“Let me get this straight, you came all this way to deliver an envelope?” I asked her still trying to understand the situation.
The faint remnants of rain could be heard on the roof of the house as the storm seemed to settle down.
“That just about sums it up,” she replied.
“Why not send me a message to the Poke Centers? I could have called once I got the message,” I asked her.
“The issue with that is that it is confidential information. It would have been far too risky to send it via fax,” she said.
“If it was that confidential, I would have put it on a secure line, but with what I read, none of it was confidential and would have been safe to send via fax,” I said.
“So what if it wasn’t confidential, it should only be read by researchers,” she said.
“And that was the reason you were removed from the senior staff. It was your stubbornness that caused your down fall,” I replied. “From the time I started working at the lab, I knew something was off, I told nobody about it. I wanted to make sure my suspicions were correct, and they were.”
“And whose the new member for the senior staff now?” she asked bitterly.
“You’re looking at him,” I replied.
“Why should you get it and not me?” she asked angrily.
“I devoted fifteen years of my life to this work, and look where it got me,” I said. “I traveled all around the region studying Pokémon, catching them for further research, making friends. That’s what a researcher does. Not once did I hear you talk about your own adventures, not once did you mention any of your research or what you even studied.”
“What’s your point?” she asked bitterly.
“My point is, if you truly are a researcher, why don’t you have any documentation of your own research?” I asked her.
“Why would I keep my research with the rest of the scientists?” she asked.
“To help understand the nature of Pokémon. Without us researchers, we would know nothing of Pokémon and how they interact with others in the wild,” I said.
“Where’s your proof of the interactions of Pokémon?” she asked bitterly.
“Right here,” I said pulling out three binders of notes from my backpack. “This is just the last year of research that I’ve done.”
“I’m sure most of it is false,” she said.
“How do you know it’s false without looking at it?” I asked her.
“I just do,” she replied.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Agustin standing by the end of the counter.
“Agustin, if you will,” I said.
He conjured up an aura sphere and threw it at my mentor, Anna. At the same time I put up a barrier just before the impact to contain the blast in a small area.
“If you don’t want another blast like that, then I suggest you shut your damn mouth about my research or I’ll have Agustin here give you another Aura Sphere,” I said after the smoke had settled.
She was sitting on the ground with her hands over her stomach and her back against the cupboards.
“What makes you think I’ll get my mouth shut?” she asked angrily still in a lot of pain.
“You wanna be scorched to death by Lily instead?” I asked her.
I knew she was ready to conjure up a Flamethrower.
“No,” she muttered down at her lap.
“Good,” I replied as I put the binders back into my backpack. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be taking our leave.”
With Lily and Agustin following, we left.
Ari had already gone ahead since she needed to get one last item from the store and would meet us at the entrance of town.
“Where’s your mentor?” Ari asked.
“She stayed behind,” I said walking past her.
“You alright, Tristain?” she asked.
“I’m fine,” I replied without looking over at her.
“You don’t seem fine,” she said.
“Just drop it Ari,” I said. “It doesn’t concern you.”
With that said, she fell silent.
By the time we got to the other side of town, Agustin informed us about an unexpected visitor. I stopped and turned around to find the other Riolu had been following us from a distance.
Once it saw that I knew it was there, she looked around frantically, and then made a mad dash to the nearest trash can to hide.
“You don’t have to hide from us,” I called out.
She nervously poked her head out at us from behind the trash can.
“You don’t have to hide from us,” I said again.
As I walked over towards her, she hid behind the trash can again. Once there, I looked down at her for a moment before she looked up at me.
Bending down, I got her level to give her a pat on the shoulder.
“You don’t have to hide from us,” I said to her.
Once Agustin got my side, the Riolu ran to him and hugged him.
“Is she alright?” I asked.
“She scared,” he replied.
She began to whisper something in his ear.
“What did she say?” I asked him.
“She says she didn’t like the other researcher…she says that would rather be with us,” he said as she continued to whisper in his ear. “Yet she can’t bring herself to trust you completely.”
“How come?” I asked.
“She says too scared to trust humans after what she went through,” he said.
“I see,” I said to myself.
Looking at her, I could tell that she trusted Agustin more than she could trust me or Ari.
“You wouldn’t mind staying with her until we got back to Twin Leaf Town, would you?” I asked him.
“N~no, n~not at a~all,” he said nervously.
“Come on,” I said. “We have a long journey ahead of us.”
Standing up I turned and headed west towards Route 208 where the others were still waiting.
“How long is the journey?” Ari asked.
“If we don’t get held up in Jubilife City, we should be in Sandgem Town by tonight,” I replied.
“Is this why we got up early?” Lily asked.
“It is, yes,” I replied. “I didn’t want to spend the night in Jubilife City, especially at this time of year.”
“What goes on at this time of year?” Ari asked.
“It’s the beginning of the annually Jubilife City festival,” I replied.
“Do you ever go to the festival?” Ari asked.
“It depends if I’m in the mood on going or not,” I replied.
Continuing through Route 208, Hearthome City grew farther behind us and just over the horizon, the entrance to Mount Coronet came into view. Slowly but surely, we made our way towards the entrance of Mt. Coronet.
“Agustin and Riolu, I need the two of you to stay close, alright?” I said to them.
“Ok,” I heard Agustin.
“Lu,” I heard the Riolu say shyly.
“It’s alright, you can trust him,” I heard Agustin say to the Riolu.
“It won't take us long to get to the other side,” I said as we entered the cave.
