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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Heroic Dreamers

Navarchu

Professional Swampert lover
Summary
For reasons he doesn't understand, Shiron got another go at life. Now in a brand new world, the human-turned-Marshtomp embarks on a journey to find himself and become a hero, alongside new friends. All the while, a question keeps making its way to his head: "Am I good enough?".

Chapters

Chapter 1: Second Chance
 

Navarchu

Professional Swampert lover
Chapter 1 - Second Chance

Drip. Drip. Drip. Water dropped into a large river, slowly but surely. Hardly moving, but the sound of droplets was constant and almost rhythmical, able to bring peace to anyone who heard it.

The water was also blue in color, and very clean. There was nothing inside the river, not any animal or person, making it a serene place. The temperature was not too hot or too cold, anyone could dive into the river and swim with no issues. Of course, if they knew how to swim.

Something came crashing into the water and was immediately surrounded by bubbles. TRipples surrounded the figure, until the bubbles faded, leaving a human. Said figure had barely any distinct features, save for it having a masculine shape, and was entirely cyan in color.

“U-Urgh…” He said, trying to move his body. The figure looked at himself and gasped in shock. His state was nearly transparent to the point he could see through himself. “W-What’s going on?!”

“Human.”

A booming and royal voice reverberated throughout the river, shaking it to its core. The human turned around, confused and scared, trying to find out where the voice was coming from. His body was shaking as well, but it was frozen in place.

“Be not afraid, human. I am here to help you.”

Somehow, his shaking subsided. Still wary of the voice, he tried getting answers. “T-That’s kinda hard to believe when I’m in this… whatever this place is!”

“I understand that you have questions. I will try my best to answer them,” the voice said, and the water bubbled up again, gathering in a single spot where the voice came from.

In a bright flash of light, a figure stood. A quadrupedal stag-like creature with black and blue fur alongside a short, bushy tail. The antlers were colored gold, with a few spots having several colors of the rainbow. The creature looked at the human and smiled. He, on the other hand, was left shaking once again, and slowly tried backing away from the creature.

“My name is Xerneas.”

“X-Xerneas?!” The human asked, panting. “B-But you’re a legend, you… you…”

“A legend from tales as old as time,” she replied, giggling. “...You are from the Hoenn region, correct? I’ve seen it.”

“Y-Yeah? How do you know?”

“Legend, of course. Now, I have a question myself. What is your name, human?”

“I’m… my name is Shiron.” He answered, taking a deep breath. Things were getting calmer now, he felt.

“That is a beautiful name.” She looked around the river. “This place… how do I put it? It is a construct from your mind. It represents yourself… in your final moments.”

“My fin—” Shiron stopped, shutting himself up as the realization dawned upon him. “I’m… I’m dead.”

“Unfortunately, yes. Do you remember how you died?”

“I-I do. Of course… of course I’m dead,” Shiron looked down, but he saw nothing other than the depths of the river, which appeared to extend endlessly. “I deserved this, didn’t I?”

“No,” Xerneas shook her head. “You did not. And that is why I’m here. I’ve sensed greatness in you, Shiron. Tell me: what is your dream?”

Shiron was taken back by the sudden question. Why was someone as high and mighty as Xerneas asking him about his dream? It was only natural for him to be scared, to tremble at the sight. And what was that about sensing greatness?

“Please, answer my question, human.”

“My… my dream?” He wondered, thinking what to answer. What was his dream? And why did it matter anyway? He was dead. Shiron looked at himself, his crystal clear body. On his arms, he noticed something; there was a tint of red in them. He frowned.

“Do you not have an answer, Shiron?”

“N-No. I mean, yes. My dream was…” He gulped. “I wanted to help others. Everyone… w-well, I wanted to make others happy. To save people.”

“And your dream was interrupted by your death. If I may ask, why did you deci—”

Shiron shook his head in denial. “Please… I don’t wanna talk about it. I don’t even know why you brought me here. Just… what do you want?”

“I want to give you another chance,” she nodded. “Shiron, I think you deserve happiness like everyone else.”

“A second… chance?” He asked, unsure. He took another look at himself, shaking his arms. “I don’t know if I deserve it… I’ve brought nothing but pain to everyone I’ve met. Why do you think I deserve another chance?”

“Your heart,” Xerneas raised her head. “You have a big heart, and it’s full of love. You just need to treat yourself with kindness. The same way you treat so many others…”

Shiron trembled. Even being incorporeal, he felt the tears building up beneath his eyes. They wanted to come out so badly…

“What I’m about to offer you is something reserved only to those who deserve it,” Xerneas looked up and smiled. “Shiron, I can bring you to another world, a world of Pokémon. You will become one as well. Never to return to the human world, do you understand?”

“I’ll never get to go back home…?” Shiron asked. He would never see anyone there ever again. And becoming a Pokémon? That… sounded nice. If he really deserved this chance, then…

“I’ll take it.” Shiron then gasped. “Wait, what about my memories?!”

“Your memories?” Xerneas tilted her head. “I was planning on erasing them. Would you like to keep them?”

“Yes, I would. As much as I don’t have… good memories of my home, I wanna keep ‘em.”

“That is an unusual request, I must say. But, understood. It is time, Shiron, to cast aside your human shell and begin your new life.” Her antlers began to glow in a rainbow fashion, charging a multicolored beam of light.

Now that this was actually happening, Shiron felt his heart skip a beat. This was something else. He never even heard of it before, becoming a Pokémon? Weird, but he could accept that. Yeah, no problems with that part. Or with the whole “abandoning his family” part. He had his reasons for wanting this.

“Maybe someday we will meet again, Shiron, but until then… good luck!” The beam was launched towards the human, sending him into the depths of the river.


Next thing he knew, Shiron was getting propelled at an incredible speed. His body was practically rolling, and he could hardly see what was going on.

