• Bubapedia Error 503 Backend fetch failed

    Our technical staff are continuing to monitor the wiki to try and resolve these ongoing issues that are impacting page and image loading. We apologize for the inconvenience. We'll update as soon as we've got more information on this for you.

  • Check out our new Mysterious Garden forum style if you haven't already - we're sure you'll love it!
  • If you are finding yourself unable to log in, you should be able to fix the issue by following the following process.
    1. Close all browser tabs with any part of Bulbagarden open.
    2. Delete all Bulbagarden.net cookies (and if possible, any cached site data for Bulbagarden) from your browser.
    3. Close and reopen your browser, open a new tab, and log into the forums on the new tab.
    If you've followed this process and are still having issues, please contact us via the "Contact us" link at the bottom of the forum.

TEEN: Attack of The 50-Foot Brent (Oneshot)

Author's Notes & Story

canisaries

still occasionally here
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
1,613
Reaction score
1,520
Pronouns
she/her
Hello everyone! I'm back again with another PMD-esque story, this time a spinoff to the second multiparter PMD fic I've done, Dragony. Knowledge of Dragony is not necessary for reading this story, however, as this only shares the setting and stars some minor characters from it. This also doesn't spoil Dragony in any way, nor does Dragony spoil this, so reading order is free.

Anyway, here is Attack of The 50-Foot Brent, a oneshot story about stubborn dragons and a stubborn Charizard. Rated teen for mild language and cartoon violence. Hope you enjoy.

---

ATTACK OF THE 50-FOOT BRENT

Synopsis:
An ordinary day in Farindon, the dragon-only capital city of the Dragon Kingdom, takes a turn for the bizarre as a giant charizard shows up at the gates.

Genre:
Comedy, Fantasy

Started:
17 February 2020
(originally posted to Thousand Roads in three parts)

Status:
Finished
(28 May 2020)

Length:
11 000~ words

---​

Igor watched with a smirk as Valentino’s tail swung from side to side, scales jingling with each turn.

“You sure have gotten a lot noisier since you evolved,” he commented, fanning himself with the cards in his claws.

Valentino flinched and stopped his tail. He snorted with a smirk of his own. “At least I evolve. I’m a lot more exciting.”

“Alright, jingly boy,” retorted the druddigon. “Ready to play your card?”

“You bet I am,” Valentino said. “Or should I say... I bet I am.”

He grabbed a small stack of coins from his side of the table and moved it to the middle.

“Ooh, starting already,” said Igor, moving a stack of his own. "Let's see what we've got."

With a coordinated countdown, the two dragons set forth a card each and flipped it. Upon seeing his opponent's fighter, Valentino's eyes widened in shock.

"B-but I defeated that thing already!" he shouted, pointing at the illustration of a malamar. "And there's only one in this deck!"

Igor grinned and pulled both stacks of coins to himself. "Not anymore. I traded for another one with someone else!"

Valentino groaned. "Not fair!"

Igor leaned back in his creaky wooden chair. "Some say counting cards isn't fair, either."

Valentino muttered something as he moved his card to the graveyard. A scyther would normally beat a psychic type, at least one with a power level no larger than thirty points of the card's own, but that blasted malamar had the effect of reversing type effectiveness for five turns.

How would he beat that thing now? He had no poison or fighting types, and none of his cards had power levels higher than that malamar. Stupid sturdy squid… he'd just have to bear the annoying reverse for five turns...

An exclamation from outside interrupted Valentino's thoughts. He looked at Igor, seeing from the druddigon's expression that he, too, had heard the voice.

"What did he say?" Valentino asked, peering out the window of the little shack, but couldn't catch the speaker's face from that angle. The one he guessed had been the speaker, anyway, as it had sounded like the exeggutor sentry. Specifically one of the higher heads that his limited field of view would not allow him to see. The tail-head, though, seemed to stare back and gesture him to come.

"Dunno, couldn't catch it," said Igor, standing up. "But we better go ask."

Valentino nodded, and the two left the shoddy station - though not before Igor covered the cards with a cloth. He wouldn't let anyone steal his two-malamar deck.

The dragons padded through the small snowy opening to the sentry. The exeggutor's long neck craned above the Farindon wall, all three pairs of eyes squinted to see something better in the distance.

"What'd he say?" asked Igor of the tail-head.

"I believe his exact words were 'what the hell is that'," replied the head, voice dry as always.

"Wh-what did he see?" asked Valentino, nervous. He glanced back at the wooden station, eyeing the spears leaning on its walls.

"Mm, they are seeing something strange, indeed," said the tail-head. "They say there is a giant, blazing dragon in the horizon, and it seems to be headed this w-"

Valentino screeched, eyes wide. "G-giant blazing dragon?"

Igor grimaced. "Ugh, Tino, there's no way it's --"

"It's Reshiram!" Valentino wailed. "H-He's come to bring judgment on us all!" He grabbed his head. "Oh goodness, oh dear, I-I haven't been virtuous at all! I've forgotten to pray, I've skipped out on church, I've had i-inappropriate thoughts about that altaria…"

He turned to Igor suddenly, pointing a claw. "A-and you! You got me to gamble, you demon of red face!"

Igor slapped the kommo-o's hand away. "Don't put the blame on me! It was your idea!"

"No, no, it's not white," echoed from above. "It's more orange… or is that just the fire?"

"Oh, there's no way," grumbled Igor. "You're just trying to trick us. It's been a boring day and you wanted to have a little fun --"

"No, we're not joking!" shouted the same voice. "Come up here, you'll see!"

"I… sure, I will," replied Igor, surprised. "Lift me up, then!"

The exeggutor voiced an agreement and began to bend down, prompting the druddigon to run a treeneck's length along the wall. Once the neck was level with the ground, Igor climbed onto the canopy, and the sentry erected their neck again.

As soon as he overlooked the wall, Igor spotted the 'blazing dragon' - the bright spot on the horizon was hard to miss. A quick glance might have mistaken it for the sun, especially since the real one was hidden behind a thick blanket of clouds that day. He squinted to better grasp its form. It was draconic, yes, but also orange, and that neck and those horns…

"Well? I-is it the White Lord?" shouted Valentino from far below.

"No, Tino," groaned Igor, loudly enough for his friend to hear. "It ain't even a dragon, actually. It's a big ol' charizard!"

Valentino sighed in relief. "There's still time for repentance."

Once lowered onto the wall by the sentry, Igor peeked down again. “Tino, go tell the commander! If that thing comes here, it’s definitely out of our hands.”

“Right!” the kommo-o shouted and ran off.

The remaining dragons turned back to watch the flaming giant in the distance.

"This thing better not decide to leave now, or we'll sound like lunatics," grumbled Igor.

---​

Commander Turtonator Kilbey grimaced. One of the wheels in the food cart squeaked as it turned - fitting the quality of the food, he thought. At least dessert was hard to do poorly. All it really needed was sugar.

"Alright," said the cook, her voice still far too soft and faint for a duraludon. "Here's the dessert - baked appletun shavings!"

With the help of her magnetic powers, she lifted the dome covering the meal and moved the plate to the table along with some fresh cutlery. A sweet-smelling steam emanated from a pile of juicy, golden brown slices, drawing out water in any onlooker's mouth. It actually looked delicious, which hurt the commander's pride to admit, but if it tasted as good as it advertised, perhaps there was no shame in --

A gray squiggle atop one slice shattered the illusion. Kilbey's snout wrinkled - but inside, he also smirked.

"Is that a hair?" he snarled, pointing at the mistake he'd spotted. "A hair in my dessert?"

The duraludon's eyes widened in panic. She leaned in and saw the hair as well, inhaling so sharply that Kilbey half expected it to take the hair with it.

"I-I'm so sorry!" she cried, lifting the fork of the previous meal with her magnetism and fishing out the hair with it. "I-it m-must be Cookie's… I thought I locked her out of the kitchen, but m-maybe this hair stuck to me and fell on the…"

As if she'd known she was the subject of discussion, a fluffy eevee padded into the dining hall with an unapologetic 'vee'. The gray of her winter coat matched the hair's - damning evidence.

"Hey!" growled Kilbey, now pointing at the eevee. "No eevee in the dining hall unless they're on the plate!"

