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  1. #1
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Legendary Genesis

    "The natural balance of the world is becoming shattered, threatening to bury the land in eternal strife and disarray. Even the looming darkness can do nothing to hinder the bitter rivalry of the Arcanine and Manectric Academies, two schools that specialize in transforming young Pokémon into master treasure hunters—but their cooperation may be the only thing that can prevent the world from spiraling into never-ending corruption and chaos."

    . . .

    This is a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfic I started over the summer. I never intended on posting it here, but today I changed my mind. As a warning, updates are incredibly slow—I still haven't gotten around to finishing the second chapter. As with my other fic, this story is very loosely based upon a role play. This is also a shameless self-insert fic; I'm really just experimenting, and I want to try to see if I can successfully capture my personality and how I'd respond to the events in the story. The plot of the Mystery Dungeon games always revolves around the player transforming into a Pokémon (except for those wacky Wii-Ware games that were never released outside of Japan), so I thought it'd be appropriate. I know most people frown upon self-insert stories, but I thought it'd be interesting to have the story at least attempt to explore my thoughts and the way I act.

    The first post will act as an index, and it will also include a trivia section. Chapter one, and all following chapters, will be posted separately.

    I would greatly appreciate it if reviews were posted here.

    . . .


    Chapter One - The Bug Catcher
    Chapter Two - Headmaster Disaster
    Chapter Three - The Team with No Name
    Chapter Four - A Real Gem
    Chapter Five - You Are What You Eat
    Chapter Six - Gnashing Teeth and Criminal Tongues
    Chapter Seven - The Plague Doctor
    Chapter Eight - What Lies Beneath

    . . .


    . . .


    Dion's name is derived from Dionaea muscipula, the scientific name of the Venus Flytrap.

    Even though Eileen is a self-insert character, I did not give her my first name; rather, I gave her my middle name.

    Eileen's forgetfulness regarding her wings is based on how I have a habit of forgetting to add Scyther's wings when I'm drawing it.

    Team Masquerade is based on the protagonists of a comic I attempted to make a few years ago. There was originally a fourth member (a Trubbish named Hefty), but he was excluded because his personality was too similar to Dion's.
    Last edited by Ahnyo; 7th January 2014 at 01:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    Chapter One - The Bug Catcher

    Milky morning light illuminated the murky bog, softening its normally sinister atmosphere. The air was smolderingly humid, and the repulsive odor of steaming swamp gas and rotting vegetation emanated from the green, stagnant water. Cattails and tall blades of grass poked out of mounds of mud. Twisted vines constricted gnarled mangrove trees, giving them the appearance of emerald serpents.

    Dion bobbed his head approvingly, his face twisted in its usual ecstatic grin. No one would ever think of searching this place! Slinging his bag over his shoulder, he glided toward the dungeon's entrance. As Dion was a Carnivine, he felt right at home in this habitat most Pokémon would consider inhospitable. I bet no one's been here in centuries. This place is probably laden with treasure! Everyone at the academy will think twice before calling me useless when I return with a swollen bag of loot!

    Dion was a fairly new student at the renowned Arcanine's Academy, a haven for those looking to become skilled treasure hunters. Due to a sudden slump in recruits, the Carnivine hadn't yet been sorted into a hunting team. As Arcanine insisted it wasn't safe for students to explore dungeons alone, Dion had been restricted to performing simple tasks and chores for the school. Dion, who was naturally clumsy and somewhat dimwitted, habitually slipped up and made mistakes. The rest of the academy considered him to be a source of entertainment, and some students went as far as saying he'd never get anywhere as a hunter.

    Initially, Dion tried to ignore any negative comments his fellow students threw at him. As time rolled on, the Carnivine found it harder and harder to remain passive. Though he wouldn't admit it, his classmates' remarks were starting to get to his head. He frequently found himself questioning whether or not he'd make it as a treasure hunter. Even though Arcanine advised against going hunting alone, Dion couldn't stand waiting any longer. He felt he was ready to test his skills and mettle now.

    The Carnivine quickly scanned a small plaque attached to a post. This place is called the Foreboding Bog, eh? That's funny. It doesn't look scary or anything. Dion caught sight of a rickety wooden walkway a yard away from the post, and hovered over to investigate it. He cautiously pressed his palm against it, and was met with a sharp stinging sensation. Wincing, he drew his arm back. Splinters! Dion inspected his leafy fingers, which had several tiny shards of wood embedded in them. He fretfully tried to brush the splinters away with his other hand. Geez, this thing looks pretty unsafe. Good thing I don't have to walk on it.

    Whistling cheerily, Dion floated above the walkway. He looked from side to side, keeping his eyes peeled for any signs of treasure. As he obviously lacked any experience as a hunter, his expectations didn't quite meet the realities most students discovered. The Carnivine seemed to carry a strong conviction that he'd just happen to find some sort of precious artifact sticking out like a sore thumb.

    Dion wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. The temperature had spiked since he entered the Foreboding Bog. While Carnivine often made their homes in climates like this, Dion had become accustomed to cooler temperatures. He pressed forward, not letting the heat tamper with his nerve.

    The Carnivine soon came across what appeared to be the end of the walkway. The last few boards had broken off and were now resting in the motionless water. Dion frowned. This isn't the end of the dungeon, is it? A mischievous smile spread across his face. I bet someone was just trying to deter hunters from the treasure. It's gotta be somewhere out there in the depths of the swamp… somewhere unapproachable to most Pokémon. A clever trick, but it won't work on me! My Levitate ability seriously comes in handy sometimes.

    Dion leisurely drifted over the stretch of bog, merrily swinging his bag around. He flew past a forest of dark ferns and came to an abrupt stop when he caught a glimpse of bright green out of the corner of his eye. Oh? What could this be? He approached it slowly, savoring the moment. Maybe it's a giant Peridot! I'll be rich! The Carnivine swept aside a wall of leafy branches, only for him to reel back in horror at what he found.

    The still body of a Scyther was lying belly-down in a small pool of muck, its midsection hidden beneath the filthy water. Its head was resting on a pile of damp stones, and its face was stuck in an uncomfortable grimace. One of its scimitar-shaped arms was placed over the rocks, and the other one had disappeared under the water. Its legs were sprawled out strangely. The Scyther had a large abdomen, denoting that it was a female.

    Dion shielded his eyes out of fear, but his curiosity compelled him to peek out from between his fingers. I didn't expect to find anyone out here, especially not in a position like this. She's not dead, is she? Oh, Arceus, what do I do? Panicking, the Carnivine slithered up a nearby tree and anchored himself onto one of its branches. He unsteadily extended his arm and prodded at the Scyther's face. "Please wake up," he prayed quietly.

    The Scyther raised her head wearily, a heavy yawn slipping from her jaws. She opened her eyes delicately, as if she were waking up from a pleasant dream.

    Dion beamed gleefully. "Oh, good, you're alive!"

    The Scyther knit her brows. "What?" She uneasily examined her surroundings, her eyes widening with a combination of fear and surprise. "What in the world is going on here? Who said that?" She spoke in a soft, relatively low-pitched voice—the opposite of Dion's usual tone.

    "Look up!" the Carnivine exclaimed, waving his arms.

    Not bothering to second guess Dion's order, the Scyther compliantly lifted her gaze and was instantly met with the sight of his gaping mouth. "Good lord!" she gasped, startled. "Wait a second. You're a Carnivine, aren't you?"

    Dion shrugged. "Yeah, last time I checked." The Scyther's words confused him slightly. Why was she acting like she had never seen anything like him before?

    "Ha, that's pretty cool." She smiled contentedly.

    The Carnivine frowned sheepishly. "You, uh, need some help getting up? Here, grab on." He reached for her, realizing a second too late that he was dealing with a Pokémon that lacked proper hands.

    "I'd appreciate it," the Scyther purred, raising an arm. She froze, gawking at the sight of the blade that took the place of her hand. "Oh my gosh," she breathed, her face lighting up, "this is amazing!"

    "Huh?" Dion pulled his arm back apprehensively. "Are you okay?"

    "I'm more than okay," she laughed, "I'm a Scyther!" She hooked her scythes into the mud and pulled herself to her feet. The Scyther then twisted her head around as she thoroughly studied herself.

    "Yes. Yes, you are." Dion shook his head in disbelief. What's her problem? I guess she must've hit her head on those rocks. I should go get her some help. "You want to come with me to Origin Plaza?"

    "Sure, whatever that is." The Scyther, who had begun to vigorously slash at the nearby ferns, didn't appear to be paying attention to him.

    "You've never heard of Origin Plaza?" the Carnivine sputtered. Origin Plaza was a bustling town not far from Arcanine's Academy, and its economy thrived on meeting the wants and needs of the local treasure hunters. Its cheery slogan, "Where all adventures begin!" was well known throughout the land. Considering that she couldn't remember what Pokémon she was, I shouldn't be surprised.

    The Scyther sank her blades into the tree Dion was hanging to. "Well, obviously. You know, this is sort of weird. I've never been able to hold awareness for this long. My control usually slips away seconds after I realize that I'm dreaming. I guess I've finally mastered the art of lucid dreaming!"

    "Wait… what?" Dion's jaw dropped in bafflement.

    The Scyther gave a hasty shrug, unhooking her claws from the bark. "Eh, I shouldn't even bother explaining. That would just be a waste of time. I'd like to get the best out of this dream before it's over… which should be soon."

    Dion scratched the back of his neck. "I really don't think you're dreaming."

    "Oh, don't be silly," the Scyther giggled. "There's no way this could be real. It's impossible."

    The Carnivine stared at the ground. "I don't get it. What are you talking about?"

    "Forget it. Let's just go to Origin Plaza or whatever you were talking about." She took an awkward step forward, nearly tripping and landing face-first in the mud. The way she moved, taking lumbering gaits as she forcefully swung her hips, made it appear as if she had forgotten how to walk.

    Clamping his jaws shut, Dion swiftly detached himself from the tree and assumed his stationary floating position about half a foot above the earth. "Can you at least tell me your name? I'm Dion."

    The Scyther froze in her tracks, digging her forearms into the dirt for support. "My name?" She narrowed her eyes as she desperately wracked her brain for an answer. "What in the world? I can't remember!" she yelled, incredulity trickling from her voice.

    The Carnivine nodded in silent understanding. She's definitely an amnesiac. "Is there anything you remember about yourself?"

    The Scyther thoughtfully pressed a blade against her chin. She stood still for what felt like an eternity, lost in her broken thoughts. The Mantis Pokémon finally said, "Now that I think of it, there's a lot I can't remember. It mostly involves my personal life: my name, my family, my friends, certain details about who I am… all gone. It must be part of this crazy dream. That makes no sense, though. I'm in control, so surely I should be able to recall those basic things? Ah well, I suppose I'm an amateur when it comes to lucid dreaming. I don't know what I should've expected."

    "I still say this isn't a dream." Dion gazed into his empty bag forlornly. "If all your memories about yourself are gone, isn't it possible that you've simply forgotten that you're a Scyther? I dunno, but I'm pretty sure I'm not a figment of your imagination." He doubtfully ran his fingers across his face, checking if he was a real Pokémon.

    The Scyther shook her head. "I'd normally be open to ideas like that, but that's just not possible. If that were true, why do I still have some memories about who I was before? You can't tell me I just pulled them out of nowhere."

    The Carnivine couldn't think of any reasonable explanations, so he decided to ask, "If you're not a Scyther, what are you supposed to be?"

    "A human," she stated nonchalantly.

    "A human?" Dion echoed in astonishment. "But humans aren't real, are they? I thought they were make-believe." The young Carnivine had heard plenty of stories about humans—strange, bipedal creatures that supposedly trapped Pokémon in spherical objects and forced them to battle.

    "Touché." The Scyther heaved a sigh. "None of this makes any sense." She glanced at her scythes in what appeared to be disappointment. "Well, I guess this is it. I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever wake up from this dream."

    Dion twiddled his thumbs wordlessly, unsure of how to respond to the Scyther's predicament. He was positive she had merely gotten her memories mixed up, but he didn't want to argue with her. The Carnivine noticed that her manner of speaking had changed drastically—her voice originally had a carefree, almost ditzy ring to it, and now it had become much darker and less playful. Now that she was sure she wasn't dreaming, she had hardened into a grim, serious individual. "What are you going to do now?" he questioned.

    "I don't know." The Scyther turned her back to him.

    "All right, then." Dion was upset with her unexpected drop in talkativeness; she seemed like a clever Pokémon, and he thought she'd at least have an idea of what she wanted to do next. She's being stubborn, that's all. He tried coming up with a suggestion of his own. "Maybe Headmaster Arcanine will know what to do. Want me to show you the way to the academy?"

    "I guess," she muttered sullenly.

    "Well, let's go." Dion flew forward and turned his head to make sure the other Pokémon was following him. The Carnivine slowed his pace when he realized she was having trouble keeping up. It's weird. I thought Scyther were supposed to be blazingly fast… so fast that they're barely visible. I guess she's not used to being a Scyther, regardless of whether or not what she says is true. She's also not using her wings to propel herself forward. I wonder if she even knows she can do that. He didn't bother reminding her; despite the circumstances, he couldn't help but feel accomplished about being faster than a Scyther.

    Dion faced her. "Since you don't know your name, is there anything in particular you'd like to be called?"

    The Scyther didn't reply for a moment. "I don't know why, but the first thing that comes to mind is Eileen. I feel like it's had some kind of significance in my life, but I'm positive it's not my name. Or, well, maybe it is. It might also be a friend's name or something, or perhaps I just made it up." She wrinkled her nose. "It's a weird name. My heart wants to cling to it, though, since it might be one of the last fragments of my past life I have left."

    Dion thought the way she relayed her words was especially pathetic. "All righty, Eileen it is." He wondered what he'd name himself if he had the choice, and was promptly interrupted by a short yowl. He whipped around fearfully, only to find that Eileen had fallen into a deep patch of swampy water. Submerged up to her neck, the Scyther flailed wildly as she coughed up a mouthful of water she had inhaled. The Carnivine remembered that he had only managed to get this far due to his Levitate ability—these parts of the Foreboding Bog were inaccessible to Pokémon without means of flight. Of course, Eileen boasted a pair of functioning wings, but she was still oblivious to their presence.

    "Gah," he spat unthinkingly. Unsure of how to help, he asked, "How deep is it? Can you swim?"

