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

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tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 74tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gif

Longass chapter with an awkward ending but it do be like that sometimes.

 

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As planned, Candy, Ame and Adrienn went to the fake Devon Corp’s main entrance while Victoria, Arclight and I headed down the stairs to the railnet, which had a second entrance.

“Arc calling Ame,” Arclight said when we were in our positions.

There was some buzzing sounds but soon we heard Ame’s voice.

“Go ahead,” she said.

“We’re at the entrance. We await your signal.”

“We’re ready as well. Let’s go in now.”

Arc turned off transmission, and we followed him up the stairs and broke the door in front of us. We entered the building’s basement and found New World Orderlies awaiting us. That confirmed it for us that this building indeed was a Team Meteor base hidden under Devon Corp’s facade.

“Oh? Finally someone shows up,” said one orderly.

“Finally?” I whispered, but the Meteor grunts didn’t offer an explanation. Instead they sent out their pokemon to engage us in battle.

The battle wasn’t hard; however, it seemed as though the orderlies were stalling us unnecessarily. There was a metallic gate too, which would have stopped us in our tracks had Victoria’s incineroar not been able to soften it with heat and tear it apart.

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We followed through to the next floor, which was a corridor that connected the path we came from with the path Ame and co were supposed to take. I thought they should’ve been waiting for us here, since we took a while to clear the bunch in the basement, but they were nowhere to be seen.

“Maybe they went on ahead,” said Victoria.

“Come in, Ame,” Arclight said to the transceiver. “Do you copy?”

There was no response for a moment, but then we heard Candy’s voice.

“I copy. What’s up?”

“That’s what we’d like to know.”

I clicked my tongue and ran over to the storefront. 

“Hey Vanilla,” Arclight called behind me. “Don’t make rash movements.”

The storefront wasn’t empty, but Ame and Adrienn weren’t in it. Only a few Team Meteor grunts were sitting or lying on the floor unconscious. They didn’t appear to have been physically assaulted, but I couldn’t be sure of that with their uniform covering them from head to toe.

“Ame, do you copy?” I heard Arclight’s voice, but this time through a radio transmission.

I looked around the messy storefront and found it. A transceiver I judged to be Ame’s.

“I found Ame’s transceiver,” I said through it. “She isn’t here, though.”

“I’m coming in,” said Candy.

She flung the door open and found me shaking limp bodies.

“Vanilla. Gosh, I told you guys I’d only participate if we weren’t killing people,” she said, shaking her head.

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“They aren’t dead,” I said. “They’re unconscious for some reason. Didn’t you hear anything from outside?”

“Not at all, it was really silent. But this room sure is a mess. A fight must’ve gone down here, somehow.”

We went back to regroup with the other two, and I gave Arclight the transceiver I found.

“We have to call it quits,” I said. “They knew we were coming, and set a trap for us. They must’ve also captured Ame and Adrienn already- otherwise, that transceiver wouldn’t be here.”

“Wow Vanilla, you’re sounding like a leader,” Candy commented.

“They bested Ame and Adrienn, who are above me strength-wise,” I said. “I’m not so stupid as to force a battle I know I’ll lose for sure.” 

“I agree, let’s return to the Grand Hall and plot a plan to rescue Ame and Adrienn,” Arclight said, and we would’ve done just that, if only a thick gate didn’t fall with a loud thudding noise, blocking the way we’d come from and the storefront simultaneously. Victoria sent out her incineroar to try to break the gate like she did in the basement, but whatever the material was, it did not seem affected by the heat. We tried the brittle-break method I’d used a couple of times in the past as well, but nothing.

“This isn’t looking good,” Arclight said.

“There’s no choice but to go forward,” I said. “We’ll be walking right into their trap now.”

 

Upstairs, we found a few Team Meteor grunts and orderlies awaiting us. In front of them, was a panel on the floor, which Arclight found had electricity flowing through it through a physical demonstration.

“Dumbasses. The panel is a puzzle,” said one of the grunts. “See that display over there? You can control the tiles from there. If you figure out the timing on which to switch the tiles, you won’t need to get electrocuted. There are more of these in the next floors too.”

The puzzle, indeed, required one of us to remain on this floor to control it. Arclight volunteered to stay, and gave me Ame’s transceiver.

“I don’t have one for you, Victoria, but you should be able to do with two among the three of you,” he said. “Copy me when you need the tiles shifted.”

We battled the enemy on every floor while carefully orchestrating the tiles. 

The enemy knew about us. I mean, every one of us. They knew Candy was a Pokemon caretaker and breeder in Obsidia, who was once Hoenn League champion. They knew Victoria was a graduate of Apophyll Academy and even that she was hurting from the loss of her mentor. Sometimes they made fun of her for it, and she repaid them with a punch or kick to the face. Oh, and they also knew who I was, but that wasn’t all that surprising since I also remembered some of these people by face. However, this all made it even more clear that somehow Team Meteor had found we were going to invade their base, and what our every move was going to be. I was starting to get suspicions that I wasn’t proud of having, but I couldn’t help but draw parallels between this event and the one that happened in my hometown many months ago.

My mind was thus engaged in deep thought when we entered a small room, which closed its door shut behind us as soon as we entered it.

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“It’s no use. It’s the same as the gates below. Nothing can penetrate these,” Victoria said, knocking on the metal.

However, shutting our means of escaping wasn’t all this time. The walls started closing in on us, threatening to make us a human sandwich. Victoria’s incineroar bought us some time as Candy and I followed to the next room.

“She found me,” I heard Arclight’s voice through the transceiver.

“What’s happening? Arclight! Answer me,” I shouted, but the transceiver only transmitted one last cracking sound and went silent.

“Tsk. He’s gone.”

“Without him we can’t change the tiles. We’ll get electrocuted.”

We didn’t get electrocuted, but also that was the last thing I heard before my eyesight suddenly started blacking out and my legs gave in on me.

 

Pikachu was patting my cheek when I woke up.

We were all alone in a tiny room that was filled with boxes but also a computer with which I could change up my party pokemon and a healing machine.

“Do you know what happened?” I asked Pikachu, but he shook his head sideways.

I tried standing up, but the whole front side of my body hurt so much I could pass out from it. I couldn’t quite remember, but perhaps I fainted and fell on the floor. Otherwise I couldn’t explain this localized pain.

I used the wall to prop myself up and tossed my body towards the computer. I checked my pokemon party and I switched Golden Key (klefki) and Gretel (slurpuff) for Bambi (sawsbuck) and Aladdin (medicham). I was expecting to fight a Team Meteor admin or Solaris, or at worst Lin, on a Factory Field, so I judged pokemon that could withstand electric and steel type attacks would give me an advantage.

Then, I exited the small room. Outside of it was a pokemon battle field, and a cage in which I probably had to enter. I obliged, since I saw no choice but to fight.

I waited a little while, but the person that came in from the other side wasn’t whom I was expecting to fight.

“Vanilla,” Victoria exclaimed when she saw me in a cage.

She also entered hers, and was surprised when it trapped her inside.

The large monitor on the left side of the field turned on, and Lin’s face was broadcasted through it. A microphone’s unpleasant screech filled the room and when it was gone, Lin started speaking.

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“I understand you and your petty shambles of acquaintances have come here to stop me,” she said. “How funny. You thought you were strong together, and yet, here you are now.”

“What do you want?” I asked.

“What do I want? Many things, but for now, to teach you a lesson,” she said. “Numbers do not help. Friends do not help. Spirit does not help.”

“What does someone like her know about spirit,” Victoria mumbled.

“In the end, you are still powerless. You are still a victim. You always will be, won’t you?”

The last question seemed to be more directed towards Victoria than to me.

“Now we will play a game,” Lin carried on. “In order to reunite with your so-called friends, you must fight them. The winner may proceed. The loser will suffer a penalty. There are no rules. Begin.”

The monitor then shut off without warning.

“That b*tch,” I said, cracking my knuckles. “She has such a punchable face that it makes Jasmin’s look kissable. I can’t wait to be in the same room as her.”

“Not so fast,” Victoria said. “We have to fight so that one of us can leave this cage. Otherwise, I’m assuming we’ll be stuck here indefinitely.”

“Yeah, I think these cages’ bars are made of that same material we encountered earlier,” I said, examining them. “We’ll have to fight. Let the stronger trainer punch Lin’s face in.”

“I couldn’t have said it better.”

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Spoiler

 

Fortunately for me, I was the stronger trainer. Victoria pulled a good fight, but it was clear she had been rusty in pokemon battling, presumably because she had been busy with the city renovations.

When we were done battling, my cage’s door opened and Victoria screamed in pain. She started trembling uncontrollably, and I wasn’t sure what was going on until I touched one of the bars of her cage for a brief moment and felt the electricity.

“So this is the penalty she was talking about,” I said. “Hang in there, Victoria. Don’t die on me.”

