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PMD: Odyssey to Dawn

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
CHAPTER INDEX
Chapter 1: Prepare for Dawn
Chapter 2: Crawl a Dungeon
Chapter 3: The Darkness of The Dungeon; Kalledes
Chapter 4: Farewell
Chapter 5: The Burning Forest
Chapter 6: The Storm is Coming
Chapter 7: Blue Swarm


Chapter 1: Prepare for Dawn



By the grace of the divines and the brave who fought for us, The beast of shadows has fallen, but the damage from chaos he brought with him will forever be felt. With his dying breath, he laid a curse upon our guardians to corrupt them using their own darkest fears. The beast of shadows also swore to return and seize the power of the divines once more. We hope we won't live to see the day that occurs. But for now, the sun shall rise and peace will reign once more. Let us prepare for dawn.

**(C)**​

A gentle breeze blew through the wild flower vines of a sloped ditch surrounded by mossy rocks and ferns. It sent pollen grains and dandelion seeds drifting away. A young minccino laid there, curled up, and sleeping underneath the shade of rocks while a ribombee gathered pollen in a small hand woven sash. The ribombee put her head into a flower cup and withdrew it with pollen grains all over her short delicate hair. After that, she then collected the pollen into her thin arms and rolled them up then placed them into the sash. Alright, I think I've collected enough nectar and pollen. Now to wake him up so we can head back.

"Wake up, Harvey!" she yelled into the minccino's ear.

His eyes pried open when he woke up. He grumbled a few times and began to close his eyes again. "Harvey!" she shouted at him again.

"I'm up!" Harvey groaned as he rubbed his eyes slowly. He unwrapped his long bushy tail from around himself—which he was using as a pillow—and then stretched his paws while his long white tipped ears fluttered a bit. "I'm awake… You can stop your yelling now." Harvey ended his sentence with a sigh. He glanced at the pink ribombee that woke him. "Are you done already, Rubee?"

Rubee buzzed her wings as she zipped around over his head. "Of course, I am! Now get up! It's time head back home and start making some pollen puffs!" When he didn't oblige, she started pulling on his ears. "Come on! Get up! You lazy bum!"

"Ow, ow, ow! Quit doing that!" Harvey leapt up, fully awake. He held the white tips of his ears and groaned. "Geez! You didn't have to pull on my ears!"

"let's get going. You don't want to keep Moga waiting too long now, do you?"

"Hey don't forget, you're the one who dragged us all the way out here in the first place." Harvey groggily rubbed his eyes and yawned. He climbed down the rock he was standing on and dropped to the mossy ground. He shuddered as soon as his feet touched the ground. "I don't suppose you could carry me out of here? I really don't want to have to touch any more of these things. They give me goosebumps." Harvey flailed his paw around after getting a bit of moss on it.

"Sure, Mr. Cleanfreak!" Rubee chuckled and unstrapped her sash. "Hold this first."

Harvey collected the sash and wore it around his shoulder. He smiled and lifted his paws up. "Up and away, Rubee!"

Rubee rolled her eyes at him and shrugged. She wrapped her hands around his chest and started flapping her wings until a faint buzzing sound could be heard. Soon, Harvey could feel his feet leaving the ground as she rose him up towards the mouth of the ditch. "You know, Rubee, it never ceases to amaze me how you're able to carry me even though you're like, twice smaller than me."

"What can I say? You're pretty light! I could probably carry you for a couple of hours without breaking a sweat."

"You can?! Why don't we do that now?"

"Nice try." She put him back on the ground once they were out of the ditch. "Can't be bothered. You have two… four strong legs that can carry you around."

Harvey groaned. He scratched his head and smirked. "Well, it was worth a shot."

Rubee chuckled and pulled the sash off him, exposing the strange blue mark he had always had on his back for as long as she could remember. It looked like an inverted anchor with a wide flattened crown, slightly curved in arms and a slightly blunted base. A round black oval sat in the middle of the crown, building contrast against the blue mark.

"I guess you'll just have to learn how to fly on your own. Maybe you'll grow wings when you evolve someday!"

Harvey sighed. I don't think I'll have wings even when I evolve. Come to think of it, can a human-turned pokemon evolve anyway?

"Hey, I was only joking! I could fly you home now if you want."

Harvey waved his paw dismissively. "No thanks. I think I'll just walk."

"Okay. Suit yourself!"

**(C)**​

They walked past a wide tree on their way back. It was so tall, they couldn't see the topmost branches from where they stood.

The forest was filled with those kinds of trees along with other smaller ones in between. The roots sometimes emerged above the ground and molded the terrain around them and their branches stretched out for several meters, blocking out a good deal of the sunlight. They were called Sky Arrows by the locals, and despite their wondrous nature, the rest of the world was mostly unaware of them.

As Rubee buzzed in the air, Harvey walked on an outstretched root. He half listened to Rubee as she rambled on and on about all the kinds of pollen puffs she was going to make that afternoon. He remained mostly distant and absentminded for most of the walk until Rubee paused when she noticed that he wasn't listening to her at all.

She hovered in front of his face with her cheeks puffed up. "Hey! Did you even hear a single word I said this whole time?!"

"What? Oh, of course I was listening, one hundred percent!" He joked.

"Yeah? What was the last word I said?"

Harvey rose his hand to speak, but he slowly lowered it back down. "Okay, you got me."

"Seriously Harvey," she said with a sigh. "It's like your head is always in the clouds these days."

"I'm sorry. It's just that… I've been having these strange thoughts lately…"

"What kind of thoughts? Oh, you must be thinking of how great a sister I am all the time!" she joked, nudging him on the arm.

"What? No!" He pushed her face away. "I've been thinking of home. Every time I go to sleep, I keep having dreams about where I came from… Also, It's been six years, Rubee." Harvey sat down on a large root that grew out of the ground. "I still have no idea why I got here or even how to get back."

Rubee gave him a dismissive wave with her hand while hovering in front of his face. "Didn't Moga tell you to cut it out? You've been having these dreams for months now. None of those things are real. What's real is what you see now, Harvey… This is your home."

Harvey frowned and placed his paw on his chin. "Is it really though…?"

She sighed and shook her head. It wasn't that she didn't believe in his crazy stories, it just worried her a bit whenever he brought it up. Rubee knew that it was only a matter of time before he started thinking of doing something crazy, and she didn't want to be a part of it.

Harvey stopped walking once he could see the village in the near distance.

"What's wrong?" Rubee asked.

He lifted his paw up as though he were going to grasp onto something. He wore a determined smile on his face and his chest stiffened. "I think I'm going to leave. I have to. I want to go back to where I came from. I won't learn anything if I keep staying in one place all my life… I need to go to the world beyond this place and find answers."

Rubee deadpanned. "Good luck convincing Moga about that." She didn't know how to react to his sudden resolve. There was no point in trying to make him change his mind at that point. Once Harvey decided on something, he always saw it through to the end. It was something she both liked and despised about her brother.

"I don't care if he's not fine with it. I mean, it's about time we went out to see the world for ourselves, don't you think?"

"Don't know about you, but I'm pretty comfortable with the life I'm currently living. I don't want to go into a dangerous mystery dungeon just to see what's on the other side of the world. Sometimes, it's best to just appreciate what you have without asking for more."

"Come on, Rubee. Don't you want to know where you came from too?"

She did not respond. Rubee stared blankly the ground as she moved forward, thinking about the faint thoughts she had of her earliest childhood. Both she and Harvey weren't originally from the village. She recalled the first time they had even met. It was the day when Harvey found her injured, wingless and lost near a creek. By the time he'd found her, she had lost her memories of home and was very weakened. Yet, he helped her to recover up until her wings grew back. They'd been an inseparable duo ever since.

"Now that you mention it, I do wonder how I ended up there all those years ago…"

"We can go find out together, if you come with me that is." Harvey stopped and held out his hand towards her. "Well? What do you say?"

Rubee was tempted to agree with him. Though she wouldn't admit it, she too wanted to see the rest of the world and explore its wonders. She really wanted to push back her desires and turn him down, but the puppy look he gave her made her to give in. She sighed. "Fine! if by some miracle Moga allows us to leave the village, then I'll come with you. But if he refuses, then that's too bad."

"Haha! At least I know I won't be alone out in the world now," Harvey said, smiling.

**(C)**​

They arrived back at the village a short while later by sundown. The village wasn't very large, but it was still moderately populated. The houses were made of wood harvested from the surrounding forests. Most of them were carved out hollows of already standing trees. Some of the settlers even went ahead and carved in multiple floors in their tree houses. Although they made multiple windows and such, it was a miracle that the trees managed to thrive and not fall.

The villagers were mainly from three Pokémon species; sawsbucks, brelooms and shiftrees. They were all grass type pokemon, excluding Harvey and Rubee. Due to that, they both sometimes felt like outcasts. However, they have since grown accustomed to living amongst all the other different pokemon, and they were sometimes given special treatment because of that.

They headed towards the largest tree growing at the heart of the village. That was where the village chief, Moga, lived. It was wide and it had branches stretching out in all directions. The tree had a thick, rough bark that was old and sturdy. Its leaves were bountiful and pinnately compound. There was also a wooden door at the front and a stone slab at the base, forming a floor mat of sorts. Two windows sat on two sides of the tree. Both were carved above large branches which vines hung down from as they swayed back and forth whenever wind blew past them. The tree vines were cut periodically, but they always grew back in a few months. Harvey and Rubee took turns doing it.

They say that it was the first tree in the forest when the villagers first settled there a little over two centuries ago. The village chief at the time, with the help of other villagers, carved the first tree house. It's a bit murky how the other trees came around, but it's general belief among the villagers that it was the guardian of forests and flowers, Shaymin, that created them.

Harvey knocked on the door three times and then turned the knob. "Moga, we're back!" they announced as they entered the house.

Almost everything inside the house was wooden. The chairs, tables, utensils, cleaning equipment, the list goes on.

There was a large living room inside where some couches were placed in case people came to visit. A straw mat was spread in the middle of the couches and a large chair stood at the end of the room where the chief sat. Numerous paintings hung on the walls ranging from landscapes to portrait images. They were gifts from the other settlers.

"Ah! You have returned, Harvey and Rubee." Moga gestured them to come over with his hand. "How was your day?"

"It was great! I found some new flowers not far away!" Rubee said, quickly downplaying the distance they actually went to get the flowers. "I can't wait to see the kind of pollen puffs I can make with them!"

"I just hope they won't be poisonous this time," Harvey grumbled. Rubee always had him try out the pollen puffs first whenever she made them using new flowers.

She then scoffed at him. "I apologized about last time, okay?! Stop bringing it back up every chance you get."

Moga watched as the two half siblings quarreled, and that prompted him to smile almost proudly. He was seated on a chair and held a walking stick in front of him. The shiftree was the oldest settler in the village. The leaves on his hands had grown crimson, and his hair was rough to the touch as a result of his old age.

"Now stop that you two, you can settle your differences later," he said. "Rubee dear, could you get me some water?"

Rubee silently abided and buzzed her way to the kitchen to get the water. She left her sash behind on the floor as she left. Harvey picked it up and hung it on a rack next to a window. He then closed the door they left open and used his tail to sweep the dirt they'd carried in with them.

"So, how's your training with Oldu? What new techniques has he thought you?"

"What? Oh… well, so far, I've only learned how to do quick attacks and well…" He turned his tail white and jagged as he turned around, before saying, "And whatever this move is supposed to be. I think I'll call it tail slap." He swung it playfully at the air in demonstration.

"Impressive. You're growing quite nicely, young man." Moga nodded. His lips then curved into a smile. "You almost remind me of myself when I was your age."

"Heheh, thanks for the compliment…"

Harvey then grew quiet. He was feeling nervous about how he would approach telling Moga about what was currently on his mind. He scratched the back of his ear and stared at the ground.

"Is everything alright?" Moga snapped him out of his thoughts.

"Oh, I was just thinking… well… there's something I need to let you know."

At that time, Rubee was about to fly into the room while holding the bowl of water over her head to avoid getting wet. But she stayed behind the door and decided to listen to see how things would go.

"What is it? Please don't tell me it's about those dreams of yours about another life again."

Harvey swallowed, then continued. "Actually, it's more than just that. I've done a lot of thinking lately, and I decided, I'm going."

"Going? Where to?"

"I want to leave the village and find a way to get back home. It's high time I did that. I'll never learn anything if I stay here." He turned around and pointed at his back. "I also need to know what this mark on my back means."

Moga let out an exasperated sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Listen Harvey, what you're trying to do is too reckless for me to approve."

"It'll be alright, I promise! I can take care of myself out there in the world. And I know there's a whole world out there beyond this village which is why—"

"Harvey… I understand that you feel lost and confused at times. We all do. But I cannot let you go on with this… You must not leave this village under any circumstance. The only way out of this village is through Kalledes Dungeon. You know that It's a very dangerous place. None of the people that went to that dungeon ever came back alive. It's the price our people had to pay when they settled here. What makes you think you can do what others couldn't?"

"You always say that Kalledes is dangerous and to stay away from it! But who's to say that all those other people just wanted to go out and see what's out there and not come back? I wouldn't know whether if it's really dangerous as you make it sound unless I go there and see it for myself."

"Then you're willing to throw your life away? At what cost? How do you even know whether you'll find the answers you're looking for? You'll just end up on a wild goose chase, and that's even if you can survive the monster at the end of the dungeon you're so eager to go into!" Moga stopped to catch his breath. He used his stick to get up and walk a few steps towards Harvey. "Just forfeit this Harvey. You have everything you need here. There are nice people, abundant food, clean water, what more could you ask for?"

"My parents. Can this village provide that?"

Moga glared at him. "Watch your tongue, young man! Go to your room, now!"

Harvey gritted his teeth and ran his way upstairs. He passed Rubee on his way and almost pushed the bowl she was holding to the ground.

Rubee's eyebrows lowered in sympathy at him as she entered the room to fulfill Moga's request. "Here's the water you asked for…"

"Oh, thank you Rubee." Moga stood in front of his chair and exhaled. "I fear for that boy these days." He muttered to himself. "There's still so much that he doesn't know."

Rubee gently kept the bowl on the table near the chair and lowered her head. She took her hung sash and glanced at Moga momentarily. "I'll go and make some pollen puffs now. Would you like some?"

"Yes please, dear." He smiled. "I could use some."

**(C)**​

Harvey sat against the wall inside his small room. He silently stared at the night sky through his window. All he could see was the faint light of a moon shrouded behind the clouds. He tucked in his toes, and clenched his hands.

His bed was a bucket stuffed with a large cushion. Despite how it looked, though, it was comfortable for him. When he looked at it, it was as if it were begging Harvey to come and sleep on it.

Harvey sank his head into his arms and tugged at his own fur.

