Chapter Three Risky Business!
The news of Avia’s little princess stepping down from her position as the heir to the throne circulated the airwaves at an alarming rate. For years, people were expecting her to announce her intentions on being bestowed with a crown. However, after yesterday’s shocker, the region of Ransei learned that she desired to become a Pokemon Trainer.
There was a certain person who was not shocked by the news simply because he could give a Rattata’s behind about the situation.
“Ninety-eight… ninety-nine… one hundred!” Blair’s voice strained as he placed the weightlifting bar he was using at its resting position above his while he was reclined on the bench. He sat up, grabbed a towel from one of his servants, and wiped his sweaty face before standing.
“Master Blair, sir?” the servant spoke, following the muscular man. “Are you aware of the news about the t throne in Avia?”
Blair walked over to the back wall of the recreational room in his large mansion and took a utility belt from the wall. The wall was filled with these belts, each with a set of PokeBalls attached to them. Blair strapped the belt around his waist before he was handed a black shirt from his servant. When he was asked the question about hearing the news from the Avia province, Blair lifted his eyebrows in an unimpressed manner.
“Avia?” Blair scoffed. “Ha! When I’m through with my plans for the Ransei region, no one is going to care about the precious royalty of the Avia province. At the end of the day, all will bow to me. It is my destiny to control this land!”
The servant simply nodded as he watched Blair shuffle into a pair of black combat. “Absolutely, sir. Are you ready for the test run on field two?”
“Yes. Bring forth one of those… criminals.”
“As you wish, sir,” the servant nodded and left the room.
A smirk appeared on Blair’s face as he watched his servant leave and soon followed after him. He made his way to the outside of the back portion of his mansion and walked towards one of his five battlefields that were conveniently placed side-by-side. Entering through the gates of the ‘field two’, Blair stood on the eastern side of the battlefield and awaited the arrival of his opponent.
Moments later on the other side of the field, a platform was raised from the underground, ascending a young man whose ankles were chained to the ground. He was dressed in an all black jumpsuit with a crimson letter ‘D’ outlined with blue on the chest of the outfit. The young man appeared to have a very confident expression on his face as he stared the ambassador of the Ransei region in the eye from across the field.
Blair smirked and said, “Ah, I see I’ve been challenged by a rebellious criminal. Tell me something, son… Will you continue to stare at me with those blazing eyes once I destroy you?”
“The only criminal standing here is you!” the young man growled.
“It is that attitude that will prevent you from being an integral part of my plan for this region. As a matter of fact, you are not even worthy of wearing that ‘D’ on your chest!” Blair shouted as he pointed at his opponent.
The young man ripped off his shirt, revealing several beastly scars across his upper body. “Ask me if I care!”
A menacing cackle erupted from Blair’s mouth as he snatched a PokeBall from his belt. He glared at the rambunctious young man that dared to disrespect him. “I was considering allowing you to face me with Pokemon that I provided for you, but now you’re trying to take my kindness for weakness. Free him!”
The chains that bound the young man to the ground were unlocked. Immediately after being freed, the young man went into a hysterical rage as he sprinted to the opposite side of the field with his sites on attacking Blair. Another smirk appeared on Blair’s face as he approached. Once the man got within striking distance, Blair roared, cutting his right fist up to the bottom of the young man’s chin, sending him flying into the air and thudding on the ground a few times. As the young man lay there, concussed by the strike, Blair approached him and stood over him.
“I still have a battle that is scheduled for today,” Blair said. “And I have a… bodyguard that doesn’t appreciate someone that tries to impose harm on his master.”
Blair tossed his PokeBall into the air releasing one of his prized Pokemon, Volcarona. The Sun Pokemon took flight above the battlefield as Blair proceeded to walk towards the exit where his servant stood.
“Enclose the field and don’t extinguish anything until there is nothing left,” Blair said coldly as he began to walk towards his mansion.
“As you wish, sir,” Blair’s servant said. He pressed a button near the gate of the battlefield as steel wall emerged from the ground and surrounded the entire field. There was no means of escape even from above.
The young man finally regained his equilibrium as he stood up, wavering a bit. His eyes glanced up at the top of the steel dome, fearfully looking at the floating Volcarona. After a series of screams for help, the young man fell to his knees as Volcarona began to unleash flames from its body and flapping wings. The flames circulated throughout the inside of the dome, proceeding to overheat the trapped young man.
Death was certain. ----------
It was very fortunate for Auburn and Jet to be joined by Kelly on this seemingly aimless journey. According to Auburn, she provided a greater since sense of knowledge of the region of Ransei that he did not know about. Of course, there was also the hefty load of money that Kelly also had that helped them receive monorail tickets across the region to the province of Pugilis in western Ransei. What Kelly failed to mention before their trip was that she used all of her allowed money to get the group to the other side of the region.
