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COMPLETE: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Legends Unraveled (Epilogue Posted, Story Concluded) (TEEN)

lucarioknight56

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Thank you all for selecting this story for your viewing enjoyment. This will be my first Pokémon story for here on the forums, and I hope you will all enjoy my first attempt at my work. This features a Riolu (yes, I know, overdone, but no one else would fulfill my role as Lucario pre-evolution) and his uncle, a Lucario, in an adventure. But even this will have a humble beginnings. Welcome to the Equivos Region, my viewers, and behold the mysteries it contains!

Note: The three major changes made to this chapter and subsequent up to Chapter 9 are detailed in post #14.

Awards:
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Chapter 01


Years ago, there were two Pokémon, who had loved each other as brothers. They had done everything together, even when they were young. When they became old enough, they formed an Exploration Team to battle through the treacherous Mystery Dungeons of the Equivos region.


Soon their reputation became astronomical, and they become renowned throughout the region. One of the Pokémon when he evolved became so strong, that he was able to battle the mighty Legends and Myths of the Pokémon World without failure. The other was left to conduct their Exploration Team, which had grown large through their popularity. But this member was jealous for the power and glory that his partner had.

While his friend went on his adventures to battle the mighty Legends and Myths, the jealous ally slowly convinced the Exploration Team to turn against the adventurer when he returned, so that he can be the only one receiving the glory. But when he did return, he proved to be far too powerful for the Team, and in his fear, he had eliminated them all, leaving the Exploration Team with only two members: Himself, and his childhood friend.

In an attempt to bring down the adventurer, the opposing partner attacked the village that he and his ally had been raised in, so as to ruin the source of his partner’s strength: The friendship that they had. The adventurer came as fast as he could to save the village, but it was too late. Almost all had been killed, his loved ones gone.

Once he discovered the culprit of the destruction of his village, he went to challenge the Pokémon he once called ‘Brother’, but to no avail. He went into hiding, so as to avoid the enraged adventurer. And so, in his grief, for the loss of his power, friendship, and family, he ventured the world with no one calling his name in reverence. The rumors of the desecrated Exploration Team, them not revealing the purpose for attacking the team, spread through the region, and eventually the world, causing the ones who once loved him to fear and hate him. He changed his identity, making sure no one knew who he was, still searching for the Pokémon who had ruined his life. Now none cares to even remember what species this adventurer was, or even his partner. And so is the Legend of the Adventurer and Betrayer.

“Is that it? I wanted to hear more about the Adventurer!” A young Riolu asked an elderly Ninetales, whose golden fur was changing to white in her age. The Riolu was like any other, except that he wore a golden-linked necklace with a strange, circular symbol attached as the ornament.

She looked down at the young one and laughed, replying, “No one wanted to remember who that Pokémon was, or even what he had accomplished, after that day. The Legends and Myths themselves, who come to the Harmony Continent every so often, even say they can’t remember who had bested them. Believe me, Laryon, I would tell about his many deeds if I could even remember. That day had caused everyone to forget about him for some mysterious reason. All that remains is a collection of the pieces that Pokémon could remember, which the story I just told you was.” The Riolu, who was apparently named Laryon, looked down, saddened to hear that he couldn’t hear about the Adventurer.

“I wish there was more than that, though. He must’ve been so strong to have even defeated the Legendary Pokémon! Do you think he might’ve gone against Arceus Yarra?” Laryon asked. The Ninetales named Yarra laughed again, amused by the questions that Laryon had.

She then replied, “I don’t know, he may have even gone against the Mythical Hoopa!” She looked over to the west in her resting position, noticing that the sun was setting in the little village of Respit.

Respit was a small development consisting of several houses, a Deposit Box, the Kecleon Shop that distributes goods, and the ever-vigilant teacher of moves, Mienshao. With a population of around twenty, it served as more of a rest station for the exploration teams that served under their guilds throughout the region. Very few came from a different region than that of the Equivos Region, due to the ominous Mist Wall that surrounds it, which only lets Pokémon cross it once in a very long time

Yarra looked back to Laryon and said, “It’s getting late, young Laryon. You had best go home to your mother.” Laryon rolled his eyes as he turned around toward the other houses in the village.

“She’s not my mom, she’s my aunt, remember? See ya!” He corrected as he ran off. Yarra shook her head as she slowly got up, her old joints protesting from age, and walked inside.

“Ah, what old age does to Pokémon such as I.” She mused.

~~~~

Laryon ran past the seven houses, one of which was reserved for explorers, waving to the other children that resided in the village. They liked his company well enough, but most stayed away when their leader, Clera Sneasel, was around; she loathed Laryon for unknown reasons. Regardless, she waved to her, who scowled fiercely back.

He finally made it back home, with the sun just barely poking above the horizon. On top of the hill, which was the foundation of his home, he gazed at the last moments of sunlight. He sat down on the soft grass, so that he could rest from the run from the main village. While sitting, he enjoyed the beautiful last moments of day, while also contemplating the story that Yarra had told.

“I wonder...what the Adventurer was like, before all that bad stuff happened. He must’ve been so strong to even beat legends, but so nice to help all those Pokémon before he went on those adventures.” He wondered aloud. The sun set completely below the horizon, and as it did so, he asked to the sky, “Does he still search for the Betrayer today?”

Another voice called out from the tiny house that was behind him, saying, “Laryon! It’s time to come in! You know what comes out at night!” Laryon looked back and quickly stood up, not wanting to meet the wild Pokémon that come out from the Mystery Dungeons at night, while they change their shape. No one ever goes into Dungeons at night, and it is extremely dangerous to remain in the dungeon itself when the sun sets. So, all the Pokémon inside escape into non-Dungeon areas, such as Respit Village.

Laryon quickly ran inside, other Pokémon in other parts of the village did so as well, and afterward locked their doors. Most nights the wild Pokémon stayed outside of the village, but sometimes they wander in. No taking chances when you’re so close to Mystery Dungeons.

Once inside, Laryon walked over to the room that was connected to the entryway, which was the kitchen. There he saw a Lucario in a pink apron, stirring something in a pan over the stove. She was rather scrawny for one of her kind, but she was stunningly beautiful as well, the spikes on her chest and paws were filed down to smooth points, and her fur shiny and smooth. It was a wonder she never found a mate.

She heard Laryon come in, and in response said, “Good timing, and sweetie, the Wacan Berry Stir Fry is nearly ready. Go clean yourself up, dirty paws are never good to have when eating!”

“Alright Aunt Azure, I’ll clean up! Just make sure to leave some for me, I’m hungry!” He yelled as he ran off to the small stream of running water that ran through the house. The Pokémon who built this were wise to think of this so that there will always be fresh water inside.

After some moments, the Riolu came dashing into the kitchen once more, his appetite reaching new heights as he saw the stir fry set on top of the table, with a protective cloth underneath it. Azure sat herself down, and so did Laryon at an opposite seat.

“Thank the almighty Arceus for the berries and herbs that made this meal possible. Now, let’s eat!” Azure stated. She began scooping some of the delectable meal on her own plate that was on the table.

“Alright, this looks delicious, as usual!” Laryon said as he started scooping some on his own. Just as they were going to eat, there was a click in the door, and when the two heard it, they immediately froze. Azure stared at Laryon in confusion.

She then asked her nephew, “Laryon, you locked the door, didn’t you?” He nodded his head, fear growing in his eyes as he remembered the wild Pokémon that would usually be lurking outside.

The door opened, coming as a surprise for them, and just as quickly as it opened, it closed, with the lock on it being relocked. Azure got up, and went to investigate, her palms glowing a slight blue. Laryon hid underneath the table, himself not being strong enough to handle an attack.

When Azure reached the entryway, she saw a figure clad in brown leather clothing, covering it completely from the neck down, with only a black pair of legs visible at the bottom. The head was covered with a wide brimmed hat, with two holes punched out at the top for two pointed ears. The figure held a staff that was covered with markings, but was otherwise unremarkable.

It raised its arm, which looked alike to Azure’s, only brawnier, and took off its hat, revealing the figure to be another Lucario, which unlike Azure, appeared older with grey fur appearing scattered in its blue and black. It smiled as it put the hat on a peg embedded on a wall, with Azure scowling as she recognized the Lucario.

“Ah, my dear Azure, you never changed that lock after all these years. One could simply flip it with a stick from the outside.” The male Lucario commented as he set the staff against the wall. The lock itself was a simple crooked metal bar embedded into the door and a loop on the frame, so yes, knowing the location of the bar, he could open the lock.

Azure snorted as she took note of his comment. “I never had the need to since no one, wild or civilized, would consider it. Although some see it another way. Like you.” The other Lucario chuckled as he took off the leather coverings, it covered every inch of his body except his legs, paws and head.

Laryon, hearing no fight of any sort, came to see what Azure was doing. He called out, “What’s going on Aunt Azure? Is it someone we know, like Wenstrel the Quagsire?” Wenstrel often goes on absent minded strolls and doesn’t know where he’s going until he’s there. He often doesn’t make it home before dark, but knows how to handle himself with the wild Pokémon.

Azure looked to the other room as she replied, “No, it’s just someone I wasn’t hoping to meet again.” Laryon came into the room and awed at the elder Lucario, there being many scars visible through the dark blue fur.

The Lucario’s jaw dropped as he heard Azure comment in such a way, and he replied, “I am hurt Azure. I came all this way to see my beloved sister after all these years, and this is what I get.” Azure glared at him once more, her eyes narrowing as she thought of how to make him leave.

“Who is he, Aunt Azure? He said he was your brother, so that makes him my uncle?” Laryon asked. His parents had died in an accident when he was only an infant, leaving Azure to take care of him when she received word. He knew that this Pokémon couldn’t be his father.

The Lucario looked down at the Riolu, a glint of recognition appearing in his face. He then replied, his expression turning slightly less lighthearted, “Why yes, I am your uncle. My name is Matheus, but I prefer the name Theus. I came from far away to see your Aunt. And you as well.”
 
Last edited:

lucarioknight56

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Chapter 02

In the Electivire Guild of the Harmony Continent, a messenger Pidove came rushing in, bearing terrible news. It held a rolled-up piece of paper in its claws as it flew through the main gate of the guild, the Pidove calling, “Emergency message for the Guild Master! Let me through!” The guardian Pawniard made no move to stop him, opening the gate to the messenger.

The guild was set in the face of a plateau that was in the middle of the Gigawatt Plains, a massive field prone for many lightning strikes within the continent. The monument was the only structure that was a major change in height for miles, and so was the most ideal area for a fort in the plains. What’s more, due to there being only one single entrance, a reservoir of water and fertile farmland for miles, as well as a good storage plan, this was a place ready for any sort of battle. But there hasn’t been a battle or war for many, many years in the Equivos region.

The Pidove rushed past the Pokémon that crisscrossed through the main stairway, themselves making way for the V.I.M. (Very Important Messenger). The Pidove, whose name was Remus, has long been known throughout the guild as a messenger, despite his forgetfulness. So, if he’s rushing directly to Guild Master Electivire, then it must be important. Of course, there are days that he forgets what the important message is.

When he reached the Guild Master’s Quarters, there was a sudden spark of electricity as a voice roared, “How many times do I have say ‘Do not disturb!’ for people to get it!” The voice came from the almighty Guild Master Aram Electivire, who was widely known for his short temper. And, his terrible anger management.

Remus squawked as he narrowly avoided a well-aimed Thunderbolt from his Guild Master, and when he did, he came crashing to the floor, right next the Guild Master. Aram looked down, and recognized his faithful messenger, his anger cooling and the electricity in his prongs zapping away.

“Ah, Remus, how delightful to see you. You didn’t forget to bring the message this time, did you?” Aram questioned as he picked him up and set him on his feet. Remus often ends up on the floor in the guild.

Remus quickly spat out whilst looking around for the paper, “Yes sir, I brought the message this time, I’m sure of it! Or was I. No, I’m sure I did, it was right-”

“Here?” Aram finished as he picked up the roll of paper from the floor. Remus sighed as he looked down in embarrassment.

“Sorry sir. Can’t seem to remember much of anything now. It was better when I was younger, but now…” Remus explained. He’s never really wanted to evolve to a Tranquill, or more like, he keeps forgetting to visit the Luminous Cavern in the Creation Continent in his time off. Because of that, he retains the characteristic forgetfulness of the Pidove.



While unrolling the paper, Aram replied, “No need to apologize, Remus. It’s not my fault that Pidove are so forgetful. Now, what was this message about…” Remus then remembered why the message was so important, and began hyperventilating again.

“It’s downright terrible, that’s what! It’s in... It’s in... Ah great, I’ve forgotten again! Now what am I supposed to-ugh” Remus blathered out before falling unconscious. Aram shook his head and looked to the ceiling.

“Happens every time. Sarai, you know what to do.” Aram called out. An Audino came walking in with a trolley, and she picked up the fainted Pidove, and wheeled Remus away.

Aram, after pondering a better way to remind poor Remus to evolve, returned his attention to the slip of oh-so-special paper. He began reading, and as he continued, electricity began to course from his tail and head prongs, the sparking becoming more and more furious.

Knowing their cue, the guardian Pawniard outside of the Guild Master’s door quickly slammed the door shut, knowing full well the warning signs of what was to come. Just after they closed the heavy metal door, it sustained the full brunt of a massive Thunderbolt, the metal sparking with power.

“Kidnapping again! Again! Alert Team Rerunen, this requires their attention!” Aram roared. He slammed open the door and yelled, “And don’t you forget it! Graah!” Pokémon in the vicinity quickly ran away, and while they loved their Guildmaster, they wouldn’t dare stand near him in his rages. Whilst in the middle of this confrontation, a Murkrow outside noted the reaction of the Electivire, and quickly flew off.

“All according to the plan. Heh.” It muttered as it flew to the sea.

~~~~

“Ah, what a delicious meal you have made for the three of us, Azure. You have always been a wonderful cook.” Theus announced as he chewed through his plate of Wacan Berry Stir Fry. Azure couldn’t help but smile, despite her bitterness towards her brother.

She then replied, in her usual cheerful tone, “Oh, it’s something that I learned from Wenstrel Quagsire, the local chef. He cooks lots of things for everyone, even if he doesn’t always deliver it to the right person. It’s a good thing he’s a family friend, right Laryon?” Laryon looked up from his food at the mention of his name, and quickly finished up his current bite.

After he gulped, he replied, “Oh yes, Wenstrel is a great cook, and such a nice guy. He’s always wanting us to come over to his restaurant.” He looked back to his food, and continued eating. Wenstrel, despite his absent-minded nature, proved helpful whenever anyone needed help, especially if that Pokemon was Azure or Laryon.



Theus looked to the Riolu, rather pleased that he was doing so well. “And how about your social life? Surely a good lad like you would have plenty of friends." Laryon shrugged in reply.

Laryon replied, “I have no idea. They all like me, sure. They want to be my friends, but Clera Sneasel is their boss. She hates me for some reason, and because of that she wants all the other kids to not even be around me. They do play with me whenever she's not around, which isn't often." Clera hates Laryon with a passion, and no one really knows why. Not even her parents.

After hearing this from Laryon, Theus dropped the fork he was holding and slammed the table. He exclaimed, “Well, if she’s causing that much trouble, let me talk to her. I’m sure she’d change her ways when she sees a face full of-”

“Theus!” Azure yelled before he could finish. Realizing how he was acting, he sheepishly picked up the fork and poked into the food.

He then apologized, saying, “I know, I know, let kids fight their own battles, like how old Dad said. Still, it’s obvious he hasn’t been able to handle it.” Azure muttered after he said what he did, mumbling something about “If this isn’t the fiftieth time he’s acted like this…”

Laryon felt uncomfortable discussing this, so he tried to divert the subject by asking, “So, Uncle Theus-”

“No no no, call me just Theus. Uncle Theus makes me feel old.” Theus interjected. Laryon, chuckling a bit, corrected himself.

“So Theus, why are you visiting us now? Where’ve you gone? Aunt Azure’s never mentioned you before.” Laryon asked. Azure growled as she continued eating. Theus coughed uncomfortably as he cleared his throat.

He then replied, “Well, Azure and I had a... troubled past to say the least. I’d rather not get into details. But I figure that’s why she’s made no mention of me to you, despite my status as an explorer.” Laryon’s eyes grew wider at the mention of the word ‘explorer’.

“You’re an explorer? Where have you gone? How many wild Pokémon have you beaten? Have you heard of the Legend of the Adventurer and Betrayer?” Laryon quickly asked Theus. Once the words ‘Adventurer and Betrayer’ came out of the child’s mouth, Theus’s mood became darker, his eyes narrowing and his black appendages rising an inch or so.

Theus said softly, “Don’t mention that legend again with me around, okay. I don’t like that story for reasons that I do not want to repeat.” Laryon held his tongue as Theus slowly calmed down, and after some moments, the old Theus was back.

He then continued, “Anyways, I’ve been everywhere, lad. Everywhere within the region of Equivos. But don’t think I’m as great as the-” He shuddered a bit, and said, “-Adventurer. I have never been out of the region, nor have I even seen a Legend or Myth, and I have always been a Freelance Explorer, working out of the bounds of an Exploration Team or Guild. I can’t say I’ve ever met the Adventurer either, and if I did, I most likely wouldn’t remember anyways due to the mysterious thing that made everyone forget.” Laryon didn’t really care if he was as great as the Adventurer. Explorers hardly came through Respit Village, and Laryon really wanted to meet more, so that he could hear more stories from outside the village.

Azure commented snidely while eating, “Well, that’s something I’ve wanted to hear for a while. You’ve always prided yourself for being a great explorer, Theus, often boasting that you’re better than the Adventurer. So much for-“

“No need to continue, Sis.” Theus mumbled as he returned to the plate of Stir Fry just waiting to be eaten. Laryon was not content with having a relative of all things not answering his questions.

He asked again, “Are there any good stories you have to tell?” Theus held up his paw as he finished the last bite on his plate. Stir fry that good didn’t last that long with a hungry Lucario in the house. He went to scoop some more out of the pan with his free paw, but Azure batted it away before he could.

