Yay! This chapter isn't boring, don't worry. xD At least, I hope not!
Originally Posted by Scytherwolf
Well, mostly... .0.
Oh, well I hope it will be! (If it isn't though, that's fine...I'd rather have a plot that makes sense. xD)
Yeah, didn't that happen in the anime? A pokemon got really angry and kept attacking after the other one fainted? I think it was a meowth fighting a persian. o: (I know I have the episode recorded on a VHS...that's where I saw it. XD) Yeah, I guess it does work out! Yeah, that's what I'd think!
Haha, yeah. XD I guess not!
Do you have more motivation now? o: If not, we should keep talking about the stories!
I have no idea, but I wouldn't be surprised. o: Oh, okay. *GAPS* Oh. xDD Nice. Love VHSs. x) Yeah!
YES I DO. *points below*
ANYWAY! Really funny thing. I had been writing this day in and day out, and page after page! I wrote about four pages in the span of a few days. O_O WEIRD, HUH?! But fantastic! I just kept writing, and today I looked at it and realised I had enough to finish the chapter where it was! I was so happy but surprised! xD I'm gonna have to split the chapter, however, BUT THAT MEANS I CAN HAVE BOOKS! I decided having books would be cool, and maybe every 20 or so chapters I'd start another book. ;3 So now that I have one extra chapter, I can start the second book where I'd like to (if my other chapters don't end up being unexpectedly long like this xD). :D
Without further ado, here's chapter eighteen. Hope you like it, Scy. <3 There's no picture yet. Dx
Chapter Eighteen: Expedition Challenge
The whisper of her name was nearly silent, and I doubt anybody else heard.
She was speechless as she slowly bent down to find the opening of the sack with her mouth, her eyes staying fixed, and for one reason or another drew her neck back up. Her ears remained erect, mimicking mine, and we both continued our stare down.
“Dusty?” wondered Mynk, concern in her voice.
“Azure?” Gigin asked in much the same way, hopping forward to be level with me. When the eeveelution didn’t reply, the normal type lowered the front half of her body to catch Azure’s gaze.
The glaceon gave an acknowledging nod, keeping her gaze on me, and warily reached down to the sack. Her jaws separated and she took the opening in her mouth, tensing it to support the bag’s (light) weight. She then padded cautiously into the open room and placed the sack at one of the table’s legs, then backed up.
“Excuse me, girls,” Gigin began, trying to break our silent surprise. “Would you like something to drink?”
I didn’t remove my stare, but my mind went over a few things. “...Yeah, I would.” My tongue could do with the moistening.
“I’ll, uh...get the water,” offered the linoone, and she crept behind Azure after taking a bucket between her teeth and was out the door in a few moments. I knew she had become uncomfortable with the situation, and, well...I didn’t blame her.
Clinking and clanking sounded as Gigin must have been searching for something in the long gap in the wall along the bottom where I saw things stored not long before. I heard her scoff and sigh, and she waited a few seconds before popping up, and from the corner of my eye I saw her crawl forward until she stood up between us. “I will also be back,” she stated, and finished her crawl along the floor before disappearing through the exit.
We kept our eyes still. But her image was beginning to bore me, and I realised that using my eyes for communication wouldn’t get me the appropriate answers I sought. ‘But then again, what are the answers I want?’
I asked myself, filtering out two or three. I thought I’d begin with a simple one.
“What are you doing here?” we both questioned simultaneously. Then we blinked. I narrowed my eyes as if unable to believe that we had done that. Quickly I decided to tell her before she could sneak in another sentence.
“I’m living with this colony,” I answered blatantly. Had it been anyone else and I’m sure I would have replaced ‘living’ with something a little less intrusive.
with this colony,” Azure stated, and I drew my head back.
?” I must have been hearing things wrong. How could she live in the same colony I was invited to stay with? It was just...ludicrous!
“I said that I live here,” she repeated, and I rolled my eyes.
you, I just...” I turned away, figuring this had to be true. One chance at peace and it was suddenly foiled.