Once we were in the cave, I looked around at the stone that was around. Examining what I could see, I could tell that just regular old rock and not much too it. Stopping briefly, I pulled out an instrument and started analyzing the air and found some odd fluctuations. Taking note on what I found, we continued on and got to the other side of Mt. Coronet. Before leaving, I felt the cave entrance and felt the smoothness of the rock.
‘Who would take the time to smooth out the rock around the entrance?’ I thought to myself as I left the cave. ‘I would have to come back later to do more research.’
Exiting out into Route 207, the ground went from being rock to dirt and the surrounding area were mountain ranges. From what it looked like, the area hadn’t been traveled much but it somehow matched the layout of the mountain range.
We continued to travel west through the route until we came to a split in the route where it branched off to Route 206 and Oreburgh City.
“Where do we go now?” Ari asked.
“We head south,” I replied.
“South?” Ari asked. “Why south?”
“That’s where Oreburgh City is,” I replied.
“What’s in Oreburgh City?” Ari asked.
“It’s a mining city,” I replied.
“A mining city?!” Ari said in surprised.
“Yeah,” I replied. “I’m surprised I haven’t taken you through that city.”
“Can’t we go around it?” she asked.
“It’d take too long,” I replied. “Plus I hear they have a museum. We can stop there for a bit to eat lunch and look at the fossils they have.”
“What about getting back to Sandgem Town?” she asked.
“We’re ahead of schedule,” I replied.
“How so?” she asked.
“I would have been in that cave all day studying that area as well as the Pokémon that live there,” I replied.
“Can we make it short? I can’t stand the smell,” she asked as we entered Oreburgh City.
“That’s fine,” I replied.
Making our way to the museum, we made a quick lunch then went inside to explore the museum. Pulling out my notepad, I began to jot down some notes about the fossils that were on display. I jotted down the dimensions of each fossil as well as drawing a picture and labeling each of the different body parts.
It didn’t take long for me to get the notes that I needed and left the museum. We then headed west towards Route 203.
“Thanks for not taking too long with the notes,” Ari said.
“Sure thing,” I replied. “I can always come back to finish my research. I wanted to get a head start on that portion of research for Professor Rowan.”
With Oreburgh City fading from view, we began the trek towards Jubilife City. Ari and Lily ended up having another long conversation about what the life style of Jubilife City as well as the festival that would begin. Agustin and the female Riolu weren’t that far behind me, I made sure to keep them close in case if anything were to happen.
It wasn’t long before we Jubilife City came into view and Oreburgh was nothing more than a distant city on the horizon.
Looking around the city, we could see the decorations were already up and the people were putting up the final touches for the festival that would begin in a few hours. I couldn’t help but admire the decorations as well as all the shops that were placed around the city. From the looks of it, it seemed that the parade would go from the entrance of Route 218 to Route 203 and the food stands and gift shops would go from Route 204 to Route 202.
We took our time to explore the city and looked at some of the different gift shops that had a variety of different gifts as well as a variety of foods from all over the Sinnoh region.
“Ari,” I said.
“Yeah?” she said looking over towards me.
“We can come back when I drop off the notes for Professor Rowan,” I said.
“Really?” she said excitedly.
“Of course,” I replied.
“Thank you so much,” she said hugging me.
“It’s the least I could do,” I replied hugging her back.
We finished up with what we were doing and headed south towards Route 202.
Upon entering the route, I looked up to see that it was already early evening and that the sky would be changing colors soon. Even with the short trip to Sandgem Town, we made our way to the laboratory where I dropped off the notes and was quickly debriefed on the adventure. I even dropped off the other Riolu that had come along.
“Where’s Anna?” he had asked.
“She had something to do and wanted us to bring the Riolu back,” I replied.
“That’s not like her,” he said.
“I know,” I said. “I find it odd myself.”
“Anyways, I hear the festival is starting soon. You should go,” he said after hearing the news.
“Will you be joining us?” I asked him.
“No, not tonight,” he replied picking up the top binder. “I want to look over the notes that you gathered.”
“Right,” I said.
With that, we took our leave and headed back towards Jubilife City where we would enjoy the festival. It wasn’t often that we got to do something like this and would be a good way to be able to enjoy each other’s company for the night. With the festival lasting a couple of days, it would help us relieve the stress from the adventure and be able to be ourselves for the next few days.
As night fell, the festival began to pick up and soon began to become crowded with people. I had picked up Agustin so he could see the different gifts at the gift shops. Lily and Ari had gone off again to look at some of the gifts they liked.
Eventually the parade began and we met up at the fountain to watch it.
With Agustin being small, I put him on my shoulders so he could see the parade much easier and be able to enjoy the experience.
There were a variety of different floats as well as elegant costumes that went with each float, dancers, bands, and different Pokémon from across the region.
Eventually the parade ended. Agustin had already fallen asleep and we waited for the crowd the thin out before heading towards Sandgem Town.
Ari still seemed excited from the festival as we walked towards the town. I couldn’t help but smile.
“That was your first time going, wasn’t it?” I asked her.
“It was so much fun!” she said. “Why didn’t you take me in the last few years?”
“You were never around when the festival began,” I said. “We would depart ways before heading home, remember?”
“I know, but you could have told me about them,” she said.
“I know,” I said. “I thought it would be a good idea to surprise you.”
“Really?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I replied.
At this point we had left Sandgem Town and entered Route 201. I told her that she could stay at my place for the night and that we could go back to Jubilife City the next day.