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The Evening Thief (Yuletide One-Shot)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by JFought, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. JFought

    JFought Sloooowly writing...

    Yuletide 2017 Prompt: An outlaw hunt PMD mission fic, requested by Dreamsayer

    Summary: A thief causes trouble in the town of Liubao. She would have been caught already… if she didn’t escape into the woods at nightfall every time.

    This is one of my Yuletide fics for Dreamsayer. You can see the prompt and the summary, but the result... I kinda went overboard. Like, my username up there is me, and the bar above my signature at the bottom of this post is the board, that's how far over the board I went. There's a lot of stuff happening, in both the foreground and background, and I was kinda scared that maybe I went too far with this (hence my other submission, which is firmly planted on the board).

    Does that mean I hate it? Well, if that were the case, I wouldn't be posting it here! To get this out of the way now, The Evening Thief uses the same protagonist and world as another one-shot of mine, A Game of War. You do not need to read that to get any enjoyment out of this. That one-shot didn't do all that much with those two details, aside from show the protag off. The Evening Thief, on the other hand, goes a lot farther, and I did my best to make sure that none of it would be a burden on the reader.

    And finally, this one-shot is rated PG for minor blood and not-so-minor fantasy violence. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays!


    The Evening Thief

    A furret pushed a door open into the early morning light. Or lack thereof: it was almost a morning light, but the entire doorway was obscured by the shadow of the high, oppressive wall that lay on the other side of the plaza.

    But this didn’t bother the furret. After all, if the wall wasn’t there, then the light would shine directly in his face, and that’s not what he wanted to wake up to today. The furret straightened up his satchel and made sure his knife was still securely attached to his belt. Okay, he was ready. Today was the day he, Furik the Furret, adventurer extraordinaire, would continue his journey on towards the great country of Prestin. Sure, he only arrived at the walled town of Liubao yesterday night, but…

    “I don’t really like it here…” Furik thought to himself as he left the inn’s doorway. The plaza contained a few souls who found the regimented design of the town welcoming, but Furik just found it claustrophobic. “The sooner I get out, the better.”

    But first, as Furik remembered to remember, he needed to check in at the Traveler’s Office. But where is it? He looked around, but all he saw were walls, stairs, more walls, more stairs… It was practically a fortress. Furik backtracked into the inn. He’d rather ask than look.

    “Hey there, uh...” Furik began as he approached the receptionist at the desk, a Pangoro. The ‘mon looked down at Furik with the intimidating scowl his species was practically known for.

    “What do you need?” He sounded friendly, at least.

    “I need…” Furik twirled his paws around. “...Do you know where the Traveler’s Office is?”

    Mr. Receptionist shifted the leaf in his mouth. “Dunno why you want to go there this early in the morning. It should be closed right now.”

    Furik’s spirits fell. He knew that it was probably too early for the office to be open, but he still hoped…

    “But if you need to know,” he continued, “the office is located just up the stairs to the left of here, on the second floor.”

    “Thanks…” Furik sulked back out of the inn. The sun hadn’t even begun to peek out from above the town wall, which left a lot of time sitting around in this place. “I guess I could wait in front of the Traveler’s Office…”

    So he did. The stairs weren’t too far, though they were a bit big. Probably would be very inconvenient for smaller Pokemon. Furik isn’t that small, not anymore, but he could already imagine how tall and intimidating these would’ve looked a few months ago, when he was that small.

    The door to the traveler’s office stood at the top, like the receptionist said, and it was closed, just like he said. Furik sighed, went to the railing, placed his bag down, and looked out at the town courtyard. Might as well wait it out. Pokémon were already manning the stalls that ringed the only lawn of grass in the entire town, but with how early it was, the entire market was less lively and more awkwardly silent. Furik looked up towards the sky, and let out another sigh. At least the sky was still inviting.

    Furik shook his head. “This isn’t like you, Furik!” Sure, he didn’t like the town, it felt too unnatural for him, but what did he like? “Well… I liked the bed at the inn. It was super comfy. And…” Furik furiously wracked his brain for ideas as he leaned on the railing. There had to be something else for him to be positive about! But he couldn’t think of anything. Maybe if he were someone else, he’d like the place more, and appreciate the history that it apparently had, and marvel at the architecture that no living Pokémon could ever replicate. But as a rest stop for the places that Furik really wanted to see? His inn room didn’t even have windows. The nicest bed in the world meant nothing when you couldn’t even see the moon. So the sooner the Traveler’s Office opened, the better.

    “Actually…” Furik remembered that he didn’t need to go into the office to look at missions or news. It should be posted just outside. And it was: just near the door, actually. He pushed himself off the railing and got to looking.

    The news section didn’t show anything all that spectacular. All the political stuff on what’s happening in the west just flies over Furik’s head every time he tries to understand it, and the local news was all about town renovations. “To make the place look nicer?” Furik looked around. “They aren’t doing a very good job.”

    Meanwhile, the request section of the board was a long list of job requests dealing with those renovations. Furik left his hometown to get away from that kind of labor, not to do more of it! It started to look like the job hunt would be a bust, when something caught his eye:

    ---WANTED: THE EVENING THIEF!---
    Reward: 300 Poké
    There has been a thief running around stealing from shops! I’ve tried to catch her, but she always gets away! Please help!
    ---​

    The writing was a little wonky, but it was still legible. Furik took a closer look at the attached drawing. Now that was wonky! What was it even supposed to be? “It’s just a bunch of sticks with a head on top! This could be anything!”

    “Hello?” Furik jumped at the voice, and turned his head. It was a… Lurantis, he remembered.

    “Oh uh… Hi. I’m just waiting for the office to open,” Furik replied.

    “Are you?” The lurantis walked up to the door, then pushed it open. “You could have waited inside, you know.”

    “Huh? I thought it was locked.”

    The lurantis raised her arms for Furik to see. “I can’t exactly lock a door with these, I’m afraid.”

    “Oh.” Furik scratched his ear in embarrassment. “But wait, does that mean you’re the guide?”

    “Yes, I am,” -- Ms. Guide curtseyed -- “Pleased to meet you.”

    “Right.” Furik put a paw to his chest, feeling his mood lift as he did so. “I’m Furik the Furret, adventurer extraordinaire! I’m on a journey around the continent!”

    Ms. Guide chuckled. “Aren’t you cute? Come in, I can give you directions.”

    And then Furik’s mood deflated right back down. “Cute..?” He followed her in, trying to not let that bother him.

