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EVERYONE: Mount Coronet (Pokemon Legends Arceus One-Shot)

techitisJ

Pokemon Researcher
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After countless research expeditions up Mount Coronet, Akari thought the sight of the tall peak before her wouldn’t make her heart pound like it was now. She had traversed those rocky cliffs so many times on the back of Sneasler. Heck, supposedly the climb was safer now since Pokemon were far more used to the presence of humans than they were 150 years ago. But Akari’s heart still thundered in her chest, a sound quite reminiscent of Wyrdeer’s hooves beating against the earth.

A loud voice broke through the noise and she turned back, her gaze landing on the man behind her. Ingo almost looked like a completely different person. He appeared to be taller, likely because he was no longer as hunched over as he once was. He wore a black turtleneck, similar to the one under his Pearl Clan uniform, and his long coat was no longer tattered. The bits of hair peeking out of his conductor’s cap were a little bit more well-kept than they had been previously, and he had shaved off his sharp, pointed beard.

“Hello, Miss Akari!” His loud voice boomed over the harsh wind that flowed off of the mountain. Jogging up to her, he tilted his hat. “It’s nice to see you again.”

Smiling, Akari dipped her head. “It’s nice to you too, War- Ingo.” the formality still begged to roll off her tongue, even after all this time. She shook herself out of it, looking up to meet his silver gaze. “I’m glad you could make it, from your text it sounded like your brother really didn’t want you to take this trip alone. It would have been okay if he had come along.”

Ingo nodded. “Yes, Emmet wasn’t so sure about the idea of me leaving again, so soon after returning. I did give him an offer to join us, but the Subway required some maintenance that one of us had to oversee anyway.” As he spoke, he turned to look out at the mountain before him.

Following his gaze, Akari watched the clouds begin to smother the peak of the great Coronet, engulfing the Temple- Spear Pillar in a dark haze. The weather had stated it wasn’t supposed to snow today, yet it was certainly acting like it might. “I can understand his hesitation. My Mom and friends seemed apprehensive when I told them about this trip. They must be worried about us vanishing again.”

The former Pearl Clan warden let out a sigh, “I can see why they would be so nervous then. After all, neither of us can remember what we were doing before we were sent to Hisui.” He glanced over at her, a question in those silver pools of his. Akari nodded. “Very well then, I think we should start our journey up the mountain. From my understanding, the rocky cliffs up Mount Coronet have grown more treacherous, making climbing it all the way up from here impossible. We will be taking a new track through the mountain, one that I do not know. We should proceed cautiously for our own safety. All aboard!” Ingo led the way to Mount Coronet’s Route 208 entrance.

The cave was dim, lit up by battery-powered lamps hanging on the rocky walls. Pulling out a Pokeball, Ingo released the Pokemon inside, a Chandelure. Akari briefly recalled their conversation in Wayward Cave, that day they first met. He had recalled a Pokemon who would have helped them light up the cave: this must have been it.

“So, how has it been, working the battle subway once more? Has it helped you reclaim any more of your memories?” Akari asked as they walked along, looking over at Ingo. He seemed to carry himself differently now too. He must have been working on his posture because of his job as a Subway Master.

Ingo nodded. “A little bit here and there. Emmett has told me so much, but just hearing about the memories doesn’t always make me feel like they’re mine. It has helped though, because when I do remember something, I know the context surrounding it. How about you, Miss Akari? Are you remembering more?”

Akari paused, then shook her head. “I’m in a similar boat. I’m remembering some here and there, but nowhere near what I was hoping for. My friends have tried to tell me a lot too, yet it just doesn’t feel like it happened to me. They just feel like stories.” She met his gaze. “You know, I’m starting to get used to it though, I’m even starting to get used to my nickname again. It’s weird hearing my real name.”

“Nickname? So you go by something different than Akari?”

Nodding, Akari looked forward into the cave. “Yeah. The moment I arrived back in Alola and saw my Mom and friends everyone was calling me Moon. It felt so odd but familiar. When I asked them why they were calling me that, my Mom said that was what I went by, and had been going by since I was 6. Yet when I first arrived in Hisui, the only name I could remember was my own. I think I should probably be thankful for that, though. Being the girl who fell from the sky and having the name Moon would have gotten me even more odd comments and looks,” she laughed.

Chuckling as well, Ingo let off a rare grin. “Yes, that certainly would have put even more unwanted attention on you. I still recall the vicious words from the Pearl Clan when I first left the medial tent and walked around the settlement. My clothes gave me a lot of weird looks, so I quickly abandoned the dress shirt and tie, but getting rid of the coat and hat just felt wrong to me. I now know it was because of my job, and how it tied me to Emmet,” he explained.

