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Thread: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: To a Conquering of Spacetime

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    Default Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Author's Note: Seriously, why hasn't anyone done this? I mean, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (Time, Darkness, and Sky) is a really good spin-off game of the main series. And there are plenty of fanfics out there that depict the Hero x Partner shipping. So I thought of putting a Gardevoir/Gallade as the Hero x Partner. Again, how has anyone not done this?

    Anyway, I had to. I just had to. I just had to make Gardevoir the Hero (Heroine?) and Gallade the Partner. Although this story is basically no different from the original game, there will be slight changes. The only obvious difference is that the Hero/Partner pairing is not the typical Pikachu/Piplup or Skitty/Turtwig pairing, but rather Gardevoir/Gallade.

    Just for the record, there are no humans. In a world where only Pokémon exist like Mystery Dungeon, how do they know what humans even are? I always thought that was a weird plot hole.

    Pokémon randomly spawning in dungeons for the sake of gaining EXP was a bit unrealistic, so I decided to remove that feature and focus on the environment of the mystery dungeon. It's one thing if the games spawn Pokémon for you to defeat, but when you think about it in terms of story plot, it's kinda… clumsy. After all, in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Special (anime), I don't recall seeing random Pokémon spawning to the Chimchar/Piplup/Sunflora for the sake of gaining EXP.

    Aaannnd I'm really worried about my characters. I feel like they're a bit too pale, but it's just the first chapter and I have an idea where those characters are going anyway so… *sigh* That was probably an unnecessary writer's rant.

    And maybe I sounded too poetic in this fanfic? I hope that's a good thing; I am in the middle of reading one of Mark Helprin's novels and his magical prose seems to have made an impact on me. But I hope I don't sound too foggy or too cheesy while I'm at it.

    I've also posted this on fanfiction.net (under my same name Empyrean Symphony), but I decided to join the Bulbagarden forums to see if I could get any more feedback on the forum. Thanks in advance to all who read and review! :D

    Next chapter will be up whenever I find the time! Somehow, of all the fics I've published, this is the one I feel like updating the fastest. This is going to seriously eat up a lot of my time. Anyways, here goes!

    Chapter 1 - Where the Waves Touch the Shore

    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:48 PM. Reason: chapter title added

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetiime

    I just realized my typo for the thread. It should be "Spacetime" instead of "Spacetiime." Welp.

    I was originally planning to make this story sound Exactly What It Says on the Tin from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Sky. (TV Tropes, anyone?) Literally, I was going to make this story the exact same story plot as the game, and I admit, if I did that, it would be really, boring. But then I came up with something more epic and tragic, and I don't want to spoil too much. That aside, here's the next chapter.

    Chapter 2 - They Who Embark Are Seekers

    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:49 PM.

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetiime

    I claim copyright. I had this idea and just didn't have the time to do it. :b And my story was supposed to be 100+ chapters. You ruined me. So thanks. But I have to admit you have a good story... :b

    Somebody please check out my RP!!! Claimer of moody and present!

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetiime

    Sorry for the late-ish reply. My schedule's been hectic. XP

    Anyways, I was pretty sure that others had the idea. Who had the idea first, we'll probably never know. :S Anyways, I at least know that I'm not the first person to come up with this idea, but I felt that it was an idea I could work with, since I'm a MedievalStoryShipping fanatic. (Or is it MedeivalShipping?) Gallade/Gardevoir is my all-time favorite pairing in the Pokémon franchise, and to prove my love of this pairing, I write fanfics about it. Yeah, I have no life. :P

    I'm not really sure how many chapters this story will take place, but I know that I will complete this fanfic no matter what it takes, even if my life is super busy! *headdesks madly* It's not following the game storyline either, but in the end, they ultimately save the world by fighting Primal Dialga. It's just that I want to bring out a believable bond between Genevra/Redley, and I really wanted to show it without using the same generic PMD2/PMD3 fanfic in which the Hero/Partner joins the guild and become apprentices while doing these tasks and realizing that the Hero was once a human, you get the idea.

    I'm currently working on the third chapter BTW. Not sure when I'll finish it, but when I finish it I'll probably be as tired as heck. *cue dramatic fainting to the floor*
    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 30th July 2013 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetiime

    I use a lot of strange names, but I think it adds a unique taste to the stories I write. Genevra is pronounced with a soft g, much like the how you'd pronounce the name George. Therefore, her name is pronounced Je-neh-vra, though I pronounce her name as if I were saying it in French. Redley's name is pretty self-explanatory… I hope.

    I love how ironic my summer is. I would like to think that during summer, I'd have plenty of time, but instead, I don't and I'm bombarded with stuff to do from other people in real life. Not to mention, the weather is cooler than usual from where I'm living.

    ---x---

    Chapter 3: Simplicity is Never Just Simplicity

    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:50 PM.

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Physics, physics, physics. Gah, some people love it, some people hate it. Either way, I would really love to study the subject if I have time but the problem is I never have time. But, I do have time for watching physics documentaries, so I spent a good amount of time some of them on PBS and YouTube by physicist "rock stars" including Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, and other awesome people. It's all really interesting stuff, and even though it can really rack your brain because it's so abstract and non-tangible and really out there beyond earth, I love it. I mean, if you live in the USA, and you've been to a high school, chances are that you've learned atoms make up everything in the universe, but that's a lie! Atoms do not make up everything in the universe, they only make up about 4% of the universe! Meanwhile, physicists and astronomers and scientists in general are completely clueless about dark matter and dark energy, because we really just don't know what dark matter/dark energy does except help keep the universe. Dark matter makes up about 25% of the universe, while dark energy makes up more than half the stuff of the universe so it's like "Aarrrgghh!" for the physicists who need to create new math to help explain the universe!

    I find it so amazing too that math gets created, like, humans literally create math. It's not like algebra was always here, some brilliant geniuses from the past literally invented algebra, and then you have Newton who invented calculus when he was 23, it's just so jaw-dropping to me. GAH!

    Anyways, the point is, I spent all of that time watching physics documentaries for a part of this chapter, specifically for Dialga/Palkia/Giratina/Arceus and stuff. I should stop writing so much in an author's note in a chapter, for crying out loud…

    Chapter 4 - From the Temporal Tower, It Called

    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:50 PM.

