• Welcome to Thousand Roads! You're welcome to view discussions or read our stories without registering, but you'll need an account to join in our events, interact with other members, or post one of your own fics. Why not become a member of our community? We'd love to have you!

    Join now!

  • It's time for Thousand Roads' yearly one-shot contest! This year we're focusing on the theme of partnership between humans and Pokémon. You have all February to craft an entry--see more details here!

Mystery Continent ~ Southern Beach

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
The ocean breeze was chilly, but the wind seemed to pass right through Soda's mane. Bits of frozen sand clattered against larger rocks.

"Hmph... alright." Soda said, expression neutral. "Then you first, if you're gonna be so demanding. My second question... Why do you care?"

The way he phrased it, that tone behind his words... It didn't look like Soda's question was going to be any more specific than that.
 

TheGOAT

Pokémon Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
“Because,” Astrid said, face turned to iron. “Your team has paid every bill, covered every need, and set us up in a town full of unspeakably powerful Pokémon.”

A step closer. Or further away?

“Because Maple gave us these powers for free while knowing we had Shadows in our system already. Powers that I’ve used to deal a great amount of harm to others—and myself. It was your team that approached my team in the first place, wasn’t it?”

The breeze sent sensational waves up her spine, down her haunches, between her toes, blending together with Radiance, which had begun to gradually ascend some time earlier. As Astrid angled her chin up at empty space, snowflakes fell from her mane. “Forget about what I asked before and answer this instead—why do you care?”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Astrid's words faded into the wind, consumed by the freezing water that brushed at the shore. Soda stared, completely quiet, and the illusion must have been mirroring his expressions. Pensive, furrowed, perhaps even a hint of disgust.

"...Tch." Soda looked off. "I'm just here because it's better than where I was. I get assignments. I save worlds. And I do it all day by day. It's just another job. Just another game to play."

He turned his attention to the horizon, where the dark, blue, cold ocean met the sky. Lights flickered dimly on the water's surface.

"Why does anybody go out of their way in this line of work? Out of the goodness in their hearts...? I think they're doing it for some other reason. Maple's busy making up for the guilt of losing her old planet. Saving others to fill the void. Potluck's just following wherever Maple goes out of loyalty. Leg doesn't have anywhere else to go and isn't smart or confident enough to find somewhere else. The list goes on." Soda looked up. "And me... I'm just looking for a way to not get bored. That's all. I don't care. When we save this world, we'll move on, and after a year, it's like we weren't even there. And that's life."
 

TheGOAT

Pokémon Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
She nodded. “You’re all really strong—probably a lot stronger than any of us individually—but until you can figure out a way to land your attacks, it doesn’t matter much.

“But… what happens if you do figure it out? What then?”
 

TheGOAT

Pokémon Trainer
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
Astrid nodded. “Yes. It is. That’s why Diyem sent us here, and that’s why we train so hard with these bodies that we’ll only have for a small fraction of our lifetimes.”

She began to walk away, but paused. “And… you were right. About the familiar being a sibling thing. Um, part of me wanted to see if I could beat you at your own game, but honestly I just didn’t want to acknowledge any of it as real. So I made most of that up. My brother, Myles… is not someone I got along with. I’m sorry for not telling the truth.”

With that, she continued walking.
 
R8: Icetales and Celeste Gaze at Stars

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
The winds on the beach were slower than their usual speed, having dropped to a mournful whistling, as if even the air itself was feeling the bitterness of the team's situation. With less wind to stir them up, the waves that usually crashed against the grey sands had relaxed to lapping gently against them, their ebb and flow making a gentle rhythm. The sounds of the wind and waves mingled into a pretty, but melancholic ambience.

The stars were clearly visible that night. Celeste was grateful for that, he had always found them a calming presence. The water, relatively still as it was, reflected the stars cleanly. It looked almost as if they had their own cosmos hidden in their depths, one galaxy watching from the sky, and another watching from the water.

It was, all things considered, a beautiful night for stargazing, especially considering what the weather on this beach could normally be.
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
A deep breath in, a deep breath out. The iodine scent and gentle waves of the sea did wonders at calming the spirits of whoever visited the beach at that time of the night.