“No stories tonight. Suddenly I feel less...eccentric. But I am going to tell you why I came here in the morning.” He explained. He next looked out the window that was on the far side of the room, revealing a pitch-black night sky. “It’s dark out, and I will need my rest if I’m going to tour the village tomorrow, with a wonderful nephew to help.” He got up, stretched himself, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw the necklace that Laryon had around his neck.

He suddenly came next to Laryon, exclaiming, “Do you know where that necklace came from?” Theus pointed at the golden linked chain necklace around Laryon’s neck. Laryon thought long and hard about the trinket, remembering that Azure had given it to him when he was young.

“I got it from Aunt Azure when I was five, but she never told me where she got it from. Do you remember?” Laryon asked Azure. She got up and, with an empty plate, picked up the panful of goodness and brought it away from the table.

“I recieved the pendant from your parents before they had their accident. I believe they originally got it from Theus after one of his many adventures.” Azure said while putting the stir fry in a wooden container. Theus was going to say more, but after a glaring pair of eyes from his sister came into his field of vision, he knew when to stay quiet.

He then continued, “It’s nothing. Just a little treasure I found in a Mystery Dungeon. Now good night. I assume I’m sleeping on the couch. Of course, the guest room…” Azure shook her head at the question.

“You come here without being invited, I have my right to not treat you how I normally treat guests. Now go on, make yourself comfortable on the couch that nobody sits on.” Azure said. Theus, defeated for the night, retired to the couch, which was obvious that no one sat on it because of its non-cushy frame.

Laryon was going to ask one more question, but before he could, snores came from the couch, signaling Theus’s arrival to dreamland. Laryon yawned, and rubbed his eyes, wondering why Theus was so mysterious.

Azure noticed her beloved nephew, and went to him. As she hugged him, she said, “Don’t think that because of the way I treat Theus that I don’t love him. He has just made some mistakes in the past that I can’t bring myself to forgive.” Laryon nodded as his eyelids began drooping.

“How long do you think he’ll stay?” Laryon asked. While in their embrace, Azure shrugged.

She replied, “Who knows. I’d prefer him to leave tomorrow, but knowing Theus, he’ll stay for at least a few days before he goes wandering again. He never stays in one place long. I hope you stay here for a long time. The Mystery Dungeons in between the many villages are treacherous, and I wouldn’t want to lose you to them. I love you too much for that.” Laryon fell asleep in the warmth of his aunt, and within a few minutes, both he and Azure were in their beds, waiting for the events of tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

lucarioknight56

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Chapter 03

Laryon awoke to a loud ‘thump’ as Theus woke himself up. Theus was sleepwalking, and in his slumber, he bumped right into the wall, where the window was hanging open, and the sweet savor of breakfast was coming from the home of Wenstrel Quagsire. Theus groaned, and as he gradually opened his eyes, he mumbled, “What a delicious smell...doesn’t quite smell like Azure’s cooking, but it’ll do.”

Laryon rubbed his face as he said to himself, “Wenstrel gets cooking, and everyone seems to sleepwalk to his home. Even if there’s a wall in the way.” Wenstrel was a prodigy cook, and he always had a full house in his restaurant on a cook day. He would have them more often, if it wasn’t for his wanderings.

As he got up, he felt attracted to the smells coming from the kitchens himself, but he had long before gotten used to the smells. Azure had as well, bumping into the wall just as Theus had in the past. Multiple times at that.

He went out of the room, and Azure came out afterward, asking, “Did you wake up to Theus as well?” Laryon nodded. Azure smiled, and said, “Always happens to a Pokémon when they first smell Wenstrel’s cooking.” She then noticed Theus sniffing out of the window, still sleeping. “How about we go to his house to eat today? Might as well, considering Theus’s obvious desire to try the food. His stomach oftentimes speaks louder than his brain.”

Laryon nodded, then had a dark memory haunt him once more. “Remember the Snorlax who one day who refused to budge out of line after his tenth serving of Cheri Berry Pie?” Azure shuddered in reply.

“Dark day for Respit Village. Hope Theus isn’t like that. He often knocks out after a nice meal. Though he isn’t as heavy as a Snorlax.” Azure continued. She shuffled over to where Theus was hanging out of the tiny window, sniffing the air. He was mumbling something illegible, all except for one particular sentence.

“Mm mm...Must be something with Oran…” Theus mumbled. Laryon, with his sharp ears, overheard Theus, and with a quick sniff, he knew Theus was right. Wenstrel was well known for his Chesto Pancakes with Oran Berry sauce.

Azure, not feeling sympathy for the sleep-sniffing Lucario, promptly pulled him off the windowsill, and gave him a quick slap with her rounded-spike on the back of her paw. He immediately woke up, and yelled, “No, not the backhanded slap!” He looked up and around, and smacked his lips. “Anyways, who’s hungry?” Azure sighed in annoyance.

~~~~

In the home of Wenstrel Quagsire, the smells were overwhelmingly strong. But that didn’t bother Wenstrel one bit as he put in some more salt into the Oran Berry Sauce. He was a standard Quagsire, albeit with some more berry stains, a strangely elongated tail, and a rather pudgy belly. Probably from too many delicious meals. Wenstrel wasn’t that strict of a chef, and always took the opportunity to try his own meals.

Already there was a line out of the door to the house of Wenstrel, and when he gave the magic word ‘Breakfast is served!’, the floodgates loosed. He was near the doorway when he yelled, and so Wenstrel was savagely pounded to the floor as a deluge of feet and pads came from what seemed like everywhere as the sixteen other residents came to retrieve a stack of Chesto Pancakes and a cupful of sauce. Wenstrel came unsteadily to his feet, rubbing his head as best as he could. He said aloud, “I think I’ll feel that tomorrow. Or maybe not. I have a rather thick head.” It made little difference to him as he went around the counters to the ‘hidden’ back door into the kitchen. It’s best not to show people the secret way in if you don’t want them continually wanting food from you.

The kitchen was full of steam, due in part from the large amount of pancakes cooking on the skillet. Wenstrel had only left them temporarily to give the word, and so proceeded to flip them. The sauce needed stirring as well, and so after flipping he proceeded to the sauce. All the villagers would agree that burned berries immediately counteracted the delicious smells of the kitchen.

As he stirred, he mused to himself, “Why must we always be in a rush? It never bothers me if I accidentally burn something.” He never cared too much about the world, as he was of the belief that as long as he was where he was, he was where he needed to be, with no need to do anything except as he felt like it.

Of course, many did not share this belief, and a certain Sneasel named Clera overheard from the other side of the serving counter. "Yeah, but we certainly don't like it if you ruin our breakfast!" Wenstrel sighed quietly, and continued to take more pancakes of the griddle.

All of a sudden, the main doors swung open as a graying Lucario leaped over the counter, yelling, “Gimme some of the sauce!” He then landed on the floor, sliding right into the large pile of Chesto Berry husks across the room, due in part to the slab of butter that was dropped by a sly Sneasel.

Slightly confused, Wenstrel gazed at the moaning heap of Chesto berry husks as the Lucario shook himself out of it. It pointed to the crowd on the other side of the counter and yelled, “I say! Who put that butter on the ground! I know it was one of you!” Wenstrel, after removing the last of the pancakes, waddled over to him and helped him out by grabbing onto his pointing paw.

“Good day to you, whoever you are. I take it you want some food. I hope you aren't like the Snorlax from a couple years ago." Wenstrel stated as the Lucario stood up. He shuddered at the mention of the Snorlax. Dark day for Respit Village.

“Well, I am rather famished right now. Can I have a nice stack of pancakes?" The Lucario asked as he shoved husks back into the pile. Chesto berries were extremely hard, so they needed to be peeled before they could be used. Hence the pile.

The door swung open, this time without a hungry Lucario rushing into the mix. A familiar youthful voice called out, saying, “Excuse Theus, Wenstrel! He’s a bit strange!” Wenstrel, with a sparkle in his tiny eyes, came rushing out of the kitchen door to greet his friends.

"Hello Azure and Laryon! So nice to see you today! How would you like some Chesto Pancakes with Oran Sauce? Fresh off the griddle!" Wenstrel cheerfully greeted as the Lucario and Riolu made their way to the dozen tables outside of the kitchen.

"That would be lovely, Wenstrel! Thank you so much, you're always so kind!" Azure replied. She seated herself elegantly at a chair pulled out by Wenstrel. Laryon pulled out his own chair, it being taller than himself, and sat down on it eagerly.

He then commented, "Where's Theus? I saw him run into here." Just as he said that, there came a howl of pain from the kitchen.

"Ow, my knockout paw! Why do pots always have to burn?" Theus exclaimed in agony from the kitchen. Wenstrel smiled and shook his head.

"Always nice to hear another lesson learned." He commented as he walked off into the kitchen to help Theus with the Oran Sauce.

Laryon looked around at the familiar home of Wenstrel Quagsire, which doubled as a restaurant when he felt like he wanted to cook. The extra-long counter where Wenstrel deposited finished food ready for serving was to his right, and on the other side was the kitchen. The only (visible) way there was through the door to the right, which was generally left alone for Wenstrel's use. There was another doorway a little ways past it that led to Wenstrel's living space, which was kept locked most of the time.

Azure sighed in slight boredom, wondering what was taking Wenstrel so long. She looked to the counter, and saw several stacks of pancakes, as well as several pitchers of the Oran sauce. She then heard a small cry of pain, and soon after Wenstrel came out of the kitchen, massaging his head.

"I may have a thick head, but that doesn't mean I won't have a headache from over a dozen Pokemon trampling over me." He explained. Most villagers lined up to Wenstrel's place to eat his delicious food whenever he was home, and was in a cooking mood. They also rushed after it like a pack of starving Poochyena attacking a Pidgey.

Azure laughed slightly, and replied, "Well it certainly doesn't help that you stand right in front of the door when you tell everyone that your meal is ready." Laryon looked around for a solution for Wenstrel's issue, as no one deserved to be thrown down like a rug.

He then saw a little alcove next to the main door, which appeared to be just large enough for Wenstrel. "What about that little space there?" Laryon pointed out, directing to the alcove. "It's next to the door, and you won't be in the way of everyone when you call out meal time.

Wenstrel processed this through his head, and shrugged. No reason why not to try it. "Might as well. I wouldn't mind not having a headache every time I make breakfast, lunch or dinner for everybody."

Theus poked his head out of the kitchen door, and satisfied that no one was around it, he retreated back into the kitchen. He then kicked the door open, carrying a stack of cakes that was at least three times the size of the other stacks (which were usually two to three pancakes), and it was covered with Moomoo Cream, various types of sauce, and even Apricorns.

Azure shook her head in disappointment, while Laryon stared at it in amazement, in which Wenstrel continued thinking of the alcove, not caring about the slightly emptied larder. "Always trying to top everyone else, right Theus?" Azure commented.

Theus gave a sniff of mock approval, and began cutting into the pancake on top of the stack. "Doesn't mean I can't have breakfast how I like it..." Theus muttered.

Theus was busy chewing through a bite of pancake when Laryon asked, "So Theus, why'd you come here? Did you want to give us a story about one of your adventures?" Theus looked around, seeing that no one gave much attention to him as they ate.

He swallowed, and replied, "In good time, Laryon, in good time. I wonder, why does nobody here show any interest in strangers? Surely in a small place like this you'd notice an extra Pokemon." Laryon thought of why that might be the case.

"Simple really. We've grown not to get used to having travelers coming by, so much so that even if there is one, we don't pay any attention to them...unless they do something to earn it." Azure replied. She was smiling at him with a knowing look as she said so. Theus's eyes beamed, and he set his plate on the table, then afterwards he strode up a behind burly Machamp, and tapped his shoulder for attention.

"Good morning, sir!" Theus greeted. The Machamp looked behind him, and seeing Theus, he grunted in reply, and continued eating.

Theus's cheerful demeanor changed into a more casual one, and so he continued, "I'd like to challenge you to a friendly fight, mister…?” The Machamp looked behind him once more, glaring at Theus.

“Serling. Now beat it. It’s not exactly fun to watch the Mischievous Forest entrance for an entire day. I like it when I get a break here.” The Machamp grumpily replied. Theus snorted in contempt, and continued back to Azure, Laryon and Wenstrel.

As Theus came over, Laryon smirked, and replied, “Ever since Serling was elected for watching the entrance, he’s been sour like this. At least Max visits him every so often, or else we wouldn’t be around him.” Max Machop was one of the six children in Respit, the others being Farce Dunsparce, Laryon, Presing Pancham, Erika Kirlia, and Clera Sneasel.

Theus sat himself down in front of his stack of pancakes, and began eating them once more. “I remember seeing that fellow when I came into the Village. Certainly seemed like he was having a fun time, in dreamland that. Snoring like a stuffed Spoink he was.”
 
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lucarioknight56

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Chapter 04

Talk continued at the table, and as they spoke, customers gradually left, eating their fill of Chesto Pancakes. The first to leave was Serling the Machamp, who remained irritated until his son Max came next to him, which brightened up his day immensely. He enjoyed dueling with his strapping young Machop.

Wenstrel was currently trying out the little gap in the wall, and testing out its effectiveness as a haven from oncoming Pokemon. He sighed happily, thinking of how he could cushion the area, and make it the best spot to be for food rushes.

During his experiment, Clera Sneasel, with a mischievous gleam in her eyes, yelled aloud, "All full! Compliments to the chef, and I hope that his day goes off with a bang!" She then ran from her table, and ran to the entrance. She swung open the door, biffing poor Wenstrel across the face with the indoor handle. Clera cackled as she ran along the path to the home of the Weaviles, her parents.

When the door swung back, Wenstrel was trying his best massage his face to remove the pain. Azure and Laryon ran over to help their friend, while Theus finished off the last pancake that remained on his stack. He looked over to them, with a puff of Moomoo cream on his face, and exclaimed, "I say, that was a foul thing to do! I take it that that was Clera, the sneaky Sneasel." Laryon looked over to the door and frowned.

"She's nothing but a bully to everyone but her mom and dad. Some time I wish that she'd get what she deserves." Laryon said annoyedly. As Wenstrel held his head, Azure and Laryon brought him over to a chair next to the table they were at.

While doing so, Azure replied, "While I try my best to like most Pokemon," She glared at Theus, who shrank back in innocence, then continued, "I simply detest that girl. She certainly likes to cause trouble, and nothing else. She's been particularly loathsome to me and Laryon, though we don't really know why..."

Theus continued with another bite of his breakfast after Azure averted her eyes back to Wenstrel. He then mentioned while eating, "Reminds me of some other adventures I've had, at other villages, that Clera." Laryon heard the word 'adventure' mentioned, and then suddenly went from massaging Wenstrel's head to sitting eagerly at the table.

"Will you tell us a story now?" Laryon queried. Theus finished his meal, and then got himself ready to share a tale, by clearing his throat and straining his mind for just the right venture.

Amid his pain, Wenstrel asked, "You're an Explorer, eh? Ooh...this hurts...anyway, what Guild do you work under?" Azure looked up from Wenstrel's head and looked to Theus, with a knowing look in her eyes. Theus bristled with annoyance.

“I don’t work under any Exploration Guild. I work under my administration. No busybodies and control freaks for me. And I don’t work with a Team either, so no need to ask. I work by myself as a Freelance Explorer, and I earn every Poke myself, and spend it all myself. No taxes!” Theus yelled. Most everyone had already left the building, but the few remaining quickly turned back, glaring at Theus, and when he shrunk back into his seat, they continued.

Laryon, thirsty for adventure, asked, “So what stories do you have? I’m sure you have plenty with how long I think you’ve been exploring.” Theus perked up and thought hard for a good tale for the ten-year-old. Even for a sister and a pained acquaintance.

He immediately thought of a great one, and he began it by saying, “In the far away Wayfare Continent, I was tasked to rescue a Teddiursa for a mother Ursaring in the middle of the impossible Darkness Mountain. The toddler had somehow managed to make it midway up the massive monument, and so I was truly challenged that day. I entered into it, and immediately I encountered...a Monster House!” The three gasped as they remembered from Mienshao’s teachings the terror of encountering a Monster House. Dozens of Wild Pokemon crowded into a single floor made it practically impossible for the explorer to continue.

For added suspense, Theus paused, but Laryon called out, “Come on, what happened next!” Theus held up his paws in apology.

“Calm yourself! Anyways, I was in a Monster House, and immediately I charged towards the nearest tunnel, knowing that even with my experience, I wouldn’t stand a chance against the myriad of Dark Types within the area. After some well-placed Aura Spheres, Force Palms, and a good rap to the head with my staff, I finally reached the stairs. It wasn’t all that difficult after that, until I reached the poor Teddiursa.” Theus continued. He stood up on the table to demonstrate how helpless the Teddiursa was.

But he was quickly pulled down by Azure as she came around the tables to control her brother. “And he quickly discovered that an Aerodactyl had taken it to its lair, and so he just barely escaped with his and the toddler’s life! It continued chasing him even out of the dungeon, until he finally reached the town where the Teddiursa’s mother was! The end!” Theus grumbled as he reseated himself, while Laryon cheered. There was apparently a demand for stories, even short ones.

“That was my favorite part…” Theus mumbled. Wenstrel had wandered away during the story, and afterwards he came back in, with a tray of Pecha tarts in his flippers.

“Anyone hungry for more breakfast? These tarts are a specialty.” Wenstrel explained. He set them onto the table, and everyone grabbed one, two for Theus. Laryon noticed that Theus grabbed one of the black tarts, and he grimaced as he remembered what it was.

Before he could explain, Theus announced, “Thank you, kind sir. Sorry about what happened earlier with me leaping over the counter and all. But, the breakfast was worth the Chesto husks. Cheers!” He then chomped into the black tart, and paused.

Laryon then told Theus, “Um…Theus. That was a burnt Pecha Tart. Usually Wenstrel throws those away, but he tends to forget at least one or two…” Theus looked down at the tart, and in a flash, runs off outside, yelling one thing:

“Water! Get me some water!” He yelled. Wenstrel rotated around to the doorway, appearing unconcerned.

“He’ll be fine I’m sure. A burnt pastry never hurt anybody.” Wenstrel mused. He turned back around to the rest of his customers, and added, “Theus seems like a nice fellow. Who is he exactly however?" Azure sighed, and set down the pastry on the table.

She replied, “He just came into the house last night and invited himself in. He’s my brother, an Explorer who never stays in one place for long. He said that he’d tell us why he’s here in Respit-”

The doors flung open and a rather jovial Theus announced, “Water from the river can do wonders for a Pokémon!” He came back to where he was sitting, and continued, “I heard something about me telling you why I came here. I have sharp ears, you know.” Azure groaned as she continued.

“Well, I was saying that you were an explorer who never stayed in one place long, and that you’d tell us why you came to Respit in the morning, which is now!” Azure exclaimed. Theus, as he was grabbing another one of the Pecha Tarts, making sure it wasn’t burnt, looked around the table as all eyes turned to his.

He cleared his throat, and said, “Well, I came here for a myriad of reasons. First off, it’s closest to where I, Azure, and Laryon’s father grew up, in the old Quantus Village. It’s since been...extinguished, being destroyed by a stampede of wild Pokémon one night…” Azure glared at him as he said so, Theus watching his tongue with that particular subject. He continued, “Secondly, when I heard from some wayfarers leaving from here, that there was a kind Riolu wanting some more explorers to come through Respit, I figured that he was my brother’s son, Laryon. Lucarios like myself, or Riolus like Laryon, are rather scarce in Equivos.”

Laryon pondered, as did everyone (though not so vocally), “So you came here to see if you’re suspicions were right?” Theus nodded, taking a small bite out of the tart.

“Yes, so I did. I haven’t seen the family for a long time, and if Laryon was there, Azure must be there as well, seeing as she was the only other Pokémon who would take care of him.” Theus explained. He looked over to her, and she turned away. “Of course, it’s been some years since I’ve seen her, and the last time I met her, we got off on the wrong foot. I had been wanting to make amends, but I’ve been unable to find her until yesterday.” Azure, now curious, turned back towards him.

She then asked, “How would you ‘make amends’ after that day?” She looked carefully around the room, and continued, “I don’t want to repeat what happened, but suffice to say, it was enough to make me never want to see my brother again. How could you-” She pointed at Theus, “-redeem yourself after what happened!” He sighed, and set the tart on the table.

Theus then finished, “When Laryon’s parents died, I felt terrible for what had happened, myself feeling partly responsible. I don’t know why, but I do.” There was another glare from Azure. He continued, “But I want to make up for it, and after hearing about Laryon’s interests, I know just how to make up for it: I want to train him to be an Explorer.”

