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  1. #61
    Cheers to the Freeze Luna Tiger's Avatar Bulbapedia Staff
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    I promised you a review, and I'm trying not to break promises or deals these days. :3

    As you know, I've enjoyed reading it, building a story for Jiri with what you had and your creative licence. I'm still drawing myself back to how you pulled off what made Jiri start Collecting in the first place, and tying it to a lot of things that're already beginning to shape him. I like those kinds of intertwined threads a lot.

    Just one piece I think is missing a bit; it's near the end of chapter 7: "For the time, that was good enough for me. I later found out, but that is neither here nor there for the continuation of my tale."

    =X It's not a very complete sentence, if you know what I mean. I wanna know what that thought was leading to!
    Avatar artwork by アカネ
    PRIA is my haunt, 45500 is my identity,
    the black stronghold is my fortress.

  2. #62
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    That...sounds complete to me...He later found out what it was for, but what he found out wasn't really important.

  3. #63
    Ya, ok. FalconriderX's Avatar
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    Shucks, Blackjack has done it again. This is the first time I've read this thread, so it took me some time to read it. It was a very nice story, and I hope you write some more. How do you write so well?!
    /\\\

  4. #64
    Just An Ordinary Trainer Roxy_Parkington's Avatar
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    Good story, Blackjack, chibi Jiri is very interesting to read about. His reflective narration is exactly like in the movie: calm, collected, and yet icy. I read through all of it before reviewing, and I like it very much! ^_^

    ~Roxy~

  5. #65
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    ...can it be? Can it possibly be? Dare we hope against hope that it may be? IT IS!!!! IT'S OB8!!!




    I could not wait to speak to him again. That night and the following morning, I was quite frustrated. Speaking with Asaph had been as though I was shown another world, brighter than this, but his departure me shoved back into the grey tones of reality.

    It felt different with him. He spoke of things so distant and strange, but in such a way that felt as though I had known them my entire life, and I craved more.

    Eagerly, I sat at the desk my father had set up for me, and waited for Asaph to arrive. I was so excited that I could not work on the sketch from the day before, though my Mew card lay before me, glimmering in the light from the entryway.

    Hours I waited, not moving from that spot. The swirls of work around me went unnoticed, the sounds and sweat of the factory passing me by, until finally he entered. Instead of heading off to speak with one of the engineers as he usually did, he immediately looked in my direction, and his face lit up to see that I was indeed present.

    I smiled at him, the only thing I could think to do, and he approached me. "Young master Jirarudan, how does the day find you today?" he asked.

    "Quite well, and you?"

    He placed a hand on my shoulder, and I did not struggle away as I did from others who did the same. "Very well, now that I'm here. I was looking forward to seeing you again." A warm smile settled on his face, and he leaned down to whisper to me. "I could hardly wait to come here today. We have much to talk about, don't we?"

    I nodded. "I think so, yes. I could hardly wait for you to arrive," I confessed, hoping that my expression conveyed my thoughts as well as the words I spoke. "I dreamed of what tales you might tell me."

    "Very well then!" he proclaimed, pulling a chair over from against the wall and setting it near my own. "Tell me, my boy, have you ever heard the tale of the Eye of Dawn?"



    We spoke for hours; or rather he did, and I listened with utmost attention. Several times I noticed my father watching us, but he did not disturb us until nearly an hour to close, when he took Asaph into the factory proper with him. But I was satisfied, at least momentarily. Asaph's stories had left me in a near-trance, as though my mind had left my body and was ensconced in the legends of which he spoke. With a tired smile, I slumped down in my chair and closed my eyes, letting the etherealness that still hung in the air linger as long as I could.

    For a brief moment, I thought I heard my mother call my name. But I opened my eyes and it was only Helen.

    "Jiri?" she repeated, leaning down to my level. "Your father told me to come get you. He has something he wants to ask you."

