• If you are finding yourself unable to log in, you should be able to fix the issue by following the following process.
    1. Close all browser tabs with any part of Bulbagarden open.
    2. Delete all Bulbagarden.net cookies (and if possible, any cached site data for Bulbagarden) from your browser.
    3. Close and reopen your browser, open a new tab, and log into the forums on the new tab.
    If you've followed this process and are still having issues, please contact us via the "Contact us" link at the bottom of the forum.

EVERYONE: Luceat Lux Vestra

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
✦ Synopsis ✦

Luca is a traveling painter and student of folklore on a sightseeing trip in Sinnoh. After playing a mysterious flute at the Spear Pillar, they attracted the attention of a man in white who claimed to be Arceus, the creator of the universe. Moreover, the strange man said the young painter shall accompany him to find the seventeen elemental plates in order to restore his power!

An altar for the gods in heaven. A confluence of events. A chance encounter. Little by little, they will confront the past. "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. I promise this, my child, for you are loved."


✦ Preface ✦

Henlo and welcome to Luceat Lux Vestra, the first and main story of Lucent Travelogue collection. This is, in a way, the fruit of my history of being a Pokémon fan, taking bits and pieces from the headcanons I've formed over the years and combining them with character design and study. The general concept was in the work for several years, and finally publishing started in AO3 in September 2021. Now I've decided to share this here too.

This verse features legendary and mythical Pokémon as gijinka (i.e. human form). Beside that major difference, the verse is primarily based on the mainline games, particularly DPPt for this story. However, planning and writing already started before Legends: Arceus was announced, and while I won't shy away from taking cues from it should it suit the story, chances are some aspects may be incompatible with the new canon. We will see.

Readers can expect liberal use of original characters, and while this story can be classified as a journey fic, please note that it won't feature a lot of Pokémon battles. The focus first and foremost is on personal drama and knowing the main characters. Oh, and there are those plates.

Currently there is no plan to cross-post author's notes from AO3, since they're kind of a rambling mess for forum format.


✦ Table of Contents ✦


 
Last edited:

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 1: The Man in White
…The flowing time… The expanding space… The intertwining spiral…

…This disturbance…



——————————————​

"Okay! This looks good enough now. Thank you for helping me dry it, Celia."

Celia the Cyndaquil puffs her chest with pride. The painter admires their sketches of the location, which the fire mouse Pokémon has helped drying out. The painter can't ask for a better partner.

Now the painter will keep these sketches of the Spear Pillar safe – into the backpack they go. They will make good references in the future, and they are proof that they have been at the top of Mt. Coronet. Just thinking about it fills their chest with excitement. Or so they hope, and not some kind of sickness from being in a place this high above sea level.

Yes, here is the summit of Mt. Coronet, Spear Pillar. Here are the ivory pillars, piercing through the heaven. There is the altar, where pilgrims of the past made offerings. And here, in the painter's hand, is the Azure Flute, a heart-shaped flute said to be able to summon a deity.

The painter begins looking around for a certain set of tiles with flute engraving. They are certain they have spotted it earlier when they scouted the area. They squint. Celia the Cyndaquil squints too – her face wrinkles with the effort.

Ah, there it is! Celia tags along by the painter's feet, perhaps excited to see what the flute would bring too. At the time, the painter thought there would be nothing, and myths will remain as myths, but they didn't want to descend without trying to play the enigmatic instrument. And they blow air into the flute—

"Dear me, please pipe down, you are terrible."

A voice. Who? Where? Oh! There is a movement from behind the altar! The painter pushes up their glasses, hoping to focus better on the figure on the other side of the historical site.

It was a man. A man with long hair and a strikingly white appearance. White skin, white hair, white suit, white shoes… The only different colors are his dark gray waistcoat, the golden details of his suit and shoes, and his bright red eyes.

"Who… are you?" The painter blurts out without thinking. "...And why did you say I was terrible? I've only played a few notes!"

"Quiet, will you? I know how that flute is supposed to sound in the right hand." The man sits himself on the altar.

"What are you talking about? This is a super rare antique flute, only a few people have seen it! Just who are you?" The painter demands again. "Also don't sit there! That's a precious artifact!"

"You don't recognize me, ignorant human? I am Arceus, the creator deity of this world."

The flute falls from the painter's hand at that second. ("Ah!" The man shrieks, "My flute!") This man in white suddenly appeared, in a place that they could swear was empty when they checked, and he claimed to be what?

He gives them the stink eye as he asks, "You don't believe me, do you? I can see it written on your face."

"No! I mean! This is all too sudden!"

"Such a shame, after I have taken a form easier for your kind to relate to."

"Give me… Give me a moment to think," says the painter as they pick up the flute from the floor. "Look, let me put it this way. For all I know, you could be bluffing, tricking a poor student like me. Why should I trust you? Where is your proof that you're god?"

The question put the man in silence. After a while, he speaks again, "Very well. You have a point, human." He steps down from the altar, toward the painter. "Tell me, do you have one of those hollowed out fruits where you can keep creatures in?"

"Hollowed… fruits? Apricorn? Oh! You mean a Poké Ball? Wait a second." The painter begins looking in their bag while Celia peeks in, curious. Medicine, food, dry clothes, sketchbook, art supplies… Ah! Found the Poké Ball pocket! They opened it and saw… they had nothing but a Premier Ball which they got for free at a Poké Mart.

"Oh, that is fine. I like that color." He comments. He must have seen their despairing face.

"Well, if you say so. Here."

The man didn't take the Poké Ball from the painter's hand. What the man did was press the button on the ball with a finger, letting himself be engulfed by a red light. In a near instant, he has become particles to be absorbed into the ball.

"Eh? What?! H-H-He just— Celia, did you see that?!" Their Cyndaquil partner nods vigorously. In this Poké Ball, the strange man in white has been captured. Captured? Is that the right word now? They turn and spin the Poké Ball in panic. "W-What should I do? What should I— Oh, right! Look at the registered data!" They turn the Poké Ball around again to see the status screen of the captured… creature…

It doesn't display anything. The screen only blinks and flickers. Oh. Oh no. Of course it would be like this. Of course. The data is corrupted since the Poké Ball doesn't recognize what it just captured!

Nothing that can be done now except try to release the man. Hopefully he wouldn't turn into even more of an oddball after this. The painter didn't know it was possible to capture a human before. They still can't believe their eyes. Is that even possible? Is this man actually… Ah, geez. Let's not think about it too hard now.

And the Poké Ball is flicked into the air. It releases the red light again – and the painter is sure they didn't make a mistake here – the light took a shape at least as tall as the pillars, before shrinking down to the shape of that man in white. The man simply looks at them and asks, "Do you believe me now, human?"

"Y-Yes, sir. No ordinary human would be able to enter the Poké Ball."

Ah, he is still looking. They keep the ball and the flute close to their heart, protecting the objects and themself from this possible deity. Celia is also observing from behind their legs.

"Human," He says again, "I shall honor you with the opportunity to assist me."

"Er, sorry?"

"I sense a disturbance in this world. It appears my children have woken me up, unable to fix it on their own, the poor things. But I need all seventeen of my plates to restore my power first. Accompany me on a journey to gather them."

"What? Why me?" They protest. This is too sudden!

"Why? Because you are here." He answers calmly. "You reached the peak of this mountain. You will make a capable servant."

Too calm, in fact. They just met, didn't they?

"Human, what is your name?"

"I'm Luca." They point at the Cyndaquil by their feet, "And this is my partner, Celia."

He nods. "I see you are a Child of Light."

"Child of…? Oh, I guess my name does mean 'light'..." They trail off as they come to a conclusion: an oddball will remain an oddball. "Anyway, are you not going to take this flute?"

"No need, that flute is a tool meant to be wielded by a human. You should practice playing it, however."

Luca rolls their eyes. When they put away the used Poké Ball, their eyes stop at the Azure Flute. Oh, that's right. They remembered. If what this man said had a semblance of truth in it, the Professor would know.

"Well, I guess I don't mind accompanying you. I happen to be traveling this region and I'm interested in these plates, too." They wrap the flute in a piece of thick cloth and put it inside a box, which then goes into the backpack with everything else. "But I need to go to Oreburgh City first to restock and meet up with someone."

"Fine by me. We can start the search around the area."

"Okay, let's go. Celia, light the way."

Just when Luca and Celia are about to re-enter Mt, Coronet's dark cavern, the man calls out, "Child of Light, where do you intend to go?"

Luca stops, turning around toward the man again. "Me? Please don't call me that. I'm going to descend by foot, of course. This place is too far high. Between the cold temperature, thin air, harsh weather, and the weight of our bodies, it would be unsafe for a bird Pokémon to fly us down from here."

"I see. You are a considerate person."

"Oh? Is that so?" Was that a compliment?

When they least expect it, the man lifts up the painter. "Hm?" He mumbles, "You are light."

"Huh? Huh?! What are you doing?! Put me down!" They demand, flailing like a freshly caught Magikarp.

"It's fine, leave the transportation to me." He says, showing no sign of struggle. He turns his gaze toward the Cyndaquil. "Little one, climb up to me." Celia, unsure of what is happening, decides to follow his order.

A flash of light, and a golden wheel adorned with green jewels forms, circling him. The sclera of his eyes turns the same shade of green, and green circles appear below his eyes. A gentle wind blows to envelope him. Gravity lets loose of its grip. His suit, his long hair, and at last his feet too lightly float in the air.

Luca has stopped struggling. They realized: if they let go of him now, something bad may happen. And they have many questions for the professor now; about the world, about history, about the beings once called gods.

In a flash, they have sped through the clouds and winds and arrived at the foot of Mt Coronet, and the smoking chimneys of Oreburgh City's mine and factories are now within sight.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 2: A Museum and a Professor

Oreburgh City, the City of Energy. The city is notable for its coal production, which powers the southwest area of Sinnoh region. Unsurprisingly, the city's landscape, people, and daily life are shaped by it. Today, a man in white is staring at one of the pipes sticking out from the ground of the city, uncaring of the mine workers walking by and whispering of the sight.

