you forgot were heading to Frantal town as a risk of being attacked by crazies. The croconaw looked to the side and scowled and a little frustrated grunt.

          Dolly was about to reply, but was beat to it by Seliph. Come now Jaron, it wont be so bad. Besides, a good trip might have more than youd expect, the greninja encouraged. Jaron just turned his head further, making Seliph sigh.

          The croconaw then looked back at the town and with some snarling parsed between his words. Whats taking them so long? What are they doing, making out in some alley?

          Jaron! Vragon objected walking up to a surprised Jaron, They wouldnt do something like that.

          However, his stern gaze shifted to a mischievous smile in an instant as he followed with, They probably are just holding hands as they shop for something berry juice to share on the trip. He gave a playful punch onto Jarons shoulder. Jaron gave a happy smirk and opened his mouth to add another comment.

          Okay, thats enough you two, Dolly interjected putting her big hands on one of their shoulders. Dont get all silly with it. After all, they need to-

          Dont you dare! the two shouted in unison, leading to her laughing.

          Im just playing with you two, she stated with a smile, Im sure theyll be here soon. Just do me a favor and try and survive the next few minutes.

          Excuse me! Vragon objected.

          Well Im just saying, Vragon, theyll be back in a second. She stood up and rolled her arm.

          How do you know? Jaron inquired, not buying Dollys answer. The two stood in front of her, giving her serious gazes.

          Dolly had her audience. She cleared her throat and said, Because, paused and then finished with the punchline, its second nature to me.

          Fu** you! Jaron shouted, turning around swinging angrily.

          Why do you do this to us? Vragon exclaimed, equally angry and active, Why do you make us suffer?
          Dolly just laughed and patted the two on their heads. Because you both help make the hour go by in minutes.

          That doesnt even make sense, Jaron accused.

          Ah, so you noticed. My Jaron, youre very wary today.

          There was only silence. Jaron looked on the verge of killing, Vragon was more concerned about Jarons wellbeing and sanity and Dolly had her mischievous devil smile on.

          Seliph took the opportunity to put a few steps in between him and the three. He headed for the side of a building, pulling out his Norfarion badge. He turned back to see Dolly having Jaron and Vragon in headlocks with Dollys arms as they struggled to get their hand on her shouting most, unsavory things and grab her while she merely laughed in a playful manner. He walked around the side and leaned on the buildings wall, and waited till he was certain they were too busy cutting up to notice. He pulled out the badge and pressed the button, pulling up the holocaster. He whispered to the badge, Seliph, code: pi in the sin of a unit circle results in a zero tolerance and therefore a simple false of an answer.

          It didnt change, leading him to give out an annoyed groan. He looked around the corner to see if they were stull cutting up. His eyes widened in surprise to see Jaron was on Dollys back hanging trying pull her down while Vragon was trying to get to her, but still being held back by one of her hands while the other one was trying to get Jaron off. Vragon was roaring Jaron was cursing and Dolly was laughing really hard. Seliph just watched the scene for a few seconds before going back around the wall out of sight. A relieved sigh came from his mouth and he turned back to the holocaster. After clearing his throat, Seliph said to the badge in a louder tone. Seliph, code: pi in the sin of a unit circle results in a zero tolerance and therefore a simple false of an answer.

          It accepted the second answer and displayed a request for who to send the message to. He said, Swift and Garon and immediately checked on the group again. Status: call, he added, keeping his eyes on the group, with Jaron and Vragon still trying to bring Dolly down, while she was making it very hard for them all with a smile on his face.

          It displayed a spinning loading circle around a Norfarion crest in the center. However it after a few minutes of the same contacting screen he was starting to get anxious and began pacing up and down the wall grumbling. Come on, come on, pick up the blasted badge, he griped in a low voice, getting tense at how long it was taking. He took more and more checks on the roughhousing group and with each one his heart felt like it was speeding up. Thankfully, a voice finally greeted him.

          Hm? Seliph is that you? the voice said in a happy greeting.

          Shhh, keep it down, Seliph hushed, taking another look at the noisemaking trio that now was composed of Jaron and Vragon on a laughing Dolly, lying on her back.

          Okay, the voice replied, did something happen? Why dont you have display on?

          Dont want to risk being seen. He looked around the corner to see that the two were now on top of a grounded Dolly. He darted his head back to the badge. Look, I dont have much time I-

          As he spoke, the voice of Ciecro boomed from the opposite end of the building. What are yall doin? Seliph moved his head to see Ciecro walk over to the pile of three and give a snort, while Jasmine just sighed and shook her head. He moved back to the badge and in a speedy pacing said, I have to go now, but were taking the trail passing in the mountain pass near Mt. Travail. Meet us at the trail.

          Seliph! Jasmine called out, filling Seliph with a chill through his spine.

          Okay, where on the tr-

          Seliph out.

          Wait, tell us wher- he shut the badge display off and shoved it back into his inner vest pocket. He let out a deep sigh as he gathered himself and strode out from his spot. Im here, he said with a wave gaining everyones attention. Didnt want to interrupt your little fun and all. He let out a casual chuckle, hoping they wouldnt ask what he was doing.

          There, with Seliph thats everyone, Dolly announced, getting onto her feet, alright. One more check around for everyone. Now line up! Everyone shot into a line as Dolly paced in front. She stopped in front of Jaron and pointed to him, asking, What are you carrying for the trip?

          Is this really necessary Dolly? he inquired with a tilt of his head and crossing of his arms.

          Yes, we should do one last minute check, plus you all did form a line, she reasoned.

          Not what I meant, but whatever; Ive got orbs on there, Jaron pointed to his belt with some packets on it and then to his backpack lying in the pile they made, and some provisions and remedies.

          Good. Dolly then walked over to Vragon asked the same.

          I have the map, some escape orbs, rope and a few remedies and berries as well. He replied with a little more excitement than Jaron, as he patted on of his backpacks shoulder loops.

          She moved to Ciecro and asked, And you ha-

          Remedies, awhbs, rope, hooks an dat kinda shi*, he grunted, interrupting her.

          Okay, Jaz how about you?

          Some berries for healing status, another copy of the map, some escape orbs and a communication orb for each one of us as well as barrier orbs. She gave an energetic grin, making Dolly smirk.

          Seliph, what about you?

          Seliph raised a brow, sorta surprised she was asking him. Oh welluhm I have some stuff that I carry and my own provisions. He fiddled in his pockets a little.

          Fine, fine, Dolly said, getting the message. She then backed from the group, turned around and said. Okay, now for this trip, safety is important. Therefore I want each of you to choose a partner for the trip.

          What are we, infants? Jaron murmured in a low tone, rolling his eyes.

          His quiet tone wasnt quiet enough. Dolly gave a villainous grin and announced, My partner will be Jaron.

          Jarons following expression was a mix of surprise, anger, but mostly dread. Oh no, no, no, He said, over and over and over. No, I wanna be partners on this trip with Vragon, not yo- He stopped however at gazing into the cold death abyss that was Dollys death stare. Y-y-yesma-am. His head fell down in submission.

          Good now, the rest of you decide, Dolly said with some beam in her tone.

          Well. Jasmine looked Vrays way. I think Ill vote for-

          However she didnt get to finish before Ciecro made his claim. Vray

          What? Why me? Vragon inquired, rather surprised by Ciecro actively choosing him.

          Is dat a problem? Ciecro asked, with a snarl beneath his breath. This intimidating tactic worked, and Vragon stepped back nodding.

          Jasmine wasnt pleased by this at all, but just let it out in a deep sigh and said, Its fine. She turned to Dolly and stated, Seliph and me will be a group.

          Dolly then nodded and then gave one big cough for attention. Okay, now that thats done. Off we go, everybody! she exclaimed as she marched in front while Jaron followed grumbling.

          Jasmine and Seliph joined them. Vragon started to tail them but stopped upon noticing Ciecro wasnt moving. Ciecro? he walked up to the charmeleon a little worried but mostly curious. You feeling alright? As he looked at the mons face, he noticed Ciecro seemed to be thinking about something. Something on your mind?

          Hmmhuh? Ciecro, shot up from his inner thoughts, n-n-nothin jus git goin. He shoved passed Vragon and marched on.

          Sorry to bother you out of concern, Vragon growled as he followed grumbling a little.


          Phew good progress group. Dolly wiped the sweat from her forehead as she looked at the trail in front that lead into the mountains. Ah, finally here. She looked up to the sun was and after a few minutes of inner debating muttered to herself, about two hours I think. Better progress. Amid some pants she turned to the group and said, you all doing okay? Jaron was panting up a storm as he hiked his way up to her. Jasmine and Seliph not far behind the overheated croconaw, with Ciecro and Vragon not far behind them.

          Im so fu***** hot, Jaron stated amid his wheezing.

          Dolly gave a little grin as she patted him on the back, yeah, but I was asking how you were feeling? He turned an irritated, dry-faced gaze to her and snarled bearing his sharp teeth at her, making her laugh. Its fine, weve made a lot of good progress. Lets take a break everyone.

          Good, Jasmine grumbled, sitting down and letting out some air as she joined them, This heat was starting to get to me.

          Why even is it so hot right now? Seliph asked looking up and shield his eyes from the sun. Isnt it supposed to be spring?

          Doesnt feel like it hardly, Jaron complained, sitting down on a rock. He pulled out some water canteen and began gulping it down.

          In all fairness, Jaron, Vragon said amid some pants of his own, It is the last month of spring. You know Kyon.

          Well why did it have to get so damn hot all of a sudden? It was fine yesterday! Jaron ranted.

          Now, now, lets all just relax and whatnot, Dolly urged the group. She reached into her pack and took out some pre-sliced berry bread shed made. Here everyone dig in.

          Everyone shot for a slice and immediately began savoring the rich blend only Dolly could do. Jaron gulped down his first bite. This is good, he said with his mouth full.

          Yep. Jasmine nodded in agreement and said as she took another bite, I like the blending in of Oran berries. It really adds a familiar flavor to it.

          Sharp taste, Dolly praised.

          Food nerd, Jaron joked.

          Im not a food nerd, Jasmine shot back, not pleased with this resurfacing.

          Oh, my bad, food connoisseur, Jaron joked. Jasmine got onto her paws and the two began to have a little verbal battle. Dolly just sat there eating her slice, watching the whole scene play out. Seliph was eating his slice, but his back facing the group so he could ponder things.

          Vragon was nibbling on his not paying attention to the entertaining back and forth. He was about halfway into his slice when he looked up to watch the fun, but noticed something. Huh? Wheres Ciecro? Vragon got up and did a search spin. The fraxure finally spotted Ciecro sitting on a rock a little down the path ahead. Looking at his slice, Vragon took one more look at the show of Jasmine yelling, Jaron teasing, Seliph pondering and Dolly trying not to fall over laughing and decided to check on the lone charmeleon.

          Ciecros eyes aimed at the ground, though his focus was on words from the past. Something that he hadnt gotten over.

          Im just a traveler. I want to see amazing sites and all that. Beauties of this world you know.

          Wha kind of sites?

          Have you ever heard of Destiny Tower?


          everyones has heard of i, but everyone knows it don exist anymo. What does he mean by askin me if I heard of dat. His eyes narrowed as the image of Trons arm with that bandage over where his crests would be. He a clansmon o not?

          Whos a clansmon?

          Ciecro shot up as he turned and to see Vragon standing next to him, apparently startled as well. Wha? Don sneak up on me.

          Sorry, didnt mean to disturb you and all. Vragon scratched the back of his head and looked to the side, while bending a little back. I mean, we are assigned partners and all and you were off by yourself so-

          Ciecro cut the mon of early with a, Yeah aight and turned back to his original position.

          Vragon felt sort of disappointed in that reaction, but decided to try something. He thought for a second, to set the scheme in motion and how itd go. After satisfied with his plan, he walked onto a patch of dirt in front of Ciecro and sat down. He then broke off some of his bread and held it out to Ciecro.

          The charmeleon looked at it, and then to Vragon, I aint eatin it out of yah hand.

          Vragon gave an awkward cough to the side and said, No I mean, take it.

          Im not hungry. Ciecro gave a grunt and looked back at the ground.

          Vragon wasnt buying it. How can he pass this? This bead is amazing. Weve been walking for hours. I mean, youve got to keep up your strength, Vragon reasoned.

          Ciecro paused, but finally accepted it and reluctantly began making big spaced out tears into it. As the two ate, Vragon decided to initiate part two of his social interaction scheme. Sohow was your night?

          Aight, was Ciecros reply as he went in for another bite.

          Oh Vragon nibbled some more on his bread, trying to think of something to say. He was about to give up when suddenly Ciecro gave a satisfied noise.

          Some damn good bread. Ciecro licked his chops with a pleased smile as he bit into the bread again.

          Heh, yeah. Vragon nodded in agreement. Dolly knows how to please with food.

          Reverse, yeah Ciecro took another big bite into his, but Vragon stopped. It took Ciecro a few seconds to notice, but he finally stopped and looked at the lost in thought fraxure. Wha? he snapped his fingers in front of Vragon, making him jump. Snap out o it an eat. It was yah idea.

          Oh rightsorry, Vragon said, still a little startled.

          Why yah apologizin? Ciecro asked, tilting his head.

          Oh sorry, I just- Vragon began. Embarrassment filled Vragon at how much of a flying wreck his social scheme had gone.

          Vray, he said with a solid, but soft tone. The fraxure calmed down to listen. Shut upslow down. He nodded to Vragon, who slowly nodded back. The two continued, till Ciecro finished. Damn good food, he said with a grin licking his fingers amid his words.

          Yeah, Vragon said still not done with his.

          Ciecro turned and looked at Vragon and said, Vray?

          Huh? the fraxure looked up surprise. Uhy-y-yeah Ciecro?

          Ciecro pointed to his bread and asked, yah gonna finish dat?

          A mix of disappointment and annoyance crossed Vragons face. Without a word, he offered the remaining piece to Ciecro, who devoured it in a few seconds. Tanks for dat, Ciecro said with a grin, but raised a brow at the now sulking fraxure. Whats up?

          Oh nothing, Vragon lazily replied.

          Okay, he said with a grunt and began looking that ground. His expression didnt change, even after Vragon gave an aggravated sigh. Somethin bothering the twerp? He mulled in his head, starting to question if Vragon was just attention hungry or genuinely bothered by something. He was about to ask when suddenly he heard some footsteps to his right. He turned to look, but only saw a glance of some black and yellow color whizz by him. What dah? he blurted turning to his other side to see his pack vanish around a rock corner. Hey, he shouted, getting to his feet, get back here!

          Vragon shot up in a start at Ciecros sudden shouting and dash into some direction. However, it didnt take him long to put two and two together. Hold on! Im coming to! Vragon shot up and dashed after Ciecro. He darted around the corner as he heard Dolly call out, Where are you going? Wait for us!

          The thief was awfully fast and small enough to navigate through the rocks amid the cliff cracks rather easily and with good speed. Ciecro, however didnt lessen his effort, and continued to tail the Pokmon. Get back here, yah shi*! he roared. The figure didnt obey, much to Ciecros frustration. As the figure and Ciecro neared a sharp think turn, the thief jumped onto the wall and pushed off to make the deep angled turn Ciecro caught a glimpse of the Pokmon taking his backpack. The Pokmon was apparently a heliolisk. It darted down the path as Ciecro jumped and pressed off the wall in pursuit.

          Meanwhile Vragon was doing his best just to keep Ciecro in sight. The fraxure jumped over, ducked under, or maneuvered around the many rocks or gashes in the narrow off beaten path, huffing at every action. Ciecro! he shouted amid his panting, trying to but slowly losing sight of his friend. Damnit! Dont give up now Vragon. He took a big breath and pushed onwards. As neared the turn, Vragon performed the action like the other two, albeit less professionally. As he started on the new course, Vragon spied the path was straight for a while onwards. A grin crossed his face as he climbed up on top of a rather small boulder, but big enough for him to stands over Ciecros height. He then opened his mouth, charged up Dragon Breath, and carefully aimed his shot. He unleashed it upon the sides of the cliffs ahead of the two causing a rock slide and forcing the stranger to stop or be crushed.

          Finally! Ciecro shouted, amid a few heavy breaths as he planted his feet in the ground a few yards from the stranger, ready to fire his Flamethrower should he try something. Thanks, he said without moving his gaze as a panting Vragon joined beside his.

          No, the dragon wheezed, problemC-Ciecro. After a few seconds of resting on his knees, he got up and joined to back up Ciecro.

          Aight, yah had yah fun, now cough up my bag o Ill put dis in yah face, Ciecro threatened, as he showed his clenched fist.

          Whawhat he said, Vragon added, with a few more huffs. He got into his stance, although holding it wasnt easy for excessive panting.

          The thief remained silent, moving the backpack further behind him with his tail. The stare on his smug face showed defiance in the face of the threat and follow up addition.

          This pissed off Ciecro as he was about ready to charge at the cocky lizard. However before he did, the stranger pointed behind him and Vragon. Oh no yah don, Ciecro huffed, Im not falling for it. His eyes changed to annoyance at realizing Vragon had fallen for it. Come on Vray stop bein stupid, he whispered, still focusing on the smirking thief. Vray? He slightly turned his head, and noticed Vragon was still looking behind them, trembling slightly. It was then Ciecro heard low growls behind him from some deep vocal cords. He slowly turned around to see a massive garchomp staring down at them, his white iris eyes felt like Dollys death stare. He slowly backed up and readied to fight. Vragon, snap out o it and help me, He called out, not taking his eyes of the garchomp. Not good, Ciecro muttered in his head, Determining Vragon was too frozen to act.

          You know, the heliolisk said from behind him, if we were after you and your friend, youd be caught by now.

          Angered by this, Ciecro spun around and lashed out, Yeah, well then why did you take my-?

          Slow down sport, the heliolisk urged, with a little chuckle tied down at the end. No harm intended, we just wanted to see what youd do, and we... He leaned back onto Ciecros pack with an even smugger grin. Certainly, youve heard of the bait the prize out into the wild routine.

          Ciecro growled. Yeah, wellyah didnwellFu** you.

          The stranger laughed at this last resort of a defiant response. Oh wow, you do take after him dont yah? Dont he Garon?

          The garchomp behind them looked at the heliosik and said, Certainly, so I take it were done teasing these kids?

          Indeed, the other answered.

          T-t-t-teasing? Vragon managed to say, joining everyone in looking at the lizard. Sothis was all just a

          Prank scare, assessment, harmless fun, and a little test on the little quick of the thinking. A less smug smile crossed the heliolisks face as he tapped a finger to his head.

          Ciecro didnt take this well gesture, snorting at the guy and hashing, Well yah can shove it.

          Now, now Ciecro, the lizard said with a chuckle, that any way to talk to someone you know?

          Ciecro raised a brow raised, as Vragon tiled his head, both in confusion.

          You cant seriously have forgotten us, The lizard exclaimed, his turn to be surprised. I mean, we were your favorite visit. At leastwe looked like it. You nibbled on my tail for crying out loud. You didnt do that to just anyone, right?

          Swift, Garon said putting his talons on one of Ciecro and Vragons shoulders, it has been some time and he was very little.

          I know but-

          Time out! a voice came from above the group. Seliph stood on the edge of the cliff above them. Testing now? Not like you two, he greeted as he jumped his way down to the group.

          Not like us? Garon repeated turning his gaze to Seliph.

          Well, Seliph clarified, I more or less meant the aspect of assessment. Id have the idea you both would just arrive with no trouble rather than some chase.

          Well sorry Seliph, Swift muttered annoyed, not like we were rushing up and down this trail because someone hung up too early and didnt explain the meeting spot.

          Seliph rubbed the back of his head accompanied with a weak laugh. Yeah, you got me there. He then looked at Ciecro, who was now even more confused. Oh Ciecro, you dont remember these two? he pointed to the duo and continued, They worked with our parents. These two visited us when we were really young.

          Uhhuh? Ciecro still didnt get it. Sowait, yah both are?

          Swift gave out a big sigh alongside with a face palm, Never mind, Im sure youll remember us later. For now, we should be getting you all back to- He stopped. Quickly, he jumped onto the crumbled rocks, leaped off, and formed and threw a focus blast at an incoming Ice Beam aimed at Garon.

          Garon in turn, rushed past Vragon and Ciecro and stopped directly underneath Swift firmly planting his feet down, leaned his torso a bit so Swift could land on his back fin and sharply spun as Swift pushed to springboard swift forward.

          The heliolisk, shot straight passed the still processing two and tackled Jaron before the croconaw could fire a second time. Their following roll consisted of Jarons confused and reactionary yelling as Swift just laughed. When it ended, Jaron was pinned down by Swifts knee pressing on the kids right shoulder and stretched across Jarons chest. Good shot, the heliolisk complimented with a smile.

          Wha? How did you? Jaron was about to struggle to free himself, but didnt have to as the heliolisk got off of him just as quickly as he pinned him.

          Swift offered his hand to pull him up and said, I heard it.

          Heard it? the croconaw repeated not understanding, but not enough to not accept the offer to be helped up.

          Yeah, but lets get acquainted first. He turned and waited for Seliph to walk up.

          Jaron, Ciecro, Vragon, Seliph said, looking at all three, These two are Swift and Garon. They were part of Team Alpha and friends of our parents. They visited us when we were little and when you Jaron were just a few months old.

          Jarons jaw dropped. Wait, thenhuh?

          Garon walked up and patted Jaron on the shoulder. Its fine. Highly doubtful you of the three would remember.

          Seliph nodded in agreement. Though, we probably should head back and regroup before we finish introductions.

          Yeah, Swift laughed lightly as he put his arms behind his head and leaned a little to the side, probably the best idea.

          Sowait, Jaron said, walking up to Garon, ifyou both were in our past. Why come back now? Why didnt you see us earlier if you- he stopped as he noticed Garons expression turn to a bothered look. He watched as the large dragon fierce but kind expression was now staring to the side with a big frown. Waitwhats wrong?

          Well, Swift said walking up to him, we didnt know you two were alive untl a few weeks ago. He turned to Ciecro who was just joining them along with Vragon. Though, finding out was probably the best news weve ever had in a long time, he said in a chipper voice and smile that felt more forced than a quick recover. But well explain later, lets just regroup with your other friends first. Come on, Garon.

          Garon moved his back to Swift, who quickly jumped and sat on the garhomps dorsal fin. Garon, Swift and Seliph then headed for the site, conversing as they strolled along. The three confused kids just watched, still unsure what just happened.

          lets go, Ciecro finally said, and went after them. Vragon followed with Jaron picking up the rear, scowling at the ground.


          < O >


          Okay, so let me get this straight. Dolly leaned forward on her rock seat, resting her hands on her knees and firmly gazed at the two across from her. You two are friends and comrades of Ciecro, Jaron and Seliphs late parents.

          Thats right, Garon answered, Swift added with a nod.

          And you didnt know these two were alive until Seliph told you a few weeks ago. And you are here, because Seliph asked you both to come and help.

          Yep, Swift answered, giving her a confident grin.

          Okayso then its fair to say that you both arent on duty?

          Garon nodded, This was a request from Seliph. Nasch knows about it and allowed us to leave, but he hasnt set a limit or anything. We simple are here to keep you safe.

          And this Nasch is?

          Hes the former leader of Team Alpha, the team I, this big lug, Gathor, Freya, Tetheron and others were a part of. Swift tilted his head. Is there something wrong?

          Dolly closed her eyes and shook her head, Noits sensible. She got up and looked at Seliph, so I take it these two were- She stopped short as Seliph answered with a nod. I see, she looked back at the two, well then its good to have some help. Im Dolly, she walked over and held out her hand to the larger one. Ive been a friend of these kids and whatnot.

          Garon quickly accepted it with his talon, then I thank you for the kindness youve given to them.

          Of course, she responded with a nod. Anyways, Seliph. The greninja looked up not expecting her to call for him. Can I see you for a second?

          Sure, the greninja scowled slightly as he tailed Dolly, leaving the group of six to converse amongst themselves. After making some distance, Dolly turned around and looked at him with a rather cold stare.

          Whats wrong? He inquired, not sure what new thing she had to suspect of. Do you distrust their sincerity?

          NoI just dont trust yours. She looked past him and back to the group. From what I gather you had years to tell them that Jaron and Ciecro were aliveand yet you didnt. Why?

          Seliph crossed his arms, annoyed that he had to spell it out. Its simple. Knowledge of them needed to be kept secret.

          Dolly raised a brow out of skepticism. Even from ones that wouldnt harm them? Ones that I can tell were affected a lot at hearing those two were alive.

          Seliph didnt reply, but kept his firm gaze locked at Dollys equally strong stare. After a few minutes, Dolly uncrossed her arms and walks past him, be careful, she whispered as she stopped at his side. Playing with others like that wont always end well.

          Im aware, he replied in a rather annoyed tone. I dont need you to tell me the obvious.

          Dolly just stared at him for a second, and then resumed to walk back at the group.

          Seliph looked forward, frustrated. He then turned around and headed back to the group. Seliph sat down on a rock opposite of the one Dolly rested on. The two kept silent, just staring at each other making everyone else kinda uncomfortable. Finally, Garon decided to break the silence.

          I see youve grown up well Ciecro, Jaron. He gave as friendly a smile he could, despite the sort of heavy atmosphere.

          Uhthank you, Jaron replied, sorta uneasy and still coming to terms with who this garchomp was. Ciecro just nodded and gave a grunt as his reply.

          So, when did you visit these two? Jasmine inquired, leaning in a little closer.

          Well, Swift crosses his arms, Jaron was only a few months after hatching. Ciecro was two and Seliph was five. Heh, dang it was a weird time.

          Weird? Jasmine followed up.

          All eyes went upon Swift who brushes a finger on his snout and said, You kids were pretty lively. I think I went home with a bigger smile than when I got there, and well that was because of you three. He gave a short look at all three siblings and looked at the fire. I have some fond memories, more than just the nibbling of my tail by Ciecro.

          Nibbling of your tail? Dolly repeated, leaning in a little, peaking with mischievous interest.

          Ciecro shifted in his seat, annoyed at hearing it for a second time and even more so that Dolly was asking for more.

          Well, let me see here. He leaned back with a smile, looked up and said, there was one time he was rolling in some grass and I was watching him with Gathor. He let out a pre-chuckle that sent a chill of dread down Ciecros spine. And well, accidentally rolled off a little hump in the ground and the look on his face was likeso priceless and cute.

          Daaaaaawww, Dolly said as she leaned in closer feeling all jelly inside just thinking about what the face could be, was it one of those like a baby shinx walking into a wall?

          More like a little squirtle accidentally stumbling into a puddle, Garon added with a little laugh.

          Jaron was trying his best to hide his laughter at the image of Ciecro doing all three of those things. Ciecro however was doing his best to shrink in his rock seat. Vragon just looked down, because he couldnt stop a few chuckles. Jasmine had to put a paw to her face to keep from being too loud.

          Garon then sat up and added, Course, another thing he did was when he was on Gathors head sleeping and Gathor let out a yawn at the same time and he slid down the back. Thankfully, I was able to catch him and he let out a little confused dragon coo.

          Oh my Arceus, that sounds adorable! Dolly gushed out, I wish I could have seen Ciecro when he was a wittle charmander. Have him sleep on my head or in my pouch and all, maybe even feel his little heart beat.

          A snarl came from the charmeleon. Swift then said, after regaining his breath and wiping some tears from his little laughter fit. He was cute, but probably shouldnt make him any redder. Right Ci- he took one glance at the curled up charmeleon and just lost it. He fell over laughing, and thus everyone else couldnt hold it in. Everyone was laughing, but a very red and embarrassed Ciecro.

          Yall suck! Ciecro shouted standing up. Unfortunately it was a few minutes before anyone could reply from their little laughing fits.

          I-I-Im s-s-s-sorry Ciecr-r-r-ro, Dolly said amid her laughter, I-It just sound so cute and all a-and I could hear the little cooeing inside my head.

          Of course, Garon interjected, finally regaining control from his laughter, we have some interesting little, Jaron, stories too. His eyes looked at Jaron, who immediately stopped laughing.

          Jaron was about to reply, but was cut off by Vragon saying, yeah, Id like to hear some nice and embarrassing stories about Jaron.

          Yeah, Jasmine added leaning in near Jaron alongside Vragon from the other side.

          A scowl surge over Jarons face as he quietly whispered a, fu** you two.


          < O >


          The sun was down as the group reached the rest stop in the mountain pass. Deciding it was time to rest, the group utilized the smooth made ground and formed a fire in the middle. They began talking about many things, getting to know the two new mons more and them sharing more stories. One by one group retired till only Ciecro and Seliph remained. Seliph gave a few glances at his brother, who was keeping his gaze firmly upon the fire. Seliph stayed quiet, debating whether or not to try and start a conversation. Finally his pro-conversation side won.

          Ciecro, Seliph ventured, How was the trip for you so far? Seliphs warming smile faded at the reply only being a grunt. Silence resumed, till Seliph gave out a defeated sigh. He was about to get up and leave, when Ciecro said in a low tone, what were yah doin?

          Seliph turned and gave him a confused look, leading to Ciecro to snarl a little stand up and clarify, What were yah doin while yah were gone?

          Ohjust, Seliph pondered for a moment, a little caught off guard by the question. I wanted to find out who the red eyes were. Seliphs arms flung down to his sides. I wanted to find who they were. What they were after.

          Why didn yah jus git help? Ciecro asked, his face slowly becoming more longingly curious than his basic hostility.

          Seliph didnt say anything; he just looked at the fire. I felt small compared to these red eyes.
          Ciecros eyes widened at hearing the word small from his brother.

          Seliph continued. I wanted to be able to fight them, but I didnt know what to do. After ensuring you both werent tied to me, I went doing whatever basic work I could while making my way in research. UnfortunatelyIm not mother so I dont have the knowledge so I did my best just to try and find them. Seliphs fists clenched. And get answers for who they are and what theyre after. Seliphs eyes scowled as he looked at the flames dance from the logs they were consuming.

          Ciecro looked to the side. Does he really feel like dat? Ciecro wasnt sure. He didnt get the chance to ask as Seliph walked away after saying a night to him before going off to his own sleeping place. Ciecro just stayed at the fire, watching the fire firmly blazing. Is dat deh truth Seliph?...Jaron his fists went lax as he felt bummed. If dat is trueden he let out a sigh, not sure what to think.

          High on a cliff from one of the mountains, the fire the group were at was viewable. One Pokmon stood on it, watching it smoke rise as he watched that party in the night. Tron stood there with a scowl on his face, eyeing them, specifically Ciecro.

          Hmm...that boy from before. Curious. Tron rubbed his head as a migraine started to form. He let out a sigh as he turned to face the mountain peak. But I shouldnt stay on this hunch. The golduck started walking as he looked up and saw a faint light blue shooting star in the sky. After all, its just you drawing me here and Im aware why that is.
          __________________

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            #35   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
          Old November 16th, 2018 (12:07 AM).
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          Bay Bay is offline
          Darkinium Z
           
          Join Date: May 2006
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          Finally some progress made on the group's travels. The interactions they had with Gathor and Swift were fun, heh poor Ciecro. Dolly's reaction to wanting to have Ciecro in her pouch is adorable haha.

          I don't blame Dolly for not believing Seliph is being sincere since he's been keeping some things in the dark there. On Seliph's perspective he's doing this to protect his loved ones and find out more about the Red Eyes. though this might backfire if he doesn't open himself more.
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          Foul Play [Chapter Six up!]
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          Old December 27th, 2018 (12:49 PM). Edited December 27th, 2018 by Vragon2.0.
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          Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
          Say it with me (Vray-gun)
             
            Join Date: Mar 2018
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            Contains: Language, Alcoholic Reference [13]
            Chapter 27
            The Discussions we have, for the people we are

            Jaron shot awake breathing heavy, looking frantically around. His eyes fell upon Vragon sleeping near him and he let out a sigh of relief. He looked down at the ground and frowned. Again…why is it happening so much? He punched his fist to the ground and let a little growl. He immediately froze as he noticed Vragon move a little, mumbling something as he subconsciously changed positions. Jaron sighed, got up and started walking. He made his way up some rocky cliff and sat there to gather his thoughts.

