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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance

Knightfall

Blazing Wordsmith
Very nice chapter. Once again, you really take the time to develop all the side characters like Sting. That's something I really like about this, every character has a story to tell and they're not just there to fill in space.

I enjoyed the fight against Butterfree and her cohorts; you describe it just like a normal boss fight. Oh, Whirlwind...

Anyways, as SeakerofLight said above me, I love how you make them battle at the skill level they have. They are still very new and can't hold their own against tougher enemies yet. I like the pacing for this as it's much more realistic than some other stories. I use it in my own story as well, and my team can't actually fight against a tough enemy and win. They've got to have some sort of help.

Well, excellent chapter, and I look forward to more.

Knightfall signing off... ;005;
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for your reviews! It is nice to see that you're all enjoying the story! :)

I didn't really get any answers on how to organize a PM list, though. I guess it's not that difficult?

Anyways, chapter 13 is finished! It was a little easier to write than chapter 12, since I had a somewhat clearer plan for what would happen in this chapter when I began working on it. I hope you all enjoy it!

----

Chapter 13: We overheard you saying something about a Desert Spirit?

----

In Axis Tower, a vaguely star-shaped pink Pokémon with long ears and small fairy-like wings was looking after one of the other guards, a brown Pokémon with a big head and his body somewhat resembling a coat. He had been asleep since the mysterious attack the night the crystals were stolen, and the Clefable had volunteered to stay behind at the tower and look after the Beheeyem while the guards went out to search for the crystals. It seemed like the Beheeyem had been drained of his psychic energy, and therefore had to rest to fully recover.

The Clefable looked out through the window, seeing that the morning sun was shining brightly outside. She wondered when she and the Beheeyem would join the other guards in their search. Of course, once the Beheeyem woke up, she knew he would first need to find something else that was much more important to him than the crystals.

“I wonder how the search is going?” the Clefable wondered out loud. “Oh Cresselia, please let this be a good day for them.”

“Cosmo, not to criticize, but wouldn’t it make more sense to pray to the legendary Pokémon representing the crescent moon and sweet dreams during nighttime?” a voice said to the Clefable through telepathy.

The Clefable turned to the Beheeyem, who had now opened his green eyes and was slowly getting up.

“Eltanin, you’re finally awake!” the Clefable said; glad to see the Beheeyem had recovered.

“Yes, I seem to have finally regained my strength,” the Beheeyem responded through telepathy while rubbing his head. “That Sigilyph sure was an unusual opponent…”

“Wait, you saw the thief?” Cosmo asked.

“Yes, but I have more important matters to tend to at the moment,” Eltanin responded, beginning to move towards the stairs.

“You’re heading out?” Cosmo asked, looking a bit concerned. “You just woke up, so maybe you should take it easy…”

“I appreciate your concern, but I must go,” Eltanin responded. “Even while I was asleep, I managed to use what little power I had to telepathically keep track of what was happening around me.”

“Ah, I see…” Cosmo replied. “So, then you already know…”

“Yes,” Eltanin responded, Cosmo didn’t even need to finish her question. “And then you probably understand why I must get going as soon as possible.”

“Of course,” Cosmo said. “We’ve all been very concerned, so I hope you find her quickly.”

“I will,” Eltanin responded, nodding his head. “Now that my powers have fully returned, I should be able to find her without too much difficulty.”

----

In Fenix Town, rescue teams were making their preparations for missions as usual. Sera was depositing some items at Lionel’s warehouse to make room for more items, since they had picked up quite a few berries during their mission in Nectar Woods yesterday. Shortly after finishing up at the warehouse, Sera met with her two teammates.

“Good morning, Sera,” Blitz said.

“Oh, hi,” Sera responded, happily wagging her tail as her teammates walked up to her. “I’ve already made some preparations, so let’s go find ourselves a mission!”

The rescue team began making their way towards the rescue team HQ; however, on the way there they spotted Mirage and her teammates talking to Stella.

“So, you're sure about this?” Mirage asked, sounding rather interested in whatever she was discussing with Stella.

“Yes,” Stella responded. “The vision was rather fuzzy, but I am certain of what I was able to gather from it.”

“All right,” Mirage replied, turning to her teammates. “We’re going to Clarion Desert!”

“Why?” Chiaki asked, walking up to them with his usual cheery smile.

“Because Stella just informed us that one of the missing crystals from Axis Tower is currently somewhere within the aforementioned desert,” Cordyceps responded.

“Cordy! Why’d you tell them that?” Megara asked.

“The mushroom was not aware it was supposed to be a secret,” Cordyceps replied.

“So, one of the crystals is in Clarion Desert?” Sera asked just to make sure she had heard correctly.

“Indeed,” Mirage replied, smirking at Sera. “And now I’m guessing you and your teammates are planning on heading there to search for it as well?”

“You bet we are!” Sera responded.

“We are?” Blitz asked, glancing around nervously.

“Well, then, let’s all head over to the rescue team HQ,” Mirage said, grinning. “We’ll see which team finds that crystal first!”

The two rescue teams began running in the direction of the rescue team HQ, catching the attention of Sting and his teammates on the way.

“Hey, what’s the rush?” Melody asked.

“One of the missing crystals is in Clarion Desert!” Chiaki explained. “We’re going to go find it!”

“Oh, is that so?” Melody responded, looking over at her teammates. “Should we get in on this too?”

“I’m up for it,” Frosty replied, looking over at Sting expectantly.

“Well, I suppose they could use all help they can get,” Sting said. “Let’s join their search.”

“Cool,” Melody responded, as they began running to catch up to the other two rescue teams. “Hey, wait up!”

----

At the rescue team HQ, the three rescue teams made their way into Kala’s room, the Abra being fast asleep as they entered. Mirage walked up to the sleeping psychic type, and lightly shook her shoulder. Kala slowly sat up and drowsily rubbed her eyes.

“What are all you Pokémon doing in here…?” Kala asked, sounding rather groggy. “Don’t you know that Thursday is my “sleep-until-Friday day”?”

“Kala, today is not Thursday,” Mirage responded. “And the reason we’re all here is because we need you to send us over to Clarion Desert.”

“Okay…” Kala replied, yawning and stretching. “Good luck with whatever you’re doing…”

And in a flash of light, the nine Pokémon disappeared from the room and found themselves in the sandy Clarion Desert.

“Wow… So much sand…” Chiaki commented, looking around. “Where do we begin?”

“If I remember correctly, there should be an entrance to a mystery dungeon around here somewhere,” Blitz responded, looking around.

“I see it!” Megara said, pointing to a mystery dungeon entrance between two rocks.

“All right, let’s go!” Mirage shouted, as she and her teammates entered the dungeon.

“Hey, why did they get to go first?” Frosty asked, crossing his arms. “They didn’t even call dibs or anything!”

“Neither did we, so what’s your point?” Melody responded. “Let’s just go after them so we don’t fall behind.”

“Yes, let’s go,” Sting buzzed, and so the three of them headed inside.

“We shouldn’t fall behind either,” Sera said, grinning. “Shall we?”

“Let’s do it!” Chiaki responded.

“Wait!” Blitz said, getting his teammates’ attention. “Do you really think this is a good idea? I mean, sure, we did manage to find the first crystal, but that time we had luck and some of the Pokémon of the forest on our side, but this time…”

“Blitz, we’re already here, so we might as well do this,” Sera responded.

“But… there will probably be a lot of ground types here, and my electric attacks won’t do much against them,” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together. “Plus, there are two rescue teams with higher ranks than ours on the case, so why not just leave it to them?”

“You do have some good points there,” Sera responded, thinking for a moment. “But, we can still try to help search, right? Every little bit of help counts when it comes to getting the crystals back, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, we should help out!” Chiaki said. “It’s not like any of us could make finding the crystals more difficult, after all.”

“Oh, okay…” Blitz replied, sighing. “Let’s go.”

“All right,” Sera responded, glad that she and Chiaki were able to convince Blitz to give it a try.

----

Mirage and her teammates quickly found their way through the first and second floors, and were now exploring the third floor. While they wanted to quickly get through all fifteen floors, Mirage also wanted to carefully search the dungeon for money or any items that might be worth something. Since this wasn’t a mission and they weren’t going to be paid for finding the crystal, she figured they could at least still try to obtain some money.

“Sure is nice and warm here,” Megara commented, enjoying the feeling of walking through the warm desert sand.

“The mushroom does not see the appeal of this place,” Cordyceps said. “The mushroom thinks this place is much too warm and dry.”

“If you think this place is hot, you should visit the volcano where I used to live,” Megara responded. “It is way hotter there.”

“The mushroom would rather not visit that place, then,” Cordyceps replied. “No offense.”

“None taken,” Megara responded. “Besides, non-fire types usually can’t handle the heat of that place unless they wear a special item.”

“Sounds pretty intense,” Mirage commented, panting a bit. “Oh, look, stairs.”

As they entered the room with the stairs, Mirage picked up a faint familiar scent, much to her confusion.

“Bear… with a hint of frost,” Mirage commented as she sniffed the air.

“You mean Sting and his teammates got here before us?” Megara asked. “How did that happen?”

“Well, since I managed to pick up on Frosty’s scent, they were probably here just a moment ago,” Mirage responded. “They can’t have gotten far, so let’s keep moving.”

----

Sting and his teammates were already close to reaching the stairs by the time Mirage and her teammates made it to the fourth floor. Sting thought about how this would probably be a good story to tell Queen Miele the next time he saw her, assuming they were able to find the crystal.

“I hope my beard doesn’t melt…” Frosty commented, gently stroking his icicle beard. “Why couldn’t the crystal have been hidden away in a cold place?”

“Relax,” Melody said, as they walked up to the fifth floor. “We’re already a third of the way through this dungeon.”

While Frosty wasn’t too fond of the heat, his ice attacks were proving to be very useful against the wild Pokémon in the mystery dungeon. Most of the wild Pokémon they encountered were ground types, with the occasional grass type in the form of the cactus Pokémon Cacnea.

----

Sera and her teammates were slowly making their way through the first few floors as well, having a somewhat easier time than usual since the other two rescue teams had already made it through, and knocked out most of the wild Pokémon on the floors on the way. Although, due to the strange nature of mystery dungeons, even if one were to presumably defeat all wild Pokémon on a floor, more tended to appear, seemingly out of thin air if one stayed on the same floor long enough.

“I guess the others already picked up most of the items around here…” Sera commented, looking around. “Oh well, we’ve already got what we need, so we’re good.”

“Do you think we’ll run into some strange things again?” Blitz asked, still seeming a bit uncertain about this.

“You mean like that giant plant thing in Harmony Forest?” Sera responded, noticing the stairs to the next floor and leading the rescue team to them.

“Yeah…” Blitz replied. “Think we’ll have to do deal with another thing like that when looking for this crystal?”

“I don’t know,” Sera responded, looking around as they arrived at the next floor.

“Hey, whatever awaits us, we can handle it, right?” Chiaki asked, walking along cheerfully. “Besides, this time Sting and Mirage’s teams are here too, they’ll help out!”

“Chiaki’s got a point there,” Sera commented, choosing which path to take. “It’ll be fine.”

“How can you be so sure?” Blitz quietly muttered to himself.

----

After a while, all three rescue teams eventually made it through the dungeon and met outside the dungeon. Now having gotten further into the desert, they tried to figure out where to go next. They didn’t really have that many leads to go on.

“So… Does anyone here like, happen to know anything about this place?” Mirage asked, looking around.

“Oh, we should find someone and ask for help!” Chiaki suggested, smiling and glancing at his teammates. “Remember how the elemental monkey tribes helped us get the first crystal from Harmony Forest?”

“Suppose that’s a good idea,” Melody responded. “But is there even anyone around here to ask?”

“I think I see something over in that direction…” Blitz said, squinting slightly as he pointed a paw in the direction specified. “I think it might be other Pokémon, as it seems to be moving slightly.”

“… Wow, you’re good,” Mirage commented, impressed by the young Shinx’s eyesight.

The three rescue teams began moving in the direction Blitz pointed out to them, and as they got closer, a few rather concerned looking Pokémon gradually came into view. There were two different cacti Pokémon, one smaller with two short legs, four needles on each arm and a yellow flower on the top of its body, and a taller one with two pink flowers on its head and which seemed to make a maracas-like sound whenever it moved.

The Cacnea and Maractus seemed to be discussing something, with a small sand colored crocodile with membranes around its eyes resembling goggles occasionally commenting on what the two cacti Pokémon were talking about. There was also a small yellow plated pangolin Pokémon sitting nearby, drawing something in the sand.

“You’re right, these sandstorms have lasted way longer than normal,” the Maractus said, making maracas sounds when nodding her head. “Is there really anything we can do about it, though? I mean, we can’t exactly control the weather.”

“No, we can’t,” the Cacnea responded. “But, I bet the Desert Spirit can dispel those sandstorms!”

“Aren’t the sandstorms blocking the way to the Desert Spirit’s cave?” the Maractus asked, tilting her head slightly and thus making more maracas sounds. “We can’t really reach the Desert Spirit if we can’t get through those sandstorms.”

“So, we need the Desert Spirit’s help to get rid of the sandstorms, but we can’t get to her cave because the sandstorms are in the way, and if we want to get rid of the sandstorms and get to her cave, we need her help…” the Sandile said, thinking about it for a moment. “It’s like an unsolvable riddle or something…”

“Isn’t there another way we can reach the desert spirit?” the Cacnea asked. "Aside from, you know..."

“Look!” the Sandshrew said, pointing to its scribbles in the sand. “I drew a Trapinch!”

“Oh, that’s cute,” the Maractus commented. “But it doesn’t exactly solve our problem in any way.”

“Um… Excuse me?” Sting buzzed as he and the other rescue team Pokémon approached the desert Pokémon. “We’re on a mission, and could use a little help. Do you mind answering some questions?”

“Oh, I guess not…” the Maractus replied, curiously looking over the three rescue teams. “What do you need to know?”

“Well, we’re investigating the case with the missing Axis Tower crystals, and we’ve been told that one of the missing crystals may be somewhere in this desert,” Mirage explained. “Would you happen to know anything about where we might find it?”

“Oh, a crystal from Axis Tower?” the Maractus asked, tilting her head slightly. “I believe I’ve heard something about this, but I’m afraid I don’t know anything about one in the desert, or where in the desert it would be.”

“Ah,” Sting responded, thinking for a moment. “We overheard you saying something about a Desert Spirit?”

“Well, the Desert Spirit is said to be the protector of Clarion Desert,” the Maractus explained, cheerfully swaying back and forth a little. “But it’s not really a spirit; it’s really just a Flygon and the “Desert Spirit” thing is a title.”

“The Flygon lives in a cave called the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary,” the Cacnea added. “Unfortunately, we can’t reach the entrance to said cave due to those harsh sandstorms blocking off part of the desert.”

“Wait a minute…” Blitz said, thinking for a moment. “Something just occurred to me…”

“What is it, Blitz?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“These sandstorms have lasted pretty long, even the native Pokémon of the desert finding it strange,” Blitz said. “So, if this situation is anything like how it was in Harmony Forest, then chances are…”

“I see,” Sting buzzed. “You believe the sandstorms may be our clue as to where the crystal is.”

“Yes, exactly,” Blitz responded, nodding his head.

“Ooh, that’s brilliant!” Mirage said, petting Blitz on the head, messing up his fur slightly. “I bet the crystal is somewhere within the area blocked by the sandstorms!”

All three rescue teams quickly agreed that this had to be the answer, and even the small group of desert Pokémon seemed to support the theory. Of course, none of them was sure who or what had the ability to make such long-lasting sandstorms, but right now the important thing was to figure out what to do about them.

“Maybe you should try to find a way to reach the Desert Spirit?” the Maractus suggested.

“How do we go about that if we can’t reach that cave you guys talked about?” Mirage asked.

“Well… There is another way in,” the Cacnea said hesitantly. “But it happens to lead right into a mystery dungeon that none of us really dare to enter…”

“Ah, I see,” Sting responded, thinking for a moment. “Now that I think about it, there is another mystery dungeon marked up in this area on our maps.”

“And while these guys won’t enter it, we could probably get through it,” Melody added.

“So, where is that other entrance?” Mirage asked, the desert Pokémon exchanging a few glances.

“Um… We don’t really remember exactly where it is,” the Maractus replied sheepishly.

“… You don’t remember?” Megara asked, looking somewhat annoyed.

“Relax, Megara,” Mirage said. “We can probably use our maps or something to get an idea of where we can find the entrance to this mystery dungeon.”

“Assuming the sandstorms aren’t blocking that too,” Megara responded, crossing her arms.

“Well, good luck,” the Cacnea said. “Sorry we can’t be of more help to you guys.”

“That’s okay!” Chiaki responded. “We’ll handle this, so don’t worry!”

“Ooh, let me know what the desert spirit is like!” the Sandile said. “I’ve never seen her in person, but I bet she has a colorful voice and a beautiful personality, or something like that!”

“Okay!” Chiaki responded, as he began following his teammates and the other two rescue teams further into the desert. “Bye!”

----

Eltanin was making his way towards Fenix Town, which was where a psychic trail was leading him. The Beheeyem had many things to think about, but the most important was to make sure his daughter was safe. She had been missing since the night the crystals were stolen, and none of the guards knew what had happened to her. Eltanin was relieved to find that she had apparently made it safely to Fenix Town, where the number of rescue teams and other Pokémon living in the town could help keep her safe.

While she hadn’t yet learned how to communicate via telepathy, he knew she was an intelligent young Pokémon and that she could probably look after herself until he or one of the other guards could find her and follow her back home to Axis Tower. The only thing he wasn’t entirely sure of was what had led her to Fenix Town, but he would probably find out soon…

----

The three rescue teams were now standing a short distance away from the harsh sandstorms blocking off a part of the desert, observing it and looking over their maps while trying to decide on how they would go about searching for the entrance to the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary.

“So, are we absolutely sure we can’t cross these sandstorms?” Megara asked.

“Megara, you’re not seriously thinking about trying to get through those things, are you?” Mirage responded.

“Well, I’m still pretty annoyed with how unhelpful those Pokémon were earlier,” Megara replied. “And if I’m angry enough, I’m pretty sure I can march right through those sandstorms!”

“Megara, that's ridiculous!” Mirage said. "Don't do this!"

“Relax, I’ll be fine,” Megara responded, starting to walk towards the sandstorms. “I’m not going to let some bad weather stop me!”

“That is not what she was saying when it was raining yesterday,” Cordyceps commented.

“Shut up, Cordy,” Megara responded, closing her eyes and trying to push through the sandstorm in front of her.

The other eight Pokémon watched the Magmar attempting to cross the sandstorms, only for the sandstorms to lift her off the ground and fling her through the air. Melody quickly moved over to where Megara would land, and inflated her body in order to soften Megara’s landing. Melody winced a little as Megara’s Flame Body ability activated as she landed on her.

“Whew… Thanks Melody,” Megara said, climbing down from the inflated Wigglytuff’s belly.

“You’re welcome…” Melody responded, deflating herself back to normal size while trying to fan herself with her nubby paws to cool off the spot where Megara landed.

“Did you get burned?” Frosty asked, handing Melody a Rawst berry. "Here, this'll help."

“Thanks, Frosty,” Melody replied, eating the berry to heal the burn.

“So, now that we're absolutely certain that we can't walk right through these sandstorms, what do we do now?” Mirage asked.

“Maybe we’ll have a better chance of finding the other cave entrance if we split up?” Sera suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Mirage replied, grinning.

The three rescue teams quickly came up with a plan, and so each rescue team went off in a different direction, while still remaining close to the area where the map suggested the dungeon entrance would be, hoping to find the other cave entrance quickly.

----

Mirage and her teammates walked around the rocks and tried to find out where on the large rock formation the entrance would be. They tried to move as quickly as they could without that hindering their ability to observe everything around them, in hopes of finding the entrance first.

“So, did you guys see today’s newspaper?” Mirage asked, glancing over her shoulder at her two teammates. “Apparently small distortions have been spotted in some areas.”

“Well, at least it’s only a few small distortions in a few areas, right?” Megara responded. “It’s nothing too serious yet.”

“I know, but still…” Mirage replied, looking somewhat concerned. “I read that one of the distortions had been spotted in the forest where I lived before I came to Fenix Town.”

“The mushroom assumes you are concerned about your family?” Cordyceps asked.

“Yeah…” Mirage responded, nodding her head slightly. “I know there’s probably nothing to be concerned about as things are now, but…”

“Hey, I understand,” Megara replied. “Even though no distortions have been spotted around Mt. Caldera yet, I still got a little concerned about my friends back home when I read that. I’m sure things will be okay, though.”

“The mushroom agrees,” Cordyceps said. “Once we find the crystal, it’ll be one step closer to restoring the balance.”

“You’re right, Cordy,” Mirage responded. “So, let’s find that cave and get this over with as soon as possible!”

----

Sting and his teammates were moving along, Frosty occasionally using his ice attacks to cool himself and his teammates off. Melody seemed to be more bothered by the desert air rather than the heat, though.

“I hope it’s a bit cooler inside that cave,” Frosty commented.

“I’m a bit more concerned about that mystery dungeon the desert Pokémon talked about,” Melody responded. “I mean, the three of us can probably handle it, and I think Mirage and her teammates can too, but what about Sera’s team?”

“What do you mean?” Frosty asked. “They managed to get through the dungeon leading into the desert just fine, so why should this other one be much harder?”

“Yeah, but our team and Mirage’s team did most of the work, thus clearing a lot of the way for them, remember?” Melody replied. “While I know a bronze rank team probably can handle that particular dungeon without help if they’re strong enough, we don’t know exactly how strong Sera and her teammates are.”

“You think the mystery dungeon in the cave might be too much for them to handle?” Frosty asked.

“Don’t worry too much about it,” Sting buzzed. “After all, our team and Mirage’s team are here too.”

“Yeah!” Frosty responded, grinning. “If they get into trouble, we’ll just help them out!”

“Assuming we’re able to get to them in time,” Melody commented, still seeming a bit concerned.

“Hey, don’t say that,” Frosty said, patting Melody’s back. “I’m sure nothing that bad will happen.”

“And Blitz is a pretty smart cub, who can probably help keep them out of trouble,” Sting added.

“If you say so…” Melody replied.

----

Sera and her teammates were searching as well, Blitz keeping an eye out for anything that might be the entrance to a mystery dungeon. Chiaki kind of wished the desert Pokémon from before had come with them so they could get to know each other better, but since they did seem somewhat scared of going into the dungeon, he understood why that didn’t happen this time around. Maybe they could at least make friends with the Desert Spirit, or get to know Sting and Mirage’s teams a little better?

“See anything cave-like yet, Blitz?” Sera asked.

“Nope,” Blitz responded, looking around. “And I’m still kind of nervous about this…”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Sera replied. “I’m sure we can avoid fighting most of the ground types, if that’s the problem.”

“Yeah, and the other rescue teams are coming along too!” Chiaki said, grinning. “Maybe they’ll give us some rescue team advice on the way?”

“Ooh, that would be nice,” Sera responded, smiling and wagging her tail.

“I guess you two have made up your minds already, huh…” Blitz said, looking down at the sand.

Suddenly, they noticed several balls of fire being shot into the air and exploding in the distance.

“Whoa, what’s that?” Chiaki asked.

“I think its Megara sending some kind of signal…?” Blitz responded.

“Ooh, maybe they found the cave entrance!” Sera said. “Come on, let’s go check it out!”

----

Megara fired a few more Flame Burst attacks into the air to make sure that Sting and Sera’s teams would see it, while Mirage examined the cave entrance.

“Whew, that should be enough,” Megara commented as she stopped to catch her breath.

“Was it necessary to use your fire attacks for that?” Cordyceps asked, shuddering a bit.

“It’s not like you had any better ideas,” Megara responded.

“The mushroom was very nervous when you did that, and is still feeling rather shaken from the sudden use of fire attacks,” Cordyceps said, although his voice's usual monotone made it difficult to tell.

“Well, it’s not like the attack was targeting you, or anything,” Megara replied.

“So?” Cordyceps responded. “You’re afraid of rain.”

“Hey!” Megara replied, looking rather annoyed. “Do you want me to burn you?”

“The mushroom is just saying how it is,” Cordyceps responded, backing away from Megara a little bit. “Please do not roast the mushroom.”

“Okay, you two, that’s enough,” Mirage said, deciding to intervene before either of her teammates got hurt. “The other rescue teams should be getting here soon.”

“Do you think they saw my signal?” Megara asked. “Should I fire a few more Flame Bursts just to make sure?”

“Nah, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Mirage responded, shaking her head. “Save your energy for when we enter the dungeon.”

“Thank you, Mirage,” Cordyceps replied, looking over at the Zoroark.

It didn’t take long before they heard the familiar buzzing sound as Sting and his teammates made their way over to the cave entrance, with Sera’s team showing up shortly after. With all three rescue teams gathered, Mirage pointed to the cave entrance.

“We think this is it,” Mirage said, looking over at the other Pokémon gathered.

“I see,” Sting responded, examining the opening. “Good work.”

“Thank you,” Mirage replied, grinning. “So, now that we’re all here, should we go in?”

“Yes, let’s go find this Flygon,” Sting responded. “The sooner we find it, the sooner we can help the desert Pokémon with the sandstorm problem and find the crystal.”

And so, the three rescue teams entered the cave, where they hoped to get through the mystery dungeon waiting for them inside, and that they would reach the Desert Spirit.

----

End of chapter 13.

----
 
Last edited:

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Finally getting around to commenting on this...

Very nice work, as usual, and your characters continue to impress me. (Especially Cordyceps~)

Some of your style issues even seem to have improved with this chapter, so very good work overall.

And I can't wait to find out what's up with Eltanin.
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your reply! :)

Chapter 14 has been coming along nicely, so look forward to that whenever I finish it.

Also, from what I can tell, they seem to have fixed that glitch I was having some problems with a while ago. Maybe I will now at some point go back and fix some minor spelling errors and such now that I don't have to worry about the formatting being messed up in the process.
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Hi again! Well, I think chapter 14 is just about finished now. So, how about we just jump right in?

I hope you all enjoy it.

----

Chapter 14: We’re almost a third of the way there?

----

As the three rescue teams entered the cave known as the Sand-Veiled Sanctuary, Chiaki noticed a statue resembling a kangaroo Pokémon with her child in her pouch. He walked up to examine it, wondering what it could be for. The entrance to the mystery dungeon within the cave was also just ahead.

“What’s this statue for?” Chiaki asked, poking at it.

“Oh, that’s a Kangaskhan statue,” Sting explained, walking up to it. “It can be used to store and withdraw items that you currently have stored back in town.”

“Ooh, that sounds useful,” Chiaki responded. “Why a Kangaskhan, though?”

“We think it’s because in other places around the world, item warehouses are commonly run by Kangaskhan for some reason,” Mirage replied. “Of course, we’re not entirely sure where the statues come from or who or what it is that places them there.”

“Another mystery of this world,” Chiaki said, smiling. “Cool.”

“So, anyways, it looks like we can use this to make some more preparations for this if there’s anything more we need that we don’t have,” Mirage commented, walking up to deposit some items her rescue team had picked up while exploring the mystery dungeon in the desert.

“This is probably also the last chance to turn around if anyone has decided against going through this dungeon,” Melody said, giving a somewhat concerned glance over at Sera and her teammates.

“Why did you look at us when you said that?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“I just want to make sure you’re sure about this one,” Melody responded. “I mean, I don’t know exactly how strong your team is, so I’m just a little worried.”

“Hey, no need to worry about us,” Sera replied, trying to sound confident in order to convince the Wigglytuff that they were strong enough. “We can handle this!”

“Oh, okay, if you say so,” Melody responded, walking over to the statue as Sting moved over to withdraw some items. She didn't seem fully convinced, but it was at least enough to make her stop trying to talk them out of it.

As Chiaki watched the other two rescue teams make their preparations, Sera motioned for Blitz to come closer to her so they could talk privately for a moment, or as private as they could considering they were all still in the same room.

“Do you think we’re anywhere close to achieving Silver rank?” Sera asked, glancing at the rescue team badge.

“I can’t tell…” Blitz responded, looking at the badge. “Let’s see… How many missions have we been on since achieving Bronze rank, and what were their difficulty ranks?”

“… You expect me to remember that…?” Sera replied, glancing over at the other two rescue team leaders to see if they were done making their preparations yet.

“Let’s see… First, I believe, there was a mission we did without Chiaki because he was trying to get a chance to speak to Elina,” Blitz said, trying to think about what had happened over the past few days. “And then… We went on a mission on the day they announced the crystals had been stolen…”

“Okay, that’s two,” Sera replied. “Go on.”

