Looking for a way to be whole again.
- Apr 30, 2018
- Reaction score
Chapter 8: Duality of Thoughts
Once entering Black City, the stench of the smog already entered the noses of Arti and Mary. While this could phase Arti, he is more concerned at what is happening in front of him and Mary: a crowd of people gathered a few yards in front of the transition gate he exited from, yelling at another, more distant crowd. Worst of all, both crowds seem to reach their breaking point and are ready to go at each other.
Nothing but dark skyscrapers make the wall around while concrete and asphalt are the only materials that make up the ground, even the sun doesn't seem to make this place much brighter, no sign of plant life as far as the eye can see. Arti and Mary make their way through the crowd to a spot where there are fewer people standing.
"Yikes, I didn't think it would be that bad!" Arti says, surprised at how much the situation escalated before he got here. "Now where should we start with this?" he asks.
"We should probably book a hotel room, maybe four nights should be enough for now." Mary offers.
"That sounds good, I'll stay here and figure out a way to get these people's attention." Arti responds.
Mary walked to a hotel close to the store at the center of the city, before she arrived, she noticed two Ralts trying to hide away behind the wall of the hotel. Mary leaves them alone for now since she figures they might be afraid of people at this time. She enters the hotel, the lobby is mostly empty save for a brochure stand by the entrance, a few tall plants by the windows and of course, the counter with a lady behind it. Mary makes her way to her to book a room.
"How may I help you?" the lady behind the counter asks Mary.
"I would like to stay for four nights please." Mary answers.
"Okay, here's the key card." the lady gives a card to Mary labeled '103'
"Thank you!" Mary responds as she pays the lady and takes the card.
Meanwhile, Arti walks to the center where the crowds see each other. Hoping to quell some of the anger, he tries to speak with them.
"Everybody, calm down!" he tries to make his voice heard, but unfortunately, it gets drowned out by the yelling even when his lungs work to make him as loud as he can.
With no use in raising his voice, he decides to go to one of the crowds. He asks a skinny man at the front.
"Can you try to find a quiet moment? I have something to say!" Arti tries to make sure he can be heard.
"We can't quiet down yet when they are still having the upper ground, maybe if you ask them and we see that they find a quiet moment, we might consider doing it as well." the man answers.
"Alright then, I will ask the other crowd to do the same, because I want to know what can be done in this situation." Arti agrees to see the other crowd.
After running across, Arti manages to reach the opposite crowd, where he asks a chubby lady in front of the crowd.
"I have something to say, so I would like some quiet moment." Arti requests.
"Fine, but don't take too long to start, we still need to be louder than the rival group." the lady accepts.
"I won't take too long, don't worry." Arti says as he runs toward the middle, now glad that both crowds became silent. "There's no need to fight like this, I know one side wants to keep Black City the way it is while the other wants a major change. However, we can perhaps try to find a middle ground. In fact, I'm willing to listen to individuals." he begins.
"Get to the point, kid!" a member of one of the crowds shouts impatiently.
"We can dedicate a few days where I listen to each person of your groups, then help you come up with a compromise. Today, I'm going to try to talk to the people who want to keep Black City as it is while tomorrow, I will try to talk to those who want to change it." Arti finishes his explanation.
"Okay, we can do that." The two crowds seem to be in an agreement toward Arti's idea.
Arti is relieved to have prevented another mess. However, he has to be careful and not strike a nerve, because the voice of one can quickly become the voice of thousands.
"So, the people who want to keep Black City as it is, can you meet me in two hours so we can break down the request into individual parts?" he asks.
The people he asked seemed to agree, a few saying:
"We have time," "I'm curious to hear what he wants to say." and even "If it's going to help us, then yes, we can listen."
With some agreements done, Arti takes some time to meet up with Mary back at the hotel, being only a walking distance away. However, he sees the Ralts running to hide from people. He doesn't take long to get to the hotel and enter it to meet up with Mary. Once inside, Arti and Mary look for room 103. It doesn't take long to find it since it's on the first floor, Mary uses the key card to open the door. The room has a small bathroom, two queen-sized beds a table close to a TV, and other necessities that hotels usually have. They take this time to set their supplies down.
"Have you seen some Ralts on your way here?" Arti asks.
