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Gym Leader
  1. suicune
  2. umbreon
  3. mew
  4. lycanroc-wes
  5. leafeon-rui
How did I miss the new chapter?! I totally thought I was caught up! LOL

OKAY here we go, chapter 10!

I wiped away the tears forming around my eyes, as I stood up.
NOOO Gen don't cry!! Ugh poor baby :(
Friend? Were we friends now?

I've only known them for a very short time...but they've helped me so much already…

Yeah, I think we're friends.
"A guildmaster is the person in charge of a guild, which is a place where a bunch of people on adventuring teams live together," Burhalla said.
Guilds sound really cool!! I know we got to see some of them in previous chapters, and I hope we get to see more!
"No, we're staying here," Burhalla said, his voice softening. "Besides, I don't think Saltriv's parents would be very happy with them moving away just after they came back."

"Yep! I'm definitely not planning on leaving them for good anytime soon," Saltriv said.
This makes me wonder if Burhalla actually really wants to leave, given his horrible relationship with his father. I imagine he wouldn't be too sad to move out. The fact that he's perfectly willing to stay for his friends speaks volumes about him though.
"They're pretty cool, aren't they?" Burhalla said. "These bags are synchronised bags! Anything you put in one, you can take out of any of them!"
YOOO I like this! I wonder if you have an explanation for all the strange magical things in this world, like the deposit box and orbs and the way dungeons work? Maybe this world has an entirely different aura from the human world that makes this possible?
I had no idea how this was even possible without PC tech, but then again, a lot of the stuff here seemed impossible, like mystery dungeons as a whole.
Haha I mean, PC tech is pretty incredible too.
Burhalla put one of his hands to his scarf for a few seconds, then said, "How about we make a blanket fort? And we can all sleep in it!"

"That sounds fun!" I said. I remember making blanket forts with my brother, and they were always so much fun.

"Yep! I want to do that!" Saltriv said. "We have a lot of spare blankets in the storage room, and lots of stuff we can use to hold it up! Let's do it!"

"Yeah!" I cheered.

"Yeah!" Burhalla repeated.
This is SO WHOLESOME AGH. They are all so cute. Precious beans that must be protected.
"No! Not like that!" Grapploct yelled. A tentacle collided with my head. "Put your all into it! Focus on Tackling me!"

I frowned, then tried again, running towards Grapploct as I tried to focus on attacking them. This time, he knocked me away before I even reached him.

"Don't just focus on attacking or running, focus on the move itself. Put it to the front of your mind! In the moment you are performing it, the Tackle is the most important thing to you!" Grapploct said.
This training session was nicely done! I wonder if Grapploct could have given more specific intructions other than just "focus harder", though. Maybe he could have given some tips on Gen's stance?
Suppressing a grimace, I began wagging my tail. It felt...uncomfortably good, in an instinctual way. Like waving this limb back and forth was overriding every bit of discomfort I felt. It was such an alien feeling, and I couldn't tell whether I liked it or not.
Haha this is a really good description of what having a new tail must feel like.
"The Carkol Express, the train that travels all across the Thunder Continent. It's quite the amazing machine. Five years ago I couldn't have dreamed things like it were possible," Grapploct said.

My eyes widened. The Pokemon in this world had trains?! How did that even work with all the different shapes that Pokemon were?

Carkol Express! I'm excited to see this!

You chapters are really nicely paced, which I appreciate. I also like that you don't have giant chapters--longer chapters are great, but sometimes it's a real struggle for me to get through them, so I really appreciate the shorter ones too haha. She says as she keeps writing giant chapters, ahahahaaaaa

Also! You tend to write a lot of one-line paragraphs. Normally I'd suggest combining them to make the paragraphs more varied, but honestly? It kinda works with your style? Idk, it makes the lines stand out more and thus causes me to pay closer attention to Gen's reactions, so I actually like it. Nicely done :D

Spiteful Murkrow

Busy Writing Stories I Want to Read
  1. nidoran-f
  2. druddigon
  3. swellow
  4. quilava-fobbie
  5. sneasel-kate
  6. heliolisk-fobbie
Alright, picking up where I left off on my last review from Eternal Shadows, this time featuring Chapters 4-6. I’ll mostly try to avoid being a broken record on some fic-level suggestions from the first three chapters, though you might see a few recommendations here and there that were also present in my last review.

Oh yeah, and more cutaways. Because gotta take some time to banter the story events a bit in good nature. ^^

Chapter 4

Light flooded my vision, before fading. Before me, was a dirt path leading into the distance up a sunset-lit hill. The trees were much sparser now, no longer forming solid walls.

“We’re out!” exclaimed Burhalla, as I heard something shatter.

What was that?!

Before I could ask what that was, Saltriv started running down the path, before stopping a few steps away, and turning around, a worried expression on their face. “Come on! I want to see my family again!” they demanded.

Was it your intention for the reader to also not know what the shattering sound was along with Gen? Since admittedly I’m as mystified as he is at this part. If a specific object broke to cause that sound, it might make sense to have Gen notice shards or something left behind or else hint at what might’ve caused it via a line of dialogue from Burhalla or Saltriv.

If it wasn’t an object that broke, you might find value in having Gen look around and grow confused when he can’t notice any sign of anything broken around.

I could understand their worry. I’d been through something like that once, though not to this degree.

I shuddered as the memory came back. Listening to the news about how Kyogre and Groudon were rampaging near Hoenn, frantically packing only the necessities before leaving the house, getting lost in the crowd and separated from my family as everyone in Goldenrod evacuated, calling out for help to no avail...If that brawl had made its way to Johto—

I actually like this bit quite a lot since it’s a glimpse into Gen’s lived experiences as a human, as well as showing how he’s trying to relate to his teammates. That said, you might find it pertinent to be more specific about when in the relative past this happened if Gen’s sense of time for his memories is still intact (e.x. “X years ago”, “when I was in grade school”) since when I first read this bit, I thought it had happened right before the start of the story and was unsure whether or not that was the intent.

I ran towards the two, and together, the three of us headed along the path towards the sunset.

No words were spoken for some time. I think we were all just relieved to be out of that place. I know I was.

As we climbed the hill, I started to hear unfamiliar voices, though I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. I slowed my pace a bit. I looked towards the other two, and they didn’t seem to notice them. Was I just hearing things?

Should I tell the others? Would they believe me? Would it be a good idea to keep this a secret from them after what Burhalla had said?

In the midst of me trying to figure out what to do, I saw a trio of figures emerge over the hilltop. I couldn’t tell what they were from this distance, but Burhalla seemingly could, as his footsteps halted.

You might want to consider expanding your description of the hill a bit, since if this hill is wooded, the appearance of Burhalla and Saltriv’s parents coming over it is very different than if the hill is grassy or mostly lacking trees.

As the two reunited, the Typhlosion approached us. Out of the corner of my vision, I noticed Burhalla’s expression pale.

“Burhalla,” the Typhlosion spoke, briefly glancing at Saltriv, before turning back to the Charmander.

“Hi, dad,” Burhalla responded after a pause.

“I understand what you were doing. Really, I do. And I’m glad that you found Saltriv. But you should have known better! You could have gone missing, or worse!” Burhalla’s father roared at him. “What if you had? What would I do? What would Valorch do? I need to have a stern talk with you once we’re home.”

I think that as a heartfelt moment, this part or the paragraphs immediately beforehand would’ve benefitted from some more body language and actions being described. For instance, Saltriv and her mother explicitly nuzzling each other, crying into each others’ shoulders, or doing some other affectionate action with each other seems like it’d have better sold the sense of “it’s been months and I was losing hope, thank goodness you’re alright and back home”.

By the same token, I think that more explicitly describing the mannerisms and body language of Burhalla’s dad would better sell a sense of contrast. Since based off of Burhalla’s described reaction, it sounds as if his dad was supposed to come off as obviously agitated/upset, but it doesn’t really come through until the paragraph where he chews out Burhalla for going off to play hero on his own.

Burhalla: “I wouldn’t call this a heartfelt moment right now given that I’m probably gonna get grounded from this.” >.<
Gen: “Well, it’s heartfelt for Saltriv, so…”

“Well, se-se-seems like Burhalla’s fine, and they even brought back Saltriv and this Oshawott! All’s well that en-en-ends well, at least!” the Porygon-Z stuttered, bringing me back to reality as I was finally addressed.

I locked eyes with the Porygon-Z, before they leaned towards me. “So what’s yo-yo-your deal? I’ve nev-ev-ever seen you around town before,” they asked.

“I’m Gen,” I responded, taking note of their...odd speech pattern. I remember learning that Porygon-Zs were unstable. Was that still true in this world?

Gen: “... Is he gonna start making dial-up modem noises on us or something?”
Saltriv: “Meh, that’s just how they talk. Though what’s a ‘dial-up modem’ anyways?”
Gen: “(Right, I lied about being a normal Pokémon from their world to them. Gotta be careful.) Uh… I’m actually not sure, I just have vague memories of this box that made really awful staticky noises. I think that was it, but…”
Burhalla: “Yeesh, remind me to never ask for one of those ‘moh-dem’s. Why would anyone want to be around one of those things?”

What now? Do I tell them what I told Saltriv and Burhalla, since the two of them were right there? Would the Porygon-Z be able to tell it was a lie? I didn’t remember if the Porygon line were normal-type or psychic-type. Either way, I needed to decide, and quickly, before anyone got suspicious.

“I don’t remember,” I lied, hoping I made the right choice, or at least the best choice I could at this point.

“You do not recall what lo-lo-location you are from?! That’s ve-ve-very worrying,” the Porygon-Z replied, their tone again switching as they spoke.

The conversation between Burhalla and his father stopped, as did the one between Saltriv and their mother.

Gen: “... (I’m sure that this is making them less likely to believe that I’m human, right?)” ._.;
Burhalla: “Hey Saltriv? Haven’t you heard stories about Pokémon suddenly turning up without their memories like that before?”
Saltriv: “Burhalla, I’ve apparently been gone for months without knowing it. I don’t remember much of anything right now.”

“I’m not sure if I should believe you. You’re not faking it, trying to pretend to be another amnesiac human sent to save the world?” the Typhlosion interrogated. “There’s been four Pokemon who tried lying about that just this month.”

My confidence shattered with his words. I couldn’t tell the truth now, after what Burhalla had said. Plus, given what the Typhlosion was saying, they definitely wouldn’t believe the truth. I could ponder this more later, though, for now, I had to reply.

Gen: “... Crap.

“I’m telling the tru-” I began, before I heard Saltriv speak up.

“It’s true. He couldn’t even remember how to use moves,” they defended.

The Typhlosion looked like he wanted to say something, and began to open his mouth, but Burhalla interjected.

“I saw it too. He couldn’t even remember how to use Water Gun. He never mentioned being a human, either,” Burhalla backed up Saltriv and myself. I shot a grateful look towards him, and he nodded silently in response.

“Can’t we talk about this more once we’re in town?” Saltriv pleaded. “I want to see dad again.”

I admittedly couldn’t get a solid read on how Burhalla’s dad reacted to the story there and whether he was reflexively skeptical of that or taken aback. I think an extra sentence or two in that paragraph where he was about to speak up might have helped.

Gen: “Would he really have not believed me when I still have bite marks on my head now from not being able to attack effectively?” >_>;
Burhalla’s Dad: “I mean, just saying. Some of those imposters were really dedicated about trying to sell their act as a human.”
Burhalla: “Dad, come on. Be reasonable!”

“You are telling me the truth, right?” he questioned, turning to me, a look of suspicion on his face. “You’re not another Pokemon doing that for attention?”

“I’m not,” I hastily responded. It was true for one of his questions, at least.

- Gen points at his head’s bite marks -
Gen: “Ahem.
Burhalla’s Dad: “... Fair enough. Though it’s strange, if you’d actually said you were human… even with those liars that have been turning up, why I’d be half-tempted to believe you. Especially if you didn’t go on some spiel about being destined to save the world like they did.”
- Gen facepalms -
Gen: “... (Starting to really regret going this route.) Uh… thanks, I guess.”

This lie couldn’t end well.

Gen: “(I-Is it too late to pretend that my memories are slowly coming back to me? That happens in video games, doesn’t it?)”

It didn’t seem nearly as big as Goldenrod, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in wonder. I walked towards the center of the circle to get a better look at my surroundings. Right to the left of where the path ended was a bulletin board, filled with posters depicting many Pokemon. A Tyrogue was looking over the papers on it. Next to it, was a large tent in the shape of a Kecleon’s head, underneath which was an assortment of boxes guarded by a Torterra. On the other side of the path was some sort of strange box with many mechanisms on it. Heading away from it was a Pokemon with short arms, a V-shaped head, and a wispy tail, carrying what looked to be its pre-evolution on its head. There were many stone roads leading out of the circle, lined with houses that grew progressively fainter the further into the fog they were. Down one road that a Leafeon was walking across, I could barely see another stone circle like the one I currently stood on.

It wasn’t quite like anything I had seen before. There were so many Pokemon here, and yet I felt so alone.

Gen: “... How is this place not a pickpocket’s paradise with fog this thick always around?”
Saltriv: “Good luck casing a mark unless you’re right next to them. Besides, it’s not that big of a town. I think.”

Hopefully Saltriv would be willing to help. Otherwise, I was in trouble.

I walked over towards the tent, and pleaded, “Can I stay with you all for the night? I don’t have anywhere to go.”

“Of course! Right, mom?” Saltriv answered almost immediately. I wasn’t expecting a response that quickly.

“We’ll have to discuss it first, but I’ll consider it,” the Meganium responded, causing my expression to fall. “You should have told me soone-”

“They helped heal me when I got poisoned in that dungeon! Please?” Saltriv added.

“Why not?” the voice from before spoke up. I realized it was the Torterra, who was now facing me. “We have enough room, anyways. You helped save Saltriv, we should pay you back somehow.”

This is another one of those bits that I think would’ve benefitted from a bit more description to better inform the state of mind of the characters, along with an initial reaction that might give Gen ideas of how well (or not) his request played since he’s basically inviting himself to a stranger’s house there. Even if he’s understandably desperate, it’s a bold ask, and he’d logically be paying close attention to how Saltriv’s parents would’ve reacted.

The left side of the room held a bookshelf, every shelf filled with a colorful assortment of books, piquing my interest. What kind of literature did Pokemon have? I’d have to check that out later, assuming it was in a language I could read.

I’d personally look and see if you can find synonyms for these two given that ‘bookshelf’ is literally in the same sentence. I’d suggest something like ‘rung’ or ‘level’ for the first and ‘tomes’ or ‘volumes’ for the latter. Alternatively, you could say something other than ‘bookshelf’ to start with since the rest of the sentence makes it obvious it’s a bookshelf.

“Nope,” I responded after a few moments. I weighed the odds. At best, Saltriv believes me, doesn’t tell anyone, and can help me get back home. However, it was far more likely that they wouldn’t believe me, especially after what Typhlosion said. Worst case scenario, Saltriv’s family kicks me out, Burhalla is told, and I have no one to help me figure out this world.

This part probably would sound more natural as “they tell Burhalla” since it parallels the present tense of “Saltriv’s family kicks me out” better.

“What kinds of things?” they asked.

Before I could get a chance to even think how to respond, Meganium poked her head into the room we were in. “Everything’s all set! This way!” she told us, before turning back around. Saltriv ran after her, and so did I. It wasn’t long before we entered our destination.

Gen: “(Whew, saved by the bell. Though maybe I should figure out how well they’d take me dripfeeding my past, since these close calls are getting ridiculous.)”

“Your bed is the one on the right,” Meganium pointed out, as Saltriv rushed into the straw mat on the left, lit by a quickly diminishing amount of sunlight. Those must be the beds, then. They didn’t look very comfortable.

“Get along, you two,” Meganium asked the two of us. “I don’t want a repeat of last time.”

“We will!” Saltriv assured. “He saved my life! Of course we’ll get along!”

“Just making sure,” Meganium clarified, before heading out of the room.

Gen: “... Wait, what happened last time you had a guest over, Saltriv?”
Saltriv: “Uh… we had a bit of a minor disagreement.”
- Gen frowns skeptically -
Saltriv: “A very loud minor disagreement. In the middle of the night. That woke mom and dad up.”
Gen: “You’re not doing a really good job convincing me there, but let’s just go with that.” -_-;

“You looked like you’ve never seen a bed before!” I heard Saltriv exclaim in bewilderment. “Haven’t you slept at all since you forgot everything?”

“I haven’t. Waking up in that clearing with you is the first thing I remember,” I lied.

“Weird. You should tell me exactly what you do remember! Or you could write it down in a journal! I think I have a spare one somewhere.”


Seriously Gen, stop digging yourself deeper already. o3o;

At least I met Saltriv and Burhalla. They had offered to help me. Saltriv already was, convincing their family to let me stay the night here. I really needed to thank them once I woke up, and Burhalla, too.

They’ve really been a big help so far, even if they might have suspicions that I’m lying.

Why did I even start that lie, anyways? All it’s caused me is trouble, and I can’t come clean now, or I’ll lose Burhalla’s trust, along with likely the trust of everyone else here.

Gen: “Wait, but wouldn’t they believe me if I said that my memories were starting to come ba-?”
- Gen thinks back to how he’s repeatedly said he didn’t remember anything other than his name and the fake humans brought up -
Gen: “... Right, they’d probably think I was trying to scam them or something. Nevermind.” ._.;

I began to continue towards home, before a patch of blue caught my eye. A pristine blue bow, lying on the ground. I immediately nabbed it. It was unbelievably soft, more than anything I’ve felt before. I didn’t want to let go of it.

I’ll keep it. It was my favorite color, so no way was I giving it up. Maybe I could sew it on to my shirt collar or something. I bet that would look stylish.

Whoever lost it wasn’t my problem.

Hopefully Gen would turn up soon. Managing Voltorb Flip all by myself was exhausting.

Plus, I did miss him a bit.

>Gen’s bow from Chapter 1 got yeeted into a random alley in Goldenrod City

It’ll be interesting to see what other bits and pieces of that dimension in Chapter 1 turn up throughout the story. Since unless I’m misremembering something, I know the mailbox definitely didn’t make it to this same world

Chapter 5

I floated through the fog, away from the Top Plaza. The sun was almost set. There’d certainly be no customers back at the old recyclin’ shop at this time. No need to take a gander at it before heading home.

This bit feels like it’d read more organically as either “The sun had almost set” or “It was almost sunset”. Additionally, it’s a bit of a sentence fragment here. You could very easily tape it to the next one while feeling natural such as “The sun had almost set, there’d certainly be no customers back at the old recyclin’ shop at this time.”

Also, it’d probably make things easier for your readers to follow if you hinted at who the speaker was via some sort of physical feature being described off the bat. It was still possible to put things together without it, but it took a while and I’m not fully sure if that was intended.

I took a sharp right down the alley next to ol’ Flapple’s home. He’s sure been missing for a while now. I miss those times when we hung—

when we hung—

when we hung—


Toucannon can launch plain seeds with enough power to destroy boulders.

I floated through the fog. The distance to the village outskirts was not large.

So even though this is PNS-NT’s thought process, here. This part was admittedly a bit jarring when reading, since there wasn’t any real hint that PNS-NT has random non-sequitur moments as part of his thought process. I feel that if you’d portrayed something like that or gave a minor hint that he had such tendencies in his speech patterns in a prior chapter, it’d both have established that this was a thing that affected him and made it a bit more obvious to the reader that it was him speaking.

It was wrong in every possible way. It looked like someone had taken half an Arctoar and half a Ruzolt and stitched them together in the worst way they could. The bottom half was unnervingly still while the top half was shivering like its life depended on it, which I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. The two halves so desynced, it was almost like they were completely separate beings.

The top half almost looked parasitic, like a Poisonous Slowking or a Parasect, as if it was a stem that had grown out of the corpse of an Arctoar. The hands almost seemed like they were tacked on as an afterthought, unable to reach anything. The whole top part looked like it was permanently locked in an ice bath, a frozen glob of snot dangling from its nostrils, almost like that of a Cubchoo.

Oh hello there, Arctozolt.

Porygon-Z: printf("Uhh… H-Hello there?");
Arctozolt: “Grr…
Porygon-Z: printf("Er… eek.");


Error. Six unreceived packets. Backing up memories, then commencing reboot with unit PNS-NT.

Hopefully there wasn’t a hardware failure there, since otherwise I don’t think that backup or reboot will do a whole lot. o3o;

Though out of curiosity, is there supposed to be any significance to the differences in font in some parts for different bits? Or is it supposed to show PNS-NT on the fritz before losing consciousness?

“What made you think any of that was a good idea?! We still don’t know why Pokemon are going missing! What if you ran into whatever was causing this? What if you had gone shadowy?! Then we’d have even more missing Pokemon!” my father roared once we arrived home. I winced at the volume. It was worth it in the end. I had found Saltriv, after they’d been missing for months, and got them home.

There was also that odd Oshawott who had lost his memory. Gen. I didn’t get a chance to bring him to Mayor Jellicent to see if she could help, like I had offered. I’d have to do that tomorrow, if I’m allowed to even leave the house by then. Hopefully he’d be able to find a place for the night on his own.

In my opinion, it would’ve made sense to put in an opening paragraph from Burhalla’s perspective at the start establishing his general surroundings and time of day. Since as of right now, it’s not apparent that this scene is happening concurrent with PNS-NT’s ambush until the very end of the scene.

“Did you at least pack the right equipment?” he asked, tone a bit gentler.

I could probably lie here, and escape punishment. It would be simple, and easy. But I wouldn’t be like him.

“Everything but the escape orb,” I told the truth. The flames on my father’s back instantly flared up.

“THAT’S THE MOST ESSENTIAL PART!” he shouted. “You had no way to leave the dungeon if an emergency happened! Twig Woodland has Monster Houses! If you had run into one of those, you wouldn’t make it out!”

Burhalla’s Dad: “Seriously, how did you manage to forget an Escape Orb when you remembered to pack literally everything else to go out into that Mystery Dungeon? I know I raised you better than that, Burhalla.” ¬_¬
Burhalla: “Uh… because I was in a hurry to leave before you’d notice and ground me for the rest of the century before I even left the village? (Yeah, I know it was dumb of me, but you don’t have to rub it in...)” >_>;

And yet, me, Saltriv, and Gen had made it through one, or at least something very close to one. Before I could say a rebuttal, though, the flames on his back died down, and extinguished.

“I’m not going to punish you, Burhalla. You saved Saltriv, and I’m sure their parents are thrilled to have them back. As reckless of a decision it was to go into there, I’m proud of you for saving them,” he told me, in a softer tone.

This part I feel would’ve benefitted from there being more of a description of how Burhalla’s dad’s mood changes. Since I would imagine that his facial expression and body expression weren’t stuck in crabby badger mode as his flames died down, and it seems like something Burhalla would’ve noticed from his perspective, but that isn’t apparent in the text itself.

“Also, when I say it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home. No buts about it, like I said earlier,” he added.

Burhalla: “And if I’m in the middle of a Mystery Dungeon when you say that?” >_>;
Burhalla’s Dad: “No buts, Burhalla. And that’s why you’re making sure you have an Escape Orb with you from now on.”
Burhalla: “(How is this not the definition of totally unreasonable?!)” >.<

“And what was that?” he asked, narrowing his eyes slightly.

“I told Gen I’d bring him to the mayor, and see if she could help him figure things out,” I answered.

“It was far too late for that, and besides, I don’t trust the Oshawott. He’s almost certainly just another pretender, and just faked not remembering his moves.”

This is another one of those parts where things read a little sudden going from one line of dialogue to the other due to lack of description to hint at the reaction and emotional state of the next character. Even something as simple as Burhalla’s dad pausing before shaking his head with a scowl or the like would add a lot for visualizing him and giving an idea as to his state of mind.

Burhalla: “Dad, Gen had bite marks on his scalp when you saw him!” >.<
Burhalla’s Dad: “Hrmph, I put some more thought into it, and realized that could’ve just been from enforced method acting.”

“Why do you trust this Pokemon you didn’t know before yesterday more than your own father?” my father demanded.

“Because he hasn’t lied to me like you do!” I shouted back.

“For your own benefit!”

“Lying to me about my mother isn’t for my benefit!”

“You wouldn’t have been able to handle learning about her death!”

“It would have been better than you keeping me in the dark about it for YEARS!”

Uhm… yeah. Kinda hard to fault Burhalla for having trust issues there. Though considering how agitated a turn the dialogue takes here on both parties, it would’ve been nice to get some more description regarding Burhalla and his dad’s body language.

For instance, would his dad’s fire come back out from him getting crabby? Or would he have kept it down from staying restrained/more defensive trying to justify himself to his child? Both directions paint different implications for the state of mind Burhalla’s dad would be in, but the text is ambiguous enough at the moment where either interpretation would be valid.

“Dad! Burhalla! Please!” Valorch’s voice cried out against our argument. I looked away from my father, seeing the Quilava that was my sister standing in the doorway.

Wait a minute. Is species inherited from the mother in Eternal Shadows as well, or is this one of those settings where the answer is ‘it depends’? Since if so, wouldn’t that make Valorch Gen’s stepsister? Or is one of the two an adopted sibling?

Before either of us could respond, I heard PNS-NT’s voice, muffled by the walls. “SOM-OM-OMEONE! HELP!” they yelled.

We all looked at each other in the dim room, lit now by little other than the flame on my tail. “Go to bed, you two. I’ll deal with this,” my father said, before walking out the door. Valorch sighed, before heading back to our room. I followed after her, not in the mood to argue further.

Burhalla: “... Shouldn’t we be worried at all about PNS-NT screaming bloody murder right now? (And how are we supposed to pronounce ‘PNS-NT’ anyways? Like ‘Pensant’?)”
Valorch: “He probably just clipped one of his limbs behind a door again, Burhalla. Besides, do you really want to get into an argument with dad over going off to take care of another one of PNS-NT’s messes?”
Burhalla: “... Just feels like we’re letting this go rather easily with the sort of racket he’s making right now. But meh, you’ve got a point and I’m feeling beat. Let’s hit the hay.”

?? Month of Autumn, ?? Day

It’s been a while since I wrote in here!

I was walking to Burhalla’s house, when suddenly, I felt something soft hit me, and I woke up in this strange place. The sky was all these different colors, and I was on this dark, glassy platform. In the center of it, there was something tall, with fur only on its head, and two arms ending with five fingers. It looked just like the humans of legends!

Can you believe it? A real human? And not even a former one!

I didn’t quote it in full since it’s a huge chunk of the chapter, but the journal section was honestly really fun to see and it provides some much-needed clues to the audience as to what Saltriv experienced for their own memories. I have to wonder if time flows differently in that dimension the two of them got yeeted to given that Gen’s only been missing from Johto for a few days, or if Saltriv’s missing an entire block of memories between getting hit by that soft object and waking up on the platform.

It was pretty quiet as we all ate, and not long before we were all finished. I’d probably need to explain myself now. Would they really believe me if I told them I saw a human in that strange place?

Couldn’t hurt to try!

“Let’s talk about what happened to you over the morning news. Then we can write a letter to your uncle about what happened,” Dad said, as he turned the radio on. At least some things didn’t change, like dad always listening to the news in the morning.

“To all residents in Overcast Village, stay alert. There has been a report of a strange creature terrorizing a resident. We have PNS-NT, the Porygon-Z who was the victim of this creature’s assault, here for an interview...”

Well that escalated quickly. I can already hear the surprised choking and coughing on food right now.

“There has to be some kind of lead, right? Gen, did you find out if anyone had disappeared from the human world?” the Meganium asked, looking towards the unkempt Dewott.

“That’s still a work in progress. Nothing of the sort has happened in Hoenn or Sinnoh, but I haven’t checked the other regions yet,” Gen the Dewott told him, before pausing. “By the way, Acacia, was your nibling found yet?”

Pretty sure it wasn’t intended, but getting some major stable time loop vibes here. Another Gen who just happens to be from the same evolutionary family as the story’s central protagonist? That’s one heck of a coinkydink, and it’ll be interesting to see what you do with it narratively.

“That’s still a work in progress. Nothing of the sort has happened in Hoenn or Sinnoh, but I haven’t checked the other regions yet,” Gen the Dewott told him, before pausing. “By the way, Acacia, was your nibling found yet?”

“...no. Saltriv’s still missing,” the Meganium, Acacia, solemnly responded.

Is that supposed to be ‘sibling’? The first time I read this, I thought it was Saltriv’s mom speaking, but then I remembered that she already met Saltriv in the flesh so this dialogue wouldn’t make sense coming from her.

The amazing Sceptile beside Pahelia, Apoyime, nodded in agreement.

“What if I told you I knew what was causing this?” the Wartortle announced.

A chorus of gasps occurred, until Vernir’s voice rose up and ruined everything. “This isn’t another one of your jokes, Lidequir?”

The Wartortle, Lidequir, gave a sheepish grin. “You got me.”

“This is serious! Now’s not the time for jokes!” Acacia admonished his partner.

“Come on! I bet it would have been funny!” Leviene rightfully backed the Wartortle up. “Besides, we need to lighten up a bit!”

I feel as if the narrator of this scene ought to logically go into a bit more detail as to why some of these characters are referred to in terms like ‘amazing’. I mean, they are the protags of the past games, but that doesn’t become obvious until about halfway through this scene.

Additionally, it’s a bit hard to tell whose perspective this scene is written from. Every one in Eternal Shadows previously was written specifically from one character’s perspective, while this one seems to be narrated in the third person. Is that deliberate, or am I missing something that points at who the narrator would be?


Everyone Other than Lidequir + Leviene: >:|
Lidequir: “... Yeesh, tough crowd.”

“Sounds like it came from outside! Let’s go!” Gen proclaimed, before the entire group hurried out the exit.

Outside, there was a sizable crater next to the path to Pokemon Square. Chunks of dirt and rock were scattered everywhere. In the middle of the crater, was a wooden red mailbox, intact save for its post being jagged and half missing, as if it had been snapped off. Everyone soon crowded around it.

“That looks just like our old mailbox before our base was remodeled,” Acacia pointed out quizzically. “It almost looks like it fell from the sky!”

And another piece of the platform dimension surfaces. Wonder if we’ll start to see glass and rock chunks from it turn up here and there across worlds as the story continues on.

Apoyime gracefully walked through the rubble, and pulled out the paper inside, before immediately frowning, a bead of sweat sliding down their head.

“Gen,” he said, speaking for the first time since the meeting started. “Your name is written here. In Johtonese.”

The Dewott rushed over, and looked at the paper. “Please write your name on this paper, then put it in the mailbox,” he read out loud. “Then my name’s written below that.”

“Did you write this?” Leviene asked, mouth agape.

“No. Even if I didn’t remember writing this, neither part is written in my handwriting or pawwriting,” Gen answered. “I don’t understand. Who wrote this, and why did they use my name?”

So this Gen and Apoyime are both also humans from Johto… or at least a place that uses the same writing system it does. Also, for some of your descriptions in this present scene, there’s a bit too much “tell” and too little “show”. For example for this sentence:

“Apoyime gracefully walked through the rubble, and pulled out the paper inside, before immediately frowning, a bead of sweat sliding down their head.”

“Gracefully walked” is a subjective and not an objective description, the narrator is the one who finds Apoyime’s walking graceful, but we don’t necessarily know as readers what that looks like. Compare what happens when you try to explicitly describe a potential take of what “gracefully walked” looks like, like in this throwaway example:

“Apoyime walked through the rubble, their feet effortlessly slipping over and around the debris on the way over to the mailbox. After reaching it, Apoyime pulled out the paper inside, before immediately frowning as a bead of sweat slid down their head.”

Helps paint a better image of what’s going on while still being obviously ‘graceful’, don’t you think?

A quiet “ding” could be heard from everyone’s bags. The group all fished out devices with a screen in the middle, and a connection orb at the top, save for the two newest members, who pulled out an expedition gadget. A news report was on the screen.

“Are you all seeing this?” Acacia asked everyone with a twinge of fear, as he and Lidequir looked at Teem Seedling’s Connection Device.

“The report of a half Arctoar, half Ruzolt creature terrorizing a village on the Thunder Continent?” Gen asked, as he and Vernir looked at their own Connection Device.

“C-could something like that really exist?” Pahelia wondered aloud, looking with Apoyime at their team’s Connection Device.

Some sort of comparative initial reaction I think would’ve help set up this dialogue a bit better, since the news bulletin is supposed to be startling to them based off of their dialogue. Basically giving a firmer idea of who the worrywarts of the bunch are, who the harder-to-faze members are, and then zeroing in one at a time as needed.

“I’ll stay behind. I don’t feel right leaving everyone back home without telling them, and I still need to look around in the human world more for clues. We’re not entirely sure yet if the human has arrived yet, even with that mailbox. It could just be a coincidence,” Gen said. “Vernir, you can go without me.”

Oshawott!Gen in the Far, Far Distance: “Wait, WHAT?! You can do that?! Hey mister! Take me with you, please! I want to get out of this world!”
Lidequir: “... Did you hear something, Gen? Could’ve sworn someone was asking for you.”
Dewott!Gen: “Nope. Sure it wasn’t feedback from your Connection Device?”

“This meeting of the Council of World-Savers is adjourned, then. See you all tomorrow!” Lidequir announced with a wave.

Ayueg and Leviene were the first two to leave, heading towards Pokemon Plaza. Inside the former’s shadow, I followed them, thinking back over what had happened.

This was juicy. So they ALL were going to the Thunder Continent. It was a great decision to spy on this meeting.

Time to bring the news to Necrozma.

Well, the narration certainly wasn’t kidding about them being important. I do feel that given how big of a reveal this is, it probably would’ve worked better getting hinted at and built up throughout the scene until getting that bomb drop at the end. It’ll certainly be interesting to see them sortie off to the Thunder Continent, especially if Necrozma follows along after them at some point.

Chapter 6

In there, in the middle of the room, was a gold ribbon. One of those could net us thousands of Poke if sold.

It served no use for me anymore. It would only take up space. I ignored it, and ran down another corridor.

I had to keep running. I couldn’t let my clan find me.

Why couldn’t I feel anything for them, my family? Why did I only feel this fear and sadness towards them? Why couldn’t I feel any sort of fondness for when I ran the Kecleon Shop with my brother? Why was it so uncomfortable to even think of returning to them?

