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The Kalos Connection (X/Y spoilers ahoy!)

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Oct 12, 2013.

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  1. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 31
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    Just to forewarn you, this fic is doubling as my discovery diary is I play through Pokémon Y, so there will be major spoilers if you have not gotten the game yet. In addition, it is not a straight rehash of the game--there will be a few differences in how things work.

    That said, enjoy the journey!

    The Kalos Connection

    Episode 1: A White Hot Beginning

    It all started...pretty much like any other day, actually.

    I made extra sure to wake up early the day I left on my adventure. This way, I wouldn't be lost in the horde of other aspiring trainers that had probably woke up late and hoping to Arceus that they would not be stuck with a Pikachu with a attitude (extra points if they got shocked on the first attempt at picking them up) or some other "unwanted" Pokémon, like an Eevee or a Zorua.

    Why would Professor Sycamore give such rare Pokémon out, anyway? Once all the Chespins, Fennekins, and Froagies were gone, they were gone--do not pass Go, do not collect 20,000 credits, better luck next year. If you were REALLY lucky, you could talk him into, oh, a Pikachu (thankfully minus the attitude) or an Eevee, but Pokémon outside Chespin, Fennekin, and Froagie were the exception, not the rule.

    But I digress.

    I was still sawing logs when I heard the fluttering of wings and the singing of a Fletchling on my windowsill. It chirped a greeting as I groggily looked at the clock--7:30, right on schedule.

    After climbing from bed, I dragged out a traveling bag and started throwing together stuff--Potions, healing items, Berries, and that sort of thing. Next came camping gear, some extra clothes, and my most prized possession--my guitar. I was pretty sure any Pokémon I met was gonna want to hear a campfire song our two on our travels--cause who doesn't like singing songs and telling stories around a campfire?

    Once sure I was happy with my bag, I took a moment to savor my room for what I figured was one last time. The PC, the Wii U I had spent hours playing Zelda, the Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Marill, DucklettTales Remastered, and many other games with my friends Callum and Shauna (more on them shortly), the movie posters on the walls--i was likely going to miss it while I was gone.

    "Good morning, hon." Mom smiled as I made my way downstairs.

    "Hi, Mom..." I sleepily smiled before digging through the cabinets for some cereal.

    "You sure look rested this morn--!" Just then, Mom noticed my wild bedhead and my PJs. "You look like you've just rolled out of bed!" she gasped. "Go change out of your PJs, right now!"

    "Okay..." I sighed, and trudged back upstairs--why didn't I think to get dressed before? I guess I was too excited about my impending adventure to care about getting dressed.

    So after throwing on a black shirt (that had a beautiful plaid red skirt to match), some black leggings, my shoes, and my favorite red hat (complete with white sunglasses perched on it), I returned downstairs. "This better?" I asked Mom as I combed out my bedhead.

    "That looks perfect!" she smiled as I returned to the cabinets for breakfast, take 2.

    After some cereal, some toast, and a little OJ to wash it down, I informed Mom of my plans for the day. "I'm gonna hang with Callum and Shauna in town today..."

    Mom just smiled--we'd been very close friends since we were little guys, and it helped they lived nearby. "Have a good day, sweetie, and don't stay out too late, okay?"

    "I won't." I assured Mom as i disappeared down the front walk.

    I had barely stepped out into the town square when I found Callum and Shauna waiting for me. "Hi, Serena!" Shauna giggled, her long brown ponytails bouncing along with her as she jumped about with excitement.

    I giggled--Shauna was energetic as always. "Morning to both of you...."

    "D'ya know what today is?" Shauna asked.

    "What?" I asked, intrigued.

    "Today's the day when all the new trainers leave on their journeys." Callum replied as he smoothed some wrinkles from his royal blue shirt. "That, and Prof. Sycamore wants us to do something special for him..."

    "Define 'special'" I pressed Callum further.

    "Come join us for coffee in Aquacorde and we'll tell ya more!" Shauna smiled before skipping off down the road. Callum was not far behind her, but noticeably more relaxed.

    Aquacorde Town wasn't far from home--just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Vaniville. Because it was so close, people from Vaniville often came to its coffee shops to relax and visit.

    I heard someone calling "Oi, Serena!" as I arrived in town. Confused, I looked around for a moment--who had called me? Just as I was about to blow it off as my imagination, I heard it again: "Oi, Serena!"

    I whirled around and saw Callum waving at me from a table outside our favorite coffee shop--the Fletchling Roost. He smiled as I made myself at home, where he, Shauna, and two other boys were waiting. "Serena, you made it!" he grinned before gesturing to a heavy set, muscular boy. "I'd like you to meet Tierno..." The boy grinned as his latte arrived. "and Trevor." A boy with light brown hair shyly waved at me from behind the menu.

    "Nice to meet you both." I smiled before noticing the water approaching. "I'd like a Frozen Mocha Latte, please..."

    "Well, the gang's all here." Tierno grinned. Then a thought occurred to him. "You know? It'd feel like we're a closer crew if we all had a nickname!"

    He smiled at me. "I dub thee Lady S!"

    I balked--who was he to call me something so stupid?

    Shauna seemed to notice my disdain for the new moniker. "Maybe calling Serena 'lady' isn't the right term--why not call her 'Li'l S' instead?"

    I wisely bit my tongue--that nickname was even worse!

    "I dunno...she looks more like an 'S-kins' to me." Trevor commented as a sandwich arrived with his coffee.

    Thankfully, Callum saw how I was trying oh-so-hard not to explode on everyone. "Guys! If Serena wants a nickname, let's let her choose."

    "Okay! What's your code name gonna be?" Tierno asked.

    I thought for a moment--what was something that denoted strength and power? I'd always seen myself beautiful and powerful, and I wanted any nickname to reflect that.

    A display of ruby rings in a nearby shop cave me an idea--the ruby is said to signify love, courage, and passion, right?

    "How about 'Ruby-san'? I suggested to the others.

    "Love it!" Shauna smiled.

    "Groovy!" Tierno agreed.

    We spent the afternoon enjoying our drinks before Callum offered me a box with three Poke Balls inside. "Professor Sycamore asked me to give you one of these--so which one do you want?"

    I covered my eyes and pointed at each Poké Ball. "My mother told me to pick...this one!" I announced, grabbing the one in the middle.

    "Ooh, what's inside?" Shauna grinned.

    "Come on out!" I announced as I heaved the Poké Ball skyward, making a small fox Pokémon materialize on the table.

    "Oh, a Fennekin!" Tierno smiled. "So light and graceful moves!"

    I, meanwhile, contemplated a good name for my new Fennekin. "What should I name you, little guy?"

    [I am NOT a boy!] it growled.

    "Um, I mean, little girl..." I sheepishly stammered, making the Fennekin smile again. "How about...Kitsune?"

    [I like that!] the Fennekin yipped before nuzzling me.

    "Kitsune's a cute name." Shauna agreed before taking the Poké Ball on the left. "I claim Chespin!"

    "...and I'll take Froagie." Callum smiled as he took the last Poké Ball.

    Trevor tugged on my shirt. "Um...this is for you...." he stammered in a quiet voice as he offered me a Pokédex. "The professor wants us to go on a journey together, and these should help."

    "Thank you, Trevor." I smiled as I took the Pokédex and pointed it at Kitsune.

    Fennekin, the fox Pokémon. the Pokédex began. As she walks, she munches on a twig in place of a snack. She intimidates opponents by puffing hot air out of her ears.

    "Interesting!" Shauna smiled. Kitsune, meanwhile, just found a twig on the ground and chewed that as we finished up our drinks.

    After saying my goodbyes and receiving a letter from Tierno, I was about to start for home when Shauna caught up with me. "Don't you even want to check out our Pokémon?"

    I was about to stupidly ask why, but remembered that in trainer parlance, checking out one's Pokémon usually translated to a battle. Kitsune seemed to sense a battle as well, and puffed out her ears in anticipation.

    "Come on out, Chespin!" Shauna commanded, summoning a squirrel Pokémon with green thorns.

    Since Fire Pokémon, such as Fennekin, beat Grass Pokémon,such as Chespin, Shauna's Chespin was down for the count with two Embers. Even after the easy win, Kitsune still looked ready for more. [Is that it? Who's next?]

    Shauna just took her loss in stride. "Wow! You must be a natural!"

    "I just remembered the type chart from school, that's all." I assured Shauna as I shepherded Kitsune by my side.

    "I guess Chespin and I have work to do!" With that, Shauna hurried off--presumably to train. I just made my way home--It was getting dark, anyway.

    "Welcome back..." Mom smiled when I arrived home with Kitsune. "And who might this be?"

    "Mom, this is Kitsune." I grinned, proudly gesturing to Kitsune. "Callum gave her to me on behalf of the professor."

    Tears welled up in Mom's eyes. "My little girl..you've grown up so fast to already receive your first Pokémon..."

    [Is it bad if a human's eyes make water?] Kitsune asked.

    "No--those are tears." I told Kitsune. "Humans make them when they cry." I then presented the letter to Mom. "This is for you..."

    Mom read over the professor's letter detailing how I was to travel through Kalos, win Gym Badges, and take on the Pokémon League before composing herself. "If you believe you're ready for a journey, you're going to need more than that bag up in your room..."

    "Like?" I pressed Mom for more information.

    "You'll need first aid, emergency food and supplies, extra clothes...." Mom began as I brought down my gear from my room and allowed her to stash a first aid kit in one pocket, followed by food from the pantry.

    Kitsune,meanwhile, was interested in the guitar case. [What's in there?]

    "Something I use to sing songs with." I explained. "I'll do my best to have a campfire sing along every night, okay?"

    [Sounds fun!] Kitsune yipped. I grinned--I couldn't wait to teach Kitsune such classics as "Down By the Bay", "My Darling Clementine" and many other old favorites I had played a gazillion times down through the years.

    But little did I know as I went to bed that night, I would be doing more than fulfilling the professor's wishes--I was going to stop an evil team, defeat an evil dragon bird Pokémon, and save the world while I was at it!
     
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  2. MewY

    MewY Youngster

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    That sounds like a good story! Keep it up!
     
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  3. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Thank you--this is meant to be my Y discovery diary--but it's not quite a straight rehash of the game
     
  4. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 31
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    Episode 2: Earning a Shocking Pair of Wings (part 1)


    I left home with Kitsune early the next morning after telling Mom my goodbyes. "I'll call or send letters as often as I can." I assured her.

    "Treat Kitsune well--if you take care of her, she'll take care of you in return." Mom reminded me.

    "I will." I replied.

    [Are you done saying goodbye yet?] Kitsune asked with a huff. [There's a big wide world out there and here we are stuck on the front walk!]

    "Be patient, Kitsune--I may not see Mom again for a long time, and it's always sad when you leave home for the first time." I assured Kitsune before hugging Mom one last time. "I love you..."

    "I love you too, Serena--good luck." Mom replied as I shepherded Kitsune to my side. She waved as we started down the front walk for the last time for a while.

    As we walked down the pathway leading to Aquacorde Town again, a loud bellow startled Kitsune. [What was that?] she gasped, fearfully looking around the tree lined pathway for the supposed intruder.

    I then noticed a Rhyhorn lumbering through the grass, searching for its breakfast. As soon as it saw me, it unleashed another mighty bellow, as if to say "Good luck, new trainer!" "It was only a Rhyhorn." I assured Kitsune. "They tend to roam in the woods, and every year, when the new trainers leave on their journeys, they get a lot more vocal. Prof. Sycamore says it's because that time of year is mating season, but I like to think they're telling the new trainers good luck."

    [We'll go with that.] Kitsune smiled at my explanation as we walked through town and onto Route 2.

    Shauna and Callum were waiting for me on the route. "Serena! You made it!" Shauna grinned.

    "Hey guys..." I smiled back.

    Callum, meanwhile, offered me another box. "These are for you--your first set of Poke Balls."

    I halfway expected him to drag me into the grass and show me for the billionth time how to catch a Pokémon:

    1. Weaken the Pokémon by battle--DO NOT make it faint

    2. Toss Poké Ball

    3. Watch it wiggle--three wiggles usually means the Pokémon's not getting out, but you need to be prepared just in case.

    4. If the Poké Ball's center dims, you've got it.

    Instead, he encouraged me to go into the grass. "We're all trainers here, so we obviously don't need to go over how to catch a Pokémon. Instead, I want to see you make your first catch. Kero and me will be here if you need help." He gestured to his Froagie, who promptly proceeded to catch a Venonat with its tongue as Kitsune romped into the grass.

    Kitsune, meanwhile, heard a familiar birdsong in a tree. [I found a good mark!] she called. I hurried over to the tree, where a Fletchling was uneasily singing and warily eying the Fennekin looking up at it.

    I took that opportunity to look at Fletchling's Pokédex entry:

    "Fletchling, the tiny robin Pokémon. Despite the beauty of its lilting voice, it's merciless to intruders that enter its territory"

    Right on cue, the Fletchling dove into Kitsune, making her stumble backwards. Her first thought was to burn it with an Ember, but I warned her "Don't make it faint." She nodded, and ran to scratch it.

