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The Arcane Realm: Land of Freedom and Magicks (FFAZ)

Fizzytopian Idol
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Meetan- Execute plan, divide and conquer! You put Eridian to task, he'd be leading the bashful bull back to its master while you and Farren remained and tried to work out what was up with this Trapinch. Eridian grumbles a few things to the Tauros, part of which is likely an apology for your fawning over it, before the pair head off in the direction you'd came. You watch as the dragon and bull leave the clearing, the Tauros's tails swishing around happily as it follows Eridian like a stray puppy. That left you sitting in the clearing with Farren, the Trapinch not too far away, still fairly cautious. As you pull out your bag, the smell of food seems to draw the Ground type in. Farren begins to talk to it as well, welcoming it in and letting it know you were here to help, not harm.

Trap pin pinch?

The bug clicks as it scuttles in closer. Eyeing off your bag. You're taken a back as the Trapinch just jams its massive head into the bag, pulling out an Iapapa Berry. The berry is quickly broken down by the Trapinch's powerful jaws, no worries Trapinch, help yourself!

Trapinch ate your Iapapa Berry!

The berry seems to satisfy the seemingly young Pokemon as it climbs into your lap and settles down. Wow, didn't take much to earn its trust! Farren rolls his eyes, he wasn't too impressed that the Trapinch had gone from biting his butt to cuddling you. You now had the Trapinch's trust and the Pokemon was clearly displaced, at least that is what you had gathered from Farren. Maybe it would be best to take it with you? Eridian would likely have made it back to the cart with Tauros by now and if anyone had an idea about where the Trapinch had come from, a local like the merchant would be your best bet.
Alice pouted lovingly after the Tauros, cooing out another adoring 'awwwh' as it disappeared. Look at that swishy tail! That Tauros was so, so, so cute and she wanted one! "I love him, so much." She told Farren, whose answer definitely sounded like the Pineco version of 'I know'. The Trapinch, her newest concern, thankfully seemed impressed by the snack filled bag. It was a trick that rarely failed, honestly, tried and tested. As a lover of food, she sometimes wished strangers offered her free candy. What? Nothing--

"Oh my god, whoa." It was comical how the Trapinch had suddenly dove into the bag, head first. It clearly knew what it wanted, though, because a moment later it had withdrawn with an Iapapa Berry as a trophy. Between biting Farren's booty and the crushing of the berry, the ground type had shown off its powerful jaws plenty. At least it was happy now. It was like a baby, even, in how it just climbed into her lap to settle, as if the snack had tired it out. She imagined that all of the crazed digging had something to do with it. "Awwh, Farren, don't be like that. We'll make sure that doesn't happen again, and besides, you know I love Trapinch! And one day they can be a beautiful Flygon!" Or at least, Alice hoped it wanted to be. She couldn't deny that if the creature didn't want to evolve, she'd probably be disappointed.

"Okay, we should go and get Eri before he abandons us for someone less irritating than myself." Alice joked, sealing her bag back up. She carefully held the Trapinch as she got up, swinging her bag over one shoulder and then looping her other arm through the second strap. Off she went, Trapinch in arms and Pineco rolling along just a bit ahead of her as they went to check that the old man and Tauros were okay, and to see if he might have any ideas about the displaced Trapinch. If it was all for naught, though, that was fine. Axel or Mimi could maybe help fill in the blanks later.
 
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Raves: You didn't come here in search of a specific Pokemon or to seek riches and mysteries untold. Honestly, you just came here for an adventure. You'd been stuck in a rut for a while now, uninspired by the wandering trainer life, and your Infernape had been itching to get back out into the world – like, really out. The connection that the Desert of Stars had for you between the old and the new was thankfully inspiring more than depressing, and as if hearing your wish, said stars had gifted you an opening – although you did wonder if said opening was fucking blind. Your Pokemon's head was on fire! How had he not noticed you?!

To be fair, he was facing the other way, and once your group got close enough he clearly heard you coming. The man turned, pale moonlight shining upon his angular, chiselled face. He was tall, strong in spite of being slim, and his outfit hit you with another wave of nostalgia. It was as if Talas had spit him out from one of its richer neighbourhoods: he even had a gold band on each wrist and a few rings on long fingers. The man looked surprised to see you, but then he smiled with perfect white teeth. He'd won the genetic lottery, and had a backdrop of starlight to boot. Arceus weeps.

“Oh. Hello. I didn't expect to meet anyone this far out, especially not at this time of night.” He greeted you, ever so politely. There was something just naturally soft and airy about him, and you got the distinct feeling that if you had been someone more devious he wouldn't have stood a chance. “I've always been more of a night person myself, but it isn't exactly convenient for exploring, or keeping out of trouble in a place like this. Noone out here to hear you scream if anything goes wrong-- ah, I'm rambling.” He scratched the back of his head apologetically before dropping his hand back to his side. “Can I help you? – Were you looking for a battle? I only have three Pokemon with me, I'm afraid. I hope that isn't a problem.”

It sounds like he might have a need of you, honestly. Or by morning there might not be anything left of him, nevermind his voice box. What do you do?
As Alex and team got closer to the figure, the moonlight caught him as he turned towards them, and for a moment Alex felt something in his chest rise at the sight of the man. The rings on the fingers, the bands on the wrists, it seemed he was surprisingly well kept, to say nothing of the sculpted face or perfect teeth, and as the man greeted him, the soft voice on the wind managed to warm the human up, blushing somewhat. Damn, that guy's smokin'... Alex thought, but continued to listen.

The way the man spoke of being a night person and trouble, as well as the comment regarding nobody to hear screams set off a slight alarm bell in his head, but such qualms were deceiving. "Oh, it's fine," he replied, dismissing the rambling calmly while trying hard to hide the slight rosy tint on his cheeks. On the word of battle, and the mention of the lack of pokemon by the adonis, Alex paused briefly before looking back towards his two pokemon. Nothung gave a polite shake of his head, the Infernape gently declining the prospect of battle, and the man knew his starter's reasons. With the craziness that followed him around, the pokemon preferred to conserve his energy for when things were getting serious, and preferred the role of mentor than of gladiator. Nuhuko on the other hand simply floated there, the pumpkin moon in thought before giving a gentle glow, and a telepathic thought entered his mind. 'I will pass, but do exercise caution despite your...intrigue.' Turning back to the pretty man, he took a small breath before responding.

"Oh, no, I'm not looking for a battle or anything. I'm just here on something of a trip down memory lane or so," he said, slight quiver in his voice. "First place I visited was the Arcane Realm when I got to this region, and met my Lunatone in a desert ruin sorta in this area, though things have changed quite a lot. What brings you here, uh...?"

Alex trailed off a bit, slightly embarrassed at the fact he didn't know the name of this pretty guy, and moreso at the fact that he was quite taken by their appearance and mannerisms, much like a siren song. Whether it was a trip into danger or not, there was something about this stranger that excited him, in more ways than one. The Lunatone and Infernape meanwhile gazed upon him with an air of slight apprehension. They were no strangers to tales of walkers of the night, and would be willing to go with what Alex wished to a certain degree, but were ready to defend him should they feel he was in danger, yet as they watched the man tangle with his emotions, they couldn't help but be bemused.
 
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TKF: Talk about PTSD, not only were you struggling to interact with people, but the colour pink seemed to bring back all sorts of bad feelings. Did the meadow's pinker flowers upset you, too, or the Pokemon? It sounds like you need therapy. That aside, Billy was listening to you intently, nodding along, clearly interested in what you had to say. “Magician? She really does fit in well here.” Billy said at one point, but then you made your request known, and the other boy folded his arms and shifted his weight a little while he thought it over.