    The office was different from the Traveler’s offices he visited in the last two towns. It was carved from the same stone as the rest of Liubao, on top of having a clearly different original purpose. It was spacious, with hooks hanging off of the walls. “Maybe it used to be a storeroom?” Either way, the wooden counter Ms. Guide sat at was very obviously placed there after the fact. Some space was cleared out on a wall for the country map, which Furik wandered over to. Liubao was right on the eastern border with Prestin, he remembered. Since this only covers the map of the current country, the path to the next town isn’t on here.

    “So what do you need?” Ms. Guide asked.

    “I’m about to cross into Prestin,” Furik answered. “So… I don’t know where to go.”

    “Come over here,” she beckoned with a scythe. “There’s a larger map on the counter for that. Let me show you.”

    Furik looked along the counter and found the map she was talking about: a paper map of the continent. “Do you see where we are on this?” Ms. Guide asked.

    Furik found Liubao pretty quickly: northern part of the continent, right by the river border and a little ways north of the mountain border. “Yeah.” The amount of times he studied these maps as a sentret were proving useful after all!

    “There’s a bridge just east of here that leads into the Seishu Woods. You can get to the Dark River Town of Dakuro by passing through there.” Her gaze suddenly became serious. “But whatever you do, do not pass through that forest at night.”

    Furik was taken aback by her sudden graveness. “What? Why?”

    “Those who go into the woods at night never return,” she replied solemnly. “If you plan on continuing on to Dakuro, I suggest you stick close to the river”

    Furik tapped a paw to his chin. “Right, I’ll remember that...” He shook his head. “Anyway, thanks!”

    “Oh, but you aren’t already leaving, are you?” Ms. Guide asked, somewhat desperately. “Certainly you can check the board for a mission, can’t you?”

    Furik scratched his ear. “Well… there was one request…”

    “Which one?”

    “It was about a thief?”

    “Show it to me.” Now she sounded vaguely excited. “Is this thief really that much of a problem?”

    Furik decided to go with it anyway. He ran back outside, took the post off the board, and brought it back in for her. “It says ‘The Evening Thief,’ but I don’t know what this is supposed to look like…” He placed the request on the counter.

    “Sorry for the crude drawing. My daughter made it. Or tried to, at least,” apologized Ms. -- or apparently, Mrs. -- Guide.

    “You’re daughter?” So that’s why she tried to push this onto him.

    “Yes, she put up the request. It’s supposed to be a Mightyena. You know of them, right?” Furik shook his head; he never heard the term in his life. Mrs. Guide tilted her head. “That might be a problem. But it can be worked around. Will you take the job?”

    Furik thought for a bit. “It’s 300 Poké, which is a pretty good amount for this kind of job… and maybe I can get it done quick. How bad could it be?”

    So he nodded: “Of course I will! Rule number five of the adventurer code: always help those in need!”

    Mrs. Guide looked at Furik quizzically. “Adventurer code? How come I haven’t heard of it?”

    “Er, well…” Furik put a paw behind his head and avoided her gaze. “I made it up…”

    Mrs. Guide giggled softly. “You really are cute.”

    “Cute? Again?!”

    ---

    Mrs. Guide instructed him to go and find her daughter for more details on the mission. Apparently, she was the owner of a berry stall located in the town plaza: the big, grassy expanse at the center, as she felt the need to point out. So, with the job request held firmly between his paws, Furik almost fell down the tall stairs, and wandered into the rows of stalls that made up the market.

    Furik looked from stall to stall, attracting the eyes of a few shopkeepers, who tried to call him out to browse their wares, all of which Furik could only reply with “no thank you.” He wasn’t here to shop: he was here to look for another Lurantis. But, instead of a quick, one-trip search, Furik reached the end of the market without finding anything. Not a single Lurantis in sight.

    “Maybe just check the berry stalls?” Furik started to go back through the crowd of shops, now paying attention to what they were selling instead of who was selling them. This really got the attention of a few other shopkeepers. “Window shopper…” Furik managed to hear one of the stall owners mutter.

    But wait, that voice sounded… weirdly young.

    Furik immediately backpedaled to the shop. It was a berry stall, and manning it was… a Fomantis? Standing on a stool, too...

    “Uh oh…” She looked both surprised and fearful. “You aren’t gonna… Are you..?”

    “Wh-wha..? N-no!” Furik shook his head vigorously. “I’m just looking for someone! It’s to answer this request.” He held out the poster for her to see.

    “Oh! You’re…” The little shopkeeper’s eyes lit up. “You’re an explorer?!”

    “Yup!” Furik performed his pose with pride. “I’m Furik the Furret, adventurer extraordinaire! Are you the one who put this request up?”

    “Yeah, that’s me!” She hopped a little. “My name’s Hua. I’m a shopkeeper!”

    “But…” Furik took further note of the stool she stood on. “Aren’t you a little young?”

    “Aren’t you a little young?!” Hua retorted. Furik wanted to reply “no, not really,” but he wasn’t sure if that was a good idea.

    “I’m just a little surprised that they’d let you work at a shop...” he tried to justify.

    “I have a permit! You can’t argue with a permit!”

    “Why do I get the feeling she’s had to use this defense multiple times before?” Furik shook the thought away. Now’s not the time to be questioning the legal possibility of a child owning a berry stall. “If you have a permit, then I guess it’s okay…”

    “Good. We agree then.” She let out a puff of air. “Now get over here! To the back!”

    “What? Why?”

    “Because!” Hua pointed behind Furik. “Cus-to-mers!”

    Furik looked where she was pointing. “But…” Then he looked all around him. “There aren’t any-”

    “But there will be! Get over here!”

    “O-okay…” She definitely had a shopkeeper’s spirit…

    So, Furik went around the stall into the shaded area where Hua sat atop her stool. As he placed his bag down on the ground, Hua asked: “So you’re here to catch that evening thief?”

    “Yeah. So…” Furik looked back at the poster. “Who is the evening thief?”

    “She’s some stupid Mightyena who keeps stealing stuff! My stuff!” Hua jumped up and down. “She even has the nerve to steal other mon’s stuff, too!”

    “And she always escapes…” Furik stated, reading off the request again. “How does she escape every time?”

    “She comes in like a shadow! And then pops out and steals stuff! And then, and then..!” She pointed towards one of the town entrances, the one in the direction of the sun. “She goes into the forest, and we can’t get her!”

    “Why can’t you get her in the forest?”

    Hua looked at him like he just asked what an Oran berry was. “Because she always steals things in the evening, and runs into the forest when night is about to fall! We can’t go in there at night!”

    So the thief uses the woods as a cover for her escape? “Is it that they get lost? Can’t you, like, use a rope, or-”

    “That’s not the problem.” Hua shook her head. “You can’t go in there because if you do, then the ghosts will get you!”

    “Ghosts?” Furik tapped his chin. “I guess that’s a pretty good reason.”