He was feeling frustrated. At the same time, he was feeling bad for being rude to Moga like that. Even still, why wouldn't Moga trust him to take care of himself? Was that 'dangerous' dungeon really as bad as it sounded? Perhaps Moga was merely exaggerating for his safety. Maybe those people that didn't come back simply didn't want to come back like he'd thought.

Or maybe Moga was right… maybe it was better if he just left all his past behind him and forgot about everything… But he missed his parents too much. He wanted his old life back. He never asked to become a pokemon in the first place and there was no way he could ever become satisfied with his life the way he was. If Moga wouldn't allow him to leave, he had only one other option. He'd have to sneak out.

"I don't care how dangerous that 'dungeon' may be, I'm still going. If it means seeing Mom and Dad again, I'd be happy to do anything even if it means sneaking out."

A few knocks came from the door, followed by a familiar buzz. "Harvey? Would you like some pollen puffs? It's buttercup flavored."

"No, thank you." He spoke audibly enough to be heard.

"Oh, okay then. Can I come in anyway?"

"No, I want to be alone right now."

"I see…"

She left.

**(C)**​

Some hours passed. Harvey watched through his window as the last lights got put out. He gulped and turned to look at his door for a few seconds. He then got down from the window and grabbed a small bag to carry all the things he would need on his journey. The first thing he took was his blanket. Too bad his bag wasn't big enough for him to carry his bed along with him as much as he'd wanted to. The next thing he took was his hand-crafted bow along with some makeshift arrows to go along with it.

He gently unlocked the door and scanned the corridors to see if anyone was there. It was all clear. He went down on his front paws and tip toed his way through. As he passed by Rubee's room, he noticed that her door was open. When Harvey was able to pick up faint snores from the other side of the door, he proceeded ahead.

Harvey went downstairs, creating as little noise as possible in his tracks. He went to the storage room and took some berries. That was all he thought he'd need initially. Taking money was completely out of the question. He only took the berries because Moga gave them the privilege to take them any time they wanted, but he'd have to steal to get his hands on money. He could live with being disobedient, but not as a thief.

Harvey shook his head and went to the front door. It was locked as expected, and Moga was with the key.

He tip toed back to his room and climbed out through the window. Not cutting off those hanging vines on time had paid off. Climbing down them was easy and he was finally out of the house. He stared back up the window; the same window that he fell out of when he and Rubee were fighting over the last pollen puff. The tall tree that he had learned to climb when he was only as tall as Moga's knees. The very same tree they used to sneak into for berries before Moga took them in. All those memories, and he was leaving them behind.

"Goodbye everyone. Thank you for taking care of me through all these years." Harvey turned around and ran on all fours. The sooner he got to the dungeon and went into it, the better it'd be, and the lower his chances of being thwarted would become.

**(C)**​

Harvey stopped to catch his breath as he encountered a cliff. Ahead of him was an old bridge. Ahead of the bridge was the entrance to Kalledes Dungeon, which he could faintly see underneath the moonlight. It was as if it was plastered to the side of the large steep wall that surrounded the forest they were in. Harvey always had a feeling that the village was probably inside an impact crater of some kind, and that pretty much reaffirmed him. A sense of relief and regret hit him at the same time. Was he really going to leave everyone behind and march into what could be his demise?

Harvey slapped his cheeks and shook his face. "I have to do this. It's like Dad always used to tell me, 'move forward no matter what'"

"You're really leaving?"

His heart sink to his stomach when he heard that voice. Harvey slowly turned his head over his shoulder to look at the person. "Rubee? I thought you were asleep."

"I guess you must've woken me up." She gave him a condescending look. "Actually, I couldn't sleep at all."

Harvey clenched his paw and turned around to look at her properly. "If you're here to stop me, then give it up. I've already made up my mind, Rubee. I'm leaving."

She put her hand on her red scarf-like filament. "I could stop you now if I wanted to. I can cut down the bridge you're about to cross. It'd be easy… But that's not what I'm here to do."

"Huh?" He rose his brow in confusion.

"I'm coming with you." Her mouth curved into a smile. "You did ask me to come with you before, didn't you?"

"Didn't you say that you wouldn't come with me if Moga didn't allow it?" His expression turned to that of confusion. "Why change you mind now?"

"I had a change of heart. I want to come with you on your crazy quest."

"You don't have to do this if you don't really want to. I don't want to make you feel like you're being forced to do anything. I'm not."

"We made a promise a long time ago, remember? That we'd always be together, through thick and thin, no matter what. Besides, you once told me that you're nothing without me, and I'm nothing without you either." She flew in front of him and swung her hand. "So, come on, let's go show whatever's in that dungeon who's boss."

Harvey felt a bit embarrassed. He grinned. "Alright then, suit yourself."

They stopped in front of the dungeon entrance. It was round and curved. The entrance was entirely made of thick vines and plants. There was a large bulb that grew over it. It seemed to be where all the vines were growing out from.

Harvey heard his voice echo inside the dark tunnel entrance when he spoke. He and Rubee exchanged looks and then nodded at each other. They had reached the point of no return. There was no going back. They'd made their choice and their paths were set. They entered the dungeon, and disappeared into its darkness.
 
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DeliriousAbsol

Call me Del
Firstly - love the opening line! I'm a firm believer in writing a catchy opening line as a hook and you've nailed it =D

The characters also have distinct personalities, and the banter and conversations certainly show they've been friends/family for quite some time. I'm curious about that mark on the MCs back. I can't quite picture it tbh.

I'm also interested as to how you'll incorporate Mystery Dungeons into this story. It's something that works in game premises and seeing it in an actual novel format will be interesting. I can't seem to write them without them being crack fiction and playing on humor, and since I avoid writing fantasy I can't think of a realistic reason for them to exist. So I look forward to how you write it =D

A couple of things I'd like to point out:

When you're writing speech (this is something I had an issue with and received fantastic help for so I'm passing it on!), as a rule, words that follow speech, even after punctuation, should be written in lower case unless it's a name. So for example:

"What? Oh, of course I was listening, one hundred percent!" He joked.

Here it should be 'he joked' with a lower case 'h'.

"Seriously Harvey," She said with a sigh.

And here it should be 'she said'.

There are times you got it right, however, like here:

"Now stop that you two, you can settle your differences later," he said. "Rubee dear, could you get me some water?"

However, following with an action doesn't use this rule.

"What? Oh… well, so far, I've only learned how to do quick attacks and well…" He turned his tail white and jagged as he turned around, before saying, "And whatever this move is supposed to be. I think I'll call it tail slap." He swung it playfully at the air in demonstration.

So this is correct.

I'd also suggest adding a bit more indication as to who is talking, as it can get a bit hard to follow at times.

I'm also wondering if there is a mistake in this section?

"Harvey… I understand that you feel lost and confused at times. We all do. But I cannot let you go on with this… You must not leave this village under any circumstance"

"The only way out of this village is through Kalledes Dungeon.

The end of the first part has no punctuation then runs on while still being Moga talking. Are they meant to be joined together? Just perchance this is a mistake you overlooked while editing. It can be hard without a second pair of eyes to spot every mistake.

I hope this helps. I often shy away from offering criticism, but these are pointers that have helped me and I hope they help you also =D

This is a fantastic start and I look forward to the next chapter!! =D
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
I'm also interested as to how you'll incorporate Mystery Dungeons into this story. It's something that works in game premises and seeing it in an actual novel format will be interesting. I can't seem to write them without them being crack fiction and playing on humor, and since I avoid writing fantasy I can't think of a realistic reason for them to exist. So I look forward to how you write it =D

Yeah, they're going to play a major role in the story as i plan on revealing why they exist in the first place at some point.

The end of the first part has no punctuation then runs on while still being Moga talking. Are they meant to be joined together? Just perchance this is a mistake you overlooked while editing. It can be hard without a second pair of eyes to spot every mistake.

This part totally slip through my fingers. There was initially a response from Harvey after the first one, but i deleted it due to some contrivances and ended up forgetting to merge the aforementioned dialogues.

I hope this helps. I often shy away from offering criticism, but these are pointers that have helped me and I hope they help you also =D

This is a fantastic start and I look forward to the next chapter!! =D

It did help me a lot. I'd like to thank you for that. I'm also glad you liked the story. It means a lot to me that you do. In any case, i'm updating the story somewhere next month until i've written enough chapters to call it a season.
 

Negrek

Lost but Seeking
New story, huh? From what I understand you've been planning it for quite a while.

This is a nice, kind of quiet opening, too. It puts me in mind of a LoTR or maybe LoZ opening, where the hero lives in this isolated, idyllic sort of village, but who is called away to seek their fortune in the wider world. A classic start, but not one you see very often for PMD stories. We have the usual human-turned-pokémon, but after hanging around for six years it's clear if Harvey was transformed for a special purpose, he hasn't found what it is yet. I also like the ambiguity over Rubee; she can't remember her past, so it isn't clear whether she's a straight-up ribombee or also a transformed human, and what her place in the world might be.

Something I'd like to have seen a little more of was more actual playing out of the problems Harvey mentions he and Rubee feel like outsiders in a village full of grass-types, or how much Harvey misses his parents. It would really give a sense of Harvey's restlessness, why he finally feels he has to leave. Right now the story says that he feels like an outsider, but if you hadn't included the line I never would have guessed. Likewise Harvey apparently misses his parents, but he never actually thinks of them at all in concrete terms. What is it about his parents that he misses? Are there any particular memories that are special to him? It would help to get more concrete details about these things in order to better understand Harvey's impetus to leave the village, what exactly it is that he longs for and can't find in the village.

I really like the way you describe Moga. The idea of an old shiftry having autumn-colored leaves is super cool. I also liked Harvey's line about how the village doesn't contain his parents. Zing!

DeliriousAbsol already mentioned how dialogue punctuation works, and yeah, mechanics continue to be your biggest problem. I believe you have a beta reader for this story? (If so, just as a side note, it's nice to give them a little credit somewhere in there!) In that case you'll hopefully get to work more fully on writing mechanics with them. DeliriousAbsol gave you a great guide to dialogue punctuation, which is probably your most persistent and obvious issue.

In any case, this looks like a promising start, and I look forward to seeing what you do with the mystery dungeon idea. Different authors treat dungeons very differently, and it's always cool to see what people come up with. Also, I have to say that I like the title a lot. I'll be interested to follow this one.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Interesting start! You've pretty much jumped right into the plot right away with Harvery embarking on his quest already, and I can get behind that. The characters' personalities came through pretty well--they already feel quite distinct, and there is a definite sense that they have been together for a long time and have come to rely on each other. I liked the way you conveyed to the reader that Harvey is a human-turned-Pokemon. It was dropped in casually in a way that felt quite natural. I am a bit curious about Rubee's backstory, though. I mean, it could just has well have been she got lost and injured while very young, or there could be something more complicated going on there... who knows! And then of course, there's the mark on Harvey's back, which implies some sort of greater destiny in all this. I mean... humans are rarely pulled into the Pokemon world for no reason! I'll be interested to see where this goes.

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Cutlerine

Gone. Not coming back.
Nice start! This already feels substantially more thought-out and better paced than your last story; it feels like the time and effort you've put into planning it out have really paid off. The world feels more concrete, the characters are more fleshed-out, and the plot much more present: this chapter had a nice structure of its own, and it also felt like it was building towards something more.

You give the reader a lot of information to absorb, and actually I don't think you handle it badly at all – there are very few places where you as a reader feel like you've wandered too far from the actual story, because you tie a lot of your information to the characters themselves. However, one thing that might make this aspect stronger is to show some of this through dialogue and interaction, rather than simply stating it outright. For instance, with the vines that hang over the windows, you could communicate that they needed to be cut every so often and that they take turns doing so by having either Harvey or Rubee notice they're getting long again as they pass and saying “we need to cut the vines” and have the other go “it's your turn” or something like that. Or with the complications you mention with them not being grass-types – that would also be quite nice to have shown to the reader, rather than simply being told it's a thing that happens sometimes.

It's interesting that you choose to take mystery dungeons literally; they don't really make much sense to me except as a game mechanic, so I'll be awaiting your take on them with some anticipation. And your world in general is very interesting, too – there are a lot of details here to like, from the impact crater village (although how does Harvey know it's that rather than just a bluff or something?) to the shiftry's leaves going autumnal in his old age. (You misspell that as 'shiftree' on occasion, by the way.) It's these little touches that help bring a place to life, and I'll definitely be looking forward to future details of that sort. Overall – strong start. Good luck with chapter two!
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
Chapter 2: Crawl a Dungeon


"What is this place?!" Rubee said as she drifted about, taking in the bizarreness of the dungeon.

"So, this is a mystery dungeon… Not what I was expecting." Harvey muttered under his breath as he adjusted the strap of his bag. He tugged his lips and scanned the environment. He they were in a large, quiet, and humid room.

His foot brushed against the moist soil. He squatted down and took some with his paw. It wasn't odious; that was a good thing. It also looked like the ordinary soil that could be found anywhere else. It turned out that not everything in a mystery dungeon would be as otherworldly as they'd thought.

He scanned the walls surrounding them. They were molded with dry, hardened surfaced vines. Even stranger was they formed unusual twisted patterns. Some patterns were round, rod-like, shaped like letters and there was a long series of them waving across the walls to depict a stream, or something else entirely. There was no way they could tell. Neither of them was an archeologist, an explorer, nor a historian.

Harvey rubbed his paw against the wall as they walked to it. He glanced at Rubee, whom was just as mesmerized by it. "What do you think all these symbols mean?" he asked.

"I have no idea… But they are cool to look at."

"I wonder what's up with the ceiling though." The minccino scratched his cheek as he looked above.

The ceiling was comprised almost entirely of vines, but of a different variety. The vines lacked any sort of pattern. Some overlapped, looped around each other, and others spiraled halfway down the ceiling.

"It's a lot different from the walls," Harvey observed.

"I'd say."

"Grrrhhawh!"

Harvey and Rubee gasped as they heard the noise. They saw It came from a small leaf hooded bug, approaching them slowly from across the room. The sewaddle hid its face underneath its hood, leaving its intentions ambiguous.

"Erm…" Harvey waved his hand as he walked toward it. "Can we help you?"

The sewaddle rose its head and growled. It shot web-like jet of strings at Harvey. Reacting quickly, he evaded to the right. But, the webs continued swimming the air toward Rubee. She too dodged them with ease and returned to Harvey.

"Hey, what gives?!" she yelled at the creature. However, when she saw the lifeless dullness it its eyes, she knew there was no reasoning with it.

Harvey stood back and pulled his bow from his backpack. "If it's a fight you want, it's a fight you're gonna get!" He held the grip and aimed at the adversary.

The sewaddle let out a second growl as it lunged itself at them. Widening its mouth, it exposed its short sharp fangs; an indication of it trying to use Bug Bite.

