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From Everland to Reborn ~ A fairytale themed run [Last defeated: Adrienn]


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kakr594.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 83Akakr594.gif

Now, the promised episode... It's actually ~1/3 of an episode I wrote but since the episode was long I said "why not post them back to back" (As someone who isn't fond of reading, this is preferable to getting a yuge block of words). So Episode 83B will be coming tomorrow if I finish editing images on time lolol

This one finally ends the Zorua subplot. Yeah since we're quickly approaching Pokemon Reborn's end, I gotta start tying all the loose threads...

 

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Europa acted as though she was obliged to be our hospitable host. She guided us to a train car, which she said we could use to rest up until Brenda eventually came back. We thanked her and went inside it.

The first thing Archer did was to lie down on one of the benches.

“I’m so tired, though it’s not even close to night yet,” he said. “I’ll have to take a nap if I want to be awake for the party.”

“It’s not like it’d make a difference whether you are awake or not,” I said for the sake of saying, but was also making myself comfortable on a bench, and let Zorua and Pikachu sit on my stomach. The ointment was numbing the ache of my burns, so I felt I could sleep nicely if it was now.

“Look who’s talking. You barely even talk when you’re awake.”

“Well, I’m also going to take a nap. After that wild train ride, and all the walking we’ve done in the heat, that’s the thing I want to do the most right now,” Taka agreed.

“What? Why are you guys all so tired? I can’t relate,” Julia said.

“You run on coffee, not on actual physical endurance,” Archer replied.

“Ehh, bummer. What am I going to do while you all take a snooze?”

However, everyone was too tired to make anymore reply, so Julia left us be and exited the car.

 

I don’t know how many hours passed since I fell asleep, but I was woken up by the sudden increase in volume of the chatter outside. This was quickly followed by Julia’s completely loud shout, which scared off the two pokemon who were sleeping on me.

“Everyone, wakey-wakey! Right now! You don’t want to miss the sight outside,” she said, and then, since everyone didn’t seem to want to move from their places, she went from bench to bench to shake us awake.

“Come, Vanini, Tacos and you too, Archie,” she said and pushed us.

 

There was nothing outside. Or that’s what I thought initially. The sun was setting, but there was some blurry shadow zooming from one side to the other and, really, in every direction.

“Look up,” Julia said.

I did as instructed, and saw a black thing far up in the sky, but coming down to where we were. It’s blurry shadow grew larger and more defined as it made its descent to this sandbox. As it got closer, I could discern that it was a large dragon pokemon. Not as large as Candy’s Rayquaza, but quite large nonetheless.

Once the dragon made a touchdown, not without exposing us to a cloud of sand, its trainer and a pokemon jumped off of it. Their backs were facing us, but whoever the redhead was, I had never seen someone’s hair as tangled and uneven as the bundle that was sticking out of her white cap.

“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it’s Zekrom,” Julia said jumping and shaking me by my arm.

“Hello, I am back,” the redhead said. “This is Brenda and Ren for you!”

The two of them twisted their upper bodies in opposite ways so that both their faces were finally visible. Their arms were stretched out, one in our direction and the other away from each other. Brenda’s face and arms were covered in freckles, and her eyelashes and brows were barely visible against her sun-tanned skin. Ren, on the other hand, was in a contrasting blue color. I had never seen this pokemon before, but Julia told me it was a Lucario.

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Their show didn’t end there, however. Zekrom sent an electric shock down to the ground, making the sand behind them explode and shower us yet again.

They kept the pose for a few more seconds, but eventually she broke down to the floor. Ren didn’t, and just stretched his back and rotated his torso a couple of times.

“Ay ay, my back hurts,” Brenda complained.

“What’s this weirdo?” I asked Europa, who was grinning at her and clapping.

“Shh, do her a favor and just clap,” she said.

“Eh? Weirdo?” Brenda said, raising her head. “Hmmm. That’s not the response I was going for. When I did this at the Alolan beaches, the kids really liked it.”

“Y’all, this is Brenda and her pokemon, Ren,” said Europa. “Brenda, these are Vanilla, Taka, Archer and… eh, Julia?”

Julia was now attached to Zekrom, hugging him. Zekrom seemed not to know what to do and just growled softly.

“New faces! I guess my farewell party will be fun after all,” Brenda said, standing back up and clapping the sand off her hands.

 

Brenda unloaded the food items from Zekrom’s back one by one, showing off each item as though all of them were her absolute favorite food.

“Brenda, were you able to find a water source?” Stethoscope asked once she was done unloading. This made Brenda’s beaming facial expression cloud up.

“Well, those muddy ponds on the south east are still there, but other than that, I couldn’t find anything, sorry.”

“It’s okay, thanks for trying to help.”

“But! I did find two caves, one south-east of here and another one somewhat west. I didn’t get off Zekrom to check them out, but maybe they have water hidden inside,” she said with renewed enthusiasm. “If I weren’t leaving tomorrow, I’d have gone exploring in them, but alas. Maybe you can send a group to check those out.”

Stethoscope sent a meaningful look our way, especially at me.

“I think we can work that out,” she said.

 

Temperature began to drop as quickly as the sun was setting on the horizon. I always found it ironic that daytime in the desert was scorching hot, yet we needed to light up a fire to keep warm at nighttime. As it was necessary, Europa, Bill and Al started building a campfire for us to sit around. Julia volunteered to help out, but Taka pulled her away from it and instead gave her a cushion to sit calmly on.

When it was dark enough, Europa asked everyone to sit down. It was time to start the party.