~~~~

Deep in the Serenity Continent, the place where Respit Village lies, another village is being investigated by the renowned Team Rerunen. Aram Electivire received word from the Dragonite Guild about more kidnapping incidents, only this time it was significantly worse. The events here at the remains of Dreaw Village was clear evidence of that.

Dred Blaziken, Leader of Team Rerunen, was investigating the charred remnants of the clock tower of Dreaw, realizing that there was more than a burned building here. He called out, “Zaman, come here, you need to come see this!” A Xatu came from another part of the village, ignoring the other Pokémon that were looking for survivors, and he came close to the burly Blaziken.

“You called, Leader Dred?” The Xatu asked in a monotone.

Dred stood up and walked away from the zone, explaining, “There is more than ash here. From the looks of things, a Pokémon. These bandits didn’t settle with kidnapping children this time. Can you look into the past to see what happened here?” Zaman closed his eyes, his wings outstretched as he focused on the time.

In the cloudy pieces that Zaman could witness, he saw a Lopunny desperately running away from a Gengar that was in pursuit of the bundle of fur in her arms: Her young Buneary. The Gengar, although not strong against the Lopunny, continually chased her until she ran into a massive Magmortar. It cackled as it tore the Buneary from her grasp, the mother yelling, “Why are you doing this! We have done no harm! The children-”

“Will be put to good use under our care, fool. The Empowerment Project is in full force, and we need all the young souls we can get. Not that it will concern you...anymore.” The Magmortar said as he set his flamethrower on the Lopunny, from which she couldn’t survive.

After his job was finished, the Magmortar muttered to the Gengar something illegible from the vision, but two words were clear from it: Respit Village.

Zaman’s eyes flung open, and he turned back to Dred. He said again in his monotone, “Terrible things have happened here. These Pokémon who are the culprits have been working for the ‘Empowerment Project’, and I can make an educated guess as to what their next target is: Respit Village, which I know is at least twenty miles from here, past the Mischievous Forest Mystery Dungeon.” Dred closed his eyes in despair. Why in the world would Pokémon do such a thing?

He opened his eyes again, flaring with determination, and ordered, “Team Rerunen, March to Respit Village! We must stop the Empowerment Project before they reach it!”
 
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lucarioknight56

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Chapter 05

“No! Absolutely not! I will not let you!” Azure yelled as she slammed the table. She then proceeded to name every reason why Laryon should not go with Theus, and in the midst of this, Laryon's consciousness dwelled on the prospect on learning the trade of an Explorer.

First, he thought of what he would gain from this. He would finally become the one thing he had always revered: An Explorer. Learning from Theus, who was an accomplished one, he could be great. And he'd get to see the world. And what more, he could learn about his Uncle Theus. He had proved to be someone with quite a history behind him. Even more than this, he could discover why Azure disliked Theus so much...and why it seemed like he wasn't telling the full truth sometimes.

He looked down at the pendant around his neck, which glinted off sunlight as it hit it from the nearby window. Theus seemed to want to tell him about it last night, but he halted because of Azure. Besides, he was quite familiar with what Kecleon usually retrieved from dungeons, even if he doesn't really know what they do. He asked the shopkeeper, and Kecleon had said so that Mystery Dungeons don't produce works like the pendant. He wanted to know what it truly was, and why he had gotten it.

Laryon looked over to Wenstrel, Azure and Theus. Theus was having a hard time trying to reason with his sister, as she left little room for him to explain himself. She was very defensive about the prospect of Laryon adventuring with Theus, due to the fact that she knew a lot about Theus’s past. She knew all the mistakes that he would make.

The Riolu sighed as he realized that even if Azure was willing to let him go with Theus, he didn't want to leave her. Ever since his parents had died, she had cared for him, even if he can't remember how she came to be with him. He was hardly walking when he came into the care of Azure.

Over at the Adults’ area, Theus was trying to explain why it was a good idea, but in the window behind him, a Murkrow was peering inside, making careful observations. He took interest in the older Lucario, Theus…

He heard a rustle of trees in the distance, and quickly flew off in the direction of it. He said to himself whilst flying, “Master Magmortar will take special interest in the Lucario and his companions. Maybe he will consider sparing them...that pendant…” He trailed off, and flew off into the distance, right where the Mischievous Forest was located…

Theus felt a tremor within him, and suddenly stood upright from the table. He looked out the window, and looked closely at the gate to the Dungeon. Azure, curious as to why he was looking in that direction, asked, “What’s the matter? Something catch your attention? Something that’s more important than what’s happening right now?” Theus appeared to have ignored her, and closed his eyes. Moments after, they snapped open.

He exclaimed, “I need to get ready! Everyone else, hide!” He ran out of the restaurant, and he left dust behind him as he raced to the home of Azure.

After some moments, Azure tilted her head in confusion, and asked, “What was that about? Did he feel the need to play a game of hide and seek?” Laryon, who ordinarily would have laughed, felt disturbed in some way as well. There is something odd afoot…

Wenstrel replied, “Hmm, I remember some years back that you had said that Lucarios are sensitive to disturbances in Aura, the force that’s in all things living. Maybe he felt something?” Wenstrel recalls random pieces of information every so often, just stating them when they float into his mind.

Azure replied, while focusing her thoughts on the Aura surrounding her, “I remember saying something like that, yes. Only trained Lucarios can feel such disturbances. Most do feel a sense of...foreboding, I guess? It’s hard to describe, considering that they don’t happen often.” She suddenly felt a spike in the aura, and the trees in the background shook.

Laryon noticed the trees, and he trotted over closer to the window. He then nervously asked, “Did anyone else notice the trees shake?” Azure stood up, and peered closely into the trees.

“Something is not right…” Azure murmured. Out of the blue, a Rampardos charged through the gate into the village, wrenching out of the soil several trees. Serling the Machamp, who was watching the gate from a distance, came charging towards the Rampardos, to interrogate and, if necessary, fight it.

He never got the chance, as a wild Pin Missile flew from behind the Rampardos, and embedded themselves into Serling. He fell to the ground, unconscious from the strike.

Azure felt the disturbances, and with eyes widening in fright, she grabbed Laryon and put him on her back, then exclaimed, “Wenstrel, hide yourself! Those Pokémon mean harm!” She then exited the restaurant with Laryon protested, insisting that Wenstrel come.

“Wenstrel can’t protect himself, he can’t fight! He has to come with us!” Laryon yelled. Azure knew that Laryon would want Wenstrel to come, but she knew he couldn’t.

Azure looked behind her as she ran to her home, seeing Wenstrel peer out of the doorway, nod to her, then retreat into the restaurant. Azure felt a pang of regret for Wenstrel, but pressed on, replying to Laryon, “Wenstrel is not so quick on his feet like I am, so even if he did come. He couldn’t keep up!” Laryon looked behind him, and saw the home of Wenstrel Quagsire being bombarded by a slew of malicious Pokemon, crawling into the abode from every entrance they could find.

Laryon looked back toward his own home, which was still quite far away. “I hope he’ll be alright. Those other Pokemon certainly don’t look like they’d treat him well if they found him…” Laryon quietly mentioned. Azure overheard, and then she wished that Wenstrel could have come with them. It was practically a death wish for him to stay behind.

Along the path back to the home, a Gengar took notice of the three runaways, and with a morbid chuckle, he pursued Azure. Azure noticed the ethereal Pokémon and ran faster along the path home. Other villagers took to running as well, though not to their homes. They all made way to the opposite exit, to the Were-Forest, a more treacherous Mystery Dungeon than the Mischievous Forest. It was almost never explored, since almost all who enter get trapped in the night, when the Dungeons change shape.

She looked behind her, and noticed the Gengar was gradually coming closer, its legs taking far greater strides than they originally appeared. She turned her head back forward, and saw the home within reach.

She said to Laryon, “Get ready to use Shadow Claw when the Gengar gets close!” He looked behind him, and saw the Gengar getting steadily closer. He positioned himself to where he could go strike it, pushing Dente slightly, and held out his paws. He learned Shadow Claw thanks to Kecleon’s kind offer to sell him the TM when he had it in stock, and under the recommendation of Azure to learn the move.

The Gengar finally came within reach, and Laryon swiped at the ghost, causing a wave of dark energy to sear into it. It roared in pain and lagged behind, clutching at the claw marks that lay embedded in its chest.

“Nice shot! That Gengar will feel that for a long time!” Azure cheered.

Laryon, feeling proud of himself, stuck his tongue out at the creature, which howled as it ran away in the opposite direction. He stated, “Ha! The coward’s running away! Can’t take a scratch, you purple freak?” He nearly fell out of Azure’s grasp, and after steadying himself, remained quiet.

“We’re nearly to our home, Laryon! We need to get supplies and hide in the Were-Forest with everyone else!” Azure called. Laryon quickly looked back behind, and saw that no one will hide with them that day.

He saw the evil Pokémon taking all the children, and killing their parents. The Pokémon committing the murder cared not for the parents and only for the children. Clera was in tow with her parents, the Weaviles, and they were the only ones to survive thus far.

Azure finally made it to the house and dropped Laryon from her back. “Come on, go inside! We’ll be safer in there!” She opened the door and rushed inside, as did Laryon.

She went into the kitchen to prepare supplies, when she came across Theus quickly packing berries and leftovers into a satchel. He was dressed in his leather clothing, and his staff was leaned against the table.

“Ah, there you are! I was worried that you didn’t survive! Now come, help me pack! I’ve got the basic camping supplies; just get something like Reviver Seeds!” Theus exclaimed while packing. Azure groaned in annoyance.

“Do you think we would even need Reviver Seeds in a place like this? We have never had an attack!” Azure replied in an annoyed tone. Laryon remembered what Reviver Seeds were from Kecleon when he was describing the stock he received from his brothers. They had the capability of reviving a Pokémon just once if it fainted, or worse, died.

A question kept nagging on Laryon’s mind, and to get rid of it, he asked Theus and Azure, “What do those Pokémon want from us? They’re killing everyone except the kids like me! They’re taking them away back into the forest!” Theus quickly glanced back as he continued stuffing everything he could from the cabinet into the satchel.

He replied, “I don’t know, I don’t know anything at all. All I know is that when the Aura spiked, I knew immediately something was wrong. I’ve learned from my years of exploring that when there’s a disturbance that large, I need to prepare for the worst…hence the satchel.” Laryon sighed, and looked out the window next to the doorway, and quickly hid out of view, his eyes wide with fright and himself breathing quickly.

“G-g-guys! T-there’s someone out there! Someone s-scary looking!” Laryon stammered out. Theus looked up, the hat on his head covering the top of his eyes, grabbed his staff, and slowly stepped to the door to investigate.

Azure, feeling satisfied that there was enough, hefted the bulging sack and proceed to walk towards the doorway. “We need to get out and go to the Were-Forest. It’s the only other real exit out of here. The mountains surround everywhere else!” Azure hoarsely whispered. The two forests were the only way out and in only because of the mountains that surround the non-Dungeon forests. As the enemy Pokémon was coming from the Mischievous Forest, the Were-Forest was the only way out.

“But I thought you said we shouldn’t go in there! Anyone who goes in never goes out!” Laryon replied fearfully. Azure stopped before the doorway, and sighed in regret.

“It’s either that or facing the attackers. We’ll die if we try to go against them, and they would take you as they did with the other children. I can’t let that happen, never on my life.” Azure replied. She continued towards the door, until Theus peered out of the window.

He looked out of it, and saw a Magmortar staring right through it. Theus leaped back in surprise, and hid away just as Laryon did. The Magmortar sneered, and it sunk the claws in its left arm into itself, and the flame within began to fume out. Theus sensed the danger, and so he grabbed Laryon and pushed Azure away, yelling, “Get away from the door!”

The door was suddenly engulfed in flame, and within seconds it was ash. The Magmortar outside chuckled maliciously, and stomped into the doorway. Theus hid his face and held his staff out defensively, meaning to protect his friends. The Magmortar cocked his head, and shrugged. It then slowly said in a deep voice, “I’ve been looking for you...Matheus.”
 
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lucarioknight56

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Chapter 06

Theus kept the staff upwards, and stammered out, “N-no, you’re wrong! My name is Theus, and I-”

“The removal of two letters doesn’t change who you are Matheus. Come with me peacefully, and I assure you...none of your friends or family will be harmed.” The Magmortar sneered. He raised his flame cannon, the fire inside glowing as it charged.

Theus, unsure of what to do instead, lunged forward and knocked the cannon towards the ceiling. The Magmortar fired out of surprise, and created a gaping, burning hole in the roof, making a way outside. He jumped on top of the Pokémon, and jumped out of the hole. He looked down and said, “Come up, quickly!” Azure grabbed Laryon, mumbling about why she must carry all the luggage, and with struggle jumped on top of the Magmortar to reach the hole. She narrowly dodged his claws, and while avoiding the flames now searing into her home, she followed Theus out into the open.

The Magmortar roared in rage, and stomped out of the house and towards the four escapees. He muttered while in pursuit, “After all these years, I, Maxim Magmortar, have found Matheus, and then he runs away again!” He then realized that there was no way that someone of his bulk and speed could reach the Lucarios, and so yelled toward the gathering horde behind him, “I have found Matheus! Capture him at all costs!” Most of the Pokémon heard him, and began to run in the direction of Theus and Azure. The only two Pokémon left, two Escavalier, were left to guard their prisoners: A Sneasel (the Weaviles sadly lost their beloved Clera, but they instead escaped, vowing to return), Dunsparce, Kirlia, Pancham, Machop, and oddly a Quagsire. All but him lay frightened to see their home demolished, their parents gone, and being imprisoned by strange Pokémon.

The Quagsire simply sighed, and said, “Such is the life of Wenstrel Quagsire.”

Back at the pursuit of the Lucarios, Theus hit one by one the Pokémon that got close to his family and friend, whether it be an Aura Sphere, a well-placed punch, or good whack with his staff. After hitting a rather unlucky Mightyena with a Sphere, he panted, “There’s too many! I can’t hold them off!” Azure looked back behind her as best as she could with the load. Theus was purposely running behind so that he could protect the threesome.

“We’re nearly at the entrance to the forest! Hold on!” Azure replied over the clamor of Pokémon. The Were-Forest came into view, and as Laryon saw it, he instantly dreaded going in there. The very existence of the forest seemed to protest the natural laws that the region had set.

“W-we can’t go in there! It’s haunted, I can feel it!” Laryon yelled. Azure took no notice of them, and continued running to the forest. She was breathing heavily now, unaccustomed to the increased weight of both the satchel and the young Pokémon when running. She usually ran by herself when she felt like it. She was never all that strong.

At the entrance to the Were-Forest, Azure finally stopped for a breather. “We...we came this far...where’s Theus?” Azure panted. Laryon hopped off of her back to get a clearer view. With the lack of burden, Azure felt the need to let go of the satchel to rest, and so she did, setting it on the ground.

“Look, over there! He’s in trouble!” Laryon exclaimed. He pointed over to the horde of sixty or so Pokémon, where Theus was single-handedly facing against them. He had shed the staff, tossing it aside, and instead fought using more of his natural abilities. He blasted Pokémon everywhere with Aura, and tossed aside other Pokémon with his melee abilities. She knew, deep inside, and knew that he was stronger than this, years ago.

She replied, “He’s been an explorer for most of his life, Laryon. These Pokémon are obviously inexperienced in the art of war, and he has faced against countless other Pokémon of equal skill. He can handle himself.” She was confident, along with the others, until a Magmortar came into view, along with a Gengar.

The two shoved past the other Pokémon in the fray, which were still rushing towards Theus. He was skillfully dodging and hitting at precise moments, but he was slowly making things more and more close to failure. He was growing tired, and soon would collapse.