Why’s… everything… spinning?! He protested, coughing up water and moving his head back and forth, just waiting for that experience to be over. Xerneaaas! Why did you do this?!

He was getting deeper into the river, but something was odd. The more he looked, Shiron noticed that there were more things in it. Like algae, rocks, and even a few water-type Pokémon, like Feebas and Alomomola. What was going on?

And while he was still speeding up, that was no longer the weirdest part about this whole thing. Sure, he heard what Xerneas said, but now that Shiron managed to look at himself, he no longer saw the human, but instead, he had… the body of a Marshtomp. The bright-blue color gave it away, as did the gills he now had, and the weird, double tail… thing.

His surprised look gave way to a confused one. Okay, hold up! I’m in the body of a starter ? Okay, that’s… uh, it would be cool. Not that I mind, Mudkips are cute, and Swampert is really tough, but Marshtomp? That kinda seems like a downgrade to me…

Shiron closed his eyes and let his body continue on its path. To his surprise, he seemed to stop. Shiron then opened his eyes and gasped, they were even sparkling from the shock.

What he saw was a vast underwater ecosystem, like in his hometown, but different in the way he could see everything. It wasn’t as murky as the ocean he was used to, and Shiron found that lovely.

Lilycove doesn’t seem so good now… heh. Bet I can even swim now that I’m a water-type!

To test his theory, Shiron tried swimming like a puppy, but he discovered it was difficult. He wasn’t even leaving the place! And what’s worse, he was struggling to breathe. Shiron took some time to notice it, but he really needed to breathe.

Okay, new plan: get outta here! Having decided, he tried swimming upwards, towards the light, and he was getting there. Slowly, but surely. His lungs, on the other hand, were not so cool with this idea; they were getting stuffed with water, and Shiron tried holding his breath. O-Oh no… oh… n..o…

He coughed water and began falling down again, as his vision became blurry. Shiron struggled to keep himself awake and with open eyes, but he managed to hold on long enough that he saw someone else jumping down the water. A strange figure, with blue fur and a canine appearance, but on two legs.

H-Huh? Oh… what’s… that…? His vision was unclear, but the Pokémon in front of him also had a few patches of black fur, and two dreadlocks coming out of both sides of the stranger’s head.

R-Rio...lu? Shiron thought, right before he closed his eyes and passed out.


“Hold on, I got this!”

The Riolu rose to the surface, taking a pause to catch his breath. He soon pushed the Marshtomp, not without struggle. The water-type was heavier than he looked. But soon enough, the duo had gotten out of the river and fallen on the sandy ground.

“Phew… that was hard,” Riolu said, panting as he laid down, looking to his side and staring directly at the Marshtomp. “...Are you okay? Can you breathe? It’s kinda weird seeing a ‘tomp here, and drowning!”

“Nick! Where are you?!” A voice asked, making the canine look back at the other side of the beach, seeing a Quilladin running towards him.

“Hey Magnus! You won’t believe what I found here!” Nick waved, still exhausted from the rescue, but with enough energy to crack a smile.

Once the Quilladin was close enough, Nick noticed him wearing a white apron around his chest, and his nose sniffed the distinct aroma of sugar.

“N-Nick?” Magnus stopped, panting. “W-What’re you doing he—”

Another look made him notice the unconscious water-type standing next to Nick. Magnus gasped in shock, before standing back.

“W-Wait! Nick, who’s that?”

Nick grinned. “Some guy I just saved! He was, uh… drowning.”

“A water-type? Drowning ? He’s evolved! Unless you caught a feral!”

“...I’m not like that Treecko you heard about,” he rolled his eyes. “Oh, but this guy’s still unconscious.”

“Maybe for good reason? How would he drown?” Magnus gulped, managing to take another look at the Marshtomp.

“Beats me. I just knew I had to help, y’know? Right thing to do.”

Meanwhile, Shiron remained in the same state. He moved a little in his inert state. His face quickly turned red, and Shiron moved like he was gasping for air. Nick took notice of this and looked at his friend.

“Dude, I think we need to wake him up!”

“What?” Magnus flinched at the sentence, his heart skipping a beat. It was undeniable that this Marshtomp needed help, but what if he was only faking it? “What if he tries to attack us? What do we do, then?”

“...Just trust me on this one! I sensed his aura! We’ll be fine!”

“B-But… your senses suck… no offense.”

“None taken.”

The Quilladin stared at Shiron again, trembling a bit. However, the sight of that Marshtomp, helpless and suffocating, was enough for him to reconsider what to do.

Magnus ran towards the water-type, using both of his arms to push down on Shiron’s chest. He pumped as hard as he could, but tried not to use too much strength. All he needed was to wake him. That was all. After that, he opened Shiron’s mouth and began blowing on it, slow and easy. This was harder than the books said, he noticed.

C’mon, dude! Don’t leave me! Arceus, I hope Nick’s doing the right thing by rescuing this guy…

He saw Shiron’s chest rise and smiled, still blowing air as much as possible.


Shiron snapped his eyes open, coughing up water and instinctively sitting down. His hearing buzzed, and his other senses were on overload, trying to focus on too many things at once.

What was going on? Where was he? And what just happened? More questions popped up as he got used to the new sensations dawning on him. Starting with the gills that twitched, picking up the cold air around him, and a faint smell of rain.

This… this is… Shiron looked down at himself, now confirming that his body had indeed changed, just like Xerneas had mentioned earlier. He was no longer a human, and the world he once knew, the people he used to know… they were gone. All gone.

He stood up, trembling as he balanced himself, opening and closing his fists. ...This is… great !