            “…I hate this,” he muttered to himself in the light of the night sky. “I hate these nightmares. Why?” His teeth gritted as his eyes scowled. He snarled amid saying, “Why now? Why when those dumb bi****s attacked that these have been happening?” He took a deep breath and looked down at the ground. His scowl soon was exchanged for a frown as he thought about the dream he had. His thoughts were interrupted however as a voice called out to him in a whisper from behind him. He shot around but relaxed at seeing Swift walking up.

            “You okay bud?” He asked as he stood next to Jaron.

            “Uhm...yes sir,” he said, in an attempt to dart from talking.

            Swift gave a little groan as he rubbed his finger to his nose as if to prevent sneezing. “I was on lookout and well…sorry that I overheard your little talk.”

            Jaron’s eyes widened at hearing that. His cheeks were flooded with embarrassing red and he turned looking at the ground. He made a little groan with his mouth closed.

            “Sorry, didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” Swift sat down next to him. “Just thought it fair you know and all. So…this guy Vragon means a lot to you.”

            Jaron just gave a lazy “yes” reply.

            Swift nodded in concurrence. “Yep, you two seem close. Kinda like me and my lug of a friend.” Swift leaned back and let himself lay on the ground gazing up at the stars. Jaron just stayed silent, leading to Swift to continue. “I get it, worrying for someone you care for. It can be rough and all. So…wanna talk about it?” he turned his head to look at Jaron, who returned with a rather perturbed look in return.

            “But we just met,” he reasoned, shifting a little so he could look at Swift’s face easier.

            “Well yeah, if you want to. Though I get it if you don’t. After all, you were awfully young when I got to see you.”

            Jaron thought for a second as he joined with Swift looking at the stars. It was weird for Jaron. He’d never known Swift and his lax nature about this felt a little unsettling. He wasn’t sure, but it would be nice if he talked about it. His inner debate was cut off as Swift said, while shifting himself up a little, “You know, you were a clinger as a kid.”

            Jaron’s cheeks shot blood red. “W-what do you mean?”

            “Well, you’d tend to cry when your mom or dad wasn’t around, mostly your mom. But you’d be the most content little guy when she was. Heh, but that’s a good thing. I just…see that in you here and now.”

            Jaron didn’t know how to take this. He just stood there confused and mouth repeating either “uh” or “uhm” slowly. The heliolisk chuckled a little at Jaron’s buffering reaction, leading to Jaron to finally snap out of it.

            “Sorry if it sounded odd,” Swift chuckled, “but what I mainly mean is that you like being around your friends and all. You are social mon and all.”

            Jaron was left a little uneasy, by either the Pokémon’s bluntness of his opinion or that he wasn’t exactly wrong. He looked forwards a little sulky, complaining in his head about being interrupted. Though his head turned at the heliolisk moving a little and lying down, staring up at the stars.

            “You know, you remind me of Garon.”

            The statement confused Jaron. “Why?” he asked.

            “You see,” Swift’s smile was replaced by a reminiscing stare up to the sky, “he’s always been well, close to me, there, by my side, you know.” Jaron shifted to look at Swift better as Swift continued. “He’s tough and all, but a big softy. But I like him that way, he’s like…a good and loyal friend. Kinda how you are with your fraxure friend, though not exactly to be fair.”

            “Well,” Jaron’s head fell a little and looked forwards. He started twiddling his fingers. I’ve thought about Vragon a lot, but that’s because of these nightmares. What if, I’m too-

            “Did I say something that bothered you?” Swift asked, concerned he was too blunt.

            “Oh, no…you’re fine. Just dealing with some unpleasant thoughts.” The croconaw stood up and looked up at the stars, while Swift sat up and looked at Jaron from the side. “Do you…” Jaron rubbed his head. “Do you worry about your friend?”

            Swift raised a brow at the question that had the obvious answer of “yes”. “What do you mean?”

            “Well,” Jaron moved his head down and looked at a mountain nearby. “I worry about my brother and my friend. It’s like…I have to make sure they’re fine. You know?”

            Swift took a moment to gather his thoughts, and then answered with, “Well…I kinda do. Not very often to that extreme, but Garon is tough and strong so he doesn’t need me around him all the time.”

            Jaron turned to look at Swift. “But don’t you, I dunno, get that feeling that something will happen?”

            “No,” Swift quickly replied without a second thought. “I mean, I trust that he can take care of himself even if I’m not around.”

            Jaron felt bad at hearing this answer. He plopped onto the ground, rested his chin onto both his hands and let out a deep sigh. “So I don’t trust them?” he mumbled in guilt.

            “It’s not that simple,” Swift added, “I mean, there’s a difference between not trusting them and just having trouble handling your worriedness.”

            “But how do I know which it is?” Jaron inquired, looking at Swift with slightly below pleading eyes.

            “I don’t have the answers, but give it some thought and maybe you’ll find something. After all, worrying about them means you care you just have to see where it fits for you and them.”

            Jaron looked at the ground pondering overhearing this. He looked back to Swift as the heliolisk got up and stretched his arms.

            “Well, I’m heading to sleep. Get some rest as well. We have a way to travel to get to Frantal and all,” Swift suggested as he started walking off. “Oh, and Jaron.” the croconaw looked at him and he turned slightly to look back. “Talk to Garon about that. He’s just like you in this and maybe he can help you find something about it.”

            The croconaw nodded. “Thanks, Swift.”

            “No prob,” the heliolisk replied with a grin as he walked off, leaving Jaron to look up at the stars.

            The croconaw lied down onto the ground and just stared up at the starry sky. It’s really pretty, he thought as a smile crossed his face. I know I shouldn’t worry. Vragon tells me not to and Ciecro would tell me to just stop being silly heh. But, I can’t help it, maybe. His eyes leaped from star to star, as if trying to give each one at least a second of his stare. Maybe, I just have things to work on. I could just be overreacting, but I honestly don’t want to lose them. Any of them. Ciecro, Vragon, Jasmine, heh even Dolly. He rolled on his side and let his eyes shut. As he lay there on the hard ground his mind slowly began to drift off. I have to work on that. I don’t want to be a clinger…not now. They need me and all. His eyes opened a little as a troubling thought crossed his mind. Seliph…am I so wanting to try and do this because I’m being too…clingy? Hmm…Ciecro. He rolled to his other side. Tomrrow…I’ll partner with Ciecro…I need to apologize to him. I haven’t been very good to him recently and demanding things. Maybe this trip won’t be so bad after all…if I can well make them happy again. With a reassured smile he drifted off to sleep.


            < O >


            Trishula leaned his back against a wall as he, Siegfried and Vex resided in an alley area in Crion City. The large dragon’s eyes were shut and seemed at ease as if he was trying to sleep while leaning on the wall, Siegfried was looking out the alley pathway at some of the emura lights that dotted the area, and Vex was busy grumbling and rubbing his feet as he sat a little way down.

            “Hmm, when do you think he’ll arrive?” Siegfried inquired the dragon, as he walked from the entrance to join the two.

            “A day or two most likely.” The dragon opened his eyes and looked up, “Daemon wouldn’t resort to him taking a slower transport due to our mission.”

            “So, what do we do in the meantime?” the gallade asked, leaning against the wall opposite Trishula.

            “We shouldn’t split up. Let’s find a place to stay while we wait for-” he stopped as he was interrupted by a flashing red light from one of his belt pouches. He pulled out his red crystal and gazed at it in annoyance. “You two,” he ordered the grunts, “guard the entrance while I take this.”

            They nodded and watched at the entrance while Trishula walked to the end of the alley, sat down, held out the crystal and let out a sigh. After letting go of the crystal and letting it float, Trishula closed his eyes and waited to hear the voice of whoever was contacting him.

            “Ah good, that was fast.”

            Trishula opened his eyes to see the hazy image of Daemon, floating in front of him, slowly beginning to stabilize into a more solid looking form. “Daemon,” he said out loud, as if not surprised it was this guy contacting him at this random time. Trishula merely stayed in his sitting position and grumbled, “What do you want?”

            “There’s something I need to talk with you personally about.” Daemon floated a little closer and leaned down a little. “It’s about the next council meeting.” Trishula raised a brow as Daemon continued. “Azazel requested that you attend this upcoming meeting.”

            “When did he say this?” Trishula asked, giving a skeptical grin.

            Daemon looked to the side and stroked his chin. “He wanted you to take your leave with it after he conversed with you in Brielle.”

            “Brielle? Why Brielle?” Trishula got to his feet.

            Daemon answers, looking to Trishula with is one eye, “the meeting is near Brielle, in some ruins. He was going to meet with you here personally.”

            “So, you are in Brielle?” Trishula crossed his arms and gave a little snort. “Daemon, what’s going on? I leave to do my mission for Azazel and somehow he seems to do things favorable for you.”

            “I’m not sure what you mean.” Daemon floated, turning his back to Trishula.

            “Have…Have you been talking to my master?” the mighty dragon asked, his voice showing slight concern.

            Daemon paused and just folded his arms behind his back. “I’m not affiliated with him. You know that.”

            “Even still…Daemon, if he’s expressed interest in you I deserve to know.” The dragon walked nearer to Daemon, but not in an aggressive way. “Please…he’s someone I can’t predict.”

            Daemon turned to face the dragon. “It’s not like you to be open about your concerns. Then again,” he let out his own sigh, “I can’t blame you. It’s been some time since I’ve seen you show this side of you do to fear about your master.”

            Trishula didn’t seem offended by the comment, but slightly relaxed. “Daemon…did he-”

            “Yes,” the ghost firmly answered, “he’s talked with me. Matters regarding…my condition. I have to admit, him inquiring me about it is at least uncomfortable. I’m being cautious Trishula, but at the same time, he is our superior. I can’t just turn down a request from him.”

            “I understand that, but why is he asking you about it? What’s it matter to him?” The dragon crossed his arms, while the ghost looked up.

            “I don’t know. I would claim he’s primed if he wasn’t clearly in control of himself and cognitive. However, I don’t think he plans to use it for you or anything for me. Regrettably, this is just a guess. You would know your master better than I.”

            “…Daemon…is there…anything else he’s been asking you?” Trishula walked up to the dusknoir, looking at him with a worried stare. “Is there anything he wants you to do? Daemon…I,” He let out a sigh.

            “I understand your stance Trishula.” Daemon looked back at him and put his arm on the dragon’s shoulder, despite him not being physically there. “Me and Plageues missed you. It just wasn’t the same, was it? You weren’t the same. I’m glad I could see you again, Vorice.” Trishula looked to the side at hearing this and Daemon retracted his arm. “Don’t worry Trishula, I will handle myself around your master. Take care freund, I look forward to seeing you again when you get back.”

            The dragon didn’t reply but gave an agreeing nod. The image of Daemon faded as Trishula closed his eyes and opened them a few seconds later, revealing the same alley he was in before he started the link. He slowly got up and looked around the alley once more, less tense and more longing. He looked down at the ground, his mind drifting back to the past…or rather going to the world he knew, before he went with Azazel. His thoughts were interrupted prematurely when Siegfried walked over and asked him what it was about.

            “Nothing,” the dragon responded, quickly and slightly hostile.

            “Sorry,” Siegfried answered, crossing his arms passive aggressively like the tone he took. The dragon just walked past Siegfried, leaving the gallade in his frustration. This is sh**, Siegfried grumbled in his head. He walked over to join the two but stopped. …We need a place to stay. Well, if it’s an excuse. A smile crept his face as he strolled over to the two with an idea. “Vex, Trishula, how about I go look for a place to stay for us.”

            The response from both Vex and Trishula was a unanimous and simultaneous, “No.”

            “Why not? We can’t stay here and travel in a group of red eyes might alert the authorities,” Siegfried argued, getting into an aggressive stance one would take as if prosecuting.

            “Simple, splitting up is a bad idea.” The dragon looked to Vex who nodded in concurrence, which was actually genuine.

            “Well what better idea do you two have?” the gallade shot to Trishula. To Siegfried’s dismay, Trishula was ready for an answer to this incoming verbal hit and promptly knocked it away by saying, “We will reside on one of the roofs. They are seldom checked and it is the end of the rainy season.”

            “The roofs?” Siegfried repeated, not pleased at all with this answer. “But the wind and the cold is up there.”

            “You’d rather be in an alley here, where it’s cold and damp?”

            “I’d rather be in a nice straw bed in some lodge area here.” Siegfried took a step forward in defiance. He stared deeply into the eyes of the larger dragon, who took his own step forward.

            “You’d rather us leave traces to be caught?”

            “Who’s after us anyway?” Vex pointed out. “I mean, we haven’t gotten any wanted posters or news so why should we worry?”

            “Yeah, I mean, who do we have to run from?” the gallade repeated crossing his arms.

            Trishula just stared at the two, who glared in return. The dragon then turned his back to them and started walking out. This puzzle the mons and they immediately followed, confused. “Go find your lodgings then,” the dragon answered, “consider yourself lucky I’m focused on other things. We shall regroup in the morning.” The two looked at each other, a mix of glee and skeptical as the dragon walked out of the alley.

            He walked a ways before finally coming to another ally where the walls were closer together. He walked deep into it and raised his hands up, clasped the claws together, and pull them down to surge a blazing dark blue, purple and red aura of the move Dragon Dance. He held that position for a few seconds and then promptly used the speed increase spring himself onto a wall and jump back and forth on them continuously until he landed on the roof of the smaller building. He walked over the hard clay of the building and sat in the center, crossing his legs and closing his eyes for meditation. He slowed his breathing and calmed his nerves and let his mind go to ease. Letting all the memories that had been dislodged by the conversation below, slowly float back into the back of his head quietly until all he could feel, think, or hear was the sound of his breathing and his heart’s steady beat.


            “Well, wasn’t expecting that.” Vex strode with a smile on his face, as he and Siegfried walked on the dirt road through the city.

            “It’s weird though,” Siegfried admitted, curious about why the dragon caved so easily, “all this time we’ve been land blasted by him and now suddenly he allows us to do our thing. Don’t you find that strange?” he turned to look for an answer from his ghostly companion.

            “Yeah, it’s strange but who cares? I mean, damn Siegfried, it’s about time we finally got a win.” The ghost floated in front and turned around to talk while floating backward. “So what place do you want to go to? Quiet, or very options oriented? I mean, I’d love to get onto some nice straw bed an-” Vex stopped as he noticed Siegfried wasn’t paying attention to his idea spitting and focused entirely on something else. Vex’s eyes narrowed in annoyance. “Look don’t worry about it,” Vex argued, “he’s a tough guy after all. I’m sure he’ll be fine and his old obnoxious ordering self.”

            “Hmm…maybe, but it makes me wonder about that conversation he had with whoever was on the other way.” Siegfried looked up to Vex and continued. “I mean, we’re getting Plageues soon, right? Do you suppose something big is happening, besides the orders we’ve been given? Like, why call back Trishula just to replace him instead of having Plageues join us and help us track them down. We’d have more numbers and everything.”

            Vex caved in and joined in the pondering about why this move is being made. “Maybe, they need him elsewhere.”

            “Yeah, but for what?”

            “Reverse if I know,” Vex said in a louder tone, emphasizing his disinterest in this conversation, “look, we’re not in the red eyes iris council so it’s not like we call any of the shots or are in the know how. We’ll have to work and move up in the rankings and all I know is that this one could be our first big break since leaving that rock head Corivac and being assigned. So let’s just focus on doing the job and getting up and all.”

            “I suppose,” Siegfried reluctantly agreed, with a slow nod, “but it makes me think we’re up against something bigger than we think, you know.”

            “Yeah, well there’s nothing we can do about it where we are,” Vex pointed out. “Now come on, let’s just find some place to stay already. I’m wanting to lay down on a nice straw bed and just relax.”

            “That does sound good.” Siegfried nodded and the two began looking around the city for a place. They finally happened upon a small enough lodging that seemed the perfect balance for them and got a room to stay.

            After settling in their room, their provisions and items laid on the floor, the two just lied on their straw beds and just relaxed. For a few minutes, there was just the sound of pleased exhales from the two as they took the moment to just relax and just figuratively melt into the resting places they had so missed.

            “Hey Siegfried,” Vex asked from across the room, breaking the silence, “You wanna hit the town?”

            “We just got here,” Siegfried replied lazily, still feeling the effects of letting his nerves relax.

            “Well yeah, but how often do we get a chance to do what we want? I mean, think about it. We have the night for ourselves and we can’t do anything for a mission till that guy Plageues arrives so I say how about we make the most of it.” He sat up and looked at the gallade who looked like he was sleeping. “Are you alrea-”

            “You make a good case,” Siegfried muttered, sitting up as well, “Sure, what do you have in mind?”

            “Dunno, how about a drink first?” Siegfried nodded and the two got up to head out. “Oh,” Vex suddenly blurted with a snap, “better make sure to hide the important stuff.”

            “Yeah…” Siegfried muttered as he walked to the door and waited for Vex to hide their valuables. “Can’t be too cautious.”

            “Agreed…though, I wish we could just do our own thing and not have to wait till some rare occasion where our leader lets us do whatever.” Vex finally joined Siegfried at the door.

            “Well…for now, let’s just enjoy this.” Siegfried walked off and Vex followed floating.

            I’d do anything to get back in charge of my life. The ghost complained in his head as they headed down to the lobby.


            < O >


            Jasmine’s eyes slowly opened her eyes as she began to stir from her slumber, giving a massive yawn as she rubbed her eyes with one of her paws. Naturally, Jasmine looked around at the others sleeping. Guess I’m first, she said in her head as stretched forwards as quadrupeds do. Upon another browsing of her sleeping friends, she noticed one was missing. Ciecro? Where is he? She quietly tip-pawed her way out to look for him. After going a few ways, she finally spied him sitting behind a rock using his claw to draw in the dirt.

            “Ciecro,” she announced, as she walked up to him. He gave a grunt for a reply and she sat down next to him. After a few minutes of silence, Jasmine asked with concern in her tone, “did you get some sleep?” He nodded, not taking his eyes off the ground. More silence followed, till finally, Jasmine couldn’t take it anymore. “Ciecro…” she said, “I’m sorry for pressuring you earlier. Back in town, you know.”

            “…I’m sawrry too…” he replied, looking at her, “yah meant well. Just lookin’ ou’ fo’ me.” He gave a little assuring grin, and Jasmine relaxed. Despite him showing no harboring grudges, Jasmine seemed reluctant to further the conversation. He decided to do his end then. “Uhm…” he began as she looked at him, “what did yah mean…about how we yah only family now…?”

            Jasmine paused, clearly a little trying to get her thoughts and feelings together. After taking a big breath, Jasmine began as she looked up at the sky. “I’m the eldest of three sisters…me and my younger twins. About nine years ago my dad died from an illness. Living without a husband was hard for my mom so when a suitor came along, she sorta got…desperate. I know she loved me and my sisters, but it was like she needed him, maybe for more than just sentimental reasons. Those times before were hard on her, I could even tell even being young.”

            Ciecro listened in silence, a slight scowl on his face but one out of how serious he was taking this rather than hostility.

            “You see…she remarried and well…that guy didn’t like me. It wasn’t like I wanted to get on his bad side, he just would be well.” Jasmine paused. Ciecro put his claw on her back and nodded. She nodded back and after easing herself continued. “After about...four years of his well…drunk rages and keeping him off my sisters, I finally had enough. I had talked to my mom about it, but she couldn’t do anything. She wouldn’t leave it, I bet it would have been too much for her and all. I packed some things up and well…” her eyes started to tear up. “Ciecro,” she said in a rather sad tone, “was I selfish? It feels like I was. I know he only took it out on me…but-”

            Ciecro moved his arm over her and pulled her head in. She immediately blushed in confusion from it as he said. “I didn’ know…” She took his act and just cried on him. He just rubbed her head, a strong expression on his face as he looked forward. “Yah know, even if it was…yah deserved betteh.”
            After a few sniffles and wiping of eyes and nose, Jasmine finally sat back up. “Thanks,” she said, and he gave a grin and nodded. “So…” she said, looking at the dirt, “I came to our town and…Dolly took me in.” Her eyes slightly warmed up at saying that name, leading to Ciecro to raise a brow.

            “Does Dolly know?” he inquired and Jasmine nodded.

            “She was the first one to know. She was like…a new mom. Though, while she couldn’t replace my old one and the memories, I can see she tries hard and well,” she turned to look at Ciecro, “that’s enough.”

            He felt a little solace in seeing her with a little smile on her face. Though his faded slightly as he looked at the dirt. “Yah so strong Jasmine.” His eyes narrowed, into a rather depressed look.

            “You think so?” she queried, not expecting this statement nor sharing the same opinion.

            “…Jasmine, I…I want to tell yah but.”

            “It’s fine if you need more time,” she said, putting her paw on his shoulder.

            “No it ain’t,” he blurted out, a scowl on his face. “It’ not fair to jus’ hear yah tawlk abou’ yah issues and not tell yah mine when yah wanna hear ‘em.” He stood up and stared at the ground. “What kinda dumb silly weaklin’ does dat?” he rhetorically asked the ground.

            “…Well...”she said, going on all fours, “you’re strong Ciecro. If you can’t tell me, it’s fine. It doesn’t mean you’re weak…just…need time.” She walked out in front and surprised filled her face. His eyes weren’t angry or frustrated, just said and teary. “Ciecro,” she said his name with a sympathetic tone as he grit his teeth.

            “…I…” his fists started shaking, mainly his right one. He suddenly felt Jasmine’s paw on it, helping it ease from its vibrating. He looked at her and her green friendly, but understanding eyes. He sniffled once, before saying, “It stuck wit me…okay.” She nodded as he took a breath and said, “I looked up to Seliph. When he left…I felt lost. Gathor was gone an’ so was he, mom as well. I only had Jaron.” His fist clenched hard, “I couldn’t let ‘im leave…Yeah, I ge’ mad, but I couldn’ let myself push ‘im away. I love ‘im okay!” he blurted out in tearful aggression, “I have to keep him safe…I don’ care!” he fell onto his knees tearful, “I don’ care about nothin’ I jus’…he’s my little brother…I need ‘im. I’m not strong enough to be the oldest. I don’ want to be dah oldest, I just wanna look up tah someone. Know dey got my back…” he let out a few sniffles as he stuttered in saying, “…Seliph leavin’, me almos’ killin’ that mon…Imma bad brotheh…” he sat down on his rear, his face showing grief after letting it out for Jasmine to see.

            Jasmine, trotted close to him and put her paw on his shoulder, rubbing it. “I’m sorry Ciecro…I guess we both have…some things to sort out.” She gave him an encouraging grin and he turned to her sniffling. The smile from Jasmine, slowly made Ciecro smile back.

            “Tanks, Jaz,” he said, wiping some tears away, “I…feel a little betteh.”

            “I’m glad,” she said with a little glee in the tone. “Uhm…Ciecro,” she said, looking at the ground, “what were you drawing there?”

            “Oh…well-” as he was about to answer, the booming sound of Dolly’s voice yelled from nearby.

            “There you both are!” she shouted with worry, rushing over bombarding them with questions. They assured her they were fine, but Dolly wasn’t having it. “Don’t scare me like that you two.” She scolded more out of worry than anger, “Now head back.”

            They nodded and went in the direction she pointed. She didn’t follow at first but just watched the two walk off. A sigh escaped her mouth as she let her mind wander for a second. Have faith Dolly heh, she mused in her mind, and a little smile crept on her face. After daydreaming for some time, she finally headed back.

            Terms:
            Freund - Friend
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            Old December 29th, 2018 (11:08 PM).
            Bay's Avatar
            Bay Bay is offline
            Darkinium Z
             
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            I liked the first scene with Jaron and Swift there. Cute Jaron got a bit embarrassed over being clingy before and nice bit of Swift and Garon's friendship.

            Next part I don't have too much thoughts on, but I'm curious about Azael wanting to meet Daemon over his "condition." Something tells me Trishula is right about his hunch there.

            All right, so we get a bit more of Jasmine's backstory. Oh dear, that was rough there. I wonder though, did she try to convince her sisters to leave too, and if so were they able to? Also I don't blame Cicero for being overwhelmed being the older brother.
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            Old January 5th, 2019 (11:02 AM).
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            gimmepie gimmepie is offline
             
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            So, chapter three finally read.

            For this chapter I like that you gave a strong characterisation to yet another member of the cast and I was fine with the switch from the kid's perspective to that of Freya - although I think sticking with one or the other would have made for a more cohesive narrative. I think the strongest part of this though, was that you introduced us to the wider world for the first time and gave a sense of the scale of the conflict. You always added another small piece to the puzzle of the plot which was well done.

            If I were to complain about anything, it would be the footnotes again. A pronunciation guide is great but it would still be a lot better for the reading experience to have information about people and places revealed within the context of the story instead of an info dump at the end.
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            Old January 12th, 2019 (7:02 PM). Edited 4 Weeks Ago by Vragon2.0.
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            Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
            Say it with me (Vray-gun)
               
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              Contains: Language, Sexual Reference [14]
              Chapter 28
              Connections in Reflections

              Dolly gave out a pleased and ready for the day yawn as she turned to look at the group, packing up for the next part of the trip. She turned her attention to the trail leading up the mountain and followed the twists and turns until she could no longer spy the path. “Hmm, roughish I guess, but dry. That’s good, better footing. With any luck, there’s no rock slide.”

              “Even if so, they shouldn’t be a problem,” Swift said, joining her in gazing up the trail, “even if one big rock stays stuck we can move it and all. Littler ones may be more of a hassle, but we should make good time.”

              “True,” she replied with a sigh. “Swift,” the heliolisk looked at her, “so uhm…you both came here on Seliph’s request.”

              “Yep,” he heartily replied, walking forwards a little to do some leg stretches in preparation.

              “Did he tell you any reason why he had to have you both escort us?” Her eyes narrowed, preparing for whatever answer or info this “friend of Seliph’s” could offer. Her hope was trounced however with a blunt but polite “Nope.” She was about to think of another question when he continued. “I figure you don’t really trust the guy and I get that. Seliph’s kinda rough around the edges but means well.”

              “How did yo-”

              “I heard your conversation yesterday.”

              Dolly’s mouth dropped. “Wait. How did you? When you were over-”

              “By the campfire?” Swift cut her off, finishing her question. “Well, you see my gift is ‘Echo Visor’.”

              “I see,” Dolly said, crossing her arms and narrowing her eyes. Despite not sure if she was correct, she had a pretty good guess at where he was going with this.

              “With my gift, I can tune in too well, listen to soundwaves all around us. With some practice and training, I’ve actually been able to help identify the types they are and focus on some more than others.” Sensing he was getting on Dolly’s “suspect” list he summarized quickly, “basically, I can use synergy to enhance my hearing you know. Kinda like using a move, but for finding things. Though it helps if I’m not looking at anything so I can focu-”

              “On hearing and not using what I believe it our most distracting function,” Dolly finished this time for him. “There’s one thing I’d like to ask though.”

              “Yeah?” he cocked his head a little to the right, waiting for her question. I hope I didn’t put bad faith in her mindset…damn it Swift, think these things through. He kept his frustration at himself hidden as Dolly took a few minutes to gather the words she wanted to say together.

              “Swift,” she finally spoke, leading to him perking up and listening, intently. “Why did you listen in on our conversation?”

              Swift gave a sigh. “Yeah, sorry about that. Old habits die hard,” he admitted. “I’m used to doing so until I grow accustomed…you know, precautions. I understand if you don’t believe me, but I just wasn’t sure about some things. Who you all were and Seliph’s intentions. I and Garon performed in recon and scouting so-”

              “It’s fine, I get it,” Dolly interrupted, putting her hand out as a physical gesture for him to stop. Swift’s tail sprawled on the ground a little, reflecting his “disappointed in himself” mood till she finished. “I understand, just keep in mind for the future. I’m watching over these kids and all, so it’s a good idea to not really do that with me. But, I appreciate you being honest about it.” She offered her hand to him in good faith, and he accepted with a smile and hidden relief. She then turned to the group and blew a loud whistle. “Alrighty everyone, line up. We’re gonna select travel buddies.” The group all lined up their travel packs filled and awaited as Dolly paced in front. “Okay, so you can’t have the same travel buddy-”

              “Thank Arceus,” Jaron said aloud, more out of tease than actual seriousness.

              “Watch it Jaron,” Dolly said in a low tone, but eyes indicating she was just teasing too, “Anyways, so go ahead and cast your votes. Oh and Jaron can’t pick first.”

              “What‽” he exclaimed but was shut down by another stare from Dolly. Oh no, I might not get teamed up with Ciecr-

              “I choose Ciecro,” a voice to his right said.

              He turned and looked at Jasmine looking at Ciecro. Damnit, me and my having to tease, Jaron grumbled in his head as he kicked himself figuratively. His kicking stopped though as he heard Vragon call out his name.

              “Is that okay?” the fraxure asked him.

              “Yes, of course,” Jaron replied in a positive tone. Okay, later then. He walked over to join Vragon, while Jasmine walked across to Ciecro who was also pleased with his pairing.

              Dolly gave a nod and continued, “Alright, so Seliph and I are a pair too.” Before anyone said anything, she turned to the pair of acquaintances and apologized, “sorry, but I’d prefer at least one travel trip without you pairing with any of us. At least till we get to know you both better and all.”

              “No prob, Miss Dolly,” Swift replied with an understanding smile. “I and Garon will just head around, keep guard and check the route. We’re good at that sort of thing.”

              The garchomp walked forwards and gave an assuring nod. “If we see any trouble,” he said with an equally assuring tone, “we’ll be sure to tell you.” Dolly nodded and offered her hand in a pleased grin to which he shook with his talon.

              “Okay everyone here’s the plan.” She took a few paces out in front and turned to face the group. “Our aim is to reach the objective resting spot today. If we don’t make it that’s fine, but we should have no problems getting there so long as there are no rock slides.”

              “Question.” Vragon’s hand raised to which Dolly called upon. “If we get separated by a rock slide, what do you want us to do?”

              “Good question,” Dolly praised, “if you get separated, use your individual maps to get back onto the trail and notify where you are via orb. However, if you don’t have a map, try to get some high ground and find the path from there. Okay, any more questions?” No hands raised. “Okay, let’s go then.”

              As the group departed, Vragon and Jaron tugged the rear. Vragon then noticed Jaron was sort of tailing behind him. “Something wrong Jaron?” he asked, causing the croconaw to look up at him. “More unpleasant thoughts?” Vragon guessed.

              “No…just well,” Jaron rubbed the back of his head. “It’s…” he paused for a bit, that was enough to make even Vragon wonder if Jaron had forgotten. Finally, he said, “nevermind…you were right, just unpleasant thoughts.” He gave his signature toothy grin, leading to Vragon giving a nod.

              This however just put skepticism in Vragon’s head. Come now Jaron…it’s something else isn’t it? Well, I’ll just wait it out for now. “Come on,” Vragon said, jogging forwards a little, “let’s stay close to the group.”

              Jaron nodded and jogged after him.



              The pathway up the mountain was rather an easy climb to the time of year where snow and wind weren’t too hefty on the eight travelers. Swift and Garon were off somewhere in the lead, Ciecro and Jasmine were talking in second, Dolly and Seliph were behind them with Jaron and Vragon right behind those two.

              Ugh, why did I have to get her as a partner? Seliph grumbled as he walked alongside Dolly on the narrow road. Despite her looking forwards on the path, he couldn’t shake the feeling she was taking every opportunity to just leer at him as they walked. This was starting to mess with his nerves in such a way that he jumped when she started talking.