    The Fletchling unleashed a screech of pain as Kitsune's claw dug into its wing, and started flapping up a small tornado--a Gust attack! "Watch out!" I called to Kitsune, but the thud as the Gust picked her up and dropped her made me wince. "Are you okay?"

    [I think so...think I have enough strength to attack again...] she groaned as she eased herself to her feet.

    The Fletchling diving at her got her attention. She fired an Ember at the Fletchling, which singed its stomach and sent it fluttering into the grass.

    "Okay, Kitsune, I'll take over from here." I told Kitsune as I heaved a Poké Ball at it, which absorbed the weakened Fletchling in a flash of light...

    One...

    Two...

    Three...

    A smile formed on Kitsune's face when the center of the Poké Ball dimmed. [We did it! We caught a Fletchling!]

    Callum must've heard Kitsune's triumphant bark. "Nice work out there...I was worried for a minute when I saw that Gust attack."

    "May I see your Fletchling?" Shauna asked.

    I obediently let it out, allowing her to heal it with a Potion from her bag. "There we go...all better! Saves you a trip to the Pokémon Center." she grinned.

    The Fletchling looked up at me. [Who are you?]

    "My name's Serena." I replied. "If you've always wanted to see the world, I can make it happen."

    [Really?] The Fletchling was intrigued. [I've always wanted to grow into a majestic Talonflame and see what lies beyond Santalune Forest.]

    [We're on a trip around Kalos, so you're gonna get your wish.] Kitsune grinned.

    "Welcome to the team...Rouge." I smiled as I hugged my new Fletchling.

    "Rouge...what a pretty name!" Shauna commented.

    "I agree, and very fitting, since it means 'red'" Callum agreed before turning to leave. "We're going on ahead, but if you want to spend some time with Rouge, that's okay--we're in no hurry."

    "Be careful!" I called before Rouge flitted on my shoulder. "Okay...if you wanna ride on my shoulder for a while, you can."

    [I think I will.] Rouge replied as we continued on our way down the path...
     
  5. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Campfire Interlude 1: A Story Takes Flight

    I spent so much time getting Rouge and Kitsune to get along (Though I can't say I blame them for their initial skittishness--Fennekins and Fletchlings are natural enemies in the wild) that by the time I got them to somewhat tolerate each other, it was too dark to continue into Santalune Forest. So I made the most of the wasted travel time, and made my camp on the plains

    Kitsune was more than happy to start the fire, and Rouge flitted off to go find some Berries. They returned sometime later--Kitsune with a huge Magikarp and Rouge with several beakfuls of Leppa, Pecha, and Cheri Berries.

    [You said earlier you want to see what's beyond the forest...] Kitsune told Rouge.

    [Yeah--I want to see the big city in the center of the region especially.] Rouge explained. [They say there's a beautiful tower there with millions of lights on it that they turn on when night falls--or so the Pidgeys and other Fletchlings that have flown that far have told me.]

    {You sure you want to believe a Pidgey?] Kitsune asked. [They may just be telling a big lie to get your hopes up]

    "But there is often a chance that they are telling the truth." I reminded both Pokémon as I got the guitar out and started to tune it. "Lumiose City is a long way, but we'll get there in a few days if conditions are good and we don't get sidetracked."

    [The Chespin your friend adopted--he always told me the Gym Leader there is quite renowned as an inventor and tinker--even if what he invents doesn't always work] Kitsune told me in between bites of a Leppa Berry.

    "Yeah--I'm told Clemont is a bit of a character." I smiled. "Very skilled with Electric types too."

    [Do you know if he has a Pikachu?] Rouge asked. [I've always wanted to meet a Pikachu--they're always so happy and carefree.]

    [I dunno--anger or bother them too much and they'll give you a Thunderbolt you'll never forget.] Kitsune cautioned--she did not like the idea of being shocked by a mob of angry Pikachus.

    "I'm not sure if he does or not--but probably the most famous tamed Pikachu belongs to a Kanto boy who dreams of being the very best trainer in the world." I told both of them.

    [If that boy ever comes to Kalos, I want his autograph!] Kitsune cried, stars in her eyes.

    [You can always tell where Pikachus have been if you see charred Berries on the forest floor.] Rouge told me.

    "I'll have to remember that tomorrow." I assured Rouge as I finished tuning up. "Now then...who's up for a story?"

    [Only if it's not too scary...] Rouge replied.

    [I wanna hear an adventure story!] Kitsune begged. [Magic, heroes, princesses, dragon Pokémon, and epic quests!]

    I grinned at Kitsune's enthusiasm. "Well...in a far away land there reigned a king, and he had an only daughter who was so very beautiful that there was no one in the whole kingdom who could be compared to her. She was named Princess Petra, and the fame of her beauty, kindness,and wisdom spread far and wide."

    Rouge sighed dreamily over my relaxed melody as she pictured what she imagined Princess Petra to look like. "There were many princes among her suitors, but the one she loved best came from a kingdom on the hills--we'll call him Derek. She obtained her father's consent and blessing to their marriage, and then, attended by a huge retinue, set off with her lover for the shrine, Most of the princes who had been unsuccessful returned disappointed to their own kingdoms: but one of them, who was really the nightmare Pokémon Darkrai in disguise, was so mad that he vowed he would have his revenge."

    [Uh oh...] Kitsune swallowed hard.

    "So he turned himself into a whirlwind and lay in wait for the princess." I intoned over a minor keyed version of 'Here Comes the Bride' "When the wedding procession was about to enter the shrine, the air was suddenly filled with a blinding cloud of dust, and Petra went flying high as the highest clouds, and then right down to an underground palace. There Darkrai--who brought her down there to begin with--left her there, lifeless."

    [Oh no!] Rouge gasped.

    [D-did Princess Petra ever wake up?] Kitsune worried

    "When she opened her eyes, she found herself in such a magnificent castle that she figured some king must have run away with her. She got up and began to walk around, When she got to the kitchen, the table was set with gold and silver dishes, filled with food of all kinds."

    [Mmm...] Kitsune licked her lips at what the magnificent feast must have looked like.

    "She returned to the sofa and lay down to rest, but being unable to sleep, she looked first at the door, and then at the lamp burning on the table, then at the door again, and then back to the lamp. Suddenly the door opened by itself, and four demons that were fully armed came in the room. They carried a golden throne, upon which was seated Darkrai. He came close up to the sofa and attempted to kiss Princess Petra, but she smacked him in the face."

    Both Rouge and Kitsune roared with laughter as they pictured Darkrai receiving the slap and having little Torchics running around his head. "Understandably his cry of pain was so loud, that the palace walls trembled. Yet his love for her was so great that he did his best not to show his anger, and turned away as if to leave her. But as he was still a bit dazed, he fell down, dropping a cap he was carrying."

    [There's your magic item...] Rouge grinned at Kitsune.

    "Now, this cap had the power of making its wearer invisible." I explained. "The demons hurried up to their master, and placing him on his throne took him out of the room."

    [And then?] Kitsune asked over the interlude I was playing.

    "No sooner had Princess Petra found herself alone she jumped off the sofa, locked the door, and picking up the cap ran to a mirror to try it on and see how it fit her." I went on "Imagine her amazement when looking in the mirror she saw–nothing at all!"

    Rouge giggled as she pictured the princess' reaction. "She took off the cap, and she was there again just as she was before." I continued. "She soon found out what sort of cap it was, and marveling in owning such an item, put it on again and began to walk about the room. Just then the door flew open, and Darkrai stormed in. But he found neither Princess Petra nor the cap, and concluded that she had taken it. "

    Kitsune's laughter was the hardest as I played a "frantically searching" melody. "He began to search high and low; he looked under all the furniture, behind the curtains, and even beneath the carpets, but it was all in vain. Meanwhile Princess Petra, still invisible, had left the palace and run into the garden, which was very large and beautiful. There she lived without Darkrai having any clue, eating the delicious Berries, drinking water from the fountain, and enjoying the helpless fury of Darkrai, Sometimes she would throw the Berry seeds in his face, or take off the cap and show herself for a split second: then she would put it on again, and laugh at his rage."

    [Hee hee...poor Darkrai!] Rouge wheezed.

    "One day, while playing this game, the cap caught in the branches of a Berry bush." I intoned over a tense riff. Darkrai, seeing this, ran up, grabbed Princess Petra in one hand and the cap in the other, and was about to carry them both off when he heard the sound of a trumpet way off in the distance."

    [The hero has come!] Kitsune smiled, confident at what happened next

    "Darkrai trembled with rage and muttered words that I won't repeat here." I continued. "He cast a spell that put Princess Petra to sleep, covered her with the invisible cap, and grabbing huge sword, rose up in the air as high as the clouds, so that he might fall upon his assailant and kill him in one blow."

    [What about Prince Derek?] Rouge interrupted. [What happened to him?]

    "Well, after the storm had upset the wedding procession and carried off Princess Petra, the whole court was panicking." I explained "The king, the princess's attendants, and Prince Derek sought her in every direction, calling her by name, and asking anyone and everyone they met. At last, the king in despair declared that if Prince Derek did not bring back his daughter, he would destroy his kingdom and have him killed. And to the other princes present he promised that whosoever among them should bring Petra back would have her for his bride and receive half of the kingdom. At this command, they all mounted their Ponytas and hurried off in every direction.

    Kitsune tried oh-so-hard not to cry as I continued "Prince Derek, overpowered with grief and dismay, traveled three days without eating, drinking, or sleeping. On the evening of the third day he was quite worn out, and stopping his Ponyta in a field, got down to rest for a short time. Suddenly he heard cries, as of something in pain, and looking round saw an enormous Noctowl tearing a Buneary with its claws. Prince Derek grabbed the first hard thing that came to his hand; and with the heave of a huge piece of obsidian, killed the Noctowl with the first blow. The rescued Buneary ran up to him and gratefully licked his hands, but after it had ran off, the piece of obsidian spoke to him and said, "Prince Derek, accept my grateful thanks for the good turn you have done me. I belonged to an unhappy man who took his own life, and for this crime of suicide I have been condemned to roll in the mud until I was the means of saving the life of one of Arceus' creatures. I have been kicked about for nearly a thousand years, crumbling miserably on the earth, and without exciting the compassion of a single individual. You have been the means of setting me free by making use of me to save the life of that poor Buneary. In return for this kindness I will teach you how to call to your aid a shining Ponyta, who belonged to my master. She will be able to help you in a thousand ways, and when in need of her you have only to walk out on the plains without looking behind you, and to sing...."

    I next played a D chord and sang the first eleven notes of Epona's Song from Zelda: Hoo-oo-ooh, hoo-oo-ooh, hoo-oo-oo-woo-ooh...

    [Interesting song...] Rouge was intrigued.

    "Prince Derek thanked the obsidian piece, dug a hole at the foot of a tree, and reverently buried it, repeating over it prayers for the dead. Just as he finished, he saw a small blue light come out of the ground and fly towards heaven." I went on."When he couldn't see it any more, Prince Derek made a sign of Arceus and resumed his journey. He had gone some way on the plains when he stopped, and without looking back tried the effect of the magic song, singing..." I then sang Hoo-oo-ooh, hoo-oo-ooh, hoo-oo-oo-woo-ooh... again.

    Both Kitsune and Rouge waited for me to describe the Ponyta. "No sooner had Prince Derek sang the last note did a Ponyta with shining blue fire for her mane come running up to him. Her name was Epona, and she was light as air, with a shining white coat and a sapphire blue mane. When she asked Prince Derek what she wanted him to do, he told her everything. Then Epona sang..." I then sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    [A magic spell!] Rouge gasped.

    "...and in a flash of red light, Prince Derek was clad in a suit of splendid armor." I went on. "In addition to silver plate, he wore a steel helmet inlaid with gold, and his sword and bow completed the look. What's more, he felt himself filled with superhuman strength and bravery. When he stamped his foot and shouted the earth shook and gave forth a sound like thunder, so much so the very leaves fell from the trees. 'What must we do? Where are we to go?' he asked. Epona replied, 'Your bride, Princess Petra, has been carried off by Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokémon. This powerful scourge must be defeated, but he lives a long way from here, and nothing can touch or wound him except the sword that belongs to a monster with the head and eyes of a basilisk.'"

    [Here comes the quest...] Kitsune flared her ears in excitement.

    "Prince Derek leaped aboard Epona, and they set off immediately, clearing high mountains, dark forests, raging rivers; and so light was Epona's step that she galloped over the grass without so much as bending a single blade, and along sandy roads without raising even a grain of dust." I continued over an exciting riff. "Finally, they reached a vast plain, strewn with human and Pokémon bones. They stopped in front of a huge mountain, and Epona said' Prince Derek, this mountain that you see before you is the head of the monster with basilisk eyes, and the bones that whiten the ground are the skeletons of his victims, so beware of his eyes. The heat of the midday sun has made the giant sleep, and the sword with the never-failing blade lies there before him. Bend down and quietly approach until we are close enough, then grab the sword. Without the sword, not only will the monster be unable to harm you, but he himself will be completely at your mercy.'"

    [What did Prince Derek do?] Rouge gasped, her eyes shining in anticipation.