A smile spread on Shiron’s face, and he touched his cheeks. The scaly feeling was comforting and he giggled loudly, enamored by how good it was. Despite the reality of him never being able to return dawning upon him, Shiron was ecstatic! Well, sure, he had to be careful not to get caught now, but everything should be fine, right

Unbeknownst to him, Shiron was being watched by his two rescuers. The duo was eyeing him like he was some sort of clown, and while Nick was finding what the Marshtomp was doing to be funny, Magnus was intrigued.

Finally, the Riolu cleared his throat. “Hey. You’re finally awake!”

The voice brought Shiron out of his trance and he saw a Riolu and a Quilladin, both staring right at him. Did they see his little show? Oh no. The mere thought made heat rise up on his face.

“Are you listening to me? Can you talk?” Nick asked, snapping his fingers to get Shiron’s attention again. “Are you in there? C’mon, we’re trying to help you!”

“Wha?” Shiron turned around and stared at them, blinking repeatedly. “Did you… talk?”

“What do you mean?” Nick crossed his arms, huffing. “Of course I talked! You’re the one I didn’t expect to talk! Or to drown, for that matter…”

A talking Pokémon? Shiron stepped back, trying to process what he heard. Was this the world Xerneas sent him to? A world of talking Pokémon? At least they didn’t seem aggressive, but still...

“U-Uh… hi!” The Quilladin forced a smile. “I-I’m Magnus, and this is my friend… Nick!”

“I found you in the river, you were drowning… so I took you out!” Nick explained, sighing in relief and rubbing sweat off his forehead. “...Although it’s weird for a water-type to drown, we thought you were a feral! Anyway, I guess the important question is: are you alright?”

Oh ****, the former human gulped. What to do?! These were the first Pokémon he met in this world, and if he angered them, surely things would get bad for him. What if I tell them I’m a human…? Maybe this’ll help!


Shiron’s thoughts were interrupted by the Riolu poking his shoulders.

“So?” Nick tilted his head as he waited for an answer.

...No, it won’t work. Think, Shiron, think! He struggled and scratched his chin, forcing himself to try harder to come up with something to tell the two. “I-I… I don’t know.”

No reply. Nick seemed to look at him deeper (if that was even possible) and squinted. Shiron noticed a faint orange glow on Nick’s otherwise red eyes.

“You’re… you’re lying. I know it.”

“You know your aura sense sucks,” Magnus pointed out. “Can we really depend on it?”

“Hey, it’s not my fault that other Riolu develop it early!” Nick touched his chest fluff, trying to defend himself.

Shiron frowned. And he thought Riolu were masters of aura… whatever that meant. But they were right; he was lying. “Y-Y’all got me! Alright, I lied. It’s just… the truth is a lil harder to accept, I think.”

Magnus snorted. “You think ?”

“Well, it’s not like we have better things to do…” Nick shrugged.

“Actually, I gotta help dad with the store,” the grass-type replied.

“Hush.”

“I-I…” Shiron stopped. Telling straight away didn’t feel like the right idea. Then he remembered something Xerneas said and an idea appeared. “I lost my memory. I… I think I can only recall my name.”

Nick raised a brow, locking eyes with Magnus before returning to face Shiron. “And that would be…?”

“Do tell!” Magnus added, his eyes sparkling with curiosity.

“Shiron.”

The canine chuckled, shaking his head. “Next thing you’re gonna say you’re a human, right? Because that seems to be what most amnesiac ‘mons say around here.”

“He’s right!” Magnus nodded.

His jaw nearly dropped. These two knew about it the whole time and never bothered to tell Shiron about it?! Well, he did lie to their faces… but that didn’t make it right!

“How did you— “

“Joking, dude!” Nick snorted and laughed loudly. “Amnesia is common here, but humans are just a myth! Well… that’s what my grandpa told me.”

“Your… grandpa,” Shiron whispered. Was that too much information?

“Oh, that makes things easier,” Magnus sighed. “I guess we can go to the village now, this situation’s settled.”

The Marshtomp gasped. “Settled, what’s that supposed to mean?"

“C’mon dude!” Nick said, offering a paw. “I can’t say I fully trust you yet, but… do you have anywhere to go? No memories, no ability to swim… if we leave you here, some feral might come and eat you.”

Shiron weighed his options. He was stuck, for lack of a better word, in this weird place. They were willing to help him, but if he refused, what would he do? He didn’t know anything, and if they could help…

“O-Okay. Take me to your village!” Shiron replied. Yes! That was the start of his new life! Xerneas gave him a chance, and he was sure as hell not wasting it.

“Alrighty! I’m sure we can find somewhere for you to stay!” Nick said, turning around as he ran to the exit of the shore.

Magnus followed him, albeit slowly, his body not used to doing jogs. Shiron, on the other hand, waited for them to get a little farther before doing anything. At first, he just walked, looking at his hands. He didn’t notice it before, but there were cut marks, similar to a knife’s, around both of his arms.

...A new chance, huh? Do I really deserve it? I… I don’t know. But maybe I’ll find out. Maybe… maybe I do deserve… deserve to live.
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Early Game Encounter
Heya, dunno how wise it is of me to be throwing a review together like this at this hour. But eh. It was a priority of mine that I wanted to knock out as part of the ongoing review event off-server, especially after I didn't get a chance to throw a review as part of Review Blitz earlier this year.

So let's give a quick nibble at this story, since as a prequel to LoF, it might help out with some practical work I've got piling up for it. Starting off with…

Chapter 1

Drip. Drip. Drip. Water dropped dribbled into a large river, slowly but surely. Hardly moving, but the sound of droplets was constant and almost rhythmical, able to bring peace to calm anyone who heard it.

The water was also [blue in color, and very clean]. There was nothing inside the river, not any animal, nor any person, [making it a serene place.] The temperature was not too hot or too cold, [ ] anyone could dive into the river and swim with no issues. Of course, if they knew how to swim.


Okay, so I'm kinda going out on a limb here with some of these, but I'm tripping up a bit over some of these descriptions, and some feel very "tell and not show" in their current constructions.

