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EVERYONE: Dente's Tale (A Short PMD Story)

lucarioknight56

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Hello, fellow readers! In commemoration of my brother's birthday, I wrote a short story involving a character that he designed, but sadly didn't make the cut in my first Pokemon story, 'Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Legends Unraveled': Dente Oshawott! Some of you may recognize him, as he did feature in the intial nine chapters of what was then known as 'PMD: Mysteries of Reflexon).

Just one note: This doesn't take place in the universe I've already established, so don't take it in consideration of the timeline. Also, this was planned and written in the space of two hours, so I doubt that it's my best work. With that said, off we go!

Dente’s Tale

In a world where Arthus never existed, where the Seal of Creation had never been discovered, pleasant surprises happen for everyone all the time. In the Equivos region, in a small village called Respit, many of these pleasant surprises happen every day. Such as the one that will happen this day.

~~~~

Taillow chirped across the sky, heralding the rising sun over the valley. The breeze swayed the trees gently, brushing against the quaint homes of Respit in their waking hours. The stream burbled past several houses, the soothing sound helping continue the inhabitant’s rest.

Within a house slapped together from two parts, a Pokemon slept peacefully on, stirring awake from the cheering calls of the Taillow. It was a tubby Oshawott, with a berry stains scattered across his fur, and a weathered chef’s hat over his face.

The Oshawott snorted, opening an eye and looking out the window. He saw the sun, ever-so-slightly rising over the mountains. The grass appeared more vibrant, the emerald green a treat to the young Pokémon’s eyes, and the crystal-clear water that coursed across the smoothed stones in its bed sent a feeling of tranquility through him.

He stood up from his bed, stretching his tiny limbs, kicking his legs. He smacked his lips, hopping off the bed and shuffling toward a small table, where he studied a portrait of him with a dazed Quagsire—wrinkled with age—set within a simple wooden frame. On the picture was a written note: “To my beloved adopted son, Dente.”

Dente looked back to the bed and stretched across it, straining to reach the chef’s hat. He clamped his paw around it, sliding down and landing on the ground.

“Oof!” He rubbed his tail, adjusting the hat between his ears. “I need a pillow there…”

He stood up, brushed himself off, and continued out of the room, into a small hallway. One door hung open, inviting the Oshawott to where a mirror and bucket of water lay, while another door lay closed, a Pokemon within snoring loudly.

“Wenstrel’s still asleep I guess…” he muttered, grimacing at a sudden snort from inside.

He walked into the open room, where he splashed water on his face and looked into the mirror. “Another hard day at work,” he said, beaming.

Another door rose above him, the dawn light trickling from underneath. Dente pushed it open, coming into a vast kitchen, cleaner than a Mincinno and twice as lovely to the Oshawott. Pots and pans of numerous sizes hung from the racks, tools ranging from whisks to spoons hanging alongside them, all ready to be used by any chef. A sink, still empty, held no dishes of sort, while a series of cupboards above it held dozens of plates and mugs, all made with a sturdy slab of maple wood. The window allowed the dim light to filter through, giving the kitchen an air of eeriness to most Pokemon—but not Dente.

The stove, boasting enough space for five pans, lay dark, the cinders within black and dead. Dente shivered, the morning chill now becoming noticeable. “Guess I better get the fire started.” He rushed to the corner and pulled out a tall stepladder, the top of which allowing the occupant to grab the tallest of dishes from the cupboard or racks.

He pushed it across the floor, stopping it in front of a counter. He clambered up the ladder and reached across, groping for the tinder, kindling, and rocks that allowed the making of a flame. “I’m old enough for this now…” he told himself, the bundle of fire-making tools rising above his chin.

He carefully stepped down the ladder and set the tools on the floor, opening the small metal door to the stove. He took the tinder and stuffed it underneath several half-used logs, then piled kindling on top of it. He took the rocks and struck them together, creating a spark.

He grinned, positing it in front of the tinder. He struck once more, creating another spark, the burst of heat catching on the tinder. A small flame began to grow, rising above the tinder and beginning to consume the kindling within.

Dente closed the door, feeling proud of himself for completing the chore. He turned about and smacked into a wrinkly blue leg, landing on the floor and holding his nose. “Ow! Hey!”

He looked up, seeing the watchful eyes of Wenstrel staring down at him, the aged Quagsire smiling gently. “I take it you liked making the fire, which I explicitly told you not to do?”

Dente looked around, holding his paws behind his back. “I…wanted to surprise you when you woke up!”

“I was standing here ever since you got off the ladder.”

“I, uh, wanted to…” He fumbled around for words, finally sighing and letting his arms fall to his sides. “Alright, I wanted to do it because I thought I was old enough.”

Wenstrel chuckled, patting Dente’s head with a flipper. “All fine, all fine. It was about time you got practice anyways.” He looked out the window, where outside, Pokemon began to walk around the beaten paths, beginning their daily chores. “We should get started soon; the breakfast rush’ll be starting in about an hour.”

Dente headed toward a door, taking a large bucket with him as he did. “I’ll go get the water then!”

Wenstrel wandered over and took the bucket from his paws, towering at over Dente’s height. “I don’t think you’re quite big enough for this.” Dente stared at the floor dejectedly, making a small sniff. “But there is something else you can do for me.”

Dente cheered up, looking up excitedly. “What do you want me to do?”

Wenstrel set down the bucket and opened a large closet, which contained a myriad of ingredients: flour, seeds, sugar, numerous berries, the whole collection for a kitchen. “We seem to be out of Oran berries, and we’ll need some for a little project later. Would you mind heading down the river and picking a few dozen for me?” he asked in a wheezy voice.

Dente nodded ecstatically, taking a basket next to the door and running out. “I’ll get them Wenstrel!”

The wizened Quagsire chuckled, shaking his head softly. “They grow up so fast.”