Why why why why why?

Brother, I’m sorry.

Was interesting to see things from the perspective of Leon there. Even if it doesn’t sound like his clan would exactly be happy to find him in his present state. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of him in the future since Kecleon perspectives in general, let alone ones from the network of dungeoneering shops, are pretty rare in PMD stories.

Their smile lessened a bit, “So, what do you remember?”

I was about to ask what they meant, then I remembered. I had lied about having amnesia. I had to keep up that lie, or else nobody here would trust me.

“Just my name, and a few other things,” I lied.

Gen: “... Really should’ve said something like ‘I don’t think anything’s come back to me’ or something like that to give myself an out to progressively come clean in the future.”
Saltriv: “... Are you sure you don’t remember anything new, Gen?”
- Gen clams up and goes stiff as a board -
Gen: “Nope! Nope! Nothing new at all!”
- Blink moment -
Gen: “(... Whelp, so much for that idea.)” -_-;

“Oh,” they said, disappointment permeating their voice, before they perked right back up. “Come on! Let’s go!

“Go where?” I asked, confused.

“Outside! I want to see what’s changed in the village, and mom won’t let me go outside without a companion now!”

The part in bold felt a bit sudden and like it could use a bit more of a transition. Something like “But don’t worry too much about it. Come on! Let’s go!” or something to that effect.

“Did you hear about that monster that attacked PNS-NT?” the teapot Pokemon asked the Tyrogue. A monster!?

“Of course! It was all over the news!” the Tyrogue replied.

“Can you believe it? A creature that’s half Arctoar, half Ruzolt…”

“And attacking that Porygon-Z like a wild dungeon mon!”

“Greetings! I haven’t seen you around town before! Are you new here?” the teapot Pokemon said, turning towards me.

This section feels like it’s missing a part where the Polteageist and Tyrogue are revealed to have noticed Gen prior to hailing him. If you’re doing touch-ups to past chapters, you might want to slip in a new paragraph before the Polteageist’s first line to Gen making that obvious.

“Has everything been ok since yesterday? Since, you know…” Burhalla asked.

“Everything’s been great! Dad was really happy to see me, and Gen’s staying with us for now!” Saltriv answered.

Burhalla smiled in return. “Great! Anyways, I was wondering if-” he began, before noticing me. “Hi Gen! Sorry I couldn’t bring you to the mayor yesterday. We can do that now if you want.”

“It’s...I can wait,” I told him. I wasn’t looking forward to what that conversation would entail.

Burhalla: “And why do you suddenly not want to go? You weren’t this hesitant yesterday, Gen.”
Gen: “I… uh… have a stomachache and don’t feel well enough to go?”
Burhalla + Saltriv: “...” :|
- Gen paws nervously at the back of his head -
Gen: “(That wasn’t that unbelievable of a story, was it?)”
Burhalla: “You know you could’ve just said ‘no’ and not come up with a lame excuse, right?”
Saltriv: “Yeah, claiming you have a stomachache is right up there with ‘a Rockruff ate my homework’ in excuses that nobody believes.”
Gen: “Er… noted. (Gotta file that one away for the future…)”

“So many Pokemon have been going missing lately, and not enough are being found. I want to help. I’ve already helped find you and Patrat, but I want to do more,” Burhalla said. “I want to be like the exploration team that helped me.

Oh, that one will be interesting to see revealed in the future. Since this was actually a detail from my first reading that slipped my mind.

A few moments passed, until Saltriv announced, “I’ll join!”

Burhalla smiled brightly, and said, “Saltriv, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

Gen: “Hasn’t Saltriv been missing for literal months? That certainly was… fast.”
Saltriv: “I mean, did you really think I was going to pass up on an opportunity to catch up with my best friend after being missing for literal months?”

“Let’s ask them now!” Saltriv suggested, beginning to walk away.

“WAIT!” I yelled reflexively. Both of them stared at me.

I had just yelled that on reflex, but now I had their attention. Maybe I could convince them not to do this? No, Burhalla seemed really adamant about doing this, and that might turn him against me.


“Could I join?” I asked the two, hoping that I wasn’t making a mistake.

Gen: “I mean, if Burhalla let Saltriv on that easily, then me getting in can’t be that-”

Both of them seemed taken aback.

“You’re serious? You don’t even know any moves!” Burhalla said. “You couldn’t do a thing to that Pikipek!”

As a little reminder, but this scene also is one where some of the description is veering off into more “tell” than “show”. For instance, what does it look like in terms of an image for Burhalla and Saltriv to look taken aback? And do they have any additional reaction before Burhalla speaks up again?

Gen: “Right. That’s a thing. Maybe there’s something else I can say to try and persuade them…?”

“I can learn them!” I replied.

Neither of them spoke a word.

“Please? I...I don’t want to be alone,” I pleaded.

Saltriv: “... I mean, he does really seem to want to join, Burhalla.”
Burhalla: “I dunno, a ‘mon that clingy joining the team?”
Gen: “Oh come on. What do you want from me?”

A few moments passed, then Burhalla spoke up.

“Are you willing to work out in the Grapploct Dojo and learn moves there?” he questioned.

I barely had any idea what that entailed, though I didn’t have much of a choice. I nodded.

“Are you willing to head into danger with us?” he asked.

Burhalla: “Well, commitment, for one.”
Gen: “I mean, for purposes of advancing the story do I really have a choice here?”

I nodded.

Burhalla smiled. “You can join,” he answered.

I was filled with joy. I managed to convince them!

Gen: “(Not sure if I should be happy or really, really concerned that’s all it took to convince those two to let me aboard.)”

So we needed a name for our group? Hm...

“How about Team Adventure?” I suggested.

“Too boring,” Burhalla replied. “I say we go with Team Light.”

Drat. “Doesn’t that sound a bit pretentious?” I critiqued. “Team Search, maybe?”

“That’d get confusing quickly,” Burhalla told me. “What if we combine them? Team Adventure Light Search!”

I was about to shut that idea down, before Saltriv spoke up. “That might work!” Quietly, they muttered, “Team Adventure Light, Team Light Search, Team Search Light…,” before suggesting, “Team Searchlights!”

“I like it!” Burhalla said. “What do you think, Gen?”

That actually sounded pretty good. Even better than Team Adventure! And it even combined me and Burhalla’s ideas!

“Sounds great!” I told them. A wide smile appeared on Saltriv’s face.

Gen: “You’re sure chipper about your original idea not making the cut, Saltriv.”
Saltriv: “To be fair, it’s my suggestion for the final name that did. So it’s all good.”

“Come on! I need to tell mom and dad!” Saltriv spoke, and we ran back the way we came.

I didn’t truly know what this would entail, but at least I wouldn’t be alone.

Now, we were a team!

Well, until it comes out you’ve been lying through your teeth, Gen. But that’s a story for another day. :^)

This review admittedly turned out a bit more critical than I expected it to, though for all the room for improvement that I noticed, I do want to make a point of saying that this block of chapters did a good job at opening up the broader world and showing glimpses of it, as well as helping to show off the backgrounds and mindsets of the characters going into them working together as a team. Which will go totally swimmingly with them holding secrets from each other like this, I’m sure.

Hope you found the feedback helpful, though I will understand if you find it more useful to apply it to future chapters for the sake of maintaining momentum in writing. I’ll be looking forward to rounding out this review series and will be looking forward to seeing how you develop and evolve this story in the future.
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Mew specialist
  1. mew-adam
  2. celebi-shiny
  3. roserade-adam
Today I've decided to give this Eternal Shadows fic a try and see it for myself. The first two chapters were pretty short, so I decided to review them both together so I'd be able to get something substantial out.

Like many pmd fics I've seen before, this one begins with the trope of a character waking up in a blank space dimension before reaching the pokemon world trope. I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of seeing that in pmd stories nowadays due to how prevalent it is. While I can't speak for other fics, I think this first chapter tweaked and subverts the formula enough that it didn't bother me much by the end of it.

Gen's reaction to the situation in the blank space was believable and entertaining to read. It makes perfect sense for once to be completely bewildered and confused if put in the same situation as he was. However, I found this chapter feeling… loud, for lack of better terms. Gen has shocked reactions to everything going on and he repeatedly reminds the reader that nothing in that dimension makes sense, which I think is a point most people get the first two times.

That aside though, I like how you've incorporated game elements into the story so far, like Gen picking Saltriv by accident. I'm also left wondering what the giant hand from the swirling sky is and also who or what called Gen into the pokemon world. So far it's not entirely clear if the plot will follow GTI, so Hydreigon can't be ruled out entirely. However it wouldn't surprise me if it's a more sinister entity that's responsible for it all. Whatever it is though, the story will hopefully make that clear over time.

Chapter 2 begins with a brand new character named Burhalla. We start of with the revelation that pokemon have been going missing and those found end up being shadowy, which is interesting since Saltriv and the other partner choices in the previous chapter were described as having a shadowy haze around them. One thing I found curious is that aside from Saltriv, none of the other missing pokemon correspond with the ones Gen saw in the previous chapter. That might imply that Gen's drop zone wasn't a fixed location and he'd have ended up anywhere depending on who he picked. Makes one wonder how remarkably different the story will have been if he'd picked someone else.

As with the previous chapter, I continue to be intrigued by how you incorporate the game play elements of the pmd fics and meshing them into your story's world. I find it interesting that the connection Orb in this one is like all the other dungeon orbs, and is activated upon consumption. The way the connection Orb works here by letting one see connection lines between pokemon and how well related they are is a double edged sword, not from a writing perspective but from an in-universe point of view. I don't think it's a leap of imagination to suggest someone could very well use something like this for less than noble uses. However I will disclaim that this isn't a nitpick or that the story needs to address it - especially if that's not what the story is about - I just find it to be a fun tidbit how something that mundane could have unintended consequences.

There isn't a whole lot for me to say about the scene where Burhalla, Gen and Saltriv reconvene with one another. It piqued my interest that Gen withheld the information about his human origins and went with an amnesia excuse, which is a clever subversion of both tropes at the same time. It also comes naturally since Gen is socially anxious from what we've seen so far. I do hope that this won't derail into a drawn out 'hidden liar' trope that's very commonplace in shows and movies. I hope Gen eventually lets his friends know what's up without it being handled like the third act of A Bug's Life for instance.

All in all I think this is a very interesting Pmd fic and does creative things with the formula a lot of people have gotten used to. It's a must recommend for anyone that fancies pmd fics that stay fairly faithful to the games especially. Not a whole lot of has happened in the first two chapters, but Gen and his new friends' adventures are only just beginning. As for where that all leads to, that's something I'll be looking forward to seeing eventually.

Spiteful Murkrow

Busy Writing Stories I Want to Read
  1. nidoran-f
  2. druddigon
  3. swellow
  4. quilava-fobbie
  5. sneasel-kate
  6. heliolisk-fobbie
Alright, continuing on from my last review. This one only covers Chapter 7, which is less material than I was initially hoping to cover since it wound up turning out significantly longer than I expected, to the point where it’s as long as the last review covering chapters 4-6. Once again mostly trying to avoid repeating past suggestions, though you might see a few suggestions here and there that line up with prior reviews.

And don’t worry, but there’s plenty of cutaways this time around as well.

Grapploct Dojo

“No! Not like that! Calm yourself, then unleash the move!” Grapploct yelled, as I took another hit to the face. I had not been expecting this to be so harsh.

I tried again to form a Water Gun. Calm myself. Feel the breeze, listen to the rushing water nearby. Attune myself with nature. Then attack with its full force.

Nothing happened.

This was my 17th try, and still nothing.

I think that this part would’ve benefited from more explicitly describing what Gen’s seeing for his surroundings, since this is the first time that Gen and the audience at large are seeing Grapploct in person and the inside of the dojo, but there’s not really a whole lot to work with here for visualizing what the place is like or any defining features/characteristics about how Grapploct is behaving here.

Additionally, it might have made sense to have Gen reflect a bit on his time and experiences in the dojo to better accentuate “This was my 17th try”. As a throwaway example given that the following lines evidence that Gen’s getting a bit frustrated, but you could set it up with something kinda like “I screwed my eyes shut and grit my teeth. This was my 17th try, I’d spent a full hour on this stupid battlefield, and I still had nothing to show for it.”

I pulled my right arm back, and looked at it. It was glowing darkly, as if it had been shrouded in darkness.

What was that?

“It’s not the move we were trying for, but congrats for pulling off Assurance!” Grapploct announced, giving me a strong pat on the back. I nearly fell over from the force of it.

Assurance? Wasn’t that a dark-type move? I didn’t know Oshawotts could learn that. Then again, I didn’t know a lot about Unova to begin with.

Gen: “Uh… mission accomplished, I guess?” ^^;
Grapploct: “Not so fast, bub. You came here to learn Water Gun. You’re not leaving until you spit something up.”
Gen: “... Pls no.”

How did I pull off Assurance, anyways? I was frustrated at how I couldn’t learn Water Gun, and then…

My right arm darkened again. So it’s caused by frustration! Now I have at least one move I can rely on.

Well, he’s certainly in an optimal learning environment to pick it up quickly if that’s how it works. :V

“Excellent! That actually hurt! You seem to know how to use Assurance to its fullest effect,” they congratulated, before an angry shout was heard from outside.

“Sorry, looks like our session has to end. Tyrogue’s waiting for his sparring match with me. Come see me tomorrow, and we can work more on Water Gun,” Grapploct told me.

“Thanks!” I yelled, as I ran out of the dojo. I didn’t learn how the move I wanted to learn, but at least I learned how to use Assurance.

Hopefully that would be enough for today.

I feel as if there should have been a bit more of a mutual reaction to Tyrogue’s audible crabbiness or else he should have just barged in and demanded to know what the holdup was. As-is, it doesn’t really feel like Gen really react as if there’s suddenly an angry presence in earshot, and Grapploct doesn’t have much of an explicitly described reaction to “... Uh… right. Sorry, gotta cut this short for the customer I’ve been keeping waiting” whereas it seems like something that would’ve caught him off-guard or given him pause.

I ran into the fog of the village, and past the Tyrogue from yesterday. Saltriv was waiting for me at their house. I hurried down the road their house was on.

Soon, I came to the familiar leaf-tipped house, and saw Saltriv waiting in the entrance. I walked up to them.

Gen: “... How was I able to find this place anyways considering how thick the fog was? Haven’t I been here in the village for just a couple days by now?”
Saltriv: “I’d say that maybe you just had a good sense of direction, but I remember how you did in that Mystery Dungeon. Guess you got lucky, but whatever you did, don’t forget it.”
Gen: “... I really should’ve written down how I got back here somewhere.”

“How’d it go?” they asked, tail wagging rapidly in excitement. “Did you manage to learn any moves at the dojo?”

“I didn’t learn Water Gun, but I learned something else!” I told them. I concentrated on the frustration I felt at not learning Water Gun, and my right arm darkened. “Assurance!”

“Hooray!” they cheered. “Now we’re ready to go!”

Gen: “I don’t know if I should be happy that you’re alright with how my training turned out, Saltriv. Or really worried that you’re this ready to drag me off into a Mystery Dungeon without knowing any STAB moves.”
Saltriv: “I mean, Assurance isn’t a bad move. I’m sure we can work with it.”

The darkness in my arm faded, and I smiled. It was nice to see them happy, even if I’ve only known them for about a day.

Gen: “... Wait, that was there the entire time? How’d I not freak any bystanders out that I’d attack them or something? ._.;

Saltriv turned around, shouted, “Bye mom! Bye dad! I’m going on an adventure with Burhalla and Gen!”

A faint “Have fun! Stay safe!” from Meganium was heard, and we left the area.

Gen: “We did tell Burhalla to bring the items this time, right? Since that wasn’t exactly mentioned anywhere in the actual story.”
Saltriv: “Burhalla always brings the items. Why would this time be any different?”
Gen: “... I hope you’re right, otherwise this is going to be a really painful trip through the Mystery Dungeon. ._.;

As we ran up to him, he smiled. “Almost everything’s ready! I checked in with my father, gathered the items we’ll need, and decided who we’re searching for!” Burhalla announced, before his smile disappeared. “There’s just one problem.”

Gen: “Your dad is going to breathe down our necks and yank us out of the Mystery Dungeon at the first sign of anything going slightly wrong?” -_-;
Burhalla: “Okay, there’s just two problems.” >_>;

“We haven’t gotten approved by SaRO yet,” he explained. “Our certificate, badges, and synchronised bags haven’t arrived yet.”

Was SaRO the one who approved all these search parties? Well, that wasn’t too big of an issue, I think. I didn’t quite know what the synchronised bags would do, but least we didn’t get denied.

This probably would’ve made sense as a point to explain what SaRO was to the readers, either in description or through Gen asking about it, since I don’t believe that it was ever mentioned earlier in the story, so it probably makes sense to explain the full name for the first time it gets brought up.

“There’s nothing stopping us, is there? You already checked in with your father, I already told my parents, Gen learned a move, we can go!” they answered.

Gen: “Um… just saying, but if we’re not supposed to be heading out, maybe we shouldn’t force things and-”

A few seconds passed. Burhalla’s smile returned. “You have a point,” he said. “I’ll triple check to make sure our items are enough, then we’ll begin our search!

Gen: “B-Burhalla! What on earth is-?!”
Burhalla: “Oi, look, you wanted to go, didn’t you? I can see your thought process in the text there.”
Gen: “Just saying, your dad’s not going to be happy about this once he finds out.” ._.;
Burhalla: “Bold of you to assume that I’m just going to tell him about us not getting approved by SaRO.”

“Wait, who are we looking for?” I asked.

“We’re looking for Flapple!” Burhalla told me, pulling a paper out of his bag, that depicted a Pokemon I vaguely recalled seeing before. “He was last spotted near Blistering Shore, so we’re looking there first.”

The Pokemon looked like it had carved out an apple, and used parts of it as wings. I think I saw one of those during one of the Galar gym battles.

This feels like a few things could’ve been added here to set up the scenario more fully but weren’t for whatever reason. First and foremost would’ve been Gen’s reaction to any writing on the notice with Flapple’s picture on there, since it would’ve been a chance to show to the readers if Gen was literate or not (and likely not given the mention of Johtoan writing a couple chapters ago). The other bit would’ve been a reminder to Gen and the readers as to what happened with Flapple given that it was mentioned in passing that he vanished while Saltriv was gone, but the details of how long he was gone and why that would be significant aren’t really laid out here by Saltriv or Burhalla.

Your call as to whether or not you decide to patch that in, but it is something I noticed after taking a second look.

Blistering Shore Outskirts

It wasn’t too long before we arrived at the entrance. We had entered a small cave to get there, and the entrance was right at the other exit of the cave.

The entrance was completely shrouded in darkness. I couldn’t see anything beyond it. I had no idea what this dungeon was going to be like, other than what I could gather from its name, Blistering Shore. Going by that, it’d probably be a beach of some kind, or maybe a cliff by the shore.

I feel that there’s a couple details regarding the approach to this Mystery Dungeon that would’ve been nice to know. Stuff like relative direction and distance to Overcast Village would help for getting a better handle on how things are relatively laid out, since it’s not clear where this Mystery Dungeon is relative to the village or how long Team Searchlights had to travel to get there.

Blistering Shore 1F

The moment we entered the dungeon, I was confronted with a strange sight.

The sand was black, not the light tan I was used to. I’d never seen anything quite like it before. Steep black dunes of it surrounded the area on three sides, with a few corridors that ran deep. Those dunes must be the walls of this dungeon.

On the fourth side, the ocean crashed loudly into the beach, waves lapping against the dark shore. I could smell the ocean breeze blowing past me. A Lapras swam across the sea far in the distance.

Aha, volcanic sand. I see this Mystery Dungeon really lives up to its name. I’d also recommend making the tweaks in bold plus the strikethrough. Additionally, you might find it valuable to move “I’d never seen anything quite like it before.” up to the first paragraph as something like: “The moment we entered the dungeon, I was confronted with a strange sight that I’d never seen anything quite like before.” since as-is, it messes with the flow of the sentence describing the beach a bit.

The sun shone down brightly on it all. It was causing me to start to feel a bit weak. Don’t water-types not do very great under bright sunlight? This could be an issue. At least Burhalla could back me up in this heat.

I’d recommend replacing this bit with something like “not fight well”, “not do very well”, or even something like “struggle when”.

Speaking of heat, the sand was very hot. I walked in place to keep my feet from burning, though it was awkward to do so with how short my new legs were. The others didn’t seem to be bothered much by the heat, though.

Gen: “Ack! How are you two not getting your feet murdered right now?!”
Burhalla: “I’m a Fire-type? I can literally mince across lava tiles, so this is kinda smalltime for me.”
Gen: “That doesn’t explain Saltriv when they’re a Grass-type!” >_>;
Saltriv: “Uh… I try to walk on my tiptoes that are hard nails? Besides, I’ve been here before, so I’ve had a chance to get used to this sand a bit.”

That explains what happened to the purple gemstone Burhalla had, and how he was able to do two Embers that quickly back in Twig Woodland.

Saltriv: “... Doesn’t using your moves repeatedly long enough also let you do that, Burhalla?”
Burhalla: “(Wait, was that also a thing before DX? I don’t remember.) I mean, yeah, but it doesn’t make you quicker or do it as often... (I think anyways.)”

Why would the dungeon mons eat them, though? Maybe it’s best not to question it. Either way, this thing had a use to it now. I stepped back, and picked up the totter seed with my other arm, before walking over to Burhalla, and with a “Here,” gave both items to him.

Minor nitpick, but this part should be “for it”.

“Thanks for picking those up for me. I’d rather not get too close to the ocean,” he responded, as he tossed the items in his bag.

Considering how based off some comments I recalled you making elsewhere, Burhalla’s line there is directly related to how his mother died, I think you might have gotten a bit more mileage showing Burhalla squirm a bit at the prospect of having to pick up those items earlier or else show some relief/unease here when making that comment to Gen that would’ve doubled as foreshadowing.

It wasn’t long until we reached the next room. I could see the stairs a bit off to the left. Next to the shore, three Tirtougas laid, one of which was looking right at us. I braced myself for its attack, yet nothing came.

This bit feels like it’s missing a couple words. Like “laid in the sand”.

“Aren’t they going to attack?” I asked my teammates.

“Those are Dociles,” Burhalla explained. “They’re a type of dungeon mon that don’t attack if you leave them alone. Hostiles are the kind you have to watch out for.”

So there were multiple types of dungeon Pokemon? How many types were there?

Gen: “So how do you tell the difference between a Docile and a Hostile anyways?”
Burhalla: “Well, Dociles don’t instantly lunge for your throat. Pretty handy way of telling the difference, huh?”
Gen: “... I was hoping for a different way to tell the difference, really.”

In the middle of the room stood a strange Krokorok, looking towards the shore. There were several scratches across its lower body. An odd lump protruded from the top of its head. A few of its teeth were missing, and those that weren’t were covered in...was that blood?!

This Krokorok looked seriously injured. What had happened to it? Where did that blood come from?

Gen: “Um… yeah, that guy looks terrible. Maybe we should see what’s-”
Burhalla: “Gen, wait!

As I took a step towards it, it tensed up, before turning in my direction. “Crooh-ook! CROOOHK!” It cried, before it lunged at me, and before I knew it, its jaws were around my neck in a Bite. I screamed in pain as what few teeth it had left began to sink in. Was it going to break my neck?!

“GEN!” my teammates cried. I could barely hear them over my own thoughts.

Saltriv: “Why would you step towards a random Pokémon in a Mystery Dungeon like that?!” >.<
Burhalla: “Yeah, you could’ve just called out to it first!”
Gen: “A-Agh! Rag on me sometime when I’m not getting my neck bitten into here!”

“CROOOOHK!” I heard it cry, as it fainted into the black sand. The darkness shrouding my right arm dissipated, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I didn’t want to know where that blood had come from.

Gen: “Well, it didn’t come from me obviously, otherwise I’d be kinda dead right about now.”

Burhalla: “You know, if you’d called out to it first, you’d have known that it wasn’t speaking back to you normally!” >_>;
Gen: “(So not every Pokémon can speak in this world? So then are Pokémon like that Krokorok like the equivalent of Pokémon I’d find on Route 34? Or did something happen to make them abnormal?)”

“Gen!” Saltriv yelled, as they rushed towards me, Burhalla following. “That looked really bad!”

Burhalla dug into his bag, and grabbed an oran berry, before tossing it to me. I swiftly ate it, feeling the teeth marks around my neck healing.

Gen: “Uh… okay, maybe some of that blood on the Krokorok’s teeth was mine after all…”

“I’ve never seen a dungeon mon that aggressive!” Burhalla exclaimed. “Are you ok?”

Gen: “So wait, was that a Hostile? Since shouldn’t you have referred to it as such in your terminology?”
Burhalla: “Gen, the ‘mon literally tried to bite through your neck there! That’s by definition one that’s a Hostile!” >_>;
Gen: “Alright, note to self, don’t get too close to Pokémon in here with obvious blood on their pointy bits.”

I thought about it. In truth, I wasn’t. I almost died.

I could ask them to take me out of the dungeon. I could leave the team, and stay in the village. I could never have to deal with something like that again.

But then I’d be all alone again. And besides, even if I hadn’t done that Assurance, Saltriv’s Razor Leaf would probably knock the Krokorok away in time. Burhalla and Saltriv had my back.

I’ll stay with them, then. Hopefully nothing worse than this would happen.

“Yeah,” I lied.

“Are you sure?” he asked with concern. “That Bite looked like it could have really hurt.” He paused. “Please, be honest with me.”

Burhalla: “I mean, just saying, if my dad saw that, he’d probably drag me home right here and now even if he didn’t know about SaRO not approving us yet. So if you’re really okay with continuing on, you need to keep your mouth shut about this.”
Gen: “My lips are sealed. (Though would it really be that bad to stick around at Saltriv’s house and doodle for a week or something until the inevitable nightmares of Krokorok teeth let up?) Though doesn’t that count as lying, Burhalla? I thought that you hated that.”
Burhalla: “It’s not lying, it’s just glossing over a few details on our way to rescuing Flapple!”
- Gen frowns back -
Gen: “Are you sure, Burhalla? Since you really didn’t strike me as the type to be okay with this sort of stuff.”
- Burhalla’s mind turns back to his dad hiding about what happened to his mother all those years -
Burhalla: “It’s… different, okay? Look, as long as we make it out of here with Flapple like we said we were going to try to, that’s all that we need to tell anyone about.”

“Look! Another Escape Orb!” they announced, holding with their vines a black orb with a bright light shining inside.

Burhalla looked over towards them, then back toward me. “We have another Escape Orb now. You could go back,” he said.

“I’m fine,” I told him. I felt awful for doing so after he asked me to be honest, but it wasn’t like I had a choice, unless I wanted to be alone.

Gen: “(... On second thought, being stuck in Saltriv’s house with no TV or internet, and nothing beyond a sketchbook, that bookshelf full of stuff I can’t read, and a radio that I’m not even sure picks up any music stations? I’m not sure if I’d last the day without going crazy.)”
Saltriv: “Gen? Are you sure you don’t want to take the rest of the day off?”
- Gen nods back -
Gen: “P-Positive. It was just a little scare, and those bite marks are mostly healed up anyways!”

“Great! You’ve found a Reunion Cape!” Saltriv exclaimed, as they picked up the seed with a vine. “Do you know what that is?”

I shook my head with a “Nope.” I didn’t really care what it was, it was just nice to wear something again, but it couldn’t hurt to find out.

“They’re really useful! They can reunite you with someone, no matter the distance!” Saltriv explained, as they handed the seed to Burhalla.

“Really?!” I asked, smiling widely. This seemed almost too good to be true. Reuniting no matter the distance? Could I go back to my family with this thing?

“Yep! You just need to tap the front of it while touching them, and then every time you tap the front afterwards, you’ll teleport to them!” Saltriv told me, as Burhalla put the seed in the bag.

Saltriv: “As long as you’re in a Mystery Dungeon, it’ll take you right back to that ‘mon!” ^^
Gen: “This is a lot more underwhelming than what I was expecting when you said ‘reunite with someone, no matter the distance’.” >_>;
Saltriv: “I mean, we are talking about Mystery Dungeon items here. What, were you expecting to get stuck on a whole different planet or something?”
Gen: “Um… yeah, funny story about that…” >_>;

I couldn’t go home with it, then. My smile faded a bit. That was disappointing. Still, it seemed pretty nice, and useful. It would be amazing to have this back home, but it could also prevent me from getting left behind while I’m here. “Can you change who you teleport to?” I asked.

“Just tap the front while touching a different person!” they answered.

Good. So if I choose a person now, I could still use it back home.

Gen: “... Maybe. Do these things even work to go outside of dungeons here?”
Burhalla: “I mean, they only work in Dungeons in the games, and this is a setting based off of the games, so…”

The moment we emerged onto the next floor, the first thing I saw was a bright beam of red light, going from the ground right in front of me into the sky. What was that? Was this another thing that was in Mystery Dungeons?

“Gen, look out behind you!” I heard Saltriv exclaim. Turning around, I saw a Sandygast coming towards me. I started to back away, readying an Assurance, but the Sandygast Astonished me, causing me to flinch, and fall into the beam of red light.

Suddenly, the world shrunk around me. It was like I suddenly surged in size! I saw three red clouds swirling around my head. Did...did I just Dynamax, like in those battles in Galar?!

Gen: “... Wait, shouldn’t I be noticing Saltriv and Burhalla’s reaction to this right about now?”
Saltriv and Burhalla Far Below: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”
Gen: “Meh, I’m sure they’re fine.”

Everything was so small! Saltriv, Burhalla, the walls, the room, the Sandygast, it was all so tiny! I felt so much power within me! It was like I could do anything!

Wait...could I?

I gleefully willed for a surge of water to wash away the Sandygast, and an absolutely massive geyser shot out from me, completely submerging it.

YES! I did it! Hahahahahahaha!

I didn’t take any mind to a familiar voice yelping as I did that move again, the clouds around me starting to dissipate, rain beginning to fall, or a fleeing Growlithe as I completely drenched the entire area. None of that mattered. What mattered was just how much fun this was!


As the last cloud around me disappeared, I felt the power leave my body, as the world grew back to its original size. That was exhilarating! I finally pulled off a water-type move!

Gen: “... This won’t have any negative effects at all, will it?”

“BURHALLA!” I heard Saltriv yell, and looked towards them to see what was happening.

Gen: “... Right. Should’ve expected something like that.” ._.;

Burhalla had collapsed, and his tail flame had shrunk to mere embers. Saltriv hurried over to him, a terrified look on their face. I stared in horror. Didn’t Charmanders die if their flame ever went out?

I did that. That was my doing.

I guiltily watched as Saltriv dug an oran berry out of their bag, and gave it to Burhalla, who quickly ate it, and his tail flame grew back to a healthy size. I turned away, not able to look them in the eyes after that.

“Gen...what happened?” I heard him ask.

Gen: “Um… well, how much do you remember exactly before passing out again? Since the text didn’t really give any clue on that front.”
Burhalla: “Well, seeing you abruptly grow as fall as one of those long-necked Exeggutor, screaming my lungs out with Saltriv, and then you dropping a wall of water on us.” >:|
Gen: “In my defense, we don’t know that was me that dropped the water on you two.”

“You almost killed me! My tail nearly went out!” he shouted as his face contorted in anger. “What were you thinking?!”

Gen: “... Yeah, I guess that was kind of a lame excuse there. But in my defense, this literally would’ve just been switching roles for whoever had the near-death experience depending on who fell into the red light there.”

I felt two scaly arms wrap around me, as Burhalla turned me to face him. Was...was he giving me a hug?

“It’s...it’s ok,” he said, sympathy in his eyes. “I shouldn’t have snapped at you. I’m sorry.”

Why was he apologizing? This was my fault! I was the one who made the mistake here.

“None of us knew what happened there. You’re just as confused as we both were. Maybe even more than us. And I lashed out at you despite that,” he continued. “I should have known better. I shouldn’t have been like my father.”

I think that during Gen’s moment Dynamaxing, you probably should’ve played up more about how Saltriv and Burhalla kinda got crowded out by his power trip there, since admittedly the state of mind that Burhalla brings up isn’t really depicted in-story and probably can’t be given how tightly coupled this scene is to Gen’s POV.

Burhalla: “Speaking of which, please don’t say anything about this to my dad back in town. I don’t think he’d ever let me leave Overcast Village again if he found out what happened back there.” ._.;
Gen: “More like he’d never let me set foot within a country mile of you ever again. But yeah, agreed there.” >_>;

“Really?” I asked, barely able to believe what I was hearing. “You aren’t mad at me?”

“Not anymore. I understand,” he answered. “Tell me, do you have anxiety? Do you remember what that is?”

Do I tell him the truth? Do I risk this?

I should be honest at least about this, especially after Burhalla’s forgiving me for nearly killing him.

I nodded.

Gen: “Wait, did you just assume that I had anxiety earlier and that’s why you let me off the hook for almost killing you?”
Burhalla: “I mean, you literally just confirmed my suspicions about five seconds ago, so…”

“My sister, Valorch, has anxiety too,” he explained. “I heard it’s...difficult to handle some situations with it.”

No kidding. I fiddled with my Reunion Cape a bit, accidentally bumping my left arm against the front in the process.

Gen: “Wait, so did your sister almost kill you by accident too at some point? Since you seem to be strangely chill about-”
Burhalla: “Look, I’m taking pity on you because your situation reminds me of hers, okay? Don’t wear out your welcome.” >_>;

“If you want, I can try and get you an appointment with the village therapist. They’ve been pretty busy lately with all the disappearances, but I’m sure they can help,” he suggested.

“And if that doesn’t work out, I can try to help!” Saltriv offered.

Gen: “Uh… Burhalla? Shouldn’t you be seeing this therapist yourself given that you almost died about 2 minutes ago?”
Burhalla: “I-I’ll be fine, I’m sure. Besides, if I went, I’d have to explain to dad what was going on there, and I can’t just make up a story…”

Gen: “(Yeah, that is so not healthy on your part.)”

The Kingler shot a Bubblebeam at Burhalla, connecting with his tail and he stumbled as his flame flickered. Not again! I attacked it with a Razor Leaf, but the Kingler shrugged it off as it Stomped Gen into the sand, and the Salandit spat a cloud of purple gas at him. This wasn’t good! They were overwhelming us!