"Yes, I did see them. Maybe we should let them join us in our journey." Mary replies.
"We don't know if they are willing to join us, after all, they look like that they are scared of people." Arti explains.
"We'll see if they want to." Mary responds.
The two decide to see if they can give the Ralts a chance to venture beyond the enclosed darkness, so they leave their room and go outside the hotel to look for them, but not before Arti picks up the pen and notepad just in case he is outside for the full two-hour duration. Exploring the rest of the city, it doesn't take long for them to spot the Pokemon. The Ralts seem to be very shy, they take careful steps toward Arti and Mary. They somehow feel different about the duo, sensing an emotion that's not anger or any other negative feeling.
"They are coming closer to us, this might work after all." Arti whispers.
"Once they trust us, I can care for them while you're busy." Mary whispers back.
After 5 minutes, the Ralts got close enough to Arti and Mary. They seem to become less shy as they inch their way closer to the duo. This is when Mary decided to pat one of them on the head. Arti seemed to draw the attention of the other, it senses his determination. The unexpected happens, when Arti and Mary start taking steps toward a different direction, the Ralts seem to follow.
"I think they took a liking to us." Arti says.
"That's great! Maybe they can join our current Pokemon." Mary responds excitedly.
As Arti and Mary talked, the two Ralts talked to each other.
"Raalts alts ral."
"Ra ral alts!"
Arti and Mary did not understand what the Ralts are saying, Arti wished he could send out Kyurem in order for it to translate. But at the current moment, he can't send it out because Black City is still filled with people. Arti hasn't realized how much time has passed between talking to the people and now.
"Oh shoot, I gotta get ready to have a meeting with the Black City crowd!" Arti realizes.
"Don't worry about the Ralts, I'll keep them safe in the hotel room." Mary responds.
With that, Arti parted ways with the group and headed to the same place where he encountered both crowds, except that this time, only one the Black City crowd showed up.
"So how do you want to do this, start from the back and work your way to the front?" Arti asks the crowd.
It took a minute for the decision to go through, but the crowd agrees to do it this way.
"Yes, we can do that." a woman in the back said.
Getting out the pen and notepad, Arti waits for the people in the crowd to speak individually.
"Okay, now you can start telling your specific reasons. But remember, one at a time so I will be able to help you without the confusion." Arti allows.
The first reasons he heard were:
"The city took the longest to develop all of these buildings." to "We can't tear down buildings, they are sacred to us!" to even "I have a good life here."
As the general reason was being broken down more and more, Arti noted down everything. Since it was a big crowd of about a thousand people, it could have taken 30 minutes or more as the sky wasn't as blue as it had been in the morning. Arti wasn't keeping track of time when he's focused on noting down everything he can use to help. By the time he was done noting down everything the crowd had to say, he notices the sky taking on an orange tint. There was some pain on his feet, probably for standing in one place for too long.
"Anything else?" he asks before calling it a day.
"Nothing else that needs to be said." a man in the middle answers.
"If true, then we made good progress." Arti says as he notices the notepad having about half of its pages filled out.
The crowd separates as they talk amongst themselves. Feeling tired, Arti goes back to the hotel to room 103 and knocks on the door. Mary opens the door and her eyes widen.
"How long were you out there?" Mary asks with concern.
"For a really long time, apparently." Arti answers.
Arti enters the room, being greeted by the Ralts that he befriended puts a smile on his face.
"Ralts ral!" the Ralts excitedly yells.
"So, how did it go for you?" Mary is curious.
"It went smoothly a lot of progress has been made as I took so many notes." Arti responds. "How have you been doing with the Ralts?"
"I'm doing great, they are happy to be out of danger." Mary tells her side. "I discovered something interesting about Ralts. Female Ralts have slightly longer hair than male Ralts do. It looks like you befriended the male Ralts."
"That's cool, I remember finding out that the male Ralts's final evolution does not have to be Gardevoir and can instead be Gallade. I have seen some wild Pokemon using False Swipe to stop the rival from fainting otherwise so the rival would have the common sense to leave the territory. Gallade is one of those Pokemon who can learn the move without the need of a TM if I'm not mistaken." Arti tells Mary what he had heard about Ralts.
