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Mystery Continent ~ Southern Beach

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
"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."

"Ah, yes. That is something I had found most unusual, too. The entire 'deities have more mortal mindsets' part, I mean. In my world, they are... far more formal, from what I've heard."

Icetales rubbed his chin with a tail. "And here, well... Just look at Pop, the Arceus of this world, who uses that juvenile lingo in an attempt of blending in with mortals. I personally find that... borderline ludicrous, but he is the Alpha of the deities, so..." He shrugged. "A theory I have is that these deities act less mature because the world itself is younger. Perhaps this world has been around for only a few millennia at most, and the deities have yet to experience life and understand their responsibilities and the true burden of their powers. It would be swell to investigate further about this matter, I reckon."

"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."

Icetales laughed. "Indeed! Much better to not break thy noggin attempting to figure out the whimsical nature of this world, and just... follow the flow, yes? There is so much I still cannot understand about this world, like..." He produced his badge. "This. I do not have this kind of technology in my homeworld, and I have yet to figure out what 'apps' are. But, well, as long as I can communicate it is fine?"
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
And here, well... Just look at Pop, the Arceus of this world, who uses that juvenile lingo in an attempt of blending in with mortals. I personally find that... borderline ludicrous
Celeste pressed his paw to his forehead. “Don’t get me started on Pop. What an ordeal it is to listen to them speak. No wonder this world keeps having crisis after crisis.”
This. I do not have this kind of technology in my homeworld, and I have yet to figure out what 'apps' are. But, well, as long as I can communicate it is fine?
Celeste nodded. "I suppose so. I haven't needed it for anything more than communicating, either. Still, the amount of other things it can do is impressive. If we had technology like this back home, Salac would have enough ideas to keep her busy for the rest of her life.”
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales grinned. "Oh, thou not say! I wager that my scientist brother would have the ride of his life with one of these artifacts." He laughed. "Golly! Now I wonder how they would behave if they were to meet each other. Would they be science partners and investigate these badges to unearth their biggest secrets?"

As a gentle breeze blew across the beach, Icetales stretched his tails and wrapped them around his body. Tiny snowflakes drifted from his fur, keeping his entire body chilled and making the silver tails shine under the starlight.

"I admit that I am somewhat fascinated by science, too, but I'm more into the... natural phenomena, thou see? And I love to research tales about legends and heroes. Things that have gone missing for centuries." He glanced at Celeste. "And even though the deities here are quirky in their own ways, I have also found many intriguing tales surrounding them. Pity that I have yet to meet the Jirachi of Cibus... I wonder if he is as marvelous and heroic as Sir Jirachi from my homeworld."
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Icetales grinned. "Oh, thou not say! I wager that my scientist brother would have the ride of his life with one of these artifacts." He laughed. "Golly! Now I wonder how they would behave if they were to meet each other. Would they be science partners and investigate these badges to unearth their biggest secrets?"
Celeste laughed. "I wonder. Salac needs someone to get her out of her shell a little. Though in all honesty, she'd have said the same of me... As far as myself back home was concerned, she's right. I suppose I've just been brought out of my shell by my friends here."
As a gentle breeze blew across the beach, Icetales stretched his tails and wrapped them around his body. Tiny snowflakes drifted from his fur, keeping his entire body chilled and making the silver tails shine under the starlight.

"I admit that I am somewhat fascinated by science, too, but I'm more into the... natural phenomena, thou see? And I love to research tales about legends and heroes. Things that have gone missing for centuries." He glanced at Celeste. "And even though the deities here are quirky in their own ways, I have also found many intriguing tales surrounding them. Pity that I have yet to meet the Jirachi of Cibus... I wonder if he is as marvelous and heroic as Sir Jirachi from my homeworld."
The shimmering of Icetales' tails drew his attention for a moment. He'd noticed that, now that they'd evolved, he and Astrid looked far more different than they had before. He decided not to ask about it, at least not now.

"Legends and heroes? I used to lose myself in those sorts of books whenever I could sink my teeth into them. As much as Salac's interest in science and history has rubbed off on me, my heart lies with such stories. They were my favourite way to pass the time."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Celeste laughed. "I wonder. Salac needs someone to get her out of her shell a little. Though in all honesty, she'd have said the same of me... As far as myself back home was concerned, she's right. I suppose I've just been brought out of my shell by my friends here."

Icetales nodded in understanding. "That is good to hear. I admit I have learned how to let myself go a little more. While I am used to a strict discipline," he smiled and his tails wagged, "it is much appreciated to be able to be freed from those norms, once in a while, and to be free to have good folks to have good times with."

"Legends and heroes? I used to lose myself in those sorts of books whenever I could sink my teeth into them. As much as Salac's interest in science and history has rubbed off on me, my heart lies with such stories. They were my favourite way to pass the time."

