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Pokémon Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Liberators of Fate

Dungeon 17 - Before the storm

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 17 - Before the storm
The two brothers woke up listening to the noise of several Pokémon talking loudly, coming from the street. Due to the number of different voices speaking at the same time, they could not discern the subject of the conversation, although they could faintly recognize them talking about the police and the mayor.

"What is all this uproar about?" Brian asked himself and went outside of his room, yawning.

After going outside of their room, Lance headed towards the nearest window to check what it was all about, with Zoroark right behind him.

In the middle of the town, they saw a crowd, with varied Pokémons, from a small Caterpie to a Tropius, the latter wearing a mask, who was looking at detective more exactly, at the pokémon on the side of the Arcanine, the former mayor and guildmaster Swalot, both in handcuffs.

"I would like to draw the attention of our citizens today…" the Fire-type said, looking at all the citizens.

"I wonder what happened." A Weedle asked, looking at a Squirtle on its left.

"I don't know, but they're under arrest."

"I heard rumors that it was a newly arrived exploration team!" A Minun said with a smirk.

Apollo coughed and took a deep breath. Rumors had spread fast, but he couldn't tell the whole thing, as it might draw unwanted attention.

"I know you must be wondering why I called them here. I came to publicly announce the arrest of these two criminals, who worked with mercenaries, paying them and covering up their crimes."

The citizens gasped and began to chatter amongst themselves, it was a shock for them and they needed a little time to process all that the officer had said.

"This is ridiculous, do you have any idea how much I did for you?!" the Alakazam growled, trying to use a move, but felt his energy deplete, panting.

"Prometheus," the Swalot looked at the ground. "It's over."

A Furret got near the Arcanine, wearing a small hat on his head and, in his hand, a notebook. He was writing on it as he looked at Apollo.

"Sir! My name's Walker, could you answer some questions?! It's for the news! This is a big scoop!"

Apollo gave the reporter a big, toothy grin and chuckled. The Furret didn't quite get what he meant by that, but didn't mind it.

"I know you want to know how we got them arrested, I won't go into details, but I had the help of some very special Pokémon," Apollo smiled, wagging his tail. "It looks like life in this town is going to get a little better from now on. No further questions, please!"

Away from the crowd, the group of mercenaries watched the policemon's speech in silence, attentive to what had happened. Atlas banged his tail on the ground, gnashing his teeth.

"It's decided, we have to eliminate those brats, it's a war for our survival," he said.

"They are an exploration team. I doubt they'll have the guts to kill us," Flint answered, rolling his eyes in annoyance.

"But it's not good to risk it!" the Empoleon gulped and looked at his companions.

"Well, let's teach them what we're made of," the Aggron nodded and turned around, leaving with the other two.


Officer Apollo, after sending the criminals to prison, decided to visit the exploitative duo. He was already knocking on the door, waiting for them to open. When they did, he entered calmly.

"Thanks again, kids!" Apollo said, sitting on the floor.

"I already told you, it's our job... anyway, it's not over," Lance got on the couch, crossing his arms. "We still have to arrest those three. Is everything ready for our plan?"

"Yes, I came here just to pass the details. Do you still want to do that?"

"We will!" Brian spoke up so the detective would listen.

"Okay. All right, then. Brian, get ready. They meet in a bar frequented by mercenaries. My informant is a Scrafty, his name is Bruno. He'll be waiting for you in the lobby, so the guard won't suspect," he took a deep breath. "Now, this part is up to you. What will your cover be?"

"Hm... I know!" Laughing, Brian's body shone in a red tone for a few seconds until wavering down, revealing a Garchomp where the Zoroark had been.

"Interesting choice," Lance gave a faint smile, hopefully, the plan would work.

"Michael. This is my disguise's name," Brian nodded, undoing the illusion.

"Okay, and what's the mission you're gonna hand them off as a cover?" Apollo turned his face, looking at Lance.

"We'll send them to a dungeon that's north of this city, the same one Sigilyph sent us. I'm sure they don't know we were there, and we'll send them on an assassination mission," Lance kept his gaze on the Arcanine. "The target: us."

"Wouldn't that... be too obvious, kid?"

"I thought about this possibility, but considering how much we hindered them, I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to take any chance to eliminate us."

"I accept the risks…" Brian sighed, determined to fulfill his part.

"I understand. I heard that they're there at night, so when it gets dark–"

"My brother goes there," Lance finished the sentence.

"And for your sake, take care…" Apollo stood up, walking towards the door.

"We will," Lance went to his room.


At dusk, the two left the condominium with serious looks on their faces. Brian was already cloaked in his disguise, he took a deep breath to prepare himself before going towards their destination. Outside, there was a Scrafty waiting for them.

"Brian, while you're on that mission, I'm going shopping... When we went to that Watchog's store, I saw some TMs. I'll buy one for you. We meet here when I'm done?"

"Absolutely!" Nodding, the Garchomp went ahead.

"I admire your courage, kid," the Scrafty said. "Let's go."

"Thank you…"

After a while walking, they arrived at the lower area of Bright Dawn. Brian gasped, as the place seemed to be poor, the smoke filled the air much like the other part, but unlike there, most houses they could see appeared to be made of wood. As they walked, both saw the bar symbol on the sign, a Snorlax holding a big glass of beer. At the entrance, there was a Roserade, who simply stared as she watched the duo approach.

"Good evening, Rosalina," Bruno bowed to the Roserade.

The Grass-type stared at the dragon, going over his entire body. Since she had never seen the Pokémon before, the female was apprehensive about letting him in.

"Who is this Garchomp with you?" she prepared to attack, pointing at Brian.

"Someone who came here just so he could talk to the Crew. He's with me," the Scrafty shrugged, tapping his foot on the ground.

"Got it. What's your name, dragon?" Still not convinced, Rosalina stared at Brian.

"Michael…"

"Okay. I'll trust Bruno. But be aware I'll be watching you, if you try anything, I'll be watching," the female said, giving way for them to enter.


The place was crawling with criminals, who were either drinking or talking with potential clients. The three Steel-type were at the very end, chatting. Thinking about how he would act, Brian sat at the table next to them, with Bruno doing the same thing soon after.

"How do you want to proceed, Michael?" Bruno waved to the waiter to bring a drink.

"I was thinking about you giving the idea, since... you've been here longer than I have," Brian answered, looking lightly at the trio at the other table.

"Ok. Leave it to me," Bruno got up and approached the trio, coughing to get their attention.

"What do you want with us?" Flint looked at him with a blank expression.

"I have a client for you," he said pointing to Garchomp, who was drinking a glass of beer.

"A client at this hour!" Atlas grumbled, annoyed. "What the fuck do you want? We're busy, and we're not really looking for jobs right–"

"Atlas, don't mind if I do!" Laughing, the Empoleon went to the table where Brian was sitting.

"He didn't even consult us, but whatever," the Aggron muttered to himself, but followed Napoleon.

Flint took longer than them, but decided to stand up too, crossing his arms he gazed upon the Garchomp.

"Ok, Bruno talked to me about your work and... about the last one you accepted."

Flint crossed his arms. "Are you talking about the kids? I admit we didn't do as well as usual, but we are still an efficient team…"

"I know. That's why I'm here. You see, I met them back at Heavenwind, where they stopped a scheme with some comrades of mine, and got them in jail," the Garchomp snarled. "However, I got away and when I found out they were here, I needed to take the chance!"

"Interesting. Tell us more…" Napoleon grinned, listening closely to what their client was saying.

"I bribed the Weavile from their apartment and… they're going to a magma Dungeon next to this city."

"That infernal dungeon!" Flint laughed, before turning to the others. "What do you think? It's a perfect opportunity to get rid of them…"

"Wait a minute, you sadistic Bisharp! How do we know we can trust this guy?!" Atlas punched the table, even at this point, he didn't want to risk his life on a suicide mission.

"Money can bring a lot of confidence." Brian threw a handful of coins at the table. "I can give you fifty-percent now and the rest of the kids are dead. Of course, without anyone finding out."

"Check it out! Finally something good for us! We'll take it for sure!" Napoleon grabbed the coins in a firm grip, before tossing them in his backpack.

"What the fuck?! Don't make decisions without consulting us first!" Atlas growled at him, suddenly getting up, and remained standing on his feet.

"But he's right, it's a good idea," Flint laughed, enjoying the moment.

Atlas snarled and huffed. Those two knew that mission would be dangerous, especially since the dungeon was filled with fire-types; their weakness. Still, he was outnumbered, so he sighed and sat down, defeated.

"You two are going to get me killed me any day now... Garchomp, we accept your mission. When are we going to do that?"

"They will go tomorrow, from what I heard," Brian stood up with a grin on his face.

"Then you can count on the Heart of Steel Crew. We are at your service," Atlas nodded to him.

"Thank you," Brian smiled and walked away from there.


Lance was walking through the street, holding some items in CD format. One of them had the color brown while the other, orange. Seeing a Zoroark from afar, the Riolu waved to him.

"Sup, Lil' bro!" Brian smirked, ruffling his mane.

"I have the normal size of a Riolu, you idiot," the fighting-type grumbled. "Did you do it?

"Yes! It wasn't as hard as I imagined!" Brian suddenly whined. "As it turns out, it worked wonders, they're very angry at us."

They kept talking while going inside the apartment, discussing the next step of the plan. Showing his brother the TM, Lance then threw it to him, who caught it with one of his hands.

"It's a Fire-type move. It's for you."

"Alright! What's the other one?!" He asked, pointing to the CD in his sibling's hand.

"That you might need to find out when we get there…" the Riolu laughed, teasing his brother.

As the night fell, the two brothers decided to practice during the little time they had to learn the new moves. After all this was the calm before the storm...
 
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Dungeon 18 - Breaking the armor

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 18 - Breaking the armor


Leaving the market again, the Riolu and Zoroark now carried each a bag full of items. Today was the day they had agreed to arrest the mercenaries. Walking towards their apartment, they saw the ally who helped them during most of their stay: detective Apollo.

"What are you doing here?" Lance cringed, as he was not expecting to see the Arcanine there.

"I will help you take the crew down, what is better than a Fire type against a gang of Steel-type Pokémon?" Laughing lightly, he smiled at the boys.

"We're already leaving, they must be on their way too... But look!" Opening the bag, Brian showed the the Arcanine items he had bought.

"Hm, are you going to use all this?" Apollo looked at the bag with a curious smile.

"After that beating we took, I wanted to make sure I could settle the score…"

"I understand... you have my full support, today I will take part in the action!" Apollo let out a little ember from his mouth and blushed.

"I see you will be useful for this expedition... finally, let's go…" Lance put his backpack on his back, walking towards the exit of the city, being followed by the two companions.


On the road outside, the three mercenaries walked silently, checking the map to make sure they were on the right route. Atlas was the one that stayed ahead, paying attention to the surroundings. In the middle, Flint checked their supplies in his backpack. Finally, Napoleon walked with a wide smile on his face, he was enjoying this job.

"Today we free ourselves from it and we can move on with our lives," the Aggron started the conversation, talking without looking back at the others.

"Someone here is very paranoid," Flint couldn't help but laugh.

"You scare me sometimes. Like, holy shit! This is where I'm glad we're not enemies," the penguin said apprehensively, alternatively looking at them.

When they arrived at the divide, they looked at the sign, indicating that they should go west. Turning to the left position, they continued on their way.


Far from them, right at the exit of the city, the trio consisting of Riolu, Zoroark, and Arcanine walked in silence. Already knowing the location of the dungeon, they didn't even need the map.

"Can you believe I've never been to such a place? I've lived in the city all my life," Apollo smiled at the brothers, trying to break the ice.

"We've been several times, because of the guild training. It was hard... but worth it," Lance sighed. "So, Mr. Apollo, have you never wanted to become an explorer?"

"Well, I admit I tried to," he laughed, tail swishing around. "But then I realized that being too far from home wasn't something I'd like to do, so I became a cop."

"Cool! We're a long way from home... it was shorty's idea here." Zoroark pointed to Lance, who just shrugged and kept walking.

"What made you want that? Now I'm curious," after Apollo said that, Lance stopped walking, staring at the Arcanine.

"I love my family, but I have some bad memories from when I was little... and I didn't want to be in anyone's shadow," he started walking again.

"The last one to arrive is a rotten Exeggcute!" declared Brian, before starting to run, having already seen the sign.

"He... is very energetic," Apollo blinked, trying to hold back the laugh as he started to run.

"There are two of him now…" Lance covered his face with his hands, before running after the other two.


Inside the cave, the mercenaries were already beginning to feel the heat of the place, except for Napoleon, who was walking like normal. When they saw some wild Pokémon, the penguin used his Liquidation move, knocking them out and allowing them to advance, entering a corridor.

On the other hand, the explorers and the detective had arrived inside the dungeon. Apollo, because of his typing, wasn't Even bothered by the temperature, although his companions were sweating.

"So this place is like this... these caves change the organization when you leave, don't they?"

"Yes, I always wanted to know how this happens, maybe someday," taking the sweat off his face, the Zoroark kept walking.

Stopping in a wide, empty area, the criminals were obviously angry. They had already been in that cave for a long time and they found no sign of the boys. Atlas kicked a small stone while growling, sending it across the wall. His friends just watched him, without wanting to interrupt that demonstration of hate.

"I'm beginning to think that we've been fooled," Flint spoke in a low voice to the penguin, who nodded in response.

"Unfortunately, you have indeed been deceived!"

The voice forced all three of them to turn around, seeing a Zoroark with a broad smile on his face, showing his tongue to them. At that moment they realized what had happened the night before.

Atlas was the first to notice how everything seemed… off. How that Garchomp just conveniently had a mission about the kids, how his friends didn't question it, and that led them to this exact place.

Damn it. His blood boiled with rage, and his tail thumped on the ground, sending a few pebbles in the air. With a shiver all over him, Atlas snarled.

"You son of a bitch. I knew there was something off with that Garchomp, how could I be such an idiot?! I swear... I will kill you…" Atlas clenched his fists.

"I think it's a shock that you guys have been getting along all this time…" Lance approached his brother, the Arcanine standing by his side.

"The police too? Wow, wow, you brought allies! How exciting!" Flint let out a loud laugh and put himself in a combat position.

"Oh, thank you for the compliment… but I don't accept one that comes from a criminal!" Apollo's body got involved in flames and he ran, crashing against the Bisharp, throwing him against the wall, at the same time increasing his speed.

"You think you're so smart, cop?! Well, I'm still a water-type!" Napoleon growled, creating two water blades and launched them at the canine

However, Apollo was faster, and noticed the movement before it was thrown at him. Using his accelerated speed, Apollo effortlessly dodged all of them. He quickly backtracked, now standing right at the side of the siblings.

Lance charged energy in his right palm and dashed as fast as he could. He took aim at Atlas and prepared the attack, right as the Aggron roared.

"D-Damn it!" Lance stumbled back, but forced himself to stay up, launching a devastating wave of blue energy towards Atlas.

In order to protect his friend, Napoleon put himself in front of Atlas and extended both arms, generating an energy barrier that blocked the attack. Neither sides wanted to give up the fight. Grouping with the other two, Lance panting. His enemies were also gathered, Flint in particular having some noticable burns on his body.

"Brian...n now!" Riolu said to his brother, running towards him.

"You can count on me!" the Zoroark's eyes shone in a red tone and a wave of energy covered the area, changing the scenery from cave to forest, but limited the illusion only to their enemies.

The mercenaries saw the field change and on impulse, they moved away from each other, seeing only the tall and broad-leaved trees, covering the roof of the place.

"Shit, his illusions are stronger now. Argh!" Flint screamed in pain, feeling a large amount of flames hitting his body, forcing him to fall to his knees. Taking an Oran Berry from his backpack, he swallowed it without even chewing properly, healing part of his injuries.

"It's not over yet!"

Flint's eyes widened as the illusion seemed to break momentarily, revealing brian with a huge smirk on his face.

"Here is the new move that I learned just for this!" Brian opened his mouth, releasing a wave of flames in Bisharp, which rolled to the side, dodging. Realizing this, Zoroark hid in the illusion.

"Tsc, they're playing dirty." Napoleon looked around, unable to see his allies, and filled his arms with water in case he needed to use Liquidation again.

"...Says the mercenary!" suddenly appearing in front of the penguin, Lance fired another gust of energy at Empoleon, causing him to stumble back, despite his efforts to hold off the attack with his fins, Napoleon was bleeding.

The Aggron, looking around, could only see the forest landscape. Irritated, he roared, when he heard the noise of a growl. In front of him was the Arcanine, with his body shining in a pinkish tone.

"Well, I'm not a big fan of fighting like this, but… I have to!" he darted, giving two kicks on the Aggron's body.

In order not to be thrown, Atlas put his claws on the ground, holding himself with all his strength. Away from there, Brian kept trying to shoot flames at Bisharp, but for that he had to undo his invisibility, giving just enough time for the enemy to spot him and evadee. Until he reached a point where he was beginning to pant, the illusion of trees being undone.


The two rival groups were divided between them. Apollo was close to Atlas, while Brian was with Flint, and Lance, with Napoleon. Breathing deeply, Brian shot more embers.

However, Flint thought fast and jumped, throwing some seeds against the move, creating a huge explosion on the spot that threw everyone away from each other.

"Is everyone okay?!" Apollo looked at the boys, a little worried about them.

"I feel like an Onix fell on me," the Zoroark stood up, putting his hand on his head, still dizzy from the impact.

"THere's way more where that came from!" Laughing, the aquatic Pokémon threw more water-blade shots.

"I've had enough of that!" Lance panted and stood up, launching another energy wave at the water blades, forcing them to dissipate.

"We can still beat them…" Brian began to fill his body with red energy.

Lance closed his eyes and began to analyze the situation. Out of the three, he was the one better equipped to deal with Atlas, and another thought came on his mind. A slight smirk came up on his face

"I am the most capable to face Aggron, so…" Lance started to run, extending his arms backward as they got filled with energy. His eyes shone in a blue tone. "I'll see you two later."

Lance jumped while performing the shot, the boy was thrown with force towards the Aggron, who just opened his mouth without believing what was happening.

"Oh, shut up, kid! I don't have time to deal with this!" from his hand, Atlas fired an electric beam at Riolu, which fell right in front of him.

"I'm not sure what you're planning, Lance, but I'll trust you on this!" Apollo nodded, charging towards the Bisharp with his whole body wrapped in a flame aura.

To fight back, Flint filled the blade of his right arm with psychic energy and released a cut in the air, hitting the Arcanine in the stomach and preventing his attack from continuing.

"You're not the only one who can deal with that, Lance!" Brian copied his brother's attack, shooting Empoleon, who blocked using the Protect barrier once again, focusing only on the enemy.

Raising the Riolu by the neck, Atlas let out a loud laugh. Finally, he was about to end the threat to his survival. Starting to squeeze the boy's skull with force.

Lance didn't flinch. His resolve to live showed on his face. "You know, you have a huge ego, Aggron. But… this ends now!"

Despite feeling pain, he took in his backpack an orb, touching the steel-type's body with it, filling them both in white energy and they vanished.

"Hey, boy! What did you do?!" Apollo screamed, coughing up a little blood, and getting up with difficulty.

"He used a Warp Orb! He's somewhere else in this–" distracted, Brian was hit by a white ray of light, dragging him across the floor.

"Hehe... that was a Flash Cannon, kid! Looks like your brother's not here to help anymore!" Napoleon laughed, enjoying himself.

"Let's finish them off soon... Atlas will deal with that Riolu."

"I know Lance better than you do... if he says he'll face that monster, then he will…" Brian staggered, eating an Oran Berry to heal his injuries, throwing another to Apollo.

"We are still standing and we can still fight," panting, the Arcanine growled, preparing to attack once again. Filling his body with flames, he was slowly cauterizing the cut he had received.


Meanwhile, in another area of Dungeon Lance and Atlas fell to the ground by the effect of the Orb that Riolu had thrown. Rolling back quickly, Lance was exhausted but had no intention of giving up. He would win, whatever the cost. Looking back, the steel Pokémon saw that they were on the edge of a precipice, with a lava well at the bottom.

"You know you're at a disadvantage now, don't you, kid?! I'm more than enough to break all your bones…"

Hearing that, Lance started laughing very loudly, tears flowing from the boy's eyes. Confused with what just happened, the Aggron gave a roar, throwing the Riolu away. After rising again, Lance gave a broad smile, as he had never done before. Atlas backed away, his heart beating faster.

"Nice words for someone who has four times weakness against my type. Finally... the conditions for my victory were met!"

"W-What are you talking about?! Have you lost your mind?!"

"I lured you away from others of my own free will, this is all... part of my plan!" Lance opened the backpack, he took the evolutionary item his brother had bought.

Finally, the moment had arrived. The ribbon was glowing, and Lance could sense the energy; it was enough to make his feelers twitch. Atlas realized what was about to happen and jumped, only to be blown back by another Force Palm, and watched in horror as the changes began.