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Though this is a Mystery Dungeon Time/Darkness/Sky fanfic, I won't be using the game's map. So when you're reading the fanfic and you're thinking, "Oh, our heroes are going to go to Mt. Bristle next!" the Mt. Bristle you think they will be going to on the game map is completely different from the Mt. Bristle on the map I'm using. The map I'm using has a different layout because I included nine time gears instead of the normal five like the games do. Therefore, if any of you would like to see the map I'm using, you can leave a comment below to let me know and I'll find some website that'll allow me to upload my hand-drawn map to the Internet. Be warned, however, that I am the world's worst drawer, so the map I made does look weird. At least, it looks weird to me. :P In any case, I only made the map for my own reference, but really, I don't think it matters so much as the story does. But I still wanted to get that out there, for those who are curious.

    Chapter 5 - On the Wings of a Dragon, Part 1



    ---x---

    A/N: Epic Smiley FTW! Oh, I love Wigglytuff and his signature Epic Smiley, even though he doesn't really have one and I made one up just for the fun of the story. :D (If you don't know what an Epic Smiley is, google up the meme. It's the world's best smiley.) I also nearly killed myself of laughter while writing the ending scene between Genevra and Redley. *does a weird party dance*

    This chapter was originally going to be up to around 15,000 words (give or take) but I had to shorten it. 15,000 words are good enough for a one-shot, but this is a chapter, so the next chapter will have the next part of Mt. Bristle. Until then! DFTBA!
    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:51 PM.

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    Default Re: PMD: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Sorry for the delay of the chapter; I'm working on a long one-shot that needs to be cut down by 10,000 words, and I had to cut out a good number of words in this chapter too. Anyways, here's Part 2 of On the Wings of a Dragon! I'm pretty glad I didn't decide to stuff 15,000 words in one chapter. But future chapters will be a lot longer than just 6000 words, judging by my plans right now. Why do I type so much?

    ---x---

    Chapter 6: On the Wings of a Dragon, Part 2



    ---x---

    A/N: You know, I'm not actually sure how much Fairy Wind actually does in the real games, especially since they won't come out until October 12. But for the sake of this fic, I'm going to pretend that Fairy Wind has at least a power of 80! Just like Energy Ball!

    On a separate note, school has begun in the USA, I'm in my senior year, and things are getting busy! I will do my best to keep up with this fic, because I really like it, but don't expect it to update as quickly. Until then, DFTBA! (Did anyone get the reference last time?)
    Last edited by Empyrean Philharmonic; 15th September 2013 at 12:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    I'm just wondering: is anyone actually reading this story? Like, if you don't like it, that's okay, but explanations and comments could really help. :/ I'll continue posting, but we'll see how far I get.

    The map is completed. :D You can go find it on my DeviantArt account, which is the same username: empyreansymphony DeviantArt. Just look around the gallery section under scraps and it'll be there. But don't say I didn't warn you when I say it's really cruddy. :P I tried dabbing with Paint to fix some things but… well, that went a lot worse than I hoped it would. Argh. It works.

    And trying to flesh out characters to their maximum is a lot harder than I thought it would originally be. I already had enough problems trying to build a background on Genevra; now I have to do one on Redley and it's not easy! (Side note: I'm one of those writers who never use those character fill-out sheets to explain my characters' traits and personality. Frankly speaking, I think they're useless.) Anyone want to comment or critique how well the development worked out?

    Also, I've decided to really expand on Team Raider and Team Charm. Team Charm had enough spotlight in PMD Time, Darkness and Sky, but not Team Raider. Seriously though. They just had to give more attention to Team Charm. :P Either way, I've decided both teams will be heavily prominent in this fic.

    Chapter 7 - The True Story of Redley


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    Default Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Alright, eighth chapter posted! If anyone nitpicks on the little grammar errors (especially regarding dialogue tags), I apologize. I fixed most of them on my main fanfiction account (ff.net), though I have to admit I'm feeling a bit lazy about fixing them here on the forum.

    Still, I think it's universally agreed that the story itself matters more than the grammar in the end. After all, I'm posting this on the Internet, not publishing it under some publishing house. There, I guess the editors could talk with the authors about their mistakes and stuff.

    Chapter 8 – In Preparation of an Unaccustomed Undertaking


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    Default Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: To a Conquering of Spacetime

    Chapter 9: Where Bonds Grow Deeper into Veracity, Part 1

    The studious taxonomist will find that there is a quite distinctly succinct definition of the word spider. By their definition, a spider is an organism classified under the Animalia Kingdom (in which they are multi-cellular, eukaryotic organisms) under the Arthropoda Phylum (a subclass of animals in which they have external skeletons, segmented bodies, and jointed limbs), which falls under the Arachnida Class (in which arthropods have exactly eight legs and two body segments), then falling under Araneae Order. That said, the definition of the araneae is what makes a spider a spider: it has fangs that can direly eject poison, possessing numerous, shiny eyes as well as spinnerets that grant them the ability to make webs with viscously sticky silk.

    Gallade didn't take this into account when he told Redley and Genevra about this, obviously. When he warned them about "spiders," what he really meant was the intimidating, non-spider Ariados living in Deep Apple Woods. However, everyone knew them as "spiders" — everyone pertaining to Pokémon living in villages in Apple Woods and adequately experienced exploration teams, that is. If a Pokémon wasn't either of them, they simply wouldn't know what a "spider" was. It wasn't any surprise when Genevra and Redley looked at each other in unknowing bewilderment at the Hot Springs the previous day when Gallade informed them of this. Besides, on first blush, Ariados are comparatively resonant to even ordinary spiders in appearance and function; hence their nickname "spiders."

    Team Skull didn't understand anything about the "spiders" either. They were far too ignorant to even pay attention. So when they thought they were winning the battle against the Seekers, they were dreadfully wrong.

    They kicked off their plan by sneaking into the shallow ends of Apple Woods, accomplished with relative ease. By the time they had arrived to Apple Woods, Team Raider and the temporarily sufficient army had just set sail to encounter Lugia and Her storm, and so the day was nearly over. The Pokémon living in the bestrewed villages of Apple Woods had just settled back into their own cozy homes, duly checking to see if any Ariados silk had trailed along their paths. Otherwise, they should find a repulsive Ariados sneaking into their homes and eating the family in the dead of the night. It seemed that on that certain afternoon, though, the Ariados had no interest of the villagers, for they could see three imbecilic Pokémon trailing deeper and deeper into Apple Woods, going so far into the forest that it was, in actuality, Deep Apple Woods.