Oh, marvelous! Yet another thing they had in common!

Icetales leaned forward, his eyes full of curiosity. "Then how about sharing some of our favorite myths from our respective worlds? It would be a most interesting experience to share tales from across universes, no?" His ears flicked, aimed at the Absol. "For example, what is thy favorite tale?"
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
"My favourite story..." Celeste paused to think for a moment. "It's hard to pick just one favourite. Perhaps the story of the first one to meet Ho-Oh in the flesh, and the one who build the shrine in which I live. Unlike all the Vulpixes and Ninetales I've seen here, they were a fire type with a golden coat. Such was the only kind I'd heard of until I saw Astrid. And you, if you're a different... subspecies?"
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
"Subspecies..." Icetales blinked, then he chuckled softly. "Well, that is one way to refer to pedrigrees, I reckon! But allow me to illustrate how matters work in my world, at least."

Icetales rubbed his muzzle with a paw, in order to fix his fur. "So, fire Ninetales exist in my world as well, with their golden pelts and mastery over... well, fire magic. Same goes with ice Ninetales, who have a candid fur just like our dear comrade Astrid. That is the so-called 'commoner root', which," he frowned, "I personally do not approve of a term, as it can have some negative connotations. But I digress."

He waved some of his tails and stared at them. "As of me... My silver fur is a sign of nobility, the result of generations after generations of Ninetales with silver fur producing broods with silver fur. Apparently, that was done so that our ancestral bloodline of heroes was never erased by the sands of times," he shrugged, "but I do not feel any different from any other Ninetales. If all, I don't even know how 'other Ninetales' feel like."
 
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Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
So Astrid was the ordinary permutation, and Icetales' coat was the odd one. He'd thought Icetales' was nicer... However, now knowing its origins, it felt stained. "It's a bloodline purity thing? That... is a high price to pay for an elegant coat of fur. Though I'll admit the blacks and silvers had their effect on me."

Celeste sighed. "I can see why things in your family are so... complicated." Was that rude? He felt it might be rude, he should add something nice. "Still, we got you out of it, so I suppose it worked out." He smiled.
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
"It's a bloodline purity thing? That... is a high price to pay for an elegant coat of fur. Though I'll admit the blacks and silvers had their effect on me."

Icetales smiled shyly and rubbed his forepaws together. "Um... I very much appreciate that commentary, Sir Celeste. However, preserving the purity of the bloodline wasn't only for the silver fur, no. It was... also for the magic we can master and channel, thou see?" He narrowed his eyes. "From what I have learned... Ninetales with a silver fur are more connected to the cosmos, and we are empowered by the primal energy of the comets that race in the firmament."

He gazed at the sky, his eyes darting from a twinkle to another. "I do not believe that this body has the same abilities of my former self. Alas, I... cannot hear the voices of the stars anymore." He sighed. "Which is truly a pity. I wish I could hear the tales of this universe..."

"I can see why things in your family are so... complicated."

(...)

"Still, we got you out of it, so I suppose it worked out." He smiled.

Icetales looked again at Celeste and smiled back, even though his thoughts went elsewhere as a dark presence spoke to him...

'Fuh huh huh! Thy catastrophic fellow still knows nothing. I wonder how he would take things if he knew...'

"Hush, meanie! Leave Daddy alone! He deserves this break!"


Icetales blinked. He didn't expect Petram's voice in his mind-space, but he appreciated that, nonetheless. His smile brightened somewhat, feeling comforted.

"Yes... There is always a silver lining even in the darkest storm clouds." He laughed and produced some extra tea. "But enough talking about yours truly. How does Absol culture work in thy world?"
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
"A-Absol culture? I... I don't know. I'm the only tamed absol I've ever known... at least before meeting the one on Bone's team."

He knew Icetales didn't agree with the bloodline philosophy he'd spoken of, but he still couldn't help but feel nervous. It was if if it didn't matter wether Icetales wouldn't think he was inferior, for some knot of anxiety in his gut make him feel as if he was. "I... What I said about my egg having been taken in by my adoptive family..."

He took a deep breath, and used the moment to take sentence fragments whirling in his head and stitch them together into a coherent explanation. "My mother-of-shell was... feral. My mother took in my egg after an incident, but my 'bloodline' is all feral. There are other tamed absol out there, and they presumably have some sort of culture, but... I know nothing of it."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Feral. What a word that was. So many folks of the cortege looked at it with displeasure. Feral... something to be ashamed of, an eternal flag that made you appear like some kind of brainless savage among goodmons. And yet, said word had different connotations across multiple worlds, so Icetales wondered what definition Celeste was using.

Still, he could see that whatever definition he knew, it made him very uncomfortable.