“Dusty,” she started, and I was surprised: it was the first time that I remember her calling me by my name. I answered with a flick of my head, and the expected complaining or rant was not what came out of her mouth next. “Back at the bibarel colony...” She held back contempt, and instead forced a calm expression to convince me of her words. “I meant to thank you.”
All of a sudden Hell froze over. Just like that. I blinked in succession, a bemused expression prodding my face. “Th-thank...me?” I mocked, hardly believing it when it came from my own mouth. Why on Earth would Azure want to thank
“...Yes,” she confessed, and I was rather impressed. It seemed she did understand the term ‘manners’ after all!
Rustling and pawsteps sounded as a duo of pokémon entered again, Mynk second, and the raticate held two bowls carved from some kind of glazed wood. She proceeded to place one under my nose and the other onto the tabletop. Mynk used her paws to angle the bucket while still holding the thin metal handle in her maw and released the water; it splashed clumsily all over my paws, and I made strange noises while shaking them off. The zigzagoon evolution apologised through gritted teeth and sincere eyes, and placed the bucket at a table stump.
“Ahh, doesn’t matter,” I murmured with a flat mouth.
My gaze flashed back to Azure to find her already staring at me, and Mynk must have noticed as she stepped in front of me and kept herself supported on her hind legs. “Perhaps we should...go to the next house?”
“Good idea,” input Gigin, and she gave the nod of her head before Mynk turned to Azure and nodded hers.
“We will be seeing you.” Mynk turned and padded on all-fours to the exit. She swivelled her head around, as if to ask if I was behind her, and I hesitated before meeting her tail. I gave one last look to Azure before we were captured by the sunlight bathing the village in its endearing warmth. With a turn of her head, Mynk’s eyes fell onto mine. “It...seemed like you knew Azure,” she mentioned with concern.
I breathed a sigh. “Yep-ah.” I flung my head back in front of me. “We’ve...met
.” The linoone appeared content with the answer – or if she wasn’t she didn’t show it – and we continued up the ‘street’. However, feeling like I barely bothered to answer her question, I sighed. “You know how she’s been gone for...a while?”
“Well... I met her sometime during then.” I watched as Mynk’s face formed an incomprehensive expression. “She was captured...and I was too.”
I hardly got the response I expected when she stayed silent. I prodded her face with my eyes for a further explanation. “No, that can’t be.”
For the brief bundle of minutes I’d known this pokémon, of all things I hadn’t expected her to doubt me. “...Wadda ya mean?”
Realising her unwelcome appearance, Mynk softened her tone. “You see, Azure wasn’t gone for as long as Luck...or Larse...or Zhol. She said she went to visit someone, and we imagined she happened to find Larse on her journey home.”
I stopped. ‘Happened to?’
A question nearly slipped between my teeth before another one fell through. “Did she say who she went to visit?”
“...No, she didn’t.”
“Why didn’t you ask?”
Mynk seemed confused. “Well...Habib provides us with plenty of freedom. I...suppose he doesn’t mind where we go, as long as we will be safe.”
“...Right,” I mumbled, unsure about my initial thoughts on the leader.
Mynk must have seen this in my expression and began her attempt to soothe my doubt. “He cares about every colony member a lot,” she reassured. “He and Ikari just try not to be restrictive.”
I figured Ikari must have been Habib’s mate, the slowking. “But...when I was talking to Habib earlier, he said there had been three members missing other than Larse. Zhol, Luck, Azure...”
“Before Larse arrived,” she began, quick to settle my mind, “we thought she might have gone missing too. But when she returned, she said nothing about capture, and Larse told us she met up with him; he never saw her on the ship.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Well...perhaps I was mistaken, then.”
“Yes—it must have been another glaceon that you met.”
I ducked my head to enter a second home after Mynk turned and brushed the tip of her tail through the bottom of an arch—the section that lacked wood. There was a short noise to signify we were welcome, and soon enough I was in the company of a stout, colourful bellossom. She danced from within tall grass which spread across most of the house, and bowed before us with undying grace.