I ran towards them, but before I could reach them, the Salandit bit into Burhalla’s tail. He collapsed into the sand beside Gen.

No! We needed to get through this! We needed to find Flapple! We couldn’t lose here after making it halfway through the dungeon! I needed to do something! I needed to! But I can’t take them all at once!

The Kingler Stomped Burhalla. I heard something crack.

Oh yeah, that battle is totally going swimmingly.

No! This couldn’t be happening! No no no no no!


I barely noticed as a shadowy aura surrounded me, or as shadowy tendrils shot out of me towards the sky. I only noticed as they came falling back down towards us, at the dungeon mon, at myself, and even my teammates.

I yelped in pain as they cut through me, but I was more concerned for Burhalla and Gen. They were already pretty injured. I looked towards them, and was relieved to see only a few of the tendrils hitting them. The shadowy aura around me disappeared, as did the tendrils.

What did I just do?

I glanced at the dungeon mons. They were covered in injuries that shadows leaked out of. Did I do that?

Real swimmingly there.

“Here!” Burhalla yelled, returning me to my senses. I looked towards him, and saw him and Gen scarfing down an oran berry. A third was being tossed my way. I grabbed it with a vine and quickly munched down on it, before tossing another Razor Leaf at the Kingler. Gen ran by, and delivered an Assurance to it at the same time my attack hit. Together, we caused the Kingler to faint. One down!

It’s a bit unclear how much of what Saltriv saw up to using the Shadow Attack there actually went down, since Saltriv last saw Gen and Burhalla lying in the sand seemingly noticeably hurt from their perspective, but here they’re back up on their feet without any indication of surprise or how the transition happened.

Saltriv: “Uh… wait a minute, wait, did any of that bit with the Shadow Attacks actually happen? Or was that some sort of hallucination? Since shouldn’t Burhalla and Gen be slumped over in the sand-?”
Burhalla: “Saltriv! Don’t just stand there!”
- Saltriv shakes head and ducks an errant Ember -
Saltriv: “Right, figure it out after this fight.”

“We...we did it!” I cheered, smiling, before turning to Burhalla. “Do you know what that move I did was?”

“Saltriv...that was a shadow move!” Burhalla exclaimed, eyes wide. “Shadow Half! How did you pull that off?”

A shadow move? Like those shadowy Pokemon? But couldn’t only shadowy Pokemon do those? “I’m not sure. I was overwhelmed by both you and Gen collapsing, then it happened,” I explained.

“Hold on, what’s a shadow move?” Gen asked.

“They’re moves shadowy Pokemon can do,” Burhalla explained. “We can talk more about this once we get to the next floor. Come on.”

I’d change the ‘did’ there to ‘used’. Also, shouldn’t Burhalla logically be a bit more obviously freaking out in terms of described mannerisms and reaction about seeing Saltriv use a Shadow Move considering how he and his fellows would perceive them?

Saltriv: “Wait, so that entire freaky Shadow Move bit actually happened? But how did you two get up again?!” O_O;
- Burhalla and Gen look at each other -
Burhalla: “Uh… we had that Tiny Reviver Seed and… uh… a second wind?”
Gen: “Yeah, everything was kind of a blur there. But wait, what was the big deal about the move Saltriv used again?”

What was happening in this dungeon?!

First there was that weirdly aggressive Krokorok, then there was that thing with Gen turning giant, then Saltriv pulled off Shadow Half.

Saltriv couldn’t be a shadowy Pokemon. They acted nothing like what I heard shadowy Pokemon acted like.

Yet, they pulled off a shadow move. It didn’t make any sense.

Burhalla: “I really hope we find Flapple, since I’m pretty sure dad’s never going to let me set foot in a Mystery Dungeon or around Saltriv and Gen again if I have to explain any of this to him.”

Back to Saltriv, where would they have been purified? Wouldn’t the news of them being found and purified have reached Overcast Village? And why would they be purified, and then just dumped in Twig Woodland? Unless they were purified there? Who would have done it, then? None of the Pokemon who could had been in there, as far as I know, and I don’t think they would just leave Saltriv in there. Did Gen somehow manage to purify them, and that cost him his memory? Was Gen secretly a legendary or mythical Pokemon, like Leviene was? Then why didn’t he even remember how to use moves? Was he secretly a human? Then how did Saltriv get purified, and why would he lie about that?

This made no sense.

I mean, Saltriv could just not be purified. Just saying, Burhalla. :^)

“Shadow moves are moves that only shadowy Pokemon know. They are super-effective on all other types,” I began.

“All other types?” Gen asked, eyes wide. “All 17 of them?!”

“Yes, all of them. Shadow moves are dangerous to everyone,” I confirmed. “Anyways, nobody’s ever heard of a non-shadowy Pokemon using them.”

Gen: “Wait, but what about to those ‘shadowy’ Pokémon?”
Burhalla: “Well, yes, to them too. But- well, you’ll see soon enough.”

“How did I use Shadow Half, then?” Saltriv asked. “I’m definitely not a shadowy Pokemon!”

I wasn’t entirely sure how, but I had an idea. “Saltriv...I think you used to be a shadowy Pokemon, and were purified,” I said.

“W-what?! But I don’t remember being a shadowy Pokemon!” Saltriv protested.

“None of them do,” I told them. “I’m not certain on this, but it’s the only thing that makes some sense.”

Gen: “(Wait, was that what that ‘rescue one’ note was all about? Did I somehow do this purification thing by throwing that paper ball at Saltriv?)”

“But...but...but...” Saltriv stammered.

“Saltriv, even if you were a shadowy Pokemon, that’s over now. You’re ok now, and that’s all that matters.” I tried to comfort them. “I might even be wrong, and you were never a shadowy Pokemon at all.”

Burhalla: “I mean, it wouldn’t explain how you used Shadow Half at all, but I’m willing to keep an open mind here.”

I couldn’t have been a shadowy Pokemon. I couldn’t have. I couldn’t have.

But what if Burhalla was right? What if I was?

What if I hurt them? What if I hurt Gen or Burhalla or Leon or mom or dad?

I couldn’t let that happen. I couldn’t.

I saw shadowy wisps began to form around me. No no no no no.

Keep calm. Calm down. Stop panicking. Maybe then they’ll disappear.

Saltriv: “They’re not there, they’re not there, they’re not there-”
- Meanwhile at the front, Gen and Burhalla trade looks without turning around -
Gen: “Are we sure Saltriv’s doing alright, Burhalla?”
Burhalla: “She’s probably just a little startled from that Shadow Half thing. I’m sure it’s nothing the village therapist can’t settle though-”
Saltriv: “No! No therapist visits!”
Gen: “Oookay then.” ._.;

Deep breaths, in and out. Feel the sunshine with my leaf. Let it energize and restore me, physically and mentally.

The shadowy wisps disappeared. Gen and Burhalla didn’t notice.

Keep calm, at least for now. Don’t let them figure out what’s going on. Don’t cause them to worry over you.

Burhalla: “Saltriv, even if it wasn’t for that bit in the last segment, I’d still be worried about you after seeing you use Shadow Half right in front of me.” >_>;
Saltriv: “W-Well don’t worry about it! It doesn’t mean anything, Burhalla!”

We emerged into a new room. I could see the stairs. We were almost out of here. We’d find Flapple soon, and then we can go home.

Then...we purify Flapple, if he’s gone shadowy. Like I was apparently purified, from being a shadowy Pokemon.

I feel as if the order of things in the second paragraph is a little mixed up. Wouldn’t Saltriv have logically first assumed that Flapple wouldn’t have gotten shadowed given how the first paragraph is laid out? Something more along the lines of “And… if Flapple’s gone shadowy… then we purify him. Like I was apparently purified, from being a shadowy Pokemon.”

We emerged onto the final floor. We were on a flat, triangular stretch of black sand, bordered by the ocean on all sides but the one behind us. The dunes had completely disappeared. In front of us, there was a flying apple-like Pokemon, staring out into the ocean, looking like the picture on the paper Burhalla showed me. That must be Flapple.

“There you are!” Saltriv exclaimed. “We’ve been looking for you!”

Flapple turned around, and I realized something was off. His eyes were filled with a bloody red, and their green skin was stained a faint purple. A faint aura of shadow filled the inside of their apple shell. Was this what a shadowy Pokemon was?

“Stay away from me!” he shouted at us. “Don’t come any closer!”

Gen: “Uh… just saying, maybe we should take the apple dragon’s advice here. (The fact that he looks kinda like a less bloodstained extra from 28 Days Later certainly doesn’t hurt either.)”
Burhalla: “Gen, we’re not just leaving him like this!”

“We can help you!” Burhalla pleaded. “You can be purified!”

“No!” Flapple shouted back. “You’ll just make things worse! Get away before I hurt you! I don’t want to hurt anyone else!”

A tear dripped down from one of his bloodshot eyes.

Gen: “I mean, if he doesn’t want us to help-”
Saltriv: “Gen! Help us try and talk some sense into him!”
Gen: “Alright! Alright!”

“Please!” I spoke. “We want to help! Just come with us!”

“I can’t!” Flapple yelled. “You could die! I don’t want that!”

That didn’t work, then.

Gen: “Whelp. I tried. Who’s up next again?”

“Everyone in the village misses you!” Burhalla tried. “PNS-NT hasn’t been the same since you disappeared!”

Flapple’s movements slowed. Did Burhalla get through to him?

“PNS-NT...I…I...” Flapple started, before the aura of shadow around him flared up. His reddened eyes widened.

“No! No no no no no! NO!” he shouted, before the shadowy aura completely consumed him. “RUN!”

Saltriv: “Oh no, Flapple!
Gen: “That seems like the opposite of breaking through to him, just saying.”
Burhalla: “I wasn’t expecting him to react like that to his friend, alright?” >_>;

The shadowy aura receded enough for Flapple to become visible again, and I gasped once I saw what happened to him.

The colors on most of his body had changed completely. The interior of the apple shell had turned a dark gray, and the exterior had become maroon. His green skin had become a withered brown, and his pupils had completely disappeared.

What the hell did that shadowy aura do to him?!

Gen: “Just saying, this is somehow even freakier than that 28 Days Later look he had going on earlier!” o.o
Saltriv: “Wait, what on earth is 28 Days Later-?”
Gen: “I-It’s nothing important, just tell me what’s going on here!”

“He’s in Hyper Mode!” Burhalla explained. “He won’t be able to listen to anything we say! We can still purify him, we just have to knock him out and bring him there ourselves!”

We were going to have to fight Flapple?! Would we really be able to defeat him? Would he really be ok if we did?

Gen: “Right! Saltriv, do we happen to have any paper? I’m gonna throw a ball of it at him!”
Saltriv: “Why on earth would you do that in the middle of a battle?!
Gen: “... Guess that should wait for sometime when he’s not trying to kill us, huh?”

“Move out of the way!” I heard Burhalla shout. As we both backed away from Flapple, I looked over to Burhalla, and watched as he pulled out the fire-shaped seed from earlier, before eating it. A massive burst of fire shot out of his mouth, and hit Flapple, creating an explosion and a cloud of smoke.

That looked powerful! That must be what those fire-shaped seeds did. Was that able to defeat him?

I see that Blast Seeds behave like they do in-game. Guess that’s a handy workaround for Burhalla only knowing Ember at this point.

Burhalla looked up, and ran out of the way of Flapple’s descent, mere moments before Flapple collided with the ground where Burhalla stood before. “Thanks, Gen!” Burhalla shouted, before tossing the totter seed from earlier at Flapple.

I heard a gulp, and Flapple began spinning. I didn’t understand why he’d eat it, but I’ll take it!

Gen: “... How did you manage to get that into his mouth without it getting stuck in his throat or the like, Burhalla?”
Burhalla: “Uh… practice? (Though we should probably knock him out quick, since I’m not so sure about the ‘stuck in his throat’ part.)”

Burhalla breathed an Ember at the dizzy Pokemon. A rock appeared from above Saltriv, and was launched right towards the mark the Ember left. I gathered the frustration from this battle, and delivered an Assurance right to where my teammates’ attacks had hit.

Even after that, Flapple was still flying.

“We have one oran berry left. Does anyone need it?” Burhalla asked. I shook my head.

A ball of bright light began forming over Flapple. A Solar Beam. This could be bad.

- Gen looks up and notices that the sun is still shining brightly… while Flapple is readying Solar Beam -
Gen: “Uh… B-Burhalla?! That berry would be nice right about now!” O_O;

“I could us-” Saltriv began, before abruptly, Flapple stopped spinning right when facing me, and unleashed the Solar Beam upon me before I got a chance to react. It felt as though my life force was being evaporated. It was agony.

“GEN!” I heard my teammates’ horrified screams as I collapsed into the sand.

I heard footsteps approaching, before Burhalla emerged into view, handing me the last oran berry. “Here!”

Gen: “You could have done that before I got hit by the giant sunny death ray, you know!” >_>;
Burhalla: “Look, better late than never, alright?”

As the rock hit, Flapple collapsed into the sand. The shadowy aura flared up once more, obscuring him, before disappearing, leaving Flapple looking exactly how he was when we first found him, aside from the injuries.

We...we did it. We actually did it! We actually managed to knock Flapple out!

Burhalla dug into his bag, and pulled out a purple stick that looked like the one he used back in Twig Woodland. He waved it at Flapple, and an orb of light shot out of it towards the apple dragon.

“That should give us enough time to purify him,” Burhalla said. “Is everyone alright?”

Gen: “So now do we throw the paper balls at him?”
- Burhalla and Saltriv shoot sideways glances at Gen -
Saltriv: “... Why would you want to do that again, Gen?”
Gen: “To purify him of course! Isn’t that what you do to purify a shadowy Pokémon?”
Burhalla: “... No? Why on earth would you ever think that, Gen?”
- Gen bites tongue and thinks back to the mailbox dimension and realizes that it must have been some sort of fluke -
Gen: “Uh… no reason. Not sure whatever put that idea into my mind.”

That was difficult. That Solar Beam really hurt. But, we managed to do it.

“I’m fine,” I lied. I came this far. I already nearly died once. One more time wasn’t enough for me to leave the team.

“That Dragon Breath hurt, but I’m ok!” Saltriv announced, with a strained smile.

I could tell they really weren’t, but neither was I.

Burhalla: “... Are you two sure you’re okay?”
Gen + Saltriv: “Of course!”
- Burhalla tilts head and side-eyes -
Burhalla: “If you two say so. It’s just that you two have been awfully chipper about how rough this mission’s been.”

This review turned out significantly longer than I was expecting, both in length and time to put together. Though I suppose it goes hand-in-hand with the chapter it covers both being the longest in the story and having quite a bit of material to cover in it. I thought that it did a good job at introducing mechanics that you seem to be building up to become relevant for Eternal Shadows, but at the same token, there were some parts that felt like they would have been a bit stronger with some additional description to elaborate on how things worked or more insight into different characters’ thought processes thrown in.

I hope you found this chapter’s feedback handy and the cutaways entertaining to read. I’ll be looking forward to writing up further reviews, and seeing how your writing evolves as you tell more and more of your story.


Back on Her Bullshit
a Terrace of Indeterminate Location in Snowbelle
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
  3. zoroark
Here for Chapter Three! Sorry for the break.

  • So I know from osmosis and reading this chapter over a couple of times that the beginning section of this chapter is narrated from the dual POVs of Arctozolt. Or, two humans who were fused into an arctozolt. Which is interesting, since Gen doesn’t seem to be the only Human summoned here, and you don’t just get fused with another person unless something’s gone horribly wrong. And with that context in mind, the scene makes sense! But even with that bit of context, it was still really trippy and confusing for me to read. I feel like this is an area where you’d benefit from chapter headers, but it’s also worth rewriting the scene to be a bit less confusing, I think? Since it’s genuinely a bit hard to make sense of.

  • Interesting that you seem to be keeping the “gridlike” look for mystery dungeons. I wonder: is the blockiness plot-important, or is it simply aesthetic? Also appreciated the mention that Gen is from Johto specifically – it made me realize that most pmd fics… don’t really specify what world their character is from. It’s just assumed to be either the canon pokemon world, or ours. And also, Arctozolt is from Unova/Galar, so now we know that’s connected in some way beyond the isekai factor.

  • Burhalla seems to have a pretty good grasp on mystery dungeons and how they work, which is useful! Though I do wonder how he knows for sure how many floors there are. Even in the canon games, I remember those fluctuating.

  • Saltriv has no recollection of being gone for months. So…. Where was he all that time? I assume not running around possessed or something, otherwise that would be attracting attention by this point.

  • Dunno how I feel about the “yell the name of the move and it works” mehanic tbh. Though I’m not really a fan of any game mechanics you can’t transpose properly to reality, so… take me with a grain of sal ton this front.

  • Also, wow Saltriv is ruthless. :V

  • Seems like Burhalla has daddy issues. Also, that was a pretty close call for Gen. Normally I’d say it’s kind of a contrivance? But it does fall into reasonably probability, so I think it’s fine. He’s not getting himself anywhere good with these lies, though…

  • Having them run into a monster house for their final bout in the dungeon is an interesting way to cap things off! Though truth be told, I don’t know if I ever really felt a sense of danger from it. It goes a bit too quickly and I felt like I never really knew where any of the ferals were, or why in the moment they were threatening. Text like “the weedle, skiddo, and pachirisu like pokemon were nearby, still standing” also kind of robs it of its urgency, given the causal nature of the line isolated from its context. Something to think on for future fights, though!

  • Huh, so I guess it’s not a monster house after all… though the description of monster houses being explicitly set up as a trap rather than an ambush feels pretty malevolent. What would they be trapping you for…?

  • I guess Gen got to go with them pretty easy. I was expecting him to have to lie again to get to that point, though I suppose that’ll probably come later.

  • Interesting chapter, overall! Next chapter’s a more in-depth look at the town, I assume. I’m expecting more Lies from Gen incoming as he tries to get himself in a better situation than he is now.

Spiteful Murkrow

Busy Writing Stories I Want to Read
  1. nidoran-f
  2. druddigon
  3. swellow
  4. quilava-fobbie
  5. sneasel-kate
  6. heliolisk-fobbie
Heya, back again with another chapter review. Originally, I was going to do this as part of another multi-chapter review, but things wound up expanding time and content-wise much as they did in Chapter 7’s review to the point where I thought it made the most sense to just publish things as-is.

Full disclosure, but as part of a second pass through Chapter 8, I had a bit more of a critical eye on things than the first time around. So as last time, the review will be mostly focused on things I spotted that I had a bit of a quibble with and the customary cutaway gags with the cast.

"How much farther is the town?" I asked, carrying Flapple's tail.

"Not too far. We should be there before sunset," Burhalla answered, carrying Flapple's head.

The three of us walked down the path to the village, carrying Flapple together.

This is one of those moments that I think would’ve benefitted from some scene-setting, since there’s not a solid idea currently of what the transition going from the outskirts of Blistering Shore into Overcast Village looks like. Plus it’s a chance to establish what everyone’s state of mind is coming fresh off a brutal dungeon crawl and having to drag along a Pokémon that would potentially be a hazard to their own well-being if he regained lucidity right then and there.

"Once we...purify him, he'll be ok," Burhalla said, with a shudder at the word "purify".

"Purify?" I asked, now that I had time to do so. What exactly did that entail, and why was it apparently so terrifying?

"Purifying shadowy Pokemon returns them to normal. There used to be four ways of purifying shadowy Pokemon, but two of them have disappeared. There's only two left now," Burhalla answered with another shudder. "Neither are pleasant, but they're the only ways."

Gen: “Burhalla, you’re kinda scaring me there.”

Burhalla: “I mean, considering what these methods entail, I don’t blame ya.” ._.;

Suddenly, I heard a voice in my head. You shouldn't think of prying into our affairs, hehehe. I know where you are.

I froze up.

Nope, not continuing that line of thought. Not after whatever the hell that was.

Gen: “Is it really continuing a line of thought if somebody’s speaking into my mind? And who said that anyways? Is that a familiar voice? Ominous? I mean, I don’t really want to think about it either way now, but I feel as if I should’ve had more of an impression there…”

"Shadowy Pokemon are Pokemon that can't feel any positive emotions. They can only feel fear, anger, frustration, guilt, and other negative emotions. Nobody knows how it happens, but usually Pokemon go missing, not even showing up with connection orbs for a while, then turn up shadowy in strange places," Burhalla answered.

They can't feel any positive emotions, only negative ones? That explained why Flapple was so afraid back there. Still, that must be awful. What could be causing all this?

Might have merited Saltriv chiming in with a bit more of an explanation of Hyper Mode and the physical changes that happened there, since admittedly I had to brush up on some notes regarding Colo/XD to figure out the former and it was explicitly namedropped there. Plus it’d be a chance to show off what Saltriv’s state of mind is given their worries about if they’re shadowed or not given that they’re literally dragging Flapple along in a shadowed state.

Gen: “That feels like you’re underselling things a bit, Burhalla. I mean, we also saw Flapple go through that freaky color change and Hyper Mode thing in full view of us.” >_>;
Burhalla: “I mean, those are all side effects of the whole ‘only feeling negative emotions’ part, so… yeah.”
Gen: “Point taken. (Though I wonder what it took to get Flapple stuck like that, since I didn’t recall life for Pokémon back in Johto being all sunshine and rainbows, and I didn’t see any of them have that happen to them...)”

"Halt!" the larger one yelled. "Why are you here?"

"Nobody enters the shrine without our permission while we're on duty!" the smaller one on the larger one's head exclaimed. "Hey, is that Flapple? And Burhalla! Saltriv, too!"

"Hello, Drakloak and Dreepy!" Burhalla said, looking at the larger one, then the smaller one as he spoke. Those must be the names of those Pokemon.

A bit of a stylistic thing, but given that this conversation is explicitly framed as Drakloak and Dreepy recognizing who Team Searchlights are after they arrive, it might feel more natural with a comment worked in of “Who goes there?” such as “Who goes there? And why are you here?

Additionally, there isn’t much of a transition at the moment between Dreepy’s reflexive “rawr, you’re not welcome” to “Oh! Hey Saltriv and Burhalla!” after the speech tag. It might have been better sold if he did something like trail off a moment before realizing “oh, I know these guys, it’s cool” and gotten a bit more visibly friendly.

Gen: “‘Drakloak’ and ‘Dreepy’? I never asked about it before, but what are the rules for naming a Pokémon in this setting? Like you go by ‘Saltriv’ and ‘Burhalla’, don’t you? So wouldn’t these two logically have names of their own?”
- Saltriv and Burhalla trade looks with each other -
Saltriv: “Pretty sure it’s a familiarity thing. We don’t run into these two that often.”
Burhalla: “Yeah, just imagine how weird it’d be for someone to call PNS-NT by his name in town if they’d never been introduced before.”
Gen: “(Wait, but if that’s the case, how come these two are familiar enough to call you two on a given name basis but not vice versa?)”

"We found Flapple!" Saltriv announced with a smile. "They were at Blistering Shore!"

"It was difficult, but we brought them out of there," I added.

"You really found him! That's amazing! You're heroes!" Dreepy cheered. His eyes were filled with sparkles. "Are you all a search party?"

Is there a reason why Flapple’s pronouns aren’t consistent here? Since Saltriv and Dreepy are both familiar with Flapple as a villager, so they’d both logically address Flapple as either as a consistent “him” or “they”.

Also, I’m not sure how much they would’ve already heard about Saltriv’s return, but given that IIRC it was established that Flapple has been missing for weeks in prior chapters, it might have made sense for Dreepy to emphasize both how long he’s been gone, and wonder a bit about how Team Searchlights found Flapple given that they’re literally new enough at this that they’re not even approved by SaRO yet. As a throwaway example, assuming the two already heard about Saltriv’s return around town and that Flapple’s been gone for about… say… three weeks:

"You- You really found him after three whole weeks! That's amazing! You're heroes!" Dreepy cheered. His eyes were filled with sparkles, only for him to blink and give a puzzled tilt of his head back. "But… I didn’t remember you or Burhalla going into Mystery Dungeons like this before, Saltriv. Are you all on a search party now?"

Doesn’t have to be that specifically, but you get the idea. A lot’s been happening with Burhalla, Saltriv, and Overcast Village lately, and if Dreepy and Drakloak couldn’t recognize Burhalla and Saltriv at first, it’s a bit unlikely they’d be super in the loop on what’s been happening to them.

"It's really great that you found him. It was getting tiring guarding the shrine all the time, and I missed his company," Drakloak said, before turning towards me. "I haven't seen you in town before. Who are you?"

"Gen," I hastily answered.

"I see. Thank you, Burhalla, Saltriv, and Gen for finding Flapple." Drakloak said with something akin to a smile. "You're here to purify him?"

Reminder that since you reveal a bit later on that Flapple was a fellow guard of the shrine prior to his disappearance, it should reflect a bit in Drakloak’s dialogue. For instance, you might it worth phrasing it as something like:

“It's really great that you found him. It was getting tiring constantly filling in for his absence and guarding the shrine all the time, and I missed his company,”

"You all know the rules?" Drakloak asked.

I saw Saltriv and Burhalla both nod, but I stayed still. "What ar-?"

Burhalla clamped a hand over my mouth. What was that about?!

"I'll tell him," Burhalla said, removing his hand from my face.

"Good. Be careful in there," Drakloak said, before she and Dreepy moved out of the way.

Gen: “Burhalla, you could have let them explain the rules, you know. If they were willing to let you in on the condition that you’d tell me, they’d have been willing to give a primer first!” >.<
Burhalla: “In case you hadn’t noticed, we're dragging along a fainted Pokémon with us. That’s shadowed. Drakloak and Dreepy don’t exactly give short explanations, so let’s hurry up and get Flapple purified before he wakes up.”
Gen: “I still don’t understand what we’re supposed to do to make that happen though. (And why paper balls suddenly won’t work now when it worked just fine on Saltriv.)”

"Before we go in, I need to tell you something," he said.

"What is it?" I asked. Was he going to tell me about what those rules were?

"Whatever you do, BE POLITE AT ALL COSTS," he told me. "Stay calm, don't make many unneeded movements. And don't ask about or touch the statues."

"Wait, what do you mean? Why?" I asked, startled by the sudden demands.

"I can't tell you until after we leave. They'll know. Just follow my lead, and you should be alright," Burhalla said. He hesitated, before continuing. "If anything happens to me, don't react. Calmly exit the shrine."

Gen: “Burhalla, Drakloak and Dreepy are right there!” >_>;
Burhalla: “I mean, I covered all the important bits they would’ve in about a tenth of the space they would’ve taken up.”
Gen: “What exactly are we hiding from again? Why can’t I ask about these statues inside?”
Saltriv: “Well, their creator lives with them. And trust me, you don’t want to make them mad.

"Why do we have to go in? Why can't Drakloak do it, since she knows this stuff better?" I asked.

I feel that this probably should’ve been brought up a bit earlier in the story, since admittedly up until this point, I had assumed that Drakloak was a guy. Some sort of earlier pronoun drop, or else an indirect reveal of Drakloak’s gender (e.x. if Dreepy called her “my sister/mother/[insert_female_relative_here]” in dialogue) would’ve done a lot for making that clear from the jump.

Drakloak turned to look at me. "You three all found Flapple, so you all have to go in. It's part of the rules of purification here. If I could, I'd take your place, but sadly that's not possible."

"You can do it! You're heroes!" Dreepy encouraged.

"We'll be in there with you," Saltriv comforted. "You won't be alone."

Not that meta-wise it doesn’t make sense for them to hurry that purification along given that they’re in for a world of hurt if Flapple recovers before he’s purified, but I’d have expected a bit more of a reaction from Gen here. Unsure if it’d make more sense if he’d try and press for more of an answer to “why?” only to get reminded “we don’t have time for this” from Saltriv and/or Burhalla, or if he’d hesitate with a moment of confusion, but Gen’s being presented with some rules that he logically wouldn’t understand here, but he doesn’t really react to them at the moment.

Scattered throughout the room, I noticed many Pokemon scattered about, unmoving. I saw a Hoothoot, a Gastly, even a Lucario. It didn't even look like they were alive. Were these the statues Burhalla was talking about?

I saw one of them, a Misdreavus, blink.


Oh no.

Were they ALIVE?! What had happened to them?!

Gen: “Oh well that’s terrifying.” O.O
Burhalla: “Gen! Ix-nay e-thay atue-stay alk-tay!” >_>;

Soon, the shell opened, revealing a figure inside. I tried to figure out the thoughts to describe what they looked like, but for some reason they just wouldn't come.

"Greetings, Tapu Fini," Burhalla said with a bow. I followed his lead, and me and Saltriv bowed as well.

That Pokemon must be called Tapu Fini, then.

"Greetings, Burhalla," Tapu Fini responded in an indescribable tone. "Who are your companions? It is rude to not introduce oneselves."

"My name is Gen," I said, trying to keep myself from shaking under the pressure. Stay calm, like Burhalla said. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

"My name is Saltriv," Saltriv introduced themself, echoing my words. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

Gen: “(So our only hope of getting Flapple back to normal is to not piss off the creepy seashell thingy for any reason at all until this purification is done. Fantastic. But i-it can’t be that hard, right? Just as long as we don’t get any awkward que-)”

"It is a pleasure to meet you both," Tapu Fini greeted. "What are your opinions of my shrine?"


"The shrine is rather nice. The waterfalls compliment the designs on the walls," Saltriv said, tone neutral.

"It's pr-quite fantastic, if I do say so myself," I began, trying to imitate Saltriv's tone. "I enjoy the colors of the walls, ceiling, and floor."

Several wordless seconds passed. I began to grow fearful. Had I been too impolite? What was going to happen if I had been?

After what felt like an eternity, Tapu Fini made a gesture I didn't recognize. "For what reason did you come to my shrine?" they asked.

Tapu Fini: “And why do the lot of you look like visibly pale and like you’re about to faint?”
Gen: “I… uh… w-we just got out of a really brutal dungeon crawl? Nothing to do with our present surroundings at all! Honest!”

Once Flapple was in place, Burhalla backed away from the pool, and returned to my side. I wondered just what purification entailed. What was going to happen to Flapple?

Suddenly, the fog began to thicken drastically. Within seconds, Flapple and Tapu Fini were completely obscured. Was this part of the process?

A faint light appeared where I last saw Tapu Fini. It quickly grew brighter and brighter, soon becoming unbearably bright. It flashed even greater in intensity.

I flinched, and closed my eyes.

Suddenly, I heard a large SPLASH, and I felt myself get drenched.

I opened my eyes, and saw that the light was gone. The fog was dissipating as well. Every surface of the temple was doused thoroughly, droplets of water, dripping down.

Gen: “(Along with us too, it looks like. If it wouldn’t get us all turned into living lawn ornaments here, I’d give this ‘mon a piece of my mind about the surprise soak.)” >_>;

I glanced over at Burhalla, worried that the water had put his tail out. He was shaking slightly, and his tail flame was wavering, but it still burnt bright. I almost breathed a sigh of relief, but stopped myself.

Saltriv: “(Burhalla? Are you doing alright?)”
- Burhalla is still visibly shaking and more than a little pale -
Burhalla: “(N-No…)”
Saltriv: “(Guess we should’ve brought an umbrella or something for this.)” -_-;

Tapu Fini made another gesture I didn't recognize, before closing their shell.

The three of us turned around, and exited the temple, with a now-purified Flapple in tow.

So how quickly did those three sprint out of the temple there? :V

"Even after the first time, purification is still terrifying," Burhalla said. "Being so close to water, even getting splashed by it, and the statues, and Tapu Fini themself… Is everyone alright after that?"

"I am! Good thing I had memorized what I was going to say if I ever met Tapu Fini!" Saltriv exclaimed. "I think I'd still be in there if I hadn't!"

That was absolutely terrifying. The strict rules, the moments of suspense when I worried I did something wrong, and the "statues"...it was horrible.

Even so, I made it through it all, somehow.

"I'm fine," I told Burhalla. I tried not to think too hard about what Saltriv had said.

Saltriv: “Wait a minute, ‘after the first time’? Meaning you’ve done this before, Burhalla?”
Burhalla: “Er… yes? I mean, I didn’t just mope in a corner for all those months you were missing from the village.”
Gen: “Are we sure that throwing paper balls at shadowy Pokémon doesn’t purify them?” >_>;
Burhalla: “Trust me, if it did, I’d be right there with you. I’m pretty sure that someone out there in the cosmos has a sick sense of humor to force this to be the only nearby way of purifying shadowy Pokémon.”

As we sat in the grass and looked up at the clouds, I thought back to what Burhalla had said earlier. Burhalla had mentioned that there was one other method of purification left. What was it? Was it more pleasant than having Tapu Fini do it, even slightly?

Would asking about the other method incur that voice's wrath, though?

Wait a minute, is this referring to the voice in Gen’s head that he heard? If so, how does he already know that he shouldn’t get on its bad side?

Then again, it wasn't interrupting my thinking of this, so hopefully it would be safe to ask?

"What's the other purification method?" I asked Burhalla.

"I don't actually know," he said. "I just know that it's near Moonlight Town."

"Careful speaking about them. You could incur their wrath. Especially her's," Drakloak spoke up, floating towards us.


I shuddered. Maybe it was best if I didn't ask any more questions about purification.

It’s a little vague as to who Drakloak is referring to for who the talk of the other purification method would offend. I think that it’d make sense either to have Drakloak be a bit more explicit about who she’s talking about, or else show from some sort of reaction from Burhalla and Saltriv that they know and seem to shut up quickly, which would give Gen an idea to pipe down and move along.

Also, it’s unclear if that laughter is coming from the (still unidentified) voice Gen heard earlier in his mind, or else if that’s from Drakloak. I’m assuming the former given the consistent style, but it’s not explicitly stated and Gen doesn’t react that much to hearing it again for the second time in-story.

Before I could ask, Saltriv spoke up. "What happened to the third method? I remember there still being three before I…"

"You went missing, right?" Drakloak said. "Strange, I don't remember seeing you get purified here. Or perhaps you never went shadowy at all. I don't know what happened when you were found, after all."

I saw Saltriv wince. Was this about what happened in Blistering Shore? Weren't they ok now?