    Reluctantly I slid off the chair and away from the desk, feeling as though I was abandoning a part of myself. I was pleased to notice that Asaph was in my father's office, but even his presence could not alleviate the feeling that I had been torn from a dream world. My father gestured for me to sit down and I did, and the weight of the world forced me into place.

    Asaph's hand closed lightly around my shoulder and I felt slightly better, but not enough to make a difference.

    "Jiri, as you know," my father began, "my work keeps me very busy. I'm not able to spend the time with you that you need."

    I nodded absently, not really caring what he said.

    "I know how much you love art, and when I saw you and Asaph hit it off, well..." His voice cracked as he spoke, and he paused to clear his throat. "Jiri...I've spoken with Asaph, and we came up with an idea I think you'll like."

    Looking back, I may not have considered it if my father had said it. But he yielded the floor to Asaph to finish the thought. Asaph squeezed my shoulder to get my attention, and smiled at me when I looked up at him. "Jiri...how would you like to spend some time with me?"

    I have no clear memory of the moment immediately following his words, as I am fairly certain that I blacked out for a split second. I grabbed his hand--hard, I recall, as he winced slightly--and jolted up from the chair to face him. "I would love it!" I blurted. "I...I would love to!"

    In the background, my father continued, something about socializing me or some such rot. But I didn't care.

    We made plans to meet in three days time, when Asaph would take me to the Viridian museum. The days to follow were the longest in my life.

  6. #66
    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Interesting developments. Though I suspect Asaph of having some interests in the card as well as the kid...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  7. #67
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Oh, not necessarily...although his interests *are* on less than the up-and-up.

  8. #68
    (Pretend) lawyer FrozenWind's Avatar
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    Viridian? Jiri's headed for Viridian? Neat! And what do you mean, Asaph's interests are less than honest? *raises eyebrow* What's he planning? And what does poor ickle Jiri have to do with it? Please tell us soon!

    And by soon, I don't mean months down the line. *glares slightly at BGJ*
    Misplaced loyalty...

    "And here I thought you were trying to rescue me out of love, not military stratagems. I'm hurt!"

    Proud member of the Ash Club!!

  9. #69
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Oh, yoooooou'll see...*wink*

    OK, what does 'ickle' mean anyway? It makes me think of someone choking on an icicle.

  10. #70
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    Great! I'm enjoying your fics Misappropiation and this one. :) I'm so busy right now, but I'll write a more non-asinine review later

    But Ash is his main squeeze! Yay LeagueShipping forever!!

  11. #71
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I look forward to it!

  12. #72
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    Here is my, at least less, asinine review.

    The development of the character Jiri is very good. He’s becoming a very round character, and your choice of narration is really fitting. He’s looking back, but reliving, so he’s able to add hindsight to what he is going through without being heavy-handed. Asaph is also an intriguing character. You choose to develop that character a little less to add suspense, which is quite effective. Based on the way you ended your last installment, I expect so sort of major realization, but I have the tendency to anticipate major realizations in anything I read. Anyway, good work. Looking forward to the next installment.

    But Ash is his main squeeze! Yay LeagueShipping forever!!

  13. #73
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Thank you!

    What do you mean by 'major realization'? I think Corbin's plan to socialize Jiri fits that definition.

  14. #74
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I don't believe it! It's not possible! But it's true! OB9!




    On the appointed day, I awoke before dawn, although Asaph was not to fetch me until nine. My sleep the night before had been restless, and I'd dreamed of a city of brilliant green. As the light of day gradually lightened my room, I imagined what wonders the day held for me. I had never been to Viridian, of course, and pictured it as the glistening emerald set into the land that people described it as.

    The night before I had laid out the finest clothes I had. At the time, I thought them exquisite apparel, but looking back I can only shake my head at how simple my tastes were. Mass-produced cotton and twill are a far cry to the sumptuous hand-woven silks I was to become accustomed to.

    A white bird landed on my windowsill, but it wasn't the one I dreamed of.