    Eileen was fiercely struggling to stay afloat. "Not like this!" she snarled as her head went under. Seconds later, her muzzle briefly emerged and she spewed out another jet of green water. Dion watched helplessly, chewing on his fingertips. She may be a crazy amnesiac, but I can't just let her drown… The Carnivine waited impatiently for Eileen to resurface. To his despair, the Scyther's leaf-green snout didn't bob up from the water—the only thing that signified how she had disappeared into the pool was a steady stream of tiny bubbles.

    What do I do? Dion hovered above the chasm recklessly, panic pulsing through his heart. He halted when a smidge of an idea popped into his skull. Maybe I could try using Vine Whip. I really hope this works! Trying to calm down, the Carnivine let a pair of vine-like tendrils slide out from the base of his neck. Sweating with anxiety, he shakily guided them into the murky water and frantically searched for something to grasp onto. Dion let out a sigh of relief when one of his vines wrapped around something slender—he assumed it was one of Eileen's arms, but it felt surprisingly light. He yanked it out of the water, only to find that it was actually a waterlogged branch.

    Tossing the stick aside in dismay, the Carnivine dipped his vines into the water again. How did I mess that up? He fished around hurriedly, finally finding what couldn't have been anything but the drowning Pokémon. Binding his vines around her upper arms, he tugged with all his might. Dion managed to pull her to the surface, but he knew he wouldn't be able to raise her into the air; the Scyther was probably at least twice his weight.

    Eileen gasped and sputtered as her head burst out of the water. She panted violently, wheezing and choking. "Ugh," she uttered between coughs.

    "Are you all right?" the Carnivine inquired worriedly.

    "No, not really,” Eileen growled sourly, her face masked with nausea and fatigue. She gagged as she stuck out her tongue in an attempt to expel the foul taste from her mouth.

    "You'll be fine," Dion assured, even though he didn't really know what she was talking about. The Scyther's lack of gratitude frustrated him—he had just saved her life, and she couldn't deliver a simple "thank you". Your messed up memory doesn't excuse you from being rude.

    Eileen treaded water agitatedly as Dion held her up. Since he couldn't lift her, he figured his only option was to drag her onto land. I've gotta find that boardwalk, he decided. The wooden walkway trailed straight out of the dungeon, so if he brought her there she wouldn't have to worry about running into anymore aquatic pitfalls. The Carnivine pulled her along behind him as he tried to remember which direction it was in.

    I can't imagine what it'd be like to be a Scyther, Dion thought. Although its forearms made impressive weapons, they were of little practical use—the Mantis Pokémon completely lacked the ability to grasp or hold onto things, and its blades were a constant safety hazard to those around it. They should at least be able to use Vine Whip or something.

    Eileen didn't appear to be concerned about how Dion was uncertainly lugging her through the bog. Her slanted eyes were glazed with weariness—the product of her frenzied fight to keep herself from drowning.

    When Dion spotted the walkway at last, he rushed to guide the Scyther over to it. Eileen was startled by his sudden change of pace. "What's going on?" she questioned in a small voice.

    "I found a place where you'll be safe," the Bug Catcher Pokémon explained. He brought her a step too close to the boardwalk, causing her to collide with the wood. The Scyther shot Dion a dirty look. "Oops," he apologized nervously. There was something awfully intimidating about Eileen's appearance—her pointed fangs and venomous glare, the way her wicked sickles could slice him up in a moment's notice. It didn't help that she was of both the Bug and Flying types: two of the Carnivine's weaknesses. Even though he knew the Scyther had no reason to hurt him (and even if she did, she probably wouldn't know how), he felt slightly uncomfortable around her. "Will you be able to get yourself out of the water?"

    Eileen meekly gazed at the walkway in front of her. "I'll try," she replied. She dug her forearms into the edge of the boardwalk, leaving deep incisions in the wood. Shifting her weight onto her upper body, she kicked as she struggled to push herself onto the platform. Noticing that she was having trouble, Dion exerted himself as he attempted to pull her up. As both of the Pokémon had little physical strength, the Scyther remained in the water.

    "Why don't you try using your wings?" the Carnivine suggested in annoyance.

    "My wings?" Eileen repeated, glancing over her shoulder in cluelessness. "Oh, wow. I forgot that Scyther could fly." Dion detected a hint of joy in her voice. While Scyther boasted two sets of wings, they were incapable of flying at high elevations or for long distances. He assumed they would be enough to give her a boost, though.

    Dion drew his vines back as Eileen hesitantly gave her wings a test. Droplets of water that had collected on them were sent flying as her wings vibrated rapidly and a loud droning noise filled the air. Seemingly spooked by the whole thing, the Scyther quickly made her wings become still. "Ugh, that's so weird!" she exclaimed. "That wasn't what I was expecting at all."

    The Carnivine tried to imagine what it would be like to have wings. While Levitate granted him the ability to hover a few inches above the ground, it was completely different from being able to fly. Dion had never thought about why members of his species were able to do this—he guessed it made up for how they didn't have legs or any other suitable means of locomotion.

    Baring her teeth, Eileen started up her wings again. She tore her scythes out of the wood as her body slowly gained height. She angled herself so that she flew forward, and she dropped onto the walkway with a thud once she began to drift over it. "Ow," she hissed, shakily rising to her feet. "God, I'm so heavy."

    Dion glided up to her. "Well, at least you're out of harm's way."

    "You think so?" Eileen mumbled grouchily, biting her lip. Balancing on one leg, she picked up one of her feet and scanned the bottom of it. A large chip of wood was wedged in her sole. Scowling, she reached for it with one of her blades as if she planned on removing it, only to realize that she no longer had hands. The Scyther then lost her balance and nearly toppled onto her side.

    Dion chuckled to himself. I never thought I'd find anyone as clumsy as me, he thought. But she has a reason to be clumsy… I think. I still find her story really hard to believe. I can't wait to see what Arcanine has to think about her. A frown formed on his face. Until now, it hadn't occurred to him that Arcanine would be upset with him for venturing into a dungeon alone. Ol' Arcanine is nice; he probably won't mind. Besides, I'm not by myself. I know Eileen isn't a student, but… I wonder if I could get her to become a hunter. He looked over at the Scyther, who was unsuccessfully attempting to use her forearms as tweezers. Nah, there's no way she'd do that. I'd ask her, but I already know she'll say no. She has bigger things to worry about than joining a hunting team. She wouldn't be a good partner, anyway; she barely knows anything about being a Pokémon. I'm pretty inexperienced myself, though. It would be nice to learn together… to not have someone laugh and mock me whenever I mess up. She's sort of quiet and impolite, but at least she isn't mean. He sighed, trying to change the subject. It's a bummer that I didn't end up finding any treasure. But I did certainly find something… something much more interesting than a gem or jewel, to say the least.
    Last edited by Ahnyo; 28th December 2013 at 01:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    I just want to compliment you on the obvious amount of thought and planning goes into your stories. Really great. I love the meaning behind Dion's name and how intricate the story seems to be.

  4. #4
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    All right first I should start with this. I think you have a pretty good premise, especially since MD fics aren't usually done that much so the fact that you took a chance with this is pretty good.

    All right, on to the main review.

    At the start of the chapter I felt as if things were going a little too fast. For example, you described the surroundings well as well as what was going on, but I feel as if it was more listing than describing things. It felts as if Dion's actions and what went on around him was just being thrown around at us quickly. A good example of this is how you described his situation at the academy, merely telling us that he was not allowed to go into Dungeons or that people made fun of him. You didn't explore much on what he felt about that but the real problem here is that just telling us all of this at once ruins things a little, especially since you could've explored it later on when he was around others from the academy, that would've been a better place to explain and expand on this as it was based on something going on at that moment.

    I feel like the part with Dion discovering the Eileen should've been expanded a bit. You see, it wasn't that it was bad but the fact that her realization wasn't explained further made things seem a bit unrealistic, for one she accepted the fact that she was no longer a human right away, not just that but you could've described her feelings a bit more at the moment she saw that she had blade for arms and she was no longer human in appearance, not just that but also explaining her thoughts at her surroundings and the Pokemon that was floating just above her would've helped a great deal.

    The description gets better in the latter half of the chapter, though it still lacks a lot of depth to it, but that can easily be worked on. Don't worry about this, we all have problems regarding description and I myself am no exception, especially since you and I have similar writing styles.

    What I would recommend is that little by little you try to add a little more feeling to it, now I don't mean you have to write long overbearing paragraphs but try to describe the surroundings and feelings of the characters more as if it was happening to you right there, if you were in your character's place what would you feel by being in that situation and stuff like that.

    Well so far we have only two characters so I don't have much of an opinion on them yet. Eileen seems interesting and I'm intrigued about her past, I can tell that she's the equivalent of the main character in a MD game due to the fact she says she's human. Dion's also interesting but I feel like he lacks a bit of depth, his feelings change kind of quickly, now this doesn't mean that he's a bad character but if you don't expand his personality more (which you'll obviously will I'm sure of that) then he could end up being generic.

    Other than that all I can say is that you should keep working to become better, the story isn't so bad so you don't have a to worry about, just focus on becoming a better author with each chapter and to make the story more of your own with every chapter.

    So for a rating so far


  5. #5
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    I'm going to be completely honest here: I really didn't put a lot of effort into planning this fic. It was just supposed to be something I could work on when I fell into a tough spot in my main story. I'm not saying that I just opened up a Word document and scribbled down the entire thing in one sitting, but I didn't plan it out meticulously like I did with PF. I have a problem with juggling multiple stories, too... if I attempt to tackle a new fic while working on a big project, it's a miracle if I even finish one chapter. That's why LG hasn't been updated since September.

    My first chapters always have a tendency to be especially weak, and sometimes I wonder if that's why a lot of people aren't willing to give my pieces a chance. This is a bit troubling when it comes to LG, since at the moment it only has one chapter and therefore that's the only thing readers can base their opinions on. I understand that neither of the characters seem very developed at the moment, but there is only one chapter and I haven't had a chance to reveal their personalities in full yet. In the case of Dion's background, I didn't want to introduce him as a mysterious character with unexplained motives. Since the story is from "his perspective", I thought it would be suitable to let the audience know where he was coming from. If there's anything wrong with LG, it's certainly that introductory paragraph; I've been panned for it over and over again. I'm not usually one to go into detail about the setting; most of the time, I leave it up to the reader's interpretation. I guess I was sort of experimenting with it this time—I was trying to paint a clear picture of the environment Dion was exploring. I think the fact that it was the very first paragraph may have something to do with why it's so glaringly noticeable that I goofed up.

    You seem to have a lot to say about the ambiguity involving Eileen's thoughts and feelings. I write in a third person, limited style, so I only delve into the mind of one character (in this chapter's case, Dion). However, the character that the story follows alternates every chapter; the unfinished second chapter focuses on Eileen. Once she comes to realize that she isn't dreaming, Eileen begins to be characterized as a quiet individual, so it wouldn't be right if I had her openly speak her mind about how she felt. I'm aware that Eileen's thoughts are crucial to the story; the first six paragraphs of chapter two provide insight on how she feels about everything that's happened to her.

    Thank you for the feedback.

  6. #6
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    I see. Well I can understand where you're coming from about wanting to let readers shape things on their own, I like that type of style as well. And you're right that it's only one chapter. Well taking that into account just focus on what I said and I hope you can keep writing cause I think this could end up being good if you keep getting inspiration for it, if not then well that happens to all of us.

  7. #7
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    Chapter Two - Headmaster Disaster

    It was difficult for Eileen to wrap her head around everything that had happened so far. Every so often, she found herself glancing at her bladelike forearms or insect body just to establish that what she was going through was real. She still wanted to convince herself that she was dreaming, but she believed Dion’s words over her own. Why should she trust herself? She didn’t even know who she was. However, Eileen was certain she used to be a human. She couldn’t bring herself to accept the theory that she had simply lost her memory. It just wasn’t right.

    It was infuriating not being able to remember a lot about her past life—it was as if someone had scrubbed her thoughts with a cheap pencil eraser, leaving ugly smudges behind. She knew she had a name; she knew she had a family; she knew she had friends. She just didn’t know anything about them. It made her feel a bit hollow inside.

    Eileen knew she should move on and forget about her past—there was no point in searching for answers when there was no way to find them. Dion said that “Headmaster Arcanine” might be able to help her, but she didn’t get how he would be able to solve anything. This was her problem, concerning her memories. He’d just say the same things Dion said. Eileen understood where the Carnivine was coming from, though—her problem probably made just as much sense to him as it did to her, if not less. She had to admit that his theory was rather logical, much more so than the nonsense she had been spouting.

    When she had first woken up, Eileen was thrilled to find that she had been transformed into a Scyther. There was something undeniably impressive about the Pokémon’s fearsome appearance, and she was in awe about how she had been granted its form. However, her excitement began to wear away once it sank in how much of an inconvenience being a Scyther was. She felt uncomfortable in its body—it was like her soul had been ripped out of her and carelessly stuffed into another container. How long had she been a human? Fifteen years? Sixteen? It was apparent that this detail had slipped from her mind as well, but it didn’t matter. She was used to living in a human body, and walking with human legs, and breathing with human lungs.

    This reliance on what she was accustomed to had already nearly gotten her killed. If she had fallen into the water when she was a human, Eileen would’ve had no problem staying afloat and bringing herself onto land. It was pitiful how helpless she had become—she never thought slipping into a pool of stagnant water would’ve turned into a desperate struggle between life and death. I couldn’t even lift myself onto a platform right at the surface of the pool. How sad is that?

    Though she didn’t make a display of her gratitude, Eileen was deeply thankful for what Dion had done. If it weren’t for him, she’d probably be left as a bloated corpse floating in the bog, rotting and strengthening the stench of decay the swamp already gave off. She also appreciated the amount of care he showed—he seemed profoundly concerned about her dilemma and eager to find her some help. He appeared to be a genuinely honest and kind Pokémon; not someone who would suddenly turn his back on her.

    “Do you want some help?” the Carnivine offered, noticing that Eileen wasn’t having any luck taking out the splinter.

    The Scyther looked up at him. “Okay.” Dion bobbed his head and hovered over to her. He grasped her leg in one of his leafy hands, and Eileen hunched her back and burrowed her scythes into the wood so she wouldn’t fall over. She winced as he pinched the woodchip and carefully pulled it out. Eileen growled as a stinging pain shot across her foot.