              “Huh, why are you so jittery?” she inquired, giving off an impression that she didn’t know why.

              “Uhm…just startled,” he said, quickly regaining his stance and shoving his webbed hands into his vest’s pockets.

              “Well don’t get too antsy, else some rock slide won’t be the thing knocking you off,” Dolly joked, making Seliph scowl slightly.

              He looked at the rocky wall to his right, trying to focus on other things. His thoughts were interrupted however by Dolly, again.

              “What are you thinking about?” she asked in a tone that seemed more genuinely curious rather than purposely intrusive.

              He looked at her with a very mild glare and said, “Nothing.” Dolly’s eyes scowled a little and she let out a sigh and went silent, making him feel a little guilty. Ugh, the sooner this is over the better, he reasoned in his head.

              Meanwhile, further ahead Ciecro and Jasmine were walking alone quiet and still feeling some of the effects from this morning. Ciecro was looking down at the ground, something he would always do when deep in thought, while Jasmine walked looking forward but not really focusing on anything. Finally, Jasmine broke the silence and asked, “Hey uhm…Ciecro?”

              “Uh...yeah?” he replied in a slightly startled t/’one that even made Jasmine feel a little surprised.

              “Are you…uhm…glad we had that talk earlier?”

              Ciecro looked forwards and his right claw clasped on his left wrist. It squeezed it a little like one would do when having some kind of medical procedure. “Yeah…I guess,” he mumbled, but his eyes indicated there was more to the answer.

              Jasmine accepted this answer though and didn’t pry further. I hope it wasn’t too much on him, she said, worrying in her head, I mean, we both did drop some heavy information on each other. Me and my old family and him with his lacking in confidence. It is odd, though. She looked forward, her mind going off to the things all around. How this all started, everything leading up to now and why it happened. None of these had any solid answers just the effects left on her, Ciecro and the rest. I wonder if this was meant to happen…I don’t know. Though, she looked up to the right at the rocky slanted wall on the side of the trail, I just want it all to end and us going back to normal. I don’t want to lose anoth- she paused and shook her head. No, don’t think that. Dolly, you, and the others wouldn’t let that happen.


              < O >


              It was getting late in the evening when Siegfried and Vex were walking along the street, content after having a nice meal at some place.

              “It feels like we’ve had the day off, heh,” Vex said with a smirk on his face, picking at whatever leftover berry skin was in his teeth. “Right,” he asked, turning his head at his less talkative companion.

              “It does feel good and weird,” Siegfried answered, “But I wonder where Trishula went. He wasn’t at the roof when we looked for him and he doesn’t appear to be looking for us, else he’d have found us by now.”

              “Yeah, because he doesn’t want to right now clearly,” Vex answered with a grin, “he’s probably going through his own things and whatnot. It’s not our concern Siegfried.”

              “True.” Siegfried nodded in agreement, “I suppose I’m just anxious.”

              “About?” Vex asked, floating a little in front for a better look at Siegfried’s face.

              “Well Plageues for one, but second…is that group.” He looked at the ghost, who didn’t quite understand what he meant by the latter reason. Siegfried explained, “Well the whole reason I left my home was so I could be more than just some teacher and all. I wanted to be a fighter, captain you know.”

              “Yeah…and?” Vex urged Siegfried to get to the point but tried to be less rude.

              “And I guess it was a choice I’m making. But this mission…that Averion kid. What do you think they’ll do to him?” he looked at the ghost.

              “Why are you worried about it?” Vex asked, raising a brow, “I mean, why should we care? He isn’t someone we know or have interest in right? We’re on our own in the red eyes and are aiming higher, isn’t that the whole point of why we joined. To become more.”

              “Yeah, I know that,” Siegfried replied, “it’s just…I can’t shake this feeling. I don’t know, I didn’t have it till I started thinking about why they need him and what they would d-”

              “Siegfried stop,” Vex bluntly said as he floated directly in front, forcing Siegfried to stop. The two eyed each other, their eyes on the same level of height. Vex then took a breath and said, “You’re focusing on all the wrong things. Like, how does it help you, thinking about the kid? For all we know they just want to help him or whatever, it’s not our place. We’re just mons you know, just two guys in some organization. There’s no point for us to try and pretend we have a place or say in matters like these. So do what I do and don’t worry about it.”

              Siegfried raised one of his arms to his chin as if to think. “I suppose,” he admitted, “you’re right I guess.” Just as he finished saying this, their orbs started glowing and letting out a noise. Siegfried reached into his pocket as Vex landed on the ground. “Is it him?” Vex asked as Siegfried checked the signal. “Yep,” was Siegfried’s reply as he activated the com.

              “Plageues is close to port. Meet me at the landing docks, near the storage section of the port. He’ll be here in less than twenty minutes, so don’t be late. He’s less forgiving than me and tends to enjoy being challenged, so I suggest you get here soon.”

              The com switched off and the two let out a dispirited groan. After a few minutes of mutual venting, the two finally took a deep breath and started on their way to the docks. Wait, Siegfried thought, stopping for a second.

              Vex stopped and floated in front asking, “What is it?” Siegfried’s eye suddenly shot wide open and he starting dashing down the street, leading Vex to call out, “What’s wrong?”

              Siegfried glanced back and yelled, “We’re on the west side. We have to rush if we’re going to make it!”

              “Fu**!” Vex angrily spouted, flying full force after Siegfried, “of all the days he had to arrive it had to be-”

              “Shut up and just run!” Siegfried rebuked as he darted around the street corner.

              “I’m flying dumbass,” Vex countered. The two hurriedly made their way to the docks.


              Trishula stood at a remote one, behind some storage building, tapping his foot waiting. Where are those two? He grumbled in his head. Trishula looked out upon the water and spied a rather small vessel heading this way. If they are late, Plageues won’t be plea- before he could finish his inner monologue he heard the sound of two mons arguing while wheezing heading his way. He turned and low and behold Siegfried and Vex had arrived, on time. “Congratulations, you arrived,” Trishula mocked, but keeping up a monotone.

              “Fu** you,” Siegfried blurted out while panting and without thinking.

              Vex shriveled back at this, but Trishula just turned to the water as the boat neared the dock. “Best not take that tone with Plageues…or he’ll take your tongue.”

              Siegfried straightened up, Vex stayed behind the gallade and Trishula crosses his arms the small vessel stopped and a mon jumped onto the dock before the bridge was placed.

              “Long time no see Trish.” With a large smirk on his face, Plageues strolled down over to the less than thrilled haxorus waiting. “How’s it been?”

              Trishula didn’t answer, making the two behind him even more nervous.

              “Oh,” Plageues said looking past the dragon, “are these my…’helpers’? How…delightful,” he said with a little dark slither at the “delightful” only made worse by licking of his chops afterward.

              Siegfried did his best to keep a straight face, while Vex did everything to not look at the face. Trishula rolled his eyes and finally said, “So am I supposed to take that back?”

              “Yes,” Plageues said, facing the dragon again, “you are to meet with Daemon at Brielle.”

              “Fine.” Trishula started to head for the now down bridge, but a firm grip went on his arm. Plageues’s smile was gone and he was just looking forwards sternly.

              “Is that any way to greet an old friend?” He said, keeping his eyes forwards, though not looking at the confused two in front.

              “Hmph, we were friends?” Trishula said with sarcasm without the indicating tone. He was about to wrench his arm out before Plageues moves the arm in front of himself and placed something in it.

              “A smile for your trip heh,” the zoroark said, a grin creeping on his face. He let go of Trishula and walked on to the nervous two.

              Trishula slowly moved his claw in front of his chest and opened it. In it resided a broken piece of tusk. His eyes narrowed but not into a scowl. He let out a rather sad sigh as he walked on board, leaving the three behind. He didn’t go below but sat at the bow of the ship. He looked off at the stars that had popped out since the sun was almost set and just thought.


              ( O )


              The sounds of crying came from a corner behind some crates. A fraxure crying into his claws scared and alone. He stopped suddenly as he heard some voices nearby. His red eyes opened and he immediately shot his back to the crate and remained absolutely still. He did his best to listen to the conversation, but it apparently had stopped. He didn’t trust it though and remained quiet.

              “Too little too late,” a cocky voice said in front of him and he shot to stare straight into the eyes of a smirking zoroark. He was a little taller than this fraxure, but even he was shorter than the dusclops that joined next to him, wearing some kind of bandage that wrapped over his right top side and dipped down to his left like an injury. The fraxure shriveled back, but the dusclops held out his did appendage hands.

              “Hey, it’s alright. You’re the kid from Averia right?”

              The dragon didn’t reply.

              This prompted the zoroark to say, “dude we can clearly see your crest right there.” He pointed to the averion crest on the mon’s right shoulder. “If we were going to hurt you we would have by now.”

              “You…you mean you aren’t?” the fraxure said, a little confused.

              “Please,” the zoroark muttered, pulling back and crossing his arms. He acted like he was offended to even be thought of that way, but clearly making it an act. “Would it pay for I, the great Plageues to bully some Averion for no reason that well…he’s Averion. Come now that’s stupid.”

              The fraxure didn’t reply but just stared in curious silence at the animated zoroark.

              “You done,” the dusclops asked, not really a fan of the acting.

              “No,” the zoroark replied with a grin and a wink. “Come on, it’s for the feeling Daemon. I mean, who wants to be boring, like you.”

              “Well thanks,” the ghost grumbled, cross his hands in front as is he was crossing his arms. “At least make it good when you subject me to your annoyances.”

              “Sorry, whatever I must do to qualm your excessive bit**ing,” Plageues countered sticking his tongue out playfully. All he received, however, was a cold stare as if he just insulted Daemon’s mother. “Ugh,” Plageues whined, finally giving up, “die with a frown on your face then.”

              “I’m not frowning,” Daemon corrected.

              “Whatever, it feels like if you could frown right now you wouldn’t hesitate to give one on me for every single word that comes out of my-”

              “Can I just…jump in for a second?” The fraxure stood up. The two stopped arguing and once again looked at the shy mon. “Uhm…who are you two?”

              “What part of, ‘the great Plageues’ was lost in the translation?” Plageues joked, making the fraxure feel a little dumb for asking.

              “Please, anyone could have assumed it was fake with a name as out there as ‘Plageues’,” Daemon said, taking the opportunity to grill Plageues.

              It backfired, however, with Plageues turning to him and saying, “at least mine has style and isn’t flat. Like, really, ‘Daemon’? Pffft, generic.”

              “I defy you to find another Daemon and once you realize I’m correct you will bend down and kiss my feet.” Daemon once again crossed his arms or at least made his hands like they were doing that.

              “You’d like that wouldn’t you,” Plageues said in a rather flirtatious tone, leading Daemon to roll his eye and look to the fraxure. “What’s your name,” Daemon asked, with Plageues following with, “yeah, what name were you given?”

              The fraxure blushed a little from the attention, rubbing his arm. “Tri-Trishula.”

              Daemon began stroking his ‘imaginary’ chin and pondering something. “Hmm…I wonder why you were named that. Who chose your name?”

              “Lord Azazel,” the dragon said, but with a little shiver.

              “Oh that guy,” Plageues said lightly blowing a little raspberry afterward as if Trishula had just said the biggest doofus in this organization. “He’s an old creep, sucks to be you then. But hey at least he can name better than Daemon’s master.” Plageues laughed a little after Daemon swatted him on the back of the head.

              After a scolding on Plageues to “stop it”, Daemon turned to the young fraxure and said, “so he’s your master. Hmm, well that’s very special in a way. Not many mons have a disciple as their master.”
              “They don’t?” Trishula said, his eyes widening.

              “In fact, you might not even get selected by someone up higher to take you on as a pupil. In which case training facility and all, pffft. Come on though, I’m so better than that.”

              “Your last comprehension exam objects to that statement,” Daemon said in a low tone accompanied by a cough. Plageues swatted Daemon back, giving a laugh that even made Daemon and Trishula giggle a little.

              “Well, it’s settled then.” Plageues walked from the two, turned to face them and said, “you,” pointing at Trishula, “are in our little friend huddle.”

              “What?”

              “Don’t I get a say?” Daemon inquired, raising his brow.

              “Nope,” Plageues said with no guilt at all, “besides, you wouldn’t object anyway. And if you just want to keep some kind of power, just remember who’s always on top.”

              Daemon eye-palmed and dragged his hand down across his face. “That’s not what I was intending. But whatever, having a third friend would be good. A nice break from having to deal with you all the time.”

              “Likewise smartass,” Plageues said, moving one of his fingers to scratch his nose.

              “Th-thanks,” Trishula said, perking up a little despite how abrupt this induction was. “You two are nice.”

              Daemon gave a nod, but followed with, “though understand that restraint and Plageues don’t exist in the same book so feel free to smack him if he doesn’t stop talking. Believe me, you will utilize this.”

              “Especially on the butt,” Plageues added leaning in closer to Daemon, succeeding in irritating the ghost.
              Plageues and Trishula started laughing, while Daemon sulked in the middle muttering, “One of these days Plageues I swear.”


              < O >



              The group sat around a fire at the resting clearing amid the mountains. All of them were pretty tired from the long trek, well, all except for Swift and Garon. Swift got up from his log and stretched a little before saying, “I’m going to go and take a look at Mount Travail. Anyone wanna come?”

              Mostly grunts followed, except Jaron. “Sure, I’ll go,” he said, getting to his feet. “As long as we don’t have to run.”

              “That’s fine. It’s not far,” Swift replied with a grin, glad he wasn’t going alone.

              “I’ll accompany as well,” Garon said, standing up too. He looked at the rest that seemed too “invested” in their spots to move. “Well, you all take care while we’re gone.”

              “Yeah, yeah,” Ciecro mumbled.

              “Just don’t get lost okay,” Dolly requested with Jasmine adding to that with a nod.

              The three turned to a more hidden trail that led up. Swift took the lead, Jaron was in the middle and Garon followed close behind. As the three made their way up the steep and rather narrow path Jaron started to think about his talk last night.

              “So, can I ask you something?” he asked, climbing over one of the rubble rocks from previous rock slides.

              “Hrm? Sure what?” Swift said, looking from his vantage point. “We’ve got a little ways to go, but it is after sunset, but go ahead.” He jumped over to another boulder as Jaron started to think about how to ask it.
              “How did you two know my parents?”

              Garon picked up his pace so he was right alongside Jaron and said. “Well, you know they are a part of our group right? Team Alpha.”

              “Yeah, but they weren’t always.”

              “True,” Swift said leaping down, assessing the area was safe audibly. “But we didn’t get to meet them till we joined. We were some of the younger and newer members at that time. They were about a few steps ahead of where we were.”

              “How so?” Jaron asked, walking over to Swift.

              “Well, we were the newbs and they kinda put us in our place.” Swift headed down a bending twist in the trail with a smile as the memories came back. “I mean first things first, your father challenged us to a battle, me and Garon against him. Guess who won?”

              “My dad?”

              “Yep, while it wasn’t easy, he still beat us both. In all honesty he was kinda rough around the edges, but he seemed to at least want us to improve, though keep hounding the ‘you’ll never beat me in a million years’ mindset, heh.”

              “Yeah, he kinda is like that.”

              “Not with you I hope,” Garon added, catching up from behind. “You are his kid and he didn’t seem that way when we visited with your siblings.”

              “Weren’t we young?” Jaron pointed out, glancing back at Garon as the moved along the cliff pathway.

              “Yes and you weren’t born long ago, but he would talk about how you all would excel well. Have skills and things, his hopes and all. But,” Garon said as he stopped to look at the view they could see, leading to the others to pause as well. “He was a good friend. Sometimes, you need someone to help you toughen up and all.”

              “Yeah,” Jaron said, his tone a little sad but more of reminiscing. There was nothing but silence from the three until Swift broke the silence.

              “It’s already late if we want to see Travail we shouldn’t pause for too long.” He immediately started going up the path, Garon and Jaron followed. At this time, Swift moved his body low and speedily ran up the rest of the path.

              “Huh?” Jaron said a little startled at the sudden break-off.

              “He does that,” Garon said, “and it does get annoying, but eh.” He added a little laugh at the end. “He’s tolerable.”

              “Even when he calls you big lug,” Jaron said, a little grin popping up for some reaction.

              “If you think that’s a trigger phrase you should call him ‘shorty’. He’ll throw you off the cliff faster than you can apologize.” Garon gave a little laugh and carried on, but suddenly bent down and got on a knee. “Want a lift?” he asked, to which Jaron hastily climbed onto the dorsal fin. The dragon stood back up and Jaron moved his arms, clasping on Garon’s shoulders to steady himself while keeping his feet well on top of the dorsal fin. The two proceeded climbing more of the way.

              “So Garon,” Jaron said, looking at his carrier, “how did you and Swift meet?”

              “Ah,” Garon said, raising a talon to his chin, “that’s a long story. The thing is we’re both Norfarion, but we both grew up in Bohriam.”

              Jaron’s eyes lit up a little. “Bohriam? Like the desert continent?”

              “Yep, you see, I moved there with my parents when I was very little. Swift at that time was in an orphanage since his mum had passed away and his father was missing in action before.”

              “Oh?” Jaron leaned on the dragon’s shoulders to listen better as Garon walked.

              “It’s kind of sad regarding Swift’s parents. You see, his father was a Norfarion Heliolisk that was there at the time. Norfair was aiding in some disputed territory and the skirmishes that happened as a result. He kinda fell in love with a Bohrmian girl and they kind of had a night. He was planning to marry her after he got back…he never did.”

              Jaron’s eyes fell a little at hearing that. It wasn’t easy imagining something like that, not for ability but the simple fact he didn’t want to. He knew what an orphan felt like, but one longer than that…he didn’t know the extent on that one.

              Garon continued, “She had him and tried raising him, but at the age of two she died as well. She wasn’t the healthiest you know and well…Bohrmian is a pretty nasty place for viruses. There is a reason Bohrmians hardly get sick anywhere else, but getting back to the story. He was sent to his orphanage in the town and well eight years later, I came to that town with my pop and mum. It was during that time a rather bad virus spread and while few Bohrmians died of it, a lot of the foreigners did. I thankfully never acquired it, but my parents did and it took their lives…” Garon paused and took a little breath. The hit of the memories and longing was enough for Jaron to almost feel himself. But Garon quickly snapped out of it and asked, “You doing okay there? Not fallen asleep yet?”

              “Nah,” Jaron said with a grin, “too interesting to sleep.”

              Garon gave a glad smile at Jaron’s amiable words. He turned his gaze once again on the path forward, but slowed down his pace so he could tell his story more.

              “Well, as fate would have it I ended up at the same one. Now Bohrmian kids tend to congregate around their stronger members and all so Swift at that time didn’t have many friends. Everyone admired the tough kids, and to an extent Swift was envious, being a helioptile compared to his magmar or scyther competition.”

              “But strength isn’t everything,” Jaron added, moving his head to the side a little to look at the view.

              “Indeed, but in youth, we tend to get well a need for satisfaction.” He paused a little as if trying to think of how to say it. “It’s like, Swift wanted to be admired, feel like he was appreciated by someone. It makes sense in an environment like that, being alone surrounded by kids that follow the ‘best’ or ‘strongest’. That’s something a lot of orphans look for in a person, something Swift looked for.”

              Jaron thought a little about this. His eyes narrowed as he compared this outlook to what Swift had said earlier about being “clingy”. He finally decided to get his mind off of it and listened as Garon was continuing.

              “Well, contrary to what you might think, Swift is older than me. So well I was a gible at the time and well, wasn’t the best in confidence or ability. I had always relied on my folks and enjoyed their support, so when that was cut off I felt really-”

              “Empty?” Jaron said, cutting him off but not in a rude way.

              “Yes,” Garon replied with an empathetic grin, “you felt that too huh.”

              “Well,” Jaron looked forwards at the path as Garon turned his head to look at the croconaw as best he could. “It happened so fast. Something about losing them…made me…lose something. It was emptiness yeah, but…I felt, something else. Like I couldn’t trust my world alone.”

              “In other words, it made you fear, losing what you have.”

              Jaron’s head fell in slight shame, but more sadness at how true this is.

              “That’s not a bad thing Jaron, it makes perfect sense,” Garon said in a kind tone, trying to cheer him up.

              “But, I don’t like feeling this way. Having nightmares about my friend dying or being taken away, topped with this going on in real life…I want it to end.”

              Garon went silent, just listening to Jaron rant on his feelings with a feeling of familiarity about them. He closed his eyes and just listened to Jaron…and memories.

              “I just…don’t know. I guess I’m too attached to things.”

              But I mean it’s not like it’ll uppin’ vanish, I know that, Swift. But…what if I lose you too?
              “It came out of nowhere and it’s not-”

              -fair that it happened. I hate that it happened. I didn’t want to come here, be alone-

              “For a long time.”

              I just felt well…empty.

              “Course you met Vragon and all. He might seem shy, but he’s open when it comes around me. He’s really helped me through times and he’s a good friend.”

              But that’s where I think you changed things, Swift. While yeah I miss my parents, at the same time…I got to be with you and we do stuff and hang out. So…in a way, that kinda helps with it. Doesn’t make it right, but it does make me feel better about the boat I’m in.

              “Maybe, one day I’ll get into a better shape regarding it, but for now…I just…can’t help it.”

              Garon listened as both of these voices filled in for each other as he walked. The boy croconaw on his back and the boy gible in his heart. His eyes opened as he heard them both say “I just don’t want my world to disappear like that again.” There was just silence for some time, till Garon said, “You feel better?”

              “Yeah, to be honest, I don’t even know why I told you.” Jaron rubbed his head with a little embarrassment.

              “I think I know,” Garon said, gaining Jaron’s attention. “Mons that have similar things happen to them tend to be easier to talk to about the same things. Yeah, it hurts bringing it up, but it’s like you know they understand or have an idea. Sure, other reasons, but I think that’s why you could tell me.”

              “Not a bad guess,” Jaron said with his grin making Garon smile. The two started to near the top when Jaron leaned in a little and in a whisper said, “Thanks for listening.”

              “Don’t worry Jaron, if you ever need to talk. Let me know.” He replied in a smile as they rounded an upwards heading bend and reached the peak of the mountain they were near at the rest stop. The top area was flat and rather smoot from heavy rains of spring. There on the ground sat Swift, with a big grin, gazing upon a large plateau-like mountain, higher than the peaked ones around it.

              “It looks really nice, Mount Travail,” he said to the two as they approached.

              Jaron nodded in agreement as he jumped down from Garon’s fin. He accompanied Swift at gazing upon the large famous mountain lit by the pale moonlight behind them. Jaron felt a little peace in looking upon its rocky surface that so far away felt more smooth than hagged. Like a giant rectangle, or some child’s attempt at one if in drawing a shape.

              “I wonder why they call it Travail,” Swift said as he tilted his head. “What about it is Travail like?”

              “Maybe in local dialect, it makes more sense,” Garon suggested, but Swift just shook his head.

              “I mean, fair, but at the same time. Triacal only sticks with universal unown. Any areas here that use other languages are further southwest. Aren’t they Jaron?...Jaron?” As Swift stood up he noticed Jaron’s stare seemed to be less ‘mountain view awing’ and more on something he wasn’t actually looking at. His eyes were open, but droopy near the back. Irises were focused upon the structure but seemed to see something else, as if he was missing something or someone. “You okay?” Swift said, putting his arm on Jaron’s shoulder, an action that snapped him out of some daydream.

              “Huh?” Jaron said with a little startled twist.

              “You looked like you just flew to Rayquiem and back heh,” Swift said lightly, “and I can say that’s no small treck. So, what’s on your mind?” He rested on leg onto the rock and propped his arm up on the knee.

              Jaron looked back at the mountain in the distance. “It just…it reminds me of the time…I came here once. ‘Travail’…my mom said it was named after someone in a story.”

              “Oh?” Swift stood up straight.

              “Do you know it?” Garon said, moving a little into Jaron’s view.

              “Yeah, it’s about a mon that traveled a lot, but in his travels, he would always make sure once a year to head home to Triacal. Specifically, this spot at the base of the mountain. One day, when he came back, he found his village had been attacked, and all his family, friends, neighbors gone. He was stricken with sadness…but he never left the mountain. To him, it was all he had left. Instead, he started a new town, one that’s on the other side of it. It’s called ‘Traveler’ and how to nothing could ever ‘ale’ him from ever not coming back. It’s a union of those two words I think and the town across, it’s called ‘Restriver town’, another union. This one being ‘rest’ and ‘traveler’. A place all travelers rested since it was a traveler that made it, in understanding everyone has a place they miss.” Jaron moved his left fist close to his chest and close his eyes. “They say, another thing that makes this story sound true…is when you look at it, you’ll always long for somewhere or something you miss.”

              “Oh? How does that work?” Jaron inquired, sitting down.

              “Not sure how, but…” Jaron’s eyes narrowed and he bit his lip a little. “When I look at it…I think of the time I saw it. I was very little so I only remember the mountain, but … it was with my family. Ciecro, Seliph, mom and dad.” Jaron’s head fell a little, as he started to feel the urge to cry a little.

              “I’m sorry, sport,” Swift apologized, “I didn’t know this mountain would rub old feelings.”

              “No, it’s fine,” Jaron said rubbing his snout, “I liked looking at it. I’m glad you both came to see. Hope the story was interesting.” Jaron turned to look at Garon.

              Garon smiled and nodded, “it was indeed an interesting tale. Never heard of it myself. Guess that shows some local flair is still left even in places you’ve been to.” Garon looked back at the mountain. “Long for something I miss huh. Maybe that mountain is magic then.”

              “Huh?” Swift said, not sure, though Jaron smiled as he knew what Garon meant. After a few minutes of inner debating, he eventually gave up and just did a little chuckle. He looked back at the mountain and walked forwards a little to the cliff’s edge. “You know…Jaron,” he said turning around, leading to Jaron to look at him in the eyes. “Thanks for telling me that story, makes a lot more sense now.” The heliolisk turned back to the mountain and his grin slowly lowered to a plain face as his eyes narrowed in reminiscence.

              Jaron joined up to look at it too, Garon did as well. Jaron’s face was smiling, as he looked at the mountain. Garon, however, was quite the opposite as he looked at Swift’s face with a frown. “You alright, buddy?” Garon asked Swift, who gave a nod but didn’t take his eyes off the mountain.

              “It hurts to look back yeah.”

              “Look back to what?” Jaron inquired and Swift looked at him.

              “…Well, you aren’t the only one that misses your mother. Me and Garon, were close friends of them, still haven’t gotten over it.” Swift looked back to the mountain along with the other two. “There’s just something about the randomness of it that probably makes it linger. I guess that shows just how quickly your world can change…”

              All three went silent as they now gazed upon the mountain in frowns, thinking of their lives before the incidents. Before their worlds changed.
              __________________

              “I’ve been to places I wouldn’t have visited before. I get to see different things, which is important. It gives me new experiences to draw from.” ~Hidetaka Miyazaki [creator of Bloodborne]
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                #40   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
              Old 4 Weeks Ago (9:47 PM). Edited 4 Weeks Ago by Bay.
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              Bay Bay is offline
              Darkinium Z
               
              Join Date: May 2006
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              Trishula's flashback there is interesting. He seems a bit more timid than now there. Daemon and Plageues's interaction was also fun.

              Garon and Swift's backstories are also interesting and a bit sad, too. I admit the part where Garon was listening to Jaron and reminiscing at the same time I got confused at first if Garon was talking and reminiscing at the same time. I can see where you're going with that though, having Garon and Jaron's anxiety over their friends parallel one another. Looks like it won't be much longer until the group make it to their destination!
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              Old 4 Weeks Ago (5:45 PM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by Vragon2.0.
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              Say it with me (Vray-gun)
                 
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                Contains: Language, Death [15]
                Chapter 29
                Troubling Signs




                “Argh, nothing.” Demetri gave a groan as he opened his eyes in frustration and got up from sitting. “I can’t detect any sign of them here. Argh, were we too late? Are we too early?” He fumed a little as he walked over to the corner edge of a roof he was on. From the vantage point, Demetri could see the entrance to an old and rather regal Valendorine looking building that was the Frantal Town Library. Its old carvings and structural design shown in the moonlight from the sky, although inside was also lit up from activity still in there.

                He crossed his arms and let his eyes look at the pool of water in front of it, where some little water type kids were playing while no one was around. His eyes narrowed at seeing it, but not in a judgmental way. One by one, he identified as best he could the mons there in his head as if his own way of passing the time. Finally, he gave off a sigh after being stumped on the squirtle’s continent of origin and mumbled aloud, “Where is he?” Returning his gaze to the library, Demetri sat down, crossing his legs and resting his arms on them as he arched his back to look over the edge.

                It’s been a while since I’ve had downtime, well, at least outside the core’s area. He let out a sigh as troubling thoughts crossed his mind. I hope I’m wrong, Demetri said in his mind. There’s no point thinking about it. I’m off that assignment and on another one with a newbie. He leaned back and just lay there on the ground, gazing up at the stars. How long has it been since we looked under the starts together Zak? Well, the past few months I saw you we were in the catacombs of the core so we couldn’t very well see them there. A chuckle escaped his mouth and a smile crossed his face. When was the last time? Upon thinking this, he began a deep memory search for the last time they did, and only for the last time they did.

                “Ah, that’s right,” he said aloud, too pleased to hold it in. “It was that time in Sorphia.”


                ( O )



                “This looks like a good spot, right Dem?” Zak said to Demetri, gazing at a nice little clear spot a ledge of the cliff part of a trail in the mountains. “Dem?” he turned around. “You do have ears correct?” Zak joked at Demetri’s silence as he watched the grumping sluggishly scale up the pathway to join him.

                Demetri, in full panting mode, gave him a displeased look and proceeded to complain, “Why did we have to do this so far up the freaking trail?’

                “Because, you’re further from the ground, so that means less chance of getting interrupted. Besides, they’re very pretty up here without so much obscuring them.”

                “Fair I guess,” Demetri conceded, annoyance still on his face as the two sat down. “But still, stargazing?” Demetri looked at Zak, who was already doing the activity. The typhlosion didn’t reply just kept gazing up at the stars above with a smile, much to Demetri’s frustration. Demetri gave a little growl and looked up as well. As the minutes ticked by, Demetri couldn’t help but slowly get caught up in the activity. “Oh there,” he said, suddenly pointing out for Zak to see, “you think that’s that one star?”

                “Well, I agree it’s a star bud. A blue dwarf maybe, but to such which name this star is deserving, I am unfortunately at a loss,” Zak said with a little satire and an accompanying grin.

                “I can’t remember the name okay, but it’s that one that… Ugh, look it’s in that one story.” Demetri crossed his arms to try and remember. “…Ah! I got it”

                “What?”

                “That’s Callium the first.” Demetri stood up in triumph and pointed out to it with a big smile, “the first Sun of Sorphia.”

                “Huh, really?” Zak muttered, not quite getting it. He stood up and joined him look out at it. Zak then repeated the “first Sun of Sorphia” and looked to Demetri for elaboration.

                “Well, you see Zak, we’re in Sorphia right now. Their ruler is called as ‘The Sun of Sorphia’. Kind of like the title king, but more signature to their culture. You know, akin to ‘the Fell’ for Yveshia, ‘The Overlord’ for the Askirin Race in the Reverse World and ‘Prime Winter’ for Kyurem.”

                “Ah I see,” Zak said, with a little nod as he was getting it.

                “They say, that whenever a ‘Sun of Sorphia’ passes, he goes up there and becomes one of the many stars. At least, according to an old legend. More than likely not true, but there’s something about your ancestors looking down from above in care that makes mons feel happy.”

                There was a little pause before Zak asked, “So why did they go with the sun?”

                “Hmm…let’s see, if I remember my studies correctly it was because their last huge battle for independence against the clans started at midnight and ended at sunrise with Callium the first at the ocean thrusting his hook gauntlets into the sand where the tide comes in.” Demetri then looked at Zak, “I did have a Sorphian father you know.”