“Yeah, I do favour grass-type Pokemon. I actually have a Meganium, not a Grotle, though.” He added off-handedly. “I can definitely help with that, there are lots of grass-type moves that you wouldn't normally see on a Braixen but could come quite naturally to her with some work. Are you thinking more offensively or defensively? If she can set up a Psychic Terrain, setting up a Grass Type one is potentially possible, but it might come easier once she's more comfortable with handling the element. This kind of environment is perfect for that, deep in nature. Hopefully training here means she's more attuned. Just know it might be slightly harder for her to use unnatural magic outside of this place. The aether is thick here, it takes more effort elsewhere.”

He's let your party know the reality of the situation, but Billy still seems positive that he can help! Braixen isn't deterred, either. In fact, she seems more than ready to get stuck in and learn some moves that set her apart for the rest. So, if you've no second thoughts, are you ready to begin?
Billy gives them some options as he continues to assess Braixen's capabilities and determine what exactly they were wanting to get out of the training. He suggested perhaps Grassy Terrain, since Braixen already knew Psychic Terrain there would likely be some crossover. However as the words Grassy Terrain left the trainer's mouth, Bayleef perked up. The ground begins to glow as she activates her own Grassy Terrain, excited to show off her own skills. "Haha, seems Bayleef already has Grassy Terrain covered", Xander shrugs, "anyways, we were thinking maybe something more offensive than defensive or supportive." Grotle smiled as he watched the flowers glowing and the grass growing due to Bayleef's move, he could feel it strengthen him as well. Xander thought about the different Grass moves he knew about and tried to narrow down the ones that would be useful to Braixen. After narrowing down the options, one move came to mind, he just hoped that Billy would be able to help him out with it. "What about Energy Ball?" It seemed like the sort of move a mage would utilise and it wasn't overly powerful. Braixen smiled, she liked the idea! It was just a matter of whether or not Billy was capable of teaching her the move. Billy had also mentioned that he owned a Meganium, a Pokemon that he'd been wanting to see. He was unsure if he wanted Bayleef to evolve and she wasn't sure either. Xander hoped that getting to meet a Meganium would give both of them a bit more information to work with. "Hey Billy, I was wondering if we'd be able to meet your Meganium as well? Bayleef wants to get to know her evolved form and I'd like to see one as well." It was a fairly simple request compared to his request for training, so Xander was pretty certain Billy would be more than happy to show off his Pokemon.
 
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King Ghidorah

One peek. Surely that couldn't hurt, right? You lifted the scroll from it's platform an-

Oh my god.

The scroll turned to dust in your hand. You glanced around in horror, hoping that no one had seen you do that. Your Yamask's cold expression remained, not reacting to what had just happened. You hurriedly uncupped your hand, allowing the tan coloured flakes of dust that had formerly been a scroll to fall back onto the podium. You scooped all the flakes into a pile, trying your best to insist that you had simply found that pile on that lavish podium. However, you knew that wasn't exactly believable. You were about to walk away, until you noticed a faint glimmer from within the pile. Curiosity slapped you across the face once again, you reached into the pile and produced a shimmering Heart Shaped Scale. Your eyes wandered for a few moments until you noticed a golden plaque below the podium.

'Protective Scroll of Ancient Scale'

You sighed in relief, realizing that you had not destroyed a priceless artifact... you had merely destroyed the casing it was kept in. You glanced at the scale in your hand... surely no one would notice if you took it, right? You knew that these artifacts were indeed priceless and that they had presumably been down here for years and years --- not to mention that you knew you had a mission to attend to, yet, you had to admit that you certainly knew the rarity of these scales. What use was it down here? Sitting on a lavish podium in archives where no one would use it.


What do you do?
”Oh no, oh fuck, oh no, oh fuck.” The scroll disintegrated in Hugo’s hand like a victim of Thanos. But after the initial panic had set in, the glimmering of the heart shaped scale captivated Hugo. Regular Heart Scales were known for their versatility and magical properties, so this one…this one had to really be special to be in a place like this. Hugo noticed Yamask eyeing him suspiciously nearby.

“What?” Hugo asked accusingly. “I’m just looking at it. Get off my back.” Yamask floated closer and closer to Hugo before finally stopping only a few inches away. Yamask’s breath was icy cold, causing the hair on Hugo’s arm to stand on end. Slowly, the Ghost type reached down and plucked the scale from Hugo’s palms.

“Hey HEY! What are you doing?! You need to be careful!”

Without giving Hugo a second glance, Yamask wrapped the scale in some sort of spectral burial garments and gently placed the scale in the backside of its “face” mask that it carried with it.

“Do you…do you really think we should be doing this? I mean…what if we get caught?”

Yamask glared at Hugo. He wasn’t going to give it up. Did he know something about this scale? About what it was worth?

“Okay, okay. Fine. We’ll keep it. I was going to take it anyway. But I didn’t realize you were such a klepto—”

Enraged, Yamask pulled the scale out and held it in the air with Psychic, daring Hugo to say another word.

“OKAY, OKAY! I’m sorry! Don’t. Just don’t.”

Slowly, Yamask put the scale back in his mask, eyeing Hugo the whole time.

“Alright, let’s get out of here. We have to go find the nun. We’ve wasted enough time.”
 
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ShadowDRGN- You return a greeting to the kindly elder gentleman, name dropping Greg and Darla so you didn't seem like some random stranger who just happened to stumble upon his house. You give him a quick run down on your situation, explaining that the elderly couple had advised you to seek him out, in hopes that some training would help the Buizel get its revenge. The old man strokes his old, grey moustache as he takes in your story, before strangely slapping both hands on his bulging belly and chuckling hardily. "It's true that I used to help kids like you train, been a while though. If you want me to come out of retirement, I'm afraid I'm going to have to see what you've got first." The old master gestures to the split log that his Machamp had just broken. "Have Buizel and Pancham take a crack at that log, one attack each should be enough for me to see what I need, even with these old eyes." He continues to chuckle, he certainly was easily amused, mostly by himself. "Oh how rude of me, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Maleko, but most people just call me Master Mal. I used to be a Kahuna in the Alola Region but that was a while ago now." Until now you hadn't even noticed the black Z Power Ring wrapped around his left wrist. A orange-brown Z Crystal is embedded in the socket. Mal seems to notice you staring at the Z Ring and flashes it up in front of his face. "Ever seen one of these kiddo? I used to hand these out to young trainers like yourself, some were even lucky enough to earn a Fightinium Z Crystal from me like this one here." He taps the Z Crystal, causing it to flash a few times. "Z Crystals let you use Z Moves, a special move that really shows the bond you share with your Pokemon. Arceus, I'm rambling again aren't I, all this can wait for later. We're losing daylight, get over there and strike that log!"

Pancham and Buizel snap up straight as Mal suddenly raises his voice, it carried so much authority! The two were ready to show their strength, how should they go about it?
Jason's eyes flash in recognition at the Z Ring, and he gives the old master a nod, "I've watched a few movies where someone used one of those things. They let you perform some pretty crazy moves, huh?" he asks with a twinge of interest in his voice. It's clear by the way he's twitching his foot and fidgeting his arms in his pockets that he's trying to respectfully suppress his impatience with the man's rambling, until the master raises his voice and his Pokemon snap to attention.