    "Epona quietly approached the huge creature, upon which the prince bent down, and quickly picked up the sword." I explained over a sneaking motif. "Then, mounting Epona again, he cheered loud enough to wake the dead. The giant lifted his head, yawned, and turned his bloodthirsty eyes on Prince Derek; but seeing the sword in his hand he calmed down, and asked for Prince Derek to spare him."

    [Why?] Kitsune was intrigued.

    "The monster explained that he had once been a great knight of the race of giants, and if it were not for the wickedness of Darkrai he should have lived in peace." I went on. "Darkrai was jealous of his looks and talents, and tried to kill him, or at least gravely wound him, winding up cursing him into his current form. All his strength, which is extraordinary, lied in his heart, and his body could only be cut by the sword in Prince Derek's hand. If he succeeded in killing Darkrai, he would be healed of his terrible curse."

    Both Pokémon listened as I started an adventurous melody. "Prince Derek bade Epona carry him to the kingdom of Darkrai. They reached the garden gate at the very second when Darkrai had spotted Princess Petra and was running after her. The trumpet challenging him to fight had obliged him to leave her, which he did, after putting on the invisible cap."

    [I see! It was the prince that sounded the trumpet earlier!] The lightbulb went off in Kitsune's head.

    "As Prince Derek was awaiting the answer to his challenge, he heard a mighty rushing wind, and looking up saw Darkrai preparing to aim at him from a great height. But he missed his aim and fell to the ground so heavily that his body was half buried in the in the ground." I went on to some giggles. "The prince had no problem killing Darkrai with the sharp smiting sword."

    [Yay!] Rouge cheered at Prince Derek's victory.

    "With Darkrai dead, his spell on Princess Petra and his curse on the knight were broken." I went on over a happy melody. "When they got home, the king, overcome with joy, kissed Princess Petra fondly, and the same evening she was married to the devoted Prince Derek. The king himself led her to the altar, and to his son-in-law he gave half his kingdom. So splendid was the wedding festivities, that no eye has ever seen, nor ear ever heard of its equal since then."

    [That was great!] Kitsune cheered

    Rouge brushed away a happy tear. [I love happy endings...]

    "I'll try to tell you guys a story every night as we travel." I assured the Pokémon as they romped off to bed..
     
  6. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 3: Earning a Shocking Pair of Wings (part 2)

    After breaking camp the next morning, we continued on our way down the path to Santalune Forest. Kitsune trotted by my side, and Rouge rode on my shoulder, singing happily all the while to welcome a new day.

    Her song got a boy's attention. "Excuse me, do you have any antidotes or Pecha Berries?" he asked.

    "i do--what's the matter?" I asked.

    "My Zigzagoon--his name is Sly--got poisoned by the bugs in the forest, and I'm scared he'll faint before we get to a Pokémon Center." he explained.

    "I have a few Pecha Berries left over from last night--where is Sly now?" I asked.

    "Come on--I'll show you where he is." The boy led me into the grass and over to a tree, where a Zigzagoon was uneasily resting in the grass, breathing heavily from the poison's effects. "I'm back, Sly...and I have help." he gently assured the Zigzagoon as he removed a white blanket and assessed a bite wound in its bushy brown fur. "Name's Austin--I was so excited to get to Santalune City and have Sly take on Viola, the Gym Leader, but Sly can't battle like this."

    I knelt down and offered Sly a Pecha Berry. "Hello, Sly...here's something to help you feel better." The Zigzagoon happily snapped up the Berry, thankful for my help.

    Once sure Sly was comfy again, I addressed Austin. "Before you travel through the forest again, pack lots of remedies." I told him. "They'll be a huge help against Viola, since she uses bugs too. As for Sly, let him rest for a bit longer, then take him to a Pokémon Center."

    "Okay! Thanks!" Austin called. He waved goodbye as I returned to the path.

    [That was very nice of you...] Rouge smiled.

    "Well, trainers help other trainers as much as they can." I explained as we approached the supply outpost that marked the forest entrance. "It's courtesy."

    I was about to say more when someone called "There you are!"

    "Shauna?" I whirled around and saw Shauna by the forest entryway. "What are you doing here?"

    "I came in hopes you'd let me go with you in the forest--it's dangerous to go alone, after all." Shauna explained.

    I smirked at Shauna's Zelda reference. "Okay, we can go together."

    "Yes!" Shauna cried. "If you run into trouble, I can heal your Pokémon for you." She proudly gestured to her bag, which was bulging with Potions, antidotes, Paralyze Heals, Awakenings, and Arceus knows what else. How she could've afforded it all, I didn't know, but it gave me some comfort in knowing I wouldn't have to hike all the way back to Aquacorde if things got bad.

    "Okay--let's stay together." I explained as we stepped into the forest. "I'll be making trail markers if we get lost or separated."

    "Got it!" Shauna replied as I bent a twig into a vaguely one-like shape to mark the entrance.

    For a while, our expedition was uneventful--Shauna seemed to enjoy admiring the sun streaming through the trees, Beautiflies and Vivillions flitting about, and the Scatterbugs munching on leaves.

    It was only after I made another trail marker that I saw some charred Leppa Berry skins on the ground. "Must be Pikachus close by..."

    "Really?" Shauna was intrigued.

    "Rouge says you can tell where they've been if you see charred Berries or Berry skins on the ground." I explained as I stepped over a tree root. "As cute as they are, if we find one, don't go nuts over it--that may scare them away."

    A "Pika!" by my foot got my attention. When I saw that a Pikachu had been following us ever since we found the clump of charred Berries, I smiled.

    "Hello there..." I smiled at it before consulting my Pokédex:

    "Pikachu, the mouse Pokémon. It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs."

    Shauna stooped down to pet it, but it sparked at her, so she wisely backed away. It didn't seem to mind my approaching it, though--probably because it seemed more interested in digging through my bag than the two humans observing it.

    I gasped when I saw the Pikachu had a somewhat heart shaped tail. "It's a girl!"

    "You don't have a Daddychu or Pichus, do you?" Shauna cooed to it.

    [Nuh-uh, I would rather explore the world than be a mamachu.] the Pikachu explained before it found my Poke Balls. [Can I come with you?]

    "Well, if you've followed us all the way here, I have no problem with you joining me." I smiled before gently touching the Pikachu with the Poké Ball she found, allowing her to go inside in a flash of red light.

    "Nice, you didn't even have to battle!" Shauna grinned before noticing the sun was beginning to set, and we still had a ways to go before we reached any form of civilization. "Wow, is it nighttime already?"

    "Fraid so..." I replied as we arrived in a clearing. "We'll camp here for tonight." With that, I decided to release my new Pikachu. "I think I'll call you...Lita..."

    [What a pretty name!] Rouge chirped.

    [Welcome aboard, Lita.] Kitsune nuzzled her. [You're gonna be on the adventure of a lifetime!]

    [I can't wait!] Lita happily squeaked as I petted her....
     
  7. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Campfire Interlude 2: Friends by the Fire

    When I started the fire, Lita was mesmerized by the flickering flames. [So warm...]

    "You won't even need to look for berries tonight--I brought food!" Shauna grinned as she prepared some ground beef for cooking.

    "Thanks...saves me a lot of trouble." I smiled. "I have some food too, in case it doesn't turn out good."

    "Relax--I learned a few recipes good for a campfire before we left, so we shouldn't be messing with stomachaches from bad food." Shauna assured me.

    "I'll take your word for it, then." I replied as I pitched my tent

    Lita seemed interested in what Shauna was making, so Shauna explained every step of her recipe to her. "First, I'm gonna fold the aluminum foil so there's two layers..." After doing this, she explained "Then I'm gonna put about a burger patty sized mound of meat inside...put a little oil over it...add some vegetables....then fold the foil so that it makes a flat packet..."

    She then reached for some tongs. "Then you put it over the fire and let it all cook for a few minutes."

    [Mm... smells delicious...] Lita smiled as Shauna watched the packets, making sure to turn them so that they cooked evenly.

    [I agree...] Kitsune agreed.

    After a few tense seconds, Shauna removed the packets from the fire, carefully opened one, and poked one of the potatoes with a fork. When it went through easily, she smiled. "Okay! Let's eat!"

    I took the other packet and took a bite. "Hm....wow...Shauna, this is great!"

    "My family always makes these when we go camping--it's Shauna's Dinner in a Packet!" Shauna grinned. "Really easy to clean up, too, so we don't have to worry about wild Pokémon getting into our stuff."

    After securing the trash in a tree (not that there were Ursarings in the forest, but Shauna wanted to be absolutely sure, just in case) and doing the dishes, she decided to let out her Chespin. "Come on out, Chester!"

    "Chester?" I asked as her Chespin materialized on the grass.

    "I thought the name was cute." Shauna replied as she fed Chester what was left of her packet.

    Kitsune, meanwhile, romped up to Chester. [No hard feelings about before, okay?]

    [No offense taken.] he assured her. [Ya were always the most determined ta win a battle, even if ya did scorch me good back there.]

    Then he spotted my guitar case. [Oh boy! We're gonna have a sing-along!]

    [And stories, too!] Kitsune added.

    Lita, meanwhile, was intrigued as I started tuning up. [What kind of stories do you tell?]

    "All kinds--adventure tales, funny stories, scary stories, stories about why things are, and some true stories from our regional history." I explained.

    [She even takes requests!] Kitsune added.

    [You'll love it!] Rouge agreed.

    As soon as I was tuned, Shauna sang at the top of her lungs We'll be coming round the mountain when we come! We'll be coming round the mountain when we come!.... as I played along.

    [But we're nowhere near a mountain....] Lita interjected, stopping the song.

    "It's just how the song goes, okay?" I assured Lita as I started the song again.

    We'll be coming round the mountain when we come! We'll be coming round the mountain when we come! Shauna sang again. We'll be coming around the mountain, we'll be coming round the mountain, we'll be coming round the mountain when we come...

    ---------

    "Okay, Serena...what kind of story do you have for us tonight?" Shauna asked as the last chord of "Yellow Submarine" faded into the night.

    I thought for a moment for a story Shauna and Chester would probably like, then began. "There was once a prince that had three sons. The first two followed in their father's footsteps, but the third--we'll call him Harrison--did not. He said he wanted to be a ranger."

    [What's a ranger?] Lita asked.

    "Someone who takes care of parks and forests, and guides people through forests." Shauna explained.

    "The father was angry and kicked him out of the house." I continued over a sad interlude. "He gave him shepherd's garb, and Harrison went out into the world."

    [That's not very nice!] Lita gasped, sparking a little.

    "He had been walking through a forest for three days. He was hungry and cold, and everything seemed to be against him. He was tired too, and he finally fell asleep under a tree." I continued. "As he was sleeping, an old mage came to him. He would not leave him to sleep, but woke him up. Harrison was understandably frightened at first, but the mage told him there was no need to be afraid--he only used his powers to do good things."

    [Oh, a friendly wizard!] Chester smiled.

    "So Harrison stayed with him for seven years and learned many languages, how to play the Pokeflute, and all kinds of other stuff." I went on. "Now, in that land there was a king who had an only daughter--we'll call her Ariana, since the moon was shining brightly on the night she was born. There was a fierce Noivern which was ravaging the whole of that kingdom, and everybody was forced to give him one Mareep and one person chosen by lot to appease him. So the lot fell on Princess Ariana too."

    [Oh no...] Rouge puffed up her feathers a little in fear.

    [Someone's gonna save her, okay?] Lita assured Rouge.

    "The old mage told Harrison that something had to be done to deliver the people and to save Princess Ariana from being eaten by the Noivern." I continued. "He told him to go to the next house and ask to be hired as a shepherd, and in the morning he would have to drive the Mareep into the forest. So they said their goodbyes to each other, and Harrison was hired as a shepherd. The next morning, he drove the Mareep into the forest, where the old mage was waiting for him. When he came with the Mareep, the old mage gave him a wand and a ring, and said..."

    "When you sing 'Karuto, ichiida shou'...to this ring, you will first be brought to a castle where a giant dwells, and you will have to fight the giant. This wand will help you to do it. Then you must take his robe, his Ponyta, and his sword. When you sing the spellsong again, you will be brought to the town, and it will be about the time that Princess Ariana will be brought out."

    [And then?] Kitsune puffed out her ears in anticipation

    "So Harrison took his leave and everything happened as the old mage had said. As he came near to the castle, the giant was looking outside, and he demanded to know what Harrison was looking for." I continued over a tense melody. "When Harrison replied he was looking for a fight, the giant got mad at this--how dare was a human stronger than him?"

    The Pokémon giggled as I started the Zelda theme. "He was holding a great club in his hand, and he flung it at Harrison, but Harrison dodged it and the club sank deep into the ground, it had been flung with such force. So Harrison went right up to him, and zapped him with the wand."

    [What spell did he cast?] Lita interuppted.

    "I don't know, the tale never really says." I confessed. "Just assume it was something giants don't like."

    Lita seemed to accept that answer, so I continued "The giant tumbled over, and Harrison took his sword and cut off his head. Then he took a crystal key out of the giant's pocket. He opened the lock, took the robe and the Ponyta, and dressed himself as a knight. Then he sang Karuto, iichiida shou... to the ring, and in a moment he found himself on the road along which they were bringing Princess Ariana to be devoured by the Noivern. When he saw the procession, he asked what was going on and why the people were crying. When told it was because Princess Ariana was to be eaten by a Noivern, Harrison asked to be led to the Noivern's den."