~~~~

Dente ran down the hill and jumped into the water, the chilly water relaxing the Oshawott. “Ahhh…I love being in here.” He bobbed along the surface, the bed several inches below his feet.

He floated in the water, going gently down the hill, the basket floating behind him. Dente liked taking this route, as he didn’t have to walk as far; he just had to go with the flow.

He floated lazily along, meeting several Pokemon as he did: Serling Machamp as he waved goodbye to his son, Yarra Ninetales as she swept her porch, and the Weavile family as they went out to the Mischievous Woods to gather supplies to sell to Kecleon. He knew their daily routines as well as he knew his: helping Wenstrel in his café.

He yawned, tempted to fall asleep as he drifted down the river, until a familiar voice perked him up. “Hi Dente!” He looked up, seeing a Riolu jump up excitedly at the top of the slope. Next to him was a small wooden box, a lid on top of it, preventing the Oshawott from seeing what was inside.

“Hi Laryon! What’re you doing?” Dente asked, continuing his relaxing route to the berry bushes.

Laryon picked up the box and began to walk alongside Dente. “Wenstrel wanted me to bring this over. What’re you doing?”

“I’m getting Oran berries! You want to come down after you’re done?”

“Sure! I’ll be as quick as I can!” Laryon replied, beginning to run up the path, away from Dente. “I’ll see you soon!”

Dente nodded happily, leaning back. Laryon has been a friend ever since he could remember. They always played together, having fun times in the river or the forests next to the Mystery Dungeons.

After a few minutes, he looked up, seeing a slim Lucario and a cloaked Zoroark sitting on a bench in front of a little house. “Hi Azure, hi Ferrick! Whatcha doing?”

The female Lucario looked over and said, “We’re getting some cloth ready for Wenstrel today. We’ll come by later to drop it off.”

Ferrick chuckled, whispering something to Azure as he folded a length of white cloth. As she laughed herself, Ferrick waved a claw and exclaimed, “We’ll see you around later! Good luck berry-picking!” They stood up, carrying the bundles of cloth up toward Dente’s home closing a wooden gate behind them.

