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


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19 hours ago, SilverAngelus said:

This may be my favorite chapter of FEtR to date. So many great events happening at once! Julia's acting is top-notch.

 

Also, I agree with Corso. Give back the first badge to Julia, Vanini. xD

Aaa tyty tbh I’m very satisfied with the Tourmaline saga. A lot of fun events, a lovely cast and pretty much a short story of its own that attempts a kishoutenketsu from Archer’s perspective (see more here). I think I like it more than the Ametrine arc, even though that was a local maximum in Shelly’s character arc, and even for Vanini it was quite dramathicc.

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On 5/29/2021 at 1:42 PM, Corso said:

Attempts a what!?
*Opens link*

Yeah not reading that 

it's basically the Japanese equivalent of exposition-rising action-climax-resolution but the climax is just a "twist" in the Japanese version :p

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kakr594.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 85kakr594.gif

It so happens that the original content™️ was too long to cram the Gym battle in. But I wanted to give logical(?) context for Titania's Gym being so grand (when I visited it in-game, I was like "how did the League organizers get so much money to create a castle in the middle of the desert??") and also a bit more characterization to Tania (it's not apparent in this episode, but it should become clear why I say that in the next).

 

Upon telling Europa and Stethoscope about our discovery, they each rejoiced in their own ways: Europa hugged every one of us and high-fived Al, while Stethoscope went so far as to smile at me. They decided to host an impromptu party, which due to being impromptu, didn’t have even half the amount of food Brenda’s farewell party had. Yet, at least one of our crew was excited to have another party to talk through the night, so the other three tried to look animated even though we would’ve most definitely preferred to go to sleep early.

 

The next morning was practically a repetition of the morning after Brenda’s party, with the small difference being that I was actually eager to head out to Titania’s Gym and was impatient for Julia to wake up. In order to keep my cool while Archer used nonviolent methods to wake her up, I approached Europa, Al and Bill to ask them whether they knew of the Gym’s whereabouts. I told them that the map wasn’t very specific on its exact location.

“Ah! Miss Tania. We have actually seen her a few times,” Bill said. “She’s brought us food and water. Such a kind hearted young lady.”

I was astonished to hear a real, breathing human being held such an impression of Titania, but said nothing of it.

“She always appears from our South Eastern entrance, but we have never seen her Gym, or residence itself,” he added.

“We tried to pay her a visit once, didn’t we, Al?” Europa said, and Al nodded. “But it was impossible to clear whatever weird magic spell she’s got goin’ protecting her place.”

“A magic spell?” I asked, rather intrigued. 

So far in my journey, I had never seen any real magic in the Reborn region. The things that looked to be under a magic spell, like the forest located south of Spinel Town or the sleeping spell in Agate City, were always invariably tied to Team Meteor’s PULSEs’ doing. I wondered if this might also be the case for Titania’s Gym, and if so, I wanted to find out the ‘why’.

“Yeah. There’s this illusion of grassland that looks like a humongous oasis that extends in all directions. No matter how far you run, you never get any farther from where you started. It’s all weird stuff, I tell ya.”

“So how am I supposed to battle her, if I can’t reach her Gym? How come she’s spreading the word that her Gym is open, if no one can reach it?”

“Well, it’s not like there’s an abundance of challengers,” Taka said from behind me, and joined our little group. “With the region being under instability and the Gym Leaders being absent from their Gyms, either being too busy fighting Team Meteor or been MIA entirely, you might actually be the only person who’s been this close to completing the League Challenge, Vanilla.”

“So she’s handing out advertisements for her Gym just for the sake of it?”

“I don’t know, but it certainly looks like it.”

Great. This was already looking like it’d be a promising start.

 

Given that Taka and Archer had nothing to do with actually meeting Titania, they opted to stay in the Train Town. That meant from here on out, it’d just be me and Pikachu, with the constant commentary sponsored by Julia.

“It’s like a girls night out, if it were actually night. Is there a thing called girls day out?” she said. 

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I’m making it a thing. We can invite Tania to join us too,” she said, but then retracted herself. “I guess when we meet Tania, the girls day out will be over. If she’s coming back with us, Archie and Tacos will be there so it wouldn’t really be a girls day out anymore. Maybe when that happens, we can call it an everyone’s day out.”

When we exited the trains from the South Eastern exit as Bill had instructed, we soon found the illusion that they were referring to.

08xOOBh.png

The grassland did stretch in all directions, but it wasn’t all grass. There were flowers and trees also, which reminded me of the gardens my mother used to keep at home.

There was one more, especially curious thing about this illusion, which I only realized once I had been walking in it for some time.

“This faint aura… This is light magic,” I whispered. Julia didn’t hear me, and I wasn’t sure I said it loud enough for Pikachu to hear from my shoulder.

I wasn’t trained in magic, but was at least able to feel the auras of light and dark magic. Everyone in Everland could, if they had lived there long enough. 

It was inevitable to run into light magic, since it was frequently used by mages and witches. Dark magic, though, was harder to run into, unless you went into the enchanted forest located South of Red Riding Hood Forest. The dark magic in there was so great that you could feel it even from the edges of it, which is why I was mildly familiar with it.

However, that didn’t tell me anything about how any such light magic- from the looks of it, a protective spell that creates the illusion of a grassland- had come to exist in this part of the Reborn region. Ironically, even though I had easily discerned that the magic spell didn’t originate in any PULSE, I still had the need to find out the ‘why’ behind it.

“Wow, we’ve been walking for some time, and yet, look,” Julia pointed at the train car we’d exited from. “The train car is still right behind us. It’s almost like it’s following us or something.”

Europa had indeed mentioned that they weren’t able to get any farther from where they started. 

“What if we walk backwards?” Julia suggested.

It didn’t seem like a bad idea, so we did. We turned 180 degrees and took some steps backward, but saw that the train car didn’t get away from us.

“Aha! I knew it,” she shouted triumphantly. “The train car is following us.”

I took a few more steps backward, and noticed that Julia also didn’t move away from me. The only thing moving appeared to be the ground beneath my feet.

“No, Julia. I think we’re just not moving at all, as if we were on a treadmill.”

She also tried walking, and then running, away from me, and gasped when she reached the same conclusion.

“Then, what should we do?” Julia asked.

I really had no idea. Given my family background, I couldn’t even see the runes woven into this space, and even if I could, I didn’t have any means of undoing the spell. I wondered for a moment how Titania could manage to clear the path to reach her own Gym, but I figured that these types of spells could exclude specific sets of people from triggering their effects.

Since we had bothered to come at all, Julia suggested that we shouted Titania’s name, in case she might hear us and come out to guide us. It was probably going to be useless, but it beat going back to Train Town without having exhausted the possibilities. If it didn’t work out, at least there was the faint possibility that Titania would visit Train Town, like Bill said she occasionally did, and we could have our match there.

“Tania! It’s me, Julia! Please come out here!” Julia shouted.

“Titania, for god’s sake! I’ve come for a Gym battle,” I shouted. “Stop hiding in your Gym!”

“Squeaaak,” Pikachu shouted too.

We waited in silence after that. Thirty seconds passed… then a minute…

“Huh, nothing?”

Right as Julia uttered those words, I saw someone appear behind Julia. It wasn’t Titania. I didn’t get much time to see him in detail, for as soon as he placed a finger on his lips, signaling me to keep quiet, a void opened beneath my and Julia’s feet and we experienced the sensation of falling. It was perhaps an illusion, like everything seemed to be in this strange space, but before I could figure that out, my conscience slipped away.

 

When I woke up again, Pikachu was staring at my face intently. I felt drained, though I couldn’t explain why.

“Pikachu… do you know what happened? I seem not to remember how I got here,” I said.

My head was resting on a very soft pillow with a golden cover, and my body was covered in a blanket and bed sheets. The bed had four posts and a canopy, from which a velvety curtain drooped to close off most of the light from the room.

I woke my upper body up, still feeling drowsy and lightheaded. The bed sheets slid off of me, and to my astonishment, I found out that I wasn’t wearing my bubblegum dress! Instead, I was wearing a set of white silk pajamas that were a tad bit too large for me. To make up for the excess, whoever put me in these tied the excess fabric with a hair tie just underneath my belly button.

I tried standing up from the bed, though Pikachu tried to get me to lie back down. Perhaps he could tell that I was still feeling unwell, but I had to find the whereabouts of my bubblegum dress.

jHnRTCL.png

The room was now fully visible to me. The walls were covered in wine red wallpaper and most of the furniture was golden, though their dull shine made it evident that they were antique.

Given that I couldn’t be persuaded to lie down, Pikachu hopped to the vanity set and squeaked at me. I wobbled my way there and sat down on the chair. The mirror appeared to be taken care of, but even then, the edges were turning black. There was no dust on the vanity, other than underneath the photo frame that Pikachu lifted to show me.

The picture was faded but I could see two people and one pokemon in it. The one pokemon I recognized before I did any of the two people because I had seen it before: it was an Aegislash. The two people were one red-haired short girl and a silver-haired young man. The young man, interestingly, looked strikingly similar to someone I vaguely remembered seeing in a dream. The little girl, though not obvious at first due to her uncharacteristically wide smile, I concluded was Titania when she was a child.

“I wonder if this is a relative of hers,” I told Pikachu. “They certainly have similar red hair, but I don’t recall her or Hardy ever mentioning an elder brother.”

