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@samreaper Ah, yes. I did think I recognized you, but you were in the last one, weren't you?

I'm afraid to say that, yeah, this roleplay is really full right now and if everyone posts at once I will be really swamped. But, I can keep you in mind, yeah.

‘Yeah, you do that. Good luck for now,’ Dunstan told Dawkin, as he headed off.

‘Er, I’ll, um, I’ll see you later? If you want?’ Florrie also said, not entirely sure, but still, let’s get a move on.

Now, there was still a commotion in Raremine Town, but Dawkin was heading somewhere else. He was heading to Route 7 to train.

Now, then. Training in Route 7 for his various Pokémon…

Atlas would definitely have trouble against the various Ground-types around here, but fortunately there was Cacneas around, which he could easily train against, if it wasn’t too disturbing to watch for their resident Cacnea.

Wooper had no trouble against any of the Ground-types, Sandshrews, Sandiles and Hippopotas all fair game for her.

Pichu was a bit harder, but at the very least he wasn’t at a disadvantage against Darumakas, which there were a ton of running about.

Tyrunt had ALL the advantages against Darumakas. Slam into the fire-beasties and make mincemeat out of them. Or, well. Stomp and Tackle them, anyway.

Cacnea’s grass-type was very useful against the varying Ground-types around. Yeah, that’ll do fine. And now, the GM feels like being generous.

Atlas grew to level 16! Atlas learned Protect!
Wooper grew to level 16! Wooper learned Slam!
Pichu grew to level 13! Pichu learned Nasty Plot!
Tyrunt grew to level 15! Tyrunt learned Stealth Rock!
Cacnea grew to level 16! Cacnea learned Needle Arm!

Now in Route 7. What here?

Current Condition; Relatively Clear - It’s still decently calm, but who knows about later today? The usual sandstorm blows over the path to the Mystic Oasis, though.

Connected areas:
Raremine Town. A town of miners and research, on the tip between the plains and the desert.
Desert Mines. What Raremine Town stands here for! These mountains are filled with dough!
Old Tombs. Across the desert, an old and chilling place awaits those who wants to visit…
Mystic Oasis. Somewhere within that sandstorm, that is.

Or if he’d like to go back to town…

Connected areas:
Route 6. The Vast Plains open up to the north of Raremine. The shorter paths lead to Route 8 and 16, while west far enough leads to Lakewatch Town.
Route 7. The single rocky desert of Isson, it connects to the Desert Mines, the Old Tombs and to the Mythic Oasis.

There was a big problem with actually trying to investigate a disappearance. … Namely, Mariette was no investigator. She could watch things from afar, but when it came to being a detective? That needed talking, and when the general public knew you’re a horror patron girl there’s only so much you can talk about. Wasn’t that many one could talk about with the disappearance of this one girl, and those who should have known the most were the ones who had put her up to the job. It was annoying. Mariette sighed, as she settled for leaning against the wall of an apartment that she’d been scanning around by opening portals. She couldn’t do that too much, or people with Third Eye would find her, and… sigh. She needed to wind down. Calm down a bit. Just turn off her head a bit, just be comfortable. And she really couldn’t be comfortable in her home-dimension with the presence of Asengav looming above her…

Hence she randomly opened a portal in front of Lily/Alex wherever they just happened to be at the time, since she knew Lily was on a patrol right nearby.

When the portal opened, Lily was balancing on top of a power line.
"Kiyaah!" She screamed in surprise, causing her to wobble just a bit before she embraced the swing of the power line, showing off her impressive agility.
"Wait, this is a portal...Mariette!" Her eyes turned into thunderbolt symbols as she jumped right through the portal, ending up at the apartment Mariette was staying at.
"It's you! It's really you! Oh my Ixion, this is so crazy!" She yelled, her excitement very obvious as she rushed to hug Mariette, only to stop herself.
"Wait, you're the type who hates touching, right? Sorry, forgot! Oh, could you make another portal for Alex at ground level? That would be easier for him, tee hee~"

Mariette’s first thought was something along the lines of “why did I think this would be calming”. She winced first at Lily’s scream, not entirely thinking that perhaps her portal would be alarming, and then Lily jumped through without hesitation and Mariette stumbled back because her intention had been to herself walk out, not have Lily jumping in.

‘H… hello, Lily…’ Mariette started, breathing out a bit as Lily was shouting about that “it’s you”. ‘“Hates” touching is an exaggeration, I’m just not used to it, but thanks for the consideration,’ Mariette commented, but otherwise simply opened a portal to ground-level for Alexander if he wanted it. ‘I had a moment, so I wanted to reconnect a little,’ Mariette said, decently meaning it.

The apartment itself was one of many abandoned apartments in town, which Mariette had been walking through more regularly than streets these days, with simple tables, a kitchen, a hall, the lot, and it obviously did not belong to Mariette, who stood there slightly awkwardly, holding bunny under her left arm.

Alexander walked through to see the familiar face, and raised a hand in greeting “So what’s up, you got something for us?” He asked “Things have been kind of...tense, with the new girls around, but I can’t imagine them giving you too hard of a time. Since your magic makes you pretty hard to pin down.

Lily was already checking out the apartment by the time Alex had arrived there, spinning around on a foot..
”Is this where you live? It’s...Nice, I think.”
She stopped to hear Mariette. Her eyes widened, and she bit her lip, looking emotional.
”M-M-Mariette! Do you...Really mean it?”
She stepped in place, looking like she wanted to run around.
”Does that mean that...we’re finally friends? Or is it still too early? I, um, don’t want to force you into it. I know that you’re serious when it comes to your friends.”
Her anxiety came apparent from how fast she was talking. Fortunately Alex was there for her to lean on, and so she clung to his arm when he spoke.
”Did you want to talk about something?”

Mariette looked over when Alexander entered, and so raised her own hand in greeting. Before she could entirely respond, Lily was speaking again, and Mariette blinked a bit at her. Huh, this meant that much to her? … It made Mariette wonder a bit. Had she eventually softened? The last time they’d met had been in…

‘Oh, yeah… last time was in the Pit Stop, and Violet…’ had given Lily a bit of a lesson. Mariette had appreciated it at the time, but then it had sort of faded out of memory, and Mariette’s version of their relationship had diverged from Lily’s…

‘… Indeed, so far I’ve had no trouble avoiding a hard time. Thank you,’ Mariette started to Alex, and then turned to Lily. ‘This is actually not where I live. My place is a lot more unfriendly to anyone not under my patron. This is an interim, a safe place I can take a break in between harsh outside and the tense home where I can feel my patron’s influence all around…’ With that answered, she took a bit of a breath.

‘… And yeah. Sure. We can be friends. I don’t… see any harm in it,’ Mariette said, softly. She had something more to say, but perhaps let Lily have a reaction to that first.

Alexander was a bit taken aback ‘Is this really the same girl who told Lily off for being so friendly before? Weird, but I guess I’ve seen stranger things lately

Lily squeed the moment Mariette’s confirmation reached her ears. She then flash-stepped, moving so fast even Mariette’s Awareness wasn’t able to follow her movements before she was caught in a hug.
”Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” She cheered, rubbing her cheek against the paler girl’s own.
”I’m so glad we’re friends now! I was afraid you didn’t like me after how much I screwed up! Thank you so much! We’re gonna be the best of friends, I promise you!”

Alexander pulled Lily off of the other girl “Okay woah. I know you’re excited, but try not to make her immediately regret her decision. Personal space and all that.” He then turned to Mariette “Yeah, you...probably know her well enough to understand how...enthusiastic she can get

Lily blinked with a dumb smile on her face as she was forced to release the dark magical girl, seemingly unaware of the social faux pas she committed. ”Eh?”

It was a good thing Lily didn’t want her dead, Mariette mentally remarked. Because, as perturbed as she was at being hugged, she was far more perturbed by the sheer speed that Lily had hugged her in. There hadn’t even been the option to avoid her. Now she had to awkwardly stand there getting squeezed by the girl and have her cheek rubbed against while looking rather stunned herself until Alexander separated the two.

‘Y.. Yes, I know how she becomes, thank you,’ Mariette agreed with Alex and breathed out, happy to have a calmer presence here. ‘The time at the diner I was irritable for a number of reasons, but it didn’t make me dislike you. So… don’t worry?’ she then said to Lily, still recovering from the hug.

‘Still, it wasn’t entirely just to reconnect that I did contact you, but being friends certainly makes my next request more reasonable,’ Mariette continued.

”Oh, I’m sorry I-Huh?” Lily was about to blow up into a storm of apologies when Mariette told her not to worry.
”Oh, ok. What is it?”

‘I’m currently in the middle of an investigation. It is possible that, when I find the villain, they will attack me, and there’s a theoretical possibility that I’ll end up in peril. Should such a time come, I’d like to know if I can throw up a sudden portal asking you for aid. If I end up able to handle it on my own, I don’t want to have involved you unnecessarily, for even the information could put you in danger. But… it would be nice to know if I could rely on… my friends… at a time of need. Only if I judge the situation to be morally just, of course, not if my patron told me to do something bad. Then I’ll handle it on my own,’ Mariette explained with a serious expression.

‘In exchange… I can give you my number,’ Mariette then said, picking up her phone from the portal that was her hammerspace handbag. ‘And so you can call me when you need my help… or just… feel like calling… or something,’ she then finished.

Lily first thought for a moment, and then nodded, looking surprisingly serious as she took out her own phone.
”If you’re in danger, then I’ll be there to protect you, no matter who is after you. That’s what friends do.”
After a moment of quickly tapping on her phone, she collected the number, and showed her own to Mariette in turn. Her eyes seemed to be drawn to something.
”You have a cute phone, Mariette, but it lacks stickers. Want to have some of mine? They’ll make your phone super adorbs.”

I’m kind of concerned about this trouble you’re expecting. I’ve seen how bullshit your portals can be, and you could easily hold up somewhere safe while taking pot shots at whoever you wanted. So why do you think you’ll be in danger?” Alexander asked

Mariette nodded thankfully to Lily’s confirmation. ‘That’s what friends do,’ she echoed, her tone one of confirming to herself. Then she blinked a bit in surprise at the next part. ‘Stickers…? Er… sure? I could borrow some…’ Mariette said, having no idea what she was getting herself in on. Wasn’t a phone fine just being a phone…?

Alexander was more on Mariette’s wavelength, asking the questions she had been expecting to be asked. ‘I lack offensive presence, and there’s a good chance I’ll be outnumbered. Other than that, I may be trying to save someone. Saving someone is a time-sensitive thing, and while my portals are adaptable they’re also occasionally slow. Especially with multiple hostiles, I may only have enough awareness to keep myself safe. Hence, it would be greatly appreciated if I have this as a last-resort kind of thing,’ Mariette explained. ‘It is also because my enemy this time might be very powerful. I don’t want to needlessly trouble you if it turns out I can handle it myself.’ Yes, that should do it, Mariette thought.

Alexander nodded “Alright, that makes enough sense. You seem to have a pretty tight grasp on the specifics, so you’re clearly far enough into your investigation to at least have an idea who your opponent is, as well as a possible VIP. So why don’t you tell us exactly what we’re getting ourselves into?

‘… Because I’d rather not put you in danger if I can avoid it, and the information itself may be dangerous,’ Mariette replied, very briefly.

I’m...not sure how information can be dangerous...but okay” Alexander sighed, a little disappointed “It can never be that simple for us, can it?

Unlike Alex who concentrated on the discussion, Lily was ignorant of the topic, rummaging her bag for stickers to hand them out to Mariette: they depicted miscellaneous cute things like hearts and stars and anime girls in a chibified style.
”Here you go, these are all the stickers I have with me, but we can go and get more! Oh, and you should have a keychain too!” She removed one of hers and attached it to Mariette’s phone: it was a tiny Sailor Moon figurine performing her famous pose.
”I already have three of these, so you can have one! Yes, now your phone is accessorized! Anyway, why does it matter if it’s dangerous, Alex?”
She looked up to him with a confident smile.
”I’m sure Mariette has a good reason for keeping things quiet. I trust her, so should you too,” she stated with a cute pout.

Because I’m tired of dangerous things pretty much ambushing us, and would love to be on the other side of it.” Alexander answered Lily “It’s got nothing to do with trust, and everything to do with prep work and planning.

‘… Thank you,’ Mariette said, staring with a strange look at the sticker added to her phone and the stickers she’d been given. She didn’t exactly know the purpose of this, but… suppose it was style. Was it her style? … Not sure. In any case, what Alexander said… struck true to Mariette. She considered something about it, and…

‘… Alright. Lily, leave us for a bit. I’m going to tell Alexander,’ she said. And before Lily asked why… ‘If I tell you, you’re going to get involved regardless of what I say. That’s just the kind of person you are, and that’s a good thing. But I believe I can tell Alexander, to allow him to prepare for it without necessarily causing trouble, because I believe he’s the kind of person that I can tell this without worrying. Then he can decide what’s best.’

"Oh?" Lily blinked, not having expected Mariette to confide with them. But then, as the realization dawned on her, she smiled sweetly with a sigh, her eyes having wettened a bit.
"This must be hard for you, Mariette. But you can trust Alex. Call me when you're done." She then turned away, and went to watch TV in the living room.

When Lily was out of earshot, Alexander said “Right, so it’s sounding like this less of a memetic hazard, and more something you’re worried we’ll act on too soon and fuck up everything?