Azure’s face gradually looked more concerned, and when the Magmortar and Gengar came right next to Theus, she yelled, “Get out of there! There’s too many!”

Theus looked back and realized she was right. He was so caught in the moment of fighting that he didn’t care how large the mob grown. And so, he batted the Magmortar across the head with his staff, which he had recently picked up again, and ran to Azure and Laryon to escape into the forest.

As Azure was picking up the two bundles of burden, the Magmortar looked down to the Gengar at his side and ordered, “Gregorius, pursue them!” The Gengar smiled, and ran to capture his prey.

As Theus made it to the entrance, he wheezed from exhaustion, and announced, “I’m in no shape to fight anymore...get into the forest!” Azure gladly complied, but before she could begin to enter, a shadow loomed behind Theus.

“Theus, behind you!” Azure shrieked. Theus looked behind him too late, and saw Gregorius with his arms wide open.

Azure dropped Laryon and the satchel to push Theus out of the way. She ran into him, shoving him aside, and ended up in the clutches of the Gengar. She was pinned completely, and could not move her arms or legs.

Gregorius groaned, not getting the prize he had been wanting. But he settled with this Lucario, and glared evilly at Theus. “Mine! All mine!” He roared.

Laryon looked in shock as Azure struggled to get free. She had to leave with them, or else he wouldn’t go. Azure needed him, just as much as he needed her. He cried in despair, “Theus, do something! He’s got Aunt Azure!” Theus lifted his staff achingly, and just as he was going to strike, a mob of Pokémon appeared behind Gregorius.

“He’s ours now, boys! Matheus has nowhere to run!” The Magmortar exclaimed. The mob cheered altogether as their prize was within reach. But Theus wouldn’t be so easy to capture.

He grabbed the satchel and Laryon as quickly as he could, with Laryon hanging upside down in his grasp, and went running into the forest. Laryon yelled in agony as he saw Azure growing farther and farther away, in the darkness of the forest.

The Magmortar gaped in shock as he computed what had just happened. He knew full well the rumors and legends of many explorers that had gone into the Were-Forest. No one, not even Theus, was daft enough to go in there. He looked to Gregorius, who had a weeping Lucario in his grasp, and asked, “Would you go in there? Even for Matheus?” The Gengar gasped, and quickly shook his head in response. Not even the half-mad Gregorius would go in there.

The Magmortar sighed, and turned around towards the ruined Respit Village. He had committed such acts of destruction many times in the past, so it no longer concerned him. He called to his command, “Turn back, Project Empowerment. We have lost Theus once more, although more permanently this time. Let’s head back to base, and report to the Leader.” The other Pokémon, now silent as well, turned around towards the Mischievous Forest. Everyone had captured a fine bounty of five young souls today. But what to do with the Quagsire and Lucario…

The Magmortar stood behind with Gregorius as the troop marched back to the other forest. The Magmortar looked down the Gengar and asked, “Should we keep these two prisoners still? Or eliminate them just as we did with the others?” Azure didn’t notice as she cried, feeling a loss for her family, and expected what she believed was inevitable.

The Gengar, with Azure still in his grasp, looked back to the Were-Forest. After some moments, he turned to the Magmortar, and replied, “Matheus will not go down easily. The Were-Forest is perilous, yes. But I have the feeling he will survive, along with that child of his, Maxim.” Maxim the Magmortar’s eyes gleamed as he heard the answer.

“I’ll take that as a yes, Gregorius. We should keep them if we want to get Matheus. The Leader will be pleased.” Maxim stated. He noticed the rather awkward way that Gregorius was holding Azure, and asked, “Do you want me to handle her?” Gregorius shrugged as best as he could, and held up Azure for being taken. Maxim picked her up gingerly in his claws, and put her over the shoulders. She never resisted. She felt lost, and didn’t know what to do. Theus and Laryon were gone.

~~~~

Deep in the Isle of Regret, a creature stirred in the landscape. The Isle was nothing but a solid rock of stone, littered with many passageways that wormed through the rock. Despite the lack of any nature, the Pokémon within enjoyed it here. Why you might ask? It is to be as far away from the thing he hates: Pokémon.

The Pokémon was known as Mewtwo. He had come about in an anomaly when Mew was creating the many other Pokémon in the world. Mewtwo grew to hate the other Pokémon, due to them being meant to come here, while he was a mistake. The Isle of Regret was the only place in the entire Reflexon region where he could be away from all other Pokémon. None liked the Isle. It was ugly, there were no landmarks, and the one resident had driven off all visitors.

Mewtwo was meditating, until he felt a slight disturbance in the force that goes through all things: Aura. He nearly passed it off, but if an Aura disturbance was coming here to the Isle Regret when he figured it was coming from the Serenity Continent, he knew something was wrong. He normally wouldn’t care, considering the things that go on in the region don’t concern him, but this disturbance made him think otherwise.

He sent his mind’s eye to the location of the disturbance, and saw the destruction that Project Empowerment had caused. Respit Village was now nothing but ashes and most of the residents had either been captured or killed. He normally laughed at such carnage, but this was something else. This involved him.

He looked around, and noticed a familiar figure: A graying Lucario in a set of leather clothing. Mewtwo smiled ever so slightly, and said, “What trouble have you gotten yourself into, Theus?” He looked around the fleeing Theus, and saw a female Lucario, which if he remembered correctly was Azure. He nearly skipped past a Riolu, until he saw something that gleamed on his neck.

The mind’s eye focused on the Riolu, and Mewtwo wondered what made him so special. He looked around, and noticed the circular pendant around his neck. Mewtwo gasped ever so slightly, and chuckled. “So, this is where the pendant decided to go. Interesting choice...and knowing Theus, I would figure this young one is his nephew. How fitting.”

The Mewtwo closed the mind’s eye, and stopped meditating, picking himself up off the rock floor. This was the first time he had moved in ages, and he stopped a bit to stretch himself. “How many years old am I now...a couple thousand? These joints need replaced.” Mewtwo mused. He rose from the floor and progressed into the tunnel system he was currently in. “This business now concerns me. It involves me. And when something involves me, I intervene. Good luck Theus. My favor to you has been done, but I feel the need to help you once more. Who knows? Maybe this time, you will owe me the favor.”
 
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Legacy

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This is quite well written. I don't normally like PMD stories, but I enjoyed this. Riolu is an interesting character despite it being a bit overdone by others.

Nice work!
 

lucarioknight56

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Thanks for replying. I am working on the next chapter, and it's taking longer than expected. Hope it will be ready to post soon.
 

lucarioknight56

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Chapter 07

Theus ran through the forest with Laryon as fast as he could, running away from the danger of Project Empowerment. He felt a surge of energy when they took Azure, and in the excitement, he thought the forest would be safe. But now when the feeling had passed, he realized that he made a grave mistake.

He ran past a myriad of trees and bushes within the pathway. Overhead, trees formed a tight canopy, letting no light shine from above. There were noises heard every so often that sounded like wild Pokémon. Laryon paid no attention to them, his thoughts being focused elsewhere.

Theus noticed that Laryon was upside down with blood rushing to his head, and quickly righted him. “I’ll find a clearing, and then we’ll stop there. I need to rest after what just happened…” Theus explained. Laryon made no reply. He both looked down and remained silent.

After some moments, Theus found a clearing, which honestly still appeared dark, as the many trees extended their branches to cover the daylight. It was as if the trees hated having even the smallest amount of light on the forest floor…

Theus set down Laryon, who remained silent. Theus then set down the satchel, and began digging through it. “I need an Oran berry if we expect to continue on. There’s too many dangers out there for me to be as weak as I am. Even if I did just carry you a long way.” He explained. He shoved things aside within the bag with increasing agitation, not finding any Oran berries.

Laryon looked inside and noticed the selected berry, and quickly grabbed it before it could be buried again. He held it out to Theus, who noticed it in the corner of his eye, and let it be taken from his paw as Theus accepted it. “Thanks, Laryon. Good thing you noticed it faster than me, or I would’ve continued searching like that forever.” Theus mused. He closed the satchel, then took a bite out of the berry.

Whilst eating the berry, Theus noticed that Laryon remained still, and not once removed his eyes from the ground. Remembering what had happened at the entrance to the Were-Forest, Theus quickly finished the berry, feeling his strength returning to him, and moved over to the ever-quiet Laryon.

He went out to put his arm over Laryon’s shoulders, but Laryon shoved the act aside. Theus sighed in failure, and said, “I know how much this must hurt, Laryon. Azure-”

“-was my teacher, my parent, my...my...everything! Why did they take her! Why! They only wanted you!” Laryon exclaimed. Laryon continued before Theus could reply.

“And she was more than that! She raised me ever since I was a baby, and she taught me everything I know! Sure, she was a little angry at times, but I loved her still, just like she loved me even if I got angry at her! And now…” Laryon yelled. He became silent for a minute, and he glared at Theus and continued, “If it wasn’t for you our lives would’ve been great! You brought that Magmortar and his friends here! You made them take Azure, and killed everyone else! Including…Wenstrel…” Laryon looked down, and his eyes began to tear up. “I want Azure back!” Laryon pouted as he began to weep uncontrollably.

Theus was feeling more and more awful as he saw Laryon weep over his sister, and he felt terrible indeed. He needed to act as a comforter here, especially if they expected to survive in the forest. Wild Pokémon are often attracted by loud noises.

Theus took the hat off his head, and embraced Laryon. He muffled his sobs as he thought of what to say that might comfort him, as he never raised children of his own and never had to deal with this sort of thing.

He closed his eyes, and softly said, “I never wanted this to happen. I had no idea that Maxim and Gregorius were searching for me. And I think they weren’t expecting to find me there. Just seeing how Maxim reacted when he saw me...it makes me think they were there for another purpose.” He looked around quickly to see if there were any enemies coming, and after seeing nothing of interest, he continued, “I think that if I never came here, Maxim and Gregorius would have still come. Only then, since I wouldn’t be there, you probably would have been taken along with Azure.” Theus heard a rustle in the bushes, and looked up to find out where it came from.

Laryon began to calm down slightly, his sobs becoming more controlled. He looked up and he asked, “Why would they come then! We never did anything to hurt them! We never saw anyone in Respit even go into the forests! We never did anything!” The rustles were coming closer, and Theus had the distinction that the source of the rustles wasn’t friendly.

“I don’t know. All I know is that I’m sure that Azure and Wenstrel would want us to be strong, especially after that crisis. Once we’re ready, we’ll go back to go against Project Empowerment, and free Azure, and Wenstrel if he’s there.” Theus explained as he got up slowly. Laryon came out of Theus’s arms, and he noticed that he had stopped crying.

“Do you really think we’ll see Azure again?” Laryon asked. He sniffed a bit, getting over the tears. “And Wenstrel too? You think he’s still alive?” Theus shrugged as he picked up his staff.

He began pacing around the fringes of the clearing, searching for the rustle, and replied, “I have the feeling we’ll see both again. When that will be, I don’t know. There was a reason that Gregorius took Azure, and I intend to find out.” Right as he finished, a wild Parasect leapt from the fringes, landing right on top of Theus.

The insect seethed as it clawed at Theus, failing in its attempt to have him for lunch. Theus was holding out his staff horizontally to block the blows, and he was straining to protect himself. Laryon yelled out, “Theus!” The Parasect screeched as it attempted to reach its selected prey, and it let loose a plume of yellow powder from the mushroom on its back.

Laryon cringed as he remembered what the powder was: Stun Spores. It would cause Theus to be paralyzed as the Parasect attacked him. As the plume reached Theus though, he quickly covered himself with the leather cloak, protecting himself from the dangerous concoction of powder.

He was now only using one paw to hold up the one thing protecting him from the claws of the assailant, his staff. The Parasect saw the opportunity and attacked even more furiously. Theus strained himself as the plume still fell, and the claws continued coming down to scratch him. He thought to himself, “And to think that years ago, I could’ve beaten this bug in a heartbeat. Now look at me.”

Laryon, fearful for his uncle, ran to the rescue, and jumped right on top of the mushroom of the Parasect. The insect shifted its focus to the Riolu on his back, ignoring Theus for a moment as it clawed the top of its back. Within that time, as Laryon dodged the claws as best as he could, Theus swiped the underside of the creature with his staff. It screeched as it flipped over and landed on its back, with Laryon of course jumping off before it flipped.

Theus continued, and hopped up and batted the Parasect with his fist back to the outer fringes of the forest. It screeched once more as it skittered away into the darkness. No prey was worth that trouble.

Theus breathed in quickly and sharply, his old age starting to catch up with him. “Never in my life did I expect to need help from one as young as you, Laryon. You certainly have the bravery for an explorer.” Laryon smiled as he brushed off some remnants of the now ineffective Stun Spore.

Theus chuckled as he tossed aside the staff and went over to Laryon, and assisted him in brushing off the powder. “You certainly didn’t expect that, did you? Neither did I, and I saw that fear in your eyes… a Parasect is enough to make anyone squirm. Still gives me the jibblies...yeesh…” He shivered as he remembered it. It wasn’t the first time a Parasect had come out of nowhere for Theus.

Laryon’s at first proud face was changed to one of anger wriggled out of Theus’s grasp and landed on the ground with a thud. “I still blame you for what happened in what’s left of Respit!” he accused. He went into a position ready for attack, crouching and holding out his arms with an intention to hit.

Theus however was not amused. “Take it easy, little one. I thought I explained before, I had nothing to do with Maxim and Gregorius finding us.” Laryon tilted his head in confusion, as he never heard the name Maxim before.

“Wasn’t Gregorius that Gengar that chased me and... Azure? Who’s Maxim?” Laryon asked. Theus stood still, only breathing slightly, as he heard the question.

“It’s nothing. Maxim was just a name I heard floating around in the chaos. I assume it must be...the Magmortar, yes. And I am sure that Gregorius was the name of the Gengar. That’s what Maxim, who I still assume is the Magmortar, called him.” Theus explained. He was scratching himself nervously, as if he was hiding something…

Laryon furrowed his brow as he relaxed into a more casual position. “Sounds like to me you know these guys...are you’re not telling me something?” Theus, desperate for an escape from the question, noticed the satchel, and began digging into it.

“You know what, I think it’s time we get moving. Who knows what else lies out there in the Were-Forest. Now, where did that Looplet go…” Theus mumbled. Laryon came closer for a better look inside the bag.

“Don’t change the subject, I want to know…but what are Looplets?” Laryon asked. His thoughts were being distracted by the idea of these Looplets, as he had heard of them before from Kecleon. Theus grinned as he saw his plan working.

He replied, “Looplets are special items you wear that can make you more powerful within Mystery Dungeons such as this one. The magic of the Dungeons makes special gems called Emeras, which can be embedded into the Looplets. Emeras are little gems that disappear soon after you spot them, so nab them when you can.” He continued digging around, ignoring the fact he still had to explain his knowledge of their attackers. “Of course, the Emeras are rather useless without a Looplet. The Looplets transfer the power of the Emera into the wearer of the item. I remember packing one or two with us. Ah, here they are!” He brought out a golden bracelet, with three ovoid indents embedded around it. It was nothing fancy to look at, but it did do the job of continuing to divert Laryon’s attention from his queries.

“That’s a Looplet? They don’t look like much…” Laryon commented. Theus nodded in reply.

“Oh yes, this isn’t much on its own. There are special Looplets that can give the wearer special buffs outright without Emeras, but these are standard Looplets that Azure kept hanging around.” Theus explained. He pulled another out from a pocket embedded into the leather cloak. Rather than gold, it was silver with six segments, and had a slight sparkle to it as well. “This one I’ve kept with me for years, and I don’t intend to lose it. This lets me detect enemies and items on the floor of the dungeon we’re on, before they are even within sight.” Laryon admired it extensively, staring at it in awe.

Theus slipped the Looplet onto his arm, and it glowed slightly as the connection was made. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. As Laryon moved to grab the other Looplet, Theus’s eyes snapped open, and he stumbled backward in surprise. “There aren’t any more enemies on this floor for now, but I think there is one more item that could help us. It’s right...there!” He pointed to the little gem that was lying on the ground, and was slowly beginning to fade away.

“Laryon, grab it! That’s an Emera!” Theus yelled. Laryon quickly got up from his tumble, and leapt for the nearly invisible gem. He landed with a grunt and a thud, and then Theus came to see if he caught the prize.

“Did you get it? Did you get it?” Theus asked excitedly. Laryon groggily got up as he spat out the Emera in his mouth. Theus laughed as he saw the dazed and confused expression that Laryon had as he noticed where the Emera went.

“Ah ha ha ha! Nice one, Laryon! Never thought it would get in there, did you? Next time, just run for it. No need for dramatics.” Theus chuckled. He took the Emera from Laryon’s paw, and slipped it into an indent in his Looplet.

The Emera glowed purple, and Theus felt a surge of energy as a bright flash came from the Looplet. “A Barrage Emera? Nice find, nice find. Nothing better than an extra hit every so often.” Theus mused. Laryon was now up on his paws, aweing at the power of the Emera.

“Can I use the other Looplet? Please?” Laryon asked as he ran over to nab the other Looplet. Theus shrugged in reply. Why not? Looplets never harmed anybody.
 
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lucarioknight56

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I am deeply sorry for my absence for this story. This has happened in the past with The Magical Resistance and The War of the Logi and Magi, two other stories that I finished that both had large gaps of time from creation to completion. I intend to finish this story, I will. And what more, I promise you that this will be finished by the Awards this year. I haven't gotten an award for any of my stories, and I would like it if one did. I don't know when the next true chapter will be, but I hope it will be soon, and the next time that I would create a story, I will make sure it is completed before I post it. My Writer's Block gets in the way too often for me to be posting stories like this anymore.
 

Dorothy

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So, this review is for the first few chapters of the story, for the Review Game.

I'm surprised that there aren't many reviews for this story so far, because for what it is it's very well-written, which isn't something you often see with Mystery Dungeon fics. PMD is my favorite spinoff series, so I'm happy to see that you've captured the spirit and essence of it so well here. The individual Pokemon's personalities are very believable and most keep with their Pokedex entries, which is something PMD does very well. I loved how Remus was portrayed as very forgetful, for instance, in keeping with his being a Pidove.

Layron and Theus are pretty standard as far as protagonists go, so I'm hoping to see a bit more development with them. PMD usually tackles some heavy themes with its character development, so I'm hoping to see that represented here as well.

I only read up to around chapter 3 for this review, but I'm definitely going to be reading more. You've got a great setup going for you that's very true to PMD - I liked the opening legend especially - and I hope you can deliver something truly worthy of the series.
 

lucarioknight56

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@Jabberwocky: Thank you very much for the review! I like how you say it feels true to the series, which really was what I was aiming for. And don't you worry about Theus and Laryon, I'll make sure to develop them further, Laryon especially, as I feel that I'll have a harder time with him.

Chapter 08

Laryon got his own Looplet, which was standard Looplet with only three segments. After slipping them on, the duo continued through the dungeon to find the exit. Theus was always full of useful information on dungeons, and so as they progressed, he made note of everything they passed.

In one room, there was a staircase descending into the floor, and where it went was a mystery. Laryon ran over to it and looked down. He saw nothing. "Where does this staircase go?" He questioned. "Looks like it's an endless staircase…" He exclaimed. Theus chuckled, and came next to the learning adventurer.

"The Stairs have an end, I assure you. But these don’t just go to another floor.” Laryon looked curiously to Theus. He cleared his throat, and thought to himself, *At least he doesn’t appear to be sad about Respit*.

“The Stairs, as they’re called, go down into a new portion of the Dungeon, which is called a Floor. The new part’s shape is nothing like up here, and there are new items to collect, and more enemies to fight. So, whenever you want to explore a Dungeon, always look for the Stairs to continue, and eventually find the Exit Stairs, which has a shaft of light appearing around it.” Theus explained. He then stepped onto the top step, and began to descend. Laryon quickly followed, and an ocean of darkness surrounded them.

After some moments, they dropped into the middle of a new room, and fell about three feet, and it was noticed that this room was completely unfamiliar to the young Explorer. “Where’s the stairs?” Laryon asked. “And how did we get here?” Laryon then pointed upwards, which a dark square of darkness had embedded into it.

“The Stairs don’t let people cross between floors; it’s one of the mysteries of the Dungeons. That square is the approximate location of the stairs we just crossed, and the inky blackness was us going here. Now come on, they don’t call this place the Were-Forest for nothing; many dark and dangerous Pokémon lurk this place, which are far worse than the Parasect we encountered earlier.” Theus explained as he began heading off into a tunnel that the Dungeon had created. Laryon followed, as they heard a suspicious howling in the distance.

Laryon looked around and noted that despite the fact they were in a new floor, there were still trees completely overcrowding the ceiling, so the sky could not be seen. The rules for the Dungeon apparently did not restrict the trees that grow here. “Theus?” Laryon asked. The elder Lucario looked back as he hiked.

“Yes Laryon?” He asked.

“Do you think that we’ll see Azure again?” His nephew replied. Theus was hoping to avoid that question. He puffed his cheeks and let the air out slowly.

“And what about Wenstrel?” he added. Theus’ eyes looked to the young one, and wondered what to say. It would be wonder if either survived, given the treatment that the other villagers received. But it wouldn’t do to say that the two had...most likely died.

Before it would be an awkward silence, Theus spotted a light blue crystal sphere, just sitting on the ground. He grinned, and yelled, “Hey, look here!” He ran over it, leaving Laryon to look at him curiously, as if he was thinking why he must be like this?

Theus picked up the sphere, and swiped his paw across the smooth surface. It was opaque, and only slightly heavy, which made it feel fragile. He repeated the swiping motion, until he felt an engraving on the object. It read, "Petrify".

Theus looked back over to Laryon, feeling a pang of guilt for the fact he wasn't willing to answer his depressing query. "Come over here, you should see this!" He said. The one he referred to came over, and Theus held out the ball. Laryon picked it up, studying it curiously as he tried to figure out what it was.

"What is this? Some sort of ball to play with?" Laryon asked. He was going to drop it to test its bounciness, but Theus quickly took it out of his hands.

"No, not to play with." Theus chided. He then held it up so that it could reflect light for effect, but as there was none, so it failed. Feeling slightly cheated, Theus continued, "This ball is called an Orb. Orbs are powerful little things, containing what seems to be magic, which can only be created here in the Dungeon." Laryon looked underneath the ball, as that was all that he could see from his viewpoint, and saw nothing special.

"All I see is a ball. If this has magic in it, what is it?" Laryon asked. Theus smiled slightly, and brought the Orb to his level, showing him the engraving.

"Orbs have all sorts of different effects. This one for example is a Petrify Orb. This, when used, will freeze all the enemies in this room! Nice for escapes, or if you want to fight against Pokémon one at a time." Theus continued. Just as he explained, Laryon noticed six pairs of glaring eyes in a nearby pathway.

He tugged on Theus's cloak, his own eyes not shifting from the sight. "Th-Theus, th-there's other P-Pokémon in there!" He pointed to the pathway, and Theus looked in the direction. He scowled in dismay, as he didn't want to have to deal with wilder Pokémon.

Laryon scurried behind the legs of the Lucario, chattering out, "M-more Parasect! C-Come on!" The Pokémon advanced, revealing themselves not to be just Parasect. There were three of the large mushroomed bugs, but there were also two Dustox and a Carnivine waiting in the pathway.

"Always wanting to pick on innocent travelers!" Theus yelled. The primitive Pokémon buzzed, screeched, and clamped as they heard him, and they began to advance into the room.

Theus knew that there were too many for him to handle, considering his latest experience with the previous Parasect, and so there really wasn’t an option. He handed the Orb to Laryon, and said, “Smash it against the ground!” Laryon looked up at Theus if he was crazy.

“Are you sure? Won’t it break?” Laryon asked loudly. Theus was tempted to throw it down himself, but if Laryon expected to become an Explorer, he needed to learn.

“Just do it!” Theus exclaimed. Laryon looked down at the Orb and then to the six Pokémon approaching him. He then ran forward, lifted the Orb high and threw it down at the ground.

He was just expecting it to shatter into millions of pieces, but instead, once it contacted the ground, it blasted apart in a flash of light. The light did not hurt their eyes, and so they saw the would-be attackers seething as they were immobilized just a few feet in front of them.

Laryon stared at them, and began to grin. "Ha! Take that, you dirty thugs!" He yelled as he ran toward the wild Pokémon with his paw held high. "I'm gonna show that Carnivine some Riolu fury!"

Theus held out a paw in frustration as he yelled, "Hold it Laryon!" He stopped with his feet skidding the ground, his fist being only a few inches away from the vines of the Carnivine. "Once you attack the targets of the Orb, the petrification ends, so don't attack them unless you really want to, and if you want them to attack back!" He continued. The Carnivine moved its jaws slightly as it gaped at Laryon, wanting to make his meal out of the young Riolu. Laryon peeped, and ran back to Theus.

"Why does this place have to be so creepy? All these wild Pokémon, dark trees, things hiding in the dark...I want Azure! She'd make me feel less afraid..." Laryon sniffed. Theus was now less worried about the carnivorous bugs and plant and more for the morale of his nephew. It was hard to try and make young ones forget about their guardians, even for a little bit. Theus knew that the only way to make them feel better was to reassure him about Azure, and that was to slip a little lie…sadly.

Theus came down to Laryon’s level to talk to him easier, but after seeing the strained attempts to reach them by the immobilized Pokémon, he thought it better to leave. “Before I tell you something, can we go into the hallway? There’s less mouths that are waiting to chew me up there.”

