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Margo picked up on the third ring. "Indigo! Your contest didn't start yet, did it?"

"No, no, you're fine, it starts in like an hour or something," Indigo replied with an exhale. He swept some of his curls back with his hand. "What's up?"

"You tell me, you're the one who called," Margo teased. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine, it's all good," Indigo said, trying to seem calmer than he felt. "Let's not focus on me. Just tell me about you." He wanted anything but questions or talk about himself.

"Welllll, you'll never believe it," Margo confided in a hushed tone. "It's going to sound crazy. But I saw this like, fortune teller shoppe thingy? I went inside and this lady could tell what was inside my backpack! And she knew that I had the book we got from the library!" The words tumbled out of her. "Yeah, no, you heard me! I walked in and I tried asking her to read my palms but she was all, "I sense a magic book in your backpack!" A pause. "No, my backpack wasn't open! It was completely zipped, Indigo. I'd never let my backpack be open, not when we have an item like that, okay? I swear it wasn't open. She just knew."

"Alright, I believe you, I was just trying to be skeptical," Indigo said. "Cover our bases, you know? Anyway, that's freakin' wild. She really knew what was in your backpack? Man... Like a real life psychic or something. I never thought they were forreal." And though he truly believed Margo, it was also still hard to digest. "I'm kind of like... just in awe."

"I know, but when you think about it-- there are psychic pokemon. And, I dunno, there are some crazy legends about some psychic pokemon who used to be human. I mean, psychic's an energy or something. I guess people can have it too?"

"Or maybe-- Wait, no, we can talk about this later. What else happened?" Indigo asked. Theorizing and coming up with their own hypothesis would definitely be something that they needed to discuss, but certainly not now.

"Ooh, it gets even better," Margo squealed. "She told me about the tree, the one the librarian called the oldest tree in Septoh? He was right about it being the oldest, the teller lady told me that too. But Indigo, it doesn't grow taller. It's roots keep growing and they stretch all over Septoh," her tone was hushed with excitement now. "And it's alive-- somehow? It like, has a mind of its own, and it can hear everything that happens because its roots are everywhere..."

"That's crazy," Indigo murmurred, his heart pounding. Seeing Ho-oh and then coming across a book like this? What were the odds? What did it mean for them? "This is so cool."

"It really is," Margo sighed. Thinking about the tree, the rich history of the region, Ho-oh, and just how lucky she was to witness and be apart of these amazing phenomena filled her with emotion. There was awe, gratitude, inspiration, and so much more. It welled up into a ball and almost made her heart hurt, so deep was the yearning to know more.

The conversation brought a certain calm to Indigo. How infentissimal this contest seemed compared to their interactions just the day before. Oh-oh, the book, Team Rocket... The contest didn't quite hold the weight it had. A calmness came over him. Perhaps his nerves wouldn't be steeped for too long, maybe the anxiety would come back. But for now, it all seemed serene.

"One more thing, she gave me a gift. This... pearl. It's on a chain. It's supposed to glow when psychic energy is nearby, I don't know if that means attacks or objects or whatever." Margo fiddled with the chain, trying to resist the urge to cradle the pearl and risk getting her fingerprints all over it. "But... it's supposed to activate with the book I think. Our book has psychic energy and-- well no, it's not showing any signs right now. No, it hasn't really glowed at all. But the lady said something would trigger the book and it would make my pearl glow. I guess it's almost like an alarm. I mean, there's nothing in these pages. And we wouldn't know if anything came up in them unless we had some kind of notification, you know? Like when you get a text or something."

Indigo nodded. "That's so awesome that she gave you that. I wouldn't have thought of a reason why, but it totally makes sense. Man, that teller was really something, huh? She seems super cool. Is that weird?"

"No, when you think about it, you're totally right," Margo agreed. "She was super nice and I mean she gave me this necklace and told me all this stuff... Come to think of it- I didn't even pay her!" Margo slapped her forehead. "I can't believe it! Agh! She must think I'm a spoiled brat! Ahhhh, okay, okay, I'm cool! I'm calm! I'll get back to her as soon as your contest's over."