Mariette was thankful Lily didn’t take the solution too badly. She breathed out softly, and then looked at Alexander. ‘… I’m potentially going to battle Ebon Mint, for they captured the small Magical Girl called Sammy. It’s a matter of that drawing the ire of a large underground organization that is not above assassinations is not a good idea for those who typically live in the light, like you two. That’s why I want to attempt handling it myself, first. It won’t just be me, Amaryllis will also be there. However, if things go wrong, then I’d very much rather ask if you’d want to risk helping me than that I die or fail, never having asked,’ Mariette summarized.

Alexander groaned “Wonderful, this is just what we need; another organization causing trouble. We haven’t even gotten rid of the zealots that moved in...and now this” he shook his head in frustration “If...if it really comes down to it, then yeah, I’ll help. Fuck knows why I’m saying yes; since this has nothing to do with me. Lily’s clearly a bad influence on me.

Mariette nodded to his reaction, decently understanding it. ‘Thank you. That means a lot to me. I’ll leave it to you if you want to tell Lily about this, but the situation is mostly that Amaryllis hired me to help, and therefore I will be saving Sammy. She didn’t know it was the Mint until I investigated and found it to be the case, but now we’ll be moving on to investigating different points of interest until we can track the girl down. At any point during this, the Ebon Mint might decide to ambush us, and that’s when I might want the help… and also during the rescue mission itself, depending on how many hostiles we find there to be. I just gave Lily my number, so you can reach me there if you have questions or would like to change your stance on the matter. For now, you can continue your life, and if the situation has resolved I’ll let you know. And, if a random portal appears in front of you, be ready it might be that I’m requesting aid. Does this work with you?’

Alexander opened his mouth to say something snarker, before pausing. He then shook his head and said “Yeah...yeah that’s fine. I’m going to need some time to get some stuff ready. I could get a few temporary power boosting trinkets ready in a couple of days, maybe some healing items too. It’ll have to be something on the side though, since I’m working on something for Lily. But if you really think you’ll need some gear, I can put a rush on it.

Mariette initially nodded, then looked a bit surprised towards the end of that. ”I’ll” need some gear? I really wasn’t… expecting you to make things for me, if that’s what you’re saying. That said, if you are… I’d be very thankful.’

There’s not a lot I can make. Healing stuff, power boosting stuff, things that can make shields. It’s basically me storing my spells in something solid for later use. They don’t last too long unless I put in a lot of time and effort into making them solid enough, and even then I’d still need to fix them from time to time. So the best I can do is a bunch of disposable stuff that might come in handy. If you need time to think about what you’re going to need then fine, just get in contact with me once you know what you want.

‘… Alright. Then, wide-spread shields and healing artifacts are what I may need the most. My portals can be unreliable as shields depending on how quick or many the enemy attacks are, and our investigation party currently lacks a healer should someone get hurt so that would also be greatly appreciated,’ Mariette said, still looking a little off-guard because making something for her? Huh. Is he about to ask about payment? Mariette expected him to, any second now.

Alexander nodded “Got it. Oh, and by the way; these are really only going to be good for a couple of hours of continued use, and you’ll have to use your own mana to use them. The shields don’t drain mana once there up, but you can pour more into them to reinforce/fix them. So if they’re still functioning after the fight, you can just keep them if you want. Was there anything else I needed to know?

‘That is fine. I have a lot of mana,’ Mariette commented with a nod, taking in all the information that Alexander was telling her. At the end, she felt she had sufficient understanding, and… ‘I believe that should be all, I’ve sufficiently told you what I’m doing and what I might need help with. We can call back Lily now,’ Mariette said.

Alright.” Alexander turned around to face the direction Lily was in “Okay Lily, we’re done! Get in here!” He yelled to her.

”Okay!” Lily came walking back, holding a big cup of popcorn.
”Man, that South Korean film on TV was really good! I think it was called Parasite.” She took Alex’ hand.
”But I only managed to catch a few minutes of it. How about we buy the Bluray on our way home?” She asked, before turning to Mariette.
”I’m glad you got to an understanding. Anyway, we gotta go now. Bye, see you later!” She waved goodbye, before leading Alex out through a portal.

Where did you get the popcorn?” Alexander mumbled to himself as Lily dragged him through the portal.

Mariette was a bit surprised that, almost as soon as Lily returned, she was also about to leave. Guess that’s simply how this girl operated, at pretty high speed. Still, Mariette raised a small hand to wave them off. 'Goodbye for now. You have my number if you need me,’ she simply said, letting them get back out on the street before closing said portal and being left on her own again. … Those were Eli’s popcorn, that she’d prepared for when she returned from her scouting mission. … … … … … Oh, well.


About ten seconds after Lily emerged from the portal with Alex, she was already talking about the movies she'd like to buy...

...When a tiny Magical Girl rounded the corner and completely froze, staring wide eyed at them… before she grinned widely.

‘Lily Lightning! I’ve found you! … Oh, and Alex, too!’ said the currently unknown little girl in the obviously eastern-inspired samurai-outfit, grinning at them.

Lily stopped in her tracks, looking surprised.
"Whoah! So cool!" She immediately dashed over with high speed, looking around the tiny warrior.
"Very nice cosplay, I-wait, how did you know my name? I'm not that famous, right?" She looked back at Alex with a confused expression.
"So you’re magical girl then. I really hope you're not here to test my skills in battle. That would be a big bummer.”

Alexander rubbed the back of his head “I…think we’ve met her before? She looks like one of the tiny girls that hung around Mariette. Although the Eastern outfit is new, and she doesn’t look as...slime-like as those girls.

‘Heeey, it’s not cosplay, it’s my Magical Girl outfit! … Which is kinda cosplay, sure, but it’s also kinda just my uniform! Haha!’ the little samurai claimed with a little laugh, grinning widely as Lily looked her over. Then Alexander said that, and she had to act really darn quickly.

‘Huh? Mariette? Who’s that? Anyway, no, I’m not here to test your skills!’ the girl said, before giving the both of them a salute. ‘I am Ronin! I came to find you because my new friend Penny told me you’d be a good person to befriend! I want to make friends with as many people as possible, and so asked her where I could find other friends! And so…’ Ronin grinned widely. ‘Will you be my friend?’

Lily’s mouth turned into a circle, looking baffled.
”Wait, you know Penny?” Her eyes turned into sparkles at the mention of friendship.
”I can’t believe it! For the first time, someone actually comes up to me, and-” Her hair electrified as her excitement expressed itself through magic.
”YEEESSS!” She screamed, anb grabbed Ronin in a hug, lifting her high into the air while rapidly spinning around.
”Today’s my lucky day to get so many new friends! Yahoo!”
She then stopped spinning, having realized that Ronin’s face was turning green.
”Whoops, my bad! I just got so excited I couldn’t help it! Where do you come from Ronin? I haven’t seen you before in Penrose.”

Alexander, not believing her claim that she wasn’t one of Mariette’s friends, opened his mouth to call bullshit, before pausing and closing his mouth while shaking his head ‘Fuck it, I don’t care enough. If she wants to mess around like this, then I’m sure as hell not going to stop her. It’s not worth the headache.

‘Woa-!’ Ronin sounded out in surprise as she found herself squeezed by the excited girl’s hug and then promptly spun around by Lily. Now, Ronin was a Genki Girl herself, but Lily totally out-Genki-ed her right now. Ronin laughed as she was put down on the ground again, stumbling a bit. ‘Weee, hahahaha! Yay, I got more friends…!’ Ronin said, smiling widely. ‘Yeah, I arrived in Penrose just recently! As for where I came from, well,’ Deni thought her answer over, and considered how to change the question in her mind so that her answer wasn’t a lie.

‘I’m actually from Penrose, I just wasn’t a Magical Girl until very recently! Had to move out of town while I was still normal, and one day I woke up a Magical Girl! Something had given me power, and I had no idea what and was very confused, waking up in the middle of nowhere with no patron… but fortunately, I met Valkyrie and Amanda and then Penny and now I’m up to date on how everything works and what’s been going on, and just seek to make the most friends ever and defend the world from whatever may come our way! Yeah!’ Ronin claimed happily. Her story was true… assuming “normal” was her state living in Penrose as a Monster Girl, which is different from being a Magical Girl like now, and “move out of town” was due to being consumed by Caroline. Yupp.

”That’s awesome!” Lily responded, still recovering from her terminal case of hype. Then, she turned surprisingly smug.
”Well, clearly Penny knows the creme de la creme when it comes to friends, tee hee~” She flipped her short hair back with a hand on her hip, attempting to imitate a celebrity type.
”Since she has so cordially directed you to me, it is only fair that I will make your stay in Penrose hospitable.”
She then dropped the act as fast as she began it.
”Let’s go watch movies together! Wait, maybe ice-skating! No, Ski Jumping! Oh, I Know! AVALANCHE SNOWBOARDING!” She was screaming by the end of her suggestions, until she realized she had let her excitement take the best of her.

”...Or...Um...We could work together and destroy some monsters. Just, casually, no big deal...That alright?”

Alexander spoke up “For the record; I am 100% on board with this ‘go around killing monsters’ idea. I think it is incredibly well thought out, and I’d be proud to be a part of it. So let’s do that.

Ronin just grinned widely at Lily’s act and then the subsequent suggestions. ‘I’m totally on-board! I want to see how well my new Magical Girl body would do in skating, jumping, or snowboarding! Oh, but I have a TON of movies I’d like to see, too! … But Alexander seems to be more leaning towards hunting monsters together, so let’s do that, first! Oh, and let’s befriend anyone who dares cross our paths!’ Ronin called, continuing to grin, skipping a bit on the spot, excited to get moving.

”Great! Let’s go!” Lily took Alex’ hand enthusiastically, following Ronin as they went on to have a good time together.

I’m not sure ‘befriending’ works the way you think it does, but hey; you do you.” Alexander said to ‘Ronin’.

‘It totally does!’ Ronin claimed with another little grin, and then they were off on the streets.

It didn’t entirely matter when, where, how or why, eventually any person had to be alone for a while. It was simply a matter of being patient enough to await the time when they’d be alone. For a being that may as well have existed since the beginning of time itself, patience was something the elfin monster-girl had a significant amount of. Fortunately, Kimble was hardly the secretive type, occasionally going off and just being extremely cat-like, so it didn’t take all that long before an opportunity arose.

It eventually came to pass that Kimble was wandering on her own, balancing on fences before she jumped inside an abandoned convenience store, pouncing on the few rats inside. However, upon catching them, Kimble simply released them; she no longer had the urge to kill, and simply continued the stalking out of a force of habit.

Suddenly someone spoke to her from behind.

‘Kimble,’ Lea said her name, the creature in green dress floating abscently in mid-air behind the girl, on a ten meter distance so as to not startle her too badly. Last time they met, Lea had falsely introduced herself as Frida Merkel. Time to see if the no-longer cat-girl remembered.

“Nya?” Kimble meowed with a curious look as she turned, and gave a cute smile upon seeing Lea. “Oh, Frida! Nice to see you againya!” She hopped up on a shelf, knocking the various box of cereal down. “Thank you again for helping me: I managed to confess my feelings to my one true love, and she didn’t reject them! And now we’ve even gone on dates!” Her tails whipped around in a sign of joy, though Lea couldn’t help but notice something was off about them.

‘… Well done. You’ve attained something that many but dreams of,’ Lea replied, not actually very concerned if Kimble gets loved or not. Now immediately onto the subject at hand, due to Lea being bad at wasting time. ‘I came to find you again because I grew interested in you, as one of ours affiliated with Beacon, perhaps you were a sign Beacon had grown more accepting of our kin…’ … then Lea slightly tilted her head, inspecting the tails and ears… ‘… Yet I see you’re not of our kin anymore. It is a shame. They could not accept you as you were, so they removed the parts of you they couldn’t accept, leaving the parts they could so you could stay. Is that it?’

Kimble's joy quickly turned into sorrow. "Nyo, that's not true! Mistress is accepting, I know she is." She averted her eyes, her tails lifted up in an agitated manner. "I did change, but I wanted to! Now I can be with Mistress…" She lifted a hand up to her cat-eared hairband. "So it's okay, nya."

‘… Oh?’ Lea kept her head tilted a bit, watching Kimble’s reactions. ‘Then tell me. If hypothetically I came to talk to them, or even that they found you to be talking to me…’ Lea intentionally let a bit of a fluttering ripple go through her body, for a brief moment her mid-section was completely separated and see-through, simply to show the fact Lea wasn’t entirely corporeal‘… How would your allies react, currently?’

Kimble first blinked, not having understood. "Nh? Well, they would-" Her eyes shot wide open, and she let out a distressed meow. "They'd kill you. But I won't let it happen! Even when Mistress was in a tough spot, she chose the right thing, and even risked her life for it. So, I'll also do the right thing and protect you, nya."

‘…’ Lea was intrigued. This little former monster girl was saying she’d protect Lea, and that it’d be the right thing to do? How could she assume protecting Lea would be the right thing to do, after such limited contact? ‘… Hm,’ she smiled the slightest of a smile. Curious creature. Doing so would potentially lose you your new allies. … Lea didn’t say that out loud, but. ‘I appreciate the gesture. I’ll avoid a scenario where you have to do so,’ she shared. … Well, with that confirmed. How about going to the main subject?

