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Pokémon Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Liberators of Fate


Exploration Team leader
Riolu. Zorua. Two brothers who grew up in a world that was not always kind to them. Graduating from their guild, the duo left their hometown in order to create a history that was their own. All the while, dark forces still plot to disrupt the peace everywhere. All while trying to fix their own problems. An original PMD setting, inspired by the "Explorers" games, so a knowledge of that game would be the best.
Main characters
Lance - A 16-year-old Riolu with a past he would rather forget, he's the team leader and the most serious member. Introverted, Lance enjoys nothing more than peace, and while his brother might not be the quietest Pokémon, Lance still loves him a lot.
Brian - A 16-year-old Zorua. The most casual member, Brian likes to have fun in various ways, a natural prankster. As the more extroverted member, he acts more personal with clients and Pokémon they need to interact with.
- An original PMD setting, inspired by the "Explorers" games, so a knowledge of that game would be the best.
- This fanfiction contains violence and gore.

Chapter list
Arc 1: Age of Steel
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Dungeon 1 - Brotherhood New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 1 - Brotherhood

The void. A place that is devoid of any light and without anything on it. And yet, a small Pokémon was there. A Riolu walked around the nothingness, with sweat running through his blue fur. The canid trembled and looked around, trying to find an exit. A laugh echoed behind him and he gasped in shock, turning around.

On the other side of that place, he could see two red eyes, staring at him. The figure opened its mouth and showed sharp teeth, giving another laugh.

"Stop, please, I-" The Riolu screamed, feeling a sharp pain in his chest.

"What are you going to do now, Number 10?" it said, smirking with its teeth. "You think running away will get rid of what happened?"

"A-AH! HELP! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" He fell to the ground, blood leaking from his torso.

Ignoring the pleas, the creature started to multiply, as multiple eyeballs materialized themselves around the pitch-black place and a laugh echoed across the void, getting louder and louder until...

"URGH!" The Riolu woke up, gasping for air.

He was inside a bedroom, on the top of a bunk bed, safe from whatever was plaguing his dreams. The Riolu breathed deeply, coming down to the floor. In his room, one could see two tables, the first one contained a few books, tagged at specific pages. The Riolu stared at a corner, seeing a mirror.

"Lance, you're fine," he said, trying to convince himself of that. Gazing at his reflection, Lance put his paw on his chest. "It was just another nightmare."

On the Riolu's chest was a claw-like scar, so deeply ingrained that anyone could see it. Pondering for a few seconds about the nightmare, Lance noticed a bag on the floor. Moving his ears, the boy put it on, leaving the room by the door.

"My stuff is packed," he shrugged. "Hopefully, my brother's as well."

Lance descended the stairs to his living room, glancing around for any sign of his brother. The well-worn sofa in the corner was empty, the bookshelf beside it was neatly organized. Leave it to Brian to organize their bookshelf before he left. A radio in the center of the room sat untouched, covered in a layer of dust. It had been a gift from his Uncle James but ended up unused. Books had always interested him more than fancy technology.

"Brian must have already left," His stomach rumbled, reminding him of how hungry he was, so he made a beeline for the kitchen.

The kitchen had a table for five Pokémon and a fireplace in the back, wood already placed. Lance went to a corner, opening a refrigerator, and taking an apple, eating it in silence. After finishing it, the Riolu then left the house, a stern look on his face.

Outside, the city seemed to be thriving, as most of the villagers were already doing their jobs. The Riolu lived on a busy street, as there were several buildings. One of the first was a market, where two Kecleon were talking to customers. Next, a black edifice with a line formed at the entrance, containing one Machop, one Meowth, and a couple of Wurmple. With calm weather, the wind blew around the place.

"Man, the bank is full today," Lance sighed and looked up, on the distance he could see a large building, shaped like the letter H and a large sign, which read: Exploration Guild Hero. "Brian's probably at the guild, but it doesn't matter, I need to take time for myself." Shrugging, he walked to the left, towards a beach.

The Hero guild was famous for being a subdivision of a legendary team of the same name. Its leaders were four Pokémon: Shiron, Nick, Yukino, and James. Due to a high demand mission, James stayed in the guild to take care of the administration and recruitment of new members, while his companions went to perform the task in a distant continent.

James was in his office, looking at the village through the window, taking an ice cream made with an Oran Berry. The Typhlosion turned around, sitting at his desk and looking at the papers of the newly graduated team, Team Liberators. Such a team contained at the moment only two members, but both were already known to James: Brian and Lance were the sons of one of his companions.

"I hope they do a good job..." James spoke to himself, licking the candy in his hand.

He heard a noise from someone knocking on the door. Curious, he swallowed the rest of the dessert and cleaned his mouth with a napkin.

"If you have an appointment, you can come in!" said James, waiting for the mysterious visitor. The door opened and a Zorua ran inside the office, a toothy grin on his face. "Good morning Uncle James!"'

"It's a huge coincidence, I was looking at your team file. I must congratulate you, you graduated so fast!" James spoke smiling, getting down on his knees, and extending his hand to little Pokémon.

Brian shook James' hand with his paw, slightly wagging his tail.

"So, what are you doing here? Have you found your first mission?"

"Lance and I are leaving. I woke up early, so I decided to say goodbye!" he gave a faint laugh.

"Hoho, I see!" James chuckled. "And where are you two going?"

"We'll be going to Bright Dawn, the biggest city on Eutrios!" Brian said, transforming himself into a Metang. "It's gonna be so fun, we'll work by ourselves!" he shape-shifted again, becoming a Machamp, flexing his muscles.

"You're excited about this, aren't you?" James clapped at the show.

"Yes, yes! Lance is…" he went back to normal, ears drooping. "He's as neutral as usual, I guess."

"I understand. I wouldn't blame him for that, he's still thinking about the incident, right?" James sighed "It's just that it's been so long. I thought he would have gotten better."

"The truth is, he was never the same," Brian shook his head negatively. "But I'm trying to help, so I'm leaving with him."

"It's not good to dwell on the past, but I understand the point of view of you two. I don't think your father will be very happy with this decision, especially considering you're both only sixteen." James scratched his chin.

"I think I came to ask a favor too. Listen, if Dad comes back while we're traveling, let him know what we did, ok? I'll try to convince my brother to come back here for visits as soon as possible, but maybe it's going to be hard to convince that dork..."

James laughed a little, rubbing his hand on little Zorua's head.

"All right, I can do that. And good luck to you both, you'll need it, but as your uncle, I worry, be careful, okay? I know your brother trained for so long, but it's never too much."

Brian just nodded and left the room running. That was the decisive moment, if they were going to leave, it had to be now. And so he did. The boy ran and ran, the village's exit was right in front of him and with it, his and his brother's future.

Meanwhile, Lance walked around the town's beach, contemplating the ocean's waves that were splashing the Riolu's feet, and far away, a few Lapras swam on the. He needed that moment, away from all problems and distractions. To not remember what made the nightmares begin.

"I'm not Number 10 anymore," he snarled, clenching his fist. "And I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna make the world a better place so that nothing like that happens again."

Determined to fulfill that promise, the Riolu took a deep breath, wrapping a gray bandana around his head, and then walked away, where he would meet his sibling.

Brian was waiting for his sibling, looking at the sign that indicated to tourists who had arrived in the village, with a backpack on and goggles around his neck. He was thoughtful but was sure that his decision was the best he could have done. Turning his eyes, he saw his brother approaching and the Zorua waved to him.

"Lance! Our journey starts now, right?! Let's do it!" the Zorua wagged his tail as he waited for the Riou to approach.

"Yes... our journey begins now. Goodbye, Thornwell." Lance looked at the sign, a certain melancholy in his eyes. He then began to walk without even looking back.

Brian looked at the sign next to his brother, and at the village where they grew up, hesitating for an instant, he shook his head, ignoring the thought and soon followed him in silence.

"Dad will probably take a while to arrive, his team's mission seems to be dangerous, do you think he will come back in one piece?" he said, staring at the Riolu.

"He is perfectly capable of taking care of himself," he just shrugged. "He and his teammates are strong Pokémon, I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you."

"Hehe, very well brother! We're gonna do it, right?!" Brain laughed, staring at the horizon. "We're gonna make our destiny!"

To that, Lance gave a faint smile. The two did not know what the future would bring for them, but they were sure that the journey ahead would bring conquests and challenges for both. And so, they left the place where it all began, prepared for whatever would happen next.
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Dungeon 2 - Heart of Steel New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 2 - Heart of Steel

In the middle of the night, a Druddigon was running through the streets, blood dripping from his arms and heart palpitating. The Pokémon looked back to make sure there was no one following him and stopped in an alley. Panting, he leaned against the wall, grumbling to himself about the situation he was in.

Suddenly, the Pokémon heard the noise of something crawling. Desperate, he opened his mouth, filling it with flames. The dragon was preparing to attack whatever was chasing him.

"Whoever you are, I can make it up to you!" The reptile screamed, trembling with fear, looking around. "My job gave me a lot of money! I can give twice as much as your contractor promised! No... I'll give you triple! Please don't kill me!" He panted, trying to reason with whoever was there.

In the air, a pair of black eyes appeared, and as soon as the Druddigon turned his face to see what had appeared, he was taken by an enormous fear, his body wouldn't move even if he tried with all his strength. He was paralyzed.

"Well, I could do what you asked, but... our team doesn't like to leave a job unfinished." He heard a voice, but he couldn't see anyone.

"T… team?! Who do you think you are?! I am Razor! I will be the next mayor of Bright Dawn! You don't know who you are messing with..."

Suddenly, a pink blade appeared in the air, produced by psychic powers, and hit the Druddigon's chest. The dragon, shocked by the blow, fell to the ground, his chest leaking with blood.

"Who... are you?" Razor trembled, barely able to stand up.

"The Heart of Steel Crew carefully chooses its targets... my name is Flint. Not that it matters." The owner of the voice spoke, coming out of the shadows and revealing himself.

Razor raised his head with the strength he had, looking at who had attacked him. The Pokémon in front of the politician was a biped and humanoid being, his head was round and red and black colored, similar to a war helmet, having a golden blade on top, only his eyes were visible on his face. The killer's stomach was well defined, with two blades that made his abdomen look like a ribcage.

"Mercenaries... I've heard of you, all members are steel type and do several dirty jobs..."

Razor used all his strength to get up, in his mouth the flames grew and he let out a puff towards the Bisharp.

The sudden attack of the dragon caused a big explosion, and he felt his heart accelerate. After the smoke dissipated, he saw a little doll where the criminal was.

"He used Substitute!" Razor said, feeling his body weakening with the loss of blood he suffered. Despite his weakness however, he remained alert.

"Your capacity for analysis is impressive. Then again, it's to be expected." Flint said, his voice was in the opposite direction of Razor, who turned, but, weakened, fell to the ground, his breathing was slower.

"Well, Psycho Cut is a move that has more chances to do critical damage... dragons may be powerful, but there is no invincible one," Flint spoke, smirking.

"Please... spare my life... I will reward you and your companions any way you want..."

"If you were talking with another companion of mine, maybe he would accept your proposal... But unfortunately for you, that’s not the case for me."

In a simple move, Flint cut through the air, generating a wind blade. The attack was directed at the dragon's throat, which had only the time necessary to scream. He had given his last breath. The murderous Pokémon disappeared in the shadows, his mission was now accomplished.

In another area of the city was a bar. The place was crawled with different Pokémon, and some of them were talking amongst each other, others were looking at a mission board. Unlike guilds, however, this place was used by mercenaries who wished to find jobs. Inside that pub, an Empoleon and Aggron were talking between sips of the beer they were drinking.

"Napoleon! You know I couldn't have sent you on this mission, you can't see a coin without wanting to get it!" The white Pokémon spoke with a laugh, looking at his companion.

"And you, Atlas, are too scared... This is a unique opportunity! End the competition of the mayor of this city!" The Empoleon grumbled, drinking some more of the beer.

"Flint is stealthy and effective, he will fulfill with perfection. Next time I'll let you go after our target..." Atlas said while placing the glass on the table.

"Whatever, the mayor paid us a huge amount of money..."

The two of them heard the bar door opening and with it, a hissing noise that they both recognized. As they turned back, they saw their companion, Bisharp named Flint.

"If I had ears, they'd be burning. You were talking about me, right?" The Pokémon said as he approached the team, sitting in a chair.

"Yeah, apparently Atlas thinks I'm a money junkie..." The penguin said, taking another sip.

"And is he wrong by any chance?" Flint shrugged. "Anyway, Razor's dead, it was an easy job. Please, next time I go, get me a more challenging mission than that."

Atlas finished drinking before opening his backpack and throwing some coins onto the table. After that, he got up, facing his companions.

"Well, I'll take your two requests into consideration." The big reptile spoke to them.

"Understood, chief. " The penguin spoke laughing, waving to the Aggron as he left the establishment.

"I'm not carrying you out of here, I have to pick up the reward with our client," Flint spoke, sighing.

"I will stay here a little longer!" He laughed, waving to the waiter to order another glass.

Flint just shrugged and then got up, leaving the bar. He left in silence, walking through the streets of the city where they were doing their missions, and, in the background, looked at the city hall building where he went after murdering Razor.

The Bisharp followed in the direction of the building, walking through the dark parts of the city, looking at the other residents. Due to the time, few Pokémon were out of their homes, and those who were in bars, so there wouldn't be many witnesses, if the police investigated, Flint would be safe.

"Well, if anything, I can blame that fat Empoleon." He muttered to himself.

The icy wind was blowing on his body while the Pokémon walked in silence, in the distance, smoke steamed from factories. Arriving there, he went directly to the office, seeing a Gothitelle sitting on a chair, a neutral expression.

"Do you have a reservation?" The Gothitelle spoke rigidly.

"Secretary Jane, tell the mayor that I'm Flint, he knows who I am."

The Psychic-type picked up a wired phone from the desk, typing some numbers on the keypad. Once she received an answer, she briefly explained the Pokémon who had entered the building.

"You can go up the stairs, sir." She said, writing some things in a notebook.

Flint did it, he went up the stairs of the place, going quietly and finally, reaching the floor of the mayor's office, knocking on the door.

"You can come in!" A voice from inside the room said.

Flint opened the door, entering the office. The place was wide, having a painting of the mayor on the wall. The mayor, an Alakazam, was simply staring at the Bisharp with a neutral expression, rubbing his mustache, a glass of wine on his hand.

"Mayor Prometheus. As you requested, the job is done." The Bisharp spoke, his face blank.

"Very well... I assume there are no witnesses?" The Alakazam commented, taking some more of the drink.

"I threw his body in the sewers and at this time there are not many Pokémon out in town." He nodded. "Well, except the mercenaries in that bar."

"Right... I thank you for the job well done, I see that I can count on you if needed." The mayor put the glass on the table, opening a drawer, and taking out a closed envelope.

"Of course you can, if you wish our services, we will always be at your disposal." He answered, consenting. "Well, our boss is a little paranoid, but I'm sure I can convince him."

Flint then approached the table, taking the envelope and putting it in his backpack. He eyed his client.

"If you want to hire us again, you know where to find us." After he said that, the Bisharp left, going on his way.
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Dungeon 3 - Travelers New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 3 - Travelers

Two Pokémon walked along a road in the middle of a forest, the moon in the sky illuminating the path they followed. One of them was holding a map with one hand and with the other, holding a pen. The other looked attentively at the forest they were in.

"Lance... you have no idea where we are going, do you?" the little Pokémon spoke.

"We're going the fastest way. As I said before, Brian, I have a plan..." Lance spoke with a stoic tone on his face.

"I've heard you say that so many times!" he grumbled. "Is this the right way to Bright Dawn?"

Lance sighed and stopped walking, showing the map to his sibling. On it was a town marked with an "X", and its distance to the boys' hometown was large.

"As you can see, it's gonna take a while," Lance shrugged.

"You know, we left the village two days ago, and you hardly said anything the whole trip..." Brian commented while walking.

"I don't like to talk and you know it," was all the Riolu said.

Brian sighed and the two of them stayed on the walk for a while longer. From afar, they could see a Pokémon with a wagon, which was turned upside down. Noticing this, the duo started to run, worried about what had happened.

The Pokémon was a Croagunk, who waved to the team that was getting close to them, realizing by the badges on their bodies that they were explorers.

"Good morning sir... what happened here?" Lance asked, approaching the group.

"A carriage... I never saw one in our village!" Brian said soon after, arriving after his brother. He looked at the vehicle, seeing some Pokémon with the shape of a gear where the wheels were.

"Thank you for admiring our vehicle, but we are not in a very good situation,"

"We are Team Liberators, my name is Lance and this Zorua is my brother. We'll be happy to help you." the Riolu took the team's crest, showing it to the frog.

"My name is Brian!" he waved.

"I'm Gama. We were driving along the road with Marty, he's a Zebstrika and he's the one driving the carriage. Out of nowhere, we were attacked by a gang of Mightyena! They were crazy, caught Marty, and ran with him into the forest! I barely had time to react, I could only protect the little Klink!"

"I understand... those Mightyena must be wild," the Riolu scratched his chin, thoughtful. "Some scholars say that Pokémon lose their rationality if they stay too long in Dungeons."

"We have to go... " Brian said, already running into the forest.

Lance nodded, looking at the Croagunk and soon he followed his brother. The Dungeon they were in had thick trees, with several leaves and branches, being impossible to see the sky without them climbing on the plants. Looking for someone would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Despite the difficulties, the Liberators team was determined to find the missing Pokémon.

"This place is huge, can't you use your aura to find him?" Brian stopped walking, panting, and looking around.

"I was going to do exactly that..." he sighed, closing his eyes and concentrating.

The Zorua stood in a combat position, attentive to every movement that occurred where they were. His brother was focused on his meditation. Riolu and its evolution, Lucario, were famous for being able to manipulate the aura, a type of energy present in living beings, for several purposes. The little Pokemon's ears moved while he meditated, looking for the Zebstrika's aura in the forest. The process was slow and spent energy, so Lance was focusing as much as he could on the search.

The vision he was having was different, looking only for the aura of Pokemon of the place, Lance saw the surroundings only in shades of black and blue. Scanning, he enlarged the search area, focusing on Zebstrika's body type, an equine Pokemon. In this case, being near Mightyena, the zebra should be easier to find.

Eventually, Lance found him. The Zebstrika was close to three of the wild Pokémon. Lance opened his eyes, falling to his knees and panting, he had tried too hard in the search. Brian, noticing this, approached his brother and, without saying anything, looked at him, bowing his eyebrows, worried.

"Before you say anything, I'm fine... I found Marty, come on! We don't have much time!" he was talking, running as fast as he could.

The two of them followed the forest inside, and as they approached the location, they smelled blood in the air, which grew stronger and stronger. The fauna seemed to change too, with the driest trees and fallen leaves.

"These places must be horrible for your head if the gang attacked someone in the middle of the road..." the fox Pokemon said to his brother.

"Maybe, I have read several books of theories and hypotheses about what happens in these Dungeons to leave who stays here like this."

Brian gulped. This was the first official mission of the team and he wanted it to be a success, but, more important than that, he wanted his brother not to get hurt. So he stopped walking, covering his nose with his hand. He smelled rotten in the air, for sure they were on the spot of the pack of hyenas.

The region they were in became rockier. On the ground, they could see the Pokémon they were supposed to rescue, wounded, and with bite marks. Near him, two Pokémons met their blood-red teeth, snarling at their prey. Besides them, there was the third Pokémon, sitting on top of a rock, looking at the other two members of his group.

"Mightyena are weak against my type, so, I'm on an advantage, Brian, let's get ready..."

"I'll go first..."

"Brian, you idiot!" he grumbled and followed his partner.

One of the Mightyenas growled, advancing against the Zebstrika with his mouth open to finish him. Lance took a deep breath, then he ran as fast as he could, jumping. Zorua hit the hyena right in the body.

"Pursuit!" he declared.

"Cross Chop!" Lance said, jumping right after the Zorua's blow and hitting the hyena with his arms in an X shape, throwing the Pokémon against the wall, leaving him knocked out.

Seeing this, the pack leader jumped, growling at Lance. Behind the boy, the other Pokémon was advancing, his fangs were flaming and he was trying to hit Lance.

"Pursuit! " the voice belonging to Zorua declared, colliding with the other Mightyena and pushing him away from his brother.

"It was an idiotic idea, but it worked. Now it's two against two." Lance snapped his fingers, looking at the leader of the group of savages.

"Take care..." Brian ran close to the other Pokémon, his arms shining.

Meanwhile, the leader of the pack jumped against Lance, hitting him with his claws. Lance tried to block by crossing his arms to protect his scar, being dragged a few meters back with the impact. The Mightyena then turned his back, his tail shining, hitting the Riolu with it. After receiving the impact, he would hit the rocky wall, coughing and breathing deeply.

Brian, on the other hand, deviated from the fierce attacks of the hyena he was facing. When he heard the noise of his brother, he looked away, worried about his friend.

"Lance! Are you... Argh!" he shouted in pain.

Mightyena was carrying electricity on his prey, biting Zorua while he was not waiting. Brian, even screaming, realized he also had a breach, copying the attack Lance had used, hitting the enemy Pokémon and setting himself free, even getting hurt with the attack. The enemy fell to the ground, fainted.

"Copycat! Cross Chop!" he declared before starting the attack.

"You're making me angry..." Lance passed his hand on the face, taking away the sweat. He faced the leader of the pack. It was possible to notice that the boy was angry when he looked at his face, and he was slowly approaching the enemy. His eyes, usually red, were in a bright blue tone, and his ears were moving, focusing on the enemy's movements.

The Mightyena just growled, advancing against Riolu with his fangs, trying to bite him. Lance, in turn, raised his fist, waiting for the Mightyena to approach. The distance between the two was getting smaller and smaller.

"Force Palm!" Lance said, seeing that the enemy was close. He then gave a strong punch to the hyena's stomach. From his hands, a wave of blue energy appeared, throwing the opponent against the wall and knocking him out. Lance fell to his knees, feeling the pain in his arm by the force he had exerted, and remained there for a few moments.

Brian approached his brother, panting with fatigue, but at least they had won. All that remained was to take Zebstrika back. Lance opened the backpack, taking three Oran Berries, eating one, throwing the other to his brother, and then Riolu got up.

"We're done here." He said approaching the zebra, opening his mouth and making him swallow the fruit.

Marty opened his eyes slowly, seeing the two strangers. He shook his head, still dizzy, but seemed to be getting better.

"Where... ...am I? Who are you?" he asked the two brothers.

"We are an exploration team and we were hired to rescue you. My name is Lance and this is my brother Brian." he pointed to Zorua.

"That's right, we knocked out the Mightyenas, but they should wake up soon, we have to go now..."

"Oh... Thanks..." Marty got up with a little difficulty.

The trio then went around the forest, and the two brothers were watching the whole way. Although the pack was defeated, they could still find more enemies in the forest and, now that the client was with them, it would be even more dangerous.

Fortunately, the trip back was quiet, they took the zebra safely to the carriage. Upon noticing the trio, Croagunk rolled his eyes, surprised by the efficiency of the unknown team.

"Marty! You're all right!"Gama ran to help his friend.

"I am... thanks to those two." he gave a light smile.

"Ah, our pleasure!" Brian had a red face, embarrassed but accepted the compliment.

"It's our job. We gave him an Oran Berry, but I hope both of you take more care from now on." Lance spoke rigidly.

"Boys! You deserve the reward! Where are you going?" Gamma spoke smiling.

"We are going to... Bright Dawn! What do you suggest?" Brian spoke with his eyes shining, already suspecting what the reward would be.

"I think I can for my friend that we would be happy to take them, but Bright Dawn is a bit far. What do you say we take you to the nearest village? If you go on your way, it will take you a long time to reach your destination." Marty spoke while hitting the hooves on the ground.

"It's okay with me, I always wanted to travel in a carriage," said Lance, analyzing the situation.

"Very well boys, but we will leave tomorrow, Marty is still hurt, so let's set up a small camp, okay?"

The two boys agreed and went to get wood in the forest. Meanwhile, Gama fixed Marty on the ground carefully so as not to open his wounds. The frog sighed lightly, wondering if he should thank more the couple who saved his friend.

At dusk, Lance was asleep leaning against a wooden log. The Zebstrika was lying there with his eyes closed, while Brian was looking at the sky in silence. The Croagunk approached the boy, sitting beside him, looking him with a smile on his face.

"I wanted to thank you, well, your brother too, but by the looks, he slept."

Brian sighed, this kind of conversation could become common if his brother remained emotionally distant.

