View Single Post
Old 06-25-2017, 04:49 AM   #58
こばやし だいすき~
deoxys's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 私の尾を食べてください OwO
Posts: 6,504
(Hey guys, thank you for being patient with me. Sometimes life can get a bit hectic, and I'm sorry for the delay in your updates. That being said, you may notice something different about them! Starting today, I will be including music with your updates - it will almost always be instrumental, and it is meant to add an extra layer of immersion to the story's atmosphere by evoking more emotion. You obviously do not have to listen to them if you don't want to, but I hope you will, as I firmly believe the really do add some extra flavor to the story as you read along!)

134: [Update Music]

The groundskeeper remained silent as he continued to stride back the way you came. His movement was extremely stiff, almost robotic or doll-like. He slowly climbed the stairs you had descended, one leg at a time. As he carefully hoisted himself up the hidden staircase, his posture did not change or sway even slightly. His entire demeanor felt incredibly off, almost inhuman.

You and Pouli followed him up the stairs as he effortlessly closed the trapdoor behind you, staring at you blankly as he did so. In an effort to make conversation, you took up his offer for first aid, but declined the drink. He turned away and proceeded down the open hallway on the other side of the room, not responding. As you and your Houndour continued to follow the groundskeeper, you decided to once again try engaging in conversation, mentioning the carvings on the door you had found. Immediately, without warning, Pouli’s Will-o-Wisp flickered and died, encasing the entire hallway where you stood in total darkness. Before you had time to react, however, the room dimly lit back up. The groundskeeper was standing face to face with you, once more with a blank expression, holding a candle in his grasp. He stepped backward and turned around, once again walking forward. “I always come down here prepared,” he said. “The breeze makes it difficult for flames to be kept alight.”

As you started to once again follow the groundskeeper down the hallway, you couldn’t help but immediately realize something was wrong.

Pouli was gone.

Sandaa: [Ambiance] + [Update Music]

As the swarm of Carvanha picked up their pace, their yellow fins jutting out of the water and gliding toward you effortlessly, Kratos dug his hand into the side of the small hill and propelled himself downward, curling the mud in his palm as he slid to your side. With a forceful thrust, the Golduck palmed the sizeable chunk of mud across the swap with a hefty Mud Bomb. With a large splash, all of the Carvanha immediately ceased movement, but only briefly. At once, they turned to the source of the splash and began darting toward it at a furious pace.

Breathing a sigh of relief, you looked around to find something to pull yourself out of the swamp. Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult, as there were a number of vines hanging from the mangroves, some even dipping into the bogs below. You grabbed a vine and tugged gently to make sure it was safe before lifting yourself onto the land. The torrential rainfall continued as you slowly found your footing, making sure you had a firm balance before reaching upward to grab another vine to lift yourself back up the side of the hill. After repeating this process several times, you finally managed to come back to the top of the hill that you had fallen from, grabbing one final vine and thrusting your weight forward toward the makeshift trail that you had been walking on previously. However, while you yanked the vine and lifted yourself up back to the trail, you could immediately perceive a difference in the way the vine felt within your grasp. Before you had time to analyze the situation, the vine reacted, immediately whipping you onto the muddy pathway with a tumble.

In the blink of an eye, a large, flat-headed, plant-like creature dropped from the canopy, its jaws wide open, the outside of which were lined with jagged, spiky teeth that oozed thick gobs of saliva - and it was lunging right at you.

Missingno. Master: [Update Music]

The woman seemed thrilled to have sold the Honey. She looked at you with sincere eyes, and she looked as though she was holding back tears. “Thank you. So very much.” She positioned herself with her basket at her side and slid the money into a pocket. “My name is Melody. It’s nice to meet you. How about… you come inside my shop. It’s a bit of a story.”

Melody turned and led you into her shop, which happened to be one of the small houses that lined the dirt road you had encountered her on. The shop itself was dusty, but had a very rustic aesthetic. There wasn’t much room inside, but there were numerous shelves lined with different colored jars and trinkets, including toys and woodwind instruments. She led you to a small room behind the counter, where there were two small chairs and a coffee table between them. As you sat, she poured you a cup of tea - and stirred in a spoonful of honey.

“I’m not sure there is much you can do to help us, but I suppose there’s no harm in sharing the story,” she said glumly as she sat in the chair opposite to you. She furrowed her brow and crossed her legs. “This village has long been an exporter of honey and Combeeswax products to much of the outside world. The majority of our villagers have have some sort of part to play in that industry, and for as long as our town has existed, it’s kept us going. At least, until recently…” She trailed off a bit and took a sip of her own tea. She scrunched her face, pursed her lips, and then let out a sigh.