“We also went on a mission the day after that, after finding out about the crystal in Harmony Forest from Stella…” Blitz said, still thinking over it. “Retrieving the crystal itself was technically not a mission, and we didn’t go on a mission the day after that, so the last mission we went on was the one in Nectar Woods yesterday…”

“So, we’ve only been on four missions since we got Bronze rank?” Sera asked.

“I guess…” Blitz responded, trying to figure out how many points that added up to. “So, with the number of points from each of those missions based on mission rank…”

“Well, how many points does that make?” Sera asked a bit impatiently. “And how many do we need to reach the next rank?”

“Hmm…” Blitz took a few more moments to try to add things up in his head, before responding. “I think we’re almost a third of the way there?”

“We’re almost a third of the way there?” Sera replied, ears drooping down slightly.

“Hey, that’s not too bad, right?” Blitz responded, while rubbing his forelegs together, before quickly glancing over at the Kangaskhan statue. “Oh, I think you can use the Kangaskhan rock now.”

“Oh, right,” Sera said, walking up to the statue to see what she could do. “Let’s see…”

The other two rescue teams waited at the entrance while Sera thought about what to bring and which items not to bring, until she finally decided to just deposit a few of the items she had picked up on the way and not spend too much time worrying about it.

“All right, it looks like everyone is ready,” Mirage said. “Let’s go in!”

The three rescue teams entered the mystery dungeon one by one, entering a labyrinth looking similar to the room they were just in, a sandy floor with rocky cave walls. There were three paths to choose from to begin with.

“I guess we’ll split up, taking one path each,” Sting buzzed, hovering to the path on the right.

“Sounds like a plan,” Mirage commented, walking up to the path on the left.

“See you guys later, then,” Sera said, moving over to the path on the top along with her teammates.

And with that, the three rescue teams went off in different directions, each hoping to get through the dungeon and find the Flygon living within the deepest parts of the cave.

----

Back in Fenix Town, Elina was taking a nap on the roof of the café, when she suddenly felt a familiar psychic presence. Opening her green eyes and glancing down, she quickly met the gaze of a certain Beheeyem.

“Elina!” Eltanin telepathically called out to his daughter. “I am so glad to see you’re safe!”

Elina quickly floated down to her father and hugged him tightly.

“You've been worried about me too, haven’t you?” Eltanin asked via telepathy, returning the hug. “It's okay, I'm here now.”

While the two were glad to be reunited, Eltanin sensed that his daughter still seemed uneasy about something. He figured it was probably because of the stolen crystals.

“Perhaps we should go home to Axis Tower, sweetie?” Eltanin asked via telepathy. “The other guards have been worried about you too.”

Elina looked up at her father for a moment, before shaking her head, much to Eltanin’s confusion.

“You don’t want to go home yet?” Eltanin asked. “Why?”

Elina held up her hands, the red, yellow and green fingers on her hand flashing in different patterns to answer her father.

“… What?” Eltanin responded via telepathy, his fingers flashing in confusion as well. “I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean here.”

Elina’s fingers rapidly blinked in a different pattern, Eltanin trying his best to understand what his daughter was trying to say.

“Slow down, dear, you’re going a bit too fast here…” Eltanin responded, waiting for a few moments to figure out what his daughter was communicating through the signals. “… Wait, the night the crystals were stolen? What happened then?”

----

Mirage and her rescue team were making their way deeper into the mystery dungeon, picking up more items and money and fighting off wild Pokémon on the way. None of them were entirely sure how many floors this mystery dungeon was, but they assumed it was most likely not more than fifteen floors.

“The wild Pokémon here aren’t too much of a challenge,” Megara commented. “But, at least they still give some decent experience for us.”

“Well, for us they’re not too difficult,” Mirage responded. “But I wonder how that Bronze rank team is doing? Think they can keep up?”

Mirage continued moving forward, when she suddenly felt something under her paws. Before she knew it, a hidden trap activated and sprayed her with mud.

“Oh, ew…” Mirage said, trying to shake some of the mud off.

“Looks like you just triggered a trap,” Cordyceps commented.

“I know,” Mirage responded, rolling her eyes. “Help me get this stuff out of my fur, will you?”

----

Sting and his teammates were exploring another part of the dungeon, also picking up any useful items they could find and fighting off some wild Pokémon. Once again, Frosty’s ice attacks were proving to be useful.

“I am so awesome,” Frosty said, grinning. “We’ll reach the end of this dungeon in no time!”

“Yes, your ice attacks have been very useful for this,” Sting responded. “But don’t let it go to your head.”

“Don’t worry; I’ll keep my head cool!” Frosty replied, snickering a little.

“I see you what did there,” Melody commented, rolling her eyes. “So, you think the other rescue teams are doing okay?”

“Since we haven’t seen any signs of trouble so far, I’m assuming they’re doing okay,” Sting responded, looking around for the stairs.

“I guess,” Melody replied, also looking around. “So, how far in do you think they are compared to us? I bet Mirage and her teammates probably want to get through the dungeon first.”

“Yeah, they are kind of competitive at times, aren’t they?” Sting responded.

“Ha, they’re not going to be the first ones there, because we’re going to beat them there!” Frosty said, grinning. “Let’s pick up the pace!”

“Okay, but watch your step,” Melody responded. “There might be traps around here.”

----

Sera and her teammates continued to carefully make their way through the dungeon, trying to avoid triggering any traps or having to fight an opponent that was too tough for them to handle.

“How can it be that we’re only almost a third of the way to the next rank?” Sera asked, still thinking about what she and Blitz talked about earlier.

“Well, like I said, we haven’t done that many missions since we achieved our Bronze rank,” Blitz responded. “Plus, we’ve only done one mission per day, while a lot of other rescue teams usually do multiple missions within the same dungeon in a single day.”

“I see…” Sera replied, ears perking up a little as she thought about it. “They probably earn a lot of points and experience from doing it that way.”

“Yeah, they probably do,” Blitz responded, not realizing that Sera was probably in the process of trying to come up with some sort of plan.

“They probably do lots of difficult, but not too difficult missions to get as many points as they can in one go,” Sera said, giggling a little.

“Yeah, I guess,” Blitz responded, still not picking up on Sera’s train of thought as he was mainly focusing on listening for wild Pokémon that could be lurking nearby.

“Ooh, and get a lot of rewards!” Sera said, seeming more and more excited as she spoke. “Like money and useful items for later missions!”

“Sera, you’re acting kind of weird,” Chiaki commented, wondering why Sera seemed so excited all of a sudden.

“Oh, it’s nothing you need to worry about,” Sera responded, wagging her tail happily.

Sera continued cheerfully moving along, not paying much attention to her surroundings as she was caught up in her own thoughts. She was suddenly snapped out of her thoughts as she suddenly felt the sandy ground disappear under her, having triggered a pit fall trap. Sera gave a startled scream as she fell down onto the next floor, but luckily wasn't hut as she fell onto the sandy floor.

“Sera! Are you okay?” Chiaki asked, looking down at his teammate from the floor above.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Sera responded, shaking herself off. “That was pretty unexpected, though… On the bright side, I guess I found a shortcut to the next floor.”

“Oh, okay!” Chiaki replied, smiling cheerfully. “We’ll be right there with you, then!”

Chiaki jumped down the hole, landing in the sand next to Sera. After a moment of hesitation, Blitz joined them too.

“All right, let’s keep moving!” Sera said, still cheerfully leading her team.

“I’m getting a bad feeling about this…” Blitz muttered under his breath.

----

Back in Fenix Town, Elina and Eltanin sat on the roof of the café as Elina through the flashing patterns of her fingers told her father the whole story. Eltanin carefully watched the shining patterns to make sure he didn’t miss any details, although he was a bit shocked at a few of the things that Elina explained to him and had to ask her to repeat those things to make sure he had understood her right.

“I see…” Eltanin responded via telepathy, nodding his head slightly. “That is… quite the story…”

Elina nodded her head slightly, sheepishly looking down.

“Well… I’m not really sure what to think of this,” Eltanin commented, looking rather concerned. “Something like this has never happened before…”

Elina looked up at her father, waiting for him to think things over for a moment and decide what they would do next. Eltanin thought about it, and eventually decided on something.

“Okay, considering the circumstances, I guess it probably would be best that you stay here for now.”

Elina looked surprised at this response for a moment, and had her fingers flash in a pattern as if to ask if he was really sure about this.

“Yes, it probably is best that you stay in town and keep an eye on things,” Eltanin replied, nodding his head. “However, there is something I would like you to do.”

Elina tilted her head slightly, wondering what her father’s request was.

“Only I and other Pokémon who use similar communication methods will be able to understand the blinking patterns of your fingers, and there are limits for what you can express through your body language,” Eltanin explained. “That is why I want you to find a Pokémon in this town that can teach you how to communicate via telepathy.”

Elina nodded her head in response, agreeing with her father that learning how to use her telepathy would probably be a good idea. After all, she would eventually have to learn to do so anyways.

“I wish I could stay here and teach you myself, but I need to return to Axis tower,” Eltanin said through telepathy. “I need to tell the other guards about what I saw that night, as well as letting them know that you’re safe and telling them of what you told me today.”

Elina suddenly grabbed her father’s arm and shook her head rapidly, much to his confusion.

“You don’t want me to tell them?”
Elina let go of her father, and began explaining her reasoning for not wanting the guards to know everything about the current situation.

“Ah… I understand,” Eltanin responded. “If too many Pokémon knew of that particular detail, it might put your friend in danger...”

Elina nodded her head.

“And if the thief were to learn of this, this whole town could be in danger...”

Elina nodded her head again.

“Okay, then. I won’t tell anyone else.”

Elina was relieved to hear that, and hugged her father tightly.

“Well, I’d better head back to the tower now,” Eltanin said, returning the hug. “Take care, and do your best.”

Elina knew there was one more issue neither of them had really addressed after she explained the whole story, but that was something she would rather not think about for now, even if she knew perfectly well that it would have to be dealt with sooner or later…

----

After exploring for a while, Sera and her teammates had finally made it to the last floor of the mystery dungeon. At this point, they weren’t sure if they had somehow gotten ahead of the other two rescue teams, or if they had already gotten to the end of the dungeon. Based on the number of items they had come across on this particular floor, Blitz assumed it was the former.

“Think we’ll make it to the end before the other two teams catch up?” Sera asked.

“I don’t know…” Blitz replied, looking around. “Something doesn’t feel right…”

“What do you mean?” Sera asked. “I mean, we’re nearly at the end of the dungeon! What could possibly go wrong when we’ve gotten this far?”

“Ooh, look over there!” Chiaki said, pointing to the section of the dungeon where they were currently heading towards. “Looks like there’s lots of items in there!”

“Hey, you’re right!” Sera responded, wagging her tail. “Ooh, there’s Gummis in there!”

As Sera and Chiaki walked over to the room, Blitz suddenly froze as he realized something.

“Wait… There are many items in one place, more than you’d expect to find in one room…” Blitz’s eyes widened as he realized what this possibly meant. “Isn’t that in most cases a sign that… that…”

Sera and Chiaki obliviously walked into the room, but as soon as Sera reached a paw out to pick up one of the items on the ground, a yellow arm with white claws suddenly popped out of the sand and tried to strike her. Sera gave a startled yell as the yellow Pokémon with the brown spikes on its back fully emerged from the ground, followed by even more wild Pokémon appearing by popping out of the ground or dropping down from the ceiling.

“It’s a Monster House…” Blitz muttered as he stared wide-eyed at the wild Pokémon surrounding his two teammates.

“Eek, stay away from us!” Sera shouted, using her tail to fling a seed at a Pokémon resembling a bigger Sandile standing on two legs.

The Krokorok caught the Warp Seed in its mouth seemingly by instinct, and was promptly teleported to another part of the dungeon. But even with one of them out of the way for now, there were still several more Pokémon moving towards them.

"Ah, we need more Warp Seeds!" Sera said, looking through the bag. "Do we have any more...?"

"Sera, won't sending them away one at a time take a while...?" Chiaki asked, trying to put up a Detect.

"Well, w-what do you suggest then?" Sera responded.

“Um... Do we have any orbs that can stop all of these guys?” Chiaki asked, using Fake Out on the Sandslash that had tried to attack Sera.

“I… I don’t know,” Sera responded, panicking somewhat and not being able to remember what orbs they had brought, if any. “I-I’ve never fought this many Pokémon at once!”

“Sera, pull yourself together!” Chiaki shouted. “W-We have to do something!”

“I… I…” Sera was unable to think of anything.

“Come on, snap out of it!” Chiaki shouted, shaking his teammate slightly.

The wild Pokémon prepared to strike, only to be distracted by a bright light courtesy of Blitz’s Flash. Blitz then quickly ran over to his teammates before the wild Pokémon could block off the path.

“Sera, let me have a look at the items we brought!” Blitz said.

“O-Okay…” Sera responded and turned around so that Blitz could get to the bag she was carrying.

“Let’s see…” Blitz said, examining the items.

“A-Anything we can use in there?” Sera asked, while dodging to avoid being hit by wild Pokémon’s attack.

Chiaki was also dodging moves, having an easier time thanks to his Detect move. He wasn’t sure how long he would be able to keep it up, though.

“Sera, didn’t you bring any orbs that affect all wild Pokémon in a room?” Blitz asked.

“I-I don’t know!” Sera responded, looking around. “How was I supposed to know we needed one of those!?”

“You never know, and that’s why you need to be on the safe side!” Blitz replied, using Flash again to momentarily blind the wild Pokémon to buy a little more time.

“Oh, right…” Sera responded, ears drooping down slightly. “I-I guess that’s something someone taught me, wasn’t it…?”

“Well, we need to try to find a way to get past these guys and reach the other path out of this room,” Blitz said, glancing over at the path. “But how do we do that…?”

“Leave it to us!” a male and a female voice called out, as the other two rescue teams came to the rescue.

“Sting! Mirage!” Chiaki called out, grinning.

“You guys okay?” Melody asked while getting into a fighting position as the wild Pokémon turned their attention to them.

“Yeah, we’re fine!” Chiaki responded, as both Blitz and Sera gave a relieved sigh.

“Well, let us deal with these guys, and go find the stairs!” Frosty said, forming a large icicle between his hands. “We’ll catch up with you when we’re done!”

“Okay,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “Clear the path for us, and we’ll be on our way.”

Frosty smirked as he lifted the large icicle that he had created over his head, before throwing it at the wild Pokémon. The wild Pokémon scattered as they tried to avoid the attack, only for the icicle to shatter upon impact with a dungeon wall, causing the wild Pokémon to be struck by the fragments. Sera, Blitz and Chiaki quickly made their way out of the room while the wild Pokémon were still taking a moment to recover from the attack.

“All right, my turn,” Megara said, firing an intense blast of fire from her beak to burn the wild Pokémon, and accidentally(?) frightening Cordyceps in the process.

“This shouldn’t take long,” Mirage commented, getting down on all fours. “Let’s finish this quickly so we can catch up to the others.”

“Agreed,” Sting responded, pointing his arm-stingers at some of the wild Pokémon.

----

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki managed to quickly find and make it up the stairs while the other two rescue teams took care of the wild Pokémon. Blitz was glad to be out of that mystery dungeon, although Sera still seemed somewhat stressed.

“Sera, are you all right?” Blitz asked.

“I… I couldn’t remember anything of what I had learned…” Sera responded, ears drooping down. “It was like I couldn’t think at all…”

“Hey, don’t feel bad,” Blitz replied comfortingly. “That can happen to anyone.”

“Yeah,” Chiaki said, with his signature smile. “None of us were really prepared for that Monster House.”

“But we should’ve been,” Sera responded, looking over at Blitz. “You said so yourself earlier, you know. A rescue team never knows what awaits them, so one always needs to be on the safe side, right?”

“Well, I guess I did say something like that, huh…” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together.

“I’m the leader of this rescue team, I should’ve remembered to bring some items that would be useful in the case of a Monster House back when I was making my last preparations at the Kangaskhan rock,” Sera said, looking down at the ground. “I failed …”

“Sera, don’t beat yourself up about it,” Blitz responded. “Everyone makes mistakes, and when we make mistakes, we learn from them.”

“Yeah, cheer up!” Chiaki said, petting Sera.

"Besides, in a way, it wasn't all your fault anyways," Blitz added. "Chiaki and I could've helped you look over the items when you were making those preparations at the Kangaskhan rock."

“Thanks guys…” Sera responded, her ears perking up a little. “I promise I’ll be better prepared next time.”

“Ah, there you are!” Mirage called out, as she, Sting and their teammates walked up to the three younger Pokémon. "Good to see you're all okay."

“Ooh, everyone’s here!” Chiaki exclaimed excitedly.

“Yes, and now that we're all gathered, I guess we should go find this Desert Spirit," Sting said.

The three rescue teams headed down the tunnel, surprised as they eventually spotted light shining from the end of the tunnel. They soon entered a section of the cave with a large opening in the ceiling to the sky.

“This must be the place,” Sting said, looking around. “But where’s the Desert Spirit?”

“Looking for me?” a rough-sounding, but still feminine voice called out.

The three rescue teams saw a winged green dragon Pokémon getting up and emerging from the shadows, curiously examining the rescue team.

“Are you the Desert Spirit?” Chiaki asked, staring in awe at the Flygon.

“That is correct,” the Flygon responded, nodding her head. “You may call me Rhythm.”

“It is nice to meet you, Rhythm,” Sting said. “Anyways, we need your assistance with something, and so do the Pokémon of this desert...”

“This is about the strange sandstorms, isn’t it?” Rhythm responded.

“You already knew?” Mirage asked, tilting her head.

“Yes, I’ve been aware of it for a while,” Rhythm replied. “I could sense something strange in the air, but I haven’t been able to do something about it yet.”

“Why not?” Sera asked.

Rhythm smiled, and gently used the tip of her tail to brush away some of the sand on the ground, revealing a few orange eggs.

“Are those Trapinch eggs?” Blitz asked.

“I laid my eggs pretty recently,” Rhythm explained. “I just needed some rest before I could deal with the sandstorm problem.”

“Ooh, when are they going to hatch?” Chiaki asked, curiously looking at the eggs.

“Not for a while yet,” Rhythm responded, spreading her wings. “But for now, I think I should deal with those sandstorms.”

“Is it okay to just leave the eggs alone?” Melody asked.

“Relax, they’re perfectly safe in here,” Rhythm responded, carefully covering the eggs with sand again. “So, let’s deal with that sandstorm problem.”

Rhythm motioned for the rescue teams to get onto her back, and then took off, carrying the rescue teams out of the cave through the opening in the ceiling. Once they were outside, she set them down on a cliff, and then quickly started flying towards the areas affected by the sandstorms. The sound of her wings flapping sounded like a mysterious song, which reached the other Pokémon of the desert, as if to tell them that the Desert Spirit had arrived.

The three rescue teams watched as Rhythm began flapping her wings hard enough to whip up some sandstorms of her own, moving in the opposite direction of the other sandstorms.

“Why is she making more sandstorms?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“Look closely at those sandstorms,” Blitz said, pointing to the sandstorms Rhythm was whipping up. “They’re moving in the opposite direction of the other ones. Maybe they’ll cancel each other out?”

“I assume that is what she is trying to do,” Sting commented, watching the Flygon whip up more sandstorms, trying to make them just as strong as the other ones.

“Come on, Rhythm! You can do it!” Chiaki shouted, cheering the Flygon on.

The Pokémon of the desert were starting to gather to watch the Desert Spirit counter the mysterious sandstorms with her own, and it did seem like Rhythm’s plan was working. The sandstorms clashed, and soon canceled each other out, and Rhythm repeated the process until the sandstorms had subsided entirely.

“She did it!” Chiaki shouted, as Rhythm flew back up to the cliff where she had left the rescue teams.

“Need a ride back down?” Rhythm asked, letting the rescue team get onto her back again as she flew down to greet the desert Pokémon that had gathered.

“Desert Spirit, you did it!” a Sandile said, as Rhythm landed and let the rescue team climb off her back.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting,” Rhythm responded, taking a moment to catch her breath.

“That’s okay, Desert Spirit,” the Cacnea the rescue teams had spoken to earlier replied. “At least the problem is now solved, and we can now reach the oasis and the other parts of the desert that had been blocked.”

“That reminds me!” the Maractus from earlier said, turning to the rescue team. “You can probably find that crystal you were looking for now!”

“Crystal?” Rhythm inquired, tilting her head slightly.

“Oh, right,” Mirage responded, looking up at the Flygon. “The reason we came here in the first place was because one of the missing crystals from the Axis Tower is somewhere in this desert.”

“Ah, I see,” Rhythm replied, nodding her head while taking a quick glance at the area the sandstorms had previously been blocking off. “But, it’ll probably take a while for you to find it if you were to search on your own.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Sting responded. “Even if we limit our search to the previously blocked off areas, it’ll still take a while to search for it.”

“Yeah, and for all we know it might be buried under the sand somewhere…” Blitz commented, rubbing his forelegs together.

“Which is why the Pokémon of the desert should assist you,” Rhythm responded, smiling and turning to the gathered desert Pokémon. “I assume that is okay with all of you?”

“Of course!” the Maractus replied. “These rescue teams were willing to help us out, so it’s the least we can do for them!”

“So, you’re really going to help us out?” Chiaki asked, looking excited. “Awesome!”

And so the various Pokémon of the desert helped the three rescue teams search through the sands of the desert in order to help them find the crystal. Chiaki also took the opportunity to try to get to know some of the desert Pokémon better, and managed to befriend some of the younger Pokémon present. Eventually, a Sandshrew noticed something sparkly in the sand, and called over some other Sandshrew to help dig it up.

“Ooh, it’s shiny!” one of the Sandshrew said, picking up the yellow crystal. “This must be what the rescue teams wanted!”

The small group of Sandshrew ran up to the rescue teams, and presented the crystal to them.

“That’s it!” Sera said, excitedly wagging her tail. “We found the second of the eight missing crystals!”

“Which means there’s still six more out there,” Mirage commented, picking up the crystal. “But if we keep this up, we should have them all back in no time!”

“For now, let’s return to town and give the crystal to Stella for safekeeping,” Sting buzzed.

“Thanks for helping us out!” Chiaki said, happily shaking the hand of the Sandshrew that had found the crystal. “I hope we can all meet again someday!”

As the three rescue teams began to head back to town, they heard the mysterious humming sound of Rhythm’s wings flapping in the distance as she flew back to her cave. Perhaps it was saying good-bye to them, for now.

----

Cosmo was looking out at the sunset through a window, as Eltanin finally returned to the tower.

“Eltanin, you’re back!” Cosmo said, walking over to greet the Beheeyem. “Did you find Elina?”

“Yes, I did,” Eltanin responded through telepathy. “She will be staying in Fenix Town for the time being, as a situation has occurred and she needs to keep an eye on certain things.”

“Huh? What do you mean?” Cosmo asked, confused at this turn of events. “What has happened?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you,” Eltanin responded. “However, when the other guards get back, I do have some other information I need to share, regarding the identity of the Pokémon that stole the crystals…”

----

End of chapter 14.

----
 
Last edited:

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
So, tomorrow it'll have been one year since I put up the first chapter of this. Time sure flies, doesn't it? Thanks to all my readers who have enjoyed the story so far, and to those who have helped me improve my writing skills! :)

Anyways, here's chapter 15! I hope you all enjoy it, and feel free to let me know what you thought of it, what I could improve on, what I have improved on, and so on.

----

Chapter 15: You want us to do five missions in just one day?

----

It was another beautiful morning in Fenix Town, and Sera had just woken up and was ready for another day of missions. Last night, her family had been pretty surprised to hear that Sera and her teammates had once again had a part in bringing back one of the missing crystals, even if it was a smaller one due to the presence of two higher ranked rescue teams and the fact that it was Rhythm and the Pokémon of Clarion Desert that had ultimately found the crystal hidden under the desert sands.

Sera wasn’t too concerned about that, however, as there was currently something else on her mind. Blitz had yesterday pointed out to her how few missions they had actually done since reaching Bronze rank, and so Sera had decided to try to do something about that.

“Sis, are you going to eat that?” Volt asked, looking at the berries on Sera’s plate.

“Oh, right,” Sera said, realizing she had momentarily forgotten about her breakfast. “I’m going to need my energy.”

“And what do you need it for?” Volt asked, while trying to see if he could get any more food from his older siblings.

“Rescue team work, silly,” Sera responded, smirking.

“What kind of rescue team work?” Volt asked, trying to steal some berries off of Sirena’s plate.

“Well, I don’t know exactly what we’ll be doing today yet, but I certainly intend to get a lot of work done today,” Sera replied.

“Sounds to me like you’re probably going to get yourself or your teammates into trouble again,” Volt responded, while sticking his tongue out at Sirena for pulling her plate out of his reach.

“Hey, I know what I’m doing!” Sera replied, glaring at Volt.

“Are you sure about that?” Volt asked, smirking. “Didn’t you mention that those other two rescue teams had to save you and your teammates out of a Monster House yesterday?”

“That wasn’t my fault!” Sera responded.

“Oh? Whose fault was it, then?” Volt asked.

“Um…” Sera wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that, but before she could think of anything, Amethyst walked into the room, having just been outside and fetched the mail.

“Hmm, today’s newspaper looks interesting…” Amethyst commented, levitating the newspaper and a few letters with her telekinesis.

“Were there any letters for me?” Sera asked.

“Oh, yes,” Amethyst responded, levitating a few letters over to Sera. “There seem to be some missions here for you.”

“Ooh, let’s see what I’ve got here…” Sera said, looking through the missions. “… Oh! Two of these are in the same dungeon! Perfect!”

Sera added the missions to the job list for her rescue team, and finished eating her breakfast before heading out. She had some preparations to do, and wanted to get started as soon as possible.

----

At the town plaza, several rescue teams were looking at today’s newspaper and talking amongst themselves. Blitz and Chiaki looked around at the various rescue teams while they waited for Sera to show up.

“So, what is going on?” Chiaki asked. “Are they talking about the crystal we retrieved from the desert?”

“Well, the newspaper does mention it, but it seems they’re more concerned about something else,” Blitz responded, listening carefully while glancing at the newspapers. “It seems they’ve identified the Pokémon that stole the crystals?”

“Huh, they did?” Sera asked, as she walked up to her teammates.

“Apparently, the thief is a Sigilyph,” Blitz responded. “According to one of the Axis Tower guards, it seemed to possess some sort of strange, dark power… I guess that explains that giant plant and the sandstorms that were hiding the crystals, sort of…”

“Weird,” Sera replied. “What kind of dark powers allows anyone to create such things?”

“I don’t know…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together.

----

A short distance away, Stella and Bow were observing the rescue teams, having come to town to do some shopping.

“… I don’t think things are what they seem to be,” Stella muttered under her breath.

“What do you mean?” Bow asked, carrying some apples in her arms.

“… Let’s go home,” Stella responded. “I need to write another letter.”

----

Elina was currently relaxing in a tree, quietly wondering to herself who could teach her how to communicate through telepathy. She glanced down to see Stella and Bow as they headed home. They were both psychic types, but Elina didn’t know if either of them could use telepathy or not.

Elina was starting to see a number of reasons why finding someone who could teach her how to use telepathy would be difficult. For one thing, she didn’t know how many psychic types there were in town, or how many of them could communicate via telepathy. And how did she know if she could trust them not to read her mind? The last thing she wanted was for someone to invade her mind in order to find the secret she was hiding…

But even if it wouldn’t be an easy task, she still had to find someone who could teach her. Someone who wouldn’t be interested in searching her mind for information… As she thought about it, a certain psychic Pokémon who did seem unlikely to be interested in such things came to mind. She wasn’t sure if that Pokémon would be willing to help her, but she figured it couldn’t hurt to try asking the Pokémon in question.

However, it was probably best to wait until after all the rescue teams were done for the day...

----

At the rescue team HQ, Sera eagerly ran up to the mission board, looking over the various missions on it. Once she noticed one which location matched two of the missions already on her job list, she eagerly jumped up and claimed the mission. She soon spotted another right next to it in the same dungeon and grabbed that one as well.

“All right, this is looking good,” Sera said, wagging her tail happily. “Now let’s see if there’s anything on the outlaw board.”

Sera walked up to the other bulletin board, and looked over the wanted posters, to see if there were any matching the location on the other missions she had picked out. Her ears perked up as she noticed that there was indeed one mission there in the same dungeon as the other missions she had picked out, and eagerly picked it off the bulletin board and added it to the job list.

“Now I’ve got five missions all in the same dungeon!” Sera said, wagging her tail. “That should be enough for one day, don’t you think?”

“Hold on, five missions?” Blitz responded, tilting his head slightly. “You want us to do five missions in just one day?”

