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Written Story Unova Teen Mon Dear Diary: A Pokemon Black Storylocke (Reupload)

Thread Description
Dear Diary, I had a quiet and happy life on Route 1, but that all changed when I was captured... [reupload; chapters update once a week. Part 17 up 10/16]

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
NOTE: THIS IS A COMPLETED RUN. I AM REPOSTING IT HERE ON THE NEW FORUMS, ONE CHAPTER A WEEK SO THAT NEWCOMERS CAN READ IT AT A REASONABLE PACE SHOULD THEY SO WISH. MY DEVIANTART GALLERY (LINKED IN THE TABLE OF CONTENTS BELOW) CONTAINS ALL CHAPTERS SHOULD NEW READERS WANT TO READ AHEAD.


(thanks to @Washi for the image c: )
Welcome to Dear Diary! This was my first attempt at a storylocke, and arguably the biggest writing project I've ever undertaken. For the uninitiated, this is a Black version run from a pokemon POV. The run can get a little dark at times, though not to the point where I want to mark it as a full mature run. A pseudo-prequel, set in the same universe but largely unconnected, is ongoing; check out The Dark We Carry! You can read it here!

Also I'm not gonna bother posting my rules because it was years ago and I don't remember the specifics, but I think it was a spectacularly vanilla ruleset with dupes clause and the only legendary allowed being Reshiram

NOTE: The entire run can be read in my DeviantArt gallery, which can be found right here! Or you can check out the original thread over here! In addition, for those who don't want to read on the forums, each post contains a link to the DeviantArt alt at the beginning of the post!


Prima & Opal by @Thirteenth


Opal remembers the first time she ever saw the sunrise.

She was still a child. Still curious and energetic enough to forego the rules and the warnings from her parents and their trainer. Still young enough that sneaking out of the room and down the stairs was a huge adventure in that nervous, exciting, rebellious way.

The staircase was her real hurdle. It might have only been twelve steps, but to her tiny body and still-developing legs, it may as well have run thirty feet deep into a yawning, unforgiving void.

It made her little heart ache for the safety of her parents, but she wouldn't let the first floor scare her. She puffed out her cheeks and carefully stepped forward

And immediately barreled down the stairs.

She barked once for help as she rolled down, little limbs failing to find purchase in the carpeted steps. She didn't fall at an alarming speed, but to her, to feel the world flip over and around her and only see the unchanging void--she thought she was in more danger than she really was.

When she finally reached the first floor, she scrambled to find her feet and her balance and ran in whatever direction took her away from the stairs.

She found herself, somehow, in the kitchen, at the glass patio door. It was the soft, barely-there blue of the outside that captivated her and made her forget her panic. She stood at the glass and watched as the world outside turned blue and pink and yellow and bright.




Dear Diary moodboard by @Washi



Duo by @Washi



Hamilton meming by @Thirteenth



Filler Comic by @Wwarborday




"They're Always With You, Opal" by @CarrotChipper
The green-haired human doesnt catch his Pokemon; they follow, intrigued by his hybrid language and the thundering skip of his heart.

A Patrat is one of the first, paying off a debt: a companion to Striaton, in exchange for medical service. The medicine he sprays on her works wonders, takes away the bloody gash from the Purrloin and leaves her only a stripe of skin along her cheek. Shes still marveling it when N sees the other boy and the tiny blue Pokemon at his heels just as Route One tumbles into the city.

The stranger gives her no choice, guided by her humans commands--she follows them almost too enthusiastically. Trainers Pokemon sometimes forget that their bodies speak as much as their words; theres desperation in the knit of her brow, in every punch and burst of water. Like shes clutching at water that flows through her fingers.

It goes without saying that the Patrat loses quickly. Ns medicine heals any bruises and aches she suffers through the match, and every small scuffle afterward. Soon she isnt Ns only companion; others come and go as they please.

The Pokemon who join Ns team stay because they are intrigued by him.

The Patrat, who grows quickly into a Watchog, stays for a different reason entirely.

After the Nacrene fight she steals away from N, picking her way toward Nacrenes forest to a dying fire. The blue Pokemon--Opal, she hears in their fights--has grown darker and sleeker with evolution. The Watchog almost doesnt recognize her when she approaches, spiriting away to the shadows. She isnt able to go far away; the magic in her Poke Ball prevents wandering.

I wouldnt leave him, Opal says, small slips of moonlight catching in her fur. Hes my my trainer. You can understand that.

N isnt my trainer. I can come and go as I please.

Opal blinks. What makes you stay, then?

What she doesnt say: shes fascinated by Opal, by the gleam of her fur and the way she moves like the rain-swollen river rushing toward the sea and her loyalty to something more than just convenience. What she does: I dont know.

Opal leans forward. You could come with me, if youd like. You wont youll see more of the world. And Id like to get to know you better.

And maybe if she was a braver Pokemon, if she wasnt afraid of the awful gleam in her boys eyes--even the name, Blair, sends shivers up her spine--maybe shed take the offer. I wouldnt know what to do with a name, she says, surprising herself.

Opal laughs, then turns. Like shes expecting a teammate to come forward and discover them. Like thats a bad thing. I guess N wouldnt have given you one.

There was no need for one--wild Pokemon dont speak their names aloud but find it in the patterns and smells of their fur, in their body posture. N speaks like that. Ill have to give you one. You cant just be Ns Watchog whenever I think of you.

Its dangerous, that sort of promise. But she nods anyway.

By Nimbasa, the Watchog has heard rumors about Blair. Broken wings and legs and bodies. Death, always there like a shadow in the high sun. The Sigilyph who constantly hovers at Ns side repeats these things and more, their eyes flashing an ominous blue: that Blair will bring down the world and harm every living thing if hes allowed to continue. That the Pokemon of this world depend on N and Plasma to set this right.

In Route One it was often said that anything that couldnt be seen or touched wasnt truly known. She finds herself sneaking off to the human hospital, just to see.

The other Sigilyph is the one to notice her. You-are-not. Meant-to-be. In-this-place. Leave.

Im a friend of Opals, she says. The journey has changed her; she stands taller now, lip curled over her large teeth. Fear still rattles in her heart, but shes not the shy little Patrat from Route One anymore. I want to see her.

She-is-fine. Now-please-leave. Now.

She hears Opals Dreamtide! before she sees her, weary. Its okay, shes a friend. She wont hurt us.

I come in peace, she says, and lowers her head.

Its hard to tell what this Dreamtide is feeling without a face. Opal takes her by the shoulders and steers her into a private corner of the hospital gardens, away from the training grounds. Theres a fountain bubbling there, ringed by wooden perches. No, benches--the Tranquil N had befriended west of here had told her so. They dont move toward them, just sit beside the brick fence shielding the hospital from prying eyes. I heard what happened--

I came up with a name for you, Opal says without preamble, eyes glistening.

She blinks. You didnt have to.

No, its been a good distraction. Thinking about you and not Opal sighs, turning to her. Ah. Anyway. Dont want to hear me go on about nothing. Most of my names come from stories, you know, but none of them seemed right for you, somehow.

Is that bad? she asks.

Opal shakes her head. Just made me think about things differently. And then I started thinking about words themselves, and somehow that lead to numbers.

Like four?

Some of the sadness in Opals eyes turns to delight; she laughs, and the Watchogs heart lifts. No. A special kind of number. Prime.

Prime, she repeats. Does that come after one hundred?

Prime is how did Morta describe it. Our Gothita, she explains, as the Watchog stares blankly. Primes a number that cant be divided by anything than one or itself, like three or seven. But that didnt seem quite right for you? So Prima. I thought.

Prima. It doesnt convey her real name--the rumbling before the autumn storms, the bug Pokemon nursing their honey, the long wheat bowing in the sunlight. But she turns it in her head, thinking. You think Im... indivisible, she says. She huffs. Human names never get to the heart of a Pokemon.

Opal shrugs. I mean, my names just a gemstone. Its worn, like putting flowers in your fur. But shinier. Harder.

You are far from ornamental, she says.

Bravery hits Opal first; she places her dark paw in the Watchogs pale one. The shadows grow long as they sit there, momentarily nameless.

Opal gets a new name, too: the Blue Blade.

Gone are the days when she could spirit away from Ns side at her leisure; she works with Plasma in general now, working toward their common goal. Opal and her trainer, and the people and Pokemon like them, become the point obstacle in their path for Pokemon liberation. Shes seen too many of her friends die to turn the other cheek, and fights as she will. She uses her newfound wits to keep away from Opal and her

She hears about their escape from a mutual friend and marvels again; she marvels that she has lasted this long in a world that is quickly rumbling toward war. The sun is setting on Opelucid when she sees the sharp slash of Opals blades, the fury on her face as she carves a path and dares any to step forward.

The others cower. She doesnt know what makes her step forward, with her heavy scars and her patterns flashing.

They lock eyes for moments before surging forward, meeting in the middle. Theyve clashed enough times to know how the other moves--Opals three times her size and nurses old injuries but knows many of the same moves; Opal closes her eyes and trusts her body to hit, fire, carve. Opals blade carves a new line along her side; shes bitten huge chunks out of Opals shoulder. They part, panting and bleeding and struggling to stand.

You could come back with me, she says, a last-ditch effort.

She knows Opals answer before the Samurott responds, absolutely dejected. I used to believe I could fight against fate. Make Blair turn away from Reshiram, or or save my friends. But its too late to turn back now, with the fate of the world at stake.

She falls to the ground first, coughing up blood. Her paws are stained with it; the image used to scare her, but now she only notes it with a dull sadness. Did your mother ever teach you no one wins in wars?

Terrakion comes, scattering the forces. A Plasma Gothitora spirits her away; a giant Scoliopede rushes to grab Opal and flee for the hills.

No one wins in wars.

The destined battlefield has been scorched to nothingness; black mounds mark where bodies fell. She only has moments left before shes one of them, turned to ash by the great dragons. But she pushes forward until she finds her.

She finds Opal bent over her teammates, more red and black than blue. She whispers Prima as the Watchog approaches.

Prima--indivisible. Here they are, wrapped around each other. Her real name means little when the wind picks up the fallen, floats it above their bowed heads. Shh.

I could have--

You couldnt, the Watchog says. She has no strength for shyness now; she reaches forward to press their noses together, the way shed seen her parents do once. Fate, remember?

I thought we could change it, Opal says. She doesnt cry.

She hears the dragons crying above them, closer now. Do you know what happens next?

Opal takes a shuddering breath, flinching around the blade buried deep in her stomach. Judgment. Shaymins flowers, or or Darkrai. Depends.

We didnt start this war.

We didnt stop it, either.

She feels the heat of Reshirams flames, the sizzle of Zekroms thunder. When a tree dies, another takes its place. Maybe well have a second chance.

Do you think we were together in another life? Opal asks weakly. Do you think this was fate, too?

Twin roaring, too close for comfort.

I could have died a Patrat in Route One, or in a far-away forest. That has to be for a reason. So... so whatever comes, she says, I want to do it together.

The world ends in light and fury, and then there is nothing.

Best Pokemon (1st Place) -- 2017 Fan Run Extravaganza, for Opal

Best Overall Written Run (1st Place) -- 2016 Fan Run Extravaganza

Saddest Death (1st Place) -- 2016 Fan Run Extravaganza

Best Plot (1st Place) -- 2016 Fan Run Extravaganza

Best Descriptions in a Written Run (1st Place) -- 2016 Summer Spectacular

Featured Fan Run -- February 12, 2016

Best Battle in a Written Run (Silver Medal) -- 2015 Fan Run Extravaganza, for Blair vs. Lenora

Best Pokemon in a Written Run (Silver Medal) -- 2015 Fan Run Extravaganza, for Prima

Saddest Death in a Written Run (Silver Medal) -- 2015 Fan Run Extravaganza
 
Last edited:

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2

Opal told me that writing in this thing might make me feel better. That it could “ease the tension.” I doubt she knows what she’s talking about, but I guess it’s worth trying. So here goes.

