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Sifu Bubbles - a short story by Ryu Taylor of Valor

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by Ryu Taylor of Valor, Nov 15, 2014.

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  1. Ryu Taylor of Valor

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    For those who haven't read my main stories, Bubbles is a Froakie, and Blessing is a Sneasel. This is a short story I wrote for the rewrite. I couldn't put it in the original story because it would've retconned previous parts of the story where Blessing was swimming. Anyway, enjoy!
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    Sifu Bubbles
    ------------------------------------------

    It had been one week since Bubbles's birthday, and he was now back to his usual rambunctious self. Today, he was looking for someone to play with, and only Blessing was available to accept. Upon her answer, he took her to a small watery cove. It was moderately deep, perfect for swimming. Blessing's excitement suddenly faded into barely-contained fear. Bubbles took no notice of this as he jumped into the water.
    "Hey, Blessing, come on in!" Bubbles said. "The water's great!"
    "Yeah, okay. Have fun," Blessing responded, not moving from her spot. "I'll watch you from here."
    "No you won't! Just come in, will you?!"
    "I don't feel like it now. Just show me how good of a swimmer you are."
    "I don't wanna!" Bubbles climbed out of the water and approached Blessing while he was still dripping wet. "At least come with me to the deepest part, please?"
    "Sorry, but no," Blessing responded.
    "Why not? You said you'd play with me!"
    "Well, that was before I found out you were dragging me to the deep end!"
    "What's wrong with doing that?!"
    "Because I can't swim!"
    Bubbles couldn't believe what he just heard. "How can you not know how to swim?" he asked.
    "I just don't okay?! Get off my case! Can't we do something else?"
    "Actually, you don't need to know how to swim to see what it's like underwater." Bubbles took his Alpha Amulet out from under his frubbles and created an Alpha Platform with it. "We can float on this."
    Blessing climbed onto the platform after Bubbles. He navigated it to the center of the pond, where the water was deepest.
    "Go to the edge and dip your head under," Bubbles said. "You're in no danger."
    "Fine, but you owe me some Oran Berries if my eyes start stinging," Blessing responded nervously. She knelt down on both knees, took a deep breath, and dipped her head under the water. She looked straight down at the bottom of the pond, but she didn't get too good a look at the area. As soon as her sights were set there, she felt a sudden swift kick to her rear end, and it sent her completely into the water. She floundered up to the surface and called for Bubbles to help her.
    "Yeah, you're not fooling me, Blessing," Bubbles responded, not moving. "I know you can swim. So do it already."
    "I'm not lying to you!" Blessing sputtered. "I can't..." Her head went back under. Her arms flailed around in a state of panic, desperately trying to keep her head above the water. She was able to get only her nose and mouth above the water for a few more seconds before she went under again. Only her hands were above the water now.
    "Nice try, but I'm still not fooled."
    Now Blessing's hands had sunk below the surface. Her flailing couldn't get her above the water anymore. None of her panic-fueled efforts could at this point. Her lungs were starting to give in to her primal need to breathe. She clutched her neck as she started to choke on the water.
    "Oh my goodness, what have I done?!" Bubbles thought to himself. Until now, he simply watched Blessing's floundering. But now that she was visibly drowning, he decided to take action. He dove into the water after her. He grabbed her with both his hands and slumped her over his shoulder as he paddled back upward with his legs. He then brought her up onto the Alpha Platform, which he guided back to shore. He then went to Blessing to try to resuscitate her, until she awakened on her own with a fit of coughing and gasping.
    "Are you okay, Blessing?!" Bubbles asked frantically.
    "Yeah...I am," she gasped. "Never...EVER...do that...to me...again...!"
    "I'm sorry, Blessing," Bubbles said sadly, sounding as if he was about to cry. "It's just that, a girl your age ought to know how to swim, so that's why I didn't believe you when you said you couldn't. I thought you were lying to me."
    "I...don't...blame you...for that..."
    "I'm really sorry, Blessing. I almost killed you! But seriously, why can't you swim??"
    Blessing looked very uncomfortable at that question. All she could say was, "It's a long story, kid. I could probably use my Demon-type powers to cheat at it, but then The World Destroyer's underlings will find us. But on my own, I can't. It would've been fun watching you swim, though."
    "But Blessing, what's the point of that? The water's a better place than you think it is. If you could only swim, you'd see how great it is. It's kinda like flying. Or, at least, that's what I heard a Gyarados say about swimming."
    "Well, you sure make it sound fun, I'll admit that. But it's getting late. We should get inside."