Something about [blue in color, and very clean] feels kinda underwhelming in the phrasing. Like there would be ways of saying the same while getting a bit more vivid. Like as a throwaway example [a cerulean blue, and clear enough to see down to the rocks on its riverbed] basically says the same thing as the existing sentence (since clean rivers have great visibility), but it's a lot more "visual" than what's presently there.

Similarly for [making it a serene place], I feel that some sort of sensory component is missing there. It could be something as simple as taping on an addition like [making it a serene place to lay back with the quiet burbling of the water for company].

For the third set of brackets, unless if you're specifically doing second-person narration for this story, I'd drop in something like [the sort of place where], since it feels like it emphasizes that this would be the sort of place where one could enjoy that sort of activity, but no one's there to do it at the moment.

“U-Urgh…” He said, trying to move his body. The figure looked at himself and gasped in shock. His state body was nearly transparent to the point he could see through himself. “W-What’s going on?!”

“Human.”

There might be a less repetitive thing to use than 'body' there, but I don't think 'state' is quite right. Though I see we're headed for some sort of quiz-style opening. I think. That's usually where these sorts of "human and disembodied voice" interactions go in PMD stories.

A booming and regal voice reverberated throughout the river, shaking it to its core. The human turned around, confused and scared, trying to find out where the voice was coming from. His body was shaking as well, but it was frozen in place.

“Be not afraid, human. I am here to help you.”

... Wait a minute, how does that work if this guy was able to turn around earlier in the same paragraph. Is the idea that he can turn his head, but his feet/legs are stuck to the ground? Since that... feels like it could be described a bit better if so.
:joltyshrug~1:


Somehow, [ ] his shaking subsided. Still wary of the voice, he tried getting answers. “T-That’s kinda hard to believe when I’m in this… whatever this place is!”

I understand that you have questions. I will try my best to answer them,” the voice said, and the water bubbled up again, gathering in a single spot where the voice came from.


For the bracketed section, I'd personally suggest emphasizing that the human calmed down, since it feels like the human's shaking subsiding is lacking context. Something like [he felt himself calm at the presence and] might be enough to do it.

... Though I don't think the human was ever described noticing water bubbling. Since he was described looking around for where the voice was coming from earlier, but I didn't see a point where he noticed a definitive location. You probably want to either make it so that way he notices the location now (i.e. the site with the bubbling water), or else have the human explicitly zero in on a place in the river with bubbling water in one of the earlier paragraphs such that he can see it happen 'again' here.

[In a bright flash of light, a figure stood.] A quadrupedal stag-like creature with black and blue fur alongside a short, bushy tail. [The antlers were colored gold, with a few spots having several colors of the rainbow.] The creature looked at the human and smiled. He, on the other hand, was left shaking once again, and slowly tried backing away from the creature.

“My name is Xerneas.”

Wait, is this like GtI where the Voice of Life summons you to the world, but in this case the Voice of Life and Xerneas are explicitly synonymous?

As for the bracketed bits... for the first one, was that light always there? Since if it just came, you probably want to explicitly note it like [A bright flash of light rang out, and as it cleared, the human could see a figure standing in its place]. If the light has always been there, you want it acknowledged somewhere in your earlier description.

As for the bit re: antlers: Something about it feels like it could be phrased more smoothly and descriptively. Perhaps something like [ The deer sported a pair of large, golden antlers that branched off much like limbs on a tree, with a few spots on it sporting various colors of the rainbow ] or something like it would do the trick?

“X-Xerneas?!” The human asked, panting. “B-But you’re a legend, you… you…”

A legend from tales as old as time,” she replied, giggling. “...You are from the Hoenn region, correct? I’ve seen it.


Oh, so Xern is a 'she' in this world, and it exists in parallel to a mainline one. Will file both those notes away for later.

“Y-Yeah? How do you know?”

Legend, of course. Now, I have a question myself. What is your name, human?

“I’m… my name is Shiron.” He answered, taking a deep breath. Things were getting calmer now, he felt.


And we've got a name! I kinda wonder if it'd have made a bit more sense to add a bit more description of either things going on during this convo or Shiron's internal thought process. Since as it stands, things are kinda 'talking heads' in this sequence at the moment.

“That is a beautiful name.” She looked around the river. “This place… how do I put it? It is a construct from your mind. It represents yourself… in your final moments.”

“My fin—” Shiron stopped, shutting himself up as the realization dawned upon him. “I’m… I’m dead.”

“Unfortunately, yes. Do you remember how you died?”

:fearfullaugh~1:


Well that got dark fast.

[ ]

“I-I do. Of course… of course I’m dead,” Shiron looked down, but he saw nothing other than the depths of the river, which appeared to extend endlessly. “I deserved this, didn’t I?”

“No,” Xerneas shook her head. “You did not. And that is why I’m here. I’ve sensed greatness in you, Shiron. Tell me: what is your dream?”

Shiron was taken back by the sudden question. Why was someone as high and mighty as Xerneas asking him about his dream? It was only natural for him to be scared, to tremble at the sight. And what was that about sensing greatness?


I... kinda wonder if it ought to have been hinted at all as to the manner in which Shiron died, and why he thinks he would've deserved it. Like I get playing coy for the sense of mystery, but giving a little nugget to pique the audience's curiosity feels like it might have leaned into it more, as well as have grounded Shiron's answer better. Also, it'd have put in some much-needed description to weave in in between all this dialogue.

“Please, answer my question, human.”

“My… my dream?” He wondered, thinking what to answer. What was his dream? And why did it matter anyway? He was dead. Shiron looked at himself, his crystal clear body. On his arms, he noticed something; there was a tint of red in them. He frowned.

“Do you not have an answer, Shiron?”