"I'll foot half the bill," Indigo offered. "It's the least I can do."

"Ooooh, well, we'll see," Margo said, feeling a tad embarassed. As someone who wanted to be completely independent, she wanted to pay the teller all by herself. After all, there was that sense of achievement and earning that came with an independent purchase, especially for something as important as this. But a pearl necklace? She wasn't even sure if she could afford it, and making Indigo pay for any portion of something she had practically stolen seemed terrible... She laughed sheepishly. "A-anyways, I'll be over soon! I better see an awesome show, Indigo!"

"We'll bring it to the stage, thanks. Bye, see you soon," Indigo hung up with a smile on his face.

Margo rushed through the city, but it quickly became apparent that she had wandered much too far away from the Contest Hall. "I need a ride! Shoot, I don't have a ride pokemon. Oh wait, duh, apps!" Flipping her pokedex open, she searched through the app store and found a local ride share app. In most cities, specific pokemon with permits were vetted and allowed to deliver people from one destination to the next. And of course, if it was raining, vehicles were another option. Pokerides saddled a user up with the closest available ride, and so Margo found herself pleased when she saw she would be riding in a compact car. She did love riding on pokemon, but it was a hot day.

As they traveled through Jimmal, Margo couldn't help but admire the pictureseque architecture through the dark gray tinted windows. The mostly desert and arid climate of the region lended itself to mostly white stone buildings that were strangely uniform in color. As Margo perused articles on her pokedex, she found that the white stone of the mountain face was fantastic ventilation, reflective, and a common, reliable material. Little wonder that nearly everything was built out of it. Weaving through the city on a rickety road, she passed quite a few open air markets and vendor stalls. Things were so different compared to Nimbasa! Where her hometown was chrome and glossy and modern, Jimmal in comparison looked rustic and historical. There were some marvelous edifices carved right out of the mountain face, and these were clearly the cultural landmarks of the region. One was like a castle, ornate columns supporting an architrave with beautiful, calligraphic patterns chiseled delicately into the rock. Statues of ancient pokemon which Margo wasn't sure existed bore their fangs at the entrance to the building.

"It's the Jimmal-Khaz Colliseum," the driver said, noticing Margo's awestruck expression. "It's been the place of some regional championships, and there's typically some big tournaments that go on there."

Margo nodded. "Incredible, thank you for sharing." And as they continued driving through the city, there was more to come.

There were plenty of domed buildings, minarets, and horseshoe arches that seemed to incorporated into the city infrastructure. That the architecture was heavily geometric was something else she realized, as her eyes gazed at some of the photography of Jimmal's desert castles, forts, and places of worship. Looking at the interior design of the buildings online, Margo realized that many of the domes had complex archways that formed precise, ornamental, spacial patterns. Some were like large vaults that looked like honeycomb, others were like eight-pointed stars criss-crossing acrossing ceilings. Topping it all off were the specific patterns that decorated the buildings. Whether they were made of tile, or engraved, they were intricate, interlaced, geometric and floral. The repeating patterns seemed to lend themselves to something spirtiual, and Margo felt like she could lose herself in the details of the motifs. The countless glazed tile mosiacs, wall paintings, and caligraphic filigree embellishing these ancient structures almost reminded her of optical illusion pictures. On first glance they looked like normal patterns, but on closer inspection, their minute details seemed to go on forever.

"This city really does have an amazing feel to it," Margo sighed. As they neared closer to the contest hall, she pressed her forehead against the window. Not that she didn't believe in Indigo, but losing happened to everyone. I hope he'll be okay. He's so difficult... But we do have everything else ahead of us. This probably won't set him back too far. And he'll have to learn how to deal with wins or losses regardless. I just hope he'll be fine.

Margo arrived, spotting her seat in the third row from the front of the stage. It wasn't just to see Indigo. In fact, she would have eagerly tried to get front row seats at any sort of pokemon related event. But the fact that she would get to see him up close and offer her support was what being a good friend entailed. It all rolled together in the end. Sending him a quick good luck text and her seat number, she hoped he'd be able to see her too.
Margo could feel the change in energy in the room, the skepticism and weariness of this old woman now gone and replaced with a curiosity that consumed every other feeling she had towards this stranger. Her wrinkled fingers scanned the page before looking up at her with furrowed brows, as if she had an idea. Upon the telling of her story, the woman nodded along slowly before a realization came over her. She regarded Margo kindly as the teenager leaned closer over the table to the book, her eyes wandering the blank pages and waiting for something to happen. She wasn't sure what, but her stomach was in knots thinking of all the possibilities this canvas held within it.