‘I heard rumors of some form of “White Coin”. Am I correct in assuming it’s what changed you?’ Lea asked.

Kimble nodded, and hopped off the shelf. “Nyes. The kind Cardinal gave me a White Coin, and it purr-ified me!” She now went to scrounge around the freezer, and found a box of fried fish n’ chips. “It also gave a Shiney Sparkle that will protect me, nya! Now only Mistress can put a leash on me!” She took the box to the break room in the back, preparing to heat it in a microwave.

‘Hm,’ Lea nodded a bit, confirming that. ‘What does it take to have a White Coin offered to you instead of them killing you on the spot? The two options appear rather contrary,’ she continued, floating abscently after Kimble as she asked, merely watching as Kimble warmed herself a snack.

After the food was heated, Kimble separated the contents into two plates, one for the fried fish sticks, and the other for chips. “Well, it depends on if you seem like a monster who wants to attack, or one that doesn’t. If you ask nicely, I’m sure they’d at least listen first, nya.” She sat down by the table and began eating the fish sticks, offering the plate of chips to Lea. “You can have these, Frida.”

‘Hm. I see,’ Lea said, her face as straight as possible. Then she realized Kimble was plating up for two. The first thing that occurred to Lea was that Kimble had to be waiting for someone else… but then she was offered them herself. Lea stared silently a bit. She was used to being bribed in the Overcity, by people who wanted something from her… but Kimble appeared to simply be so innocent that she just did it automatically. …

‘Thank you,’ Lea said, using focused wind magic to grab the plate. Hm. Fish. … ‘I am curious about you, now, Kimble,’ she said, gently slicing up the fish sticks into more agreeable portions using focused air-molecules and more wind-magic. ‘Where did you come from? How did you become affiliated with Beacon?’ So Lea asked, as she gently started picking the individual pieces of fish to chew on while listening to Kimble.

Kimble was nibbling on a fish stick when she heard Lea’s q uestion. Her ears drooped a bit.
“I...I was born in Mama Lamashtu’s litter,” she quietly answered after a moment of silence.
“Mama Lamashtu was nice, nyeh; she told me she had high expectations for me. But, one day, when I was on my own...Justine put a leash on me, and I was forced to be her pet.” She hissed.
“I don’t remember much of it, just small moments...But she was bad. I might have been stuck with her forever...When Mistress saved me.” Her expression brightened as her ears sprang up, and she blushed.
“She saved my life...And when she looked into my eyes...I was in love, nya. And well...You know the rest, nya!”

‘… I see,’ Lea said, far less full of expression than Kimble had. ‘… I could take you back to Lamashtu, if you so wished. But, I expect you’re happy where you are,’ Lea suggested, knowing who said Lamashtu was. She could find her. Still, another thing occurred to her. ‘It appears our stories are not so dissimilar. I, too, was born powerful, told I was of highest quality, but then later brought down to a lower level. Yet, the one who leashed me was my beloved, and I acted as his second. I needed no savior, for I was happy…’ … Happy until, for whatever reason, Mariette was put in charge of this operation. Lea frowned the slightest. What did that little upstart-!? Lea shook her head a bit, to shake off the negative emotions.

A chip fell from Kimble’s mouth, her eyes staring directly at Lea. “Back to...Mama...” It seemed she hadn’t thought of it being a possibility in the first place, and her tails whipped the ground behind her as she thought hard about it. “Nhh...I could see her again...After all this time...”
She listened as Lea told of her own story, occasionally nodding, but clearly caught up in her own inner turmoil. Finally, she placed a firm hand on the table.
“Okay! I wanna see Mama! Because, once I see her, I can ask her why she never rescued me.” She looked angry, surprising Lea. “And I’m gonna say I’ve found a new family, and that she can forget about me, nya!”

Lea indeed blinked. She did not think such a notion would have such an emotional impact on the former cat-girl. Ask why she never rescued her… ‘… Heh,’ Lea smirked a bit. Anger, huh? She wanted to see her mother… in anger. Such a precious little reaction. Lea couldn’t retract her smile. She was angry at her mother. Just like Lea was angry for Mariette being given the gifts she had not. How exceptionally endearing. This girl…

She wanted this girl.

‘… Very well. I will find her for you. However, I’d like something in exchange…’ Lea said, unable to remove her smirk.

All around the room, outside as well as inside, unbeknown to Kimble, small specks of magical power started to move. Little magical minions, crawling about inside walls and on top of the roof, by the doors. Slowly but surely they gathered to lock away all the exits. Because she wanted to collect this girl, take her for her own. Her hoarder mentality had decided that she’d lay claim to this girl and add her to her collection…

‘Frida,’ Mariette’s voice spoke silently within Lea’s head, through the communicator embedded within her incorporeal head before embarking on this mission, not audible to Kimble.

Lea growled in slight irritation, and the tiny magical minions retreated, her mental corruption temporarily kept in check by Mariette’s reminder, and Kimble was safe for at least this encounter. Still, from Kimble’s perspective Lea had now sat silently since the last words she’d spoke, despite them begging to have a follow-up.

Kimble’s ears flicked, and she turned her head around. “...Huh? Did I say something strange, nya?” She asked. “Maybe you heard something?”

Lea stayed quiet as she looked at Kimble… and the voice in her head spoke some more. Describing what they could have use of. … So be it.

‘… I will take you to Lamashtu. In exchange, I want you to take me into Beacon HQ,’ Lea told, raising her head a bit. ‘Show me around. I have often imagined how it must look in there, and I’d like to see it for myself. Of course, I understand that you cannot bring a Monster Girl inside the building…’ … Lea held forward a hand as she finished talking, and… a single butterfly jumped off her finger. A green, moderately pretty butterfly. Then, Lea’s form as it was completely scattered, a mass of butterflies suddenly released of the power that controlled them and they flew off in various directions, while the single butterfly simply fluttered over to settle down on Kimble’s finger if she allowed it.

‘… but perhaps bringing a single butterfly would be possible?’ Lea’s voice asked, from the butterfly.

Kimble's mouth rounded into a look of surprise when Lea gave her offer, and her ears flicked. "Well, I'd need to ask Mistress first…" She mumbled. But then, when Lea took the form of a single butterfly, the girl's eyes sparkled. "Oh, now I don't have to ask. Like this, I can show you the place without anyone asking questions, nya." She sniffed the butterfly, and gave a catlike smile. "But just a quick tour, okay?"

Lea wasn’t entirely comfortable being sniffed on as a butterfly. She wasn’t entirely comfortable revealing the fact she could manifest as a mere butterfly to someone this affiliated with Beacon. Still, if this were her means to infiltrate Beacon HQ…

‘A quick tour should do nicely,’ the butterfly replied.
@BlackMaiden @Savo

Kalmia smiled happily and proudly as Ryu got to bond with Fennekin.

After they got to bond like that, Cyril came in with his statement about that a rival trainer would appear to challenge Ryu, at the bottom of this post. It was after that when Jacques phone rang and he had to go outside. A moment later, Jacques came back in again.

‘Alright, let me brief you on what’s going on,’ Jacques told Ryu. ‘Basically, we’ve had a tradition that each time one of Kalmia’s trainers get their Pokémon, like you, they’ve had a battle against one of my trainers. I just called the Freecape Ferrymen to ship over your potential challenger…’

‘… But of course, you don’t have to if you don’t want to,’ Kalmia interjected. ‘Still, it could be a nice way to celebrate becoming a Pokémon Trainer. Would you like to have a battle with one of Jacques’ trainers?’ she asked, smiling supportingly as she did.

That’s when Jacques’ phone called again. He looked at the screen with an eyebrow raised, before answering.

‘This is Jacques. What’s the matter?’‘Yes, I am.’‘I see. And?’ … … … ‘Zachery did… what?’

Jacques asked, looking momentarily stunned, and then got a thoroughly amused expression as he brought a hand to his face in a light facepalm and chuckled. ‘I see. Well. We’ll certainly have to handle that. I’m on it as soon as I’m done here. Good, thank you, goodbye,’ he told the person on the other side of the phone, in a really amused tone. He eventually ended the call, sighing a bit.

‘Oh, Zach, you silly old pirate…’ Jacques shook his head, still with an amused smile, then looked over at Cyril. ‘Regardless. It seems I have you to thank for having a hopeful on her way. So now, what we need is for me to prepare her Pokémon, and for you to prepare her… cake…’ Jacques blinked a bit, and then got the sneakiest of smirks. ‘I’ll be right back,’ Jacques quickly told, as he spun around and darted out the door, throwing down a Pokéball calling out Aerodactyl, jumping onto it and soaring away, Gliscor silently following.

Pokédex Entry #142 – Aerodactyl, the Fossil Pokémon. A Pokémon who roamed the skies in the age of dinosaurs, it has today been regenerated from genetic material found in amber. It’s a savage creature that is known to go for the throats of opponents with its sharp claws.

‘… Huh. That was something,’ Kalmia said, and turned to Ryu. ‘Anyways. I can give you these in the meantime,’ she said, handing some things over to Ryu.

Ryu obtained 5 Pokéballs!

‘I’m, um, I’m going to Route 1 to catch a Growlithe! I’ll meet up with you after!?’ Chloe asked Cyril, but yeah, she REALLY wanted to get going.

Tim and Tom were still here, looking about curiously.



‘ … Oooh, I know which you’re talking about,’ Zachery said, while the harbor representative ran in a panic. ‘Don’t go anywhere!’ and then he spun around, leaving Basil on the pier as his two ladies and giant polar bear.

‘Sooo, ever been interested in a life at sea?’ one of the two girls asked with a little smirk.

‘Don’t scare the kid, Mila,’ the more serious of the two commanded.

‘Eeeeh? I was just asking a question…’ the other defended…

And that’s when suddenly both them and the Beartic had to stagger and step back a little, because a huge, flying dinosaur’s giant wingspan suddenly cast a shadow on the pier, having dove down from the part of town that Basil had come from…

Pokédex Entry #142 – Aerodactyl, the Fossil Pokémon. A Pokémon who roamed the skies in the age of dinosaurs, it has today been regenerated from genetic material found in amber. It’s a savage creature that is known to go for the throats of opponents with its sharp claws.

… And from said Aerodactyl, Jacques leapt down, landing gracefully on bent knees and one hand holding his hat in place. He nodded to Basil.

‘Hello, Basil. Fancy seeing you, here,’ he quickly told and then turned to the ladies.

‘Jacques! It’s been so long! So good to see you…!’ Mila said, clasping her hands together. The more serious one also gave a little relieved smile seeing him.

‘Have you finally decided to let me challenge you again?’

‘Elma, Mila. Always a pleasure,’ Jacques said, tipping is hat. ‘I’m afraid this visit is for business, however. Is Zachery onboard?’

At that specific time, Zachery now came leaping off his ship, landing with a huge thud right in front of Basil.

‘Here you go!’ Zachery told with a proud smirk. ‘Couldn’t find any weak enough to fit a beginning trainer, but I think THIS should suit you just fine!’ he proclaimed, handing over a…

… A Pokémon Egg. Fortunately, in this game, eggs do not take up the space of a Pokémon, you can just have it in your inventory.

Basil obtained Egg!

‘… Hm. Did I pick the right egg?’ Zachery momentarily scratched the back of his head with his hook of a hand. ‘Eh, no big deal. OH, HEY, JACQUES!’ Zachery suddenly turned to Jacques and raised his hand and hook high in greeting. ‘Long time, no see! What brings you back here?’

‘You’re the one that is back, Zachery. Back from across the sea with a whole shipment of foreign Pokémon, no less, fufu,’ Jacques chuckled as he replied.

‘Yeah, can you believe them!? They’re saying I can’t release them into the wild! They don’t understand what I-’

‘Now, now, Zach. That’s not very pirate-like behavior, is it?’ Jacques interrupted him. This caused a considerable look of confusion from the pirate to Jacques. The Elite Four was happy to explain.

‘See, as a pirate, your goal is to collect treasure. Now, you HAVE treasure, in the form of Pokémon the rest of this region doesn’t have. How do you benefit? The obvious answer is that you should get something in exchange. Basically, to put it into words that will appeal to you…’ Jacques leaned forward, and Zachery did the same.

‘You’re leading a smuggling organization that provides the people with the Pokémon of the world against the wishes of our oppressive League that doesn’t want their trainers to have them, and getting some nice coin in exchange,’ Jacques whispered to Zachery, whose eyes lit up.

‘Oooh… yes… Smuggling… now that’s a pirate operation…’ Zachery smirked to match Jacques smirk, and Jacques straightened himself.

‘… It also happens to not actually be illegal to sell Pokémon. Just as long as he’s not releasing them into the wild, the Pokémon League has no problems with trainers having foreign Pokémon,’ Jacques whispered, for Basil’s ears only.

‘… Wait, isn’t that what Amethyst was doing?’ Zachery suddenly demanded with a frown, staring at Jacques.

‘Oh, no, Arceus forbid, no,’ Jacques shook his head, frowning and losing the smile. ‘Amethyst poached Pokémon far beyond the acceptable numbers in focused operations and even stole rare Pokémon from trainers. You did no such thing, did you?’ Jacques demanded, giving Zachery a sharp glare.