    [And then?] Chester gasped, his eyes shining in anticipation.

    "So he rode up to the Noivern's cave, and demanded a fight." I continued. But the Noivern answered that he wasn't in the mood to fight that day. If he wanted a fight, Harrison would have to come again the next day."

    The camp exploded in laughter at the turn of events. "That's one lazy Noivern!" Shauna wheezed in between giggles.

    I waited for the laughter to quiet, then went on. "So Harrison returned the next day. He rode towards them and said that the Noivern would not leave his den today. So they all went back to the town with the knight, and the king would not let him leave on any account...."

    Some time later...

    ..."They brought him before the princess, and she made him tell her how he had got that ring and how he had been clothed." I continued over a love theme. "So he said: 'All those three days I was with you.'"

    [Aw...] Chester sighed dreamily.

    "Harrison did not go back to the marshal, though he complained of the loss of his shepherd." I continued. "He was clad in royal robes now, and they had a splendid wedding in the castle. But Princess Ariana did not know what his heritage was, although she could see that he was not a common man."

    I then concluded "They lived together for a long time, and Harrison and the old mage went on many more adventures. But that is another story for another day!"

    [YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!!] Lita cheered as she applauded.

    [Encore!] Chester agreed.

    "I don't know what you do to learn all those cool stories..." Shauna smiled as she put out the campfire and started for her tent. "But whatever you do, please keep doing it!"
     
  8. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 4: Meetings on the Forest Path

    After breaking camp the next morning, we met the boys on the main path. "Good morning, all-did everyone sleep well?" Callum smiled.

    "It was a bit weird sleeping in a tent..." Trevor yawned. "Didn't help that Tierno danced himself to sleep..."

    "So? Sometimes I enjoy a good groove before bed!" Tierno protested.

    "Everyone, please!" Callum quickly diffused the impending argument. "Do you want to go with us, Shauna, or stay with Serena?"

    "I'll stay with Serena--you guys missed a cool story last night!" Shauna grinned. "It was about this boy who befriended a wizard, received magic power, fought a Noivern, and saved a princess!"

    "Sounds pretty exciting--I would've loved to hear it." Trevor smiled.

    "You always did have a knack for campfire stories, neighbor." Callum grinned at me before he turned to leave. "We're going on ahead--we should find our way out of here before sunset."

    "Take care!" I called as I waved goodbye.

    I noticed Shauna digging in the grass. "What's the matter?"

    "Sometimes if you get lucky, you'll find stuff that people dropped." Shauna explained before offering me a Paralyze Heal. "Someone just left this Paralyze Heal--do you want it? I have plenty already..."

    "Sure!" I replied as I stashed the Paralyze Heal in my bag. "Thank you!"

    [What does that stuff do?] Lita asked, piqued in the bottle of pale yellow liquid.

    "This is medicine to cure paralysis." I explained. "So if a bug uses Stun Spore, this will loosen up your paralyzed arms and legs."

    [I see...] Lita replied.

    "Hey!" A familiar young boy darted up to us, a Scatterbug and a Fletchling not far behind him. "What do you think of my Fletchling? He's in the top ten percent of all Fletchlings!"

    "Oh, so we've given up on Ratattas and moved on to Fletchlings, Joey?" Shauna grinned at the boy.

    "Rattatas are so last year--now, I'm all about Fletchlings!" Joey proclaimed before running off.

    I stifled a giggle as Joey hurried off to challenge a Scatterbug--for a long time he had a beloved Rattata that he would tell anyone and everyone that would listen that it was "in the top ten percent of all Rattata" He didn't just tell this to people's faces--anyone unfortunate enough to give him their phone number would get near daily calls reminding them of this fact.

    "What do you think became of Joey's Rattata?" I asked Shauna as I waded through some brush.

    "I'd like to think it's at his house, doing...whatever it is Rattatas do for fun.". Shauna replied.

    As we rounded a corner, I noticed a Pikachu wearing a blue ribbon trying to get some Oran Berries on a high branch. But no matter how much she tried ramming the tree, shocking it, or shaking it, none of the Berries would drop.

    Kitsune took it upon herself to help the Pikachu and her master, a young girl, out. [Need some help?]

    The Pikachu heaved a relieved sigh, grateful someone had come to help. [Yeah...my master wants to pick some of the Berries, but they're too high up for me to reach!]

    [We can help!] Rouge flitted to the branches with Berries and flapped up a Gust, which made them fall into a basket Kitsune carried down below. She would occasionally dart one way or another to catch a Berry that didn't fall straight down, but what Berries didn't land in the basket, Lita would dash to pick up.

    The Pikachu's owner was ecstatic to see Kitsune's basket. "Wow! You and your Pokémon make a great team!"

    [Yes, thank you!] the Pikachu agreed as her master spread out a picnic blanket on the grass.

    "Would you like to join us for lunch?" the girl asked. "As thanks for helping us out?"

    "I'd love to, miss..." I started, before it dawned on me we hadn't introduced ourselves.

    "Anna." the girl smiled. "and this is Kiiro." she added, gesturing to the Pikachu.

    [Nice to meet you!] Kitune replied.

    "I'm Serena, and this is my friend Shauna." I replied. "We're on our way to Santalune City..."

    "Really? I heard Viola's famous for her pictures..." Anna mused.

    [Pictures? Like pictures you draw?] Rouge was intrigued.

    "No--the kind you take with a camera." I explained. I would've gone into detail about how a camera worked, but that would've been too hard for all the Pokémon to understand.

    "What kind of pictures does Viola take?" Shauna was intrigued.

    "Everything! Pokémon, cityscapes, flowery fields, landmarks, other people--you name it!" Anna replied. "In fact, some of her pictures are on display in the Lumoise Art Museum's photography wing..."

    Shauna sighed with nostalgia. "I remember end of the year field trips to Lumiose...used up entire rolls of film in one day."

    I grinned. "Maybe Prof. Sycamore will give us tickets to the theater to see a play."

    "Ooh, a play!" That got Anna excited. "They say to have a play premiere in Lumiose is a great honor."

    [What's a play?] Lita asked.

    [Essentially, humans dress up in costumes and act out a story.] Kitsune explained as we started cleaning up our picnic area.

    [Sounds fun!] Rouge smiled.

    [I hear that in some plays, the humans sing songs and dance too.] Kiiro grinned.

    [I really, really hope we go see a play when we get to Lumiose...] Kitsune smiled, scenes of actors in elegant costumes dancing in her mind.

    After bidding Anna and Kiiro goodbye, the rest of our trek through the forest was uneventful. When we got to the forest edge, Callum and the boys were waiting for us. "Bout time...we were worried you lost your groove in the forest!" Tierno noted.

    "We're fine, Tierno...we just stopped to help a little girl, and she invited us to lunch as thanks." I explained.

    "That was very nice of you..." Tierno mused.

    "Now...I have something for all of you..." Callum then proceeded to give us each handmade books. "These are filled with some rules of the road I felt we should all remember on our travels."

    "Thanks, man!" Tierno wasted no time in thumbing through his book. "You put a lot of effort into this!"

    "Professional quality!" Trevor agreed as he admired a picture on one page of his.

    Piqued, I opened my book and read a little bit of Callum's wisdom:

    Whether you're only going to the next town over, or on a grand adventure across the region, there are certain things a traveler should do. Whether it's for safety, common courtesy, or just for a good deed, following these will fill your journey with memories that last a lifetime.

    I then read the beginning of the first page of tips a little farther down:

    --Always help someone in need--you never know who that trainer on the side on the road may be!

    --If you're asked to have a battle, always accept--not only is it proper trainer's etiquette, both sides' Pokémon get experience, even if they lose.

    --Treat your Pokémon well, and they'll treat you well in return...


    Just like Mom said... I smiled as I looked at the drawing of a male trainer cuddling with an Eevee.

    --Even if you can't play an instrument to save your life and your voice is not Kalosian Idol material, make an effort to learn the words to a few campfire songs and learn a few stories to tell around the campfire.

    --Take more supplies than you think you'll need--it may save your life!

    --Always take advantage of the Pokémon Center--not only do they care for Pokémon, there's lodging and amenities for the trainer too.

    --Take the time to see the sights in each place you visit, no matter how lame or overpriced they may be.</i>

    Point duly noted. I grinned as I skimmed through the book. Callum had thought of everything: first aid, emergency procedures, campfire friendly recipes, both well known, and not so well known sights in Kalos, and something personalized for each person--in Tierno's, he had included a section on ethnic dances of Kalos. Trevor's had a section on where to see rare Pokémon, and mine had the text of several folktales he figured I would like, plus the lyrics and chords to some songs--some from Kalos, and some from other regions I had never heard before.

    "Thanks, Callum! I'm gonna cherish this forever!" Shauna smiled as she flipped through her book's personalized section--Kalosian theater and fashion.

    "Yes, thank you..." I agreed. "I can't wait to learn some of these songs and play them!"
     
  9. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 5: The Sights of Santalune


    "So, what does everyone want to do when we get to Santalune City?" Callum asked us as we walked down the path.

    Tierno sweatdropped. "Um...Trevor n' me are not going directly there..."

    "Yeah, we wanna see what other Pokémon we can find." Trevor agreed before following Tierno down the path.

    "I want to check out the shops there--what's a trip without souvenirs?" Shauna grinned.

    "What about you, Callum?" I asked. "What are you gonna do?"

    "I'm gonna challenge Viola, the Gym Leader." he replied as the dirt path turned into cobblestones, heralding the city entrance.

    "I may do that too, after seeing the sights." I explained. "But before I do ANYTHING, I'm going to head for the Pokémon Center."

    With that, I located the familiar red roofed building sandwiched in between two clothing shops in the heart of the shopping district. The one on the left sold T-shirts and other trinkets for tourists, and the other appeared to be a nicer boutique

    "Good morning!" Nurse Joy smiled as I made my way inside.

    After recalling my three Pokémon into their balls, I strolled up to the counter. "I need these three healed, please...."

    "All right--just have a seat over there, and Muna will bring your Pokémon out to you shortly." Nurse Joy explained, pointing out some couches by the left windows. Some trainers were dozing on them, some were playing with young Pokémon (particularly one young boy with a Pichu romping on the floor), and still others were reading or using some of the phones to call friends or family.

    Inspired, I decided to call Mom and update her on my progress. There was one vacant phone by an employee entrance, so I inserted a coin and dialed home.

    "Hello?" Mom's face blipped on the screen.

    "Hi, Mom--just wanting to let you know we made it to Santalune City." I began. "Right now, I'm healing my Pokémon, but as soon as that's done, I'm gonna meet Shauna and do a little shopping before we battle for our first badge."

    "Viola uses bug Pokémon, so you and Kitsune should be just fine." Mom assured me.

    "If Kitsune falls, I have a Fletchling and a Pikachu as backup." I added.

    We visited for another few minutes, but a Chansey arrived with my three Pokémon on a gurney just as I said goodbye. [Here you are, good as new!]

    [Oh, it feels so good to stretch my wings!] Rouge smiled as she stretched her wings and flapped them a little before flitting on my shoulder.

    "Thank you." I told the Chansey as I shepherded Kitsune and Lita to my side.

    Just then, Tierno arrived in the Pokémon Center. He grinned when he found me. "Well! Fancy seeing you here! Our Pokémon hunt didn't go so well..." he sighed as he handed over his Poke Balls to Nurse Joy.

    "I'm gonna go do some window shopping with Shauna." I smiled as I departed. Tierno just sighed as he plopped onto a vacant couch--shopping was one of those girly things he didn't understand.

    Shauna met me at the boutique next to the Pokémon Center. "This place sells hats and accessories! You need a hat befitting a strong trainer, Ruby-san!"

    I looked up at my red hat and white sunglasses--while I didn't see anything wrong with my current hat, there was also nothing wrong with looking. Besides, if I found a really special hat, I could just send my current hat home via PC.

    "Okay, Shauna..." I smiled as we entered the boutique. "I'll try on some hats, and you tell me how you like them. The one that gets the best reaction, I'll buy."

    "That works!" Shauna grinned.

    The first hat I tried was a blue beret. "I don't think so..." Shauna sighed.

    Next came a tan bucket hat. "Definitely not." Shauna told me, so back in the fitting room I went.

    "Mmm...nah..." was her reaction to a grey porkpie hat

    "That's a little better..." She seemed to like me in a newsboy cap.

    "Ew!" she winced when she saw me a droopy sun hat with black polka dots.

    I next emerged in a red fedora with a Fletchling feather for trim. "YEAH!" Shauna cheered. "Perfect!"

    [Serena Dragonswift and the Temple of Secrets!] Kitsune sighed dreamily as she pictured me as a brave explorer in an old timey movie serial.

    "Okay, I'll buy this one." I told Kitsune.

    So 2600 credits later (2100 for the hat, and 500 for the feather), I was the hat's proud owner. But 2600 credits was pocket change compared to the initial 100,000 I started with.

    Shauna wanted to buy a postcard for her family, so we bought one depicting the Roselia fountain in the town square. Then we watched the students of the trainer's school play on the playground while Shauna filled in all we had done so far.