"Sir Celeste... it is all right if thou don't know anything of thy ancestors' culture. I know plenty of folks who don't know much about their roots nor are in touch with their primordial origins and traditions anymore, so it is nothing to be unhappy of." He smiled. "Nothing is stopping thee from searching from some information when thou will be back to thy homeworld, and I reckon the Absol of this world would be delighted to tell thee more about their traditions."

Half of the tails thumped against the floor. There was something else he could say. "And thou have feral origins... That is most intriguing! I would have never guessed. But before thou say anything," he tilted his head and showed a gentle smile, "I do not think any less of thee about that, truly. Thou art still Celeste, my dear friend, no matter thy origins."
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste sniffled. "I-I know you won't. You, of all people, wouldn't..."

A sigh escaped his mouth. He wasn't sure wether or not he liked talking about this with Icetales. It was harder than talking about it with Nip, in a way, but also more gratifying. "It was more of an issue when I was younger. Nobody was sure if I was going to grow up feral or not. It's... It doesn't matter anymore."

He didn't really think it was an appropriate moment to cry, but he didn't have much of a choice. They were bittersweet tears. He lingered on bad memories, yes, but he also felt relieved. He'd come a long way since then...
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales winced at seeing his good friend tearing up, and he felt his heart squeezing. Did he say something wrong?

However, he could infer from Celeste's voice that he was letting go of past pains. When he was younger... he could only fathom what the Absol went through as a pup. In that aspect, they had way more in common that he even expected.

Wordlessly, he moved toward Celeste and leaned his neck against his comrade's neck, mindful of his sharp horn, and wrapped his tails in a soft hug while holding back on his ice powers. "It is all right, Sir Celeste. It is all right..."

Icetales held onto Celeste for some time, letting only the stars be the witnesses of their little moment together. The Absol trusted him enough to confide what was a pretty heavy secret. That meant a lot for the Ninetales. Could he really...?

...Yes. He could tell him.

"Sir Celeste... I have something to confess, too," muttered Icetales, his tails quivering slightly. "Thou art a kindred soul, and... I trust thee."

He leaned backward. His eyes had paled somewhat and his mouth had thinned. The tails stood in place, however.

"It is hard for me to admit this, but... here it is, nonetheless." Deep breath in, small ice cloud out. "The truth is... that my bloodline is marred, Sir Celeste. Father is a noblemon, and I have inherited most of his talents and learned everything there is about nobility from him. But Mother, Ninetales the Magnanimous... wasn't my real mother." He lifted his black forepaw and stared scathingly at it. "My real mother... was a humble maid. A silver Thievul, that used to live in our mansion, and..." He took a sharp breath, finding it painful to even extract the words from his mind. "My egg... was the result of an unfaithful affair. I was," his gaze darkened, "not meant to exist..."
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
"Oh..."

Celeste leaned his head into Icetales'. He was silent for a moment as he composed what he wished to say.

"My real mother is a Delphox. She was not my mother mother-of-shell... But she raised me. She kept fed, warm and safe. She cared for me when I was ill or dismayed. She helped to shape me into who I am. She mothered me...

"What I am getting at... I would think the same should apply to you, if you so desire. I would think that you are the child of the Ninetales who raised you. What are the two of us, if not proof that bloodline mean nothing in the end?"
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
“O-of course! Even if I there is no blood relationship to bond us together, her love was genuine, and so was mine.” He sighed, and his voice took a nostalgic tone. “She was… such a pure soul, with plenty of love to share to everyone. And the world felt a bit colder when she departed to the twilight…”

He stayed silent as he felt Celeste’s fur brushing against his. It felt warm and soft to the touch, and he relished in that pleasant sensation. He wasn’t sure, but he felt like he himself was warming up somewhat…?

“…Anyway, um… I also desire I got to know my natural mother personally, thou see? All I had from her was a letter, where she revealed mine origins. And,” he shook his head, “I do not fault her for giving me away. She was young, inexperienced and didn’t have the resources to take care of a pup. So, she… did what her heart commanded, and… made sure that I could survive.” He gazed at the stars. “Only one gesture, but that carried the entire wholesomeness of a mother love.”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
“She was… such a pure soul, with plenty of love to share to everyone. And the world felt a bit colder when she departed to the twilight…”
"It does feel that way, doesn't it? You move on, but a little piece of you stays behind, in that last moment..." Celeste sighed. "Such is life. It would be all the harder on our mothers if they were the ones who outlived us."
He stayed silent as he felt Celeste’s fur brushing against his. It felt warm and soft to the touch, and he relished in that pleasant sensation. He wasn’t sure, but he felt like he himself was warming up somewhat…?
Celeste was still. He felt that this was a contemplative moment, and he didn't want to ruin it. Though... he didn't do much in the way of contemplation, he was focused on the feeling of touch. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed touch since arriving here without Salac.
“…Anyway, um… I also desire I got to know my natural mother personally, thou see? All I had from her was a letter, where she revealed mine origins. And,” he shook his head, “I do not fault her for giving me away. She was young, inexperienced and didn’t have the resources to take care of a pup. So, she… did what her heart commanded, and… made sure that I could survive.” He gazed at the stars. “Only one gesture, but that carried the entire wholesomeness of a mother love.”
Celeste wondered what it would be like to have such a letter. His mother, of course, wouldn't have been able to write... but she'd presumably loved him, in her own feral capacity.