    It just so happened that those Perfect Apples were grown in Deep Apple Woods, the same place where the feared Ariados lived. The Ariados were very strategic, and very intelligent: Deep Apple Woods had a wonderful freshwater lake, as well as richly fertile soil, making it an ideal place for such delicious fruit to be grown. Many Pokémon longed for Perfect Apples, but they would always refrain from going into Deep Apple Woods to obtain such fruit because of the ominous "spiders." As mentioned before, villagers of Apple Woods as well as experienced exploration teams would know of the dangers of Deep Apple Woods. All of the poisonous Ariados lived there, patiently waiting for some innocently unaware, and perhaps stupid, Pokémon to capture with their horrendously sturdy silk, to slowly suck the living nutrients out of whatever creature they had captured.

    It was custom for Ariados to never catch their prey at first sight; that would only prove them to be less intelligent and cunning than one thought they could have been. They were always accommodating, willing to endure the hunger that came from their stomachs. Pouncing upon their prey instantly had a higher chance of the prey escaping and calling for help from their own connections, only to drive away the Ariados into a longer time without any more food to eat; hence why the Ariados that night decided not to instantly catch Team Skull with their silk.

    The Ariados living in Apple Woods was the apex of all challenges in Test A. Wigglytuff was very well aware that only seasoned Pokémon knew how to gather Perfect Apples, and only they would dare travel to Deep Apple Woods. After all, they were skilled in dealing with Ariados, wielding various techniques in driving away the predators to obtain Perfect Apples. The guildmaster had to check that Genevra and Redley would be capable of handling those nasty spiders, and if they passed this test, well, it would certainly be a feat prompting awe from Pokémon all over.

    Team Skull moved along very stealthily, dodging Pokémon and villages that were in their path. The three thought they were wonderfully smart, they thought they were spectacularly amazing, they thought they were marvelous geniuses, especially Skuntank, who was the most overly prideful of them all. The Ariados watched patiently in the background, waiting and waiting, snickering to themselves in satisfaction of the guests who were hiding the Perfect Apples. Oh, did they have fun watching these arrogant morons.

    The Queen Ariados, who was a disturbingly shiny purple color, watched the three dimwits pluck all of the Perfect Apples from their respective trees. Her ears were predominantly sharp, so it was quite easy for her to hear Team Skull "quietly" go over their plain. In summary, the leader, a fat skunk, commanded his underlings, a toxic cloud and a bloodsucking bat, to gather all of the Perfect Apples in sight, and hide them in the tallest, grandest, and quite possibly oldest non-apple tree that stuck out like a king tree in Deep Apple Woods. The grand tree had an impressively hollow cave at the very base of the trunk, tempting enough to shelter any poor soul from a storm. It was here where Team Skull hid the Perfect Apples, and they would then cover the entrance of the cave with the everlasting amounts of tree leaves scattered all around the forest floor. After hiding the Perfect Apples, they themselves would hide within the tree cave, feasting on large amounts of Perfect Apples.

    What they did not know was that the tree cave happened to be the very same place that housed the eggs of Ariados.

    ---x---

    The next morning, Genevra and Redley had woken up at a commendably early time, for they knew they would be setting off for Apple Woods in search of the Perfect Apples. While they were thinking that the last task would be more or less easy to accomplish as the third task, Gallade's warning about the "spiders" did haunt them quite gloomily.

    "… Do you really think we should take Gallade's warning about the spiders?" Redley asked Genevra as they walked along the dirt path, the morning sun slowly rising to the sky.

    "Well, I don't think he would be lying to us about them," Genevra said, remembering his warning. "If anything, I think he was trying to give us an advantage. But… what could the spiders mean?"

    Redley sighed, disappointed that he could not answer the Gardevoir's question. "I kinda wish I knew the answer to that, but… well, I mean, I don't know."

    "Well, then, I guess we'll just have to find out when we get there," the Gardevoir said, straightening herself. "This is our last task so hopefully, we can finish it without going through so much trouble."

    An ordinary silence would have occurred, since Genevra's comment had finished the end of the conversation.

    "… this even the right way to Apple Woods? I doubt we'll find Pachirisu anyways. That mission is almost two weeks old!" a half-timid, blossoming soprano asked.

    "Don't worry, Mareep!" another innocent voice in a mild tenor replied. "We're going the right way! Besides, maybe we'll find some treasure if we don't find Pachirisu."

    The Gardevoir and the Gallade turned around to find two other Pokémon not too far long behind them. A Mareep and a Gible were walking together, the Gible proudly carrying a Wonder Map as the Mareep trudged along, a Treasure Bag hanging around her back as if it were a horse saddle.

    "Oh, look!" Mareep paused in front of the Seekers. "Another exploration team!"

    "Hello there!" Gible lifted a pudgy hand to wave to them. "How are you?"

    The sheep and the dragon could have been not much older than ten; their naturally high-pitched voices gave off a childishly young air, though that didn't mean they were immature. Perhaps, however, their sounds gave some the idea that Gible was reckless, and that Mareep was slightly more thoughtful before acting.

    "Hi," Redley greeted and returned the wave. "We're doing well."

    Genevra smiled at the sight of the young explorers. "You two are heading for Apple Woods too?"

    Mareep nodded, returning the smile as her eyes shined in adorable delight. "We have to find Pachirisu, who's an outlaw."

    "He swindled someone in Treasure Town a while ago," Gible continued. "Apparently, Pachirisu tricked our client by stealing his precious Water Stone. We need to get it back while bringing Pachirisu too."

    "Still, the mission is over two weeks old, so maybe Pachirisu is far away from Apple Woods." Mareep sighed. "I'm kinda afraid that when we get there, we won't have the time to search all of Apple Woods."

    Genevra tapped her chin thoughtfully before turning to her partner. Perhaps they could kill two birds with one stone. She and Redley were supposed to go far into Deep Apple Woods, and it wouldn't hurt to help a fellow exploration team accomplish their mission.

    Besides, Genevra thought, these Pokémon look like little kids… And for some reason, I feel worried about them anyway…

    "Why don't we help them while we're at it, Redley?" Genevra turned to the Gallade. "I mean, I know our own mission is important, but since we're all heading for Apple Woods, we might as well. If Pachirisu went into Deep Apple Woods, there's a chance we might find him. He could be near the Perfect Apples."

    "Really?!" the sheep and the dragon said in collective unison, looking up at Genevra in a happy surprise.

    Needless to say, Redley was surprised, but the Gardevoir's thoughtful suggestion could not make him say no. Deciding to be receptive, the Gallade answered to Genevra's question with a "yes," and the innocent cheers of happiness that came from Mareep and Gible not only touched Genevra, but also to Redley.

