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Dialga's Gate: The Time Rift Zone

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Missingo. Master: You rush towards the origin of the sound, with Taitus and Stewie following close behind. As you rapidly climb the stairs, you notice Moewth and Buzzer exiting a room along with an unfamiliar Tyrogue. The Fighting type panics on seeing you, jumping forward to take a fighting stance, but is waved down by Meowth, who quickly assures the peppy youngster that this was reinforcement rather than further challenge. Taitus, noticing the freed Buzzer, is overcome with emotion for a brief moment - before he spots the unconscious executioner through the doorway, striding unperturbed past the axe which Buzzer had buried to the hilt in the sheer rock wall. His face pales, and before any celebration can be had the guard strides forwards to hurriedly check the incapacitated man. The atmosphere is tense, the sole sound the faint rattling emanating from the executioner. Finally, Taitus stands.

"He's badly injured; his breathing is strained due to a few fractured ribs, but he'll live.."

His assessment lightens the mood somewhat, with Buzzer once again hugging her son as Meowth explains the situation to you, detailing how he had helped free Buzzer and then fought off the executioner to rescue Tyrogue. Taitus is visibly shaken that Buzzer was to be executed only for her child to be resigned to the same fate as she had, the young man audibly gritting his teeth in frustration.

"I can't believe they'd do this. It's more than barbaric, it's unconscionable. And my father just ... just goes along with-"

Before Taitus can finish, Meowth bristles. Narrowing his eyes, he twitches his ears, desperately trying to discern something outside the range of your own senses. From his expression, the outlook must be grim.

"We've got company. Not sure how many, but they's armed. Their footsteps're heavy."

Buzzer immediately crackles to life at this, sparks leaping across the surface of her fur, but Taitus steps in before she can launch herself down the stairs to meet the incoming party.

"I'm sure we could fight our way through this with Keith's assistance, but there's another option. If we move deeper into the dungeons, there's a path which will lead us to a bluff at the back of the Colosseum. We could, theoretically, move around the outer edge from there and help Buzzer escape into the wilds."

Taitus looks to you for guidance after saying his piece, leaving the decision with you.

---

Mana Opal: The guards watch slack jawed as you leap into action to recall Fontaine. As Cassandra begins to create a fulminating twister, the watchmen respond in kind. Rushing forwards, the man thrust their scutum out before them, locking shields and creating a metal wal enclosing yourself and Honedge within. Honedge, distracted momentarily by this sudden show of coordination, is left unguarded. With a groaning effort, Cassandra thrusts her sandy storm forth, the seething mass scraping against the metallic body of the animated sword as the Sand Tomb engulfs it. The screech of fury rings loud above the howling winds, but try as it might it cannot manage to shake the encroaching construct. Pleased with this, Cassandra awaits further orders - but Honedge is not so limited.

Barely visible through the flurry of debris, Honedge has once again gone on the offensive. A dull whine emanates from the blade of the beast, a brilliant silver glow consuming the length of the weapon. As this grows to a crescendo, Honedge points the tip of itself towards Cassandra, and the Sandygast has no time to react. A searing beam burns through the air, screeching headlong into Cassandra and soliciting a sharp hiss of pain, the Flash Cannon not being appreciated in the slightest. Despite this, it is clear from the irritation caused by the ongoing maelstrom that the battle could still go either way. What was more, the onlooking Romma take up arms, their spears held aloft. With practised tempo they smash their lances into the front of their shields, the ensuing cacophony almost ritualistic in it's primal drive, urging you onward.


Lit: As you give your impassioned speech, the men surrounding you begin to talk in hushed tones. It is clear from their narrowed glances that they disapprove of your outburst, the tension in the air palpable to the skin. Somewhat resigned to the inevitability of your foisted punishment, you occupy yourself with your Togetic, silently waiting for any given response. What you got, however, was not what you had anticipated.

Without warning, the vendor girl beside you grabs you by the back of the head, forcing you down into a bowing position as best she can. The sharp intake of startled gasps from around the room punctuates the abrupt motion as guards move forward in anticipation of some sort of attack, but nothing comes. Instead, with a clarity of tone unseen thus far, the girl begins to speak.

"We apologise deeply for the disrespect that has been shown here, my lord. I promise you that no real ill intent was meant by it, simply a venting of frustrations."

A stunned silence falls around the chamber as you try your best to wriggle from under the grasp of the girl, but despite her slight frame there is a tempered and steady strength to her that you find it impossible to escape from. Then, abruptly, salvation arrives from the least expected place possible. The man sat before you began to laugh. A chuckle at first, but it soon built into a loud, uproarious harmony; a pleasant sound which swept away the fusty atmosphere and replaced it with one of homely comfort. Motioning for the girl to release her grip, he addresses you directly.

"Future traveller, I share your enthusiasm. I am a great believer in enjoyment for enjoyments sake. Alas, I am also a leader, and I have a political duty to fulfil. If my kingdom is threatened, I have a responsibility to protect it, and the festival serves as a useful conduit to expand my military reserves. What would you offer as an alternative?"

The grin plastered upon the man's face betrays an obvious ulterior motive, but there was a definite hint of sincerity behind the charade a genuine curiosity to gauge the worthiness of your reply.
 
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Missingo. Master: You rush towards the origin of the sound, with Taitus and Stewie following close behind. As you rapidly climb the stairs, you notice Moewth and Buzzer exiting a room along with an unfamiliar Tyrogue. The Fighting type panics on seeing you, jumping forward to take a fighting stance, but is waved down by Meowth, who quickly assures the peppy youngster that this was reinforcement rather than further challenge. Taitus, noticing the freed Buzzer, is overcome with emotion for a brief moment - before he spots the unconscious executioner through the doorway, striding unperturbed past the axe which Buzzer had buried to the hilt in the sheer rock wall. His face pales, and before any celebration can be had the guard strides forwards to hurriedly check the incapacitated man. The atmosphere is tense, the sole sound the faint rattling emanating from the executioner. Finally, Taitus stands.

"He's badly injured; his breathing is strained due to a few fractured ribs, but he'll live.."

His assessment lightens the mood somewhat, with Buzzer once again hugging her son as Meowth explains the situation to you, detailing how he had helped free Buzzer and then fought off the executioner to rescue Tyrogue. Taitus is visibly shaken that Buzzer was to be executed only for her child to be resigned to the same fate as she had, the young man audibly gritting his teeth in frustration.

"I can't believe they'd do this. It's more than barbaric, it's unconscionable. And my father just ... just goes along with-"

Before Taitus can finish, Meowth bristles. Narrowing his eyes, he twitches his ears, desperately trying to discern something outside the range of your own senses. From his expression, the outlook must be grim.

"We've got company. Not sure how many, but they's armed. Their footsteps're heavy."

Buzzer immediately crackles to life at this, sparks leaping across the surface of her fur, but Taitus steps in before she can launch herself down the stairs to meet the incoming party.

"I'm sure we could fight our way through this with Keith's assistance, but there's another option. If we move deeper into the dungeons, there's a path which will lead us to a bluff at the back of the Colosseum. We could, theoretically, move around the outer edge from there and help Buzzer escape into the wilds."

Taitus looks to you for guidance after saying his piece, leaving the decision with you.
Keith, Taitus, and Stewie headed off towards the source of the noise, and as they got nearer, they saw Meowth and Buzzer, along with an unfamiliar Fighting-type, exiting a room. Keith wasn't about to pull out his Pokédex in this time period, but he didn't really need to in order to identify the creature as a Tyrogue. And said Tyrogue panicked upon spotting Keith, and was quick to assume a fighting stance. "Hey, hey, wait, wait, hold it," Meowth interjected hastily. "It's all OK, dis is da guy I was talkin' about!"

Before Keith could say anything, however, he and Taitus spotted the unconscious executioner. Keith raised an eyebrow wordlessly while Taitus went and inspected, but soon Taitus confirmed that the man, while badly injured, was alive. "Well, that's something," Keith remarked. "Meowth, what'd I miss?"

"Oy, where do I begin?" Meowth replied. "I was able ta pick da lock on Buzzer's cage, get her outta dere, but she told me dat dey got her son, and dat she ain't wanted dis kinda life fer him."

"Can't say I blame her," Keith said fairly.

"So I promised her we'd try and free her son," Meowth continued. "Only ting is, we ran inta dat fella, he had Buzzer's son- who youse just met, by da way," he added gesturing to the Tyrogue, whom Keith gave a friendly smile and nod to. "But yeah- da coward was threatenin' ta kill him if we ain't backed down. O' course, I was able ta... persuade him otherwise."

"Hypnosis," grinned Keith. "Nice."

"I tink I did well enough," Meowth purred. "Got him ta drop dat axe and da cage Tyrogue was in. Ain't kept him asleep fer long, but by the time he came to, he ain't had no leverage against us no more, so Buzzer was able ta deck 'im wit a Thunder Punch, and den she just buried dat axe in da wall real deep. I don't tink he's eva gettin' dat out."

"So that's what we heard," Keith remarked. Then, his eyes found the destroyed Key Stone in the handle. "Aha," he grinned. "Now I see why Banette got so distracted- this must have been around when you hypnotized the executioner, so he couldn't issue commands. At some point during the battle, Banette started just staring at a wall, looking annoyed with someone, like it was waiting for commands."

"Ah," Meowth nodded. "Well, den, glad we had such good timin'," he purred.