"Yeah, he doesn't like to talk a lot with anyone, beyond what is necessary, sometimes I think he only talks to me because we are on the same team..."

"This can be bad for relations with your clients... sorry to intrude, but can you tell me why he is like this? Or is it just how he is?" Gamma would lean against a log of wood.

Brian looked away, reliving old memories. He shook his head, trying to get what he had thought out of his mind.

"I don't like to talk about it."

"Well, that's okay. It's good for you to rest, I can tell that the fight you had was intense!"

Brian agreed, yawning, and lying on the floor. The frog laughed a little and moved away from Pokémon, closing his eyes and trying to sleep. Zorua couldn't fall asleep yet, thinking about what would come ahead for the duo, the challenges they would face, and if he could protect Lance. The thoughts eventually tired him, and he slept.
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Dungeon 4 - Thunderstruck: Part 1 New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 4 - Thunderstruck: Part 1

As the morning came, the brothers were now in the carriage they had rescued the other day. Brian looked out the window, watching the local landscape, while Lance read a book, focused on that.

"We are almost there..." the Zebstrika's voice said to the passengers, he had recovered almost completely from the aggression he had suffered before.

"We'll leave you here, this village is called Heavenwind. It used to be visited by explorers who wanted to enter the cave at the base!'' the Croagunk called Gama spoke to the brothers.

"Oh, I've heard of it! They live near a mountain, and of the residents are flying Pokemon!" Brian spoke with a smile on his face and his eyes shining.

"We are not going to climb the mountain..." the Zorua's brother spoke to him.

Brian showed his tongue to his brother and continued to see the landscape. Lance shrugged, reading the book in silence and with high concentration.

The vehicle stopped after a few more minutes, allowing us to see the village where they had arrived. Lance kept the book in his backpack and got down from the carriage, stretching, he was soon followed by his brother, who was looking at the new location.

"Thanks, guys, if you need to travel, send us a letter! We are the Zebrunk transportation company," Gama spoke smiling, showing his teeth.

"I told him it was a stupid name, but he never listened to me," Marty grumbled, ashamed of his friend.

"I understand, well, we appreciate the service," Lance just agreed and walked out.

"Thank you, gentlemon!" Brian said, leaving right after the Riolu.

The village they found themselves in was medium-sized, and the two teenagers could see large houses, where the flying Pokémon were coming in. As they walked, they noticed that there were some villagers on the street, some going to markets and others just walking. Pidgeotto, Talonflame, and even Braviary could be seen by them. Away, they saw part of the mountain, which extended as far as their eyes could view. Lance stopped and pointed to a large, red-colored building

"It's a hotel. Let's go in and make a reservation," Lance said. "I know you want to explore this village, so you're free to do that after."

"I'll see if I can find something to buy for us! And I'll send a letter to Uncle James," Brian grinned. "He deserves to know where we are."

Sighing, Lance shrugged and kept walking, entering the hotel with his brother. On a chair was a Ledian, snoring and appeared to be on a deep sleep. Lance hit the table of the place, trying to get the insect's attention. The Pokémon woke up, falling from his chair and getting up in a hurry.

"Good morning. I would like to make a reservation here for me and my brother," Lance said pointing to Brian.

"We're Team Liberators!" Lance's brother mentioned as he approached.

"My name is Beet and I'm the manager of this hotel... I've never heard of your team, are you new?"

"Our team was formed a short time ago," Lance crossed his arms.

"How long will you stay here? We haven't received many visitors lately," Beet took a notebook in a desk drawer with one of his arms, and with another, he took a pen.

"We will stay only for one day, we are going to Bright Dawn and we decided to stop here," Brian spoke calmly, looking at the hotel.

"Bright Dawn? This place receives new Pokemon all the time, it's a good choice," he finished writing down their names, keeping his notebook.

Suddenly, the three of them heard a bell ringing loudly. The Ledian looked at the door, making sure no one was around, and soon spoke to the boys.

"If I were you, I'd stay here, what's gonna happen is not good..."

Hearing this, Lance rolled his eyes, heading to the door and opening it slowly. On the outside, the birds ran to their houses, except for one, who stood still. A Corviknight just stared at the cave's entrance, as if he was waiting for someone to show up. Then three Pokémon left the entrance, a shiny Luxray, a Luxio, and a Graveller. The trio got near the Flying-Type, who remained still.

"Mayor Percival, it's very good to see you again," the shiny Luxray said, approaching the bird with a wide smile, showing his teeth.

"I know the reason for your visit Teslan, the money is with me," he extended his arm, throwing a few coins on the ground.

The Luxio who accompanied Teslan picked up the coins, keeping them in a backpack quietly, distancing himself from the two. The small Pokémon then began to count the money.

"Very well Virgil," The Luxray said turning his face to the subordinate.

"So, anything else? Or will you extort more from us?!"

"Boss, the money he gave isn't enough," the Luxio said, showing the money in his backpack.

When Teslan listened to the subordinate, he turned his face, growling at Corviknight, in his body some electrical sparks appeared.

"Do you think you can fool me like that, you worthless bird?" he growled, preparing to attack.

"We don't have enough money! If you want the rest, you'll have to wait!"

The lion roared, his whole body wrapped in an electric aura, he fired a bolt of lightning at the Corviknight, who cried out in pain, fainted at the same hour. With this, the Pokémon who were hiding in their homes left immediately, trying to rescue Percival.

"Hmph," he said with a growl, looking at the villagers. "Listen here! You have two days to bring the rest of the money! Your mayor will be an example of what will happen to anyone who disobeys!"

The three Pokémon left the place and entered the cave in silence. Meanwhile, in the village, the commotion of the attack on the mayor increased, with a Tropius helping to carry him to the local hospital.

In the hotel where Lance and Brian were, Riolu had seen the scene through the door, he was visibly irritated, gnashing his teeth and clenching his fists with force. His brother was also agitated, looking to the floor and thinking about what to do.

"So... has this become routine for you?!" Lance screamed at Ledian.

"Hey, calm down kid! We don't like it, but we're used to it! I wouldn't pick a fight with them if I were you!" he crossed his four arms, looking seriously at Lance.

"It doesn't matter! You are being oppressed and the reaction is just to let it happen?! Not with me here! I'll fix it! And you, insect! Tell the mayor of this village that these Pokemon will no longer be disturbed!"

As he said that, Lance ran out of the place, he had a determined expression on his face. Behind him, Brian was running too, worried about Lance, but also angry about the situation.


"If you're not going to help, at least don't get in the way," he spoke, turning his face to face his brother.

The two stopped running at the base of the mountain, Lance was with his arms crossed, thinking about the strategy they would do to face this new enemy. He strangled his fingers, taking some steps forward. His brother, a little scared by the Riolu's attitude, followed him in silence. In front of them was a cave entrance, where they passed in silence.

The cave was dark, and they heard only the noise of Zubat on the ceiling and water running, Brian looked for the source of the sound, seeing a small lake. Yet, Brian could see it just fine, being a Dark-Type, his vision was normal. Lance, on the other hand, had to use his aura to travel inside that place.

"Impressive..." Brian spoke to himself.

"We have to concentrate Brian! This situation is horrible! They don't deserve it!" the Zorua's brother kept running, his heart was racing and he kept following without looking back, focusing solely on finding the feline flock.

Lance's distraction was enough for him not to notice the blow that came his way. A huge rock collided with him, spinning fast. The boy, after being hit, hit the wall hard, falling to the ground and struggling to breathe.

"LANCE!" his brother screamed, scared, and he growled, looking who had done it.

The Graveler stopped, showing his teeth with a large smile as he cracked his rocky knuckles and stared at the two explorers.

"It's the one from before!" Brian spoke in a low tone, analyzing the situation.

"You're not from around here, right? I imagine you've seen our "show" from before. I'm the guard of the gang and my job is to stop you from finding the boss!" the rocky Pokémon, still keeping the smile

"You know... I'm gonna love to break that stupid head of yours," the voice came from Lance, who was getting up with difficulty, eating an Oran Berry that was crushed by the impact of before. Because of that, it didn't heal him as much as it usually did.

Brian smiled, but soon his face changed to a serious expression, he ran as fast as he could, throwing himself into the Graveler's body.

"Pursuit!" he shouted, colliding with the rock, but without much effect.

The rocky Pokémon then held the little Pokémon, looking at Lance.

"If you want him to come out alive, you two will leave this place and never come back!"

Raising his eyes, Lance gave a loud laugh, holding himself to the wall. The opponent, without understanding what he was doing, was squeezing more and more Brian's body, who was trying to let go in vain. It was possible to hear the Zorua's bones snapping with the force Graveler was making in him.

"I'm serious! He's going to die!"

"He's not going to turn into a ghost... although sometimes he can attack like one..."

Brian blinked his eyes, understanding Lance's message. He opened his mouth, shooting a black ball at Graveler, who let him go after the impact, knocking Zorua down on the ground, panting and exhausted, even being released, he still felt his body sore from the pressure.

Graveler moved away, his rocky body had a small crack where the blow had hit. He turned his body like a ball, throwing himself against Lance.

"Pathetic. Cross Chop!" Lance spoke, running towards the enemy, his arms in an X position, he jumped, hitting the rock with force.

The two attacks collided, generating an explosion and throwing both away from each other. Brian, with all the strength he had, approached his brother with difficulty, worried, but soon he became angry with his brother's plan.

"What the hell was that? I almost died! If I hadn't understood your message I would have died!" he growled at Riolu.

"It was all planned, relax, I won't let you die and... here... you need it more than I do..." his friend took an Oran Berry from his backpack, delivering it to the fox.

Hesitating a little, Brian ingested the fruit, feeling his strength returning little by little, he helped his brother up and the two looked at Graveler knocked out.

"We have no time to waste..." Lance was serious, walking deeper into the cave.

His brother was limping soon after, while his wounds healed. They continued along the path of the cave, taking care not to have to face anyone else. As there were no more Oran Berries, they would have to strengthen their security. The path was getting harder, the corridors narrower as they walked.

Even so, they had to continue, the mission they were doing was not official, but they needed to succeed. The birds that lived in this village did not deserve to live in fear, so the team followed, determined to help those villagers.
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Dungeon 5- Thunderstruck: Part 2 New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 5 - Thunderstruck: Part 2

The brothers continued on their mission through the cave, Lance kept running with his serious look, showing his teeth and his breathing was fast. Behind him, Brian followed him, his apprehensive face, looking at Riolu. The location they were in was a wide, dark tunnel, allowing us to see only one light in the background.

"We have to be careful not to be a Bouffalant at the end of that corridor," Brian spoke in an attempt to break the ice.

"Brian! We are on a serious mission! We don't have time to crack jokes!" his brother spoke, turning his face back, looking at the Zorua.

As they approached the end, they heard noises of discharges coming from the light source. The brothers stopped to catch their breath and in doing so, they could hear the conversations coming from the enemies.

"You left them in a very precarious situation!" one of the Pokémon said with a grin on its face.

"Well, that's what those useless birds deserve." the yellow Luxray said, eating a piece of unknown meat.

"They're not useless..." the voice belonging to Lance spoke, the boy was approaching the cat burrow, his brother right behind.

When they heard the Riolu speak, the Pokemon turned around, seeing the little blue canine. Teslan stood up, analyzing the teenager.

"You two... you're not from around here, right?" he spoke without much of a reaction, thinking about what he was going to do.

"We are Team Liberators!" Brian said, taking one step forward. "And there's no way we'll just watch what you do with those villagers!"

The two brothers were suddenly surrounded by several felines, Pokemon called Shinx. The leader laughed, he was having fun with the situation.

"Tell me... when did you graduate from the guild? How old are you? Children like you should be at home..."

Lance closed his eyes for a moment, ignoring the comment he had received, and opened them, staring at Luxray.

"From what I could see, you are an idiot who thinks you can command others based on your strength... and this guy is the type I hate the most!"

"What do you think you can do, kid?! You may have passed our guard, but know that I'm not kidding!" he growled, his body shining in a yellow tone.

"That's exactly what I'm talking about... but I'm willing to make a deal with you and your gang. Face me, only me, and in case you win, you can do whatever you want with me and my brother," he pointed to the Zorua.

"Hey, Lance! What are you talking about? Do you want to face this guy alone?! There's no way I'm letting you do this!" the small fox rolled his eyes, protesting against the idea.

Seeing what the boy said, Teslan laughed until tears came out of his eyes, which he wiped with his paw. He then looked down, still laughing, and then turned his eyes to Lance.

"Are you serious, kid? Do you think you can beat me in combat?"

"Luxray is the third stage of evolution in the Shinx line, so the increase in strength compared to pre-evolutions is great, however... the greatest strength is here," he pointed to his head.

Brian opened his mouth to protest but was barred by two Shinx who put themselves in front of him, blocking his way. Lance looked back, slowly consenting with his head, as if he wanted his brother to understand. The Zorua then stopped moving, deciding to pay attention to the fight.

"Okay, kid! If you wanna throw yourself to your death, who am I to stop you?!" the Luxray walked away, staring at Lance with a murderous look.

The two were at a distance of 5 meters and remained a few moments in silence. The challenger put his backpack on the ground, but before he got an item from there, closing his fists. The tension in the place was immense, they could attack each other at any time, but it seemed that each competitor was waiting for the opportunity to start the fight. Then, suddenly, the lion fired an electrical discharge in the area, causing a huge flash, the Pokémon who were on the spot instinctively covered their eyes. Lance, as he opened his eyes, noticed that the color of the burrow had changed to yellowish tones.

"Electric Terrain." he reflected, analyzing the situation.

"Exactly... now, let's go… Wild Charge!" Luxray declared, advancing against Lance with his body wrapped in electric energy, colliding against the boy.

The Riolu hit the wall, falling on his face, and breathing deeply by the impact. On the opposite side, Teslan had walked away, having been hurt by the impact of the blow he made. Brian just looked at the situation, thinking about what he could do.

Lance stood up, spitting a little blood, and wiping with his hand. He then ran, crossing his arms in an "X" shape, and jumped. Teslan saw that and immediately he ran fast, his body barely being able to be seen at such speed, hitting Riolu with his head before he could be hit by Cross Chop. The lion's opponent, when hit, smiled, and from his hand he threw the item he had caught, a small seed which, colliding with Teslan's skin, created an explosion, throwing both away from each other.

"Lance!" Brian shouted, trying to run to help his friend, but he was held by Shinx.

On the other side, Luxray got up, panting, and could smell the scent of his burned fur. He growled with rage, furious because he got deceived by a small child.

"Blast Seed. who would have thought you had such a thing, huh, kid?!"

Lance stood up, his body visibly bruised, and in his chest, blood starting to flow from his chest. However, he remained standing, determined to end that fight. His brother looked at it when he had an idea. Brian moved away from the Shinx and concentrated, using his illusionary ability to camouflage himself as one of the members of Teslan's gang.

"I can see that this fight is being too much for your body, kid, I'm going to relieve you of the rest of it..." he said looking at the wound in Lance's stomach and frowned, advancing against the child.

When he walked, he felt a blow on his back, making him stumble and fall face down on the ground. Getting up, he looked back and saw a Shinx staring at him. The feline had on his tail a small tuft of red hair.

"May I know what is the reason for this?" he growled at the Pokemon.

"Wait... that's..." Lance thought and he took a deep breath. He had to trust his brother so they could do the job. After all, they were a team.

And part of the trust was going to be tested now. Lance gathered all the strength he had in his body and ran, ignoring the wounds and the pain he felt in his bones, and followed, raising his fist while Luxray was distracted with Zorua in disguise. He punched Teslan's back, blue energy coming out of the Riolu's hand.

"This is... Force... Palm!" the boy spoke, releasing the energy through his hand and throwing the lion in the air.

Seeing this, Brian ran too, taking impulse and gave a jump, beginning to give several cuts in Luxray's body, his illusion falling apart and revealing his normal appearance.

"Fury... Swipes!"

The Luxray then fell to the ground with the sequence of blows given by the brothers, generating a bang and he fainted. Lance fell to his knees, his breathing accelerated, he was losing blood. Brian ran to rescue his brother, looking around, the Shinx started running outside, without their leader, they didn't know what to do. The Zorua ignored the felines and in his backpack, took some strips, wrapping around Lance's wound. Teslan would wake up eventually, but the priority at the moment was to stabilize his sibling.

Placing his brother's shoulder around his body, Zorua started to walk out of the cave, he had to go fast, or the Pokemon would die. Without looking back, the boys were walking, eventually leaving the cave.

Outside, the Ledian spotted them both and, realizing Lance was hurt, ran to take them to the local hospital. Arriving there, Riolu was put to bed. Brian remained outside, sweating heavily, his stress had gone up.

"He's not going to die... he's not going to die..." he repeated the sentence to himself, walking in circles, time seemed to stand still while he waited.

Finally, after what to him seemed to be hours, a Doduo appeared at his side. One of its heads was smiling, while the other had a frown.

"Your brother is stable." one of the Doduo's heads spoke to the boy.

"He should recover completely in a few days." the other head spoke.

Listening to what the doctor said, Brian gave a broad smile, wagging his tail, and gave a long sigh, relieved that his brother was well.

"Thanks, doctor... doctors..." he said, lying down.

"You can visit him soon, and... we'd like to thank you for standing up to that gang..."

"Ah! The gang! Quick, can you give me a paper?! And pen made for quadruped Pokemon! I need to send a letter to Thornwell, my hometown, as soon as possible!"

"T-The post office is that way!" he pointed using his head. "But boy! You are also hurt, you need to go to the hospital! I'll warn the mailman!"

Reluctantly, Brian accepted and entered the place, being attended by some of the birds. Team Liberators had managed to remove the flock from the lives of these villagers, but at the moment, they could only think about their physical recovery and the next step in their journey.
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Dungeon 6 - The dawn of a new day New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 6 - The dawn of a new day

"Is anyone there?" one voice asked.

The Pokémon saw himself in an empty and tight space, the walls seemed to be made of metal, and there was only one door. He tried to open it by pulling the handle, but it was locked.

"Dad?! Mom?! It's Lance! Get me out of here!" he started knocking on the door, desperate. His eyes began to tear as he tried to leave the place.

Suddenly, a loud bang appeared and the boy fell to the ground. The door crumbled, leaving only darkness, the Riolu moved away, trembling with fear, and tried to speak, but nothing came out.

"Lance!" he heard a voice screaming his name.

From the darkness, two red eyes appeared, staring at the boy who at that moment was crying, leaning against the wall, screaming.

"Lance!" the same voice he had repeated before.

The eyes seemed to approach Lance, and with that, more of the room disappeared into the darkness, which was getting near the Fighting-type.

"Stop it! Please!" he placed himself in a fetal position, crying and waiting for it to end.

Finally, the place was covered entirely by darkness, with Lance screaming after being swallowed by the emptiness.

"LANCE!" the voice screamed again.

The Riolu woke up screaming, almost falling out of bed, and looked around. His brother was on his side, looking at him with a worrying expression on his face. The two of them remained that way for a few moments, neither wanting to start the conversation. But Brian, gulping, decided to approach.

"Did you... have a nightmare again?"

The Zorua's brother only nodded, shaking his chest with his hand where his scars were. He looked at the place, seeing that he was in the hospital of the village where they had arrived one day before.

"We beat that Luxray, didn't we?" Lance pondered, sitting on the bed.

"Yeah, you got hurt pretty bad, and I had to bring you here!" he lowered his ears, worried about his sibling and friend.

"Where is that Pokémon?" Lance took a deep breath, but asked seriously, looking at his brother.

"I sent a letter to our village and... half an hour ago, someone from dad's team came and took them, they are already out of Heavenwind."

Lance looked at the ceiling. He was still exhausted from the fight of the previous day. Looking out the window, he saw that the flying Pokémon who lived in the village seemed to be happy, walking down the street quietly.

"Hey, Brian..." the Fighting-type spoke, still distracted by the landscape. His face started to redden as he thought about what he was going to say.


"I was going to end up beating that Luxray without your help, but thanks," he said, blushing and looking away.

"No need to thank me, dork... I'm your brother! And your teammate!" he gave a slight laugh.

The morning passed quietly for the duo, who remained in the hospital beds. At noon, the two of them went out the door, fixing their backpacks on their backs. In front of them was the mayor with splints on his wings and his body bandaged. He looked at them with a smile on his beak.

"Thank you on behalf of everyone that lives here... we couldn't have thrown them out without you."

"We were just doing our jobs," Lance crossed his arms, staring at the Corviknight sternly.

"I'm glad you think so, but I can't let you leave without saying thank you at least a little!" the bird walked closer, showing a bag with Oran Berries.

"Oh, we ran out of those! Thank you!" Brian picked the fruit, putting it in his bag.

The two brothers then waved goodbye to the village and went on their way to the road. The two continued along the trail surrounded by trees, Lance looked at the map he brought for the trip.

"Here, look," he called his brother.

Surprised by the gesture, Brian approached the Riolu, looking at the map. In it, there was an X in the place where they had to arrive, and by the figure, the city looked big. In the drawing, there were several buildings.

"Dad's team goes there from time to time," The Zorua commented.

"There is a local guild there. We can register, not as apprentices, of course, but just to get missions, nothing much. They are means to an end," He spoke with a neutral expression.

"How long will it take us to get there?"

"Thanks to the wonders of technology, we took a ride and that shortened a lot. I think by the end of the afternoon we will be in town," he sighed, following in silence.

After an hour of walking, they could see, in the distance, smoke coming from a series of buildings. The factory was the sign that they were arriving in town, and that they would be able to have a little rest from their busy days last week. Continuing with the steps, they saw a tall gate in front of the city, with a cabin. In the compartment, there was a wide Pokémon and brown fur, in his chest there was a yellow circle. When they noticed the duo approaching, the Ursaring turned on the speaker.

"Freeze! Who are you? What are you doing here?"

"Team Liberators. Formed in the exploration guild Hero. We moved here," Lance said, showing the team crest.

"Tsc," the bear grumbled, taking a paper and looking at a list of names. He, at last, opened the gate for the duo.

The two got inside the gates of Bright Dawn, and already, they could see the difference. Both were on a bridge that connected the entrance to the insides of the city. As he walked, the Zorua gazed on the sides of the overpass they were in, seeing a few pipes on it. Brian could only look in awe at that place, where most of the buildings were made of bronze, causing the scene to look brownish, and a few of them were factories with chimneys releasing fumes a tone of industrialism dragging the whole area down.

"This place... is incredible!" Brian said as his eyes shined, impressed with the city. "Although I can't see the sun with all that gas. The Koffing must be having a party in those factories!"

"This is where we will spread our wings, brother," Lance said with a smirk. "Well, metaphorical wings anyway."

"I kinda wanna explore! I need it!" Brian couldn't contain his excitement, his tail wagged so hard it could break.

"We're going to the upper levels of the town. That's where the guild is," Lance said. "I can go by myself. You can go, just stay in the higher areas, and meet me in front of the guild. Okay?"

"See ya, Lance!" he smirked, dashing to the upper area.

Brian followed the streets of the city, looking at everything with attention and curiosity. He could see some light poles with what he believed were several Luminous Orbs on each of them, causing the Zorua to chuckle. He was always a fan of technology, after all. As he walked, Brian gazed on the wide street, where most Pokémon were walking to do their everyday tasks, coughing a little due to the vapors from the large factories in the background. The explorer finally stopped, staring at a store with a sign that read: '"Watchog's Wares".

"If I'm not mistaken, Riolu evolves with the help of an item." Brian had an idea and decided to go inside.

"Hello young man, how can I help you?"

Looking where the voice came from, he saw the owner of the store: a Watchog wearing an apron. It had a toothy smile and waited for the boy to answer.

"I came to see some evolutionary items. Well, to see things in general, this store seemed interesting... sir..."

"Lumi," the Watchog answered with a smile. "And I have plenty of items. What are you looking for specifically?"

"Would you happen to have a Sun Ribbon?" he asked, sitting on all four legs.

"Hmm... I think I do, wait here," Lumi left, entering a room. On his way back, he was carrying a chest. Placing it on the table, he opened it, showing a golden ribbon.

"That's exactly what I was looking for! How much will it cost?!" Brian gasped and stared at the ribbon.

"Considering it's a somewhat rare item... I'll make it for you for two thousand Poké."

"Two thousand?!" his eyes widened at the expensive price.

"Well, I bought them for four thousand... I'd say it's a reasonable price."

Brian opened his backpack, throwing the coins on the floor and grabbing the item. He ran, grumbling a little. Outside, he thought about what he would do with the rest of his free time.