Cookie hissed in response.

Kilbey stood up, knocking over his stool in the process. "Do not talk back to your superior! Show some respect!"

The eevee arched her back and spat.

"That's it!" roared the turtonator and began trampling towards the little beast, who still stood her ground with murderous eyes. "I'm gonna teach you a --"

The door opposite the room opened with a jingle. A kommo-o guard stood in the frame. "Commander Kilbey!" he called, his accent coming through. It identified him as Valentino - that one kommo-o of Southern origin in wall patrol. "Something strange has been spotted in the southwest."

Kilbey stared back at him, then at the eevee. The latter gave a contemptuous groan before slipping away. Kilbey gave a groan of his own, but decided to let it go. He turned to the kommo-o. "Strange in what way?"

"Uh… well, this is going to sound crazy, but a giant charizard."

Kilbey raised a brow. "Giant charizard?"

"Yes, sir. That is what it appears to be."

The turtonator's eyes narrowed. "You do realize that making false reports on purpose is a crime that can easily land you in the dungeon?"

Valentino flinched. "Um, yes, sir. I really am not lying. You can see for yourself."

Kilbey snorted, ejecting a cloud of black smoke from his nostrils. "Well, then I will. What station is this report coming from?"

"Number four, sir." Valentino held back his need to cough from the commander's breath.

"Well, thank you very much for informing me of this," said Kilbey sharply, and marched past Valentino and out the door.

Once the commander's footsteps had quieted, Valentino sighed. He looked to the duraludon, who'd stood in place for the entire conversation, unsure what to do.

"He's got his shell on a little tight, hasn't he?" said the kommo-o.

"What? Um…" The duraludon ground her arm-ends together. "I-I'm not saying anything."

Valentino smirked. His eyes caught the plate of appletun shavings on the table. "Say, is this what the commander was yelling about earlier? About an eevee hair?"

The duraludon nodded in shame. "Yeah… I suck…" She reached for the plate. "I should throw this away…"

Valentino's eyes widened. "Oh, no, no!" he rushed to say, trotting for the table. "Please, let's not have it go to waste. I'll gladly eat it!"

"Really? But the hair…"

Valentino waved a hand and sat in Kilbey's seat. "Psh, that just means the eevee gave its approval. That's what my grandma always says. Eevee are picky mon, so they know good food when they see it, you know?"

Flustered, the duraludon couldn't suppress a chirp of surprise. "A-alright, go ahead, then…" She bowed with haste. "Enjoy your meal, sir!"

Mouth watering, Valentino gladly dug in.

---​

“Wonder what’s taking Tino so long...” mumbled Igor, words further slurred by the fist his cheek rested on. He’d sat down on the wall once the commander had left, as he'd been ordered to keep an eye on the approaching giant, but it had soon become apparent that there was not much to watch. The charizard grew larger at quite a slow pace, meaning Igor could afford to sacrifice some visibility for comfort.

“Probably should’ve asked the commander,” pointed out the sentry’s middle head. The two at his sides had long since tuned out, having closed their eyes in hopes of catching some sleep. With less sunlight to absorb, resting was important for exeggutor during the winter months.

"Maybe," said Igor, "but I kinda just wanted him to leave as soon as possible. He's never good, but he's especially not good when irritated, and he seemed that way today."

"Mm, you've got a point."

Silence reigned for a few seconds. This, however, was enough to bore Igor again. He decided to stand up and give the giant another ogle.

He squinted. “Hmm.”

“‘Hmm’ what?” asked the sentry.

Igor put a claw on his chin. "I was thinking… doesn't that charizard look a little familiar?"

"I don't know any giant charizard."

"Pfft, not giant. Just regular. Look."

"I've been looking the whole time. I don't see anything new. Hell, I barely see anything with that glow burning into my eyes --"

"Okay, okay, I get it, I'll just say it. That charizard looks like Brent to me."

"Brent?"

Igor looked back at the sentry. "You know, the guy that comes here sometimes, bangs on the gates like an idiot, sometimes tries flying in, all because he thinks charizard should be considered dragons too?"

"Oh, his name is Brent? We've just been calling him Nuttyzard."

"Ah, alright. I guess you sentries don't talk a lot with outsiders."

"Never paid attention to his face, either."

"Eh, I've seen it enough to remember." Igor paused. "Do you think I should tell a higher-up? If that's really Brent, just blown up somehow, his motives might be useful information."

"Well, if he's as vocal as you make him seem, they'll probably find out soon enough," said the sentry, turned towards the east. "Look."

Igor turned as well and promptly spotted what the sentry must have meant. A flygon in a red uniform had emerged from one of the castle's towers and was now flying towards the distant charizard.

"A red, huh," said Igor. "They're really taking this seriously."

"Well, it is a giant. Imagine if that thing attacked."

A knot formed in Igor's gut. He supposed he'd never let the realization of a giant monster heading for their city set in - it'd felt so surreal, like a joke.

"Let's hope it really is Brent," he said. "For that flygon's sake, and everyone else's."

---​

Flygon Lento could barely fly straight. Anxiety made each wingbeat waver, and with a rate of several wingbeats per second, the error accumulated rapidly.

He was not the right mon for the job. He was a strategist, not a negotiator. That red uniform of his had been earned through hours of scrutinizing maps, not by bashing skulls with war-crazed brutes. How was he going to be the one to tell the massive fiery beast to back off?

Well, he knew how. It had been precisely his lack of persuasive skills that threw him into this position. All those other red coats, confident and assertive, had taken advantage of his weakness to save their own skins or simply to be lazy.

At least he had the type advantage. He would be able to withstand a plume of fire or two if he was quick to get out of the heat. But the fire wasn't what he was afraid of - it was the fact that the monster could surely gobble him up in one bite, and there was no way he would be able to climb his way back up through that massive neck. Maybe this was the others' plan - feed poor Lento to the beast to make it think all dragons tasted as bad.

Should he simply flee? No, traitors had it even worse. He'd have to leave the kingdom, assume some new identity --

Oh dear. Now it was too late. The beast's burning eyes had set upon him. It had noticed him.

Lento cleared his throat. He had no other choice.

"Greetings, t-traveller!" he announced loudly, voice echoing throughout the snowy plains. "The city of Farindon, the crown jewel of the Dragon Kingdom, has noticed your approach. The presence of a mon as powerful as you intrigues us, and we wish to know the reason for your visit!"

The colossal charizard sped up its steps. The thumps of before evolved into quakes underneath the monster’s feet as its march changed to a charge.

Lento pulled on his antennae with a grimace of fear. Oh, by the White Lord’s tail, what did I do? Did I enrage it? How? Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m already doom-

“WHAT’D YA SAY?”

Had he heard correctly? Had those words just left the maw of the approaching giant?

The flames erupting from the giant’s back suddenly grew and faced the sky. Before Lento could speculate what it meant, the charizard lowered its front, and the flames came down. The creature shot forward, right towards the flygon. It came at him fast, too fast - he knew it meant his end and prepared, covering his eyes to save himself from the horrible sight.

But instead of teeth came a gust. A strong gust! Lento reflexively opened his eyes and flapped himself back to an equilibrium - and so he saw the giant had stopped right before him.

It opened its burning maw again.

“I asked, what’d ya say?”

Lento blinked, dumbfounded.

“I couldn’t tell what you said,” continued the giant, its voice far too intimidating for its words. “It echoed too much.”

Somehow, Lento found his composure again. He did have a mission.

“Ahem, um, hello,” he started. “I said, um, that the kingdom has seen your approach. We wonder what your intentions are.”

“Ah, my intentions?” The charizard leaned back, crossing his arms, and smirked. “It’s very simple! I want dragon status!”

“Dragon… status?” Lento tilted his head. Not gold, not destruction, not virgin maidens?

“Yup!” said the charizard. “I’ve asked for it many times, and the answer’s always been no! But that’s dunsparce droppings! Charizard are dragons! We clearly are!”

“That’s what you want?” Lento sighed from relief - though a realization cut that relief short. The Dragon Council was very adamant in their decisions on what counted as a dragon and what didn’t. But he couldn’t just lie to the charizard that he could give him dragon status! The giant would just find out later it didn’t hold, and then he’d be even angrier.