I put the photo frame back on the table and decided to take a closer look at the room.

I opened the closet. There were garments, all of a man’s and wrapped in thin plastic to maybe avoid accumulating dust. My bubblegum dress wasn’t in there, however.

The room’s door was locked, as I expected it would be. Whoever brought me here, I supposed, wouldn’t want me leaving to who-knows-where. I guessed I still had the option to crawl down the window, but I didn’t think it would be necessary. I didn’t think the person who brought me here harbored ill intentions towards me, since, if that were the case, I’d probably already be dead or injured or whatever. In fact, I was waiting for them to show up, so that I could understand what their intentions were in bringing me to wherever this place was.

“I also need to ask them about Julia,” I said to myself. “The last thing I remember, I was on my way to Titania’s Gym with her.”

 

I continued my search of the room. 

On either side of the bed were small nightstands, and next to those were bookshelves that reached the ceiling. They were all filled with books, but from a quick glance, they weren’t lined up by author name or title name. Most of the books were either fairytales or textbooks about other regions’ history. There even was a copy of the Book of Influx and several other Everish history books, which really was surprising to me.

In one of the two bookshelves, there was exactly one space, from which a book had been taken out. It was obvious which book it was, for there was also only one resting on the nightstand nearby.

“From Everland to Reborn,” I read the title. “That sounds oddly relevant.”

I opened the book, but it was so thick that I accidentally flipped the whole of it to the last page.

 

The princess was flown out of the crumbling castle, which had been, to her, a symbol of oppression for years. However, when her feet touched ground, she was once again face-to-face with the aftermath of her actions.

Her knees trembled and she crumbled down to the barren earth.

“How can this be...” were the words that escaped her mouth.

 

… That was all. I thought it odd that whatever the story was, it had ended so abruptly, but that really was all that was written on the last page of the book.

Before I could flip it to read it from the beginning, though, a voice started me from behind and made me close the book by reflex.

“You, too, feel curious about that book?”

I turned to see who was standing behind me. I couldn’t hide my surprise in seeing that it was the man from my dream, the one also in the photograph.

“Who are you?” I asked.

He took a step back and bowed.

“My name is Silver Andersen. You may know Tania, my little sister,” he said.

Well, there it was. Though I hadn’t heard of those siblings having an elder brother, I figured it wasn’t surprising they hadn’t told me about him. I wasn’t particularly close to either of them.

“Why have you brought me here? What even is this place?”

“I brought you here because I figured you wanted to come here. This is our residence, or, better put, the building that houses Tania’s Gym.”

I looked around me one more time.

“And this is my room,” he added.

I instantly colored, when I came to the realization that I was standing in a man’s bedroom wearing a set of nightwear. That took only a second, though. The next, I was holding a stance so that I could punch him if he dared get too close.

“Pardon me, but what are you doing?” he asked, furrowing his brow.

“I’ll mash your pretty face if you take a step closer. What do you want?” I said, but then, thinking of more pertinent questions, added, “Where’s my bubblegum dress? Did you change my garments?”

Even if he didn’t get close, depending on the answer to the last question, I was ready to dislocate all his joints.

“Do not fret, m’lady. Your bubblegum dress will be here soon,” he said, smiling as though he was totally unaware of my hostility. “And I did not change your garments. That would not be very gallant of me, would it?”

“Then who?”

“Please wait. She is headed here as we speak.”

We waited for about five minutes, but I didn’t soften my stance for a second. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I was also making up my mind on how long to wait before I latched onto his jaw.

Eventually, though, I was spared the necessity to decide on that front, because the door that was closed from the outside opened, and a robotic rabbit entered the room. The rabbit, upon seeing that all of our gazes were focused on her, hid her face from our view with the bubblegum dress she was holding. Then, she dropped the dress on the carpeted floor, as she made a snapping sound and her upper body withdrew into the lower body. The result was that she had shaped herself as a pokeball in a matter of seconds. 

“Magearna is a little shy, you see,” Silver said and approached the large pokeball.

He knocked on it and whispered to her to coax her to open up again. It took some trying, but the pokeball made a snapping sound and released into the rabbit shape again.

She was still shaken, but she grabbed the dress and dusted it off. She looked at it, then at me, and her ears bent down.

“S-s-s… O-o-o… R-r-r-r… E-e-e” 

The robot made sounds but I didn’t know what she meant by them.

“Magearna is sorry for dropping your dress when she was startled,” Silver said. “She had washed it earlier, but now it’s a little dusty.”

“There’s no need to worry about some silly dust. It’s been through snow, sand and even toxic waste.”

Magearna’s ears pointed upright again and she smiled. She approached me while making whirring sounds and gave me the dress.

“Magearna also changed your garments. She takes care of the cleaning of this room, and insisted on washing your dress while you were unconscious.”

The dress, indeed, was impeccably clean, and the dust wasn’t even noticeable. Even the stones on it had been polished, and sparkled like they hadn’t done for as long as I’d been in Reborn. I thanked Magearna for taking the trouble.

“That dress. You called it a bubblegum dress,” said Silver. “Is it not the traditional dress worn by the Hansel and Gretel line of nobles in Everland?”

I was startled at his being so well-informed, but I figured I shouldn’t be really. His room housed an impressive library of books, which included not just one but five Everish books.

“You may be surprised at my knowledge of traditional dresses worn by the nobility of a foreign region, but it really shouldn’t come as any surprise. After all, the Andersen Family actually migrated from Everland to Reborn only a little over a century ago, and I have studied all I could about Everland that my father’s collection of books contained.”

This was some news, which I didn’t know how to react to. Did he want me to be happy to find a fellow ‘countryman’ in the Reborn region? However, that gave me little surprise or pleasure, given that I had been meeting fellow countrymen almost from the beginning of my journey, and I would have much rather not met 75% of them.

“The truth is that your shouting did reach Tania, and she would have picked both you and your companion up, had I not picked you up first,” he said. “Your cheery companion woke up and is waiting for you in our guest room. Magearna and I will guide you there once our conversation is done.”

“Our conversation? What do you plan to talk about?”

“I picked you up, because I recognized your dress. I was curious to know what an Everish person could be doing in Reborn.”

“What, do you not get enough tourists? Why would it be so odd that I was visiting the Reborn region?”

“I have reason to be curious about anyone who travels... from Everland to Reborn. Especially, if that person is a young woman,” Silver said and looked at the book on the nightstand. I looked at it too and read its title again.

“That book, and a dozen more, were written about 200 years ago, by a mystical man who insisted that he could dream of events that would happen in the future, and, accordingly, recorded his dreams as best as he could,” he said. “He was a close friend of my ancestor. As years passed, his memory turned more and more unreliable, so much so that he forgot he had a family of his own. As such, upon his death, he left all the books to the one person he could still remember: his friend, my ancestor. At the time, it was rumored that he had been sacrificing his past memories to create future ones, but it’s now impossible to tell whether that really was the case.”

I didn’t, for one second, believe that story. Not even the strongest mages could see so much of the future as to write thick books about it, due to how unstable the future is by nature. 

Silver must’ve taken the hint from my expression, for he added that he also knew that the books the mystical man wrote couldn’t be taken word for word as absolute truth.

“For, even if the things he dreamt about were accurate, he didn’t dream in a chronological order, and he could not always remember them clearly enough to record them upon waking up. That is very apparent in all of his books, but it’s particularly bad in this one, since it was the last one he started writing. Sometimes I wonder if he could even tell whose story he was dreaming, for I feel like the point of view sometimes shifted abruptly, and then I was at a loss on who’s actions and thoughts I was reading.”

“Sounds like a mess,” I commented.

“It is,” he laughed. “But it still is an interesting and most valuable read.”

sVTuUlZ.png

He bobbed his head to the side to signal Magearna to grab the book for him. He instructed her to open it to the first page, while I wondered why he didn’t just open the book himself.

“In the end, she was persuaded to be reasonable. The baby was to be had. The baby was born a healthy girl, with features that resembled her father,” he read. “Little did she know what heavy burden rested on her tiny shoulders. However, responsibility does tend to increase in proportion with rank and power, and as the Princess of Everland, her burden had to be just what one must comprehend.”

I listened to him read some more of the story about this Princess of Everland, but I soon had to cut him off.

“Why are you reading that to me? I don’t have time to be idly listening to a fairytale,” I said. “I came to battle Titania, and, as you said, Julia is waiting for me.”

“I wanted to know if you felt that any of what I read was familiar to you. Anything you may have heard your parents mention to you? Was your mother persuaded to give birth to you? Do you have features that resemble your father?”

With every question, Silver took a step towards me, while I struggled to move backward because I was already standing by the nightstand.

“No, I have never heard of any such thing from my parents,” I said. “In fact, I don’t really resemble either of my parents.”

“The father proposed that the princess should have a companion, a friend, with whom the baby could grow up with. For this purpose, he volunteered his niece, thereby also accomplishing to quench his sister’s sorrow,” he read some more. “Are you close with your cousin? What do you think he means by ‘quench his sister’s sorrow’?”

I was indeed close to my cousin, but I felt that his interrogation would never end if I admitted it, so I denied his questions again. This was effective. Silver backed off and sighed.

“Why do you insist that I should have anything to do with that book?” I said. “I’m not the Princess of Everland. I’m a descendant of the Hansel and Gretel line and have no familial ties to the Queen.”