At the guild headquarters, Lance was in the boss's room, sitting on a chair and drinking tea. On the other hand, also seated, there was a Swalot, who rubbed his yellow mustache. The place he was in contained a large bookshelf and a table, filled with papers.

"Mr. Robert, I hope you understand my situation," Lance said after taking a sip of tea. "I heard about your guild while I was looking for where my brother and I were going to settle and I thought about coming here."

"But of course boy! You will be welcome!" the Poison-type laughed as he patted his large belly.

"Well, about our home, do you have any recommendations?" he put the glass on the table.

"In the building next to this one there is a condominium, I'll tell the landlord that they will go there, ok?" Robert grinned, looking at the Riolu's eyes.

"Right... so our discussion is over. I have to meet my brother and then we'll go there," Lance got up.

Robert extended his hand to the boy, who instinctively moved away from him. Despite finding that strange, the Swalot sighed and let the boy go his way.

As night came, clouds formed in the sky, and with it came the rain. Lance walked in silence, the water droplets fell on his fur. As he strolled, an Aggron passed right by him.

"Steel-type would be really useful with all this smoke," Lance sighed. "I can't wait to evolve.

"Hey! This is discrimination against me!" a voice said, coming from an establishment two blocks away.

Lance, recognizing the voice, ran to get closer, seeing his brother and in front of him, a Pangoro who had its arms crossed, looking at the Zorua.

"It is written here that Zorua and Zoroark cannot participate in the game to avoid cheating. Your illusions aren't allowed." the Pangoro pointed to a plate.

"So, that's discrimination!" the Zorua grumbled.

"We're here less than a day, and you're already getting into trouble..." Lance was talking to him, his arms crossed.

"Hey, Lance! This guy doesn't want to let me in just because I'm a Zorua."

"Sorry for my brother, sometimes he doesn't have a clue... come on, Brian, I've already talked with the guildmaster," Lance went

"Damn it," he grumbled, walking away. His brother was going right behind him.

"I got an apartment, well, the Swalot who runs the guild did, but that doesn't matter. Where did you go?"

"Well, I have a surprise for you," he laughed a little. "And I wanted to go to that casino, but they wouldn't let me in."

"A surprise? Okay, you can tell me inside our new home..."

After he said that, Lance stopped. They were in front of the building that would be their home for the foreseeable future. It was wide and like all the other places, metallic and tall. The duo entered the place, going to the reception. The receptionist was a Weavile, who stared at them.

"Lance and... Brian, right? Robert warned me that they would move in here. My name is Noir, and I'm the landlord of this condo," the Weavile told them.

While Brian looked at the place carefully, Lance nodded, waiting for the Pokémon to hand over the keys to the apartment. Noir then opened a drawer and threw the utensil to him, who took and went to the stairs, looking at the number on the key. The other member of the team followed Lance. Their apartment was on the second floor, number 102, right at the beginning of the hall.

"Hehe, it looks like we found someone else who doesn't like to talk!" Brian said looking at his brother, laughing.

"You got the comedian of the year award..." he said as he opened the bedroom door.

The team's new home wasn't big, but it was comfortable. There was a sofa in the living room and on the left side was the kitchen, with a refrigerator turned off. At the end of the apartment, some doors were leading into the bedrooms and bathrooms. Lance locked the door behind them and threw the key on a table, stretching himself.

"I'm going to take a shower."

"Oh! They have a phone here!" Brian pointed to the table in the living room.

Ignoring his brother, Lance put his backpack on the floor and went to the bathroom calmly. Meanwhile, Brian put the item he had bought in his brother's backpack and laid down on the sofa, sighing with relief.

"Ah... that was a wonderful decision we made."

After turning on the shower, Lance sat on the bathroom floor, hugging his knees in silence. He hadn't demonstrated this to his brother, but the nightmare he had hadn't come out of his head yet.

"I'm fine... I'm safe... I'm fine... I'm safe..."

He remained wrapped in his thoughts for a while, crying alone and silently. The moon in the sky contrasted the rainy night and time seemed to stop for the boys, who had begun the new stage of their lives.
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Dungeon 7 - New challengers appear! New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 7 - New challengers appear!

Brian woke up yawning, he had slept on the couch of his new apartment. The Zorua scratched his eyes and went to the kitchen, smelling pancakes. When he got there, he saw Lance sitting on a chair. Their kitchen was small, but comfortable, having a table for five Pokémon and the same number of chairs. A refrigerator was also there, now turned on.

"I didn't know you were a cook," laughing, he sat on one of the chairs.

"I asked them to deliver here. I think my knowledge of cooking comes down to juice," Lance spoke, drinking some tea from a cup.

"So what's the plan for the day, Mr. Masterchef?" the Zorua took a pancake, eating a few bites.

"I'll look for some mission in the guild, we need to create a reputation."

"Well, there must be some Caterpie that got stuck in a hole out there," Brian smirked.

"By the way, today is your day to do the dishes. Mine's tomorrow," Lance talked by taking his plate and putting it in the sink.

"Hey! Who said you could decide these things?!" Brian grumbled.

"For starters, I rented the apartment," he said, heading for the bathroom.

After they left the house, the brothers went into the streets of the city. As the day before, the streets were full of movement. In front of the guild, they saw a Tyrunt quickly entering the place. Curious, the duo followed the unknown Pokémon.

The guildhall was large and they could see a large corridor with multiple doors leading to different areas of the building, alongside stairs that stopped at the guildmaster's office. On the first floor, the siblings saw the Rock-Type running to the end, where there was a large board containing missions. The Tyrunt jumped, trying to put a paper there.

"Excuse me, is everything ok?" Lance asked, approaching the Tyrunt.

"Hm?" the dinosaur turned. "Misters! Can you help me?" the child said, trembling a bit.

"That's what we're here for!" Brian said, trying to calm the kid down.

"My dad... he's gone... it's been four days!" on the paper was the image of a Druddigon.

Lance widened his eyes, the Tyrunt's speech bringing up some memories. Brian noticed that and took a deep breath, keeping the friendly face to the Tyrunt.

"Nobody accepted your request for help?" the Riolu crossed his arms, looking at the boy.

"No... Daddy is a politician, someone must have made him disappear!" At that point, the Tyrunt had tears in its eyes.

"Kid... We will find your father, you can count on us!" Lance growled, clenching his fists.

"Thank you, my name is Tyler... my dad was going to run for mayor," he forced a smile.

"Ok Tyler, we'll help you! Lance, let's do it!" Brian declared, leaving the building, his brother right behind.

Stopping at the entrance, Lance put his hand on his chin, thoughtful. The hypothesis of being an attack seemed to be the most feasible, after all, the Tyrunt's father was a politician too, which probably indicated that the mayor wanted to get rid of his rival. His brother looked at the city hall building, thinking about a plan.

"I think we should try to see the mayor," Brian pondered, scratching his chin.

"Yeah, we can try that, but I don't think you can see the mayor without an appointment," Lance shrugged.

"Not if you're a member of a famous exploration team!" laughing, he turned into a Lucario, a copy of his father. The only indication of the illusion was the tail, which had a red tip.

"That's... not a bad idea, come on!"

Stopping at the entrance, the two entered in silence. The mayor's secretary was sitting at his desk, reading a book. Getting closer, the "Lucario" tapped his paws on the table, trying to get her attention.

"Excuse me... miss…"

"Miss Jane. What can I do to help you?" the Gothitelle said without even looking at them.

"I'm Nick Williams, a member of Team Hero. And this is my son, Lance," he pointed to the Riolu.

"Good morning... we need to talk to the mayor," the boy spoke with his arms crossed.

"Let me see if he is available." she turned on the phone, calling the mayor, and then nodded.

Climbing the stairs, they went into the mayor's office. The building was also large, filled with rooms for all of the Alakazam's employees. The mayor had to be a busy Pokémon, but those two were determined to get answers.

"To what do I owe this team's visit?" the Alakazam spoke to the two Pokémon, his gaze fixed on them. The Psychic-type was not an idiot and tried to read their minds, altough for some reason he couldn't do it on the Lucario.

"We received a mission from a Tyrunt, apparently his father disappeared," the Lucario crossed his arms, looking at the Psychic-type.

"He mentioned that the missing Pokémon was a politician, and-" Lance began to speak.

"You suspect me of having something to do with this, right?" Prometheus kept his gaze on them, without even flinching. "I can tell, even without reading your minds."

Brian began to sweat but tried to stay calm. His brother took a slight look at him and faced Alakazam again.

"Well, I can assure you it wasn't me," he got up, looking through his office window. "It's a tragedy, certainly, and someone else has asked me about this. You can talk to the police, I was their first suspect. They will confirm that I'm innocent."

Lance closed his fists. He couldn't tell if the Alakazam was lying through his aura. They would have to find evidence to connect him to the case.

"I understand... I'm sorry to disturb you..." Brian turned around, getting out of there with Lance.

While the two of them were leaving, the mayor saw the Lucario's red tail, realizing the illusion of Zorua. After being alone he called from his phone to his secretary. Of course. He tried to read their minds and couldn't do it on Brian. That was the reason why.

"I want you to contact the Crew, I need to silence some brats..."

Half an hour later, at the lower parts of the city, three Steel-type Pokémon were talking to each other in a bar that was filled with mercenaries. They had received the Alakazam's message and were now discussing what their move would be.

"Well, which one of us will take care of the target this time? They're a Dark-type and a Fighting-Type," Atlas grumbled.

"I offer myself," the Empoleon raised his fin.

"You just want to get the money for yourself as usual," the Bisharp said, rolling his eyes.

"He has a point, y'know. We can't use Flint, the last time he was the one who murdered the client's target, he would be a suspect!" Atlas snarled, hopefully, this job would be easy.

"Well, both of you have a 4x weakness against the fighting one… and as always your cowardice prevents us from getting better jobs, Atlas," Napoleon nodded.

"Okay, so you'll take care of it, Napoleon. Do we know where they live?" Flint crossed his arms.

"The mayor said that they have affiliated with Black Skull, which means they must live in one of the apartments. If I pay the landlord, he should let me pass without problems," the water Pokémon pondered.

"It seems that your greed will finally be useful. Well, it's better to strike at night," the Bisharp said with a laugh.

The day passed and the duo continued looking for clues. They decided to interrogate some Pokémon close to the victim, but most did not reveal anything important. The biggest hint was that he disappeared the night and left his house alone. The two of them then went back home.

Lance was in his room, writing in a notebook. His brain was racing, thinking about several chances of what had happened to the Druddigon. Outside the house, the rain was falling and the sky was dark.

"Is it already dark? I lost track of time again." stretching, he left his room, going into the living room.

His brother was lying on the sofa, eating some Oran Berry pie they had ordered. When he noticed the Riolu, he left the sofa, waiting to see what he was going to say.

"I'm still sure the mayor is involved in this, damn. He's resistant to my aura," Lance snarled to himself.

"I can infiltrate his office, I don't think he'll be there all night..." Brian sighed.

While they were distracted by the conversation, the doorknob started to spin. The noise made the boys turn around, staying in combat position. Then, the door opened, but there was nobody there. Brian camouflaged them both with an illusion that they were invisible. They went to the corridor of the building.

"Surely it's the mayor, he must have sent someone to attack us, but who?" Lance thought, his hand on his chin.

Suddenly, the place lit up, a silver gust of energy being fired. Barely having time to deviate, the illusion was undone, the two brothers looking at the enemy. On the other side was Empoleon hired to deal with them.

"You are new here and you have already found a very powerful enemy..." he gave them a smirk.

"Who hired you?!" Lance remained serious, his fists showing as if he was prepared to attack.

"Pursuit!" Brian declared, advancing quickly against the Empoleon's body, hitting him, even without being very effective by typing.

The penguin laughed at Brian's attack and, with his fin wrapped in a silvery glow, hit him hard, shooting him against his brother. Lance was hit and the two went out rolling on the ground.

"I have to think fast, he may be a Pokémon in the third stage, but I will not die here!" getting up, Lance passed his hand on his face to take his sweat. Taking a look behind Empoleon, he saw a window.

"Agility!" the body of the boys' enemy started to shine in a white tone and he ran, his speed had doubled.

"Copy...cat!" Brian said, copying Empoleon's movement, he pushed his brother to the wall with high speed, going right behind and deviating from the blow.

"Wow, I'm impressed... you're not so bad kids!" he continued to smirk.

"Cross Chop!" Lance dashed forward, his arms in the X position and shining. He would jump, trying to hit the penguin.

The enemy got one step back, dodging the blow, and open his mouth, a white energy inside. Brian ran, still with the speed increase of before, his paws were shining like those of Lance.

"Copycat! Cross Chop!" he hit Empoleon in full force at the same time that he fired the energy, pushing Brian to the other side of the corridor. He hit the wall and fall to the ground, without being able to move much.

While the two exchanged blows, Lance prepared to hit the penguin. He closed his fists, which glowed in a blue tone, aiming at the steel Pokémon.

"Force Palm!" declaring the name of the blow, he fired a gust of blue energy.

"Protect!" a barrier appeared in front of the penguin, protecting him from attack.

"Tsc…" grumbling, the Riolu left on top of the Empoleon, which simply deviated.

Seeing the window, Napoleon noticed an opportunity while Riolu was distracted. His fins were wrapped in water, giving the impression that he had made blades. Then, with his increased speed, the Pokemon advanced against Lance, cutting him with the swords he had made.


The impact was so strong that Lance was thrown from the window, falling from the height of two floors, falling into a garbage can. In the building, the Empoleon smiled, thinking that his work was done. Well, if the mayor wanted them dead, he should pay more for the Crew. In silence, he left the place.

"L... Lance!" Brian ran outside the building, going to where his brother had fallen, seeing that he was hurt, with several cuts on his body.

"H... hospital..." he said, spitting a little blood, his vision blurring.
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Dungeon 8 - The fox and the hound New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 8 - The fox and the hound

Brian was sitting in a chair in the city hospital, thinking. He had received the news that his brother was stable, but that he would need to rest for a while.

"I guess I'll have to take care of it until he wakes up... and investigate, but where? Maybe in the guild…" pondering, the boy got up, leaving the hospital.

Following the streets in silence, he planned what he was going to do. First, he needed to interrogate the Swalot who was the guildmaster, to get information. Second, go to the local police, as the Alakazam said. Nodding, he stopped in front of the building he wanted to arrive, entering and going straight to the boss's room, knocking on the door.

"You can come in!" Robert's voice said.

Opening the door, Brian was facing his target, getting closer. He bit his lips and took a deep breath, trying to calm down and not do anything stupid.

"To what do I owe the pleasure of his visit?" the Swalot questioned him, looking him directly.

"My brother and I accepted a mission from a Tyrunt whose father is missing," he said, walking in circles. "We talked to the mayor and shortly after, an Empoleon attacked us. Then I thought... you've been here longer than us, do you know this Pokémon?"

"Ah..." Robert rolled his eyes. "Boy, I suggest you ignore that and look for another mission to focus your time... it's not worth it."

"I decide if it's worth it or not! Lance is in the hospital because that stupid mayor sent this guy after us!" Brian was furious, he growled at the purple Pokémon.

"Well, I understand you're angry about that, but there's nothing I can do..."

Taking a deep breath, Brian ran out of there, his thoughts were scrambled. Before he went to the police, he needed to test something. Using his illusion ability, he became invisible, concentrating so that the tail would also disappear and going back to the Swalot's room, waiting in silence. It took a while, but Robert started a call. Although Brian couldn't hear the other side of the line, he could get a sense of the conversation.

"One of the boys came to ask me for answers!" he said with a rigid voice. "But of course I made something up! We can't let our deal end!"

"He's working with someone, whether it's that mercenary or the mayor... this story gets more complicated every second..."

"I'll make a deal when the Riolu gets out of the hospital," with that said, the Swalot hang up.

That's all Brian needed to know, he left the place again, and when he got far enough away, he undid the illusion, panting.

"I used too much energy," ignoring his tiredness, he kept walking, looking for the police station to ask some questions.

While walking, his mind created some theories. The Black Skull guild, or at least its leader, besides the mayor, seemed to be connected to the murder. This made the boy wonder which authority he could trust. Then he saw the police station. Taking a deep breath, Brian went inside the building.

What the Zorua first noticed on the interior was the number of desks the place had. The corridor extended for a while and Brian could see a Raichu handcuffed, being taken away by a Rhyperior.

Brian was now in the middle of the room, where some Pokémon were walking around, being the police, they were busy with their jobs. Yet, one of them, a Tyranitar, noticed Brian and walked towards him.

"How can I help you?" the Rock-Type questioned Brian.

"Well, who can I talk to about a case? It's about a missing Druddigon."

"The entire police, but there's an investigator here who's locked in his office all day looking for clues about this missing Pokémon," he turned around, indicating to Brian to follow him.

Entering the room, the two of them saw an Arcanine folding through some papers, a large glass containing what appeared to be coffee. The Tyranitar sighed, coughing to catch the Arcanine's attention.

"Apollo, you have a visitor..."

"Hm? " moving his ears, he looked at the boy who had arrived. "What do you want? I'm kind of busy right now."

"He came to talk about Druddigon's case..."

"Ah! In that case, he can come! Someone finally came to help me!" he said, watching the Tyranitar leave.

"Well... Mr. Apollo, my name is Brian and I'm a member of the Liberators exploration team... I came to ask some questions." the Zorua approached, a serious look on his face.

"You can explain the situation, boy," he was sitting on all four legs. "I'm all ears."

"Well, my brother and I learned that a Druddigon went missing and, since he was a politician, we decided to investigate the mayor, who denied involvement. Hours later, an Empoleon appeared at our door-"

"And attacked both of you." Apollo finished Brian's sentence. "I see... listen, did you go to the guild?"

"I was there before I came here, but it was the same thing that happened with the mayor. He told me to ignore it," Brian tapped his paws on the ground, looking angry.

"Yes, I did my investigation about them. They're involved in a few different cases. Robbery, murder, extortion, I've seen them ignore everything."

"What about that Empoleon? He's a mercenary, right?" the Zorua took a deep breath, trying to calm down while waiting for an answer.

"Ah, yes, I also searched about him... I have some informants inside, and thanks to them, I got some important intel about the mercenaries," after talking about it, the Arcanine took some papers, putting them on the table.

"Wait a minute, 'them' as in, there's more than one?" he said, jumping on the chair to take a better look at the papers.

There were pictures of some Pokémon: an Aggron, a Bisharp, and an Empoleon. Brian then realized that they were dealing with more than one criminal. Thinking, he concluded that the one responsible for the Druddigon's disappearance was somebody else and the Water-type was a diversion.

"Damn it…" he snarled.

"Yes. From what I was told, the Aggron is called Atlas and he is the team leader. The Bisharp's name is Flint and the Empoleon's is Napoleon. The group calls itself Heart of Steel Crew." he spoke, explaining to the boy.

"Ok! So I have an idea of who I'm facing, but can you tell me the reason for not having arrested the mayor with all this information?"

"Kid, things are not so simple... arresting someone so influential in this city is something that needs as much proof as possible. Things like a confession, you know?"

"If that's what you need, then that's what I'm going to deliver…" coming down from the chair, he had a determined look on his face.

"Hey, wait! You're not thinking of breaking into his office to ask?!"

"Of course I am!" turning around, he growled, irritated with that situation, his tail wagging quickly. "I tried my brother's way and he's all hurt now! If I do it my way, it might work!"

The Arcanine then sighed, looking at the Zorua directly, analyzing the boy. He then had a slight laugh, closing his eyes. Brian, without understanding what was happening, slowly walked away.

"Listen, Zorua, your intentions are good, but if you go forward against any situation without any plan, you won't survive... it's a tip from me."

The boy started thinking. Since they left home, he tried to take the reins in the dungeons they went to. First, with Zebstrika, even though the two of them had controlled the situation, they still got hurt. Then with Luxray's gang, where Lance almost died. Internally, he hated having to admit that the detective was right.

"How to face an enemy protected by all who are the authority here then?! I have to protect Lance!"

"You understand how their mind works..." opening a drawer, he picked up an envelope.

"The three of them... they have the steel type... so they just happen to come from the same place?" theorizing, he put his hand on his chin. "They'd have to know each other well since they managed to keep the organization for so long..."

"Bingo... I know where they came from and some things from their past... my dear friend, will you help me with this?"

"I know what it feels like to have a missing relative... not knowing if he's alive or dead..." lowering his ears, he spoke with a tone of sadness in his voice. "That Tyrunt doesn't deserve this, and not all the Pokémon they hurt. Of course, I will help!"

Apollo saw that scene, thinking about what Zorua had gone through to be like that. It wouldn't be a good idea to ask if he didn't want to talk, he had to have his reasons. He then opened the envelope with one of his paws.

"Have you ever heard of the city of Oreshard?"

"I... no..." Brian thought for a moment.

"So let me explain to you..."
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Dungeon 9 - Not all that glitters is gold: Part 1 New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 9 - Not all that glitters is gold: Part 1

A little Aron played in front of his house, bouncing a ball with his head. Despite being all alone, the Pokémon was having fun.

"Son! Playtime is over." a female voice said, and soon the Aron turned his face.

"Victoria, the boy has to play a little, it can't be training all day..." another voice commented.

In front of him were two Pokémon, a female Aggron, who just stared at the boy, and a Nidoking with a large smile on his face.

"Father, mother!" the little Aron used to say approaching them.

"Atlas, it's time for your training, your father is too soft, I don't know how he got this job…" she said looking at the explorer's crest on her chest.

"Clearly because I am good at it!" Nidoking laughed, putting his hand on his gray belly.

"But I was going to call Napoleon to come here..." he lowered his head.

"That boy is a terrible influence for you, his father is addicted to gambling," Victoria grumbled.

"It's okay..." his voice was weak, the boy entered the house, going to the back part, where his training area was.

His parents went right behind him, in silence. The place was wide and the stone floor barely reflected the light coming from the sun. Atlas then went to the left end, waiting to see what his parents had planned for the training.

"Well, Atlas, today we will do things a little differently..." Victoria said, a slight smile on her face.

"Honey, I..." the Nidoking tried to talk.

"Quiet, Nate," she said, snarling at the Nidoking. "The boy needs to face all sorts of difficulties if he's going to become a decent explorer!"

"All right... I'll get him at the police station..." with a sigh, Nidoking left the place.

"Catch who? At the police station?" the little Aron questioned, shaking his head.

"Today you're going to have a practical class... but unlike the other times, you're going to face someone different from me or your father. We caught a criminal, he's an Infernape and his name is... Wukong..."

The two Steel-type Pokémon waited for half an hour when Atlas' father came back, and next to him there was an animal that looked like a monkey, in his head there were flames and he had brown fur, with some white parts in his stomach and head. He was handcuffed and on his face was visible a scar in the eyebrow area.

"Is the deal we made still standing?" Wukong said, analyzing the place and looking at Victoria.

"Yes..." she then looked at her son. - this Infernape is a very famous bandit... he killed many Pokémon and we made a deal with him. You two will face each other and... your job is to knock him out, or he will kill you, do you understand?"

Hearing that, Aron rolled his blue eyes. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. His own mother had made a bargain that could cause his death! Trembling with fear, he walked away slowly. His mother, seeing this, frowned, angry with the boy.

"If you give up without even trying, I'll let him go immediately..."

"I... accept the challenge..." the boy swallowed dry, looking down.

The Nidoking known as Nate sighed, taking the cuffs off Infernape. After being released, he smiled, his flames burning with more intensity and he ran, his fist shining in a blue tone, he punched the Aron's face so hard that the steel armor started to crack, throwing him against the wall.

"That's it! Sorry kid, but Mach Punch is a move with priority..." he spoke, shaking his tail and smiling at the Aron.

Atlas stood up after the impact, his vision blurred, he could barely stand up. In his head dripped blood from Infernape's blow. Even with all his injuries, he walked slowly. It was a matter of life or death for the boy.

"Sorry, kid, but I don't want to spend my life behind bars!" the monkey's body was filled with flames, he ran to finish the child.

Atlas was paralyzed with fear, he didn't know what to do. Since he was little, his parents made him go through intense training so that he could be like them. The boy always imagined he had to fulfill their expectations, but not this time. Giving himself completely, he closed his eyes. For a few moments, he didn't hear anything. Until a drill noise appeared in the air.

"Horn Drill," the voice came from Nidoking, his horn was spinning fast, he hit Infernape, which immediately fell to the ground, fainted.

"What do you think you are doing?" Victoria was screaming, snorting, and approaching her husband. "I said let it happen!"

