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The Corei Quest...rewritten!

Which Corei Starter would you choose?

  • Mongle

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Fryger

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Aquari

    Votes: 10 33.3%

  • Total voters
    30
  • Poll closed .

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
TCQ Chapter 47

Yes, another five month wait, I really, really need to pick my butt up off the ground a lot earlier. Sigh...

Before we get to the meat, I think we need to acknowledge a reviewer:

Evil Lord

Maybe Haley will realize Sapph isn't a member of Team Shadow when he's the first face she sees. Either that, or she'll get more suspicious, believing it was him who stopped her from chasing her dad etc.
Maybe she will, maybe she won't... this chapter may tell...

Very much looking forward to Chapter 47.
The wait is finally over! Hope the lack of battles makes this interesting enough...

A couple of disclaimers:

1, Josephine Harris, Rachel Savina, Paul Oak and Tempest are all property of Legendarian Mistress on PokeCommunity Forums.

2, The writer does not condone Pokemon on human anything, let alone violence. No one was harmed in the making of this chapter.

...and 3, this chapter is dedicated to longtime reviewer Shadow Lucario. Happy birthday, buddy.


Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade

“What do you mean, ‘I can’t see Ms. Kent’?” Sapph blurted out. “Says who?”

“I mean you can’t see her, on the Pokémon League Commission’s authority,” the receptionist replied, a middle-aged, bored-looking woman who didn’t seem fazed by Sapph’s outburst in the slightest bit. Blowing out a pink bubble which popped after a few seconds, she pulled it back into her mouth to resume chewing as she said, “Not to mention hospital policy...”

“Well, that sounds stupid,” Sapph countered flatly. “Why would that be the case?”

Chewing for another minute, the woman looked at Sapph and drawled, “You don’t seem like the shiniest pokéball on the belt. If I do explain, will you leave? You’re causing a ruckus.”

Gazing into the boy’s earnest blue irises, she blew out another bubble, which popped with another snap and said, “On the hospital’s part, we can only allow family of the patients’ visitor access in the first twenty four hours following their admittance. Unless your surname is ‘Kent’, which you have confirmed is not the case; I cannot allow you entry now.”

Struck dumb by the front desk lady’s argument, Sapph could only gape as she went on.

“For the League’s policy, Ms. Kent was a finalist in the Trigello Tournament. This accident may not actually be one. As such, all contestants are kept under police supervision when incapacitated for the remainder of the tournament. See?” she said, pointing to a pair of police officers guarding the swinging doors leading to the wards.

Sapph followed her pointing and noticing the police, balled his hand on the desk into a fist for a second and relaxed. His eyes on the male officer, who was giving his actions a wary eye, the boy exhaled deeply and said “Twenty four hours, right?”

The nurse nodded once and with that, Sapph withdrew his hand from the counter, and placing it in his pocket, turned to leave the hospital with a muttered, “Excuse me, then.”

As Sapph turned to leave, Carla Witkins stepped out of the toilet and turning to watch him leave muttered, “So that was Sapph. Someone should really talk to him about him using his outdoor voice outdoors only...”

A small boy with spectacles and the same shade of blond hair as his sister said calmly, “Well, you and Manson are on first name bases. There’s a surprise.”

More to stave off more questions and the large dark-haired boy’s dull chuckles than anything; Carla coughed once and said, “We met a while back. Speaking of surprises... who’d have thought you’d manage to catch a second Pokémon, Dex?”

“Huh?” Dex uttered dully, stopping his guffaws long enough to register his surprise while Calvin exhaled and said, “The Mawile is his third Pokémon, actually. His second is a Koffing he called Boom.”

“Clever,” Carla said in an equally dry voice. “Speaking of the Mawile... could I see it?”

Blinking a couple of times, Dex consented, and pulling Snap’s pokéball off his belt, released the Deceiver Pokémon and pocketed the sphere as it took shape, a pink bow where its huge jaws met the back of its head.

Squatting down to its eye level, Carla gave Snap a looking over to which it looked at its Trainer pensively who nodded and smiled.

After a minute’s examination, Carla exchanged a look with her brother and asked the older boy,” Hey, Dex...”

“Yeah?”

“One thing about Snap here...” Carla said with a sympathetic chuckle, reaching for the ribbon. “It’s a cool name and all, but Snap here...” she said, pulling the ribbon off Snap’s head. “...is a boy. I guess it’s a good thing Snap’s so good-natured.”

Giving the girl a grateful gaze with his blood red eyes, he gave his Trainer a dark look which Dex returned with a sheepish one of his own while Calvin leaned back and wondered aloud, “I wonder how much longer Kamren’s going to be? I’m starving here...”

Leaving the hospital, Sapph drew his right hand out his pocket and studied the dark blue watch at the wrist. Studying the time, he pressed a button, causing it to flip open and saw a name that caused his heart to sink. Remembering the last time he used his new birthday present, he mentally slapped himself for his lack of focus and, walking up the street and away from the Azura General Hospital, dialled a number.

Watching the boy leave through goose grey eyes and sickly green drapes, Kamren Kent turned away from the window and said to his sister, “Looks like your white knight just left...”

“...and you didn’t leave to go say hello?” the girl replied from her hospital bed acidly. “Don’t you normally just live to turn up and be a pain in the butt?”

“We reached an ‘understanding’,” Kamren replied shortly, fixing his sister with a steely glance. “And not only between us, it seems...”

Haley saw the expression on her brother’s face and turned away to the window as he went on, “So, what were you doing to land you here?”

“What are you, a cop?” Haley said coldly. Watching her brother bite back a retort with satisfaction, she went on, “Like I told them,” she nodded to the door in the lobby’s general direction. “I don’t remember.”

Watching his sister avoid his gaze, Kamren said quietly, “It was Dad, wasn’t it?”

Haley’s face, framed with lank locks of reddish blonde, remained inscrutably blank with what seemed to be a superhuman effort, but one glance at her hands gave her away.

Eyes narrowing, Kamren was about to open his mouth again, when he swallowed and shut it. Watching his sister for a moment more, he reached into one of his jacket pockets for a pen and small book. Tearing a leaf out of the pad he scribbled a quick note and, placing the paper on her bedside desk, turned to leave, simply saying, “When you want to talk. He’s my father, too. Don’t forget that.”

Haley looked at the message but before she could say a word the door snapped shut and her brother’s footsteps echoed down the hall and out of earshot.

***​

“Once more: for passing through to the semi-finals... congratulations!” Nicola Bramble exclaimed, raising a glass of juice.

One of her two table mates smiled good-naturedly and raised her glass too. The other one, with blue hair and eyes, merely sighed and gazed at her untouched glass.

Raising her eyebrow and setting her glass down, Nicola swept a strand of brown hair behind her ear and said, “Not to be rude or anything, but this is a party. What’s the matter?”

Sky Wingams gave her travel mate one look, and said to the Grass type Trainer, “Only one thing could get her like this, Nicki...”

“Don’t call me ‘Nicki’,” Nicola said through a pained grimace.

“...and that’s someone we all know,” Sky went on, unperturbed. Turning to the other girl with a sly look on her face, she asked in a singsong voice, “So, how’s Sapph doing?”

Caught off-guard by the question, Nora gasped and blushed, before turning away indignantly and asking with a still-red face, “H-how should I-I-I kn-know that?”

“Sapph?” Nicola queried, turning from one girl to another. “As in Sapph Manson?”

“The same, Nicki,” Sky said with a nod.

“Don’t call me ‘Nicki’!”

“W-why should I know about him?” Nora stammered defiantly. “Why should I care?”

“Because since we started travelling together, only two things could get you mopey like this,” Sky answered her. “Your grandmother, and Prince Charming,” she smirked as she mentioned the second, holding up her fingers as she ticked them off. “And only one of them could get you blushing.”

“She fancies Sapph?” Nicola said in interest.

“Borderline obsessed,” Sky replied.

“I am NOT!” Nora shot back.

“When did that start?” Nicola asked.

“Since they first met,” Sky said with a laugh.

“That’s not TRUE!” Nora insisted.

Still chuckling, Sky replied, “Seriously, Nora? The only thing you’re more worried about is Reg finding you...”

“I’m not afraid of Reg anymore!”

“Then who’s that behind you?” Sky replied with a devilish glint in her eye.

Nora let out a sound somewhere between a squeak and a gasp and wheeled around, her chair falling with a clatter to reveal no one she knew to be anywhere in sight.