It was nice that Icetales has such a letter, at least. "How sweet... A good deed, I suppose it was, to make sure you had a mother who was able to care for you. She wished you nothing but the best..."

Celeste pulled back to sit down on the beach, then wordlessly invited Icetales to sit by his side. That way, they'd both be able to see the stars and ocean.
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
"It does feel that way, doesn't it? You move on, but a little piece of you stays behind, in that last moment..." Celeste sighed. "Such is life. It would be all the harder on our mothers if they were the ones who outlived us."

Icetales nodded silently, his tails waving gently with the wind. He could only imagine what excruciating pain a millennia-old mother would feel if she was deprived of her offsprings when they were still pups…

"How sweet... A good deed, I suppose it was, to make sure you had a mother who was able to care for you. She wished you nothing but the best..."

Icetales smiled and nodded. “Yes, that she did. If only our circumstances had been any better… Alas, as thou said, such is life.”

Then, Celeste pulled away from Icetales, surprising him somewhat. He saw his friend walking on the fresh sand and sitting in front of the sea, before beckoning to follow.

Oh. Well, there was a much better view from over there, so why not?

He picked up his bag and strode toward the Absol, feeling the soft sand rushing through his digits. Hmm… that would have been a pain to wash off. However, there was something he could do.

As soon as he reached the spot, he breathed out a frosty breath, chilling the sand instantly with hoarfrost. He tapped the frozen spot — excellent! In that way, no grain of sand would invade his long fur.

Satisfied with his work, he sat besides Celeste and shook his entire body. Under the stars, the silver fur seemed to be gleaming with faint pixie dust. Then, he wrapped his tails around his body and smiled brightly.

“Golly… the view here is truly spectacular. All the more reason to keep this world safe, dost thou not agree? We should… preserve this beautiful view of the firmament and allow the inhabitants of Cibus to relish its cosmic glory…”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
"Yes. All the more reason to do our duty here..." He sighed. His mind had successfully been drawn away from thinking about that for a while. "The cosmos here are nice, if nothing else..."

Resentment towards Cibus threatened to well up and swallow him. He sided up closer to Icetales for comfort. "I know this place has been a comfort to you, and I myself don't look forward to the parting, but... I cannot wait to be free from this place. I don't know how I'm still going, I should've broken long ago..."

A deep breath. He wasn't going to break down again here. "I suppose moments like this give me reason to keep going."
 

Cresselia92

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Icetales glanced at Celeste and noticed him sliding closer. Should he have wrapped some of his tails? It seemed like he was torn about something…

"I know this place has been a comfort to you, and I myself don't look forward to the parting, but... I cannot wait to be free from this place. I don't know how I'm still going, I should've broken long ago..."

Icetales nodded, both to agree and in understanding.

Indeed. It felt somewhat good to be free from his duties and responsibilities from his own world, but… Icetales knew he couldn’t flee from himself forever. Soon enough, even that real time dream had to finish, as much as it pained him. Leaving those friends behind… how was he going to handle it? And was it really worth it to sacrifice his friends at home for his new friends?

No matter how he looked at it, he was going to break the hearts of some folks, and that did nothing more than make his own heart ache.

Oh, why must I be plagued by such plight? If only there was some way to meet each other even after we’re sent back to our homeworlds…

"I suppose moments like this give me reason to keep going."

Keep going… that sounded a awful lot like he was barely hanging in there. Perhaps he was homesick, but he didn’t want to bother him nor make him uncomfortable. So, he withheld any questions for the time being and patted his friend on his back with a couple of tails.

“Mhmm. There are some treasures that must be cherished, even if they are not our own. Those… should give us the drive to persevere, yes? The harder we work, the sooner this crisis will be over.” He glanced at Celeste and smiled. “So, let us keep supporting each other, yes? I shall always cover thy back.” He chuckled. “And I can do so with a glorious barrier made of auroras! Is that not fancy?”
 

Shiny Phantump

Born of Smol and Void
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
Celeste nodded. "Yes. Let us keep supporting each other. We need each other." W-Wait. By 'each other,' had Icetales meant the whole team... or just the two of them? He... had meant the former... But he suspected Icetales had meant the latter...

'We need each other' would probably come across more strongly than he meant it to. His face warmed. Still, if he took it back now, it would come across as an insult. Perhaps it was best just to let it slide. Partially. "The team needs each other," he elaborated.
 
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