Gen: “Uh. Saltriv, maybe we should stop talking about purification for a bit-”
Saltriv: “That’s what you’re worried about right now and not there being one less method to help shadowy Pokémon? (Like me…)” >_>;

"Back to your question, Mossy Town became a mystery dungeon while you were gone, and the method there disappeared," Drakloak continued.

"W-what?! Did everyone make it out? Where are they?" Saltriv asked, eyes widening.

"As far as I know, almost everyone," Drakloak answered. "I heard most of them are staying in Capim Town for now."

My mind raced with questions. Entire towns could become mystery dungeons? How did something even become a mystery dungeon? Could it happen to Overcast Village?

I was so caught up in these questions, that I missed what Saltriv had to say next, only hearing Drakloak's response.

"First the method in Coulomb City, then the one in Mossy Town. If Tapu Fini disappears too, we're in far more trouble than before," Drakloak said. "That's why we guard the shrine."

Gen: “That was so not reassuring there.”
- Burhalla looks off at Overcast Village in the distance -
Burhalla: “Just saying, if there’s something going on with purification methods considering what happened to the two that don’t work anymore…”
Gen: “Uh… yeah, you two might want to consider investing in some real estate out of town.” ._.;

The moment we entered the Top Plaza, the Porygon-Z began to rush towards Flapple, with a cry of "MANZA-ZA-ZAGGLE!"

Before I knew what was happening, Flapple and Porygon-Z had collided in midair, and were now both lying on the ground. "PNS-NT, I'm glad to see ya, but could ya not do that so often? You know I'm not comfortable with people knowing my primary name," Flapple admonished.

I had heard that teapot Pokemon mention PNS-NT earlier, and Burhalla had mentioned it before Flapple went berserk. Was that the name of this Porygon-Z? And what was that about primary names?

This was actually a detail that slipped my mind from the first reading, though ‘Manzaggle’ huh? I can’t say I really fault Flapple for him wanting to keep mum about his primary name there. :V

Will be interesting to see how this gets explored, since I’ve seen other PMD settings where actual names normally get held close to the chest, so it’ll be fun to see what the choice is for why ‘mons normally don’t seem to flaunt their personal names much around Overcast Village.

"Saltriv!" Meganium shouted as she exited the Kecleon tent. With a worried expression on her face, she headed towards us, before stopping next to Saltriv. "You didn't tell me you were going on a search mission! Are you ok?"

"I'm ok, mo-," Saltriv began, before the Tyrogue spoke up.

I think that this would have been something that would’ve been interesting to see Saltriv’s state of mind in more detail. Since Saltriv not telling their parents what they were up to to not worry them is pretty different from them not bringing it up because they were in a rush out the door. And I’d imagine that Saltriv would react to their mother’s worry fairly differently in both circumstances.

Burhalla: “Saltriv, you what?
Saltriv: “I… might have kept quiet about what I was up to to mom and dad because I thought they’d say ‘no’ given that I literally just came home after being missing for months?”
Gen: “(Let’s not tell them about those near-death experiences we had back there, hm?)” >_>;

Jellicent turned to Burhalla next. "I heard from your father that you decided to start a search party. Thank you for taking this step to protect our village, and congratulations on your first successful mission!" she congratulated warmly, before her tone grew stern. "Although it was unwise of you to leave before SaRO approved you."

Meganium gave Saltriv a stern look, and Burhalla frowned. "Sorry," he said.

Gen: “... We’re gonna get grounded from this, aren’t we?”

"No," Meganium said, before Saltriv could get a chance to finish. "You know what happened last time you had a sleepover, and I need to have a talk with you after you went out underprepared."

"We had an escape orb, and we found Flapple anyways! Besides, last time was months ago, and Gen's first night with us went well! Please?" Saltriv pleaded.

"...with who?" Meganium asked after a few seconds.

"Burhalla! I want us all to celebrate our first successful mission together!" Saltriv answered, and Burhalla smiled.

"If Burhalla's father agrees, then tomorrow night," Meganium answered, to Saltriv's and Burhalla's cheers. "I was planning on letting you do something like this in a few days anyways to celebrate you returning, but to celebrate your first accomplishment on a search party, you can have it tomorrow." Meganium smiled after that.

It feels like there’s a bit of a transition missing here for Meganium’s emotional state, since she goes in upset with Saltriv, but there isn’t a clean point where we see the gears in her go from that and to a state where she’d be willing to let Saltriv hold another sleepover in spite of the last one apparently being a mess. I think something as simple as showing her relent or her features ease a bit before her second line of dialogue would go a long way to filling in that currently missing transition.

900 Poké? Great! Tha-" Burhalla began, stopping as Flapple moved again.

Flapple took out his other wing, on which laid the biggest apple I've ever seen. It was almost as large as I was! It was a shiny, glimmering red, and even seemed to be sparkling. A single leaf as large as my tail was attached to the grass-green stem. The most mouth-watering smell I've ever experienced reached my nose. Just what was this piece of heaven in the shape of an apple?

Saltriv, Burhalla, and even Meganium gasped. "A perfect apple?! Real-" Saltriv began. It did seem perfect alright.

"I insist. To thank you for purifying me, and to make up for whatever I did while I was...like that," Flapple said.

Gen: “Wait a minute, this is a lot for a reward, right? Since I can’t tell whether ‘900 Poké’ and this apple is a lot or the equivalent of lunch money.”
Saltriv: “I mean, the Perfect Apple literally sells for more than the money Flapple’s giving us, so this is pretty generous of him. Especially for a team’s first mission!”
Burhalla: “Yeah, most of the teams I know of said they got around 200 Poké and some common seed as their first reward, so we’re doing pretty good here.”
Gen: “(Should we be concerned about Manzaggle being this generous right after coming back to town all this time? Doesn’t he have unpaid bills that need to be taken care of?)”

Why was he just putting it all right back where Flapple had gotten it from? Moreover, why were Flapple's belongings apparently in this box right out in the open of this plaza?

"Why are you putting that back?" I asked.

Meganium looked at me weirdly, before her expression shifted to one of care. "Right, you don't remember anything. That's a deposit box. Anything one Pokemon puts in can be taken out by only that Pokemon. For everyone else, only their things are inside."

Weird. They seemed to be like PCs, then. I still had one more question about them, though.

"Who made them?" I asked.

"The Kangaskhan clan manages them," Meganium answered. "They created them after-oh, you wouldn't know about that."

Know about what?

Ah, do these run off of the same principle as the synchronized bags that SaRO gives out? Though it’s neat that apparently Kangaskhan have their own commercial cartel in this setting like Kecleon do. Part of me does wonder a bit about how they came to be in this setting, since if you’re tracking after the games, they should’ve been created before the events of Gates. If it doesn’t leave too many spoilers, you might want to allow Meganium to hint a bit more explicitly at when they were created. Something like “They created them after such-and-such event- oh. Apologies, you wouldn’t know about that, but the point is that they’ve been around for a while.”

Soon, we arrived in Saltriv's home. Torterra was in the first room, and smiled as he saw us arrive.

"Welcome back, you three!" he greeted. "How went the adventure, Saltriv?"

"It went great! We found Flapple!" Saltriv exclaimed.

"You didn't tell us you were going on a search mission," Torterra said, frowning. "I thought you three were just going to play in the forest, like your past adventures with Burhalla were."

I’d mentioned it elsewhere in the past, but as a general rule of thumb, every time there’s a change in scene, you should keep it in mind to add some blurbs of description to help the reader visualize things a bit and anything that might have changed. You can gloss stuff over a bit on repeat locations since the reader likely still remembers what the place looks like, but the same principle applies to dialogue where there’s changes in mood, since it’s hard to capture those changes in just lines of dialogue without showing stuff like body language. For this bit in particular, I recall making a suggestion kinda like this:

Soon, we arrived in Saltriv's home. Torterra was in the first room reading a [newspaper] when he looked up, and smiled as he saw us arrive.

"Welcome back, you three!" he greeted. "How went the adventure, Saltriv?"

"It went great! We found Flapple!" Saltriv exclaimed, puffing their chest out proudly. Torterra's eyes narrowed in response, as he looked down sternly at the Chikorita.

"You didn't tell us you were going on a search mission," Torterra said, frowning. "I thought you three were just going to play in the forest, like your past adventures with Burhalla were."

As you can see, you don’t exactly need a wall of text to pull it off, either. All it took to expand this particular section to this point was one and two half-sentences.

"We're both proud of you for finding Flapple," Meganium comforted. "I just wish you had told us you were, and had been better prepared."

Meganium’s line feels like it’s missing a couple words. I’d suggest “told us you were going out” or replacing it with “told us what you were doing”.

"Can we still do the celebration sleepover?" Saltriv asked, beginning to smile.

"Of course!" Torterra answered. "You deserve a reward after your first search mission!"

"You're not allowed to go on any adventures tomorrow, though," Meganium added. "We might be getting a visit then, anyways."

"Aww, ok," Saltriv replied with a frown, before their expression changed to one of [curiosity]. "From who?"

"This morning I mailed a letter to Acacia that you'd been found," Meganium said. "We might get a visit from his rescue team soon."

Minor typo there, but it’s neat to see you link in the old protags with the current ones through a tie like that. I suppose that’s as good a sign as any that we’ll be seeing more of them soon.

I pulled a blanket over me, and was about to close my eyes, when I noticed Saltriv shaking under the covers. What was that about? Were they still sad about that conversation with their parents?

I'll have to ask them about that tomorrow.

I’d probably have said something more to the effect of “Were they upset over their parents not letting us go out tomorrow?” for the part in bold, since I didn’t really get a vibe of Saltriv being outwardly sad at the end of the conversation earlier in the scene for Gen to see it.


Gen: “Uh… Saltriv? Are you alright there?”
Saltriv: “Yes! Just don’t get up and look under the covers!”
Gen: “O...kay then. Just gonna conk out and pretend none of this happened.”

They defended me when Burhalla's father was suspicious of me, convinced their parents to let me stay in their home, taught me about some of the things we found in Blistering Shore, including my Reunion Cape, helped save me from that Krokorok, tried to help me with my made-up memory problem, and offered to try to help me with my anxiety if Burhalla's idea with the village therapist didn't work out.

Speaking of Burhalla, he also helped me a lot.

He offered for me to go with him when he found me in Twig Woodland, taught me about mystery dungeons and more, let me join the team, guided me through mystery dungeons, saved me multiple times, tried to prepare me for Tapu Fini, and comforted me even after I had nearly killed him.

We've already been through a lot together. If not for them, I'd be completely lost in this world. I might never have gotten out of Twig Woodland.

I never did thank them, did I? I should tomorrow. I'm grateful for what they've done for me.

I'm happy to be teammates with them, even if I wouldn't call them friends yet. I haven't even known them for two days.

Gen: “(Let’s just hope I can find some way to come clean to them about everything that won’t turn them off from me for life, since I’ve more or less been constantly lying through my teeth to them for the last 48 hours.)”

I heard your insulting thoughts of me. Why did I have to be stuck with the most insufferable Galarian imaginable?!

Why do I have to be stuck with the most aggravating Unovan imaginable?! You thought, continuing to walk me away from the village.

I actually didn’t notice this part in my original readthrough, but given the explicit regional namedrops, I’m going to call it now that Arctozolt is really two humans drug in from Gen’s world and mashed together by the local Fisher Kingdom effect.

We need to find someone who will listen to us. We need to find them while they're alone, and where they can't call for help.

How about that Charmander we saw yesterday?

If we can find it again. You already know we haven't seen it since you pressured me to throw that orb. If I hadn't listened to you, we might have been able to catch up to the Charmander.

If you hadn't listened to me, we might have died from that horde of Pokemon. Unless you got any other ideas, that Charmander is our best shot. And I know you don't have any other ideas.

Fine. We'll look for that Charmander-

Ruzolt: “I’m sorry, why are we getting hung up over this Charmander again when there’s an entire village of Pokémon we could talk to?”
Arctoar: “Because someone attacked one of the villagers the other night and we’d be lucky not to get run out of this bloody hamlet if we tried doing that?“
Ruzolt: “Ugh… right. (Guess I could’ve kept my cool better there.)“

Before too long, the Oshawott, Chikorita, and Charmander entered the building, leaving the Drakloak and Dreepy alone, and vulnerable. This could work.

Now's our chance! Let's get them!

If those three starters exit and see us, they could overtake us. We're waiting.

It's the perfect opportunity! They're all alone!

If they're still there once the starters are gone, we'll do it. Until then, we should plan ahead.

You're wasting this opportunity!

You'd get us killed!

Fine. Let's start planning, then.

Oh yeah, that’s not sus at all. But might I suggest you two consider setting up a dungeon ambush scam? Works wonders for Outlaws, and it’d give you more victims for… whatever it is you two need to do with them.

Part of me wonders if this scene might have worked better in chronological order with a catchup as to what Arctozolt is up to in the present time. But it still works well enough as-is, gives some much-needed hint into their background and what they’re up to, and certainly is a bit of an ominous note to end on.

For all the criticisms I laid out, I feel like this chapter of Eternal Shadows did a pretty good job at giving a fuller glimpse of the characters, the world they live in, along with some foreboding implications of what they’re likely to face in the future. It’s a solid foundation for the future since things logically would only heat up from here in-story given that the main conflicts in it have been laid out to the point that Gen can logically understand that something’s wrong in-setting, and feel that if you ever go back to add an extra layer of polish, that it’ll really shine from it. I fully understand if you opt to just go full speed ahead with new chapters though, since the process of revising content even when it’s mostly additive in nature can quickly become a major time and effort pit, and it can be frustratingly difficult to regain forward momentum in a story after losing it.

Hope you enjoyed the review! I’m looking forward to catching up and completing this series, and I’m looking forward to seeing where you take Gen’s story in the future.
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Yodakage Kira

A man with a golden gun
Fashionably late due to school, and uploaded at the unholy time of 3:44am for me, but still completed!

This was certainly an opening chapter. One that refuses to elaborate, and instead chooses to chuck the protagonist headfirst into the adventure ahead of them… Utterly glorious.

We get introduced to our plucky protagonist, a human named Gen, who’ll definitely end up as an Oshawott by chapter two. And who is also rather distraught at their predicament. Convincingly so. You did a great job with Gen here and making them believable.

With the plot obviously not brought into complete focus yet, I will pleasantly wait and see as to where it goes. For now, I can only really speculate that the Chikorita will probably be Gen’s partner and that some major bad things messed up the process of Gen’s transfer into the PMD world.

In chapter two, we find that the Chikorita’s name is Saltriv, that Pokémon all over this town are going missing, and the mentioning of them sometimes being found ‘turned shadow-y’ due to unknown reasons. We also get introduced to Burhalla, a Charmander.

First off, the shadow-y Pokémon thing sounds dangerous and I can’t wait to see it’s effects. Secondly, Gen having to lie through his teeth in order to look sane is going to cause major problems later. I predict… that this will cause gigantic problems in the future for him and his new friends. Gen also did end up as an Oshawott… Oh dear what a tragedy!

Great stuff so far.

Third chapter… We get started off by a 2nd person scene that seems to be between two consciousnesses that are sharing a body. We seem to be looking at it from the perspective of one of them… And while it’s not possible for us to know what they are quite yet…

We also find out that Saltriv has been missing for months, despite it feeling like a single day for them. Most curious…

Gen gets an offer from Burhalla to get him some help from the town mayor and whatnot because of his ‘amnesia’ and I can’t help but wonder what’ll happen there… I can’t imagine he’ll be telling them that he’s human.

Most wondrous work so far.

Fourth chapter, we get introduced to the parents of Saltriv and Burhalla. And we also get introduced to the Overcast Village.

The worry the parents of Saltriv and Burhalla had would be quite warranted in my eyes, seeing as a lot of ‘mon are just straight disappearing into the aether never to be seen again. Also, I find the idea of Pokémon pretending to be amnestic humans for the sake of wanting attention quite hilarious. Poor Gen, guess he really can’t say he’s human after all…

Speaking of humans, we get a sneak peek back into the world that Gen hails from, and it unfortunately isn’t stopped because he isn’t there. People are already noticing his absence…

I will guess that it will eventually lead to Gen being presumed dead in the human world.

Chapter five brought us Burhalla’s father cementing himself as that kind of dad. The kind I get uncontrollably mad at… wonderfully characterized and executed, but damn do I dislike him as a person.

Also, the odd beast terrorizing the village I guess might be the same one that started us off in the third chapter ‘2nd person’ segment.

Also, we meet a Dewott named ‘Gen’ now as well. As a matter of fact, this entire group seems to be rather familiar with this whole ‘human dropping from the sky’ thing. They all decided to go looking for Gen, so I hope that works out happily when it eventually happens. And as for the thing spying on it… well, I don’t think Necrozma is friendly…

In chapter six, we get started off from the perspective of the missing Pokémon. They are a shadow Pokémon currently, and their emotions don’t seem to be… working right currently.

There isn’t much else to talk about here other than Burhalla, Gen, and Saltriv all becoming a team. Specifically, Team Searchlights. So far the characters have made sense and whatnot… but I try to leave my character analysis stuff for the end of the review.

So far this has been a wonderful ride though.

Chapter seven… we find Gen in the middle of his training to start using his moves. He doesn’t learn a water type move, instead learning how to use Assurance. A dark type move…

Anyway, Team Searchlights forgo their parents warnings and decide to just yeet out into a mystery dungeon looking for Flapple. Also, you have Emera in your fic as well. I can’t wait to see how they’re utilized, seeing as I have yet to properly use them in my own fic yet. (lmao)

We get a totter seed making an appearance as well. The explanation from Saltriv was nice, and I wonder if it’ll have a use soon…

Gen almost gets crunched by a Krokorok, and Gen lies about being fine with going forward. Most unfortunate for the human. He’ll have to get used to it if he wants to survive… probably. But it would seem the Gen abuse isn’t over yet, he Dynamaxes… and when he goes back to normal he realized that he nearly killed Burhalla.

Saltriv also knows a shadow move, using it to save the team… this doesn’t bode well for the future.

Anyway, Team Searchlights eventually finds Flapple and successfully defeats them so they can be purified from whatever the shadow stuff is. I liked the emotions present during the battle, it made it quite tense at times.

With chapter eight, Team Searchlights goes to the Water Purification Shrine in order to cure Flapple of the shadow Pokémon condition. I found the rules mentioned to be rather specific. I later found out that it was run by Tapu Fini, and everyone seems deathly afraid of these ‘mon who can purify this condition.

I know not what this will entail in the future, nor if it means anything drastic.

We also find out that a village just straight up got turned into a mystery dungeon. Interesting idea, I wonder what causes it…

I also noticed that the mayor was specifically calling certain teams ‘search parties’ instead of rescue teams or whatnot. Hurrah for neato worldbuilding bits!

We also catch up with the beast terrorizing the village, their objective remains the same; to reverse whatever their situation is. I don’t know what they want with the guards of the shrine, but it can’t be good.

Chapter nine, we start off with the arrival of two characters on a Lapras, both of whom were from that meeting in the fifth chapter. They are rather famous apparently, having saved the world from Dark Matter. It jumps rather fast to the plight of a fraud who pretended to be a human, having turned into a shadow Pokémon. They’re on a crash course with Gen, and I don’t think it’s going to end well.

Not much else happens, other than Zarude coming in and basically asking “Have ya heard of our lord and savior, Eternatus?” and I don’t think it’s going to end well either. (lmao)

And finally, the tenth chapter and last chapter so far. Team Searchlights gets their equipment, a sleepover is planned with Burhalla, and Gen learns a few new moves. The chapter was short, but got done quite a bit for Gen. He may not know water gun yet, but he’s obviously close.

Not much else happens that's very noteworthy. But that’s not always a bad thing, sometimes a chapter or two is needed to calm things down a bit before it picks back up.

So here is where I go into the more overall stuff.

The characters throughout the fic were great, they were distinct in their own little ways and I had no trouble telling them apart. Gen, anxious and afraid. They are a character I can tell will be developing throughout the tale, how he changes though I cannot say. Buralla and Saltriv, nice and wholesome. I like them both, and honestly they’re great for both the reader and for Gen.

The plot itself. While right now I cannot really see the whole of the plot other than Gen trying to get back home and figuring out what he’s supposed to do in the PMD world, I do appreciate what's currently there. And what currently is there has me intrigued. The shadow Pokémon epidemic, mentions of Eternatus and Necrozma, the whole thing with Tapu Fini. All this stuff has me intrigued for the future and I want to see more eventually.

Grammar wise, if there were mistakes, I did not notice them.

All and all, the tale so far of Eternal Shadows has me intrigued and wanting for more. Great work so far!

Spiteful Murkrow

Busy Writing Stories I Want to Read
  1. nidoran-f
  2. druddigon
  3. swellow
  4. quilava-fobbie
  5. sneasel-kate
  6. heliolisk-fobbie
Heya, I'm finally back with reviews for the rest of Eternal Shadows to catch up with your story. This review took me longer than I expected to cobble together, but I'm hoping that you'll find the feedback helpful for your future writings and any changes you opt to make to these chapters in the futures, and that the current batch of cutaway gags prove to be entertaining for you to read.

Chapter 9

Lapras Travel Liner

“How much farther is it?” Leviene asked, looking up at the cloudless sky.

“We should be nearly there,” Lapras answered, swimming past a school of Wishiwashi.

“I can barely believe it’s been this long since we’ve been there!” Leviene said, before turning towards me. “Can you, Ayueg?”

“Well, it is the hardest continent to get to,” I pointed out. “Makes sense we didn’t come back after mapping it.”

Reminder to make sure that your spacing is consistent, since the spacing this chapter is doubled up relative to what your chapters normally have. Also for this opening, I think you would have been better served setting the scene more explicitly to establish what “nearly there” looks like out at sea and hint at who the narrator is, since it takes four paragraphs to get any indication that Ayueg is the scene’s narrator, who we’ve only seen once in the story before this point in a scene in Chapter 5, which I admittedly had to turn back to to brush up on some deets.

I feel you could’ve established that from the jump just from an offhand mention of the narrator seeing “my [insert body part]” here or the like as part of seeing the surrounding world and Leviene, and it’d have additionally provided a reminder to your readers of “hey, remember this guy?” since Ayueg and Leviene admittedly weren’t really focused on in the scene where they were introduced (and at the time I wrote this review, Leviene’s species was literally established once in-story at the beginning of the Team Seedlings Base scene in Chapter 5 and in an indirect manner), so it’s not hard to wind up with a “... Who?” reaction to the two without giving a meta reminder about who they are given that they haven’t had much screentime for the readers to familiarize with them yet.

“Yeah, but we should have come back here sooner anyways! This place was so cool!” Leviene said.

“It was,” I replied. “I wonder how much it’s changed since we were there last.”

While admittedly you show the place they go to in short order, I think that something about this bit feels a bit hazy. Like they should have more of a concrete thing they either saw or experienced, even if it’s something as simple as “I had a lot of fun the last time we were in Moonlight Town”.

I looked out into the distance, and saw that thunderclouds had appeared over the horizon. Not much farther now.

Soon, the perpetual thunderstorm encircling the continent came fully into view. Lightning struck the sea rapidly, and the sound of thunder grew louder and louder.

Something about the bit in bold feels like it’s presented in terms of “you should know this already”. While that’s true for Ayueg, it’s not for the reader, so you might find value having him exposit as the narrator a bit as to how it is they’re perpetual and IIRC based off some comments you made elsewhere, the Lapras Travel Liner has only recently figured out how to consistently pass them safely after the events of Super. One way that might help that for instance might be to expand the first paragraph a bit like so:

I looked out into the distance, and saw that thunderclouds had appeared over the horizon. Pokémon did call the land Lapras was taking us to the Thunder Continent for a reason. The first thing anyone encountered when trying to approach was the wall of storms that surrounded it, and from how quickly the thunderclouds were growing, the Continent was not much farther now.

Ayueg: “Uh… remind me, Lapras is sure they can make it through this thing, right? Since in case you didn’t notice, but Combusken aren’t exactly good swimmers.”

Leviene: “I guess in retrospect we should’ve brought along someone with Lightningrod to make the crossing just in case.”

I grabbed onto one of the spikes on Lapras’ shell with a wing, while Leviene wrapped a vine around the same spike, just in time for us to reach the thunderclouds.

Lightning struck down into the ocean on both sides of us. The thunderclaps were almost deafening. One lightning bolt almost struck Lapras, causing Leviene to shriek. I laid my other wing on their back to reassure them.

Leviene: “Not a word about this to the others, Ayueg, you hear?” >_>;
Ayueg: “I mean, hey. At least you handled it better than last time.”

The ocean around us started to grow darker as we approached the town. Stars started appearing in the sky, and the sun faded away. We were entering Moonlight Town’s nighttime veil.

As the docks grew closer, we began to slow down. Just before we stopped, the moon appeared high in the sky.

“We’ve arrived at Moonlight Town of the Thunder Continent!” Lapras announced.

Ayueg: “... How is this possible again when the moon literally is in an orbiting cycle around the planet?”
Leviene: “Magic. My money’s on magic. Or else warped timespace shenanigans.”

Moonlight Town

I hopped off Lapras with a wave, after Leviene climbed down from their back.

“Thanks for the ride!” I said. Lapras smiled back at me.

I turned away from the ocean, and towards the town. Leviene was already running across the candlelit docks. I opened my beak in a smile as I ran after them.

I feel that either this part, or the tail end of the last scene should’ve gone a bit more in depth on what exactly Moonlight Town was like visually. There’s opposing arguments for doing it in either of the locations, but as of right now, it’s a little hard to visualize what Ayueg and Leviene are getting off into in this soft scene change here.

Ayueg: “... Remind me why you found this place cool again when you’d have trouble photosynthesizing with the lack of light, Leviene?”
Leviene: “... It’s visually interesting? I mean, there’s not a lot of places that just are constantly night.”
Ayueg: “(Aren’t such places a dime a dozen in video games?)”

It wasn’t long before we came to the end of the docks, where Gothitelle waited for us, holding a weathered map in her hands.

“Greetings. Team Travelers, correct?” she greeted, a small smile appearing on her face.

“Indeed! Only the best Expedition Team the world has ever seen!” I said with a wide smile. “It’s nice to see you again, mayor Gothitelle.”

I couldn’t help but smile at this part since it’s a bit of a happy coincidence. If you dropped the ‘s’ and changed the spelling slightly, I’d be ready to ask you where the Nidoran and Druddigon teammates were. :^)

“Go forwards until you hit a three-way split in the road. Turn around, then take the second road on the left. Make sure to walk on that road, not run yet. Once you reach a dead end, turn around and now run, until you pass by a road that goes downhill. Walk backwards down it. Once you feel the ground turn flat again, look up. If the constellation above is Cresselia, take the road to the left, otherwise, take the one to the right. Once you reach a dead end with a painting of Lunala, spin once, then walk forwards until you arrive in the plaza,” Gothitelle explained.

“With how weird the layout of this place is, you’d almost think it’s a mystery dungeon!” Leviene joked, turning to me. “Did you get all that, Ayueg? I spaced out in the middle of it.”

“Of course,” I said. It was mostly the case, although I couldn’t quite remember if it was the downhill road or the road after the constellation that needed to be walked down backwards.

We’ll just have to figure that out when we get there. I didn’t want to annoy Gothitelle by asking again.

Leviene: “... We should’ve asked her to write that down for us.” -_-;
Ayueg: “Well, too late now. Besides, we’ve been here before. I think we can manage here.”

They looked around the area a bit, before their eyes stopped on a Zoroark, Morgrem, and Meowstic gathered together a short distance away.

“Team Gibbous!” they exclaimed. “Let’s go ask them! I’ve been wanting to meet them!”

“Never heard of them before,” I said. “Who are they?”

“They’re one of the top search parties of the continent! Pahelia told me about them a few meetings ago, during the one where you fell asleep,” Leviene explained, beginning to walk towards them. “She called them the Team ACT of the Thunder Continent.”

Ayueg: “... Wait a minute. Since when did you stay awake for meetings that I fell asleep in. You’re the PSMD partner and the one the game’s script presented as the goofball between the two of us!”
Leviene: “To be fair, it wasn’t a particularly interesting meeting and I think you pulled an all-nighter the night before trying to find something that’d gone missing.”
Ayueg: “... Was that the meeting that was right after the night you managed to get your Connection Device stuck on the roof of the Exploration Society? How on earth did you do that anyways?” >_>;
Leviene: “I don’t remember if it was that one, but… I was trying to get better reception and it slipped my vines? Kinda don’t remember all the details there.” ^^;

“They’re one of the top search parties of the continent! Pahelia told me about them a few meetings ago, during the one where you fell asleep,” Leviene explained, beginning to walk towards them. “She called them the Team ACT of the Thunder Continent.”

“Hopefully they didn’t chase someone across half the continent like the real Team ACT,” I commented, before following after Leviene.

Ayueg: “Leviene, I thought you said it wasn’t an interesting meeting. Why did you not wake me up for this part?” >_>;
Leviene: “I mean, have you tried hanging out with Team ACT? They’re always so stuck-up and professional. Figured that even if they were tough, that if they were really like Team ACT, this Team Gibbous wouldn’t be that fun to hang around.”

“Illanero! Where are you?” Zoroark cried out.

“We’ll find him,” Meowstic said, laying a paw on Zoroark. “He couldn’t have gone too far by now.”

“What if he became a shadow Pokemon?” Zoroark responded, a look of anguish on his face.

“Then we’ll search for him,” Morgrem said. “And shadow Pokemon can still be found with connection orbs, right? Once we manage to get another one, we’ll find and rescue him in no time flat.”

Ayueg: “Wait a minute, does Team Gibbous have a fourth member or else who’s this ‘Illanero’ Zoroark’s talking about there?”
Leviene: “I mean, from that reaction, I think he’s supposed to be family with Zoroark, but admittedly the story’s not giving a whole lot to work with here.”

Illanero...wasn’t he that one of those Pokemon who had been pretending to be a former human? Pahelia mentioned debunking him a few meetings ago.

Well, no matter. Even if he was, he was still a Pokemon who needed help.

Leviene: “Yeah, I’m standing by that initial read there.”
Ayueg: “Still feels like the story ought to give us more to work with there. (Even if I guess I wouldn’t be able to connect the dots all the way since I did sleep through that meeting where Team Gibbous was brought up.)”

“Indeed! The heroes of the Tree of Life!” I said with a smile, before switching to a more thoughtful expression. “You need any help looking for Illanero?”

“Thanks, but no thanks,” Zoroark said, a hint of pride in his voice. “We’ll be fine. We’re Team Gibbous, a gold-rank Search Party!”

“And what did that get you?” I said, glancing towards the scratched up badge Zoroark wore.

“...smaller bags and shoddier badges,” Zoroark said, all pride gone from his voice. “Not our fault SaRO is so backwards with its ranks.”

Seriously, whose idea was it to give the best equipment to the worst search parties and the worst equipment to the best search parties? Anyways, while we appreciate the offer, we don’t need any more help than this orb,” Morgrem said.


Even moreso since I know what the gimmick you settled on for SaRO’s issued equipment is, and Team Gibbous wouldn’t be whining about their gear if they figured said gimmick out properly.

“You just want to be the one to find him so that he’ll think you’re cooler than humans,” Meowstic said, tapping Zoroark on the nose, before leaning over to whisper to us. “I am thankful that you’d be willing to help us, but Stubborn over here is too prideful to let a world-saving team in on our search. He denied the last one that came through here, too. Team Gardeners, I think they were called? They said something about a meeting as they left.”

I mean, considering how Illanero almost certainly got in trouble for his stunt, I can’t say that I blame Zoroark’s desire there. Though I see that the rest of the gang from the Team Seedlings base also made it here. It might have merited bringing it up earlier as a reminder that that’s why Team Travelers came here in the first scene, since it admittedly has been four chapters since that was brought up and we’re just now being reminded of it as readers.

Oh, right. The meeting. We should ask for directions like we were going to.

“Well, best of luck! Hope Illanero is found soon!” Leviene said.

IMO the bold would sound a bit more natural phrased as something more like “Well, best of luck! Hope you (two) find Illanero soon!”

Also, I brought it up in initial feedback on my first reading, but if you’re not already doing so, you’d probably find it handy to read your writing and especially your dialogue aloud while proofreading. Since it can help ferret out sentences and dialogue that don’t quite sound natural that slip through the initial dragnet.

Soon, we finally arrived in the crescent-shaped plaza of Moonlight Town, illuminated only by the stars, and the light from the Lunala statue in the center. I could see the other teams of the Council waiting for us next to the statue. Everyone but Lidequir was groaning. Another one of her “jokes” must have just happened.

Lidequir: “Oh come on, my sense of humor can’t possibly be that bad!”
Leviene: “Lidequir, your definition of a funny joke includes ‘Oh, I know how to fix our problem! … Just kidding!’, just saying.” >_<
Lidequir: “It lightens the mood a bit! Sheesh, why is everyone such a pill?” >_>;

In the corner of the plaza, I noticed an empty Kecleon shop. When would they be found?

Wait, how does Ayueg know that the Kecleon who staffs this shop has gone missing instead of just retiring for the night? I feel that he should either mention being told about the Kecleon here vanishing by someone else, or else spot something like a missing poster for a Kecleon in the background sometime earlier in town.

“Saltriv was found!” Acacia the Meganium shouted, smiling widely. “They didn’t even become a shadow Pokemon!”

Cheers rang out from every one of us here, save Apoyime, who simply grinned. That was amazing news!

“Where were they?” Leviene asked.

“Twig Woodland,” Lidequir the Wartortle said. “Acacia’s sister sent us a letter that their best friend rescued them from there.” She paused, then added, “She also mentioned an Oshawott with amnesia being with them.”

I feel as if something from Acacia’s first line is missing, such as how she found out about Saltriv being found. It might make sense to move the mention of Saltriv’s mom’s letter up to that line to say something like:

“I just got a letter from my sister from [mailmon]. She said that they finally found Saltriv!” Acacia the Meganium exclaimed with a beaming grin. “She said that Saltriv’s a bit disoriented from being missing for so long, but they’re alright. They didn’t even become a shadow Pokemon!”