    Just ‘pretty good?’” Hua narrowed her eyes. “Aren’t furret supposed to be scared of everything? You’re weird.”

    Furik flinched. “That… was unnecessary...”

    But Hua stayed oblivious to his hurt feelings. “Anyway,” she continued, getting back on track. “She only appears during the evening, so we’re gonna hafta wait for her.”

    “Wait, the evening?!” Furik sighed. He should’ve known: the poster said evening thief, not morning thief. Looks like traveling to Prestin would have to wait another day. “What do I do until then?” he asked.

    “Well…” Hua faced forward and looked down. Apparently she didn’t think this far ahead. “Uh, you can... help me with my shop!”

    “But I don’t know how to run a store…”

    “You can just… sit there or something. I know what to do, so just help or something!”

    Furik sighed. She didn’t even answer the question. “But I’ll play along, I guess. It’ll keep me occupied for the next…” Furik peeked up from under the roof to see where the sun was. “Twelve hours..?” This was going to be a long day.

    ---

    Furik looked around. “So why haven’t any customers arrived yet?”

    “It’s still too early for most mon, so of course the crowd’s pretty thin,” Hua replied, still on the lookout for potential buyers.

    Furik looked back up at the sun, as if somehow that’d make the time go by faster. But it had only been about thirty minutes. “I guess so…” he replied absentmindedly, his head on the counter.

    “Hey, straighten up!” she barked. “Bad posture scares away customers! They’ll think we’re not… uh…” Hua put a scythe towards her mouth. “Pro… freshional? Yeah, that.”

    Furik straightened his back up, and let himself stretch. “It’s ‘profesional,’” he corrected.

    “Whatever.” The fomantis resumed looking down the plaza.

    “This is so boring… but…” Rule number two of the adventurer code: make as many friends as possible.

    “So, why do you own a shop?” Furik spoke up. Hua looked towards him like she was going to answer the usual, but he continued before she could say anything: “Like, I know you said you have a permit, but why do you have a permit? Normally, you leave that kind of thing to the adults.”

    “Oh…” Hua looked back down towards the counter. “I’m watching it for my dad.”

    “Your dad?”

    “Yeah.” Hua poked her scythes together. “I don’t want anyone to buy it or something, because… I want it to be here for him when he gets back.” She seemed hesitant, like she didn’t want to reveal some kind of context.

    Furik grew thoughtful. “Okay… but how did you get your mom to let you?” he asked.

    Hua looked back up towards Furik. “Oh, she was okay with it. She said we needed the money, so it was fine as long as I had some help.”

    “Anyway,” she continued, “It’s not that bad. I already know a bunch from when my dad ran this place. He taught me everything!” Hua excitedly pointed towards the baskets hanging off the counter. “Look! I have oran berries, pecha berries, leppa berries, and rawst berries! That’s like, almost all of the important ones. And I’m the only one who sells them!” She posed proudly at that.

    “But what about the rest of the berries?” Furik asked, looking away from the display. “Like sitrus, or cheri?”

    Hua suddenly grew angry, then pointed down the marketplace, towards another berry stall. “See that Kecleon over there? He’s the reason why I can’t sell anything else. He always gets the berries good for a trip through the woods, like cheri and chesto. He also buys up all the sitrus berries when the traveling merchants come to sell their stuff. Every. Single. One.

    “She’s seething!” “Why can’t you try to buy some before him?” suggested Furik in the hopes that maybe she’d calm down.

    “Don’t you think I’ve tried that?!” she snapped back. “But he’s always there first! One time, I waited near the town entrance where they usually come in, and you know what?” Furik shook his head. “The merchants come in, and he comes in with them! Carrying a big basket of sitrus berries!” Hua had to stop to catch her breath.

    Furik wasn’t sure what to say to that. “He sounds… dedicated…”

    “You’re telling me…” Hua grumbled back. But then she perked up. “Wait, look! A customer!”

    Furik looked down the rows of stalls, and saw the form of an Arcanine passing through, shopkeepers bickering with each other to get his attention.

    “Please don’t go to Kecleon’s, please don’t go to Kecleon’s, please don’t go to Kecleon’s…” Hua repeated to herself over and over. But then, as fate would have it, his attention was caught hook, line, and sinker by the Kecleon shopkeeper. “Nooo… Stupid Kecleon…” she grumbled.

    “Better luck next time, eh?” said a Passimian in the stall adjacent to theirs.

    “No one asked you, Jian!” Hua retorted, giving off a frightful glare. Somehow, despite his best efforts, Furik couldn’t help but smile at that.

    “What are you smiling at?” Hua directed her deadly glare towards him.

    “Oh, sorry. It’s just… uh...” Furik desperately looked for a way out of this. “...Hey, look! That Arcanine is coming over here!”

    “He is?!” Hua looked over excitedly. Sure enough, he was heading straight for them.

    “That Kecleon didn’t have any of what I needed,” the large dog Pokémon began as he approached. “How much for the pecha berries?”

    “That’s 15 silver! Each!” Hua spoke up enthusiastically.

    The Arcanine chuckled. “Is she helping out?”

    “Actually, she’s the owner,” Furik sheepishly replied.

    “Oh?” He shifted his gaze between the two. “Huh. Not my place to judge. I’ll take two pecha berries.”

    “Okay!”

    …The two looked at Furik expectantly.

    “Uh, Mr. Furik?” Hua broke the silence.

    “What?”

    She groaned at his obliviousness. “Help him! Neither of us can do this alone!”

    “O-Oh!” Furik’s face flushed red under his fur. Right, they can’t carry things. Not normally. So Furik went around the counter towards the Arcanine. He was wearing a harness that held up multiple saddlebags.

    “See the smaller pouch near the back?” He pointed out to Furik. Sure enough, it was his wallet. Two pecha berries, 15 each, meant 30 Poké. So Furik took out one gold piece and ten silver pieces. He placed them on the counter, grabbed two pecha berries, then placed them into the bag Arcanine pointed out to him.

    “Okay. Done!” Furik announced. “Pleasure doing business with you!

    “Thanks.” And so he left to travel further down the line of stalls.

    Hua greeted Furik back with a: “That was my line, you know.” But Furik had a different question on his mind.

    “How does stuff like that normally go? When neither of you can trade?”

    “Normally, Jian helps me,” Hua answered readily. “But now you’re here, so you better be ready!”

    “Right!”

    ---

    Time passed, customers came and went, and the sun marched onwards overhead. Hua knew what she was doing after all: as far as Furik’s non-expert opinion was concerned, she did a good job with handling customers. Furik helped out when he could, all the while keeping an eye out towards the sun. Soon, the sky turned orange, and the crowd got thinner.

    “Any minute now…” said Hua, protectively keeping watch over her stock.