Akari shared that sentiment. Despite knowing there was no way she could ever be kicked out of her home and forced to fend for herself again, she still had nightmares of it happening. The harsh voices of Jubilife Village would ring in her ears at night. “It’s weird, you know?”

Ingo looked back at her, as they exited the first cave. They had already made quite some distance going up, but from now on they would be doing more upward climbing, based on the steep curve of the mountain they were about to enter. “What’s weird?” he asked, stopping them there.

Looking back at the Sinnoh region, Akari could still easily recall what this view looked like before it was covered in towns and cities. “It’s weird how even though we’ve been home for almost six months now, our memories of the present are still so weak, but our memories of the past are still so strong. Before we came back, I briefly thought that maybe the same thing would happen, and we would hardly be able to remember our time in Hisui. Sometimes, it’s all I can remember.”

The Subway Boss joined her. “I catch myself thinking about it a lot. Even now, while looking out on the highlands. It’s an area I can route with my eyes closed. I can still picture what these rocky cliffs once looked like, and could probably point out almost any landmark, even the ones that have been lost to the passage of time.” He pointed out a small stream to the East, “That stream was once accompanied by a massive waterfall, which bled into the Fabled Spring.” He directed his gaze down the mountain a little, almost parallel to them. “That was the Ancient Quarry down there, but it was filled in by a rockslide.”

Akari smiled softly, listening to Ingo and watching as he pointed out each landmark to her. She could picture every area in her head, remembering all the Pokemon that hung out in those areas. She stood there, feeling the wind dishevel her short hair.

“Miss Akari?” a voice shook her out of her inner thoughts, and Akari looked up to meet Ingo’s gaze. “Are you alright? Should we change course and go back?” he asked.

“Oh, no, I’m fine. I was just thinking about it, my time in the Highlands. Watching you point out all the places, I was just imagining them. I can recall where practically every alpha would hang out. It’s just amazing that even after six months of being away, our knowledge of Hisui is still so vast,” Akari explained, taking one last look at the view. “C’mon, let’s get going.”

Nodding, Ingo led the two of them forward, his Chandelure adding a little extra light to the cave and fending away the wild Pokemon living within it. Already Akari began to notice how much harder this climb was now that the road up the mountain was steeper. While her mind could remember her time in Hisui easily, it was clear after just 5 minutes of walking like this, her body did not. “This climb would be so much easier if we had Lady Sneasler here to help us,” she commented.

Ingo stopped, and immediately Akari regretted her decision in bringing the Pokemon up. She knew Ingo had been close to the Noble he took care of, and leaving her had been hard for him. “Yes, it would be much easier. She would have even been able to handle the treacherous cliffs outside,” he let off another smile. “I hope the Pearl Clan found a good Warden for her. According to Irida, she’s a rather picky Noble, and seeing her take a liking to me almost immediately was odd.”

It was pretty easy to picture that moment. Akari had witnessed Lady Sneasler just pick up young Sneasels and bring them back to her den with her, claiming them as her own. She probably did the same with the lost Ingo. “Yeah, I’m sure Irida had her hands full with that one,” she giggled.

The two of them paused when they exited the mountain once more, taking a break on a steadier part of the mountain. The land was now covered in a thin sheet of snow, and the time travelers were now being hugged by thick gray clouds. “I was doing some research on the current state of this region, it turns out that the Sneasel and Sneasler we know no longer inhabit these lands.”

Akari felt a wave of sadness rush over her as she was reminded of the fact, “Yeah. I’ve heard. I saw a few Sneasel on Mount Lanakila who resembled the ones I had caught in Space-Time distortion. When I pointed them out to Professor Kukui, he explained how Hisuian Sneasel and Sneasler hadn’t been seen in almost a hundred of years, and are currently considered extinct.” she looked down, clutching her hands into fists.

A hand touched her shoulder, and she looked up, pale eyes wide as she met Ingo’s gaze. “We have to remember that even though it doesn’t feel like it, it’s been a long time since we actually saw those Pokemon. A lot can change in 150 years. Still, recall that the Pokemon world is vast, and there is still so much that has not been thoroughly explored. It’s entirely possible that their species still exists elsewhere.”

