((OOC: I'm sorry--I REALLY hope this post is okay, length and all. I... guess I'm a bit of a novelist ^^'))
Adding drama *dun. dun. duuuuuuuun*
Nothing’s happened? Really? …Wow. Talk about a breath fresh of air. Really, this is actually quite nice.
It’s not a joke or anything, is it?
Sure enough, my passage through Route 3 had been going quite peacefully. Even though it was a little chilly, I found that it wasn’t too bad if I kept moving. Blaze kept giving me an occasional look, though honestly, I was fine. I had returned Critter and Jayde to their Poke Balls—both being a bit too slow to keep up—but Freya was lazily gliding on ahead of us.
“Char?” Blaze suddenly stopped, looking off the path distractedly.
“What’s up, Blaze?” I paused as well. The gentle autumn breeze nipped at my skin almost immediately, making me regret stopping. My Charmeleon, however, turned to me with a glint in his eye. He pointed with a sharp claw to the ground just beside the road. I frowned, but wandered over to see what he was pointing to. It didn’t take long for a flash of light to catch my attention. Something shiny was hiding beneath a pile of leaves… Curious, I bent over to pick it up.
Before I could touch it, a rumbling growl froze my hand with sudden panic. I lifted my eyes in time to see a shadow slink out into the open. Red eyes glared behind a long snout filled with snarling white teeth. The wolfish creature had thick black and gray fur, with markings beneath those distrustful eyes. I stayed in my crouched position, too frightened to move a muscle. I sensed Blaze and Freya rushing to my side.
“Heel,” a sudden voice barked an order in a commanding voice. The wolf-thing abruptly ceased its growls, but kept its eyes trained on me. I shifted my gaze to the source of the voice, and saw a young man emerge from the shadows. His face was obscured beneath the bill of a ragged, black baseball cap beneath which was slick, black hair. His clothes were similarly colored, looking plenty travel-worn. When he lifted his head slightly, I could see the glint of his eyes underneath the rim of his hat—and they seemed to widen in surprise.
“You?” he stopped abruptly, scattering brittle leaves beneath his shoes.
I looked at him blankly. Wait… did he know me?
“What are you doing here?” he demanded, his hand tightening around the strap that ran across his chest.
I continued gaping stupidly, oh bluderous me, until I realized that he expected me to say something. Somehow, I managed to stutter, “Do… I know you?”
The stranger fell silent for a long time. “You mean you don’t recognize me?” he eventually asked, hiding his face further beneath his hat.
Recognize you? I can hardly see you!
I fought back the urge to say that out loud. Not trusting myself to speak, I merely shook my head.
“…Then they succeeded…” he mumbled cryptically, turning aside.
“Excuse me?” I narrowed my eyes. I think my natural defenses were kicking in—there was something suspicious about this guy, and I decided that I didn’t like it. My hand strayed to Critter’s Quick Ball, ready to battle if he got on my nerves any further. The boy’s wolf-thing must have noticed the motion, as it suddenly bared its teeth with a vicious snarl. I hate to admit it, but the sight of those teeth had me freezing up in fear again. But why was I so [i]intimidated[i] by this thing? I admit that it was fierce looking, yet…
The wolf lowered its snout to the ground and began sniffing about. Again, it fixed its eyes on me and let out another growl.
“You have something of mine,” its Trainer concluded. “Hand it over.”
“What?” I rose to my full height. “I do not! How could I—?”
“The Unovan PokéDex,” he cut me off impatiently, holding out his hand. “Give it back. Now.”
I took a step back, suddenly remembering. The device I had found in Route 2… I had almost forgotten about it! I had meant to drop it off in Navi town, but I had been so caught up in finding battles that I… It entirely slipped my mind. If it was truly Fall now, then this guy must have been looking for it for weeks.
Still, I wasn’t sure if I believed this guy’s story. I looked at him distrustfully as I asked, “How do I know that it’s really yours?”
He returned my suspicious glare without flinching. “Check it. There should be 156 Pokémon registered.”
I didn’t move for a while, engaging the stranger in a staring contest. His wolf-thing growled, reminding me of my situation. With sluggish, careful motions, I took off my backpack and dug through it for the troublesome PokéDex. Giving the guy a quick glare before opening it, I checked to see the number registered in it. Sure enough… it was 156.
“How did you know?” I grumbled disdainfully.
His face was expressionless as he stated, “I kept count of all the Pokémon I captured.”
I looked at him incredulously. “You captured all of those?”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “That’s nothing… compared to someone else I know…” Sobering quickly, he held his hand out again.
I held the device closer. “Tell me who you are—then maybe I’ll give it back.”
His expression seemed to darken. “I’m a Trainer. That’s all you need to know.”
The wolf suddenly lunged forward, hurling towards me with its mouth wide open. Freya and Blaze gave shouts of alarm, but before any of us could react, the wolf jumped at me. My heart stopped, expecting those fangs to pierce through my flesh, but to my surprise the creature grabbed the PokeDex right out of my hands. Quick as shadow, the wolf spun and returned to its master’s side.
The stranger coolly took the device from his Pokémon’s mouth. “We’re done here, Fenrir,” he scratched between its ears before turning his back to me. The duo slipped back into the forest.
“H-hey!” I finally snapped out of my shock. Disregarding my earlier fears, I started forward. “I’m not finished with you! Get back here!”
Though I chased him into the forest, I couldn’t see any sign of the boy… Blaze and Freya caught up with me, looking worried. I scanned my surroundings, but it was clear—I had lost him.
I clenched my fists, feeling shaky from this encounter. That boy knew me… For some reason, that thought left me troubled rather than hopeful… I hated feeling so left in the dark. Who was he? How did he know me? What had he been talking about? One question, however, haunted me more than anything else:
Who am I?