    Furik kept watch too. “What does a Mightyena look like?” he asked, realizing that he didn’t even know what he was looking for.

    “She’s black and white, with big paws and scary teeth!” Hua replied. “She comes in out of nowhere, and steals berries with her mouth!”

    “Black and white, large paws, sharp teeth, probably four-legged..?” That was all Furik could gather from that description. It… sorta matched up with the picture Hua drew. Almost. Not like he could do any better, really. “So how do we know when she comes?” he asked, shaking off the thought.

    “I said she comes out of nowhere! Don’t you listen?!” Hua huffed, and then answered in more detail: “She’s really fast, and steals things before anyone can stop her!”

    Before Furik could give that any more thought, he heard a yell from farther down the market. “Stop that shadow!” And before Furik could give that any more thought, a shadow streaked past, stole an oran berry from Hua’s basket, and continued on its merry way. He just stood there, still trying to process what just happened.

    “Don’t just stand there! Get her!” Hua shouted at Furik.

    That was just the jolt he needed. Furik shook his head, and ran out from behind the stall. The shadow was moving down the market plaza, continuing to steal from the helplessly confused shopkeepers.

    That shadow was moving fast, so Furik needed to move faster. “Watch my bag, Hua!” shouted Furik as he dropped down onto all fours. Glowing white with energy, he pushed off the ground and bolted forward. “I can’t let her get away!”

    As the shadow left the market, Furik finally got a good look on his opponent: a black and white Pokemon wearing a bag around her neck. “That must be what a Mightyena looks like.” The newly identified thief continued her run, looking behind her to catch a glimpse of Furik as he used his Quick Attack to close the distance. Unfazed, the thief simply changed her course from the southern exit to the nearest set of stairs.

    Ms. Thief had no trouble with the stairs: she practically leaped over all of them. “But I already know that those stairs are too big for me, so…” Furik just jumped onto the guardrail. Ignoring the fact that a single misstep would lead to a nasty fall, he maintained his attack and found the thief at the top. He wasted no time in barreling straight into her; the gap was now closed.

    Ms. Thief was pushed back hard by the attack, skittering over the stony second floor, but she didn’t let that stop her. She rode the momentum into another sprint, and went for another flight of stairs, Furik following in hot pursuit. Soon, the two were on the third floor, a long perimeter that made up the top of the wall.

    At the top, the thief seemed to be slowing down. “Is she getting tired?” If so, this was Furik’s chance. He caught up and landed another successful Quick Attack that left her sprawling just near the edge of the eastern wall. But Furik wasn’t going to give her the time to recover: he unsheathed his knife and ran forward into range.

    Sadly, he underestimated the thief’s remaining stamina. Furik decided to open with a vertical slice then follow with a horizontal, but Ms. Thief simply sidestepped the first and ducked under the second. Worse, he left himself open for the Mightyena to lunge forward and catch Furik’s arm in her jaws.

    Furik felt his arm get crushed under her jaw, a feeling so unbearingly painful that he collapsed to the ground, trying to pull his arm out. His knife clattered to the floor, but he didn’t even care. “Let go let go let go!” he shouted desperately, somehow believing that maybe the thief would listen. But she just clenched harder.

    Furik could feel his skin and bones struggle to hold against Ms. Thief’s teeth. His body refused to do anything else except for tug downwards and hope that somehow it would dislodge his arm. Something that was very much not working. Then, when all seemed lost, a voice -- “Hey!” -- followed immediately by a flurry of leaves. Hua came to help! But at the worst possible time: Ms. Thief jerked her head and threw Furik into the oncoming Razor Leaf, using the distraction to do the logical thing and jump right off the wall.

    Panting, Furik forced himself off the ground and hobbled over to the wall’s edge, only to see the shadow of the thief racing across the ground, over the distant bridge, and into the forest. A sinking feeling worse than the pain in his arm and the stinging all over his body set in: he failed. “N… no…”

    “You… You let her get away!” Hua ran forward and hopped onto the wall to get a look for herself. Then she looked at Furik. “You let her get away!”

    Furik was still panting. “I’m… sorry…” He looked at his arm. It looked fine, but it hurt more than he ever thought possible. He let it flop to his side. “I’m really sorry…”

    “Grrr! I thought you were supposed to help me! But you failed!” Hua growled. She hopped off the wall and stormed away. “I’m getting a different adventurer!”

    Furik just watched her leave, too exasperated to do anything about it. He collapsed over the wall and looked back over towards the forest, repeating the incident in his head. Then he remembered:

    “Wasn’t Hua supposed to be watching my bag?”

    ---

    Furik’s bag was fine, but his moral was not. Furik hugged his still-sore arm as he walked back over to the inn, completely dejected at the fact that he lost.

    Loss. Failure. This was a real first for Furik, and only on his second town. Part of him was screaming that he should blame the guide and Hua, for not telling him about Mightyena, and how strong their bite was, but the more rational part of Furik was countering that it wouldn’t have made a difference. He still would have accepted the job, and he still would have lost. “I got close, right..? Well, no. Not really. She was conserving her strength, it only looked like I got close.”

    Furik was nearing the inn entrance, when a voice interrupted his thoughts. “Mr. Furret?” It was Mrs. Guide. She ran forward to meet him. “I’m terribly sorry about my daughter, she-”

    “No, it’s fine,” Furik reassured, making no attempt to hide his own disappointment. “I should be the one saying sorry. I failed.”

    “But you are going to try again, aren’t you?”

    Try again? “I really want to get moving, but… I still want to help.” The furret looked down. “But can I help..?”

    “...I’ll think about it,” Furik replied. He still wasn’t sure, but he felt like he had to at least give it some thought. He didn’t want to betray her trust.

    “Understandable.” Mrs. Guide gave a brief nod. “I’ll talk to my daughter some more. I appreciate you spending time with her, by the way.”

    “Oh?” Furik absentmindedly scratched his ear. “I-It’s nothing, really. She’s really sweet.”

    Mrs. Guide shook her head. “If you don’t like her, you don’t need to lie about it. I understand that she can be a bit too... assertive.”

    “What? No, really, I had fun!” Did others really complain about her? “I mean it, it was fine,” he reassured again.

    “I see…” said the Lurantis, not quite convinced. “I’ll leave you to your thoughts, then. No matter your decision, I hope you can stop by the office tomorrow morning.”

    “Yeah, I will.” And then she left.

    The second he stepped into the inn, Furik made up his mind: he was going to try again tomorrow. The Pangoro receptionist was still there, and, two gold pieces later, Furik found himself back in the room he used last night. He was going to stay here another day, and he was going to catch that thief. Even if he didn’t want to do the former.