“Right… I got ahead of myself. Forgive me.”

He signaled Magearna to close the book and she placed it back on the nightstand.

“I have always wanted to confirm whether the man was a real seer or just delirious. I also wanted, if possible, to know how each of the fairytales ended, for he died before he could finish dreaming most of them, including this one. However, it is a hard endeavor because there is no telling when these stories are supposed to take place. For all I know, they might take place a century or two from now.”

“That’s too bad for you, but you should employ your time on more worthwhile things,” I said. “Who cares if a man that lived a couple centuries ago was sane or not? Just assume he was insane and move on.”

Silver laughed.

“My nature is to take things seriously and to be a terrible quitter,” he said. “I guess I will have to keep waiting, since-”

Before he could finish his sentence, however, we felt the ground beneath our feet tremble. It wasn’t a big shake, of the kind that would’ve swept us off our feet, but the vibrations did make the furniture creak.

“What was that? An earthquake?” I asked when the shaking had calmed down.

“Yes, but no,” he replied. “It seems you are not the only visitors today. Come, follow me. Let’s reunite you with your friend, and hopefully find out who is our uninvited guest.”

 

I asked them to give me a couple of minutes to change out of the nightwear and into my bubblegum dress.

Afterwards, I followed Silver and Magearna down hallways and staircases, until they stopped in front of a door. Magearna opened it for us, and we found Julia eating popcorn and watching TV.

“Vanini!” she screamed when she saw me and instantly left her spot on the couch to jump on me. “I was so worried. I’m glad you’re safe.”

“Yeah, likewise,” I said, trying to pull her away from me as though she was gum stuck on my shoe.

“This tall handsome guy told me you’d fallen unconscious and was still recovering,” she said.

“Sounds about right,” Silver said.

He had, apparently, been totally out of Julia’s sight even though he had entered the room right behind me.

“Oh, hi. I didn’t see you there,” Julia said, looking uncharacteristically embarrassed.

“Do not worry, that happens quite often,” he said. “My name is Silver Andersen. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“Oh please,” Julia giggled. “The pleasure is all mine.”

I thought it odd that Julia, who I had understood was quite close to Titania, had also never met her elder brother. However, I wasn’t curious enough to ask them about it out loud. Yet, Silver only smiled when I looked at him questioningly.

“Now, if you are done eating popcorn, may we show you around the house?”

“Yes of course! It’s my first time being in Tania’s house… and Gym. It’s so big! I would never have guessed Tania lived like a princess.”

Julia eagerly followed behind Silver, while Magearna and I followed them a few steps behind them.

 

I thought the hallways were endless, and the rooms countless. Silver didn’t show us all of the rooms, but picked some and told us about the general history of them. I was impatient to get back on track- to find Titania and battle her- but Julia seemed not to care about time at all. 

Silver’s father’s room was the most unique out of the bunch, I thought, for it was basically a library, and had almost no furniture in it. Silver explained that his father was an insomniac, so he preferred to sleep in the library so that whenever he woke and couldn’t go back to sleep, he could read some more and theorize about all sorts of things, including but not limited to: astrology, biology, quantum mechanics, classic literature, politics, and regional or world history.

“Where is he now?” asked Julia, despite Silver talking about him in past tense.

“He was much more senior than our mother when he married. You can guess the rest,” he replied.

We passed some more rooms, all of which were empty. Silver did not let us in one of them, because he said that their mother was inside but wasn’t fond of visitors. 

 

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When the hallway finally came to an end in a small space apparently reserved for social activity, we unexpectedly ran into the ‘uninvited guest’ from the earthquake earlier. Yet, out of all people that I was prepared for, I never expected it to be this person.

“Welcome, Vanilla,” Lin said.

“What? How did you even get here?” I said, without really expecting an answer.

“You were quite generous to show that boy here,” she said. “I thank you for that, since he, in turn, showed me.”

“Yeah, he did say you had a radar or something. Sounds like he wasn’t wrong,” I said. “But you shouldn’t have been able to pass through the protective spell that guards this castle.”

“Indeed. I’m really amiss as to how that could have happened,” Silver said.

“Vanini, who’s this?” asked Julia, who had never before been in the presence of the true leader of Team Meteor.

“Taka’s enemy,” I replied.

“His enemy?” Lin snorted. “Have you considered the alternative? That you are his enemy?”

“Taka’s not our enemy,” Julia shouted back. “He’s Vanilla’s and my friend, and we won’t allow you to do him any harm!”

“I think that’s your cue to shut up. I’m not going to hear a word you say,” I said to Lin.

She narrowed her eyes and took a step back.

“Very well. If that’s your final answer... Let’s get started,” she said, turning her back to us.

She then exited from the doors behind her, and I could at last breathe again. Though I tried to act tough and unmoved, the reality was the reverse. I remembered finding Ame’s decapitated body in what we once believed to be the Devon building. I shivered.

“This is bad news, Julia. She’s not going to have mercy with Taka, I’m sure of it.”

“Should we maybe return to Train Town to warn him? He might be better off going back into the city and hiding there.”

“That might be best,” I said, taking a step in the direction we came from, but then stopping. I ground my teeth, because part of me didn’t want to say it, but the other part won over and I told Julia what we should do instead. 

“But let’s do this. You go back to Train Town and warn him. I’ll continue this path and will fight Lin if I have to, at least to borrow some time. If I find Titania, I’ll tell her house has been infiltrated. Maybe she’ll help me fight Lin.”

“Alright, I’ll come back when-”

“No,” I cut her off. “No, Julia. You remain in Train Town, or you can even head back to the city with Taka and Archer. I’ll bring Titania to you, if you must talk to her directly, but don’t come back.”

Julia looked at me as though she was meeting me for the first time.

“Vanini… Are you worried about me? About us?”

I looked away from her, but she jumped on me and hugged me, with so much momentum that she almost swept Pikachu off my shoulder.

“You’re the cutest!” she shouted in my ear. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of Archer and Taka. Be safe, alright?”

“Alright.”

“Very well,” said Silver, finally finding a moment to speak. “Let Magearna escort you, Miss Julia, to the exit. I shall be your guide for the rest of your visit, Miss Vanilla.”

He offered me his arm, as though he thought I’d take it. 

Julia waved at us and went down the hallway, while we entered the doors to the right and continued our way to Titania.

 

We walked in relative silence, though Silver occasionally tried to get me to converse with him more than a couple of words at a time.

“Do you notice similarities between the castles in Everland and this one?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Good, because it was built with the same technology and tools,” he said. “When my great-grandparents left Everland, their friends volunteered to help them construct a lovely home. The spell outside, which gives visitors the illusion of a never-ending garden, too, was the work of one mage.”

“I see.”

“That mage was old and sickly, so he voluntarily used up all his life force to make that spell. That is why it is so hard to crack that code.”

“Not like one could crack something one can’t even see.”

“Your magical blood has thinned over generations?”

“The Hansel and Gretel bloodline has had no wizards or witches in it, as far as I know.”

“Oh, right, yes of course. How could I have forgotten that!”

After some more time walking thus, we felt another jolt of earthquake.

“Oh? Another one?” he said. “I cannot believe it. Are we under siege or something?”

“Another uninvited guest?”

“Yeah. That something this odd could happen once, well I can maybe understand, but twice? That is unnerving.”

The first person was confirmed to be Lin, but I couldn’t imagine who the second could be. Someone like Lin? It couldn’t be any of the normal humans in Team Meteor, could it?

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Julia (+1): 7/10 We're a team now. I mean, for now
  • Lin (-1): -4/10 She really can't just let stuff go, can she?

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

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Was just browsing on the forums, when the notification popped out all of the sudden. Thanks for the small heart attack😂💜

 

But

12 minutes ago, Candy said:

After all, the Andersen Family actually migrated from Everland to Reborn only a little over a century ago, and I have studied all I could about Everland that my father’s collection of books contained.”

 

So Tania's from Everland originally and has another brother? That sounds crazy to me, if you ask me, but still like it. Anything related with fantasy is my thing💫💕💕

 

I hope Taka's going to live in that one despite the Reshiram Route or else Imma slaughter Pikachu again🔥🗡

(Just joking, but the feels)

 

What secrets is Tania hiding from us? Being a hidden princess? Royalty? This "gym" is screaming "hidden kingdom" to me👇🏽

21 minutes ago, Candy said:

But I wanted to give logical(?) context for Titania's Gym being so grand (when I visited it in-game, I was like "how did the League organizers get so much money to create a castle in the middle of the desert??") and also a bit more characterization to Tania (it's not apparent in this episode, but it should become clear why I say that in the next).

Just c'mon. That is fantastic and fits Tania pretty well. Neat job even after so long👏🏽

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3 hours ago, Candy said:

I found out that I wasn’t wearing my bubblegum dress! Instead, I was wearing a set of white silk pajamas that were a tad bit too large for me

"So what you're saying is that someone must have seen Vanilla naked!" is what I thought

 

3 hours ago, Candy said:

astrology, biology, quantum mechanics, classic literature, politics, and regional or world history

Corso rates: FEtR characters
Tania's father: +1 -1 : good for quantum mechanics, bad for astrology

 

As I haven't played E18 yet I'm quite confused on what's canon this time: I don't remember Tania having a brother, and from what I remember of the real route, a statue attacks you in a hallway in the castle and I think Lin was inside the statue? I don't remember her making a dramatic entrance likt this one.