“Wait! What do you mean you spent all of your money to get us over here?” Auburn exclaimed as they stood in the monorail station in the small province of Pugilis. “Your family is royalty! They didn’t loan you any money before you left?”
Kelly smiled uneasily as she rubbed the back of her neck. “Well,” she began, “my father doesn’t believe in handing out money if it isn’t going towards something he believes in. So, he’s letting me do things on my own. I have to respect that!”
“Respect what!?” Auburn groaned as he head hit the floor.
Laughing, Jet looked up at them both and said, “Well, aren’t we going to Violight anyway? There’s a casino downtown.”
Kelly nodded as she looked through her Ransei region map. “Yeah, I’m sure we can try our luck at winning some money back. I do have enough money to gamble.”
“Will you two listen to yourselves!?” Auburn exclaimed once more, holding out his hands in disbelief. “Gamble all of the money we have!? That doesn’t make any sense!”
Kelly raised an eyebrow at Auburn. She smirked and said, “Oh, so I’ve
changed? The Auburn that I knew would jump at an opportunity to make money. Are you scared of trying your luck at a casino? Hmm? Is Auburn scared of the challenge?”
Auburn slowly turned to Kelly, eyes widened. However, Kelly met his eyes with the subtle smirk that remained on her face. Jet was a bit confused as to what exactly was going on, but he kept a watchful eye on Auburn, waiting for him to react to Kelly’s statement. Jet could not tell if he was offended by Kelly’s words or if he was really afraid of the challenge of gambling all of their money to double or even triple their funds.
“Uh… Auburn? Are you okay?” Jet asked, waving his hand in front of the bushy-haired young man’s face. “Auburn?”
Auburn nodded his head slowly, eyes wincing at Kelly as she kept her smirk firm on her face, appearing to wait for his response. “You know what? Challenge accepted…” his voice trailed off.
The three exited the station and walked west towards the Pugilis forest. The trip to the rural province was a long one and by the time they entered the forest, nightfall came. They decided to set up camp inside the forest when they each grew too tired to walk any further. Auburn’s Charmeleon created a fire for them to keep warm, while Jet’s Spinarak surrounded the entire campsite with a protective web that blocked out any intruders. Kelly, meanwhile, appeared to be reading a book while Auburn prepared a meal over the fire.
While random conversation occurred, Kelly decided to release her Eevee in an effort to reconnect it with Auburn’s. The two Eevee had not seen each other in quite some time, but after a few moments of figuring each other out, the two were playfully fighting one another from a safe distance away from the group. Pikachu was asleep in Kelly’s lap as she read, while the rest of the Pokemon were resting in their PokeBalls.
Once Auburn was done preparing the meal, he handed out bowls of potato soup to Kelly and Jet and provided the Eevees with a basket of berries.
“Bon appétit!” Auburn said, dusting off his hands as he took a seat and grabbed his own bowl of potato soup.
Jet took a bite of his meal and made a satisfying sound. He looked over to see what Kelly was reading and asked her about it.
“I’ve actually read this book many times,” Kelly said. “It tells different tales and myths about the Ransei region. Legendary Pokemon, origins, war… everything.”
Jet nodded, understanding her statement. “My father talks all the time about those wars that occurred during ancient Ransei. He said something about… if a person were to conquer the entire region of Ransei, the alpha Pokemon will return.”
“I heard that story before too,” Auburn chimed in, lifting a finger. “The question is… why would anyone want to ‘conquer’ a region? Isn’t Ransei all about liberty and freedom?”
“Maybe that’s why the alpha Pokemon would return in the first place,” Kelly said, taking another sip from her soup, “to return to Ransei and restore balance in the region. But for anyone to conquer an entire region single-handedly… that person would have to be a strong person. Think about it… one person versus millions!”
“A region just can’t allow somebody to conquer them, though,” Jet said. “At least not without standing up for themselves. How can anyone possibly live with that?”
“If they agree with the conqueror’s principles, it’s not that hard,” Auburn shrugged, referring to Blair.
Kelly glanced at Auburn. “You think Blair’s trying to conquer the Ransei region?”
“It’s not that hard to believe,” Auburn said. “Think about
: he keeps creating all of these new policies and laws that prevent people from any attempts to overthrow him, he brainwashes people into thinking what he’s doing is right, and the people continuously vote for him not only out of faith but fear as well. What else could he possibly be trying to do?”
Kelly and Jet’s silence indicated that they were seriously thinking that what Auburn saying was probably true.
Auburn grinned as he sipped the remains of his soup and slammed his bowl down onto the ground. “The thing is… I don’t believe in that myth about the alpha Pokemon returning. If it wanted to return, it would have returned by now seeing our region in the condition that it’s currently in. I won’t allow Blair to continue to abuse his power to get what he wants.”