You have a scene separator / line break right in front of this line on your TR version. Not sure what the story behind that is, since the content on both sides of it seemed to be a contiguous scene. Was there a flashback sequence that was supposed to be there that accidentally got left behind or something?

“N-No. I mean, yes. My dream was…” He gulped. “I wanted to help others. Everyone… w-well, I wanted to make others happy. To save people.”


Well, that's certainly a heroic dream there. So the title of the story refers to at least Shiron, then.

“And your dream was interrupted by your death. If I may ask, why did you deci—”

Shiron shook his head in denial. [ ]

“Please… I don’t wanna talk about it. I don’t even know why you brought me here. Just… what do you want?”

“I want to give you another chance,” she nodded. “Shiron, I think you deserve happiness like everyone else.”


IMO, it might make sense to split off Shiron's head shake and expand it into a proper paragraph that does something like show off his internal thought process, since... yeah. This is a lot of pretty close-to-pure dialogue in this sequence so far.
[*][12:43 AM]

“A second… chance?” He asked, unsure. He took another look at himself, shaking his arms. “I don’t know if I deserve it… I’ve brought nothing but pain to everyone I’ve met. Why do you think I deserve another chance?”


That... feels like it should've been hinted at a lot more in description / internal thought process prior to this point, since this feels like something that's told, but we don't have a firm idea as to where it's coming from. Not even some hazy recollections that Shiron has of making others miserable that he alludes to.

“Your heart,” Xerneas raised her head. “You have a big heart, and it’s full of love. You just need to treat yourself with kindness. The same way you treat so many others…”

Shiron trembled. Even being while incorporeal, he felt the tears building up beneath his eyes. They wanted to come out so badly…

“What I’m about to offer you is something reserved only to those who deserve it,” Xerneas looked up and smiled. “Shiron, I can bring you to another world, a world of Pokémon. You will become one as well. Never to return to the human world, do you understand?”

Well that's certainly different from canonworld. Though I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea. It feels like a good way to add gravity to the idea of summoning a human to a PMD world, and Spike Chunsoft has always been a bit weaselly about returning humans to where they came from anyways.

“I’ll never get to go back home…?” Shiron asked. He would never see anyone there ever again. And becoming a Pokémon? That… sounded nice. If he really deserved this chance, then…


Wait, just how much did Shiron's life suck that he finds the idea of never going back home to be appealing with no caveats at all? Like it's something that stood out to me, but I think it'd have been more impactful with little hints here and there in description and internal dialogue leading up to this.

“I’ll take it.” Shiron then gasped. “Wait, what about my memories?!”

“Your memories?” Xerneas tilted her head. “I was planning on erasing them. Would you like to keep them?”

Well, sure is a good thing Xerneas stopped to ask.
:fearfullaugh~1:


“Yes, I would. As much as I don’t have I don't have a lot of thembut I have good memories of my home, I wanna keep ‘em.”


That... doesn't quite jibe with how we saw Shiron's reactions from earlier. I'm not sure what the story behind what Shiron's regrets versus his fonder memories is, since that's not really communicated or hinted at much.

I think the intent was along the lines of the suggested edit, but I can't really tell, and yeah. More description earlier would've helped a lot for grounding this bit.

“That is an unusual request, I must say. But, understood. It is time, Shiron, to cast aside your human shell and begin your new life.” Her antlers began to glow in a rainbow fashion, charging a multicolored beam of light.

Now that this was actually happening, Shiron felt his heart skip a beat. This was something else. He never even heard of it before, becoming a Pokémon? Weird, but he could accept that. Yeah, no problems with that part. Or with the whole “abandoning his family” part. He had his reasons for wanting this.


... I mean, isn't the alternative just accepting death and moving on? Is it really 'abandoning your family' if you're just never going to be able to see them again?
:joltyshrug~1:


“Maybe someday we will meet again, Shiron, but until then… good luck!” The beam was launched towards the human, sending him into the depths of the river.


Ah yes, yeet the human. Just what you need when you've apparently died and are getting reincarnated.

Next thing he knew, Shiron was getting propelled at an incredible speed. His body was practically rolling, and he could hardly see what was going on.

Why’s… everything… spinning?! He protested, coughing up water and moving his head back and forth, just waiting for that experience to be over. Xerneaaas! Why did you do this?!


Xerneas: "Just part of the rebirth process, don't sweat it too much." ^^;

He was getting deeper into the river, but something was odd. The more he looked, Shiron noticed that there were more things in it. Like algae, rocks, and even a few water-type Pokémon, like Feebas and Alomomola. What was going on?


Shiron: "Is... this even the same river that I got chucked into? Since I could've sworn there was nothing in that one." ._.;

And while he was still speeding up, that was no longer the weirdest part about this whole thing. Sure, he heard what Xerneas said, but now that Shiron managed to look at himself, he no longer saw the human, but instead, he had… the body of a Marshtomp. The bright-blue color gave it away, as did the gills he now had, and the weird, double tail… thing.


Could've been worse. Xerneas could've started you out as a Mudkip. :V

His surprised look gave way to a confused one. Okay, hold up! I’m in the body of a starter? Okay, that’s… uh, it would be cool. Not that I mind, Mudkips are cute, and Swampert is really tough, but Marshtomp? That kinda seems like a downgrade to me…


Wew. 30 seconds into his new life, and Shiron's already finding things to complain about it. o<o

Shiron closed his eyes and let his body continue on its path. To his surprise, he seemed to stop. Shiron He then opened his eyes and gasped, they were even sparkling from the shock.

What he saw was a vast underwater ecosystem, like the ones in his hometown. But this one was different in the way he could see everything. It wasn’t as murky as the ocean he was used to, and Shiron found that lovely.

Lilycove doesn’t seem so good now… heh. Bet I can even swim now that I’m a water-type!

Oh, so Shiron was from Lilycove, huh? Nice little bit of backstory there.

