From Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 89
Behold the most filler episode (actually maybe there were other episodes with more episodes... I can't remember donut judge) ever! Enjoy anyway uwu
I exited Amaria’s Gym arena, and took a deep breath when the doors shut behind me. What a great deal of things had happened, and just when I’d thought I could take a break from the stressful events that happened in the desert. I wasn’t looking forward to what would come next... though I thought I couldn’t possibly be justified in complaining about it at this point. After all, in a way, I signed up for constant mental and emotional exhaustion when I got too involved with the people of this region. Great things must come with a great price tag.
I sighed and started walking around the pool of water in Amaria’s living room. Julia was still rocking on the waves, but was fully alert this time. When I entered her field of vision, she called me to bring me to a halt.
“Vanini! Did you battle Amy yet? How was it?”
She tried shifting her position to sit up, but the float wasn’t stable enough and she went overboard with a massive splash, before I could answer either of her questions. She came back up and complained some about how cold the water was. As she swam over to the edge of this makeshift pool, I told her that I had battled Amaria and won.
“That’s great, congrats!” she said, attempting to hug me while soaked head to toe, but I pushed her away.
“I’m leaving for Calcenon now. I’ll ask Candy to take me there,” I said.
“Oh yeah. You must be in a hurry. Your ex-lover was taken hostage, right?”
The latter part of her sentence winded me but I recovered in time to correct her misunderstanding.
“I am in a hurry,” I said. “But not because of that. For all I care, they can feed him to Lin’s Hydreigon. I’m in a hurry because I’ve been absent from Calcenon for too long, and don’t know how things are going there.”
“Sure, sure, whatever you say, Vanini.”
The grin on her face didn’t really synchronize with what she said, but I figured wasting time convincing her wasn’t going to be productive in any way.
“What will you do?” I asked.
“I’d love to go with you, but I’d like to keep an eye on Amy. I don’t think she’d like to be alone. So I’ll stay here. I think Rini is up there? Last time we saw each other, she said she was going there but IDK if she’s still there. Anyway do say hihi~ to her and the others for me.”
I nodded, bid my farewells and went away.
Pikachu and I walked over to Obsidia Ward to visit Candy’s shop. However, when we got there, the only person inside was Cookie, Candy’s husband. He greeted me politely and told me that Candy was helping DJ Arclight out, so he didn’t know when she’d come back. Apparently they were returning some pokemon that Team Meteor had stolen when they were posing as the Daycare couple. I remembered that incident rather well, since I had been the one to battle the impostors and free Candy from a warehouse so that she could return to her shop.
Cookie served cookies and tea for me and told me to sit while I waited for their return. I asked him whether he didn’t have a flying pokemon that could take me up to Calcenon, but he gave me a negative. I asked him if I could borrow any such pokemon from among the ones he was taking care of as a Daycare, but he also refused because they took their safety too seriously to jeopardize it in any way. I understood, since the Daycare must’ve taken somewhat of a hit in their reputation when Team Meteor stole some of their pokemon, but that didn’t make me any less unhappy while I waited.
Candy and Arclight returned about half an hour after I arrived. I was cooling off my third cup of tea, when the entrance flung open and Candy shouted that she was home, as if she even needed to announce it.
“Vanilla! I’m soooo happy to see you. I was soooo worried when you left for the desert! I’m relieved that you’re well… albeit with skin peeling off here and there. The desert mustn’t have been very forgiving on your pale skin.”
“Yeah, the sun was harsher than I expected.”
“Did Archer and Julia return with you? They said they’d go after you, so I didn’t go fetch you myself.”
“Yeah. Though, in multiple instances, I felt like your dragon friend would’ve helped us a great deal had you come with us.”
“Hehe, that’s too bad. I’d have loved to have a vacation in Tourmaline Desert, but I can’t be absent from Sweet Dreams Pokehotel so often, or its dreams would be reduced to 50% sugar,” Candy laughed. “By the way, Vanilla. I have a huge favor to ask you, if you can spare an hour or so of your time.”
“I’m in a hurry, to be honest. I only came here to ask that you take me to Calcenon.”
“Please, please! I promise I’ll give you something super amazing, which will make the sacrifice totally worth it. Right Arc? You’d give her that?”
“That? What is it?” I asked.