“A-as Kiki’s s-successor,” she said while barely able to command her mouth. “It’s g-gonna take a l-lot m-more than th-this to break my s-s-spirit.”

I rushed out of that floor and encountered a new puzzle upstairs. This one was also a tile puzzle, but a little more complicated- from what I could figure out, there were also moving tiles that I had to change the course of in order to make it to the next area.

“Team Meteor often has some kind of puzzle in their bases,” I commented to Pikachu. “I always thought it was to stall us and buy them some time. However, now I’m starting to feel as though I was just being toyed with.”

Toyed or not toyed, I had to keep playing the game. Candy had to be in here somewhere, and I had to continue going until I was reunited with her.

 

On the next floor, there was a battlefield just like the one I battled on with Victoria. My next opponent was Arclight, who was waiting inside his cage already.

“Vanilla,” he said. “I’m glad you’re alive and well.”

“What happened to you? Have you seen the others?”

“I got caught by some orderlies under Lin’s orders,” he explained. “I haven’t seen most of our team, but I was with Adrienn a few moments ago. Xe’s on the floor below.”

“Getting electrocuted? I also won the battle and left Victoria downstairs.”

“No, in xyr case, xe refused to battle me and received the penalty by default. The floor in xyr cage was searing,” he said and hit the bars of his cage. 

“I didn’t know forfeiting was an option.”

Right then, our conversation got cut short because the monitor turned on again and Lin was there to speak.

“Do you understand yet? You have no control. You never did, even if your glass-spun egos depend on convincing yourselves otherwise.”

“I’ll judge for myself what my glass-spun ego depends on,” I spat on the ground.

Lin ignored me and continued to talk.

“You are pigs to be herded. You are pigs to be hurt. Sputter, shiver and squeal. It changes nothing.”

Then she again turned off the monitor abruptly, leaving the two of us to battle.

“She’s gonna eat those words when one of us ‘little piggies’ catches up to her,” Arclight said. “Regardless, for all my tough talk, I don’t have a way out of this. It pisses me off, but she’s right. We got cocky, and now we’re trapped.”

“There’s still one way out of this,” I said. “And it’s by winning in a pokemon battle. Let the better trainer out of the two of us escape and be the ‘little piggy’ that catches up to her.”

Arclight looked at me in silence, before nodding and smiling.

“That’s true. It’s still too early to be losing hope.”

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Spoiler

 

 

I thought I would lose this battle when Arclight sent mega-evolved his ampharos. The pokemon kept zapping my pokemon and paralyzing them, so I thought it would finish my whole team one by one in no time. Fortunately for me, its luck ran out and missed two attacks which was enough for my Anna (K-ninetales) to make it faint slowly but steadily.

“Great job, Vanilla. You’re pretty on par with us in the Nightclub. Maybe we’ll see you there soon,” Arclight said when the battle concluded.

However, before I could respond to his comment, the floor beneath him caved in and he fell down while screaming. I hoped, rather than believed, that he would survive the fall. Yet, I must carry on.

While I solved the next puzzle, I wondered who I would encounter next: whether Ame or Candy. From what I had gathered so far, the fights appeared to be in tournament format. Victoria and me, and Adrienn and Arclight were paired, and so it must be the case that Ame and Candy were paired with each other. The winner would be the one to face me, I figured.

 

The said winner was, surprisingly perhaps, Candy.

“I didn’t think you’d beat the current Reborn champion in battle,” I said. “It seems you’ve still got it in you.”

“Perhaps, or perhaps I got lucky. Ame is a stand-in champion, after all,” she said.

“To be honest, I was looking forward to fighting you when this tournament thing began,” I said. “I want to know how much I’ve grown as a trainer and beating you, who gave me these pokemon in the first place, will prove my team’s strength.”

Would prove it,” Candy said, but she didn’t seem to be in her best mood. “I’m sorry Vanilla, but I can’t lose this battle.”

Before I could ask her what she meant with that, the infamous monitor turned on and Lin interrupted us.

“If you think family bonds could be stronger than mere friendships, you were wrong. Friends, family, lovers. No bond between two people is stronger than the power of a single independent and efficient individual. Your case is a textbook example of this.”

The monitor turned off.

“Perhaps our bond isn’t strong enough to beat Lin,” Candy said. “But I hope it’s strong enough to keep both of us safe and sound.”

“What do you mean?”

“Send out your pokemon, Vanilla. We’ll test the strength of our bond in battle.”

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Spoiler

 

I wasn’t sure what she meant by testing our bond in battle either. All I knew was that when our battle was over, I was on the losing side of things.

“You said you couldn’t lose, and it seems I couldn’t overpower you,” I said.

“I’m sure, and afraid, you will in no time,” she said and exited her cage to approach me. “Your progress is amazing. And I’m not only talking about battling, either. I’m proud of the person you’ve become.”

“Weird thing for you to say when you know I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot the enemy dead.”

“Even if we have our differences, even if we can’t walk the same path, and even if we can’t always agree with each other, I will always be your cousin and your friend.”

She turned her back to me then, and sighed.

“I wish I could be proud of myself too, but age hasn’t made me anymore mature or courageous. On the contrary, it’s made me selfish and anxious.”

“You? Selfish and anxious? Come on now, you can’t be serious.”

“I am, and today is a textbook example of it,” she said and shook her head. “Don’t mind me. I’ll go ahead.”

I saw Candy go up the stairs, and then I was just alone with Pikachu. Yet, it seemed off. In every other instance, the loser received a penalty, yet no matter how long I waited, such a thing didn’t appear to come my way. 

“Is my cage broken, or did Lin run out of torture devices?” I asked no one in particular.

Anyway I sat down with Pikachu on my lap, waiting for something to change, or for someone to come to my rescue. I got bored and started playing rock paper scissors with Pikachu, until the cage’s door suddenly swung open.

“What’s the meaning of this?”

I wasn’t going to complain about not getting my piece of punishment. 

 

Because Candy had solved the puzzle before me, it was quite easy for me to just follow the path she laid for me. I made it to where she was in no time, but when I found her she was sobbing on the floor.

“Candy? What happened?” I stroked her back.

However, she didn’t need to give me a response. A quick look about the area allowed me to find what seemed like Ame’s body lying but 10 meters from where I stood. At the sight of it, I had to hold my mouth lest I might puke right then and there.

“Lin’s hydreigon,” Candy said between hiccups. “It chomped on Ame’s head.”

I took a few deep breaths and composed myself.

“Let’s go Candy. We have to finish what we started.”

I cut a piece of my bubblegum dress and gave it to her so she could wipe her tears, and we slowly walked out of the place. When we passed next to the headless body, I couldn’t help but take a glimpse of it. I wished I could take it with us so that we could give her a proper burial, but that would have to wait. I wasn’t sure what awaited us next, and I doubted I could protect Candy while carrying a body on my other shoulder.

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On the next room, we found ZEL. They seemed quite distressed- even more distressed than the last time we met in their Tanzan base, when they were struggling to control PULSE Abra. 

“Just what the hell did you mess up so badly?”

“This wasn’t a user error. Some kind of corrupted program must have been injected into the system.”

“So your security system was just shit.”

“Stop blaming her! I don’t see you helping.”

“Shut up Lumi. Can the data be repaired or not?”

We could’ve just interrupted their self-conversation, but I told Candy to stand by. I felt that since they weren’t aware we were standing in the same room, they might spill some vital information that could be of use to us.

“All PULSE2 and Arc-PULSE data has been left unaltered,” they said. “However, the PULSE-Magnezone damage is irreparable.”

It all appeared to be an issue with the PULSE-Magnezone, which was blinking intermittently on one corner of the room. They couldn’t leave the Devon Corp base until it was fixed, or at least made to be in a moveable state, but they hadn’t managed to and that had delayed their stay until now.

“Tch. Lin must’ve known this was coming,” they said. “I bet it has something to do with the hero brigade she had hauled in here.”

Then, they finally noticed us.

“Speaking of the devil, huh? They’ve already come to destroy this PULSE like all the others.”

“So it’s too late already.”

“Well, there’s no way in hell I’m going to let you do that, Vanilla. Prepare yourself.”

“Control your temper, Zero. Remember, Lin requested that Vanilla not be harmed.”

“She what?” I exclaimed unwittingly. “Why could she possibly request that?”

“I don’t know what goes in Lin’s head. If it were up to me, we’d have erased your existence out of this planet already,” they said.

I had to be satisfied with that response, but I honestly couldn’t be. It creepily matched with the earlier happening with my penalty not coming through, and I knew I couldn’t rest until I found out what was Lin’s motives in keeping me “safe” at least temporarily.

“If you insist on destroying the PULSE, we’ll have to counter with a pokemon battle.”