Lento decided this was out of his hands. He prayed silently to Reshiram that the giant wouldn’t be angry - and then, he spoke.

“Well, traveller -- or what was your name?”

“Brent.”

“Well, Brent,” said Lento, back straightened for a regal posture, “I shall inform the Dragon Council of your request at once. It shall be top priority for handling to make sure you'll receive the answer as soon as possible. For now, goodbye!"

Lento flipped around to zoom for the city, but the charizard had other plans.

"Hold on now, one more thing!" Brent said - and Lento flinched at the claws that had wrapped around his lower body. The flygon flapped his wings as fast as he could, but the giant's iron grip proved inescapable.

Brent brought the flygon to his face. The heat and smoke the giant's breath carried nearly made Lento pass out. Through the wavering air, he spotted something black across the charizard's neck - something like a necklace of chains with a bumpy rock in the middle. Had his brain not been scrambled by primal fears at the moment, he would have found it curious.

The giant's eyes narrowed, shedding what little approachability there had been before. "That answer better be yes," Brent growled, "or I'm gonna start putting this mass to use. Got it?"

Lento nodded, trembling.

"Good!" said Brent, lowering his arm. "Now, here's something to help speed things up."

"Wh-what do you mean by th-"

A rapid acceleration cut Lento short. Brent raised his arm high, then flung the flygon straight towards the city.

---​

"Dragon status?" repeated Garchomp Kaora.

A feathered fist struck the table. "Absolutely not!" huffed its owner, a scraggly drampa clad in a red velvet cloak. "A charizard is not a dragon! To give one dragon status would be to..."

"Spit in the face of the Original Himself," mumbled Kaora in unison with the rest of the drampa's sentence, rubbing her forehead with a claw. "We understand the need to protect the title of dragon, Head of Dragon Council Egerith," she said, "and I am not fond of the idea of giving in myself."

She looked to all the dragons at the table, each bearing some special clothing denoting their high rank. "But faced with an enemy of potentially devastating power, we can't simply decline to their face and call it a day. As Lento mentioned, this Brent suggested he would attack upon a negative answer. We must prepare ourselves for that first. Make a strategy."

"Strategy, yes!" chimed in Lento. "S-strategy is important. I believe I would be very helpful in its planning, given my specialization and past experience. Much more suited for that than scouting. I request to be part of the strategization unit!"

Kaora sighed. "I would have chosen you for it either way, Lento. But yes, you shall stay in the castle and lead the strategization unit."

"Yes! Thank you, sir," sighed Lento in relief. "Simply making sure."

Another fist banged the table, this time belonging to a salamence. "Let's rain hell upon the bastard! Let him know we dragons ain't screwin' around!"

"Please stop banging the table," muttered Kaora quietly. Despite the salamence's obvious traits of civility - bipedal stance, longer arms and slimmer body - he certainly had the tact of a feral.

She pushed her disdain aside for now and cleared her throat. "Garroth, you'll be glad to hear you're in charge of the field." She turned to the rest. "Lizbeth, Amagra, you will join Lento and me in strategization. The rest of you, gather up your troops and sort them by type. Further orders will come at the next hoot. I want you all ready by then. Understood?"

"Yes, sir!" answered the dragons.

"Good," said Kaora. "You are dismissed. Strategization unit, follow me."

All dragons of the guard got off their chairs, and Kaora led Lento out of the room along with a noivern and another garchomp. With them gone, a haxorus spoke up.

"So, uh… how long is it until the next hoot?"

A dragonite turned towards the corner. On the wooden perch there sat a pale hoothoot lazily preening its wings.

"Hoothoot, give time," ordered the dragonite, startling the bird. It ceased its preening and gave its answer right away - two hoots, three chirps and four clicks.

The dragons rushed out of the room, wasting not a single second of their twenty-six remaining minutes.

---​
A familiar jingling entered the air. "Hi, guys! What's the situation?"

Igor trotted to the inner edge of the wall and looked down. "Tino! What took you so long?"

"Well, there was a bunch of stuff," the kommo-o below responded. "At first, I told the commander what was up like planned, but then he left his dessert totally untouched, and they were gonna throw it away…"

Igor frowned. "You were having a snack? And it took you this long?"

"No, I finished that pretty quickly, but then I stumbled upon a fight, and it was my duty as a guard to stop it. That took a while because both sides were really stubborn - they were arguing about whether a furret has pale stripes on dark fur or dark stripes on pale fur, can you believe that? And then another guard showed up saying that there actually isn't any real base color and that the answer then would be that a furret has both pale and dark stripes. This made the argument even worse, and I decided then that if that guard wanted to stick his snout into the fight, it was his responsibility to settle, and so I got out of there. But then I saw this weird small green worm thing --"

"Okay, okay, I get it," shouted Igor. "Just get up here."

The exeggutor sighed and bent his neck down for Valentino. The kommo-o got on, and soon he was brought atop the wall. His eyes widened as he saw the charizard.

"Whoa, it's th-that close now?" he said with a waver in his voice, though then squinted to better scan the giant's features. "Wait, is that…"

"Yep, that's Brent," said Igor. "Guess what he came here for?"

"By His white wings, how did he get that big?"

Igor shrugged. "Dunno. Glad it turned out to be him, though. He may be a loony, but he's not a killer - hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he was bluffing completely. Provided our guys don't get reckless, we should get out of this mess casualty-free."

"Ah, yeah." Valentino paused. "Wait, shouldn't we be over there?"

"Kilbey told us to stay here to keep watch for any other possible threats. He didn't mention you specifically, but…" He grinned. "I'm sure we can interpret that to our advantage without repercussions."

"Hey, keep it quiet," said the left head of the exeggutor, having exchanged shifts with the middle one a few minutes ago. "Something's happening over there."

The one-headed dragons looked to the charizard, and something had indeed emerged from the city. Its red and teal colors and wide frame revealed it to be a salamence familiar to the two.

"Garroth? Oh, they're definitely not negotiating," muttered Igor, prompting a shush from the sentry. The druddigon rolled his eyes, but decided to respect the exeggutor’s wishes. After all, he was curious to hear what Garroth would say as well, and they were quite far away.

Together, all three of them strained their earholes to catch the salamence’s words.

“Alright!” shouted Garroth at the charizard, who gave the salamence a suspicious glare. "Listen up, you lukewarm lizard! The Dragon Council has made its choice, and it's a resounding 'not in your life’! A charizard is not a dragon, never was and never will be - so flutter off and crawl back into whichever crater you crawled out of, you hear?"

Brent's eyes burned almost as fiercely as his flames. "Hey!" he yelled, claws in fists. "Don't talk to me that way! Don't you know what you're dealing with?"

"An overgrown salandit, that's what I see!"

Brent bared his teeth in a scowl. The salamence remained unimpressed.

"Where's the guy from before?" Brent asked. "I liked him better. Knew to be afraid!"

"What, Lento?" Garroth humphed. "They only sent that toothpick in my place because I don't hold back my disdain for little pests like you. Apparently that's bad for negotiations."

"Oh, whatever," muttered Brent, then pointed a claw at the salamence. "I'm gonna give you one more chance to go back on your words," he growled, "so go tell your little hoity-toity council to give me dragon status, or I'll smash your precious city down to rubble!"

Garroth sneered. "I'd like to see you try, firefly."

That was it for Brent. Fire welled up within him, leaking out of his mouth already. "Well, this firefly… is gonna make you fry!"

A ball of flame shot out from his maw, as big as a mamoswine and aimed directly at the salamence.

Garroth smirked and dove. Once the fire reached where he had been, he was already two body lengths away.

"Hah! You're gonna have to try harder than that to bring down ol' Garroth," the salamence exclaimed. He zoomed back for the city gates, inhaled deeply and cried out his command. "The enemy refuses to retreat! Attack!"

At his command awoke a terrible cacophony. The gates screeched open, and from within poured out a flood of armored dragons stomping ahead. The loudest were the hakamo-o and kommo-o, naturally, as their scales clanged with every step, and their fighting pride drew chants and war cries from their lungs.

