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Old 06-26-2017, 11:57 AM   #87
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Originally Posted by morningstar View Post

You and your Pokemon headed back towards the shrine, Staryu a bit more hurried and excited than you were. Sure, this seemed like some kind of fool’s errand, but it didn’t hurt to give it a chance. The two of you headed back up on to the main platform of the shrine, footsteps echoing on the hollow wooden structure. Staryu took to the large door of the shrine, gem glowing with a slight buzzing noise as it inspected each square inch. You started looking low, fixated on finding something that could lead to the underground. Crouching next to a stone pillar that held the shrine up, you looked carefully at the foundation. Though it looked to be crumbling with age, a slight push proved that it was rather solid. There weren't any secret buttons or levers to be found here. You moved instead on to the ground level of the shrine, trying to see if you could spot anything under the floorboards. The sun, now directly overhead, did not provide you with enough light to clearly see anything of interest.

THUMPATHUMPATHUMP. THUD. The sudden tumbling noise startled you, and you immediately looked in its direction. The source was from Staryu, who had tried unsuccessfully to descend the stairs of the shrine. It now lay face-down at the bottom step. Sighing at the sea-star’s clumsiness, you headed to its side to help it back up. You righted Staryu again, who possibly looked embarrassed to take such a fall.

“HYA.” It stated, acknowledging your help. It wandered to the opposite side of the shrine from you, hoping to find something to impress you with. You watched as it continued to scan individual spots of dirt, making a disappointed sound when it came up with nothing. Intent on continuing your observation of this Pokemon, you found yourself wondering how this scanning method really worked. As it turned the corner around the shrine out of sight, you realized you should probably get back to your own searching. But where would you look next?

This is absurd! I am a certified Pokémon Professor! I should not be struggling with petty games such as this!

Frustration was getting the better of Rorik, who for all his studies and his theories and his published work couldn't seem to figure out a simple nursery rhyme. His search had been thorough, meticulous and he had an assistant to boot! However, to make matters worse, that very assistant seemed to have forgotten how to walk all of a sudden.

"Oh for Arceus's sake..."

Sighing, Professor Pine walked over to the faller starfish who'd just tripped down the steps for whatever reason, lying face down on the ground along with its remaining dignity. Rorik dropped to one knee and helped the Water-Type up, then watched as it resumed its silent search with no apparent difficulties. Strange, that...

I scoured every inch of this shrine already, and nothing turned up. Could it be that the answer isn't inside the building at all? There was something about the way the riddle was phrased...

His heart racing, Rorik unrolled the slip of paper again and re-read the entire text two more times, then shifted his gaze back to Staryu, then back at the parchment... could it be?

"H-hey, Staryu? Come back here," he suddenly said out loud. "Why did you trip down and fall?"

As he spoke, he brought his face closer to the ground, ignoring the dust on his glasses and taking a better look at the wooden steps where his partner had seemingly lost its footing.

"The next hint's the first step too..."
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