“I didn’t really come to destroy it, but I guess I might as well,” I said. “Take it as a little payback for the pain your leader inflicted on my comrades.”

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Spoiler

 

Perhaps due to it being in a state of highwire or perhaps because it wasn’t built to fight off a trainer, the magnezone went down to a single Hi Jump Kick from Aladdin (medicham), concluding the battle. 

“Magnezone, magnezone! Please be okay,” they screamed when they saw their PULSE flashing ever more alarmingly.

However, it was pointless. Seconds later, the machine shut down and caused a small earthquake, while a cloud of smoke emerged from it and almost asphyxiated all of us in its perimeter. Perhaps not Candy, though because with all the snot she had in her nose, I doubted she could even breathe in the smoke. 

We found ZEL lying on the ground, and I wasn’t sure whether they had survived the mini explosion from a close distance.

However, when Pikachu poked their head, they slowly came back to their senses.

“Hmm. The… PULSE. The PULSE. Hey, we didn’t lose hearing in the explosion, did we?”

“It wasn’t that loud, to be honest,” I said.

“I can hear you,” ZEL said. “But Lumi and Eve. Hey! Say something!”

“I thought you were crazy, but it seems that concussion made it worse.”

“Oh no, the magnezone. It’s gone,” said ZEL, ignoring me and instead knocking his face on the broken machine. “I’m… alone. I’m alone. I’m alone, and… empty.”

I’m not going to pretend that ZEL’s face at that moment wasn’t terrifying. I felt like they might take a knife any minute and kill either me or themselves… or himself, since I presumed the only one left in that body was Zero. Fortunately for me, he didn’t do any of that, and instead quickly left after whispering that he had to get to Agate.

“What was all that?” Candy asked after blowing her nose.

“It’s a long story for another time,” I said. “Since Zero headed for the exit, we mustn’t be that far from it either. Let’s go.”

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Arclight (+1): 5/10 I don't like being bossed around but I have to admit he was working as a good leader
  • Lin (-1): -3/10 She's mysterious but everything she says pisses me off for some reason
  • ZEL (-1): 2/10 Now that they're just Zero, I don't have any small partiality towards them anymore

 

TEAM RECAP

Spoiler

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Phewh that was a lot of battling and editing yeet hope it was kinda enjoyable 😄 

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

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Awesome episode, but I have several questions:

1) Several times you could have used Aladdin's fake out (e.g. vs Ampahros)

2) LettingSeismitoad take a leaf blade from Leavanny

3) WHY DIDN'T YOU END THE EPISODE BEFORE THE BATTLE AGAINST CANDY THAT WAS THE BEST CLIFFHANGER I WAS ALREADY ABOUT TO EXPRESS MY HYPE FOR THE UPCOMING BATTLE

We've also never had that battle with our teams

 

Fun fact: the devon arc is the 23rd episode in my run and it came out on 25/02/2018

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4 hours ago, Corso said:

Awesome episode, but I have several questions:

1) Several times you could have used Aladdin's fake out (e.g. vs Ampahros)

2) LettingSeismitoad take a leaf blade from Leavanny

3) WHY DIDN'T YOU END THE EPISODE BEFORE THE BATTLE AGAINST CANDY THAT WAS THE BEST CLIFFHANGER I WAS ALREADY ABOUT TO EXPRESS MY HYPE FOR THE UPCOMING BATTLE

We've also never had that battle with our teams

 

Fun fact: the devon arc is the 23rd episode in my run and it came out on 25/02/2018

1) Sometimes I don't use Fake Out against a mega-evolved mon because mega-evolution takes speed changes into account the turn after it occurs, so if I waited a turn I might be outsped for the actual attack (wasn't sure which was faster mega-ampharos or medicham cause both are slow lol)

2) Honestly Candy's team was weaker than Vanilla's and it was kinda hard for her to win unless I actively made stoopid moves

3) I thought about it but felt it'd be another short chapter, and there were a few people who knew the fight would happen (because I hinted it on my Look-at-Candy's-art-almost-ded server) so I figured hecc let it happen yeet But lol at someone actively asking for a cliffhanger xD

 

It's been so long since your run that it feels surreal somehow. Like where did all that time go. I guess I can say the same for my run since it's been going for like 3 years now and that's insane.

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Candy's VS Sprite Portrait looks gorgeous. Great job on that🤩💖

 

Also I didn't (or did maybe) expect Vanilla to lose against Candy, but I didn't though, that she didn't got her penalty... That's very strange- and kinda unfair for Victoria, Adrienn and Arclight🤔

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What almost dead server? Is there something I don't know? There shouldn't be.

Also there's a crucial difference between our runs: yours is actually original and well done. Also it will end eventually.

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Tfw the ultimate antagonist doesn't torture you so you're stuck in a cage playing Rock Paper Scissors with your Pikachu

 

5 hours ago, Candy said:

1) Sometimes I don't use Fake Out against a mega-evolved mon because mega-evolution takes speed changes into account the turn after it occurs, so if I waited a turn I might be outsped for the actual attack (wasn't sure which was faster mega-ampharos or medicham cause both are slow lol)

Mega Amphy has lower speed than Amphy

 

4 hours ago, Corso said:

What almost dead server? Is there something I don't know? There shouldn't be.

I think Candy-sama's referring to how inactive the "Dramathicc Drama Club" server's become.

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6 hours ago, Evi Crystal said:

Candy's VS Sprite Portrait looks gorgeous. Great job on that🤩💖

 

Also I didn't (or did maybe) expect Vanilla to lose against Candy, but I didn't though, that she didn't got her penalty... That's very strange- and kinda unfair for Victoria, Adrienn and Arclight🤔

Yeet even though it’s mostly a recolor haha just the mouth and removing sleeves was necessary.

As for Vanini losing, that’s because Vanini ain’t champion-level yet. And there’s a reason she didn’t get a punishment- it’s actually hidden in plain sight if you read carefully, but it might become apparent sometime in the future anyway.

 

6 hours ago, Corso said:

What almost dead server? Is there something I don't know? There shouldn't be.

Also there's a crucial difference between our runs: yours is actually original and well done. Also it will end eventually.

I turned the Drama Club to a show-your-art-and-other-stuff server but now it’s basically see-Candy-do-shit 🤣

I thought yours was fun because it’s a style that doesn’t require reading (I hate reading) and you were using mons I like because they’re pretty (Candy’s Ace is lopunny for a reason).

 

1 hour ago, SilverAngelus said:

Tfw the ultimate antagonist doesn't torture you so you're stuck in a cage playing Rock Paper Scissors with your Pikachu

It do be like that sometimes.

 

1 hour ago, SilverAngelus said:

Mega Amphy has lower speed than Amphy

It do be like that sometimes reprised 

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Such a nice long read! And lots of battles! I like how you changed who saw the kill with Ame though. Very interesting. Can't wait for the next 1! 😄

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tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 75tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gif

We looked for the exit in a place that had now lost most of its light save for the ones run by backup generators. The magnezone must have been supplying this place with electricity instead of relying on the region’s power plant, perhaps to keep the facade of inactivity to the Reborn management. 

As we walked through passages of monitors and miscellaneous machines, I realized that I felt a knot in my stomach that I desperately needed to untangle. In just these couple of hours since we started this mission, there have been too many odd things that I couldn’t just pass as coincidences.

For starters, the trap had worked too well for Team Meteor this time. They had a complete plan to capture us and make us fight each other, and then give us real punishment. On other occasions, my team and I had been able to reach the PULSEs fairly easily, deactivated them and left relatively unscarred. Even that time, when Lin appeared in their Tanzan base, Saphira succeeded in destroying the base without as much trouble as we have endured now.

I know I am not the brightest bulb in the box, but I suspected that Team Meteor must have been informed of our coming. Otherwise, how could they have had grunts awaiting for us in the basement, and, from the looks of the main entrance, ambushed Ame and Adrienn as they entered the building? Their movements were too specific, something they couldn’t have just improvised without the plan being leaked. Yet, who could’ve told them we were coming? The only people who knew of this plan and its details were me, Ame, Arclight, Victoria, Adrienn and Candy. Who out of them could’ve betrayed us? I couldn’t be completely sure, but out of all of them, only one seemed to me more likely than the rest.

 

At last, we made one last turn and found the exit. Right before it, however, we found our team, save, of course, for Ame. All three were behind a glass window, as though they were mannequins in a fashion shop. Victoria and Arclight were sitting with their backs turned to us, while Adrienn stood there with xyr arms crossed and xyr expression only brightened up when xe saw us coming in. Xe waved at us and signaled us to a button next to xyr window, which we pressed. Their windows opened. Victoria and Arclight slid out of their chambers and spilled onto the floor, while Adrienn just stepped out, stretched xyr upper body and expressed gratefulness for being liberated at last.

zbmGt3n.png?1

“Everything hurts,” said Victoria, without moving a muscle.