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3 hours ago, Evi Crystal said:

Was just browsing on the forums, when the notification popped out all of the sudden. Thanks for the small heart attack😂💜

 

Welcome uwu <3

3 hours ago, Evi Crystal said:

So Tania's from Everland originally and has another brother? That sounds crazy to me, if you ask me, but still like it. Anything related with fantasy is my thing💫💕💕

Their ancestor is from Everland but not Tania's generation. They've been living in Reborn for over 200 years, maybe even in the times when the ruins under Reborn City were out in the open, in my head-canon. I just wanted a reason for them to be so tied to fairytales in a fairytale run lol and why they live in a castle with green pasture in the middle of the desert xD It'd be impossible to build without magic, I'd say.

3 hours ago, Evi Crystal said:

I hope Taka's going to live in that one despite the Reshiram Route or else Imma slaughter Pikachu again🔥🗡

(Just joking, but the feels)

👀💧

 

22 minutes ago, Corso said:

"So what you're saying is that someone must have seen Vanilla naked!" is what I thought

Someone did 🐰 uwu

22 minutes ago, Corso said:

Corso rates: FEtR characters
Tania's father: +1 -1 : good for quantum mechanics, bad for astrology

Lmaooo I knew you'd like the quantum mechanics part. Tania's dad was a studious old boye

23 minutes ago, Corso said:

As I haven't played E18 yet I'm quite confused on what's canon this time: I don't remember Tania having a brother, and from what I remember of the real route, a statue attacks you in a hallway in the castle and I think Lin was inside the statue? I don't remember her making a dramatic entrance likt this one.

Yep Tania doesn't have a brother in canon. While I dreamt about these few episodes a whale back, I thought of many things that could happen, but the scenario I liked best was Tania having an elder bro... for reasons that will be revealed next episode :3

In the real route, statues attack you while you go through the castle, and one of them gets behind you and prolly hits you from the back (it's Lin), which transports you to a room (I used the map for Silver's room). But I feel Vanini wouldn't be the type to have her back open to attacks of the sorts so I scrapped that.

In canon, Lin actually makes a dramatic(?) entrance. I didn't change that bit. Most of the dialogue for her I took straight from the game :p

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I was just joking about that Candy😂

But even after so many times, I just can't... The feels tho😶

 

1 hour ago, Corso said:

"So what you're saying is that someone must have seen Vanilla naked!" is what I thought

Hey, be careful Corso. Vanini's going  to kill you for that🤣🤣🤣

 

1 hour ago, Candy said:

Their ancestor is from Everland but not Tania's generation. They've been living in Reborn for over 200 years, maybe even in the times when the ruins under Reborn City were out in the open, in my head-canon. I just wanted a reason for them to be so tied to fairytales in a fairytale run lol and why they live in a castle with green pasture in the middle of the desert xD It'd be impossible to build without magic, I'd say.

Nice headcannon, but why does it feel like I have copied you in a way... Like I also have my version of Tania being associated with magic tale stuff, since you know the field she's fought etc. It must make sense!😳🤯

 

Plus I'm now jealous and would live with Tania now.Screw Fiore Mansion or Vanhanan Castle, that's now my place to live🤩😍

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2 hours ago, Candy said:

Yep Tania doesn't have a brother in canon.

Hardy!

 

Also I can see this happening next episode:

Tania: Do you trust me?

Vanini: Nope.

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2 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

Hardy!

I meant elder bro 😅 And also despite the similar name, not Silver from Gold/Silver games. 

Head canon that might or might not make it to the story is that he was a steel type E4 member but stepped down a whale back. Then El joined E4.

5 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

Also I can see this happening next episode:

Tania: Do you trust me?

Vanini: Nope.

Lol you know your edgelord xD

Spoiler

308080308_ScreenShot2021-07-04at4_33_43PM.thumb.png.cd23e6596b39926d8a5a10edb22eb77b.png

 

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Yay! Another episode! I really liked this 1 and how you changed a lot of stuff. And are Vanilla and Julia best friends now? Well... right behind Shelly, YES! At least, in my head. YOU CAN'T CHANGE MY MIND!

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Wow – I can’t believe I almost missed the new chapter. And it’s a very good one too! 
 

I feel forced to comment (a little bit nonsensically) that somehow Vanilla’s reaction to Titania (as you spoiled it) is absolutely spot on - I can’t imagine anything fitting her better. 
 

(and yes, that’s nonsensical, because you’re writing her so of course what you write is the essence, the epitome of her very self!) 

 

It’s a very good idea to have made the Andersen family an old Everish family that moved away. It nicely explains how, well, mysteriously magical (almost dreamlike, and very clearly like something-not-quite-from-this-world) Titania’s Gym feels. And of course the Andersen family would be related to Everland. 
 

I’m curious to see where you’re headed with the “story of the story”, or so to speak. If it’s really going to matter, if it’s a one-time thing or a red herring. 
 

Speaking of dreamlike and magic, am I the only one to find everything in this chapter rather unnerving? Like something really wrong is already happening and the fairy tale is going to turn into a horror story. 
 

Spoiler

I mean, that is how the game goes but… please no?

  • Vanilla seems to faint and lose memory for no reason in particular.
  • Silver just appears and seems to be noticed exactly when he wants to be.
  • His room has deep red walls. How can he even feel at ease there?
  • No one else has ever hinted at his existence (or when is that dream you mention?). Yet Julia isn’t surprised in the slightest to meet him. 
  • He seems to know either some very wrong things or way too much (might Vanilla be mistaken regarding her identity or lineage?). Either way, it’s unsettling. Also, astrology on the same footing as quantum mechanics? I know, magic, fantasy, but still… 
  • Vanilla has punched people for way less than Silver did – she ended up in pajamas in his bed without knowing how or why. Still she lets him be. Does she even snap at him more than anyone else she wouldn’t want to chat with? 
  • Silver is utterly unfazed by Lin’s presence, and even lets her address Vanilla to the exclusion of everyone else… and there’s the second unexpected visitor…

I’m a bit surprised that Lin should be able to bypass a magical protection that Vanilla could barely distinguish. Does that mean you have an actual plan in mind for Lin? Or are you just keeping with the game pattern of “basically impossible to outdo until the very end of the game”? 

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35 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

I feel forced to comment (a little bit nonsensically) that somehow Vanilla’s reaction to Titania (as you spoiled it) is absolutely spot on - I can’t imagine anything fitting her better. 

Glad you like it lol and although Vanini is a creation of mine, she's very different from what I am irl so it's sometimes hard to predict all her moves and behavior completely accurately 😅 All I can do is write her as I "dream" her to be acting, which tends to be 90% in character fortunately.

38 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

I’m curious to see where you’re headed with the “story of the story”, or so to speak. If it’s really going to matter, if it’s a one-time thing or a red herring. 

👀

38 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

Speaking of dreamlike and magic, am I the only one to find everything in this chapter rather unnerving? Like something really wrong is already happening and the fairy tale is going to turn into a horror story. 

Glad I could translate the creepy atmosphere I feel from Tania's gym into writing. Like in the original game, you get challenged by knight statues, one of which is Lin, kinda like a jump-scare. Then you find yourself in a room that loops until you find a way out, which is something you'd see in horror movies and stuff. I didn't really know I was writing a horror until you pointed it out, though.

40 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

Vanilla seems to faint and lose memory for no reason in particular.

This will be revealed when "how she bypassed the magical barrier" is revealed, but it's not much that she lost memory but rather, because she woke from "sleep", she thought what happened irl was what happened in a dream.

44 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

Silver just appears and seems to be noticed exactly when he wants to be.

👀

44 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

His room has deep red walls. How can he even feel at ease there?

lolol this was not really intentional horror stuff. I was trying to portray a room that's super in-your-face luxurious, and wine red feels regal. I'm not an interior designer at all, so this is the best I can do 😓

46 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

No one else has ever hinted at his existence (or when is that dream you mention?). Yet Julia isn’t surprised in the slightest to meet him. 

The reason Julia isn't surprised is that he guided her to the guest room (no introductions were made then, but she would've guessed he was a person who works in the castle or something). But there is a reason no one has hinted at his existence.

49 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

He seems to know either some very wrong things or way too much (might Vanilla be mistaken regarding her identity or lineage?). Either way, it’s unsettling. Also, astrology on the same footing as quantum mechanics? I know, magic, fantasy, but still… 

👀

I listed random stuff including astrology and quantum mechanics to illustrate that Silver/Tania/Hardy's dad was someone with wide range of interests. There's an awful lot of books in Tania's castle, so I gave him that setting so it fits with that lol Not an important point, but I do make an effort to pay attention to small details like that lol

52 minutes ago, Mindlack said:

Vanilla has punched people for way less than Silver did – she ended up in pajamas in his bed without knowing how or why. Still she lets him be. Does she even snap at him more than anyone else she wouldn’t want to chat with? 