“Tonight we’re bidding farewell to our dear friend Brenda,” she said. “Y’all new peeps won’t know this, but Brenda’s spent a month with us and boy did she help us out. First she brought us that magical medicine from the ‘abroad’ which was, and I ain’t exaggerating when I say this, a true blessing for our damaged skin. Then, her mighty strong pokemon helped us move the train cars a lil farther apart so we could have more space to live. Ah, and she’s been mighty helpful bringing us water and other stuff from Reborn City. Not having to carry or pull heavy stuff in the heat has been a nice vacation for us. As for water, she’s also helped us look for a permanent source. Even though that wasn’t fruitful, it’s the intent that matters, y’know. Someone wanting to help us, the outcasts of Reborn City. We’re mighty thankful, for real.”

“Well, you guys let me stay here while I surveyed the region. Help and get help, that’s how it should be. Am I wrong?” Brenda, and Ren who was sitting next to her, stretched an arm towards Europa and closed their hand and paw into a thumbs-up.

“If that ain’t true. Anyways, that’s enough talking and not enough eating. Let’s get feasting, friends!”

“Yeah! Let’s eat!” Brenda said.

She pulled out a party popper from what seemed like thin air, popped it and showered us with glimmery confetti. Bits of it fell into the fire, making a satisfying sizzling sound.

 

We stood up to place food on our plates and sat back down to eat.

Julia sat next to Brenda, and didn’t miss a beat to ask her some questions.

“So you’re leaving, huh? Where are you going?” she asked.

“I’m headed back to Unova, my home region,” she said. “It’s been 2 years, I think, since I left. It’s about time I show my face there.”

“You’re from Unova! Zekrom is from Unova too, right? How did you two meet? How did you catch him? Have you-”

Before Julia could finish asking all her questions pertaining to Zekrom, Taka stood up from his cushion and walked over to Brenda.

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pretend there's food on those tables uwu

“Is this yours, perchance?” he asked, showing her the pokegear-like thing we had found in one of the train cars.

Brenda took a look at it under the dim light of the campfire. Then, she widened her eyes and checked her pockets, which were apparently empty save for a few coins and another party popper.

“Ahaha, it seems I’d dropped my X-transceiver and didn’t even notice,” she said. “I don’t get signals unless I’m in Unova so I totally forgot about its existence.”

Just as Taka returned the device to her, Ren stood up and started sniffling him. Both he, and I, who was watching from a distance, found it weird, but the lucario eventually found what he was looking for. Zorua had apparently burrowed in Taka’s red scarf, but was pulled out of it by the tail. Ren screeched and laughed, holding the little fox. Zorua, on the other hand, didn’t seem all that pleased to be held in the air by his tail.

“What. Wait, really?” Brenda said and stood up. She took the Zorua on her arms. “Zo, is that you?”

“Zo?”

Ren patted Zo’s head but the fox turned around and bit his hand. The two pokemon shouted at each other.

“Yeah, that’s you alright,” Brenda laughed.

“Do you know this pokemon?” Taka asked.

“Yeah, she’s the pokemon of my… friend,” she replied. “I’m actually looking for him, but had no luck in all the regions I’ve visited so far. That’s why I’m heading back to Unova. How mighty funny it’ll be if I find him there, after spending 2 long years looking for him everywhere abroad, don’t you think?”

“A friend who’s gone missing for 2 years?” Julia jumped in her seat.

“I hope you find him,” Taka said.

“Yeah, me too... obviously,” Brenda said to Taka, and then looked down on the pokemon she was holding. “Hey, Zo? Are you looking for him too? I can’t guarantee we’ll find him there, but if you’d like, we can look for him together in Unova.”

Zo seemed pleased with the proposition. She snuggled on Brenda’s chin.

I was finally able to put 2-and-2 together on the mystery of this Zorua. She had been trying to go back to Unova by crossing Tourmaline Desert, and then passing through Hoenn in a Northeast direction. That would’ve taken her ages on her 4 feet, but that just spoke to me of her determination.

Pikachu sat on my lap and snuggled me. He also seemed pleased that Zo was finally on the path to find her trainer.

 

The party just consisted of us eating food while talking, and Brenda showering us with confetti every once in a while when we least expected it. Julia seemed never to run out of questions to ask Brenda, and she in turn seemed never to run out of patience to answer every one of them. Taka and Archer were talking with the three veteran campers, but I wasn’t seated close to them so I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Stethoscope went back to her train car after serving herself a plate of food. I just sat by myself with Pikachu, eating some and feeding him some.

“Mummy girl, why don’t you sit closer with us?” Brenda said to me.

Mummy girl? I was puzzled for a second, before I remembered that I was practically covered in gauze.

I moved an inch towards them. Brenda laughed but Julia spoke before she could say anything more.

“Hey Brenda? I’d like you to give you a haircut. Can I? Please, please.”

“A haircut? This late at night?” I said. Sure, Brenda’s hair was a mess, but I wouldn’t trust Julia to cut my hair in broad daylight.

“Oh, so you noticed?” Brenda said. “This past 2 years I’ve been cutting my own hair to save money, but I really didn’t know what I was doing most of the time. Besides, traveling with Zekrom makes my hair poofy because of the abundant static electricity.”

“I’m great at giving haircuts,” Julia said. “I could even give them blindfolded. Want to try?”

“Y-”

“Let’s just do it like normal, if you must,” I interrupted. The last thing we needed right now was someone bleeding from the neck.

“Oh? You’re giving Brenda a haircut?” Europa said, taking notice of us. “Stethoscope has scissors and blades. I can pick some up for you.”

