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Thread: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

  1. #26
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    Again, utterly Spectacular.

    The twisted dream was brilliant. I love how it seems to link with the Prologue... Does this mean that the Orb with Fork wings is the Sigilyph and that Chiaki was the Grey Cloaked Pokémon?

    Brilliant Brillaint Brilliant. Can't wait for the next adventure and the continuation of this amazing story.

    Keep on writing DarkerShining

    Seekeroflight
    Hi! SeekerofLight here, always aiming to help peeps out in all their gaming and writing needs... provided I myself have been given help about the topic...

    Incoming! A brand new fic starting soon!
    Watch this space. Yes, literally, THIS space, below this!





  2. #27
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    If any of DS's readers are Tropers, the TvTropes article for this fic could use more love!

  3. #28
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    Thanks for the positive response, guys! Glad you enjoyed the chapter. I'm working on the first draft on chapter 9, but I'm not sure how long it'll take. I'll try not to keep you guys waiting for too long, though.

    Remember, if there is anything about my writing you see that I can work on improving for later chapters, just let me know. I keep it in mind and become a better write that way, you know.

    And I am still considering putting up a PM list. Since this is the first time I will have done that, though, I'm not entirely sure on how I'd keep track of everyone on it. I see some authors have a list on the first page of their fic that they edit or something along those lines, but due to a weird glitch that occurs when I try editing or previewing posts, that probably isn't the best option since I don't want the text to get messed up. (has anyone else had problems with this glitch?) Then again, I suppose it is just as simple as keeping a list somewhere else.
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  4. #29
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    Hey everyone! Chapter 9 is ready!

    Hope you all enjoy it!

    ---

    Chapter 9: So, you need some help with this plant problem?

    ---

    Another new day had begun, and rescue teams were getting ready for another day of work. Blitz, Sera and Chiaki had already met up in a quiet spot where they could talk privately, and were now discussing the situation and the decision they were about to make. After several minutes of talking, it seemed the three of them had reached an agreement.

    “So… We’re really going to do this, then?” Sera asked.

    “I guess so…” Blitz responded, nervously rubbing his forelegs together.

    “All right then…” Sera replied. “Let’s go make our preparations, then.”

    The rescue team spent several minutes going around town making the necessary preparations, trying to figure out which supplies to bring along and rearranging the treasure bag several times before they were satisfied with the selection of items. After stopping by the bank to deposit the leftover money after they had bought some extra supplies at the shop, the three of them began heading up to the rescue team HQ.

    Before reaching the HQ, Sera decided to fill Chiaki in on some more details about Harmony Forest, and pulled out the map.

    “The Harmony Forest is there,” Sera said, pointing her paw at the map. “As you can see, it’s a little further away from here than the dungeons we’ve been to so far.”

    “It is a somewhat unique place in that there are multiple small mystery dungeons within the forest, connecting the different areas of the forest,” Blitz explained. “We enter the forest through a regular mystery dungeon.”

    “I see,” Chiaki said, looking at the map. “Are we going to walk all the way there? Because it looks like it would take a while to get there, even if we walked really fast...”

    “Oh, don’t worry,” Sera said, winking. “There is another, much faster way to get there.”

    “Ooh, what is it?” Chiaki asked. “Can you show me?”

    “You’ll get to see once we get to the HQ,” Sera said, wagging her tail.

    “Okay!” Chiaki replied.

    The three continued heading up to the HQ, when Blitz suddenly noticed a certain Elgyem floating over in their direction.

    “Chiaki, your friend is here,” Blitz said, pointing to the Elgyem.

    “Oh, hi Elina!” Chiaki said, walking over to her. “Did you come to wish us good luck?”

    The Elgyem shook her head, before pointing to herself with both hands, and then pointing to the rescue team.

    “You want to come along?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly. “Oh, that’s nice, but I don’t think that’s really necessary.”

    Elina looked down at the ground, seeming a bit disappointed.

    “Hey, don’t worry,” Chiaki said, comfortingly patting the Elgyem’s shoulder. “We can handle this! So, you can just stay here and relax, and then I’ll tell you all about how it went when we get back, okay?”

    Elina looked up at the Mienfoo, unsure how to respond.

    “See you later, Elina!” Chiaki said, waving good-bye to her as he ran over to join his two teammates, as they walked into the wooden building.

    Elina looked up at the rescue team HQ for a few moments, before floating back into the main part of town so she could make some preparations…

    ---

    Blitz and Sera led Chiaki over to a purple curtain, and into a room behind said curtain. The first thing Chiaki noticed inside the room was a large map painted on the wall in the back of the room, with mystery dungeons marked on it similar to the smaller maps rescue teams carried. There was also a wooden desk in the room, but Chiaki couldn’t see anyone behind the counter. However, he could hear a light snoring, and Sera led him over to show him what was behind the desk.

    And behind it was a yellow humanoid Pokémon with small pointy ears, sleeping on a somewhat worn-out looking dark green pillow. Sera carefully poked the brown armor-like pad covering the Abra’s shoulder, causing the psychic type to sleepily open her eyes and sit up.

    “What day is it…?” the Abra sleepily mumbled while rubbing her eyes.

    “Chiaki, this is Kala,” Sera said, pointing her paw at the Abra. “She can use her teleportation powers to help rescue teams reach destinations that are too far away to walk to when we need to get there fast!”

    “Cool!” Chiaki responded.

    “So, where do you want to go today…?” Kala muttered, yawning and stretching.

    “Harmony Forest,” Sera replied, smiling and wagging her tail. “Can you send us there?”

    “Sure, no problem…” Kala responded, closing her eyes and hovering in mid-air as she concentrated on sending the rescue team to their desired destination.

    Soon the rescue team were enveloped by a green light, and disappeared from the room. With her job done, Kala lay back down onto her pillow, going back to sleep.

    ---

    The rescue team materialized in front of the entrance to the Harmony Forest in a green orb of light, Chiaki looked around in awe at the sudden change of surroundings. As far as he could tell, there were many tall trees ahead. He wondered how different this forest was from Meridian Forest.

    “Well, here we are!” Sera announced, wagging her tail happily. “So, should we just go ahead and get this search started?”

    “I suppose…” Blitz replied, nervously rubbing his legs together. “Are you absolutely sure we have everything we need?”

    “Nervous?” Sera asked, grabbing one of Blitz’s front paws with her front paws. “It’s okay; you’re not the only one.”

    “Sera…” Blitz looked up at his teammate.

    “I’m a little nervous too,” Sera said, giving a reassuring smile. “But as long as I’ve got you and Chiaki by my side, nothing will stop me!”

    “Yeah, we’re in this together!” Chiaki responded, grinning. “Just think of this as another mission!”

    “… You’re right,” Blitz responded, smiling back at his teammates. “Let’s do this.”

    “That’s more like it!” Sera said, before entering the mystery dungeon with Blitz and Chiaki following closely behind.

    Trees made up the walls of the maze; while the floor was mostly grass with occasional wild flowers visible. Sera noticed some coins lying in the grass, and picked them up, before leading Blitz and Chiaki down one of the paths leading to another room within the same floor. The Harmony Forest was a pretty big place, so finding the crystal probably wouldn’t be easy. Where within the forest could it be hidden?

    And that wasn’t even the only question related to this strange situation. How and why had the crystal ended up here? Why had the Pokémon that stole the crystals not just kept it? But it was probably better to just focus on finding the crystal now, and ask questions later. Finding the stairs, and moving onto the next floor, the rescue team had to fight a small Pokémon covered in cotton, with two green leaves at the sides of its body.

    They had to fight another one on the way to the stairs, and soon found themselves on the third floor. The third and fourth floors were fairly uneventful, only a few more items to be found and a few more battles. However, on the fifth floor, the rescue team came across a strange sight. Several strange, thick vines were blocking one of the paths out of the room they had just arrived in.

    “Huh?” Sera said, tilting her head and poking the vine with her paw. “What’s this?”

    “I don’t know…” Blitz replied. “There usually aren’t any obstacles like this one in mystery dungeons…”

    “Can’t we just climb over it?” Chiaki asked.

    “Nah, let’s just take the other path over there,” Sera responded, moving over to another path which wasn’t blocked off.

    There didn’t seem to be anything else out of the ordinary on that floor, and the rescue team moved onto the sixth floor, where they had to fight off some round ladybug like Pokémon and some yellow green-spotted mushroom-like Pokémon. Chiaki discovered he could make an opponent flinch by striking it quickly. However, it seemed the attack only worked as long as he caught the opponent off-guard. According to Blitz, this attack was called Fake Out.

    “Wow, I figured out a new attack all on my own!” Chiaki exclaimed happily.

    “Congratulations,” Blitz replied. “It should be a useful move once you’re mastered it. Maybe we should head back to the dojo so you can practice once we’re done here?”

    “Hey, how many floors is this dungeon, again?” Sera asked, looking around.

    “Fifteen, I think,” Blitz responded. “And I think the smaller ones within the forest itself are at five floors, or so.”

    “Okay…” Sera said, realizing that they might have quite a bit of walking around to do today. “How many of the smaller dungeons are there?”

    “At least three,” Blitz responded. “I’m not entirely sure if that’s the exact number.”

    “Oh,” Sera replied. “So, we might have to walk through at least thirty floors?”

    “Possibly,” Blitz said. “Depends on where the crystal is.”

    “Yeah…” Sera responded. “Good thing we brought a few apples in case we get hungry from all that walking.”

    The rescue team continued travelling through the dungeon, Chiaki practicing his Fake Out attack more as they went along. On the tenth floor of the dungeon, they noticed several strange vines sprouting from the ground near the walls, similar to the ones blocking the path back at the fifth floor.

    “Strange…” Blitz commented. “What’s up with these vines?”

    “I don’t know…” Sera responded. “At least they’re not in our way this time.”

    The rescue team continued heading through the floor, until they found the stairs and moved onto the next floor. Blitz was getting the feeling that these vines didn’t belong in the forest, and wondered where they might’ve come from. There was definitely something strange about it…

    ---

    Back in town, Wade and Vic were going about their usual business. Mirage had just sold a Gold Ribbon to Wade, and gotten 2000 coins in return. The Zoroark briefly looked through the items in her treasure bag to see if there was anything else she could sell.

    “Hmm… I guess there’s nothing else here really worth selling,” Mirage said, closing the bag. “Well, better go find myself some missions. I’ve still got to make some money even with the whole crystal crisis going on. I can’t let my family down, after all.”

    And with that, Mirage and her teammates left the stall, just as a certain Elgyem hovered up to the shop, waving to get Vic’s attention. The Nuzleaf, however, seemed to be too busy polishing an orb to notice. Wade gave Elina a friendly smile, and then lightly shook Vic’s shoulder to get his attention.

    “Hey, Vic,” Wade said. “I think you have a customer.”

    “Oh,” Vic replied, putting the orb down on the counter. “Well, hello there. How may I help you?”

    Elina pointed a hand to the orb on the counter.

    “You want to buy that Blowback Orb?” Vic asked.

    Elina shook her head in response.

    “No?” Vic replied, thinking for a moment. “Oh, you want to see what other orbs we have for sale today?”

    Elina nodded her head in the affirmative, and Vic brought out a selection of different orbs. Not that one could really tell the difference between them at first glance, since they all looked the same.

    “As you can see, we have a nice selection of orbs today,” the Nuzleaf said. “See anything you like?”

    Elina carefully looked over the orbs, until she saw something that caught her interest. She pointed her hand to one of the orbs displayed, and Vic took a look at it.

    “Ah, you want this Mobile Orb?” he asked, picking it up. “That’ll be 150 coins.”

    Elina produced a small bag, and telekinetically picked up the coins she had brought with her, hoping she had enough coins to afford the orb…

    ---

    Sera, Blitz and Chiaki had reached the final floor of the mystery dungeon, and were getting close to the stairs. There was only one problem: Strange vines were blocking the path leading to the room with the stairs.

    “Not this again!” Sera exclaimed. “How are we going to get to the stairs?”

    “Is there another path?” Chiaki asked.

    “I don’t think there is this time…” Blitz said, thinking for a moment. “But, maybe I can use my Fire Fang attack to burn these?”

    “I thought you didn’t like using that attack?” Sera asked.

    “Not on other Pokémon,” Blitz replied. “However, I’m okay with using it to get rid of this obstacle.”

    “Go for it, then!” Sera said, wagging her tail enthusiastically.

    Blitz walked up to the blocked path, getting onto his hind legs while holding onto the vines with his forelegs. He then opened his mouth, and his fangs began glowing with an orange light. Blitz felt heat quickly building up in his fangs, and bit down on the plant. To his surprise, the attack barely had any effect.

    “It didn’t work?” Sera asked, tilting her head in confusion. “Why didn’t it work? Isn’t fire usually super effective on plants?”

    “Yes, it is,” Blitz replied, examining the bite marks he’d left on the plant. “This plant, however, seems to have some sort of resistance to fire…”

    “Cool,” Chiaki said. “You know, except the part about it being in our way, and all…”

    “Hey, what about your Ice Fang attack?” Sera asked. “Ice is also super effective on plants, right?”

    “It’s worth a try,” Blitz replied, and once again prepared to sink his fangs into the vine.

    This time, his fangs began to glow with an icy blue glow, and there was visible mist from Blitz’s breath as his fangs got colder. Blitz bit down on the vine once again, and part of the vine quickly became coated in ice.

    “I think its working!” Sera said, her ears perking up in excitement.

    “Yeah, but they’re still in our way,” Chiaki pointed out.

    “Not for long!” Sera replied, getting three Blast Seeds out of the treasure bag. “Here, let’s take one each, and then we’ll use them to break these vines apart!”

    “Good idea, Sera,” Blitz said, as he and Chiaki each took one of the three seeds. “We’ll probably do the most damage if we use them all at the same time. Ready?”

    The three of them walked up the frozen vines, popped the Blast seeds into their mouths and at the same time, spit the exploding seeds at the frozen vines. The explosion managed to break them apart to make an opening big enough for the three of them to walk through.

    “We did it!” Sera said, happily wagging her tail as she ran over to the stairs along with her two teammates. “Now, let’s get moving and start looking for that crystal!”

    The three Pokémon then walked up the stairs, exiting the dungeon and entering the deeper parts of Harmony Forest. However, they were surprised at what they saw as they entered the area, as several strange vines similar to the ones they came across inside the mystery dungeon appeared to be laying on the ground, with some of them seeming to have wrapped themselves around trees.

    “What is with these vines?” Sera asked, poking at one with her paw.

    “I don’t know…” Blitz replied, looking around. “This is really strange…”

    The rescue team began looking around, not knowing that they were being watched from the trees. A trio of monkeys with green and yellow bodies and a small green bush like growth on their heads curiously watched the rescue team, before exchanging glances.

    “Rescue team!” one of the three Pansage said, excitedly pointing to the three Pokémon below.

    “Think they can help us?” asked one of the other two, scratching its head.

    “Yes, they might be able to help us!” responded the third one, excitedly swinging on the branch it was holding. “We should take them to see the leader of our tribe!”

    “Ooh, good idea!” the first Pansage replied, clapping its hands. “Let’s follow them!”

    The three Pansage playfully started following the rescue team exploring the forest below by moving from tree to tree; by extending their green tails into long whip-like vines and using them grab onto branches and swing to the next tree. Blitz soon noticed the shadows of the three Pokémon above them, and stopped to look up at the three Pansage. Sera and Chiaki soon noticed as well, and the Pansage began making their way down to the rescue team.

    “What’s up with them?” Sera wondered.

    “Maybe they can help us find the crystal?” Chiaki suggested, smiling as the three Pansage made their way down from the trees.

    “I suppose we should find out what they want…” Blitz said, as the monkeys reached the ground and approached the rescue team.

    “Hi!” one of the three Pansage said, waving to the other three Pokémon. “You’re a rescue team, right?”

    “Yes, we are,” Sera responded, tilting her head slightly. “What can we do for you?”

    “A strange plant showed up in the forest a few days ago!” the Pansage said, jumping up and down.

    “And its vines are like, growing and going all over the place!” one of the other two said, pointing to some strange vines that seemed to be slowly crawling up a tree.

    “And they’re getting in our way, and that’s really annoying!” the third one said, stomping on the ground. “We can’t get to the Pansear and Panpour tribes or the place where we grow berries without taking a lot of detours, even having to go through mini-dungeons and have to deal with wild Pokémon slowing us down!”

    “What can we do to help?” Chiaki asked, immediately jumping at the opportunity to help the Pokémon of Harmony Forest.

    “Oh, you will help us?” one of the Pansage asked, happy at the Mienfoo’s eagerness to help.

    “Thank you so much!” one of the other two Pansage said, clapping her hands.

    “Come with us!” the third one said, motioning with his hand for them to follow. “You should come meet our tribe’s leader, and help us work out how to get rid of the plant with him!”

    “Okay!” Chiaki replied, smiling at the trio of grass monkeys.

    “Hold on a minute,” Sera said, looking over at her teammate. “Chiaki, we were supposed to be searching for the crystal, remember?”

    “But these Pokémon need our help!” Chiaki replied. “And since we’re a rescue team, we should help them!”

    “Well, I guess you have a point there…” Sera responded.

    “And besides, if we help them, maybe they will help us?” Chiaki pointed out.

    “I suppose having some Pokémon that know the forest help us search would make things a lot easier,” Blitz commented.

    “Okay, then,” Sera said, smiling to her teammates. “Let’s help these Pansage sort out this plant problem!”

    “All right, let’s go!” Chiaki said, and followed the Pansage trio.

    ---

    The Pansage trio led the rescue team further into the forest, explaining that they were going to bring them to their village. There, they would meet with the Pansage tribe leader and try to come up with a way to get rid of the mysterious plant. On the way, the rescue team saw more vines laying across the ground, or wrapping themselves around trees. After a while, the Pansage trio stopped walking.

    “We’re here!” one of the three Pansage said, grinning at the somewhat confused rescue team.

    “Uh… What?” Sera responded, looking around. “I don’t see any village here.”

    “Silly Eevee!” one of the other two Pansage said, pointing up towards the treetops above. “Our village is up there!”

    “Your village is in the top of those trees?” Chiaki asked.

    “Yep!” the third Pansage replied, nodding her head.

    “Um… How exactly are we supposed to get up there?” Blitz asked, rubbing his forelegs together. “I don’t think we’re as good at climbing as you Pansage are…”

    “Oh, don’t worry!” one of the Pansage responded. “We have another way to get you up there!”

    “Just wait right here,” one of the other two said, and started climbing up a tree along with the other two Pansage. “We’ll be right back!”

    The monkey Pokémon quickly made their way up the trees, while the rescue team waited for them to return, curious about how the Pansage were going to get them up there. Soon, the rescue team saw the three Pansage slowly making their way down to them by lowering what appeared to be a wooden cage-like structure held up by vines.

    “What’s that?” Chiaki asked, as the bottom of the wooden cage-like structure touched the ground.

    “Like it?” one of the Pansage asked, opening the wooden door. “We use this to bring visitors up to our village!”

    “Assuming they’re around the same size as us,” one of the other two Pansage added, while holding onto one of two rotating levers on the sides of the wooden structure, which were used to make the vines pull it up. “We can’t really bring bigger, heavier Pokémon up there.”

    “And even if we could, it would probably not be a good idea,” the third Pansage commented, giggling a little. “Well, get in, will you?”

    “Um… Okay…” Blitz responded, and got onto the cart with Sera and Chiaki.

    Once all three were on board, the Pansage shut the door and the other two began rotating the levers to pull the cart up. Blitz looked down at the ground, feeling more nervous the higher up they got. Chiaki on the other hand seemed to find this experience rather exciting, and found it pretty awesome that the Pansage had been able to build the contraption that was bringing them up to the treetop village out of things found in the forest.

    Soon, they reached the village, with several small wooden huts built on thick branches, and several rope bridges connecting the village.

    “Awesome!” Chiaki exclaimed upon seeing the village.

    “Welcome to our village!” one of the Pansage said, opening the wooden door on the cart to let the rescue team out. “Follow us; we’ll take you to our leader!”

    The six Pokémon stepped onto one of the rope bridges, the Pansage trio leading the way. Blitz couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous as he looked down and saw just how far away from the ground they were. The slight swaying of the bridge didn’t help, even though the rope bridge was secure. After walking across a few rope bridges, they finally found the tribe leader. He looked like a bigger Pansage, with a much bigger bush-like growth on his head.

    “Ooh, is that a rescue team?” the Simisage asked, smirking.

    “You must be the Pansage tribe leader,” Blitz said, still a bit nervous.

    “That’s right,” the Simisage responded, giving the rescue team a thumbs-up. “The name’s Haru and it is your pleasure to meet me!”

    “Right…” Sera replied, not particularly impressed. “So, you need some help with this plant problem?”

    “Ah, seems the Pansage there have filled you in on some of the details,” Haru responded, the three Pansage covering their mouths with their hands and giggling. “Normally, such a situation wouldn’t be a problem for me, but the way this plant is spreading just isn’t natural.”

    “Yeah, we saw,” Sera commented. “It even got into the mystery dungeon.”

    “We’ve been at a loss of how to deal with the thing,” Haru said. “However, thanks to me, we may now have found the root of the problem!”

    “This tribe sure is lucky to have a leader as humble as you,” Sera replied, rolling her eyes.

    “Why, thank you!” Haru responded, not noticing the sarcasm in Sera’s voice. “Anyways, as I was saying, I sent a team of Pansage to search for the plant that all these freaky vines spread from, and not long ago, they found it in the middle of the forest!”

    “So, what is the plan?” Blitz asked, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “We’re still working on it,” Haru replied. “What we do have so far, is that we need to find a way to destroy the roots of that thing.”

    “Hey, weren’t the vines we came across in the dungeon weak to ice?” Chiaki asked, looking over at Blitz.

    “Ice, you say?” Haru responded, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

    “Uh-huh!” Chiaki replied, nodding his head. “Blitz here used his Ice Fang to help us break through some vines blocking our path!”

    “Well, seems you kids may just have stumbled onto the solution to our problems!” Haru responded, snapping his fingers. “Thank you so much!”

    “Ooh, really?” Chiaki asked.

    “We need to use ice to break those roots, but surely that will be easier said than done,” Haru said. “First, let’s all head over to where the plant is.”

    “Uh… Okay?” Sera replied.

    “As long as that lets us go back down to the ground, I’m fine with that,” Blitz said, knowing he would feel less nervous once they got down from the tree.

    ---

    Once the rescue team, Haru and the trio of Pansage got down from the tree, they began heading for the center of the forest. To get there, they would first have to walk through a mini dungeon with five floors. Haru decided to lead the way through the dungeon, which Sera only agreed to because he was more familiar with the forest than she was.

    “So, what brings you guys into the forest, anyways?” Haru asked.

    “Well, we are searching for something very important,” Sera replied. “And according to the town oracle, it might be hidden somewhere within this forest.”

    “Oh, is that so?” Haru responded. “And what would this important item be?”

    “One of the eight missing crystals of the Axis Tower,” Sera replied, causing Haru to stop in his tracks for a moment.

    “Wait, what!?” Haru exclaimed. “The Axis Tower crystals are missing!?”

    “Yeah,” Blitz replied, keeping his gaze on the ground as they walked. “Apparently some Pokémon stole them a few days ago…”

    “Who would do such a crazy thing!?” Haru asked, clenching his fists. “I swear, if that Pokémon were to show itself around this forest, I would give it a piece of my mind!”

    “Yeah, whatever,” Sera responded. “Anyways, maybe you and your tribe could, you know, help us search?”

    “Of course,” Haru replied, grinning. “Once we’ve dealt with this plant, I’ll assist you guys in finding this crystal, and with my help, you’ll find it in no time!”

    “I’ll help too!” one of the Pansage said.

    “Me too!” one of the other two responded.

    “Me three!” the third one said.

    “Thanks!” Sera replied, wagging her tail. “Searching will be much easier with the help of Pokémon that know the forest like you guys do!”

    “Yeah,” Haru responded. “I don’t like to brag, but I do know the forest pretty well.”

    The other six Pokémon started snickering a bit at that statement, although Haru didn’t understand what it was they found so amusing. The Simisage did do a good job leading the group through the dungeon, knocking out some of the Pokémon they came across on the way with a kick or a strike from his thorny tail. He then proceeded to talk about the Acrobatics attack afterwards and how it was only one of the many attacks he had mastered.

    “A tribe leader has got to know many different attacks to be able to defend his tribe, you know!” Haru said, confidently stepping up the stairs to the next floor.

    “Is he always like that?” Chiaki asked one of the three Pansage, seeming a bit amused at the Simisage’s behavior.

    “Oh, yes,” the Pansage responded. “But he’s still a very good leader.”

    “Yeah,” another Pansage replied. “He really does care about our well-being, even if he does sometimes talk about himself too much.”

    “The tribe elected him to be our leader for a reason, after all,” the third one added.

    “All right, we’re here!” Haru said, pointing to the final set of stairs in the dungeon.

    ---

    Haru led the Pansage and the rescue team up the stairs, where they found themselves in front of the large parasitic plant growing in the center of the forest. The rescue team was surprised at just how large the plant was. It almost looked like a huge green tree, except it had many vines sprouting from the top of it, and slowly growing longer and seeming to be crawling through the forest.

    “What is that thing?” Sera asked, staring up at it.

    “We have no idea,” Haru replied. “We’re not even entirely sure if it’s a real plant.”

    “So, we need to destroy this thing before it spreads its vines any further, right?” Blitz asked, looking a bit discouraged. “How are we going to do that?”

    “Don’t worry, kid,” Haru responded, smirking. “You see, I came up with a plan while we were walking through that dungeon!”

    “Of course you did,” Sera replied, rolling her eyes slightly. “So, what’s your great idea?”

    “I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but that is why I want you three to head over to the Pansear and Panpour tribes, and bring their leaders here!” Haru said, smiling at the rescue team. “I hope you don’t mind me asking this?”

    “I guess not,” Sera responded.

    “Of course, I could do this without their help, but things will go a lot faster if those two and a few members of their tribes help out,” Haru said, his eyes darting back and forth while a nervous smile seemed to cross his face for a brief moment. “Y-Yeah… That’s right…”

    "That, and you can't use any ice type attacks," one of the Pansage pointed out.

    "Yeah, that too," Haru responded, glancing around.

    “Just give us some directions, and we’ll be on our way!” Chiaki said with his usual cheerful smile.

    “All right,” Haru responded, pointing in a direction. “If you head that way, you will after a short walk come across another mini dungeon. And after clearing it, just keep walking straight ahead, and you should eventually reach the Pansear tribe’s village.”

    “Okay, thanks,” Sera replied, before turning to her teammates. “Let’s go find this Pansear village!”

    And so, the rescue team headed off to find and ask the leaders of the Pansear and Panpour tribes for help, while Haru and the Pansage stayed behind to bounce around a few ideas on how to deal with the plant while they waited for the rescue team to return. The rescue team had not come any closer to finding the crystal, and it remained to see if they would be able to help the tribes find a solution to the plant problem. It was now clear that their mission in Harmony Forest had only just begun.

    ---

    End of chapter 9.

    ---
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  5. #30
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    Ah, another lovely chapter. Peaceful, in a sense.
    Though I have to wonder why Elina needed to buy that Mobile Orb, is she planning on interferring in the Forest somehow?

    Anyways, I liked the self glorifying Simisage, Heru. Fun minor characters are the best to write, in my opinion. If I may state the obvious, but what could plant be? I was thinking Carnivine in the beginning, but now I'm not sure. Whatever it is, I hope it gets "resolved" in the next chapter, I hate weeds.

    Well, I hope the next chapter is out soon. I get the sense that the plot will be moving forward with these crystals.

    Knightfall signing off...

  6. #31
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    Spectacular as Always Darkershining.

    I am loving the story so much, and also the obvious fatc you have spent SO much effort developing your characters. Even the most minor of minor Pokémon has a personality, and a personal favourite feature of mine is how you are cutting back to other Exploration Teams, not just focusing on the Main Character.

    My only niggle really is... I'm incredibly impatient! I can't wait for the next chapter!

    Best of Luck

    Seeker of Light
    Hi! SeekerofLight here, always aiming to help peeps out in all their gaming and writing needs... provided I myself have been given help about the topic...

    Incoming! A brand new fic starting soon!
    Watch this space. Yes, literally, THIS space, below this!





  7. #32
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    Thanks for the replies! Glad to see you enjoyed the chapter, and I promise to have chapter 10 ready as soon as I can. The first draft of the chapter should be finished soon at the very least. I got somewhat delayed because something's wrong with my laptop, though. But at least I've been able to borrow my mother's computer, and I was able to take a back-up copy of the most recent version of the fanfic chapter on a USB drive before the laptop stopped co-operating, so I've been able to keep working on it.
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  8. #33
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    All right! As promised, here is chapter 10! Enjoy!

    ---

    Chapter 10: Think we should be concerned about the fact that she apparently has a collection of weapons?

    ---

    At the rescue team HQ, a certain Elgyem was quietly checking the items she had gathered, before heading inside the room where Kala the Abra was enjoying her nap. However, contrary to what the Abra may have had assumed, she wasn’t finished with today’s work. Elina lightly shook the Abra’s shoulder, until Kala drowsily sat up and rubbed her eyes.

    “What is it now…?” the Abra mumbled groggily, before noticing Elina. “Oh, hi there… Weren’t you the Elgyem who came in here last night…?”

    Elina just waved in response.

    “So… What may I do for you…?” Kala asked.

    Elina floated over to the large map painted on the wall, and pointed her hand to a certain forest on the map.

    “Harmony Forest again…?” Kala asked, to which Elina nodded in response. “Okay, I guess… Seems to be a popular place to explore all of a sudden…”

    ---

    Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were making their way through one of the five floor mini mystery dungeons within the Harmony Forest, which according to Haru the Simisage would lead towards the Pansear village. More of the vines could be seen inside the dungeon, some proving to be a bit of an obstacle due to blocking off some of the paths. It was a little hard to believe these were all connected to the same plant, which was definitely not something that belonged in the forest. And the rescue team still hadn’t come any closer to finding the crystal which was supposed to be hidden somewhere within the forest.