To test his theory, Shiron tried swimming like a puppy, [but he discovered it was difficult. He wasn’t even leaving the place!] And what was worse, he was struggling to breathe. Shiron took some time to notice it, but he suddenly felt short of air and really needed to breathe.


I feel that the "discovered that swimming was difficult" bit probably would've worked better to more explicitly describe Shiron flailing and not really going anywhere for a sentence or two to better sell the idea. Since something about the current framing feels like it doesn't sell his "... Uh oh.
:uhhh:
" feeling that he'd logically have right about now super clearly.

Shiron: "W-Wait a minute, but don't I have gills? I thought those were supposed to work underwater." ._.;

Okay, new plan: get outta here! Having decided, he tried swimming upwards, towards the light, and he was getting there. Slowly, but surely. His lungs, on the other hand, were not so cool with this idea; keeping pace, and they were getting stuffed slowly filling with water, and Shiron tried holding his breath. O-Oh no… oh… n..o…


Shiron: "B-But I have gills! Th-The text even explicitly said so!" O.O;

He coughed up water and began falling down again, as his vision became blurry. Shiron struggled to keep himself awake and with open eyes, but he managed to hold on long enough that he saw someone else jumping down into the water. A strange figure, with blue fur and a canine appearance, but on two legs.

H-Huh? Oh… what’s… that…? His vision was unclear, but the Pokémon in front of him also had a few patches of black fur, and two dreadlocks coming out of both sides of the stranger’s head.

R-Rio...lu? Shiron thought, right before he closed his eyes and passed out.

... Wait, I can't tell if Shiron is supposed to have made it to shore there, or if that's supposed to be this Riolu having jumped out into open water from like a pier or a boat. Since if Shiron's near land or some sort of structure, you'd think that he'd notice it a bit during this sequence as he climbs towards the surface.

“Hold on, I got this!”

The Riolu rose to the surface, taking a pause to catch his breath. He soon pushed the Marshtomp, not without struggle. The water-type was heavier than he looked. But soon enough, the duo had gotten out of the river and fallen on the sandy ground.


Oh, so Shiron was near shore. That probably is something you want to reflect at least in passing in that earlier sequence.

Though I see you're leaning into Riolu's Fighting typing and more "pintsized powerhouse" takes there, since I did a double-take at Riolu pulling a Marshtomp out to shore since I'm pretty sure Marshtomp is noticeably bigger than it.

“Phew… that was hard,” Riolu said, panting as he laid down, looking to his side and staring directly at the Marshtomp. “...Are you okay? Can you breathe? It’s kinda weird seeing a ‘tomp here, and drowning!”


Oh, species nickname, huh? I mean, it makes sense, though for whatever reason, I don't recall seeing those in the parts of LoF I'd gotten through.

[ ]

“Nick! Where are you?!” A voice asked, making the canine look back at the other side of the beach, seeing a Quilladin running towards him.

“Hey Magnus! You won’t believe what I found here!” Nick waved, still exhausted from the rescue, but with enough energy to crack a smile.

Once the Quilladin was close enough, Nick noticed him wearing a white apron around his chest, and his nose sniffed the distinct aroma of sugar.


I think that you might want to consider describing Shiron's reaction to this from whoever's perspective is relevant. I assume from Nick's since he was the character that opened things, but it just feels weird that Nick's dragged Shiron from a river, basically told him "boy, that's a close one", and Shiron has no explicitly mentioned reaction of any sort. Like if nothing else, you'd expect him to stare up confusedly and pant or something like that.

“N-Nick?” Magnus stopped, panting. “W-What’re you doing he—”

Another look made him notice the unconscious water-type standing next to Nick. Magnus gasped in shock, before standing back.

“W-Wait! Nick, who’s that?”

... I didn't pick up on that. In that case, scratch the bit about Shiron's reaction. Instead you probably want to emphasize his lack of a reaction, how he's still passed out, and how Nick would probably be getting worried from it.

Nick grinned. “Some guy I just saved! He was, uh… drowning.”

“A water-type? Drowning ? He’s evolved! Unless you caught a feral!”


Magnus: "Seriously, Nick. How does a Marshtomp drown? He has gills!"
:what:

Nick: "Hey man, I just know what I came across. I don't have an explanation for it."
:joltyshrug~1:


“...I’m not like that Treecko you heard about,” he rolled his eyes. “Oh, but this guy’s still unconscious.”

[ ]

“Maybe for good reason? How would he drown?” Magnus gulped, managing to take another look at the Marshtomp.

“Beats me. I just knew I had to help, y’know? Right thing to do.”

IMO, you might want to drop in some explicit description moving Magnus and Nick closer to Shiron there. And maybe describing Magnus squirming nervously a bit more explicitly since he very obviously does not trust Shiron from his dialogue, and it would presumably reflect in his mannerisms.

Meanwhile, Shiron remained in the same state. He moved a little in his inert state. His face quickly turned red, and Shiron moved like he was gasping for air. [Nick took notice of this and looked at his friend.]

“Dude, I think we need to wake him up!”

“What?” Magnus flinched at the sentence, his heart skipping a beat. It was undeniable that this Marshtomp needed help, but what if he was only faking it? “What if he tries to attack us? What do we do, then?”


Something about the last sentence feels a little underwhelming. Like something as simple as [Nick grimaced, before shooting a worried look over at his friend.] IMO would already go a long ways to make things feel a bit less dry.

“...Just trust me on this one! I sensed his aura! We’ll be fine!”

“B-But… your senses suck… no offense.”

“None taken.”

Oh, so Nick is like the polar opposite of Lance then, huh? Since I never recalled Lance having this issue. :V

I wonder if it'd have been funnier to work in some sort of Noodle Incident mention in passing between Lance and Magnus though. Basically to emphasize how much Nick's aura senses suck for comedic effect. Like if he had a recent, particularly embarrassing fail with them that Magnus remembers.