Dear Diary.

My name is Prima. Or, well, it is now. It’s my human name—or, I guess, the name Master gave me when he caught me. Wild pokemon don’t have names like those—we identify ourselves through things like scent markers, subtle patterns in fur, the way a pokemon stands or holds herself. That’s name enough. But I guess it makes sense that those don’t work for humans. Humans are so devilishly clever sometimes—I’ve seen a great metal tree that catches the wind like a spiderweb catches a fly, and I’ve heard tell the humans leash the wind and turn it into lightning, which makes their houses glow.

But for all their cleverness, humans can be distressingly short-sighted at times. So it makes sense that for them, a “name” would be a short bark out of their mouth and etchings they can stare at.

This preoccupation with naming extends not only to living creatures but also to places. Opal tells me she and Master hail from “Nuvema Town,” and the place where I come from is called “Route 1”—both in the “Unova” region. I don’t know about any of that. All I know is that my home was a beautiful place, where grasses swayed in the breeze and you could smell wheat and honey in the air.

And I’ll never see it again.

I didn’t lose anything of value, I suppose. My family are all gone; they left to go settle in the far reaches of the land, or were caught be trainers themselves, or claimed by age or the hazards of the wilderness. And the other Patrat always looked at me funny, treated me like an outcast. I was always the “runt.” So I didn’t lose anything by being caught, Opal tells me. But then why did I spend all last night crying?

Opal is nice. She’s an Oshawott—she was given to Master only a few days ago, when he set on a journey as humans are wont to do. Like many pokemon born and bred near humans, she understands their language perfectly, and takes all their wonders for granted—that big metal tree is a “windmill,” she says. She also takes it for granted that her name is “Opal.” She seemed surprised that I never had one before Master caught me.

She’s the one insisting I call him Master. He has a name, but according to Opal, it’s disrespectful to speak too casually of your trainer. I suppose there is something strong about him. He’s quiet but has a face that looks firm of purpose, with a fierce mane of brown hair sprouting from beneath a hat.

I should be hopeful. Some trainers treat pokemon as novelties or pets, but there’re stories of human warriors who unleashed unbridled potential in their pokemon companions. Stories of pokemon and humans who forge bonds so powerful, they shake the boundaries of nature itself.

Many of the other Patrat and those dumb, aggressive Lillipup would have snapped up the chance to be caught by a trainer. Travel the world, see exotic humans, grow in power. They’d be ecstatic to be where I am now—an incredible place, stones in perfect shape piled on each other to form huge nests, while outside stars enclosed on more metal trees beat back the night. Opal says it’s called “Accumula Town” and she laughs at my wide-eyed wonder here, telling me humans have built far greater cities than this.

But I’m a simple girl. Even if the others would have loved the idea of living in a city, of fighting alongside a trainer… they’re not me. I didn’t want anything, really, except to lie back under the sun and chew grass and bask in the warm, inviting smell of autumn leaves…

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry when I wrote this…

---

Dear Diary.

I had to stop writing last night. I was just so sad. Opal tried to comfort me, but I drove her away. I was mean; I called her things I shouldn’t have. I said she was a “dog of the humans” and a “willing slave.” But after I was done I was able to sleep soundly, actually. So that’s good. I haven’t apologized yet but I think she understands. It’s hard, sometimes…

Strange things happened today. When we left the place we had been staying—an incredible building called a Center where they treat your hurts almost instantly; is there anything human ingenuity can’t do?—a large crowd of human were gathered there. They were listening to another group of humans talk.

I understood very little of what they said—Opal tells me that I’ll pick up the human language “by osmosis,” whatever that means—but they were dressed strangely, in long flowing clothes with metal hoods. There was a strange symbol on the front, all black and blue, and it bore a symbol I did not recognize. The main speaker was a man who was clearly the leader. You could tell from his bearing and demeanor that he was in charge, that people would listen to him even if they didn’t agree with or particularly like him. I can’t tell you much about his face, because I was drawn instead to the false face on the clothing he wore, two gigantic eyes of opposing colors. It frightened me.

Opal told me the man was speaking about pokemon liberation, claiming that trainers mistreated pokemon and that pokemon didn’t want to be caught. She seemed uncomfortable as she told me this. I think she was worried that the man’s words might upset me, and I think that had she been on top of things, she might have refused to translate or even fed me what she saw as a palatable lie.

The response of the gathered humans to the big man’s speech was something to see. They ranged from those who didn’t care to people who seemed genuinely concerned. Master, though, was inflamed. His hands were balled up tight into fists, his breathing was heavy. He never spoke a word during the speech but he glared daggers—did I get it right? Glared daggers? Opal gave me a few “human-isms” yesterday to try out; she thinks it’ll help me understand them better—at the man all during it.

I didn’t know what to think about the strange man. I never thought there were humans who cared enough about pokemon to try and get other humans to release them. I know I wouldn’t mind being released… but after the speech Opal came up to me. “I don’t like what that man was saying,” she said. “The Professor—my old Master—raised me almost more than my parents, and I want to spend the rest of my life with our new Master too!”

She has a point. There are plenty of domesticated pokemon out there who love their humans, and I don’t think it’s a matter of simply being raised to do so. I know that some of the most famous pokemon companions to humans were wild pokemon like myself, captured to fight.

But I still couldn’t help but think (and this I kept to myself) that while Opal loved her old Master so much, that woman had no problem discarding her like an empty acorn shell.

But as exciting as the speech was, what happened after was even more curious. A strange man came up to speak with Master. Despite his green hair he looked ordinary enough, but there was a strange gleam in his eyes, and when he looked at me it was as though he was staring through me.

He and master talked—afterwards I learned from Opal that he noticed Master’s enmity towards the speaker and challenged him on it. The man said that pokemon, all pokemon, were slaves, and that it was the duty of men like him to set them free.

He had a pokemon of his own, but I don’t count him a hypocrite for it. The pokemon was a Purrloin, one of the infernal cats from the fields on the other side of the city. I’d never seen them myself (I usually kept towards the middle of “Route 1” to avoid bumping into too many humans; look how that turned out) but it accompanied him without a poke ball and the trainer promised me that it was only a temporary companion he had enlisted as an equal.

Yes. Master’s opponent spoke to me. I don’t know how he did it—part of it involved subtle changes in his stature, his facial expression, his voice, and even his scent (I never would have believed a human could have controlled that) all of which were too subtle for a normal human to pick up, and which mimicked wild pokemon speech. But that alone did not do the trick; he also somehow projected things into my heads.

It wasn’t words, you understand. He didn’t think sentences at me. It was more… ideas. Concepts. Feelings. Those he sent into my mind, and in conjunction with his mimickry of pokemon speech it let me peer into his heart.

From him I absorbed that he was sincere about his desire to free pokemon, that the Purrloin was a temporary ally who would be returned to his family by day’s end, and that he understood and felt my pain and sorrow. Astonished, I asked him what his name was. His answer was beyond complex, a strange concept which seemed to compress the notions of change, expression, and natural laws into one single breath. I staggered trying to comprehend it and I think he understood my difficulty, because afterwards he sent the notion of a human symbol, exclaiming that that would do instead.

The battle itself was nothing dangerous. Neither the man himself nor his Purrloin were seeking to hurt us; I think he meant simply to test Master’s resolve. Or, perhaps, it was meant as a test of Opal and I. Opal crushed the Purrloin with prejudice; before Master called me out, I did not attack it with nearly so much fervor as she.

I am glad the battle was tame. I know that sometimes in these adventures, if a pokemon sustains too much damage, they succumb and perish. I fear that I may die someday, written off as a worthy sacrifice for Master’s glory.

After the battle, Master and Opal were both distressed, which is why I think Master put off our leaving town for another day. Instead we wandered about. The only thing of note that happened was when we listened to a human storyteller. As usual, Opal relayed the words to me.

In the story, there was a disjointed land where humans vied for dominance. They made war upon each other in the human way. Pokemon were used as engines of destruction, and many humans died.

Finally a valiant knight grew tired of the slaughter. He abandoned his lord and wandered the earth. After many trials he encountered a dragon with power over fire, ice, and thunder. The dragon had oft been approach by humans and had smitten them where they stood. But it looked into the heart of the knight and was struck by his valor. Seeing that the knight wished nothing more than for the bloodshed to end, the dragon granted his request.

The dragon descended upon the war-torn land, wreaking havoc on any who dared to still make war. After seven days of smoke and lightning, the last human army capitulated, the land united in fear of the dragon. The human knight cast down his sword and took up a crown. Using the dragon to enforce his will, he ruled over the land firmly but justly.

And thus Unova came to be.

I was astonished at this tale. There were differences, of course, but it reminds me of the story of the Great Serpent. It is mostly the same, so I won’t repeat it for you here (besides, diary, you should know it already. Sheesh!) but the principal difference is that there was no mention of the human being “pure of heart.” The human was a vassal of the Serpent, spared on a whim and explicitly a servant. While the Serpent did make him king, it was only because the Serpent did not want to vex himself with the trivialities of day-to-day rule. And the principal reason the Serpent intervened in the war was not because of the wishes of one human, but to stop the mistreatment of pokemon, for in their bloodthirst, humans had abandoned their partnerships with pokemon, treating them as little more than glorified weapons to die by the score.

However, the story goes, the Serpent fell into a deep slumber, and humans grew resentful, for in their secret histories they never forgot their first king was a vassal to a pokemon. So they returned to catching pokemon, but not before inventing the poke ball, with which they could tether us to them forever. And thus was the reversal of the ancient roles complete.

Master seemed enthralled when we listened to the story. I wonder if he had ever heard it before. Opal says she heard it (the human version) often enough growing up, but that the Professor might have placed more weight on old stories than other people.

Indeed, Master’s eyes were not only lit up, they were positively exuberant. I wonder, diary, if it’s possible for one to read too much into stories…

---

ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hello all, I hope you enjoyed. These little italicized bits at the end of updates will be where I, the author, talk to you all directly!

The plan is to update weekly, unless I get sick or am on a business trip or something, in which case I'll at least try to stop in and make an emergency post telling you what's going on. Time will tell.

As for the run itself, rules are very vanilla: one pokemon per area only, must be first encounter, must nickname, fainting is permadeath, no legendaries except Reshiram, and that only for the final battles. I've invoked a dupes clause: up to four times per area, I can flee from a pokemon belonging to the same evolutionary family as a living pokemon I've caught.

For those interested, Opal, my Oshawott and starter, has a Timid nature, details "mischievous." Prima, my Route 1 capture, has an Adamant nature, and details are "impetuous and silly." Fair warning: I'm going to play pretty loose in regards to characterization vs. in-game natures.

Let's see where this leads. Feel free to comment. I'll probably pop in throughout the week to respond and say hi. In the meantime, ciao!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
156
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
This was one of my favorite storylockes I ever read, and I think it's so cool that you're reuploading it like this!! I highly recommend any newcomers to follow along for the reupdate; its an awesome ride!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dee

Epsilon

Queen of Birds
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
192
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
18
Location
I'm not entirely sure
Nature
Docile
Pronouns
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Pokémon Type
???
Hey look it's Best Run(tm)

People of the new forums I implore you, do strap yourselves in for this heartwarming tale of fluffy feels and bright cheery happiness, where every chapter is filled with nothing but good times and definitely nothing bad happens ever. Ever. Ever!
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Wow! Never thought I'd be providing replies for this work again... brings back the memories!

@Spectacles - Awww, you flatterer! Thanks a whole bunch 🥰



@Epsilon - I'm innocent. INNOCENT I SAY!!




