This is the first fanfiction I've posted on this site! I hope that you maybe would be so kind as to leave a review or comment for me to see. This story is also known as The Tale of Mt. Pyre, and has about ten chapters to its name. --- Pokémon, each in their own way, are very special creatures. No two, even of the same species, are exactly alike. One should always treat them with care, diligence, and especially respect, both in life as well as in death. Here opens the tale of one Trainer who did not fully understand these words... or perhaps, simply did not remember. --- Chapter One: Mt. Pyre [3D='ninetales'] "Linoone, use Strength!" commanded Kenna, pointing to the huge boulder blocking the entrance to a tunnel within the mountain. Mt. Pyre. The sacred resting place for the souls of Pokémon lost to time... and the unnecessary exploration spot of many an excitable young Pokémon Trainer. Hex Maniacs trying to capture spirits on camera and young couples trudging through the gravesite as if it was some sort of amusement park's haunted house were certainly common... and then there were Trainers like Kenna. The striped Pokémon slammed its body into the boulder, making its best attempt to move the enormous rock aside. The boulder was beginning to slide, but it was a slow and arduous task: Linoone was only about a third of its size. "C'mon, a little faster!" encouraged Kenna, not looking up from the treasure map she held in her hands. A red "X" marked the spot where there was allegedly a mysterious statue hidden in a buried altar under the graves. Linoone was panting, but it eventually was able to push aside the boulder enough so that a small crawlspace was formed. Kenna rolled her eyes at the meager attempt to use Strength. She had only taught her Linoone this technique a few days ago, and the badger Pokémon was still having a lot of difficulty moving even medium-sized stones, let alone a monster like this. "Oh, well. It'll do." She called Linoone back into the Ultra Ball it was contained in. "You can't win against Ghost or Fighting type Pokémon, you can't use Strength... I swear, I'm going to release you someday soon." she muttered under her breath bitterly. Getting down on her hands and knees, she prayed that she wouldn't get her overcoat dirty. Its scarlet coloration and white fur trim were what signified her status as an Ace Trainer in Hoenn. Crawling into the newly found tunnel, she inched forward carefully. It was on a downward slant... underground. Yes, she was certainly headed in the right direction. Her lips curled into a smile, knowing that her destination wasn't far. After a few minutes, Kenna felt the uncomfortable sensation of dampness on all sides. As she headed down, the tunnel was growing more and more watery. For a moment, she grew anxious that the tunnel may spit her out into the sea below rather than any secret altar, but she took a deep breath and pressed onwards. If she succeeded in finding the hidden Pokémon statue, she would be hailed as a famous explorer... and possibly the ace of all Ace Trainers! From the rumors, the statue was made of solid gold, and it had eyes made of garnet gemstones. As for what sort of a Pokémon the statue bore a resemblance to... that was unknown. But, speculators said that perhaps it was not a statue at all, and was rather a real Pokémon that looked like it was made of gold and gems! That would be something to see. As Kenna daydreamed, she quickly picked up her pace in delight. All of a sudden, she let out a short-lived cry. The watery tunnel had become slippery and more vertical, forcing Kenna to slip out of the narrow cave and onto a stone staircase. "Owch... m-my back..." she whimpered, before picking herself up off the cold ground. Her blonde, shoulder length hair was neat as ever, and her coat and pleated skirt were perfectly undamaged. "Whew..." Kenna sighed, happy for both her prim looks being retained as well as her lack of injury. This new cavern was easily large enough for her to stand at full height, and the buried staircase lead further down. Water dripped down the walls, and Kenna could assume this meant this cavern was below sea level. Looking back at her treasure map, she smiled. "The relic is a ways under the ground, hidden within the sea. A limestone altar holds the treasured figure within." read the footnotes of the map. The map showed a staircase leading under the water... perhaps this was the correct path. But, just in case there were any traps... Kenna took a Poké Ball from her belt, releasing a second Pokémon: Swampert. The Water typed Pokémon had been one she'd known since the age of twelve, when her journey began back in Oldale Town. Collecting badge after badge, perhaps Swampert was the only member of her Pokémon team that she felt much affection for in the slightest. The amphibious Pokémon raised its head, letting out a gurgling cry. "Oh, come on. Just a short ways more." she said. Admittedly, this was the first time in a week that Swampert had been