‘Absolutely not!’ Zachery raised his hand and placed it on his heart. ‘I may be a pirate, but I am also an honorable Pokémon Trainer who treats Pokémon with the respect they deserve! All these Pokémon were caught fair and square!’ he assured, and Jacques regained his smile.

‘Good!’ Jacques said with a satisfied nod. ‘And on the subject, there’s something you can help me with…’ he said, leaning forward and gestured for Zachery to also lean in, and then he whispered something in Zachery’s ear. Zachery smiled.

‘I’ll be right back,’ Zachery told, spinning about and back onto the ship again. Looking proud of himself, Jacques stood straight again and rolled his shoulders.

Now, if Basil wants to say anything to Jacques, we can totally assume it’s happening during this time.

Eventually, Zachery jumped back out, and handed a Pokéball over to Jacques, who looked quite pleased.

‘Thank you. Then I must take my leave, as I am somewhat in a hurry. Zachery. Mila. Elma. I’ll come to visit again when I am not as busy. Basil. Well, good for you, you got yours for free. Good luck on your journey. I’ll await you at the end,’ Jacques told, as he hoisted himself up on Aerodactyl again, and then turned the dinosaur around to fly back towards Kalmia.

‘Yes, of course I got to put prices on them! … But of course, to be fair, each person will see each of their Pokémon they want to obtain get progressively more expensive! And any rarer Pokémon got to be more expensive! … Oh, and if any of those rich oafs show up trying to buy them all, I’ll just make it hilariously expensive for them, so even they can only afford one or two! Hahahaha!’ Zachery laughed where he stood, and Mila gave a light chuckle as well.

In any case. What’s Basil doing now?

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.


@BlackMaiden @Savo

Eventually, after a while when the assembled characters can do whatever they like, something descended from the skies. Two winged creature gleaming in metal, that most assuredly, is exactly what you think it is.

Pokédex Entry #227 – Skarmory, the Armor Bird Pokémon. It is encased in hard armor, which edges is sharpened by the thorns of the bramble bushes it likes to make nests in. Unhindered it can fly at almost 190 mph. While looking heavy, its wings are hollow and light allowing for free flight.

Both birds were carrying passengers. The passenger of one of the birds jumped down before the bird had even properly landed, a girl bending her knees on landing and gently placing a hand to assist her drop, because that 100% works. The girl was wearing exceedingly casual clothes, had long that’s slight green, right? or blue? hair, and for some reason a choker as part of the aesthetic design, an unconvinced look in her eyes and an expression that she’d been bothered. She was currently standing in the front yard of the lab.

‘Oh. That’s Ellyn,’ Kalmia told Ryu, door totally being open and all. ‘I suppose she’s the one of Jacques’ trainers that was called over.’

‘I was told there’d cake,’ Ellyn said, with a surprising amount of seriousness.

Behind her, a man stepped off the other Skarmory. A man with short black hair and a uniform like he was a member of the air-force or something.

‘The task has been accomplished,’ he breathed out, and then started looking around. ‘Now, where’s Jacques? I was told he’d be paying me,’

‘Hello, Eugene! Jacques said he’d be right back!’ Kalmia told the guy decently happily.

‘… Hello, professor. Hopefully he won’t be too long, it doesn’t look good on a Freecape Ferryman’s record to be standing idle…’ Eugene replied, before settling to simply standing around for now.

‘… There was a newcomer that needed someone to battle. Who is it?’ Ellyn asked, looking a bit less thrilled about that than about cake, but still, her eyes scanned any who’d appear and looking for individuals of note.

So, what will Ryu and Cyril do?

If any of them wants to head off, here’s Pureplain City.

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.



Eryn safely made her way back to the entrance, prompted to avoid the laser-shooting supposedly-not death-robot in the room ahead. Wilhelm looked up in slight surprise from examining a specific bit of writing on the wall as Eryn passed by, but after her comment and smile he just raised a hand in greeting as she passed by. Quagsire made no movement that acknowledged that she was passing by, just stood there with a wide, dumb grin, watching Wilhelm with all his blueness.

The corridor that Eryn now passed through was long, and had multiple small turns. First one to the right. Then one to the left. In all respects, it was still a lot of strange footwork needed to get by, and there was the occasional Elgyem just passing by, completely ignoring her. With that, she was able to get by. The way split in two, but as she could see the way forward ended in a sudden dead end, and she could so confirm it if she went forth and checked, she’d eventually need to turn to the eastern corridor. This corridor continued for a short while until it ended in another room. In this room stood… a human. … And not just any human.

'… One way blocked by a cracked wall. I could blast it apart with my Pokémon, but I’m not allowed to use them…' he muttered, looking in the northern direction. Indeed, there was a giant wall blocking the path, but there was a crack in it.

'… And the other direction, blocked by multiple Beheeyem. As Elgyem evolves on level 42, it is questionable if I could handle them even with Pokémon…' he continued to mutter, looking to the western path this time. As he said, a group of five Beheeyem floated there in a formation, blocking the path.

Pokédex Entry #606 – Beheeyem, the Cerebral Pokémon. It can use its psychic powers to manipulate memory. It communicates with others of its kind by flashing with its three differently-coloured fingers, but the patterns have been impossible to decipher. In battle, it uses its psychic power to tamper with an opponent’s mind.

'Hmpf. How troublesome. But, I suppose this is a trial. I suppose I have no choice but to-' he suddenly looked over at Eryn, and promptly frowned.

'You… what are YOU doing here?' Oaken asked, with an accusatory tone.

Eryn’s response?



‘… Heh, you’re not here as tourists, are you?’ Lin asked, in response to Skylar being all serious and not seeming like he’d been paying attention to her guide-talk at all.

‘I can’t just return him! He dodges…’ Vivia replied in a mild panic about Rotom, then she turned and looked at her available means… ‘CUTIECRUEL, HELP ME!’ Vivia called. She then jumped and braced her legs against one of Cutiecruel’s tentacles, and the Tentacruel was prepared to snap with said tentacle just as Vivia pushed off with her legs, and…

The result was Vivia blasting off like a torpedo through the waters of Flooded Lakewatch and a very surprised Rotom as Vivia slammed into him and then forcefully returned him to his Pokéball as they hit the wall on the other side of a mildly confused-looking Whiscash. At that wall, Vivia spun around, bracing her legs on the wall, and then thrust away sending her gliding through the water back to the dive-bubble, which she gasped in air as she stumbled back into it.

‘… Woah. You got some strong legs, girl…’ Lin couldn’t help but comment.

‘L-let’s move on…’ Vivia requested, as she picked up Venonat to place on her shoulder again. ‘I can sense it, too… Let’s go see it.’

‘… Sense what?’ Lin asked, sort of confused, but still. The swimmer could follow their directions.

Seeing how they were doing no exploration, they headed quickly through the slight maze that was the underwater architecture of Flooded Lakewatch. The path eventually took them inside one of the soaked buildings, there were some drenched dolls floating in here as they drifted through and arrived to a… tower. A smaller tower, that led up to… the surface. There was a surface. Also, there were old markings all over the walls. That is, they were totally in the super-ancient mystical language of Braille, but let’s not have Skylar stop to read them all.

‘… Huh. I’m supposed to be your guide, but I don’t know what this is…’ Lin commented, as she then had Cutiecruel guide them up, and there they breached the surface, and arrived somewhere new.


@Joshua Tamashii

Dorian wished her well on her journey as he went to take his leisurely walk with his Stoutland, and Amelia went on her way. She found someplace to stay, and then there’s the next day.

Amelia went through the city to the harbor, the air becoming considerably more festive and hectic as she did. After all, here’s where boats from all manner of regions arrived at Isson. There were workers everywhere, helping people and wares to get onto and off the piers, and there was this big marketplace where all sorts of things were for sale. Mail to be sent to other countries, different kinds of exchangeable items collected on distant shores, a wide variety of flutes produced overseas, weird scents from Orre that probably has no practical applications, nectar from Alola that ALSO doesn’t have any practical uses in Isson, mulch, and also a weird amount of decorations, accessories, props and décor. And, of course, clothing and fashion. There is also food, from all over the place, which may or may not be interesting to a Pokémon trainer.

There were delicacies from elsewhere around the world. Like, Rage Candy Bar from Johto, Lava Cookie from Hoenn, Old Gateau from Sinnoh, Casteliacone from Unova or the Lumiose Galette and Shalour Sable from Kalos…

Anyways, that will totally do. But that’s not what Amelia was here for. She was here looking for the ghosts she was sensing… and she found a pirate ship docked at the port. There appeared to be a positively ancient-looking yet very genuine pirate ship, crossbone flag hoisted in all honors, but also very peacefully docked here like something out of a completely different world. The ghosts in question were within the ship. … A ghost ship?

In front of said ship, stood a man looking like an exquisitely stereotypical pirate captain, with a hat, his right hand a hook, his left leg a pegleg, his hair black and cape red, and with what looked like a sword sheathed on his side. Behind said pirate captain stood two blonde girls, also in pirate-like outfits that might seriously threaten the PG nature of this roleplaying game (at least the right one). And behind them, stood a towering giant white polar bear of a Pokémon. They were currently conversing with this awkward-looking young man that Amelia had never seen before.

And, if Amelia should wish to arrive at such a point, she might also have seen them conversing with Jacques earlier in this same post, in @hatakekuro’s segment. All up to her.

What will Amelia do here?

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.

‘…’ Mariette was currently in her dark mansion with mirrors across the walls, seated in her own little gothic room of sorts by a table. In front of her, she had a very peculiar piece of work. The Dreamscape Almanac, one of the pieces that had been looted from Justine von Visceral’s library. It was a very comprehensive piece on the subject of magic relating to dreams and nightmares.

The only reason she’d taken the time to fish it out was due to the increasing amount of cases of nightmares among key individuals in non-magic Penrose. Even so, this magic… wasn’t really one she could use. Alike so many others, her expertise was best used while awake.


‘You wanted to see me, Mariette?’ a depressed voice told from the door.

‘Yes. See what you can make of this,’ Mariette said, holding out the Dreamscape Almanac to her chief engineer of magical artifacts, an aquatic monster-girl with a horrific view on life. Taihei briefly glanced over the item…

‘You sure you want to hand this to me? It’s going to be destroyed in some freak accident…’ Taihei warned.

‘I know. That’s why this is a copy,’ Mariette stated.

‘… You want me to develop dream-tech for you?’ Taihei asked, raising a monstrous eyebrow. Mariette stayed silent, looking into her mirror instead. Taihei simply did the mildest of a chuckle.

‘… Very well…’ Taihei said, before she slinked back into the shadows of the nation and Mariette could breathe out in relief that Taihei’s terrible luck hadn’t caused some kind of explosion this time. Alright, that was now out of the way. That job has been delegated.

Now, then. She had some investigations into Sammy to do.

One of the most interesting things that Deni heard about after returning to Penrose, is the fact that there was a new store in town! A Magical Store! Somewhere to actually spend all those coins that could be obtained doing missions!? What an incredible thing! So of course, Deni just had to go there! So, one of the days in here, Ronin came strolling up to the doors and pushed the doors open, and grinned excitedly as she looked inside.

‘Alright! What do we have here?’

The shop was a modest one, the shelves packed with all kinds of quirky and strange trinkets and contraptions. Brittany herself was sitting behind the counter on a stool, reading a magazine.
"I want to try that...Oh!" She discarded the magazine.
"Welcome to Brittany's Boutique! Feel free to browse as much as you like. I'll be here if you have any questions!"

Deni froze in place before smiling oh-so-widely at the little shopkeeper. ‘Ahahahaha! The shopkeeper is as tiny as me! Nice!’ Ronin commented with a little happy laugh, wholeheartedly approving. ‘Hi, Brittany! I’m Ronin, solo samurai-themed Magical Girl that’s new on the block! I have absolutely zero coins right now, but I’m here to browse so I know what I might do with said coins when I get them! If you ever find yourself in need of help, let me know, and I’ll gladly lend my aid, I know there might be something in it for me in the long run~! So, without further ado, I’ll have a look around!’ Ronin said excitedly, before spinning around to check the wares.

"That's fine!” Brittany responded, and waved for the girl. "Take as much time as you like. The store's not going anywhere, kyahaha!"

Ronin took a moment to walk about the store, inspecting the wares. The occasional ones were interesting. Friendship Stones? Essentially walkie-talkies, but with a cute name! She chuckled a bit. There was a bunch of kinds of grenades and traps on this shelf, wonder what would happen if you just threw all of them at once… A bunch of weapons, too. Yikes, they were expensive. Ronin momentarily stopped by the Lightweight Boots. ‘Oooh, that could be fun. Just jumping around everywhere. But, would that reduce the power of my attacks, too? Eh! Maybe!’ Ronin shrugged, and then she went over to look at-

Deni froze at the Infiltrator. “A device that detects and lets you infiltrate Interdimensional Homes when close to the entrance.” Tha- that. She needed that. If there ever was a way to actually get into Mariette’s home, it was that. A way to take her by surprise. Ronin swallowed a bit, and kept walking, not wanting to be seen looking at the Infiltrator too closely, but she kept its existence and price in mind. 9 silver…

Fortunately, the next thing she saw took her mind RIGHT off the Infiltrator.