"Are you an idiot by any chance, woman?! It's one thing to train the Atlas, but it's another to send him to his death since he's 15 years old! Boys his age should have fun with friends, not go through situations like this!"

Aron sighed. On one hand, he was happy to survive that. On the other hand, he was worried about what his parents would do. Those fights were already beginning to become common in the boy's home.

"I'm sick of it... I'm sick of you!" Snorting, the female Aggron would leave the place banging hard on the ground, causing small tremors.

The Nidoking then turned to his son, looking at him firmly. Even if these Pokémon didn't have eyebrows, he seemed to be tired of all the fights he had with his wife.

"Is Mommy leaving?" the boy fell to the ground, exhausted from the fight.

"I don't know, but I'll stay here with you... we have to take you to the hospital and... and leave Wukong in jail."

"All right..." nodding, Atlas thought about what was ahead. He had to be strong, for himself and for his father.

One day later, lying on a bed was a Piplup, one of its eyes was purple and he kept staring at the ceiling, not feeling well enough to do anything.

"Napoleon! Your friend is here!" the male voice said and it was possible to hear the sound owner's footsteps distancing himself.

"Atlas! You can come in!" the boy said in a loud voice, waiting for his friend.

The Aron entered his friend's room in silence, looking directly at him. He had a band in his head from where it had cracked the day before.

"Hey, man." the penguin said, sitting on his bed.

"What happened to your eye? Was it your father again?"

"I ask the same about your face..." he stared at his friend's face.

"My mother made me face a criminal and he almost killed me..." the boy said, his voice carrying a tone of sadness.

"A toast... to dysfunctional families…" Napoleon had a sarcastic laugh, rolling his eyes.

"I wanted to do something away from them, do you want to walk around?"

"Oreshard is not exactly a big city, but I'll take it. Anything to stay away from my crazy father!" he jumped out of bed.

After the kids left Piplup's house, they were walking around the city. It was located in a mountainous region, with an old, abandoned mine near the end of the road. Most of the houses were made of metal, particularly steel. White ivory peaks towering over the rushing white streams falling into the abyss as the mountains were as tall as their eyes could see.

"You know, you're the water type, and you still live in a place that has most of the steel type, ground, or rock," Atlas said, giving a laugh.

"Well, my evolution is," he just shrugged.

"Ah, I want to show you where we are going today!" he pointed to a house on a hill, but unlike the others, it seemed bigger, like a mansion.

"Wait, are we going to break into the richest family's house here?!" raising his voice, Napoleon questioned his friend.

"Honestly I just wanted to see what it's like, to stay away from my family even if only for today?" he kept his head down.

"Curiosity will kill us like a Meowth..." sighing, he walked next to Aron.

The walk along the hill was done in silence, Atlas had a lot to think about. His mother hadn't come home yet after the last fight she had with Aron's father and he was starting to worry.

"Hey, Atlas, will we get in?" Piplup forced a smile, trying to bring up the subject with his friend.

"I wanted to at least take a look at this mansion... man, it must be nice to live in a place like this!"

When they arrived at the top, they saw that the house had a huge fence in front, with a guard Pokémon, a Sandslash, however, it had a blue body with what appeared to be spikes on its back. Napoleon, then, ran as fast as he could.

"What do you want, kids?" the blue Sandslash spoke facing them.

"I've never seen a Sandslash like this before, where are you from?" the Piplup asked, his eyes shining.

"He's from another continent... my parents told me some Pokémon have variations," Atlas arrived, panting from all that walking.

"You did not answer my question. If you came to talk to this family, which I doubt, considering you're children, you'll have to wait. They traveled."

"We just wanted to see the place!" Aron spoke, walking away slowly.

"Then you already did. Get out of here! Before I throw you both out myself!"

"They are my guests," the three of them heard a voice.

Behind the gate was a Bisharp, a teenager like the other two. He looked at the Sandslash, waiting for him to open the gate.

"O-Of course, Mr. Flint! Excuse my intrusion!" When he said that, he opened the door for the boys, who entered the place.

The garden they were in was wide, the house itself was still at the bottom and the place had an artificial lake. Waving to Atlas and Napoleon, Flint kept on walking, calling them. The two friends then followed the Pawniard.

"So, what brings you here? I'm used to having visitors, but never from Pokémon my age."

"Ah, we just wanted to see what it was like here," the Aron said, his face turning red with shame.

"Hm, you were going to get hurt pretty bad, that Sandslash isn't usually very nice... or has he already done that to you, Piplup?" he said pointing to Napoleon's purple eye.

"Thanks for helping us and no, I was already with that from earlier today," sighing, he didn't want to tell Pawniard the truth.

"Well, it was my pleasure. As I said, it's rare to see Pokémon my age. My parents insist that I should deal only with 'nobility'. My name is Flint, and you two?" he said with a smile.

"I am Atlas."

"Napoleon! I'm glad to meet you!" the penguin extended his fin to Flint.

"My parents are traveling, so I can see you until the day they return. Business trip, so it may take a while." he greeted Piplup.

The newly formed trio of friends entered the residence, to talk and get to know themselves better. For the rest of the day, they could forget about the family problems they had, relaxing and playing, like the teenagers they were.
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Dungeon 10 - Not all that glitters is gold: Part 2 New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 10 - Not all that glitters is gold: Part 2

The two months that have passed since Flint met the Aron and the Piplup represented a good time in his life. He had finally made friends and in this period, helped them to train their skills. They were in one of the training sessions. The Pawniard was with arms crossed, seeing the fight between Atlas and Napoleon, who now had a different appearance, having evolved into Prinplup.

"You may have the advantage of type and have evolved, but I won't give in so easily!" Aron declared, advancing against his friend.

The Prinplup's body shone in a pink tone he ran, his speed increasing, firing a pulse of water from his beak, hitting Atlas in full, which dragged on the ground.

"The winner is Napoleon!" Flint said, extending his arm.

"Sorry man, but it seems I won this time!" laughing, the water Pokémon put his hand on his head.

"Well, it was a good fight, thanks for helping me train, Flint!"

"Well, it wasn't for nothing," he closed his eyes. "Listen, my parents will be back in a few hours. So we won't be able to see each other that often. How about a party? To celebrate our friendship!"

"Sure! We can have a lot of fun! We've already trained so hard in those months..."

"Sorry. I want to stay a little with my dad, he's still not taking it very well," the boy put his head down.

"Of course, Atlas..."

The three boys agreed and went their separate ways, anxious. Atlas, when he got home, went straight to bed, falling asleep quickly. His mind was calm. Although the boy's wish was peace, fate seemed to have other plans for him.

The noise of an explosion woke Atlas, who fell from his bed. Disoriented, he looked out the window, the vision he had made the boy widen his eyes. Outside he could see only smoke and the noise of mechanical steps. Then, the door opened hard. The boy's father was on the other side, panting and with his eyes wide open.

"Atlas, we have to get out," the Nidoking was interrupted by another explosion, this time hitting their house, the two knocked out immediately.

Away from the residence, Napoleon was running around, heart racing, trying to dodge the shots and covering his head with his fins. The boy didn't know what to do.

"Dad?! Where are you?!" in despair, he was screaming, looking for his parent.

The Prinplup then heard the coughing noise and went towards the sound. As he walked, he saw that the other residents were running disorderly, the houses destroyed and on fire. When he got close, he saw his father under rubble, his black body bleeding and he was trying to get loose, without success. Napoleon, then, pulled his father from there, freeing him.

"Ah! Son! You were useful, how nice! We have to get out of here..."

"I don't know where my friends are! I have to find them!" he struggled to hold his father.

"Nobody cares about your friends! Let's get out of here!"

Then, the noise of footsteps was heard by them, and as both turned their faces towards the direction, there was a Genesect, standing there with a grin on its eyes, the cannon on its back shined. The smoke was all around it.

"What kind of Pokémon is that? I don't recognize it from anywhere!" Napoleon thought, his body was shaking with fear.

"W-Who are you?! I didn't do anything, you can take the boy, but leave me alone!" the Empoleon stuttered away from his son.

"My name is Genesect, and... are you sure this is the choice you want to make? Are you going to let your son die to save his skin?" the mysterious Pokémon said and the Empoleon nodded.

"Dad?! What are you talking about?" The boy was in shock and trembled, not wanting to believe what his father said.

"You can go then," Genesect crossed his arms, waiting.

Empoleon then ran, laughing and happy that his plan worked. He didn't even look back, running away from there. Prinplup's father didn't notice fast enough the lightning coming towards him, puncturing his stomach and leaving a hole in the penguin's body.

"Techno Blast..." Genesect calmly declared, the cannon's energy disappearing.

"DAD!" Prinplup ran to his rescue, but when he got there, he could see that he was not moving or reacting. Napoleon tried everything, but his father had died.

"I'm sorry boy, but don't worry, you'll join him..." his cannon shone again, creating a silver sphere, which was thrown against Napoleon.

In the blink of an eye, a quadruped Pokémon appeared, and in his head there was a sword of blue energy, which cut the sphere, generating a huge explosion. After the smoke cleared, Prinplup saw the new arrival. A Cobalion. He tapped his hooves on the ground, staring at the bug.

"Boy... run away... " he said without even looking at Napoleon.

"Cobalion, you bastard!" Genesect gnashed his teeth, banging his feet on the ground.

"You are attacking this city without any purpose, it is my job as Sword of Justice to finish you off..."

Scared, Prinplup ran away, carrying his father's body on his shoulders. Alone, the legendary Pokémon stared at each other for a few seconds and then advanced against each other with violence.

Flint woke up with a sore head, he felt as if someone had thrown an entire house on him. The boy looked around, seeing only debris of what was his house. He immediately cut the debris with the blades in his arms, looking for his parents.

"Dad?! Mom! Where are you?!" The boy had a hoarse voice, he was desperate to find his family.

So, he saw them, but not the way he expected. In front of him, the boy saw two Bisharp, they didn't move or scream, they just stood there. Flint rolled his eyes, realizing what had happened. Without holding on, he gave a loud cry of pain and suffering, tears streaming from his eyes as the truth hit him.

"Who did this?" the boy thought, without knowing what to do now that his parents were dead.

The two Legends were running around the city, each one trying to hit the other with their attacks. Genesect fired energy from his cannon while Cobalion deviated quickly, they then stopped in front of a house, their breaths panting.

"You son of a bitch! Keep quiet so I can toast you!" the insect growled, preparing its cannon to fire, glowing with yellow energy.

"I'm getting tired and I have to deflect..." the quadruped thought when he was pushed by another Pokémon, who took the blow in his place.

The being in question was the Nidoking known as Nate, who by his typing, took no damage from Genesect's electrical attack. The equine widened his eyes, realizing what had happened.

"Don't worry, Cobalion! It's the first time I've seen a legend, sorry to intrude, but I had to help," the explorer said, his eyes shining with determination.

"You may have gotten help from someone else, Cobalion, but our fight isn't over yet! Signal Beam!" Genesect was charging another shot, green-colored, shooting at the quadruped Pokémon.

Nidoking put himself in front of the shot, extending his hand and generating a barrier, protecting them from the blow. He removed the sweat from his face, staying in a combat position.

"If I hit a Horn Drill on that thing, this fight is over."

Atlas woke up again, this time in the middle of the commotion. He could barely see, but for what he could, he saw his father with one Pokémon, facing another. Genesect ejected the object in his cannon, taking another one in his backpack and inserting it. He laughed lightly, analyzing his enemies. The Aron would slowly leave his house, shaking his head, he would try to think of something he could do. Then, the bug Pokémon spotted the boy and gave a small laugh.

"Cobalion, I'm sorry but this fight is over now," he said with a grin, charging the shot one more time, aiming at Atlas.

"Nidoking! Protect the boy! I'll deal with him! Work Up!" Cobalion's body shone, his Attack, and Special Attack status increasing.

Noticing this, the boy's father ran to rescue his son, jumping and grabbing him in his arms. The two enemies that were near him started to carry his blows. From Cobalion's mouth, red energy appeared, while from Genesect's cannon a blue gust was fired.

"Techno Blast!" the insect declared.

"Focus Blast!" the legendary shot a gust of energy at the Genesect's attack.

Atlas could not see anything else that happened, a huge explosion followed by a flash blinding him and knocking him out once again. The wind was howling, pieces of houses, and debris flying by the impact of the blows, the city was devastated. Both the boy and his father were ferociously dragged away from the collision. From afar, Flint and Napoleon could see the strong wind that was approaching them, throwing them both away. The trio's life would not be the same after the event.

One month later, Atlas ran through the streets of a city, he was followed by a humanoid Pokémon of defined muscles. The Aron from before was different, his body was now bigger, even quadruped and his armor had become more resistant. Now a Lairon, he tried to escape from Machoke, but his speed left a lot to be desired. The Fighting-type received a cut on its chest and fell to the ground.

"Flint, thank you... we couldn't lose his money..."

"I'm starving," the Pawniard came out of the shadows, panting.

"It's a miracle we can eat, I hate it... all of it... being the survivors all the time... I want to have control of my own life!" He took a handful of Machoke's money.

"Hm, if you want that I have a suggestion, but let's see with Napoleon when we get to our… home."

The duo then left the alley. They followed the streets in silence, looking at the metal buildings. The city where they lived now was Bright Dawn, known for sheltering Pokémons from various places. They remained walking, going to a less noble area of the city, unlike the upper levels, they were in slums, where most of the crime was located. The friends entered one of the residences. When they arrived there, they saw the Prinplup with a bottle of beer on his fin, taking it mercilessly.

"You'll be sick if you keep drinking like this," Atlas looked worried, he threw the coins on the ground.

"Screw you! I'm not in a good mood today," he ignored, taking another sip.

"Well, gentlemon, I... have a suggestion for our problem," Flint said, sitting on the floor.

"Really?! What problem? Our poverty? Or was it the fact that everyone who mattered to us was killed in a stupid fight between two legendary Pokémon?!" with a sarcastic tone, Napoleon was laying on the floor.

"I don't like things the way they are too, so... the idea I'm about to say is an extension of what we're doing."

"You mean the robberies?" Atlas questioned, rolling his eyes.

"Yes, the robberies... we can take a step further, and... we become mercenaries."

"Mercenaries?" Napoleon said, seeming interested in the idea, now looking at Flint carefully.

"The opposite of what I was created to be..." Atlas stopped to analyze the situation. During his whole life, he was raised to be an explorer, but because of that, his mother left him and his father died trying to protect him. "Screw it, I'm in."

"I'm excited about this idea. I'm in as well!" Napoleon smirked.

"Then from this day forward, we shall be known as… the Heart of Steel Crew," Flint laughed.
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Dungeon 11 - Setting the stage New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 11 - Setting the stage

"So that's what happened?" the Zorua had just heard the story that detective Apollo spoke about.

"Yes, they are the only survivors of that city... it's a shame they suffered this way," the Arcanine shrugged, shuffling the papers.

"Even if they have suffered, it doesn't justify what they are doing now," taking a deep breath, Brian lowered his ears, despite all that happened to the crew, the boy was determined to stop them.

"In fact, but my hands... well... my paws are tied," Apollo sighed, ears lowered. "But now that we're working together, maybe we can arrest them."

"I have another question, does anyone know why Genesect attacked that town?"

"He's a Pokémon who likes to test himself, they say it was a way to improve his techniques," Apollo looked elsewhere, pondering about the attack.

"Ok, I got it! Listen, I have to see if my brother has been discharged from the hospital, when can we see each other again?"

"Come here at the end of the day, we'll plan right what we'll do..."

Nodding, the boy then left the office. The story he heard was certainly tragic, and even if he could understand the suffering of the Crew, he had a job to do to prevent more families from being hurt. With a new objective, Brian went to the hospital where his brother was.

Lance was lying on the hospital bed, he was moving as if he was having a nightmare and his body was sweating heavily, the liquid dripping on the blanket that covered Riolu.

"Number 10... it seems you failed... you know what that means, don't you? " the voice said inside Lance's mind. The boy saw himself in a dark room with an open door and, in the middle of the darkness, he could see two red eyes staring at the Riolu, a wide grin showing up right after.

"No... please! I'll get it right next time! Let me go!" gasping for air, the boy screamed, running towards the exit.

The door then closed and Lance fell to the ground. He got up and clawed at the wall, tears streaming from his eyes as laughter began to fill the room.


The team leader woke up from his nightmare with his heart accelerated and a dizzy head, seeing his brother in front of him. Panting, he sat on the hospital bed.

"This scene is becoming common... it's already the second time in less than a week!" Brian shouted, but arched his eyebrows, looking worried.

"I realized this on my own, genius..." he took a deep breath, standing up.

"I'm glad you're okay, Lance! The doctors said you were supposed to die, but it seems you got lucky..."

"Yeah, I have that ability... what did I lose during that time?"

"I found an ally... he's from the police, but I think we should go home first and rest, the meeting with him is only at night!"

The brothers left the hospital and made the normal way to the apartment. This time, Lance didn't say anything at all during their trip. Brian, despite not thinking it was strange, thought about asking what was happening, as the Riolu's nightmares were happening more often, but decided to leave his friend alone at the moment.

"Your rent will have to increase... the property damage doesn't pay itself." the Weavile said, reading a newspaper.

"I... failed... it was a dream, but I failed... how am I still alive?" Lance's mind was full of thoughts, he ignored the manager and just went to his apartment.

As they entered, Brian laid down on the couch, stretching, he was exhausted from walking all day looking for clues from the team targets. His brother, however, seemed even more stressed than before. Lance's body was shaking and he seemed to be out of breath.

"I can't fail... no... no! NO! Get a grip, Lance! You can't show weakness at all, or you will die!"

"Hey, Lance?" noticing this, Zorua left the sofa, getting closer to his sibling.

"Get away from me!" He charged energy on his hand when the thoughts came back. This time, he couldn't hold on.

Lance fell to the ground, crying desperately and screaming, punching the ground. Looking at that, Brian approached his brother, widening his eyes.

"Hey! What? Breathe, Lance! You're okay, we're both okay!" trying to calm him down, Brian put his hands on Riolu's shoulder.

"No, you don't understand... you don't understand anything! I can't fail! In that place I was, if I failed, I would not eat or drink for days! I… failed again."

"I understand that, but breathe! You will not die here! Look, you got hurt and I take the blame for it, I was hasty and...

"You! It's true..." Lance gritted his teeth. "It was your fault! It was your idea to pretend to be Dad and I failed because of you!" he then closed his fist, punching Zorua.

Brian fell to the ground, passing his hand on his face, where he was hit. Spitting, the boy faced his brother, breathing deeply.

"I said I took the blame, but that doesn't mean you can punch me out of nowhere!"

"Shut up... SHUT UP! I have everything planned, from the beginning to the end of our day and you're just messing everything up! " He stepped on the ground hard, his body was shaking, he could barely stand up.

"We are living beings! Nobody is a machine without feelings waiting for you to order them to do something!"

"But I can't... fail..." the boy would fall to his knees, crying loudly.

"Everybody fails! Even Dad and Uncle Shiron have failed several times! Everything will be fine! Breathe! Please, Lance, I want to help you!" His voice sounded shaky, even though he was trying to sound calm, it was visible that he couldn't stay that way.

The Riolu inspired for a few seconds, counting up to five, and held his breath, counting up to seven. Then he expired slowly, counting up to eight. The boy repeated the movement several times until he finally calmed down. Lance moved away, lying on the sofa and looking at the ceiling.

"Hey, listen here... I know you don't like to talk about that period of our childhood, but... if you need me I'm here. We're partners and I'm your brother, I care about you."

"So... who do we need to meet? " Still panting, he asked Brian.

"A police detective who is investigating the mercenaries... ah, yes, there are three of them. Known as the Heart of Steel Crew, they came from a town called Oreshard."

"I heard about it, it was destroyed and nobody survived... or that's what I read, apparently three Pokémon did."

"It was... well, we only go at night, I'll order our lunch."

"Lasagna..." he said, covering his eyes with his hand.

"Then it will be lasagna!" Brian forced a smile, turning on his home phone.

After lunch, the two of them were on the couch, sitting down, and planning the next step. Lance was keeping his eyes closed, focused. In his mind he thought about which places he should go, considering the police station first.

"We can go to a store I came to when we got here, I... I think we can buy useful things for the next dungeons we go to." Brian said, remembering the Watchog from before.

"Where you bought the item for me to evolve? Well, if they have more stuff than the Kecleon..."

"They have! It's full of items!"

"So let's go now." the boy left the couch.

With their backpacks on, the team left their home, heading towards Watchog's market. The day seemed quiet, despite the attack the night before, many Pokémon were still walking quietly through the streets, while some of them were entering stores. The sky was clear, with few clouds. Despite the sense of uneasiness, the day was calm.

"This place is very different from home... do you miss it?" Zorua asked while walking, a faint smile on his face.

Lance thought for a moment, stopping walking. Despite some bad memories, he liked his village and the friends he made during the guild training.

"I... I think so, but I believe that getting out of there was a decision I needed to make." hesitating, Riolu walked again.

The market they wanted to go to was getting closer and closer and at the door, the Watchog seemed to hand out flyers to some Pokémon passing by.

"What is it, sir?" the dark type asked as he approached, analyzing the paper.

"Hm? Ah! It's the Zorua from before! You're an explorer, right? I have to advertise my business boy!" Laughing, Watchog delivered one of the papers to Brian.

"We are not here to see flyers. We want to see the items in stock." Lance got closer, crossing the arms.

"Do you know him Zorua?" The salesman went to look at Lance from top to bottom, seeing that he had already entered the store.

"My brother, that's how he is... we came to look for some supplies for our next missions." Disappointed, Zorua lowered his ears.

"Okay, when you're done, let me know, I'll distribute more papers here..." the Pokémon turned to the street, extending his arm with the pamphlets.

Nodding, Brian entered the scene. When he arrived, he saw his brother analyzing the bench, seeing the products available. He was with his tail wagging slowly, looking at the seeds.

"See? I said it was a good idea to come here!" Brian approached, smiling, and wagging his tail.

"Well, you were right, brother." Lance turned his face to look at Zorua.

"Look, you were a little rude to the salesman, so I would be careful. He might raise the prices because of that... " the boy would then turn his face where Riolu was looking. " What are you looking for?

"These seeds can be very useful if used correctly... they help a lot in dungeons."

"Hm, it's true..." Brian then saw some spheres on another bench, heading there.

The products were blue spheres, which seemed to be made of glass and with an adhesive indicating the name. Zorua stopped to think about what to do.

"My moves are Pursuit, Copycat, Fury Swipes, and Shadow Ball. They are good moves, but with these spheres I can... " the inspiration seemed to hit the fox Pokémon like the tail of a Salamence. Smiling, he took some.

"You may enter! The store is open, I'm just divulging." Watchog's voice on the other side could be heard by the boys.

"Thanks a lot..." the Pokémon answered, coming in. His body was tall and his skin looked like armor.

The new client was looking at the items in another area when he noticed the brothers. Beating his tail on the ground, he rolled his eyes. Aggron had recognized his targets from the last mission.

"Calm down Atlas, they shouldn't even know who I am... And I can't finish them here, it'll draw attention..." thinking about what to do, he decided to pretend he was looking for something to buy.

"Ok Lance, I've decided! And you?" Brian was talking, saving the items.

" You will fill our backpack with Orbs... but that's ok, they can be very useful, come on..." the boy left, followed by his brother.

Passing by the mercenary, the teenagers went on their way, until they reached the seller, who smiles, seeing that they had bought many things.

"The total will be of... 3000 coins," he spoke excitedly, waiting to be paid.

"You're lucky that money is not a problem for us. " Lance opened his backpack, delivering the money to Pokémon. The Riolu, then, walked to the exit without saying a word, next to his brother.

They noticed that it was already getting dark, the appointed time had arrived. They went in the opposite direction, going to the police station. In the sky, the Sun was beginning to disappear to indicate that night was approaching.

Detective Apollo was in his office, drinking tea and reviewing the documents when he heard someone knocking on his door. Sighing, he wondered who he was.

"Boys, come on in!" he was screaming for the Pokémon outside.

The small explorers went into the room. Noticing the new Pokémon, the Arcanine saw the scar on Lance's body. For a moment, the policeman thought of asking but thought it better to be quiet and talk about the subject that was agreed upon.

"So, you're the one investigating the mercenaries? My name is Lance." He crossed his arms, sitting on one of the office chairs.

"Yes, my name is Apollo. I see that your brother gave some of the details." The dog put the envelopes on the table.