    “At least the beds are nice,” Furik thought as he lit a candle and jumped onto his own. He wasn’t used to seeing beds like these, or using beds like these, for that matter, but it was the one thing this town had over the last one. He was used to straw beds, not these long, cloth beds, but it definitely felt nicer. He gathered the covers together to create a more familiar, round shape, and curled himself up in it. Tomorrow, he was going to win…

    Once he got some sleep, that is…



    ...Furik couldn’t sleep. “Now’s not the time to worry!” But he worried anyway. Then the worrying got so bad, he couldn’t sit still anymore. Now he was pacing around the room, trying to figure out how he was going to handle tomorrow.

    “She’s focused on trying to run away. That’s why when I first closed the gap, she just continued running instead of fighting. She wants to conserve her energy so that she can use it for more important purposes. Or, in that case, so that she could jump off the wall and lose me.” Furik reached the door, then turned around and continued his pacing. “Then, when I actually fought her… I tried to get in close” He stopped. “That’s why I lost. Because… because she has the advantage up close. One good bite and that’s it for me. And with her being four-legged, it’s easy for her to lunge and maneuver around in close quarters combat. So I need to fight her from farther back. But I can’t fight her from farther back, because all of my moves require me to get really close to her. And my weapon…”

    Furik looked towards his belt, sitting on the floor where he left it. He wandered over, unsheathed his knife, and gave a few practice swings. “The knife is too short.” He started to inspect the blade. “Using this means getting really close, where she has the advantage. So…” Furik’s thoughtful look turned into a glare. “It’s useless!” he shouted, throwing it at the dresser in the room. It stuck to the dresser on contact, and contently sat lodged into the wood. “The knife is useless because it does nothing for me! It just puts me back in close range, like any of my other moves, and I can’t be that close to her!”

    Furik jumped back onto the bed and flopped onto his side, staring at the knife. “Why’d I even get it, anyway?” Furik remembered why. His mother told him that it was important to have a stabbing weapon, and his father backed her up on that. Plus, just about every adventurer out there has such a thing. Of course he’d get one. “And, it stabs… so…” It did stab. Into the dresser when he threw it. But right now, it was-

    “Wait a second.”

    Furik got back up and started pacing around the knife. “I threw it at the dresser, and it stuck to it… I threw it at the dresser… and…”

    Furik clapped his paws together. “That’s it!”

    ---

    “Targets?” Mrs. Guide gave Furik a questioning look. “What do you need one of those for?”

    “To practice with throwing things,” he answered. “Do you have any?”

    “Well, I don’t. But the blacksmith makes a few on occasion from straw, in case they should ever be needed.”

    “Okay, thanks!” He was almost out the door, when: “Um, where’s the blacksmith?”

    So Mrs. Guide gave him the necessary directions, and Furik was off. The blacksmith, a kind magmortar, did have a spare target. It was a little old and moldy, but it could still do. So they took the target out to the space in the plaza set aside for events, and, after reminding him to return the target when he was done, the blacksmith left Furik to do as he wished.

    Furik counted thirty steps away from the target, like the blacksmith suggested he should, placed his bag down, and unsheathed his knife. He was going to throw this thing, and it was going to hit the target, and it was going to work.

    First throw didn’t work, though. And neither did the second. He couldn’t throw it far enough; did that mean he was weak? Well, if it did, he was just going to have to throw it closer, then. So he counted ten more paces forward, and tried again. Still didn’t work. Five more. Hit the grass in front of the target, which meant another five. This time, the knife spun through the air, and hit the target… by the hilt.

    “So I have my distance, now I just need to figure out how to throw it so that it sticks to the target.” As he went, Furik learned a few things: overhand throws were a bit easier, he could set his distance so that the spin didn't matter, and, most importantly, his grip on the knife decided how it spun. By that point, the sun was already directly overhead. Furik felt his stomach growl and looked up. “I’ve been at this for hours, and I still haven’t figured it out!” Anxiety clawed at his stomach, vying for attention over his hunger, before the two settled to an agreement and Furik ended up growing more hungry. He sighed and decided that maybe it was time for a break.

    Furik noticed he had attracted a small crowd of onlookers during his practice, but he ignored them and searched the fort’s perimeter for a café. He found one, went in, ordered something, and waited, before realizing he didn’t even pay attention to what he was ordering. Oh well, he could do with a Grepa sandwich. He liked them, but it’s all he’s really been eating for a while now. Furik plopped down at a table and stared at the sandwich. Was he sick of these yet? “No…” He picked the sandwich up, then put it back down. “Kinda…”

    Furik’s thoughts just kept going back to the same place: the thief. Last time, he failed, and his arm was bitten, and it hurt. He knew that it didn’t mean much: it’d either take a long time or a lot of force for any kind of attack to cause a serious injury. But the idea that, had Hua not came, Furik could’ve started to bleed, and that maybe his arm would have been broken

    Furik had never bled before. The only thing he knew about blood was that it was red, and that it needed to stay inside of him. He didn’t want to find out why.

    Maybe he should let someone else take this case. Someone better will eventually come along and deal with it themselves, right?

    Furik shook his head. “Is this me talking, or my mom talking?” She had always tried her best to hammer in the dangers of, well, everything into him. But he never listened. He was more concerned with geography and cool locations and heroism. Why should he care about the possible dangers on the journey? Wouldn’t the solution to those problems just come naturally?

    Part of Furik lost his appetite. The other part hadn’t eaten since this morning, and didn’t care that he lost his appetite. So he hurried through his meal, and went back outside to continue training. He couldn’t give up on this. That shop was important to someone, and even if it meant getting hurt, there was no way Furik was going to let Hua and her mom down.

    ---

    In a couple hours, Furik hit the breakthrough he needed. It was a very specific grip, one that was a bit hard for him to do with his only slightly-dexterous paws, but he was able to do it, and he was able to replicate it. He finally managed to find a way to eliminate the spin and just throw the knife straight. Furik kept practicing, of course, partially to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and partially to make sure he’d be able to do it quickly. It wasn’t very long before Furik felt satisfied. Or, almost satisfied. It felt like something was missing. “Distance. I still can’t throw very far. And maybe something else...” But Furik was too tired to really care. This was good enough, and if not, he’d just improvise.

    He went over to the blacksmith and told her he was done. They went together to grab the target, and Furik was left alone in the plaza. Looking up at the sun, it was still going to be a while before sunset. “So now what?” Furik knew the answer. There was only one thing to do, something he had silently avoided all day.

    And so Furik went back into the marketplace and over to Hua’s stall.

    She wasn’t happy to see him. “Why are you here?”

    “I want to try again,” Furik replied, looking straight at her. “Is it okay if I wait here?”