"Yeah... still, though," Keith frowned. "They were gonna execute Buzzer, and then put her son through the same hell? That ain't right..."

Taitus voiced his wholehearted agreement with this, but before he could finish speaking, Meowth tensed up at once. Keith couldn't hear anything, but he knew by this point that didn't mean shit- if Meowth could sense something off, something was off. And sure enough...

"We got company," Meowth whispered. "Not sure how many, but dey's armed. Deir footsteps're heavy."

"Oh, crap," groaned Keith. Buzzer was quick to consider launching into battle, but Taitus thought otherwise. Confident though he was that Keith could help them fight through the army of unwelcome newcomers, he figured they could take a path that would get them out of there instead. The idea was they could get to a good spot to let Buzzer go free into the wild without having to fight anyone else. Taitus looked to Keith after this, as though awaiting his input on this idea, and Keith nodded slowly. "Yeah, we probably could fight them off, but it's not a guarantee, especially since we don't know how many there are," he stated. "I'm all for trying to just get outta here," he stated.

"Ledi, Ledian," Stewie nodded in agreement.

Keith turned to his Ledian. "Stewie, you can help us out, too," he stated. "When we get moving, try and set up a Reflect behind us to keep those guys at bay, alright?"

"Ledi!" Stewie nodded seriously. He was already contemplating doing something like that as it was- something that most assuredly came from one's girlfriend being a paranoid Pawniard.
 
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Mana Opal: The guards watch slack jawed as you leap into action to recall Fontaine. As Cassandra begins to create a fulminating twister, the watchmen respond in kind. Rushing forwards, the man thrust their scutum out before them, locking shields and creating a metal wal enclosing yourself and Honedge within. Honedge, distracted momentarily by this sudden show of coordination, is left unguarded. With a groaning effort, Cassandra thrusts her sandy storm forth, the seething mass scraping against the metallic body of the animated sword as the Sand Tomb engulfs it. The screech of fury rings loud above the howling winds, but try as it might it cannot manage to shake the encroaching construct. Pleased with this, Cassandra awaits further orders - but Honedge is not so limited.

Barely visible through the flurry of debris, Honedge has once again gone on the offensive. A dull whine emanates from the blade of the beast, a brilliant silver glow consuming the length of the weapon. As this grows to a crescendo, Honedge points the tip of itself towards Cassandra, and the Sandygast has no time to react. A searing beam burns through the air, screeching headlong into Cassandra and soliciting a sharp hiss of pain, the Flash Cannon not being appreciated in the slightest. Despite this, it is clear from the irritation caused by the ongoing maelstrom that the battle could still go either way. What was more, the onlooking Romma take up arms, their spears held aloft. With practised tempo they smash their lances into the front of their shields, the ensuing cacophony almost ritualistic in it's primal drive, urging you onward.
Well, this was certainly an unexpected development. Had it not been for the fact that honedge can move along the Z-axis somewhat, the ring of warriors that surrounded them would seem like a great secondary line of defense in the event that Cassandra fell in battle. As things were, she was in a more precarious position than the haunted blade- if these people decide her methods shouldn't be allowed to persist when all was said and done, they'd have little issue with turning her into a human pincushion. Though that was a gamble she was willing to take in stepping through the temporal rift in the first place...

In any case, this shield-bashing thing was a heck of a lot better than the jeering she put up with the last time the traveler had an audience. She unconsciously grabbed her left wrist at the thought, but quickly pushed the rushing memories back. This wasn't the time to be reminiscing!

As for the situation at hand, things were in a bit of a pickle. The strongest attack in Cassandra's arsenal was likely to do some collateral damage to the nearby buildings, and the honedge had a definite edge in terms of firepower. And it hardly needed to aim thanks to the very nature of the trap, to boot! "...Guess we're just gonna have to take a major risk, then." She smiled wryly as she slid her hand to rummage through the item stash in her left sleeve. "Say, Cassandra, do you think this Ghost knows how to handle being Cursed?" The soft cackle that responded from the roaring vortex suggested that she didn't think it did, and that was fine by her.
 
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Missingno. Master: Taitus grins as you take him up on his suggestion, the sincerity of his relief taking you somewhat by surprise. You knew the boy was averse to confrontation, but there was a more tender reluctance behind this. It dawns on you that those storming down the stairs to the dungeons were likely his comrades-in-arms as fellow guards. As much as they may denigrate him, it must be hard to be so brazenly turning his back on those he served with. However, now was not the time for reconciliation. Now was the time for action, and as you follow Taitus he rips an overhanging lantern from the wall.

"It's going to get dark down here, so better safe than sorry."

With that, your group begin their descent into the deeper sections of the underground - but not before Stewie takes a moment to create a thickened barrier of vibrant pink light, expanding the Reflect until it bored into the surrounding rock and closed off the opening behind you, at least to some degree.

Taitus leads the way, the young guard clearly having a rather impressive memory of the seemingly labyrinthine layout. Buzzer walks with her son just behind, while Meowth and Stewie bring up the rear just behind you. What feels like an eternity of winding through claustrophobic openings and bends in the path could only have been a few minutes at most. You finally come to a larger room where you can stretch a little, working out some of the tension that had built from at times stooping to avoid scraping against the ceiling. As you rest though, Meowth soon issues a grim warning.

"Deys broke through the Reflect. We either gotta move quick, or ready for a scrap."

At this, Buzzer once again crackles with electricity, but this time also begins to issue a fervent string of "Electa" punctuated by a smattering of "Vires". Frowning, Meowth turns to you.

"Buzzer ... suggests that we collapse the tunnel behind us."

Taitus smarts at this, but after a brief contemplation he looks to you for guidance.

"Collapsing the tunnel might not be the worst idea. Construction was done purposefully enough that structural integrity will probably hold ... but the noise would pretty definitively give away which route we took."

---

Mana Opal: Fully aware of your slight disadvantage, you decide a course of action somewhat more risky than others. Despite this rater brazen plan, Cassandra bellows accession, Concentrating intently, the Sandygast gathers shadowy energies, melding the wispy tendrils together to form a coherent construct. Within moments, a steely nail hangs in the air before her, and with a crazed look the sandcastle stabs herself. As she does, a trembling aura descends over Honedge, though the possessed sword seems for now entirely unperturbed. Rather, Honedge seemed more concerned with the sudden addition of the thunderous beating to their distractions, hissing as it thrashed in every which direction.

Unfortunately, this divided attention soon reentered upon Cassandra. A glint flashes along the length of their blade, maybe a flash of fury or possibly even determination. Either way, the tumultuous spirit began to convulse wildly - as much as a sword can convulse, anyway. Movements erratic, the Ghost type manipulates it's own shadow, extending the blackened silhouette towards Cassandra. As it reached your Sandygast, it exploded upwards, scraping a vicious attack along her left flank and leaving her reeling. Honedge drawled amusement at this, the shearing tone sending a shiver down your spine. Their victory was short lived. Abruptly, Honedge faltered, an inconceivable pain seizing hold of every sense and causing it to briefly clang to the ground in agony. Forcibly taking back control of itself, the sword turns on Cassandra with a notably more cautious stance as grains of sand scrape it's metallic body.

Cassandra may have taken back the advantage, but it was clear from the atmosphere that Honedge was now taking this seriously, and the reverberating pounding of the surrounding soldiers was no longer going to cut it as a distraction.
 
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Missingno. Master: Taitus grins as you take him up on his suggestion, the sincerity of his relief taking you somewhat by surprise. You knew the boy was averse to confrontation, but there was a more tender reluctance behind this. It dawns on you that those storming down the stairs to the dungeons were likely his comrades-in-arms as fellow guards. As much as they may denigrate him, it must be hard to be so brazenly turning his back on those he served with. However, now was not the time for reconciliation. Now was the time for action, and as you follow Taitus he rips an overhanging lantern from the wall.

"It's going to get dark down here, so better safe than sorry."

With that, your group begin their descent into the deeper sections of the underground - but not before Stewie takes a moment to create a thickened barrier of vibrant pink light, expanding the Reflect until it bored into the surrounding rock and closed off the opening behind you, at least to some degree.

Taitus leads the way, the young guard clearly having a rather impressive memory of the seemingly labyrinthine layout. Buzzer walks with her son just behind, while Meowth and Stewie bring up the rear just behind you. What feels like an eternity of winding through claustrophobic openings and bends in the path could only have been a few minutes at most. You finally come to a larger room where you can stretch a little, working out some of the tension that had built from at times stooping to avoid scraping against the ceiling. As you rest though, Meowth soon issues a grim warning.

"Deys broke through the Reflect. We either gotta move quick, or ready for a scrap."

At this, Buzzer once again crackles with electricity, but this time also begins to issue a fervent string of "Electa" punctuated by a smattering of "Vires". Frowning, Meowth turns to you.

"Buzzer ... suggests that we collapse the tunnel behind us."

Taitus smarts at this, but after a brief contemplation he looks to you for guidance.

"Collapsing the tunnel might not be the worst idea. Construction was done purposefully enough that structural integrity will probably hold ... but the noise would pretty definitively give away which route we took."
Keith wasn't sure it should have surprised him as much as it did, Taitus's relief that Keith was taking his suggestion. After all, Taitus wasn't fond of confrontation. But no, Keith realized, it was more than that- these were people Taitus worked with. It couldn't be easy for him to turn his back on them like this, good as his reasons and intentions were.