Harvey gritted his teeth. He wouldn't be able to shoot on time. So, he rolled out of harm's way, and the sewaddle crashed on the ground. No sooner than that and It was still dead on their tracks.

Harvey's jaw tensed up as made his tail white and jagged. As the sewaddle got close, he wiped it away with force, creating some distance between them.

"Eat that!" Rubee exclaimed as she watched the sewaddle fall on its backside.

The sewaddle flailed its legs about rapidly and it rocked itself back and forth, all in an attempt to get back on its stomach. Harvey saw the perfect striking opportunity and drew out an arrow. With swift aiming, he shot the sewaddle in the gut.

The sewing pokemon squirmed about and shrieked loudly in pain. Green goop flowed out of its arrow wound. It only got worse the more it struggled.

Harvey and Rubee were paralyzed. They hadn't considered the fact that they would have to kill anything when they entered the dungeon. Guilt and disgust clawed at their chests until the sewaddle stopped moving. Then, the craziest thing happened. Its body disintegrated into glowing dust particles and disappeared, leaving both siblings speechless and confused.

"That… just happened…" Harvey muttered as he lowered his bow. "I wonder where it even came from."

"We're probably going to meet more of them the further down the dungeon we go." Rubee sighed in relief. She placed her hand on her forehead as she tried to get the image of the dying sewaddle out of her head.

Harvey put his bow back into his bag and rubbed the tip of his nose. "We should keep moving. If more show up, we'll just have to fight them off as we did just now."

"Not like we have any other choice." Rubee eyed the bow as it poked through his bag. "Remember the time I told you that thing was useless? I take it back now."

Harvey then chuckled. "I don't have many arrows though. So, we're still gonna have to rely on our moves a lot more." He walked towards a corridor leading out of the room and peeked through it. It was clear.

His used arrow laid on the ground close by, where the sewaddle had died. Harvey retrieved it and rubbed the goop off on the ground so he could reuse it later.

"The next one will be mine."

Harvey rose a brow and tilted his ear. "Huh?"

"I said I'll handle the next pokemon we meet. You got to take down this one all by yourself. I want to try doing that too!" She swiped her hands against her scarf, extracting two liquid droplets, one reddish orange and the other purple. Spore-like dust particles latched onto the droplets until two pollen puffs materialized. She smiled smugly. "I want to see what these babies can do."

He narrowed his eyes. "You're going to give them free pollen puffs?"

"These aren't just any pollen puffs. This one is poisonous and the other one damages a person just by being touched! " She pushed one towards his face playfully. "Wanna try?"

"No… I'll pass." He shuddered, waving dismissively. He was surprised she's been experimenting on creating harmful pollen puffs. He wondered if that was one of the reasons she tagged along.

"Heh Heh! Just leave it to me!" she added.

"I don't think we should be treating this like a game, Rubee. Need I remind you that everything in here will probably try to kill us on sight? Moga was right when he called it dangerous. So, we need to be careful."

Rubee stuck her tongue out at him. "Quit being such a stick in the mud! I let you take care of this one by yourself. It's only fair I get the next one."

"Like I said… You know what? Fine! The next one will be all yours! Just hope it doesn't end up being a giant creature with claws." Harvey let out a defeated sigh as she buzzed around. He then headed towards the next corridor ahead of them.

***C***​

Harvey dragged his paw against the wall as he walked. He wondered how Moga would've felt if he found out that both of them had gone to the dungeon despite all the warnings he gave them. He shook his head and exhaled. There was no point in lingering on those thoughts any longer.

Rubee gasped as she pointed at something up ahead. "Hey look! Over there!"

A corridor grew visible ahead of them, and there was another one standing opposite to it. When they reached them, they had to choose which path to take. Should they keep moving ahead, take a left… or the right? What lay at the end of either of the corridors was a complete mystery.

Harvey gave Rubee a quizzical stare as he rose his paw. "Which way should we go?"

"I don't know," she replied. "Which way do you think we should go?"

"Hrrn… I don't know either. It's not like I have a map of this place." Harvey shrugged "What does it matter anyway? Let's just pick a random one."

They ended up taking the left corridor.

Neither of them spoke the rest of the way. The only audible noise was the buzz from Rubee's wings. Eventually, an exit surfaced not far ahead. Harvey sighed in relief, hoping it was the way out of the dungeon.

He bolted ahead. "Come on! Let's get out of here!"

Rubee shook her head in confusion. What got him excited all of a sudden?

She followed along, only being a few meters behind him while he ran. As they approached the end of the corridor, Harvey's ears stood up in alarm and he abruptly pulled the breaks and leapt backwards.

Not a second passed when a spinarak shot down to the ground with a thud. It dug its fangs halfway into the ground, struggling to pull them out. While it did, fear hit Harvey like a truck as he quickly withdrew his bow. His pupils dilated as he aimed at the spider.

"Hold on Harvey! This one's mine!" Rubee got in front of him and threw a pollen puff from her hand.

The spinarak freed its fangs just in time to evade her pollen puff, which blew up as it met the ground. The smoke cloud shrouded the spinarak, and as they stood waiting for it, multiple poisoned spikes were shot towards them.

"Rubee! Look out!" Harvey got in front of her, getting hit by three of the needles; one on his arm, another on his leg and the third one just barely grazed his cheek.

"Harvey!" Rubee cried out as he fell beside her. She shot a glare at the spinarak, who just returned a blank stare. "Why you!"

As the spinarak made its next move, Rubee's eyes blared in a bright pink light, sending out wide beams of pink straight at the spinarak, enveloping it in a harsh light. After enduring a good amount of damage, the spinarak shot out a jet of webs towards the ceiling in a fallback attempt.

"Oh no, you're not getting away!" Rubee threw another pollen puff at it. It landed a hit on its head, paralyzing the spinarak. The spinarak fell off its line of silk and crashed on the ground. It twitched as it tried to regain mobility.

As she held out another pollen puff to finish it, an arrow flew past her into the spinarak's head. Much like the sewaddle before, it squirmed about violently before succumbing into dust particles.

Rubee's face perplexed. She turned around and saw Harvey back on his feet, bow in hand. "What the? How?!"

He pulled out a peach-like fruit with a bite taken out of. "I had one of these…" His face cringed as he pulled the poison needles from his limbs. "Man! It hurts."

"Here." Rubee held out a Pollen Puff with her face plastered with concern. "This'll heal you up quickly."

"Oh… thanks!" Harvey felt the lingering pain fade away and his strength returning to him.

Rubee's face flustered. "If I hadn't tried to take that thing on by myself when you had a perfect shot…. How about we do things together from now on?"

"Sounds like a plan." Harvey chuckled as she pulled him up by his arm.

The room awaiting them at the end of the corridor was about as large as the one they were in previously. It wasn't all that different apart from the strange giant leaf at the center, resembling a funnel. When they went in, they surveyed the room to see if there were any pokemon that could make the jump on them. Convinced there were none, they sighed in relief.

Harvey crouched by the funnel-like leaf and looked down below. The bottom was shrouded in pitch darkness. There was no telling where it went or if it even leads anywhere. Harvey glanced at Rubee and blinked twice. She shrugged at him with a wry smile.

He scratched his head and glanced at the bottom. "Should we go in?"

"I don't know. Should we?"

"Stop answering my questions with more questions!"

"Fine! I say we go in and see what's in there, alright?"

"Well, if you say so." Harvey nodded as he climbed the edge of the leaf. It was smooth like a newly waxed floor with butter smeared all over it. It was too slippery. Harvey started crawling back frantically as he felt himself slip down. He screamed as he slid down faster.

"Harvey!" Rubee followed in and tried to catch him before he fell in completely. When she reached him, he instinctively held her tight in his panic state, and they were both swallowed by the darkness.

**C**​

The funnel leaf sent them sliding down to a separate floor. The went rolling like a ball as they reached the ground. The leaf then retracted back to the ceiling and the vines concealed it, making it almost seem like it was never there.

"What the heck, Harvey?!" Rubee yelled as she got off his back, anger visible in her eyes.

"Uhm…" Harvey shrugged with a nervous chuckle. "Sorry?"

Rubee's expression calmed and she face palmed. "You're lucky we're still alive."

"Hey, what's that over there?" Harvey eyed something at the corner of the room. He could faintly see an obscure figure sitting against the wall. He pushed himself to his feet and walked towards it.

"What are you looking at?" Rubee asked.

Harvey pointed at it. "That."

Rubee's lips parted slightly as she saw it. "What is that?"

"That's what I want to find out."

As they got close enough, they realized what it was. It was a lifeless corpse reduced to a skeleton. From the degradation of the body, they reasoned it must've been there for decades at most. Feathers were scattered around the corpse, indicating it used to be a flying type pokemon. Harvey wasn't sure, but he could guess from the textures of the feathers and the shape of the beak it used to be a Xatu. Aside from all that, there was a bag strapped over it.

"This may sound wrong, but I think we should check what's in that bag," Harvey suggested. Eyes fixed on the bag, he was curious.

"What?! Why would we do that!" Rubee asked with a puzzled look, barely able to look at the skeleton without getting a regurgitating feeling from the depths of her stomach.

"There might be some useful supplies in the bag. All we have right now are a few berries, no more than five. We'll need everything we can find."

Rubee pondered over his words for a moment. "Alright. But I'm not touching that thing!" she said, disgust strewn all over her face.

Harvey shrugged as if he were expecting her to that. "Of course, I was going to do it."

Harvey inched closer to the corpse, making sure not to disturb the dead body too much in case it turned out to be an undead mummy. His breathing tensed as he pulled the strap over the shoulder. Rubee hovered in the background, staring at him so intently. She only caused him to feel even more nervous.

"Well? What's in it?" Rubee poked her head forward meekly as Harvey held the bag down.

He lifted his paw towards her. "Hold on."

Harvey unclipped the large pocket and looked inside. There wasn't a lot to be found. About five different items were in the bag, among them being a strange looking disk shaped badge, a small bag with what felt like coins in it, a leather backed journal, a map, a gadget with a round black screen and a few strange looking seeds the size of his palm.

Harvey took out the badge. He squinted as he lifted it in front of his eyes. It was a bit rusty and bronze-like in color. There was a strange insignia depicting four blades held together with some inscriptions surrounding them. Seeing it could be of use some time, he placed it in his bag.

Rubee conversely was just skimming through the pages of the journal without actually reading any of it. It was a boring task.

Harvey then reached for it. "Can I read it, since you clearly aren't gonna?"

She gave him a nonchalant nod while handing it over. Once he collected it, she turned her attention to the strange looking seeds. She held one in front of her face and tilted her head. What on Earth are these?

Harvey opened the first page of the journal. In it was a name written in bold letters. "Xemo?" It read. He scratched his cheek and continued on to read the short preface. "Hello… so, I'm officially a part of The Guildsmen now. I was given this unnecessary journal. Apparently, it was a requirement for new recruits. I may never use it, but I'll keep it for the sake of formality. For now—"

Rubee started spitting out disdainfully while holding her tongue out. "Yuck! This thing tastes awful!" She had the bright idea of licking one of the seeds, and she was regretting it.

"That's what you get for trying to eat everything you… see?" His eyes widened when the seed started sending out small sizzling sparks.

I have a bad feeling about this. Harvey gulped. When the sparks started nearing the inner parts of the seed, he snatched it away and threw it as far away as he could across the room. The seed tumbled on the ground a few times and then landed near the opposite wall. Seconds later, it exploded with a loud bang.

Their mouths remained agape, eyes widened after witnessing what just happened. They slowly exchanged glances, then their eyes fell on the rest of the seeds.

"Here, you can keep the rest of them," Rubee said with a poker face, pushing them towards him.

"What the?! What do you want me to do with them?!" Harvey stopped to think of how useful the explosive seeds could become. They sure would become useful whenever they came up against multiple foes at once. Even if they didn't, they'd fascinated him enough to want to study them for later. "Actually, you're right. I should keep the rest of them!"

Her expression switched back to normal, but it was immediately replaced with shock. "Hey, wait! I was being sarcastic!"

"I noticed." Harvey started putting them into his bag one after another before she even finished speaking.

"Fine! Do what you want. Just make sure not to get them anywhere near me whenever you decide to blow something up."

"This almost reminds me of the time Annie and I played that multiplayer game. We used to play that game a lot whenever she came over to our place and—"

"Annie, Annie, Annie. Seriously, who's this girl you like bringing up all the time."

Harvey's cheeks reddened. "What?! That's not true! I rarely even mention her name."

"Oh yeah? What about the time you were all 'Annie used to be my lab partner in class' or 'Annie helped me with my homework' and don't forget the time you were—"

"Okay, I get it!" Harvey's stomach knotted up just listening to her. "I can't help it, okay? Annie was… she was my best friend. What's wrong with missing her?"

Silence ensued between them.

Rubee drew back awkwardly and carried the next item from the bag. She unrolled the map inside and looked through it. Her eyes were fixed on all the strange locations and terrain drawn on it. They were certainly not places within the confines of their little village, something she was sure of. "I wonder if this is some sort of world map."

Harvey moved closer to see. "I sure hope it is. But we don't know any of these places though…" Harvey pointed towards a castle drawn at the center. "This must be the capital or something. I wonder what it's like."

"You think that's where we need to go?"

"Well, it's a start."

Rubee hummed, pointing at an illustration depicting a dense forest with a large tree growing in the middle. "My guts tell me that we're over here."

"What makes you say that?"

She shrugged. "Don't know. Just a hunch."

"Help!" yelled a voice from somewhere beyond the room.

They lifted their heads in alarm when they heard the voice. To be sure they actually heard anything, they listened to see if they would hear the call again. Just as they were beginning to think it was just their imagination, they heard it again.

"Help!"

Rubee darted up. "There's someone else here?!"

"I don't know. Maybe one of the villagers followed us and now they're in trouble!"

"We better go help them before it's too late!"

Harvey and Rubee took what they could—they took everything—and strode straight for the corridor the voice was coming from. After a few twists and turns, they heard the cry coming from their right. They went in without hesitation and reached a smaller room. There, they spotted a frail looking pokemon getting cornered by two swadloons.

The pokemon in question was fidgeting and curling itself against the wall. It covered the two leaved flowers on the sides of its head with its stubby white furred arms. Several leaves spiked from its back akin to quills as a form of self defense.

The pokemon threw them a fearful glance as they came in. "Please, help me!"

"Rubee, let's go!"

Harvey tackled a swadloon down with a quick attack and Rubee pushed the other one away with a pollen puff. The swadloons growled furiously at them, but Harvey and Rubee stood their ground while keeping the tormented pokemon behind them.

As the swadloons shot jets of strings at them, Rubee grinned, deflecting the attacks with a dazzling gleam. The swadloons receded into their leaf exteriors. However, in a strange turn of events, they turned around and retreated out of the room as though they had suddenly grown afraid of them.