"You… what are you doing?"

The man turns around to see his traveling companion: a bespectacled painter with bobbed hair, and a Cyndaquil by their side. "You are back, Child of Light." He points at the pipe. "Tell me, what is this? I can sense the air moving…"

"My name is Luca," corrects the painter while following the man's finger. "Ah, that's an air vent for circulating fresh air in the mines and the Underground. Those vents are all over this region."

"I see."

"You didn't know?"

The man stares off for a moment before answering, "This town is still a mining town as I remember it, but nothing like this existed the last time I was awake." He gives another look at the air vent. "And it is not only this pipe. The buildings and the conversations too…"

Ah, that's it. Luca already suspected it from their conversation at the Spear Pillar: if this person is truly a god, he is not an all-knowing one. Well, he is still suspicious, but all the things he demonstrated were…

"I'm just… impressed. Yes, I'm impressed that humans did not destroy the world while I was asleep." He says while caressing the vent. "The opposite, in fact."

"What do you think we are? Barbarians?" replies Luca flatly. Celia pouts as well. The man in white says nothing about it.

Seeing him and the vent, an idea pops into Luca's mind. "Oh, I know! Why don't you visit the museum? You can catch up with local history there!"

"Museum?"

A few minutes later, they arrived in front of a large building. A sign before the entrance bears the museum's name and motto: Oreburgh Mining Museum – Coal Mining and You . From outside of the entrance, one can get a glance of an enormous slab of coal. "The entry is free," says Luca. "Well then, I will be seeing you again in an hour."

"Won't you come too?" asks the man.

"Ah, no. I have to restock my supplies and there is someone I need to meet. Well, I'll explain about that later. You'll see. I'm definitely not abandoning you here."

The man crosses his arms. Luca merely shrugs.

With all that said, the man steps into the cool, air-conditioned building. The small painter had a point: a historical museum is a good starting point to familiarize himself with the world again. He begins taking in the sights.

The large slab of coal, it appears, is the main exhibit of the museum – the man in white stands out next to the pitch blackness, even more so than usual. The series of exhibits explaining how coals are made not only tells him nothing new, but is also heavily simplified – he catches himself tutting at it. The mineral exhibits fill him with a sense of pride with their beauty and complexity. He spends the longest gazing at the exhibits displaying workers' tools, arranged by age, old and new, puzzle pieces for him to imagine the time he missed.

Eventually he makes his way back to the entrance. Fossils are displayed, here, near the information desk. Ah, a visitor just now handed another fossil to the employee behind the counter. A trade? Donation? Whatever it was, the employee brings it into the backroom. Humans, they are never satisfied by their hoard. The man nods to himself while pretending to admire a dome fossil. A few minutes later, the employee returns carrying a lizard-like Pokémon which went extinct in an age long past.

The man freezes in realization.

Meanwhile, Luca has returned to the museum with a new companion. "Yes, Professor! I had him wait here. He shouldn't be hard to…" Their voice trails off as they see a man, his attire strikingly white, arguing with an employee at the information desk. "He's not hard to find at all!!"

"How dare you," he speaks in the tone of a stern preacher, "to deny the presence of a higher being watching your actions."

"Pardon me, sir! We're only doing our job here! Yes, that's so! Any other question?"

"As I said—"

"Ahh, what is going on here?!" interrupts Luca.

"Child of Light, this person before us here is a heretic."

"A heretic?" They look at the employee, then around the information deck. A poster plastered on the wall caught their attention: Fossil Restoration Service. A realization dawned, followed by a frown.

"Do you see it, Child of Light? I think I should—"

"Please forgive my cousin," says Luca to the employee with a bow, "The region he came from has no fossil restoration technology yet. This is new to him." The man gives a protesting look, but they only mutter, "Come on, you apologize too."

The employee scratches his head and sighs. "Well, if that's the case… I'll forget about it this time. So," his tone shifts back, "how about you? Do you have any fossils for me to restore? Or are you here to waste my time too? Honestly!"

"Ah, I don't have any, sorry. We will take our leave now." They give another bow to the employee and pull the man's arm, dragging him away, while the employee continues to rant about how anyone who wishes to talk to him should bring him fossils.

Right after they have left the building, the man barks, "Child of Light!"

"It's Luca."

"Why did you do that?"

Luca crosses their arms. "You see, in the perspective of modern humans, what this museum is doing isn't wrong." They explain, "Yes, back when the technology was first developed years ago, there were ethical debates about it, and there still are now. However! Reception from the public has been generally positive. The prehistoric Pokémon resurrected by the technology are no different from modern Pokémon – they are living beings with potential to improve the environment and to live together with us. And also…" they trail off, noticing the man keeps looking down on them with an unchanging expression. "You are not changing your stance, are you?"

"Haha! What an interesting partner that you've found, Luca!"

"Professor Linden!" Luca pouts as they turn toward the source of the voice. "Please don't say it like it has been set in stone!"

"Oh, it's not?"

Professor Linden is the precise stereotypical image of a man of mountains: loud, rotund, and in possession of impressive facial hair. As Luca's mentor in antiquity, he was the one who lent them the Azure Flute. Now he strokes his beard and asks, "Is this it? The man who claimed to be an incarnation of Arceus?"

"I'm not merely an incarnation. I am the one and only Arceus," replies the man in white before Luca can say anything.

"Right, I heard the story from Luca. I have a gift for you, then." He begins looking in his bag, and after a few mistaken pulls, he finally manages to take out a sturdy box from it. Luca gasps. He opens the box, revealing a stone tablet with a scorching red color. "If you are truly Arceus, then I believe you are the only one who can ascertain the authenticity of this artifact and draw out its full power."

"The smell of flame," whispers the man, leaning down to see the relic closer. "Where did you find this?"

"Haha! Surprised, aren't you? I found it when I climbed Stark Mountain!" says the professor with vigor.

"Professor, are you sure about this?" asks Luca. "I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this, but that is a rare artifact and the only one we have!"

"So? Wouldn't our Arceus friend here be the rightful owner of it?" asks Linden back. When Luca gives no reply, he returns his attention to the curio. "Ah, but I won't just give it away. I want to see it in use first, just as written on this Plate: The rightful bearer of a Plate draws from the Plate it holds. You can do that, can't you?"

The man was silent for a moment before giving a nod. "Very well, but I would prefer to do it somewhere secluded."

Linden claps his hands. "I know just the right place then!"
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 3: The Flame in the Dark

"I know just the right place then!" Professor Linden claps his hands. "Oreburgh Mine!"

Just like that, the three of them are now deep inside Oreburgh Mine following the professor's suggestion. In this city, trainers are permitted to train in certain sections of the damp and dark tunnels of her proud mine that have been reclaimed by wild Pokémon. In short, it's the perfect place for a private demonstration.

In the dark, Luca can't help but notice how the man's whiteness – everything about him, from his hair to the tips of his boots – reflects the faint light of the lamps in the tunnels. It makes him appear glowing. Divine, even.

The man stops walking with no warning. "Let's do it here." He pulls the dark gray ribbon tying his hair and hands it to the small painter. "Hold this for me. I will have it back after this." He then demands, "Now, prepare the Plate."

As he speaks those words, the same process as what happened at the Spear Pillar begins: bejeweled golden wheel encircling him; red and green eyes; patterned cheeks. His hair, too, begins to float in the air in a straight line. With his touch, the Plate shines, blazes, engulfs him. It covers him in a warm hue, gold into orange and green into gold.

"Hoho." Linden strokes his beard. "So this is Multitype. Ha! So my pupil here didn't have a hallucination, and nor are you a swindler."

His eyebrows twitch. "Did you have doubt, human?"

"Sorry, sorry. In this day and age, there are no Pokémon capable of both human disguise and speech like you, so I couldn't help it, see?"

"There are. My children – my direct descendants and followers still walk this world. The proof is the existence of this world itself."

The professor hums and nods. He then turns toward his pupil. "Did you hear that, Luca? We might need to start over our research again. Haha! So many things that we still don't understand!"

Luca glances, takes a small step aside. What the man said has a real possibility to change their understanding of how myths and legends interact with humanity. They can't let a chance this big slip away. "Yes, it will be a lot of work, but let's do our best together, Professor!"

"So you will accompany and learn from that gentleman, right?" asks Linden.

"Eh?"

"God has chosen you." He says with a sparkle in his eyes. "Surely you weren't thinking of handing him to me when you contacted me?"

"P-Professor… please… I'm aware we can't afford to miss this opportunity, but this is too big of…."

"I will help arrange your finances! Leave it to me!"

"Professor…!"

"Did you hear that?" The professor turns around to speak to the man again. "Our Luca here… Huh? He's gone."

Luca tilts their head. "He didn't pass by us, so he must have gone deeper in. Oh!" They gasp, concluding, "If he went by himself that means I don't have to go on a journey with him!"

"That's no good. We need to find him and ask for his thoughts before making any conclusion." Linden slaps his pupil's back; they let out a yelp. "Let's go."

While the professor and the pupil were chatting, the man in white had gone deep into the mine. Here the number of lamps has grown sparse, though he cares not with his golden wheel lighting his way. He traces the wall. Something feels off, like the itch of a badly sewn thread attempted to prevent further damage on a piece of clothing. He halts. There is a small chamber here, filled with mining tools, gears, and spare parts for machinery – a storage room?

"Eeeek!!"

In another place, a shriek resounds in the tunnels, followed by a rain of rocks. "This is the worst! I hate, hate, hate fighting Rock-types!" They stumble on a stray rock and land on their face. "Ugh…" As they slowly get back to their feet, they rub their face and feel a warm liquid – a nosebleed. "Argh! Celia! Flamethrower again!"