Realizing Sky’s trick, she picked up her chair and sat in it huffily. “That wasn’t funny, Sky!”

“I concur,” Nicola said, shooting her friend a sympathetic glance.

“I beg to differ,” Sky replied in a pompous mimicry of Nicola’s voice. Sobering up, she went on, “You do seem more depressed than normal though, Nora. And that’s saying something. You two have a fight?”

Nora merely mumbled something and blushed deeper.

“Sorry? Didn’t catch that,” Sky said cheerfully.

Gulping back tears noisily, Nora said in a slightly more-audible voice, “Sapph doesn’t like me.”

“Huh?” Sky and Nicola said in unison.

“Of course Sapph likes you,” Nicola said at once.

“As a sister,” Nora choked as a tear or two leaked out of the corners of her eyes. “Not as a girlfriend!”

“That’s ridiculous!” Nicola retorted.

“He said so!” Nora sniffled, now giving up on stemming the flow of her tears entirely.

Sky sighed to herself and said, “Would Sapph give you a Pokémon he won as a starter if he didn’t care? Would he let you travel with him and Haley if he didn’t like you? Would he save you from your abusive parents and scumbag brother, risking juvenile hall might I add, if he wasn’t concerned about you?”

The three girls looked at each other, lost in their own thoughts for a moment as moments of Sapph’s recklessness flashed through their minds.

“Erm...” Sky faltered, remembering the Javelin.

“Then again...” Nora said, recalling the house fire at Frau Hiyori’s place back in Olde Teake Town.

“He might...” Nicola muttered; her mind playing back what she could remember from the Dragon Cove.

All three bowed their heads in unison, realizing Sapph would do exactly that for anybody in trouble.

“That aside,” Nicola said loudly. “You should count yourself lucky a guy like Sapph counts you as a sister.”

“Lucky?” Nora gasped, looking up.

“Yes, lucky! Do you know how many people would kill for a sibling at all, Nora? I’m an only child!” Nicola exclaimed.

“And do you have any idea how grateful I am to have a brother like Ricon?” Sky added. “Aren’t you glad you have someone else to count on, other than that waste o’ space slime wad, Reg?”

“B-but...”

Grabbing Nora’s shoulders over the table, Sky shook her and asked furiously, “Do you know why I’m grateful for Ricon? He keeps me safe. He keeps bad news away from me, in spite of all he has to do. He makes me happy to boot! Why else do you think I’m in this tournament? To show him I can handle myself, so he wouldn’t have to worry himself sick over me! If you have Sapph for a brother, you’ll know the exact kind of person you’ll want to be with some day! Someone who can measure up to him, if not exceed him!”

Nora was struck speechless by Sky’s outburst. Even Nicola was lost for words as she stared at the youngest girl at the table.

“Well, that was out of character, wasn’t it?” Sky said; a faint tinge of red in her cheeks herself as she released Nora’s shoulders and slumped back in her seat. Lifting her empty glass towards Nicola she added with a smile, “Pour us another glass, eh, Nicki?”

Finding her tongue again, Nicola bellowed, “STOP CALLING ME ‘NICKI’!”

Laughing weakly as the eldest girl’s mannerisms reminded her of Sapph’s reaction to anyone calling him by his full name, Nora stood up and, bowing to each of them, said to her companions, “Thanks a lot, you two. I’m feeling better now.”

“Any time, girl friend,” Sky replied with a wink. Nicola nodded back, still fuming at Sky’s lack of formality.

***​

Reg Saunders was not a happy camper. He had lost in his first round bout and had lost his new Spiritomb, all in the space of as many days.

“You did WHAT?!” Reg roared, as a hulking, grey and black hound licked its slobbering chops nastily and stared through hungry red eyes at the bleeding, quivering boy before him.

“I only thought of helping you, Reg!” the young boy whimpered, trying to get as far away from his aggressor as possible, clutching what possibly looked like broken ribs. “Spiritomb was a defensive Pokémon! It was a bad fi- AAARGH!” He bellowed in pain as the Mightyena clamped down on his lower leg and, from the cracking sound, fractured that too.

“You just traded away a Spritomb, a RARE Dark and Ghost type Pokémon,” Reg spat as his Pokémon did the same with the sobbing boy’s leg, “For an Azurill EGG. Does that make any sense to you, boys?”

Two other boys, barely older than the one bleeding at Reg’s feet, shook their heads in unison. Clearly, sympathy for their suffering fellow would not be accommodated presently.

“Are you trying to usurp me as leader of the Dark Moon? Is that it, Lafayette?” Reg snarled savagely. “Your phobia of Ghost types couldn’t make you that stupid, could it? What self-respecting member of our gang would raise a Pokémon that isn’t a Dark type?!”

“The ‘Dark Moon’?” The boy in an orange fisherman’s cap whispered to his unscarred companion, clearly more disturbed at their comrade’s fate than his friend. “Weren’t we the ‘Dark Pokémon Trainer Club’?”

“We need to be edgier than ever, don’t we?” His friend replied, straggly black hair peeking out from under his green flannel deerhunter cap. “Does it really matter?”

“If it gets out that I have this thing, I’ll be a laughingstock!” Reg snarled. “You two, mop him up.”

Nodding as one, the two boys moved forward, keeping as much distance between themselves and the snarling Mightyena as possible in spite of themselves.

“What am I going to do?” Reg said to himself as Lafayette moaned feebly. “I won’t be caught dead with this stupid thing. Maybe I could sell it on the black market. Shade broke out of jail, last I heard...”

“R-reg? B-boss?” The green boy said nervously, removing his orange cap. Reg ignored him as he went on.

“No one in their right mind would trade a Dark type for this egg. They’d have to be a moron to want to,” Reg went on. “Should I just track that guy down and get my Spiritomb back? Nah, he’d be long gone by now...”

“Brother Reg?” The boy in the hunting cap said quietly.

“Then, again, we do need a ‘training partner’,” Reg said, chuckling darkly. “If it dies in the line of duty; so much the better. If not, I can write it off. Either way, it won’t be here for long...”

“Boss Reg, sir!”

“What is it, you two?!” Reg snarled and the Mightyena chimed in to look even more terrifying than normal. “Can’t you see me scheming here?”

“Straws’s lost too much blood,” the green haired boy said tremulously. “He needs a hospital.”

“Are you stupid?” Reg spat. “What if they trace the injury back to us? You’ll have to explain his injuries, fool!”

“What if we said he fell down some stairs?” The other boy suggested. “As long as they don’t look too closely, they could miss Mightyena’s teeth marks.”

“Yes... that could work,” Reg said deviously. “Well, then, get going then. Get him out of my sight, now! And meet me at the Pokémon Center when you’re done.”

Hoisting the faint boy up between them, the two made for the Azura City Hospital, the older boy scooping up the injured boy’s straw hat as they scuttled off.

“That solves that problem,” Reg said to himself as he laid a hand atop his beastly dog’s head, petting him as he became lost in thought. “Now for the egg... I’d rather just trade it off for another Dark type, but who would be... that... stupid...”

Reg mumbling trailed off as a boy with messy dark hair and blue eyes walked by, muttering “No answer... again. That was the fourth call. I’ll have to call again later. Maybe she’s extra busy...”

Reg smiled his devious smile once again as he watched Sapph walked on up the busy pier street. It looked like he’d just found his sucker.

***​

The landlord of the Raticate Burrow brought a tray bearing three bowls of steaming soup out and laid them in front of Josephine, Rachel and Paul Oak, with a flourish, adding, “Compliments of the chef, ladies and gent. Enjoy.”

“Wow, this looks amazing, sir!” Rachel said in a cheery voice, tucking in.

“Five stars,” Josephine added as Paul nodded his thanks once with a rare smile.

“And for that, it’s on the house,” Rob Edwardssen said cheerfully,

“Wow, thanks so much!” the trio said in unison.

Score, they added mentally.

“So, what’s the plan for Royale, now Haley’s in the hospital?” Josephine said thickly, just swallowing a blistering mouthful of soup.

“Good question,” Rachel replied. “Her Pokémon’s come a long way since we traded. Just hope Tempest has also improved.”

“It was a nasty shock, hearing about her accident,” Josephine went on. “I’m pretty sure she would have used Tempest today if she had made it.”

“Yeah, at least I don’t have to feel too guilty about not affecting the switch back before the tournament started yesterday.”

“Well, maybe it was better she didn’t make it,” Paul said quietly. “Do you think Haley Kent could have taken Eli Banner?”

