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Old 08-19-2017, 07:47 PM   #214
Maskerade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morningstar View Post
Maskerade:

Cursing at whatever forces were currently manipulating your fate, you bounded after the Bunnelby. Staryu was keeping up with you, his determination in this pursuit ever growing. With Munchlax lagging behind, you decided it would be best that he took a break and recalled him to the comfort of his Ball. Between breaths and complaints, you directed Staryu to attack, and the Pokemon sprang into action. It swiftly launched itself in the air and began to spin similar to a popular children’s toy. Staryu directed itself toward the nearest Bunnelby and struck it at an incredibly high speed. The Normal-type stumbled, and continued to roll on the ground from the momentum. Your Pokemon continued through the air toward the other two, striking the second in the ears. This redirected Staryu and sent it whirling skyward. Not looking back, the third Bunnelby continued to run, rounding a corner in the distance. The second rabbit was obviously hurt, but not enough to hinder its speed. It too rounded the corner up ahead and out of sight.

Seeing an opportunity, you lunged forward and nabbed the small brown Pokemon Staryu had helped to take down. You slid across the dirt as if you had just scored a home run, holding tight to your capture. The Pokemon wriggled in your arms to try and free itself from your gasp. You resisted against its strong legs and wrestled it firmly onto the ground. The Bunnelby had given up and gone limp, and you were easily able to remove the paper from its mouth. You unraveled it and noticed something strange – the paper is blank. You stare at it in disbelief for a moment before it is again snatched out of your hands. The Pokemon takes off back towards the trees, looking offended that you had touched it in the first place.

At the end of the path, your dizzy Staryu calls for your attention. You dust yourself off and make your way over to it, noticing that it is gesturing around the corner. You almost miss it, but the two other Bunnelby have run into the mouth of a large cave. The wall is lined with several torches, allowing you to see that the path splits off into two. One of the furry creatures rushes off to the left, disappearing into the darkness. The other speeds into a more well-lit tunnel, and you can hear the faint sound of dripping water in the distance.
It's... blank?!

The paper, half-crumbled and very much empty, was in a way the perfect representation of Rorik's entire life work on understanding the mystery of Bonds: gallons of blood, sweat and tears poured into an utterly fruitless labour. He couldn't form the slightest hint of a connection with his own Pokemon, despite his extensive studying of the subject, and he couldn't find the next hint in this silly game of riddles after literally crawling through the mud to reach it. The resemblance was uncanny, and utterly infuriating.

Angry, the tackled Bunnelby wound up retrieving the useless paper, and Rorik wasn't about to object. At that point, he was pretty much ready to pack up and go home, his intellect and his dignity thoroughly shattered by a pack of rabbits and whatever twisted mastermind had concocted the whole thing to begin with. But Staryu, ever resilient, ever unreadable, persevered.

"Listen, we... we should go," the Professor sighed, disheartened. But when he realized Staryu wasn't about to follow, he turned back around in surprise. "Are you lis... what's wrong?"

Not all was lost after all. In the distance, he could barely make out the two remaining Bunnelby fleeing into a large opening on the rock wall up ahead. If they gave chase, maybe they could still catch up to them.

But what's the purpose? Why should we keep going? Why am I subjecting myself to this humiliation?...

Absent-mindedly, his hand found its way to Staryu's empty Ball. He'd had enough. It was time to go home, take a bath and get some rest. He'd be damned if he would allow a bunch of wild bunnies to make a fool of him any longer.

But you are a fool. A disgrace to the Holstadt name. Is that why you don't even use it?

The uninvited, most definitely unwelcome words came rushing in to the forefront of his mind, spoken in the tone of the only man who would utter them. Memories of past times he'd much rather forget entirely, but couldn't. Memories of that scumbag...


Ulrik Holstadt... Father.

There was no doubt about it - he'd mock Rorik incessantly if he were here now. If he saw him give up yet again. If only for that...

"Y-you're right. We should follow them."

Without another word, Rorik walked past the very-much confused Staryu, who couldn't possibly figure out its Trainer's conflicting thought processes and shifting decisions. But it seemed he'd settled on giving chase, and that was all that mattered.

Much to their surprise, the cave entrance lead to a lit tunnel - torches burned on both sides of the wall, revealing at least some degree of maintenance. At the end of the corridor, the road split in two, and - of course - each of the Bunnelby took off in a different direction.

Rorik stopped and looked at each of the paths available to them. Personally, he'd pick the darkest one - likely less tampered with, and the Bunnelby would have a hard time maneuvering in such low-visibility terrain. But this time around, he decided to leave the choice to his partner; after all, it had already helped out so much, it deserved at least a say in the matter.

Staryu immediately turned to the tunnel from whence a dripping sound could be heard further down, and Rorik really wasn't surprised. With a chuckle, he tapped the starfish on its gem and nodded in approval.

"It's been a while, hasn't it? Come on, you deserve a bit of water after all that," concluded the Professor.
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