"Well, I said there were three criminals, I just didn't say their species… " commenting, Brian sat down too.

"Hm, an Aggron and a Bisharp..." the team leader spoke, turning the pages of the document.

"Well, what do you suggest we do? We need a direct confession or we won't be able to arrest them..." Apollo would take a sip of tea.

"The idea is very simple, we will..." the Riolu was then interrupted.

"Get their confession out personally." Brian finished the sentence his brother started by looking at the big orange dog.

"Didn't I say it would be risky? What are you thinking?" bowing his eyebrow, he expected an answer.

"As I said, it is simple. Brian and I will split up. I will question the Swalot."

"I'm a Dark-type, I'd better take the Alakazam..."

"If we can take main support out of this trio, it will be easier…" the dog scratched his chin. "Okay, I understand your idea, but let's get one thing straight. I can't support you guys too much, so the most I can do is help record the conversation..."

"When will we execute this plan?" Lance asked, still looking at the documents.

"Give me two days to prepare and we'll start..." the canid consented with his head. He raised his paw to the duo and Brian greeted the cop.

With the evening, the city of Bright Dawn seemed to fall asleep a little. However, in one of the local bars was the Aggron known as Atlas. He ate a pie and next to him were his teammates and childhood friends, Flint and Napoleon.

"Those kids haven't given up on us yet... you worthless Pokémon! You were supposed to kill them when you had the chance!" The reptile beat his hand in the month, looking at the penguin.

"Well, it's the mayor's fault for not offering more money..." the Empoleon shrugged

"This petty attitude of yours will end up killing us and you know it... even so, I don't think they will be a problem, just think about an ambush." The Bisharp reflected, nudging the table with his sword in his arm.

"I can help." the three mercenaries heard, turning in the direction of the voice.

Near them was a colored Pokémon, with two cyan eyes and in its head a third eye, the same color. His body floated in the air and had several appendages. The Sigyliph started talking, even without any sound coming out of his mouth.

"Are you in need of help in this work?" the psychic Pokémon floated while asking them.

"Delphis, what are you doing here? You don't even drink!" Atlas said, biting a piece of the pie he ate.

"Well, you seem to be in an unpleasant situation and I thought I'd give a friendly shoulder...

"It is a good idea." Flint decided to talk. "If he goes after the kids, they won't know it had anything to do with us and will stay out of our glue, at least for now."

Stopping to ponder, the gang leader sighed and decided to agree. At best, they wouldn't have to deal with the explorers, and at worst, they would have more time to plan how they were going to finish them. The next day was going to be difficult for everyone involved.
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Dungeon 12 - Highway to Hell New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 12 - Highway to Hell

"A mission? Right when we're in the middle of another? Where did you get this?" Brian asked, sitting on the couch in his apartment. Next to him was the boy's brother with a pamphlet in his hand.

"It was that Swalot. Well, I also thought it was suspicious, but... we'd better go, if it's true and we don't go, someone will remain missing..." Sighing, he read the paper. "Missing Pokémon named Harold."

In the document was the drawing of a Snover. Placing the paper on the sofa, Lance got up, analyzing the situation.

"Man, you have to admit this is kind of weird... where was he last seen?" the fox Pokémon asked, staring at the drawing. He was still unsure of what to do.

"In a dungeon outside this city, it's a cave, just like that Luxray's. Specifically, a magma cave." The Riolu tapped his feet on the ground while talking

"Look, we have to make a quick decision, if it's true at all." Frowning, he jumped down from the couch.

"Come on, if it's a trap we'll be ready," he said putting his backpack on.

The duo then decided to take a chance and go after the cry for help. After leaving the building, the two explorers went to the exit of the city, south of the condominium where they lived. Walking along the road, Lance took the map, looking at the locations.

"In a few meters there is a divide, according to the map, we have to go east when we get there..." the boy put the paper in his bag, walking faster.

Contrasting the technologically advanced city of Bright Dawn, the road where the duo was located was more rural. Having only a few signs to indicate the nearby dungeons, the road was surrounded by trees and some Pokémon walking in the background. The boys could see some fields on the right with some farms.

After walking for a few minutes, the team arrived on a path that was separated in four directions.

"The Magma Cave. That's what this dungeon is known as." Lance looked at a sign indicating the directions and then turned his face to the left. He went on the eastern path.

"I should have bought a Rawst Berry..." Brian said as he lowered his ears and followed his partner.

Entering the cave, they realized that it was illuminated by lava wells. The soil was composed of magmatic rocks and extended even beyond the vision of the two Pokémon. Feeling the sweat dripping down their bodies, they decided to advance.

"I'll tell you if this Snover is here, he was unlucky enough to come to such a hot cave."

"Yes. With his fourfold weakness against fire-type moves, he made a bad… decision... but we don't have time for that. I can see the hallway in front of us," the Riolu stated as they went ahead.

As they crossed the passage, they found a wide corridor, next to another gallery in the background. The temperature kept rising and they were sweating even more. Stopping to analyze, Lance sighed.

"Something's wrong." Looking around, he growled. The feelers around his head were moving.

"What are you talking about?" Moving his ears, Brian tried to identify the enemy.

Lance concentrated, his eyes and his left paw shining in a blue tone, he moved his arms, trying to locate any Pokémon using his aura. Raising his eyes, the boy jumped back and, in front of them, coming down the corridor, were three Pokémon similar to black haired dogs. The biggest of them had horns and their muzzle and belly had an orange coat. He let out a howl, looking at his enemies while showing his teeth.

"One Houndoom and two Houndour," the Zorua said, analyzing and putting himself in a combat position.

"Brian, if you don't want to get hit, get out of my way!" Snarling, Lance began to charge energy in his paw.

Before he could even hear the fox's answer, the blue canine ran, clashing against the dogs while rage filled the Riolu's body. He jumped and started to spin, releasing an energy beam from his hand all around that area.

"Force Palm!" he declared as he landed on his feet.

The other Pokémon that were in the place barely had time to dodge. The enemy leader jumped back, narrowly avoiding being hit. One Houndour, on the other hand, after being hit by Lance's attack, hit the wall and fainted. The other one advanced against Brian, dodging Lance's shot and with his mouth on fire, tried to hit the Zorua.

"Urgh!" Feeling his fur burning, Brian created an illusion that he was invisible, distancing himself from the dog.

The little one sniffed the air, searching for the smell of burned flesh that came from Zorua. Suddenly, he took a full blow, losing his balance. Undoing the illusion behind the Houndour, the boy's claws seemed to extend with white light, and then the dog was struck repeatedly by the little fox.

"Fury Swipes!" After finishing the blow, the dog was thrown away. Brian panted, trying to stay on his feet.

On the other side, Lance was with his arms in an X shape, advancing against the Houndoom. His enemy was growling, his body being wrapped in an aura of flames. Riolu advanced without caring as if he only wanted to finish the enemy in front of him, his eyes were focused on the black canine. The Houndoom howled, shooting a stream of flames at the boy.

"Argh. Endure!" With a white aura, he cried out in pain but kept holding on without fainting.

"Lance!" Brian ran to rescue his brother, just as the same Houndour from before appeared, his prey with an electric charge. Thinking fast, the Zorua turned invisible again.

Falling to the ground, the Riolu coughed. His body was in immense pain, he felt the burns all over the place and trembled with pain. Even so, he got up, staggering and standing up with all the strength he had.

Meanwhile, Brian planned how to knock out the Houndour. Attacks of the dark type would not be very effective, much less the ghost. In this case, he would have to improvise.

"I can just buy more Orbs in that store..." Pondering, he took a sphere from his backpack, getting ready to shoot.

The cub was looking for the smell once more, his mouth was covered with a purple liquid and he advanced to where he had tracked Brian. Undoing his illusion, Zorua jumped, throwing the sphere against the Houndour.

"Blowback Orb! Do your job!" Shouting in his head, the sphere shone, throwing the dog against the wall and knocking him out.

Falling to his feet, Brian saw his brother facing the Houndoom again and soon he ran to help him. Lance, struggling to stand, carried energy in his hand to shoot the big dog again.

"That's enough, man! I'll take care of him, you can barely stand! We are very lucky that our backpacks are fireproof... but you can't keep up like this!" Complaining, Brian took a step forward.

"Shut up." Taking an Oran Berry from his bag, he ate it, heading towards Houndoom. "I have to finish this guy..." He was talking with a raspy voice and blurred vision.

"I won't let you die here, I swore I would protect you..." Brian was looking at the enemy, who was getting ready to throw another blast of flame.

"So be it..." Looking at the Houndoom, Riolu was about to shoot.

"Two can play this game... Copycat!" The boy opened his mouth, which was also filled with energy.

The enemy's shot hit the blow the brothers threw, generating an explosion that threw everyone against the walls. Feeling the snap of the bones, the dog fainted. On the other side, the boys fell, feeling great pain in their backs, but they remained awake. Panting, Lance walked slowly to the Houndoom.

"Force Palm," he said, giving another shot.

"Lance, what are you doing?! He already fainted, we have to move on!" Staggering, Zorua went after his friend.

"Quiet..." he was charging another shot. "Force Palm! Force Palm! Force Palm!" every time he said the name of the attack, he shot Houndoom, looking desperate and sweating.

Brian bit Lance's arm, pulling it back with all the strength that was left in Zorua's little body. Both then fell, unable to move or leave the place. They both started to hear a laughing voice in their minds, with a flying Pokémon coming out of the same hole as the trio of dogs. The Sigilyph laughed, even without having a mouth, while looking at the boys with his three eyes.

"It was easier than I thought," he said with telepathy.

"Shit... it was a trap!" Gnashing his teeth, Lance clenched his fists.

"We fell like fools!" Raising his eyes, Brian just noticed what had happened. "Who sent you here?!"

"I owed those metalheads a favor..." the bird's eyes changed color, turning pink as he looked at Zorua.

"Well, it doesn't matter! I'm immune to his psychic attacks! You'll regret having deceived us!" he gave a toothy grin, ready to take the attack.

"You seem very confident in your ability, Zorua... I'm sorry..." the Pokémon's three eyes were glowing and he fired a beam in the shape of a triangle.

"That move from before... Brian! Dodge!" Screaming, Lance tried to run, but his body didn't have the strength for it anymore and he just fell face down.

"Hehe, relax bro! I'm gonna kick his ass..." The boy was hit by the attack, leaving him surprised and at the time he also hit the ground, sleeping.

"You son of a bitch... Did you use Miracle Eye on him?!" Getting up, Lance was staggering.

"A beautiful observation, Riolu, but not enough to save your brother. But don't worry, you'll join him soon enough." Laughing, he threw the same blow at the boy.

Unable to deflect, Lance fell to the ground, trying to resist as much as he could, even if his arms and legs didn't respond to the command. With his eyes almost closed, he saw only the psychic Pokémon in front of him, when he fell asleep.
Dungeon 13 - Unnatural Selection: Part 1 New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 13 - Unnatural Selection: Part 1

Author's notes: This chapter contains scenes of child abuse and violence. As such, viewer's discretion is advised.

8 years ago

The sound of bird peeps signaled that it was morning. Starly flew through the sky over the small village of Thornwell. The villagers started their daily chores that quiet morning, chatting among themselves and opening their stores. It seemed like it would be a good day.

Inside one of the houses, was a small Pokémon lying on a bunk bed. He opened his eyes, rubbing them with his hands, and yawned. He then leaped down from the top bed, still sleepy, and stretched his arms. On the bottom bed, another Pokémon was sleeping peacefully. The child who had already woken up approached and shook him.

"Brian! Wake up! This is the day!" he spoke, wagging his tail and giving a broad smile.

"Five more minutes Lance…" His brother turned his back, wrapping himself in the blanket.

"We don't have five minutes!" He replied, pulling the Zorua's sheet.

Brian yelped and fell to the ground, quickly getting up and yawning. Lance, seeing that his plan had worked, looked at him with a sincere smile.

"When I'm excited about something I will push you…" The Zorua scratched his ears.

"Ah! But come on! We will start training! I can't wait!" Lance gave his brother a grin.

"Maybe we'll make a world trip! Who knows?" Brian agreed, giving a light smile like his brother.

The boys left their room, going down the stairs of the house. They could smell food in the air and went straight to the kitchen. Sitting on the chair was the boys' father. Like Lance, he was a blue and black-furred canid, but unlike the Riolu, he was tall, his arms had two white thorns, alongside one in his chest. He put several pancakes on the plates.

"Good morning, Dad!" Lance spoke as he sat, looking at the Lucario.

"Good morning…" Brian then sat down, scratching his eyes.

"Good morning boys... it's today, right? The day that the guild training will begin…" Their father smiled in the corner of his face.

"Yes! Will you accompany us there?" Lance asked, starting to eat.

The adult bowed his head, sighing as he heard his son's question. He sat quietly, thinking about what he was going to say this time.

"Hey... aren't you going?" Zorua decided to talk, staring at his parent.

"Unfortunately, your uncles and I were called on a mission... I don't know how long it will take for us to return, but we have to leave today."

"You promised us..." The Zorua took one look at his brother and turned his face to his father.

"When will you get back?" Lance lowered his head, his smile, and excitement from before were replaced by a hint of sadness. "I wanted your company…"

"I…" The Lucario tried to speak but was interrupted by a noise.

Someone had knocked on the door of the house, and Lucario got up to open it. On the other side was an amphibious Pokémon with a blue body and four limbs, having orange fins on his arms and legs. The Pokémon carried a smile.

"Good morning Nick! How are the kids?" the Swampert said with a grin, talking to his friend.

"Shiron... good morning, they just woke up and... I already told them about our mission." Nick sighed.

"Dude, you could have waited for at least a little…" Shiron spoke, a little uneasiness on his eyes. "Well, I'll try to talk to them…"

The duo went back to the kitchen, seeing the two brothers finishing eating in silence. When Lance noticed his uncle, the boy gave him a weak smile, waving to the Swampert.

"Hi, Uncle Shiron!"

"And there you are, children! How are my favorite nephews?!" the water Pokémon laughed.

"Guess we'll have to wait for Dad to come back from the mission to celebrate," Brian spoke, thoughtful.

"Kids, don't worry, a friend will take care of everything," Nick said, scratching his chin. "He's a Heracross."

"Dad? Are you leaving now?" Brian asked with his ears lowered, sighing.

"If we stay here any longer, Yuu will end up sleeping in the middle of the road…" Shiron answered, rolling his eyes.

"Well, then... have a good trip…" Lance got off the chair, still looking sad, but forcing a smile to his father.

Nick hugged his kids and then took a deep breath, looking at the Swampert. They were a very famous team, so they constantly had to go out on jobs around the continent, and sometimes even abroad. He hoped that the relationship with his children would not become worse despite all this. The children kept watching the two adults as they left the house. For a few moments, neither brother wanted to say anything.

"I hate that..." Brian broke the silence, looking down. "Dad acts like it's no big deal every time he has to leave…"

"I'm sure he doesn't like it either…" Lance said.

"Says the guy who can see aura…" He walked to the door. "Let's go!"

The siblings left their house. Far away was the guild headquarters where they would enter as recruits. The building was medium size and appeared to be made out of concrete. Some Pokémon were outside doing renovations. The two boys entered the building without hesitation.

In the center, a Pokémon was talking to others, it was a bug type that was similar to a beetle. They realized that it must have been the Heracross that their father had mentioned, getting closer to him.

"Good morning…" the small Riolu said, looking at the adult.

"Hello, mister!" Brian waved to him.

"Well, hello! You must be the recruits…" the Heracross then checked a paper on his hand. "You're both… 8 years old? Don't you think you're too young to enter the guild?" Alder said a smile on his face.

"Well, I think if we start early we'll finish early!" Lance spoke, wagging his tail, his brother agreed with a nod.

"Well, let's register you, come on." He laughed a little, going into a room.

Alder's office was big, with a desk that had a radio, a chair in the back, a window, and two more on the opposite side. He sat down, and the brothers did the same. The Heracross took a pen and a notebook, looking at them

"So... let's go from the beginning, what is the name of the team?"

"I honestly haven't thought about it yet…" Lance tapped his fingers on his chin, thinking.

At that moment, Brian seemed to have an idea on his mind, giving a little laugh, showing his teeth.

"Team Liberators! To bring a message of freedom for everyone!" the Zorua suggested to his brother.

"Interesting, I liked the idea" Alder laughed, his eyes fixed on Riolu.

"Wow, that's so cool Brian! I love it!" the Fighting-type said, wagging his tail. "By the way, Mr. Alder, I'll be the leader!"

"Got it. We'll start your training next week, one thing, you'll have to wake up early." He wrote on the paper, seeing that both of them had consented. "Alright, the Zorua is dismissed, but you... Lance, right? Since you're the leader, I need to say some things to you."

"Hm... ok!" He thought that was a little weird, but trusting in his father's judgment, Lance decided to trust the insect.

"See you guys soon. I need a nap." Brian got up, leaving the place.

Looking out the window, Alder saw the Zorua walking like usual, until the moment he opened the door to his house, leaving the bug's field of vision. Giving a smile, he turned on the radio in the room.

"The operation was a success... we can take the boy. Send the message for the other members of the guild to leave." He said on the device.

"Mr. Alder? What are you talking about?" Lance asked, lowering his ears and trembling a little.

"Well, kid... sorry, but your dreams of being an explorer will have to end here…"

Upon hearing this, Lance jumped out of his chair desperately, running to the door without thinking about anything, when he hit what looked like a body, falling to the ground. Looking up, he saw a red Pokémon, with wide legs and on the bottom, yellow parts. His head had a kind of long "hair", with feathers that circulated his chest. Riolu moved away, crawling on the ground, when he was grabbed by Heracross and, before he could speak anything, his mouth was covered.

"Blaze, let's take him away from here... I swear this job was horrible. Infiltrating in a famous guild! If his father found out, I'd be dead!" He grumbled, going out with a Blaziken.

As they left, they saw that the place was already empty as planned. The two then proceeded to a back door, away from the view of the villagers. While everything was going on, Lance started crying, trying to get rid of his kidnappers at all costs. Heracross, angry, just grabbed him harder. They then followed a forest road, south of the village.

"Stay still boy, it's nothing personal... but our boss needs a Riolu and you are an easy target…" Alder kept holding Lance as the boy struggled, trying to get free.

"Do you believe that crazy man managed to unblock an evolution that nobody has ever heard of?" Blaziken commented while they were walking.

"I don't know, who cares? As long as we get paid, that's what matters…" he rolled his eyes.

"Hmph... Hm!" Lance tried to talk to them, but with his mouth covered, he couldn't say anything but grunts.

"Kid, I swear to Arceus, you're annoying..." Alder said, punching Lance in the head, knocking him out. The kidnappers kept walking for another hour.

Meanwhile, Brian was in his bed, sleeping. He woke up yawning and got up, stretching his body.

"That nap felt amazing… Now, where is my brother?" He then went to the stairs, looking for Lance. "I guess he's still in the guild… hehe! Must be working hard!" Brian ran off, heading towards the building.

The boy looked at the building from far away, seeing that there wasn't much movement, which was strange, there was only one Pokémon in the entrance. Usually, there were several coming and going. Having a bad feeling, he ran as fast as he could, approaching and seeing a green Pokémon that had a circular body, he crossed his arms, waiting.

"Yeah... hi?" The Zorua got closer, saying to the other Pokémon.

"What do you want?" The Quilladin turned around, facing the boy.

"Did everybody leave? My brother was there…" He spoke with a shiver on his body, as if something bad had happened.

"That stupid manager gave the alarm for us to leave!" The grass type tapped his foot on the ground, impatiently. "But there was no emergency! We came back and there was no one there!"

"No-nobody?! What are you talking about?!" He ran inside the building, seeing that in fact, it was empty. He then went back outside, his face down.

"Kid, what happened?! You look like you saw a ghost!" he said approaching Brian.

"I told you! My brother was there! The manager said he had to discuss something with him and I left!"

The silence that followed only served to confirm Zorua's suspicions. His brother was missing. He fell to his knees, desperate and without knowing what to do. In his mind, several questions were being asked. Where was Lance? What was the reason they took him? Was he ok? He had to warn his father! The questions filled the boy's head who then started crying and screaming.

The Riolu woke up lying down, his body was exhausted from the trip and he opened his eyes slowly, looking at the place he was in. It seemed that the walls were made of metal with a locked door, there was no way out and, on the wall, he saw a speaker. Feeling something on his neck, he looked, seeing a collar in place. Scared, he started screaming, hitting the walls.

"Get me out of here! Dad! Uncle Shiron! Uncle Yuu! Help! Help me, please!" He was trying to leave, desperate and clawing at the door.

Suddenly, the collar on the boy's neck activated and he felt a shock running all over his body, making him fall to the ground. Then, the speaker turned on, a voice coming out of it.

"I'm sorry kid... you will stay with us as long as necessary."

Lance didn't recognize who was talking and stayed on the floor, without moving, feeling his whole body burning from the discharge. The door opened and the same Blaziken as before appeared, picking up the Riolu in his lap and taking him to another area of the place. With his blurred vision, the boy could barely discern where he was, seeing only gray walls. How long had it been since he was kidnapped? He couldn't answer, being carried by the red Pokémon. All he could do was wait and trust that his family would find him.

Eventually, they arrived in what seemed to be an operating room, with a hospital bed in the middle, where Blaziken put Lance. On the other side, there was a tall Pokémon, it wasn't possible to see much of him, but he had white skin with some traces of green on his head and arms. He was touching some utensils when he noticed the boy, smiling at him.

"Ah, the new test subject arrived!" He spoke and Lance noticing that was the voice he spoke on the radio before. "My name is…"

The child couldn't hear his name right, lying on the stretcher. The scientist then pulled a syringe, injecting it into Lance's arm.

"Don't worry... boy... you won't die... well, I don't intend to let you die, but if it happens…" the Gallade said. "There are many Riolus in the world! I'm just sedating you at the moment."

Lance wanted to scream, run away, call his father. He was scared, even if he couldn't move because of the sedative. Still, he remained awake but unable to do anything. The boy wanted to remain conscious as much as he could to try to identify who had done this to him. The scientist just smiled, taking a knife and starting to cut Riolu's stomach slowly. Despite his efforts, he lost consciousness.

Waking up, he opened his eyes, noticing that he was in the same room as before, only this time there was a bed.

"I don't know how long I've been in this place... Dad... help me…" He thought.

The routine was the same. He woke up, went to the room, was sedated, and dissected by the doctor. When he tried to escape, he was electrocuted by the collar. The more often this happened, the more the boy began to lose hope. Where was his father? Nick should have found his hiding place by now. He was being carried through the corridors again, but this time, he went to another room, wider, but with nothing but a knife on the floor and a fainted Pokémon, which looked like a black furry dog. The smell of blood was hovering in the air, giving a feeling of nausea in the Riolu, who was thrown to the ground by the Blaziken.

"Where... I am now?"

"Welcome to your new test, Number 10." The doctor's voice spoke through the speaker, he never referred to Lance by name, only by numbers.

"Test? Please let me go!" the boy screamed, tears flowing from his eyes.

"I'll tell you something interesting about where I come from...we have medicine, a pill that can make the Pokémon stronger. It's called 'Rare Candy'. Unfortunately, it has become taboo and illegal."

"Rare Candy? I've never heard of it... what is he saying?" The boy thought, looking at the other Pokémon in that place.

"Of course, being the genius that I am, I was able to recreate, despite these primitive lands." He gave a small laugh. "Of course, I haven't perfected yet. You see, this Houndoom... was another subject, unfortunately, he's unstable. Your mission will be... to survive. Kill this enemy and you may have a break from my experiments."

"Kill him?!" Lance couldn't believe what he was hearing.

As if it were the cue, the Houndoom stood up, snorting smoke, and looked at Lance, showing his sharp teeth. He set off on the boy, shooting a gust of flames. Riolu barely had time to react, picking up the knife on the ground and rolling to the side, dodging the blow. Even so, the dog continued advancing, lifting his claws and, catching Lance distracted, stuck it in the boy's chest, the sound of blood followed by a scream coming from him as he was thrown to the wall. Barely managing to move, he used all the strength he had to stand up, until he fell, his chest bleeding from the cut.

"Hm, disappointing... finish him off, Houndoom," the Gallade said.

Following the order, the black dog advanced, his mouth open and his teeth flaming. Lance screamed, holding the knife and shoving it into the enemy's eye after he approached. Being hit, the dog whined, disoriented. The child wasted no time, stabbing him in the other eye. This time, it was Houndoom who fell. Lance, still angry, continued hitting his enemy in the body, no matter what happened. He realized that only this would make him survive. After several stab wounds, Lance fell to the ground, fainting from his wounds, the last thing he heard was the laughter of Pokémon who had made him go through it.