~~~~

Dred Blaziken was now investigating the remains of Respit Village, arriving as fast as he could in hopes to protect the helpless residents. But he had arrived too late. He mourned within himself as he investigated the remains of the gentle Kecleon, who had wanted nothing more than to peddle his wares looted from Mystery Dungeons for his life.

The team was made of a total of six Pokémon: Dred the leader, Zaman Xatu the psychic, Iris Leavanny the healer, Sunas Greninja the water searcher, Winglus Pidgeot the sky investigator, and Gambit Rhyperior the earth excavator. They were currently the elite Exploration Team in Equivos, and thanks to the calls of the Electivire Guild, and the permission of the Dragonite Guild, they were permitted to investigate the ominous Project Empowerment as they followed their trail of destruction.

Iris came next to Dred with a crestfallen appearance, her antennae drooped and her normally cheery disposition doused with death, and gave the report, “There are no survivors, Dred. All the homes had been searched, the valley as well, and there is no trace of Project Empowerment…except for the fact there are no children among the deceased.” Dred looked up from his investigation and turned to Iris.

“Why in Equivos would these Pokémon kidnap innocent children, kill all the adults, ransack the buildings, and just leave? There must be a reason behind this…there just has to be…no one kills without reason…” Dred pondered. Iris sighed, and let her claws fall in front of her lap.

“I don’t know sir. Winglus has tried to fly above the Were-Forest dungeon to try and follow the tracks that led inside; it’s possible that some escaped from the attack.” Iris replied. Dred felt the slightest hope in his heart once more, as with the escapees, he might be able to figure out who exactly they were dealing with.

~~~~

When a prisoner caravan needs to go swiftly, they will go swiftly…with Magmortar fire at their heels. Team Rerunen couldn’t find any trace of the tracks that the large caravan had left behind because of one Pokémon: A Zoroark. The lithe creature remained behind the caravan, and hidden the tracks with powerful illusions…of course, no one in the caravan saw it; it never wanted to be known that it was there.

Azure marched swiftly alongside Wenstrel, and around them were the children from Respit; they felt too afraid to be near any of the other prisoners, all of them being other young children, albeit being more starved and disheveled compared to the newly caught Respitians. They were travelling through an alternate exit from the Mischievous Forest, which had let them avoid the pursuing Team Rerunen, and they were travelling through the lightly covered Ignis Plains, where there were few trees, but high walls surrounding them, making up the borders of this dungeon. The members of Project Empowerment herded the Pokémon through the corridors, sending out scouts to find the Stairs so that they could quickly go through the dungeon, and end up back on a less dangerous path.

Wenstrel stared out blankly as he marched along, keeping in time alongside everyone else with no issue, despite his short legs. He had no reason to complain, as it was his way of life to not have a care in the world. But inside him, he felt a pang of loss as he realized he may never see Laryon again. It was hard for him to maintain his wise and oblivious personality when they were lost…

Azure herself was also taking this hard. She had taken Laryon when he was little more than a toddler, only just learning to walk on his two feet. He was never away for long, so having him gone, with Theus of all Pokémon, made her wonder, “Will he be okay?” With the stories from the Were-Forest lingering on her mind, she secretly hoped they weren’t true.
 
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lucarioknight56

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Chapter 09

After the six would-be attackers were behind their backs, Theus looked down to Laryon, and when he was about to explain through a lie, he noticed a bundle of curved sticks, which had one or two leaves decorating the top, and they were bound together by a simple piece of vine. They appeared to be ordinary, and with them being in a forest, it would be no surprise seeing a bundle of sticks as such. But these were not ordinary…

Theus reached down to grab the pieces of wood, and Laryon looked down to where he was reaching. He was wondering why Theus would grab a bunch of sticks from the ground more so when Theus began rubbing the sticks, much as he had before with the Orb, and his eyes beamed once he rubbed a portion.

“Oh ho, what have we here?” Theus said. He looked at the engraving set in the wood more closely, and one word was visible: “Guiding”. Laryon looked up and sniffed a bit, wondering what made Theus so intrigued.

He asked, “What’s so special about those? Look like some twigs that broke off the trees.” Theus tutted slightly, and began to unbind the vine keeping the twigs together. Laryon smiled slightly, and continued, “Knowing you, they’re something that isn’t quite what they look like.” Theus had stood up, with his staff in paw, and so Laryon could only see the underside of the twigs. “Can you bring them down here for me to see?” Laryon asked.

As Theus complied, he explained, “These aren’t just twigs, as you guessed; these are called Wands.” As the Wands came down, Laryon looked all around them, not wanting to be caught with another Pokémon attack; the last time they found something new, insects had attacked…the same ones that were behind them.

“Wands? Why are they called Wands?” he asked. Theus grinned, and began to wave one of the Wands. It sparkled slightly, and then it sent a burst of energy through the thick trees and foliage, which didn’t harm a single leaf. The Wand then disintegrated, leaving not even dust.

Theus breathed in deeply, and then said, “Just like Orbs, Wands have different abilities. These Wands are called Guiding Wands, and they are one of my favorites: they can help me visualize where the Stairs are located on this floor!” Laryon beamed at the prospect, and in his mind, he thought of having to just use these Wands to find the Stairs easily.

Theus predicted the very thought, and explained, “These particular Wands are rather rare compared to other Wands, like Confuse Wands, Petrify Wands, et cetera. What more, they only work once, but at least they’re found in bundles.” Laryon was beginning to really like the different things you could find in the Mystery Dungeons, and this made him more curious about the different mechanics of being an Explorer.

Laryon remembered something Theus had mentioned, which would have saved them some trouble earlier. “Theus, doesn’t your Looplet let you see other Pokémon and Items on the floor?” The Lucario’s eyes beamed, and then he saw what Laryon was going for.

His eyes lost their luster, and he replied, “Oh…well, yes, my Looplet does let me see Pokémon and items on the floor…and with that in mind, I could have noticed these Wands, or even the six buggers back there…”

Laryon was now rather irritated that he was hiding from the attackers because of Theus, on top of his insistence to answer his questions. “You mean to say we could have avoided them if you used the Looplet? Oh great, now we just used our only Petrify Orb to stop those bugs! Next a Pokémon will be snitching our food!” Theus, who was confident that thievery wouldn’t happen, began to feel a rustle in the satchel.

He quickly opened it, and saw a tubby Munchlax munching away at one of the last berries inside. It was a wonder he was never noticed, but that proved to be a major issue, as now all they were only left with one apple, a couple of Oran berries and a Pecha berry. The entire satchel full of food was gone.

Theus growled in rage, and he rushed to grab the Munchlax. It noticed Theus and jumped out of the bag, and quickly went off into one of the passageways adjacent to the room. Theus almost chased after it, but he knew it was little use; the glutton already ate the berries, so why should they chase him?

Laryon noticed the fleeing robber, and then looked into the rather empty bag. He then stared crossly at Theus.

“You could’ve used your Looplet to actually know there was a thief! Munchlaxes are nearly as bad as Snorlaxes, because they can run off after eating or keeping a bunch of food!” Laryon exclaimed. He hated scolding Theus after how he’s helped them, but now this mistake could cost them their life via starvation, if they remained in the forest for long.

Theus, who tried to divert the subject once more, asked, “The bugger must have sneaked in when it was on the ground on the last floor...anyway, how do you know how Munchlaxes act? Through Mienshao’s Pokémon Habit Studies class?” Laryon did in fact learn a lot about what he knows about Pokémon from Mienshao, who thought it a necessity to know about the different habits of Pokemon so that they could efficiently deal with any opponent that they may meet out in the world. Theus had learned about Mienshao and his classes in the time before Theus came to Respit.

Laryon right now wasn’t hearing any of it, and he then continued, “Stop changing the subject! You never did this when we were in Respit, you were telling the truth, not avoiding it!” Theus winced slightly after hearing this, and he turned away so that his face wasn’t the target for a long angry look made by Laryon.

After some apprehension, Theus sighed and put the remaining Wands into the satchel. He then replied, “I…I don’t know what to tell you, to be honest.” Laryon’s anger changed to puzzlement as he heard Theus. “I’ve never experienced an attack on a village, I’ve never taught younger ones like you about exploring, and, worst of all I really don’t know what’s happened to Azure and Wenstrel. I’d love to tell you what I hope had happened, but then, I wouldn’t be telling the truth would I?”

Laryon thought of this for a moment, and began to reason with Theus's thoughts. He really didn't know much about his past, aside from the fact that he was a Freelance Explorer, so who's to say he isn't lying? But with the matter of Azure and Wenstrel, no one knew what happened to them. But then again, there is something he is hiding about the Magmortar and the Gengar...

He then asked angrily, "What about the Magmortar? He seemed to know you, so why won't you tell me about him?" Theus sighed, and looked to a passageway from the room.

"Believe me, I would tell you if that information wouldn't put you at risk. It is not safe to know much about my past...trust me." Theus explained. Laryon wanted to ask why it was not safe, until a great roar came from the distance. Obviously, it was not happy, and large footsteps seemed to march towards the nervous explorers.

Laryon came behind Theus, asking nervously "W-what was that?" Theus remembered hearing that cry, but only a long time ago...in a time he wished he forgotten.

~~~~

The caravan moved swiftly through the Ignis Plains, and now they were on the eleventh floor. All were panting heavily, wanting to rest from the long trek...but according to Maxim, there were at least four more floors to go. After they escaped the Dungeon, then they could rest. Project Empowerment was taking no chances in being caught by Team Rerunen, for fear of their tracks giving them away...but then again, they didn't know about the efforts of the Zoroark.

Azure was as silent as ever, not wanting to speak after the attack on Respit. It remained hard for her to maintain a positive outlook when Laryon was stuck in the Were-Forest. Even if Theus, a master explorer, was with him, it just made her fear more for him...especially after that day…

Before she could reminisce, a Teddiursa quickly ran up to Azure, hopping up and down as they went. The young cub asked, “Please hold me? I don’t know where my mommy is...do you know?” Azure gave a halfhearted smile, and picked up the Teddiursa.

“Don’t you worry; I’ll be your mommy for right now.” Azure replied. The child snuggled into a comfortable position in Azure’s paws, and fell asleep. All the children were extremely tired from the trek, and wanted to be held by their parents. But alas, all were most likely gone, and there was only Wenstrel and Azure among the captured youth.

Clera the Sneasel made a harrumph of displeasure as she saw Azure pick up the Teddiursa in the middle of the march, and as she noticed Wenstrel just marching along with a blank look on his face. “Laryon’s lucky that he has his aunt alive. Arianna’s dad didn’t stand a chance, same with Max’s.” Max was the Machop that remained with Clera, and his father was Serling, the Machamp who was killed guarding the Mischievous Forest entrance.