 

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While everyone was getting hyped for just a haircut, I stood up from my seat to get some more food and drinks. Archer was there also, and he laughed through the nose when he saw me approaching.

“Who doesn’t make a difference whether they are awake or not, now?” he said.

“Oh, shut up.”

I grabbed some more meatballs and walked over to the bowl of potato salad, which seemed to be from the pokemart Meals-to-go section, but was still quite delicious.

“So the tangela-hair girl is getting a haircut? Why don’t you get one too?” he said. “I’ve always found it curious how you keep your hair that long, despite it probably getting in your way… I assume… during fights.”

“That’s the reason I keep it long,” I replied.

“What? What’s the reason?”

I frowned at this showcase of slowness.

“You assume it gets in my way, and so do most of my opponents,” I said. “But that makes their movements predictable. They go for the hair, and that movement makes their stance open up. That makes it easier for me to deal them a blow to knock them out.”

“Huh, that sounds just like you. Do you ever think of anything other than fighting or rebelling?”

I was slightly annoyed that he answered in a belittling tone, when I had been courteous enough to answer his question. I don’t know why I should’ve expected anything else from him, though.

“What do you mean?” 

“A few days ago, you mentioned that you couldn’t achieve what you want to achieve as a one-man army. Are you planning to return to Everland? To continue being a criminal?”

“I’m not obliged to tell you my plans.”

Perhaps that response was too close to an affirmative answer than I should’ve produced. In any case, that made Archer fall silent. I thought he had put an end to the conversation, and took the opportunity to add a few cherries to my plate.

“You could’ve left Everland and your turbulent past behind,” he said after a moment. “Yet you choose to keep dragging it as if it was dogshit stuck to your shoe.”

I motioned to say something reactive, but he cut me off.

“But tonight we’re having a party, and it would be a shame if it ended on a bad note because of us. Just forget everything I said.”

Archer grabbed a napkin from the table and headed back to his seat. Even if he hadn’t asked me to, I was determined to forget his existence for the rest of the evening. 

 

I sat back down, in a fowler mood than usual, to watch Julia cut through Brenda’s hair with bold strokes. The process took time- a long enough time, fortunately, for my mood to recover to baseline.

The end product wasn’t a professional cut, but her hair looked much healthier and lighter than before. Brenda looked pleased with her new hair, so it was good enough, I thought.

Pop! Brenda got us off-guarded again, pulling on the string of her party popper. Julia recovered from the scare and clapped her hands while laughing. 

“My scissor-hands are itching,” she said and glared at the two boys.

They got her message, and started running away from her and a possible mystery haircut. The two were complaining about being chased, but their voices which were mixed with laughter didn’t sound convincing at all. 

Ren, Zo and Pikachu perhaps misunderstood what was happening and joined the game of chasing one another.

On the other side of the campfire, Europa scolded Bill for eating the piece of cake she’d kept for last. Bill said that he hadn’t eaten it and blamed it on Al; however, Europa wouldn’t listen. Al didn’t talk, but wiped a bit of cream from the corner of his mouth.

Pop! Brenda popped another one in front of my face, startling me. She laughed at my reaction.

They really were having a blast. We were.

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler

Will update in Episode 83B since they're a set uwu

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

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Yay! Party and someone who owns a Legendary Pokemon! I feel like this hasn't been updated in months. Has it been that long? Well anyways, great episode as always. Or should I say 1st part of an episode. Can't wait for the rest of them to come out.

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Just now, J-Awesome_One said:

Yay! Party and someone who owns a Legendary Pokemon! I feel like this hasn't been updated in months. Has it been that long? Well anyways, great episode as always. Or should I say 1st part of an episode. Can't wait for the rest of them to come out.

When I posted my April Fools post, this showed:

Spoiler

805900424_ScreenShot2021-03-31at10_09_02PM.png.5f68c57076ceff9e849f3b808f971783.png

And I was like, "geez Forums, I don't need to be reminded of how un-often I update this thing"

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49 minutes ago, Candy said:

 

“Oh? You’re giving Brenda a haircut?” Europa said, taking notice of us.

I'm taking notice of a certain reference.

 

Julia hugging Zekrom seems to be highlight of this half-episode for me. Also I can't imagine her glaring. She's always so peppy!

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5 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

I'm taking notice of a certain reference.

 

Julia hugging Zekrom seems to be highlight of this half-episode for me. Also I can't imagine her glaring. She's always so peppy!

Hmm I don't remember a haircut reference but maybe I did it unintentionally lol

 

And this was what I imagined Julia's glare would be like:

Spoiler

34fe69afc0b52afd667347638f021256.gif

 

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Thank you for reopening Sasha's death's wound.....

Also Zekrom here to remind us of which path is the right one

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I feel I'm missing a few references... 

I already struggled recalling who the new characters were... Who's Sasha again? For me haircut screams Pikachu... 

It's interesting how Vanilla is part of the party and still isn't quite in it. 

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20 hours ago, Mindlack said:

I feel I'm missing a few references... 

I already struggled recalling who the new characters were... Who's Sasha again? For me haircut screams Pikachu... 

It's interesting how Vanilla is part of the party and still isn't quite in it. 

lol Sasha's not from this story (Corso's reacting to my reply to Sol)

Hair related stuff reminds me of that one time Aster and Eclipse painted Vanilla's hair with cheapass paint lmao

 

Also, I did say back-to-back but no one works on the weekends so let's say if I upload the rest today we're gucci

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6 hours ago, Candy said:

Hair related stuff reminds me of that one time Aster and Eclipse painted Vanilla's hair with cheapass paint lmao

That’s what I meant when I associated haircuts with Pikachu. I’m still surprised because I don’t remember Vanilla actually retaliating (while she punched Cal, didn’t she?). 