    And so, the four went on walking along the dirt path heading for Apple Woods, making small talk. They all exchanged bits and pieces of information from each other, the Seekers learning that Mareep and Gible were orphans from the nearby Blissey Orphanage, not far away from the Chansey Day Care. Together, they had recently formed an exploration team at the Wigglytuff Guild without doing any kind of exam; Chatot and Wigglytuff had told them that they would start straight from the beginning and build their experience as an exploration team from there. Because they were now residing in Wigglytuff Guild, they no longer had to live under the guidance of Blissey. The occasional greeting was given to Blissey from time to time, and thus was the story of Mareep and Gible.

    Genevra and Redley carefully constructed their own story, leaving out the specific mention of Genevra's memory loss and Redley's Relic Fragment. While they did acknowledge that Mareep and Gible were merely children, somehow telling them the truth so would seem more troublesome than it needed to be. If they were to find out the whole story about the Gallade and the Gardevoir, maybe unanswerable questions would spring up, and that itself was a reason for both Genevra and Redley to not tell their full story. The two also gave Mareep and Gible an explanation about their mission to collect Perfect Apples, though Mareep and Gible were, too, unaware about the Ariados, so they didn't comprehend the dangers they were about to set into.

    By the time the late morning had arrived, the four Pokémon found themselves standing before the entrance to Apple Woods. The trees surrounding them were noticeably different; some of them were blooming with apple flowers while others carried baby apples. None of the trees showed signs of fully developed apples waiting to be plucked and eaten, but one could be sure that if the four were to head deeper into the forest, there would be a bountiful of trees holding ripe apples. From the entrance, a wizened and grand tree was visible; arising out of the center so much that it stood out from the rest of the forest, for it seemed to touch the white clouds in the sky. Of course, that tree was the same tree in which Team Skull had hid themselves and the Perfect Apples in, and of course, only the Ariados knew of it.

    A sign was posted at the center of the entrance, standing between a fork in the road. One direction was to their left, an arrow declaring, TO THE SOUTH VILLAGE. The other arrow pointed to the right, reading, TO THE NORTH VILLAGE.

    "So…" Mareep looked around her companions. "Which way do we go?"

    Gible held up the Wonder Map. "Well, maybe we could go either way. I mean, Pachirisu could be anywhere." The dragon turned to Genevra and Redley, lifting his head up to meet their faces. "We could split up, but how would we get to communicate with each other?"

    "Hm." Genevra thought about the problem, her mind examining the possibilities. "Maybe we can signal each other by using a move? I could form a Fairy Wind into the air high enough to see."

    "Great idea!" The Gible grinned widely, unintentionally showing his sharp teeth. "I'll be able to use Sandstorm then!"

    "Oh no, anything but that!" Mareep shivered nervously, dreading the harshly abrasive Sandstorm. She looked at her partner with an unsatisfied eye, about to scold him as if she were a housewife badgering her husband. "You know how much I hate your Sandstorms! I had to spend eight hours trying to get all of the sand out of my wool the last time you made one!"

    Gible's grin turned into a frown, realizing that Mareep was right. He whined, "But I'll be more careful this time! I promise!"

    "If we're gonna split up into two, then I'll make an Electro Ball instead!" Mareep stormed on, a cross-popping vein throbbing intensely against her forehead. "I don't want to spend so much time getting the sand out of my wool when I could be doing something else!"

    "Aw…" Gible sighed like a kid, giving consent to his partner. "Fine."

    The scene seemed to be cheerfully comical, in spite of the fact that there was an imminently macabre, and no doubt violent, event that was about to befall upon the four. Genevra and Redley looked at each other, amused by the little children standing before them. They shared a smile, delighted by the vivacity of Mareep and Gible.

    At the end, Genevra and Redley decided to take the path to the South Village of Apple Woods, while Mareep and Gible would take the path to the North Village. Would anything come up, they agreed to signal one another so that they could meet together. The two teams said a casual parting to one another, knowing that they would be seeing each other later.

    "Really, though," the Gardevoir said to the young Mareep and Gible, the worried tone eminent in her voice. "If anything happens, don't hesitate calling us."

    "Don't worry!" Gible smiled happily, his eyes shining. "We'll be fine!"

    Mareep nodded merrily. "We hope you'll be okay too!"

    Redley found himself smiling at the warm scene. In witnessing this, he was touched, his red horn beginning to feel emotions of unconditional love and compassion around him; Genevra's feelings of care were noteworthy. He almost wondered if it was okay to be this happy, to stand next to the one he loved. It was a sharp contrast to his years of depression, and he realized how embarrassing it was to once think of suicide.

    Besides, Genevra's concern for children made her all the more appealing. The emotion that came from the Gardevoir was impressionable to the Gallade, for all Pokémon in the Ralts evolution line were significantly more sensitive to emotional intelligence than other Pokémon. The fervor of emotion streaming through him now made him understand that he had never been so happy and content the past few days, and he was truly grateful to still be living today rather than join his parents in some other-worldly realm.

    ---x---

    Some while later, the members of Team Skull woke up at a far later time than what one could call morning. Such an act would have angered and shocked all of members of the Wigglytuff Guild, especially Chatot, for they had their own strict standards on what time guild members should rise. Imagine what the punishment would be for rising up late — no dinner for that night, perhaps be denounced by the PETF, or even have their exploration team badges taken from them so that they would cease to be an exploration team. It was to Team Skull's benefit that they weren't guild members, but even though that was so, there was still a secure punishment they were about to face after a certain string of events.

    All three Pokémon of Team Skull were quite lazy at the moment. Like dumb oafs, they rose slowly and lethargically within the tree cave, for they had eaten an exaggerated and unreasonable amount of Perfect Apples the night before. Their stomachs were filled with the delicious fruit, and they were foolish enough to let their gluttony take heavy control over all of them. In spite of that fact, there were still piles upon piles of Perfect Apples sitting quietly, waiting patiently to be devoured by some famished Pokémon.

    "… Urgh…" Skuntank groaned, sunlight peeking between the leaves of the makeshift wall they had set up the previous night against the entrance. He was sure that if the entrance to the tree cave was covered up, then there would be no chance of Team Sneezers finding their coveted treasure. The three gathered loose leaves, old sticks, and scattered boulders, fastening them all together to the best that they could without having any sort of glue. It was done so well up to the point where a non-resident of Apple Woods would have glanced by it without a second thought, but the Ariados were mindful enough to not miss the awkwardness of the slapdash cover-up.