Arclight, lying on his stomach next to her, didn’t say anything and almost looked dead. Adrienn and Candy rushed in to check his vital signs, but just turning him over was enough to see that he definitely wasn’t in good shape. She gasped and fell back on the floor.

“Good news is that he’s alive,” Adrienn said. “Bad news is that they tore out his eye.”

Recovering slightly from the initial surprise, Candy sent out her Florges and Leavanny, and treated the wound like she did once when I had been beaten up by the goons in 7th Street.

“Why… How could this happen?” Victoria said. She crawled an inch closer to Arclight but that was all she could muster in her state.

“Well, based on what Lin said to us, I would reason that that was his ‘penalty’,” Adrienn replied. “Goodness, I must’ve gotten lucky. The floor of the cage I was in became super-heated but thanks to the help of my pokemon, I was fine.”

“How convenient,” I said snarkily.

Adrienn caught my tone, but decided to ignore it.

“Has anyone seen Ame?” xe asked.

To this question, Candy shuddered. I replied in her stead.

“She’s dead.”

“She… She is, huh,” Adrienn said, looking distressed. “So it’s up to us, then.”

“I don’t get this. If they want to stop us, why haven’t they done it yet?” Victoria snapped. “Why not just kill us all and be done with it? They captured us. They could’ve done it, had they wanted to.”

Indeed, that was yet another thing that was bugging me. Even before I was aware that Victoria, Adrienn and Arclight were alive, I knew that I was alive, when I could’ve very well been dead. Lin had me locked in a cage. That cage could have had some trick to it. Like Adrienn’s, it could have super-heated, or like Victoria’s, it could have electrocuted me to death. Instead, I got nothing.

“Remember, Lin requested that Vanilla not be harmed,” ZEL’s voice echoed in my mind.

What could be the meaning of that? Was there even meaning, or was I reading too deeply into it?

“They left us alive,” Adrienn said. “And the only reason I could think of is to send a message.”

“A message? What message, Adrienn?” I asked.

“The message of what happens if we interfere with them, of course,” xe said.

“They didn’t give Kiki a message,” Victoria shouted. “She didn’t get a chance to live. Why did I have to be the one whose life was spared!”

She then exclaimed in pain and shivered a little. She had apparently pulled a muscle while talking, and had to lay down completely once more.

“Don’t exert yourself, Victoria,” Candy said. “Arclight isn’t the only one that needs to rest. You too are in very bad shape.”

“I’m just… I’m just furious with Team Meteor for killing her, and myself for not having been able to save her. That is all,” she murmured with her face still plastered on the ground.

Candy petted her hair as though she were petting one of the pokemon from her daycare.

“I cannot pretend to know what your story is, Victoria, but one thing I can tell you is that we can’t blame ourselves in the present for the mistakes we made in the past,” said Adrienn.

“Don’t say that as if that was a fact,” I spat. “We can continue to blame ourselves. Your opinion may be different, but mine is that what’s important is to make a difference so that the mistakes we made and the lives we lost aren’t wasted.”

“I can see that we share a common goal but use a different coping mechanism. You, too, are greatly tied to your past,” xe said. “That is why you still hold animosity toward me, am I wrong? Because you can’t let go of the fact that I treated you like a delinquent back in the subterranean castle, even though many months have passed since, and we all know now that it was all a big misunderstanding.”

Xe wasn’t wrong, so I couldn’t counter xyr argument. However, I had one more possible reason at present that might justify my dislike of xem, and I wasted no moment in letting it be known.

“I dislike you since our first meeting, that’s true, but that’s not the end of it. I suspect that you leaked information to Team Meteor so that they could prepare for our coming. If my suspicions are proven to be correct, I won’t just show animosity towards you. Of that you can be certain.”

“Quite shocking you would say that, even if it’s entirely in-character. I am actually at a loss of words. Give me a second to recover,” xe said, acting like a broken-hearted maiden. An act that wasn’t becoming of xem, if I may say so.

“Our plan was known. There’s little doubt in that. You refused to battle Arclight and thus had conscious pokemon to avoid the penalty. If you ask me, you’re the most suspicious out of the group, because Victoria and Arclight both received their punishments.”

“And what about you, Vanilla? And Candy? I’m assuming one of you two received a penalty also, and yet I see neither of you looking particularly pained?”

“Indeed, Vanilla. It does us no good to point fingers at our friends,” Candy said, supporting xem. “From Adrienn’s perspective, we are equally as suspicious as you think xe is.”

“I’ll know what to think, thank you very much.”

“I will not point fingers at anyone,” said Adrienn. “Because I really can’t imagine any of us betraying the group like that. Even you, Vanilla, although you’re so quick to point a finger at me. You’re too honest and impulsive. I doubt you could keep up a hypocrite’s facade for longer than a second. Candy has been helping us restore the city. She’s practically my right-hand woman. Her wish to see the region safe and free from terrorism must be as strong as mine.”

Xe may be right about me not being able to fake allegiances. I wasn’t like Aladdin. However, I didn’t know enough of Adrienn to judge whether xe wasn’t one such phony. Xe certainly looked honest in everything xe said, but was it based on truth or just what xe knew we wanted to hear? That only xe could know.

“You’re welcome to keep yourself tied to the past, dragging it and then allowing it to drag you back. You can keep regarding me as untrustful, and keep thinking I’m plotting stuff against you. I find it counterproductive since it’s nothing but misguided anxiety, but it is your choice, not mine,” xe continued. “I personally have decided not to blame myself for my past mistakes, and thus break free from its chains. I decided not to think of the ‘what ifs’ that were born from falling into a fairy ring. Blaming myself like that will not fix the city, and certainly will not help us move forward. We got sidetracked, Victoria, but that’s where I wanted to reach. You can either do what Vanilla does, or do it my way, but I hope you will lend me your strength to guide this broken region that now lacks a leadership figure.”

Victoria was silent for a moment. She hadn’t said a word all the while Adrienn and I argued, so I reckoned she might have passed out sometime during it, but I was wrong. In time, she propped her head up a little.

“I’m tired of trying to follow in the footsteps of the dead,” she mumbled. “But without Ame among us, I have little say in the matter. We can’t let the region fall into anarchy, after all.”

Adrienn's eyes shone.

“We won’t let that happen, if we work as a team. Together,” xe said to her and then raised xyr gaze to meet mine. “Let’s not give Lin the pleasure of seeing the region truly fall to pieces.”

 

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After that, Adrienn carried Arclight on xyr back, while I did the same for Victoria. The exit was right there, but when we passed through it, we were surprised to find us in the North Obsidia Ward, not in the balcony on the top floor of the Devon building as we had expected.

It went without saying that we were quite puzzled at first; however, we soon concluded that we must have been moved from Devon to the basement of this small building in North Obsidia when they knocked all of us unconscious. Ame and Adrienn had also found themselves gassed, much like I imagined Candy and I had been, and Victoria had received a strong blow in the head.

“I had once again been too weak to prevent their plan,” Victoria said, biting on her thumb in frustration.

“We all were, don’t beat yourself for it,” Candy said, placing a hand on her back.

Victoria looked to her surroundings in silence, and then whispered in a volume that was almost unhearable save for me.

“Now that I think about it, Kiki was also weak. Her body was killing herself, and she couldn’t prevent it. Yet, I’m not sure she ever truly accepted her weakness.”

Then, in a louder voice, she added, “I think I understand how the student becomes the master now.”

“We must accept our weakness. Our vulnerability,” said Candy. “Only then we can try to do small things to become stronger. We have come a long way already, and we can only do better if we keep trying.”

Her speech reminded me of the brief conversation we had had after our battle earlier today. She had said that she had grown selfish and anxious. Perhaps these were the weaknesses she was referring to while she spoke to Victoria.

Yet, what an odd conversation it had been, I thought. 

I looked at Candy. Her face was as affable as ever, even though there was a hint of exhaustion in her eyes that were swollen from crying earlier. Yet it was certain that there was nothing of the ill mood that had plagued her just before and immediately after our battle.

However, my thoughts were interrupted when Adrienn started talking about the small building we had come out of being a cover for a Meteor facility all along.

“That’s a lead,” xe said. “Whoever owns this building probably has ties to Team Meteor, and we can find those records in the Grand Hall.”

“We should probably send some people to search both Devon and this building. Even though I assume they cleared their tracings before going away, there may still be some things they left behind that might serve to our advantage,” Victoria added.

“Yeah, good idea. Once we take you and Arclight to medical care, I will take care of that.”

 

Thus we started walking towards the closest Pokémon Center. On our way there, Adrienn asked me if I’d have time to help him with some work.