    “There we go,” Dion chimed as he flicked the splinter into the water. “Let’s keep moving.”

    “Right,” Eileen mumbled apathetically. Skittishly walking on her toes, she made sure to keep an eye out for any upturned shards of wood. The Scyther noticed that her eyesight had sharpened—she had been nearsighted as a human, and had trouble clearly seeing anything more than a yard away from her. Everything had become much more pronounced; colors were brighter and more intense, and she could easily make out tiny, insignificant details she would’ve normally never been able to catch. To her amazement, she could see each individual leaf on the distant mangrove trees. The world is so beautiful through a Scyther’s eyes, she thought in wonder.

    “The exit’s right up ahead,” the Carnivine announced, beckoning Eileen forward.

    “Got it,” she said, shifting her focus back to the boardwalk. Eileen had been a person of little words, and when she did talk, she spoke in a direct, no-nonsense manner, saying only what needed to be said. She couldn’t explain or remember why, but she felt aloof and withdrawn around others. Even though there was something awfully frightening about chatting with a sentient Venus flytrap (the fact that she had taken on the form of an insect only made matters worse), she pushed herself to be a tiny bit open to Dion. It was a stark contrast to the attitude she had displayed when she was sure she was dreaming, as if she only felt comfortable expressing herself candidly within the depths of her consciousness.

    Eileen squinted as her eyes struggled to adjust to the harsh daylight outside of the dungeon. She regarded her surroundings, noticing that they had entered a lightly forested area. Dion pointed to a narrow dirt path that curved around the trees and said, “If we follow that, we’ll end up at Origin Plaza in no time. Arcanine’s Academy is only a short distance from there.”

    Dion’s reminders about their location were starting to bother the Scyther. He sounded either like he was eager to get away from her, or like he had no idea where he was going and was trying to reassure himself. Eileen figured that he wanted to comfort her, but he wasn’t doing a very good job at it.

    While the Carnivine had insisted that the trip from the bog to the town would be fast, Eileen found it somewhat strenuous. She was tense and stiff from her earlier panic, and she still hadn’t gotten the hang of being in a Scyther’s body. Although she walked upright, her legs were positioned much differently than a human’s—it was as if someone had sewn her hips right below where her ribs should’ve been. The thought of having an insect’s segmented body was becoming increasingly appalling as well.

    To Eileen, the so-called Origin Plaza looked like something out of a fairytale. A bright yellow banner decorated with blotchy white stars cordially hung from a pair of trees at the town’s entrance. Wooden stands and carts and little shacks with timber frames bordered a wide, cobblestone road. The street was bustling with various Pokémon, all selling their wares or lazily browsing through the merchandise. The Scyther could see what appeared to be a small fortress in the distance. She looked on in fascination, admiring the quaint setting.

    Dion shuffled behind her apprehensively, fretfully fiddling with his hands. It was strange, seeing as he had been hurriedly pushing her along just seconds ago. Eileen turned and gave him an inquiring stare. “What is it?” she demanded, looking from the Carnivine to the village and back.

    The Bug Catcher Pokémon grinned uneasily. “Uh… never mind.” He floated off of the trail and hid behind a tree. He whispered, “You see, I wasn’t supposed to be exploring the Foreboding Bog. It’s dangerous to go hunting alone, and you haven’t been sorted into a team yet. ” Dion’s voice turned comically gruff, and Eileen guessed he was mocking Arcanine. “I didn’t think about the consequences. I probably should’ve looked before I leaped… Headmaster Arcanine is nice, but I’m still worried I might get in trouble. He might give me extra chores, or… what if he doesn’t let me become a hunter? No, that can’t happen!” The Carnivine looked very distressed.

    Dion hadn’t explained the whole hunting business to her, but he clearly cared deeply about being enrolled in whatever Arcanine’s Academy was. The Scyther shrugged impassively. “Well, you can’t hide forever. If you never show up, then of course you’ll never get to be a hunter.”

    “I guess you’re right. But if Arcanine says I can’t be a hunter… I just don’t know what I’d do.” He shook his head worriedly as he drifted out from behind the tree.

    “What exactly is a hunter?” Eileen was eager to satisfy her curiosity. A mental image of a Carnivine clad in camouflage aiming a rifle at a Stantler popped into her head, and she laughed to herself as she pushed the thought away.

    “Hunters explore the wilderness and plunder dungeons for loot and treasure!” Dion explained gleefully, as if the thought alone excited him. “That’s not all that’s expected of us, though. We also go on rescue missions, and sometimes we help apprehend criminals. I think we do that stuff because we’re supposed to know a lot about the land. I don’t really know, because I’m not exactly a student yet. But once I am, Headmaster Arcanine will teach me everything there is to know about being a hunter!”

    “Huh,” Eileen mumbled. Dion was visibly upset with her response, and the Scyther immediately realized that he had been trying to get her interested in the academy. She felt slightly guilty, but she didn’t force herself to cheer him up. I don’t know how to respond to that. Based on how he described it, I’m certainly not hunter material. I would’ve thought he’d realize that… I can’t even walk in a straight line without stumbling. Even if I could, there’s still no way I’d be suited for that job. Eileen had never been very active or energetic, and instead she enjoyed engaging in activities where she could put her imagination to use.

    Dion tried his best to sound happy. “Anyway, I think we should hurry. If I don’t show up soon, Headmaster Arcanine might send a rescue team after me!” He gazed at Origin Plaza meekly. “It’d be best if we avoided the town. We wouldn’t want to get caught up in the crowds.”

    Eileen was a bit disappointed, but she obliged. She would’ve liked to stroll around the village and see what was being sold, though she knew Dion had a point. Chances are I’ll have plenty of time to check this place out later. We should just get this over with, so Dion doesn’t stress himself out. Besides, I should focus on finding out what happened to me. I still don’t think Headmaster Arcanine will be of much help, but window shopping certainly won’t get me anywhere at all.

    The Scyther paused momentarily, letting her thoughts sink in. She had woken up as a giant insect in the middle of a swamp, and she wanted to go shopping ? It disturbed her how well she was adjusting to this bizarre environment. What next? Would she forget all about her old identity and go on living like she had been a Pokémon all her life? No, she couldn’t let that happen! But what could she possibly do? Eileen had already assured herself that there would be no way for Dion or Headmaster Arcanine to aid her—the only Pokémon who would be able to get her help was herself, and since she couldn’t see herself regaining her memories anytime soon, it was hopeless. Going with the flow and letting her mind recover at its own pace might have been her best option after all.

    Aside from Dion’s mumblings about how close they were getting, the two of them kept quiet. The Carnivine seemed somewhat annoyed about Eileen’s reluctance to say anything, though the Scyther appreciated that he wasn’t pressuring her to talk. She felt bad about not being to speak up; Dion probably thought she was a very interesting Pokémon, and she couldn’t blame him for wanting to learn more about her. What was holding her back, especially when just moments ago she had presented herself as somewhat of a social butterfly? She thought back to Dion’s reactions to her joyful exclamations; the looks of doubt and ridicule he had shown her. Maybe that was why she felt she was better off not saying anything at all.

    What did Dion think of her? The thought flustered Eileen, since he acted as if she was some kind of madwoman who desperately needed help. But Eileen knew very well that the way someone acted could be deceptive of his true nature; after all, the attitude she was showing Dion hardly resembled her real personality. She was too scared to confront him, and besides, a person could bend his words just as easily as he could disguise who he was on the inside. Not being able to know the truth frustrated the Scyther. Why couldn’t I have been turned into a Psychic-type Pokémon?

    When a dubious-looking shed appeared in the distance, Eileen noticed that Dion was beginning to tense up. She didn’t question his trepidation—there was something undeniably ominous about the little shack and its isolated location. It was far from Origin Plaza, and it didn’t have any kind of path or road connecting it to the town. The shed was sloppily constructed out of rotting planks of wood and looked as if it would collapse if it were hit by even the slightest gust of wind. It had no windows, but light seeped in through big gaps in the wood. The only thing that detracted from its shifty appearance was the painfully bright blue paint the building was slathered with, but the odd contrast made it even more unnerving.

    “This was a bad idea. Maybe we should’ve just gone through Origin Plaza,” Dion whimpered, gingerly gliding in the opposite direction. Eileen could almost see herself in the Carnivine’s fear, but she felt that his nervousness was at least justified. She had absolutely no reason to be afraid, and yet there was nothing she could do about it. Why couldn’t she go back to being who she had been when she first woke up? Better yet, why couldn’t she return to being her human self with her human memories? No matter how well she managed to adjust to this fascinating world, there was no way she’d ever not feel like a fish out of water. The kindly Dion took her as an oddball; she wasn’t anticipating seeing anyone else’s reactions to her predicament.

    The Scyther let a small “Hmm?” slide from her throat, her eyes following his fretful movements. Dion acted like there was something even more frightening beyond the shack’s suspicious outer shell, which made Eileen wonder what could possibly be inside.

    “That’s Manectric’s Academy! I’ve never seen it before, but it looks just like how Headmaster Arcanine described it. He told us to never go near the place,” Dion exclaimed in a hushed voice. “I should probably explain everything to you. See, Arcanine and Manectric aren’t really friends. It all started when Arcanine refused to accept Manectric into his academy. He thought she looked like an unsavory character, and judging by the look of her school, I think he was right. Manectric was angry, so she made her own hunting academy. Unlike Arcanine, she never denies anyone who wants to join, and because of that the place has been overrun by all sorts of bandits and crooks! It’s nothing more than a thieves’ guild.”

    That’s an academy? Eileen stood with her head cocked to the side, an incredulous expression on her face. I don’t know what I was expecting. How could that place be overrun by criminals when it barely looks like it could fit a single Pokémon? Please tell me that’s not what Arcanine’s Academy is like.

    As if he immediately understood the source of her confusion, Dion added, “That shack is the entrance to the academy. It’s all underground, like some kind of crazy tunnel complex. I think it suits them well.” He put his hand over his forehead and peered out into the horizon. “See that castle out there? That’s where we’re headed!”

    Relieved, Eileen returned her gaze to the fortress she had spotted earlier. The edifice was certainly more noble-looking than the shady shed, and the way it appeared to tower over Origin Plaza gave it an inviting aura. The out-of-the-way Manectric’s Academy had a much more sinister, exclusive feel to it, which was odd considering how Dion stated that Manectric accepted anyone who applied. The Scyther mulled over what he had said previously, recalling that members of Arcanine’s Academy were expected to help catch wrongdoers. If that was true, then why hadn’t the so-called thieves’ guild been shut down? It made her wonder if Dion (or his headmaster) was simply making up stories about the rival school, but she agreed that there was definitely something fishy about it.

    “Their names are Arcanine and Manectric?” Eileen thought it was strange; with that logic, shouldn’t she have been named Scyther and Dion Carnivine ? What would happen if Arcanine or Manectric met up with a fellow member of their species?

    “Nah, those aren’t their real names,” Dion affirmed. “Truth be told, I don’t know what they actually are. Calling someone by the name of his species is courteous, but it’s reserved only for the most important, well-known Pokémon. It’s not the same as saying, “I found this Scyther in the middle of the Foreboding Bog”, though. Eh, you’ll understand when you get more accustomed to life as a Pokémon.” The Carnivine stared up at the sky dreamily. “Maybe if our hunting team gets famous enough, everyone will know us as Carnivine and Scyther.”

    Dion blushed and covered his mouth as soon as the words came out. So he did want Eileen to join Arcanine’s Academy. It didn’t surprise her, but the fact that he seemed so genuinely embarrassed about it made her feel sorry for him. He had gotten the hint that she wasn’t interested, and yet he didn’t want to give up. What did he see in her that made her so appealing as a hunter? Eileen guessed it was merely desperation—he probably couldn’t find anyone else who would be willing to join his hunting team. But who in his right mind would want to work with a Scyther who knew nothing about being a Pokémon?

    “Forget that I said that,” he mumbled apologetically, shaking his head in shame. The Carnivine sighed dejectedly before saying, “But if you’re not going to join the academy, what are you going to do once everything’s been figured out?”

    Eileen blinked, taken aback. He had a point—where was she supposed to go? In this world, she didn’t have a family to live with, so as of now she was homeless. The array of shops in Origin Plaza confirmed that this world ran on some kind of currency; how could she expect to survive without a source of income? The thought of living on the streets terrified the Scyther, and even though she didn’t know exactly what enrolling in Arcanine’s Academy would mean for her, it seemed like her only option at the time.

    “I don’t know,” Eileen admitted sullenly. Uttering those three words was almost instinctive for her when she was too nervous to say her thoughts aloud. Oftentimes she did have an idea of what she wanted to say; the problem stemmed from how she didn’t know how to put it into words. She felt more comfortable feigning cluelessness and letting others make their own conclusions than she did taking the time to string her feelings into comprehensible sentences.

    Dion looked a little bit more hopeful. “You have time. Maybe you can make up your mind after you meet Headmaster Arcanine.” Eileen wondered what Arcanine was like. The Carnivine claimed he was nice, but at the same time he acted like he was afraid of him. Dion still appeared to idolize him, which led her to imagine him as a mighty Pokémon brimming with knowledge—an easygoing, even-tempered teacher who knew when to be strict. The thought made the Scyther feel a little more at ease, and she prayed he would understand her quandaries.

    A small drawbridge was suspended over a nonexistent moat at the front of the fortress, and red flags waved from atop the spires. Eileen marveled at the architecture, amazed that such a complex structure had been built by a race of creatures that often lacked digits and didn’t appear to have very much technology. She followed Dion into the building and leisurely strolled down a narrow burgundy carpet as she took in her surroundings. The castle’s interior was notably cooler than it was outside, the dark gray stone walls guarding against the heat. It was lit by a number of torches, but it still retained a moderately gloomy atmosphere. Yellowed maps were plastered against the walls. At the edge of the carpet was a tall stairway that led to a balcony which hung along the perimeter of the room. Two wide doorways were carved at either side of the staircase, and a third one stood at the top.

    Eileen skeptically glanced over her shoulder at the open drawbridge. You’d think their security would be tighter, since, you know, there’s a thieves’ guild within walking distance. Anybody could mosey right in.