Behind them rose a hundred more dragons, taking to the blank skies and dotting it with the various colors of their scales. From the green figures came an unearthly buzzing, like a ravenous swarm of locusts had been awakened. These flygon, due to their natural type advantage, carried only small bags of soft sand to aid in the manifestation of ground and rock attacks, but the noivern and altaria between them had firepower - or waterpower - strapped to their chests in the form of horsea and seadra, trained ferals and true citizens alike. Ready to unleash a watery barrage were also the dragonite among the group, flying free of any cargo.

"Oh, so this is how it's gonna be?" said Brent. "Well, in that case, prepare for a pummeling!"

He bared his teeth and fueled his flames, contributing to the soundscape with a resounding hum and crackle. Many among the dragon lines faltered at the surge of the inferno, but somehow regained their courage - possibly helped by knowing that the punishment for treason was quite severe.

Onlookers, from ordinary citizens to the Head of Guard herself, watched with bated breath as the frontline rushed for the giant. The flygon prepared their sandstorms, other aerial troops their water guns. They would weaken those raging flames to keep them at bay and the charizard distracted while the ground troops got sufficiently close. These troops would then attack the legs with all they had, be it spears or natural abilities. With all this directed at its standing limbs, the beast would eventually topple over, and then they could go for the neck. This was the plan. And soon it would come to fruition…

But Brent had a plan of his own. Flashing a smirk, he craned back and spread his flame-wings wide. With one powerful flap, he sent aflight a mighty gale.

Before the fliers could react, the wind had reached them. It seized them by the wings and shook them about, most violently the lithe-framed flygon, whose bags of sand began to leak. Grains flew here and there and, most unfortunately, in the eyes of a few other dragons. Blinded without warning, they flailed in panic, and so panicked their watery artillery. The horsea and seadra did what their instinct advised and squirted out their ink in hopes to get rid of whatever threat was around. This ink and the jets of water from more standoffish individuals brought misfortune back to the flygon, whose eye-lenses did protect them from the showers of sand, but not sticky, black muck, robbing even more fliers of their sight.

What had been a proud battalion just moments before had now become a flurry of disoriented dragons bumping into one another over and over again, unable to right themselves with the winds and sands and ink and hurtling mon all around. The troops on the ground gawked at the chaos with jaws dropped, and from the window of a castle tower, the Head of Guard did the same.

"Has our army always been this incompetent?" she demanded, turning around for a break from the fiasco.

The dragons deeper in the room glanced around nervously. A druddigon picked at his scales while an altaria pretended to preen.

Kaora was about to press the question harder, but a shout from the battlefield rekindled her hope.

"Come on, you bunch of little scraggy!" roared Garroth, still airborne and steadily so thanks to his sharp reflexes. "This isn't over yet! Attack!"

The soldiers of the ground jolted awake from their stupefaction. Remembering their dragon honor - or the repercussions for lacking it - they charged for the charizard's legs. Transfixed by the fliers' disorderly dance, Brent did not notice this, allowing them to get close enough to drive their spears between the scales of his toes.

"Wh- ow!" cried the charizard, finally looking down. Dozens of soldiers stared back, frozen in fear and cursing themselves for not fleeing their conscript or faking poor fitness to disqualify them. But how could they have expected this? A fight against a giant monster, with the chances of ants against a tyranitar?

For better or for worse, they did not get to dwell on this for long as Brent nonchalantly flicked his leg, sending those who'd pricked him flying past five rows. And that wasn't the extent of it. With thunderous steps, he began to turn in place, and soon his straightened tail rapidly approached the whole battalion.

Garroth's eyes widened. He roared just one word to his troop. "Jump!"

But jumping was not so easy for flightless, heavy reptiles. The soldiers certainly tried to - it's not as if anyone wanted an unstoppable force to smack right into their sides and launch them two treenecks away. Some did succeed, mostly kommo-o thanks to their well-trained muscles, but for the majority, their battle was over. The ones who weren't knocked unconscious were too tired to get up… or decided they could pretend so to avoid another fruitless attack.

For those still standing began a colossal game of jump rope. Brent was determined to sweep each soldier off the field, and one by one, they failed to keep up.

Back at the tower, Kaora held her head.

"It's hopeless…" she mumbled, turning away from the window.

"W-well, we're not totally done yet," said the noivern strategist. "We still have the goodra troop, remember?"

Kaora already knew how that would end up. She didn't even need to watch as the slimy dragons marched for the enemy only to be squished into puddles by giant feet.

"Eww…" said Brent under his breath on the battlefield. "These boogers pass as dragons, yet I don't?"

Garroth, perched on the castle wall for a quick break, snorted a plume of steam. "Overgrown hatchlings, all of them…" He flapped his wings and took to the sky once more. "Guess I have to do it all by myself!"

He zoomed for the giant, taking advantage of its preoccupation with flattening the dragon-shaped slimes, and formed his plan. I'll go for the throat, he thought. A full-speed kick will make him choke!

With a few powerful flaps, he ascended half a treeneck, and he locked the target in his sight - a spot right beneath the jaw of the charizard, where the voicebox lay. Garroth smirked as he thought of the cartilage crumpling under his feet. Perhaps it wouldn't play out quite so, but it was motivation nonetheless.

His trajectory planned, he dove. Like a hunting talonflame, he slid through the air with his wings close to his sides, approaching the enemy's throat ever faster. Only seconds remained from impact. Garroth tensed his legs to prepare for the kick.

Brent, however, was thoroughly unaware of his approaching aerial adversary. All he had on his mind was how long it might take to get rid of all the goodra-goo between his toes after this.

This is starting to get tiring, he thought as he re-squished another slime that had pulled itself back together. Couldn't they just give me the dragon status already? I promised the missus I'd be home by twilight…

The boredom caught up with his body. He slouched back, opening his jaws wide in a yawn.

This was something Garroth unfortunately had not foreseen.

Eyes wide, he tried to slow down, but his path was set. It was the destination that had changed, and so he was helpless to stop it - hurtling right into the charizard's gaping maw.

With his speed, the salamence slid quite far, blocking the giant's airways. This Brent could not ignore. Pain and gag reflexes overtook his body, forcing him to a violent coughing fit to get the sudden obstruction out. The remaining soldiers watched in perplexity as the unbeatable monster now wheezed and hacked as hard as its lungs allowed, a few tears even squeezing out of its eyes.

Finally, after many seconds of discomfort for Brent and something much worse for Garroth, the giant managed to dislodge the dragon and eject him to the ground. While Brent continued his coughs in the background, Garroth experienced something quite rare for a dragon - delight from lying in the freezing snow. Anything was better than that humid yet scorching hell.

In her tower, Kaora wished she'd simply listened to her instincts and not watched. Seeing one of her best mon coughed out like an inhaled breadcrumb was simply too much.

"How…" she began slowly, voice wavering. "How am I supposed to fix this?"

The lack of an answer turned her around. "How?" she shouted at her underlings, but no one could answer. Not even the noivern.

She slumped against the wall. "It's over. We can't fight back. We… have to admit defeat."

"Y-you want to give him dragon status?" spoke up Egerith. "B-but a charizard cannot be a dragon! He simply --"

"Do you want to go out there?" snapped Kaora, pointing a claw at the council head. "Do you want to go out there and wrestle that monster? Go ahead, if you think it can be done! I'd be thrilled to watch!"

The drampa shrank.

"We have no choice," continued Kaora. "The entire city is on the line. The entire kingdom, perhaps! We have to give in, or there won't be any Dragon Kingdom left to defend the pride of!"

Egerith shivered, then sighed. "If that is what is best for dragonkind…"

"Experiencing difficulties, my dear dragons?"

All dragons raised their heads. None of them had spoken those words.

Kaora glanced around. "Who said that?"

"If you're trying to see me, that's a wasted effort," the voice continued. It sounded low and female, with a strange accent - and an arrogance that made Kaora scowl. It seemed to come from above, but nothing but the ceiling could be seen.

"Are you cloaking yourself somehow?" asked Kaora, searching for a species capable of this in her head. She knew no dragon like that, outside of maybe the latis, but all of those were out patrolling the kingdom. Perhaps it wasn't a dragon at all - a non-dragon that could hide itself this well could have been able to sneak into the city. So was it a kecleon? There was no stripe. A zoroark?

"You're a bright one," chuckled the stranger. "For that, I'll let you see."