    “Okay, we’re almost through this dungeon,” Sera said, looking around. “And once we get out, we just have to keep walking straight ahead until we reach the Pansear village, right?”

    “Yes, that is what Haru said,” Blitz replied.

    “What do you guys think the other two tribe leaders are like?” Chiaki asked.

    “I’m sure they’re as nice as Haru,” Sera replied. “I just hope they don’t talk as much as him…”

    “I just hope these guys built their villages on the ground…” Blitz commented.

    “Well, we’re going to find out very soon,” Sera said, pointing to the stairs.

    The three of them walked up the stairs one by one, exiting the mini dungeon and entering another part of the forest. In the distance, they spotted what appeared to be several small stone huts built in a fairly open area.

    “That must be the Pansear village,” Chiaki said.

    “Guess they must’ve built it over there to reduce the risk of accidentally burning the forest down,” Blitz commented.

    “Well, let’s go see them.” Sera said.

    The three of them began walking towards the village, when Blitz suddenly heard the sounds of leaves rustling in the bushes nearby. He also caught a brief glimpse of something with red fur hiding within the bushes. He cautiously crept up the bushes to investigate, carefully pushing part of it aside with his paw, revealing a trio of red and yellow monkeys with a fire shaped tuft on their heads.

    “We’ve been spotted!” one of them said, before it and the other two Pansear ducked down and covered their ears.

    “Hey, relax,” Blitz said. “We’re not going to hurt you.”

    “You three must be from the Pansear tribe, right?” Sera asked. “The leader of the Pansage tribe sent us here.”

    “What?” one of the Pansear said and took his hands off his ears. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

    “The leader of the Pansage tribe sent us here,” Sera explained. “He wants the leader of your tribe and the Panpour tribe to help with the plant problem this forest is having.”

    “Ah, Haru sent you!” the Pansear responded, excitedly clapping his hands.

    “And he wants help with the plant problem?” one of the other two Pansear asked, scratching her head. “Does that mean they’ve found a way to get rid of it?”

    “Ooh, we can take you to our leader!” the third one said, jumping up and down in excitement.

    The trio of Pansear ran ahead of the rescue team, leading the way into the village. While walking through the village to where the tribe leader was, the group saw several Pansear doing their jobs within the village. Some Pansear were busy forging weapons, others were using berries they had received from the Pansage tribe to make medicines.

    The Pansear trio explained more about how each of the three tribes worked together, each providing something different. The Pansage were in charge of berries, the Pansear tribe made weapons and medicines, and the Panpour tribe was in charge of providing the tribes with fresh water.

    “Our tribes work pretty well together,” one of the Pansear commented. “So, it is very frustrating for us to not be able to reach each other easily because our fastest, safest travel routes are blocked off!”

    “Yeah, we understand,” Blitz responded.

    “So, what can you tell us about your tribe leader?” Sera asked.

    “Ooh, he’s a good leader,” one of the Pansear responded. “He’s very nice.”

    “He tends to have us make weapons just so he can give those to Mizu, the leader of the Panpour tribe,” one of the other two Pansear commented, snickering a little. “We think he has a crush on her.”

    “Luckily he isn’t the kind of guy who often gets distracted from his job while thinking about his crush,” the third one added.

    The six Pokémon walked up to where a Pokémon looking like a bigger Pansear with a fire-shaped tail and a few fire shaped tufts of hair on his head was standing, looking a bit concerned.

    “I sure hope we find a way to get rid of all those vines before they spread any further,” the Simisear said, holding a hand to his chin in a thoughtful way. “This can’t be good for any of the Pokémon living in the forest.”

    “Kojin!” one of the Pansear called out. “Haru sent this rescue team to find you!”

    “Oh, is that so?” the Simisear responded, walking over and giving the rescue team a friendly smile. “Welcome, rescue team.”

    “Hi,” Sera replied, waving her paw.

    “So, what brings you to our village?” Kojin asked. “Haru had a favor to ask of me?”

    “Pretty much,” Sera responded. “He’s working on a way to get rid of the plant problem, and he wants the help of you, the Panpour tribe leader and a few members of your tribes to help him with it.”

    “Ah, he’s working on a solution?” Kojin asked. “Excellent! Of course I will do all I can to help!”

    “All right,” Blitz said. “You just have to head over to the center of the forest with some of the Pansear, as well as tell us how we can get to the Panpour tribe.”

    “Of course,” Kojin responded, pointing out a direction to them. “There may be some vines blocking off some paths, but if you can get past those, there’s a mini dungeon over in that direction.”

    “And that leads to the Panpour tribe’s village?” Chiaki asked.

    “Yes,” Kojin responded. “The Panpour village is built close to a big lake, a few of the buildings floating on the lake itself.”

    “Okay, got it,” Sera replied. “Is there anything else?”

    “Well, perhaps you could do me a favor?” Kojin asked, picking up a spear. “Could you deliver this to the leader of the Panpour tribe?”

    Sera and her teammates just stared at Kojin for a moment.

    “Actually, I think I’ll just deliver it to her in person!” Kojin said, and happily headed off with a few Pansear, taking the spear with him. “See you guys later!”

    Kojin and the Pansear headed off towards the center of the forest, hoping the vines wouldn’t be too big an obstacle for them. The rescue team had to head off as well, and find the Panpour village. First they would have to find that mini-dungeon Kojin brought up.

    “So, what do you think the Panpour tribe leader is like?” Chiaki asked.

    “I don’t know…” Blitz replied. “Think we should be concerned about the fact that she apparently has a collection of weapons?”

    “Nah, I’m sure there’s nothing to be afraid of,” Sera responded, keeping an eye out for the entrance to the mini-dungeon as they walked.

    ---

    The rescue team wandered around for a while, still looking for the entrance to the mini-dungeon. Sera was starting to feel hungry, though, and was getting a bit tired from all the walking. She looked over her shoulder at her two teammates, but wasn’t sure whether or not they were getting tired as well. Chiaki was still as cheerful as normal; while Blitz had a thoughtful looked on his face, occasionally glancing around at vines clinging to trees and such. Eventually, she just had to stop and sit down on the grass.

    “Whew, does anyone else need a short break?” Sera asked.

    “Sure,” Blitz responded, sitting down. “I’m guessing the dungeon entrance shouldn’t be too far away from here.”

    “The Harmony Forest sure is big,” Chiaki said. “If it has been able to spread to cover as much of the forest in vines after just a few days, I wonder what would happen if it was just allowed to keep spreading…”

    “Hey, let’s not think about that, okay?” Sera responded, getting two apples out of the treasure bag and giving them to her teammates before taking out a third apple for herself. “We’re going to help those monkeys solve this mess, and then they’ll help us find the crystal!”

    “Of course,” Chiaki said, taking a bite out of his apple. “I have no doubt we’ll succeed!”

    “I don’t know…” Blitz responded, glancing around nervously at some vines. “Chiaki has a point about the plant having covered a lot of the forest in just a few days… What if that’s not the only thing that plant is capable of?”

    “Blitz, it’s a plant we’re talking about here,” Sera replied, taking a few bites out of her apple. “It’s not like it can actually fight back, or anything.”

    “Hey, is that the entrance to the dungeon we were looking for?” Chiaki asked, pointing to a mystery dungeon entrance with several vines blocking it.

    “Huh, how’d I not notice that?” Sera said, before looking over at Blitz. “Well, you know what to do.”

    “I’m on it,” Blitz replied, finishing eating his apple before walking up to deal with the vines blocking the entrance.

    ---

    A few minutes later, after freezing the vines with Ice Fang and shattering them, the rescue team began exploring the mini dungeon. Sera confidently led the team, imagining how proud her family and the Pokémon of Fenix town would be once she returned with one of the missing crystals. She would earn the respect of all the other rescue teams in town, and no one would treat her like a little kid anymore.

    Blitz on the other hand, felt nervous for several reasons. Even if Sera said there was no reason to worry, he still couldn’t help but worry that one of those vines was going to suddenly grab him and carry him away. He also worried about what would happen once they returned to Fenix town with the crystal.

    They had told Stella they would tell the other rescue teams about the location of the crystal, but they hadn’t. Would Stella be mad at them for not having done something they had said they would do for her? Not to mention that the possibility of the other rescue teams getting mad for withholding such important information was still a major concern of his.

    And Chiaki was just happy to be on an adventure and to have made some new friends from the Pansage and Pansear tribe, and felt excited about getting to the Panpour tribe so they could make even more new friends. He then thought about Elina, hoping she wasn’t feeling too bad about not getting to come along to Harmony Forest with them.

    ---

    Unbeknownst to Chiaki and his teammates, Elina was currently making her way through the dungeon leading into Harmony Forest. After Chiaki last night had told her where one of the missing crystals were, she had secretly gone off to Harmony Forest after Chiaki went home to sleep. However, because of the vines and because it was dark at the time, she hadn’t gotten very far. Things seemed to be going better this time, and hopefully she would catch up to Chiaki and the others soon. She had to be careful since there were wild Pokémon around, though. Especially with the bug types, that had a type advantage against her.

    She wasn’t the bravest or strongest of Pokémon, but there was something only she could do…

    ---

    The rescue team managed to get through the last floor of the mini dungeon, and began looking around for the lake where the Panpour village was supposed to be. They hadn’t gotten very far, when they suddenly heard a cry for help!

    “What was that!?” Sera exclaimed, looking around for the source of the scream.

    “It came from over there!” Blitz said, and started running in the direction the scream came from. “We have to hurry!”

    Chiaki and Sera quickly went after Blitz, and soon saw a blue and yellow monkey with a blue tuft on its head that had been tied to a tree by some of the vines. Two other Panpour were pulling on the vine, trying to free their friend. However, the two of them weren’t strong enough to pull the vines off.

    “Stupid plant!” one of the two Panpour said. “Release our friend!”

    “Should one of us head back to the village and find Mizu?” the other one asked, before noticing the three Pokémon moving in their direction. “Is that a rescue team?”

    Blitz didn’t even hesitate to run up to, and use his Ice Fang to freeze part of the vine. As it froze, the part of the vine which had been holding the Panpour trapped began to loosen its grip.

    “Ooh, I can move!” the trapped Panpour exclaimed, and tried to free herself now that the vines holding her had loosened up a bit.

    “Grab our hands!” one of the other two Panpour said, holding out her hand for the one held by the vines to grab.

    “We can probably pull you out now!” the other one said, also holding his hands out.

    The Panpour managed to get her arms loose from the plant’s grip, and grabbed onto the hands of her comrades. It didn’t take long before the two Panpour successfully helped their friend free herself.

    “I’m free!” the Panpour exclaimed, before running over and hugging Blitz. “You’re my hero!”

    Blitz was clearly surprised at the sudden hug, and didn’t even have the time to figure out how to respond before the other two Panpour suddenly ran up and hugged him as well.

    “Thanks for loosening those vines for us!” one of the Panpour said.

    “Yeah, that really helped a lot,” the other one replied.

    “Y-You’re welcome…” Blitz responded, somewhat flustered at this.

    “Is there anything we can do repay you?” asked the Panpour that had been rescued.

    “Oh, um… My friends and I kind of need to get to your village and see the leader of your tribe…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “No problem! We can guide you there!” the Panpour replied. “It’s not far from here! So, let’s go!”

    ---

    The Panpour village had wooden huts similar to the Pansage village in it, with some of them even being placed upon floating platforms on the lake itself. One on the floating platforms on the lake, the tribe leader, resembling a bigger Panpour with dreadlocks, was currently polishing a blade. The Simipour was hoping to find a way to use it to get rid of those vines that was bothering the Pokémon living in the forest.

    She soon heard the sounds of a trio of Panpour, as well as three other Pokémon making their way across a bridge leading to the platform she was on.

    “Mizu!” one of the Panpour called out. “This rescue team here wishes to speak to you!”

    “A rescue team, huh?” Mizu inquired, taking a look at the three Pokémon the Panpour had brought. “Hmm… I see from your badge that you’re a bronze rank team?”

    “Is that a problem?” Sera asked, sounding a bit annoyed. “I’ll have you know we can handle stuff just as well as any other rescue team!”

    “Hey, relax,” Mizu replied, chuckling. “I’m not saying we don’t want your help.”

    “You know why we’re here?” Blitz asked.

    “I assume it has something to do with getting rid of that huge plant that has been getting in everyone’s way?” Mizu responded.

    “That’s right!” Chiaki said. “Haru and Kojin sent us to find you!”

    “Ah, you’ve already spoken to the other two tribe leaders?” Mizu asked. “This is sounding promising.”

    “The main part of the plant is located in the center of the forest,” Blitz explained. “Haru thinks we can get rid of it if we can destroy the roots.”

    “Ooh, sounds good!” Mizu said, holding up the blade she had been polishing. “Sounds like the perfect job for this here!”

    Blitz and Sera backed away a little as the Simipour picked up the weapon, while the Panpour just shyly covered their eyes and giggled.

    “Is that a sword?” Chiaki asked, curious about the weapon.

    “Oh, do you like it?” Mizu responded. “The blade is a Skarmory feather. I got it one day when I was out exploring, and came across a Skarmory who had one its wings stuck under a rock. I felt bad for the metal bird, so I helped him out.”

    "Ooh, really?” Chiaki asked.

    “Yes,” Mizu replied, nodding. “One of his feathers came off in the process, though, so he let me keep it as a reward for saving him.”

    “That’s awesome!” Chiaki responded.

    “Oh, it was no big deal,” Mizu replied. “Anyways, you were saying something about destroying the roots?”

    “Yeah,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “On our way into the forest, we discovered that the plants’ weakness seems to be ice.”

    “Is that it?” Mizu asked. “How come I didn’t think of that? I even know an ice type attack I could’ve used against it!”

    “Well, you can use your ice attack all you want when we destroy that plant!” Sera responded.

    “Right,” Mizu replied, picking up her Skarmory feather blade. “Let’s go!”

    ---

    Several minutes later, the rescue team, Mizu and a few of the Panpour finally made it to the center of the forest where Haru, Kojin and a few Pansage and Pansear had already gathered.

    “All right, you made it!” Haru said, grinning at the rescue team.

    “Hi Mizu!” Kojin said, holding up the spear. “I brought you a new spear!”
    “Ooh, that nice spear is for me?” Mizu asked, smiling at the Simisear. “Thank you, Kojin! You always give me the best gifts!”

    Kojin smiled and blushed at the Simipour, although the blushing wasn’t visible through his fur.

    “So, now that everyone is here, it is time to deal with this plant!” Haru said. “We need to destroy the roots, but to do that; we first need to be able to reach the roots, right?”

    “Right,” Mizu responded. “Better start digging.”

    And so, the rescue team, the tribe leaders and the Pansage, Pansear and Panpour all began digging near the plant in hopes of reaching down to the roots. However, this task wasn’t going to be as simple as they had hoped. While helping the others dig, Blitz suddenly heard a strange sound from somewhere above them. Looking up, he saw that the vines growing out of the top of the strange plant had started moving around, and one of them was about to attack Sera.

    “Sera! Watch out!” Blitz shouted, before pushing his teammate out of the way before the vine could strike her.

    “Whoa, what was that!?” Sera asked, seeing the vine that nearly hit her.

    The rest of the Pokémon present had also noticed the moving vines now, and quickly moved out of the way as more of them attempted to strike them.

    “Well, this is new,” Mizu commented, while slicing off one of the vines with her blade. “Must have realized what we were doing, and is trying to defend itself.”

    “It can do that!?” Haru exclaimed.

    “Apparently,” Mizu replied casually, while slicing up more vines, only for more vines to grow back out. “… A little help here would be nice.”

    “Don’t worry, Mizu!” Kojin said, trying to use the spear he had brought for her to cut up some of the vines. “I’ll help you!”

    “I should help too,” Haru commented, looking up at the plant thoughtfully. “But how should I go about it?”

    “You said you know a lot of attacks, right?” Chiaki asked. “Surely there must be at least one of those attacks you can use for this?”

    “Oh, of course!” Haru responded, clenching his fist. “My Shadow Claw attack will surely be able to tear these vines apart!”

    A shadowy aura surrounded the Simisage’s clenched fist, and Haru then started slashing at the vines with the dark energies surroundings his hands. Working together, the three tribe leaders and the other members of their tribes cut their way through several vines. However, not long after being cut, the vines would grow back out.

    “We should help them!” Chiaki said, watching the monkeys try to cut through the vines.

    “How are we supposed to do that?” Sera asked. “Those vines just keep growing back out, and Blitz is the only one of us three who actually knows some attacks that would be effective against that thing!”

    “If only we could reach the roots…” Blitz said, while rubbing the yellow rings on his forelegs together. "But to get to the roots, we must defeat the plant, and we can't do that unless we get to the roots..."

    “So, we need another way to reach the roots…” Chiaki muttered, trying to think of a possible way to get down to the roots. His train of thought didn’t get very far before he suddenly felt a tap on his shoulder, and turned to see a certain Elgyem having arrived. “Elina?”

    “Elina is here?” Sera asked, tilting her head. “When did she get here?”

    Elina looked up at the plant, and the elemental monkeys currently fighting it.

    “Did you come all the way out here to help us?” Chiaki asked, putting a paw on Elina’s shoulder. “While that’s really nice of you, I already told you that you didn’t have to go through all this trouble.”

    “But since you’re here, maybe you could help us figure out what to do with that giant plant thing-y?” Sera asked. “We could really use some ideas, here.”

    Elina touched a hand to her chin in a thoughtful way, while looking up at the plant and trying to think of a way to help the rescue team destroy it. It only took a few seconds before an idea popped into her head. She reached into the bag she had brought along, and pulled out an orb.

    “Ooh, what’s that?” Chiaki asked, staring curiously at the blue sphere.

    “I think it’s a Mobile Orb,” Blitz said, examining the orb closely. “It allows the user to walk right through walls, like certain ghost type Pokémon are capable of.”

    “Cool!” Chiaki responded.

    “What exactly are we supposed to do with it, though?” Sera asked.

    The rescue team glanced over at the battle between the plant and the monkeys, both sides still seeming evenly matched the elemental monkeys tearing the vines of and the plant growing the vines back out.

    “Oh, for the love of Virizion!” Haru exclaimed. “What does it take to beat this thing?”

    “I don’t know,” Mizu replied, slicing off another vine and quickly using Ice Beam to freeze the part of the plant before it could grow back to slow it down a bit. “But I hope we think of something before I run out of energy for my Ice Beam attack!”

    Elina placed the orb on the ground, pointing to the plant. The rescue team exchanged glances, before Chiaki realized what it was Elina suggesting.

    “Oh, you think we can use this orb to get to the roots?” Chiaki asked, to which Elina nodded in response.

    “Hey, that’s a pretty good idea!” Sera responded, wagging her tail. “Blitz, you ready to destroy those roots?”

    “Huh?” Blitz asked. “You want me to use the orb?”

    “Didn’t you hear me earlier when I said you were the only one who knew an attack that would be effective against this plant?” Sera responded.

    “She’s right, you know,” Chiaki said. “You have to be the one to destroy those roots!”

    “I-I don’t know if I can…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “And besides, how am I even supposed to get close enough without being attacked by that thing?”

    “Leave that to us,” Sera said, winking at her teammate. “We’ll keep it busy.”

    Blitz glanced down at the blue orb on the ground in front of him, and then looked up at his two teammates and Elina, as well as the elemental monkeys that were still trying to fight the plant. It looked like the three tribe leaders were starting to get tired, but they weren’t going to give up. And if they weren’t going to give up, Blitz knew he also had to do what had to be done to destroy the giant plant.

    Blitz took a deep breath, before confidently pressing his paw onto the orb, activating it. The orb emitted a light which enveloped Blitz’s body, the glow briefly making him look transparent before the light faded.

    “Okay, I’m ready,” Blitz said, looking up at the plant. “You guys just need to keep it distracted so I can get to it.”

    “We’re on it!” Sera responded, running up the plant along with Chiaki and Elina. “Hey, Haru!”

    “What is it?” Haru asked, while still slashing his way through the vines.

    “We have a plan for how to get to the roots, but we need to keep the plant distracted,” Sera replied. “Can you and the other tribe leaders keep it busy for a little longer?”

    “Well, it’s certainly not a problem for me!” Haru responded, grinning.

    “I can keep fighting too,” Mizu said, using her Ice Beam to freeze over parts of the plant. “I’m not sure how many Ice Beam attacks I have the energy left for, though.”

    “I should still have enough energy left to handle this,” Kojin said, trying his best to keep up with Haru and Mizu.

    “All right, let’s do this!” Sera said, as she, Chiaki and Elina joined the monkeys in keeping the plant busy.

    The Pokémon dealing with the plant worked together to keep the plant busy fighting them, while trying to make a big enough opening for Blitz to reach the plant. Blitz stayed close to the ground, slowly creeping up on the plant. With the path cleared of vines for him, he pounced at the plant. Thanks to the effects of the Mobile Orb, the young Shinx soon disappeared into the plant.

    ---

    Blitz blinked a few times, realizing he was now inside of the plant. Making his body glow so he could see more clearly, he was surprised to see that the plant looked even stranger on the inside than it did on the outside. It vaguely resembled a green tunnel, with an unusual dark energy travelling through plant-like veins.

    “What… is this thing?” Blitz said, staring at the strange sight around him. “I better hurry up and get to the roots…”

    Blitz looked down at the ground, wondering if he could really get to the roots from there. He had to at least give it a try, and pressed his paw against the ground until it phased right through it. He pulled his paw back, before pressing it against the ground and letting it phase through again. At least now he knew he could indeed go through the floor, but how was he supposed to get his whole body through?

    He thought about it for a moment, before an idea popped into his head. He took a few steps back, before jumping and diving right through the ground. Blitz now found himself floating underground, with the plant right above him.

    “Whoa…” Blitz said, surprised at finding himself remaining still rather than falling or sinking further down.

    Blitz wondered how he was supposed to move further down, and decided to experiment a little by flailing his paws around. Managing accidentally to turn himself upside-down, Blitz slowly started getting an idea about how to move around in his current position. He began moving further down toward the roots, as if swimming. As he made his way down, he briefly spotted something shiny out the corner of his eye. He made his way down to one of the roots, and made his fangs glow with an icy glow before biting down on it…

    ---

    Meanwhile, in the forest above, the other Pokémon were still fighting against the plant. Elina was proving to be a good distraction as she was able to float around and hit the vines from a distance with multicolored beams from her eyes. The Psybeam attacks didn’t do much to the plant itself, but did keep it distracted so that one of the tribe leaders could jump in and slice the vine off.

    “You think Blitz is doing okay?” Chiaki asked, jumping across the vines.

    “I hope so…” Sera replied, seeming a bit concerned. “I thought we would’ve seen some results by now…”

    They continued fighting the plant, until the vines on the plant abruptly started breaking off and falling to the ground. It didn’t take long for the main part of the plant to begin breaking down as well. The Pokémon that had been climbing or jumping on the vines quickly made their way back to the ground, except Chiaki who lost his balance, but was caught by Elina before he hit the ground.

    “It’s falling apart!” one of the Pansage shouted.

    “The Shinx must’ve successfully destroyed the roots!” one of the Pansear said, grinning as the main part of the plant collapsed and started dissolving.

    “I knew he could do it!” one of the Panpour said, clapping her hands.

    A few moments later a blue paw emerged from the ground, reaching for something to grab onto so he could pull himself up. Chiaki and Sera quickly ran over to help their teammate up.

    “Blitz, you did it!” Sera said, hugging the Shinx.

    “You’re so awesome!” Chiaki shouted, joining the hug between his teammates. “What was it like down there, and inside that plant thing?”

    “Guys, calm down!” Blitz exclaimed. “I-I only just got back up!”

    In the meantime, Elina was hovering above the remains of the plant, and seemed fascinated by something green and sparkly that was sticking out of the ground where the plant had been. The tribe leaders noticed Elina examining the mysterious object, and decided to go investigate.

    “What’s that?” Kojin asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “I don’t have a clue,” Mizu responded.

    “Well, don’t just stand there, then!” Haru said. “Let’s dig it up!”

    The tribe leaders called over the Pansage, Pansear and Panpour, who immediately started digging up the mysterious shiny object. Once they had dug it up, Kojin and Mizu were surprised to see what it was, while Elina seemed delighted.

    “Hey, rescue team!” Haru said, motioning for the rescue team to come see what they had found. “I think we just found what you came here for!”

    Sera, Blitz and Chiaki walked up, and saw that the elemental monkeys had indeed just dug up the crystal they had come to Harmony Forest to find. Chiaki stared in awe at the green crystal that had lain hidden under the giant plant.

    “So, this is… an Axis Tower crystal?” Chiaki asked, reaching out to touch the crystal. As he touched it, he briefly felt an odd sensation of energy flowing through his body, while Elina watched him out of the corner of her eye.

    “We did it… We really did it!” Sera exclaimed, ears perking up in excitement. “We really, really did it!”

    “Yeah… I guess we did!” Blitz responded, a smile crossing his face.

    “Well, on behalf of the Pokémon of Harmony Forest, we would like to thank the four of you for helping us get rid of that plant,” Haru said, grinning. “And as promised, we helped you get that crystal you were looking for.”

    “No problem, Haru,” Sera responded, walking up and letting the Simisage shake her paw. “And thanks for all your help, as well, all of you.”

    “Hey, it was the least we could do,” Mizu responded.

    “Thanks to you guys, we’ll be able to easily get to and from our tribes again,” Kojin said, putting his arm around Mizu’s shoulders. “And we no longer have to worry about that plant consuming our forest.”

    “Well, I guess you guys should head back home with that crystal now, and find somewhere safe to put it so it doesn’t go missing again before it can be returned to the tower,” Haru said.

    “Put it somewhere safe, huh?” Sera responded, looking over at her teammates. “You guys got any ideas?”

    All three members of the rescue team thought about for a few moments, before Blitz spoke up:

    “I think I know of a good place…”

    ---

    Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Elina returned to Fenix town, Elina deciding to separate from the group before they reached Stella’s house. As Elina prepared to leave, Chiaki ran up to her and gave her a hug.

    “Thanks for helping us out today,” Chiaki said, smiling at the Elgyem. “If you hadn’t had a Mobile Orb with you, I’m not sure how we would’ve destroyed those roots!”

    Elina returned the hug, before floating away, waving good-bye at the rescue team as she left. The rescue team then continued on their way to Stella’s house.

    ---

    Once at Stella’s house, the rescue team presented the Gothitelle with the green crystal, and told her the whole story about what had happened at Harmony Forest. Stella just listened to what the three of them had to say with an unreadable look on her face, occasionally asking a few questions.

    “We thought you might be the best Pokémon to look after the crystal for us,” Sera explained, before giggling a little and wagging her tail. “You should’ve seen the looks on some of the rescue teams we passed by on the way back to town when they saw us with it!”

    “So, that’s one of the eight crystals?” Bow asked, staring in awe at the crystal. “It’s so pretty…”

    “Well, I will certainly make sure the crystal you brought back is kept safe,” Stella said, seeming to have something on her mind. “That plant… Is there anything else you can tell me about it?”

    “Huh?” Sera responded. “I can’t think of anything we haven’t already told you… but Blitz did bring back a sample of what was left of it.”

    “Do you want to take a look at it?” Blitz asked.

    “Yes, I would very much like to see it,” Stella replied.

    Sera found the plant sample in the treasure bag, and gave it to Stella.

    “You can keep it if you want…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together. “We probably don’t have much use for it, anyways…”

    “Thank you,” Stella responded absent-mindedly, examining the sample.

    “Is something wrong?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “Oh, nothing you need to be concerned about,” Stella responded. “You three should probably head home now, I have work to do.”

    “… If you say so,” Sera replied. “Well, bye for now.”

    “Bye Stella! Bye Bow!” Chiaki said, waving to the two as he walked out the door.

    “See you later,” Blitz said, before following his teammates out the door.

    Bow felt a bit concerned by the way her mother was acting, and could tell that something was clearly worrying the Gothitelle.

    “Mommy, what’s wrong?” Bow asked.

    “I’m sensing residue of a strange dark power from this sample…” Stella said, using her psychic powers to get a deeper look into the plant sample. “It would take some powerful dark magic to create such a plant with properties like that…”

    “What do you mean?” Bow asked, unsure of what her mother was talking about.

    “It’s almost like… but… that can’t be possible…” Stella muttered. “Or…? Could it really be...?”

    “What’s not possible?” Bow asked. “What do you think it is?”

    “… Bow, can you go look for Santos?” Stella said.

    “You mean that Delibird that delivers our mail?” Bow asked.

    “Yes, I need to have a letter sent to a friend of mine,” Stella responded. “And I need to have it done as soon as possible.”

    “Oh, okay,” Bow said, heading outside. “I’ll be back as soon as I find him!”

    “Thanks, sweetie,” Stella responded, smiling at her daughter.

    However, the smile faded fast, and Stella quickly used her telekinesis to move the materials she needed to write a letter to her desk. She took a quill in her hand, dipped it in the vial of Octillery ink and started writing out the message to her friend on the paper. She also telekinetically placed the plant sample inside the envelope while still composing the message. She knew her friend was the only one who could confirm her suspicions…

    ---

    End of chapter 10.

    ---
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  9. #34
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    Aaaaaaannnnd... CLIFFHANGER!

    Again, the story is going fantastically. I am constantly being surprised by your writing prowess.

    Darkershining, you are doing brilliantly with this story. The description, characters and story itself are way above several over Fanfics I've read... Although I havent read many myself...

    Keep up the great work

    Seekeroflight
    Hi! SeekerofLight here, always aiming to help peeps out in all their gaming and writing needs... provided I myself have been given help about the topic...

    Incoming! A brand new fic starting soon!
    Watch this space. Yes, literally, THIS space, below this!





  10. #35
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    So it seems Elina was only helping the cause, making my suspicions about her wrong. I apologize to her, but I'm still keeping a close eye on her.

    Anyways, this was a delightful chapter. I enjoyed how you explained the relationships between the various Pan-tribes. and of course more minor characters.

