”LEAVE US ALONE!”
Zaria’s attempt at damage control was less than favorable. Most students continued to whisper, chatter, point, and gawk. How pathetic was she? The noob couldn’t even come up with a decent comeback. Lame!
The two girls tried talking to the bullies, with varying degrees of success... Tim could never do that. In his experience, it only made the problem worse. Instead, he just sat down where he stood, and started bawling. Tears were streaming down his face. He clutched tightly to his Rockruff. This would no doubt make things worse, but he really didn’t know what else to do. He was brought right back to his childhood. And all the kids that made fun of him back home.
Others wondered about Tim and was he really such a crybaby? His Rockruff may have had decent typing, but it was thoroughly wasted on such a weak student. He was probably as weak as he looked, and would fair at the bottom of the battle rankings of the academy. In other words, he wasn’t a threat, and many of the students would treat him as such.
But it was all topped off by Antoinetta's grand gesture and declaration against the rest of the students.
Watching her Pokemon keep it together way better than she did, Antoinetta took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. "Then let's make sure we have the last laugh when we get to the top and they're all in our dust," she chipped in to the conversation. She stood up, holding on to the chair so she didn't topple again, and swept her eyes around the room at the bullies.
"You hear that? How can you act like Pokemon masters to be when you can't even act your age? So just watch us. Believe it or not, by the end of the year you'll see us rather differently, as we show you how it's done."
Those were fighting words, and some would rise to crush that challenge. If their fate hadn’t been sealed before, it was now. The new kids would need to figure out some way to stand out, some way to grab the year by the reins and surpass those around them. It had been declared, whether they liked it or not.
“Enough! That’s enough! You all need to calm down,” Bellamy Herb, keeper of the school orchard, came through. Maple the Meganium immediately sniffed out the crying Tim and wandered to his aid, greeting him with a reassuring snuggle. Immediately, the area was filled with a calming, floral and spicy scent–and just as quickly, the students quieted too. Maple fanned his blossoming petals out almost as though they were feathers, ruffling them smoothly. The Meganium’s presence was exactly what the situation needed, as the angry and hostile emotions from the room began to melt away.
Tim, directly next to the flowery Maple, would feel the silky soft flower petals cool against his skin, while receiving the most benefit from Maple’s abilities to boot. The effect would be quite soothing, and while it wouldn’t lessen the pain of being bullied, it could at least help him feel a little calmer, and a little less anxious moving forward.
“Ganiyu~?” Maple looked up, noticing Zaria then. He thought this small human child with long dark hair looked quite upset as well, and he reached over with his long neck to give her a quick nuzzle of reassurance all the same.
“Now then, I oughta give you all a stern talking to!” Bellamy crossed his arms and shook his head. “I’m disappointed in you all, disrupting and bullying, all the like!” He turned to the transfer students, doing a double-take at Valerie but mostly giving an even, strict glare. Not everyone was at fault here, and it was unfortunate that he had to yell. Bellamy hated raising his voice, but some things couldn’t be helped. “Everyone, be seated and be quiet. And I shouldn’t have to tell you in the first place!” He added, raising his voice to a near boom at the end.
There was silence.
Unbeknownst to many though, there were some others watching…. A small, rather elite duo…
“...” One of them had amber eyes, ash brown hair, and his general ensemble looked name-brand and expensive. And unlike the other students, his pokemon wasn’t outside their pokeball. He was a sophomore like them for sure as this was the opening ceremony for second years, though he certainly seemed older by his presence. Though the transfers may not have known or noticed him at that moment, his name was Masaru Embers, and he was the top student of the sophomore class. With one string of accomplishments after another, a mother who sat in an Elite 4 position, and fortune, Masaru was envied and idolized by those around him. He’d won several televised matches already and there were rumors that a few companies had reached out to sponsor him already for his trainer journey. At this moment, Masaru seemed interested in the transfer trainers, or perhaps disdainful. It was hard to tell since he always seemed to have a smug, a smirk, or nothing at all.
“Oh! Did someone catch your attention? Masaru?” A girl next to him asked. She was pretty, tall with smooth skin and long, rippling, orange hair and hazel eyes. Evelyn Aster, or Evey was another sophomore student who was reputable around the school. As a prefect, she was held to a higher standard of obeying the rules and leading the students, and nothing could have suited her more. Pretty, bright, cheerful, and a skilled battler to boot, it was no wonder why so many students respected Evey. At times, some students swore there was something more sinister and dark underneath the peppy surface, but those were just rude rumors as far as Evey was concerned, if she was at all.
“Not really,” Masaru replied, looking away. “Do you want to train later?”
“Hm? Is that all? Sure! But you’re not even a little curious?” She grinned. “They’re not in our homeroom class, so we won’t get to face off against them later. Caprea’s their teacher, least we can see all their pokemon though. I mean, I didn’t hear about any crazy transfers for this year but...”
“...” Masaru didn’t say anything.
As the final few trickled in and faculty began to usher for everyone to quiet, student pokemon were recalled and most took their seats by the time Principal Poplar arrived at the stage. “If you could all settle down please, we’d like to begin the commencement.” The last sparks of chatter faded while silence filled the room.
“We’d like to begin by....” It was boring, and none of the students were listening. Once this was over with, they could get on with their day. This was PMA, after all, where opportunity shined at their fingertips and there was always something to do if you weren’t in class. There were some who had summer assignments they were rushing to finish, others who wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep in their dorm, those who wanted to explore the campus, everyone had their own reasons. There were the transfer students too, but it was difficult to tell what they were thinking. They were unknown here, after all. Who knew what they were up to?
Mercifully, the speech ended. The applause was thunderous, partially because the crowd was grateful. Finally, the school year had begun.
Students were to go directly to their classes in the Academic Wing, located more towards the West side of the school. They would still need to attend their homeroom, meet their teachers, understand their expectations and coursework. Well, Bellamy would pull Valerie aside and kindly tell her to change her clothes before she attended her first class. But the five of the transfer students, whether they decided to walk together or alone, would find themselves heading through winding corridors or following the scenic outdoor pathways, before eventually settling into Class 2-A of the Academic Wing...