A form materialized in midair near the ceiling. Its body was sleek and long, but its limbs were short and its head was wide and triangular. The front of it was dark and shiny with vivid red and yellow accents, but it gradually faded to teal and transparent towards the tail. By the tip, it was almost invisible.

Ezerith gasped. "What kind of dragon are you?"

"Dragon?" asked Kaora.

The drampa nodded to her. "I feel the aura. She is a dragon."

"Well, well," the garchomp said, glaring at the stranger. "I suppose that's one law less you're currently breaking." She crossed her arms. "State your name and business, intruder, so we know whom to apprehend."

The stranger smirked. "Quick to the point, I like that," she said, lazily flicking her tail. "I would rather not give my name, but you may call me Dragapult. It is what my kind is named, you see."

She leaned downward. "I advise against attacking me so quickly, however, as I believe I can be of assistance to you in your time of dire need."

"And what help could you be?" asked Kaora, snout upturned. This Dragapult certainly had gall, slithering into the meeting of the highest officials of the kingdom unannounced...

"I happen to know how that charizard got that form," said Dragapult, "and how to revert him back. Have you, by chance, noticed a peculiar rock hanging by that giant's neck?"

Kaora squinted, not having spotted such a thing, but she did know she'd only seen the charizard from quite a distance.

"O-oh, I did," chimed in Lento. "I didn't think much of it, though… I suppose that's why I forgot to mention it." He shrank under Kaora's stare. "Apologies, my lord."

Kaora looked back to Dragapult. "You say this stone is the source of his power?"

"Indeed," the dragon responded. "In my homeland of Ra'Laag, they are known as Wishing Stars. They hold tremendous power, allowing mon to grow into giants. That is why we seek to protect them, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands."

She grimaced. "Unfortunately, this dolt seems to have somehow managed to get his claws on one and activate it. I don't know if he simply found it lying around or caught some guardian slacking on their job, but it's clear that it's not his. Either way, it's my duty to retrieve it and bring it to Ra'Laag where it can be properly guarded."

"Or used for a future attack?" added Kaora.

Dragapult huffed. "Ra'Laag has no interest in foreign affairs. Our own land is work enough, giants roaming around and all. And, well… it's not like you'll be much better off should you reject my offer." She gestured to the windows from which the giant's quaking steps could still be heard.

In the privacy of her own mind, Kaora uttered some forbidden words. Then she spoke again, her tone now neutral. "What does this offer entail?"

Dragapult smirked and descended, landing softly in a coil in the middle of the room.

"It is not much that I need from you to complete my mission. In fact, I only ask for one thing, and that is…"

---​

A distraction. That was all Kilbey had to find.

That had been the order from his superior, Garroth, and a rather aggressive demand at that. Kilbey had luckily managed to keep up his calm and professional demeanor in the face of this discourtesy, but inside his head-shell, he really wanted to step on that loudmouth salamence's tail. Really, with a tail that big and long, the brute was asking for it. Always in the way, slapping bystanders on the shins…

Oh, but hierarchy came first. Kilbey simply had to take it and swallow. But there was nothing stopping him from taking a little time for himself first if he would just say the search really did take that long given the lazybones and cowards in the troop…

Kilbey knew exactly where to have his break - the place where another break had been cut off less than an hour earlier. That place, while inhabited by that insolent little hairball, should still have his appletun shavings waiting for him on that plate. He would still have to inspect it for additional eevee hairs, but surely it would be a treat regardless.

Kilbey opened the door to the break room. "I'm back!" he announced and stepped in - but stopped as he saw the table empty. Well, save for the fluffy gray eevee.

The turtonator's snout contorted into a scowl. "You… you ate my dessert, didn't you?"

"Vee," the eevee replied, unfazed, and tucked its forepaws into its fluff.

"Why you --"

"C-commander Kilbey!" shouted the duraludon cook, having emerged from the kitchen, and hastily gave a creaking bow - then remembered the gesture was wrong, and saluted him instead. "What brings you here? I-it isn't dinner time yet, is it?"

"I came to finish my dessert," Kilbey growled, "but it looks like that little vermin got to it first! You need to keep that thing in a cage!"

The duraludon grasped her head, metal screeching horribly against metal. "Oh no, y-you wanted to finish that? I thought you hated it, s-so I was going to throw it away, but the guard that came to see you offered to eat it and --"

"Valentino?" Kilbey huffed, squeezing out more smoke. "The nerve on that lizard…"

He pointed to the cook. "Duraludon! I want to have some proper dessert once I come back again."

"H-how long will that be?" asked the duraludon.

Kilbey opened the door. "Just enough to give that kommo-o a piece of my mind."

"Yes, sir…" the cook sighed.

Kilbey slipped through the door, grumbling to himself. "That little walking rattle..."

He stopped. Walking rattle…

A sly smirk split across his snout. I think I know just the right punishment for him.

---​

"So, uhh… what's our plan, boss?"

Valentino could not answer his fellow kommo-o. He gripped tighter onto the comically overdecorated baton Kilbey had shoved into his hands a minute or two prior, staring at the gates of Farindon from the inside. On the other side would be a giant, very peeved not-dragon, and in just a moment, the gates would open. And they'd have to go through. And somehow 'distract' that enormous reptile.

He grit his teeth. He knew exactly why Kilbey had rounded up all the kommo-o and hakamo-o he could find for this job. Simply put, they were jingly. Now they were brightly colored as well, thanks to the gaudy parade uniforms the commander had made them dress in - but Kilbey had surely known that it takes more than just noises and flashy hues to hold the attention of a supersized civil mon. This had been petty revenge, the pettiest of all. But was he truly so petty that would throw away the safety of several guards and possibly his own career?

Loud clacks and creaking snapped him out of his thoughts. The gate was opening. Oh, by His blazing mane… he thought, then pondered those same words - maybe he really was being divinely punished today?

"B-boss?" repeated the other kommo-o.

“I don’t know!” Valentino snapped, but recoiled as he realized such insensitivity could only make things worse in a situation like this. “S-sorry. I just… I don’t know what we should do. Maybe we’re jingly, but that doesn’t make us natural born performers!”

The other kommo-o twiddled her claws. “But if you don’t know what to do, and no one else knows what to do --”

“Move it!” shouted Kilbey from behind their group and, with the help of an intimidating haxorus underling, shoved the last ones forward. The chiming chain reaction reached Valentino, and as he felt the nudge, he knew he had to move, or it was the dungeon for him and all his fellow fight-dragons.

With the enthusiasm of inmates on death row, the dragon parade marched through the gates. The charizard on the other side took immediate interest in this strange assemblage, much to the dragons’ terror, but at least the giant only seemed to be looking, not tasting. So far.

Finally, the commander stopped prodding at the dragons’ backs and opened his mouth for some words of encouragement.

“Alright, boys and girls. Give ‘em a good show.”

He then retreated back the way he came.

Once the gates shut again, the charizard stared down at Valentino and his group. They all froze, as much as one could freeze while still shaking uncontrollably. Due to their signature scales, a continuous rattling filled the air - not that there was much competition considering the awkward silence between them all.

Meanwhile, two treenecks higher, an invisible form slithered in the air. Dragapult surveyed the giant carefully from different angles, weighing her options for a path of approach. Not that the approach would be the only problem to solve - that meteorite had to be fastened to the chain-necklace somehow, and she would also have to dismantle that binding without being seen. Or quickly enough to avoid being squished.

She decided she should first scout ahead for information and then form a more detailed plan once she knew the specifics. But not yet. The charizard’s guard wasn’t down, and he could possibly hear or feel her approach. She would have to wait until the performance.

Brent cleared his throat. “So, you guys are the entertainment they promised while they sort out the paperwork for my dragon status?”

Valentino blinked. “...Yes,” he answered weakly. Hm, I guess he doesn’t recognize me. Either it’s because he can’t see me closely… or he was never sober enough when we met to remember me in the first place.

“You gonna start doing something soon?”

“S-sure, yeah, we were just… we were just warming up, it’s a little… little cold out...” Valentino rotated the baton in his hands as he pieced together his words. Oh, tailscales, we really do need to start something, don’t we...

Courage somehow cobbled together, he turned to his fellow dragons.