    Dion grew equally concerned when he caught a glimpse of the Scyther’s perplexed expression. “This isn’t good,” he choked, clapping his hands against his face. “Headmaster Arcanine must have noticed that I’m missing, and now he’s going to go out looking for me!” The Carnivine’s panic temporarily subsided. “But if the drawbridge is still down, that means nobody’s left yet. Still, Arcanine’s bound to be upset with me!”

    He worries too much, thought Eileen scornfully, ignoring how she was just as likely to become stressed out. While Dion didn’t hesitate to speak up about his troubles, Eileen had a habit of keeping hers bottled up inside. The Scyther wished she could be that open about what was on her mind.

    Eileen cringed when Headmaster Arcanine emerged at the top of the stairs, startled by his daunting appearance. His left eye had been violently gouged out, and he had a long gash down his nose. Tufts of fur had been unevenly ripped from his muzzle, leaving scaly bald patches along the sides of his face. His ears had been reduced to tattered shreds. His jaw was slightly twisted, and a single yellow fang poked from the side of his mouth. An old olive green scarf was snugly wrapped around his neck. Though his imposing figure had been tarnished by age, muscles still rippled beneath his faded pelt.

    The elderly Pokémon swiveled his head around, glaring at the two newcomers below. He arched his back, his feathery tail swishing back and forth ardently. Curling his lip back, he snarled, “I thought I vanquished you years ago! Have you come back for more? Aye, don’t think I’ll go easy on you because I’m old!” He spoke in a low, husky voice, which made him even more intimidating. Arcanine leaped from the top step using his powerful hind legs, impressively hitting the ground on all fours.

    “What?” Dion whipped around, only to find that no one was behind him. “Headmaster, what is it? Are you all right?” Was it normal for the owner of the hunting academy to fly into such explosive fits of rage? Eileen had thought that “hunting” referred to searching for treasure, not killing other Pokémon. She suddenly understood why Dion had been so scared.

    “Step aside, lad!” Arcanine ordered brazenly, ducking his head. “Wouldn’t want to see ya get hurt. I ought to settle a score with this scoundrel on my own.”

    Fear pounded in Eileen’s heart. If she and Dion were the only ones there, then Arcanine had to be talking about her. But what did he mean? How could he be “settling a score” if they had never met before? Eileen wasn’t even from this world! It made her think back to how Dion theorized that she was simply a Scyther with amnesia. If that were true, then where had her fragmented human memories come from?

    Arcanine growled as smoke billowed from his paws and his entire body became engulfed in flame. Petrified, Eileen’s brain barely processed what was unfolding in front of her. “Eileen!” she heard Dion scream in the background. “Don’t just stand there! Get out of the way!” The Scyther’s eyes were glued to her assailant, and she couldn’t make herself look away for even a heartbeat. Trying to move out of the way would be hopeless; she knew she wouldn’t be fast enough. Scyther were supposed to be exceptionally quick, and yet Eileen’s movements were cumbersome and slow. All she could do was stare at her fiery opponent as he pushed off the ground, the impending danger transporting her into a surreal world where time seemed to lag.

    The headmaster split open his mouth as he soared through the air, exposing ugly pink gums that were mostly free of teeth. That detail didn’t matter much to Eileen; his overwhelming size and jaw strength could still allow him to crush the Scyther’s neck. The fact that he was shrouded in fire made matters even worse, especially since Eileen was a Bug-type. She uncertainly braced herself for the impact, having never dealt with such a massive threat before. The Scyther was thrown back to reality when something squeezed around her torso and yanked her off her feet seconds before Arcanine’s jaws could close around her neck. The headmaster’s flame cloak was extinguished as he collided with the ground and rolled across the cold stone floor.

    Shaken, Eileen timidly looked up, and it occurred to her that Dion had saved her again. The Carnivine swiftly furled his vines and shouted, “This is your chance! Run while he’s down!” Nodding rapidly in silent agreement, the Mantis Pokémon shifted her body to the side and was struck by an aching sensation. He didn’t even hit me! Eileen scolded herself. If I get hurt from falling down, there’s no way I’m going to survive as a Pokémon. Enduring the pain, she pulled herself to her feet.

    Once she was standing, Eileen turned her attention back to her enemy. To her horror, she saw that Dion had glided up behind him and was preparing to launch an attack of his own. The vine-like tendrils burst from the base of Carnivine’s neck, lengthening until he could ensnare Arcanine’s forelegs. “Headmaster, sir, please calm down!” he pleaded as he attempted to restrain him.

    Ignoring Dion’s frantic words, Arcanine bucked and reared before frenziedly dashing across the room, dragging the Carnivine along with him. Dion wailed loudly as the headmaster sprinted in loops, reaching speeds that should have been unattainable for someone his age. When he showed no signs of slowing down, Dion cried, “Eileen, make him stop!”

    Which is it? I can’t do both! Watching Arcanine run in circles made Eileen’s head spin, and she realized that Dion was nearly as incompetent as she was. The hardy Carnivine was at least able to make an honest effort; Eileen was too cowardly to do anything. She defensively raised her scythes into the air, staring at them absently. How was she supposed to help? If she hit the rampant Arcanine with a blade, the force would probably rip her arm clean off. Did she have any moves that would allow her to strike from a distance? How was she supposed to know what types of attacks she could use?

    He’ll tire out eventually, won’t he? Evidently, that was not the case. Dion continued to yowl at the top of his lungs as he hung on for dear life. Eileen found it strange that Arcanine had seemingly forgotten all about her—was he that easily distracted? She was becoming convinced that he didn’t actually have a specific target in mind and was attacking at random, even though he initially boasted that he was going to take her down. What was the matter with him? Did he have some form of dementia?

    “This is getting tiresome,” scoffed a sly, nasally female voice. Eileen tracked the noise to the balcony, where a small group of Pokémon was assembled—most likely some students enrolled in the academy. Had they been standing there the entire time? The thought made Eileen scowl. The speaker, a Yamask, commanded, “Go do something about it, Sheldon.”

    “Yes, milady,” muttered a rather bored sounding Shelmet. He tilted his head back before spewing a glob of purple sludge onto the floor below. Arcanine carelessly bounded into the slippery puddle, causing him to slide across the floor and collide with the wall face-first. Dion squealed as he too was sent crashing into the hard surface, and once he had recovered he dazedly used the opportunity to let go. Dizzy, the Carnivine fearfully hovered toward Eileen.

    The Yamask smugly dipped her head in approval. “This will do the trick,” she asserted as she vanished into the wall. She reappeared in front of the headmaster, her eyes glowing menacingly. Arcanine locked eyes with the Spirit Pokémon, a sudden look of terror overcoming his expression.

    “Huh?” he barked in alarm, jumpily springing to his feet. “Cleo, what are you doing? What just happened?”

    “Oh, I don’t know,” the Yamask named Cleo groaned, rolling her eyes. “You nearly killed Dion and some Scyther.”

    “A Scyther?” the headmaster growled, a sneer forming on his face.

    “Snap out of it!” Cleo hissed, slapping him in the nose with her mask. Eileen was shocked by the lack of respect the Yamask was showing—then again, she didn’t feel like Arcanine deserved any after what he had done. He acted more like a wild animal than anything else, and Eileen didn’t get why he was in charge of a school.

    A frown creased Arcanine’s lips. “My apologies,” he articulated guiltily. Shaking off the sludge, he spun around. When he made eye contact with the Scyther, she was certain he would charge again, but to her relief he remained calm. Eileen could tell by the angry gleam in his eye that he was doing everything he could to hold himself back. “Who is this Scyther and why is she here?” he demanded through bared teeth.

    “Headmaster, I…” Dion hesitated. “… I found her in the Foreboding Bog. She was unconscious, and she says she’s lost her memory. She needs your help, Headmaster!” Eileen glared at the Carnivine crossly. Why didn’t he say anything about how she had formerly been human? She didn’t care if he believed her or not; by not mentioning her conviction, he was evading half of the problem.

    “The Foreboding Bog?” gasped Cleo unconvincingly as she returned to the balcony. “Dion, what in the world were you thinking? Why would you bring someone here from that swamp? Everyone knows that the Foreboding Bog is home to a clan of cannibals! The thing about her having lost her memory—surely it’s a trick!”

    “W-what are you talking about?” Dion stammered, looking Eileen up and down. “She isn’t a cannibal!”

    “Hush,” Arcanine retorted. Trembling, he turned to the Scyther. “I’d like to speak with you in private. You come too, Dion.” Eileen bit her lip. She didn’t feel safe following the unpredictable headmaster; what if he attacked again? And if she and Dion went away from the other students, who would be there to rescue them? Eileen tentatively glanced at Dion when Arcanine started to head for the stairs, and the Carnivine awkwardly beckoned her forward. Bitterly grumbling to herself, the Mantis Pokémon followed the headmaster up the stairs.

    “Aren’t you going to thank us?” Cleo snapped as Dion went by. “You and your cannibal friend would be dead if it we didn’t intervene.” Sheldon and a third Pokémon, a Karrablast, stood by her, peering at Dion expectantly.

    The Carnivine dropped his gaze to the ground. “Thanks, Team Masquerade.”

    “You’re welcome!” Cleo purred snidely, closing her eyes. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, we were assigned a mission in Nightshade Tower. It’s a pity you can’t come along.”

    Eileen shook her head somberly. I guess you can’t escape bullies, not even in the Pokémon world. She found it hard to take the Yamask’s petty jeers seriously, but her mean-spirited attitude caused an explosion of images to flash through Eileen’s mind. The Scyther whined as a series of faces—human faces—overtook her vision and a chorus of voices rang in her ears. She couldn’t tell what they were saying, but she instantly recognized who they were: the bullies she had encountered as a human. It was as if just thinking of the word had been enough to bring back her memories, and though they were still reasonably hazy, they left Eileen feeling small and weak.

    She was given a hint of an idea as to why she was so reserved and quiet, but she didn’t understand why she had acted that way before her memories returned. Perhaps the behavior was so ingrained in her nature that it would stay with her no matter what. It gave her an ounce of hope; it meant that her memories weren’t truly gone for good. Eileen tried to make herself recall her family, but to no avail—she guessed she’d need to see something reminiscent of them to trigger the memories, much like how Cleo’s rude remarks reminded her of her experiences with bullying.

    “Eileen?” Dion agitatedly prodded the Scyther’s shoulder, and she realized that she had been standing there the whole time. “What’s the matter?”

    “Nothing,” Eileen lied. She knew it’d be wise to tell him about what happened, but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. Besides, why should she bother talking about her human memories in front of him if he didn’t believe her?

    “If you say so,” the Carnivine said with a shrug.

    Humming merrily, Arcanine led the young Pokémon around a corner and down a long corridor. The left wall was lined with three small rooms, all sealed with sturdy wooden doors; the right wall was bare. The headmaster stopped when he reached a door on the far wall and gently pushed it open with his nose. Eileen let Dion pass in front of her before entering the room, planning to stay as near to the exit as she could.

    Though the room was spacious, the stacks of crates and sacks littering the area made it appear cramped and crowded. Arcanine lowered himself onto his haunches in a clear spot in the center of the floor, his giant form leaving little room for Dion and Eileen. “So,” the headmaster began, “you found this Scyther in the Foreboding Bog, and she can’t remember anything?”

    Dion bobbed his head. “Her name is Eileen, and she can remember some things, but not much.” Eileen cast him another angry glance when he failed to bring up her past a second time.

    “Interesting,” Arcanine murmured, languidly thumping his tail against the floor. “Well, Eileen, I’m truly sorry about what happened earlier. I have a hard time controlling myself sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of running this academy!” He twisted his head around, showing off his missing eye. “See this? I lost this eye in a brawl with a Scyther! Or maybe it was a Kabutops, or a Zangoose… my memory isn’t much better than yours is, lass!” Arcanine let out a booming laugh, but neither of the other Pokémon joined him.

    “We were wondering if you could help her,” Dion explained uneasily.

    “What do I look like, a doctor?” The headmaster continued to chuckle. “Hmm, my guess would be she’s suffering from a concussion. No need to worry; she should recover on her own in a few days.”

    “That sounds about right,” the Carnivine agreed. “I found her near some rocks; she must’ve hit her head.” He cheerfully turned to Eileen. “Hey, that’s good news! You’ll be thinking clearly again soon!”

    Eileen couldn’t take it anymore. Mustering all her courage, she proclaimed, “He’s forgetting something. I’m not a Scyther. I’m a human.”

  8. #8
    East Unova Resident SuperTrainStationH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    In the sheer volume of content here I overlooked this when it was first posted early this year, and just read the first chapter.

    The description of the swamp really hooked me, I enjoyed reading that.

    I laughed out loud when Eileen reasoned that she was lucid dreaming. I know "omg i must be dreaming" is the stock reaction in most of these PMD type things, but in this context the lucid dreaming reference comes off to me as almost tongue in cheek, yet extremely natural and believable, and more importantly it probably gives me a idea of what kind of person Eileen might have been before she ended up in the Pokémon World. And given the audience for this fic, it's probably something a lot of them can relate to.

    As for the rest of the chapter, it was fun seeing Eileen trying to figure out how her new body works and trying to get a handle of swimming and flying and such. It may seem obvious but I've noticed a lot of PMD fics somehow manage to omit or overlook this.

    Anyway, the first chapter was a very fun read to me, and while ideas for improvement have already been discussed and could certainly be considered, as it is, I feel it was very well written and it was a pleasure.

  9. #9
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    Chapter Three - The Team with No Name

    When the room fell dead silent, Eileen immediately regretted speaking up. Her face turned hot under the incredulous stares of Dion and the headmaster, and she had to do everything she could to keep herself from walking straight out the door. She had been anticipating something like this to happen, but at the same time she had a grain of hope that it would go differently.

    What frustrated the Scyther the most was how Dion was feigning a look of ridicule—he was acting like he had only just learned of her predicament, and it made her feel like she had been betrayed. When she first met Dion, he had presented himself in a way that made it seem as if he truly cared for her sake. Why had his attitude suddenly changed after meeting up with Arcanine? It was like he was trying to satisfy whoever he deemed superior at the moment by mirroring his or her concerns, as if he was incapable of thinking for himself. Eileen was gradually losing faith in the foolish Carnivine, and she was beginning to wish she had never trusted him in the first place.