Dear Diary.

The last few days have been rough.

After my last entry, we finally made our way out of Accumula Town. The route beyond—“Route 2,” Opal tells me; how creative—is not unlike my own Route 1, with whistling grass and pleasing scents.

Master caught a pokemon here, a rough-and-tumble little Lillipup named Keen. Unlike myself, Keen, despite being a wild pokemon, has lived in proximity to a human settlement his whole life, and has a limited understanding of human customs and speech. Limited, but still superior to mine.

Still, I’ve been picking up few pieces here and there. Being constantly submerged in a foreign culture and language is a quick way to pick up on it. For example, I’ve figured out that Master’s name is—let’s hope I’m getting this right—Blair.

It’s a curious name, but no weirder than “Prima,” I guess. It’s nice to put a name to the face beyond just “Master,” though thanks to Opal’s insistence I’ll probably keep referring to him as the latter.

After we battled that mysterious green-haired man and heard the story of Unova’s founding, Master stayed up for several long, long hours. He didn’t talk to any of us, or even to any of the other humans staying in the Center. He just gazed out the window at the strange lights, lost in thought. He had bags under his eyes when we woke this morning.

As for Keen, he’s not exactly what I hoped. I secretly thought, perhaps, that a fellow wild pokemon would understand my plight, but it turns out Keen’s whole family has made it a tradition to be caught and raised by trainers passing through Accumula, so Master catching him was all according to plan. He’s aggressive; not in a mean way, more in a way that makes it impossible to ignore what he says or does. Perhaps magnetic would be a better descriptor.

He’s quickly begun butting heads with Opal, who feels that as Master’s first pokemon, she should be the not-so-unofficial team leader. Personally, I don’t really care either way. Master’s in charge; fighting over the position of “top pokemon” is like fighting for the burrow’s second-most comfortable den.

I learned that morning about “Gym Leaders.” Humans carry pokemon as companions for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is to have us battle for their amusement. Pokemon Gyms are like shrines built to worship the art of battle. The head of each Gym is revered as one of the best battlers in the region, and a human who conquers all eight can challenge the Pokemon League, the best trainers around.

This, I hear, is Master’s goal. It’s lofty; so lofty, perhaps, that I wonder if it’s feasible for him to reach for it. But then I look at that set, determined face, the surety of his stature, the grimness in his eyes, and I think: This is a human who gets what he wants. Always.

Opal is quite powerful compared to Keen and I, so she mostly sat out Route 2 as Master wanted the two of us to rise in power instead.

It was… dangerous. My only fight since joining Master so far was the tame cat the strange man sent out. But here, pokemon both wild and trained are fighting to win. I don’t know if any are going out of their way to kill me… but they hit hard enough, and with such fervor, that I suspect one wrong move could result in my death.

And if this danger comes from the chaff, what happens when I enter a Pokemon Gym and face a Leader?

Thoughts like these made me not fight perhaps as hard as I might have. Master was very angry with me, and yelled at me. I didn’t understand a lot of what he said, but Opal translated that he was “exasperated, disappointed… truly disheartened by your performance.” Her nervousness and the shifty glances she kept shooting at Master made me think that she toned it down for my benefit.

Keen, however, threw himself into battle with daredevil abandon. Near the end of the route he encountered a Lillipup clearly stronger than he was, and Keen himself was already injured! Master kept him in—Opal said it was because he was “fed up” with me—and despite all odds, Keen pulled through, taking down the other Lillipup despite taking such a pounding that I seriously thought he was going to die. Afterwards Master healed him with medicine, and I could see that Keen was much more powerful for the encounter. He did not look frightened by his brush with death; if anything, he positively radiated excitement. “Can’t wait to do that again,” he said, grinning. “Show them who’s really boss.”

Am I a coward? In the wild I always hung at the back of the group and let others do the fighting, but now I have no choice. Opal and the others get out there and fight as hard and as rough as they can, taking hits that make me wince to see. I myself have endured incredible pain, but the Centers and portable human medicine clean those wounds right up. Opal tells me not to worry, that no matter the injury, human innovation will always be able to cure me.

But you can’t cure death.

Near the end of the route, a strange blonde-haired girl approached us. It would seem she and Master are old friends; according to Opal her name is “Bianca,” meaning “White.” She sent out her pokemon for a friendly bout of competition. Her first was a Lillipup; I was sent to fight it. Finally, a chance for a less terrifying challenge!

I was clearly stronger than the Lillipup and didn’t even have to work hard to beat it, but Master kept pushing me. “Harder,” he urged, a word I learned through his repeated urgings. It means that I’m not trying my best, that he expects more from me. “Harder, harder, harder!” And so, even though I didn’t need to do so to beat my enemy, I hit… harder.

I brutalized that poor creature. At Master’s urgings I changed it from a friendly fight to something worse, something primal. I smashed into it, bit at it. The Lillipup cried out, and begged me to stop; but whenever I would begin to pull my punches the voice came again. “Harder!” By the end, the Lillipup was whimpering, barely capable of movement. Horrible, ugly bruises spotted its skin like some sort of sickness.

Bianca herself was clearly distraught. I didn’t need to speak her language to understand the desperation in her voice as she appealed to Master to stop the fight, but it didn’t matter. After the Lillipup she sent in a Tepig and Opal took the stage. Opal handily beat her opponent, also harming it far more than she needed to at Master’s urging. The Tepig gave her a knowing look as she landed the knockout blow. She looked distressed after the fight was over.

When it was done a tearful Bianca hurried away from Master, sheparding her pokemon to a Center. I hope that Lillipup made it. I do. I’d hate to think… to think that it…

…diary, can I tell you a secret? Last night, after that battle, when I closed my eyes I sawthat pokemon lying there.

We came to Striaton City, the place with the Pokemon Gym. We observed a few matches there. The pokemon were so sleek, so dangerous. It was clear to everyone, Master included, that we were outclassed. We needed to train, but before that, Master decided to look for new pokemon. The way west was barred, so after a good night’s rest in the Center we headed east instead, to a place called the Dreamyard.

The Dreamyard is a ruined factory, which Opal tells me is a place where humans make things. Long rods of metal, sharply broken off, stabbed at the sky like fangs, and artificial stone formed crumbling walls. The place reeked of decay.

There was some sort of pokemon nest inside the factory, but a mass of thorny tangles prevented us from going any farther in. We tried and tried, but there was no other entry-point. Growing discouraged, we returned to town.

However, on our way we suddenly ran afoul in a downpour of rain. Master and the rest of us (well, mostly just me and Keen; Opal seemed just fine. Ugh! Water-types; I tell ya, diary!) bolted onto an old cobblestone lane ringed by gnarled, twisted trees.

At the end of the lane was an old stone house.

It was small and grey, the sort of one-room building humans built for themselves not too long ago. A small tail of smoke curled its way up from the chimney. Despite the hesitations of us pokemon, Master led us inside.

Inside was a weary old human woman. She invited us in out of the cold. A depressed-looking Pansear puttered around the house, doing odd jobs.

Master and the old woman talked. According to Opal, Master was quick to tell her about his ambitions. He wanted to take on the gym, he wanted more pokemon, he wanted strength to prove himself a champion. Something else gleamed behind his eyes as he spoke, a dream unsaid.

The old lady listened graciously, nodding her head. She had come here as a young girl when Striaton was barely more than a circle of caravans, and all of Unova’s southeastern peninsula uncharted wilderness. She’d been content to live a rustic life, but her children and grandchildren were something different.

“This Pansear was my dear grandson’s,” she said. “He and my grandson were going to go far, so very far… and then sickness snatched him from us, quick as blowing out a candle.” Ever since then the Pansear had been with her, unhappily puttering about a sedentary life with an old woman while he yearned for adventure and freedom.

The old woman told us that Master reminded her of her grandson in a way, though he was hard like iron where the other had been supple, like wood. Master kept the question unspoken but turned his eye towards the monkey, who looked more than a little hopeful.

The old lady understood. “He’s a rascal, this one,” she said, “but my grandson’s memory lives on in him. You’ll take him, won’t you? You’ll go far?”

“I swear.” Master was quick to agree. “He’ll be cherished and looked after.”

And so Tinder joined us.

The name was what his old owner, the boy, had named him, and he refused to accept anything else. Master seemed irked at first, but soon got over it. We departed as soon as the rain let up, the old woman waving goodbye to us.

Tinder seemed happy to finally be on a journey again, but he was a bit reticent around us. Hopefully his shyness will wear off in time. Maybe he’ll be a friend I can rely on while Opal and Keen incessantly bicker. He’s a bit of an odd duck, though—“Odd duck.” Another human-ism, courtesy of Opal. I can’t say for sure I understand it. What about ducks is so odd?

There was a final surprise waiting for us before we returned to the Center, however. A young man angrily accosted Master before we could go any further. He had a strange air about him; like the man who spoke for Team Plasma back in Accumula, he had a presence that demanded you to listen to him. According to Opal, his name is Cheren. He’s a childhood friend of Master and that Bianca girl.

Cheren was furious at Master for our battle against Bianca yesterday; according to Opal he called him a “brute” and a “betrayer.” Master didn’t have much nice to say in response to Cheren’s accusations, and they ended up battling.

Though Cheren has a tremendous force of will, he’d only brought two pokemon. I crushed the Purrloin myself; I tried to go easier than I had on the Lillipup and Master didn’t pressure me to go further, perhaps because he and Cheren were busy arguing.

Cheren’s other pokemon, a Snivy, has some history with Opal. He accused her of blind worship, of following a trainer’s law without question, and of grievously harming a mutual friend. He said the Professor would have been ashamed. His words chastened Opal, but they floored me. Are there truly pokemon like this Snivy who question their trainers? Would he have refused to go any further when Master demanded me to hit “harder?”

Keen battled the Snivy at first, but the Grass-type’s rage against Opal was too strong, and the poor Lillipup got floored. But Master switched in Tinder, who easily crushed our opponent. Master was quite pleased with him.

After the battle Master and Cheren argued a bit more. Opal was too depressed to translate for us, but thankfully Tinder knows the human tongue. Cheren called Master drunk on power and said he was delusional, and begged him to “wake up;” Master coldly told him that he and Bianca had no business interfering with him and that he would never apologize for anything.

And so Cheren and the Snivy left Opal and Master behind, while I stewed in thoughts of what friendship means.

Afterwards, we all visited the Center, making sure to prioritize Keen. Master told us that tomorrow we’ll be training to take on the Gym Leader. More on that later, diary… for now, I have thoughts to think and dreams to dream.

---

I've made it.

If you're interested in in-run stats, Keen, my Route 2 capture, is a Lillipup with a Hasty nature and his details are "likes to thrash about." Pansear is a gift and has a Sassy nature. "Often lost in thought."

Hope you guys like!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
I have more to say, but it all left my head because I was so absorbed in the writing??? Well, my favorite part was your description of N. From the human perspective, to use a humanism, he's an "odd duck(lett)", but from the Pokemon perspective, he seems to transform into something elegant, wild, mythical. I can't wait to see how the dynamic shifts as Prima (maybe?) gets used to being domesticated.
Keen seems like a keen battler! Maybe Master will focus him more? I imagine Prima hopes so.

Opal tells me not to worry, that no matter the injury, human innovation will always be able to cure me.

But you can’t cure death.
If/when a death does happen, it's going to rock Opal's world... Maybe Prima can help.

Prima: "Are we the baddies?"
 
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Suffer Little Children

Member
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
356
Caught
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
44
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Steel
It's nice seeing this again! I was one of the people that lurked in the background and waited week by week when this was being posted on the old forums. I can't wait for new readers to get to that twist later on.
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
@Bowser's Family Vacation - Well, I do live for newcomers and liveblogs--thanks so much!