Arclight laughed and almost told me what it was, but Candy stopped him.
“We’ll tell you what it is if you complete my favor. I swear on my name that you’ll not be disappointed, since it’ll aid you in becoming a stronger trainer.”
I was irritated by Candy’s roundabout shenanigans, but I couldn’t really turn a deaf ear to something that would strengthen me as a trainer. Perhaps I could spare an hour, since I had already been gone for almost 2 weeks already. What could change in an hour, realistically?
“Fine. What is the favor?”
Candy hopped on one leg and clapped once.
“I knew you couldn’t resist. I’d like you to help us return the stolen pokemon to their trainers. We’re almost done, but any help would be most welcome. We’re all pretty exhausted from running and flying around all day. Ah! Also, Rayquaza’s going to be too tired to fly all the way to Calcenon if he doesn’t get help, me thinks?”
“Sure, whatever. All I need to do is give the pokemon back to their trainers, correct? Do you know where the trainers are?”
“Yep! Arc, give her some of yours.”
Arclight opened his bag and took out five small ziplock bags that contained a small card and a pokeball each.
“These cards each say what pokemon is contained in the pokeball and information on their trainers,” he explained.
I took the bags and put them in my bag.
“Alright, I’m heading out. You better be back when I’m done,” I said and ran out of the house.
When I entered the Opal Ward, I stopped and sat on a bench to check the locations of the trainers I had to deliver to.
“Peridot, Jasper, Apophyll, and two from Lapis,” I read aloud. “That’s all over the place. Is an hour really going to be enough to complete this? I wish I had like 5 people I could split this job with.”
In any case, sitting on my ass would accomplish nothing, so I stood up from the bench. I was ready to head to Peridot, when I had an idea. If all we needed to do was deliver these to people, it really wasn’t necessary for the delivery person to be human.
“Pikachu,” I called and he jolted on my shoulder. “Would you help me out on this one?”
Pikachu hopped off my shoulder and looked up to me, but was silent. The disguise’s head was tilted to one side.
“I have to deliver these to some people around the city. If you could take these two and deliver them for me, we could finish up quicker. One is in Peridot Ward and the other in Jasper, so they should be relatively close to each other. I’ll take the remaining three, and will start with Apophyll because that’s the farthest one.”
Pikachu took the plastic bags and squeaked. I patted his head and we walked in opposite directions.
It had been a long while since I had navigated the city without Vanilla, and even longer since I had done it completely alone. Fortunately, the Wards she assigned me were two of the three I knew best, since I had traveled through them even before I met Zo.
Since I was walking over from Opal Ward, I decided to look for the owner of a Jigglypuff in Peridot Ward first. I asked around for clues and directions, but the pokemon in the area didn’t know of this Santiago guy. Whoever he was, he mustn’t be someone that spent much time out in the open, I presumed.
I eventually found him in a dark alleyway, but I was at first hesitant to approach him. He was talking with a few others, all with shaved heads and big bodies like his, and from the few words I could understand, the topic of their conversation wasn’t very pleasant. Yet, I needed to finish my delivery so that Vanilla would be happy, so I approached them.
They were startled at my sudden appearance, as expected. It didn’t bother me, since I was already used to such reactions from other humans.
I took out the card with the trainer’s name from the plastic bag, and showed it to them. Before most of them could finish reading the card, though, the one I was looking for quickly snatched it from my hand and pulled me over to a corner of the alleyway.
“Jigglypuff … f*ckin’ … pokemon. Don’t want … know about that … or … f*ckin’ make fun of me… Find some other person …? … I’ll go get … when we’re f*ckin’ done… Just f*ckin’ … tell me where.”
The gist was that he needed someone to keep his Jigglypuff for the time being for reasons I couldn’t really understand. I thought I could do this for him, but would need it written because I doubted I could communicate his message to another person. I looked around me and found a pen on the floor, so I picked it up and gave it to him so that he could write the command on the back of the card I had. He gladly did it, though he seemed to have trouble with spelling a few words. Once I had the card back, I placed it in the ziplock bag again and left the alleyway.
I thought that maybe I could ask the favor to the person in Jasper Ward, thereby killing two Pidgeys with one Geodude.
This time also, I wandered the Ward without knowing where I was supposed to find my target. However, this time the wandering took much less time. Jasper Ward was smaller than Peridot, and I had acquaintances in it.