                “Fair,” Zak said, sitting back down, “and that’s why you know about it right?”

                “Yeah,” Demetri replied and joined him in sitting as well. Demetri then looked off in the distance, far to where in the view looked like the start of a vast desert. “It’s weird…”

                “What?” Zak asked, leaning in a little closer.

                “Well, the clans…Sorphia…they’ve been here for a long time. Yet seemingly always at odds. I sometimes wonder why it has to be that way.” Demetri’s eyes narrowed. “Though, I can understand to some degree. It’s hard to get along when both are well…different. I mean, the clansmons strong but outnumbered. Seemingly looking up to their ancestors, the arbiters. It’s enough to not be able to connect let alone care for.” Demetri turned to look back at the stars. “Perhaps, that’s what the Sun of Sorphia is to the people here. Their own stakes in legend.”

                “Oh yeah,” Zak added, standing up again to join him, “aren’t the five originals like arceus’s chosen mons?”

                “Yep,” Demetri answered. Silence resumed for a while before Demetri added, “I wonder if they didn’t go…would this conflict still have happened?”

                “Maybe,” Zak added, “I mean, even if the arbiters weren’t around for the ‘twenty years of Callium’s war’ that was still not long after the arbiters left. I think it was about a millennia ago is what’s recorded. Though, I think it’s close enough to Callium’s war to still rub old conflict. I mean, I can’t imagine a war that took up the entire world without legends.”

                “Fair,” Demetri added, with a little nervousness added, “Aegis’s Invasion.” They both remained silent as if the mere mention of that name was enough to seal their mouths.

                “Well, that’s history and we have our future to look forward to,” Zak exclaimed in a chipper tone, trying to change the subject and mood. “I mean, we’ve done pretty well and sure things are tense, at least they like you more now.”

                “True,” Demetri said, feeling a little guilty and rubbing one of his ears. “You know, if you try complying to their stuff more, then maybe they’d change their tune regarding you.”

                “Pfft, they’d have to earn that from me.” Zak crossed his arms and gave a huff.

                “Heh, I didn’t earn it and you do it for me,” Demetri pointed out with a teasing grin.

                “Yeah, but you’re different. Unlike, the core and other planet nerves, you Demetri, understand me.” He looked to Demetri and with sincerity in his tone said, “and not just because you know what few do, but because I know about you too.”

                Demetri blushed a little, looked forwards and rubbed his arm. “That’s…very nice of you to say,” he stuttered making Zak laugh.

                “I mean, of fu**ing course you are. We’re mates, buddies, partners.” Zak slung his arm over Demetri’s shoulders and pointed up at the sky, “we have the whole of our future to head towards. I mean, what’s more fun than doing something with someone you care about, right Dem?”

                “Right,” Demetri gave a nod, just as fired up and happy as Zak. “Thanks for taking me to see the stars, Zak.”

                “No problem,” Demetri said, pulling Demetri in a little with the arm on the grumpig’s shoulders, “can’t think of anyone else I’d rather do it with.”


                < O >


                ...Then we packed up after a little while longer and headed back. Demetri muttered, finishing the narration in his head, eyes still on the library. It’s…so lonely being all the way here. He let out a sigh and his head fell and eyes shut. “I just…I just have to hurry and get back. Then we can go stargazing again and as many times as you want Zak.” A few sniffles escaped his nose as he wiped it with his arm. “But enough sentiment,” he said, standing up, “now where the actual fu** is Devon? He said he just wanted to scout around, I didn’t think he meant every freaking alley in this town.” He grumbled in a low tone as he walks over to the center of the roof and sat down, attempting to try and find Devon. As he was doing this, he suddenly felt a strange feeling…something familiar. “Huh?” he said, shooting his eyes awake and stood up looking around. He was about to ponder it when Devon buzzed up to the roof.

                “Zzzorry about that,” he buzzed landing not far from Demetri, “kinda had a hard time getting the zzzupplies.” Devon tilted his head, looking at a spaced out Demetri. “Zzzir, you okay?” he asked, slowly walking over to him and tapping Demetri on his arm.

                “Hrm?...what?” Demetri finally noticed Devon and jumped back a little startled. “Oh, there you are finally.” Looking back in a direction, Demetri closed his eyes once more.

                “Uh…zzzir, do you zzzenzzze zzzomething?” Devon inquired.

                Demetri, however, just remained silent and focused. His eyes suddenly shot open as if something was surprising him and he dashed to the side of the roof.

                “Zzzir?” Devon shouted, pursuing Demetri as best he could.

                Demetri quickly levitated a plank and threw it out as he jumped and grabbed it and levitated it down as he hung on. Devon just dove from the top, buzzing his wings trying to keep up. Demetri was the first to land, and he dashed off tossing the plank to the side. “Zzzir, whatzzz wrong?” Devon shouted as he flew after Demetri. The pursuit went through many turns in an alley, Devon trying to see what Demetri was chasing. Suddenly, Devon stopped as he looked upon Demetri looking over something like a corpse. Immediately, Devon’s stomach surge and he had to avert his eyes to hold it in. Finally, Devon got control of his stomach and looked again, only to be forced to struggle again at seeing Demetri touch it with his fingers.

                “Nope, he’s been dead for some time…” Demetri stated standing up, “I’d say at least over an hour.” He raised his fist to his chin and began contemplating. The mon isn’t a clansmon, and apparently from the fur color and, Demetri opened the dead raichu’s eyes forcing Devon once again in a stomach battle right after getting out of it, eye color being green…Solian…maybe. No, they aren’t this shade. Could be local or immigrant. A sigh left Demetri’s mouth as he retracted his hands from its eyes and instead assessed the wound. It was a clear-cut across the throat, likely done swiftly and plain. In fact, the cut looked rather well done and precise, as if an expert had been able to see his target before engaging. He then assessed the rest of the neck. “Hmm, the neck indicates it was from behind and there looks like no sign of a struggle, but…” Demetri mused out loud, backing from the corpse and looking around at the area. “Potentially, perhaps a runner? I mean, there are signs there was running. I nor Devon knocked those things over so was he running from someone and then got cut? And if he got cut, by who?” Demetri once again looked at the corpse and noticed a small parcel it had that had been torn open. He levitated it upwards, ensuring nothing was falling out and began taking its contents out one by one.

                “D-did you find zzzomthing?” Devon said, still queasy but stable.

                “…Perhaps,” Demetri said, eyes narrowing as he pulled out a few clues as to who the mon is. “Ranger…likely from another town. See, this badge says ‘Treasure City’ branch.” He set the badge in his open palm to look at it better.

                “But thizzz izzz Frantal right? Far from Treasure town at least.” Devon buzzed closer to look, his curiosity easing his stomach with a distraction from the dead body next to them.

                “Indeed, so likely he was investigating something but what.” Demetri activated the badge, but it didn’t respond. “Damaged apparently,” the grumping grumbled levitating it back to the parcel. “Him having it in a parcel might mean he was going undercover. Undercover in what though.” Demetri looked up at the sky and closed his eyes, doing his best to try and make sense of it all.

                “You think…it’s the red eyes?” Devon inquired.

                “Maybe,” Demetri bluntly said, “thugs aren’t exactly accurate a lot of the time and his coins are here still…maybe he knew something and was forced to keep quiet by him losing his life.” But if that is what they were aiming for why leave the corpse here? Wouldn’t that just add to the suspicions? Ugh, for now, I should just report it, that’s the best I can do right now.

                Demetri began pinging for cells to report to while Devon just shut his eyes to not look at the corpse and have a stomach rollercoaster again.










                “Meddlesome,” a figure said sitting on the roof of the highest building in Frantal. “He got what he deserved.” It stood up and let the breeze blow on his body and a let out a relieved sigh. “Well, hopefully, this sends a clear message at least to you,” the figure said, taking something out of a small pouch, “you and all of you nosey mons in Triacal.” He flicked his claws up, flipping a coin into up, the light of the moon reflecting off of a silver Bohrmian and letting it fall back into his waiting sandslash claw. He continued to flip it in silence, his red iris eyes looking off across the city. “Don’t try it. Hopefully, the core gets the message, or at least figures it out if he has brains.” He caught his coin and held it out in front, looking at it with narrow eyes. “I should leave now. Did my job here so,” He shoved the coin into his pocket, “time for training I guess or at least…time away from this.” He began walking away but suddenly stopped. Stayed in silence and slowly forming a scowl as if he was hearing something he didn’t like. “Shut up,” he muttered under his breath as he headed for the spot to climb down.

                As he landed down into an alley and headed down it, he pulled out his coin again and started flipping it a little. A small noise sounded and he stopped immediately. The sandslash slowly turned his head to his belt pack that and opened it to pull out a blinking communication orb. Once he pressed the orb he instantly was greeted by a, “Hello Armie.” His eyes went down halfway as an aggravated sigh escaped his mouth. “What is it, Plageues?” the mon asked with a frown into the com, “and can you at least say my name right or are you retarded on purpose?”

                “Oh come now, Armád, you know I enjoy talking to Mr. Coin Flipping edgy Mk-”

                “Say what you need to and then hang up,” Armád spoke into the com with a monotone threat.

                “My, my, well if you are in such a hurry then fine. I got wind you were in the area and I was wondering if you were able to back me up for a mission, since you’re around and all,” the voice in there said with a rather exaggerated chipperness as if it was talking to an old friend.

                Armád just stood there with an annoyed expression and started flipping his coin faster with no reply.

                After some time, Plageues spoke again. “Hello? Did you go off and get yourself killed?”

                “Handle your own fu**ing mission,” Armád snapped as he was about to turn the orb off.

                “Hold on, that’s no way to treat someone you’re talking to,” Plageues said with a chuckle that made Armád growl.

                “Look Playjerk,” Armád began but was cut off.

                “Oh you like making names too,” Plageues teased with a playful tone that frustrated Armád enough to catch his coin and punch a wall with a newly formed fist.

                “What the reverse do you fu**ing want from me you piece of trash‽”

                There was silence, till Plageues said, “Fine, Mr. Prickly if you want me to get to the point.” There was a brief pause as Plageues cleared his throat, “I’m heading after a target to capture, you ever hear of Aegis?”

                Armád replied in a snobbish tone, “No and I don’t really feel like I care to.”

                “Oh but someone sure does.” Plageues giggled as he said, “Lord Azazel.”

                Armád looked sternly at the orb, his focus slowly rising at the mention of that name. “How so?”

                “Beats me,” Plageues said with a shrug on his end, “but what matters is that he’s interested in it. You know what that means, big points for whoever brings him in. I personally have no need for them, but you, on the other hand, could use some favor points.”

                Armád’s expression slowly shifted to skepticism. “If that’s the case then why are you doing it?” he asked as he started flipping his coin again.

                “Simple, because they need me for it. I am a good tracker, but you Armád have skills I could use. Plus, the brat I’m after has friends and they proved troublesome for the last group which sadly I’m stuck with, but without the better Trishula part of it.”

                “Trishula?” Armád repeated, “It was his mission?”

                “Yep, and frankly he was pissed to be taken off of it. You should have seen his face when he went on the boat. Mon, he was mad about it.” Plageues giggled while Armád rolled his eyes. “But getting back to the overall point, if you could help us that would be good.”

                Armád contemplated, but his thoughts were interrupted by Plageues asking, “Where are you anyway?”

                “Well, I was carrying out a minor mission on taking out some mon that was investigating the area here and moseying in our business on order from the superiors. I just ended the bit** so I was going to finish up checking on our associates in Triacal’s trade ring before heading to Bohriam and meet with Gaispir there.” The sandslash started walking down the alley, his temper going down now that Plageues was tolerable. “But that’s more taking a break from missions.

                “So, can you come help or can’t you?”

                Armád coughed for a second and gave a firm “No…” he then let out a sigh and followed with, “but, I can tell you I’m not the only here on a mission. If you need their assistance, they are Gulag and Elrios but other than that I won’t be attending.”

                “Very well then,” Plageues said with an instigating tone, “say ‘hi’ to your first convert for me.”

                Armád threw the orb down the hallway at hearing that. He placed his claw up to his head and shook his head slightly as he angrily groaned. “Why can’t he just fu**ing die,” he dragged his claw over his face and walked over to the orb’s stopping spot. He picked it up and gazed into it with a troubled look. “My first convert huh…” he mumbled to himself as he put it away. The sky began to start doing a gentle drizzle before a bigger rain storm would hit. “Late huh…” he said to the summer storm looking upwards at the clouds he couldn’t see due to the night. He resumed his walk. “Better late than rushed,” he mumbled as he began flipping his coin as the rain began to pour harder. Without a word or a change in expression, he caught his coin, put it away and just let himself get soaked.


                < O >


                “That’s not good,” Dolly said to herself as she looked at the storm clouds in the distance.

                Swift, walked up to join her in looking at the problematic travel hazard ahead. “Rain eh,” the heliolisk said with a little enthusiasm, “sounds fine.”

                “No, when we have a long ways to go.” She pointed at the path leading to where Frantal Town could be seen from the vantage spot in the mountains. “More than likely, we’ll need to hurry if we’re going to be far enough on the trail to not get hit since the road makes a giant ‘U’ shape to go track to another city with a path down later going back to Frantal.” Pointing out to the two she explained, “That right there is Frantal Town. Normally we could take the path there,” she gestured to a rather straightforward looking pathway down some mountain slopes and through some of the farming fields to the town, “but the rain is right over it and pretty heave. Meaning, it might be better for us to take the longer route that does around those mountains instead of cutting through before them there.” She returned her arm and propose it on her side, muttering, “It’ll take us a bit out of our initial way, but at least we won’t get too wet. I’d say we’ll arrive in about post-lunchtime. Anyways,” Dolly faced the heliolisk and instructed, “Get the others ready. We won’t have much time before we have to move.”

                Swift nodded and raced off to get everyone ready. Dolly just watched the clouds before being called over. “Okay,” she shouted, “choose partners now. We don’t have much time.”

                “Garon,” Jaron said immediately, causing the dragon to look at him with an appreciative smile. “I mean, you said after one.” Jaron smiled at Dolly who caved to the request.

                “Yes I did,” she admitted letting out a sigh, “Okay next?”

                “Vragon,” Seliph said aloud, leading to Vragon looking at him with an opposite reaction that Garon’s to Jaron. He was about to say something when Jasmine paired up with Swift. Vragon’s heart sank as Dolly ended the voting with, “So that leaves me with Ciecro. Alright, mons get with your partners and let’s head out.”

                “Well it shouldn’t be too troubling a trip if we can avoid the rain,” Seliph said, joining up to Vragon, “shall we take the front?”

                “I suppose,” the fraxure replied, crossing his arms and twisting his body a little. He then said in a sarcastic tone, “Don’t enjoy getting wet.”

                “Rather it is you wouldn’t enjoy the experience,” Seliph said with a smile. Vragon faced the greninja and let out a sigh. “Well let’s just get to the town then.”

                “Yes,” Vragon said, pulling his travel pack over his shoulder and putting the strap around the other, “let’s just get to the town.” He proceeded to walk on, Seliph following with a confused expression.

                “Something wrong?” Seliph inquired, jogging up to Vragon’s side.

                “Did you forget the standings we are in?” Vragon said with a little bit of hostility in his tone.

                “No, of course not. Just wondering why you are being well…a little hostile.” Vragon just kept his gaze forwards and didn’t reply. Seliph than asked, “Something happen last night?”

                Vragon kept quiet, his mind dwelling back on the dream he had before they all had started this journey. “I just…don’t want this to be a complete waste. Coming here to Frantal.”

                “And why would that be?” Seliph asked, leading Vragon to scowl a little and roll his eyes. “I’m serious.”

                Vragon grunted and said, “You know I don’t know my past right?”

                “Ah I see,” Seliph said, raising his fist to his chin. He looked at Vragon when the dragon spoke again.

                “It’s important to me I find out.” The fraxure grabbed his pendant on his neck and held it out for Seliph to see. “I want to know what this is and why I have a connection to it. Why I’m Averion and how I ended up here. I want to know it all and not knowing bothers me.”

                “I can understand. It would bother me too.” Seliph looked down the path and let out a sigh. “It bothers me not knowing things.”

                Vragon looked at Seliph, this time with curiosity. “About what exactly?”

                “Well,” Seliph straightened his pack on his back and muttered in a low tone, “Bothers me I haven’t created a cure.”

                Vragon’s eyes widened and he looked forwards, rather surprised to hear this even if it made perfect sense considering what he knew. I guess that’s true. Vragon felt a little guilty at his venting despite Seliph always having this feeling too. I shouldn’t be so hostile. I mean, so far he’s been nice and well taking out my worries on him isn’t good for him nor me. He looked forward and clasped his pendant harder. Let’s just get to Frantal for now.

                Seliph was watching Vragon and what he could assume was a guilty expression on the fraxure’s face. He slowly let his pace fall behind Vragon’s and glanced back at the rest behind. Jaron and Garon seemed to be conversing in a friendly and active manner. Did they talk last night? He thought, as his eyes shifted to Jasmine and Swift. They were conversing as well but seemed to be more getting to know each other, or at least Seliph assumed via the lack of friendly gestures from Swift. Good. He looked at the last two and his brow raised. Ciecro’s head was down a little and eyes were...worried. Dolly had her arm on his shoulder and was talking to him for all he could assume was, encouraging. Did something happen and they are talking? Seliph looked forwards and quickly caught back up to Vragon’s side. His eyes narrowed as he began going over the information he had.

                First, I’ll see about Garon regarding Jaron. I need to keep things on both good terms. Once there, I should try and get to talk with Vragon and help him in his little search. Unfortunately, there’s Dolly but I might have a chance if something is bothering Ciecro. Though, his head slowly lowered, something seems deep on his mind. Maybe…maybe I should try and talk to him too…No, he wouldn’t want to talk to me, least of all about something bothering him. I’m the bad older brother after all to them, and they clearly are still getting used to me being around. I wonder though. They are being less aggressive, could it be in regards to that night before. I should make a note of that, but first things first. Find out the truth about you Vragon, and see if there is something there.


                < O >


                Daemon peered through a vile containing some strange fizzy red liquid as he slowly tipped a blood sample over and let a few drops land in this liquid. I began bubbling violently but not enough to overflow its edges, and slowly let it begin to settle down. After it had become completely still in his motionless hand he moves his eyes closer to it.

                “Hmm,” he mumbled aloud, “bonded…so then,” he slowly moved another vile with his other hand over to the top of the vile. Small droplets of blood dripped down into the formula, causing it to bubble once more before finally settling down like last time. Daemon set the vile down upon a little holder and proceeded to go through his notes. “Bonding formula, there must be a means to separate the samples.” He tapped his writing stick on the side of the desk as his one eye browsed over the scribbles, drawings, and notes on the many papers before him. “If I could just figure a means that could work then…” his eye narrowed as he straightened up. Silently he floated over to a mirror and peered into it, however, all he focused on in the reflecting image was the bandage on his right shoulder. “If I can find it…I may be able to-” a sudden knock came on the door. With an aggravated grumble and two fingers moved to rub his eye Daemon coldly said, “Yes?”

                “Begging pardon sir,” a mon said, entering. It was a rather fit beartic with a small ice beard and an arm guard with some attached technologies and design indicating captain status. He gave a polite head no and slight bow with his arm cupped under as his body folded over it barely.

                “Go on captain,” Daemon muttered as he floated over to put away his notes.

                “Lord Azazel has arrived and he wishes to speak to you.” The captain waited for a reply, yet none came from Daemon. It was rather awkward for the guy, considering Daemon didn’t even seem to give him a notable expression. “Would…you wish for him to wait?” he finally suggested to which Daemon replied,

                “No Captain Chenoo, I will go and speak with him personally.” The ghost floated over to his coat post and put on his over jacket and floated to the captain, who immediately stepped out so Daemon could lock the door behind him. They both walked down the hall in silence, until Daemon inquired, “How long has he been here?”

                “Just arrived,” the captain informed.

                “I see,” Daemon muttered stroking his chin, “Well then, I shall see to him. But,” he suddenly faced the captain who looked at him curiously, “I wish to thank you for allowing me the blood samples.”

                “Of course sir,” the captain replied, relaxing a little, “Anything that would help your research.”

                “Indeed I suppose.” The ghost floated on but stopped at the captain adding something.

                “Mind if I ask what’s it on?” the captain looked with curious red eyes as Daemon slowly turned around.

                The ghost kept quiet and merely gazed at the beartic with a blank and a rather cold expression.

                “If…if it’s private sir-” The beartic began, but stopped at a rise of Daemon’s hand.

                “Tell me, captain,” he said, “Why did you join?”

                “Oh?”

                “The red eyes,” Daemon clarified.

                The captain crossed his arms and leaned on one leg and looked at the wall. “That’s really personal sir.”

                “Isn’t it personal for all,” Daemon pointed out. “But you need not inform me.” He then folded his arms behind his back, while the beartic looked at him confused. “What’s important is there was a reason why you joined, like everyone else…a personal reason. You sought something more…did you not?” The beartic nodded and Daemon resumed. “As I sought to be more in kind. Why I research…is for that fact.”

                “Understood,” the captain said with a nod, not entirely sure what Daemon was getting at or happy he wasn’t just told what it was but didn’t push for an answer.

                Daemon gave a little cough as he turned around. “As such, I will put in a good word for you. My hopes to you for becoming selected should you apply.”

                “Thank you, sir,” Chenoo said with a grateful smile as Daemon floated down. Hearing that from him heh, imagine that. Soon maybe, hopefully, I’ll be one of them.

                Daemon floated down a corridor to a rather large and oddly dim light lobby. In the middle was a figure in a dark hood and cloak seemingly staring at the floor, arms at side and floating. Daemon announced himself with a cough and said, “You wished to see me…Lord Azazel.”

                “Indeed,” Azazel slithered, turning around to face Daemon, “tell me, how are your…attempts going?”

                “If you refer to my individual projects, they are performing adequately,” Daemon replied, but Azazel just shook his head.

                “No, no,” he said taking off his hood, revealing a hydreigon head with very dark red eyes a white and black skin and rather odd burn marks. “Where your passion lies.”

                “I don’t understand,” Daemon said with a calm tone and cool head. Be still Daemon.

                “Well,” the red-eyed dragon laughed slightly as he floated towards Daemon and faced away from him, “Everyone has a dream, ambition. Even the ones that are…dreamless have something down there that drives them…an empty will, however, is the first sign life is dying.”

                “I’d rather a straight answer sir,” Daemon said a little impatiently.

                “Careful not to rush to carefully, Daemon.” The dragon said with a grin, “Some things could be considered treason to your superiors.”

                Daemon tensed at this but remained composed. “I will be cautious sir. But may I inquire what gives you these thoughts of ill towards me?”

                “Oh no, you misunderstand me Daemon,” Azazel said with a less creepy grin, “I didn’t say I considered it treason, only that some in the red eyes would. I mean, tampering with your being as you are to…silence it, is a method few would want to be completed, correct?”

                Daemon’s heart sank. He felt a chill down his body as if all the energy in him was frozen and shaken. The red-eye fell slightly, wide open as his mind was in disarray. He shook his head however and replied, “No such thing would be permissible, understandably.” How? It’s impossible, there’s no way he could know about…did I get ratted out by Plageues or… Daemon waited for an answer from the dragon who merely looked back at the wall.

                “You feel bound to it, don’t you?” the dragon stated without a smile nor a stare at him.

                “Bound by what?” Daemon dared ask, wanting an answer to whether or not Azazel knew or was just probing him.

                “Do you wish for me to say it here?” The dragon faced him and gestured his arms out wide.

                Daemon looked around, seeing a few mons around him. All potentially in hearing distance. “Never mind sir.” Blast, if he knows then… Daemon floated over to look upon the wall himself. He then said, “If I may ask Lord Azazel. Trishula is heading here, but won’t be for about two days. So, why did you come here so early?”

                “I wished to converse with you,” he started looking at the wall with a frown. “However, you aren’t the only reason I came here.” The red eyes Lord faced Daemon and in a low tone whispered, “You are one of the four of the inner iris council. Out of all of them, you have been with us the longest and have done much to make the red eyes plans bolster forwards. So, it is due to this recognition that I…have an order for you.”

                Daemon gave a nod and listened intently.

                “I have been focusing my efforts in finding Aegis’s vessel. Pathos continues his pursuit and recruiting, and Mephiles is working on projects with the science division. However, you of the Iris council hold potential problems. While many of you are indeed fitting to be there, I have heard of disruption amongst some of the newer members of your council. Pokémon that seem to doubt those of us above them. As a head, I wish for you to quell these at the next meeting, but…” he leaned in closer. “I also wish for you to seek out ones that could be traitorous or shown signs of actions against us.”

                “I’m honored for this mission,” Daemon said with a head bow.

                “These are dangerous times Daemon. No more are we in the dark to the world, now we are seen by them and by our enemies. Those that lose sight of why they came must be found, lest we have potential damage done to our plans and you understand how long we’ve been preparing for this.” A dark smile replaced the serious gaze on Azazel as he added with a little slither in his words, “We draw near to the finish of collection.”

                Daemon rubbed his chin and let out a thinking noise as he closed his eye. “I will do what I can,” he stated and the dragon nodded.

                “Oh, one more thing,” Azazel said floating off. “When my apprentice, Trishula, arrives; I want you to personally escort him here. So, if you will please head to the port town he will be landing at and bringing him here I would be most appreciative.”

                “Very well,” Daemon accepted, “I must attend a few things before my departure.”

                The ghost began floating off as Azazel, with a pleased smile floated in the other direction, stated, “of course.”

                The ghost was silent as he traveled to his lodgings and shut the door behind him. He floated to his main table and placed his two hands on it and just stared at the well-kept wood. Terrible feelings and thoughts permeated his head as he tried to calm himself after the scare he had earlier. Even if he knows, he wouldn’t inform the other ones, he reasoned as he straightened up. After all, to condemn me over this would be wasteful to him and put him at odds with his apprentice. He looked to the side at his bookcase, the lines of gold coins and items in bags assorted in a neat and orderly fashion. Floating over to it, he flipped a little clipping and opened a hidden compartment no bigger than two of his fingers. Carefully, he dug into it and pull out a little picture. It will be good to see you…again. I need some solace after all. He gripped his right shoulder, where his bandage was wrapped. This was a disturbing revelation, to say the least.
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                  #42   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
                Old 3 Weeks Ago (11:23 PM).
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                Bay Bay is offline
                Darkinium Z
                 
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                Minor style suggestion, but the very first part I feel you should break it up into different paragraphs. That way I can follow the action and dialogue better.

                The second part is a flashback, I think? Nice showing off more interactions with Zak and Demetri there.

                So a new character appears. He surse doesn't like Plageues there. Hey Armad, the coin flipping is Grismley's gimmick. = P

                Oh, so we have Azazel be revealed as a hydreigon. Interesting choice concerning his name origin being "scapegoat" in Hebrew. Looks like he's coming down hard on those going against this group of theirs.
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                Old 3 Weeks Ago (4:21 PM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by Vragon2.0.
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                Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
                Say it with me (Vray-gun)
                   
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                  Contains: Language, Dark Themes [14]
                  Chapter 30
                  A Building Mistrust



                  Devon looked around the waiting room in the Frantal Town ranger station. Bored seemed like an understatement for him and it was about the fifth time he spotted every nook, cranny, and crack in the room. He dare not saying anything, however, due to how serious the reason was for them being here. At leazzzt I don’t have to be in there, he thought in his head with a sigh of relief out loud. The vikavolt rolled onto his back on the chair to look at the room in a different way. Unfortunately, as he did, he spied an upside down version of Demetri just staring at him in an expression Devon couldn’t figure from his position, but could at least guess wasn’t exactly happy to the see him not sitting in his chair.

                  Demetri’s eyes lowered as he just looked at Devon without a word. He waited till Devon slowly got back to his legs before saying, “Please Devon.” He walked to the doorway, as Devon followed with a guilty buzz.

                  “Zzzo, how did it go?” Devon asked, hoping to try and salvage his situation.

                  “Not grand.” Demetri let out a sigh as he folded his arms behind his back. “The assassin left hardly any well-kept traces to who he was, likely I won’t be able to find out who did it.”

                  “But, can’t you juzzzt find the psychic zzzignature?” Devon suggested.

                  “I already tried that. Not only is this guy’s aura hardly on the stone so I could make at least a decent idea what his aura is like but that even if I could it’s very unlikely I could find him in such a populated town.” Demetri ranted, more to himself and situation than Devon.

                  The bug shriveled back a little, feeling dumb for asking. The two walked in silence as Demetri pulled up his holocaster and began reading through some data. Devon finally mustered up the courage to ask again, “Zzzo, zzzir uhm, what’zzz the plan now?”

                  “We stay here and wait for this ‘Seliph’ to arrive, while we do we investigate this murder on a separate notice.”

                  Devon’s eyes widened. “Wait but why?” the bug asked flying up next to Demetri.

                  “Simple, because this mon was researching some activity here. Certain, unsavory kinds.” Demetri’s eyes went cold as he added, “The kind that makes me want to take the neck of whoever did this and snap it.”

                  “That bad huh,” Devon said, curious but also trying to avoid Demetri’s wrath.

                  “The mon was trying to find track some disappearances at some orphanage in his town. He tracked the active kidnapping here and well…yeah.” Demetri’s eyes lowered to a rather depressed one. “It’s messed up. I didn’t even know kidnapping was here…let alone of kids.”

                  Devon went silent, as he felt rather disturbed as well. “Zzzo…izzz that why we’re going to do thizzz?” Devon said as he was forced to fall behind Demetri again at a tight hallway, leading to the lobby.

                  “Yes, I can’t just let it slide. It could be extremely vital to figuring out criminal activity in the area. At least, it will give us something to do, even if we won’t finish the investigation. The cores can at least assign someone to finish it.” Demetri began formulating a message to send as they entered the lobby and headed for the door.

                  “But what if that ‘Zzzeliph’ guy comezzz while we do?” Devon asked as they neared the door, the sound of rain hitting the windows now beginning to reach their ears.

                  “That isn’t a problem.” Demetri looked back at him and said, “If he comes, we’ll just turn our attention to that. Trust me Devon, I know what I’m doi-”

                  Devon froze in place as he watched Demetri suddenly fall forwards and tumble down the steps to the door. Just left speechless as grunts, painful surprised sounds, a bruise making filled his ears and the image of the holocaster going static like with every roll he took. Finally, Demetri hit the wet ground, landing on his back and staring up at the rain, with an expression of the most surprise and confusion on his face. Devon buzzed his way down the steps and asked, “You okay zzzir?”

                  Demetri just paused then finally snarled as he pointed his arm straight at the sky and in a very angry voice shouted, “That’s it! Fu** you rain! I hope you’re happy laughing at me in the mud you asshole! Now piss off! I need some fu**ing Sitrus Berry Tea with no more than two fu**ing scoops of Fu**ing sugar before I kill somebody!” He got up to his feet, brushed off a little of the mud from himself and his holocaster device, and stammered off fuming as the unfortunate passerby just watched along with a terrified Devon.



                  Devon sat on a little stool at one of the lounge tables in a local in, looking out the window at the rain alone. It seemed that the rain was picking up more than before and he was certainly glad not to be out there right now. He looked across from him at started thinking. Hmm…the red eyezzz zzzound intenzzze. I read a report or two on them, but nothing like…well kidnapping kidzzz. I don’t get it, why doezzzn’t zzzomebody just find them and put them out or zzzomething? Bring them to juzzztice. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of heavy steps as Demetri sat onto the other seat, dry. “How wazzz your shower?” He asked with an attempted vikavolt smile, hoping Demetri was in a better mood.

                  “It was satisfactory,” Demetri replied in a tone that didn’t seem to reflect that. “I’m rather impressed such a simple looking place could afford to have something like a shower.”