“Well, type wise it would have been an uphill climb for Banner,” Josephine said quickly cutting Rachel off before she made a scene. “His Ice type moves would have little effect on Haley’s team... unless she used a Grass type combo. That’d be spelling trouble.”

“Haley’s not that stupid,” Rachel said confidently. “She’d have done her homework, especially since she saw Banner fight yesterday. She’d be ready for him.”

“What do you think, Paul?” Josephine asked the auburn-haired boy. “Banner would win?”

Giving her a non-committal shrug, Paul cleared his throat and said, “Can’t say for certain. Like you said, Haley technically had the type advantage in that matchup. It was certainly lucky for Banner she didn’t show. Then again, both fought at a type disadvantage in the first round. Hell, Banner did it twice. From that, Banner...”

But what Banner was or would do the girls never found out. The rest of Paul’s statement was cut off by his PokéNav ringing loudly. Glancing at the screen briefly, Paul stood up and told the girls, “I gotta take this. Excuse me. And don’t touch my food,” he added sternly to Rachel.

Patting her stuffed belly and tearing her longing gaze from Paul’s half-finished meal, she smirked and said “No promises.”

Shaking his head, Paul left the inn, walked up the street a short distance and said, “This better be good, Firebrand.”

The voice on the other end of the call said in a flippant tone, “It is, Oak. My contingent of AGENTs and I have arrived just off the eastern shore of Southern Isle. We’ll soon take your assignment off your hands. How’s that?

“Thank Arceus,” Paul said, rolling his eyes. “I need to get away from my travel mates, A.S.A.P.”

We’ll disembark tonight to avoid tipping off Team Shadow and the Light to our presence,” ‘Firebrand’s’ voice went on. “Meet us at Warehouse Nine, off Wingull Pier tonight for debriefing. Twenty three hundred thirty tonight. You weren’t planning on sleeping late tonight, were you?

Paul watched a girl with a large white cap walk past him. He didn’t give his answer straight away, but a minute later, she gave no sign of eavesdropping and walked into the Swarthy Walrein. Sighing to himself, he answered, “If you get me off babysitting duty, I wouldn’t sleep for a week. See you there, Firebrand. Oak, out.”

Ending his call and walking back towards the Raticate Burrow, he missed a couple of shadowy figures hidden in the alleyway of the inn. The shorter one said, “So they’re coming tonight. Better go inform the commander...”

“Tell that woman?” The second one hissed. “I say we go out and greet them personally.”

“What? Break protocol?” The first one gasped.

“Of course,” the second one said quickly. “Think of the glory...”

“Think of the court martial,” the first one said in an undertone.

“You do what you want,” the other man replied shortly. “I don’t trust that former Pokémon lover... and I’m not taking orders from that cow anymore!”

And with that, the taller man was gone in the swish of his white cloak. The shorter man sighed and pulling his hood over his crew-cut head, followed suit.

***​

“Hey, kid!” Reg called out to a scarlet-clad youth about ten feet ahead of him.

The other boy froze. The voice, which he clearly recognized against his will, was just as clearly hailing him as there was no one around. Knowing who he would see if he turned around and choosing not to, Sapph continued walking up the street two streets away from the Raticate Burrow.

“Talking to you here, kid,” Reg called again. “You deaf or something?”

“Trying to ignore you here,” Sapph replied, stopping yet still not turning around. “You stupid or something?”

Gritting his teeth slightly at Sapph’s retort, Reg swallowed his throw back and said, “There’s no need for this. Why don’t we try to be civilized here?”

“You’re right for once,” Sapph said acidly. “Sleaze balls like you deserve to be ignored utterly.”

“Even when ‘sleaze balls’ like me offer a trade?” Reg replied innocently.

“Especially then,” Sapph replied coldly, starting to walk off again.

“Even when said trade will help you overcome your Fire weakness?” The older boy said with a wide smile.

Sapph stopped abruptly at this, although he still didn’t turn around.

“Wow, right twice in one day,” Reg said in a jovial voice. “The ‘sleaze ball’ name was unkind, though...”

“I’m out of here,” Sapph said snippily.

“Magnemite... Ledian... Mongle... they all have one thing in common,” Reg said loudly. “They all suck against Fire types, which I think your brother Rubin specializes in.”

Sapph stopped short and whirled about again. Reg answered his glare by shrugging and saying, “Hey, women talk. Besides the point. Even that Huskup wouldn’t stand a chance against Fire types, being an Ice type an’ all...”

He knows about Hunter? Sapph thought, his blue eyes contracting angrily. But, wait... did he say...

“That aside, Huskup is a Dark type, who, from what I gathered, doesn’t quite like you, much,” Reg went on, clearly having the other boy’s attention. “At least, not as much as your Mogshex does. Man, now that was a firecracker! Or has she evolved to a Lyncto?”

Yup, he said Huskup, Sapph thought. So he doesn’t know Hunter evolved. He mentioned Mogshex, too... of course he did. No way he’d know she isn’t here right now...

“Sorry, going off topic again,” Reg apologized in a greasy voice. “Why keep two Dark types, especially when one doesn’t even follow your commands? I have a Cranidos egg here which I’m willing to trade you for your Huskup...”

“Why would I trade you in the first place?” Sapph interrupted. “I can’t trust a word you say. I haven’t forgotten the last time we met, Reg...”

“Several reasons, friend...” Reg began in an unctuous voice, only to be cut off again.

“’He’s not my friend’, remember?” Sapph replied with a mirthless smirk.

Keep smiling, Reg, you need this sap, Reg thought to himself, still smiling on the outside while wishing a thousand deaths on the Johton lad within. Time to logic this sucker.

Raising a finger, he started, “One, Cranidos is a Rock type, which not only resist fire but also severely damage Fire types. Two, your Huskup, an Ice type, only adds to your weakness to Fire types. Three, I’m a Dark type specialist...”

Sapph snorted rudely. “I saw your first round match yesterday. The only thing special about you is that you lost to a ten year old girl... badly.”

“Hey, I qualified, didn’t I?” Reg snarled, briefly losing his composure.

“So did Calvin Witkins, and he’s eight,” Sapph laughed humourlessly, enjoying Reg’s face slowly redden behind his cheap dark glasses.

“Nine. Either way, I’m one of the perfect choices to train your Huskup for you. Four, your Huskup doesn’t like you, anyways. Don’t you want what’s best for your Pokémon?”

“Who said that’s you?” Sapph retorted, dismissing Reg’s latest argument entirely.

“And five, I know you clearly want to beat your brother Rubin some day. Why not start towards that day right now? Or are you satisfied with being... ‘second best’?” Reg finished slyly, watching Sapph’s cool facade shatter before his eyes.

“Shut up, Reg,” Sapph said quietly, his hands balled into fists and shaking slightly.

Noticing he’d struck gold, Reg continued his taunt, “Bet you’ve never beaten him once in your life. Daddy must be so proud...”

“I said... SHUT UP!” Sapph roared in spite of himself, pulling a pokéball off his belt.

“You better put that back in your purse, kid,” Reg laughed. “This isn’t play time.”

“Who’s playing?” Sapph yelled, rearing his pokéball back, ready to battle.

“What’s that, your Magnemite? Need me to send out my Houndour to prove my point?” Reg countered with a smirk.

Sapph faltered in spite of himself for a second before rallying himself and said, “Try it, then.”

“You lucked out at the Appleburn gym, but if you meet a powerful Fire type at the League finals... say, that Kamren kid and his Volcat,” Sapph pulled back again, the news that Burner had evolved again unsettling him. “You may not be so lucky.”

“But this Cranidos,” Reg went on before Sapph could cut in, “when it hatches, will be a positive powerhouse. Your friend Slate Endlethorn can confirm this. He is a Rock type specialist, right?”

Sapph merely lowered his arm, resorting to wordlessly glaring at Reg.

Hitching back his oily smile onto his face, Reg said, “Listen, you may have sentiments for your Huskup, I understand. Why not meet me down by Warehouse Twelve off Wingull Pier tonight at midnight? We’ll trade there,” he said, turning to leave.

“Hold it,” Sapph called out and Reg stopped, smiling slightly to himself. “Where are your boys?”

“Left them back in Nightspark,” Reg said shortly. “Needed to focus on the tournament. You saw how that ended up, didn’t you?” He added with a sad smile.

Sapph didn’t smile back. “And what guarantee do I have that you’ll keep your word?”