When two such acquaintances, who had been talking to each other, saw me, they approached me quickly. One of them ran up to me and scooped me into her hands, while the other just jogged behind her. If my memory serves me well, they were Sandy and Maxwell, the two who helped my friends, Ynnie and Nina, reclaim part of their home.
“I have seen you … Pachirisu mimikyu … Vanilla’s?” Sandy said.
“I think his name is Pikachu,” said Maxwell.
She twirled around twice before putting me down on the ground.
“What brings you here?” she asked, sitting on the ground to be almost on eye-level with me.
I took out my ziplock bags and handed her the one that I needed to deliver to someone in Jasper Ward. She read the card in it, and her face lit up.
“... Looking for Lillin? I know … follow me,” she said and stood up. Without missing a beat, she started jogging. I understood that she would guide me to the person, but keeping up with her speed was challenging for a small pokemon like me.
At last, we were in a building, and the trainer I needed to see was sitting in the lobby, reading a book.
“Excuse me, Lillin?”
“Oh no. What … Sandy?”
Lillin frowned when she saw Sandy come inside, but when she saw Maxwell enter behind me, that frown disappeared in an instant. She stood up from her chair, pushed Sandy out of the way and got way too close to him.
“Maxwell! How are you?” she asked. “... must be tired… Come up … coffee or tea?”
“Thank you, but I’ll pass.”
I pulled Sandy’s shirt to remind her what we were doing there.
“Lillin, this is for you,” she said and handed her the ziplock bag.
Lillin took the bag, but the frown reappeared on her face.
“Oh no… Why … Loudred … Goodbye fair sleep.”
Then, I handed her the other ziplock bag, with the card that had Santiago’s message written on. Lillin was confused at first, but once she read the message, she laughed maniacally. I got spooked by her sudden mood change and scurried to hide behind Sandy.
“Jigglypuff is mine now,” she said. “... All the nights … precious sleep … they’re mine! Mine!”
It appeared that Lillin intended to keep the Jigglypuff as her own to silence her Loudred. This, ironically, made me worry about Lillin’s safety rather than the Jigglypuff’s owner’s feelings. Santiago’s friends didn’t seem to be the understanding type…
“You can’t keep … not yours,” Sandy scolded Lillin.
Lillin said that she knew that, and that she didn’t actually intend to keep it, but that she wanted us to get her something that would deal with Loudred’s noise so that she could let go of Jigglypuff. I had no clue what I could do, but I instructed Lillin in signs and futile squeals to write her message on the back of the card and to give it to me. Fortunately, Maxwell was better at understanding me than the other two were, and Lillin was also much more willing to listen to him rather than to Sandy or I, so he got what I needed on my behalf.
We returned to the corner that Maxwell had to keep standing in order to keep handing adverts.
“What should we do?” Sandy said, biting her thumb.
“Should … another pokemon?” Maxwell suggested. “Doesn’t … sing, it could be … sleep powder or grass whistle?”
“For Lillin, hypnosis would do best,” Sandy giggled.
As we were discussing potential pokemon to give Lillin, Vanilla showed up to check on me. She also frowned when she saw who I was with.
“How did it go, Pikachu?”
Since the situation had become slightly more complicated than I could explain with squeaks and jumps, Sandy and Maxwell did so on my behalf.
“So you need something to put her to sleep despite Loudred’s noise?” Vanilla summarized, and stroked her chin pensively. “You know, I think I have an idea that won’t involve looking for and capturing a pokemon that can learn sleep-inducing moves. Come Pikachu, let’s finish delivering the remaining pokemon together.”
Vanilla bent over so that I could run up to her shoulder.
“See you in a bit, Vanilla and Pikachu,” Sandy said and waved at us.
“I was able to deliver 2 out of the remaining 3,” I explained as I pedaled Archer’s bike. “The last one appears to belong to a kid who just recently got kidnapped. That’s my luck.”
I passed the Peridot, Opal and Obsidia Wards. From Coral Ward, I sent out Kame to get me to Apophyll.
“We’re going back to Apophyll. The girl I delivered a Makuhita to had these terrible noise-cancelling headphones. I’m thinking maybe I could buy them from her. After a year of battling in this region, money is one thing I have in surplus.”