    The two of them retired into the cottage for the rest of the afternoon. Neither of them left by the time it was bedtime.
    -----------------------------------------

    The next day, Blessing awakened. She briefly preened her feathers and patted back any patches of her fur that got unkempt during her sleep. When she left her room, someone greeted her just outside her door.
    "GoodmorningBlessing!" Bubbles said quickly, bouncing with anticipation. "Howareyoutoday?"
    "...I'm fine, kiddo," Blessing said groggily. "What's the excitement about?"

    "Meet me at the pond after breakfast!" With no further words, he was off, taking his breakfast with him. Blessing elected to eat inside.
    -----------------------------------------

    Blessing didn't know what to expect at the pond, but she decided to go there to humor Bubbles. After all, the youngster needed a playmate for the day. She found him standing near the pond's shore.
    "Okay, kid, what is it?" Blessing asked.
    "Remember yesterday, when I accidentally almost drowned you?" Bubbles asked.
    "Yeah, ...I do..." Blessing responded sourly.
    "Well, I know how to make that never happen again," Bubbles said, resuming his usual happy mood. "And also I know how to get you into the water."
    "Oh yeah. This'll be good."
    "Oh, it will. Because you just got yourself a swimming teacher!"
    "Excuse me?!" Blessing said, never expecting to hear the young Froakie say what he just said. "You, teach me to swim?! You wanna try that?!"
    "Well, of course. My dad taught me how to swim," Bubbles answered. "I remember everything he said, and all the lessons he put me through. I'll just tell you what he told me. Starting with this lesson: jump into the water."
    Taking a quick look at the surroundings told Blessing that Bubbles's order wasn't going to be possible.
    "If you insist, since you won't be told 'no.' But how about we walk in, instead, huh?" Blessing asked nervously. "Do you see any jumping places?"
    "Good point, my pupil," Bubbles responded. "Follow me."
    The two Pokémon treaded into the water until Bubbles stopped in his tracks. Blessing assumed she ought to do the same. Being shorter than Blessing, Bubbles was floating by the time Blessing was up to her chest in the water.
    "I see you know how to walk in water when it's shallow enough," Bubbles noted. "We'll start there. First, assume an all-fours position. Like this." Bubbles put his arms and legs directly below him underneath the water, as if standing on his hands and feet. Blessing copied his form. "Now show me how long you can hold your breath underwater. Just take a deep–"
    "I know how to hold my breath," Blessing interrupted. "But I'll warn you now, my lungs can't take much. And also, don't goose me like you did yesterday. I can still feel that kick."
    "Oh, come on, Blessing," Bubbles said, optimistic. "You're a grown-up. I'm sure you can last at least a minute."
    The two Pokémon then took deep breaths and stuck their heads underwater. After only twenty seconds, Blessing poked her head over the water to get the air she desperately needed. Bubbles was nowhere near ready to surface, but he did only because Blessing did.
    "Is that it?" Bubbles asked. "Twenty seconds??"
    "I told you so, kid," Blessing answered. "My lungs can't hold much air."
    "Wow." For the first time, Bubbles actually sounded disappointed. "That's pathetic. Even I can hold my breath for longer."
    "Well, of course! You're a water-type! They can hold their breath for hours!"
    "Not me. I can only stay under for twenty minutes. I'll ask my dad if there's a way for you to be able to hold your breath longer. Until then, let's just focus on moving around in the water. Now, watch me and follow along." Bubbles stuck his legs out behind him and put his arms in front of himself. He then kicked his feet and paddled with his hands. "This is called the 'Eevee-paddle.' It's called this because it's how an Eevee swims. In fact, all canine Pokémon swim like this."
    "Kid, how do you know those big words?" Blessing asked as she observed Bubbles. "You're only five years old!"
    "I learned them from my uncle Magus. Now pay attention!" Bubbles got back to Eevee-paddling. "To turn, just lean your upper body where you want to go."
    "Got it. Okay, I'm ready to follow." Blessing began paddling as Bubbles was earlier. It was easier than she thought it would be, as her physical stamina wasn't giving out so quickly. She managed to keep her head above the water for the entire practice run.
    "It's okay to poke your face below the water," Bubbles instructed. "But it's up to you, though. You're doing great, though. I'm kinda surprised. I didn't pick the Eevee-paddle up for days."
    "Well, your body type is totally different from mine," Blessing said. "Does that have anything to do with it?"
    "Maybe. I never thought much about it. Anyway, you passed the Eevee-paddle. Ready to move onto the front stroke?"
    "Not yet, kid. I wanna stick to this for a little while longer. This is kinda fun!"
    "This is kinda WHAT?!"
    "You think I'm joking again, don't you? No, I'm not. I'm actually enjoying this! Only one day in, and I'm beginning to like the water!"
    "Well, then let me introduce a water game to you. It's called 'Milotic-Poliwhirl,' 'Milo-Poli' for short."
    "Cool! How do we play?"
    "Well, whoever's 'it' has to shut their eyes. That Pokémon says 'Milo,' and the one being chased responds by saying 'Poli.'"
    "Oh, so it's a game of tracking by sound. I'll totally dominate this game!"
    "Okay, then you're 'it!'"