Harvey and Rubee exchanged puzzled looks, but the silent cry behind them got their attention afterwards.

Harvey turned and walked next to the pokemon, cautious not to touch its spiky looking back. "Hey, are you alright?"

"I am now…" While sniffling, the pokemon rubbed off her tears then said, "I am truly grateful to you two! Please, what are your names?"

"I'm Harvey." He motioned his face at Rubee. "This here is my sister."

"I'm Rubee! Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too, Harvey and Rubee." Her lips curved into a faint smile. "I'm Shaymin."

Harvey and Rubee's jaws dropped to the ground. "You're Shaymin?! Like THE Shaymin?!"

"Oh! So you've heard of me?"

"Yeah we have! You're the guardian of forests and… and… and…"

"Flowers!" Rubee said, completing his sentence as he stammered.

"We've heard so many stories about you… I honestly didn't think you were real before." Harvey admitted.

"I'm real as can be, as you can see!" She chuckled and smiled brightly. "Please, let's get moving before those mean pokemon come back." Shaymin suggested.

With a bit of reluctance, they nodded and followed along behind her.

***C***​

Along with their new companion, their journey through the dungeon continued.

They walked behind while Shaymin remained ahead. Their minds were a mixed bag of feelings of awe and intimidation toward Shaymin's presence. In the stories they were told in the village, she was painted as some sort of powerful and sometimes ruthless god-like icon. When Harvey thought about it, Shaymin looked nothing like her statues—she wasn't a giant, tall nor bulky and muscular. Harvey was beginning to think the stories were just as exaggerated.

Shaymin sensed the strange looks they were giving her. She then turned with irritation. "What's wrong with you two? You're acting weird."

Harvey flustered and quickly said, "Sorry. We're just a bit overwhelmed. It's not every day that you run into a guardian."

"Yeah. We just don't know what to make… of you?" Rubee added.

"That's dumb," Shaymin bluntly said. "Stop treating me like I'm special or anything. Treat me like how you'd treat another person. I'm just a pokemon like you are."

Harvey nodded awkwardly, his face clearly showing how taken aback he was by her lack of conceit.

"You know, it's been a long time since I last saw someone in here. I'm actually glad right now."

"How long have you—"

"Still, I wish you two hadn't come here," she said, facing the ground with a mournful look. "This place is a sadistic place. It can drive you crazy if you're not careful."

"How… How long have you been here?" Harvey asked again.

"I'm not sure." Shaymin grimaced and her brows furrowed, sadness ringing in her voice. "There's a lot I can't remember anymore. Every time, I wake up feeling that I'm forgetting something. I keep forgetting more and more about myself. It's a miracle I haven't forgotten everything by now."

"Why don't you just leave the dungeon then?" Rubee asked.

"I tried, but whenever I reach the end, I wake up back at the beginning with another piece of me missing. Not only that, my powers have greatly diminished. I can't even reach the third floor anymore."

"So that's how those guys were able to push you into a corner back there." Harvey placed his paw on his chin as he said that.

Shaymin nodded in response. "That's why I need to get out of here. I just don't know if I can anymore."

"Don't worry, we'll help you get out!" Harvey said, his mouth curving into an encouraging smile.

Rubee patted her chest. "Yeah! We're all in this together! So, don't give up, Shaymin!"

Shaymin smiled wryly as tears streamed down her face. "Thank you! Both of you!" Shaymin rushed forward and gave both of them a hug, holding them tightly with her small white arms. Not knowing what to do, Harvey and Rubee embraced the hug.

As they hugged, Harvey got a much closer look at Shaymin's back. He expected the leaves on her back to be prickly when he placed his hand on it, but they turned out to be soft like feathers. The smell of flowers fuming from her body reminded him of his mother's flowers in their backyard. His mother happened to be a botanist and a plant enthusiast. As those memories crept their way into his mind, he tightened his grip around Shaymin. He didn't want to forget.

***C***​

Hours passed and they traversed through five floors in the dungeon, about to begin their sixth one. They slid down a funnel leaf to reach the sixth floor, watching it retract to the ceiling after dropping them off. By then, they were all panting, exhausted from the previous floors. Harvey and Rubee were the ones most tired; Shaymin couldn't even fight in her current state, so they had to protect her while also fending for themselves.

As everyone settled to take a quick break, Rubee tried to make some pollen puffs to help restore the her teammates. Her expression dulled and twisted. Her pollen puffs couldn't form no matter how hard she tried. She'd used them up.

Rubee knelt on the ground and grasp her head hard. "It's not working!" She felt like ripping her hair out.

"Calm down, Rubee! What do you mean it's not working?" Harvey asked, placing his hand on her back to console her, his voice full of concern.

"My body's all out of nectar and pollen! Without them… I can't make more, and there isn't anywhere for me to find flowers here!" Rubee's throat tightened. She almost cried.

Harvey sat next to her, holding her in his arms. "There, there, It'll be alright, Rubee. We'll find some flowers once we get out."

"I can make flowers," Shaymin spoke up.

For a few seconds, they both stared at Shaymin before smiling simultaneously. "Oh yeah! You're the guardian of flowers!" they jinxed.

"And forests." Shaymin chuckled. She then walked a few steps back. Closing her eyes, she looked up and took a deep breath. "Prepare to be amazed!"

Shaymin's pink flowers glowed radiantly. Waves of green then swam out her body, reverberate all around them. The energy flowed into the ground, climbed up the walls and even across the ceiling. Flowers of different shapes and colors shot out of every surface in the room one after the other.

Harvey was completely slack jawed as he watched. Shaymin lived up to her title, just as he'd expected. He felt lucky. Witnessing a guardian pokemon display such an amazing feat was a thing to be proud of. Rubee however, was completely hypnotized by the flowers. She even cried tears of joy. There were so many flowers around her, most of which she's never even seen before in her life.

"Am I in heaven?" she uttered.

Harvey had to raise his brow at her once she said that.

As Shaymin walked back to them, she suddenly felt nauseous and tripped over. Harvey reacted, holding her up before she fell on the ground. "Are you alright?" he asked.

"Will these flowers be enough for you? I mean, they're not much, but I hope you'll manage them for now."

"I… I… I… I…" Rubee then squealed and went on a pollen collection frenzy on all the flowers. "Thank you very much Shaymin!"

Shaymin grew pleased. "You're welcome."

"You shouldn't be overexerting yourself like that, Shaymin," Harvey said, helping her sit.

She returned him a smile and said, "It's okay. As long as I can make others happy and appreciate me, it's all I could ever ask for."

***C***​

After what felt like forever, Rubee finished collecting all the pollen she could from the flowers Shaymin made. She buzzed excitedly around like she was on a sugar rush as they walked down a corridor. Harvey gave her a tired expression, wishing she wasn't so energetic because she wouldn't stop her rambling.

"I see you're excited," he mumbled.

"Of course, I am! This is the best day of my life! Do you have any idea how many pollen puffs I can make now?! I could probably make a hundred!"

"Yeah, I doubt that." Harvey sighed.

"And it was all thanks to our favorite guardian, Shaymin!" Rubee blinked a few times as she looked over Harvey's shoulder. Shaymin was visibly shaking when she saw her, looking left and right as if she were afraid something was about to happen.

Harvey noticed her odd behavior as well and then stopped. "Shaymin? Is everything alright?"

"What?!" Shaymin jumped a bit and then forced a smile. "Oh, I'm fine… I just feel… queasy." As soon as she said that, vines appeared almost out of nowhere and dragged her away.

"Shaymin!" Harvey leapt forward, but she was snatched away too quickly before he could reach her.

"Help!" she said as her voice faded into the distance.

"Oh no! Shaymin!" Rubee gave chase in the direction Shaymin was dragged and Harvey quickly strode behind.

They followed Shaymin's scream down the corridor with adrenaline coursing through their veins. After running for a while, Harvey noticed something was out of place. He could not remember the corridor being nearly as long. It felt like they were running for an eternity. Just as his doubts grew, they spotted the end of the corridor right up ahead.

When they arrived at the end corridor, they were shocked to find what awaited them. The room they arrived in was nothing like the ones they were in before. It was a massive round room with walls layered with the patterns from the six previous floors. Slithering vines hung down from the dome shaped ceiling.

Countless trees grew on the sandy ground, and they all had leaves of varying sizes. Some grew tall, while others were short and stout.

Just as they were beginning to wonder what in the world was happening, they spotted Shaymin sitting in the middle of the room. For a moment, they felt relieved.

"Shaymin!" Rubee flew towards her with a glad smile.

Harvey felt an ominous feeling coming from Shaymin and immediately withdrew his bow. "Rubee wait!"

A wall of spiked vines burst in front of Rubee's path before she could get any closer. She immediately retreated back to Harvey. Her chest stuttered as her brows lowered. "Shaymin?"

Shaymin was crying silently in the middle of the room. The vines the burst out of the ground and dragged her down, concealing her beneath ground. "I'm so, so… so sorry. There's nothing I could do…"

"Shaymin!" Rubee cried after her.

Holding her hand, Harvey pulled her back towards the corridor they'd come in. "We need to get out of here!"

Their means of escape was quickly stripped from them as thorned vines jutted out of the ground, sealing off the corridor.

As if they hadn't had enough already, six sewaddles descended from the hanging vines, collecting the leaves of the trees inside the room with their strings until there were none left.

Weaving with an intense swiftness, they built a giant construct that looked like an amalgamation between a scyther and a leavanny. But, it was three times the size of either pokemon normally would be.

The creature turned its gaze toward them, making their hearts struggle to leap out of their chests as they shot frightened faces at it. Its scythe-like forearms dug into the ground and its body twitched whenever its glowing eyes flickered. It then began to move around on its four legs in a rickety motion, like a broken puppet.

Tears leaked from Rubee's eyes and her blood ran cold. "This can't be happening… What do we do, Harvey?"

"Pull yourself together Rubee!" Harvey gnashed his teeth. "There's only one thing we can do." Harvey withdrew is bow and aimed at the beast. "We fight."

Beta-read by
ShadowCreeper.
 
Last edited:

DeliriousAbsol

Call me Del
Well, that was one action-packed chapter! Certainly kept me hooked, especially towards the end! What a cliff-hanger! You did well there. I certainly want to find out what happens next! Also, I love how Rubee can make pollen puffs for different purposes. That is a super imaginative spin on the pollen puff idea. Not just an attack, but a way of helping out her team mates while also serving as a variety of weapons for different situations. I kinda wish that were a thing in-game.

I did notice quite a few errors, I'll be honest. Some were quite jarring. I'll try to point out a couple to help with future proof-reading.

The sewaddle rose its head and growled. It shot web-like jet of strings at Harvey. He reacted by quickly rolled to the right to evade.

The sentence here seems clunky. Did you mean 'rolling'? Or 'he quickly rolled'?

He was surprised to know she's been experimenting on creating harmful pollen puffs.

You slipped into present-tense here. This happened a couple of times, just something to be aware of. A sudden tense-change can be a bit jarring. Not to say I've never done this myself. It's quite easy when you're on a roll.

The vines the burst out of the ground and dragged her down into the earth.

You need to remove the second 'the'. I can't quite remember if there were more instances of this extra wording. Likely an oversight during editing and changing things up a bit?

But, It was three times the size of either pokemon normally would be.

Just a random capital 'I' on the 'it'. Only pointing it out since I noticed it while I was skimming over for the errors I'd noticed =)

Other than the small minor errors, I didn't notice anything major. The story is pretty solid, and I absolutely LOVE your depiction of mystery dungeons! Oh my, that stair funnel leaf thing! I love how it disappeared into the vines! Are you going to have similar thematic ideas for different elemental dungeons? I can't wait to find out! =D

Keep up the good work, Dream, because it's awesome! =D
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
You slipped into present-tense here. This happened a couple of times, just something to be aware of. A sudden tense-change can be a bit jarring. Not to say I've never done this myself. It's quite easy when you're on a roll.

I couldn't really see the present tense there, but i reworded the sentence just in case. I've done similar in the other parts you pointed out—thanks by the way—and i'll try to be more careful.

Other than the small minor errors, I didn't notice anything major. The story is pretty solid, and I absolutely LOVE your depiction of mystery dungeons! Oh my, that stair funnel leaf thing! I love how it disappeared into the vines! Are you going to have similar thematic ideas for different elemental dungeons? I can't wait to find out! =D

I'm really glad you loved it! And yes, i try to make the dungeons to be thematically different. Not to enter spoiler territory, but i have a dungeon inspired by 'Limbo' with the spinning platforms and everything.
 

Cutlerine

Gone. Not coming back.
What an interesting take on the mystery dungeon! It's all very close to the game portrayal, in a way I don't think I've ever seen before, although I haven't read much PMD fic, so perhaps it's more common than I know. One thing I never mentioned in my last review is how the fact that Harvey has a bow piqued my interest – I'd assumed it was because, as a former human, he was more comfortable with tools than with using actual pokémon moves, but it seems strange that he has one given that you've never really said what he does with it. Clearly he doesn't hunt, because he's not okay with killing, so does he maybe do archery as a hobby? If so, it might be nice to learn that at some point, otherwise the reader is kinda left wondering why he has a bow at all.

The violence in the fighting scene seems a little … blunt, I guess, for want of a better word. Harvey gets hit, but there's no mention at all of pain or anything, just the material fact of his being hit. I'm not saying what you need is a full, gory description, but it would be nice to see the impact of these blows on the characters – it feels a little abstract when all we know is that Harvey got hit and that he fell. It detracts a little from the feel of the passage, is all.

It also feels odd that after the silence that comes from Rubee accidentally hitting a nerve with Harvey, she 'eventually got bored' and moved on to investigating the map. She seems a little impulsive, but not mean-spirited or insensitive, and just getting bored with the situation doesn't feel like a realistic response – I had the impression that she's the sort of person who'd make an attempt to apologise, but even if not I think it would be more natural for her to pick up the map in an 'okay that was awkward so let's move on to this thing now!' kind of way. Harvey, too, seems to move on right away, like the awkwardness left no impression.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to comment on your neat leaf-and-cobweb construct boss at the end there. Sewaddle are usually makers in a positive way, creating shells for their progeny out of leaves and silk, and I like that you turn these corrupted ones into negative makers, creating husks without centres and weapons instead of clothing. It's a cool inversion, and it looks like it'll make for a very interesting boss fight next chapter. Definitely looking forward to how that pans out!
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
It also feels odd that after the silence that comes from Rubee accidentally hitting a nerve with Harvey, she 'eventually got bored' and moved on to investigating the map. She seems a little impulsive, but not mean-spirited or insensitive, and just getting bored with the situation doesn't feel like a realistic response – I had the impression that she's the sort of person who'd make an attempt to apologise, but even if not I think it would be more natural for her to pick up the map in an 'okay that was awkward so let's move on to this thing now!' kind of way. Harvey, too, seems to move on right away, like the awkwardness left no impression.