I reached the beach and quickly headed to Apophyll academy. The girl was still listening to music in her room, reading a magazine. As I expected, she didn’t react to the sound of the door being opened or to me calling her by name. Only by shaking her by the arm, did she notice that I was once again in her room.
“Oh, it’s you again. What’s up?”
“I’d like to buy off your headphones. How does ₱30,000 sound to you?”
“What? Wait, wait. My headphones aren’t for sale. Besides, I don’t need that much money! Don’t you know we, who walk the path of zen, are minimalists?”
“Then, why don’t you minimize your possessions by giving me your headphones?”
The girl frowned at this, but apparently gave it some thought, because this was what she said next: “I think there’s something I’d be willing to trade them for, and I think you’d be able to get me it, realistically speaking.”
She narrowed her eyes and her smile was nothing short of creepy when she said that. I wondered whether this was my cue to leave her alone and go along with Sandy and Maxwell’s plan to capture a pokemon for Lillin.
“I’d like an autograph from this specimen of a man!” she said, pointing to a huge picture of Arclight which occupied two full pages of the magazine she was reading. “I tune into his show all the time. I was so psyched just from talking with him on the phone when he told me about my Makuhita, you have no idea!”
She shut the magazine and jumped while holding it close to her chest.
“Alright, alright. I’ll ask if he can do me that favor.”
I took a couple of quick steps backward, so that I wouldn’t be within her reach.
“You will? I’m so psyched! I’ll be waiting for you, while listening to a recording of his 2008 live performance.”
I quickly headed back to Obsidia Ward. By then, it had already been 50 minutes since I started Candy’s task, but unfortunately I didn’t think I’d be done in the next 10 minutes.
“You’re back! Are you done?” Candy asked, and I replied with a negative.
“I need to sort 2 more and I’ll be done,” I said. “For now, I need Arclight’s autograph.”
“What’s up with that? I didn’t know you were a fan of his?”
Arclight also looked at me with a suggestive smile. I blushed at their obvious misunderstanding.
“Don’t be idiots. It’s not for me, it’s for one of… ack, forget that. Just give me your autograph.”
“Haha, it’s no problem at all,” Arclight said.
“You don’t need to be shy, Vanilla,” Candy smirked and poked my shoulder teasingly.
This is the last time I ever agree to one of Candy’s last-minute favors, I decided in my heart.
I went back to Apophyll and gave the autograph to the girl. She was in so much awe that she said almost nothing to me and voluntarily handed me her headphones. Now that the headphones were disconnected from the source, the music sounded from the speakers. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said that I could feel the whole room vibrating to each beat of music. I left that room with barely a semblance of eardrums, and made my way to Jasper Ward to hand the headphones to their new owner.
Sandy and Maxwell were still chatting in a corner when I came back. They were glad to find that I managed to trade my time, pride and eardrums for some noise-cancelling headphones. I asked them to guide me to Lillin, and to our surprise, we found all the people and pokemon in the lobby fast asleep, while Jigglypuff sulked by herself.
“Lillin, wake up,” Sandy shook her.
“Mhm… Is it you, Maxwell?”
Sandy and my glares intersected on Maxwell’s face.
“Y-yeah, it’s me,” he said, blushing. “Just wake up, will you?”
Lillin slowly woke up and smiled when she saw that he was, indeed, there.
“I’ve brought noise-cancelling headphones. Now you’ll agree to return the jigglypuff back to her owner, right?” I said.
Lillin laughed and said that she wasn’t going to keep jigglypuff anyways, since she wouldn’t steal a pokemon when hers had been stolen. However, she gladly accepted the headphones from me.
“I’m glad everything is sorted out now,” Sandy said, taking Maxwell’s hand and forcibly highfiving it.
“... I think I need to sort out one last thing,” said Lillin to Sandy, with a face that would scare the devil himself.
I hurried out of the building, for I had neither the time nor the patience to get caught in the crossfire.
“Now we have one more pokemon to return. Let’s find out where the little kid was kidnapped to, teach a lesson to those skinheads that kidnapped him, and give his pokemon back.”
Something I said appeared to resonate with Pikachu. He hopped off my shoulder and started running, occasionally looking back at me to make sure I was following him.
“Where are we going?”