In this particular example, the other lines of dialogue would be tweaked like so to accommodate the change. Full disclosure, I am making some assumptions for Lidequir as part of this example that might not necessarily align with your intent:

“After [insert_time_here]? Where were they found?” Leviene asked. “And who found her anyways?”

“Twig Woodland. The letter Acacia’s sister sent us said their best friend rescued them from there,” Lidequir explained. The Wartortle paused afterwards, as her face took on a dubious expression. “She... also mentioned that an Oshawott with amnesia turned up with them.”

“Of course!” Lidequir said, before looking towards me and my partner. “Leviene and Ayueg, I think you two should come with us. We still need to investigate that monster that was spotted near there[.] You’ve trav —”

Missing a period there.

“No,” Acacia interrupted the pun, before looking at us. “Are you good with that?”

“Yeah!” Leviene exclaimed. “I want to meet Saltriv!”

“If Leviene’s going, then I’m going,” I said. “I’m interested in meeting them too, as well as finding out about that Oshawott.”

Ayueg: “... Not that I’m not genuinely curious about this Oshawott, but shouldn’t we have waited for Acacia to open invitations for the rest of us before volunteering to tag along? For all we knew, she’d have wanted to keep this a family matter.”
Leviene: “Oh come on, Ayueg. There’s a potential human involved here. That by definition makes it fair game for us to get involved.”
Ayueg: “Then why did you frame it as if you wanted to go on a day trip to meet Acacia’s family?” >_>;
Leviene: “Because I’m looking forward to that too? A ‘mon can multitask, sheesh.”

“Sounds great!” Pahelia said, while Apoyime gave a grin in our direction. Then Pahelia turned towards Gen and Vernir, and asked, “What about you two?”

“I think me and Gen should help look for the next human,” Vernir said. “His name was in that mailbox.”

You should probably make it explicit that this is Dewott!Gen from the old human protags. While it’s still possible to piece it together from context, this was something that threw me in a loop in my initial reading, and given that it’s been 4 chapters since we last saw this Gen, for meta reasons, it probably makes sense to leave some explicit reminders.

A figure emerged from the darkness of one of the nearby roads. A Pokemon with black and grey fur, red eyes, and wide green bands wrapped around both of its arms. A small smile was on their face.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“You may call me Zarude,” they said. “I have something to tell you.”

“What is it?” Lidequir asked.

“Have you heard of a Pokemon called Eternatus?”

Ayueg: “Uh… no? And why on earth does it feel like things suddenly just took a really ominous turn?”
Leviene: “Oh, so it wasn’t just me that found that introduction a bit sus. But we might as well hear things out, it’s not as if Saltriv and their buddies would be going anywhere fast… right?”

Today, I formed a search party created a search party with Burhalla and Gen!

That’s a little better, but it still seems off. And I still need to write about that creature that was on the news, and the search for Flapple, and purifying Flapple, and my plans for the sleepover tomorrow, and the shadow…

That’s ok, though! I could do this! Just need to push through.

We decided to call ourselves Team Searchlights! I came up with the name.

No, I didn’t. I combined Burhalla’s and Gen’s ideas to make it. We made the team name together.

Ah, I see we’re having another journal segment. I like how it shows Saltriv’s mind ticking while struggling with this, but I feel that it might have been worth showing a bit more of Saltriv’s mind internally wandering or else noticing their surroundings is something that should be considered for the meta sake of adding more variety between paragraphs, since some parts of this scene admittedly got kinda into the written version of “talking heads”.

The bit following “When did writing get so difficult” reads fairly staccato thanks to all of the very short paragraphs. I think that you could easily collapse a few of them together with only minor tweaks that covers the same content, but makes things feel a bit more coherent. I didn’t quote the original since it’s a bit large spatially, but here’s a throwaway example of how it could potentially be condensed.

When did writing get so difficult? I was doing fine with it yesterday! What happened? What made me lose my motiva—

Oh. That.

Back in Blistering Shore. Burhalla and Gen had both collapsed. Then...I felt overwhelmed… and used Shadow Half. But I couldn’t have been a shadow Pokemon, though, right?

Except I used a shadow move…

Maybe it wasn’t me, but from Flapple somehow? No, I saw the shadowy tendrils come from myself. It was from me.

What if I hurt Gen? Or Burhalla? Or mom or dad or—

No no no. Stay calm. Deep breaths, in and out. Feel the morning sunshine on my leaf. Just focus on the journal entry. Focus on writing.

In this case, it still captures Saltriv’s train of thought with only minimal additions, but at the same time is a lot more visually organized.

Saltriv: “(In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have blown off Burhalla’s suggestion to see the village therapist.)” ._.;

We had just entered the third floor, when we were ambushed by a Sandygast! It knocked Gen into a beam of red light, and he became giant! Then he did a massive water attack and nearly killed Burhalla.

Maybe I should just skip today.

Or maybe I could just try not to think and just write anything that came to mind? That might work to at least get something down, then I could revise it later.

I think it would’ve made more sense to show Saltriv writing out the entire initial entry in full, and then mention in a subsequent paragraph that they struck it out. For instance, something like:

“I took my pen and struck out the last sentence. With how much trouble I’d had getting focused to write in my journal tonight, thinking about watching Burhalla’s life flicker in front of me along with his tail fire was the last thing I needed right now.

… Maybe I should just skip today. Or maybe I could just try not to think and just write anything that came to mind? That might work to at least get something down, then I could revise it later.”

Chapter 10

I opened my eyes, as I felt something plantlike wiggle me. Once my vision cleared, I saw Saltriv standing in front of me, shaking me with a vine.

Gen: “... Wait a minute, what on earth does ‘plantlike’ even feel to me?”
- Cue further poking -
Saltriv: “Gen… come on, wake up already.”
Gen: “Right. Guess my frame of mind would be focused on Saltriv there. Since this is probably the first time that a plant’s ever pushed and prodded at me like this.”

"Thanks, Saltriv," I said, as I hugged my friend.

Friend? Were we friends now?

I've only known them for a very short time...but they've helped me so much already…

Yeah, I think we're friends.

Gen: “I mean, the alternative is that I’m going to be very lonely here in town. So… yeah, friends it is. (I just hope we stay that way once Saltriv figures out my life story…)”

I exited the room, and came to the table, where there were...four piles of assorted berries.

Oh. Right. Pokemon. Makes sense that they just eat raw stuff.

Saltriv: “Oi! Donuts exist in this setting, you know!”
Gen: “And we’re not eating them for breakfast why?
Saltriv: “... Because that involves a lot more work to make and I’m pretty sure also requires a deep fryer… which we don’t have.”
Gen: “Again, you’re kinda proving my point here, Saltriv.” -_-;

He handed one of the bags and shiny objects to Saltriv, then handed another one of each to me. Before I could examine them closely, he put the paper up towards his face, and began speaking.

"To Burhalla, Saltriv, and Gen. Congratulations! You are now an official search party registered with the Search and Rescue Organization! Many thanks for signing up for this brave endeavor. Best of luck, Team Searchlights! From, Guildmaster Oricorio," Burhalla read.

At long last, we finally find out what SaRO means in-story. I’m still of the school that this should have been introduced to the readers sometime in an earlier chapter, but there’s still something to be said about the effect of a later reveal on Gen and being able to go “... Oh, so that’s what SaRO is.”

As he lowered the paper from his face, I caught a glimpse of what was on the written side. I couldn't make out much of it, but whatever was written on it was definitely not in Johtonese or Unovan.

As much as I wanted to ask about the writing, I wanted to save being taught another language for another time. Learning Unovan was arduous enough. There was one thing I was curious about, though.

Gen: “(Also, if this language is structured anything like Johtoan, I’d need to learn over 2000 glyphs for baseline literacy.)”

- Gen has a quiet blanch moment -
Gen: “... (Probably a good thing that I didn’t take Saltriv’s advice of keeping a journal just yet. That would’ve been awkward to explain why I was writing in something that would basically look like moon runes to them.)” ._.;

"A guildmaster is the person in charge of a guild, which is a place where a bunch of people on adventuring teams live together," Burhalla said. "Oricorio's the guildmaster of the Pom-Pom Guild in Coulomb City. There's also Wigglytuff, who's the guildmaster of the Wigglytuff Guild on the Grass Continent, and Ampharos, the guildmaster of the Expedition Society on the Water Continent."

"We're not going to have to live there, right?" I asked, a twinge of worry in my voice. I really didn't want to have to lose what little comfort and familiarity I had here in Overcast Village.

"No, we're staying here," Burhalla said, his voice softening. "Besides, I don't think Saltriv's parents would be very happy with them moving away just after they came back."

Gen: “Oh thank goodness. I hate moving, it’s such a stressful experience.” >_>;
Burhalla: “I mean, I’m sure we’ll visit Coulomb City sometime. It did get brought up explicitly in-story, and when was the last story that brought up an important-sounding place and then never went there?”
Gen: “Yeah, well that can wait longer than the first half-week after I stumbled out of the woods.”

I breathed a sigh of relief, before looking at the objects I held. The bag was brown, and looked and felt like it was made of linen. A blue strap was attached to the bag, and as I slung it over my shoulder to put the bag on, I realized that it was the perfect length to allow the bag to hang over my scalchop. On the front of the flap of the bag, there was an odd blue symbol with three intertwined circles arranged like a venn diagram, and in the center of it was a hexagon with two triangles attached to its top sides.

Next, I looked at the shiny object. It was about the size of one of my nubs, and seemed to be made of metal. It had an odd, yet appealing design, with two yellow wing-shaped bits on opposite sides of a white circle, in the center of which was a smaller, red circle. Around the red circle were six yellow triangles, four tall ones around the top, and two shorter ones around the bottom.

One of the nicer bits of description in this story. For all the bits where I pointed out where I felt the description was a bit sparse or lacking, this is one where it’s actually very solid and does a good job at framing things for the reader.

I looked into my bag. It was completely empty.

"Now, I'm going to put the certificate in my own bag! Saltriv, can you put your badge in your bag to help me demonstrate this?" Burhalla said.

"Yep!" Saltriv said.

Suddenly, the paper and another one of the badges appeared out of nowhere at the bottom of my bag.

My eyes widened in surprise. I reached in, and felt the objects, to make sure they were really there. Sure enough, they were.

I had no idea how this was even possible without PC tech, but then again, a lot of the stuff here seemed impossible, like mystery dungeons as a whole.

I'd have to ask how the bags work later. I still had one more item that I needed to know about.

Gen: “Wait, but if this works anything like PC tech, isn’t the answer just “wibbly-wobbly something something pocket dimensions”?
Burhalla: “I’m sure there’s a technical explanation for it, Gen. Though what’s a ‘PC tech’ again?”
- Gen blanches -
Gen: “Uh… I think it’s the name of a shop that used to sell bags like this that I vaguely remember? ‘PC Tech, the finest bag-holders a ‘mon can get!’”
Saltriv: “... That shop doesn’t sound all that reputable with a slogan like that. Are you sure their synchronized bags even worked?

"What's this?" I asked, holding up my badge.

"That's your badge!" Saltriv answered. "It lets other people know you're a search party member, and it can be used to bring other people out of dungeons!"

"Really? How?" I asked. A simple badge could do that? Did this mean that we could instantly leave dungeons even if we didn't have an escape orb?

"You just tap the center of the badge to them, and then they teleport to outside the dungeon, like if you had used an escape orb! Though it doesn't work if you use it on yourself, so we'll still need escape orbs," Saltriv explained.

"Oh." Well, that was slightly disappointing. Why not, though?

Before I could say anything, though, Saltriv turned to Burhalla and asked, "Did your dad say you could do the sleepover with me and Gen?"

Gen: “Oh come on Saltriv, this badge talk was getting interesting!” >_>;
Saltriv: “Er… sorry, but we do kinda need to get that sleepover squared away. (And we’re not that old, just how familiar do you think we are with technology mechanically?)”

"Great! I'll run over and get something chocolatey soon," Saltriv said. "What kinds of games—oh, you probably wouldn't remember that. Actually, do you? What kinds of games do you like?"

"I don't remember," I lied. I didn't think very many of the games I liked existed in this world anyways.

Gen: “(I suppose saying ‘Smash Bros’ or ‘Capsule Monsters’ out loud would’ve gotten real awkward real fast.)”

Burhalla put one of his hands to his scarf for a few seconds, then said, "How about we make a blanket fort? And we can all sleep in it!"

"That sounds fun!" I said. I remember making blanket forts with my brother, and they were always so much fun.

"Yep! I want to do that!" Saltriv said. "We have a lot of spare blankets in the storage room, and lots of stuff we can use to hold it up! Let's do it!"

"Yeah!" I cheered.

"Yeah!" Burhalla repeated.

I personally would’ve collapsed Gen and Burhalla’s “Yeah!” together and added a commentary about them having a shared brainwave or something. For example, something like:

‘“Yeah!” Burhalla and I cheered. … Burhalla and I? I couldn’t remember the last time we’d both been this excited about something together, maybe we really were becoming friends already.’

Saltriv waved their leaf, and then said, "I think I should start getting things ready for it. This is going to be the second best sleepover ever! See ya once it starts getting dark!"

I didn't have a chance to ask what the first was before Saltriv began to leave the plaza. Just before they headed down one of the roads, though, they stopped and turned back towards me.

Would that be the one that made Saltriv’s parents suddenly very hesitant about holding this one? :V

"Great! I'll see you at the sleepover!" Burhalla said, before walking off into the fog, leaving me alone.

Gen: “Wait, if Burhalla’s not even going to watch me, why don’t I just skip the Dojo and go do something I’ll actually enjoy?”

I sighed, and began walking to the dojo, soon arriving in the Riverside Plaza. As I continued to walk towards the dojo, though, I noticed something in the corner of my vision. A Leafeon emerging from the woods, into the plaza. Looking where they came from, I noticed a small dirt path leading into the forest.

Where did that lead?

I hesitated, but curiosity overtook my fear, and I started down the path.

Gen: “Yup. I’m all for team ‘skip my beating with Grapploct’ sounds good to me.”

Maybe I could try making a sandcastle here?

I walked over towards where the river brushed up against the sand, and sat down, digging my arms into the wet sand. I then pressed the sand together as I brought my arms up, trying to make a small tower of sand. It was much more difficult than when I had fingers, but eventually I managed to make a tiny, sandy pillar.

It looked awful, though. Nothing like what I could do back when I was human. And the sand's stuck in my arm fur now, and it feels so uncomfortable…

I really needed to find a way home, and to become human again. I didn't like this at all.

Have you considered sticking your paw in the water to wash it off, Gen? I mean, that’s a handy way to get rid of wet sand that clings to you. :V

"Uh…I was just curious where this path led," I said. I really hoped this wasn't a place I wasn't supposed to go to.

"Yeah, this place is a bit out of the way. It's nice, though," Burhalla said, as he continued walking towards me, before sitting down next to me.

Gen: “Also, why do you look like you just sat down on a burr right now, Burhalla?”
Burhalla: “U-Uh… it’s nothing you need to worry about, but… maybe we could scoot back away from the river full of water a bit?”

"What's this place called, by the way?" I asked.

"Riverbank Beach. It's...not really a beach, but a lot of people like to call it one, anyways. I come here to hang out a lot. Lots of Pokemon in Overcast Village do," Burhalla answered. "Kind of surprised that we're the only ones here right now."

Minor formatting error in your proper place name there.

"I mean, you woke up in the middle of Twig Woodland with barely any memories, and Saltriv was right there next to you after having been missing for months. There's also when you mentioned that you felt that Sewaddle coming before any of us saw it. I'd almost think you were human, if not for the fact that you haven't mentioned being one," Burhalla answered.

Oh. Well, that's...sort of a relief, but he's still really close to the truth. If he finds out…

I don't want to lose one of the only people I know in this world.

"Yeah, I guess I am pretty strange," I said, trying to stray away from Burhalla's last sentence. "Do you have any idea what might have happened to me?"

Gen: “Like say… let’s assume for the sake of argument that I might be human. Ever heard of one that just didn’t remember even that about themself?”
Burhalla: “... No? They always remember at least their name and that they were human. That’s how I know you’re not one.”
Gen: “... Guess that really clears things up. Fantastic. (I knew I should’ve pretended that my memories were coming back to me…)” -_-;

"I'm not sure. Maybe a psychic-type outlaw went and erased your memories after you saw them committing a crime. But then why were you in the middle of Twig Woodland, with Saltriv?" Burhalla said, putting a hand to his face. "There has to be something I'm missing here."

I looked down at the ground, frowning. He really believed in what I said. What'll happen when he learns it's all a lie?

Burhalla looked over towards me, a concerned expression on his face. "Hey, it's ok. We'll figure out what happened to you.."

He must have thought I was down about him not knowing what could have caused my "memory loss". Still, I appreciated that he was willing to help. Hopefully we can still figure out what happened to me on that platform...though it's going to be difficult if I never tell him about the platform.

Gah, why did I ever decide that this stupid lie was a good idea?!

- Gen thinks back to Chapter 2 -

I froze. What do I say? My hometown? He’d be even less likely than Saltriv to believe that I was a human, since he wasn’t in that weird place. Also, apparently, humans were legends here. I didn’t really have time to process that before, but now...it’s unlikely that my hometown exists here. Even if they did believe me if I said that I was a human from another world, what if they started asking me questions about my world? I doubted they’d react well to knowing about how Pokemon like them were usually treated in my world.

Gen: “Right. I have no idea if they’re even gonna want me in the same village as them if they knew.” ._.;

It was so strange. We'd only met two days ago, and yet he's already acting like we're close friends.

Gen: “... Isn’t it closer to 3 by now? Since I could’ve sworn that I spent two nights at Saltriv’s at this point.”

He gave me an unsure look, before turning back to the water.

"Why don't you go to the dojo and train a bit more? You could definitely stand to learn a few more moves. Assurance is good, but you're a water-type. You should know some water attacks." he said. "I'll stay here. It's nice for sunbathing."

Noticing the fearful look in my eyes, he laid an arm on me, and said, "It's nothing to do with you. You're fine. I just need some time here to myself."

Hesitantly, I began to walk away back down the path, heading for the dojo, but not before tripping over the sad excuse for a sandcastle I made, getting sand stuck in my head and chest fur.

I missed home so much.

Gen: “Burhalla! I’m obviously uncomfortable here! Why would you not volunteer to come along with me?”
Burhalla: “Oi, some of us need to regulate our body temperatures here. Besides, it’s Grapploct’s Dojo. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

"Actually, I have a different training plan for you today. While you did excellent in learning Assurance last time, I thought it might be best to start simple, and give you a near-universal tool to use," Grapploct said.

Oh. Guess I'm not going to be able to participate in that game Burhalla mentioned after all.

"Try and Tackle me," Grapploct demanded. "Put your all into it!"

Wait, what?

Gen: “Am I really doing so bad that we’re using a session here on learning Tackle?
Grapploct: “Yes. Yes you are. Now come on, hit me with your best shot!”

"No! Not like that!" Grapploct yelled. A tentacle collided with my head. "Put your all into it! Focus on Tackling me!"

I frowned, then tried again, running towards Grapploct as I tried to focus on attacking them. This time, he knocked me away before I even reached him.

"Don't just focus on attacking or running, focus on the move itself. Put it to the front of your mind! In the moment you are performing it, the Tackle is the most important thing to you!" Grapploct said.

Ok. I can do this.

Gen: “Wait, you need to actively think about your moves in order to use them in this setting-?”
Grapploct: “Oi! I don’t see you focusing right now!”

Suppressing a grimace, I began wagging my tail. It felt...uncomfortably good, in an instinctual way. Like waving this limb back and forth was overriding every bit of discomfort I felt. It was such an alien feeling, and I couldn't tell whether I liked it or not.

"So...what do I do now? What do I focus on to get a Tail Whip from this?" I asked, as my tail continued to wag behind me.

"You're already doing it!" Grapploct said, slight warmth in their voice. "Tail Whip is a move that only requires a want to perform the move. If you wag your tail while wanting to perform Tail Whip, you'll perform Tail Whip."

I looked behind myself, and sure enough, my tail was enveloped in a faint white glow.

"Tail Whip is a useful move for lowering an enemy's guard, so you can strike them more effectively. It's also very useful to know when trying to learn other tail-based moves such as Aqua Tail or Iron Tail. Before you learn those, though, you must learn to harness your own type," Grapploct said. "You may stop wagging your tail now."

Gen: “Huh? Wait, this one only requires me wanting it to work? But then what determines if a move needs focus or desire or-?”
Grapploct: “We’re getting ahead of ourselves. I believe we had that Water Gun to get to?”

As I took a breath, and the calmness shifted, I realized I could mold and meld this calm. I moved it up towards my mouth, preparing to spew it out in a Water Gun. I began to push it out—



The calmness scattered, abruptly fleeing from me. Droplets of water flew out of my body in every direction.

This was something that initially threw me in a loop in my first reading since while it becomes obvious that this is the train later, it’s not tied in that much to Gen’s sensations. And while you already know the gist of what I suggested back then regarding making it more obvious that this sound is happening in the background to Gen, I figured I might as well outline a more complete potential recommendation here:

"I heard this gods-awful racket suddenly fill the air that startled me just as I was starting to spit up my Water Gun. Droplets of water flew out of my body in every direction, leaving me coughing as I tried to regain my composure."

Doesn’t specifically need to be that, but something that makes Gen react a bit more to the sudden surprise train noises I think would improve this segment a bit.

"It's no Water Gun, but congrats! You've done a water move!" Grapploct said, having as much of a jovial expression as a Grapploct could have.

"Really?" I said, eyes wide, and beginning to smile. I really pulled off a water move! "What did I do?"

"Water Sport! Good for dealing with any fire-types that are after you," Grapploct said. "Now that you've done it once, you should be able to do it with more ease now."

Oh. That's really not going to be helpful. It's probably only going to hurt Burhalla.

Still...at least it's a water type move! One step closer to learning Water Gun!

Gen: “Uh… well at least I can still take part in that sleepover game! (Even if I’m sure Burhalla’s going to give me an earful afterwards.)”

"What was that loud noise?" I asked, hoping Grapploct knew the answer.

"The Carkol Express, the train that travels all across the Thunder Continent. It's quite the amazing machine. Five years ago I couldn't have dreamed things like it were possible," Grapploct said.

My eyes widened. The Pokemon in this world had trains?! How did that even work with all the different shapes that Pokemon were?

I guess I should have probably expected something like this after seeing the radio in Saltriv's house, but it was still a shock.

"Why don't you go along and see it for yourself?" Grapploct said. "It's almost time for me to head back to the river. We would not get much training done in that time, even if you stayed."

Gen: “Wait a minute, you guys built a train network that spans an entire continent in five years?
Grapploct: “Yes? I mean, it’s hard to believe sometimes, but the tracks and the train are as real as the tentacles on my body.”
Gen: “... (Are these guys getting this all from another world or something? Since I’d have never thought this place would be capable of something like that from what I saw of Overcast Village.)”
- Gen shakes head -
Gen: “(Whatever, there’ll be plenty of time to figure that out. Got a sleepover I need to make it to right now.)”

And that's that for my reviews, or at least until you have Chapter 11 ready to go for showtime. The general criticisms that I have for these two chapters are more or less the same sentiments that I brought up in my prior reviews. In spite of it though, I felt that these two chapters did a good job at showing glimpses of the rest of the Thunder Continent beyond Overcast Village, and I'll be looking forward to seeing them explored more fully in the story's plot.

Best wishes, and I'll be looking forward to seeing more of Team Searchlights and the Thunder Continent sometime soon. ^^


Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Residency hell
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
  3. milotic
  4. zoroark-soda
  5. dreepy
  6. mewtwo-ambyssin
Chapter 9: Note that your chapter title cannot be seen on the forum's darker themes. I really do recommend not colorizing your chapter titles for us colorblind peeps.
This place was so cool
Was? That kind of implies the place doesn't exist anymore. 😅
I didn’t want to annoy Gothitelle by asking again.
As opposed to, y'know, annoying the people waiting for them by showing up late when they inevitably get lost. :P
mayor Gothitelle
As this is Gothitelle's title, it should be capitalized.
Did you remember if we’re supposed to walk backwards yet?” I asked, hoping that maybe they had remembered that part.
Very redundant double remembering.
And shadow Pokemon can still be found with connection orbs, right
Ah, yes, the power of Poké-Facebook saves the day! 🎉
“Seriously, whose idea was it to give the best equipment to the worst search parties and the worst equipment to the best search parties?
The author's? 🥁
“I thought the legendary Team Travelers would be better with directions?”
I know this isn't a Fledglings reference, but I still find it hilarious you and Spiteful Murkrow settled on the same team names.
“Have you heard of a Pokemon called Eternatus?”

... damn Eternatus Witnesses.

Admittedly my memory is a big foggy from last reading this, but this did just feel like another recap chapter. And we've already had other recap scenes when we aren't even ten chapters in. Reminders of the heroes' species and origin games were welcome, of course, since I certainly didn't remember any of them on my own. Though that does still beg the question why some pokémon answer to actual names and other species names. Some of it also seemed like an attempt to bring readers up to speed on canon PMD events that are present in this AU. I'm... not sure if you did that more for the sake of your TR audience, who are mostly not avid PMD fans. I do wish more of the part with Team Travelers was focused on setting up things to come. My guess is the stuff with the missing pretender is probably going to be relevant very soon and that's why it's brought up.

As for Saltriv's journal scene, it threw me off a bit because I'm someone who gets bogged down in mechanics and there was a lot of tense confusion. I know the italics were their writing, but Saltriv's inner monologue kept swapping between present tense, which I assume are thoughts-as-dialogue, and past tense, which I assume is the narration. Since most people do italics for thoughts-as-dialogue, I'd suggest just sticking with past tense narration if you're going to do any future diary scenes.

Chapter 10
I'm still here. I'm still an Oshawott.
Again, goes to the tense confusion stuff I mentioned earlier. Either italicize to show these are thoughts-as-dialogue or swap to past tense to match the rest of the narration.
I didn't hesitate to hug them back.

"Thanks, Saltriv," I said, as I hugged my friend.
Definitely don't need to mention the hugging twice like this.
Saltriv gasped, their tail beginning to wag
pfffffbt the mental image of a stubby chikorita tail trying to wag will always be funny. :3
Pom-Pom Guild in Coulomb City
Well, I think we know which oricorio style the guildmaster uses. Fitting for an electric-themed continent. Though how would pokémon know what coulombs are?
Why not, though?
Many a gamer have asked such a question, but to no avail. XD
I remember making blanket forts with my brother, and they were always so much fun.
Wait. Isn't this Gen old enough to have worked a job at what's basically a casino? Seems a bit of a... juvenile activity for him to have much interest in. 🤔🤔🤔🤔
We'd only met two days ago, and yet he's already acting like we're close friends
Silly Gen, don't you know insta-friendship is a thing in the PMD world? :V

I understand you state in the intro post you don't want many comments on prose and stuff, but I do think it's important to helping the fic read and flow better. So, at this point, I'm just going to (again) recommend a beta for help with the mechanical stuff. Mainly the tense confusion stuff. Or, hell, ask for a proofreader. Writer's United has that channel for a reason. You can totally use it~

Well, I'm glad Gen's progressing with moves, though I am of the opinion he probably could've worked on that stuff "off-screen," so to speak. It is funny that he's questioning his commitment to his amnesia lie given that the world is demeaning him a bit for it. Buddy, it's gonna get way worse than this in the future. XD

Like with 9, I feel the earlier scenes are a mix of introducing more PMD stuff to people not familiar with PMD mechanics (the item explanations and what not) and setting up a couple of later focal points. Though Saltriv and Burhalla insist the team won't go to Coloumb City, the plot is definitely going to have something to say about that. I expect they'll be sent there soon enough, either with the other heroes or at Oricorio's insistence. Speaking of which, a city, huh? Like a proper city or just a bigger collection of funny buildings? They have a train, so anything's possible. (The train is, also, something I expect to see soon. Bonus points if there's a fight/other dangerous scenario on said train.)

That's all for now. Thanks for sharing~


you should've known the price of evil
  1. inkay-shirlee
  2. houndoom-elliot
  3. yamask-joanna
  4. shuppet
  5. deerling-andre
Hey there. I semi-randomly decided to check a bit of this out after hearing so much about it. I've read chapters 1 and 2, and here are my thoughts.

First off, I gotta say I was surprised by the content warnings. The way this fic was spoken about made it seem rather dark, but those warnings look pretty tame and there was really nothing that macabre about the first two chapters. This isn't a complaint but more of an observation - giving an impression of the fic being darker than it is may unnecessarily shrink your possible readership.

Quote Commentary

I hastily stood up, and gawked at what I saw. A few meters away, the ground ended, and beyond, was a constantly changing sky, of greens and purples and blues and whites, all shifting and distorting with each second. I turned around, hoping that something else laid behind me, and the ground ended just as quickly that way, too. In every direction I looked, it ended the same distance away. I was alone on some sort of circular plateau.

I walked over to the edge, and looked down, to see if there was some way down. I hurriedly retreated in shock, before standing back up. There was nothing but a completely vertical drop into an abyss, that looked exactly like the strange skies above.

Something I noticed rather quickly is the frequency of commas in the prose. I've bolded the commas that I don't think should be there according to my grammar knowledge. It's not just grammar, either - too many commas and clauses can make your prose feel choppy.

I couldn’t see anything. Did I go blind?!

Soon, my vision started to return. Once my vision had fully cleared, the bow had taken on a blue coloration. I dropped it in surprise.

What kept happening in the flashes of light?!

After a few seconds, I calmed down, and picked the bow back up. As I did so, I noticed that, for some reason, my reflection looked different. I bent down to take a closer look. That looked like an...Oshawott?!

What had happened to me while I was holding that bow?! There was no way I could have become a Pokemon. I had to still be human, right?

I moved my hands in front of my face. They were still human hands. What was that all about? What was any of this all about?!
I froze in complete shock. What was happening?! Nothing here made any sense!

Another thing I noticed was how much of Gen's internal monologue about his confusion was written out. To me, it felt a bit too repetitive - while it is probably how a real person would think, we can also intuit Gen's thoughts without them in most cases, so leaving some of them out would make for nicer reading and give more focus to the actual events and story.

I also feel that the frequent usage of "?!" wears out quickly and gets kind of annoying, but this I believe is more subjective.

A single paper had appeared in the center of the platform. I hesitated, before going over to it, and reading it. I gawked as I processed the message. "Rescue one," it read. Rescue from what?! Those shadows? Why only one?! This didn't make any sense! I grabbed the paper, crumpled it, and threw it. "What's going on?!" I yelled, as I looked towards the many-colored sky.
“What the hell is happening?!” I yelled towards the sky.

I'm not sure how intentional the silliness in these parts is, so I'll just point out that it's hard to take them seriously.

Oddly, there didn't seem to be any Water-types.

This feels like a strange thing to notice in the middle of everything that's happening.

I looked over the billboard, full with missing posters, lit by the sunlight that made its way through the clouds above.

The commas kind of make this sound like the speaker was full with missing posters.

It’s depressing how small our town has gotten. I recognized Treecko, Sneasel, Morpeko, Orbeetle, Flapple, even Leon. I heard the whole Kecleon clan was looking for him. I haven’t seen Kecky at all since he disappeared. At least my own family isn’t among the missing.

I noticed that the tense was inconsistent in some places. Here it slips to present tense a few times. It can be technically correct if this story is told by the speaker in a point of time where the present tense statements still apply, but in such case one would expect more retrospective commentary on the events. As it isn't incorrect to switch these present tense statements to past tense (unless the statement really did not apply at the time of the events but applies at the time where the speaker is now), I'd suggest doing that to avoid pulling the reader from the story.

I emerged from behind the house and reentered the square. I could see all sorts of lines connecting the Pokemon around the square, some faint, some bold, some green, some orange. The connection orb was already working. I headed towards the Kecleon shop, where Mrs. Meganium and Mr. Torterra were talking to a Wooper I didn’t recognize—who soon left with a cheri berry. The pink line between the two was strong, and a blue line just as strong was behind each, both heading in the direction of the forest. Those must be the lines connecting them and Saltriv.

I waited until another customer approached the two. When they weren’t looking, I left the square and followed the blue lines towards the forest. Luckily, it wasn’t too far away.

Eventually, the lines converged, entering a gap in the treeline. Twig Woodland. A Mystery Dungeon. I’d been in one before, though never alone.

So this thing's pretty clever! Using the visualized connections between Pokemon to track one down. I was sort of expecting there to be more lines sprawling out to account for other Pokemon that were away from the town but had connections to the townsmon, but I guess it's geometrically possible for the path Burhalla took to have no other ones.

I froze. I recognized that voice. That was the Chikorita that fell with me after...whatever that hand thing was shattered the platform.

I turned around towards the voice, and saw that same Chikorita as before—the same red leaf and everything. They looked much larger now, though.

This seems to say twice that it's the same Chikorita from before. Also, I couldn't actually see any reference to Gen noticing Saltriv had a red leaf in the first chapter, so him calling attention to it here is strange.

The other two were visually shocked.


I hoped they’d lay off the questioning soon, then I could worry about getting back home. .

Stray period here?

I realized I was in a patch of tall grass. I needed to get out of here before I was attacked by a wild Pokemon.
“...I forgot to bring an escape orb.”

Was that like an escape rope?

These two parts kind of broke the immersion for me, slightly for the first and very much for the second. Pokemon hiding in tall grass is something you can imagine happening naturally in the Pokemon world, so its not that big of a deal that it's a known gameplay mechanic, but an escape rope really frames the Pokemon world as a game rather than a living breathing world of its own. This would make sense if Gen wasn't from the trainer world but our own, but it seems he isn't (and IIRC the humans in PMD are from the trainer world, and you're going for an extension of the canon universe so you'd probably go for that too), so I'm left asking how Escape Ropes work in practice in the Pokemon world and there's really no option I can immediately think of that doesn't seem ridiculous.

General Thoughts

I would like to give feedback on characters and story like you asked for in your review preferences, but there just isn't much of either yet by this point? I don't mean that as a complaint since both chapters were rather short and had characters in situations where there isn't much room for personality to show. The majority of people would just act the way the characters act here were they in their shoes. I think the most character I got was from Burhalla at the beginning of chapter 2 as he speaks about his relationships with people and chooses to go save Saltriv. I can say that he feels like a likable, swell guy, but as Gen and Saltriv are both in a very confusing situation and busy dealing with that, no traits have come through so far to comment on. This is why most of my comments ended up being on the prose and grammar, which I apologize for, but I'm just someone that pays a lot of attention to those things and believes they can have a lot of impact on a story's readability and even storytelling.

