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Alexis

As the day of reckoning finally came, Alexis took her first steps through the gates of Hoseforn, a place known across the entirety of Ealinata for the famous adventurers it produced. The courtyard, the main hall, the giant glowing crystal in the main hall, everything was larger than life, no matter where Alexis looked.

Speaking of giant glowing crystals, it seemed to be sentient, given the booths full of students talking to it. It was exciting, stepping to a booth and having her own personal rainbow appear in front of her. She reached out to it right away, but her hands phased right through.

"Greeting's new student. I am Athena. Welcome to Hoseforn's Academy for Gifted Adventurers. Please present your acceptance scroll now."

There it was, the crystal's voice. The rainbow seemed to pulse with each word. She wondered if messing with the rainbow affected her... Or it. Can crystals have genders? It seems like a magical automaton. It's called Athena, so the intent seems to be a feminine identity, or perhaps that's just because it was deemed more agreeable when dealing with would-be adventurers? Unless some form of necromancy was at work, binding the soul of a woman named Athena to the crystal. Something that big and crystalline seems like it'd have the magic properties necessary for that. Alexis reached out to the rainbow again, waving her hands through it and observing how the light would bend. Try as she might though, it just seemed like an ordinary projection of light. Makes her wonder if mirrors or prisms would have an effect.

"Please present your acceptance scroll now."

It seemed she took long enough that Athena felt the need to repeat herself, so she got on with it and pulled out her letter of acceptance.

"Letter accepted. Welcome Alexis Atropos."

As she spoke the words, the letter of acceptance glowed slightly, its text disappearing, replaced by a map of the school with a colorful line going from the main building to a separate building.

"This is a map of the school grounds, your dorm number is 777. A fresh uniform and any supplies you require will be waiting for you. Please change...bathe... and return to the Main Hall within an hour and a half for the welcoming feast. Attendance is mandatory."

Dorm number 777 huh... She did try to use magic to improve her luck with school life, but for it to manifest in such a way... Actually, does it have anything to do with her magic? If this crystal determines everything, then it probably had no effect, which would mean it's a coincidence?

How mysterious. It was more believable that someone or something was behind this. Alas, she'll probably never get an explanation for this. Oh well, time to never think about it ever again.

Alexis, finding that she could not contain pieces of Athena's rainbow in a rudimentary magical container, said goodbye to the crystal and moved on to her dorm. It only had a single bed, so it seemed she had the room all to herself. It also seemed decked to the nines with instruments of pure GAMING. When they said the dorms contained any supplies students would require, they weren't kidding. Her room resembled a combination of a casino and an arcade, perfect for practicing pretty much any spell she could think of. She had brought a few things, but there was no way she could bring physical versions of all the objects relevant to Gambler magic. Did they do this for anyone with the Gambler class? Sure, the cost of all of it pales in comparison to the tuition, but it was still impressive. How many Gamblers were there in Hoseforn's? It wasn't exactly a popular class...

In any case, she took a long shower, enjoying the luxury of magically heated water on demand, then tried on the school uniform. It fit in quite well with the rest of her wardrobe, and she liked the way it looked on her. She didn't hear anything in the school rules preventing students from accessorizing, so she didn't see the need to change anything else about her look. With that, she was ready to head back towards the Main Hall for the feast.

When she got there, it was a bustling cacophony of dissonant chatter. Students from all walks of life were here, and a number of students were of races Alexis had never seen before. In particular, the girl with the large pink fox ears and a tail stood out among the crowd, to the point of drawing constant lingering glances and stares from other students. She had never seen a bestial race with qualities such as hers, though it wasn't that unusual given the numerous similar races.

It was more peculiar, in her opinion, to see a young man sitting by himself, gawking at practically all of the other students and acting stiff and twitchy, a sign he's on edge. Alexis walked up to his table and sat herself down next to him, uninvited.

"Hello. My name is Alexis. I could taste your fear from across the room. Mind kicking it up a notch? My favorite flavor is abject terror." Alexis gave the man a warm smile, not matching her words at all.