‘Aaaah, plushies!’ Ronin skipped over to the shelf with the plushies, wide-eyed and happy, privately thinking that Mariette would probably love these. ‘Ooooh, this one’s of Lily, how cute~!’ Ronin commented happily, smiling so very widely, and glanced at the price… and visibly recoiled. ‘W-wha- why are they so expensive!?’ Ronin asked out loud. One of them even cost 50 gold! 50!? Who even carried that sort of money!?

"They are special collector's items!" Brittany jovially answered.

‘THE ASTOLPHO PLUSH IS 50 GOLD!’ Ronin loudly remarked, though with a grin on her face, because that’s an utter fortune. Brittany giggled in return.

"The Great Astolpho deserves only the most expensive plushies. By the way, I couldn't help but notice your interest in the Infiltrator. I could keep it locked away in case you'd like to return and buy it. They don’t sell that well anyway, so I’m gonna replace the shelf space with something else."

Ronin recoiled at Infiltrator being mentioned. Whelp. Busted. So, there’s Divinations on the list of things that could be purchased, guess hiding stuff from this shopkeeper would be hard. Ronin skipped over to the counter to lean in a bit closer, giving a little awkward smile as she did.

‘I’d be very happy if you did! And, er, I’d also be happy if you could be quiet about it!’ Ronin said, looking exceedingly vulnerable as well while smiling so widely. Brittany winked in response. And then… something else happened, immediately causing Deni to blink and look over at the entrance.

The shop trembled as two girls walked past the entrance threshold. It was as if some slumbering power had awakened with the appearance of the newly arrived. The meek looking samurai was new to Deni, but there was no mistake the woman walking in front of her was Veronica.

“The time has come, and so have I.”

— Vermilion Veronica

”Um!” The girl clutched her neon school uniform. ”What are we doing here again?”

“Making a purchase.” Veronica kept her hands behind her back as she approached the counter. Her eyes wandered over the many things stationed at the counter. They ignored all other obstacles, including Deni’s presence. It was like she wasn’t even in the room. Which, honestly, didn’t bother her too much, but they were walking straight for-


Veronica extended her hand and picked up the Astolpho plush. “This is Astolpho, isn’t it?” She turned the doll over in her hand. “The craftsmanship is exquisite. I like how soft his cape and hair is, though they’re clearly made out of different materials.” She used her other finger to raise his arm. “The stitch work is undetectable. I feel like I’m holding a living thing rather than a doll.” She lowered her hand. “An emotion stirs in me. Is this the genuine article? The singularity? The legendary plush made in times of yore?”

Betty just swallowed before looking at Brittany. ”How much is it?”

The cheerful witch smiled with glee. "The Great Astolpho plush is a steal at 50 gold coins."

“A pittance!” Veronica raised her hand into the air. “Anyone willing to see Astolpho for such a petty sum doesn’t deserve to hold him!” She slammed her hand into the desk. When she lifted her hand upwards, a stack of gold coins had appeared under her palm. Exactly 50 gold coins.

Deni couldn’t help but kind of just stare with a wide-open mouth. And so did Brittany, her eyes now having turned to sparkles.

”Is it wise to spend money like that?” Betty’s eyes were locked on the pile of gold.

Veronica continued to hold the plush in her gloved hand, but her eyes swung over to the little Ronin in the room. “And you.” She held Astolpho closer to her chest. “What are you looking at? If you want the plush, you’re too late.”

‘Ah-!’ Ronin winced as she was actually being talked to. ‘Ah, no! Don’t mind me! I’m kinda new here, I don’t have that kind of funding, hahaha!’ she grinned and shared looking super-happy. ‘But woah, that’s amazing! Are you some kind of super-big-shot-rich-lady in town or something!?’ she asked, with a look of utter amazement at Veronica. Also, didn’t she have the strange feeling she had seen her before, somewhere?

“I am the one they call Vermilion Veronica, former Ebon Vampire, presently mother of the Crimson Cradle. Though I must admit I am not the most curious person in this shop right now.” Veronica took a step closer to the tiny Ronin. “It’s you, someone who has no money but is surrounded by things to buy.” The plush vanished in a cloud of black mist. “Do you not have a patron that pays you?”

… That sure is a fancy name, and a bunch of titles. Ooooh, this is the woman Amanda and the rest were working for! Ronin but grinned as Veronica walked closer. ‘I do not!’ she called out, as if proud of it. She took a step back, and then did a mock bow of sorts. ‘Lady Veronica, allow me to introduce myself! I am Ronin! I’m a tiny masterless samurai, aka, a tiny ronin! And… I’m basically new in town! I’m just here to whet my appetite, seeing all the kinds of things I could buy whenever I actually DO get money… You wouldn’t mind sponsoring me, would you? Actually, before that, can I be your friend!?’ Ronin asked, looking up at Veronica and grinning happily.

“My friend?” Veronica ran her finger down the bridge of her own nose. “We’ll see. I don’t typically befriend people unless there’s some benefit.” She extended her hand. A puff of black smoke tumbled down from her fingers, and before long there was a contract in her hand. “I don’t do sponsorships. But if you wish to be my friend, a loan might not be a bad place to start. Especially if you’re looking for spending money.”

‘Aw, you don’t hang out with people and just have fun sometimes? I can be your that kind of friend!’ Ronin said, smiling so widely. And then… there was that part about sponsorship. The tiny Magical Girl basically recoiled. ‘Woah- you mean it!? Awesome! Thank you! Let’s see this contract!’ Ronin called excitedly, hopefully being let to look it over for Veronica. ‘This… this is excellent. I wholeheartedly accept, lady Veronica!’ Ronin said with a grin. Now, there was a scary part in that about losing her arm if she tried to escape the deal, but she wasn’t gonna flee, so that’s fine! She’d earn that money quickly enough! If Eli was around, she’d probably complain about Deni being too trusting right now, but eh! If Amanda and those trusts her, than she could too! Let’s see what happens!

“So you wish to sign? You’re sure?” After seeing the tiny ronin nod, Veronica stepped closer to her. “I noticed you haven’t signed it yet. I suppose you need some help.” Veronica’s free hand shot into Ronin’s shoulder. The impact was hard enough to drive the woman’s fingers inside of Ronin’s flesh. Her blood oozed over Veronica’s fingers, which she brushed along the girl’s lips. “If you wish to be my friend, why not sign with a kiss?” Veronica grinned as she pressed the contract against Ronin’s blood stained lips. Once signed, the contract disappeared in a puff of black smoke. That was when Veronica pressed her fingers against the side of her head.

”Veronica!” Betty knelled beside her employer. ”Are you okay?”

But her employer’s health and mood was confirmed with dark laughter. “Ronin, you did not read the fine print very closely.” Veronica stood upright. “The thoughts of anyone who signs my contracts are no secret to me. Their minds are open books I may freely peruse of my own accord. I do this to protect myself from Mint spies.” She extended her blood stained hand to Ronin. “But you could save me some time explaining what happened since your death, Deni.”

Ronin was about to comment on her lack of a pen, when instead she had to recoil because of a sudden intrusion into her shoulder. ‘O-ow-!?’ she winced, wide-eyed. She was not used to bleeding. Not used to having a body that could bleed. She continued to be in a state of mild shock as her own blood was put on her lips and Veronica pressed the contract at her lips, the little girl wincing back after the fact. Then, as Veronica described what had just happened… ‘… Okay, yeah, I probably should have been seeing red flags when I heard the word “vampire”, haha!’ Deni said, regaining her grin at the end of the sentence.

‘Still, uh, the deal wasn’t necessarily bad for me, right? I can still borrow coins, repay them, and then just be on my way after, right…?’ Deni grinned a bit more, because, well, that’s how the deal looked to her. ‘Still, um… don’t… use that name if you can avoid it. If you-know-who hears it… I’ll be recollected so fast you don’t even know. And, uh, let’s assume she has no ears in the shop, but can we talk somewhere else? Indoors, secure? Because… she sure has a lot of ears…!’ Deni said, not being able to help it but to grin in the face of strange turns of horrifying events. ‘That goes for you, too!’ Deni called back to Brittany. ‘You didn’t hear that. Okay~?’ Brittany responded with a thumbs up and an exaggerated wink.

“Very well, we will table this for now.” The blood on Veronica’s fingers vanished in a puff of smoke. “So long as you do not betray me. Because your arm will be the first thing I take, not the last.” Veronica leaned against the counter. “Your first loan, how much would you like?”

Weeeeeeeell… there was that one thing that Deni wanted… ‘… Yeah, nine silvers should do~!’

A black ring appeared on Deni’s left bicep, which wrapped around her entire arm. Then nine silver rings appeared on it, which faded into existence as the coins came tumbling out of her hand. “There you are.” Veronica looked over Brittany’s items. “I’ve come to get what I want, but I do wonder Brittany, do you have need for more supplies?” She placed both hands on the counter.

Brittany nodded, looking up at the taller woman with a happy smile.
"I'm always in the market for new stock to sell!"

“I have some items that might interest you. You see, I have a great collection of magical weapons and artifacts. All unique and one of a kind. I grade them from A to C. A items I use exclusively for myself and my best agents, B items are given to the rest. But the C items…” She shrugged. “… Are not quite what my agents need. They’re not useless. They’re quite exotic actually, but cursed. I think that gives them their allure however.” The Astolpho plush appeared in her hand, which she began prodding with her finger. “Normally I would not let a merchant touch any sort of cradle gear, but you have been good to me. The swimsuits and this plush were of the highest quality.”

"I'm glad you think so! Huh...Cursed, you say?" Brittany repeated, rubbing her chin in a contemplative manner.
"Depends on what kind of curses we're talking about here. I can't sell stuff that would seriously harm it's user, at least not without some kind of benefit."

Deni took a deep breath and smiled as the black ring wrapped around her arm deposited those nine silvers into her hand. Alright. Guess that worked out, huh? She placed the coins on the counter. ‘And I guess I’ll be getting that Infiltrator!’ she simply stated, just aside from Veronica and Brittany’s current discussion, all those coins already to be spent.

Veronica shrugged. “Seems you have a business transaction to take care of. We can talk once you’ve helped them.” She stepped off to the side. “I’m sure she’d like to start working off her debt as soon as possible.”

Brittany smirked, fully aware of Veronica’s scheme.
"Alrighty then!" She gave the Infiltrator device to Deni and counted the coins.
"Thank you very much!"

‘Awesome, thank you!’ Deni said, quickly taking the Infiltrator and pocketing it, because she didn’t want anyone to know she had it. So, now, she spun to Veronica, and… ‘Well, okay. Where do we talk? When? How? Is it safe? Should I just run off for now and let you talk to Brittany? How do I contact you? Hahahaha, this is an excellent start,’ Deni said with a grin, and needing to think this over for a bit.

“I will meet with you when you lay your head down tonight. My link with your mind will last the duration of the contract, so I’ll know when you’re alone.” Veronica stated.

‘What a lovely arrangement! Alright! I’m staying with a friend, so I might not be alone when I lay my head down tonight, but alright! I’ll see you then, my mindly accomplice!’ Deni said with a wide grin, before turning to Brittany and- ‘And I’ll be back after I’ve paid back the loan and either gotten a new loan or gotten money of my own! I’ll see you then!’ Deni said, before she turned and skipped out the door. Whoops, okay, that happened. Wonder what other big shots she’d yet to coincidentally accidentally get accompanied with!?

Mariette and Amaryllis and Nuncio

Findings of the Portal Sleuth

An evening some days after Mariette’s conversations with the two, Amaryllis and Nuncio both found themselves receiving the absolutely briefest of phone calls.

‘Are you available?’ Mariette asked.

When they were free, cracks in reality opened in front of them, round portals to a different area of the town through them. Through the portals, they could see what looked like a normal-looking apartment, the lights lit by the bulbs in the roof and just a homely mess of books, shelves, paper, carpets and paintings, browns and yellows the primary colours. It clearly didn’t belong to the one who had taken residue in the apartment. There sat a simple table for four people, two of which chairs were occupied. One was by bunny. The other was Mariette, who was looking down on the papers on the table, which appeared to be a map.

To each of the two in turn, Eli the slime harpy showed up at the opening of the portal to bow politely to them and greet them.

‘Mistress Mariette desires your presence. Would you like some tea?’ Eli asked, looking at them attentively. If she got their answers, she’d turn around and hurry to the kitchen regardless.

In case they actually entered, Mariette had a short statement to make. She looked a slight bit annoyed.

‘I apologize for summoning you like this, but I have reasons not to have this conversation by phone. Please, sit down. I have something brief to tell you both.’

They’d find that the portals for each of them had opened side by side, Amaryllis on the left and Nuncio on the right.

For a moment, Amaryllis was bothered. The portal lead to a normal place, for sure, but it was normal enough that she certainly didn’t want to go into it when monster blood still clung to her body. A week had passed now, and still, the barrier had not yet fully recovered. Troublesome, certainly. She held out her hand and manifested her Big Backpack once more to retrieve a bottle of water, pouring the contents over her head before quickly scrubbing the viscera off her face and body. In the end, the Knight of Rose still smelled like the rusted roses that bloomed around her, but at least she was no longer bloodstained.

Just a bit wet.

Stepping through the portal and brushing back her damp hair, she smiled towards Eli, shaking her head in response to the offer for tea. She leaned over the table beside Mariette, one hand planted on the table as she poured over the maps. “Sage,” Amaryllis spoke, “What have you learned?”

