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Old 10-07-2017, 05:26 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by morningstar View Post

As you patted Staryu with praise, it spat several bubbles in happiness. It watched you as you mumbled aloud some parts of the riddle, listening for anything that might stand out. This time, the words on the page felt different. Perhaps you were being rewarded for making it this far. Still, the answer came to you in a flash along with a flood of memories. You spoke the answer aloud, “Fire”, and Staryu’s gem blinked a few times in agreement. You again called upon your other partner, and Munchlax appeared before you in the cave. He let out a loud yawn that echoed throughout the room. After rubbing his eyes, the Pokemon looked refreshed from the short break you had allowed him. He paid surprisingly close attention as you explained your plan.

You took to different sides of the cavernous room, looking over the eight torches that lined the wall. Munchlax sniffed the air beneath one that was a bit too high for him to reach. The torch you began to look at did not look particularly special. Each was comprised of a thick cylindrical stone with a rounded top. There was some kind of material wrapped around the top of the torch that provided a source for the crackling fire. After a few moments of observing the torch, you hear a repetitive thudding noise. You turn to look at Munchlax, who was jumping and flailing his arms toward the torch on the wall. A shockingly high jump allowed his claw to graze the bottom of the torch. The torch fell forward with a loud clicking noise, but it didn’t leave the wall. Instead the wall behind it moved forward and kept the torch in place at a ninety-degree angle. Munchlax looked satisfied with its work and waddled back to you, a grin on his face. There was another loud click, and you and Munchlax looked back at the torch. It had clicked back into place, looking like it had never had moved at all.

Meanwhile, Staryu was looking at the paper on the ground again, occasionally shining its gem on it.
“HYA” It called out to you and Munchlax. You bent down to take a look at whatever Staryu had noticed. The light of its gem was focused on a section of the paper that was oddly blank. It was difficult to see with Staryu’s red light, but you could make out the outlines of some kind of pictures. The light shone brightly through certain parts of the paper.

Spoiler: show
Rorik smiled as he looked at Munchlax. The bear, small in stature but big in weight, jumped and flailed his arms about in decidedly cute fashion while trying to reach the torch, but the Professor wouldn't dream of saying such a thing to his proud companion. Still, it wasn't just the sight that made him crack a smile - but the realization that Munchlax was actually trying, putting in the effort like he'd done in the Bunnelby battle and subsequent chase. Between those displays and his other achievements at Cloud Garden and the Black Bayou, it was becoming more and more apparent that the once-lazy, egotistical bear had changed tremendously in his journeys alongside Rorik.

Have I changed half that much? Could I ever?

Finally, the Normal-Type's efforts seemed to have paid off, as he grabbed the torch and tilted it, causing the wall behind it to move forward... only to resume its original position shortly afterwards, as if nothing'd happened. Still, they had to be on the right track - no ordinary torch did such a thing. But perhaps there was a method to this new riddle, rather than simply the answer of "fire"...

Just then, like clockwork, Staryu reacted. Turning around, Rorik saw its red light shining on the paper, which now displayed a very different clue... a visual one!


Whoever it was that had organized this little treasure hunt (that could very well lead to no treasure whatsoever!) had to be a very special individual. Even now, after Rorik had solved so many clues, the riddler continued to surprise him!
Kneeling down, the Professor glanced through the note's contents once again, then closed his eyes and took of his glasses to clean the lenses one more time, like he always did when concentrating...

What if... that's it!

He turned around and walked back to the entrance from whence they'd come, then winked at his friends.

"You've been doing all the work so far... leave this one to me, ok? Just make sure to watch my back!"

He took a long look around the cave, counting to himself as he did.

Eight in total...

If his hunch was right, then Munchlax had done the right thing earlier, but in the wrong order. And now that Staryu had revealed the next lead, he was all the more certain of that fact. Pulling the torches was indeed the correct way to go, but there was a proper way to do it if they wanted to progress. The only question left was... how should he count the torches?

The way I see it, only one order makes sense. The first torch should be the one farthest to my left from the entrance, making the one farthest to my right torch number eight... It's worth a shot at least.

Those images had to be a code, and they had to be related to the torches: deductive reasoning dictated that much. As such, there could only be one meaning to the highlighted body parts... they represented which torches to pull. They had to! Otherwise, he'd be hopelessly stumped.

"Well, here goes nothing..."

The first picture showed a Graveler with its four arms, so Rorik approached the fourth torch from the left and pulled it. Afterwards, there was a Solrock with its eight rocky edges resembling sun rays, and as such, Rorik pulled the very last torch to his right. From there, he went for the third torch, recalling the picture of Bonsly and its three "buds". Then it was back to the fourth torch, represented by the four craters highlighted on the Lunatone gravure... and finally, the very first torch to the left, as indicated by Roggenrola's one single eye.

And now... we wait.
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