Giving the older man a smile, Akari nodded, and the two made their way into the third and final cave that would lead them straight to Spear Pillar, and the one that once brought her to the Temple of Sinnoh. As they walked, Akari searched the wall for the familiar cave etchings that were once scattered across the region, yet they were nowhere to be found. “Professor Kukui said that too. There were several Pokemon in Hisui that no longer exist in the Sinnoh region, but many of them have survived in other regions. When the climate of Sinnoh started changing, the Rufflet and Braviary started migrating to colder regions, as did Basculin and Basculegion,” she explained.

Ingo followed along. “It’s good to know that at least some researchers who have been able to use the knowledge that you, Rei, and Professor Laventon obtained have been able to use it to learn more about the Pokemon that lived in Hisui. Even after all these years, Sinnoh’s first Pokedex still has some use.”

Akari felt her heart warm at the thought, remembering what it was like to hold the complete PokeDex in her hands. It was huge, filled with tons of loose-leaf papers and small notes. She was sure Professor Laventon had eventually rewrote the Pokedex, making it much clearer than the original one.

“It’s good to know that the Survey Corps at least will be remembered in some aspect. I traveled down to Jubilife yesterday to visit the history museum there, and they had a small section dedicated to the history of early Sinnoh. Despite its rich history, there honestly wasn’t much, only barely going into the clans living in Hisui long before the Galaxy Team first moved here. The museum just explained the gist of the creation of the Pokedex, how Professor Laventon built it alongside a small team of people. I have to say, it was weird seeing my name in a museum,” Akari chuckled.

Ingo agreed. “Yes, but if your name hadn’t been in that museum, your friends wouldn’t have been able to figure out where you were, and we wouldn’t have been rescued,” he noted. If it wasn’t for them, we would have-” he broke off, and Akari realized what he was going to say.

Stepping forward to walk beside him, Akari took his hand, guiding him out of the cave. “They found us though. We’re home,” she gave him a smile, and he nodded.

Akari gave the man a moment to readjust himself. “Sorry for the unscheduled stop,” he stood upright once more and gestured at the ruined temple, hidden behind a thick layer of fog. Grinning, Akari followed the man up the hill.

“I wonder what it was like for them after we left. Did Lady Irida and the Diamond Clan Leader stop the feud between the Diamond and Pearl clans as they had hoped to do? Was Captain Zisu able to use my Pokemon partners to teach other people how to battle? Who stayed in Hisui, and who left? I know young Lian or one of his descendants eventually moved to Unova, seeing Gym Leader Clay’s incredible resemblance to him,” Ingo wondered aloud as they made their way up the hill.

Nodding, Akari moved to walk in line beside him. “I recall Beni saying something about moving to a region with a warmer climate, and based on his age, he probably didn’t stay in Hisui too long after we left if he ended up making the move. I think Commander Kamado probably stuck around though, seeing as this region’s Professor resembles him quite well,” she added.

The pair reached the temple, pausing to gaze at the temple before them. It was just as large and intimidating as Akari remembered it, and her heart began to pound in her chest as she could just barely hear Volo’s words in the back of her mind, calling Giratina to strike her down. Shaking herself out of it, she took in the sight. The ruins were in an even worse state than they were when they had left them. The pillars and crumbled statues had been weathered down from the constant storms, making the temple almost unrecognizable. Everything that made this monument the Temple of Sinnoh was gone, and its name was lost, now defined as Spear Pillar.

“Ingo, do you think all our friends will be lost to time as well, like how this temple was?”

The man paused, looking down to meet her gaze. He tilted his hat downward, looking back up at the temple before him. “Unfortunately, yes. In fact, I’m sure some of them already have. Eventually, everyone will, even the people who make their mark on this world. Perhaps the things they accomplished will be remembered, but who they were, their story, will be told less and less. Eventually, it will fade.”

Akari looked back up at the temple, watching as the dark clouds slowly parted, revealing the blue sky. It was a scene reminiscent of that day when she had saved Hisui. “Nothing lasts forever,” she whispered. “At least we’ll still have them in our memories, and while we’re alive, we can continue to tell their story.”

“Indeed.”

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Notes:

Akari and Ingo were able to return home because of a member of the International Police's chance visit to the Hisui exhibit in the Jubilife Museum. They recognize Akari as Alola's missing champion and Warden Ingo as Unova's missing Subway Boss, and together Professor Burnet and her lab, the Aether Foundation, and the International police work to try and bring the two of them home. Basically, they are able to send Nebby through an Ultra Wormhole that leads to ancient Hisui, and Nebby brings the two of them back.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I've been wanting to write something like this since finishing the game, and I'm glad I finally got around to writing it.

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Cross-posted on Archive of Our Own
 
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