“Blitz, don’t you remember what you told me yesterday?” Sera asked, pointing to their rescue team badge. “We’ve only done four missions since we achieved bronze rank, and we’ve only done one mission a day, while other rescue teams tend to do more than one mission a day.”

“Oh, right…” Blitz responded, rubbing the yellow rings on his forelegs together. “We did talk about that…”

“So, I decided that today, we were going to do a lot of missions in one dungeon,” Sera said, happily wagging her tail. “And that way, we’ll get a lot of points in one go, and a lot of rewards that we can probably use to prepare for our next missions! We’ll become a better rescue team much faster this way!”

“Yeah, I guess…” Blitz replied, nodding his head slightly. “Are you sure we can do five missions in a row like this, though?”

“Why shouldn’t we be able to do it?” Sera responded, smiling at Blitz. “Relax, the mystery dungeon isn’t too difficult, and like I promised, we’ll be better prepared for anything this time!”

“Oh, okay then,” Blitz replied, managing a small smile. “Just don’t push yourself too hard.”

“Let’s do this!” Chiaki said, seeming excited as usual.

“All right, guys!” Sera replied, rolling out their map. “We’ll be heading to this dungeon here, the Green Ravine.”

“What are our missions?” Blitz asked, and Sera showed her teammates the five missions on their job list.

“Two Pokémon want us to find a particular item within the dungeon, one wants a Rainy orb delivered to him, and one Pokémon wants us to look for a friend who got lost in the dungeon,” Sera explained, pointing to the first four missions, before turning her attention to the outlaw mission. “And for this one, someone wants us to retrieve a stolen Pecha Scarf from a Mankey.”

“That doesn’t seem too difficult,” Chiaki commented, smiling. “We’re sure going to help a lot of Pokémon today!”

“Yes, I do think we can probably get all of these missions done,” Blitz said, examining the missions.

“All right, let’s look over our supplies,” Sera responded, opening the bag to reveal the items inside. “Does it look like we have everything we need?”

“Hmm… I don’t believe we had any Vile or X-Eye seeds anyways, so I think we’re as prepared as we can be,” Blitz replied, smiling at Sera.

“Good,” Sera responded, putting the lid back on. “What happened yesterday won’t be happening again!”

“What happened yesterday…?” Chiaki said, tilting his head slightly. “… Oh! You mean when we walked right into that Monster House?”

“Yes, that,” Sera responded. “So, since it seems we’re all ready, let’s get going.”

And so they walked into Kala’s room, and asked her to teleport them over to the Green Ravine. After complaining about how they had disturbed her nap, Kala sent them off to the entrance of the dungeon, before going back to sleep.

----

Arriving at the entrance of the Green Ravine, Sera quickly entered the dungeon along with her teammates. Looking over the missions again, she took note of what floors the missions were on, and asked Blitz to help her remember them. The first thing they had to do was get to the fifth floor of the dungeon, where they would have to find a pink gummi for a Roselia.

Sera confidently led the team through the first floor, fighting off wild Pokémon and occasionally collecting a few items as usual.

“Let’s pick up the pace, guys!” Sera said, as they walked up the stairs to the second floor.

“Aren’t we already moving at a pretty good pace?” Blitz asked. “I mean, we’re not in a hurry.”

“But it wouldn’t be nice to keep our clients waiting, would it?” Sera responded, looking around for the next set of stairs.

“I guess not,” Blitz replied, seeing that Sera did have a point there.

Blitz was starting to feel a little concerned about Sera, though. Was she really this energetic today, or was she still having doubts about herself over the Monster House incident the day before and was trying to cover it up? He couldn’t really tell which it was, and figured it was best not to bring it up to her. He also thought it wouldn’t really be any point in bringing it up to Chiaki, since the idea of Sera still feeling bad about what happened at that point probably hadn’t even crossed the Mienfoo’s mind.

So, Blitz just continued to quietly follow along, while helping Sera remember what five floors the five missions were on.

----

Stella had gone off to find Santos and ask him to deliver a letter for her, while Bow stayed behind to watch the house. She wasn’t sure why this was necessary, since her mother said she wouldn’t be away for long, and with all the rescue teams around, it was unlikely that anyone would be able to sneak into their home. Bow just wandered around in circles, before stopping next to a chest covered with a white tablecloth.

Looking around as if to make sure no one was watching, even though she knew there was no one else around at the moment, she decided to walk up and pull the tablecloth off the chest, before using her psychic powers to open it and take a peek inside. Inside the chest were the two crystals that had been retrieved so far, being kept safe until they could all be safely returned to Axis Tower.

“They’re so pretty,” Bow said, watching the green and yellow crystal, and reaching out to touch one of them.

Before the tip of the Gothorita’s arm reached the crystals, Bow suddenly felt a bit light headed and her vision was becoming blurry. She closed her eyes for a moment, images of a dark blue crystal and a whirlpool briefly flashing through her mind.

“Did I just have a vision…?” Bow said, rubbing her head and opening her eyes. “Strange, usually they happen at night, when the stars are out…”

Bow closed the chest, and covered it back up with the tablecloth. She then tried to think about what she had just seen in that brief vision she had.

“Something blue and shiny…” Bow said, closing her eyes and trying to think. “Hmm… Oh! Could it have been another one of those crystals?”

Bow tried to recall what the dark blue crystal looked like, and the shape did look the same as the green and yellow crystals. So, it probably was one of the remaining crystals, but where was it? Bow tried to remember what else was in her vision.

“Hmm… Wasn’t there a whirlpool?” Bow thought out loud. “Does that mean the crystal is underwater? I should probably tell someone about this…”

While Bow had been told to wait at home, she figured that it wouldn’t be a problem if she left for just a moment as it was important to let the rescue teams know about the crystals. She would probably also be back by the time her mother returned home anyways. So, she stepped outside, and began heading into town, only for a certain bouncing Azurill to crash into her.

“Ah!” Bow yelled as she fell down.

“Oh, sorry about that, Bow,” Azure said, trying to use the ball on the tip of her tail to help the Gothorita back onto her feet. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Bow responded, getting back onto her feet. “Where are you going in such a hurry?”

“I’m going to get more gummis!” Azure said, excitedly bouncing around. “I can feel that I’m getting really close to evolving now, I just need to eat a few more gummis, and then I should be ready!”

“Oh, that’s great!” Bow responded, smiling at the Azurill. “You’ve been looking forward to evolving for a while, haven’t you?”

“You bet I have!” Azure replied, smiling back. “Hey, what was evolving like for you? Do you remember?”

“Hmm…” Bow thought about it for a moment, trying to remember. “I suppose I do, even if it has been a while since I went through the ceremony at… um… what was the name of that cave again…?”

“It’s the Cave of Renewal, right?” Azure responded helpfully.

“Oh, right!” Bow said, smiling cheerfully. “It was so amazing, the cave walls were all sparkly and there were these blue lights…”

“Sounds pretty,” Azure commented. “But, I’m more interested in hearing about the ceremony, actually.”

“Oh, okay!” Bow responded, taking a moment to try to remember. “Let’s see… There was this voice, and it asked me to stand in the center of the circle carved into the cave floor, and then the pattern on the floor started to glow!”

“Interesting,” Azure replied. “That’s when the process of evolution itself started, isn’t it? How was it?”

“Ooh, it felt really good,” Bow said, smiling. “I felt my body changing, getting a little bit taller, and more powerful… I don’t even know how to really describe it actually…”

“Cool,” Azure replied. “I can’t wait! Well, I should get going. See you later, Bow!”

“Bye-bye!” Bow said, while waving good-bye as the Azurill bounced away.

Once Azure had left, Bow stood there on the path, suddenly looking around in confusion.

“… Why did I come out here…?” Bow wondered out loud, not remembering her original reason for going outside. “Wasn’t I supposed to do something…?”

Bow thought about it, but couldn’t seem to figure out what her errand was.

“Hmm… I’ll figure it out later,” Bow said, turning around and heading back home.

Unbeknownst to Bow, a certain Sigilyph was watching her from the shadows, snickering a little to himself.

“Cassandra’s great, great, great granddaughter…” the Sigilyph muttered to himself. “She doesn’t look too bright… Probably wouldn’t put up much of a fight either…”

He just watched the Gothorita walk back to her home, before flying off.

“For now, I should leave, but I certainly plan on seeing her again…” the Sigilyph said, with a sinister laugh as he flew off into the distance.

----

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were now on the seventh floor of the Green Ravine, having found the pink gummi on the fifth floor and brought it with them, and they were now looking for the Pokémon that had requested the Rainy Orb. Chiaki still did wonder why it wanted to meet them in a place like this just to receive an item, and then leave. Why not just meet in town?

“How hard can it be to find one Pokémon one wouldn’t expect to see in a place like this?” Sera said, looking around. “Are you sure we’re on the right floor?”

“The mission did say the seventh floor,” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly.

As the three young Pokémon got around a corner, they suddenly spotted a big bipedal Pokémon resembling a rhinoceros with a gray body that made it look like it was partially made of stone. Blitz was a bit intimidated by the Rhydon, but still followed his two teammates as they walked up to it to deliver the Rainy Orb.

“You wanted this, right?” Sera said, pointing to Chiaki who held up the orb.

“Ah, yes,” the Rhydon responded, picking up the orb. “These make watering my plants so much easier. Thank you so much for bringing me one!”

“You’re welcome,” Sera replied.

“Well, I’ll head back to town now,” the Rhydon said. “I’ll come by the rescue team headquarters to give you your reward later!”

And with that, the Rhydon teleported out of the dungeon with a little help from the magic of the rescue team badge.

“All right, two down, three to go!” Sera said, wagging her tail. “The next one is on the next floor, right?”

“Correct,” Blitz responded. “According to the mission from the Kabuto, his friend Omanyte is lost somewhere on the eighth floor.”

“How does he know which floor she got lost on?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Who cares, let’s just go save her,” Sera responded, turning back as she remembered passing the stairs while looking for the Rhydon.

The three of them quickly made it back to where the stairs were, and moved onto the next floor, and started looking for the lost Omanyte. Chiaki liked how in most missions, they knew exactly where to look for the things they needed to find. It felt a lot easier to just focus on missions, rather than try to figure out his true identity. While he didn’t show it much, Chiaki was bothered by his amnesia, and the fact that he hadn’t been able to regain any of his memory.

However, since he didn’t know where to search for his lost memories, he figured there wasn’t really any point in trying to find them for now. The only lead he really had was Elina, and perhaps once she worked out a more effective way to communicate with him other than body language, she’d be able to tell him what she knew about him.

Despite all that, he didn’t mind waiting, even if it could possibly take a while. After all, there was plenty for him to do until then.

“I think I see her!” Blitz said, pointing to a blue Pokémon covered mostly by a very light brown shell.

“Good job, Blitz!” Sera responded, moving towards the lost Omanyte. “Let’s save her, and move onto the next one!”

The Omanyte was grateful that the rescue team had found her, and the magic of the rescue team badge sent her back to town so she could meet up again with her friend. With three missions done, there were only two more to go. First, they had to find a particular item on the tenth floor, and the outlaw that had the stolen Pecha Scarf they had to retrieve was on the eleventh floor.

“So, how much closer do you think we’ll be to Silver rank after this?” Sera asked.

“Hmm… Well, it’ll certainly bring us closer to it, but we’ll still have some way to go, I think,” Blitz responded.

“Good enough for me,” Sera replied, stopping for a moment to catch her breath. “Whew, I’m starting to feel a little tired from walking so fast…”

“Should we take a break, or slow down a little?” Blitz asked, sounding a bit concerned for his teammate.

“Sure, let’s slow down a little,” Sera responded, smiling at Blitz. “But not too much, though! We can’t keep our clients waiting!”

----

After quickly getting through the ninth floor, and searching the tenth floor until they found the item they were asked to find, the rescue team walked over to the stairs that would take them to the eleventh floor and their last mission for the day. Sera briefly stopped and set down their bag, and opened the lid to take another look at the items.

“All right, we’ll need to fight in order to get the stolen item back, so does it look like we’ve got what we need for this?” Sera asked.

“Hmm, I think so,” Blitz responded, looking over the items. “It would be easier if we had any Vile or X-Eye seeds, and while we do have a couple of Sleep seeds, I don’t know if they’ll be useful in this situation since the Mankey may have an ability that makes them immune… There is a Totter seed in here we might be able to use, though.”

“Think that’s enough?” Sera asked.

“We have a few orbs that can be used too,” Blitz responded. “We should probably avoid using the ones that affect multiple Pokémon in one room, though.”

“Okay,” Sera replied. “Let’s go.”

The rescue team headed up the stairs to the eleventh floor, where they came across a Pokémon with light brown fur, two short pointy ears, long arms and legs and a long tail, and a nose resembling a pig’s snout. The Mankey was holding the stolen Pecha Scarf, trying to figure out how he wanted to wear the pink scarf, seeing as he didn’t really have a neck.

“Hmm… Maybe tied around my tail?” the Mankey said, thinking out loud. “No, that’ll make me look like a girl…”

“Hey!” Sera shouted, startling the Mankey for a moment. “I believe you have something that isn’t yours, and we’re here to make you return it!”

“Oh, no way!” the Mankey responded, holding tightly onto the scarf. “This thing is going to help me get into Oddish territory so I can gather chestnuts there without needing to worry about the Poison Powder the Vileplume in that area spread to keep other Pokémon out!”

“Why’d you have to steal it?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly. “I’m pretty sure Pecha Scarves like that can sometimes be found lying around in dungeons, so why not try to get one of your own?”

“Shut up!” the Mankey shouted, charging at Chiaki.

Chiaki quickly used Detect to avoid the Mankey’s attack, and then followed it up with a Fake Out to make the Mankey flinch. Blitz then took the opportunity to charge up electricity and tackle the Mankey whilst coated in the electricity, knocking the Mankey onto its face. The enraged fighting type got back up, and charged at Sera, who quickly used her tail to fling some sand into its eyes while jumping out of the way.

As the Mankey brushed the sand off his face, Sera considered throwing one of the seeds at him. However, she wasn’t entirely sure where the Mankey’s mouth was, and thus wasn’t sure where to aim. Blitz hit the Mankey with another Spark attack, and Chiaki attempted to strike the Mankey, only for the Mankey to knock him aside.

“Why won’t any of you just hold still!?” the Mankey shouted.

Chiaki looked up to see the Mankey charging at him, and quickly had to block a Karate Chop from the Mankey by grabbing his paw at the right moment. The angry pig-monkey Pokémon simply picked up Chiaki while the Mienfoo was still holding onto his paw, and began swinging him over his head.

“Go away!” the Mankey shouted, throwing Chiaki at Sera, knocking them both to the ground.

As Sera and Chiaki tried to get back onto their feet, the Mankey began charging at them again, only to be tackled aside by Blitz.

“You’re in my way!” the Mankey screamed, attempting to strike at Blitz with Fury Swipes.

Blitz managed to dodge the attacks, and then made his fur shine in order to momentarily blind the Mankey, so he could hit him with Spark yet again. The Mankey tried to get up, only for Blitz to press his paw against the Mankey’s back and zap him with electricity, making the Mankey drop the scarf.

“So, I’ll just take this back now,” Blitz said, taking the Pecha Scarf that had fallen out of the Mankey’s hand.

“You did it, Blitz!” Sera said, happily running up to her teammate along with Chiaki.

“Are you two okay?” Blitz asked, looking a bit concerned. “It looks like you two got hit pretty hard.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll just eat an Oran berry and I’ll be fine!” Sera responded, wagging her tail.

“Yeah, same here,” Chiaki replied, giving Blitz a reassuring smile.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Blitz responded, rubbing the rings on his forelegs together.

Suddenly, the Mankey jumped up and landed on the ground a short distance from the rescue team, glaring at them.

“FINE! You can take that stupid scarf back, as long as it means I don’t have to deal with more of you!” the Mankey shouted, jumping up and down in anger. “I’ll go search the mystery dungeons for my own Pecha Scarf, and if anyone else tries to get in my way, I'll beat them up!”

And with that the Mankey ran off, angrily muttering something under his breath as he went off somewhere.

“Hey, he’s getting away!” Chiaki said, looking a bit worried. “Shouldn’t we go after him?”

“I think we should probably just return to Fenix Town and return this scarf to its rightful owner,” Blitz responded. “While I feel bad for whatever unfortunate wild Pokémon may end up in his path, I don’t think there’s much more we can really do about this.”

“And if he causes trouble for anyone again, maybe some other rescue team will be able to handle it,” Sera added.

“I guess…” Chiaki responded. “It doesn’t feel quite right to just leave him like that, though.”

“I know,” Blitz replied. “Let’s just hope another rescue team eventually deals with it once someone tracks him down.”

“Well, let’s go back to town,” Sera said, letting the power of the rescue team badge spread its golden light and teleport them back to the rescue team HQ.

----

After picking up their rewards at the rescue team HQ, the rescue team decided to head over to the café. While waiting for River to give them their drinks, the three looked over the rescue team badge and the rewards from the mission.

“Looks like we got a good amount of money from this one,” Blitz commented. “And I think we got some useful items out of it too.”

“Yeah, this was definitely a success,” Sera responded, looking somewhat worn out. “I don’t think we’ll be doing this many missions at once every day, though.”

“Agreed,” Blitz replied, chuckling a little. “Although, I guess we wouldn’t be likely to find five missions in the same location every day, anyways!”

“Wow, you really did five missions today?” Frederick asked, while cleaning the tables in the café.

“Yes, we did!” Chiaki responded, with his signature cheerful smile. “We got to help a lot of Pokémon today!”

“That’s nice,” Frederick replied, nodding his head slightly. “Hey, does this table look clean now? It smells clean, but I can’t really tell for sure.”

“I’ll be with you in a second,” River said, setting down the glasses of berry juice the rescue team had ordered on the counter. “There you all go!”

“Thanks, River!” Sera replied, immediately drinking up about half of the Leppa berry juice she had ordered in one gulp. “Ooh, I needed that.”

“Don’t drink it all up too fast,” River said, while looking over the table that Frederick had just cleaned. “After all, don’t you have to go home and eat dinner soon?”

“Relax, I won’t spoil my appetite,” Sera responded.

“If you say so,” River replied, while letting Frederick know she was satisfied with the table before guiding him over to the next table he had to clean.

While the rescue team enjoyed their drinks and Frederick continued cleaning the tables, Azure suddenly bounced into the café.

“I’m back!” Azure said, happily bouncing on her tail.

“Azure, where have you been?” River asked, pointing to a window at the position of the sun outside. “You were supposed to be back half an hour ago!”

“Sorry, I forgot to pay attention to the sun,” Azure responded sheepishly. “But I did manage to get a few gummis, and now I’m going to be even closer to evolving!”

“Azure, I know you want to evolve and go on adventures,” River replied, sighing. “But you do realize that if I’m going to allow you to go off on your own, you need to be back when I tell you?”

“I said I was sorry,” Azure responded. “And next time, I promise I’ll be back when I’m supposed to be!”

“Good,” River replied, patting Azure on the head.

River then went back to work, Azure went to help Frederick with the tables and the rescue team eventually finished their drinks and headed home for the day. After a day of a lot of missions, it was going to feel nice to get some sleep.

----

At the rescue team HQ, a certain Abra was asleep in her room as usual. Even after the day was over, she and a few of the others at the rescue team HQ would stay behind even when there were no more rescue teams coming in for the day. Nurse Giselle and some of the Pokémon assisting her would stay behind in order to look after patients or in case an emergency came up.

However, Kala wasn’t entirely sure why she chose to remain in her room at the HQ even after the day was over. While there had been instances of Pokémon showing up at night to ask her to teleport them somewhere, she wasn’t exactly too thrilled about the idea of having someone disturb her in her sleep when her work day was supposed to be over.

Then again, she wasn’t exactly too thrilled about her sleep being interrupted any other time either. While some might call her lazy, Kala was an Abra, after all, and so did need eighteen hours of sleep every day in order to keep her psychic powers strong. And as long as she did do her job, no one could really complain.

As Kala lay comfortably on her pillow, she suddenly felt something poking her head. She tried to ignore it, but whoever it was, they weren’t going away. Kala sleepily opened her eyes, and saw a certain Elgyem hovering next to her.

“Oh, it’s you again…?” Kala asked, yawning. “Do you have any idea what time it is…?”

Elina sheepishly looked down on the floor, as the Abra sat up, sleepily rubbing her eyes.

“Okay… So, where do you need to go at this hour…?” Kala asked, pointing at the map.

Elina just shook her head, much to Kala’s confusion.

“You don’t need me to teleport you anywhere…?” Kala asked, seeming as if she was about to fall asleep again any second. “Well, what do you want, then…?”

----

End of chapter 15.

----
 
Last edited:

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Hi again, everyone! It looks like I'll be having a few busy weeks ahead of me, as I probably have a math exam somewhere at the end of May that I'll need to prepare for.

However, I do have another chapter for you guys, so let's just get right on that, shall we?

I hope you guys enjoy it!

----

Chapter 16: So, you’re considering joining Sera’s team?

----

Stella gazed up at the night sky, hoping she’d soon receive some answers that could confirm her theory, or perhaps reveal the location of another crystal, but it didn’t seem like the stars had anything to show her tonight. Bow was already asleep, tightly hugging a pink blanket while mumbling something in her sleep about candy. Stella looked at the envelope she was holding, having been unable to find Santos and get him to deliver her letter to Silver Woods.

He was probably delivering some mail out of town, and she would have to wait until morning when Santos would come to deliver their mail before asking him to send her letter. She telekinetically picked up the letter that her friend had sent her a few days back, and reread what she had found out about the plant sample Stella sent her.

“I need to get this new information to her as soon as possible…” Stella whispered, as she paced back and forth.

Stella decided it was probably better to just try to get some sleep, instead of staying up when there wasn’t really anything she could accomplish by doing so at the moment. She glanced up at the starry sky once more, just in case she did receive a vision. When nothing happened, she closed her eyes, trying to sleep.

----

At the rescue team HQ, Elina had managed to convey her message to Kala after several minutes of trying to find a way to make her request. The fact that Kala had nearly dozed off a few times while she tried to do so didn’t make it any easier.

“So, let me see if I got this right…” Kala muttered groggily. “You want me to reach you how to communicate through telepathy…?”

Elina nodded her head. Kala stared tiredly at the Elgyem for a moment, before falling back down on her pillow and returning to sleep, snoring lightly. Elina had to grab the Abra by her shoulders and shake her awake.

“I’ll think about it, okay…?” Kala mumbled, rubbing her eyes. “So, I’ll contact you later… if I don’t forget…”

Kala went back to sleep, and Elina figured it was best to just let her sleep for now. She knew trying to ask Kala of all Pokémon for help was probably a somewhat crazy idea, but hopefully it was just crazy enough to work. After all, it seemed very unlikely that Kala would be interested in searching through anyone’s thoughts on their personal lives and such, and thus Elina wouldn’t have to worry about her secrets being found out with Kala as her teacher.

While Kala most likely just wanted to sleep and focus on her job, Elina still hoped that Kala would be willing to teach her, and that they would be able to set aside some time for that. For now, she decided to leave the rescue team HQ, and see if she could find a good place to sleep.

----

After a fairly uneventful night, the sun rose into the sky, signaling the start of another new day. River the Azumarill got up, and did her usual morning routine, waking up Azure and getting ready for another day of work at the café. After making breakfast, she went to fetch the mail. Inside the mailbox were today’s newspaper, and a letter from Azure’s father.

“Oh, he finally sent another letter!” River commented, smiling as she held the envelope. “I guess he’s been too busy with work to really write… I really wish he’d come home more often.”

River brought the letter inside for Azure to read, while making a mental note to herself to write a letter back when she got back home from work. Once she and Azure had finished their breakfasts, they headed off to the café. They met up with the other Pokémon that worked in the kitchen outside the café, and then they headed inside to start preparing for when it was time to open the café.

The Pokémon working in the kitchen went to bring in the supplies that would be arriving soon, and to get things ready to prepare the food and drinks that customers would order. Frederick was probably going to show up soon to help out in the café too. The young Deino only had to work a couple of more days to fully pay off his debt, and it seemed he had enjoyed helping out. He also seemed to get along well with Azure when they were both helping out in the café.

River had no doubts that Frederick would probably continue to be a regular visitor to the café even after he had finished working off his debt.

“Can I go look around town for ways to get gummis when we’re done setting up things and stuff here?” Azure asked, bouncing on her tail. “I don’t know if I already have enough IQ skill to evolve, but I want to gather some more just in case!”

“Azure, you don’t have to be so impatient,” River responded, patting her daughter on the head. “I know you want to evolve soon, but you don’t have to spend every day until it happens preparing for it.”

“Well, what else am I supposed to do, then?” Azure asked.

“How about just taking it easy?” River suggested. “You don’t have to be in such a rush all the time.”

“I can take it easy after I’ve evolved,” Azure responded, bouncing around. “Please? Can I go take a look around town for ways to get more gummis later?”

“Oh, okay,” River replied. “Just remember to keep track of time.”

----

Once everything was in place, and the café was open for customers, things went the way they usually did on a normal day. And once Azure had permission to head out, she immediately headed for the town plaza. As she bounced her way into the main part of the town, she noticed Sera and her teammates over at the shop, buying some items. Azure smiled, and decided to go over to them and say hi.

“Hey guys!” Azure said, cheerfully hopping over to the bronze rank team. “Getting ready for another day of adventures, huh?”

“Uh-huh!” Chiaki responded, nodding his head and smiling. “Sera wanted to buy some Reviver Seeds before they all got sold out!”

“One can never have too many Reviver Seeds, after all,” Sera said.

“We should probably put some of those away in storage,” Blitz commented. “You know, just in case.”

“Right, let’s get right on that,” Sera responded, finishing paying Wade for the purchased items before heading over to Lionel’s item warehouse.

Azure continued following the rescue team as they made their preparations, figuring that perhaps she could go on another adventure with them if she did. She wondered if they had already decided on what mission they were going to handle today.

“So, what’s the plan for today?” Azure asked.

“Sera received another mission with the mail this morning,” Chiaki explained. “Apparently, some Buizel got lost while exploring Harmony Forest.”

“Harmony Forest, huh?” Azure responded, balancing on her tail. “Same place where you found one of the missing crystals?”

“That’s the one!” Chiaki replied, smiling. “I look forward to visiting it again, even if we won’t get to see the monkey tribes this time since the Buizel didn’t reach the main part of the forest.”

“Ah, I see,” Azure responded, bouncing a little. “Mind if I come with you?”

“Oh, you want to join us on this one?” Sera asked.

“Well, I was going to try to get myself some more gummis, but an adventure sounds fun,” Azure responded. “That is, if you’re fine with letting me come along.”

“Sure, why not?” Sera replied, smiling and wagging her tail.

“Great!” Azure responded, happily bouncing around. “When do we head off?”

“Well, I think we’ve almost gotten all our preparations done,” Sera said. “We just need to go over a few more things, and then we’re good to go!”

Azure smiled and followed the three as they made their last few preparations, before walking up to the rescue team HQ. Walking right past other rescue teams who were looking at the bulletin boards and trying to decide on today’s missions, they entered Kala’s room. Sera lightly nudged the sleeping Abra with her paw, waking her up.

“What year is it…?” Kala mumbled, as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.

“Hello, Kala,” Sera said, with a friendly smile. “Mind teleporting the four of us over to the entrance of Harmony Forest?”

“No, I don’t mind…” Kala responded, nodding off.

“Um…” Sera shook Kala again, waking the Abra up again.

“Oh, you meant right now, didn’t you…?” Kala said, yawning and stretching. “All right… Here goes…”

And with a flash of light, the four Pokémon disappeared from the room and Kala could resume her nap until another rescue team showed up. She then remembered that a certain Elgyem had been there last night, asking for her help.

“Right, I should probably think about what to do about that…” Kala said, yawning. “Hmm… I’ll sleep on it.”

And so, Kala resumed her nap.

----

Azure followed the rescue team as they explored the first floor of Harmony Forest, which had changed since the bronze rank team was there last. Aside from the vines that were spreading throughout the forest no longer being an obstacle, the entire layout of the floor had changed entirely. Chiaki seemed pretty amazed at how different it looked from the last time they had been there, despite having been told before that mystery dungeons did change like this.

The only things that stayed the same were the number of floors and what kinds of wild Pokémon might appear within them. The lost Buizel was apparently somewhere on the ninth floor of the dungeon. Sera had asked Blitz to remember what floor it was on, and to help keep track of what floor they were currently on.

“So, what Pokémon are there to fight around here?” Azure asked, swinging her tail around a little.

“Well, there are some Ledyba, which I believe we may also have seen in Nectar Woods,” Blitz responded, trying to remember which wild Pokémon inhabited this dungeon. “There were also Shroomish here, and I think there might’ve been Bellsprout…”

“I see,” Azure replied, bouncing along. “Do you remember anything else?”