The Sneasel looked around, seeing the many other tear-stained Pokemon surrounding her, which surrounding them were the hardened Project Empowerment guarding them. “My mum and dad will come back for me. They would never leave me with these fools. They...would never…” She began tearing up a bit as she remembered her parents running away from the oncoming Garchomp that had dived for her.

The Weaviles were carrying their precious daughter towards the Were-Forest, just as Azure and Theus were bringing Laryon towards the one available exit. But unlike Gregorius the Gengar, the Garchomp had caught them by surprise from underground. He sprung from underneath the earth like a weed crawling through stone, but far faster. Clera was knocked back from the upheaval of earth, and the Weaviles were pushed away. The Garchomp landed next to Clera, and picked her up in one of his wings. “She’s mine! Leave her, unless you wish to die!” The Weaviles had made no move, considering their options. They looked to each other, and then to Clera.

“We’ll come back for you Clera. Just you wait.” Mrs. Weavile said, a quiver of fury striking through her speech. They both ran off, avoiding the fray and slashing and enemies when necessary. Clera cried out for them to save her, but inside, she knew she’d rather have them run to fight another day than to die this day.

The Garchomp then ran back to the entrance to the Mischievous Forest entrance, where her gang was captured as well. She didn’t see Laryon among them, and immediately, her hate for him grew deeper as she realized that he had escaped while she hadn’t. Why did he have to have everything nice happen? He was true friend to all the other kids, unlike her. She made them fear her, and want to be their friends through trickery and deceit. Him though...he was honest with them. And she was jealous of that.

She brightened up when she saw Wenstrel bound up with the children, although why she did not know. But then she figured that Laryon would want to come back to save him, and then she smiled evilly. He’ll come to save him, and then he’ll be stuck just as she is. She also reveled in the fact that, for the first time since she met Wenstrel, he looked genuinely sad.

Later after the main attack was over, she saw Azure being dragged into the camp, which afterwards she was chained up alongside Wenstrel. Even better for her, as Laryon would come for both, and they'd all suffer.

Her fangs glinted as she reveled in the prospect of her two most loathed Pokémon in Equivos being captured like she was. She soon stopped when a rusted Pawniard gave her a strange look, and she returned to being glum and downtrodden like the rest of the prisoners. She'll have her chance to smile one day.
 
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lucarioknight56

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In my time creating my story, I have realized that I need to make some changes, three namely. First, the name of the story itself. It doesn't capture the spirit of what I want this to be about, so it will be renamed from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: The Mysteries of Reflexon, to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Legends Unraveled.

Second, the name of the region. 'Reflexon' is too...abstract, for what I need and want, so from this, Reflexon will be transformed into...Equivos, based on the word 'Equivocate'. I'll not go into details, but this is how I imagine the adventure to be. :)

Finally, the third but certainly the most major, the removal of Dente as a character. I know that there might be some complaints, and I certainly expect that. But there is a good reason for this. Laryon, who I intended to be my main character, is to me feeling overshadowed by Dente, and so it has been difficult for the focus to be maintained on Laryon. Also, Laryon is not being fully developed as a character, and because of the work I've put into writing for Dente, Laryon has lost the valuable time necessary to develop. What more, I intended for Dente to continually be around Laryon, and so this problem could get worse as the story progresses; I intended Dente to be a side character, not a main.

Do not fear for the future of Dente however. I will use him in a future fiction, in this same world maybe. Just not in this story. I don't know how well this rewrite is done, but I think it will suffice. I had finised editing Dente out from the current chapters, and have saved acopy of the originals, to make sure that I can keep the spirit of Dente alive. I will edit my posts above with these revised chapters, or if necessary, I can post a new topic for it. But as the main focus of the story remains the same, I do not feel the need. If anyone has any complaints, let me know now, or else I will not reconsider. If I want to have this story be as great as it could be, I think that Dente must go. Adieu, until next time.

EDIT: Note, you might want to reread Chapter 1-9, as with the removal of Dente, changes will obviously be made. It would also be nice if there was a review of some sort for the revision.
 
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lucarioknight56

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I don't care if this is considered reviving a dead thread, but I want to make it known that after a five month hiatus, I'll begin work on this story again. I was left burned out of working on this after my rewrite, and also left devoid of where to continue. Now I'll force myself to figure out how to finish this story. I'll complete the chapter by tomorrow, and when that happens, I do hope to have a review; part of the reason I was burned out was because I had little incentive to work on a story that received so little attention. And don't suggest the review game for getting more, as I'm quite a terrible reviewer myself.
 

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Chapter 10

“That roar came from a Trevenant, a despicable tree that guard forests like these. Usually they aren’t much trouble, at least for an explorer like me, but this one is different. He’s ancient and sly, and the main reason all those adventurers you hear about coming into here never returning.” Theus explained. He then looked in the direction of the stairs and continued, “I think that I am so far the only one to escape from this place successfully, and even then, I had the aid of an Escape Orb to return to the entrance I came through.” Rustling came through the trees, and a low groan echoed in the distance.

Theus then held out the bag to Laryon and exclaimed, “There’s only one thing for it: Escape. We must make it to the next set of Stairs. Hop in! The bag’s practically empty now.” Laryon went ahead with Theus’ direction, not speaking for fear of this Trevenant. Theus then went into a hallway that would hopefully lead to their escape to the next floor.

As they continued through the tunnel of trees, a strange floating creature came in their way. It appeared to be a round stump with large red eyes and black tendrils on the top and bottom of it. It moaned spookily, as if it was warning them about something.

Theus batted it away with a swipe of his staff, sending it spiraling into the trees. As it moaned painfully afterward, Laryon asked, “Was that the Trevenant?” Theus wanted to chuckle, but decided against it for the circumstances.

“No, that was just a previous form of it, a Phantump. Little more than nuisances at this stage in their life. They only turn into Trevenants when they transfer into a new forest; after that they can haunt the place and make more Phantumps. Now please be quiet until we get to those Stairs!” Laryon obeyed, and hid himself in the sack that smelled distinctly of mushed berries.

The bag muffled any outside sounds surprisingly well, and only the constant movement from Theus prevented it from feeling like a hammock of sorts. This made it an ideal environment to think about current events, while Theus was running for both their lives away from the danger known as the Trevenant.

Laryon thought of how Theus was so suspicious before, and also how trusting he was of his mysterious uncle. He was knowledgeable in the ways of an explorer, yes, but he certainly had things to hide. Such as his involvement with the Magmortar.

He remembered the fellow well, considering that he was an ally of the Gengar that took Azure. He seemed to be the leader of the Pokemon who ransacked Respit, although why was a mystery. He just felt in his heart that everyone was either imprisoned or dead, and with Azure and Wenstrel there…

He shut his eyes tight. He refused to believe that Azure was dead, along with Wenstrel. There was a good reason why they didn’t just murder her in front of him. They had a good reason to keep her…and maybe even Wenstrel.

There was a sudden sinking feeling, and Laryon though he remembered it: it felt like his first time descending the Stairs. He let out a sigh of relief, knowing that Theus made it to the next floor safely. After that came another spike of concern for trusting him like he did before.

He peeked his head out from the bag and whispered, “Are we safe from that thing?” He saw Theus look down, panting heavily. His hat was hanging off a single ear, and he had a large scratch across his cheek.

As Laryon crawled out of the bag, Theus replied, “Coast is clear, I’ll tell you that. That Trevenant was in the same room as the Stairs, so that made everything more difficult. Thankfully, there was one of these Seeds and- “

“Seeds?” Laryon asked. He remembered hearing about Kecleon getting Seeds every so often in his shop, but he never really understood how they worked.

Theus replied, “Yes, Seeds. Like Wands and Orbs, they perform wonderful things in these Dungeons. The Seed I happened to find was a Warp Seed; I could tell because it was engraved in the hull of it. All I did was threw it into the mouth of the beast, and voila! He was teleported into a different part of the floor.” He threw his arms into the air for effect, but then grunted in pain afterwards.

He rubbed his shoulder as he continued, “Of course, not before the thing got me. It has enormous claws you know, so that’s how I got this scratch on my face and another across my back.” Laryon started walking behind Theus to see how bad it was, but Theus blocked him and said, “I wouldn’t recommend looking there right now. If it looks as painful as I think it is, then I’ll need to get back to a town as quick as I can.” He pulled one of the Guiding Wands and handed it Laryon. Afterwards he went to the closest wall and sat down.

“Feeling rather weak now, so if you could just find out where the next set of Stairs is, we’ll be good to go.” Theus commented. He then closed his eyes, mumbling about wanting to find an Escape Orb.

Laryon looked down at the Wand, then over to Theus, and back again. He didn’t like how Theus was before, but right now he was his best chance of survival. He knew hardly a thing of proper dungeon exploration, while Theus was a master. Plus, he was his uncle; with Azure gone he was the only family he had left.

He breathed in, then slowly exhaled. He never used a Wand before, so he wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from it. He waved it front of him to the left and right, and it went up in a puff of sparkles. What came next was a totally new experience for the Riolu.

In his mind, he saw himself going through a passageway in the dungeon, turning left and right, even going past a room or two, until he saw the room that had the Stairs. He didn’t remember seeing any wild Pokémon in the way, but then again Theus never saw any either. It might just be that you couldn’t see what lay ahead first.

Laryon thought he saw something next to the stairs, but he couldn’t really tell. “Maybe it’s one of those Escape Orbs he was talking about!” He thought to himself. But then he remembered that it wouldn’t be much use, since they’d just go back to Respit. The Magmortar and his crew could be waiting there.

He gave up on figuring out what the item was, and returned to Theus. “I found the Stairs! They’re through this passageway, and it shouldn’t take too long to get there.” Laryon exclaimed. Theus still had his eyes closed, but he wasn’t mumbling any more. He didn’t appear to be moving at all for that matter.

Thinking about what might have happened, he put his ear against Theus’s chest to check if his heart was still beating. He heard a steady ‘bump-bump’, which meant he was still alive.

Laryon let out a sigh of relief. Theus was still alive, but he was unconscious. His heartbeat was going slowly, and if the scratch was as bad as he thought it was, Theus might not have much longer to live.

~~~~

Back at the caravan, the march was continuing, now in an open landscape devoid of the passages that made up the Mystery Dungeons. It was filled with coarse red grass, with several dried husks of trees scattered in the landscape. It appeared to be a new part of the Ignis Plains, although in a more natural part of the world.

Project Empowerment had allowed a brief rest for all the prisoners, as they were still concerned about Team Rerunen, but knew that children couldn’t go for as long as they themselves could. While it was refreshing, fifteen minutes wasn’t enough to completely revitalize the young ones.

Azure was acting as the main caretaker of the children, alongside Wenstrel, as Project Empowerment only made sure they were fed and watered; they never stood for the emotional needs of their prisoners. They constantly swapped out the children they would support on their shoulders as they kept up the swift march, and on the way, they learned about the captives.

At the moment, Azure was carrying an Eevee on her back. She would soon have to shift out, but she quite liked having her there; she reminded her of Laryon after all.

“It looks like someone else’s turn is coming up Rema. I’ll make sure to talk to you again when we stop!” Azure told the Eevee. Rema smiled as Azure stopped temporarily to drop her off, and giggled as Azure scratched under her chin. At a shout from one of the Project members, however, she ran off to the other Pokémon under their power.

As Azure continued on, Wenstrel came by beside her, carrying a sleeping Slakoth on his head. Azure looked over to him and smiled, saying, “Things could be worse here. They could be starving or beating these little ones, but they know that if they do that they’ll just be slowed down.” Wenstrel nodded sagely, but it was hard to take him seriously with the lazy Pokémon on his head.

“Indeed. But I fear that that might end soon. I overheard from some of those Project members that we’re approaching our destination: an outpost for their organization.” Wenstrel replied. Azure wasn’t exactly expecting that to be the first thing that Wenstrel would say after a day or so of travelling, but then again, she wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to find them in time; most likely they would be moving somewhere else after some rest.

Azure replied, “You’d think we would travel for several days before coming to something like that. We’ve never seen or heard of Project Empowerment before today.” Wenstrel shrugged as best as he could while moving alongside her.

“I thought they weren’t serious at first, but then again I’ve been wrong plenty of times before. They’re probably desperate to get out of here just so that they don’t have to worry about Team Rerunen.” Wenstrel added. Team Rerunen was of course a well-known Exploration Team, and have been renowned for defeating various outlaws throughout Equivos.

“I wish that they could find us before they hole us up, though if they haven’t found us by now, I don’t expect them to.” Azure noted. She looked behind her temporarily, seeing the walls surrounding the Mystery Dungeon they had only recently exited from.

“Wenstrel, do you think we’ll see Laryon or Theus again?” Azure asked. Wenstrel looked down, remaining silent for a moment.

“I hold hope that we do Azure. With them in the Were-Forest, I’m not so sure though. I don’t know as much about Theus as you do. Maybe you could explain why you haven’t mentioned him to me before?” Wenstrel answered. Azure half-expected this reply, but nonetheless, she dreaded it.

“I…I really don’t want to go through what happened between us for me to dislike him so much. He’s my brother, yes…but even blood doesn’t repay for what they’ve done to you and your other family members.” Azure explained. She then turned away from Wenstrel, and went to find someone she could hold in her arms and hug; she felt like she needed one right then.

Wenstrel only shook his head, and looked up to the Slakoth on top of it. It snored slightly, and shuffled a little bit to get into a comfortable position. Wenstrel then said to it, “If only others could be as relaxed as us. Many bad things happen to people in life, and often they can change it for the worse. But so long as they trust all will be well, things will go in the direction they choose.”
 
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lucarioknight56

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After a long absence, I give you a new chapter to PMDLU! (And I am actively working on a new one!)

Chapter 11


Laryon grabbed Theus' arms and pulled toward the tunnel behind him. He leaned forward, but moved back when Laryon let go from fatigue. Laryon, hearing a noise come from the bushes that made up the wall of the room, pulled Theus once more, this time making him go on his back. Laryon gasped.

Along Theus' back a thick streak of crimson showed through the leather of his cloak, oozing still as it hardened. Laryon forced himself to look away, pulling Theus with all his might toward the tunnel. Ever slowly he moved through the tunnel, many squawks and scrabbles emitting from the walls.

Laryon pulled Theus into the next room, noticing a strange darkness that now hung above them. The sky above had faded to orange, marking that dusk was approaching. Parasects, Beedrill and other wild Pokemon came from the walls, swiftly heading towards the Stairs.

"It can't be that late already!" Laryon exclaimed. A deep, rumbling moan came from above him, along with the startled cries of a variety of Pokemon.

Laryon continued pulling Theus, making it to the next tunnel and eventually to the next room. The moan came again, this time louder, causing the floor to quake. Trees creaked behind him, and Laryon saw the Trevenant.

It was far larger than any Pokemon Laryon had seen, the limbs the size of actual trees, and the single glowing eye as large as Laryon. Its claws gleamed, sharpened to points, and its mouth remained constantly open as he lumbered.

The hulking beast moved slowly, carrying its canopy-scraping girth to the next tunnel. Laryon stopped, assuming a fetal position as it passed. The Trevenant ignored him, making its way to the next room as fast as it could. Many Phantump trailed behind, moaning in fear as darkness loomed above.

Laryon stood up, realizing that the Phantump swarm didn't seem to stop. He was pushed by one, and another, and even more until there was a river of Phantump escaping the room. Hundreds of Phantump flowed, moving Laryon and Theus to the Stairs while following their master.

Laryon struggled to stay above the ghosts, pushing upward to remain breathing. Many of the Phantump simply rolled on top or in the middle, letting the Phantump behind them push them to safety. Theus, still unconscious, lay on top, the Phantump flowing underneath him as they struggled to escape.

Another groan came, rumbling the entire floor. The Phantump quickened their pace, emerging in the next room and flowing into the Stairs. Laryon entered with them, submerged by the onslaught. He looked up but only saw the fearful faces of the Phantump, failing to see Theus above. In his final glimpse of the floor, he saw trees pile on top of the stairs, and the fading cries of Phantump echoed through his ears.

~~~~

Laryon dreamed. He saw the face of Azure, smiling warmly. He saw the face of Wenstrel, staring dazedly. He saw the face of Clera, sneering with contempt. He saw the face of Theus, grinning with cheer. He saw the face of the Magmortar, grimacing at his once-potential captive. He saw the Gengar, cackling vilely as he pursued him and Azure. He then saw an unfamiliar face, one of a lavender creature, one with the looks of hate...yet it looked in neutrality at him.

He moaned slightly, another apparition appearing. He stood in a burning village, Pokemon running from their homes in the darkness of night. Many other Pokemon pursued them, breathing fire, firing lightning, and controlling the elements, intending to kill the villagers. One led them all, going to and fro and witnessing the carnage: A black creature, looking around him and smiling with satisfaction.

