The enraged fish didn’t delay at the obstacles, too blinded with fury plus the rush of chasing a weaker opponent/prey to perceive that its body wouldn’t fit through one of the hoops, and at a jump became stuck in one of them just as it opened his jaws to grind down on the little blue Corsola’s exterior. Shocked, the Sharpedo all of a sudden found itself ensnared, and its victim had already swum far out of its reach, proceeding diligently on his plotted course towards the bottom in order to complete his next task.
When he reached the drain, Haruki paused a moment to recover his vigor, having just swum an exceedingly exaggerated distance from the surface to the bed. Reasserting himself, he grabbed onto the drain’s handle and, with a few powerful tugs, managed to pull the plug loose.
Jess watched with a premature sense of victory as the water level gradually began to diminish, and bubbles slowly emerged on the sides of the basin. Haruki, his task complete, quickly turned around and began heading back towards his trainer, eager to reunite with her after his exertion.
Suddenly, the girl heard the sound of rushing water increase dramatically in volume, and with a sudden feeling of concern, turned around to watch the water flee rapidly as if in terror from the sides of the tub, as the entire body was drawn towards the center by centripetal force, now aided by gravity. The bath surroundings gave way to an image of clean white porcelain, disappearing suddenly over the rim of the tub. Haruki also sensed the change in volume, as he abruptly amended his pace as well as expression, his movements growing increasingly more desperate as he struggled against the force of the water pulling him towards the unknown abyss.
Extending her arms, Jessica leaned over the side of the duck as far as she dared, as it too was being drawn into the powerful vortex which surrounded the center. She waited anxiously as he struggled against the current, drawing gradually nearer to her until he was finally close enough for her fingers to touch. Hurriedly she rescued him from the vortex just before they were both swallowed by the dark opening, and clutched him tightly to her as together they were thrown headlong into the drain.
She squeezed her eyes shut, and gasped as she felt a sudden force lift her in the opposite direction. Opening her eyes, she found herself situated safely upon the vanity she had seen earlier over the rim of the path, now looking down upon the tiled flooring. Haruki still remained in her hands, apparently also shaken by the event. Utterly baffled by the inexplicable change in her surroundings, Jess glanced around anxiously in search of an explanation, however finding none.
“…Strange,” she murmured to herself, peering cautiously over the edge and finding herself struck suddenly by a sense of vertigo upon witnessing the long drop. As her mind reeled due to the shock, she thought she heard a voice echoing ominously inside her head.
“So I see you found the hole in my plan, quite literally.” Bane’s spiteful voice intoned.
Without warning, the puppet’s form appeared before her, casually swinging his cane.
“Interesting,” he noted. “I didn’t expect you to get out of the drain if you pulled it.” As he mused on this small detail, he rubbed what Jess assumed was his chin in a contemplative manner. “No matter, it’s more fun this way.”
“Well, since you overcame that trial, I guess I have no choice but to return a Pokémon to you. I am a man, well, puppet of my word, after all.”
He waved his hand coolly, and all of a sudden Kief appeared beside his trainer through the same mysterious way her Corsola had been summoned. The puzzled Zigzagoon blinked once, then leapt gleefully onto his trainer, thrilled to see her (as made evident by licking her face extensively). Jessica laughed and warmly returned the overly affectionate greeting, while Bane looked on the scene indifferently. After a moment, he cleared his throat.
“All right then, miss. You have three more rooms to explore: the Bedroom, the Greenhouse, and the Dining Room. Choose wisely.”
Kief growled viciously at Bane, but Jess shook her head, directing the racoon to heel. Pulling out two Pokéballs, she recalled Kief and Haruki, planning to provide the two with some rest and also to keep them (hopefully) both safe from the possessed marionette. She then fixed the doll with a cold stare. “I’d like to visit the Dining Room next,” she stated unconcernedly.