“There’s a natural cycle at play that we help catalyze, and it’s been that way for generations. The Combee collect nectar from the flowers to make honey for their Vespiquen, pollinating the flowers they visit in the process. This symbiotic relationship allows the flowers to continue to grow and thrive, while producing more food for the Combee. The Combee allow us to collect the excess and leftover Combeeswax, and in exchange we continue to take care of the flowers as well as their homes. It’s an unspoken agreement between people and Pokemon that you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else…” She sighed again, this time with more agitation in her voice.

“But we made a mistake. About two years ago, we began to notice honey production was rapidly declining, and we weren’t sure why. After we did some investigation, we realized that the Combee population also seemed to be declining, but we couldn’t figure out the root cause of it. We tried a number of things to reinvigorate the colonies, but nothing worked. Things continued to get worse, and it started to put our town into a bind economically. People were just barely scraping by. Last year, when we saw no improvement, we called in a Melitologist, someone who specializes in the study of bee Pokemon, to come investigate. She spent a while analyzing our forest’s colonies and was unable to determine the cause of the decline. However, she proposed a ‘solution’ to the problem. She figured that by bringing in male Kantoan Beedrill and breeding them with some of our female Combee that she would be able to help restore the Combee population. Well, her plan did work, however, there was a downside; these hybrid Combee were far more aggressive and their honey output was limited to only what they needed to produce.”

She took a deep breath, and another sip of her tea. “I’m sorry for talking so much, but this story has quite a lot to it. Anyhow, the short of it is this - these new hybrid Combee began to bully the native Combee out of their colonies, which only made our problem worse. Our native Combee are dying, and only a handful of their colonies remain. The flowers that need to be pollinated aren’t being pollinated, causing them to die in droves. The lowered honey production means there our livelihoods are at risk, and the Pokemon of the forest are beginning to migrate en masse because they are losing food sources, and the Combee are becoming too aggressive for them to want to stick around. In short, we are in the midst of an ecological crisis.”

She stood up and looked out the window and remained silent for a moment. “I don’t think there’s much you could do to help, but… if you want to talk to the Melitologist… maybe she’d have something for you to do, I don’t know. She’s probably at one of the nearby colonies near the edge of the swamp to the south of the village doing research. If you head that way you’re sure to run into her.” She turned to you and gave a sad, but faint smile. “I do appreciate your listening and your concern, mister... what was your name again, sweetheart?”

Neverthrive: [Update Music]

The strange, yet beautiful music, that was no doubt some sort of symphony, continued to play as you and your Squirtle followed it, not even realizing that you had become so fixated on it that you had ceased paying attention to your own actions. As you made your way to the edge of the swamp, still enamoured by the music, your foot caught hold of a rock under the water, causing you to trip over yourself and faceplant directly into grass on the edge of the marsh. Your Squirtle was immediately concerned and rushed over to ensure that you were okay - but your stumble could not, and did not, break your attention. Civilization. That music - yes, it had to be civilization. This swamp wasn’t what you had thought it would be, and the thought that you could find civilization was as exciting to you as the music that continued to play.

As you lifted yourself out of the bog, you and Greg remained mesmerized by the song that was playing in the distance - the sound of the xylophone, the strings, the wooden percussion, the wind instruments! Yes, it was all so exciting - and then the music became softer, and for a moment, perhaps even somber - and then eventually louder again, and once again it began repeating itself from the beginning. As you walked down the forest path in front of you, your legs steadily picked up pace, the music getting louder with each step. Every now and then, the sun would pierce through the forest canopy, hitting vines and illuminating the trees on the sides of the narrow pathway.

You aren’t sure how long you and your Squirtle walked for, but you followed your ears, eventually straying off of the trail entirely to find the source of the music. Eventually, the music became loud, so loud that it was drowning the sounds out of everything else around you. You and the tiny turtle Pokemon were met face to face with a large wall of underbrush, which stood between you and the source of the music, whatever it was. Civilization, yes! That’s what it had to be. There was no denying it. You reached through the thicket, parting the old vines and leaves, and…

It was beautiful, enchanting, and like something out of a storybook, or a fairy tale - but it wasn’t civilization. That didn’t matter, though; this was unprecedented. Before you was a large, shaded clearing with trickles of light penetrating the forest ceiling above, the rays dancing as the wind skirted the tree tops. But more importantly was the spectacle that unfolded before you; Pokemon, and lots of them, all facing the direction opposite of where you were. Numerous Kricketot gleefully vibrated their antennae against each other; several Chingling rocked their bodies back and forth, occasionally leaping into the air; a few Chimecho hung on tree branches beside them, swaying in the wind; several Nuzleaf sat on tree branches, blowing their leaves as though they were flutes; a single Tangela outstretched its vines against a rock and shook each one to produce a sound; multiple Pikipek scattered among various trees gently pecked at the bark rhythmically; and finally, a single Kricketune stood directly in front of them, swinging its arms and guiding the rest of this oddball of an orchestra as though it were its conductor.

None of these Pokemon seemed to notice your presence and continued to play their song none the wiser. What do you do?
deoxys is offline   Reply With Quote