    Golbat stirred next, his wings flapping shabbily, struggling to not fall down from the heaviness in his stomach. He had hung on a surprisingly sturdy but loose-looking root of the tree in sleeping last night, and his poor vision for a bat failed him to capture the Ariados eggs wrapped ingeniously in camouflage Ariados silk, the subtlety of it skipping him like any other ordinary background prop.

    Weezing huffed quite loudly as he rose up, his eyelids opening just as laggardly as Skuntank and Golbat's movements. Unlike Golbat, though, his sluggish attitude froze when his eyes met the tree canopy; the fear and horror of staring at the dozens upon dozens of roundish dark silk forming the shape of spheres grabbing his heartbeat. It was a nightmarish scene, something seemingly taken out of some alien dream of the eerie subconscious; perhaps the formation could even be described as sickeningly yet pleasurably perverted. Sigmund Freud might have had a loony field day looking at such a mold, proclaiming the wackiest of psychological theories with mentions of male and female sexuality.

    "Uh… guys?" Weezing's eyes went wider, his brain desperately registering the weird lumps above him. He was not aware that they were Ariados eggs, but he was intelligent enough to feel that something wasn't right with the things above him.

    "What?" Skuntank yawned lazily, turning towards the toxic could.

    "Er… What's that up there?"

    "I can't see a darn ding!" Golbat squinted his eyes, his facial muscles straining.

    The skunk turned his head up, staring at the thingamajig above him blankly for a second or two. When he sensed that there was something unusual about the living apparatus above him, he paused seriously, a ghoulish gasp escaping from his mouth.

    "Those…" Skuntank gulped, though all of the saliva in his mouth had drained as if his mouth became a desert. "Those, are, eggs!"



    The realization hit all three as if they had just been hit by stones from behind.

    "Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap!" Skuntank felt his body pulse with electrical fear, the oscillations making him lose more and more control of himself. "CRAP! What if they hatch right now?!"

    "Chief, they look like they're moving!" Weezing yelled, Skuntank's fear now latching on to the toxic cloud. Indeed, it appeared that the lumps were moving, and it only made Skuntank and Golbat's skin crawl with itches.

    "We need ta get outta here!" Golbat was flapping his wings frantically, eager to escape. "I don't wanna get eaten!"

    A crack was heard, and the three looked up in alarm. They were positive an egg had just hatched.

    "Neither do I!" Skuntank snarled, and immediately crashed down their makeshift cover-up, the leaves, sticks and boulders scattering all over the ground outside of the tree in chaotic sprinkles. At this point, he didn't care if Team Sneezers got the Perfect Apples, for his own survival was obviously more important. If they got the Perfect Apples, well, whoopee for them. He'd plot his revenge against them in another way.

    "Wait up Chief!" the cloud and the bat said simultaneously, floating around the tree cave like deranged flies; they had already been left behind without a second glance from their boss. How selfish of Skuntank, considering that he couldn't even give a second thought to his own teammates.

    "Oh, it's so nice to see that you've finally awakened," an unfamiliar, dark mezzo snickered from seemingly out of nowhere. "You three are quite the lazybones. But I must say, you all look like you've got a nice dinner and a nice sleep, which means you must be wonderfully delicious to eat. And we personally all love Poison-Types, because Poison-Type Pokémon our some of the few types that make us stronger. I know I adore the nutrients of Poison-Type Pokémon!"

    Team Skull looked crazily around them, the voice only increasing their fears by tenfold. Their heads swung wildly from one point to the next, and Golbat was the first to see the shiny Ariados slyly slink down from a thread of silk on top of the tall tree beside them. Her grin was malicious, the fangs already excreting a deadly poison much more toxic than Weezing's Clear Smog. The normal strength of Ariados venom was savage and lethal, making Team Skull's poison look amateurish in comparison. A single drop of their poison could instantly cause the heart to stop beating if ingested, or if it landed on the skin of some Pokémon's anatomy, it would give them a lovely second-degree burn.

    "Welcome!" the Queen Ariados cackled, more masses of Ariados now following en suite, hanging from their own threads of silk from the branches above. "I hope you're ready to get eaten!"

    The members of Team Skull simultaneously screamed, jittering insanely as the instinct to survive took hold of them. No matter what direction they turned to, there was always another mass of Ariados ready to block them, baring their fangs as their poison and saliva dripped out of their mouths. Behind them from the tree cave, baby Ariados could be seen crawling out, their cries of hunger filling the air. The Perfect Apples were not going to satisfy their stomachs; they needed live prey to eat.

    "Wh-wh-whadda we do?!" Golbat shrieked. One might have thought that it would have been easy for Weezing and Golbat to escape, but the Ariados wouldn't let their prey go so easily. They continuously spun silk in the air around them, all hanging from the tree branches; if they were to try and fly out, they would simply get caught into the web, the sticky silk capturing them.

    Skuntank snarled, looking at Weezing. "Get ready for our noxious gas combo!"

    "Whoa-ho!" Weezing replied, instantly releasing a transparent blob of poisonous gas.

    The battle between the multitudes of Ariados and Team Skull whirled onward, exchanges of moves showering one another. It seemed easier in the beginning for Team Skull; they had enough consciousness and energy to dodge the Ariados silk as much as they could. Both Golbat and Weezing had enough space and agility to evade the silk. Skuntank was not so fortunate; being limited to the spaces of the ground, he was the first to get entangled within a strong thread of silk from an Ariados. Seeing this, Golbat and Weezing, too, fell down, ensnared by the webs, their struggles only growing more in terror and despair. All three screamed, their shrill sounds deafening the Ariados. The bugs kept ground, continuously wrapping them around in silk, only glad that there was more prey for them to feast upon when they were dead.

    At this rate, Team Skull didn't stand a chance of surviving.

    ---x---

    There were always specific parties of Pokémon who gathered Perfect Apples to make their living. In the way their economy worked, they would collect the Perfect Apples without getting eaten by the Ariados, and then make their way across various villages and towns, including the ever-bustling Treasure Town, to trade for other essential needs and necessities of life.

    On this particular day, two brotherly friends, Charmeleon and Monferno, were setting out once again to Deep Apple Woods in search of Perfect Apples. Their Perfect Apple stock had run out and they required more to sustain their own needs. It wouldn't take much work to drive away the Ariados if they were preyed upon; their convenient Fire-Type moves would scare those spiders, rendering them into ninnies. Getting the Perfect Apples would be as easy as a spring breeze.