    “No.”

    “She didn’t waste any time.” Furik could only sigh. “If she wants to be that way…”

    Luckily, Furik grew up with five younger siblings. “Fine then, I’ll just go and wait with Kecleon.” He turned to leave, and...

    “No wait!” Hua reached out from her stool, desperate. “You don’t want to wait with him!”

    “Why not?” Furik crossed his arms. “I can’t wait with you, and I have to go somewhere…”

    “Uh… um...” Hua looked frustrated as she tried to come up with something to stop him from going to Kecleon’s shop. “Err… Gah! Fine!”

    Content, Furik went around and placed himself behind the counter. Hua just glared at him as he put down his bag and stretched.

    “I know I screwed up last time…” Furik began as he stretched his arm to the side. “But this time I’ll catch her.”

    Hua kept glaring. “No you won’t. You can’t catch her, the last guy couldn’t catch her, no one can catch her.”

    “I practiced this time. I know what I need to do,” he replied. But Hua looked away, still not satisfied. “Wow, she’s even more stubborn than I thought.”

    Things continued this way for quite a while. The sun continued its westward path through the sky, but no new customers came to stop by. Not a very profitable day. Neither of them said anything; they just looked for potential customers.

    Eventually, just as the sky began to turn orange, Hua’s stalwart watch over the market started to lose focus. Furik noticed her head drop, all of her stubborn energy drained.

    “Hua?” he asked. “Does she feel bad about earlier, now?”

    Hua turned her head slightly, but quickly turned back, pretending like she didn’t hear him.

    “...Or maybe it’s something else.” “What’s wrong?”

    Hua kept staring, kept on trying to ignore him, then screwed her eyes shut and answered. “You remind me of dad.”

    “Huh?”

    “You’re just standing there, pretending like everything’s okay, until it really is okay. You’re stubborn. And you won’t give up…”

    Furik wasn’t sure if he liked being called ‘stubborn,’ but he was getting somewhere. “Do you miss him?”

    Hua turned towards him, her energy back. “No! I don’t need to miss him, because he’s coming back!"

    Okay, so she didn’t miss him. Furik put a paw to his chin in thought. “But… are you worried he won’t come back?”

    Hua turned back away. “No… He should be fine.” She started to fumble with her scythes. “He just went towards the west, is all. It’s none of your business, anyway…” she bitterly answered.

    “The west..? Oh. The… situation… over there.” “Well, I bet your dad’s smart. He’ll know not to get involved, right? So it’ll be fine,” Furik reassured.

    An awkward silence, as Furik just waited to see if his words meant anything.

    Eventually, Hua broke it. “Um...” She looked down and fumbled with her scythes again. “...I’m sorry.”

    He didn’t expect that. “It’s okay…” Furik half-heartedly replied. For some reason he couldn’t go all the way with his reassurance.

    Hua ignored him, and continued on. “My mom said it was mean of me to act like that, and...” She continued to poke them together. “And you’re really nice. So…” She stopped, and looked right into Furik’s eyes.

    “Can you please catch the thief?”

    Furik looked down at her, a little unsure about really committing to this, what it means to commit to this. But he shook it off and placed a paw to his chest.

    “Of course! Rule number six of the adventurer code: never let anyone down!”

    Hua stared, then suddenly shook with barely contained laughter. “Adventurer’s code? That’s… that’s so stupid!”

    And Furik deflated right back down. “Way to ruin the mood…” But still, he made the commitment, and that’s all that matters, cheesy made-up rules or not. “Whatever. Point is, you can count on me!”

    “Okay, just…” Hua wiped a tear from her eye, then looked towards the sky and sighed. “It’s almost sunset, so you better be ready.”

    Furik’s ears perked up. “Oh, right.” He placed his bag down, took another glance at the sun, and let himself stretch. “There’s probably still some time left. Now that everything has smoothened over, I can just relax for a bit, get prepared…”

    “Help! It’s the thief again!”

    Or not.

    By the time Furik was ready for his second encounter, Ms. Thief had already hit their stall. No big deal: he knew from last time that he could catch up with Quick Attack. It’s what happens afterwards that matters.

    “Wish me luck,” said Furik just before he bolted off through the grass, glowing white. What followed was a repeat of yesterday’s events: Ms. Thief noticed him, changed her course for the stairs, Furik followed, hit her and sent her sprawling at the top.

    But instead of leaving her to recover like last time, Furik pushed himself up to his feet, drew his knife, pulled back…

    And threw.

    The knife went straight into Ms. Thief’s side, forcing out a pained yelp. But she wasn’t going to waste the time getting it out. Instead, she recovered and continued running, up another set of stairs, and jumped right off the edge. Furik was dumbfounded by her tenacity, but refused to let that linger. He followed her up the stairs, and…

    “Deep breath... She can make it, you can make it...” He jumped off the wall.

    The thief was on the ground, rolling around and trying to dislodge the knife around the time when Furik landed. He shivered from head to tail, but let it pass and tried to ignore how much it stung to fall that far.

    By the time he recovered, Furik saw that the thief had succeeded in getting the knife out and continued running. Not wasting any more time, he ran forward, grabbed the knife off the ground (no blood: it isn’t going to be that easy), put it in his mouth and pushed off into a sprint. The pain from falling from the third floor still lingered, and didn’t let him use a Quick Attack, but Furik was still faster than the thief, who endured the same fall with a knife in her.

    “But we’re still getting close to the bridge.” Once the thief crosses it, she’s as good as gone, and with the sun so close to fully set, there wouldn’t be a chance to chase her in if she made it. With that in mind, Furik pushed against the ground harder. The thief wasn’t too far from him now, but neither was the bridge.

    Desperately, Furik pushed up, grabbed the knife, and threw it again. Another direct hit, but he didn’t want to end it there. He lunged forward and grabbed at her tail. With another pained yelp, Ms. Thief was pulled back by the sudden baggage. She tried to turn around to face him, but Furik thought quickly, and ran around to block her.

    “You’re not going farther than this!” he shouted as he held out his arms just in front of the bridge.

    “Try me.” Ms. Thief snarled as her options became apparent. Or lack of them. “With me blocking the way and a knife in her back, there’s only one way this can g-!”

    She came to that conclusion faster than Furik did. Ms. Thief lunged forward and forced him to backpedal onto the stony bridge, tail trailing behind him. He had to make a concentrated effort to not trip on it. At least the soreness from the fall was gone.

    Furik let his claws slide out and elongate. He was about to go against his own advice. “Doesn’t matter anymore, just gotta outlast her…” As long as the knife is still in her back, then sooner or later, the battle will end in his favor. She lunged forward again, but this time, Furik countered it with an upwards Slash. He continued to backpedal, hoping that he had enough bridge to stall her with.