“Hmm… I think there are either Taillow or Starly in here,” Blitz said, thinking for a moment. “Some kind of small bird Pokémon, can’t remember which one at the top of my head… and I believe there are Pachirisu on the later floors.”

“Doesn’t sound too difficult,” Azure replied.

“I know I missed a few, though,” Blitz said, looking around. “And remember to be careful with the Shroomish, since they might release spores that can induce sleep, paralyze or poison you.”

“Yeah, I know about Effect Spore,” Azure responded. “I’ll be careful.”

The four Pokémon continued exploring the maze of trees, picking up items and fighting off wild Pokémon on the way. As always, Azure was enjoying the chance to explore with Sera and her teammates, and getting to fight. She didn’t think she would ever get tired of going on adventures. Sometimes, when she would look out the windows while helping her mother out in the café, it felt like every part of her just wanted nothing more than to head out and explore.

This was the third time she had joined Sera and her teammates on a mission, and with her love of adventures, she’d probably make a good rescue team member. Perhaps once she had evolved, she could join their rescue team for real? Azure figured her mother probably wouldn’t mind that, as long as she remembered her curfew.

Would the rescue team be interested in having her join their team, though? She knew at least that they probably considered her a bit too impulsive and impatient at times. While Sera and Chiaki probably wouldn’t mind letting her join, she wasn’t too sure about Blitz. Sure, he was a nice Pokémon and liked having Azure as a friend, but would he want her as a teammate?

From what Azure had seen from the interactions between the three of them, Sera often looked to Blitz for advice when it came to the rescue team stuff, as he probably knew more than she did about it. However, Blitz also seemed like he could easily be talked into something by his two teammates if they wanted it enough.

Was that something Azure could take advantage of? Was it something she wanted to take advantage of?

“We’re doing pretty well so far,” Blitz commented as they eventually got to the fifth floor of the dungeon. “We’re already over halfway there.”

“Yeah,” Azure responded, still following along. “This is going by pretty fast.”

“Well, we did do five missions yesterday,” Sera said with a cheerful smile. “So, I suppose one kind of short mission today is a lot less stressful.”

“Shame I didn’t meet up with you guys in time to join you on your missions yesterday,” Azure responded, giggling a little. “I probably would’ve enjoyed that.”

“I guess you would!” Chiaki replied, with his usual cheery attitude. “I bet yesterday’s missions would’ve been even more fun if you had come along!”

“You really think so?” Azure responded. “Because, I was sort of thinking, that maybe…”

“Oh, there are the stairs!” Sera said, spotting the stairs to the next floor. “Let’s go!”

Azure followed the rescue team up the stairs, and attempted to figure out how to ask about the possibility of joining their team at some point. However, she couldn’t seem to figure out what to say, or how to say it. She found this odd, since it wasn’t like her to get all flustered and not be able to get her thoughts across. Maybe this just wasn’t the right time to bring it up.

“Hmm… Maybe after I evolve…” Azure whispered to herself.

“Did you say something, Azure?” Chiaki asked, looking over his shoulder at her.

“Uh… No, I didn’t say anything,” Azure replied, giggling a little.

“Oh, okay!” Chiaki responded, turning back to helping his teammates keep an eye out for items, wild Pokémon and the stairs.

Azure decided that she would wait to ask about joining their team until after she had evolved. It seemed like a good idea, at least. For now, she tried to focus on the mission.

----

Elina was sitting under a tree, wondering when to head back to the HQ to see Kala. Kala had told her she would think about it, but had admitted she might not remember to do so. And even if Kala did remember, Elina wasn’t sure if Kala had given it any thought yet. She wasn’t sure what she would do if Kala decided not to teach her to communicate through telepathy.

If that happened, she’d have to find another Pokémon that could teach her, but she didn’t really know of anyone else who could. She really hoped Kala would agree to help her…

Suddenly, Kala herself appeared next to Elina in a flash of light, startling the Elgyem.

“All right, I’ve been thinking about it…” Kala said, still sounding rather sleepy. “And I think I’ve made my decision…”

Elina tilted her head slightly, and moved a bit closer to the Abra as she anticipated the response. Kala cleared her throat, as if about to speak… only to fall asleep again, leaning against Elina. Elina stared blankly at the snoring Abra for a moment, before shaking her by the shoulders in order to wake her up.

“Zzzz… Oh! Sorry about that…” Kala responded, rubbing her eyes. “Anyways, about the whole telepathy thing… I’m willing to give it a try…”

Elina instantly perked up, and looked to Kala to make sure she had heard right, only to find that the Abra had nodded off again. Elina tapped Kala’s shoulder, and the Abra woke up again.

“Yeah… I’ll try…” Kala said again, yawning. “Not sure if I’ll be any good at it, but whatever…”

Elina excitedly hugged Kala, who nearly dozed off again, but managed to somehow stay awake this time.

“You’re welcome…” Kala said, smiling. “But for now, I need to get back to work… See you later…”

And with that, Kala teleported back to her room in the rescue team HQ and went back to sleep. Elina was relieved that Kala had agreed to help her, and that she didn’t have to worry about it anymore. However, Kala hadn’t specified when her telepathy lessons would begin, so Elina wasn’t sure how that would go. She just hoped that Kala wouldn’t just randomly appear out of nowhere again whenever she decided to start the lessons.

----

Sera and her teammates had now reached the eighth floor of the mystery dungeon leading into the deeper part of Harmony Forest, Azure still following closely behind them. They were only one floor away from the Buizel who needed rescue. Azure kept taking note of how each of the three rescue team members handled the situation at hand; trying to figure out what she could contribute to the group if she joined the team for real.

Even if she had been doing a decent job while helping them out on a few missions, she would have to change her battling style regardless once she evolved. It was a bit difficult to fully plan ahead when she didn’t yet know the full extent of how her body changing would affect the way she battled.

“All right, there are the stairs!” Sera said, wagging her tail happily as she walked up to the stairs leading to the next floor. “The client is on the next floor, correct?”

“Correct,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “So, let’s go help him.”

The four Pokémon walked up the stairs, and began looking around for the orange otter Pokémon that was lost somewhere on the floor. Azure tried bouncing as high as she could, in hopes of being able to get a glance over the walls and possibly catch a glimpse of where the Buizel was. Despite her best efforts, she wasn’t able to get a good enough view of the dungeon.

“If only I could bounce a little bit higher…” Azure muttered. “And stay up in the air a little longer, too…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Sera said, wagging her tail. “Let’s just look around like usual.”

Azure followed the others, keeping an eye out for the Buizel. After a short while, Blitz was able to pick up on the Buizel’s scent, and helped Sera find out which way it must’ve gone. Following the trail, they soon found the room where the Buizel was. As the Buizel spotted them, he motioned for them to be quiet as there were two white squirrel Pokémon with blue ears and yellow pouches on their cheeks asleep nearby, blue sparks of electricity occasionally rippling through the fur of the sleeping Pachirisu.

“I think I can get to him without waking the Pachirisu,” Blitz whispered to the other three Pokémon in the group. “Sera, can I borrow the rescue team badge for a moment?”

Sera gave Blitz the badge, and so the Shinx began making his way towards the Buizel. He made sure to not make much noise as he walked through the grass, and even seemed to have a way to control his breathing to move as quietly as possible. He soon reached the Buizel, and held out the rescue team badge.

“Thanks,” the Buizel whispered, smiling at Blitz. “I’ll give you your reward at the rescue team HQ later.”

And with that, the rescue team badge teleported the Buizel out of the dungeon and Blitz made his way back to his teammates.

“Well done, Blitz,” Sera whispered, taking the rescue team badge back. “Now, let’s get back to the HQ.”

As the four Pokémon were sent back to the rescue team HQ, the golden flash of light from the rescue team badge as it teleported them out woke up the two Pachirisu. The two electric squirrels sat up and looked around for the source of the light, and when they didn’t see it, decided to move to a different part of the floor.

----

River was taking some customers’ orders when Azure returned to the café. Azure had said goodbye and left right after the rescue team picked up their reward from the Buizel, and gone back to the café so she could tell her mother and Frederick about today’s adventure.

“So, you’re considering joining Sera’s team?” Frederick asked, while he and Azure cleaned some spilled berry juice off the floor.

“Yep,” Azure responded, balancing on her tail.

“Sounds nice,” Frederick replied. “They seem like a good team. Maybe I should try going on a mission with them sometime?”

“I bet you would enjoy that,” Azure responded, bouncing around cheerfully. “I wouldn’t mind seeing you in action myself, actually.”

“Oh?” Frederick replied, tilting his head slightly.

“Well, you’re a dragon,” Azure said. “So, I’m assuming you must have some awesome moves!”

“Oh, I don’t know if I’m really that awesome,” Frederick replied, with a somewhat sheepish smile. “But thanks anyways.”

The two continued talking amongst themselves while helping out in the café, until Frederick had to head home. Eventually, it got dark outside, and soon it was time to close up the café for the night and head home. Thanks to a few light crystals set up in certain spots in their house, it wasn’t completely dark when they returned home. Azure began heading to her room, only for River to stop her.

“Wait just a moment, Azure,” River said, smiling. “I brought something back from the café for you!”

River then held out a white gummi, which instantly brought a smile to Azure’s face.

“I saved it just for you!” River said, handing Azure the gummi. “You can go ahead and eat it before you go to bed, if you’d like.”

“Thanks!” Azure responded, happily eating the white gummi before bouncing over to her room.

River smiled, and went to write a letter for Azure’s father. She took a blank paper from the top of a stack of blank papers and put it down on the small wooden writing desk in front of her, and then got out the quill and ink. Dipping the quill in the ink, she began writing the letter.

As she wrote about how Azure was getting close to evolving, and would probably be a Marill the next time her father saw her, she thought about how it was kind of sad that he wouldn’t get to witness his daughter’s evolution. She wondered if Azure felt that way too. Then again, Azure probably wouldn’t let it bother her that much, as she would probably just look forward to telling her father all about whenever he came home.

River then thought about Azure’s father probably felt about it, since he probably felt bad that he wouldn’t be able to see his daughter evolve. River sometimes forgot to take his feelings into consideration when she thought about how much she wanted him to come home and spend time with them.

River then looked down at the letter she was writing, taking a few moments to figure out what else to write.

“… I hope we can all see each other again soon,” River said, reading what she was writing to herself out loud as she continued working on the letter. “But until then, I suppose as long as we keep each other in our hearts, we’re never truly far apart. So, keep up the good work, and I will do the same with my job at the café.”

It didn’t take much longer before River had finished the letter, and smiled as she looked over it, deciding she was satisfied with it. She left the letter on the desk, deciding to send it when Santos came to deliver the mail the next morning before heading off to work. For now, it was time to sleep.

----

End of chapter 16.

----
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Hello again! Sorry for the wait, but you know, I have that math exam coming up on the 27th that I need to study for, so I'll probably have to work on that this week. However, I've still managed to finish chapter 17.

Also, my fanfic can now also be read on Fanfiction.net, where so far, I've put up revised versions of the four first chapters. So, feel free to check that out, if you're interested.

So, anyways, time for chapter 17. Read, review and all that, but most importantly, I hope you enjoy the chapter!

----

Chapter 17: If you had to choose, would you rather be a rock, or a tree?

----

Another new day had begun, and the Pokémon of Fenix Town was going about their regular morning routines. Sera and her older siblings were eating breakfast together as usual, making small talk about recent events and things like that. During the breakfast, Sera had noticed that Sirena had kept looking at her.

“… Do I any food stuck in my teeth, or something?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“Oh, I was just wondering if you had any plans for today,” Sirena responded, with a smile on her face.

“Um… Okay?” Sera replied. “I’m guessing I’ll be going on some mission with Blitz and Chiaki, but we haven’t decided on anything in particular yet. Why do you ask, anyways?”

“Well, it’s occurred to me that we never really do anything together, you know?” Sirena responded. “So, I was thinking that, maybe we could go somewhere together?”

“… Do you want something from me?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly. “What is this about?”

“Oh, Sera, don’t be silly!” Sirena responded, giggling a little. “I just thought it might be nice to spend some time with my little sister!”

“… No seriously, what do you want from me?” Sera asked, looking somewhat confused.

“Come on, Sera! It’ll be fun!” Sirena said, with a cheerful smile. “Take a day off from the rescue team stuff; I’m sure your teammates will understand!”

“… Yoru, Flare, Volt? Do any of you know what’s going on?” Sera asked, looking around at her older brothers for answers.

“I don’t know, but she’s definitely up to something,” Volt responded. “She’s acting way weirder than she normally does.”

“Maybe she has a fever?” Yoru said, pressing his paw against Sirena’s forehead. “… Nope, her scaly, yet surprisingly soft skin feels just as cool as it normally does.”

“Oh, come on, guys,” Sirena said, pushing the Umbreon’s paw away from her forehead. “Is it really that strange that I want to spend some quality time with my little sister?”

“Yes,” Volt responded bluntly.

“I’m really confused here…” Sera muttered, unsure what to do.

“It can’t really do any harm to spend the day with your sister,” Flare said, giving Sera a reassuring smile. “I’m sure you and Sirena will have fun.”

“You really think so, Flare…?” Sera responded. “Well… Okay, then …”

“Yay!” Sirena replied, with a happy smile. “Today is going to be fun; I promise you won’t be disappointed!”

“Uh… Okay,” Sera responded, trying to smile back. “I guess we’ll go once I’ve talked to Blitz and Chiaki.”

“Be careful, Sera,” Volt whispered. “We don’t know what she’s really after.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Sera whispered back. “I’m sure I’ll be able to find out what she wants from me once we’re on our own.”

“Go for it,” Volt responded, smirking.

----

After finishing her breakfast, Sera headed out to see her teammates, albeit leaving the rescue team badge and treasure bag at home. She almost felt it was a little strange to go out without those. She found Blitz and Chiaki, and explained the situation to them.

“So, Sirena wants to spend some quality time with you?” Blitz asked.

“Yeah, isn’t it strange?” Sera responded. “What could she be up to?”

“I wouldn’t know,” Blitz replied, smiling at Sera. “But I hope you have fun.”

“Thanks,” Sera responded, smiling back. “And since you two are getting the day off, go do whatever you want. Anyways, see you later!”

“Bye Sera!” Chiaki said, and waved good-bye as Sera left. “Have fun!”

“Tell me how it went later!” Blitz said.

After Sera had left, Blitz and Chiaki were left wondering exactly what to do with their day off. They walked around town for a bit while trying to figure that out.

“Maybe we can head over to the dojo for some training?” Blitz suggested. “I haven’t really had a chance to talk to Hercules these past few days.”

“You sure that’s what you want to do?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Oh… Well, if you don’t want to…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together.

“No, it’s fine!” Chiaki responded, smiling at Blitz. “If you want to head over to the dojo, go ahead! I can look around on my own, and see what else there’s to do!”

“Are you sure?” Blitz asked.

“It’s no problem, really!” Chiaki replied, still smiling. “I’ll be fine on my own!”

“Okay, if you say so,” Blitz responded, starting to head over in the direction of the dojo. “See you later.”

Chiaki began walking around town, wondering what he could do while Sera was spending time with her big sister and Blitz was training at the dojo. As he looked around, he came across a certain Deino.

“Hi Frederick!” Chiaki said, happily greeting the Deino.

“Oh, hello,” Frederick responded.

“So, why aren’t you at the café?” Chiaki asked. “Did River give you the day off?”

“Yeah, she did,” Frederick responded, nodding his head. “She apparently had to take Azure somewhere, so the café is closed today.”

“Oh? Where did they go?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“I don’t know,” Frederick responded. “River told me they’d probably be back sometime in the evening, though.”

“Oh, okay!” Chiaki said, smiling. “I’ve got the day off too!”

“Cool,” Frederick responded. “So, what are you doing?”

“I don’t know yet,” Chiaki replied. “What about you?”

“I don’t really have any plans either,” Frederick responded.

“So, if you don’t have any plans, and I don’t have any plans, why don’t we try to think of something together?” Chiaki asked, smiling cheerfully.

“Sounds good to me,” Frederick replied, smiling too.

The two Pokémon began to walk around together, trying to see if there was anything for them to do. As they looked around, they noticed two other Pokémon, who seemed to be looking for something or someone. One was a blue Pokémon resembling a turtle with a brown and beige shell, and a white tail which vaguely resembled a wave. The other was a small green Pokémon with two red flowers on its head and something resembling a skirt made of green and yellow leaves.

“Oh, where did he get off to this time?” the Wartortle asked, looking rather frustrated.

“I really hope we find him soon,” the Bellossom said, trying to stay calm. “It wouldn’t really be a good idea to go on this mission without him…”

“Excuse me, but is there a problem?” Chiaki asked, walking up to the two Pokémon.

“Well, we’re heading out on a mission soon, but our teammate seems to have wandered off somewhere again,” the Wartortle responded, looking rather annoyed.

“Need any help finding him?” Chiaki asked, giving a friendly smile.

“Oh, that would be nice,” the Bellossom said.

“What does he look like?” Chiaki asked.

“He’s a Sudowoodo,” the Wartortle responded. “Basically, a rock type Pokémon that somewhat resembles a tree. So, if you see any moving trees, odds are it’s him.”

“Got it,” Chiaki replied, looking over at Frederick. “Should we split up to go look for him?”

“Sure,” Frederick said, nodding his head. “I sort of know what rocks smell like, and if I wander around, I might bump into him!”

“All right, let’s go!” Chiaki said, and so the two headed off in different directions to help the other rescue team find their missing teammate.

----

Sirena was cheerfully leading the way as she and Sera were making their way over to a lake where Sirena liked to relax. Sera wasn’t too surprised that the water type in the family liked to spend time near a body of water. She still wasn’t sure why Sirena had all of a sudden decided to spend some quality time with her, even inviting her along to her favorite spot.

“I think you’re really going to like this, Sera!” Sirena said, grinning. “It’s really pretty there!”

“Yeah, sure…” Sera responded, looking at her older sister suspiciously.

“Ooh, there it is!” Sirena said, running up to some bushes. “Through here!”

Sera walked up, and peeked through the bushes, and saw a clear blue lake sparkling in the light of the sun.

“Wow, that is pretty,” Sera said, taking in the view.

“It is, isn’t it?” Sirena responded, smiling at Sera. “I bet Amethyst has never taken you anywhere this pretty, huh?”

“Wait, what was that?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“Oh, nothing,” Sirena said, giggling a little. “Come on, let’s go swimming!”

“Oh, now I know what this is about!” Sera commented, smirking. “You’re jealous of how much I admire Amethyst, and this is yet another one of your attempts to get attention!”

“What? Where would you get that idea from?” Sirena asked, trying to look innocent.

“Oh, so this isn’t about Amethyst at all?” Sera responded, with a smug smile.

“Okay, maybe a little,” Sirena replied, looking down sheepishly. “But I really do want to spend time with you! I can be a cool big sis too!”

“So, you want to be a cool big sis, huh?” Sera asked. “Well then, let’s see how you do. So, what did you have planned for us to do?”

“Ooh, well, we can relax by the lake, or I can teach you how to swim!” Sirena responded. “I can also show you some really cool things I can do!”

“Sounds fun,” Sera replied, following her sister over to the lake.

----

Chiaki had ended up wandering out of town while searching for the Sudowoodo, and was now looking around near the area leading into the Lush Valley. He briefly wondered if the Sudowoodo might’ve wandered into the mystery dungeon, but soon noticed what appeared to be a moving tree standing between two regular trees.

“That must be him,” Chiaki said, as he walked over to investigate.

The strange tree was indeed the Pokémon he was looking for, a brown rock type Pokémon with a body vaguely resembling a short thin tree. The Sudowoodo had three green orb-like fingers on the end of each arm, and kept tapping one of them against the side of his face while seeming to be in deep thought.

“Um… Hello?” Chiaki said, waving to the Sudowoodo. “Are you on a rescue team with a Wartortle and a Bellossom?”

“And you are?” the Sudowoodo asked, looking down at Chiaki.

“I’m Chiaki,” Chiaki responded. “I’m part of a rescue team too.”

“Hmm… Interesting,” the Sudowoodo replied. “I’m Arbolith, and it seems you have met my teammates?”

“Well, yes,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head. “They’re looking for you.”

“Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith said, sighing. “I suppose I should head back to town, then…”

“Why are you out here, by the way?” Chiaki asked.

“Oh, I was just thinking to myself, wondering who I really am,” Arbolith responded. “Things like that.”

“You don’t know who you are?” Chiaki inquired, tilting his head slightly. “What do you mean?”

“Well, look at me,” Arbolith said, gesturing to himself. “I look like a tree; yet, my body is made of rock. So, what am I? Am I a rock, or a tree?”

“Oh, so you’re wondering who you are in a different way than me, then,” Chiaki responded. “You see, I seem to have lost my memories some time ago, and I haven’t really regained much of it.”

“Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith responded. “So, you don’t know who you really are either.”

“No, I don’t,” Chiaki replied, shrugging slightly.

“I see…” Arbolith responded, thinking for a moment. “So, who do you think I am? Do you think I’m a rock, or a tree?”

“Uh… You’re a rock type that just happens to kind of resemble a tree…?” Chiaki replied as best as he could.

“Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith said, nodding slightly. “I suppose that is a good answer…”

“Glad I could help?” Chiaki replied, trying to put on a friendly smile. “Well, should we head back to town, then?”

“I suppose we should,” Arbolith responded. “Lead the way.”

The two Pokémon began walking back into town, however, Arbolith suddenly stopped for a moment. Chiaki stopped as well, wondering what was going on.

“Is something wrong?” Chiaki asked.

“I was just wondering…” Arbolith said. “What would you rather be?”

“Huh?” Chiaki responded, tilting his head slightly.

“Would you rather be a rock, or a tree?” Arbolith asked, looking thoughtfully at the young Mienfoo.

“Um… What kind of question is that…?” Chiaki responded, understandably confused at this random question out of the blue.

“I’m just curious,” Arbolith replied. “If you had to choose, would you rather be a rock, or a tree?”

“Uh… I don’t really want to be either of those things,” Chiaki responded, shrugging slightly. “I’m fine with being a Mienfoo.”

“Hmm… Interesting,” Arbolith replied, as he and Chiaki continued walking back to town.

----

At the dojo, Hercules watched while Blitz had a practice battle against Lotus and Riley. In mystery dungeons, one would often have to deal with multiple wild Pokémon at once, and in some situations one couldn’t always expect ones teammates to be able to help. Hercules watched how Blitz waited for the right moments to dodge the opponents’ attack, and then using Flash to momentarily blind them and give himself an opportunity to attack.

“Very good,” Hercules commented, observing the battle. “Have you learned any new attacks recently?”

“Not that I know of,” Blitz responded, dodging a kick from Riley. “I’ll probably start practicing some new techniques soon, though.”

“I believe you are strong enough to properly use a Bite attack,” Hercules said.

“Oh, well…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “I suppose I can at least practice the technique for that one, although I doubt using my fangs in battle is a good idea…”

“Not if you master the technique,” Hercules said, giving a reassuring smile.

“I know,” Blitz responded, looking down at the ground. “My father told me that I had to be careful when using my fangs in battle…”

Hercules motioned for Lotus and Riley to take a break and let him and Blitz have some privacy so they could talk alone.

“Heard anything from home recently?” Hercules asked.

“Well… I got a letter from my little sister, asking me if she could come visit me,” Blitz responded. “I haven’t mentioned it to Chiaki yet, and I haven’t figured out what to write back to Lita…”

“I guess Lita misses her big brother, huh?” Hercules replied.

“I miss her too,” Blitz said, looking down at the floor. “But… I just don’t know if it’s a good idea to have her come here. Sera and Chiaki are probably going to ask questions, and… I-I don’t know if I’m ready to…”

“Still afraid of what will happen when your friends find out about the events that led to you coming here?” Hercules asked. “Blitz, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “You don’t know what it’s like for others to have already decided what your future will be, and treating you as if that’s the only possible path for you…”

Hercules glanced down at the floor, unsure what to say to Blitz. He just comfortingly put his hand on Blitz’s shoulder, not knowing how else he could show the Shinx his support.

“Other Shinx might say I’m lucky, and wish they had my destiny,” Blitz said, his ears drooping down slightly. “But, I’m really just a regular Shinx like them, there’s nothing really special about me…”

Hercules occasionally nodded his head slightly, to show Blitz he was listening. Blitz needed his support, but at times like these Hercules just didn’t know what to say to him to make him feel better.

“Why does it have to be me?” Blitz asked, sadly looking down at his own paws. “I’m not like my father, and I’m not any more qualified than any of the other Shinx… So, why do I have to be the one?”

“Blitz… I know it must be difficult for you to have to deal with the high expectations other have of you, and feeling you can’t live up to them,” Hercules said, comfortingly petting the young Shinx. “Having others decide your life for you because they think that is the best path… I understand that it must be hard for you.”

“I can’t change my destiny, I can only delay the inevitable,” Blitz muttered, sounding as if he was on the verge of crying. “I’m pathetic, really…”

“Blitz, that’s not true,” Hercules responded. “You’re an intelligent and brave young Shinx, and you’re always trying to do your best.”

“I’m not brave,” Blitz replied, sighing. “If I were brave, wouldn’t I be able to face this instead of trying to hide from it?”

“It’s a complicated situation, and I understand that it must be difficult to deal with,” Hercules responded, giving a reassuring smile. “Even I don’t know how to deal with it, but I’m sure in time, you will find a way.”

“You think so?” Blitz asked, rubbing his forelegs together.

“Yeah,” Hercules replied, patting Blitz on the head. “I’m sure another path will open up, just give it some time.”

“I don’t think that’ll happen,” Blitz responded, looking up at Hercules. “But thanks, anyways.”

“Anytime, kid,” Hercules replied, smiling at Blitz. “Feeling better now?”

“A little,” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly.

“Good,” Hercules said. “Let’s take a short break before resuming your training, okay?”

“Okay,” Blitz replied, giving a small smile.

Blitz sat down to rest for a moment, while Hercules went to check on some of the other Pokémon that were training at the dojo this day. He was glad Hercules was willing to take the time to listen to him and give him advice, and acted as his mentor without treating it as preparations for the future that had been chosen for him…

----

Sera watched as Sirena swam around, moving swiftly, yet elegantly through the water. Sera had to admit that she was interested in seeing a side of Sirena that she had never seen before now, even if she knew that Sirena was doing it partially out of her usual desire for attention.

“Hey, Sera? You want to come in now?” Sirena asked, cheerfully swimming up to her younger sister. “Your big sis can teach you how to swim!”

“You sure I’m able to do that?” Sera responded, tilting her head slightly. “I mean, I don’t really have the fishy tail and all the other stuff that makes you move so fast in the water.”

“Don’t worry,” Sirena replied. “Even if you can’t swim as fast as me, I can still teach you a few things.”

“Well… Okay then,” Sera responded. “I’ll give it a try.”

Sera carefully stepped into the water, Sirena offering to let Sera hold onto her tail if she had trouble staying floating. Sera somewhat clumsily moved around the water, not entirely sure how to move forward. While her instincts at least gave her some clue as to what she was supposed to be doing, she found herself moving slowly.

“Don’t worry if it goes a little slow at first, that’s normal,” Sirena said, smiling at her little sister. “When swimming, you should make every movement count.”

“Well, what do I do, then?” Sera asked, splashing around a little.

“First of all, don’t splash around like that,” Sirena responded, giggling a little. “You’ll just use up your energy that way.”

“Oh,” Sera replied, calming down a little.

“Try following my lead,” Sirena said, smiling at Sera. “Feel free to hold onto my tail if you need to.”

“Okay,” Sera responded, trying her best to follow her sister.

----

After bringing Arbolith back to his teammates, Chiaki met up again with Frederick. He had found the Deino bumping his head against a rock, asking it if it was the Sudowoodo. Chiaki and Frederick walked around town, wondering what else they could do.

“So, Sera is spending time with her big sister today?” Frederick asked.

“Yeah,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head slightly. “I hope they’re having fun.”

“And Blitz is training at the dojo?” Frederick asked.

“Yep,” Chiaki replied. “Hercules is his mentor, after all!”

“Huh, that’s cool,” Frederick responded. “There must be something special about Blitz if Hercules is training him personally.”

“Why do you think that?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Well, I don’t know this Hercules very well, but if he really is Blitz’s mentor, then there must be something special about him, right?” Frederick said, pausing to think about whether what he was saying made sense. “Do Pokémon running dojos normally take on apprentices like that?”

“Hmm… I don’t really know,” Chiaki responded, shrugging slightly. “Blitz says that he’s just like any other Shinx.”