"Everyone, um… let's start."

"But what are we gonna --" tried one of them, but Valentino cut him off with a hiss.

"We're gonna do our best!" he said, stepping back. He raised his baton and cleared his throat. Once he could see all eyes on him, he began waving the baton. "One, two, three, four!"

Luckily, the trumpeters had picked up on his intent and started on the fifth beat. Unfortunately, 'trumpeters' turned out to be a very generous title.

Hellish screeches and toots spread across the air like an ever-expanding swarm of beedrill stinging the ears of anyone unlucky enough to be caught in their path. The dragons without trumpets did have the intent to bust out any moves they could, but this cacophony made it impossible to do anything but clasp their poor heads. Even Dragapult had difficulties focusing on hovering and staying invisible at the same time. Now was certainly not the time to approach.

Brent grit his teeth. "Stop, stop!" he yelled, and the trumpeters shrank in fear. "What the hell was that supposed to be? Some artsy-fartsy new-age crap? I'd rather hear a zubat's opera!"

"Sorry, sorry!" Valentino said. "Th-the weather must be making them go out of tune? You know what they say, trumpets are an inside instrument, haha…" I really hope he's not a trumpeter. I have no idea if that made sense.

"Don't you have anything better to show me?" Brent complained. "Is this really the best the Dragon Kingdom's capital can do? Don't you know what I can do?" He bared his teeth and pointed towards the castle. "I could tear that castle down like it was made of sand! Do you want me to do that?"

"N-no, no, no, no!" Valentino rushed to answer. "We're sorry! W-we'll entertain you some other way! Please, just… let's not get violent, alright? You'll get your… dragon status soon enough."

Brent stayed silent for a while, then humphed, pushing through his nostrils a cloud of smoke - one that really could have been considered an actual cloud. "Fine. But what kind of entertainment are you going to give, then?"

"We could do, um, jokes," suggested Valentino mareepishly. "Jokes are nice."

"I guess that'll do." Brent crossed his arms. "But they better be good. I don't laugh at just anything."

"Alright, umm…"

Behind Brent’s back, Dragapult decided she’d have to take more risks at this rate. A proper performance didn’t seem to be coming - what a terrible delivery for her humble request - so she would have to settle with what she had or lose the opportunity entirely.

While Valentino surveyed his group in vain for anyone with a joke and the courage to tell it, Dragapult slithered forth. Brent was staying conveniently still while staring down at the dragon parade, allowing her to maneuver past his flames and reach the meteorite on his neck.

Unfortunately, it was as she had feared. A metal cage of sorts encompassed the dark, lumpy stone. Its attachment to the chain that ran around the giant's neck seemed robust, too.

But there was a lock on the cage. For that lock, a key surely must have existed, but that could have been anywhere - it's not as if the giant needed one to let himself become small again when he could simply take the necklace off. He'd probably stashed the key somewhere near his home, and who knew how far this dolt lived.

Could she perhaps pick the lock? She brought her hand closer, and a strong heat crashed against her palm. Too hot to worm her tail into. Damn.

Still, one option remained. There was no lock in existence that wouldn't fail with enough brute force. Whether she herself had that was uncertain, but if it would save her from the shame of coming home empty-handed, it was a chance she had to take.

But it would require some charging up. With her kids safely hiding in the city, she couldn't attack with them - not that she would put them in that much risk in any case - and would need to use her dragon breath instead. And that pesky dragon energy always had to shine bright. Terrible for stealth. But maybe she could charge it elsewhere and then swoop in… though for that swoop, she’d still need the proper moment of distraction to avoid being squished like a mosquito…

Down below, Valentino sighed in resignation after too many failed tries to find a jester. He stepped forth to face Brent.

"I guess I’ll tell the jokes, then,” he said, hiding the quiver in his voice. “So, um... do you know what the favorite type of meat of a bagon is?"

"Bacon?" Brent asked, unimpressed.

"Uh, no, though that actually also makes sense…" Valentino trailed off, but shook his head. He had to stay committed to his own punchline, no matter how poor it was. He gathered his courage and let it out.

"Sala-minced meat!"

For half a second, Brent was stone-faced. Then, his lip curled back and maw opened. Valentino's heart froze --

But for no longer than a blink, as a hearty laugh left the charizard's throat. Not a flame, not a growl. While confused, the kommo-o accepted the miracle and chuckled from relief himself.

"That's pretty good!" said Brent. "Tell me another!"

"Uhh… y-yes!" Valentino paused to remember another joke. "What did the vibrava's mother say when he complained about her noisy flight the previous day?"

"I don't know, what?"

"You should let flygons be flygons!"

Another wave of earth-shaking laughter came from the giant. Even the group had somewhat of a reaction this time, mostly weak chuckles - though one hakamo-o seemed to find the joke a lot funnier, given his echoing guffaw. Valentino guessed he wasn't the brightest of the group.

"Oh, oh, I got one!" the mon suddenly said.

Valentino winced, but then shrugged. Might make my jokes look better by comparison. "Alright, let's hear it," he said.

The hakamo-o waddled forward. "Okay, so, what's orange and fiery and an awesome dragon?"

Brent's eyes lit up. He smirked. "I don't know, what is orange and fiery and an awesome dragon?"

The hakamo-o grinned. "I can tell you what it's not - a charizard, 'cause that ain't a dragon!"

He slapped his knee, laughing like a mightyena.

No one else was laughing. The other dragons were too busy with their horrified stares and mouths agape, and Brent's brain was being jammed by indescribable anger.

After seconds of tension - though ones still framed by laughter from the hakamo-o - the charizard managed to speak. "So that's what I am to you guys? Just a joke?"

“No, no, no, no...” Valentino hurried to say. “I’m sure that was just… a poor translation, or a poor joke teller” - he hissed the words towards the hakamo-o - “or, or something! P-please just don’t be angry --”

"No! I'm done being nice!" boomed Brent and faced the city. With thunderous steps, he stomped to the gates. "If you won't let me into the dragon city, I'll just have to make there be no dragon city at all!"

"No, please!" Valentino screeched, grasping his head. Wh-what can I say to make him stop? What does he think is important?

Right before the giant could grab the left watchtower and tear it off like gingerbread, a haphazard idea sparked in Valentino's mind.

"I have a wife and children! Please don't hurt them!"

This got the giant to stop - though as he turned to face Valentino, the kommo-o wasn't sure if this was actually a good thing.

Brent sneered. "You? A wife? Don't try to give me that crap! There's no way a wimp like you could land a dame for himself!"

"Wh…" Valentino's snout wrinkled. Uncalled for! A-and that's not true! Women find me very charming… right?

"And look at that sour face!" Brent said, pointing. "Did you suck on a sitrus, huh?"

Valentino's pride overrode his fear. "I-I have a wife! And she's very lovely! I buy her gifts every day!"

"Oh yeah? Well, let's prove it, then! What's your name?"

"Kommo-o Valentino! Wait… 'prove it' how?"

Brent sucked his lungs full of air, raised his head up high and let his announcement fly over the city.

"Calling for the wife of Kommo-o Valentino! The wife of Kommo-o Valentino! If you are married to - or otherwise have a significant romantic relationship to Kommo-o Valentino - come to the main gates at once!"

Valentino's heart sank. Oh, Kyu…

Brent's request was met with only silence, but he still waited patiently for any change to occur. It was only fair to give somebody enough time to arrive - and it only further humiliated the kommo-o when no one did.

"Well," Brent finally said, "I hope you've learned not to lie to me anymore. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to sm-"

"Wait!"

Brent and Valentino alike froze at the shrill voice that had come from the gates. A second after, they opened, and out ran a peculiar druddigon - a pastel pink gown upon their body and a swaddled egg gently held in their arms.

They ran to Valentino's side, their skirt fluttering behind them, and it was then that the kommo-o realized who they were.

Igor turned to Brent. "Yes, I am the wife of Kommo-o Valentino," he spoke, his voice comically high-pitched. "What seems to be the matter?"

"You're his wife?" Brent asked.

"That is what I said," Igor replied, undeterred. "Please, do make it quick - I'd like to get the baby back in bed."

Brent held an inquisitive stare on the druddigon, then moved on to Valentino. "So is that kid adopted, or..."