    As Shauna was working, a black haired girl skated up to us. "I haven't seen you guys around before...where you headed?"

    "Oh, we were just exploring town and needed a break." I replied. "I'm Serena..."

    "I'm Rinka." the skater grinned. "What brings you here to Santalune? The Trainer's School?"

    "We mainly came to take on Viola..." I explained.

    "Okay...you probably know she's famous for her pictures." Rinka explained. "But she has an equally famous sister--Alexa, the drama and novel critic for the Lumiose Times. If your play or novel impresses her, it has to be good."

    "Cool!" Shauna smiled as she wrote the last sentence on her postcard.

    Rinka then remembered a third pair of rollerblades she carried. "I've been looking to give these skates a home...so if one of your Pokémon can beat one of mine, I'll give them to you and I'll buy you coffee. Lose, and you have to buy me coffee."

    "Fair by me." I grinned. "What flavor should I get, if I lose?"

    "I like the Minty Frozen Mocha." Rinka showed me the picture of a frozen mocha with whipped cream, chocolate syrup on top, and mint leaves for garnish on a menuboard.

    "Then I will try one for you if I win." I smiled.

    ---------

    "Representing the Red side, brave explorer Serena!" Shauna announced as I took my place on the square with Rouge. "And representing the Blue side, blader Rinka!" Rinka skated into position with a Zigzagoon romping behind her.

    Intrigued in the charming raccoon-like Pokémon, I looked at its Pokédex entry:

    "Zigzagoon, the tinyraccoon Pokémon. It restlessly wanders everywhere at all times. This Pokémon does this because it is very curious, interested in anything it happens to see."

    Sure enough, the Zigzagoon was looking around at the trees, the fountain, Kitsune and Lita, and my shoes. "Focus, Meeko." Rinka assured it, snapping it to attention.

    "Red side ready?" Shauna announced. Rouge sang a confident little melody in reply. "Blue side ready?" Meeko yipped in reply, intrigued at the Fletchling before it.

    "And three...two...one..." With that, Shauna blew a whistle to start the battle.

    Rouge was caught off guard by the Zigzagoon rushing to headbutt it, and went flying a few inches backwards at impact. After regaining her bearings, she fired an Ember at her opponent, but it only singed the Zigzagoon's fur as it ran out of the way.

    "You okay, Rouge?" I asked--she had taken a hard hit.

    [I think so...] she groaned as she rubbed her head.

    I held up three fingers. "How many fingers do you see?"

    [Three...] Rouge replied. That was a relief--at least she had no serious head injury.

    "Okay...use a Gust attack to pick your opponent up!" I ordered.

    "Dodge and Tackle!" came Rinka's command.

    Try as the Zigzagoon might to dodge, the Gust picked it up and dropped it, just as it had done to Kitsune. But the Zigzagoon still had a little strength left after ramming into Rouge again, and fired a blast of cold air--an Icy Wind! Granted, Rouge was part Fire, but the attack would still do major damage if Rouge didn't dodge.

    Thankfully, Rouge flew out of the way, making me shiver a bit. "What? I thought that Icy Wind would seal the deal!" Rinka gasped.

    [Heads up!] Rouge dove into the Zigzagoon, making it collapse on the pavement with a plop.

    Yet Rinka didn't seem angry when Shauna blew the whistle and declared me the winner. "Wow! Most bird users aren't expecting Icy Wind, and fall like Venonats. Rouge is one brave birdie."

    "And Meeko did well too." I agreed as we shook hands.

    After healing Meeko at the Pokémon Center, Rinka made good on her promise. "I hope you'll take good care of these, and think of me when you skate in them..." she smiled as she presented me with a pair of red rollerblades. "You've earned them!"

    "I promise I'll take care of them." I assured Rinka as we went inside the coffee shop to discuss our battle over Minty Frozen Mochas....
     
  10. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 6: The Picture of Victory


    I woke up the morning of my battle with Viola in high spirits. "Who's ready to go and try for our first badge?"

    [MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!] Kitsune, Rouge, and Lita chorused at the same time.

    [Let's do it!] Lita smiled, sparking in anticipation.

    After putting the Pokémon Center's guest room back in order (the Chanseys were very grateful I had at least tidied it up--which mean less work for them) we made our way to the Gym.

    The first thing that met us were the many pictures on the walls. [Wow...is this the Gym or a museum?] Rouge gasped as she admired the many photographs of fields, landmarks, Pokémon, and people.

    [Wonder who this guy is?] Kitsune mused as she admired a picture of a brown haired boy with tanned skin holding a crowd spellbound as he spoke about something.

    I knelt down to inspect the information plate. "Every year, Pewter City in Kanto holds a major storytelling festival that attracts storytellers, artisans and musicians from all over the world. The main attraction for many festival goers is hearing the resident Gym Leader, Brock, perform. In addition to being a master storyteller, he is a superb musician, songwriter, and actor, and regularly incorporates those talents into every story he tells."

    [I wanna go there and hear him perform one day...] Rouge sighed dreamily.

    "Me too, but Kanto's a long way from here." I cautioned as I admired a picture of a Vaporeon sunning itself on a rock overlooking the ocean.

    "What's the hustle, little Crustle?" a voice asked, startling me from admiring the photographs.

    I whirled around and saw a dull blonde haired man nearby a pole painted to look like Spinarak silk. "Who are you?"

    "Name's Jim...it's my job to help would be League champions by givin' 'em some tips about what to expect in every Gym." the man assured me. "This your first time challenging a Gym?"

    "Y-yeah..." I stammered.

    "How d'ya feel right now?" Jim asked. "Excited? Thrilled? Pumped?"

    "My Pokémon are, but I'm actually a bit nervous..." I confessed.

    "Don't be...I'll be here rooting for you every step of the way." Jim grinned. "And what might our would be League medalist be named?"

    "My name's Serena..." I nearly whispered. Jim's exuberant personality was a bit overwhelming, but at the same time, something told me he genuinely wanted to help.

    "Serena? Okay then, Serena...as you can see, Viola's a true blue shutterbug." Jim explained, gesturing to the millions of photos around us. "As such, she loves bug Pokémon. Fire and Flying types are your best bets, but have a few Pokémon on standby to cover secondary types."

    "Okay..." I replied. "I should be fine with my current team, then."

    "Fine? You'll be more than fine with a Fennekin, a Fletchling, and a Pikachu." Jim assured me. "So just slide on down here, and show Viola what the picture of confidence looks like!" He made a grand gesture to the thread-like pole to emphasize his point.

    I took a deep breath to quell the Vivillions fluttering in my stomach, then carefully climbed on the pole. "This is it, you guys...no turning back now."

    We carefully slid down the pole (well, Rouge decided to fly down) and landed on a rope maze that resembled a Spinarak web. [You sure this is safe?] Lita was not so sure that the wobbly white rope would hold a Pikachu, much less a human.

    "You'll be fine, Lita--there's one of these at almost every playground." I told Lita as I started climbing across the threads. "Although I will admit this is the first one I've found on this large a scale."

    Seeing me climb across the threads spurred Kitsune, and then Lita, to follow me. Rouge, being a bird, decided to be my eyes from the air in helping me find the right route. [Okay...start turning left here...keep going...little more...now go right...mind the knot there...head right....]

    ---------

    [....and a little more to the right...and we're here!] Rouge smiled as we finally arrived at the other end of the room. A blonde haired girl--who I assumed was Viola--grinned at us as we stepped off the rope maze and onto solid ground again. The camera in her hands didn't look like the cheap digital cameras in souvenir shops--this one was very clearly a top of the line camera from a respected brand.

    "That determined expression...that glint in your eye that says you're up to the challenge--it's fantastic!" she smiled as she set the camera on a table in the large tent. "This your first Gym challenge?"

    "Yes--my name is Serena, and I would like to try for your badge." I replied, trying my hardest not to show Viola I was nervous.

    "Wonderful!" Viola grinned. "Whether it's the tears of frustration that follow defeat, or the blossoming of joy that comes with victory, they're both picture perfect!"

    [I'm glad you think so, but do we really need to get all philosophical over a battle?] Kitsune was unimpressed by Viola's monologue.

    Viola grabbed a Poké Ball from another table. "If you're ready, come at me!" She heaved the Poké Ball skyward. "I'm focused on victory!"

    I was intrigued by the small blue bug Pokémon with spindly legs Viola had summoned, so I consulted my Pokédex:

    "Surskit, the pond skater Pokémon." the Pokédex explained. "If it senses danger, it secretes a thick, sugary syrup from the tip of its head. There are some Pokémon that love eating this syrup."

    [I'll take this one!] Lita volunteered. Her first Thundershock fizzled out as the Surskit sprayed some strange pink mist that smelled like bubble gum into the room.

    Not one to be deterred (and acutely aware of the millions of credits worth of photography gear inches away from where we battled), Lita next tried to ram into the Surskit. Her Quick Attack knocked the Surskit backwards, but it then sprayed water everywhere, coating the web with sparkling droplets.

    [Pretty clever, but that Water Sport won't help once I take the field.] Kitsune noted as Viola's Surskit rammed into Lita, sending her flying before my feet.

    "You okay?" I asked her as I grabbed a Potion from my bag.

    [Yeah...] Lita replied. [I've got this.]

    With that, she charged another Thundershock, minutes before Viola ordered "Bubblebeam!". The spark easily cut through the swirl of rainbow bubbles, and shocked the Surskit senseless, even though Lita got a little wet from its last attack.

    "Great job." I told Lita as she shook herself dry. "I thought you were done for when that Quick Attack sent you flying."

    [It'll take more than that to take me down!] Lita grinned, pleased at her victory in her first real battle.

    Viola's next Pokémon was a pink patterned Vivillion. Not being one to underestimate my opponent, I checked the Pokédex:

    "Vivillion, the scale Pokémon. The patterns on this Pokémon's wings depend on the climate and topography of its habitat. It scatters colorful scales."

    "And those scales may prove deadly against a Fire type if you're not careful!" Viola cautioned as the Vivillion started creating a large puff of what looked like mist, but closer inspection revealed that it was actually hundreds of tiny scales.

    [Scales or no scales, I'm going in anyway!] Kitsune called as she charged into battle.

    [Be careful, Kitsune!] Rouge called after her.

    Kitsune, however, had a plan: First, she waved the scales away from the Vivillion with Tail Whip. Once sure that the Powder attack was cleared away completely, I called "Use an Ember, quickly!"

    She did not, however expect to be thrashed about by a Gust flapped up from the Vivillion's wings. Unlike Lita, Kitsune looked none the worse for wear when the Gust dissipated. [Is that all you've got?] she taunted, flaring her ears out for effect.

    The Vivillion was glad to oblige with a Stun Spore attack, but Kitsune ran out of the way and fired an Ember at her opponent, which hindered its ability to fly.

    She gritted her teeth as she dodged a Sleep Powder attack. [HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!] she howled as she jumped and rammed into the Vivillion, making it crumple to the floor, defeated.

    [Wow!] Rouge gasped when she saw Kitsune deliver the final blow.

    Viola was equally impressed. "Well! You've shown me a whole new depth of field!"

    She then caught herself. "No...it wasn't just you, Serena...you and your Pokémon have shown me a new depth of field!"

    "Thanks?" I stammered. Whatever Viola meant by "depth of field", I figured it was a good thing--or some weird piece of photography lingo I didn't understand.

    Viola then offered me the badge, which resembled a Ledyba's skin in purple, gold, and green. "Here you go--in remembrance of your picture perfect victory!"

    About then, it finally hit me that I had just won my first badge. "YES!!!" I cried as all three of my Pokémon cheered. "We got a Bug Badge!"
     
  11. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 31
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    Episode 7: The Brave Little Riolu


    Jim was waiting for me when we stepped off the elevator leading back to the photo gallery. "Look at that badge!" he grinned when he saw my Bug Badge. "Congrats!"

    "Thanks..." I giggled. I had so many emotions swirling through my head--ecstasy at winning my first badge, sheer excitement, pride in my Pokémon...

    "You know, Professor Sycamore would be very proud of you..." Jim went on. "Why don't you go see him in Lumiose City?"

    "I'm headed there next." I assured Jim as we departed.

    We had not gotten very far from the Gym when Lita asked [Why are we fighting for those sparkly things, anyway?]

    I realized that Route 22--and the Pokémon League--were not far away. Granted, I needed seven more badges before I could go inside, but I could at least let my Pokémon see the majestic entryway to the League.

    We had not gotten far on Route 22 before Kitsune heard a thump in the grass. [What was that?]

    Rouge heard the thump too. [Wait there, I'll go see.]

    She came fluttering back with a report some moments later. [It's only a Riolu training by whacking a stump.]

    "A Riolu?" I asked. Rouge led me into the grass, where sure enough, a tiny blue and black wolf-like Pokémon was eying a stump. After a few tense seconds, it made a flying jump and whacked the stump with a Force Palm.

    I wanted to get closer, but Kitsune gave me a warning hiss. [I wouldn't disturb a training Riolu if I were you--they will not hesitate to attack any intruder that interrupts their training.]