I think the idea of Shadow Pokemon in PMD is cool, but since we saw very little of them, I can't say anything more about them, either. I can talk more about the opening sequence, though. I liked it a lot, especially the mailbox part. Excitingly surreal is how I'd describe it. It makes for memorable imagery, which I think is very useful for a fic to have at the start, as it helps give the fic an identity and set it apart from others like it - something definitely necessary in the field of PMD fics, since I hear there is a whole lot of them with rather similar beginnings.

You seemed concerned over whether I liked what I read or not over the discord. I will say that I don't dislike this - I don't think there is anything to really dislike here - but it just didn't grab me. It's worth noting, though, that I'm pretty hard to please. I will gladly read more if I get assigned this on Catnip or another review game, though.

So that does it for my thoughts. If you have questions about anything, hit me up on the discord and we can talk. See you around.


Junior Trainer
So I finally got around to reading this and I just have one thing to say: Who gave you permission to make such an addicting story? I want to shake their hand and thanke them because now I have yet another story to add to my collection.

Now for the actual review, we'll start off with your characters. First up is the main man himself, Gen! I love what you've done with him as a Human-turned-Pokemon. Unlike some that I've seen in the past, you took a different route with Gen and didn't just have him admit to being human or completely accept his new reality. Seeing him struggle to adapt to his new life and build new relationships wile still wishing to return to his home. I'm curious to see how you continue to develop him. Then there are Saltriv and Burhalla.

Burhalla has a lot of potential. Seeing how he's taken on the role of the leader and seems to be the main driver of the plot so far - being willing to go against the will of his father, a desire to help others no matter how danger ous it is, and an ability to understand and empathize with others even if they've hurt him such as when Gen went a bit mad with power. I'm curious to see where you'll take him and especially if you'll flesh out his hatred of lies more in the future.

Saltriv is also really interesting so far. Of your three main protagonists, they seem to be the one with the more easy-going and fun loving personality. It's a nice contrast to the more serious natures of Gen and Burhalla. Despite that, you've made them more than just a source of relief from any tension by having them have potentially the most interesting subplot running in the background regarding their use of a shadow move. I can't wait to see where you take this in the future.

As for the plot itself, it's got me excited. Humans turned Pokemon aren't just something that happen, they're akin to legends and everyone always looks for one to save the day? Eternatus and Necrozma in the background potentially being the villains of the story? Gen having been given the choice of who to save and retaining all his memories? The mysterious disappearances of dozens of people and a rapidly dwindling way to cure what they become? Yes please. Sign me up for more.

My only real critiques are about the side characters. Mainly the other Humans turned Pokemon. There were a lot of them and my first time reading the chapter it was hard to tell which was which. While I'm sure that you have some amazing plans to use them, be careful you don't put too many of them in the same place at once. With how many characters you already have, it could become difficult developing them enough to be memorable beyond sharing the same history as Gen of being a Human.

Overall, this is a fantastic story that everyone should read.


  1. hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. hoppip-bluesidra3

I‘ll just leave a quick review for chapters 1 to 3. I‘ll take a look at 4 soon, but for today, that will have to suffice.

Ok, first of all, I have to say that you are really brilliant at worldbuilding. Or rather presenting your worldbuilding to the reader. Like, I‘m super new to PMD, have never played it etc. But you manage to introduce that strange world very organically in your story, without info-dumping or anything.

The only infordump was when Burhalla explained what Mystery Dungeons were, and even then you followed it up with a grumble from Burhalla. That little grumble about „reciting this in his sleep“ worked both for his characterisation and for the worldbuilding as well.

Some other instances that I found amazing:
  • The check-list for the inventory. It was very much in character, but it introduced some of the most important items and what they do without interrupting anything.
  • „Humans of legends“. It‘s so simple and it tells the reader so much.
  • The talking Meowth that Gen saw on TV. It was such a throwaway sentence, but it established that anime Team Rocket exists and that Gen is in fact from the Pokemon world.
So far I‘ve mostly read stuff that takes place in a Mystery Dungeon. And I really like how you incorporate and embrace the wonky mechanics the game has. By just embracing the ridiculousness you really own the setting and you set the tone as this saturday-morning-cartoon style thingy.

Some examples:
  • Gen having no fingers and being able to pick things up by putting his paw to it. I almost hear a „plop“ sound every time he does it. It‘s so cute.
  • Gen being able to hold on to items even though he doesn‘t pay attention to it. I‘ll just wait for the day when he realises that a tiny bag can hold an infinite amount of berries.
  • The dungeons being rectangular and having floors and being all in all a weird place
I like that tone so much. I hope I read it correctly. It feels very cartoonish, but in a good way. Cartoonish doesn‘t mean one can‘t explore deep themes. But the image of a Oshawott getting pecked in the forehead while trying to defend himself with his short arms is really cute.

And then we have the pokemon being at the brink of tears so quickly. It is just so heart-warming. I immediately fell in love with the three mains for their cute behaviour. Your entire fic reads like a super polished, high production value cartoon.
Gen is our protagonist, who got magiced into the PMD verse. By now I have learned that this is how you start in PMD, being a human transformed into a pokemon. This usually screams isekai and a protagonist from the real world, but Gen is in fact from Goldenrod. So he knows about as much about the pokemon world as I do. I like that. (I don‘t have to feel stupid now :D)

Right from the first chapter onward I noticed how little we do actually know about Gen. Of course, he is in a really stressful situation right now, so he wouldn't think too much about hobbies. But the only things I know about him is that he has friends and family and is from Goldenrod. Nothing else after close to 8k words.

That leaves me only with his behaviour to draw conclusions about his character. Mind you, this is nothing bad. It‘s no problem to not dump the entire backstory on us right from the start.

So what I know about Gen is that he is nice and trusting, but tends to panic easily. He seems to be very insecure about himself and doesn‘t want to be rejected. He came up with the lie so quickly just to not cause a fuss and has been stressing out ever since. I‘d say there was no need to actually lie for him. The other two are really nice and even in that moment they seemed genuinely concerned. But I can see that it was Gen panicking in that moment that lead him to not really think rationally about all of this.
I like Gen quite well, but I straight up adore those two. They have a lot of character and are both all around likeable. The way they cared for Gen after he got attacked by the birdo was soooo sweet. And they just adopted him like nothing happened. Those are the kind of good guys I like.

Then Saltriv shed a single tear when they exited the dungeon and I was like „??? Sweety what is it? Why are you crying? A good little Chicorita like you shouldn‘t need to cry!“

I also like that Saltriv is non-binary. It also showed me how clueless I irl still am with dealing with nb people when there are no profiles with preferred pronouns readily available. Because at first I thought Gen just couldn't tell a female from a male Chicorita. But then he clearly identified Burhalla as male. Then I went back in my mind if there had been any instance where either Saltriv or Burhalla had introduced him as male. And only then I realised that Gen could very well tell genders apart and it‘s the most natural thing ever to him, and that he just accepted Saltriv as nb from the very beginning. Tbh, asking for preferred pronouns is really strange still and argh… I‘m rambling.
The entire fic feels very polished and minimalistic. But minimalistic in a good way. You have very short sentences and only tell what needs to be told. That makes reading fast and easy.

There was one change in narration style at the start of the third chapter. That kind of confused me. It took me a while to work out what what was and even then I didn‘t quite understand if the coloured parts were direct speech/thoughts or not. Sometimes the tense switched to present tense, sometimes it stayed in the past tense.

But I liked the use of alternating colours. Most of the times, when people do something like this, they go for italics instead, and in my mind, italics is reserved for direct thoughts (as opposed to direct speech). So this time I didn‘t have to figure out that it in fact wasn‘t that, but something else entirely. Also, colours get used so rarely as a narrative tool.

One minor nitpick about style: In the first chapter you start out a lot of sentences with „I“, even ones that directly follow up on another sentence with „I“. It wasn‘t distracting whatsoever. It just caught my attention because I too write in first person and always look out for these things, because I don‘t want two sentences next to each other to start with the same word.

All in all a very charming experience. I‘m looking forward to exploring Overcast Village a bit more. From what I‘ve read on the forum, it sounds super exciting.

Greetings, blue


Angy Tumbleweed
In Guzma's Closet
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu
HI BENCH!!! Review exchange time, for chapters 1 and 2! Let me let the record show that I know virtually nothing about PMD--I half played one game years ago and that's about it. So if I comment on something that would make more sense if I was familiar with the game, please please donut roast 🥲

Anywhozzles, I am very excited to get into this. I've merely skimmed in the past, but now I'm abouta delve......so as I've been screaming in my head since I woke up this morning, LETS FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Alright so things kick off with a hell load of chaos in chapter 1, and I will honestly say that I had absolutely no idea what was going on...and that's okay! That's a very good thing actually, because I was able to empathize with Gen a whole lot more, because I was about as clueless as he was. From the abyss melding with the sky (in technicolor no less!) to the mailbox (cue Blues Clues track...), I was never not thrown for a loop, and it really worked as an opening for this story. I have a lot of questions and I'm hoping to get a lot of answers.

I know you said in your thread intro you'd prefer to steer clear of prose critiques and stick more to character critiques--well, plz plz plz bear with me here because the two kind of go hand-in-hand right here. Let me explain.

So from what I grasped in this chapter, Gen seems to not handle new situations very well. He's constantly questioning his surroundings, constantly questioning the weird things that are happening (and I absolutely don't blame him!)...however, I think there is a better, tighter way for you to go about portraying this. The chapter is super overloaded with Gen asking "Why is this happening?! What happened here?! What's going on?!" and it was alright the first couple times, but soon the chapter starts to get super bogged down by questioning life so often. Generally, I believe you can use your prose to help better establish him as this character who's absolutely wigging the fuck out.

For exampleee, instead of writing "Why is this happening?!" you could instead write "Was this karma for the time I copied off Brandon Roger's math homework that one time in 5th grade? It was beginning to feel that way" or even "I began to run around, looking for some sort of door that would lead me back to my bedroom. Maybe this was my own rendition of Alice in Wonderland, and if I looked hard enough, I'd find my way back in no time." I hope that's getting across LOL--basically, show us how unnerved he is through action or different trains of thought, instead of returning to the 'freaked out question' structure.

Additionally, I really wanted more insight into Gen's life prior to the shitshow that's about to go down. It starts with "not ready for whatever the day would bring"...and I found myself wondering "WHY?" What was Gen prior to all this? Was he a delinquent? Was he a shut in straight-A student? Was he a K-Pop idol? I need these answers sooner rather than later! I suppose I'd understand if your goal was to drop these little bits as the story goes on, but I feel like it would help tremendously in establishing Gen's character if we got some thoughts into what his day was going to look like. What was he not looking forward to? Does he now wish he could go do it now that he's seemingly stuck in a rainbow colored acid trip as an Oshawatt?

Chapter 2 intros us more to Saltriv, and a lot more to Burhalla. I was a tad bit confused coming in to the chapter, because it took me a bit to figure out who's POV it was. I couldn't tell if that was your intention or not, but I'd probably suggest some earlier mentioning of it being Burhalla's POV, instead of waiting until he finds Saltriv and Gen in the dungeon. But that is just my mere opinion!

I also noticed that the characterization of Burhalla and Saltriv's relationship was a little wonky. At the beginning of the chapter, Burhalla's kind of browsing the missing persons board and see's Saltriv's picture. He says "Oh! Haven't seen him since school let out!" and that's all we get. From there, I kinda got that they were just acquaintances, maybe lab partners that traded homework answers every so often. However, when we get to the three-way meeting between Gen, Burhalla, and Saltriv, it seems to me that they are way closer. Saltriv says "I was on my way to see Burhalla..." when accounting what happened before he went missing, and then the way they reunited with the "you're ok!" tells me they're really friendly. If they are really that friendly, I feel like Burhalla seeing Saltriv's photo on the wall would bring him more sadness. Something like "God I can't believe he went missing...not Saltriv..." However, if you're goal was to make them more on an acquaintance level, then perhaps consider toning down their reunion, to something more "yo saw your photo on the missing persons board, glad i found ya." Keep it casual!

I REALLY enjoyed the buildup to Gen lying about who and what he is. He really wrestles with himself about what he should say, only to blurt out a knee-jerk response in the last moment...and now he's kind of stuck with it. I was also hard enjoying the crossovers in logic between the regular Pokemon world and the PMD world (i.e. Was that like an escape rope? Pokemon live in towns?). You do really well in highlighting just how confused and out-of-his-element Gen is, and you do well in making me feel the same way...I hard empathize with this character. Hard.

Likewise, I also really enjoyed how you portrayed PMD mechanics in here? I actually don't know if this was actually a game mechanic, but the whole thing with the connection orb, with the beams that connected people? I thought that was pretty damn neat, and I hope to see more cool shit like that in what's to come.

Overall, great start to the story. Your descriptions are real nice, and you really gave me a solid sense of chaotic "what IS HAPPENING" and i can't wait to find out!

A few small line-by-lines:
Oddly, there didn't seem to be any Water-types.
For some reason, this rang a little eerie to me 👀 I'm interested.

I headed over to the nearest deposit box to get everything I’d need, putting it all in my bag. Apple in case I get hungry, check! Max ether in case I get exhausted, check! A slumber wand to incapacitate Saltriv if they’ve gone shadowy, check! Two oran berries in case I get hurt, check! A tiny reviver seed just in case, check! Connection orb to find where Saltriv was, check! I still had my pecha scarf and looplet on in case they were in a Mystery Dungeon. I was all ready.
I marked this because this entire paragraph can be cut down. You don't need to go through his whole checklist--maybe start with the apple because that's cute, then skip down to the important things, like the orb, and the reviver seed.

“I was walking down the path to visit Burhalla. The next thing I knew, I woke up in this strange place with a weird sky, and there was this tall thing that looked just like the humans of legends! They approached me, and I asked who they were. Then...for some reason I couldn’t move anymore. The human looked up, then grabbed me and ran, just as something smashed down where we were. Then I woke up here. I think that human saved me! Or maybe it was just a dream,” they said, before pausing.
This is a wall of explaining dialogue that I feel can be split up. Give the reader time to process what Saltriv is saying--split it up with movement, as they try to recall what happened. Maybe they pace, maybe they need a moment to think of something. You can draw this out a little bit and make it less info-dump-y.

“You still there?” Crap, crap, need to think of something quick!
I'd put a line break between "there" and the first "crap," just because the subject changes.


Back on Her Bullshit
a Terrace of Indeterminate Location in Snowbelle
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
  3. zoroark
~Review of Chapters 4 – 10~

Hello yes as we have seen I suck at reviewing chapter by chapter so let us do this the old fashioned way

Luckily, I’ve got some stuff to say about this story. Some of it good. Some of it bad. I’ll apologize in advance for what may be some big negatives. The big negative note I’ll make now is that it was… hard to read through this consistently. There were many parts where I lost track of who was in the POV seat, why I’m invested in all this, etc. I’ll get to that later. But first I’ll start with this story’s strengths.

So the first thing I should talk about are the two concepts the story basically hinges around: Amnesia, and humans.

Amnesia is an interesting one. We’re told that this is a world where pokemon regularly fake amnesia in hopes they can get their 15 minutes of fame off being ‘Human Saviours’, which is an interesting take I hope gets explored a bit more. It also puts Gen in a bad position, since he is a presumable “Human Saviour” who does not have amnesia, but lied about having it. Meaning that if it’s ever discovered he’s lying… he’s gonna be in a pretty bad spot. This is also complicated by Burhalla being sore over his dad lying to him about what happened to his mother, meaning that when this inevitably comes out Burhalla probably won’t take it well. Thus far we haven’t really seen this angle explored too much yet, which is surprising for a fic that’s already a prologue and ten chapters in. Hoping to see this explored a bit more in the future.

The second bit is humans. I think your option to opt not only for giving Gen amnesia but also clearly letting us see where he came from was a very interesting one. Not many PMD fics really go into detail about where the protagonist comes from, and often especially we don’t actually get to see that world in the story proper. Here, we know that Gen came from Johto, that he legit physically disappeared instead of just going into a coma or being frozen in time or something, and we also know that there are other humans who’ve been zapped into the PMD world along with him. At least, Arctozolt is clearly two humans merged together, going from their arguments. This is also something we haven’t really gotten to see much of yet in the ten chapters we’ve gotten, though this fic is just getting out of its set-up stages so I suppose that’s to be expected. I hope it becomes a little more involved in the future.

I don’t think I’ve seen a fic that does the tapus quite like this. It’s cordial and polite, but it’s got a creepy vibe to it, like the Tapu is only really like the other pokemon on a superficial level. I’m to assume that the other “statues” in the chamber are pokemon who didn’t follow the politeness rule… kind of gives me Pillar Man/Kyuubi vibes.

There’s also something to be said about the vibe that your worldbuilding gives off. The Thunder Continent reads like an interesting place not far removed from something you’d see in, say, Paper Mario. Especially the place with all the constellations and the constant moon hanging overhead. I think the third rescue organization is an interesting one, though I’m not sure yet if you plan to involve them beyond the degree that, say, HAPPI is involved in Gates. One thing I’ll note in particular is that a few of the environmental mechanics, like the dungeon fights and Moonlit Town, remind me a lot of what you might see in a video game a bit.

(But also those directions, though. How does anyone remember those? Lol)

And I think that’s something that can be applied to the whole fic, really. I know you have said you want to make this as close to a game as possible, and I think you’re succeeding. It reads almost like it’s straight out of its own game, to the point where even the dungeon battles read like that. Ironically, this makes them a bit more tolerable than your average dungeon crawl :V

I do have to point out that sometimes this works to your disadvantage, though. Sometimes it felt gamey to a bit of an extreme degree, and made certain scenes fall flat as a result. Good examples of this to me are the scenes where Gen learns moves, and the flapple battle scene. Everything felt like it was bound to a set track, so it lost the flair it could have had for faithfulness.


I’m gonna be brutally honest with this first one: Your characters… aren’t great. I say not to tear you down, but rather to illustrate that from what I’ve read, I don’t actually have a very good idea of who Gen, Saltriv, and Burhalla are. They all seem like variations on the same personality, with some tertiary character traits to separate themselves from each other. I couldn’t really tell you what makes Gen unique, outside of that he’s very hasty and jumpy. So far I’m supposed to be interested in him on the premise that he’s lying about having amnesia, which will get him in trouble if he's found out. And that is interesting! But it doesn’t make a character.

This extends to the other characters as well. Saltriv is chirpy and plays second fiddle a lot, but aside from that I can’t tell you what makes them unique. I haven’t seen why they’re so dear to Burhalla, or their thoughts/wants/fears yet. We have some inklings of that in their worries about still having some traces of shadow pokemon in them, but aside from that, not much. Burhalla is Team Leader and he’s got daddy issues, and that’s… kind of his whole deal. Otherwise, he’s kind of the same. PNS-NT and Arctozolt are the most vibrant characters on account of having obvious gimmicks to them (PNS-NT’s obvious “machine” quirks, and Arctozolt being two people glued together), but aside from that I can’t really tell you what makes them unique either. They all feel like samey or similar characters with variations tacked on, rather than baked into the character.

I think this is sort of what’s fueling my issues with the first person PoV switches. There’s just legitimately no difference in the pov, to the point where I will read and then realize this is another character and be surprised, because it read exactly like gen/burhalla/saltriv from the previous section did. (This is an issue I had with the PoV from Moonlit town as well. The PoV narration read the exact same way.) In an attempt to be constructive with this… this is something that can be fixed. And no story has to be perfect from the very beginning. I suggest taking a good long think about what makes your characters different from each other, and then trying to find ways to represent those differences more clearly in the prose. For instance, you write in first person, so you could focus on the different ways Burhalla, Saltriv, and Gen might pick apart a situation or react. Maybe Gen freaks out because this is a great big new scary thing he's Not Ready for, Burhalla keeps his cool because he’s the leader and he has to do that, and Saltriv follows everyone else’s lead because they can’t be the problem solver and Burhalla always leads the way anyway, etc. That way, you can get stuff like that clearly across the reader and this should stop being a problem. (And also heading your POV switches so they aren’t confusing)

The second one is that this story seems to meander a lot without offering much of substance in the meantime. We’ve had teasing flickers here and there of a meeting of Important Pokemon, Eternatus, multiple humans, shadow pokemon, and so on, but for the most part Eternal Shadows likes to focus on the people in Overcast Village. This isn’t necessarily an issue! But there does need to be something to fill in the gaps, a quieter substance that comes from the characters. I’m not really feeling that yet. The team trains at the dojo to help Gen get stronger, but it doesn’t comment on Gen’s relationship with them, or do anything neat with the characters, it’s just Gen learning a move. The team goes into a dungeon to help find and Purify Flapple, and Gen has an episode with Dynamax and loses control. But then that doesn’t really have ramifications for the plot. Granted, this is something that feels more imbalanced than not there, and you are progressing the Burhalla/lies thing – even if it’s just a little bit. Since you’re still in the beginning stages, this is acceptable! Going forward, I think you should try to cut down on scenes that don’t serve the story outside of tertiary ‘game mechanics’ exposition, and try to speed up some of the character stuff you’ve got on the backburner. This might also go a long way in helping clear up some of the fog surrounding the first criticism.

The third one is the lack of any kind of noticeable flair. You’ve got some interesting ideas (Black sand in a mystery dungeon, for instance), but for the most part the prose and story in motion feel… pretty average. And granted, you’ve said you try to hew pretty close to the games, so you may have purposefully prioritized faithfulness over personal style. But it did kind of bore me. At several points I kind of trailed off or skimmed while reading because I didn’t feel like my attention was really being captured by any of it. This may be personal preference, though—I tend to gravitate heavily towards heavy stylization in stories, and this one has made a point of being very canon/game mechanic friendly. If this is the way you’ve decided to write it, then it’s down to your judgement whether this is a true con or not.

This is a lot, and I’m sorry. I don’t want it to read like I’m tearing you down for this stuff; remember that this is above all my personal opinion. These are, however, things that I think could be improved upon for future chapters--I think you should pick and choose the criticism you wish to apply with your own best judgement.

Plot hopes…

I said in the positives section that I hope we get to see more of Gen having to deal with the lies that he’s spun for himself, and all those other humans and also the sections in Johto that we briefly toured during the fic’s setup. It feels like we got these as the premise, then…. Kind of didn’t really develop them much beyond that.

I also hope that we get to see stuff speed up a bit from here on out. It’s been slow so far, but not the kind of slow that makes me excited for what’s going to happen next. I want to see that change.

Additionally! I hope we get to see more of a character net form as this story goes on. I feel like you have really interesting character premises – arctozolt, PSN-NT, and Saltriv are all wildly original takes/ideas on the standard pokemon they're based on, and that’s part of the stuff that makes me excited for what this fic could be. I hope we get to see them develop more as people, and have interactions that build upon what’s already there at the beginning.


All in all… to be honest, I’m still kind of undecided on this one. I like what it wants to be, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff you’ve set up here. At the same time, I think the current ten chapters are held back by a lot of things. Luckily, you’re still in the beginning stages, so there’s a good amount you can do to fix those things going forward. I might come back to this at some point and read more to see how you’ve improved later on. Until then, good luck!


Listening to: Jolyne’s Theme
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Chapter 11: Tense Words


Rescue Team Member
Pokemon Paradise
  1. chikorita-saltriv
  2. bench-gen
  3. charmander
  4. snivy
  5. treecko
  6. tropius
  7. arctozolt
  8. wartortle
Chapter 11: Tense Words

Carkol Express


I don't think I ever could get used to riding the Carkol Express.

Every few seconds, the carriage we were in would jolt one way or another. The bumpy ride was so shaky, it felt like the whole train would fall apart at any moment.

The small Pokemon in the near-front carriage were probably doing fine. Those cubbyholes along the walls were padded and came in enough different sizes that any small Pokemon could fit snugly in one. The jostling wouldn't affect them much while resting in those.

The large Pokemon in the back three carriages were probably doing well, too. The three carriages in the back of the train were like entire houses, large enough to hold a Copperajah comfortably. Anyone large enough to need to ride in one of those carriages would probably barely feel the near-constant bumps.

That just left us medium sized Pokemon, in the constantly shaking middle carriages.

The green metal loops on the floor did help a bit. There were a few snake Pokemon coiled around some of them, and some plant Pokemon with vines wrapped around them, such as myself. But there was only so much they could do to steady us against the jolts.

At least the perches hanging from the ceiling for flying Pokemon seemed like they were doing their job well. The seats on the sides for bipedal Pokemon similarly looked alright. The gray eyedrop wood they were made of didn't seem too comfortable, but they had handles to hold onto, and at least they offered a clear view through the windows.

Almost the whole train was made of eyedrop wood. The naturally gray planks glistened as sunlight shined on them. Even without any paint to accent them, the wood looked pretty, and it was even fireproof!

No matter how good the train's interior looked, it didn't change how much shaking the Pokemon who rested on the floor like me felt. Even with my vines wrapped around the loop, it felt like I was being thrown in a different direction every few seconds.

Who on earth designed this rickety contraption?

… Oh, right. We did.

"Looks like we're almost there!" Lidequir said, looking out one of the windows. "The view in this is pretty great, huh, Acacia?"

"Yep...though it's definitely a lot bumpier than a Lapras for sure," I replied, as the train went over another bump and made the entire car shake. How did the Thunder Continent's Pokemon manage to use this thing daily?

"I dunno, it's certainly less bumpy than trying to ride a Lapras on land," the Wartortle chortled. "Certainly faster too. I don't think there's anyone here who can walk from Moonlight Town to Overcast Village in an hour."

… Lidequir sure seemed to be taking the ride on this contraption in stride. I wonder if she ever rode on any trains when she was human.

When Gen took us on visits to the human world, the trains we rode while there were super stable, but definitely weren't built with Meganiums in mind. The loops to hang onto were on the ceiling, the cold metal floor was uncomfortable to stand on, and there was no sunlight in those underground tunnels. The trains we helped invent here are less stable, but anyone could ride them comfortably. Well, "comfortably" if you could overlook the train doing its best to knock you to the floor every few seconds.

But Lidequir was right. Looking out a window, I could see mountains and hills passing by. They were beginning to give way to trees and a steadily-thickening mist, along with a brief view of a field of flowers in the distance, stretching out for who knows how long. Even if it'd soon be blotted out by the fog that made Overcast Village, the view along the Carkol Express' route really is nice.

"Ayueg? Leviene? How about you?" I asked the Combusken and Bayleef standing across from us. "What do you think of the train?"

"Hrmph, the sooner we get off, the better," Ayueg said, tapping one of his talons on the floor. "It's way too loud."

"Er… yep, there's definitely a lot of noise when riding this train," I said. The racket that happened every time the train jostled was already uncomfortable for me. I didn't want to imagine what being a passenger was like for Pokemon with more sensitive ears.

Suddenly, I heard a loud screeching noise that made me feel like my petals were going to fall off. Most of us lurched forward, and I saw Leviene fall off their feet entirely from the train carriage's jolting. The view outside started slowing down along with the train carriage, until we came to a stop.

"'e're here!" came a loud voice, as Carkoal rolled in from the lead carriage. "'veryone aboard for Overcast Village, it's time to get off! 'e depart for Coulomb City in five minutes!"

"First things first, let's get back on our feet," I said, extending a vine to help Leviene off the floor where they had fallen. The Carkol Express was supposed to be based off human technology... so shouldn't it be able to come to smoother stops? Even if they weren't comfortable to stand around in, I certainly didn't remember any human trains stopping like this.

"Thanks!" Leviene said as they grabbed my vine and I pulled them upright. "That was wild! I can't wait to go on a train ride again!"

I sighed, and my petals drooped at the edges.

"... I know you were Mew before, but I still don't understand you, Leviene," I replied as we all walked out of the carriage, and into Overcast Village.

Overcast Village

As we stepped off the train and into the fog, my antennae perked up, and I felt my petals release a soothing aroma. The buildings about the train station were the same as they always were, but leaves of the tree in the center of the Tree Plaza were beginning to change with the seasons, with a bit of red peeking through the sea of green.

Overcast Village was where my sister Sturece lived with her mate Arbstea and Saltriv, their child. It always felt nice to visit here, especially in the autumn. Though there was something about this visit that felt off to me. I slowed as I looked up at the red-tipped leaves on the plaza's tree, when my thoughts turned to Saltriv. … Right, they'd been missing for three entire months, and had just been found again by a friend of theirs in the village. Even without that potential human in the mix, no wonder why things felt off about this trip.

I should check up on them as soon as possible. Had Saltriv been alright while they were missing? Did they get hurt or scared? Sturece made it sound like they'd been doing alright, but I couldn't help but wonder...

I turned to look towards Team Travelers to discuss what our plan was while in Overcast Village, but Lidequir already beat me to the punch and was already speaking.

"Team Travelers, how about you two go talk to the mayor and see what you can find out about the monster?" my partner said. "Me and Acacia will go see Saltriv and look into that Oshawott."

"Got it!" Leviene said, their leaf swishing from side to side. "Come on, Ayueg! Let's go see Mayor Jellicent!"

"Alright," Ayueg said, with a small smile on his beak, as he and Leviene walked deeper into the fog.

As the Bayleef and Combusken disappeared from view, Lidequir turned towards me. "You go on ahead," she insisted. "I'll go look around and see how bad the shadow Pokemon situation is. We'll touch base in an hour or two."

I blinked for a moment and craned my head back at Lidequir. We did almost everything together as teammates, so why was she skipping out here?

"But don't you want to see Saltriv, too?" I asked. "It has been a while since you two last met."

"Well, yeah, but it can wait. After all, Saltriv deserves to see their uncle first after everything they've been through, and it'd be a bit awkward if I got in the way of them pouring their heart out to you, don't you think?" Lidequir said, giving a sheepish smile as she rubbed the back of her head. "Besides, I have a joke in mind, and I don't think I could stop myself from blurting it out if I went with you."

I frowned a bit at Lidequir's mention of having a joke in mind. While Lidequir was a faithful teammate, her… sense of humor left a lot to be desired at times. Maybe it would be for the best to take her up on the suggestion.

"Alright, then. If you're sure," I said, before catching myself. I narrowed my eyes, since the thought just occurred to me that there was another reason why Lidequir might want some alone time here in Overcast Village.

"... Though this isn't something you're doing to goof off with your joke buddy, is it?"

Lidequir chuckled. "That obvious, huh? Yeah, I was gonna check in with Togetic. I've come with a few one-liners that are sure to help her put smiles on people's faces."

Lidequir shook her head with a chuckle, before looking back with a more serious expression.

"But I wasn't joking about going to see what the state of the shadow Pokemon situation is," she insisted. "And I did mean all the stuff I said about you and Saltriv. I don't want to ruin your reunion."

I sighed, but was smiling. I didn't know how much I believed Lidequir there given that she was always the joking type, but she seemed earnest at least. "Be sure to say hi to Togetic for me, and tell her that I appreciated the letter she sent us. It was really sweet of her to do that."

"Can and will do!" Lidequir said with a pump of her arm. The Wartortle began to walk into the fog, calling back to me as she faded into the mist. "I'll see you in a bit, Acacia."

"See ya in a bit, Lidequir," I replied, as I began heading towards Sturece's house.

Saltriv's Home, 25 minutes later

"Did Polteageist really bake a cake that big?" I asked my sister, as my eyes widened.

"Yep! For all the Pokemon with family or friends that went missing, and all the shadow Pokemon that had been purified," the other Meganium answered, gesturing the size of the cake with her vines. "She said it was the least she could do after all that we've been through.

"That's wonderful!" I replied, smiling. "It's nice to hear everyone in the village is coming together to help the Pokemon affected by this."

It was always nice catching up with Sturece in person. Letters and connection messages were great, but it just wasn't a substitute for meeting my sister face to face.

"Yep. You've gotta look after each other in times like this. I'm sure you've heard enough about that, though, with being a hero and all," Sturece said, before craning her neck towards me. "Though we've been trying to help Saltriv adjust back to normal life since we found them. So they're having a sleepover with friends tonight!"

My eyes widened. "Really? I thought you said you weren't going to let them have another one for at least a year after what happened last time." I trusted my sister's judgement, but this felt a bit too quick after Saltriv's last sleepover.

Sturece's petals drooped. "Well, that was before they disappeared. They've been gone for so long, and I don't want to deny them this after everything," my sister said, leaning her neck back slightly. "Plus, they've just completed a search mission, and—"

"They joined a search party?!" I interjected, my antennae tensing up. I knew Sturece wanted Saltriv to get used to normal life again, but surely this was rushing things. "So soon after they got back?!"

"Yep. They formed it just yesterday morning," Sturece answered, puffing her petals out in pride. "It's called Team Searchlights, and they've already found and purified a shadow Pokemon!"

"How'd they get their equipment so soon to do a search mission already?" I asked. My mind was racing. I felt conflicted. I was proud of Saltriv for making a search party, and doing that brave work, but also worried about how they'd fare, given they just got back to Overcast Village after going through who-knows-what for three months.

"Well...they did their first mission without telling me or Arbstea, and before they were registered as an official search party," she said, looking down. "I didn't want to punish Saltriv a mere day after they got back, though, so I let the matter slide. Plus, they did rescue Flapple during their first mission. It just wouldn't be right if I punished them for saving another Pokémon like that."

"That's understandable. I don't think I'd have the heart to punish them after such a heroic deed, either. Though hopefully a start like that's a good omen for Team Searchlights becoming a great search party," I said. I still felt conflicted, but if they were able to purify a shadow Pokemon before even receiving their equipment, I had faith in them. There was something else I was wondering, though.

"Actually... who else is on Team Searchlights, Sturece?" I asked, tilting my head.

"Well, Saltriv's best friend Burhalla also joined the team," Sturece said, smiling again. "And...you know that Oshawott I told you about? The one with amnesia? He's the third member."

"Wait, really?" I asked, my petals straightening. If this amnesiac Oshawott had already joined a search party…

"Did he mention anything about being a human?" I asked, leaning closer.