Originally, the preceding discussion before that didn't exist. I added it in to add a bit more emotion to the chapter to make the scene less dull. I must've forgot to smoothen up the transition while i was editing. Thanks for helping me point it out.

Clearly he doesn't hunt, because he's not okay with killing, so does he maybe do archery as a hobby? If so, it might be nice to learn that at some point, otherwise the reader is kinda left wondering why he has a bow at all.

There's actually a reason why he has a bow. Without going to spoilers, i can say that he's the one who made it himself. Not necessarily to as a weapon, but because it reminds him of home.
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
Welp! Read through both of the chapters thus far, and … yanno, this isn’t that bad of a start! I’d hate to compare this to A Mew Me (especially given the actual age of that fic and all), but the best way I can describe this fic is that it’s just all-around more solid than your earlier attempts. With the plot alone, there’s definitely more of a direction and more of a sense of urgency. Problems last from chapter to chapter, and it’s very clear that you’re building on a concept, rather than simply using that concept in smaller, more episodic bursts. So when, for example, you say that Harvey’s setting out into this dungeon because it might reveal why he’s in that world or when you say Shaymin got dragged off, those just feel more like plot threads that are adding to an overall whole. There’s even a lot of plot complexity going on, with not only Harvey’s quest to find himself (kinda literally, haha) but also the race to save Shaymin from the dungeon itself and the ongoing fight against the native sewaddle. It just feels more exciting, in part because there’s just very clear pacing going on.

The characters too are likeable. Not only do you have the actually big-sister-y Rubee (who’s brave, loyal, and a bit bad ***—it is, in other words, rather easy to buy that she’d be sticking around to help Harvey) and also the slightly timid/somewhat weakened Shaymin (who we don’t really know past her function as a legendary, but there’s definitely a sense that she’s sweet and a bit of a damsel in distress in a good way), but you also have Harvey.

Harvey fascinates me. And I say this because—while I admit I haven’t read PMD fics on FFN in a while—if I recall correctly, most of them feature a chosen one who’s planted in this other world for a very specific purpose, and the entire fic is about them fulfilling that purpose. But here, you have Harvey transplanted into this world six years ago, and he still is lost. It’s like … he’s literally marked as a chosen one, yet he’s failed to go on his requisite journey. His very existence derails the entire PMD formula, so it’s just interesting to see where he goes from there.

I admit I’m not quite sure what to make of him beyond that. It’s still a bit early, but it’s very clear that he’s at least curious to the point of danger (yes, Harvey, it’s a great idea to poke at a skeleton even though Rubee’s the one looting it but still), which I’m sure will mean it’ll be fun to watch that trait circle back and bite him in the rear repeatedly, especially in light of that highly suspicious marking on his back … and the fact that he hasn’t had his reason for being in this world spelled out as quickly as it usually is for other PMD protagonists. Long story short, it sounds like he’d be a fun character.

(As a side note, though, I was curious about the bow too, largely because with PMD fics, part of the point is to trap a character in a body that forces them to adapt to new abilities and skills and forgo a large part of their humanness in order to succeed. Bows especially are difficult things to work with because they assume you have dextrous fingers and, well, skin on your hands to keep the bow in place. And even then, even with human hands, firing a bow’s no easy task. But! On the other hand, you do have a mix—which is great because the only reason why I’m leery of pokémon using weapons is because most of the time, it’s an awkward stand-in for their powers—and there’s a specific reason behind it at that. So I might wait to see what the reason is before commenting on that. Well, besides the fact that I’m really curious about the whole using-a-bow-with-paws thing.)

On a serious note, I admit there’s not much crit I could dig up. The only other thing I could think of was really something Delirious brought up, and that’s the grammar is sometimes all over the place, especially with regards to capitals. At points, such as this:

No sooner than that and It was still dead on their tracks.

You still capitalize in the middle of a sentence. (Also, this is kinda awkwardly worded because it kinda looks like you were starting a thought but then switched to a sentence about how slamming into the ground didn’t stop it.)

Other times, such as this:

"let's get going. You don't want to keep Moga waiting too long now, do you?"

You don’t capitalize when you really should.

It can get a little inconsistent, and I admit I’m trying to avoid going into specifics to keep this review relatively short. Buuuuuut long story short, definitely ask your beta to be a bit careful about capitals and whatnot. Maybe read your work aloud to catch some of them (and the awkward wording) yourself and advise your beta to do the same.

But! This is also a minor point (as is the arrow thing), and honestly, if I can only pick up on minor points on a first run-through, that’s actually a really good sign! It means that, in short, I’m interested in seeing where this is going, especially with that clearly-chosen-but-somehow-accidentally-skipped-out-on-his-duties protagonist.

Actually, one more side point:

"Harvey? Would you like some pollen puffs? It's buttercup flavored."

I just kinda found this hilarious because buttercups are also poisonous. :V (They’re also apparently fantastically foul-tasting, which tends to deter folks from eating them in the first place.) This isn’t a request to change it, of course. It just says a lot about Rubee that makes her character even better, imo.

Anyway, yes! Color me interested. :D
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
So like a lot of people have already said, I’m digging the dungeon design. I’ve always felt like Mystery Dungeons work better as just plain weird spaces that don’t seem to obey normal rules, not like some regular labyrinth that was constructed by someone. And you’ve already got a good amount of weird stuff here. Getting teleported back to the start. Losing memories. ”Wild” Pokémon that are just constructs spawned into being by the dungeon itself. And this is just the firstt dungeon—I bet it’ll get a lot weirder in later ones.

Also, I found it pretty great that you took the “stick” throwing item, common to PMD games but a little less-than-impressive-sounding, and straight-up gave Harvey a bow. I mean, that’s one way to hurl sharp sticks at high speed! :p

Totally wasn’t expecting them to run into Shaymin btw! She’s already pretty adorable, I like the occasional references to gratitude sprinkled throughout her dialogue. Nice use of her powers, being able to spawn flowers to refill Rubee’s Pollen Puff PP, so to speak.

Some stuff I’m wondering about: who was Xemo and whether or not their journal will get read at some point. Whether or not they’re going to head to the capital once they make it out of the dungeon. What that badge signifies (the emblem of the Guildsmen, perhaps? Might have something to do with the Swords of Justice?)

Also that cliffhanger was pretty great. I’m betting they’re gonna have to use those blast seeds sooner than they thought with a boss like that.

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
Chapter 3: The Darkness of The Dungeon; Kalledes.



Harvey's fingers grew cold as he shot arrows at the monster, his heart drumming in his chest. He grimaced as it absorbed the arrows into its leafy exterior. With a loud roar, it bolted forward at top speed. Every step it took forward made Harvey's chest stiffen and his heart race. And as it drew near, he and Rubee split up in opposite directions to divide the monster's attention.

The monster's feet dragged against the ground, sending moist sand flying as it skidded to a halt. Much to Harvey's dissatisfaction, the monster turned its attention on him. Then it charged at him, hellbent on ripping him apart with razor sharp claws. In mere seconds, it caught up to him. As it swung, Harvey rolled out of the way, escaping with only a slight bruise. Needless to say, the force of the attack threw him some distance from the impact point, causing him to land on his back and wince in pain.

It prepared another slash attack, leaving no Harvey respite. He wasn't about to get hit, quickly zipping his way underneath the creature. Harvey ran beneath its belly, leaping up and striking with his tail. Harvey gasped as he felt his tail seamlessly pass through the creature. His momentum brought him to a rolling fall. The ground greeted Harvey a second time. The creature turned around, shooting him an empty glare as Harvey pushed himself off the ground and back onto his feet.

"How in the world are we supposed to beat this thing?!" Harvey yelled, frustrated. He reached for his bag, which dropped on the ground in the scuffle.

"Harvey!" Rubee called out.

To assist him, she blinded the monster with bright pink converging beams of light from her eyes. She made another pollen puff and handed it to him as soon as she reached him. "Are you okay?!"

"More or less. This is terrible. My tail slap went through that thing like it was nothing!" Harvey let out steady breaths. He held the soft ball of pollen in his palm. His breathing stabilized as he stuffed it into his mouth. If they weren't up against a giant death machine, Harvey would've taken his time to savor the sugary taste.

"Maybe it has a weak point or something! You could try shooting its head!"

It recovered from Rubee's blinding attack and growled at them. Rather than immediately charging at them, it instead scurried over to the middle of the room and dug its claws into the ground. The hanging vines from the ceiling then slithered like snakes up above, revealing a hole in the ceiling which let in a bright ray of sunlight down on the monster.

"What in the world is this thing anyway?!" Rubee asked as she followed Harvey.

"I don't know. I'm just gonna call it The Kalledes Monster, or just Kalledes."

"Now's not the time to be naming things, Harvey!"

"Keep your guards up. It's about to do something!"

"What?!"

As if to answer her question, Kalledes' body glowed in six spots as it absorbed the sunlight. A yellowish green energy gathered and concentrate in its mouth as it opened wide. After what felt like mere seconds, a large beam shot out of Kalledes' mouth, decimating everything in its path as it raced toward them.

"Hang on, Harvey!" Rubee held Harvey and flew him away. Her wings beat fast and frantic in an effort to escape the beam's destructive touch.

Harvey's lips parted slightly as he watched the beam gaining on them. He'd never realized until that moment how glad he was that Rubee was so agile; if not they'd already be dead. He didn't think he was fast enough to avoid the attack from the ground.

His eyes fixed on the glowing portions of its body. It just seemed like a strange oddity to him that only those parts had a noticeable glow. The observation sparked a curious thought in his mind. What would happen if he shot one of the glowing spots? No sooner had he thought when withdrew his bow and aimed at one them.

"Hey! What are you doing?!" Rubee asked as she looked back for a second.

"You'll see." When he released it, the arrow pierced the air and landed right above the monster's left rear leg.

Kalledes' beam halted as It shrieked. A sewaddle fell from the area Harvey had shot. It was followed by a pile of leaves, and turned to dust like the enemies they'd encountered before. Seconds later, the remaining sewaddles began to change Kalledes' shape to compensate for its distorted body. The movements of the leaves around Kalledes resembled the movement of a swarm of ants gathered on a piece of fruit.

By the time it finished, it had regrown its lost limb. Its two claws were gone and replaced by a large sharpened horn on its forehead. It's body shape was closer to a stag beetle, and the leaves wrapped around each other to form fast moving legs.

"Whoa! It can do that?!" Harvey said, raising his brows.

"Seems like it." Rubee then began to fly lower and lower and she eventually brought them back to the ground.

He immediately shot her a puzzled look and asked, "Why did we stop flying?!"

"I'm tired! Geez!" Rubee retorted. Her wings appeared strained as she took long breaths.

"I thought you said you could carry me for a couple of hours without getting tired! Remember?"

"Yeah! But not after going through a dungeon and fighting this thing that's trying to kill us right now!" She paused to catch her breath.

Kalledes roared, making them turn their attention back to it. Harvey grimaced as he faced it. Even though they technically knew how to possibly defeat it, they knew it'd be difficult finding its weak points since it was going to keep changing its shape and size. The only chance they had was to wait for it to go back to the center of the room and attempt another solar beam.

Harvey clicked his tongue and pulled an arrow against his bow string. He glanced at Rubee and asked, "How long will you take?"

"I only need five minutes."

"Come on, let me carry you for now." Harvey offered. Rubee took deep breaths as she hung on his back to allow her wings to rest. If she could, she would've eaten a pollen puff to recover her strength. Sadly, she couldn't eat her own pollen puffs without puking. The only reason why she kept making them is because everyone else seemed to like them but her.

Kalledes lowered its horn straight at them. It broke the leafless trees and shrubs in its path as it charged.

Harvey and Rubee felt themselves against a wall. Literally. Harvey's eyes glinted when an idea surfaced. He placed his bow back into the bag as he thought over his next course of action.

This thing is only attacking us on instinct, so maybe this might work. I just need it to get close enough.

Rubee crawled up his back to see more clearly. When she saw the approaching danger coming even closer, she started tugging at Harvey's ears in panic. "Harvey! It's getting closer! Aren't you going to run away or maybe dodge?!"

He turned his head over his shoulder to send her a slightly irritated look. "Rubee, use your dazzling gleam on it!"

Rubee tilted her head. She hoped Harvey knew what he was doing when she launched herself off him and shot another blinding ray of light at the monster's eyes. It growled as its vision was taken away again, but it still continued running toward them without slowing. As it got closer, Rubee evaded, but not before the turbulence of the creature's running caused her to fall. Seeing that she wasn't going to recover on time, she rose her head and called out to Harvey in desperation, whom was about to be rammed into.

Harvey pursed his lips as he got down on all fours. His body emanated a faint white glow as he activated his quick attack and dashed away seconds from getting hit. Kalledes kept going and ran straight into the wall, sinking its horn halfway into the wall, making it temporarily lose mobility.

Rubee got back on her wings. Confusion swept across her face tried to make sense of what just happened. When she opened her mouth to speak, he cut her off and said, "Quick! Let's hit it with everything we've got before it gets back up!"

She said nothing. Instead, she simply nodded.

Harvey ran and slammed his body into it with a quick attack, but he just passed through Kalledes' body and landed on the soft ground. He gnashed his teeth as he shook off the sand on his head and started hitting the monster's body with his tail as many times and as he could. Harvey's body was beginning to grow exhausted and his frequency of hits began slowing down noticeably.

Come on! Where are the weak points?!

Rubee saw his exhaustion and got in front of him. "Move it, Harvey! It's my turn!"

Panting, Harvey nodded and backed away from Kalledes so she could do whatever it was she had in mind.

She lifted her hands beside her body and exhaled. As she thrusted her hands forward, a silver dust-filled gust emerged from around her body. She directed the gust at Kalledes' exterior, and the silver shards ripped its leaves apart little by little. To make sure she dealt as much damage as she could, she narrowed the silver wind to only one side of its body.

Harvey's mouth fell open as a huge chunk of leaves were torn off, revealing two sewaddles in a row. Rubee's face shriveled as she motioned Harvey to seal the deal. With a nod, Harvey grabbed an arrow from his bag and climbed up the monster's back. He screamed and jabbed the sharp arrow head into the head of the first one, killing it instantly, then used the same arrow to stab the second one. He slumped his shoulders tiredly as the sewaddles began to sink and fall through the monster's body.

All of a sudden, Kalledes let out an ear-piercing screech. Disoriented, Harvey lost his balance and tripped. But before he could fall, an explosion of leaves blew out from Kalledes' back. He was sent flying nearly halfway across the room.

Harvey fell to the ground with a loud crash, and Rubee watched in horror as he did. All Harvey could hear while he laid there was a loud static noise. Breathing became difficult, and when he looked down, he saw that a sturdy leaf lodged in his chest. His hands shook as he pulled it out, but he immediately wished he didn't. Blood started leaking out the wound. Harvey's mind swirled as he held the wound tightly with both hands and pressed himself against the ground. Aside from that, there were several cuts all over his body and his head throbbed. His consciousness began to slip away from all the combined pain.