    As SeekerofLight said above me, your description of the dungeon and characters is very well done. Though I did find this segment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Elina
    Unbeknownst to Chiaki and his teammates, Elina was currently making her way through the dungeon leading into Harmony Forest. After Chiaki last night had told her where one of the missing crystals were, she had secretly gone off to Harmony Forest after Chiaki went home to sleep. However, because of the vines and because it was dark at the time, she hadn’t gotten very far. Things seemed to be going better this time, and hopefully she would catch up to Chiaki and the others soon. She had to be careful since there were wild Pokémon around, though. Especially with the bug types, that had a type advantage against her.

    She wasn’t the bravest or strongest of Pokémon, but there was something only she could do…
    This part just seemed to jar the narration completely. The flow of the chapter was messed up by this. I just did not like how it was handled. I suggest editing this so that the narration doesn't change as much.

    Well, other than that, the chapter was fine. I hope to see more of this soon.

    Knightfall signing off...

  11. #36
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    Hey, DarkerShining. It's me, Umbra. Yes, I revived this old fossil of an account just so I could comment on your fic. :P

    Unfortunately, it's late, and I have a hard time reading on this phone, so will edit in a proper review later.
    Oneshots and perhaps fanfics coming soon.

  12. #37
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    Hello everyone! Thanks for your comments, reviews, constructive critiscm and such. I hope everyone has been having a nice holiday. Now, this took me a lot longer than I expected, but I finally finished up chapter 11!

    Hope you guys enjoy it!

    ----

    Chapter 11: It had to take a lot more than just luck to do what you did!

    ----

    Sera smiled as she woke up, still feeling rather proud of herself for helping retrieve one of the missing crystals just yesterday. Her parents and siblings had been pretty surprised to hear of what she had done, and weren’t even sure if she was telling the truth until she had let her oldest sister, Amethyst, look into her mind and confirm that she was indeed telling the truth.

    The young Eevee happily stepped into the dining room, where her siblings were already eating breakfast.

    “Good morning!” Sera said, taking her seat at the table.

    “Oh, good morning, Sera,” Amethyst responded, telekinetically pouring herself some tea. “Did you sleep well, little sister?”

    “Pretty well,” Sera replied, happily eating some berries off her plate. “One probably does tend to have a good night’s sleep after finding a missing artifact and bringing it back to town.”

    “Ah, yes,” Amethyst said, taking a sip of her tea. “It is really great that one of the crystals has been found, even if there are still seven more out there.”

    “Yeah,” Sera replied, looking around and noticing that their parents weren’t present. “Mom and dad already went off to work?”

    “Yes, they did,” Amethyst responded. “They did tell me to tell you that they’re very proud of you before they left, though.”

    “Really?” Sera asked, wagging her tail. “Well, I suppose that’s only natural after finding and bringing back such an important item.”

    “Oh, big deal!” Volt said, with his fur bristling and giving off sparks of electricity. “You and your rescue team just got lucky!”

    Excuse me?” Sera responded, glaring at her Jolteon brother.

    “He does have a point,” Sirena commented, waiting for Amethyst to refill her bowl of water. “It was only luck that you were in just the right place at the right time to learn the location of that one crystal.”

    “Still, we still did retrieve the thing,” Sera said, feeling rather annoyed at the Jolteon and Vaporeon’s comments. “You can’t deny that.”

    “I got the impression from your story that it was Blitz who did most of the work,” the Umbreon responded.

    “Yeah, if anything, Blitz deserves most of the credit for being the one to deal with the plant,” Volt said, smirking at Sera. “Maybe he should be the rescue team leader instead of you?”

    “Do you really want to mess with me?” Sera asked, growling at her brother. “I swear, if I had had a Silence Orb on me right now-“

    Before the fight could escalate any further, both Sera and Volt found their ears telekinetically being pulled at by Amethyst.

    “Sera, don’t threaten to muzzle your brother,” Amethyst said, before turning to Volt. “And Volt, stop bothering your little sister.”

    She then let go of their ears, before refilling Sirena’s water bowl a third time.

    “Fine, whatever,” Volt responded, resuming eating his breakfast.

    “Amethyst, you think it’s pretty cool that my rescue team found one of the crystals, don’t you?” Sera asked, looking over at her oldest sister.

    “Well…” Amethyst said, trying to think of how to respond to the question. “There was a certain element of luck involved; I can’t really deny that…”

    Sera sighed and finished eating her breakfast, before deciding to head out. Surely the other rescue teams would treat her with the respect she deserved. As she prepared to head out, Flare, who had been quietly watching the whole scene during breakfast, walked up to her.

    “Heading out, I see,” Flare said. “Good luck today, sis.”

    “Thanks…” Sera replied, looking up at the Flareon.

    “Oh and… don’t be too disappointed if things don’t go your way,” Flare said. “Okay?”

    “Okay, I guess,” Sera responded, unsure what exactly her brother was referring to. “See you later!”

    ----

    Sera’s mood lightened a bit as she entered the main part of town, feeling that the other rescue teams would probably treat her the way she felt she deserved to be treated. She told herself that her older siblings were probably just jealous, and that she would eventually show them that she was so much more than just their little kid sister. She smiled as she saw her two teammates just ahead.

    “Good morning, guys!” Sera said, cheerfully walking up to Blitz and Chiaki.
    “Hi Sera,” Blitz responded.

    “Sera, look!” Chiaki said, holding up a newspaper. “We’re in today’s newspaper!”

    “Ooh, really?” Sera asked, grinning. “Let me see! Let me see!”

    Chiaki laid down the newspaper on the ground, and the three of them all looked at the relevant page while Blitz read the article out loud for them.

    For the last few days, the rescue teams of Fenix town have been putting in their best efforts to find and recover the stolen crystals of Axis Tower, but it was not until now that one of the crystals was found by a local bronze rank rescue team, following a tip from Fenix town’s own town oracle. And with a bit of luck, and the help of the local Pansage, Pansear and Panpour tribes, the crystal was retrieved from Harmony Forest, while at the same time also dealing with a mysterious plant that was threatening to destroy the balance of the forest. The origins of the mysterious plant and the location of the other seven crystals remain unknown. The Axis Tower guards will further investigate the case with the help of the local rescue teams. Until then, a big thanks to the bronze rank team that brought the crystal back. Keep up the good work!

    “… That’s it?” Sera asked, ears drooping down slightly in disappointment.

    “What do you mean?” Chiaki responded. “I thought it was a nice article.”

    “… Never mind,” Sera said. “So, what are we doing today?”

    “Chiaki and I are heading down to the dojo for some training,” Blitz explained. “Chiaki wants to practice his Fake Out attack some more. Do you want to come along as well?”

    “… I’ll catch up with you guys later, okay?” Sera replied. “I feel like taking a walk around town.”

    “Um… Sure,” Blitz responded. “Let’s go, Chiaki, and see you later, Sera.”

    “Bye, Sera!” Chiaki said, waving to Sera as he and Blitz headed off to the dojo.

    Sera waved back, before she started wandering around town. She figured the Pokémon that wrote the article hadn’t had all the details when they had to write the story, and did their best with what they had to work with. She wanted to hear what the other rescue teams thought.

    There were several rescue teams near the various stalls, some just going about their business, while others were talking about how one of the crystals had been retrieved. Sera smiled and confidently walked up to Mirage and her two teammates, who were depositing some money into their team bank account.

    “Oh, hey there, Sera,” Megara said as she noticed the Eevee approaching them.

    “Hi!” Sera responded, wagging her tail.

    “Hello, Sera,” Mirage said, smiling at the Eevee. “So, we heard you and your friends brought one of the missing crystals back from Harmony Forest yesterday?”

    “We certainly did!” Sera replied, feeling rather proud of herself.

    “Well, congratulations on being the first rescue team to get one of those crystals back!” Mirage said. “Not bad for a bronze rank team.”

    “Why, thank you!” Sera responded, grinning.

    “Yeah, didn’t expect a rescue team at your rank to beat us to the punch,” Megara commented, winking. “You were lucky this time, but next time, we’re going to be the ones to get there first!”

    “The mushroom would like to point out to Megara that we have just the same chance of finding a crystal as anyone else in town,” Cordyceps said. “So the mushroom thinks you shouldn’t have too high expectations, because we are very likely to be beaten to the punch again by a different rescue team.”

    “… You’re no fun,” Megara responded, crossing her arms.

    “Why does everyone keep saying that?” Sera asked.

    “There are other Pokémon saying Cordy is no fun?” Mirage responded, looking a bit puzzled.

    “No, I meant the part about our rescue team being lucky,” Sera replied. “I mean, it took more than luck to retrieve that crystal.”

    “Of course it did,” Mirage said. “But still, you did have luck on your side, and that’s good for you!”

    “The mushroom would like to object to the claim of not being any fun,” Cordyceps said. “The mushroom can in fact be quite the fun guy.”

    The other three Pokémon stared in complete silence for a few seconds.

    “Get it?” Cordyceps asked. “It’s funny because it sounds like fungi.”

    “… Let’s go find some missions,” Megara said.

    “Good idea,” Mirage responded. “Bye Sera.”

    “Where are you going?” Cordyceps asked as his two teammates started heading off without him, before crawling after them. “Wait up, the mushroom doesn’t want to be left behind.”

    Sera watched the other rescue team leave, and continued her walk.

    “… If having luck with this was a good thing, then why does everyone make it sound like a bad thing?” Sera muttered to herself. “Maybe I’m taking this the wrong way…”

    While her annoying siblings had certainly meant it in a bad way, maybe the other rescue teams didn’t see it as such.

    ----

    At the dojo, Blitz and Hercules watched Chiaki sparring against Lotus, practicing his Fake Out attack. While he was having difficulty catching Lotus off-guard, he seemed to otherwise have gotten the technique right.

    “Not bad,” Lotus said. “You seem to be more focused than last time you visited here.”

    “Thanks!” Chiaki replied, trying to charge at Lotus, only for the Meditite to sidestep him.

    “Seems Chiaki has his new attack under control,” Hercules commented.

    “Yeah,” Blitz responded. “He figured out how to do it during our last mission.”

    “Ah, yes,” Hercules said. “I heard about how you and your teammates found one of the eight missing crystals in Harmony Forest.”

    “Oh…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “You heard about that?”

    “Yes, I did,” Hercules replied. “You know, if I had known all the details about what you were asking about the other night, I probably would’ve told you not to do it.”

    “Oh… Is that so?” Blitz asked, looking down at the floor.

    Hercules smiled, and gently petted the young Shinx.

    “I don’t really know if you and your teammates made the right choice,” Hercules said, getting Blitz to look up at him. “But hey, you did bring back an important artifact, and that’s pretty good.”

    “Thanks,” Blitz responded, smiling at his mentor.

    “So, how is Sera today?” Hercules asked. “I noticed she’s not here with you and Chiaki.”

    “I’m not sure,” Blitz replied. “It kind of seemed like she had something on her mind, but she didn’t seem upset or anything…”

    “I guess everyone has those days once in a while,” Hercules said.

    “I suppose…” Blitz responded, continuing to watch the sparring match between Chiaki and Lotus. “Should I go check on her?”

    “For now, I’d say just give her some time to herself,” Hercules replied. “If she hadn’t wanted some time to herself to think, she probably wouldn’t have gone off on her own.”

    “If you say so…” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “You can talk to her later,” Hercules said, smiling at the young Shinx. “For now, how about we do some training?”

    “Sure!” Blitz responded, following the Heracross to another part of the dojo, while Chiaki and Lotus was left by themselves to continue their training.

    ----

    After walking around town for a bit, Sera had decided to head over to the café for something to drink. On the way there, she had passed by Sting and his rescue team. They did compliment her for having helped bring back a crystal, but they hadn’t had the time to talk because they had decided to help the Axis Tower guards with their investigation.

    “Hey, Sera!” a familiar voice called out, and Sera turned to see Azure bouncing over to her.

    “Oh, hey Azure,” Sera responded.

    “We read about you and your rescue team did in the newspaper today,” Azure said, grinning at Sera. “It’s totally awesome that you were able to get that crystal back!”

    “Oh, thanks!” Sera replied, smiling at the excited Azurill. “We were pretty lucky with that one.”

    “It had to take a lot more than just luck to do what you did!” Azure said, bouncing a little.

    “I know, right?” Sera responded, sitting down at a table. “For some reason almost everyone seems focused on the luck part, though.”

    “Let me guess, the grown-ups not giving you the respect you deserve?” Azure asked, sitting down next to Sera. “The grown-ups are always like that, treating us like we’re too young to do anything awesome!”

    “I guess…” Sera replied, ears drooping down slightly.

    “And that’s why I’ve been eating a lot of gummis and drinking juice made from gummis to increase my IQ skill!” Azure said, bouncing happily. “Because the sooner I get that IQ skill up high enough, the sooner I can evolve!”

    “You really think evolving will make the adults take you more seriously?” Sera asked.

    “Well, I know mom will let me go on adventures on my own when I’ve evolved!” Azure responded. “What about you? Have you thought about evolving?”

    “… Not really,” Sera replied. “And in my case, I haven’t really thought about what I would want to evolve into.”

    “Well, if you had to choose right now, what would you become?” Azure asked.

    “Hmm… I’m not sure,” Sera replied, thinking about it. “Maybe I’d become an Espeon, like my oldest sister Amethyst?”

    “Any particular reason why?” Azure asked.

    “Well… Amethyst has always been like the perfect sister,” Sera explained. “She’s my role model.”

    “Good for you, I guess,” Azure responded. “I imagine living up to your sister’s perfect image would be pretty difficult, though.”

    “What about you?” Sera asked. “Do you have any role models?”

    “Not really,” Azure responded. “I don’t need to be anyone else. I’m me, and I’m proud of that!”

    Sera couldn’t help but smile at Azure’s statement, finding it quite admirable. While most adult Pokémon probably thought Azure was perhaps a bit too overconfident, there was still the fact that Azure seemed to have complete faith in herself. Sera thought it had to be nice to have that kind of self-confidence.

    “We should go on another adventure together sometime,” Sera said.

    “Yeah, we should definitely do that!” Azure responded, bouncing excitedly. “If you ever need my help, I’ll be there!”

    “Thanks, Azure,” Sera replied, wagging her tail.

    “So, did you come here to get yourself something to drink?” Azure asked.

    “Oh, right,” Sera responded. “I’d like some Oran berry juice.”

    “Okay,” Azure said. “I’ll ask Frederick to get us some juice when he’s done serving those customers over there.”

    The two female Pokémon glanced over at the Deino in question, as he tried to find the customers he was supposed to serve the drinks he was currently carrying on a tray he was holding in his mouth. At the table were the Servine and Minccino rescue team, and this time they had a third team member with them. The new member was a blue Pokémon that appeared to have long ear-like arms and a big smile on its face.

    “You’re getting warmer,” the Servine said, the grass snake trying to help guide the dragon Pokémon. “It’s just a little bit further now!”

    Frederick nodded his head slightly, only to remember what he was doing and stopping himself before the drinks spilled out.

    “Be more careful!” the Minccino said, watching the Deino while dusting off the table with her tail. “If you drop those drinks, I will smack you with my tail!”

    “Relax, he’s doing fine,” the Servine said to the chinchilla Pokémon, trying to calm her.

    “Relax? One wrong move and those drinks will spill all over the floor!” the Minccino responded. “There’s no way I can just relax in a situation like that!”

    At that point, Frederick gently set down the tray of drinks on their table without spilling a single drop.

    “Here you go!” Frederick said, giving a friendly smile. “That’s one Leppa berry juice, one Rawst and Nanab berry smoothie and one iced Pecha tea!”

    “See?” the Servine said, picking up the glass of Leppa berry juice with one of her vines. “I told you there was nothing to be concerned about.”

    “Well, I suppose there weren’t any disasters this time…” the Minccino responded, picking up her smoothie. “Now I just need a straw so I can drink this without worrying about spilling anything all over my fur…”

    “I’m on it!” Frederick said, and started making his way back to the counter, while Sera and Azure were still observing him.

    “So, how is Frederick doing?” Sera asked. “Is he anywhere close to paying off his debt?”

    “I have no idea,” Azure responded. “I know he’s been doing a good job, but I haven’t really been keeping track.”

    “Oh,” Sera replied, scratching behind her ear with one of her hind legs.

    “Hey, I just thought of something!” Azure said, bouncing on her tail. “You want the grown-ups to take you seriously, right?”

    “Of course I do,” Sera replied.

    “Well, your team was able to track down one of the crystals, which got you some compliments and stuff,” Azure said, smirking. “But to truly prove yourself, you should try to find the other seven crystals as well!”

    “Whoa! That’s a really great idea!” Sera responded. “How would I pull that off, though?”

    “Ask Stella if she has anymore visions of the other crystals, of course!” Azure said. “Oh, and you could help out the Pokémon investigating the case too!”

    “I guess,” Sera replied, thinking for a moment. “Not sure if I’d be able to get Blitz to go along with that, though.”

    “You’re the team leader, right?” Azure asked. “Your teammates have to do what you want?”

    “It’s not that simple,” Sera responded. “According to other rescue teams, and big sister Amethyst, a good leader needs to listen to and always take their teammates’ opinions into consideration.”

    “Well, if that’s what the grown-ups do…” Azure said, balancing on her tail.

    “I wonder how those investigations are going,” Sera wondered, resting her head on the table, while Azure called Frederick over to take their drink orders. "Wait... Azure, why don't you just go get us some drinks? You help out in the café sometimes too, right?"

    "It wouldn't be polite to just leave in the middle of a conversation, would it?" Azure responded, winking at Sera. "So, what were you saying about the investigations?"

    ----

    In Harmony Forest, the Mienshao guard from Axis Tower was asking the leaders of the elemental monkey tribes some questions, while a rescue team duo consisting of a large four legged Pokémon seeming to be composed of blue metal and a silver colored X on its face and a yellow humanoid Pokémon with a long mustache and a spoon in each hand were examining the spot where the mysterious plant had been.

    “Hmm, very interesting,” the Mienshao commented, taking a few notes. “Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.”

    “So, do you think this will really help you guys find some clues as to the location of the other crystals?” Mizu asked, while polishing her Skarmory feather sword.

    “We hope so,” the Mienshao responded. “We haven’t yet come across any distortions caused by the crystals’ disappearance, but we still need to aim to find those crystals as fast as possible.”

    “Of course,” Kojin replied. “At least there’s no reason to panic just yet, since there hasn’t been any apparent distortions anywhere yet.”

    “And you can count on us to help out in any way we can!” Haru said, grinning. “Of course, due to our tribe leader duties, we can’t really help much outside of the forest.”

    “I understand,” the Mienshao responded, before turning his attention to the Metagross and the Alakazam duo. “What about you two?”

    “There seems to be traces of some kind of dark energy left in this plant,” the Alakazam said while focusing psychic energy through his two spoons to analyze the plant. “We haven’t been able to identify just what it is, though.”

    “I don’t think we’ve ever come across anything like this before,” the Metagross added. “But it is very likely that this energy is what caused the plant to grow so fast.”

    “So, we still don’t know anything about where it came from, or who planted it here?” Mizu asked.

    “I’m afraid not,” the Metagross responded. “However, we intend to find out.”

    “There are many rescue teams helping investigate this case, so one would expect more clues to be found fairly soon,” the Alakazam said. “For some reason I get the feeling that we have may have overlooked something…”

    “Well, I suppose we should just keep an eye out for anything unusual,” the Mienshao suggested.

    The Pokémon gathered in the area continued looking for whatever information they could find, before eventually deciding to call it a day. The tribe leaders went back to their tribes, while the Mienshao and the assisting rescue team decided to go find the other guards and rescue teams investigating the case so they could compare notes.

    ----

    On her way home, Sera again thought about the idea of evolving. If she became an Espeon, would she be anywhere as amazing as her big sister? She then thought about the other options she had, considering what the benefits of the other possible forms she could take might have.

    Umbreon were pretty cool looking, but she wasn’t entirely sure what benefits she would want from that form. The first thing that came to mind was to be able to illuminate dark places, and Blitz already had that covered when it came to rescue team missions. The only other thing Sera could really think of that she would consider a benefit was to get to stay up longer at night.

    As for Vaporeon, Sera knew that Sirena had some pretty cool abilities that she showed off whenever she wanted to take the attention away from Amethyst. Vaporeon were able to breathe underwater, use several strong water moves and could even make their own bodies melt into water. Sera imagined there had to be some pretty cool ways to travel that way, but also found the idea of being able to change her body like that somewhat scary.

    She thought Glaceon were pretty, but hadn’t really seen much of what her mother was capable of doing with her ice powers. While freezing stuff was probably a neat power, Sera didn’t particularly like the cold. She preferred being warm and fuzzy.

    With that in mind, maybe Flareon was a better option? Flare did sometimes let Sera sleep next to him and use his tail as a blanket on cold nights, and that always felt really nice and cozy. Then again, she also didn’t like getting too warm.

    As for Leafeon and Jolteon, she wasn’t too sure she would want to be either of those. Sure, her father could use photosynthesis and use cool grass type attacks, but she couldn’t really think of anything she would want to do in that form. And sure, Volt could run pretty fast and zap other Pokémon with lightning, but she just couldn’t imagine herself as a Jolteon.

    Evolution seemed like something one had to put a lot of thought into, especially as an Eevee. She wondered if her siblings had gone through the same routine when deciding on what they wanted to evolve into back when they were Eevee. For now, she figured it was better not to worry too much about it.

    As Sera finally made it home and stepped inside, she noticed Amethyst lying on the floor. From what she could tell, Amethyst looked very tired and almost a little… sad. Sera had never seen her big sister in such a state before.

    “Amethyst, is something wrong?” Sera asked.

    Amethyst’s ears perked up in surprise at Sera’s voice, and the Espeon quickly got up. She seemed rather tense as she turned to face her younger sister.

    “Oh, Sera,” she said, putting on a smile. “I was just… meditating.”

    “Meditating?” Sera responded, skeptically tilting her head.

    “Yes, when I had finished up all the chores, I realized I was ahead of schedule, and I thought I’d meditate a little before mom and dad comes home,” Amethyst replied, although Sera noticed that she seemed to be hesitating to make eye contact.

    “You didn’t look like you were meditating,” Sera responded.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Amethyst said, trying to remain calm. “There’s nothing to be concerned about.”

    “Are you sure?” Sera asked. “You don’t sound sure.”

    “I’m sure; there is nothing to be concerned about,” Amethyst responded, before hastily leaving the room.

    “… What’s wrong with her? Why is she lying to me?” Sera wondered out loud, before noticing Flare peeking out from behind another doorway.

    “I’ve seen Amethyst a few times when she thinks no one is watching,” Flare said.

    “Do you know why she was acting so weird?” Sera asked.

    “Well, have you ever thought about how much it must take to be the perfect daughter?” Flare responded. “Or how much effort it must take to maintain that perfect image all the time?”

    “I… never really thought about that…” Sera replied, her ears drooping down slightly. “But, why doesn’t she just ask for help if that’s the case?”

    “I guess she’s afraid of letting us know how she really feels,” Flare responded. “While she may feel overwhelmed by everything that is expected of her, she doesn’t want us to worry about her and keeps it to herself.”

    “Isn’t there anything we can do for her?” Sera asked. “It’s not right for Amethyst to be so sad!”

    “I don’t know, Sera,” Flare responded, petting the Eevee with his paw. “Maybe the two of us can think of something, but try not to worry about it too much. I have a feeling Amethyst wouldn’t want that.”

    “Okay, I’ll try…” Sera said.

    “Also, I think Amethyst would probably want you to enjoy being a kid while you can,” Flare added. “She probably misses the days where she could just be a kid, and not have to worry about what everyone expected of her.”

    “Hold on, you’re saying Amethyst might be jealous of me?” Sera asked, tilting her head.

    “Well, it’s possible,” Flare replied. “I wouldn’t know anything for sure, though.”

    “… I’m going to go to our room,” Sera said. “I have some thinking to do.”

    Sera walked up to the bedroom she and her siblings shared, unsure what to think about everything. She still thought that Amethyst was better than her in many ways, so even if she had a bit too much work on her paws, there was just no way that her big sister could be jealous of her. How else did this possibly affect their relationship? Was it possible that Amethyst didn’t want to be Sera’s role model? Would Amethyst stop giving her advice?

    Sera hoped that wasn’t the case. While she would still have other rescue teams to ask for advice, she still wanted to have Amethyst as a role model too.

    “Maybe it’s enough to just not ask her for advice for a few days…” Sera said to herself. “That at least gives her one less thing to worry about until I can think of something more to do for her…”

    Sera thought about what Azure had said at the café earlier, and once again wished she had that kind of confidence that the young Azurill had. She then thought about Azure’s suggestion that her rescue team help search for the remaining seven crystals. Technically, they were already involved with the crystal search, even if all they could do was gather information, if anything at all.

    After all, with other rescue teams on the case, the odds weren’t too good for them to find more of the eight crystals. But who knew? Maybe luck would be on their side again.

    ----

    End of chapter 11.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  13. #38
    Join Date
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    Default

    ...
    ...
    Seriously, how can you be such a brilliant writer?

    This just goes to show that action does not make a great story. The way you have crafted not only the main characters, but also the minor, support characters in to lovable personalities. Fantastic.

    The only niggle I could find with it is that certain phrases and actions are repeated in a short amount of text, a particular example would be Blitz' s habit of 'rubbing his forelegs together' was used a few times in one short paragraph.

    Other than that, keep up the good work, I cannot wait for the next chapter, as always.

    Best Regards

    SeekerofLight

    EDIT: DarkerShining, do you actually know how many words you've written? I copied the chapters into Word for keeps (it's that good), and the word count is something like OVER FIFTY-FIVE THOUSAAANNND!

    *a-hem* Anyway, keep up the good work.
    Last edited by SeekerofLight; 24th January 2013 at 8:33 PM.
    Hi! SeekerofLight here, always aiming to help peeps out in all their gaming and writing needs... provided I myself have been given help about the topic...

    Incoming! A brand new fic starting soon!
    Watch this space. Yes, literally, THIS space, below this!





  14. #39
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    A secret base in route 120.
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    Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far!

    I believe that I have had pointed out to me before that certain words have been a bit repetive. I've been trying to make it less so, but I guess there are still some instances. I'll keep working on that.

    Anyways, I've been working on the first draft of chapter 12, but I've been having some problems with getting it done. Partially due to still not being very good with battle scenes, and partially due to stress and having been busy and such due to school having started back up. Hope you guys don't mind having to wait a little longer. I do want to get new chapters up as much as you guys want to see them, so I assure you I'll try to get it done as soon as possible.

    And wow, that's a lot of words. Wonder how high that word count will be by the end of the story?

    So, that's pretty much all I have to say for now. See you guys later, and when I do, I'll hopefully have chapter 12 ready for you guys.
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    A secret base in route 120.
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    Hey guys! It's me again, and as promised, I have a new chapter this time!

    Yeah, I finally managed to get it done. It took a while, but I finally managed to finish it. I hope you'll enjoy it!

    Also, I think I'm finally going to start a PM list, so if you want to be on that, let me know. One question, though; do I have to keep the list on the first page of my fanfic like I believe some other fanfic writers do or can I have it written down somewhere else? Due to this glitch I've been encountering when I try editing something, I'm worried editing it into the first page of my fanfic might mess up the formatting of it.

    Anyways, here's the 12th chapter!

    ----

    Chapter 12: It doesn’t specify what the reward is, but since it’s from a queen, I bet it’s something good!

    ----

    At some point during the night, while the Pokémon of Fenix town were asleep, a Sigilyph appeared, observing the town from a distance. The Sigilyph snickered to himself, having heard the news about one of the missing crystals having been found by a rescue team.

    “So… They found one of the crystals and destroyed that plant, huh?” the Sigilyph said to himself, snickering some more. “Well, I guess that’ll just make things more interesting.”

    The Sigilyph’s fork-like wings fluttered as it hovered back and forth while thinking about what exactly he had heard about how the crystal was found.

    “Apparently, the town oracle helped that rescue team locate the crystal,” the Sigilyph said, thinking for a moment. “Cassandra’s great, great granddaughter, I presume.”

    The Sigilyph snickered some more, his eye flashing with purple light for a moment.

    “I should definitly think of a way to punish her…”

    The strange bird Pokémon seemed to feel something, as it glanced down at the town below.

    “What’s this? I feel a familiar presence… Is that little brat that prevented me from getting all eight crystals in this town too?”

    The Sigilyph glared at the town below for a moment, before snickering some more.

    “Well, I guess I’ll also have to think of a way to get back at that one as well for meddling in my plans…”

    ----

    The next day, it was raining in Fenix town. The rain seemed to put the water type Pokémon of town in high spirits, while the fire types weren’t as happy. Mirage and her two teammates were at River’s café, getting something to drink while reading today’s newspaper. Megara was looking out a window with a rather annoyed look on her face.

    “Stupid rain…” Megara muttered.

    “The mushroom does not mind the rain,” Cordyceps said, causing Megara to turn her head to look at him. “Besides, you did bring an umbrella. The mushroom advices you not to set it on fire like you did with the last one.”

    “As if this cheap thing will protect me from the rain,” Megara said, holding up an umbrella made of a stick and some big leaves. “You really should’ve given me enough money to buy a better one, Mirage!”

    “Well, maybe if you were a little better at saving up your share of the money from our missions or you hadn't burned up your last one, you wouldn’t have this problem,” Mirage replied.

    “What’s that supposed to mean!?” Megara asked, sounding rather annoyed.

    “Whoa, relax,” Mirage responded, offering Megara the newspaper. “Here, maybe reading this will help you get your mind off the rain. There are some interesting things here today.”

    “Have they made any progress with the crystal search?” Megara asked.

    “Not much,” Mirage replied. “But check this out; it’s an article about a Salamence that was raised by Purrloin.”

    “How is that supposed to get me in a better mood?” Megara asked, as Sera, Blitz and Chiaki stepped inside the café. “Oh, look. More rescue teams trying to escape the rain.”

    “Hi,” Sera said, as she shook the rain water out of her wet fur.

    “Hey, don’t do that!” Megara shouted. “You’ll get water all over the place!”

    “Sorry,” Sera replied, her fur having puffed up from being shaken dry. “I guess another advantage to being a Vaporeon would be that you never have to worry about wet fur.”

    “You look even fluffier than usual now!” Chiaki commented, chuckling a bit.