Flame bursts from the fire mouse Pokémon's back as she shoots a pillar of flame at their pursuer, the rock snake Onix. The Onix, unfazed, slams at her head on. The attack missed Celia by a finger, but the impact on the ground alone was enough to blow her right toward her trainer, knocking both of them to a wall.

"Ow, ow, ow. Are you okay?" asks Luca, pain spreading from their back and stomach where the Cyndaquil landed. Celia makes a soft noise in reply. They sigh. "This is the worst… How did we get attacked and chased around the moment we separated from Professor Linden?"

A rumble approaches; even in this state, the Onix still has yet to give up on the two.

Luca stares at the looming threat. It stares back. They nonchalantly wonder, "Do you think we will die? No? I know this kind of thing happens to trainers, but I wasn't expecting it in a place like this…. Ah, it was an alright life…."

The Onix roars. Before it can unleash another attack, however, the sound of approaching footsteps puts it to a halt. A familiar voice calls, "Child of Light."

Luca knows immediately, there is only one person who would call them with that awful moniker. "You! Where have you been?!"

"I sensed a torn fabric of time. A contingency measure has been taken, we may rest easy for now," answers the man calmly. He takes a look at the rumbling Onix and asks, "Pray tell, what did you do to make her this aggressive?"

"I would like to know too. Can you translate?"

"Putting that aside," he continues, "judging from the situation, it seems you are unable to defeat her. If that is the case, you just need to prove your strength."

"Just need to…." Luca mumbles. Memories flash in their mind: the smallest of the herd; more successful peers; a poor performance; an empty badge case. Their hold on Celia tightens as they mutter, "Are you… are you mocking us?"

Ignoring that, the man extends his hand toward the Cyndaquil, caressing her head. That hand brushed against Luca's skin, warm as sunlight. "I will lend you my power, little one." With those words, a gentle light begins to envelop Celia. "You can do it."

The Cyndaquil struggles free from her trainer's hold to face the Onix once again. It takes a stance, fire burning on her back. The man gives the trainer a meaningful, expecting look. A second chance, huh? They bite their lip, collect their breath, then shout out, "Flamethrower!"

A blast of fire escapes from the tiny creature's mouth once again. This time, it swallows the rock snake Pokémon, giving the entire shaft a bright orange hue. The lamps flicker, the heat too much for them. When it dies down, the Onix collapses as well.

"We… we did it," whispers Luca, staring in disbelief. What did this man do to Celia? That doubt is momentarily dispelled when they see Celia rushing toward them in joy. They catch the Cyndaquil in an embrace. "You did it! You won against a Rock-type! Good girl!" Celia coos in delight. Perhaps just this once is fine.

For the first time, Luca flashes a smile at the man in white.

——————————————​

When Luca wakes up later, they are no longer in the rocky tunnel of Oreburgh Mine, but in a clean white room. Ah yes, they must have passed out after the encounter with the Onix. The nurse present informs them that their Pokémon are in good condition, and someone is holding onto them. That person is waiting in the lobby. Is it Professor Linden? No, as nice as that would be, their hunch tells them it would be that person. No choice but to meet him then.

As expected, it is the man in white, dozing off with Celia snacking on a berry on his lap. He is back to normal, though his hair is still untied, reminding Luca of the ribbon in their pocket. Inhale, exhale. Before they can say a word, however, the Cyndaquil makes a delighted coo at her trainer, waking up the man. A quiet, awkward moment passes before he asks, "Child of Light, do you feel better now?"

"Yeah, uhm," They take a step aside, glancing off, then reach into the coat of their pocket for his ribbon – good, it's still there – to return it to him. "Were you the one who brought me here? Thanks."

He takes the ribbon and runs his fingers from one end of it to another. Satisfied, he begins to tie his hair back with it. "The wise man was of help too," he replies while his hands continue to work on tidying up his hair. "He navigated the labyrinth of your modern society when I couldn't."

"Wise man?" Luca has a bemused look, before realizing, "Ah, the Professor. Speaking of, where is he?"

"He left. He said he doesn't want to miss a Bronzong outbreak near the mountain."

"So I'm valued less than some Bronzong…" mutters Luca.

"Child of Light."

"No, it's nothing! I mean, what?"

"I wish to go to Jubilife City," says the man, ignoring Luca's flustered expression. He points at the television across the room – it's currently showing an idol and her Togekiss, dressed in frills and ribbons. "Something about that caught my attention, and the wise man taught me that everything shown in that box originated from Jubilife City."

"Jubilife, huh…" Luca takes a seat next to the man; Celia promptly climbs to their lap. They did plan to visit Lake Verity for a chance to glimpse the enigmatic Pokemon living in the lake, and Jubilife City is… "Sure, we can stop by Jubilife on the way."

He blinks. "I did not expect you to agree so readily. I am grateful, Child of Light."

"It just happens to be on the route for my next destination!" says Luca with a pout. "And please stop calling me that. I have a…" They trail off as a realization hit. A name? "Hey, this is embarrassing, but come to think about it, I haven't learned your name…."

"It's Arceus."

"No, not that," rejects Luca with a wave of hand. "It would be too suspicious if I called you that in front of people. I mean a nickname or an alias."

"Ah…." He sighs. "Now I remember, previously it was like this too. Well, go on and give me one then. A name that would fit the sensibilities of your era without betraying my essence."

"Eh? Me? Pick one?" asks Luca, and he nods. Luca begins to ponder. This is so sudden, they never dreamed they would ever give an alias to a deity. Have their seniors in the field ever found themselves in this kind of situation? How should this be approached? They can't just call a living being with the name of a region or landmark. Codes are obviously not good either. So…

Luca shakes their head. We are not naming an artifact here! Though he is certainly old no matter how youthful his face is!

Calm down, think about it again slowly. How about giving him an embarrassing nickname as a payback for calling them with one? No, they are not that petty, and it will eventually get embarrassing for them too. So a normal name, something that would fit the era and his essence…. He is Arceus. He is a mighty being who supposedly created the world. He was the beginning of all.

"Then… Alfa?" they mumble.

"As in 'alpha,' the beginning." He nods. "Perhaps not the most clever name, but adequate." He pats them on the head as he stands from his seat. "Shall we get going then?"

An unfamiliar region and a new traveling companion. Luca never expected their journey to be a dull one when they left their home, but they would never have dreamed of this turn of events. As much as they loathe to think of the possible troubles ahead, at least it will not be boring.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 4: Jubilee Broadcast

It's a relaxing day in Route 203, the outskirts of Jubilife City. The sun is bright, the breeze gentle, and the Starly tweet cheery songs. From Oreburgh Gate to the east, a trainer and their Cyndaquil come crawling out, drenched in water and mud. "I'm alive!" One declaration, enough to startle the nearby Starly into flying away. "I thought I was a goner! Oh my god!"

"Yes?"

"You!" The trainer points at the man who, unlike them, came out of the cave in a perfectly clean state. "Please don't suddenly take a detour like that again. And a place full of water at that! What if something happened to me or Celia? Or worse, my sketchbook and journal?"

"I see," he replies. "But we have the Earth Plate now. Thank you for putting up with it."

"Sure, sure. Just don't do it again," says Luca with a sigh. This is still an odd arrangement to be in, and they are too exhausted to argue after the sudden detour and worrying about their books. Celia the Cyndaquil climbs up to her trainer's lap, warm and toasty.

In the distance, they can see the skyline of Jubilife City, steel and concrete reaching toward the sky. So close, yet so far. If only they could teleport to the city without moving a muscle, how nice that would be. Then they can find a cheap but comfortable hotel for a day of rest and forget about the whole plate business. Indeed, that would be nice.

The next time they blink, they are floating above the same buildings they just gazed at. They blink again; they are still floating in the sky. Celia squeals in their arms.

"Wh-wha—" Their head is spinning. Their legs flail in a futile attempt to find something to stand on. Is this real? They only know one person in the party who can pull such a trick. "Alfa! I just told you, don't do—"

"Hey, don't yell at my dearest Father!" There is an unfamiliar voice, giggling like ringing bells. "I'll drop you if you speak so rudely again!"

"I would appreciate it if you don't turn my guide into paste."

"Oh, Father, of course I won't!"

Who? The voices came from behind Luca. Once again, their attempt to reposition themself is futile. Thankfully it isn't for long, as in the next moment, the party lands on the tallest building, covered with satellite dishes. "Here should be the least conspicuous," says the psychic.

As soon as their feet reach a solid floor, Luca immediately checks themself – Celia is okay; their glasses didn't fall; hat is still on their head; their bag is unopened. Everything seems to be in order.

"How did you like that? I granted your wish of teleportation." The psychic giggles. "How do you feel? Excited? Confused? Happy? Mad? I can sense a funny mix in you!"

The psychic is a petite character wearing their hair in twintails, dressed in light blue and adorned with a big, long ribbon on their back. Red jewels decorate the tail ends of their ribbon, and as they laugh, their golden eyes twinkle like reflected starlight.

"H-Haha." The psychic was on point, and now all that Luca can muster is a faint, tired laughter. They want to go to bed. On the ground.

"This is Mesprit," says Alfa, letting slide what just occurred like it was another Tuesday for him. "Although…." He raises his hand; it goes right through the psychic's satisfied smirk. "Your body is still in your lake, isn't it?"

"Of course you could tell, Father!" They twirl to face Alfa – the ribbon on their back circling them in the motion – and make a bow. "Please forgive my rudeness in using astral projection to meet you, but I'm so glad to be the first among my siblings to welcome you after your awakening."

"I don't mind. Can you become solid for a moment?" asks Alfa. When they do ("As you wish."), Alfa places his hand on their head and begins rubbing it. The psychic giggles softly.

'Father', huh? In their mind, Luca begins reciting one of the myths of the region: From itself again, three living things the Original One did make. 'Father' makes sense in that context, but it's still surprising to see the oddball acting fatherly like this.

"What did you just call my dearest father?"

Luca jumps backward. When did Mesprit get right in front of them? And did they always wear that ruby red hairpin?