Silence fell among the group as they each were in deep thought about the whole situation. Kelly’s eyes went from Auburn to Jet to where their Eevees were playing, but they were no longer there!
“Auburn, where are our Eevees?” Kelly asked, standing up now as she went over to where she thought they were playing. There was a big opening in the web on this side of the camp. “I think they got away!”
Jet and Auburn got to their feet as they ran over there as well. “Or something got to them!” they both said in unison. ----------
The group decided to pack up their things and ditch their camp site to prevent anything else of theirs from being taken. It was inconvenient, but the thought of losing their Pokemon motivated Auburn and Kelly to be on high alert at this moment. While the two older members of the group walked on foot, Jet utilized his Spinarak to hop from tree branch to tree branch to cover a wider visual span of the forest. Fortunately, Auburn’s Charmeleon was leading the way in providing light from them since the darkness of the Pugilis forest was much darker in comparison to the Velora forest.
“Eevee!” Auburn shouted, cupping his hands around his mouth as he did so, “Where are you buddy!?”
Kelly glared at Auburn and elbowed him in the stomach just enough to cause some damage. “Auburn, you’re going to wake something up!”
“How else are we going to find our Pokemon then, Kelly?” Auburn whispered loudly at her.
Kelly huffed and folded her arms as Pikachu ran ahead of them. The trek across the forest seemingly went on for hours. Jet searched high while Auburn and Kelly searched low. However, there was no clear sign of the two Eevees, especially in the darkness of this forest.
Auburn stopped and looked around the forest as he muttered to himself. “They’ve got to be around here somewhere. Eevee normally responds to my calls.”
“Hey guys, I found something!” Jet yelled from above.
Auburn and Kelly looked up to where Jet was and saw that he was standing on the branch of an extremely large tree. There appeared to be an immense web wrapped around the entire top of the tree.
“Okay, what the hell is that?” Auburn said aloud.
“Webs, Auburn,” Kelly said sarcastically. “Stay down here. I’m going up.” She released her prized Skarmory that Auburn had praised earlier and hopped on the Armor Bird Pokemon. She took flight upward as her Skarmory flew around the webbed home.
Auburn scoffed and shook his head. “Like I have a choice... I don’t have any Flying-type or Climbing-type Pokemon.”
Once Jet saw that he was now accompanied by Kelly aboard her flying Skarmory, he looked to webs that surrounded the canopy of the tree and said, “This is definitely the work of some sort of spider Pokemon. But these webs are too big to be a Spinarak’s. And look,” he pointed out, “there are giant webbed lumps throughout the web. I’m willing to bet that those are either objects or Pokemon.”
“Worth a shot,” Kelly said. “Skarmory, Swift!”
Skarmory cawed loudly as a fleet of golden stars appeared from his flapping wings. The stars managed to rip through the webs that encaged the different sizes lumps. Once the webs were torn, several Bug-type Pokemon were freed from their imprisonment and scattered away from the web immediately. Among these freed Pokemon were Kelly and Auburn’s Eevee. Thinking quickly, Kelly took out her PokeBall and returned her own Eevee while Jet hopped on the web bed and grabbed Auburn’s Eevee.
“Get out of here quick, Jet!” Kelly shouted as she saw a large, shadowy Pokemon emerge from the darkness. Before she knew it, she was face to face with an Ariados.
The Ariados, on the other hand, had plans of its own for its intruders and was not too happy with Jet standing on its home. Seeing this, Jet quickly commanded Spinarak to get him out of there and the web-slinging Pokemon shot a web to a nearby branch. Just as Ariados shot a web at Jet’s backside, Skarmory swooped in with an Air Slash that cut the web string in half. With Ariados’s sights on Skarmory and Kelly now, Jet was successful at landing safely on the ground alongside Auburn. Eevee hopped out of Jet’s grasp and purred happily in Auburn’s arm.
As Skarmory flew around the large tree, the angered Ariados’s eyes followed as it continued to shoot webs at the Armor Bird Pokemon, in hopes of stopping it. Kelly smirked as she hung on tight to Skarmory while her Pokemon continued to fire random Swift attacks at Ariados, knocking it off balance. Once Kelly saw an opportunity after Ariados stumbled, she called for Skarmory to swoop in on Ariados and finish it by delivering a hefty Steel Wing to the body of the Bug and Poison-type Pokemon, sending it flying into the distant darkness. After successfully getting rid of the predator, Skarmory flew to the ground and landed gently as Kelly climbed off her Pokemon.
She smiled and petted Skarmory on the face saying, “Good job, Skarmory.” She looked to Auburn who gave her a questioning look. “What?” she said with a smile, “You didn’t think that just because I stopped going on adventures with you that I wasn’t capable Trainer? I did say that I wanted to be a master Trainer after all.” ----------
After their run in with the Ariados, the group decided that they would continue walking until they reached the province of Violight which was just outside the Pugilis’s deep forest. They were tired, but according to Kelly it was not going to be safe resting in this forest with so many Bug-type Pokemon ready to attack them at any given time.