"How rude!" snapped Igor, his voice gaining another octave, and Brent visibly flinched. "Are you this impolite to all mixed families?"

Brent mareepishly curled his tail against his body. "S-sorry, ma'am… I did not mean to insult, I was only curious..."

Igor humphed with a raised chin. "I say, the nerve of some mon… how interspecies couples choose to have their children is their own business! This is what you took me away from my family for?"

"Sorry, sorry, I…"

As the charizard continued to take his scalding without resistance, Valentino could only stand in dumbfounded silence. I guess he really does get softer when family is involved… he thought.

Motion behind the giant's neck then caught his attention. A dark, serpentine form hovered in midair - some strange creature.

With a squint, he could see past the glare of Brent's flaming wings and take in more detail. It must have been a mon he didn't recognize. But it looked draconic. Valentino thought he knew all the dragons --

The mon stopped his train of thought by lifting a claw in front of its mouth. 'Quiet'. Or, 'don't tell anyone'.

Realizing the request, Valentino looked elsewhere - or at least tried to, but his curiosity forced a few glances every now and then. Indigo light had begun to gather at the mon's mouth. A stealth attack. On the giant. This must be what they needed him to distract Brent for.

"...and that is why even dragons need to eat their greens!" finished Igor.

Brent fiddled with his tail in thought. “Hm, I suppose me and the missus should get some more veggies in our diets… got an egg on the way ourselves, after all.”

“Oh, how lovely! I hope it hatches healthy. Are you hoping for a drake or a dragoness?”

“Either is just fine. Nothing bad could come out of our perfect couple, after all.” Brent proudly huffed a plume of smoke. “And how about your egg? Can I see it?” Without warning, he leaned forward, startling Igor into a backwards waddle.

“U-um, it’s probably not good to have an egg be exposed to so much heat --”

To everyone's dismay, Igor's foot caught on his hem and he tripped. This momentarily loosened his grasp on the egg, which naturally made it fly from his hands and fall onto the snow.

"Oh, crap!" shouted Igor - and promptly covered his mouth, as those words had not been in the voice of Valentino's wife, but the harsh, low growl of the regular Igor.

But this was not the only detail Brent would raise a brow at, as the egg did not sink in the snow. Instead it began to roll, encouraged by a gust of wind, and did not stop before one member of the kommo-o parade picked it up. With suspiciously little strain.

"...Wait a minute," began Brent. Without warning, he snatched the egg into his claws and examined it. "This is made of paper pulp!"

"I-I can explain," Igor stuttered, back to his phony voice, but Brent pointed an accusing claw.

"That's not your real voice!" he said, then pointed at Valentino. "And you're not married!"

He crunched up the papier-mache egg and threw it away, grimacing. "I should've known! You dragons are real snakes, just tricking me for fun! Not even families are off limits to you people!"

He turned to the city wall. “This thing’s coming down!”

“No!” cried Valentino.

“Yes!” bellowed Brent. He pressed his tail against the ground for extra support, melting through the snow until he met the dirt, and leaned back. He lifted a foot, angling its sole to be parallel to the wall, and drew forth all his power --

But through the haze of his wrath, he noticed something. A purplish light leaking into his vision from below.

He tilted his head to see past his snout and caught sight of a strange serpentine mon floating just in front of his meteorite necklace. Wild, indigo flames leaked from the creature's maw - draconic energy.

"Hey, what are you --"

A blast at Brent's neck silenced him before he could finish. He stumbled backwards from the force, quaking the earth with each step. The dragons on the field leapt back and cowered, terrified of whatever retribution the giant would take once he regained his footing.

Once Brent found his balance again, he glanced around wildly to find the little pest that had struck him. “Where are you?” he snapped. “That was a really dumb thing to do, you know!”

“Looking for me?”

He looked above. The mystery mon stared back at him with triumphant eyes - and a meteorite in their claws.

“Wh--” Brent clawed at his neck. The cage had indeed opened, and it was empty. “Wait, no! Don’t!”

But his plea fell on deaf ears. Already his flames had begun to dwindle, uncovering his wings and the tips of his horns. His throat felt like he’d gargled peppermint extract, and the chill of the snow bit down on his feet harder than any winter ever had.

Through this freezing hell, he didn’t even notice the world around him growing until several seconds in. The walls of the city towered over him like scolding parents, and the mon of the field watched from afar like arrogant siblings reveling in the screw-up son’s screw-up.

It was all too much. Under the weight of his fatigue and shame alike, he collapsed in the snow, leaving an impression of a regular-sized charizard.

Valentino blinked. Igor blinked. In the window of the castle tower, Kaora blinked.

Shattering the silence, the gates flew open. Four armored dragons ran out, headed straight for the grounded Brent, and pushing them on were the shouts of a familiar turtonator. “This is our chance! Get him now! Get him!”

As the guards seized the incapacitated attacker, Dragapult descended smoothly to snow level and let out a deep sigh of relief. “That was a close one...”

She then glared at Valentino with enough vitriol to make him recoil. “Really? That’s the distraction the great Dragon Kingdom cooks up for me? Tell your leader I’m very disappointed. I’m picking up my kids and leaving. Goodbye.”

Without another word, she zoomed for the city.

“...Well, I guess I can get out of this thing now,” said Igor, taking off the gown. “I hope the lady I borrowed it from isn’t too mad.”

Valentino stared at him, unsure how to feel. “So you really just… heard Brent call out for my nonexistent wife, and your first idea was to dress up as her and come running?”

Igor scratched his head. “Well, I mean… I figured you were in trouble, and I wanted to help out...”

Valentino chuckled. “I… wow. Well, thanks, mon.”

They stood silent for a while, but then Valentino frowned.

“Hey, wait a minute...” he said. He turned to the dragon parade, crossing his arms. “There are plenty of women among you! Couldn’t one of you have taken one for the team?”

A female kommo-o humphed. “You’re the one that went and lied in the first place!”

“I had to do something!” Valentino shouted, arms in the air. ”If it wasn’t for me, our castle would be --”

Igor lowered a hand onto Valentino’s shoulder, interrupting him. “Let’s not get stuck on the details, Tino. The important thing is that we’re all safe.”

Valentino sighed. “You’re right. And, well, if anyone’s to blame, it’s that stinkin’ commander Kilbey. All I did was eat the dessert he left behind...”

Igor tapped his friend on the back and gestured to the gates. “In any case, we should all head back. Our duty is done, and it’s cold out here.”

Valentino nodded, and the dragons returned to the city. On their way to their respective stations, some passed the still-unconscious Brent, who’d now been tied up and heaved onto a small cart for further ease of transportation by the guards under Kilbey’s command.

Eventually, the charizard’s eyelids began to flicker. The guards flinched, but Kilbey waved his arm dismissively.

“He’s only a mon, you scaredy skitties,” Kilbey growled. “Keep going.”

“Ughh… what’s going on?” mumbled Brent. “Where am I?”

Kilbey huffed, setting afloat a small puff of smoke. “You’re on a trip through Farindon, and your destination is a cold cell, vermin.”

Brent perked right up. “H-hold on. I’m… inside the dragon city?”

“Not as a tourist, as a prisoner!” the tutonator hissed, but this did little to dampen Brent’s mood.

Instead, the charizard broke into laughter - a mad, triumphant kind.

“I’m in the dragon city!” he yelled. “I’m a dragon!”

“Wh… no! It doesn’t mean that! You’re just going to jail!”

“The dragon city is for dragons only!” Brent pressed. “If I’m in the dragons-only city, that makes me a dragon!”

He laughed yet again, and nothing Kilbey said could stifle that laughter. For the entire way to the dungeons, it rang out, and onlookers were sure it didn’t end even after entering.

But the soundscape of the city had certainly moved on. Chatter filled the streets once more, joined by the clanking of carts and clopping of beasts of burden. High up in the sky, a dark form slithered away from the city, two smaller green creatures tucked away in the hollows of its horns.

Normalcy had returned to Farindon, the city of dragons.

---

END
 
Last edited:

kintsugi

the warmth of summer in the songs you write
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
1,941
Reaction score
992
This premise is really quite lovely, and I like that you included exeggutor as a dragon.