    "Point duly noted." I assured Kitsune as I consulted the Pokédex:

    "Riolu, the emanation Pokémon. The aura that emanates from its body intensifies to alert others if it is afraid or said." the Pokédex explained.

    About then, the Riolu noticed us and crept up to where I was watching it. "It's okay...I'm not gonna hurt you." I assured it.

    [Wit' garb like tat and yer friendly aura, ye don't look like a threatnin' type] the Riolu assured me, her gentle lilt making me smile. [I'm used te humans tromping tru here as I'm trainin'...but I often wonder were tey're goin'.]

    I figured I would kill two Fletchlings with one stone and show Lita and the Riolu the League entryway. "See that large stone archway way out there?" I told the Riolu. "That's where the very best trainers go to prove their skills. The winner receives a medal from the Champion.]

    [A prize and te favor of a king?] the Riolu gasped, starry eyed. [I've always wanted to prove myself te strongest!]

    I wasn't sure if the League Champion was the same as royalty, but if it motivated the Riolu, great. "Make that the queen." I corrected her--I knew there was currently a female Champion, but who she was, I didn't know. "Many trainers, myself included, make this journey every year, but only a few earn a medal."

    [Wow!!!] Even Kitsune was excited.

    [Wanna come with us?] Rouge asked.

    The Riolu thought for a moment. [I'd be honored te join ye on yer journey...] She then struck a fighting pose. [...if ye'll prove yer strength te me first!]

    [Challenge accepted!] Kitsune charged into the grass, intent on scratching the Riolu. But the Riolu jumped out of the way. Kitsune looked around to see where the Riolu had gone, but was knocked to the ground by a Quick Attack.

    Not one to be deterred, Kitsune tried an Ember next. The Riolu blocked the brunt of the tiny fireballs, never mind being singed a little.

    I then noticed the Riolu about to deliver a Force Palm to Kitsune. "Look out!"

    Too late--the THWACK! of the blow sent Kitsune flying back at least a foot. [Uggh...that hurt...] she groaned some moments later.

    My heart was pounding--I didn't want to use Rouge, as Flying moves were super effective to Fighting types. Kitsune was pretty much down for the count--although she hadn't fainted, sending her back out after being smacked like she had was suicide.

    [You play nurse to Kitsune! I'll take over from here!] Lita assured me before darting into the grass to face her challenger.

    The Riolu was not expecting Lita's Thundershock. After waving off the tiny thunderbolts, she unleashed a deafening war cry that could be heard all the way back in Santalune City, at least. Lita rushed in for a Quick Attack, but she ended up blocked by the Riolu's paws and pushed backwards. Try as she might to push forward and ram her opponent, the Riolu would intercept her and push her backwards.

    [Are they ever going to stop pushing?] Kitsune asked as I gave her another Potion, slightly bemused by the comical tug of war playing out in the grass.

    [Sooner or later, one of them is going to tire.] Rouge agreed. [I don't want to go in unless you really want me to...]

    About then, Lita and the Riolu appeared to have called a truce. [Ye are clearly very strong...] the Riolu wheezed as I arrived to assess Lita. [I would be honored te travel wit' such strong companions.]

    "So, you're coming with us?" I asked--aside from a few bumps and bruises, Lita appeared okay.

    The Riolu gave me a shaky little bow. [I pledge my loyalty te ye--where ye go, I will go also.]

    "Okay...welcome aboard....Erin." I smiled, gently touching the kneeling Riolu with a Poké Ball. After she had gone inside in a flash of light, I saw that the sun was setting. "Come on, guys...let's go back to Santalune City for tonight."

    [Good idea...] Kitsune weakly smiled.

    [You'll still tell us a story tonight, won't you?] Rouge asked.

    "Of course." I replied.

    [Erin's in for a treat, if your last story was any indication!] Lita grinned as we arrived back in town for the night....
     
  12. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Pokémon Center Interlude 3: The Master and the Apprentice


    No sooner had we gotten settled in the Santalune City Pokémon Center did Lita greet me with a question. [Is there a way we can see Brock tell stories without traveling to Kanto?]

    I grinned--the picture Viola took apparently was on her mind. "I'll ask if there's a PC that can go online, okay?"

    Nurse Joy was more than happy to direct me to the tech area of the Pokémon Center, where some other trainers were reading e-mail or checking their Pokebook pages. After finding a vacant one and logging on to MyTube (the volume was on low, so as not to disturb others), I typed "brock storytelling" into the search bar....

    ...and was floored by the immense amount of stories people had filmed Brock telling--in addition to stories direct from Brock's own MyTube channel, which had the screenname "PewterSong". I decided to start there, and started naming the different stories to the Pokémon. "The Miracle Boy?"

    [Nah...] Rouge wasn't interested.

    "Prince Tatters?" I suggested again.

    [I've heard a variant or two of tat tale...] Erin noted. [In most versions, a princess is married to what appears to be a poor man, and every night, she complains about what she left behind, but after tree deys, she finds the poor man is reely a prince. In some versions, te princess has tree challenges te face to break the spell.]

    [Interesting, but I'm not feeling cursed princes tonight.] Kitsune mused.

    "The Magic Egg?" I tried. No answer from any of the Pokémon, so I tried the next one. "'The Dragon's Gifts'"?

    [I wanna hear that one!] Rouge suggested.

    Piqued, I clicked the video link, and Pokémon crowded around the PC as the Brock on the screen (who was apparently in a theater for this and a few more videos) began "Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a poor woman named Melina, who had six pretty daughters, all very beautiful and intelligent, and an only son named Jack, who wasn't exactly the brightest star in the sky."

    The offscreen audience and the Pokémon giggled at this. "Hardly a day passed without his mother saying to him..." In his best mimic of a woman, Brock scolded "What are you doing, you useless creature? If you weren't too stupid to look after yourself, I would kick you out of the house and never let you see my face again."

    [That was pretty good!] Lita was impressed at the impression.

    "Every day Jack did some stupid thing or another, till at last Melina, who was at her wit's end, beat him till he was at least three different colors..." Brock explained as himself. "which so startled Jack that he took off running, and never stopped till it was dark and the stars were shining. He wandered on for some time, not knowing where to go, and at last he came to a cave, at the mouth of which sat a dragon, more awe inspiring than anything you can imagine."

    [What kind of dragon was it?] Lita asked the screen, as if the image of Brock could hear her.

    I just petted her as Brock described the dragon for the unseen audience. "He had a huge and sleek head, sparkling emerald eyes, a majestic snout, and a great gash of a mouth that held hundreds of razor sharp teeth. His scaly skin and huge wings rippled with power."

    [So probably a Charizard...] Kitsune speculated.

    "In short, he was simultaneously the most beautiful and horrifying object Jack had ever seen." Brock explained. "But Jack, who, with all his faults, was actually very brave, and a very well mannered boy, took off his hat, and said..."

    In character as a boy, he spoke to an imagined dragon. "Good-day, sir; I hope you are well. Could you kindly tell me how far it is from here to a town?"

    As himself, he narrated "When the dragon heard this question he burst out laughing, and as he liked the boy's polite manners he said to him..."

    In a deeper version of himself, he asked "Will you enter my service?"

    "Name your terms." he replied as Jack.

    "If you serve me faithfully," he explained as the dragon, "I'll make sure you'll get enough wages to satisfy you."

    [Wow!] Lita was amazed Brock could simultaneously perform both characters.

    "So the bargain was struck, and Jack agreed to become the dragon's servant." Brock went on as himself. "He was very well treated, in every way, and he had little or no work to do, with the result that in a few days he became as fat as a Fletchinder, as round as a barrel, as red as a Corphish, and as proud as a Combusken."

    Some giggles went up at the wry observation. "But, after two years, Jack got tired of this life, and longed desperately to visit his home again." Brock intoned, quieting the giggles of his offscreen audience. "The dragon, who could see into his heart and knew how unhappy he was, said to him one day..."

    As the dragon again, he assured the audience. "My dear Jack, I know how much you long to see your mother and sisters again, and because I love you as the Leppa of my eye, I am willing to allow you to go home for a visit. Therefore, take this Ponyta, so that you won't have to go so far on foot; but see that you never sing 'Seios, higarima laisido' to her, or else--dragon magic like this is dangerous to a human like you."

    [Spellsongs!] Kitsune gasped, starry eyed

    Erin stifled a giggle at Kitsune's excitement. "Jack took the little Pokémon without as much as a thank you, and jumping on its back he rode away; but he had hardly gone two hundred yards when he dismounted and decided to see what the mysterious song did, if anything." Brock continued. "So he sang Seios, higarima laisido..."

    This time, Rouge was excited. [What a beautiful voice!]

    "No sooner had he sang the song than the Ponyta opened its mouth and poured forth rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and pearls, as big as Grepa Berries, if not bigger." Brock made a form in the air to give the off screen audience an idea of just how big the jewels were.

    [Goodness! Imagine te wealth you'd get wit' a stone like tat!] Erin gasped in awe

    "Jack gazed in amazement at the sight of such wealth, and joyfully filling a huge sack with the precious stones, he mounted the Ponyta again and rode on till he came to an inn. Here he got down, and going straight to the landlord, he said to him...." Brock assumed the role of Jack again. "My good man, I must ask you to stable this Ponyta for me. Be sure you give her plenty of oats and hay, but beware of singing the song 'Seios, higarima laisido...' to her, or I will not be responsible for what happens. Take this heavy sack, too, and put it somewhere secure for me."

    [I have a bad feeling about this...] Lita wasn't sure if entrusting a magic item to a stranger was a good idea

    "The landlord--who wasn't born yesterday..." Brock added as an aside, to some giggles. "on receiving this strange warning, and seeing the precious stones sparkling through the canvas of the sack, was most anxious to see what would happen if he sang the forbidden song. So he gave Jack an excellent dinner, with a bottle of fine old wine, and prepared a comfortable bed for him. As soon as he saw Jack close his eyes, he hurried to the stables and sang to the Ponyta Seios, higarima laisido... and the Pokémon as usual poured out zillions of precious stones."

    [And ten he pulls te ol' switcheroo...] Erin grinned.

    "When the landlord saw all these treasures, he longed to get possession of so valuable a Pokémon, and determined to steal the Ponyta from his foolish guest." Brock intoned, quieting the offscreen giggles. "As soon as it was light the next morning Jack woke up, and having rubbed his eyes and stretched himself about a hundred times he called the landlord and said to him..."

    "Come here, my friend, and produce your bill, for short reckonings make long friends." he asked as Jack.

    "When Jack had paid his account he went to the stables and took out his Ponyta, as he thought, and fastening a sack of gravel, which the landlord had substituted for his precious stones, on the creature's back, he set out for home." Brock went on as himself. "No sooner had he arrived there than he called out..."

    "Mother, come quickly, and bring tablecloths and sheets with you, and spread them out on the ground, and you will soon see what wonderful treasures I have brought you." he giddly called to someone as Jack.

    "His mother hurried into the house, and opening the linen chest where she kept her daughters' wedding outfits, she took out tablecloths and sheets made of the finest linen, and spread them flat and smooth on the ground." Brock went on as himself, complete with spreading pantomime tablecloths on the stage. "Jack placed the Ponyta on them, and sang Seios, higarima laisido......

    Soft laughter went up at the awkward silence. "But this time, he met with no success, for the Ponyta took no more notice of the magic song than she would have done if a trumpet had blasted the loudest, highest, most out of tune note it could play in her ear!" Brock announced. Laughter went up at his observation. "Two, three, and four times did Jack sing Seios, higarima laisido... but all in vain, as he might as well been singing to a rock."

    My laughter turned to horror as Brock described what happened next. "Disgusted and furious with the Pokémon, he seized a thick stick and began to beat it so hard that he nearly broke every bone in its body. The miserable Ponyta was so distracted at such treatment that, far from pouring out precious stones, it only tore and dirtied all the fine linen."

    [Tat's nut very nice!] Erin was just as appalled as I was.

    "Keep in mind Jack doesn't know the ol' switcheroo's been pulled on him yet." I assured Erin.

    "When poor Melina saw her tablecloths and sheets being destroyed, and that instead of becoming rich she had only been made a fool of, she grabbed another stick and whacked Jack so unmercifully with it, that he fled before her, and never stopped till he reached the dragon's cave." Brock went on, quieting the uproarious laughter offscreen. "When his master saw the lad returning in such a sorry plight, he understood what had happened to him, and making no bones about the matter, he told Jack what a fool he had been to allow himself to be so imposed upon by the landlord, and to let a worthless Ponyta be palmed off on him instead of his magic Ponyta. Jack listened humbly to the dragon's words, and vowed solemnly that he would never act so foolishly again."

    After a pause, Brock went on. "And so a year passed, and Jack was again overcome by homesickness, and felt a great longing to see his own family again. The dragon, although he was intimidating to look upon, had a very kind heart, and when he saw how restless and unhappy Jack was, he gave him permission to go home on a visit. The day Jack left, he gave him a beautiful tablecloth, and said...

    As the dragon, he instructs an imagined person "Give this to your mother; but see that you don't lose it as you lost the Ponyta, and till you are safely in your own house beware of singing "Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..." to it. If you do, the misfortune will be on your own head, for I have given you fair warning this time."