    Ordinarily, the two friends wouldn't have paid attention to the environment around them with particular caution. Today, they instantaneously noticed the strange oddity that all of the Perfect Apples had been plucked, even when they hadn't gone so far to find the best of Perfect Apples in the forest. None were seen in sight. That wasn't the most frightening realization, however, for numbers of Ariados who weren't invited to eat Team Skull started slyly circling the Fire-Type Pokémon. The thought of making their usual rounds around villages and towns without having any Perfect Apples to make a profit off of alarmed them immensely.

    "You're back again," one Ariados hissed with eminent disapproval. "If you want Perfect Apples, they're all gone."

    "There aren't any more for you to take," another said, crackles in the voice. "They've all been taken by three morons."

    "All of them?" Charmeleon questioned, looking at the surrounding bugs.

    "We have no desire to eat you," the first Ariados started again. "All we wish is that you get out now. There are no Perfect Apples."

    "There has to be more," Monferno insisted, looking back at the fire lizard. "We can't go out of Apple Woods until we find a decent amount."

    "We told you." The Ariados glared at the two crossly. "They're all gone!"

    The two fired a simultaneous Flamethrower to all of the Ariados, the bugs flinching back in horror. Several gained third-degree burns, screaming and writhing in pain as they scurried away for survival.

    "We're not going anywhere!" Monferno reiterated in a more demanding tone to the bugs. "There's more Perfect Apples here and we won't leave until we find them!"

    "Then so be it!" another Ariados yelled angrily, charging for the two Pokémon, ready to eject strands of silk out of its mouth. The attempt was useless, as Charmeleon and Monferno easily burned the silk into particles of ashes. In sight of the power, all Ariados within visible range ran away like timid mice, not wanting to receive any more injuries from the two Fire-Types. Charmeleon and Monferno sighed in unison, relaxed that the spiders wouldn't bother to fight.

    "Let's keep on going deeper," Charmeleon said. "There needs to be more. I'm sure of it."

    Monferno nodded, and the two walked deeper into Apple Forest. Soon, they would stumble upon three dead bodies, very unaccustomed for the preferred daily familiarities, though they would eventually find what they were looking for: Perfect Apples.

    ---x---

    It had been some time past noon when Mareep and Gible passed through the North Village. They asked the locals if they had seen a Pachirisu, and some replied that they had, but it had been at least a week ago since they last saw him. When the sheep and the dragon found out, their spirits diminished, and they began losing hope.

    "Well," Gible started, trying to be a little more optimistic than normal. "Maybe Team Seekers have found something?"

    Mareep snorted. "Yeah, if they had, they would've signaled us by now."

    "That's it!" Gible jumped up from the boulder he was sitting on. "Why don't we signal them?"

    "No Sandstorm!" Mareep snapped back. "I'm using Electro Ball—"

    "Hey, you two!"

    Mareep and Gible turned around together, finding a Ledian flapping her wings closer to them.

    "Did you say you were looking for Pachirisu?"

    Gible replied yes, and a disappointed sigh was the reply from the Ledian.

    "What is it?" Mareep asked the ladybug.

    "I know what happened to Pachirisu. But first, why exactly are you searching for him?"

    The two quickly explained their mission to bring Pachirisu to justice and recover the Water Stone to its original owner, and the more they talked on about what they needed to accomplish, the more the Ledian's face twisted into negativity. Their voices faltered at seeing her reaction, and they wondered what she would say next.

    "Pachirisu… is dead."

    "!" was the reply from Mareep and Gible. The sheep and the dragon looked at each other in astonishment, questions pouring within the two Pokémon's minds.

    "What do you mean?"

    "If he's dead, what do we do now?"

    "How did he die?"

    "Where is he?"

    Ledian looked at the two, switching from one Pokémon to the next in her view. "I was out looking for Apples when it happened. The Pachirisu didn't seem to know about the Ariados living around here, and we tried warning him about them, but he didn't listen. He stayed in our village for a night, but we didn't know he was a thief at the time. The next morning, some of our villagers' belongings were gone, and we went out to search for him. Instead, we found the Ariados feeding over his dead body."

    Mareep and Gible paled, their throats feeling their own voices suddenly drained of their sound. They looked at each other in uncertainty, for the sudden flow of new information sinking in their heads was a little more beyond their capability of taking it in calmly.

    "Do you still want to see him?" the ladybug asked. "His body hasn't been completely eaten."

    Gible saw that Mareep was trembling nervously; it was clear she could not respond. The dragon himself could hear his heartbeat grow louder, a sign that meant he was just as nervous. "We'll… we'll have to go there and see…"

    "Gible!" Mareep suddenly exclaimed, her soprano reaching into higher notes of her range. "B-but…"

    "Even if Pachirisu is dead, we still have to find the Water Stone for Politoed!" Gible argued, his eyes showing a determination that displayed a true sign of bravery. "W-we'll just have to tell them that Pachirisu is dead…"

    Mareep gulped, her mouth much more sensitive than before. For some reason, her tongue felt strange, the roof of her mouth foreign. She had never experienced such a dreadful event. "… Okay…"

    "Is this really important to you guys?" Ledian went on.

    "It is." Gible nodded. "We need to go back home with something in our hands."

    "So I see." Ledian sighed. "Pachirisu was carrying a bag when he came to our village, and all of us were convinced that after he stole some of our things, they were in there. When the Ariados had finished with Pachirisu, we couldn't find the bag anywhere. We don't know where it is now. If you insist, though, we can go see the dead body."

    Gible and Mareep looked at each other once again, another feeling of worry and shock transferring between the two. As coolly as she could, Ledian led the two Pokémon a little far ways from the North Village, paying close attention to see if any Ariados were following them.

    "S-so…" Mareep began. "The A-Ariados… ate Pachirisu…"

    Ledian confirmed that it was so.

    "I… didn't know there was Ariados living around here," Gible commented.

    "Well, not many know about it in the first place," Ledian said, and then looked at Mareep and Gible. "You two look pretty young for explorers."

    "We're just beginners," was the reply.

    "Ah, that makes sense." Ledian sighed. "It's not the best place to be here. The Ariados like to prey for Pokémon, and anyone who doesn't know about it will likely get eaten."

    Wait…

    "Genevra and Redley!" Mareep suddenly gasped, remembering Team Seekers. "What, what'll we do? They'll be in trouble! They said they were going to Deep Apple Woods!"

    A sudden silence ensued, making both Ledian and Gible pause.

    "You… have friends with you?"

    Mareep paused, making a noise that read she was hesitating. "They… said they were going to get Perfect Apples…"

    Ledian seemed careful. "Are… they experienced explorers?"

    "They… look like they are." Mareep hesitated, the worry scrunching her face as she bit her lip. "They'll… they'll be okay."