Nuncio did not hesitate to walk through the portal. Given what was at stake, it wasn’t hard to picture why. He simply gave a nod to all present before standing at attention. Amaryllis had asked the important question, and it fell on Mariette to deliver.

The portals closed behind them, leaving them inside the apartment. Eli showed up next to Amaryllis offering a towel.

‘I will tell you. But first, I must ask both of you. Are either of you affiliated with the Ebon Mint?’ Mariette asked. And she’d know if they lied. She was pretty sure on Amaryllis. Less so on Nuncio.

“No,” was Amaryllis’s clipped response.

”I’ve had dealin’s with ‘em before. Can’t say I trust ‘em.” He folded his arms. ”They got my Sammy?”

‘Alright. Before I start, tell me that you have no intention of reporting any of this to the Mint, and that you’re willing to oppose the Mint if they have Sammy,’ Mariette said. Simply because house-cleaning and being prepared. If he could say that without lying, then he was cleared for hearing the rest.

”You think I’d tell them anything? Let alone I’m bustin’ my girl out?” His irises lit up. ”NO! I ain’t gunna tell em shit about what we’re doing! Ya dumb broad! I wanna bust her out, not get locked up with her!”

Mariette winced a bit. She'd asked to appease her light-specialized truth-detector, but that wasn't exactly pleasant. Regardless, she got what she wanted.

‘A-alright. Then, here goes,’ Mariette told, before taking a moment to calm down and focus again. And then…

‘Indeed. Word on the streets is that Sammy was taken by the Ebon Mint. I have not found any evidence to support this, but at this point the list of likely kidnappers is dreadfully short,’ Mariette started out with, crossing her arms and looked at them with a frown. ‘What I do have evidence of, is that she was kidnapped. I will not tell you my means, for they are my secrets and you will have to take me at my word, but I found her trail just before she was kidnapped and followed her. And, it appears Sammy was doing what she does; investigating a murder.’

‘In this alley…’ Mariette put a finger down on the map, on the alley in question. ‘Sammy found the body of a Valerie Herztein. The name matches a common worker at a restaurant specializing in pizza and ice cream called Virtuous Pie, which seems innocent enough.’ Mariette briefly poked at the location of said restaurant, before continuing her debriefing. ‘Shortly after finding the body, Sammy screamed, and was taken. I would have told you by whom, except whoever it was blinded me. That alley became a blind zone just as the perpetrator struck. This may have been just blacking out any magic, or it might have been meant specifically for me.’

‘I don’t know who attacked her. I couldn’t find their presence or how they then left the alley. It’s like they’re aware of me and have the means to avoid me. Which is… most unsettling,’ Mariette said, explaining her annoyed look. ‘... That said, I managed to pick up her trail again, and I did so in the present, not the past, which should mean that she was not killed in that alley. She was taken here,’ she told with finality, as she brought her finger down on the map, hitting it decently hard on a warehouse by the docks on the map.

‘We have three places we can potentially investigate. I have examined none, in fear of my own safety. The first is the alley where Sammy was taken, which could just be an empty alley, but it could also be something far more sinister. The second is Virtuous Pie, a seemingly innocent restaurant, which is probably exactly what it appears to be, or maybe it's far more insidious. But, one of its employees was murdered and it’s a place to ask around. The third… is the warehouse where Sammy was taken, if her trail is to be believed. She may be there, trapped and suffering, awaiting to be rescued. However, I did never see her, I just followed the trail. It is worth noting whoever this is has avoided me until now. They may have been tricking me. The trail may be fake and this could be a trap. We might go there, only for the trap to trigger to murder anyone who entered. If it’s the Ebon Mint we’re up against, then no amount of caution is exaggerated.’

With that, Mariette sat back, and then fished up bunny from the adjacent seat to put into her lap and lightly press against her stomach in a little hug. ‘So, with this information, what will you do?’

Nuncio placed a hand under his chin. ”Fuck, FUCK!” He lifted his foot up to kick something, but with nothing nearby but Amaryllis, he lowered his foot back to the ground. ”Alright.” With a deep breath, he regained his composure. ”I’m gunna say, if the warehouse is undah Mint watch, best to look everywhere else first. Might get a clue what we’re walkin’ into.” He bit one of his fingers. ”Gotta be careful though. Sammy can see the future and she got ambushed. Wouldn’t mind havin’ some backup when we poke around.” Nuncio looked to Amaryllis as he said this.

It was a lot to take in. A waitress from the Virtuous Pie, dead, and Sammy, who investigated that death, kidnapped. Amaryllis sat down after all, her brows furrowed as she did what she could to piece all the bits together. The Mint, if they truly did perpetuate this crime, was a big target to go after, bigger even than the Ascendancy. Might not be a Greater Horror, but with an organization that enigmatic and that large…

It was fine. She had slain behemoths before. About time she tried out hydras.

“Magic that conceals individuals from divination is problematic, but workable,” Amaryllis spoke, her thumb grazing the pommel of her Sword. “We’ll begin our investigations at the Virtuous Pie, then the alleyway, and end with that warehouse. As far as backup goes...if it’s really the Mint that we’re going after, I hesitate to bring too many into the fold.”

But that was all just hesitation. If things came to it, well, Amaryllis certainly knew someone who was once part of the Mint.

”No backup?” Nuncio shrugged. ”Risky, but I don’t even know who I’d call. We’ll just have to be cautious. My cats are great spies. The smaller ones anyway.” He slapped his hands together. ”I’ve got no problem with that order. Sounds good to me. I can divine stuff if necessary.”

‘… Risky, indeed. Backup might not be necessary when investigating the restaurant or the alley, but when knocking down the door of the warehouse some more firepower would be greatly appreciated,’ Mariette told, and she didn’t really want to bring her own forces into this. ‘I do know some people I could contact, who I don’t think would object. There are good-hearted people in town, who even without having a connection to us may jump at the opportunity to help in a rescue-mission… but you don’t want to get them involved for their own safety, is that what I heard? Or is it because they may have Mint ties?’ Mariette asked Amaryllis.

“When we storm their gates, having stalwart companions on our side will be a blessing I shall not refuse,” Amaryllis replied. “But until we are certain that the Mint still has Sammy, until we have completed our investigations and reconnaissance to the best of our capability, I do not wish to draw the ire of the Mint upon those not deeply involved. For war, an army. For rescue, a squadron.”

Nuncio nodded in agreement. ”As ticked as I am that the Mint is involved, I gots some good news.” He passed a note to Mariette. ”Open a portal at that address. Ya gunna find a friend ya never knew ya had.” He winked at her..

‘… Very well,’ Mariette eventually nodded to Amaryllis words. Then, she blinked a bit as Nuncio passed her a note. ‘Huh? A friend?’ she asked. Friend? What friend? Now she was very curious. And also… ‘Should I get said friend now?’ she asked, while also fishing out her phone out of her hammerspace handbag to (slowly) type down the address to search (showing very much she isn’t used to phones) because she isn’t exactly keeping track of the street names and numbers.

”Just do it! ya a paranoid little bean ain’t ya?”

Eventually, after Eli had ran over to help, Mariette figured out the address. Those present might note a remarkable amount of time between starting to use magic and a portal actually appearing, the first one just to find the building from above and then the second and third portal homing in opening with much more dramatic speed. Finally, she found the right room, opened a portal-

, and saw it riding on the back of a white tiger.

”Come on Rossa!”

The tiger stepped through the portal with its special passenger. It was a plush bunny with mostly pink fur but a white tummy. Much like Mariette’s current bunny, it wore no clothes. But it had an eyepatch with a bunny insignia on it and wore a madcap. It was hard to deduce much more without hugging it, but it looked soft.

”Might be a bit early, but she’s ready for ya.”

Mariette immediately winced back, having not expected the white tiger come through and into the room not entirely made to have a tiger inside it. However, any distraction the tiger might have been completely and utterly vanished as Mariette saw the bunny on top of the tiger. She immediately placed one hand in front of bunny’s eyes.

‘D-don’t peek, bunny,’ she told her bunny, before picking him up and placing him with his back to the rest of the room in the other chair. Mariette then got up, drifting over with a wide, amazed eye, slowly lifting up the new bunny from Rossa’s back. Mariette took some time, admiring every last detail, the eyepatch with the insignia, the different colours, the cap… but before long, she edged back towards the table, looking like she’d completely forgotten she might be looked at. She placed the mostly pink bunny on the table, and then picked up her old bunny…

‘So, um, bunny? I was thinking that maybe it got lonely, having nobody but me to comfort you all the time…’ Mariette said, her voice a lot softer than usual. ‘… so I had uncle Nuncio make a companion for you,’ she said, placing her old bunny on the same table, now with both bunnies facing one another. ‘B-be nice to one another, okay?’ Mariette said, watching the two immobile bunnies looking at one another… before she promptly crouched, putting her eye-level at the same level of the bunnies’ eyes, grabbing their little arms and then having the arms touch, letting the “hands” of the bunnies touch…

and then Mariette promptly hugged them both, her one eye looking a bit overwhelmed as she squeezed both bunnies against one another.

Shortly thereafter, she deposited the bunnies on the leftover chair, taking extra care to ensure they looked like they were holding hands. The old nostalgic bunny and the new pretty bunny. Mariette clasped her hands together in front of them. ‘I now pronounce you, bunny and bunny.’

With that, Mariette stood up again and turned to the other two in the room, blushing considerably. ‘Um…’ she made a noise, and then bowed lightly to Nuncio. ‘Thank you… so very much.’

Amaryllis blinked. And before the Sword could remind her of all the murdering and slaying that had to be done, the Knight of Rose said, “Damn, you’re cute.”

A Horror was a Horror, but Mariette ought to be protected, at least.

From her hand, a silvered clover wove itself out, gleaming with an internal light, and she offered it to Mariette. “Keep this with you, will you? Decided that if we’re going up against the Mint, it’s best to have some assurance after all.”

Nuncio graciously tipped his head and lowered his hat over his chest. ”Ya gettin’ me closer ta Sammy. The least I could do was this.” Once he put his hat back on his head, he turned to look at Amaryllis. ”We gettin’ started soon then? Am ready for anything.”

Mariette blinked a bit in surprise at Amaryllis’ comment. It had not been her intention to be cute, and she frankly had no idea what to do with this information, other than rise from her bow and look a little awkward. Still, she nodded to Nuncio’s acknowledgement, happy that he was fine with this. Then she was offered a clover from Amaryllis, which also confused her a bit, but she could guess as to what power that it might hold. ‘… I will. Thank you,’ Mariette said, taking hold of the clover, and… for now not knowing what to do with it, so she held it. ‘… Yes. Allow me to continue assisting you. You’ll need my portals if you end up ambushed,’ Mariette told. She felt really indebted to these two, now.

“I’ll check out the Pie then,” Amaryllis said, straightening her back, “If you’re willing to go to the alley solo?”

”I don’t do nothin’ solo.” Rossa rubbed her head against his leg. ”Let’s do this.”
@Savo @hatakekuro @BlackMaiden

Rodger nodded to Cyril’s statements, and then he was away, disappearing down the street along with the sound of his bike’s engine. Now, then.

Cyril and Basil had his exchange, and then headed into the lab once again, noticing the situation, and… one thing led to another, and…

Kalmia glanced at Cyril a bit, while Jacques was still looking on his phone… before Aster snapped the phone out of his hand. Jacques hadn’t actually made any motion to stop the action, but also didn’t seem even the slightest startled as he raised a curious eyebrow at Cyril, not paying any attention in the slightest at the little creature that had taken the phone. With that, Cyril went outside the door… and when they were outside, Jacques took out a Pokéball, and promptly released a purple, winged Pokémon that floated up into the air, silently.

Pokédex Entry #472 – Gliscor, the Fang Scorpion Pokémon. It hangs upside down awaiting prey. When the chance presents itself, it swoops in and carries off the prey with its lengthy tail, and its elongated fangs do the rest. It’s able to fly completely soundless without flapping its wings, it’s said catching a single light breeze once could carry it around the globe.

‘Make sure he doesn’t do anything too offensive with my phone,’ Jacques said, gesturing at the door, and Gligar nodded before exceedingly soundlessly gliding for the door, and totally made it out the closed door somehow. Cyril never noticed. Stealthy Pokémon is stealthy.

Regardless. Cyril wasn’t actually disturbed by anything until he came in again. He had his thing to Ryu, with Kalmia giving him an odd look, and Jacques looking mildly curious. Then, when Cyril handed the phone back… not a single second was wasted before the phone started ringing.

‘I do believe I have to take this,’ Jacques said, looking lightly amused as he answered the phone and, for now, walked out of the building as well, Gliscor flying down from seemingly nowhere and landing beside him when he got outside. I suddenly noticed Gliscor is 2 meters tall. I didn’t expect that. Yikes, big stealthy Pokémon.

Regardless. Cyril is in Kalmia’s lab, Pureplain City.

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.



‘Oh, alright! I guess I might see you later, then!’ Chloe said to Basil, at some point, maybe before he went outside, still, that’ll do.