"Harvey!" Rubee cried out as she flew to his side. She turned him over and grimaced when she saw the bleeding. "Are you okay?!"

His ears drooped as he faced her. She wore a mournful expression as she saw the damage, the tuft of fur on his chest clotted with blood and dirt. He mumbled something, but she couldn't hear him. Harvey was having trouble breathing.

"Eat this now!" she said as she shoved a pollen puff into his mouth.

His wounds only healed slightly as he swallowed it whole. Most of the minor cut wounds healed up, but his chest was still seriously wounded and had only closed enough to prevent further bleeding. Rubee bit her lip when she realized what went wrong. She'd given Harvey too many pollen puffs. Their healing effects would wane if someone consumed many them in short periods of time. If she gave him another one, it'd probably be no more than a snack to him.

Barely standing, he looked in front of him and found his bow far away on the ground. "Two sewaddles down, only three to go." He said with a forced smile. Will we last that long though?

"Don't push yourself too hard, Harvey!"

"I've been through worse."

"No. You have not."

Their heads rose when they heard the violent rustling of leaves at the opposite wall where they'd assaulted their former enemy. Uneasiness overtook them as the leaves swooshed up into the air and landed right at the middle of the room, underneath the still opened hole in the ceiling. Judging by what happened before, there was only one thing it could've meant…

"It's going for another solar beam?" Harvey placed his hand over his mouth as he coughed. His body was a mess, never had he felt more disgusting. His incessant instinct to remain clean nearly drove him insane, and he bit his paw forcefully to snap the thinking out of his mind.

"Wait…" Rubee said, her voice shaking. "What are they trying to do?"

From the ceiling, three new sewaddles hung down on silk threads and stopped right above the leaf pile. They cut off the strings and leapt into the pile, and within seconds, Kalledes had grown back to its original shape and size. Its head turned slowly and its red eyes fell upon them, sending cold shivers down their spines.

"Well, that just makes things more difficult, now doesn't it?" Rubee said as she heaved an exasperated sigh. She'd already given up on making it out alive as her body grew completely paralyzed.

"Get out of the way!" Harvey yelled. He ran and scooped her up with his tail as another solar beam shot at her. It was close, but they missed it just by a hair as the beam flew past them. It'd probably have only taken one solar beam like that to either kill or seriously wound either of them.

Harvey and Rubee found themselves running low on options as the monster continued to drive them in between a rock and a hard place. Harvey considered using the explosive seeds they found on the second floor, but there was no way to tell if it was going to be enough. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't reach his bag without passing by Kalledes.

~I'm sorry…~ They heard a voice say right into their heads.

"Wait, did you just hear that?" Rubee asked as she looked around with a perplexed face.

"Shaymin?!" Harvey's ears twitched as he tried to discern the direction the voice was coming from.

~I'm sorry…~ she repeated. ~I did this… I led you here, to my prison. I'm sorry.~

"That's not true," Rubee said

~What?~

"We came here on our own."

"Shaymin, where are you?!" Harvey asked as they barely avoided another solar beam.

~I… I don't know. It's dark… I'm scared.~

"Hang in there, Shaymin. We'll come and get you soon," Harvey said.

~I… I…~

"Didn't you say you wanted to go back home? We've not changed our promise. We will take you there."

~I want to help!~ Shaymin said, her voice ringing with hope.

"You can help us?" Rubee said as she flew beside Harvey.

~Use… the flower.~

After saying that, her voice faded away.

Harvey pondered what that meant, and he gasped when he figured it out. Right underneath the sun rays was a flower with petals that converged, forming what resembled an arrow. Wondering how a single arrow could make their situation any better was the least of his worries. There was the problem of how they were going to reach the flower arrow. His forehead creased as he tried to think, then his sight landed on his bag. It was pretty close to their current position. Hrrrn.

"Rubee, I think I have a plan."

"Yeah? What?"

"Can you distract Kalledes with those bomb nuts while I try to get to that arrow? I should reach it with a quick attack, but I won't be fast enough to evade its claw strikes. And that's where you come in, Rubee. Think you can handle it?"

"You think it'll work?"

He hesitated, then he nodded. "It should."

Rubee groaned as she concentrated the last bits of energy she had onto her wings. She zipped ahead and carried the bag back to him. After obtaining the explosive seeds, she flew overhead. Her face scrunched up from the disdainful taste of the seeds as she ignited them one after another. Rubee then waited for the seeds to approach their detonation before a dive towards Kalledes and releasing the explosive seeds at it. She calculated that one would land next to its front legs, another on top of its head and the last one on its thorax.

Meanwhile, Harvey darted off with a quick attack in Kalledes' direction. A huff escaped him as Kalledes caught his gaze. He couldn't stop panting as he pushed himself forward, refusing to give in to his rising exhaustion and pain.

"Heads up, Harvey!"

The seeds landed and blew up simultaneously on Kalledes, stunning it. Harvey kept moving and grabbed his bow. Then, he used Quick Attack one last time to run around the weakened Kalledes as he fixed his eyes on the strange arrow flower. Once he was on top of it, he yanked it out with his tail and paced some steps away from the monster. As Harvey pulled the arrow against the string, he smirked and said, "Say hello to my little flower!"

He released the arrow as Kalledes charged at him. Its claws were spread with the intent to slash Harvey's head off. But as soon as the arrow went straight into its chest, its movements began to slow and drag, forcing it to drop its claws on the ground with a loud thud. White flowers then began to grow out of its body, ripping it apart rapidly. Soon, the monster fell down face forward. All that remained in the aftermath were while flowers strewn all over the ground.

Harvey was overtaken by a throbbing nausea and his stance grew wobbly. He tripped over his own tail and fell backwards. His breathing was steady, but his body wouldn't move an inch.

"We… did it?" Harvey asked with an exhausted expression.

"We did it!" Rubee laid next to him, while taking heavy breaths. "I can't believe it."

"I'm so tired. I can't even move a muscle."

"Funny you say that. I can't move an inch either."

"By the way, 'say hello to my little flower'? Like really?"

"Heh, I didn't have time to think of a better pun, okay?"

"You could've gone with something more like 'I'm gonna blossom you to the ground!' Or something."

Harvey's brows rose, and then he burst out laughing. "I gotta admit, that does sound a lot better."

Harvey's ears perked when the patterns on the layered walls began to illuminate one after the other all the way to the base. He sat up a bit and narrowed his eyes, wondering what was about to happen. At worst, another monster would make an appearance—Harvey almost puked at the thought of having to go through another battle like the one they just had—In the end, none of that happened.

The patterns on the walls lit in a golden light one by one all the way to the ones at the bottom. Next, the highest segment of the walls folded down, opening the ceiling. The others followed suit. Before Harvey knew it, they were in a clearing surrounded by seemingly never ending flowers. What weirded him was the fact that they came to the dungeon by midnight. They shouldn't have spent so much time that it was noon already.

Harvey heaved a relieved sigh. He turned his head and found his bag nearby. He groaned as he forced himself to get up and reach it. Once he reached it, he felt around the pocket to grab a berry, but when he felt something weird and smudgy inside, he withdrew his hand. His frequent crashes against the ground had turned all the berries he was carrying to goop.

His face twisted in a grimace as he emptied the bag contents. He began to clean the items they picked up after getting the goo out. He let out a groaned as he placed the cleaned badge aside. He carried the gadget next, but he accidentally pressed a button on it and the screen lit up.

Harvey dropped the gadget in shock. He tilted his head as he carried it. The screen shone a dim dark blue color, and a white star-like speck glinted at the center. He mulled over what to do next, then he tapped on the speck. When he did, it expanded to reveal a pop up with some information next to the image of a kriketune. He tapped on the screen again to see what would happen, and another text with two options appeared.

"Accept… mission?" Harvey groaned indecisively, then clicked on the yes button. The screen loaded before suddenly turning off. Harvey scratched his head in confusion, but he dismissed it and kept it together with the pile of cleaned objects.

As he was putting the items back into his bag. He glanced at Rubee, whom had already fallen asleep due to exhaustion. The next thing to catch his attention was the vine gate, flowers growing around it as decoration. A wave of relief flowed through him. That must be their way out!

However, when he sprung onto his feet, his body gave out on him. Harvey landed face first in the soil. A throbbing headache and unbearable sensation of nausea seized him. His precarious condition brought forth a saddened smile from him. They'd completed the dungeon, they'd won. Yet, they remain trapped.

As his lids grew heavy, his vision began to blur out. However, he could faintly make out a figure. But all he could see was a blotch of green and not much else. The last bit of consciousness he had slivered away and he passed out, but right before then, he saw a green figure running toward him.

He passed out.

Beta-read by
Zion of Arcadia
 
Last edited:

Cutlerine

Gone. Not coming back.
Ooh, giant conglomerate monster! I like a good boss fight, and this is a pretty good boss fight: the odds are stacked against the hero, the enemy is massive and apparently invincible, and only by an immense effort and no small sacrifice can the battle be won. The pacing is a little uneven, but when it's good it's good, you know? There's action and last-minute dodging and the tossing in of every single resource the protagonists have to hand. In a scene like this, from a story like this, that's pretty much all you could want.

Also:

"Now's not the time to be naming things, Harvey!"

Nice.

And then right after that is of course where it gets serious! That's a real nasty wound. Lucky Harvey's a pokémon; those things seem to be able to shrug off anything. I like the way you maintain the sense of danger at the same time as Harvey and Rubee keep up their badinage. That little exchange where Harvey claims he's had worse and Rubee just goes nope is a great example. They're still joking, but now there's desperation in it.

A few little grammatical bits and pieces:

To assist him, she blinded the monster's sight

You don't need to say that she blinded its sight – just blinding the monster is fine, and in fact more grammatically accurate. It's the monster itself that gets blinded, not the sense.

He never realized until that moment how glad he was that Rubee was so agile if not they'd already be dead.

You've got two clauses here, “He never realized until that moment how glad he was that Rubee was so agile” and “if not they'd already be dead”, and they need to be connected with punctuation or something. A semicolon would do the job. Also, “He” ought to be “He'd”: you need the pluperfect here.

The only reason why she keeps making them is because everyone else seemed to like them but her.

You go into the present tense here for some reason – past tense like the rest of the story would be best.

Rubee's face shriveled as she motioned Harvey to seal the deal.

Not sure about your use of “shriveled” here – that tends to imply a kind of withering and contraction that isn't normally seen in faces except after their owners are deceased. I get what you mean, but saying that her face crumpled or that she wrinkled it in disgust or something would sound much more natural.

Can you distract Kalledes with those bomb nuts while I try to get to that arrow.

Missing a question mark at the end there.

He couldn't stop panting as he pushed himself forward, refusing to give in to his sinking exhaustion and pain.

The way metaphor conventionally works (in English at least, though I'm told there are similarities in many other languages) is that the language of rising means something's becoming more of a thing, and that of sinking indicates it's getting less of a thing. So it would read more naturally to say here that Harvey's pain and exhaustion were rising rather than sinking.

The seeds landed and blew up simultaneously on Kalledes, stunning its movements

Again, like with Rubee blinding Kalledes earlier, it's the monster itself that gets stunned, not its movements. “Stunning it” would be fine.

They shouldn't have spent so much time it was noon already.

Again, two clauses that aren't joined. This example needs some words adding to get it to a point where it makes grammatical sense – “They shouldn't have spent so much time that it was noon already” would be one option, for instance.

He let out a groaned

Either “He groaned” or “He let out a groan”, I think.

Harvey groaned, eying the building as they approached it.

That should be “eyeing” rather than “eying”.

She responded with a chuckled

As with Harvey groaning, that should be either “She chuckled” or “She responded with a chuckle”.

I think if I was going to point out one more general thing I wasn't entirely convinced by in this chapter, it'd be the way that Kalledes seems to give Harvey and Rubee plenty of time to have conversations in between its attacks. I get that they're meant to be talking while dodging strikes and running around the room – but if so, show us! Having these things called out while they roll out of the way of a claw or whatever would be really cool, and round out the sense of an epic boss battle – which, don't get me wrong, you've already gone a long way to creating here, I just think that you could do it even better.

So yeah, those are I guess my thoughts. You've done good things here. I'll be looking forward to more!
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
Ooh, giant conglomerate monster! I like a good boss fight, and this is a pretty good boss fight: the odds are stacked against the hero, the enemy is massive and apparently invincible, and only by an immense effort and no small sacrifice can the battle be won. The pacing is a little uneven, but when it's good it's good, you know? There's action and last-minute dodging and the tossing in of every single resource the protagonists have to hand. In a scene like this, from a story like this, that's pretty much all you could want.

Thanks! It took me a couple of days to write the whole fight and make it coherent to follow.

Not sure about your use of “shriveled” here – that tends to imply a kind of withering and contraction that isn't normally seen in faces except after their owners are deceased. I get what you mean, but saying that her face crumpled or that she wrinkled it in disgust or something would sound much more natural.

I used that word to show how much pressure the silver wind was putting on her. It wasn't exactly a move she could use while moving about at the same time.

I think if I was going to point out one more general thing I wasn't entirely convinced by in this chapter, it'd be the way that Kalledes seems to give Harvey and Rubee plenty of time to have conversations in between its attacks. I get that they're meant to be talking while dodging strikes and running around the room – but if so, show us! Having these things called out while they roll out of the way of a claw or whatever would be really cool, and round out the sense of an epic boss battle – which, don't get me wrong, you've already gone a long way to creating here, I just think that you could do it even better.

I could've, but nothing i can do about that now. Still, i'll make sure to take note of this when writing another fight scene in the future. Thanks for all the errors you pointed out btw, i've already gone and fixed most of them. And for those joined clauses, you can blame my proofreading program for that.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
That was pretty awesome for your first boss battle! I quite like the idea of going for a conglomeration of Pokemon rather than just one big bad, nasty beastie. And you really took advantage of that weirdness with the arrows going straight through all the leaves, forcing Harvey to immediately give up all his usual tactics and get creative. I was expecting the blast seeds to come into play, but I'm glad you had them be part of a larger strategy rather than just winning the fight all in one go. In general, you did a good job with making everything feel really brutal throughout the fight--especially those solarbeam attacks! And the fact that the sewaddle just kept mending it throughout the fight just made it feel all the more hopeless! In short, a good and intense battle.

Interesting that they got their hands on an Expedition Gadget from PSMD at the end! Also I hope we'll figure out what happened to Shaymin once Harvey wakes up. (I understand you were iffy on having her join the party in case she might be too OP, but I still hope she's ok!)