The Riolu's body was enveloped by a wide blue light and he began to grow. His ears lengthened, next to his tail, while two thorns appeared in his arms. In his chest appeared more hair and a small spike that seemed to be cracked. The newly evolved Lucario took a deep breath, concentrating an Aura Sphere on his hand.

"Very well, Atlas... our fight begins... now!"
 
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Dungeon 19 - The last one standing

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 19 - The last one standing
Author's note: This chapter contains the following trigger warning: violence and gore.
Therefore, viewer's discretion is advised.




"Oh? So you can fight?" The Bisharp smirked, looking at the two enemies. "Delightful! I wouldn't have it any other way!"

I gotta get out! This is too much! Napoleon thought, if he escaped, he would be fine.

"Hey kiddo, I know you can copy moves... So watch this!" Apollo charged against Flint, his body in flames.

"Hehe, yeah! Let's go!" Brian grinned, copying the detective's attack, launching himself against Flint too.

"Napoleon, now! We have a chance!" Flint's arm glowed pink as he prepared to strike both of his opponents.

Or maybe I should consider another option, smiling, the aquatic Pokémon created the watery swords in his fins, but instead of aiming at the cop, he threw them at his ally.

Taken by surprise, Flint couldn't do much and received a direct cut that even pierced his body armor, causing him to fall. Irritated, he got up, looking for who had hit him, when he was caught by the flames, crying in pain.

"What was that?! He just shot his friend!" Brian gasped, backing away after the move hit.

"It's every mon for themself!" Napoleon didn't hesitate, preparing to strike again his former ally if needed.

"I have been friends with you all these years and this is how you repay me?" Flint growled , despite the burning feeling on his body. "Right, as I suspected... you're not even worth the ground you walk on."

Brian didn't know how to react, his eyes widened, trying to decide if he should trust the Empoleon or not. Maybe it was a trick, and he was just being deceived. Apollo looked at the Zoroark, lowering his ears.

"Hey kiddo… I know what you're thinking, but we should give it a shot!" The Arcanine growled.


Away from them, both Lance and Atlas were fighting inside of a corridor where one could see a lava cliff on the end of the tunnel, so deep nobody could see the bottom of it. The newly-evolved Lucario ran with a blue sphere in his hand, ready to attack the Aggron.

Atlas growled, before letting out another roar, throwing his enemy away. Lance couldn't care less,the Lucario just laughed as the mercenary ran on all fours towards him. The explorer could sense his enemy's aura literally exhaling from all the rage the Aggron was feeling. And Lance smiled.

"Heh! You're such an idiot! Too slow to deal any damage to me!" Lance backed away, standing on his feet with a wide grin.

He was toying with him. That brat was toying with Atlas, like a wild Pokémon chasing their prey. The Aggron growled, his tail slapping on the ground. This was the one enemy they were chasing all this time? Perhaps it simply wasn't worth the effort. Atlas thought, trying to decide if he should just quit.

There was no time to ponder that, however. Lance stomped the ground, a shockwave coming through the floor like an earthquake, and Atlas had no way of reacting besides screaming in pain as he fell to his knees.

"Like I said, an idiot… Seriously, how did you guys get all those jobs, being so incompetent?" Lance smiled, cracking his knuckles.

Atlas tried to stand up, but the super effective attack forced him to stay on his knees. Smiling, Lance approached slowly, carrying another sphere on his paw. Seeing that, Atlas opened his mouth, firing a red energy beam in his enemy's direction, who dodged by ducking.

"Wow, that was close, huh? Guess I underestimated you after all, criminal scum." Despite his words, the Lucario kept his cool. He was enjoying this, controlling where the fight would go left his blood pumping.

"You may think that... by having effective attacks, you'll win," Atlas stood up, panting. His body had a few cracks due to the attacks, and some drops of blood spilled out from them. "But I'm not gonna let some random brat take control over my life! Someone who has it all!"

The Lucario growled at that sentence, his body suddenly glowing with a blue aura that spread around himself like a coat of flames. Lance lost his cocky attitude, wanting nothing more than to finish that battle as quickly as he could.

"You don't know anything about me or what I went through. Having suffered in your childhood does not give you the right to all the crimes you committed!"

"I had to do this to survive!" Atlas punched the wall with all his strength, but he was weakened enough that it barely left a mark. "You're an explorer, I lost everything!"

Lance kept looking at him, and his mere glare sent shivers on Atlas. "I heard what happened to your hometown, it's tragic... but it doesn't matter! Your choices after that event led you to this path! This is your responsibility!"

"Shut up... shut up... SHUT UP!" The Aggron's claws stretched out, shining in a blue tone and he launched himself at Lance.


The other four opponents continued to be engaged in a fierce fight. Now that there were three against one, Flint started to fight on the defensive against their attacks, muttering to himself. However, he kept calm, as any recklessness could have dire consequences.

"Alright...!" Brian took a deep breath, releasing a wave of flames against Flint.

At the same time, Napoleon ran as fast as he could, his body glowing pink as he got near the Bisharp, who prepared to dodge the flames and counterattack. Flint rolled on the floor, and created a large blade on his arm, striking the Empoleon.

However, Napoleon's body started to shine with a red light, splitting apart in the air. The Bisharp's eyes squinted as he realized the illusion. Staring at the Zoroark, Flint yet again prepared to strike, when his enemy disappeared into thin air.

"Well, it seems you like to fight dirty, kid," Flint smirked.

"Says the guy who murders and robs for a living!" Flint heard a voice from behind him, just before he got hit by fire.

Now with his body burning, the Bisharp screamed in pain. It was clear that if he wanted to survive, he would have to do something soon. Throwing his backpack on the ground, he looked at the inventory. There were a few more orbs, and he grabbed the first one with force. Suddenly, the sphere turned into a Butterfree, which flew away, until it fell apart in a flash of red light.

"I really... hate this! But listen, can I at least see my friend before you lock me away in jail?!"

The field itself was enveloped by a red light, undoing the entire illusion, and forcing Flint to close his eyes to protect them from the crimson shine. When he opened them again, he saw that Napoleon was in front of him, smiling. Behind him were Apollo and Brian, still in combat positions, prepared in case they needed to intervene.

"So that's the end? We go to prison," Flint couldn't help but laugh at that.

"No… I'm gonna be free! You, on the other hand…" Napoleon shrugged.

"Let's forget this small fight and finish both of them. I can… give you my savings, don't you want them?" Flint backed away, forcing a smile.

"Tsc, you idiot," he looked away, trying to ignore the deal. "How did we even become friends?"

"We… didn't have anyone else, Napoleon. We still don't."

"Sorry to interrupt your little reunion here, but… I'm arresting you two now!" Apollo took a step forward.

"No, we–" Napoleon stopped talking, screaming, feeling a pain coming from his chest. Looking down, he saw a blade poking out from his abdomen.

"This is Guillotine. Normally, it would just knock you out. But to be fair, I'm done with you," Flint removed his blade.

"Y-You…" Napoleon fell to the ground, dead.

Brian screamed, the situation got out of control and it was all his fault for having believed in Flint. Because of his mistake someone had died. The Zoroark's body glowed red as he made yet another illusion, rendering him and Apollo invisible.

"You don't have more things in your arsenal there, do you?" Flint looked around, pretending not to care about any of that. "I'm getting tired of it... it only proves how pathetic you are. Depending on tricks all the time…"

"Shut the fuck up!" Two blue eyes shone in the middle of the pitch, staring at Bisharp.

"This is our chance... Brian!" Apollo shouted, preparing another Flame Charge to use against the Bisharp.

Brian copied the move once again and both simultaneously rammed against the Bisharp, who yelped as he took the dual attack, being knocked out instantly. Undoing the illusion, Brian was hyperventilating, tired of all that fight, and looked at the body on the floor, crying. It simply wasn't fair for him. He had been kind enough to try and help both of them, but...

"He killed his friend!"

"I'm… sorry kid, but that's… what happened. Are you okay?" Apollo whined as he got near Brian.

Of course he wasn't okay. Who could be? Brian was shattered. His breath turned raspy, and he shed a tear. This shouldn't have happened. It really shouldn't. And Atlas? Oh no, Atlas was still fighting!

"I... have to find Lance!" Brian wiped his tears away and ran off, his sibling was more important now.


Lance tried to cover the Aggron's attacks but still took the damage, screaming in pain and starting to bleed from the cut. Now being a Steel-type in a magma cave, he was sweating a lot.

As long as I don't stay near the lava, I'll be fine! Lance wiped some of the sweat from his forehead, barely dodging another attack.

"S-Stay still! You little shit! I'm gonna kill you!" Atlas roared, trying to hit him with another Dragon Claw.

"I'm sure you would love me doing that, but we're in a battle!" Lance leapt back, laughing.

"I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!" The Aggron roared, throwing a thunderbolt at Lance, who screamed as he was unable to dodge the attack.

The Lucario panted, feeling the shock running through his entire body. Even if he felt pain, he was happy. The combat thrilled him, and he was still taking the lead of that battle. Lance smiled.

"Right... I got tired too... but I have to make sure of one thing first!" Looking at a vulnerable section of the ceiling, he shot that spot, making the rocks fall and seal the way behind.

Atlas gasped, confused at the lucario's actions, but then grinned. Both of them were now trapped, as far as he could tell.

"I've never seen a Lucario as crazy as you, kid!" The Aggron charged yet another Dragon Claw.

"And I've never seen an Aggron be so stupid!" Lance jumped to avoid the attack, another Aura Sphere on his hand.

Atlas was hit by the move and screamed. The impact generated a cracking noise as the Aggron's armor broke apart where the ball had hit, the cracks spreading all over his body. The attack was so strong it pushed the mercenary back, near the cliff.

"No... I don't deserve this!" Atlas tried to move, but his body didn't respond. He got more desperate at each attempt, seeing that the Lucario got near him.

"Quite the contrary. You are pathetic and despicable. You are causing harm and for that... you deserve to die." Lance looked at him, his expression was stoic, but, internally, he was overjoyed that his plan had worked.

"Who do you think you are? You can't kill me, you're a member of an exploration team!" Atlas begged, trying to stand up.

"For the world to be a better place, sacrifices are necessary," he closed his eyes. "And I intend to do that. I am an ally of justice, and you… you need the proper punishment."

"E-Even so! You won't get away with this! That cop will end up arresting you!"

"Between you and me, who is more reliable in the eyes of the law? And better yet, I can get rid of the body with that lava there," Lance looked at the pit, a grin appearing on his face. "This is gonna be my first step towards a better world."

"No... I refuse to die!" Using all the strength he had, Atlas stood up, roaring and advancing against Lance.

The boy just grumbled, and with another sphere in hand, hit Atlas right in the stomach. The cracks of before extended, covering his whole body as he cried out in pain, being thrown to the bottom of the abyss. As he fell, he thought about what he had done during his entire life. All the things that happened, all the Pokémon he met, it was all going away, melting in the lava. He screamed, magma pouring inside his mouth. Until finally, the noise stopped.

"Well done, Lance." He said to himself, before walking away.


Brian was walking through the halls of the dungeon, looking for his brother in every corner while he camouflaged himself not to call the attention of any of the wild Pokémon that roamed the corridors. The screams then made their way to his ears, and he turned around, going towards the source of the sound.

What happened? I hope he's okay… Brian stopped, seeing the rocks that covered the place where his brother was.

The rocks broke apart, clearing the path. Lance walked out and looked at his brother, ears dropping immediately.

"Lance! Thank Arceus you're okay! When I heard the screams…" Brian stared at the end of the hallway, looking for Atlas.

"That… was Atlas. He fell into the lava and died…" The Lucario looked at the ground, pretending to be sad, even shedding a tear.

It just got worse for Brian, as he already had seen a Pokémon die that day. The Zoroark began to cry again, when he got a hug from his brother, who didn't say anything, just trying to comfort his sibling.

"Th-That Empoleon is also dead!" Brian couldn't take it anymore. "H-His friend… he killed his friend! Right in front of me! And… And it's my fault! I-I trusted him!"

Lance sighed, rubbing his brother's mane. It was for the best that the Lucario kept quiet, just letting Brian vent.

"Brian. They did this to themselves. If they didn't trust each other, they weren't a real team," Lance looked back and let his brother go, walking towards the exit.

The Zoroark stood there for a few more seconds, before deciding to follow the Lucario.

On the outside, the Arcanine was waiting for the two of them and near him were some policemon, taking Flint into custody and putting Napoleon's body on a stretcher, covered so they wouldn't have to see it. When he spotted the boys, Apollo approached them, lowering his ears a little.

"Are… you okay?"

"My apologies. I was on adrenaline, I didn't think straight and because of that… I ended up warping. And as for Atlas... he fell and melted in the lava," the Lucario looked away, his body trembling.

"He died too?!" Apollo sighed. Somehow things had gotten even worse.

"We won…" Brian looked at the sky, after all that, their battle was over.

But for the Zoroark, it was a bittersweet victory. With both of the deceased Pokémon on his mind, Brian began crying again. His brother, on the other hand, looked away, satisfied with his actions against Atlas, but decided to keep Brian in the dark about that part.
 
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Dungeon 20 - RIght back where we started from

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 20 - Right back where we started from

The sound of hooves tapping on the ground filled the air as a Zebstrika ran on a road at midday, behind him was a carriage that contained three Pokémon.

"Two weeks. I can't believe it!" Brian looked through the window, the wind blowing the Zoroark's long mane. "Dad's gonna be so surprised, we both evolved!"

"Yeah," Lance nodded, reading a letter. "I guess he must have heard about our little adventures at Bright Dawn."

On the other side of the wagon, a Croagunk was watching the conversation amused, his teeth showing. It had been a while since Gama last saw the kids, and it seemed that they grew a lot.

"What did y'all do in that town? I assume you've fought a lot, considering the evolutions!" The Poison-type asked, grinning.

"We took down some mercenaries, alongside the mayor and a guildmaster," Lance sighed, prepared for his brother's reaction.

Brian dropped his ears, sitting on the vehicle. A victory happened, yes, but now without a cost. Even if they were criminals, the Zoroark couldn't help but feel sorry for them. Perhaps in other circumstances, they could have been allies.

Gama gulped, deciding to try and change the subject. "W-Well, did you know we went to Treasure Town?! I'll tell ya! WIgglytuff's guild is as eccentric as always!"

"Oh, really?" Brian gave a faint smile. "I've heard about their newest graduates. Apparently, they're a couple, and it's so nice!"

"Maybe one day we'll meet them. Although I don't think I can stand that pink furball," Lance frowned, putting the letter in his backpack. Now that he was a Lucario, he needed a bigger bag.

Marty suddenly stopped walking. "Sorry to interrupt, but we have arrived! The city of Thornwell is now in front of us!"

"Well, it looks like this is where we part ways!" Gama laughed. "Well, not really, since we're here, Marty and I might as well buy some stuff for us."

"You do you," Lance nodded, taking some coins and handing them to the Croagunk. "Brian, let's go."



The duo got out of the vehicle, heading into the streets of the town they were born in. Lance checked all the villagers, and as he thought, they were just like he knew. Brian, while walking, waved to everyone with a large grin. Eventually, both stopped in front of their house.

"We're here," Brian said, adjusting the goggles on his forehead. "Right back where we started from!"

"Are you serious…?" Lance grumbled. "You were waiting to say that song's name?"

"Hehe," he smirked. "Well little brother, it's a good song!"

"I hate you."

"We both know you don't!" Brian showed his tongue, walking to the door and knocking.



Nick yawned. After finally finishing that long mission, he could see his kids. The Lucario got up from his bed, climbing down the stairs. Unlike a normal member of his species, Nick had whitish fur, a sign of his older age.

"I'm coming!" He screamed, opening the door.

"Heya, dad!" Brian grinned, getting pulled into a hug.

"How are you doing, son?" Nick smiled, his tail swishing. The Lucario looked back, seeing Lance.

"Hello, father."

"I'm proud of both of you" Nick pulled away from the hug, checking his sons' new forms.

"We had a few obstacles along the way," Lance shrugged. "I-"

"Oh, we're gonna have a lot of time to catch up, dad!" Brian interrupted, storming into his house.

"I can see your brother seems energetic as usual," Nick laughed. "And you, Lance? Are you okay?"

"I'm gonna tell you inside…" He nodded, following the Zoroark.



Inside the Hero guild, a Sceptile was walking along the hall. Besides him was a female Snorunt, who stared at that unknown place, paying attention to the surroundings. She could see several rooms and a few Pokémon strolling around, some holding mission papers in their hands. Overall, she thought that place was beautiful.

"Meggie," The Grass-type said, looking at her. "This is a guild my friends made. Considering your… Peculiar condition, it might be a good place to start."

"T-Thanks, Mr. Yukino!" She gasped, the small female wasn't sure of what to do, but she didn't have other options.

"It's not a problem, really!" Yukino grinned, a sense of pride filling his chest.

"Well, Yukino's being responsible?! This gotta be a surprise!" From behind them, a Swampert approached, a huge grin on his face. He was wearing an engagement ring on one of his fingers, alongside a fedora on his head.

"A-Ah! Hello, mister Shiron!" Meggie nodded, backing away.

"Nice to see you again, Meggie! Did this lazy bun scare you?" Shiron smirked, looking at the Sceptile.

"Keep that up and I'll slap you with grass," Yukino retorted.

"Well, my husband's a Chesnaught, I already have enough grass for my whole life!" Shiron said.

"Anyway, I was actually looking for you. You see, Meggie's-"

"I'm a human!" The Snorunt answered, blushing. She covered her own face with the fur coat.

"Oh? Another human? Well, welcome to the club, Meggie!" Shiron gave her a wink.

"Regardless, we need to find a way for her to adjust to this world," Yukino pondered, looking at the Ice-type.

"Nick said his kids were coming for a visit, how about we invite her to their exploration team?"

"Excuse me!" Meggie blinked at that, annoyed at someone making the decisions for her. "I can decide for myself! For starters, what's an exploration team?"

"Well, we can at least go into their house, and I'll tell you on the way!" Yukino sighed, walking towards the exit.



Nick put some Slowpoke tails on a frying pan, heating it up. He had a fire oven, and as such, was cooking the food there, the aroma filling the air around him, alongside the crackling noise of the burning wood. His kids, on the other hand, were sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for lunch to be done.

"So! In two weeks, you arrested the mayor, a guildmaster, and three mercenaries?" Nick said with a smile, checking the food to make sure it wouldn't burn.

"Pretty much…" Brian dropped his ears, sighing.

Lance looked at his brother with a frown. "Well, not only that. We rescued a Zebstrika and took down a Luxray and his minions."

Nick smiled, putting their lunch on plates at the table, sitting on a chair. He looked at them, they were his pride and joy.

"By the way, where's mom?" Brian questioned, cutting some of the meal with a knife.

"Amelia is having an appointment with a patient right now, so we'll have to wait until she gets back," Nick answered, eating a bite of the tail.

"Aww, I wanted to tell her about our adventures!" Brian pouted when he heard the door knocking again, and went there to answer it.



Shiron was on the other side, holding a box with sweets on it. Alongside him were the Sceptile and Snorunt. The female looked down, blushing. Being in an unknown world was bad enough, and now she had to see some Pokémon she never even met before. Well, except for Nick.

"Hey, uncles! And you, I don't think we've been introduced!" Brian waved to the Ice-type, and she just nodded. "I'm Brian, Brian Williams! Nice to meet ya!"

"My name is… Meggie, I think."

"You think… What?" Brian tilted his head. "That doesn't even make sense, what do you mean?"

"There are a few things we need to discuss," Shiron sighed, looking at everyone. "It's best if we go inside.

As they got into the house, Meggie was impressed by how clean and comfortable it looked, giving a sense of nostalgia that she couldn't stop feeling.

"Who's that?" Lance, having finished his meal, stood up, gazing directly at the Snorunt.

"Oh, I see you brought her here, alright. Nice to see you again, Meggie," Nick said with a smile, still on the chair.

Lance eyed all the other Pokémon. From what he could gather, Meggie met his father and uncles at their mission, and she seemed to not know where she was. Perhaps amnesia was the answer? He decided to watch where the scene would go.

"Lance, Brian, I understand you have questions," Yukino said, crossing his arms. "During our mission at the kingdom of Cydonia, we found… her."

Meggie blushed, all she wanted right now were answers to who she was and where she came from, but all those Pokémon started to overwhelm her to the point she started shaking.

"Clearly, she's not liking this." Lance nodded, his feelers twitching as he sensed Meggie's aura.

"That's exactly where you two are needed," Shiron said. "Well, the truth is-"

"I'M A HUMAN!" Meggie screamed, panting heavily, despite being relieved of that confession.

As expected, Brian's eyes widened, and he kept staring at Meggie in complete disbelief, trying to see if his father or uncles would say anything to deny that.

Lance staggered, confused at that revelation. "A-A human? But those are myths! A funny little story for children!"

Nick shook his head in denial. "Not really, well… Shiron is also a human."

To that, Brian gasped, looking at the Swampert. For all intents and purposes, Shiron looked like a regular Pokémon, so where did that come from?

"...Nick is correct. I came from the human world," he shrugged.