    “I hope it doesn’t rain for too long,” Blitz said, glancing at the rain outside. “We should be trying to get some missions done today.”

    “Hey, at least it’s just a little rain,” Mirage responded, showing the younger rescue team the newspaper. “According to this, there have been some very harsh sandstorms over in Clarion Desert for several days now.”

    “Is that so?” Megara asked in a somewhat bored tone.

    “Yeah,” Mirage replied, pointing to the article. “Says here the sandstorms are so rough, that it’s pretty much impossible to get through them.”

    “Meh, they'll have to stop eventually,” Megara responded, resting her head on her arms.

    “Mirage has a point, the weather could’ve been much worse,” Sera commented, glancing over at Blitz. “So why should we let this rain delay us?”

    “Yeah, it’s not even raining that much!” Azure said, having overheard the conversation.

    “I guess if none of us minds getting our fur wet…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “Then there’s no reason we can’t head out right away.”

    “Well, what are we waiting for, then?” Sera said, grinning. “Let’s go!”

    “Ooh, can I come too?” Azure asked, bouncing over to the rescue team. “The rain has put me in an adventuring mood!”

    “But Azure, you promised to help out in the café today,” River said, looking over at her daughter. “Did you forget about that?”

    “Oh, I’ll come back and help out later!” Azure responded. “Please let me go adventuring with Sera and her team!”

    “I probably shouldn’t be encouraging this,” River replied, sighing. “But, okay. I’ll let you go.”

    “Thank you!” Azure responded, happily bouncing on her tail.

    “Well, let’s go!” Sera said, and so the four Pokémon headed out.

    “Azure sure takes after her father,” River commented, as she resumed her work.

    Mirage glanced out the window as Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure were starting to head over to the rescue team HQ, before turning back to her teammates.

    “Come on, Megara,” she said, looking over at the still annoyed Magmar. “Surely we shouldn’t let the rain stop us from getting our job done? Let’s follow that other rescue team’s example, and head out!”

    “No,” Megara responded.

    “But odds are that it’s not even raining inside the mystery dungeons!”

    “The answer is still no.”

    ----

    At the rescue team HQ, Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure began checking out the available missions on the boards. However, while the rescue team considered several of the missions, Azure didn’t seem particularly interested in any of them and instead wandered over to the board with the outlaw missions.

    “Hmm… I bet we could easily beat one of these guys,” Azure commented while looking over the wanted posters.

    “Azure, I don’t think your mother would approve of us taking you on that kind of mission,” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together nervously. “Plus, this rescue team has only done one outlaw mission, and the outlaw in question wasn’t even really an outlaw!”

    “Then isn’t it about time you guys go on another one of these missions?” Azure asked, winking at the three.

    “When she says it like that, it does seem like a good point,” Chiaki cheerfully replied.

    “I guess we can take a look at the missions, at least,” Sera said, and walked up to Azure along with Chiaki.

    “Oh, o-okay…” Blitz said, walking over to the others. “But if you have to do an outlaw mission, at least pick one that doesn’t look too strong…”

    “What about that one at the top right corner?” Azure asked, glancing up at a wanted poster depicting a Pokémon resembling a large purple scorpion. “He doesn’t look too tough.”

    “You mean that Drapion up there!?” Blitz responded, seeming rather intimidated by the appearance of the scorpion outlaw. “We can’t fight that!”

    “You’re really scared of him?” Azure asked, glancing up at the wanted poster with a confident smirk. “He’s just a big purple accordion! There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

    “Azure, I think Blitz is right,” Sera responded, reading the mission rank on the poster. “This guy is way too tough for a Bronze rank team like us.”

    “Oh, fine,” Azure replied. “But I still think we could’ve taken him.”

    “What about this one?” Chiaki asked, pointing to a mission on the lower left corner of the board. “Apparently someone called Queen Miele from a place called Nectar Woods needs help dealing with some honey thieves!”

    “Isn’t Nectar Woods where the honey we use at the café is from?” Azure said, looking over at the mission. “This queen must be the one in charge of the Combee that makes that honey.”

    “This mission looks good to me,” Sera commented, looking over the mission. “It doesn’t specify what the reward is, but since it’s from a queen, I bet it’s something good!”

    “I guess this mission doesn’t look too difficult for a rescue team at our level…” Blitz said.

    “So, we’re all in!” Azure shouted, bouncing happily. “Let’s go, everyone!”

    And so the four Pokémon headed into Kala’s room to teleport over to Nectar Woods, as a certain Beedrill who had been waiting for one of his teammates outside nurse Giselle’s office glanced over at them, having overheard part of their conversation.

    “Queen Miele?” Sting said to himself, glancing down and twiddling the stingers on his arms. “I wonder how she’s been…”

    ----

    In a flash of light, the four Pokémon appeared in Nectar Woods. According to the map, it was smaller than some of the other forests they had explored and it was mostly populated by bug type Pokémon. Some spider webs were visible in trees, which had a lot of berries growing on them as well. Some of the trees also had sap leaking out of them, which several of the bug Pokémon probably enjoyed.

    “Whoa, this place is pretty!” Chiaki exclaimed, grinning.

    “So, where do we begin?” Sera asked, looking around.

    “I guess we should find that Vespiquen…” Blitz said, glancing around.

    “Oh, right!” Sera responded.

    “Where do we find her, though?” Azure asked, standing on top of the ball at the tip of her tail, looking around.

    “Maybe we can ask them?” Chiaki said, pointing to some green spider Pokémon that were busy making a new web. “Hello, Spinarak?”

    “What do you want?” one of the Spinarak asked. “Can’t you see we’re busy?”

    “We are trying to make this new design more fabulous than any spider web you've ever seen!” one of the other Spinarak said, crawling around the web. “This’ll certainly show those Joltik who makes the best spider webs around here!”

    “Oh, okay,” Chiaki responded, giving the spider Pokémon a friendly smile. “Good luck!”

    “I wonder if there’s anyone else we can ask…” Blitz wondered out loud, before picking up on a sound which seemed to be getting closer to them. “Uh, guys? Do any of you hear a buzzing sound?”

    The other three glanced around, before two Beedrill appeared and hovered over to them. Both Beedrill were wearing hats made from leaves with holes for their antennae to stick out, and matching shawls. Chiaki couldn’t help but stare at the hats, and quietly thought about how he wanted to try on one of those hats.

    “Oh, hello,” Sera said, looking up at the two Beedrill. “May I help you?”

    “We are royal guard Beedrill working for Queen Miele,” one of the two Beedrill said, curiously examining the four Pokémon. “Are you a rescue team?”

    “Oh, yes we are!” Sera responded. “We saw the mission your queen sent, and came to help deal with the honey thieves!”

    “Excellent,” the Beedrill said. “Follow us; we’ll escort you to her.”

    ----

    The two royal guard Beedrill lead the rescue team to a large tree with an opening in it. Inside was the honeycomb where Queen Miele and many Combee lived. The rescue team could see many of the Combee flying around, the wings on each side of their honeycomb-like bodies giving off a buzzing sound as they fluttered. Each was focused on the tasks they had been assigned, and so they didn’t pay much attention to the visitors.

    “Whoa, this place is awesome!” Chiaki said, grinning as he stared in awe.

    A slightly different buzzing sound was heard, as a large queen bee with a dress-like body, including a honeycomb-shaped skirt around her abdomen.

    “You must be the rescue team that accepted the mission I sent out,” the Vespiquen said, looking at them with her red eyes. “I am Queen Miele; it is a pleasure to meet you.”

    “Hi!” Chiaki responded, happily waving at the Vespiquen. “I’m Chiaki!”

    “H-Hi…” Sera said, nervously smiling. “My name is Serafina, but most people just call me Sera…”

    “It is an honor to meet you,” Blitz said, bowing down to the Vespiquen. “I am Blitz.”

    “And I’m Azure,” Azure said, glancing around. “So, um… You’re like, the queen of this forest?”

    “Why, yes,” Queen Miele responded, nodding her head slightly. “While my main duty is to lead the Combee, I also try to find ways to make sure the Pokémon of Nectar Woods are happy.”

    “It is admirable that you care for the wellbeing of all Pokémon in your territory,” Blitz said, still bowing down to the Vespiquen. “I bet your pride, I mean, swarm, all look up to you.”

    “Why, thank you for the compliment!” Queen Miele responded, seeming flattered. “And yes, I can tell through the hive mind I’ve formed with the Combee that they love me very much.”

    “Hive mind?” Sera inquired. “As in, you’re connected to and can control what they think?”

    “Not exactly,” Queen Miele responded. “Yes, we are connected, but I wouldn’t go as far as to decide for them what they should think and feel. They’re all individuals, after all.”

    “Yes! We are all individuals!” replied every single Combee in the hive in unison.

    “Plus, it has some advantages, such as being able to receive information faster,” Queen Miele explained. “In fact one of the Combee has identified one of the honey thieves as a Butterfree, a female one judging by the black spots on the lower part of its wings.”

    “So, we need to keep an eye out for a female Butterfree?” Sera asked.

    “Yes,” Queen Miele responded. “She was pretty fast too, as she managed to flee before any of the Combee could stop her.”

    “Okay, we’ll keep that in mind,” Sera replied. “Shame we didn’t bring any Quick Orbs or anything for this, though…”

    “Well, at least we now have at least one lead to go on,” Azure commented, bouncing a little.

    “There’s a mystery dungeon in this forest, right?” Blitz asked, looking up at the queen.

    “Why, yes,” Queen Miele responded. “It is not far from here, actually.”

    “Okay, we’ll go investigate there,” Blitz replied, looking over at this teammates. “Odds are the Butterfree and anyone working with her are hiding somewhere within.”

    ----

    The four Pokémon walked up to the entrance of the dungeon, where they believed the honey thieves might be hiding. After quickly checking their inventory, they headed inside the mystery dungeon. A maze of berry trees appeared before them, Chiaki staring in awe at the different colors of the leaves of the different types of berry tree.

    “So, how far into the dungeon do you think these guys went?” Azure asked, balancing on one foot on top of her tail.

    “I’d assume we’ll find them at the very end of the dungeon,” Sera responded, glancing over at Blitz to make sure they were following the same line of thought. “Don’t you think?”

    “Yeah, most likely,” Blitz replied.

    “All right,” Sera said, looking around to see which path to follow. “Let’s get going, then!”

    Sera began walking down on of the paths, followed by Blitz, Chiaki and Azure. The dungeon was at ten floors, and mostly inhabited by bug type Pokémon. There seemed to be more berries than usual to be found on the ground within the dungeon, possibly due to the presence of the berry trees.

    “So, what kind of Pokémon do you think is working with the Butterfree?” Azure asked, looking around for wild Pokémon to fight.

    “Pokémon that like honey, I guess,” Sera responded, sniffing the air.

    “Teddiursa like honey,” Blitz said, glancing around. “Another bug or a grass type Pokémon may also be involved.”

    “I like this place,” Chiaki commented. “It’s so pretty!”

    “Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many different berry trees in one place,” Azure said, looking around. “I wonder if the café has berries imported from here too.”

    “I’m not sure if there’s enough space in our treasure bag to gather all these berries,” Sera commented, checking the current contents of the bag.

    “Guess we’ll just do this, then!” Chiaki said, picking up a Pecha berry from the ground and popping it into his mouth.

    “Or we can just leave them there on the ground,” Sera responded, giggling a little. “But your method works too.”

    ----

    The four Pokémon made their way through the dungeon, exploring, fighting some bug Pokémon along the way and so on, until they finally reached the stairs leading up to the final floor. So far, they hadn’t seen any signs of the honey thieves. Blitz just hoped that his feeling about the thieves hiding out at the end of the dungeon was correct, or else they’d have gone all that way for nothing. As he followed behind Sera as she walked up the stairs, Blitz thought he could faintly hear some voices coming from the floor above.

    “Anyone else hear that?” Blitz asked, looking around as they walked up to the floor at the end of the dungeon.

    “Yeah, I do,” Sera responded. “Think it’s the honey thieves?”

    “Let’s find out,” Blitz said, slowly starting to make his way down the path. “The voices seem to be coming from further in.”

    The rescue team and Azure quietly moved ahead, hoping the honey thieves wouldn’t hear them and run away. They soon spotted the white butterfly wings of a Butterfree, with black spots on the lower wings as Queen Miele described. There were two other Pokémon with her; a light brown bear cub with a crescent shaped spot on its forehead and a Pokémon with pink cherry blossom petals seeming to form a dress covering its body and five cherry blossom petals on its head.

    “This honey is really great!” the Teddiursa said, happily licking some honey of his paws.

    “Won’t we get in trouble with the queen for taking honey without permission?” the Cherrim asked, sipping some honey.

    “Relax, there’s plenty of honey there,” the Butterfree responded. “Besides, we won’t get in trouble if we don’t get caught.”

    “That’s what you think!” Azure shouted, getting the attention of the three honey thieves.

    “Azure, what are you doing?” Blitz asked, looking a bit startled. “We were trying to sneak up on them!”

    “… Okay, now we’re in trouble,” the Butterfree said.

    “A rescue team!” the Cherrim exclaimed, looking rather frightened. “Oh, this can’t end well!”

    “Now, let’s not panic…” the Butterfree responded, trying to think of a solution. “They don’t look too tough… We could probably beat them in a battle.”

    “A battle?” the Teddiursa asked, exchanging concerned glances with the Cherrim.

    “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” the Cherrim asked.

    “We accept your challenge!” Azure shouted, pounding her tail against the ground. “You are going down!”

    “Azure, you’re not really a member of our rescue team, so you shouldn’t really be the one accepting challenges on our behalf…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “Well, if we’re going to fight, let’s get ready!” Sera shouted, while using her Helping Hand move to power up her teammates.

    “So, you’re powering up?” the Cherrim asked, smirking. “Well, two can play at that game!”

    The Cherrim twirled around, a ball of light forming between her hands. She spun around once more before releasing the ball of light and letting it fly up into the air. The sun’s rays intensified, making the petals on the Cherrim’s body glow with a soft pink glow.

    “So, your Flower Gift ability is giving us a power boost now?” the Butterfree asked.

    “Yes,” the Cherrim responded. “Want me to add my own Helping Hand to that?”

    “Nah, I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” the Butterfree replied, while dodging a spray of bubbles aimed at her by Azure.

    “Fury Swipes!” the Teddiursa shouted, charging at Azure and attempting to strike her with his paws. However, Azure simply swung her tail around and knocked the Teddiursa aside.

    “You know, saying what attacks you’re going to use out loud kind of makes it easier for the opponent to avoid it,” Azure commented, looking unimpressed.

    “Well, you can’t dodge this!” the Cherrim shouted, twirling around and sending several glowing multicolored leaves flying at Azure.

    Azure attempted to bounce away from the leaves, but found that the leaves kept following her. Quickly figuring out that she couldn’t avoid the Cherrim’s Magical Leaf attack, Azure settled for swinging the ball on her tail into the path of the attack and letting it take the hit so she’d at least take as little damage from the attack as possible.

    The Teddiursa had gotten back on his feet, and was now fighting against Chiaki. While Chiaki seemed to be able to dodge the Teddiursa’s attacks without much difficulty, the Teddiursa wasn’t as good at paying attention to the opponent’s movements.

    Sera and Blitz were charging at the Butterfree, hoping to hit her with their combined attacks, but the butterfly Pokémon simply moved out of the way. Sera and Blitz made another attempt, but the Butterfree dodged their attack again.

    “She really is fast…” Sera commented, looking over at Blitz. “What do we do?”

    “Hmm… I’ll try to think of something,” Blitz responded. “For now, let’s focus on the other two.”

    The Cherrim continued using her Magical Leaf attack on her opponents, not doing much else. Since it was an attack that would always hit opponents and she could keep using it from a distance, why use anything else? That way, her opponents that seemed to mostly rely on physical attacks that required them to get up close to attack couldn’t reach her. It certainly seemed like a good idea to her.

    The Teddiursa wasn’t having as much luck as his teammates, as he himself only knew attacks that he had to get up close to use. The Teddiursa nervously took a few steps back from Chiaki, unsure of what to do. Before he could decide on his next move, Azure slammed her tail against him with enough force to send him flying through the air for a few moments.

    “Ah, I give up!” the Teddiursa shouted as he hit the ground, whimpering a little as he looked up at the rescue team. “I won’t steal honey anymore! Tell the queen I’m sorry!”

    “Well, that’s one down,” Azure said, using her tail to take another Magical Leaf attack from the Cherrim. “We’ve still got to do something about those other two, though.”

    Blitz and Sera ran as a Magical Leaf attack followed them, trying to figure out how to get the Cherrim to stop her attacks so they could get close enough to fight back.

    “Blitz, can’t you use your Ice or Fire Fang attacks against her?” Sera asked.

    “You know I can’t do that,” Blitz responded, charging up electricity to power up his electricity and build up his special defense against the Cherrim’s and Butterfree’s attacks.

    “Not even just this once?” Sera asked, nervously glancing at the glowing leaves following them.

    Seeing as the two were too occupied running from the Magical Leaf attack while they at the same time were having a conversation, the Butterfree decided to take this opportunity to whip up a gust of wind by flapping her wings hard enough. The wind attack quickly tripped up Sera and Blitz, and allowed the Magical Leaf attack from the Cherrim to connect.

    “Oh, you’re not getting away with that!” Azure shouted as she and Chiaki charged at the Butterfree, but the butterfly Pokémon simply turned around and whipped up another Gust to slow them down.

    “Sera, you okay?” Blitz asked, looking over at his teammate as he got back onto his feet.

    “Yeah, I’ll be fine,” Sera responded, getting up and shaking some dust out of her fur. “Blitz, if you won’t use your Ice or Fire Fang to directly attack, can’t you use it some other way? They’re our only moves that will be super effective against that Cherrim, you know.”

    “Use them some other way…?” Blitz replied, taking a moment to think about it.

    Chiaki and Azure did their best to guard against the Magical Leaf and Gust attacks thrown at them. While the Magical Leaf didn’t bother him too much, the Gust attacks were quickly wearing Chiaki out as the flying attacks were super effective against him.

    “You’d better think of something fast,” Sera said, watching their teammates. “I’m not sure how long Chiaki can stand up against those Gust attacks.”

    “I think I have an idea…” Blitz responded, looking around for something. “I just have to find something I can use…”

    Blitz glanced around, until he spotted a branch with a few dead leaves still on it lying on the ground. He quickly ran over to and picked up the branch with his mouth, and began moving towards the Cherrim, waiting for just the right moment to make his move.

    The Cherrim continued throwing her Magical Leaf attack around; until Chiaki realized that he did have a way of dodging her attacks, and caught the Cherrim off-guard by using Detect to successfully avoid the glowing leaves. Blitz took this opportunity to use Fire Fang to set the branch he was holding on fire, and fling it at the Cherrim, making sure it would land where there weren’t anything the fire could spread through around it.

    The Cherrim gave a startled yell, and tried to back away from the branch, at which point she got hit by Chiaki’s Fake Out attack, followed by Azure using Slam to send her flying in the direction of Blitz and Sera, so they could follow it up with their combined Tackle attacks.

    “Okay, I give up…” the Cherrim said, dazed from all the attacks she had just taken.

    With the Cherrim and Teddiursa having surrendered, there was now just the Butterfree left to deal with. While she was still faster than the four of them, the butterfly Pokémon was starting to look rather nervous, realizing her opponents had the upper hand now. However, she quickly regained her composure.

    “Perhaps I underestimated you…” the Butterfree said, before flapping her wings fast enough to blow her opponents away. “But you still won’t be able to catch me!”

    As the Whirlwind attack pushed the rescue team back quite a bit, the Butterfree attempted to flee, flying towards the nearest exit to the mystery dungeon. Once the winds calmed down, the rescue team chased after the Butterfree. The Butterfree made it out of the dungeon with the rescue team still in pursuit, but she was feeling pretty certain that she would be able to escape them now, as she still had a good lead.

    She glanced back for just a moment to make sure they were too far behind to catch up, only to suddenly find herself colliding with and getting stuck in a large spider web.

    “Hey! What was that just now?” a tiny yellow spider Pokémon said, feeling the spider web it was working on with the other Joltik shaking. “Is someone messing with our art?”

    “Strange, some Butterfree appears to have gotten stuck in our web,” another Joltik said, watching the struggling butterfly Pokémon with its four blue eyes.

    “Well, she’s not part of our masterpiece; get her out she breaks it!” one of the other Joltik shouted.

    With that, several of the Joltik crawled on over and surrounded the Butterfree trapped at the center of the web, before hitting the strings of the web with a bolt of electricity, zapping the trapped butterfly Pokémon for super effective damage. The Butterfree was knocked out by the attack, her wings twitching slightly from the electricity. The Joltik then carefully made it so she’d fall out of the web without damaging their work of art.

    The rescue team was quick to pick up the unconscious butterfly Pokémon as she hit the ground, and the Joltik resumed working on the spider web, talking about how their newest design would surely beat whatever the Spinarak were going to come up with and prove once and for all that the Joltik were the greatest artists in Nectar Woods.

    “Well, guess that’s mission accomplished!” Sera said, wagging her tail happily. “Let’s take the honey thieves back to the queen.”

    “Thanks, Joltik!” Chiaki said, cheerfully waving at the Joltik as he helped his teammates carry the unconscious Butterfree away.

    The Joltik didn’t seem to hear Chiaki, nor did they care what he had to say as they were all too focused on their spider web.

    ----

    The rescue team brought the honey thieves back to the honeycomb, where Queen Miele gave the honey thieves a chance to explain themselves, before taking a few moments to try to think of a punishment for them. After discussing it with some Combee, she finally thought of something.

    “I want the three of you to gather some flowers for us,” Queen Miele said, while motioning for a Combee to bring her something.

    “Is that it?” the Butterfree asked, tilting her head slightly. “That doesn’t sound too difficult.”

    “However, the flowers we want you to get for us are ones not normally found in Nectar Woods,” Queen Miele responded, as the Combee returned with some paper and something she could write with. “I’ll give you a list of which flowers we want, and where they can be found.”

    Queen Miele quietly wrote something down, before handing the directions to the Teddiursa, who held it up for his teammates to see.

    “Some of the names of the places these flowers can be found sound kind of scary…” the Cherrim commented. “And what is this about a Venusaur?”

    “Oh, there’s a kind of old and grumpy Venusaur in one of the areas that doesn’t particularly like sharing the flowers in that meadow with others,” Queen Miele explained, to which the honey thieves exchanged concerned glances. “… Good luck with that!”

    “… Well, let’s get going,” the Butterfree said to her teammates, and so the three headed out.

    “You sure I didn’t go too hard on them?” Queen Miele asked one of the Combee. “Should we ask some of the royal guard Beedrill to follow them and make sure they don’t get into too much trouble?”

    “They’ll probably do fine!” Chiaki said with a cheerful smile. “They were pretty tough to beat during the battle we had earlier!”

    “If you say so,” Queen Miele responded, giving Chiaki a friendly look. “Anyways, I would like to thank the four of you for dealing with my problem, and for your reward, you will each receive a week’s supply of honey!”

    “Uh, thanks…” Sera responded, seeming a bit unsure what exactly she would do with this reward.

    “Ooh, I bet Hercules would like that,” Blitz commented. “I should share that with him.”

    “We can probably use this at the café!” Azure said, bouncing a little.

    While Chiaki tried to think of something fun he could do with a week’s supply of honey, a familiar buzzing sound suddenly caught his attention.

    “Queen, there’s a visitor here for you,” one of the royal guard Beedrill said, as a certain other Beedrill stepped forward.

    “Sting, is that you?” Miele asked, seeming pleasantly surprised.

    “Hi,” Sting responded, shyly twiddling the stingers on his arms. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

    “Huh? You two know each other?” Sera asked, looking back and forth between the queen and the rescue team leader.

    “I grew up here in Nectar Woods,” Sting explained. “Miele and I were really good friends when we were younger.”

    “Wow, never knew you were friends with royalty,” Sera commented. “I’m impressed.”

    “Oh, it’s no big deal…” Sting responded, still twiddling his stingers. “So, you helped Miele out with a problem today?”

    “We certainly did!” Sera replied, wagging her tail happily. “But, I guess it’s time the four of us head back to town. Plus, that way you and Miele can talk privately.”

    “Uh, thanks…” Sting responded, watching as the rescue team began heading out.

    “Have fun!” Azure said, turning back and winking at the Beedrill, before bouncing after the rescue team.

    “What was that all about…?” Sting muttered, seeming a bit embarrassed. Queen Miele seemed mildly amused, though.

    “I’ll ask the Combee to prepare some pollen punch for us,” Miele said, flying over to Sting and carefully held the stingers on his arms. “And perhaps you could tell me about your experiences as the leader of a rescue team?”

    “Oh, sure,” Sting replied, buzzing happily. “I’d like that.”

    ----

    As Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure began heading back to town, some royal guard Beedrill following behind to help carry the honey Queen Miele had rewarded them with, they came across the artistic Spinarak once more. The Spinarak seemed rather frustrated about something.

    “It’s no use, it won’t stick!” one of the Spinarak shouted. “We can’t complete our design like this!”

    “Let’s move to another part of the forest and start over!” one of the other Spinarak replied.

    “We can’t just do that!” another Spinarak shouted. “There’s no way we’ll find another location ideal for our design at such short notice!”

    “Do we come up with another design?” another Spinarak asked uncertainly.

    “Um, excuse me?” Sera said, getting the Spinarak’s attention. “What’s going on here?”

    “We can’t finish our design because that branch up there won’t co-operate with us!” a Spinarak explained, glancing towards the branch in question.

    Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure looked up at the branch, and were shocked to see that part of the branch seemed to be rapidly flickering in and out of existence.

    “What is that? Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “I think we might be looking at a distortion caused by the crystals’ absence at Axis Tower…” Blitz responded, shivering a little.

    “That can’t be good…” Sera commented, her ears drooping down a bit. “I hope those other crystals are found soon…”

    ----

    After the rescue team made their way back to town and went home for the evening, Sting still remained at the honeycomb, telling Miele about the missions he and his teammates had been on during the past few months.

    “... And that’s when Melody had the idea of basically turning herself into an improvised raft by inflating herself and letting the kids ride her down the river, while Frosty and I followed behind and helped keep the wild Pokémon chasing after us away from them,” Sting explained.

    “My, it sounds like you have a lot of exciting adventures, don’t you?” Miele asked.

    “Yeah,” Sting responded. “It comes with being a rescue team leader.”

    “And you get to help so many Pokémon,” Miele said, gazing into Sting’s eyes. “It is nice to hear that you’ve been doing so well in Fenix town.”

    “Thanks,” Sting responded, meeting her gaze. “I’m glad to see that you’re doing well too.”

    “Hey, Sting? Do you ever think about that offer I once gave you?” Miele asked. “You know, about becoming one of my royal guards?”

    “Oh, well… Kind of,” Sting responded, twiddling the stingers on his arms.

    “But I assume you haven’t changed your mind?” Miele asked, placing her hand on his arm-stinger.

    “Yeah,” Sting responded. “While you may belong here in Nectar Woods, I have found my place in Fenix town, as a rescue team leader.”

    “I understand,” Miele replied, nodding slightly. “I just miss you, you know. You were my first true friend, after all.”

    “I’ve missed you too,” Sting said. “I remember the time I was a Kakuna, waiting to evolve and emerge a Beedrill. Even though you had to learn many things in preparation of your own evolution and coronation, you still took the time to come see me whenever you could.”

    “Of course I did,” Miele replied. “No one else understood me the way you did.”

    The two bug Pokémon gazed fondly into each other’s eyes for a moment, before looking away, noticing it was getting dark outside.

    “It’s getting late,” Miele said, letting go of the stinger on Sting’s arm. “You should probably be heading back to town, right?”

    “Yeah…” Sting responded, getting up. “It was nice to see you again.”

    “We should do this again sometime soon,” Miele replied. “I’d love to hear more about your adventures with your rescue team.”

    “Oh, sure,” Sting said, buzzing happily. “Maybe next time, I’ll bring my teammates so you can meet them.”

    “That would be nice,” Miele responded. “I’ll look forward to it.”

    “All right, then,” Sting said, heading outside. “Until then, take care.”

    Sting began flying back to town, looking down at the forest below as he did so. Once it was out of sight, he started flying a little faster. He figured he would go to bed early this night, so he would have energy for whatever missions were waiting for him tomorrow. Perhaps he would even have a good story to tell the next time he saw Miele from whatever adventures awaited him and his teammates tomorrow?

    ----

    Chiaki lay awake in bed and wasn't able to sleep until late that night, as he kept thinking about what was happening. Was everything going to vanish if the crystals weren’t returned to their rightful place in time? One crystal had already been found, so surely the other crystals would be found in time? While he was pretty certain that things would work out, it still made him feel uneasy for some reason…

    ----

    End of chapter 12.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  16. #41
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    Once again, exceedingly brilliant chapter.

    What i love about this fic is how it is almost like an actual game. I mean that as the majority of chapters such as this one focus around little things such as going to the dojo or a random job request. Compared to several other Mystery Dungeon fics, mine included, you convey Sera, Chiaki and Blitz as a real Bronze Team.

    For example, you have shown that they found the battle difficult as they are only weak pokémon, and at the moment they have had little effect or involvement in any huge events or story arcs. When you compare this to Seekers of Light, the main character, an apprentice called Torch has already fought huge enemies and is now involved in, well, i can't spoil anything. But Torch doesn't really seem like a young pokémon, instead a cool hero.

    That's what i love about this story, the characters are truly believable.

    Keep up the good work

    SeekerofLight
    Hi! SeekerofLight here, always aiming to help peeps out in all their gaming and writing needs... provided I myself have been given help about the topic...

    Incoming! A brand new fic starting soon!
    Watch this space. Yes, literally, THIS space, below this!





  17. #42
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    Very nice chapter. Once again, you really take the time to develop all the side characters like Sting. That's something I really like about this, every character has a story to tell and they're not just there to fill in space.

    I enjoyed the fight against Butterfree and her cohorts; you describe it just like a normal boss fight. Oh, Whirlwind...