“We can rest once we reach Violight,” Kelly said. “I’m sure we can split the cost of a hotel room, Auburn.”
Partially offended, Jet glanced at Kelly and said, “I have money too. I want to help out!”
“Quick lesson, Kelly,” Auburn quickly butted in before Jet got too mad. “The kid doesn’t like being treated as, well, a kid.”
Jet nodded, putting his hands on his hips.
“I’m sorry,” Kelly said, looking down at Jet. “I just was thinking in the best interest of you. You’re just a kid and I didn’t want to put you in a situation where you’re not even old enough to understand yet.”
“I’m almost thirteen years old and… I think I understand about the world enough to help you guys with money!” Jet exclaimed, balling his fists. “Just… don’t treat me like I can’t help. I’m somebody!”
Auburn lifted his hands as he peered over at Kelly, “See what you did?” He chuckled as Kelly shot him a glare.
Once Jet’s tension settled down, the group managed to successful reach the exit of the forest’s west side. They stood atop a large cliff that overlooked the bright lights of one of the Ransei region’s largest and most popular provinces, Violight. Even at this time of night, the lights were flickering and flashing brightly, inviting people to enjoy the nightlife downtown.
Auburn rubbed his hands together, excited about what the province of Violight had to offer for them. He vividly recalled Kelly’s challenge of him not being able to earn money from Violight’s famous (and perhaps infamous) casino, so he took that challenge to heart. Did she not know that Auburn could not say no to a challenge? Bringing Auburn a challenge was like giving a Growlithe a piece of bread: he was always going to accept it! But first, they had to figure out where they were going to stay for the night. One does not simply stay in Violight for just one night! ----------
“Hmm… I haven’t been to the casino in forever. I’ve got to get my hands on some more money if it’s the last thing I do,” said the voice of a tall man dressed a dark purple jacket and bandana, accented with golden features. “But first I’ve got to earn this easy money for the old guy. He thought right in hiring the magnificent Garnet in carrying out a task.”
A smile appeared on Garnet’s face as he walked downtown, his clothes cloaking him despite the bright lights continuously flashing. Once he reached his destination, Garnet jammed his fists into his pockets as he made his way down an alley between buildings. He climbed atop of a trashcan and heard a weird moan from the container. Garnet looked inside the trashcan and saw a Trubbish struggling to move inside of it and simple closed the top in the Pokemon’s face.
“Seriously… what a weird Pokemon,” Garnet scoffed as he leaped up to grab the bottom of the fire escape and pulled himself to the ladder.
His ascend to the top of the building ended as he leaped over the mini brick wall between the ladder and the roof. Once he got there, Garnet silently cursed at himself when he saw a group of security guards with flashlights patrolling the area. Garnet sat on the ground as he hid himself behind the entrance to the roof and reached into his pocket. He released his Ditto as the Transform Pokemon awaited orders from its Trainer.
Garnet grinned at Ditto and said to it, “Alrighty, Ditto. Remember that model I dated? The one from Fontaine? What was her name… umm… hmm…”
Ditto waited patiently while Garnet tried to recall the model he dated from Fontaine.
“Ah gee… there were a bunch of models I dated from Fontaine,” Garnet chuckled. “Pick one, transform, and take care of those security guards, will ya?”
Ditto nodded as its body stretched and grew into a curvy woman in a black dress with brunette hair. Once it was done transforming, Ditto walked over to the security guards who were sitting near the edge of the roof. Ditto cleared its throat, being careful not to talk since it was not capable of mimicking the voice of human. Once it got the attention of the officers, it struck an attractive pose for the two men.
“Hey, wait a minute!” One of the officers said. “You’re that model! From Fontaine!”
Garnet sat in his same hiding place, mimicking the officer’s words playfully, chuckling to himself. He looked over just in time to see Ditto kick the two officers off the roof. He gritted his teeth and immediately ran towards where Ditto was and peaked over the roof to see that both of the officers had landed inside of a trash can, safely on a pile of Trubbishes. Garnet grinned and looked to Ditto, high-fiving his Pokemon.
“Good work,” Garnet said, nodding. “A little bit unorthodox, but good work nonetheless.”
Ditto struck a pose, in hopes of infatuating Garnet like it did to the officers. However, Garnet was unimpressed.
“Close, but not close enough,” Garnet wagged a finger at Ditto. “You’ve got the look, but her breasts were definitely bigger than that. Maybe next time.”
Ditto frowned before transforming back into its pink blob form.
“Now,” Garnet said as he walked towards the door to the roof, preparing to go down, “let’s get inside and get that Staff, shall we?”
Next - Chapter Four
A Common Objective!