“Maybe I’m just overthinking things?” Frederick wondered out loud. “That seems so unlike me, though…”

“I’m sure there’s nothing to be worried about,” Chiaki responded.

Even as he said it was probably nothing to be worried about, now Chiaki couldn’t help but wonder just why Hercules had taken on the position as Blitz’s mentor. All Blitz had said on the matter was that he came to train because he was having trouble getting proper training back home, but was that really all there was to it?

The more he thought about it, the more he wondered how well he really knew Blitz. It hadn’t occurred to him earlier, but it seemed Blitz was avoiding answering certain questions, saying he would answer them later only to not bring it up again. Maybe Sera knew why he acted that way?

“Azure has been telling me about the adventures she’s had with you guys,” Frederick said.

“Oh?” Chiaki replied, looking at the Deino.

“Yeah, and it sort of makes me want to go on a mission with you guys sometime,” Frederick responded, nodding his head slightly.

“Ooh, that would be fun!” Chiaki replied, smiling cheerfully.

“You think Sera and Blitz would be okay with that?” Frederick asked.

“Of course they would!” Chiaki responded.

“Well, maybe when I’ve got time, we can try to make that happen?” Frederick asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Sure we can!” Chiaki said, excitedly jumping around.

“Cool,” Frederick responded, smiling. “So… I guess we’ll do that sometime, then.”

----

At the lake, Sirena helped Sera back onto land, as Sera had gotten tired after swimming after Sirena for a while. Sirena got out of the water as well, and lay down to relax on the grass next to her little sister.

“I have to admit, spending time with you was fun,” Sera said, smiling at her older sister.

“It was?” Sirena asked, grinning. “So, does that mean I’m your new role model now, instead of Amethyst?”

“Well, Amethyst is better at giving me advice about other things,” Sera responded. “But it seems you can teach me some things that she can’t, so I guess you can both be my role models.”

“Meh, I suppose that’s good enough for me,” Sirena replied.

“You know, Sirena, I think I like you better when you’re not always trying to one-up Amethyst,” Sera said. “Maybe you should spend less time trying to be like Amethyst, except better than her, and instead just do what you can do that she can’t do?”

“You think so?” Sirena asked, tilting her head slightly. “Amethyst is like, everyone’s favorite.”

“Well, that’s because Amethyst is awesome,” Sera replied, wagging her tail. “But you can be awesome too, in a different way.”

“Thanks, Sera,” Sirena responded, smiling. “You know, I had fun today too, we should spend time together more often!”

“Yeah, we should,” Sera agreed, smiling back.

While Sirena could be annoying at times, Sera had to admit, she wouldn’t mind spending more time with her. Plus, learning how to swim would probably be useful for rescue team missions. Of course, with rescue team work and such, it could be difficult to find time for that, but hopefully she and Sirena could work something out.

----

End of chapter 17

----
 
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Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
No reviews since Chapter 13? Pity...

Anyway, I'm still really liking what I'm seeing. One thing I've noticed is you pace yourself really well in terms of revealing things about the story and the world - You keep us guessing while revealing just the right amount of info at a time.

And your characters continue to excel. (Arbolith~)

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your review! Glad you're enjoying it. ^_^

I've been working on chapter 18, and I'm hoping to have it done soon. Being able to write without having to worry about math and stuff feels nice, although I still haven't been able to get the new chapters done as fast as I'd like. I'm also working on a few other fanfiction projects of mine, including a possible entry for the Interpretation one-shot contest, assuming I can get it done before time runs out.

So, yeah. Just a little update on things. I promise to have a new chapter up soon, so I hope you'll look forward to that!
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Hello! So, didn't expect me to show up again this soon after my last post? Well, Chapter 18 was pretty close to being finished, and I wasn't sure if I'd have it done today or not, but I managed to finish it, so yay!

Anyways, hope you all enjoy this chapter!

----

Chapter 18: I have to admit, I’m kind of curious about these Deep Sea Charms too!

----

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were going around Fenix Town, making their preparations for today’s missions as usual. Sera cheerfully told her teammates about how she and Sirena had spent yesterday by the lake, and Blitz seemed happy to hear that Sera had been able to bond with Sirena. The three of them walked past Stella’s house, just as Stella stepped outside.

“Good morning, Stella!” Sera said.

“Oh, hello,” Stella responded somewhat absentmindedly. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to talk.”

“Are you in a hurry?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Well, not exactly,” Stella replied. “But I had a vision revealing the location of another crystal, so I thought I’d head up to the rescue team HQ to inform the rescue teams.”

“Oh, that’s what it was!” Bow suddenly exclaimed, peeking out of the window. “I had a vision of a crystal underwater, at the bottom of this huge whirlpool!”

“Yes, I believe that is the same crystal I saw,” Stella said, nodding her head slightly to Bow.

“So, there’s a crystal underwater?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“Yes, that’s what we just told you!” Bow responded.

“I believe it must be somewhere in the Sapphire Sea,” Stella said, thinking for a moment. “Specifically, somewhere near the end of a mystery dungeon called the Radiant Reef.”

“There are mystery dungeons underwater?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Yeah,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “There are several mystery dungeons underwater, and apparently there’s also a deep sea branch of rescue teams.”

“Ooh, a deep sea branch?” Chiaki asked, wanting to know more.

“It consists of Pokémon that live in the sea, naturally,” Blitz explained. “They even have their own little rescue team headquarters, I’ve heard.”

“That is correct,” Stella responded. “Anyways, I’ll head up to the rescue team HQ now. Hopefully they can send a message to the deep sea branch so they can send some of their rescue teams to search for the crystal.”

Stella began walking towards the rescue team HQ, Sera, Blitz and Chiaki coming along since they were headed there anyways. Bow stayed behind to look after the house, and waved good bye as they left.

“I’d sure like to check out some of those underwater rescue teams,” Chiaki said, looking rather excited at the thought. “Is there a way we can get there?”

“Hmm… I think there is a way for non-water type rescue teams to go there,” Sera replied, looking over at Blitz. “Isn’t there, Blitz?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, there is,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “One needs a special item, though, that will allow non-water types to breathe underwater.”

“Ooh, what kind of item?” Chiaki asked, looking at Blitz curiously.

“Some sort of amulet, if I remember correctly…” Blitz responded, trying to remember what it was called.

“It’s called a Deep Sea Charm,” Stella said. “It’s a necklace made from magical pearls and seashells.”

“Cool!” Chiaki exclaimed, looking up at Stella. “Where can we get one of those?”

“Hmm… I have a friend who knows how to make them, but I know there’s also a Pokémon working at the rescue team HQ that makes Deep Sea Charms and other special items,” Stella responded. “I hear items like that can also be found in treasure chests found in mystery dungeons sometimes, if you’re lucky.”

As they reached the rescue team HQ, Stella went off to see if someone could send a message about the crystal to the deep sea branch’s HQ.

“Either of you know where we can find the Pokémon that Stella talked about?” Chiaki asked.

“You mean the one who can make Deep Sea Charms and other special items like that?” Blitz replied. “Well… Let’s see…” Blitz looked around, checking the differently colored curtains covering the entrances to the other rooms. “Nurse Giselle’s room is behind the pink curtain, Kala’s is the purple one… Oh, maybe it’s that green one, over there?”

The three young Pokémon walked up to the curtain, peeking behind it. However, it didn’t seem like anyone was inside the office behind the green curtain at the moment. There was a note pinned to a wall, reading: “Out gathering materials for making more items. Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause. ~Couture.”

“Hmm, this seems to be the right place,” Sera commented, looking at the note. “It doesn’t seem like this “Couture” is here today, though.”

“Aw, I wanted a Deep Sea Charm,” Chiaki said, pouting.

“You looking for Couture?” a female voiced asked, and the rescue team turned around to see a Servine from one of the other rescue teams.

“Huh? Oh, yeah, sort of,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together.

“Well, I actually ran into her yesterday, and she mentioned that she would be heading to Tidal Shores to gather some special seashells and pearls that tend to wash up there,” the Servine said.

“Wow, really?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly. “As in, the ones needed to make Deep Sea Charms?”

“Yeah, I think so,” the Servine said, nodding her head slightly.

“Huh, what a strange coincidence…” Blitz responded. “That’s the item we were just talking about.”

“Anyways, I’ve got to get back to my teammates,” the Servine said, looking over at a Minccino and Wynaut that seemed to be having trouble agreeing on what mission to take. “They look like they need some help. Bye!”

“Oh, bye Regina,” Blitz replied, waving at the Servine.

“Well, I guess we should be finding ourselves a mission too,” Sera said.

Sera and Blitz began walking up to the rescue board, but Chiaki seemed to have something else in mind.

“Wait up, guys,” Chiaki said, thinking for a moment. “We were just told where Couture is!”

“So?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly.

“I think we should head over to Tidal Shores and go meet her!” Chiaki responded, grinning.

“Or we can just wait until tomorrow,” Blitz said. “She’ll probably be back by then.”

“Why wait until tomorrow to do things we can do today?” Chiaki asked, still smiling. “Ooh, maybe she’d get things done faster if we offer to help her find the materials she needs!”

“I like the sound of it, but it doesn’t really count as a mission,” Sera said, looking at the bronze colored half of their rescue team badge. “We need to do more missions if we want to reach the next rank.”

“Oh, right…” Chiaki responded, looking disappointed. “I guess I was being kind of selfish there…”

“… Oh, all right, let’s head over to Tidal Shores,” Sera said, wagging her tail.

“You really mean it?” Chiaki asked, instantly perking up again.

“Yeah,” Sera said, smiling. “I have to admit, I’m kind of curious about these Deep Sea Charms too!”

“Well, I suppose the mystery dungeon on Tidal Shores might be a good place to train,” Blitz commented, rubbing his forelegs together.

“All right, let’s go!” Chiaki said, excitedly running towards Kala’s room. “Come on, guys!”

The bronze rank rescue team went through the purple curtain into Kala’s room, where they found the Abra asleep as usual. Sera walked up to Kala, and used the tip of her fluffy tail to tickle the sleepy psychic type in an attempt to wake her up.

“Don’t worry, daddy, I’ll get your spoons back from the Krabby…” Kala mumbled in her sleep, before turning over on her side.

“Hey, wake up, Kala!” Sera said, shaking the Abra’s shoulders when tickling didn’t work.

“Don’t use hot wax to soothe enraged Krabby…” Kala muttered, as she sat up and rubbed her eyes.

“Are you awake now?” Sera asked, poking Kala’s shoulder.

“Yeah, sure…” Kala responded, nodding her head sleepily. “So, where do you guys want to go today?”

“We want to go to Tidal Shores!” Chiaki said, smiling at Kala.

“Sure, no problem…” Kala responded, yawning and stretching. “You three sure have been coming here a lot lately…”

There was a flash of light and… Kala had disappeared.

“Wait, what?” Sera said, looking around in confusion. “Where did she-“

Before Sera even had the chance to finish talking, she and her teammates were enveloped by light and they found themselves on a beach.

“… That was strange,” Sera said, looking around. “But at least now we’re here at Tidal Shores.”

“Ooh, is that the Sapphire Sea?” Chiaki asked, looking out at the beautiful blue ocean sparkling in the light of the sun.

“Yep, it is,” Sera responded, wagging her tail. “Wow, I bet Sirena would love this.”

“It’s so pretty…” Chiaki said, staring in awe at the sea.

“So… Where do you think Couture is?” Blitz asked, looking around.
“Actually… Do we even know what kind of Pokémon she is?”

“Hmm… I guess we should take a look around,” Sera replied, poking at the sand with her paw. “We’ll probably find her sooner or later.”

“Oh, okay,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together for a moment. “Where do you guys think Kala went earlier?”

“I have no idea,” Sera replied, still rather confused about the whole thing. “She doesn’t really seem like the type who would be in a hurry to go anywhere…”

----

Meanwhile, back in Fenix Town, Elina was taking a nap in a tree. Or at least, that is what she had been doing before Kala suddenly teleported right onto the branch she was asleep on, causing Elina to fall off it. Kala held onto the branch, lazily watching Elina fall into some bushes below them.

“… You okay…?” Kala asked, as the young Elgyem crawled out from the bushes. “Hold on…”

Kala teleported down from the tree, and helped Elina back on her feet. Elina seemed a bit dazed, but didn’t seem to have taken too much damage from the fall.

“So, are you like, ready to begin the telepathy lessons and stuff…?” Kala asked, nearly dozing off as she finished the question.

Elina shrugged her shoulders slightly, before nodding her head.

“Okay, then…” Kala responded, yawning and stretching. “Mind if we do it in my office at the rescue team HQ…?”

Elina shook her head to let her know that she didn't mind.

“All right, let’s head back there, then…” Kala said, grabbing Elina’s arm and teleporting back to her office.

----

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were looking around on the beach, hoping to find the Pokémon they were searching for. Blitz wasn’t sure why, but something about the place was giving him a really bad feeling.

“Guys… Something feels off…” Blitz said, looking around nervously.

“Oh?” Sera replied, stopping and turning around.

“Don’t you guys feel it too?” Blitz asked. “There’s something in the air… Something isn’t right here…”

“Now that you mention it, I feel kind of strange…” Chiaki said, rubbing his head.

“I don’t think I can feel anything, but I did just realize we haven’t seen any signs of other Pokémon yet,” Sera commented, looking around. “At a place like this, one would expect to see some other Pokémon…”

The three young Pokémon carefully looked around, trying to figure out what was causing this sense of unease. Chiaki kept an eye on his surroundings while moving forward, until he suddenly felt as if the ground was disappearing under one of his legs, and was stepping into an empty space that felt like it was simultaneously burning and freezing his leg.

“AH!” Chiaki quickly pulled his leg out of a strange ripple in the sand, his scream startling his teammates.

“Chiaki, are you okay!?” Sera asked, concerned.

“I… I think so?” Chiaki responded, as he examined his leg. It appeared to be unharmed, although Chiaki could’ve sworn it had been transparent for a split second as he pulled it out of the sand.

“Hmm… This isn’t good,” Blitz said, taking a closer look at the spot. “It’s another distortion.”

“Yeah, that’s definitely bad,” Sera commented, tilting her head slightly. “Is that all there is to the bad feelings about this place?”

“I don’t know…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “I think we’re close to the mystery dungeon in this area…”

“Should we check it out?” Chiaki asked, while quickly glancing at his leg one more time to make sure it was normal.

“We might as well,” Sera responded. “Who knows? Couture might be in there.”

The three Pokémon entered the mystery dungeon, and began to look around. They were surprised to see that some sections of the walls in the mystery dungeon appeared to be distorted.

“Huh, there’s even more distortions in here?” Sera said, looking around.

“I guess it wouldn’t be unusual for mystery dungeons to be more affected by this,” Blitz responded, keeping an eye out for wild Pokémon. “At least the distortions are still small, even if there are more of them here…”

“Do you think it’s affecting the wild Pokémon in any way?” Chiaki asked.

Blitz could hear something moving towards them through the sand, as well as what sounded like an angry gurgling sound.

“I think we’re about to find out…” Blitz said, getting into a battle position.

Five angry looking red crab Pokémon with large pinchers entered the room the rescue team was in, clacking their claws as they walked sideways towards the rescue team.

“They look angry…” Chiaki said, taking a few steps back.

“So, the distortion stuff is making the wild Pokémon more aggressive?” Sera asked, looking over at Blitz.

“I suppose it’s not that surprising the distortions would affect them this way,” Blitz commented, waiting for the right moment to attack the Krabby. “From the stories I’ve heard, wild Pokémon in mystery dungeons tend to be really sensitive to things like this…”

“So, what do we do about it?” Sera asked, glancing around. “Do we just fight them like usual?”

“Hey, didn’t Kala say something about enraged Krabby?” Chiaki said, thinking for a moment. “Do you think she knew this was going to happen?”

“I doubt that,” Sera responded, rolling her eyes.

“Guys, focus!” Blitz said, watching the Krabby move closer. “While my electricity will be super effective, I still need a little help here.”

“Okay, what do you need us to do?” Chiaki asked.

“Well, you’re the fastest of us three, so you’ll be the most difficult target for the Krabby to hit,” Blitz said, while charging up some electricity. “Take advantage of that, and try to get some good hits in.”

“Got it,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head.

“Sera, could you give us a Helping Hand?” Blitz asked, moving out of the way as a few of the Krabby tried to pinch him.

“I’m on it!” Sera replied, giving Blitz and Chiaki some extra power.

“All right,” Blitz said, knocking a Krabby aside with his electrified paw. “Let’s take these out quickly!”

Chiaki ran around, knocking the Krabby aside with his paws, allowing for Blitz to knock them out with Spark. Sera used her Helping Hand and Sand Attack to assist her teammates. It didn’t take long before all five Krabby were knocked out, allowing the rescue team to move on.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Sera commented. “Still, I don’t look forward to fighting the other wild Pokémon in this dungeon if they’re like this too.”

“Agreed…” Blitz responded, looking around. “Do you guys think the wild Pokémon may have trapped Couture in here?”

“I hope not,” Chiaki said, smiling confidently. “But if they did, no need to worry! We’ll just rescue her!”

“As usual, that’s probably going to be easier said than done,” Blitz responded, sighing. “But since it’ll probably be a while before all eight crystals have been gathered, and the distortions likely will continue to spread… I have a feeling we’ll need to get used to fighting wild Pokémon like these…”

----

Kala sat down on her pillow, taking a few seconds to get into a comfortable position as she prepared to begin Elina’s lessons in communicating through telepathy. Once comfortable, Kala cleared her throat and decided to begin the lesson.

“So… To communicate via telepathy, you have to like… establish a psychic link with whoever you want to speak to…” Kala said, sounding somewhat tired. “And then… you talk to them, except it’s more like thinking than talking… Loud thinking…”

Elina nodded her head slightly, to show Kala that she was listening and hoping showing some interest would help the Abra stay awake. Kala didn’t say anything else for a while, just staring at Elina. For a moment, Elina wondered if the Abra had dozed off again and waved her hand in front of her face in an attempt to get her attention.

“Hear anything…?” Kala asked, startling the Elgyem somewhat.

Elina shook her head, as she hadn’t heard anything out of the ordinary.

“So… You couldn’t hear my voice, like… talk to you in your head?” Kala asked, tilting her head slightly.

Elina shook her head again.

“Hmm… Okay, let’s try again,” Kala said, yawning. “So, let’s try to make that psychic link, and… well, let me know if you hear anything.”

The two psychic types sat there, gazing into each other’s eyes for a few minutes while attempting to communicate via telepathy. However, nothing seemed to be happening.

“You’re not doing it right…” Kala said, rubbing her eyes. “You must open up your mind… you’re not doing that…”

Elina tilted her head slightly. Was her need to keep her secrets preventing her from being able to learn to use her telepathy properly?

“Maybe you’ve been too stressed lately… I suggest trying to relax…” Kala said. “It’s easier to make progress if you have a calm mind…”

Elina shrugged her shoulders slightly, before looking up at Kala as if to ask what she recommended.

“… Let’s take a nap!” Kala cheerfully said, before plopping down on her pillow and instantly falling asleep.

Elina stared blankly at the snoring Abra for a moment, and then quietly left the room.

----

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki continued making their way through the mystery dungeon, collecting items and fighting wild Pokémon as usual. With the distortions making the wild Pokémon more aggressive, things were proving to be a bit more difficult than it normally would’ve been.

Eventually, they reached a floor where they noticed some dark blue pearls and white seashells that seemed to have been scattered down one of the paths.

“Hey, are these the pearls and seashells used to make a Deep Sea Charm?” Chiaki asked, picking up one of the seashells and examining it.

“I think it might be…” Blitz said, poking at one of the pearls with his paw. “They shouldn’t be lying around like this, though… It looks like someone might’ve dropped them…”

“You think Couture was here, then?” Sera asked, looking around.

“Probably, since we don’t know of anyone else who would be gathering these items,” Blitz responded. “Based on the way these items are scattered, I guess the wild Pokémon must’ve attacked her, and she was in a hurry to escape…”

“Well, let’s hurry up and find her, then!” Chiaki said, while quickly trying to gather up some of the pearls and seashells from the ground.

“Yeah, let’s go!” Sera replied, nodding her head slightly. “Come on, this way!”

----

In the deepest part of the dungeon, a yellow bipedal bug Pokémon wearing clothes made from green leaves and an orange otter-like Pokémon with two tails and a yellow floatation device of sorts on his body were trying to fight off several wild Pokémon, including a brown crab Pokémon resembling a bigger Krabby.

“How many of them are there?” the bug Pokémon said, trying to keep a satchel made of leaves away from a small flock of white seagull-like Pokémon that kept trying to grab it. “I didn’t come here to fight…”

“Don’t worry,” the Floatzel responded, while knocking aside some orange hermit crab Pokémon with rocks for shells. “Even if they’re more aggressive than they normally would be, I should still be able to handle them without much difficulty. After all, what kind of lifeguard would I be if I couldn’t deal with the wild Pokémon on this beach?”

The Floatzel and the Leavanny continued fighting off the wild Pokémon, when Sera, Blitz and Chiaki finally reached the end of the dungeon. There were two Krabby, three Dwebble, five Wingull and the one Kingler to fight, the Kingler seeming to have indirectly become the leader of the wild Pokémon.

“Oh, it’s a rescue team!” the Leavanny said, smiling.

“Neat, now we’ve got some back-up,” the Floatzel commented, smirking.

“Are you Couture?” Chiaki asked, looking over at the Leavanny.

“Why, yes. That’s me,” the Leavanny responded, smiling at Chiaki. “If there’s anything you need, I’ll see what I can do when we’re done here!”

“Cool,” Chiaki replied, getting into a battle position. “Let’s try to get this done fast, then!”

Sera used her Helping Hand to give the other four Pokémon present a power boost, while Chiaki decided to take a moment to use Meditate to further increase his attack power. Blitz charged up some electricity, before deciding to try to take out the Wingull.

“So, I’m guessing you live around these parts?” Sera asked the Floatzel.

“Yeah, sort of,” the Floatzel responded, while knocking the Dwebble aside. “My name is Jet; I work as a lifeguard here.”

“Cool,” Sera replied, head-butting a Krabby that tried to pinch her ears.

Blitz managed to finish off the five Wingull quickly with his charged up Spark attack, while Chiaki helped Couture take out the other Krabby. Jet quickly took out the Dwebble by coating himself in water and charging through them. The Kingler began advancing on the rescue team, and Blitz began charging up more electricity.

The Kingler raised his big claw, which began to glow with a blue light as it began charging up a Crabhammer attack that it intended to strike Blitz with before he could finish charging.

“I’m not going to let you do that!” Sera shouted, flinging a Blast Seed at the Kingler with her tail.

However, the Kingler just blocked it with his claw, not seeming to take much damage. On the other hand, it did distract the Kingler long enough for Chiaki to come in from the side and strike him with a Fake Out. As the Kingler flinched, Blitz finished charging and immediately hit the Kingler with his Spark attack.

“Nice one!” Jet said, grinning.

“I don’t think they are quite finished yet, though…” Couture replied, noticing that the Kingler was still standing.

The crab Pokémon seemed to be quite angry now, foaming at the mouth as he suddenly struck all three members of the rescue team with his Crabhammer attack. The force of the attack sent the three flying through the air for a moment, before falling down on the sand. The Kingler began approaching the three, preparing to knock them out with another Crabhammer before they could recover.

Chiaki tried to get back up, only to see the shadow of the Kingler’s claw above him as he prepared to bring it down. Chiaki tried shielding himself with his arms as he prepared for the impact, only for some strings of sticky silk to suddenly hit the claw and try to pull it away, much to the Kingler’s annoyance as he tried to get it off.

“This is your chance!” Couture shouted, having used String Shot to latch onto the claw and stop the Kingler’s attack. “Hurry, before he manages to cut the string!”

Chiaki quickly got to his feet, and ran over to help his teammates while the Kingler attempted to cut the string holding his big claw using his other, smaller claw. Luckily for the rescue team, Couture’s strings were quite strong, but they would likely still only last for a few more seconds against the Kingler’s claws.

“Okay… We’ll hit him at the same time,” Blitz said, charging up for one more attack.

“Got it,” Sera responded, taking a few steps back.

“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea,” Chiaki said, taking a deep breath and using Meditate to boost his attack power a little.

“Ready?” Blitz asked, glancing at his teammates as he finished charging. “Go!”

All three began running towards the Kingler, Sera running faster than usual in order to do a Quick Attack, Blitz running with his body coated in electricity as usual, and Chiaki preparing to punch the Kingler. The three rammed into the Kingler just as it managed to free itself from Couture’s String Shot, and the impact knocked the crab Pokémon onto its back, before it fainted.

“Whew… I think we did it, guys!” Sera said, happily wagging her tail.

“Yeah,” Blitz responded, sighing in relief. “Man, that Kingler was tough…”

“Are you all okay?” Couture asked, walking over to the rescue team.

“Yeah, we’ll be fine,” Chiaki replied, with a friendly smile.

“Thanks for helping us out,” Jet said. “Things have been kind of chaotic around here these past few days with the distortions that have been appearing and its effect on the wilds.”

“I can see that…” Blitz commented, glancing around.

“Well, let’s get out of this mystery dungeon before we have to deal with any more of them,” Jet said.

“Agreed,” Couture responded, looking at her satchel. “I still need to gather some more seashells and pearls before I head back to town.”

“Oh, that reminds me!” Chiaki said, before handing Couture some of the pearls and seashells she had dropped earlier. “I found these in the mystery dungeon!”

“Thank you,” Couture replied, taking the pearls and seashells and putting them into her bag. “I knew I dropped some of the things I had already gathered when the wilds chased me here… I still don’t think I have enough, though.”

“We can help you find some more!” Chiaki said.

“Oh, that is really not necessary,” Couture responded, smiling at the Mienfoo. “I appreciate the offer, but I can do the rest on my own.”

“Are you sure?” Chiaki asked, smiling at the Leavanny. “We don’t mind helping out!”

“Oh, but you’ve already helped me out a lot today!” Couture responded. “So, why don’t the three of you head home and get some rest, and tomorrow you can stop by my room at the rescue team HQ and I’ll give you a free special item each as a reward for helping us?”

“Sounds good to me,” Sera said, shaking some sand out of her fur. “A battle like that is enough work for one day, if you ask me.”

“Agreed, let’s head back,” Blitz replied.

“Bye, then!” Chiaki said, and waved good-bye to Jet and Couture as the rescue team badge teleported him and his teammates back to town.

----

Elina thought about what Kala had said, and wondered how she could possibly relax herself enough to be able to learn how to communicate through telepathy. She figured that with all the stress relating to the missing crystals, she hadn’t been able to fully relax. However, it wasn’t exactly easy for her to just forget about all of that, even if it only had to be for a few moments.

She had to find a way to at least stop worrying enough so that she could learn to properly use her telepathy to communicate, like she had promised her father. Elina thought about her father, thinking about how he in addition to helping locate the stolen crystals also had to be worried about her…

Elina shook her head. This was not the time to be worrying about these things. She had to find a way to overcome these worries, so she could learn from Kala how to communicate via telepathy. Not only that, but she had to help find the remaining crystals. There was also the whole issue with Chiaki, but she would deal with that later.

The first thing she needed to do was figure out how she would overcome her worries.

----

As the sun eventually went down, Couture decided she had gathered enough seashells and pearls, and said good-bye to Jet before heading back to town. It had gotten dark by the time Couture returned to the HQ, and went inside her room behind the green curtain to make some items with the supplies she had collected.

She searched through a basket for a special type of string, and began making a necklace from the pearls and sea shells, with one white seashell between five blue pearls on each side of it. She carefully examined each finished necklace, and put them in a bowl of water. Couture grinned as the pearls and seashells began to glow upon touching the water, and continued to glow as long as they remained underwater.

“Success,” she whispered to herself, taking the necklace out of the bowl and putting it away for later.

The Leavanny quietly continued her work until late in the night, when she finally decided to get some sleep. Things had gotten a bit stressful when the wild Pokémon attacked her while she was searching for seashells and pearls washed up on the beach, but she was glad things had turned out okay. She was grateful to the rescue team that had helped her out, and she hoped they would find a good use for the reward she planned on giving each of them.

----

End of Chapter 18.

----
 
Last edited:

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Wow, I can't believe how fast I finished Chapter 19, but hey, I'm not complaining! ^_^

I'll be going on vacation tomorrow, but I will be bringing my laptop so I can continue working on the first draft of Chapter 20 and stuff, even if I probably will be doing other things and not focus as much on writing during the two weeks I'll be on vacation. Just letting you guys know!