@Duoya
I controlled Minccino slightly, because I figured that any other course of action would just loop back around towards this outcome and this seemed like one of better ways of handling the encounter. Let me know if I should change it or something @wisteria.
Troy
The Minccino took the bait, but it was all for naught as the pokeball failed to trigger. Troy was on his feet, ready to grab the pokeball, but the Minccino simply carried it away in its mouth and hid in a bush. It lingered a bit in the process, more than Troy expected, possibly thrown off by the weight of the pokeball, giving Troy the opportunity to send out Shuckle and land Infestation. This mirrored his original plan B, to use Infestation to track it down and continue applying Infestation or disrupt its coordination with Mud-Slap. They're a pair of accurate moves that minimally harmed the greenery, so they were usable to some degree even if Minccino was hiding, and as long as he stayed on Minccino's trail, it should get worn down eventually. The specialty of human hunter-gatherers was persistence hunting after all. It may have been drawn out, but it's not like he didn't have all day. The spectating student, however, didn't have the patience for that and decided to interrupt. It annoyed Troy at first, given that he specifically asked him not to, but when he dumped the trash out into the clearing, it sent Minccino into a tizzy immediately. The student then ran off, as if he couldn't bear to see the results of his actions. It was confusing at first, but the more Troy thought about it, the more it seemed infuriating. If he knew it would behave this way, why didn't he do it from the start? Was he just trying to goad Troy into doing it so he wouldn't have to? Right after threatening Troy over damage to the garden and ranting about people who litter? What was his plan even, to get his stuff back, then yell at Troy? If he wanted to see if Troy could do it differently, why didn't he just leave and let Troy's plan play out, like Troy asked? He knew enough about trapping moves to know how they were applicable in hunting a wild pokemon down, did the student not?

He still hadn't been told his name, but the president of the beautification committee was honestly infuriating. The most irritating part of it all was owing him a debt for helping Troy, because as annoying as the situation was, his actions were still a net positive in terms of saving Troy's time. Persistence hunting can take hours if things drag on, and even if he had to put up with the hypocrisy of the student's plan, they eventually got on with it and spilled the trash themselves. I suppose this is one way to avoid getting him angry at Troy over it, though it'd be a lie to say it was something he thought to do, since... Troy shares some things in common with Minccino, one could say.

To begin with, why is this Minccino so obsessed with cleaning? It could have just waited for them to leave before cleaning it up. Minccinos were cleanly, but this bordered on obsessive compulsion. Either that, or it just didn't care about what might happen to it while cleaning, which Troy wasn't sure whether to interpret as insulting to him or indicative of its desperation. He sighed, watching Minccino try to pick up the trash with its tiny paws while the lingering dregs of the Infestation stung at it and returned Shuckle to its pokeball, thereby freeing Minccino from the attack.

Troy walked up to the Minccino and the trash, crouching down and nudging the Minccino aside. It was honestly just in the way for trash of this size. It didn't get the memo at first, but started realizing what was going on as Troy began cleaning up the trash fast enough to monopolize the trash bin. Troy bulldozed huge chunks of the trash back into the dumpster before grabbing big piles of the mess that Minccino had to clean piece by piece and tossed them in, pile after pile. He could paint the whole garden brown with Mud-Slap later if need be, but owing anything to the smarmy fuck from the beautification committee didn't sit right with Troy.

In a flash, all the trash was back in the dumpster, which Troy returned upright. He had only used his right hand, which was still stained with berry juice, thus keeping his left hand clean. Minccino was already swiping away at the grass with its tail to get off any incidental muck that remained. While it was still distracted, Troy pulled out another pokeball with his clean hand and tossed it at Minccino when its back was turned.

@wisteria
Started making a character, will probably be able to post it tomorrow. Hope you don't mind me having Gambler as their class.
haha Magnet go brrr

I have never pictured a magnemite being used as a mixer

Ok, hear me out,
Chikorita lawn mower.

For anyone wondering, the odds of flinching after 5 hits with King's Rock/Razor Fang are about 41%.
The odds of flinching from Serene Grace Air Slash is 60%.
The odds of flinching from Serene Grace Air Slash with King's Rock/Razor Fang are 64% in generation 4 and below, and 68% in generation 5 and beyond, as Serene Grace only doubles the item's flinch chance as of generation 5, and is calculated separately from the move's innate flinch chance rather than being added on.

@wisteria If I may request for future reference, (I don't need to get it now or anything) I think it would be cuter to give Minccino a King's Rock to wear as a crown rather than having it carry a Razor Fang around, which it would probably just hide within its fur. I imagine a King's Rock would fit pretty snugly around one of Cinccino's huge ears.


By the way, how much would an ability capsule cost?

It's tempting to spam them a bit later on, if possible, so Shuckle can switch on and off of Contrary Shell Smash, since Contrary is incompatible with my favorite Shuckle set.
Troy
Cinccino was actually an intensely interesting pokemon. It was the fastest user of skill link, tied with Ambipom, but with much more diverse moves to abuse it. Sure, it didn't learn Fake Out, therefore making it less devastating in a hit-and-run scenario, but spamming normal attacks the way Ambipom was forced to isn't exactly a foolproof plan, and Cinccino would be hard-pressed to find room for Fake Out in the wake of its other moves anyway.