Arti sets his backpack down on the floor and the pen and the notepad on the table, then he sits on the left bed to his legs after a long day of standing up. Mary decides to sit beside him because of how much time she didn't see him during the daytime. They decide to watch some TV and relax for the day, watching a program about what parts make up a Poke Ball.
Later at night, the two go to sleep, letting the Ralts sleep on the recliners close to the window. Arti has a strange, confusing dream: he is in a void with cyan-colored lightning bolts hitting the ground around him as it screams, he hears a deep male voice speak:
"Your ideals will be tested." the voice says before quieting down for the rest of the dream.
In the next morning, Arti and Mary went to go get breakfast for them and the Ralts. Arti has been thinking about the dream he had last night, what it all meant.
"Did you ever have a dream where a voice tells something to you, but you don't understand it?" Arti asks.
"Not really, I did have dreams about somebody talking to me, but I always understood completely on what they say." Mary responds, "Why do you ask?"
"Well, I had this dream where I was in a void, and lightning was struck all around me, then I heard this deep voice talking about how my ideals will be tested, afterward the voice went quiet before saying anything else. It was weird to me since I have never had a dream like that." Arti explains, "What does it all mean?"
"Raalts al." one of the Ralts say.
"Who had that voice? Was it raspy like Kyurem's?" Mary wonders.
"I don't know who had it, as it wasn't raspy like Kyurem's voice. Currently, there isn't a way to find out and I doubt I'm going to have that dream again." Arti responds.
After breakfast, Arti got the necessary things like the notepad and pen before going outside, he was surprised that shadows dominated Black City even in the morning. He feels as if he took a long afternoon nap rather than waking up in the morning. Either way, he has to meet the White Forest crowd so he can iron out the details before coming to a decision that will satisfy both. He goes to the usual meeting spot again, waiting for the members to show up.
Meanwhile, Mary is taking both Ralts to Route 14 so they can see the world beyond Black City. The Ralts are amazed at the difference that they become speechless at what they see, a much lusher environment than the cement and concrete darkness that they are used to.
After ten minutes pass, the White Forest crowd appears before Arti like a colony of Durant. He gets out the pen and notepad to be ready to know all of the specifics.
"Hello everybody, I'm glad we met up here as we planned. So can you tell me your specific reasons why you want Black City to be changed?" Arti asks the crowd "We can start from the back and work our way to the front."
Just like the other crowd, this crowd agreed that this would be a good idea.
"If this will get us somewhere quicker, we'll do it." a man in the middle answers.
"Okay, start telling me your specific reasons." Arti gives the cue to start.
The first reasons he hears are:
"The smog is toxic!" to "Too much concrete and cement is unhealthy for a city." to even "It's dangerous to have all this concrete in places they aren't needed."
It took the rest of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon for Arti to note down everything the crowd said. Much like the previous crowd, this crowd was made up of about a thousand people or more, which contributed to the amount of time taken to hear them and noting everything down.
"Tell me anything else you have in mind." Arti offers.
The crowd seems to have said everything they had in mind.
"Nothing more, we're good!" a young man in the middle says.
"Alright then, meet me and the other crowd here tomorrow night so we can figure out a middle-ground." Arti explains
With that, the crowd dissipated and Arti took the rest of the day off to spend more time with Mary and the Ralts. As he was heading back to Route 14 to meet up with them, a slight headache made its way to him. For a split second, his mind gave off a vision of a forest where he has never seen or have ever been to before.
"That was weird." talking to himself, "First that confusing dream and now that image of a forest I never even have seen anywhere. I have to get to the bottom of this before I become insane." he adds.
Arti passed through the transition gate to Route 14, he saw Mary trying to keep the Ralts from going too far into it.
"Hi!" Mary excitedly greeted Arti.
"Hi!" Arti is just as excited as Mary.
Both Ralts were also excited to see Arti:
"So, how did the meeting go?" Mary asks.
"It went as expected." Arti answers then asks, "Have you ever had a slight headache followed by a quick-thought of a place you never have seen anywhere before?"
"Not really." Mary responds, "Why do you ask?"
"Well, it happened to me, after helping the crowd, I felt a slight headache, then for a split second, a vision of a forest I have never seen anywhere before come into my mind." Arti explains, "Maybe I should ask Kyurem what is going on because I have been having strange experiences."
"Good idea, we should introduce our Pokemon to the Ralts!" Mary adds.