After her caution and the old woman went to fetch something, Margaret glanced down at Crowne in her lap, the Wartortle looking up at her and blinking. He wasn't exactly sure what was going on--this book didn't seem that interesting to him. Margo returned her gaze to the book and brought it closer to her again, her fingers dancing across the empty sheets of paper. No matter the amount of flipping and rifling of the pages, nothing ever showed up. Her eyes were beginning to play tricks on her, thinking things were there when they weren't.

The mystic came back with a shabby necklace--at least at first glance--and presented it to Margo like royalty. Bowing her head obediently, the necklace was placed around her neck and hung loosely near the center of her chest, the pink glow from the pearl illuminating Crowne and Margo's faces. The woman's voice was faint in her ear as she held the pearl gingerly in her hands and turned it over, looking at its luminescence with that same child-like wonder from the book.

Margo looked up and nodded quickly in response to her request, scrambling to put her precious book into her pack and retrieving her pokedex from within as well. Holding out the square, she waited for the mystic to put in her contact information, wondering where she should go next--had the contest started yet? Maybe she should try to regroup with Indigo and tell him about what this woman said. It was vague yet important information. This pearl was yet another piece of the puzzle. Now it would be their job to connect the two.

"T-Thank you, ma'am. You've been very helpful. I will give you a call as soon as I have an update for you!" Margaret felt renewed with a fresh burst of energy, raring to go and find out what this pearl might interact with and what the book might do in response to the psychic energies as well.
Margo's shoulders drooped, her guard lowering now that she could see this old woman's face. Her eyes softened, no longer regarding her with that hint of caution nagging at the back of her mind.

Listening to her instructions, the trainer withdrew her hand and instead rested it atop her backpack, glancing down at it. Should she show this woman? Who knew what secrets might lie within and what might happen if said secrets fell into the wrong hands. But who else could possibly give her answers but a random psychic in this random new town? Margo assumed that this might be a better lead than any she could think of right now.

With a quick affirmative nod--mainly to herself--Margaret opened her bag and retrieved the blank book, placing it on the table gently and pushing it towards the old woman. The book seemed to reflect in the pink pearl ball on the table, glinting. For a moment she thought she could see something on the cover that wasn't there before in the reflection. Blinking, Margo looked towards the old woman with that skeptical look from before.

Crowne suddenly appeared at his trainer's side, pawing at her leg and clambering up with little grace. Looking over the table, the Wartortle glanced up at Margo with a wide smile before slapping his stubby arms onto the table expectantly. Margo gave an apologetic smile at the woman as she placed her hands on Crowne's and removed them from grabbing at the book she had just put out for observation. "Well... Here is Crowne, my Wartortle, and the book that you... felt. What do you make of it? All the pages were blank when we got it... Nothing to be seen anywhere, really."
Margaret wouldn't admit it but she was getting the heebie jeebies from this old woman, startled as the chair across from her moved of its own accord. Her eyes dropped to the floor instinctively, wondering if a Spoink had pulled it out for her but no pig pokemon were to be found. Biting the inside of her cheek, she chanced a glance over towards Crowne to make sure he was still ok before obliging the fortune teller and taking the spot across from her.

She took her backpack off, placing it on her lap and surveying the tent in an attempt to avoid eye contact with the strange lady. Her question made her bite her cheek a little harder, wondering what she could possibly mean by that?

Her hands wrapped around her backpack defensively, looking down at it and thinking about the mysterious book she had hiding within. But... perhaps she was just doing a cold reading--anyone who walks into a fortune teller's domain probably has questions they want answered. Maybe Margo could test the waters...