"How?! How is this possible?! Are you telling me you became a Mudkip?!" Lance took a moment to breathe, pointing at the Swampert. "But what about all of the stories you told me when Brian and I were kids?!"

Shiron sighed. He was hoping that the boys would believe him and help that girl find her answers to the big questions she was asking herself.

"When I first arrived here, I woke up without memories-"

"I found him on the beach and decided that I needed to do something to help Shiron," Nick continued his friend's sentence.

Lance stopped, checking all of their auras. Apparently, they were telling the truth, even if it seemed like the ramblings of a mad mon. The younger Lucario sighed.

"Very well. I assume you want us to help that human?" Lance asked, looking at his father.

Meggie approached Lance, looking straight at his eyes, in an attempt to convince him.

"I… Don't know where I came from, so yes, please, I want to join your team!" Meggie nodded, giving a faint smile.

Brian clenched his fists and laughed. That was funny, of course, he would help! It was his job, after all.

"Alright, Meggie, right? Welcome to Team Liberators!" The Zoroark gave her a thumbs-up.

"Indeed. I can see that you must be confused," Lance looked at her, forcing a smile. "We'll help you, alright?"

"T-Thanks…" She said, blushing.

After that was settled, Brian remembered the other huge information he received.

"Also, Uncle Shiron! You don't remember anything too?!" Brian turned his gaze to the Swampert, who nodded.

"For now, let's relax, I'm sure you'll need it, all of you," Nick smiled, picking the finished plates.

The brothers' journey seemed to be heading towards a new direction…



A huge arena was the place where a Garchomp could be seen, it was in a combat position, preparing to strike its opponent, a Dragonite, who trembled, cornered into a wall. The Garchomp was wearing a collar with a pattern similar to its body. The area around them was large, and yet it felt empty, containing only a speaker on the ceiling.

"Number 17. You may initiate the fight whenever you want," a voice coming from the radio spoke, ending the sentence with a laugh.

"...Understood," the Dragon grinned.

"D-Derek, please! We were friends, I-I…" The Dragonite screamed, trying to reason with the other Pokémon.

"I'm sorry, Aster," Derek said with a smile. "Wait, no, I'm not."

The Garchomp touched the stone on his neck, and his body was enveloped in a pink glow. Derek laughed, his arms began to change shape, turning into scythes, and five spikes protruded from his chest.

"This is amazing!" The now Mega Garchomp screamed in ecstasy, licking his lips as he stared at his prey.

"D-Derek!" Aster opened his mouth, releasing a freezing energy beam towards the Mega Pokémon.

The Garchomp grinned, a protective barrier surrounding him and preventing the attack. His large, clawed arms glowed blue and he sliced through the air, two blades of energy going towards the Dragonite.

"Hell no! I'm not gonna get killed by that!" He flapped his wings, disappearing at an incredible speed, dodging the Dragon Claw.

After Aster finished dodging, he sighed in relief. That momentary distraction was all that was needed, as Derek roared, filling the area with a sandstorm and blocking the Dragonite's view. "A-Argh, what the fuck?! Derek! Please, I don't want to die!"

Number 17 ignored that. His prey was in a perfect position for a strike, and he wanted to end that pathetic struggle. Aster was panting, looking all around in an attempt to find where the next move would come from. His heart was palpitating and he trembled.

"And now, for the next step!" Derek thought, a grin spreading on his face. His claws dripped with a purple poison and he slashed the air, throwing it into the Dragonite.

Aster screamed, falling to the ground. He felt his body ache in pain, the toxins corroding the orange scales he possessed. Despite his efforts, the Dragonite couldn't move. Panic set itself in his brain as he frantically tried to get out of whatever that place was.

A voice spoke from the radio, followed by the sound of claps. "Well done, number 17! I'm impressed!"

"Thank you, boss!" Derek laughed, enjoying every bit of that hunt.

Aster got worse. His breathing was slowing down, the venom was killing him, and to add insult to injury, he couldn't do anything to stop it.

"I do wish you could have done this faster, perhaps it is time for the big finale?"

"I agree, doctor Morgan…" Derek approached the Dragonite and, in a single slash, finished the job.



Derek left the arena, taking some of the sand off his body. Another fight well done. Right in front of him was a Gallade, who stared at the Garchomp with a faint smile, a notebook in his hand.

"I have to admit, my work seems to be complete," Morgan spoke. "And it only took seventeen test subjects!"

"Am I really a subject if I'm doing it willingly?" Derek grinned, walking alongside Morgan.

"Of all the seventeen, you have the most potential for me," the Gallade grinned, checking a few notes he had. "You used to be the second, but I can tell you've grown a lot!"

"Second…?" The Garchomp frowned. "Who was the first?"

"A Riolu, but in the end, he wasn't good enough. Oh well. I doubt he is even alive anymore."

"Gotcha. What is our next step then, doctor?"

Morgan stopped and smiled, the expression of pure joy. The question was one he was hoping to get, so he could answer it properly.

"Now that I have successfully recreated Mega Evolution on this primitive world… Time to make our preparations. We are going to visit a certain tree…"

End of Arc 1
 
Special Episode

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Special Episode 1 - Puppy Love

Lance woke up with a yawn. The sun's rays were beaming down at his face,, which interrupted his sleep. He rubbed his eyes, and when he tried to get up, he felt pressure on his stomach. Looking down, he saw an Electrike, sleeping on his chest.

"Blitz…" The Riolu smiled, caressing the other Pokémon's head.

Blitz snored, distracted by the dream he was having. The Riolu thought that was cute, smiling, and wagging his tail on the bed.

"HEY, YOU TWO LUVDISCS! DAD SAID TO WAKE UP!" Brian barged into the room, smirking at the couple. He left, laughing to himself.

The Electrike's first reaction was to gasp at the sudden noise. After that initial shock, he looked at Lance, grinning.

"Oh right, we have one of the test missions from the guild, right?" Blitz smiled, stretching his body.

"Yup! And… Sorry for that, it's on the same day as our date," Lance sighed, his ears dropping.

"Don't worry, Lanny! I love the time we spend together!" Blitz gave a toothy grin to his lover. "I mean, we slept in the same room! This is amazing! I can't believe-"

Lance interrupted that by giving his boyfriend a deep kiss. "I love you so much, you have no idea how happy you make me."

Blitz blushed but kept his grin. "Well, you are the one that asked me out."

"Hehe," Lance smirked. "Well, let's have breakfast!"



The couple climbed down the stairs, going to the kitchen. On the way, the Electrike kept nuzzling Lance's legs, which made him blush in embarrassment. Ever since they started dating, they both were very affectionate with one another, especially Blitz.

"Y-You really shouldn't be doing all this in public…" Lance said, sitting on a chair.

"Sorry! I just can't when you're this cute!" Blitz answered, jumping into one of the chairs.

On the table, they could see a pile of pancakes, freshly cooked, as steam rose out of them. Brian was already munching on his, not even paying attention to the couple. Lance noted that his father wasn't present and frowned. "Where's dad? You said he called us here."

"Oh, heya Lance!" Brian grinned. "Dad went to the guild, and you're both supposed to go there!"

"Huh, weird thing, to ask us specifically," Blitz sighed, eating some of the pancakes.

"I think I know why, Sparky," Lance nodded, looking at his significant other. "But let's focus on breakfast for now."

Blitz wagged his tail and resumed his meal. All those moments with Lance were precious to him, and he wanted to enjoy them as much as he could.

After the duo finished their breakfast, both left the house. The wind blew on that summer day, the citizens of Thornwell chatted amongst themselves, while the couple was walking towards the guild that they could see in the distance.

"I can't believe we've been dating for nearly a year…" Lance said, petting Blitz on his head.

"Yup! That day at the guild, I cherish it so much!" Blitz's eyes were sparkling in excitement as he remembered the day both started dating.

"Well, I don't even know how I managed to talk to you that day…" Lance blushed, looking away.

"Haha! You were so nervous when you asked me out!" Blitz grinned, puffing his chest. "By the way, do you know what's coming next?"

"What?"

"Your birthday, Lanny!" Blitz chuckled.

Lance gasped. Of course, his fifteenth birthday! How could he forget? But that made him curious about something. "Well, what's my present going to be then?"

To that, Blitz gave a large, toothy grin. "That's something you're gonna find out in the future~"

Both passed by the market street, going to the Kecleon's store. Lance bought an apple and walked away, eating it. Blitz, on the other hand, just watched, smiling.



And so, they finally arrived at the guild. The Hero guild's interior was divided, with the left corridor leading to the dorms, and the right, to the cafeteria, alongside the training area. At the middle of the hall were stairs that lead to the second floor, where the guildmaster's office was located.

The guild was lively, Pokémon going back and forth between different areas of the guild. But the couple ignored that, climbing the stairs. When they arrived on the second floor, Lance knocked on the office's door.

"Dad, it's me! We're here!" He said.

The door unlocked, and the duo went inside.

Nick was standing up, looking at both of them with a smile. The Lucario extended his paw to his son, and Lance shook it.

"Good morning, son," Nick said and looked at Blitz. "For you as well, did you have a good sleep?"

"Yes, sir! A wonderful night, actually!"

"That's great! I must thank you, for making my son so happy," Nick kneeled, rubbing the Electrike's head. "Anyone that does so has a place on my heart."

"Dad," Lance blushed and crossed his arms. "We came here to check our mission since you asked for us."

Nick twitched his ears and stood up. "Right. There have been reports about a Bibarel running around in the night, stealing food from the Kecleon brothers."

"Oh, that's not… Good at all! Do you have any leads?" Blitz questioned, sitting on the floor.

The Lucario went to his desk, grabbing a paper. On the document was a drawing of the Bibarel, alongside the reward for his capture. Lance grabbed the paper, staring at it.

"I see," he said. "You called us because, being a Fighting-type and Electric-type, we have an advantage over that Bibarel, correct?"

Nick chuckled. His son was analytical as usual. "Yes, that's the reason, think of it as a test for your training. Can I count on you?"

Blitz wagged his tail and nodded. He was excited to go on that mission with his boyfriend and hoped that everything would be alright.

"Of course!" Lance grinned, looking at Blitz. "We'll fulfill this mission with a perfect score, dad."

Nick sat on his chair, smiling. He trusted the duo to get it right, and with that, Lance and Blitz left the guild.



The first place they should go to was, obviously, the Kecleon store. With that in mind, the couple also needed to plan how they would approach that situation. Lance scratched his chin, thinking about the plan.

"I think it should be easy," Blitz sighed. "Like, the Kecleon are the ones asking for our help, we don't really need to interrogate them."

"Yes, I'm aware," Lance tapped his foot on the ground, mind filled with ideas. "However, we do need to ask them questions, since they could have leads."

"Gotcha, Lanny!" Blitz chuckled to himself. The Riolu was always like this, but he loved him anyway.

"Let's go, Sparky!" Lance darted to the street they were previously in.



Now back at the market, the lovers went straight to the store. One of the vendors waved to them as they got near. The green Kecleon had an angry face, as he knew why the trainees were there.

"I'll tell yuh! Dat Bibarel's a menace! Okay? It stole all our food!"

"Yeah, yeah, I've heard about it, mister Clay," Lance shrugged. "Regardless, we need to ask you a couple of questions."

"Please do your job!" The purple Kecleon said, slamming the table. "We can't wawhk wit'out our supplies!"

"Alright, mister Spectra! But we need to question you both!" Blitz snarled a fizzle of electricity on his body.

Both the Kecleon stopped screaming, listening to what both of the explorers had to say. Lance sighed, taking the paper. He began by asking where they first saw the Bibarel, to which Clay answered: "It was around midnight, where I saw it munchin' on our apples!"

"We den scared it off, and repawhted it tuh de guild! But it kept comin' back!" Spectra grumbled, already annoyed by that question.

"I think it's a wild Pokémon," Lance was writing on a notebook. "Did it say anything, or…"

"Dat ting just screeched, I doubt it has any sapience at all," Spectra pondered, remembering the encounters.

"Got it!" Blitz laughed. "Lanny, we have to plan a hunt for it, right?!"

"Pretty much," the Electrike's boyfriend nodded. "Mister Clay, we'll figure this out for you, alright?"

"Yuh bettuh, otherwise we're gonna go bankrupt!"

The couple agreed, leaving that store with a new plan. They needed to lure the feral in with food and knock it out. The next step should be getting the wild one back to the forest. Lance chuckled, he had everything planned out.



They decided to wait until midnight. Because of that, Lance and Blitz were enjoying their date, and were now at a famous restaurant that served ice cream, named "Barry's berry ice cream".

The place was crowded, and there were menus on the walls, filled with flavors that they didn't even know existed before now. Many canisters of ice cream sat inside a glass case, forming a rainbow of deliciousness.

There weren't many seats or tables in the establishment, but the few that were there seemed to be well-maintained, free of any stains. Barry, a Beartic, was talking to his employees, urging them to prepare the dessert for the couple that was waiting on a chair.

"This is good… Blitz, how did you even find this place?" Lance looked around, checking every detail.

"My parents brought me here last week! And I thought about our date!" Blitz kissed Lance on his cheek.

"What flavor did you ask, Sparky?" Lance blushed, looking at the sides. He couldn't help but wag his tail.

The owner of the restaurant approached them, carrying two bowls on each of his paws. The left bowl contained blue-colored ice cream, while the other was yellow, and it had gummies sprinkled on top of it.

"An Orrran and Sitrrrus ice crrream forrr this dearrr kouple," the Ice-type said. "Anything else forrr you?"

"I don't think so, mister," Lance agreed.

"Verrry well, if you want anything else, feel frrree to kall me," Barry said, leaving the two alone.

"Sooo! Now it's time for us to eat, Lanny!" Blitz nodded, grabbing a spoon.

He began to eat, and in an instant, his mouth was filled with flavors. The gummies he ate were yellow and tasted sour, making him cringe a little, but he kept eating it. Blitz was always a fan of sour sweets.

Lance, on the other hand, ate his Oran ice cream slowly, savoring every bit of it. It tasted sweet and gave him a feeling of relaxation, not only because he liked the food, but also because his boyfriend was there with him. Blitz was just eating, but Lance couldn't stop staring at that, he always enjoyed seeing his partner, even at the most mundane moments.

"Blitz… Did I tell you that I'm thankful for being with me?" Lance asked, gazing directly at his lover's eyes. The eyes that he found himself drawn to.

The Electrike noted that and blushed. "I-I… No, but… I'm thankful as well. Lance, I love you."

They finished the meal, staring at one another's eyes, and kissed. For that one moment, time seemed to be standing still, nothing was moving except them in that display of affection, and neither wanted it to stop. But eventually, both got out, drool on their mouths. Lance took a napkin, cleaning himself, and with another, cleaned Blitz's mouth.

"This… was really nice, Blitz. But to be fair, it tasted too sour for me!" Lance laughed, rubbing his head.

"And yours was sweet! Haha…"

"So… What now? Should we make preparations or can we relax for a little longer?"

Lance checked the clock. 8 PM. Good, he still had a few more hours to enjoy the date. "I guess it won't hurt for us to relax."

"YES! It's the answer I was waiting for!" Blitz wagged his tail even harder. "Okay, where do you wanna go?"

"I… Have an idea, Sparky," Lance said with a grin. He got up, paying the Beartic for the dessert, and left with Blitz.



The teenagers were now heading towards a different store that had a large sign with a Mimikyu drawing on it, that read "Mira's costumes shop".

As they got inside, the first thing they saw was a line of suits, based on different Pokémon. Blitz set his eyes on a Zacian costume, complete with a crown and a toy sword.

"Lance! Oh my, I love this!" He said, barely able to contain himself and try on every suit.

"Ah, what a pleasure to see such happy customers!" A Mimikyu said, walking towards the duo. "Hello, I am Mira, how can I help you?"

"Good night. I'm Lance, and this is my boyfriend, Blitz!" He said, pointing to the quadruped Pokémon.

"Heya miss!" Blitz continued, nodding with his head.

"We're here because I want to buy a gift, Blitz once mentioned to me that he would love to dress up as Zacian during Halloween, so…"

"Ah, darling, that's so sweet!" Mira clapped her ghostly hands. "Very well, feel free to take a look around, and whenever you're done, let me know!"

She left, going back to the counter, and began to read a book. Blitz then darted, checking every suit he could see, before deciding on the Zacian one. He went into one of the changing rooms and put it on. Once he was done, he got out, showing it to Lance.

"Look at me!" Blitz said with a sense of pride, grinning.

"Y-You…" Lance struggled to form the words, mesmerized by that view. "You're beautiful…"

Blitz blushed, covering his face. "O-Of course, you're handsome too, y'know?!"

"Alright, Sparky," Lance smiled, extending both of his paws. "Here, let me help you up."

Lance held his partner's front paws, lifting him. They were both standing up, and the Riolu hugged his boyfriend with all the strength he had. After all that Lance went through, having someone for him felt amazing, and he didn't want it to stop.

"Lance… I think we need to go to the mission now, don't you think?" He said, embracing the Riolu.

"Y-Yes, sorry. Got carried away."



After paying for the suit, they were now ready for the mission. All that was left is luring that Bibarel. To do that, they went to another store and bought a few apples. And so, they were now right behind the Kecleons' shop. Lance hid in a bush, alongside Blitz, the apples right in front of them.

"Sparky, it should appear any second now," the Riolu was focused, using his aura powers to try and check when the Bibarel would show up.

Coming from the woods, the Bibarel indeed appeared, sniffing around, and once it smelled the apples, went running towards the food.

The wild Pokémon then received an electric discharge all around its body and laid down on the ground, paralyzed.

"Hooray! We did it, Lanny!" Blitz said, coming out of the bushes.

The Bibarel stood up, and curled his body like a boulder, attempting to ram against Blitz. Before it could do that, however, Lance appeared, releasing a blue energy beam from his hand.

"Force Palm," he thought, throwing the Bibarel away.

"Thanks, Lanny!" Blitz sighed in relief, looking at their enemy, who stood up, despite the Thunder Wave from before paralyzing it.

"What do you say we give it a taste of our special attack?" Lance grinned.

"Our…? Oh, I know!" Blitz prepared to strike, electrical sparks surrounding his body.

Lance smirked and ran towards the Bibarel, one of the Riolu's paws charging with energy. The feral screeched, curving itself into a ball and charging against Lance.

"My main move… Force Palm!" Lance shot the beam at the ground, making him float for a few seconds, where he aimed at his enemy, letting the attack hit it.

The wild Pokémon received the strike, rolling around, when suddenly, it got hit by another one, this time, a blue electric beam, knocking it out.

"Phew! We did it!" Blitz sighed in relief, laying down on the ground.

"Indeed. But we still need to return it to the wild."

"Let's transport this Bibarel to the guild, your dad will know what to do!"

Lance put the Bibarel on his back with some difficulty, walking away alongside the Electrike.



After all of that, the two were once again at Lance's house, this time, having dinner, despite being well past midnight. They were eating an apple pie, and talking to themselves about their day.

"This was amazing, Sparky…" Lance nodded.

"Indeed," Blitz ate another bite of the pie, wagging his tail. "Your dad is such a good cook!"

"Yeah, I know," he smiled. "Question. You're gonna sleep here again?"

"Sure, why not? Or should I say… Wynaut?" the Electric-type grinned, laughing for a bit.

"…You're the only one that can tell me puns. You know that, right? My boyfriend, my partner…" The Riolu smiled, maybe there was hope he could be happy, despite all his trauma.

"Indeed. I love you, so, so much Lance… Never forget that!"

They put the plates in the sink, climbing the stairs to Lance's room. Both of them didn't say anything on the way, as words were not needed for that moment, only the tender feelings they were having, and that they hoped would go on forever.
 
Dungeon 21 - Hug all your friends

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 21 - Hug all your friends

Brian and Lance had different opinions about parties. For the first, they were incredible, and the Zoroark always had fun with them, talking to everyone and drinking. His brother, on the other hand, preferred much more to stay in the comfort of his room, reading a good book, without anyone to disturb that moment. Unfortunately, for him, that was not happening.

I really hate this, Lance thought while a rain of confetti exploded on his face. With a sigh, the Lucario removed the papers from his fur.

"Cheer up!" Brian gave Lance a light slap on the shoulder, which growled for him. "Take off that grumpy face! It's our anniversary, damn it!"

In the brothers' apartment, a big party was happening in celebration of their seventeenth birthday. In the kitchen there was a fruit cake, half of it was already missing, and on the stove, a shiny Gardevoir was baking some cupcakes. Nick, the boys' father, watched her carefully.

"This is a waste of time," Lance sighed, taking more confetti out of his hair.

"You do you!" The Zoroark shouted, drinking a whole glass of beer. "Let's fucking gooooo!"

The Lucario just went to the kitchen, sitting down and eating another slice of dessert. The Gardevoir accompanied him, smiling at him.

"Dear, congratulations. I wish you hadn't moved, but... I think I'm fine with it now."

"Thanks, Mom," Lance looked at her, his face reddening. "How are things at Thornwell?"

"The usual. Missions and more missions," Nick said, approaching his son. "But I could take some time to see you two."

"Thanks, Dad!" Brian lifted a glass of beer, taking it in one sip.