Now for a point of advice: some of the paragraphs had several lengthy sentences one after the other, which can sometimes slow things down in a fast-paced fight scene. Varying between short and long sentences (as well as saving short ones for dramatic beats in the action) can help keep things flowing along nicely.

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Ambyssin

Winter can't come soon enough
Right, so I'm enjoying this quite a bit so far. Overall, I'm liking the characterization for Harvey and Rubee so far. Despite being humans, they both display traits their Pokémon species are known for (Minccino being clean freaks, Ribombee gathering pollen and crafting Pollen Puffs) I know someone else mentioned it earlier, but it's interesting that they've already been around the Pokémon world for several years just living peaceful lives. And their established dynamic allows for some fun exchanges between the two, like:

She hovered in front of his face with her cheeks puffed up. "Hey! Did you even hear a single word I said this whole time?!"

"What? Oh, of course I was listening, one hundred percent!" He joked.

"Yeah? What was the last word I said?"

Harvey rose his hand to speak, but he slowly lowered it back down. "Okay, you got me."

"Seriously Harvey," she said with a sigh. "It's like your head is always in the clouds these days."

And, unless I misread, it seems like Rubee's and Harvey's experiences are slightly different. The latter has stronger memories of where he came from, while Rubee doesn't seem to know very much of her time before being a Pokémon. This could make for some interesting scenarios down the road.

The bow's another interesting element. I mean, I know PMD games have, like, rocks and pebbles to throw. So, I guess this is a bit of a logical progression from that point? Also feels kind of Hunger Games-ish.

The Kalledes Dungeon and its swarmer boss were also cool. I know Negrek mentioned LoZ, and I got Great Deku Tree vibes from the whole place. I was surprised at Rubee's willingness to leap into action. I know she's been a Pokémon for awhile, but her whimsical personality (and the state Harvey found her in) made me expect her to be super hesitant. Not a big deal, though. Shaymin was super adorable, too! Though, her sudden trigger of Kalledes caught me off guard. You'd at least have thought she might've tried to get Harvey and Rubee to steer clear of her prison.

And the boss itself was a nice mix of witty interactions (e.g. "Now's not the time to be naming things, Harvey!") and perilous scenarios (e.g. Harvey's chest wound and Rubee racing to heal him up).

A couple of formatting things caught my attention. Your first two chapters use very different scene transitions. Is that supposed to signify something that I missed? As for the other bit, maybe you should consider some sort of scene break or using italics to break off any flashbacks to Harvey's human life? It took me a little while to realize things had changed from the dungeon to a dream/flashback.

Nice work. I look forward to reading more.
 

DreamSayer

Name's Adam.
[SPOIL]Thanks for the reviews, Chibi and Ambyssin. I know i made too many long sentences in that fight scene, so i'll be more careful in the future. Also, the reason i used different scene transitions between the first two, three chapters is because back then, i was still experimenting on which style to keep. I assure you there'll be more consistency from now on.[/SPOIL]

Chapter 4: Farewell.
Harvey's consciousness returned, his fingers twitching as his nerves made his body feel tingly. His throat was dry and his body weak, making him feel like he's been weighed down by an anvil.

He opened his eyes slowly, swerving his head to observe his whereabouts. He found himself in a dimly lit room with a single luminous stone glowing on the ceiling, a waft of odors lingering in the air. It smelled like berries mixed with drugs, the kind you'd inhale in a hospital, only less vomit inducing.

The walls of the room were lined with wood, reflecting the moonlight that crept its way through the window above the cupboard. With the aid of the light, the decorative carving depicting a spiked beast was hard not to see.

He groaned as he rolled over, feeling sore all the way to his tail tip. Raising his head up, he saw bandages wrapped around his chest, where he'd previously been injured. Whoever brought him there had cleaned his body up, though he could still faintly smell the stench of blood when he brought his nose up close.

"Hey! You're awake," said a figure walking past the drapes. It was Moga's niece, a nuzleaf. She was the village nurse so to speak. "How do you feel?" she asked, walking up to him while holding an apparatus.

Harvey tried to sit up, but he forfeited when his body didn't let him. "I feel a bit sore. Other than that, I think I'm fine."

"That's good to hear, Harv." She pulled open a drawer to retrieve a sitrus berry, dropping it next to him. "Here, It'll help you get better."

"Thanks, Ruku." Harvey took a large bite, momentarily savoring the tangy sweet flavor in his mouth. As he chewed, he could feel his limbs growing less tense. "How did you guys find me? I don't really remember leaving the dungeon," Harvey asked, recalling that he passed out just before he could leave it.

"Oh! We didn't really find you. A pokemon calling herself Shaymin brought you two back here, carrying you both on her back. She was crying, calling for someone to help you two." Ruku's eyes narrowed. "Was she really who she claimed to be?"

Harvey nodded. "Shaymin brought us back?! Where is she?!"

"She's with Rubee. They're probably asleep by now." Ruku glanced at the carvings on the walls, still wearing a befuddled look on her face. "I honestly pictured she'd look less… unscary."

"You can say that again. Shaymin's anything but scary if you ask me."

Ruku heaved as she stood up, carrying a bowl from the table. "Well, I'm heading out for the night. Try not to go walking about any time soon. You still need to remain in bed for the next few days at least."

"Was Moga angry when we left?"

Ruku paused, raising her hands in a shrug and groaning as she tried to find the right words. "Well, he's really worried sick about you two since you left."

"I see…"

"Well, later then," she said, exiting the drapes.

Harvey laid back on the bed, exhaustion streaming through his bones. If he were to be honest with himself, he couldn't describe what he was feeling. Whether it was fear, anxiety or something else. One thing was certain though, he was anxious of what he'd say when he faces Moga.

Returning to the village so soon wasn't exactly according to plans. Deep down, he hoped Moga wasn't going to be too mad about it them leaving without a word to begin with. Ruku didn't mention him being angry, but that didn't make him feel any less nervous.

***C***​

Hours had passed since Ruku left, but Harvey hadn't been able to fall back to sleep despite exhaustion weighing his body. His mouth curved into a grimace, placing his paw over his face and opening his eyes to stare at the luminous rock. Turning on his side, he spotted his bag sitting nearby on the medicine cupboard. He wondered why he hadn't noticed it there sooner. Not caring to ponder any further, he got up and barely pulled it over with his fingertips.

He was surprised; everything was there where he'd kept it. His hand bumped the journal while he rummaged the bag. Harvey's ear tilted. He pulled the journal out of the bag, the leather cover faintly reflecting the orange light off it as he held it between his paws. A groan escaped Harvey as he opened the journal. He was hoping it would give him some clues as to what he could expect of the outside world.

He found something odd about the journal as soon as he opened it. There was an abundance of empty pages that came after the preface he'd already read. Only after skipping through several of them did he come across one that had something written down on it.

"This is the last expedition I'm ever going to partake in. Arboneus Island, also known as Bleeding Island, is one filled with mysteries. There are only ten of us here, and we're only here to investigate the mystery dungeon rumored to be here, and also the world tree. No one has ever been to this island and lived to tell the tale. Some say there's a mystical beast that punishes anyone that ventures into the island. I had better be careful once we set foot on it."

That was all there was on the page until the next, which said, "Saying this island is hot would be an understatement. At least I we're getting closer to our goal here. We can already see the some of the world tree's roots in plain view. Maybe those haunting stories about this island were made up after all. However, I can't help but shake the feeling that there's somethi—"

Harvey narrowed his eyes. The rest of the words were just scribbles, like they were written in a hurry. He skipped several more blank pages before encountering one with blood staining the bottom half. He felt his heart skip a beat, and he bit his lip as he read what the page had to say.

"I'm afraid there's not much time left for me. Everyone else is dead as far as I can tell, I hope i'm wrong on that notion. The story about the mystical beast was true indeed. It attacked us from nowhere, slashing anyone it saw. Just before I scurried into this dungeon, it stabbed me in the gut. If anyone ever finds this journal, please…"

Harvey's chest stuttered as he read the last paragraph, which read, "I should've stayed in Minstrel City, but I knew I couldn't. Why do I even complain? I knew this was going to happen. I should just accept that it did."

"He knew it was going to happen?" Harvey asked himself, slowly flipping the remaining pages. Sadly, the rest of the pages all the way to the last one were empty. So, he placed his hand on his chin as he thought over the words of the journal.

The beast mentioned, was it Kalledes? He mentioned being stabbed. Harvey winced as he pictured that in his mind. Well whatever it was, it was probably there because of the dungeon. I wouldn't have to worry about—what is the world tree? Harvey's eyes widened, suddenly taking an interest in the subject.

He yawned as he rubbed his eyes groggily. He sighed as he laid on his back. Maybe Shaymin knows something about it. I'm gonna have to ask her later.

***C***​

"Hey, Harv! Are you awake?" Ruku said, walking into the room with a tray packed with bandage rolls and obsidian tools. She entered and rose her brow, wondering why Harvey was sleeping in such an uncomfortable position. She walked to the bedside and tapped his head twice. "Hey, wake up."

Harvey groaned and pushed himself up. He rubbed his hand behind his neck. It ached, but not very much. His eyes surveyed the room, noticing the bright sunrays coming through the gaps in the drapes behind Ruku. He'd slept up till noon.

"Hey."

"You really shouldn't be sleeping like that. Your neck will hurt. You wouldn't want to end up staying here even longer now, do you?" She advised, keeping the tray in a nearby corner.

Harvey rubbed his eyes and glanced at her. Huh… When did I fall asleep?

Ruku carried the bandage roll and a sharp obsidian knife. "Come on, it's time to change your bandages."

She told him to lie on his back so she could begin her work. Harvey obliged, all the while keeping a tired expression as she undid the bandages. After running the blade in a straight line and removed the bandages, she told him to sit back up. However, she tilted her head, her fingers hovering over his rear mark.

"Hey, did the mark on your back always have a red oval?"

Harvey's ear rose, looking over his shoulder with a confused look. "No? There's supposed to be a black one though. At least that's what Rubee told me."

"Well, it's red now… Maybe the color changed, or maybe it's always been like this."

"Maybe," Harvey replied, twiddling his fingers.

She threw the used bandages on the tray to dispose of them later. After washing her hands in a bowl, she handed him another sitrus berry to speed up his recovery.

"I'm surprised. Your wound's healing so quickly. You'll probably be free to leave by tomorrow morning."

"Really?!" Harvey exclaimed, a smile glowing on his face.

"By the way, Rubee woke up a few hours ago. I'll let her know you're up, if that's okay with you."'

"Sure, I don't mind."

"Harvey!" a familiar voice said no more than two seconds later, followed by Rubee fluttering into the room. She plopped beside him, energetic as ever. "You're okay! You almost had me scared back there."

"Rubee!" A smile grew on Harvey's face as he saw her.

"Glad to see you're awake already."

"Well, it's not like I planned on sleeping forever," he said, chuckling.

Ruku made a sound while carrying the tray. "Well, I'll leave him with you, Rubee. You guys have fun."

"Oh, okay. See ya!" Rubee replied. As Ruku left, she turned her attention back to Harvey, raising her hand beside her face as she began to whisper, "Hey, did you hear? We've been in that dungeon for a whole month! Can you believe it?!"

"Yeah, Ruku told me." Harvey put his hands behind him, raising his head while he leaned on them. "I wonder how that even happened."

"I know this may make me sound crazy, but I had fun back there!" She rose her hands, an adventurous smile creeping up her face.

"Fun?!" Harvey rose a brow. "Weren't you crying back there?" he said, his lips curving to a smug smile.

Rubee's cheeks flushed and she turned her face away. "I wasn't crying! I was simply allergic!" She pretended to cough, beating her chest twice. "See? I'm still being affected."

"Riiiiight."

"So, how are you feeling now?" She poked the bandages around his chest and looked up. "Does it hurt?"

Harvey sighed, his ears slumped. "She said I needed to stay here until tomorrow."

Rubee shifted next to him, whisking up a pollen puff. She rose it up toward his face. "So, are we still going?"

Harvey chuckled. "I never said I was going to give up after one try. If my friends were here, they'd call me a chicken if I gave up now."

Rubee went silent. "You know, you keep mentioning things about your past, but you've never really told me much about it."

"That's because you've never shown any interest in knowing," he mumbled. "Whenever I say anything, you either interrupt or make fun of me. Like you did in the dungeon, remember?"

"Hehheh, I do that a lot, don't I?" She chuckled, twirling her scarf.

"Harvey!" Shaymin called, sprinting into the room, her face brimming with a smile. Ruku must've informed her Harvey was awake. "I'm so glad! I was so scared you two weren't going to make it. But, you're both okay now!" she said, her expression swirling up to the point she couldn't hold back her tears. Without much thought, she held them both tightly in her arms. "I'm really glad."

"You don't need to cry Shaymin!" Rubee said, flailing her arms around.

"Yeah, we're both fine!" Harvey said, his face getting really flustered.

"Sorry… I get pretty emotional sometimes," Shaymin chuckled nervously and wiped her tears with her paws. "Still, I'm really glad you're both safe. I wouldn't have forgiven myself if you weren't."

"You're the one we should be more worried about, Shaymin. Now that you're not in the dungeon anymore, do you feel any different?" asked Harvey as she withdrew from the hug.

Shaymin's expression changed, replaced by a faint smile. "I can feel my power returning to me little by little. Most of my memories are back as well I think. It's hard to know since I can't remember what I've forgotten."

Rubee tilted her head, hovering up on her wings. "Do you at least remember how you got in the dungeon?"

Shaymin lowered her gaze, her expression growing solemn. "Yes, I remember now."

Rubee then crept closer. "How did it happen?"

Shaymin began, "I remember running away from something, but I don't recall what it really was. All I know is that I didn't want any part in it, because I was too afraid. So, I brought some of my friends and used all my power to grow a tree that would reach into the sky. I just wished to protect them from the madness that was going on in the rest of the world." She heaved a sigh, burying her face in her hands. "As time passed, they started acting strange. They called me nasty names, treated me with great hostility. They said I'd cursed them. I left them alone because I was afraid of hurting them more than I already had, and because I was too weak at the time. With my powers and purpose gone, I hid in a cave. Not long after that, I found myself in that dungeon, with no way of escaping."

"You lost your purpose?" asked Harvey.

Shaymin nodded, her paws still shuddering. "Yes. I'm not really the guardian of forests and flowers as you may have thought. People only started calling me that later on because of my abilities. What I truly symbolize is gratitude. Without it, I'm simply not a guardian anymore."

"Don't worry, Shaymin." Rubee stood on her muzzle, comforting her with a cheery smile. "You're safe now! No more nasty dungeon!"

I wonder what the connection between her loss of purpose and getting trapped in the dungeon really was. Is there even a connection? Maybe not. There's not really much to go on. Snapping back to reality, Harvey glanced at Rubee and then back at Shaymin. "Oh yeah, what's the world tree?"