She actually used to punch people in the beginning-ish for random stuff because she was in an ill mood (it had been a day or so since Aladdin betrayed her, Wolfie died protecting her, and she lost her whole Defiance group). She's now much less aggressive as a character, so I didn't think she'd punch someone she didn't exactly know was friend or foe. She did snap at the potential that he might've changed her clothes, though lol

1 hour ago, Mindlack said:

Silver is utterly unfazed by Lin’s presence, and even lets her address Vanilla to the exclusion of everyone else… and there’s the second unexpected visitor…

Silver is uhhh a spectator of sorts, so for the most part, he only watches. There's some hints in the episode as to why that is, but as you realized, there's something weird about him for sure :p

1 hour ago, Mindlack said:

I’m a bit surprised that Lin should be able to bypass a magical protection that Vanilla could barely distinguish. Does that mean you have an actual plan in mind for Lin? Or are you just keeping with the game pattern of “basically impossible to outdo until the very end of the game”? 

I don't really know how Lin works, but so far she's been able to do stuff that would be nearly impossible for a normal, living human to do (even knowing that Taka had changed alliances and was in the desert with protagonist, or making Taka teleport to Tania's gym are already impossible imo), so I also let her surpass the protective spell. How did she do it? Probably the same way that she does things lmaooo

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On 7/6/2021 at 2:11 AM, Candy said:

Glad I could translate the creepy atmosphere I feel from Tania's gym into writing. Like in the original game, you get challenged by knight statues, one of which is Lin, kinda like a jump-scare. Then you find yourself in a room that loops until you find a way out, which is something you'd see in horror movies and stuff. I didn't really know I was writing a horror until you pointed it out, though.


I’ll be honest – I’ve never read, written or watched horror stories. I don’t like being frightened (or mock-frightened). But when such a fairy tale-like story goes wrong – what else could it be than horror?

 

(I guess I’ll find out). 

 

 

Quote

lolol this was not really intentional horror stuff. I was trying to portray a room that's super in-your-face luxurious, and wine red feels regal. I'm not an interior designer at all, so this is the best I can do 

 

Yes, I agree that wine red does have a regal feel. Although I’m no interior decorator either so I’m not sure what it would feel like. I was thinking of another fanfiction I read (a Star Wars-themed one) where a certain character (let’s call him OK) is handed another character’s (let’s call him P) job, office and quarters. But P has… peculiar tastes in interior decoration (too much red) and the writer emphasizes how much better and calmer OK feels after masking all the red with greenery. I guess that impression stuck. 

 

 

Quote

The reason Julia isn't surprised is that he guided her to the guest room (no introductions were made then, but she would've guessed he was a person who works in the castle or something). But there is a reason no one has hinted at his existence.

 

Ah, that makes sense. 

 

Quote

👀

I listed random stuff including astrology and quantum mechanics to illustrate that Silver/Tania/Hardy's dad was someone with wide range of interests. There's an awful lot of books in Tania's castle, so I gave him that setting so it fits with that lol Not an important point, but I do make an effort to pay attention to small details like that lol


It’s good to pay attention to details! But, well, astrology… My horoscope says I’m a skeptic. 🤣

 

Quote

She actually used to punch people in the beginning-ish for random stuff because she was in an ill mood (it had been a day or so since Aladdin betrayed her, Wolfie died protecting her, and she lost her whole Defiance group). She's now much less aggressive as a character, so I didn't think she'd punch someone she didn't exactly know was friend or foe. She did snap at the potential that he might've changed her clothes, though lol

 

Yes, Vanilla certainly mellowed. I think I hadn’t realized that the early game had happened so fast after Wolfie’s death – that explains why she was in such a foul mood. 
 

But she still tried to punch Radomus (not that he doesn’t deserve it). And yet Silver has a very “NPC” feel (“just watching”), while Radomus definitely has an agenda that he keeps hidden. So perhaps Silver’s less threatening to her. 

 

Quote

Silver is uhhh a spectator of sorts, so for the most part, he only watches. There's some hints in the episode as to why that is, but as you realized, there's something weird about him for sure :p

 

I’m just terrible at picking up foreshadowing. Absolutely terrible. But I’m still trying. 

 

Quote

I don't really know how Lin works, but so far she's been able to do stuff that would be nearly impossible for a normal, living human to do (even knowing that Taka had changed alliances and was in the desert with protagonist, or making Taka teleport to Tania's gym are already impossible imo), so I also let her surpass the protective spell. How did she do it? Probably the same way that she does things lmaooo

 

🤣

 

But Taka tried to disappear off the radar, that’s a pretty obvious indication that he switched sides. I wouldn’t put past Sirius (or Lin/Terra) to realize that Taka’s loyalty was flimsy and to Solaris exclusively and thus to keep watch of him. 
 

I don’t remember Tania’s Gym that well, but if we could teleport there, why not Taka as well? Still, it’s not very clear why he obeys Lin in there. 

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kakr594.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 86kakr594.gif

 

At some point, we had to exit to a rooftop, and take some colorful floating stairs.

“These are also the work of an Everish artisan. They are under the spell to remain in place, so don’t worry about them suddenly falling or anything,” he said cheerily, as always, unbothered the difficult situation I was in. “Do be careful not to lose your balance, though. I would offer you a hand, but… well, let me just say that would not be quite a Helping Hand.”

I didn’t understand his meaning, but I only shrugged. I didn’t like him enough to hold his hand anyway. Instead of him, Pikachu jumped off my shoulder and offered me his hand. We began going up the stairs slowly, because the altitude was quite discomforting. When I thought I lost balance, Pikachu would pull me back, and when he lost balance, which wasn’t nearly as often due to how small he was, I pulled on him.

At a midpoint, though, I stopped in my tracks because I was called by a familiar, but exceedingly unwelcome, voice.

f8GsrcK.png

“Vanilla! Up here,” shouted Taka.

“Taka? What are you doing here? You should’ve stayed in Train Town,” I shouted back.

“I know, I didn’t move from there. I literally went to nap and woke up here,” he said, with hasty breathing. “And Lin-”

His voice cracked when he mentioned her, and the rest of the conversation was all said while sniffling on his part.

“I’m sorry, Vanilla. I really am sorry,” he said. “I didn’t want her to… I didn’t want this. Please believe me.”

“I know that,” I shouted. “But she’s here, and I’ll have to deal with her now.”

“I’ll… I’ll find a way down so I can join you.”

“Don’t do that. If you can, find a way out of this place,” I said, then I turned to Silver. “Can you get to where he is and guide him out of here?”

“Sure thing,” he said. “Or at least, we can try. He entered this space using unknown means, so I’m not quite certain that I’ll have the capacity to get him out. Will you be alright on your own?”

“I’ll figure it out. Now, go.”

He bowed once, ran down the stairs, entered the castle through the door we exited through, and impossibly soon appeared next to Taka.

“Shall we get going, my good sir?”

Taka appeared as bewildered as I was that this man had teleported to where he was, but didn’t complain and followed his lead.

When I saw that they were both out of my sight, I continued walking with Pikachu. We moved slower than I’d wish, but at least we didn’t fall off the staircase, which was the only thing that could happen to make our situation worse.

 

X4qTw5b.png

We were once again halted, when the lady of the house finally showed up.

“How in the world did you enter this place?” Titania asked. “And you had to drag these other vermin in too.”

She was standing on a piece of Earth that had also been enchanted to float, apparently. However, that piece wasn’t reachable via my staircase. It was only reachable by another, thinner set of stairs that crossed the one I was on at a slightly higher plane. Titania used them to stand right above me.

“We’ll need to get rid of them.”

“Taka isn’t our enemy,” I said. “Remember how you were insistent that he made a choice? Well, he chose our side. We only have to take care of Lin.”

“I will know whether he’s on our side or not, depending on how he acts today. For all I know, he could have called her here, or might get in the way to protect his superior.”

I didn’t say anything back. It was pointless to argue at a time like this, when we didn’t know when Lin might reach and slice Taka’s throat. Besides, Titania was right on this. She will know he is on our side anyway, since he won’t get in our way.

“I’ll finish that green haired b*tch who’s wandering around my house as if it were hers,” she said. “Vanilla, do you trust me?”

“Do I trust you? What kind of question is that?” I laughed. “Have you done anything to deserve my trust?”

“Right. I should’ve seen that one coming. But we don’t have time, so just take these regardless.”

Titania let something drop from where she stood, and I failed to catch it but Pikachu did on my behalf. He extended his arm so that I could take a better look at whatever she wanted me to hold on to.

“The sapphire bracelets?” I said, but by then Titania was already running towards higher ground.

I placed the bracelets in my bag, and carried on climbing the unnecessarily long stairs.

 

xgowAVg.png

When we finally reached ground again, we saw that there was an opening that connected this pastel fantasy land to a dark, lava-infested cave. There wasn’t any other way to go, though, so we walked right in.

Silver was waiting for us inside.

“What on earth are you doing here? Didn’t I tell you to guide Taka to safety?” I said, with no effort to hide my irritation.

“That is the interesting part. I thought I was doing just as you said,” he said. “I was guiding him to the exit, but suddenly I looked behind me and he was gone. I have no idea what kind of magic worked on him, despite my- if I say so myself- broad expertise when it comes to magical studies.”

“Perhaps it wasn’t a work of magic, of the type that exists in Everland. But that is terrible news, regardless.”

That meant that Taka could be anywhere now, and the location he happened to be in, could very well be the same as the one Lin was in.

“Sorry about that, m’lady. But let me be your guide from now on,” he said. “That is, until we encounter Tania… It’s complicated.”

Perhaps they fought? I thought vaguely but continued my way.