    Arcanine finally broke the silence. “A human, you say?” He narrowed his eye inquiringly, and for a heartbeat Eileen thought he was going to take her seriously. “Well, that’s certainly new! I’ve never heard of a human becoming a Scyther before. Lass, humans don’t even exist in this world, not anymore! You could try talking to Cleo about it, but… it’s a touchy subject. As for you, surely you must be delusional! Like I said, just give it a few days and you’ll be back to normal.”

    No, I won’t, Eileen retaliated in her head, resentment boiling inside of her. It would be no use to try arguing with him; she knew she wouldn’t be strong enough to stand up for herself. Well, whatever. It doesn’t matter what he thinks, anyway. She had told herself again and again that she was the only one who’d be able to solve her problem, so unless Arcanine somehow knew a way to change her back into a human, what he believed wouldn’t affect her recovery. At least he’s willing to accept that I’ve lost my memory. Maybe he can help me learn more about this world, the Scyther thought with a tinge of optimism.

    “Headmaster, do you think she could stay here until she gets her memory back?” Dion asked in a pleading voice, which reminded Eileen of a child begging his father to let him keep a stray dog.

    “I don’t see why not,” answered Arcanine. “Why, if she wants, I could even allow her to enroll. She looks like she’d make a fine student, and perhaps my lessons will help jog her memory. Plus, Dion, if she chooses to work with you, you’d finally be able to join a hunting team!” He turned his broad head toward the Scyther. “So, Eileen, what do you say?”

    It was hard for Eileen to ignore Dion’s puppy-dog eyes, partially because they looked so bizarre on the face of a living Venus flytrap. Even though she was mad at him, she didn’t think what he did was severe enough to warrant having his dreams crushed. The headmaster’s offer was also especially tempting, and she couldn’t think of anywhere else she’d be able to gain that knowledge. She still didn’t feel very comfortable around Arcanine, but she’d be even worse off if she was left to roam the streets. “All right,” she said, shooting Dion a sideways glance.

    “Really?” the Bug Catcher Pokémon squeaked gleefully. “Oh man, this is going to be awesome! I was so scared you’d say no. We’re going to make a great hunting team!” Seeing Dion’s enthusiasm didn’t lighten Eileen’s mood—all she could do was worry about whether she had made the right decision and if there was a better option available. To her relief, Dion was too caught up in his excitement to notice the reluctance in her expression.

    “Very well,” Arcanine approved, bowing his head. “Registration is a simple process. I just need to know your team name, and then I’ll get you started on your first lesson.”

    That’s it? No permission slips or background checks or anything? If he just lets anybody join, why did he end up rejecting Manectric? Eileen looked at Dion to see if he was sharing her confusion, only for to remember that he had been part of the academy beforehand. He could’ve gone through those formalities when he first joined, and since Arcanine knew Eileen had some form of amnesia, there was no point in making her provide that information.

    “Our team name?” Dion echoed, turning to the Scyther. “Got any ideas? I’m no good with names.”

    “I don’t know,” was her immediate response, and for once she was genuinely clueless about what to think. She knew she shouldn’t have cared, but she actually wanted to choose a name that accurately represented the two of them. “Team Hopeless Idiots” doesn’t exactly have a ring to it. I’ll have to think outside the box. Eileen glanced from Dion to herself, observing that their bodies were both mostly green in color. Naming ourselves after a color would be pretty lame, though. Why can’t I think of anything cool, like that snotty Yamask’s team name? She wished Dion would come up with something so she wouldn’t have to carry the guilt of having named their team something silly.

    “Would it be okay if we had some time to think about it, Headmaster?” the Carnivine requested. “We’re just so excited to get started on our first lesson!”

    Speak for yourself, Eileen hissed mentally.

    “Fine, take your time. I understand just how important a team’s name can be,” Arcanine replied with a smile. “Now, wait here a second while I gather your supplies. Oh, and please don’t touch anything.” Eileen and Dion automatically stepped out of the way when the headmaster stood up, and they watched as the elderly Pokémon trotted out the door with youthful vigor.

    “I wonder what we’ll have to do,” Dion whispered once Arcanine had left. Eileen couldn’t help but ask herself the same question. What kind of supplies was the headmaster bringing them? If this academy was anything like the schools she remembered attending, she couldn’t imagine being able to hold a pencil and take notes.

    She hadn’t put very much thought into the fact that she no longer possessed hands, and it was just beginning to sink in how horrible it’d be. Although having weapons for arms sounded cool at first, there were so many things she would be unable to do now. Eileen had already seen how her new limbs affected her ability to tread water, but that was hardly the only problem they’d give her. I’ll never be able to hold onto anything, or shake someone’s hand, or scratch an itch, or… oh lord, what will happen after I go to the bathroom? Eileen didn’t even know if toilet paper existed in the world of Pokémon, which left her equally horrified.

    Arcanine plodded back into the room, a brown sack dangling from his jaws. A small bronze medallion with what appeared to be an embossed treasure chest in its center was hooked to the bag. “Here ya go,” the headmaster declared, dropping the sack at the students’ feet. Carelessly tossing his old bag aside, Dion snatched it off the floor and peered into it curiously. “Inside you’ll find a map, some first-aid supplies, and a thousand Poké to get you started. Attached to your bag is your official hunters’ badge, and please remember that I have the right to revoke that badge and your duty as hunters if I catch you failing to adhere to this academy’s code of conduct. Am I clear?”

    No, you’re really not, Eileen objected. What code of conduct? Hello, I only joined this academy a few minutes ago! The Scyther wasn’t sure whether the old headmaster was being ignorant or forgetful, but he was getting on her nerves more and more with every word he spoke. Unless the academy’s rules were exceptionally strict, she didn’t have much reason to be concerned. Docile and unassuming, Eileen had never been much of a troublemaker.

    “Yes, sir!” the Carnivine shouted, saluting his headmaster. “What are we going to do for our first lesson?”

    “My, you really are eager, aren’t ya?” chortled Arcanine cheerily. To Dion’s puzzlement, the headmaster swiped the bag out of his hands and poked his muzzle into it. He withdrew a roll of parchment and unfolded it, revealing what Eileen assumed was the map he had mentioned. It looked as if it had been drawn with dull oil pastels; the symbols representing various landmarks were smudged, and there were no words or a key to distinguish different areas of the land. Eileen thought she could’ve made a better map, if only she wouldn’t end up tearing it to shreds if she did so much as touch it.

    “There,” rasped Arcanine, setting a claw on a gray lump toward the center of the paper. Eileen and Dion had to lean in close to see what he was pointing at. “For your first assignment, I want you to travel to Emerald Grotto and fetch me a green gem.” He lightly traced a short line on the map. “Emerald Grotto is just a brisk walk away from Origin Plaza. Head north until you reach a small grove—you’ll find the cave in the middle of it.”

    Eileen had to keep her jaw from dropping. That was their first lesson? We’re already going on a field trip? What happened to first day lectures? The walk from the swamp to the academy had been enough to tire her out; she couldn’t imagine going for another hike so soon after. She almost wished she was being expected to take notes, if only so she could avoid getting more exercise. The Scyther glanced at Dion, only to find that he had a gleeful expression plastered on his face.

    “We won’t let you down, Headmaster!” the Bug Catcher Pokémon exclaimed jollily.

    Don’t make promises you can’t keep, retorted the cynical Scyther, shaking her head in disapproval.

    “Great.” Arcanine grinned, revealing what remained of his ugly yellow teeth. Shoving the crudely drawn map back into the bag, he added, “I recommend making a stop at Origin Plaza before you head out. While I’ve provided you with some supplies, you might want to pick up some specialty items.”

    “Good idea.” Giggling, Dion turned to Eileen. “You were looking at Origin Plaza like it was full of treasure. I can’t wait to see your face when we find some real loot!” There was something endearing about the Carnivine’s innocence—it was like listening to a small child talk about what he wanted to be when he grew up, and just like a child, he appeared to be oblivious to the harshness of reality. While Eileen knew very little about what was expected of hunters, she figured their lives couldn’t be as simple as how Dion imagined them to be. He only talked about finding treasures, not whatever work or experience went into getting that far. Did he not understand that not everything in life would be handed to him for free?

    Dion stuck his face into the bag as he and his partner ambled out of the room. “It was so nice of Headmaster Arcanine to give us a thousand Poké. Just think of the things we could buy will all that money!” Eileen wondered how the word’s currency compared to the system she was used to.

    “What kinds of things do they sell in Origin Plaza?” the Scyther asked quietly, approaching the stairs.

    “Oh, anything you can think of!” Dion shouted, beaming. “I’ve never been much of a shopper myself, but that’s because my family’s never really trusted me with money. Now that I finally have some of my own, Origin Plaza’s going to feel like a whole different place.”

    How did Pokémon normally make money in this world? Aside from working as a hunter or running a shop, Eileen could only think of a few other career options: there had to be farmers out there somewhere, and probably artisans to craft the wares sold in town. With so many different types of Pokémon in the world, she couldn’t help but theorize that some species held advantages over others in certain fields. How could a Scyther like her expect to handle goods or do nimble work with its hands? What kinds of jobs would a Pokémon like Roggenrola be capable of? Was a Pokémon’s standing in society based on its species? Eileen didn’t think it was very fair—but then again, few things ever were.

    “When was the last time you had anything to eat? You must be starving,” Dion observed.

    Eileen had been too overwhelmed to acknowledge the emptiness in her stomach—the mouthfuls of disgusting water she had gulped down earlier were the only things she had ingested since her transformation into a Pokémon, and she had no idea when the last time she had eaten before that had been. She gave a guilty nod, staring down at her abdomen.

    “In that case, we should head over to Slurpuff’s Shop,” said Dion. “She sells all sorts of delicious things! Berries, fruit, vegetables… oh, and you haven’t lived ‘til you’ve tried her Gummis!”

    The Scyther raised a brow as her teammate spoke, finding it odd that a talking Venus flytrap would mention eating plants. Was there any kind of meat available in this world? If every species of Pokémon was equally intelligent, she couldn’t imagine any of them being butchered and consumed—that, or cannibalism must’ve been more prevalent than Cleo made it seem. Was it even truly cannibalism if one species ate another?

    Anxiety overcoming her body, Eileen tensed her muscles as Dion led her into Origin Plaza. Although it was difficult for her to think of the Pokémon mulling about the town as anything more than animals, their presence made her feel self-conscious. It was different than her confrontations with Dion, Headmaster Arcanine, and Team Masquerade—none of the Pokémon in the town knew anything about her situation, and they probably never would. To Eileen, it didn’t matter if she’d never meet them again—they were still there in the present, probably making all sorts of nasty comments about her in their minds. They didn’t understand why she was walking in such an ungainly manner, or why she reeked of swamp water. They must think there’s something wrong with me, the Scyther thought as she timidly ducked her head.

    Dion froze to survey his surroundings. “I haven’t been here in such a long time… I can’t even remember where Slurpuff’s Shop is. If only Arcanine had given us a map of Origin Plaza!” The Carnivine crossed his leafy arms in vexation. “I’m pretty sure it’s on the other side of town. If you see any shops you’d like to visit on the way, just say so!”

    With all the stress piling up in her head, Eileen had hardly taken notice of the stores around her. She absently looked around, trying to distract herself from her fears. None of the banners hanging over the market stalls had any writing on them—just simple pictures, like signs one would find in a medieval village where most of the population was illiterate. Thinking back to the map Arcanine had shown her, she realized that the Pokémon world must have not had a written language.

    Though it made sense, the revelation left the Scyther feeling distraught. She felt much more confident communicating through writing than she did by speaking aloud. When writing, she didn’t have to worry about stumbling over her words or being expected to respond quickly—she liked having the time to fully process her thoughts and deliver a thorough statement. Eileen was paranoid of misspeaking, and she had a hard time accepting that most others wouldn’t judge her over her mistakes.

    It occurred to her that she wasn’t even sure what language she was thinking in. Was it the language she understood when she was human? Had she automatically become fluent in whatever Pokémon spoke upon being transported to their world? Everything sounded the same to her.

    “What’s that store?” Eileen pointed a scythe at a flamboyant red and white tent with a board featuring a drawing of a blue circle. The illustration reminded the Scyther of a fortune teller’s crystal ball.

    Dion pensively brought his hand to his chin, as if he couldn’t figure out what it was, either. Several seconds later, he answered, “Oh, that’s Toxicroak’s Orb Emporium. Toxicroak says he’s got an Orb for just about anything!” He leaned toward his teammate and whispered, “Maybe there’s a Wonder Orb that will make you a human again.”

    Fed up with the lack of seriousness in Dion’s voice, Eileen muttered, “And Wonder Orbs are…?” In spite of the Carnivine’s mockery, Eileen clung to the chance that his words were genuine. In a world where plants can talk and people wake up as praying mantis-velociraptor hybrids, I suppose anything is possible.

    “To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what they are,” the Bug Catcher Pokémon admitted. “I think they’re made by sealing a Pokémon’s move in a special capsule. Like, a Rocky Orb contains Rock Tomb and a Blowback Orb has Whirlwind trapped inside. Basically, they let Pokémon use moves that they wouldn’t normally be able to use. The catch is that they can only be used once.”

    Something tells me there isn’t a move that turns a Pokémon into a human, Eileen concluded glumly. Regardless, the concept interested her, and she considered that she might’ve been able to learn more about using moves from whoever ran the shop. “Can we go in?”

    “Sure!” The Scyther thought it was strange how Dion went back and forth between addressing her with ridicule and speaking to her kindly. Maybe he expected her to perceive his teasing as a joke, like something that would be exchanged between close friends—the problem was that Eileen had only just met Dion, and she didn’t know enough about him to think of him as anything more than an acquaintance. The way the other Pokémon at the academy treated him and his eagerness toward working with someone as incapable as her led Eileen to suspect that he had never had a friend before.

    The interior of Toxicroak’s Orb Emporium was lit by a number of glowing Orbs, all of which were stacked on top of plywood shelves. Eileen did a double take when her eyes landed on a pulsating red orb, which she then identified as the shopkeeper’s throat.

    Toxicroak lumbered over to his potential customers, his mouth stretched into a sly grin. “Hello, hello! I hope you’re planning on buying something.” Eileen cringed at the sound of his grating, croaky voice. “Remember: look, don’t touch. Some of these Orbs are quite sensitive, you see. One time, some oaf thought it’d be funny to set off a Trawl Orb. I can assure you he wasn’t laughing when I used a Petrify Orb on him.”

