Leisy shook her head, not knowing how to respond to Ella’s question because despite the heroic deed they’d been able to accomplish, they’d failed to do the very thing they’d set out to do: recover their friend’s Pokemon.
When Florence came to with a flood of questions, joy registered in Leisy’s mind—happiness that her friend was alright, awake once again. However, at her last question, Leisy’s heart plummeted, and she glanced helplessly at Ella before steeling herself.
“Everyone’s fine, Florence. We won the battle, and we’re all fine,” Leisy said. “There were nearly fifty stolen Pokemon from the cave, and they’re all being returned to their rightful owners right now. But…” She trailed off. “Vernie. Vernie wasn’t there.”
Her eyes dropped to her feet, not wanting to see the reaction Florence would have to her words. She’d told the truth, and she hoped that Florence would understand that they had done a good job—a great deed—but, all the same, she understood that pain was inevitable with a trainer separated from her Pokemon. She’d lost touch with Devinco for less than half an hour, and it had felt like nothing she’d ever gone through before.
Leisy nodded, checking Florence’s forehead with a palm. It was warm with sweat, reflecting the girl’s internal struggle, but otherwise not immediate alarming.
“We need to get her to a hospital, and soon,” Leisy said, glancing around at her friends. “Let’s phone in an emergency and start from there. None of us are in any condition to take on another battle like that.”
It took a while for the police and ambulance to arrive, and—after multiple statements and testimonies—the girls were finally allowed to visit their sleeping friend in the hospital, where they promptly fell asleep as well. When they awoke, one by one, it was well into the evening, and the sun had already begun to drift towards the horizon in the distance.
“We’re going to have to tell her that Vernie wasn’t there,” Leisy said softly, remembering the police’s short report to the group after they were done being interrogated about the event. The cave had been far from empty, yielding twenty-something cages of Pokemon, all reported missing. There had been nearly fifty Pokemon in the cave, but none the grass-type Florence had been searching so hard for.
It should be a victory, Leisy thought, turning to look at the girl on the hospital bed, but it doesn’t feel like one.
“Whoa—a Gengar?” Aedre asked, recognizing the iconic ghost-type. It took a moment to place the deep shadow of a Pokemon, but—having seen Ghastly and Haunter before—she knew the species’ general form well enough to hazard a guess.
It became quite obvious in a moment that the ghost-type meant no harm to Nyxx, maybe even protecting her. Not expecting the Gengar’s seemingly independent decision to use Shadow Ball, Aedre tensed up, ready to grab Nyxx if it seemed something would happen, but not sure if she would get there soon enough. But, again, the Gengar appeared to be helping the girl rather than trying to hurt her, and Aedre was surprised to see more shadows drift over—wild ghost-types.
“Is he yours?” Aedre asked, flinching as the ghost-type burst into laughter before disappearing. She was ill-equipped to deal with anything of the Gengar’s tier, and the danger she may have faced if the ghost-type left her slightly shaken, although she did her best to play it off as the cool cave air.
Hearing Rachel’s comments on one of the Pokemon—an almost automaton-like being of stone chunks and strange symbols—Aedre grinned excitedly. Danger was daunting, yes, but the possibility of uncovering an ancient civilization’s untouched ruins was more than tempting. Although she’d never had much interest in archaeology, fossils being more to her tastes than ancient artifacts—it occurred to Aedre that the Pokemon were also deeply connected to ruins, be it that they dwelled in them now, or that they lived with the ancient civilization. The Golett seemed to be proof of such, having unnatural symbols that seemed to have been drawn by humans.
“Could we really?” she asked, then coughed, trying to keep the childish delight out of her voice. “I mean, I promise not to touch anything. The oil on our skin would cause rapid deterioration of anything well-preserved, so it’s more for the ruins’ sake than for ours.”
When Amber walked up, offering the Dusk Stone, Aedre received with a grateful smile. “You should have found one for yourself, not for me. Now what are you going to use to remember this adventure?” She paused, looking at the stone in her hands. “Thank you, though. I really appreciate it, and so will my Honedge when he evolves—someday.”
Pasithea “Thea” ♀ — Togepi (11)
Attacks:Growl, Charm, Metronome, Sweet Kiss
Alitis “Little” ♂ — Fletchling (11)
Attacks:Tackle, Growl, Quick Attack
Decus “Dee” ♂ — Honedge (6)
Attacks:Tackle, Swords Dance, Fury Cutter
Pokedex (with Kosei Region Map)
Credit Card linked to a private account that houses a decent amount of money
Collapsable Bike with two gears (third for bike ramps, fourth for muddy slopes)