    We listened as Brock continued "Jack set out on his journey, but hardly had he got out of sight of the cave than he laid the tablecloth on the ground and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... In an instant the tablecloth unfolded itself and disclosed a whole mass of precious stones, food, and other treasures. When Jack saw this, he sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, and continued his journey. He came to the same inn again, and calling the landlord to him, he told him to put the tablecloth away carefully, and whatever he did not to sing "Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..." to it."

    [Of course he's gonna steal this too.] Rouge predicted.

    "The landlord, who was a regular rogue, answered..." Brock switched to a braggy older male voice. "Just leave it to me, I will look after it as if it were my own."

    [NOT!!!] Lita jeered, to the Pokémon's giggles. I just shot them The Look--that calmed them down in a hurry.

    "After he had given Jack plenty to eat and drink, and had provided him with a comfortable bed, he went straight to the tablecloth and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... It opened right then, and displayed such costly treasures that the landlord made up his mind on the spot to steal it." Brock confirmed Lita's and Rouge's predictions seconds later.

    "When Jack awoke the next morning, the host handed him a tablecloth exactly like his own, and carrying it carefully over his arm, the foolish boy went straight to his mother's house, and said..." As Jack again, Brock announced "Now we shall be rich beyond our wildest dreams, and need never go about in rags again, or lack the best of food."

    As himself, he continued "With these words he spread the tablecloth on the ground and sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... But try as he might to sing the song, it was only a waste of breath, for nothing happened. When Jack saw this he turned to his mother and said..."

    He grumbled as Jack "That old scoundrel of a landlord has done me once more; but he will live to repent it, for if I ever enter his inn again, I will make him suffer for the loss of my Ponyta and the other treasures he has robbed me of."

    [We kin add 'mimicry' te his list of talents...] Erin was impressed with Brock's ability to do the voices of every character in his tale.

    "Melina was in such a rage over her fresh disappointment that she could not restrain her impatience, and, turning on Jack, she abused him soundly, and told him to get out of her sight, for she would never acknowledge him as a son of hers again." Brock intoned. "The poor boy was very depressed by her words, and slunk back to his master like a Growlithe with his tail between his legs. When the dragon saw him, he guessed what had happened. He gave Jack a good scolding, and said..."

    "I don't know what prevents me from smashing your head in, you useless ne'er-do-well!" he sighed angrily as the dragon. "You blurt everything out, and your long tongue never ceases wagging for a moment. If you had remained silent in the inn this misfortune would never have overtaken you, so you have only yourself to blame for your present suffering."

    After a tense few seconds of silence, Brock continued as himself. "Jack listened to his master's words in silence, looking for all the world like a whipped Growlithe. When he had been three more years in the dragon's service he had another twinge of homesickness, and longed very much to see his mother and sisters again. So he asked for permission to go home on a visit, and it was granted to him. Before he set out on his journey the dragon presented him with a beautifully carved stick and said..."

    "Take this stick as a remembrance of me; but beware of singing "Furiya, shuru shamato" to it, for if you do, I can only say I would not want to be you." he warned as the dragon.

    "Don't be in the least alarmed, I'm not such a fool as you think, and know better than most people what two and two make." he confidently replied as Jack.

    "I'm glad to hear that," he replied as the dragon, "but words are women, deeds are men. You have heard what I said, and forewarned is forearmed."

    As himself, Brock went on "This time Jack thanked his master warmly for all his kindness, and started on his homeward journey in great spirits; but he had not gone half a mile when he sang Furiya, shuru shamato..." The words were hardly out of his mouth when the stick glowed blue and started firing arrows of ice with such lightning speed that he was almost a Jacksicle before he could sing the song again. But as soon as he sang the magic words, the stick's glow faded."

    Kitsune stiffled a giggle as she pictured Jack as a Popsicle. "Although he had learned a lesson at some cost to himself, Jack was full of joy, for he saw a way now of avenging himself on the wicked landlord." Brock explained. "He arrived at the inn a third time, and was received in the most friendly and hospitable manner by his host. Jack greeted him cordially, and said..."

    "My friend, will you kindly take care of this stick for me?" he requested as Jack. "But, whatever you do, don't sing 'Furiya, shuru shamato' to it. If you do, you will be sorry for it, and you won't expect any sympathy from me."

    As himself, he went on "The landlord, thinking he was coming in for a third piece of good fortune, gave Jack an excellent supper; and after he had seen him comfortably to bed, he ran to the stick, and calling to his wife to come and see the fun, he lost no time in singing the song Furiya, shuru shamato..."

    [Bad idea!] Rouge chirped.

    "The moment he sang the stick glowed blue, and battered the landlord so unmercifully with ice that he and his wife ran screaming to Jack, and, waking him up, pleaded for mercy as they shivered with the cold." Brock continued over the laughter in the audience. "When Jack saw how successful his trick had been, he said..."

    "I refuse to help you, unless you give me all that you have stolen from me, otherwise you will be frozen to death." he warned as Jack.

    "Take back your property, only release me from this terrible stick and its spell!" he pleaded as the landlord.

    "With these words he ordered the Ponyta, the tablecloth, and other treasures to be restored to their rightful owner. he assured the audience as himself. "As soon as Jack had recovered his belongings he sang Furiya, shuru shamato... again, and it stopped its spell right there."

    He concluded. "Then he took his Ponyta and tablecloth and arrived safely at his home with them. This time the magic songs had the desired effect, and the Ponyta and tablecloth provided the family with treasures untold. Jack very soon married off his sister, made his mother rich for life, and they all lived happily ever after."

    Applause went up, and Brock took a bow as the scene faded out, ending the video. "Okay, now it's Erin's turn to pick a video..." I told the Pokémon.

    [I want te hear a tele of high adventure!] Erin requested.

    "Adventure, huh..." A video titled "The Hunter and the Oni" got my attention, so I clicked it.

    The scene came up on Brock in the theater again. "In the mountains of Kanto, it is said that the oni--or demons--of the mountains like to disguise themselves as babies to capture unsuspecting travelers." he explained. "In a certain village by Mt. Moon lived a hunter who was very brave. One day as he was coming home from a long day in the forest, he swore he heard a crying baby in the woods, but he knew well that the crying was a mountain oni on the prowl."

    Erin swallowed hard at what she imagined would happen to whoever the oni captured, making a light blue aura appear around her. "He returned home, made a mask of Arceus--who all oni fear--, and returned the next day, where he found the mountain oni by a rock."

    The Pokémon listened as Brock went on. "The mountain oni was startled by the masked hunter, and pleaded with him to spare it--as it believes the hunter was really Arceus--before fainting." Some giggles went up as Brock feigned fainting.

    As he got up some seconds later, he continued "The hunter wasn't sure what to do with the fainted oni, and took it home. The oni came to on the way, and demanded that it be freed the whole way."

    Erin's laughter was the loudest at this. "While he was busy saying his nightly prayers to Arceus, the oni escaped, and disguised itself as the Arceus statue." Brock explained. "But the hunter saw right through the disguise, and told the oni that if it played any more pranks, he would take it to the magistrate the next morning."

    [Uh oh...] Lita giggled.

    "The oni pleaded that it would behave, and proceeded to make dinner, serve the hunter seconds, and thirds, and fourths,..." Laughter went up at Brock's wry observation. "and massage his shoulders. Desperate to escape, the oni offered to sing a lullaby, which was actually an excuse to sing a sleep inducing spellsong..."

    He then sang Gran zirtan vin fangan miti...

    Kitsune tried oh-so-hard not to laugh in anticipation. "The oni didn't know that the hunter was holding the other end of her rope, and feeling it go slack was enough to break the sleep spell." Brock continued. "He asks her to clean the house, but the oni decided enough was enough, and escaped into the night, never to be seen again."

    He concluded "They say that that night, the oni cleaned her own house for the first time in eons!"

    Erin smiled as the video ended. [I culd listen to all tese teles for deys!]

    "Well, I know some myself, so when we're not in range to use MyTube, I'll tell some anytime." I assured her as we logged off the PC for the night.
     
  13. Pokechu

    Pokechu Hex Maniac

    Belle
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    Hellllllllloooooooooooo! o uo
    I,have just been reading this since, it's really interesting xD.
    But, of course, I do, have some complaints :c....

    1.Lay back on the stories.
    I know it's a cool thing Serena is good at them and all, but the last fairytale with Harrison you literally just skipped out some parts of it, I think. The stories really shouldn't take up half of the posts imo. The Readers are here to read Serena's adventures in Kalos, not Serena's stories. Like Imo it's fine you're doing the storytales, but I just would like it more if it was like once every 3-5 posts, since we don't need TOO much storytales when the focus is Serena traveling through Kalos, :o.

    Annnnd
    2.No more Zelda references, please. o uo (Just a nitpick).
    I say this, because some people who play Pokémon don't play Zelda, and like let's say you actually uploaded this to a Fanfiction site. When you actually do TOO much Zelda references, or references people don't know, it kinda turns the reader the other way, y'know? I mean, this is a Pokémon story, not a Zelda story, but I get that you just kinda wanted to blend the two. This is just a nitpick, soooo xD.

    Annnnd
    3. Male Pokémon? o 3o
    This is just so, that Male Readers, can relate to a character and make this story more interesting. When I read about the Riolu, I was all liek "oh yee a riolu! i can relate to him and such, such a interessssting story q uq", only when the Riolu was female. This is just a nitpick too, xD.

    But so far it's fine! o uo
    I'd rate it an 8.5/10 so far.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    We're gonna lay off the stories soon--cause we're close to completing the team (and there is a male Pokémon in the wings)
     
  15. Pokechu

    Pokechu Hex Maniac

    Belle
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    Ahhhh, just putting my suggestions out there, o 3o.
    But everything else really is fine! I enjoy reading this story so much, its like you could become famous from it, xD.
     
  16. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    The point of the stories is to develop some world lore, develop the Pokémon, and a little foreshadowing (remember the gibberish spellsongs....)
     
  17. Pokechu

    Pokechu Hex Maniac

    Belle
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    Ahhh, I getcha nao, xD. It was just bothering me though, how the stories were taking up all of the post and I'd just want more, xD.
     
  18. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    We'll meet another Pokémon and arrive in Lumiose next, so we won't see another story for a while.
     
  19. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 8: A Vision of Lumiose


    We left the Pokémon Center early the next morning and started northward on Route 4. [Just up ahead is the really big city, right?] Rouge asked me as she fitted on my shoulder.

    I nodded. "If all goes well, we should make it to Lumiose City today."

    Just then, I noticed a vaguely humanoid figure sitting peacefully in the sea of yellow flowers that lined the road, oblivious to the Flabebes flying, singing and laughing around it. [What's that?] Lita asked.

    Erin bounded into the flowers to try and get a better look at the figure. [It's a Ralts in te middle of its medetetion.] she reported.

    "A Ralts?" Piqued, I looked at the Pokédex:

    "Ralts, the feeling Pokémon. It is highly attuned to the emotions of people and Pokémon. It hides if it senses hostility."

    The Ralts, however, decided to warp closer to us to study us further. Yes...I sense a deep love and respect in this girl's heart.

    "Huh?" I was confused by the gentle female voice that resonated in my head. "Who said that?"

    I did. The slight grin on the Ralts' face tipped me off that the Ralts was telepathically speaking to me.

    "Well, we're going to Lumiose City..." I started to explain to the Ralts.

    I know--I can sense that in your Pokémon's excitement. the Ralts smiled before it warped over to my bag and read its contents. Judging from all the stuff in here, you're on your way to challenge the League...

    I giggled--the Ralts had correctly guessed why we traveled. "Would you want to come with us?"

    The Ralts nodded. I have seen a vision of a brave young girl with a ruby ring driving back a great evil...and you look a lot like her.

    [Really?] Kitsune was intrigued by the Ralts' vision. [What else do you know about the vision?]

    The Ralts hung its head. Unfortunately, that is all I can see for now...but I would very much like to travel with your master and see if she really is the one in my vision.

    [Ye dun't wanna battle awr anyting?] Erin wondered as she assumed a fighting pose.

    No--I'm pretty sure your master will allow me to come with you--I shouldn't need to prove myself. the Ralts assured Erin.

    I dug an empty Poké Ball from my bag and set it before the Ralts. "Okay--all you have to do is touch this, and you can come."

    I promise I will serve you well, now and forever. the Ralts assured me before disappearing into the Poké Ball in a flash of red.

    [Wait...what are we gonna call you?] Rouge asked. [We'd like to call you something other than 'Ralts']

    A name of my own? the Ralts next message came from inside the Poké Ball. Let's let the girl decide.

    I remembered from trainer's school that a female Ralts ultimately evolved into the beautiful princess-like Gardevoir. French names were old hat, but what was a name befitting its ultimate appearance?

    My thoughts turned to memories of playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when I was younger--in the game, Princess Zelda had prophetic visions in her dreams, which was a form of psychic power.

    "How about Zelda?" I asked my team.

    [A beautiful name!] Rouge agreed.

    [You mean like that princess in that video game with the hero in green?] Lita asked.

    "That's the one--in one game in the series, she is said to see visions in her dreams, which is a kind of psychic power." I explained.