Reg raised his hand as he walked off; saying with a laugh, “Guess you’ll just have to trust me on this one, kid. See you tonight.”

Sapph remained rooted to the spot as he watched Reg leave. As much as he didn’t trust Reg in the slightest, the older boy had not only given perfect reasons to trade, he had hit him in one of the few places he could ever hit a man and he’d feel it: his pride.

He knew he couldn’t trust Reg. The guy would steal his own sister’s Pokémon. He was being stupid for thinking he could trust Reginald Saunders.

But he did want to beat Rubin. And he would face Kamren eventually. And he couldn’t let himself lose to him again.

He wanted his father’s recognition. It was why he was even in Corei in the first place.

He wanted victory. He wanted it bad.

He wanted to win... even if he had to make a deal with the devil himself.

***​

CHARACTER PROFILE OF THE WEEK

Name: Uriki ‘Rickie’ Sun
Date of Birth: March 30, PA 2002
Hometown: Goldenrod City, Johto
Pokémon
On Hand: Cubone, others unknown
In Storage: Not known
Likes: Burgers, training his Pokémon, his Pokémon
Dislikes: Fat jokes, running around
Contemporaries: Sapph, Emma
About Rickie: Rickie is the youngest member of the Sun clan, a family of Dragon trainers who at one point in time were of equal status to the infamous Blackthorn and Faust families. They moved to Shirise City in the Pertru region where their clan were nearly wiped out by the Mahoghany Flu epidemic.

Rickie is a sunny, energetic youth who, despite his boundless energy, would rather take things easy unless he absolutely has to get serious. He battled Sapph and his father’s Hitmonchan for a Strength Badge before Sapph left home for the Corei region. His skills in battling and taming Pokémon are to be commended and if the Sun clan were still active to this day, he’d have been considered a prodigy. In any case, the absence of his clan does not change the fact that his skill is second to very few of his peers.

***​

#082 LIMOTH
Element: Bug/Electric
Species: Lightning Moth
Pronunciation: LIE-moth
Height: 0’6”
Weight: 18 lbs
Habitat: Urban
Evolution Line: Does not evolve.
Notes: LIMOTH are urban Pokémon, gathering under street lights in large clouds. A large enough swarm could power a large carnival effortlessly for two days and nights straight.

***​

Next time on The Corei Quest: The die is cast and the clock ticks down. Sapph weighs his options and a slew of frightening revelations come to light as Firebrand and their AGENTs draw closer to the island. Happenings slated for that night off Wingull Pier are going to blow out of proportions in Chapter Forty Eight of The Corei Quest, rewritten, Deal or No Deal.
 
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Shadow Lucario

Lone Vanguard
Sorry for the wait buddy. Attack on Titan proved too powerful for me. But here I am! Let's do this.

“You don’t seem like the shiniest pokéball on the belt.
And just when I ran out of things to call stupid people.

Would he let you travel with you and Haley if he didn’t like you?
You've got the wrong person!

“Aren’t you glad you have someone else to count on, other than that waste o’ space slime wad, Reg?”
Hey! He has feelings too. Meanie.

“For an Azurill EGG. Does that make any sense to you, boys?”
This is why we can't have nice things. He better explain this well or I'll kill him for Reg.

“Yeah, at least I don’t have to feel too guilty about not effecting the switch back before the tournament started yesterday.”
Let's make that an A and we can call it a day.

“I say your first round match yesterday.
Can't call it a day yet. I need a W!

Excellent chapter I say. Not the usual length, but what can you do when the story doesn't want to continue? Reg is, of course, up to no good and the women gossip like women folk do. Description was spot on and very little mistakes. If there were any it was a case of typing too fast. Slow down! My favorite part has to be the ending where Reg is trying to convince Sapph to trade. While he is lying, he is in fact telling him the truth when he says the egg will help him overcome his weakness. Maybe not right away due to Azurill being Fairy type (now) but it does learn I think a few Water attacks. Not only that but it evolves into a Water type. I can't wait to see what happens when Sapph finds out the truth of the egg or if he will even trade. Gah! You make me angry with your ending! New chapter now!
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
Hey all! Happy New Year! Here's to all the chapters to come!

Now, before we go further, time for some appreciation!

@Shadow Lucario

Hey! He has feelings too. Meanie.
Maybe, but morals... not so much.

On the chapter length... I'm working on shorter chapters for the moment to garner more readers. Guess it's working. But then again, I always had a bucketful of closet readers... (Yeah, I know you're out there. :p )

On the typing speed, I'd been out of the game for almost half a year. Had to kick things up. Hopefully, this year I'm setting aside more time for typing, so blind rushes won't really happen again. (And while you're listening, wish genie... I want a new laptop, too.)

Glad I got the tension down pat. Hopefully, chapter lag time will be much shorter now and the questions will be answered soon. With better balance, more can be done. Fingers crossed.

Lastly, fixed the grammar faults. Thanks for catching them!

L@er!
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
I'm not dead! I'm not dead!

Seriously... I need to stop spending half a year updating this thing... especially after seeing what I can do when I put my mind to it. Need to put in a P.S. to my last post before we hit the disclaimers...

Attack on Titan, hunh? Well, you're forgiven. I know first hand how addictive that series can be... :p

A couple of disclaimers:

1, Josephine Harris, Rachel Savina, Paul Oak and Tempest are all property of Legendarian Mistress on PokeCommunity Forums.

2, In light of some (hopefully) very mild innuendos, the rating on this chapter will be raised to 15.

3, Again, not too much battling in this (short) chapter, but it should be fun enough without it.

Countdown: 3...

Chapter Forty Eight: Deal or No Deal

“Thanks for the talk again, guys,” Nora said to her companions as they traipsed into the Pokémon Center together.

“Any time, girlfriend,” Sky said. Glancing around, she added, “You’re being braver already...”

“How do you mean?” Nicola asked.

“Nora here’s been too scared to come into the Center recently as she didn’t want to run into Reg,” Sky said with a smirk. “Isn’t that him sitting over there?”

Letting out a terrified squeak, Nora dived for cover behind a vending machine. Nicola took one glance in the direction Sky had indicated, and letting out a long-drawn sigh, said, ”I’m with Nora. That joke wasn’t funny the first time. I’m going to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

“OK. ‘Night, Nicki!” Sky said good-naturedly, waving her off as she made her way towards the lifts.

Shuddering in subconscious anger, Nicola rounded on Sky and yelled once more, “STOP CALLING ME NICKI!”

Chortling to herself, Sky said, her speech impeded by hiccoughs, “Seriously, though... with such obvious buttons, who wouldn’t push them? Besides, clearly that ol’ jardo Reg can’t be over there-“

“-especially since he’s right over here,” a cool voice cackled behind her. “Evening, squirt.”

Stunned, Sky spun around and saw none other than Reg standing right behind her, Nora’s arms clamped firmly in his hands, a scared beyond measure look on her face.

Sky demanded through gritted teeth. “Let her go!”

“Why, I’m great, squirt. Thanks for asking,” Reg laughed humourlessly. “Oh, and if you’re asking... here.” He added, pushing Nora away from himself roughly.

Catching her friend, Sky fixed Reg with a poisonous stare and half-shouted, “Is that any way to treat your sister, jardo?”

“Oh, sorry, Nora. You aren’t hurt, are you?” Reg, said, after an over-dramatized fake out.

“You seem very happy for some reason,” Nora remarked with surprise, taken back by his kindness.

“What are you up to, jardo?” Sky said, her eyes narrowing suspiciously.

“What? I’m wounded,” Reg said, with affected shock. “Does my being happy have to infer anything nefarious?”

“Duh, jardo,” Sky said without missing a beat.

“Actually, it usually does,” Nora said after a little thought.

Tutting to himself, Reg hitched a slick smile onto his face as said “Where’s your faith in humanity, girls?”

“Well, you ain’t exactly human, jardo,” Sky shot back coldly. “What are you up to?”

“Ouch,” Reg said crisply, though still smiling. “Well, not that it’s any of your business, but... her boyfriend Sapph Manson just agreed to trade me a Dark type!”

Sky and Nora blanched in horror, temporarily lost for words.

“Sapph wouldn’t trade with you even if his life depended on it!” Sky yelled out, unsticking her throat.

“Sapph ISN’T my boyfriend!” Nora wailed.

Turning to look at her friend, Sky faltered in surprise and asked dully, “Is that seriously what bothers you the most? You need to really sort out your priorities..."