Waking up again, the blue Pokémon was on a bed of the medical wing, tied up. Moving his head, he managed to identify the doctor who had tortured him all this time.

"A Gallade...?" he thought.

"I see you're awake, child." The scientist turned around, showing a syringe with a blue liquid in his hand.

"What's that?!" Lance began to struggle, trying to escape.

"You think very bad things of me, I already told you what it is when I introduced my canine friend to you…" He was smiling, approaching the bed where Riolu was.

"Get out! I don't want that! Why are you doing this?!"

Hearing the boy's question, the Gallade stopped for a moment, reflecting on what he should answer. Shrugging, he continued on his way.

"Let's say... scientific curiosity, kid. I perfected the serum... probably. I can't be sure until I see the effects on someone, and I won't test it on myself." Smiling, he injected the contents of the syringe into Lance's arm.

Immediately the child started screaming. With tears coming out of his eyes, he felt as if his bones were burning every second, moving uncontrollably, trying to let go, shaking his head while crying. Gallade just watched, his smile remained on his face. Lance was already running out of voice, he just wanted to get out of there and go to the comfort of his home, where everything would be fine. But even if that was what he wanted, nothing seemed to change. There was no sign that he was going to escape so early from the torture he was going through. Then, finally, he seemed to give up. His movements were weakening, the pain diminishing little by little, while he looked at the aggressor, panting, his body was exhausted from all that.

"It seems that the infusion experiment was a success... congratulations, Number 10, you won a few days of rest, the next test will take a while to happen…"

The child was half-eyed, his vision blurred, and his mind tired. Would it be his destiny to stay there until he died? The last time he saw his family, he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become an explorer. Help other Pokémon as much as he could. But now everything seemed to have been taken at once. He would never see his father or brother again. He would never see the sunlight again. Lance started crying again, the tears coming down like a waterfall on his body, until the fatigue hit him, knocking him out.
Dungeon 14 - Unnatural Selection: Part 2 New


Exploration Team leader
The Lucario known as Nick was already used to his children sending letters while he was on one of the missions with his team. But what he didn't expect was to receive the news that Lance had disappeared. Sweating, he was walking on the road to the city where he lived, next to his Swampert friend. Behind the two came a Sceptile.

"Nick... are you ok? we'll find him…" Walking on four legs, the water type asked his friend.

"Dude, Shiron's right, we'll find him!" The Sceptile said, approaching the Lucario.

"Says Yukino, the laziest Pokémon on our team." Nick stopped to take a deep breath. "I'm sorry, it's making me stressed."

"Really? I couldn't tell that." Rolling his eyes, the Sceptile kept walking.

As the trio approached the village, they could see a small Zorua on the exit.. When he noticed the team, Brian ran near them with tears in his eyes. Staring at his son, Nick ran, getting down on his knees and hugging him tight.

"Dad! It's my fault, I left him alone! And now Lance is gone! I'm sorry!"

"It's gonna be okay... we're gonna find him, alright?" He caressed the little one, rubbing his hands through the boy's hair.

"But it's been a week! What if he's... dead?!" Brian was sniffing and his body trembled at the thought.

"He's not dead... you can leave it to us, we can do it!" The grass type got near them, smiling and showing his teeth to try and calm Brian down.

"Son, I need you to trust us on this, right? We'll find your brother…" Getting up, Lucario breathed a sigh.

"Ok…" The boy lowered his ears and tail, lost in thoughts of what could be happening to his sibling.

"We can go to your house and you tell us what happened right, what do you think?" This time, Shiron came closer, forcing a smile.

"Ok…" The Zorua just nodded.

The four of them followed, entering the city, being greeted with some looks of concern from the Pokémon who lived there. Feeling a sorrow in his chest, Nick continued walking, trying to hide how distressed he was. His companions, realizing this, were thinking about what they could do for him. Behind the group, Zorua pondered on his mind.

"It's my fault, I should have protected him... what kind of brother am I?!"

After they arrived at Nick's house, the group sat on the kitchen chairs. With his hands on his face, the Lucario took a deep breath, paying attention to what his son had to say. The other two members of the team turned their eyes to Brian, waiting.

"On the day we went to start the training, the Heracross who was taking care of the guild signed us up and he said he had to talk some things with Lance…" He sniffed, trying to calm himself down. "...and that was the last time I saw him!" Looking at the floor, the child was almost crying, but he was still trying to hold back his tears.

"Shit! I trusted him!" The voice came from the steel Pokémon, who hit the table with force.

"Look, we should start looking through the forest near here... Yukino and I will go there, you can interrogate the guild members." The Swampert got up and sighed.

"We're gonna find your son, Nick…" This time it was the Sceptile who stood up.

"Please…" He trembled in fear.

Lance woke up in the same room as before, with no one around and nothing but the bed and to the previous attack from the Houndoom, he now had a claw-like scar on his torso, which covered most of the Riolu's chest.

"Please get me out of here…" He sniffed with a hoarse voice.

"I hope you enjoyed your rest, number 10." The Gallade said on the speaker, giving a small laugh.

"I want my father…" Lance fell on his knees, covering his ears and screaming, fed up with all of that.

The device in Lance's neck activated, giving him a shock that ran through the child's whole body, making his screams grow stronger, mixing with the crying, until the sensation passed and he fell to the floor, groaning in pain.

"I won't be able to see my family? Arceus, I want to leave…" He was lost on his own thoughts. "They hurt me every time I resist, maybe I should stop… no one will save me."

"You're misbehaving, number 10. I guess you'll have to stay here a little longer…"

Two weeks later, the Gallade was on his office, watching the boy's development reports, tapping the table with his fingers and gnashing his teeth. Behind him, the Blaziken coughed to draw the psychic type's attention.

"He's not evolving."

"Doctor Morgan," The fire type leaned against the wall. "you didn't even give the necessary item for that, what's the surprise?"

"Item? In this world, Riolus evolves with items?!" He snarled, staring at the Blaziken. "And nobody warned me?!"

"I thought it was common where you come from. How do they evolve there?"

"A strong bond, or rather, happiness. I've force fed one with Rare Candies and eventually it worked." Morgan took a deep breath and went back to analyse the report.

"Well, you need a Sun Ribbon for him to become a Lucario here, I can get one if you want…"

"No. I'm determined to do it without an item," The Gallade kept staring at the paper. "but get me one more prisoner, a Pokémon in the second evolutionary stage."

"Okay, boss." Turning around, the Blaziken left the room.

The efforts to find Lance were not over. The trio of explorers had left the village to search the nearby places. They searched in the forest, in caves and in neighboring towns. However, nobody seemed to know the whereabouts of the Riolu or the two kidnappers. Even if the boy's family wanted to believe he was still alive, with three weeks of disappearance, hopes had greatly diminished. Upon returning home, Nick went straight to his room, lying on his bed. Suddenly, someone had knocked on the door.

"Come in." His fur was pale and messy, a clear sign that he hadn't been careful for a long time.

"Dad…" The Zorua came in, jumping on the bed with his ears lowered.

The Lucario sat down, looking at his son, with no idea what to say. Nick wasn't able to keep his promise and that hurt him a lot.

"We... won't see him anymore? Sorry, I should have stayed with him!" Brian started hitting himself in the face, frustrated for not having stopped it from happening. Until he was wrapped in a hug from his father.

"Hey, hey! It wasn't your fault! We'll find him, calm down…" both stayed like this for a few minutes, neither wanted to say anything about the situation.

After an hour, Nick had slept, lying in bed. His son was watching it in silence. Zorua created an illusion that he was invisible and left the house, determined to find his brother. Brian kept walking on the vilage, studying every detail that could help him.

"This is gonna be hard," Looking at the sky, Brian lowered his ears, still blaming himself for what happened. "dad's team is an expert in this and they failed... but I have to try! Maybe if I can convince Uncle Shiron...

The boy had an idea. Deciding to go to the local bar, he ran out. He knew that the Swampert used to go there to eat and chat with the other citizens. Even without knowing if his uncle would be there because of the search, Brian decided to take a chance and enter the place.

Inside, Brian saw that his uncle was in fact there, sitting at a table with two other Pokémons. To Shiron's left was a Sableye, a biped and purple-bodied Pokémon, with eyes that looked like gems. To the right was a Slowking, which took a juice made of fruit. Getting closer without them noticing, the boy paid attention in the conversation.

"You found no sign of the boy?" the Slowking asked, taking a sip.

"Well Maurice, we put up posters here and in three other cities, we even went to Bright Dawn and found nothing there. Nick is going crazy with this…" Sighing, the Swampert drank what seemed to be an alcoholic drink.

"I can try to ask my team for help. A tragedy like this needs to be solved." The Sableye nodded.

"Emerald, that would be helpful, thanks." Shiron said, taking a deep breath.

"You have to consider the option that... he didn't survive, you know?" The Slowking stared at Shiron.

Upon hearing what he had said, Shiron punched the table hard. Brian screamed, shattering his illusion. The three adults stared at the little one, who ran out of the place as fast as he could. Eyes widening, Shiron opened his backpack, put some coins on the table and left to follow his nephew.

"Leave me alone Uncle! I want to be alone!" The boy ended up stumbling, rolling on the floor. After stopping, he coughed, shaking his body to take the dust off.

"I'm sorry... Are you okay?" The Swampert rubbed his own head, staring at Brian.

"Of course I'm not okay! My brother is missing for three weeks. Nobody can find him! And they say he's dead!" Without even breahing properly, the Zorua was panting.

"I know, we're not doing a very good job on this…" He sat on the floor.

"And the worst thing is that it's all my fault! Dad said no, but I know he's just saying that so I don't have to worry about it!" Brian gave a snarl, kicking the ground while walking in circles.

"You look like me when I was your age." Shiron gave a small laugh. "I mean, I think I was 15? Honestly, not remembering my past can be hard sometimes."

"How can you laugh in a situation like that, Uncle?! I... don't know what to do…" Feeling his legs shake, Brian fell to the ground.

"Brian, you're 8 years old, there's nothing you can do about your brother," The Swampert turned his gaze to the starry sky. "but there's one thing you can do."

"What?" Getting up, Brian stared at his uncle.

"If you think you're not strong enough, train. By having the experience, you'll prevent it from happening again. And you will be able to keep Lance safe."

"Train... I couldn't protect him this time, but... from today I will!" The Zorua puffedhis chest to show that he was serious.

"Ok, let's go to your house... your dad will think you're gone too." Shiron gave a yawn and got up.

In the same city, a Pokémon looked at the guild missions, thinking about which one to accept. He had flames around its neck and a tall body, cream-colored belly and black back.

"A kidnapped boy... James, it would be very good if you found him. Well, I have to stop talking to myself…" Typhlosion was commenting to himself, seeing Riolu's picture missing.

A week later

"It's time to wake up, number 10." The Gallade was once again talking on the radio, waking the boy up.

"Again... what does he want me to do this time?" Lance got up, exhausted from everything he had been through for the four weeks he was in prison.

"Today's your final test." the voice had a rigid tone to it. "You will have to face another Pokémon… I presume you are aware of the consequences if you fail, correct?"

"I'm gonna die…" growling, he took a deep breath. During the time he stayed in this unknown place, Lance had already faced several opponents and, unfortunately, he had to kill them, or the Rioly would be the one who would become someone else's food. No matter what happened, survival was his goal.

The door of the room opened and the Heracross from before entered, crossing his arms. Lance offered no resistance at all, he went with the kidnapper without saying anything on the whole path. After a few minutes, they arrived at the arena, Riolu was already getting used to that place. Sighing, he went inside.

"Look at him! Our little subject seems to be very excited today, you're not gonna complain or anything? - Laughing lightly, the Heracross watched the boy from afar.

"It's not as if it had worked the other times." Looking at the other side of the ring, he sees a slender Pokémon, with a cream-colored belly and a green-colored back. In its neck there was a yellow V-shaped structure, next to a collar. The Pokémon's red eyes stared Lance in silence.

"Very well, number 10. This is your last chance to redeem yourself. This Servine is called Maya and she will be your opponent today." the scientist said on the radio.

"I'm sorry kid, but I need to get back to my family…" the female said seriously, putting herself in combat position.

"Wait, if I win, can I go back home?!" Gasping, Lance stared at the speaker.

"Who knows? If you lose, you die, but if you win, maybe something good will happen." Morgan gave a laugh.

"Then I won't lose…" He closed his fists, breathing deeply.

"You can begin." The Gallade said.

After the doctor's speech, Lance ran with all the speed he had, getting ready to hit the Servine. However, the female's speed was greater and she made a jump, deflecting, soon, turning around and shooting a gust of leaves at the boy, who was cut at several points on the body, sending the Riolu to the floor.

When Lance looked up he saw that the girl was falling, her tail had a metallic glow. Thinking fast, he crossed his arms, hitting her tail hard and letting both be dragged in opposite directions.

"Leaf Tornado. Iron Tail... this is no joke, but she has family too, I... can I really do this?"

"Boy, how old are you?" The Grass Pokémon took the sweat off her face, staring at Lance.

"8... or I was when I was out of here, I don't know how long... Argh!" He stopped talking, feeling the shock coming from the collar again, staggering and falling.

"You're a child, I'm sorry, I don't want to…" her collar activade as well, making her fall to the ground, moaning in pain.

"You don't seem to understand the purpose. It's a fight to the death, you don't have time to talk to each other."

"Sorry, lady…" Lance said, panting and tired from all of that.

"I can say the same to you... Aerial Ace!" As she ran towards the Riolu, her tail gave small slashes on the air, sending wind blades.

"Endure!" Lance braced himself and took the hit.

Lance remained where he was, his body shining in a red tone. Pondering, he decided to end that battle right there. After he received the slash, Lance survived.

"Counter!" Then, with his hand wrapped in a blue aura, he struck his opponent right in the neck, giving twice the damage he had received, throwing it against the wall, being able to hear the noise of a bone breaking.

The girl's body collided with the ground, without moving at all. That's when Lance realized what he did. He had just killed an innocent. Someone who had dreams and hopes like him, who had disappeared likethe boy and whose relatives were likely searching. When he realized what he had done, he opened his mouth, vomiting on the floor and crying. The Riolu started to punch ground, desperate and wishing with all his strength that Arceus would reverse what had happened and ended up fainting. The Heracross looked at that, feeling a little sorry for him.

"It seems that, despite the victory, the experiment was a failure. Well, he didn't evolve." The Gallade seemed disappointed, sighing.

"What are we going to do with him?" The bug type said, approaching Lance.

"Throw him out with the others. The way he is, I doubt he'll survive in that dungeon."

"Right." The bug caught Lance on his lap, being greeted with protests from him, sneezing and trying to let go, but without the strength to do so. They left the room until they got to the room, when Heracross threw him inside.

Putting himself in a fetal position, the little Pokémon cried uncontrollably again, thinking what his family would think of him from now on, when he realized. If he had been stronger, this would not have happened to him. That little boy, that Pokémon Lance used to be, he died there. And now, the Riolu promised to get stronger.

"If I survive this, I will get revenge on them... I swear…" he thought, falling asleep due to fatigue.

Two days later

"James, you only get the strangest missions, having to find an item here was not exactly what I wanted to do today, but it will have to do." he pondered while entering a forest.

The Typhlosion walked calmly, he was not in a rush in any way. Moving his ears, he heard a noise, hiding behind one of the trees. On the other side there was a Blaziken, who threw a little Pokémon on the ground.

James gasped, tumbling back when he noticed that it was the same of the missing poster he had seen before. Thinking fast, he ran to rescue him. The red Pokémon noticed, taking a sphere from his backpack and breaking it on the ground, disappearing into a strong glow. The boy, confused with what had happened, remained on the ground when he saw Typhlosion approaching.

"Hey... boy…"

"Get away from me!" Lance shouted, growling at the adult who was right next to him.

"Hey! Take it easy! I'm an explorer! Look here!" James took the badge from his bag, showing it.

"Explorer…?" Moving his ears, the Riolu slowly approached.

"I saw the mission." James got on his knees. "I was here for something else, but I'll take you home, ok? You must be tired, I don't know what you've been through, but it must have been hard."

"Home…" sniffing, Lance ran to hug the Pokémon, trembling and crying.

"It's okay... it's gonna be okay…" James got up, holding the child on his arms and left with him.

After half an hour, they arrived in Lance's hometown, walking towards the boy's house. The villagers looked at the duo in silence and clapped their hands, happy that he was found. At his house, his brother was asleep when he awoke after hearing the commotion.

"What's all that noise?" Yawning, Brian looked out of his bedroom window and gasped, running to call his father.

Stopping at the door, James carefully put Lance on the floor, when the Lucario and Zorua left the place. Words were not necessary to describe how happy they were to be reunited, so the three of them simply hugged each other with strength.

"Lance" Lance! You're okay! Oh, I was so worried!" The boy's brother was wagging his tail hard.

"I'm... back…" The Riolu forced a smile.

"Welcome home, son…" Nick spoke, unable to contain his joy, turning his eyes to the Typhlosion who had made the rescue.

"No need to thank me, it was nothing." James blushed, looking elsewhere.

"I survived... and now, I'm going to make nothing like this happen again. Pokémon like them have to pay…" Lance was thinking about what the future would bring. Even so, he allowed himself to be happy that he was finally reunited with his family.

Six years after it happened, the boys' lives seemed to have returned to normal, but this was not the case. Now that they were officially enrolled in their father's guild, the siblings went through rigorous training to graduate and thus be explorers. Lance and James were in the combat arena, watching a fight between his brother and another Pokémon. Brian's opponent was a small quadruped Pokémon with green fur. In his snout could be seen a yellow ray. From the Electrike's body came some sparks, while Zorua was invisible, using his illusions. The electric Pokémon smelled it, running to where he had found it.

"It won't be that easy, Blitz! Pursuit!" Undoing the trick, Brian collided with his opponent's body, before he could do anything.

"That's where you're wrong. Thunder Wave!" carrying electricity in his body, after Blitz was hit by the impact, he unloaded on Zorua, throwing him away and at the same time giving him the paralyzed status.

"Argh!" crawling on the ground, Brian coughed, getting up and feeling the electricity running through him.

"You seem to be losing it, brother." Lance said, crossing his arms.

"Hey! You should be cheering me on!" Brian stared at his brother and turned to face Blitz.

"Well, I like to entertain the audience…" The Electrike laughed, staring at the Riolu.

"It's not my fault if he's good at it!" Lance looked away quickly, his face turning red like an apple, wagging his tail lightly.

"I'm glad to have such a fan." Blitz then turned his gaze to Zorua, advancing against him, firing a ball of electricity at him.

"I'm sorry, but I don't feel like it... Copycat!" Jumping Brian copied the movement, shooting the same attack as his opponent.

The collision of the two attacks caused a small explosion, filling the area with smoke. Growling, Blitz was paying attention, but he couldn't see nor smell properly, so he focused on the noise. Even so, the boy was surprised with a black ball that hit him.

"Shadow Ball!" Declared Brian, smiling after the move hit.

"Okay, the fight is over!" James spoke, approaching them

"You were good, Zorua." smiling, Blitz took a deep breath.

"I can say the same about you! Hehe!" Giving a broad smile, Brian showed his teeth.

"You guys aren't hurt too bad, are you?"Lance questioned them both as he got near.

"No, it's just a friendly session, there's nothing to worry about... well, I'm hungry, so, see ya soon!" The Zorua ran away to the cafeteria.

"I'll see you two there as well?" The Typhlosion looked at them with a smile.

"We'll be right there!" The Riolu said, helping the electric type stand up.

"Okay, see you later." The Typhlosion left.

"Thanks for your help, Lance." Wagging his tail, Blitz gave him a grin. "I'm impressed, I heard you were very unsocial, but it seems like we're friends."

"Haha... yeah, they say that about me... but I... I liked you. That's it." He laughed, trying to calm down as he blushed.

"I mean, you're really cute. I like you." Blitz said with a grin.

"I'm not cute…" lowering his ears, he covered his face, embaressed.

"That just makes you cuter... not that I mind. Try me. Maybe you'll get what you want. It's too obvious." The Electrike went out the door, leaving Lance alone.

"Ah... that wasn't as bad as I thought, he thinks I'm cute!" Trembling with nervousness, he started walking. "That makes me feel good, it's been... a long time since I've been happy like this...

Breathing deeply, he walked again. Remembering the promise he had made to become stronger, he was not so sure that he would be able to be happy with another Pokémon, but at least in the moment, he would try the chance. And if it didn't work out... maybe it wasn't the right thing. While approaching the door, he felt an enormous tremor. Scared, the Riolu started running, the ground crumbling behind him, until he fell into the limbo, screaming.


voted most likely to be edgy
the middle of nowhere
Hey there, I'm here from Catnip. I've read the first chapter and here are my thoughts. I apologize for a lot of them being about grammar and wording, but I just tend to be pretty pedantic when it comes to that stuff. As I went on FFN out of curiosity to see what the reviews on there were like, I noticed that one of the reviews said this was translated from another language, which would help explain some strange wording - but as it's in English now, I'll treat it as English writing and will give critique as I would give to any other work in English.

Sitting on the ground was a small blue animal, similar to a canid, but bipedal, its red eyes carefully watching the movement of the tides. On its torso could be seen a huge claw-like scar.
Behind him was an animal similar to a fox, with black hair and a small tuft of red fur on top of his head. He then stood up, crossing his arms. He recognized the Pokémon as his brother, Brian.
two reptile Pokemon, their scaly skin seemed to have been changed recently and their eyes moved independently, giving them the appearance of chameleons.
The way Pokémon species are described in the prose strikes me as kind of odd. It sounds like how someone in real life would describe Pokémon to someone unfamiliar with them, which is strange in a story definitely directed towards Pokémon fans who would already know what they look like. Using the word "animal" to describe Pokémon kind of takes the narration out of the world and hurts the immersion as I can't really see PMD Pokémon referring to themselves as such. "Canid" and "fox" are grayer cases, since there are multiple Pokémon that are canid or foxlike, so one could imagine them existing as words to describe these groups of Pokémon collectively... and now that I think about it, I suppose we also another chameleon Pokémon line outside Kecleon, so that could also work.

On an unrelated note, it seems that sometimes Pokémon is written with the accent on the e and sometimes not. I'm fine with either variant myself, but it would be better to stick to one or the other.

Lance turned his face to look at the owner of the voice
This phrasing is a bit clunky. I would personally go with something like "turned to look at the one who'd spoken" instead.

don't you think we are rushing too much?
"Rushing" by itself means that the action is done hastily, so it doesn't really pair up with "too much". You'd either say "don't you think we're rushing" or "don't you think we're moving too fast", having both is redundant.

"On the contrary, we'll have plenty of practice if we start soon. Learning the theory in the guild was good, but what counts is the experience! " the Riolu spoke with a happy tone, seeming to be excited about the idea.
"I'll... see you in a little while then." the Pokémon said with a visible expression of sadness, leaving the room in silence.
In places the prose gets a bit redundant when it comes to emotion and tells when it could show. To directly say someone is excited or their face was sad often comes across like it's spelling things out or talking down to the reader if it's something that the reader could have picked up by themselves from what's already there or a more subtle alternative.

In practice, what I mean is that Lance can already be understood as being excited due to his line sounding optimistic and ending with an exclamation point, and speaking with a happy tone only further establishes that. Adding that he seemed to be excited is not only overkill, but also quite bluntly put, which it has in common with the second example.

"Expression of sadness" feels... cold and clinical. Being so general, it's not very evocative. It tells the reader what it is, when it could instead show something that better paints a picture in the reader's mind and immerses them better. He could be frowning, or he could look at the floor - or as a canid, his ears could even flatten back! But the amazing thing is that you don't actually even need those to convey that he's saddened, since his hesitation in his words and silence upon leaving already imply that.

Lance continued walking with his brother, stopping to see the vendors.
This sentence seems to contradict itself, saying Lance was walking and stopping at the same time.

To their left, there was a store with various items
and taking some fruit from there, putting it in his mouth
He was thoughtful but was sure that his decision was the best he could have done.
Leaning on what I said just a bit ago - there's nothing actually wrong about these passages, but they're all rather vague in description, when they could be more specific about to make the scene more lively and engaging. "Various items" could be expanded to "scarves, goggles, berries and other items" or such, and "some fruit" could be... well, whatever the fruit he took out were.