With Taitus taking a lantern for illumination, and Stewie setting up a Reflect behind them, the goup set off. It was Taitus, Buzzer, her son, then Keith, Meowth, and Stewie. Together they wound through the tiniest of openings, navigated twists and turns, and they soon came to a larger room, where they could rest a little, stretch out, relieve some of the tension that comes with the territory when navigating such cramped corridors. It was a nice, and quite necessary break, so when Keith saw Meowth tense up, his heart sank. "Oh, no, don't tell me," he groaned.

"Dey broke trough da Reflect," Meowth whispered. "We either gotta move quick or get ready fer a scrap." Buzzer spoke up at this, after which Keith turned back to Meowth for a translation. "Buzzer suggests we collapse da tunnel behind us," Meowth explained.

"Collapse the tunnel..." Keith repeated. Taitus chimed in on this. From a structural standpoint, it wasn't the worst idea, it was very likely that collapsing part of the tunnel wouldn't entomb them. But, the noise would certainly clue in their pursuers as to which way they went. "Yikes," Keith frowned. "We can't have that, not if that's one of the few advantages we have here..."

"But if dey can't get trough da rubble, what difference would it make?" Meowth asked.

"No," Keith shook his head. "If they know which way they went, they'll likely know where we'll end up, and exactly how they can go back and head us off. We won't be slowing them down, we'll be giving away our location in a maze they know better than us... no, we can't risk that," he stated. "I got a better idea," he added quietly, beckoning the others closer, particularly his Ledian. "Stewie, we're gonna keep going, but next time we come to a fork in the path, cover the path we took by using String Shot to create a web."

"Wh- wat's dat gonna do?" Meowth whispered. "Dey just broke trough a Reflect. A web o' String Shot's gotta be a piece o' cake fer dem!"

"Ah, but see, a Reflect would have to have been from us," Keith elaborated. "Whereas they see just a cobweb covering an entrance, they'll think it was just a wild Spinarak or something, and that we couldn't possibly have gotten through without disturbing the web, so they'll think we went the other way."

"...ohhh," Meowth purred. "Alright, I see wat yer gettin' at dere. Alright, I'm all fer dat, den," he agreed.

"Led ledi!" whispered Stewie, in full agreement with the plan.

"Then let's get moving, then," Keith stated quietly to everyone present.
 
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Raves-

"So you prefer Rory, hmm, alright!" Sophia just nods as she heads off into the temple. This leaves you alone with the two boys, who're just sizing you up still.

"Heh, maybe some other time. You don't look like your heart is into it, and there's no point in trampling a weaker foe. A good king leads his people, and gives faith to those he has conquered," Iskander remarks before heading off somewhere, waving his hand backwards as you see his back.

The last one there, Dymnos just gives a sigh of relief before looking at you.

"I do apologize for both of them. Iskander is too hot headed and well Sofia is very matter of fact. Besides, its certainly getting late," he motions to the sunset on the horizon. "Master said you have a long day ahead of you, and it would be best to get some rest. Let's say I take you to our little dining hall and then you can go get some rest?" He asks you.

Taking a quick look around the courtyard, now that its emptier and more illuminated, you can see there isn't much else that is actually there right now. You can see a figure sleeping in the branches of the large tree the trio was originally sitting under. Besides that, you could see Iskander off in the distance arguing with a blonde boy. Dymnos also seems to take notice of that.

"Those two are always starting fights... Let me break that up and then I can show you the way, sound good?" He gives a warm smile as he heads off.

Seems you had a little time before food was going to be ready. What do you do?
 
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Mana Opal: Fully aware of your slight disadvantage, you decide a course of action somewhat more risky than others. Despite this rater brazen plan, Cassandra bellows accession, Concentrating intently, the Sandygast gathers shadowy energies, melding the wispy tendrils together to form a coherent construct. Within moments, a steely nail hangs in the air before her, and with a crazed look the sandcastle stabs herself. As she does, a trembling aura descends over Honedge, though the possessed sword seems for now entirely unperturbed. Rather, Honedge seemed more concerned with the sudden addition of the thunderous beating to their distractions, hissing as it thrashed in every which direction.

Unfortunately, this divided attention soon reentered upon Cassandra. A glint flashes along the length of their blade, maybe a flash of fury or possibly even determination. Either way, the tumultuous spirit began to convulse wildly - as much as a sword can convulse, anyway. Movements erratic, the Ghost type manipulates it's own shadow, extending the blackened silhouette towards Cassandra. As it reached your Sandygast, it exploded upwards, scraping a vicious attack along her left flank and leaving her reeling. Honedge drawled amusement at this, the shearing tone sending a shiver down your spine. Their victory was short lived. Abruptly, Honedge faltered, an inconceivable pain seizing hold of every sense and causing it to briefly clang to the ground in agony. Forcibly taking back control of itself, the sword turns on Cassandra with a notably more cautious stance as grains of sand scrape it's metallic body.

Cassandra may have taken back the advantage, but it was clear from the atmosphere that Honedge was now taking this seriously, and the reverberating pounding of the surrounding soldiers was no longer going to cut it as a distraction.
Even though she knew full well what Curse did when used by a Ghost Type, Ami was still a bit shaken by witnessing the technique up close. Cassandra had always exhibited an aggressive disposition, but she hadn't looked so terribly viscous since she had gone berserk at Bedlam Ridge... and it seemed the sandygast's aggression was aimed primarily at herself this time? The end result would ultimately prove more harmful for the honedge in the long term, the visceral pressure put out by the sand mound's mad cackling as she impaled herself was immediately disturbing.

...The enemy somehow seemed to be largely unperturbed, however. If anything, the accursed blade seemed to find their self-inflicted injuries hilarious and more than worth compounding!

Despite of it all, Ami still allowed a grim smile to creep onto her face as the vile hex finally wracked their foe in full force, forcing their spirited behavior to a cautious halt. It was understandable, of course- the pain's source isn't remotely clear if you aren't already in the know, and one of the few living spectres that couldn't learn the power, it was likely that this thing wasn't in the know! "...Looks like setup's finally done." Ideally, there would have been a burn in the collection of gradual damage effects, but since Will-o-Wisp wasn't available option this time, they'd just have to make do." Now then, let's shift to playing a bit more to the enemy's element, shall we? Use the vortex as cover and try to shake up its plans with Astonish!"

Cassandra gave a chuckle that suggested that it was the best idea she had heard all day, and immediately lunged into action. How strong will the blade's guard prove to be?
 
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Lit: As you give your impassioned speech, the men surrounding you begin to talk in hushed tones. It is clear from their narrowed glances that they disapprove of your outburst, the tension in the air palpable to the skin. Somewhat resigned to the inevitability of your foisted punishment, you occupy yourself with your Togetic, silently waiting for any given response. What you got, however, was not what you had anticipated.

Without warning, the vendor girl beside you grabs you by the back of the head, forcing you down into a bowing position as best she can. The sharp intake of startled gasps from around the room punctuates the abrupt motion as guards move forward in anticipation of some sort of attack, but nothing comes. Instead, with a clarity of tone unseen thus far, the girl begins to speak.

"We apologise deeply for the disrespect that has been shown here, my lord. I promise you that no real ill intent was meant by it, simply a venting of frustrations."

A stunned silence falls around the chamber as you try your best to wriggle from under the grasp of the girl, but despite her slight frame there is a tempered and steady strength to her that you find it impossible to escape from. Then, abruptly, salvation arrives from the least expected place possible. The man sat before you began to laugh. A chuckle at first, but it soon built into a loud, uproarious harmony; a pleasant sound which swept away the fusty atmosphere and replaced it with one of homely comfort. Motioning for the girl to release her grip, he addresses you directly.

"Future traveller, I share your enthusiasm. I am a great believer in enjoyment for enjoyments sake. Alas, I am also a leader, and I have a political duty to fulfil. If my kingdom is threatened, I have a responsibility to protect it, and the festival serves as a useful conduit to expand my military reserves. What would you offer as an alternative?"

The grin plastered upon the man's face betrays an obvious ulterior motive, but there was a definite hint of sincerity behind the charade a genuine curiosity to gauge the worthiness of your reply.


What astonished him wasn't the silence. Leo was sure that his little speech wasn't even comprehensible to the people of this era. It was after all about order and balance, even so it was a load of bullshit as a front for manslaughter and needless bloodshed. What astonished him was being forced down to bow. He didn't bow to no one, and that only pissed him off. While he did drag this girl into this mess, she sounded more than on board with it until now. Rebels shouldn't quiver under the gaze of leadership, they should rise up and challenge it.

Leo manages to break free from the grip once the shogun starts to speak with him, and questions him on what alternative there should be. Alternative? What point was there in offering one. It was all strength and power with these types of people. Exactly what Team Skull was meant to break.

"What do I think should be an alternative? I already told you what I think, that these festivals should be nothing more than a celebration and not a means to grab power. Where's the love, the joy to this? Everyone out there..." He points towards outside the castle. "Is scared for their lives on a daily basis, being treated more like livestock then actual people. Even the people that are supposed to protect them use them as nothing more than target practice?" He questions, refusing to back down anymore.