"You know I'm not the type to keep secrets, Acacia. I would have told you if he did," Sturece said, glancing off to the side. "Doesn't seem like he's the next human, unfortunately. Though… there was one thing that has me thinking."

I sighed. Seems like this is another dead end. Unless...

"What was it?" I asked, shaking with anticipation. Hopefully, this could give us at least a clue. "Though whether or not the Oshawott's human, what's his name? You never mentioned it in your letter."

"Well...that's the thing," my sister said, looking at me with narrowed eyes. "He told us his name was Gen."

My eyes widened. That was huge. Thoughts of the Gen I knew and the mailbox from yesterday ran through my head. "Why didn't you mention that sooner?"

"I didn't want to overwhelm you," Sturece said, laying a vine on my neck. "There's already everything going on with the shadow Pokemon, and I'm sure you already heard about the monster lurking around town. I thought with all that happening, it'd be irresponsible not to ease you into what's going on with Gen."

I sighed, but smiled nonetheless. Though it annoyed me that she waited to tell me this, I was glad Sturece was looking out for me. I honestly probably would have gotten overwhelmed if she told me in the letter. Even 35 years on from when Lidequir and I first became heroes, I still get overwhelmed under pressure easily.

"You're just as thoughtful as ever, Sturece," I said, giving my sister a playful brush of her antennae. "Thanks for looking out for me."

"Not a problem, Acacia," my sister said, lightly batting one of my petals. "So… did you and your teammates have any ideas about this Gen?"

"Honestly, given everything we know, I'm pretty sure he must be the Pokémon we're looking for. The only problem is that he didn't mention anything about being a human. Even then, that's not exactly conclusive evidence against him. Why, when Lidequir first came to this world, she only told me she was human at first. Though I suppose nobody asked if she was human until… that moment happened after we first met Xatu," I said, twitching my antennae. "Actually. Now that I think about it, all of the humans we know of had something similar happen to them. Nobody but their partner knew they were human until they were asked."

Sturece shook her head. "I know, and I thought about that, but Saltriv didn't say anything about Gen bringing that up, and they would've told me if he did. And when I asked Gen myself what he remembered, he said he only remembered his name and how to do a few things."

That's true. Saltriv wasn't the type to keep secrets, and surely they would have told that to at the very least their family. And if Acacia had already asked Gen directly about his memories and he didn't mention being human, that almost completely ruled him out.

Unless… "I know it's a stretch, but… maybe this 'Gen' you found forgot he used to be human?" I asked, my petals perking up."

My sister's eyes widened. "I hadn't considered that at all. You know what, that could be it!" she exclaimed.

"Only problem is that every other human remembered being human, though it wouldn't be the first time a pattern with the humans brought to this world was broken," I said, smiling widely. "For example, Ayueg was never sent back to the human world like the others."

"Well, you told me Gengar wasn't either, but point taken," Sturece replied, before glancing to the side. "It's just wild to think that I might be taking care of a human. Though… if you're right and this Gen really is human, would that mean that Saltriv is his partner?"

"I believe they would be. Everyone's partners in the past were the one of the first Pokémon that a human called to this world met," I said, laying a vine on her neck again. "I… know you're probably worried about them, but I'm sure they'll be just fine. Everything worked out for me, right?"

"I know Saltriv would be a wonderful partner, but…" my sister said, looking down. "It's still scary to think my own child might be tasked with saving the world. After all, even your own adventures with Lidequir would've ended horribly if you two weren't such good teammates or hadn't had some good luck at a few points."

I couldn't help but know she was right. Absol showing up to save us from Articuno and subsequently joining our team, and Ninetales stopping Team ACT just before they could finish us off were both lucky breaks that saved our lives. Even that tiny reviver seed Butterfree gave us for our first rescue was crucial in our climb up Sky Tower.

Even so… "Maybe, but I think we're getting ahead of ourselves. We don't know if this Gen is even human to begin with," I said, moving my vine closer to her head. "As much as I'm hoping he's the one, it's unlikely he'd forget about being human."

My sister's antennae drooped. "I don't know… I have my doubts, but…" Sturece trailed off as she looked back up at me. "You're right. Saltriv probably won't need to save the world. And even if they do… I'm sure they'll do wonderfully."

"That's the spirit!" I cheered. I was about to suggest preparations just in case Saltriv really was the next human's partner, when out of the corner of my vision, I saw a red leaf.

"Uncle Acacia!" they said, moments before my vines wrapped around them in a tight hug.

"Saltriv! I'm so glad you're ok!" I said. I felt their own vines wrap around me in turn. For a moment, all my worries about the next human had faded, replaced with the joy of seeing my nibling again.

"How have you been?"

"I've been doing great! It was a little scary finding out I've been missing for months, but everything else has been good!" they said with a wave of their leaf. I saw Sturece's vines wrap around them in a second hug.

"Oh, there you are, Saltriv!" she said, all the worry on her face from before gone. "Did Burhalla's dad agree to the sleepover?"

"Yep! Burhalla told me so!" Saltriv replied with a bright smile. "I'm so excited! I already have so much planned for tonight!"

"That's wonderful!" my sister said, with a smile matching Saltriv's. "Just be sure you three behave tonight, alright?"

My petals perked up at the sight of Saltriv being so happy. It was wonderful to know that they're doing well, despite everything.

"So I heard you made a search party," I said as I let go of them. "How's that been going?"

"Really great! We're called Team Searchlights, and we already found and purified a shadow Pokemon on our first mission! And our equipment arrived this morning!" Saltriv said, before they caught themselves and their eyes widened. "Wait, I mean—"

"It's alright, Saltriv. Your mom already told me about it," I told them, moving my vine back and forth across their head. "Even if you shouldn't have gone off without equipment like that, I'm not mad. I'm proud of you for saving Flapple."

The smile on their face returned. "Thanks, Uncle Acacia."

I smiled warmly down at them. Pokemon's lives were more important than any rules.

"And how about that sleepover?" I asked, retracting my vine. "What kinds of things are you planning to do for it?"

"Lots of things! We're going to have treats, and games, and a pillow fight, and I'm still working out the rest, but there'll be lots more!" Saltriv said, their tail wagging rapidly. "I actually was stopping by here to ask mom to help me get a few things for it."

"Oh, really? What do you need?" Sturece asked.

"Some treats from Polteageist's Café!" Saltriv said, looking up at her. "Can you help me get them?"

"Of course," my sister said, before turning towards me. "I'll go help them get the treats. It shouldn't take too long, we can talk some more when I'm back."

"Alright. See you soon," I said, as the two began to walk out of the house.

"Bye, Acacia!" Saltriv said, waving their leaf just before they disappeared from view.

It was nice to see Saltriv doing so well. I was so proud to hear how they'd been doing well already on a search party. Why from what I saw of them just from our meeting, you'd never have guessed they more or less fell off the face of the planet for three months.

Before long, I heard footsteps approaching, and turned around, seeing a tiny Oshawott wearing a reunion cape looking up at me. This must be the Oshawott Sturece mentioned. He's so small and tiny, almost like a little sprout compared to Saltriv. His name was also Gen, right? Just like our Dewott friend? Talk about your coincidences, but I should probably come up with something to distinguish the two if they're ever together... I think I'll call him Mini Gen for now. After all, the name fits, doesn't it?

"Uh, are you Acacia? From Team Seedlings?" Mini Gen said. I could see his tail quivering behind him. Was Mini Gen really a human after all? If so, it would explain a few things. Maybe he was still feeling frightened about losing his memories. Or maybe he was frightened about being in an unfamiliar body.

Nevertheless, scaring him won't do any good. The poor little guy clearly needs comfort. I extended a vine, laying it on his head. He flinched at first, before looking back towards me, his expression slightly calmer.

"I am. It's nice to meet you. What's your name, Oshawott?" I asked, despite being sure I already knew the answer. It was best to ask him first, so as to not frighten him.

"Gen," Mini Gen said, giving a tiny smile. "Did you really save the world? Saltriv told me your team did."

"That's right, we climbed up to Rayquaza's domain, and helped them find and destroy a falling star that was causing natural disasters!" I said, puffing out my petals in pride. "We also helped a Gengar who used to be a human make amends with a Ninetales and rescue his Gardevoir partner, even after he caused us to be chased halfway across the Air Continent."

Mini Gen's eyes widened. "Really? He was a human?"

"Yep! It's a long story, really, but the gist of it is that he was turned into a Pokemon as part of a curse after touching a Ninetales' tail," I said, looking Mini Gen directly in the eyes. Now would be a good time to segue into what I needed to ask. "Though on that topic… what do you know about humans, Gen?"

Mini Gen looked down at the ground, frowning. "Nothing, really. Just that there's Pokemon pretending to be them."

"That's all you know about them?" I asked, craning my neck towards him. "There's been a lot of Pokemon talking about humans around the Thunder Continent, including rumors that one has come to this world recently. Haven't you heard anything of them?"

"I'm sorry, but that's really all I know," Mini Gen said, putting his arms against the sides of his reunion cape. "I… have amnesia. I don't remember anything from before two days ago."

Huh. I was really sure he knew at least something about humans from his reaction to Gengar... Either he's truly forgotten that he's human, or he really isn't human after all. Maybe the human test will clear things up.

I reached into my bag with a vine, and pulled out a small book, labeled "Human Writing Samples". I held it in front of Mini Gen.

"I'm going to need you to try to read some things for me, ok?" I asked, giving Mini Gen a warm smile. Hopefully that'd make him a bit less on-edge.

"Uh, ok," Mini Gen said, as he looked up towards the book.

I opened it to the first page, which contained a sentence in a human language. "Galarish", Gen had called it. "Do these glyphs mean anything to you?" I asked. "If so, what does this say?"

"Uh, I don't know. I can't read it," Mini Gen said, looking back down.

Figures. I flipped to the next page, a sentence in Johtonese. "How about these glyphs here?"

"I...can't read those either."

I sighed, and we went through the rest of the book, filled with sentences in various other human languages. I asked him the same question, but the answer was the same every time.

As we got to the last page of the book, my petals had begun to droop. No matter what human writing or language I showed him, he couldn't read any of it.

… Maybe he really wasn't a human. But that mailbox made me wonder. Gen's name, in human writing. I had thought it was for the Gen I knew, but now that there's an amnesiac Oshawott here now named Gen, I don't think it could be a coincidence.

Hopefully one of the confirmation questions will help? Gen designed them to be things almost anyone from the human world would know, and we always updated the answers every time we visited the human world. If I asked Mini Gen a few, maybe they'd trigger a memory?

"Do you know who the current champion of Galar is?" I asked, only for Mini Gen to tilt his head at me.

"Um, what's Galar?" he asked in return. No luck there, then. Neither did asking what a gym was, or what rangers do.

Maybe just asking straight up would help? Maybe it'd trigger a memory and he'd say yes. Or he could be unsure, and say he doesn't know, and we could work more closely on helping him figure it out.

"Were you once a human?" I asked, hoping that he'd say yes, or even that he doesn't know, and we can start helping him—

"No," Mini Gen answered, looking down at the ground.

That answers that, then. Though it wouldn't hurt to make sure.

"Are you completely certain? There's nothing at all that's made you even wonder before?" I asked, hoping that there was at least a tiny bit of uncertainty. A chance that the human who had arrived to save the world was this Oshawott, and we could help him immediately.

"No, nothing," Mini Gen said.

That's… unfortunate. If he's absolutely sure he's not a human, then he's almost certainly not one. After all, since when was there a human that was brought to this world that was convinced they'd always been a Pokémon?

… I'd better go tell the others. We'd come all the way out here to Overcast Village and now we had fewer leads as when we first set out. Maybe we could spend some time relaxing around town, it might help us figure out what to do from here.

"Alright. I actually should get going now since my teammate's been waiting on me, though thanks for the help, Gen," I said, before starting to trot away.

Before I could get far, though, I heard a small squeak, and craned my neck to look back down at the little Oshawott. He was trembling, and was holding tightly onto his reunion cape. I could see some moisture on the fur around his eyes. Oh no, was I being too pushy with him? Was he feeling bad for not being able to read or answer any of that?

I walked back over towards Mini Gen, laid a vine on his head again, and gave him a soft smile. I thought about the wonder I first felt when I met Lidequir, focused it in my petals, and released an Aromatherapy to soothe him.

"You don't need to feel bad, Gen. You didn't do anything wrong," I told him, moving my vine across his head. "You actually were really helpful!"

"I was?" Mini Gen asked, looking up with wide eyes.

"Yep! Now we have a better idea of who you are, we'll have a better idea of what we should do, and we might even be able to help you recover your memories!" I said. Always look on the bright side, Lidequir always told me. Even though Mini Gen wasn't a human, at least we knew for sure now and we could better focus our efforts for finding the next human. And since we understood Mini Gen's situation a bit more now, it might help us with recovering his memories!

"...thank you…" Mini Gen said, before waddling closer to me, and hugging one of my front legs. I smiled brightly. He's so adorable!

"It's no problem! It's our duty to help!" I replied, wrapping a vine around him to return the hug. We hugged each other for about half a minute, before I spoke up again.

"Now, I need to go talk to my partner so we can continue helping the Pokemon here," I said, retracting my vines. "We'll do what we can help you recover your memories soon, but for now, I need to go. Ok?"

"Ok. Thanks, Acacia," Mini Gen said, letting go of me.

"I'll see you around, Gen!" I said, before trotting out of the house to tell Lidequir the news.

And we were back to not having any leads on the next human besides that mailbox. But at least Mini Gen was really sweet!

What could be up with him, though? There were so many signs that pointed towards Mini Gen being human... but if he isn't one, then what is he?

He had amnesia, no one ever saw him before, and we found his name in the mailbox. The former two were things that most past humans brought to this world experienced, and the latter raised my suspicions even further. But Mini Gen was adamant he wasn't one, and couldn't read a human language or answer any of the questions. He couldn't have even forgotten about being human, because he was completely certain he wasn't one.

Could he be lying? No, that wouldn't make no sense. What possible reason could he have to lie, especially with Burhalla around? If he woke up in a completely unfamiliar body, wouldn't that be one of the first things he would point out?

There was that whole thing when we were saving the world, though, with everyone in Pokemon Square thinking Lidequir was the cause of the disasters because he was human… and then there was what Gen and Vernir said they discovered about Munna's gang hunting down humans during the crisis of the Bittercold…

But even so, all of the humans at least told the first person they saw that they're human. Even Gengar did that with Team Meanies. Surely if Mini Gen was human, he'd have at least told Saltriv and Burhalla.

Perhaps I was looking at this from the completely wrong angle.

… It was admittedly a bit of a stretch, but could he be the partner of the new human? And the human wrote down their new friend's name, and that's why it was in the mailbox?

It wouldn't be the first time both members of a human's team had amnesia. After all, Leviene didn't remember anything about being Mew, and it seemed like a more likely scenario than two humans sharing both a name and species. It wouldn't be very much of a stretch for there to be other Oshawotts floating around out there with Gen's name. After all, I've met Chikorita sprouts in person who were named after me by their parents, even if every time I meet one makes me feel a bit weird about it. Even if the Gardeners aren't nearly as known as the rest of the world-saving teams outside of the Mist Continent, it's definitely possible that was a Samurott out there who really admired Gen, and named their pup after him.

But if Mini Gen was the next human's partner, why would he be separated from his human partner and wake up in the middle of Twig Woodland? And what happened to the human, then? And wouldn't the human have left at least a trace if they were so close to the village? Humans and their partners never showed up far apart from each other. It's so much of a stretch that it just doesn't make sense.

Maybe he's just a regular Pokemon who had his memories erased by something? Maybe that monster we heard about caused it? Hadn't that happened to the Porygon-Z it attacked?

But then why was he next to Saltriv in Twig Woodland?

None of this was adding up right. Every explanation I could think of had holes. He couldn't have forgotten being human because he was certain he wasn't human. He couldn't be lying about not being human because he had no reason to. He couldn't be the human's partner because the human would have turned up by now if they had been so close to Overcast Village. And he definitely couldn't be a regular Pokemon with amnesia because he woke up next to Saltriv, after they had been missing for months.

Just what was going on with Mini Gen?


Saltriv's Home


I stopped trembling, and breathed a sigh of relief, my tail flopping onto the floor. The entire time, I hadn't even realized it was tensed up.

That was really close. I thought that Acacia would find out my identity for sure.

What on earth was all that about, anyways? How did they already have suspicions I was a human before even meeting me? They even had some Johtonese and Unovan writing, too…

What's going on?! What does Acacia want from me?

And there's been more people than me who used to be human, like that Gengar. But that was apparently from a curse, and I hadn't been cursed… or at least I think.

Still, there were other Pokemon than just me here that were humans. Was Acacia also one, and that's why he had human writing and knew stuff about my world?

And what did all this have to do with those Pokemon who were apparently pretending to be human? Why were they doing that? Why would they want to do that?

Everything about that meeting was so confusing. I had gotten some answers from it, but also a bunch more questions that made me feel even more lost than before.

I just want to go home… I miss the bustle of Goldenrod City, talking with Spersua, stargazing in Ilex Forest, just being with my family, visiting the flower shop just down the street...

Suddenly, my nose twitched, as a familiar aroma reached it. Chocolate chip cookies. They have those in this world? They smelled so good, just like the ones from home…

Though I couldn't see any source nearby for the smell. Where were they? I looked all around the front room of Saltriv's house, but I couldn't find them anywhere.

It wasn't until a minute later that Saltriv arrived from outside, carrying into the house a wooden platter of chocolate chip cookies. At least ten of them, baked to perfect chocolatey goodness. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into them!

… But how did I smell the cookies from so far away, though?

Oh. Right. I'm an Oshawott now. I guess they must be able to smell better than humans can. … I'm not sure how to feel about that.

"Hi, Gen!" they said, waving their leaf as they set the platter on the ground. "I brought us some snacks for the sleepover!"

"Thanks! They look great!" I said, beginning to reach for one, before pausing. "... Er… I can have one, right?"

"Not yet," Saltriv said with an apologetic look. "I want to wait until the sleepover begins. You can have one as soon as it starts, though!"

I frowned, and stepped back away from the cookies. It wouldn't make any sense getting on the bad side of my host, guess I'll have to wait a bit longer until I can savor them.

"Hello!" I heard a familiar voice shout, and looked over to see Burhalla walking in. "Where's your parents? I thought they'd be here."

"Oh, hi Burhalla! Mom's talking with dad at the Kecleon Shop. She'll be home soon, and she'll have some more treats when she arrives!" Saltriv said, their tail beginning to wag.

"Er… hey, Burhalla," I greeted, smiling at my teammate. He smiled back.

"You're ready for the sleepover, Gen? I've been ready since last night!" Burhalla said with an eager grin. "I even put everything I'm bringing in my synchronised bag, so we should all be able to use it!"

"Yeah! I'm ready," I said. I was ready as I could be, aside from not knowing Water Gun. I hoped Water Sport would work for that game Burhalla mentioned, the one that required me to know a move of my type.

Though first things first. Before we could start our game, or anything else, the sleepover had to begin.

"Uh, can we go in your room yet?" I asked Saltriv, glancing in the direction of it.

"Of course!" Saltriv exclaimed, beginning to head towards their room. "Come on in!"

Many questions still swarmed my mind, some big, some trivial. Why did Acacia suspect I was a human? What stuff did Burhalla bring? What's been happening back home while I've been gone? What kinds of games did Pokemon play? How long until I could taste those chocolate chip cookies?

…. And how long until I can finally go home? I really hoped it wouldn't be much longer.

For now, though, I hoped I could enjoy this sleepover, even if I was currently a Pokemon. I pushed my questions from my mind, and together with Saltriv and Burhalla, I walked towards Saltriv's room, ready to have some fun and forget about my troubles for a night.

Hello! Today is the first anniversary of when Eternal Shadows was initially conceptualized! It's gone through a lot of changes since then, but it has improved so much, and is still a story I hold very near and dear to me.

Thank you so much to Spieful Murkrow for betaing this chapter, and to Team Ion for looking over it! Also, special thanks to Sudmensch, Herolich, and Theprinceofpuddles for supporting me. I couldn't have gotten this chapter out without their help.

And to you all, thank you all so much for sticking with me this far, and for those of you who are new to this fic, thank you for checking it out.

I still have a LOT in store, so look forward to that! I'm really excited to show you all what I have planned!

Also, I've recently started some non-canon askblogs for some of the characters in this fic, particularly Team Searchlights and the World-Savers' Council! You can find them at ask-team-searchlights and ask-world-savers-council on tumblr.

Again, thank you all so much for reading, and I hope to see you again soon with chapter 12!
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The Ghost Lord
The Yangverse
  1. reshiram
Here for Catnip and Chapter 2!

It's intresting how you treat some Pokemon having nicknames and some not. Specifically how most don't but some do. I wonder how the dichotomy of that works in-universe.

Quick note, the perspective flips at the beginning and middle of the chapter kind of threw me off. Mabye make them more clear.

It's fun exploring Gen's perspective from him being from mainline series land. Or at least I assume so from the fact he knows what Pokemon are but not what PMD is.

And hoo boy here begins Gen's web of lies. I look forward to seeing those pile up, Something for next time, whenever that is. Fun chapter!
Chapter 12: The Best of Times


Rescue Team Member
Pokemon Paradise
  1. chikorita-saltriv
  2. bench-gen
  3. charmander
  4. snivy
  5. treecko
  6. tropius
  7. arctozolt
  8. wartortle
Chapter 12: The Best of Times

Saltriv's Home


As I walked into Saltriv's room, I instantly saw how different it was from how I'd remembered it this morning.

There were a lot more pillows and blankets in here than before. There was a whole pile of them heaped up near the beds that was twice as tall as I was, filled with a bunch of different colors and designs. I saw one that was orange with leaf designs, and another that was turquoise with bubble designs. Near them were a couple stools, some of them stacked on top of each other, while others had stacks of books on them.

Strewn across the floor I could see a bunch of what appeared to be board games. Some, like a checkers set, I could recognize. Ohers, like one with 18 different colored pieces with different symbols on them, were completely foreign to me. I could also see a deck of cards, with a Squirtle, Chikorita, and Absol drawn onto the back of one of the cards.

Where there used to be two beds, there were now three, one for each of us. Mine and Saltriv's were where they were before, but now there was a bed for Burhalla to the right of mine. There was a pen and a blue book sitting right next to mine near where I normally rested my head, with writing on the cover that I couldn't read. Or at least I was pretty sure it was writing. I assumed it was from the neat organization, but it oddly seemed to resemble… Pokemon footprints?

And off on the wall on the far side of the room from the door, there was a drawing that'd been hung up on a small hook. A Chikorita with a red leaf, a Charmander with a pink scarf, and an Oshawott with a red hood all together. Saltriv, Burhalla, and…me. It took me a second to recognize that as myself.

That…was pretty cute. Did Saltriv make this for us to see tonight? I opened my mouth to ask, only to see Burhalla gape up at the picture and around at the room's furnishings, before shooting an awed stare at our Chikorita teammate.

"You really went all out with this!" Burhalla exclaimed.

"Yep! I spent all day working with mom and dad to get everything perfect!" Saltriv answered, curling their mouth up into a bright smile as they adjusted their vines' grip on the platter of cookies they held. "I wanted this to be the best sleepover ever!"

"Well it certainly shows! Thank you, Saltriv!" I said. I could feel myself beginning to shake… for once it wasn't from worry or fear, but with... excitement. It'd been so long since I'd been at a sleepover… even if I wasn't quite the way I'd hoped I'd be, this was going to be fun!

"Let the sleepover begin!" Saltriv exclaimed, setting the platter of cookies down. Immediately, my attention was focused on the chocolatey goodness.

"Can I have one of those now?" I asked, already beginning to walk towards the platter.

I'd been waiting since the moment I smelled them to have a chance to have one of those chocolate chip cookies. And it took all of my willpower to not just dig into the platter in front of Saltriv and Burhalla. Fortunately Saltriv seemed to pick up on my eagerness, and gave a playful smile before reaching for the platter with a vine.

"Yep! Have as many as you want!" they said, before picking a cookie up and taking a bite out of it.

Yes! Even if everything else about this place that was different from what I knew, at least there were still chocolate chip cookies here. Why, with how good it smelled, I'm sure it tasted every bit as good as I remembered.

I quickly picked up a cookie and bit into it, excited to savor that sweet chocolatey delight. It was still warm, and I could feel the cookie break up into crumbs over my tongue when I suddenly froze.

Something was wrong. Saltriv was insistent these were chocolate chip cookies, but this didn't taste like chocolate at all! Instead of that rich and sweet flavor I remembered with a hint of bitterness, it was…almost fruity, sweet with a hint of dryness.

I mean, it wasn't bad, but… it wasn't chocolate.

Was the chocolate here different from the chocolate I remembered? I remember there were fruit-flavored chocolates back in my world, but I couldn't remember the last time anyone had used those in cookies. Had Saltriv done that here? Or was this just some sort of weird, otherworldly chocolate?

I took another bite. I wasn't just imagining things, it really did taste different from real chocolate. I…could actually faintly feel the taste of real chocolate now that I was focusing so much on the taste of this, but it was so warped it was almost unrecognizable.

Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn't just the chocolate that tasted off. The berries I'd been eating tasted a bit different from what I remembered how they should taste like. But why? They looked just like the ones that I remembered!

Is… Is it because I'm an Oshawott now? Do things just taste different to Pokemon?

… actually that made sense. I never tried to eat Pokémon food back home, but it didn't exactly look appetizing to me. They're so different from humans, so even if we ate the exact same food, why wouldn't the way they tasted be different, too?

So then as long as I was stuck like this, I couldn't even taste things like how I used to anymore...

I really, really hoped I could go back soon.

"What do you think? Are the cookies good?" Burhalla asked, taking a bite out of a cookie of his own.

"Yeah!" I said, before taking another bite out of my cookie. It really was good, just…not what I was hoping for.

Soon, we had all eaten a couple cookies each. Saltriv's leaf began drooping, and Burhalla's tail flame flickered as he fidgeted with his scarf. "What now?" I asked, glancing across the room.

"Let's make that blanket fort!" Saltriv suggested, swaying their leaf towards the pile of blankets and pillows. "That's one of the things I want to do first for this sleepover! As soon as we get that fort built, then we can play games inside it!"

"Sure! Let's do it!" Burhalla said, his tail flame brightening.

"Uh, yeah!" I said, smiling a little bit. Though was it really a good idea to build a pillow fort with Burhalla's tail flame swishing around like that? It wouldn't set fire to the fort or anything like that, right?

…nobody I've seen had been even slightly worried about him setting fire to things, though. And there's other fire-type Pokemon living in this town. I'm probably overthinking it, since surely the villagers here make things in mind for their own bodies. Everything's probably fireproof, so it should be fine.

"Everything we need is right over here!" Saltriv said. They were already walking towards the pile of pillows and blankets, giving it a brief glance before grabbing a stool with their vines. "Let's move the stools first, then we can put the blankets on and then the pillows inside!"

"Sounds good!" Burhalla said. He took a stool of his own and dragged it behind the beds. I took one soon after, and began dragging it next to my bed. It was surprisingly difficult to move it, though with my current body, it probably weighed as much as me now.

Before long, all the stools were in place, and we began moving the pillows and blankets. Saltriv was the only one of us who could reach the tops of the stools to drape the blankets onto them, so me and Burhalla just focused on carrying the pillows inside.

"And there!" Saltriv said, as they draped the last blanket over the stools. "It's done!"

I stepped back from the fort to see our handiwork.

Blankets of many different colors were draped around five stools positioned around our beds, covering them from almost all sides. There was a small opening between two orange blankets in the front, from which I could see pillows of a similar range of colors as the blankets all around the inside, as well as our beds.

Even if it was more work than I expected, it looked pretty nice, and really cozy to boot!

"I think it turned out really great!" Saltriv said, their tail rapidly wagging. "Thanks for helping me!"

"Not a problem. It was fun!" Burhalla said with a bright smile. "Now, let's go in and get back to having fun!"

"Sounds great! But, um... what are we going to do next?" I asked, beginning to walk inside the fort.

"Well, we could play a game or two… how about One Night Ultimate Human?" Burhalla suggested, following me inside. My eyes widened at the name. 'O-One Night Ultimate Human'? Wh-What the-? Did Burhalla know somehow? Was this game going to reveal that I'd been lying to my teammates all this time?

"We'd need more people for it," Saltriv replied. They shook their head, before joining us inside the blanket fort. "And I don't want to play it without Acacia, since his team is the focus of the game. It wouldn't be the same without him playing."

Before I could ask what Saltriv meant by that, they spoke up with a counter-suggestion, "Hm... How about playing Quick Moves instead?"

Burhalla's tail flame flared up, and he smiled. "Yeah! Let's do it!" Burhalla said, before pausing, then turning towards me. "Actually, wait. Gen, did you learn Water Gun yet?"

I looked down guiltily, dreading what might come next after what I was about to say.

"No. I tried, but…I could only do a Water Sport."

Burhalla's smile disappeared and his tail flame dimmed briefly. He gave a small sigh and looked back at Saltriv with a small shake of his head.

"Oh. I don't think we can play Quick Moves like that, then. We can't do it without an attacking move of your type," he murmured. "Sorry, Saltriv."

I gripped tightly onto my reunion cape. I can't even do a simple Water Gun. The one, single thing that would have been fun about me being like this, and I can't even do that. And I couldn't play that game with Saltriv and Burhalla because of that, either…

Agh! I was ruining everything here! Did they even still want me at the sleepover now? Ever since we'd finished the pillow fort, all I'd done was just get in the way of their fun!

"I'm sorry," I said, trembling. "I shouldn't have—"

Before I could finish, I felt a pair of scaly hands wrap around me. I looked up, seeing Burhalla hugging me.

"It's ok," he said, softly smiling at me. "You didn't do anything wrong. As long as you're trying, I'm sure you'll get it eventually. And it's just one game we can't do, anyways."

"Yep! There's plenty of others we can still do!" Saltriv said, waving their leaf. "How about charades?"

"I'd be down for that! I love charades!" Burhalla said, his tail flame burning brightly as he looked towards Saltriv before turning back to me with an insistent smile. "What do you think? You ok with that, Gen?"

Not quite prepared for the sudden question, I stumbled over my words. This was the charades I was thinking of, right? I wasn't about to join a game that was really something completely different, was I?

"I, uh—"

Before I could get a chance to fully answer, he said, "Oh, right. I should explain what it is. It's a game where you pretend to be something, and everyone else has to guess what that something is! It's really fun!"

I already knew what charades were. I'd even played it a couple times with my family. But I appreciated Burhalla's thoughtfulness nonetheless, guess he really wasn't upset about not being able to play Quick Moves.

"Sounds fun!" I said, smiling as I sat down on a pillow, before making some adjustments so my tail wasn't uncomfortable. "Let's do it!"

The game was simple enough, not that Burhalla's explanation left much room for confusion. Except… I had no idea how I'd play it with an Oshawott body.

"Alright! I'll start!" Burhalla said, before letting go of me and stepping a bit away. He moved his head forward, and his tail flame grew large. He held his arms to his sides, and began moving them up and down methodically, almost like flapping.

A large fire…and flapping…could it be…

"Moltres?" I guessed, and Burhalla smiled, stopping his flapping.

"Was it really that obvious? But yeah, that's right!" Burhalla said, walking back to a pillow. "I guess I should have gone with something more difficult. Who wants to go next?"

"Me!" Saltriv said, waving their leaf. They stepped back from their pillow, and swayed their leaf so it was over one of their eyes. An Ancient Power rock formed in midair next to their midsection.

…I had no clue what that was supposed to be.

"Uh, Magcargo?" I said. The guess was probably wrong, but it was the closest thing I could think of. I just couldn't think of any Pokémon that'd have one eye covered that'd also have rocks or something by their midsection.

"Nope!" they said, adjusting their leaf slightly.

Burhalla stared inquisitively for a few seconds, before his eyes widened. "Amaura!" he exclaimed, and Saltriv nodded.

"Yep! It was tricky to make it work, but you got it!" Saltriv said, going back to their pillow.

'Amaura'? I'd never heard of a Pokémon by that name before.. Was it a Pokemon from a region I didn't know a lot about? Or were there Pokémon that only lived in this world but not in mine? Maybe it'd make sense to ask—?

"Your turn, Gen!" Saltriv said, snapping me out of my thoughts.

Oh, right, I was next.

What should I even try to be…Xatu? No, my arms were now too short for that. Mr. Mime? I didn't exactly have proper hands anymore… At this rate, maybe I ought to be a Magikarp. Since I was about as useless as one right now. Though then again, I don't think I'd even be able to flop like one with how my limbs are.

Let's back up a bit. What can I do with two nubs for arms and a tail… Psyduck? That might be possible. I just need to put my paws to my head and pretend I have a really bad headache.

I stood up, stepped back from my pillow, and put my arms on my head, before beginning to waddle back and forth, a pained expression on my face.

Burhalla and Saltriv stared at me, looking completely bewildered. That meant I was doing well and making them think hard, right? Or... had my charade somehow come out wrong?

"A very sick Piplup?" Saltriv said, trying to stifle a giggle.

"Uh, no," I answered, before beginning to shake my head as I waddled.

"A Psyduck that went days without darkness soothing?" Burhalla said, looking straight at my head.

Well, my charade had come out good enough if Burhalla could figure it out.

"Yeah, that's right! Though it was just supposed to be a Psyduck," I said, walking back to my seat, sitting down, and adjusting my position. "Um, what's darkness soothing?"

"It's a type of treatment where Topsy-turvy is used on a Pokemon who's having trouble with psychic powers," Burhalla answered. "It really helps if their powers are causing them pain."

Huh, interesting. I never heard of anyone doing that back home. It sounds like something that'd be useful, especially for a Pokémon like Psyduck. Maybe I can tell others about it when I get back home!

… I really hope I can go home soon.

"Uh, who should go next?" I asked, looking between my teammates as I began to smell…pecha muffins?

"I ca—" Saltriv began, but before she could finish, Meganium's head peeked inside the blanket fort.

"I brought more snacks for you all! Come and take some!" she said with a smile. "Also, Lidequir stopped by to visit. Why don't you take a break from that pillow fort to spend some time with her?"