"You got it, man!" he says in response and approaches the log, eyeing it inquisitively. So, he just has to split some plain old lumber? Shouldn't be too hard. He nods to Boss decisively, "alright, let's see what that gem can do! Give it an Arm Thrust, full-throttle!" he orders. He turns to Buizel with a bit less assurance. He's only ever had Boss to command, and having only just met this little guy, he doesn't quite know what he's capable of. After a moment of wracking his brain, an idea comes to him, "you can use Water moves, can't you? Why not try to shoot straight through that log with a Water Gun?" he suggests.

Boss grins and steps towards the log, tossing the Fighting Gem in his palm as he warms up for his attack. He sizes up the wood as he drops into a brawler's stance, and his paw tightens around the crystal, applying more and more pressure until it starts to crack. He pulls his arms back and lunges at the target to strike, and at the last moment he crushes the gem into dust, causing a burst of Fighting power to come rushing through body as he sends of flurry of palm strikes into the log!

Jason sends a shout of encouragement as he watches the attack with awe. Even from here, he can feel those powered-up strikes vibrating the air, each one resounding with Boss's determination to prove his strength. Once Boss is done, he looks to Buizel with a grin, "give it your best shot! We'll win this dude over for sure with moves like this!"
 
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Raves: You've been through so much, but as hardened as you are, it seems like your heart can still be melted. Your eyes wash over the man, and your heart actually flutters. You can't believe it, you wonder if he's real, and your cheeks burn pink. Outwardly you're calm, but inside... You've been calmer. You're not fooling anyone, either-- your Lunatone reminds you not to just let your guard down willy-nilly.

“Memory lane? All of the way out here?” He sounds surprised, but not judgemental. He's just as intrigued about you as you are of him, and he laughs shyly when you prompt him for his name and purpose. “Oh, I'm sorry! That was rude-- my name's Menefer. I came out here treasure hunting. My sisters used to tell me stories about magical treasure that was buried here, and I know that lots of people like to come hunting here because of the rare Pokemon and meteorites. So, I wanted to see if there was any truth in them, or if they were all just fiction. I thought it would be a fun way to keep their memories alive, and a good experience either way.”

He sounds pretty chipper, in spite of how sad the root of his mission might be. He's here all alone, in the dark, to celebrate the memory of loved ones long gone. In the way, are you both not alike? You're both out here down memory lane. He seems perfectly pleasant, and he seems to think the same of you. “You can come with me if you like. I'd be happy to share whatever I find! – Oh, what kind of memories brought you here, Mister...?” The man suddenly catches himself, “Not that you need to tell me if it's too personal. I can understand.”

Sharing is caring, even if you don't want to entirely open up. It might be a fun date...?

-

TKF: Billy grinned when your Bayleef showed off her own magical power, laughing, but not out of mockery. He just looked delighted by her enthusiasm. “She certainly does! Maybe one day she could teach Braixen her trick. It's a very beautiful terrain, too.” He complimented the Pokemon before returning his attention to you. Grotle seems happy to be in Bayleef's terrain, and surely that's making her happier to have impressed him? “Energy Ball is probably possible. But you should know that we can only really practice one element here. So she might have a harder time when the energy that she'd produce is different, for example if you were on the coast or in an area where ghosts tend to roam.” He explained, wanting you to be sure of your options. “I had the thought that Magical Leaf or Petal Dance might suit her well, even if one is a bit more difficult to master than the other. Both are powerful offensive moves, but I'll cater to whatever you'd prefer to do.”

You make a second request, and as predicted, this one is far easier to fulfill. “Oh, of course! Megara would love to meet you all.” Billy said. He produced a Poke Ball from his pockets, and you notice it has a sticker on that looks like a Meganium's necklace of flowers. He presses the button once to enlarge it, then again to release the Pokemon you'd hoped to see. She was a beautiful, well-cared for Meganium, her short fur pristine and the petals around her neck big and lush.

“Megaaa!” The female greets, and she nuzzles her trainer first before noticing the glowing grass beneath her. Big eyes peer up to the source, and she looks delighted to see a fellow of her species, extending a vine to wave at both Bayleef and Grotle.
“Megara, this is Xander and his Grotle and Bayleef. They both really wanted to meet a Meganium, so I hope you don't mind!”
The Pokemon shakes her head, seemingly as upbeat a person as her human. Not only that, but she extends her vines as if to shake your hand! How very polite! Hopefully you all have a good first impression!
 
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Meetan- Cradling the Trapinch in your arms, you make your way back to the cart, Farren trailing closely behind. By the time you make it back to the cart, the old trader is just about finished hitching the Tauros back up. Eridian stands nearby, waiting somewhat impatiently for your return. As the elderly gentleman makes his final ties, he turns to thank you, however you can still sense an air of panic about him. "Thank you so much young lady, I don't know how to thank you. I can't afford to lose anymore produce, but perhaps this little trinket will suffice?" The old man pulls a small rainbow coloured shell out of his pocket and presents it to you, it was a Heart Scale! Until now he hadn't notice the Trapinch, but upon seeing it, he seems to string a couple of bits of information together. "Oh is that the little bugger who has been digging all these holes! Do us another favour and take it far away from here. Actually, I might even know where that Trapinch came from. Some poachers were caught here a couple of days back on their way out of the Arcane Realm. A friend told me they had been gathering Pokemon from the Land of Cups, maybe Trapinch was one of those Pokemon?" He looks up at the sun, using it to gauge the time. "I really need to get going, otherwise my buyer will go looking elsewhere. I'm on my way to the Magician's Hamlet, your welcome to catch a ride with me if you'd like, there are plenty of merchants there that might have something of interest to you. If you want to take that little one back home though, that would be in another direction."

The old merchant climbs up onto his cart, grabbing the reins as he waits patiently for your answer. This Trapinch seemed young, maybe it had a family to get back to or they might have been taken as well, meaning the best place for the youngster would be with you? You couldn't afford to keep the old man waiting, you needed to make a decision here and now.


ShadowDRGN- Not wanting to waste any time, you order Boss and the Buisel to attack the already broken log. Boss ramps up the power immediately, crushing the Fighting Gem you'd just given him to give himself a massive power boost. The Pancham leaps into action, taking a fighting stance before repetitively striking the log with an Arm Thrust, not to dissimilar to the Machamp had, albeit on a much smaller and cuter scale. The wood groans against the little Fighting types powerful strikes, splinters fly through the air as Mal watches on, stroking his moustache repetitively. As Boss comes to a stop and steps aside, Buizel steps up to the plate. It appears to have some level of respect for you, as it seems intent on following your instruction. It fires a powerful Water Gun, splitting the already weakened log in two. The Buizel turns and gives Boss another fist bump, the pair certainly were working well together. This was also the first time you'd seen the Buizel's potential, it hadn't gotten a chance when you'd first encountered it.

"Well would you look at that", cheers Mal as he gives his belly another slap. "Looks like you boys might just have what it takes. Why don't you recall your Pokemon into their balls so they can get a bit of rest? It'll be a big day of training tomorrow, so we'll get some dinner into you then its time to hit the hay!" Master Mal holds up an Ultra Ball, recalling his Machamp into it. He then opens the door to his house and waits politely for you to enter. It seems you, Boss and the Buizel were officially his students!
 