"Heehee! You react a lot, and your emotion fluctuates so vibrantly. All displayed clearly in your silver eyes! I love that. Here, another gift from me." They wave a hand at Luca; a warm wind blows, drying the trainer in an instant. "Shall we go, then? I know you are tired from assisting my dearest Father. Also, call me Eve!"

After entering the building, it soon becomes clear that they are in Jubilife TV station. The busy crew hurrying to meet their schedules. The faces of stars you usually only see on screen. The excited laughter of the audience and visitors. If one were a romantic, they might call it a place where dreams are made.

Luca isn't a romantic in the matter of mass entertainment. They whisper to no one, "I hope the staff are getting enough sleep."

Alfa, on the other hand, watches everything that goes on with interest. "And then everything recorded here will be transmitted throughout the boxes in the region."

"It's called television, Father."

"Television." Alfa nods. "So this is how far humans have come in my absence. Oh, there is one in this room too."

It appears to be a room for guests to rest in. There are comfortable seats, strategically placed potted plants, a magazine rack, and a television – Jubilife TV channel, of course. It's currently showing a recording of a Pokémon League match.

"—powerful Hydro Pump! Can Garbodor stand back up?! Three… two… one… and that's it, folks! The winner is Nox and Feraligatr! They'll move on to the semifinal! What a show from our newcomer – truly the silver storm! Will they win the ticket to challenge the Elite—"

Luca turns their gaze away. "Anyway," – they turn their mind away as well – "you wanted to come here, didn't you?"

"I thought I would be able to meet one of my children here," answers Alfa. As they walk, he continues observing his surroundings and the people passing. "But I can't sense her presence." His gaze intensifies with those words, startling someone who met it by coincidence.

"Isn't Eve here your child?"

"They are, but meeting Mesprit here was unexpected."

Eve giggles. "Your Future Sight has always been lousy, Father."

"I need to give it all of my focus to get it right. It's such a bother…. Oh."

The next hallway they enter is filled with posters and signatures of celebrities. "So bright," mumbles Luca. "Huh? What now?" they ask when they see Alfa rushing forward. His face, too, is bright.

"Here," calls Alfa. He points at a poster of a pale young woman dressed in white and lavender, paired with a Togekiss. "I saw her on television. This is Palkia, isn't it?"

"So you could tell! Impressive, Father!" replies Eve. "That's right, she goes by Tiana nowadays."

"Is this what priestesses do now? I approve of spreading the divine words with such convenient technology, but these clothes are not what I have come to expect." Alfa's eyes follow the curves of the idol, his expression impassive as ever.

"Oh, um, no. She quit priestesshood," replies Eve. Alfa's eyebrows twitch, making the psychic freeze for a moment. "I-I suppose it won't hurt to go ask when she's scheduled for a show. Oh, hello!" They wave at the first person – a beautiful person, perhaps a celebrity – passing by the hallway and skips away.

And there they go. There is risk of Eve overhearing their thoughts, but Luca still can't help wondering if it's fine to let the psychic go. For starters, they are not yet convinced that Eve has more common sense than their eccentric father.

As they waited, Luca remembered the reason they wanted to go to Lake Verity: get a glimpse of Mesprit, paint the lake and the legendary Pokémon. Maybe they should bring it up to Eve? Eve surely would be a tease about it though….

"Aw, I'm flattered you want to draw lil' old me! But no, I have no plan to come up to the surface anytime soon."

Luca jumps backward and hits the wall with a thud. "Please stop sneaking up on me like that!"

"But I'm not?" Eve's giggles ring in Luca's head, and now the trainer knows they won't ever forget it. The psychic turns their attention to the taller man. "My apologies, Father. She wouldn't tell me about Miss Tiana's schedule, and her mind was so busy that I couldn't read it properly. Even though I told her that you are Miss Tiana's dearest father!"

Luca stares in disbelief. Of course she wouldn't believe that. Anyone could make up that kind of claim. Perhaps it's true that berries don't fall far from the tree, even when said tree and berries are immortal beings from the beginning of the world.

"More importantly," adds Eve, "I sense a distortion nearby."

Alfa's eyes widen, a slight frown forms on his face. "Is there? Can we reach it from here?"

Eve looks taken aback; for once, there is no trace of their cheery airs. "You couldn't tell? Is it because of me?"

The man puts his hand on the psychic's head again, caressing them, his fingers touching on the red hairpin. "Don't worry about that; I simply have yet to adjust fully to my current form. But perhaps I can use assistance. Child of Light?"

"It's Luca."

"Do you want to learn how to mend a distortion in time?"
 
Last edited:

more than a torchic

Top Tier Adobe PhotoshoppingTM skills
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,651
Preferred Pronouns
She/They/He?
Gonna be commenting here on the forums, since it's easier to comment on individual stuff here than on AO3. That being said, I might still copy-paste my summarized thought son AO3 to boost the AO3 algorithm (is there an AO3 algorithm?)

It's a relaxing day in Route 203, the outskirts of Jubilife City. The sun is bright, the breeze gentle, and the Starly tweet cheery songs. From Oreburgh Gate to the east, a trainer and their Cyndaquil came crawling out, drenched in water and mud.
Tense change here. Then again, it might technically work, but it feels off.
"Hey, don't yell at my dearest Father!" There is an unfamiliar voice, giggling like ringing bells. "I'll drop you if you speak so rudely again!"
Oooh I like that description of how they speak.
The psychic is a petite character wearing their hair in twintails, dressed in light blue and adorned with a big, long ribbon on their back. Red jewels decorate the tail ends of their ribbon, and as they laugh, their golden eyes twinkle like reflected starlight.
...Mesprit
'Father', huh? In their mind, Luca begins reciting one of the myths of the region: From itself again, three living things the Original One did make. 'Father' makes sense in that context, but it's still surprising to see the oddball acting fatherly like this.
This is cute
"What did you just call my dearest father?"
Uh oh, mind reading.
Luca isn't a romantic in the matter of mass entertainment. They whisper to no one, "I hope the staff are getting enough sleep."
Logic, I see.
Alfa, on the other hand, watches everything that goes on with interest. "And then everything recorded here will be transmitted throughout the boxes in the region."

"It's called television, Father."
This got a chuckle out of me.
"—powerful Hydro Pump! Can Garbodor stand back up?! Three… two… one… and that's it, folks! The winner is Nox and Feraligatr! They'll move on to the semifinal! What a show from our newcomer – truly the silver storm! Will they win the ticket to challenge the Elite—"
Ooooh is this Nox character gonna show up again?
"Here," calls Alfa. He points at a poster of a pale young woman dressed in white and lavender, paired with a Togekiss. "I saw her on television. This is Palkia, isn't it?"
Fancy
"Is this what priestesses do now? I approve of spreading the divine words with such convenient technology, but these clothes are not what I have come to expect." Alfa's eyes follow the curves of the idol, his expression impassive as ever.

"Oh, um, no. She quit priestesshood," replies Eve. Alfa's eyebrows twitch, making the psychic freeze for a moment. "I-I suppose it won't hurt to go ask when she's scheduled for a show. Oh, hello!" They wave at the first person – a beautiful person, perhaps a celebrity – passing by the hallway and skips away.
Oh wow. I wonder if she's a Coordinator.
"More importantly," adds Eve, "I sense a distortion nearby."
Oh my
"Do you want to learn how to mend a distortion in time?"
For some reason, this has different but similar vibes to the "Are you ready to feel the wrath of a god, kid?" line from the Until Dawn Real-Time Fandub.

Good stuff here. I like these new characters. They have really fun personalities.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 5: Azure Sound

Luca's hands tighten around the Azure Flute. Celia nuzzles against their legs, noticing her trainer's nervousness. Ah, yes. That is exactly what they are feeling now. Nervous. Worry. Well, nobody told them that they would have to play the flute in the middle of a park! Where people are looking! Some of the passersby hasten their steps, some of them slow down; both make Luca shift from one foot to the other, over and over.

How did they get themself in this situation again?

——————————————​

"Do you want to learn how to mend a distortion in time?"

Luca stared at the man in white, then sighed. "I don't have the choice to refuse, do I?"

A moment passed before Alfa replied, "It is true that it would be to my advantage if you accept, but the Azure Flute resonates with your heart. I can't make you draw out my aura… my power with it if you have no desire to."

"Desire… huh?"

"Yes… if your desire is insufficient, all you will make is noises, just like at the Spear Pillar." Alfa winced, recalling their first meeting. "That truly was awful."

"Well, I'm sorry!" Luca pouted. "Anyway, I've seen that you're more than just an oddball. I will trust your instructions for now."

——————————————​

Luca looks up at the clock at the center of the park. They have been observing it for a while as they fret – sometimes the hands move too fast, sometimes too slow, and sometimes stop entirely. Is this what Alfa meant by a distortion in time? It looks indistinguishable from a broken clock.

In any case, something should be done about it. Luca knows that much, but when they remember how they took the responsibility without fully knowing what it entails, they begin wishing they were a Shuckle.

Alfa himself is sitting on a bench a few meters away. Eve has left; they said they can't keep lingering if they want to have enough energy to return to the surface soon.

"Celia, what have I gotten myself into?" They let out a long sigh. The Cyndaquil tilts her head.

"Hello, there."

Luca turns around following the voice. A woman is approaching. Dark-skinned and black hair, with white coat and black attire that complement her figure. A Salandit perches like a shawl over her bare shoulders. Seeing her fills Luca with the desire to paint her.

Noticing how Luca is gawking at her, the woman laughs with a sharp smile. "Ah, hello? Your pink-headed friend spoke to me earlier."

"Ah, I see…." mumbles Luca. Celia growls and tugs on her trainer's coat, returning Luca to their senses. "Oh! You're from Jubilife TV! No, I mean, I-I'm sorry for bothering you."