    But the thief decided it was time for a change of pace. Her face contorted into a terrifying snarl, and she let out a low, threatening growl. Furik felt his heart race, and not thinking, he backed up even more.

    “What..? Wait... that’s Scary Face!” She used her move to try and run past, but Furik came to that realization just in time to slam into her side with Quick Attack. The Mightyena was pushed right into the parapet, the knife dislodging with the impact.

    “Crap!” The knife had to stay in there, there wasn’t any other way to win this! He went for it first, but the thief took that opportunity without hesitation: she shakily pushed herself up and continued running for the other side of the bridge.

    The sun was almost completely gone, and the thief was getting away. Furik, not thinking straight anymore, went for the simplest option: he ran after her and jumped onto her back, stabbing the knife directly through her spine. Ms. Thief refused to stop for anything at that point, leaving Furik to hang on for dear life as the two stumbled into Seishu Woods.

    She didn’t get far. Ms. Thief’s pace slowed down. She was panting heavily as she tried to keep moving, running on nothing but some small remnant of adrenaline. Furik was able to stand, now; he took the knife out, and the thief swayed before collapsing.

    Furik was panting himself, watching the mightyena sprawled out on the forest floor. “Did I… Did I win..?” Unsure, he reached forward to poke the thief…

    But, not quite out, the thief bit back at his arm. It was the same pain from yesterday. Crushing, and desperate. “No!” Panicked, Furik let out his claws and slashed her muzzle with his free arm.

    She let go immediately, and her head hit the ground with a thump! Something appeared on the side of her face. The forest was dark, so Furik couldn’t see it well, but it looked red…

    “Blood. She’s bleeding. I… I made her bleed.” A feeling of utter horror washed over Furik. He stumbled backwards, suddenly feeling woozy, and hot. Panting heavily, Furik put a paw up to his head: it felt like it was going to melt. “I… It all happened so fast, I…”

    His ears perked up. A sound: rustling? “Or…” Furik shook his head. “I… I need to focus!” he said out loud, to no one in particular. “I need to get us out of here…”

    It took a few more seconds of staring at the wound he created to get it together and think of something. Furik took off his belt and wrapped it around Ms. Thief’s torso. Hanging on to the loose end, his knife in his mouth, Furik pulled the bleeding thief with him out of the woods. In his haste, he didn’t realize that this was the first action he ever took in Prestin.

    ---

    (continued in next post)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  2. JFought

    JFought Sloooowly writing...

    (continued from last post)

    ---

    As Furik learned when he turned her in, the thief’s name was Moriko. She apparently originated from Dakuro, where she had a hard time finding a job. With no skills or ability to call to her name, on top of other disadvantages, Moriko had no choice but to live in the wild. But, evidently, that didn’t work out too well either. The only thing she could do was figure out how to avoid the ghosts in the forest, and using that to her advantage, she began her life of crime, first stealing from Dakuro, then from Liubao when things started to get hairy.

    When he pulled her in, Furik was met with applause from the various shopkeepers, and everyone crowded around her bag of stolen goods to reclaim what was theirs, ignoring the complete lack of enthusiasm from Furik. He was payed with the 300 Poké from Mrs. Guide when he turned her in, and he woke up the next morning to another 200 from the wanted request in Dakuro. “The news got there fast…”

    “Why don’t I feel happy about this..?” He turned in a thief, he was a hero! Pokémon would tell stories about him! About the brave Furret who defeated the swift and crafty evening thief. “This is part of what I always wanted. To be a hero, defeat bad guys, and help people.” Was it the blood? Maybe. Seeing that didn’t feel very heroic. It could’ve also been the story behind it. Something didn’t sit right with him there, either. But Furik shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. Where she came from, or what I had to do. What matters…” Furik sighed heavily. “What matters is that she did a bad thing, and I stopped her. That is what matters. No extra details will ever change that what she did was wrong, and that I did the right thing in turning her in.”

    It felt a bit better, to think that way.

    Furik exited the inn to the morning sunlight, blocked out by the oppressive wall on the other side of the clearing. If he wanted to get all the way through Seishu Woods and enter Prestin for real, he needed to leave early.

    Then, a shout. “Wait!”

    Furik turned in the direction of the voice. “Hua?” She came up to him, breathing hard.

    “Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving already!” Hua shouted at the top of her lungs. “I didn’t even get to say goodbye!”

    “Or thank you,” said Mrs. Guide walking up behind her. “Isn’t that the real reason you’re out here?”

    Hua turned around to face her mother. “Well, yeah, but…” She turned to Furik -- “Thank you!” -- and turned back. “There. I did it.”

    Mrs. Guide shook her head. “Hua, please…”

    “Ugh, fine!” Hua turned around for real this time. “Thank you,” she said with a short bow.

    “You’re, uh, welcome... heh…” Furik scratched his ear in embarrassment. Somehow this didn’t surprise him.

    “I know I said it last night, but I have to thank you again as well. You have no idea how much that shop means to us, especially to Hua. So…” Mrs. Guide curtseyed. “Thank you.”

    “I-it wasn’t… that big a deal..?” That was a blatant lie, but Furik wasn’t sure what else to say.

    “So you’re going to cross into Prestin, right?” Mrs. Guide asked.

    “Yeah,” Furik replied. “It’s my first big stop.”

    “Where do you plan on heading once you’re there?”

    The Furret’s eyes glinted with excitement. “Well, once I got to Dakuro, I was going to take directions to Soruku Island!”

    “Soruku?” Mrs. Guide looked… worried. “I… haven’t heard good things about that place. Are you sure?”

    “Huh?” He didn’t expect that kind of reaction. “Well… yeah. It can’t be that bad, right?”

    “Hmm. Well, if you’re certain about it, then I wish you luck.”

    “Wait, so you’re going east?” Hua interjected.

    “Yeah. What about it?”

    “Well, if you’re going east, then you’ll meet my dad at some point. So…” Hua seemed to be holding something back, before she blurted out: “Tell him that when he gets back, I’m gonna show how much money I made! Which is a lot!”

    “Right, of course!” Furik put a paw to his chest. “I promise!”

    After saying their goodbyes, Furik left the family of two behind and exited the town without jumping off the wall. He definitely felt better, now. “See, me? I helped someone, and it feels good to help others. So no more doubt, let’s move forward!”

    Granted, there was still some doubt left. Sitting in the dark recesses of his mind, reminding him of the time where he made someone else bleed, and the circumstances that led to it. But he pushed it back the best he could. When he reached the river border and the bridge over it, he took a deep breath.

    “Here’s to my first step in a new location!”