 

 

6 hours ago, Candy said:

Also, I did say back-to-back but no one works on the weekends so let's say if I upload the rest today we're gucci

We may be willing to consider forgiveness for this inaccuracy if you upload this episode before two months^^

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kakr594.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 83Bkakr594.gif

HA! As back-to-back as you gon' get, frendos

 

The next day, we woke up when the sun was already quite high up in the sky. My blisters were miraculously mostly gone. That ointment from the ‘abroad’, as Europa called it, wasn’t hyped for nothing.

Yet, we couldn't just idly lie on the dusty and sandy train seats forever. We had to make arrangements to go exploring the desert once again, as though we hadn’t had enough of that already. I was in a fowl mood because of that, while I removed my bandages one by one.

“You don’t seem to have had a good night’s sleep,” Taka said when he saw me. “I know the seats aren’t the most comfortable things, but I’d say they’re much softer than the ground.”

Even though he said that, his eyes’ dark circles didn’t seem to have lightened up overnight.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the train car, Archer was trying to wake Julia up. She had had too much fun last night, apparently.

We left them and went outside. Al and Bill were there, but neither Brenda or Europa were anywhere to be seen.

“Good morning, peeps. Europa’s busy waking Brenda up,” Bill said. “She’s always terrible at waking up. That’s why we wanted to end the party early, but well… I guess we can’t be unreasonable when the one being celebrated is the one who wants to keep partying until dawn.”

Pikachu hopped off my shoulder and scurried to where the other pokemon were doing morning exercises with Zekrom.

About half an hour later, Julia sprang out of our train car, followed by Archer. At least it was comforting that I wasn’t the most tired-looking out of our group.

Another ten minutes, and Brenda jumped out of her car together with Europa.

“Oh hi guys! Sorry for the wait,” she said. “Are you ready to go?”

“Yep, we’re ready,” Julia shouted.

“I was thinking that maybe I could bring one of you up Zekrom with me, so that I can show you all where the caves are.”

Julia’s arm shot up instantly.

“Me, me, please please pick me,” she said, hopping.

She was obviously the only one volunteering from our group, so up she went not without screaming like Tarzan all the way.

“God, Archer. How many cups of coffee did you give her,” I said.

“Bold of you to assume I even poured it in cups,” he replied.

 

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One hour later, when Zekrom’s tour of the desert was over, Julia told us that since the caves were in roughly opposite directions, we could check one first, come back and then check the other if it was necessary.

“Brenda thinks that it’ll take us at least a day of walking to and from each cave,” she said. “It’d have been much faster had we any flying or dragon types that could fly us all over, but alas.”

I somewhat regretted not asking Candy to come with us, for Rayquaza would’ve been large enough to carry all 5 of us to those caves. However, it was no use lamenting things, especially when it was probably my storming out of her shop that scrapped the chance of bringing her with us.

“I peeked the insides of the caves too,” Julia continued. “The one in the east seemed to be much larger than the one in the west. The one in the west seemed like a small rocky cavern, so maybe it’d be useless to go to that one. The one on the east was quite sandy, because it’s pretty much covered with sand? I don’t know how to explain it.”

“Well, we can check that eastern cave first. We can think about whether we’ll go to the other one if we don’t find water on the first try,” Archer said.

So our course was settled, and that meant it was time for Brenda to leave.

“Good luck, friends,” said Brenda, as she got on Zekrom and pulled Ren up. “I hope you’ll successfully find water. It was great meeting you all, even if it was just for one night.”

“Bye-bye, Zekrom! And Brenda and Ren and Zo. Hope we meet again someday,” Julia said, waving with her whole arm.

“Good luck finding your trainer, Zo,” said Taka, also waving but more modestly.

“Thanks for everything,” said Europa.

Zekrom took off and, in just a few seconds, they had turned into nothing but a speck in the blue sky.

“Well, we should get going too, if we want to make it to that cave before day change,” Archer said.

“Good luck, and a thousand thanks for volunteering to help us,” Europa said and the three of them waved at us.

 

I hadn’t missed traveling under the scorching heat, at all. It was worse this time, because I no longer needed to bother Bambi with the task of carrying me places, so I had to rely on my two legs and shoes that weren’t optimal for walking on the sand. However, just as it had happened on the first day I had arrived in Tourmaline Desert, the exhaustion started to increase to the point that I could no longer be bothered by the mild discomfort of my feet.

“We should rest a little before continuing on,” Archer suggested when even Julia was falling silent.

“Ack, I think I didn’t drink enough coffee for this,” Julia said as she collapsed on the ground. “My head hurts from the heat.”

“I think it’s more of a coffee crash,” Taka said.

“Staying hydrated is important, especially in the hot desert,” Archer said, filling our cups with water. “And I’m not saying that because I’m biased.”

“Whatever, as long as you don’t give the coffee-addict anymore coffee,” I said and took a sip from my cup.

We resumed walking when the sun was starting to set. This time we didn’t take any more breaks but we kept drinking water whenever necessary. While the temperature gradually went down, Julia’s energy seemed to return.

“Yesterday’s party was quite fun, didn’t you think? I just wished I could’ve cut some more hair. It’d been a while since I last did it… I think the last time was when I was still a student in OTS. I used to cut Rini and Amy’s hair. Tania wouldn’t let me touch hers, though.”