The black, lupine creature stared down at him, pointing a dagger at the pendant around his neck. "Traitor!", it yelled. It leaped, the dagger shining in the moonlight that appeared. Above in the sky, blue eyes watched the event unfold.

~~~~

Laryon's eyes shot open. He thought of the strange dream, wondering who that one with the dagger was, and why he called him a traitor. He thought of the lavender being, so filled with hate yet showed indifference with him. Last of all, he thought of the soulless blue eyes that witnessed the terrible ransack of the village.

He looked up, seeing a wooden ceiling instead of a leafy canopy. Startled, he lifted his head, seeing that this was not the Were-Forest but a cottage. A table in the corner with a basket of berries, a window revealing glorious sunshine, and other precious household items like a dresser and a mirror were within.

He thought he heard a voice, coming from outside, singing a beautiful song. He got up achingly, noticing that he had bandages wrapping his leg, arm, even forehead. He shuffled to the door, the voice growing louder as he opened it.

Theus lay next to a river on his chest, unmoving. Next to him sat a Gardevoir, her back turned to him, leaning over his back. A forest lay past the river, calls of birds coming from it. The Gardevoir was the source of the song, singing solemnly yet lovingly words of an aria:

"Oh, let this being heal this day

to go along his merry way.

If he does not come through this test

then let him have his well-earned rest.

I did not give these gracious tears

to make tell of my many fears.

I will not succumb to his face

For I heal the frail in this place.

I Arianne won't fail another..."

The Gardevoir straightened, stopping her song.

"...for I have learned these skills from mother." A purple pulse emanated from Theus, ending with a soft sparkle across his back.

Laryon stood placidly, soothed by the gentle song of who he thought was Arianne. He looked at Theus, remembering the wound he had suffered from the Trevenant.

Arianne stood up, staying still for a few moments. Laryon looked attentively, wondering if the song had done anything. He wanted to go closer to Theus, to make sure that the soothing song had somehow affected him. He wanted to meet this stranger, to know why she would bring them to her house. Most of all, he wanted to know if Theus was alive.

After a moment of tension, Theus' back rose slowly, then relaxed after.

Laryon sighed with relief, and Arianne nodded slowly. Theus began to rise steadily into the air, coming up to her waist. She turned to the door, her eyes closed and arms crossed against her waist, and began to walk to it, with Theus hovering nearby.

"Please move Riolu. This Lucario must be inside." she said. Taken aback, Laryon went back into the cottage, wondering how she knew that he was there.

Theus soon entered the doorway, hovering still, with Arianne coming after. Her eyes remained closed and her arms remained crossed as she set Theus atop the bed that Laryon laid on moments ago.

"He will live, but my only fear is that his back will not recover. Few have exited the Were-Forest since I settled here, and any who have did not live long after attempts to heal them. This Pokemon is strong in heart, mind and strength to have come here." She said. She turned to Laryon, who now sat on a wicker chair in the corner.

"It is a miracle that the Trevenant carried you here. When dusk falls the wild Pokemon that live within the Revenant Woods flee their home, waiting until dawn for the Mystery Dungeon to shift its path and replenish their sustenance." She stated. She turned to the window and continued, " I usually remain here in my home until the Trevenant and his minions return, but this time I felt that I must greet them. For some reason, the lord Trevenant carried you and the Phantump carried the Lucario. They have only ever shown malice to travelers, but they have shown respect to you." She turned back to Laryon, eyes still closed, and asked, "Why would that be?"

Laryon looked up at the elegant Gardevoir, and replied, "I don't know. All I remember is being caught in a swarm of Phantump, and trees falling on top of the stairs as I went down. I wasn't sure if I or even Theus would make it." Arianne looked to Theus, slumbering peacefully still.

She paused for a moment, her face blank, and then said, "So that is your companion's name." She turned back to Laryon and asked, "What would your name be?"

Laryon replied, "My name is Laryon. I came from a village called Respit, but it got attacked... we had to go into the Were-Forest to escape." Arianne simply smiled, and came to her knees to be face-to-face with Laryon.

"My name is Arianne. I am a Healer from a village named Karyon, which has long since been gone. I came here to Revenant Glade, which is the exit of the Revenant Forest, or as you call it the Were-Forest, to train in the healing arts with my mother." She put her hand on Laryon's knee, smiling still.

"I figured that since you were open to me, I might as well be the same with you." She added. Laryon looked to Theus, crestfallen.

"When do you think he'll wake up?" Arianne looked to him, her smile fading.

"It is hard to say. Some recover quickly, while others take a long time. He looks like an Explorer, and a hardy one at that, one who has encountered many a situation." Arianne stood up, walking to the table. "I expect that you will be ready to go within one or two weeks. The wound caused by the Trevenant cut deep, and he will be lucky if his spine had not broken." She looked down at her hands and continued, "My Heal Pulse is strong, but it has limits."

Arianne picked up the berry basket, bringing it to Laryon. She held it out generously, saying, "You may stay as long as you need. The Glade provides plenty of food for all, and so long as you don't go out at night, the wild Pokemon won't bother you. They are quite friendly during the day, so much so that they sometimes ask me to heal them." Laryon took the basket appreciatively, famished from his trip in the dungeon, and while eating Arianne added, looking at the two chairs next to the table, "It would also be nice to have some company..."

Laryon, while chewing on an Oran berry, asked, "Thank you so much! We really-" He gulped the berry and continued, "Mean it! I'm sure that if Theus were awake he would be grateful!"

While Laryon continued to eat berries, Arianne looked over to Theus, her eyes still closed. "I'm sure he would..." She whispered to herself, her face one of concern.

~~~~

Thunder boomed above the Isle of Regret, the inhabitant making one of his rare crossings from one tunnel to another. Lightning flashed, revealing Mewtwo in the storm above.

He floated above the many rocks, protecting his feet, while he ventured to what he called the Insight Tunnel. He didn't usually go far from the Living Tunnel, but he needed to make the trip. Why? To receive insight on the one named Laryon.

He entered the miniscule tunnel, barely large enough for the height of Mewtwo. "Someday I need to expand that..." Mewtwo muttered as he scraped his head across the entrance.

The tunnel, short as it was, held a very important treasure to the Legend: The Mystic Orb. Before his isolation, he took to exploring the Mystery Dungeons the world had to offer. On one such occasion he found the Mystic Orb on a pedestal in a dungeon that has long since stopped shifting. Now it sits on an earthen pedestal in a very different location.

He came to it, smirking while he said, "What makes you so special to have that Pendant, Laryon, nephew to Matheus?" He pressed his fingers against its surface, and gasped in pain.
 
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lucarioknight56

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I saw that I've been nominated for the Winter Awards today. I've never expected that to happen to be honest, as this thread doesn't receive many views. I am very glad I got such an honor. With that in my mind, I hope to receive the 'Best Expansion' Award this year, and I will go to the best of my ability to finish this fiction.

Chapter 12

Laryon sat at the table, showing courtesy to his hostess, and continued to eat berries. After finishing a plump Pecha berry, he asked Arianne, “So how long have you been here?” She stood above Theus, tending to him by applying a salve along his back.

“I’ve lived in the glade for many years. I came here with my mother, Reya, to learn the arts of healing, as well as to refine my psychic abilities.” She replied. She faced Laryon and smiled. “I remember when the Trevenant was just a lonely Phantump, wandering the land in search of a new home. It came into the glade one day, with its face badly cut. It was a miracle that its mystery attacker didn’t slice it in two.” She turned back to Theus, eyes remaining shut. “It stayed here for several days with us, and when its face healed, it wandered into the forest, where I assume it evolved into the Trevenant it is today.”

Laryon pushed the basket to the center of the table, his stomach full, and had a thought. “Why do you always keep your eyes closed?” Arianne froze, her meticulous hands halting their resolve.

She turned to Laryon with a frown. “It happened shortly after we left Karyon. After we began our journey to a place of solitude, we realized that we forgot to thank the Pokémon who had discovered it for us. He was a wonderful explorer, full of skill and might, and when he had learned of our need of private place-there were too many village duties for my mother to do while we lived there-he put up the offer to find one for us.” She rubbed her eyes, as if there was something irritating them. “Only an hour after we left, we found that Karyon was attacked, razed to the ground. Everyone we knew was murdered that day. I don’t know who it was that led them, or if it was just wild Pokémon that came across it. While fleeing, an Emboar pursued us, attacking us with a Flare Blitz.” A tear flowed down her face.

“It hit my eyes, blinding me while I was only a Kirlia. I can’t say what happened next, but I believe that my mother somehow fended it off. She guided me here, and working with a team of Timburr that the Explorer sent there, we built this house.” She turned back to Theus, continuing her work. “After many attempts to restore my sight, I had to grow used to living here without vision. Mother taught me to see things with my mind, using my psychic powers to see my surroundings. I don’t dare go out of the glade, for while this skill allows me to see, it places strain on my psychic powers; I can’t protect myself.” She faced the window, which showed the entrance to the Were-Forest. “The Trevenant protects me, and ensures that no other Pokémon comes here, to repay the healing my mother and I gave it.”

Laryon sat peacefully on the chair, thinking about what had been said. “We were driven out by this group called Project Empowerment. They were only taking kids like me, and all the adults…” He looked down, closing his eyes. “Only Theus and I managed to escape. They even took Azure, my aunt. With all the others, I’m sure about what happened, but I still think Azure is out there...” Arianne said nothing, tending to Theus.

Moments after, she said, “One day, my mother decided to go out of the glade, to where other Pokémon were. She trusted that I would be protected by the Trevenant, but she still asked whether I wanted to come.” She looked up at the ceiling, smiling slightly. “I said that it was too dangerous for someone who can’t see, out there in the world. I was lucky I could see telepathically, let alone be a healer with this disability. So, she went out of the glade, looking for Pokémon to give them aid.” Looking back down, she sniffed.

“She said that she would come back, to see how I’ve lived. To see how many Pokémon have come through the Revenant Woods. So far, only two have.” Looking to Laryon, she smiled.

“I’m sorry if I’m troubling you with things from my life; it’s hard enough with what you’ve lost recently.” She added. She finished soothing Theus’ back, the wound dressed, and walked to a small board, with a wooden chest on top of it.

“While mother was still around she loved playing PokéBoard. I never cared for it then, but now I realize how much I need some entertainment; I can’t exactly go into the forest without vision.” She picked up the board and box, setting them in front of Laryon.

“Would you care for a game?”

~~~~

Over the next three days Arianne and Laryon stayed together, waiting for when Theus would wake. They played many games of PokéBoard, with Arianne often winning, and also went together in the glade to pick berries and other foods. At night, they stayed inside, sharing stories and cooking with what they had, with Laryon sharing some of the recipes he remembered from Wenstrel.

PokeBoard is played with a 4x5 grid board, and with eight figurines, with each player controlling four each: A Caterpie, Metapod, Butterfree, and Mew for one side, and a Weedle, Kakuna, Beedrill, and Mewtwo for the other. The goal of the game is to block the opponent's pieces from moving with your own pieces, moving a piece of the same size or larger to block them, except in the case of the Caterpie and Weedle, which are the only ones that can block the Mewtwo and Mew. Arianne often played the Mew side, while Laryon played the Mewtwo side.

On one such occasion, playing yet another game of PokéBoard, Laryon asked a question: “Who was your dad?”

Arianne set her Butterfree piece on her square, contemplating the question. “I remember that my mother described him as a wonderful Gallade, wandering the world in search of adventure. He left before I hatched from my Egg, but he promised that he would one day visit me and my mother.” She faced Laryon and smiled.

“I believe that I won again.” Laryon looked incredulously at the board, not believing the statement. He relented, seeing no way that he could move even his Beedrill out of the way.

“I don’t know why I still play with you; I never win.” Laryon complained. Arianne laughed, placing the pieces back on their starting squares.

She replied, “You’ll eventually get the best of me. For now, how about we head outside. Theus might wake soon; I can sense that his mind is more active than it was before. We’ll need to have some fresh berries for him to eat.” She moved her Metapod towards the middle of the board, adding, “Of course, one more game can’t hurt.

“Where the deuce did my cloak go?” A voice exclaimed. Laryon and Arianne swiftly turned to where Theus had been resting; now standing in stark surprise, he looked curiously to both his nephew and his healer.

He pointed at Arianne and asked, “First: who are you? Second: Where am I? Third: Have I seen you before?”

~~~~

Azure panted under the scorching sun, running alongside the waddling Wenstrel, who had boundless energy despite his laziness. “I thought you said… we were close to that outpost… four days ago,” She panted. Wenstrel sighed, waddling as best as he could with the crowd. The young Pokémon have been with Project Empowerment for four days, moving towards the seemingly-close outpost in the middle of a desert plain.

“I only said… what I heard… if I’m wrong… don’t blame me…” Wenstrel replied, breathing heavily. Azure groaned, wishing that this torture would end. It was bad enough that she didn’t know if Laryon was alive, let alone bending to the wishes of her captors.

“These young ones need rest… we need rest… I’m surprised they don’t need rest!” She wheezed. Project Empowerment members, ranging from Mightyena to even the great Gregorius, breathed heavily, wanting to make it to their destination before Team Rerunen could even have a chance of finding them.

Wenstrel ran silent, knowing that they needed to conserve their breath for the seemingly endless journey. There was little chance of Team Rerunen coming if they haven't even been sighted after this many days; they were slowed down by the sheer number of children they had to guide, while Rerunen only had themselves.

A Murkrow flying above them cawed, saying after, "Fortress Ervine dead ahead!" A whoop of success echoed among Project Empowerment, with Maxim Magmortar roaring the loudest.

"Hurry now, to beds and food, and to the Leader!" He ordered. Various Project members quickened their pace, forcing their captives to follow suit. Within a minute a spire of black stone poked between the canyon walls, appearing at first tiny, but grew progressive larger as they ran to it.

A massive building supported the spire, being made of the same black stone as the spire. It boasted large turrets on the corners, many windows embedded in the walls, and numerous guards patrolling the roof. Several Project members stood in front of the gate, guarding from some unknown thing. They caught sight of the returning patrol called up above to an Exploud, who yelled mightily to alert the other guards.

The Project members surrounding Azure, Wenstrel and the children slowed to a walk, breathing heavily, with their prisoners following suit. The gate slowly swung open, Pokemon both large and small lining up on either side. They stood at attention, standing straight and holding their heads high.

Approaching the guards, Azure said to Wenstrel, "What do you think they're lining up for?" Wenstrel looked over to here and shrugged as best he could.

"Maybe they want to make a show of force?" He replied. Out of their vision, a dark shadow clawed its way along the canyon wall, making way to Fortress Ervine.

Guards stopped coming after twenty were on both side, all wearing black bands with a red burst across their chest, arm, head, or even leg; Azure assumed that none of the Project Members who captured them wanted this identification to be noticed, so they didn't wear one.

Maxim stomped forward, pushing ahead of his subordinates. He stopped in front of the gate, then kneeled, calling out, "Hail Lord Arthus, leader of Project Empowerment, and the true Adventurer!" The rest of Project Empowerment kneeled as well, with some forcing the children, Azure and Wenstrel to their knees.

A shade whipped past the guards along the wall, stopping just above the gates. It then dropped down, revealing a figure in a black cloak. It seemed to be hunched over, yet for for some reason it appeared to stand tall. Project Empowerment remained in solemn silence, leaving the captives to wonder who this Pokemon was.

The figure raised its arms, revealing grey fur and red claws, and pulled back the hood that covered its head. It revealed a lupine head, with a large bush a red hair on top. Streaks of grey coursed through it, ending at the tip, where a jewel-covered blue ring kept the fur together.

The Zoroark looked to the left, then to the right, looking for inconsistencies. He looked forward, eyes meeting with the Magmortar's. He slowly strode forward, his back remaining erect, and stopped in front of the fire-type.

He looked down, and motioned for him to rise. Maxim did so, afterwards saying, "Lord Arthus, we have new captives from the west. We found twenty-five children, perfect for your purposes." Arthus looked into his eyes, his facing showing a faint grin.

He said in a light, tenor voice, "Very good. They should be honored for being chosen." He looked around Maxim, noticing Wenstrel and Azure kneeling in the middle of the children, the latter staring in shock at Arthus.

He looked back to Maxim and asked, "Who are those two? They certainly don't look like children, as I had requested." His eyes strayed to Azure again, making her think that he recognized her in some way.

Maxim, maintaining a steady voice, replied, "Sir, we found the Quagsire and Lucario in association with one you once called 'friend': Matheus." Arthus' eyes flashed with anger, his claws closing around Maxim's throat. He dragged him downward, his fury permeating through the guards.

He demanded in an elevated voice, "Where is he? I don't see him here, so I assume that he escaped before you captured them!" Maxim clawed up at his master, his breath coming in short wheezing gasps.

"L-Lord, he did... escape... but he is sure... to be long gone... now! He escaped... into the Were-Forest... with... with... huhh..." His eyes fluttered upward, threatening unconsciousness for the Magmortar.

Arthus let go of his throat, letting Maxim land on the ground, him now gulping down as much air as he could muster, and stared coldly at Azure and Wenstrel. Wenstrel kept a blank face, with only a twinge of fear, while Azure stared wide-eyed at the creature who nearly suffocated Maxim.

After sufficient time, Arthus took Maxim's enormous hand and lifted him up effortlessly, assisting him to his feet. "What did Matheus escape with?" He asked, a hint of anger hidden within.

Maxim protected his throat with his hand, saying, "He escaped... with a young Riolu. He had the pendant-" Arthus kicked Maxim square in the chest, causing him to collapse to the ground in pain. He looked to the guards on either side of him, eyes filled with rage.

"Take all but the Lucario and Quagsire to the main pit; take the two to my personal chambers." He said with hurried breaths. The guards nodded, picking up each of the children and carrying them into the gate. Azure stood up to protect them when Gregorius, standing in the back, took Azure by her arms, chuckling maliciously. His chilling breath coursed down her back as he said these words:

"You're in for it now, Lucario!"
 
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lucarioknight56

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Chapter 13

Arianne faced Theus, face unchanging, as Laryon ran over to his uncle. "You woke up!" He cried, embracing his legs in a hug. Theus tried kneel down to him to meet the gesture, but stood straight and cried out after.

"Augh my back! It hurts!" He yelled, moving back to the bed to sit on it after Laryon let him go. Arianne stood up after, crossing to the other side of the room to collect medicine and berries for Theus.

Theus looked to Laryon sadly. "I’m glad to see that we got out of that wretched forest. But how? It was evening, and I doubted that we could have made it without an Escape Orb." Laryon came next to him and smiled.

"I used the Guiding Wand to find the Stairs, then I went to them, dragging you behind me. Soon after I heard a loud rumble from above, then another that was closer to the canopy. After that one a huge Trevenant came-"

Theus interjected, "You don't mean the-"

"Yes, the same one that scratched you, but that's beside the point. It ignored me, moving to where the Stairs where. A little after that we got swept away by a swarm of Phantump, unintentionally pushing us with them into the Stairs. After that I passed out, but I learned from Arianne that we got carried to her by the Trevenant after we got out!" Laryon exclaimed. Theus looked confusedly at his nephew, not believing what he said.

"There's no way that Trevenant would have carried us out; he attacked us before we got out!" He argued. He turned his gaze to Arianne, who came over with the medicine and a large basket of berries. "Who's this nice lady?" He asked as he dug into the berries, starved from his four-day rest.

Arianne stood straight and replied, "My name is Arianne; I healed you and your nephew after the Trevenant brought you to me. I healed that Pokemon long ago when it came to me as Phantump, with its face nearly cut in half. After that it has protected this glade from any intruders that happen to come along, to protect me." She sprinkled the medicine on top of the berries as Theus ate, who ingested the life-curing substance.