released from its container, and it was stretching out its body to ease a few cramps. It flicked its tail a little, happy to at least be in a nice, wet environment. "Well, what are you waiting for? Get a move on." said Kenna harshly to the Mud Fish Pokémon, ordering it onwards. Swampert let out a high-pitched gurgle, almost like a dog's whimper as it trudged forward on all fours. As Kenna and Swampert traveled deeper into the aqueous cave, they hit a small obstruction: the cave continued up ahead, but it was fully flooded with seawater. Kenna looked to the treasure map. "Beware, as the cave may be submerged in the future. If heavy rains ensue for a long time, they may break down some of the limestone and cause water to seep through the walls." it read in a second footnote. Swampert, knowing the usual deal, jumped into the water. It was ready to ferry Kenna across the inundated chasm. "Uh-huh, I know." said Kenna snottily. "Don't get any saltwater on me." Swampert nodded a little, as Kenna gently placed herself on its back. Swampert began to leisurely swim across the gap, admiring the light blue reflections on the top of the cave. Rays of sunlight showed through the ceiling due to the limestone's decay. "S-Swampert! Don't splash too much!" The annoyed orders continued, as Swampert finished, letting Kenna off on the other side. Kenna easily stepped back onto the stone floor, recalling Swampert to its Poké Ball. Kenna continued to walk forward, now alone. A gentle light shone in the room up ahead. "The... the altar?" questioned Kenna out loud, looking to the map. She was nearing the "X", and the final footnote contained a warning: "To any who wish the figure for themselves: beware, for it has been known to give both blessings and curses to those who it deems worthy of gifts or punishment." Kenna scoffed to herself. "What, a statue cursing people? It's probably just the work of a Ghost type Pokémon's attacks. In a place like Mt. Pyre, that wouldn't be unbelievable." she said haughtily. But, just in case... she took a third Poké Ball from her belt, releasing another Pokémon: Raichu. A Pokémon she met in Mauville City, she knew of its strong Electric attacks in case anything went wrong. Sparks flew from the Mouse Pokémon's cheeks, as it looked to Kenna. Despite the strength of its moves, it was the weakest member of Kenna's team and fainted quite often. Kenna made her way into the luminous chamber... only for it to close up behind her. Looking behind her to see the seal, a bead of sweat dripped down the side of her face. "Just more Ghost Pokémon playing tricks, I guess... nothing a Rock Smash can't handle, right, Raichu?" she asked nervously. Raichu didn't reply, glaring at Kenna. She then looked forward to see the figure of a Pokémon made of pure gold. "W-whoa! Is that the figure? It really is golden..." A sleek-looking statue stood at the room's center, depicting a nine-tailed Pokémon sitting up straight. Its eyes were a piercing shade of dark red, perhaps made of crimson stones. "Ah... it's so much larger than I had imagined. It looks heavy... how am I supposed to carry a statue this big out of the cavern?" she asked out loud. She put a hand to the tuft of luxurious fur on the statue's head... and was shocked to feel... real fur. "W-what the?! It's... it's a real life Pokémon, not a statue! It was sitting so still, I couldn't tell...! How is a Fire Pokémon living in such a dank place?" 'Human... my name is Ninetales. I dwell beneath the mountain, waiting for ye who wishes to know his or her fortune. I can only assume it is what you desire.' "Y-you can speak?!" 'Naturally, human. I have lived for over nine hundred years in this cavern, and such time has bestowed many abilities upon me. One is being able to converse in the language of humans, using my psychic power.' "Psychic power? You... you tell fortunes?" asked Kenna, backing away. 'Yes. 'Tis my duty in this world. The Vulpix in the world above... they are my children and grandchildren, exploring the world for themselves. One of them will take my place as the Teller when my lifespan has ended. And... specifically, I give people's fortunes unto them. I reward the humble and punish the prideful.' "Teller?" 'Indeed. Now... let me tell your fortune.' The eyes of Ninetales glowed crimson, and the altar was filled with a deep red light. 'You, human... you have done much wrong in these years. You have hurt the hearts of your Pokémon partners... and have done nothing to redeem yourself in their eyes. You are concerned with naught but victory and praise, and have yet to learn even a hint of empathy for human or Pokémon life. Yet, even though none who travel alongside you are happy, they still guard you loyally despite your blackened morality. Perhaps, through my curse, human... you will learn what it feels like to have justice brought upon you. I declare thee... guilty.' "W-wait! No! You've got it all wrong!" plead Kenna, crying out. "A-ah! W-what's happening to me?! S-stop!"