And yes, Prima's voice is very different than mine, so I had a lot of fun writing her way



@Suffer Little Children - Well hello to a former lurker! Glad to have you back :3 And what do you mean? Nothing bad ever happens never ever~
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Dear Diary.

Sorry I haven’t had time to write much the last couple of days. Master’s had our noses to the grindstone for a while now, prepping us for the gym battle. It’s been hard, grueling work, but I don’t mind it at all—every ounce of strength I get is an ounce of strength that will help me avoid any undue accidents in the future. If I get strong enough, perhaps I’ll never have to worry about being killed.

Opal and Keen are still butting heads over leadership, but Opal’s coming out on top. Master uses her more than anyone, and she’s easily the strongest. Tinder and I see about even amount of usage. Poor Keen is getting left in the dust. He’s strong, sure, but hardly Master’s favorite. I don’t think Master’s entirely thrilled with the idea of having two Normal-types on the team and, between you and me, diary, I think he’s going to ditch Keen when he eventually catches other pokemon. Apparently trainers can have as many pokemon as they’d like, but can only actually carry six with them at once.

Over the course of training I’ve acclimated to this new human city—“Striaton,” they call it. It’s just like Accumula, a massive, awe-inspiring collection of stone dwellings and lights that come on in the night. I was floored at first, but the novelty grows off a bit after a while. It’s strange to think that like the humans themselves, I’ve come to take these wonders for granted.

I’ve come quite far in picking up the human tongue. I can mostly understand Master now, unless he uses big words or is talking really fast. The human speech is quite fascinating; at first I thought it was just based on sound, but then I learned that humans can alter the meaning of their words by changing things. “Oh, I’m sorry” implies an apology, but a certain curve of the voice suddenly makes it a false apology, a patronizing and aggressive phrase. Body language too serves a purpose, though humans use it far more overtly than most pokemon.

Tinder and I get along really well, I’ll have you know. He often talks about his former trainer, the old woman’s grandson, and wants to become a great pokemon for the memory of that youth. I think he’s worried that Master might eventually shunt him aside; apparently his species don’t have reputations of being particularly stand-out. I gave him a few words of encouragement. If any human could bring out greatness in a pokemon, it’s Blair (forgive me, diary, for saying his name, but Opal said to say it only when important, not never at all.)

He has a certain… quality about him. He never forgives and never yields, and he always expects the most from you. Sometimes it scares me, like when he had me savage that poor trainer’s Lillipup… but I think ultimately I’ll be stronger and better for the experience of having traveled with him.

But privately, diary, sometimes when I lie awake at night, I wonder if that’s a platitude I tell myself in order to take away the sting of having been snatched so suddenly and unceremoniously from my life back on Route 1…

…but there’s no point in dwelling about the past. Tomorrow we fight the Gym Leader. I’ll have an update for you then, diary. Keep peeled.

---

Dear Diary.

Well, like I said, today we battled the Striaton Gym Leader. It turns out there were actually three of them—a group of siblings who run the pack. I never saw this type of leadership in the wild, but humans do curious things.

Each Leader specializes in a certain type, and they field the one they feel will do best against their adversary’s ace pokemon—in our case, Opal. This means we battled against the Grass-type specialist and between you and me, diary, he seemed meek, almost the runt of the litter.

I wish I could spin an epic tale of victory snatched from the mouth of danger, but the truth of the matter was that we annihilated them with ease. …well, I say we, but really Keen and I sat on the sidelines. Opal took on the Leader’s first pokemon, a Lillipup, and despite some tenacity on its part, it was simply no match for her power.

The Leader’s next pokemon, a Grass-type monkey akin to our own Tinder, was sent out. Master swapped out Opal for Tinder himself, who beat his opponent in only a handful of rounds.

My fellow pokemon and I all celebrated our victory, but our trainer didn’t seem particularly happy. He seemed to view our victory as little more than a first step on the long road to power. Power’s fine and dandy, I suppose, but I found myself wondering what he intended to use it for…

When we left the Gym there was an unanticipated surprise waiting for us: Bianca, the girl from Nuvema. She congratulated our team for our victory before addressing her friend directly.

“Blair,” she said, “I just thought you might want to know… my team came through all right after all.”

“Good to hear.”

Bianca stood as though waiting for an apology. When it became obvious to her she wasn’t going to get one (something me and the rest of the pokemon could have clued her in on right away) she stuttered onward.

“U-um, anyway, I thought you might want to, uh, go explore the Dreamyard with me? For old times’ sake?”

“We tried that earlier,” he said. “There’s a mass of brambles in the way.”

But Bianca excitedly told him that she had an HM that could teach pokemon how to hack and slash their way through such obstacles.

Now I don’t think he particularly cared about “old times,” but I get the feeling my trainer isn’t someone who enjoys failing at anything. His inability to enter the Dreamyard before rankled at him, so of course he said yes.

Tinder was taught how to cut, and the rest of us, Bianca included, followed his lead into the Dreamyard.

The interior of that place… well, I suppose you could say it was indeed dream-like, in a way. It was certainly surreal. Artificial stone—“concrete,” Opal and the others tell me—has kept the structure of the place preserved. There is a horrid, smoky stink throughout the complex, and the trees that grpw there seemed twisted, their bark oily and blackened. The interior is darkened, the only bits of sunlight falling in slats from high above. It is a curious place, a mix of human cities and dark wilderness.

Bianca caught herself a pink pokemon, whereas our own team saw the addition of a Purrloin who was named Artful. He’s mischievous and tricky, but we shouldn’t have any problem dealing with him.

The real event, though, came when another one of those pink pokemon—“Munna,” they’re called—came bolting at us through the trees. It was being pursued by a pair of humans dressed in the same garb as that group agitating for pokemon freedom back in Accumula Town.

I thought that group was fighting for pokemon, so why were they kicking and mistreating it? Are humans truly so duplicitous? Bianca made as if to protect it, but there was no need—another pokemon stepped in on the Munna’s behalf.

It was titanic, enormous, floating through the air on its own power. It radiated strength—despite our recent Gym victory it was apparent we had no chance against this powerful creature. Even Blair seemed cowed by it.

The creature surveyed us with its withering gaze and that’s when I realized I was feeling light-headed, that a strange fog had settled over the Dreamyard and that within it were dancing phantasms…

I saw things. Shapes within the mist. I ran—I heard screaming—I can’t imagine what the others saw, what was real and what was not. I saw all my family leaving, drifting like seeds in the wind until only I was left alone. They turned to me with empty eyes and called my name—my real name, not “Prima,” and then vanished into the aether.

I saw Opal weeping. Her body changed, growing older, stronger, and she still wept. I saw a great fire, a tremendous fire, burn brightly before flickering into nothingness. I was back at the meeting of those strange people in Accumula Town and that man wearing the strange clothes turned to me, the face on his robe blinking and speaking words I did not know.

I heard the voice of the green-haired youth, the one with the strange powers, speaking in my mind, promising he would speak to me soon. And then he was there, a giant, a hundred feet tall—no, three hundred, no, five hundred. The roof of the Dreamyard seemed to have disappeared—I did not notice or care—and there, walking over the landscape of all Unova, tall like a mountain, there was Blair, my trainer, with a grim face.

Like the knights of old he drew a sword of fire and the green-haired youth drew a sword of thunder and they clashed and the earth itself shook, and above them the Great Serpent writhed in the sky, circling, biting its own tail.

I saw these things and I wept for fear, for wonder, for terror, as past and future and dream and truth blended all together.

Eventually my mind cleared and I blinked into reality. I was still in the Dreamyard, curled against a fallen beam of old and rusty metal, the sharp scent digging into my nostrils. I shook my head. There was distant yelling—a human voice.

I wandered over there, still drowsy, my mind sluggish. The voice was the trainer I called “Master.”

He, normally so stoic, was sunk to his knees, a mad gleam in his eyes. He laughed—no, he cackled, the sound carrying over the grass and rubble. The mist still enthralled him.

“Yes!” he crooned. “Yes, yes, yes! I see it! I know it! I am the hero—I am chosen!” Tears of joy, pure unadulterated joy, streamed down his face as he bellowed to the empty sky. “I am a knight! I am a champion! It is my legacy—my destiny!

He trumped and whooped and beat his fists into the ground, laughing like a madman.

It was a pathetic sight.

Finally the mist wore off and he returned to normal. He stood shakily, his face composed, but I could see it in his eyes—he was still captivated by whatever phantoms he had seen in the mist. There was no going back for him now. His path was set.

I hid until I was sure he was back to normal and then I approached him. We searched the Dreamyard and found the rest of our team, as well as Bianca. There was no sign of the two individuals assaulting the Munna, nor of the Munna itself or its titanic rescuer.

We were lost in the hallucinations for many hours, it seemed, because by the time we left the Dreamyard, the sun had set. I think my trainer was not happy, but there was little to do but shore ourselves up in the Center and wait for morning. And so here I write.

I asked the other pokemon about what they saw in the mist, but they were reticent, reluctant to share their dreams and visions. As for myself, I cannot say what those visions mean. Surely they were just a stupor brought on by that strange and mighty pokemon, but I cannot shake the idea that they are something important, something more. Certainly Blair has taken his own to heart.

Yes. “Blair.” You will have noticed, diary, that I have been quite liberal with his name in this most recent entry. You will also notice that I have called him “my trainer” but I have stopped relying on Opal’s beloved, worshipful moniker for him.

Because I watched him screaming at the sky. Because I heard his unreal, grandiose dreams, and because I see the spark of obsession gleaming in his eyes. This human might be my trainer… but he is no Master.

---

I've been waiting to get to this particular update. In many ways, this is the real beginning of the story. Regarding in-run information, the only relevant info is Artful's details: he's a male Purrloin, my Dreamyard capture, and he's got a Docile nature and details are "impetuous and silly."
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
If I get strong enough, perhaps I’ll never have to worry about being killed.
I mean, I want to say that works, but then there's the whole "overextending" thing we Nuzlockers do... Really, your diary is better protection than anything. >_> I'm glad Prima and Tinder are getting along! I feel bad for Keen, though, since he's so keen to be a trainer's Pokemon...

NO, BIANCA! YOU DON'T NEED TO HANG OUT WITH BLAIR!
“Yes!” he crooned. “Yes, yes, yes! I see it! I know it! I am the hero—I am chosen!” Tears of joy, pure unadulterated joy, streamed down his face as he bellowed to the empty sky. “I am a knight! I am a champion! It is my legacy—my destiny!

He trumped and whooped and beat his fists into the ground, laughing like a madman.

It was a pathetic sight.
Especially when he really seems to like the idea of destroying -er, saving Unova. Indeed, Prima, if he wants to be a master of destiny, then he can't be a master of you.
 
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JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
“Yes!” he crooned. “Yes, yes, yes! I see it! I know it! I am the hero—I am chosen!” Tears of joy, pure unadulterated joy, streamed down his face as he bellowed to the empty sky. “I am a knight! I am a champion! It is my legacy—my destiny!

He trumped and whooped and beat his fists into the ground, laughing like a madman.
Blair clearly doesn´t sound like a hero, but he´s indeed a very interesting character.
 