The third example is more abstract, but provides a golden opportunity to make a character more fleshed out. What was he thinking about if he was so certain about his decision? Was he thinking about things important to him that he would miss once he was gone? Was he wondering about what would be ahead of them? Showing what a character thinks about and when can be a great way to show their values and motivations, which in turn makes them feel more like real people, which in turn makes them more engaging to read about.

"Yes, Mr. Spectra! What seeds do you have? My brother and I will travel tomorrow and we would like to prepare ourselves." Brian said as he ran towards the vendors' counter.

"Only Blast Seeds, unfortunately, the Reviver Seeds are unavailable, many exploration teams bought them already, I'm sorry." the other Kecleon spoke, crossing his arms.
On punctuation: in English, sentences that would normally end in a period end with a comma instead if they end the line of dialogue. I say "in English" specifically, because it's slightly different in my own language, so it might also be in yours. But in correct English punctuation, you'd get:

"Yes, Mr. Spectra! What seeds do you have? My brother and I will travel tomorrow and we would like to prepare ourselves," Brian said as he ran towards the vendors' counter.

"Only Blast Seeds, unfortunately. The Reviver Seeds are unavailable; many exploration teams bought them already. I'm sorry," the other Kecleon spoke, crossing his arms.
I also did some run-on sentence splicing again on the latter line as another example of that.

"You can have one, it's on the house! If by chance in your adventures you find some rare item, we will be happy to!"
Happy to... do what? I couldn't see any previous verb this could tie into. I'd assume they're saying they'd be happy to buy them, but the conversation only has to do with them selling things, so it doesn't fit into the dialogue.

the little blue Pokémon waved and walked away from there.
The door opened and the Zorua known as Brian entered quickly,
These phrases referring to the characters - epithets, as they're called - can sometimes feel contrived and needlessly complicated. Remember that it's alright to simply use a character's name. It might feel repetitive at first, but I assure you that it actually doesn't bother the reader as much as you fear they do. It's the same with the word "said": it's better to use it more often than trying to come up with a fresh verb every time.

Among the stores in the square, there was a bank, ruled by a gray Meowth, a building that looked like the head of a Machop, it was a training dojo, whose owners were a Machamp and a Hitmonlee and, further away from the village, a huge building with a visible sign.
"Dad will probably take a while to arrive, his team's mission seems to be dangerous, do you think he will come back in one piece?" Brian stared at the Riolu.
And good luck to you both, you'll need it, but as your uncle, I worry, be careful, okay?
Some of the lines in the prose and dialogue are pretty busy and hard to follow. In speech, it's more understandable - people do talk fast and jump from topic to topic in real life - but generally these so-called run-on sentences should be avoided. Proper punctuation helps people keep better track of where a sentence ends and where another starts. The first of these quotes was specifically confusing, since it's a list of buildings but also includes additional information right next to them, and I had to read it carefully to tell what clause was referring to what. I mean, one could technically read the end as the dojo being owned by a Machamp, Hitmonlee and a huge building.

The fix to run-on sentences is simple, however. Either split the sentence into as many parts as it needs to be to fix the problem, or add some more complex punctuation, like semicolons or dashes. Some commas may also be possible to drop. Example:

Among the stores in the square, there was a bank ruled by a gray Meowth, a building that looked like the head of a Machop — it was a training dojo whose owners were a Machamp and a Hitmonlee — and, further away from the village, a huge building with a visible sign.
Of course, the clauses can also be moved around to make splits work better. Here one option could be to separate the owners of the shops to their own sentences, for example: "The bank was ruled by a gray Meowth, while the dojo was owned by a Machamp and a Hitmonlee."

In it was written: "Exploration Guild Hero".
With signs, you'd use "on" rather than "in".

Brian lay down on the bottom bed, eating the fruit he had picked from the kitchen, and tried to call his brother. Realizing that he had slept, he sighed and closed his eyes, excited about what the future would bring for the duo. The two eventually slept, both with similar thoughts in their heads.
The prose here is kind of confusing, mainly due to the multiple "he"s referring to two different people. "Realizing that he had slept" after a sentence where Brian is the active agent would grammatically make the "he" point to Brian, when Lance is meant - and then after that, the "he"s do refer to Brian, adding to the confusion.

"He had slept", on the other hand, implies that the person had slept in the past and is no longer sleeping, which isn't true here... or I think so, but "the two eventually slept" makes it sound like neither of them were asleep before they were said to be sleeping.

Either way, here's a suggestion on making it clearer:

Brian lay down on the bottom bed, eating the fruit he had picked from the kitchen, and tried to call his brother. Realizing that his brother was sleeping, he sighed and closed his eyes, excited about what the future would bring for the duo. Eventually, he fell asleep as well, and the brothers' heads were filled with similar thoughts.
I'm actually not sure what the last part means, either, but I kept it in for the example.

"When I told him to pack his things, I didn't mean to do it on short notice ..." he said, yawning.
"Those scars will never come out... it's a mark that will stay forever with him and me. I couldn't help him then, but now I can..."
Something that often rubs me the wrong way in fiction is characters talking aloud by themselves. Sure, real people sometimes do it, but most of the time in fiction it comes off as if the character was talking to the camera. I'd rather put this dialogue in italics and have it be internal monologue rather than external, since external just makes me wonder what everyone else around thinks of this person that seems to be talking to dead air.

The second quote also felt jarring due to Brian seeming like he randomly knew his brother was thinking about his scars at the moment and so decided to think about them himself.

Good morning, brother!
Another pet peeve of mine - I've never actually heard anyone addressing their sibling as brother or sister in real life... although I am aware that this does happen in some cultures. If this was translated from the language of one that does do that, I apologize.

"You can go say goodbye to the guild, I'll have coffee and we'll meet at the village exit, okay?" he was talking with his arms crossed.
Typically -ing forms aren't used in dialogue tags. I suggest simply going for "he said" instead.

James was in his office, looking at the village through the window, taking an ice cream made with an Oran Berry.
Taking...? Does this mean eating, or did he physically take it out of something, like a refrigerator?

"I hope they do a good job..." James spoke to himself, licking the candy in his hand.
Ice cream really can't be referred to as "candy", in English at least. However, the later used "dessert" is fine.

extending his hand to little Pokemon.
*the little Pokemon?

It's been 8 years...
especially considering you're both only 16
let him know what we did, ok?
Brian just nodded and left the room running.
He then began to walk without even looking back.
All of these quotes have something in common, and it's tone or style that doesn't really fit prose writing or specifically prose writing with an objective(ish) 3rd person narrator. Numbers under twenty are better suited to be written out in letters in most contexts - putting them in as numbers comes across as somewhat lazy, even if that wasn't the intention. "OK" is an abbreviation of "okay" rather than a word by itself, so it'd be better off as written in all capitals or the word, preferably the latter.

In the remaining two quotes, my issue is with the words "just" and "even". Both come across as pretty colloquial, which works against the otherwise objective tone of the narration. "Just" could be replaced with the more neutral "only", and "even" could be dropped.

Brian went to another corner of the place,
its rays illuminating the place,
"Place" is another term that feels too colloquial in narration, at least in these contexts. The first could replace it with "room" (if it was the corner of a room) and the second with "area" or "scene".

looking at the sign that indicated to tourists who had arrived in the village,
Indicated what? I guess it's the fact that the tourists are in the village now, but grammatically this is incomplete.

Turning his eyes,
It's odd to have "turning" paired with "eyes"... It'd fit better with "head". "Moving" works better with "eyes", though "moving his eyes" then sounds like he's looking around aimlessly and happens to spot his brother, which might not be what you meant.


General Thoughts

I will be honest - I think this could be stronger as a first chapter. There currently isn't much for a reader to be invested in - there is the mystery behind Lance's scars, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be the focus, at least for a while.

A lot of this chapter is simply the two leads talking about leaving for their journey, which by itself is not very exciting. It can work, but with this chapter, I didn't feel like there was quite enough to learn from their talk to get interested in this journey or the two brothers as characters. The author's notes give a summary of both, but the prescribed personalities didn't come across to me very strongly from the text itself, which they ideally should, given it's the first chapter. A first chapter's mission is to introduce the audience to the story and its characters and give the reader some hook to make them want to continue reading. Here, though, the hook doesn't feel very strong - likely the draw is meant to be the journey the two leads are about to take, but in the end, we know pretty little about what it'll actually be like. They say they'll do missions and see new places... but again, it's very vague. Imagine a pamphlet for a spa that says they have baths and nothing else. It's a bit like that.

Oh, but I will say that something caught my curiosity here, and it's that this setting seems to have modern(ish) technology, with mentions of refrigerators and radios. That's an interesting contrast when most PMD fiction and the games themselves are largely pre-industrial, and it could go into an intriguing direction, combining more modern technology with the known PMD conventions.

I'm sorry that this review ended up being pretty critical, but I hope I've managed to be constructive about it. From your Discord messages, though, it sounds like you're eager to learn and get better, which is a good attitude - and with fourteen chapters already, you seem motivated about this story. So, good luck with writing further, and feel free to reply here or on the Discord if you've got any questions about the points in this review. See you around!


Bug Catcher
Alrighty, *cracks knuckles* time to review chapter 1, revised! For starters, great improvements! This version is definitely better, in my opinion. I can tell you took critique and tried to adapt it, which is great! Opening with the dream is good. Some may say a dream sequence is cliche but honestly, I like it. It clearly has crucial ties to the character's motives and backstory, so I daresay it works well.

I also felt this version read smoother, in the sense that I got a little better idea who these brothers are and where they are headed. Less jarring and hard to follow.

You've also done good at making the two brothers feel distinct. Lance feels reserved and neutral, bordering on being bitter at times. Brian feels more upbeat and chipper, the positive one. This will probably make for a great dynamic down the road, exploring their contrasting views and personalities.

Mentioning the name number 10 is good, it gives a tease that there's something off about this Riolu. I'm glad you also mentioned where they are headed. That's important to establish. The best way to add to this is to also explain why they are headed there. Do they want to join a guild over there? Do they seek to become heroes, do they want wealth or fame? Even if motives change later as your characters develop, establishing a small goal can be very helpful.
For example, maybe they want to travel to Bright Dawn to make a name for themselves and become famous heroes like their father. But when they get there they find out no one respects them because they are young. Now you've given a small conflict.
It doesn't have to look exactly like this, of course. Do what fits your story. But giving them both a what and a why will help readers connect.

Now, a lot of readers have already commented on some awkward prose and grammar I think. I feel like a lot of that stems from not being a native English speaker? English is a ridiculously weird language so I assume some of the stiffness comes from that. I won't really harp on that, except to say a dedicated beta with native English writing skills will help. If not, make sure to keep reading plenty and trying to analyze what works.

I think you're doing a fantastic job for a first time writer!

Here's some quick tips to smooth this chapter. These aren't precisely criticisms, just some suggestions from a native English speaker to help things sound smoother.

"What are you going to do now, Number 10?" it just said,
Eliminate 'just'

The canid trembled and looked around, trying to find an exit. The Fighting-Type suddenly heard a laugh coming from behind him and gasped in shock, turning around.
The second sentence can be worded smoother by phrasing it like this 'A laugh echoed behind him and he gasped in shock, turning around.'

"Lance, you're fine," he said, trying to convince himself of that. Gazing at his reflection, Lance put his paw on his chest. "It was just another nightmare."
This is some pretty good dialogue mixed with character action. I liked it!

"Well, my stuff is packed, hopefully, my brother's as well." he shrugged.
Dialogue is always hard to punctuate. I constantly struggle with it too.
Here's a handy guide. View: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/354095589454212242/

As the door opened, a Zorua ran inside the office, a toothy grin on his face. He stopped, looking at the Fire-Type.

"Good morning Uncle James! It's me!"
You can move James's dialogue to the same line as his action takes place.
'The door opened and a Zorua ran inside the office, a toothy grin on his face. "Good morning Uncle James!"'
“We’ll be going to Bright Dawn, the biggest city on Eutrios!” Brian said, transforming himself into a Metang. “It’s gonna be so fun, we’ll work by ourselves!” he shapeshifted again, becoming a Machamp, flexing his muscles.
Great job adding where they are going. This detail helped a lot.

“You’re excited about this, aren't you?” James clapped at that show.

“Yes, yes! Lance is…” he went back to normal, ears drooping. “He’s as neutral as usual, I guess.”
Noice mixing dialogue and character emotes!
(Just change it from 'James clapped at that show' to 'the'.)

To say that he was in a small house was an understatement. In front of Lance, there was a staircase leading to the living room, where he went. After getting there, the Riolu could see a big sofa and a bookcase right in front, with a radio set on it. On the right, a corridor led to the kitchen, and on the other side, another corridor leading to guest rooms and bathrooms.

"Brian must have already left," Lance kept walking, headed towards the kitchen. After all, he needed to eat.

The kitchen had a table for five Pokémon and a fireplace in the back, wood already placed. Lance went to a corner, opening a refrigerator, and taking an apple, eating it in silence. After finishing it, the Riolu then left the house, a stern look on his face.
So this is a golden opportunity to remember to describe through your character's eyes. Instead of telling the reader what his house is like, show how Lance sees it. I will give you an example.
'Lance descended the stairs to his living room, glancing around for any sign of his brother. The well-worn sofa in the corner was empty, the bookshelf beside it was neatly organized. Leave it to Brian to organize their bookshelf before he left. A radio in the center of the room sat untouched, covered in a layer of dust. It had been a gift from his Uncle James but ended up unused. Books had always interested him more than fancy technology.
His stomach rumbled, reminding him of how hungry he was, so he made a beeline for the kitchen.'

Now, yours won't have to look exactly like mine, nor should it. But when you're in a scene, try to picture it in your head. Ask yourself, how does my character feel about this? Does he hate the sight of his living room? Maybe he can't wait to leave. What are his thoughts and opinions on the world around him? Is the living room untouched perhaps because the two brothers are always out exploring? Is it messy? Meticulously organized? If you intended to describe something, make sure to try and reveal something through the description.
Since you know your characters better than me, you can decide what details to include.
Don't go overboard, a sentence or two is fine. But I always find a small detail here and there can bring a world to life. It's a great way to link a character to the outside world.

Meanwhile, Lance walked around the town’s beach, contemplating the ocean’s waves that were splashing the Riolu’s feet and far away, a few Lapras swimmed. He needed that moment, away from all problems and distractions. To not remember what made the nightmares begin.
Lapras swam?
Also, this prose reads a bit odd. I think it's a run-on sentence and can be split into two. 'Meanwhile, Lance walked around the town’s beach, contemplating the ocean’s waves as they splashed his feet. In the distance, he spotted a few Lapras swimming through the ocean.'
This just the gist of it. As long as you are writing within the same sentence, you can generally just say 'he' instead of 'the Riolu'.

Determined to fulfill that promise, the Riolu took a deep breath, wrapping a gray bandana around his head and then walked away, to the place he had agreed with his brother.
Where did he agree to meet his brother? Unless there was an intentional reason to withhold their meeting place from the audience, you might as well say it. Alternatively, you could just say 'Riolu took a deep breath, wrapping a gray bandana around his head before walking away to meet up with his brother.' Unless you mentioned a specific spot, there's no need to say it here.

I think that settles my small commentary.

Now overall, I think you've done a good job making improvements! I can see a definite change from your first version. There is a marked improvement.

Strong points: Distinct characters and personalities. A few pieces of nice dialogue. Good development from your first version.

Points to work on: Keep working on that prose though! I think you're doing decent, considering that you said you're not a native English speaker, which is why some of it feels weird. Not bad, just weird at times. Mostly in the sense that there are minute grammatical errors and nuances which probably read a little awkward.
Work on establishing motive and scenes.
Here's another quick tip. If you can avoid it, don't use the same word to begin a sentence consecutively. It can make a paragraph feel repetitive. Just that small change, applied to the whole story, can really help!

Overall, I truly you're doing very well, heading in a good direction!! I think your biggest hurdle to overcome is just that icky language thing, cause English is just... awful. Really hard to learn. I think you have some very good potential, especially given how you improved even from your first to second revision.

Final note: I don't think you need the character descriptions at the top. Your first chapter says enough already and provides the very same details. :) So good job there, feel free to remove that since the story tells us.

I think that covers my first chapter thoughts. I'll try to review chapter 2 sometime in the next few days. If I forget, don't be afraid to remind me! And if you have any questions or want clarification, feel free to DM me.

Keep up the good work!
Dungeon 15 - The kids aren't alright New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 15 - The kids aren't alright
Lance woke up, seeing himself in the cave where he and his brother went, following the Snover's call for help. There was the Zorua, who had just woken up in front of him. And, deeper down, the Sigilyph who had made them both remember those deep memories. The Riolu got up, growling until he realized he had gone through those terrible experiments and days again. With his whole body shaking, he threw up and fell to the ground, not knowing what to do.

“H-Hey!” scared, Brian noticed what happened. Irritated by that, he turned to face the enemy Pokémon.

“Ah, I wanted to kill you while you were sleeping, but it seems you got rid of it so fast…”

“You made a very serious mistake…” the Zorua's blue eyes started to glow as he put himself in a combat position. After eating one of the Oran Berries he had, he was ready to attack.

“Did I? And what would that be, little Zorua?” The Sigilyph mocked Brian, keeping himself in the air.

“You hurt my brother... I don't know what he saw, but it's enough for me to kick your ass!” The boy's body was wrapped in a red aura, and he disappeared, activating his illusion.

“Did you forget that you are no longer immune to my attacks?” the Psychic-type gave a small laugh.

“Of course I know, but here's the thing... I think you need to taste your own medicine! Copycat!” his voice came from behind the psychic Pokémon and, imitating the previous movement, Brian used Hypnosis, hitting the Sigilyph, who started sleeping.

The Zorua fell to the ground, growling, his fur erect as he stared at the enemy, still angry at him, when Brian rammed against the Sigilyph, the dark type’s body glowing black.

“Pursuit! And Fury Swipes!” he declared the attack, the Sigilyph could only get hit, still sleeping, being dragged to the ground, until he woke up by the damage, screaming in pain.

“I'm not finished with you yet.” Brian took another Orb and became invisible again.

“You idiot! Air Cutter!” Flapping his wings, he created a cut in the air when he was hit by the orb, falling to the ground without being able to move even a muscle.

“Let's go…” Brian appeared behind his opponent, his body shining in a red tone. To finish the Sigilyph off, he shot a dark energy ball at him, knocking him out. Undoing the illusion, the boy fell to the ground, without energy.

“Brian…” his brother, staggering, seemed to fall at any moment, but even so, Lance decided to get closer.

“We won…” panting, the Zorua closed his eyes.

“You did all this for me? I can't believe it…” he murmured, lips trembling.

“Relax, you’re important to me,” Brian grinned.

Lance didn't know how to react. For all the years since he was kidnapped, the boy closed off his emotions. But this time, it seemed he could finally feel something, some genuine happiness. Looking at the ceiling and pondering for a few moments, he fell, exhausted. Thinking fast, he opened his backpack, taking the last Orb he had.

“Come on... we need to go back and leave this guy with the detective..." he said, touching the Sigilyph's body.

“Okay…” Brian agreed, leaning against the orb.

The Riolu hit the Orb on the ground, making the three of them shine, disappearing from there. Another battle was won by the duo, but not everything seemed to be fine.

A day had passed after the confrontation and the explorer duo were now at the police station, seeing their opponent being taken to jail. Lance, with his arms crossed, was looking at the Sigilyph as he came out of the Riolu’s field of vision when he heard the noise of someone pigeoning. When he turned around, he saw detective Apollo.

“Thanks a lot, children,” the Arcanine smiled at them, showing his teeth.

“You're welcome. I'd like to warn you that we won't be able to execute the plan today, my brother and I are exhausted,” the Riolu said, glancing at the Zorua.

“Yeah... we need to talk some things in private,” he just shrugged.

“Right. So meet me here tomorrow,” after he finished talking, the cop walked out of there.
They both left the place, walking the streets of the city. During the walk to their apartment, they looked at the population, who remained doing their activities normally.

“They don't seem to suspect the dark side here,” Lance sighed.

“Well, it's not as if those guys were killing indiscriminately…”

“They still have to pay,” the Riolu closed his fist, growling.

“I understand... by the way, I was serious at the police station, we need to talk!”

“I... know…” biting his lips, he kept walking.

When they arrived at their home, both of the siblings went straight to the apartment upstairs. After locking the door, they sat down on the couch, staying a few moments in silence. Neither wanted to say anything.

“Ok! I'll start it here…” Brian said loud, looking at his brother.

“Go ahead,” hesitating a little, Lance averted his gaze.

“I kept remembering a few things because of that Sigilyph,” lowering his ears, he didn't seem to want to talk about it, yet he took the courage to continue. “From that time you disappeared.”

Those words hit the Riolu like a stab in the boy's heart. The subject of the conversation was very delicate, even after eight years of what happened.

“I also did. My dream ended with Blitz.”

“Blitz?! Wow, I wish things had worked out between you two,” Brian noticed that he had deviated from the subject and shook his head. “I never knew what happened when you got taken. If you want-”

“No,” Lance cut his brother’s sentence, breathing deeply. “I'm sorry, I... I went through a lot there. I had to kill to survive, because of the crazy scientist who drugged and tortured me for a month...

“I'm sorry Lance, I shouldn't have asked,” Brian gulped, ears lowered, remembering that he wanted to do something to stop his brother. For a moment, he wished he could go back in time and correct that. But it was impossible.

“That's ok. It was hard to go through all that alone, I... thought I had overcome it. The worst part is, it's the second time I thought that. The last time was when I was with the Blitz ... during the time we were together I felt happy,” Lance looked down, his ears drooping as he reminisced. “I don't know what I was thinking.”

“Using him to try to solve your problems was not a good thing to do, even if you both loved each other,” Brian said, and his brother just nodded. “Even so, I know I can't make your trauma disappear, but... I hope I can help you.”

“T-Thank you, Brian,” embarrassed, Lance blushed. “You’re my partner on this journey and my brother, I trust you, I just don't know how to show it.”

“I also care about you, know that I will be here for whatever you need,” Brian gave a faint smile, wagging his tail. “You don't need to hide anything from me!”

“Okay. I can't promise anything, only I guarantee I'll think about it. I'm really tired. I'll see you later,” yawning, the boy got up, going into his room.

“Hopefully, everything will be fine,” stretching, the Zorua did the same thing as his brother, entering the room and throwing himself into bed, immediately falling asleep.

While Lance was lying in bed, he began to reflect on the last part of the dream he had during the fight. The Riolu remembered the time they had spent together, where he was happy, despite all that happened.

“I loved you, but... I hurt you a lot... I wish it had worked out, I'm not good with relationships, I guess. Not with everything that happened to me,” the boy gnashed his teeth. “I don't have time to think about it, I need to plan how to get rid of those three... for good or for bad,” he closed his eyes, falling asleep.

In the other room, Brian was asleep, moving on his bed and sweating. In his mind, he could see himself at the exit of his city. The place was covered with a dense fog, and you could hardly see what was far away. Striving to see, the boy saw a silhouette with a familiar shape. Raising his eyes, he recognized it as his brother and started running, but he didn't seem to leave the place, even if he tried while Lance moved further and further away, making a crying noise.

“AH!” Brian gasped, waking up from the nightmare. With his body trembling, he began to breathe slowly, in an attempt to calm down. “I have to be strong... as Uncle Shiron said, I will protect him and none of that will happen again!” Pondering, he went back to sleep.

Three hours later

At dusk, detective Apollo was leaving the police station after a long day. The plan he had made with the two boys was about to be executed and until now, everything was in accordance. When he entered his residence, he saw, standing there, a Gothitelle, staring at him in silence and holding an envelope.

“The mayor's secretary” rolling his eyes, the Arcanine waited to see what she would do.

“My name is Jane, detective. But that doesn't matter much at the moment,” she put the paper on a desk. “I know you're still conducting the investigation and the mayor would like to make a deal with you.”

“He wants me to stop…”

“Well, you can continue if you want, after all, you're free to do it... however, I can't guarantee that everything will happen without problems.”

“And you think I'm just going to ignore a corruption that's in front of me?!” he shouted, growling and preparing to attack.

“The choice is yours, but like every choice, it has consequences... you have until tomorrow to decide,” the woman walked out the door of the house in silence.

“Shit!” Apollo said, smoke coming out of his mouth.

After they woke up and had breakfast, the duo was prepared to execute the plan, which meant they would have to go to the police station to pick up the recorders. That way they left.

“Even after that last fight, we will still have to arrest the other three,” Brian shrugged.