“There was an influx of donations this morning and I believe it’ll cover the cost to restore a new area. For that, I’ll need manpower, and I’d be happy if you could help me look for people who might be interested in volunteering,” xe explained. “Ame had told me you’re doing the League Challenge, was she right? I’d like to get the work over with as soon as possible, so that we can have our gym battle.”

I nodded. I was aware that restoring the city also gave me joy, so I’d have gladly accepted to help even if it weren’t to get a Gym battle. However, I wasn’t going to complain about getting a bonus incentive to get to work.

We dropped Arclight and Victoria off at the Pokémon Center. The nurse scolded us for moving them all the way there, and asked us to call an ambulance if we were ever in a similar situation. Arclight was still unconscious when we left, but Victoria appeared to do better thanks to Candy’s florges’ aromatherapy.

“I’ll go to the Grand Hall to get a search party ready, as we agreed. The faster we get that done with, the better for us. You can meet me in my Gym once you collect, I don’t know, 10 or so volunteers. Thanks, Vanilla. See you later.”

Adrienn said that and hastily ran towards Opal Ward.

“Do you need help finding volunteers?” asked Candy.

“No, I’m good. You should go check on your shop.”

“Alright then. Do call on me if you have trouble finding people,” she said. “I’d actually insist on helping you, if I weren’t worried about the daycare. I left Cookie taking care of this rowdy Pokémon when I left for Agate Circus, so I want to make sure everything is alright with them.”

Candy waved at me with less energy than usual, and walked South.

Once I was left alone again, I sat down on a bench nearby. Victoria wasn’t particularly lightweight, so my back and legs were killing me, but I didn’t want people to see how out-of-shape I was.

“I’ll first find the volunteers,” I told Pikachu. “But I haven’t given up on cracking down who betrayed us in this mission.”

Pikachu just sat on my thighs and tilted his head. A relatable gesture, for Adrienn’s rebuttal had left me without a suspect. I imagined this endeavor would take a lot of time and energy.

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Adrienn (+1): 4/10 Xe seems honestly concerned about the region, and though I don’t get along well with xem, I can stop seeing xem with animosity and more with indifference
  • Victoria (+1): Her spirit indeed isn’t easily broken, and I can admire her for that

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

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0/10 bad format jk I'll read it later

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This episode felt like a little mafia game, and my experience tells me that Adrienn's speech is very very suspicious, however I wasn't good at mafia games so it actually means the opposite. Also who is this rowdy pokemon at the daycare? And Reborn city has ambulances!?

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2 hours ago, Corso said:

This episode felt like a little mafia game, and my experience tells me that Adrienn's speech is very very suspicious, however I wasn't good at mafia games so it actually means the opposite. Also who is this rowdy pokemon at the daycare? And Reborn city has ambulances!?

Funnily enough, I was thinking of mafia while I was writing it. I don’t think Vanilla particularly excels at scumreading either lol

The rowdy Pokémon was mentioned aloud once, I think, but it’s a subplot so I only hinted it a little bit.

im guessing every region has ambulances, just that no one uses them 😂

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3 minutes ago, Candy said:

Funnily enough, I was thinking of mafia while I was writing it. I don’t think Vanilla particularly excels at scumreading either lol

The rowdy Pokémon was mentioned aloud once, I think, but it’s a subplot so I only hinted it a little bit.

im guessing every region has ambulances, just that no one uses them 😂

Kanto uses ambulances!

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Well Well a game of mafia is it?
i really love how this story always manages to put it's own spin on things, it's really great.
although i wouldn't exactly blame vanilla here on not seeing who else's behaviour was suspicious of the bunch, sometimes people can't see whats in front of them, especially when it's something one doesn't want to see.
 

Spoiler

seems like our candy is a bit more bittersweet than some people would like, the question is what exactly was the motive, though it serves as an explanation why vanilla should not be harmed.
Ame's death obviously was not something candy intended, it was Lin doing her thing

can't wait for the next chapter

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3 hours ago, Falirion said:

Well Well a game of mafia is it?
i really love how this story always manages to put it's own spin on things, it's really great.
although i wouldn't exactly blame vanilla here on not seeing who else's behaviour was suspicious of the bunch, sometimes people can't see whats in front of them, especially when it's something one doesn't want to see.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

seems like our candy is a bit more bittersweet than some people would like, the question is what exactly was the motive, though it serves as an explanation why vanilla should not be harmed.
Ame's death obviously was not something candy intended, it was Lin doing her thing

can't wait for the next chapter

smelli smelli I've been betrayed several times during mafia games cause I'm a smol gullible Candy 😔 I'm like Lykos prince ver. 😅

but what if

Spoiler
Spoiler

there is no traitor at all

 

 

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On 7/11/2020 at 12:47 AM, Candy said:

“We must accept our weakness. Our vulnerability,” said Candy. “Only then we can try to do small things to become stronger. We have come a long way already, and we can only do better if we keep trying.”

 

Such beautiful words of wisdom. True what Candy said.

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tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gifFrom Everland to Reborn ~ Episode 76tumblr_lp0mal7AcQ1qg3clto1_250.gif

 

This might literally be the longest episode ever and it's just a feel-good/chill one. I wonder what my word count for all of FEtR is so far lol

Also, donut tri burning forests if you ain't authorized!

Tbh donut do anything Sandy in game or in this fanfic suggests but prolly that goes for most of what Vanini does too lol

 

I accepted helping out in city restorations, but I later realized that I chose the wrong job to help out with. Going out of my way to talk with strangers and convince them to do volunteer work was something that required carisma, and I had none of that. Perhaps that’s why Candy asked me if I’d need help, but she was too subtle about it for me to get her meaning.

Complaining about my task led me nowhere, so I started walking aimlessly around the city. I approached people who, first of all, looked approachable, and second, looked like they had nothing better to do. I found a few sitting on park benches individually. Surprisingly some of them agreed to help out, but they didn’t add up to the quota of 10 people.

 

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I went to many of the wards, including Onyx, to which I hadn’t gone on my first tour of the renovated city. Onyx Ward had never been a site of PULSE damage and had been far enough from the earthquake’s epicenter so I wasn’t surprised to find it pretty much the same as I remembered it. The only things that were obviously different were the cleanliness of the streets and that most buildings had received a fresh coating of paint. However, I soon found that it had been altered more than I imagined.

“Hey, isn’t that Vanilla? The albino girl who’s beating Team Meteor up?”

“OMG why is she here? Is she giving a speech at school?”

These were the kinds of conversations I heard as I approached OTS. Apparently students were the most impressionable by the recent events, and welcomed me as a celebrity of sorts, which felt both flattering and annoying at the same time.

“I battled her when she had just arrived in Reborn,” boasted one of the guys to his friends, and then he looked at me. “Do you remember we did, Vanilla?”

I remembered he was the blondie that had once collaborated with Fern to keep me out of Florinia’s Gym.

“Yeah I remember you. Hope you no longer need to kiss Fern’s ass.”

The kids laughed and teased him and he countered by pointing out that they had also been cowards with regards to Fern because he was the headmaster’s brother. I left the kids to argue among themselves who had been the biggest coward and carried on with my search of volunteers.

I couldn’t get a single student to help out with the restoration, because apparently they were just days from final exam week and had no time to do much other than study, and apparently sit in groups to gossip. I didn’t press them much and left the Ward behind.

 

When I was walking south through Obsidia, I noticed a small group of men smoking. I approached them, even though they didn’t see me with friendly eyes.

“Hey, I’m looking for volunteers to help out in the city restorations. Would you be willing to give a hand?”

The men looked at each other and laughed.

“Lil girl thinks we can waste time helpin’ out for free,” said one of them.

“Well, you seemed to have time to waste around smoking. Excuse me for assuming,” I said.

“Ya know, people like us in the slums also gotta take a break like ya wealthy folk.”

“Besides they be sayin’ they gonna fix the slums, and look they ain’t done anything yet. They be sayin’ Obsidia slums is next, but that’s all a load of bull. Why’d we wanna help people who give no sh*ts about us, eh?”

“It takes a lot of money to fix any place, and all of you living here got no money to donate. People are donating to fix the slums, I assume, just that it’ll take longer than a place that gets a lot of funding from companies and wealthy people,” I said, even though I wasn’t too knowledgeable of the topic to go in depth about it. “However, if you’d help out in the restoration, we might finish the on-going projects faster and get to work on the slums faster as well.”

“Ya may got a point but we ain’t got time to be working for free. Sorry lass, ya gotta find people with the luxury to volunteer.”

I gave up on trying to convince these people since it appeared to be a waste of everyone’s time. Yet, when I was about to leave, I caught a glimpse of a familiar face. The familiar face also recognized me, but froze as though he had seen a truck about to hit him.

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“I’m no longer Aqua Gang,” said the guy whose nose I’d broken once, and who had also witnessed me steal a bunch of Aqua and Magma gang bikes a long while ago. “Please don’t hit me again.”