Pacing-wise, I wonder if the Kilbey scene could be cut/combined -- from a setup perspective within this chapter, it mostly just rehashes what we know is happening (bReNt dRAgon BeEg hErE soON), and within the context of the rest of the story I feel like it doesn't really have many points that get addressed/become relevant again either in the other parts. I think the only real tie-in is the eevee/Dragony cameo, but the other bits could be tied into the scenes that come immediately before and after. I'm not quite sure; perhaps I missed something.

Still! This is such a fun concept, and you have some very creative elements that still make it feel like a serious fic beneath the trappings of humor. I think in particular I liked the character roster; they're all very colorful and established quickly in the amount of space you have.

I recently re-watched some bits of Pirates of the Carribean with my roommate and I think there's a lot of good similarities between the feel of these two stories -- they're both a bit absurdist, a lot of comedy, some cool set pieces, and a lot of the plot hinges on characters being stupid rather than smart, and I loved it. The jokes here really land and I'm still in awe of the artistic range here between this and your Red stuff; really fun.

And then somewhere beneath all of that there's still a cohesive story. Brent stole some rocks and wanted to get big so people would respect him. Along the way he learns that people who hate you based on your typing probably still won't like you even if you beat them up and yell at them. It fits together way better than Pirates tbh, and while the scope is somewhat epic (beeeeeg dragon!! wants to smash things!), the conflicts still feel realistically sized and grounded and in general things are a good length. This was a blast to read and I'm glad I did.

Some misc line-by-line commentary below:
“You bet I am,” Valentino said. “Or should I say... I bet I am.”
Valentino sighed in relief. "There's still time for repentance."
Your comedic timing is something I noticed in Seiren and Welltown, but it really gets a chance to shine here since the subject material is a bit more lighthearted. I really liked the goofball Valentino here (he reminds me of Aki a bit), and this intro scene helps set the tone as well as the conflict really well.

A scyther would normally beat a psychic type, at least one with a power level no larger than thirty points of the card's own, but that blasted malamar had the effect of reversing type effectiveness for five turns.
dumb question, type effectiveness is a weird concept to put in fic verbatim but since it's a card game with rules -- wouldn't malamar be neutral to bug-types since malamar are also part psychic? fun mechanic though

It actually looked delicious, which hurt the commander's pride to admit, but if it tasted as good as it advertised, perhaps there was no shame in --
I didn't fully follow why this was supposed to be shameful -- at first I thought it was because it was from a mon, but they're all super in-favor of eating eevee so it's not that.

"Ah, alright. I guess you sentries don't talk a lot with outsiders."

"Never paid attention to his face, either."
looking at their faces seems like ... the one job?

Anxiety made each wingbeat waver, and with a rate of several wingbeats per second, the error accumulated rapidly.
another really good use of laconic sentences to form humor here!

it was the fact that the monster could surely gobble him up in one bite, and there was no way he would be able to climb his way back up through that massive neck.
ogod i thought vore was informally banned

"Greetings, t-traveller!" he announced loudly, voice echoing throughout the snowy plains.
I had a hard time picturing the setting here. Snow dampens sound pretty well -- snowy mountains/something with more rock would result in a better echo I feel.

"Hold on now, one more thing!" Brent said - and Lento flinched at the claws that had wrapped around his lower body. The flygon flapped his wings as fast as he could, but the giant's iron grip proved inescapable.
The wording of "claws that had wrapped around his lower body" made this sentence flow strangely for me -- Lento noticing this in the past-participle tense makes it feel unimportant compared to the other things that are happening in straight past tense. The "said" and "flinched" feel more in-progress than the "had wrapped", which was weird to me since I feel like that'd also be something that would draw a lot of Lento's attention.

The dragons rushed out of the room, wasting not a single second of their twenty-six remaining minutes.
Strange instance where the narration knows more than the characters re: hoots vs minutes/hours.

"No, I finished that pretty quickly, but then I stumbled upon a fight, and it was my duty as a guard to stop it. That took a while because both sides were really stubborn - they were arguing about whether a furret has pale stripes on dark fur or dark stripes on pale fur, can you believe that? And then another guard showed up saying that there actually isn't any real base color and that the answer then would be that a furret has both pale and dark stripes.
What an opening. I sort of imagine excited kid-storytelling vibes from this, and the entire sequence is such a roller coaster -- "it was my duty as a guard" into the whole furret stripe thing into "well now it's HIS duty as a guard". Amazing. Chef's kiss. i love it.

"Hey, keep it quiet," said the left head of the exeggutor, having exchanged shifts with the middle one a few minutes ago. "Something's happening over there."
The background details of this end up being both comedic and useful? Elevator exeggutor using their head-sleeping tradeoffs for taking different shifts is equal parts absurd (they're elevators!!) but also very logical. I thought this was really clever.

These flygon, due to their natural type advantage, carried only small bags of soft sand to aid in the manifestation of ground and rock attacks, but the noivern and altaria between them had firepower - or waterpower - strapped to their chests in the form of horsea and seadra, trained ferals and true citizens alike. Ready to unleash a watery barrage were also the dragonite among the group, flying free of any cargo.
I originally flagged this line because, like, what the fuck is soft sand and why does it help them, but then when I watched the inclusion of this sand ruin everything, it made a lot of sense -- dragons are not very bright and this plan is bad, and this was good setup that I was too silly to get the first time through. I actually ended up really liking the descriptions here since pretty much everything described ends up going catastrophically wrong.

They would weaken those raging flames to keep them at bay and the charizard distracted while the ground troops got sufficiently close. These troops would then attack the legs with all they had, be it spears or natural abilities. With all this directed at its standing limbs, the beast would eventually topple over, and then they could go for the neck.
Someone just watched Empire Strikes Back lol
small phrasing suggestion for the first sentence, which left me a little lost the first time through: "They would keep the raging flames at bay and the charizard distracted [...]"

Dozens of soldiers stared back, frozen in fear and cursing themselves for not fleeing their conscript or faking poor fitness to disqualify them.
amazing lol

She didn't even need to watch as the slimy dragons marched for the enemy only to be squished into puddles by giant feet.
Haha are they dead? Am I allowed to laugh at Brent's "I can't believe these guys are dragons" if they're dead?

Eyes wide, he tried to slow down, but his path was set. It was the destination that had changed, and so he was helpless to stop it - hurtling right into the charizard's gaping maw.
oh no the true vore fic was you all along

my homeland of Ra'Laag
* squints *
ra'laag backwards is ...

Oh, by His blazing mane…
Real tiny and more for my personal curiosity than anything else -- which god is this? The blazing wings and stuff I figured was Reshiram, but I wasn't sure about this one. Was this in part one that I forgot?

But not yet. The charizard’s guard wasn’t down, and he could possibly hear or feel her approach. She would have to wait until the performance.
I liked this line for two reasons. First, it implies that Brent is more perceptive than the entire dragon guard, whom she had no concerns about sneaking up on. Second, it contextually justifies why you get to include "what's a bagon's favorite kind of meat / bacon? / (press X to commit to the bad joke)"

Either it’s because he can’t see me closely… or he was never sober enough when we met to remember me in the first place.
I wasn't sure if this was a detail I forgot from part one -- was Brent drunk a lot when he was around?

"Th-the weather must be making them go out of tune? You know what they say, trumpets are an inside instrument, haha…" I really hope he's not a trumpeter. I have no idea if that made sense.
I also really liked this line.

"But they better be good. I don't laugh at just anything."
yes brent but i do

"How rude!" snapped Igor, his voice gaining another octave, and Brent visibly flinched. "Are you this impolite to all mixed families?"

Brent mareepishly curled his tail against his body. "S-sorry, ma'am… I did not mean to insult, I was only curious..."
I love that he tried this, and that it worked.

"That's not your real voice!" he said, then pointed at Valentino. "And you're not married!"
How rude, Brent, to assume they aren't married!

“The dragon city is for dragons only!” Brent pressed. “If I’m in the dragons-only city, that makes me a dragon!”
And everyone gets a happy ending.

Anyway, I really don't know what I expected coming into this from the title/author/summary, but it definitely wasn't this, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I found. Thank you for sharing!
 
Please note: The thread is from 1 year ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
Top Bottom