Dente continued to drift along, Ferrick’s knowledge of his berry-picking making him wonder how he knew. He didn’t dwell on it though, as the roughest part of the stream came.

He cheered in excitement as he bounced along the jutting stones and rolled down the steepest part of the river, the basket bouncing alongside him. “I love this part!” He continued to bound along until the river settled into a gentle slope, lazily pushing along the trail, where a row of houses sat next to it.

A grizzled Lucario wearing a set of leather clothing muttered to himself along the path, studying a letter in his paws, many more within the bag across his shoulder. He looked to his left and leapt back in surprise, the letter flying out of his paws. “Gah! Dente! When did you get there!”

Dente giggled, spinning in the water. “I’ve been in the water the whole time, Theus! What are you doing with all those letters?”

Theus spun around, searching for the letter that escaped his paws. “Uh, well, I’m sending out…advertisements, for my freelance exploration business. I’ll be around the café later to get some breakfast. Hope you do well, floating in the stream!” He picked up the letter and held it up triumphantly. “Ha ha! Won’t escape me today, Misses Yarra!” He began to walk along the path, talking with himself about what he thought of the elder of Respit village.

Dente drifted down the stream until it feed into a small pool, which was filled with crystal-clear water. He pushed through it, grabbing the basket, swimming toward shore, where dozens of bushes covered in multi-colored berries rushed with the breeze, their succulent morsels nearly falling off.

Dente wandered over to the bright blue berry bush, where he began picking off the berries and plopping them into the basket. “Don’t mind if I do,” he mentioned, tossing several berries into his mouth.

“Hello down there!”

Dente turned around, seeing Laryon run down the hill and skidded to a halt in front of a berry bush. “Had to run to get here. Need any help?”

Dente nodded. “Yeah, I could use a little. How’ve you been?” Dente asked, resuming his chore.

Laryon began to pick berries, setting them into the basket. “Oh, you know, helping out Aunt Azure and Uncle Ferrick. Did you see Uncle Theus on your way here?”

“Yeah. He said he was getting ads out for his exploration business.”

“He’s been wanting to do that for a while, but he only got around to it today. Did you hear about what Serling did for Max?”

“No, what happened?”

“He gave him a black belt! Max’s been wanting one for a while now. I wouldn’t mind getting one of those too.”

“Me too! I’m sure I can beat you if I had one!”

Laryon gave Dente a knowing look. “You wanna have a little fight?”

Dente nodded, stretching his arm and pulling his scalchop from his belly. “Yeah, let’s do this!”

They stepped away from each other, making sure that the basket was far enough away from where the action would be. The fringe between the bushes and the pond was long enough to make a sizeable arena for the two young ones.

“On your mark…” Laryon stated, crouching. “Get set…”

“Go!” Dente shouted, diving into the water and swimming away from Laryon. The Riolu ran around the shore, annoyed.

“Hey! You know I can’t fight over the water!” he exclaimed. He received a spray of water to the face, causing him to step back to wipe it off.

Dente rushed forward, ramming into Laryon headfirst. “That’s my opening move, I have to use it!” Laryon chuckled, dodging the swipes of Dente’s scalchop as he swerved to hit.

Dente was not willing to lose today however. He dove back into the water and swam under the surface, his kicking legs entirely visible to Laryon. “What are you going to do now?” Laryon called out, grinning.

The Oshawott suddenly shot out of the water, flying high into the air. As he fell towards the stunned Riolu, he giggled uproariously. “Aqua Jet!”

“Oof!”

Riolu sprawled across the ground, underneath the now-victorious Oshawott. “The winner is me!” he cheered, bowing to the imagined audience.

He stepped off and allowed Laryon to stand, who brushed himself off and smiled. “First time you’ve beat me in a while, right?”

“Yep! It’s almost like you let me win.”

“Not for the world.” Laryon replied, beginning to walk up the path. “Wenstrel said he forgot to tell you he needed more honey too. Kecleon should have some ready to pick up.”