    “It must be hard to look after a store like this,” Dion mused empathetically, gazing at an Orb filled with yellow clouds.

    “Oh, you don’t know the half of it! Petty customers think they’re so clever…” The Toxic Mouth Pokémon groaned and shook his head. “So, what can I do for you folks?”

    “You wouldn’t happen to have an Orb that could turn someone into a human, would you?” the Carnivine asked casually. Eileen shot him an incredulous look—had he actually been serious? Was he merely trying to humor his teammate’s bizarre concerns, or was he honestly trying to help her?

    “A what?” Toxicroak hollered, mirroring the Scyther’s expression. He paused to think, and then remarked, “Would a “human” be considered a consumable good?”

    Neither of the Pokémon responded.

    “Ah, never mind! Itemizer Orbs were banned from Origin Plaza a few years ago. Good riddance, I say! Darn things could’ve run me out of business—if you used the Itemizer Orbs to turn Pokémon into Itemizer Orbs, there’d be no need for me!”

    It intrigued Eileen how knowledge of humans differed between Pokémon. Toxicroak acted as if he had never heard of them before, Dion insisted they were make-believe, and Arcanine implied that they had once lived in this world. The headmaster had also suggested bringing the subject to Cleo—could she possibly know something about Eileen’s fate? The Scyther knew she wouldn’t be brave enough to approach the snobbish Yamask, but the idea was tempting.

    “All right, then,” Dion murmured awkwardly. “Well, I’d feel bad if I left without buying anything. My teammate and I are going on our first mission for Headmaster Arcanine—what would you recommend?”

    “How exciting,” the shopkeeper commented with a tinge of apathy. “I should probably get you newbies started with something simple. I could’ve been cruel and offered you a House Orb, but you haven’t gotten on my nerves quite yet. What about an Escape Orb?”

    “What’s that do?” inquired Dion.

    Toxicroak sighed. “It’s pretty self-explanatory: it allows you to instantly warp out of a dungeon and return to someplace familiar. If you’re feeling tired or beat-up in the middle of a mission, an Escape Orb can be a real lifesaver.”

    “That sounds like it could be really helpful. We’ll take it.” The Carnivine began rummaging through his bag.

    “Right-o. That will be 150 Poké.”

    “Uh, here you go.” Dion withdrew three golden coins from the bag and warily dropped them into Toxicroak’s hand, his eyes locked on the menacing red claw protruding from his knuckle. The Carnivine yelped and threw his arms into the air when the shopkeeper abruptly clenched his fist.

    Toxicroak sniggered and headed for the back wall. He snatched a black Orb with a ball of blue light at its core off of a shelf and slipped it into Dion’s hand. “Please handle it with care; I’d advise not letting your Scyther friend touch it. Say, did you use a Silence Orb on her when I wasn’t looking? I’m gonna have to charge you extra for that, buddy.”

    Dion cried, “What? I didn’t touch anything! She’s just really shy!”

    The Toxic Mouth Pokémon rolled his eyes. “Calm down, calm down. Can’t you take a joke? Gee, I’m not that desperate for cash.”

    Humiliated, Dion wordlessly stuffed the Escape Orb into his bag. “Thanks,” he mumbled meekly, hovering toward the exit. “Come on, Eileen. Let’s go look for Slurpuff’s Shop.”

    The Scyther nodded and followed her teammate out of the tent. I didn’t learn anything about using moves, but at least we got something out of our visit. Dion’s right: it does sound like an Escape Orb would come in handy. I want to spend as little time in that dungeon as possible. Dion’s easily fooled, so I might be able to trick him into making us leave early.

    Slurpuff’s Shop wasn’t nearly as extravagant as Toxicroak’s Orb Emporium. Consisting of a small wooden cart covered by a pink awning and several barrels brimming with fresh produce, it resembled a simple farm stand. The shopkeeper perked up at the sight of the hunters. “Hello there, Dion!” she greeted amiably, waving her stubby arm in a vigorous fashion. “Who’s that you’ve got with you?”

    “Hi, Slurpuff! You still remember my name after all this time?” The Carnivine looked impressed. “This is my teammate, Eileen!”

    The Mantis Pokémon limply lifted her arm before deciding it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to wave back.

    “Of course I do, Dion! I could never forget the name of one of my customers!” Slurpuff declared. “So you finally got sorted into a hunting team? Why, that’s wonderful news! I’d give you some Gummis to celebrate, but it appears that I’ve run out of stock.” Slurpuff lowered her head sadly.

    “Out of stock?” the Carnivine whimpered in disbelief, his mouth hanging open.

    “Yes, I’m completely out of stock. You know how fast those things sell!” The Meringue Pokémon’s cheeriness quickly returned. “On the bright side, I should be getting a fresh shipment of Gummis tomorrow afternoon.”

    “That’s great! We’ll be sure to stop by after we’ve finished our assignment tomorrow,” Dion promised. As if he had just remembered why he had stopped at the store in the first place, he continued, “Eileen’s really hungry, and she can’t even remember the last time she had something to eat!”

    “Oh dear!” the shopkeeper gasped, facing Eileen. “No wonder you look so out of it! You poor thing—nothing’s worse than an empty stomach!” Slurpuff reached over the counter and plucked a medium-sized blue and yellow berry from one of the barrels. “Here, have a Chesto Berry! That’ll be sure to wake you up!”

    Eileen tentatively accepted the fruit, carefully jabbing its firm flesh with her scythe. Placing it on the tip of her tongue, she crushed it against the roof of her mouth and immediately gagged at the taste. Its flavor was similar to a chestnut’s, though it had a tough, chewy texture. Disgusted, Eileen pushed the berry to the back of her mouth and forced it down her throat.

    Noticing the Scyther’s revulsion, Slurpuff admitted, “It’s an acquired taste, but it’ll make you feel so much better!” She set a huge basket of assorted fruits in front of Eileen. “One Chesto Berry certainly isn’t enough to fill your belly, so here, eat up! I promise these are a lot tastier.”

    Eileen scanned the berries hungrily, unable to recognize any of them. The Scyther was excited about trying so many new foods, though she couldn’t help but fear that they’d taste as unpleasant as the Chesto Berry. When she reached for the basket, Slurpuff scolded, “Don’t use your blades, sweetie! Just stick your face in and enjoy!”

    Shrugging, Eileen complied. She leaned forward and sank her fangs into a large pink fruit, which to her relief tasted much better than the Chesto Berry. It was very sweet, like a sugarcoated peach, and it had the juiciness to match. Wanting to savor the delicious fruit, she chewed slowly and swished it around in her mouth—and when the mashed berry slid out of her jaws, it hit her that she no longer had cheeks. That’s definitely going to take some getting used to. She gave the fruit a blank stare, her face hot with embarrassment.

    Concerned, Slurpuff tipped her head to the side. “Huh, most Pokémon love Pecha Berries. Well, everyone has different tastes! There’s a bunch of other berries for you to try; I’m sure you’ll find something you like.”

    “She hasn’t eaten in such a long time that I think she forgot how to chew her food,” Dion laughed uneasily.

    “How terrible!” the Meringue Pokémon shrieked, oblivious to how absurd Dion’s excuse was. “Not being able to chew your food—that must be a nightmare!”

    Letting the other Pokémons’ silly exchange fade into the background, Eileen returned to the basket and grabbed a smooth, round berry with dark red skin. She smashed it against her tongue just so she could get a taste, and then threw her head back and swallowed. The fruit had a cherry-like flavor, but it also had a hint of cinnamon that left a slight sizzling sensation in her mouth.

    After devouring a few more berries, Eileen reeled back, satisfied. As much as she enjoyed sampling all the varieties of fruit, her new set of jaws was frustrating her and her throat was sore from swallowing such large pieces of food.

    “Done already?” Slurpuff exclaimed, surprised. “You hardly ate anything! Here, have some more!” She fiercely shoved the basket closer to the Scyther, nearly knocking it off of the counter.

    “She’s a Scyther, not a Snorlax! You wouldn’t want to give her a stomachache!” Dion snapped.

    The bubbly shopkeeper dropped her gaze to the ground and retrieved the basket. “I’m sorry, Dion. I get carried away sometimes.”

    Alarm flashed across Dion’s face. “Speaking of getting carried away… how much is all of that going to cost?”

    Slurpuff smiled warmly. “Well, it was an emergency, and I can’t bear to charge you full price! 200 Poké will do.”

    “That’s all?” yelped the Carnivine, laying out the coins on the counter. “Slurpuff, you’re too kind. How can you afford to sell your goods for such low prices?”

    She giggled. “You know how much I care about all of my customers. Seeing the looks on their faces is worth more than money can buy!”

    “The world would be a much better place if everyone were as nice as you, Slurpuff,” Dion sighed wistfully before turning to his teammate. “I think we’ve done enough shopping for today. Are you ready to head out to Emerald Grotto, Eileen?”

    As much as she wanted to say no, Eileen forced herself to nod. Let’s just get this over with.

  10. #10
    Platypus Saleswoman Ahnyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    Chapter Four - A Real Gem

    As Eileen struggled to catch up with her chipper teammate, she noticed that her fatigue was wearing away. Didn’t Slurpuff say something about the Chesto Berry waking me up? She was suddenly glad that she had finished eating the odd-tasting fruit instead of spitting it out. Those things must be loaded with caffeine. If they’re this world’s equivalent of coffee, I might just have to develop a taste for them if I want to make it through the day.

    “So…” Dion began as they walked out of Origin Plaza, as if he were perturbed by his teammate’s quietness. “We spent 150 Poké at Toxicroak’s shop and 200 at Slurpuff’s, so that means we have…” After several seconds of silence, he started counting on his fingers out of frustration.

    “650,” Eileen impatiently cut in.

    “650, right!” The Carnivine bobbed his head. “Man, how did you do that so fast? You must be super smart!”

    Yeah, right, Eileen retorted, rolling her eyes at her teammate’s compliment. A second grader could’ve figured that out. It surprised her that he didn’t have a firm understanding of basic math when he was part of a civilization that seemed to have a stable monetary system. Well, if no one can read or write, I doubt they have any normal schools here. Plus, Dion said he didn’t really have any experience with money.

    “It’s good to see that you’ve put a little spring in your step,” Dion remarked, “but did you forget about your wings again? If you use them, we could arrive at Emerald Grotto even sooner!”

    I’m all for that, Eileen muttered in her head, peering over her shoulder, though I don’t see how these would do me any good. She remembered having trouble getting herself airborne when she had used her wings to haul her body out of the swamp water; she was simply too heavy for her sets of wings to lift with ease. “What do I do?” she asked, clueless.

    Dion narrowed his eyes. “Er, do what you did before? I’m not a Scyther, so I can’t exactly give you any advice.”

    I’m not even sure what I did before, Eileen admitted sullenly. With a sigh, she hunched her back and braced herself for the bizarre sensation of flying with insect wings. Eileen found their rapid vibration and terrible buzzing noise to be somewhat off-putting, and she wished she could’ve had wings like a bird instead.

    “Maybe you should try a running start,” Dion suggested.

    Didn’t you just say that you couldn’t give me any tips? The Scyther shot him a cross look before turning her attention to her legs. How am I supposed to run if I don’t even know how to walk right? Whatever, I’ve made a fool of myself plenty of times already, so one more embarrassment can’t hurt. She was a bit leery about accepting advice from the dimwitted Carnivine, but she figured he was a more reliable source of Pokémon-related knowledge than her own intuition.

    Here goes nothing. Gracelessly pumping her arms, Eileen broke into a light jog. This is like running with scissors, she thought, eying her flailing scythes cautiously. If I trip, I’m done for. The Scyther threw her arms behind her back and took full potential of the energy racing through her veins. To her surprise, running almost came naturally to her—her body was much better suited for speed than it was for her deliberate languid pace. Forget flying! If I can keep this up, we’ll arrive at our destination in no time.

    “Hey, wait up!” Caught up in the moment, Eileen barely paid attention to Dion’s pleading voice.

    The Scyther smirked. What’s the matter, Dion? Isn’t this what you wanted? Who’s slowing us down now, huh? Eileen continued to sprint down the road with her wings spread wide, her feet almost gliding over the earth. Within seconds, her mouth grew dry and she found herself gasping for breath. I guess my stamina hasn’t gotten any better, she grumpily told herself, panting like a dog. Her wings sagged as she plodded along listlessly, her legs as heavy as stone.

    “Eileen!” The Scyther grunted and spun around, still struggling to catch her breath. Dion was soaring toward her, his flimsy arms flapping in the wind. Eileen was envious of his ability to sail through the sky with so little effort. “Well, you nailed the running start, but maybe next time you should work on following through. Oh well, at least we made some progress! Look, that grove Arcanine was talking about is right up ahead!”

    Eileen brought her gaze over to a small cluster of trees, huffing in relief. Thank god, she mumbled to herself, her morale growing. But getting there’s only half the journey. The Scyther could feel her unease returning as she imagined the size of the dungeon and what might’ve been lurking inside.

    “Are you nervous?” Dion asked, taking notice of his teammate’s restrained movements. Before she had a chance to respond, the Carnivine assured, “Aww, there’s nothing to worry about! This is only our first lesson, so I’m sure the headmaster wouldn’t expect us to tackle a scary dungeon.”

    Everything’s scary when you don’t know how to defend yourself. Giving her scythes a quick look, Eileen reasoned that it wouldn’t be too difficult to figure out how to harness them in battle and was thankful that she had been turned into a Pokémon with such obvious weapons. But what makes a move a move? What distinguishes Scratch from Slash, and what’s the difference between using a move and just hitting someone? How do special moves work? There were so many questions buzzing about in Eileen’s mind, but she couldn’t bring herself to ask her teammate any of them.

    Eileen found the cool shade of the trees and the gentle breeze sifting through the leaves relaxing, and had to fight to keep her eyelids from drooping. I hope there will be somewhere for me to get some rest back at the academy. It was a boarding school, by the looks of it. She took a moment to mull over the thought of falling asleep in the unfamiliar world. What if I wake up and it turns out that all of this really was a dream? I don’t know if I’d like that or not. Why am I so set on returning to my past life? I know nothing about it; what if I was the most miserable person in the world? Shouldn’t I be happy about this? I’ve been turned into a Pokémon—a Scyther! It’s so unreal… maybe my brain just hasn’t taken all of this in yet. Maybe it’ll catch up by the time I wake up tomorrow morning, if I’m still a Pokémon by then.