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Meetan- Cradling the Trapinch in your arms, you make your way back to the cart, Farren trailing closely behind. By the time you make it back to the cart, the old trader is just about finished hitching the Tauros back up. Eridian stands nearby, waiting somewhat impatiently for your return. As the elderly gentleman makes his final ties, he turns to thank you, however you can still sense an air of panic about him. "Thank you so much young lady, I don't know how to thank you. I can't afford to lose anymore produce, but perhaps this little trinket will suffice?" The old man pulls a small rainbow coloured shell out of his pocket and presents it to you, it was a Heart Scale! Until now he hadn't notice the Trapinch, but upon seeing it, he seems to string a couple of bits of information together. "Oh is that the little bugger who has been digging all these holes! Do us another favour and take it far away from here. Actually, I might even know where that Trapinch came from. Some poachers were caught here a couple of days back on their way out of the Arcane Realm. A friend told me they had been gathering Pokemon from the Land of Cups, maybe Trapinch was one of those Pokemon?" He looks up at the sun, using it to gauge the time. "I really need to get going, otherwise my buyer will go looking elsewhere. I'm on my way to the Magician's Hamlet, your welcome to catch a ride with me if you'd like, there are plenty of merchants there that might have something of interest to you. If you want to take that little one back home though, that would be in another direction."

The old merchant climbs up onto his cart, grabbing the reins as he waits patiently for your answer. This Trapinch seemed young, maybe it had a family to get back to or they might have been taken as well, meaning the best place for the youngster would be with you? You couldn't afford to keep the old man waiting, you needed to make a decision here and now.
It was no surprise that the old man was still feeling shaken up. Alice would have been if she was in his position, and he had time pressures to worry about. Not to mention she might have triggered him a little by having the Trapinch in her arms. Whoops. "You're totally welcome. And it'll more than suffice, thank you!" The trainer was genuinely delighted to take the Heart Scale from the merchant's hands, and she murmured a few comforting notes to the baby while she swung her bag down to pack the prize away. Alice hoisted the bag back up while the man spoke. "Oh, yeah, it was. But she's a shy little bugger, really. -- And that'd make sense. It would explain why she was so stressed and tired. It took Farren's Sweet Scent to get the Pokemon to chill, and with a berry she was right as rain.

"Oh, no worries. And yeah, we'd love to come with you, right guys?" Farren confirmed with more enthusiasm than Eridian, who not only was less bothered about their direction, but knew that his trainer was motivated by laziness and shopping. Of course she'd take any excuse not to use her legs! Alice was of course tempted to go to the Land of Cups, but maybe they could head that way later. For now, the Trapinch seemed settled. Waiting for permission, Alice returned her other two Pokemon and then climbed into the cart, settling into the back with the Trapinch still in her lap, finding a Poke Ball in her bag to officially capture it with. "I think Fiona would be a good name for you, and I don't think you're a little bugger. I think you're lovely." She cooed, giving the ground-dweller a loving scritch and scratch. Her nails had definitely seen better days... "I won't let those poachers or anyone else come after you, okay? I promise." All things considered, if humans had tried to harm it so, it was crazy how quickly it had just accepted her aid. The Trapinch must have been young and desperate, that was for sure. Alice couldn't risk letting it down.
 
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TKF: Billy grinned when your Bayleef showed off her own magical power, laughing, but not out of mockery. He just looked delighted by her enthusiasm. “She certainly does! Maybe one day she could teach Braixen her trick. It's a very beautiful terrain, too.” He complimented the Pokemon before returning his attention to you. Grotle seems happy to be in Bayleef's terrain, and surely that's making her happier to have impressed him? “Energy Ball is probably possible. But you should know that we can only really practice one element here. So she might have a harder time when the energy that she'd produce is different, for example if you were on the coast or in an area where ghosts tend to roam.” He explained, wanting you to be sure of your options. “I had the thought that Magical Leaf or Petal Dance might suit her well, even if one is a bit more difficult to master than the other. Both are powerful offensive moves, but I'll cater to whatever you'd prefer to do.”

You make a second request, and as predicted, this one is far easier to fulfill. “Oh, of course! Megara would love to meet you all.” Billy said. He produced a Poke Ball from his pockets, and you notice it has a sticker on that looks like a Meganium's necklace of flowers. He presses the button once to enlarge it, then again to release the Pokemon you'd hoped to see. She was a beautiful, well-cared for Meganium, her short fur pristine and the petals around her neck big and lush.

“Megaaa!” The female greets, and she nuzzles her trainer first before noticing the glowing grass beneath her. Big eyes peer up to the source, and she looks delighted to see a fellow of her species, extending a vine to wave at both Bayleef and Grotle.
“Megara, this is Xander and his Grotle and Bayleef. They both really wanted to meet a Meganium, so I hope you don't mind!”
The Pokemon shakes her head, seemingly as upbeat a person as her human. Not only that, but she extends her vines as if to shake your hand! How very polite! Hopefully you all have a good first impression!

Billy quickly explained that they'd likely run into some difficulty using Energy Ball elsewhere, but Xander remained intent. Even when Billy proposed Magical Leaf or Petal Dance, he didn't waver, Energy Ball just felt right. Braixen seemed to share this sentiment, nodding as Xander expressed his desire to give the Energy Ball a crack. "Magical Leaf and Petal Dance sound alright, but I think Braixen and myself would much rather take on the challenge of Energy Ball. Even if it means a bit of extra work later on, I'm confident Braixen has what it takes to master the move."

Bayleef and Grotle were excited to meet Megara, almost as much as Xander. The marvellous Meganium had an air of excellence about her, her sweet scent a contrast to Bayleef's spicy one. The petals around her neck were stunning and Bayleef was certainly impressed by them, maybe evolving wouldn't be so bad? Grotle turns to Bayleef, giving her a wink. Sure Meganium was pretty, but it had nothing on her! Bayleef, true to form, blushed and turned away. Why was Grotle so intent on embarrassing her? Megara outstretched a vine to shake Xander's hand, her politeness was almost as impressive as her beauty.

"So Billy, how do we go about this training? I have a feeling it isn't exactly going to be straight forward...." Magic was a tricky thing, as was teaching a Pokemon a move it couldn't normally learn. He was willing to put in the work, as was Braixen, but that didn't guarantee they would be successful. They'd chosen a harder option, against the advice of their instructor, if they failed it would be their own fault.
 
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It was no surprise that the old man was still feeling shaken up. Alice would have been if she was in his position, and he had time pressures to worry about. Not to mention she might have triggered him a little by having the Trapinch in her arms. Whoops. "You're totally welcome. And it'll more than suffice, thank you!" The trainer was genuinely delighted to take the Heart Scale from the merchant's hands, and she murmured a few comforting notes to the baby while she swung her bag down to pack the prize away. Alice hoisted the bag back up while the man spoke. "Oh, yeah, it was. But she's a shy little bugger, really. -- And that'd make sense. It would explain why she was so stressed and tired. It took Farren's Sweet Scent to get the Pokemon to chill, and with a berry she was right as rain.

"Oh, no worries. And yeah, we'd love to come with you, right guys?" Farren confirmed with more enthusiasm than Eridian, who not only was less bothered about their direction, but knew that his trainer was motivated by laziness and shopping. Of course she'd take any excuse not to use her legs! Alice was of course tempted to go to the Land of Cups, but maybe they could head that way later. For now, the Trapinch seemed settled. Waiting for permission, Alice returned her other two Pokemon and then climbed into the cart, settling into the back with the Trapinch still in her lap, finding a Poke Ball in her bag to officially capture it with. "I think Fiona would be a good name for you, and I don't think you're a little bugger. I think you're lovely." She cooed, giving the ground-dweller a loving scritch and scratch. Her nails had definitely seen better days... "I won't let those poachers or anyone else come after you, okay? I promise." All things considered, if humans had tried to harm it so, it was crazy how quickly it had just accepted her aid. The Trapinch must have been young and desperate, that was for sure. Alice couldn't risk letting it down.