That was a nice change of pace: even if winter was his favorite season, Icetales had gotten quite tired of watching the snow all day and every day, and to summon hail after hail during his training sessions. Besides, it was much harder to gaze at the stars during wintertime -- what with the light gray clouds shrouding constantly the sky -- so what better place than a calm beach to shake off the stress and marvel at the twinkles and life of the cosmos?

And then, Icetales perked up as he spotted a white shape gazing at the sky. Oh. So there was someone else who had his same idea. He strode toward that figure, and then tilted his head, curiously. Wait, that was... Why, yes! There was absolutely no doubt.

"Sir Celeste? Is it thee?" asked Icetales with a gentle voice.
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste's eyes lit up. "Icetales! It's been too long. Last we spent time together was... What, the party? You were still a vulpix back then..." He laughed half-heartedly. "Life here has been quite the tempest since then, has it not? We've just been going and going, with barely the time to catch our breath."

He looked back out the stars and the sea. "We're in the eye of the storm now. Planning our next move won't start until tomorrow, so we have one night of calm before we're thrown back into the thick of it all."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales blinked, realization quickly settling in. Was it really that long? Golly, time truly flew.

“That is true, indeed, my dear fellow. But clock hands never stop, and neither does business.” He chuckled softly, then rubbed his cheek with a tail. “I sure desire we had some extra time for ourselves, but oh well. Must do what we must do.”

The Ninetales sat besides the Absol, settling his tails on the soft sand. Sitting side by side, in front of a giant mirror of water… it brought back a wave of nostalgia, but something was different. Now Icetales could look straight into his friend’s eyes, which were glowing under the starlight. Well, evolution had its benefits!

“The storm…” His ears twitched and his tails quivered, then he stared at the twinkles as well. “Yes, we should take advantage of this brief moment to de-stress properly. Heavens, why must things go downhill so frequently? We cannot have a moment of peace that a bigger threat spawns from the darkness and forces us to bare our fangs and claws.”

He sighed and shook his head. “But alas, that is what heroes must do, huh? Flay flanks and all that paw-dirtying balderdash.”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste had never really seen much of Icetales' eyes as a vulpix. As Icetales looked into his eyes, he couldn't help but notice how brilliant they were. It was like the entirety of the whites were sapphire instead. He suddenly felt self-conscious about his eyes. He hoped the contact lenses were properly covering up the bloodshot red.

Preoccupied as he was with thoughts about eyes, it took him a moment to snap back to reality when Icetales began to speak. "Ah, yes. It would be nice to have more time to ourselves. At least we have tonight, though. I'm glad you found me here, this is nicer than spending it alone."

He sighed. "This world is... a lot. I miss the slow, calm days back home. But I'm needed here, so here I am. We've a duty to fulfil... I only hope the pace of it slows down soon enough. I want more nights like this."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales nodded, understanding his friend’s plight. “Thou and me both, Sir Celeste. Thou and me both. Alas, if what we have gone through until now is any evidence, chances are that matters shall become even more chaotic.” He rolled his eyes. “As if they were not already…”

Wishing to change topics, Icetales shook his head and started digging into his bag. He produced a bottle (filled with tea, as usual) and some cups.

“Ah. Fancy some tea? I have prepared a new intriguing blend with a rawst berry flavor — the ideal for this kind of weather.” He beamed a smile. “And we could take this chance to talk some more about our homes, yes? In which way was thy life quieter, if thou not mind me asking?”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste nodded and accepted the tea, taking a sip. It felt warm in his stomach. "Home was quiet for me. My egg was taken in by a delphox. My mother. She had a daughter already, so I have and older sister. Her name is Salac."

He stared at the surface of the tea. "Our village was built for its closeness to Ho-Oh's roost. My mother was the shrinekeeper, and so she also ran the place. It was a few months before I left that she passed away. Just age, nothing more. My sister's been taking over for her... Unofficially. Ho-Oh's been gone for a worrying amount of time, so it hasn't been officialize yet."

