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Old 06-15-2017, 05:47 PM   #70
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Hearing about the Budew’s background, Lucas couldn’t help but feel empathy for the outcast bud. Deciding to follow Petunia’s suggestion, he turned to ask her if she would accompany him to the Roserade queen and possibly vouch for him. Petunia smiled and nodded, answering, “Sure, I can take you there. I have to let you know though, she doesn’t let volunteers like me do any watering or maintenance on her so I don’t know how good my word is with her… You’ll see when we get there.”

The two of them then proceeded down the various paths of the rose section of the garden. Much like the flower bed where they met, there were countless other flower beds filled with Roselia who were posing like picture-perfect models. The further in they walked, the more maze-like the garden became. Large sections of flower beds became tall hedges that were filled with roses. It was when they finally made it to the back corner of the garden that it opened up into a large clearing.

The corner of the rose garden seemed to resemble an outdoor throne room, a long aisle was covered in fresh rose petals and surrounded by lines of the most beautiful Roselia posing on either side. At the end of the passage was a large flower bed that was elevated by a couple of layers of stone steps. Standing atop the steps was the Roserade queen in all her glory; her roots Ingrained in the soil to take in nutrients while her arms were raised elegantly in order to photosynthesize. She was adorned with a crown of thorn-less roses around her head and a pair of Budews stood at her roots, watering them with Water Sports.

“You might want to bow briefly before approaching her,” Petunia whispered to Lucas, “Just play along.” While she maintained a serious face as to not offend the Roserade queen, Lucas could see a softness in Petunia’s expression that indicated she was having a fun time with this. Stepping onto the rose covered pathway, Petunia briefly lowered her head and grabbed her apron as if it were a dress. “Your highness, a visitor has come to speak with you,” she announced. She waited to see how Lucas would act next.

Perplexed as to why the feisty Pancham didn’t enjoy her gift of confetti, Patches watched on as Mio and Pancham continued to duke it out. Both Pokemon were beginning to wear down, and Patches knew she needed to wrap things up quickly in order to catch up to Kei and Stufful. She pulled out a Pokeball in hopes of trying to work things out with the Pancham at a later time. Turning her attention back to the battle, Patches finally called out some orders to Mio in a rare moment of responsibility.

Mio was excited to finally have her trainer’s support, especially after the confetti letdown. She nodded and prepared to face the Pancham once more. As Pancham charged in, Mio brushed him with a Tail Whip as Pancham countered with a Tackle, pinning Mio to the ground. Not to be deterred, Mio quickly jolted the Pancham with a Thunder Shock knocking him off of her. Pancham slowly got to his feet, angrily Leering at Mio in defiance. Level up for Mio!

Patches took this opportunity to then throw her Pokeball at the Pancham, so seemed weakened enough. The ball connected with the panda and sucked it in with a red laser before landing on the ground. It shook once… twice… and then three times before popping back open to reveal the battered Pancham. It angrily fixed its gaze on Patches, not ready to relinquish its freedom just yet. Patches was in a bind here, but she had no time left to waste. Calling upon her Swablu, Ciri, she asked the cotton bird to fly up and look for Kei. Ciri let out two quick chirps before taking to the air. She began flying in the direction of the cluster of trees, trying to point Patches in the right direction.

While all of this was going on, Kei was determined to complete his mission. The Charmander stepped out from the bushes, completely blowing his cover, and walked up to the Stufful who was being yelled at by a Timburr. Kei gently wrapped his arms around the Stufful, embracing him in a hug as Timburr watched on incredulously. With a shrove from his forearm, Timburr pushed Kei off of Stufful, angrily accusing Stufful of bringing a bodyguard to protect him. Stufful continued to shake where he stood, desperately trying to deny the accusation. It seems like Kei made things worse for Stufful. Maybe it would be best to rejoin with Patches and bring her here for assistance.

A nervous energy coursed through Elka as she watched her young Skitty battle this fearsome predatory bird. It wasn’t a favorable situation, but the least she could do was offer support to Mochi as a Pokemon trainer. Watching the Fearow flap its wings and take to the air, Elka quickly thought up a strategy and called it out to Mochi. The Skitty listened attentively and nodded, letting out a “Mew” of confirmation.