    Anyways, as SeakerofLight said above me, I love how you make them battle at the skill level they have. They are still very new and can't hold their own against tougher enemies yet. I like the pacing for this as it's much more realistic than some other stories. I use it in my own story as well, and my team can't actually fight against a tough enemy and win. They've got to have some sort of help.

    Well, excellent chapter, and I look forward to more.

    Knightfall signing off...

  18. #43
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    Thank you so much for your reviews! It is nice to see that you're all enjoying the story!

    I didn't really get any answers on how to organize a PM list, though. I guess it's not that difficult?

    Anyways, chapter 13 is finished! It was a little easier to write than chapter 12, since I had a somewhat clearer plan for what would happen in this chapter when I began working on it. I hope you all enjoy it!

    ----

    Chapter 13: We overheard you saying something about a Desert Spirit?

    ----

    In Axis Tower, a vaguely star-shaped pink Pokémon with long ears and small fairy-like wings was looking after one of the other guards, a brown Pokémon with a big head and his body somewhat resembling a coat. He had been asleep since the mysterious attack the night the crystals were stolen, and the Clefable had volunteered to stay behind at the tower and look after the Beheeyem while the guards went out to search for the crystals. It seemed like the Beheeyem had been drained of his psychic energy, and therefore had to rest to fully recover.

    The Clefable looked out through the window, seeing that the morning sun was shining brightly outside. She wondered when she and the Beheeyem would join the other guards in their search. Of course, once the Beheeyem woke up, she knew he would first need to find something else that was much more important to him than the crystals.

    “I wonder how the search is going?” the Clefable wondered out loud. “Oh Cresselia, please let this be a good day for them.”

    “Cosmo, not to criticize, but wouldn’t it make more sense to pray to the legendary Pokémon representing the crescent moon and sweet dreams during nighttime?” a voice said to the Clefable through telepathy.

    The Clefable turned to the Beheeyem, who had now opened his green eyes and was slowly getting up.

    “Eltanin, you’re finally awake!” the Clefable said; glad to see the Beheeyem had recovered.

    “Yes, I seem to have finally regained my strength,” the Beheeyem responded through telepathy while rubbing his head. “That Sigilyph sure was an unusual opponent…”

    “Wait, you saw the thief?” Cosmo asked.

    “Yes, but I have more important matters to tend to at the moment,” Eltanin responded, beginning to move towards the stairs.

    “You’re heading out?” Cosmo asked, looking a bit concerned. “You just woke up, so maybe you should take it easy…”

    “I appreciate your concern, but I must go,” Eltanin responded. “Even while I was asleep, I managed to use what little power I had to telepathically keep track of what was happening around me.”

    “Ah, I see…” Cosmo replied. “So, then you already know…”

    “Yes,” Eltanin responded, Cosmo didn’t even need to finish her question. “And then you probably understand why I must get going as soon as possible.”

    “Of course,” Cosmo said. “We’ve all been very concerned, so I hope you find her quickly.”

    “I will,” Eltanin responded, nodding his head. “Now that my powers have fully returned, I should be able to find her without too much difficulty.”

    ----

    In Fenix town, rescue teams were making their preparations for missions as usual. Sera was depositing some items at Lionel’s warehouse to make room for more items, since they had picked up quite a few berries during their mission in Nectar Woods yesterday. Shortly after finishing up at the warehouse, Sera met with her two teammates.

    “Good morning, Sera,” Blitz said.

    “Oh, hi,” Sera responded, happily wagging her tail as her teammates walked up to her. “I’ve already made some preparations, so let’s go find ourselves a mission!”

    The rescue team began making their way towards the rescue team HQ; however, on the way there they spotted Mirage and her teammates talking to Stella.

    “So, you're sure about this?” Mirage asked, sounding rather interested in whatever she was discussing with Stella.

    “Yes,” Stella responded. “The vision was rather fuzzy, but I am certain of what I was able to gather from it.”

    “All right,” Mirage replied, turning to her teammates. “We’re going to Clarion Desert!”

    “Why?” Chiaki asked, walking up to them with his usual cheery smile.

    “Because Stella just informed us that one of the missing crystals from Axis Tower is currently somewhere within the aforementioned desert,” Cordyceps responded.

    “Cordy! Why’d you tell them that?” Megara asked.

    “The mushroom was not aware it was supposed to be a secret,” Cordyceps replied.

    “So, one of the crystals is in Clarion Desert?” Sera asked just to make sure she had heard correctly.

    “Indeed,” Mirage replied, smirking at Sera. “And now I’m guessing you and your teammates are planning on heading there to search for it as well?”

    “You bet we are!” Sera responded.

    “We are?” Blitz asked, glancing around nervously.

    “Well, then, let’s all head over to the rescue team HQ,” Mirage said, grinning. “We’ll see which team finds that crystal first!”

    The two rescue teams began running in the direction of the rescue team HQ, catching the attention of Sting and his teammates on the way.

    “Hey, what’s the rush?” Melody asked.

    “One of the missing crystals is in Clarion Desert!” Chiaki explained. “We’re going to go find it!”

    “Oh, is that so?” Melody responded, looking over at her teammates. “Should we get in on this too?”

    “I’m up for it,” Frosty replied, looking over at Sting expectantly.

    “Well, I suppose they could use all help they can get,” Sting said. “Let’s join their search.”

    “Cool,” Melody responded, as they began running to catch up to the other two rescue teams. “Hey, wait up!”

    ----

    At the rescue team HQ, the three rescue teams made their way into Kala’s room, the Abra being fast asleep as they entered. Mirage walked up to the sleeping psychic type, and lightly shook her shoulder. Kala slowly sat up and drowsily rubbed her eyes.

    “What are all you Pokémon doing in here…?” Kala asked, sounding rather groggy. “Don’t you know that Thursday is my “sleep-until-Friday day”?”

    “Kala, today is not Thursday,” Mirage responded. “And the reason we’re all here is because we need you to send us over to Clarion Desert.”

    “Okay…” Kala replied, yawning and stretching. “Good luck with whatever you’re doing…”

    And in a flash of light, the nine Pokémon disappeared from the room and found themselves in the sandy Clarion Desert.

    “Wow… So much sand…” Chiaki commented, looking around. “Where do we begin?”

    “If I remember correctly, there should be an entrance to a mystery dungeon around here somewhere,” Blitz responded, looking around.

    “I see it!” Megara said, pointing to a mystery dungeon entrance between two rocks.

    “All right, let’s go!” Mirage shouted, as she and her teammates entered the dungeon.

    “Hey, why did they get to go first?” Frosty asked, crossing his arms. “They didn’t even call dibs or anything!”

    “Neither did we, so what’s your point?” Melody responded. “Let’s just go after them so we don’t fall behind.”

    “Yes, let’s go,” Sting buzzed, and so the three of them headed inside.

    “We shouldn’t fall behind either,” Sera said, grinning. “Shall we?”

    “Let’s do it!” Chiaki responded.

    “Wait!” Blitz said, getting his teammates’ attention. “Do you really think this is a good idea? I mean, sure, we did manage to find the first crystal, but that time we had luck and some of the Pokémon of the forest on our side, but this time…”

    “Blitz, we’re already here, so we might as well do this,” Sera responded.

    “But… there will probably be a lot of ground types here, and my electric attacks won’t do much against them,” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together. “Plus, there are two rescue teams with higher ranks than ours on the case, so why not just leave it to them?”

    “You do have some good points there,” Sera responded, thinking for a moment. “But, we can still try to help search, right? Every little bit of help counts when it comes to getting the crystals back, doesn’t it?”

    “Yeah, we should help out!” Chiaki said. “It’s not like any of us could make finding the crystals more difficult, after all.”

    “Oh, okay…” Blitz replied, sighing. “Let’s go.”

    “All right,” Sera responded, glad that she and Chiaki were able to convince Blitz to give it a try.

    ----

    Mirage and her teammates quickly found their way through the first and second floors, and were now exploring the third floor. While they wanted to quickly get through all fifteen floors, Mirage also wanted to carefully search the dungeon for money or any items that might be worth something. Since this wasn’t a mission and they weren’t going to be paid for finding the crystal, she figured they could at least still try to obtain some money.

    “Sure is nice and warm here,” Megara commented, enjoying the feeling of walking through the warm desert sand.

    “The mushroom does not see the appeal of this place,” Cordyceps said. “The mushroom thinks this place is much too warm and dry.”

    “If you think this place is hot, you should visit the volcano where I used to live,” Megara responded. “It is way hotter there.”

    “The mushroom would rather not visit that place, then,” Cordyceps replied. “No offense.”

    “None taken,” Megara responded. “Besides, non-fire types usually can’t handle the heat of that place unless they wear a special item.”

    “Sounds pretty intense,” Mirage commented, panting a bit. “Oh, look, stairs.”

    As they entered the room with the stairs, Mirage picked up a faint familiar scent, much to her confusion.

    “Bear… with a hint of frost,” Mirage commented as she sniffed the air.

    “You mean Sting and his teammates got here before us?” Megara asked. “How did that happen?”

    “Well, since I managed to pick up on Frosty’s scent, they were probably here just a moment ago,” Mirage responded. “They can’t have gotten far, so let’s keep moving.”

    ----

    Sting and his teammates were already close to reaching the stairs by the time Mirage and her teammates made it to the fourth floor. Sting thought about how this would probably be a good story to tell Queen Miele the next time he saw her, assuming they were able to find the crystal.

    “I hope my beard doesn’t melt…” Frosty commented, gently stroking his icicle beard. “Why couldn’t the crystal have been hidden away in a cold place?”

    “Relax,” Melody said, as they walked up to the fifth floor. “We’re already a third of the way through this dungeon.”

    While Frosty wasn’t too fond of the heat, his ice attacks were proving to be very useful against the wild Pokémon in the mystery dungeon. Most of the wild Pokémon they encountered were ground types, with the occasional grass type in the form of the cactus Pokémon Cacnea.

    ----

    Sera and her teammates were slowly making their way through the first few floors as well, having a somewhat easier time than usual since the other two rescue teams had already made it through, and knocked out most of the wild Pokémon on the floors on the way. Although, due to the strange nature of mystery dungeons, even if one were to presumably defeat all wild Pokémon on a floor, more tended to appear, seemingly out of thin air if one stayed on the same floor long enough.

    “I guess the others already picked up most of the items around here…” Sera commented, looking around. “Oh well, we’ve already got what we need, so we’re good.”

    “Do you think we’ll run into some strange things again?” Blitz asked, still seeming a bit uncertain about this.

    “You mean like that giant plant thing in Harmony Forest?” Sera responded, noticing the stairs to the next floor and leading the rescue team to them.

    “Yeah…” Blitz replied. “Think we’ll have to do deal with another thing like that when looking for this crystal?”

    “I don’t know,” Sera responded, looking around as they arrived at the next floor.

    “Hey, whatever awaits us, we can handle it, right?” Chiaki asked, walking along cheerfully. “Besides, this time Sting and Mirage’s teams are here too, they’ll help out!”

    “Chiaki’s got a point there,” Sera commented, choosing which path to take. “It’ll be fine.”

    “How can you be so sure?” Blitz quietly muttered to himself.

    ----

    After a while, all three rescue teams eventually made it through the dungeon and met outside the dungeon. Now having gotten further into the desert, they tried to figure out where to go next. They didn’t really have that many leads to go on.

    “So… Does anyone here like, happen to know anything about this place?” Mirage asked, looking around.

    “Oh, we should find someone and ask for help!” Chiaki suggested, smiling and glancing at his teammates. “Remember how the elemental monkey tribes helped us get the first crystal from Harmony Forest?”

    “Suppose that’s a good idea,” Melody responded. “But is there even anyone around here to ask?”

    “I think I see something over in that direction…” Blitz said, squinting slightly as he pointed a paw in the direction specified. “I think it might be other Pokémon, as it seems to be moving slightly.”

    “… Wow, you’re good,” Mirage commented, impressed by the young Shinx’s eyesight.

    The three rescue teams began moving in the direction Blitz pointed out to them, and as they got closer, a few rather concerned looking Pokémon gradually came into view. There were two different cacti Pokémon, one smaller with two short legs, four needles on each arm and a yellow flower on the top of its body, and a taller one with two pink flowers on its head and which seemed to make a maracas-like sound whenever it moved.

    The Cacnea and Maractus seemed to be discussing something, with a small sand colored crocodile with membranes around its eyes resembling goggles occasionally commenting on what the two cacti Pokémon were talking about. There was also a small yellow plated pangolin Pokémon sitting nearby, drawing something in the sand.

    “You’re right, these sandstorms have lasted way longer than normal,” the Maractus said, making maracas sounds when nodding her head. “Is there really anything we can do about it, though? I mean, we can’t exactly control the weather.”

    “No, we can’t,” the Cacnea responded. “But, I bet the Desert Spirit can dispel those sandstorms!”

    “Aren’t the sandstorms blocking the way to the Desert Spirit’s cave?” the Maractus asked, tilting her head slightly and thus making more maracas sounds. “We can’t really reach the Desert Spirit if we can’t get through those sandstorms.”

    “So, we need the Desert Spirit’s help to get rid of the sandstorms, but we can’t get to her cave because the sandstorms are in the way, and if we want to get rid of the sandstorms and get to her cave, we need her help…” the Sandile said, thinking about it for a moment. “It’s like an unsolvable riddle or something…”

    “Isn’t there another way we can reach the desert spirit?” the Cacnea asked. "Aside from, you know..."

    “Look!” the Sandshrew said, pointing to its scribbles in the sand. “I drew a Trapinch!”

    “Oh, that’s cute,” the Maractus commented. “But it doesn’t exactly solve our problem in any way.”

    “Um… Excuse me?” Sting buzzed as he and the other rescue team Pokémon approached the desert Pokémon. “We’re on a mission, and could use a little help. Do you mind answering some questions?”

    “Oh, I guess not…” the Maractus replied, curiously looking over the three rescue teams. “What do you need to know?”

    “Well, we’re investigating the case with the missing Axis Tower crystals, and we’ve been told that one of the missing crystals may be somewhere in this desert,” Mirage explained. “Would you happen to know anything about where we might find it?”

    “Oh, a crystal from Axis Tower?” the Maractus asked, tilting her head slightly. “I believe I’ve heard something about this, but I’m afraid I don’t know anything about one in the desert, or where in the desert it would be.”

    “Ah,” Sting responded, thinking for a moment. “We overheard you saying something about a Desert Spirit?”

    “Well, the Desert Spirit is said to be the protector of Clarion Desert,” the Maractus explained, cheerfully swaying back and forth a little. “But it’s not really a spirit; it’s really just a Flygon and the “Desert Spirit” thing is a title.”

    “The Flygon lives in a cave called the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary,” the Cacnea added. “Unfortunately, we can’t reach the entrance to said cave due to those harsh sandstorms blocking off part of the desert.”

    “Wait a minute…” Blitz said, thinking for a moment. “Something just occurred to me…”

    “What is it, Blitz?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

    “These sandstorms have lasted pretty long, even the native Pokémon of the desert finding it strange,” Blitz said. “So, if this situation is anything like how it was in Harmony Forest, then chances are…”

    “I see,” Sting buzzed. “You believe the sandstorms may be our clue as to where the crystal is.”

    “Yes, exactly,” Blitz responded, nodding his head.

    “Ooh, that’s brilliant!” Mirage said, petting Blitz on the head, messing up his fur slightly. “I bet the crystal is somewhere within the area blocked by the sandstorms!”

    All three rescue teams quickly agreed that this had to be the answer, and even the small group of desert Pokémon seemed to support the theory. Of course, none of them was sure who or what had the ability to make such long-lasting sandstorms, but right now the important thing was to figure out what to do about them.

    “Maybe you should try to find a way to reach the Desert Spirit?” the Maractus suggested.

    “How do we go about that if we can’t reach that cave you guys talked about?” Mirage asked.

    “Well… There is another way in,” the Cacnea said hesitantly. “But it happens to lead right into a mystery dungeon that none of us really dare to enter…”

    “Ah, I see,” Sting responded, thinking for a moment. “Now that I think about it, there is another mystery dungeon marked up in this area on our maps.”

    “And while these guys won’t enter it, we could probably get through it,” Melody added.

    “So, where is that other entrance?” Mirage asked, the desert Pokémon exchanging a few glances.

    “Um… We don’t really remember exactly where it is,” the Maractus replied sheepishly.

    “… You don’t remember?” Megara asked, looking somewhat annoyed.

    “Relax, Megara,” Mirage said. “We can probably use our maps or something to get an idea of where we can find the entrance to this mystery dungeon.”

    “Assuming the sandstorms aren’t blocking that too,” Megara responded, crossing her arms.

    “Well, good luck,” the Cacnea said. “Sorry we can’t be of more help to you guys.”

    “That’s okay!” Chiaki responded. “We’ll handle this, so don’t worry!”

    “Ooh, let me know what the desert spirit is like!” the Sandile said. “I’ve never seen her in person, but I bet she has a colorful voice and a beautiful personality, or something like that!”

    “Okay!” Chiaki responded, as he began following his teammates and the other two rescue teams further into the desert. “Bye!”

    ----

    Eltanin was making his way towards Fenix town, which was where a psychic trail was leading him. The Beheeyem had many things to think about, but the most important was to make sure his daughter was safe. She had been missing since the night the crystals were stolen, and none of the guards knew what had happened to her. Eltanin was relieved to find that she had apparently made it safely to Fenix town, where the number of rescue teams and other Pokémon living in the town could help keep her safe.

    While she hadn’t yet learned how to communicate via telepathy, he knew she was an intelligent young Pokémon and that she could probably look after herself until he or one of the other guards could find her and follow her back home to Axis Tower. The only thing he wasn’t entirely sure of was what had led her to Fenix town, but he would probably find out soon…

    ----

    The three rescue teams were now standing a short distance away from the harsh sandstorms blocking off a part of the desert, observing it and looking over their maps while trying to decide on how they would go about searching for the entrance to the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary.

    “So, are we absolutely sure we can’t cross these sandstorms?” Megara asked.

    “Megara, you’re not seriously thinking about trying to get through those things, are you?” Mirage responded.

    “Well, I’m still pretty annoyed with how unhelpful those Pokémon were earlier,” Megara replied. “And if I’m angry enough, I’m pretty sure I can march right through those sandstorms!”

    “Megara, that's ridiculous!” Mirage said. "Don't do this!"

    “Relax, I’ll be fine,” Megara responded, starting to walk towards the sandstorms. “I’m not going to let some bad weather stop me!”

    “That is not what she was saying when it was raining yesterday,” Cordyceps commented.

    “Shut up, Cordy,” Megara responded, closing her eyes and trying to push through the sandstorm in front of her.

    The other eight Pokémon watched the Magmar attempting to cross the sandstorms, only for the sandstorms to lift her off the ground and fling her through the air. Melody quickly moved over to where Megara would land, and inflated her body in order to soften Megara’s landing. Melody winced a little as Megara’s Flame Body ability activated as she landed on her.

    “Whew… Thanks Melody,” Megara said, climbing down from the inflated Wigglytuff’s belly.

    “You’re welcome…” Melody responded, deflating herself back to normal size while trying to fan herself with her nubby paws to cool off the spot where Megara landed.

    “Did you get burned?” Frosty asked, handing Melody a Rawst berry. "Here, this'll help."

    “Thanks, Frosty,” Melody replied, eating the berry to heal the burn.

    “So, now that we're absolutely certain that we can't walk right through these sandstorms, what do we do now?” Mirage asked.

    “Maybe we’ll have a better chance of finding the other cave entrance if we split up?” Sera suggested.

    “Sounds good to me,” Mirage replied, grinning.

    The three rescue teams quickly came up with a plan, and so each rescue team went off in a different direction, while still remaining close to the area where the map suggested the dungeon entrance would be, hoping to find the other cave entrance quickly.

    ----

    Mirage and her teammates walked around the rocks and tried to find out where on the large rock formation the entrance would be. They tried to move as quickly as they could without that hindering their ability to observe everything around them, in hopes of finding the entrance first.

    “So, did you guys see today’s newspaper?” Mirage asked, glancing over her shoulder at her two teammates. “Apparently small distortions have been spotted in some areas.”

    “Well, at least it’s only a few small distortions in a few areas, right?” Megara responded. “It’s nothing too serious yet.”

    “I know, but still…” Mirage replied, looking somewhat concerned. “I read that one of the distortions had been spotted in the forest where I lived before I came to Fenix town.”

    “The mushroom assumes you are concerned about your family?” Cordyceps asked.

    “Yeah…” Mirage responded, nodding her head slightly. “I know there’s probably nothing to be concerned about as things are now, but…”

    “Hey, I understand,” Megara replied. “Even though no distortions have been spotted around Mt. Caldera yet, I still got a little concerned about my friends back home when I read that. I’m sure things will be okay, though.”

    “The mushroom agrees,” Cordyceps said. “Once we find the crystal, it’ll be one step closer to restoring the balance.”

    “You’re right, Cordy,” Mirage responded. “So, let’s find that cave and get this over with as soon as possible!”

    ----

    Sting and his teammates were moving along, Frosty occasionally using his ice attacks to cool himself and his teammates off. Melody seemed to be more bothered by the desert air rather than the heat, though.

    “I hope it’s a bit cooler inside that cave,” Frosty commented.

    “I’m a bit more concerned about that mystery dungeon the desert Pokémon talked about,” Melody responded. “I mean, the three of us can probably handle it, and I think Mirage and her teammates can too, but what about Sera’s team?”

    “What do you mean?” Frosty asked. “They managed to get through the dungeon leading into the desert just fine, so why should this other one be much harder?”

    “Yeah, but our team and Mirage’s team did most of the work, thus clearing a lot of the way for them, remember?” Melody replied. “While I know a bronze rank team probably can handle that particular dungeon without help if they’re strong enough, we don’t know exactly how strong Sera and her teammates are.”

    “You think the mystery dungeon in the cave might be too much for them to handle?” Frosty asked.

    “Don’t worry too much about it,” Sting buzzed. “After all, our team and Mirage’s team are here too.”

    “Yeah!” Frosty responded, grinning. “If they get into trouble, we’ll just help them out!”

    “Assuming we’re able to get to them in time,” Melody commented, still seeming a bit concerned.

    “Hey, don’t say that,” Frosty said, patting Melody’s back. “I’m sure nothing that bad will happen.”

    “And Blitz is a pretty smart cub, who can probably help keep them out of trouble,” Sting added.

    “If you say so…” Melody replied.

    ----

    Sera and her teammates were searching as well, Blitz keeping an eye out for anything that might be the entrance to a mystery dungeon. Chiaki kind of wished the desert Pokémon from before had come with them so they could get to know each other better, but since they did seem somewhat scared of going into the dungeon, he understood why that didn’t happen this time around. Maybe they could at least make friends with the Desert Spirit, or get to know Sting and Mirage’s teams a little better?

    “See anything cave-like yet, Blitz?” Sera asked.

    “Nope,” Blitz responded, looking around. “And I’m still kind of nervous about this…”

    “Oh, don’t worry,” Sera replied. “I’m sure we can avoid fighting most of the ground types, if that’s the problem.”

    “Yeah, and the other rescue teams are coming along too!” Chiaki said, grinning. “Maybe they’ll give us some rescue team advice on the way?”

    “Ooh, that would be nice,” Sera responded, smiling and wagging her tail.

    “I guess you two have made up your minds already, huh…” Blitz said, looking down at the sand.

    Suddenly, they noticed several balls of fire being shot into the air and exploding in the distance.

    “Whoa, what’s that?” Chiaki asked.

    “I think its Megara sending some kind of signal…?” Blitz responded.

    “Ooh, maybe they found the cave entrance!” Sera said. “Come on, let’s go check it out!”

    ----

    Megara fired a few more Flame Burst attacks into the air to make sure that Sting and Sera’s teams would see it, while Mirage examined the cave entrance.

    “Whew, that should be enough,” Megara commented as she stopped to catch her breath.

    “Was it necessary to use your fire attacks for that?” Cordyceps asked, shuddering a bit.

    “It’s not like you had any better ideas,” Megara responded.

    “The mushroom was very nervous when you did that, and is still feeling rather shaken from the sudden use of fire attacks,” Cordyceps said, although his voice's usual monotone made it difficult to tell.

    “Well, it’s not like the attack was targeting you, or anything,” Megara replied.

    “So?” Cordyceps responded. “You’re afraid of rain.”

    “Hey!” Megara replied, looking rather annoyed. “Do you want me to burn you?”

    “The mushroom is just saying how it is,” Cordyceps responded, backing away from Megara a little bit. “Please do not roast the mushroom.”

    “Okay, you two, that’s enough,” Mirage said, deciding to intervene before either of her teammates got hurt. “The other rescue teams should be getting here soon.”

    “Do you think they saw my signal?” Megara asked. “Should I fire a few more Flame Bursts just to make sure?”

    “Nah, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Mirage responded, shaking her head. “Save your energy for when we enter the dungeon.”

    “Thank you, Mirage,” Cordyceps replied, looking over at the Zoroark.

    It didn’t take long before they heard the familiar buzzing sound as Sting and his teammates made their way over to the cave entrance, with Sera’s team showing up shortly after. With all three rescue teams gathered, Mirage pointed to the cave entrance.

    “We think this is it,” Mirage said, looking over at the other Pokémon gathered.

    “I see,” Sting responded, examining the opening. “Good work.”

    “Thank you,” Mirage replied, grinning. “So, now that we’re all here, should we go in?”

    “Yes, let’s go find this Flygon,” Sting responded. “The sooner we find it, the sooner we can help the desert Pokémon with the sandstorm problem and find the crystal.”

    And so, the three rescue teams entered the cave, where they hoped to get through the mystery dungeon waiting for them inside, and that they would reach the Desert Spirit.

    ----

    End of chapter 13.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  19. #44
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    Finally getting around to commenting on this...

    Very nice work, as usual, and your characters continue to impress me. (Especially Cordyceps~)

    Some of your style issues even seem to have improved with this chapter, so very good work overall.

    And I can't wait to find out what's up with Eltanin.
    Oneshots and perhaps fanfics coming soon.

  20. #45
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    Thanks for your reply!

    Chapter 14 has been coming along nicely, so look forward to that whenever I finish it.

    Also, from what I can tell, they seem to have fixed that glitch I was having some problems with a while ago. Maybe I will now at some point go back and fix some minor spelling errors and such now that I don't have to worry about the formatting being messed up in the process.
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  21. #46
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    Hi again! Well, I think chapter 14 is just about finished now. So, how about we just jump right in?

    I hope you all enjoy it.

    ----

    Chapter 14: We’re almost a third of the way there?

    ----

    As the three rescue teams entered the cave known as the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary, Chiaki noticed a statue resembling a kangaroo Pokémon with her child in her pouch. He walked up to examine it, wondering what it could be for. The entrance to the mystery dungeon within the cave was also just ahead.

    “What’s this statue for?” Chiaki asked, poking at it.

    “Oh, that’s a Kangaskhan statue,” Sting explained, walking up to it. “It can be used to store and withdraw items that you currently have stored back in town.”

    “Ooh, that sounds useful,” Chiaki responded. “Why a Kangaskhan, though?”

    “We think it’s because in other places around the world, item warehouses are commonly run by Kangaskhan for some reason,” Mirage replied. “Of course, we’re not entirely sure where the statues come from or who or what it is that places them there.”

    “Another mystery of this world,” Chiaki said, smiling. “Cool.”

    “So, anyways, it looks like we can use this to make some more preparations for this if there’s anything more we need that we don’t have,” Mirage commented, walking up to deposit some items her rescue team had picked up while exploring the mystery dungeon in the desert.

    “This is probably also the last chance to turn around if anyone has decided against going through this dungeon,” Melody said, giving a somewhat concerned glance over at Sera and her teammates.

    “Why did you look at us when you said that?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

    “I just want to make sure you’re sure about this one,” Melody responded. “I mean, I don’t know exactly how strong your team is, so I’m just a little worried.”

    “Hey, no need to worry about us,” Sera replied, trying to sound confident in order to convince the Wigglytuff that they were strong enough. “We can handle this!”

    “Oh, okay, if you say so,” Melody responded, walking over to the statue as Sting moved over to withdraw some items. She didn't seem fully convinced, but it was at least enough to make her stop trying to talk them out of it.

    As Chiaki watched the other two rescue teams make their preparations, Sera motioned for Blitz to come closer to her so they could talk privately for a moment, or as private as they could considering they were all still in the same room.

    “Do you think we’re anywhere close to achieving Silver rank?” Sera asked, glancing at the rescue team badge.

    “I can’t tell…” Blitz responded, looking at the badge. “Let’s see… How many missions have we been on since achieving Bronze rank, and what were their difficulty ranks?”

    “… You expect me to remember that…?” Sera replied, glancing over at the other two rescue team leaders to see if they were done making their preparations yet.

    “Let’s see… First, I believe, there was a mission we did without Chiaki because he was trying to get a chance to speak to Elina,” Blitz said, trying to think about what had happened over the past few days. “And then… We went on a mission on the day they announced the crystals had been stolen…”

    “Okay, that’s two,” Sera replied. “Go on.”

    “We also went on a mission the day after that, after finding out about the crystal in Harmony Forest from Stella…” Blitz said, still thinking over it. “Retrieving the crystal itself was technically not a mission, and we didn’t go on a mission the day after that, so the last mission we went on was the one in Nectar Woods yesterday…”

    “So, we’ve only been on four missions since we got Bronze rank?” Sera asked.

    “I guess…” Blitz responded, trying to figure out how many points that added up to. “So, with the number of points from each of those missions based on mission rank…”

    “Well, how many points does that make?” Sera asked a bit impatiently. “And how many do we need to reach the next rank?”

    “Hmm…” Blitz took a few more moments to try to add things up in his head, before responding. “I think we’re almost a third of the way there?”

    “We’re almost a third of the way there?” Sera replied, ears drooping down slightly.

    “Hey, that’s not too bad, right?” Blitz responded, while rubbing his forelegs together, before quickly glancing over at the Kangaskhan statue. “Oh, I think you can use the Kangaskhan rock now.”