Dente waddled over to the basket and heaved it toward Laryon. “Hold on, I’m coming!” The basked dragged along the ground as he walked, several berries falling out.

Laryon looked back and sighed, coming toward Dente and picking up the basket. “Here, I’ll take this back to Wenstrel while you go get the honey. I’ll see you soon!” He ran up the pat as Dente waved good-bye.

Dente walked up the path, other Pokemon also walking upward. Dente heard snippets of their individual conversations as Kecleon’s bright green shop tent came into view.

“You hear about what’s for breakfast today?”

“Not yet. You’re heading up to Wenstrel’s?”

“I don’t eat anywhere else!”

Dente began to wonder what was going on over with Wenstrel, but soon forgot as he looked up at the counter for Kecleon’s Wares, the shopkeeper humming to himself as he organized his goods.

“Ahem!” Dente announced.

Kecleon stopped humming, making a mewl of puzzlement. “Strange, thought I heard a little Pokemon say, ‘ahem’,” he joked, turning around and gazing around outside for whoever said it.

Dente restrained a laugh. “I’m down here!”

Kecleon gasped slightly and looked down, laughing. “Ha ha! There you are. You’re here to pick up Wenstrel’s honey, correct?” Dente nodded.

Kecleon whirled around again and picked up a small golden jar. “Here you are, one jar of Combee honey.” Dente reached up and took it, the jar nestling against his stained fur.

Kecleon held out a small sack, which clinked with coins. “Wenstrel overpaid a bit, so make sure this gets to him as well.” Dente accepted the sack and began to waddle up the path once more.

“Thank you Kecleon!” Dente called, waving to him.

Kecleon chuckled, opening a chest and counting the coins. “Ah, what a lovely little guy.”

~~~~

“I’m back!” Dente shouted, the steam of Wenstrel’s kitchen pounding into his face. Several pots and pans simmered over the stove, while Wenstrel waltzed around with a bowl of pancake mix in his flippers. It was brighter now, the sun turning the previous orange light into a bright blue.

Wenstrel poured some batter into a pan, taking a deep sniff. “Thank you very much Dente. Now, how about you get to work on a Honeyberry Cake; Azure wanted to have one.”

Dente licked his lips, setting the jar on a counter. “Mmm, Honeyberry Cake! Can I have some after it’s made?”

Wenstrel laughed, flipping the pancake. “Just get to making it first. We’ll talk about it later.”

Dente twisted around his chef’s hat, nodding determinedly. He pushed his stepladder up to the cupboard and began taking all the ingredients he’d need to make the cake, taking flour, sugar, and other necessities.

He looked over to the Oran berries and honey, which sat next to each other on the counter. “So that’s why he wanted those.” He combined the ingredients, making his signature Honeyberry Cake.

~~~~

One hour later…

“It’s done!” Dente exclaimed, sliding the cake out from the stove, his paws protected by a durable cloth. The cake was set within a large pan, the top coated with a smearing of Oran berries, towering at least six inches from the rack.

Wenstrel came hurriedly over and took the pan, lifting it up. “I’ll take over from here. You put a lot of work in today, so how about you go out and eat some breakfast?” The pans were cold, the breakfast he had made before now cool to the touch.

Dente nodded excitedly. “Will do, will do!” He rushed out another door, where he knew that Pokemon would begin to walk out the restaurant and return to their daily duties.