    I hurried through breakfast, being careful not to get anything on my clothing, and waited at the door for Asaph. Shortly after nine am, I saw his personal craft--one of my father's custom dual-rotor helicopters; the proper airship he had commissioned was still in production--land at the docking port outside the factory. Out of courtesy, I waited until he knocked to open the door.

    He was an elegant sight, in a green greatcoat that brought out the glimmer in his blue eyes, the eyes that lit up when he greeted me. "Are you ready?" he asked me, and when I nodded my assent he brought a hand to my shoulder and let it rest for a moment as he looked me up and down. "You look very distinguished today," he said, and I smiled.

    In the next room, my father, who had already opened the factory for the day but was waiting in the house for my departure, looked on. "Asaph, I want to thank you again," he called, and Asaph nodded. "Have everything?" he asked me, and I nodded to him as well. "Enjoy the museum!" he called, having to return to work. I was glad to be rid of him, even though I would be without him for the entire day.

    Asaph and I sat in the middle section of his ship, as a chauffeur took the controls. It was about a half-hour ride from Seafoam to Viridian, and in that time Asaph told me more tales of the world's treasures, including a sculpture from an ancient age that the museum had recently acquired. He was quite eager to see it in person, although he seemed disappointed that he was unable to possess it.

    We docked on the roof of the museum, among other ships. I recognized my father's seal on many of them, particularly the finer crafts.

    There was a spiral staircase leading down, nothing particularly notable about it except that it lead to the grand entryway, which was a remarkable thing. Marble columns--that had been excavated from ancient ruins, Asaph told me--framed the doors, which were glass and tinted dark.

    He held the door for me, and I held my breath upon entering, only to release it the second I entered, for I was greeted by a marvelous sight. One hand held out as though in welcome, a statue of a warrior woman, hair cascading down her shoulders and other hand held on the hilt of her sword as if to say that she was the guardian of the treasures within, stood in the foyer. I could not help but raise my hand to return her gesture of welcome.

    Once he had bought our tickets, Asaph smiled at me. "Now, shall we explore?"

    I nodded emphatically.



    We took our time, dawdling at various masterpieces, with Asaph explaining technique and the histories of the artists to me.

    I listened enraptured through the hours, and finally we reached the sculpture he had mentioned on the way. It stood on a pedestal, the centerpiece of a room. He gasped, taken in by the soft features of the statue's subject; a young woman with a Jigglypuff and a basket of flowers.

    I found it nothing special. Admittedly it was lifelike, with the pokémon looking as though it would burst into song, but the mood did not strike me as it did Asaph. Instead I occupied myself with the nearby statue of a Gengar that had supposedly belonged to a master trainer ages ago.

    "Asaph?" The voice from behind us was sharp yet dignified. He turned, I did not.

    "Lucrezia!" he exclaimed, extricating himself from the sculpture and greeting the newcomer.

    I wondered if I should involve myself. If I ignored them, I would seem rude, but same if I approached them outright. So I remained where I was and listened intently with my back turned.

    "How did the Moreo turn out?" Asaph asked her. I would discover later that he was speaking of an artist.

    "Oh, so-so," Lucrezia admitted. "I wound up trading it in for a Hidcomb."

    "Hidcomb was an overrated drunken bastard," a third voice interrupted, that of a man younger than either of them. They ignored him.

    After a few minutes of discussion of names I had never heard of, during which time I turned my attention to a statue of an ivory butterfly alighting on a silver flower, Asaph returned to me and rested a hand on my shoulder. "How about you go on to the next room without me? Lucrezia and I have some business to discuss, and I know you're eager to keep going."

    I nodded. "I didn't want to say anything."

    "You've been a very good boy about it," he smiled, his hand falling back to his side. "You're a very patient young man."

    Returning his smile, I nodded my head and continued into the next room.

    I didn't notice it at first, as the paintings nearest me had my immediate attention, but when I turned to the far wall, it was as though everything around me ceased to exist.