 

Our path was full of lava pools that glowed and helped light up the otherwise dark cave. It wasn’t a straight way, however, so I couldn’t run too quickly in case I might not be able to turn in time.

“Do you wonder why we have a Dragon’s Den in our residence?” Silver asked.

I had no time to chit chat, so I kept silent.

“My generation didn’t get to see it, but our great grandparents used to own a pet dragon. See that? There’s a large statue built in the dragon’s likeness over there.”

The statue entered our field of vision soon enough. The dragon had a slender face but quite a large body, and a tail that was almost half the size of the whole beast. Somehow, I felt some familiarity with its tail’s shape, but I couldn’t be sure. My mind was too confused to think deeply about it.

When we passed near it, however, it moved toward us and screeched. I was so startled that I fell backwards, only narrowly missing a pool of lava. I thought the statue would keep attacking, much like the statues we’d encountered in Solaris’ secret cave, but once it was done, startling me out of my senses, it returned to the base it had been standing on.

“What the f*ck was that?” I screamed.

I looked at Silver, who grinned in response.

“Are you alright, m’lady?” he asked, and extended a hand to me, which I slapped away.

“Did you know that thing would move?” I asked, pushing me off the ground.

“Of course. You see, that statue was also enchanted so that my great gran-”

“You literally just attempted to murder me,” I said. “I almost fell into that pool of lava, all because of you.”

“I assure you I had not the slightest intention to do any such thing, but I thought it would improve your foul mood if I pranked you thus. Forgive me, m’lady. I really thought you would appreciate the hilarity.”

I couldn’t believe what had just happened, but there was no scenario in which Silver’s conduct could be forgiven. Improve my foul mood by pranking? Please. There was no way that cheap excuse could be taken at face value, and that only left one other possibility: that he had never been my ally to begin with.

I took my fighting stance, and before Silver could ask another nonchalant question, I swung my fist from under his chin across his face. Yet, I missed… by a tenth of an inch? Actually, I couldn’t have missed a target so large and unmoving, but I didn’t hit anything so I had to conclude that I missed. Silver appeared to comprehend something in my puzzlement and looked serious for once. Yet, instead of elaborating on the subject, he pointed behind me and said: “Is it time to be fighting me? Look.” 

 

Ofi9Dwd.png

I turned around and saw that a person was standing there. They were wearing armor that covered all their body, including their face.

“So she gave you the sapphire bracelets voluntarily,” she said, with a voice that confirmed the armored person to be Lin. “Why don’t you do the same for me?”

“Tell me one good reason I should give them to you.”

Lin was silent.

“I thought so.”

“Do you really think you can stand up to me? Even after what happened to your precious champion?” Lin asked.

Ame’s limp body, followed by Wolfie’s bloodied body, flashed in the back of my mind. I took a deep breath.

“The fight in Reborn… It’s also my fight now,” I said. “If I perish here, that only means I wasn’t fated to be a savior.”

I adopted a fighting stance.

“Bring it on,” I shouted and grabbed a pokeball.

 

Yet, I didn’t end up fighting Lin. Before I even comprehended what happened next, it had happened. Titania fell on top of Lin and made her crumble to the ground.

“Die!” she shouted as she flung her Aegislash’s blade down to Lin’s back.

The blade penetrated the armor and, I assumed, her flesh. 1 second passed… then 10. Blood started staining the ground underneath the steel armor.

“Ha… hahaha!” Titania laughed like a maniac, and my attention shifted from the pile of armor to her. “So that’s all it took. Someone should’ve done that a long time ago.”

Titania pulled her sword. The blade’s cusp was crimson and glistened when light reflected on it. Given that the body no longer had a blade blocking the blood loss, the pool of blood underneath it rapidly increased in diameter.

I had to look away. Even though Lin’s dismissal was a blessing to all of us, I couldn’t see a puddle of blood forming without getting paralyzed by unpleasant memories.

“Our world is in disarray because of you,” I heard Titania say, and a metallic clamor followed it. “Wait, what?”

I looked at the limp body again, since her reaction required my attention.

And what I saw… I couldn’t believe it.

“How can this be?” I said and kneeled on the ground.

Pohizsa.png

Titania had kicked the helmet off of the armored body, but the head that was revealed was not Lin’s. It was… Taka’s…

“If you keep swinging that thing around like that, sooner or later someone’s going to get hurt,” I heard Lin’s voice from behind me.

“Yeah, you!” said Titania, and she passed me and charged towards Lin.

I didn’t see what happened, but things didn’t sound like they were going well. Though I would’ve wanted to crawl to where Taka was, to check if there was any small possibility he might still be saved, but I judged I wouldn’t get a chance to do that as long as Titania and Lin were having a one-on-one. So I decided to stand up and deal with my foe.

By the time I paid full attention to them, Lin was holding Titania above a pool of lava, while Titania desperately but unsuccessfully struggled to get her hands off her. Yet, I didn’t see Titania surviving a dive in lava if Lin really let her go.

“Is this what you really want? Should I let go?” Lin asked her.

I briefly considered how ethical it would be if I pushed both of them into the lava.

Yet, I reconsidered. I had a feeling that Lin would not die even then, and as much as I disliked Titania, she was still useful as Team Meteor’s enemy.

I wouldn’t have been able to push them both, after all, though, because as soon as I took one step towards them, Lin threatened to let go of Titania if I moved. I couldn’t do much but watch, hope the best of luck to Titania, and wait for a chance to counter-attack.

The chance did arrive, but not for me. Titania was finally able to get a hold on Lin, so that she wouldn’t move, and then called her Aegislash, who was resting near them. The loyal sword pierced through yet another body, and then Lin wobbled and gasped for air before falling to the ground. I quickly rushed to give Titania a hand, and I watched as she pulled the sword from the body.

“For the sake of everything good in this world,” she said. “Just f*cking die already!”

She swung the sword down again, making another cut in the body.

I looked at Lin’s face. Her eyes were wide open, wider than those of the dead people I’d ever witnessed. Perhaps we were finally able to one-up her.

 

7uaOGhP.png

Titania withdrew her sword again and walked over to where Taka still lay.

“He shouldn’t have gotten in the way, but… it’s her fault it ended up like this in the first place,” she said and bit her lips. “I feel like shit.”

Then, she walked away to another exit to this cave.

I didn’t follow her, at least not right away. I kneeled next to Taka’s body. 

“This is the result of your choice,” I said at him. 

Pikachu jumped off of my shoulder and pushed Taka’s body back and forth twice. Taka’s head jerked, which jumpscared me, and then coughed blood. I had already thought him to be dead.

qedXnzg.png

“Vanilla,” he said, but his eyes wouldn’t focus on me.

“Hang in there,” I said, but I didn’t have a way to save him. I glanced around me, but not even Silver was in our vicinity for me to ask him for help. Where did he even go?

“This is fine,” he said.

“No, it’s not. This can’t be the end.”

“It is,” Taka coughed more blood.

“Don’t say anymore,” I said, then shouted: “Silver! Titania!”

“Listen. I… I was actually dead already,” he coughed here again. “But this past week… I lived. If I’d known I’d truly die because of tha-”

He had a fit of coughing and his breathing became rougher.

“I chose right.”

He soon after took one last look at me. Then, while his eyes were still fixed on me, his expression went blank.

I pushed his eyelids down.

“Do you... really think so?”

 

I walked to the cave’s exit, and found a large open space surrounded by pillars, even though there was no ceiling for them to support. I wouldn’t have cared about the lack of ceiling, were it not for the snow and occasional bits of hail that fell upon us.

Titania was standing with her arms crossed, looking as grim as I’d ever seen her.

“That woman is dead, but I don’t feel good about it,” she said. “And that boy… why was he in that armor? It must’ve been something she did.”

I said nothing in response. I wasn’t sure I could hide my irrational resentment towards Titania, which her irresponsible use of violence had ignited in me. Yet, that she felt an equal resentment towards herself was evident to me, so I convinced myself to be satisfied with that for now.

“But you’re here for the gym battle, aren’t you? Are we doing that now?”

“Yes.”

WaY40CI.png

Spoiler

 

 

Honestly, trying to concentrate after what had happened proved harder than expected. I made some careless mistakes during battle, which if I had been completely on my senses, I probably wouldn’t have. Yet, the same could be said about Titania. Her pokemon were strong attackers, but she didn’t support them with healing at crucial moments, which ended up costing her the gym badge.

“This is not a happy ending, but such things never existed to begin with,” she said, as she returned her Aegislash to its pokeball.

“What a boring performance.”

I turned around in disbelief.

“Why… How are you alive?” Titania said, lunging forward toward us. “You should not be alive right now!”

Lin took a moment to move her lips from side to side until her face was wrinkled into what I assumed was a, visibly forced, smile.

“Do you understand now? Steel will not make me bleed, and your armor is nothing more than tinfoil to the brimstone breath of the New World.”

“If steel will not make you bleed, it’s only a question of finding a different way to,” I said.

“It will be a spectacle, to see you try and fail countless times, until you lose the will to keep going,” she said. “But that is not important. What is important is that Vanilla leave this place with those Sapphire Bracelets.”

“Why would you need Vanilla to keep them?” Titania asked, then gasped and slid away from me. “Are you two working together?”

“Aren’t we?”

I stepped towards Lin, but halted. Instead, I made a steep curve and walked towards Titania. Then, I shoved the bracelets at her chest.