    “Oh, right,” Sera said, walking up to the statue to see what she could do. “Let’s see…”

    The other two rescue teams waited at the entrance while Sera thought about what to bring and which items not to bring, until she finally decided to just deposit a few of the items she had picked up on the way and not spend too much time worrying about it.

    “All right, it looks like everyone is ready,” Mirage said. “Let’s go in!”

    The three rescue teams entered the mystery dungeon one by one, entering a labyrinth looking similar to the room they were just in, a sandy floor with rocky cave walls. There were three paths to choose from to begin with.

    “I guess we’ll split up, taking one path each,” Sting buzzed, hovering to the path on the right.

    “Sounds like a plan,” Mirage commented, walking up to the path on the left.

    “See you guys later, then,” Sera said, moving over to the path on the top along with her teammates.

    And with that, the three rescue teams went off in different directions, each hoping to get through the dungeon and find the Flygon living within the deepest parts of the cave.

    ----

    Back in Fenix town, Elina was taking a nap on the roof of the café, when she suddenly felt a familiar psychic presence. Opening her green eyes and glancing down, she quickly met the gaze of a certain Beheeyem.

    “Elina!” Eltanin telepathically called out to his daughter. “I am so glad to see you’re safe!”

    Elina quickly floated down to her father and hugged him tightly.

    “You've been worried about me too, haven’t you?” Eltanin asked via telepathy, returning the hug. “It's okay, I'm here now.”

    While the two were glad to be reunited, Eltanin sensed that his daughter still seemed uneasy about something. He figured it was probably because of the stolen crystals.

    “Perhaps we should go home to Axis Tower, sweetie?” Eltanin asked via telepathy. “The other guards have been worried about you too.”

    Elina looked up at her father for a moment, before shaking her head, much to Eltanin’s confusion.

    “You don’t want to go home yet?” Eltanin asked. “Why?”

    Elina held up her hands, the red, yellow and green fingers on her hand flashing in different patterns to answer her father.

    “… What?” Eltanin responded via telepathy, his fingers flashing in confusion as well. “I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean here.”

    Elina’s fingers rapidly blinked in a different pattern, Eltanin trying his best to understand what his daughter was trying to say.

    “Slow down, dear, you’re going a bit too fast here…” Eltanin responded, waiting for a few moments to figure out what his daughter was communicating through the signals. “… Wait, the night the crystals were stolen? What happened then?”

    ----

    Mirage and her rescue team were making their way deeper into the mystery dungeon, picking up more items and money and fighting off wild Pokémon on the way. None of them were entirely sure how many floors this mystery dungeon was, but they assumed it was most likely not more than fifteen floors.

    “The wild Pokémon here aren’t too much of a challenge,” Megara commented. “But, at least they still give some decent experience for us.”

    “Well, for us they’re not too difficult,” Mirage responded. “But I wonder how that Bronze rank team is doing? Think they can keep up?”

    Mirage continued moving forward, when she suddenly felt something under her paws. Before she knew it, a hidden trap activated and sprayed her with mud.

    “Oh, ew…” Mirage said, trying to shake some of the mud off.

    “Looks like you just triggered a trap,” Cordyceps commented.

    “I know,” Mirage responded, rolling her eyes. “Help me get this stuff out of my fur, will you?”

    ----

    Sting and his teammates were exploring another part of the dungeon, also picking up any useful items they could find and fighting off some wild Pokémon. Once again, Frosty’s ice attacks were proving to be useful.

    “I am so awesome,” Frosty said, grinning. “We’ll reach the end of this dungeon in no time!”

    “Yes, your ice attacks have been very useful for this,” Sting responded. “But don’t let it go to your head.”

    “Don’t worry; I’ll keep my head cool!” Frosty replied, snickering a little.

    “I see you what did there,” Melody commented, rolling her eyes. “So, you think the other rescue teams are doing okay?”

    “Since we haven’t seen any signs of trouble so far, I’m assuming they’re doing okay,” Sting responded, looking around for the stairs.

    “I guess,” Melody replied, also looking around. “So, how far in do you think they are compared to us? I bet Mirage and her teammates probably want to get through the dungeon first.”

    “Yeah, they are kind of competitive at times, aren’t they?” Sting responded.

    “Ha, they’re not going to be the first ones there, because we’re going to beat them there!” Frosty said, grinning. “Let’s pick up the pace!”

    “Okay, but watch your step,” Melody responded. “There might be traps around here.”

    ----

    Sera and her teammates continued to carefully make their way through the dungeon, trying to avoid triggering any traps or having to fight an opponent that was too tough for them to handle.

    “How can it be that we’re only almost a third of the way to the next rank?” Sera asked, still thinking about what she and Blitz talked about earlier.

    “Well, like I said, we haven’t done that many missions since we achieved our Bronze rank,” Blitz responded. “Plus, we’ve only done one mission per day, while a lot of other rescue teams usually do multiple missions within the same dungeon in a single day.”

    “I see…” Sera replied, ears perking up a little as she thought about it. “They probably earn a lot of points and experience from doing it that way.”

    “Yeah, they probably do,” Blitz responded, not realizing that Sera was probably in the process of trying to come up with some sort of plan.

    “They probably do lots of difficult, but not too difficult missions to get as many points as they can in one go,” Sera said, giggling a little.

    “Yeah, I guess,” Blitz responded, still not picking up on Sera’s train of thought as he was mainly focusing on listening for wild Pokémon that could be lurking nearby.

    “Ooh, and get a lot of rewards!” Sera said, seeming more and more excited as she spoke. “Like money and useful items for later missions!”

    “Sera, you’re acting kind of weird,” Chiaki commented, wondering why Sera seemed so excited all of a sudden.

    “Oh, it’s nothing you need to worry about,” Sera responded, wagging her tail happily.

    Sera continued cheerfully moving along, not paying much attention to her surroundings as she was caught up in her own thoughts. She was suddenly snapped out of her thoughts as she suddenly felt the sandy ground disappear under her, having triggered a pit fall trap. Sera gave a startled scream as she fell down onto the next floor, but luckily wasn't hut as she fell onto the sandy floor.

    “Sera! Are you okay?” Chiaki asked, looking down at his teammate from the floor above.

    “Yeah, I’m fine,” Sera responded, shaking herself off. “That was pretty unexpected, though… On the bright side, I guess I found a shortcut to the next floor.”

    “Oh, okay!” Chiaki replied, smiling cheerfully. “We’ll be right there with you, then!”

    Chiaki jumped down the hole, landing in the sand next to Sera. After a moment of hesitation, Blitz joined them too.

    “All right, let’s keep moving!” Sera said, still cheerfully leading her team.

    “I’m getting a bad feeling about this…” Blitz muttered under his breath.

    ----

    Back in Fenix town, Elina and Eltanin sat on the roof of the café as Elina through the flashing patterns of her fingers told her father the whole story. Eltanin carefully watched the shining patterns to make sure he didn’t miss any details, although he was a bit shocked at a few of the things that Elina explained to him and had to ask her to repeat those things to make sure he had understood her right.

    “I see…” Eltanin responded via telepathy, nodding his head slightly. “That is… quite the story…”

    Elina nodded her head slightly, sheepishly looking down.

    “Well… I’m not really sure what to think of this,” Eltanin commented, looking rather concerned. “Something like this has never happened before…”

    Elina looked up at her father, waiting for him to think things over for a moment and decide what they would do next. Eltanin thought about it, and eventually decided on something.

    “Okay, considering the circumstances, I guess it probably would be best that you stay here for now.”

    Elina looked surprised at this response for a moment, and had her fingers flash in a pattern as if to ask if he was really sure about this.

    “Yes, it probably is best that you stay in town and keep an eye on things,” Eltanin replied, nodding his head. “However, there is something I would like you to do.”

    Elina tilted her head slightly, wondering what her father’s request was.

    “Only I and other Pokémon who use similar communication methods will be able to understand the blinking patterns of your fingers, and there are limits for what you can express through your body language,” Eltanin explained. “That is why I want you to find a Pokémon in this town that can teach you how to communicate via telepathy.”

    Elina nodded her head in response, agreeing with her father that learning how to use her telepathy would probably be a good idea. After all, she would eventually have to learn to do so anyways.

    “I wish I could stay here and teach you myself, but I need to return to Axis tower,” Eltanin said through telepathy. “I need to tell the other guards about what I saw that night, as well as letting them know that you’re safe and telling them of what you told me today.”

    Elina suddenly grabbed her father’s arm and shook her head rapidly, much to his confusion.

    “You don’t want me to tell them?”
    Elina let go of her father, and began explaining her reasoning for not wanting the guards to know everything about the current situation.

    “Ah… I understand,” Eltanin responded. “If too many Pokémon knew of that particular detail, it might put your friend in danger...”

    Elina nodded her head.

    “And if the thief were to learn of this, this whole town could be in danger...”

    Elina nodded her head again.

    “Okay, then. I won’t tell anyone else.”

    Elina was relieved to hear that, and hugged her father tightly.

    “Well, I’d better head back to the tower now,” Eltanin said, returning the hug. “Take care, and do your best.”

    Elina knew there was one more issue neither of them had really addressed after she explained the whole story, but that was something she would rather not think about for now, even if she knew perfectly well that it would have to be dealt with sooner or later…

    ----

    After exploring for a while, Sera and her teammates had finally made it to the last floor of the mystery dungeon. At this point, they weren’t sure if they had somehow gotten ahead of the other two rescue teams, or if they had already gotten to the end of the dungeon. Based on the number of items they had come across on this particular floor, Blitz assumed it was the former.

    “Think we’ll make it to the end before the other two teams catch up?” Sera asked.

    “I don’t know…” Blitz replied, looking around. “Something doesn’t feel right…”

    “What do you mean?” Sera asked. “I mean, we’re nearly at the end of the dungeon! What could possibly go wrong when we’ve gotten this far?”

    “Ooh, look over there!” Chiaki said, pointing to the section of the dungeon where they were currently heading towards. “Looks like there’s lots of items in there!”

    “Hey, you’re right!” Sera responded, wagging her tail. “Ooh, there’s Gummis in there!”

    As Sera and Chiaki walked over to the room, Blitz suddenly froze as he realized something.

    “Wait… There are many items in one place, more than you’d expect to find in one room…” Blitz’s eyes widened as he realized what this possibly meant. “Isn’t that in most cases a sign that… that…”

    Sera and Chiaki obliviously walked into the room, but as soon as Sera reached a paw out to pick up one of the items on the ground, a yellow arm with white claws suddenly popped out of the sand and tried to strike her. Sera gave a startled yell as the yellow Pokémon with the brown spikes on its back fully emerged from the ground, followed by even more wild Pokémon appearing by popping out of the ground or dropping down from the ceiling.

    “It’s a Monster House…” Blitz muttered as he stared wide-eyed at the wild Pokémon surrounding his two teammates.

    “Eek, stay away from us!” Sera shouted, using her tail to fling a seed at a Pokémon resembling a bigger Sandile standing on two legs.

    The Krokorok caught the Warp Seed in its mouth seemingly by instinct, and was promptly teleported to another part of the dungeon. But even with one of them out of the way for now, there were still several more Pokémon moving towards them.

    "Ah, we need more Warp Seeds!" Sera said, looking through the bag. "Do we have any more...?"

    "Sera, won't sending them away one at a time take a while...?" Chiaki asked, trying to put up a Detect.

    "Well, w-what do you suggest then?" Sera responded.

    “Um... Do we have any orbs that can stop all of these guys?” Chiaki asked, using Fake Out on the Sandslash that had tried to attack Sera.

    “I… I don’t know,” Sera responded, panicking somewhat and not being able to remember what orbs they had brought, if any. “I-I’ve never fought this many Pokémon at once!”

    “Sera, pull yourself together!” Chiaki shouted. “W-We have to do something!”

    “I… I…” Sera was unable to think of anything.

    “Come on, snap out of it!” Chiaki shouted, shaking his teammate slightly.

    The wild Pokémon prepared to strike, only to be distracted by a bright light courtesy of Blitz’s Flash. Blitz then quickly ran over to his teammates before the wild Pokémon could block off the path.

    “Sera, let me have a look at the items we brought!” Blitz said.

    “O-Okay…” Sera responded and turned around so that Blitz could get to the bag she was carrying.

    “Let’s see…” Blitz said, examining the items.

    “A-Anything we can use in there?” Sera asked, while dodging to avoid being hit by wild Pokémon’s attack.

    Chiaki was also dodging moves, having an easier time thanks to his Detect move. He wasn’t sure how long he would be able to keep it up, though.

    “Sera, didn’t you bring any orbs that affect all wild Pokémon in a room?” Blitz asked.

    “I-I don’t know!” Sera responded, looking around. “How was I supposed to know we needed one of those!?”

    “You never know, and that’s why you need to be on the safe side!” Blitz replied, using Flash again to momentarily blind the wild Pokémon to buy a little more time.

    “Oh, right…” Sera responded, ears drooping down slightly. “I-I guess that’s something someone taught me, wasn’t it…?”

    “Well, we need to try to find a way to get past these guys and reach the other path out of this room,” Blitz said, glancing over at the path. “But how do we do that…?”

    “Leave it to us!” a male and a female voice called out, as the other two rescue teams came to the rescue.

    “Sting! Mirage!” Chiaki called out, grinning.

    “You guys okay?” Melody asked while getting into a fighting position as the wild Pokémon turned their attention to them.

    “Yeah, we’re fine!” Chiaki responded, as both Blitz and Sera gave a relieved sigh.

    “Well, let us deal with these guys, and go find the stairs!” Frosty said, forming a large icicle between his hands. “We’ll catch up with you when we’re done!”

    “Okay,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “Clear the path for us, and we’ll be on our way.”

    Frosty smirked as he lifted the large icicle that he had created over his head, before throwing it at the wild Pokémon. The wild Pokémon scattered as they tried to avoid the attack, only for the icicle to shatter upon impact with a dungeon wall, causing the wild Pokémon to be struck by the fragments. Sera, Blitz and Chiaki quickly made their way out of the room while the wild Pokémon were still taking a moment to recover from the attack.

    “All right, my turn,” Megara said, firing an intense blast of fire from her beak to burn the wild Pokémon, and accidentally(?) frightening Cordyceps in the process.

    “This shouldn’t take long,” Mirage commented, getting down on all fours. “Let’s finish this quickly so we can catch up to the others.”

    “Agreed,” Sting responded, pointing his arm-stingers at some of the wild Pokémon.

    ----

    Sera, Blitz and Chiaki managed to quickly find and make it up the stairs while the other two rescue teams took care of the wild Pokémon. Blitz was glad to be out of that mystery dungeon, although Sera still seemed somewhat stressed.

    “Sera, are you all right?” Blitz asked.

    “I… I couldn’t remember anything of what I had learned…” Sera responded, ears drooping down. “It was like I couldn’t think at all…”

    “Hey, don’t feel bad,” Blitz replied comfortingly. “That can happen to anyone.”

    “Yeah,” Chiaki said, with his signature smile. “None of us were really prepared for that Monster House.”

    “But we should’ve been,” Sera responded, looking over at Blitz. “You said so yourself earlier, you know. A rescue team never knows what awaits them, so one always needs to be on the safe side, right?”

    “Well, I guess I did say something like that, huh…” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “I’m the leader of this rescue team, I should’ve remembered to bring some items that would be useful in the case of a Monster House back when I was making my last preparations at the Kangaskhan rock,” Sera said, looking down at the ground. “I failed …”

    “Sera, don’t beat yourself up about it,” Blitz responded. “Everyone makes mistakes, and when we make mistakes, we learn from them.”

    “Yeah, cheer up!” Chiaki said, petting Sera.

    "Besides, in a way, it wasn't all your fault anyways," Blitz added. "Chiaki and I could've helped you look over the items when you were making those preparations at the Kangaskhan rock."

    “Thanks guys…” Sera responded, her ears perking up a little. “I promise I’ll be better prepared next time.”

    “Ah, there you are!” Mirage called out, as she, Sting and their teammates walked up to the three younger Pokémon. "Good to see you're all okay."

    “Ooh, everyone’s here!” Chiaki exclaimed excitedly.

    “Yes, and now that we're all gathered, I guess we should go find this Desert Spirit," Sting said.

    The three rescue teams headed down the tunnel, surprised as they eventually spotted light shining from the end of the tunnel. They soon entered a section of the cave with a large opening in the ceiling to the sky.

    “This must be the place,” Sting said, looking around. “But where’s the Desert Spirit?”

    “Looking for me?” a rough-sounding, but still feminine voice called out.

    The three rescue teams saw a winged green dragon Pokémon getting up and emerging from the shadows, curiously examining the rescue team.

    “Are you the Desert Spirit?” Chiaki asked, staring in awe at the Flygon.

    “That is correct,” the Flygon responded, nodding her head. “You may call me Rhythm.”

    “It is nice to meet you, Rhythm,” Sting said. “Anyways, we need your assistance with something, and so do the Pokémon of this desert...”

    “This is about the strange sandstorms, isn’t it?” Rhythm responded.

    “You already knew?” Mirage asked, tilting her head.

    “Yes, I’ve been aware of it for a while,” Rhythm replied. “I could sense something strange in the air, but I haven’t been able to do something about it yet.”

    “Why not?” Sera asked.

    Rhythm smiled, and gently used the tip of her tail to brush away some of the sand on the ground, revealing a few orange eggs.

    “Are those Trapinch eggs?” Blitz asked.

    “I laid my eggs pretty recently,” Rhythm explained. “I just needed some rest before I could deal with the sandstorm problem.”

    “Ooh, when are they going to hatch?” Chiaki asked, curiously looking at the eggs.

    “Not for a while yet,” Rhythm responded, spreading her wings. “But for now, I think I should deal with those sandstorms.”

    “Is it okay to just leave the eggs alone?” Melody asked.

    “Relax, they’re perfectly safe in here,” Rhythm responded, carefully covering the eggs with sand again. “So, let’s deal with that sandstorm problem.”

    Rhythm motioned for the rescue teams to get onto her back, and then took off, carrying the rescue teams out of the cave through the opening in the ceiling. Once they were outside, she set them down on a cliff, and then quickly started flying towards the areas affected by the sandstorms. The sound of her wings flapping sounded like a mysterious song, which reached the other Pokémon of the desert, as if to tell them that the Desert Spirit had arrived.

    The three rescue teams watched as Rhythm began flapping her wings hard enough to whip up some sandstorms of her own, moving in the opposite direction of the other sandstorms.

    “Why is she making more sandstorms?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

    “Look closely at those sandstorms,” Blitz said, pointing to the sandstorms Rhythm was whipping up. “They’re moving in the opposite direction of the other ones. Maybe they’ll cancel each other out?”

    “I assume that is what she is trying to do,” Sting commented, watching the Flygon whip up more sandstorms, trying to make them just as strong as the other ones.

    “Come on, Rhythm! You can do it!” Chiaki shouted, cheering the Flygon on.

    The Pokémon of the desert were starting to gather to watch the Desert Spirit counter the mysterious sandstorms with her own, and it did seem like Rhythm’s plan was working. The sandstorms clashed, and soon canceled each other out, and Rhythm repeated the process until the sandstorms had subsided entirely.

    “She did it!” Chiaki shouted, as Rhythm flew back up to the cliff where she had left the rescue teams.

    “Need a ride back down?” Rhythm asked, letting the rescue team get onto her back again as she flew down to greet the desert Pokémon that had gathered.

    “Desert Spirit, you did it!” a Sandile said, as Rhythm landed and let the rescue team climb off her back.

    “Sorry to have kept you waiting,” Rhythm responded, taking a moment to catch her breath.

    “That’s okay, Desert Spirit,” the Cacnea the rescue teams had spoken to earlier replied. “At least the problem is now solved, and we can now reach the oasis and the other parts of the desert that had been blocked.”

    “That reminds me!” the Maractus from earlier said, turning to the rescue team. “You can probably find that crystal you were looking for now!”

    “Crystal?” Rhythm inquired, tilting her head slightly.

    “Oh, right,” Mirage responded, looking up at the Flygon. “The reason we came here in the first place was because one of the missing crystals from the Axis Tower is somewhere in this desert.”

    “Ah, I see,” Rhythm replied, nodding her head while taking a quick glance at the area the sandstorms had previously been blocking off. “But, it’ll probably take a while for you to find it if you were to search on your own.”

    “I suppose you’re right,” Sting responded. “Even if we limit our search to the previously blocked off areas, it’ll still take a while to search for it.”

    “Yeah, and for all we know it might be buried under the sand somewhere…” Blitz commented, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “Which is why the Pokémon of the desert should assist you,” Rhythm responded, smiling and turning to the gathered desert Pokémon. “I assume that is okay with all of you?”

    “Of course!” the Maractus replied. “These rescue teams were willing to help us out, so it’s the least we can do for them!”

    “So, you’re really going to help us out?” Chiaki asked, looking excited. “Awesome!”

    And so the various Pokémon of the desert helped the three rescue teams search through the sands of the desert in order to help them find the crystal. Chiaki also took the opportunity to try to get to know some of the desert Pokémon better, and managed to befriend some of the younger Pokémon present. Eventually, a Sandshrew noticed something sparkly in the sand, and called over some other Sandshrew to help dig it up.

    “Ooh, it’s shiny!” one of the Sandshrew said, picking up the yellow crystal. “This must be what the rescue teams wanted!”

    The small group of Sandshrew ran up to the rescue teams, and presented the crystal to them.

    “That’s it!” Sera said, excitedly wagging her tail. “We found the second of the eight missing crystals!”

    “Which means there’s still six more out there,” Mirage commented, picking up the crystal. “But if we keep this up, we should have them all back in no time!”

    “For now, let’s return to town and give the crystal to Stella for safekeeping,” Sting buzzed.

    “Thanks for helping us out!” Chiaki said, happily shaking the hand of the Sandshrew that had found the crystal. “I hope we can all meet again someday!”

    As the three rescue teams began to head back to town, they heard the mysterious humming sound of Rhythm’s wings flapping in the distance as she flew back to her cave. Perhaps it was saying good-bye to them, for now.

    ----

    Cosmo was looking out at the sunset through a window, as Eltanin finally returned to the tower.

    “Eltanin, you’re back!” Cosmo said, walking over to greet the Beheeyem. “Did you find Elina?”

    “Yes, I did,” Eltanin responded through telepathy. “She will be staying in Fenix town for the time being, as a situation has occurred and she needs to keep an eye on certain things.”

    “Huh? What do you mean?” Cosmo asked, confused at this turn of events. “What has happened?”

    “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you,” Eltanin responded. “However, when the other guards get back, I do have some other information I need to share, regarding the identity of the Pokémon that stole the crystals…”

    ----

    End of chapter 14.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  22. #47
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    So, tomorrow it'll have been one year since I put up the first chapter of this. Time sure flies, doesn't it? Thanks to all my readers who have enjoyed the story so far, and to those who have helped me improve my writing skills!

    Anyways, here's chapter 15! I hope you all enjoy it, and feel free to let me know what you thought of it, what I could improve on, what I have improved on, and so on.

    ----

    Chapter 15: You want us to do five missions in just one day?

    ----

    It was another beautiful morning in Fenix town, and Sera had just woken up and was ready for another day of missions. Last night, her family had been pretty surprised to hear that Sera and her teammates had once again had a part in bringing back one of the missing crystals, even if it was a smaller one due to the presence of two higher ranked rescue teams and the fact that it was Rhythm and the Pokémon of Clarion Desert that had ultimately found the crystal hidden under the desert sands.

    Sera wasn’t too concerned about that, however, as there was currently something else on her mind. Blitz had yesterday pointed out to her how few missions they had actually done since reaching Bronze rank, and so Sera had decided to try to do something about that.

    “Sis, are you going to eat that?” Volt asked, looking at the berries on Sera’s plate.

    “Oh, right,” Sera said, realizing she had momentarily forgotten about her breakfast. “I’m going to need my energy.”

    “And what do you need it for?” Volt asked, while trying to see if he could get any more food from his older siblings.

    “Rescue team work, silly,” Sera responded, smirking.

    “What kind of rescue team work?” Volt asked, trying to steal some berries off of Sirena’s plate.

    “Well, I don’t know exactly what we’ll be doing today yet, but I certainly intend to get a lot of work done today,” Sera replied.

    “Sounds to me like you’re probably going to get yourself or your teammates into trouble again,” Volt responded, while sticking his tongue out at Sirena for pulling her plate out of his reach.

    “Hey, I know what I’m doing!” Sera replied, glaring at Volt.

    “Are you sure about that?” Volt asked, smirking. “Didn’t you mention that those other two rescue teams had to save you and your teammates out of a Monster House yesterday?”

    “That wasn’t my fault!” Sera responded.

    “Oh? Whose fault was it, then?” Volt asked.

    “Um…” Sera wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that, but before she could think of anything, Amethyst walked into the room, having just been outside and fetched the mail.

    “Hmm, today’s newspaper looks interesting…” Amethyst commented, levitating the newspaper and a few letters with her telekinesis.

    “Were there any letters for me?” Sera asked.

    “Oh, yes,” Amethyst responded, levitating a few letters over to Sera. “There seem to be some missions here for you.”

    “Ooh, let’s see what I’ve got here…” Sera said, looking through the missions. “… Oh! Two of these are in the same dungeon! Perfect!”

    Sera added the missions to the job list for her rescue team, and finished eating her breakfast before heading out. She had some preparations to do, and wanted to get started as soon as possible.

    ----

    At the town plaza, several rescue teams were looking at today’s newspaper and talking amongst themselves. Blitz and Chiaki looked around at the various rescue teams while they waited for Sera to show up.

    “So, what is going on?” Chiaki asked. “Are they talking about the crystal we retrieved from the desert?”

    “Well, the newspaper does mention it, but it seems they’re more concerned about something else,” Blitz responded, listening carefully while glancing at the newspapers. “It seems they’ve identified the Pokémon that stole the crystals?”

    “Huh, they did?” Sera asked, as she walked up to her teammates.

    “Apparently, the thief is a Sigilyph,” Blitz responded. “According to one of the Axis Tower guards, it seemed to possess some sort of strange, dark power… I guess that explains that giant plant and the sandstorms that were hiding the crystals, sort of…”

    “Weird,” Sera replied. “What kind of dark powers allows anyone to create such things?”

    “I don’t know…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together.

    ----

    A short distance away, Stella and Bow were observing the rescue teams, having come to town to do some shopping.

    “… I don’t think things are what they seem to be,” Stella muttered under her breath.

    “What do you mean?” Bow asked, carrying some apples in her arms.

    “… Let’s go home,” Stella responded. “I need to write another letter.”

    ----

    Elina was currently relaxing in a tree, quietly wondering to herself who could teach her how to communicate through telepathy. She glanced down to see Stella and Bow as they headed home. They were both psychic types, but Elina didn’t know if either of them could use telepathy or not.

    Elina was starting to see a number of reasons why finding someone who could teach her how to use telepathy would be difficult. For one thing, she didn’t know how many psychic types there were in town, or how many of them could communicate via telepathy. And how did she know if she could trust them not to read her mind? The last thing she wanted was for someone to invade her mind in order to find the secret she was hiding…

    But even if it wouldn’t be an easy task, she still had to find someone who could teach her. Someone who wouldn’t be interested in searching her mind for information… As she thought about it, a certain psychic Pokémon who did seem unlikely to be interested in such things came to mind. She wasn’t sure if that Pokémon would be willing to help her, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to try asking the Pokémon in question.

    However, it was probably best to wait until after all the rescue teams were done for the day...

    ----

    At the rescue team HQ, Sera eagerly ran up to the mission board, looking over the various missions on it. Once she noticed one which location matched two of the missions already on her job list, she eagerly jumped up and claimed the mission. She soon spotted another right next to it in the same dungeon and grabbed that one as well.

    “All right, this is looking good,” Sera said, wagging her tail happily. “Now let’s see if there’s anything on the outlaw board.”

    Sera walked up to the other bulletin board, and looked over the wanted posters, to see if there were any matching the location on the other missions she had picked out. Her ears perked up as she noticed that there was indeed one mission there in the same dungeon as the other missions she had picked out, and eagerly picked it off the bulletin board and added it to the job list.

    “Now I’ve got five missions all in the same dungeon!” Sera said, wagging her tail. “That should be enough for one day, don’t you think?”

    “Hold on, five missions?” Blitz responded, tilting his head slightly. “You want us to do five missions in just one day?”

    “Blitz, don’t you remember what you told me yesterday?” Sera asked, pointing to their rescue team badge. “We’ve only done four missions since we achieved bronze rank, and we’ve only done one mission a day, while other rescue teams tend to do more than one mission a day.”

    “Oh, right…” Blitz responded, rubbing the yellow rings on his forelegs together. “We did talk about that…”

    “So, I decided that today, we were going to do a lot of missions in one dungeon,” Sera said, happily wagging her tail. “And that way, we’ll get a lot of points in one go, and a lot of rewards that we can probably use to prepare for our next missions! We’ll become a better rescue team much faster this way!”

    “Yeah, I guess…” Blitz replied, nodding his head slightly. “Are you sure we can do five missions in a row like this, though?”

    “Why shouldn’t we be able to do it?” Sera responded, smiling at Blitz. “Relax, the mystery dungeon isn’t too difficult, and like I promised, we’ll be better prepared for anything this time!”

    “Oh, okay then,” Blitz replied, managing a small smile. “Just don’t push yourself too hard.”

    “Let’s do this!” Chiaki said, seeming excited as usual.

    “All right, guys!” Sera replied, rolling out their map. “We’ll be heading to this dungeon here, the Green Ravine.”

    “What are our missions?” Blitz asked, and Sera showed her teammates the five missions on their job list.

    “Two Pokémon want us to find a particular item within the dungeon, one wants a Rainy orb delivered to him, and one Pokémon wants us to look for a friend who got lost in the dungeon,” Sera explained, pointing to the first four missions, before turning her attention to the outlaw mission. “And for this one, someone wants us to retrieve a stolen Pecha Scarf from a Mankey.”

    “That doesn’t seem too difficult,” Chiaki commented, smiling. “We’re sure going to help a lot of Pokémon today!”

    “Yes, I do think we can probably get all of these missions done,” Blitz said, examining the missions.

    “All right, let’s look over our supplies,” Sera responded, opening the bag to reveal the items inside. “Does it look like we have everything we need?”