Pleased with your reward, you gratefully accept the Heart Scale, as well as the offer of a ride! You recall Farren and Eridian into their Pokeballs, Eridian a little displeased that'd you'd essentially elected to go shopping. As you settled on the rough wooden seat of the cart, you speak softly to the young Trapinch still nestled in your arms. You reassure it that you'd take good care of it and that it wouldn't have to worry about anyone trying to take it ever again. Digging through your bag you produce a Pokeball, presenting it to the Trapinch, along with the suggestion of a name, Fiona.

Traaaaaaapinch

The Trapinch yawns, but it seems to approve as taps the Pokeball with its nose, causing it to draw her inside. The ball shakes a couple of times in your hand before settling with a resounding click. The capture was successful!

You caught a lvl 5 Female Trapinch! She has the ability Arena Trap as well as the Egg Moves Gust and Bug Bite!

"Well, better in your care than out here running a muck", the man remarks. "I don't think I got a chance to introduce myself properly, my name is Phillip, everyone calls me Phil though, apart from my wife." Phil gives the reins a little flick, urging Tauros forward. The Normal type breaks into a steady gallop, causing you to grab the side of the cart. Maybe this wasn't the best idea after all? "Sorry about the rush and all, but we really need the money from this sale. We're under a lot of pressure at the moment, my wife has been sick and we're low on funds, if we don't get the money we need, we risk losing the farm." It all made sense now, why Phil had been so stressed about his overturned cart. "If we keep this pace we should make it to the Hamlet just in time. Enough about me though, what about yourself? What brings you to the Arcane Realm?"
 
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Pleased with your reward, you gratefully accept the Heart Scale, as well as the offer of a ride! You recall Farren and Eridian into their Pokeballs, Eridian a little displeased that'd you'd essentially elected to go shopping. As you settled on the rough wooden seat of the cart, you speak softly to the young Trapinch still nestled in your arms. You reassure it that you'd take good care of it and that it wouldn't have to worry about anyone trying to take it ever again. Digging through your bag you produce a Pokeball, presenting it to the Trapinch, along with the suggestion of a name, Fiona.

Traaaaaaapinch

The Trapinch yawns, but it seems to approve as taps the Pokeball with its nose, causing it to draw her inside. The ball shakes a couple of times in your hand before settling with a resounding click. The capture was successful!

You caught a lvl 5 Female Trapinch! She has the ability Arena Trap as well as the Egg Moves Gust and Bug Bite!

"Well, better in your care than out here running a muck", the man remarks. "I don't think I got a chance to introduce myself properly, my name is Phillip, everyone calls me Phil though, apart from my wife." Phil gives the reins a little flick, urging Tauros forward. The Normal type breaks into a steady gallop, causing you to grab the side of the cart. Maybe this wasn't the best idea after all? "Sorry about the rush and all, but we really need the money from this sale. We're under a lot of pressure at the moment, my wife has been sick and we're low on funds, if we don't get the money we need, we risk losing the farm." It all made sense now, why Phil had been so stressed about his overturned cart. "If we keep this pace we should make it to the Hamlet just in time. Enough about me though, what about yourself? What brings you to the Arcane Realm?"
Alice was more than delighted with her capture, especially when her bright pink Pokedex confirmed the extra moves it had, and that it was young just like she suspected. What a cute baby! They'd definitely make sure that little Fiona grew up big and strong. She put the ball away for the moment to keep it safe, curling herself around her belongings so that she didn't lose any to the exceedingly speedy and bumpy ride that they were now on. "Hey, no worries, I understand. Your job's important enough without all of that to worry about, too." She said, as chill as she tended to be. Alice tended to have two extreme modes: lazy and easygoing or the absolute other end of the scale. She was rarely in the middle.

"It's... Kind of a weird story, to be honest." Alice admitted. "I'm Alice Hope, by the way-- I'm a trainer and an idol, more the first than the second a lot of the time. But I was on a mission helping the police in Bedlam Ridge, infiltrating the sanctum. I... Think I blacked out during a trainer battle, and then I woke up. There wasn't much of a mark on me, so I don't think I was shot or anything, but I don't really remember how I got here." Someone might have rescued her, but the one ally it turned out had been assisting her, her Honedge fucking impaled. Not to mention that Farren hadn't been on her person when Alice had started the mission out. The thing was, it wasn't the first of such instances, and it wouldn't be the last. There were so many gaps in her memory, often tailing off of deathly situations... And the young woman had a theory that was unsettling to contemplate. It was possible to come back from the dead in this world, but if that was truly the case... Then how often, and why?

"So, we just started walking along the road. I figure a place with a bunch of people is probably a good next step, too." Alice added optimistically. "Especially if we can stock up on anything decent. But where's the farm, by the way? If there's anything more that we can do for you, we'd love to.
 
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Raves: You've been through so much, but as hardened as you are, it seems like your heart can still be melted. Your eyes wash over the man, and your heart actually flutters. You can't believe it, you wonder if he's real, and your cheeks burn pink. Outwardly you're calm, but inside... You've been calmer. You're not fooling anyone, either-- your Lunatone reminds you not to just let your guard down willy-nilly.

“Memory lane? All of the way out here?” He sounds surprised, but not judgemental. He's just as intrigued about you as you are of him, and he laughs shyly when you prompt him for his name and purpose. “Oh, I'm sorry! That was rude-- my name's Menefer. I came out here treasure hunting. My sisters used to tell me stories about magical treasure that was buried here, and I know that lots of people like to come hunting here because of the rare Pokemon and meteorites. So, I wanted to see if there was any truth in them, or if they were all just fiction. I thought it would be a fun way to keep their memories alive, and a good experience either way.”

He sounds pretty chipper, in spite of how sad the root of his mission might be. He's here all alone, in the dark, to celebrate the memory of loved ones long gone. In the way, are you both not alike? You're both out here down memory lane. He seems perfectly pleasant, and he seems to think the same of you. “You can come with me if you like. I'd be happy to share whatever I find! – Oh, what kind of memories brought you here, Mister...?” The man suddenly catches himself, “Not that you need to tell me if it's too personal. I can understand.”

Sharing is caring, even if you don't want to entirely open up. It might be a fun date...?

The pretty man gave a shy laugh as the veteran asked him on his being here, and by the looks he was getting the cute guy was as interested in him as he was to them...maybe. Introducing himself as Menefer, his reveal at seeking treasure was somewhat expected to Alex. After all, he originally came to the Arcane Realm under similar pretences, though his reasons were more towards wealth rather than for curiosity and to honour lost siblings.

Lost siblings. Ah. That would explain his infectious positivity. Family was something of a foreign concept to him as he raised an eyebrow, given his earliest known memory was of those halls of the Order, and he subconsciously wondered what sort of people his birth parents were. What slight sorrow he felt on this was very quickly drowned out at Menefer's next words, inviting Alex to join him on his treasure hunt, and his blush only intensified as the same question was posted towards him. He really should have saw that turnabout coming, though the cutie was at least respectful to allow him some privacy. That being said...