And so, Basil went through the city to the harbor, the air becoming considerably more festive and hectic as he did. After all, here’s where boats from all manner of regions arrived at Isson. There were workers everywhere, helping people and wares to get onto and off the piers, and there was this big marketplace where all sorts of things were for sale. Mail to be sent to other countries, different kinds of exchangeable items collected on distant shores, a wide variety of flutes produced overseas, weird scents from Orre that probably has no practical applications, nectar from Alola that ALSO doesn’t have any practical uses in Isson, mulch, and also a weird amount of decorations, accessories, props and décor. And, of course, clothing and fashion. There is also food, from all over the place, which may or may not be interesting to a Pokémon trainer.

There were delicacies from elsewhere around the world. Like, Rage Candy Bar from Johto, Lava Cookie from Hoenn, Old Gateau from Sinnoh, Casteliacone from Unova or the Lumiose Galette and Shalour Sable from Kalos…

Anyways, that will totally do. Not entirely that much that a new Pokémon Trainer might be interested in…

There was something very odd docked at the harbor, however. If Basil wasn’t seeing visions, there appeared to be a positively ancient-looking yet very genuine pirate ship, crossbone flag hoisted in all honors, but also very peacefully docked here like something out of a completely different world. And, in front if it, stood a man arguing with a positively terrified-looking harbor-representative…

‘What do you mean, “you can’t do that”!? Don’t you realize what I’m doing!?’ a man looking like an exquisitely stereotypical pirate captain said, with a hat, his right hand a hook, his left leg a pegleg, his hair black and cape red, and with what looked like a sword sheathed on his side. Behind said pirate captain stood two blonde girls, also in pirate-like outfits that might seriously threaten the PG nature of this roleplaying game (at least the right one), their arms crossed looking as unhappy as their captain. And behind them, stood a towering giant white polar bear of a Pokémon, also looking angry. Very angry.

‘Sir Zachery, I’m telling you, this time you might actually end up in trouble…!’ the sort of scared representative he was talking to said.

‘What kind of trouble!?’ Zachery demanded, his voice one who was used to his every command being followed. He threw out his hand, and declared. ‘The people of Isson have always been proud of the variety of the Pokémon found on their region, declaring that all Pokémon could be found here… but that is not so!’ He threw out both of his hands(hand and hook) in a majestic display. ‘So I chose to be the savior of the people! I have returned from across the sea, where I collected specimen of every single Pokémon that does not naturally inhabit Isson, ready to release all over the land! Isson would finally be the land where any Pokémon can be found! And you’re telling me I can’t!?

Behind him, the two girls gave their respective “hmpfs” of unsatisfaction, and the bear breathed out in frustration, looking ready to attack.

‘I-I’m sorry, sir!’ the person who looked inadequately prepared to handle someone with this big a personality sounded. ‘But what you’re talking about is introducing non-native Pokémon to Isson! They’d be invasive species, and there’s no telling what would happen! I know you have a tendency not to follow the rules, being a pirate and all, but I implore you, PLEASE check with the Pokémon League, and consider the environment of Isson before you make hasty decisions…!’

‘Huff!’ the pirate crossed his arms, looking utterly unhappy. ‘Then what am I supposed to do with my hull full of cross-regional Pokémon!?’ he complained, tapping the ground in irritation with the toes on his not-pegleg foot, looking away from the harbor representative…

… And that was, assuming Basil was anywhere close right now, Zachery’s eyes suddenly zeroed in on him. And the scary pirate grinned. ‘YOU THERE!’ Zachery called to Basil, pointing with his giant hook. The eyes of the girls, as well as the Beartic, also turned to look at him. ‘It’s your lucky day! Now tell me, what kind of Pokémon do you want!? Describe it to me!’

Basil is, of course, free to turn tail and just run, or otherwise reject the suggested offer.

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.


@Joshua Tamashii Amelia senses ghost-Pokémon by the harbor.
@BlackMaiden@Typical@Joshua Tamashii How's it going?

Edit: Oh, and put Ryu in the character's tab, Maiden.

@Eklispe Rune has told me of some trouble on her end. You can probably continue without waiting, unless she tells us she'll make an effort to post.

@Gardevoiran Before I write your post, I want to see what Typical says right now. I would have liked Eryn to get a little bit more of a headstart.

Also, Discord doesn't work right now. Anyways.
So, I would like Deni to go attack one of these bounties. The big problem is,

she can't Overcity Shift to follow the Weretigers,

she does not have the firepower to reach the core of the <expunged>,

the contender just got taken,

and I don't believe she stands anything close to a chance against the Artemis Knight. (7 across the stat-board, baby)

I'd have totally asked to let her accompany Amaryllis against the last one if it hadn't been for that. XD
Was thinking on doing it anyway, but bringing healers is a seriously good idea.

So, anyone going goblin hunting? Or bringing her along for any of the others, because totally IC-ly, Deni could imagine trying to take them on anyway, hah.

‘Woah-!’ Ronin dodged beneath the arm of a crystal-based monster looking humanoid yet built of what appeared to be black quartz. There were quite a few of them, and they were faster than they looked, but she could smirk. They were nothing she couldn’t handle! One of the quartzmen jumped at her, and-

‘Nope! That’s a wall!’ Ronin called happily as the creature hit her Reinforcement wall, and Ronin’s hand went to the sword sheathed on her side. With one quick stroke, the sword swept through the core of the crystal creature, and it was blown apart as if crushed by extreme force instead of sliced. Even so, more of them jumped at her.

Deni smirked within. It had taken some time finding monsters that the Ascendancy hadn’t already taken care of, but they were so numerous that even she could eventually find some. And this, here… was just what she wanted. A fight against a bunch of weaker monsters to practice her new body. Also, the skill embedded within her… it was as if she could see the movements of every monster before they even committed to it.

Confident in her abilities, Ronin sent Reinforcement magic through herself to boast her own physical capabilities, and then threw herself right under multiple of the quartzmen’s blows and sliced through numerous at once with one fell stroke, but still wasn’t taken by surprise when two new quartsmen formed from the shards of their defeated kin formed to her left and right, Ronin deftly backflipping to avoid their blows before she came to let her blade fall upon them, too. Aaah, this was bliss.

Mid-way through the delicate dance of combat there would be a loud engine roar as one of the quartzmen was struck by what seemed to be a cannon round as it shattered violently. and although the party responsible did not directly join in the fight, they continued to lend firing support from a far, each round accompanied by the same roar. Ronin jolted in surprise at first, but them smiled widely. Yeah, fire support!

A few minutes later, the quartzmen had been dismantled, and Ronin breathed out happily over their shards, smiling in confidence where she stood. Yeah, she still got this! Not being made out of slime anymore wasn’t holding her back! And she’d probably still have got this even without the help, but regardless, it was very cool to have support!

Once the fight had come to it’s inevitable conclusion the mysterious assistant would reveal themselves, albeit cautiously ”Salutations.” She’d say as she took a step closer to Deni, her voice was notably synthetic. A trait that was blatantly apparent about her entire body, as every part of her was obviously mechanical is some fashion.

“Do you require further assistance?”

‘I absolutely do! … But not with this, hahahaha!’ Ronin said, laughing out loud, as the small girl in a clearly samurai-inspired attire spun around to look at her help. ‘… Ooooh, Penny!’ Deni said, without thinking. She looked a bit different, but it was definitely Penny! Deni would know, there was a time in the past she’d stalked the various magical girls in Penrose one at a time! The little magical girl smiled happily at the mechanical one, giving her a salute. ‘I’m Ronin! New girl on the block! Thank you very much for the help! You’re, like, famous! I’m honoured!’ Ronin claimed, not actually knowing if Penny was famous or not but she was using it as a cover for that she already knew her name.

“Greetings: Designation Rounin.” Penny would reply, very robotically before she would tilt her head to the side as she registered the rest of the tiny girl's words “Correction; My full self is well known. I am not. Misunderstanding is acknowledged.” She would stop and blink a few times before furrowing her brow in the first open display of emotion. “Apologies, the separation was not fully equal. You stated a need for assistance in additional tasks. Would you elaborate?”

‘Eh?’ Deni made a confused noise as she looked over Penny for a bit. Whelp, guess she had been away for a while. How long had Penny been like this? Um. ‘Woah. Is this a “dark twins” situation? Sudden twin souls, maybe? Or just regular twins? Hahaha. Weeeeeeeeell~!’ Ronin said, smirking a bit. Was this the right person to ask? Eh! She totally was! ‘Do I still call you “Penny” or do you have a different designation? Besides that, I’d like a status-update! What’s been going on in this town, lately? Why’s everything a mess? Any teams or factions to keep track of? Where should I go if I want to make lots of friends? Can you be my friend?’ Ronin asked, rapid-fire, curious to see if Penny would keep up in a computer-like fashion.

“Soul separation, rather than true Twin Soul, my other half is also about” Penny would reply in the same robotic tone “We both are still designated Penny. I would require an accurate time frame for proper status changes. Current status is due to forced vacancy of the majority of magicals from Penrose due to a rogue Patron and then the subsequent arrival of The Ascendency. Factions to monitor are Cindy, self proclaimed queen of Penrose, and her band of dark aligned girls. Second is Ascendency, Beacon fundamentalists. Current projections show that a confrontation between the two factions is inevitable.” She stood still as she answered all the questions Deni had asked, speaking with the same robotic manner. She would stall out at the last two questions however, her brow once again furrowing.

“Gather locations are unknown at this time.” Penny would say slowly as she looked over Deni, closely, gauging where or not she should trust the small samurai “I would be willing to be your friend however” she would conclude with a soft smile.

‘Woah,’ Deni had to take a pause, just to process all that Penny was saying. Sure, she’d done the rapid-fire questions, now she had to prepare for all the answers, and then just try to remember the questions that occurred to her as the answers piled up. But, most importantly, Penny agreed to be her friend. Deni’s look of surprise switched to a wide, happy grin.

‘Wonderful! Thanks for being my friend, Penny!’ Ronin said, reaching forward two hands to take Penny’s, clasping hers over her new friend’s who went along with the gesture. ‘I have a bunch of follow-up questions, but I need to start with worrying over my friend! How’s things with other-Penny? How’s things with your other friends? Do you have any other problems or enemies? Can I help?’ Ronin asked, happy, energetic and curious.

“You are welcome” Penny would reply, a hint of mirth coloring her tone at Ronin’s exuberance. Sadly her face would fall slightly at the first of her new friend’s questions. “My relation with my human half is strained. A lack of consensus, nearly brought us to mutual ruin. It is why we split. It occured four day ago.” she would take a small moment, little more than a second but enough to be noticed before she would move on answering the rest of the questions that had been posed. “The friends that I have made in Beacon have been supportive. Those outside that social circle have not yet learned of the separation, but last status has them all reading green. No current threats identified. One pending task. A mahou, Designation: Sammy has been abducted by the Mint. Currently objective; identify subject’s location for extraction. Any information or assistant would be appreciated”

‘Wow, just four days ago? … So you’re basically as new as me! Kinda! Well, I’m happy to meet you!’ Ronin called happily, overlooking a great deal of stuff to arrive to that conclusion. ‘Don’t worry, we can unstrain relationships with time! If any of your other friends minds, they’ll answer to me!’

‘Huh, missing girl captured by the Mint,’ Ronin commented, considering it without a smile. ‘Not something I know anything about, I’m afraid, but I’ll totally help saving her if we track them down!’ she said, regaining said smile. ‘Oooh, if we rally Cindy and Ascendancy behind the common cause of saving this abducted girl, think they’ll stop fighting!?’ Ronin suggested, smiling excitedly. Yeah, Deni knew internally how naive and improbable that level of thinking was. But, she was free now. Free to think however she liked. So she wanted to think optimistically!

“Doubtful” Penny would reply but the smirk on her face showed that she at least found the idea humorous. “Single members within either organization might be able to assist however.” she would add with a minute shrug.

“The rectifying with my other half will take time. True. Separation necessary for further advancement. True. Discomfort at loss. True. Your willingness to adjudicate on my behalf. Unnecessary, but appreciated.” Penny would gently smile at her new friend. at the tail end of her statements. She enjoyed the small girl’s optimism.

“You are recent in Penrose or magical circumstances?” Penny would go on to ask, tilting her head to the side as she asked. Rounin mentioned she was new, she was curious about how that was the case.

‘Ey, “doubtful” does not mean “impossible”!’ Ronin said with a smirk. Then when Penny said the next part, she chuckled a bit. ‘Unnecessary, hahaha. I’m unnecessary. Tell me if that ever changes~’

‘Yupp! I’m new, both in Penrose, and as a Magical Girl!’ Technically not a lie, she was a Monster Girl previously, and new as a presence! ‘I somehow ended up without a patron. I’m honestly not sure myself how that happened,’ Ronin said, referring to the fact she clearly got power from somewhere new, but she did not know from where. ‘And with this obviously eastern-inspired Magical Girl look, that makes me a tiny masterless samurai! Hence, “Ronin”~!’ she told, an excited smile on her face as she placed a resting hand on the hilt of her sword to emphasize the samurai-look.

‘And now I’m on a quest to make as many friends as I possibly can, and make up my own web of contacts! But, huh, there’s a conflict starting here, huh. I really don’t want to make unnecessary enemies, so I don’t want to be roped into a faction, but I also want to make friends and take on assignments. Hmmm, what to do…’ Ronin told, thinking on matters towards the end there. ‘Eh, I’m sure it’ll work out!’ she ended that, grinning widely.

