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Old 05-30-2017, 02:48 PM   #28
AshsBabyLapras
reason for my life
 
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,860
Espeon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyoyo3131 View Post
ABL: Holai nods to Dreamer next to you. "Pleasure to meet the both of you. No need to bow. I am no greater." He says, and bows back to you. "Truthfully, I'd prefer a guest. Anyone who chooses to be here with Manaphy, an outsider no less, might be interested in what my guest has to say. And I'm sure they won't mind. No worry, I assure you." He looks back out at the village. He rolls his shoulders back and adjusts his posture a bit, stretching out before returning to his slight hunch. He glances at the shrine once more and smiles. "Well, come along if you'd like." He starts back down the stairs, and after a step or two in, he turns back to you.

"By the way, what was in that package of yours?" Holai says, and nods to the shrine. You look back to where he gestured. Where you had left your leaf wrapped gift, there is nothing there but the stone pedestal.

The trip down the stairs feels twice as slow as Holai's ascent. You briefly consider passing him, but erring on the side of respect leads you to take your time. You glance at the stairs beneath you and the waters to either side. Dreamer does the same, though a bit more impatiently, rubbing into your legs. She notices a pebble on the step below her and nudges it into the stream to the side. You see a smile on Holai's face.

He leads you into his simple home. There is not much inside. He owns a bed to the corner in the back right, a counter including a few cabinets and a stone basin with a grate on top on the left wall, and a table with two chairs. All but the basin is made of wood, clearly re-purposed from other projects. He gestures for you to take a seat and you do. Dreamer follows beside you. Holai goes to the basin and lights a match from a drawer, setting some sort of wood in the basin ablaze. He pulls out a kettle, draws some water from what seems to be a trapdoor leading to a stream below, and sets it to boil. As he does this, he talks across the room to you. "I'd like to thank you for being so respectful to the Altar. Not all outsiders are, and since they've begun to visit Cordina's Peak, I've spent a bit more time on cleaning and repairs." He leaves the kettle on the grate, the flames licking at the dull metal, and Holai takes a seat at the table with you. "If you don't mind answering, why have you come to the Altar?" He speaks even softer and gentler than before. You weren't quite sure that was possible. His eyes are small and black from where you sit, but full of emotion. "Manaphy's heart is open to all, and if you are struggling with connecting with another person or Pokemon, he is certainly the one to talk to." Holai folds his hands under his chin. "But it's just so very rare to see someone care about our culture or patron." There is a sadness to his voice. There is no threat to his words, but he seems so confused. With the question posed to you, what do you do?
ABL glances back at the Altar, only to see that her offering has disappeared into thin air. Just like that? Could the local legends be true? Of course, she'd come here in hopes of exactly that, but this still comes as a shock to her. The young woman hopes her surprise isn't too evident on her face as she replies "Oh, it was nothing great, just a small gift of fruits and flowers. I hope that was enough..."

Though ABL isn't always the most eager to meet new people, this older gentleman exudes such genuine warmth and compassion that she feels drawn to him. As the small group makes their way down from the Altar, she quickly notices that it wasn't just the atmosphere of the sacred place that was so comforting. Indeed, the priest himself has an aura of tranquility around him. Dreamer's empathy must be responding to his gentle nature as well, because there are no signs of her bouts of disobedience. ABL reaches down, giving her an affectionate rub behind the ears for her good behaviour.

Although Holai's dwelling is rather spartan, it's charming in its simplicity and ABL is grateful for his hospitality. She absent-mindedly strokes her Espeon's fur as she listens to what the priest has to say. The trainer's heart sinks in her chest at the thought that foreigners could set foot here and disrespect the Minnao people's beliefs and culture. Who could be so heartless? "I'm sorry that anyone would act so shamefully," she says, Holai's sadness reflected in her own eyes. "And I'm also sorry to say that I've sought Manaphy's help for largely selfish reasons. I spoke to him to request protection of my loved ones. Of course, I'm new to this place, and my knowledge of Minnao culture is superficial at best, but I think your customs are beautiful and worth preserving. If there's anything I can do for the Altar, or Manaphy's faithful, I would dearly love to repay your kindness somehow."
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