“Well, no one would trade anything for a stinkin’ Azurill egg,” Reg said thoughtfully. “That’s why I told him it was a Cranidos egg!”

“No way would Sapph fall for that lie, jardo!” Sky retorted.

“Midnight will tell,” Reg said, his devious smile widening even more. “Besides, it isn’t like you can stop me. Competitors aren’t allowed to fight outside of the ring, after all.”

“Maybe,” Sky said with a smirk of her own. “But nothing’s really stopping her.”

Following her pointer finger, Reg saw a head of blue hair head out of the Center at a run; and, skidding to a halt, turn and bolt down the street. Sky and Reg’s looks of surprise turned into understanding as two dark-furred wolves shot after her. Two boys, one in a green hunting hat and the other in a fisherman’s cap gave chase.

“Well, that takes care of her,” Reg said in a satisfied voice. “And I’ll take that,” he added, grabbing Sky’s arm in a pincer grip and snatching her phone out of her hand just as the latter was about to hit the call button. “Why don’t we go have a chat?” He added evilly, frogmarching her towards the lifts.

***​

A young couple walked up the street outside Haley’s hospital window as flushing sounds came from the adjoining toilet. A minute or so later, Haley reappeared in a full hospital gown shaking her hands to rid themselves of the extra water. Casting the moon outside one glance, she young Trainer gave a huge yawn and made for her bed.

To say she was irked was a huge understatement. Then again, if one had chased and lost not only their estranged father but their quarter final match by forfeit, they’d be upset, too. Add to the fact that she was being kept here against her will, for observation or otherwise, made Haley’s temper all the more shorter.

Sighing in irritation, the young blonde slipped into her bed, and, turning on her side to get more comfortable, was about to doze off when the PokéNav on her dresser table’s screen lit up and buzzed.

Haley rolled her goose grey eyes in annoyance. Of the few people who actually had her PokéNav number, she presently wasn’t in the mood to talk to any of them... save for Kyle, Professor Yew’s young assistant. Her mother would fuss, the professor would badger her for details she was tired of recounting thanks to the police. Her brother didn’t have her number and Sapph would only succeed in aggravating her further.

She was about to dismiss the call entirely when the call went to voice mail and a vaguely familiar voice sounded out, “Hey, Haley? This is Josephine, Josephine Harris. Are you awake?”

Haley’s eyes shot open as the message went on, “Guess not. Sorry about your quarter final match today. Just wanted to call and arrange a time to switch Pokémon back. How about after the first semi final match tomorrow morning at the Pokémon Center? I’d come around tonight, but Sapph said the police will probably still have you under protection. See you tomorrow, then.”

A sudden beep announced the end of the call and Haley was left to a silent room and her thoughts. A rare modicum of calm spread over her as she mulled the call over. In the throes of her temper (other people around her being idiots, she quickly corrected herself mentally), she had all but forgotten that Tempest the Lapras wasn’t hers. The Transport Pokémon was a true force to be reckoned with, although, as her reflections panned out, a shoddy shot at best. She took a moment to remember her narrow defeat at the very first stop on her Trigello tour.

Flashback

Northern Isle, five days ago


Rekki the referee raised his hand towards Mekki and Muk and announced, “Winner, Muk. The challenger has one Pokémon left. Will she make the selection or forfeit the match?”

That’s just wrong, even for a joke, Haley thought as she gritted her teeth and returned Ento. I can’t retreat now. If I do, I lose by default and I’m out of the tournament!

I only have one Pokémon, and Mekki still has three. Worse still, only his Muk’s taken any real damage and I don’t even know which Pokémon he has besides his Chii- I mean, Winglyde now. Oh, boy, this is gonna be tough... even with the boost Rain Dance offers! OK, I’ve never fought with her before, but there’s no time like the present for ‘desperate measures’!

End Flashback

Well, at the end of the day, I did win the match, Haley thought defensively. And Tempest’s aim’s gotten loads better since then... even if she didn’t really aim much in her match against that darned Gastrodon. She definitely has more than enough raw power though...

Flashback

Eastern Isle, about a week ago


“I am not HOT-HEADED!” Haley screeched, steam literally blowing out her ears. “Ice Beam attack, Tempest!”

“Uh, yeah, you are,” Roni said in an undertone. Just how did I lose to that girl anyways? He thought in a lost soliloquy.

Sighing once more, Florence commanded her Ludicolo, “Use Nature Power again, Ludicolo.”

Ludicolo gave another bellow as he raised his hands up above his head and waved them again, seemingly to give the Lapras a better target. He then brought his hands down once more as Tempest finished gathering energy to her single horn and fired off what seemed to be a bolt of blue lightning, creating a pair of splashes.

The very water churned as a giant wave rose out of the water in between the Ludicolo and the Ice Beam attack as well as above the latter’s caster threateningly. Tempest’s attack nearly faltered but before Tempest could cancel the attack and dive away, Ice Beam and Surf collided.

“Excellent block, Ludicolo,” Florence commended her Pokémon. “Now use Energy Ball.”

Ludicolo grinned and made to remove his hands from the water but found himself pulling up short. Looking down and letting loose a frightened quacking sound, Ludicolo and Florence saw that the ice from Tempest’s attack had actually overpowered the Surf attack, freezing it (and by extension half of the cove and Ludicolo) fast. The Carefree Pokémon worked its arms furiously as the ice trapped his legs and crept its way up his body.

Ludicolo let loose one final bellow as the ice completed its job and shut Ludicolo in a solid casing of ice.

“Such power...” Florence said in wonder as Haley declared one word: “Psychic.”

Ludicolo and Tempest’s coffee coloured eyes glowed with an ethereal blue light as the Lapras let loose a devastating attack which against the immobilised Water and Grass type worked as effectively as a Fire attack on a Scizor, despite the lack of type effectiveness. Ludicolo was shattered and thrown free from his icy confines across the ring and slamming the brown top of his hat on the rock on which Florence stood, not even noticing the swirls in her Pokémon’s eyes as she returned her valiant Ludicolo with Conrad’s “Ludicolo is unable to battle! Lapras wins the seventh match. Florence has one Pokémon remaining!”

End Flashback

That power never really waned while we trained together, thank the legendaries,
Haley thought on as the next memory faded away in her mind. Although if there’s one more thing to brag about, it’s the control she’s gotten over her ability... she thought to herself, the change in evening sky prompting another memory:

Flashback

Western Isle, a little over a week ago


Clenching his fists together, Donald called out, “Then I guess it’s time to end this once and fer all, cuz! Use one more Giga Impact, Tauros! I know you have it in ya, partner!”

The Tauros seemed to find strength in his Trainer’s words and with a roar to the heavens, gathered the energy around himself once more and took off running, the bubble glowing from the purple and gold energy encompassing himself and Miltank before he shot out of it, creating a dazzling display of ice and energy and letting it twinkle in the sunlight as he bore down on the winded Electric powerhouse.

<...uh...oh...> Was all Blitzkrieg could utter as the horns closed in rapidly.

“It can still attack?!” Haley gasped as the Tauros’s horns found Blitzkrieg’s yellow underbelly and scooping themselves under him, launched the Water/Electric type skywards with a bang.

“<BLITZKRIEG!>” Haley and Tempest gasped in unison as they watched the Voltog shoot them a fleeting glance of determination before being thrown skywards by the powerful attack.

“That should take care of that annoyance, eh, cuz?” Donald panted.

Mac nodded, too tired to reply for once and said, “Miltank, y'all use Milk Drink on yourself!”

The Milk Cow Pokémon prepared to revive itself before after squeezing her eyes shut in effort for a couple of minutes interrupted her technique and panted with even more laborious effort, electricity dancing over its broad back.

“Dang it!” Mac snarled as she watched the attack fail. Haley, however, missed this as she was looking up for her Pokémon to fall and a spark of electricity flashed across the sky.

“Could that be? No choice... Guess Sapph’s done it before and won,” Haley muttered in aggravation at the thought of the idea. “But I will not lose! Tempest, fire Thunderbolt into the sky at that spark of lightning!”

<But Blitzkreig’s up there!> Tempest gasped, whirling to gaze reproachfully at her Trainer.

“Trust me on this, Tempest! It’s now or never!” Haley yelled back watching her opponent’s Tauros begin to catch its breath once more. “Do it!”

<As you wish... Miss Haley,> Tempest said uncertainly, its horn this time building up an electric charge and wishing she didn’t have to, fired the Thunderbolt as per her mistress’s wishes.