“Welcome,” she lulled, connecting her gaze with mine before Mynk’s.
After learning that the bellossom’s name was Mio, and that her mate was called Greech, she told me about her son, an oddish called Ollie. He sounded cute...but agitating like most young pokémon. She seemed to love him with all her heart though, as mothers do, and I came to wonder what kind of a parent I would make. The thought didn’t linger as Mio offered us some food. “Sure!” I agreed, watching as she placed some berries on the floor. I snuffled up two before looking up at her. “Sho,” I began, my cheeks bulging, “you wan’...any o’ dese?”
She declined, calmly explaining that, being plant pokémon, her family mainly consumes water for their daily needs as well as a few rotten berries—and a “healthy dose of sunlight”. I agreed with the sunlight and berries, but surviving mainly on water? How distasteful!
We moved onto the houses up the stretch, sticking to the left row of houses, and passed Shard’s house before coming across Azure’s. I eyed it as we padded past, and the waterhole I previously saw appeared before me once more, and I felt as if I was on that tour all over again. Further left was a house with the waterhole’s inlet running through it, and I was told that a politoed called ‘Politoad’ occupied it. I gave a suspicious eye-narrowing, but it quickly vanished as we came to the one in the corner. Zhol’s. “I guess I’ll be staying here then,” I mentioned, and Mynk turned her head. “I came with her here, and since I’ve been allowed a place to stay, it’ll probably be with her since we know each other the most.”
Next to hers, on the right (and facing in towards the waterhole), was an adjoined home. My linoone friend led me through the first section (after doing that tail-swishing thing again) and as I stepped inside, my limbs seized up. It was freezing! A chilly wind whipped past me and blew my fur about the room (in a non-literal manner) as I dropped a flame onto my paws. With a small “ouch!” I regretted it instantly, and directed my focus to something else.
Mynk gave an innocent smile and gestured towards me. “This is Dusty.”
We tossed our gazes between each other like a bundle of hay as I was quick to recognise this pokémon. She was one of the three I had woken up to—the one whose species I was unknowing of. She looked me up and down before she showed a meek smile and hovered closer, whispering a greeting that she followed up with a voice-clearing. I didn’t know whether to jump back in surprise, having forgotten she could move without walking, or show friendliness back.
“H...hi,” I muttered, figuring that would do. Just as Mynk attempted to speak, I interrupted. “If... Well, what are you?” I stated blatantly. She didn’t seem offended in any way, but her eyes told me she was wary and conscious of my words.
“M-my species is froslass...” she stuttered back, and I searched my mind for the word, only to find nothing familiar. Instead I grunted in return.
“She runs the healing clinic,” Mynk mentioned with added enthusiasm, and I nodded.
“I see...” I murmured, glancing around. The place seemed pretty pristine and orderly (apart from all that less-than-appealing snow strewn across just about everything), but...similar to any other home. A bed (although this one was very snowy and reasonably thicker), a table-bench thing, a few stumps and...that was about it. However, my attention was drawn to an indent in the wall on the right. I realised it was, in fact, the connection to the room beside it, and a door sat in that indent. Curious, I continued to stare.
“This room is Aemara’s house; however, through there is where she helps us heal if we get injured or sick.” The linoone nodded her head to the door I’d been staring at, and I understood. After we left, we walked between Tarla (that altaria) and another pokémon’s home and continued until we reached another house—one outside Den Row. “This is where I live!” she told me ecstatically, bounding to the entrance. With a cheerful face and paws pointing through, she invited me in after swinging open the door.
I entered and suddenly I was swallowed by a multi-cultural home. It was a fair bit larger than most others I’d seen, but the same size as Mio’s. To the left of the room the floor from the middle to the back had been laid with stone and the walls were completely constructed of it. At first I couldn’t figure out why at first, and then I noticed the bed was not hay—it was a mound of dirt. One time while travelling with Master, I had met a monferno who belonged to a friendly trainer who chose to come with us for a number of days. On the contrary to when he was a chimchar, his flame didn’t burn out as he fell asleep, so in order to avoid setting things on fire, he slept amongst rock and grassless dirt—or, for even further convenience purposes, in his poké ball. I figured the charmander I saw before lived in the house, since she was the only fire type that I knew was part of the colony—and she didn’t have relatives.