“Well, I honestly expected the haircut to be worse than what it was in the end,” Taka said.

“Really? Do you think that?”

“Yeah, considering it was dark out, I was pretty impressed by the end result too,” Archer added.

“I’m so very flattered! Does that mean you two will let me cut your hair?”

“Uhh, no thanks,” Taka replied.

“My hair is good as it is. Maybe when it stops looking good, alright?”

Julia pointed her lips but accepted Archer’s answer for not being a plain “no”.

“Scary how flexible the definition of ‘good’ can be,” I whispered to myself.

“But I honestly would love to cut Vanini’s into a bob of sorts,” she said, not very subtly eyeing me.

“Forget it,” was my reply.

“Vanilla’s hair should be left like that,” Archer said. “It completes the look, from the back.”

Taka snorted at this, but Julia begged to disagree.

“Well, I think she’d look just as cute in a bob,” she said, sulking.

“I don’t think that was Archer’s point, but it was a dumb point either way, so just ignore him,” I said.

“Scary how flexible the definition of ‘dumb’ can be,” he said, and smiled when I glared at him.

 

AFtA67c.png

It had already been hours since sunset when we arrived at the mystical, possibly-water-containing cave. We nearly missed it, too, because it wasn’t so much a cave “covered in sand” than a giant hole in the sand, which was difficult to discern in the dark.

The inside of it was dark, not only because it was nighttime, but also because it was a cave. Fortunately, we had an electric-type Gym Leader and a water-type trainer with a Lanturn, so we could light our path pretty well. 

“I don’t know why, but this place feels eerily familiar,” Taka said, probably to himself but I heard him because I was walking next to him.

Yet, even with the plenty of lighting, we couldn’t predict that there were quicksand pits on our way. Archer got stuck in one and let go of the Lanturn he was holding.

“Careful. It’s quicksand,” he said. I could tell he was trying to sound calm, but his voice broke near the end, signaling his emotion was far from it.

“Archie, no! We won’t let you sink*. Take my hand,” Julia said, extending a hand to him, but the weight of them threatened to also drag her into the pit, so Archer let go of her hand.

When his calves were half-burrowed in sand, I clicked my tongue and asked Pikachu to grab him with his long arms, like he had done with Shelly when she nearly fell through a large fissure in Iolia Valley. That was effective. With Julia and Taka pulling on me and me keeping a tight grip on Pikachu, we finally managed to drag him out of the quicksand.

“Thanks guys,” Archer said between panting. “It’s so scary to get stuck in one of those.”

“Your Pikachu was so great, Vanini,” Julia patted Pikachu’s head, and he squeaked with pride.

Archer looked at them two, then glanced at me but said nothing. Instead he told the rest to line up and follow his lead.

The farther we went into the cave, the more it seemed like it was built by man. I could tell because, in contrast to the sand-covered entrance, the parts we were now passing had ancient engravings on the walls. They varied from words in a language I couldn’t read to drawings that I couldn’t decipher the meaning of… save for one. That is, when we went down a flight of crumbly stairs, we found a large wall with a painting of one Pokémon I recognized.

“Arceus,” Taka said.

“Arceus? You mean the god?” Archer said, taking a good look at the picture.

I wouldn’t forget the pokemon god, for I had fought it, albeit a bootleg version of it.

“I think I am piecing out why this place feels so familiar to me,” Taka told us. “I’ve been here before. I came here with my father.”

That grabbed my attention. 

“What? I wouldn’t have chosen a place with quicksand pits to bring my kid to, but I guess your dad was quite a character?” Julia said.

Indeed. What could Solaris have possibly brought Taka to such a remote, literally deserted place for? If it were a Team Meteor base, I would’ve expected to have run into grunts already. Perhaps it was another “sacred” place, like the one we found under the Grand Stairway? In any case, I was going to find out what it was, regardless of whether we found water on the way or not.

“He was a… character, in a sense,” Taka replied, looking at me.

“Do you remember if you found water here?” Archer asked.

Taka shook his head.

“My memory of this place is shaky at best. I think my father said he was leaving me some treasures that I could come get them anytime I wanted, though.”

“Doesn’t sound like it’s water-related, then.”

“But we should check what those treasures are,” I said, perhaps a little too eagerly.

Archer and Julia seemed surprised to find me unusually motivated to continue the exploration, but we allowed Taka to make the ultimate decision.

“Sure, why not?” he said. “I doubt it’ll be anything worthwhile, but we’ve come all the way here. We might as well finish checking the place out.”

 

The cave was more convoluted than I expected, perhaps in an effort to make it difficult for intruders to find Taka’s treasure. However, we eventually made it to what clearly looked like the gates to a “sacred” place.

By the time we got there, though, we were exhausted. We had been walking most of the day and night, and it was then way past midnight. We decided to call it a day and find the treasure room when we awoke.

Julia never had any trouble falling asleep, and this night was no exception. Archer, too, fell asleep pretty quickly due to exhaustion.

I thought I’d be the only one having trouble going to sleep, but Taka was also kept awake from anticipation. Given only the two of us knew Solaris, we were the only ones that could expect something more than water or old gadgets covered in sand. 

“What do you expect we’ll find?” Taka whispered to me.

“It beats me. However, I hope it’s something useful. Like a secret Solaris doesn’t want anyone except you to know.”

Taka thought of his response for a minute.

“I think you’ll be disappointed if that’s what you expect,” he said. “My father has always been a transparent man. Honest in what he wants to do, and honest in telling others why he’s doing the things he does. I think I have many more secrets I’ve kept from him, than he’s kept from me.”