"Well sure I do. But shouldn't you be able to tell me what I'm here for? Do you want to take a look at my palm and get a better reading on why I'm here?" Margo was joking, but she still placed one of her hands face up on the table anyways. She smiled politely at the older woman despite her borderline mocking comments.
Margaret woke up feeling refreshed, better than she had felt in the last couple days, at the very least.

She had split up with Indy for a bit yesterday as they decided to do play it lazy and she went and got a massage with her pokemon in the center--it was a bonding experience, her pokemon all acted as if they deserved it and were glad to oblige their trainer's suggestion. A big lunch, some catnaps in the sun outside the center, and some sketching of her snoozing pokemon; before she knew it, Margo was ready for bed.

After a quick shower and dressing in some shorts and a t-shirt, the trainer was out in the sun and wandering the city of Jimmal with an itching curiosity about the blank book in her backpack. Wulford was joining her today, hovering above her head and giving her some slight shade as they walked through the streets, Crowne toddling along with her as well. The Wartortle and Spearow didn't get along very well, but when they had a good distance separating them, they tended to ignore each other, thankfully. Margo was still learning the intricacies of 'parenting' and keeping certain pokemon away from each other due to their personality differences--or, perhaps, their similarities.

Margo was pleasantly surprised by the liveliness of the city with the festival starting this weekend. Booths and shops were set up on the streets, signs designating what one would find in the various tents set up for the entertainment. A quick glance at her pokedex told her she had plenty of time before Indigo said the contest would be starting--after the speech she had to give him to get his butt in gear in the first place, she wanted to make sure she'd be there to cheer him on. Indigo didn't seem like the type to ask for help, even when he needed it, so she took it upon herself to be there for him. Even if it may become overbearing.

Margaret let her mind wander as she walked, not really looking for anything in particular. Crowne, on the other hand, was drawn towards everything and anything.

The Wartortle tugged on his trainer's shirt suddenly, pointing excitedly and chattering as a Spoink seemed to bounce and dance around the entrance of a navy blue tent, the chalkboard outside reading: 'Come inside my dear, a fortune lies in wait for you here.'

Margo was weary of the odd sign, but Crowne was adamant. Wulford seemed to feel his trainer's hesitancy, perching upon the top of the tent and looking at her with a tilted head. Crowne continued to pull at his trainer's shirt though, the teenager sighing in defeat as she followed the Wartortle inside, the Spoink giving little 'oinks' of excitement of a new customer. Wulford kept his place atop the tent, ready to leave with his trainer when she was ready--he liked the feel of the sun on his feathers anyways.

Upon entering the psychic's domain, Margo was surprised by the darkness of the tent despite the bright sun outside. There were dim purple string lights along the perimeter of the tent and candles lit on various surfaces around the shop. Bright eyes wandered the tent, noting the knick knacks around--figurines of ghost-type pokemon, thick leather-bound books, incense burning and creating a hazy atmosphere, stacks of cards littered about, even some large glittering rock formations. A yelp involuntarily left her lips as the Spoink from before seemed to multiply, the little grey pigs suddenly pouncing around her in greeting.

"Ah, don't worry about my crystals. We don't usually get many visitors during this festival--Halloween is our more busy time of the year," A voice chuckled from deeper inside the tent, a person sitting at a table at the center. The table had a beautiful black cloth over it with constellations decorating it and a large pink crystal ball atop a throne--it looked like a larger version of the pearls atop the Spoink's heads.

Margo made her way closer to the table to get a better look at the fortune teller, despite a slight nagging feeling of keeping her distance from this strange person. Crowne didn't seem too skeptical, chattering among the six Spoinks that were circling him excitedly while his trainer went to take a better look at this psychic reader.

"W-who are you? Do you read tarot cards or something?" Her eyes scanned the table for anything else besides the crystal ball and found nothing, an arched brow towards her new companion. "The whole crystal ball thing is a little over-played at this point, don't you think?"
I don't mind either way but after a 10 hour hike maybe taking one rest day isn't the worst idea in the world for the poor kids :P

We can wake up early tomorrow and go our separate ways--maybe Margo or Indy leaves earlier than the other and sends a text to the let the other know they're doing their own thing for now.