    There before me was the most brilliant and beautiful and terrifying thing I'd ever seen. To other lives, it would not have had such a profound effect, but to me it was as though the rest of the world had dropped away and existence was defined entirely by paint on canvas. She was beautiful, in a white robe that matched her flawless wings with every feather defined and looked as they could begin motion at any moment. Her hand extended in assistance, she bore a look of sorrow that the man she wished to help was unaware of her presence, a look that broke my heart to behold. Whatever was left of the world was walled up as the words /I'll be your angel/ resonated through my mind.

    My knees gave out, and I was vaguely aware that I somehow was able to find purchase on the seat in the center of the room.

    Nothing I had ever seen before could compare. It was at once the ideal and the dread as every detail of the painting sunk into me, filling me as nothing had before. I existed, the painting existed, and there was nothing else.



    A faint cracking at the shell of the world, and a hand came to rest on my shoulder. "Beautiful, isn't she?" the man from before asked, and the spell was gone.

    Instinctively, I pulled away, to the end of the bench, and he chuckled. "Shy? That's all right."

    My view disrupted, I could only stare at the floor, and even the details of that escaped me.

    "You're Corbin's boy, aren't you?" the man continued. "I've heard about you. My mother does frequent business with him." When he realized that I was not going to reply, he kept on. "I've never found the art world to be all that interesting myself, but I suppose it has its charm."

    He was harsh, his manner cold, his words without feel to them. Or perhaps that was how the world was; I couldn't tell the difference. I edged away from him an inch at a time and I don't think he noticed, for he continued on about things I didn't care about.

    I could feel the blankness around me, the empty world breaking and forming and I hated it. I wanted out, to lose myself in the picture that I couldn't bring myself to look at. I wanted the angels, the spirits and the wonder and I couldn't find them; I couldn't bear to see them again.

    I'm not sure at what point he left, but when Asaph came to retrieve me, he was gone.



    There were two dining rooms in the museum. The first was a simple café, and I started to turn to go into it, but Asaph cleared his throat to catch my attention. "We don't go to places like that," he told me, directing me to the more formal restaurant.

    At our booth, he squeezed my hand. "So, I see that painting spoke to you."

    I nodded slowly, the angels still dancing in my mind. "Yes..." was my simple, distracted answer.

    "You know, there's going to be a Tonio exhibit in Goldenrod in a few months if you'd like to see it."

    "That's nice..." I muttered, twining my free hand's fingers in loops in the thin chain that held my mother's ring around my throat.

    "Isn't it though?" he asked and I surmised it was meant to be rhetorical. "Some of those pieces have never left Kanto before. I know it's not far, but it's still impressive."

    I nodded again, a million miles away.

    "Jiri, are you having a good time?"

    My head picked up. "Um? Yes, yes I am. Why do you ask?"

    He smiled warmly. "You seem so distant. Lost in thought?"

    "Yes..." Again I fingered the necklace chain.

    He took a sip of a drink that I hadn't noticed him order. "Tell me about that ring," he said, and it was neither a request nor a demand.

    "It was my mother's," I told him. Unlike when he had asked about my Mew card, I offered no further information.

    He shook his head, smiling sadly, and whispered something in a language I did not recognize. "Your father told me about her," he continued. "I'm so sorry."

    I tucked the chain back under my shirt. "I'd rather not speak of that now."

    "I understand," he assured.



    We returned to Seafoam later that night, after exploring the rest of the museum. It was early evening, but I was exhausted, my divine experience had indeed weakened my constitution. My father accepted me from Asaph and took me upstairs, where I fell asleep and dreamed of angels.
    Last edited by Blackjack Gabbiani; 29th November 2008 at 12:39 AM.

  15. #75
    前向き! fruitsmoothierevenge's Avatar
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    Asaph is a wonderful name. I really liked this last chapter, and the artistic characters you introduced.

    I'm excited to see where this story is going. Keep up the good work! ^_^
    I don't even like fruit smoothies. Give me a double-tall half-caf latte with foam any day.

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