    ---

    A/N: The main reason I posted to the forums this is because I'd like feedback on this. This is probably the first time since I participated in the Kanto Trainer Fic Exquisite Corpse that I shared something I went all out on, and I'd seriously appreciate the feedback, be it on something I didn't do quite right/outright screwed up on, or something you genuinely liked and want to see more of.

    Anyway, huge thanks to Jax for setting up the event, I'm very glad I decided to participate this year, and thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this monster! I hope you all enjoy the holiday season!
     
  3. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Winter can't come soon enough

    D'aww, adorable Furret protagonist. :3

    Oh, wait, he's a rough-and-tumble Furret. That's cool, too! I see that he's got a few of the stereotypical quirks of his species (namely the hand-wringing), and his reaction to Mrs. Guide calling him cute was amazing. I think it's the combination of how polite he is and his tendency to introduce himself as an adventurer extraordinaire. Like, Furret is not the species I'm going to turn to if I've got a crisis, that's for sure. That said, Hua's quite adorable. A very plucky little shopkeep with a bitty of sass to her. I thought some of her interactions with Furik were quite charming. Like the parts where she scolds him for stealing her lines. XP

    And, whelp, I wasn't exactly expecting a Furret to take down a Mightyena, but dang did the Thief manage to wound Furik's pride. But he manages to bounce back. I'm personally not too big on Pokémon using weapons since they have attacks, but I like that the knife throwing training seems to tie into him steadily pushing the doubts out of his mind. And it all comes to a boil with the confrontation with Moriko I think you do a good job blending the actual action (the running, Moriko's desperate attempts to dislodge the knife and get away, Furik's eventual attack) with Furik's on thoughts on the matter. They were quick, and generally didn't interrupt the flow of things. And things are wrapped up succinctly with a nice set of goodbyes to Hua and her mother.

    Overall, if there's anything I could criticize, it's probably that bit at the end where Furik is questioning if he did the right thing. Namely, it feels a bit too brief. He poses the question, essentially goes "Yeah, she did a bad and I stopped her," and it's all done and dusted. Considering you spend a fair amount of time having Furik question if he's got the stuff to be an adventurer, this is the type of thing I'd expect to way a bit heavier on him. Especially since he spent so long thinking over his loss and his reasons for leaving home in the first place.

    Otherwise, it was a fun little romp. And I enjoyed it. ^^
     
  4. DreamSayer

    DreamSayer Name's Adam.

    I finally finished reading this one shot, and I have to tell you, it was nothing but a delight from start to finish. I honestly enjoyed myself quite a lot while reading it, and I really appreciate every ounce of effort you put into this. Furik was definitely a charming protagonist and though we don't know a whole lot about him, what we saw was more than enough for us to get a good idea of the kind of person he is. And I like the subtle character moments between him and Hua. You wrote her character just as well.

    Again, this story was an absolute blast. Though I wish we knew more about Moriko after she got caught, I'm perfectly fine with where she left off.
     
  5. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    This is one of those one shots, where I wouldn't mind if there was more off. I really liked Furik's character and would consider naming my next furret after him after reading this fic. I really felt for Moriko in the end.
     
  6. When I saw the name “Furik” I immediately thought, wait, I’ve read a story with that name before. And then I looked at your author’s notes and, yeah, it’s that Furik, the one with the interesting characterization and great dialogue.

    And he still had both of those, only this time they were much more pronounced and it made for a great read. “A Game of War” was interesting in a very unique way, but seeing Furik in action here really brought out a lot of character in him. And sure, he still played to the adventure stereotype (which he himself seems to acknowledge?) but that didn’t make him any less of a cute awesome character.

    Even if I enjoyed the action with the titular thief, my favorite part of the story had to be his dynamic with Hua. You portray Hua’s brattiness and childishness rather well, but what really makes it work is how Furik progressively reacts to it, and in the end even take advantage of it with that scene about hanging out with Kecleon instead. Sure, his thought process is already laid out in the story, but it was also nice seeing how the dynamic grew because of those thoughts and because of those observations.

    The part about his reactions to bleeding was rather interesting, and while I wanted more out of it from this project, it seemed like it was holding it for another project in this universe you’re building up. In any case I’m looking forward to where you’re taking Furik and his story!

    And one last thing:

    WOOMY!!! (If it wasn’t a reference to Splatoon then oops, haha, it caught my eye anyway.) Great job with the story :)
     
  7. JFought

    JFought Sloooowly writing...

    Hey look, an excuse to finally getting around to those review replies!

    *cough* *cough cough* Um, I mean… Hey look, I have free time now and can reply to reviews!

    I’m glad you liked him! He’s a fun character to write, mostly because of all the things you outlined (plus a few others). He's definitely more bold than your average Furret, though he's still a Furret. That aspect just comes out in other ways.

    Speaking of fun to write, Hua was also very fun! Adorable was exactly what I was aiming for with her, and I’m happy her interactions with Furik have been received well.

    I’m relieved the battle went well. I’ll admit, I stressed over it quite a lot. It’s good to know that I managed to strike that balance between action and thought without dragging down the fight. It seems like the knife part went over somewhat well, too. I definitely get being leery towards the use of weapons by Pokémon, so I wanted to be sure that the knife played an important role overall, both in and out of battle.

    Yeah, I definitely agree there. I was trying to show how Furik’s optimism made him resolve the issue, but in retrospect I could have waited longer for him to reach that conclusion, to ease him into the idea more believably. As it stands, he brushed it aside too quickly, and the issue lost the weight I wanted it to have. I’ll definitely look out for similar problems in the future, so thanks for catching it!

    Thanks for the review, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    The relief technically happened, like, a month ago now, but I still felt pretty relieved to know you really liked it! I shouldn’t have been worried, but I couldn’t stop being worried because I got it into my head that I went too far, and lost track of what I was supposed to be doing. Just… knowing you liked it helped lay those feelings to rest. So thank you <3

    Tbh, I think I also named a Furret after him sometime ago. Not sure when or what game, but I’m pretty sure I did at some point. Anyway, thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Good to know he came off just as strong here as he did there! He’s definitely playing into that mold, and Furik is kinda aware. I guess half-aware of it.

    Glad you liked their dynamic! I feel like Furik lends himself well to that kind of thing, since he’s so outgoing. But yeah, his thoughts are pretty much the essential thing at play here. Just, making sure he has a reaction to everything, I guess.

    Yup, I have plans...

    ...Don’t know when I’ll get to those plans, but… I have them?

    Yesss someone caught it! It was a reference: I was never able to get that pun out of my head the first time I noticed it. Anyway, thanks for the review, and I’m glad you liked it!

    Whew, doing all of these was a weight off my chest! Sorry it took so long to respond, and thanks again to all of you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

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