"I know Nihan history is brutal, but the end result, the modern result, is a culture revered for its traditions and peacefulness. That not one, but two modern day regions are direct influences from this area, and a multitude of others, include my own, takes something from it, and it certainly isn't warlords or battles. It's the idea of peace and society working as a cohesive unit. Its the monuments to Pokemon and nature as a whole. I don't know exactly where we are, but this region as a whole is the cultural heart of the modern world," he finishes, letting out a deep breath. He wasn't going to back down from this, no matter what the outcome may be.
 
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Alice Hope: Your rather shameless show is met with disdain and confusion respectively from the businessman and Kaito - but it has the intended effect on Buzzwole. The Bug type continues to violently flex, the whole situation rapidly descending into some sort of surrealist nightmare. Fortunately Jasper is able to find his moment among the madness. Sneaking in close, the Sableye leaps upwards, raking sharpened claws over the collar with a well placed Feint. Small gouges follow at the point of impact, but still the machinery refuses to yield, despite the intensity of it's sputtering. Worse still, Buzzwole seems to have cottoned onto the deception, leaping back determinedly and glaring at Jasper. While his aggravating display continued, it was clear that things had gotten serious.

Jasper grimaces at this, but forges on all the same. Curling one of his hands into a compact fist, he ignites a trembling orange aura around the appendage, leaping upwards once more to land a crunching Power-up Punch. Before he can land though, Buzzwole brings a hefty fist swinging round - and despite the blow grazing Jasper on account of his smaller stature, it is clear that the sudden Ice Punch had left it's mark, one of Jasper's arms now thinly coated in ice. Disgruntled, the Sableye issues a buzzing swarm at his opponent, chuckling as the Infestation began to work it's magic. While the device began sparking out of control, clearly on the verge of breaking, the attack also had the effect of pushing Buzzwole to his most irate. So furious was he now that even his flexing had ceased, his pure unbridled fury focused squarely on Jasper. Whatever he was about to do, it wasn't going to be pretty.
Oh, bajeezles. It had been very embarrassing indeed to be doing all of that seductive playing up to the Ultra Beast, especially with how the spectators had been so obviously judging her, but now it was all for naught. Or, perhaps not-- they'd managed to get the collar to near destruction, but it was hard to say whether or not Jasper might have managed such a feat with or without her making a fool of herself. Oh, well, nothing new in her daily or celebrity life really. The sight of Buzzwole not flexing somehow managed to be scarier than when he was, though, which was impressive. They'd have to settle this in a timely fashion, and try not to get beat to death in the process. At least the Infestation would keep chipping away...

"Jasper, let's get into this. Shadow Sneak and Foul Play, go!" Alice commanded of the ghost, her expression a lot more serious in contrast to how stupid she'd probably looked seconds ago. There was a reason that she had been chosen to venture through Dialga's Gate, after all, and that was because she and her Pokemon were not the type to be trifled with. Even alone, she'd cheated death plenty a time, and Alice wasn't ready to die here, even if it would make for a picturesque final view. Passing beneath a rain of cherry blossom? How apt. "If it tries to give you trouble, blind and blast it with Power Gem. And if it doesn't, do it anyway, just get off that collar and keep us safe!"

Jasper grumbled menacingly, and with his orders given, the ghost vanished from sight. He'd show this brute some sneaking and playing indeed...
 
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Missingno. Master: With a plan having been settled on, Stewie buzzes near to the entrance of the current tunnel, before pausing. With a nod, the Ledian quickly darts into the previous room proper. Before you can question his motives, Stewie begins to web up other openings with his String Shot, and his thought process becomes evidently clearer. One web alone might raise suspicion - three or four would help sell the illusion of a Spinarak infestation. With his preparation work done, Stewie returns to the main tunnel where you are gathered, Having completed a few trial runs, the webbing that he promptly creates is an impressive facsimile of those constructed by Spinarak - no doubt significantly more so when viewed without the prior knowledge of it being artificial. Even Taitus seems suitably impressed, and Buzzer growls her approval. With hopes that your pursuers will be adequately fooled, your group presses on into the darkness.

With Taitus leading the way, you continue to forge a path deeper, and after what feels like an eternity, Meowth issues a hissing laugh, prompting you to pause.

"Dey took the bait. Dey even split their forces. Gone done two completely wrong tunnels."

The abrupt relief was palpable as it rushed in, the tensed figure of Buzzer visibly relaxing in the sparse light. The rest of the trek has a much less urgent feel, and it isn't long before you can hear the sounds of moving water, presumably the bluff that Taitus had previously mentioned. As you all file out into the open air though, Taitus stops abruptly, causing you to stumble into the back of the suddenly stopped procession. As you move to get a better look at what had stricken the young guard, you freeze.

Stood flanked by a menacingly large Aggron, larger than any specimen of the species you had ever seen, was Remus. Arms crossed, the man wore a thunderous expression.

===

Mana Opal: Shouting your orders, you watch on with bated breath as Cassandra gingerly shifts the sands of her body. Honedge moves as she does, trying to track and anticipate her motions, the intensity of their focus almost unnerving. The tension built to a suffocating peak before Cassandra finally makes her move. Streaming forwards with a speed belying her awkward gait, the Sandygast is upon Honedge before it can react, slamming her grainy hands against the tempered metal of the sword. Reeling back, the intense concentration of the Ghost type works to disadvantage it, making it way more susceptible to the adverse affects of the Astonish. Desperately attempting to respond, the possessed sword finds itself unable to summon it's energies, groaning and whining against the abrupt shock to it's system.

Worse still, the curse laid upon it abruptly flares up once more. Crimson lightning darts across the figure of Honedge, causing it to slump once again. For a moment, it seems like the battle was won, but then with a grating noise which sent a chill down your spine it forces itself back into the air. As if on cue, the frenzied beating of the surrounding guards intensifies in frequency, the thunderous pace accelerating, anticipating the crescendo of the battle at hand.

Cassandra wears a wide grin as she watches the Honedge hang uncertainly in the air, barely managing to hold onto consciousness but resolute in the face of perilous adversity. Despite the obvious advantage, you couldn't help but shake the feeling that things could go south at any moment.

A beast is most dangerous when cornered, after all.

===


Liltwick: You manage to slip the girls grasp, doubling down on your initial response with fervour. As you respond, the grin of the man before you only grows wider as his attendants scoff, the glint in his eye shifting from interest to mischievous. As you finish, he stands, and for a moment it seems he would accost you - before he starts laughing again, punctuating it this time with applause. This goes on for some time, an almost uncomfortable length, and inspires a broad range of expressions on the faces of those watching; shades of repulsion and confusion abounding. As the man calms down, and takes his seat, his smile never once leaves his face.

"You have conviction. I respect that, more than anything else. Your words hurt but there is a truth to them. I have long wanted reform, but as I alluded, circumstances have been outside of my control. It is all I can do to help the populace keep their head above water. However..."

His eyes shone with knowing intent as he splays his hands toward you, making a performance of including you into the conversation. The man was clearly a showman able to command his audience well.

"You say you come from a future where the legacy of Niha is one of peace. Perhaps you could help forge that path in our present. Prove that diplomacy can solve our most pressing concern. There is a notorious group of bandits holed up within the Cherry Blossom Gardens. They constantly pillage the rice fields, injuring workers who attempt to stop them."

Here the man's mood soured, a definite cloud of anger falling over his until now jovial expression.

"Combating those curs is a significant motivation for my current recruitment drive. Show me that you can end their menace, and then I will have my proof that these matters need not be settled militarily. Precedent begets trust."

===

meetan: Your resolve hardened, you issue your orders to Jasper, the Sableye issuing a grumbled promise of retribution towards Buzzwole. Gems glinting, the Ghost type wreathes himself in a blackened cloak of energy, melding with the shadow cast below. In this ethereal form, the Sableye rushes forwards as blinding speed, taking all onlookers by surprise. Closing the distance rapidly, Jasper lurches upwards with a determined hiss, raking his sharpened claws along the length of the device with a Shadow Sneak. As he makes contact it splutters wildly, sparks showering the surrounding grass. Disgruntled, Buzzwole swings a second chilling Ice Punch at Jasper, catching the Sableye mid air and launching him a meter or two - but his assault was not finished there.

Strolling towards his foe, approach as confident as it was measured, Jasper once again ignites a roiling armour of darkness around himself. Buzzwole is infuriated, lunging at Jasper with reckless abandon, but the wild lashing out only serves to work against him. As his frenzied swing lands, Jasper rolls with the momentum of the blow, before transmitting that force back seamlessly. The effect is striking. Buzzwole is thrown backwards, propelled by the deadly power of his own strike by Jasper's Foul Play. Skittering to a halt, the vainglorious insect scrambles to his feet, desperate not to lose face. At this point the collar was obscured by the sheer amount of smoke pouring from it, but frustratingly it manages to hold on. Spitting in as much disbelief as fury, Jasper holds his clawed hands before himself, hurriedly constructing a glittering gem. Whining with a trembling intensity, the Power Gem is launched screaming towards Buzzwole, miraculously finding it's mark amidst the obfuscation.

As it does, the collar explodes. Shards of metal are sent pinging everywhere, with Jasper needing to dive to avoid some of the shrapnel. As it becomes clear that Jasper is unharmed, you hear Kaito yell in triumph, egged on by the ecstatic Junpei. Despite their celebrations, you knew it was too soon to celebrate. After all, the device could have just been to amplify Buzzwole's potential - but almost as if on cue, the businessman curses loud, drawing your attention. Sat in the grass was the odd Poke Ball used to contain Buzzwole, and more interestingly, the orb had seemingly short circuited, laying open and sputtering.