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cross_off

you chase the dragon but it follows you home
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
231
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
168
Location
waterloo, ontario
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
he - him
Pokémon Type
Dark, Dragon
Pokédex Entry
it was banished for its violence. it silently gazes upon the old world from the distortion world
look like I was very tense while re-reading the last chapter because I know how this goes and everything is colored by the knowledge that the dreamyard is where everything started going to hell so,

but that said aaaaaaaaaaa I'm so stoked to see this up on the new forums, cannot wait to have my heart stabbed and sliced into bloody ribbons all over again. honestly the more innocent vibe of these early chapters is kinda heartwarming (even when you consider that it's only 'innocent' in context bop), and I'm liking how much was seeded and set up even this early on,

yo wait a second the significance behind this encounter leads me to think that caitlin's musharna is the same one we saw in the dreamyard (considering how powerful pokemon have tended to recur or be connected by narrative threads in this fic) and now I'm just thinking 'goddamn was this all really #kyurem'splan'

catch you whenever this updates again, xd
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
I mean, I want to say that works, but then there's the whole "overextending" thing we Nuzlockers do... Really, your diary is better protection than anything. >_> I'm glad Prima and Tinder are getting along! I feel bad for Keen, though, since he's so keen to be a trainer's Pokemon...

NO, BIANCA! YOU DON'T NEED TO HANG OUT WITH BLAIR!

Especially when he really seems to like the idea of destroying -er, saving Unova. Indeed, Prima, if he wants to be a master of destiny, then he can't be a master of you.
Yeah, I felt bad for Keen when writing this too :<

And Blair is... not the best person >_>


Blair clearly doesn´t sound like a hero, but he´s indeed a very interesting character.
Thank you! And yes... the pokemon are the real heroes of this run


look like I was very tense while re-reading the last chapter because I know how this goes and everything is colored by the knowledge that the dreamyard is where everything started going to hell so,

but that said aaaaaaaaaaa I'm so stoked to see this up on the new forums, cannot wait to have my heart stabbed and sliced into bloody ribbons all over again. honestly the more innocent vibe of these early chapters is kinda heartwarming (even when you consider that it's only 'innocent' in context bop), and I'm liking how much was seeded and set up even this early on,

yo wait a second the significance behind this encounter leads me to think that caitlin's musharna is the same one we saw in the dreamyard (considering how powerful pokemon have tended to recur or be connected by narrative threads in this fic) and now I'm just thinking 'goddamn was this all really #kyurem'splan'

catch you whenever this updates again, xd
Thanks for the re-read and the comments! Regarding the Musharna, you're half right. In backstory I crafted that never made it on-page, Somnus (Caitlyn's Musharna) is not this one itself, but rather its offspring, which it gave to her when she encountered it in her own travels.

Dear Diary.

Both much and little has happened since we last spoke. I suppose I should get you up to speed.

Our little team is almost starting to feel like a family. Artful may be mischievous, but Blair has been keeping him around—why, I don’t know, as he never seems to want to send the poor Purrloin out into battle. Though given how seriously some of our recent opponents seem to be treating battle, that may be a good thing…

We finally left Striaton the day after the incident in the Dreamyard and headed out into another route—“Route 3.” (I’ve already said my piece about humans and their naming conventions, diary, so I won’t say anything more other than that I rolled my eyes.)

Almost immediately we happened upon a curious pokemon, a Pidove. He flew right into Opal’s face. Before they could so much as fight Blair snatched him up and added him to our team.

He named the Pidove “Columbus.” It turns out he’s lived around Striaton his whole life, and often perches on the windows of the Gym and watches battles unfold. He was quite taken with our performance against the Leader (and not to boast, diary, but we did sort of dominate that fight) and decided that he’d had enough with small-town life. He wants adventure!

I quite like Columbus, if you don’t mind me saying so, diary. Oh no, not in that way—after all, he’s a bird and I’m a rodent! But he’s funny and laid-back, yet still gets quite serious when the situation calls for it. I think Blair might very well make him a permanent member of our team.

And speaking of permanent team membership… it’s not looking too good for Keen. Columbus makes three Normal-types, and with both him and me, Keen’s seeming quite redundant. Blair is using him less and less, and everyone knows it. Nobody’s had the temerity to actually come out and tell him; not even Opal, despite their rivalry. The writing on the wall’s plain to see for anyone. (“Writing on the wall”—an excellent humanism, diary, one that makes full use of that series of scribbles and scratches they call a language. I find myself appreciating their language and their curious and interesting idioms more and more with each passing day.)

I actually feel kind of bad for Keen. He was so eager to join up with us, and worked so hard on that first route. I still remember when he took out a Lillipup clearly stronger than he was—and while injured, no less!

I think Keen realizes what’s coming himself, actually. The few times Blair lets him see combat, he pushes himself to his utmost, trying, trying to be useful. But our trainer doesn’t really seem to care… Even Artful, whom I highly doubt Blair will use for battle, seems to have a spot assured for us if Master has more moves like Cut he wants to teach to someone.

Poor pup…

There was a school or something along the way, and a bunch of children wanted to battle against us. They had companion pokemon. If you think Blair went easy on them because they’re small then you haven’t been paying attention, diary. Dashing the dreams of children… not my proudest moment. At least he didn’t force us to go all-out against them like he did against that poor girl Bianca.

And speaking of Bianca:

She and that Cheren fellow showed up again. Bianca started to thank Blair for helping her in the Dreamyard the other day, but Cheren cut her off. “A small right won’t erase a heavy wrong,” he said. Call me crazy, diary, but I think he’s still sour over our trainer’s actions. That must be why he insisted that we battle again.

He hasn’t changed his team much, unfortunately for him, though his two pokemon have admittedly gotten stronger. Still, I annihilated his Purrloin without the cat even landing damage! I remember back on Route 1—when those infernal cats stuck their noses into our business I would run and hide and let the other Patrat take care of it. In fact, I was indisputably the weakest Patrat of the lot… look at me now! If I made my way back there I could be queen! (I jest, diary, I jest. I’d settle for Marquess.)

But as strong as I’ve become, and despite making friends with pokemon like Opal, Tinder, and Columbus, I still feel a bit empty inside… I can’t force myself to become passionate about this journey like the others can. Maybe it’s because I saw our “master” in his mania at the Dreamyard.

…no. No, I had my doubts long before that. I’ve become stronger, but I’ve lost my roots… I feel like every step we take is a step away from my true self. That’s the way I feel.

…in the end, I just want to go visit Route 1 again…

Anyway, after I mopped up the Purrloin, Cheren sent out his Snivy. Tinder made extremely quick work of it, just as before.

I don’t know what Cheren was thinking. He knew our general level of strength from before; did he really think changing nothing about his pokemon would lend him victory?

Or was he battling not to win, but to make a point?

After the battle it seemed that Blair was going to argue with his friend again, but the two of them were (thankfully) interrupted. It turns out some humans had kidnapped the companion pokemon from one of those children from earlier. The abductors turned out to be the strange people we’ve encountered.

Columbus informed us as to their name: “Team Plasma.” Apparently they’ve become quite notorious on the Unovan mainland. (And what’s this, diary! We’re not even on the mainland? When will anyone bother to tell me these things?!) They agitate for pokemon rights, as I recall seeing in Accumula Town, but they’ve been regularly accused of criminality.

Blair, Bianca, and Cheren pursued the thieves into a cave. Unfortunately for the baddies, there was nowhere to run, and the three humans beat them easily.

Opal, the Snivy, and Bianca’s Tepig led the charge. It turns out that all three of them share a history serving underneath the Professor. After battling they had an argument.

“And what am I supposed to do?” Opal protested when the Snivy accused her of blindly following Blair’s orders. “Just defy my trainer? You know it doesn’t work that way!”

“And why not?” the Snivy accused back. “You’ve always been such a doormat! Just assuming that anything any human tells you is right!

“He’s my trainer! I can’t just—”

“If Cheren ordered me to hurt one of my good friends, I would still decide for myself what is right and what is wrong! You’re powerful, you have always been the strongest of us—but strength of body and strength of will are not the same thing! Be your own individual!”

“You’re being too hard on her,” the Tepig cut in. “It’s not like me or my teammate actually—”

“Don’t defend her!” the Snivy snapped. “Her trainer doesn’t care about you! You could easily have hurt or killed him Opal, and then how would you feel, huh? And you!

He turned to face the rest of us, who were watching from the sidelines. I admit I cringed when he turned his fury on us. “You’re just as bad as she is! Why do you put up with this human? Why do you let him treat you like weapons and nothing else? Well?!”

We didn’t have an answer, diary.

After the fight Blair parted ways with the others from his hometown, and we continued along the way—but not before adding another new addition to our party. A Woobat, a fuzzy species of flying pokemon with strange powers. His abilities almost seem like the strange power the massive pokemon used in the Dreamyard, though on an admittedly far more minor scale.

I don’t think his eyesight’s very good thanks to spending his whole life in a cave, so he spends most of his time sniffing things to try and learn things about them. Maybe this is why Blair—rather meanly, in my opinion—named him “Sniffer.”

Myself, Opal, Columbus, Artful, Keen, and Tinder made six pokemon—so when Sniffer joined up, he was transported via technological means to a special holding pasture where Opal’s beloved Professor and her assistants will take care of Blair’s pokemon that he doesn’t use. I have no idea what the pasture is like, but I hope he’s happy there.

We camped out that evening, getting to know Columbus, and continued along the pathway. Blair says that the next town—“Nacrene City”—holds another Pokemon Gym, and we have to be prepared. We spent some of the morning training up for our forthcoming battle. It turns out that Audino live here, diary; they were rare back in Route 1, but beloved by everyone because they served as wandering healers. I would quite like to have one on our team, but Blair had us beat them down just the same as everyone else.

We eventually moved on to fighting trainers as well. We had a few near misses, diary, and I’ll admit that I nearly died.

Here’s how it happened. Blair had us fighting against a slew of trainers and their pokemon, most of whom weren’t that much more difficult than Cheren’s or Team Plasma’s. However, they gradually tired out the whole team, and it was me and Opal left against a Blitzle.

I don’t know if you know Blitzle, diary, but they’re devilish little Electric-types that can be tricky to take down. I figured I’d have it without trouble but its shocks did far more damage than I think either me or my trainer expected. This particular Blitzle was clearly bloodthirsty; it was apparent from the get-go that it was aiming to kill. My attempts to fight back were useless; I’d done little damage and pretty soon it was clear that another shot would do me in. All the rest of the pokemon were too wounded to take a hit for me. I accepted that my ambitions had amounted to nothing after all…

As it unleashed its crackling blast, Opal leapt in to take the blast on my behalf. Electricity sizzled across her body and she cried out in pain. I screamed at her, begged and asked her what she was doing. It wasn’t until after that I learned I had tears in my eyes.

When the light faded, I knew I’d see Opal’s corpse lying there on the ground. But to my astonishment Opal survived the attack. The Blitzle was surprised but readied another shock. Before he could move, Opal leapt at him and slashed at him with her scalchop…

…and took him down in one shot.

As the Blitzle was recalled, I rushed over to Opal to put my arms around her and thank her for everything. As we hugged, she began to glow, positively seething with power. When the light faded, she was no longer an Oshawott—she’d evolved into a Dewott. I was at first astonished and then ecstatic. She looks so amazing as a Dewott, diary! So much stronger, so confident—so sleek and powerful!

The other pokemon all swarmed her, showering her in congratulations. Columbus, Tinder, Artful… they all had warm words to say. Even Keen, her old rival, praised her, though he had sadness in his eyes. I think Opal’s evolution will be the nail in the coffin of his usage.

After the congratulations, Blair notice the sun was going down and demanded we set up camp. He’s kept quiet, mostly to himself, since the incident at the Dreamyard. I wonder if, like me, his mind still turns to the visions we saw that night…

After Tinder lit a fire for us, we all quieted down. Opal came up to me after dinner.

“What do you think?” she asked, stretching out the blue-furred arms and legs of her new body. “Pretty cool, isn’t it?”

“Sure is. Hey… I know I already said this, but thank you for what you did back there. I… I’d be dead if not for you.”

She laughed and pulled her arm around me. “Aww, come on, girl! You know as team leader I gotta look out for my own! Besides, you and me—we’re the first two pokemon Master ever caught. We’re the anchors; we gotta look out for each other!”