    “Here we are,” Dion declared, clasping his hands together, “Emerald Grotto.”

    Eileen bit her tongue, assessing the dungeon before her. A gaping entrance was carved into a massive mound of damp, moss-covered stone. Beads of water dripped from the ceiling and splattered against sharp, rocky fragments. The Scyther winced as she remembered the splinter that had been wedged in her foot. Now I regret not figuring out how to fly.

    “Emerald Grotto,” Dion repeated whimsically, brushing his hand against a sheet of dark green moss. “Maybe this is where it gets its name.”

    Or it could come from how we’re supposed to be finding a green gem, Eileen contended, shifting her weight from side to side impatiently. She tiptoed across the jagged stones and toward the entrance, holding her arms out for balance. Dion watched with a small smile on his face, finding her clumsy efforts amusing.

    The inside of the cave was unpleasantly muggy, and while Dion seemed to enjoy it, Eileen desperately yearned to return to the woods. Although she usually preferred warmer temperatures, she was tired and wanted nothing to do with the sweltering humidity.

    “How are we going to find a gem if we can’t see anything?” complained Dion. The inside of the cave was pitch-black, aside from the sunlight pouring in from the entrance. “You wouldn’t happen to know Flash, would you? … Can Scyther even learn Flash?”

    Figuring he wouldn’t be able to see it anyway, Eileen gave her teammate the dirtiest look she could muster. She finally blurted, “How am I supposed to know which moves I can use?”

    “I dunno,” the Carnivine replied dully, ignoring the anger in the Mantis Pokémon’s tone. “It just sort of comes to you. You’ll see what I mean if we get into a battle. Some of it is trial and error—the more practice you get, the more techniques you’ll get to try out, and eventually you’ll find the move set that works best for you! Me? I know Vine Whip, Bite, and… Sleep Powder!” There was a surge of pride in his voice. “Carnivine can’t normally learn Sleep Powder; it’s something I inherited from my dad. I wonder if you can use any unusual moves.”

    That didn’t help at all. I’m still really confused. Eileen sucked in a breath. I guess I should just listen to his advice and stop worrying about it until it actually matters. In spite of what she told herself, uncertain thoughts continued to plague her mind as she and her teammate trudged deeper into the tunnel.

    “Man, I was expecting our first lesson to be a bit more exciting than this,” Dion said with a sigh. “What if we’re doing something wrong? What if we already walked right by the gem? Maybe we’re not cut out to be hunters after all.”

    Why don’t we backtrack and leave the dungeon while we’re at it? Eileen didn’t know what to say to her teammate. She wanted to scorn him for worrying, but she was too preoccupied with her own flustered thoughts.

    “I guess we should keep pressing forward,” the Bug Catcher Pokémon proclaimed, balling his fists. He suddenly flew up ahead, as if something had caught his eye. “Hey, do you see that? I think we’ve reached the end of the dungeon! That must be where the gem is.”

    Eileen looked up, spotting a dim light emanating from the distance. At last, she grumbled as she raced to catch up with the Carnivine. She followed him into a small room and held her breath at what she saw inside. The walls were encrusted with large green jewels that sparkled in the light beaming from a gap in the ceiling, and a pool of still, crystal clear water filled the center of the room. Much to her relief, the air was a lot milder. This is beautiful!

    “Oh, wow!” Dion squealed, looking like a child in a candy store. “All these gems just sitting here, free for the taking… I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go look for the biggest one we can find!”

    “Free for the taking?” a raspy voice echoed. “What makes you think you have the right to wander into someone’s territory and make off with whatever you want? Let me guess—Manectric’s Academy?”

    Dion frantically looked from side to side, his mouth hanging open. “Who’s saying that? Where are you?”

    Eileen prodded her teammate’s shoulder with the blunt edge of one of her blades, pointing at a small, moving shape in the middle of the water with the other. What in the world is that, a living rock?

    Dion furrowed his brows at the sight of the strange creature, swapping his puzzlement for boldness. “We’re from Arcanine’s Academy, and we aren’t scared of you! Headmaster Arcanine told us to fetch him a green gem, and that’s what we’re going to do. You can’t claim this entire dungeon for yourself!”

    The Scyther uneasily rocked on her feet. Couldn’t he have just asked for a gem? Why is he trying to start a fight? Is this how Pokémon normally solve their problems, or is he trying to get me some battling experience? This isn’t the way to do that! Even if this cave doesn’t belong to that rock-thing, this still seems awfully rude. I thought Dion said Arcanine’s Academy wasn’t a thieves’ guild!

    “Looks like Arcanine’s stooped to new lows. That old geezer should just retire already,” the Pokémon sniggered as it crawled toward the edge of the pool, revealing a set of glowing red eyes. Eileen recognized it as a Kabuto. “If it’s a fight you want, then it’s a fight you’ll get. You aren’t getting away with this, you rogues!”

    Eileen glared at her teammate, her lip curled back in a sneer. Dion threw his arms up submissively. “Hey! Use Leer on him, not me!”

    Taken aback, the menacing expression faded from Eileen’s face. What? I just used a move? Leer… that lowers a foe’s Defense, doesn’t it? Great, I screwed up already. Well, if that Kabuto kicks our butts, I hope Dion knows that it’s his fault and not mine.

    “Is this some kind of joke?” The Kabuto had stopped to marvel at the hunters’ ineptitude. “I’ve seen Bidoof with more dignity than you two. You’ll probably knock yourselves out before I have a chance to land a move.” He cloaked himself in water and shot out of the pool, bulleting in Dion’s direction.

    Could that be Aqua Jet? Eileen watched through narrowed eyes as the Kabuto launched himself into Dion while he was distracted. It looks like that Kabuto isn’t too skillful himself, unless he’s trying to go easy on us. Why would you use a Water-type move on a Grass-type Pokémon? Thinking of type advantages reminded Eileen of how she was Bug and Flying, meaning that any Rock-type moves the Kabuto might’ve known would be four times as effective. On the other hand, Dion’s Grass-type move would be equally powerful against the Rock and Water-type Pokémon. This battle could be over soon depending on who does what. She stepped behind the Carnivine, not wanting to get involved.

    Dion jumped up after being knocked backward, vines slithering out from his neck. He twisted his body and sent the tendrils flying toward the Kabuto, but the Shellfish Pokémon swiftly slid out of the way. “How does he move like that?” Dion hissed under his breath, retracting the vines.

    Aqua Jet is an attack that lets Pokémon move at speeds they wouldn’t normally be able to reach. This Kabuto is using it both offensively and defensively, Eileen observed, pressing the tip of her scythe to her chin. We’re not going to get anywhere unless we pick up the pace. If I were a normal Scyther, I’d be able to deliver some quick attacks. Considering how fast I was moving earlier, I might stand a chance if I try.

    Fanning out her wings, Eileen bent her knees before springing forward. She landed just in time to scoop the Kabuto up and smash his shell against the ground. She watched with her teeth bared in a satisfied grin as the now helpless creature wobbled and kicked his legs piteously, his soft underbelly exposed.

    Dion was beaming. “Perfect! I told you you’d get the hang of it!” He hovered closer to the defeated Kabuto, his hands on his sides. “Now, how about letting us have one of those—” Eileen, unaware of how the battle was apparently over, pushed past him and set her foot on the Kabuto’s shell. Using her pride as fuel, she raised her scythe over her head and prepared to strike his weak spot like a guillotine.

    “Eileen, no!” The Scyther felt something wrap around her upper arm and tug it back. She whipped around, shooting Dion a bewildered look. Freeing her, he continued, “That’s it; we beat him! You could seriously hurt him if you hit him there! The academy’s code of conduct says we’re not allowed to badly injure other Pokémon unless our lives are in danger, and that clearly isn’t the case!”

    How was I supposed to know that? The headmaster didn’t exactly go over the code of conduct, you know! Ashamed, she dropped her gaze to the ground and mulled over what she had almost done. It’s a good thing Dion stopped me; I was seconds away from slicing his belly open. I guess I got carried away in the heat of the moment. The Scyther shuffled backward, returning to her spot behind her teammate. When I said the battle would be over soon, I wasn’t expecting it to go this fast! If this is what battles are like, then I’ll be fine… even if I still don’t know what exactly I was doing out there.

    “I forgive you,” said the Kabuto, relaxing his legs. “I understand that you’re still learning. If Arcanine sent you, then that means that this is your very first lesson. He and I have a deal, you see: he gives me money to stay here and help with his lesson. There’s not much else I can do until I evolve, you know? And it’s not like I get a lot of experience from fighting rookies like you.” He let out a sigh. “Speaking of which, I’d appreciate if one of you could, uh, flip me over.”

    “Er, all right.” Dion hovered over to the Shellfish Pokémon and pushed him right side up. “You knew we were coming?”

    “More or less,” the Kabuto responded bleakly, retreating to the pool. “Help yourself to a gem.”

    “Do you know what kind of gems these are? Emeralds, peridots…?” Dion asked, tugging at a long, cylindrical crystal.

    “No idea. I’m not a hunter.” The Pokémon spoke in an uncouth tone.

    “They’re really pretty, whatever they are!” The Carnivine glanced over his shoulder at Eileen. “Do you think you could help me with this? It’s stuck.”

    Uh, hello? I don’t have hands? Eileen trudged over to the wall with her head questioningly tipped to the side. Dion backed away nervously. Does he want me to try cutting it? Unsure of what to do, she lifted her arm and winced when her blade collided with the hard gem. She continued to hack away at it until it smashed to the ground. I hope Arcanine won’t mind that it’s a total mess, she thought, studying the white gashes engraved in the jewel.

    “This is it,” Dion breathed, grabbing the scratched-up gem and holding it up to the light, “our very first treasure.”

    Can it really be called treasure when it’s in such bad condition? She stared at Dion coldly, not sharing any of his joy.

    The Carnivine frowned and stuffed the gem into his bag when he caught sight of the less than excited look on her face. “Well, we should head back to the academy. Goodbye!” He waved to the Kabuto cheerily. The creature didn’t wave back, possibly because he didn’t have arms.

    “I almost forgot we had this thing,” Dion murmured, withdrawing the Escape Orb. “Think we should use it?”

    Yes, please! Eileen nodded eagerly.

    “Okay, here goes. I hope I’m doing this right.” He lobbed the Orb at the stone floor, and it burst into a cloud of black smoke. When it cleared, Eileen discovered that the gem-covered cave walls had transformed into the gray stone of the academy.

    “How did…” the Scyther stammered aloud in bafflement. It’s like nothing even happened! And how did we just happen to be transported to the academy?

    “That was so cool!” Unlike Eileen, Dion apparently didn’t see a reason to question what had just taken place.

    I guess things like that are normal in this word, Eileen concluded, still in shock.

    “C’mon, let’s report to the headmaster,” Dion instructed before shooting up the stairs. Eileen followed at a more leisurely pace, carefully taking notice of the school’s layout. Okay, so Arcanine’s room is in the back of the second floor. What are these? Dorm rooms, classrooms…? Eileen was thankful that the academy didn’t appear to be very big.

    “Headmaster, we’re back!” cried Dion as he burst through the door. The old Arcanine had collapsed in the middle of the room, his head resting on Dion’s old bag and his tail curled against one side of his enormous body. His jowls flapped slightly as he snored. The sight of the sleeping headmaster seemed to worry Dion, and he tentatively reached out to poke his shoulder.

    “Who’s there?” Arcanine’s good eye snapped open. He squinted as he studied the Pokémon in front of him. “Are you two here to enroll? Good, good! First, I’ll go over the code of conduct, and then I’ll—”

    “We’re already students, Headmaster! You told us to go to Emerald Grotto and find a green gem, remember? See, look!” The Bug Catcher Pokémon proudly held up his treasure.

    Maybe it would’ve been better if you hadn’t cut him off, scolded Eileen.

    “Ohohoho, you’re right! My apologies, lad.” Arcanine let out his signature booming laugh. “Good work, you two! Now you know exactly what not to expect as a hunter!”

    “Huh?” Dion looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”

    The headmaster chuckled. “You were there, weren’t ya? Emerald Grotto’s full of gems like that one! They have no use or value, so they’re really no different from ordinary rocks—and ordinary rocks certainly aren’t treasure, ya hear me? You can’t march into a dungeon and expect to find something worthwhile so easily; much more goes into it than that. If it were that simple, there’d be no need for this academy!”

    “Are you serious?” Dion stammered in a small voice. “We had to fight a strong Pokémon to get the treasure… er, rock, though. He said he knew you.”

    “The Kabuto?” Arcanine shook his head remorsefully. “He’s all bark and no bite; you really must be beginners if he gave ya problems. He can’t even splash around like a Magikarp when he’s on his back! See, he was also chosen to show you what not to expect. Most baddies and guardians of treasure are fairly skilled, so ya might be in for a real fight if you come across one of ‘em! Aye, remind me to schedule some basic training for you two.”

    That’s why I was able to take him down in one hit, Eileen realized, her confidence deteriorating. And I thought I was starting to get the hang of this.

    “So… what you’re saying is that we did all of this for nothing?” Dion gloomily dropped his arms to his sides, his bag settling on the floor.

    “No, not at all!” barked the headmaster. “This was still an important lesson. Not all treasures come in the form of jewels and artifacts. The knowledge we gain, the bonds we forge, the memories we create… they’re just as valuable. Every day we are presented with opportunities to learn new things and go new places, and we must treasure every moment. When you live life to the fullest and appreciate all the wonders of the world, nothing is in vain or without a point.” He sat up. “So, who’s ready for supper?”

    Dion, who had been zoning out, snapped back into focus at the mention of food. “Me!”

    Wagging his tail merrily, Arcanine shoved past the younger Pokémon as he made his way to the door, nearly causing Eileen to lose her balance and fall into a pile of boxes. Steadying herself, she shuffled after Dion and the headmaster.