Fearow cawed angrily, flapping its wings slowly. The wingbeats got faster and faster as the bird build up some momentum and circled around Mochi. Unfortunately for Mochi, there was no dodging in this situation as Fearow spun into a corkscrew, ramming the Skitty at blinding speeds for an Aerial Ace. Mochi yelped in pain, but did not let the hit deter her as she roared out a Hyper Voice. The booming sound was quite loud, causing Teddiursa and Pascal to cover their ears. Fearow was taken aback, the sudden noise disorienting it mid-flight as the bird lost its bearing and crashed down to the ground.

Both Pokemon took some heavy hits this round and both are beginning to breathe a bit heavier. Mochi has used up quite a bit of energy so far, so finishing this battle sooner rather than later would probably work best in her favor. Getting back to its feet, Fearow began to stare the Skitty down. As it prepared for its next attacks, the Fearow looked as if it were about Peck at Mochi and then follow it up with a Pursuit. How will Elka and Mochi decide to counter?

Hiero breathed a sigh of relief as the battle was now over and Junpei the Heracross was now an official member of his team. He knelt down next to Tomoko and congratulated her on a hard fought battle, giving her a well-earned rest in her Pokeball. Turning his attention back to Junpei, Hiero decided to follow through on his promise to treat his Pokemon to a good lunch and heal them up in the process. Getting back to his feet, Hiero set course for the rangers’ cabin, which was located in the Galea Plains; a resting place for trainers to heal their injured Pokemon and regroup.

As he headed South in the direction of the Galea Plains, Hiero noticed as the trees in the forest began to thin out very gradually. Many of the trees were smaller in size too, in comparison to some of the behemoths that grew in the Cloud Forest. He continued walking south for about an hour, accompanied only by the chirping of birds, the buzzing of insects, and the gentle rustle of leaves in the wind above. Eventually the forest trail took him through one last cluster of trees before opening up into the expansive foothills that were the Galea Plains.

Lush green rolling hills beneath a vast blue sky extended as far as the eye could see before him, with a wall of trees marking the Cloud Forest behind him. A few small trees scattered the plains before Hiero, providing small oases of shade atop some of the hills. A signpost next to where Hiero stood at the forest’s edge marked directions to all kinds of areas in the Cloud Garden, including the Galea Plains before him, the Cloud Forest behind him, and many others, but one direction of note pointed him to the southwest; the Ranger’s Cabin.

Following the path in that direction, it wasn’t long until long before Hiero spotted a wooden cabin in the distance. As he approached it, Hiero noticed a sign on the door. It read, “Welcome, travelers! The ranger is out at the moment, but please make yourself at home!” Taking the message to heart, Hiero opened the door and stepped inside. Inside the cabin, he noticed that it was pretty bare-bones, but there were a number of cots for sleeping, a small kitchenette, and a healing machine for trainers to use. He walked over to the healing machine and placed Junpei and Tomoko’s Pokeballs in it, pressing the button to activate the machine.

While he waited for the healing machine to do its thing, Hiero looked around the kitchenette. In the cabinets above, there were containers of various kinds of food to cater to different kinds of Pokemon. There was also some bread and fruit on the counter and sandwich ingredients in the refrigerator. Hiero proceeded to make lunch for himself and his Pokemon. By the time he finished preparing the meal, the healing machine let out a “Ding!” to signify that it had finished. Sitting down at a table to eat with his Pokemon, Hiero noticed a poster on the wall.
“Looking to ascend Mt. Zephyria? Challenge the Cloud Garden trials today! Trial captains of the Galea Foothills can be located at the woodcutter’s cabin in the Cloud Forest and at the altar of the Stone Shrine. Once the first two trials have been cleared, one may travel up the Starline Waterfall!”
With a goal now in sight, Hiero had time to finish lunch with his Pokemon and prepare for the adventure ahead. He could do a number of things: explore the Galea Plains where he is now located, look to challenge one of the trials in the Cloud Forest or Stone Shrine, or travel to another area in the Galea Foothills to explore around. What will he choose? [Please reply in lightgreen]
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