Lidequir? Who was that? I saw Saltriv's eyes widen at the mention of that name. Was that another friend of theirs from here in Overcast Village? If so, how come they hadn't introduced me yet?

"Yay! Thanks, mom!" Saltriv said, their tail wagging as they hurried out of the blanket fort. Me and Burhalla soon followed, and I caught a look of awe on his face as we exited the fort.

I was greeted with Meganium holding a wooden platter of pink muffins with a vine just outside the fort's entrance, along with a Wartortle wearing a red scarf.

"Heya!" the Wartortle said, grinning at us.

"Hi Lidequir!" Saltriv said, running up to her. The Wartortle gave a hearty laugh, and pat Saltriv's leaf. She seemed awfully close to Saltriv for a Pokémon that I was just finding out about... what on earth was her story?

"Good to see you again, sprout! I missed ya!" she said. "You holding up alright?"

Saltriv smiled brightly, and gave Lidequir a brief hug with a vine. "Yep! I'm part of a search party now! Team Searchlights! It was Burhalla's idea!" they replied, pointing with their leaf towards Burhalla.

"Well, how 'bout that!" Lidequir said, before walking over to Burhalla and giving him a pat on the back. "Thanks for keeping them safe."

"Not a problem!" Burhalla replied, beaming.

I just stood there, wondering who this person was and how she knew Saltriv, before she turned towards me. "Gen! It's nice to meet you!"

Wh-Wha-? H-How does she know my name? I began trembling, clutching onto my reunion cape. "How—?"

"Aw, don't sweat it too much. I used my human powers to read your mind and figure out your name!" she said with another hearty laugh.

My eyes widened, and my grip on my reunion cape tightened. Human powers? Since when did humans have special powers? Did that mean she was human too? Did she see that I was human? Was she going to tell everyone? Was—?

"Just joking! Acacia told me about you. He's my partner," she said, giving a soft smile. I saw Meganium give her a disappointed look, and Saltriv giggling quietly.

That wasn't funny… Lidequir really scared me there! … Not that she would know, and frankly it was for the best that she didn't.

I slowly let go of my reunion cape, and looked up at Lidequir. "Uh, hi. So you're also on Team Seedlings with him?"

"That's right!" she said. "We saved the world together and all that jazz."

"How's the sleepover been going?" Meganium asked, stepping closer. "Are you all having fun?"

"Yep! We're all having lots of fun! We were just playing Charades!" Saltriv said, walking up to their mom.

"We also made a blanket fort! Though I guess you could already see that," Burhalla added, glancing at the fort.

"Glad you're having a good time," Meganium replied, giving them a brief hug with their vines.

I smiled at the sight, before feeling a clawed hand on my arm. I looked up, and saw Lidequir standing over me.

"Hey, why don't we go talk for a bit?" she asked, giving me a gentle smile. Before I could say anything, she added, "Don't worry, it's nothing bad, and it won't be long."

I hesitated, trying to figure out what to say in reply. If I said yes, then she might figure out that I'm human, and then tell everyone, and Burhalla would hate me for lying to him, and remove me from the team, and then I'd be away from Saltriv most of the time, and I'd be all alone. But if I say no, I'd put more suspicion on myself, and saying 'no' might not even be an option anyways. I hesitated a couple of seconds, before making a decision that I was sure I was going to regret...


Lidequir grinned. "Let's go, then! Follow me," she said, before walking out of Saltriv's room. I took a brief glance at my teammates, hoping that they'd speak up in protest and reel me back in so that way I'd have an excuse to not go with Lidequir.

"We'll wait for you!" they said, smiling back at me.

...No luck. Looks like I was going to have to make it through this talk on my own.

"Thanks," I said, before following after Lidequir.

We went through the hallway and back to the main room of Saltriv's house. After we entered and got to the table, Lidequir turned around towards me. "Sorry to pull you aside in the middle of your fun with your pals like this. There's a few things I gotta ask you about, and they're best brought up in private."

I nodded, my ears flattening against my head as I trembled. My mind raced with possibilities of what this could be about, almost all of them terrifying. I hesitated, then said, "Ok."

"I know you have amnesia, but what does the word 'human' bring to mind for you?" Lidequir asked, giving me an inquisitive look.

My family and everyone I knew back in Goldenrod. Having hands, no fur, and no tail. Having my food taste the way I expected it to. Watching TV at home with my family. Trying to cook something new. Doing the things that I love.

"Pokemon pretending to be one, and that Gengar Acacia told me about," I lied, looking up at Lidequir. Her ears twitched, and her eyes narrowed slightly in response.

"That's all? No idea what they look like?" Lidequir asked, and I nodded. Her eyes narrowed further.

"And you've never met a real human? One that became a Pokemon?" she added, laying a hand on my shoulder.

Acacia's words from yesterday ran through my head, all the info about my world he couldn't have known if he was just a normal Pokemon.

"I…don't think so," I said, beginning to tremble.

Lidequir's tail twitched, and she gave me a look of reassurance. "Hey, it's ok. There's no need to be scared. We don't bite. Well I do, but that's because I know the move and I'm good at it," she said, giving a small laugh at the end.

I tried to step away, but Lidequir's hand was still on my shoulder. I looked up at her, eyes wide with fear.

"Hey, lighten up a bit," she said, smiling softly at me. "It's just a joke."

I breathed a small sigh of relief, my tail flopping back onto the floor from being tensed up. "That wasn't funny…"

"Sorry 'bout that. Just couldn't resist," Lidequir replied, moving her hand from my shoulder to my head.

"Back to the point. You don't know? So you think you might have met one?" Lidequir asked, looking me in the eyes.

I- I really didn't want to be here right now. Terrified thoughts of what would happen if Lidequir found me out rushed through my head, screaming at me to just run away. But that'd just make things worse, and I'd be all alone.

"…I don't know," I answered, shrinking back against Lidequir's gaze.

She frowned at me, and said, "If it helps, I used to be human myself. Whoever your partner is, I'll be on their side."

My eyes widened. So she was human, too? Was that how Acacia knew all that stuff about my world? Because Lidequir told her? Nevermind that, how on earth did she become a Pokemon in the first place?

My mind raced with question after question after Lidequir's explanation. Did she wake up in that same weird place I did? Does she know how to go back? But if she knew, why wouldn't she have gone back already? And if she did and chose to stay here for whatever reason, would she even tell me? Would she still tell me even if she knew I'd been lying?

And 'partner'? What was she talking about!? What partn—

"Hey, hey, it's ok," Lidequir said with another soft smile, snapping me out of my thoughts. "You can trust me. I promise, whatever's going on, I won't judge you for it."

Maybe I should just try to stick to my story.

"I…don't know. I don't remember anything," I lied, looking down. "I might have met one of those humans, I might not have, but… I just don't remember right now."

"I see. Well, thanks for telling me, you've been a good sport for all of this," Lidequir said, taking her arm off of me. "And good luck with your search party! I'm sure you and Saltriv will do great on it!"

"Yeah…you're welcome," I said, looking back up at Lidequir. Thank goodness she bought that. I dunno what I'd have done if she found out my secret and blurted it out in the middle of my team's sleepover. I felt something scaly brush my head and looked up to see Lidequir patting me with a reassuring smile.

"I'll let you get back to your sleepover. That's all I wanted to ask," Lidequir said. "It was nice meeting you, Gen!"

"…nice meeting you too, Lidequir," I said, as I walked back to Saltriv's room.

I hurried off and let out a relieved sigh once I was confident Lidequir couldn't see me. That entire episode could've ended a lot worse than it did. I tried not to think too hard about it and came back to see Burhalla in the middle of chowing down on a muffin, and Saltriv having just finished one. Meganium was smiling at them.

"Gen! You need to try a muffin! They're really good!" Saltriv said, pushing the platter towards me with a vine. Honestly, I could go for one right now, I needed something to get my mind off that interrogation Lidequir put me through.

"Uh, sure!" I said, before picking one up and biting into it. Like the cookies…it wasn't how I remembered them tasting. Still good, but…

"I'll let you three get back to your sleepover," Meganium said, before beginning to walk out of the room. "Have fun, and stay safe!"

"We will!" Saltriv replied, just as Meganium disappeared from view.

"It's been a while since I've had a muffin this good!" Burhalla said, after taking another bite of his. "What do you think of them, Gen?"

It was more bitter than I remembered. Not enough to ruin it, but still noticeable. Burhalla didn't need to know about that though, not when it'd risk him and Saltriv asking questions. I tried to think of something to say back but kept drawing blanks until I finally forced out the first words that came to my tongue.

"…it's tasty," I said, taking another bite out of mine.

"Good!" Saltriv said, their tail wagging a bit.

"Hard to believe it's only been two days since we met you, Gen. Feels like it's been so much longer," Burhalla said, finishing his muffin.

"Yeah…same here," I said, setting my muffin down.

Had it really only been two days since I ended up like this? I could've sworn it'd been longer…

"It's just hard for me to wrap my mind around sometimes," I said. "There's so much that happened over the past couple days."

"Yep! Going through Twig Woodland, forming Team Searchlights, finding and purifying Flapple," Saltriv said with a bright smile. "We've already done so much together!"

Burhalla also seemed to be in high spirits, and I could see him smiling at me too. You'd never know from that expression that I almost killed him the other day, or that we went into that creepy shrine with all the… statues. Place makes me shudder still just thinking about it.

"I'm really glad you joined our team, Gen," he insisted. "It wouldn't be the same without you."

"…thank you, Burhalla," I said, smiling back. "I…I'm so glad you let me join the team. I don't know what I would have done if I couldn't."

Being all alone for hours on end, with nobody I truly knew to turn to…I really don't know what I'd have done without these two. And I didn't want to imagine what having to go through that would've been like.

"It's a pleasure, really," Burhalla said. "After all, it's not every day that you get to put a search party together with friends!"

I felt my eyes widen. He thought of me as a friend already? Even after what happened in Blistering Shore? I considered him one, but…



I looked up to see Burhalla staring at me. He was quiet and looked somewhat concerned at me. Had my reaction really been that visible?

"Is something wrong about that?" Burhalla asked. "You…are ok with us being friends, right?"

… My eyes felt damp. I could feel a few tears streaming down from my face. But, for the first time in these two long days, they weren't tears of sadness, or pain, or fear... but ones of happiness.

"…yeah. Yeah, I really am," I said.

"I'm glad to hear that! " Saltriv said with a wave of their leaf. "Since I see you as my friend, too!"

I hesitated, then stood up, and walked over to Saltriv and hugging them, before doing the same to Burhalla.

"Thank you…thank you…" I said, my tears splashing onto the floor. I felt a pair of scaly arms wrap around me, followed by a pair of vines wiping away my tears.

For the first time since I arrived here, I didn't feel alone at all.

After a few seconds, I felt my friends relinquish their grasp on me. I looked up to see Burhalla and Saltriv smiling brightly at me.

"Feeling alright, Gen? If so, how about we go back inside and get back to having fun?" Burhalla said, his tail flame burning brightly.

"Yeah. I'd love that," I said, wiping away the remaining tears on my face.

We all walked back into the blanket fort, and I sat back down on my pillow. Right, we'd been playing charades… where did we leave off at?

"Whose turn is it now?"

"I'll go!" Saltriv said, before swaying their leaf to the side of their head. "Just you two wait, I'll be sure to beat you two with my next charade!"

Saltriv's Home, 1 hour later

I flopped back onto my pillow with a quiet sigh. Burhalla had correctly guessed that I was pretending to be an Axew. Not sure if I felt more disappointed that my charade got figured out so fast, or relieved that I was still pulling it off well in this Oshawott body. Out of the corner of my vision, I saw Saltriv beginning to yawn.

"Tired already?" Burhalla asked, laying a hand on the Chikorita. I felt myself start yawning.

"Yep…" Saltriv said, eyes half-lidded. "Still tired from yesterday."

"Yeah…" I said. "There was…so much that happened. And training…was exhausting, too."

Burhalla was yawning now himself. Guess yawns really were contagious, either that or it was much later than I thought it was. I watched as Burhalla laid down on his bedding, carefully slipping his tail flame away from it as he shifted and tried to get comfortable.

"Come to think of it, I'm starting to feel a bit tired, too," Burhalla said. "Was there anything else we still wanted to do right now?"

"Maybe…we should sleep, and do more in the morning," I suggested, starting to have trouble keeping my eyes open."

"Sounds good…" Saltriv said, curling up in their bed. "Goodnight, Burhalla. Goodnight, Gen."

"Night," Burhalla said, closing his eyes.

"Goodnight," I said.

I laid down and rested my head against my pillow, and pulled my blanket over me. I must be getting used to this bed quicker than I thought, since it felt strangely comfortable. Not as comfortable as my human bed, but it was comfortable nonetheless. Before I could close my eyes, though, I heard Burhalla speak up.

"Hey, Gen? Why don't you sleep against your scalchop?" I heard him ask. I looked over towards him, to see him with his eyes just barely open. "Don't Oshawotts normally do that?"

Crap. I didn't know that about Oshawotts. What do I say?

"Um…I…didn't remember that that's a thing Oshawotts do," I said. It wasn't entirely a lie. "Am I supposed to be doing that? It's not unhealthy for me to sleep differently, is it?"

"Dunno. Just found it a bit odd," Burhalla said, closing his eyes again. "Though come to think of it, I don't think I've seen you use your scalchop at all. You should probably start relearning how to use it again. It'd be really handy in dungeons."

"Uh, ok," I said, gripping onto my blanket. "I'll, um, start on that tomorrow."

"Night, Gen," he said, his tail flame beginning to dim.

I lifted my blanket up, to look at the shell on my belly. It was such a weird thing, it felt like both a clothing accessory and a part of my body at the same time. It wasn't as weird as the fur, or the ears, or the tail, or my arms and legs, but still.

I couldn't wait to be human again and be rid of it all.

Until then, though, maybe it was a good idea to try to start learning how to use my scalchop. I didn't know how long it'd be until I could find a way back home, and it could be useful until then.

I definitely don't want to start sleeping against it, though. That didn't sound comfortable at all.

None of this was comfortable.

I had lost so much. My home, my family, my ability to do many things, even my body. All I really had left right now was my memories.

…I didn't want to imagine losing those, too.

But that wasn't entirely true, was it? I had Saltriv and Burhalla. I was happy to have them, at least. I couldn't imagine having to go through this all without them.

But what if they find out about my lies? For all I knew, there was some way they could put two and two together that I didn't know about. And if they did, wouldn't they want nothing to do with me afterwards? And then…I'd be all alone.

I just…need to keep up this lie, just until I find a way home. Then I can go home, return to my life, and put this all behind me.

But then I'd lose Saltriv and Burhalla, wouldn't I?

It'd be worth it, though. I'd be home again, with my family again, and be human again.

Even if I missed them, it'd be worth it.

It'd still be nice not to choose, though.

Maybe…they could even come with me somehow. As disorienting and unpleasant as things had gotten since I became a Pokemon, the two had been genuinely nice to hang around. Who knows? Maybe they would find my world interesting since it was full of beings they'd never seen before.

Yeah. That'd be nice.


Blanket Fort, 6 Hours Later


My eyes began to open, and I yawned. That was such a fun sleepover! Such a great time!

Huh, it looked like it was still dark. I couldn't see very far, but my tail flame helped illuminate things a bit.

I began to stand up, and walk over towards where Saltriv was. "Morning, Saltriv!" I said.

Except I couldn't find them. I looked where I remembered their bed being, but there was just empty space on the floor.

Where did they go?

Ah, they must have gotten uncomfortable sleeping in the pillow fort, and moved their bed outside. I didn't see Saltriv as the type to do that, but they are quite a bit bigger than me or Gen.

I guess I'll just greet Gen, then. The pillow fort shouldn't have been any less comfortable for him than it was for me.

I walked over to his spot, but... wasn't here either.

"…Gen?" I asked.

I held my tail flame out to look around in the darkness. No sign of him either. Guess he must have gone outside with Saltriv. … or at least I think he did.

I began walking towards where the exit of the blanket fort was, but after several seconds of walking, I still hadn't reached it.

Alright, this was getting weird. Something was definitely up. There was no way the blanket fort was this big. What had happened while I was asleep?

I continued walking, until I came to a wall of blankets. I lifted my tail up to try to illuminate the top, but there didn't seem to be any top to the blankets.

No… no, it couldn't be…

Out of the corner of my vision I spotted something lavender. I didn't hesitate to walk over towards it. There on the ground, near the blanket wall, was a sleep seed.

Berry crackers!

This was a mystery dungeon.
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  1. hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. hoppip-bluesidra3
Hello! Finally! The Sleepover! And it is every bit as precious as I expected it!
Saltriv is so sweet! Burhalla such a nice person. And Gen... Gen is a mess. Poor guy. I've had panic attacks in my life before, but if that what generalised anxiety is like, the I'm deeply sorry for everyone who has it.
It's like life hands him every opportunity there is to come clean, and he either declines it or freezes up in panic until the opportunity is over. I wish I could get it into his tiny head that he doesn't have to second guess everything.
Then again, it's only been two days. Him being kinda all over the place is probably normal.

Also, a pillow fort Mystery Dungeon??? That's AMAZING!

I drew your guys while I was listening. I originally only wanted to do Saltriv, because they are such a sunny person, but then the others somehow also materialised :D



Angy Tumbleweed
In Guzma's Closet
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu
AHOY BENCH! Back at it again with our exchange, and I am here for chapters 3 and 4! Progress!

So, these chapters were quite something! We have the trek through the dungeon, and then we have our arrival to Overcast Village, where Saltriv is reunited with his folks. We also have the mentioning that there have been other Pokemon who have been claiming to be amnesiatic humans...and nobody believes them. Based on the events of chapter one, I am A HUNDRED PERCENT inclined to believe that those poor "Pokemon" are telling the truth, and honestly, that raises my first question.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were in Gen's shoes, those Pokemon would be the first ones I'd want to speak to. On one hand, I completely understand his nerves--he was going back and forth for a while about coming clean and admitting he was a human, only to have the Typhlosion totally blow that idea to BITS with that one question. I will say, I audibly gasped because that certainly threw a monkey wrench into things for poor Gen, and I for sure get his angst now. He knows now that if he comes clean, he'd gonna get lumped in with those 'mon that everyone else seems to believe are "looking for attention."

However, given his situation, I would think that anybody's reaction to that, after being "Oh shit" would be "Actually, I need to talk to them because maybe they are telling the truth and are actually in the same situation as me" and I'm surprised Gen didn't think of that at least once. I understand he's very caught up in the alien feeling of being in an Oshawott's body, and trying to keep up with Saltriv and Burhalla, and making sure he has a place to stay that night so he isn't alone, but at some point I would have at least liked to have seen him think "Okay how can I find out where those other Pokemon are? I can't ask anybody here because they seem to be skeptical of me, but..." and perhaps that could cause a whole new round of anxiety for him, as he tries to figure out how he's going to navigate the layers his initial lie has created.

Another thing I wanted to point out, and this is relatively minor, but Saltriv's reunion with his parents felt...rushed to me. Like, Saltriv has been gone for MONTHS, and the most we got from his reunion with his parents was them yelling his name, then conversing casually. I wanted to see a bit more of his mother being in pieces because her child was back, and same for his father. I also wanted to note something that bothered me in regards to Meganium--I'm sure this wasn't your intention, but she seemed a little heartless! Gen literally helped save her child and she had to be convinced to let him stay over after learning he had amnesia? Same for Burhalla's dad; he seemed to just walk off with Burhalla without bothering to check on Gen. I guess everyone is anxious to get home and I could fathom that being the first thing on everyone's mind, but it struck me as almost rude that they knew Gen couldn't remember anything, and they were all just ready to leave him out in the dust.

I also wanted to note that you did quite a lot of head hopping in these chapters. The opening to chapter 3 was a little odd to me, and sort of removed me from the story, because I could not quite tell who's POV we were in, and what the point of it was. It SEEMED like we were still in Gen's POV, but the characterization somehow seemed a little different, and I didn't quite understand the change in tenses. The format was certainly very cool--I got the vibe that you were trying to emulate how the actual games functioned, correct me if I'm wrong--but I wasn't quite sure how it played into the story. Then, we also had the switch to Gen's coworker. I actually at first thought this was a flashback to Gen's life in Goldenrod, and was moderately disappointed to see it was just his coworker. I understood the intent for it; you wanted to show that Gen was kind of being missed back in his home world, but I almost wish it was just a flashback. I hardly know anything about Gen, and at this point in time, he's teetering on the edge of a one-dimensional character for me simply because, again, I know NOTHING about him, so I really wanted some extra insight into his life pre-Iseakai.

Overall, though, these were some very neat chapters! I had a great time reading their trek through the dungeons, and their battles with the Pokemon, as Gen struggled to piece this world together. I also LOVED the characterization of the Porygon--I hope we see more of them!

Some line quotes, just with things that occurred to me while I read!

Such an alien, uncomfortable feeling. What I wouldn’t give to be me again.
This was a great little detail, especially after RPing with Gen--he wants to be human again so badly :((((

Focus, you idiot! We’re still looking for that Charmander! You thought.
I felt your grip tighten on what we held.
Again, very interesting format, but the change in POV here really jarred me, and I wasn't sure what the point was.

“Mystery Dungeons are places where reality is unstable. They have a certain number of floors, connected to each other by stairways. Each floor is made up of a set of rooms and corridors connecting them. The stairways are never in the corridors, always in the rooms, and with few exceptions, every floor only has one staircase. Every time one goes into a Mystery Dungeon, the layout changes,” he said.
This struck me as really info-dump-y...like you're trying to make sure we understand what's happening. As somebody who doesn't know PMD that well, I appreciate, but considering your audience is indeed people who know PMD, you need to trust that your reader knows a thing or two! And if you want to keep some sort of explanation in, you can definitely shorten this down to be more natural. Perhaps, he just offhandedly says "Reality is out of wack here; nothing ever stays the same."

I noticed Burhalla’s expression pale, as I wondered who the Kecleon brothers were. He walked over to the apple, and put it in his bag. “I need to tell you something,” he said, looking at Saltriv.
Uh oh :(((((((((((((

I didn't have any fingers anymore, yet I could still grasp it, like my nubs were some sort of suction cup almost.
This little detail was SO FRICKEN CUTE OMG.

Couldn’t hurt to try all three at once. I pointed my free arm at the Pokemon, and yelled, “Water gun!” trying to imagine a stream of water being shot at it.
What a cutie, he's trying so hard

Before I could try to formulate a response, I heard snickering behind me. I turned around, only to see Saltriv seemingly trying to suppress a laugh.
Marked this because just before, you mentioned that both Saltriv and Burhalla had been crying, and even right after this, you mention Saltriv is crying again. If somebody had just been told they were missing for several months, and also just found out some friends they had were also missing, I doubt they'd be laughing at anything!

“Your expression’s a bit pale.”
I'd try "You look a little pale" or "You look like you've seen a Gastly."

I’d been through something like that once, though not to this degree.

As the two reunited, the Typhlosion approached us.
Like I said in my paragraph, their reunion felt rushed. I wanted to see more, like them crying in each other's arms! Make it dramatic!

“Well, se-se-seems like Burhalla’s fine, and they even brought back Saltriv and this Oshawott! All’s well that en-en-ends well, at least!” the Porygon-Z stuttered, bringing me back to reality as I was finally addressed.
Again, love the characterization and speech of the Porygon. I'd die for him.

“I’m not sure if I should believe you. You’re not faking it, trying to pretend to be another amnesiac human sent to save the world?” the Typhlosion interrogated. “There’s been four Pokemon who tried lying about that just this month.”

“We’ll have to discuss it first, but I’ll consider it,” the Meganium responded, causing my expression to fall. “You should have told me soone-”
Yeah, like I said, this came off to me as extremely heartless. I guess I can gather that you were going for the "stern mother" type but Gen LITERALLY helped save your son, Meganium, have some compassion!

That caps my thoughts!! I'll be back for 5-7 at a later date! <3


Angy Tumbleweed
In Guzma's Closet
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu
Hiya again! Here for that chapter 5. I thought I'd be able to chug through 6 and 7 too, but I am a sleepy gorl andbehindonnanoHAHA. Nonetheless, I promised a review tonight, so a review you shall get!

Okay, so a LOT of interesting things happening in this chapter! I assume this is the introduction Arctozolt, and also, poor Porygon! I don't exactly know what happened, but I feel bad nonetheless! I do have to say, though, that the way that section was written was positively FLAWLESS. Such great characterization of them, from their little glitch, to their old computer-like skipping of thoughts and errors. So great, I really love Porygon and hope they are okay, AHHHHH.

More in regards to Porygon's attack, I did feel like Burhalla's dad's reaction to it was a little...muted? Like, if I heard my friend frantically screaming "HELP ME" from the walls, I'd be a little more worried that Burhalla's dad seemed. Even Burhalla and his sister didn't seem all that concerned, and kinda went off to their room without saying much else. Then again, I am still not quite sure what Porygon's relationship to Burhalla's family is, and I know it was mentioned in a previous chapter that Porygon was a lil' glitchy and messed up, sooooooooo for all I know something like this is very common and they've grown used to it. Also, Burhalla's dad seems pretty questionable in general (LYING to your child about his mother's death? Sheeeeeesh, parent of the year award, anyone????), so maybe this is in character for him.

Things started to get a little confusing for me when we got to the last section, MAJORLY because I first thought it was some sort of time skip when I saw "Gen the Dewott." But THEN, it seemed like this was actually Saltriv's aunt's team? (Didn't know there was a gender-neutral term for niece/nephew, so thank you for teaching me something today!!) So now I'm getting a vibe that there's some parallel universe/time warp shit going on here, and honestly....that's really neat! I'm not sure what else to make of that team though--I guess they're a band of renowned (or at least mostly renowned) adventurers? That are interested in meeting some humans? I do have a lot of questions.

Anyway, good stuff! I'll be back :D

Thoughts and whatnot:
I floated through the fog, away from the Top Plaza. The sun was almost set. There’d certainly be no customers back at the old recyclin’ shop at this time. No need to take a gander at it before heading home.

I took a sharp right down the alley next to ol’ Flapple’s home. He’s sure been missing for a while now. I miss those times when we hung—

when we hung—

when we hung—


Toucannon can launch plain seeds with enough power to destroy boulders.

The top half almost looked parasitic, like a Poisonous Slowking or a Parasect, as if it was a stem that had grown out of the corpse of an Arctoar. The hands almost seemed like they were tacked on as an afterthought, unable to reach anything. The whole top part looked like it was permanently locked in an ice bath, a frozen glob of snot dangling from its nostrils, almost like that of a Cubchoo.
Oh, HI Arctozolt!!!

I floated a bit closer to it, and with as much warmth in my voice as I could muster, told it, “Do you requi-qui-quire assistance?”

Suddenly, it lunged—

it lunged—



Error. Six unreceived packets. Backing up memories, then commencing reboot with unit PNS-NT.
MokaS *sweats*

I smiled a bit in response. That was a relief, unless he was lying again.
AGAIN? Honey it's not normal for your parents to lie to you regularly, what the--

“For your own benefit!”

“Lying to me about my mother isn’t for my benefit!”

“You wouldn’t have been able to handle learning about her death!”

“It would have been better than you keeping me in the dark about it for YEARS!”
Aaaaaand there it is, and that is SOME LIE to tell your kid!!!!

On another note, I feel like you could use a few dialogue tags there, but that is just personal preference!

there was something tall, with fur only on its head, and two arms ending with five fingers. It looked just like the humans of legends!
Oh, HI human Gen!

?? Month of Autumn, ?? Day

It’s been a while since I wrote in here!

I was walking to Burhalla’s house, when suddenly, I felt something soft hit me, and I woke up in this strange place. The sky was all these different colors, and I was on this dark, glassy platform. In the center of it, there was something tall, with fur only on its head, and two arms ending with five fingers. It looked just like the humans of legends!

Can you believe it? A real human? And not even a former one!

I asked who they were, and the next thing I knew, the human had grabbed me, and I heard something smash right into where I was standing before. I didn’t get a good look at it, but it looked pink and black, and really big.

I think that human had saved me from that thing! Or maybe it was just a dream.

After that, I woke up at the end of Twig Woodland. There was an Oshawott there named Gen. He didn’t know what was going on, either. He asked me what I remembered last, and I told him about that place with the weird sky and the human. I don’t think he believed me, though. I can hardly believe it myself! An actual human!

I asked him the same question, and suddenly, Burhalla came into the clearing! He was really relieved to see me, and told me where I was. Then he started talking to Gen. Apparently Gen couldn’t remember where he lived, or much of anything at all! I’d almost think he was just faking it, or maybe even another human turned Pokemon, but later he said he didn’t even remember being human!

Burhalla had forgotten an Escape Orb, so we had to head through the dungeon backwards. It was pretty difficult. We even ran into a huge group of Dungeon Pokemon! I thought it was a Monster House, but Burhalla pointed out that there weren’t any items in it. We must have just been unlucky. A Weedle had poisoned me there, but Gen gave me a pecha berry to help with that.

Speaking of Gen, he couldn’t even remember how to use moves! He tried shouting out “Water Gun!” at a Pikipek, as if that would do anything! I really needed that laugh after what Burhalla told me.

He said that I’ve been missing for months. MONTHS! All of Summer, it seems. Morpeko, Flapple, and even Leon had gone missing while I’ve been gone. According to Burhalla, Kecky and the rest of the Kecleon clan have been searching for him ever since.

I hope he’s found soon. I miss helping him out with his shop.

At least mom and dad are ok. Once we got out of the Mystery Dungeon, mom was at the top of the hill, with Burhalla’s father and PNS-NT. I was so happy to see her, even if it felt like I saw her just yesterday.

We didn’t have much time to talk, as Burhalla’s dad accused Gen of lying about his amnesia. I couldn’t believe him! We had just gotten out of Twig Woodland, and Gen had already gone through a lot in there. That accusation was too much after all that! Me and Burhalla helped defend Gen, though I do wonder what Gen’s life was like before we met him.

Once we got back to town, Burhalla, his dad, and PNS-NT went home, while me and mom went over to talk with dad. He was so happy to see me! I think the whole town heard him shout my name! We talked things over a bit. He and mom had been running the Kecleon Shop in town since Leon had disappeared. Normally, I’d be ecstatic about this, but it wouldn’t be the same without Leon there.

While we were talking, Gen asked if he could stay with us. I pleaded with mom to let him. She was unsure at first, but after some persuasion, dad agreed that Gen could stay.

Once we were home, mom went to get the guest bed ready for Gen, and dad went to the parents’ room. While we were waiting, I asked Gen if he really did have amnesia, and if there’s anything he did remember. He told me yes, but before we could talk much, mom told us the guest bed was ready.

It was right next to my bed, and Gen just stared at it awkwardly. Guess he didn’t remember seeing a bed before! I suggested for him to keep a journal like I do, to help remember things! I also asked if he could tell me exactly what he remembers. He said he was tired, though, and asked if we could do it tomorrow. I was pretty tired, too, so I agreed. I was so tired, I didn’t even get to write in here before I fell asleep!

Once he’s awake, I’m going to ask him. There has to be something other than his name.

Honestly, I don’t really know why I’m doing all this for Gen. Maybe it’s because he was the first Pokemon I saw since I woke up in Twig Woodland. Maybe it’s because we both don’t remember the past few months. Maybe it’s because he healed me with that pecha berry. Maybe it’s just that he feels familiar somehow, like I’ve met him before. Did we meet each other while I was missing?

Anyways, the sun’s been up for a while now. I should get up. See ya tonight!

~ Saltriv
So I LARGELY feel like this whole passage was very unnecessary. I get that you're trying to establish that Saltriv keeps a journal, but this is also a detailed recap of the last few chapters that you honestly don't need. I would assume most of your readers are intaking this story in chunks, and might get very bogged down by this long recap passage (I will be honest, I mostly skimmed it once I realized what it was because I didn't need the recap--I remembered all these things that happened, and didn't need to spend extra time recapping, you feel?). Readers want to get on with the story, and if they need a recap, they can go back to previous chapters and skim. But don't be the one to bog down your own tale with summaries you absolutely do not need. You could stand to start this passage right around where Saltriv starts talking about talking to Gen again, and that would be plenty.

I wiped away the tear stains,
Why were they crying? Was it because they'd been gone so long? If so, I didn't really catch anything to melancholy in that passage.

“Let’s talk about what happened to you over the morning news. Then we can write a letter to your uncle about what happened,”
Repetitive use of that phrase kinda bogs this dialogue down

We have PNS-NT, the Porygon-Z who was the victim of this creature’s assault, here for an interview...”

The small, blue house fashioned after a Squirtle on the outskirts of Pokemon Square was packed, with 8 very special Pokemon. A Wartortle and a Meganium were the hosts for this particular meeting, as it was on their home turf, and were standing at the back of the house. A Sceptile and an Empoleon, the only two there that had saved the world twice over, and part of the few who actually deserved to be here, were standing off to the side, near a pool of water. On the other side of the room, on a small wooden platform next to the cyan wall, was the most obscure duo there, a Dewott and a Servine, whose meager escapades on the Mist Continent were not known by many. And near the entrance was the final pair, a Combusken and a Bayleef, the most recent heroes of the bunch, perhaps even the second greatest of the bunch, and the ones who had the idea to begin these gatherings to begin with.
So this was a heavy read, and a lot to take in. I feel like you could definitely spread this out a little more. Start the scene with "there's several team members here," then start introducing them as they begin to talk, instead of taking a whole paragraph to describe each species and where they're standing before getting into the gritty.

“There has to be some kind of lead, right? Gen, did you find out if anyone had disappeared from the human world?” the Meganium asked, looking towards the unkempt Dewott.
WHA--TIME SKIP????????????

“...no. Saltriv’s still missing,” the Meganium, Acacia, solemnly responded.
so....no timeskip???? Am confused!!!!

Ayueg and Leviene were the first two to leave, heading towards Pokemon Plaza. Inside the former’s shadow, I followed them, thinking back over what had happened.

This was juicy. So they ALL were going to the Thunder Continent. It was a great decision to spy on this meeting.

Time to bring the news to Necrozma.
??????????????????????? I'M SORRY, WHAT?????????????????????????????????? wHAT AN ENDING, WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL, WHO'S STALKING THEM?????
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