    Treasuring each moment, Eileen murmured to herself, Arcanine’s words echoing in her head. She had gone through the same kind of thoughts earlier, and hearing those things from someone else only made her reprimand herself for her actions. She wanted to enjoy the fact that she had been turned into a Pokémon, but some invisible force was holding her back. She didn’t want to make a big deal out of it—everyone would think she was even weirder than they already did—and yet it felt wrong to carry around such an ungrateful attitude. The Scyther had dragged her feet through everything she had done, and in the process had dragged down both her own and her teammate’s happiness.

    I wonder how Dion feels about the way I’ve been behaving. The Carnivine was closely trailing behind the headmaster, which made Eileen fear that he didn’t want to be with her. Maybe I’m expecting too much from him. If someone came up to me and told me they used to be a Pokémon, I wouldn’t be able to take them seriously, either. She kept forgetting that he had saved her life twice, and that she would’ve been completely lost if he hadn’t shown up. I should tell him I’m sorry for being such a stick in the mud, but I don’t know how. He reached out to me… he did so many nice things for me, and I did nothing in return. Way to go, Eileen.

    Arcanine led the hunters down the stairs, past the foyer, and into a narrow room. A long table topped with a thin red cloth and neatly arranged wooden soup bowls stretched from wall to wall. The elderly Pokémon strutted to the end of the table and hopped onto a tiny stool that creaked beneath his massive weight. He sat with his back hunched and his paws unevenly balanced on the seat, and Eileen was impressed that he didn’t tip over. Dion slithered onto the stool next to Arcanine’s, his tentacles messily spilling onto the ground.

    Eileen approached the two Pokémon, biting her lip indecisively. Where should I sit? If Dion doesn’t want to be around me, then I should respect that… but I’ll leave an even worse impression if I try to avoid him as well. We’ll never get anywhere if I don’t make an effort to make amends. Making up her mind, the Scyther ambled up to the next unoccupied seat. As she bent over to sit down, she was struck with the realization that she didn’t exactly have anything to sit on. Not knowing what else to do, Eileen planted the back of her abdomen on the stool and folded her scythes in her lap. The Scyther fitfully squirmed in her seat as she tried to find a more comfortable position.

    Dion, who was propping his chin up with his arms, turned to Arcanine. “Hey, Headmaster, I think you might be forgetting something.”

    “Oh?” The old Pokémon leaned forward in an almost playful manner. “What could I possibly be forgetting?”

    Dion’s head slumped to the side, and it was becoming evident that even he was growing tired of the headmaster’s antics. “We’re the only ones here.”

    “Oh, right! I should go do something about that.” Arcanine energetically leaped off of his stool and bounded out of the dining hall. Eileen flinched when the deafening tone of a bell rang through the air several moments later. Once the bell had finished ringing, Pokémon began to pile into the room. Among them, Eileen recognized the Yamask, Shelmet, and Karrablast from Team Masquerade. I can’t eat in front of all these Pokémon, the Scyther whimpered to herself, thinking back to what had happened at Slurpuff’s Shop. Good thing I’m not that hungry.

    “Good evening, students!” Arcanine announced, returning to his seat at the end of the table. “If you didn’t already know, we have a new hunting team with us today. Give a warm welcome to Team… Team…” He expectantly looked to Dion, who responded with a timid shrug. “… Um, I’ll get back to you on that. Now, let’s eat!”

    The Pokémon gave a brief round of applause, equally uncertain. As if on cue, a door at the opposite end of the room swung open as soon as the hall fell silent. Eileen’s jaw dropped as a hulking purple creature squeezed its way in, holding a giant pot in one hand and a small serving spoon in the other. It left behind a trail of sludge as it lugged its huge body down the aisle, blobs of slime dripping from its arms. This has to be a joke.

    “What’s wrong, Eileen?” queried Dion. “Chef Muk is the best cook in Origin Plaza!”

    I’ll take your word for it. The Scyther eyed Chef Muk suspiciously as she scooped a generous helping of an unidentifiable substance into a Pokémon’s bowl. “Is it safe to eat?” Eileen whispered. To her revulsion, a glob of the Sludge Pokémon’s hand—which didn’t look too different from what she was serving—rolled onto the table. Eileen caught a whiff of the food, and while it didn’t smell unpleasant, it didn’t change the fact that it was being handed out by a sentient mound of pollution.

    “Probably not,” Dion answered in a disturbingly nonchalant way. “I think everyone’s developed an immunity to it, though.”

    That’s definitely reassuring! Eileen inched back in her seat. All the more reason to skip eating. When Chef Muk dragged herself over to her seat, the Scyther shyly raised her voice before she had the chance to pile the slop into her bowl. “No thanks. I’m not hungry.”

    “Very well,” grumbled Chef Muk, looking somewhat offended. Even though most of the Pokémon seemed to enjoy her cooking, Eileen couldn’t help but wonder how many times she had heard that before.

    “Not hungry, are you? Or are you just saving your appetite for something else?” Cleo, who was sitting a few seats away, slammed her mask face-down on the table. “Whose idea was it to let this meat-eater sit at the table? I bet she’s trying to decide which one of us would taste the best right now!”

    This again? Eileen rolled her eyes. If you’re going to make fun of me, at least say something insulting. The faces flashed through her mind again and were gone in an instant. On second thought, it’s fine if you just want to keep saying things that only make sense on your planet.

    “Calm down,” Chef Muk ordered temperately. “Not wanting to try my cooking doesn’t make her a cannibal.” The old headmaster impatiently leaned from side to side as she filled his bowl with the grimy soup.

    Eileen bowed her head in respect. If you ignore the fact that she thought preparing food would be an appropriate occupation for a Muk, she’s probably one of the most reasonable people here.

    “But that’s not all!” Cleo hollered. She pointed at Dion accusingly. “That buffoon dragged her in from the Foreboding Bog. You know—the wild? An uncivilized beast like her has no place in this academy. Arcanine made a huge mistake in letting her enroll. We should just send her to Manectric’s Academy, where she belongs.”

    The headmaster, whose muzzle was submerged in the purple slime, paid no attention to the fuming Yamask. He set his great paws on the table and waved his tail fervently, seemingly completely unaware of his surroundings.

    Though Dion was intimidated, he spoke up. “Leave her alone! I saw her eat some berries earlier. Besides, she’s not even really from the wild!” A panicked expression spread across the Carnivine’s face, as if he had misspoken.

    Oh, just say it! At this point, I don’t care if anyone believes me or not. What’s the worst that could happen? I told Arcanine the truth, and he didn’t do anything. The Scyther began to vent her anger to herself. If you want it bad enough, you’ve got to stand up for yourself. Like you said, nothing too bad happened when you talked to Arcanine. This shouldn’t be any different. She looked Cleo in the eye and prepared to speak, but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything.

    “What’s your excuse this time?” The Yamask’s eyes were half-closed. “You’re not going to tell me she came from a different planet, are you?”

    “No, of course not! What I mean is… what I mean is…” Dion was interrupted by a furious wail. Instead of filling her bowl, Chef Muk had poured the sludge into the interior of Cleo’s golden mask. Eileen couldn’t tell if she had done it on purpose or not. None of the other Pokémon at the table looked even the slightest bit fazed, as if this was a normal occurrence at the academy.

    Eileen, who felt out of place among the other Pokémon, let her gaze wander around the table. Between Cleo’s hysterical cries and the headmaster making a mess of himself as he licked his bowl clean, the Scyther was overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the dining hall. It reminded her of a school cafeteria, except all of the people she would’ve normally avoided were gathered closely around her. She wished she could get up and go somewhere else, but she thought it’d be impolite to leave the table. She continued to shift in her seat as she waited for the Pokémon to finish eating.

    Dion stared into his soup absently, as if he had lost his appetite. Eileen didn’t understand why he was letting the rude Yamask bother him. It’s okay. She’s didn’t offend me, she told him silently. The Scyther was more upset about the fact that she couldn’t defend herself, and she was still annoyed by how Dion was keeping her history a secret.

    The Carnivine slid off his stool. “We should head to our room,” he murmured, checking to see if Cleo was watching. As he began to float away from the table, his eyes drifted back to his untouched supper. He finally gave in and dumped the murky liquid into his enormous mouth before swallowing it in one big gulp.

    That’s the best idea I’ve heard all day. Eileen tried her hardest not to draw attention to herself as she scooted out of her seat. So we’re just free to come and go as we like? We don’t have any designated periods or anything? Man, this is nothing like the school I remember… not to mention how Dion implied we’d be sharing a room. That’s a little awkward.

    “Here we are,” Dion announced, pushing open the first door at the top of the stairs. The room was relatively small, with a wooden bunk bed taking up the majority of the space. The rest of the area was occupied by a small nightstand and chest.

    Wow, Eileen thought as she slipped through the doorway, I wasn’t expecting much, but I didn’t think it’d be this empty. She frowned at the bleak realization that this was her new home. This is my life now. Those words had popped into her head on several occasions, but each time they seemed to fade away or be replaced by some obstructive thought. Now that things were winding down and she had nothing new to take in, she was left to reflect on what had already happened.

    This is my life, she echoed, a sense of panic gnawing at her heart. Her anxiety heightened as she caught a glimpse of her scythes, as if she was noticing them for the first time. No, they weren’t “cool”—they were real weapons capable of inflicting real pain; terrible hindrances that made it impossible to carry out simple tasks. By enrolling in the academy, she had practically condemned herself to a life of violence and wandering. There was nothing pleasing or redeeming about this new life that had been thrust upon her. Though Eileen initially believed she was lucid dreaming, it was becoming more and more obvious that she was trapped in a nightmare.

    “Zoning out again?” Dion sounded more bored than concerned. He glided past the Scyther and settled on the bottom bunk. The Carnivine dropped his bag onto the ground before promptly picking it up, withdrawing the green gem and setting it on the nightstand, and tossing it aside again. “I wish you could tell me what’s on your mind.”

    The blatant aggravation in the Carnivine’s voice shook Eileen from her thoughts and threw her into an abrupt rage. Is this what this is all about? Is the reason you’re not telling anyone anything because I won’t talk to you? This is a sick joke. The Scyther’s blood was boiling. She wasn’t choosing to be silent! Eileen knew there was something wrong with her, but she didn’t know what it was. She wasn’t mute—she had forced herself to choke out a few words earlier. That had been a struggle, though; it was like something was constricting her throat, only allowing her to speak the simplest of sentences. She couldn’t tell Dion the story of her life; she was forced to hide behind a veil of “I don’t know”.

    Of course, Dion didn’t know any of this, and it wasn’t his fault. Why shouldn’t he be upset that someone who was talkative when he met her suddenly stopped speaking? Better yet, why couldn’t Eileen just go back to thinking she was in a dream? It was because—like she had just concluded—there was nothing make-believe about this world. But was this silent façade of hers the true Eileen, or was it the thoughts that came naturally to her? It was hard for her to tell—it was almost like there were two conflicting entities in her head.

    Ignoring Dion’s plea, Eileen huffily approached the bunk bed. She searched for a ladder, but to her dismay found nothing. The Scyther glared at Dion out of both bitterness and perplexity. He can levitate, and yet he took the bottom bunk. Is he trying to make my life miserable? She gritted her teeth irritably. Well, I need to learn how to fly sooner or later. I can’t exactly get a “running start” in here, so maybe I’ll be able to pull this off.

    Eileen took a deep breath and spread her wings, paying no attention to how Dion was observing her intently. She sprang into the air as her wings began to vibrate, flinging her scythes into the empty bed. Her arms began to slip as the rest of her body took its time catching up with her, and she desperately looked for something to dig her blades into. There isn’t even a mattress? She wildly scrabbled at the wood before finally gaining enough elevation to heave herself into the bunk. Worn out, the Scyther collapsed onto her back.

    While at first she was relieved to finally be lying down, her discomfort quickly took over. The floor’s probably more comfortable than this, she groaned, her unfocused stare glued on the ceiling. The thought of tossing and turning in bed worried her; what if she crushed her wings or rolled onto one of her scythes? I truly am a fragile insect. How on earth am I going to be able to battle?

    “You know,” Dion sighed somberly, “I was looking forward to having a teammate for the longest time. I couldn’t wait to go on missions like Team Masquerade and all the other hunters, but above all else I wanted someone I could talk to; someone who would understand me. And now that I finally have a teammate… it’s like nothing’s changed at all.” He hovered by the Scyther’s bunk. “I try to stand up for you. I try to do so many nice things for you, but all you do is act like you don’t want to be here. Eileen, do you really want to be a hunter? Please tell me the truth.”

    Eileen flipped her head to the side, regaining her frustration. She had already gone over how this was her only option—even though she was becoming increasingly upset about her duties as a hunter and Dion’s attitude, she wouldn’t be able to make it in the wild. “Yes,” she replied, her sincerity lost beneath her venomous tone.

    The Carnivine didn’t look satisfied with her answer. “I hope you’re being honest.” He flopped back into his bunk. “Well, be sure to get a good night’s sleep. Who knows what Arcanine will have in store for us tomorrow?”

    Eileen cringed at the idea. Between her discomfort and the menagerie of thoughts running rampant through her brain, she knew she wouldn’t be able to get any sleep. She continued to blankly stare at the ceiling as time rolled on, her restless imagination grappling with her exhaustion.

  11. #11
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Legendary Genesis

    All right I'm finally all caught up with this fic. I gotta say I actually really like the way you're looking into this story, I myself haven't read many Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fics but I think that this one is very interesting, especially with the world liberties that you have taken in regards to the academy and such. I like Eileen so far, at first I thought that maybe she was a bit too whiny even considering the situation but it was nice to see her realize that she may have to give the benefit of the doubt to people in chapter 4. But that's kind of what I like about the characters in a sense, they're good, but they have clear flaws that don't make them perfect. I can't say that Dion and Eileen are a good pair but I definetily would like to see how they grow closer now that they have to work together.

    The supporting cast is very interesting too, though I imagined Arcanine being this really empowering figure, and he is, but the fact he's going senile kind of makes it even funnier too. I think you have a pretty good hang of description, everything's made easy to imagine without giving too much detail and you also do good in going into the mind of Eileen. One thing I did notice in the earlier chapters and still a bit here is that maybe the story moves a bit too slowly, I mean it's going at a good pace but I think that there was actually a lot of time inside of Eileen's mind that it slowed the story down a bit.

    I do think this story has a lot of potential and I'm actually very curious as to what will come and am interested in future events, so I'll try and keep reading when I get the chance and I hope that you can keep going with this story ^^


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