The Salandit cackles. Celia is squinting at the black lizard, as this is her first time – and Luca's too – seeing one in the flesh. As she taps on the lizard's long snout – it goes quiet at the gesture – the woman says, "No, no, I didn't mind that. I thought it was peculiar, though…. Oh, do you mind if I talk with you?"

Luca shakes their head vigorously. "Not at all! Not at all!"

"Thanks! By the way, my name is Ervilia – Ervi for short. What about yours?"

"I-It's Luca…." Celia isn't making any fire, but why do they feel their face going hot?

"Luca, see, I'm something of a journalist. I travel from region to region to find interesting stories. And Tiana is a beloved idol, right? So there must be something interesting that can be gained from learning about her background."

"A gossip journalist…." mutters Luca.

"Ah, that's not exactly right, but I suppose not entirely wrong either for this story," says Ervilia with a shrug. She looks toward Alfa, who is now dozing off in his seat with a flock of Starly gathering around him. "I never disclosed this to the press, but I found she was raised in an orphanage. Yet now we have someone claiming to be her father – maybe I didn't have the complete picture?"

Luca frowns. It's true that they are akin to father and daughter, but they can't just say that the two are Arceus and Palkia, can they? Imagine the chaos! Imagine the headache. "Please forget what you heard. My companions are… eccentric, to say the least."

Ervilia laughs – her laughter would be a pleasing color if put on paper. "Are they? In my line of work I often find the eccentric right, though. By the way, what are you doing with that thing in your hand?"

"Oh, this is a flute… kind of," answers Luca. They look down at the oddly-shaped instrument, feeling its weight in their hands. "I'm supposed to play it, but it's just… so embarrassing…." They can remember it clearly, the time when they botched a performance at a Gym. They pull their hat down. "It will be loud, won't it? What if it sounds bad? And I'm not used to being seen, so…."

"But you still want to play it?"

"Huh?"

"I mean, you didn't refuse. Or is that it? You couldn't refuse?"

"Well, he asked me to play this here. It's something important for him and…." For the world. "…for everything."

Luca casts their gaze forward, at the man in white. He lent them and Celia power, and even after they fumble, after they let their mouth run off, he still…. "He's an oddball. I guess I still have a hard time trusting him, but he's the oddball who believes in me and I want to return that sentiment." Thinking about it now, he reminds them a bit of when Professor Linden found them.

They blow the flute. There is no sound to speak of, nothing that can be heard by human ears, but something stirs. That something guides their fingers along the instrument. That something guides them along the openings of the heart. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Alfa is awake now, watching and not quite human. A transparent song envelopes the world, and it carries light and glory under His merciful gaze—

Alfa still looks human. People and Pokémon pass by the park without care. Rumbles of vehicles can be heard in the distance. Ervilia is still there as she was before Luca played the flute. The world wasn't bathed in heavenly light, and if it was, nobody but Luca seemed to notice. Alfa is now standing before them, and he nods his approval.

"I don't know what just occurred, but it seems you did it?" asks Ervilia. The Salandit has climbed up to her head, staring at Luca with discerning eyes.

They blink. The ground is still under their feet. It's done; when this fact sinks in, Luca's legs finally give in to the fatigue. "…Yeah. Thank you, Miss Ervi…."

With those words said, they finally run out of battery and lose consciousness. Alfa takes a step forward, right on time, catching them before they can fall to the ground. "This is the second time they have collapsed like this," says Alfa while picking them up; their hands are still clutching tight on the Azure Flute. Celia climbs up to his shoulder in the meantime.

"Interesting kid." Ervilia grins. "And you seem like an interesting man too."

"Do I?"

"Yup. It was all timed too well for you to be just sleeping," says Ervilia. When Alfa gives her a quiet look, she only shrugs. "I like to think I can be a journalist by being observant. Anyway, I'll be traveling around this region for a little while. I hope I'll see you two again." She gives the man a jovial slap on the back and waves a goodbye. As he watches her back, for the first time he notices the teardrop-shaped golden prism on her coat.

"Well then," he says to Celia, "I suppose it is time for us to seek respite." The Cyndaquil coos her approval, while her trainer is none the wiser about the selection of place for sleep.
 
Last edited:

more than a torchic

Top Tier Adobe PhotoshoppingTM skills
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,651
Preferred Pronouns
She/They/He?
I can't make you draw out my aura – my power with it if you have no desire to.
The second part of this sentence feels a bit off.
they begin wishing they were a Shuckle
Don't we all wish we were a Shuckle at some point
Dark-skinned and black hair, with white coat and black attire that complement her figure.
Ooooooh it's this lady
A Salandit perches like a shawl over her bare shoulders.
Power move. This is a look.
Seeing her fills Luca with the desire to paint her.
This is so wholesome.
Celia isn't making any fire, but why do they feel their face going hot?
:oops:
"A gossip journalist…." mutters Luca.
Same, Lucas
She looks toward Alfa, who is now dozing off in his seat with a flock of Starly gathering around him.
Very cute/funny image
"I never disclosed this to the press, but I found she was raised in an orphanage. Yet now we have someone claiming to be her father – maybe I didn't have the complete picture?"
Uh oh
With those words said, they finally run out of battery and lose consciousness.
Oh my
She gives the man a jovial slap on the back and waves a goodbye.
Ouch
for the first time he notices the teardrop-shaped golden prism on her coat.
Oooooooh what could this be
The Salandit cackles. Celia is squinting at the black lizard, as this is her first time – and Luca's too – seeing one in the flesh. As she taps on the lizard's long snout – it goes quiet at the gesture – the woman says, "No, no, I didn't mind that. I thought it was peculiar, though…. Oh, do you mind if I talk with you?"
This part feels sort of clunky. I can't pinpoint how or why, though.

And Lucas finally played the Azure Flute, and we got a new character who may or may not be a gijinka. Not much to say, but keep it up.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
The second part of this sentence feels a bit off.
This one is a bit clunky on purpose – he's backpedaling on his choice of word – but I made a minor adjustment to see what works better for conveying this.

This part feels sort of clunky. I can't pinpoint how or why, though.
It's the rhythm and dashes, if I have to guess. I think I will have to meditate on this one, but can't promise a change for it.

On Ervilia: I wrote this in my author's note in AO3 too, one thing that I can say about Ervilia right now is that her name follows a certain theme. It probably makes more sense in hindsight though, I don't expect it to be obvious unless if you've also seen her full design or know about my plan ahead (which isn't impossible; I don't always guard my notes with care).

In fact, I'm only saying this here because I don't expect myself to discuss every name chosen within the fic itself, and this one is unlikely to come up, ever.

...Speaking of author's note, I probably should make a note somewhere in first post that I don't have plan to repost them here, since my author's notes are partly about the chapter, partly tangents, and partly art reposting (LLV art, of course). It's kind of a mess for forum format lol
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 6: A Floral Encounter

"Child of Light?"

"What?"

"You have been quiet since we departed, and now we are almost at Floaroma Town. This is honestly uncanny."

Luca stops at their track and begins muttering, "You want to know why I'm in this mood? Do you really want to know why?"

"Hmm, I sense a disturbance in the balance," remarks Alfa with a deadpan face.

"I mean…! Eve is so much to handle but they're absolutely a beauty when I think of them with their voice on mute, but they can't come up to the surface now! Even though I traveled in that direction to go to Lake Verity and draw them!"

"I'm glad you think of my child as beautiful, but Mesprit's voice is part of their charm."

"And then Miss Ervi! Miss Ervi! I wanted to draw her so bad! Right there and then! But I just had to faint from exhaustion and missed my chance to ask her to model! I didn't even get to ask for her contact info!"

Alfa only stares, recalling how the young painter's encounter with the journalist went: flustered like a lass in front of her admired senior.

"How about painting my good self?" interjects Alfa, but the suggestion is met with a look of disbelief.

The rants go on for a while, until they smell a fragrant scent carried by the wind. More flowers of many shapes and colors come into view, and eventually they can see a wooden gate arching over the road. They have arrived at Floaroma Town, vivid and scented.

"It's as pretty as its reputation," says Luca, watching their surroundings. Here, almost every house and building has a flower bed of varying sizes. It reminds them of home, just a little. Their hometown is known for its flowers, among other things, but it pales in comparison to this.

"I see the people of this town hold their wisdom true." Alfa muses, "It's truly comforting to see there is still something familiar in the everchanging passage of time."

Nostalgia, huh? That does sound comforting. Luca starts seeing themself drawing the flowers too – the many colors and the Pokémon flitting about between them. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.

"I'll go find an inn then. I don't want to spend the night at a Pokémon Center again," says Luca.

"You can go without me," replies Alfa – a Combee has landed on his hand. "I will find a place at Floaroma Meadow."

"Outside?"

"A crude but correct assumption. Yes, I prefer the outdoors."

"Sometimes I wonder how you keep yourself sparkling clean all the time."

"'Tis because I am a god."

"Figures."

Finding an inn turns out to be a simple matter, and Luca finishes making their reservation not long after separating from Alfa. They contemplate using their alone time for art, when they spot a brown-skinned girl with wavy hair – lush as leaves – just outside the inn. She wears pink flowers on her hair, and the same sort of flowers fill the basket she carries.

The girl notices Luca and begins approaching with a smile. "Would you care for some of Floaroma Town's specialties?"

"Gracidea flowers, huh? They're really pretty," says Luca, crouching down to get a closer look at the flowers. It would be cute to give some to Celia and Chopin since they have been their partners, but…. "Sorry, I'm a traveling trainer. I don't have the space for keeping flowers fresh."

"Oh my, we have a knowledgeable visitor today," says the flower girl. Noticing the confused look on Luca's face, she adds, "Well, you can tell it's Gracidea."

"Isn't this common knowledge?" asks Luca, still puzzled. "When we talk about Floaroma then it's gotta be the story of how Shaymin made the land fertile and the flowers bloom, right?"

"I see more visitors only caring about whether the flowers would make a trendy photo background. Not that we can do much about that, and it brings business to the town," admits the flower girl with a shrug. "And I believe the folktale only said that a Pokémon did it, not what the Pokémon was."