Mac and Donald saw this and the boy let out a sigh of relief. Turning to Haley, he said, “You know, Missus Kent... Tauros is right there.”

“Oh, I know...” Haley said with a devious grin as the sky suddenly exploded in golden light above their heads. The cousins looked up and gasped as Blitzkrieg finally fell back to the ground, trailing a Thunderpunch that seemed to hold the lightning of Zapdos itself. Blitzkrieg’s eyes had an arrested look of pain and focus as they seemed to hold the terrified Tauros in its beam. With a bellow of pain and rage from both Pokémon, Blitzkrieg thrust his fist forwards into the Tauros’s head, the force of exertion, gravity’s pull and the Electric Frog Pokémon’s weight all rolled into and intent on driving Tauros’s horned head literally six feet into the ground.

The attack however only made half that distance a reality before a violent explosion rocked the field and caused all the trainers, Tempest and Miltank to stagger around or get blown off their feet as dirt and grass flew into the air amidst a burst of electricity that miraculously all missed Tempest and Miltank, though it was less of a miracle in the latter’s case and more a case of dumb luck.

Haley lowered her hand away from her face and spied a crater possibly eight feet wide. Tauros and Blitzkrieg both lay in the recesses of the pit, slumped together and completely knocked out, electric burns even decorating the Water type, despite his resistance.

“Both Voltog and Tauros are unable to battle! Lapras and Miltank are thuh only ones left on the field!” Alf announced.

End Flashback

“At least I have a game plan for tomorrow, after I get out of here,” Haley said to herself as she tossed in bed once more before her eyes drooped, the weather outside becoming gradually stormier. “I really hope Yadmon loses tomorrow...”

***​

Nora gasped as she staggered past a couple of last night stragglers who ambled past tipsily. The feral snorts were not far behind her as she rounded another corner. A few paces in, she realised her error and frantically looking to correct her mistake, her pursuers had finally caught up and barred her way out.

“Finally caught up with you!” Moe said triumphantly, Roderick too out of breath to answer. The two Mightyena separating them from their quarry slobbered and licked their chops obscenely.

A cell phone suddenly rang taking all present by surprise. Turning to his partner, Moe said, “Watch her, will you? Any funny moves from you and Mightyena here will make it your last,” he added to a scared Nora who cursed her lack of foresight to just call Sapph and warn him of Reg’s plot

“Yeah, boss... we got her cornered... uh-hunh... make sure she doesn’t leave... you got it... you sure about that, boss? Well, I won’t mind as long as I can use excessive force (Nora whimpered at this pronouncement) ... that’s no fun... okay, you’re the boss.”

Ending the call, Moe put the phone away and said, “Hey, Fisher, The boss needs you down in Warehouse Twelve for extra muscle tonight. So get moving. He said I should keep his sister occupied until it’s too late to stop the trade, which should be roughly forty minutes.”

More running?!” Fisher said with a groan. “Couldn’t you lend me your Murkrow to fly me there quicker?”

“I could,” Moe said calmly. “But I won’t. Now get moving. And as for you,” he went on as Roderick retrieved his Mightyena and left, muttering bitterly as he did so. “We’re gonna take a nice little stroll over to the northern side of the island, a good distance away from the docks-”

“What’s wrong with the docks?” A voice said from behind Moe. Spinning around, Moe and Nora saw a tall youth with dark hair decked out in black standing at the entrance to the alley, a smaller, yet darker Pokémon of his own at his heels. “Seems like a perfectly good place for a stroll t’ me. Hey... Nora, is it? How are you? And where’s Sapph?”

Before Moe could gather himself to shoo their ‘distraction’ away, Nora barrelled on, “My brother plans to hoodwink Sapph! We need to get to Warehouse Twelve and warn him before he can steal his Dark type Pokémon!”

“Why, you little...!” Moe snarled, interrupted by a laugh from the boy, who said, “’Little’? Nora? Look who’s talking... Ah take it y’all referring to Reginald Saunders, and y’all work for ‘im,” he went on, indicating Nora and Moe in turn. “Well, I don’t know what going on, but you seem to be bothering the lady. Ah can’t allow that.”

“And what can you do to stop me? Active contestants can’t battle outside the coliseum,” Moe sneered, releasing his Murkrow to cover the older boy.

“Well, I guess it’s unfortunate for both of us tha’ ah got knocked out of the quarterfinals, isn’t it?” Brian said with a chuckle.

Three minutes and a series of crashes and bangs later, Brian and Nora ran out of the alley side by side, leaving Moe slumped against the wall with his defeated Pokémon in a dumpster.

“When does the trade go down?” Brian said as they ran towards the pier, Eaves at his heels.

“Midnight,” Nora panted. “That’s only thirty minutes away!”

***​

As Nora and Brain pelted away towards the docks, a figure was already waiting alone from within the warehouse with a large number ‘9’ stencilled on its front. The boy wrapped his blue Cerulean Seahawks baseball jacket more tightly around his body as chilly draughts passed through the cracks in the walls and ruffled his chestnut brown hair slightly.

Hope this doesn’t take much longer
, Paul Oak thought, his eyes narrowing at the drop in temperature. It's only freezing cold tonight. Plus a storm's coming. Glancing at his watch, he watched the luminous figure ‘0’ in ‘2330’ change into a one and muttered, “Twenty three hundred thirty my butt. They’re late.”

A series of scrapes and bangs came echoed all around the storage house the moment Paul had finished speaking. With a remarkably calm expression, Paul hardly stirred as the floor opened up to reveal a trapdoor from which roughly a dozen people emerged stiffly. Each person was muttering darkly about the “cramped space” and flexed various joints in an attempt to get blood pumping again.

“Talk about an uncomfortable trip,” a redheaded man groused. “Next time we go anywhere near Stern’s Shipyard for transportation, count me out of the mission.”

“There was hardly any room in there to swing a Natu,” a purple haired woman agreed, sweating profusely as she worked a kink out of her back. “Damn our skinflint upper echelon.”

“I dunno, I’m not complaining,” a second man said, his mouth curving lewdly from behind a full brown beard as he watched the woman stretch.

“You wouldn’t, would you, Brady?” The woman replied scathingly. “Perv.”

“Like you didn’t want anyone to look, Ley,” Brady retorted good-naturedly. “How about a drink when our mission is done?“

“You mean, if we have time to kill after the mission is completed,” the redhead said with a groan. “Who knows where we’d be posted next, or when?”

“Kannagham has a point,” a fourth individual said, this one a wiry male with a mop of bleached green hair, tanned skin and a badly stitched scar running along each forearm. “We still have at least a year left of active duty before our term is run.”

“Arr, don’t be a spoilsport, Al Ayn,” Brady said with a guffaw. “Just keeping things light. It being hot as the inside of Reverse Mountain in that tin can was as good a reason as any to relax uniform standards.”

Each man and woman that appeared wore the same outfit: a red and gold trim jacket not too unlike Paul’s zipped up two-thirds over a white tee-shirt (although some of the crew members like Ley and Brady had dispensed with this article of clothing.) They also wore a pair of tan camo pants tucked into what looked like short, black safety boots.

“Heads up, crew,” Al Ayn said to the others. “Here comes the commander and lieutenant.”

The last two members to emerge wore pretty much the same outfit as the crew, who had hastily arranged themselves into two crisp ranks, although with some marked differences. The middle aged man who wore wire-rimmed glasses and a stern look behind them wore his jacket completely open and a white dress shirt under it, the collar barely hiding a pink tattoo. The commander wore a full-length red trench coat, complete with white banded epaulettes over his shoulders like a cape and a yellow short-sleeve shirt underneath, although his was tucked into his black trousers unlike his lieutenant’s. He wore his hair in a red afro with a yellow tuft sprouting centrally from right above his forehead and a jovial expression on his face.

“At ease, troops,” the commander said with a smile. Then, spotting Paul’s dark look, his grin became challenging as he walked up to him with a slightly bowlegged gait, flexing his neck from side to side with a light yet audible cricking sound.

“Paul Oak, I take it?” The commander said, extending a hand in greeting. “Commander Therm of the AGENTs. A pleasure.”

“You’re late,” Paul repeated, not bothering to take his hands out of his pocket to return the handshake.

“Sorry about that,” Therm said with a laugh. “We had a bit of trouble setting off. Couldn’t all fit in the-“

“Commander...” the lieutenant said in an undertone.