Shaymin blinked twice as though he asked a dumb question. "I just told you, it's a tree that can reach the clouds. Wasn't this village built on top of it?"

Rubee fidgeted, her jaw dropping to the ground. "Whaaa?! We're on a giant tree?! Harvey, that means I was right all along!" Rubee pulled the map from his backpack—which was still sitting somewhere on the bed—and unrolled it, her eyes were immediately fixed on the large tree surrounded by smaller ones, and dim red veins branching out into a lake, illustrated at the bottom corner. "We really are here, aren't we?"

Shaymin pressed her paws on the map, giving it a curious look. "That's not right. The top is supposed to be a flower, not covered with clouds."

Harvey's eyes glimmered with intrigue, bringing his face over the map as well to look. "A flower?"

Shaymin nodded, raising her hands up in the air. "Yes! It's the biggest and toughest tree I've ever made! It's the only kind of tree that can grow up to the clouds."

"How bad was it that you had to go through all that?!" asked Rubee.

"It was awful! I really don't like remembering it."

"Oh, sorry."

"No, it's alright."

"This could be a problem," Harvey began, running his paw through the tuft on his head. "How are we supposed to leave the village now? If this tree is as tall as you say it is, then climbing down would be way too difficult."

"Oh well. At least we tried," Rubee said, her hands raising in a shrug.

"No. We'll have to find another way. Maybe I could build a parachute. It'll be easy. I'm not that heavy, so I'd only need a light blanket." He shook his head, biting on his finger. "No, that'll be too risky, the wind currents will definitely pose a problem up here. But, a glider might work. I'm just gonna need a bunch of sticks, some large leaves and plenty of rope—"

"I can fly you down," said Shaymin, interrupting his rambling.

Harvey and Rubee tilted their heads simultaneously. "You can fly?"

"I can, in my sky forme!"

Harvey rose his paw to object, but lowered it. At that point, he'd probably believe she could fly if she said she could. Considering what little he's already seen her do before, flying didn't seem like too much of a stretch. Yet, he wondered how she could, since she didn't have any visible wings on her body.

"Are you sure you can fly us all the way to the ground?" Harvey asked, his eyes skeptical.

Shaymin groaned. She expected some sort of doubt from them, so she wasn't offended by the question. So, she stood with a smile. "Here, let me prove it," she said.

Shaymin's leaves swayed, her flowers radiating in a glimmering pink color while the rest of her body turned bright white. They watched in awe as her body shifted forms. It only took a few brief seconds and she was done. They almost couldn't recognize her afterwards.

Shaymin resembled a small canine deerling, the leaves on her back forming a mohawk over her head. "Ta da! This is my sky forme!" she said, turning around to reveal red flower on her neck which reminded Harvey of the scarves they used to wear in camps.

"Wow! This is so cool!" Rubee chuckled, sitting on Shaymin's flat wing-shaped ear.

Harvey remained seated, though the way his mouth remained hung open showed how amazed he was as well. "Great! This way, we'll be all set to leave!"

"That's if Moga even allows us to go in the first place," Rubee said.

"I'll go talk to him. Without Kalledes Dungeon, he doesn't really have a reason not to let us leave anymore," Harvey said, standing quickly. Doing so made him feel dizzy all of a sudden, causing him to plop back down.

Rubee placed her hand over her mouth, clearly trying her best to hold back a laugh while Shaymin stared at him with a worried expression.

He lifted his head with a groan. "Or maybe I can wait till tomorrow..."

***C***​

Harvey stood before Moga, who was seated on his chair in the living room. It hasn't been an hour since Ruku removed his bandages that he came to confront Moga in the house.

"You're going to leave again after we found you just barely hanging on to your life?!" Moga beat his cane on the ground, sending specks of sand jumping from the force. His eyes were glaring at Harvey and his blood was riling up. "Just how selfish can you get, boy?"

Harvey bit his lip, pulling his foot back. He had an unwavering expression on his face. It's not like Harvey expected Moga to just up and let them leave, but he still wanted to try and convince him.

Moga rested his forehead on his palm then rose his head. "You disobeyed me and risked your life. And for what?! Do you not think of those around you?! Do you love having people think you're dead? Is that what you want?!" he asked, his nose flaring.

Harvey returned him a solemn look, his ears occasionally shifting and turning.

"Well?! Have you nothing to say?!"

"I'm sorry about what I did…" Harvey puckered his lips, his paws clenching and his ears slumped.

"Do you mean that or are you just saying that for the sake of it?"

"I really am sorry, but I didn't have a choice."

"You had a choice. You always had a choice. You could've chosen to stay and not make people needlessly worry."

"Again, I am sorry," Harvey rose his hands forward beside him. "If we hadn't done what we did, Shaymin would still be trapped in the dungeon."

Moga was so exasperated, he laughed a little. "That's besides the point, Harvey."

"I know I should've considered others before venturing out. Even though I don't regret my choice, I did feel bad about having to leave everyone behind. But Kalledes Dungeon isn't there anymore, so why won't you let me go this time?!"

"What makes you think the world you seek isn't going to be filled with nothing but endless suffering? Do you even know the kinds of evil that may be out there?"

"It doesn't matter if there are monsters and scary creatures! As long as I can find my way back home, I'm prepared for anything!"

"Do you even have a plan for what you're going to do once you leave? Or are you just going to keep roaming about on a wild goose chase until you somehow find your way back home? If you had a plan, I might've considered letting you go. But you don't have one. You're just trying to find a grain of sand in a haystack."

Harvey swung his hand in disagreement. "I do have a plan!" That wasn't just an excuse. Harvey recalled the city mentioned in Xemo's journal. It wasn't much, but he felt he should at least start from there. "There's someone I'm going to find. I think that person might know a thing or two."

Moga was about to retort, but seeing the fire in Harvey's eyes made him reconsider. He was well aware that nothing he says will change his mind. It pained him, but the boy that once depended on him for everything has a mind of his own. He heaved a sigh, his lips curving into a smile. "Very well then, You've clearly shown that you won't listen to anything i say. I'll let you leave. You may begin your journey tomorrow by noon. Before then, you'll need to prepare everything you can for this journey is no doubt going to be tough."

Harvey nodded. "I will!"

"Wait! There's something you must have," Moga said, the legs of his chair creaking as he stood up. He gestured his hand at Harvey. "Come."

Harvey watched vacantly, following the old shiftry up the stairs. He glanced at his room as they passed it, missing it already. When they arrived at Moga's room, he pulled a chest from underneath the bed and blew dust off it.

Harvey blinked. "What's in the chest?"

Moga placed it down with an oomph, glancing at Harvey over his shoulder. Unclipping the chest, he said, "This was something I was going to give to you at the lunar festival, but since you're leaving tomorrow, you might as well have it now."

Harvey's mouth hung open slightly, staring at the green short sleeved garb Moga pulled from the chest. Harvey walked forward and received it from Moga, his mouth curving into a smile as he studied it. There was an embroidery shaped like his mark on the back of the garb, a thing he found amusing, and leaf patterns on the sleeve edges. He slid it over his head and pulled it down. Just as he'd expected, the garb fitted him nicely.

"I love it! Thanks Moga!" Harvey said, moving his limbs about in his new attire.

"I was going to have them make you a green pointy hat, but that'd just make you look funny. Regardless, I'm glad you liked it. At least now as long as you're wearing that, you'll be reminded of the people here."

Harvey's lips curved in a smile, nodding as he shook his hands together. "Don't worry Moga. I'll never forget about any of you."

***C***​

The sun had risen the next morning, and Harvey was all set and ready to go, waking up early and unable to hold back his excitement. He almost couldn't sleep the previous night because of that.

He sat on the floor, busy assembling the contents of his bag, making sure he had everything he needed; the strange gadget, journal, the medal shaped badge, some berries—in a different pocket this time— and the pouch of coins. In the end, Harvey forgot all about his soiled blanket until it was already too late, so he decided to leave it behind. Shaymin apparently forgot his bow in the dungeon, so he was going to have to make a new one some time later. It was a good thing his dad taught him how to make them a long time ago. Even as a minccino, Harvey was still able to craft one for his size.

He looked up upon hearing the door creaking, and Rubee buzzed in. "Hey, are you done?"

Harvey nodded briefly, his eyes falling back on the bag. "Yes, I'm about done here." Harvey wore the single strap over his shoulder, pulling on it slightly to adjust for comfort. "Where's Shaymin?"

"She's waiting for us outside. You should come too when you're done."

"Okay," Harvey said, stretching his limbs out as he followed her out the room. He stared at the golden rays of light coming through the window by the end of the corridor, just next to the stairs.

"Oh, yeah. Now that I think about it, do we even know where we'll be going?" Rubee asked as they walked down.

"Well, I read about a city in that journal we found. Since we don't have much to go off on, we should try going there first."

"That doesn't sound much like a bad idea."

"From there, we can decide on what to do next."

"Yeah."

Before they left, They took a detour to say his farewells to everyone he knew in the village. Some wished him glad tidings, others were sad to see him go. Later, they met up with Shaymin, and took the path that once lead to Kalledes Dungeon.

***C***​

"The bridge is gone!" Rubee exclaimed as they stood before the cliff in front of them.

Moga had warned them beforehand that the villagers tore the bridge down to prevent anyone from going into the dungeon again. Still, they'd hoped he was just saying that to dissuade them. It turned out that he wasn't.

"Oh well, at least we tried," Rubee said nonchalantly, making a u-turn towards the forest.

"Rubee!" Harvey said, looking at her with an annoyed stare.

"I'm just kidding!" she laughed.

"I remember that cave," Shaymin began, her eyes fixed on the crevice in the cliff in place of the dungeon entrance. "This is where i hid all those years ago." she morphed into her sky forme, her face serious. "The cave goes all the way to the other side. Climb on and let's go."

"Oh, okay." Harvey awkwardly walked up to her, and carefully got on her back.

"If you need me, I'll be in your backpack," Rubee said.

"You're not going to eat all the berries now, are you?" Harvey asked as she went in.

"Tee hee, I won't make any promises."

Harvey furrowed his brows. "Rubee!"

"Hey, I kid!"

"Are you to all set?" Shaymin asked.

Harvey wrapped his hands around her neck. "Yeah, we're good."

"Okay then!" Shaymin said, running forward at top speed. Upon reaching the edge, she took a leap and shooting herself forward into the cave. She smiled widely as the light at the end became ever visible.

That's right, I don't have to hide anymore.
Beta-read by
TheG0AT and Anonymous Kraken
 
Last edited:

JFought

Sloooowly writing...
So! That last chapter really got me itching to review again, so I might as well jump in and... review again!

Where to start? Let's go with the world. We don't know all that much about it yet, but it definitely has caught my interest. There seems to be some fantasy influences here, what with the World Tree, a tree so big that it can support an entire landmass. The lore is also interesting, with talk of guardians, Minstrel City, and the Guildsmen. And, of course, it's impossible not to compliment you on your dungeons, which are super cool! I'm definitely anxious to see more! Though, on that note, it might be important to mention that the world tree lifted up the land from under it. It definitely looks to be the case, but without that confirmation, a reader is left wondering for a while how all this land got up here, especially with the knowledge that the whole thing is also inside a crater, as we were told in Chapter 1. You had a pretty good opportunity to do this when Shaymin was talking about how she created the tree. And if I'm wrong and it isn't the case, you might need to go back to Chapter 1 and revise some things.

I also really have to compliment your main characters. Harvey and Rubee's interactions are a joy to go through, and I can tell that you've had a lot of fun with them! Their designs also stand out: Harvey has the mark and the green shirt, while Rubee is a shiny. I also like the teamwork dynamic they showed in chapter 2 and 3, with Harvey's ranged offense and Rubee's utility and versatility. All in all, they're pretty well thought out, and I want to see more of them, too.

The fic does have one glaring weakness though, and that's in its typos. There are a lot of grammar and formatting mistakes sprinkled here and there, along with some awkward wording, some of which gets kinda distracting. Here's what I noticed:
Chapter 2 said:
"Hold on Harvey! This one's mine!" . Rubee got in front of him and threw a pollen puff from her hand.
There's a stray period here.

Chapter 2 said:
Rubee groaned and pointed at an illustration depicting a dense forest with a large tree growing in the middle. "My guts tell me that we're over here."
Rubee groaned? It sounds a little weird in this context. Did you mean she made a thoughtful noise?

Chapter 2 said:
"I see you're excited," He mumbled.
"He" shouldn't be capitalized.

Chapter 3 said:
"Wait…," Rubee's voice was shaking as she said that. "What are they trying to do?"
There shouldn't be a comma at the end of the first dialogue bit.

Chapter 3 said:
The last bit of consciousness he had slivered away and he passed out, but right before then, , he saw a green figure running toward him.
There's a double comma here.

Chapter 4 said:
His throat was dry and his body weak, making him feel like he's being weighed down by an anvil.
You phased into the present tense here.

Chapter 4 said:
He'd slept up till noon"Hey."
There's no space between "Hey" and "noon" here. The "Hey" should probably be located at the beginning of the next paragraph.

Chapter 4 said:
Moga was so exasperated, he laughed a little.
This is a little awkwardly worded. Maybe reword to "Moga gave an exasperated laugh," or "Moga laughed in exasperation."

Chapter 4 said:
Harvey's eyes widened, his heart thumped at the suggestion. However, his determination was quick to kick his self doubt aside. Harvey jabbed his finger at his chest, wearing an unwavering smile. "I accept! But, there's no way I'm going to give up either! I will keep looking and looking even if it means searching every corner of the globe!"

"Well, Shaymin's going to fly us down the tree."
The second bit of dialogue here is pretty abrupt: nothing really leads into it from the previous paragraph, which was also spoken by Harvey.

Chapter 4 said:
That's right, I don't have to hide anymore. She told herself.
The period at the end of the thought can be replaced with a comma, and the "She" should be lowercase.

There are probably other examples that I haven't caught onto, but those are the really noticeable ones. In general, you and your beta-reader might want to be more thorough with proofreading.

You also seem to be very back and forth on whether or not Harvey has hands or paws. This paragraph in particular is where it shows the most:
Chapter 4 said:
He was surprised; everything was there where he'd kept it. His hand bumped the journal while he rummaged the bag. Harvey's ear tilted. He pulled the journal out of the bag, the leather cover faintly reflecting the orange light off it as he held it between his paws. A groan escaped Harvey as he opened the journal. He was hoping it would give him some clues as to what he could expect of the outside world.
In the span of three sentences you go from 'hand' to 'paw.' It's somewhat of a nitpick, but it'd still probably be best to be consistent and just stick to one, or, if you're doing it for variety, at least limit how often the fic decides to change it.

With all of that said, though, the content here is what really draws me to the fic, and I'd love to see where it goes next. And now that the plot is starting to kick in, it won't be too long before things really get going, and I look forward to it!
 
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