Buzzwole responds to this immediately. A look of clarity falls over the Bug types expression, followed shortly by anger. Turning on the businessman, it advances slowly but certainly, one arm raised high. It didn't take a genius to ascertain his intentions.
 
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Missingno. Master: With a plan having been settled on, Stewie buzzes near to the entrance of the current tunnel, before pausing. With a nod, the Ledian quickly darts into the previous room proper. Before you can question his motives, Stewie begins to web up other openings with his String Shot, and his thought process becomes evidently clearer. One web alone might raise suspicion - three or four would help sell the illusion of a Spinarak infestation. With his preparation work done, Stewie returns to the main tunnel where you are gathered, Having completed a few trial runs, the webbing that he promptly creates is an impressive facsimile of those constructed by Spinarak - no doubt significantly more so when viewed without the prior knowledge of it being artificial. Even Taitus seems suitably impressed, and Buzzer growls her approval. With hopes that your pursuers will be adequately fooled, your group presses on into the darkness.

With Taitus leading the way, you continue to forge a path deeper, and after what feels like an eternity, Meowth issues a hissing laugh, prompting you to pause.

"Dey took the bait. Dey even split their forces. Gone done two completely wrong tunnels."

The abrupt relief was palpable as it rushed in, the tensed figure of Buzzer visibly relaxing in the sparse light. The rest of the trek has a much less urgent feel, and it isn't long before you can hear the sounds of moving water, presumably the bluff that Taitus had previously mentioned. As you all file out into the open air though, Taitus stops abruptly, causing you to stumble into the back of the suddenly stopped procession. As you move to get a better look at what had stricken the young guard, you freeze.

Stood flanked by a menacingly large Aggron, larger than any specimen of the species you had ever seen, was Remus. Arms crossed, the man wore a thunderous expression.
Stewie flew over to the entrance of the tunnel they were in, but paused. "Wha-" Keith began, before Stewie darted into the previous room. He started using String Shot to spin webs over other openings.

"Wat is Stewie doin'?" Meowth murmured.

"...I think I get it," Keith nodded. "Just one web might look a bit out of place, but if there's multiple webs-"

"-dat'd look more natural," Meowth purred. "Now dat's smart."

"Sure is," Keith smiled. He had been struck anew with knowledge he'd known all along- that Stewie was seriously smart. Not as big an intellectual as Hermione or Liliana, but he was no dummy. He'd shown that back in his days as a Shadow Pokémon where he was able to concoct an elaborate scheme for world domination without Keith ever finding out about it until the Ledian was on the verge of setting it in motion. Keith was hit with renewed feeligns of relief, relief that those brains were on the side of good nowadays. And of course, combine brains with having a paranoid Pawniard as one's girlfriend, and you get this truly remarkable Ledian Keith was proud to call a friend and ally.

Finally, Stewie returned to the tunnel and created the web he was instructed to make in the first place. "Hah, beautiful job, Stewie," Keith beamed proudly. "Very nice touch with those other webs, too, they're gonna make it all look more authentic."

"Yeah, well done, buddy," Meowth purred.

"Led ledi," smiled Stewie, feeling quite good about himself. And so, with that done, the group headed onward. For a good long while, nothing. But then, Keith paused, turning to Meowth with an amused look, for the feline was hissing out quiet yet unmistakable laughter. "What's so funny?" Keith whispered.

"Heh heh... Dey took da bait," Meowth chuckled. "Dey even split up deir forces, went down two completely wrong tunnels!" At this, Keith allowed himself a bit of quiet chuckling as they continued on. The rest of their time in the tunnels was considerably less tense, and before long, they were out in the open once more-

"Oof!" Keith grunted as he was quite suddenly made to walk into the back of the others, for Taitus had stopped abruptly in place. "Wha-" he began for the second time, and for the second time, he very soon saw exactly wha.

Remus. Right in front of them. Backed up by an enormous Aggron. He did not look happy.

Keith stepped out in front of Taitus, in front of Buzzer and her son. "Remus," he greeted the man. "As I'm sure you've guessed before I even said two words to you, I'm not from around here," he said, uttering one hell of an understatement in the process. "Where I'm from, Pokémon losing in battle is no reason to put them to death. Where I'm from, losing battles is something to learn from, in order to improve and become stronger than ever. Executing Pokémon for, for losing all their hit points... it's reprehensible," he stated. "I'm normally one to respect other cultures, but there's nothing to respect about this. We're freeing Buzzer and her son," he said firmly. "There'll be no changing my mind on this. If we don't have to battle over this, then that's great, I'm perfectly fine with that. But if you force me to," he added, plucking the Level Ball off his belt and clicking the button to enlarge the modified Red Apricorn, "...if I have to fight for what I believe to be right, then so be it," he declared. He could almost feel the ball vibrate in his hand, as though the Heatmor within was voicing vehement agreement with Keith's words. With a flick of his hand, Keith tossed the Level Ball, and from it, Kyle emerged. The Heatmor's eyes found the gigantic Aggron, but he stood there as his Trainer was, waiting for Remus's response, yet simultaneously ready should the response be of a violent nature. The Heatmor was prepared to charge and launch a Focus Blast if Aggron made it necessary, and from there, he trusted Keith to be quick on the uptake and give timely orders.
 
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meetan: Your resolve hardened, you issue your orders to Jasper, the Sableye issuing a grumbled promise of retribution towards Buzzwole. Gems glinting, the Ghost type wreathes himself in a blackened cloak of energy, melding with the shadow cast below. In this ethereal form, the Sableye rushes forwards as blinding speed, taking all onlookers by surprise. Closing the distance rapidly, Jasper lurches upwards with a determined hiss, raking his sharpened claws along the length of the device with a Shadow Sneak. As he makes contact it splutters wildly, sparks showering the surrounding grass. Disgruntled, Buzzwole swings a second chilling Ice Punch at Jasper, catching the Sableye mid air and launching him a meter or two - but his assault was not finished there.

Strolling towards his foe, approach as confident as it was measured, Jasper once again ignites a roiling armour of darkness around himself. Buzzwole is infuriated, lunging at Jasper with reckless abandon, but the wild lashing out only serves to work against him. As his frenzied swing lands, Jasper rolls with the momentum of the blow, before transmitting that force back seamlessly. The effect is striking. Buzzwole is thrown backwards, propelled by the deadly power of his own strike by Jasper's Foul Play. Skittering to a halt, the vainglorious insect scrambles to his feet, desperate not to lose face. At this point the collar was obscured by the sheer amount of smoke pouring from it, but frustratingly it manages to hold on. Spitting in as much disbelief as fury, Jasper holds his clawed hands before himself, hurriedly constructing a glittering gem. Whining with a trembling intensity, the Power Gem is launched screaming towards Buzzwole, miraculously finding it's mark amidst the obfuscation.

As it does, the collar explodes. Shards of metal are sent pinging everywhere, with Jasper needing to dive to avoid some of the shrapnel. As it becomes clear that Jasper is unharmed, you hear Kaito yell in triumph, egged on by the ecstatic Junpei. Despite their celebrations, you knew it was too soon to celebrate. After all, the device could have just been to amplify Buzzwole's potential - but almost as if on cue, the businessman curses loud, drawing your attention. Sat in the grass was the odd Poke Ball used to contain Buzzwole, and more interestingly, the orb had seemingly short circuited, laying open and sputtering.

Buzzwole responds to this immediately. A look of clarity falls over the Bug types expression, followed shortly by anger. Turning on the businessman, it advances slowly but certainly, one arm raised high. It didn't take a genius to ascertain his intentions.
Alice watched the skirmish unfold, knots in her stomach, feeling the rush that she always did in battles just like these. She jumped and flinched as the Pokemon clashed, always worrying for the damage her hardy Pokemon took, and also for the injuries endured by her enemies. Thankfully the ice barely seemed to bother her Sableye, but punch that Buzzwole threw looked nasty. Alice audibly gasped from it, only to be further taken aback by her ghost's foul turnaround. She had ordered it, of course, but witnessing the sheer power of the move was phenomenal. Sending a Buzzwole reeling was nothing to scoff at, and in the heat of the moment her ghost looked royally ticked off. He was right to be - how could the collar have survived such a smack when the alien bug actually fallen over? Jasper made quick work of it, though. What a lad.

Alice almost leaped for joy along with the spectators, but she ended up screaming instead, ducking down to the ground with her arms over her head to feebly and uselessly defend against any hot, sparkling, metallic debris. Nothing hit her, and for Jasper it all just phased through him anyway. The ghost merely grinned like the little monster he was, maliciously pleased that he had caused the Buzzwole some embarrassment on the road to liberty. He cast Alice a glance to make sure that she was fine, the trainer trembling as she straightened up, blue eyes falling on the broken Beast Ball in the grass. Thank goodness for that - maybe they wouldn't have to keep up this fight after all?