It was then that both Arti and Mary sent out their Pokemon, a bright light shone and disappeared followed by Golurk and Kyurem standing before them. The Ralts seem to be scared of these two Pokemon, though.
"Ralts..." one of Ralts says as it hides behind Arti while the other hides behind Mary.
"No need to be afraid, these Pokemon are our friends." Arti says to both Ralts.
"Goll lurk!" Golurk finally speaks.
"Greetings!" Kyurem says, "Did you resolve Black City's issue yet?"
"Almost there, I just need to analyze everything I noted after meeting with those involved to come up with a solution." Arti responds. "Now I have something I need to ask you, did the previous heroes ever had these strange dreams where they are in a void surrounded by lightning strikes while a voice tells them something, but doesn't explain it? And what is that headache followed by some kind of vision of a place I never have seen before?"
"The previous heroes told me they had a dream like that." Kyurem explains, "The dream is a foretold prophecy of what you will encounter later in the journey. The vision shows the general place where the God Stone is located. Only when the visions get clearer will you have the ability to locate such a powerful artifact."
"So, why aren't they clear to me? Is there anything I'm doing wrong?" Arti begins to doubt himself.
"They are not clear to you because you aren't ready to encounter them yet, from what I remember with past heroes, they consistently told me that the voice said about putting ideals to the test. You still have much to learn, however, seeing how you are getting the prophecy related to ideals, you will encounter something major related to that sooner than anything major related to truths. But you must not worry about the distant future, that will come in time. For now, you must worry about your current task, only then will the future task become the current task." Kyurem explains.
"That reminds me, I need to come up with a solution to Black City's problem before tomorrow." Arti remembers.
"Golurk!" Golurk tells Kyurem something, possibly relating to befriending the Ralts.
"You are right, let's make them our allies, they can become powerful once they battle enough." Kyurem says to Golurk.
"Arti and I were thinking about training them so they could be able to defend themselves better. But they might be willing to help us." Mary responds.
Both Ralts seem to be less shy and more accepting of the other two Pokemon.
"Ralts rals?" the one behind Arti shyly asks.
"You will get your Dawn Stone in time." Kyurem answers.
"Rals?" the one behind Mary asks.
"No, Golurk and I are not going to eat you." Kyurem responds.
After the long talk within the group, they notice the sun sinking down on the horizon like a Pokemon using Dive and decide to head back to the hotel. Arti and Mary both retrieve the bigger Pokemon. Thinking about if the Ralts would be safer in Poke Balls, Mary takes an empty one out.
"What are you doing?" Arti asks Mary with a confused tone.
"I have been thinking, should the Ralts be safer in the Poke Balls? Seeing how we might encounter Pokenappers on the way, we should ensure their safety." Mary answers.
"Are you sure this is the best way to keep them safe? I know they trust us now, but are they ready to be placed in a Poke Ball?" Arti is still confused about Mary's decision. "We should at least let them choose whether they want to go in or not." he suggests.
"Okay, I was getting a bit ahead of myself there. You have a better idea: letting the Pokemon who trust us have a choice." Mary agrees, holding her empty Poke Ball close to the female Ralts.
The Ralts stood there for a little bit before making a decision, she touched the Poke Ball, making the capsule device open and slurp the Feeling Pokemon right in before closing.
"You are in good hands, I promise." Mary says to the Poke Ball that now contains Ralts.
"I do hope you keep that promise, a Pokemon's trust has to be taken seriously." Arti responds with a serious look. "Anyways, I'm going to head back to the hotel so I can figure Black City's situation out."
As Arti heads back to the hotel, the remaining Ralts follows him. In the hotel room, he pulls out all of the notes he had jotted down and examines the specific reasons. Knowing he will be very tired on the following day, Arti decides to dedicate the rest of this day and pull an all-nighter anyway. While he hears Mary coming into the door and smiles at her occasionally, he goes right back to the decision-making. By the time he was done, it was midnight and he looked like he heard a Pokemon using Sing, so he headed to bed for the remaining time.
In the morning, Arti slept in without realizing it. He noticed that Mary left the room. While he did feel rested when he woke up, he panicked a little bit before he remembered he was going to tell both crowds at night. After the relief, Arti got his things ready for the day while the Ralts followed him.