The middle also had dirt and, for safety, the walls were stone as well. I assumed Mynk slept there, since next door, on the right, a bed of sand and moss stretched across a decent space, with a couple of rocks planted here and there. In the centre of the room, further toward the door, was a low-cut bench of wood surrounded by four stone stumps. The floor was, unlike the other huts I’d entered, nearly completely clean of vegetation. Which made sense, of course, given the type of a residing resident.
“How do you like it?” Mynk wondered, taking her place on a stone stump which seemed a bit small for her.
“It’s, uhh...interesting,” I admitted, although I did find it a tad insulting that a fire type had to sleep on a pile of dirt (which could surely put out the flame anyway...well, an ordinary flame), but Mynk did too, I guess.
She must have followed my gaze, because the emotion about her altered dramatically. I sensed her spirits descending before she told me, “When she arrived here...she needed somewhere to stay. I lived in one of the other homes, but when I offered to let her live with me, the stronger villagers constructed this home for us.” She looked down, reminiscing with a tad of sadness. “..She never fitted in.” She swallowed. “...She never talks; she barely eats...” Her face dropped. “I...I’ve never seen her happy... And I...I just wish there was more I could do for her... So I can see her...smile.”
I had no idea what to do at that point. I felt suddenly deflated, and my shoulders began to sag. I approached her and sat by her side, a stable look on my face. I knew she was appreciative, and she attempted a positive reaction, but her muscles refused to form a cheerful arrangement.
I stayed with her for at least half an hour before being collected by Cubbs and set between the many homes. I waited as Greech passed, disappearing into his home, and Gigin nodded to me once or twice as she scampered by a few times. I tossed my head about, wondering why I had been instructed to stand in the middle of a path. “...Remind me why I’m here again?” I demanded impatiently. My toes began to jiggle.
“Be patient,” replied the cubone with a stern frown. “You’ll be told soon.”
I sneered at him and dropped to my belly, my head between my paws as I blew a puff of dirt from the ground, beginning to think. ‘This colony is so different to what I imagined.’
My eyes bumped into the many homes surrounding me. ‘Huts made like humans’... Pokémon of all kinds... Orderly schedules... Each pokémon with their own responsibility...’
My mind ran in circles, chasing its tail. ‘It’s kinda peaceful... Not much drama...apart from the members who were pokénapped.’
I was due for a guilt trip regarding Luck again as crunching stones sounded behind me. I rose quicker than fire could melt a hail stone and swung myself around. I was pleasantly surprised as the slowking made her last steps in my direction before stopping, her face a mix of contentment and sheepishness. “It’s just me, dear,” she commented, laying her innocence down before me.
“Regards...Dame Ikari Slowking,” Cubbs stated, bowing. She seemed flattered.
“Please, Cupborn,” she began while he kept his head half-way, “I insist that, if you wish to call me that, call me ‘slowqueen’.”
“Less patronising?” I queried, figuring it made sense.
“Oh, hello,” she greeted with a warmth I hadn’t felt in a long time...figuratively speaking.
I gave an acknowledging smile in return, looking about. Cupborn nodded to his ‘dame’. “...So why am I here?”
Ikari perked up. “Oh—sorry to keep you waiting, dear!” she chuckled, approaching me as I craned my neck to view her properly. “Our hunters not only hunt in the south, but also the east and west. Currently Zhol and Shardclaw are south of the colony, and there are parties ready to set out to the west and the east.” I tilted my head, wondering where she was going with this. “As your first duty for the colony...I’d like you to go with one to hunt.”
“Oh, crap,” I whispered scornfully. Quickly looking back to her, I issued an uneasy response consisting of groans and awkward expressions.
“Is there something wrong?”
Continued in next post...