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Old 05-13-2017, 06:22 PM   #75
Brains over Brawn.
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What you see and hear may not be as reinforced as you believe.

The Ribcage Mall.

: Ross only shrugs as you mention your reluctance to battle, before his brow furrows in annoyance at your mention of having the upper hand.

"Don't get cocky, kid, looks can be deceiving...detect what the water fox does," he growls as Kakahai, confident against this inferior Eeveelution gives a large yawn at the situation, attempting to reduce the will of the fire type, a small wave of pink bubbles drifting towards it, only for the fox to deftly roll to the side in a perfectly timed dodge, before staring at the Vaporeon, in anticipation of her next move.

"Snare it in a grass knot, then strike with a burst of fury swipes."

Surely he jests, you think to yourself, given neither of those moves make any sense. In fact, you're sure Flareon learns neither of those and are skeptical of the order, but as you watch in alarm, the Flareon stomps forward, tendrils of green snaking across to the surprised Vaporeon and wrapping around her legs, pulling them together and causing your companion to topple over. Thankfully her relatively low weight reduces a potentially powerful attack to be merely painful, and from her grounded position Kakahai still has a clear shot at the rapidly approaching Eeveelution, inhaling then spitting a jet of water at the fox's face, seeking to gun down the approach...

...only for the Flareon's skin to start melting, to your shock. No, it wasn't was closer to dissipating, as though the Flareon was only an illusion! As the true culprit bursts out, you hear Ross burst out into a laugh as a black fox with red markings begins to scratch at Kakahai's face and body, the Zorua having played you both for fools as Kakahai struggles free of the grassy bindings and puts some distance between her and the dark type.

"Hah! Like I said, looks can be deceiving, and I ain't dumb enough to use my Flareon against a Vaporeon. Still, the jig's up, Loki. Double team around the water thing, then get in with aerial ace before putting distance and blasting 'er with yer dark pulse!"

You've been tricked it seems, yet Kakahai is still raring to go despite taking some noticable damage, while your true foe stands before you, the Tricky Fox preparing to live up to its classification, having taken a respectable hit. How will you and Kakahai cover for your disastrous start?

Crystal Grove.

Missingno. Master
: "Was giving you the choice really necessary?" Donovan jokes as you give your word of assistance to the cause of hunting down and bringing this Black Scarab person to justice, with your own reasons for this being admittedly personal partly. "We'll get your Meowth seen to at the outpost, though for reasons that should be obvious I recommend withdrawing your Scolipede for now. Come, we head to the south."

With Salazar in the safety of his pokeball and your own safety reinforced more, you and Meowth start to follow Donovan and Hawkeye when the Chespin gives a chirp to him, showing him the tablet as he nods. Turning to you, the man explains that despite being technically wild due to lack of trainer, the Chespin mostly serves as a link between the Marshals and the Vanguard, and as such will be heading back to the headquarters to report on the recent activity, and that they'll rejoin the group in a few hours or so. The journey through the grove is relatively peaceful, and you're quick to note the architecture seems much more intricate the further south you venture, until you find yourselves at a small granite structure outside a fortified wall, with an enormous complex structure beyond the gates, the skies above absolutely swarming with flying pokemon.

"The Crimson Sanctum. The five hundred metres between here and the boundary gates down there are a no-man's zone. The Vanguard, however, are situated in the undercity," your companion explains as he unlocks the door on the granite building revealing a staircase. "Down here, and stick close. The place is a labyrinth, and the people have told stories of something unnatural said to stalk the undercity...something not of here." he whispers, as you get the feeling he's not willing to explain any further. Heading into the tunnel, you and Meowth are about to discuss the sights you've seen when a small red berry lands in the paws of your feline ally, handed by the Decidueye: a Cheri berry, which Meowth practically inhales in a manner that would make a Swalot jealous, paralysis abating though he still feels a little sore from the previous sortie.

The walk through corridors is long, and Donovan seems quite knowledgable, so if there's anything you and Meowth were curious on regarding the scenario before you, be it the sanctum, the Shells, the unnatural phenomenom, or even about the man himself and his group, now would be the best time.

Crimson Sanctum.

Gemini Spark
: Your surprise and confusion surrounding Neemee is shared with Chex, but given the unusual figure seems smarter than it looks, and the fact it hasn't tried to kill you, you feel you can trust them for now. Giving your response, the robed figure seems to bounce a little on the spot in joy.

"Many thankings to kyu! Me-me will open ghost tunnel now!" they squeak, as they shuffle over to a spot in the cobbled road, before seemingly procuring a thick branch from absolutely nowhere, digging it into the stone and then hefting down to raise the stones, revealing a shaft. Beckoning you and Chex over, Neemee enters first, the stick starting to strain a little from holding up the heavy rock.

"Please grab me-me's stick! Very close to me-me!" they echo as they descend, as you and your Scizor enter the tunnel despite the slight squeeze on the Scizor's part, the sectre entrance closing with a dull thud, sealing you in darkness. As you continue to descend, you see a small flicker of orange beneath you, the stranger having conveniently lit up a torch. Reaching the bottom, you then notice the walls.

Solid stone, seemingly carved by something sharp and strong into dust, in an irregular waving pattern. Wherever this was beneath the cathedral complex, it was very far down.

"Very dark down here. Kyu have light-light though! Me-me lead way, kyu get lost on own. Bang-bang squads not know of ghost tunnel, only ghosts know!"

You and Chex proceed through the rocky cave behind Neemee slowly, as the only sounds you hear are your footsteps...specifically yours and your Scizor's. As you start to think, you notice that Neemee seems to be gliding across the ground, with no sign of feet moving, as though they didn't have any. The masked figure occasionally looks back at you, ensuring you haven't fell behind, giving the occasional squeak, until the three of you emerge at a larger cave, adorned with small gemstones you recognise as quartz, of little monetary value.

"Oh yes, me-me knows this cave! Close to big castle, gates above us! Far above us! Easy way in! Me-me has ways in!" Gesturing with their stick, Neemee points you towards a rocky rubble wall, clearly a cave-in which has occurred due to the lack of steady structure. "Wall fall down, tunnel to cat bee homes behind it! Me-me not strong, not move! Kyu come in, kyu move with hard bug, then me-me get self, we-we make bang-bang squads cry!"

At the request, you point Chex in the direction of the fallen rocks, asking him to clear the way. As the Scizor approaches, however, the stones begin to move, as if they have a mind of their own...the blockage grumbles and swirls into a vaguely humanoid shape, with lumpy fists and a crimson wedge in the centre. The figure then swings a stony fist forward, forcing Chex to hop back as what seems to be a Regirock stands before you...if Regirock were four foot tall and had large noses, which they most certainly do not.

"Ah! Pass-nose again! Very sneaks, such magnets, much ores, wow!" Neemee squeaks as Chex finds himself slowly pulled in the direction of the rock-caked Nosepass, which appears to be blocking the way forward. Well, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, literally, and the golem-cosplaying moai doesn't want you to proceed, as a fight seems all but certain. How will you deal with this problem?
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