                  “Yeah,” Devon agreed with an accompanying nod, “it izzz rather rare for something zzzo technical to be in an inn.”

                  “Then again…” Demetri’s eyes lowered, “Frantal town is at least big enough to be just below a city in size.”

                  “Zzzomething wrong zzzir?” Devon angled his body a little more over the table, to listen better.

                  “…I don’t like this.” Demetri turned his gaze out the window along with Devon. “That murder that happened, what he was investigating. All of it rubs me the wrong way.”

                  “Yeah, well it izzz heavy stuff.” Devon looked down at the rough wooden surface of their table. “But zzzir,” Demetri gave him his attention. “Why doezzzn’t the core shut them down or zzzomething?”

                  Demetri let out a sigh as he answered, “There are diplomatic things regarding the red eyes. They are stationed in Sorphia…at least, it used to just be Sorphia.”

                  “Huh?” Devon tilted his head as Demetri answered.

                  “You see Devon. The main bulk of the red eyes we presume is in Sorphia and that continent in general. However, we also have good reason to believe, at least from my investigation before this one, that they are trying to get some manner of buddy, buddy with some Amestrian senators. As for anywhere else, there is evidence that Lunis has some influence, but no evidence that it’s particularly strong.” Demetri looked at Devon and finally said, “But to answer your question, no, the core can’t just barge in wherever they wish to. Zyan and Garde may garner respect, but they don’t exactly have an army. In fact, I’d consider us more of job fillers for them than actual agents.”

                  “What makezzz you zzzay that?” Devon inquired, not sure what Demetri meant.

                  “Because, we may live where the core does and do missions, but overall what they tell us is rather minuscule to exactly what they know. Let me put this into perspective for you,” Demetri ordered some drinks and moved Devon’s cup to him, “You see, what you and I know…is like the tea in there. It’s a decent size of the matter, but what they know isn’t just the tea itself. They know what goes into it, what is used to make it, where it comes from, frankly we are more customers than servers of their information. My point being Devon, when dealing with two beings that are quite basically God’s and guardians of peace, there’s a lot of observation and notice they do. Just because we ‘mortals’ aid them, doesn’t give them the sense to share any knowledge with us.” Demetri emphasized a rather annoyed tone at the end of rest his elbow on the table and just stirred the drink with his powers as if using an invisible self-moving stick. The two were silent until Devon asked something.

                  “Zzzo…how long have you been on the core’zzz payroll?”

                  Demetri gave a grunt before saying, “Four years maybe, I lost track of time.”

                  “Oh,” Devon curled back, but mustered the courage to ask, “Hazzz it really been that bad?”

                  Demetri let out a sigh as he looked out the window again. “Well, it was better before…well…”

                  “Before what?” Devon inquired, his curiosity moving up as his wings showed in their slight rises.

                  “Just some drama with the core that’s all.” Demetri began stirring his drink with his mind again as Devon thought for a bit.

                  “What happened?”

                  “I don’t want to talk about it,” Demetri’s eyes narrowed slightly to emphasize and Devon got the hint.

                  “Well, if you ever get the want to talk about it, you can tell me zzzir.” Devon gave him a smile as Demetri looked at him with a lazy expression.

                  “Awfully presumptuous of you offering something that clearly won’t be needed.” Devon tilted his head not understanding the big words. Demetri let out an annoyed sigh and said, “Don’t jump to conclusions basically.” Devon nodded as he understood and the two were about to partake in their drinks before Devon proposed a toast.

                  “Why?” Demetri asked, not sure for what occasion.

                  “Well, why not? I mean, we’re getting clozzzer to what we need right and pluzzz, to a good job.” He nudged his cup on the table close and Demetri gave a shake of his head and a grin.

                  “Okay,” he cupped his hand over his and the two were about to clash their drinks when a loud noise came as the door to the inn slammed open. At lightning speed, they two shot their gazes to the sight of the most angrily, heavy breathing charmeleon they had ever seen. He was giving off snarls as if deliberately wanting everyone to hear how loud it was. The charmeleon was also dripping wet from the rain coming outside. Silence fell the room as he stomped in. They then heard the sound of arguing coming from behind as a smiling heliolisk came in.

                  “How was I supposed to know the clouds were going to head on the other path?” a large kangaskhan argued as she stepped onto the wooden floor.

                  “Oh I don’t know,” a riled up absol said in response walking in. “Maybe actually paying attention to it as we were going!” the angry absol shook the water off her and onto the kangaskhan. This ticked the kangaskhan off and they resumed their argument as they went one.

                  Next was a croconaw walking in, completely unbothered with being soaked. He turned around and said, “Come on Vray, it’s not that bad…”

                  “You’re a freaking water type Jaron!” a raging fraxure roared stammering inside, looking for some means to dry himself. “You don’t get as cold as dragon types do!”

                  “Yeah, fair enough, let’s get something to dry us off.” The two started off, right as Garon walked in, shaking himself in front of them.

                  “Hey!” Vragon exclaimed.

                  “Oh, sorry my bad. Water got into my eyes.” Garon looked around the room and gave a whistle, “Not a bad place.” The two boys looked around too and followed Garon in sight-seeing.

                  The last to enter was a greninja holding a bag and keeping it tied to keep them from getting too wet. He quickly joined up with the group at the desk working on getting rooms.

                  “Who do you zzzupose they are?” Devon queried, looking at Demetri.

                  “Not sure, travelers,” Demetri said, taking a sip of his drink. His eyes looked over each and every one of them, and then stopped on the greninja. Demetri eyed all he could on the greninja from his seat, while Devon just sat there wondering what Demetri was looking at. Possibly, I mean, he is a greninja, he seems to be holding something valuable, and frankly seems focused and alert. Slowly, Demetri lifted his cup to his lips and began drinking it down, passively. That’s got to be Seliph.

                  Devon was at a loss of understanding, just sitting there wondering why Demetri was eyeing the group that just got in and headed upstairs to their rooms. Finally, he could contain it no more. “Zzzir,” he buzzed, bracing his nerves just in case a swift rebuke, “What were you looking at?”

                  “…Seliph, probably,” Demetri answered in the calmest and strangely relaxed tone.

                  Devon just paused, completely shocked at this lackluster statement. He finally got a hold of himself and followed up by asking, “Wait if that’s Zzzeliph then we shoul-”

                  “Watch him, observe him, figure things out…yes.” Demetri began drinking again leaving Devon rather confused.

                  “But izzzn’t our mission to…well talk to him and take him under our protection?”

                  “Yes, but we know he’s here with what looks like his own little army and plus there’s activity going on. The murder and all. We only really need to keep some kind of tracking on him.”

                  Devon froze and once again the image flashed back into his memory. His stomach gurgled as if it was actually looking at the gross corpse and Devon gave a big gulp. In a stutter, Devon then continued with, “Zzzo why aren’t we doing it?”

                  “He’s here, while there’s a murderer on the loose, and frankly I have a hunch he’s linked to those trading deals I tracked earlier.”

                  “Earlier?” Devon said, tilting his head, his former traces of nausea gone.

                  “My former assignment, the one related to the breaching. The one I was taken off of for sh*t of a reason.” Demetri set his cup down and wipes his mouth with his arm. “So, since the core is going to be a dick about it, I’m going to figure this thing out.” He got out of his chair, causing Devon to get all flustered.

                  “B-b-but wait, what abou-”

                  “Seliph?” Demetri said, finishing the statement. “Simple, we’ll confirm it’s him, and just make sure we know where he is. Only really one of us needs to keep an eye on him, basically you. Once I’m done with finding out more things about the murder, I’ll get back to you in protecting Seliph.”

                  “But, I mean.” Devon tried to muster his thoughts together, but it wasn’t easy with Demetri already heading for the door. “What about the mizzzion now? I mean you were taken off the other one right?”

                  “And?” Demetri said, getting tired of Devon’s repeated reference to their current mission. “You can, at least, handle it till I get back right?”

                  “But zzzir…it’zzz not juzzzt my mizzzzzzion…Thizzz is our mizzzzzzion and thizzz pazzzt one izzzn’t yourzzz anymo-”

                  “It was our damn mission and this could be great progress for it and finding a linkage of Triacal gangs to red eyes fu**ing payers!” Demetri snapped. The grumpig looked to the side angrily, realizing he let something slip. He didn’t care though. Devon looked plenty startled anyways. “Just stay here and guard Seliph,” he ordered as he stormed out into the rain.

                  Devon just sat there, completely frozen. It took him some time to snap out of it and head back to their room. As he did, he reminisced over what the grumpig said. ‘Our mizzzion?’ The thought definitely was interesting. Demetri had never brought up the former assignment, just that he was taken off of it. Wazzz Demetri with zzzomeone on it?Devon wondered.


                  < O >


                  Warm water sprayed out of a few holes in the small shower room as Vragon cleaned himself. The warmth felt good on his scales and the dragon couldn’t help but take his cleaning time with a smile. A few hums echoed in the little room but stopped as he heard some knocking on the door outside. “Yeah?” Vragon asked turning his head to the door.

                  “It’s Jaron. You almost done?”

                  “Oh sure,” Vragon replied, quickly shutting the flow off with some gears, unlocking the door, and walking out dripping wet.

                  Jaron was there waiting, with a big cloth towel, holding it out with a smile. “Feel better?”

                  “Yeah, the water was great,” Vragon answered, taking the towel and drying himself with it.

                  “Indeed, I’ve never seen something like that before. What do they call those, ‘water rooms’?”

                  “I believe so.” Vragon tossed the towel over his shoulder. He picked off the hook that he rest his pendant on and put it on, before turning back to Jaron. “So, what’s the plan now?”

                  “Well…the group is getting cleaned up and settled right now,” Jaron stated walking over to look at the drizzling rain through the window. “Vragon.”

                  “Yeah?” Vragon looked at the croconaw, not sure what to make from these new serious vibes. “Jaron…is something wrong? We’re here in Frantal town…So-” The fraxure took a few steps as he did, but stopped when Jaron responded.

                  “Seliph wants to take you to the library,” Jaron quickly said, not taking his eyes from the rain. A slight awkward feeling struck Vragon as Jaron continued. “And…it’s related to researching your past.”

                  “Okay,” Vragon said with a slight hint of wariness. The fraxure walked over and asked. “Jaron…I know you still are tense around Seliph bu-”

                  “No…it’s not that.” Jaron turned around and looked at him with rather strange eyes. They looked rather sad but trying to be strong. “I…I want you to go.”

                  Vragon couldn’t help but blink and utter a, “huh?”

                  “You should go look there with him. He can help you more than I can.” The tone in Jaron’s voice seemed, very off-putting and even Jaron knew it. “N-not like I don’t want to go with you, but that…argh,” Jaron stuttered trying to figure out what to say.

                  “Its fine Jaron, you can come along.” Vragon put his hand on Jaron’s shoulder and gave an encouraging smile. Surprisingly, Jaron didn’t reply, leaving Vragon confused. He moved his head down so he could look at the downcast Jaron. “Jaron…what’s wrong?”

                  Jaron let out a sigh and looked at him. “Can…can I tell you…something.”

                  “Of course, Jaron,” he answered as he gave the croconaw a hug. “You can tell me anything.” The croconaw gave Vragon a heavy smile and Vragon patted his buddy on the head. “Go ahead.”

                  Jaron took a heavy gulp and let out a sigh. You can do this. He stared at Vragon, ready. He cares about you anyways. I’m sure he’ll understand.



                  Seliph slowly walked down the stairs to the main meeting lobby, going through a few little bits of notes. Once he reached the bottom, he pocketed them and immediately looked around for any sign of Garon. Here merely had to turn left, for there Garon was, trying to separate Swift and someone else that appeared to be arguing. He gave a little grin and chuckled internally as he waited for the little dispute to end.

                  So let’s see, he thought as he took out a notepad, Talk with Garon and find out about him and Jaron first. Then get Vragon and go to the library for investigation. Though…I’ll need to devote tonight to researching just in case. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear we’ve run into any big trouble and so far I haven’t seen any of those ruffians or potential allies of them.

                  The greninja sighed and leaned back on the wall. I just want this to be over and done with. If Vragon is Aegis’s vessel though, that could be a problem. Aside from him being a target, it could mean tha- his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of an adult mon crying. Seliph looked over to see Garon, trying to get Swift off a mon who he had in an arm lock shouting, “Call me short one more time! I dare you!” Seliph shook his head and mumbled, “Perhaps I should help.” With a sigh, he stopped leaning and headed over to stop the fight before it got uglier.

                  “I keep telling you Swift, you need to just shrug off those comments,” Garon said, as he stuck his talon into some bread at the bar after the fight. “You’ll cause a lot fewer fights that way.”

                  “Yeah, well I think I was justified.” Swift gave a little huff and took a big bite out his bread with an angry look. “I mean, what jerk starts things off by calling you ‘small’ and so self-righteous to keep on doing it despite you asking him to stop.”

                  “The asking was probably only your first one.” Garon took a bite out of his bread and continued, “He didn’t start getting smart till after you threatened to and I quite, ‘kick his ass’.”

                  Seliph did his best to hide a giggle at the site of the two actually arguing over what seemed like school kid level of importance. Finally, he gave a cough to get their attention. “Well, I’m happy to say we made it here so a toast then.” Seliph grabbed his cup and moved it out in the air. Swift joined with his and Garon did as well, though a bit harder time with his mug. After they broke mugs Seliph got to the point: Distracting small talk. “So, what do you guys think of the group?” He said with a slurp of his tea.

                  “Not bad, all of them.” Swift gave a big grin as he devoured into another slice of bread. “I would like to say, am I the only one that gets intimidated by, Dolly?”

                  “You are shorter than her,” Garon teased in a whisper, earning a glare from Swift.

                  “What about you Garon?”

                  “They seem like good mons. Though not like us in combativeness but good mons.”

                  Seliph felt a little annoyed he didn’t get the specifics he wished. Letting out a sigh, the greninja decided to take a more direct approach. “So what about my siblings?”

                  “What about them?” Swift said in reply, sipping out of his mug right after.

                  “How are they?”

                  “Seem okay. We did just meet them recently.” Swift started jugging down his mug while Garon seemed to just be looking at his, in thought.

                  “Something up Garon?”

                  “Oh no…nothing. You have some good brothers, Seliph. You know that right?”

                  The question almost felt like a stab out of nowhere for Seliph. He defensively rolled his eyes and with an affirmed smile said, “Of course I know they’re good. Seliph raised a brow as Garon’s expression didn’t change from the assurance. Did Jaron tell him something personal? He decided to hold off on it for now. “Well, I best get ready,” he said in a pleasant tone getting out of his seat.

                  “Where are you going?” Swift asked, directing his head to the leaving greninja.

                  “I’m going to take Vragon to the local library here to research into his past,” Seliph said, taking a second to glance back.

                  “You want us to come wi-”

                  “No, no need,” Seliph answered quickly, but casually. “There’ll be a lot of mons there. A likelihood that there’d be something going on is abysmal. Anyways, I’ll keep him safe don’t worry.” Seliph left the local bar leaving Garon and Swift alone at the bar.

                  Garon sighed and returned to his drink, but paused upon noticing Swift seeming in thought. “Something wrong?”

                  “…Yeah.” The heliolisk sighed and looked at Garon. “I don’t like having doubt, but I can’t help but feel there’s something Seliph isn’t telling us.”

                  “You mean regarding his siblings being alive and him too?”

                  “No…that I understand.” Garon raised a brow as Swift looked forwards. “Something he doesn’t want us to hear or know.”

                  “What makes you say that?” Garon turned his body and with a serious gaze waited for an answer.

                  Swift thought for a moment, closed his eyes and whispered, “You remember how he said he wanted us to help protect this group. Well…I overheard him arguing with Dolly and the overall subject was…odd. He’s gained distrust from her and well…he seemed to focus a lot on that fraxure.”

                  “What’s so odd abou-” Garon stopped. His eyes widened a little and he looked at Swift. “But he’s Norfarion right? What would be interesting to him abou-”

                  “Vengeance maybe…I’m not sure.” Swift looked forwards, hand firmly clenching his cup. “Something that pushes you over the edge. Maybe Seliph found his.”

                  “Should we confront him?” Garon asked, turning back to the bar and letting his head bow down mimicking his worried mood.

                  “Not now at least.” Swift took a sip of his drink and set it down. “Not till we know for a fact that’s what he’s after. Though, I’m not keen on not finding evidence myself.” Swift got off the stool.

                  “What are you going to do?” Garon turned Swift, slightly concerned at what Swift had planned.

                  “Garon,” Swift said, with a firmer tone, “If there is something he’s keeping from that is key to why they’re being targeted by the red eyes, we need to know. They’re our comrades’ kids Garon.” Garon nodded. “We need to keep them safe…Even if it means getting in the way of them doing something stupid. You agree right?”

                  “Let’s first just figure out what’s going on and then figure out our move.” Garon got off his and joined at Swift’s side. “Don’t worry. I just hope he is willing to listen.”

                  “I hope so too.” The two shared a sigh as they exited the bar and headed to their rooms.


                  < O >


                  The rain was pouring outside. Hardly anyone was in the streets, but some rangers with bad shifts and kids playing in the rain. Amid all this, two figures in rain cloaks walked up the stairs to the Frantal Town Library and pushed open its large doors. Upon stepping inside soaking wet, Vragon pulled off his travel hood and briskly shook his head.

                  “Ugh, these aren’t too effective,” he complained as he started taking his off and hanging it up.

                  “Yes, well it’s still better than having to pay for a good one,” Seliph added, hanging his after Vragon. He walked in front and just eyed the place while Vragon was busy putting his pendant on and checking his notes.

                  The place was wooden, and apparently two stories tall. Signature spiral staircases were at the two far hand sides and shelves of books were all around. He let out a whistle at the sight.

                  “Indeed, it is impressive. For such a town that is,” Vragon said enthusiastically as he joined with Seliph. He looked at his pendant and suggested, “I believe we should check on the cultures of Reshma if that’s okay. That’s what I’ve been studying.”

                  “Hmm…I’m not too certain about that. You are Averion by blood and crest, so it stands that you could have Clans parents.” Seliph slowly gestured for Vragon to follow as he walked out in front.

                  “Well yes, but this pendant isn’t clansmon in nature.” Vragon jogged to go right next to Seliph.

                  “Yes, however, your crest is much more trustworthy of a link than that.” Seliph pointed for emphasis, causing Vragon to give a little scowl. “I’m not trying to be rude, but sometimes reasoning isn’t exactly well…nice to hear.”

                  The fraxure let out a growl and followed with a “Fair point.”

                  As they headed for the section on cultural history, another figure entered. Devon flicked his head up to get the raincoat hood off his head and shook his body as if he was a houndoom. “Let’zzz zzzee” he buzzed to himself as his wings flapped and picked him off the ground. “Where izzz Zzzeliph.” The bug shot in a direction but made sure to keep his flying at a low altitude. After landing on the far side of the left part of the rows, Devon marched down each corridor, peaking at each row to see if his target was there. It didn’t take him long to finally spot them. Quickly, he went to the row before theirs, walked over quietly to the area of the shelf he had seen them, and listened in.

                  “Hmm…this looks like good enough stuff. I’ll start studying on it,” Seliph’s voice said from behind the books.

                  “Okay, I’ll join you once I get a selection to look into regarding potential things regarding this.”

                  Devon raised a brow, unsure what “this” was. Hmm…Zzzeliph izzzn’t going anywhere…zzzo I zzzhould check on hizzz friend first, Devon reasoned in his head as he heard the two split up. Ensuring he wasn’t seen by the fraxure, Devon kept up a steady pace behind Vragon. Once the fraxure stopped to find a book, Devon quickly flew to the second floor to spy on Seliph just to assess where he went to study. He finally spotted him at a table, books open and notes taken already. Okay good, Devon said to himself with a nod and flew back down to watch Vragon.



                  Hmm, Seliph grumbled in his head as he flipped through pages of a book on “Clans History”. Ah, I see. He stood up in his chair, and read the passage in his head.


                  “It is to our knowledge, that our ancestor Aegis was given the gift of clans by Arceus. It is therefore furthered supported, this belief, due to the crest inheritance rate of Clanmon’s children. This is also aided by an additional Ability, the Gift that is from the members of each clans.

                  As a result, it is potentially plausible the findings regarding Aegis being an extremely strong or unique being compared to his descendants isn’t fully supported. While we can carefully conclude his abilities as a fighter and leader are recorded any additional attributable differences regarding him in feature to any descendants of similar genetics wouldn’t be much. However, there is one key difference that has been recorded to Aegis and to Aegis alone. This lies in his clan’s gift. The gift ‘Savoir’.

                  The workings of this one of a kind ability are similar to synergetic manipulative gifts, however, this specific gift isn’t as limited to specifics as the normal ones. Therefore discovering said ability, Savoir, would be difficult normally. Despite this, there is a keen method in distinguishing this gift from other ones. It is recorded in ancient texts that his specific healing would produce a small light from the area of touch that was being treated. Regarding the color of this light, there are a few factors considered, however, it is commonly theorized that it was Cyan Blue, but there are a few recordings of when this light wasn’t the same color. These have been debated and historians have come to the conclusions that it is reflective of his personal iris.

                  This can be reasonable due to other data regarding, Aegis. Specifically, should his color have changed when utilizing Drachomet-”



                  Drachomet? What’s a Drachomet?... Well, whatever, that isn’t important, Seliph repeated in his mind. Hmm…so, if Vragon has this, I just need him to heal an-

                  His thoughts were interrupted by the loud sound of a hand slamming on the table right next to him. Seliph about jumped out of his seat in a start.

                  “Watcha readin’?” Swift asked, wearing the biggest ‘gotcha’ grin on his face.

                  “S-Swift?” Seliph said, holding his hand over his heart as he tried catching his breath. Once he got his breath, he sat down and with a frustrated tone said, “What are you doing here? Did you just come to be a jer-”

                  “Nope,” Swift said, cutting him off and pulling up a seat, “Just wanted to see if I could help.”

                  “Didn’t I already say I don’t need help? I can guard him fin-” Seliph stopped. His eyes went wide as he looked at Swift, who was looking at the book, eyes narrow as if he had found some unfortunate news.

                  “Hmm…that’s right, you never grew up near deep historical teachings.” The heliolisk said in a low tone as if talking to himself. “So, you curious about the old legend of the arbiters?” Swift gave Seliph a smile, but hinting at something.

                  “Yes…in fact I am.” Seliph wasn’t sure what Swift wanted. He moved his hand to the book and returned to reading it. “Swift, can I ask you something?”

                  “What?”

                  “What is this word here?” Seliph pointed to the word Drachomet. “I’m unsure what this is. Can you offer some insight?”

                  Swift peered over the page and eyed the piece. “Not sure,” he said moving back. “Sounds like the name for Aegis’s power.”

                  “Power?”

                  “Yes…each arbiter has an odd word that seems relating to them uniquely. These words seem odd in how they are almost name-like yet go in front of what some could deem as … aggressive.” Swift turned around. “Well, just wanted to see if you were okay. Though, we should talk later sometime.”

                  The tone Swift left him with sent a chill down Seliph’s spine. Is…Is he, suspicious of me? He raged in his head as he watched Swift leave. What reason does he‽ What have I done to him‽… the words of Dolly played back into his head, and he turned back to the table. “I can’t give up…not when I’m so close to figuring this out. Right mother?” he whispered to himself almost in a desperate voice. “I have to do something…I haven’t made any progress…I need to know what they are after and if they want Aegis, what ways I can use that to stop them.”


                  < O >


                  Nighttime light shined through a stain glass window above at the end of a long row in a sanctuary to Arceus. The place was quiet and empty, and the room was clean and well kept. The caretakers and studiers had all retired for the night and all the lit candles had been put out. The doors were locked and the sound of nothing but silence permeated the room.

                  However, about ten feet from the wall where the window rest stood a figure, cloaked in black. All save, for his head, which laid uncovered by his hood. His helm was dark and metallic. Two sharp spikes shot from the back sides of the heads like small straight antennas behind the ears. The crown of the helm diverged to the center and built around where the face was. No mouth nose or brows decorated the facial part. Only a dark section slightly moved inwards where a large red round eye glowed eerily. This eye gazed upon the window.

                  The window itself depicted at its base white clouds. In the middle, an image of a tower surge upwards going on what looked like forever into the scenery of the sky with the image depicting some light where it built up to. The sun shone on one side, in its rising or setting skylight while the other housed a full moon ready to come or prepared to go to rest for the day. Below the window in the clouds, were written by color.


                  Creator nos creavit. Pater nos eligit. Deus nos desiderat. Arcem fati ascendimus.


                  The figure remained quiet, gazing at the window as if in some hypnotic trance. The head didn’t move, nor did the red light for an eye. All the figure did was look upon the window. He moved his head forwards, and there stood someone else. Someone he knew. The figure was wearing a rather worn raincoat, with the hood off showing the head of an aggron. This aggron moved his right hand over his heart and did a slight bow of his chest and head to the window, to show reverence. The figure then turned around and began to put on his hood, but the image of this memory faded as it faced the black robbed mon.

                  “…You told me once,” Pathos said, in almost a whisper through his distorted voice, “What purpose would I bring, should I have stayed here. Hmm…” Pathos’s head lowered slightly, as images of memories walked around him. He could hear the voices, sounds, cries, laughter, and pain all around him as if it was really there.

                  Pathos moved his head up once more, the memories all gone. “So I reached out for you.” Pathos looked once again at the window and in somewhat of a softer voice said, “Why he left…left the world in this state. Perhaps he realized what I do now but lacks the will that he as Creator possess.” Pathos turned around and headed for the door. “Time I speak with him once more, now that he’s showing signs of wanting to become more. More than was bestowed by life or labor.” The dark one presses something on the top side of his right arm and a dark beam, like an escape orb, engulfed him and vanished just as fast as it came. The room was silent once more with the only sign of existence being the window illuminated by the moonlight.



                  Terms:

                  Creator nos creavit. Pater nos eligit. Deus nos desiderat. Arcem fati ascendimus. –

                  “Creator created us. Father chooses us. God misses us. We ascend Destiny Tower”
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                  Old 3 Weeks Ago (9:33 AM).
                  Venia Silente's Avatar
                  Venia Silente Venia Silente is online now
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                  So, I still have pending to get up to speed with this story but in the meantime, as I'm (re)reading the first few chapters, I'm also correcting the encoding of the posts as were left behind due to the Pomabork term that I completely coined up.

                  In the meantime, I can say that I re-read Ch. 4 and 5, something that I had been expecting to do because it was where I could finally get a better grasp on the combination of action and worldbuilding. Both the mental battle and the physical battle were pretty good and I always appreciate it when writers give mons lke Heliolisk a good run. Of course the Feraligatr screentime also never hurts.

                  I think I commented this as well in the previous run of this story but your choices of species for many of the various characters are super, in particular when it comes to the cubs, kittens, youth, etc.

                  Also, good to see that Psychic Pokémon are not that overpowered despite having access to telepathy (nasty mental invasion btw, I didn't recall it feeling this wince-inducing from the previous version) and telekinesis (which didn't get to work before the Mental Static went off), etc... You made your Zoroark very hateable too, with very calculated use of their abilities.
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                  Old 2 Weeks Ago (10:30 PM).
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                  Bay Bay is offline
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                  Quote:
                  Demetri just paused then finally snarled as he pointed his arm straight at the sky and in a very angry voice shouted, “That’s it! Fu** you rain! I hope you’re happy laughing at me in the mud you asshole! Now piss off! I need some fu**ing Sitrus Berry Tea with no more than two fu**ing scoops of Fu**ing sugar before I kill somebody!” He got up to his feet, brushed off a little of the mud from himself and his holocaster device, and stammered off fuming as the unfortunate passerby just watched along with a terrified Devon.
                  Demetri really hates the rain, lol. Personally I'm not the biggest fan of swearing constantly like that, makes the comedic (?) scene a bit forced but that's just me.

                  The group finally made it to Frantal Town. Heh over Jaron not minding getting wet. So apprently there's a murder or a series of murders around? I probably missed the mention of that from a earlier chapter.

                  Does look like Garon and Swift are a bit suspicious over what Seliph's been hiding. I'm predicting once they find out that exact reason it's not what they expected.
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                  Old 2 Weeks Ago (1:52 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Vragon2.0.
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                  Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
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                    Chapter 31
                    What's Causing Friction

                    Jaron sat in his room, lazily drawing little circles on the wood at the desk he leaned on. Hopefully, his friend was doing fine without him, or at least that’s what he wanted to think but to his dismay it was near impossible to not have that sliver of doubt in his mind. Finally, he had enough moping. The boy stood up and walked out to the hallway. I need to get my mind off of it, he reasoned in his head, I’ll talk with Ciecro now and apologize for being a bad brother.

                    He headed down towards Ciecro’s room but stopped as he was called out to.

                    “Jaron.” Jasmine walked over to him.

                    “Oh…hello Jaz,” he replied in a rather lackluster tone but not with the intent to be rude.

                    “Some hello,” she teased. To her surprise, he didn’t reply with anything snarky just looked to the side and said, “Oh”. She leaned in a little and asked, “I thought you were going to go with Vragon?”

                    Jaron gave a shrug. “Changed my mind.”

                    “Changed your mind?” she repeated in disbelief. “What do you mean changed your mind?” She looked at him, trying to get an idea what was bothering him. “Did you and Vragon have a fight?”

                    “No,” Jaron bluntly said, getting a little annoyed at how big she was making this. “Look, I just decided not to go, so I’m going to instead talk with Cie-”

                    “What’s going on?” a voice said at the end of the hall. The two looked as Dolly walked over and crossed her arms. “Jaron? I thought you were going with Vragon and Seliph.”

                    Jaron let out a grumble and repeated what he had said with some frustration. “Look, he can take care of himself.”

                    “Well yes of course.” Dolly gave a nod. “I guess it just is odd that you woul-”

                    “Would what?” Jaron finished, a little anger in his voice. “Would let him go without me constantly having to be near him?” his harsh tone made Dolly flinch back a little.

                    “Hey now,” Jasmine said, stepping in. “That’s no way to treat her for just being surprised. I mean, I’m surprised too.”

                    This only made it worse. “I don’t need to be around him twenty-four seven. What, do you two think I’m just some needy clinger?” The two looked at each other as Jaron turned around to leave.

                    “Where did you get that idea?” Dolly asked in a soft voice but Jaron didn’t reply. He instead started walking on till Jasmine pranced in front.

                    “Stop Jaron. We’re your friends, please stop being difficult. What’s bothering you?” she firmly said, but still trying to show it was all out of care.

                    Jaron’s eyes lowered to an annoyed half-open look. “I’m not my brother Jasmine.”

                    “Well, of course I know that,” she replied, a little instigated he brought that up. “But you don’t have to yell at us for no reason. Like, show some patience.”

                    “Patience,” Jaron snarled as he took a stance. “Maybe I’d show some damn patience if I hadn’t come here due to someone voting with my oldest brother.”

                    “Are you still sore about that? We’re here now Jaron and I don’t trust Seliph over you so just calm down.” Jasmine asked condescendingly, though not intended that way.

                    “Oh shut up!” Jaron yelled back, sending Jasmine into a surprised state.

                    “Jaron!” Dolly said walking over and pulling him to face her. He didn’t reply but just looked at the side tense and frustrated. “Go calm down…” she said giving his head a little rub. “We’ll talk later.”

                    “Don’t bank on it,” he replied with a little bit of defiance.

                    “I won’t bet too much then,” she answered with a smile that just seemed to annoy him more. He shrugged her arm off, brushed past Jasmine and went to Ciecro’s room. “Just give him some time, Jasmine. Something is bothering him, so let’s let him cool down an-…Jasmine?” the kangaskhan looked now at Jasmine, who wore an expression of anger.