    Blessing and Bubbles spent well into the afternoon playing their game, not noticing the time passing by. When they retired to bed for the night, both of them were excited for the next day in the pond.
    -----------------------------------------

    "Today's lesson is the front stroke," Bubbles said as he and Blessing entered the water. "This ought to be easy for you, Blessing. Your arm span is almost longer than I am tall."
    "By tall, do you mean standing up erect, or as you normally do with bent knees?" Blessing asked.
    "Bent knees. Anyway, before we start, I should first teach you how to stay afloat in the water when you have nothing to stand on. Like you did with Eevee-paddling, you have to use your arms and legs. Mainly your legs. But don't kick too much or with too much strength, otherwise you'll waste stamina, get tired, and then sink. And you don't wanna do that, right?"
    "Right."
    "The legs are mainly used for staying afloat, but the arms can help with that, too. But the arms are mainly for generally moving around while you're floating, and that's what a front stroke is. You use your arms to move yourself through the water. The legs can give you a small speed boost, but it's usually best to stick to using your arms. And there's lots of ways to use the arms to move yourself around. The most common one is this one." Bubbles demonstrated by using moving his hands toward his hips in two perfect arcs, and then bringing them back in front of himself and repeating the arc motion. "Follow my lead."
    Blessing did as instructed, making sure not to overdo the kicking.
    "There's a circular one, too," Bubbles said as he demonstrated a circular front stroke by moving his arms in circles perpendicular to the water. He made small splashes each time his arms hit the water. "There's lots of ways to do this technique, but these two are the most important. And by the way, are you remembering to breathe out?"
    "Well, I need to, since it's part of breathing," Blessing deadpanned.
    "Yeah, I know, but it's pretty important to swimming. Tomorrow, when we start underwater swimming, I'll explain–"
    "Wait, what swimming is tomorrow??"
    "Well, you're already an expert at above-water swimming, despite your not wanting to start. So why not start the best part?"
    "No, I can't do that," Blessing said, suddenly becoming nervous. "That's exactly what made me afraid of the water in the first place. I don't like the sensation of not being able to breathe. And I really don't like how the simple act of breathing suddenly becomes deadly when under the water. I'd like my breathing to keep me alive. I don't want my breathing to kill me! It almost did once!"
    "What?! When??"
    Blessing looked away in shame. "Come to shore, and I'll tell you," she said as she left the water. Bubbles followed and sat down next to her.
    "Was it because I shoved you into the water?"
    "No, this happened when I was a child. Fifteen years ago, to be exact, so I was three years old when it happened. My sister and I had gone to a lake to play and explore. We didn't know that the lake we went to was currently occupied by a wanted criminal. I ended up finding out the hard way."
    As Blessing told her story, she started becoming uneasy as she remembered the worst part of it.
    "There was a Tentacruel in that lake, and he was the wanted criminal. He wrapped me up in his tentacles and dragged me under the water. I couldn't break free of him, no matter how hard I tried. I lost consciousness after about fifteen seconds."
    "How did you escape??" Bubbles asked.
    "I didn't know how until I was told upon my awakening. My sister had gotten help from a nearby Floatzel, who was about to begin an Exploration Mission when this was happening. She put her mission on hold and came to rescue me. In fact, I remember seeing her speeding toward me as I was losing consciousness. Anyway, she rescued me from that Tentacruel's clutches and brought me to the surface. She saved my life on that day. In fact, I wouldn't even be alive right now without her help."
    "Well, I'm happy you're alive, Blessing," Bubbles reassured, patting Blessing on the back. "But what about that Tentacruel? I hope that stupid jerk went to jail!"
    "Don't worry, he did," Blessing continued. "That Floatzel personally took him to jail. Apparently, she'd been after him for a while, and I guess I ended up being the chance she needed to catch him for good. Of course, the jail he was sent to was destroyed along with most of the world, and he was actually confirmed dead along with everyone else there. So that's what became of him."
    "Well, that makes me happy to hear. He deserved to die for trying to drown you."