Theus looked up and said, "If that thing guards against intruders, that would explain why no one really gets past the Were-Forest. Combine its strength with the fact that its length makes time pass more quickly in there, it's a lethal combination when dusk falls." He popped a Cheri berry in his mouth, relishing the flavor. "I don't usually care for Cheri berries, but anything tastes delicious after a long time. Anyway, about what I said earlier; Arianne, where'd you put my leather clothing? It was a special gift from a friend of mine, and I'd rather like to keep it."

Arianne pointed to the corner near the door, where the hat and pieces of leather lay neatly folded. "I had to take them off to get to the scratch on your back. They look just fine, but the tear caused by the Trevenant should be fixed." Theus grunted, displeased by the news.

"Not many things can penetrate that leather. I'll have to find Saria again on the Serenity continent to get it repaired." He replied. Before Laryon could ask who she was, Theus continued. "Anyway, now for the others. I can tell that you, Arianne, lie here in the glade of the Were-Forest, and I assume that you’re blind because you haven't once looked at me with your eyes--sorry to put it so bluntly--and that you must be a fantastic healer to have set my back on the road to recovery." He squinted as he tried to dig something from the back of his mind.

"You seem so familiar. Have we met before?" Theus asked. Arianne looked at a window facing the entrance into the Were-Forest, silent.

"Do you remember Karyon Village?" She replied. Theus looked as if he had been stabbed, his eyes shutting and his jaw clenching.

"Yes...yes I do...you can't be that same..." He trailed off, opening his eyes in faint recognition. Laryon looked at his uncle in concern.

"You were the explorer that told Arianne and her mom to come here?" Laryon asked, astonished. Arianne remained facing Theus, her face confirming Laryon's thoughts.

Theus sighed, massaging his back gently. "I didn't think anyone survived from Karyon. It happened years ago, but I think I remember what happened...

"I was a young Lucario then, following the dream that so many other Pokemon shared: explore the five continents and see what they have to offer. I've seen Harmony, Serenity, Creation, Wayfare, and even Deity in my prime. I was crossing from my home village of Quantus through many Mystery Dungeons, and I came to what was known as the Revenant Forest. It was quite peaceful, and this made me wonder why it deserved such a foreboding name.

"At the end of the dungeon I discovered a peaceful glade, full of berries and good-natured wild Pokemon. I looked around and wondered how such a beautiful place came to be. I continued, enjoying its beauty but realizing that I must press on. After several more days of travel, I came to Karyon Village.

If only it stood today! While not much larger than Respit, it boasted a spirit as large as a Wailord. Many wonderful Pokemon, not the least of which was Reya Gardevoir, healer and psychic extraordinaire. I came to her to help heal my wrist after I sprained it on the main trail to the town. She had it fixed within minutes!

"After I thanked her for the help, she offered to see my future, and warn me what was to come. I complied, thinking I would be a humble explorer in the future just as I would be then. Soon after she reared away from me, taking little Arianne in her arms.

"'Beware of he who calls himself friend to the world, for he will cause a loss so great that all shall forget it!' She said to me. I was just as shocked as she was, not knowing who the one who calls himself 'friend of the world' is. I offered to leave if I distressed her, but she soon fell out of the trance, apologizing for how she had acted. She asked if I wanted to have dinner there, as it had grown dark. I obliged.

"Outside of that one instance, she and Arianne were perfectly friendly to me. Reya explained that she had wanted to find a place where she could train her daughter in the arts of healing in peace. While Karyon was pleasant, there was too much to do to start teaching. I told her about the glade and said that if she hired some builders they could make a cottage there. I of course assured her that the glade was perfectly safe; no malevolent Pokemon or anything of the like.

"She thanked me for the info and went on to find some builders, who would happen to be a travelling group of Timburr in search of work. They must have accepted the offer, as the cottage is here now.

"I left Karyon shortly after, thanking Reya for her healing. I continued to another Mystery Dungeon, known as the Torrential Swamp. I spent hours wandering in that place, the darkness of the mire clouding my vision, not to mention the sheer number of Poison-types. Thankfully us Lucarios are part Steel, so I could resist their poison. But their strikes wore me down gradually, and eventually I was forced to use my only Escape Orb to return to the entrance, and eventually Karyon. Little did I know that Karyon was no more.

"I returned to a smoking husk of what had once been a perfect village. I would have mistaken it for an abandoned village had I not seen Reya's house. It suffered the most, the interior nothing but ashes, and the walls soon would have been the same. I left that day feeling sorry for myself, thinking that I could have done something to help the Pokemon who suffered...Reya and Arianne included."

Theus looked at Arianne and sighed. "You look a lot like your mother. If only I knew what she meant that day. I still don't know now what she meant." He stood up, shaking off Laryon, who remained staring at the floor, realizing that Arianne suffered a loss alike to his own.

Theus turned back to Laryon, regretting his telling of the story. He knelt down, holding Laryon assuredly. "I can't help but feel that the attack on Karyon would have been alike to Respit. But believe me that villages are not attacked as often as one might think. Out of the hundreds that exist in the world, only a few are destroyed." Laryon looked up at him and sniffed, a tear welling in his eye.

"Do you think we'll see Wenstrel or Azure again?"

Theus looked away, saying, "Of course we will."

~~~~

Arthus dashed into the fortress, sliding past the various Pokemon that carried the children inside, swiftly stepping up the stairs. Gregorius dragged Azure inside afterward, leaving Wenstrel to be carried up by a beefy Krookodile, who followed Gregorius.

Inside a large staircase spiraled high, going past the ceiling into the spire. Darkness made the atmosphere, with the steady flame of torches lining the walls provided illumination to the dark stone. Five hallways connected to the room, with all the children being brought to the far-right one. Project Pokemon stood at attention, keeping a watchful eye for any struggling children. From the far-left hallway a foul-smelling concoction that was presumably food wafted through, while the one to the right of it smelled of soap and dirt. The center hallway had the whooping sounds of laughter, presumably the barracks, while from the one to the right loud roars of anger could be heard.

Gregorius and the Krookodile started up the staircase, keeping a careful hold on their cargo on the way up. Azure looked down below, her heart reaching out to the terrified Pokemon from Respit and the other villages. Wenstrel's blank face narrowed as he deeply breathed in.

"What sort of meal is your cook making today?" He asked the Krookodile. The Pokemon grunted, not caring for the Quagsire.

"Food. I don't really care. That stuffs for the prisoners, while old Gaska will be making a better dinner for us members." He replied, an irritated snort following. "Don't ask too many questions to me, Borik, the prison master. I don't care what sort of stuff gets down your throat so long as it keeps you alive." Borik lifted Wenstrel higher, then positioned him precariously away from the stairs, above the floor down below.

"If you don't like, then you can have a talk with Gaska yourself. I'll help you down... the short way." Borik added dangerously. Wenstrel maintained a straight face, even though on the inside he was feeling slightly fearful.

Gregorius looked back and hissed, causing Borik to return Wenstrel to where he previously was. "No doing that with prisoners, you should know that. Nearly got a scar the last time you threatened them." Gregorius warned. Borik snorted, looking down on the Quagsire as he continued up.

A Machoke guard roared in pain from down below, a scratch bleeding across his forearm while a Sneasel attempted to run away. "You're not going to force me in there! My parents will be back for me, you'll see!" Clera cried as she was dragged back by a Mightyena and Houndoom. Azure looked down below, feeling a mixture and sympathy and satisfaction as she went down the hallway with the other Pokemon.

"Always rebels among new prisoners. They'll all shape up, especially once I get back down to teach them the rules." Borik sneered. Azure looked back and scowled.

"Why do you want to take them? They're innocent, their parents were innocent! It doesn't make sense!" Azure cried. Borik cackled and looked upward.

"We'll see if Lord Arthus wants to trust you with the purpose of Project Empowerment. For now, brace for your new master." Borik replied. A large trapdoor hung above, a heavy iron ring dangling from its rung. Gregorius held Azure with one arm and smacked the ring against the wood, three echoing thumps coming from it. The door lifted, revealing the smiling face of Arthus above.

"Welcome to Fortress Ervine. I hope your stay here will be most pleasant. I am Lord Arthus, friend to you, and friend of the world."
 
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lucarioknight56

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Sorry that it's taken so long to write a new chapter. Winter break has been extended where I live because of the snow, and I've been doing things with my family the whole time. Here's one of the chapters I've finished before the break but hadn't posted.

Chapter 14

The dimly-lit spire was immaculately clean, with spotless floorboard and shining windows and all. Next to the curving walls were many shelves laden with various Mystery Dungeon Items, such as Orbs and Wands, covered with glass doors, curving with the wall. To the north, a desk covered with various papers and writing utensils sat in between the various shelves. There seemed to be no place for Arthus to sleep, as there was no bed or any other seat except for the wooden chair next to the curved desk. Scattered on the walls behind the shelves lay rust-covered tubes that each had a bell-like head at their peak.

"Welcome to my humble abode, which I call the Spire of Wisdom, or simply the Spire if you will. I try to make everyone at home here in Fortress Ervine." He stated to Azure and Wenstrel as Borik and Gregorius carried them out from the trap door.

Azure looked around fascinated by the sheer number of items that Arthus had gathered from Mystery Dungeons. She shook her head soon after, maintaining a neutral expression. "If you try to make everyone at home here, then why are you forcing people into this place. Those children and I didn't come here because we wanted to." Arthus chuckled, holding up a claw to Azure.

"Do not fear, it is far better than you initially think here. Children are prone to making some bad decisions when fearful and angry, so we need to make sure that they do nothing while they are being brought to their rooms." Arthus replied, moving away from her and sweeping some dust off the top of one of the shelves.

Azure pointed back to Borik and Gregorius. "Why did you need them to carry us up here then? We aren't children." Borik growled, looking snidely to their captives.

"Obviously, you're more dangerous than those kids because you're adults. It's a wonder that Maxim even captured you two. Both of you would be dead if it wasn't for Ma-"

"Do not mention his name!" Arthus warned, his voice elevated. Borik quickly went silent, his eyes exposing fear.

Arthus sighed, massaging his temple. "The fool is correct; we can't have you going off on your own accord within Ervine, for I know full well of the measures that Maxim and his retrieval gang take to gather more children for our purpose." He looked out the window that faced the east, the direction that Azure and the other children had come from.

"If it isn't too much, maybe you can tell us what you want all these young ones for?" Wenstrel asked. Arthus grinned, staring down at his claws and scratching them together.

"That information is on a need-to-know basis, and you, sir and madam, do not need to know. I will tell you that it has very much to do with our name: Empowerment." He looked up to them, his smile fading away.

"Bring them to their rooms, and make sure that their meal is delivered to them. I do not trust them enough to let them into the main lines." Arthus ordered, turning back to the window. Borik and Gregorius took Wenstrel and Azure respectively, with Borik opening the trapdoor beforehand.

"You cannot feed us that food!" Wenstrel exclaimed, his normally calm nature melting away. Arthus turned back to him, his face one of amusement.

"I see we have a chef among us! Well...Borik, what are the guests having today in the mess hall?" Arthus requested. Borik stood at attention as best he could with Wenstrel in his claws.

"I believe it was supposed to be a delicious mixed-berry soup sir. The prisoners-"

"How many times must I tell you that they are guests!" Arthus interrupted. Borik fumbled on his words, finding the right words.

"Pardon me, 'guests', will have professional cooking by our dear Gaska. The Quagsire complained about the smells coming from the mess hallway, but he must have been mistaken." Borik explained, earning skeptical looks from Wenstrel and Azure.

Arthus nodded sagely, moving towards one of many pipes that funneled from the floor. "Ah yes, a wonderful menu. Now, how about we ask dear Gaska if that is indeed what we are having." Borik's eyes filled with fear as Arthus pulled off the metal cap on the pipe's end.

"Gaska, are you there. This is Arthus calling from the Spire." Arthus said into the pipe. It echoed slightly, a shudder climbing down its body. Soon after heaving breaths could be heard from the pipe, indicating a huge Pokemon approaching.'

"Well, let's see what's in the pot...ah, yeah, it's gonna be a soup o' sorts for Project members, but a mixture of table scraps and undesirable ingredients for the 'guests'. Orders came from Captain Borik to conserve resources until our expedition party comes back." A voice replied. Arthus nodded, looking at Borik with a sneer.

"And do you know when they will come back?" He added. A loud hum echoed into the pipe, the voice deep in thought.

It replied, "I'd say in a couple weeks. It takes a while to scour the Dungeons for enough food to sustain this place y'know. We thankfully have a year-supply, but most of it's for emergency purposes." Borik began to quake, his master's teeth glinting in the paling sunlight from outside.

"Thank you for your time Gaska. I'll make sure to come down and investigate your hard work. Don't serve it until I do." He finished. He capped the pipe afterward, not hearing Gaska's reply. His smile faded as he looked down at a streak of grey fur that lined his arm, stroking it curiously.

"You know, I don't like Captains who feel like their authority overrides mine." He stopped stroking his fur and looked Borik dead in the eyes. "So, tell me, why is it that you've explicitly ignored my orders to give our guests the best treatment possible?" Borik stuttered, his words incoherent as he tried to think of a suitable explanation.

"P-Please sir, it was an honest mistake! I assure you that all your other orders have been followed to the letter! Members are keeping composure at all times, the pris-'guests' have proper bedding and light, a-and harsh treatment is strictly forbidden!" Borik exclaimed, letting go of Wenstrel and stepping closer to Arthus. Gregorius slowly let go of Azure, his smile growing gradually as Borik said attempts to protect himself.

Arthus nodded sagely, motioning to Gregorius to take both Azure and Wenstrel down the trapdoor. His smile sliding to a frown, Gregorius complied, taking their arms and bringing them downstairs. After he closed the door, a drawn-out scream came from above.

~~~~

"What shall we have for dinner tonight?" Arianne asked Theus and Laryon. Both were playing against each other in PokeBoard, attempting to block each other's Pokemon with their own strategies. Theus played the Mewtwo side, while Laryon played the Mew side.

"Mmm...what to do...oh, sorry Arianne. Do you know how to make Wacan Berry stir fry?" Theus asked, thinking intently on his present situation in the game.

Laryon, who was currently winning, added, "Aunt Azure loved making that!" He moved his Metapod next to Theus' Weedle, causing his uncle to yell dejectedly.

"Oh, come on! I was so close!" He exclaimed, banging his paw against the table. His eyes widened and he let out a grunt of pain. "Arianne...my back's hurting again. Going to need some of that salve." Arianne turned to him, having in her hands some Wacan berries.

"Laryon, maybe you can give your uncle some of it. Just look on the bed for it." She told Laryon, turning back to prepare the stir fry. "Just pour some of it in your paw and rub it along his upper back; the effect will spread to all his back soon after." Laryon removed his pieces from the board and obliged, running over to the bed.

Theus groaned and said, "When do you think I'll be able to stand up straight without worrying about the pain?" Arianne continued preparing the meal as Laryon began pouring the salve into his paw.

"It's hard to say. I haven't healed someone from one of the Trevenant's scratches. I believe that his claws didn't contact your spine, but there certainly was a lot of damage made. Until you can stretch out your body with no pain, I think it would be best for you to stay put." Arianne replied, leaning down and striking the wood down below with two fire stones. It soon lit up, the dry grass igniting and burning the wood below.

Theus groaned once more, although more in disappointment than pain as the salve began to take effect from Laryon's application. "I can hardly stand, let alone stretch. It'll take a miracle for me to get back on my feet again." He muttered.

"I bet you've recovered from more than this." Laryon asked. Theus chuckled, sitting straight now that his pain relieved.

"Well, I don't know about that. I remember one time I suffered some severe burns from a Charizard." Theus replied, shuddering after. "I will never forget the pain I was in. I was lucky that I escaped, let alone made it to the nearby village. Chansey lived there, so I was soon able to be healed." He tried stretching, quickly going straight again.

"Although that was a different case. While that would have only caused fur and skin damage, this could cripple me. I won't be able to be as acrobatic I need to be in battles unless my back heals." He continued. Arianne looked back to him, stirring the fry in a pan.

"You should be grateful that you're even alive. If it wasn't for the kindness of the Trevenant toward Laryon you would have been dashed to pieces." She scolded. Theus nodded, and Laryon looked to his uncle curiously.

"Do you know why the Trevenant would do that? That thing hasn't let anyone through the woods ever since it came here, so why would it start now?" Laryon asked, his pendant's swirling design glinting in the sunlight that shown through the window.

Theus held his jaw thoughtfully, staring at Laryon, with his eyes gradually going down to the pendant. "I'm not sure, but it may have something to do with that pendant." Laryon picked it up in his paws, tracing the design, wondering how it might have saved them.

"You said yourself that it was just a thing you found lying around in a dungeon. You gave it to Azure while I was too young to remember anything." Laryon replied. Theus nodded, mumbling to himself.

"Yes...but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have something linked to it that wild Pokemon would recognize, more specifically powerful entities like the Trevenant." Theus looked to the ceiling, reminiscing.

"On my travels, I remember seeing that same design, though not in plain sight. An occasional branch had a knot in that shape, or a cave had what looked to be it popping out on the wall. It always appeared within Mystery Dungeons, more so in dungeons with guardians such as the Trevenant." He looked back down to the pendant, his eyes full of knowledge.

"The mountain I was climbing, with that Charizard I mentioned earlier, had that symbol embedded in various rocks. I don't truly know why they occurred, but the one thing the Mystery Dungeons that had them had in common was that they always had guardians. Whether it be a Gyarados or a Luxray, it was there." Arianne came over, with a pan full of the delicious stir-fry.

"Mysteries aside, I think this has been a lovely morning." Theus finished, scooping the stir-fry to a plate that Arianne gave to him. Laryon did the same, and soon Arianne joined, digging into the fine cuisine. Night fell gradually, and the Trevenant and Phantump swarmed out of the Were-Forest, right on cue for their daily schedule. Kricketot chirped, and Parasect screed, not daring to assault the little house with the Trevenant patrolling around it.
 
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