                    Dolly was about to say something when Jasmine walked off grumbling, “I bet he did this.”

                    “Jasmine, where are you-” Jasmine didn’t answer but just walked down the stairs as Dolly followed. The absol went down the stairs and looked around till she finally spotted him. “Garon,” she called out, making sure she had his attention.

                    “Oh hello there Jasmine,” Garon said, with a pleasant smile to her miffed look. “Is there something wrong?”

                    “What did you say to Jaron?” she demanded.

                    “Why do you ask?” Garon inquired, unintentionally ticking off Jasmine even more. Dolly had just arrived, but it was too late to stop Jasmine.

                    “Well, fine don’t tell me. Just be glad that now he’s depressed and taking it out on everyone,” she accused.

                    “Jasmine!” Dolly headed over, but the damage had already been done. “Jasmine you can’t blame him for-”

                    “I see…” Garon replied in a rather upset, but strong tone. “He told me that he was fine but perhaps he just didn’t want to tell me. I’m sorry.”

                    “There’s nothing you need to apologize for,” Dolly assured him. “Right, Jasmine?” she rhetorically asked. All she got for an answer from Jasmine was a glare and a walk away. “I’m sorry sir…I don’t know what’s gotten into her.”

                    Garon seemed upset, but he kept a straight face. “My apologies.” He started to walk away, but Dolly grabbed his arm, shocking him.

                    “Don’t worry about it. It isn’t your fault. Whatever you and Jaron talked about, I know wasn’t bad.”
                    This encouraged Garon a little and he gave a grinning nod. “Thank you…Miss Dolly.” Despite these last words the dragon left the room looking no better.

                    Dolly was left alone, with just the random watchers talking or gossiping about what they just saw. Her fists clenched slightly and she let out a sigh. Deciding to check on Jasmine, Dolly left the room giving the gossipers a little glare before.

                    As she walked, she thought about all the tension in the air and the situation that had caused all this negativity. Well…we’ll be here for a little while and we don’t have a plan on our next move. Since that’s the case…high tempers wouldn’t do well being stuck in one place with what’s causing the friction. Stopping to rest on a wall, Dolly started thinking about what she could do to brighten the sour moods everyone had gotten. I did call the rain wrong, she reasoned, So, I need to try and cheer everyone up. Let’s see we’re in Frantal so… What can I do? She mulled in her brain. Some solution had to be there, something everyone could enjoy and be brought up as a result.

                    She gave a snap of her fingers. I’ve got it! Nothing cheers up any boy as fast or sincere as good food, and it even cheers up Jasmine too, what with her interest in culinary arts. Heh, she rubbed her nose with her finger quite pleased with this plan the “Mastermind” was making. I’ll make sure they’ll all be too pleased to fight and then we can all make up. It’s too good, Dolly, or dare I say it’s too “sweet”. She laughed aloud at her own pun, making a few nearby mons give her judging looks. Ignoring them, she walked on her way, with a merry spring in her step and saying, “I slay me” with some more giggles.


                    Jaron sat on the lodging hay bed, head downcast and looking rather nervous. His fingers were mingling around in his cupped hands, the thing he’d do when nervous. Across from him was Ciecro, sitting on a little wooden stool. His orange eyes were narrow and he was leaning in looking at his brother intently. Jaron let out a sigh. “That’s basically it.” The croconaw looked up to Ciecro and eyes moistened a little. “I’m sorry Ciecro…for being a jerk of a brother to you.” A little sniffle escaped his snout and he promptly went to wipe his ruby red eyes.

                    Ciecro was silent as he looked down to the side, deep in thought about something. “Hmph…yah know,” he started, his voice with a little bit of calmness in it, “Yah don’ often do dat.”

                    “Huh?” Jaron looked at him after a few sniffles.

                    “Admit yah’re wrong. Feel dat way an’ well reall are sorry.” Ciecro got up and sat next to Jaron. “Dis whole stuff’s been fu**ed up from de staht. We’ll get t’rough it.” He put his arm around his younger brother’s shoulders and rubbed the shoulder. “Tanks fo’ apologizin’ bro. An’ yah know what…I’m sawrry too.”

                    Jaron looked at him. “For what?” He gave a sniffle as he wiped his eyes. “Being overly loud.” Jaron gave his little grin and Ciecro smirked.

                    “Naw, not dat. Yah don’ know what I mean.” Jaron’s head tilted as Ciecro looked forwards. “I’ve put yah in a place I shouldn’…”

                    The croconaw looked at his brother not sure what to make of that. Slowly, he mustered the will to ask. “What do you mean…bro?”

                    “…I talked wit Jaz abou’ dis. But, I’ve looked up to yah, let yah do tings fo’ yahself than be an oldeh bro to yah.” He moved his head slowly to look at Jaron in the face. “Yah know. Not bein’ dere fo’ yah.”

                    “Not being there for me?” Jaron repeated, not sure what he meant. “Like…we talk and all. You’re good to me even if you have a temper now and then, but what exactly do you mean?”

                    Ciecro gave a sigh, slightly annoyed that his simpler version wasn’t clear enough. However, he took a deep breath and after thinking about what to say, stated. “Eveh since Seliph left…I’ve felt like I had tah be dah oldeh one. I wasn’ not ready fo’ dat and I needed someone tah look up to. Dat was what I remembered of dad but…dat was yah too.”

                    Jaron’s eyes widened at hearing that. “You…looked up to me?”

                    Ciecro gave a nod. “Yah’re smaht with yah dumb tech and yah get along wit people betteh. Yah can control yah tempeh and …” He let out a sigh as his head fell to looking at the bed. “Well…”

                    “Ciecro.” Jaron let out a little sniffle as Ciecro looked at him. “What’s going on with us? Seliph leaving…This happening to Vragon. It’s making me so worried that I have nightmares too often about him and even about you too.”

                    Ciecro lied down on the bed and stared at the roof. “Yah know. We’re here in Frantal…yet, no clue what tah do.”

                    “Yeah,” Jaron added, lying down next to him. “We didn’t even alert our boss.” The two shared a chuckle and moved onto their sides so they could look at each other. “You know,” Jaron started, propping his head with his arm. “We didn’t even get to say anything to our Aunt.”

                    “Yeh,” Ciecro concurred, “She mus’ be wohried sick.” The two looked down, starting to feel rather guilty about it all. “Hey, yah wanna call back, say ‘hi’ and explain what’s goin’ on?”

                    “Heck yeah,” Jaron answered with a grin. The two shot up to their feet and were about to head out when Jaron stopped. “Ciecro…” the charmeleon turned around and gave him his attention. “What…what are we going to do abou-”

                    “Jus’ wait bro. Once we find tings out ‘ere, we’ll all go back home.” They both nodded and left the room. As they started down the hall, they were stopped by Dolly, stepping in the way.

                    “Hold on boys,” she said, putting her arms out front.

                    “Dolly? What yah doin’?” Ciecro asked, tilting his head in confusion.

                    Dolly didn’t reply, just pointed at Jaron and said to the croconaw, “Jaron…what you did wasn’t nice. Yelling at Jasmine for just being worried.”

                    Jaron’s head fell. He gave a sigh and nodded in agreement. “Yes Ma’am,” he said in a remorseful tone.

                    “Now, you’re going to apologize. But also help me with a little something.” The two boys looked at her completely at a loss. She just gave a wink back and said, “Just get everyone to this address.” She handed them a little piece of paper.


                    < O >


                    “So, did you find anything of use?” Seliph asked, getting off his rain cloak and handing Vragon his.

                    “Nothing of real substance,” the fraxure answered disheartened.

                    “Well, it isn’t like you have much to go off of.”

                    “Yeah…”

                    Seliph gave Vragon a little browse over, before concluding something else was bugging him. Hmm…disheartened yes, but I’ve seen and had that. He looks…sad about- Seliph stopped thinking and turned to Vragon, gaining the boy’s attention. “Vragon…why didn’t Jaron come?”

                    A flustered blush rushed Vragon upon being asked that. “Oh, uhm…” he scratched the back of his head, doing his best to come up with some form of reasonable scenario. “He uh…well…changed his mind?”

                    “Changed his mind…” Seliph repeated, far from convinced. “There’s no way Jaron would change his mind like that.”

                    “Well…maybe not immediately, bu-”

                    “If you aren’t going to tell or if it’s personal you can just say so.” Seliph gave him a “forget about it” smile and opened the doors to head back. “Looks like it picked up,” the greninja added, looking at the rain outside, far harsher than earlier.

                    “Aww, walking in that?” Vragon said in a defeatist tone.

                    Seliph thought for a second. “Hmm…it’s very strong out there…but,” He gave a little smile as he turned to Vragon. The curious fraxure watched him dig into his vest to find something.

                    “Looking for a warper?” Swift said, walking over to join them.

                    “As if I’d be so predictable,” Seliph replied with a grin. Both the fraxure and the heliolisk tilted their heads in curiosity as Seliph pulled out a belt. “Sorry, had to put the things on it away. Now Vragon,” he started, bending down on a knee and handing him the belt. “Put that around your waist and get on my back.

                    “Huh? What for?”

                    “Well, if all you have is your pendant, then you wouldn’t mind me carrying you then right?” Seliph gestured the unsure fraxure.

                    Vragon finally caved and hopped on, wrapping the belt around his waist so Seliph could buckle it back and make it easier to hang on. “So, what are we doi-”

                    “Hey Swift” the heliolisk looked at Seliph. “Race you.” Without another word, Seliph darted out with a startled Vragon shouting on his back.

                    Swift just stood there completely unresponsive. After about ten seconds a competitive smile curved and he bent low. “Oh ho, no you didn’t,” he laughed as he shot like a flash cannon right down the steps after Seliph.

                    “Is he on us?” Seliph asked Vragon, amid his steady breathing and fast pace.

                    Vragon looked back to see Swift angled very low, catching up. “Yeah, at least he will be in about thirty seconds I gather.”

                    “Then hold on!” Seliph called back with a big laugh as he darted down an alley, scaring Vragon at how sharp and abrupt the turn was. Swift followed suite, but Seliph had already taken advantage of the open wood parts of the buildings to wall leap from one to the other, using each open log frame to catch himself.

                    Clever boy, Swift thought as he watched the acrobatics in front, but I’m still faster than you on ground. Swift picked up the pace, easily passing the two, who by now had arrived at the top of one of the roofs. Swift darted out of the alley as he watched the two once again ahead of him due to how the buildings were lined. His eyes lowered, concluding they had too much of an advantage. I need to get up to their level… Quickly, he assessed what mons and things were in front and speedily came up with his own means of ascent. He sped up his pace and rushed, jumping onto some poor unsuspecting rhyperior’s head, leaping onto a hanging sign, jumping from that to grab a window sill jumping off that to the next story one and finally off of that to pull himself up on the roof. He immediately raced after the two, currently five roofs ahead.

                    Seliph kept up his fast pace, despite this new knowledge that Swift was on their tail on the higher ground. Now Seliph was a good sprinter, but even he knew that they were too far for him to beat Swift even now and he wasn’t wrong. The heliolisk was closing in on them fast. Five roofs become four, four became three and not long before he was only two roofs lengths away.

                    “Any ideas?” Vragon asked, now engaged in the competition.

                    “I’m open to some.”

                    Vragon began looking around for anything useful and finally found it. “There!” he shouted, pointing
                    Seliph to a little rope line that ran across the street.

                    “Good eye!” Seliph complimented, as he formed a night slash stick in his hand. “Hold on.” Seliph could feel the fraxure’s arms wrap around his torso as he leaped off the side, swung the stick over the rope and grabbed it with the other, proceeding to slide down it. “That should slow him down,” Seliph exclaimed in triumph, but it was short lived. For as the two looked back, they saw Swift leaping off as well. They gasped as the Heliolisk did a few twirls before activating Iron Tail and shoving it under his legs, proceeding to stiffen it so he could grind down after them with a smug grin on his face.

                    “Great, there goes our advantage,” Vragon said, losing what hope he had of them winning.

                    “Now don’t diss of my running yet,” Seliph assured as he let go, landed and dashed for the lodge, now within a direct running path. Sadly for him, Swift wasn’t far behind and it wasn’t long before he had passed them.

                    In a large leap, Swift hopped to the top of the stairs and twisted to skid through the door in style, pleased with his victory. “Haha, yeah!” he shouted in triumph, “I win!” His victory celebration would have to wait since upon looking around he was not only the center of attention but the center of annoyed owners for the dirt he had just brought in with his showing off skid. “Aheh, sorry.” The heliolisk gave a weak smile, eyes shut, and rubbing of the back of his head, right as the other two entered.

                    Seliph panted a bit as he undid the belt so Vragon could get down. “That was fun,” he said shaking the rain off of him.

                    “Yes, it very well was.” Swift turned around and walked over to Seliph. He then looked at Vragon and said, “Hey, since showers are kind of line thing, go get yours first, Vray.”

                    “Huh?” The fraxure tilted his head.

                    “I just want to talk to Seliph before he goes to his room.” The dragon kid nodded and darted off, while Seliph’s expression shifted from post-competition happiness to an intellectual serious. “Let’s find somewhere private,” Swift said.

                    Hmph, so I guess he’s figured something out, Seliph muttered to himself as he followed the electric lizard outside and into the alley, where the rain was less heavy.

                    The two stood in the mud, silent, curious as to what the other would lead off with. Finally, Swift decided to start. “Seliph, you know I’m your friend, right?”

                    The greninja raised a brow and crossed his arms as he rested his back upon the claystone surface. “That is usually said when someone is about to say something the other isn’t going to enjoy hearing.”

                    Swift gave a sigh and started with, “So you do take after your mom, huh.” The heliolisk then set an arm on the wall and leaned on it while looking out down the alley to the main road, getting pounded by the rain. “I’m going, to be honest. I overheard you and Dolly talking at that fire.”

                    Seliph instantly gave a glare. “Eavesdropping then…” Swift was about to reply but Seliph beat him to it. “Hmph, so tell me, did you come with that intended?”

                    “No,” Swift answered, in a defensive tone, “It’s just…I wanted to make sure things were alright.”

                    “A reasonable excuse I guess,” Seliph grumbled, resting his back once more on the wall, his tone indicating he didn’t believe the words he said. “So yes, you know she doesn’t like me.”

                    Swift gave him a guilty look. “I’m sorry Seliph…I shouldn’t have, especially after just seeing you again.” He gave a smile that felt genuine and added, “Losing you all was hard enough on us once…after all, we were the ones that were going to visit that time.”

                    “I remember,” the greninja said, slightly cold in tone.

                    Swift paused for a bit before letting out a big sigh. “Is it that obvious?” he asked softly and Seliph nodded.

                    “Indeed, it isn’t hard to figure you called me back here because you have an issue or want to know what I’m planning.” Swift gave him a bit of a hurt look but nodded in truth.

                    “I care Seliph…okay, it’s been years since I’ve seen any of you. All of us, your parent’s comrades, we see you three as part of the group. I wouldn’t interfere with you unle-”

                    “Unless what?” Seliph’s eyes curved to more of a scowl now.

                    Swift paused. He took a deep breath and faced Seliph with a determined gaze, “Unless what you’re doing will cause harm to you three.”

                    He fu**ing said it, Seliph ranted in his head. Upset, Seliph gave a grunt and looked to the side. Swift tried to clarify, but nothing was working. After a while of Swift apologizing, Seliph shot back, “You think I want to harm them? You think I enjoy that‽”

                    “No, of course not.” Swift walked over. “I’d never think that of you.”

                    “Yet, you seem nosey enough to try and tell me I’m intentionally seeking harm for them,” Seliph accused, giving him an icy stare.

                    “Seliph…” Swift paused to gather his words and finally argued his case. “Jaron is close to that guy and if you’re looking for stuff in lore then do you know what that means? What it could mean if that friend of your brother is Aegis’s vessel.”

                    Something curled in Seliph as Swift used this term for the talked about one. Vessel, he muttered in his head but remained focused as Swift went on.

                    “You know what makes a mon are right? A body, a mind, and a soul. That makes a person. So what if there are two souls…what then? Who gets to have the body and the mind? You can’t share them, someone has to sit out while the other controls it.”

                    “How do you know that?” Seliph asked, skepticism in his voice.

                    Swift paused, rather surprised Seliph seemed indifferent to this concept. “What? How do I know? Seliph, I don’t have to know. You think Aegis would care to share with Vragon when it comes to things? Be willing to sit behind in his overall reason for coming, just so he could have Vragon live part of his life? We’re talking about Aegis, Seliph. The leader arbiter, the one that des-” His words were cut off by Seliph giving a cough. Swift quieted down, getting the message he was rambling.

                    “If he is the vessel, he’s doomed to have Aegis no matter what, right? If anything he’d be better off doing well and maybe gaining Aegis’s favor than in the hands of the red eyes or away from those that can protect him effectively. Unless you’re saying Averia doesn’t deserve having the leader they’ve been waiting for over a millennium, in which case you’d be going against that very crest on your shoulder.” Seliph reasoned, pointing to Swift’s brand for emphasis. “We don’t have a reasonable choice Swift; it’s either the red eyes get him or his people should and frankly you and I both know the better answer.”
                    Swift sighed and he paused. “Yes, I agree that Aegis is important…but think about it-”

                    “No! You think about it!” Seliph snapped, making Swift flinch back. “They are after him and my siblings are caught in the middle of it. I didn’t make it happen! You didn’t want our parents attacked, but they were. Life isn’t fair’ I accept that. So be an adult and accept it too!”

                    Swift’s face formed a scowl at Seliph bringing that up. “Accepting life being unfair is giving up Seliph. We’re talking about a kid, that’s been thrown into this with no rhyme or reason as to why and yet you want to give up on him?”

                    Seliph stood straight up and peered down at Swift. In a calm and controlled tone, that felt almost like talking of authority, Seliph stated, “I wish that my efforts to combat the red eyes and keep my brothers safe aren't in vain. If you have a problem with that, you don’t have to help. I’ve come too far to give up now and I refuse to try and appeal to my heart as if the world would respect me for caring. Is that what you want to say to me? Talk to me like a child and that it will all be better if we work hard? Stay together? So did my family Swift….and yet it was just us three that lived. I accept the real world for how it is.”

                    Swift’s eyes open wide at the harshness of these words. In the few seconds these were said, a flurry of memories and words flooded Swift’s head. Words came back to his head. I wish that…we were there in time. That we could have helped. Is that wrong to have?...I know I can’t…but…Swift… The image of Garon’s head falling in tears was all Swift could see for a little bit of time. The pain at the sight of their destination and the ruin there. His head fell and closed his eyes. Extremely hurt inside.

                    “It isn’t being unreal to worry about what you’re doing,” a deep voice came from deeper in the alley. The two looked down to see the white iris eyes of Garon peering at them from deeper in. He walked over to the two, silent and slow. “Seliph,” he said, trying to sound understanding, “No one is saying you are being a villain. In essence, you aren’t wrong. There is many a good reason to send him to his people.”

                    Seliph darted his scowl away, tensing at Garon’s words. “So what’s the deal then?”

                    “Can you take him away? Away from your brothers,” Garon said in a tone that haunted Seliph on the inside.

                    Mustering his determination or stubbornness, Seliph challenged the large garchomp, removing himself from the wall and staring the towering mon directly in front. “So are you arguing for some irrational approach? You know they won’t stop unless they know he’s out of reach. Here, he is in reach so they’ll keep on pursuing.”

                    “We aren’t sure why they are after him or even if they’ll keep on pursuing.”

                    Seliph rolled his eyes at the point and proceeded to tear it apart. “Not acting on the uncertainty denies the imperative nature it has. It’s simple, they want him and are after him unless you say we risk being attacked again. And even then, that’s not our only problem, or were you not listening to the Aegis discussion?”

                    “I’m saying that you are clouding your judgement of an approach and are turning yourself off from the reality that there isn’t confirmation on the front of the red eyes. If Vragon is Aegis’s vessel is it wrong for him to stay with those he cares about? Your siblings?” Garon raised a brow as Seliph snarled.

                    “Hmph, so you’re saying I’m rushing this? Being narrow-minded?”

                    “Yes, from what I can tell,” Garon bluntly answered.

                    “How?” Seliph demanded, “How am I rushing it. By just trying to figure out if he is indeed the vessel?”

                    “By not being honest with them. You’re leaving out their ability to help and just putting it all on yourself to get it done. You don’t know everything nor can you do everything, Seliph, just like me and Swift don’t nor can’t.” Swift lowered his head a little more as Garon patted him on the shoulder with his talon. “You called us due to the direness of the situation, else would you have informed us? You know how much it would matter to us to know your brothers were alive, but would you have kept that from us if you weren’t facing an opposition you weren’t sure you could handle?”

                    Seliph remained silent, tensing up and avoiding looking at Garon.

                    The large dragon peered at Seliph’s body language and could tell a huge amount of uncomfortable expressions being shown. Garon looked up at the sky, the rain picking up in intensity on them. “Why did you leave them?”

                    Seliph’s heart sank at Garon hearing about this. “How…” he let out a sigh as he muttered the answer, “Jaron…he told you didn’t he?”

                    “Even still, it was odd that they seemed to treat you like a stranger. From what we pieced together…you left them thinking you meant it, truly.” Swift let out a sigh as he leaned on Garon’s side thigh. There was only silence for a while before Swift finally spoke up again. “Seliph,” Swift said in a calm tone, walking over to the greninja, and patting the guy on his arm, “We’ll help you in your job like you asked. But…please…let us help you figure this out. You don’t want Vragon and Jaron to split, I know you at least that well, so let us help you find another way.”

                    “We don’t even know what we’re up against.” Seliph tensed from Swift’s touch.

                    “Then tell us what you’ve figured so far so we all can decide together.” Garon walked over and put his talon on Seliph’s shoulder. “Please…trust us. The stress of it all is a lot to take, let us help you. We want to.”

                    Seliph let out his breath. Removed his fist and brushed of the talon. Mechanically, he turned around and let his head hang low. “I can’t trust you…” Those words pierced Garon and Swift’s hearts as they looked at Seliph. “I can’t trust anyone. I was given something too important, to simply tell.”

                    “Then why bring us‽” Swift shouted.

                    “It’s like Garon said…I needed help, and you two would do that well.”

                    Swift’s face went sad as Garon stepped in front. “Seliph, please stay and talk with u-” He stopped as he noticed Seliph tense up a lot at these words. Seliph shoved his webbed hands into the old pockets and walked out of the alley, leaving poor Garon and Swift with concern and hurt looks on their faces.

                    After some silence, Swift let out a sigh and composed himself. “Let’s go.” He turned down the alley and started heading down as Garon followed in silence.

                    “Out of all the kids…that one had to be most likely the vessel,” Swift grumbled as the mopey dragon followed close behind.

                    “Well, it isn’t proven yet,” Garon pointed out more out of sad hopefulness than correction.

                    “Maybe, I hope so.” Swift just kept going as Garon followed. “So, we’ll keep backing up Seliph and keep this till he wants to talk. I wonder why he felt so compelled to do this himself though.” Swift moved his head back to look at Garon, who was behind him now. “This started when he was twelve, right?”

                    “I believe so,” Garon guessed, looking a little less mopey now that he had some math to do. His mood dropped again when he thought about the effect of the incident upon a twelve year old. “It must have been so hard for him.

                    “Yeah, but at the same time. He’s grown a bit hard now.” Garon raised a brow at Swift in a little bit of surprise at the wording as the heliolisk looked forwards again. "What he mumbled.”

                    “Mumbled?” Garon leaned his head in closer.

                    Swift nodded. “I can’t be wrong,” Swift quoted for Garon.

                    “He said that.”

                    “Yes, after you talked about how much the stress was on him.” Swift moved his fingers around his lower mouth to think. “I don’t think he meant about Aegis though.” Swift stopped, to try and figure what Seliph could have referred to.

                    Garon passed Swift and finally stopped as Swift didn’t follow him. “So, what’s the plan now?”
                    “Protect the group, help Seliph” The two walked around the back to enter the lodge from the rear, so they wouldn’t run into Seliph.



                    Seliph slouched on his desk, arms folded and head resting in the hole they made, messing with a coin with one of his fingers. He was having the after effects of Garon’s words and the frog wasn’t taking it well. Despite how little he believed it, the lingering doubt was always in his head. What if I was wrong? He would muse in there in moments he felt down and rather losing his way. But this time, it was just simple doubting himself, no this was a direct telling and it was something Seliph was having trouble handling.

                    I shouldn’t care about what he says, Seliph ranted in his head, he wasn’t there, not in my tracks. Ugh, but…argh! His head smacked into the desk and just stayed there as he groaned. I can’t be wrong. I know what it means if I was wrong...so I can’t be. He moved his head off and laid back into the chair.

                    For a while, there was just silence even in his thoughts till his eyes wandered down to a specific drawer. His eyelids narrowed, his brows curved and a dark glare showed itself as he slowly reached for the drawer in a manner that looked unnatural. Slowly he opened it, his eyes focused on the drawer. That’s just you isn’t it? He accused in his mind as he took out a small vial filled with some red liquid. Whatever is keeping me from figuring you out. Whatever ingredient or specific part to your biochemical structure that I can’t seem to dissect is why this is going on. But I will, I’m going to find how you work and then I’m going to remove your very existence off the face of this world. I’ll pay whatever you are ten times the amount you gave me and my family those eight years ago.

                    The fist holding the vile tightened as Seliph’s pupils shrank as his gaze seemed to change to desperation, like a starving ursaring staring at a tree filled with berries to eat atop a high rocky cliff. Slowly, Seliph raised the vile to his eye level and peered into it, into its watery and yet inviting looks. He stared at it for a while before the door knocked. Instantly, he snapped out of his supposed trance and put the vile away. Standing up and tidying himself, Seliph walked over to the door and opened it.

                    “Oh, hello Jasmine,” he greeted in a tone and smile that showed no indication of the event he was living a few minutes prior.

                    “Dolly wants to hold the meeting at some place so Ciecro told me to tell you.” Her green eyes looked odd as if something was troubling her.

                    “You alright?” He asked, giving a vibe of genuine concern.

                    “Just…Well, I will be,” the absol replied with a grin. When Jaron gets better, she said in her head to finish it.

                    “Well, understood I’ll be there.” The two nodded and Seliph shut the door. He walked over to the drawer and a scowl crossed his face. He closed his eyes and his fists tightened.

                    Instantly, the calm quiet room felt miles away, in its place was him out of breath and panting. His arm was extended, holding up an empoleon, one with red eyes. The mon he could see was sliced with many cuts, from his own water swords and shuriken like he was with some hits from Steel Wing. The water steel mon was eyeing him in a cold, dark and mocking manner, laughing slightly to itself.

                    Seliph could remember the questions he asked this member he had worked hard to track down. This “Iris Council” member that held the answers. The desperate voice of Seliph echoed in his head, demanding information or anything he could get. However, the words that returned from the mon were, “There….is no…cure.” The dark laughter afterwards haunted him, the glare with smugness of dashing the hopes that eighteen year old had. Seliph could feel it, the water blade form and stab into the mon’s mouth shouting, “Liar!”

                    Finally, Seliph opened his eyes back to the room and looked at his right arm. No water blade had formed and he gave a nod, proud of himself. “I’m more than you’re group,” he said aloud to the memories as he walked over to the drawer and took out the vile. “I’m more than whatever you are.” His eyes, filled with determination, stared at the red liquid, but not for long. He quickly got a case, placed it in and locked it with a key, akin to a pick. Once done, he set it in his vest and shut the flap. I’ll find the cure…There must be one. I will find it mother like I promised. He walked out of the room, but not forgetting to shut the drawer before he left.
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                    Old 1 Week Ago (10:46 PM).
                    Bay's Avatar
                    Bay Bay is offline
                    Darkinium Z
                     
                    Join Date: May 2006
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                    Oh boy, yeah Jaron really went out of line there yelling at both Jasmine and Dolly there. At least he and Ciecro have a talk with Cierco letting him know his doubts being a good brother. And pfft I too would judge Dolly outside there.

                    Racing in the rain, huh? Personally I wouldn't do it, but I'm not a Pokemon so... = P.

                    The discussion concerning how Seliph is handling the possibility of Vragon being Aegis's vessel and such there's clearly still a lot of baggage to unfold there. Next scene I got a bit confused over the mention of him fighting an Empoleon. A short flashback there back when he was dealing with the Iris Council and red eyes, I assume? But yeah, looks like next chapter everyone will wind down, should be a nice breather after all the tension going on.
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                    Foul Play [Chapter Six up!]
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                    Old 1 Week Ago (6:03 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by Vragon2.0.
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                    Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
                    Say it with me (Vray-gun)
                       
                      Join Date: Mar 2018
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                      Contains: Language, Alcohol, Intoxication, Crude Humor [14]
                      Chapter 32
                      A Bitter Sweet Break

                      Seliph walked alongside Jasmine in the muddy streets in the rain, his webbed fists thrust into his pockets while Jasmine was slowly getting more and more pissed by the amount of rain being dumped on them.

                      Finally, Jasmine just had to blow off some steam, and swiped her claw on a wall shouting, “Where is all this rain coming from‽”

                      Rather than pointing out how rain works, Seliph just shrug and went along with it, while she fumed, grumbling as she went along with him. After about ten minutes of walking without break from Jasmine’s fuming, Seliph glanced back and in an attempt to try and get her to stop being grumpy said, “We aren’t far from it, just a little more Jasmine.”

                      “Ugh.” She rolled her eyes and did one more swipe at a wall before calming down, but sadly she happened to swipe a pole of wood, with a bucket on its top that promptly dumped the rain water it had acquired upon her. If Jasmine could turn the color red, she’d be beyond crimson in face and fur.

                      It took all the willpower Seliph had to not even so much as smirk at the sight of a drenched Jasmine. Thankfully, she didn’t lash out in fury upon him, just slicing up the pole saying the most in-cohesive collection of words he had ever heard. Finally, she walked on, a little calmer after slicing the wooden pole about fifty times with Seliph following, making sure to keep a slight distance.

                      “Finally, we’re here,” she exclaimed in frustration but tilted her head as she stood in front of the address.

                      Seliph joined her side and stared up at the big wooden sign saying in big blue letters, ‘The Screaming Loudred’. “What the actual-?” he started, but didn’t even finish. “Wait, why are we even here?”

                      “Well, head on in and find out,” Dolly said with glee behind them, patting the two on their heads, sending both jumped away in fright.

                      “Don’t do that,” Jasmine commanded.

                      Dolly raised a brow as if confused, making Jasmine surprised. “I was expecting you to get wet on the way over here but not soaked.”

                      Immediately, Jasmine’s eyes lowered to annoyance and Seliph had to cover his mouth from uttering a laugh.

                      “Now, now, let’s get inside now.” Gently she shooed in the sour absol and the curious geninja. Dolly then took the lead and showed them to an upper room of the place, where the rest were sitting on some ‘L’ shaped array of attached wooden pews around some kind of table.

                      “A leisure room?” Seliph said aloud in surprise.

                      “Yep,” Dolly exclaimed with pride, “It helps when you know almost every bartender in the eastern side of Triacal.”

                      “Oh,” Seliph answered, not bothering to question it. “So, why exactly did you have us all here?” Seliph asked, sitting on the end next to Garon.

                      “That’s not your seat Seliph.”

                      “What?” he replied, confused.

                      “That is,” Dolly answered, pointing to the empty spot right between Ciecro and Jaron. Immediately, Ciecro and Jaron shot up to protest, while Seliph turned to protest too but Dolly just said with a smile, “Now, now, it’s not like you have to associate, it’s just sitting down. Surely you three can survive long enough for a nice meal.” She gave a wink, making Ciecro sulk, Jaron roll his eyes, and Seliph grumbled as he walked over and sat down in between his younger siblings.

                      “Nice meal?” Swift repeated, his eyes lighting up a little.