The place he guided me to was one of the alleyways that way back, when I had first set foot in the region, had reminded me of my secret base in the Underworld. In here, there was a group of skinheads, talking in a low voice.
Without an ounce of hesitation, Pikachu walked up to one of them and pulled on his shirt.
“Oh lil guy, you’re f*ckin’ back. Come ‘ere,” he said and ran over to a spot closer to the entrance where I was. He was spooked when he saw me, either because he didn’t expect anyone to be there or because he thought I was a ghost, but regained composure quickly.
“What’re you doin’ here, lass? This ain’t no place for f*ckin’ kids like you.”
“I’m that Mimikyu’s trainer,” I said.
“Ah! Then you f*ckin’ know about Jigglypuff?”
“That changes a great f*ckin’ deal of things, don’t it? Come ‘ere too.”
He waved his hand beckoning me to get closer, which I did. When I was close enough for him to hear me whisper, I told him where his Jigglypuff was. I omitted all the extra nonsense we had to deal with, since that was irrelevant for him.
“You’re my hero, dawg. Tell me anythin’. What the f*ck do you need? I’ll do anything in my f*ckin’ power to help you out.”
At first, I couldn’t think of anything I needed help with, but Pikachu pulled on my dress and I started to piece together the real reason he had brought me to see this man. Skinheads… Could there be such a coincidence?
“I’m looking for a kidnapped boy. Do you happen to be involved, and if so, know where to find him?”
“Ugh you’re lookin’ for that f*ckin’ kid? Look, it’s real complicated, but I guess I can f*ckin’ tell you where to find him so you see for yourself,” he said. “The lil’ f*cker’s held up on the roof of one of the buildings in the f*ckin’ Onyx Ward.”
“What? Why? What is there to complicate about kidnapping a kid?”
“Well lass, I can’t tell you or I’ll get in f*ckin’ trouble. Just be prepared to get your pokemon wrecked.”
“How about I just call the cops on you all? What do you say to that?”
“Oh no no, c’mon. If you bring the cops over there, you’ll just force them to f*ckin’ relocate as soon as they see ‘em comin’. Trust me. Go there alone and as undercover as possible.”
Though I didn’t get a particularly good feeling about this, by this time I was tired of dealing with people’s eccentricities and was stressed by every minute that passed that I wasn’t on my way to Calcenon, so I decided to follow dude’s advice to go search for the kid alone.
Fortunately, the search didn’t take long because there were a limited number of buildings with rooftops that were accessible to the public. On the third building I visited, I found what I was looking for.
There were several skinheads who all collectively looked at me when I opened the door to the rooftop garden. I saw the kid sitting with hands and feet tied. For a young person his age, say about 8 or 9 years old, I commended him for looking quite collected.
“Have you come to f*ckin’ pay off the ransom, lass?” one of the skinheads asked me.
“No. I’ve come here to take the kid back to his home.”
“Like we’d let you do that. Guys.”
With that cue, a couple of skinheads stepped forward and engaged me in battle. Honestly, they weren’t very good battlers. Sure, they had large and powerful pokemon that they may or may not have stolen, but their teamwork was visibly all over the place. The pokemon sometimes didn’t obey their orders and attacked their allies. Needless to say, I won the first double battle. Two more double battles ensued, but I also won them thanks to their disorganization.
When all the skinheads were out of pokemon they could use, they fell silent like they didn’t know what to say or do anymore.
“You really are useless,” said a voice that at first confused me, because it seemed to be coming from in front of me, but I saw no one it could belong to.
Until I realized that it was the kid speaking.
“I’ll have to deal with this myself,” he said.
“What are you talking about? Really, kid. I just came here looking for you so I could return something that belongs to you. But what kind of messed up business have you gotten into?”
“Shut up. Your peabrain wouldn’t understand anything. Just battle me, lose and go cry somewhere else.”
Without even really understanding why I had to waste even more time battling the kid, we engaged in battle. The youngster actually surprised me by having more coordination and strategy than any of the adults that surrounded him. It was evident that those pokemon were actually his, and had a solid bond between them and their trainer. What he lacked, of course, was experience, but that was only an advantage I could boast for having lived twice as long as he had. In the end, I won the battle, and the kid screamed and kicked with frustration.
“Stupid adults, always trying to get in the way,” he said. “But you never do anything to actually help! You just take whatever is there to take, without a single thought to the consequences of it. I quit. I’m just gonna go home.”