    “Hmm… I don’t believe we had any Vile or X-Eye seeds anyways, so I think we’re as prepared as we can be,” Blitz replied, smiling at Sera.

    “Good,” Sera responded, putting the lid back on. “What happened yesterday won’t be happening again!”

    “What happened yesterday…?” Chiaki said, tilting his head slightly. “… Oh! You mean when we walked right into that Monster House?”

    “Yes, that,” Sera responded. “So, since it seems we’re all ready, let’s get going.”

    And so they walked into Kala’s room, and asked her to teleport them over to the Green Ravine. After complaining about how they had disturbed her nap, Kala sent them off to the entrance of the dungeon, before going back to sleep.

    ----

    Arriving at the entrance of the Green Ravine, Sera quickly entered the dungeon along with her teammates. Looking over the missions again, she took note of what floors the missions were on, and asked Blitz to help her remember them. The first thing they had to do was get to the fifth floor of the dungeon, where they would have to find a pink gummi for a Roselia.

    Sera confidently led the team through the first floor, fighting off wild Pokémon and occasionally collecting a few items as usual.

    “Let’s pick up the pace, guys!” Sera said, as they walked up the stairs to the second floor.

    “Aren’t we already moving at a pretty good pace?” Blitz asked. “I mean, we’re not in a hurry.”

    “But it wouldn’t be nice to keep our clients waiting, would it?” Sera responded, looking around for the next set of stairs.

    “I guess not,” Blitz replied, seeing that Sera did have a point there.

    Blitz was starting to feel a little concerned about Sera, though. Was she really this energetic today, or was she still having doubts about herself over the Monster House incident the day before and was trying to cover it up? He couldn’t really tell which it was, and figured it was best not to bring it up to her. He also thought it wouldn’t really be any point in bringing it up to Chiaki, since the idea of Sera still feeling bad about what happened at that point probably hadn’t even crossed the Mienfoo’s mind.

    So, Blitz just continued to quietly follow along, while helping Sera remember what five floors the five missions were on.

    ----

    Stella had gone off to find Santos and ask him to deliver a letter for her, while Bow stayed behind to watch the house. She wasn’t sure why this was necessary, since her mother said she wouldn’t be away for long, and with all the rescue teams around, it was unlikely that anyone would be able to sneak into their home. Bow just wandered around in circles, before stopping next to a chest covered with a white tablecloth.

    Looking around as if to make sure no one was watching, even though she knew there was no one else around at the moment, she decided to walk up and pull the tablecloth off the chest, before using her psychic powers to open it and take a peek inside. Inside the chest were the two crystals that had been retrieved so far, being kept safe until they could all be safely returned to Axis Tower.

    “They’re so pretty,” Bow said, watching the green and yellow crystal, and reaching out to touch one of them.

    Before the tip of the Gothorita’s arm reached the crystals, Bow suddenly felt a bit light headed and her vision was becoming blurry. She closed her eyes for a moment, images of a dark blue crystal and a whirlpool briefly flashing through her mind.

    “Did I just have a vision…?” Bow said, rubbing her head and opening her eyes. “Strange, usually they happen at night, when the stars are out…”

    Bow closed the chest, and covered it back up with the tablecloth. She then tried to think about what she had just seen in that brief vision she had.

    “Something blue and shiny…” Bow said, closing her eyes and trying to think. “Hmm… Oh! Could it have been another one of those crystals?”

    Bow tried to recall what the dark blue crystal looked like, and the shape did look the same as the green and yellow crystals. So, it probably was one of the remaining crystals, but where was it? Bow tried to remember what else was in her vision.

    “Hmm… Wasn’t there a whirlpool?” Bow thought out loud. “Does that mean the crystal is underwater? I should probably tell someone about this…”

    While Bow had been told to wait at home, she figured that it wouldn’t be a problem if she left for just a moment as it was important to let the rescue teams know about the crystals. She would probably also be back by the time her mother returned home anyways. So, she stepped outside, and began heading into town, only for a certain bouncing Azurill to crash into her.

    “Ah!” Bow yelled as she fell down.

    “Oh, sorry about that, Bow,” Azure said, trying to use the ball on the tip of her tail to help the Gothorita back onto her feet. “You okay?”

    “Yeah, I think so,” Bow responded, getting back onto her feet. “Where are you going in such a hurry?”

    “I’m going to get more gummis!” Azure said, excitedly bouncing around. “I can feel that I’m getting really close to evolving now, I just need to eat a few more gummis, and then I should be ready!”

    “Oh, that’s great!” Bow responded, smiling at the Azurill. “You’ve been looking forward to evolving for a while, haven’t you?”

    “You bet I have!” Azure replied, smiling back. “Hey, what was evolving like for you? Do you remember?”

    “Hmm…” Bow thought about it for a moment, trying to remember. “I suppose I do, even if it has been a while since I went through the ceremony at… um… what was the name of that cave again…?”

    “It’s the Cave of Renewal, right?” Azure responded helpfully.

    “Oh, right!” Bow said, smiling cheerfully. “It was so amazing, the cave walls were all sparkly and there were these blue lights…”

    “Sounds pretty,” Azure commented. “But, I’m more interested in hearing about the ceremony, actually.”

    “Oh, okay!” Bow responded, taking a moment to try to remember. “Let’s see… There was this voice, and it asked me to stand in the center of the circle carved into the cave floor, and then the pattern on the floor started to glow!”

    “Interesting,” Azure replied. “That’s when the process of evolution itself started, isn’t it? How was it?”

    “Ooh, it felt really good,” Bow said, smiling. “I felt my body changing, getting a little bit taller, and more powerful… I don’t even know how to really describe it actually…”

    “Cool,” Azure replied. “I can’t wait! Well, I should get going. See you later, Bow!”

    “Bye-bye!” Bow said, while waving good-bye as the Azurill bounced away.

    Once Azure had left, Bow stood there on the path, suddenly looking around in confusion.

    “… Why did I come out here…?” Bow wondered out loud, not remembering her original reason for going outside. “Wasn’t I supposed to do something…?”

    Bow thought about it, but couldn’t seem to figure out what her errand was.

    “Hmm… I’ll figure it out later,” Bow said, turning around and heading back home.

    Unbeknownst to Bow, a certain Sigilyph was watching her from the shadows, snickering a little to himself.

    “Cassandra’s great, great, great granddaughter…” the Sigilyph muttered to himself. “She doesn’t look too bright… Probably wouldn’t put up much of a fight either…”

    He just watched the Gothorita walk back to her home, before flying off.

    “For now, I should leave, but I certainly plan on seeing her again…” the Sigilyph said, with a sinister laugh as he flew off into the distance.

    ----

    Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were now on the seventh floor of the Green Ravine, having found the pink gummi on the fifth floor and brought it with them, and they were now looking for the Pokémon that had requested the Rainy Orb. Chiaki still did wonder why it wanted to meet them in a place like this just to receive an item, and then leave. Why not just meet in town?

    “How hard can it be to find one Pokémon one wouldn’t expect to see in a place like this?” Sera said, looking around. “Are you sure we’re on the right floor?”

    “The mission did say the seventh floor,” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly.

    As the three young Pokémon got around a corner, they suddenly spotted a big bipedal Pokémon resembling a rhinoceros with a gray body that made it look like it was partially made of stone. Blitz was a bit intimidated by the Rhydon, but still followed his two teammates as they walked up to it to deliver the Rainy Orb.

    “You wanted this, right?” Sera said, pointing to Chiaki who held up the orb.

    “Ah, yes,” the Rhydon responded, picking up the orb. “These make watering my plants so much easier. Thank you so much for bringing me one!”

    “You’re welcome,” Sera replied.

    “Well, I’ll head back to town now,” the Rhydon said. “I’ll come by the rescue team headquarters to give you your reward later!”

    And with that, the Rhydon teleported out of the dungeon with a little help from the magic of the rescue team badge.

    “All right, two down, three to go!” Sera said, wagging her tail. “The next one is on the next floor, right?”

    “Correct,” Blitz responded. “According to the mission from the Kabuto, his friend Omanyte is lost somewhere on the eighth floor.”

    “How does he know which floor she got lost on?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “Who cares, let’s just go save her,” Sera responded, turning back as she remembered passing the stairs while looking for the Rhydon.

    The three of them quickly made it back to where the stairs were, and moved onto the next floor, and started looking for the lost Omanyte. Chiaki liked how in most missions, they knew exactly where to look for the things they needed to find. It felt a lot easier to just focus on missions, rather than try to figure out his true identity. While he didn’t show it much, Chiaki was bothered by his amnesia, and the fact that he hadn’t been able to regain any of his memory.

    However, since he didn’t know where to search for his lost memories, he figured there wasn’t really any point in trying to find them for now. The only lead he really had was Elina, and perhaps once she worked out a more effective way to communicate with him other than body language, she’d be able to tell him what she knew about him.

    Despite all that, he didn’t mind waiting, even if it could possibly take a while. After all, there was plenty for him to do until then.

    “I think I see her!” Blitz said, pointing to a blue Pokémon covered mostly by a very light brown shell.

    “Good job, Blitz!” Sera responded, moving towards the lost Omanyte. “Let’s save her, and move onto the next one!”

    The Omanyte was grateful that the rescue team had found her, and the magic of the rescue team badge sent her back to town so she could meet up again with her friend. With three missions done, there were only two more to go. First, they had to find a particular item on the tenth floor, and the outlaw that had the stolen Pecha Scarf they had to retrieve was on the eleventh floor.

    “So, how much closer do you think we’ll be to Silver rank after this?” Sera asked.

    “Hmm… Well, it’ll certainly bring us closer to it, but we’ll still have some way to go, I think,” Blitz responded.

    “Good enough for me,” Sera replied, stopping for a moment to catch her breath. “Whew, I’m starting to feel a little tired from walking so fast…”

    “Should we take a break, or slow down a little?” Blitz asked, sounding a bit concerned for his teammate.

    “Sure, let’s slow down a little,” Sera responded, smiling at Blitz. “But not too much, though! We can’t keep our clients waiting!”

    ----

    After quickly getting through the ninth floor, and searching the tenth floor until they found the item they were asked to find, the rescue team walked over to the stairs that would take them to the eleventh floor and their last mission for the day. Sera briefly stopped and set down their bag, and opened the lid to take another look at the items.

    “All right, we’ll need to fight in order to get the stolen item back, so does it look like we’ve got what we need for this?” Sera asked.

    “Hmm, I think so,” Blitz responded, looking over the items. “It would be easier if we had any Vile or X-Eye seeds, and while we do have a couple of Sleep seeds, I don’t know if they’ll be useful in this situation since the Mankey may have an ability that makes them immune… There is a Totter seed in here we might be able to use, though.”

    “Think that’s enough?” Sera asked.

    “We have a few orbs that can be used too,” Blitz responded. “We should probably avoid using the ones that affect multiple Pokémon in one room, though.”

    “Okay,” Sera replied. “Let’s go.”

    The rescue team headed up the stairs to the eleventh floor, where they came across a Pokémon with light brown fur, two short pointy ears, long arms and legs and a long tail, and a nose resembling a pig’s snout. The Mankey was holding the stolen Pecha Scarf, trying to figure out how he wanted to wear the pink scarf, seeing as he didn’t really have a neck.

    “Hmm… Maybe tied around my tail?” the Mankey said, thinking out loud. “No, that’ll make me look like a girl…”

    “Hey!” Sera shouted, startling the Mankey for a moment. “I believe you have something that isn’t yours, and we’re here to make you return it!”

    “Oh, no way!” the Mankey responded, holding tightly onto the scarf. “This thing is going to help me get into Oddish territory so I can gather chestnuts there without needing to worry about the Poison Powder the Vileplume in that area spread to keep other Pokémon out!”

    “Why’d you have to steal it?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly. “I’m pretty sure Pecha Scarves like that can sometimes be found lying around in dungeons, so why not try to get one of your own?”

    “Shut up!” the Mankey shouted, charging at Chiaki.

    Chiaki quickly used Detect to avoid the Mankey’s attack, and then followed it up with a Fake Out to make the Mankey flinch. Blitz then took the opportunity to charge up electricity and tackle the Mankey whilst coated in the electricity, knocking the Mankey onto its face. The enraged fighting type got back up, and charged at Sera, who quickly used her tail to fling some sand into its eyes while jumping out of the way.

    As the Mankey brushed the sand off his face, Sera considered throwing one of the seeds at him. However, she wasn’t entirely sure where the Mankey’s mouth was, and thus wasn’t sure where to aim. Blitz hit the Mankey with another Spark attack, and Chiaki attempted to strike the Mankey, only for the Mankey to knock him aside.

    “Why won’t any of you just hold still!?” the Mankey shouted.

    Chiaki looked up to see the Mankey charging at him, and quickly had to block a Karate Chop from the Mankey by grabbing his paw at the right moment. The angry pig-monkey Pokémon simply picked up Chiaki while the Mienfoo was still holding onto his paw, and began swinging him over his head.

    “Go away!” the Mankey shouted, throwing Chiaki at Sera, knocking them both to the ground.

    As Sera and Chiaki tried to get back onto their feet, the Mankey began charging at them again, only to be tackled aside by Blitz.

    “You’re in my way!” the Mankey screamed, attempting to strike at Blitz with Fury Swipes.

    Blitz managed to dodge the attacks, and then made his fur shine in order to momentarily blind the Mankey, so he could hit him with Spark yet again. The Mankey tried to get up, only for Blitz to press his paw against the Mankey’s back and zap him with electricity, making the Mankey drop the scarf.

    “So, I’ll just take this back now,” Blitz said, taking the Pecha Scarf that had fallen out of the Mankey’s hand.

    “You did it, Blitz!” Sera said, happily running up to her teammate along with Chiaki.

    “Are you two okay?” Blitz asked, looking a bit concerned. “It looks like you two got hit pretty hard.”

    “Don’t worry, I’ll just eat an Oran berry and I’ll be fine!” Sera responded, wagging her tail.

    “Yeah, same here,” Chiaki replied, giving Blitz a reassuring smile.

    “Well, that’s a relief,” Blitz responded, rubbing the rings on his forelegs together.

    Suddenly, the Mankey jumped up and landed on the ground a short distance from the rescue team, glaring at them.

    “FINE! You can take that stupid scarf back, as long as it means I don’t have to deal with more of you!” the Mankey shouted, jumping up and down in anger. “I’ll go search the mystery dungeons for my own Pecha Scarf, and if anyone else tries to get in my way, I'll beat them up!”

    And with that the Mankey ran off, angrily muttering something under his breath as he went off somewhere.

    “Hey, he’s getting away!” Chiaki said, looking a bit worried. “Shouldn’t we go after him?”

    “I think we should probably just return to Fenix town and return this scarf to its rightful owner,” Blitz responded. “While I feel bad for whatever unfortunate wild Pokémon may end up in his path, I don’t think there’s much more we can really do about this.”

    “And if he causes trouble for anyone again, maybe some other rescue team will be able to handle it,” Sera added.

    “I guess…” Chiaki responded. “It doesn’t feel quite right to just leave him like that, though.”

    “I know,” Blitz replied. “Let’s just hope another rescue team eventually deals with it once someone tracks him down.”

    “Well, let’s go back to town,” Sera said, letting the power of the rescue team badge spread its golden light and teleport them back to the rescue team HQ.

    ----

    After picking up their rewards at the rescue team HQ, the rescue team decided to head over to the café. While waiting for River to give them their drinks, the three looked over the rescue team badge and the rewards from the mission.

    “Looks like we got a good amount of money from this one,” Blitz commented. “And I think we got some useful items out of it too.”

    “Yeah, this was definitely a success,” Sera responded, looking somewhat worn out. “I don’t think we’ll be doing this many missions at once every day, though.”

    “Agreed,” Blitz replied, chuckling a little. “Although, I guess we wouldn’t be likely to find five missions in the same location every day, anyways!”

    “Wow, you really did five missions today?” Frederick asked, while cleaning the tables in the café.

    “Yes, we did!” Chiaki responded, with his signature cheerful smile. “We got to help a lot of Pokémon today!”

    “That’s nice,” Frederick replied, nodding his head slightly. “Hey, does this table look clean now? It smells clean, but I can’t really tell for sure.”

    “I’ll be with you in a second,” River said, setting down the glasses of berry juice the rescue team had ordered on the counter. “There you all go!”

    “Thanks, River!” Sera replied, immediately drinking up about half of the Leppa berry juice she had ordered in one gulp. “Ooh, I needed that.”

    “Don’t drink it all up too fast,” River said, while looking over the table that Frederick had just cleaned. “After all, don’t you have to go home and eat dinner soon?”

    “Relax, I won’t spoil my appetite,” Sera responded.

    “If you say so,” River replied, while letting Frederick know she was satisfied with the table before guiding him over to the next table he had to clean.

    While the rescue team enjoyed their drinks and Frederick continued cleaning the tables, Azure suddenly bounced into the café.

    “I’m back!” Azure said, happily bouncing on her tail.

    “Azure, where have you been?” River asked, pointing to a window at the position of the sun outside. “You were supposed to be back half an hour ago!”

    “Sorry, I forgot to pay attention to the sun,” Azure responded sheepishly. “But I did manage to get a few gummis, and now I’m going to be even closer to evolving!”

    “Azure, I know you want to evolve and go on adventures,” River replied, sighing. “But you do realize that if I’m going to allow you to go off on your own, you need to be back when I tell you?”

    “I said I was sorry,” Azure responded. “And next time, I promise I’ll be back when I’m supposed to be!”

    “Good,” River replied, patting Azure on the head.

    River then went back to work, Azure went to help Frederick with the tables and the rescue team eventually finished their drinks and headed home for the day. After a day of a lot of missions, it was going to feel nice to get some sleep.

    ----

    At the rescue team HQ, a certain Abra was asleep in her room as usual. Even after the day was over, she and a few of the others at the rescue team HQ would stay behind even when there were no more rescue teams coming in for the day. Nurse Giselle and some of the Pokémon assisting her would stay behind in order to look after patients or in case an emergency came up.

    However, Kala wasn’t entirely sure why she chose to remain in her room at the HQ even after the day was over. While there had been instances of Pokémon showing up at night to ask her to teleport them somewhere, she wasn’t exactly too thrilled about the idea of having someone disturb her in her sleep when her work day was supposed to be over.

    Then again, she wasn’t exactly too thrilled about her sleep being interrupted any other time either. While some might call her lazy, Kala was an Abra, after all, and so did need eighteen hours of sleep every day in order to keep her psychic powers strong. And as long as she did do her job, no one could really complain.

    As Kala lay comfortably on her pillow, she suddenly felt something poking her head. She tried to ignore it, but whoever it was, they weren’t going away. Kala sleepily opened her eyes, and saw a certain Elgyem hovering next to her.

    “Oh, it’s you again…?” Kala asked, yawning. “Do you have any idea what time it is…?”

    Elina sheepishly looked down on the floor, as the Abra sat up, sleepily rubbing her eyes.

    “Okay… So, where do you need to go at this hour…?” Kala asked, pointing at the map.

    Elina just shook her head, much to Kala’s confusion.

    “You don’t need me to teleport you anywhere…?” Kala asked, seeming as if she was about to fall asleep again any second. “Well, what do you want, then…?”

    ----

    End of chapter 15.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    A secret base in route 120.
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    Hi again, everyone! It looks like I'll be having a few busy weeks ahead of me, as I probably have a math exam somewhere at the end of May that I'll need to prepare for.

    However, I do have another chapter for you guys, so let's just get right on that, shall we?

    I hope you guys enjoy it!

    ----

    Chapter 16: So, you’re considering joining Sera’s team?

    ----

    Stella gazed up at the night sky, hoping she’d soon receive some answers that could confirm her theory, or perhaps reveal the location of another crystal, but it didn’t seem like the stars had anything to show her tonight. Bow was already asleep, tightly hugging a pink blanket while mumbling something in her sleep about candy. Stella looked at the envelope she was holding, having been unable to find Santos and get him to deliver her letter to Silver Woods.

    He was probably delivering some mail out of town, and she would have to wait until morning when Santos would come to deliver their mail before asking him to send her letter. She telekinetically picked up the letter that her friend had sent her a few days back, and reread what she had found out about the plant sample Stella sent her.

    “I need to get this new information to her as soon as possible…” Stella whispered, as she paced back and forth.

    Stella decided it was probably better to just try to get some sleep, instead of staying up when there wasn’t really anything she could accomplish by doing so at the moment. She glanced up at the starry sky once more, just in case she did receive a vision. When nothing happened, she closed her eyes, trying to sleep.

    ----

    At the rescue team HQ, Elina had managed to convey her message to Kala after several minutes of trying to find a way to make her request. The fact that Kala had nearly dozed off a few times while she tried to do so didn’t make it any easier.

    “So, let me see if I got this right…” Kala muttered groggily. “You want me to reach you how to communicate through telepathy…?”

    Elina nodded her head. Kala stared tiredly at the Elgyem for a moment, before falling back down on her pillow and returning to sleep, snoring lightly. Elina had to grab the Abra by her shoulders and shake her awake.

    “I’ll think about it, okay…?” Kala mumbled, rubbing her eyes. “So, I’ll contact you later… if I don’t forget…”

    Kala went back to sleep, and Elina figured it was best to just let her sleep for now. She knew trying to ask Kala of all Pokémon for help was probably a somewhat crazy idea, but hopefully it was just crazy enough to work. After all, it seemed very unlikely that Kala would be interested in searching through anyone’s thoughts on their personal lives and such, and thus Elina wouldn’t have to worry about her secrets being found out with Kala as her teacher.

    While Kala most likely just wanted to sleep and focus on her job, Elina still hoped that Kala would be willing to teach her, and that they would be able to set aside some time for that. For now, she decided to leave the rescue team HQ, and see if she could find a good place to sleep.

    ----

    After a fairly uneventful night, the sun rose into the sky, signaling the start of another new day. River the Azumarill got up, and did her usual morning routine, waking up Azure and getting ready for another day of work at the café. After making breakfast, she went to fetch the mail. Inside the mailbox were today’s newspaper, and a letter from Azure’s father.

    “Oh, he finally sent another letter!” River commented, smiling as she held the envelope. “I guess he’s been too busy with work to really write… I really wish he’d come home more often.”

    River brought the letter inside for Azure to read, while making a mental note to herself to write a letter back when she got back home from work. Once she and Azure had finished their breakfasts, they headed off to the café. They met up with the other Pokémon that worked in the kitchen outside the café, and then they headed inside to start preparing for when it was time to open the café.

    The Pokémon working in the kitchen went to bring in the supplies that would be arriving soon, and to get things ready to prepare the food and drinks that customers would order. Frederick was probably going to show up soon to help out in the café too. The young Deino only had to work a couple of more days to fully pay off his debt, and it seemed he had enjoyed helping out. He also seemed to get along well with Azure when they were both helping out in the café.

    River had no doubts that Frederick would probably continue to be a regular visitor to the café even after he had finished working off his debt.

    “Can I go look around town for ways to get gummis when we’re done setting up things and stuff here?” Azure asked, bouncing on her tail. “I don’t know if I already have enough IQ skill to evolve, but I want to gather some more just in case!”

    “Azure, you don’t have to be so impatient,” River responded, patting her daughter on the head. “I know you want to evolve soon, but you don’t have to spend every day until it happens preparing for it.”

    “Well, what else am I supposed to do, then?” Azure asked.

    “How about just taking it easy?” River suggested. “You don’t have to be in such a rush all the time.”

    “I can take it easy after I’ve evolved,” Azure responded, bouncing around. “Please? Can I go take a look around town for ways to get more gummis later?”

    “Oh, okay,” River replied. “Just remember to keep track of time.”

    ----

    Once everything was in place, and the café was open for customers, things went the way they usually did on a normal day. And once Azure had permission to head out, she immediately headed for the town plaza. As she bounced her way into the main part of the town, she noticed Sera and her teammates over at the shop, buying some items. Azure smiled, and decided to go over to them and say hi.

    “Hey guys!” Azure said, cheerfully hopping over to the bronze rank team. “Getting ready for another day of adventures, huh?”

    “Uh-huh!” Chiaki responded, nodding his head and smiling. “Sera wanted to buy some Reviver Seeds before they all got sold out!”

    “One can never have too many Reviver Seeds, after all,” Sera said.

    “We should probably put some of those away in storage,” Blitz commented. “You know, just in case.”

    “Right, let’s get right on that,” Sera responded, finishing paying Wade for the purchased items before heading over to Lionel’s item warehouse.

    Azure continued following the rescue team as they made their preparations, figuring that perhaps she could go on another adventure with them if she did. She wondered if they had already decided on what mission they were going to handle today.

    “So, what’s the plan for today?” Azure asked.

    “Sera received another mission with the mail this morning,” Chiaki explained. “Apparently, some Buizel got lost while exploring Harmony Forest.”

    “Harmony Forest, huh?” Azure responded, balancing on her tail. “Same place where you found one of the missing crystals?”

    “That’s the one!” Chiaki replied, smiling. “I look forward to visiting it again, even if we won’t get to see the monkey tribes this time since the Buizel didn’t reach the main part of the forest.”

    “Ah, I see,” Azure responded, bouncing a little. “Mind if I come with you?”

    “Oh, you want to join us on this one?” Sera asked.

    “Well, I was going to try to get myself some more gummis, but an adventure sounds fun,” Azure responded. “That is, if you’re fine with letting me come along.”

    “Sure, why not?” Sera replied, smiling and wagging her tail.

    “Great!” Azure responded, happily bouncing around. “When do we head off?”

    “Well, I think we’ve almost gotten all our preparations done,” Sera said. “We just need to go over a few more things, and then we’re good to go!”

    Azure smiled and followed the three as they made their last few preparations, before walking up to the rescue team HQ. Walking right past other rescue teams who were looking at the bulletin boards and trying to decide on today’s missions, they entered Kala’s room. Sera lightly nudged the sleeping Abra with her paw, waking her up.

    “What year is it…?” Kala mumbled, as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.

    “Hello, Kala,” Sera said, with a friendly smile. “Mind teleporting the four of us over to the entrance of Harmony Forest?”

    “No, I don’t mind…” Kala responded, nodding off.

    “Um…” Sera shook Kala again, waking the Abra up again.

    “Oh, you meant right now, didn’t you…?” Kala said, yawning and stretching. “All right… Here goes…”

    And with a flash of light, the four Pokémon disappeared from the room and Kala could resume her nap until another rescue team showed up. She then remembered that a certain Elgyem had been there last night, asking for her help.

    “Right, I should probably think about what to do about that…” Kala said, yawning. “Hmm… I’ll sleep on it.”

    And so, Kala resumed her nap.

    ----

    Azure followed the rescue team as they explored the first floor of Harmony Forest, which had changed since the bronze rank team was there last. Aside from the vines that were spreading throughout the forest no longer being an obstacle, the entire layout of the floor had changed entirely. Chiaki seemed pretty amazed at how different it looked from the last time they had been there, despite having been told before that mystery dungeons did change like this.

    The only things that stayed the same were the number of floors and what kinds of wild Pokémon might appear within them. The lost Buizel was apparently somewhere on the ninth floor of the dungeon. Sera had asked Blitz to remember what floor it was on, and to help keep track of what floor they were currently on.

    “So, what Pokémon are there to fight around here?” Azure asked, swinging her tail around a little.

    “Well, there are some Ledyba, which I believe we may also have seen in Nectar Woods,” Blitz responded, trying to remember which wild Pokémon inhabited this dungeon. “There were also Shroomish here, and I think there might’ve been Bellsprout…”

    “I see,” Azure replied, bouncing along. “Do you remember anything else?”

    “Hmm… I think there are either Taillow or Starly in here,” Blitz said, thinking for a moment. “Some kind of small bird Pokémon, can’t remember which one at the top of my head… and I believe there are Pachirisu on the later floors.”

    “Doesn’t sound too difficult,” Azure replied.

    “I know I missed a few, though,” Blitz said, looking around. “And remember to be careful with the Shroomish, since they might release spores that can induce sleep, paralyze or poison you.”

    “Yeah, I know about Effect Spore,” Azure responded. “I’ll be careful.”

    The four Pokémon continued exploring the maze of trees, picking up items and fighting off wild Pokémon on the way. As always, Azure was enjoying the chance to explore with Sera and her teammates, and getting to fight. She didn’t think she would ever get tired of going on adventures. Sometimes, when she would look out the windows while helping her mother out in the café, it felt like every part of her just wanted nothing more than to head out and explore.

    This was the third time she had joined Sera and her teammates on a mission, and with her love of adventures, she’d probably make a good rescue team member. Perhaps once she had evolved, she could join their rescue team for real? Azure figured her mother probably wouldn’t mind that, as long as she remembered her curfew.

    Would the rescue team be interested in having her join their team, though? She knew at least that they probably considered her a bit too impulsive and impatient at times. While Sera and Chiaki probably wouldn’t mind letting her join, she wasn’t too sure about Blitz. Sure, he was a nice Pokémon and liked having Azure as a friend, but would he want her as a teammate?

    From what Azure had seen from the interactions between the three of them, Sera often looked to Blitz for advice when it came to the rescue team stuff, as he probably knew more than she did about it. However, Blitz also seemed like he could easily be talked into something by his two teammates if they wanted it enough.

    Was that something Azure could take advantage of? Was it something she wanted to take advantage of?

    “We’re doing pretty well so far,” Blitz commented as they eventually got to the fifth floor of the dungeon. “We’re already over halfway there.”

    “Yeah,” Azure responded, still following along. “This is going by pretty fast.”

    “Well, we did do five missions yesterday,” Sera said with a cheerful smile. “So, I suppose one kind of short mission today is a lot less stressful.”

    “Shame I didn’t meet up with you guys in time to join you on your missions yesterday,” Azure responded, giggling a little. “I probably would’ve enjoyed that.”

    “I guess you would!” Chiaki replied, with his usual cheery attitude. “I bet yesterday’s missions would’ve been even more fun if you had come along!”

    “You really think so?” Azure responded. “Because, I was sort of thinking, that maybe…”

    “Oh, there are the stairs!” Sera said, spotting the stairs to the next floor. “Let’s go!”

    Azure followed the rescue team up the stairs, and attempted to figure out how to ask about the possibility of joining their team at some point. However, she couldn’t seem to figure out what to say, or how to say it. She found this odd, since it wasn’t like her to get all flustered and not be able to get her thoughts across. Maybe this just wasn’t the right time to bring it up.

    “Hmm… Maybe after I evolve…” Azure whispered to herself.

    “Did you say something, Azure?” Chiaki asked, looking over his shoulder at her.

    “Uh… No, I didn’t say anything,” Azure replied, giggling a little.

    “Oh, okay!” Chiaki responded, turning back to helping his teammates keep an eye out for items, wild Pokémon and the stairs.

    Azure decided that she would wait to ask about joining their team until after she had evolved. It seemed like a good idea, at least. For now, she tried to focus on the mission.

    ----

    Elina was sitting under a tree, wondering when to head back to the HQ to see Kala. Kala had told her she would think about it, but had admitted she might not remember to do so. And even if Kala did remember, Elina wasn’t sure if Kala had given it any thought yet. She wasn’t sure what she would do if Kala decided not to teach her to communicate through telepathy.

    If that happened, she’d have to find another Pokémon that could teach her, but she didn’t really know of anyone else who could. She really hoped Kala would agree to help her…

    Suddenly, Kala herself appeared next to Elina in a flash of light, startling the Elgyem.

    “All right, I’ve been thinking about it…” Kala said, still sounding rather sleepy. “And I think I’ve made my decision…”

    Elina tilted her head slightly, and moved a bit closer to the Abra as she anticipated the response. Kala cleared her throat, as if about to speak… only to fall asleep again, leaning against Elina. Elina stared blankly at the snoring Abra for a moment, before shaking her by the shoulders in order to wake her up.

    “Zzzz… Oh! Sorry about that…” Kala responded, rubbing her eyes. “Anyways, about the whole telepathy thing… I’m willing to give it a try…”

    Elina instantly perked up, and looked to Kala to make sure she had heard right, only to find that the Abra had nodded off again. Elina tapped Kala’s shoulder, and the Abra woke up again.

    “Yeah… I’ll try…” Kala said again, yawning. “Not sure if I’ll be any good at it, but whatever…”

    Elina excitedly hugged Kala, who nearly dozed off again, but managed to somehow stay awake this time.

    “You’re welcome…” Kala said, smiling. “But for now, I need to get back to work… See you later…”

    And with that, Kala teleported back to her room in the rescue team HQ and went back to sleep. Elina was relieved that Kala had agreed to help her, and that she didn’t have to worry about it anymore. However, Kala hadn’t specified when her telepathy lessons would begin, so Elina wasn’t sure how that would go. She just hoped that Kala wouldn’t just randomly appear out of nowhere again whenever she decided to start the lessons.

    ----

    Sera and her teammates had now reached the eighth floor of the mystery dungeon leading into the deeper part of Harmony Forest, Azure still following closely behind them. They were only one floor away from the Buizel who needed rescue. Azure kept taking note of how each of the three rescue team members handled the situation at hand; trying to figure out what she could contribute to the group if she joined the team for real.

    Even if she had been doing a decent job while helping them out on a few missions, she would have to change her battling style regardless once she evolved. It was a bit difficult to fully plan ahead when she didn’t yet know the full extent of how her body changing would affect the way she battled.

    “All right, there are the stairs!” Sera said, wagging her tail happily as she walked up to the stairs leading to the next floor. “The client is on the next floor, correct?”

    “Correct,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “So, let’s go help him.”

    The four Pokémon walked up the stairs, and began looking around for the orange otter Pokémon that was lost somewhere on the floor. Azure tried bouncing as high as she could, in hopes of being able to get a glance over the walls and possibly catch a glimpse of where the Buizel was. Despite her best efforts, she wasn’t able to get a good enough view of the dungeon.

    “If only I could bounce a little bit higher…” Azure muttered. “And stay up in the air a little longer, too…”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Sera said, wagging her tail. “Let’s just look around like usual.”

    Azure followed the others, keeping an eye out for the Buizel. After a short while, Blitz was able to pick up on the Buizel’s scent, and helped Sera find out which way it must’ve gone. Following the trail, they soon found the room where the Buizel was. As the Buizel spotted them, he motioned for them to be quiet as there were two white squirrel Pokémon with blue ears and yellow pouches on their cheeks asleep nearby, blue sparks of electricity occasionally rippling through the fur of the sleeping Pachirisu.

    “I think I can get to him without waking the Pachirisu,” Blitz whispered to the other three Pokémon in the group. “Sera, can I borrow the rescue team badge for a moment?”

    Sera gave Blitz the badge, and so the Shinx began making his way towards the Buizel. He made sure to not make much noise as he walked through the grass, and even seemed to have a way to control his breathing to move as quietly as possible. He soon reached the Buizel, and held out the rescue team badge.

    “Thanks,” the Buizel whispered, smiling at Blitz. “I’ll give you your reward at the rescue team HQ later.”

    And with that, the rescue team badge teleported the Buizel out of the dungeon and Blitz made his way back to his teammates.

    “Well done, Blitz,” Sera whispered, taking the rescue team badge back. “Now, let’s get back to the HQ.”

    As the four Pokémon were sent back to the rescue team HQ, the golden flash of light from the rescue team badge as it teleported them out woke up the two Pachirisu. The two electric squirrels sat up and looked around for the source of the light, and when they didn’t see it, decided to move to a different part of the floor.

    ----

    River was taking some customers’ orders when Azure returned to the café. Azure had said goodbye and left right after the rescue team picked up their reward from the Buizel, and gone back to the café so she could tell her mother and Frederick about today’s adventure.

    “So, you’re considering joining Sera’s team?” Frederick asked, while he and Azure cleaned some spilled berry juice off the floor.

    “Yep,” Azure responded, balancing on her tail.

    “Sounds nice,” Frederick replied. “They seem like a good team. Maybe I should try going on a mission with them sometime?”

    “I bet you would enjoy that,” Azure responded, bouncing around cheerfully. “I wouldn’t mind seeing you in action myself, actually.”

    “Oh?” Frederick replied, tilting his head slightly.

    “Well, you’re a dragon,” Azure said. “So, I’m assuming you must have some awesome moves!”

    “Oh, I don’t know if I’m really that awesome,” Frederick replied, with a somewhat sheepish smile. “But thanks anyways.”

    The two continued talking amongst themselves while helping out in the café, until Frederick had to head home. Eventually, it got dark outside, and soon it was time to close up the café for the night and head home. Thanks to a few light crystals set up in certain spots in their house, it wasn’t completely dark when they returned home. Azure began heading to her room, only for River to stop her.

    “Wait just a moment, Azure,” River said, smiling. “I brought something back from the café for you!”

    River then held out a white gummi, which instantly brought a smile to Azure’s face.

    “I saved it just for you!” River said, handing Azure the gummi. “You can go ahead and eat it before you go to bed, if you’d like.”

    “Thanks!” Azure responded, happily eating the white gummi before bouncing over to her room.

    River smiled, and went to write a letter for Azure’s father. She took a blank paper from the top of a stack of blank papers and put it down on the small wooden writing desk in front of her, and then got out the quill and ink. Dipping the quill in the ink, she began writing the letter.

    As she wrote about how Azure was getting close to evolving, and would probably be a Marill the next time her father saw her, she thought about how it was kind of sad that he wouldn’t get to witness his daughter’s evolution. She wondered if Azure felt that way too. Then again, Azure probably wouldn’t let it bother her that much, as she would probably just look forward to telling her father all about whenever he came home.

    River then thought about Azure’s father probably felt about it, since he probably felt bad that he wouldn’t be able to see his daughter evolve. River sometimes forgot to take his feelings into consideration when she thought about how much she wanted him to come home and spend time with them.

    River then looked down at the letter she was writing, taking a few moments to figure out what else to write.

    “… I hope we can all see each other again soon,” River said, reading what she was writing to herself out loud as she continued working on the letter. “But until then, I suppose as long as we keep each other in our hearts, we’re never truly far apart. So, keep up the good work, and I will do the same with my job at the café.”

    It didn’t take much longer before River had finished the letter, and smiled as she looked over it, deciding she was satisfied with it. She left the letter on the desk, deciding to send it when Santos came to deliver the mail the next morning before heading off to work. For now, it was time to sleep.

    ----

    End of chapter 16.

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  24. #49
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    Feb 2005
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    A secret base in route 120.
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    Hello again! Sorry for the wait, but you know, I have that math exam coming up on the 27th that I need to study for, so I'll probably have to work on that this week. However, I've still managed to finish chapter 17.

    Also, my fanfic can now also be read on Fanfiction.net, where so far, I've put up revised versions of the four first chapters. So, feel free to check that out, if you're interested.

    So, anyways, time for chapter 17. Read, review and all that, but most importantly, I hope you enjoy the chapter!

    ----

    Chapter 17: If you had to choose, would you rather be a rock, or a tree?

    ----

    Another new day had begun, and the Pokémon of Fenix town was going about their regular morning routines. Sera and her older siblings were eating breakfast together as usual, making small talk about recent events and things like that. During the breakfast, Sera had noticed that Sirena had kept looking at her.

    “… Do I any food stuck in my teeth, or something?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

    “Oh, I was just wondering if you had any plans for today,” Sirena responded, with a smile on her face.

    “Um… Okay?” Sera replied. “I’m guessing I’ll be going on some mission with Blitz and Chiaki, but we haven’t decided on anything in particular yet. Why do you ask, anyways?”

    “Well, it’s occurred to me that we never really do anything together, you know?” Sirena responded. “So, I was thinking that, maybe we could go somewhere together?”

    “… Do you want something from me?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly. “What is this about?”

    “Oh, Sera, don’t be silly!” Sirena responded, giggling a little. “I just thought it might be nice to spend some time with my little sister!”

    “… No seriously, what do you want from me?” Sera asked, looking somewhat confused.

    “Come on, Sera! It’ll be fun!” Sirena said, with a cheerful smile. “Take a day off from the rescue team stuff; I’m sure your teammates will understand!”

    “… Yoru, Flare, Volt? Do any of you know what’s going on?” Sera asked, looking around at her older brothers for answers.

    “I don’t know, but she’s definitely up to something,” Volt responded. “She’s acting way weirder than she normally does.”

    “Maybe she has a fever?” Yoru said, pressing his paw against Sirena’s forehead. “… Nope, her scaly, yet surprisingly soft skin feels just as cool as it normally does.”

    “Oh, come on, guys,” Sirena said, pushing the Umbreon’s paw away from her forehead. “Is it really that strange that I want to spend some quality time with my little sister?”

    “Yes,” Volt responded bluntly.

    “I’m really confused here…” Sera muttered, unsure what to do.

    “It can’t really do any harm to spend the day with your sister,” Flare said, giving Sera a reassuring smile. “I’m sure you and Sirena will have fun.”

    “You really think so, Flare…?” Sera responded. “Well… Okay, then …”

    “Yay!” Sirena replied, with a happy smile. “Today is going to be fun; I promise you won’t be disappointed!”

    “Uh… Okay,” Sera responded, trying to smile back. “I guess we’ll go once I’ve talked to Blitz and Chiaki.”

    “Be careful, Sera,” Volt whispered. “We don’t know what she’s really after.”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Sera whispered back. “I’m sure I’ll be able to find out what she wants from me once we’re on our own.”

    “Go for it,” Volt responded, smirking.

    ----

    After finishing her breakfast, Sera headed out to see her teammates, albeit leaving the rescue team badge and treasure bag at home. She almost felt it was a little strange to go out without those. She found Blitz and Chiaki, and explained the situation to them.

    “So, Sirena wants to spend some quality time with you?” Blitz asked.

    “Yeah, isn’t it strange?” Sera responded. “What could she be up to?”

    “I wouldn’t know,” Blitz replied, smiling at Sera. “But I hope you have fun.”

    “Thanks,” Sera responded, smiling back. “And since you two are getting the day off, go do whatever you want. Anyways, see you later!”

    “Bye Sera!” Chiaki said, and waved good-bye as Sera left. “Have fun!”

    “Tell me how it went later!” Blitz said.

    After Sera had left, Blitz and Chiaki were left wondering exactly what to do with their day off. They walked around town for a bit while trying to figure that out.

    “Maybe we can head over to the dojo for some training?” Blitz suggested. “I haven’t really had a chance to talk to Hercules these past few days.”

    “You sure that’s what you want to do?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “Oh… Well, if you don’t want to…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “No, it’s fine!” Chiaki responded, smiling at Blitz. “If you want to head over to the dojo, go ahead! I can look around on my own, and see what else there’s to do!”

    “Are you sure?” Blitz asked.

    “It’s no problem, really!” Chiaki replied, still smiling. “I’ll be fine on my own!”

    “Okay, if you say so,” Blitz responded, starting to head over in the direction of the dojo. “See you later.”

    Chiaki began walking around town, wondering what he could do while Sera was spending time with her big sister and Blitz was training at the dojo. As he looked around, he came across a certain Deino.

    “Hi Frederick!” Chiaki said, happily greeting the Deino.

    “Oh, hello,” Frederick responded.

    “So, why aren’t you at the café?” Chiaki asked. “Did River give you the day off?”

    “Yeah, she did,” Frederick responded, nodding his head. “She apparently had to take Azure somewhere, so the café is closed today.”

    “Oh? Where did they go?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “I don’t know,” Frederick responded. “River told me they’d probably be back sometime in the evening, though.”

    “Oh, okay!” Chiaki said, smiling. “I’ve got the day off too!”

    “Cool,” Frederick responded. “So, what are you doing?”

    “I don’t know yet,” Chiaki replied. “What about you?”

    “I don’t really have any plans either,” Frederick responded.

    “So, if you don’t have any plans, and I don’t have any plans, why don’t we try to think of something together?” Chiaki asked, smiling cheerfully.

    “Sounds good to me,” Frederick replied, smiling too.

    The two Pokémon began to walk around together, trying to see if there was anything for them to do. As they looked around, they noticed two other Pokémon, who seemed to be looking for something or someone. One was a blue Pokémon resembling a turtle with a brown and beige shell, and a white tail which vaguely resembled a wave. The other was a small green Pokémon with two red flowers on its head and something resembling a skirt made of green and yellow leaves.

    “Oh, where did he get off to this time?” the Wartortle asked, looking rather frustrated.

    “I really hope we find him soon,” the Bellossom said, trying to stay calm. “It wouldn’t really be a good idea to go on this mission without him…”

    “Excuse me, but is there a problem?” Chiaki asked, walking up to the two Pokémon.

    “Well, we’re heading out on a mission soon, but our teammate seems to have wandered off somewhere again,” the Wartortle responded, looking rather annoyed.

    “Need any help finding him?” Chiaki asked, giving a friendly smile.

    “Oh, that would be nice,” the Bellossom said.

    “What does he look like?” Chiaki asked.

    “He’s a Sudowoodo,” the Wartortle responded. “Basically, a rock type Pokémon that somewhat resembles a tree. So, if you see any moving trees, odds are it’s him.”

    “Got it,” Chiaki replied, looking over at Frederick. “Should we split up to go look for him?”

    “Sure,” Frederick said, nodding his head. “I sort of know what rocks smell like, and if I wander around, I might bump into him!”

    “All right, let’s go!” Chiaki said, and so the two headed off in different directions to help the other rescue team find their missing teammate.

    ----

    Sirena was cheerfully leading the way as she and Sera were making their way over to a lake where Sirena liked to relax. Sera wasn’t too surprised that the water type in the family liked to spend time near a body of water. She still wasn’t sure why Sirena had all of a sudden decided to spend some quality time with her, even inviting her along to her favorite spot.

    “I think you’re really going to like this, Sera!” Sirena said, grinning. “It’s really pretty there!”

    “Yeah, sure…” Sera responded, looking at her older sister suspiciously.

    “Ooh, there it is!” Sirena said, running up to some bushes. “Through here!”

    Sera walked up, and peeked through the bushes, and saw a clear blue lake sparkling in the light of the sun.

    “Wow, that is pretty,” Sera said, taking in the view.

    “It is, isn’t it?” Sirena responded, smiling at Sera. “I bet Amethyst has never taken you anywhere this pretty, huh?”

    “Wait, what was that?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

    “Oh, nothing,” Sirena said, giggling a little. “Come on, let’s go swimming!”

    “Oh, now I know what this is about!” Sera commented, smirking. “You’re jealous of how much I admire Amethyst, and this is yet another one of your attempts to get attention!”

    “What? Where would you get that idea from?” Sirena asked, trying to look innocent.

    “Oh, so this isn’t about Amethyst at all?” Sera responded, with a smug smile.

    “Okay, maybe a little,” Sirena replied, looking down sheepishly. “But I really do want to spend time with you! I can be a cool big sis too!”

    “So, you want to be a cool big sis, huh?” Sera asked. “Well then, let’s see how you do. So, what did you have planned for us to do?”

    “Ooh, well, we can relax by the lake, or I can teach you how to swim!” Sirena responded. “I can also show you some really cool things I can do!”

    “Sounds fun,” Sera replied, following her sister over to the lake.

    ----

    Chiaki had ended up wandering out of town while searching for the Sudowoodo, and was now looking around near the area leading into the Lush Valley. He briefly wondered if the Sudowoodo might’ve wandered into the mystery dungeon, but soon noticed what appeared to be a moving tree standing between two regular trees.

    “That must be him,” Chiaki said, as he walked over to investigate.

    The strange tree was indeed the Pokémon he was looking for, a brown rock type Pokémon with a body vaguely resembling a short thin tree. The Sudowoodo had three green orb-like fingers on the end of each arm, and kept tapping one of them against the side of his face while seeming to be in deep thought.

    “Um… Hello?” Chiaki said, waving to the Sudowoodo. “Are you on a rescue team with a Wartortle and a Bellossom?”

    “And you are?” the Sudowoodo asked, looking down at Chiaki.

    “I’m Chiaki,” Chiaki responded. “I’m part of a rescue team too.”

    “Hmm… Interesting,” the Sudowoodo replied. “I’m Arbolith, and it seems you have met my teammates?”

    “Well, yes,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head. “They’re looking for you.”

    “Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith said, sighing. “I suppose I should head back to town, then…”

    “Why are you out here, by the way?” Chiaki asked.

    “Oh, I was just thinking to myself, wondering who I really am,” Arbolith responded. “Things like that.”

    “You don’t know who you are?” Chiaki inquired, tilting his head slightly. “What do you mean?”

    “Well, look at me,” Arbolith said, gesturing to himself. “I look like a tree; yet, my body is made of rock. So, what am I? Am I a rock, or a tree?”

    “Oh, so you’re wondering who you are in a different way than me, then,” Chiaki responded. “You see, I seem to have lost my memories some time ago, and I haven’t really regained much of it.”

    “Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith responded. “So, you don’t know who you really are either.”

    “No, I don’t,” Chiaki replied, shrugging slightly.

    “I see…” Arbolith responded, thinking for a moment. “So, who do you think I am? Do you think I’m a rock, or a tree?”

    “Uh… You’re a rock type that just happens to kind of resemble a tree…?” Chiaki replied as best as he could.

    “Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith said, nodding slightly. “I suppose that is a good answer…”

    “Glad I could help?” Chiaki replied, trying to put on a friendly smile. “Well, should we head back to town, then?”

    “I suppose we should,” Arbolith responded. “Lead the way.”

    The two Pokémon began walking back into town, however, Arbolith suddenly stopped for a moment. Chiaki stopped as well, wondering what was going on.

    “Is something wrong?” Chiaki asked.

    “I was just wondering…” Arbolith said. “What would you rather be?”

    “Huh?” Chiaki responded, tilting his head slightly.

    “Would you rather be a rock, or a tree?” Arbolith asked, looking thoughtfully at the young Mienfoo.

    “Um… What kind of question is that…?” Chiaki responded, understandably confused at this random question out of the blue.

    “I’m just curious,” Arbolith replied. “If you had to choose, would you rather be a rock, or a tree?”

    “Uh… I don’t really want to be either of those things,” Chiaki responded, shrugging slightly. “I’m fine with being a Mienfoo.”

    “Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith replied, as he and Chiaki continued walking back to town.

    ----

    At the dojo, Hercules watched while Blitz had a practice battle against Lotus and Riley. In mystery dungeons, one would often have to deal with multiple wild Pokémon at once, and in some situations one couldn’t always expect ones teammates to be able to help. Hercules watched how Blitz waited for the right moments to dodge the opponents’ attack, and then using Flash to momentarily blind them and give himself an opportunity to attack.

    “Very good,” Hercules commented, observing the battle. “Have you learned any new attacks recently?”

    “Not that I know of,” Blitz responded, dodging a kick from Riley. “I’ll probably start practicing some new techniques soon, though.”

    “I believe you are strong enough to properly use a Bite attack,” Hercules said.

    “Oh, well…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “I suppose I can at least practice the technique for that one, although I doubt using my fangs in battle is a good idea…”

    “Not if you master the technique,” Hercules said, giving a reassuring smile.

    “I know,” Blitz responded, looking down at the ground. “My father told me that I had to be careful when using my fangs in battle…”

    Hercules motioned for Lotus and Riley to take a break and let him and Blitz have some privacy so they could talk alone.

    “Heard anything from home recently?” Hercules asked.

    “Well… I got a letter from my little sister, asking me if she could come visit me,” Blitz responded. “I haven’t mentioned it to Chiaki yet, and I haven’t figured out what to write back to Lita…”

    “I guess Lita misses her big brother, huh?” Hercules replied.

    “I miss her too,” Blitz said, looking down at the floor. “But… I just don’t know if it’s a good idea to have her come here. Sera and Chiaki are probably going to ask questions, and… I-I don’t know if I’m ready to…”

    “Still afraid of what will happen when your friends find out about the events that led to you coming here?” Hercules asked. “Blitz, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

    “That’s easy for you to say,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “You don’t know what it’s like for others to have already decided what your future will be, and treating you as if that’s the only possible path for you…”

    Hercules glanced down at the floor, unsure what to say to Blitz. He just comfortingly put his hand on Blitz’s shoulder, not knowing how else he could show the Shinx his support.

    “Other Shinx might say I’m lucky, and wish they had my destiny,” Blitz said, his ears drooping down slightly. “But, I’m really just a regular Shinx like them, there’s nothing really special about me…”

    Hercules occasionally nodded his head slightly, to show Blitz he was listening. Blitz needed his support, but at times like these Hercules just didn’t know what to say to him to make him feel better.

    “Why does it have to be me?” Blitz asked, sadly looking down at his own paws. “I’m not like my father, and I’m not any more qualified than any of the other Shinx… So, why do I have to be the one?”

    “Blitz… I know it must be difficult for you to have to deal with the high expectations other have of you, and feeling you can’t live up to them,” Hercules said, comfortingly petting the young Shinx. “Having others decide your life for you because they think that is the best path… I understand that it must be hard for you.”

    “I can’t change my destiny, I can only delay the inevitable,” Blitz muttered, sounding as if he was on the verge of crying. “I’m pathetic, really…”

    “Blitz, that’s not true,” Hercules responded. “You’re an intelligent and brave young Shinx, and you’re always trying to do your best.”

    “I’m not brave,” Blitz replied, sighing. “If I were brave, wouldn’t I be able to face this instead of trying to hide from it?”

    “It’s a complicated situation, and I understand that it must be difficult to deal with,” Hercules responded, giving a reassuring smile. “Even I don’t know how to deal with it, but I’m sure in time, you will find a way.”

    “You think so?” Blitz asked, rubbing his forelegs together.

    “Yeah,” Hercules replied, patting Blitz on the head. “I’m sure another path will open up, just give it some time.”

    “I don’t think that’ll happen,” Blitz responded, looking up at Hercules. “But thanks, anyways.”

    “Anytime, kid,” Hercules replied, smiling at Blitz. “Feeling better now?”

    “A little,” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly.

    “Good,” Hercules said. “Let’s take a short break before resuming your training, okay?”

    “Okay,” Blitz replied, giving a small smile.

    Blitz sat down to rest for a moment, while Hercules went to check on some of the other Pokémon that were training at the dojo this day. He was glad Hercules was willing to take the time to listen to him and give him advice, and acted as his mentor without treating it as preparations for the future that had been chosen for him…

    ----

    Sera watched as Sirena swam around, moving swiftly, yet elegantly through the water. Sera had to admit that she was interested in seeing a side of Sirena that she had never seen before now, even if she knew that Sirena was doing it partially out of her usual desire for attention.

    “Hey, Sera? You want to come in now?” Sirena asked, cheerfully swimming up to her younger sister. “Your big sis can teach you how to swim!”

    “You sure I’m able to do that?” Sera responded, tilting her head slightly. “I mean, I don’t really have the fishy tail and all the other stuff that makes you move so fast in the water.”

    “Don’t worry,” Sirena replied. “Even if you can’t swim as fast as me, I can still teach you a few things.”

    “Well… Okay then,” Sera responded. “I’ll give it a try.”

    Sera carefully stepped into the water, Sirena offering to let Sera hold onto her tail if she had trouble staying floating. Sera somewhat clumsily moved around the water, not entirely sure how to move forward. While her instincts at least gave her some clue as to what she was supposed to be doing, she found herself moving slowly.

    “Don’t worry if it goes a little slow at first, that’s normal,” Sirena said, smiling at her little sister. “When swimming, you should make every movement count.”

    “Well, what do I do, then?” Sera asked, splashing around a little.

    “First of all, don’t splash around like that,” Sirena responded, giggling a little. “You’ll just use up your energy that way.”

    “Oh,” Sera replied, calming down a little.

    “Try following my lead,” Sirena said, smiling at Sera. “Feel free to hold onto my tail if you need to.”

    “Okay,” Sera responded, trying her best to follow her sister.

    ----

    After bringing Arbolith back to his teammates, Chiaki met up again with Frederick. He had found the Deino bumping his head against a rock, asking it if it was the Sudowoodo. Chiaki and Frederick walked around town, wondering what else they could do.

    “So, Sera is spending time with her big sister today?” Frederick asked.

    “Yeah,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head slightly. “I hope they’re having fun.”

    “And Blitz is training at the dojo?” Frederick asked.

    “Yep,” Chiaki replied. “Hercules is his mentor, after all!”

    “Huh, that’s cool,” Frederick responded. “There must be something special about Blitz if Hercules is training him personally.”

    “Why do you think that?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “Well, I don’t know this Hercules very well, but if he really is Blitz’s mentor, then there must be something special about him, right?” Frederick said, pausing to think about whether what he was saying made sense. “Do Pokémon running dojos normally take on apprentices like that?”

    “Hmm… I don’t really know,” Chiaki responded, shrugging slightly. “Blitz says that he’s just like any other Shinx.”

    “Maybe I’m just overthinking things?” Frederick wondered out loud. “That seems so unlike me, though…”

    “I’m sure there’s nothing to be worried about,” Chiaki responded.

    Even as he said it was probably nothing to be worried about, now Chiaki couldn’t help but wonder just why Hercules had taken on the position as Blitz’s mentor. All Blitz had said on the matter was that he came to train because he was having trouble getting proper training back home, but was that really all there was to it?

    The more he thought about it, the more he wondered how well he really knew Blitz. It hadn’t occurred to him earlier, but it seemed Blitz was avoiding answering certain questions, saying he would answer them later only to not bring it up again. Maybe Sera knew why he acted that way?

    “Azure has been telling me about the adventures she’s had with you guys,” Frederick said.

    “Oh?” Chiaki replied, looking at the Deino.

    “Yeah, and it sort of makes me want to go on a mission with you guys sometime,” Frederick responded, nodding his head slightly.

    “Ooh, that would be fun!” Chiaki replied, smiling cheerfully.

    “You think Sera and Blitz would be okay with that?” Frederick asked.

    “Of course they would!” Chiaki responded.

    “Well, maybe when I’ve got time, we can try to make that happen?” Frederick asked, tilting his head slightly.

    “Sure we can!” Chiaki said, excitedly jumping around.

    “Cool,” Frederick responded, smiling. “So… I guess we’ll do that sometime, then.”

    ----

    At the lake, Sirena helped Sera back onto land, as Sera had gotten tired after swimming after Sirena for a while. Sirena got out of the water as well, and lay down to relax on the grass next to her little sister.

    “I have to admit, spending time with you was fun,” Sera said, smiling at her older sister.

    “It was?” Sirena asked, grinning. “So, does that mean I’m your new role model now, instead of Amethyst?”

    “Well, Amethyst is better at giving me advice about other things,” Sera responded. “But it seems you can teach me some things that she can’t, so I guess you can both be my role models.”

    “Meh, I suppose that’s good enough for me,” Sirena replied.

    “You know, Sirena, I think I like you better when you’re not always trying to one-up Amethyst,” Sera said. “Maybe you should spend less time trying to be like Amethyst, except better than her, and instead just do what you can do that she can’t do?”

    “You think so?” Sirena asked, tilting her head slightly. “Amethyst is like, everyone’s favorite.”

    “Well, that’s because Amethyst is awesome,” Sera replied, wagging her tail. “But you can be awesome too, in a different way.”

    “Thanks, Sera,” Sirena responded, smiling. “You know, I had fun today too, we should spend time together more often!”

    “Yeah, we should,” Sera agreed, smiling back.

    While Sirena could be annoying at times, Sera had to admit, she wouldn’t mind spending more time with her. Plus, learning how to swim would probably be useful for rescue team missions. Of course, with rescue team work and such, it could be difficult to find time for that, but hopefully she and Sirena could work something out.

    ----

    End of chapter 17

    ----
    Formerly known as EeveeandKirliafan.

    Check out my fanfic! Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

    Latest chapter: Chapter 34: "It'd be nice if something really big could happen soon..."

    Also, for those interested in Winx Club: A Wizard's Perspective

  25. #50
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    Sep 2007
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    No reviews since Chapter 13? Pity...

    Anyway, I'm still really liking what I'm seeing. One thing I've noticed is you pace yourself really well in terms of revealing things about the story and the world - You keep us guessing while revealing just the right amount of info at a time.

    And your characters continue to excel. (Arbolith~)

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
    Oneshots and perhaps fanfics coming soon.

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