Oh. Oh. Luca wishes they knew Minimize. "S-Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Was I wrong?"

The flower girl twirls her long hair around her finger and asks back, "Do you believe Shaymin still exist?"

Do they? If they were asked the same question last month, they would have answered: no, not in particular. Mythology is interesting, but it is often no more than a fantastical reflection of the era and place it originated in. At least, that is what they believed before, but now they are in the middle of learning again from scratch.

"I guess I won't be surprised if they exist," answers Luca. "Things long gone or thought to never exist sometimes show up in some rarely visited corner. Weird world that we live in, right?"

"Hmm. In my family it's practically a fact that a Shaymin was responsible for rejuvenating this town," says the flower girl while fixing the Gracidea on her hair. "It's a lil' surprising to hear someone else speak about it with the same certainty."

She twirls her hair around her finger again, and at last decides, "So you're not buying, right? Maybe I'll go home for today…. Well, then. Enjoy Floaroma, traveler."

"Wait, can I come with you?" asks Luca. While the flower girl is still caught in surprise, uttering no response, they realize how odd that sounded and quickly add, "Ah, I'm actually a folklore student. This isn't something weird! Not at all! I just want to hear more about Shaymin and your family's Floaroma story."

"Suspicious…."

"U-Uh, I guess it sounds suspicious and weird. Wait. I mean, no! I swear I didn't mean to be weird!"

Her fingers play with her hair again. After a moment, she shrugs. "Well, I guess that's fine. You seem like an alright sort."

"Thank you!" Luca's face brightens; they have stumbled into something just as good – if not better than – a painting subject.

As they walk, Luca conducts an interview to learn more about the flower girl. Her name is Sheila, and she lives alone by Floaroma Meadow. Her family is a nomadic society, but wherever Gracidea can bloom, they will entrust one of themselves to watch over the place, and right now it's her turn to stay at Floaroma. Here she fulfills her duty, until the day she can join her people again.

Floaroma Meadow lies beyond the forest at the outskirts of the town. After walking under the shades of the trees, the path opens to a vast glade where flowers bloom as far as one can see. It makes the town look like a small garden in comparison.

"Child of Light?"

Luca shudders. There is only one person who would call Luca that, and sure enough, they can spot Alfa walking toward their direction. He has a Wurmple on his shoulder and a Budew stumbling by his feet – walking slower to match the little Pokémon's smaller steps.

"I thought you're looking for a place for sleep," says Luca when Alfa is finally within speaking distance.

"I already found one with help from these little ones." He gestures at the pair he came with. "And I reckoned you might come in this direction to paint the scenery."

What? So he paid attention to them, enough to make a guess like that. Luca can't help smiling a little hearing it. "And what would you do if I decided to draw the people in the town instead?"

Alfa gives no answer and only stares – did he even think that far? The awkward silence is only broken when he notices the flower girl hiding behind Luca. "Hello," greets Alfa. "Are you the current guardian of this meadow?"

"I am…." Her voice has become so small.

It's faint, but Alfa smiles in response. "You have my gratitude for keeping this meadow beautiful."

Hearing those words, a gasp escapes from Sheila's lips and her hands move to cover it. One. Two. Three. More and more Gracidea flowers sprout and bloom from her hair. Upon noticing the profusion of flowers, she makes her escape as fast as the wind.

"Is she okay?" asks Alfa.

"She is definitely not," replies Luca.
 

more than a torchic

Top Tier Adobe PhotoshoppingTM skills
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,651
Preferred Pronouns
She/They/He?
"I mean…! Eve is so much to handle but they're absolutely a beauty when I think of them with their voice on mute, but they can't come up to the surface now! Even though I traveled in that direction to go to Lake Verity and draw them!"

"I'm glad you think of my child as beautiful, but Mesprit's voice is part of their charm."

"And then Miss Ervi! Miss Ervi! I wanted to draw her so bad! Right there and then! But I just had to faint from exhaustion and missed my chance to ask her to model! I didn't even get to ask for her contact info!"
This is such a cute conversation. I like it a lot.
"How about painting my good self?" interjects Alfa, but the suggestion is met with a look of disbelief.
Oh Alfa, never change.
Their hometown is known for its flowers, among other things, but it pales in comparison to this.
Oooh where do they live? (If this has been mentioned before, I probably forgot, and I'm sorry.)
They contemplate using their alone time for art, when they spot a brown-skinned girl with wavy hair – lush as leaves – just outside the inn. She wears pink flowers on her hair, and the same sort of flowers fill the basket she carries.
:oops:
Oooh what Pokémon is Chopin?
I see more visitors only caring about whether the flowers would make a trendy photo background.
Sigh... society, am I right?
At least, that is what they believed before, but now they are in the middle of learning again from scratch.
Well, things change when a god pops into your life and says
He has a Wurmple on his shoulder and a Budew stumbling by his feet – walking slower to match the little Pokémon's smaller steps.
I love these images of Alfa with small Pokémon.
"Is she okay?" asks Alfa.

"She is definitely not," replies Luca.
Same

And we get some more character introductions.

I won't spoil myself by reading ahead on AO3, but I'm excited to see how all of these characters play a role in the developing narrative.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Oooh where do they live? (If this has been mentioned before, I probably forgot, and I'm sorry.)
It hasn't, don't worry. I scattered several references in the first two arcs about which region they came from, but this is the only one that pinpoints the town/city. Also I want to remain :) about this little detail as long as it's not guessed at. In the fic proper this is only made explicit in... (checks draft) chapter 23 lmao

Oooh what Pokémon is Chopin?
Luca mentioned a bird Pokémon early on...
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 7: Flowers and Millennia

Sheila the flower girl ran away after Gracidea flowers suddenly bloomed from her lush hair. That was the moment when Luca realized: she is a Shaymin, isn't she? Luca has read that flowers bloom on Shaymin's grass-like furs when they sense gratitude, and in hindsight, what she told them about her family also matches Shaymin's supposed migratory habit.

When the pair follow the direction she ran off to, they find a small cottage in the middle of a field of pink Gracidea; this must be where she lives. The flowers here are even more radiant and fragrant than those she carried in her basket. Luca knocks on the door. "Sheila? Are you there?"

A small cough comes from behind the door. "I'm sorry, I don't feel well…."

"Miss Shaymin, my apologies for surprising you," says Alfa from behind Luca.

At once, the door opens wide: Sheila, absolutely flustered, her hair is still covered with flowers. "With all due respect, how could you spill my identity in front of this… this…!" She makes frantic gestures at Luca.

Ah, Luca can see what is going on now. "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. I also know this is Arceus, and I've met Mesprit too. It's fine, I promise."

Sheila looks at Luca, then at Alfa again. Alfa nods to confirm what she heard. She fidgets with her hair and at last says, "I-If Lord Arceus says so. Uh…. Sorry for running away suddenly, and… I'm happy to do my duty, my Lord. Then, w-would you like to come inside?"

"I'm afraid I have to refuse your kind offer; I wish to spend as much time as possible taking in the sight of this meadow," replies Alfa – another flower blooms on Sheila's hair. He places his hand on Luca's shoulder. "But perhaps the Child of Light here would enjoy the opportunity to speak with one of the Shaymin."

With that, Luca now finds themself alone with Sheila in her cottage, just as initially planned before Alfa showed up. It's a small place with sparse furniture, but while it lacks grandeur, it has greenery filling every corner instead. Sunlight shines through the window on the ceiling.

"So… Child of Light?"

Luca chokes on their herbal tea. "Please don't start calling me that too. I have a name: Luca."

"What? You don't like it?"

"No, no, no way. Absolutely not," asserts Luca with a scowl. "But he is oddly stubborn about it. I think he willfully ignores me whenever I protest."

"Oh…." Sheila leans back in her chair, her hands carefully removing the Gracidea flowers that grew from her hair. As she works, she wonders, "Maybe it's because you have the same name as his wife."

For the second time, Luca chokes on their tea. "Wife? That oddball has a wife?"

"Who are you calling an oddball?" protests Sheila. "And it's 'had'. His wife passed away millennia ago."

Wife. They never thought of it before, but thinking about it, maybe it shouldn't be that surprising. Alfa is ancient – the person with the longest history in the world. Having a spouse or two isn't odd in such a massive timescale. But what kind of being would be his match?

"He never told you that?" asks Sheila while cutting another flower from her hair.

Luca shakes their head; the only thing they knew was Alfa's stubborn refusal to call them by name. "Who… or what kind of person was his wife?"

"Well, I only know of stories passed down in my family too." Sheila twirls her hair around her finger. "It's said that the Esteemed Lady loved flowers and took a great liking to my ancestors, and that's why we were granted the ability to take on human form like them. Apparently it's the Lord's way of saying we're chosen and special."

She plucks another flower from her hair, then leans forward, whispering, "As for who… say, have you ever heard of Mew?"

"The super rare Pokémon said to carry the genes of all Pokémon?"

"His wife, the story goes, was the first Mew, and the other Mew are just imitations of her. And not just that – since she was the original, other living beings also descended from her, including plants and humanity."

Ah, of course his wife was the universal ancestor of all beings. The god and the source of all creations – literally a match made in Heaven. Last month, Luca would have questioned the concept of a being that gave birth to all life, but here they are now.

They cast their gaze outside the window, where the meadow is in full view. Now they realize, Alfa always showed utmost interest in technological advancement before, but since arriving at Floaroma he has only been looking at the flowers and disregarding everything else. His late wife must be the reason why.

Huh? Why should they care that the oddball is feeling wistful? Something about it nags at them. They take out their journal and jot down everything they heard. Once done, they say, "I think I should go back to him now. Thanks for the stories."

"Aw, you don't want to hear more about the Shaymin?" asks Sheila.

"Sorry, I'd love to, but maybe next time." As Luca finishes their tea, they add, "By the way, what tea is this? I love the sweet scent."