Wenstrel chuckled, setting the cake on a pan and taking a pan of frosting off the oven. “What a surprise…”

~~~~

Dente came into the next room, humming merrily to himself.

“Surprise!”

He leapt back in shock, seeing all the Pokemon of Respit gathered around a table covered in a white cloth. Streamers hung in the air, and a large plate of pancakes covered with a layer of honey were waiting on the table.

Dente looked left and right in astonishment, wondering what the occasion was.

Azure smiled warmly and asked, “You didn’t forget, did you?” Dente cocked his head.

Theus laughed, slamming the table as he continued eating a massive mound of pancakes. “Dente, it’s your birthday!”

Everything suddenly clicked in Dente’s mind. The white cloth. The letters. The cake. All of it made sense now.

Laryon walked over with his wooden box holding it in front of Dente. “Here, Azure made this for you. I hope you like it!” He set it down, allowing the Oshawott to slide off the lid and gasp.

Within the box was a brand new, puffy chef’s hat, and tucked underneath it was a neatly folded apron, pristinely white and completely paw-woven.

Dente looked up, seeing Azure’s welcoming glance. “I figured you’d want something new for your birthday.” Dente nodded dizzily.

Azure gestured for him to lift it up. “Go on, try it on!”

Dente did so, tossing away his weathered chef’s hat. He set the new one on his head, and wrapped the apron around his waist. He looked down at himself, grinning wide. “Thanks everyone…I really like it.”

Theus chuckled, gesturing to the Pokemon around him. “Good thing everyone came around, thanks to my invites.” He set his fork down and stood up on the table. “Well, come on then, let’ get this party started!” Just as he said that, Wenstrel rolled the Honeyberry cake into the room. It was a rectangular confection dotted with slices of Oran berry, with twelve candles to go on top.

Wenstrel leaned down to Dente, pointing up to the cake. “Happy twelfth birthday. Have a slice.” Dente couldn’t stop smiling as everyone cheered for the birthday boy.

~~~~

Hours later, well into the night, Dente ducked into the covers, the apron and hat hanging on his bedpost. “Best…birthday…ever…” he muttered, beginning to fall asleep, his candle flickering in the dark.

The door creaked open, and Wenstrel wandered inside, a package in his flippers. “Had fun?”

Dente turned around and sat up in his bed. “That’s not even close! I can’t believe you managed to do all that without me noticing!”

Wenstrel chuckled, sitting on the bedside. “Took a bit of work, but I managed to pull it off.” He held the package in front of Dente, who accepted it. “I do have one more thing to give you; I figured it would be better to show it when there weren’t so many Pokemon around.”

Dente tore off the paper wrapping and gasped at what lay underneath. It was a portrait, set in an ornate wooden frame, intricately painted by an expert hand. It showed Dente sitting next to Wenstrel at the stream, looking out over the sunset, where on the other side, Theus, Laryon, Azure, and Ferrick watched, all grinning happily.

On the bottom of the frame, a little metal plaque was engraved with some words. “For my beloved son.”

Dente looked up, his eyes watering. “Thanks…dad.” He embraced Wenstrel as best he could, the portrait sliding to his side.

Wenstrel returned the hug, closing his eyes. “You’re welcome.”
 

Gengarzilla

"What do you mean, my Gengarite is contraband?!"
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Hi, I thought I'd give this one a read and see what's what.

I really do like the "slice of life" theme in this fic, there's lots of moments here which honestly made me smile, first one being the portrait Dente has. It told me plenty about your lead character in such a short space of time; he's adopted but clearly happily so.

On that same note, it also established a real closeness between Dente and Wenstrel before you even introduced him to us in person, which I think was very good of you (and Quagsire's actually one of my two least favourite Pokémon so that just makes it even better if I felt uplifted). This doesn't downplay any of Dente's other friends and acquaintances in the area, but the connection between him and his adopted father stood out most.

The story is sweet too. I loved the idea of all those preparations being for a birthday surprise, it was a well timed discovery which made me re-read a lot of the earlier events and see them in a different light. Almost like one of those flashback sequences in the PMD games, I might even say.

Overall, great! Nice and fluffy like a cake!
 

Persephone

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To start with, this kind of fic isn't really my thing since I might be allergic to sweetness. So... anyway, on to review.

My biggest concern at the start was that there were too many things in the narrative that didn't really do anything to advance the character, story or plot. Everything coming together at the end rather dashed that criticism and in hindsight I'm impressed by how concise the narrative was.

My biggest criticism lies in dialogue. I don't buy it. The "suspension of disbelief" concept is rather different for fan fiction and fantasy. But I still have a standard which is essentially: can I read this and forget an author determines the entire plot, character, setting, dialogue etc. Does the narrative feel like events that could happen given the setting, characters and a reasonable assumption that all things not fantastically justified behave by real world logic.