The kid fired everyone on the spot, and heard no complaints from the skinheads before rushing out of the rooftop garden.
I ran after him, and caught him just before he accessed Obsidia Ward.
“What do you want? Don’t you have anything better to do?” he shouted. “Thanks to you I’ve failed to make my uncle pay for convincing me to leave my precious pokemon in the SDP. My pokemon was stolen and all of it is his fault. I hate adults like him and you who think they know better, but they’re just ignorant of how dumb they are!”
“Calm down, and shut up because your incessant shouting is really hurting my damaged eardrums.”
Instead of explaining anything else, I handed him the ziplock bag with his pokemon. I figured, from what he was implying in all of his whining, that this pokemon getting stolen had been the cause of the drama.
The kid pouted and received the ziplock bag. He read the card and immediately opened the bag to take out the pokeball and release the pokemon inside.
“Vanillite! How did you…?” He looked at me with awe, but then lowered his gaze. “Uh. So some adults can do good things. Fine. I’ll see if I can be someone that does good things too.”
The boy wrapped an arm around his pokemon and waved at me before running in the direction of the Lapis Ward.
“Good things, huh?” I said.
Finally done with all the deliveries, I returned to Candy’s shop. The whole thing took just shy of 2 hours, but the reward was arguably worth the struggle.
“Thanks for your help. I hope you’ll find a good use for this,” said Arclight when he handed me a bracelet.
“What is it?” I said, initially feeling scammed.
“It’s a Mega-Z bracelet. If you have a mega stone or a Z crystal, you can give those to your pokemon and it’ll allow you to mega-evolve them or use the powerful Z moves in battle.”
“Alright. I guess I’ll learn about it more when I use them in battle,” I said. “Candy. You’re ready to fly me to Calcenon now?”
Candy sipped the last bit of her tea and stood up from the table.
As everyone moved around the shop and Candy was about to pass me to go outside, I stopped her. There was something that wasn’t urgent to ask, but figured it was a harmless question anyway so it didn’t hurt to dissipate my curiosity.
“Er, Candy. This might seem to come out of nowhere, but you wouldn’t be lying about your familial background, would you?”
“What? My familial background? You mean who my parents are?”
“Just tell me the truth. I swear I will not tell anyone if you’d rather maintain secrecy.”
Even though I didn’t believe the contents of a mysterious book, which was supposedly written by a prophet, to be grounded in reality or to really be narrating the life of my cousin, I couldn’t deny that I wanted to confirm that the book was a sham whenever I had a chance to talk with Candy again. After all, I had to admit that Candy meeting most, if not all, of the characteristics described in that book- being a young Everish woman who traveled to Reborn, perhaps having quite a few features that resembled her father, and also having a cousin, me, who was close to her- was odd, to say the least.
Candy was surprised, indeed, to be asked a question I knew the answer to, but she responded to it anyway with utmost patience.
“I don’t really care to keep it a secret. I’m just surprised you’re asking me this, because I’ll have to disappoint you if you expect me to say something you don’t already know. My mother’s side of the family is Leiderhosen and my dad’s is Hatter, known for being descendants of the mad hatter. As you know, my mom is your dad’s younger sister, the youngest of 4 siblings. My dad moved to Everland, after years of feeling like he didn’t belong in his family. I mean, he is a goofball but not mad enough to mix with his siblings or close family in Wonderland. I hear my parents caused quite the controversy when they decided to marry, because a member of the Everland nobility marrying a regular foreigner from Wonderland of all places, was unheard of. I love both my mom and dad, though, so I’m really glad that they could marry despite all that.”
As she had said, nothing she said was news to me, so I ventured just one last question to seal the topic: “No connection to the Queen, by any chance?”
Candy laughed at this question.
“My my, what’s gotten into you? Did someone spread lies about me? I’m not royalty at all! We sure are nobles politically close to the Queen, but nothing ties us to her by bloodline.”
“No, no one is spreading lies. I just wanted to confirm what I already knew, that was all.”
“You’re so funny, Vanilla. Shall we go to Calcenon now?”
With my mind in relative peace, I exited the Daycare with Candy and climbed onto Rayquaza.
Little did I know then, that my peace would soon be completely undone once I reached my destination.
VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS