Dungeon 44 - Trust
Another day living in a crumbling house. With the smell of rotten food filling the air and the fragile ceiling threatening to cave in above him at any moment, he thought that was the worst. But really, what could he possibly do to fix it?
Dexter had no idea, and so, he went with his routine as usual. He managed to broom some of the food outside before his ears perked up at the sound of a liquid dropping.
Too late to dodge, the Floatzel was splattered by a nasty and gunky substance. He smelled it and nearly puked: Trash! Someone had just thrown trash at him!
Enraged, he promptly dropped the broom and raised both arms, shouting. "Who threw this here over me?! Come aft 'ere an' fight me like a real mon!"
His house was between two rather large buildings, and the one where the trash was thrown frown happened to be on his left. The window was still open and out of there came an angry-looking Ampharos, who snarled at him.
"You got some problem there, mate
?! If you didn't want anyone throwin' garbage, then you should live somewhere else!"
The window closed, and Dexter shouted an unintelligible grunt, stopping himself before the trash entered his mouth. Gross. If only it was raining, or he had a source of water nearby. Things would be so much easier
"Well, well. If it ain't our hunky friend!" A distinctively female voice said.
Dexter turned to where the voice came from. In front of his house stood a Simisage and a Blissey. Both of them wore matching, gray bands wrapped around their arms. The Blissey stood forward, wrinkling her nose.
"...Huh? What's up with you?" She covered her nose. "That smells disgusting."
One of them, the Simisage, walked to the two and chuckled. "Boss' right. What happened here? I get you live in a shithole, but this
? It's even worse than usual, somehow."
"Well, things aren't lookin' good," the weasel blushed, picking the broom and throwing the trash far away from them. "I've been workin' with a few mates, but... money's a little 'ard to 'ave."
"If they're your mates, why not ask 'em for help?" The large, pink Pokémon asked.
"I did nay wanna depend on 'em so much."
"Choice's yours, dude," the Simisage replied, chuckling a little. He eyed Dexter with a piercing glare.
"Whatever. What do ye two want with me?"
"It's pretty simple!" Blissey clapped her hands together and smiled. "We heard some rumors about treasure in a dungeon nearby. Normally, we would go there ourselves, but…"
"Underwater dungeon," the chimp grumbled. "Pretty hard to get through when we can only dive for a few minutes."
Dexter then crossed his arms. "An' ye two want me to go there to grab the treasure?"
"You figured it out. Congrats," Blissey clapped her hands, chuckling as the grass-type next to her cheered.
The weasel groaned, crossing his arms. "Y'all do realize I am not a member anymore?"
Simisage nodded. "Well, yeah, you're super famous for abandoning every team you join, but—"
His teammate interrupted with a smile. "The time we spent together was great, maybe we should try again!"
Dexter stopped to consider his options. On one hand, he could get some cash and finally fix his damn house. On the other, he was against rejoining teams he dipped before. But the money…
As it turned out, he took time to wonder about this. Simisage tapped his foot on the ground. So much for patience. "Boss, we should probably get outta here! This guy's a waste of our time!"
And Blissey? Her patience too was short, shorter than Simisage's, and her previous smile was soon replaced by snarling teeth.
The Floatzel snapped back to reality and gasped. "What? Listen, 'old on. The only reason I 'aven't decided be because I 'ave teammates."
"Teammates you're gonna abandon, just like you did to us," Blissey said, shaking her head. She turned around and grabbed Simisage.
"Wait, I think I decided! I'll—"
"Don't talk with us again, Dexter." Simisage flipped him off as he and Blissey walked out of there.
He was left all alone to think about what they said. And although Dexter wanted to ignore it… he was unable to. Because they were telling the truth. He had
left every other team before.
Trustin' others be 'ard. Not their fault I be... so weird.
Dexter looked at the sky, hearing thunder booming in the distance. Why was he feeling this now
? He had done that same gig plenty of times before, so why did it hurt to do it again with those two?
"Fuckin' damnit!" Dexter fell on his knees and panted. He hadn't found the answer he was looking for yet, but maybe if he talked to them, that'd help. "If anythin'... I'll tell 'em I be leavin' the team."
With that idea in mind, Dexter was somewhat relieved. A single raindrop fell on his snout, and he hurried to clean it up. After another look at the morning sky, he decided to talk with Brian and Meggie after the rain was over. It was far safer, after all.
But really, he could use some help fixing the house. Anytime soon, that thing would fall apart, and Dexter only hoped he'd not be inside when that happened.
Even inside the house, Dexter took a peek outside, breathing in the familiar scent of the rain on his nose. Despite having a broken home, almost no cash, and barely being able to call himself a member of a team, Dexter considered his current state to be good.
While he waited for it to pass, his mind wandered back to the past, when he was still with his parents, before moving out. A time where he wasn't even unsure he could describe as "pleasant". Not with how his folks were, anyway.
"I kinda wonder 'ow them two be doin'. Ma, Pa... be ye two alright?" And even if it was a time he would never go back to, the weasel was still worried about everyone he left behind, for better or for worse.
A Buizel was woken up by the sound of Starly chirping outside. However, he remained on his bed, wrapping himself with the blankets and yawning. The warmth that covered his fur was so pleasant he didn't want to leave or even move
"Kiddo! C'ere! It be time to get up on deck!" Someone shouted at him, but the Buizel remained on his bed, yawning louder.
Then, someone knocked on the door. But he ignored that, covering his ears with the blanket and moving a bit. Maybe if he continued to ignore them, whoever was calling him would go away.
"Dexter, get yer arse here this instant!" The voice said again.
"Ma, don't wanna…" He pleaded, still wrapped in blankets. To his surprise, that was stopped by someone pulling off the cover and sending him crashing into the wooden floor.
A Floatzel was standing next to him, holding the blanket in her paws. "Yer father's waitin' fer ye. C'mon."
His mother glared, shutting Dexter up with that stare as she crossed her arms. "We wanna show ye some o' our products today."
"Get ye learnin' soon so ye can take o'er the business."
An' o' course ye don't ask me if I wanna take o'er…
Dexter looked down and walked to the left side of his bed, opening a cabinet and picking up a rather large bandana, which he put it on, covering most of his head and ears.
The Floatzel grinned. "There ye go! it ain't so 'ard, eh?"
"Sure, Ma." Dexter sighed, going out with her.
Both of them were on an average-sized boat they also called home. Dexter rubbed his eyes as they walked into the sunlight, while his mother simply held his hand and pushed him.
The air smelled salty and fishy at the same time, and every so often they could hear some chopping. Dex assumed it was his dad doing the usual morning job. Typical, of course, and normally he wouldn't think much of it. But today? Today he was about to get dragged into it. The very thought annoyed him to no end.
"Ma?" Dexter looked down, his twin tails intertwining. "Do I really need to work fer 'im?"
What his mother did was hold Dexter's hand and slap it with her other arm, all while eyeing her child. "What kinda Tauros crap be ye sayin'?"
"M-Ma! S-Stop!" Dexter pleaded, and as he did, a crowd had started to circle around the two. The other Pokémon simply stared at them, forcing the Floatzel to stop and huff.
"Ye know followin' the family's business is the right thin' to do… c'mon, Dexter!" She pulled him away from the mob. Dexter tried protesting, but was shot down each and every time. If only he could run away! From them, from… Well, everything.
Dexter gave up in his attempts and simply let his mother guide him. There really was nothing else he could do. He sniffed the air, the fishy scent getting much stronger as they walked across the docks. "Oh, at least this here place looks nice...?"
"What're blabberin' about, lad?" She asked, dragging him with more force.
There were a few fishing stores spread across the shore, but the duo ignored them all as they made their way towards one that contained a giant Goldeen structure on top, and with a large line of clients, ranging from a small Tepig to a Rhyperior.
Dexter's eyes sparkled. "Pa's store be so, so… neat!"
"Think 'bout it, in a few years it'll be yer store!" She smiled, now holding her son in her burly arms as they entered the store, with Dexter waving to the customers. He may not have been enjoying what his parents were doing, trying to force him into this, but the happy clients were a nice sight for his eyes.
And Dexter's father had a similar line of thought, slashing away at a piece of Feebas, cutting bits and bits until they were small enough to be held by most of the clients outside. He didn't notice Dexter or his wife until she whistled. After which he stopped cutting and stepped out of the counter, giving the two a firm hug.
"Mornin', kiddo!" He said, ruffling through Dexter's bandana and fur. The Buizel giggled at that while his father leaned in closer to his wife, kissing her on the cheek.
"Dexter, sweetie, 'ow about we show ye around? I know it'll be great!" She asked, prompting a nod from the Buizel. The two walked towards an inner area of the store, going through a door as Dexter looked back to his father still cutting through the pieces.
When he came back to his senses, a loud thunder struck down somewhere in the city, making Dexter flinch. The rain had only grown heavier now, and certainly, going out to meet his teammates wasn't such a good idea for the moment.
But Dexter still considered it. If anything, he could just tell the two that he was leaving the team. Parting ways respectfully was something a grown mon like him should do, instead of just vanishing out of their lives.
"Hm. Very nice reasonin' there, brain. So—" A drop of water fell on Dexter's head, and he looked up to see multiple spots where the ceiling was broken. The weasel covered his face and ignored that, not bothering to get annoyed. "I can't fix it now, might as well go visit 'em."
Much like the weather, Dexter stormed out of his house and managed to put a few buckets underneath the holes. He just hoped that, once he got back, the place wasn't flooded. But oh well, that was something his future self should worry about.
"Popsicle an' Goggles should be on 'is 'ouse. Apartment… or whatever!" Dexter shook his head and continued on his way. "Now just gotta—oof!"
Dexter fell backwards, his rear splashing on the water beneath him. He quickly looked up to see a pink Oricorio, a Scolipede, and an Aipom. Since he lived in a poor area of the city, Dexter was used to mugging and that sort of thing. Of course, he assumed that was the case.
Said assumptions got confirmed as the Scolipede stepped forward with a grunt. "Hey there, mate. We're just passerby citizens, care to give us a bit of cash? 'Course, there's the easy way and… well, I don't wanna use the other way."
Dexter simply scoffed. "Well, why don't ye take that sassy lil attitude an' stick it up yer ar—"
"Now, now. We don't wanna get into trouble, do
we?" The bug asked, hissing as the two surrounding him got closer to Dexter.
"Listen 'ere," Dexter invited them closer, bracing himself to fight and straightening his pose. "Ye better find some other punk to take money outta. Ye be not worth me time. Or patience."
"You…! Aipom, kick his ass!" Scolipede commanded and as he did, the monkey jumped with a spin, ready to pounce his tail on Dexter.
"Let me tell y'all about the three stupid mistakes ye mons did…" Dexter dashed back and took a deep breath, the raindrops around him suddenly covering both of his paws and shaping themselves into gauntlets. "First off! Tryin' to rob me!"
As the monkey grew closer, Dexter jumped and landed a single, watery punch onto his stomach, sending the Aipom flying through the street until he crashed on a few crates. Seeing this, the Oricorio ran away, leaving only the Scolipede, who trembled in fear.
"Second… tryin' to fight a damn water-type in the middle of rain
!" Dexter cracked his knuckles, slowly walking towards the bug. "An' ye wanna know the third one?"
"Y-Yes…?" He answered, trying to run away. Just now he noticed how strong that Floatzel was, and how foolish he was for challenging him.
"Pissin' me off!" Dexter landed another punch, knocking out the bug. After making short work of the fight, he went on his way to Brian's home.
Lilith came out of a store holding a large piece of bread in her right paw, munching on it as she walked down the streets heading towards Scar's house.
The roads were peaceful, but she did see some of the citizens being given fliers, one of which she took herself. A smile spread across her face as she saw a portrait of the king, accompanied by a long text.
'It has been months since the raid on our city, and the king refused to take any definitive action to restore us to our former glory. Worse, he seems to be using his time and money towards himself, with no regards toward other mon's safety.'
We're gettin' closer to the coronation… I can't wait for it!
She thought, looking around to see some of the royal guard walking. And we'll get that crystal we need, then we'll only need two more. Great!
Amidst her thoughts, Lilith managed to see a young and lonely Chewtle standing on the corner of the street, dancing for some other mons, who threw coins at the child as payment.
...Wait, wha? That kid's a hobo? But they're so… young !
That couldn't be it, could it? Lilith rubbed her eyes and took another look, still seeing the Chewtle, but the crowd surrounding had dissipated. Her eyes widened and she ate the rest of the bread in a single gulp, now deciding to see what was going on with that kid.
"Are ya alright, kid?" Lilith said, getting on her knees and looking at the child.
"O-Oh, hi miss!" She said, stuttering as she picked the coins and put them in a bag. "I'm sorry, but my show's done! I'll be here tomorrow, so if you excuse me… I need to go."
"Wait," Lilith said with a frown. She held the Chewtle's front paw to stop her from running away. "...I want to help. Can ya tell me what's goin' on?"
She shook her head, struggling to escape Lilith's grasp. "No! I don't need help! Me and mom are fine on our own! We'll be okay..."
"I'm a member of the Sunset Salvation," she replied, taking a deep breath and smiling at the child. "Helping out is
"Sunset… Salvation? I never heard of you."
Lilith sighed, expecting this sort of answer. She let go of Chewtle and smiled more brightly. "We're trying to change the world. We wanna make it a nice place for all, including kids like you."
Hearing that, Chewtle gasped, not expecting this from her, but for some reason, she decided to stay and listen to the rest of her story.
"And I can't just… watch you ask for money on the streets. Not when I can do something 'bout it."
"Miss…" Chewtle frowned, looking down. "I-I… well, okay, you can help… can you come with me, miss?"
"Course, sweetheart!" Lilith replied, ruffling the child's head. This was good. She was helping. Scar was busy with his plans, Max was being the lazy one, and Percy… training, probably. Meaning she was the only one around.
Well, she was happy to help this Chewtle anyway. The kid began to run, and Lilith accompanied her, not even breaking a sweat as they ran around the city, passing through stores, some of which had customers waving at Chewtle. Lilith waved as well, but right now she only really cared about helping her.
"Can ya tell me what's goin' on exactly?"
"...Mommy's sick!" She answered, holding back tears and stopping on her tracks. "A-And daddy told me we didn't have money to pay for her treatment, so she… she…"
Before she could talk more about this, Lilith got on her knees and hugged the child while rubbing her head carefully, caressing Chewtle for a while, knowing full well what she meant to say about her mother.
"There, there… I'm gonna help ya, okay? I have friends who can help, but we need to visit your mom first…" Lilith said, still embracing the kid, who took her time answering, and in the end only nodded.
"Do you… do you mean it, miss?"
"Of course I do!" Lilith replied with certainty. She knew how that child felt, and her heart screamed at her to help in any way she could.
Her mind drifted to a time in the past where she was just as vulnerable as this Chewtle. She eventually got the help she needed, but not before experiencing despair. Lilith looked up at the clear sky and frowned. The two were still hugging, now more tightly than before, while Lilith continued to caress the Chewtle, sighing and thinking about what to do.
A young Lilith entered a room with a solid floor, without tiles or carpets on the floor, nor paint or paper on the walls, just the ground itself smoothed and carved to form the shape of the place.
From the floors and walls to the stairs and everything but the furniture made from what seems to be a single piece, with two doors, one up and one down the stairs. Various toys could be seen scattered around the floor here and there. She lived there all her life, and the young Buneary picked a Bulbasaur plush on the ground, hugging it.
"Don't worry, mister bulba! Mommy's just taking… her time getting here! We'll be fine by ourselves!"
Of course, the plush didn't reply, why would it? Lilith knew it, but still expected some sort of answer, at least to put some
of her worries away. She sat down on the couch and frowned, drooping her ears as she waited for time to pass so her mother would arrive, and also thinking of ways to distract herself until then.
"Hm…I wonder where my book is, hopefully, mom didn't put it in the trash!" Lilith said, hopping out of the couch and taking a look under it.
Under the couch, Lilith found an old book, covered in dust. She picked it up and forcefully took it out of the spot it was in, panting from the effort. After a moment to catch her breath, she blew the dust away, revealing that the cover contained multiple legendary and mythical Pokémon, titled "Tales From Beyond The Voidlands: a history of legends".
"My favorite history book!" She giggled, looking at the plush on the floor right besides her. "Bulba! Do you want me to read it to you?"
Regardless of the lack of answer, she began to read, fully entranced in the stories about tales as old as time, and about the guardians of the universe itself. How Groudon and Kyogre constantly faced each other, and how the legends were gone during present time, turning their existence to mere rumors. Yet, Lilith still believed in them, in how they would help her and her mother.
For various minutes, nothing happened other than Lilith's stomach grumbling for something to feast on, almost like it talked to her, like it said "Feed me! Feed me!"
Except that the food never arrived. She began sobbing, grasping her belly and opening her mouth to wail. Just when she was about to cry, the door beneath the stairs opened, revealing an older Lopunny, wearing black leggings and smelling like she just came out of a bar. She barely even noticed Lilith until the child pulled on her mother's legs, screaming for attention.
"Hello, dear!" She replied, holding her daughter up and giving her a bunch of kisses on her forehead, making Lilith giggle.
"I'm hungry, mommy… when are we eating?"
Lilith's mother frowned, putting her daughter down. "I'm… sorry, sweetie. Today was a bad day at work. Your mommy had no clients…"
"Aw." Lilith frowned. "It's okay mommy! I'll go out and help ya!"
She ignored her child, sitting on the couch, letting out a long sigh. "Yeah, yeah… I don't even need your help. If it weren't for you…"
Neither of them could answer as a powerful explosion rocked the door open.
Soon, Chewtle stopped in front of a stone house, waiting for Lilith, who walked behind her. The bunny giggled, looking at the door with a smile. That house seemed to be nice, at least, and Chewtle might live a good life, all things considered.
"C'mon, miss! If you wanna help, then you should talk to my dad!"
"Of course, sweetheart!" Lilith answered, knocking on the door. As they waited for Chewtle's parents to open up, she looked at the child. Chewtle jumped around, eager to enter her house and finally help her mother, something Lilith could empathize with.
Following the door creaking until it was opened, Chewtle barged in, jumping to the arms of a Slowking, hugging him tightly. Her tears were rolling out, dropping to the ground, as were her father's. Lilith, though, had backed away a few feet, crossing her arms and looking at the two with a frown. They looked so happy together…
"Oh, yeah, daddy!" Chewtle pointed at the bunny with one of her paws. "She's here to help me! Say she can pay for mommy's bills!"
"Is that so?" The Slowking gasped, nodding. "Thank you, miss…"
"Lilith. Ya can call me Lilith." She replied, smiling and extending an arm, to which the Slowking shook it.
He walked to the side so Lilith could enter. "Come inside, please. Can I get you some water? Maybe a cup of tea?"
"If ya got, then I wanna have some sparkling water!" Lilith pointed out, walking inside the house and seeing the small living room, consisting of a couch and a table.
Chewtle ran to the couch and jumped on it, landing on all fours and waving for Lilith to join her, and the bunny soon did, while Slowking went to the kitchen to fetch the water.
"Your father seems to be doing a good job," she looked at the hall where Slowking went, smiling.
"He does? Thanks, miss! But it's still… not enough. Mom hasn't gotten any better…"
"I'm sorry about that," she ruffled the child's head. "I'll need to talk to your dad about this. Actually, scratch that. I'll talk to you both. Alright?"
The two hugged again and waited for Slowking to return, but Lilith already had her own plans in mind for how to solve this. All she needed was time. And to comfort that kid. She caressed Chewtle's head again and sighed as she saw more tears falling.
The world wasn't perfect, and it certainly didn't shy away from bringing tragedy to even the most pure souls. Lilith bit her lips, frowning at the thought. But it would be over soon, after they freed their lord. The world would be perfect, then.
Dexter thanked whatever higher being was there(which he thought was Arceus, to be honest) that the rain had ended and he could walk without risking a nasty fall. He had managed to leave his street and walked into the central corner of the town, where most of the upper class lived, including his friends.
At this here time o' the day, wonder what they be doin'. Prolly some mission, or just... chillin',
his thoughts were interrupted by a familiar smell, a Magikarp. And… one that wasn't roasted? Dexter licked his lips as drool dropped from his snout and he chuckled. Eh. I'll find out soon enough. Kinda 'ungry now.
Driven by nothing more than his hunger, Dexter followed the smell, landing next to a food cart. The owner, a Kricketune, slashed away at a Magikarp fillet, cutting it into tiny, bite-sized pieces. This only contributed to Dexter's stomach grumbling. Not to mention the other customers, happily eating bites of the fish.
I wanna 'ave a bite... but I don't 'ave the cash. Damn, what to do...?
He wondered. Charms? No, that would probably backfire. Steal? He wasn't a thief. Beg? Beg. He could beg. It was
humiliating, he thought, but he was used to doing worse things at this point in his life.
Shoving aside his embarrassment, Dexter leaned closer to the Kricketune, smirking and laughing. "Ahoy, mate. Could I ask ye what's today's special dish?"
"Good day, friend! Today we have Magikarp bits, and I got a special sauce from the sailors I got the food from, what do you think? Wanna have a grub?" Kricketune asked while sharpening his pincers. He cracked a smile and nodded.
"Eh? I been a sailor meself, so this here be interestin'," Dexter replied, eyeing the food. The cuts were all equal, and from what his eyesight told him, they were perfectly fit for anyone to grab with their limbs, if they had any. "Say, 'ow about a discount fer lil ol' me?"
After hearing those words, Kricketune's smile turned into a nasty frown. "Are you kidding me?"
"Me, kiddin'? No, mate!" Dexter smiled sheepishly and tried lightening the mood again. "I be just goin' through a tough time, an' if ye think about it, aren't we all?"
Kricketune continued to frown, but then let out a long sigh. "...One bag. You get one
bag. And then get the fuck outta my business."
"I been plannin' just that!" Dexter grabbed the bag with the bits and hopped out of Kricketune's sight.
First, he took one of the pieces and swallowed it in a single gulp. Dexter coughed and widened his eyes; his mouth was exploding with flavor. The strong, raw flavor of the meat made him shiver, his body trembled, and his fur bristled as the food went down his throat and into his stomach. Such a nostalgic feeling for him, and if he had the money, he would buy more of this right away. It was just that
"It be fer yer own good!" A female voice said, followed by a guttural roar.
! Because forcin' yer kid to work fer ye despite 'im not wantin' makes this here fer me own good!"
Dexter closed the door to his room in anger and locked it up, panting. That fight with his parents was terrible, why couldn't they just understand?! He wanted nothing to do with the family business! And him being a teenagrer only made things worse.
The fuck's wrong with them?
He thought, plopping down on his bed and screaming onto his pillow. Screaming until his lungs gave out, but he still wanted more
. I just want freedom. Freedom to be… Well, me…
Ironically, Dexter didn't even know who he was. Some sailor, some drunk teenager, some… No idea. He wanted to cry, but held in the tears. This was overwhelming, he was trapped and nobody wanted to help.
Ha! Trapped in me own 'ouse! what a joke…
Dexter turned to the other side and looked out the window, staring at the vast sea. His gaze remained there, while his mind wondered what life out there could be, what treasures he could find… If only his parents supported him.
"Dexter, open this damn door!" Someone said. By the voice, Dexter recognized it as his father. The old sailor was practically roaring and nearly tearing the door open.
"Shuddup! Leave me alone!" He protested, screaming as loud as he could.
work fer us, an' ye will love
it!" This time, it was his mother. Dexter proceeded to ignore the call and merely covered himself with his blanket.
Struggling to deal with all that nonsense, Dexter shoved his head deep under the pillow, panting and closing his eyes. He wanted to leave. Escape to wherever. Anywhere would be better than this
. But he couldn't do so.
Or could he? The window was open, and he was a good swimmer. Dexter suddenly realized that this was the perfect opportunity to run away and never come back.
Oh... I can't believe I be considerin' this here. They be fixin' to kill me. They sure will. But me freedom…
Freedom. Liberty. That's what he really wanted with his life. And if he needed to run away from family to do that… Then so be it. Dexter stood up, gasping for air as he threw a final look at the window, then at the door, and the window again. It was now or never, he thought. Just run away and move out. All the kids did that. And yet, he still struggled to do it.
"Dexter, if ye don't open this here damn door, I be comin' in meself!" His father shouted.
"Ye be still thirteen! Ye should do what we say!" That was his mother.
Well, that helped ease his worries. Dexter jumped out of his bed and took a deep breath, cracking both of his knuckles. He ran and crashed on the window, shards of glass shattering and spreading all over the ocean below as he fell, diving into the deep waters. And his tails swished, propelling him forward, to his freedom.
Booming thunder brought him back to reality. Dexter looked at the sky and frowned, seeing more clouds gathering. Rain was about to come back and he hadn't gotten to Brian's apartment yet, although he was closer now.
On the bright side, I still got grub to eat. Maybe even share with them too.
Dexter sighed, checking the bag to confirm he had eaten more than half of the Magikarp bits there, and he didn't even know if Brian and Meggie liked this. Well, it didn't hurt to ask…
Still, he should really hurry. Getting wet wasn't on his plans, Dexter told himself. He walked across the street, focusing on hastening his steps while also eating the rest of the meal he got. At least it was a nice distraction from that reminiscence of his teenage years. Bah, I don't need to wonder 'ow me folks be doin'... I be better off without 'em.
They never trusted him. Always wanted him to follow in their footsteps, despite Dexter wanting the exact opposite. And… he thought about where he was now
. No money, barely having a home, and about to lose some teammates. "It's the right thing to do," he told himself. "It's for the best". Maybe it was, they didn't really need
And he wasn't really sure he needed them either. Other than the fact he had no other friends, which was really pathetic, now that he thought about it. They considered him a teammate, maybe a friend too. They probably wouldn't do so anymore after he told them he planned to leave. Brian would take it easy, Meggie too, but it was getting harder to consider this an option, for some reason.
"Why... be I reconsiderin' this here?" Dexter clenched his fist, stopping on his tracks and looking down. "All the times I left them other teams... I ne'er 'ad second thoughts."
Except he was having exactly that, a feeling, deep inside his gut. Dexter bit his lip, trying to make sense of it all. He was sure about it; something bad was happening with his teammates. What was it? No idea. The weasel grunted and ran, now determined to face whatever was going on.
"I swearrr on Arceus' 'oly presence that if this here be some prank me brain's pullin' on me, I'mma end the day doing nothin' but drinkin' booze!"
As he approached the building, Dexter heard a window crashing and looked up, seeing a blast of ice out of the part of the building corresponding to Brian's home. A chill ran down his spine as he tried running faster to help them. Whether he left the team or not, none of it mattered. They needed his help, and he was gonna give them exactly that.
The Slowbro returned with two cups containing a steaming liquid. Lilith sniffed the air and concluded it was tea, despite her asking for sparkling water before. Oh well.
He probably didn't have it. That's alright,
Lilith grabbed one of the cups and blew on it to cool it down a little, while Slowbro sat on the couch next to his daughter.
"What exactly are your intentions?" Slowbro asked as soon as he could, sipping from the drink.
"Daddy, she said she'd help!"
"I got that
. I just wanna know how
"Good question," Lilith answered, smiling. "And… well, my team leader has a few contacts, I'm sure he could arrange to pay for whatever your wife needs."
"Y'know, you talk really big for someone who is not willing to show their cards," Slowbro pointed out, raising a brow as he let out a grunt. "How can you waltz in here without any proof that you can help?!"
Chewtle tilted her head. "Daddy, what does waltz mean?"
"It means I walked in here pretty fast. Anyway, if you listened to me, mister Slowbro, you'd know that I do have proof." She replied with a piercing glare. "For starters, I can't stand a child suffering like that. She could've been kidnapped or worse
"I'm aware!" Slowbro shouted, his grasp on the cup got tighter, and a crack appeared on it. "But we have no other choice!"
"If you really
don't have a choice, then accept my offer!" Lilith stood up, putting the cup down and crossing her arms. "If not for yourself, for your daughter!"
"What makes you think we can trust you?!" Slowbro hissed, clenching his fists, while Chewtle tried hugging her father, only for him to push her away. "My wife has a rare disease, we tried searching for doctors, but they were so… So expensive!"
"...You're right. I come in here, promising the entire world, and expect you to trust me," she sighed, biting her lips and sitting down again. If only she could crack their stubborness. No, not their
stubborness. Chewtle wasn't like her father, from what Lilith could tell.
And she could start with that. "I believe every child deserves to live a good life with a loving family. And seeing yours out there on the street, with nobody by her side… it hit home, y'know."
"What're you talking
about?" Slowbro deadpanned. He was, admittedly, curious about where this would go.
"My family was a mess. Mom's…" Lilith huffed. "Well, I can't exactly explain what her job was, not with Chewtle here."
"What did I do?"
"Nothing, sweetie." Slowbro replied.
"Anyway, we had so little time together, I ended up learning how to do everything on my own. It was fine, though. I knew she was busy. She had clients that needed her."
"Oh, your mommy was a merchant?" Chewtle asked, her eyes sparkling. Slowbro, however, frowned, having an idea what kind of job Lilith was talking about.
"...Not exactly. She did sell something. But let's not focus on that, alright?" The bunny giggled, sipping more of her tea. "The point is: I was a fragile child, I know
how you feel, Chewtle. Like the world is falling apart and you can't do anything about it."
"M-Miss…" Chewtle stuttered, realizing that Lilith was telling the truth.
"And, just like you, my whole life changed in the blink of an eye…"
Lilith hid under the couch by instinct, shivering and trembling from the noise the door made. She looked as far as her eyes could, seeing her mother next to a Gurdurr, who was smoking a large cigarette.
She thought, panting and leaning towards the wall, away from them.
"Thought you could escape, eh?" The Gurdurr asked, punching through the wall and opening a hole on it. "A lil whore like you? You're lucky I still have some use for you…"
He's callin' mom a whore… but why?
"I'm sorry, nobody really needed me today, so I went back home…" She answered, giving Gurdurr a bow.
"That act of yours cost me some money, y'know?" Gurdurr exhaled some of the smoke and puffed it in a gassy cloud. He approached her and raised his head, making up for the height to match her eyes, before touching her chin. "Now, what am I gonna do with you?"
Lilith gasped. She knew something bad was about to happen. She had to do something about it! But, as a child, what could she possibly do? Try beating up someone far bigger and stronger than her?
"When someone asks you a question, you answer." Gurdurr's grip on her chin tightened. "What am I gonna do with you, huh? Because you used to have a purpose for me. And that's what kept you alive all these years… If you want to escape, said purpose is gone."
"...I don't want to work for you anymore," she said, eyeing the Gurdurr and trembling with fear. Even if she wanted to make a break for it, her body refused to listen. "B-But I don't want to die…"
Gurdurr let her go and laughed. "Ain't that a problem? What to do, what to do…"
Meanwhile, Lilith shook in silence. She closed her eyes, trying to ignore what was happening. Sadly, her adept ears were unable to not pick up all that was said by the two. The mention of her mother dying made the child gasp. This was the last straw for her.
"L-Leave… leave my mom… alone
!" She cried out, rolling out of the couch and jumping at Gurdurr's direction, trying to go for a kick.
An attempt that was fruitless, as Gurdurr simply grabbed her by the ear before she could hit him, raising a brow. "And who's this child?"
"S-She's mine!" Lilith's mother answered, her eyes widening.
"Eh? Whoa. You hid her from me all these years…?" Gurdurr roared, looking at Lilith again. "How old is
"Leave mom alone!" Lilith cried, trying to free herself from Gurdurr's grip, but to no avail. Gurdurr continued to lock eyes with her, as if he was analysing her.
"Shut your trap, child." Gurdurr replied, now eyeing the Lopunny. "Congratulations, miss. You got yourself a way out of this life! All you gotta do is give me your child. Simple enough!"
The two bunnies gasped, and Lilith began to cry. Her mother backed away, covering her ears from the scream. What should she do?! Leave her daughter with that crazy mon, or risk living a life she never wanted?
"I'll even pay you for this!" Gurdurr said.
And that was the moment where she decided.
"I don't understand what happened to you, miss…" Chewtle frowned, tilting her head as she awaited for Lilith to reply.
"Sweetie, don't worry about the details," Slowbro replied, caressing his daughter's head as he nodded at Lilith. "I understand. How much money are we talking about here?"
"How much do you need?"
"Then you'll get a lot," she shrugged, taking another sip of tea and finishing the drink.
"R-Right. I'm sorry that happened to you, miss Lilith," Slowbro sighed, picking her cup. "If it helps, I know a psychiatrist or two."
Lilith shook her head. "Nah, don'tcha worry! It's been years now, this is probably just a scar at this point."
"Okay. When can we talk more about this?"
my boss said tomorrow's gonna be a big, biiig day. Maybe by the end of the week we should have this whole thing figured out."
"Understood," Slowbro stood up, forcing a smile on his face. "Thank you for helping, I can't express my gratitude enough…"
"Me too! Thank you so much, miss!" Chewtle said, nodding multiple times and laughing happily.
"As for you... " He looked up at his daughter and grinned. "No more runnin' around looking for cash, got it? Let's have lunch!"
Noticing that her time was up, Lilith stood up and bowed at them. At least she helped someone today, and that was enough for her. But there was still a nagging feeling on her brain, something she wanted to say to Chewtle, but not in front of her father.
"Can I have a few words with her?"
"Of course!" Slowbro nodded, walking to the kitchen again.
The two watched as he left their field of view, and Lilith soon looked down at Chewtle; her smile was no more, and the child noticed it.
"I gotta tell ya something, kid." Lilith sighed and got on her knees, clenching her fists. "It's about your dad."
"What about him?"
"...Careful with him. Ya never know who's gonna betray ya, especially if it's someone from your own family."
"What're you saying?" Chewtle shivered, taking a step backwards.
"Wanna know what really happened to me?" She asked, taking a deep breath and sighing. "...I got abandoned. And I ran. I ran a lot. Ran, and ran, and ran again. For my life. Didn't want it to happen, but it did. Sometimes the most trusted ones end up betraying ya."
"I don't get it…" She admitted, shaking her head.
"Maybe you will someday," Lilith stood up again and walked off outside the house. On the bright side, Chewtle and her family had hope now. But, remembering her mother? That had been the heavier side, and she required a drink now. And a damn strong one at that. Scar's gonna kill me… nah. Shouldn't worry about that now. I just need a break.
As she walked outside, Lilith's brain fiddled with the memories she once had forgotten.
"You can have her."
"Huh, that was fast," the Gurdurr said, blinking and checking Lilith again. "Are you sure? This is
"Take her. Take her away. I need… I need to be alone." She replied, backing away and covering her face.
"Mom?! Mom!" Lilith cried out for her mother as Gurdurr took her away, trying to bite or claw her way out, but the fighting type Pokémon was too strong, and she continued on his clutches even as she looked at her mother and pleaded for mercy, for her to come rescue her.
"M-Mommy! Mommy, help me! Please, don't leave me! I'll be a good girl! I'll do anything you ask!"
No answer. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears, cancelling out all other sounds, and her whole vision of the world seemed to slow down. Lilith could only stare at her mother, the Pokémon who raised her, turning her back on her.
"Mommy… mommy, please…"
It hurt. It hurt as if her heart was being shattered, like someone punched right through it. And the worst part was that there was nothing she could do to escape this fate.
"Don't worry, kid. I'll treat you right," Gurdurr said, opening the door. The two entered a sandstorm, but Gurdurr managed to cover the child's eyes from the sand as they walked into the city.
Lilith still had a tint of hope left and screamed, before it was muffled by Gurdurr's hand. And she recognized this as an opportunity. She bit into it, causing Gurdurr to scream and let go of her.
Even amidst the sandstorm, Lilith still desired to come back to her mother. But the betrayal hit her again, right in the heart, like an arrow, and she fell to her knees. She wanted to cry, to plead again, and were it not for the loud footsteps coming from Gurdurr, she would have done that.
Instead, she ran away as fast as she could. Lilith never bothered to check who was next to her or where she was going. All she focused on was escaping this place, escaping her mother and escaping Gurdurr.
I...I need to run, I gotta get help!
The sand beneath her pressed on her feet, pinching them, and Lilith ignored this at first. She was a natural runner, it shouldn't be much of an issue. It shouldn't, but it was. Lilith stopped soon after, not even sure where
she was, just seeing sand and more sand all around. It stuck to her eyes and she rubbed them, trying to take it off.
"Stupid continent… we keep havin' those stupid storms!" She shouted, before coughing up some of the sand that got inside her mouth, and then rubbing it off her tongue.
It was becoming too much to bear. Lilith tried moving again, guiding herself only by what she remembered her town to be like. She knew there was a port, maybe she could get inside one of the boats and escape!
She tried navigating, twitching her ears to check her surroundings, and found out that, despite the bad weather, she was closer to the port. Lilith even heard some sailors screaming at her.
"Just… just a little more… and I'll… I'll…"
She collapsed right there.
Dexter looked up again, the broken glass was still there, so at least he wasn't hallucinating things.
"What did they do now?!" With a quick dash, the weasel got inside the building. The landlord was nowhere to be found, so he just climbed the stairs to the other floor.
Once he stopped, Dexter had to duck under an ice shard, nearly getting hit by the chilly attack. He looked to see a Houndoom dodging the exact attack he ducked from. Meggie was behind the canine, panting and rubbing sweat from her face.
Houndoom snarled, lowering his head and preparing to launch some fire-type move. Before it could happen, Dexter lunged in, his fist wrapped in a fierce orange glow before he punched the dog's muzzle, sending the canine flying up into the ceiling and back to the ground.
"Y'all forgot to invite me to the party!" Dexter chuckled, cracking his knuckles. His arms bulged a bit after the attack.
"Oh, hey, Dexter!" Meggie waved, panting again. Boy, was she glad to see him. "I would hug you right now, but this isn't over yet…"
"Inside! C'mon, we don't have enough time!" Meggie pleaded, floating towards Brian's apartment.
"Alright, alright! I be comin' Popsi— Yargh
!" Dexter grunted in pain, turning his head back and seeing the same Houndoom from before had bitten his shoulder hard enough to draw blood. "You, sunova…"
"You okay, Dex?!" Meggie had seen the attack, and was already on her way to help when Dexter screamed, calling her attention.
"Go 'elp... Goggles. I can take care o' this here mutt meself! I'll join ye as soon as I can!" Dexter clenched his teeth, grabbing the Houndoom with both of his arms. He began to pull the mutt away and yanked him off himself, throwing the dark type to the wall.
"Oh… oh wow." Meggie deadpanned. "I'm impressed."
"Try not to get too impressed, Popsicle." Dexter smirked and ran alongside her.
"Well, you did take your sweet time getting here," she shrugged, but didn't hide her smile.
"Gettin' bit by a 'Oundoom? Yup, I'd come 'ere earlier if I knew it been this here kinda party."
"Don't mention it, big guy!" Meggie burst Brian's door open with a shadowy punch and, besides her, Dexter was about to walk inside when a psychic force pulled him back. Meggie dodged and looked at who had done that; an Beheeyem.
"Ouch... what just 'appened?" Dexter pulled himself together, touching his forehead and grunting.
"Go ahead! I'll deal with this guy!" Meggie said, taking a deep breath as the air around her froze, forming snowflakes.
Dexter nodded and dashed under the Beheeyem, looking back at Meggie. "I don't wanna' ask if ye can 'andle it... good luck!"
"Take care over there, Dexter! Brian's gonna explain it, I think!"
Barging into the flat, Dexter's first priority was finding out where Brian was. A task made easier by the screams coming from one of the rooms. He had to move fast.
'Old on, Goggles! I'll get there in a minute!
Dexter ducked as a metallic chain with a pointed end passed through the hallway, puncturing the wall from left to right.
What's... Goggles makin' 'ere?
Another door bursted apart as a Boltund came crashing down, panting and huffing. On the canine's belly a dark sphere whispered away into the air, and Brian finally walked out of his room.
"Never… do that again." Brian said, panting. On his right paw, the fox held a weapon, a hook that stretched out on a chain. "Don't mock my family."
Family? Sheesh, Goggles really takes family seriously…
Dexter thought, clearing his throat. "Nice o' ye to invite me, Goggles."
"Huh?" Brian turned around and gasped. "Shit, Dexter! I didn't notice you, sorry dude!"
"Nah. Don't worry," he shrugged, and then pointed at the Boltund. "What's the deal?"
"Their team attacked us because we had a fight back at the guild." He stated, sighing.
Boltund slowly stood up again and snarled, his fur standing on end. Brian took a step back and pointed the hookshot again.
Dexter clenched his fists. "Another mutt tryin' to fight us. Wanna take 'im out together?"
"If you aren't fighting off folks, why are you even on the team, eh?" Brian chuckled.
"An' just when I been plannin' to make it like a tree an' leave," the weasel said. The Boltund jumped on Dexter's direction, but he dodged to the side, now standing next to Brian.
"What's that all about?"
"Not now, Goggles! Besides, I kinda changed me mind, so don't ye worry!" Dexter nodded.
"You're a bunch of wussies!" The dog replied, snarling again. "But I reaaally need to teach y'all a lesson!"
"Team up it is!" Brian got on all fours and put his goggles on with a smirk. "Let's kick his ass, Dexter!"
The canine ran towards the two, clearing his throat and opening to unleash a powerful roar. Brian, being closer to Boltund, was forced backwards, until Dexter managed to hold him in place.
This brought Boltund an opportunity to attack, this time by ramming his body onto Brian's belly, managing to force the fox to cough and grunt from the pain.
"Goggles, 'old 'im!"
"Got it!" Brian grabbed Boltund before the dog could walk away, and as a response, an electric surge surged across his body, but Brian endured it. He turned around, now facing Dexter directly.
"This might 'urt a little bit!" Bracing himself, Dexter lowered his arm and then punched Boltund's chest using all the strength he could muster. The dog screamed as he felt his bones crack from the impact, his consciousness fading soon after.
"Gah!" Brian dropped the dog and fell to his knees, panting and huffing. "O-oh wow… that electricity hurt more than I thought… But hey, we won, right?"
"Popsicle's still fightin' outside. Should we 'elp 'er out?"
"No need to tell me twice, and thanks for comin' here! Let's go!"
Dexter let Brian walk first, while he looked down. They really needed him… a smile spread on his face as he followed the fox.
He woke up on the shore, coughing up water. Dexter rubbed his eyes and took a glance on his surroundings, before recollecting the recent events in his head. He had run away from home. From his parents. The ramifications of such choice had sunk in now, and he groggily stood up, struggling to stay upright.
"I-i did it? 'Oly shite... I actually did it! I escaped from 'em!" Dexter giggled, touching his face and smiling before running around in circles. His excitement never seemed to fade, not even as he tripped and fell on the sand.
"But I be ne'er seein' them again. I be on me own now." He concluded, frowning. "...What's gonna happen?"
Dexter wondered. Being without his parents or any friends was surely going to be hard, and he had nobody to trust now. What to do? He had to move on somehow. Find his grounding and continue with his life. Yes. That made sense.
"It does suck to not 'ave any mates. Maybe I can find some... that there'd be neat."
But what if they were just like his parents? Dexter frowned. No. He had to think positively if he were to survive all alone in the world.
"Don't think I can trust anyone now. But maybe someday... someday I'll find someone to trust again. If I keep up like this, then… maybe."
The Buizel nodded to himself and looked at the distant shore, walking towards that direction. He was free now, for better or for worse. Something he hoped to find out soon.
Meggie huffed. Despite her type advantage, her opponent was faster and had managed to dodge her punches. She had no intention of giving up, of course, but this was getting frustrating at this point.
"C'mere and fight me!" She said, floating backwards. With another huff, Meggie wondered how to defeat this psychic. She could try freezing him, or wait for backup. Out of these two options, she thought the latter was more efficient, if Brian had managed to finish the fight he started of course. Arceus, why did Brian mess with these guys? Urgh, he can be such a pain sometimes…
Beheeyem's eyes flashed red and he charged electricity over his two arms. Meggie bit her lip and floated towards her opponent, holding two rods on her hands. With a click, the rods opened, revealing metallic fans, the two of which she threw at her opponent. Beheyeem, however, dodged once again.
"Bingo!" Meggie smirked. When Beheeyem dodged, she closed her right hand, focusing as a weil of dark, ghostly aura enveloped her fist. Beheyeem was still distracted by the fans, and didn't notice it until it was too late, right as Meggie punched him square in the face.
She certainly wasn't the most physically gifted of the team, but a point-blank move like that was effective regardless, and managed to force Beheeyem backwards.
"You don't give up so easily, and that's fine!" She huffed. "Well, except when I'm
the one fighting, but whatever!"
The psychic-type tilted his head and lowered it backwards, before proceeding to headbutt Meggie until she no longer floated and landed on the floor. This time, he was charging electricity again, when he saw Meggie moving her finger.
Until then, Beheeyem hadn't noticed that she wore a pink bracelet, or rather, didn't know its true intention before now, when the fans that were behind him got attracted by said bracelet, and flew with such speed he hardly had any room to dodge, and even if he avoided a direct impact, Beheeyem got a cut on his face.
"Not so tough now, huh?!"
"Irrelevant. Even with your type advantage, I can still end this fight quickly. Your quips are unnecessary." Beheeyem's eyes flashed again as he unleashed a wave of electricity towards Meggie.
Once it hit the Froslass, she faded into nothingness. Beheeyem tilted his head in confusion; not just Meggie, but the landscape surrounding him was acting strange. The floor looked like it was melting, as did the ceiling, something he confirmed when he saw goop landing on his head. Strangely, however, he didn't feel anything at all..
"What… what is th—Urgh!" Beheeyem grunted in pain as something punched him, followed by a dark sphere lunging on his face. The combined attacks forced him to the ground, and he saw as the landscape went back to normal with the snap of Brian's fingers. The fox eyed him and snarled.
"Let this serve as a lesson. Don't piss me off, and don't ever
make fun of my family!" Brian stated, crossing his arms.
"Aye! Show 'im, Goggles!" Dexter cheered.
Beheeyem trembled and looked at both of his unconscious teammates. He gulped and figured the best option was to leave while he still could. And so, he ran out of there, being too exhausted to even try teleporting, leaving the two canines behind.
"Well, all's well if it ends well," Dexter shrugged.
"I'm gonna call the police aaaand hope the landlord doesn't kick us out, this is gonna take a while to fix…" Brian grumbled, entering his flat again.
An hour later, Brian was back at doing what he got used to after his brother left: Moping on the couch, and also crying from time to time, judging by the noises he was making.
Except this time around Dexter and Meggie were there. The Froslass was the first one to do something, as she sat down next to Brian and caressed his short mane.
"There, there… it's gonna be okay, alright?"
"I-I don't even know how he is, Meg! What if he got hurt… I should've been a better brother than… this
Dexter crossed his arms and closed his eyes. Now that he was there, his decision to leave the team… Well, he couldn't follow through. He had changed his mind; They did need him after all.
And to start things off, he needed to help Brian get over this. He cleared his throat and tapped the fox repeatedly. "Shut it, Goggles. Can't stand ye wallowin' in self-pity."
"Huh?" Brian suddenly sat on the couch, rubbing his eyes. They were reddening from all the tears. "What're you saying? Can't I feel sad?"
"O' course ye can. But there's a line between sadness an'... Whatever's goin' on 'ere."
"I-I think he's got a point, Brian," Meggie stated, looking down. "Your dad said he was gonna look into it, so all we can really do is… Dunno, the normal stuff. Didn't you build that, uh, gizmo?"
"It's a hookshot!" Brian shouted, managing to crack a smile.
"By the way, what been the deal with them three?" Dexter asked.
"Oh, right." Brian smiled sheepishly. "We kinda got on a fight with them in the guild because they were talkin' shit about Lance, and… I might have thrown booze on them. One thing led to another and they tried taking revenge."
Dexter blinked and burst in laughter, sitting down next to them and tapping the two on their shoulders. "Fuck yeah! We really taught them a lesson! I be glad I joined y'all!"
Lilith finally entered Scar's mansion, and as she closed the door behind her, she sighed. The highlight of her day was helping that child, for sure. Now all she wanted was to take a break.
"It is a pleasure seeing you again, miss Lilith."
She looked up and saw Scar heading towards her, a slight smile on his face. Lilith rubbed sweat off her forehead and waited until he was close enough for her to give him a pawshake.
"It appears you have taken quite a bit of time outside. May I ask what was that about?" He soon turned around. "Of course, you can answer while I prepare us some calming tea."
"Geez, y'all enjoy hot leaf juice too much."
Scar let out a small chuckle. "Oh, pardon me, but how could you say such things? I never took you for an agelast."
"An age what?"
"Someone that has little to no sense of humor."
Lilith stared at him blankly and nodded. "I'm not that and ya know it."
Scar grinned. "Perhaps I do. Now, shall we go? And you can tell me all about your experience."
She sighed and surrendered herself to it. Scar always did like to talk with his teammates, and she missed those kinds of talks. They were, after all, what convinced her to join him all those years ago.
"Scar… wait. There's something I wanna say to you first."
He stopped and looked back. "Of course."
"Thanks… for takin' care of me. I needed someone after losing everything, and you were just that. So… I'm with ya until the end of the line."
"I appreciate it and thank you for this," Scar replied, nodding and smiling. "I should thank you as well. With you, Maxwell and Percival, I believe we can finally reach our goal. World peace."
"If we were to trust others with free will, then it would just lead to frustration and pain," Lilith said. "Necrozma… He can fix that, right?"
"After how far we have come, is this really a question you need to ask?"
"I was kidding!" She giggled, walking alongside him. "Let's go!"
"Yes, and tomorrow… tomorrow will be a special day for us all."