“I had an idea that will allow us to settle the score with those guys,” he smirked. “They need to get a taste of their own medicine.”

“I think I know what you're getting at, but we're gonna have to get this right…”

“You see, brother, you’re going to play a big role, I trust you with it.” Lance’s smile widened as he kept walking. “You do wanna help me, right?”

“O-Of course!” Brian had a goofy grin on his face.

The two of them stopped at the entrance and then went inside the place, going to the Arcanine's office. As they arrived, the explorers saw the policeman walking in circles, while he mumbled a few words to himself. When he noticed the boys, Apollo turned to face them.

“Good morning, and I have some not very good news for you,” he said, lowering his ears.

“What happened?” The Riolu asked, sitting on a chair.

“The mayor’s secretary tried to bribe me, and honestly, I don't know what to do,” he sighed.

“Do they even know our plan?” this time, it was the Zorua who asked the question.

“I don't know, but messing with the most powerful Pokémon here is pretty dangerous,” Apollo grumbled, still unsure what to do about that.

“No. That's how they win,” Lance closed his eyes, analyzing the situation. “If we fall into their game, nothing will change.”

“My brother's right, I don't want to see someone like that get away with murder!” Brian stared at the cop.

“Right,” Apollo scratched his chin. “I understand, so let's get on with it. Will you two go to your positions now?”

“Exactly,” Lance nodded.

“Ok. So let's do it,” opening the drawer, he took two devices, delivering them to the duo.

“Our plan... will not fail,” keeping the recorder in his backpack, Lance left with his brother.

“Good luck boys,” Apollo gulped, hoping for the best.

After leaving the police station, they both went in opposite directions, Lance going to the Black Skull guild, while Brian went to the city hall. Determined to solve the case, the boys wanted to accomplish the task.

“I wanna kick that guys’ ass, but I'll have to control myself,” sighing, the Zorua ran, getting closer and closer to the building, and when he entered, he saw the Gothitelle on the desk.

“Good morning, do you have an appointment?” she asked without even looking at the boy.

“For him, I will make an exception. It's always good to see what explorers have to say to me,” the Alakazam spoke, coming down the stairs.

“Let's do this Brian, you can’t screw it up!” taking a deep breath, he went up next to the psychic Pokémon, turning on the recording device and keeping it in his backpack.

“So, can you tell me what you came here to do, boy? I’ll have to get used to all of these visits,” he said, sitting on the chair.

“I've been here before if you didn’t know!”

“Yes. Dark-types. You are immune to my psychic attacks,” he got up, looking at the city through the window. “Well, let me ask you something. What do you think you'll gain by continuing on this journey? Recognition? Fame? Things like that come and go.”

“At the moment, bringing closure to someone who is suffering... but the question I want to know... the reason. What led you to hire those mercenaries?” Brian’s ears dropped as he backed away, hoping that the recorder was working properly.

“Whoever controls the city controls a lot of things, kid. He was an obstacle that had to be eliminated.”

“So he only got killed for being in your way?! He had a family!” That was the last straw. Brian snarled, his body glowing red.

“And you're the one who's going to lose if you keep this up,” the Alakazam turned around, staring at the Zorua. “Next time, they won’t fail.”

“That's what I needed... thanks!” Becoming invisible, the boy ran outside the room, turning off the recorder.

The mayor squinted his eyes at that, without understanding why he just ran away.
“Strange, there's no reason he did that, unless... the police!” he clenched his teeth, calling the secretary. “Don't let him escape, he must have recorded the conversation!”

Brian was almost leaving the place, when something grazed the Zorua's head, causing a small explosion that distracted him, making him visible again. Looking back, he saw the Gothitelle with some seeds in her left hand. Extending his right arm, the boy's backpack shone, being lifted in the air by telekinesis.

“I'm sorry, but I can't let you get away with this…” she said as the bag got near.

“Shit! Lady, I don't have time for this! Pursuit!” Moving fast, he collided with the female, decentralizing her and making her backpack fall to the ground.

After the collision, the secretary threw another seed at Zorua, which exploded on contact, throwing him to the ground. As he tried to get up, he realized that his body was not responding correctly, making an effort not to fall on the ground with dizziness.

“You may be immune, but not invincible,” she took the backpack with her free hand, moving inside.

“Totter... Seed... shit... Pursuit!” trying to use the move, he hit himself, unbalancing and falling to the ground.

When he got up, concentrating as much as he could, he fired a dark energy ball into the seeds that Gothitelle was carrying, generating another burst and knocking her out. Suddenly, one of the seeds shone and Gothitelle got up, her energy restored.

“You have a Reviver Seed?!” he gasped, shaking his head. “Focus, Brian! The effects are already diminishing!”

“Tsc... Brick Break!” seeing that her items no longer worked, she stood up, her arms shining. Then, the woman advanced against the boy.

Without having time to react right, Brian was hit hard, falling to the ground with his body sore from the attack. Even so, he didn't plan to give up that fight and got up with difficulty, his eyes shining in a red tone, determined to overcome that obstacle. The shine intensified, covering the boy's entire body, which ran in the direction of the opponent. As he walked, he grew in size and his paws developed claws. The hair clump on his head stretched out on his back, becoming a full mane.

“Night... Daze!” He declared, jumping back after approaching, dispersing the red aura that was on his body. Despite trying to dodge, the Gothitelle collided with the wall and fell to the ground, fainting.

Panting, the newly evolved Zoroark took his backpack, and, before the mayor could return, he ran out of there. Stumbling and falling flat on the ground, Brian got up, running again.

“Okay, I'll need to get used to walking on two legs... but at least I made it! I hope Lance made it too…”

So, the boy followed towards the police station with the recorded conversation, stumbling a few times while getting used to his new shape. Until now, everything was going as planned. It was up to the boy to trust that his brother would fulfill his part of the strategy.
Dungeon 16 - Unwavering Actions New


Exploration Team leader
Dungeon 16 - Unwavering Actions

The wind blew as Lance went inside the Black Skull guild’s building. Stoic as always, he focused on the mission, going straight to the guildmaster’s office. The boy had already planned how he was going to convince him to reveal himself and gave a light smile, opening the door.

“Ah, it's the young explorer... to what do I owe the pleasure of his visit? I'm sorry about what happened in your apartment,” Swalot was in his chair and turned his eyes to Lance.

“Shut up.” Lance spoke, sitting on the chair. “Anyone with enough neurons would realize that this situation is too convenient for you.”

“Excuse me?!” Looking away, he shuddered slightly, but remained pretending ignorance. “I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Is that how you want to play it? Fine. Let me explain it for you,” sighing, Lance stared into the eyes of the poisonous Pokémon. “Evidence number one: you wanted to interrupt our investigation. Number two: shortly after we confronted Alakazam, we were attacked in our apartment. Number three: while I was in the hospital, my brother decided to talk to you again... and of course, he has the element of stealth with him. Who would have thought that he would listen to your conversation on the phone?”

“Boy, stop being an idiot and an idealist! This is the adult world! You don't know how it-”

“Shut up! Don't assume for one second that I don't know how things work!” Lance hit the table, snarling to the Swalot.

The Riolu bared his teeth and stopped, taking a deep breath, Lance put his hands on his face to calm down and continue the conversation.

“You are a despicable being, Robert.”

“As I said, that's how adults work! Don't come with that idealistic talk! Those who don't have the power need to find ways to do it... it's survival!”

“Silence. I understand perfectly. I have suffered a lot and I know exactly how things work. You're pathetic, a Pokémon like you shouldn't be running this guild... an accomplice to murder,” he stood up, eyes fixed on the guildmaster “I can’t stand around doing nothing. Only justice can bring peace.”

The Swalot trembled, breath and heart rate accelerated. He couldn’t believe that this kid, who just got on the town, was already trying to make him go to jail. However, there was still something Robert could do.

“So what?!” he grinned. “You can't do anything, the police have no proof of my involvement!”

“Shit!” Lance’s eyes squinted and he backed away. “This detail... I came here for nothing.” The boy lowered his ears and closed his fists.

“Exactly! I work with them and in exchange the mayor finances me! But you can't do anything, you're weak... Fortunately, I'm in a good mood, I'll let you out, but if you keep doing this, the mercenaries won’t be the only Pokémon you’ll need to worry about,” after finishing the sentence, the purple Pokémon started laughing out loud.

“N-No…” Lance said in a low tone and left the building.

After leaving the guild, the boy walked towards the police station, smiling and grabbing the recorder in his backpack. Swalot fell into the trap as planned. Happy that his plan worked, Lance went on to meet his brother.

“Okay, if he did his part, then I'll have to use Brian's strength again…” thinking, he rolled his eyes, seeing Zoroark at the police station door.

“Heya, little brother!” Brian gave a broad smile, making the sign of peace with his fingers.

“You evolved... congratulations.”

“Thanks,” he said scratching his head. “Oh, I have my recording. And you?”

“What do you think?” Lance showed the device.

“So come on, Apollo's waiting for us!” so the two of them entered the scene, heading to the Arcanine's office.

The Arcanine was on a chair built for quadruped Pokémon, waiting for the boys to show up. When he heard the door, the canine’s gaze shifted to the entrance.

“Kids! How was it? Everything went well?!” Apollo approached them.

“We have the necessary proof. So, answering your question... yes.” Lance put his recorder on the table and soon his brother did the same.

“You... really did it,” the Arcanine's tail began to wag quickly and he gasped.

“We never had any doubts about our ability,” the Fighting-type gave a light smile.

“That's right... but what now? You still have those three,” Brian spoke, looking at them.

“Well, without the political support, I think it will be easier to arrest them.”

“I have a suggestion,” the Riolu raised his arm.

“Let's listen carefully, kid.” Apollo nodded.

“My brother and I will arrest them personally. After all, it was we who received the mission from that Tyrunt,” Lance squinted his eyes. “They need to receive the proper punishment.

“I don't see any problem with that, but... do you happen to have a plan?” Apollo looked at them, trying to understand what they were going to do.

“Actually, they gave me the idea... we're gonna do it their way…”

Brian realized his sibling’s plan, based on all the conversations they had after the battle with the Sigilyph.

“Wait! You want to forge a mission for them?!” Brian gasped, surprised at his brother's idea.

“Exactly,” Lance crossed his arms. “Detective, you have informants on the dark side of town, correct? Brian can pretend to be a client. Now that he's a Zoroark, his illusionist skills are better than before.”

“Yeah, but... don't you think it's dangerous? Your brother may end up being discovered, even with the support of my informant…”

“Oh, that's right. I'm sorry, Brian,” the kid shrugged, looking at the Zoroark. “Well, I can try to do it myself then... but maybe it would be more risky…”

“No! I will! I'm the best fit for that!” Brian declared, worried about what would happen to Lance if he went to do that part of the mission.

“Okay, so, detective, do we have a deal?” he said stretching his hand to the Arcanine.

“Yes,” Apollo shook Lance’s hand with his paw. “You guys can go home, I have to mobilize the cops to arrest the two of them, and probably make an announcement to everybody... come here tomorrow and I'll give you more instructions, ok?”

“Ok!” Brian agreed and walked away from there.

Lance decided to do the same, when he heard Apollo coughing. Turning back, he saw that the detective was banging his paws on the ground again and again.

“I understood what you did, kid... it wasn't very nice... especially with someone close…”

“Yes, I manipulated him so he could accept it. He's very protective, and that can be useful sometimes,” Lance walked out of the room.

“I hope this doesn't turn against you, kid,” he said, watching the Riolu leave.

On the way home, they both looked happy. After all, they just accomplished a successful mission. Brian was getting used to using two legs and his new height.

“Hey, now that we've taken the mayor out of office... Do Pokémon have elections here? It's not like we're citizens here... I think,” Pondering, the Zoroark scratched his chin.

“I didn't have time to fix that part because of all the mess with those mercenaries. But I think if Apollo tried, he'd be able to run... it would be good for him. He's an honest cop and after all we've seen around here, I'm surprised.”

“Yeah... we've only been living here a short time, but it doesn't look like it. How do you think things are at home?”

“Knowing Dad, he must still be on the mission... they went to the extreme northwest of our continent... I hear it's an island run by a monarchy.”

“Monarchy... we hardly see that around here anymore…”

“Indeed. Well, I'm starving... we can order food today too,” Lance looked up, smiling to his friend.

“Or you could learn to cook, you know?” Lance's brother laughed for a bit.

“Your tongue grew along with that evolution of yours,” he sighed.

“Relax, little brother, someday you'll become a Lucario!” Brian nodded, stretching his body.

“Obviously. I can't be a Riolu forever, my aura skills wouldn't be good enough,” entering the building, he went upstairs to the apartment.

Away from the two, Mayor Alakazam hit his table hard, even pushing the furniture, knocking it to the floor. On the first floor of the building, the Arcanine came next to two Pokémon: one Dewott and one Throh.

“Lee, be careful, he might try something and has type advantage.” Apollo said to Throh and turned his look to Dewott. “Jack, prepare your shells in case the force is needed. We'll take him into custody as soon as possible.”

The three policemen followed, seeing the secretary fainted. Signaling Lee to take care of her, he went up to the Alakazam room next to Dewott. When they got there, the mayor walked away, trembling with fear and at the same time clenching his teeth, all because he had been exposed by a simple Zorua.

“Please, I'll pay…”

“Mayor Prometheus. You're under arrest on a charge of murder,” unable to hide his smile, Apollo faced the Alakazam. “Anything you say can and will be used againt-

“No! You can't do this to me! You can't do this to me!” he started to float, eyes glowing in a pink tone. “You little, insolent brats-”

Without time to finish the sentence, the psychic Pokémon was hit by a seed and fell to the ground, sleeping. The Dewott closed his bag.

“Okay, boss, now we can take him... we'll have to report it,” the Water-type said, staring at the detective.

“The others must have taken the Swalot by now. They'll be great cellmates. Now only the mercenaries are missing,” he grinned.

“Are you really gonna trust them both to catch those criminals? I mean, their plan is good, but risky.”

“It was because of them that we managed to arrest those corrupt guys, so I'll have to believe, even though I don't like that Riolu's idea,” he shrugged.

“Alright,” the Dewott turned around. “Anything else we should do, boss?”

“Jack, I'd like you to investigate this building for more evidence, it may be necessary. I have to prepare things for the press... okay, I admit it's gonna be horrible to do, but it'll be worth it!”

As night fell, three Pokémon were in their usual place, a bar. Aggron, Empoleon and Bisharp were sitting at the table, talking among themselves about the last days.

“You heard the rumors, right? Delphis was captured,” Atlas said, rolling his eyes.

“Well, it means he was weak if he couldn't handle two boys,” Flint said, scraping the blades of his arm on the table.

“If you blame me again, I swear I will leave this organization, it's not all my fault that I wish to pay for the things I want!” Angry, the aquatic Pokémon yelled at his companions.

“Nobody said anything, and what's this idea of leaving? We've been together since we were teenagers!” Atlas growled, angry at what he heard.

“Anyway, it's just rumors. We have to be patient, maybe they're still in that cave.”

“Oh, they better be!” Atlas closed his fists, his tail hitting the ground hard.

Thinking about the next actions, the two rival groups wanted to give everything to prevent the other from succeeding in combat. But one idea was common to both leaders.

“I'll win... even if I have to... “ the Riolu thought while having dinner.

“Kill them,” Atlas pondered, confident in his decision.


Bug Catcher
Heart of Steel
First. Good title. Love titled chapters. And I like this one quite a bit!

Alrighty! Chapter 2! Now to begin, I say, good job! The overall story here is good, characters solid for the story setting. You've set up an interesting second chapter. We have a pokemon seemingly running to be mayor of a town, running afoul of some shady characters. We get to meet a shady group of mercenaries, hired by the current mayor to eliminate the competition. This mercenary guild may be bad news later... I stayed interested the whole time, from opening with the assassination to closing with Flint leaving the current mayors office. Kinda gives me the vibes of a cop show where somebody dies in the first 5 min, lol.

I don't have any complaints about story beats so far. Your main struggles seem to fall under the grammar/syntax category, which is good. I figure the longer you write the better it will get. Syntax is something that simply takes time, patience, and practice to develop, which you seem to be doing a good job with. You are showing steady improvement.

That said, I'll dive straight into some loose critique! This is mostly going to just be me offering insight into smoothing over prose and such.

In the middle of the night, a Druddigon was running through the streets, blood dripping from his arms and heart palpitating. The Pokémon looked back to make sure there was no one following him and stopped in an alley. Panting, he leaned against the wall, grumbling to himself about the situation he was in.
This piece of prose is pretty good!

He panted, trying to reason with whoever was there.

our team doesn't like to leave an unfinished job
This wording feels a bit awkward, 'a job unfinished' might be better.

A voice spoke, but he couldn't see anyone on the spot.
Try 'He heard a voice, but he couldn't see anyone.'

chest filled with blood.
So technically, someone's chest is already filled with blood. If he's bleeding, you might want to describe him getting sliced and blood leaking from his chest.

"Mercenaries... I've heard of you, all members are steel type and do several dirty jobs..."
type-coded villains I see ;)

Razor used all his strength to get up, in his mouth the flames grew and he let out a puff towards the Bisharp.
a puff of flames gives the impression of a very weak attack. If this is what you want to convey, good. If you want to show he's using a stronger attack, you might try describing it with a more forceful word. Like 'shot a fireball' at Bisharp or 'a stream of flames at the Bisharp'.

"He used Substitute!" Razor said, feeling his body weakening with the loss of blood he suffered, but remained alert.
I'd split this into two sentences.
"He used Substitute!" Razor said, feeling his body weakening with the loss of blood he suffered. Despite his weakness however, he remained alert.

But unfortunately for you, I always do my jobs..."
this dialogue reads a bit weird. Unless you intentionally do want Bisharp to have unusual dialogue. There's a lot of free reign when it comes to wording dialogue.
That said, I don't think there's a need to make jobs plural.

In another area of the city, an Empoleon and Aggron talked between sips of the beer they were drinking. They were in a place where mercenaries used to go in order to find jobs for them to fulfill.
Since you just switched scenes, and POV, try adding some sentences to set the mood and tone. My general rule of thumb when describing an area is to start big and work my way in.
For instance, if I start a chapter with my character in a cafe, I might begin by describing sunlight filtering through the windows. This means it's daytime. Then I describe how the cafe is small and crowded. Finally, I describe a single tasty pastry in the display case.
This helps the reader build a mental image of the area. It can be jarring if a reader thinks a scene is in the daytime when its really a night.
As it was, I struggled in this particular sentence because they could have been standing anywhere and drinking a beer. And what place do the mercenaries go to find jobs? Is at an office building? A seedy bar? A fancy hotel that secretly gives mercenaries jobs? This is your chance to do some world building!

"Napoleon! You know I couldn't have sent you on this mission, you can't see a coin without wanting to get it!" The white Pokémon spoke with a laugh, looking at his companion.
Haha! An Empoleon named Napoleon? I like it.

"And you, Atlas, are too scared... This is a unique opportunity! End the competition of the mayor of this city! We were going to win a huge amount of money!" The Empoleon grumbled, drinking some more of the beer.
Do you mean 'End the competition for the mayor of the city?'
Also, the use of 'were' in this sentence throws me off. I take it maybe Napoleon and Atlas didn't accept the job? They had the chance to but missed it? There are three tenses present in this sentence, so I'm not sure what exactly was trying to be said.

"Flint is stealthy and effective, he will fulfill with perfection. Next time I'll let you go after our target..." Atlas said while placing the glass on the table where the two were.
So it's unnecessary to mention the detail of saying 'placing the glass on the table where the two were.'
The part in bold is something the readers can assume for themselves. Especially if you establish earlier in the scene that they are sitting at a table. You can just stick with saying he placed his glass on the table.

Atlas finished drinking, opening his backpack, and throwing some coins at the table. He would get up, facing his companions.
So it's important to note that '-ing' verb forms indicate present tense. This means the action is happening right NOW. Grammatically, you are kinda saying he finished drinking, opened his bag, and took coins out, all at the same exact time.
But since it seems Atlas opened his back then took out some coins, you would have to change tense.
'Atlas finished drinking, opened his backpack, and threw some coins on the table.'
'Atlas finished drinking before opening his backpack and throwing some coins onto the table.

Atlas finished drinking, opening his backpack, and throwing some coins at the table. He would get up, facing his companions.
Also, saying 'would get up' is actually future tense, which is very very confusing to a reader. Generally, you want to stick to the same overall tensed for the story. This helps reduce confusion make reading smoother.
'He got up and faced his companions.'

"Well, if anything, I can blame that fat Empoleon." He talked to himself.
Good dialogue. Just a small tweak:
the word 'muttered to himself' feels more natural. In which case you would end the sentence inside the quotation marks with a comma, not a period.

Gothitelle sitting on a chair, a neutral expression on her face.
no need to say 'on her face', since one can only wear an expression on their face anyway.

"Do you have a reservation?" The Gothitelle spoke rigidly, facing the Bisharp.
Personally, I'd say it's not necessary to mention that she's facing Bisharp, since earlier descriptions imply she's looking in his direction already.

The woman picked up a wired phone from the desk, typing some numbers on the keyboard, and when answering, she talked about Pokémon who had entered the building. After a few minutes of conversation, she kept the phone
I've always found calling a pokemon a 'woman' is really weird. Of course, that's up to you. But usually, a woman describes a human only.
Also, the latter half of this sentence feels somewhat run-on. You could probably split it in two.
'The woman picked up a wired phone from the desk, typing some numbers on the keypad. Once she received an answer, she briefly explained the pokemon who had entered the building

"You can go up the stairs, sir." She spoke, writing some things in a notebook.
I'd replaced spoke with 'said' in this case.

And so, Flint did it, he went up the stairs of the place, going quietly and finally, reaching the floor of the mayor's office, knocking on the door.
I would recommend against starting a sentence with 'And so'. Instead, just jump straight to the action. '
Flint climbed the stairs quietly. Finally, he reached the floor of the mayor's office and knocked on the door.'

"You can come in!" The voice from inside the room said.
So someone once gave me this solid piece of advice. If you use the word 'the' to refer to something specific, such as 'the voice', it usually only applies when you've mentioned it before. Using 'a voice' would be more appropriate.

This is a bit hard to explain but I'll try my best. Here's a simple example.

'Sally walked down the street. The boy across the road waved. She smiled and waved back, then jogged towards the boy.'

Now reading this in English will make the reader say 'hang on, what boy?' However, if you write:
'Sally walked down the street. A boy across the road waved. She waved back, then smiled at the boy.'
See how I switch to 'the' the second time? That's because we started with 'a' as a general reference to the boy.

The place was wide, having a painting of the mayor on the wall and, sitting at a table in the background, was the client of the company's mission.
I would separate the room description from the description of the pokemon in the room, to make things simpler for the reader. So one sentence describing the room, one describing/mentioning the pokemon inside.

The Bisharp spoke, his face with a blank expression.
Same advice as earlier, no need to specify in this way. You can pick two and cut out the third. So either 'face' or 'expression' can be cut. Like so:

'The Bisharp spoke, his face blank'
'The Bisharp spoke with a blank expression'
Or something to that effect. You actually do this earlier when describing Alakazam, which is good!

Flint then approached the table, taking the envelope and putting it in his backpack. The Bisharp eyed his client.
Usually in the same sentence and after the character has been named, you can use 'he' instead.
'Flint then approached the table, taking the envelope and putting it in his backpack. He eyed his client.'
If not, saying 'The Bisharp' again might make the readers think there's three pokemon in the room;
Bisharp, Flint and Alakazam.
Lastly, I did feel the wording of the ending felt a bit off. A jarring or abrupt ending is good, but the wording feels a teensy bit weird to me.

Well, that covers it I think. I apologize if it seems overwhelming! Even looking it now seems daunting but thats cause english is... hard. I still think your story is coming along very well!

Strengths!: Characters, improvements, side characters, intrigue, chapter titles
Work on: Prose and tenses. Tense is tricky in English, especially in fiction. As a rule of thumb, try to stick to the same tense. Past tense is the most common. Stay away from future tense.

Advice: Read read read! The more English book you read, the more familiar you can hopefully become with the language and its ridiculous amount of nuance. Try to also find some basic foundational type grammar exercise you can read/practice. The more familiar you are with those simple details, it can really help!

Again, I want to stress that you are in a great position right now! You're surrounded by good writers, good content, and good feedback. I can tell you are thriving, and you have already learned a lot! Continue to try to take the broad concepts here and apply them throughout.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on anything, feel free to respond here or on the discord! Great job, and keep writing. Never give up!