Celeste felt he was beginning to ramble. "I didn't really have friends like you back there, just acquaintances and Salac. I suppose that's one good thing to come of this place, at least... What was your home like?"
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales narrowed his eyes. “…Stressful. That is how I would define it in a single word.”

After pouring some tea on his own cup, he lifted it with his leftmost tail and blew a weak gust. The tea chilled instantly and he began licking his frozen treat.

“To better elaborate, my cubhood was… fairly pell-mell, if I can say so. Having nine older siblings under the same roof meant living almost every day in a bedlam. I can only sympathize the servants who had to satisfy the orders of my most capricious brothers…”

He took a lickful of his frozen tea, while his tails swayed rhythmically with the waves. “Though, not everything was terrible: I had a lovely mother who took great care of us and a dear sister who helped me through the most difficult times.” Then, he stopped licking and stared despondently at the tea. “That is, until mother went beyond the twilight… my family had never been the same since then.”

He glanced at Celeste. “Believe it or not, I gladly take risking my life every day for a great cause than having to go back home… and being forced to do something that I might regret, even if for another great cause.”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste almost choked on his tea. "You had nine older siblings! Gosh, I think one was enough for me. Your mother must've been busy."

He took a moment to regain his composure before continuing. "I mean. I am sorry to hear about the state of your family. You deserve better. In any case, I'm glad you're here with us, too."

Celeste wasn't sure wether or not asking more about the something he might be forced to do would be unwelcome prying or not. "Do you want to talk about it? About that something you'd have to do? I won't pry, but if it's distressing you, you might do well to talk about it with someone. At some point, that is. If you want to save tonight for relaxing subjects, that would be perfectly nice, too."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Celeste almost choked on his tea. "You had nine older siblings! Gosh, I think one was enough for me. Your mother must've been busy."

Icetales laughed with mirth. “Oh, nine ‘pix pups is nothing outlandish in my world. From what I’ve learned, that is some tradition from the olden days, when pup mortality was much higher and it was preferable to have bigger broods. Thou know, to ensure that thy bloodline survived.”

He shrugged. “That never changed, even after we got longer lifespans thanks to Sir Jirachi’s blessing. Traditions are tough to crack and change, I reckon.”

He took a moment to regain his composure before continuing. "I mean. I am sorry to hear about the state of your family. You deserve better. In any case, I'm glad you're here with us, too."

“It is all right.” Icetales forced out a smile. “All families have their problems, do they not?” His smile brightened somewhat. “And yes, I appreciate this chance, too. Folks here are… lovely. Even the grumpy fellows.”

"Do you want to talk about it? About that something you'd have to do? I won't pry, but if it's distressing you, you might do well to talk about it with someone. At some point, that is. If you want to save tonight for relaxing subjects, that would be perfectly nice, too."

Icetales’s expression became cold and stoic, while his tails shook on the sand, raising small dust clouds. “…I am not in the right state of mind to bring out that matter. Truth to be told, I am still uncertain about having to resort to that.” He looked away. “‘Noblesse oblige’ would impose that, but… I am unsure. I still need to ponder some more.”

Icetales took some time to regain the color on his expression, and he took another sip of frozen tea. “So yes. I would much prefer a more calming conversation. Like…” He turned to Celeste. “Oh! Thou mentioned Ho-Oh, yes? How does this world’s Ho-Oh compare to thyne?”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
"Ah. I won't bother you on the subject any longer, then. I wouldn't know anything of 'Noblesse Oblige' anyways."

Celeste was worried he'd killed the mood, and made everything tense again. As if they need any more tension in their lives... He readily accepted the subject change. "They compare quite unusually. Ho-Oh here seems much more... mortal. They have a gender, and a child. A little Ho-Oh youth. It strikes me as strange indeed, for the Ho-Oh of my world does not age, die or have children. The fact that the higher beings here have less life experience than those of my world would explain why they're so much less mature, I suppose. I wonder why it works like that here."

Celeste moved from sitting down to lying on his chest. "This world is so peculiar. I find myself desensitized to things that would have shocked me back when I first arrived. I suppose that's a good thing, though. It's best just to accept it."
 
Top Bottom