"Aww, bollocks." The time traveller grumbled. Buzzwole's calm restoration hadn't lasted, as it had now decided that its captor was deserving of punishment. That was totally fair, but also, unhelpful right at this moment. Alice hissed a few curses more before - perhaps stupidly - starting off on her feet towards the Ultra Beast. "Buzzwole, wait! Just hang on, just like five seconds, please!" The trainer begged, understandably keeping a wide berth as she called out to it. "I get what it did to you, but if you kill this guy I won't be able to find out how he's doing all of these things, or why, or where he's from! Either wait or help me to get him to talk, and if he won't, do whatever you want to him!"

And, honestly? Even if he did talk... Once they had all of the information they needed? Buzzwole could have him. It's not like the world would suffer for losing someone who behaved like this anyway.
 
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Mana Opal: Shouting your orders, you watch on with bated breath as Cassandra gingerly shifts the sands of her body. Honedge moves as she does, trying to track and anticipate her motions, the intensity of their focus almost unnerving. The tension built to a suffocating peak before Cassandra finally makes her move. Streaming forwards with a speed belying her awkward gait, the Sandygast is upon Honedge before it can react, slamming her grainy hands against the tempered metal of the sword. Reeling back, the intense concentration of the Ghost type works to disadvantage it, making it way more susceptible to the adverse affects of the Astonish. Desperately attempting to respond, the possessed sword finds itself unable to summon it's energies, groaning and whining against the abrupt shock to it's system.

Worse still, the curse laid upon it abruptly flares up once more. Crimson lightning darts across the figure of Honedge, causing it to slump once again. For a moment, it seems like the battle was won, but then with a grating noise which sent a chill down your spine it forces itself back into the air. As if on cue, the frenzied beating of the surrounding guards intensifies in frequency, the thunderous pace accelerating, anticipating the crescendo of the battle at hand.

Cassandra wears a wide grin as she watches the Honedge hang uncertainly in the air, barely managing to hold onto consciousness but resolute in the face of perilous adversity. Despite the obvious advantage, you couldn't help but shake the feeling that things could go south at any moment.

A beast is most dangerous when cornered, after all.
The pressure was certainly starting to pile onto bladed miscreant at a rapid pace, its fury clearly building up in a similar manner to the percussion that surrounded the ghastly scuffle. Compared to its vicious assaults, Cassandra's attacks seemed like meager taps, barely grazing its defenses at all. So why then was it losing? Were the silica pile's traps truly all that devastating? And then she had managed to catch it by surprise badly enough to shock it out of an attack completely, buying enough time for that forsaken hex to strike again. How the hell was Honedge losing to this random, out of place, dirty-fighting fiend?

At least, that's what Ami figured was running through its mind as it shook off the pain once more. It was a bit tricky to tell what it was thinking exactly due to its singular eye being all it had to emote with, but it wasn't like she was wholly unfamiliar with difficult to read facial structures either. The one thing that was clear to see was that her foe knew that it was on its final reserves, and was unlikely to let a trick like Astonish knock it out of whatever technique it planned on unleashing this time. Do or die time had arrived, after all. "So, that's how it's going to be? Alright, I'll give you a chance this once. Cassandra, prepare for some Destiny Bonding."

The temporal traveler then addressed her foe. "You're quite the stubborn one, huh? I can understand that." She swung her arms dramatically into the air she had witnessed Chroma do several times before, hoping that the flowing flourish of her sleeves would prove be enough to distract others from noticing that she plucked a small, pink lavender orb from one of them." I have heeded your resolve, so come! Now that our dance is at its final hour, let us witness the extent of your power!" Whether her champion fell here didn't truly matter at this point- one way or another, a curse was bound to snatch away the Sword Pokémon's consciousness, and with that, their victory. And once that happened...

...Amicae Schmeltzer had a Heal Ball with the devil's name on it.
 
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Liltwick: You manage to slip the girls grasp, doubling down on your initial response with fervour. As you respond, the grin of the man before you only grows wider as his attendants scoff, the glint in his eye shifting from interest to mischievous. As you finish, he stands, and for a moment it seems he would accost you - before he starts laughing again, punctuating it this time with applause. This goes on for some time, an almost uncomfortable length, and inspires a broad range of expressions on the faces of those watching; shades of repulsion and confusion abounding. As the man calms down, and takes his seat, his smile never once leaves his face.

"You have conviction. I respect that, more than anything else. Your words hurt but there is a truth to them. I have long wanted reform, but as I alluded, circumstances have been outside of my control. It is all I can do to help the populace keep their head above water. However..."

His eyes shone with knowing intent as he splays his hands toward you, making a performance of including you into the conversation. The man was clearly a showman able to command his audience well.

"You say you come from a future where the legacy of Niha is one of peace. Perhaps you could help forge that path in our present. Prove that diplomacy can solve our most pressing concern. There is a notorious group of bandits holed up within the Cherry Blossom Gardens. They constantly pillage the rice fields, injuring workers who attempt to stop them."

Here the man's mood soured, a definite cloud of anger falling over his until now jovial expression.

"Combating those curs is a significant motivation for my current recruitment drive. Show me that you can end their menace, and then I will have my proof that these matters need not be settled militarily. Precedent begets trust."
Thieves? That was certainly something that he did not condone. He was fine with stealing as a means to an end or for something fun. But something that actively threatened the livelihood of the people targeted was inexcusable. Those who benefited at the cost of others were unforgivable.

"Sure, I'll help with the thieves. People shouldn't have to live in fear that all of their belongings will disappear... Or worse. That's just... unforgivable," he said in response to the man.

If this would help buy the people's freedom, we has willing to do this. Regardless of what he needed to do for this, he will see it through. After all, this was necessary. For the freedom of the people here, not just from criminals, but also the military state. Actions here would help influence the future. Or maybe just create an alternate timeline. He didn't know the specifics.

"Of course," he looked over at the girl. "She's coming with me. I have a feeling that she'll be certainly helpful in taking these thieves down. After all, she was already an accomplice to my actions. It seems only fair that she gets to help out as well. I need to talk to her about a few things as well."

He then motioned over to his Togetic, and Custard happily flew over.

"And I'll need my partner as well. So tell me, do you have more information about their hideout? Or the types of tactics they tend to employ? Knowing that would be vital to helping stop this," he asked
 
Balance, its a progress
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Enigmatic Professor: You tail the mysterious beast, your squad perfectly suited for such an endeavor. As you move, the trees begin to close in on all sides, creating a rather oppressively claustrophobic atmosphere. As they do, you gradually start to lag behind the smaller creature, who was much more adept at weaving between the encroaching foliage - and yet you never got the impression that you were ever about to fully lose the track. Finally, you break into a large clearing, realizing that you had strayed from the path indicated to you by the guards. Looking around, you spot the Pokemon you had been following standing on a bluff overlooking the clearing, and it indicates with its head for you to approach.

Climbing up to the vantage, you follow the line of sight of the white canine - which you can now identify as an Absol. Squinting somewhat to focus your vision, you quickly notice what was obviously the bandits camp. A few trees had been felled to create a perimeter of sorts, and around a central campfire, there were a number of thieves enjoying a drink. They clearly had no real intent to mask their presence - the smoke from the fire rose high and readily identified their position, and the noise from the camp could easily be heard despite the insulating snow underfoot. Having not seen your attacker, you had no way of knowing whether they were among the gathered bandits, but the chances were good. In one corner of the campsite, you spotted their thieved items, but something else had caught your eye. In another corner was a large cage, heavy wrought bars confining a young boy. Could this be the reason the Jarl and his guards seemed so eager for an outsider to be the one to apprehend the group?

After finding out that his target was an Absol, Drake started mentally prepping moves in his mind to have his pokemon use in case it was time for a battle, but as it motioned for him to follow, Drake held off and soon was thankful for not attacking, because he was led to an encampment of some sort of thieves band, From this vantage point Drake could see that there were piles of items here, and a kid stuck inside a cage. This angered Drake and he didn't care anymore about his lost belongings or the Jarl, His main focus now was to get that kid out of the cage and capture the bandits. Surely he could interrogate them and find out if they are just a small group or a part of some bigger group.

The Jarl's overeagerness to get these bandits just seemed off-putting to Drake, Maybe this was his kid, or maybe this kid was special to both sides of whatever he had stumbled into, but right now he couldn't focus on the what-ifs and speculation. He was uncertain if the bars could be melted with fire, it depended upon how thick they were, and if they were meltable, Drake would have to have Lelo and Fenrir battle with him to take the bandits hostage... He wondered if it was possible to ask the Absol to help, because after all it did lead him here and show him all this stuff.

Getting down from Wolfe's back, Drake sat down and looked the absol in the eyes, "would you be willing to aid me in capturing these bandits and freeing the child? I could possibly do it with my partners here, but your aid could help ensure we handle this swiftly."
 
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No need for the disco
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Raves-

"So you prefer Rory, hmm, alright!" Sophia just nods as she heads off into the temple. This leaves you alone with the two boys, who're just sizing you up still.

"Heh, maybe some other time. You don't look like your heart is into it, and there's no point in trampling a weaker foe. A good king leads his people, and gives faith to those he has conquered," Iskander remarks before heading off somewhere, waving his hand backwards as you see his back.

The last one there, Dymnos just gives a sigh of relief before looking at you.

"I do apologize for both of them. Iskander is too hot headed and well Sofia is very matter of fact. Besides, its certainly getting late," he motions to the sunset on the horizon. "Master said you have a long day ahead of you, and it would be best to get some rest. Let's say I take you to our little dining hall and then you can go get some rest?" He asks you.