Also, with this chapter, I figured I'd bring up the fact that due to some recent Gen VI reveals that affect my characters, I thought about whether to incorporate them somehow or not. However, since there's still little known about these things, I will choose not to include them for this story, and will wait until any eventual other Pokémon fanfics I might write after Gen VI has come out to incorporate any elements from it.

So, yeah. Anyways, here's Chapter 19! Hope you all enjoy it!

----

Chapter 19: Why don’t you guys pick on someone your own type?

----

Two jellyfish-like Pokémon with crown-like tufts on their heads were locked up inside a dark and quiet underwater cave. One was female with a pink body, and was cheerfully swimming around despite the situation she and her twin brother were in. Her twin brother had a blue body, and was just staring at one of the walls with a frown on his face.

“Maybe I can squeeze through these bars?” the female Frillish said, glancing over at her brother.

“Don’t bother,” the male one responded, staring at the wall. “We’re going to be trapped in here forever.”

“Aw, don’t say that!” the female one replied, cheerfully wrapping her tentacles around her brother and hugging him tightly. “I’m sure mommy and daddy have sent out somebody to rescue us! We’ll get out of here soon!”

“No one is going to find us here,” the male one responded, not even reacting to how his sister was squeezing his body.

“Oh, don’t be so silly!” the female said, giggling a little. “Someone will come and release us soon, I just know it!”

“And then those guys that kidnapped us will show up and beat them up,” the male one replied, managing to slip out of his sister’s grip.

“Come on, cheer up!” the female one said, cheerfully twirling around. “I know this place is kind of boring, but at least we still have each other!”

“Yeah, that way you can eat me if these guys forget to feed us,” the male one responded, going back to staring at the wall. “Then again, I don’t think our species is edible, nor do I think I’d taste good…”

“You’re so silly!” the female one replied, giggling and tightly hugging her brother again.

The male Frillish just sighed, as his sister continued cheerfully swimming around inside the cell they were locked in.

“Shame Frillish are not among the ghost types that can turn intangible and phase through walls,” the male Frillish muttered to himself. “But even if we could, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to save us anyways…”

----

It was looking to be another busy day in Fenix Town. At the rescue team HQ, several rescue teams were looking over the missions on the billboards and trying to decide on which ones to tackle. Behind a certain green curtain, Couture had just handed Sera, Blitz and Chiaki a Deep Sea Charm each.

“Wow, they’re so pretty!” Sera said, wagging her tail as she held the necklace in her paws.

“I’m glad you like them!” Couture responded, smiling at the three.

“So, the magic in these will really let us breathe underwater?” Blitz asked.

“That’s right!” Couture replied. “On contact with water, the Deep Sea Charm will surround you with a magical aura that allows one to breathe underwater.”

“Cool!” Chiaki said, looking rather excited. “I can’t wait to try them out! Thank you so much!”

“Oh, it’s the least I can do after the three of you helped me deal with those wild Pokémon yesterday,” Couture responded, before stopping to think for a moment. “Come to think of it, maybe I should make something for Jet too, since he did help me before the three of you showed up. What would a Floatzel want, though…?”

After thanking Couture for the Deep Sea Charms and saying good-bye, the bronze rank team left the room.

“So, what should we do now?” Sera asked. “I guess we need to try to find a mission.”

“Shouldn’t we try out these Deep Sea Charms, though?” Chiaki said, looking rather excited.

“Hmm… How do we go about that, though?” Sera asked, thinking about it for a moment.

“Maybe we could… no, maybe not…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together.

“What was that, Blitz?” Sera asked, tilting her head slightly. “Come on; let us hear what you were going to say!”

“Oh, I was just thinking, that… maybe we can head down underwater, and check if the underwater rescue teams have received Stella’s message about the crystal, and if they’ve started looking into it?” Blitz suggested uncertainly.

“Hey, I like the sound of that!” Sera responded, wagging her tail happily.

“Y-You do?” Blitz asked.

“I like it too!” Chiaki said, smiling. “We should totally go check that out!”

And so, the rescue team headed through the purple curtain and went to wake up a certain Abra again.

“Hey, Kala?” Sera said, lightly nudging the psychic type with her paw.

“I’m not dead, I’m just sleeping…” Kala muttered, opening her eyes slightly. “Oh, it’s you again.”

“Could you teleport us to Tidal Shores?” Sera asked.

“Again…?” Kala responded, rubbing her eyes. “Didn’t you three go there yesterday…?”

“We did, but we’d like to go there again,” Sera replied.

“Okay, fine…” Kala responded, yawning. “I’m not going to question it…”

----

In a flash of light, Sera, Blitz and Chiaki appeared in Tidal Shores once more. This time, they were greeted by a certain Floatzel upon arriving.

“Hey guys!” Jet said, walking over. “Thanks for helping out yesterday!”

“Oh, it was no problem,” Sera replied, smiling at the Floatzel.

“So, what brings you here again today?” Jet asked.

“Well, we wanted to try out our Deep Sea Charms,” Chiaki said, smiling. “We figured this was the best place to start.”

“Ah, I see,” Jet replied, nodding. “Any particular areas underwater you had in mind?”

“We were thinking of checking out the HQ of the deep sea rescue team branch,” Blitz explained. “We wanted to see if a certain message for them had arrived…”

“I think I can help you guys get there,” Jet responded, smirking. “If you want, I give you a ride.”

“Hmm… That would be nice,” Sera replied.

“All right, then!” Jet responded, getting down on all fours and stepping into the water. He then inflated the yellow floatation device on his body slightly to make more room for his passengers. “Okay, hop on!”

The trio quickly climbed onto the Floatzel’s back, and held on tightly as his tails began spinning and propelled him forward. He moved quickly through the water, and it didn’t take long before he started slowing down before stopping in a certain spot out at sea.

“Okay, I think this is a good spot,” Jet said. “You should be able to reach your desired location from here.”

“Thanks, Jet,” Blitz responded, as he, Sera and Chiaki put on their Deep Sea Charms.

“How does it look on me?” Sera asked, giggling a little.

“Huh? Oh, it looks good on you,” Blitz replied, rubbing his forelegs together for a moment.

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Chiaki said, smiling at his teammates. “Let’s jump in!”

Sera and Chiaki then jumped into the water, Blitz carefully lowering himself into the water shortly after. As the necklaces touched the water, they began to glow with a soft light.

“Ooh, I think they’re working!” Sera said, giggling a little.

The three Pokémon then dove down, and found that the Deep Sea Charms were indeed working, allowing them to breathe underwater.

“Wow, they’re really working!” Chiaki said, excitedly looking around. “This is so cool!”

“So, which way do we go?” Blitz asked, trying to figure out how to move in the water.

“I see your magic necklace things are working right,” Jet said, sticking his head into the water and pointing a paw in a direction. “Just swim that way, and you should reach the HQ of the underwater rescue teams.”

“Thanks again, Jet,” Sera responded, smiling at the Floatzel. “Let’s go, guys!”

“Okay!” Chiaki said, flailing about somewhat.

“Chiaki, you’ll use up your energy that way,” Sera commented, swimming over to him. “My big sister Sirena said that when it comes to swimming, you need to make every move count.”

“Not sure how to do that, but I’ll try!” Chiaki responded, smiling at Sera.

Once they had somewhat figured out how to move through the water, the three of them began swimming in the direction Jet had specified.

----

River was working at the café as usual, taking a few orders and telling the kitchen staff what their customers wanted. A certain Gothorita suddenly entered the café, walking up to the counter.

“Hi River!” Bow said, looking around. “Is Azure here?”

“Oh, she’s training at the dojo,” River responded. “Is there a message you’d like me to give her?”

“That’s fine!” Bow replied, smiling. “I can just go over to the dojo and tell her myself!”

Bow headed back outside, and began heading towards the dojo. She tried to hurry, as she was worried she might otherwise forget what she wanted to say before reaching Azure. As she ran, a strange shadow suddenly appeared above her. Bow froze in fear as she heard a strange laughter, and after a moment of hesitating, looked up. However, once she looked up, there was nothing there, and the shadow she saw had disappeared as well.

“Was it only my imagination…?” Bow wondered out loud, looking around. “… Oh! I have to get to the dojo!”

Bow quickly continued her run to the dojo, and once she was just outside the dojo, stopped for a moment to make sure she remembered what she had come for.

“… Good, I still remember it,” Bow said to herself, sighing in relief.

Bow then stepped inside, and looked around. A certain Heracross noticed the Gothorita and walked over to greet her.

“Hello there, Bow!” Hercules said, giving the Gothorita a friendly smile. “What brings you here?”

“I wanted to talk to Azure,” Bow responded. “River said she was here?”

“That’s right,” Hercules replied, patting Bow on the head. “I’ll go find her for you, just wait here.”

“Okay!” Bow responded, while Hercules went to go find Azure.

The Gothorita glanced around at the various Pokémon doing different exercises, while trying to make sure she still remembered what she wanted to tell Azure.

----

As the rescue team swam deeper under water, their view got darker the further away from the surface they got, forcing Blitz to make his fur glow to provide some extra light. Chiaki stared in awe at the colorful aquatic plants and such that they swam past on their way. They soon spotted a blue light in the distance, and began swimming towards it. They eventually came across what appeared to be a small underwater cave, which the Pokémon had remodeled into the HQ for the deep sea branch of rescue teams.

The source of light appeared to be several blue light crystals, which decorated much of both the inside and outside of the cave, and allowed the Pokémon to read the words carved into stone signs and stone plates attached to a wall inside the cave serving as the mission board for the underwater rescue teams.

“This must be the right place,” Sera commented, looking around.

At that moment, a blue oval fish-like Pokémon with an antenna on its head with two glowing yellow bulbs on it exited the cave; along with a big blue seahorse-like Pokémon and a light blue and black fish-like Pokémon with large fins shaped like butterfly wings.

“So, what area should we check next?” the Lanturn asked, the bulbs on its head flickering for a moment as he looked over at his teammates.

“What’s the point?” the Kingdra responded, looking rather bored. “Can’t we just let one of the other rescue teams do this?”

“Oh, sure!” the Lumineon replied in a sarcastic tone, smirking at the Kingdra. “And then you can tell the king that we couldn’t find his kids because you didn’t want to.”

“Um, excuse me?” Sera said, swimming up to the three water type Pokémon.

“Oh, hey, a Pokémon from the surface,” the Lanturn commented. “What brings the three of you all the way here?”

“We just wanted to make sure a certain message from the surface regarding one of the Axis Tower crystals had made it here,” Sera responded.

“Ah, yes, we did hear about a crystal supposedly being near the Radiant Reef,” the Lanturn replied. “We plan on investigating that once we’ve dealt with another mission currently requiring our attention.”

“What mission is that?” Chiaki asked.

“The royal Frillish twins, prince Somber and princess Blithe have been kidnapped,” the Lanturn explained.

“Oh?” Chiaki inquired, tilting his head slightly.

“Somber and Blithe are the children of king Snorkel and queen Hypotenuse, and the heirs to the Kingdom of the Sapphire Sea,” the Lanturn explained. “Some Pokémon kidnapped them, and is holding them for ransom. The highest ranking rescue teams of the sea, including ourselves, are searching the ocean for wherever the kidnappers are keeping the twins.”

“I see,” Blitz replied. “Good luck with that.”

“Thanks,” the Lanturn responded, before turning to his teammates. “Come on, guys. Let’s go!”

The three water types swam off to continue their search, while Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were left to wonder what to do next.

“So… What should we do now?” Sera asked, looking around.

“I suppose we could explore some more,” Chiaki responded, smiling. “I bet there’s even more cool stuff to see around here!”

“Yeah, I guess so!” Sera said, looking over at Blitz. “What do you think, Blitz?”

“I guess it is fine with me,” Blitz replied, nodding his head slightly.

“All right, let’s explore, then!” Sera said.

The three decided to first go inside the HQ for the deep sea branch, where a map with underwater mystery dungeons marked on it was carved onto a wall. They checked the map to see if there were any particularly interesting places they could explore.

“Hey, there’s the Radiant Reef!” Chiaki said, pointing to one of the marked up mystery dungeons on the map.

“Hmm… Maybe we should go check it out?” Sera asked. “Even if we don’t find the crystal, that place does sound pretty.”

“Well… I guess it couldn’t hurt to take a look…” Blitz responded.

And so the three headed out, and began swimming towards the Radiant Reef.

----

In a different, much bigger underwater cave in the darker parts of Sapphire Sea, a blue-belled jellyfish with red orbs on its bell and many long gray tentacles was swimming back and forth, seeming to be in deep thought. There was also a shark Pokémon shaped like a missile swimming around in a circle, and a purple sea star Pokémon with ten points and a ruby in the center of its body standing in a corner.

They turned to see a pink sunfish Pokémon with a heart-shaped body and hand-like fins enter.

“Ah, there you are, Soapy,” the Tentacruel said, swimming over to the Alomomola. “How did it go?”

“First of all, my name is Sophie,” the Alomomola responded, looking somewhat annoyed. “As for the situation outside, there are quite a few rescue teams searching for those twins.”

“Hmm… I see,” the Tentacruel replied, sighing. “Those rescue teams might ruin everything…”

“This is why you should’ve let me be the one in charge of our plan,” the Starmie said smugly, the ruby in his core flashing briefly. “My plan would’ve been flawless, unlike yours.”

“Well, then why didn’t you actually do anything during the planning stage?” the Tentacruel asked, glaring at the Starmie.

“Because my ideas would’ve been wasted on the likes of you,” the Starmie responded.

“Yeah, right,” the Tentacruel replied, rolling his eyes. “You’re all talk.”

“So, what are we going to do about the rescue team situation?” Sophie asked. “If they find our hideout and discover that we’re the ones who kidnapped those Frillish, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

“Ooh, I have an idea!” the Sharpedo said, still swimming in circles. “We’ll put up a sign outside the cave saying that this is not a secret hideout, and there are no kidnapped Frillish in here! That’ll keep those rescue teams away!”

“No one asked you, Missile,” the Tentacruel responded, giving the Sharpedo an annoyed look.

“You don’t like my idea?” Missile asked, looking somewhat confused for a moment.

“Oh no, we loved that brilliant idea of yours,” the Starmie replied sarcastically. “There’s no way that would’ve been suspicious at all!”

“Aw, thanks!” Missile responded, smiling.

“And you are so great at detecting sarcasm,” the Starmie said, in the same sarcastic tone.

“Can you guys be quiet?” the Tentacruel asked, looking rather annoyed. “I need time to think.”

“Sure!” Missile replied, continuing to swim around.

“And when you fail to come up with a plan, let me know,” the Starmie said, swimming away.

“Ugh, remind me again why I work with these guys…” the Tentacruel muttered, before looking over at Sophie. “Hey, Soapy? Could you go check on the royal brats?”

“It’s Sophie!” Sophie responded, sighing. “But fine, I’ll go check on them.”

“Thank you, Soapy,” the Tentacruel replied.

The Alomomola just rolled her eyes, and swam off to another part of the cave to check on the Frillish, while the Tentacruel tried to figure out what to do if rescue teams were to find them.

----

The beautiful pink and orange corals of Radiant Reef were truly a magnificent sight, and Sera and her teammates couldn’t help but stare in awe. They had reached the entrance to the mystery dungeon, and were wondering whether or not to go inside and explore it.

“This place sure is pretty…” Chiaki said, looking around at the corals.

“So, do we check out the mystery dungeon or not?” Sera asked.

“Well, I suppose we did bring a good selection of items,” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together. “But how will we fight underwater?”

“You have a point there,” Sera responded, thinking for a moment. “We’re not really used to this type of environment, and we move around differently here than we do on land…”

“So?” Chiaki said, looking at his teammates. “It’s still a mystery dungeon, and we’re a rescue team. It can’t be that hard to figure out how we’ll use our moves here!”

“Hmm… I guess you have a point there,” Sera responded, thinking about it for a moment.

“I don’t know…” Blitz replied, glancing around.

“It is a mystery dungeon, and we’re a rescue team,” Sera said. “Exploring mystery dungeons is something rescue teams do.”

“Well, that’s true, but…” Blitz muttered.

“Come on, let’s give it a try!” Chiaki said, smiling at Blitz.

“And if things get too tough, we’ll just use an Escape Orb to get out!” Sera added.

“Oh, okay,” Blitz said. “We’ll explore it.”

The rescue team entered the mystery dungeon, which had its maze walls made of pink and orange coral. As they began to explore the dungeon, they encountered a few wild Pokémon, such as a pink and white coral-like Pokémon and a blue clam-like Pokémon that’s head was a sentient pink pearl kept safe inside the shell.

Blitz was a bit uncertain whether it was safe to use his electric attacks underwater, but reached the conclusion that if the part electric typed Chinchou and Lanturn could use their electric attacks underwater without hurting anyone other than the intended targets, so could he. His Spark attack gave his team an advantage against the water type wild Pokémon of the dungeon.

Well, with the exception of the Chinchou, anyways, as the ones with the Volt Absorb ability could just absorb his electricity to give themselves more energy. The ones with the Illuminate ability were also a bit of a bother, as the yellow bulbs at the end of their two long antenna would flash whenever they got hit, summoning more wild Pokémon into the dungeon.

Staryu with the Illuminate ability were annoying for the same reason, with the red core in the center of the five pointed orange sea stars would light up and summon more Pokémon when hit by an attack.

However, through teamwork and with the help of a few healing items, the rescue team were managing to get pretty far into the mystery dungeon.

“Okay, we seem to have reached the eleventh floor,” Blitz said, looking around. “I believe the map said this dungeon has fifteen floors, so only a few more floors to go.”

“Good,” Sera responded, panting.

“Need to take another break?” Blitz asked.

“Swimming and fighting underwater sure can make one tired…” Sera said, sighing. “I wonder how water types do it without getting tired…”

Sera took a moment to relax, only for a trap under her to suddenly squirt a green sticky substance onto the treasure bag Sera was carrying.

“Oh, gross!” Sera exclaimed, looking rather annoyed. “How did I even trigger that trap? My feet weren’t even touching the ground!”

“M-Maybe the tip of your tail brushed up against it?” Blitz responded, also wondering how this had happened.

“Ugh, let’s just keep going,” Sera said, managing to get some of the sticky stuff off the bag.

“Wait, Sera!” Blitz responded, as Sera began swimming towards the next room. “Shouldn’t we check which of our items that Glue Trap may have affected?”

However, Sera didn’t seem to listen, and so Blitz and Chiaki couldn’t do much else but continue to follow her. Things went rather well on the next floor, and things seemed to be going well when they got to the thirteenth floor as well.

“Hmm… Where are those stairs?” Sera asked, looking around.

“Maybe we missed them?” Chiaki suggested. “Or we were going in the wrong direction?”

“I don’t know…” Sera responded. “But, let’s try to go a little further this way. There are still a few places we haven’t checked in this section.”

They continued looking around, checking the rooms for items and the stairs.

“Oh! I think I see the stairs!” Chiaki exclaimed, while pointing to one of the rooms they hadn’t entered.

“Hold on, guys…” Blitz said, swimming up a little to get a better view of the room. “Take a look at the items in there.”

“What about them?” Sera asked, as she and Chiaki swam up to Blitz in order to see what he was talking about.

“There seems to be a lot of items in that room, particularly gummis,” Blitz explained. “Odds are we’ll walk right into a Monster House if we go in there.”

“But the stairs are in that room!” Chiaki said.

“Oh, don’t worry about it!” Sera responded, wagging her tail. “I came prepared for this.”

“Okay…” Blitz said, taking a deep breath. “Watch your step, guys. There might be a few traps in there as well.”

The three Pokémon entered the room, and thus several wild Pokémon appeared. There were two Chinchou, three Staryu, two small pink heart-shaped fish Pokémon; two rather annoyed looking blue puffer fish Pokémon with spikes on its body and a small blue seahorse Pokémon.

“Yep, it’s a Monster House,” Blitz said, looking around and trying to mentally count how many wilds there were. “There seems to be ten wild Pokémon here in total.”

“Well, I’ll just use the Petrify Orb I brought to freeze these guys, and then we can move onto the next floor!” Sera responded, reaching into her bag. “… Huh? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!”

The Petrify Orb was covered in the green glue that had sprayed out from the Glue Trap from earlier, preventing Sera from using it.

“… That’s not good,” Blitz said, staring at the orb.

“O-Okay, let’s not panic,” Sera responded nervously. “W-We can still beat these guys…”

“All we have to do is reach the stairs,” Chiaki pointed out.

“Well, let’s give it a try…” Sera said, using her Helping Hand to power up her teammates.

“Those Luvdisc may not look tough, but their Agility attack will cause a lot of trouble for us if we don’t take them out fast,” Blitz muttered, as he used Spark on one of the two pink heart-shaped fish Pokémon.

“Take this!” Chiaki said, using Fake Out to make the second Luvdisc flinch.

After making their moves, the rescue team found themselves having to dodge the attacks of eight out of the nine remaining wilds. Dodging water attacks were more difficult here since they were mostly just various streams of pressure when used underwater. The different attacks hitting them from different angles took off quite a bit of the rescue team’s energy.

“I have a feeling those Reviver Seeds I brought may need to be used…” Sera muttered, pulling out an Oran berry from the bag. “For now, use this to heal up, Blitz.”

“Thanks, Sera,” Blitz responded, eating the Oran berry to restore some of his energy. “I’ll finish off the second Luvdisc now.”

“Hmm… Which one of these guys is the biggest threat right now…?” Chiaki said, looking around at the opponents, unsure which one to attack first.

“I’d say the Chinchou or the Qwilfish might be our biggest problem,” Blitz responded. “The Qwilfish might have the Poison Point ability, so be careful.”

“Okay, got it,” Chiaki said, and proceeded to quickly slap one of the Chinchou five times in succession, knocking it out. “All right, it worked!”

The remaining seven water type wilds attacked again, and while the three rescue team members managed to dodge some of the attacks this time, they were still weakened even more.

“Ugh… Somehow we’re all still conscious…” Sera said, looking through her bag. “Sadly, it seems we are out of Oran berries.”

“Seven more Pokémon…” Blitz muttered, panting. “What do we do?”

“I brought three Reviver Seeds, one for each of us, just in case,” Sera said, frowning somewhat. “But if we all get knocked out and we use them up, then what? Is there a way out of this without needing to use all of them?”

Blitz tried to think of something, when suddenly what appeared to be a blue ball seemed to come rolling fast through the water into the room, and slammed into one of the Staryu, knocking it out. It then stopped rolling, revealing itself to be a round blue mouse Pokémon with a thin black tail with a small blue ball on it.

“Why don’t you guys pick on someone your own type?” the Marill said, smirking as she slammed her tail against one of the remaining two Staryu, knocking it into the other and simultaneously knocking both of them out. “Come on; show me what you’ve got!”

With the wild Pokémon turning their attention to the newly arrived Marill, the rescue team took the opportunity to make their moves. First, Sera and Chiaki teamed up using Quick Attack and Double Slap respectively to knock out the remaining Chinchou. Blitz meanwhile charged up some electricity, and knocked out one of the two Qwilfish with his Spark attack.

The Qwilfish and the Horsea both tried to attack the Marill, but the aqua mouse Pokémon just snickered as she dodged both of their attacks without much difficulty, and then slammed her tail against them, so Blitz could finish them by pressing his electrified paws against them.

“Whew, looks like I caught up to you guys just in time!” the Marill said, swimming up to the rescue team.

“You certainly did,” Sera responded, sighing in relief. “Thanks.”

“No problem!” the Marill replied, grinning.

“You… remind me of someone,” Chiaki said, curiously looking at the Marill.

“Yeah, the way she fought…” Blitz replied, before realizing something. “Wait… Azure? Is that you?”

“Yep!” the Marill responded, giggling a little as she swam in a circle around her three friends. “As you can see, I’ve evolved!”

“Cool,” Chiaki said, smiling at Azure. “I like your new look!”

“Thanks!” Azure replied, smiling. “So, how about we all keep moving onto the next floor?”

----

With Azure’s help, they managed to get through the next floor without having to use up their Reviver Seeds, gradually regaining their energy as they moved along. As they reached the final floor, they walked amongst themselves as they looked for the stairs leading out of the dungeon.

“How did you know we were down here?” Blitz asked, glancing back at Azure.

“Bow told me,” Azure responded. “While I was training at the dojo, she came over and told me you guys would be in trouble here, so I hurried up to the rescue team HQ and asked Kala to send me where she went you.”

“I see,” Blitz replied.

“And then, when I got there, this Floatzel dude offered to give me a ride, and so he took me out to where he dropped you guys off, and then I went down here to look for you,” Azure explained. “I decided to go straight here, since I knew you’d be here from what Bow had told me.”

“Cool,” Chiaki responded, smiling at Azure. “So, what is your new body like?”

“Well, I like it a lot, although I’m still getting used to it,” Azure responded, looking at her stubby hands. “For one thing, I have hands now, and my body is less bouncy.”

“I guess you were training at the dojo in order to get used to fighting in your new body?” Blitz asked.

“Correct,” Azure responded, smirking. “I’ve found that while the blue thing on my tail got smaller as the rest of my body got bigger, I can still hit pretty hard with it!”

“That’s nice,” Chiaki replied.

“Also, my ears allow me to hear much better now,” Azure explained, glancing up at her round ears. “I can hear things from pretty far away, which was how I managed to figure out where you were once I got to the same floor you guys were on!”

“Wow, that’s really cool!” Chiaki responded.

“I know, right?” Azure replied, grinning.

“Guys, I can see the stairs!” Sera said, wagging her tail happily. “Come on!”

----

The four Pokémon exited the mystery dungeon, and looked around. From what Stella and Bow had said, the crystal they had seen was somewhere around here.

“Anyone see a whirlpool?” Sera asked, looking around.

“Uh… Is it that vortex thing over there?” Chiaki said, pointing to a large whirlpool that seemed to be coming up from a chasm.

“Wow, the crystal is somewhere at the bottom of that thing?” Sera asked. “How is anyone supposed to even get to it?”

“I believe there’s a certain water type attack that might allow one to do that…” Blitz responded, looking over at Azure. “You wouldn’t happen to know that attack, would you?”

“Nope, sorry,” Azure replied, shrugging slightly.

“Well, looks like there’s not much we can do here, then,” Sera said, glancing around.

“… So, what do we do now?” Azure asked.

----

End of Chapter 19.

----
 
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Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Alright, here I am again...

Chapter 18 was good, and I particularly liked Kala's antics.

Chapter 19 was excellent, had more that stood out to me compared to Chapter 18. Particularly Missile and Azure's evolution.

I know you haven't been getting much feedback lately, but keep it up!
 

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Thanks!

Anyways, chapter 20 has been taking longer than expected. While the chapter is only a few scenes away from being finished, I've been having some difficulty sorting out the details of a battle scene in it. Good writing takes time, and some chapters take longer than others to write. I promise I'll have it done as soon as possible, so just wait a little longer, okay? :)

Until then, you can check out revised versions of the 13 first chapters on FF.net (well, the revisions are probably only really noticeable with the first few chapters or so, since later chapters have only required a few minor changes such as fixing spelling errors and such) and for any readers that are also Tropers, you could help add to the trope page for my fanfic on TV Tropes. If you're interested in any of that, that is.

So, yeah. Just a little update on the status of chapter 20 and stuff.
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Early Game Encounter
Hi, I finally caught up and can write a review for this thing.

All in all, I found the fic as it was to be a rather engaging read so far. The characters have some rather nicely defined interactions with each other, and you do a pretty good job at pacing the team's hunt for crystals with their need to do practical sidejobs to stay afloat.

There's a couple things that I'm unsure whether or not happened by design, or just turned out as they did by circumstance. They're not necessarily bad things, just things that I'm hoping will be addressed later down the road. There's a few weird phenomena that Sera and the rest of her team have encountered, such as the sentient plant attacking the forest, but these seem to not really have that much context behind them. Although it's a little weird to see everyone so unfazed by stuff like that that simply doesn't happen on a normal basis, I take it that there is a deeper explanation for such things that will be revealed later?

Also, I'm a little curious as to when it is that Chiaki's lost memories and past are intended to resurface in terms of narrative importance. They seemed to be consistently alluded to within the first 10 chapters, but have been dialed back a bit recently. How is he taking things when he literally can't remember anything before his first meeting with Sera and her teammates, and does it present any complications for how he'd interact with others?

Aside from that (which is ultimately resolvable in future chapters anyways), it seems like Reflecting Balance like a really well-crafted fic, and I look forward to seeing where you go with it.
 
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DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your review! Glad you're enjoying the story so far, and don't worry, I do intend to explain some of those things in upcoming chapters. Look forward to it!

Anyways, I finally managed to finish up chapter 20, and I've even gotten the first draft of chapter 21 done, so that's something you guys can probably look forward to next week! But, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. For now, it's time for chapter 20!