“If you’re that gullible, better not entrust them to me.”

I looked back at Lin, whose face was still contorted.

“You are always rebelling, like a child does when they believe they can force their wants on their parents,” she said. “That is a common thought among the weak like you, Vanilla. However, in practice, it is never effective against someone that could crush you like the insect you are, whenever it suited their fancy.”

“Let me see if your words speak the truth.”

I would’ve ran to Lin and engaged her in a physical fight, had Titania not grabbed me and stopped me with all her might.

“Are you stupid? Don’t you see she’s just provoking you? Snap out of it,” she said.

“You’re weak, not only physically, but mentally too, it appears,” Lin said. “I will not waste another minute with you, but I will only remind you: if you stand in my way, I will not hesitate to kill your friends.”

Lin turned around and was about to go back into the cave, but before she did, she left us with these parting words: “Though, perhaps you would prefer that, Titania.”

 

“Prefer that? Don’t be stupid,” Titania said once Lin was gone from our sight. “Nobody wants blood on their hands.”

She took a pause here, and I imagined she was perhaps reflecting on her recent kill.

“I must go back to Amaria. I will keep protecting her, as long as I live. And you,” she said, looking at me. “You’ll keep the bracelets.”

“Why? Didn’t you hear Lin? Don’t play into what she wants.”

“Yes, but you won the Gym battle. You are the stronger trainer. I will trust that you’ll keep them safe from Lin’s reach. Besides, she now believes I have the bracelets. Perhaps we can make use of that in the future.”

I took the bracelets, though I wasn’t convinced that, at this point, any sort of attempt to one-up Lin would be futile. As long as we couldn’t decipher the source of her superhuman powers, we could not surpass her.

“Leave the boy’s corpse to me. I will give him a proper burial in this enchanted land. He will be safe here, though I doubt he’d need to be safe anymore,” Titania said. “If you plan to continue your Gym challenge, we’ll cross paths quite soon. Amaria is the next Gym leader, and you know where to find her.”

“I will tell Julia that you’ll return to Fiore mansion on your own accord.”

Titania appeared surprised to hear Julia’s name mentioned.

“Did she come to the desert with you? I did hear two voices, but when I went to pick you up, neither of you were in sight.”

“Yeah, that’s because your brother let us in.”

This seemingly innocent comment confused Titania for some reason.

“My… brother? Hardy isn’t here at the moment. He rarely ever is. If you’re looking for him, I’m not the one you should be asking.”

I shook my head.

“I meant your elder brother.”

“I don’t think you know what you’re talking about,” she replied. “Perhaps your mind is actually weak, and you’ve been so deeply affected by that boy’s death that you can no longer differentiate between fact and fantasy.”

“Why are you acting so defensive? I simply explained how Julia and I bypassed the protective spell,” I said, unwilling to hide my displeasure.

Titania took a pause to think what to say.

“My elder brother, Silver, is no more. There. Have that help you organize your memory,” she said. “I’m heading out. Use the rabbithole located at the end of this field to exit this place.”

She pointed to what, from this distance, looked like a bunch of rocks, and then disappeared into the cave.

 

z1THB7A.png

I ran over to the bunch of rocks, which, as I got closer, I realized were just adorning the edges of the rabbithole. Once I was close enough to it, though, I noticed there was someone stuck inside of it.

“Is Tania gone?” Silver asked.

“Yeah,” I said. I had more to say to him, after he left me alone midway, but Titania’s enigmatic words had discouraged me from talking to him more than what was really necessary.

On being told that his sister was out of sight, Silver crawled out of the rabbithole.

“I beg your forgiveness, m’lady. In the end, I could not be of much use to you. I am deeply sorry for your friend’s passing.”

I shook my head. I didn’t need the condolences of this stranger.

“Titania seemed very off-put by the idea that you let Julia and I into this place,” I said. “What do you say to that?”

“It is complicated, as I told you before. She and I were close a long time ago. It is not surprising if she still resents me for abandoning her.”

“Abandoning her?”

“It is a long story, most of which I, unfortunately, cannot tell you due to the nature of my existence,” he said. “Forgive me, again, if I have not explained myself well, but suffice to say that the Andersen family’s story, where it pertains to myself, does not have a happy ending.”

If Titania’s words had been difficult to decipher, his were worse. I gave up on understanding. Whatever the deal was with these siblings, it was not my priority to know every bit of it.

“I’m going,” I said, taking a peek at the rabbithole, which I could not see the end of at all.

“It has been a pleasure meeting you and Julia,” Silver said and bowed. “I wish you the best of luck.”

I didn’t look back at him and jumped straight into the rabbithole. The feeling of falling into the unknown felt… somewhat nostalgic.

 

In the blink of an eye, I was standing in a dim space. There was a slide door, and light was creeping in from their crevices. I pulled them open, and found a familiar sight just outside. I was, somehow, already in Train Town. 

“Vanini!” exclaimed Julia when she saw me walking towards them, from the direction they least expected me to come from.

“How did it go?” Archer asked.

I didn’t answer right away. 

What I would have to tell them wasn’t something I could easily explain in a couple of words.

 

Well I guess that means we can leave the desert. But without Tacos :(

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Titania (-1): 1/10 Even if not on purpose, she killed Taka.
  • Lin (-1): -5/10 She's always pulling a wildcard out of nowhere.

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

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Dammit! Now I'm sad🥲😢😭

Why does it always have to break my heart every time Taka dies💔

 

28 minutes ago, Candy said:

It is complicated, as I told you before. She and I were close a long time ago. It is not surprising if she still resents me for abandoning her.”

“Abandoning her?”

“It is a long story, most of which I, unfortunately, cannot tell you due to the nature of my existence,” he said. “Forgive me, again, if I have not explained myself well, but suffice to say that the Andersen family’s story, where it pertains to myself, does not have a happy ending.”

Okay now I'm curious at this part. What really happened? Although it's spoiler, maybe I don't care, but being my curious self again😅

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6 minutes ago, Evi Crystal said:

Why does it always have to break my heart every time Taka dies💔

Even Vanini, who really knew him for like 1 week, is a little hurt by his demise. I really hope he comes back when the world is renewed(?) in E19 🙏

7 minutes ago, Evi Crystal said:

Okay now I'm curious at this part. What really happened? Although it's spoiler, maybe I don't care, but being my curious self again😅

I thought I'd reveal it in this episode, but it felt too hasty. Maybe in the next episode, since Amaria will be there too :p

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7 minutes ago, Candy said:

I thought I'd reveal it in this episode, but it felt too hasty. Maybe in the next episode, since Amaria will be there too :p

Now to think again. How would the tension go there, since canonically she tried to drown us all

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Ok that Silver guy was really annoying.
 

1 hour ago, Candy said:

I briefly considered how ethical it would be if I pushed both of them into the lava.

You might be my favorite writer now

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Very nice episode. I felt like that dude had to be a ghost of some sort if the punch was basically impossible to miss but yet it did anyways. Still sucks that Taka had to die but I'm glad Vanilla feels some kind of feeling for him. Can't wait to see the next chapter!

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In the previous chapter:

On 7/4/2021 at 11:16 AM, Candy said:

The princess was flown out of the crumbling castle, which had been, to her, a symbol of oppression for years. However, when her feet touched ground, she was once again face-to-face with the aftermath of her actions.

Her knees trembled and she crumbled down to the barren earth.

“How can this be...” were the words that escaped her mouth.

And now...

8 hours ago, Candy said:

“How can this be?” I said and kneeled on the ground.

RIP Taka. His falling was the aftermath of Vanini's (and Tania's) actions...

 

No Reshiram fight in this story? I was wondering how Vanini would react to fighting a Reshiram.

Also, I wonder about Magearna now that we know Silver has already passed. I take it Magearna may still be alive since Magearna was able to physically change Vanini, but how does its Pokeball and Silver's not-being-physically-there work?

I'm just curious, I may have a soft spot for Magearna.

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41 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

And now...

Berry good observation, me fren 👁️ that was actually a (personally) crucial point so I'm glad it was noticed~

43 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

RIP Taka. His falling was the aftermath of Vanini's (and Tania's) actions...

😭 It really gotta be gut-wrenching sometimes

43 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

No Reshiram fight in this story? I was wondering how Vanini would react to fighting a Reshiram.

Also, I wonder about Magearna now that we know Silver has already passed. I take it Magearna may still be alive since Magearna was able to physically change Vanini, but how does its Pokeball and Silver's not-being-physically-there work?

I'm just curious, I may have a soft spot for Magearna.

I planned to have an epic fight-off where Vanini would lose- actually, why don't I just copy paste it here lol This is in an alternative timeline where I didn't think this was a boring bit that should be cut (it happens instead of Silver pranking Vanini):

Spoiler

We started running through the cave, taking great caution not to fall into the pools of lava.

“Ah, by the way. I do not know if I told you,” Silver said. “But this cave leads to our darling’s territory. And she, like our mother, is not fond of new faces, so you might want to prepare for a battle.”

“Your darling? A battle?”

I had barely time to think about those things.

“Careful!” Silver shouted.

Pikachu reacted to the danger faster than I did, and pulled my body to the side. A fireball landed just at the spot I had been but two seconds prior.