    "Yeah, maybe. But anyway, the point is that that's why I feared the water and drowning in it for so long. I appreciate you trying to help me through it, but I can't go any farther than our current point. Thanks anyway."
    -----------------------------------------

    "To Blesing,
    Meet me at the pond after brekfast. Sined, Bubbles"

    "He knows big words, yet he can still misspell basic stuff?" Blessing thought to herself after she read the note.
    Blessing had sworn not to go any farther in learning how to swim, but Bubbles wasn't intending to give up so easily. The previous night was spent by him by devising a way to motivate her to want to learn. And now he was going to apply his plan once Blessing followed his note to the pond.
    "Good morning, Bubbles," Blessing greeted. "I got your note. My name has two letter 's'-es, kid."
    "Oh, sorry about that," Bubbles responded. "Anyway, I thought about what you said yesterday about underwater swimming, and I made a decision: I will get you to swim underwater."
    "Oh, really?" Blessing asked, surprised and skeptical. "And how will you?"
    "That's not important. I think that wherever that dumb Tentacruel is watching us from, and by the way I hope he went to Suffering, he's laughing at you for being scared of the water."
    "So?"
    "SO?! That means he scared you away from the water! You're letting the jerk who almost killed you win!"
    "Well, I don't think of it that way, but–"
    "Well, I'm not going to let him win, Blessing! I'm going to help you deprive him his from-beyond-the-grave victory!"
    "'Posthumous' would be the better word–"
    "That stupid jerk almost killed you fifteen years ago, and he," Bubbles stomped his foot onto the ground with each following word. "Is not! GETTING AWAY!" And with the end of his tirade, he slammed his fist onto the ground, involuntarily using Water Pulse as he did so. "WITH IT!!!" Then he suddenly turned around and showed his rear end to Blessing. He had place frubbles there arranged to look like the red crystal spheres on a Tentacruel's head. "Mwahahahaha! Wimp! You can't swim!" he said, deepening his voice as he moved his rear around. "The water's gonna get you, coward!"
    "Bubbles, stop that!"
    "Whatsa matter, my prey? Can't swim? Perfect! Then you'll be my dinner tonight!"
    "Is that so?!" Blessing then swiped at Bubbles's rear, but missed. Bubbles jumped into the pond and swam out into it. Blessing gave chase, determined to catch up. Bubbles dove under the water and taunted her from beneath the surface. Surprisingly, it ended up working as Blessing dove under and struck his rear with a Power-Up Punch attack, knocking the frubbles off. Bubbles turned around and gave her a thumbs-up and a smile. He then swam up to surface as Blessing followed him upward.
    "Well, that worked," Bubbles said. "Congratulations, Blessing! You just swam underwater! And also you basically took away my ability to sit down comfortably."
    "Well, maybe you shouldn't have waved your favorite body part at me. Anyway, now that I swam underwater, are you gonna get off my case about it?!"
    "That depends, my pupil. Tell me how it felt being underwater."
    "Well, I felt like I needed to breathe, for starters. But also, it felt kinda like I was floating, and I could go anywhere I wanted to, and..." Then Blessing came to a stunning realization. "...and free. It felt free down there, like I could do anything I wanted, move in any direction I want, all that stuff."
    "And so, you finally robbed Tentacruel of his victory. So now you're ready to learn more about it from me!"
    "How about tomorrow?"