Indy can let Margo know what time the contest starts and she can meet back up with him just in time to go cheer him on.

Would that work ?
Pleasantly surprised by her companion's graceful win, Margo gave a small applause once the battle was over and the two exchanged words. Indigo even attempted to push his win off to luck--which maybe it was--but it was obvious that he was learning to be a better trainer. At least, to her it was obvious.

Crowne seemed a little disheartened about not battling but she insisted he go ahead and watch to learn a thing or two. The Wartortle happily made rounds around Indy's pokemon, giving them happy little chortles of encouragement as they panted and attempted to catch their breath.

Margo smiled warmly at Indy as he turned back at her as Ronaldo went on his way, clasping her hands behind her back as he rejoined her. "Good job, Indigo. You guys really looked like you were cooperating together," She gave him a wink, almost quick enough that it went unnoticed, before they began to make their way to Jimmal once again. It wasn't long before the two of them decided to stop and camp for the night.


Margaret looked around the large city, buildings towering over them ominously. It was a bit jarring to be in such a big industrial city, she was beginning to realize. It was like when she went to Castelia City to catch a boat and leave Unova in the first place--it was much scarier when she was on her own. A quick glance at Indigo made her feel a little better, Crowne looking up at her excitedly on her other side. Margo leaned down and took her Wartortle's chubby hands in her own and whispered a few words to him before recalling him to his pokeball, a slight pout scribbled on his face.

"Well... That was quite a walk, huh? My legs were sore when I woke up, but it feels like it's going to be worse tomorrow." Scanning their surroundings, Margo stopped on the nearby pokemon center, jerking a thumb in its direction. "How about we go wash up real quick. I can smell you from a mile away." She snickered, skipping her way towards the center with an indignant Indigo in tow, making their way inside and going towards their complimentary rooms upstairs.

Margaret took a long shower--probably longer than she realized--and laid down on the comfy bed. She let herself relish in the soft mattress for an extra twenty minutes before finally making her departure and sitting at the cafe downstairs. She put her chin in her hand and tapped her fingers against her cheek as she waited for Indigo to rejoin her.

"Aren't you signed up already? Today's the last day! The starting rounds are tomorrow! Leah, you're such a scatter-brain."

"Whaaa? I thought it was next weekend!"

"It's the last Friday of the month, c'mon, you know the festival always falls on that day."

"Maybe contests aren't for me, I can't seem to keep all the dates and locations straight in my head..."

Margo's interest was piqued at the mention of a festival but it was extinguished at the thought of a contest. She liked to watch them on television but the idea of doing one herself was terrifying--stage fright didn't even begin to describe it.

Indigo joined her after a few more minutes and she gave a quick wave to make sure he saw her at the table.
"Hey, so, what do you want to do? Those girls over there were talking about a contest happening tomorrow... That's something you're into, isn't it?" Sometimes Margo pretended she didn't remember things about people, just to save her the embarrassment when they didn't remember things about herself. But she was beginning to learn that people found it sort of endearing when she mentioned something they had told her months prior. Still though, the look of detached interest stayed on her face as she watched Indigo's reaction to her suggestion.

While she wasn't planning on participating herself, perhaps she could be a point of reassurance for Indy during the contest tomorrow--if he did happen to join in the festivities. Perhaps she could find something to occupy her time for today in the mean time. That book seemed like a good place to start, and with Jimmal being the 'spiritual capitol,' maybe she'd find something useful towards finding the meaning to this blank book.
Yay, I love that idea! Then I'll go ahead and make my post and have them getting into Jimmal and getting washed up and then maybe overhear some people talking about the contest starting tomorrow?

Then Indy and Margo can part--maybe Margo can come during the contest and cheer Indy on but for today she's not going to sign up for hte contest as well so she can go do... something else :P

If that's good, we'll go with that~
Yea I was hoping that we could go to like a festival thing going on or something? Like maybe they have a festival in a park to kind of get in touch with their inner spiritual self along with their pokemon and maybe they can look at the book a bit there?