The thing about skill link is that there exists a pair of items, commonly used to evolve Gligars, Slowpokes or Poliwhirls, that, when held by a pokemon, grants their attacks a menacing tenor. With the exception of certain abilities, even the most well-trained pokemon just can't help but occasionally flinch in the face of such attacks, which can be a devastating situation to be in for the victims who are left vulnerable to further punishment. Although the effect isn't usually consistent enough to merit use, combining either item with skill link, which exposes opponents to a barrage of equally menacing attacks that will always connect after the first, produces dizzying results for pokemon and trainer alike.

The prospect was very exciting for Troy, who knew all too well the terror of the Togekiss within his father's collection. Serene Grace is an evil, evil ability, and all the pokemon that have it are sadistic monsters. Togekiss' shortcoming, however, was the low power of its favored move, Air Slash, and its comparatively slow speed, two weaknesses that Cinccino does not have.

Troy was so engrossed that he almost missed the Minccino darting out of its hiding spot toward the berry-covered pokeball. Troy's fingers lowered ever so slightly behind the ball as the Minccino neared it and, with a gentle flick, sent it off, rolling right into Minccino's face. Taking the bait or not, it'd be nice if the pokeball would make the capture attempt while it was still near him, as this would let him get down to business here and now, rather than having to waiting for it to lick the berry juice off of the button or having to coax it out a second time. Once it was in the pokeball, he'd have to be quick, but it should be fairly easy to guarantee a non-destructive battle with it by tossing the ball into the clearing, assuming it wouldn't be caught there and then. From there, even if the capture fails, he should be able to get off an attack on it before it gets away, and could prevent it from escaping using Shuckle's infestation. While not as effective as blocking pokeball return beams in trainer battles, it would at least let Shuckle track it down while simultaneously draining its health and stamina, making it easier to throw more pokeballs at it.

Troy readies himself to spring into action while doing absolutely nothing to avoid making sudden, suspicious movements.


Come to think of it, this was the first pokemon Troy tried to catch for himself, isn't it?

@wisteria
Troy
As Troy finished the Berry colored and flavored pokeball, he got up and continued on his way only to be stopped by the trainer from earlier. Apparently, they're the president of the beautification committee, and significant damage to the gardens isn't allowed. Shuckle can battle pretty well regardless, given that infestation doesn't call upon an actual infestation of bugs and Mud Slap can be washed off with some water without much damage, but it's good to know to avoid tearing up the place with reckless abandon like during the class tournament.

Regardless of how he'd catch it, it seems searching the area with the most trees wasn't the right place, in spite of the earlier description of its habits. The other student pointed him to a relatively clear area where battle could take place with minimal damage, and it just so happens to be where the pokemon was hiding. It was darting between the shrubs and bushes faster than the eye could see, but Troy manages to get a pokedex entry while it was changing spots.

It seems to be a Minccino. They were quite common near Nimbasa city, and Troy always thought they were pretty cute. They also stay cute as they evolve, unlike a certain spider common in his dad's power plants. It's been a while since he's seen one, and they were quite a nostalgic sight. As for its capabilities, he'd need a closer look before making any judgements, but it certainly seems fast.

He addresses the boy who showed him here in hopes of preventing their oblivious interference. "Alright, I'll make sure not to leave anything here or damage the plants. Even if it looks like I dropped something, don't come storming in, okay? I might be here for a while, so you don't need to wait on me either. If I find your things, I'll come find you."

With that, Troy moved his backpack to face the front of his body, if only to be more careful around a pokemon with a penchant for theft, and pulled out his phone with his left hand. He came to lie down on one of the benches, his feet kicked up over the armrest, with his right hand dangling off the side. He placed the berry juice-covered pokeball onto the ground and began absently rolling it around with the tips of his fingers, out of his sight and just begging to be stolen.

Like this, all he had to do was wait for it to take the bait. He held onto his phone securely, acutely aware of the possibility it would be stolen, and took the spare time to research Minccinos. It was frustratingly difficult to get certain pokemon to compete with certain others in a particular combat niche, something he knew all too well when figuring out the best way to train Shinx. Troy needed to know the best way(s) to use the pokemon if he wanted to know the best qualities to look for in one. His father taught him to assess a pokemon's potential and what personalities best suited the development of certain qualities, but that only tells him what that individual excelled in, not what the species did.

That being said, the words 'skill link' caught his attention immediately...

@wisteria
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