"O-oh, right. I'm Alex, the Infernape here's Nothung while my Lunatone goes by Nuhuko," he chirped, motioning towards the pair who were more relaxed, having deemed Menefer to be of little danger to their trainer. "As for what brought us here...well, as I said a bit earlier, when I first came to this region I visited the Arcane Realm, back when Nothung was still a Chimchar with the same kinda mindset as you, looking for treasures. We came upon this ancient tomb of sorts and ventured through it, only to come face to face with Nuhuko here who had dwelled in said ruins for centuries. Long story short, we fought, Nothung won, and we discovered the treasure the Lunatone was guarding was himself, so we felt it would be best to give him the freedom to explore the world." Alex paused for breath as he continued. "When the realm opened up again after an unusual disappearance, we kinda felt some nostalgic kinship to return to the same sorta place we had our first adventure for old times' sakes, since we've not been out and about much the past year or so. To be honest...we didn't really have much of a plan when we got here other than to find something to do, and since you offered, I reckon we can give you a hand with your own search. What do you say, guys?"

Nothung grinned and gave a nod with a thumbs up, considerably interested in taking this trip down memory lane as long as it didn't end up with them in quicksand again. The pumpkin meteorite gave a small hum and glowed with faint cyan light conveying a telepathic confirmation to Alex, who could only give an embarrassed leer back as the rock pokemon mentally teased him for falling for attraction so easily. Nuhuko was jubilant, how that Zangoose would pay richly to hear this little tale to its conclusion.

"Um...uh, yeah, they're f-fine with coming along too. I guess that makes two of us, plus companions?" Alex responded, trying very hard to maintain eye contact with a small smile and even harder to not show his interest in Menefer, and hoping to Xerneas that the cute guy didn't notice the crushing.
 
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Meetan- As you fill Phil in on your story so far, the old trader is taken a back. It appears he didn't expect a pretty young girl like you to have such a gory back story! Repeating your story to the man made you realise just how many blank parts it had, it even made you consider the possibility that you'd died and somehow recovered. You decide to leave the questions about your past for now, instead you inquire about Phil's farm and whether there was anything you could do to help.

"It's about an hour or two back down the Fool's Path, you can't see it from the road but you probably would have passed it. There is plenty to be done, but nothing I can't handle, as long as this sale goes through. Besides, I wouldn't want you to waste anymore of your time helping me." The trees and open expanses soon begin to give way to homesteads, as you move from the wilderness into a more residential area. The road transitions from dirt to firmly packed cobblestone as you make your way into the Magician's Hamlet. "We're here!"

Phil slows Tauros right down as he is forced to accommodate the crowd that fills the marketplace. Children run through the streets, screeching as they play with their friends. Tradesmen shout out sales pitches, locals stumble around with arms full of goods and travellers walk between the variety of hastily made stalls and well established craftsman shops. "I need to go and find my buyer, you're welcome to come with me or you can hop off here and go have a look around. Either way, its your choice." Phil brought the cart to a stop, standing up to try and get his bearings as he waited for your response.
 
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Meetan- As you fill Phil in on your story so far, the old trader is taken a back. It appears he didn't expect a pretty young girl like you to have such a gory back story! Repeating your story to the man made you realise just how many blank parts it had, it even made you consider the possibility that you'd died and somehow recovered. You decide to leave the questions about your past for now, instead you inquire about Phil's farm and whether there was anything you could do to help.

"It's about an hour or two back down the Fool's Path, you can't see it from the road but you probably would have passed it. There is plenty to be done, but nothing I can't handle, as long as this sale goes through. Besides, I wouldn't want you to waste anymore of your time helping me." The trees and open expanses soon begin to give way to homesteads, as you move from the wilderness into a more residential area. The road transitions from dirt to firmly packed cobblestone as you make your way into the Magician's Hamlet. "We're here!"

Phil slows Tauros right down as he is forced to accommodate the crowd that fills the marketplace. Children run through the streets, screeching as they play with their friends. Tradesmen shout out sales pitches, locals stumble around with arms full of goods and travellers walk between the variety of hastily made stalls and well established craftsman shops. "I need to go and find my buyer, you're welcome to come with me or you can hop off here and go have a look around. Either way, its your choice." Phil brought the cart to a stop, standing up to try and get his bearings as he waited for your response.
Alice could tell that she had startled Phil with her recollections, and she hoped that he didn't feel uncomfortable. Sometimes she was too open about things, or attempted to play down the seriousness of things that weren't okay at all, without realising that others might react as such. "Well, it's not a waste if we want to do it." She reminded him, but let the whole thing go. If he had it handled, then that was okay, she didn't want to underestimate him simply because he was on the older side. He probably had other Pokemon who assisted him, too, and that could make all of the difference - more than some impractical princess like herself could make, surely. The ride began to get bumpier as the surroundings of nature faded away into an olden, urban setting. The castle loomed over the Magician's Hamlet from its distance, an admirable sight, although Alice couldn't keep focus on it for long when she was convinced one of these idiot locals was going to end up under Tauros' hooves.

"I can at least stay with you until you find your buyer." Alice offered. She wasn't in a rush, really, and she planned to take a look around before heading off wherever life led her. Of course they'd have to aim for home eventually, but it was kind of nice to have an almost aimless wander for once. Usually they went somewhere with a goal in mind, or quickly found one, at least. "You know, if you run over one of those, you get extra points." She absolutely meant the children. Alice had enough problems with kids on this bloody planet, often reinforced by their dumbass parents. It wasn't that she hated the youth but god, she was normally better off avoiding them. If Phil didn't hear her quip, that was fine, though. He was obviously trying to find her buyer, and so Alice began to peer about as well, seeing if there was anything that captured her interest to come and look into later on.
 
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TKF: In spite of Billy's suggestions, you were still set on Braixen learning Energy Ball, and she was in agreement with you. For some reason, it just felt like the right move to make, and nothing was going to stop you both from trying. Billy seems to hum as if he's uncertain about your choice, but he gives in anyway. “Okay, well, if you're sure.” He shrugged, and that was that.

All of you are impressed by Megara. She's beautiful and polite, a proper lady on four chunky legs, and the contrast of aroma between sweet and spicy just adds to the wonderful atmosphere of the meadow. Grotle might at times contest Bayleef's affections, but right now he's flirting, and she has no idea what to do about it! Why is he being like this?

“No, it won't be straightforward, but with learning odd moves it usually never is.” Billy pointed out reassuringly. “We should go somewhere a little quieter so that Braixen can focus. Like with most magic, mindfulness is a good place to start, and Energy Ball involves literally drawing power from nature. She's attuned with this area on some level but probably not with the grass elementals, so she needs a space that can help her do that. Bayleef's Grassy Terrain will come in handy, though, but as we train, she needs to be able to call on Nature's Power without that boost.” He continued. “Let's head this way.”

He heads further out. Of course there are people still visible, and in fact, there are plenty of people like the observing man from before who are keeping to themselves to relax or meditate. It's clearly a well practised strategy. “We can settle here. Remember that Braixen needs to focus, so if you think Grotle and Bayleef are going to be too much of a distraction, you should probably return them or send them off to play if you can trust them not to bother other people.”

What do you do?

-

Raves: Menefer listens the whole time, maintaining as much eye contact as you can keep up. He's clearly interested in the tale that you're weaving for him, although he briefly looks away from you to smile and nod encouragingly at the Infernape and Lunatone. If your brief sadness at your past had broken through, Menefer showed no indication that he noticed, and it seemed like your not-so-secret crush was at least a secret to him. Of course, if you wanted to keep it this way, it might be best to get your shit together. Arceus weeps, Alex, but your Pokemon will be laughing you into an early grave of humiliation if you give them anymore to work with. You're a comedy sketch all your own.