                      “Really Dolly?” Jasmine added, her mood picking up at the thought of a good meal.

                      “Yep,” she answered, taking her seat next to Jasmine, resting the back of her head on her folded back arms, and just leaning back. “And the best part, we don’t have to do anything. He’ll handle it all.”

                      “He?” Jaron, Jasmine, and Vragon said in unison. They didn’t have to wait for an answer, because in came an exploud holding a circular tray with what looked like a mountain of tasty berry sandwiches.

                      “Hey Dolly!” he said, so loud that everyone but Dolly covered their ears. “Nice to see ya!” he walked over and placed the tray down. “Thanks for coming over, hope this makes up for arranging that one date!”

                      Swift was the first to reach and started gobbling a sandwich, despite Garon’s wishes.

                      “Of course, I’m glad you two are dating now.” Swift immediately coughed it out and started hitting his chest from the piece stuck in his throat. It took assistance from Garon to get it dislodged. “Thanks,” he said, only to turn and shrivel back once he realized he was the target of Dolly’s death stare.

                      Dolly gave a cough and thanked the exploud. Turning to the kids, she gave another cough as if trying to emphasize something.

                      Jasmine was the first to figure it out, and promptly thanked the nice mon, leading to the rest of the kids to as well. “Anyways, let’s di-” Jasmine started reaching out for one with her paw.

                      “Hold it,” Dolly ordered, grabbing the paw and moving it away from the sandwiches. “This is a feast, so a blessing should be said.” The group nodded and went silent as Dolly said the blessing.

                      As she did, Seliph leaned back to think. Slowly, the world around him felt obsolete as his eyes focused deeply on that old memory. The one he had just experienced less than an hour ago. He looked at his brothers, whose eyes were shut in respect as Dolly prayed to Arceus and a feeling crept over him. He shrunk a little in his chair, trying to suppress these feelings. Thankfully, Dolly shouted, “Dig in!” surprising him out of his moment of doubt and his eyes feasting on the sight of everyone rushing to grab a sandwich. No need for that now, He reasoned, reaching for one.


                      < O >


                      The sound of rain hitting the roof, reverberated all throughout the empty warehouse. No windows dotted the place, nor was there anything to fill this large room. In this dark warehouse near the edge of Frantal, Demetri sought some lead. To his dismay though, it seemed like most of the former items here were removed. “Damnit,” he grumbled as he straightened up from inspecting the ground, “And here I thought I could find something.” As he ranted, he levitated the shining luminous orb he had been keeping floating in the air with his psychic powers to his wait hand and deactivated it. A sigh escaped his mouth as he walked to the large door and with a small swipe of his hand, moved the door telekinetically.

                      Suddenly, he stopped. Slowly, he turned his head, nerves alert at the feeling that suddenly surged over him. He stared back into the darkness, only about ten feet of the warehouse lit by the light from the rainy late afternoon sky. Once again, he walked back into the warehouse, peering around to spot whatever was giving him that odd feeling. He stopped. Over to his left, in a corner obscured by a support pillar lay something that looked like a small piece of glass. Cautiously, Demetri walked to the piece that lay in the light from the door and bent down to pick it up. As he did, he was struck with a realization. A chill shot down his spine. In the vial was a red liquid. A red liquid that felt like it was looking back at him.

                      For a while, Demetri just stared at it. This was the first time he had ever seen the ‘red eyes formula’ or so he assumed this was the formula. Hmm…guess this is progress. Despite the positive outcome, Demetri still felt on edge. Carefully he clenched it firmly in his hands and proceeded to walk out.

                      “Dem?” A voice called out to him. His eyes shot open and he turned around quickly.

                      “Zak?” he answered back, but no reply or sign of his friend appeared. Disappointment flooded his face upon realizing his mind was playing tricks on him. Or was … it the vile? He moved it closer to his head and peered at the red liquid. Something about this…just scares me. He shoved it into a pouch on his belt and proceeded out the door.

                      Strangely, he felt even less safe outside. Something peering down his neck, or so it felt like that. He began to look around cautiously, unsure what was going on exactly. As he looked around, he noticed something on a roof or rather someone. This being was gazing down at him, his body too far and dark to make out.

                      Demetri lifted a crate and leaped on, flying after the thing that rushed off upon seeing him act. When he landed on the roof, Demetri quickly looked around only to see no one was there. What’s going on? He thought, starting to grow with even more concern.

                      Suddenly, something struck his head, like some telekinetic force squeezing his mind. He fell face forwards and gripped his head in agony, before losing consciousness from it.

                      “Hmph, simple,” Armád muttered, deactivating the cloaking orb he had. He walked over to the knocked out Demetri, and took out an orb with a needle that was lodged in Demetri’s neck. “That should be more than enough dosage to keep you out and fuzzy on the details,” He stated, shoving it into a pouch. “After all,” he spoke, as he took away the red vile, “Having this wouldn’t be healthy. Trust me.” He gave a dark grin as his red eyes were beaming slightly with a light red glow. “But then again, I think it’s fairly obvious that you’re not concerned with health if you were investigating us.”

                      Rolling his claws, he moved in for the kill, till he heard some buzzing heading this way. Quickly, he rolled into hiding to see who it was. His red eyes squinted upon seeing a flashing light flying around as if searching. A Vikavolt? He identified keeping his eyes on it till it landed. He watched it check on Demetri, freak out for a second and then finally do its best to hoist the unconscious grumpig on his back and walk off. Armád was about to follow but hesitated, he looked down at a puddle near his feet, seeing how red his eyes were. A sigh escaped his mouth as he closed them and let his arms go limp.

                      Hmph, nah, he pulled out his coin and walked over to the edge of the roof. I’ve killed enough for you now. He flicked the coin into the air and caught it, looking at it with a focused gaze, Besides…killing someone that is asleep isn’t like me, it’s like you. Sneaking up is a challenge, a risk, an attempt to prove myself is me. Sorry, but I made it clear how I feel about you. He flipped his coin once again in the air. I don’t need you messing with me. A smile broke over his face as he caught the coin in his open claw with the picture of tails up. He rolled his eyes and grumbled, “Fine, I’ll keep an eye on them for now but don’t expect me to stay here in Triacal too long.” He thrust his coin back into his pocket as he looked for a means to get down.


                      < O >


                      “Alrighty, that hit the spot,” Garon said, smacking his mouth as he sprawled on the seat, filled from the nice little feast.

                      Swift rolled his neck, pleased from the meal too. “My, that was good,” he uttered with a satisfied yawn afterward, as one would after an appetizing dinner.

                      The rest merely did content hums to indicate that they too were filled and content.

                      Dolly, gave a big smile at a job going well but not done. “Well, hope you have room for something to wash it down.”

                      “Huh?” Jaron asked, sitting up slightly.

                      “Well,” Dolly walked over to a little cupboard and pulled out what looked like exquisite drinks in nice glass wine glass cups with some kind of sweet foam on top. “I had these made for us as well.” One by one, she passed the desserts to the group, each one thanking her for the nice little surprise.

                      Dolly took the last one, went into the back room, and sat at on a little chair, giving a pleased sigh at a job well done. It was a ton of work setting all this up, let alone in a few hours but she had done it. She had cheered everyone up and could relax, glad about the results. She just closed her eyes and let herself just melt into this relaxing seat, losing track of time and everything around her. Dozing off from the exhaustion, Dolly soon found herself snoozing as the rest started partaking in their desserts.

                      Oddly, after what felt like hours of a nerve sauna, she felt an odd thing tap her shoulder. At first, she didn’t pay it heed, attributing it to merely her mind playing tricks on her. Till the tapping kept on going and seemed to get harder by the second. The kangaskhan gave a hefty sigh and sat up, opening her eyes to look at whoever needed her now.

                      “Uh Dolly,” Jasmine said, wearing an odd expression that seemed a mix of concern, uncertainty and suppressing the urge to laugh. She apparently had entered into the room Dolly was relaxing in, cracking the door behind.

                      “Huh?” Dolly said, giving a big yawn as if she had just woken up for the day. She stretched her arms forwards and continued with, “How was the dessert?”

                      “Right, about that.”

                      “Huh? What did you not like it?” Dolly rested her arms on her knees.

                      “Well no it’s not that,” Jasmine corrected, fiddling around with her paws, doing her best to keep her head a little tilted down.

                      This odd way of Jasmine talking was starting to make Dolly not know what to think. She leaned in a little and asked, “I’m sorry, I took a big guess for the flavors you all liked.”

                      “Well,” Jasmine looked down at Dolly’s drink for a second, “It’s not that. I think you might have mixed mine with yours.”

                      “…Huh?” Dolly raised a brow, not sure what Jasmine meant.

                      “Well you see,” Jasmine scooted hers over to Dolly and gesture for her to taste it. As Dolly picked it up and started to take a sip of it Jasmine explained, “It has the mixture and taste of-”

                      “Alcohol‽” Dolly finished for her.

                      “Yeah, that. I mean, you like the stuff and I’m too young for it right now so I just guessed that you must’ve messed up in…Dolly? Hello, Dolly?”

                      It was too late. Dolly was in deep sleuthing mode. Why does this taste like Alcohol? Correction, why does it even have it in it? I didn’t ask them to prepare these for my group. Maybe it’s a mistake? As she was about to taste her own dessert the door swung open.

                      “Hey, uhm…” Swift said, trying to be polite despite something stressing him out.

                      “Uh yes?” Dolly answered, giving a follow-up nod for confirmation.

                      “Yes well, sorry for not having told you earlier but uhm…” Swift seemed to be having issues getting the words out due to some occasional glances behind him and having to cover his mouth.

                      “What, what?” Dolly asked, getting a little pushy at what he wanted.

                      “Well, it’s kind of funny actually. You know what with him being a big garchomp and all.”

                      “The point please,” Jasmine asked and Swift took a big breath.

                      “Basically, I probably should have let you know that Garon hasn’t ever drunk in his life so giving him one kind of has made him a bit tipsy, aheh.” He rubbed the back of his head with a weak smile. “And he really liked the stuff so he ordered seconds for himself.”

                      Dolly’s mouth hung open. Not only was Garon’s apparently fit to make him rosy but also he had ordered more. Dolly looked at her dessert drink and picked it up. I wonder. She took a swig and let it swish in her mouth to get a taste. After gulping, the kangaskhan said with a big sigh afterward, “Yep, it’s the strong stuff.”

                      “Strong stuff?” Jasmine repeated.

                      “Oran six hundred and three…the most fermented the guy here has.” Dolly sat on her seat trying to make sense of this. She then looked at the glass and something clicked. “Wait.” Her feet planted firmly on the ground as she gazed at the design of the cup. He only serves this when serving his best stro-…oh no.

                      Dolly’s eyes widened as she set the cup down. At a sloth’s pace, she made her way to the door, ignoring the questions of if she was okay from the two. “It can’t be,” she whispered in a terrorized tone. Her eyes showing great grimace and what was probably the strangest and most off-putting expression on Dolly’s face that Jasmine had ever seen. Dolly slowly put her trembling hand on the door. “Did I get the kids drunk?” she said aloud opening the door to peek out.

                      Swift and Jasmine looked at each other but snapped their heads back when Dolly slammed the door shut. Dolly stared at the ground and in a long drawn out breath, said, “….ffffffffffffffffffu**.” She hit her head on the door and let it rest there, having her arms sag down as if she was trying to reach the floor. “I actually sent them there. Good grief what have I done?”

                      Swift cautiously walked over to the mumbling kangaskhan and said, “Uh miss Dolly, by getting the kids drunk…you don’t mean.” All he got for a response was the dead look of a lady that had just manage to cause underage drinking in four mons and started one on the path of addiction.

                      Swift was about to ask Jasmine to help Dolly to a chair but looked back at the kangaskhan as she straightened up. “Whelp,” Dolly said ready to face the music, “Time to clean up and kill myself afterwards.”

                      “That bad huh?” Swift said, trying to lighten the mood.

                      Dolly gave him an ‘I appreciate the gesture, but shut the fu** up’ look and adding, “Show me one caretaker that managed to get all but one of her intoxicating candidates to excel above and beyond the moon.”

                      After a few calming breaths, Dolly gripped the handle, this time with a firmer grip. Took in one last inhale of air, and charged into battle or at least it looked like that to Swift. Her jaw dropped at the sight of the five others sitting there, stumbling over words, laughing what seemed like every five seconds and taking more swigs of what looked like twenty more of the same desserts.

                      Jaron sat slouching on the end; his eyes and head slowly moving as if he was dizzy. His cheeks had a red blush that went over his inner snout and his tongue hung out of his close mouth as if he was drooling at some tasty pastry in a window.

                      “Jaron!” Dolly rushed over and grabbed his shoulders, sitting him up straight.

                      It took a few attempts before his eyes finally locked onto hers and he gave a rather goofy grin. “Oh, hey there….you.” Jaron’s eyes squinted a little as if he could see clearly. “Vee!” he shouted over to a snoozing fraxure on the other end. “Is Dolly a kangyshkhane?”

                      “You furgot?” the fraxure stated with a slurp at the end as he sat up and gave him a drunk frustrated stare. “Jarrrrron she’s always been uh kangishcoon….kangoshkhon……kangy-…..ah fu** it, she’s always been that Jaron.”

                      “Yeah yeah, pffft,” Jaron leaned back to try and sprawl on his seat again but once again Dolly kept him straight. The forcefulness and trying to get him to wake up started to make him laugh a little. “That’s very ticklsomething,” he giggled. “Do some more of that.” He leaned forwards to land on Dolly’s bosom but sadly missed his mark and hit the floor. He gave a drunk laugh as he rolled onto his back saying, “Whoops, heheh I did a stupid. I need another dessert to make me smarter.” He tried using the table to get up but this time Dolly intervened.

                      “Good grief Jaron,” she worriedly spoke, helping him to his feet and keeping his balance for him. “How many did you have?”

                      “Seven.”

                      “Seven‽” Dolly shouted in shock.

                      Jaron then made a “thinking” expression and moved his hand to his chin. “Or was it eight? Vee!” he shouted to Vragon again, “How many desserts did I have?”

                      “I donno,” Vragon replied, enjoying lying down on the couch. “Seventy,” he said, rolling far enough that he plopped onto the floor on his stomach. “Why don’t I feel so….great?”

                      “Here,” a voice said picking Vragon up.

                      Oh no, Dolly screamed in her mind at seeing Ciecro lift Vragon up by his head spike and pour another dessert or at least trying to. However, this more or less made a mess on Vragon’s face, who didn’t seem bothered, licking his snout as if he was just given a dunk in some moomoo milk.

                      “Dis’ll make yahs feels betteh’….eh,” Ciecro wobbled a little as he moved his hand over to another. “I’ll have anoder.”

                      Dolly quickly smacked his hand away from getting another one. “No Ciecro,” she firmly stated making Ciecro grunt.

                      “But I’m tirsty,” he argued, “See how dry my troat is?” He opened his mouth and shoved it near Dolly’s face, who quickly shut it before she could smell.

                      “No means no Ciecro,” she said, patting the grumbling charmeleon on the head. “Now, what are the other tw-”

                      “Sticks!!!” a loud shout came as Seliph stood in his side of the couch pointing upwards or at least trying to with a wobbly arm.

                      “Sticks?” Swift repeated, finally mustering the will to help Dolly.

                      “Yes, Sticks.” Seliph started but let out a hiccup before he could explain. “’Xscuse me…anybays….Sticks!!!”

                      “What is Sticks?” Swift asked, moving his arms behind his head and leaning over a little to the side in his signature stance.

                      “Sticks is a-” Seliph quickly took a second to cough in his arm before continuing to not be rude. “It’s a fun game. You see, everyone gets what we call a stick….and each stank has a numer on it but one. That stick holder becomes the-…oh wait…” he hit his head with a little pat that almost knocked him off balance. “Silly me, it’s not called sticks,” he blew a raspberry to make fun of how he messed up, making a nearby Garon laugh.

                      “No, no,” the large dragon corrected sitting up, “It’s called, ‘king’s game’.”

                      “That’s it,” Seliph congratulated, pointing to Garon. “Thanks for the help. Just for that, here.” Seliph handed another dessert to Garon.

                      Garon took it as one would take a trophy. “Here Swift,” Garon cheerfully gurgled, trying not to spill the drink as he offered it to Swift.

                      “Aheh, thanks but I’ve had my fill.” He moved his hand to push it back slowly with a grin, attempting to keep it steady.

                      “Awwwww…okay.” Garon lifted it to his mouth, jugged it down in one go before letting out a big hiccup afterward, and a content face with his tongue hanging out on the side and his eyes bubbly. “That’s goooooooood,” he goofily said.

                      Swift was having a hard time not laughing at this cute but honestly messed up scene of his friend right now. “So.” Swift turned to Seliph. “What’s this king’s game?”

                      “Swift!” Dolly shouted as if Swift had just spoiled the answer to the question Dolly had just asked. Swift realized his mistake quickly but not quick enough to not earn Dolly’s ‘way to go dumbass’ face as she kept trying to keep the youngest two from deliberately falling over.

                      “Well ahem,” Seliph started, putting his arm on Swift’s shoulder or at least if his head was where the shoulder was. In vivid and hard to understand words, Seliph described the rules to the group while leaning on an irritated but coping Swift. “You see…you got these sticks and each one of ‘em has a number on it. The stick you pull is your stick…anyways, one stick…happens to be a special stick. You know why?” Seliph gave Dolly a look, eyes straying off as his head had trouble staying focused in Dolly’s direction.

                      She gave a big sigh as she pinned Jaron on the couch making him give a giggle with a little "hic" and in a clearly impatient tone said, “No Seliph, I have no clue why.”

                      Swift took the chance to move Seliph’s arm on the side of the couch and quickly go after Garon, who was currently leaving in very off balanced stride. “Good grief,” he whispered aloud as he headed out of the room.

                      Seliph didn’t seem to notice the change and continued. “’Nyways, the person with that special stick gets to be the big sssssstick. Now *hic* the big stick gets to choose another stick with a number on it but before the big stick picks a number stick, they need to say something that the number stick would have to do.” He gave a rather disturbing smile as he wobbled a little using the couch side for balance. “Thank you Swift,” he nodded to it, “Heh, whatever the big stick commands the little stick has to do….heheh, no matter how crazyishy like it is.” He waved out his arms in an emphatic manner and accidentally hit the side of the couch. “Huh? Oh sorry, Swift…” he peered closer at it as if he was staring far into a horizon to spot something. “You aren’t Swift…pffft you’re a couch.”

                      Dolly face-palmed and dragged it down her face as she screamed in her head. She quickly and with more force pushed Vragon back on right and was about to get Jaron, who was going for another floor dive, but was saved the trouble by a helping paw from Jasmine.

                      “Need a paw?” Jasmine said, a little grin in her eyes. Sadly for her, Dolly wasn’t in the mood for smiling.

                      “Just help me keep these guys up please.”

                      “Sure,” Jasmine gave an understanding nod and proceeded to hold Jaron in place on the couch.

                      Jaron’s woozy eye’s slowly picked up on Jasmine and he gave a little hic chuckle. “Oh, hey there Jazzzzzz…z. You goin’ to play too?”

                      “Play?”

                      “Yeah, ‘King’s sticks’ or was it ‘game stings’?” Jaron nudged Vragon, who was enjoying being held up by Dolly. “Hey, what was it called again?”

                      “I went to the library Dolly and would yah bulllieved we got wet on the way back? But not like slow kind…no, we raced back. I was riding on Sel’s back and…” Vragon mumbled, too disorganized to answer Jaron’s question, annoying the croconaw.

                      “Pfft, well screw you then Vee.” Jaron stuck his tongue out at Vragon, who was still doing an attempted retelling of his day. “Well, Jasmine sorry, I can…no wait, cannot confirm the name since Vee’s being a child.” Jaron patted her on the head. “Please, forgive him J-Jabsol.”

                      “I’ll consider it,” Jasmine answered with a giggle. As messed up at this was, she though Jaron being completely wasted gave the funniest facial expressions she had ever seen.

                      “I’ve got sticks!!!” Garon roared with a smile as he came in holding a dark colored jar with eight sticks in them. He planted them firmly on the table. “Alright, everybody take your stick and don’t reveal it…because that’s against the rulings.”

                      The five intoxicated ones grabbed theirs quickly. “Come on, yah six,” Ciecro uttered, dizzy and trying to hide his stick from a peeping Seliph, “get wan.”

                      The three looked at the jar and Jasmine asked. “Do we really have to play along?”

                      Dolly grumbled, “Yes, better five happy drunks than five bored ones. Look, it shouldn’t be long before they crash, and then we can get all of us out of here without too much hassle and more importantly, damage.” Dolly then gave Swift a stare, “But really? Why did you have to help him get those Swift?”

                      Swift crossed his arms and turned to the side in a huff. “Better than Garon poking his eye out trying to get them,” he defended, leading Dolly to let out a sigh and lax her arms.

                      She finally pulled herself up and picked up the bottle with the remaining sticks. “Let’s just get this over with and then head home.” They each took the last three and sat in their respective spots.

                      “Alright!” Garon shouted.

                      “Indoor voice!” Swift commanded, having to cover his ears from the loudness of this attention grabber.

                      “I am using it!” Garon roared even louder at the audacity of Swift to interrupt the one running the game.

                      “He is Swift,” Seliph assured Swift, patting the poor guy on his head an action that was pissing the heliolisk off with every pat.

                      “Now!” Garon paused and then said the words, “Who has the blue tipped stick?”

                      Everyone looked around to see who till Vragon got up, firmly planted his foot on the table causing a little shake, threw his stick in the air, swung to catch it in its descent with his other hand, and gave a wink to Garon saying, “I be that guy.”

                      All the strength Jasmine had mustered to not laugh fell in that one second. She buried her head into the coach laughing her head off, while Jaron looked at her completely lost at to what she was laughing at.

                      Ciecro rolled his eyes and grumbled, “I coul’ do betteh.”

                      “Oh yeah,” Vragon snarled, raising his snout up in condescension.

                      “Oh yeh I can punk!” he snarled back about to stand up till Dolly got up and kept him down with her hand on his head.

                      “Now, now, let’s not fight. Go on Garon.”

                      “Right,” Garon answered, “So Vragon, what does the person you’ll pick be doin’?” A little hiccup came at the end that made Swift giggle a little.

                      Vragon curled into a sophisticated thinking position with a mischievous grin etched on his face.

                      We’re doomed, Jasmine thought. He’s in his mulling pose with that grin. He’s going to try and make it something bad with all that stuff in him, it’ll be ten times worse.

                      Finally, Vragon took his foot off the table and with a clearing of his throat said, “The one that has the correct stick has to let me slug them.”

                      Immediately Dolly protested. “Hang on a minut-”

                      “Nope, nope, that’s purefeckly legill,” Seliph interrupted pointing it out while pointing a finger to at least everything in front of him for at least two seconds each.

                      “Bu-…” Dolly gave a sigh and sat down. She looked at her numbered stick. Please Vray, pick me. She looked at Vragon, who was contemplating a number. You can do this. Number five. Please.

                      “hmmmmm….I choose, nuuuuumber two.”

                      Dolly facepalmed. You had one job! She gave a growl as she looked to see who the unlucky soul was. No one got up.

                      “Huh?” Vragon scratched his head, confused. “Is there no one with two?”

                      Garon gave a cough and said, “Look at yer numbers….again.” Everyone did and once again no one got up. “Oh come on!” the dragon shouted, “Somebody has to be two!” He got up and started to peer at the sticks until he finally found it. “Ciecro!” he barked, “you’re number two.”

                      “Naw, I’m five,” he retorted, getting all flustered at the insistence that he was incorrect.

                      Good Lord, Dolly moaned in her head. “Ciecro,” she said leaning in closer and showing him hers. “I have the number five. You have a two.”

                      Ciecro raised his brow and gave a “huh?” He looked at it again and after three minutes of gazing at it said. “Heh, whaddya know, I’m two….sh** I’m two.” He grumbled as Vragon giggled, happy he had picked a good one. Reluctantly, he stood up and walked in front of Vragon. “Well…go ahead. Jus’ make it count squiht.”

                      Vragon stepped one leg back and started rolling up a wind up as Ciecro braced for it.

                      Oh dear, Dolly groaned in her head as she closed her eyes to not see it. Please don’t start a fight, please don’t start a- The sound of a punch was heard followed by Ciecro hitting the floor.

                      “Howas that Cicero.”

                      Ciecro rubbed his jaw with strangely a grin. “Not bad squiht. Not bad.” The two chuckled and the three sane ones gave a breath of relief. At least until Garon shouted again for everyone to return their sticks for redraw. Once again, the group drew a stick and waited to see who was the new king.

                      Please be somebody sensible. Dolly muttered in her head as her scowl gazed upon the number three stick she possessed.

                      “Alright, who has the special stick‽” Garon announced only to give a big smirk. “Hah! Too bad, because I have it.” He tossed his special stick on the table and gave the jerkiest smug grin, enough to make Swift grin a little at how proud Garon was to win. “Anyways,” he was forced to stop from a cough and resumed, “Anyways, the one who gets picked will have to sit on my lap for at least…” he pounded his chest as a big cough let out, “’xcuse me. Ahem, has to sit on my lap for at least thirty seconds. The nummmmmmber is…three.”

                      Dolly’s heart sank. Why today? She gave a snarl as she stood up grumbling.

                      “Oooooh, it’s Dolly heh, heh,” Ciecro jested with a smirking.

                      Dolly gave him a stare and said, “If anyone laughs while I’m still on him, they get a hashing from me.” She walked over and awkwardly sat on Garon’s waiting widespread lap. It wasn’t easy considering she was at least wider than Garon despite him being taller but the dragon managed to make enough room. Dolly sat there sulking, with the rest of the kids trying their best not to laugh, Jasmine included in that.

                      “Yah no,” Seliph began with a little burp, “you can get a better sitting if yah scooch up.”

                      Dolly gave him the death stare but the booze was too effective for him to care. She let out an annoyed sigh and waited till her time was up and sat back down. Once she did, everyone started laughing now that they were allowed to making Dolly blush with embarrassment and rubbing her arm. “Yeah, yeah,” she stated, “redraw.” I’m going to get it and when I do.

                      Once more the group drew sticks. “Who won?” Garon asked, with a yawn afterwards.

                      “Heh,” Ciecro revealed his. “An’ frankly.” he leaned back in his couch, tapped the end of his snout on the top and with a smug grin said, “Numbeh one, give dat a nice smooch.”

                      Jasmine gave a sigh with a smile, thankful she wasn’t the one. She was smiling even more upon seeing a grumbling Swift get up. “Poor guy,” Jasmine whispered to Dolly.

                      “Poor me,” Dolly replied back. But she gave a little grin and said, “But yeah, this is going to be awkward.” They giggled as Swift stood in front, Ciecro leaning forwards so Swift could reach it.

                      Swift took a step back and looked at Garon. “…Do I really have to-”

                      “Yes!” Garon shouted, equally waiting to see it.

                      Swift gave a very, very disapproving growl and slowly leaned in and gave it a little peck with his eyes closed. “There…now can we go home now?”

                      “One more,” Garon asked.

                      “Yeah, at least one more,” Jaron added, yawning too. “Though it’ll have to end because damn I’m sleepy.”

                      Sugar crash no doubt. Dolly thought as the group reset. “I’ll mix it up,” Dolly offered and started mixing it. Finally, she allowed everyone to draw sticks and leaned back with a big grin on her face.

                      “Alright, who has it?” Garon asked, looking around.

                      Dolly, with a smug that was even bigger than Garon’s prior, held up hers. All eyes went on her. Dolly leaned in to ask Jasmine something.

                      Jasmine gave her a big eye stare till she grinned and whispered something back.

                      Dolly sat back. “The person that is selected has to stand on their head for a full five minutes.” The group went serious as Dolly looked at each and every one of them. “And that person is…number two.”

                      “FU**!!!!!!” Garon roared slamming his stick at the ground, making the sweet revenge for Dolly all the sweeter.

                      “Get to it hun,” she cheerfully ordered, gesturing her hand to shoo him to a wall to use for balance. As Garon grumpily obeyed she stood up and said, “Now the rest of us need to clean this mess up and head back home.”

                      “Awww, but I wanna do one mar,” Vragon complained.

                      Dolly leaned her head near Vragon’s, stared into his eyes and said. “Can you see my eyes?” He nodded and she activated her death stare. Vragon shrank back into his chair and nodded in obedience. “Good.” Dolly smiled and patted him on the head. “Alright gang,” Dolly announced as she stood up, “let’s start cleaning up.” Dolly looked over at Garon, who was having trouble staying on his head for even twenty seconds thanks to all the booze he had. “Oh, and by five minutes, I mean all in one sitting or head standing.” She let out a little Dolly chuckle as Garon groaned.
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                      Old 6 Days Ago (7:08 PM).
                      Bay's Avatar
                      Bay Bay is offline
                      Darkinium Z
                       
                      Join Date: May 2006
                      Location: Dani California
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                      Posts: 5,469
                      Oof Demetri almost getting killed by Armad there. Seems that "red eyes" virus or whatever is getting more aggressive.

                      Oh dear at everyone getting drunk. Part of me wonders if there's a drinking age for Pokemon in your world lol. Dolly on Garon's lap is a bit uncomfortable to me due to talks of harassment on women as of late, so those type of scenes I take seriously. At least she gets her revenge at the end, which he deserves hah.
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                      Foul Play [Chapter Six up!]
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                      Old 1 Day Ago (3:28 PM).
                      Vragon2.0's Avatar
                      Vragon2.0 Vragon2.0 is online now
                      Say it with me (Vray-gun)
                         
                        Join Date: Mar 2018
                        Gender: Male
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                        Contains: Language, Choking [14]
                        Chapter 33
                        Friction (Forlorn)


                        “Jaron? Come on wake up already.” Something nudged the tired croconaw’s cheek, like the blunt part of a finger pressing harder and harder with each press.

                        Jaron slowly started to open his eyes. “Ugh, what?” Jaron asked, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. “What is it Vra-…?” Strangely, there was no one there. Jaron looked around the room; nothing seemed out of the ordinary. A confused expression crossed his face. “Vray,” he started as he got up, “Come on, don’t try and joke with me.” Stepping his way into the hallway, Jaron looked down both paths. There was nothing but the empty hallways to greet him. “Did I…imagine him doing that?” Jaron looked back at the bed, unsure. “But he poked my cheek and that was his voice…what’s going on?”

                        A yawn escaped his mouth. “Well, for one thing, I’m tired and hungry. I guess I should find out if the other’s ar-” before he could finish the question, he had noticed the answer. Every door down the hallway was open. A little eerie feeling crept on Jaron’s spine as he walked over to the room Vragon was staying. Vray?

                        He looked inside, only to see the bed empty but made up. That’s like Vray and Ciecro’s bed in my room was still messy. He leaned on the hallway to ponder. I should find the others. He rushed to the stairs, wanting to quell this feeling as soon as possible. However, what he found didn’t make it go away. In fact, the scene of an empty lobby with the door to the outside open only made the feeling shoot up more. “Huh?” he slowly walked down the stairs, trying to spot any kind of movement. The heart in his chest started pounding faster, his steps down started to pick up, his need to spot something the feeling of concern started to creep up more. “Dolly? Vray? Bro?” he looked around the lodge. No trace of them or of anyone.

                        He looked at the light coming through the door and dashed through it. The streets were empty, not even the wind populated the empty space. Jaron started to breathe heavy and quick. Something inside him started creeping up as he started to shake. “Where? Guys, Where are you‽” he shouted but no answer came. He dashed down looking for someone, anyone.