“For such an honest man, I don’t think I’ve heard him talk much about himself or his organization,” I said. “Most of what I know about Team Meteor’s aims, I owe to his grunts and admins, but not to him.”

“That’s because you never asked him. If you did, I’m sure he’d have told you.”

I didn’t say it but I had a hunch that however honest he might be with his son, he wouldn’t extend such charitable hand to his enemy.

“Do you know why Team Meteor was destroying the city?”

“Something about wanting to drive people away? Because Solaris and Lin think Reborn City has desecrated the holy stuff that is beneath the city?”

“Yeah, well, I wouldn’t know about Lin. I’ve never understood what she has in mind, and- if anything- she’s corrupted Team Meteor’s means and ends,” he said. “But yeah. What pretty much happened was that the Champion of Reborn created the League and advertised it across the world like some kind of fairground. She closed up the old city's wounds, hiding the Citadel again, which upset my father and everyone who revered our world’s creator. What Team Meteor wanted, at least when my father was the sole leader of it, was to destroy the city and return things like they were before.”

“Well, whatever Team Meteor’s aims are or were, they’re not relevant to me.”

“What?”

“From the very beginning, I’ve only battled you all because I wanted to gain strength, and at the time, siding with the Gym leaders seemed to be an efficient way to do so,” I explained. “I was nothing but an outsider who meddled in Reborn’s politics… at least until your father’s garchomp sliced through my friend. Since then, Team Meteor became my personal enemy too.”

We fell silent, but I had my suspicion that Taka wasn’t planning to leave the conversation there. As I expected, he eventually woke his body up, and sat looking into the void that surrounded us.

“You told all of us the story of how you met your little Pikachu. Ever since I learned that my father was responsible for his death, I’ve been meaning to apologize to you. I’m sorry, on behalf of him.”

“Why do you apologize? You shouldn’t treat yourself as an extension of your father. He’s responsible for all the evil he’s done to me and others. That’s not something that would change because you apologized.”

“I… Perhaps I’ve been alive too long,” he said. “I don’t really know if I’m my own self or just an entity that’s just repelling my father.”

“Who knows?” I shrugged. “But if I were repelling that psycho, I wouldn’t think that’s a bad thing.”

Taka chuckled.

“A psycho, huh? That’s true. He must’ve become one along the way. Otherwise, I couldn’t explain how he could kill people and pokemon with such ease,” he said, and I could sense irritation in his voice when he said the latter part.

He then threw himself back to the ground.

“I know when he became a psycho. In his youth, there was a time when he didn’t want anything to do with the shrine keeper family duties, which were to protect the meteor and the keys that led to it. ‘Every young person tends to mistake their way,’ he told me, and he wasn’t the exception. Because of that, though, a robber snuck into his home to steal the crystal keys, and killed his parents, my grandparents, in the process. That must’ve triggered something in him. When he narrated the way he incapacitated the robber until he killed him at last… he seemed to take pleasure in describing every detail of what he did. Even if the robber had done a terrible deed… I wouldn’t take pride in stooping to the same level as them.”

“I see.”

I said no more than that, for I wasn’t qualified to preach about mercy given that I had rarely shown any to my enemies. Besides, the thought of equating myself with Solaris was too reprehensible to voice out loud.

“He thinks the ends justify the means. That whatever happens to Reborn City is its own fault, for insulting our forebearers' culture. Even if he kills innocents with the PULSEs to get the crystal keys, he considers those dead people and pokemon as necessary sacrifices. Maybe he can have such a mentality because he’s a psycho like you said,” he continued. “But I could never sink into that mindset. I hated setting up the PULSEs and protecting them while they destroyed Wards and forests. I hated seeing the pokemon fleeing their homes, only to fall through fissures or die entangled in the thick vines.”

“That just means that you’re more of an individual with opinions and values than you give yourself credit for,” I said while taking a large yawn.

“Thank you,” Taka said, and it made me cough.

“Uh, it’s nothing.”

Taka laughed, even though I hadn’t said anything funny.

“You might not understand it. I’ve always felt like there was a weight on my shoulders… that I had to be a certain way, just because I was born as my father’s son. In fact, my father hired a woman to have me, so honestly my purpose by default was to keep his legacy and pass it on to future generations,” he said. “But these past days, I’ve felt like I could forget who I was, or rather, forget who I didn’t want to be. Traveling and exploring the desert with people who didn’t care who I was, playing games, building a campfire and talking about random things that aren’t related to the future of this region… All was new to me and yet felt so natural, as though this was what I should’ve been doing from the beginning.”

He took a pause here, probably to make up his mind to say something he couldn’t take back later.

“I’m forever grateful. I’ll never regret making the decision to leave Team Meteor, even if it’s just because that allowed me to experience ‘fun’.”

“I see… But why do you tell me that? You should say that to the other two. They’ve pretty much taken the lead in this trip.”

“I’ve been talking to you the past hour, because I wanted you to get to know me better,” he said. “Isn’t that how Julia said one makes friends?”

 

The next time we awoke- and I say this because we couldn’t tell whether it was morning or not due to the darkness of the underground- our bodies ached as usual but we were ready to continue the exploration.

It didn’t take us long to find the room of secrets. That was to be expected, for the gates that looked important really turned out to be, and just beyond them we found a doorway adorned with golden bricks. I wondered whether those bricks were made of gold, and if so, whether that alone wouldn’t amount to a “treasure”.