    "No, now! Besides, there's nothing more I can show you. All that's left to tell you is that you just apply the above-water swimming movements in much the same way, and you have lots and lots of directions to go in. And one more thing: remember to exhale just a little bit every so often while underwater. It relaxes your body and lets you move around better underwater. Plus, it helps keep you from getting something called 'the bends', though Uncle Magus says dad's wrong about that. Still, be safe."
    "All right. I'll keep that in mind."
    "But don't exhale too much, or you'll waste all your air and need to resurface. And believe me, the feeling of needing air is not pleasant. Especially since no matter how close you are to the surface, you'll always feel like you won't make it in time. Believe me, I went through that when I was learning to swim myself."
    "Well, you still turned out to be a great swimmer. And a great teacher, too."
    "And on that note, you lessons are at an end, my pupil. Tomorrow, you will be doing a graduation exam. Meet back here tomor–"
    But Blessing had already jumped into the water. She saw no sense in delaying.
    "How about I do it now, while I'm in high spirits?" she said. She then did some frontstrokes, swimming around the entire perimeter of the pond, and then returning to the center. She turned to Bubbles back at the shore. "Come in with me, Sifu!"
    Bubbles did just that, and swam up to Blessing. "What's a Sifu?" he asked.
    "It's some faraway place's fancy word for 'teacher'," Blessing answered. "Anyway, watch me ace this thing!" Blessing then took a deep breath and dove underwater. Bubbles watched from above as she swam down deeper and deeper until she touched the bottom of the pond. She never told Bubbles that she had set that as a goal for herself since Bubbles got her into the water. She didn't think she had to, since she had previously been resistant to going into the deep end. But now, she had finally met her private goal. She took Bubbles's advice about exhaling, and she found that helped her lung capacity greatly. Before, tensing herself up by holding in all her air reduced her to twenty seconds of retained air. But now, she had been under for thirty. It took her another thirty to return to the surface, and by then, she definitely felt the urge to breathe. When she returned to the surface, Bubbles was ecstatic.
    "You did it, my pupil!" he said. "You're officially an expert swimmer now! Come underwater with me! We'll anoint you there!" He dove underwater without another word as Blessing followed, unsure of what to expect. But she trusted the young Froakie. As soon as she reached the point between the bottom and the surface, Bubbles stopped her. He then used his Water Pulse beneath her in such a way that the rings of the attack went harmlessly around her. He fired off two streams of Bubblebeam from his hands, making it so they veered off to Blessing's sides. To finish this unofficial anointment, he used his Alpha power to raise a jet of water for himself and Blessing to stand on. It shot them above the surface and three feet above the water. "Kneel, please." Blessing did as told. "I hereby bestow upon you, the title of Greninja-rank Swimmer! There's no higher award. Congratulations!"
    Blessing rose to see she had been fitted with a Frubble shaped like a medal. Bubbles hopped up to Blessing, embracing her in a hug. "And also, thanks for letting me teach you to swim," he said. "It was so much fun."
    "Kid, I want to thank you, too," Blessing responded. "You're the greatest swimming Sifu ever."
     
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