“You’re no longer in Aqua Gang? Did Archer kick you out because I stole your bikes?”

“No. I got a scolding for that, though. Thanks for asking.”

“Razzy, you know the lil girl?” said one of the smokers.

“Yeah, she’s Vanilla. Ya know, the girl who beat Maxwell in battle and disbanded the Magma gang.”

“What? Brooo. We got a celebrity here huh? So Maxwell lost to this girlie, eh? No wonder he drinks like a sore loser.”

“Do you think you could do better?” I snickered. “Maxwell wasn’t half as strong a pokemon trainer as any of the gym leaders I’ve defeated.”

“The Magma gang getting dismantled was a matter of time. You just sped things up for us,” said Razzy.

“The Aqua gang will also get dismantled in no time,” I said. “Its leader is an ass after all.”

Razzy was quiet and bit his lips after I said this. He seemed to be at a loss on what to say, which I thought was odd, for he struck me as the type to speak as soon as a thought crossed his mind.

“Don’t tell me,” I laughed. “He already sank his gang, didn’t he?”

I half-meant it as a joke, for I had seen Archer only a few days ago, and didn’t think he looked any different from how he had looked before. At least, he didn’t seem to be as distressed as I hear Maxwell is, for losing his gang.

“Kind of, yeah,” replied Razzy at last. “Ever since the city began to be renewed, we knew that it was a death sentence for us. They got us out of our hideout and the alleyway is now a little park. Our chief is trying to get us jobs to lead lives like everyone else, so even though he hasn’t openly said we’re done with Aqua gang, we kind of are, in practice.”

“He lectured me on morality, judged me for having my gang, and yet he led one himself. He’s a hypocrite. It’s no wonder he got what he deserved.”

“I don’t know about your gang, but we weren’t just any gang,” Razzy snapped. “Chief is a great man. He gave us a place to call home. We were doing good for the city, in our unique way, too. We fought the Magma gang that was robbing innocent people and doing all sorts of messed up stuff. We also fought this old woman that treated everyone like trash just cause she had lots of money, and now she’s a little more docile and doesn’t support illegal pokemon dealers. We did lots of stuff, even though people thought ill of us just for being a group of uneducated folk.”

“Sounds similar enough to my own gang back in my hometown that I’ll still call Archer a hypocrite.”

“Do what you want, fam. But in my opinion, you’re dead wrong about him.”

“So he’s getting y’all jobs? What’s yours, Razz? I haven’t seen you dressed up with a necktie yet.”

One of his smoker friends teased and pushed him playfully.

“Cut that out,” Razzy said. “It ain’t chief’s fault that I’m a good-for-nothin’. He’s doing his best but last time, he tried to get me a job cutting trees and I accidentally annoyed a rattata that ended up scratching his arm. They also fired me the same day they hired me cause I let the tree fall down close to our supervisor and this obnoxious girl that was trying to negotiate with him. I think he wasn’t happy about me not dropping the tree on her. Anyhow, I don’t know if chief’s still trying to get me a job, but I ran from 7th Street so that I could avoid troubling him.”

“So that’s why I’ve been seeing you around so often these days,” laughed his friend.

“And wouldn’t you be interested in volunteering for the city restoration?” I asked, very casually. “You might learn a skill or two that might help you get a paying job in the future.”

I was sounding like my father when he tried to convince me to work in his gunball factory for free when I was fifteen, but I didn’t think it would be a bad idea in this case.

“Do you think they could give me free food? I’m sort of starving.”

“I don’t know but I’m sure I can work something out with Adrienn.”

“Alright then. I don’t know how I’ll mess up this time but count me in.”

I was glad that this long conversation didn’t end up completely wasting my time. I told Razzy to meet Adrienn at the Grand Hall and to tell xem about his free food condition. If xe didn’t acquiescence immediately, I’d make xem when I met xem later.

 

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Since South Obsidia didn’t appear likely to get me any more volunteers, I visited the wards on the other side of the Opal Bridge.

I was becoming tired of walking so I told Pikachu that we’d take a break and eat some ice cream. I remembered once getting a blue moon ice cream from Terra and giving it to Titania when we found her nearly starving in the water treatment center. Unfortunately, the ice cream lady didn’t have that flavor, kind of supporting what Titania had said about it being a rare flavor. I wasn’t picky when it came to sweets anyway. The only flavor I refused to eat was vanilla, because classmates teased me as a kid whenever I ate a vanilla flavored thing with “Vanilla eating Vanilla” jokes. Pikachu, however, appeared to prefer vanilla, so I happily bought one cone for him. I chose chocolate.

We sat down on a bench in Opal ward to eat our ice cream while we watched the blue lake water reflecting sunlight and a few yachts coming and going.

“It’s crazy that we were captured by the enemy only this morning,” I said. “Look at everyone just carrying on with their lives, blissfully unaware that this region’s champion lost her life to the terrorists’ boss.”

It was apparently time for school children to go home, and I saw a bunch of families passing by us. One of the kids had a globe, which he let go of, but Pikachu extended a hand and grabbed it before it went away to the sky. The kid wiped away the tears that were only seconds away from falling, and thanked Pikachu and me for saving his globe. He skipped all the way until he and his mother turned on a corner and went out of our sight.

“If only someone could come help us, don’t you think sometimes? Yet, it’s us that’s always doing the helping. Ame died because we couldn’t go save her, and no one else could do the saving... I wish the weight on my shoulders were a little lighter, but I guess I chose to be a heavy lifter when I decided to go down a rabbithole.”

I licked some more of my ice cream, which slightly melted as soon as it touched my tongue.

“This ice cream is lovely. How’s yours?”

Pikachu tilted his disguise’s head and squealed loudly. I saw that he had stained the chest part of his cloak, but he didn’t appear to mind too much. 

We stayed sitting on the bench until I finished eating.

 

Not long after, we stood up to get going. We still needed a couple more people to join the volunteers team. However, we were stopped in our tracks when we saw a sky blue-colored nidoran rush out of the ornate bush next to us. She made a quick turn and jumped onto Pikachu. At first, I thought it was a wild pokemon attack, but I judged, from the way she was burrowing her face in Pikachu’s disguise, this was not the case.

“What’s this? A girlfriend of yours, Pikachu?” I said, but then frowned. I had unwittingly imitated sixth-sense Hazel.

Dms8PKC.png

Pikachu shook his disguise’s head but allowed the nidoran to keep close to him. After another round of warm hugs, the nidoran separated from him, and noticing the stain on his disguise, said something to him in a language I couldn’t understand. Then, she ran in front of us and looked back and hopped, signaling us to follow her. Pikachu pulled onto the hem of my skirt and walked after her, so I followed suit.

We walked all through Peridot ward up north to Jasper. We had already been there once, but it was still amazing to me how great a job the restoration had done in this ward.

In the end, the nidoran led us to a leavanny who was handing out advertisements in a corner. I thought she looked out of spirit, for her antennae were droopy and her smile that always adorned Candy’s leavanny wasn’t on her face. She cheered up a little, though, when she saw her friend bringing us near her.

(“Ynnie! Remember Pikachu? You made his one-of-a-kind disguise a while back,” said Nina.

“Of course I do. His clothes are one of my proudest works,” Ynnie said. “But look at how dirty it is now. I can tell you’ve walked miles with just a look at your hem. And the yellow-ish stain, is it ice cream? I can’t let you go walk around like that now that I’ve seen you.”)

I couldn’t understand anything they said, but the leavanny pulled on Pikachu’s disguise and Pikachu did his best to keep her from pulling up his clothes. I stepped in to help separate them, but the leavanny wasn’t happy about that. She shrieked some more to me, and pointed at the stain on Pikachu’s disguise.

“What, you don’t like the stain, do you?”

The leavanny nodded.

“And you want to clean it?”

The leavanny nodded again.

I looked at Pikachu, who shook his body profusely, sending the disguise’s head flinging around. It would seem that Pikachu didn’t want to take off his disguise, though I didn’t know why until I took a peek at the Pokedex. Mimikyus are apparently self-conscious about their appearance under their cloaks. Something about some researcher dying from shock yadda-yadda. Even though I doubted my friend could look hideous enough to scare me, I chose not to push him to do what he wasn’t comfortable doing.

“Give me a second,” I said to the leavanny, and started stretching my dress’ hem. Once I had gotten it to a good size, I ripped it apart and covered Pikachu with it.

“Now no one can see you beneath that pink blanket,” I said to him. “Could you take off your disguise so she can clean it for you?”

Pikachu didn’t answer, but the pink blanket shook once, twice, and moved to the left, leaving the skin of a pachirisu-looking mimikyu behind. The leavanny leaped on top of the cloak as though it were her prey, and ran away from us with incredible speed. Where she went to, I had no idea. I also didn’t know whether we were supposed to wait for her standing there, but really, couldn’t go anywhere else until she returned Pikachu’s cloak.