“Yeah.” We sat quietly for a little bit, just enjoying each other’s company around the campfire.

“…Opal?”

“Hmmm?”

“I… I’m not going to call him ‘Master’ anymore.”

She looked at me sharply. It hurt, that look she gave me. “Why not?”

“Because… because I don’t accept him as my master.”

“But he’s our trainer!”

“He is. But Opal… have you thought about what Cheren’s Snivy said? Your friend?” She grew quiet at that, diary, but I pressed on. “Just because Blair’s our trainer… doesn’t mean we should let him lord over us. We’re still our own individuals, after all.”

“It’s not a sign of thralldom. It’s a sign of respect,” she said.

I shook my head. “Opal… you remember what happened at the Dreamyard? Did you… see things?”

She shuddered. “Just bad dreams. Nothing there was real.”

“I’m… I’m not so sure.” I told her about my visions, Diary, about how they’d seemed almost to be premonitions. I told her about Blair, too, what I saw, what I thought he’d seen.

“…Master was really acting that way? It… it must have been the dream mist affecting him.”

“Opal… I think the dream mist didn’t change him. I think it tore down a mask… that was the </i>real </i>Blair. I’m sure of it.”

She lapsed into silence again and I didn’t press the issue, diary. I’m not trying to move mountains. Getting her to think is enough.

“…I’ve noticed you’ve become more confident,” she said as the night deepened. We were still sitting together near the dying embers of the fire. All other members of the team, even Blair, had retired. “You’re increasing in strength. Becoming more comfortable around us… around humans.”

“Yeah.”

She nodded at you, diary. “I see you took up my suggestion. Is it helping?”

“Yeah, it is.”

She smiled. “I’m glad.” And then she stood up, wished me good night, and walked away to go sleep.

Now it’s just you and me, diary. In the distance, almost like fireflies, is a series of yellow lights the others tell me is Nacrene City. Our destination… the town with the next Gym…

We’ll be there tomorrow. Who knows what the future holds, diary? I don’t.

See you then.

---

This entry is more character-focused, which I hope most of you don't mind.

Oh, and for those interested about in-run info, Columbus, my Route 3 capture, is a male Pidove with a Careful nature. "Likes to eat." Sniffer, my Wellspring Cave capture, is a male Woobat with a Hardy nature. "Proud of its power."
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Let me just say, I've been going through a tough period in my life right now and basically have been drowning my sorrows in the vastness of the Internet, but your story is exactly what I needed to read today. (I've been binging it from Tapatalk.) Your characters go through loss and trauma and feuds and jerkstores and political arguments that lead to violent confrontations, and what doesn't kill them (given that sometimes things DO kill them) does indeed make them stronger.

And that gives me hope. It gives me hope because I now realize my issues are not exclusive to me, they're part of the human condition (even if most of your characters aren't even human!), and they can be overcome. This story reminds me of that. It isn't easy, and it isn't instant, but it is possible.

This may be somewhat weightier than you expected of a review for a story about Pokemon, but hey. It's me.
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
I quite like Columbus, if you don’t mind me saying so, diary. Oh no, not in that way—after all, he’s a bird and I’m a rodent!
Excuse me, Prima! Love is love!

At least he didn’t force us to go all-out against them like he did against that poor girl Bianca.
"At least." That's a frightening phrase.

Oh, you're not crazy for thinking Cheren doesn't like Blair. You're also not crazy for not liking him yourself.

I hope Opal and the others can come up with an answer to Snivy's question someday...

She looks so amazing as a Dewott, diary!
*eyebrow wiggle*
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Let me just say, I've been going through a tough period in my life right now and basically have been drowning my sorrows in the vastness of the Internet, but your story is exactly what I needed to read today. (I've been binging it from Tapatalk.) Your characters go through loss and trauma and feuds and jerkstores and political arguments that lead to violent confrontations, and what doesn't kill them (given that sometimes things DO kill them) does indeed make them stronger.

And that gives me hope. It gives me hope because I now realize my issues are not exclusive to me, they're part of the human condition (even if most of your characters aren't even human!), and they can be overcome. This story reminds me of that. It isn't easy, and it isn't instant, but it is possible.

This may be somewhat weightier than you expected of a review for a story about Pokemon, but hey. It's me.
Aww! Such glowing praise... This was really inspiring and meant a lot for me to read, truly. It's comments like this that remind me why I write in the first place!

I am truly honored that my story helped you out, and whatever's going on, I hope that you can overcome it soon enough ♥


Excuse me, Prima! Love is love!
*eyebrow wiggle*
Okay, these made me laugh WAY harder than they should have, asdkfasdklfma;sdlk

And you gotta remember, poor sheltered Prima's lived on her own in the wild... she's probably used to only seeing birds as potential predators is all! :'>

Dear Diary.

We made it to Nacrene City early this morning. It was simultaneously similar and yet far, far different than the other two human settlements I’ve come across. All of them have this feeling of artificiality, a human space carved out of the wilderness. And yet there is a strange hominess, an inviting familiarity about their cities despite their strange stone dens and their weird metal contraptions. You feel comfortable in a human city, diary.

Strange, I know. Not so long ago I would have rather died than willingly set foot in a human settlement. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still a wild pokemon at heart, diary. Give me rolling grassland and quiet, laughing brooks any day. But human cities have a charm all their own.

Nacrene was similar to the other two and yet strangely different. It had a different feel—a strange road ran through the center of town, and the humans there were more relaxed, preferring to fill the air with songs and the smell of fresh bread. Opal tells me that Nacrene was founded on old “railroad tracks.” When pushed to explain a railroad to me she struggled to describe it before giving up. The people here prefer art, research, and a sedentary lifestyle. It’s the sort of life I’d like to live, were I a human.

There’s a Gym Leader in town, but apparently her reputation is truly terrifying. More than a few challengers have walked out of battle with dead partners—and those are the victorious ones.

How can the Pokemon League (which, if I understand correctly, governs the Gyms) allow a Leader with such a bloodthirsty reputation to keep her post? I admit that no one forces trainers to engage the Gyms, but still—do our lives mean so little to them?

I raised this question to Opal and she tried to deflect it, but I pressed on, diary. Opal’s a good pokemon, kind and sweet—she helped me settle into my new life when I was giving into despair. But she needs others to help her push her boundaries.

“…I don’t know,” Opal said. “I’m not a human. I’m not in the League. I can’t claim to know why they do what they do. I have a few ideas, but that’s all they are—ideas. We can only look at facts as we know them. She is the Leader. And pokemon who battle her and her team… do so in peril of their lives. Those are the facts. And they’re ones we have to live with.”

Blair evidently did not feel up to challenging her quite yet, so he headed west. An enormous forest engulfs the land west of Nacrene, and if what the others say to me is to be believed, it stretches all the way to the coast. The inner stretches of the forest (a dark, enshrouded woodland) was closed off to us due to a “forest survey” or some human nonsense like that, but we explored the maze of trails and meadows at the forest’s edge. That’s where we met Laguna.

She’s a Tympole, diary—a curious little species of Water-types native to the region. She was very timid and frightened. In fact, she reminds me a lot of myself when I was first captured. I took her aside and started telling her how things stood.

“Will… will I ever get to go back?” she whispered, shaking, as I tried to comfort her.

“…I don’t know,” I said truthfully. “We’re part of a team now, a team with Blair at the head. He points the direction and we march. He’s not… he’s not a kind man.”

“Prima!” Opal cut in, glaring at me. “You’re scaring the poor thing!”

It was true, diary. Laguna was shaking even more.

“I know, but it’s the truth, and she deserves the truth. Blair’s not kind… but he is strong in his own way. He directs us. If he wishes, maybe someday we’ll go back to our own homes.” Laguna had tears in her eyes but she nodded.

As we suspected he would, Blair changed up our team. We bid farewell to Artful and Keen. Artful didn’t seem too broken up about getting sent to live in the pasture with the Professor, but Keen…

Poor Keen. All he ever wanted was to serve alongside a powerful human, and now that human’s casting him aside. He put on a brave face as the rest of us bid him farewell, but the crack in his voice told us that he was barely holding back tears.

“…Be strong, okay?” he told me. “Fight, always!”

“I will, Keen,” I said. “If it makes you feel better… if I had my way, you’d still be on this team instead of me.”

Keen looked as though he was going to say something to that, but instead he just nuzzled his head in my fur sadly.

Opal approached us. “Goodbye, Keen,” she said. Any bad blood between them was gone at this point.

He nodded. “Goodbye… leader.”

In their places, Blair added Laguna and Sniffer to our roster instead. We still number six: Laguna, a Tympole; Tinder, a Pansear; Columbus, a Pidove; Sniffer, a Woobat; Opal, our leader, a Dewott… and little old Prima in the corner, a quiet Patrat who spends most of her day scribbling away.

Satisfied, Blair had us spend most of the day training until he was sufficiently impressed with our power. He took us to the Gym that very night, hoping to “strike while the iron is hot.”

We met someone else there instead.

You remember him, diary. I know I did. He walked out of the Gym with purpose, Basic Badge in hand. He gave a start upon recognizing Blair, who also looked surprised to see him. The green-haired youth’s face morphed from surprise to acknowledgement.

“I see you’ve awakened,” he said, nodding to Blair.

“I have.”

“Good. It’s about time. When I ran into you back in Accumula, I almost thought… well. I almost thought I had it wrong.”

“I can hear the thunder roaring around you.”

Blair said it so openly, so casually. Myself and all the pokemon gave a start at that.

“Hear the thunder?” Columbus muttered. “What’s he talking about?”

“I think I know,” I replied.

N laughed at Blair. “Oh, yes. And I can see you burning. Burning… burning… down to bone and blackened ash.”

Blair’s face darkened. “I don’t take well to threats.”

“No threat. Just a prediction.” He turned to face us.

I stepped forward. “H-hello again,” I said. He smiled and, as before, that strange way of communication—that manner of projecting feelings, concepts, coupled with his control over minute, subtle aspects of his physical appearance—reached out to us.

He sent a number of sensations at me—warmness, friendliness, strength, solidarity. The symbol, the one he’d shown to me before, came at me, and this time I understood.

N.

The other pokemon were all dumbstruck by his abilities. How could they not be? Only Opal and I were familiar with his strangeness, and we too had been floored when he’d first appeared.

He sent us images, notions—concepts of freedom, of independence, of throwing off the yolk of human oppression.

You can be free, he seemed to say.

Blair narrowed his eyes at N. “…what are you doing to my pokemon?” he asked.

“Hmmm?”

“You’re doing something. I can feel it in the air.”

N chuckled. “Can you, now?”

“Don’t test me. I know there are psychics, channelers, and others with strange powers in this world. You’re just another freak on the pile.” He took a step towards N. “Stop.

A trio of pokemon exited the building, falling in alongside N: a Tympole, a Pidove, and a Fighting-type pokemon called a Timburr. Like the Purrloin back in Accumula, these two were obviously temporary allies from the local area, not tame fighters.

“Stop, you say.” The Pidove alighted on N’s shoulder and he raised a finger for it to nuzzle against. “Would you care to try and make me?”

“I never try,” Blair growled.

The Pidove swept off of N’s shoulder and soared into the air. “What hope does a mere servant have against a free soul?” it cried out. Around it the sky blazed orange, colored by the setting sun.

“I am no-one’s servant!” Opal yelled, leaping into battle. She blasted a plume of water at the Pidove, but the agile bird easily dodged and dipped from the sky, clipping her with its wing.

Opal grit her teeth. “I am sick of being looked down on for standing by a human,” she growled. Behind her N raised a low eyebrow. “I am sick of having my life choices scrutinized and second-guessed! I have no desire to be ‘freed’—this is what I want!”