“I know, Risker,” Therm replied in an undertone of his own. Raising his voice, he called out, “Whoever’s hiding in the shadows back there had best come out before we come in after you!”

So he noticed my tail, hunh? Paul thought approvingly. He’s not as dorky as he looks...

“About time you got here!” One of the white robed figures exclaimed as two identical men in crew cuts, Ray-bans and full body-length cloaks stepped into the gloomy lighting of the warehouse.

“We almost thought that punk kid had gotten the wrong warehouse,” the second one said, jerking a thumb at Paul, who merely looked back in contempt.

“Are they with you?” Lieutenant Risker asked Paul suspiciously.

“Nope, I was about to set Zurax on them if you weren’t coming,” Paul replied nonchalantly. “Isn’t that right, boy?”

<Right as rain, Paul,> Zurax the Liquizzle replied, padding out from behind the crates to their right upon four strong looking legs.

“Sorry, but can we help you?” Therm replied.

“You guys are the AGENTs, right?” The first one spoke up.

“The group that uses the abominations known as Pokémon in your so-called ‘peace-keeping‘ tours all over the globe?” The second one said.

“Hey, Risker, we’re famous!” Therm said happily to his second in command.

“That’s bad, commander,” Risker said with a groan.

“Oh, guess it is,” Therm said in surprise. “So, what can we do for you gentlemen?”

The two cloaked figures responded by pulling out firearms and releasing the safeties in stereo.

***​

“What was that?” Sapph said with a start, jumping off a crate laid outside Warehouse Twelve as a cacophony of gunfire filled the air. As much as he would have run towards the source of the noise to investigate (the glow of flames that had lit up the windows of Warehouse Nine a second later was a big enough give away), Sapph’s last experience with guns had taught him that the safest place to be was as far away from them as possible. He was just about to go call for backup when a coarse voice stopped him in his tracks.

“Running away, are you? No wonder Rubin and Kamren aren’t scared of you.”

Clenching his fists tightly, Sapph said without looking around, “You’re early.”

“Shall we get this over with quickly, then?” Reg’s voice went on from within the warehouse.

Taking a deep breath and walking in, the Johton youth took one look around and sneered, “And speaking of scared, you really need backup to handle a trade?” Pointing to Roderick, who looked ashen-faced, he added, “Isn’t it past your bed time?”

“Tough guy,” Reg said, raising a hand to cut off Roderick’s retort. “You bring the Pokémon?”

“You bring the Egg?” Sapph replied coolly, slipping a hand into his pocket and pulling out a pokéball within.

Reg nodded and turning to Roderick, indicated for him to produce the egg. Roderick nodded once and produced an obloid object and made to place it on a crate between the two parties. Reg suddenly raised a hand to stop his subordinate and raised a quizzical eyebrow, which rose above his dark glasses.

“How do I know it’s the Huskup’s pokéball?” Reg called out.

“You could scan it, if you had a PokéDex,” Sapph replied. “But since you don’t...”

“Show me,” Reg demanded.

“What? Don’t you trust me?”

“Not really.”

“Well, we’re even, then.”

“Do you want this Cranidos or not?” Reg demanded hotly.

“Do you want this Huskup or not?” Sapph countered. “This trade was your idea. Then again, if you’re having second thoughts, I could just leave...”

Both Trainers stood rooted to the spot as the night became eerily quiet, the silence stretching ominously between them.

Finally, with a cough, Reg scratched the back of his head and said, “Sorry about that. The early disturbance did make me a little nervous. And Cranidos eggs are extremely rare. You can supposedly only find them in Sinnoh...”

Sapph seemed to relax himself in light of Reg’s admission and said, “Guess I’ll let you off, then. Guns are nothing you wanna really mess with. So, shall we?”

“Yeah, let’s,” Reg said graciously. Nodding to Roderick, the capped boy and Sapph moved in unison towards the crate. As one they placed both items on the box in front of each other. Sapph took the egg, and hefting it, said, “What, no case? It’s kinda lighter than I expected as well.”

“It’s just that much closer to hatching is all,” Reg assured him, walking forward to take the pokéball from the crate. It glowed blue at his touch, recognizing him as its new owner and added, “Make sure to maintain eye contact with it. The first thing it sees is perceived to be its parent, after all...”

“Wow, you know a bit about eggs, Reg,” Sapph said in an impressed voice.

“My gran ran a nursery, remember?” Reg said calmly. Watching Sapph start to walk away, he added under his breath with a malicious smile, “Enjoy your Azurill.”

“What was th- whoa!” Sapph exclaimed as the egg’s surface began to splinter and crack, a white light beginning to spill out of the fissures. The egg trembled in his hands and with a blinding flash (all three boys shielded their eyes, even Reg despite his sunglasses), a small blue creature sat in Sapph’s arms, blinking up at Sapph’s face with beady black, puzzled eyes.

Sapph stared back with a shocked expression on his face, his entire frame frozen. Reg chuckled and said aloud, “Wait, did I say a Cranidos egg? I meant an Azurill egg. Thanks for the Huskup, though. The Dark Moon appreciates your... contribution.”

The next words Reg heard wiped the smile clean off his face. “What Huskup?”

“What do you mean, ‘What Huskup’? This one!” Reg yelled, holding up the pokéball. “The one I just conned you into giving me like the sap you are!”

“I agreed to trade you a Huskup for a Cranidos,” Sapph said calmly, turning around. “Not an Azurill egg.”

Reg and Roderick blanched. In Sapph arms wasn’t a Polka Dot Pokémon. Instead of two feet, it had four sturdy legs. Rather than white cheeks, the sides of its wide face were taken up by orange, star-shaped gills. And replacing the ball-and-chain tail the Dark Moon expected; a light blue fin decorated its posterior, identical to the dark blue one that stood atop its head.

“From your expression, it looks like you never knew you had a Mudkip egg, either,” Sapph said conversationally. “Though I should thank Celebi you’re a terrible study... kinda cute, isn’t he?”

“A Mudkip... we had a Mudkip...” Roderick said faintly.

“I could have sold that thing... for so much... and I just...” Reg suddenly snapped out of his horrified trance and bellowed. “If this isn’t a Huskup, then what is it?!”

“Oh, right. Say hello to Tentis, my Tentacruel. You two are pretty much made for each other,” Sapph said flippantly. “You’ll need a nickname, too. How does... ‘Tidal’ sound?”

Mouthing aimlessly for a moment, Reg’s voice came back in full volume and fury, “Tentacruel. TENTACRUEL?! You lied to me, you... you...!”

“Actually, I didn’t lie to you during our negotiations once,” Sapph replied coldly, looking away from his Pokédex to fix Reg with a disdainful look. “Did I ever say once that I had either a Huskup or a Mogshex?”

“I...you...”

The door to the warehouse banged open and Nora and Brian rushed in, all out of breath. Taking one look at the egg shell pieces at Sapph’s feet, Nora let out a groan, dropped to her feet and sobbed into her hands, “I’m sorry I acted like a brat, Sapph. I’m so sorry I was too late to stop Reg. If I wasn’t so stubborn, I could have warned you in time. I’m so, so sorry...”

“Nora...” Brian said slowly, but Nora ignored him. The sound of footsteps and a gentle hand of her shoulder caused her to look up into Sapph’s smiling and the curious Mudkip’s faces.

“Hey, hey... it’s ok, Nora,” Sapph said soothingly. “Hunter’s right here and though Reg is a lying scumbag, it’s a good thing he’s a dumb one, right?” He added with a wink.

Helping Nora to her feet, he went on, “I’m sorry, too. I never considered your feelings towards me when I told Josephine and the others what I felt our relationship was like. It was tactless. Thanks for coming after an insensitive idiot like me.”

Nora shook her head, wiping away the tears in her eyes. She looked up and offered Sapph a smile as she said, “Hey, it’s all right. I know you like my cousin, anyways. Besides, I’m glad you see me like a sister, always looking out for me. It means I can do this,” she gave Sapph a huge hug, “and not feel guilty about betraying Joy’s feelings. Sorry, was that too much?”

Laughing, Sapph pulled her into another hug and patting the top of her head affectionately, said, “Nah... that felt just right. C’mon, let’s go.”

“Hold it right there!” A loud voice bellowed out from behind them. “Gimme back my Mudkip!”

“The Mudkip you just traded to me? No thanks.” Sapph said coolly. “No offence, but Tidal isn’t yours anymore... I’m kinda his parent now, y’see...”

“What proof is there you didn’t just steal it from me?” Reg sneered. “Other than your Johton word; which won’t hold much worth in a Coreian court of Law...”