Dialogue shattered it for me at multiple points. There were too many things I've never heard said in real life but have heard many times in cartoons. Ex: "They grow up so fast," "time for another hard day at work," "Don't mind if I do." Every time I read things like that I remember I am not looking into a world where characters could very well be real people reacting off each other and events.

You have a good understanding of one-shot plot, and I think your characters would be good with better dialogue, but you should try to write the way you hear people talking in real life in the future, and not the way they talk in other author's versions of real life.
 

diamondpearl876

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You know, I don't think I've read anything super fluffy in a while. This was a nice change of pace.

In a world where Arthus never existed, where the Seal of Creation had never been discovered, pleasant surprises happen for everyone all the time. In the Equivos region, in a small village called Respit, many of these pleasant surprises happen every day. Such as the one that will happen this day.

I like this parallel a lot! It goes from the world as a whole to just one little part of the world, and the using similar sentence structures as you narrowed down the locations worked in your favor, I think.

I like the little details you put into this at the beginning - the weathered chef's hat and the photo frame given to Dente by Wenstrel with the "adopted son" memo - because, at the end, it's so bittersweet and adorable when not only does Dente get a new hat, but Wenstrel just goes and makes him feel like a part of the family all over again by removed the adopted part and adding newfound friends into the picture. Guh.

The description throughout the beginning was also pretty peaceful, though my suggestion would be to not specifically say the words "peaceful" or "tranquil" - you did a nice enough job of setting the one without throwing those words into the mix. Readers start to get the sense that you don't trust them to pick up on what you want them to know if that kind of thing persists (and it's something I've seen in your writing but not really commented on often, so!).

I do wonder why Dente forgot his own birthday. A kid usually waits for anticipation for that day, eh? But, it could be different in the Pokemon world, and Dente totally seems like the kind of kid who would just run errands for Wenstrel and the kitchen all day on his own birthday because of how dedicated he is. He did try to get the kitchen ready all by himself when he coulda just lounged in bed longer, after all.

Overall, the pacing in this was spot on, the description spot on, and the characters pretty adorable!
 

Misfit Angel

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Hello, awards feedback time!

Interesting premise. What looks like a typical coming of age story actually isn't. We're told that Dente is a growing youth who is helping with his uncle's cafe and is sent out to do all of the chores associated with it. Only towards the end do we realize what the day actually is: Dente's birthday.

The buildup to the birthday scene was nice, and then... it just kinda never happened. We got the announcement that it was his birthday, and then the next scene is after his birthday. Maybe it's a cultural thing that they only get one birthday gift from the entire village? But it felt a little lacking. Or maybe you cut it for length concerns? I've got my own experience with gift giving scenes and they can indeed get a little out of hand.

As I mentioned recently with Unequivocant, I'm broadly unfamiliar with the world of PMD. I didn't learn much about the village of Respit other than it's next to a place called the Mischievous Woods and the aptly named Mystery Dungeons. It's clear that the numerous characters live in houses in a village, but there's so little detail about what these houses are, how they're designed, etc. I suppose in the grand scheme of things the style of the houses doesn't matter, but it'd help paint a picture.

There's a lot of named characters that are appearing, and I'm assuming most are references to The Forgotten Isles and Unequivocant. Since I've read very little of either and these characters come and go like the wind, I won't focus much on them.

Dente the Oshawott seems fairly run of the mill as far as "I'm a growing child" is concerned. He wants to prove himself, yet wants to slack off at the same time. Pride seems to be a thing with him and could potentially be his downfall if this were expanded into a lengthy story with him as the center of it. All in all, an easy character to relate to, I think, one that drives the plot along smoothly.

I can't find much to complain about when it comes to writing style. Some of the things I noticed were down to personal preference, such as Dente speaking out loud when nobody is around; such things could be explained through the narrative or as internal thoughts. But again, personal preference.
 
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