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Old 09-12-2017, 09:56 AM   #294
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Originally Posted by morningstar View Post
War of the Roses

As the games wrap up, a crowd is beginning to form in front of the stage in the center of the garden. Throughout the day, guests to the garden had become drawn to different teams. Makeshift signs floated throughout the audience, pledging their loyalty to their favorite Queen. The throng of people talked in excited, hushed voices.

Persimmon finishes addressing the crowd, and gives a short wave. There are scattered cheers throughout the audience, and the scientist looks uncomfortable. “Um… I’m gonna hand it over to Peony now…” He shuffles away and hands the mic to his much more socially confident co-gardener.

“Hiii!” As the pink haired girl takes center stage, a spotlight focuses on her. Smaller, colored lights dance around the stage. “Ooh! Thanks for charging up all these lights for us. Anyway, it’s time for THE most exciting part of our program today! A BEAUTY PAGEANT!” The steady beat of dance music starts up and the spotlight moves to the edge of the stage where a cluster of grass Pokemon are standing. They look startled, but file onto stage in groups based on their garden alignments. Signs light up above the four sections of the stage, “COOL” “CUTE” “UNIQUE” and “ELEGANT” in different corresponding fonts.

“We calculated your points from the scavenger hunt, and rewarded you with different items to use during this part of the competition,” Peony explains.


“Last but certainly not least, we have Lilligant’s domain, Team Elegant!” Peony flourishes once more as Team Elegant’s section lights up a gentle green. The music gets calmer, and three Petlil waltz on the stage. They finish with a curtsey toward three velvet bags tied up with ribbon. As each Petlil pulls a ribbon, the contents of the bag are revealed.
The bag with a tag reading “Lucas” has a Bouquet of pink and purple flowers, a Laurel Wreath to be worn on the head, a white Lonely Flower, a gold Pocket Watch, and a blue and white Lace Cap.
The bag tagged “Rorik” contains a flowing Black Cape, a black Cane, a sparkling Tiara, a high collared White Cape, and a single red Rose.
The final bag has Alex’s name on it, and inside there is a black Bowtie, a white Gentleman’s Hat, a glass Monocle, a jeweled Necklace, and a royal Crown.
- - -

The crowd whoops and cheers with the introduction of each team, and some trainers even hear their names called out. Peony giggles into the mic and flips her hair, she’s obviously enjoying that the spotlight has returned to her.

“Ok folks, the teams are going to take some time to get ready. Make sure to cheer really loudly for your favorites!” The lights dance around the stage once more, then stop and fade off. The crowd cheers and yells out the names of different teams and their Queens. Each group is escorted behind the stage to a section dubbed the “Greenery Room”. In reality, it was still outdoors, and tables were set up with each team’s different items, as well as some full-length mirrors with vanity lights.

“Mmkay everyone,” Peony addresses the teams, sitting on a stool in the front of the Greenery Room. “I’m gonna like, explain the rules for this part ok? All of those lovely items you were given are for you to dress your Pokemon up with. You can use up to five, ‘kay? You can totally share the stuff you have too, within your own team of course. Take the time you need to get ready, but not like, too long, duh.” She hops off the stool and gives you all a peace sign.
Rorik still couldn't believe it - Stahl had actually scored enough points to end up in second place, and help put Team Lilligant on top of the scoreboard!

Maybe now she won't harm us? I'd settle for being allowed to leave without any injuries, to be honest...

He hugged the blue Starmie, overwhelmed by its incredible performance, and now they even had a crowd surrounding and rooting for them. This was by far the strangest social experience of Rorik's life, who'd spent the majority of his existence locked up in the Lab. Actually, to his recollection, this was the first time someone else openly cheered for him at anything, since not only was he simply not the kind of person crowds rally behind, it simply wasn't part of the Heimlan way to overtly applaud and congratulate.

There was, however, no time to celebrate properly, because the next challenge was immediately laid out before them. This, however, was referred to as the last trial, which meant Rorik was almost free from the Garden Wars. All he had to do was... well, excel one more time and not drag his team down with his inadequacy. Nothing easier.

Peony, as it turned out, was the one to lay out the rules for the next challenge, and it if anything, it fit her oh so much more than it fit him - a "beauty pageant". Rorik's eyes rolled so hard it was a wonder they didn't get stuck in the back of his head - there was nothing worse for a man of science than the futility of appearances.

And now what do I do?, he wondered as he went over his item stash. Stahl, in all her natural wonder, would look positively ridiculous wearing any of those - her beauty was far deeper than any pageant judge could possibly see. And it was then that something completely unexpected happened.

In a flash of light, Munchlax broke free from his Ball, grinning widely as he looked around. Quickly, he approached the box with Rorik's name on it and began rummaging through the items, with a level of interest that the Professor simply did not know the bear possessed.

He's not looking for food, nor a place to sleep, and there's nobody around for him to beat up - so where is his motivation coming from?...

As if sensing his Trainer's confusion, Munchlax turned back around, winked at him and bowed respectfully like a very fat gentleman would. At this sight, Rorik couldn't fight back laughter - he understood now, the silly bear was just in the mood to have fun. There was nothing wrong with that either, although it was rare for Munchlax to actually care. Could it be that the bear was finally enough at ease around Rorik to goof around? He'd read in several studies that Pokemon tended to loosen up and enjoy themselves more when the Bond with their Trainer was stronger...

Methodically, as if every detail had already been thought of, Munchlax retrieved three items from Rorik's box, then moved on to his teammates'. Of course, asking for permission didn't even cross his mind, so Rorik had to intervene on his behalf.

"Lucas, Alex, I a-apologize for my Pokémon's b-behaviour," he stammered clumsily. "Please bear with it just a little longer... Oh, pardon the pun!"

He decided not to interfere with Munchlax's plan. After all, he agreed with his approach - it made sense that he would use the most items from the box designated to him, and only take one or two extras from other boxes. He didn't know the scoring criteria, but surely making the most of what was given to them had to count for something?

Munchlax, meanwhile, was indeed having a blast. Rorik, of course, had no way of knowing it, but while under Gottfried's care the bear had crossed paths with and battled all manner of Trainers - some of which so elegant and gentlemanly that even he was compelled to emulate them, often failing miserably. After all, men like the Kalosian Miracle, L'Artiste Luc de Beaufort exuded such an aura of elegance and confidence that it seemed the world itself was at their feet. And if skinny foreigners could pull it off, why not he, the mightiest Munchlax in all of Heiml?!


It took the Pokémon a while to get ready, but when he was finally done, Rorik's mouth went agape in disbelief. Everything was perfectly placed, perfectly chosen, to the point where one could almost forget they were looking at a fat, lazy bear beneath all that charm. Munchlax had chosen the White Cape, Cane and Rose from Rorik's own box, and borrowed the Gentleman Hat and Monocle from their teammate's crates, to create a truly spectacular disguise. He masterfully twirled the cane in his fingers like he'd seen Gym Leader Gertha's Marowak do so many times, clipped the rose with his claws to pin it on his fur and adjusted his position so that the wind would kick up his flowing white cloak for added dramatic effect.

Well, he did go to all this trouble to resemble the exact opposite of what he truly is... might as well face my anxiety and play along. He deserves it, he truly does. Well, here goes...

Clearing his throat while he felt himself blushing from the attention he commanded upon himself, the Professor spoke loudly and introduced the first entry of the Beauty Pageant:

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention? Please give your warm welcome to the consummate gentleman! The rose-wearing, monocle-carrying, hat-tipping, cane-twirling, cape-sporting..."

"... Lord Laxington of Munchester!"

Last edited by Maskerade; 09-12-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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