Hope you all enjoy it!

----

Chapter 20: There was no way I was missing out on that!

----

Princess Blithe cheerfully swam around in circles, while her brother prince Somber was quietly brooding in the corner. She was certain someone would come to save them soon; they just had to wait a little longer. As she cheerfully hummed to herself while swimming around, she noticed a certain Alomomola swimming towards their cell, carrying a few blue and purple gummis.

“Thought I’d bring you some gummis,” Sophie said in a bored tone, placing the gummis on the floors where Blithe could reach them and pull them in through the bars with her tentacles. “Don’t eat them up all at once.”

“Yay! Thanks, Soapy!” Blithe responded, happily picking up the gummis.

“It’s Sophie,” the Alomomola replied, looking rather annoyed.

As Sophie swam away, Blithe swam over to her brother, showing him the gummis.

“Look, Somber! Soapy brought us our favorite gummis!” Blithe said.

“She did that just because these guys need us alive,” Somber responded, taking one of the purple gummis. “Once they’ve gotten what they want, they’ll get rid of us.”

“Oh, cheer up!” Blithe replied, smiling at her brother. “I’m sure a rescue team is coming to rescue us as we speak!”

Blithe happily began eating one of the blue gummis, while Somber slowly began eating the purple gummi. While the Frillish prince wouldn’t admit it, the taste of the purple gummi did lift his moods, even if it was only a little.

----

Out by the Radiant Reef, Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure were still staring into the whirlpool, being careful not to get too close as they tried to figure out what they were going to do now. They knew a crystal from the Axis Tower was located somewhere at the bottom of the chasm the whirlpool was blocking off, but had no means of getting there.

“Hmm… Maybe one of those underwater rescue teams knows the move?” Sera asked, figuring that it would only make sense for the rescue teams of the deep branch to know the attack that could allow them to deal with the whirlpool.

“Probably,” Blitz responded, having reached the same conclusion. “Odds are one of those higher ranked rescue teams, like the one we met with earlier, might have at least one Pokémon that knows what to do.”

“But aren’t they out looking for the missing prince and princess?” Chiaki pointed out. “How are we supposed to find them and bring them here?”

“Hmm… What exactly happened to this prince and princess you’re talking about?” Azure asked.

“They were kidnapped, and some Pokémon is apparently holding them for ransom,” Blitz explained.

“Ah, well in that case, finding them shouldn’t be too difficult!” Azure responded, grinning.

“Huh?” the other three Pokémon said in unison.

“Well, bad guys tend to hang out in dark places, right?” Azure replied, smirking. “So, if we head into the deeper, darker parts of this ocean, we might come across one of the rescue teams that are searching for the kidnapped Pokémon and the kidnappers’ hideout!”

“Are you sure about that, Azure?” Blitz asked, rubbing his forelegs together. “While you may be onto something, your logic seems a bit flawed...”

“Maybe, but I don’t see any of you three coming up with anything better,” Azure responded.

“I guess that’s true,” Sera replied. “We don’t really have any better leads in regards to where to look…”

“So, let’s try my idea, then!” Azure said, grinning. “Trust me; I’m sure there will be at least one rescue team there.”

“Oh, okay, let’s go,” Blitz responded, sighing.

And so, the four began swimming away from the Radiant Reef and the whirlpool, and began heading towards the darker areas in the deeper parts of the Sapphire Sea.

----

Meanwhile, in the underwater cave, the Tentacruel was attempting to come up with a plan for how to deal with any rescue teams that might come across their hideout. All he had was a vague idea of defeating the rescue team, and then relocating to a different area. Except how would they get to another area unnoticed, not to mention the problem that they didn’t even have another location in mind that they could relocate to if something went wrong?

“Still trying to think of a way to deal with the possible rescue team threat?” the Starmie asked, snickering a little. “I can’t believe you haven’t just given up and delegated the task of coming up with such a plan to me yet.”

“Shut up, you oversized purple throwing star,” the Tentacruel responded. “I didn’t ask you for your opinion.”

“Does anyone want to hear my opinion?” Missile asked, smiling at the other two.

“Your opinion on what?” the Starmie inquired. “Do you even know what we are talking about?”

“… Are we talking about yogurt?” the Sharpedo responded. “I like mine with fruit at the bottom!”

“And that’s why you’re not in charge,” the Starmie replied, turning away.

“Both of you, shut up,” the Tentacruel said, glaring at the two.

“What’s going on in here?” Sophie asked, as she swam back into the room.

“Not much, Soapy,” the Tentacruel responded, rubbing the two big red orbs on the sides of his bell with two of his many tentacles. “These two idiots are getting on my nerves.”

“Which two idiots?” Missile asked, looking around. “There’s nobody else but us in here!”

“I see…” Sophie replied, rolling her eyes.

“I’m just saying that I could come up with a plan much quicker if you guys would let me be the leader of this group,” the Starmie said.

“If you’re so intelligent, then how come you’ve barely done anything to contribute to this plan?” Sophie asked, giving the Starmie an annoyed look.

“I came up with the trap we used to trap those two,” the Starmie responded. “And I helped out when we set it into motion, didn’t I?”

“And after that?” Sophie asked. “Seriously, even Missile has been more helpful than you have!”

“I like to help!” Missile said, grinning.

“Oh, fine,” the Starmie replied. “Since you admit to so desperately needing my help with your plans, I will provide a list of locations where we can move to if any of those rescue teams force us out of our hideout.”

The Starmie swam into another part of the cave, causing the Tentacruel to sigh in relief.

“Thank you, Soapy,” the Tentacruel said. “Now I can finally have some peace and quiet while sorting out our plans…”

“You’re welcome,” Sophie responded, looking somewhat annoyed. “But seriously, how many times do I have to tell you guys? It’s Sophie!”

“Isn’t that what he said?” Missile asked, tilting his entire body quizzically.

----

Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure were now searching through a darker area of Sapphire Sea, Blitz having to gradually increase the brightness of his glowing fur as things gradually got darker the further they went. So far, they hadn’t seen any signs of any other rescue teams.

“Maybe this was a bad idea…” Blitz muttered, looking around nervously.

“Hey, since we’re here, let’s keep looking around some more first before giving up,” Azure responded, glancing around. “Surely there has to be at least one rescue team around these parts… I mean, if I were a bad guy, a place like this is where I’d put my hideout.”

“Unless the bad guys thought it was too obvious, and put it somewhere else?” Chiaki commented. “Or, they did put it here, because the rescue teams thought it would be too obvious to put it here, and thus they haven’t bothered to check this area yet?”

“Again, do either of you guys have any better ideas?” Azure asked, looking around at the other three Pokémon. “… So, let’s keep exploring a little more.”

The four Pokémon continued moving forward, when suddenly the scenery changed to that of a dark underwater maze, with many rocky walls.

“… Did we just enter a mystery dungeon?” Sera asked, looking around.

“Yeah, looks like it…” Blitz responded.

“Well… At least we’ve all recovered our energy from the last one,” Sera said, taking a quick look at their items. “And we still got some good items here, even if we’re a little low on healing items.”

“Don’t worry,” Azure responded, smiling. “There are probably some healing items in this dungeon for us to find.”

“Let’s keep going then,” Sera said.

The four Pokémon moved further into the mystery dungeon, fighting more wild water Pokémon and gathering more items. As she added the items to their inventory, Sera noticed that they had somehow ended up with quite a few Quick Seeds. She wasn’t sure if they even needed that many, but figured that as long as there was still room for more items, it wasn’t really a problem.

They continued going deeper and deeper into the dungeon, unsure of what they would find on the other side…

----

After ten floors of tough battles against wild water type Pokémon, gathering up some random items and general exploring, the four Pokémon found themselves in front of a hole leading into what appeared to be an underwater cave. The four were unsure of whether to enter it, or continue exploring another part of the area.

“I get a bad feeling about this place…” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together.

“That’s a good sign that we’re on the right track, isn’t it?” Azure asked.

“That’s… an interesting way to look at it, I guess…” Blitz responded.

“Still, we don’t know what awaits us if we enter the cave,” Sera said, looking around. “Then again, I suppose we also don’t know what awaits us if we explore more of this area and don’t enter the cave…”

“So, how do we decide, then?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Hmm… Let me try something,” Azure said.

Azure closed her eyes and tried to use her ears to determine which way to go. She listened for anything that might be worth investigating. After a few moments, she managed to pick up on something.

“I think… I hear voices coming from inside the cave,” Azure said, peeking inside the cave entrance. “Can’t hear what they’re saying, though.”

“Okay…” Sera responded, glancing around. “So… Should we go investigate that, or…?”

“Sounds risky…” Blitz commented, rubbing his forelegs together.

“So?” Azure asked, shrugging slightly. “It’s not like we’ve got any other leads.”

And with that, Azure swam inside the cave before the others had the chance to stop her. After exchanging a few concerned glances, the rescue team went in after her.

----

The Starmie was in the process of making the list of other possible places they could relocate to if a rescue team were to find their hideout, when it suddenly sensed something with its psychic powers. The ruby in the center of its body flashed, as the Starmie realized what it had picked up on.

“Intruders…” the Starmie muttered, the ruby flashing once more.

“What!?” The Tentacruel said, turning towards the Starmie.

“It’s a rescue team, although they don’t seem particularly powerful,” the Starmie explained, the ruby flashing once more. “From what I can tell, it’s just some surface dwellers that don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into.”

“I don’t care who they are!” the Tentacruel responded. “Just get rid of them!”

“I’ll get right on that,” the Starmie replied, turning to Missile. “Come on, Missile. Let’s give those intruders a warm welcome.”

“Ooh, sounds nice!” Missile responded, swimming alongside the Starmie as the two headed into one of the tunnels. “What kind of snacks should we serve?”

“Not that kind of warm welcome,” the Starmie replied.

----

Sera, Blitz, Chiaki and Azure swam deeper into the cave, the rescue team having caught up to the Marill by pointing out to her that they couldn’t swim as fast as she could, and without Blitz to provide some light, Azure wouldn’t be able to see very well in the darkness if she went too far ahead in this area. As they continued going further, Azure’s ears began to pick up on the sound of cheerful laughter.

“This way, guys,” Azure said, pointing in the direction the giggling was coming from.

The four Pokémon continued swimming down the tunnel, following the sound of laughter. Eventually, they reached the cell where Somber and Blithe were kept.

“Yay! It’s a rescue team!” Blithe said, cheerfully twirling around. “We’re saved!”

“Are you sure?” Somber asked, looking over his shoulder at the four Pokémon. “They don’t look particularly powerful… They probably can’t get us out of here.”

“You two must be the royal twins we heard about from one of the underwater rescue teams earlier,” Sera said, curiously looking at the two jellyfish behind the bars.

“Guess my intuition was right,” Azure commented, looking around. “Although, I expected there’d be at least one rescue team around here…”

“Well, we’re here,” Chiaki pointed out.

“Oh, that’s right…” Azure responded, blinking. “I… guess that counts?”

“Are you going to save us now?” Blithe asked, smiling at the rescue team.

“We would, but…” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “How do we do that?”

“I don’t think I’m strong enough to break these bars,” Azure said, examining the bars. “And we don’t have a key, so…”

“We’re going to be stuck in here forever,” Somber muttered, staring at a wall. “There’s no way we’re ever getting out…”

“Hey, relax,” Sera said, glancing around. “We’ll think of something, okay?”

“Oh, don’t mind him!” Blithe responded, smiling cheerfully. “My brother is just being silly!”

“What are we supposed to do, though?” Blitz asked.

“We’re not going to let you do anything,” a voice said, and all six Pokémon turned to see a certain Starmie and Sharpedo emerging from the other direction.

“I knew we were doomed,” Somber commented, looking at the Sharpedo and Starmie with a rather bored look on his face. “The rescue team doesn’t stand a chance against them.”

“Don’t listen to him!” Blithe shouted, giggling a little. “I know you can take them down!”

Blitz and Sera exchanged nervous glances, while Chiaki and Azure assumed a fighting position. The ruby in the Starmie’s center flashed as he prepared to deal with the intruders, while Missile was just there next to him with a goofy grin on his face.

“Blitz, what do we do?” Sera asked, hoping her teammate would have any ideas of how they could get themselves out of this situation.

“Hmm… I don’t know…” Blitz responded, observing the opponents. “They look tough, but… if we use the items we have wisely, then we might have a shot.”

“Good enough for me!” Azure said, smirking. “Let’s take them down!”

“Not if we take you down first!” the Starmie responded, the second star on his back spinning fast as he began charging up an electric attack.

The Starmie then fired a bolt of bright blue electricity from the ruby in his center, aiming for Azure.

“Watch out!” Chiaki said, swimming in front of Azure and using Detect to block the attack.

“Whew, thanks,” Azure responded, sighing in relief. “Hey, can I borrow some Quick Seeds? I sort of have an idea.”

“Sure,” Sera replied, getting three Quick Seeds out from the bag and handing them to Azure with her tail.

“Thanks,” Azure responded, smirking as she ate the seeds and then with the increased speed swam up to Missile and carefully tapped him on the nose before quickly swimming away. “Tag, you’re it!”

“Ooh, I love this game!” Missile said, before cheerfully chasing after the Marill.

While Azure kept the Sharpedo distracted, the other three Pokémon had to figure out how to deal with the Starmie. Chiaki managed to keep his Detect up as the Starmie began trying to hit him with Psychic attacks, but was uncertain of how long he could maintain it. Luckily Sera and Blitz didn’t waste any time, Sera using Helping Hand to power up her teammates and Blitz trying to find an item to throw at the Starmie to distract it long enough for them to get some hits in.

Azure seemed to be enjoying herself as she let the Sharpedo chase after her, even if it was a bit difficult to keep swimming faster than him even with the speed boost from the Quick Seeds. However, as Missile started closing in on her, she realized that the effects of the Quick Seeds were starting to wear off.

“Uh-oh,” Azure said to herself as she realized she was slowing down.

“I’ve got you now!” Missile cheerfully announced, and used Aqua Jet to propel himself towards the Marill.

Azure quickly moved to the side, while Missile was moving too fast to slow down and continued shooting forward until he crashed into a wall.

“Ooh, that must’ve hurt,” Azure said, wincing slightly.

Azure turned around to check on how the rescue team was doing. While they were making a good effort, the three were certainly having some difficulty fighting the Starmie. The Starmie’s long-ranged attacks made it difficult for them to get closer to attack, and they had to move quickly to dodge the various attacks.

“Hmm, I’ve got to help them somehow…” Azure said to herself, thinking about it for a moment before she suddenly heard something moving behind her.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Missile asked, seeming somewhat dizzy, but otherwise didn’t seem too fazed by hitting the wall. “The game’s not over yet!”

“Huh?” Azure responded, before smirking as she thought of something. “Oh, right! Come and catch me, if you can!”

“I’ll get you this time!” Missile said, swimming somewhat wobbly towards the Marill.

With what was left of her speed boost, Azure quickly began moving towards the other four Pokémon, occasionally glancing behind her to make sure Missile was able to keep up with her. She carefully observed the fight between her friends and the Starmie, trying to get closer and to find just the right moment.

“Hey, aren’t you going to come and get me?” Azure asked, turning around and wiggling her tail at the Sharpedo. “Come on, you’ve got a clear shot here!”

“Ooh, I wish I had a cute tail like that…” Missile muttered, distractedly watching Azure’s tail for a few moments.

Sera, Blitz and Chiaki were struggling to move fast enough to dodge the various psychic, electric and ice attacks fired from the Starmie’s ruby. Blithe was watching the battle, while Somber didn’t really seem to care.

“Looks like they could use some help,” Blithe commented, glancing over her shoulder at her brooding brother. “Maybe we can do something?”

“I doubt it,” Somber responded, glancing at his sister. “Besides, it doesn’t really matter what we do, since we’re doomed anyways.”

“Oh, stop being so silly and come help me!” Blithe said, cheerfully grabbing one of her brother’s tentacles and pulling him over. “All right, let’s do this!”

Blithe and Somber’s eyes began turning dark as they both started charging up ghost energy for an attack. They then both simultaneously fired black beams of ghost energy from their eyes at the Starmie, but their combined Night Shade attacks didn’t seem to do much other than annoy the Starmie.

“And just what do you two think you’re doing?” the Starmie asked, his ruby flashing in annoyance as he turned towards the Frillish.

“Told you it wasn’t going to work,” Somber said to Blithe, leaning against the bars with a resigned look on his face.

The Starmie realized he was leaving himself open to attack as long as he faced the Frillish, and was confused upon realizing his opponents didn’t seem to be taking the opportunity to attack. He quickly turned around to see the three of them, as well as a certain Marill swim out of a path as a certain Sharpedo sped through the water towards him. The Starmie only had time to register what was about to happen, before Missile collided with him and continued propelling them forward until they both crashed into a wall.

“Awesome! It worked!” Azure said, grinning. “Can’t wait to tell Frederick about how I beat a psychic type by hitting it with a shark!”

“Good job, Azure!” Chiaki commented, smiling at the Marill.

“So… Now that that’s over with, how do we free those two?” Sera asked, looking over at the two still imprisoned jellyfish.

“Maybe one of those baddies has a key?” Azure suggested, and began swimming down to the two water types.

However, she quickly turned around and swam away as Missile suddenly began moving and turning around. Apparently, only the Starmie had been knocked unconscious by the impact, while Missile was still up, albeit seeming rather disoriented.

“Ugh… That wasn’t fun…” Missile mumbled, before glancing back at the unconscious Starmie with a slightly confused look on his face. “Is he it now?”

“I suppose he would be, if he hadn’t fainted,” Azure said, shrugging slightly. “But hey, why don’t you give it another try? The effect of the Quick Seeds has worn off, so you can probably catch me this time!”

“All right…” Missile responded, trying to keep his balance. “Third time’s the charm!”

Azure swam in front of the locked door to the cell, and the Frillish quickly caught on to Azure’s plan and moved to the side. Once Missile attempted his Aqua Jet attack for the third time, Azure moved out of the way once again, causing the Sharpedo to ram into the door on the cell, knocking it down.

“Yay! We’re free!” Blithe exclaimed, cheerfully twirling around.

“For now, at least…” Somber muttered, glancing around.

“Hehe… I can feel my teeth growing back…” Missile mumbled, chuckling a little before losing consciousness.

“Well, let’s get out of here before he wakes up again,” Azure said, sighing in relief. “Man, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to dodge him a third time, but I pulled it off!”

“And you did it awesomely!” Blithe responded, swimming up and happily wrapping her tentacles around the Marill, hugging her tightly.

“You’re welcome,” Azure replied, trying to push the Frillish off her. “But loosen your grip a little; you’re kind of hurting me.”

“Come on, guys,” Sera said, motioning for the other Pokémon to follow her further into the cave. “We need to get moving!”

“Isn’t the exit the other way?” Blitz asked, quickly glancing around as the others began following Sera. “… Or is it? I could’ve sworn that’s the way we came from, but now I’m not so sure…”

“Blitz, hurry up!” Sera said, looking back at him. “We need your glowing fur to see the way ahead!”

“Oh, right!” Blitz responded, quickly swimming up to the others. “Hope there’s a way out of this cave up ahead…”

----

The six Pokémon eventually reached a larger room within the cave, with a few tunnels they could swim through. However, they weren’t sure which one would lead to an exit. And before they could figure it out, many gray tentacles suddenly shot out from above them and formed a cage around the six of them.

“Hey, what’s happening?” Sera asked, glancing around as the tentacles surrounded them, before looking up and noticing the Tentacruel above them.

“I knew we wouldn’t be able to escape from here…” Somber muttered, not really seeming to be alarmed by the situation.

“The blue Frillish is correct,” the Tentacruel said, snickering. “You are not going anywhere.”

“Don’t be so sure about that!” Blithe responded, grinning. “We’ve already beaten the Starmie and the Sharpedo!”

“Shut up!” the Tentacruel replied, before noticing that a certain Alomomola was starting to make her way towards one of the tunnels. “Soapy! Where do you think you’re going!?”

“Well, since these guys found our hideout, and apparently beat those other guys, I can already tell things aren’t going to end in our favor here,” Sophie responded, glancing back for a moment before entering one of the tunnels. “Also, I’m tired of you guys getting my name wrong, so I’m out of here! … Good luck!”

“Soapy, get back here, you coward!” the Tentacruel shouted as the Alomomola fled. “Ugh… Whatever… I don’t need her help to take care of such a weak looking rescue team!”

“Who are you calling “weak”?” Sera asked, glaring up at the Tentacruel.

“Sure wish I had another shark to launch at this guy now,” Azure muttered, kicking one of the tentacles.

“Quiet!” the Tentacruel shouted, seeming rather annoyed. “Perhaps a taste of one of my poison attacks will shut you all up…”

Blitz realized they had to get out of there quickly, before the Tentacruel could fire his attack at them while they were unable to avoid it. While he normally didn’t like using his fangs against other Pokémon, he decided to make an exception this time and bit down on one of the Tentacruel’s tentacles. The Tentacruel screeched in pain and flinched for a moment, allowing the group of six to get out of the tentacle cage.

“Good job, Blitz!” Sera said, grinning.

“Thanks,” Blitz responded, wiping his tongue with his paw in an attempt to get rid of the taste.

“Now, let’s take this guy down!” Sera shouted, using Helping Hand to power up her allies.

“I’ll try out one of my newest attacks!” Chiaki said, smiling.

Chiaki then closed his eyes for a moment, and clenched his paw. The paw began glowing, and shot out star shaped rays at the Tentacruel.

“Nice shot, Chiaki!” Azure said, smirking as she charged at the Tentacruel and prepared to slam her tail against him.

“Enough!” the Tentacruel exclaimed, and grabbed Azure’s tail with one of his many tentacles before it could strike his bell.

“Hey, let me go!” Azure shouted, trying to pull her tail out of the Tentacruel’s grip.

The Tentacruel began extending his many, many tentacles, trying to grab onto the other five Pokémon. They moved as fast as they could through the water in an attempt to dodge the tentacles, but it was proving difficult when there was so many of them.

“We need to find a way to stop him from waving those around!” Sera said, glancing towards Blitz. “Do you have any ideas?”

“First of all, cover your eyes!” Blitz responded, before intensifying the glow of his fur to a brightness that momentarily blinded the Tentacruel and made it loosen its grip on Azure’s tail enough for her to free herself.

“Thanks!” Azure said, grinning.

“You’re welcome,” Blitz responded, before turning back to Sera. “Sera, do we have any more Quick Seeds?”

“I think so…” Sera replied, checking their items. “There’s not many left, though.”

“Do you think it’s enough to- Sera! Watch out!” Blitz quickly swam over and pushed Sera out of the way as a blob of poisonous sludge nearly hit her.

“Hey, leave my friends alone!” Chiaki shouted, and fired more star shaped rays from his fist at the Tentacruel.

“Sera, you okay?” Blitz asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Sera responded, using Helping Hand to power up her teammates some more. “Thanks.”

Azure and Chiaki continued doing their best to keep the Tentacruel busy, while Blitz attempted to figure out how to distribute the remaining Quick Seeds.

“Only three left…” Blitz muttered, thinking for a moment. “What would be the best way to use these?”

In the meantime, the Tentacruel had managed to force Chiaki and Azure up against a wall, using his tentacles to trap them. Chiaki used Detect to protect himself as the Tentacruel began firing more of his long ranged attacks at him and Azure. Chiaki just hoped he could keep himself and Azure safe until Sera and Blitz had decided on their plan.

“Looks like Chiaki and Azure are in a bit of a pinch,” Sera said, glancing over at them. “We better make up our minds fast!”

“All right, I think I have an idea…” Blitz responded, whispering something into Sera’s ear.

“Hmm, sounds good,” Sera replied, nodding her head.

“Can we help too?” Blithe asked, swimming over to them while dragging Somber with her.

“Shouldn’t you two be hiding?” Blitz responded, looking at the two.

“Oh, we may not be as strong as you guys, but if there’s any way we can help, we’ll gladly do it!” Blithe replied, giggling a little. “Isn’t that right, Somber?”

“Does it matter if we help?” Somber asked, still in the same morose tone as before. “We’re probably going to be defeated anyways.”

“You’re so silly!” Blithe responded, cheerfully hugging her brother. “Come on, let’s help the rescue team!”

The Tentacruel was firing Water Pulse attacks at Chiaki, knowing the Mienfoo wouldn’t be able to dodge them for much longer. Azure was preparing to take the attack for Chiaki once his Detect failed; knowing that being a water type herself would allow her to resist the attack somewhat. However, she then noticed Blithe and Somber swimming up behind the Tentacruel.

“What are you two doing?” Azure asked. “You should let us handle this!”

“Hmm?” the Tentacruel said, ceasing his attack for a moment and turning slightly to get a look at what was behind him. “Ah, there you are.”

“That’s right!” Blithe shouted, cheerfully waving a tentacle. “Come and get us!”

“This won’t end well…” Somber muttered, not seeming to have much faith in their plan.

The Tentacruel snickered, and began turning around to grab the Frillish twins, allowing for Chiaki and Azure to swim away unnoticed. However, before the Tentacruel could wrap his tentacles around them, Blitz used Flash to momentarily blind him once again. The Tentacruel screeched in frustration again, and covered its eyes with a tentacle. Once the brightness had faded somewhat, the Frillish twins were out of sight.

“Where did they go…?” the Tentacruel muttered, looking around.

“Hey!” Azure shouted, swiftly swimming up to the Tentacruel. “This battle’s not over yet!”

The Tentacruel attempted to trap Azure again, but the Marill quickly evaded his tentacles, swimming a little faster than she did earlier. Sera and Chiaki swam past as well, also seeming to be swimming faster now. The Tentacruel tried firing off a few Water Pulse attacks at them, but they managed to swiftly dodge his attacks.

“Hmm, where’s the fourth one and the Frillish twins?” the Tentacruel said, looking from side to side.

The Tentacruel suddenly cried out in pain as Blitz suddenly rammed into his bell from above, hitting him as hard as he could with his Spark attack. Blue sparks of electricity were still arcing off the Tentacruel even after Blitz’s attack was done, and it seemed the jellyfish Pokémon was now having difficulty moving his tentacles.

“Look! It seems he can’t move!” Sera said, smirking. “Let’s get him!”

Sera swam towards and tackled the Tentacruel at a high speed, seeming a bit surprised at how well she was able to pull off a Quick Attack since it wasn’t exactly an attack she was meant to use underwater. Azure followed up with her Rollout attack, striking the Tentacruel while rolling at a high speed, and then hitting him again with more force. Chiaki decided to stick to his Swift attack for now since it let him attack from a distance, and continued firing star shaped rays at the Tentacruel.

Once the other three had finished their attacks, Blitz finished the Tentacruel off with another Spark attack from above. The unconscious Tentacruel sank to the floor, as the Frillish twins came out from their hiding spot.

“You did it!” Blithe exclaimed, swimming up and hugging Blitz tightly. “That was so awesome!”

“Ugh… Thanks…” Blitz responded, wheezing slightly as Blithe squeezed him a bit too tightly. “But don’t do that, please… I-I need most of my internal organs to live…”

“I’m just glad the fight’s over,” Sera said, sighing in relief.

“Yeah, I suppose that battle did take a lot of energy on our part,” Azure commented, grinning. “That was certainly some awesome teamwork we pulled off at the end there, though!”

“Everyone okay in here?” another voice called out, and the six Pokémon turned to see the Lanturn from the rescue team Sera and her teammates had met with earlier.

“Oh, we’re fine!” Chiaki responded, smiling and waving at the Lanturn.

“Well, that’s good to hear,” the Lanturn replied, smiling as his teammates swam over carrying Missile and the Starmie. “It also looks like you managed to get most of the work here done before we got here, so good job!”

“Thanks!” Sera responded, wagging her tail happily.

“There was one more Pokémon working with the Tentacruel,” Blitz said, rubbing his forelegs together. “But she chose to flee rather than stay and fight.”

“Hmm, I see,” the Lanturn responded. “What species?”

“An Alomomola, sir,” Blitz replied.

“All right, then,” the Lanturn responded, nodding slightly. “We’ll keep an eye out for her.”

“Finding her probably won’t be easy,” Somber commented, looking away. “There are many Alomomola in the sea, after all.”

“Dude, can’t you cheer up a little?” Azure asked, giving Somber a somewhat annoyed look. “I mean, we just saved you and your sister! At least show some gratitude, if nothing else!”

“Oh, don’t listen to him!” Blithe said, cheerfully twirling around. “We’re both very grateful that you saved us with your awesome rescue team skills!”

“Anyways, my team will take it from here,” the Lanturn said, as his teammates picked up the Tentacruel. “We’ll bring these outlaws in to the deep sea police, and escort the Frillish twins back home to their parents.”