Taking a quick look around the courtyard, now that its emptier and more illuminated, you can see there isn't much else that is actually there right now. You can see a figure sleeping in the branches of the large tree the trio was originally sitting under. Besides that, you could see Iskander off in the distance arguing with a blonde boy. Dymnos also seems to take notice of that.

"Those two are always starting fights... Let me break that up and then I can show you the way, sound good?" He gives a warm smile as he heads off.

Seems you had a little time before food was going to be ready. What do you do?
Whether it was something he said or not, Sophie simply gave a nod and headed into the temple, leaving Rory with the two pupils, and as Iskander quickly dismissed him, considering him weak, they too wandered off with a wave of his hand. The youth merely furrowed his brow, slightly miffed at the attitude of the fool, before Dymnos gave a sigh, and apologised to him on their behalf, citing that time was getting on. Indeed, the setting sun and unknown trials ahead of him told him enough that rest was a good plan, nodding at the prospect of food.

A cursory glance around the now emptier courtyard didn't reveal much, aside from the dozing figure under the tree, and Iskander bickering with some blonde kid, something the level headed male with him also took notice of. Giving him a warm smile, Dymnos headed for the pair to break up the kerfuffle, leaving Rory alone with his thoughts. The youth didn't think too much about things, though, for realisation set in on his condition as he stifled a yawn. From the city temple to chasing clues around the city's outskirts, he had been on the move all day and his legs ached. It had been a while since he had been this proactive, and though he considered himself fit enough, the fact of the matter was he was out of the loop, in an unusual place, and had some hardships coming up in what could very well be a way to save innocents from senseless death. Rest was a good thing, and thus he stood there, arms crossed as he waited patiently for Dymnos to finish up, eyes glancing over at the tree and the slumbering fellow beneath it. Some have it easy here, he thought to himself as he hovered around, biding his time for his host to sort out that argument, belly grumbling just a little.
 
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Missingno. Master: "Words are cheap. The strong rule by action."

With that, the skirmish becomes unavoidable. Remus' Aggron lumbers forwards, the immense beast glowering at your group. Worse still, Remus unsheathes the sword hanging at his belt, and now with the weapon on full display you notice what had evaded your attention before. Crested within the hilt was a small, rainbow coloured crystal.

A Mega Stone.

"Aquila, Mega Evolve. Then test their resolve with a Stone Edge."

Aquila roars as light streams from Remus' blade to engulf the Aggron in a blinding white orb, cracks littering the surface of the construct. Then the inevitable occurs. Aquila emerges from his cocoon, his appearance changed drastically. A menacing grin on his face, Aquila towers over your entire group - but Buzzer and Kyle were unperturbed. Thickened claws drawn together, Kyle hurriedly creates a raging sphere of striking blue hue, the condensed Fighting energy screeching as it is forcibly melded. With a hiss, Kyle lobs his Focus Blast at Aquila, the explosion staggering the Aggron long enough for Buzzer to follow up. Fist aflame, the Electivire slams a hefty strike against the carapace of the monster, but Aquila barely blinks from the impact of the Fire Punch. Batting the Electivire away, Aquila crashes a foot into the ground, ripping free clods of earth and fashioning them into toughened daggers. With venomous accuracy, the Stone Edge rails into the body of Kyle, the super effective blow sending the Heatmor reeling.

Beside you, Taitus seems uncertain. Hesitation is only natural - you were pitted against his father, after all. However, his conflict seemed a little more inward, if the way he trembled uncertainly was anything to go by.

Whether he had noticed this or not, Remus does not relent.

"Aquila, keep up the pressure. Boost up with a Curse, then plant another Stone Edge in them."

===

Mana Opal: Honedge seems distracted by your grandstanding at first, but then a new expression worked it's way back across it's singular eye. Fury. Blind, uncontrollable rage. You had dared to imply that this battle was nothing more than a simple dance, and while obviously something of a misunderstanding, the nonchalance and surety with which you spoke struck all the wrong chords. Cassandra, wise to your ploy, simply chuckled to herself, gingerly stretching out a faint tendril of energy. This gradually snakes it way towards Honedge, gently wrapping around the blade of the Ghost type without ever piquing it's interest. Her trap prepared, Cassandra sits back casually, inviting Honedge to do it's worst.

And it obliges.

The pommel of the sword glistens with a hardy silver coating, Honedge taking a moment to adjust it's trajectory before hurtling towards Cassandra. Her defences intentionally laid low, the Sandygast grimaces as the Iron Head finds purchase, knocking the last dregs of her resistance from her - but as it does, the tendril wreathing Honedge explodes violently. Sundered by the abrupt retaliation, Honedge falls to the ground in defeat, and here you take your opportunity. Hurling the Heal Ball, you watch with baited breath as the orb splits along it's seam, engulfing the defeated in a vibrant crimson light. One, twice, three times the ball shakes, before finally going silent with a dull click.

Congratulations! You have caught a Level 20 Honedge which knows the moves Iron Head and Flash Cannon!

With the spectacle having come to a close, the surrounding guards break out into applause. Clearly you had impressed them, and within a few moments one strides forwards. This one wore somewhat more impressive armour, likely ceremonial. Either way, it singled him out as more important than his peers, possibly the commander of the troops stationed at the village. With a grin on his face, he addresses you, his voice as every bit rugged as his looks.

"That was a well fought battle. Not one that relied on brute strength alone, but tactical might. Where do you hail from, traveller?"


===

Meetan: On your suggestion, Buzzwole seems to calm down. Unfortunately, this prompts the man to begin scrambling away, sensing a moment of weakness. To dispel that myth, Buzzwole lunges, slamming a hammering blow towards the man - and narrowly missing his head. The crater left by the impact finely illustrates the point the Ultra Beast was trying to convey, the whitening of the man's face a twisted consolation. He knew who held the power now.

His arms raised in surrender, the man manages to whimper out a plea for mercy. Buzzwole responds by drawing his fist close to the man's head, nodding in your direction. The implication was obvious, and the dam burst.

"Okay, okay! I'll talk. Just tell this thing to back off."

Buzzwole obliges, taking a cursory step backwards, but never once shifting his intense gaze from his target. Where before you had sensed an almost jovial exaggeration to his personality, there was now a ruthless determination to enact revenge. Certainly not something you'd want to find yourself on the receiving end of. Clearly annoyed at how little berth he was being given, the man sighs heavily, before spilling the beans.

"I work for a company that specialises in letting land for farming. We're from the future, probably relative even to you, and we've finally found a means of stabilising the flow of time using a machine which serves as a coordinate of sorts. As long as it stays running, we can return to this exact point in time as many times as we like. For the record..."

The man pauses, an unerring grin coming across his face as a strange black object slides down his jacket sleeve into his hand. Buzzwole hisses venomously and dives for the man, but without warning he vanishes from sight, leaving the Ultra Beast stamping with righteous fury.

===

Lit:The Shogun accedes to your demands, waving to a pair of younger attendants who were stood at the far end of the audience chamber. They walked over, bowing low before turning towards you and indicating for you to follow. You move into another room adjacent to the one you were just in, but before anything can be said the merchant girl sighs loudly.

"Man you do not do things by halves do you? I guess this is going to be useful for me too, but still dude."

Her attitude having changed somewhat, she explains her name was Chrys, and that she came to this time period in order to try find Mega Stones that still possessed the power of the ancients that had been forgotten to the annals of time. She had been trying slowly but surely to win the graces of the Shogunate - a trader needed connections above all, after all - which helped to explain a lot of her deference. With that thorny matter explained if not resolved, you listen closely to the briefing given by the attendants. While nervously inexperienced, they are able communicators and clearly illustrate to you not only the strength in numbers of the thieves, but the location of their current hideout. If nothing else, the Shogun did not lack for an intelligence agency. Crucially, you are informed that they follow orders from one man in particular, and that taking him out would spell doom for their organisation as a whole.


With your goal focused in your mind, you head towards the Cherry-Blossom Garden as indicated. Guided by the merchant girl, it doesn't take long before you hear the bawdy rumblings of the bandits den, and from an outcropping vantage, you are gifted a clear view of the task at hand. Along with the leader, there were two other men, neither of whom looked particularly toughened by their hardships. A grin on her face, the merchant girl releases her Sableye.

"I reckon I can handle the big guy while you dispatch the pair of goons. Feel up to it?"


===

Enigmatic Professor: The Absol looked directly into your eyes for a moment, the illustrious darkness comforting in a strange, ephemeral way. After this brief pause though, the Disaster Pokemon leaps from the bluff, indicating for you to follow once more. Moving through the snowy woods silently, creeping forwards with a ghostly determination, it strikes you as somewhat odd that this Pokemon would be willing to assault the encampment with you. Still, were it leading you into a trap, it surely would have been sprung by now - it was a far sight less dangerous for the bandits to have some prior warning as opposed to you showing up to attack them at their most vulnerable.

Finally, you draw closer to the camp, close enough to hear the sounds of the men. They were laughing boisterously, celebrating their sizeable haul. More importantly, you catch a piece of dialogue from the largest of the man, who stood just next to a fearsome looking Sceptile.

"Still unsure how we managed to pull of kidnapping the Jarl's weedling grandson. 't'll no doubt fetch a handsome ransom."