The Quilladin stared at Shiron again, trembling a bit. However, the sight of that Marshtomp, helpless and suffocating, was enough for him to reconsider what to do.

Magnus ran towards the water-type, using both of his arms to push down on Shiron’s chest. He pumped as hard as he could, but tried not to use too much strength. All he needed was to wake him. That was all. After that, he opened Shiron’s mouth and began blowing on it, slow and easy. This was harder than the books said, he noticed.

I mean, in reality, that's kinda a secondary priority given that ribs break on a regular basis from CPR, but uh.... yeah, given how your Pokémon tend to err on the strong side relative to their size, it probably makes sense for Magnus to be careful there. ^^;

C’mon, dude! Don’t leave me! Arceus, I hope Nick’s doing did the right thing by rescuing this guy…

He saw Shiron’s chest rise and smiled, still blowing air as much as possible.

I think you want 'Nick did' there, since Nick pulled Shiron from the water but has otherwise stepped aside to let Magnus do his thing for trying to resuscitate him.

Shiron snapped his eyes open, coughing up water and instinctively sitting down. His hearing buzzed, and his other senses were on overload, trying to focus on too many things at once.

What was going on? Where was he? And what just happened? More questions popped up as he got used to the new sensations dawning on him. Starting with the gills that twitched, picking up the cold air around him, and a faint smell of rain.

This… this is… Shiron looked down at himself, now confirming that his body had indeed changed, just like Xerneas had mentioned earlier. He was no longer a human, and the world he once knew, the people he used to know… they were gone. All gone.

He stood up, trembling as he balanced himself, opening and closing his fists. ...This is… great !


Shiron: "I mean, I only almost drowned like a minute ago! But minor details!" ^^;

A smile spread on Shiron’s face, and he touched his cheeks. The scaly feeling was comforting and he giggled loudly, enamored by how good it was. Despite the reality of him never being able to return dawning upon him, Shiron was ecstatic! Well, sure, he had to be careful not to get caught now, but everything should be fine, right [ ]

Unbeknownst to him, Shiron was being watched by his two rescuers. The duo was eyeing him like he was some sort of clown, and while [Nick was finding what the Marshtomp was doing to be funny, Magnus was intrigued.]


Something got cut off where the first set of brackets are. I can't tell if that's supposed to just be a question mark, or if there was another bit of the sentence that got oopsed from existence.

I kinda wonder if you ought to have communicated the bit in the second brackets more from their facial expressions or mannerisms or the like. Since it feels a bit "tell not show" at the moment. Also, I had wondered where Nick and Magnus had suddenly vanished off to... but right, for all they knew, Shiron was a feral. It made perfect sense for them to want to give him a berth while he was stirring.

Finally, the Riolu cleared his throat. “Hey. You’re finally awake!”

The voice brought Shiron out of his trance and he saw a Riolu and a Quilladin, both staring right at him. Did they see his little show? Oh no. The mere thought made heat rise up on his face.

“Are you listening to me? Can you talk?” Nick asked, snapping his fingers to get Shiron’s attention again. “Are you in there? C’mon, we’re trying to help you!”


Wait, are those two still watching him from a distance, or are they drawing near since Shiron's now very obviously not a feral? It's a little hard to tell there from the description.

“Wha?” Shiron turned around and stared at them, blinking repeatedly. “Did you… talk?”

“What do you mean?” Nick crossed his arms, huffing. “Of course I talked! You’re the one I didn’t expect to talk! Or to drown, for that matter…”

A talking Pokémon? Shiron stepped back, trying to process what he heard. Was this the world Xerneas sent him to? A world of talking Pokémon? At least they didn’t seem aggressive, but still...


Shiron: "... I mean, okay, I guess it'd have gotten really weird really fast if I was just surrounded by other Pokémon I couldn't communicate with, but still. It's still a little jarring to process this in intelligible thoughts." ^^;

“U-Uh… hi!” The Quilladin forced a smile. “I-I’m Magnus, and this is my friend… Nick!”

“I found you in the river, you were drowning… so I took you out!” Nick explained, sighing in relief and rubbing sweat off his forehead. “...Although it’s weird for a water-type to drown, we thought you were a feral! Anyway, I guess the important question is: are you alright?”

[ ]

Oh ****, the former human gulped. What to do?! These were the first Pokémon he met in this world, and if he angered them, surely things would get bad for him. What if I tell them I’m a human…? Maybe this’ll help!

Image


Not like there aren't other worlds where you really, really do not want to be open about being a 'humon'.

Though I wonder if it'd have made sense to explicitly show the gears turn in Shiron's head where that
:uhhh:
-ness of how "this first impression could be the difference between making friends and being left for the wolves" sinks in, since things feel a little 0-60 right now for Shiron's quiet little freakout.

Shiron’s thoughts were interrupted by the Riolu poking his shoulders.

“So?” Nick tilted his head as he waited for an answer.

...No, it won’t work. Think, Shiron, think! He struggled and scratched his chin, forcing himself to try harder to come up with something to tell the two. “I-I… I don’t know.”


You have another weird line break right above this line in the TR version again. Not sure what that story is, since once again, it seems like this is part of a contiguous scene with no perspective changes.

No reply. Nick seemed to look at him deeper (if that was even possible) and squinted. Shiron noticed a faint orange glow on Nick’s otherwise red eyes.

“You’re… you’re lying. I know it.”

“You know your aura sense sucks,” Magnus pointed out. “Can we really depend on it?”


Oh, so that's what aura vision looks like, huh?

Shiron: "Look, I literally almost drowned in a river just a couple minutes ago! I'm allowed to be unsure if I'm doing alright, okay?" >_>;

“Hey, it’s not my fault that other Riolu develop it early!” Nick touched his chest fluff, trying to defend himself.