“Well, that... and a tape recording of you admitting you attempted to con me,” Sapph said calmly, watching the horror spread across Reg and Roderick’s faces with immense satisfaction. Holding up his new PokéGear, he added, “Technology is really amazing these days, isn’t it?”

“If you won’t give it back,” Reg snarled pulling out a pokéball of his own. “I’ll take it by force! Go, Quito!”

A large jet black insect with long translucent wings formed itself from the light that burst from the thrown ball and extended its claws menacingly. In response to the threatening gesture, Tidal leapt from Sapph’s arms and set itself squarely against the Bug/Dark type Pokémon, attempting to sound intimidating as it pawed the ground, but not quite pulling it off. Before either Reg or Sapph could say a word, Brian stepped in between the two Pokémon and said, “You’ve given Sapph your Egg, and he’s given you a Pokémon in return. Though unorthodox, a trade has been agreed and carried out by both parties as a binding exchange. If you intend to be dishonest here,” he added, pulling free a pokéball of his own, “Shell and I will be your opponents. He needs some exercise, anyway...”

Turning to the young people behind him, he added kindly, “You better go and leave this to me. Don’t want you getting caught in the mayhem, do we? Besides, Mudkips may be strong, but not as much when they’re newly hatched.”

Knowing full well how destructive Shell could get and how right Brian was about Tidal, Sapph scooped Tidal up into his arms and, pushing Nora out ahead of him, said “We’ll take you up on that. Take care.”

“Shall we call the authorities, Sapph?” Nora asked worriedly as they quickly left Warehouse Twelve for the Raticate Burrow.

“Nah, Brian’s more than enough for that guy,” Sapph said in response as he pulled Nora along. After a moment’s pause, he added, “Maybe an ambulance for Reg’s Pokémon wouldn’t be out of the question...”

As they passed the last Warehouse and rounded the corner, a dishevelled boy wearing a dirty green hunting cap hobbled out of the gap between Warehouses Nineteen and Twenty and limped towards Warehouse Twelve, muttering about the boss needing his help and not noticing the small shadow that tailed him up the street.

***​

“Mornin’, Sapph! Oh, and hey there, Nora!” Josephine said in surprise as she came down to the main lobby of the Raticate Burrow with Rachel Savina to see the two preteens exchanging cheerful conversation over the remains of their breakfast.

“You two lovebirds make up yet?” Rachel said with a smirk.

“Oh, zip it, Rachel,” Nora said lightly, cutting Sapph off and taking everyone by surprise.

Recovering quickly, Sapph told the new arrivals, “Paul’s sleeping in this morning. Late night, apparently. He wasn’t in when we got back late last night but dead to the world when we woke up... what?” Sapph asked, as the two best friends stared aghast at him and each other in turn.

"Y-you 'got back late last night'?" Rachel stammered, for once lost for words.

“'We woke up’?” Josephine asked, eyes wide behind her blonde hair. “You didn’t...”

“Wha-? Of course not!” Sapph exclaimed, reddening. Jumping to his feet and placing a small blue quadruped on his shoulder, he turned to the table and said, “Well, we’re heading to coliseum. Coming, Nora?”

Climbing to her feet as well, Nora beamed and replied, “Of course. Well, then... see you later?”

“Wait, is that a...?” Josephine asked Rachel slowly as the duo left the inn together.

“Looks like it,” the taller girl replied. Consulting her watch, she added, “Well, if we want to not miss the match, we better skip breakfast. Hey, you guys! Wait up!”

About twenty minutes later, the foursome settled into their seats in Section Thirteen as the referee went over the rules for the semi-final round. “Both sides may use three Pokémon each, and a Pokémon is considered unable to continue either when it has fainted, been ringed out or rendered incapable of resuming battle after a ten count. The battle will be over when all three of a Trainer’s Pokémon are unable to battle. Are both Trainers ready?”

On the side closer to them, Sapph saw the back of a young girl with her reddish brown hair in a single, long plait nod once. On the other end of the field, a teenaged youth with grey hair dressed in a white vest and blue cargo shorts nodded, his face a mix of emotions.

Clearing his throat, a familiar voice boomed out over the speakers, “Well, then! The first semi final match: Sky Wingams from Chinooka City, Corei, versus Lewis Carter from Petalburg City, Hoenn. Let the battle... begin!”

***​

CHARACTER PROFILE OF THE WEEK

Name: Benny Tucker

Date of Birth: March 29, PA 2002
Hometown: EverWood Town, Corei
Pokémon
On Hand:
Blue (Swellow), Ardro (Ariados)
In Storage: Not known
Likes: Ledyba, Cassandra
Dislikes: Sapph and the fact that Sapph cost him the chance to own a Ledyba
Contemporaries: Sapph
About Benny: Benny is your contemporary ‘youngster’ trainer who adores Ledyba. His goal in life is to beat Cassandra’s Ledian in a one on one match with his own Ledian and declare his feelings for the mildly emo Bug type trainer.

***​

COREI-DEX ENTRY

#177 Hawrior
Element: Flying/Fighting
Species: Shaman
Pronunciation: HAW-ree-ORE
Height: 4’04”
Weight: 83lbs
Habitat: Mountain
Evolution Line: Does not evolve.
Notes: Reputed as the herald of the legendary LEGAERIA. HAWRIOR only reveal themselves to Trainers they deem worthy. They only flock together once every year for mating.

***​

Next time on The Corei Quest, rewritten: The semi final battles rage on, and only two Trainers can advance to the finals. Which two will go for broke, and which two will come up short? With Team Shadow, The Light and the AGENTs all preparing for big operations, one would wonder if Sapph and the others can be ready for what comes next. Find out in Chapter Forty Nine of The Corei Quest, rewritten, End of the Road.

L@er!
 
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Colton S

Beware Bewear
This whole fanfic is awesome. I finally read it all in one weekend. Anyways, I really enjoy reading it. This last chapter was very enjoyable. I find it hilarious how idiotic Reg is. One of my favorite chapters in recent memory. :)

Keep up the good work!
 

Air Dragon

Ha, ha... not.
A review? What the heck have I been doing?!

@Colton S: Thanks so much for the compliments! Reading the review has put new wind in my sail to keep on writing! P.S. you're on the list!

Just got over a bad case of the flu (if that's any excuse), and as a potential contest deadline is around the corner, I may focus a tad more on that. But never fret, the story continues...

L@er!
 

GastlyMan

Ghost Type Trainer
Well! It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry to necropost, but I assume you're still working on this, as I haven't heard anything to the contrary :) so!

I reread the entire thing, basically because I went temporarily inactive for quite some time (long story) and thus wasn't up to speed with your latest chapters...I'm glad I did. This story is still awesome. Still loving the characters, the region, and the Pokemon in the CoreiDex! Although I might mention that a lot of your earlier Photobucket links don't work.

You still have that error with Calvin and Dex in the beginning - i.e., Dex was initially the intelligent one. I don't remember which chapter it was - but, when Anuvi (then Mongle) said "That nerd is so not being my trainer!" he was referring to Dex. There was also this random guy named Chaz that disappeared after that chapter, although I'm not sure if you were planning on including him in later chapters or not.

But at any rate, that's just a minor error. And I really like what you did with Dex's backstory, too. It's really cool to see how much progress he's made as a trainer, even if he only made it a few rounds in the tournament.

As far as the latest chapter goes...Sapph's response to Reg's "trade" is genius. Seriously. I was thinking the whole time that Sapph was actually falling for it, but he had a much smarter plan up his sleeve. Although I wonder if it will come back to haunt him - I could see Reg and Tentis getting along a little too well, and that might cause trouble for Sapph and company in the future. :eek: I guess I'll have to wait and see.

You have also left us with a good cliffhanger. I'm excited to see how Sky's battle goes.

And oh, poor Haley. It was so frustrating when she fell for the ruse that Sapph was a member of Team Shadow. It's crazy that her father actually is there, so they weren't lying about that part! But he has apparently become bait for Haley...

Anyway, nice job on this, and hopefully we'll see some updates for it soon. You've really created a masterpiece here, and I hope you continue it. :) It reminds me that I really need to start on my own writing again (it's been like...4 years since I've updated mine? dang lol). Keep it up man, and I hope that you are doing well.

(edit: I just realized that this thread hasn't been posted on in over a year, sorry forum staff o.o hopefully this is okay, and if not sorry about that!)
 
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