    "… We should signal them," Gible said quietly, sharing Mareep's fears.

    "Have they been here before? If they have, it shouldn't be so much trouble for them. They should already have been warned about the Ariados if they've been here."

    "They said something about an exam," Gible recalled, trying to remember any more important details. "But they look like they're strong… so yeah, I think they're okay."

    "If you're really worried, we can alert other villages," Ledian offered. "All of us living here in our villages don't want any unlucky Pokémon to be eaten by the Ariados, especially if they're new explorers."

    Mareeo and Gible shared a frown, though a part of them was eager to believe that Team Seekers was okay. They looked pretty strong after all; didn't they say they completed some missions before? Besides, they looked like adults, really — they didn't know about Genevra and Redley's ages, but they had the appearance young, strong adults — and they had a certain maturity about them that neither children nor young teenagers had.

    Gible sighed, wanting to resume back to his normally cheerful attitude. "Let's… go look at Pachirisu first. Maybe we'll find a clue as to where his bag is. I mean, if we're really afraid, then we'll signal them."

    Mareep did not feel like arguing — she wasn't quite sure what to say even if she wanted to. She merely nodded her head, and the three Pokémon went along away from the North Village, treading deeper into Apple Woods.

    ---x---

    The Gallade and the Gardevoir were doing quite well, for they had already passed through the South Village of Apple Woods, making their way to head into Deep Apple Woods. Their questions were met with responses of curiosity and warnings, and when the specific mention of Ariados were brought up, Genevra and Redley sighed together, understanding finally what Gallade meant by "spiders."

    "It doesn't seem too terrible," Genevra said, noting the lack of Ariados. The two had finished talking to their last villager they questioned a while ago, and they were now in the middle of Deep Apple Woods. "From where we are, shouldn't there be any Ariados by now?"

    Redley moved his head from left to right. "I thought there would be Perfect Apples by now too. There aren't any in sight."

    Genevra sighed, agitated. "This isn't helping us. We'll fail the evaluation if we come back without the Perfect Apples. After all that work we did…"

    A sudden, fiery explosion materialized, brumes of charcoal-black smoke obscuring a partial view of the blue sky. The Seekers perked their heads up, the boom taking hold of their attention. They could see the source of the combustion, the smoke rising up from the king tree of Apple Woods. Both Genevra and Redley agreed to check into the event, dashing quite hurriedly into the scene of the burning outbreak.

    Swarms of Ariados began to fill in the Seekers' view as they arrived at the mise-en-scène, all screeching at the searing hot pain of third-degree burns. For those who took notice of Genevra and Redley, they jumped out of their way, shoving into other Ariados as they tried to scuttle into safety, not even attempting to attack them. The displays of Ariados hordes were truly disturbing; anyone with terrible arachnophobia would faint at the sight of the massive arrays of Ariados, and even those who weren't would feel a jolt of creepy-crawlies sneak into their entire body. Despite the disquieting numbers of Ariados, a good percentage of them were seen fighting stubbornly against a Charmeleon and a Monferno, unwilling to give up to those Fire-Types.

    The Queen Ariados was hanging from a large string of silk, a blood-red liquid dripping from her fangs as her forelegs carried a piece of dangling, freshly killed prey. Remains of Team Skull were scattered very loosely across the floor, the baby Ariados scouring and fighting over the bits of pieces that were Skuntank, Weezing, and Golbat. Charmeleon and Monferno occasionally burned alive some of the baby Ariados as they tried to fight back others; they had no time to place any moral value on the baby Pokémon. Their own instinct and will of survival were obviously more important, so killing off the baby Ariados did not make them feel guilt of any sort.

    What chaos.

    The Gallade and Gardevoir paused very briefly at the scene, absorbing in the scene. Their senses were overflowing with repugnancy and horror. The stench here was making even the grossest of city sewers smell like perfume, and the ear-piercing screams and clashes of dissonance were difficult to take in without covering their ears. All sensations were running high, the adrenaline pumping through their bodies like a hurricane, and the two Pokémon grimaced painfully, so much that their faces were hurting from doing so.

    But there—

    In the midst of all the chaos, Genevra and Redley saw the Perfect Apples sitting quite patiently in the tree cave, piles of healthy, bright burgundy fruit on piles. Those Perfect Apples seemed to reside in their own physically distant dimension, taking no heed of the stampeding pandemonium surrounding them.

    Charmeleon and Monferno were already running out of breath, the last of their energy supply about to diminish further into oblivion. They had been fighting the Ariados with more effort and time than they could ever remember, for getting Perfect Apples never seemed to take this much strength out of them like before. Still, they could recognize the Gallade and the Gardevoir as allies immediately, and when they screamed out for help, Redley and Genevra responded, preparing their own moves.

    Genevra swirled up a glittering Fairy Wind, picking up delicate traces of air movements as she summoned them into a greater power. She swiveled around, her dress pirouetting artistically, swinging nearly all of the Ariados into the air, the bugs audibly knocking into each other. Those Ariados who were hanging on their own threads of silk on tree branches snapped; the force of Fairy Wind was ruthless in snipping them into the massive cloud of Ariados flying in the air. With all the considerable effort she could muster, she swung the cloud of Ariados to a distance far away, breathing heavily in the process. The impact of crashing down would render the spiders unconscious, unable to move or speak; they would only have the ability to mumble incomprehensible noises.

    Intuitively understanding that the Queen Ariados was not going to retreat, Redley aimed for her. His caliber in leaping high into the air was impressive for a Gallade; Queen Ariados was at least fifteen meters above the ground when Redley managed to attack her with a Night Slash. The sharp impact of his blades sliced into the Queen Ariados roughly, making her drop the bloody meat and screech in aftermath. The Gallade wasn't done; with another Night Slash, he was able to drive the cut of the attack so deeply into her abdomen that Redley felt a mix of Ariados venom and liquid splash against his entire left arm, as if it were an ocean wave.

    Redley jolted, as if an electric wave had just coursed through his entire body. He must have hit the gland that produced the lethal venom in Queen Ariados, and the bug juice that now splayed across his arm was burning against his skin relentlessly. As the Queen Ariados retreated above into her own nest on the king tree of Apple Woods, Redley staggered back to the ground, doing his best not to fall face flat onto the floor. He landed on clumsy footing, ungainly exclaiming out in pain. Genevra went by his side without a second thought, the concern beating in her heart like a frantic butterfly, the rhythm only rushing into a faster tempo.

    "What is it?" Genevra crouched down to meet Redley's height.