When we had taken some steps inside, the torches that were placed on the walls lit up by an act of magic, practically blinding us folk that had gotten too used to the darkness. The space was not the treasure room, yet. It was a room, however, and full of statues that were modeled after garchomp.

SJGkZTg.png

“I’m guessing Solaris was in charge of the decorations,” I whispered to Taka.

“Yeah,” he replied kind of absent-mindedly, but with furrowed eyebrows. “But I don’t know… Something about this room makes me feel uneasy.”

“You aren’t the only one,” I said. I could feel Pikachu was shivering on my shoulder, and no amount of patting was enough to make it go away.

We started walking through one of the two paths that were separated by a row of columns, but just as we got close to one of the statues, Taka gasped.

“I remember now, everyone, run!”

We were bewildered by that, but even more by what happened next.

The garchomp statue began vibrating on the spot, and dislodged itself from the wall. Then, it raised one of its bladed arms and swung it down full force. It would’ve hit Archer’s head, had he not tripped and fallen backwards.

“Archer, hurry we have to go,” Julia said and pulled his arm, but he was immobile as though the garchomp statue had exchanged life forces with him.

The statue raised its arm again, and swung it down to the man who was sitting on the ground.

Except, I sent out Bambi to run against it and block the blade with his antlers. Bambi pushed through, and the statue fell down. Its fall, though, activated the next couple of statues, and they started slowly creeping towards us.

I looked at Archer, who even after what happened, was still on the floor with his eyes wide open. He looked at me, too.

“Do you want to die? Hurry up and get out of here, idiot,” I said to him, and sent out more of my party so that we could deal with the next wave of statues.

Archer finally snapped out of it and scurried away with Julia.

“Vanilla, what are you doing? Come,” Taka said from the doorway.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll fight them all,” I replied. “These monsters must be guarding the treasure. I’m not retreating until I’ve seen it!”

“Vanilla, don’t be stubborn. You’re vastly outnumbered.”

On Taka’s saying this, I noticed that there were other statues moving on the other side of the row of columns, and they were also headed my way.

“You cowards can watch from the safety of that doorway,” I said, and did not hear or respond to anything else Taka said. I was too busy to do so, since I had to command my whole team of pokemon at the same time.

We weren’t doing too badly at first, but as my teammates lost energy, we began losing ground. There just were too many statues.

“Your team can rest now,” Archer said, startling me. When I glanced behind, all three of them were standing with their pokemon out of their pokeballs.

“Huh, so your pants dried up?” I smirked.

“That thing just caught me off guard, that’s all. They aren’t actually a threat,” he said. “After all, they’re just whimsy pieces of metal.”

Then, he commanded his Sharpedo to jump onto a statue and crush it with its jaw.

 

The statues went down three by three, until we were standing among nothing but metallic shells.

“Great! Now we can head to the next room,” Julia pointed out another doorway. “I hope that one isn’t full of other dragon statues. That’d have no end, literally.”

There was only one way to find out. We headed into the next room, and it, too, lit up automatically. This one was not full of statues, as Julia had theorized, but it did have a few of them, this time made of stone. Most of them were half-buried in the sand, and if not, broken into pieces that made it impossible to tell what pokemon they had been modeled after.

“This one says something about a ‘guardian legacy’?” Taka said while poking one of the statues. “I don’t know what’s that about, though.”

We searched the room some more, and found a few items that were also mostly buried in sand. I picked up a pink stone, and looked closely at it. It wasn’t a gem, but it wasn’t just a regular stone either.

“That’s a Medichamite,” Taka said.

“What?”

“A Medichamite.”

“Whatever that is, it appears that this room is the treasure room,” I said, making no effort to hide my disappointment. “Nothing of worth, no water. It seems this was a massive waste of time.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Julia said, jumping. “It was a fun adventure! It reminds me of when my friends and I would look for hidden treasures when we were young. We’d find coins on the floor, an earring, or a pair of broken glasses… anything, really. But it was fun because we’d find them after exploring.”

She then threw herself between Taka and I and placed her arms on our shoulders.

“A Ward like Peridot or Onyx, back then, felt so huge. Yet, the world was even more huginormous, with so many more fun places to explore! So I had a blast looking around this cave, even if we didn’t find water after all.”

“Yeah. It’s not all lost, anyway,” Archer said. “We still have that other cave in the west to check out, so let’s head back.”

Archer and Julia walked towards the exit.

“Here,” I said to Taka and offered him the Medichamite. “Whatever it is, it’s a treasure your father left you.”

“Actually, I won’t be needing it. You can keep it.”

“I don’t have a use for a plain rock either.”

Taka scratched his chin.

“Do you happen to have a Medicham?”
“Yeah, why? Is it an item for Medicham?”
“It won’t be useful as an individual item, but maybe it’ll be down the road if you get a bracelet to go with it. So yeah, keep it.”

Taka brushed my hand and told me to come. The other two were already entering the statue-less statue room. I put the stone in my bag and ran after them.

 

*Some internet peeps say sand is denser than human body so you can't sink in quicksand. I think that's true but we all know you can actually fall in the quicksand pits in Reborn so that's why I've kept it unrealistic.

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Taka (+2): 4/10 I'm not saying why
  • Julia (+1): 5/10 She cheered Taka up after a disappointing treasure room

 

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Yay! Another episode! More adventures and a better Taka/Vanilla friendship? :o Also, yay... again! Future Mega Medicham! I can't wait for the next episode. No matter how long that's gonna take. xD

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9 hours ago, Candy said:

The inside of it was dark, not only because it was nighttime, but also because it was a cave.

I feel like this sentence is redundant2.