Penny would take a moment longer to reply this time and there was an odd glint in her eye for a moment before she did. “Logic surrounding your chosen name is sound” She would acknowledge with a nod “Penrose continues to be a hot spot of magical activity both good and ill. Ascendency and Cindy are the third such major event. There is a scattering of un-affiliated mahou, advisement to stay away from Chloe Irving, seek friendship with Lily Lightning and Amaryllis. If affiliation with a faction is required; Beacon, local faction, is prefered. Current leader is Alicia Hayden. She is a good person, and a friend.”

“Regardless of choice” Penny would go on after a moment, reaching into her leg compartment to pull out a slip of paper “My contact number. Caution; Other half shares the same contact information.”

‘Yay, approval~!’ Ronin called happily about the sound logic of her name. Afterwards, she paid attention to Penny’s little row of names. Avoid Chloe Irving eh? Oooh, the lovebird is still around, and a major player! Amaryllis, eh? Never heard of her! And, Alicia made Beacon leader!? Well done, her! Moving up in the world! Ronin grinned so happily as Penny offered the slip of paper.

‘Ooooh, thanks!’ Ronin called as she quickly drew her own phone that she’d obtained pretty recently, and quickly sent a message to the number. ‘Then you and your other half are about to get a message happily introducing me! With that, you can save my info, too!’ Ronin called happily, very much intending to send the message. The message read “This is the number of solo samurai-themed magical girl of Penrose, the Tiny Ronin! If I can help with anything, don’t hesitate to give me a call!”

“Message received” Penny would say once she got the text. “Final note about Penrose, two new types of coins have recently begun to circulate. Red and White. Reds are more common of the two and shuffle ones magic. White are rarer, practically Beacon exclusive, result in rapid purification and shifting affiliation to that of the Beacon.” While Penny had her doubts about just how new Ronin was, she was honest about being friends with the tiny warrior, thus she felt it was a good idea to let her know about the possible strange Coins that were now out and about.

‘Nice!’ Ronin grinned as the text was received. Then she heard about the new kinds of coins… and got a bit wide-eyed. ‘Huh? People can just… make new kinds of coins?’ But then she heard about the kinds, and… ‘Eh, I’ve not gotten bored of my current magic yet, I’ve barely started with it! And, yeah, while Beacon’s alright, I’m not interested in becoming one myself! But, thank you so very much for the information! You’re the best!’ Ronin said, grinning happily as she skipped up to take Penny’s hand again with both hands to shake with appreciation.

‘So, what do we do now? Patrol and fight monsters together? Solve the Cindy Ascendancy problem? Have a sleepover? Follow any clues we have to find Sammy? Go to a dark spot and tell ghost stories? Find more magical girls to befriend? Get existing friends and play Magical Girl tag? Honestly, I’ve been fantasizing about that last one, it’s got to be a blast!’ Ronin grins as she happily suggests things they could do now~!

“I am currently on a patrol route assigned to me by Beacon.” Penny would say slowly as she mulled over the options that Ronin had put forth “I would not decline company if you wish to follow. The Cindy Ascendency problem will likely reach critical long before we could stop it. A sleepover is outside of my capabilities, as I don’t require sleep. I lack the strength of emotion to properly enjoy the telling of ghost stories. Finding more friends would be appreciated. And..” Penny would pause before a large smile would play across her features making her look like she had back when she was one person “Tag is as fun as you think it is. Played a game of it before.”

Ronin just grinned happily as Penny went through the list of things Ronin had suggested they do, and then finally, she arrived at the final one. ‘Yeeeeeeeeeeeessssssss…!’ Ronin closed her eyes and arm-pumped with both arms in sheer excitement over how amazing Magical Girl tag had to be. ‘Alright! For now, we’re patrolling the city together! They won’t be able to resist the might of D-’ “Deni and Penn(i)” had a nice ring to it. ‘Penny and Ronin! Alright! So, I’m Reinforcement-specialized, so I can enhance myself and make random barriers to stop enemies and such! Now, then, we’ll do the tag later, for now let’s go!’ Ronin called happily, and was already on the way.

Penny just shook her head before following after the excitable girl so she could get them on the correct path, her more robotic mannerisms slipping back into place as she went.

Mariette and Nuncio

Phone Calls and Stealing Styles

‘… Find out what you can from your end, and I’ll do what I can from mine,’ Mariette said into her phone. ‘Yes, I know. I’ll make sure it’s worth something,’ she told, before ending that particular call. She was seated on a couch inside a mostly empty apartment, Penrose being in a semi-abandoned state made it so there were a lot of those for Mariette to hide out in. Eli was in the kitchen, the slime harpy humming something as she used some leftover ingredients from the fridge to cook something for them both. She’d been learning recently, using food people had left behind as they left the city, and it had produced some decently nice edibles. Anyways. Mariette had more business to tend to.

In order to find out what she could… Mariette dialed the number she’d gotten from Amaryllis, and then gently held the phone to her ear.

The phone didn’t ring two times before she was greeted by the voice of a young man.

Nuncio speakin’. Who might this be?

‘I am Mariette Pedersen, Sage of the Mirrored World. I received your contact information from Amaryllis Evenings, Knight of the Rose,’ Mariette told him. That title of hers was actually straight from Amaryllis’ mouth, and Mariette had no idea where it came from, but she was using it. ‘I’ve been requested to find your Sammy. Since it’s Amaryllis asking me, I’ll at the very least keep a lookout. However, finding her will require that you tell me everything you’ve found out while searching for her, and that you provide me with some form of incentive.’

She paused there, allowing Nuncio to consider what she’d said.

”The dame came through for me eh?” Mariette could feel Nuncio smile through the phone. ”Did Amaryllis tell ya anythin’? Everything I found says she was last seen at the Pit Stop. Beyond that, she only really searches for missin’ animals and details about Binky. Occasionally she’ll track down missing people, but that’s rare. Also talked to Brittany at the magic shop. Gotta speak with her again ta see if she knows anythin’. Been meaning to look at all the zoos in Penrose since she likes those.” A tiger roared into the phone. ”You’ll eat later Rossa! Where was I? Yea as far as incentive, what kinda stuff interests the ‘Sage of the Mirrored World’ eh? Cuz the ‘Feline Mafioso’ ain’t exactly rich.”

Mariette considered the sounds of the tiger decently interesting. In any case.

‘Amaryllis told me that the “Elucidator of the Amplified Scope” was not present for our impromptu unsolicited vacation, and that she remained missing now, and that you were searching for her. I was told Sammy was her friend, in a world where she’d lost a considerable number of those lately. And, I was also told you were a member of the Outer Penrose Alliance, which was beseeching this of me?’ Mariette asked. ‘Surely, an Alliance has some resources to spare. If you have monsters or magical girls you no longer need, I will gladly take them off your hands. I also accept magical artifacts that could be of use to me. That, or… I’d also accept a single Red Coin, if you could find me one of those. Or more, if you’d like me to look upon you more favorably in the future,’ Mariette said, a little amused.

”I pay more favorably for favorable results.” Nuncio sounded a bit irritated, but Sammy was missing, and a tiger just roared into his ear. ”But yea, glad she told ya all that. Saves me from havin’ to do it. A red coin shouldn’t be too hard to find. You’re talkin’ to the guy who swept em up during his escape. I’ll talk to the others and see if we have any to spare.” He chuckled. ”Barrin’ that, I make pluses. High quality ones. Ya can see my handiwork at Brittany’s shop. Cheapest one is like 5 gold coins. I could make you a plush of anything ya want a lot cheaper. Skip the middleman.”

Mariette positively froze.

Red coin… or plushie.

A red coin was something she’d been hoping to get her hands on, not to use but to examine closely for its functions and simply analyze in greater detail. The research of actually having it and knowing what they could about it could potentially be a great advantage to Asengav and her entire faction. The choice was obvious.

But… plushie.

High quality plushie.

Especially made for her.

Now, she’d never betray bunny. Bunny was her one most important possession, and this would never change. That said… plushie.

Cute, adorable, custom-made plushie. Just for her.

Mariette was frozen.


‘A-ah,’ Mariette made a mildly startled noise, but refocused her thoughts. ‘I-I'm… obligated to request a Red Coin. It is for the benefit of my patron…’ Mariette said, her tone with regret. ‘… but, um, is there any way I could convince you to make me a plushie, on the side? I-I, would love to, um, I'm… rather fond of bunnies, and my bunny could use a companion… Could I… somehow sweeten the deal for you to…?’ Mariette asked, momentarily reverting to a somewhat younger age in her tone.

”The coin ain’t a sure thing ma’am. But all the same, I’ll work on tryin’ for one and makin’ a plush for ya.” Mariette could hear the sound of something snapping, followed by some chewing noises. ”That okay for breakfast, Rossa?” He cleared his throat. ”This bunny, should it be big? Maybe one floppy ear? Gotta color preference? I’m fine suprisin’ ya too.”

‘…’ Mariette would have commented on the coin not being a sure thing, but currently she was overwhelmed about the other subject of the conversation. ‘The size should… match mine.’ Mariette said, and then looked down on bunny, and also had an Eli peeking in from the kitchen looking a bit surprised. Now, unfortunately, Mariette had no idea how to actually convey size through words. ‘Um, let’s see, this thing can take pictures, right?’ Mariette said, and then had an Eli run in to guide her in how to actually use the phone to take pictures. Eventually, Nuncio would get a picture of bunny sitting on a table with a helpful set of items nearby to get a sense of scale. A plate and cutlery, a couple books, a couple fruits they found, a milk carton with a specific size…

‘You can… surprise me with the rest,’ Mariette said, sounding a bit embarrassed. The bunny in the picture was well-loved, to say the least.

”A bit biggah than my normal requests.” He let out a long, endless sigh. ”But it sounds like ya really want it. And I really want Sammy back. So it’s gunna be my goddamn masterpiece.” Mariette could hear some beeps on his end. It sounded a bit like her own phone buttons, maybe he was saving the picture? ”I’ll need a moment ta form a concept, but it’ll be the next one I make. And thanks again for helpin’ me out. I hope it leads to somethin’ good in the future.”

‘Yes… thank you,’ Mariette said, nodding. ‘I will do all I can. I’ll call you when I find something,’ she said, ignoring the curious looks of the slime harpy to her left.

”Ya got my number. Buh-bye, Mariette. Take care.”

‘… You too,’ Mariette told, a slight blush on her cheeks as she ended the call, and then took a long look at bunny. Bunny would possibly have a friend, soon… … … Oh, and there was Eli looking at her with very large, interested eyes to her left. Mariette slowly gazed towards her, slowly regaining her usual stoic persona.

‘… Not a word of this to the others.’

‘Wouldn’t dream of it, my mistress.’


‘Hm?’ the girl in the swimsuit turned and looked towards the incoming group of Pokémon as well as the blind trainer and Vivia, because she’s here.

‘Yeah, I’m Lin. I’ll be your guide down Descent Tower. The first thing I can tell you is leaving your Pokémon outside the door is completely unnecessary, as is wearing any sort of unique clothing for going underwater, really. Dive is such a convenient thing. Now, then. The two of you?’

‘The two of us, yes. And, um, all these Pokémon,’ Vivia said, gesturing back towards the lot of them…

Lin gave them a raised eyebrow.

‘Yeah, uh, if you could return them to their Pokéballs, at least most of them, that’d be great. We will have somewhat limited space. In any case. Cutiecruel!’ Lin said, throwing a Pokéball that she retrieved from… somewhere… into the air, and it promptly opened and a large jellyfish Pokémon took shape.

Pokédex Entry #73 – Tentacruel, the Jellyfish Pokémon. It lives in complex rock formations on the ocean floor and traps prey using its 80 tentacles, which are normally kept short but can extend seemingly endlessly by absorbing ocean water, which wrap around prey to weaken them with poison. Its red orbs glow when it grows excited or agitated, and allows it to fire harsh ultrasonic blasts.

‘Let’s go in,’ Lin gestured to Skylar and Vivia, gave Eryn’s Pokémon one more raised eyebrow, and then headed inside. Inside was flooded with water, with stairs that led both up out of the water and down into it. Assuming Skylar grabbed onto the Tentacruel as gestured by Lin, the jellyfish promptly jumped into the water and enveloped itself with a bubble before diving with them. It was a special little bubble in which they could safely inhabit the watery depths, because convenience. Regardless, the trainers and the Pokémon floated down the rather long yet unremarkable tower, before arriving in what lay below. A whole new city, just below their feet.



‘You’re most welcome! Keep me updated on how your trip is going! Good luck!’ Kalmia told Basil when he came to tell her he had all he needed. Then he got out and said that to Cyril while Rodger was there, and…

‘I’ll challenge you to a battle next time we meet, to gauge your progress. With that said,’ and so Rodger put on his helmet (because we’re advocating good biking here) and started the engine again, because Cyril was probably pretty done with the convo based on the GM’s chat with him, and prepared to ride off into the nonexistent sunset for now.

Chloe’s there, too. She’s going to have a comment if he decides to get going. Will save that for the next post, though.

Basil is currently in Pureplain City. What now?

Connected areas:
Route 1. Easier path, just follow the bigger road.
Route 2. Walk through quite an amount of suburbs until you eventually reach the path.
Sea. There’s water, alright. Can take you anywhere you want to go, assuming you have means to traverse it.

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