Shiron frowned. And he thought Riolu were masters of aura… whatever that meant. But they were right; he was lying. “Y-Y’all got me! Alright, I lied. It’s just… the truth is a lil harder to accept, I think.”

Magnus snorted. “You think ?


Shiron: "... I mean, could you try defining 'alright'? I mean, I'm alive, but that's kinda a really low bar to cross for 'alright'."
:joltyshrug~1:


“Well, it’s not like we have better things to do…” Nick shrugged.

“Actually, I gotta help dad with the store,” the grass-type replied.

“Hush.”

Can't tell if Magnus' dad is going to be understanding or crabby about his explanation for not being at the shop. I do wonder if it feels like there's missing body language somewhere in this sequence, but I can't put my finger on where it would work the best.

“I-I…” Shiron stopped. Telling straight away didn’t feel like the right idea. Then he remembered something Xerneas said and an idea appeared. “I lost my memory. I… I think I can only recall my name.”


Shiron: "... (I sure hope that that Riolu's aura sense is as terrible as his buddy was making it sound, since now I really am lying.)"
:fearfullaugh~1:


Nick raised a brow, locking eyes with Magnus before returning to face Shiron. “And that would be…?”

“Do tell!” Magnus added, his eyes sparkling with curiosity.

“Shiron.”

Nick: "Oh, so like the Wanderer-"
Magnus: "No, no, that's Shiren, Nick. He very clearly said Shiron there."
Nick: "Still, that's quite a resemblance name-wise."

The canine chuckled, shaking his head. “Next thing you’re gonna say you’re a human, right? Because that seems to be what most amnesiac ‘mons say around here.”

“He’s right!” Magnus nodded.

- Beat moment -
Shiron: "(Wait, just how common are humans like me out here?)" .-.

His jaw nearly dropped. These two knew about it the whole time and never bothered to tell Shiron about it?! Well, he did lie to their faces… but that didn’t make it right!

“How did you— “

“Joking, dude!” Nick snorted and laughed loudly. “Amnesia is common here, but humans are just a myth! Well… that’s what my grandpa told me.”


Shiron: "Wait, but you live in a Pokémon setting. Shouldn't you not be reflexively skeptical about myths given that almost all of them tend to turn out to have some kernel of truth to them?"
:what:

Nick: "I mean, every 'human' I've run into so far has turned out just to be a normal 'mon full of it, so... yeah, I'll take the under on us ever coming across a real one."
:joltyshrug~1:


[ ]

“Your… grandpa,” Shiron whispered. Was that too much information?

“Oh, that makes things easier,” Magnus sighed. “I guess we can go to the village now, this situation’s settled.”

The Marshtomp gasped. [ ]

Settled, what’s that supposed to mean?"

“C’mon dude!” Nick said, offering a paw. “I can’t say I fully trust you yet, but… do you have anywhere to go? No memories, no ability to swim… if we leave you here, some feral might come and eat you.”


Would recommend either adding new or expanded description here to better sell body language and internal thought process.

Shiron: "That... sounds like a really good reason to go to the village, actually."
:grohno:


Shiron weighed his options. He was stuck, for lack of a better word, in this weird place. They were willing to help him, but if he refused, what would he do? He didn’t know anything, and if they could help…

“O-Okay. Take me to your village!” Shiron replied. Yes! That was the start of his new life! Xerneas gave him a chance, and he was sure as hell not wasting it.


Surprised that Shiron isn't reacting a bit more to the idea of getting eaten by other Pokémon, since if nothing else, one would expect that to unnerve him a bit. Also, considering that Shiron almost drowned less than 5 minutes ago, it might also make sense to have that factor into his decision-making, since if you managed to almost drown as a Water-type, it's probably a sign that you're not going to last long on your own in an unsafe environment.

“Alrighty! I’m sure we can find somewhere for you to stay!” Nick said, turning around as he ran to the exit of the shore.

Magnus followed him, albeit slowly, his body not used to doing jogs. Shiron, on the other hand, waited for them to get a little farther before doing anything. At first, he just walked, looking at his hands. He didn’t notice it before, but there were cut marks, similar to a knife’s, around both of his arms.

...A new chance, huh? Do I really deserve it? I… I don’t know. But maybe I’ll find out. Maybe… maybe I do deserve… deserve to live.

I know that this guy got brought here by Xerneas, who isn't usually a malevolent figure, but something about those markings feels strangely ominous.

Alright, time for the postmortem of this thing, since as you can gather, I had a lot to say:

I think that the chapter on the whole was pretty charming, and it did an alright job of introducing Shiron, Nick, and Magnus to the readers. There's some subtle differences in how the story's framed from most normal PMD ones, but I'd frankly count that as a net positive. Like the whole premise of "reincarnation isekai" is something that for whatever reason, I don't think I've seen done that much in PMD since the only offhand other story that's done that that I've read is Guiding Light, and the way it was handled seemed like a neat take.

As for things that I didn't like so much... the biggie is the description. Or more accurately, the lack of it. Like there's just a lot of places throughout this story where it feels like an extra paragraph here or there would've helped better visualize how things were playing out, or else that there was something that was being referred to that came out of left field since it wasn't hinted at enough by the rest of the prose. More description would've helped a lot on that front. There were also some bits and pieces for word choices and phrasing that felt a little clunky. I'm... not fully sure what I'd recommend there, but you might find it worth reading stuff aloud or via TTS if you're confident in your spoken English, since a lot of those bits I think would've been smoothed out pretty quickly from hearing it spoken by a voice.

The review was a bit more critical than I was expecting @It's Now Or Navar , but on the whole, I thought it was a cute piece. It has some rough edges, but I'm pretty confident you could sand them down without too much effort since most of the gripes I had were things that could be dealt with by additive fixes.

Good luck with writing @Navarchu , and hope the review helped.
 
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