9 hours ago, Candy said:

Archer got stuck in one and let go of the Lanturn he was holding

So the idea was to carry a 22 KG FISH through all the cave!?

9 hours ago, Candy said:

“Yeah, why? Is it an item for Medicham?”

Oh no Vanilla, a MEDICHAMITE is an item for Haxorus, isn't it obvious?

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18 hours ago, J-Awesome_One said:

Yay! Another episode! More adventures and a better Taka/Vanilla friendship? :o Also, yay... again! Future Mega Medicham! I can't wait for the next episode. No matter how long that's gonna take. xD

I thought the only blastoise would be mega in Vanini's team because I'd forgotten medicham can mega-evolve lol Lowkey one of the two reasons I needed to include Sugiline Cave in the story xP

 

10 hours ago, Corso said:

I feel like this sentence is redundant2.

19 hours ago, Candy said:

It's more a product of my lame sense of humor :blobsweat:

10 hours ago, Corso said:

So the idea was to carry a 22 KG FISH through all the cave!?

19 hours ago, Candy said:

Archer is ripped cause he's practically a marine 🤔

But most importantly, u gon tell me this:

Spoiler

1797577263_2db71b4c75b2973bdcdd1d15b5ae3ffbcopy.thumb.jpeg.835a0ee8325e0bc96557f4e26fd34e60.jpeg

feat. Jotaro as Archer cause I can only mediocre-photoshop things 😅

is more fun than this:

Spoiler

2db71b4c75b2973bdcdd1d15b5ae3ffb.thumb.jpeg.e763c42e0db11ec11cfe497ef65141c9.jpeg

I wasn't sure they'd have packed flashlights when they weren't planning to go exploring in a cave...

But even more importantly than most importantly, is this a Jojo reference?

 

10 hours ago, Corso said:

Oh no Vanilla, a MEDICHAMITE is an item for Haxorus, isn't it obvious?

It's prolly an item you use to meditate but she ain't no monk

 

On 4/5/2021 at 12:54 PM, Mindlack said:

That’s what I meant when I associated haircuts with Pikachu. I’m still surprised because I don’t remember Vanilla actually retaliating (while she punched Cal, didn’t she?). 

I think she would've done them in but she got distracted by their lovely costumes xD I think she gave Aster enough punishment, not so much Eclipse

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On 4/6/2021 at 1:30 AM, Candy said:

“Here,” I said to Taka and offered him the Medichamite. “Whatever it is, it’s a treasure your father left you.”

“Actually, I won’t be needing it. You can keep it.”

“I don’t have a use for a plain rock either.”

Taka scratched his chin.

“Do you happen to have a Medicham?”
“Yeah, why? Is it an item for Medicham?”
“It won’t be useful as an individual item, but maybe it’ll be down the road if you get a bracelet to go with it. So yeah, keep it.”

I guess, Vanini is going to have (finally) a Mega Pokemon in her team. Sweet. Will she also have some Z- moves as well?

 

On 4/6/2021 at 1:30 AM, Candy said:

“A psycho, huh? That’s true. He must’ve become one along the way. Otherwise, I couldn’t explain how he could kill people and pokemon with such ease,” he said, and I could sense irritation in his voice when he said the latter part.

He then threw himself back to the ground.

“I know when he became a psycho. In his youth, there was a time when he didn’t want anything to do with the shrine keeper family duties, which were to protect the meteor and the keys that led to it. ‘Every young person tends to mistake their way,’ he told me, and he wasn’t the exception. Because of that, though, a robber snuck into his home to steal the crystal keys, and killed his parents, my grandparents, in the process. That must’ve triggered something in him. When he narrated the way he incapacitated the robber until he killed him at last… he seemed to take pleasure in describing every detail of what he did. Even if the robber had done a terrible deed… I wouldn’t take pride in stooping to the same level as them.”

I love, how you portrayed Solaris personality here, as I could see his intentions, killing to archive his goals at any means. But it also scares me a little, if I would picture him snapping at others. I'm glad, Taka didn't take after him in some aspects.

 

On 4/6/2021 at 1:30 AM, Candy said:

“You might not understand it. I’ve always felt like there was a weight on my shoulders… that I had to be a certain way, just because I was born as my father’s son. In fact, my father hired a woman to have me, so honestly my purpose by default was to keep his legacy and pass it on to future generations,” he said. “But these past days, I’ve felt like I could forget who I was, or rather, forget who I didn’t want to be. Traveling and exploring the desert with people who didn’t care who I was, playing games, building a campfire and talking about random things that aren’t related to the future of this region… All was new to me and yet felt so natural, as though this was what I should’ve been doing from the beginning.”

I often feel sad, that we haven't got a chance to meet Taka's mother. Being born for that purpose. Ouch... It does feels like he existed for only the legacy, similiar to Luna. Seeing him now expiring new things and having freedom puts me a smile here. Great job Candy.

 

On 4/6/2021 at 1:30 AM, Candy said:

“I… Perhaps I’ve been alive too long,” he said. “I don’t really know if I’m my own self or just an entity that’s just repelling my father.”

It sucks, if you know that 😔💔

 

So that's all for now on. For someone, who had started this back in 2017 and till now... I'm very impressed for that. You put so much love in your writing despite the hiatus.

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7 hours ago, Evi Crystal said:

how you portrayed Solaris personality here

Thx for your comments :p but just clarifying that Solaris' part was Ame's work that I just added what I thought Taka would feel towards.

 

Crazy how long I've been writing this lol I'm not known for keeping motivation and/or focus for long

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