“Those are amazing names. Historical references, yes? Or-- stories? I'm sorry, neither are my strongest suit but they do ring bells!” He added in compliment. “My own Pokemon are around here somewhere... Ammie, Ramses?” Menefer briefly looked around, and soon enough, an eerily grinning Banette was at one side and a Solrock at his other. The levitating sun seems particularly interested in the Lunatone – or you think so, it's hard to tell, to be honest. Their faces were harder to read than Lunatones', who at least had some light in their eyes. Solrock was more... Just rocky, really. “They went off to explore while I stargazed. They have a lot less patience than me, I think.” He laughed, and then the Banette did, too. It was a little creepy.

“So, the two of us and four companions, for now at least! They might wander off again. It's not that they're untrained, but we did think it'd be good if they covered more ground, and they always come back if I call.” It seems like his trust and bond in his Pokemon is strong, so the ghostie probably won't try to dig into your soul and devour all of the darkness within it. Reassuring! The Solrock moved higher, turning roughly north-west. “You've found something, Ramses?”
The Pokemon spoke, and shifted in a way that might be a nod if it had a neck attached. “Okay, then I guess we go this way.” Menefer decided, glancing back at you. “Are you ready to go?”

Of course you are, you lovesick dolt, but it's decorum to ask anyway. What do you do?
 
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TKF: In spite of Billy's suggestions, you were still set on Braixen learning Energy Ball, and she was in agreement with you. For some reason, it just felt like the right move to make, and nothing was going to stop you both from trying. Billy seems to hum as if he's uncertain about your choice, but he gives in anyway. “Okay, well, if you're sure.” He shrugged, and that was that.

All of you are impressed by Megara. She's beautiful and polite, a proper lady on four chunky legs, and the contrast of aroma between sweet and spicy just adds to the wonderful atmosphere of the meadow. Grotle might at times contest Bayleef's affections, but right now he's flirting, and she has no idea what to do about it! Why is he being like this?

“No, it won't be straightforward, but with learning odd moves it usually never is.” Billy pointed out reassuringly. “We should go somewhere a little quieter so that Braixen can focus. Like with most magic, mindfulness is a good place to start, and Energy Ball involves literally drawing power from nature. She's attuned with this area on some level but probably not with the grass elementals, so she needs a space that can help her do that. Bayleef's Grassy Terrain will come in handy, though, but as we train, she needs to be able to call on Nature's Power without that boost.” He continued. “Let's head this way.”

He heads further out. Of course there are people still visible, and in fact, there are plenty of people like the observing man from before who are keeping to themselves to relax or meditate. It's clearly a well practised strategy. “We can settle here. Remember that Braixen needs to focus, so if you think Grotle and Bayleef are going to be too much of a distraction, you should probably return them or send them off to play if you can trust them not to bother other people.”

What do you do?

Billy explained that if they were to have any hope of learning Energy Ball, they'd have to go somewhere more quiet. Braixen was a little sceptical when she heard she'd have to clear her mind. Xander was a bit concerned as well, he knew as well as Braixen did that she always had something on her mind, some plot or prank. If they wanted to nail this, she'd need to learn though. They walked through the meadow, looking for somewhere more peaceful. Eventually Billy found a spot he was happy with, so Bayleef set up another Grassy Terrain to help Braixen in her studies. Bayleef and Grotle would likely be unwanted distractions, but Xander didn't feel like dragging them back into their balls right now either. "Alright you two", Xander turned to Bayleef and Grotle, "go and play in the meadow, but keep out of trouble." Xander mostly looked at Grotle when he said the last part. The Grotle was normally trustworthy but around Bayleef he acted differently. If an opportunity to show off presented itself, he'd take it. As the two Grass types walked off through the flowers, Xander turned his attention to Braixen. They both sat down in the flowers and began to clear their minds. "Alright Braixen, let your mind empty", Xander spoke softly, "breathe in slowly, taking in the smell of the meadow, then exhale, letting all your thoughts leave as well." Jayson watched as Braixen attempted to empty her mind. He was certain Billy would give her more instructions once she achieved the required state.
 
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ShadowDRGN- Not wanting to waste any time, you order Boss and the Buisel to attack the already broken log. Boss ramps up the power immediately, crushing the Fighting Gem you'd just given him to give himself a massive power boost. The Pancham leaps into action, taking a fighting stance before repetitively striking the log with an Arm Thrust, not to dissimilar to the Machamp had, albeit on a much smaller and cuter scale. The wood groans against the little Fighting types powerful strikes, splinters fly through the air as Mal watches on, stroking his moustache repetitively. As Boss comes to a stop and steps aside, Buizel steps up to the plate. It appears to have some level of respect for you, as it seems intent on following your instruction. It fires a powerful Water Gun, splitting the already weakened log in two. The Buizel turns and gives Boss another fist bump, the pair certainly were working well together. This was also the first time you'd seen the Buizel's potential, it hadn't gotten a chance when you'd first encountered it.

"Well would you look at that", cheers Mal as he gives his belly another slap. "Looks like you boys might just have what it takes. Why don't you recall your Pokemon into their balls so they can get a bit of rest? It'll be a big day of training tomorrow, so we'll get some dinner into you then its time to hit the hay!" Master Mal holds up an Ultra Ball, recalling his Machamp into it. He then opens the door to his house and waits politely for you to enter. It seems you, Boss and the Buizel were officially his students!
Jason lets out an impressed whistle upon seeing Buizel finish the job by slicing straight through the wood with a shot of pressurized water, "awesome stuff, guys!" he says to the both of them as he kneels down and extends a fist to each of them. He looks to Buizel thoughtfully as he does so, and conveys his recognition of the Water Pokemon's respect with a simple nod, "and thanks for hearing me out, man."

Boss gives another fist bump to his Trainer, and opens his paw to let the dust from the crushed gem blow out into the wind. Jason regards it curiously after putting his hands back in his pockets, "damn, guess they really are a one-use thing, huh? We should save the second one for when we face down that Crawdaunt," he advises. Boss nods understandingly a moment before his ears twitch, and he turns around to look at Master Mal while he heartily approves of their display.

"Told ya that we got it!" Jason smirks as he rises to his feet, pretty happy that he managed to convince the Master of their potential. He plucks Boss's Basic Ball off the strap of his bag and extends it towards the Pancham to recall him in a beam of light. He clips the ball back on and then faces Buizel with a bit of a puzzled look on his face, "shit, right... uh... hey, Master?" he tries to get attention of the Mal and gestures towards the remaining Pokemon, "Buizel still needs to make up his mind about having me as his Trainer, so he doesn't have a ball. Is it cool if he hangs around outside of one while we're staying with you?" he asks as he starts to head towards the cabin, his stomach already jumping at the opportunity to dig into the first real meal he's had since he left Driftveil.
 
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TKF: When Billy mentions that Braixen has to clear her mind, you already feel concerned. Tuning into her own psychic power has been relatively easy up until this point: she had a natural talent for it, and it was unlocking potential that was already there. This was opening a gateway that might otherwise require technology to open, but you hadn't expected to hit a road block the moment you started! Braixen's mind was always on the run! How were you going to fix that?! You've told Grotle and Bayleef to go and play, and to behave themselves, and so they go and do just that. Braixen's a little bit envious, honestly. While she's determined to knuckle down and do this, she'd also rather play, and like you, she is also wondering if Grotle might go out and cause trouble to show off and she doesn't really want to miss that.

