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Old 08-27-2017, 12:18 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by TheKnightsFury View Post
Maskerade- With the third and final contest underway, Staryu skims along the send, searching for any signs of a valuable item with which to achieve victory. It was clearly at a disadvantage when it came to knowledge of its surroundings, although it seemed to have a slight mobility advantage, easily being able to cover a greater distance than the Lombre. Looking to level things up, Staryu concentrates on sending a low psychic wave towards the Lombre who isn't participating, hoping to be able to read its mind. It takes a few moments to establish a connection, but when it does the Staryu is startled by what it hears. A strange song seems to reverberate through the Lombre's mind, Staryu quickly severs the link, listening to that tune for too long would surely result in insanity.

Probing the Lombre's mind had produced no fruit, there was one other option for the Staryu though. It quickly spun out over the water, gem staring down into the crystal clear water. The sea floor was a mixture of rocky outcrops and seaweed beds, nothing exactly stuck out. Intent on finding something, Staryu continues to search until it catches sight of something, a Clamperl nestled into the ocean floor. It's open shell gave a clear view of the Pokemon, which on first glance seemed to have two heads! Diving down into the water for a better view, Staryu quickly realizes the second head, while roughly the same size as the first, looks remarkably different. The smooth, polished surface glistened in the sunlight that filtered down into the water, it was a Big Pearl! That was certainly a valuable item, Staryu thought as it quickly closes in, preparing to swoop in and steal the prize. As Staryu streaks past a patch of seaweed, a bunch of the plants suddenly lash out, wrapping around it and stopping the starfish in its tracks. Suddenly the Lombre shoots out of nowhere, was it tailing Staryu the whole time? Bubbles rise from its mouth as it laughs uncontrollably as Staryu struggles to break free of the seaweed. Staryu can only watch in dismay as the Lombre sneaks in and snatches up the Big Pearl, tucking the item under its arm as it surfaces and makes its way back towards the beach.

With a strong push the seaweed finally breaks and Staryu catapults forward, crashing into the seafloor. Sand is scattered everywhere, uncovering what appears to be a small wooden box. Time surely running out, Staryu doesn't bother to open the box, instead choosing to pry it from the sand using its psychic abilities and pull it towards shore. Munchlax and the two Lombre are waiting on the shore line as Staryu emerges, the two Lombre are marveling at the reflectiveness of their find, certain they are going to win. Staryu drops the box down in front of Munchlax, who quickly tares the top off of it. All four Pokemon gather around to see the haul, only to find that the box contains three plain old rocks. The Lombre burst into laughter while Munchlax groans in disappointment, Staryu on the other hand spins around in celebration. Compelling Munchlax to do what it wishes once more, Munchlax picks ups one of the stones and gives it a rough brush against its stomach. Gunk quickly rubs off of the rocks, revealing a glistening blue stone beneath, a Water Stone! None of them can believe their eyes, a quick rub of the other two rocks reveals another two Water Stones, for a total of three.

"Eh sorry ese, that is a cool find and all but our Big Pearl is certainly more valuable than one Water Stone." Staryu blinks its gem three times, arguing that they have three Water Stones, not one. "No holmes, the contest was the most valuable 'item', not 'items', so we win." The Lombre give each other a high five, before quickly whispering to each other. "Tell you what though, we will cut you a deal. You give us two of those Water Stones and you can have the Big Pearl and the third Water Stone for yourself. How does that sound? We will even let you make your delivery."

Staryu gained 1 level
After all was said and done, and with no small amount of shenanigans on the opponent's part, Staryu returned to the shore with what turned out to be three beautiful Water Stones - and it would've come back with a Big Pearl as well were it not for the blatant thievery on display... that nobody else witnessed as it happened underwater.

Munchlax was the one to uncover the true nature of the precious objects retrieved by his companion. For a second, he'd hoped it was something edible, but even he - in his state of perpetual hunger - was not oblivious to what the Stone could do for his partner. In a way, he was jealous, but that was Staryu's find... as much as it pained him to admit it, it had fully earned both the gem and the perks that came with it.

For a moment, Munchlax thought he was going to have to punch some sense into the hombres, when they starting going off about how they had actually won the challenge based on a wording technicality. But fortunately, the two must have realized what would happen if they all came to blows, and how there was profit to be made on both parts - which was why, in the end, the Lombre wound up proposing something... not entirely unreasonable. The bear still thought they should have the whole stash, but a compromise wasn't that bad of an option. And they even got to finish their delivery as they'd promised the incompetent Gastrodon!

Staryu's light flickered happily as it approached the parcel, more than glad to carry on with their mission. Munchlax had to call out to it to get its attention, than held out the Water Stone - but, much to his surprise, the starfish declined. Through mental communication, it let the bear know that the use of the Stone wouldn't be its choice, but Rorik's. Munchlax shook his head, knowing that leaving that kind of decision up to the clueless Professor likely meant Staryu would never evolve, but if the Staryu placed that much trust in Rorik... well, it was its right.

The bear took it upon himself to carry the package, the Water Stone and the Big Pearl, letting Staryu lead the way unencumbered, their bond of friendship strengthened in the ordeal. Waving goodbye to the two Lombre (whom Munchlax would much rather beat up than be polite to), the duo resumed their way back to Gastrodon's customers, hoping the delay wouldn't be problematic...
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