OR maybe the festival is a ruse for something bad going on and Indy and Margo could get caught up in it. (they could get separated for a short time, that could be interesting?) I have part of a response written out but I want to know what time it is / where we should go next :)
Indigo shivered. As the day's light dropped, so did the temperature of the mountain face they were currently traveling on. Remembering he had a fire pokemon, he clicked the release button on Hawka's pokeball.

Normally coming out with a screech and her claws extended, Hawka's pose was much more relaxed as she saw there was no battle to best. The heat from her body radiated around her and Indigo motioned for Margo to closer.

"At least it'll be a little warmer... We may need to camp soon." He glanced up at the sky. Margo gave a quick thank you, smiling at Indy's kind gesture. "The stars don't pop out as much when you're in the city. I think my first night as a trainer, I camped out at Muzin Beach and noticed that too."

"Yeah, I get that," Margo replied, pulling a frayed thread on the end of her sweater sleeve. Thinking back to her first day of her journey brought up a lot of feelings she wasn't sure how to address."Unova's full of really big cities, and you have to go out far to catch the stars sometimes. I camped out at Muzin Beach my first night, too!"

"Really? I guess that makes sense. I mean, the first thing you do when you get your pokemon is go to the beach and have fun." Indigo was silent. "That's where I got Hero from. From the forest that goes to Muzin, I mean. He tried to protect me from an angry Rattata." Indigo laughed, but it sounded empty.

"Oh, don't worry, I'm sure you'll find Hero..." Margo tried to think of what to say, but words were failing her. She glanced at Indigo sympathetically, her brows knitting together.

"Oh no, no, don't worry about it," Indigo said quickly. "I didn't mean to get all down-"

"No, you're okay!" Margo waved her hands. "It's good to talk about your feelings. Makes it easier to get through them." She realized she should probably take some of her own advice, but let that thought slip out of her mind carelessly.

"Thanks," Indigo replied, feeling grateful. Margo was an easy person to talk to. "Say, about earlier with that Ho-oh and book..."

But just as they tried to talk the events previous, a figure seemed to be coming up the mountain. A large, threatening figure coming up too quickly for Indigo's liking. Hawka tensed, growling, looking up at Indigo and back at the hulking shadow that was heading their way.

"What is that?!" He looked at Margo frantically, the ordeal at Pewter flashing through his mind. Was something coming after them, sent by the robbers from before? Or was it just a wild pokemon? Margaret was quick to grab her own pokeball and release Crowne, the Wartortle popping out of his shell dramatically in the air before landing with a cloud of dust from the trail. The pokemon glanced around, looking for Margo and giving her a stubby thumbs up before turning his attention towards the mysterious figure barreling towards his trainer.

Indy squinted through the darkness before remembering Mimzy. "Wait, I can get Mimzy to see it for us!"

Mimzy came out with a perfectly timed hop, but there was hardly any time for praise. "Mimzy, Foresight!"

Mimzy's eyes glowed an ethereal blue before unleashing a wave of light. The illuminating energy washed over everything before them, revealing some pokemon hiding in their area, but the figure was too far away to be identified.

Would it be too late if they waited until it got closer? Indigo thought.

Margo wasn't wasting any moments either. "Crowne! Get a Water Pulse Ready!"

"Get ready guys..." He braced himself.

"HEY, KIDS, OUT OF THE WAY!" The shadowy figured shouted from a ways away. As the figure came closer, Mimzy's Foresight revealed a man riding a Boufflant, a feathery and small Hoothoot fluttering in front. "I've got some mail to take care of-!" He raised a saddlebag, lumpy with letters and packages, as if to prove his point. But some of the contents spilled suddenly. A few boxes and an envelope drifted out. "Woah- Oh no!"

"We gotta help him," Margo was gone without even a blink of hesitation. She managed to catch the fluttering envelope while Hawka, Mimzy, Indigo, and Crowne, divebombed for the packages. Just as the man on the Bouffalant was stepping off his trusty pokemon, Indy and Margo were there with the mail.

"Sorry about that," Margo took the lead in conversation. "It was so dark and-- we just didn't know what was coming up the mountain. We thought it might have been some wild pokemon or something after us..." She shrugged, offering a sheepish smile. Indigo nodded. "I'm Margo, and this is Indigo..."
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