Regardless, the vixen settles down in the Grassy Terrain. You softly give her some instructions, which she follows, inhaling and exhaling nice and slowly; eyes closed as she tried to take in the atmosphere of the environment. Her nose was already sensitive to all of the world's smells, and right now, she's detecting all of the different flowers and their aromas; the sounds of wild and captured Pokemon frolicking and working hard in the meadow just as she is. It's hard not to get distracted by her own trail of thoughts. If she suddenly drop kicked you or took you out with her stick, that'd be pretty damn funny and the others would laugh when they found out! But that's her mind wandering again. She sets her hands down among the grass, feeling the motions of the foliage and the earth beneath. There's so much going on, nature is so very complex... She can feel it all growing and changing around her, encouraged by her ally's Grassy Terrain. Yet, while Braixen feels all of this, all you and Billy are doing are watching. You have no idea if this is working or if she's just thinking about food or a nap.

"Braixen, once you're ready, stand up and we'll start the next step." Billy encouraged, his voice low and neutral like yours. After a bit more time, she does stand up, and you notice her breathing is more rhythmic and her expression focused. Beneath your feet, the glow of the assisting move fades. It's either go on without that boost, or hope that Megara assists. "Now, we're going to have Megara use Energy Ball. We'll use it once to show you what it looks like, and then we're going to use a weaker version on you, so you have a personal feeling for that natural energy. Is that okay with you?"

Megara's definitely stronger than your freshly evolved Braixen, but Billy seems to think this is a fine path to take. What do you do?
 
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TKF: When Billy mentions that Braixen has to clear her mind, you already feel concerned. Tuning into her own psychic power has been relatively easy up until this point: she had a natural talent for it, and it was unlocking potential that was already there. This was opening a gateway that might otherwise require technology to open, but you hadn't expected to hit a road block the moment you started! Braixen's mind was always on the run! How were you going to fix that?! You've told Grotle and Bayleef to go and play, and to behave themselves, and so they go and do just that. Braixen's a little bit envious, honestly. While she's determined to knuckle down and do this, she'd also rather play, and like you, she is also wondering if Grotle might go out and cause trouble to show off and she doesn't really want to miss that.

Regardless, the vixen settles down in the Grassy Terrain. You softly give her some instructions, which she follows, inhaling and exhaling nice and slowly; eyes closed as she tried to take in the atmosphere of the environment. Her nose was already sensitive to all of the world's smells, and right now, she's detecting all of the different flowers and their aromas; the sounds of wild and captured Pokemon frolicking and working hard in the meadow just as she is. It's hard not to get distracted by her own trail of thoughts. If she suddenly drop kicked you or took you out with her stick, that'd be pretty damn funny and the others would laugh when they found out! But that's her mind wandering again. She sets her hands down among the grass, feeling the motions of the foliage and the earth beneath. There's so much going on, nature is so very complex... She can feel it all growing and changing around her, encouraged by her ally's Grassy Terrain. Yet, while Braixen feels all of this, all you and Billy are doing are watching. You have no idea if this is working or if she's just thinking about food or a nap.

"Braixen, once you're ready, stand up and we'll start the next step." Billy encouraged, his voice low and neutral like yours. After a bit more time, she does stand up, and you notice her breathing is more rhythmic and her expression focused. Beneath your feet, the glow of the assisting move fades. It's either go on without that boost, or hope that Megara assists. "Now, we're going to have Megara use Energy Ball. We'll use it once to show you what it looks like, and then we're going to use a weaker version on you, so you have a personal feeling for that natural energy. Is that okay with you?"

Megara's definitely stronger than your freshly evolved Braixen, but Billy seems to think this is a fine path to take. What do you do?

Xander waits patiently as Braixen clears her mind, also trying his best to keep an eye on Grotle and Bayleef racing off into the distance. He had a bad feeling they'd still manage to find trouble, even in a peaceful place like this. It took a bit of effort, but Braixen seemed to finally reach the desired state, or at least Billy thought so. As Braixen rises to her feet, she appears more poised, more in control of herself. Xander was already proud of her, even if she didn't master the training, she had shown herself capable of controlling her behaviour. Xander frowned as the Grassy Terrain faded, at least it had helped her calm her mind. Besides, with what Billy was suggesting next, maybe it was best not to have the Grassy Terrain. Billy suggested that Megara display an Energy Ball for Braixen to see, then fire another, weaker version of the move at Braixen so she could get a feel of the energy. If the Grassy Terrain was still in effect, the strength of the Grass attack would be strengthened. There was a distinct difference in strength and experience between Megara and Braixen. Even if she resisted the hit, Braixen still might not be able to handle the hit, especially if its boosted.

"Sounds good to us Billy", Xander looks to Braixen, he agrees with a firm nod as she tries to keep her mind clear. Xander spoke softly to the Braixen once more, trying to support her through the process. "Keep your breathing going Braixen, you're doing great. Watch Megara as she gathers the natural energy into one point. Then when she launches one at you, let the energy wash over you, really get a feel for it." There was only so much Xander could do, he just hoped he was helping not hindering!
 
Fizzytopian Idol
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TKF: Billy smiled and nodded when you gave your permission, and he repeated your sentiment to the Braixen: she was doing a really good job and to keep it up! Braixen nodded, trying not to let the fuss carry her away. Keeping her brain empty was seriously difficult. How did Slowpoke live?! How did you live?! I mean--

“Braixen, try to reach out to Megara with your psychic powers. See if you can feel what she's doing, so you know what you need to try and aim for.” Billy suggested. The Braixen nodded, closing her eyes, her body beginning to radiate blue. It was a gentle glow, and Megara closed her eyes, reaching out a single vine to wrap around one of the witch's paws. There was something lovely about seeing the two of them there, attempting to forge some kind of bond. After a few seconds, Megara began to charge her attack. A light began to form at her open maw, building up in brightness and size until it was a rather threatening green sphere; sparking with energy drawn from nature itself. With a force that the tender creature didn't otherwise seem capable of, the Energy Ball was flung into the sky, and Braixen used a flurry of Embers to blow it up high above them all, the two of them eliminating the chance of the orb falling and causing damage to the meadow.

“Did that help any, Braixen?” Billy asked. She nodded curtly, glancing from Billy and back to the Meganium, the two of them exchanging serious expressions. They weren't mean, but they were definitely communicating something between them. “Then we'll do the next step when you're ready.”

Braixen nodded, giving her signal. “Alright. Be careful, Megara, remember you're bigger than her.”
“Megaanium!” The grassy dino replied, not needing the reminder. You could see Braixen change her stature, standing as if to brace herself for the oncoming blow. Once again, Megara charges her Energy Ball, although this one stopped at a smaller size. Less violent about her execution, the Energy Ball was spat towards Braixen, and the fox took the full brunt of the blow. It sent her off her paws and up into the air a foot or so before she landed hard on her back. Billy and Megara flinched, the pair of them so in sync they managed to mirror each other's apologetic expressions perfectly.

“We're sorry, Braixen! Are you alright?” Billy asked. The Braixen nodded, shaking herself off as gracefully as she could and standing up. Megara took a few steps closer, seemingly asking the same thing. Braixen looked embarrassed by the fuss, but mostly okay. But how about you? Do the both of you still want to go on?
 
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