"Well, since I got some free time, maybe I can start training Ralts." Arti thought.
After stepping outside into the brighter light that what he was used to, he decided to look for Mary. Looking throughout the city, Arti eventually finds himself inside a shop where he notices Mary a bit surprised at the prices.
"What do you mean the Twisted Spoon is triple the price here?!" Mary asks the shopkeeper.
"What you think is reasonable is what we think of it being too little, either take it or leave it." The shopkeeper replies in a toxic manner.
"Wow, rude." Mary responds just quiet enough for the shopkeeper to not hear her and leaves the shop.
Arti follows her outside in an attempt to make her feel better. They stop in their tracks once they are out of the earshot from everyone in the shop.
"Are you okay?" Arti asks.
"I'm just a little bit upset about being in this city." Mary answers, "This toxicity is starting to get to me, how much longer do we have to stay here?"
"We will leave tomorrow, I promise you that." Arti responds. Arti knows Mary needs the support she can get considering how long he was forced to endure the harsh times he had back in Lacunosa Town, he does not want anyone else to go through the same kind of painful experience he went through.
Noticing the Ralts followed him outside, he decided to shield him from the psychological toxicity emitted by Black City. However, Arti gave Ralts a choice whether he wanted to go into a Poke Ball or not. Arti took an empty Poke Ball from his bag and held it close to Ralts.
"It's your choice if you want to go into a Poke Ball or not." He tells Ralts. "I'm okay with either choice. I can see why you're afraid of this city."
After a few minutes, the Feeling Pokemon touched the Poke Ball, which made the spherical device draw him in and close tightly. Arti then picked up the Poke Ball and looked at it.
"Don't worry, we will be out of here soon." Arti reassures.
They both decide to go to Route 14 again where the two decide to be with just each other. Standing just outside of the transition gate, they talk about what they are going to do after they leave Black City.
"What should we do once we leave?" Mary asks.
"We can train the Ralts considering they need to have some way to defend themselves." Arti answers.
As the two talked, Mary seemed to calm down and is now able to have comfort in Arti's words.
Time flew by them as they talked, laughed, and even playfully poked the tip of each other's noses. By the time they were done, the sun started to sink down into the horizon like a Drillbur using Dig.
"Well, it looks like I have to get ready to meet up with the crowds. Do you want to come with me?" Arti asks.
"I think I will stay here just a little bit longer if that's okay with you." Mary answers.
"That's totally okay with me, take as much time as you need to." Arti agrees with a smile before returning to Black City.
Arriving early, Arti went through a few options that might satisfy everyone, but he actually stuck to one that could be more likely to work. The only way for him to find out is when he will talk to them. His thoughts are interrupted by the chattering of both crowds who arrived from both sides. Readying to put an end to the toxic argument once and for all, he talks to the crowds.
"Hello everybody!" Arti greets.
"Hello!" the crowds greet back.
"After looking over every specific detail, I finally decided what the middle ground can be. That middle ground is planting some trees, I examined that sunlight does come through the top and that can overall help the trees grow and absorb the smog in this city without the need to tear down anything. As long as you can take really good care of the trees, they will bring a lot of positive changes." Arti explains. "So, what do you think of this solution?"
The crowds discuss amongst themselves to see if this is a good solution to their problems. Arti is bracing himself for the possible disagreement of one or the other, even possibly both. This is why he had some backup solutions just in case. The crowds reached their decisions, what they said surprised him.
"This is perfect!" said a man from the Black City crowd.
"Some plant life into this city is a great idea!" a woman from the White Forest crowd states.
Arti was genuinely surprised that they actually agreed on something.
"Then it's settled, I'm glad a positive change happened here. Now remember, trust is supposed to be taken seriously." Arti tells the crowds. "I bid you farewell."
Once the crowds dissipated, Arti headed back to the hotel, happy that he resolved an issue that has gone on for too long. Once at the hotel and standing in front of room 103, he knocks on the door, Mary opens with her smile being the first thing that Arti sees.
"You did it!" Mary excitedly says.
"Yes I did, I'm just glad this is all over. Like I promised, we will leave tomorrow." Arti replies.
As Arti and Mary spent their final night inside Black City, they begin to feel excited to go to Nimbasa City with their Pokemon.