The one who had sent that fireball flying our way was a large, white dragon. The shape of its tail somewhat resembled that of the dragon that Brenda had been traveling around with. Unlike Brenda’s dragon, though, this one wasn’t docile at all. It sent an angry look at me, which made me feel like it probably would love to convert me into lava to add me to its lava collection.

I stood up, dusting my knees that got bruised upon impact.

“Well, if I must battle that thing, I will. Let’s take it as a warm up for when I challenge Lin.”

The dragon’s typing was Dragon/Fire, which meant I was in a difficult position typing-wise. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the dragon was very agile and flew around the cave in such speeds as to make my pokemon unable to even scratch it. After all, we all know that getting high ground is an effective way to give you advantage. Whether because of either of those two factors, or the field itself, I felt as though the dragon’s attacks did unreal amounts of damage to my team, wiping it in almost the blink of an eye. 

Pikachu was the last one to be sent into battle, since his comrades had fallen one after another without being able to even scratch the huge dragon. As his disguise allowed him one free turn, he was able to inflict some damage, but obviously not enough to take the beast down in one shot.

“Pikachu, we must run now. Come back,” I shouted.

I wasn’t a fan of running from battle, but this was a special case. I didn’t want either of us getting scorched to death.

Pikachu started running back to me, but I saw the dragon positioning itself to blow a fireball at him. I practically flew over to where he was and managed to catch him and roll away. The fireball landed and burnt my left ear and my left foot, while a large portion of my hair got incinerated instantly. I tried to quickly stand up, lest the dragon might send a fireball at me when I was sitting down, but the damage on my foot had been too great for that. It hurt more than my blisters, and for a split second, I wondered if Europa would have any medicine from “the abroad” to heal this sort of burn damage.

I pushed my body away from my current position, using the arm that wasn’t holding Pikachu and the leg that wasn’t burned. That was the least I could do to dodge another fireball.

The dragon cried loudly but didn’t send any more fire towards us. It hissed at us and stomped the ground, looking like a spitting cobra that had run out of venom to spit.

“Seems you got lucky, Miss Vanilla,” Silver said. I hadn’t noticed where he had gone, and was unhappy to think that he was just watching from the sidelines, without even attempting to control their beast.

“Our darling ran out of moves, so you are safe for now. I am increasingly sorry that she burnt your skin and your hair. I hope you can forgive her.”

“Forgive her? She literally just attempted to burn us to a crisp!” I shouted.

I couldn’t believe what had just happened. That Titania had a dragon in her Gym that almost decimated me before getting to battle her was one thing, but Silver’s conduct was unforgivable.

The dragon cried with frustration, making me lose focus and my fist missed Silver’s face by an inch. Actually, I thought I hadn’t missed, but I didn’t hit anything so I concluded I missed.

“Is it time to be fighting me? Look,” Silver said and pointed behind me.

As for Magearna, she lives in the castle and really takes care of Silver's room, (minor spoilers for Idk next chapter? it was already aggressively implied though, me thinks)

Spoiler

despite him having passed. This was implied by how dust-free things are unless it's underneath stuff like photo stands and whatnot. 

Magearna, like all other pokemon in my story, is immortal unless fatally wounded, so she's been living with the Andersens for centuries. The setting which I don't think I'll get to tell in-story is that she moved with the family when they emigrated from Alola (I guess, given her dex entry) to Everland, and has been family since then. Her loyalty has mostly been to the first-born, in this case, Silver. Titania knows Magearna lives with them, but doesn't particularly engage with her since Magearna is slightly terrified of her (due to her resting b*tchface lol).

Spoiler

But yes, I wrote in the hints that Silver is a ghost quite aggressively but also passively lol. Things like him not holding the book to read, or appearing/disappearing at random moments, or teleporting off-camera, etc. Pretty much the points that Mindlack pointed out were off about the character lol There's a reason for this character's creation, donut fret I (hopefully) will get to the reason lmao

 

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1 hour ago, Candy said:

Berry good observation, me fren 👁️ that was actually a (personally) crucial point so I'm glad it was noticed~

😭 It really gotta be gut-wrenching sometimes

I planned to have an epic fight-off where Vanini would lose- actually, why don't I just copy paste it here lol This is in an alternative timeline where I didn't think this was a boring bit that should be cut (it happens instead of Silver pranking Vanini):

  Reveal hidden contents

We started running through the cave, taking great caution not to fall into the pools of lava.

“Ah, by the way. I do not know if I told you,” Silver said. “But this cave leads to our darling’s territory. And she, like our mother, is not fond of new faces, so you might want to prepare for a battle.”

“Your darling? A battle?”

I had barely time to think about those things.

“Careful!” Silver shouted.

Pikachu reacted to the danger faster than I did, and pulled my body to the side. A fireball landed just at the spot I had been but two seconds prior.

The one who had sent that fireball flying our way was a large, white dragon. The shape of its tail somewhat resembled that of the dragon that Brenda had been traveling around with. Unlike Brenda’s dragon, though, this one wasn’t docile at all. It sent an angry look at me, which made me feel like it probably would love to convert me into lava to add me to its lava collection.

I stood up, dusting my knees that got bruised upon impact.

“Well, if I must battle that thing, I will. Let’s take it as a warm up for when I challenge Lin.”

The dragon’s typing was Dragon/Fire, which meant I was in a difficult position typing-wise. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the dragon was very agile and flew around the cave in such speeds as to make my pokemon unable to even scratch it. After all, we all know that getting high ground is an effective way to give you advantage. Whether because of either of those two factors, or the field itself, I felt as though the dragon’s attacks did unreal amounts of damage to my team, wiping it in almost the blink of an eye. 

Pikachu was the last one to be sent into battle, since his comrades had fallen one after another without being able to even scratch the huge dragon. As his disguise allowed him one free turn, he was able to inflict some damage, but obviously not enough to take the beast down in one shot.

“Pikachu, we must run now. Come back,” I shouted.

I wasn’t a fan of running from battle, but this was a special case. I didn’t want either of us getting scorched to death.

Pikachu started running back to me, but I saw the dragon positioning itself to blow a fireball at him. I practically flew over to where he was and managed to catch him and roll away. The fireball landed and burnt my left ear and my left foot, while a large portion of my hair got incinerated instantly. I tried to quickly stand up, lest the dragon might send a fireball at me when I was sitting down, but the damage on my foot had been too great for that. It hurt more than my blisters, and for a split second, I wondered if Europa would have any medicine from “the abroad” to heal this sort of burn damage.

I pushed my body away from my current position, using the arm that wasn’t holding Pikachu and the leg that wasn’t burned. That was the least I could do to dodge another fireball.

The dragon cried loudly but didn’t send any more fire towards us. It hissed at us and stomped the ground, looking like a spitting cobra that had run out of venom to spit.

“Seems you got lucky, Miss Vanilla,” Silver said. I hadn’t noticed where he had gone, and was unhappy to think that he was just watching from the sidelines, without even attempting to control their beast.

“Our darling ran out of moves, so you are safe for now. I am increasingly sorry that she burnt your skin and your hair. I hope you can forgive her.”

“Forgive her? She literally just attempted to burn us to a crisp!” I shouted.

I couldn’t believe what had just happened. That Titania had a dragon in her Gym that almost decimated me before getting to battle her was one thing, but Silver’s conduct was unforgivable.

The dragon cried with frustration, making me lose focus and my fist missed Silver’s face by an inch. Actually, I thought I hadn’t missed, but I didn’t hit anything so I concluded I missed.

“Is it time to be fighting me? Look,” Silver said and pointed behind me.

As for Magearna, she lives in the castle and really takes care of Silver's room, (minor spoilers for Idk next chapter? it was already aggressively implied though, me thinks)

  Reveal hidden contents

despite him having passed. This was implied by how dust-free things are unless it's underneath stuff like photo stands and whatnot. 

Magearna, like all other pokemon in my story, is immortal unless fatally wounded, so she's been living with the Andersens for centuries. The setting which I don't think I'll get to tell in-story is that she moved with the family when they emigrated from Alola (I guess, given her dex entry) to Everland, and has been family since then. Her loyalty has mostly been to the first-born, in this case, Silver. Titania knows Magearna lives with them, but doesn't particularly engage with her since Magearna is slightly terrified of her (due to her resting b*tchface lol).

  Reveal hidden contents

But yes, I wrote in the hints that Silver is a ghost quite aggressively but also passively lol. Things like him not holding the book to read, or appearing/disappearing at random moments, or teleporting off-camera, etc. Pretty much the points that Mindlack pointed out were off about the character lol There's a reason for this character's creation, donut fret I (hopefully) will get to the reason lmao

 

Vanini reading the book stood out to me the first time. I couldn't help but believe our author was throwing some glorified foreshadowing at us readers~

Spoiler

Powerwise, you've really done Reshiram justice. 🔥 Thanks for that~

Some questions:

1) Why couldn't Silver just yell to Reshi that Vanini is not an intruder before they attacked her or during the fight at an early point?

2) How would you have Vanini's burns heal in this AU?

You're right, I assumed Magearna resided in Silver's room. I guess Magearna's Pokeball doesn't matter. Who needs one when your Pokemon resembles one?

Spoiler

You say Silver is a ghost and therefore cannot physically touch anything, but...Last chapter, Silver knocked on Magearna when they were coiled up. o_o

 

I forgot to mention this in my last comment, but that Tania transition sprite is custom, correct? I like it :3

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