“However, we will make sure you are rewarded for helping us with this case,” the Lumineon said, with a friendly smile. “If there’s anything we can help with, let us know!”

“Hmm…” Sera said, exchanging glances with her teammates. “Well… Do any of you happen to know the Whirlpool attack?”

----

After leaving the cave and dropping off the outlaws at the deep sea police force’s office, the two rescue teams and the Frillish twins headed over to where the whirlpool and the third crystal was. The Kingdra went down to the whirlpool in order to retrieve the crystal, while the other eight Pokémon waited for the sea horse Pokémon to emerge from the abyss.

“Is he okay down there?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“Don’t worry, he can handle it,” the Lanturn responded. “He knows what to do when it comes to whirlpools.”

“That’s a pretty big vortex,” Blithe commented, watching it intently. “Look at it going round, and round, and round, and round…”

The Pokémon continued observing the whirlpool, and soon noticed that it seemed to be getting smaller, and eventually it subsided completely, at which point the Kingdra swam up from the abyss, carrying the blue gem in his tail.

“All right, got it,” the Kingdra said, handing the crystal over to Chiaki. “Here you go.”

“Thanks!” Chiaki responded, smiling at the Kingdra.

“So, that’s three of the Axis Tower crystals retrieved,” Sera said, grinning.

“It’s so pretty!” Blithe commented, giggling a little.

“There’s still five more out there, right?” Somber said. “And if those aren’t found… we’re all doomed.”

“You really are a “glass half-empty” kind of guy, aren’t you?” Azure responded.

“Well, thanks again for your co-operation,” the Lanturn said, smiling at the rescue team before turning to the Frillish twins. “All right, time to take you two back home.”

“Okay!” Blithe responded, cheerfully waving to Sera and her friends as she and Somber began swimming away with the underwater rescue team. “Bye-bye!”

“Try not to get into too much danger on your next missions,” Somber said, half-heartedly waving a tentacle.

And after waving good-bye to the underwater rescue team and the royal Frillish twins, Sera and her friends decided it was time to return to the surface and hand the crystal they had retrieved over to Stella for safe-keeping.

----

It felt good to be back on the surface, even if took them a little while to get their fur dry after getting out of the water and back on land. After heading back to Fenix Town, and dropping off the crystal at Stella’s house, the four Pokémon decided to head over to the café to relax a little before calling it a day.

“We sure had a lot of fun today!” Chiaki said, smiling at his friends.

“Well, it was certainly quite the adventure…” Blitz responded, sighing. “I’m pretty tired from all that swimming and fighting underwater, though…”

“Yeah, me too,” Sera replied, nodding her head slightly. “Maybe I’ll allow myself to sleep in tomorrow…”

“And Azure, I’m really glad you showed up when you did!” Chiaki said. “We probably couldn’t have done all this without you!”

“Hey, it was the perfect opportunity for me to try out the new moves and such that I gained when I evolved into action!” Azure responded, grinning. “There was no way I was missing out on that!”

“Well, I look forward to seeing more of what you can do now,” Chiaki commented, smiling. “We should go on another adventure together again soon!”

“Oh, yeah, about that…” Azure said, nervously tapping her hands together. “There’s something I kind of wanted to ask…”

“Oh? What is it?” Sera responded, as she, Blitz and Chiaki all looked at Azure expectantly.

“Well… I was wondering…” Azure took a deep breath, before finally managing to ask the question that had been on her mind. “Can I join your rescue team?”

“Huh? You want to join our rescue team?” Sera asked, seeming a bit surprised.

“Well, we’ve had so much fun when going on adventures together, and so I’ve been thinking about becoming a full time member for some time now,” Azure explained.

“Why haven’t you mentioned this before?” Chiaki asked, tilting his head slightly.

“For some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to ask about it,” Azure replied, chuckling a little. “Probably wouldn’t expect me of all Pokémon to have trouble with that, huh?”

“I admit, that seems a bit unlike you,” Blitz responded.

“Yeah…” Azure replied, clearing her throat. “But anyways, now that I’ve evolved, I feel that I’m ready. So please, let me join your rescue team!”

“What do you guys think?” Chiaki asked, looking to Sera and Blitz with a hopeful look. “She can join, right?”

“Well, the four of us worked pretty well together today,” Blitz responded, smiling at Azure. “I guess the experience she already has from previous adventures with us might’ve helped her figure out what to do so quickly, even though she was in a new body she was still getting used to.”

“Good point,” Sera said, nodding her head. “If one thinks of it like that, then I guess she’s practically a member of our team already!”

“Does that mean I’m in?” Azure asked, grinning while looking expectantly at the other three Pokémon around the table.

“You’re in!” Sera responded, grinning and holding out her paw. “Welcome to the team!”

“Yes!” Azure replied, high-fiving Sera. “Oh, this is going to be so awesome!”

“Since you have some skills the rest of us don’t have, I have a feeling having you on our team will open up some new opportunities for us,” Blitz said, smiling.

“All right, that Silver rank is looking closer than ever now!” Sera commented, grinning. “The four of us will take this rescue team to new heights, I’m sure of it!”

“I bet missions will be even more fun now that Azure is with us!” Chiaki said, cheerfully clapping his paws.

“Aw, thanks guys!” Azure responded, blushing somewhat. “I promise I won’t let you guys down!”

And so, Sera’s rescue team had earned a new member, and another one of the Axis Tower crystals had been retrieved. It had certainly been a good day for the Bronze rank team, and with the cheerful laughter and conversation between them, one might almost think that those four friends didn’t have anything to be concerned about.

It was just too bad that things weren't as well as they seemed.

----

End of Chapter 20.

----
 
Last edited:

DarkerShining

Well-Known Member
Hello again! So, it's time for Chapter 21. I really enjoyed writing this one, and I believe things should be getting even more interesting from here on out.

Anyways, as usual, I hope you all enjoy the chapter!

----

Chapter 21: You never told me you had a sister.

----

With every new day, there were letters and newspapers containing the latest news and interesting articles to deliver. For Santos the Delibird, there was always much work to do, but he didn’t mind. After all, the letters and newspapers couldn’t deliver themselves; someone had to do it. And Santos the Delibird was just the right mail-mon for the job. He went around Fenix Town, delivering letters and today’s newspaper with the headline letting the readers know that yet another crystal from Axis Tower had been found.

It was important to let the Pokémon know what was happening in their world, and keep them updated on the whole situation regarding the stolen crystals. That way, they would be reassured knowing that rescue teams were sorting the situation out. After finishing his rounds around the main parts of Fenix Town, Santos headed towards the west exit of town to deliver the letters to the Pokémon living just outside of town.

However, as he was making these deliveries, he suddenly noticed a shadow appear over him.

“Excuse me,” he heard a female voice say, echoing slightly in a light purr as he felt her breath on his neck.

Santos shivered slightly, and slowly dared himself to turn around and look at who or what was behind him. As he did, he suddenly found himself face to face with a beast with blue and black fur and glowing yellow eyes.

“Hello, little bird,” the beast said, gazing down at the small red penguin Pokémon. “You seem to know your way around here.”

Santos was shaking and couldn’t bring himself to say anything; he barely managed a small stutter under the gaze of the terrifying beast before him. He wanted to run, but was frozen in fear.

“I’m here to visit someone,” the beast said, leaning down and grinning widely, giving Santos a good view of her sharp teeth. “Perhaps you could tell which house he lives in?”

After staring right at the sharp teeth that were now in front of his face for a few more seconds, Santos finally managed to get his sound out, and screamed at the top of his lungs as he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him. The Luxray just watched him run away with a confused look on her face.

“… Was it something I said?” the electric lion Pokémon wondered, before shrugging it off. “Oh well, I guess I’ll just use my eyes then!”

----

Blitz and Chiaki were asleep, but were quickly woken up when they heard the terrified Delibird’s screams outside as he ran past their house. Chiaki quickly got onto his feet and looked around, while Blitz still seemed a bit groggy.

“What was that!?” Chiaki said, wondering what could’ve scared the poor mail-mon so much.

“Someone screaming in terror…?” Blitz muttered tiredly for a moment, before perking his ears up and getting to his feet. “Oh! My mom must be here!”

“Huh?” Chiaki responded, scratching the back of his head.

Blitz walked up to the entrance to the hut to keep an eye out for his mother, and Chiaki curiously followed behind him, wondering what exactly was going on.

“Mom, I’m over here!” Blitz shouted, waving a paw at the Luxray outside.

“Ah, there you are, my little prince!” the Luxray responded, walking up to the stone hut, causing Chiaki to leap back in surprise as he saw her smile, or rather the sharp teeth that were visible when she smiled. “Oh, your mommy has missed you so much! How have you been?”

“I’ve been doing okay,” Blitz replied, smiling back at his mother, although of course his smile wasn’t anywhere near as frightening as his mother’s. “And you?”

“Oh, I’ve been fine, more or less,” the Luxray responded, still smiling.

“Blitz!” another female, much younger voice called out, as another Shinx suddenly stepped out from behind the Luxray. She was smaller than Blitz, and the fur her hind paws were blue instead of black like Blitz’s. She also had a smaller tuft of hair on her head than Blitz did, and was currently smiling sweetly at him. “I’ve missed you too, big brother!”

“Lita!” Blitz replied, seeming delighted to see his little sister again. “It’s so good to see you again!”

“So… That’s Blitz’s little sister…?” Chiaki said, watching as the younger Shinx walked up to her brother and affectionately nuzzled him, before Blitz’s mother suddenly moved her grinning face into view, startling Chiaki once more. “Yikes!”

“Hello there!” Blitz’s mother said, not seeming to realize she’d frightened him. “What’s your name?”

“Uh… It’s Chiaki,” Chiaki responded meekly. “It’s n-nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you too!” Blitz’s mother replied, nodding her head slightly. “I am really glad to meet one of my son’s friends!”

Chiaki nervously smiled back at the Luxray, realizing that she was actually quite friendly, even if she had an intimidating gaze paired with a set of fangs that together could probably even send shivers down a Beartic's spine.

“So, what brings you here?” Blitz asked, looking at the two female electric lions. “I wasn’t expecting either of you.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that,” Blitz’s mother responded. “But I need someone to look after Lita for a few days as I’ll be going on a little trip with some of the other members of the pride.”

“Ah, I see,” Blitz replied, nodding his head slightly. “Food supply’s running short?”

“Exactly,” Blitz’s mother responded, nodding her head. “I know this is short notice, but you wouldn’t mind looking after Lita for a few days, would you? She has really missed you, and I was thinking this might be a good time for the two of to spend some time together…”

“Of course I’ll look after her!” Blitz replied, smiling warmly. “I’ve really missed spending time with my little sis!”

“Thank you, big brother!” Lita responded, jumping for joy.

“All right, it’s settled then!” Blitz’s mother said, leaning down at nuzzling her daughter. “Be good and listen to your big brother, okay?”

“Okay!” Lita responded, nodding her head. “I’ll be good, and listen to big brother!”

“I know you will, my little princess,” the Luxray replied, before turning back to Blitz. “So, I guess you can show her around town, tell her about what you’ve been doing and introduce her to your friends.”

“Yeah, sure,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together for a moment.

“Well, I guess I should get going then,” Blitz and Lita’s mother replied, turning around and getting ready to leave. “Have fun, you two!”

“Bye mom,” Blitz said, waving good-bye to his mother. “Good luck on the trip!”

“Bye-bye!” Lita said, also waving good-bye. “Try not to scare any small children on your way home!”

“Uh… Bye!” Chiaki said, joining the two siblings in waving good-bye, until the Luxray was out of sight. “Whew… That was unexpected…”

“Yeah…” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly.

“Why’d you rub the rings on your legs together like that when my mother talked about you introducing me to your friends?” Lita asked, looking up at her brother.

“Huh?” Blitz responded, meeting his sister’s gaze.

“I know you do that when you’re nervous, you know,” Lita replied, smiling at her brother.

“Uh… I do?” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together.

“Uh-huh!” Lita said, nodding her head. “So, what’s wrong with me meeting your friends?”

“Um… T-There’s nothing wrong, really…” Blitz responded, nervously glancing around.

Even Chiaki could tell something wasn’t right here, but he had no idea what was going on with his friend right now. It seemed like Blitz was hiding something, but Chiaki couldn’t think of any reason why Blitz would be keeping secrets from his friends. He decided that he would have to ask Sera about it later. After all, Sera was Blitz’s best friend, and so Chiaki figured that she would likely know if anything was bothering Blitz.

“Relax; I won’t embarrass you or anything!” Lita said, smiling up at her brother. “Come on, let’s go!”

“O-Okay…” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly. “Chiaki and I will show you around town.”

“Yay!” Lita replied, and ran outside. “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

“Hey, wait for us!” Blitz shouted, and quickly ran after his sister along with Chiaki.

----

It didn’t take long before the three of them reached the town plaza, where the Pokémon were going about their business as usual. Lita excitedly looked around, while Blitz explained to her what each shop was for. Chiaki couldn’t help but smile a little as he watched the two Shinx siblings, the way Blitz was showing her around town kind of reminded him of the time when Blitz gave him a tour around town the day after they first met.

“This place is very different from home!” Lita said, looking around in awe. “This place has lots of buildings and shops, while Lightning Plateau doesn’t really have any of that!”

“Yeah,” Blitz responded, nodding his head slightly. “It’s pretty different, but one gets used to it.”

“Oh? What was your old home like?” Chiaki asked.

“We live in a cave!” Lita responded, smiling. “But it’s a really nice cave, so it kind of feels like a house! Blitz and I even have our own rooms!”

“Cool!” Chiaki replied, smiling back at the younger Shinx.

“The Lightning Plateau is Luxray territory, so Blitz and I didn’t often see other species of Pokémon around,” Lita said, looking around at some of the other Pokémon wandering around town. “There were plenty of other Shinx for us to play with, though.”

“Sounds nice,” Chiaki responded.

“Oh, it is!” Lita replied. “Or at least, things were really great, until our father lef-”

“Hey, Lita,” Blitz said, interrupting his sister before she could finish her sentence. “If you don’t pay attention, you’ll fall behind!”

“Huh?” Lita responded, tilting her head slightly. “I wasn’t falling behind! I’m right next to you, see?”

“Well, that’s good,” Blitz replied. “Come on, I still need to show you the dojo and the café, oh, and the rescue team HQ!”

“Blitz, are you okay?” Lita asked.

“Of course I am,” Blitz responded, smiling at his sister. “Also, I need to introduce you to my mentor, Hercules, and my other teammates, Sera and Azure!”

“Okay…” Lita replied, following her brother and Chiaki as they headed for the café.

----

At the café, Azure was helping out her mother at the café, and was bringing a drink over to Sera, who was sitting at one of the tables and looking rather tired. Sera yawned as Azure put the glass of berry juice in front of her.

“There you go, one glass of Chesto berry juice,” Azure said, winking at Sera. “That should help you feel more awake!”

“Thanks, Azure,” Sera responded, rubbing her eyes. “I was hoping to sleep in today, but Volt and Sirena’s arguing over which one of them was responsible for the mess in the living room was just so loud…”

“Mess in the living room?” Azure inquired.

“I don’t know what happened in there,” Sera responded, drinking some of the berry juice. “I was so tired I didn’t even bother to check…” Sera’s ears started perking up slightly as she drank the Chesto berry juice and started to wake up more. “Ah… That feels much better!”

As Sera finished her drink, Blitz, Chiaki and Lita entered the café. Azure noticed and waved the three over.

“Hey guys!” Azure said.

“Hey there, Azure,” Chiaki responded, walking up to the table along with Blitz and Lita.

“Who’s this?” Sera asked, noticing Lita.

“I’m Lita!” Lita responded, smiling at Sera. “I’m Blitz’s little sister!”

“Oh? Well, it’s nice to meet you,” Sera replied, before looking over at Blitz. “You never told me you had a sister.”

“Well, um… You never asked,” Blitz responded, rubbing his forelegs together. “Anyways, she’ll be staying with me and Chiaki for a few days.”

“I see,” Azure said, petting Lita on the head. “Does that mean you’ll be too busy to go on any missions?”

“Hmm…” Blitz thought about it for a few moments. “Don’t worry, I can probably ask Hercules to look after her while we go on missions.”

“Oh, can’t I come along?” Lita asked. “I’d like to see what you and your friends do!”

“Sorry Lita, but I think it’s a little too dangerous for you,” Blitz responded. “Besides, only four Pokémon can enter a dungeon at a time.”

“Aw, that’s not fair!” Lita replied, pouting. “I wanted to see you fight and stuff.”

“Hey, don’t be upset,” Blitz said, smiling at his sister. “Even if you might not get to see me battle, we’re still going to have a lot of fun, right?”

“I guess…” Lita responded. “Oh! What about watching you train? Can I watch you train with your mentor?”

“Uh… I guess that’s okay,” Blitz replied.

“Yay!” Lita responded, the four pointed star-shape on her tail flashing for a moment from her excitement.

“The little cutie adores you, doesn’t she?” Azure commented, looking over at Blitz.

“Well, yeah, I guess,” Blitz responded, blushing slightly. “Lita and I have always been very close.”

“Uh-huh!” Lita said, nodding her head. “We’re not just siblings; we’re also true friends and can tell each other everything!”

“How nice,” Azure responded, petting Lita again.

“Wish I had that kind of relationship with one of my siblings,” Sera commented. “Not that I don’t have good relationship with most of my siblings, but I don’t really know if I’d consider any of them a true friend.”

“Well, I think that’s enough talking for now!” Azure said, grinning. “So, how about we drop off the little cutie at the dojo so Hercules can look after her, while the four of us head out on a mission?”

“Sounds good,” Sera responded, stretching her legs. “Let’s go.”

“Okay!” Chiaki said.

“All right,” Blitz said.

“Tell me all about the mission when you get back, okay?” Lita asked, looking up at her brother.

“Yeah, I will,” Blitz responded, nodding his head. “Now, let’s go.”

----

After stopping by the dojo, introducing Lita to Hercules and asking him to look after Lita, the rescue team headed to the rescue team HQ. After checking the boards and discussing the available missions amongst themselves, they eventually decided on two missions in the same dungeon. The first request was from a Happiny, who wanted a rescue team to go retrieve the Oval Stone she had lost, and the other was from a Tropius who wanted them to look for her Nidorino friend who had gone missing while exploring the dungeon.

“All right, if Blitz’s calculations are correct, then these two missions should give us just enough points to reach the Silver rank!” Sera said, wagging her tail happily.

“Then, what are we waiting for?” Azure asked, smirking. “Let’s get going!”

And so, the four Pokémon hurried over to the room behind the purple curtain and asked Kala to teleport them to the mystery dungeon they needed to go to. In a flash of light, the four appeared at the entrance to the mystery dungeon. They entered the dungeon, and began exploring as usual.

“Hear any wild Pokémon, Azure?” Blitz asked, looking around.

“Hmm…” Azure walked up to one of the paths they could follow, listening for any wild Pokémon approaching.

Chiaki noticed that Blitz and Azure seemed to be busy trying to decide on where to go, and decided that this would be a good time to speak with Sera. The only problem was that even if Blitz and Azure weren’t paying attention, the fact that they both had good hearing might make it difficult for him and Sera to talk privately. Still, Chiaki decided to quietly walk up to Sera.

“Hey, Sera?” Chiaki whispered into Sera’s ear. “Could we talk privately? I need to ask you about something.”

“Oh?” Sera responded, glancing around. “Sure, I guess… but not here. We’ll wait until we’re out of the dungeon.”

“Okay,” Chiaki replied, nodding his head slightly.

“Guys, come over here!” Azure said, waving to Sera and Chiaki before pointing to one of the two paths. “Blitz thinks we should head this way.”

“All right, thanks,” Sera responded, nodding her head slightly. “Let’s keep going, then!”

----

Meanwhile, at the dojo, Lita was talking with Hercules and watching a few of the rescue teams training at different things. Hercules told the young Shinx what she wanted to know about her brother’s time in Fenix Town, and helpfully answered the questions she asked. Lita seemed to be happy that Hercules was willing to share what he knew with her, although there were a few things that surprised her.

“So… Blitz hasn’t told any of them?” Lita asked, tilting her head slightly. “Not a thing?”

“Well… Blitz is afraid of what everyone will think,” Hercules explained, petting Lita’s head.

“Why?” Lita asked. “I don’t get it. Why is he afraid?”

“Back at Lightning Plateau, you and Blitz told each other everything, didn’t you?” Hercules responded. “Told you how he felt, what was happening in his life, how much he wanted the other members of the pride to just accept him the way you did, without demanding anything else of him?”

“Oh…” Lita replied, thinking for a moment. “I think I get it… But, this place isn’t like Lightning Plateau! There are lots of buildings, lots of different types of Pokémon and they do things differently here than we do in Lightning Plateau!”

“You have a very good point there,” Hercules responded, smiling at the young Shinx. “From what I understand from what Blitz has told me, Lightning Plateau is indeed very different from Fenix Town. I know that Blitz probably wouldn’t experience the exact same things he went through with the other members of the pride with the Pokémon here, but I guess he still hasn’t fully recovered from the events back at Lightning Plateau…”

“Yeah…” Lita replied, her ears drooping slightly. “He hasn’t really been the same after our dad left, and the stuff that happened after that…”

“I hope Blitz will be able to open his heart to his friends someday,” Hercules said solemnly, while scratching Lita behind her ears. “I want to help him, but I don’t know what I can really do to help him trust in his friends enough to be able to tell them the truth…”

“He trusts you, doesn’t he?” Lita asked, looking up at Hercules. “You know everything, and he can talk to you?”

“That’s right,” Hercules responded, nodding his head slightly. “I do everything I can to support him and try to help him find the right path.”

“You mean like parents do?” Lita asked, smiling at Hercules.

“Huh?” Hercules responded, blinking a few times as he thought about what Lita said before giving a slightly flustered smile. “Oh… I guess it is kind of like that, isn’t it...”

“I think that’s really nice!” Lita replied, giggling a little.

“Uh… Thanks,” Hercules responded, rubbing the back of his horn. “Still, I think he needs more than just me for support.”

“Ooh, maybe I can help?” Lita suggested. “I can be very persuasive!”

Lita then decided to demonstrate, and lowered her head slightly while gazing up at Hercules while making her golden eyes look as big as she could. She then added in a small smile and started purring softly.

“I suppose that is a pretty compelling argument you’ve got there,” Hercules commented, chuckling a little.

“Everyone will bow down to my superior cuteness!” Lita said, giggling and winking.

“I’m sure they will,” Hercules responded, smiling at Lita. “Not sure if it is what it’ll take to convince your brother, though.”

“It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Lita asked, looking at Hercules with the same look she demonstrated earlier.

“Well… I suppose it can’t hurt to try,” Hercules responded, chuckling a little. “Anyways, let’s talk about something else for a bit. Want to hear about how exactly this dojo works?”

“Sure!” Lita replied, with a cheerful smile.

----

After two successful missions, Sera and her teammates returned to the rescue team HQ, and picked up their rewards for the missions. To Sera’s dismay, it turned out they were a few points short of reaching Silver rank, but she cheered up a little once Azure pointed out that they would likely hit Silver rank on their next mission. Leaving the HQ, they went to the dojo to pick up Lita, and then decided to head over to the café to enjoy some refreshments while telling Lita all about their adventure.

“So, Chiaki wanted to talk to me about something, so could the three of you just go ahead to the café?” Sera asked. “Chiaki and I will catch up to you later.”

“Uh… Okay, I guess,” Blitz responded.

“Fine with me,” Azure said, smirking. “Just don’t keep us waiting too long!”

And with that, Blitz, Azure and Lita headed off to the café, while Sera and Chiaki decided to go find a quiet spot where they could talk in private.

“So, what’s the matter?” Sera asked.

“Well, Blitz was acting kind of strange earlier this morning,” Chiaki explained. “So, I was wondering if you might know if something is bothering Blitz, since you’re his best friend and all.”

“Oh? Blitz hasn’t really mentioned anything that’s bothering him…” Sera responded, tilting her head slightly.

“So, you haven’t noticed anything?” Chiaki asked.

“Not really…” Sera replied, shaking her head.

“Maybe I’m just worrying for nothing, then…” Chiaki responded, shrugging slightly. “I just can’t shake off the feeling that Blitz might be hiding something from us…”

“Well, then…” Sera said, thinking for a moment. “Maybe Hercules knows something?”

“Hercules is his mentor,” Chiaki responded, nodding his head slightly. “I guess it is likely that Blitz may have told him something he hasn’t told us.”

“All right, then,” Sera said, and started walking away.

“Where are you going?” Chiaki asked.

“To the dojo, of course,” Sera responded.

“But, weren’t we supposed to meet the others at the café?” Chiaki said, pointing in the other direction. “They’re kind of waiting for us, you know…”

“I know, but this is more important right now!” Sera replied, nodding her head slightly. “I have to get to the bottom of this, so I’m going to the dojo to get some answers!”

“Oh, okay…” Chiaki responded, following Sera. “Guess I’ll come with you, then.”

----

After a short walk back to the dojo, Sera and Chiaki began looking around for Hercules. They soon spotted the Heracross giving Frosty some advice on how to improve his throwing technique so he could make the icicles he threw hit the targets more accurately. Chiaki waved to Hercules to get his attention, and once he noticed them, Hercules decided to leave Frosty to continue his target practice while he went to speak to them.

“Hello there,” Hercules said as he went up to them. “What brings you two here?”

“Well, we’re kind of concerned about Blitz,” Sera responded. “And so we were wondering if you might know if anything is bothering him?”

“Oh, um…” Hercules glanced around. “What gives you the idea that something is bothering him?”

“He was acting kind of strange earlier today,” Chiaki replied.

“And based on your reaction there, I assume you know something?” Sera asked, trying to make eye-contact with the Heracross. “You do know something, don’t you?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you anything,” Hercules responded, shaking his head. “The conversations I’ve had with Blitz are just between the two of us, and Blitz doesn’t want anyone else in town to know certain things about him.”

“What things?” Sera asked, refusing to drop the subject.

“I really can’t tell you,” Hercules replied, sighing. “It would be better if you waited until Blitz is ready to tell you everything himself.”

“But… I don’t understand!” Sera responded. “Why would Blitz keep secrets from us? We’re his friends!”

“It’s not like I haven’t been trying to convince him to tell you guys…” Hercules replied.

“Please, tell us!” Sera pleaded, her ears drooping down slightly. “I need to know!”

“Listen, Blitz had a pretty difficult time before coming here to Fenix Town,” Hercules explained. “There are still some things he hasn’t fully understood yet…”

“What do you mean?” Sera asked, growing more and more distressed as Hercules refused to directly answer her questions. “That isn’t enough! I need to know more!”

“Sera, please calm down,” Hercules responded, patting her on the head. “I know you’re concerned, but I’ve already said too much.”

“I tell Blitz everything, so why is there something he won’t tell me?” Sera asked, looking up pleadingly at Hercules. “Tell me what happened to Blitz before he came to town!”

“Can’t it wait for another time?” Hercules responded. “Besides, you haven’t really shown much interest in Blitz’s background or asked him about any of this before, have you?”

“Hey, that’s not…” Sera started, until she recalled something from earlier that day.

“You never told me you had a sister.”

“Well, um… You never asked.”

“I… I…” Sera stuttered, realizing that Hercules was right. She often told him about how she felt about certain things, like how her siblings often got on her nerves, how she hated it when others didn’t listen to her or take her seriously because of her age, but she had rarely asked him about his feelings on things not related to their rescue team business.

“Sera…” Chiaki said, unsure of what to say to his teammate.

“Hercules, I… please! I have to know!” Sera pleaded.

“… You’re not giving up on this, are you?” Hercules responded.

Sera looked up at Hercules and shook her head. Hercules sighed and motioned for Sera and Chiaki to follow him.

“All right… I’m probably going to regret this later, but I’ll explain the situation,” Hercules said. “It’s kind of a long story, but… basically, this is what happened.”

----

End of chapter 21.
 
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Hey! I'm slowly catching up, reviewing as I do. Chapter 17 was a nice breather, showing that people have lives besides rescue missions.

“Well, that’s because Amethyst is awesome,” Sera replied, wagging her tail. “But you can be awesome too, in a different way.”
This is good advice.
 

Chingchar

Well-Known Member
Not had Internet for months so I've not been able to read any of the recent chapters D:
But now that I've caught up I can't wait for the next chapter I very much like how the story strongly relates to the actual games in how you make the characters fight in dungeons! Keep writing and good luck ^^
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Main highlights these past two chapters:

20: Missile! He's awesome and I want to see more of him.

21: Basket/Maekirte cameo. Just... YES!

Will post a more useful review once we get past that cliffhanger.
 
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