    Some gentle giggles resonated in my head. So you think me a princess? I'm flattered and honored you think so!

    Kitsune was starry eyed at the notion of having a Gardevoir on the team. [I'm so excited! We have royalty on the team!] she cried as she romped among the flowers.

    I gasped as she started to glow white in the middle of a big jump. When she landed, she was slightly larger, and shakily standing on two black muscular legs.

    [It's a meericle...Kitsune was so happy to meet Zelda, she evolved.] Erin smiled.

    As Kitsune uneasily tottered over to me, I read up on what she had evolved into:

    "Braxien, the fox Pokémon. When the twig is plucked from its tail, friction sets the twig alight. The flame is used to send signals to its allies.

    [At least we won't be stumbling through caves in the dark.] Rouge noted. [Kitsune can light the way.]

    I hurried over to where Kitsune was struggling to walk upright, helped her up, and asked "Need some help while you get used to two legs?"

    [Please do...it feels so strange walking like you.] Kitsune weakly replied as I helped her up.

    I gently took her paws. "I'm going to hold onto your paws while you try and walk to the team, okay? This way, I can catch you if you start feeling shaky."

    [Okay...] Kitsune replied.

    Little by little, Kitsune hesitantly took tiny steps towards the other Pokémon. At first, her strides were confident, but she didn't see a rock in the grass, which she tripped over.

    I was right there to catch her, so she wasn't hurt. [Thanks...] she smiled as I carried her the rest of the way.

    [Dun't warry--Ye'll be walking in no time wit' a leetle practice.] Erin assured her.

    [Going from four to two legs is probably a bit scary, but know Serena's here to catch you if you fall.] Lita assured her. [That's what friends do.]

    Lita's right--true friends stick by each other through thick and thin. Zelda telepathically agreed from her Poké Ball.

    I let Kitsune rest in her Poké Ball the rest of the way to Lumiose. But just as we neared the main entrance gate, a black haired girl and a dull blonde haired boy met us on the path. "Hi! You wouldn't happen to be one of the five the professor gave Pokedexes to, would you?" the girl asked.

    "Yeah, why?" I asked "Who might you two be?"

    "I'm Sina, and this is Dexio." the girl smiled, gesturing to the boy when she introduced him. "We're the professor's main assistants."

    "The professor asked us to escort you to the lab." Dexio added.

    I nodded, and followed the two of them through the gate. But none of us were prepared for the immense array of buildings and streets, with a majestic tower off in the distance. [Wow...] Lita gasped.

    [Tis plece is huge!] Erin was just as amazed. [It's a wonder ye wouldn't get lost!]

    "Oh, you won't get lost so long as you follow us." Dexio assured us. "So if you wanna know where something is or what a particular building is, just ask.

    I decided to let my new Ralts out to see the city. "Zelda...we made it to Lumiose."

    Sina noted Zelda as she materialized in the air beside me. "Say, you know about the Fairy type, yes?"

    "The newest type to be discovered." I explained. "Any suggestions in case we run into a Pokémon of that type?"

    "You already have--Flabebe and its evolutions." Sina explained. "Gardevoir is another example you're ultimately going to have."

    "Ice, Rock, and Dark types are not effective against them, and forget about using dragons--they won't do a thing." Dexio picked up where Sina left off. "As for what IS effective against them, Poison and Steel types are a big help."

    "Point duly noted." I grinned.

    Lita, meanwhile, noted a majestic building on street by the lab with a glittering marquee. [Is that a movie theater?]

    "Nope--that theater's used to put on plays." Dexio replied. "The professor has a small role in the play that's going to premiere tomorrow night."

    I stiffled a giggle--I didn't know Prof. Sycamore moonlighted as an actor! "What's the play about?"

    "You'll have to ask the professor--we're not spoiling it!" Sina grinned as we continued on our way to the lab....
     
  20. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 9: A Link to the Past, A Link to the Present


    I gasped in awe when we stepped into Sycamore's lab. Assistants were scurrying about with paper, a beaker of some kind of liquid, or a requested item for an experiment. Still others were observing Pokémon, typing a report, filing books or papers or on the phone with a colleague. "Welcome to the lab." Sina smiled. "It's usually this chaotic in here, what with all the experiments we do every day."

    Erin was about to say something, but Sina assured her "Don't worry, Miss Riolu--we treat every test Pokémon ethically."

    [What does tat mean?] Erin cocked her head, confused.

    "It means you don't hurt the Pokémon, and treat them well." I explained. I thought about going into detail about infamous experiments and unethical scientists from days of yore I learned about in Pokémon Research 101, but figured Erin would be bored, if not outright frightened, by that lecture.

    "The professor's office is on the third floor." Sina snapped me back to reality.

    I hurried on board the elevator behind Sina, then followed her down a hallway to a large and spacious room "Professor, I have Serena here." she announced through the intercom near the door.

    "Come on inside, then." came Prof. Sycamore's reply, and the door opened, revealing a huge room crammed with books, the professor's desk, and a magnificent view of Lumiose City from a window that took up most of the north wall.

    After setting a paper aside, Prof. Sycamore turned to address me. "So this is the lovely Serena...I heard about your victory against Viola."

    "It was easy, really..." I smiled. "My Pikachu and now Braixen handled it very well."

    "Your first Pokémon's evolved already?" Professor Sycamore asked. "I knew the five of you had potential, but to obtain the second stage evolution so quickly? That takes a lot of love, and a little patience."

    I decided to summon Kitsune for the professor to see. "Here she is."

    Prof. Sycamore watched as I steadied Kitsune on her wobbly legs. "It's not unheard of for a newly evolved Braxien to be a bit unsteady on two legs for the first two weeks after evolution. Just have her practice, not unlike a human child learning to walk, and she'll be outrunning a Lucario in no time at all!"

    [Reely?] Erin grinned. [Ye'll have te rece me when I evolve, whenever tat mey be.]

    [Consider that challenge accepted--I should be used to these legs by then.] Kitsune grinned.

    "How sweet, your Riolu and Braixen get along very well!" a familiar voice cooed.

    I whirled around to find Shauna and Callum had joined me in the room. "When did you guys get here?"

    "Not too long ago--Tierno and Trevor are on their way." Callum replied.

    "This place is huge!!!" Shauna agreed. "I'm thankful Dexio showed us the way!"

    "Well, while we wait for the two others in your party to arrive, would you three like to see some Pokémon from another region in battle?"

    "I do!" Callum cried.

    "Yeah!" Shauna agreed.

    "I would too!" I added before realizing most of my team was already out. "I'd even pit my team against these exotic Pokémon!"

    "I accept your challenge, Serena--come at me with all you have!" With that, Prof. Sycamore summoned a small reptilian Pokémon with a large bulb on its back.

    [What's that?] Rouge was intrigued.

    I fumbled for my Pokédex to get more information on my strangely cute opponent:

    "Bulbasaur, the seed Pokémon. For some time after its birth, it grows by gaining nourishment from the seed on its back."

    Seeing that Bulbasaur was part Poison, I decided to pit Zelda against it--only to watch in horror as she just barely warped out of the way of a Vine Whip. I'm sorry--this opponent is much too strong for me...

    [I'll take it!] Rouge volunteered as I called Zelda back. She then fired an Ember at the Bulbasaur, making it stumble backwards.

    After regaining its footing, the Bulbasaur tried Absorbing some of Rouge's life energy, but it didn't weaken Rouge at all. Another Gust and the Bulbasaur was down for the count.

    "Very good..." Professor Sycamore smiled. "Here's the second one..." He next summoned a small blue turtle Pokémon:

    "Squirtle, the tiny turtle Pokémon. It shoots water at prey while in the water. It withdraws into its shell when in danger."

    [This one's mine!] Lita cried as she relieved Rouge on our makeshift battlefield. Granted, neither me nor the professor were going at full power--I didn't want to inadvertently destroy the next huge discovery in the thick of battle.

    [Bring it on, pipsqueak!] the Squirtle taunted before sticking out its tongue and retreating in its shell.

    [YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!] Lita screeched angrily as she fired a Thundershock, but the tiny bolt didn't do much, since the Squirtle was in its shell.

    A comical game of hide and seek began to unfold there in the room--the Squirtle would peek out, Lita would start charging a Thundershock, and the the Squirtle was disappear into its shell again, negating most of the Thundershock's damage.

    Finally, Lita was at her wit's end with the Squirtle, so she darted up to it and headbutted it, forcing it out of its shell as it went flying against the professor's desk. The Squirtle didn't take that too kindly, and sprayed a stream of bubbles at Lita before heaving with exhaustion.

    "Okay...Squirtle's had a good fight for today..." Professor Sycamore smiled as he recalled the Squirtle. "Here's your final opponent." With that, he summoned an orange lizard with a small flame at the tip of its tail.

    I froze--I didn't have any good Pokémon against a Fire type! I still looked at the Pokédex anyway just to size up my opponent.

    "Charmander, the lizard Pokémon. From the time it is born, a flame burns at the tip of its tail. Its life would end if the flame were to go out."

    I took a deep breath to calm my nerves--if I had no good Pokémon against a Fire type, I would just fight fire with fire! "You want to take this one, Kitsune?" I asked.

    [I guess--i need some practice standing and bracing unassisted.] she agreed.

    Next, she mimicked one of the gibberish "spellsongs" I had used in campfire stories! [Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...]

    "What was that?" I gasped as a green aura formed around Kitsune.

    "That was a Lucky Chant." Professor Sycamore explained. "Although I've never heard those kinds of words to summon it before..."

    The Charmander tried to scratch Kitsune, but her legs got caught in a loose thread, and she fell, making the Charmander miss completely.

    Inspired, the Charmander fired an Ember at Kitsune as she struggled to get up. But Kitsune was very much aware of the tiny fireball headed for her, and fired a beautiful rainbow colored beam at the Charmander.

    "A Psybeam?" I recognized what Kitsune had fired.

    "Of course--Braixen is part Psychic, after all." Professor Sycamore assured me.

    The Charmander tried again to fire an Ember at Kitsune, but Kitsune put up a Light Screen to protect herself, making the second Ember fizzle out.

    Prof. Sycamore smiled as the Charmander threw up its hands in a "I give up" signal. "All right...I concede defeat, Serena--you obviously have talent..."

    "That was amazing to watch!" Shauna agreed.

    "I have to agree--you could go all the way to the League with that kind of skill." Callum even applauded.

    "We missed a battle? No fair!" Tierno complained as he arrived with Dexio and Trevor.

    "You should've seen it! First Lita played hide and seek with a Squirtle, then Kitsune overpowered a Charmander..." Shauna gave Tierno a blow by blow of the battle that had ended minutes earlier.

    "Bulbasaur...Charmander...Squirtle...aren't those the starters of the Kanto region?" Trevor wondered.

    "Exactly--I received some as a gift from a colleague there." Prof. Sycamore explained as he healed the Pokémon he had used in our battle.

    He then released all three on the table. "As a reward for that battle, Serena, I would like you to adopt one of these Pokémon."

    [Pick me, please?] the Bulbasaur smiled cutely.

    [No, Pick me! Pick me!] the Chamander begged, jumping up and down all the while.

    [You're gonna pick me?] the Squirtle grinned

    I smiled--all of them were very cute and sweet, but it pained me a bit that I could only pick one.

    I then closed my eyes and gently touched each Pokémon on the head. "My mother told me to choose..."

    When I opened them, I saw my finger was touching the Squirtle's head. "Squirtle."

    "An excellent choice..." Professor Sycamore smiled. "Perhaps the three of them may help me get to the bottom of a mystery...."

    "A mystery?" Tierno gasped. "The butler did it, I know it!"

    Everyone laughed. "Not THAT kind of mystery!" Shauna giggled.

    "Yes...it's not that kind of mystery." Prof. Sycamore chuckled. "This kind of mystery concerns certain Pokémon in this world...a long time ago, some of them were able to temporarily evolve into an even stronger form when a trainer wearing a special ring sang a mystical song that captured the emotions of their heart. It was the resonance of the trainer's and Pokémon's emotions that caused this special evolution to occur--a process known as Mega Evolution."

    "Cool!" Tierno gasped.

    "Have any of these rings been found, or are they known to exist at all anymore?" Callum wondered.

    "That's the problem...no one knows where these rings might be, if they still exist, much less how the special songs may go..." Prof. Sycamore sighed. "All I have to go on is that this special song--known as a Heart Song--was very short, and only consisted of a few words to make it easy to remember. Every Heart Song is also unique to every trainer, so no two trainers will sing the same one."

    "So, where do we start looking?" Trevor asked.

    "There may be a clue in Camphrier Town, so you could start there." Prof. Sycamore replied. "That is, unless you want to train or explore Lumiose...

    "We'll do it!" Shauna cried.

    "Leave it to us!" Callum agreed.

    Prof. Sycamore grinned as he offered us each some theater tickets. "As thanks for all you've done, please enjoy a night at the theater on me--I have a small role in tomorrow night's premiere."

    "The professor, an actor?" Trevor gasped when he saw the ticket in his hand.

    "This play I have GOT to see!" Tierno agreed as he dashed out the door. I was not far behind, but I wondered--could my gibberish "spellsongs" potentially be real?
     
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