"You shouldn't even be drinking, Brian. You're only 17!" the female sighed in frustration.

"Amelia, it's their day. They deserve a rest after all the hard work they've done," Nick nodded.

"I appreciate it, Dad," Lance sighed, getting up. "Listen, I need to... work some things out, then I'll be back."

The Lucario left the house in silence.


Meggie had also attended the party but decided to stay outside, eating her piece of cake. Lance approached with a sigh. The thought of listening to Brian talking non-stop made the Lucario prefer to accompany the recruit.

"Hi, Meg. I hope you don't mind me here."

"Hm?" The Snorunt turned her gaze to Lance and smiled. "Ah, of course not. How are you? A year older must be a good thing for someone who knows his own age."

"Not exactly, but whatever. How about you? Six months here must be hard for you."

Meggie sighed, that Lucario was too direct for her taste.

"It's very strange, but I think I understand how this body works!" She said with a smile.

"Good... Listen, I really don't want to stay here, so what do you think about us taking a walk in the city?"

Meggie blushed, moving away from him. The Snorunt thought about what to say and moved her head as if she had hair.

"Hm, right at your birthday you ask to go out?"

"H-Huh?! Not like that!" Lance looked away, his tail swishing around. "Listen, I need to take a walk, and I don't want to do it alone!"

"Hihihi, I was just playing with you, silly. But I accept, shall we?" Meggie walked towards the stairs, happy to have made that grumpy Lucario embarrassed.


Now on one of the streets of Bright Dawn, the two were walking without any concern in the world, just talking to each other.

Lance didn't want to admit it, but he was loving the company of Snorunt, who looked at everything with her eyes shining; even after six months, she still found that place impressive, with all the valves and mechanical buildings, the only part Meggie didn't like was the steam from the factories in the background, which made her cough from time to time.

The sun was shining in the sky, it was already afternoon and with that several Pokémon went and returned to their activities.

"Well, where do you want to go? I was thinking of buying some Slowpoke tails in the street, they can be very good when prepared properly," Lance pointed to a tent with a Charmeleon on it.

"Wow, food, don't you think that's kind of cliché?" The Snorunt smiled, teasing him again.

"Meggie, stop teasing me," he sighed, taking a deep breath.

"If you say so," she shrugged.

"Whatever, what do you want… Meggie?"

She was already running to eat the tent, and Lance went right after her. The two of them stopped in front of the tent, and Charmeleon looked at them with a smile.

"Good morning, gentlemon. What would you like to buy? We have Slowpoke tail, Tauros steak, and even Magikarp steak if you want!"

Meggie pondered. "Tauros meat!"

"I want some Slowpoke tails," Lance nodded, crossing his arms.

The Charmeleon smiled with his teeth out and took a stick, putting the steak pieces inside. Then he released a puff of flames, controlling the fire so it wouldn't burn the wood. After finishing, he delivered to the two Pokémon.

"Thank you, sir," the Lucario paid for the skewers and left with Meggie.

While they were walking, they kept talking to each other. It was a quiet day, and more important than that, a break, after some missions last week, Lance needed a rest.

"There's something I want to know! It's about you and your brother!" Meggie said with a smile on her face, taking a bite out of the meat.

"Feel free to ask, as long as it's not... A very personal question."

"If your mother is a Gardevoir, how do you and your brother—"

"She is our stepmother," Lance shrugged. "And a psychiatrist. Dad hired her after some things that happened with me and Brian, and he thought it was necessary for our mental health. In the end, they got married."

"I understand. I'm sorry if... It's a delicate matter."

"No problem, Meg. I like your company, to be honest."

Meggie gave a big smile after hearing about Lucario. Even though he was moody, it seems that he also had a good side to him.

"It's ok! Another thing, hmm, you and Brian are the same age? Are you twins?"

"Dad said it was a miracle. And... Before you ask, me being a Riolu was also rare. Few pregnancies result in a Pokémon of the father's species," Lance looked away. "Unfortunately, I never met my biological mother."

"If it makes you feel better, I don't know anything about mine either," Meggie bent her head down, not knowing how to react properly.

"We seem to have that in common, I guess," Lance said with a smile.

The Snorunt's chin almost fell off. A smile, really? She couldn't believe she'd pulled that stunt.


Lance and Meggie decided to stop in a square, one of the few places that had trees in that city, and because of that, the Lucario decided to go there with his teammate, sitting on one of the benches. The Snorunt had finished her meal, throwing the stick in the trash; Lance, on the other hand, was looking up, as if he was distracted by something.

"Lance… Is everything okay?" She looked at him, trying in vain to get him to talk.

Meggie had realized something was wrong. Although she was joking about his request, Snorunt had the impression he wanted to get away from his family. Deciding to confront him, Meggie took the courage to ask.

"LANCE!" she pushed the Lucario with all her might, screaming to get his attention.

That worked; Lance turned his gaze to her, panting. Whatever was in his head was gone now.

"S-Sorry. Got something on my mind."

"All right, I understand. But I asked a question, are you okay?" Meggie leaned her hand on Lance's paw, looking at him.

Lance quickly moved away, thinking about what to answer, as he didn't want to ruin that afternoon.

"I don't like my birthday very much for a while now," He shrugged. "It's complicated, but I'm trying to solve my social interaction problems.

"And you think running away from your birthday party will help that?! Lance, if you want to change, you need to act!"

"I am, I'm with you all afternoon!"

"Yes, but they are your family! They love you and care about you! Don't you think you should stay with them instead of a human you've known for a short time?!"

"I…" Lance lowered his ears, trembling. "I'm sorry, there's so much stuff going on… I had another nightmare."

Meggie touched the Lucario's hand again, but this time he didn't back down. Instead, the two were gazing at each other, as the wind blew in the air.

"Thanks... for letting me vent, Meggie."

"And I thank you for letting me into your team," the Snorunt looked at the square, watching all the Pokémon in that place. "I'm in an unknown world, with no idea who I am, but now I have friends."

"Friends, yes," Lance smiled.

"And so I can tell you that… You can count on me! If you need anything, I'm here for you."

Lance, without giving any warning, hugged the Snorunt tightly, his body was shaking from holding his feelings so much during that day. He took care not to hurt the female with the spike in his chest.

Meggie gasped, but accepted that gesture, understanding that the Lucario needed it.

After a few minutes, they separated. Lance seemed to calm down and was now blushing.

"I think… I'm ready to go home now, what do you think of that?"

"I don't see any problems…"

The two were interrupted by a cry for help. Surprised by that, they both ran in the direction of the noise.


Already at the exit of the park, the two stopped to see what seemed to be a hostage situation.

On one side, an orange Lycanroc and a red one were with a Mawile, who was wearing a collar on her neck, with a small stone on it. On the other, a Dewott, next to an Arcanine, both wearing the insignia of the local police. Between them were some stones, serving as a barrier.

"Apollo!" Lance screamed, already on the detective's side.

"Kid! By Arceus, it's been a while since we saw each other!" The Fire-type looked at the Lucario, tail wagging slowly.

"What's the situation?!" Meggie stopped, panting. Her small body tired easily.

"They're taking that Mawile hostage," the Dewott said, his body sweating.

"Jack's right. We believe those Lycanroc are involved with a trafficking ring, we've managed to follow them here, but we can't do much right now."

"Copy that," Lance sighed, analyzing that area.

Any movement Lucario made could call the dogs' attention and put Mawile in danger, and that collar made him nervous, memories appearing in his mind like a waterfall of emotions.

"Let's see if we can negotiate with them. I have a plan," Lance crossed his arms.

Apollo nodded and approached the barrier. He shouted to call the criminals' attention, and the red Lycanroc was the one who came closest to the rocks.

"Mr. Lunick. I would like to ask for your cooperation. What do you want in exchange for the hostage?"

"Ah, that part!" The wolf licked his lips, excited. He held a device with a button. "Okay, hehe! How about a kiss?"

"Lunick! We don't have time for this!" The second Lycanroc shouted loudly, growling at his companion.

"Sirius, little brother, let me do things here! I'm great at negotiations…"

"No, you're not!" Sirius approached his partner.

It was the opportunity Lance was looking for. He jumped, carrying an Aura Sphere in his hand, and shot it between the two enemy Pokémon, who reacted by crawling, so that the blow wouldn't hit them. Now, Lance was in front of the hostage, looking directly at the other two.

"Ouch! What the fuck was that?!" Lunick stood up and, when he saw Lucario, he gave a broad smile. "Boy, our lucky day! The boss asked us to take a Lucario!"

He shuddered at the mention of being taken. That and the collar were like knives inside the boy's body, and he vividly remembered what he had been through in his childhood; Lance wondered if those two had any connection to that Gallade.

"Lunick, you idiot! Now he's got four against both of us! Outside that two of them have the advantage!" The Lycanroc Dusk roared, preparing to go into combat if necessary.

N-No! Shit... Easy Lance, easy! The Lucario's head was filled with thoughts, he couldn't do anything but shake when he remembered the past.

The Lucario's distraction was perfect for Lunick, who punched the ground, and under Lance, a wave of brown energy appeared, colliding with him. Lance was hit, eyes bulging as he screamed in pain. The explorer stood up, panting.

"All right, it's time for our team to act!" Meggie took the lead, putting a tiara on her head. "Mr. Detective, please, could you evacuate the area? Lance and I will take care of these two idiots."

The Arcanine and Dewott left, leaving the hard work to the explorers. Meggie had a smile on her face, ready for the fight. However, Lance was still shaking in his panic attack.

"A Snorunt thinks she can beat us, how hilarious!" Lunick laughed, his hands shining with a blue dragonic energy. "Bring it on!"

"Hmph, we'll see!" Meggie's hands shone, and a Water Pulse was launched in Lunick's direction.

The Lycanroc swerved with a jump and was getting ready to stick his claws into Snorunt when he was struck by what seemed to be another aura blow, throwing him to the ground.

"She… She's right. I can't just stand by. Kidnapping other Pokémon?" Lance now faced the two bandits, his hands crackling with aura.

"Lance, time to show our teamwork!" Meggie laughed.

Team Liberators was facing their enemies, and behind the explorers, Mawile was panicking, she wanted to escape, but was afraid of what would happen if she did that. Sirius noticed that; a little smile appeared on his face.

"Lunick, I think we will need our weapon," he said to his brother, who was getting up.

"Hehe, watch this thing!" Lunick grabbed a device from his backpack by pressing a button.

Behind Lance, the Mawile screamed in pain, and he looked back. The female's body shone and began to change shape, her mouths split in half. The glow broke apart; the now Mega Mawile was looking directly at Lance. She screamed, running towards the Lucario…
 
Last edited:

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
  5. custom/windskull-bidoof
Hey there Navar! This is a review of chapters 1-5. I’ll go over some thoughts on each chapter, then my overall thoughts up to this point! And like I said when I talked to you before, I’m going to focus on story and plot, but I’ll also point out a few spots in the prose that felt particularly off to me.

Chapter 1

You start on a high, intriguing note. A nightmare that, from what we can tell later on, has a lot more meaning than just a dream. The one thing that I would change in this opening passage is the following sentence:

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…
It paints a pretty solid image, but I”d recommend breaking it up like so:

Ignoring the pleas, the creature started to multiply. Multiple eyeballs materialized in the darkness, and a laugh echoed across the void, getting louder and louder until…

If you want it to feel frantic, you could still leave it as one sentence, but by cutting out a few of the words, it makes the sentence feel less passive.

Moving on to the next scene, looking around Lance’s room gives us some pretty good indicators of his character. He’s a bookworm (hah, nerd! Jk.), and doesn’t seem all that interested in tech. In some instances I would have cut, “Books had always interested him more than fancy technology”, due to the rule of show instead of tell. But because it could lead to misdirection and confusion about why he doesn’t bother the radio, in this instance I think it works well.

With calm weather, the wind blew around the place.
I would personally cut this line. When I was listening to this section, this line kind of threw me off, because it’s placement seems odd. Otherwise I think everything up to this point is good.!

Moving on, we get introduced to Brian, as well as James. I can already tell just from his introduction that he’s going to be quite a bit different than Lance! I get the feeling they’re going to play off of each other well, so I’m looking forward to seeing more interaction between them as the story progresses.

This section also gives us our first big hint at Lance’s trauma. Obviously we’ve already seen the scar, but I could write that off as just a scar from exploring. Especially once it was established that he and Brian were a team. But this scene quickly establishes that it was more than that.

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.

This is the other major spot in chapter one that felt particularly off to me. I think there’s two reasons for that. The first, and more obvious, one, is the fact that at least one word is missing from the end of the sentence. Here’s how I would approach this section.

Meanwhile, Lance walked around the town’s beach, contemplating as ocean waves washed over his feet. Far away, a few lapras swam on the waves.

In general, though I think you’re off to a good start. You’re doing the stereotypical “waking up and starting the journey” chapter that’s common in pokemon fics (though moreso in trianerfic than in PMD fic, to be fair), but it’s short enough that it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and it still manages to set up some intrigue.


Chapter 2

Couple of little prose notes here. They’re not bad, but I wanted to point it out because it might help elevate your prose going forward.

Desperate, he opened his mouth, filling it with flames. The dragon was preparing to attack whatever was chasing him.
You don’t really need the second sentence here, as the first makes it pretty clear that he’s preparing an attack.

The owner of the voice spoke, coming out of the shadows and revealing himself.
“The owner of the voice” is a kind of clunky way of saying that the other pokemon is talking. Obviously, our pov character doesn’t know what type of pokemon is speaking to him, but a better way to word it would probably be something like…

a voice replied. Then the pokemon stepped out of the shadows, revealing himself

And heh, this is two fics now that I know of with killer bisharps. I’m not complaining though. I like bisharp. Needs more love tbh.

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.
This is another one that felt kind of clunky. Or more so, kind of passive, for what is meant to be an action sequence. But I get it, action is hard to write! Here’s a possible edit to try and make things a bit less passive.

The dragon’s attack exploded, sending smoke billowing throughout the area. His heart accelerated as he waited, expecting to see his attacker knocked out. But as the smoke dissipated, he saw nothing but a little doll where the criminal once was.

Sorry, I got a little nitpicky there, but I also really like action sequences, so I end up breaking them down a bit more.

Moving on to the rest of the chapter, there’s only one other spot of prose I want to point out:

Once she received an answer, she briefly explained the Pokémon who had entered the building.
I don’t think explained is the right term here. I think “described” would be better.

Despite my nitpicks I think you did a great job setting up more intrigue. These guys seem to be our antagonists for the story. Or at least for part one. And it makes it quite obvious that the city is probably not going to be what our protagonists are expecting.

There is one thing I do want to bring up though. And mind you, this is just an opinion based on the five chapters I’ve read thus far.

I think that this chapter should have been posted first, and used as a prologue/act opener, depending on what it says about the story as a whole. For one thing, having it right after the first chapter kind of pulls our attention away from the heroes. And second, it points the story, or at least the first section in a very obvious reaction. And I think havin it as the first thing you see when opening the story would give a strong first impression. When the reader gets to the nightmare sequence in chapter one, it would make one question whether it’s related or not. And then that leaves us guessing whether the dream is relevant to that, to something else, or a red herring entirely.

Chapter 3

Now we get to see these two good bois in action. And they certainly are good bois.

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.
I’m bringing up this particular line, because the first phrase kind of gives it a different meaning than what you intended. When you say “The vision he was having,” I don’t think that he’s seeing the world differently, like he’s looking at aura or whatever. My brain immediately jumped to “oh, he’s having a prophetic vision.” So that’s something you might want to tweak.

I do like that you make it take a lot out of him. Primarily just because it’s a fun little worldbuilding bit that keeps it from being an overpowered ability.

Near him, two Pokémons met their blood-red teeth, snarling at their prey.
I feel like there’s a word missing here, because I’m struggling to figure out what it meant.

In general, I think this fight scene was an improvement over the last one! And I mostly enjoyed it. But there were a couple spots I wanted to point out.

After receiving the impact, he would hit the rocky wall, coughing and breathing deeply.
This sentence is very passive. Here’s an idea for a less passive alternative:
He hit the rocky wall and slumped, coughing and breathing deeply

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.
I think this was the most confusing section of this scene. I really don’t understand what’s happening here at all, and I think it’s an issue of an incorrect word or two.

"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."
To be fair, it’s not really Gamma’s place to ask, lol. But I like that we get to see a bit of Brian’s worry here. He knows that Lance is really not doing too well, but it also seems like he doesn’t really know what to do to help him, so he’s stuck just kind of worrying and hoping for the best.

Chapter 4

I actually don’t have much to say about this chapter, nor much on the next one, but I did want to say something about this passage.

"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!"

I don’t know much about Lance’s backstory outside of what’s been hinted at and a few things I’ve seen around discord, but I think this is a nice hint at not only his personality, but at his past. He’s obviously been through something pretty terrible, and as a result, he seems like he doesn’t want anyone to go through bad things. It’s not a very big part of the chapter, but it says a lot about him.

Chapter 5

"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.

This bit of dialogue isn’t really doing it for me. It kind of feels like the kind of overexplanation I’ve come to expect from shonen animes that try to stretch out their runtime. Which I don’t think was your intention.

"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..."
Similar here. I think what he’s trying to say is that the fight has taken a lot out of Lance already, and that he’s going to finish him off?

I’ll be honest, and I don’t mean this rudely, but I do think that this was probably the weakest of the five chapters I read. That’s not necessarily bad, because I am enjoying what I’m reading, but it felt sort of rushed, like you were trying to hurry through the action to get to the next chapter. Particularly near the end.
So, where do I stand on this story overall? It feels like an episodic adventure story. Kind of like a shonen anime, or like Avatar the last Airbender. There’s one big overarching arc, but there’s a bunch of smaller, episodic adventures along the way. And that’s not a bad thing! I actually have a soft spot for those types of stories, so long as there’s progression of the plot. Right now, we feel like we’re in the early episodes, where nothing significantly bad has happened on screen yet, and the heroes can afford to goof off and do some “side quests.” How long that will last, I’m not sure.

Moving on, you did a good job of setting up some of the overarching mysteries of the story. In what I’m assuming is the shorter term, what’s up with the corruption in Bright Dawn. And in the longer term, what happened to Lance. Both of those are things I’m curious about. And I want to read more to find out about them. And I plan to! I just hope there’s not too much time spent on these side journeys along the way before we get there.
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
Well well well, what have we here? Fusion? Reading? Impossible, I know.

But this was one of the nice things I promised myself to do when I had free time, which should be a bit more frequently with the holidays coming up. For us 'muricans at least. SO, without anymore delay because I am nervous and don't know how to make a good review, let's get this review started!

I also only read the first chapter so... this review is about that only, really


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...

First things first, this is a pretty good intro dream thing! I was a bit nervous at first because for some reason, I actually thought Lance was a goner. You set the scene really well too, me thinks. I can tell it's dark, scary, and whatever that beast is is, in fact, a beast.

Leave it to Brian to organize their bookshelf before he left.

This is the kinda clever character building I like. Instead of flat out saying Brain was a tidy lil fox, have me use my brain to figure it out. Clever.

taking an ice cream made with an Oran Berry

Oran Ice cream, you say? I remember you saying a thing about oran sweets the other day, and now I'm hungry.

A radio in the center of the room sat untouched, covered in a layer of dust.


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.


Oh, another bit of worldbuilding that I think is neat. And character building, because of what is said about Lance right after that I forgot to quote. You pretty quickly set up that your world is advanced as freak, with radios and fridges and such, and with the layout of the kitchen. Now I gotta know who the other chairs are for, you know, other than just "their family."


"It's gonna be so fun, we'll work by ourselves!" he shape-shifted again, becoming a Machamp, flexing his muscles.

Great, so he's cute, and he can become one of my other favorite mons. Guess I gotta simp for him now. It's just how things work.

He needed that moment, away from all problems and distractions. To not remember what made the nightmares begin.

Is it alright if I hug Lance? I think I'm gonna hug Lance.

"I'm not Number 10 anymore,"

Yeah, he's number 1.
haha now we can laugh. Or don't cuz that wasn't funny.
Seriously though, I am a fair bit interested in what that number is supposed to be for. Other than what he was labeled as. Some kinda... I wanna be broad and say it's science related?


"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."

Did someone say foreshadowing?

If you couldn't tell, I liked the first chapter! It was a fun lil intro to Lance and Brian and James, and the world, and has a nice few bits of plot sewn in. Aside from like, one or two little errors, that I honestly can't even remember now, this is a solid first chapter.
 

Fusion

Da ba dee, da ba di
Location
Egg.
Pronouns
Him/His
Partners
  1. zoroark
Chapter 2, so soon after the first

Ehem...

"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.
"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.

So this is that Bisharp I heard about from you, huh? Imma be honest, he's cool as hell. If a bit of an ass, but he is a mercenary so like, that's to be expected. I totally forgot Bisharp could use Pyscho Cut btw, which makes sense as a means of dispatching targets. Shame the target was a Druddigon tho.

"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.

So I love them. Like, that's just it. I wanna see more of those clowns. Villains being dude-bros is top tier in my book, and these two play off each other well.