 

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We waited there for about ten minutes, when we saw someone heading towards us. It wasn’t the leavanny, and I wouldn’t have remembered who he was, had I not had a passing conversation about him with Razzy and his friends earlier.

The ex-leader of the Magma gang seemed to recognize me too, for he stopped for a moment and hesitated whether or not to continue walking. Eventually, he decided to continue.

“Vanilla. Long time no see,” he said. “I’ve come to replace my co-worker. Has she given you one of these?”

He handed me an advertisement. I read it silently. The advertisement was for Titania’s gym, which was apparently going to start accepting challengers two weeks from now. Judging from the minimalistic design, I presumed Titania herself made it.

“You’ve become quite the celebrity around these parts,” he said snarkily. “But I’ve also become famous in my own way as the Magma gang leader who was forced to dismantle his gang. Ironically, now your gang is dismantled too, what with the increased policing in Lapis Ward.”

It appeared that this guy still believed that I had been part of Aqua gang, so I spoke to clear my name. I explained to him that I had never been part of the gang, but that had struck a forceful deal with Archer, which my side of the bargain involved defeating him in battle. Maxwell was surprised by this revelation.

“You should’ve questioned my being part of Aqua gang,” I said. “I wasn’t even wearing a uniform. We both fell right into Archer’s trap.”

“That annoying police-wannabe. Yet, even if I went to get revenge on him, nothing would change. Neither of our gangs can return.”

“You’re surprisingly calm,” I said without irony. Had I been in his shoes, I surely would have chased Archer to the depths of Hell at once.

“When I’m not under the influence of alcohol, I try to keep calm by reminding me that I want to be a different kind of person,” he said. “Once my fire was extinguished by you, I sought a lifestyle that didn’t rely on robbery or violence. I thought that maybe I could be happier that way, without having to worry about the police or the Aqua gang threatening my peace.”

He raised the bunch of advertisements in his hand and laughed from his nose.

“So far, I haven’t had much success. At least the money I get paid from handing these papers gets me alcohol. And I’ve made some new friends along the way, so maybe it’s not as bad as it could be.”

Maxwell nodded to the nidoran and she ran around his legs in the path of an infinity symbol.

“Nina and Ynnie lost their homes in Malchous Forest due to the deforestation. I think we can all relate to one another’s homelessness.”

Since there still were no signs of Ynnie, the leavanny, Maxwell and I stood for some more time talking while he handed adverts to the occasional passerby. He was much more of a likeable character than Archer, which made me slightly remorseful that I gave a hand to the latter and became the reason his gang dismantled. Alas, I unfortunately had no choice: it was Shelly and Luna, or the gang of someone I didn’t know. My bias was clear.

I also wasted no time in asking him whether he would be interested in volunteering for the city. He didn’t even think about it before he laughed and refused.

“I don’t have anything against volunteering,” he said. “But now that I don’t steal, I need to make a living out of something, even if it’s this mind-numbing job. I have some loans I gotta pay off.”

He also said that he had gotten this advertising job thanks to a connection he had, because otherwise no one would hire him. He was too known as a thief and troublemaker to be given a chance. However, he also clearly stated that he did not regret one bit about his lawless past.

“Sure, the law dictates that stealing is wrong. Archer and his gang came down on mine like rabid dogs mainly due to that,” he said. “But what’s the law? A bunch of rules written by privileged people who know nothing about not having anything to eat or a roof to sleep under. And then, they say everyone’s got to follow those rules or they’ll get beaten. I don’t think I did wrong leading a gang that stole for a living. If I no longer steal it is because, well, you forced me to lose my gang, and also because they got me tired of running.”

What irony! Had I accidentally happened by the Magma gang instead of the Aqua gang, I might’ve formed a better alliance with them. If I told them about our similar backgrounds as people who fought against the oppression of the law, I am sure that at least they would have shown me kindness that wasn’t in Archer’s vocabulary. I would’ve even helped them get rid of the Aqua gang without asking anything in return. Yet, I kept this information to myself, for it came in too late for it to do any good.

 

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At last, Ynnie came back with a bigger smile than before. She whistled a tune and showed all of us her proud work. Pikachu’s cloak had been thoroughly repaired, starting with the stains and ending with the stitchwork on the neck, which was starting to snap under the weight of the head. Pikachu shuffled in the pink bubble gum cloth, and changed into his disguise at once. He jumped, Nina jumped, Ynnie whistled and all were very delighted. It unknowingly brought a smile to my face.

“So you said these two lost their homes due to deforestation?” I asked Maxwell.

“They’re not the only ones. Ever since constructions started all over the city, people have been cutting a lot of trees in Malchous Forest and Rhodochrine Jungle, causing many wild pokemon to relocate to the Jasper and Beryl Wards. The other day, I heard a massive amount of kecleon took over Beryl Ward, and people kept bumping into or tripping over them because they’re invisible.”

“That’s odd. I haven’t seen that many wild pokemon around.”

“That’s because there have been a lot of new trainers coming in from all over the world, now that Reborn City’s restoration has made it to international news. They’ve been the main people fighting and catching the pokemon that came into the wards.”

“Oh? So they opened the train station?”

“Yeah, like about a week or two ago.”

I fell silent. That meant I could technically return to Everland now, if I was ready. I knew my team had grown quite strong, so I felt quite confident that we’d be ready in that regard.

“If you’re thinking about leaving the Reborn region, you might want to head to the station soon to book a ticket. There’s been a massive wave of people leaving the city, quite matching the number of trainers that have flooded in to challenge the League. The international trips outbound are all booked up for at least a month.”

I looked down at Pikachu, who looked back up at me.

“No, I wasn’t thinking of leaving,” I said.

“I wouldn’t judge you if you were. Team Meteor is still occupying Labradorra and you never know what their next move will be,” he said but then corrected himself. “What am I saying. I’m sure you know the situation better than me. After all, you’re the savior of this region. So, maybe I should judge you, if you were to leave us.”

“No one should call me a savior. I didn’t begin fighting Team Meteor with noble causes,” I said, remembering the conversation I had with Florinia right after our Gym battle.

“Noble or not, we’d probably be all dead or enslaved by now if you weren’t fighting them,” he said. “Thanks.”

I broke eye contact with him and shrugged.

“I have to continue looking for volunteers, so I’ll take my leave now. Pikachu, say bye to your friends, we’re going.”

Pikachu held both of his friends hands and waved them goodbye. Maxwell also waved at me, but I didn’t wave back.

 

I planned on heading North from Jasper to see if any of the Beryl ward residents would be interested in volunteering; however, Pikachu pulled me back.

“What’s the matter?” I asked him.

He kept pulling on my dress’ hem and with his other arm, pointed in the direction of Malchous Forest.

“You want to go to to Malchous Forest? There probably aren’t that many people we can ask to volunteer there.”

However, Pikachu insisted that we go, so I granted his wish.

We headed into the forest, although it was so cleared of trees that I believed we should start calling it park. I had come here once already, but was surprised to find that the girl with the placard that was demonstrating against deforestation was still there marching and shouting.

“Pokemon are losing their homes! Stop deforestation! The Earth is crying! Stop deforestation!”

Pikachu ran towards her and started walking behind her. What he wanted me to do was pretty clear.

I walked up to the girl and made her shut up for a minute.

“I don’t think that’s going to work,” I told her. “Don’t you have pokemon on you? Everything in this region is solved by battling.”

“I thought about that, but look. There’s way too many people we’d have to battle.”

“I’m sure they’re weaker than Team Meteor grunts,” I said, and started engaging one person in battle.

The girl had no choice but to agree with my methods, because another woodcutter came to her to battle.

I defeated woodcutters at twice the rate she did, until we had to stop because one of them brought someone to deal with us.

“That’s them. Those are the ones causing a disturbance,” said the man wearing a hard hat.

The person he’d brought with him was Adrienn. Xe was surprised to see me there, but the girl started talking to xem before xe had time to ask me what I was doing.

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“Mx. Flores! It’s great seeing you. I just need a moment of your time to talk about the deforestation of Malchous and other environmental concerns following the city’s restoration.”

“You must be the Reserve Ground Leader, Sandy,” Adrienn said. “I read that you were like this.”

“That’s right, but what’s important is that you take action to ensure the safety of our world. I’ve submitted several petitions-”

“Yes, yes. I’ve read them. I understand your concerns, but in each case, it’s not as simple as just immediately throwing people at the issue. We’ll keep working towards a satisfactory solution, but in the meantime… Could I ask you not to accost the city workers?”

“Yeah, we’re just working to get paid. It’s not our decision to cut down these trees, ya know,” said one of the woodcutters I defeated.

“Most of these trees were generated artificially by the PULSE that was set here, too. We haven’t actually cut into the trees that were part of the forest before that incident,” added Adrienn.