The Pidove dipped at her again but Opal slashed at him with her pair of scalchops. He fell back, cawing. “You whelp,” he cursed, nursing an injured wing. “How dare you—”

“How dare I what?!” Opal screamed back at him. “How dare a pokemon grow strong from partnering with a human? Isn’t that why we boond? I’ve met so many great humans—Cheren, Bianca, the Professor… all of them are kind and wonderful people! Something you’d never know about!” She blasted the Pidove from the sky with a pinpoint jet of water.

N slowly stepped forward and scooped up his defeated companion. He smiled at her—not a patronizing smile, or an aggressive one, but the smile you give someone over a friendly game. “Cheren. Bianca. The Professor,” he said softly, tumbling the unfamiliar names over in his mouth. His emotions radiated from him, pressing into us, reinforcing his words. “You claim they are wonderful people—I have never met them and cannot claim to judge. But I wonder… why not include your trainer in that line-up?”

Opal reeled back as though struck. “I… I…”

“You didn’t even realize you were doing it, did you? You poor thing. But deliberate or not… it seems your very trainer isn’t someone you consider a kind and wonderful person.”

The Tympole jumped out from behind him, plastering Opal with a series of piercing bubbles. She reeled back beneath the assault. Had she not been a Water-type herself…

Opal buckled to one leg, grunting, as the Tympole readied another attack. I found myself remembering my own dire strait, diary, and how she leapt to take a mighty blow.

It’s time to repay her.

“Opal!” Before I knew what was happening, I rushed onto the fray, tackling the Tympole away from her. As it skidded across the earth, the other pokemon quickly took Opal away from the battlefield.

“Ah,” N said, looking at me. “And now the counterpoint. We’ve heard from a pokemon who rejects the label of ‘slave’. Do you as well?”

I ignored the comment. “You hurt Opal.” I’ve never spoken fiercer words in my life, diary. The Tympole backed away, circling me cautiously.

“I did. Such things happen in battles, sadly,” N said. “Some trainers even kill so-called ‘enemy’ pokemon. The Gym Leader here holds such a reputation.” Emotion roiled like a thundercloud, spilling over me, overwhelming me with N’s intent: Wrong—unjust—meaningless—senseless—waste of life.

The Tympole fired at me. I rolled to the side, darting in to strike it again. It was thrown backwards.

“Can you say you share your friend’s sentiment?” N continued. His gaze bored intently at my mind. For a moment everyone else in existence ceased to matter—my teammates, Blair, the Tympole… even Opal. It was just the two of us, each probing the other’s will. “Do you honestly say your life is better than it was before you were captured? Do you enjoy being thrust into a world where your life could be snuffed out at any moment?”

The world flooded back to me. I felt my teammate’s eyes looking at me. Columbus, who’d joined Blair specifically. Laguna, so fragile, trying to get used to her new surroundings. Sniffer. Tinder.

Opal…

“No.” I said the word softly. “No. No! I hate it!”

The feelings I’d buried inside me erupted out of me in that moment, diary. “I hate it!”

The Tympole seized his chance, plastering me with a full spread of bubbles. I did not care. I took them strait in the chest and then, when his attack was finished, I raced across the battlefield, knocking him out with a strait blow. My chest heaved; my blood boiled; tears of fury streamed down my face.

I must have been a sorry sight.

N gazed at me with pity. “You may hate me,” he said, “for forcing you to confront your feelings. But all I seek… is truth.”

He sent out his final pokemon, the Timburr. Blair called me back. There was a hard-edged look in his eyes—whether he was more furious at to what N was saying or because he was speaking to Blair’s pokemon and not Blair himself, I do not know.

Blair weighed the options of sending out either Sniffer or Columbus, but before either was chosen, Tinder grunted.

“All right, that’s it.” He bolted out onto the field, despite Blair’s furious order to retreat.

“You’ve had your say!” Tinder said. “Now let me have mine!”

The Fighting-type swung at him but—oh, you should have seen it, diary. He was like a flowing river (an ironic comparison for a Fire pokemon, but work with me, diary.)

“Yes, there are cruel trainers, and yes—there are pokemon taken against their will!” Tinder said. “But to me, all that matters is Carlos!”

We felt a tether of inquiry from N.

“My old trainer.” Tinder stood strong, resolute. He did not shake or cry. “He died before his journey even began—and all he wanted was to be the best. To help me be the best. You claim to fight for pokemon? Well, I fight for the one being who has mattered to me more than anyone or anything—a human!”

He made a blossom of fire, diary, a thing of beauty that swept over the battlefield, knocking out the Timburr with ease.

“I fight for his dream,” Tinder said as the flames receded. “I fight for him. I won’t be swayed from this path.”

There was a tense moment of silence, before N bowed to us. “Very well. I will respect your resolution—for now. As for you,” he said, turning to face me, “I apologize. I’d free you this instant, except I’d be taken by the authorities—and I have much to do yet. Hold fast, little one, and you will return to your fields of wheat and flowers…”

Blair stepped forward. “I won,” he said, as if it was the most important thing in the world.

“You did. But it was not the promised battle. Little more than a saber-rattling contest.” N stared at the darkening sky. “I expect we’ll meet again before that time.”

“Oh, I sure hope so.”

“See you then… hero.”

And he was gone.

By the time we recuperated from the battle night was fully underway, diary, so Blair had no choice but to postpone our Gym challenge until tomorrow. And so I write, waiting for the day to bring what it will bring.

The other pokemon tried to approach me after the battle, to comfort me or talk over what I’d said, but I brushed them away. I don’t need comforting. Not right now.

I let Laguna come to say hello, though. I apologized to her, saying I ruined her first day on the team with my drama. She blinked at me and then laid her head on my lap.

“I’m sorry,” she said. Two words… can say so much, sometimes.

There was silence for a while and eventually, the little one looked up at me with tears in her eyes. “What you said earlier, about Blair taking us back to our homes… you don’t really think that, do you.” It was not a question.

I looked down at her.

“…no.”

---

This update was originally going to have N and Lenora, but I ended up splitting them into two different chapters because it was taking too. Damn. Long!

Of the early chapters, this was probably the toughest and yet the most rewarding update yet for me to write. Whew. I hope you like it. Laguna, my Pinwheel Forest capture, is a female Tympole with a Bashful nature. "Good endurance."
 

lesbian xion

Member
Pokédex No.
264
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
13
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
she/they
Pokémon Type
Grass, Fairy
yessss

i fell behind on this back then, but i'm really glad to see it back! prima has a nice voice and i love her <3 even if she is truthful to laguna, someone has to be
 
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Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Prima identifies that she can push Opal's boundaries, but I wonder if she's realized how much of her own boundaries have been pushed by Opal? (For better or for worse.)

I love that in Laguna, Prima sees herself. And Prima sees the importance of truth. like a certain legendary dragon

Well, you ain't wrong, N. Both you and Blair got some weird destiny stuff going on.

I’ve met so many great humans—Cheren, Bianca, the Professor…
someones not on that list

Oh, man, N called Opal out. Did I mention that I love your N? He's a force of nature.
 
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Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
So, these are MAJOR spoilers for the endgame of Dear Diary, but something occurred to me recently.

So we all know that Blair is a horrible trainer. He considers his Pokemon mere tools, even abusing them when they defy him (Columbus ;-; ) and only caring for their value in battle.

He deserved Reshiram to choose him.

I mean, look at how Reshiram treats him as compared to how Blair himself treats his Pokemon. In less than an hour after Blair breaks Columbus's wing, Blair's own leg gets crushed -- an action which Reshiram could have actively prevented, but allowed so as to convince Blair that, if he revived Reshiram, he could be made whole again. Except Reshiram has no intention whatsoever of doing that. Just like Blair sees his Pokemon as tools, Reshiram sees Blair as a tool, even getting inside Blair's mind and taking away any good nature the guy used to have at all. And in the end, when Blair calls the newly revived Reshiram out on his promises, Reshiram flat-out incinerates him.

What happened to Blair was ultimately tragic, but also karmic; what goes around comes around.
 
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Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
210
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works., this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
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@lesbian xion - Glad to have you back! I hope you like the story $$


@Bowser's Family Vacation - Good eye! Prima and Opal are slowly changing each other. For the better, I hope? Who can say~ And thanks c:


@Trollkitten - aaaaaaaaa thank you! I don't dare respond in detail to most of the stuff but your reactions to the endgame (and Blair's character) are spot-on, really, thank you

Dear Diary.

I… I never knew it would hurt this much. Losing one of our companions… Victory, but at a cost…

Yesterday, we met N and battled against him. We managed to bring down his trio of helper pokemon, Tinder crushing his Timburr, Opal battling his Pidove, and yours truly rescuing her in turn from a Tympole.

Later that night, after Blair retired, we pokemon met up in the darkness of the Center. We talked about N and his strange powers, and the strange interplay of words between him and Blair. I told everyone my visions—the ones I saw in the Dreamyard, I mean. I’d only shared those with Opal and was reticent to put them out in the open, but her gentle prodding and inviting smile convinced me to open up.

I was afraid of being mocked, but the other pokemon listened to what I had to say without any waspishness. Many of them were withdrawn and troubled by my description of Blair’s mania that I witnessed soon after.

Sniffer, being a Psychic-type himself, informed us that psychic powers can have curious effects on non-Psychic minds, especially when the inflictor is a pokemon as powerful as the one in the Dreamyard. While the dream mist was supposed to simply bestow hallucinations, there is always the chance of things going awry. Due to the way N responded to Blair and vice versa, Sniffer came to the opinion that something strange was going on, something greater than all of us. It would seem that some of Blair’s visions and perhaps even some of my own were no mere delusions, but a true glimpse via the power of that monstrous floating pokemon.

The idea that some greater tide of events is sweeping us along is both exciting and terrifying, diary. The latter especially because… Blair? This talented yet frankly cold-hearted young man has a role to play? I can’t help but think that something’s going to happen, diary, something bad…

But I’m rambling, trying to distract from the events that happened earlier today. I don’t want to talk about death. But I’m going to have to face it sooner or later.

Today we visited the Nacrene Gym, as we’d meant to yesterday. We blew through the Gym Trainers without difficulty and Blair solved the puzzle leading to Lenora, the Leader. I don’t need to remind you, diary, that Lenora has a ruthless reputation.

Before descending into her subterranean battleground, Blair took us aside to talk strategy. “Leaders rarely use a full team of six, so we’ve got the numbers advantage,” he said seriously. His eyes gleam when he strategizes; I suspect he loved chess when he was little. Play and counterplay, thinking ten moves ahead, weighing options… they all seem in-character for him.

“You five will swarm her earlier pokemon. Opal’s my strongest, so I’m holding her in reserve for Lenora’s ace pokemon. That thing’s reputation… if anything brings me down, it may well be this fight. Let’s go.”

Lenora’s battlefield was sunk beneath a building filled with statues and human relics and old, old bones. Opal told me it’s a place of learning but seeing the skeleton of a long-dead dragon leering at you… is hardly comforting, diary.

I normally find peace in burrows and dens, but Lenora’s bunker had a chill artificiality to it that made me shrink. She was a tall, no-nonsense women with a critical air around her.

She launched into the typical Gym Leader spiel, what I assume is a mandatory pre-battle script each Leader has to give. We heard it nearly word-for-word back in Striaton. But at the end, she had something new to say.

“In ancient times, pokemon battles were acts of valor and acts of war. Pokemon fought in defense of their own lives, and gained glory for it. Nowadays, we’ve lost sight of that proud tradition. Some trainers approach me with light hearts and empty heads, but this is not a game. I keep the ancient ways alive. If your pokemon are brittle…” She cracked her knuckles, a sharp sound that reverberated through the cavern. “…I will break them. This is your chance to walk away.”