The convenient morsel of information resolved the uncertainty you felt from the Jarl. While Scandia warriors prided battlefield acumen above all else in their ruling member, having lost flesh and blood to common bandits would inevitably be a political disaster for the current Jarl. Having an outsider handle the business without much fuss was a shrewd move.

However, to that end you had to succeed in defeating these bandits. Luckily for you, you were downwind from the camp, and Absol seemed awfully focused on the boy in the cage, leaving you to deal with the Sceptile.
 
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Missingno. Master: "Words are cheap. The strong rule by action."

With that, the skirmish becomes unavoidable. Remus' Aggron lumbers forwards, the immense beast glowering at your group. Worse still, Remus unsheathes the sword hanging at his belt, and now with the weapon on full display you notice what had evaded your attention before. Crested within the hilt was a small, rainbow coloured crystal.

A Mega Stone.

"Aquila, Mega Evolve. Then test their resolve with a Stone Edge."

Aquila roars as light streams from Remus' blade to engulf the Aggron in a blinding white orb, cracks littering the surface of the construct. Then the inevitable occurs. Aquila emerges from his cocoon, his appearance changed drastically. A menacing grin on his face, Aquila towers over your entire group - but Buzzer and Kyle were unperturbed. Thickened claws drawn together, Kyle hurriedly creates a raging sphere of striking blue hue, the condensed Fighting energy screeching as it is forcibly melded. With a hiss, Kyle lobs his Focus Blast at Aquila, the explosion staggering the Aggron long enough for Buzzer to follow up. Fist aflame, the Electivire slams a hefty strike against the carapace of the monster, but Aquila barely blinks from the impact of the Fire Punch. Batting the Electivire away, Aquila crashes a foot into the ground, ripping free clods of earth and fashioning them into toughened daggers. With venomous accuracy, the Stone Edge rails into the body of Kyle, the super effective blow sending the Heatmor reeling.

Beside you, Taitus seems uncertain. Hesitation is only natural - you were pitted against his father, after all. However, his conflict seemed a little more inward, if the way he trembled uncertainly was anything to go by.

Whether he had noticed this or not, Remus does not relent.

"Aquila, keep up the pressure. Boost up with a Curse, then plant another Stone Edge in them."
"Words are cheap. The strong rule by action."

While Keith hadn't necessarily been expecting Remus to say something to that effect, it nevertheless didn't surprise him. Actions speak louder than words. Words are meaningless. Sentiments he'd heard time and time again, the latest instance of which being by his girlfriend. And Keith was not inclined to disagree- sometimes words held more power than anyone could imagine, but more often than not, backing them up with one's actions was necessary. He straightened his Mega Hat- if Remus was intent on testing their resolve, then he'd see exactly what kind of resolve he was up against. Keith and Kyle shared a glance and a nod as this thought crossed both their minds.

Aggron Mega Evolving hardly surprised Keith at this point. In fact, if anything, he saw it as a potentially good thing; Mega Aggron weren't Rock-types anymore. Granted, this was somewhat mitigated by their beefier defenses and Filter Ability, but this also meant that the Stone Edge that landed on Kyle wasn't as powerful as it would've been if the user had been a Rock-type.

Keith thought fast. Mega Aggron excelled in physical defense, and that Curse was gonna beef that up even further. The Focus Blast had been far more effective than Buzzer's Fire Punch, after all, at least as near as Keith could see. At least Curse would also slow down Aquila, meaning they had a little more time to react. "Kyle, Will-O-Wisp, Double Team, then Flamethrower, go!" Keith declared.

"Mor!" Kyle responded, ready to go at once.

"Gah, I hope dis works," Meowth murmured quietly, not daring to move off of Keith's shoulder.

"Led ledi," Stewie nodded in quiet agreement, watching the battle unfold. He was willing to jump in and help if necessary, but held back- he knew his teammate, knew that Kyle was tough. A fact Keith knew just as well, too- the look of determination and total confidence on his face was genuine, he knew he'd pick something that'd put up one hell of a good fight against Aquila, Rock moves or otherwise. And then, struck by sudden inspiration, Stewie called out to Buzzer, asked her to hit Kyle with a Fire Punch. The Heatmor glanced at the Electivire and nodded to show he was on board with that idea. There was no need for Kyle to worry about getting attacked by a teammate, after all, not when he was packing an Ability like Flash Fire.
 
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Meetan: On your suggestion, Buzzwole seems to calm down. Unfortunately, this prompts the man to begin scrambling away, sensing a moment of weakness. To dispel that myth, Buzzwole lunges, slamming a hammering blow towards the man - and narrowly missing his head. The crater left by the impact finely illustrates the point the Ultra Beast was trying to convey, the whitening of the man's face a twisted consolation. He knew who held the power now.

His arms raised in surrender, the man manages to whimper out a plea for mercy. Buzzwole responds by drawing his fist close to the man's head, nodding in your direction. The implication was obvious, and the dam burst.

"Okay, okay! I'll talk. Just tell this thing to back off."

Buzzwole obliges, taking a cursory step backwards, but never once shifting his intense gaze from his target. Where before you had sensed an almost jovial exaggeration to his personality, there was now a ruthless determination to enact revenge. Certainly not something you'd want to find yourself on the receiving end of. Clearly annoyed at how little berth he was being given, the man sighs heavily, before spilling the beans.

"I work for a company that specialises in letting land for farming. We're from the future, probably relative even to you, and we've finally found a means of stabilising the flow of time using a machine which serves as a coordinate of sorts. As long as it stays running, we can return to this exact point in time as many times as we like. For the record..."

The man pauses, an unerring grin coming across his face as a strange black object slides down his jacket sleeve into his hand. Buzzwole hisses venomously and dives for the man, but without warning he vanishes from sight, leaving the Ultra Beast stamping with righteous fury.

Alice absolutely should have seen where that was going, but there were times where she was incredibly slow, and this was one of them. Her jaw dropped to the floor when the criminal disappeared, and she could have screamed. What an absolute nightmare. Buzzwole's reaction was enough to make her jump out of her skin, but it was absolutely justified. This sucked, and she swore her anger out on the empty space where the man should've been grovelling: an aggressive string of 's' and 'f' words above all else. Jasper trotted over creepily on his claws, unnerving grin upside down. Everyone was disappointed today.

"Shit, shit, shit... Buzzwole, I'm so sorry. I had no idea-- I should have just let you have him." She said honestly. They had no answers, after all, and in her opinion, a corpse with no answers was better than the loose criminal and still no answers. If he could just keep looping time, he could do this again and again, learning how to evade or defeat them with every chance he escaped. He could avoid Buzzwole or perfect his weapon... It hurt her head to think of the possibilities and made her very nervous. "I really am-- I'm so sorry. Fuck..."

Jasper patted her ankle sympathetically. There wasn't anything they could do. The technology that they had used to get here was far more random than whatever they wielded. "The only thing I can think of is to make sure everyone in this time knows what to look for..." Alice began. They couldn't leave the people here helpless. It risked every timeline and dimension, too, in theory. "Buzzwole, you're a being from another world, aren't you? Can you hop around, time travel? I don't really know how it works. But if you can, you should try to warn others, too. Those greedy business people will be back, and there must be more than one of them." She explained, clearly worried, "And if you can-- ignore whatever anyone else says. Take them down, and explain later. Trainers' Pokemon can help them understand, even if they can't understand Pokemon speech fluently. Even if they don't like it, a few dead bodies are better than enslaved Pokemon and dead lands..." She trailed off grimly. "I wish I had a more solid solution. But I don't know what else I can do like this. I'm sorry."
 
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Raves- After a few minutes of yelling between the three boys, the group comes and grabs you for dinner. The hallways of the temple are made of simple stone, which is in stark contrast to its shining exterior. It was homey and a little quaint, despite its size. Enough that the students here could live there days studying in peace.

You then arrived in the mess room, and it was just a long, wooden table with smoothed out wood benches. It seems it was already filled with the staff of the temple, with the man you met at the entrance at the head of the table. You take a seat in the middle of the squabbling boys, with Iskander to your left and the boy who was sleeping in the tree to your right. Sophia was directly across from you, and gave you a small smile as everyone prepared to eat their meal. The meal itself was plain, cut up berries, oats, and a slice of bread.

"Aww, no meat today?" Iskander cries out before getting punched in the arm by a boy you don't recognize.

The rest of those gathered at the table pays him no head, and people start eating their food. You get a little lost, as various conversations could be heard from the table. It seems most people were talking about their days, about any knowledge they discovered or other menial things. Nothing that really sounded like it was going to be helpful fighting the Dewpiders that were invading the town down the road.

Though, what was weird, was that the conversations just kept going and going and going. It felt like you were stuck there, as whenever you even attempted to get up, one of the adults gave you this sort of death glare. After what felt like an eternity, people finally stopped talking and went on their way to their rooms. You were lead to your room by Sophia, a small room with a simple bed, and were told to rest well. Tired out from the meal, you just pass out.

You awake as you feel someone shove you. As the world starts to register, you see the head priest looking over you.

"Come on, its time for your test," he said as he left the room.

It wasn't hard to see where he went, as there was a large, internal courtyard in the temple. A small crowd was gathered there as the man waited for you.

"Alright, here are the rules. It will be a two on two match. First person to knock out their foes' Pokemon wins," he states as he points hi hand forwards. The Taillow from yesterday and a Noctowl fly down on the skies, ready for battle.

What do you do?
 
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