"Gracidea tea. Goes for 350 per pack. It can also heal status conditions for Pokémon," answers Sheila with her flower girl smile.

"…You're selling it."

"Naturally. Support a local business! Folklorists are supposed to do that, right?" She winks outrageously.

"I'm not sure what image of folklorists you have in your… no, never mind." mumbles Luca. They relent, however; tea leaves are easier to keep than fresh flowers.

Soon enough, Luca finds themself wandering in the vast meadow, looking for where their companion has gone. The weather is clear, and the brightness is almost blinding. If they look down, they can clearly see the flowers and the wild Pokémon frolicking between them.

Did the meadow look like this too back when the original Mew was still alive? Full of life and colors? It's easy to see how one can fall in love with this. Perhaps back then Sinnoh even had a warmer climate, allowing more life to flourish.

After walking around for an hour, they finally find Alfa dozing off under a tree at the outskirts of the meadow. For once he is alone, with no Pokémon gathering around him.

"Welcome back, Child of Light." He says upon noticing Luca's approaching footsteps.

"Don't move from your spot," says Luca. They sit down a short distance away from the man and begin taking out their sketchbook and pencils.

"You changed your mind," remarks Alfa.

"Yeah."

"Did something happen?"

They don't answer. Their focus is now on the sketchbook and the model before them. On the paper, they shape his cheeks, his nose, his flowing long hair. They replicate the light as reflected by their subject's ivory radiance. Only when they start polishing the sketch that they speak, "I met Professor Linden at the Ruins of Alph in Johto several years ago, he found me sketching the ruins like this and asked if I'd like to help him in his folklore works. I accepted, and that was the beginning of my journey with him."

A stray line; they erase it and put it back in place. "Traveling with the Professor made me interested in his works too. Especially, I became interested in the reasons and emotions behind the stories from the past. How did those stories come to be? What shaped them into the form we know today? Eventually, I started wanting to depict those in my art too, instead of only drawing what is in front of me."

They look up at Alfa – his red eyes reflect sunlight like cold jewels. "Today I was reminded, you are basically the oldest interviewee I have ever met. You are the person with the most stories, and now you are my oldest drawing subject too. But…." They look back down at their sketch, but their pencil doesn't move. "Well, I still can't stop seeing you as the oddball that turned everything I knew upside down too. Is that fine?"

Alfa gives a slow nod. "That is, indeed, fine. I am not a human like you, and never will be." He tilts his head. "I rather enjoy your presence, in any case."

"One day," says Luca, peeking from behind the sketchbook, "I want to draw you again after knowing more about you and your life."

"Learning about myself may take longer than a lifetime for you."

"Then I just need to do what I can." Luca's hand starts moving again, giving the sketch a finishing touch. "As long as I can leave something of you behind, I've done my part as a folklorist. Someone will pick up my trail, like when I picked up Professor Linden's."

Hearing that, a smile slips into Alfa's expression. "You are correct. That neverending chain of progress is what I adore about the mortals."

"More than the flowers of this meadow?"

"Who knows?"

When they finish the sketch, Alfa takes a look at it. "I didn't know I could be that beautiful. Thank you, Child of Light." His words sound like hyperbole, but a part of them agrees with the sentiment: so he can be a beautiful subject too. They start looking forward to tomorrow a little more, and the next time they draw their traveling companion.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 8: A Rondo of Runts

The sun is setting on Route 205. A Noctowl flies above the hilly terrains, leading Luca and Alfa to a small cave opening. "Ohh, this is nice!" says Luca when they arrive at the cave. "We don't have to worry about the weather for tonight. Thanks, Chopin!"

The Noctowl hoots in delight and rubs his head on his trainer – smaller than he is – as if saying: Praise me! Praise me more!

"Ha, good boy. H-Hey, come on, that's enough! Haha." Luca tries to push the Noctowl away, but the bird has more strength, and he pushes harder for snuggles.

Suddenly, a pale hand touches the bird's head, stopping him in his place. "Enough of that. You will make your sister upset."

Sure enough, Celia is scowling, and there are sparks of flame coming from her back.

As soon as they have been freed from the Noctowl, Luca starts preparing dinner for the group. Here are the berries and mushrooms that they gathered together along the way, and here is the Slowpoke tail that they found by the river thanks to Chopin's keen eye – they will taste sweet and savory and rich together. Celia's flame burns bright, heating the pan and the pot, just right to bring out the flavor of the ingredients.

As the savory sweet smell begins to waft from the pot, so does Celia's mood improve. Chopin, too, hoots with her for their dinner to be served.

Thus another day on the road has ended. Or so Luca thought, right before Alfa asks, "Why do you travel with only those two?"

Luca gives the man in white a long hard stare before asking back, "Do I need a reason to be with them?"

"No," answers Alfa. He folds his arms and continues, "It just strikes me as odd how you seem well-acquainted to long travels, except for how you have nothing to defend yourself with in case of an attack from a being of stones and earth."

"A being of… do you mean Rock-type Pokémon?" Luca's gaze turns toward the depth of the cave. There is nothing, for now. "W-Well, we can just run away."

"That plan evidently worked wonders in Oreburgh."

"It worked when we were climbing Mt Coronet!" retorts Luca. "We keep our senses alert for the approach of Rock-types, and with that we can avoid them before it can scale into aggression! We were just unlucky in Oreburgh, especially since Chopin was staying at the Pokémon Center."

"It's arrogance to not account for that unfortunate possibility, Child of Light. Your kind is especially frail."

Luca pouts. From the beginning, they understand what Alfa is saying. They are aware of it. Even so… "It's not like you'll understand," they mutter as they caress Celia's back, sleeping soundly on their lap.

If Alfa heard that rejection, he has decided to give no response to it, as silence deepens between them. The crackles of the campfire are loud in the tense, cold air.

No longer able to bear with that air, Luca asks, "Well, if you're so worried about me, why don't you use the Meadow Plate you got from Sheila? It's Grass-type, right? Perfect for driving Rock-types away."

Alfa only stares at the trainer at first, but he stands up and takes off the ribbon tying his hair – a gesture Luca remembers from when he prepared himself to use the Flame Plate at Oreburgh Mine. There is a rock as tall as him just outside the cave. He raises one hand, and comes his golden wheel, coated with the green of grasses. With a snap of a finger, an emerald shower of light obliterates the rock into smithereens, leaving only a crater where it once stood.

The impact awakens the Pokémon in the area abruptly, including Celia. Chopin returns in haste from his night flight as well. Meanwhile, Luca can only look with a dumbfounded expression on their face.

Alfa tilts his head. "I would rather not, Child of Light. My control over my offensive output isn't satisfying yet."

"Very understandable. Thank you for considering it," replies Luca flatly.

He sits back on his previous spot as if nothing special occurred. While tying his hair, he says, "But Child of Light, perhaps you have yet to notice, but the world… Pokémon won't attack you while you are by my side."

"Huh?" Is what he said true? Luca recounts their journey so far: the Onyx in the Oreburgh Mine attacked when they were separated; the Oreburgh Gate was awfully wet, but otherwise uneventful; small Pokémon flocked to him whenever they stopped to rest; nothing else happened in the road…. He is right. That's a god for you. But….

"Wait. Then that rock…?" They point at the steaming crater outside.

"Oh, I just wanted to know if three Plates are enough to wield my power with accuracy."

That is a god for you. His line of thoughts is incomprehensible as always.

Luca leans back. It's warm with Chopin right next to them and Celia on their lap; they can fall asleep like this. "So you're saying we're actually safe," they say. "So what were you worrying about?"

A slow blink, and Alfa lets out a faint sigh.

"What? We will make do. Me and Celia and Chopin. Us runts gotta stick together."

"Runts?"

It takes a moment for Luca to realize what they have said. When they do, they shift in their place, the comfort they just had now gone. "Yes, runts. I'm not a good trainer, too prone to sentimentality. Runts are what Celia and Chopin were too. But we're not in Johto anymore, and I won't come across Nox here in—"

Celia coos softly. Chopin, too, rubs his beak on his trainer's head.

"Sorry," mumbles Luca. They let out a long sigh. "Anyway, I hope that gave you some ideas why it's not as simple as catching a new Pokémon for me."

"I see," says Alfa. With that simple reply, the conversation ends, though slight tense still lingers on Luca's expression.

Moments later, when both Luca and Celia have fallen asleep, Alfa wakes. When he moves closer to Luca, Chopin notices him and comes approaching with a large gait. The bird bobs his head, watching the deity. A curious mood. To the Noctowl's delight, Alfa gives him a small scratch on the cheek, then under the beak.

Then he stops. He stops and does nothing but gaze at the sleeping trainer. The Noctowl hoots in a low voice, as to not wake them. Alfa nods in response. Minutes pass before he finally speaks, his voice so solemn and delicate as if to be carried by the wind.

"You may have doubts now, but I hope you shall one day see our blessing, for we won't abandon those who believe. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. I promise this, my child, for you are loved."
 
Last edited:

more than a torchic

Top Tier Adobe PhotoshoppingTM skills
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,651
Preferred Pronouns
She/They/He?
A Noctowl flies above the hilly terrains, leading Luca and Alfa to a small cave opening. "Ohh, this is nice!" says Luca when they arrive at the cave. "We don't have to worry about the weather for tonight. Thanks, Chopin!"
Noctowl! :)
The Noctowl hoots in delight and rubs his head on his trainer – smaller than he is – as if saying: Praise me! Praise me more!
This sentence feels a tad bit confusing. That being said, Chopin is very cute.
and here is the Slowpoke tail that they found by the river thanks to Chopin's keen eye
A Slowpoke tail? Uh oh. I hope that tail was shed and not cut off.
Thus another day on the road ended. Or so Luca thought, right before Alfa asked, "Why do you travel with only those two?"
Tense stuff is weird here.
But we're not in Johto anymore, and I won't come across Nox here in—
Here comes Nox again.
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
Gosh I wonder if all will be well In all seriousness, this is some very holy-sounding dialogue. Really works with Alfa's vibe.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
A Slowpoke tail? Uh oh. I hope that tail was shed and not cut off.
It's shed! It's shed!