“A pokemon weak enough to fall doesn’t deserve a place at my side,” Blair said evenly. The implications gripped my heart like a cold claw. He matched her gaze—two proud, willful humans staring eye to eye. “This battle is a tool to winnow out the weak.”

Lenora smirked. “Well said. Our kind is so rare, nowadays. Let us begin.”

She had two pokemon, the first a Herdier. This monster was extremely powerful, diary—you should have seen her. Her eyes were harsh and unforgiving. I’d no doubt this pokemon had killed before, crushing the friends and dreams of foolish young hopefuls.

Blair sent out Tinder first, perhaps expecting a repeat of the stellar performance against N the previous night. If so, he was disappointed.

Tinder was impressive, to be sure—fire plumed across the battlefield, dancing artfully and singeing his opponent. But Lenora’s Herdier was not a pokemon so easily put down. She barreled through the flames and crashed head-on into Tinder, throwing him bodily across the floor. Tinder rose, gasping for breath, his eyes wide. The Herdier charged again—Tinder launched more fire but despite landing a direct hit, the Herdier pushed straight on through, slamming into him again. He skidded across the raw earth floor; I winced and turned my head. One more hit would do him in.

Blair rolled his eyes and called him back, sending out Sniffer. The Woobat managed to land one solid hit before the Herdier crashed into him, smashing him into the cavern wall. I fancied I heard bones crack.

Our enemy’s desperado charges not only left her completely open to attack, they also seemed to cause damage to her when she used them! But if either Lenora or the Herdier herself noticed, they did not show it.

After Sniffer came Columbus, swapped in as Lenora healed her champion with a spray-on medicine. Columbus had an incredible showing, using his tremendous speed to clip into his foe, but after a few blows the Herdier forced him to retreat as well.

Laguna, our newest capture, barely on the team a day… she landed a solid hit but was nearly annihilated by the Herdier’s ruthless onslaught. Lenora continued healing her pokemon whenever she was weakened. Victory seemed impossible.

After Laguna, it was my turn. Lenora’s pokemon charged me; I sidestepped and lashed out. It took the blow with nary a grunt and turned to face me again. I knew such a dodge probably wouldn’t work back-to-back, so this time I elected to face her head-on, connecting a solid blow to her face as she barreled into me.

It was like being struck by a falling log. The force was incredible—the Herdier didn’t bite or scratch, but flung her whole weight and momentum into a full-body attack that plowed into her foe. The result, especially to a small pokemon like me, was more than just painful. It struck the wind from me; for a moment time seemed to stop as my entire body bore the brunt of my enemy’s sheer power.

I was knocked several feet back, tumbling over the floor. I didn’t cry or scream—I didn’t have the breath to.

I raised my head, gasping for air, as the Herdier charged me again. I weakly lashed out and somehow managed to strike her, but the juggernaut connected again, tossing me like the wind tosses a dry, shriveled leaf.

Blair called me back.

Across the battlefield the Herdier gazed dispassionately at us. Wounds—from both my attacks and its own reckless charges—spotted its body, but Lenora didn’t pull out any medicine. The Leader’s lips pursed—she was out of healing items.

“Finally,” Blair muttered. Opal glared at the pokemon who had hurt her many friends; she tugged Blair’s sleeve, begging to be allowed to finish it.

“No.” Blair barely gave her proposal any thought. “If that thing lands a hit, you won’t be at top form for Lenora’s ace. I’m saving you, and that’s that. I can heal one of the others and have them finish the job, but someone will have to hold her off while I do so.”

Silence settled over the group. All of us were grievously injured—whoever was sent out to “hold off” the Herdier was going to die.

Opal tugged at him again, pleading incessantly. Blair turned to her. I’d like to say his look was furious, but “fury” implies passion, fiery like an inferno. His was more… wrath. It was deep, cold, unforgiving like black ice. “I said no.” He did not raise his voice. It would have been better if he had. Opal shrank from him fearfully.

Blair turned his chessmaster’s gaze upon us, trying to select which piece to sacrifice that he might take the queen. His eyes passed over all five of us, eventually bouncing back and forth between me and Laguna, the baby of our group, a lost little soul.

Cold despair trickled into my weary, bruised body. So this is it.

But before Blair could make a selection, something astonishing happened.

Tinder spat in his face.

You could have heard a pin drop. Blair turned, more astonished than anything. While he was still dumbstruck, the Pansear, wounded as he was, raced on to the battlefield to face Lenora’s Herdier, ignoring Blair’s furious orders to return.

“What are you doing!” Columbus called after him. The rest of us followed suit.

“You’ll be killed!”

“Come back!”

Tinder!

Tinder shot us a roguish smile. “Please! You all heard what I said yesterday! I’m fighting for Carlos—my old trainer! He had a dream and I’m going to live it for him! You think this is going to stop me? No way! I’m seeing this through all the way!”

Blair wiped the spit from his face and reached for Tinder’s poke ball, but stopped halfway. “…well. He offered.” He took medicine from his pouch and sprayed it on Columbus, healing the bird back to almost full health.

When he was done, the Herdier had left Tinder’s broken body on the floor.

Columbus, weeping tears of rage, soared into the battlefield, lashing out at the Herdier. Though it landed a counterattack, within seconds the dog had collapsed under his furious onslaught.

Lenora sent out her second pokemon—a Watchog, if you could believe it, diary. The very pokemon my species evolves into.

Opal darted onto the battlefield. The Watchog hit her with an incredible blow, but she countered with an equally devastating hit from her scalchops. Both pokemon struck mightily enough that each already looked on their last ropes after just one attack. They darted in, each trying to score the lucky, decisive hit.

The Watchog’s glowing stripes flashed in mesmeric patterns, trying to lull or distract Opal. It didn’t matter. She struck the winning blow.

Lenora recalled her pokemon. “Well done,” she said—and it sounded like genuine praise. “To lose only one pokemon to me is rare. Though that pokemon had… spunk.”

She smirked and Blair’s face flushed as he took the badge. A small sheen still colored his cheek where Tinder had spat in it. “He was strong, but lacked discipline. He was the right one to lose. Opal! Carry him out. We’re leaving.”

We returned to the Center. Those of us who’d brimmed with fury—Columbus, Opal—slowly had it burn away. All of us were tired and saddened as we returned.

Blair used the computer system to send Tinder back to Professor Juniper, the one watching his other pokemon. She’d see him buried, he said. He gave us a few words of encouragement for our victory, saving most of his praises for Columbus and Opal, but all I’ll repeat here is what he said after.

“…you all may think I’m heartless. But the fact is that if Opal had taken damage from the Herdier, the Watchog would have killed her—and then all of you after. Retiring is not allowed in official League matches. There was no way out of there without someone dying. I was selecting who to fodder off. It was a necessary decision.” He retired after that.

Though it’s not late, most of us are avoiding each other. The pain is too powerful—the loss—

I’m sorry, diary, I’m crying again. Tinder was

He was my friend and

And now

---

Dear Diary.

The wound still aches inside me, but sleep has dulled it somewhat.

Tinder is dead.

…even now my paw trembles writing it, but there. He is dead and not coming back.

I’m no stranger to death. Back on Route 1, pokemon fought over dominance, over territory, over food. They fought just because they could. The fights were vicious and brutal and sometimes deadly.

Pokemon kill each other all the time in the wild. It’s how it is. In fact, while far from universally protected, pokemon are typically safer in human hands—yes, diary, even the cold hands of someone like Blair—than left alone in the wilderness. Perhaps that’s how pokemon were first domesticated long ago—some enterprising pokemon decided to trade freedom for safety.

But humans are supposed to be better than this. Humans don’t have to kill. They have territory. They have shelter, and food, and wondrous, fantastic cities, and companion pokemon to serve them. But they kill anyway. They kill each other, they have pokemon kill each other.

I know not all humans are like this. Cheren and Bianca and the old woman who shepherded Tinder—bless her soul, she probably doesn’t know; she may never know—all seem like good, kind-hearted people. N, despite a willingness to go to extremes (he nearly killed Opal, diary, don’t think that I’ve forgotten) seems to have committed himself to a higher ideal, one he genuinely believes in.

But then you take people like Blair, and Lenora, and the hypocrites in Team Plasma. They are the worm that lurks inside a piece of fruit, souring it, rotting it. At least in the wild, there was a sense of fairness to the death. It was cold, but not cruel. These humans are cruel.

And I hate them for it.

…something happened last night, diary.

After I set you aside I lay curled up, quietly sobbing. I don’t know how long I was like that, but eventually a paw brushed against my back. I turned to see who it was.

It was Opal.

She smiled down at me, both warm and somehow sad. “I’ve been to see the others. They’re all grieving. Tomorrow… I think we’ll have a little funeral of our own. To send him off. He deserves that much.”

If it had been anyone else, diary, I would have nodded, or brushed them away. But Opal… she’s our leader, our friend. She’s been there from the beginning. Before I knew what was happening I was standing, burying myself in her fur, sobbing into her.

She didn’t tense, or stiffen, or say anything. She simply put her arms around me and let me cry into her. “Y-you must think I’m pathetic,” I said after a moment. “Losing myself against N yesterday, and now this. I w-wish I was strong like you.”

“I’m not strong, Prima.” Her voice wavered as she said it. I glanced up and saw with astonishment that she was weeping. She did not rack with sobs; hers were quiet tears.

“Tinder stood up to Blair and ran to save another’s life while I just tugged at his sleeve and cowered after.” The self-loathing in her voice was chilling. “Why did I bother asking for his permission? Even when it was apparent one of you were going to die? I don’t care what Blair says—I could have taken that dog and battled the Watchog after! I could have, I know I could have! But I…!”

Words failed her for a moment. “But I shrunk back and let Tinder pay the price instead. My friend is dead because I don’t have a spine.”

“Opal… no one blames you for that.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s true anyway.”

I wiped the tears from my eyes. “You are strong. Even when you’re racked by guilt and grief, you still take time to arrange a ceremony, to go comfort the rest of us. You always look out for us. You hold us together. You’re strong, Opal.”

“…thank you,” she whispered. And then she laughed, laughed even though she was still crying. “It’s funny, I… I always feel like I have to act like the leader around the others. Like my natural self isn’t good enough. But you… I can be myself around you.”

We both allowed silence in, diary. The night deepened. We held each other, saying much by saying nothing. For a Water-type she’s so warm… not like hot a blaze or the noonday sun. Opal is warm like a hearth is warm, soft and inviting.

“Don’t go,” I whispered as I felt my eyelids fall.

“I’ll always be here.”

When we woke, we were still in each other’s arms. We blinked at each other and Opal blushed and I blushed and then she laughed and nuzzled her nose to mine.

She’s off preparing the small ceremony for him, diary. We’re going to light a small fire at the base of a big tree (we have two Water-types there so don’t worry, diary!) and then we’ll say nice things about him. I hope the Professor gives him a proper funeral back home. Maybe Keen and Artful will attend. They both knew him.

…the wind is nice today. The clouds are lovely. The sky is pretty. It’s a beautiful day.

We’ll move on. We won’t forget Tinder. But we’ll move on. I don’t know what’s at the end of this journey. It’s something greater than the League. Something momentous. I can feel it. I want to make it there, for Tinder’s sake and for the sake of his old trainer. And after…

After…

---

Originally the plan was to have Lenora and N both in the previous chapter, and the fallout this time. But I feel like it would have too bleak a note to leave it on.

There's not really any relevant in-run information this time, unless you count the battle log of my real battle against Lenora. I really did powerlevel Opal and save her in reserve for the Watchog, and in return the Herdier, which I barely counted as a threat, ripped through the rest of my weaker team! Man...
 

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