“Well, a lot of pokemon had made those trees their homes after the PULSE was taken down,” I said. “Now they have to find new homes because of the deforestation.”

“I wish there was an easy fix to this issue, Vanilla. We need trees for the construction works, so I can’t negotiate on that front. The pokemon that lost their homes have mostly been captured by trainers to make pokeballs their new homes. I think that will have to do while we finish up the work around the city. Once that is done, I will start a project to improve the conditions of this forest, much like we’ve done with Azurine Island.”

Adrienn then said to me that xe had taken care of sending a search group to the fake Devon corp building and the house we exited from earlier today. Xe asked me if I had gotten the 10 volunteers, to which I had to give a negative answer.

“I’ll be in my Gym now. Come when you’ve finished your task, alright? I look forward to battling you.”

Saying this, xe turned around and left us there.

 

“Welp, I guess battling the woodcutters didn’t work too well, but I’m going to mark it as a partial success. At least I got to get acquainted with Mx. Flores. That’s gotta get me somewhere.”

“Do you have any idea what we could do now? I have a couple of friends who’d like to have their homes back, and waiting isn’t my style.”

Sandy thought about this for a moment.

“Well, I guess we could plant new trees so that they start growing meanwhile,” she suggested.

“How long would it take for them to grow?”

“Hmmm, about 10 years, perhaps?”

I shook my head. That was way too much time.

“Isn’t there a way to speed up the process? We could use pokemon to grow them faster, can we not?”

“Well, maybe, but I don’t think this soil would help us speed up the process.” 

she squatted down and scooped up some soil. She explained that the deforestation had left the soil with little nutrients to support new growth. Over time, the grass and leaves would die and decay, providing nutrients for new growth, but that would obviously take a long time.

“One thing that could help would be to burn part of the forest and then plant over it,” she thought aloud. “However, that’d have to be done by fire type pokemon, because they can control fires better than we could. I’m scared of burning down the whole forest.”

“I have one fire type. Would that be enough?”

Sandy touched the grass and shook her head. The grass was too humid for one fire type’s flames to be strong enough.

“If we can get a team of fire type and grass type Pokémon, I think we could make it work,” she said.

I had three grass type Pokémon: Bambi, Cinderella and Queen of Hearts. To them, I could maybe volunteer Ynnie. I saw that Sandy had a ludicolo and a torterra as well, so that would make a group of six. As for fire, I only had Anna, and Sandy had no fire types. I thought of fire type users who could help. Charlotte was in Calcenon which was too far from here, and Cal, well, I had no idea where he could be at the present moment. Right then, I remembered that I didn't necessarily need a Gym leader or ex-leader.

“Wait. I think I literally just passed a person who can help,” I said. “Give me a second.”

I exited the forest and ran over to the corner where Maxwell was standing.

“Oh, what’s up?” he asked.

“You have fire type Pokémon, don’t you? Would you help Ynnie and Nina get their home back?”

He was confused as to where I was going with this, but said that he had and he would.

“Good. Follow me. Both of you too. I’ll introduce you to someone.”

I passed by the Pokémon center to take out my three grass types, and we headed back to Malchous Forest. Sandy was waiting for us and squealed excitedly when she saw three more helpers. She explained on my behalf what we were trying to do.

“Easy. Burning things down was always my Pokémon’s talent.”

“Please don’t burn more than we need to,” scolded Sandy. “If we burn even the healthy trees, that’s just making things worse.”

“Ditto.”

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We moved over to a part of the forest where the woodcutters had already cut down all of the trees, leaving behind the stumps all over the place. I sent out Anna and Maxwell sent out another ninetales, a charizard and a houndoom. We placed our pokemon to form a square over the area we wanted to fertilize. That was Maxwell’s idea; he told me each pair at the ends of each side could cooperate to control the fire, if the flames attempted to leave the square. Sandy also sent out her water pokemon to keep the grass on the outside of the square sufficiently wet so that fire wouldn’t easily catch. That way, we were able to burn the grass and tree stumps without jeopardizing the rest of the forest.

After the area was burnt, we sent out our grass pokemon. I sent my three pokemon and Sandy sent out a ludicolo and a torterra. All the pokemon used their affinity for grass to speed up the growth of trees from fertile land. The most they could grow was about 10 juvenile trees and a bunch of bushes, but that was better than what we had before.

“Good work, you two,” said Sandy to her pokemon. “Your pokemon too, Vanilla and Maxwell. I’ll keep coming here everyday to check on the progress. I’ll protect the trees we’ve grown from anyone who tries to cut them down.”

“Call me if you need help. I hand out advertisements in the Jasper ward,” Maxwell said.

“I surely will! Thanks a lot.”

Maxwell said his goodbyes and returned to his work.

 

As for the wild pokemon, Ynnie and Nina were ecstatic about having bushes to hide and trees to play on. They were already climbing trees and jumping from branch to branch with Pikachu.

“It’s great seeing them happy like that,” said Sandy. “I’ll keep working hard to rehabilitate the forest. I have a lot of plans to make Reborn a more environmentally friendly place.”

“That’s a noble goal,” I said. “You’ll probably want to keep pestering Adrienn, though. The environment doesn’t seem to be in xyr priorities.”

“Yeah. Mx. Flores has done so much. It’s crazy to think how hard-working xe’s been. However, that’s something xe has lagged behind on. If only xe’d team up with me, I’d definitely do great as an environment ambassador, don’t you think?”

I wasn’t sure about the answer to her question, but I knew exactly what I could do to bring her hopes a little closer to reality.

“I know something you could do to keep pestering xem,” I said with a mischievous smile. “Xe is looking for volunteers to help around in some projects. I’m sure you’d have plenty of time to propose to him all your ideas, if you joined the group.”

Yes, maybe I was acting on my own interests, but whatever.

“That’s a great idea! I’m heading to Coral ward right now.”

“I’ll escort you there. I also have business with xem.”

“Your Gym match, right? Good luck!”

I called Pikachu back and he jumped from a tree branch onto my shoulder. We waved goodbye to Nina and Ynnie, and followed ecstatic Sandy out of Malchous Forest.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to seeing Adrienn’s face when xe sees who I brought to volunteer with xem.

 

VANILLA RATES: REBORN CHARACTERS

Spoiler
  • Sandy: 6/10 She's passionate and works hard. That's pretty admirable.

 

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Pikachu getting his clothes cleaned is probably one of my favorite moments in this story now. Also I don't remember this Sandy at all.

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43 minutes ago, Corso said:

Pikachu getting his clothes cleaned is probably one of my favorite moments in this story now. Also I don't remember this Sandy at all.

Sandy has a side quest in E18 I think. I haven’t done the side quest yet but I felt she’d fit well in this episode. 
Pikachu was like “nooo don’t take me clothes” and then “yay clean clothes” 😊 I think helping Nina and Ynnie get their home back is a good return gift for the pachirisu disguise in the first place.

 

45 minutes ago, J-Awesome_One said:

Awww. What an adorable episode.

It’s not all tears and edginess around these lands 😝

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How long is Vanini's dress that she was able to provide a blanket of a disguise for Pikachu?

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2 minutes ago, SilverAngelus said:

How long is Vanini's dress that she was able to provide a blanket of a disguise for Pikachu?

You forget it's a magical bubblegum dress that stretches infinitely fren 😛

This dress so far has been used:

- to wrap Pikachu's pachirisu corpse

- to hang Vanini and Aladdin from a cliff that was getting avalanche'd

- to make a parachute for Vanini to fall down the cliff without doing a die

- to wrap naked Pikachu

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Quick question: how does Pikachu actually eat? He can't eat through his disguise's head, can he? I'm assuming he just brings his ice cream inside the disguise, but then how did he stain his dress on the outside?

I haven't watched the anime in years, but do ghost-type pokemon need to eat physical food? I know Litwick and evo's absorb life force from humans, but what about the others? Can Pikachu actually eat the ice cream?

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10 hours ago, Corso said:

Quick question: how does Pikachu actually eat? He can't eat through his disguise's head, can he? I'm assuming he just brings his ice cream inside the disguise, but then how did he stain his dress on the outside?

I haven't watched the anime in years, but do ghost-type pokemon need to eat physical food? I know Litwick and evo's absorb life force from humans, but what about the others? Can Pikachu actually eat the ice cream?

If you stain one side with ice cream, because it’s liquid you’ll be able to see the stain seeping through to the other side. And yah I imagined Pikachu eating inside his disguise 😛

I donut think of ghost Pokémon  like souls. I think of them as Pokémon that have mass and have a digestive track, just that they have a spooky aura giving them the typing. Some may have ability to absorb energy, but as long as they have a mouth, I think they can eat (otherwise they’d have no use for a mouth evolutionarily me thinks)

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