"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."

And throwing Flint in just made it a lot better! There's just something about prick Bisharps that I just love, especially when they're friends with polar opposite characters.

"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.

Alakazam, huh? I have one too, but he won't show for a while Prometheus is, fittingly, a scumbag. The only way to make him look like even more of an asshole is to have him take a bite out of an apple. Or give him a cat and a fancy swivel chair. Or an eyepatch. I wouldn't mind seeing what happens to him, honestly, whether he gets put to justice or let off scotch free. Or maybe you'll surprise me?


All in all, me like. There are a few bits that were off grammar-wise, but hell if I can find them again. Other than that, you introduced a villain team that I wanna see more of, as well as a scummy politician that might either be an antagonist, or completely unrelated to the plot. So yeah, I wanna see more of them.
 

kintsugi

golden scars | pfp by sun
Location
the warmth of summer in the songs you write
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
  4. custom/booper-kintsugi
  5. custom/meloetta-kint-muse
  6. custom/meloetta-kint-dancer
Hiya Navarchu! Finally coming through for our review trade haha <3 Reviewed up through Dungeon 5 since it felt bad to leave the cliffhangers as separate pieces.

I'm sorry this took so long--this was a lot of fun. Your character dynamics are my favorite part so far. Two brothers as exploration partners is really cool, since we get to start with two characters who really know each other! I love how you introduce some tension between them early on but it's still clear that they care deeply about one another; I think it's a really nice twist on the vanilla PMD where an amnesiac befriends a stranger--now these guys have history, but they can still have issues! I was really shocked as you started to pull their relationship apart a little, like with Lance leaving Brian in the clutches of the graveller. That was pretty horrifying and I felt really bad for Brian after! It's clear that while Lance is still wrestling with his own trauma, he's not entirely in a place where he's okay being kind to himself or extending that compassion to others sometimes, which I think is fair! They're still kids after all, and I get the feeling that they've both got a lot to learn. I also thought that James was a really cute and welcoming figure and I love how gentle he is with the kids haha.

The number 10 stuff is a neat little hook too 👀 It's a little early to tell but it definitely seems like there's a lot more going on under the hood and I'm excited to see what differences you'd made between this and the standard PMD world! Some of the early plot delved into the more approachable concepts like rescue missions (which I appreciate tbh; it's always good to have a bit of familiarity especially in the beginning), but it looks like you've got a lot of pieces in motion for some later branching out.

The Heart of Steel is a really cool villain concept--I like how they're just mercs, merc'ing about. Some people just wanna kick back and murder people lol. I like how you establish them as threats early, and based on the table of contents I think we can expect to see a lot more of them in the future. I wonder where Lance's dad is? is he a steel type? And Luxray is also off doing his own thing, and it looks like mystery dungeons are corrupting people and turning them crazy; clearly this world isn't as safe as we'd like it to be. Hope the kids are gonna be okay.

I thought your side characters were really cute as well! Two-headed doctor doduo is a lot of fun. Marty the zebstrika seems like a Madagascar reference? haha. And I liked Teslan both because he was intimidating af and also because his name felt like a fun mix of Tesla and Aslan lol. I was so shocked that he just beats Lance down--I'm used to the protagonists getting to win their first one or two fights, but I think it was pretty realistic for Lance to challenge someone way above his weight class and get punched down for it. I hope he's more careful in the future :(

Descriptively I notice this quirk where you describe one thing and then contradict it--
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.
The void is devoid of light--but there is something. I'm not sure if this contradiction accomplishes much or if it starts to undercut you a little; I think it'd be more clear to say something a bit more straightforward, like "The void was a featureless plane, devoid of any light. A small, Pokemon walked around in the nothingness, with sweat running through his blue fur. The Riolu trembled [...]"--it cuts out some of the ambiguity and lets you convey the story a bit more clearly imo?

And I did find myself wanting a bit more or less out of a few scenes--there's a scene in the first chapter, for example, that's two paragraphs and I'm not sure what it was adding? I think it wouldn't hurt to fold that in to either the one that came before or after, or to flesh it out a bit so it contains some more action, a character realization, etc--as it is it feels a little like a quick cutscene between meatier segments of gameplay.

Overall I think there are some really clever and original ideas at play here, and I like the cast of characters you've set up thus far. I feel so bad for Brian haha; he especially seems unprepared for all this! Hoping everything turns out okay for these guys.

---

Grammar wise I think there are a few typos that slipped through the cracks. I'm happy to point them out but I think you'd mentioned not being super interested in that feedback earlier? If I made that up in my head please lmk; I'm happy to do some copy-editing for ya.

I do have some notes on dialogue punctuation--if nothing else I think this one would be the easiest thing to fix since it's something you can roll out across the board instead of hunting down specific typos. This is a specific punctuation that's kind of intimidating on the outside but once you learn it I think it helps clean things up a lot! Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

I like to think of dialogue categorically. There are two basic questions we can use to classify it:
  1. Does it have a speaking verb accompanying it (i.e. "he said"), or does it not? This will tell us if we should treat the dialogue as one sentence or two separate sentences.
  2. Does it end in a punctuation/exclamation mark, or does it end in a period? This will tell us if how we should capitalize/punctuate the sentence.
So a piece of dialogue that doesn't have a speaking verb would be something like:
"My stuff is packed," he shrugged.
Notice that "he shrugged" doesn't really describe what Lance is saying--it describes what he's doing instead. So the answer to "does it have a speaking verb?" is "no"--as a result, we can treat these like two separate sentences.
> "My stuff is packed." He shrugged.
If there were a speaking verb, we would want to treat it like the same sentence:
> "My stuff is packed," he said.
Note that we keep the "he" lowercase--it's part of the same sentence, so we don't have a capital here unless it's a proper noun.

Similar example here:
"Brian must have already left," His stomach rumbled, reminding him of how hungry he was, so he made a beeline for the kitchen.
> "Brian must've already left." His stomach rumbled [...]

And then the second category is if a dialogue ends in a punctuation/exclamation mark or not. Example here:
"Lance and I are leaving. I woke up early, so I decided to say goodbye!" he gave a faint laugh.
So from the first question, we know that these are two separate sentences--we should capitalize the "he". But we can still leave the dialogue as an exclamation mark:
> "I woke up early, so I decided to say gaoodbye!" He gave a faint laugh.
But if we wanted to describe someone saying that dialogue, we would leave the exclamation mark:
> "I woke up early, so I decided to say goodbye!" he said.
Likewise:
"Whoever you are, I can make it up to you!" The reptile screamed, trembling with fear, looking around.
> "Whoever you are, I can make it up to you!" the reptile screamed, trembling with fear, looking around.
Compare to a dialogue that ends in a period--we would want to use a comma instead of a period. This is a silly rule but it's the convention haha.
"Your brother is stable." one of the Doduo's heads spoke to the boy.
> "Your brother is stable," one of the Doduo's heads said to the boy.

And again, dialogue punctuation is a lot to grasp and English does it in a particularly stupid way--please let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to try to explain these a little more if you think that'd be helpful!
 

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partners
  1. custom/chikorita-saltriv
  2. custom/bench-gen
  3. charmander
  4. snivy
  5. treecko
Finally here for catnip, over the first eight chapters!

There's a lot that I enjoyed, and a few things I didn't. I'll try to alternate between positive things and negative things.

First of all for the positives, the characters! The main duo of Lance and Brian are really interesting to me! Lance's personality is really unique for a main protagonist! He's heroic...but also seems to be rather spiteful and prone to hate, yet he still really seems to care for people, especially his brother. And then there's his trauma from...likely whatever that Number 10 stuff has to do with.

And Brian is just so likable of a character! Seriously, he's probably my favorite character in the whole story so far! He cares about his brother so much despite everything that happens, even spending TWO THOUSAND POKE on a Sun Ribbon for him to evolve!

Many of the characters outside the main duo are really good, too! The Heart of Steel made a VERY intimidating first impression by killing Razor so swiftly and in cold blood. They maintain that intimidation through their next appearance in chapter 7. Attacking the dynamic duo during the night when they probably would otherwise have been sleeping was rather terrifying!

You also made the mayor, Prometheus, a great character that is just SO much fun to hate. I can't wait to see him get his comeuppance.

And while he's likely not a major character, I feel really sorry for the little Tyrunt. It's been days, and he has no idea that his father is dead. I really hope he gets a hug at some point.

And first for the negatives, it can be a little exposition-y at times. I feel like some things could be shown, rather than told.

For instance, in this section:

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 third sentence feels a bit out of place. Perhaps instead of stating it outright, show it in some dialogue later on? Maybe have a minor backround character the group passes by be curious about Lance's abilities, and ask about them? Or maybe just use Brian's comment about aura just before this to clue the reader in?

And in this section:

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.

The last sentence feels a bit exposition-y, and a bit of a run-on, too. Maybe replace the third comma with a period? Or remove that sentence entirely from this paragraph, and have it be implied in the bar conversation just before this?

Back to the positives, the small dream sequences with Lance where he's panicking are very intriguing! It feels really surreal, yet I can still sort of tell what's going on. I'm excited to see what the deal with these and Lance's past as "Number 10" is, and why he hates that identity so much.

For the second negative, I caught a few grammar mistakes. Nothing too bad, but they do stick out a bit.

"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.

There should either be a comma instead of a period at the end of the dialogue, or the sentence after the dialogue should have its first letter capitalized.

"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.

Same here.

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

And here.

"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.

Here, too.

Brian opened his mouth to protest but was barred by two Shinx who put themselves in front of him, blocking his way.

This sentence feels like it it could use a comma before "but".

Returning to positives, the pacing of the story is excellent!

The first two chapters excellently introduce the heroes and antagonists, Team Liberators and the Heart of Steel respectively. I can get an idea of the dynamics and personalities of both groups, and start rooting for Team Liberators and against the Heart of Steel.

The Mightyena pack was a great first obstacle for Team Liberators. It was simple, relatively easy, and nicely showed what the duo's abilities were, and how combat will work in this story.

The Heavenwind Village section was a very nice follow-up challenge for the group. Aslan's gang, while not as intimidating and terrifying as the Heart of Steel, are still quite the threat, and even manage to hospitilize Lance! It was also a great show of the teamwork between Lance and Brian, how far they trust one another, and the synergy they have when working together.

The first chapter of Bright Dawn was a nice, more relaxed chapter after the chaos of the last two chapters, allowing Team Liberators to calm down after what had happened with Aslan's gang.

Then in the next chapter, the action picks back up, and we have the murder from chapter 2 back at full force, and a government conspiracy and assassination attempt!

And in chapter 8, we have Apollo the detective Arcanine introduced, and the mystery aspect of the story is beginning to be brought up! It all wonderfully flows from one chapter to the next.

A few bits of speculation before I continue:

I'm going to guess that tidbit of rationality slowly being lost in dungeons from chapter 3 is going to mean something later on.

I think that Aggron from the second-to-last section of chapter 6 is the same one as in the Heart of Steel.

I have absolutely no evidence for this last one aside from both being steel-types, but I think Mayor Percival has some relation to the Heart of Steel.

To end this review off, I'm going to say what some of my favorite quotes from the story so far are.

"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!"
- Lance, Chapter 4

This line is very well-made. It shows that Lance is very willing to help the village, but has no qualms insulting one of the village members in the same breath. He might help people even if he has nothing to gain from it, but that doesn't mean he'll like them.

"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..."
- Teslan, Chapter 5

This. This is a very intimidating quote, and a very unique and effective thread. I really like this line.

"I want you to contact the Crew, I need to silence some brats..."
- Prometheus, Chapter 7

This was the quote that made me utterly despise Prometheus, in a good way. Just how quickly he turned around from being polite to willing to comission murder, and how willing he was to attack two teenagers. You managed to make me hate a character with a single line. That's not something I can say many stories have done.

Anyways, thank you so much for the read! I really enjoyed this so far, and very much am looking forward to reading more!
 
Dungeon 22 - Team Rebirth

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 22 - Team Rebirth



Lance could barely react to the transformation; when the Mawile opened her mouth, releasing a gust of pink wind. The Lucario gasped and moved away to avoid being hit. Despite all that, he kept his gaze on the female.

The explorer kept a frown and looked at the Lycanroc. "W-What is this monstrosity?! Just… What did you do to her?!"

The Mega Mawile roared, and moved her two large mouths to attack; she got hit by a ball of pulsating water, yet the Pokémon barely moved, her eyes had a piercing glare as she looked in the direction of the attack.

The Snorunt screamed to her companion. "Lance, I don't think we have time for this!" Meggie was charging another Water Pulse, when the Mega Mawile ran after her, and both got away from Lance and the Lycanroc.

"Guess that lady is correct!" the Midnight Lycanroc laughed, jumping with his claws enveloped in blue, draconic energy.

"Y-You…" Lance held his paws together and created an Aura Sphere to hold off the attack.

The Fighting-type grunted, but eventually was able to push his enemy away. After that, he panted.

"Haha! Lucario, this is gonna be fun!" the Lycanroc licked his lips, darting; or rather, running in all fours, towards Lance.


Meggie ran away from the exit, her opponent right behind, shooting more of the fairy wind. Thanks to her small stature, the Snorunt was able to dodge most of the attacks, and was now hiding behind a tree.

Y-Yes! I escaped, now if only she stopped attacking…

She sighed, and took a peek around: no signs of the Mawile. Now thinking it was safe to come out, Meggie left.

The first thing that she noticed was something rough and rocky crashing against her in the blink of an eye, launching Meggie upward, and the second one was a stream of flames covering her body; both of the effective attacks causing the Snorunt to scream as she felt her body ache and crack, falling to the ground.

Alongside her were the orange Lycanroc, who just finished using his Accelerock move, alongside the Mega Mawile, smoke leaving her mouth.

"Well done, Amy. Flamethrower was a good choice of move," the wolf nodded, looking at the Snorunt on the floor.

He jumped, tail glowing in a silver, metallic tone, and prepared to strike Meggie, when his tail got hit by a fast and precise kick, throwing the Lycanroc against a tree.

"Hope ya don't mind the help, darling!"

A Lopunny arrived to stop the move, landing on the floor with grace. The bunny wore a purse with a rescue team badge on it, strapped around her shoulder. The Mawile stopped, as if she was waiting for orders to attack.

"What a weird one…" the bunny took out one seed, and carefully inserted it into Meggie's mouth.

The Snorunt gasped awake as she ate the seed, eyes darting around. Meggie stared at the Lopunny and backed away, panting.

"Hey, hey lady! I'm here to help ya!" the bunny showed her badge, and Meggie stopped running, getting up.

"W-Who are you?!" The Snorunt said.

"Lilith, and like I said, gonna help ya take down those thugs!"


Lance dodged every move the Lycanroc was trying to hit. The Lucario's eyes glowed blue and he analyzed the aura his enemy was radiating. He growled, preparing another sphere.

"Hahaha! If you keep dodgin', I'm gonna be mad, Lucario! At least let me hit one Dual Chop!" the wolf smirked, his hands glowing in draconic energy once more.

"Shut your mouth…" Lance ran, launching the attack.

Somehow, the move did not hit, instead, it seemed to be going further away, which made Lance back away in shock; on the other hand, the wolf rushed towards his opponent to hit him with the Dual Chop.

However, the previous Aura Sphere returned, hitting the canine on his back, cancelling his move and making him fall to the ground head first.

"…Pathetic," Lance said, approaching his enemy with a smirk; his plan had worked wonders. "My aura training wasn't for nothing."

"Y-You piece of shit!" the Lycanroc lifted his head, only to see the Lucario's paw in front of him, glowing with a metallic hue.

"If you don't want to be hit by a point-blank Flash Canon, I suggest you answer my questions, Lycanroc. No… Lunick, correct?"

"H-Hey! Hey! It's alright! I'll answer you!"


Inside the park, Lilith's feet glowed red, and she tried to kick the Lycanroc, but before the attack could land, the wolf collided against Lilith, launching her across the floor.

On the other side, Meggie threw herself, curving like a ball, to hit the Mawile; only for her to be hit by yet another Fairy Wind.

"A-Argh! Why is this so difficult?!" Meggie screamed in pain as she was sent to the ground.

She got up, checking her surroundings. Full of trees. Despite the failure of using Rollout before, the Snorunt smirked, having thought of a plan.

"Let's do this…" Meggie took a deep breath, rolling once again. This time, however, she charged another Water Pulse.

The combined attack was a water spin, hitting the Mawile and making her scream in pain. After the move, Meggie landed on the ground, panting. Even with that effort, the Mawile was still conscious, and if her expression was any indication, very angry, to the point of growling.

"It worked," she said, looking at her opponent's body, wet by the previous move.

The Mawile charged against Meggie, trying to hit her, a giant and white ball of metallic energy had formed around the Mawile's face.

If I'm gonna do it, it's gotta be now! Meggie released a stream of cold wind, shutting her eyes; she could only hope for the best.

After a few moments, Meggie opened her eyes, seeing the result of her attack: the Mawile's body was half-frozen, meaning that Meggie's opponent could barely move. The Snorunt took a deep breath and crashed, using the Rollout attack again, making the Mawile scream in pain as she got hit, knocking her out.

"I-I did it?! I did it!" Meggie cheered, but her moment of happiness was cut short, as she heard snarling, turning around.

Behind the Snorunt was her other adversary, the Dusk Lycanroc. She backed away, fear beginning to set itself inside her body.

"O-Oh no, I'm not a fighter, why did I agree to this?! I just wanna go home!"

"D-Don't give up!" Lilith woke up, firing a thunderbolt at the wolf, who yelped, feeling the electricity crackle inside his body.

"Not give up… You're right! I need to find my answer!" Meggie screamed, her will to battle returning.

"You will be dead before any of that happens!" The wolf barked and ran towards Meggie, his body glowing to indicate the Accelerock move.

Meggie got hit again, cringing and gritting her teeth, but that's when she realized the opportunity. While the Lycanroc was near her, she charged another Water Pulse, launching it.

"Lilith! The answer… Is in… The trees! NOW"

At that point it was impossible for the canine to dodge, and he got sent vertically. Lilith stood up, watching that happen with a grin, having understood Meggie's plan.

The Lopunny jumped into the trunk of a tree and, with a heavy stomp, dashed towards the Lycanroc, hitting him with a Jump Kick, sending the wolf crashing on the ground.

"W-Whoa! I was thinking that you were gonna do something else entirely!" Meggie grinned, watching as the bunny landed.

"That was a very good plan!" She gave the Snorunt a thumbs-up.

Suddenly, both of them heard a panting sound. Despite all the attacks, the Lycanroc was still standing, albeit he was severely hurt, feeling stings all over his body due to the effective moves.

"I… I… Sirius, calm down! This is nothing!" He said to himself, body trembling.

"This battle is over, Lycanroc!" Lilith prepared to strike another Thunderbolt, her eyes showed no emotion.

"N-NO!" The canine growled and, using the last of his strength, ran away with his Accelerock.


Lance stood still, Flash Canon ready to fire on his paw, just waiting for any wrong move by the red Lycanroc, who was terrified of that Lucario, wishing to go away as soon as possible.

"O-Okay, okay! What do you wanna know?!" Lunick gasped, heart racing.

Lance could sense the wolf's aura of fear, and smirked. "The usual. Who do you work for?! What did you do to that Mawile?!"

"I-I work for Morgan, he's a scientist! And a very good one at that, makin' Mega Evolution and all!"

"Mega what? You're not making any sense," Lance frowned, and drew the steel attack closer. "Spill it."

"M-Mega Evolution! One type of evolution that Morgan discovered! I-I don't know the process!"

At that point, Lance was trying his best to not blast the Lycanroc. Something about his words seemed familiar to him, that, coupled with the strange collar the Mawile was wearing, made Lance begin to sweat.

"Who's this… Morgan?" Lance asked, raising an nonexistent eyebrow.

"H-He's a Gallade!"

Lance blinked, and it all came to him. The reason for his kidnapping, and the one Pokémon that did it. Lance backed away, shivering, making his Flash Canon fade away. Lunick grinned, punching the Lucario in his stomach with his fist coated in electricity. "That's for being a prick!"

"D-Dad…" Lance didn't do anything, falling to his knees, the smell of burning fur filled the air.

"Shut ya mouth!" The Lycanroc punched him again, making Lance fall to the floor.

Grinning, Lunick began to kick his opponent several times, all the while laughing like a lunatic. Lance was unable to move, too occupied with thoughts about his captive days to even bother to react to the assault; it was as if in that moment, Lance was that small, defenseless Riolu again. That alone made Lance panic again, to the point where he began crying.

Lunick charged another Thunder Punch. "Haha! Ya know, once I'm done here… I might just make that little Snorunt a snack!"

"Don't hurt my friend…" Lance snarled, snapping out of the panic and firing a point-blank Aura Sphere into his opponent, sending him away.

The explorer got up, panting, his mind was still filled with the memories, but Lance wanted to focus on the battle. He prepared two other spheres on both hands, but stopped when he heard a running noise to his side. Sirius had just gotten there with his Accelerock, and jumped to the red Lycanroc's side.

"H-Hey bro! Nice to see ya! A little help?!" Lunick smirked, turning around so his sibling could grab an item in the bag.

"Lunick, you're as useless as always…"

"I feel like you're forgetting me here," Lance said, firing the blue spheres at his opponents, but before they could be hit, they vanished in a white glow.

The Lucario blinked. A Warp Orb, that was it. Growling, he sighed; searching for their aura in a big city like this would be near impossible.

"Laaaaance!"

He turned around to see Meggie and the Lopunny. Not recognizing the latter, Lance crossed his arms, back to his stoic look.

"Meggie," he said. "It's good to see you. You… Ran off in the middle of the fight, are you okay?"

"I'm okay, the plan was to lure the Mawile away from you, so I did!"

"Right," Lance turned to look at the bunny. "And you are?"

"Lopunny, a member of Team Rebirth," she nodded. "And I helped your friend here, so I'd say thanks."

"Thanks."

"You're welcome, Lucario," Lilith said. "Regardless, where are the Lycanrocs?"

"Warped away," Lance sighed.

"On the bright side, we saved that Mawile! Even though she was trying to kill us…" Meggie smiled, but then looked down.

"Yes. About that. Do any of you know what this is?" The Lopunny took out a rainbow-colored stone, in the shape of a raindrop.

"It's an Emera, but what's with the color? I never saw anything like it," Lance took a moment to check the stone, which to him, was radiating a very strong aura.

"My team and I found this during one of our latest rescues, and that Mawile also had one. Apparently, it induces some type of—"

"Evolution," Lance completed the sentence. "I never even heard of this before, that's weird…"

Meggie was staring at the Emera. Something about its capabilities of evolution was familiar to her, but the former human couldn't remember it.

"You say you found this before? What type of team is yours? Rescue, exploration?" The canine Pokémon turned to face Lilith.

"Rescue team, we have a very reliable information network. We've been investigating kidnappings related to various citizens, unfortunately, they seem to be random."

Lance flinched at the word "kidnappings", but kept his stance. "Okay, I understand. Do you have any leads? I'm gonna investigate this further."

"Wait, what?!" Meggie raised her voice. "We're gonna tackle this?!"

"It's related to me, so yes, we will," Lance said.

Lilith smirked, the Lucario's words were like a soft tune to her ears. "In that case, what if I propose an alliance between our teams? After all, we've been following this case for a while."

"Interesting point, Lopunny," Lance nodded, interested in what the bunny had to say.

"I might need to check what my companions have to say about this, but knowing them, I'm sure they're gonna love the idea!"

Meggie brushed her nonexistent hair. "Seems fair to me, where will we meet them?"

"Meg's correct. And also, when are we doing this meeting?"

"I need to take the Mawile to the hospital, so I'd say… One hour?"

"May I suggest the Hero guild? I'm used to it, graduated there and all," Lance nodded, looking at Lilith.

"It could work," the bunny bowed.


After setting that up, the three Pokémon went in different directions. Lance and Meggie went to talk with Apollo, and after that, decided to go to Lance's apartment, so they could talk with Brian.

Once they got there, they saw the Zoroark sleeping on the couch, several bottles of beer were scattered around the floor and the strong aroma of alcohol filled the air, making Lance cover his nose in disgust.

"I swear, if you weren't my brother, Brian, I would punch you."

"Well, well, I don't think he's gonna wake up so soon…" Meggie laughed to herself.

Lance rolled his eyes, and then noticed something on the table: three boxes with a letter attached to one of them. Curious, he looked closer, and began to read out loud.

"Dear Lance, Brian, and Meggie, these boxes contain gifts for all of you. Since we don't know when Meggie's birthday is, we decided to give her something as well! Brian helped us make your gift, Lance, and his gift is gonna arrive soon!"

"A gift? For me? Who wrote that?"

"Dad did. I guess Brian's six-month course in engineering paid off."

"Well, he did want to become our mechanic, and this town has that type of aesthetic anyway. Good for him! Now open my gift!" Meggie jumped like a child, waiting to see what she received.

Lance sighed, opening all the boxes. For Meggie, she got a tiara, for Lance, two bracelets, who fit perfectly in his arms. As for Brian, his box was by far the largest, and contained a tool vest, having screwdrivers, wrenches, hatchets and sockets, all fitting for the Zoroark to use.

"H-How did he learn to do this stuff in six months?!" Meggie gasped, staring at all those tools.

"When Brian sets his mind on something, he does it, I guess," Lance shrugged, putting the bracelets on his arms. "Now this? I have no idea what it does."

"It's for the aesthetic, Lance! And if it's not, we can ask your sibling after we're done with the meeting!"

"O-Oh yes, right, the meeting…" Lance lowered his ears. Despite wanting to pursue that Gallade, he couldn't help but be scared of doing so. What would he do if they met again?

Questions like that popped up inside his brain, enough for Lance to shiver. Meggie, having noticed that, got near her friend. Trying to calm him down, she held his hand. The Lucario took a deep breath, that same exercise he was so familiar with always worked. This time wasn't different, and soon enough, Lance managed to stop his panic attack.

"…Lance."

"Y-Yeah?"

"We should go to the meeting," Meggie nodded. "I don't think your brother will wake up anytime soon."

"R-Right," Lance cleared his throat, leaving his home alongside his friend.


It wasn't long until the duo arrived at the building they wanted. Where once was the Black Skull guild now stood a subdivision of the Hero guild, so familiar to Lance. Simple enough, the building had an architecture of metal, much like the rest of the city, and extended until their eyes could see, the top merged with the smoke that came out of the city's factories.

And yet, the fact that he was going there to talk about pursuing someone who hurt him made Lance stop to reconsider his choices. Then he remembered that Mawile; she was a victim, just like him.

"Let's go."

Once they got inside, Lance noticed several of the guild members walking around the place, some were hasty, and some were at a regular pace. Inspecting around, Lance saw the Lopunny, sitting at a table in the middle of the guild hall.

Meggie, on the other hand, was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the hall, as it had light poles powered by Luminous Orbs everywhere, besides the mission board, located at the right side of the hall. It also contained several tables for anyone to sit down and relax, beyond a set of stairs, leading to the second floor. Next to the stairs was the secretary's stand, where a Krokorok was reading. Meggie wondered if the Sceptile that had helped her so much was in the office. Oh well, that wasn't what they were there for. Her eyes darted to the Lopunny, and she walked towards the bunny.

"Welcome, miss Meggie, mister Lance."

The Lopunny's companions were staring at Lance and Meggie: a black-colored Marowak, holding a bone with a flaming tip, and a Electivire. Both of them were carrying bags on their backs.

"It's nice to meet you too," Lance crossed his arms. "I'm Lance Williams, and this is my friend, Meggie."

"Hello!" The Snorunt waved.

"Very well. Introductions, I assume. My name is Scar, I am the leader of Team Rebirth. You've already met Lilith, and this—"

"I'm Maxwell, but you can call me Max if you want!" The Electivire gave a wide grin.

"I understand. My other teammate is currently… Hungover. So he can't join us right now," Lance sighed, sitting on the table. "Regardless, I assure you we can come to an agreement."

Meggie also sat down, and with all those big Pokémon, she felt a little insecure, but brushed it off. "Yes. We found that Mawile with… Mega evolution? Is that it?"

"You are correct. Lilith, may I have the Emera?" Scar looked at the bunny, and she opened her purse, handing him the item.

Lance decided to check the aura of that rock. Like he thought, it radiated a powerful, almost intoxicating energy.

"J-Just… How is that thing even made? My brother would sure love to check this stuff out…"

"We don't know. However, we have our ideas," Scar answered.

"You see, we have this big information network, spanning all over Eutrios!" Max's words screamed with energy. "Shocking, isn't it? Eh?"

Lance was less than amused. "I'll ignore that pun. Anyway, network?"

"Just some Gengar that are more than happy to work for us, alongside a few Sableye. In fact, about a week from now, we're gonna get their newest reports," Lilith smirked, closing her eyes.

"Got it!" Meggie said, brushing her face again.

"Well, how is your investigation going?" Lance asked, looking at Scar.

"Straight to the point? I like you already, mister Williams. Our intel says they have multiple reports of Pokémon going missing, seemingly at random. However, this isn't something recent. As a matter of fact, it's been goin for at least—"

"Nine years," Lance dropped his ears, that entire sentence stinged inside his heart.

Lilith blinked. "How do you know that? Did you investigate that as well?"

"I was one of them. I escaped, or rather, they threw me out. One Blaziken and one Heracross."

Meggie wondered, sensing something similar in all three species of Pokémon. Still, she couldn't figure out what.

"I see… Are you doing this out of revenge, mister Williams?" Scar asked.

"No. I want to make the world a better place, and that guy… The Gallade. He can't keep doing this. It's not… right"

"Be the change you want to see in the world, correct?" Scar got up, his face had a faint smile. "Understandable. It's gonna be a pleasure working with you. However, before we do this, I need something from you, mister Williams."

Lance sighed. "What are you talking about?"

"Simple. A test. Lucario are an… Interesting species. I just want to see what your skills are…"

Lance got up, ears twitching. "Tell me what this test is all about…"
 
Last edited:

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
[Review for chapters 1~3]

Hey Navar! Time to blitz along and give your fic a read next! This is going to be a review up to chapter 3.

So the story begins pretty simply, a classic tale of establishing a town and their brief home life and background before setting off on an adventure for coming-of-age reasons, more or less. Simple beginnings. That being said, the motivations are a little vague and it's clearly intentionally written that way, but I’m not sure why. After all, it’s a big twist for the reader, I assume, yet not the characters themselves as they already know.

Maybe it's personal preference on my part, but I suppose having “reverse dramatic irony” in this way, where the main protagonist knows something the reader doesn't, didn't appeal as much to me. But that's more an artistic direction and is highly subjective. Here's hoping this will get filled in more later. I do expect that this secret will be something substantial so the meticulous hiding of the full truth is worthwhile!

One thing that I noticed about the prose for these early chapters—and I won’t get too into it since for all I know the future chapters have improved on this—is the beige feel to some of it. Prose is a little clinical, all things considered, and there are some places where the motions could have been omitted and left for the reader to fill in the blanks. I think they’re referred to as “stage direction” prose, such as spending sentences describing, in a basic way and without much personality, that someone relocates to a table, opens a door, walks down a path, and so on. It’s fine to quickly establish a scene, but it felt excessive here, especially when it’s in the structure akin to instructions. Made-up example: “He walked through the door. After walking through, he took a seat.”

But to use an actual example, here’s one:

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.
I want to specifically break this passage down and rewrite it to explain what I mean about the redundant prose, and I’ll try to explain why I did what I did. I will otherwise change as little as possible.

[

Using a wired phone, she dialed a number, and then briefly announced their visitor to the receiver. After hanging up, she said, “You can go up the stairs, sir,” and jotted down something in a notebook.

Obliging, Flint headed up and to the mayor’s office, knocking if only to feign politeness [or follow procedure, or announce his presence, etc.].

“You can come in!”

The door creaked when it opened [or slid open silently, etc.], first revealing a painting of the mayor on the opposite wall. Another Alakazam sat at his desk, staring at the Bisharp. He rubbed his mustache with one hand while the other held a glass of wine.

]

So, the first thing I did was trim out a lot of the ‘stage direction’ while still leaving enough information for where the character, in this case Flint, ended up going. Some of the more mundane sentences were either consolidated, added a bit of personality to imply a character’s traits, or just omitted completely. I don’t know if some of the information is still better of present, but this was sort of how I’d see a slim-down of unneeded prose. From there, the reader can fill in the blanks left subconsciously—though I hope I didn’t leave too many gaps, because then that could be distracting.

Speaking of chapter 2, it was definitely a different change of pace and showed what I imagine are the antagonists of the story, or at least some of them. They're very clearly the bad ones, though, and I'm curious why you named this Druddigon character only for them to be killed. I usually subscribe to the law of conservation of detail, so I'm going to assume and hope that they will be mentioned or have some impact later. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't have named him outright from a narrative perspective. But again, personal style choice.

And then, onto chapter 3! First combat with the protagonists followed by some cooldown with the one they saved! The combat was definitely on the mechanical side, though I thought the fact that they announced their attacks to be kinda cute. Is that how moves are performed in this setting, by chance? Reminds me of played-straight spellcasting if that’s the case. Or is it only something that has to be done by novices before they can nonverbally perform them? Either way, it makes me wonder if a skilled fighter can feint attacks by announcing the wrong move, for example.

I think the bit about being stoic and blank was a little on the nose with the conversation they had near the end. It was definitely there to get across the fact that he was that way for some reason in the past, but I think I could have happened a little more organically. I think you could afford in general, based on your writing style, to be a little more subtle and less overt with the things you want to convey, even if it’s just a little.

That aside, though, I think you did well to establish the core cast, so good on that. Looking forward to where this adventure will take them, so until then, see you, and thanks for the read.
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
  2. custom/dratini-pen
  3. custom/dratini-pen2
Hey Navarchu! I'm here for your Blitz prize review. I read the first six chapters--Brian and Lance getting settled in Bright Dawn seemed like a good place to leave off. You told me you wanted feedback on plot, characterization, world-building and pacing, so I'll try to do my best!

In chapter one, we meet Lance and Brian. It's immediately obvious that Lance has a traumatic past. He has to remind himself that he's not Number 10 anymore--from that, it sounds like he was kept in some kind of institution. The number makes me wonder--who were numbers 1-9? Were they also able to escape? Lance hasn't thought about them, so I have to assume that's the case. He's so driven, if there were other people in his situation, I can't imagine he'd rest until he'd helped set them free.

I wasn't certain how much Brian knows about what happened to Lance. He mentions to Uncle James that Lance hasn't been the same since the incident, but I get the sense he doesn't really understand what happened. He just thinks his brother is being his typical moody self. However, it's clear that he understands something is up with Lance. Brian seems to really put himself into a protective role. He does seem enthused about being an explorer, but it seems like a big part of his motivation is just to be able to keep an eye on Lance. I'm curious about this dynamic of protection. Lance appears to be the superior fighter of the two. I have to imagine that's somehow tied to the bad thing that happened to him.

We also meet with Uncle Jaimes. I wasn't sure whether he was a blood relative, or just close enough to their dad that they call him Uncle. Brian seemed to be pretty close with him, what with wanting to write him letters. Lance, not so much. We also learn a bit about their dad, who's an explorer. He seems like a bit of an absentee dad. That checks out, I suppose. Being part of an exploration dungeon team probably keeps you away from home a lot! Lance in particular felt a bit to me like he resented his dad. I wonder if Lance holds him responsible in some way for not rescuing him sooner. I have to imagine that when your dad is an explorer and you find yourself taken, your first thought is, "Dad will save me!" If that doesn't happen . . . ouch. Brian's view of Dad feels rosier--I wonder if his desire to be an explorer has to do with Dad being one, or if it's just because he likes exploring in general.

Overall, chapter one introduced us to Lance and Brian, and some potential internal conflicts they might have, but it didn't quite set up the kind of conflict that animates a plot. One thing that could have been interesting to draw out would be if only one of them wanted to go. Lance is deadset on ridding the world of injustice, but Brian seems pretty content to stay at home. Leaning into the idea that Brian is really only going along with this to keep close to Lance would heighten their dynamic and set up questions for the future. As is, the opening chapter leaves things pretty open-ended--I don't quite have a sense of what the story's about.

Chapter two opens with a bang! Lots of conflict right off the bat here. We've got a gang of killer mercenaries bumping off a rival politician for a corrupt mayor. I'm curious how prevalent this kind of violence is in the city. Normally I'd think if politicians are being found dead in alley ways, people are going to take note! But maybe Bright Dawn is just a really dangerous city to live in. I wonder how much work explorers get not doing exploring at all, but simply protecting people in the city. I also wondered about the difference between mercenaries and teams. Are teams just groups that are sponsored by a guild? Or are all mercenaries just sketchy. One thing that caught my attention in the city, on more of a worldbuilding note, was the gothitelle secretary to the alakazam mayor. Do psychic pokemon occupy any kind of priviledged position here? I also wondered why the gothitelle needed to use a telephone--isn't a big advantage of having a psychic secretary some instant communication? Chapter two definitely sets up some high-stakes issue--though as of the end of the chapter, those issues feel very far from our protagonists.

In chapter three, Lance and Brian help out some strangers. This sequence raised some worldbuilding questions for me. Lance and Brian are sixteen, and this world seems to consider them teenagers/kids. When I heard they graduated in the first chapter, it sounded like a pretty low-key thing. But in chapter three, adults are accepting it as normal that these teenagers are going to defeat scary wild bandits? It feels a bit to me like some teenagers coming up and saying, "we're boy scouts, we can help!" I wonder about power levels--usually non-adults just have less pure strength than adults, even if they've trained. I wasn't sure how normal it is for teenagers to go on these kinds of missions.

I was intrigued by the mention that mystery dungeons turn pokemon crazy. I find that one of the more interesting ways to portray mystery dungeons--much more ominous than some pokemon just being inherently "feral." Considering that a big part of the conflict seems set to play out in the city itself, I don't know how much this story will be dealing with mystery dungeons, as opposed to other obstacles exploration teams might deal with. But I'll be interested to see where you go with pokemon losing their rationality from dungeon exposure.

In chapter four and five, Lance and Brian, but mostly Lance, help out even more strangers, at some cost to Lance! I'm definitely noticing that Lance has a tendency to push himself past his limits. And it's not just his own safety he's careless about--he puts Brian on the line here too! Brian is pretty quick to forgive here, but I wonder if this tension will continue to build. Lance isn't being a good partner or brother. He's flinging himself into dangerous situations and leaving Brian to bail him out. What happens when that can't happen, or when there are consequences that a hospital rest and some oran berries can't cure?

The situation with Heavenwind seems to show that corruption is a wide-spread epidemic in this world. Is Lance and Brian's hometown a shining exception? Or were things not so idyllic there as they seemed? I wonder about the relationship between exploration teams and some kind of police force. It seems like Lance and Brian are fulfilling a policing function in this chapter. That's a little scary! Do all people have to rely on in this world the goodwill of powerful explorers or paid mercenaries? But, then, if teenagers are capable of taking down a whole band of thieves, what's stopping villagers in these towns from becoming strong themselves?

In chapter six, we finally reach Bright Dawn! It will be interesting to see how the plot teased in chapter two converges. Lance definitely seems like the sort to intervene if he sees something shady going down in an alleyway. But can he handle city-hardened mercenaries like the Heart of Steel? I had some questions about worldbuilding in this chapter. One thing that struck me as quite strange was Brian buying the sun ribbon. An evolutionary item seems like something pretty expensive--how does Brian have all that cash? Their two jobs on-route only awarded them a free ride and some oran berries. On the note of money, I also wondered about the place they're staying. Do they get free rent courtesy of the guild? Why would the guild do that--does the guild get some cut of money they earn?

Technology was something I was paying attention to throughout the fic. A radio is mentioned in chapter one, and the factories of chapter six point to an industrialized world. But Brian seems really surprised by something as low-tech as a wagon? I'm curious what all these factories are producing. What does it look like when industrialism comes to the pokemon world?

So far it seems like we have two main plot-threads: 1) Lance's traumatic past and how it's impacting his relationship with his brother 2) Corruption both in Bright Dawn and in the outlying areas. I'm interested in seeing how these plot-threads tie together. Is what's in Lance's past entirely gone? How much can two teens do about a whole system of corruption? The situation in Bright Dawn doesn't seem as simple as the one in Heavenwind--it's not a gang of outsiders terrorizing the town, the bad actors are part of the system. Who knows, perhaps they're part of the guild as well. Their dad is affiliated with the guild they're now staying at, right? I wonder how he'll react to what they've been up to. Or if he's part of some bad business himself 👀

Hope these thoughts are helpful! I know you said you aren't looking for prose feedback, but feel free to drop me a line if you want a passage beta'd!

Some misc thoughts:

An story about brotherhood, overcoming trauma, and making uour own place in thr world.
You've got some typos in here, fyi!

Dungeon 1 - Brotherhood
Calling each chapter a dungeon is intriguing! I like the suggestion that internal issues can be dungeons in their own right.

On the Riolu's chest was a claw-like scar, so deeply ingrained that anyone could see it.
I'm curious whether Lance tries to cover this up? I don't think anyone so far has mentioned it.

the bookshelf beside it was neatly organized. Leave it to Brian to organize their bookshelf before he left.
This implied to me that Brian is the book-lover but later it seems to be Lance who quotes things he's read.

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.
I got confused here as to whether the "him" was Brian or Lance. From later chapters, it seems like Brian is the fan of tech?

"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 might have been nice to get a concrete number here. How long has it been exactly? Lance does seem to be a child in the dreams.

"My name is Beet and I'm the manager of this hotel... I've never heard of your team, are you new?"
Are there so few teams that a hotel manager would expect to know them all?
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
Back to review this story again, on a new chapter! I can see that you are improving in your writing. Very good! Keep studying and keep growing.

I enjoyed chapter 3. I felt like I got a good sense of the brother's personalities shining through, and got to see how they operated on their first mission. I could see Lance's analytical yet distant attitude, contrasted with Brian's more positive and friendly outlook. I think one of the best parts of your story is these two!

The chapter also had a good, simple structure. A beginning, rising action, action, and a cooldown at the end. It works well for this.

I'd say, don't be afraid to slow down a little bit sometimes. An extra sense or two when setting a new scene is always good, or weaving them throughout the writing. The most fun part about PMD stories is reading everyone's unique take on the world, so don't be afraid to let your ideas show!

There were some parts I really enjoyed in this chapter. While the first half of the fight against the Mightyena was hard to follow, the latter half was clearer. There were also some good snippets of prose, like the change in Lance's eyes and the way he and Mightyena prowl closer together.

I think I'll go directly to the line by lines, since I have quite a bit. Mostly the stuff I'll say for now is grammar. You know my usual spiel about it, so I'll cut to the chase.

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.
There's no need to say 'noticing this'. In the previous sentence, you say 'from afar, they could see', which serves the same purpose as noticing something. You can imply a lot with gestures and actions. For example,
"From afar, they could see a Pokémon with a wagon, which was turned upside down. The duo shared matching looks of worry, then started to run towards it."

"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.
This felt like a bit too abrupt of a transition. While communicating urgency is good, I was caught off guard because I didn't even realize where they were going. Perhaps having Brian say something like

["We have to help."

Lance sighed, then nodded. "Let's go. They can't have gone far."]

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.
I would take an extra moment here to explain that they are heading into a dungeon. I didn't realize there was one nearby, so the sudden mention that the brothers had entered one briefly confused me. It's also lots of fun to describe what dungeon entrances might look like in your world. Are they portals? Staircases? Cave entrances? Elaboration and worldbuilding are great for fleshing out your world, so don't be afraid to slow down for a moment and describe something with a little more detail.

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.
Mentioning that he tried too hard isn't necessary. You already did well by having his brother establish this fact, and the fact that he falls to his knees panting tells the reader everything they need to know through the characters actions. (Good job in that respect, btw)

looked at him, bowing his eyebrows, worried.
perhaps 'furrowing' his eyebrows would work better? I'm not sure how one bows their eyebrows, heh

"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.
Was he talking as he was running away? I think rephrasing the tenses might clarify.

['We don't have much time!" He got up and started 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.
'with the driest trees and fallen leaves.' reads a little stiff.
I might suggest something like
'with the trees appearing drier and fallen leaves coating the ground'

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.
Fight scenes are tricky and something I still struggle with. When you have a single line, stick to the same POV. In this sentence, Lance jumps, but then suddenly Zorua appears and hits the Mightyena. Describe what Lance does, and what happens to Mightyena as a result.

Then put what Brian does on a separate line, so its easier to follow.

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.
This sentence feels a little long. I think it can be split. [Lance said, jumping right after the Zorua's blow and lashing out with both arms. The attack threw the Mightyenna against the wall, knocking him out.]

Also, while mentioning the specifics of a pokemon's attack is sometimes helpful, you don't always need to go into specifics. Readers have likely played the games or watched anime, so leaving that up to the imagination is fine, as I did in my example. We probably already know that 'cross chop' looks like an X shape.

"Pursuit! " the voice belonging to Zorua declared, colliding with the other Mightyena and pushing him away from his brother.
You can just say 'Zorua declared'. The shorter you can keep sentences in a fight scene, the better.

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.
When you use the word 'tried' in reference to fighting, it isn't always necessary. Since you describe the block itself, and the result, you don't need to say tried. The readers can see for themselves what happens. Lance brings up his arms, then gets knocked back.

Also, instead of saying 'dragged' back, use something like 'knocked' or 'thrown'.

Dragged implies the Lance was pulled not pushed back. An important distinction.

After receiving the impact, he would hit the rocky wall, coughing and breathing deeply.
No need to use 'would hit' here. Try to frame fights in shorter sentences. [The impact knocked him back. He hit the rocky wall and coughed, struggling for breath.]

When he heard the noise of his brother, he looked away, worried about his friend.
As before, he can likely assume Lance is worried for his brother, so you can just have him turn to check on him or make sure he's ok.

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.
This section confused me. This is what I think happened.

The Mightyena uses an electrical attack. He bites Zorua.
Brian is hurt? bleeding? I am not sure what 'breach' means in this context.
Brian retaliates with an attack of some kind.
Brian suffers recoil damage?

I feel like if you can split this piece of action into four parts, four nice direct sentences, the flow could be really solid. It is otherwise good action, and a good blend of characters fighting but also not being perfect. They suffer injuries and are still learning. (y)

It was possible to notice that the boy was angry when he looked at his face, and he was slowly approaching the enemy.
Instead of telling us that we could see Lance is angry, try to describe it. The same way you describe his eye colors changing (which was very good btw!!!), try to think of other details that show Lance is angry. Does he bare his fangs? Tense his body? Clench his fists? Or even narrow his eyes. These are all typical body language indicators of anger. You definitely don't have to use them all though. One or two will do just fine! :smile:

Pick a couple and use that in place of 'it was possible to notice that the boy was angry'

"I wanted to thank you, well, your brother too, but by the looks, he slept."
Perhaps you meant 'by the looks of it, he's already asleep'?

Gamma would lean against a log of wood.
Using the word 'would' basically means an action that they might do but haven't yet. However, if he's already leaning against a log you just use 'leaned'.
Also, most people assume a log is wooden, so no need to reiterate that unless the log was made of something uncommon.

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.
I enjoyed this glimpse into Brian's mind. It was a sad yet sweet and poignant paragraph to end on.

Overall, good chapter as far as plot and structure go. We got to see the brothers on their first mission and first fight. We see their characters too, in their interactions with the caravan and with each other.

The main struggles is fight scenes (which are really tricky) and the tense/grammar stuff. As a general rule, use shorter and simpler sentences for fight scenes. Action, reaction. Attack, counterattack. If a character does an action, the next sentence should show the reaction.

Otherwise, good work. I can see you're improving, and there's less stuff that felt awkward I think. If you have time, I think finding a way to study sentence structure of the English language could help. English is a really really weird language so a lot of stuff doesn't translate the same from other languages, even in word order and tense choice.

Even so, I really did enjoy this! Keep it up!
 

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
  3. milotic
  4. dreepy
Merry reviewmas

Part 1: Oh, this is an Assassin’s Creed fic? WEN EZIO?
-FYI, the character you’re looking for if you’re cutting someone’s speech off is the em dash (—), not a typical hyphen (-). On Windows PCs, you can get it with Alt+0151 on the number pad.
-Likewise, ten is one of those numbers you should write out, instead of just using the numbers.
-Also, when you only have one of a species, like with Riolu, I don’t think you need to constantly use “The Riolu.” Just “Riolu” should be sufficient.
-Radios are fancy technology, huh? Welp, guess we’re dealing with, like, mid-1900s level Magitek at best lol. There’s enough description to get a sense of Lance’s house, but since you have him walking through it to start his day, doesn’t feel like you’re bringing everything screeching to a halt. That said, you could stand to describe this “thriving city” a bit more. Are we talking multi-story buildings? What kind of street does Lance live on? That kind of stuff. Similarly, if “Hero Guild” is what the organization is called, the G should be capitalized.
-Brian seems plucky and energetic. A foil to Lance’s more reserved nature. They’re brothers, then? Like, actually related or adoption? If the former, does that mean the mom’s species doesn’t matter? Brian brings up his dad, but not his mom. Wonder why. Maybe it’s tied to this incident? Mmm, so many questions. One small critique: James was the POV character for the scene, so having the last paragraph inside Brian’s head doesn’t really make much sense.

Part 2: We interrupt this PMD fic to bring you Kirby Planet Robobot
-Why would an assassin tell a victim their name? There’s always the off chance a third party is around.
-Similarly, having Flint and Razor explain move stuff out loud feels a bit too anime-ish. Y’know, how a battle stops so a side character can explain what happened? Not really a thing you should need for this fic. Both ‘mons seem experienced enough to know how such moves work.
-Likewise, you seem to be having a bit of trouble with dialogue tags. I’d consult this topic: https://forums.bulbagarden.net/index.php?threads/punctuation.257237/ . Specifically the “Dialogue and punctuation” section. Likewise, saying a character “spoke” rather than just going with “said” feels like unnecessarily purple prose that just reads awkwardly, at least in my opinion.
-the empoleon is actually named Napoleon? Oh my god you can’t be serious.
-I mean… if the whole “Hiring an assassin thing” wasn’t so blatantly obvious, the mayor being named freaking Prometheus gives off major villain red alerts.
-Well, the chapter is a stark contrast to the ending scene of part 1. Lance and Brian seem pretty optimistic about what awaits them in the big city, but we’re already introduced to mercenaries and a corrupt mayor. I can’t help but wonder if, pacing wise, this is something that could’ve happened later. If the goal was to introduce Flint and co., it could have been with a less important case.
-Description wise it’s also a bit… barebones. There’s really nothing in this part to give me an impression of how Bright Dawn is bigger than the city the MCs are leaving.

Part 3: We interrupt this PMD fic to bring you that one Smart!Ash fic everyone raves about
-I’m… not really sure what’s up with the cold opening and its lack of perspective. Is it really necessary or can you just start with Brian’s POV?
-A pack of mightyena kidnapped a zebstrika? Fs out for the zebra. Victim of the necessarily early-dungeon mission. Though I am curious how the wild ‘mons would, y’know, be able to leave dungeons if they wandered in. What’s the nature of the relationship between dungeons and the outside world? It’s something every fic does differently, so you’ve got to find a way to incorporate the explanation into the fic sooner rather than later.
-I think it’s safe to assume your target audience know about lucariolu and their aura powers that you don’t need a paragraph to describe that fact. XD
-Lance has Cross Chop, hmm? Egg move or tutored or what? The battle was brisk, which I like given it’s not that important in the fic’s grand scheme. That said, there was a lot of awkward word choice and verb usage that made me stumble a bit. Hard to explain it well, but doing things like putting “would X” instead of just the verb in the past tense doesn’t fit correctly. That’s for, like, RP-ing with someone else, not a prose fic in past tense. Also, having them call out their attacks like they’re in the pokémon anime seems like a terrible tactic in battle. It makes them as transparent as an open book. 😅
-I’m going to guess that Lance’s stoicism and, well, tendencies to act far above his age (assuming this fic uses human-esque lifespans) are related to whatever this experiment business is about.

Part 4: Isn’t it lightning that strikes you? :V
-Again, you seem to sidestep proper descriptions with phrases like “local landscape.” That leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination. Same with Heavenwind. What do these houses look like? And the streets? And the hotel reception area? That kind of stuff all goes toward painting a bigger picture.
-I wonder why this luxray’s shiny. I mean, besides the shiny color scheme looking cool and all that.
-Lance channeling that shonen protagonist energy and getting ready to power up with his rage.
-There’s a few really odd phrases I’m seeing: “fainted at the same hour” and “strangled his fingers.” I’m going to chalk that up to you not being as familiar with certain English phrases, like “fainted at the same time.” Not sure what you’re going for with Lance’s fingers, unless he’s cracking his knuckles?
-Both Corviknight and Graveler go down quite quickly, here. I’m not sure if the latter is meant to represent how strong Lance is, but to be honest I don’t have a problem with this kind of power scaling. It’s true to the games. Often times fic writers drag battles out way too long. I’m very guilty of this.

Part 5: In which I’m disappointed the anime’s Lt. Surge isn’t here to shout “TUNDABOLT!”
-okay, lance, sure, you fight him alone. I’m sure everything will be sunshine and rainbows. (Disclaimer: Might be sarcasm.)
-Aaaand yup, Electric Terrain & Wild Charge combo. Only thing missing was a Guts boost from a status. I’m not so sure Lance should’ve tanked that hit okay— oh, wow, never mind he actually didn’t take it okay but then went for a “death or glory” scheme with a blast seed. Huh. Color me surprised. Again, short fight, but not in a bad way. It subverted my expectations. Only critique is some strange word choice, like referring to Lance as “the Pokémon.” Not really necessary.

… right, so, five parts in here and I’m starting to see a pattern of sorts. The little cold openings. The location-hopping. Having characters only popping up for one or two chapters. Aside from the violence level being darker than the source material, this feels like you’re using the anime (and the PMD anime specials) as a bit of a framework of sorts for crafting this fic. Let me be clear that there’s nothing wrong with such an idea if that is what you’re doing. It’s good to build off existing things you’re familiar with.

There are some issues that come with it, though, and they’re things I’ve mentioned above. You could stand to describe things in more detail. Likewise, having Lance and Brian shout their moves out kills the mood of your fights, especially when their enemies aren’t doing that. Makes it hard to take seriously.

I can’t say where the fic’s going yet, but the foundations are solid. You might see me again~
 

SparklingEspeon

Resident Nosy Person
Location
*teleports behind you*
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
  3. zoroark
~Review of chapters 1 - 13~

Hello, I'm your secret santa for this year! ...And I am late, but it's been a very busy month. Sorry about that.

I think there's a lot of cool things flying around in this story! I also think that there's a lot of things that could be worked on. I'll try to get the negative stuff out of the way first. I'll apologize in advance for what's probably going to be a mostly negative review.

One issue I noticed in the earlier chapters is that the description was lacking and there were a few weird grammar/word slipups - although I'm aware this fic is translated out of another language and this issue has decidedly lessened as the story goes on, so that isn't really something worth dwelling too much on. My main advice here would be to watch out for duplicate turns of phrases and too many commas in sentences.

If I had to pinpoint the crux of my major issues here, I guess I'd point to a lack of depth. Everything feels shallow. As cool of an idea as a tiered steampunk-industrial city like Bright Dawn sounds, I don't feel like it's lived in--much less know what it looks like beyond bronze towers everywhere. When characters talk, I don't feel like their dialogue hints at or reveals anything about who they are; same goes for their actions. I don't understand Brian and Lance beyond the most basic of their character traits, nor do I feel like Flint and the rest of the Hearts of Steel are vivid characters despite seeing their backstories. They all feel like puppets against a backdrop rather than real people.

I think a good example of what I'm talking about can be shown by the torture passage in Chapter 13:

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.

So before this, we get a scene of the gallade performing his sick experiments on Lance. After this, we get a scene where Lance fights for his life against a crazed houndoom who has been jacked up on unstable drugs. That scene ultimately didn't work out for me, and I think the reason why roots back to what's in quotes above. Now, to be clear, there's nothing wrong with it; it works fine. It just isn't powerful. It doesn't have an emotional pull on me, because I haven't really suffered with Lance. I'm told about his pain, but I haven't seen it. I don't understand what he's gone through, I don't comprehend all the pain and suffering he endured from just a single paragraph of description. As traumatic as an event as this was for him, I can't connect.

That spills over into the houndoom scene too--I don't know how he feels during it, so it loses all its power for me. Does he feel desperate, willing to do whatever it takes to see his brother and friends again? Has he given up, and would he allow the houndoom to maul him to death just so he can put an end to the torture this pokemon is putting him through? What if, instead of just throwing him into the pit, the scientist told him that he'd be allowed to walk free if he defeated the houndoom? Would he then feel like he'd have to kill the houndoom to escape? What would that say about him? That's the kind of thing that makes a story powerful to me; when the characters take the reigns and are forced to make decisions that reflect back on them and tell the readers who they are. And while I'm sure that exists here; I can see the framework, it's not getting across properly. And FWIW, I feel like this is 90% a mechanical issue--not saying the story itself is bad.

That said, even if the delivery is awkward, I can tell there's a good story here! I think the setup is interesting in its own right -- where a team of two pokemon a bit too naive for their own good travel to the big city to form a rescue team, but then take the Wrong Mission and get in over their heads politically. Soon they've got assassins on their back as they help a local detective uncover a conspiracy that probably goes all the way to the top. I feel like this is going to get a fair bit bigger in scope later on, with Genesect burning down Flint's village and stuff, but for now it's a mostly self-contained thing concerning abuse, trauma, and corruption and can go pretty much anywhere.

The characters, for what they are, also seem pretty solid at their bases--Lance suffers from PTSD regarding a traumatic event in his childhood and seems to have an Eren Jaeger thing going with his temper and unbridled hate for anyone who's a clear evildoer (at least considering how he goes ham on that luxray), and Zen has mostly played second fiddle but seems to be more introverted and worries a lot for Lance. It's nice to see him step up more and become proactive when Lance ends up in the hospital. I'm not sure where I stand with the Hearts of Steel -- on one hand, they seem to have come together out of abuse and later, the utter destruction of their village, but also it's hard to feel for assassins, especially ones who dispatch/treat lives so callously like Flint and Napoleon do. And of course the gumshoe arcanine detective is a treat :quag:

My overall thoughts are that this is an interesting story with a fascinating setup, but the execution is kind of lacklustre and I don't feel like I can connect with any of the characters. I do think it can get a lot better, though, and you have a foundation to work from! Keep writing :wigglyyell:

~SparklingEspeon

Listening to: A Shadow Lurking In the Town
 
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WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Hey, Navarchu! I thought it was really sweet that you spent your prize to get your friend a review, so I wanted to make sure to loop back and review yours too, just because.

An original PMD setting, inspired by the "Explorers" games, so a knowledge of that game would be the best.
Welp, I don't have that knowledge! So I'll be responding to what the story text presents only with zero assumptions based on the games. Original setting is cool though!

I have a few general comments, then some grammar and word choice suggestions in line reactions.

I like that you opened with a conflict! So far, this is setting up to be a story that's mostly about internal conflicts: Lance is struggling to recover from a traumatic event, his brother is disappointed he can't be more excited, and there's maybe some dad drama too. I also appreciate that all of the characters here have names! I'm always a little disappointed when a character's name is just their species. 💔

I wish I knew a little bit more about what being an adventuring team means to these two! Brian says something at the end about making their own destiny, but I'm not sure yet what he thinks that will entail. Are they trying to earn a living? Make a name for themselves? See the world? Earn dad's love? PMD settings vary a lot, so I think it's important to establish some of their concrete goals and/or how others see explorers. The way James talks to Brian makes it sound like this is almost seen as a coming-of-age thing, similar to a journey in trainer fic. At the same time, it seems like Dad might do it in a more professional capacity?

Brian is really cute. I like how he emotes by shapeshifting.

A more minor question: I can't tell yet if they're biological siblings or adoptive siblings. In PMD, it can go either way! The "number ten" talk sounds a little like maybe it's adoptive? My assumption right now is that Lance was in some kind of experimental facility. I'm reminded of Stranger Things. Anyway, I don't need to know the answer in this chapter, but I hope that as we get to know more about their relationship with Dad, some of those details come out.

Anyway, seems like we've laid the foundation for these characters and the next chapters will address some of the challenges they encounter!

Alright, here come line reactions, but don't choke on your tall glass of water, okay? Some of these are observations of things I liked, too. And all my comments are meant to be helpful! I can tell you care about your characters and story, so I'm here for nudging it to be the best version of itself. ⭐

overcoming trauma, and making uour own place in thr world.
Oops--you've got some typos in your synopsis. Important themes though!

Chapter list
Arc 1: Age of Steel
You might want to consider grouping all the chapters for each arc under one spoiler instead of putting each individual chapter under a spoiler: it's a lot of clicking!

Dungeon 1 - Brotherhood
Aww, this is a cute concept. I like that each chapter is a dungeon.

The canid trembled and looked around, trying to find an exit.
I'm not sure it added a lot for me to have our riolu described as a "canid." Epithets (words used in place of a character's name) should be used sparingly to avoid confusion/awkward language. In most published mainstream fiction, characters are primarily referred to by their name or a pronoun, and it's for a reason! It keeps it clear who we're talking about, and it doesn't feel repetitive because they're words we expect to be common in a text.

Emphasis on "the canid" and its blue fur felt like you were trying to describe a riolu for me when, like ... if I'm reading pokemon fic, I probably already know what a riolu looks like, right? 😏 The description of the scar is useful, though, because I wouldn't know to picture it unless you told me!

Across the void, he could see two red eyes, staring at him.
I'm not sure about across the void. If it's a space that doesn't have clear dimensions or end, how can there be an "opposite side" of it? Maybe instead you want to say something about how many meters away it was. I also recommend trimming out the filter verbs (could see). So that would look like this:
From ten meters away, two red eyes stared at him with [emotion word? description?].

smirking with its teeth.
What else would it be smirking with? :wink: Just "smirking" is fine by itself.

multiple sets of eyeballs materialized themselves
I don't speak Portuguese, but I do speak Spanish, and this looks to me like a translation-to-English error. In English, materialize isn't a reflexive verb. It should just be something like "many pairs of eyes materialized all around Lance." (Without "themselves.")

"Hopefully, my brother's as well."
It's a little weird that he doesn't use Brian's name here.

Pondering for a few seconds about the nightmare, Lance noticed a bag on the floor.
If he's actively pondering, he can't also be noticing a bag at the same time (these are both mental activities). Suggestion: He stopped worrying about the nightmare long enough to notice ...

Leave it to Brian to organize their bookshelf before he left.
Aww, nice character detail. (Though it does raise a question about how zorua's transformation ability works here! Is Brian transforming into something with thumbs to move books? Are his illusions tangible?)

Books had always interested him more than fancy technology.
Oh, interesting. I guess radios are a new invention in this setting.

Outside, the city seemed to be thriving,
I'm not sure about "seemed to be thriving." This sounds like someone seeing it for the first time, which is weird since Lance lives here. I'm also wondering how he feels about seeing it for maybe the last time! Is he relieved to be on his way out? Is he going to miss it?

The Riolu lived on a busy street, as there were several storefronts.
Suggestion: He lived on a busy street with several storefronts.

Next, a black edifice with a line formed at the entrance, containing a Machop, a Meowth, and a couple of Wurmple.
Are these pokemon important to note right now? I'm also not sure a line can "contain" people. Suggestion: Next he saw the bank, a(n) [adjective], black building with a long line trailing from the entrance.

Its leaders were four Pokémon
This is a little odd because it implies that there are other species in this setting that could be leaders. Are there humans in this setting?

"I hope they do a good job..." James mumbled to himself, licking the candy in his hand.
In English, the word for desert and candy are not interchangeable (though they are in Spanish and, I imagine, in Portuguese!) So it should read: "I hope they do a good job..." James mumbled to himself, licking the ice cream cone.

he swallowed the rest of the dessert and cleaned his mouth with a napkin.
I'm not sure if this is the impression you intended, but this makes me imagine he's jamming the entire rest of the ice cream cone into his mouth all at once.

"Good morning Uncle James!"'
Missing comma after morning (and an extra quotation mark on the outside there).

Have you found your first mission?"
I'm not sure about "finding" a mission. I feel like you're usually given or tasked with a mission.

Brian shook James' hand with his paw
Don't they both have paws?

he shape-shifted again, becoming a Machamp, flexing his muscles.
Cute.

I don't think your father will be very happy with this decision, especially considering you're both only sixteen." James scratched his chin.
How long do canines live in this setting? Instead of emphasizing a numerical age, it might serve you better to refer more generally to them being young.

James laughed a little, rubbing his hand on little Zorua's head.
Ooh, if I were a teenager, I'd hate for an adult to do this to me! (Possibly especially someone I think of as an uncle!) that said, I think "petting his head" would read more naturally.

Meanwhile, Lance walked around the town's beach, contemplating the ocean's waves that were splashing his feet.
A little redundant with beach/ocean waves. Suggestion: Meanwhile, Lance walked down the beach, letting the waves wash over his feet.

"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.
This is oddly emotionless for such a grim sentiment! Is he worried? Earlier, you did a nice job using Brian's body language to show how he's feeling. More of that here!

"Hehe, very well brother! We're gonna do it, right?!" Brain laughed, staring at the horizon. "We're gonna make our own destiny!"
Missing comma after well. I also think that "brother" reads a little formally in English. Maybe "bro" instead?

As I said in my general comments, I wanted to know more about what they think this means for them.

To that, Lance gave a faint smile.
Suggestion: At that, Lance smiled faintly.

Translation is no easy feat, so kudos for taking the plunge! Good luck with the rest of your story. (And with the blitz!) ✨
 

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partners
  1. custom/chikorita-saltriv
  2. custom/bench-gen
  3. charmander
  4. snivy
  5. treecko
I'm back, to review chapters 9 and 10 of this! I've been looking forward to reading these!

First up, chapter 9! I quite like the chapter title here. Gives a sense of something appearing to be great, only to turn out not so great.

Oh boy. Opening up with Atlas as an Aaron, having fun. I presume this is going to show how the Heart of Steel formed. I can already tell this is going to break me.

Interesting how there seems to be some conflict between Atlas and Aaron's families.

...oh dear. I already don't like Atlas' mother. Sending her son to battle a fully-evolved criminal to the death is a horrible thing to do.

Atlas' dad to the rescue! At least he seems to have a heart.

And looks like there's been conflict within their family for a while. Oh boy. I don't think this family is going to stay together much longer.

Napoleon's family doesn't seem to be very good, either. From the looks of it, it seems like Napoleon's father is abusing him. Oh dear.

It's disturbing how nonchalantly they're both taking this. How normal is this to them?!

Oh boy, they're sneaking into a mansion! This can't end well.

Ooh, interesting! An Alolan Sandslash!

And here's Flint! The Heart of Steel gathers for the first time! I'm really intrigued to see what causes these three to grow up to be the cold-hearted mercenaries they are in the future. As of right now, they seem pretty fine! Aside from the family issues, that is.

A few small issues I spotted:

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.

In the first sentence here, Flint is a Bisharp, but in the last sentence is a Pawniard. You should probably fix that inconsistency.

And here:

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

I think you meant to put something before the word sighing.

Anyways, now for chapter 10! They've been friends for a while now, and Napoleon has evolved! And they're planning a party!

Surely, everything's going to be just fine! /s

Oh boy, explosions. That can't be good.

And Atlas' house was struck! Oh no.

Despite everything, Napoleon's dad is still being a jerk to his son.

So Genesect is the one behind all this. Interesting.

And Napoleon's dad sacrificed his son without a second thought, and the bastard smiles and laughs as he runs away. I can't say he didn't deserve getting a hole blasted through his chest. Actually, no. He ABSOLUTELY deserved that.

Cobalion to the rescue, just in time!

Oh dear. Flint's parents were crushed to death. That must have been very traumatizing to him.

And Atlas' father is here to try and help Cobalion! Though by the looks of things, I don't think he'll survive.

Collision of attacks! And one strong enough to blow everyone away! Seems like Atlas' father has perished in the blast, though.

Looks like the trio has reunited, though in a much worse state than they were in before, stuck in the slums and resorting to robberies for cash.

And the Heart of Steel is truly formed! You did a great job showing how these three children grew into the ruthless mercenaries we see in the previous chapters. Very well done!

Overall, an amazing, heartwrenching set of chapters! I look forward to reading more.
 
Dungeon 23 - This is a test

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
  2. custom/chesnaught-apron
Dungeon 23 - This is a test


Walking through the streets alongside the Marowak, Lance began to ponder what Scar meant by "test". Was it another mission? Was it a battle? An investigation? That made him curious, especially because the Marowak refused to answer when Lance asked before.

"Hm. I think we're getting close to where we need to go."

Lance twitched his ears when he heard that, recognizing the street they were in. "The hospital? Wai—"

"Precisely. You're a Lucario, a species that has a natural affinity to aura. With that being said, I'm curious to the extent of your abilities…"

The Lucario backed away for a few meters, that story had just gotten weirder for him.

"Please, don't be scared. We are merely questioning Miss Amy, the Mawile we rescued."

"Of course," Lance rolled his eyes. "Yes, why not use the empath to get answers?!"

"I understand your frustration. But consider this: she has been in the same situation as you once were, don't you think she needs closure as well?"

Lance clenched his fist. As much as he didn't want to admit, Scar was right; what happened to him and all the other test subjects was awful, and he was lucky to have escaped that hellish place.

"I-I…" He took a deep breath, looking up.

"Time is a luxury we don't possess, Mister Williams. Are you sure you want to brood right now?" Scar sighed, looking at him. "We're doing the right thing, but we're also on the clock. If we take too long here, that Gallade will continue his plans, whatever they may be."

That last sentence hit Lance like a Steelix, and that was all he needed to hear. Scar was right, he understood how that Mawile felt, and because of that, he needed to help; with a newfound resolve, Lance nodded.

"Let's go. I'll pass your little test. And… Thank you, for reminding me of my motivation."

"Very well."


After entering the hospital, the duo went to the reception, and right there was a male Indeedee, who looked at them with a smile.

"Good morning," Lance said. "My companion and I are explorers, well, I am, he's a member of a rescue team. Anyway, we need to talk to Miss Amy, she's a Mawile."

"Oh, explorers? She's recovering, so I suppose you can talk to her, but… Please don't take too long. Her room is at the end of the corridor."

"Don't worry. We won't," Scar nodded, entering the large corridor alongside Lance.

Lance gulped a bit as he stared at the large hall filled with rooms for the patients; he couldn't help but remember when he was trapped inside that awful prison, causing the Lucario to tremble for a bit. Regardless, he was there for a reason, and needed to move forward.

"I can tell you're anxious, Mister Williams."

"Oh, really? Well, this isn't easy for me…"

Scar looked at Lance straight in the eye, keeping his smirk.

"Understandable. But well, if you want to quit, the time is now. So tell me, mister Williams, will you face your shadows or will you give up?"

"This again. What made you so fixated on me?!"

Scar chuckled. "Well, I think this place needs more Pokémon like you, who are willing to make it better. As I said before, be the change you want in the world."

Lance flinched, all of his actions flashing inside his head. He began to wonder what he could have been if his life was different; perhaps if the kidnapping never happened, Lance wouldn't be the killer he was today.

"I…"

None of his teammates knew the truth, which only made him feel worse. What would his brother think? And what about Meggie? She wasn't a close friend for him to reveal all of that. At least not yet.

"It seems you are having troubles deciding this. If I may ask, what's happening?"

"Nothing."

"Well, Mister Williams, for what it's worth, I think you're doing a good job. I'm not sure what's bothering you," Scar nodded, then continued to walk. "But I'm here to support you, considering you're also the victim here. Do you understand?"

Lance sighed, so that Marowak was supportive of him? Yet, that didn't remove the uneasiness inside Lance's heart, especially when he pondered how his teammates would react.

I did it for the greater good… He thought.

Finally, he sucked it all in. All the anxiety, all the panic, Lance ignored all of that and continued to walk along the hall.


Amy stared at the large window her room had. The last day was little more than a haze for her, but at least she wasn't in that awful place again. Yet, the Mawile flinched; there were still others that needed help, and she was lucky to have escaped.

"Hello, Miss Amy?" Someone knocked on the door.

She cringed, thinking if she should ignore that; despite her consciousness screaming for her to run away, Amy smiled. "Please, come in!"

Lance was the first to enter; hospitals were never a place he liked to visit, but for the moment, that was pointless. He approached Amy and sat down on one of the chairs.

Scar, on the other hand, stood up, waiting for the interrogation to be over.

"Good morning," Lance said, forcing a smile, trying to make her feel welcomed.

It had the opposite effect; Amy flinched and looked away.

"H-Hello, you are…?" She asked.

"Lance. Lance Williams, leader of Team Liberators," Lance said, looking at her before continuing. "And I'm here to ask you a few questions. Please, I mean you no harm."

"O-Oh, really? I'm sorry, I don't remember anything from when I was kidnapped!"

Lance sighed, he didn't even need to use his aura to know that was a lie. "I'm sorry, miss, but… I never even said you were kidnapped, and you already jumped to that."

"I-I, look, please, I don't want to talk to anyone about that, I just want to—"

"Forget it ever happened? As if it was nothing more than a nightmare…" He sighed, knowing exactly what she was talking about.

"Wha… What? How do you… Know that?" Amy blinked, suddenly wanting to ask that Lucario so many questions.

"I was there too, only… Nine years ago. A Gallade, correct?"

Amy grabbed the sheet, clenching it tight; so that boy went through it as well? Like her, he was a survivor.

"And… How did you escape?"

"They threw me in a dungeon, you?"

"Apparently that Gallade wanted a more practical test, and sent me with some grunts," she sighed, looking down.

"I understand. Look, it's hard, but trust me, it gets better."

"How?!" Amy screamed, tears were streaming down her face. "How does it get better? There's so many others… Oh, Arceus, I shouldn't have survived, they deserved more than I do…"

Lance closed his eyes, that sentence also stung him. Survivor's guilt wasn't something he had, but regardless, anyone would come out of that place with some form of trauma.

"I'm going after him," Lance stood up, looking straight at her face. "I'll find him and I'll make sure he won't do anything like this ever again!"

"Yo-You will?! Please! Save them, save all the others!"

"Of course, you have my word, miss. But also, I need your help… What do you remember about that place?"

"There was… Some rubble? I'm sorry, I remember being dragged to a place filled with debris."

"Debris, huh? Well, thank you anyway, Miss Amy," Lance nodded, walking towards the door with Scar. Before he left that place, however, he looked back, smiling. "I promise you, we'll end this…"

Both went outside, Lance was back to his usual stoic self. After they were far away enough from the hospital, Scar patted Lance on his shoulder.

"What? What is the meaning of this?" Lance blinked, backing away.

"I didn't know you had it in you, Mister Williams. Congratulations, you passed my test," Scar smiled, continuing to walk. "I look forward to working alongside you in the future, and hopefully we can stop this mad mon."


Meggie and Lilith entered the police station. Since the boys headed to the hospital, it was up to them to gather intel with the police; and so, after talking to the secretary, they went to detective Apollo's room, soon finding the Arcanine sitting on his desk, focused on the papers he was reading.

"Hello, detective! It's me, Meggie!" The Snorunt said, waving to him.

Apollo twitched his ears, looking at them. "W-Whoa, I didn't expect to see both of you here! How are you doing?"

Lilith grinned, approaching him. "Hello, detective. My friend and I are looking for the case files on the missing Pokémon, we're going to take this mission."

Apollo barked. "Mission?! But there was no mission report, what are you talking about?!"

Lilith kept her grin, walking around the place, head raised.

"Oh, really? What a shame, I was sure I got the request from one of the survivors, what was his name again? Oh… Lance Williams."

Apollo's chin almost fell when he heard that, and the detective took some time to process all that. Lance never told him about that, but he must've had his reasons, right?

"H-Hm, understandable," Apollo cleared his throat. "He asked for you to investigate his captor?"

"Yeah, he did!" Meggie spoke up. "Well, I'm his friend, I need to help… And I'll do that, mister!"

"What about you, Lopunny? What's your goal in this?!" Apollo growled at her.

"I'm a member of a rescue team, it's my job, don't you think? Anyway, since we're investigating, we need the files, please."

Apollo, defeated, opened a drawer, taking some sheets of paper and carefully placing them on the table. "Is that enough?"

Lilith picked the papers, chuckling for a bit. "Yes, that'll do nicely, thank you very much, detective!"

"Oh, thank you!" Meggie sighed, relieved that they got those files so easily. "We'll keep in touch!"

"Meggie, please. Be careful…" Apollo sighed, lowering his ears.

"Will do!"


One hour had passed since then, and now the group was once again sitting on a table at the guild. Now that they gathered the info they needed, both teams could discuss what to do with that information.

"I propose we wait again," Lance said, crossing his arms. "You said you have Gengar acting as spies, correct? Well, if we can get their info, and add that to our own, we can come up with a plan."

Scar chuckled, the green flame of his bone club flaring brightly. "That sounds like a good idea, Mister Williams. Lilith, how much longer until one of the Gengar comes back with info?"

Lilith scratched her chin, pondering. "I think one week, at the very least."

"Well, that seems reasonable! Although I was hoping they would come sooner, there isn't much we can do about it," Scar nodded. "Now, we need to decide one more thing, who is going to guard the Emera? Such a powerful weapon needs protection, don't you think?"

"Oh yeah, it causes… Mega Evolution, right?" Meggie tilted her head. For some reason, she felt that was familiar, despite having no memories. Because of that, she just assumed it was a human thing.

"That thing is weird," Lance said. "The aura it gives makes me nauseous…"

"I can say the same, and I'm not even proficient with aura!" Lilith laughed, opening her purse to take out the stone.

"Hmph, perhaps you both are weak-minded, I feel nothing," Scar added.

Meggie kept staring at that stone, trying her best to remember what it meant. Why did Lance and Lilith feel uneasy next to that Emera when no one else did? It was almost as if there was something common to them.

"Say… Lance, can I ask you something?" Meggie looked at the Lucario.

"Sure, go ahead," Lance raised an nonexistent brow.

"When you were kidnapped, do you remember what other Pokémon you saw?"

"I-I beg your pardon?!" Lance gasped, growling for a moment, before calming down. "The Pokémon who took me was a Heracross."

"Heracross, Lucario, Lopunny, Mawile, Gallade," Meggie tapped the chair, working out something inside her head.

"What… Does that have to do with the Emera?" Lilith tilted her head. "Please, if you're gonna add something, only do it if it's important!"

"No, let her do that," Scar said. "This is interesting…"

Finally, Meggie gasped, raising her head. "I know the answer! It's because of your species!"

"...What?! Meggie, explain yourself," Lance huffed.

"All of you have… Wait a minute…" Meggie stuttered, trying to think of the words. "Yeah, Mega Evolution! I know why that mon kidnapped you!"

"Like I said before, explain."

"Lucario, Lopunny, Mawile and Heracross. They all have access to Mega Evolution! I can't explain it fully, but… I just know it! If you use that Emera, you're gonna evolve like that Mawile!"

"Interesting, little one, but how can you be so sure of that?" Scar questioned.

"I'm a—"

"She doesn't need to explain that," Lance said, interrupting his friend. "I… Understand Meggie, I'll trust you on this. We're teammates, after all."

"Teammates, huh? Fair enough, Mister Williams, I'll give you both the benefit of the doubt. So, let's meet again next week, at this same spot?" Scar extended his arm to Lance, who shook it.

"Yes. We will."

"Understood. As for the Emera, I'll keep it to myself," Scar added. "If what Miss Meggie is saying happens to be true, then I should be fine."


A red Lycanroc ran around the town. He continued his stroll, until he found a building, checking the sign to confirm it was a bar, and after talking things out with a Roserade guard, entered the place.

Inside, the wolf took a few moments to check his surroundings: lots of mercenaries, some stared at him while he walked. The Lycanroc stopped, sitting on a table alongside an orange Lycanroc.

"Lunick, I see you're here," the dusk Lycanroc said, munching on a piece of what appeared to be steak. "Did you find out something about those teams?"

"Y'know, it's super weird that we gotta eat that… I mean, that Tauros may not be sapient, but still… Well, whatever! I'm hungry!"

Lunick proceeded to also eat, with ferocity comparable to a wild animal. His brother, Sirius, wasn't amused.

"Well, who's to say it wasn't sapient? For all you know, that feral Tauros was once a Pokémon like us, with hopes and dreams…"

"Hm?!" Lunick nearly choked on his meat, and immediately drank a glass of water to calm down.

"It was a joke, you idiot. Focus on the matter at hand!"

"For fuck's sake, you scared the crap outta me, Sirius!" The wolf growled. "And the only thing I found out was that they were at the hospital, and then they went to that Hero guild!"

"Oh? I presume you didn't spy on them, did you?"

Lunick's ears dropped, and that was enough of an answer to Sirius.

"Look, I didn't, I mean, I had a few short steps here and there… And I stopped to eat! A mon's gotta eat!"

"Well, unlike you, I actually spent my time doing meaningful things, for example, this bar we're in…"

"Yeah?" Lunick continued to munch on the steak.

"There used to be a lot more mercs here, but that Lucario… A lot were arrested by that Lucario's team."

"H-Huh, really? Damn, those guys do their job well."

Sirius continued. "Having information on your enemy is a good thing. Did you get any useful one, apart from that?"

The red Lycanroc gulped. "Eh, not really. What's our plan?"

"...Typical."

"I just hope that Gallade won't kill us…"

"Of course, we're gonna succeed," Sirius shrugged. "Now finish this meal so we can get out of here."

"Yeah, yeah… And what are we gonna do?"

"Obviously, continue to spy."


The night fell as Lance and Meggie returned to their apartment, but as they walked up the stairs, Lance decided to talk with her for a bit

"Meggie, I hope you're right about this whole thing," he sighed. "You being a human is weird enough, but… Are you sure you're right?"

"Well, yeah! I mean, not 100%, maybe… 80%? Okay, I'm pretty sure it's 60%!"

Lance lowered his ears. "That… Doesn't help much."

Meggie looked up, holding his hand.

"I want to help you, okay? You're my friend, and what happened to you… If I can prevent the same thing from happening with others, then I'll do it!"

Lance blushed, pouting. "O-Okay, but please, no hand holding! We're just friends!"

She backed away. "Friends… Well, I like that. I'm not sure I'll ever remember how I used to be, but… I think I'm happy living here, and learning new things."

"Sometimes I wish I never remembered what happened, but yet, those nightmares…" Lance flinched, fur standing up.

"Hey, it's okay! Brian and I are here for you!" Meggie smiled to him.

That act of kindness was enough for Lance to reciprocate and smile as well. "Well, Brian… Oh, I hope he accepts this mission, I got carried away and just took it without asking him."

"I'm sure he will! He's your twin, well, fraternal twin! But still!"

Lance walked up again, smiling more. "Well, I'll handle him, like I always do. So… Good night?"

"Night!" Meggie opened her purse, taking the key to her apartment.

The Lucario smiled, opening the door to his home, and locking after getting inside. Like he thought, his brother was still on the sofa, even drooling on it.

You annoy me to no end, always cracking jokes, pranks and all that, but… I wouldn't want anyone else to be my partner, even if I'm like this… Lance wondered, before getting inside his room.

That night, for what seemed to be the first time in forever, Lance slept like a baby, excited about what would come next.
 
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