                        After tiring himself out, he stopped at the fountain in the southern part of Frantal Town to catch his breath. “What was going on?” he said, panting and looking around frantically. He turned his gaze to the still water, seeing his freaking out face and breathing reflected by the water’s surface. Suddenly, he froze as some shadow appeared behind him. He turned around but was shoved before he could see. He hit the water of the fountain, causing it to splash around. Before he had time to get up, two claws gripped his neck and shoved his head back under the water. He struggled to get his neck free, though his own hands were unable to pry off the large, haxorus ones. Looking up from the water, he could see the image of what looked like that haxorus from before, Trishula.

                        The red eyes of the haxorus leered at him, wavy in design due to the stirred up water. Jaron struggled, slowly beginning to flail desperately to get a breath. His eyes slowly started to close as the dragon moved his head into the water as well, his mouth making movements that said the word, “Alone”.

                        In one last push, Jaron mustered all his strength to shoot forwards and grab the haxorus but to his surprise what he grabbed was the air after sitting up from his bed. He looked around quickly, overwhelmed at the change in scenery. Suddenly, he noticed Ciecro was lying in his bed snoozing. “Ciecro!” he shouted with happiness before covering his mouth at noticing Ciecro was still sleeping.

                        Sadly, it was loud enough to make Ciecro instantly wake up, ready for a fight. Though, nothing readied Ciecro for the sudden shoot of a headache pain that surged. He held his head in moaning as he rolled off the bed onto the floor growling and saying whatever came to mind as he gripped his head. “Where did dis headache come from‽” he ranted as Jaron watched still processing what had just happened.



                        “So, if you could just do me a favor you two and not speak or joke of last night, I’d really appreciate it.” Dolly asked as she, Jasmine, and Swift sat at a small table, partaking in an early breakfast."

                        “Sure,” Swift said, leaning in to get another one. “I mean, do you know how Garon would feel if he knew he made that dare. Heh, he’d be regigigas levels of embarrassed and would probably be apologizing to you every minute for weeks.”

                        Dolly gave a little chuckle as she sipped from her tea. “Well, don’t worry Swift, I don’t hold it against him. Hardly anyone is ever perfect when drunk, even a docile one like Garon and well it was my fault he got his first, so it would be unfair to hold him to that.” Swift gave a grateful nod. “Besides,” Dolly continued, “we’ll have five sets o-”

                        “Dolly!” the voice of an annoyed Vragon sounded as he entered the area. He didn’t care who looked at him from the noise since he was too busy holding his head in one hand because of a migraine. “Dolly, my head feels like it’s hitting itself on a wall,” he described as he sat down with the group, still holding his crown and rubbing it.

                        “Well, here.” Dolly handed him some lum berry muffin, which he quickly scarfed down.

                        “It’s still hurting,” he complained.

                        “Well yes, it’s a headache. Lum berries heal ailments, but for something like a headache it’ll take a little time and more than just one.” She patted him on the shoulder. “So feel free to dig in.”

                        “Had a good rest?” Swift asked, sipping his drink as he watched Vragon putting three muffins on his plate.

                        “Sort of. It was weird, like…I imagined I was walking home with all of you from somewhere…but I don’t remember what it was just that I felt lightheaded and rather…odd.”

                        “Do tell,” Swift asked, sipping out of his drink to hide his little smile.

                        Vragon was about to, till someone else entered holding their head and moaning. “Ugh, Swift.” Garon walked over, hunched with his talons on his head. “Did something happen last night? I have this terrible headache and can’t remember what happened.” He sat down on the biggest one of the sitting stools, grumbling as he rubbed his head.

                        “There, there big guy,” Swift stated, patting Garon on the arm. “I’m sure it’ll go away soon. Till then, have a lum berry muffin.” The heliolisk reached in the pile and handed him one. “Lum berries help ailments so maybe it can help make it stop sooner.”

                        Garon didn’t hesitate upon hearing this information. He proceeded to eat the first one in one huge bite and go for another muffin victim.

                        That’s two. So just one more. Dolly took a sip of her drink as she looked at the entrance to the little bar area of the lobby. It’s taking those two a while. Maybe they’re still asleep. She turned to Jasmine and asked, “Hey, you mind checking on the others?”

                        Jasmine nodded and got up to go. Right as she turns the corner, her eyes widened and she started to focus on holding in a laugh.

                        Curious as to what it was, Dolly got up as well and walked over. Indeed, she soon was under the same fate Jasmine was, for around the corner were Ciecro and Jaron, practically crawling down the stairs with headaches and grumbling. Finally, Dolly’s better nature got the better of her and she went over to help them up. “You boys okay?” she asked.

                        “I feel like I was run over by a mamoswine in my sleep and all he hit was my head,” Jaron stated, a bit disoriented once on his feet.

                        “I feel like my head wanna break apaht,” Ciecro growled as he pushes his on a wall to keep it holding together.

                        “Well come on boys, let’s get you both some tasty muffins that’ll help your headaches.” They both gave moaning thanks as she helped them over.

                        Jasmine looked up the stairs and with a sigh went to check on Seliph. She calmly went to his door and knocked on it with her paw. “You up Seliph?” she asked. No reply. She then nudged the door and it slightly opened, revealing what looked like a little mess. Opening the door further, Jasmine looked at what looked like was the result of a tornado in a paper study. Notes and scribbles were scattered all over the place and Seliph lay passed out on the floor, snoozing. Jasmine gave a little giggle but stopped.

                        Something crept in her head. A feeling. She carefully tip-toed into the room and looked around. Spying a little pile of notes near Seliph, she moved nearer to investigate. The papers seemed to be covering something, something that was giving some odd feeling. Jasmine moved the papers off. She gave a gasp upon seeing a vial with red liquid in it. At first, she backed away, surprised at this revelation but slowly she started gaining curiosity. What is that? She said in her head as she moved closer. Cautiously, she reached her paw out to touch it, her eyes mesmerized by the red liquid’s odd, inviting gaze.

                        “Don’t,” a voice shouted, as Seliph snatched the vial from its spot. Jasmine jumped back as he stood up, looking at her with contempt that felt so icy. “What are you doing in here?” he demanded.

                        “Oh, I was uhm…I was supposed to get you for break-”

                        “Then knock next time!” A pissed off Seliph shoved the vial into a drawer but not before doing something in there that sounded like a lock “click”. Jasmine felt ashamed at having snuck in and remorsefully dragged herself out as Seliph watched her leave. Hmph, guess I need to be even more careful. Seliph grumbled as he looked at the drawer. I also need to get that fraxure to try and heal. The greninja walked over to the drawer and slowly opened it, enough so that he could see the resting place of the box containing the vial. Hmm… Seliph looked back at his open door then back to the drawer several times before forming a scowl. Fine, I suppose it’d be better if I made this safer. I’ll get that done after a break- WHAT THE HECK!!! He grabbed his head as a strange pain suddenly surged. The hangover had struck.


                        < O >


                        “Ugh is this really necessary?” Vex complained as he and Siegfried leaned on the walls of an ally. “You’d think an expert tracker would be doing that instead of well…acting.”

                        “Acting in a manner to obtain information,” Siegfried corrected and Vex rolled his eyes.

                        “I’m just saying. I’m fine with that freak doing all the work for us but do we have to literally wait for him to come back and just sit tight? Psyduck that.” Vex folded his arms and tightened his curling on the wall, annoyed and frustrated.

                        “Still, best not get on his bad side.” Siegfried’s head fell as he started thinking. There was silence for a while before Siegfried spoke again. “Hey, uhm…Vex.”

                        “Yeah?”

                        “What do … what do you think they’ll make us do if we well … succeed?”

                        Vex got off the wall and with a little grumble said, “Who cares? Siegfried, what’s gotten into you?” The ghost floated up and moved his head closer to Siegfried’s “trying to avoid eye contact one”. “I told you, we don’t have nothing to worry about but you keep on asking me and speculating about muk they divvy out.”

                        “I mean, isn’t it right to be concerned at what they may make us do?” Siegfried stated, rather defensively.

                        “What’s gotten into you?” Vex asked, floating to the wall. “You’ve been acting like this ever since you got back from obtaining information regarding Seliph. That was good, we got knowledge of-”

                        Siegfried interrupted with a big sigh, “Look, it’s just on my mind okay.”

                        Vex’s eyes narrowed. “Siegfried,” Vex said slowly and calmly, “did something…happen when you went out to get information?”

                        The gallade looked away and firmly said, “No.”

                        “Well if it was nothing then why are you going all speculative and in the way that bodes worry.” Vex floated in front of Siegfried and asked, “Come on, something is up with you.”

                        Siegfried gave a sigh. “Well, Vex-”

                        “I’m back!” Plageues announced, startling the two as he walked into the ally in the form of a ranger of the town. “What? It’s me, you know, Plageues.” The ranger slowly morphed till the illusion was pulled away showing the dark smirking zoroark.

                        The two gave an annoyed sigh, slightly relieved it was Plageues and getting tired since its Plageues.

                        The zoroark gave a little chuckle. “Well, if you both are done recuperating yourselves, I’ve found a lead for us.” The dark type started heading down the ally.

                        “A lead?” Vex inquired, floating up to the leader.

                        “Yes. After doing some digging and what you,” he glanced at Siegfried for emphasis, “told me about the information you found about Seliph, I was able to find a link to them.”

                        “Huh?” Siegfried joined the two. “What link?”

                        “Well, I discovered those two siblings of Seliph are pre-rangers of Perion Town. I got all data regarding them and well they haven’t checked back in. Meaning they aren’t back in Perion and likely that makes sense with Seliph.” The zoroark gave a big smug grin as the two looked at him not exactly sharing in the optimism.

                        “Okay, but that’s just one town. What good does that do u-”

                        Siegfried was cut short as Plageues moved a finger to the gallade’s mouth and gave a hushing sound. “Now, now, let me finish.” The zoroark removed his finger with a condescending grin, pissing Siegfried off despite not showing it. “Now, I also found out they have a peer in the ranger force that they often hang out with. The absol you two mentioned. Her name is ‘Jasmine Morteaih’.”

                        “Mortieih?” Vex repeated. “Huh, so that’s the last name. But how does tha-”

                        Plageues gave him a “really…” stare, leading to Vex to zip it and let him finish. “Well, the last name ‘Morteaih’ is the same as someone mentioned in records to a ‘Dolly Morteaih’ and well, she happens to be a kangaskhan. The only one in Perion Town. From there, I did some more info digging and from that found some interesting things.”

                        “What things?” Siegfried inquired.

                        “Simple, I believe they are in Frantal Town.” The zoroark gave a dark grin as the two looked at each other.

                        “What makes you say that?” Vex asked, not sure how he came to such a conclusion.

                        “Well, that’s where I think they are from what I gathered on their members and their things,” Plageues admitted but then gave a big grin. “But that doesn’t matter.” The two grunts looked at Plageues as the zoroark walked in front and turned around. “I don’t need to find them. I know that now.”

                        “Huh?” the two said.

                        “In fact, all I need is a specific destination. It’s simple really, think about it how Seliph would.” Plageues moved a finger to between his eyes, cocked his head a little upwards, leaned back slightly, and closed his eyes. He then explained in a rather inquisitive tone, “He has the formula and knows we are aware of that. He also is clearly after information regarding us and currently has with him a potential target. It’s rather simple to think he is trying to-” Plageues gestured to the two, wanting them to guess.

                        Siegfried rolled his eyes and said, “I don’t know, enlighten me.” He crossed his arms and gave a scowl.

                        “Awww, you’re no fun,” Plageues sarcastically sulked. “He’d want to know why we are after the fraxure especially if the target is linked to his siblings. Ergo, he will figure out he is potentially Aegis’s vessel. With that knowledge known, Seliph will resort to doing something very problematic for us, or at least he thinks would.”

                        “And what is that?” Vex asked, getting rather curious.

                        “He’ll try and get him and his siblings safe as well as the target. But not simply having guards or what have you. In short, likely, he’ll try and aim to leave Triacal.”

                        The two looked at each other with concern, but Plageues broke his pose and with a dark smile said. “Exactly why I know what we need to do. He’ll head for a port town and likely will be coming from one of the nearby towns. So…we’ll be waiting right here for them to get near and ambush them.”

                        “And what’s the point of that?” Siegfried interjected, foreseeing a problem with the plan. “Considering we don’t have any tracking for them. How could we know where they’re coming from let alone when?”

                        Plageues gave a dark grin. “Didn’t I already tell you, I believe they are in Frantal Town?” Plageues turned around and rested his chin on his knuckle while propping his elbow on the other arm. “And since Armád is in Frantal, I’ll have him check for me. Meanwhile, I’ve contacted some backup and they’ll be joining us soon. In essence.” Slowly, Plageues turned around as his tone grew lower and darker. “We won’t have to find them when I can easily predict where they’ll go.” The two tensed up a little, earning a dark laugh from Plageues. “Do you two know anything about tracking?” Plageues mocked, “Even if you find where they are, they can still run away. It’s better to see where they are going and prepare for wherever they likely will go. And trust me, I wouldn’t be merely guessing this when Seliph and his siblings are on the line.” He licked his chops as he looked up at the sky. “Time to fulfill my statement I made.”


                        < O >


                        Vragon sat in his room going over some notes he had taken from the library. Despite the usefulness of the search, it seemed that this “data” he had gathered was more guesswork than any ground. It wasn’t fun going through the notes, trying to get some sort of logical or reasonable connection why he had his pendant, which currently rested on the desk unobscured by the notes.

                        After essentially wasting the midday on this, he slouched back in his chair, defeated and still no closer to figuring out anything. A sad moan escaped his mouth as he blankly stared up at the ceiling. I’m never going to find anything about where I come from aren’t I? he groaned in his head.

                        His mood and posture picked up when a knock came from his door. “Yes?” he asked, standing up out of his chair.

                        “It’s me, Seliph.”

                        “Oh, come in.” The fraxure started fiddling with his notes to make them more orderly as Seliph entered the room.

                        “Any luck,” the greninja inquired, shutting the door behind him.

                        Vragon stopped and gave a sigh. “Not really,” he admitted, turning to face the greninja with his droopy expression. “I’ve spent since my headache went away to try and find something but I still couldn’t.” The fraxure looked over at his pendant.

                        “I see…” Seliph said, walking next to Vragon to look at the pendant. “Hmm…it’s very intriguing, that pendant.”

                        “Well, it’s the only real clue I have to where I originate from.” Vragon gave a little sigh as he took it in his hands and put it on his neck. “But so far, even this clue has run up dry. I just can’t understand why I, an Averion fraxure, would have this pendant from what all I can guess is continents away.”

                        “Well, I’m sure there’s some reason.” Seliph faced Vragon and with a smile tried to cheer him up. “I have no doubt you’ll figure it out.” Vragon gave no more reply than a nod as Seliph looked at the notes Vragon had filed on the desk. “Say, Vragon,” Seliph began, his tone being very friendly, “can I ask you something?”

                        The fraxure looked up at him as Seliph walked over to the window. “I’ve been doing some research and frankly I found something potentially useful.”

                        “What exactly?”

                        “Well, you’re curious as to why you have something from legendaries yet being Averion while at the same time being here in Triacal and I think that could be traced.” Vragon tilted his head a little unsure what he meant, leading Seliph to elaborate further. “Well, think about it. You’re an averion so you must have some genetic code passed down from your parents, correct?”

                        “That is how genetics work,” Vragon answered a little annoyed at the question asked.

                        Seliph gave a little chuckle. “Yes, however, do you know how ‘gifts’ are passed in heredity?”

                        “Is there a difference?” Vragon inquired, looking up at him with newly found attention.

                        “Not entirely, but it is possible to acquire a genetic code in your gift that isn’t inherently from your parents or really your grandparents either. Gift inheritance commonly comes from what we all say is a random gene.” Vragon sat down to listen more intently. “You see, there are a few classifications of gift classes and these are all derived from gene base. Essentially, any gift can fit in these categories. These gifts also play a part in dominance in different clans. Like, Norfarions for example; we have gifts that mostly affect us and our mannerisms, hence why most Norfarions have what are considered gifts in the ‘blood’ class. There are after all three more classes. You do know them, correct?”

                        Vragon thought for a second. “Hmm…well aside blood, there’s ‘linkage’ for ones that are used in transferring synergy, there’s ‘astral’ that’s more related to more information and synergetic methods for detection, and ‘arcane’ that doesn’t really fit in any of the other three or has attributes of more than the three, right.”

                        “Correct, good to know you read a lot.” Seliph sat on the lodge’s bed and looked at Vragon. “What if I were to say that depending on the gift you have, we could denote a good idea if you are native to Averia or somewhere else.”

                        “How?” Vragon asked, leaning forwards with more interest.

                        “It’s simple really. If you have a gift that’s in the ‘arcane’ class, it means more than likely it was influenced by someone that isn’t in the clans. So, what is your gift Vragon?”

                        The fraxure looked down and started to twiddle his thumbs. “Well…” he fumbled a little, “I don’t know what it’s called or even is. All I know is that it’s supposed to heal wounds, maybe more.” Vragon looked at Seliph feeling bad that he didn’t know more.

                        “Well, can you give me a demonstration?”

                        Vragon paused and looked to the side with a little nervous smile on his face. “Well, my gift requires well…some kind of injury.”

                        “Ah, that’s fine.” Seliph got up, getting Vragon’s attention. He formed a little night slash in his left hand and nicked his right hand a little, drawing a little bit of blood. This action startled Vragon but Seliph just smiled as he walked over. “Heh, a little cut won’t hurt me. Go on, I want to see it.” He offered his right hand to Vragon, moving the cut wound to face up as if asking for healing.

                        Vragon looked at it for a second before cupping the hand with his left and putting a finger from his right on it. A faint yellow light glowed as the wound started to heal itself.

                        Seliph was rather amazed at this but more of what this meant. Once it was finished, Vragon let go of his hand. “That was very cool. Thank you.” Seliph gave him a smile, which made Vragon smile back, albeit a little embarrassed. “Well, I’ll put this knowledge to good use.” Seliph shook Vragon’s hand and turned to leave. Suddenly he stopped. Vragon turned to look at him, but Seliph was too busy in thought. Should…I tell him?

                        “Something wrong Seliph?” Vragon asked, turning around in his seat with a little worry.

                        Seliph’s eyes lowered and then looked at Vragon. He gave him a little smile and said, “Nothing. Don’t worry.” Seliph then left the room, leaving Vragon at a loss to what Seliph meant.



                        “Settle down Jaron,” Dolly asked to fidgety croconaw.

                        “I’m sorry, I can’t help it,” Jaron said, giving her a grin. “It’s been some time since we talked with aunt Dresha. It’d just be nice to hear her voice again and all.”
                        “Ye,” Ciecro said across from them. “Good ting dah rangeh’s here are settin’ it up.”

                        Dolly looked at the two with inner happiness. It’s good to see them looking forward to talking to her and well…not being under the influence. She sighed as she leaned back into her chair. She looked up at the ceiling. It’d be nice to speak with her again too.


                        ( O )


                        It was a sunny afternoon on the hills outside Perion. The flowers were blooming from the weather of spring and the wind was blowing gentle like. On the grass walked two mons. Dolly looked around, just taking in the air around her and the nice warmth of the sun.

                        She gave a pleased exhale as she folded her arms behind her back. “Isn’t it a lovely day, Jasmine? It’s good to get out of my stuffy little diner and all.”

                        “It’s not stuffy, miss Morteaih,” Jasmine replied in a rather soft and nervous tone.

                        Dolly detected something was off. “Jasmine,” she said with a little teasing grin on her face. “You only ever call me formally when something is making you nervous.”

                        Jasmine gave a sigh and looked at Dolly, “Do we really have to do this?”

                        “Why not?” Dolly said, stopping and crossing her arms. “I mean, they’re nice boys and since you already are applying to be a pre-ranger you could give some good advice.”

                        “I know, I know,” Jasmine clarified as she sat and looked at Dolly, “but…I dunno, they…”

                        Dolly gave a little giggle. “Come now Jasmine, what would be the trouble? I’m here so it’s not like that boy…hmm…Ciecro I think, would do much.”

                        “Easy for you to say.” Jasmine sighed and looked back at the town.

                        Dolly walked over and patted Jasmine on the head, much to her annoyance. “Don’t worry Jasmine. I know you still feel bad.” Dolly’s patting turned to a gentle rub as her face transitioned to sympathy. “But, you had to leave and all. Your twin sisters are doing fine from what I hear and-”

                        “Dolly,” Jasmine looked up to her. “I just…”

                        Dolly gave her neck a little hug. “It’s alright. We make mistakes when we’re young.”

                        A few tears rolled down Jasmine’s cheeks as she looked down. “I should have…brought them too. They would have loved you. Tifa and Rue. But no, I had to think for myself…” a little sniffle escaped Jasmine as she moved to use her paws to wipe the tears.

                        “I know hun.” Dolly let go and looked into her green eyes with her brown ones. “You were scared. You didn’t even know you would get away let alone with two twins that were very young. I mean,” Dolly stood up and walked a little up a small hill slope, “I found you on a slope like this one.” She stomped for reference, “You were famished. Had no items on you. And Jaz, I had half a mind to think you had some form of illness with how bad you looked.”

                        “Well…” Jasmine gave a little chuckle, “Traveling a few days like that would make anyone look bad.”

                        Dolly and Jasmine shared a little laugh as Dolly walked over. “Maybe…but, I’m glad I got to know you, Jasmine.” Dolly brushed a little of Jasmine’s fur. “I have to say…you’ve given me something to look forward to when I close shop and all. I’m so proud you made it into the rangers program. And well...” Dolly looked to the side with a little sniffle as Jasmine cocked her head.

                        “Well what?” she asked, getting a little curious.

                        “Oh nothing,” Dolly said, wiping her eyes a little. “Anyways,” she said with sudden positivity, “Let’s go meet those two boys.”

                        Jasmine gave a sigh. Never change. She got up and followed Dolly up to a small house next to a little pond. Jasmine watched as Dolly gave a cough and knocked on the door.

                        A voice beckoned them to enter and Dolly opened the door. “Come on Jasmine,” she said as she started to descend the stairs with Jasmine following close behind. To greet them was a nice little table with Miss Dresha at the water end motioning them to have a seat.

                        “Thank you, miss.” Dolly took her seat as did Jasmine.

                        “Oh my,” Dresha said with a pleased smile, “That’s a nice badge, I didn’t know they gave those out.”

                        “Oh, this?” Jasmine said, looking at the little bronze ranger badge on her bandana. “It just means I’m in training and all, heh.”

                        “Well, that’s still nothing to blow bubbles at,” Dresha complimented. “And Dolly, you still look so young and healthy.”

                        “Thank you,” Dolly said, shaking the fin with politeness. “You wanted to talk to Jasmine about the pre-ranger program, correct?”

                        “Yes.” Miss Dresha gave a look at a little door to some other room. “You know about the two in there correctly?”

                        “I believe so.” Dolly gave a nod. “You mentioned them at last town summit. I’ve yet to see the boys.”

                        “Well, they’re awfully shy.” Dresha gave a little look to the side. “Though, they’re quite lonely. And well, I think them having a chance to do some honest work would help them grow.”

                        “Of course,” Dolly replied with a nod, “Youngun’s need something to do. Else, boredom comes and with that trouble.”

                        Miss Dresha then looked at Jasmine. “So…if you don’t mind me asking,” The fish began, “how does this pre-ranger program work?”

                        “Well,” Jasmine looked at the fish and said, “They are out of spots right now, but I can tell you how it does for next year.” Jasmine started to tell about the little things one had to sign and do for it but unbeknownst to her, the door to the little room slowly cracked open.

                        A little head looked out, watching the conversation. Dolly took notice and looked at the door, but the mon disappeared behind the crack before she could. Dolly’s eyes narrowed as she returned to the present conversation.

                        After about thirty minutes of discussion, Miss Dresha had everything understood and noted. She promptly thanked the two and bid them a good day. However, Dolly asked, “May I see them?”

                        “Oh, of course.”

                        Yes! Dolly cheered in her head.

                        Miss Dresha dove down into the water to the inner room. She promptly popped her head out of the water gently, so to not splash it everywhere. “Boys,” she said, “I need you both to get ready, the guests would like to see you.”

                        “…Why?” a little charmander-Ciecro asked, crossing his arms and sulking. Nearby was a little totodile, who was quiet and looked nervous. “Dey don’ know us.”

                        “Well, that’s what introductions are for,” Dresha said with an assuring smile. “After all, I know Miss Morteaih and she’s a lovely lady. In fact, she took in an absol that ran away, sort of like what happened with us.

                        “‘Xcept I bet it wasn’ cuz ‘er bro left.” Ciecro looked at the side and scowled.

                        “Ciecro,” she said in a calm and sympathetic tone. “You and Jaron need to get out and enjoy life, rather than be cooped up here all alone.” She swam to the edge and leaned in a little. “Get a nice job to keep you busy and make friends. After all, a lonely life is a sad one.”

                        Ciecro’s arms relaxed a little as his scowl grew less tense. “…Why should I?” he asked, looking at her.

                        “Well.” Miss Dresha sank back to the water as she thought for an answer.

                        Jaron finally spoke. “I don’ wanna.” The two looked at him. “I saw her…she was big and huge and big and she…looked at me.” He shriveled back a little as Ciecro looked away from him.

                        “Come here,” Dresha asked and the kids obeyed, walking over and plopping their little selves at the water’s edge. “Now,” she looked at both of them, “Jaron, Ciecro, I want you to be happy. You know that, right boys?”

                        The two gave slow nods.

                        “And well…It’s not right for two nice boys like you to stay cooped up here with just me.”

                        “But you’re good to us,” Jaron protested, “How do we know they will be too?”

                        Miss Dresha looked at them with understanding. “You know boys,” She started, “When I first met you, I thought you both were two of the cutest of your species I had ever seen.” The two gave a little ‘blegh’ face, but let her go on. “Though, seeing you both sad the next day broke my heart. Do you know why?”

                        “Why?” Ciecro asked, leaning in.

                        Before she answered, she gestures with her fins for them to come close. Jaron complied letting her fin wrap around his back neck while Ciecro slowly approached in order to avoid getting his tail wet. “Because, no little boy should be left alone, not even two. And well, you both are good children and frankly, I would love to see you both grow up nice and strong. If I can give you that chance, a chance to be happy and have a life, I would love that. You both have grown on me that I really am not bothered by the roughness that was the early times.”

                        The two fell silent.

                        “You see, I’ve been so lonely. And while I never wished for the circumstance to bring you two here…I can at least be happy I make you happy. And I want you both to grow up and become fine young adults. That’s why I want you both to be able to leave my home here and go have fun and work.” The two looked at her with sad eyes.

                        “Bu’ we love yah,” Ciecro said with a sniffle.

                        “Of course I know that.” Miss Dresha smiled at him. “But every mother wants their kid to grow up nice and live well. You see, even if you aren’t my natural children, you both make me happy as if you were. I love you boys and I want what’s best for you. So, Ciecro…Jaron…can you both be brave for me and come meet our guests.” The two gave slow nods, with scared but willing smiles. She kissed them both on the forehead. “Now, let’s show them how nice you two are.”


                        < O >


                        Dolly let out a little sigh. She let her thoughts drift to hugging the two when they were in the first stages of evolution and how they just reacted with the most surprised faces. A little giggle escaped her lips and she turned to look at Jaron. She compared the small scared looking totodile to the loyal and smart croconaw of today and couldn’t help but smile. She did well with you two. Dolly thought as she looked at Ciecro, who was busy staring at the floor.

                        Dolly’s eyes suddenly changed to mischievous as she leaned over near Jaron’s head and whispered, “You know, you still have that cute face you had when you were a totodile.”

                        Jaron’s face shot rosy red as he backed his head away from her and gave her a big surprised look. “Where did that come from?” he demanded.

                        “Yah baby face,” Ciecro jabbed, sticking out his tongue in fun.

                        “Psyduck off, Ciecro,” Jaron rebuked making Dolly laugh.

                        “Sorry, sorry,” she said, patting Jaron on the shoulder. “I just got hit by a bit of nostalgia that’s all.”

                        “Well next time, keep it from hitting me.” Jaron began to sulk as Dolly and Ciecro smirked at him.

                        “It’s ready for you three,” a ranger announced as he entered the room.

                        “Thank you very much,” Dolly said getting up.

                        “Sorry, it wasn’t up sooner. They are a little short on home staff.” The ranger rubbed the back of his head a little guilty but Dolly made sure all was fine with shaking his hand and about five different variations of “thank you”. They headed to the com’s room and stood in front of the circular device.

                        Ciecro took a breath and said, “Yah ready?” The other two nodded and he gave a finger up to the holocaster ranger at the switch. He pulled down the lever and about a foot tall crystal in a cylinder began to float and shine a little bit of light. The synergy power made its way to the circular projector in the middle of the room and the display started to show.

                        “Hello sir,” Jaron said with a grin as the hologram of their head ranger appeared. “Sorry, we couldn’t contact you about this earlier, bu-”

                        “It’s fine boys,” the ranger assured. “I got some reports about it. It’s okay. I’ll just be deducting your pay for the days off.” He gave a big grin as Jaron gave a moan.

                        “Anyways,” Ciecro said, stepping in front, “We hopefully will be heading back soon and all. Hey, can you tell our aunt that we’re all okay?”

                        The ranger’s eyes widened for a second and then looked to the side, narrowing as they went.

                        “What’s up?” Dolly asked, a little bit confused. The other two looked at her and then back at the ranger, who was scratching his head.

                        “Boys…” he seemed to be having a hard time forming words.

                        “Sir, what’s wrong?” Jaron suddenly froze. His eyes widened and he started to shake a little like he did in the dream. “Sir…what’s wrong,” he repeated in a low tone.

                        The range gave a sigh as he finally looked at them in the eyes and said. “I’m sorry boys. But a few days ago, one of our rangers was going to tell her about the incident and…” the ranger took a deep breath. “From the examination, she had some kind of mental trauma that caused her to have a stroke. No one knew about it, and so … she didn’t get help in time…I’m sorry.”

                        The three froze, silent as if they had just seen a terrible incident. Jaron slowly backed away shaking his head a little. “Sir, this isn’t funny,” he stated. The ranger in the projection tried to explain but Jaron wouldn’t take it. “Stop it!” he shouted, “Sir, stop it. She…she wouldn-”

                        “Jaron…” the ranger looked at him, straight at the eyes. A few tears escaped his at the sight of what the news was doing. “…I’m sorry son. She’s … passed. All we know is that it happened while you were gone. I’m so sorry.” He started bawling slightly as Jaron looked at the floor, eyes wide.

                        Ciecro and Dolly looked at each other in disbelief. “Who did dis‽” Ciecro demanded.

                        “We don’t know,” their boss said, shaking his head with shame.

                        Ciecro’s head fell. His fists tightened and he gritted his teeth. He turns to a wall to punch it with a firm jab. “Damnit!!!” He roared. The fists stayed on the wall, shaking slightly as the emotion flowed to his right fist. An arm went on his shoulder as Dolly moved him to face her.

                        “Ciecro,” she said, looking at him with sad eyes. She pulled him in and hugged the charmeleon, who didn’t know what to do but close his eyes and tear up. Dolly looked over to Jaron. As the croconaw walked over, Dolly opened up her other arm so Jaron could enter into her broad hug. “I’m sorry boys,” she said in a soothing tone as the two just stayed silent in her arms. She could feel the tenseness in both of them so she merely stayed quiet letting them cry into her chest.

                        “It’s….not….fair. Why…her?” Jaron slowly said, sobbing more as he let his arms go limp. Ciecro turned a little and moved his left arm around Jaron’s back, hugging his brother as he sniffled too. The three stood there for a few minutes sobbing as the ranger cut the transmission to give them the privacy they deserve.
                        __________________

                        “I’ve been to places I wouldn’t have visited before. I get to see different things, which is important. It gives me new experiences to draw from.” ~Hidetaka Miyazaki [creator of Bloodborne]
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