Gosh I wonder if all will be well In all seriousness, this is some very holy-sounding dialogue. Really works with Alfa's vibe.
Only time will tell. I sure hope that line worked. I was worrying it would sound tryhard or something lmao. Alfa is fun but tricky to write.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
Chapter 9: Through the Forest

At the edge of Eterna Forest, Luca and Celia leave a small inn refreshed, ready to continue their journey. They look around, wondering where their travel companion has gone; they thought he would be waiting outside like the day of their departure from Floaroma Town.

"Well, what should we do now?" wonders Luca. Celia tilts her head – he should show up any moment, right?

Looking around for a little more shouldn't hurt; they keep walking until they reach a signpost. It reads: The Eterna Forest – Where Time Flows Eternally. The incident in Jubilife City comes to Luca's mind: it would be a problem if time didn't flow eternally, or would it not? Nobody noticed that time was disordered at that spot, after all. "I mean," Luca wonders out loud again, "is it even possible to stop the flow of time entirely?"

"If my son died…."

Luca jumps forward, away from the voice, but it was just Alfa. "You!" They point at the man with a grumble, "Where have you been?"

"I could ask the same of you," replies Alfa. "This is not where we promised to meet."

"That's because you weren't at the inn."

"Ah, I went to help this little one." He takes a step aside, revealing the red-headed girl hiding behind him, clutching a sketchbook. One of her twintails is tied into a loop, but the other hangs down free. Judging from her petite figure, she must not be much older than elementary school age.

"Mira's friend is missing," says the little girl. "Her name is Cheryl. She went into this forest several days ago, but she hasn't come out yet. Uhm," She flips over the pages of the sketchbook and shows a crude drawing of a green-haired character to Luca. "This is what Miss Cheryl looks like. Please help Mira find her!"

Luca feels something lurching in them. "Uh, I guess I don't mind keeping an eye open, but kid, shouldn't you report this to the rangers or the police?"

The girl shrinks. "I did, but…."

"She told me that those responsible are busy with… something about a galaxy," says Alfa.

Luca scratches their head. They wanted to take their time through the forest to find and draw the famous Moss Rock, but that would be out of the question if they agreed to help her.

"Listen to your heart, Child of Light. Do you feel no pity?"

At that question, they sigh. "Fine, but only until we reach the other side of the forest, got it? We don't have the supplies to keep looking."

Hearing that, the girl's expression brightens. "Thank you, miss!"

"Not 'miss'," corrects them. "Just call me Luca."

"Child of Light," interjects Alfa.

"Luca. And this small fella here is Celia." Luca makes a gesture at the Cyndaquil, who raises her paw on cue. They take out a Poké Ball from the pocket of their coat and release a Noctowl from it. "And this is Chopin. Chopin, look here, I want you to find…." They trail off as they stare hard at the girl's drawing.

The woman in the picture is green. Very green. Her long, braided hair is a dark green color, and so is the dress she wears. It may not be a polished drawing, but the woman appears distinct regardless. Chopin twists his head upside-down, acknowledging the drawing, before taking off into the depth of the forest.

It's peaceful in Eterna Forest. The chilly air is fresher than at Route 205, and sunlight barely reaches the ground, filtered through the leaves. Alfa asks the wild Pokémon – reverent as always – if they have seen the missing woman. Occasionally Chopin will fly over the group and immediately leave again – a sign that he has yet to sight anything of interest ahead of them.

Right when lunchtime arrives, they come across the Moss Rock in a particularly enclosed area. The sight of Budew and Cherubi relaxing around it almost tempts Luca to stay at their spot and draw, but the faint look of worry on Mira's face reminds them of the problem they currently have on hand.

Cheryl must be someone important to Mira, judging from how she talks about the woman as they make their way through the forest: how her Kadabra and Cheryl's Chansey fought for the first time; how Cheryl admired her adventurer grandfather, but she lacked the confidence to follow his footsteps; how despite that, Cheryl fought with Mira to keep Team Galactic away from their town.

"Wait, mister, you don't know about Team Galactic?" asks Mira when Alfa expressed his confusion.

"Ah, he came from another region," interjects Luca with their stock answer. "His hometown is a pretty backwater place."

"I heard about them from television… but I'm afraid my knowledge is still lacking," admits Alfa.

"Huh… Mira wouldn't have guessed since you dress so fancy, mister."

"Is that so? My children chose this attire for me."

"Anyway, Team Galactic," Luca begins, trying to stir the conversation away from the topic of Alfa's family before he can say anything difficult to explain away. "They're a group of terrorists that caused troubles in this region not too long ago. I heard they wanted to create a new world or something like that."

"They stole people's Pokémon and tried to steal Kadabra from Mira too! Mira won't forgive them!"

"I won't forgive them for bombing Lake Valor and destroying an ancient cave painting in Mt. Coronet."

"Also their uniform is so tacky!"

"It is! Imagine walking around dressed like that! I wouldn't."

"How horrible," says Alfa dryly.

Luca clears their throat, then continues, "Well, apparently their leader went missing and since then most of them have quit, and some are trying to reform, but there are still a few left causing troubles around."

"Mira hopes Miss Cheryl didn't get involved with them…."

When Luca looks up, they spot something flying toward them – Chopin! He hoots and circles several times above the group before flying away again. Soon enough, they can see what the Noctowl spotted: a derelict, abandoned mansion.

"I-It's the Old Chateau…." Mira shudders.

"Old Chateau…." Luca checks the notes on their map. "That means we should be close to the exit to Eterna City now. Well, I guess Chopin was excited about finding a landmark. We should keep going."

However, Alfa stands at his place, staring at the mansion with intent. Luca raises an eyebrow at this, and when they are about to say something to him, he says, "Child of Light, I can sense one of my Plates inside this building."

"In here? Really? Then, Chopin!" The Noctowl flies back toward Luca, and returns inside the Poké Ball as a red light envelopes him. "Okay, let's get going, then. The sun is setting, and I want to leave this forest before it gets dark."

"You have to go without me, Child of Light," says Alfa. Luca, who already has one leg over a broken fence, looks back at him with a clear expression of disbelief. He continues, "This building is populated by spiritual beings, and my presence can be overwhelming for such creatures. If I had a particular Plate, I could wear the same shroud as them, but I suspect it is that very Plate that sleeps in this building…."

Luca stares hard at Alfa before muttering, "…Useless god."

"Hear, now. I merely have no desire to disturb my subjects."

Mira, meanwhile, has hid behind Alfa again. "Are you really going inside?"

"I guess now I have to," answers Luca with a shrug. They jump over the fence, then add, "Besides, this is nothing compared to the Ruins of Alph; that was creepy."

"You can stay with me if you wish, little one," says Alfa to Mira. He turns his gaze back at Luca as he continues, "I will wait here."

"Sure, sure. You better be there and not wander off," replies Luca as they walk through overgrown grass toward the mansion with Celia following right behind.

"One more thing, Child of Light," calls Alfa, stopping Luca in their tracks. "If you find yourself in trouble, do not hesitate to play the Azure Flute. Play it and think of my being. We shall find each other."

Luca looks at Alfa, then at Mira, then at Alfa again. They throw the Poké Ball containing Chopin toward him. "Appreciated. You just make sure to keep Mira safe. Chopin will help."

With that, Luca makes their way toward the Old Chateau. They place their hands on the grand doors, which open with a grating creak for the guests. Come in.
 
Last edited:

more than a torchic

Top Tier Adobe PhotoshoppingTM skills
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,651
Preferred Pronouns
She/They/He?
it would be a problem if time didn't flow eternally, or would it not?
This reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister the other day about timelines in something. Really convoluted out of context.
"If my son died…."
Could this be looking into the future, or thinking of a possibility of what already happened?
"Ah, I went to help this little one." He takes a step aside, revealing the red-headed girl hiding behind him, clutching a sketchbook. One of her twintails is tied into a loop, but the other hangs down free. Judging from her petite figure, she must not be much older than elementary school age.

"Mira's friend is missing," says the little girl. "Her name is Cheryl. She went into this forest several days ago, but she hasn't come out yet. Uhm," She flips over the pages of the sketchbook and shows a crude drawing of a green-haired character to Luca. "This is what Miss Cheryl looks like. Please help Mira find her!"
Ooooh canon characters I see.
"She told me that those responsible are busy with… something about a galaxy," says Alfa.
Oh does this take place during the events of the game? Later I find out that isn't the case.
Occasionally Chopin would fly over the group and immediately leave again – a sign that he has yet to sight anything of interest ahead of them.
The "would" feels like a weird tense change.
"Is that so? My children chose this attire for me."
I like to imagine that, if he was given the freedom to, Alfa would wear the tackiest outfits.
"They're a group of terrorists that caused troubles in this region not too long ago. I heard they wanted to create a new world or something like that."
Oh so it's after the main storyline.
"Also their uniform is so tacky!"

"It is! Imagine walking around dressed like that! I wouldn't."
Putting our priorities straight, I see.
"I-It's the Old Chateau…." Mira shudders.
Oh shit just like in Pokémon: Generations.
"…Useless god."
This is funny.
"Besides, this is nothing compared to the Ruins of Alph; that was creepy."
But the music slaps at least.
Oooooh spooky.
 

silurica

All shall be well
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
93
Reaction score
220
Preferred Pronouns
They/Them
This reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister the other day about timelines in something. Really convoluted out of context.
Fun fact: among other things, I reviewed relativity and spacetime for some interactions and dialogues in this story. I'm still not sure if I understand anything. Physics are wack.

I like to imagine that, if he was given the freedom to, Alfa would wear the tackiest outfits.
Alfa in 17th century fashion lives rent free in my mind.

This is funny.
Thank you not even a god is free from roasting here.
 
Top