    "I…" Redley sighed unevenly and heavily, the pain smoldering within him as he attempted to open his own satchel for Pecha Berries using his free arm. The berries would counteract with the poison that had splashed against him. "I forgot that Ariados had poison in them…"

    Genevra was swift in reaching for the Pecha Berries. Quickly, she ripped a Pecha in half with her Psychic, smearing the sweet and sticky fruit all over the Gallade's burnt arm as if she were a nurse. The Gardevoir sighed as she thought, You know, Redley, you didn't have to attack the Queen Ariados a second time; just one Night Slash would've finished her. If you had only been more careful, then—

    "Thanks for the help," Charmeleon called out as the two Fire-Types went over to the Seekers. "We needed it."

    Monferno sighed, observing the dead pieces of Pokémon remains around him. "It looks like those unlucky three were eaten."

    Genevra and Redley scanned the environment around them more carefully this time. Now that there weren't any Ariados, they could see that there were squirts of blood staining the grasses and dirt. Smells of iron and other body fluids flowed through the air like a river, and the abhorrent scents churned their stomachs. By nature, Gallade and Gardevoir were not Pokémon that ate other Pokémon raw and bloody; to do such a thing would harm their delicate digestive system and possibly give them the worst stomachaches of their lives, or they would find themselves dead from the intensity of cruel bacteria. Both Genevra and Redley had a difficult time breathing, but they endured the foul stenches lingering around.

    "So, there were Pokémon here when you came?" Genevra asked the two.

    "They were already dead when we came," Monferno answered, and grimaced at remembering the scene. "They were a Skuntank, a Weezing, and a Golbat. The Ariados were crawling all over them and ripped them into pieces. Some Ariados ripped each other just trying to share what they caught." The fire monkey shivered. "They were all fighting for the food…"

    Genevra and Redley glanced at each other in alarm. Surely, the description had matched Team Skull, and since they were assigned to be an obstacle to the Seekers in Test A, they had to know about the Perfect Apples in Apple Woods. An understanding swept instinctively between the two Pokémon: Team Skull had been here in trying to grab the Perfect Apples for themselves, or at least make sure the Seekers wouldn't get the fruit before they did. Both the Gallade and the Gardevoir shivered this time, finding it hard to believe that the remains around them were once the team they found so annoying and immature. A pity washed over them, and the two felt gratefully relieved that the Ariados had not trapped them earlier.

    "Dear Arceus," Redley muttered under his breath. "What a way to die."

    There was a pause — a small, but meaningful variation of a vigil for the dead. When the silence was finished, everyone was instinctively aware of it.

    "Well," Genevra sighed, finishing smearing the last of the Pecha Berry against Redley's arm. "We found the Perfect Apples. We're safe. We're alive. Good Arceus."

    "You were looking for the Perfect Apples too?" Charmeleon asked.

    The Seekers nodded simultaneously.

    "We don't need a lot," Redley said, Genevra half-holding Redley by the shoulders as he attempted to stand up. The Gardevoir found her cheeks growing hot; she had never allowed herself to touch Redley so much as she had today. She released her grasps as Redley said, "We just need a few."

    The two Fire-Types nodded, and looked at the tree cave. Besides the abundant piles of Perfect Apples nestling, a Treasure Bag was seen, and it was presumed to be Team Skulls'. The four carefully made their way to the fruit, knowing that there were very loose numbers of Ariados watching them above. The Queen Ariados glared at them evilly, rage storming within her, though she could not attack. If she decided to attack, she would meet her death. It was already bad enough that she was bleeding a waterfall of blood. Steady raindrops of blood continuously fell to the forest floor as nearby Ariados attempted to seal her wound with silk.

    Genevra inadvertently tripped over a small, slyly hidden tree root, unable to hold onto anything for support. Her hands met the bloody grass, her head started pounding, and her eyes closed into darkness as she began feeling murkiness plummet into her mind. Another vision was preparing itself before Genevra, and as the event revealed itself to her, she strived to keep herself conscious.

    Deep within the pile of Perfect Apples, there is a small hole where the Ariados collect the items that once belonged to the Pokémon they eat… Of course, not many Pokémon know about this because no one dared to go near the king tree of Apple Woods, for they were dangerously near the Ariados, at least not until last night when Team Skull decided to hide all of the Perfect Apples in there… And Pachirisu, the thief… his bag lies beneath all of it…

    Her eyes opened, and the loose fragments of Redley's worried voice calling out to her name began echoing in her mind as if she were in a dream. "… nevra!"

    The Gardevoir shook her head, wiping her face with a forearm, being careful not to smear herself with the blood from the floor. When her eyes opened, she found Redley crouched down before her this time, the anxiety evident on his face, especially in his eyes. She was touched, and before the feelings of love and care could grip her any more, she immediately lifted herself up and said, "I'm fine. Don't worry."

    Genevra forced herself past Redley, whose hands were quite close to touching her, boldly stepping in between Charmeleon and Monferno, who were wondering what had happened. Ignoring the reactions of the Pokémon around her, she began moving the Perfect Apples out of her way, knowing that behind all of the Perfect Apples that were sitting, there was a heap of unclaimed items.

    Mareep and Gible said they had to find the Water Stone Pachirisu stole, and if Pachirisu's bag is really here, then there should be something…

    "…Genevra?" Redley asked as he leaned down to the Gardevoir.

    "I had another vision," Genevra explained hurriedly. "If you keep digging behind the pile of Perfect Apples here, there should be some things behind all of this and—"

    She wasn't able to get much further, however. A strong maelstrom of far-distant, windy screeches grabbed the attention of the four, and they all looked outside of the tree hollow.

    Particles of sand and dust formed in a shape of a mock tornado, swirling around a small number of Ariados within the sky. The winds were powerful enough to send small specks of sand spritzing around the four Pokémon quite rudely, and crudely.

    "That's… Sandstorm…" one of the Fire-Type Pokémon remarked half-absentmindedly, surprised that such a move would be found within a forest instead of a desert.

    "Mareep and Gible!" Genevra and Redley exclaimed together, understanding what the event expressly meant. They leapt up together, quickly telling Charmeleon and Monferno that they would be back soon to gather some of the Perfect Apples. The Fire-Types were left utterly confused, not at all knowing what had happened. Nevertheless, they knew that they would have to stay around, for if any of the Ariados should arise back into consciousness with enough energy to battle, they would have to guard the Perfect Apples. The Gardevoir and the Gallade said a quick goodbye, and dashed away to the scene of the commotion.

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