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Old 12-13-2003, 08:47 PM   #1
Lady Vulpix
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What happened inside the temple in Templa Taure

<Hero's POV>

After walking along the corridors for a while, Katnip and I had ended up in a gallery filled with sculptures. Most of them resembled Dragon pokemon, while I couldn't associate the others with any pokemon I knew, but they all looked draconian for some reason. We tried to search the place for anything useful, maybe a clue or something, but I could find nothing but some dust and, of course, the sculptures. I stared at them for a moment. They were old and rusty, but they had an air of magnificence, as if whoever had made them really admired what they were sculpting. I wondered why it was all about dragons here in Caledor.

After watching my surroundings for a while, I decided to share my thoughts with Katnip.
"Hey, why do you think there's so much dragon-themed stuff around here?"
The Raticate turned to look at me.
"I mean, I know many dragon pokemon live here, but so do many ghost pokemon and you don't see any ghost sculptures around," I considered. "Not that it would be easy to make one. I can barely imagine what one would look like."
"I dunno, it's a bit weird if ya ask me," Katnip reflected. "I think I heard there was some legend about dragon spirits or somethin' around these parts, dunno what it's all about tho." He then paused for a moment, obviously thinking of my last comment, and added: "shame Becks ain't here, he'd prolly come up with a description of one for ya..."
"We can always ask him later," I stated. "Of course, all the old legends in Caledor are about Dragons, aren't they? I think it's time to start building new legends."
Katnip rolled his eyes.
"Heh, did ya have any legends in mind?"
"Hmm... I wouldn't mind being in one. I mean, with all we've done... It has to count for something... What do you think?"
"Yeah, we should get someone ta write all these adventures down at some point, they'd make some great stories!"
Now the environment was getting more lively. I was glad I'd started the conversation.
"Too bad Gabi doesn't like writing about her real life, but I might convince Amber. She's somehow managed to get her thoughts into a couple of Dragon's Guild reports, so maybe she could help with this."
I paused to imagine the results of my own suggestion.
"I might have to edit out a few parts, though," I finally decided. "Maybe some of the beginning, and the part where we're walking along a gallery trying to find who knows what and having no luck at all."

I looked around once more, with less hope of finding anything relevant. For once I wished I had Tracker's senses. I could have put them to good use.
"I know someone who could be really helpful right now," my thoughts came out of my mouth.
"Yeah, who do ya have in mind?," Katnip asked.
It wasn't worth going on about her. She wasn't even close to Templa Taure.
"Nevermind, she must be still in Sector Alpha, or working on some case out there," I replied.
Though, for a moment, I wished she would suddenly make one of her surprise appearances. But no, we wouldn't be so lucky.

Next time I heard Katnip speak, he was standing on top of a statue. I had to give the guy credit, the place didn't look half as solemn while he was holding that pose.
"Man, this search is gettin' real borin'. Ya reckon we can give up on this gallery yet? We've not found anythin' useful in all this time!"
I sighed. He was right, if there was anything there, it was too well hidden for us to find it. And of course there was the very likely chance that there was nothing at all.
"Ok, let's go. If we haven't found anything useful yet, I doubt we ever will."

I walked my way to the end of the gallery. To put it bluntly, I didn't like what I found. Bah, bluntly or not I didn't like it. I was expecting to find a pool full of Gyarados, or something mysterious, or at least some enemies. Not this.
"Oh, great. A junction," I said expressionless.
"Too many of these things if ya ask me. I'd say we flip a coin but there's not around, so know any other ways of choosin' a direction?"
"By the sounds or scents would be good, except I'm not hearing anything but our voices, and everything smells of dampness," I complained. "We could explore both paths if they ended nearby, but I wouldn't count that much on luck. It's not like it's been on our side so far."
Katnip sighed.
"Okay, pick randomly then?"
"I grant you the honor."
"Okay... well, we've not been gettin' very far bein' sensible, so let's choose this way..."
I was expecting the Raticate to come up with an original method for making random chosen. What came instead was rather disappointing: just one of those rhymes that do nothing but waste your time and distract you from the fact that the result depends directly on what direction you were facing when the babbling began. At least he was decent enough to pronounce the rhyme under his breath, so I couldn't make out most of the words.
"We go right," he finally said, "how does that sound to ya?"
"Better than the method you used," I shook my head. "But I can't complain, since I let you choose. Let's go."
Just in case, I quickly headed to the right before he could start an argument about oral literature. It wasn't my forte anyway.

We kept on searching for a while, walking along some ridiculously long corridors. As I saw it, it was a matter of who would complain first. I was about to give up and do it, but Katnip saved me the trouble.
"Ugh, I hate havin' ta be stuck in these corridorsall the time, I'd much rather be outdoors."
"Why do you think they'd build the temple like this?," I seconded him. "Did they want everyone to get lost or is there something they didn't want anyone to find?"
"I'm bettin' it's the last option, and I'm also bettin' that whatever it is, it's what we need."
"Of course. It has to be that way. There's no way we could need anything that wasn't the hardest to uncover, right?," I let out a short chuckle. "But I guess it makes it more interesting."
"Heh, ya got that right, it wouldn't be much fun if there was no challenge."
I nodded and looked forward. Strangely enough, I couldn't see the end of the corridor we were walking along.
"Hmm... This is a long corridor, isn't it?," I commented casually.
"Yeah, it's bloody borin' if ya ask me, tho... wait, I think I can hear someone comin'!"

I tried to focus my hearing so that I could detect whatever Katnip was picking up. It took me a few seconds to notice the faint sound of a pokemon voice. I concentrated so that I could make out what it was saying.
"Demons feed off caution and fear, it makes no sense to edge along so slowly," was the first phrase I understood.
"I hope you're right...," a second voice replied.
"Trust me," the first one said. "When it comes to demons I'm quite the expert."
"Yanno, one of those voices sounds familiar..." Katnip commented.
"Hmm... Maybe, now that you say it," I answered. The truth is I wasn't quite sure. They sounded like an Eevee and a Meowth, but it was still too far for me to be sure if I knew either of them.

Soon, the voices stopped speaking. By the sound of the steps one went ahead and was getting closer to us.
"They're coming this way," I told Katnip. "We could hurry up and see how long this corridor really is, or we can wait here and get ready for anything. What do you prefer?"
"I think ya already know the answer," Katnip grinned. "Bracin' ourselves fer anythin' always seemed like the more interestin' choice."
"Okay then. I must admit my ribs still hurt from my encounter with Estel, but I still have plenty of tricks to pull out."

I crouched down, ready to use my Confuse Ray if necessary. Katnip also braced himself. All the talk about demons had led me to expect a confrontation with some really evil pokemon, but that was a weird night and nothing turned out as I expected. The Eevee that walked into my sight looked anything but evil. Of course, appearances could be deceitful but, if anything, this little pokemon looked shaken.
"Seems we have company..." the Eevee said. Then, the tone ofher voice became louder, as if it was meant to sound threatening. "Who are you? You don't seem like you should be here. Am I right?"
"Right back at you," I told her. "I see you don't have a pendant, so what are you doing here?"
"This was my home, I think I have a right to try and put things right!," replied the Eevee.
"Oh, you mean you're one of the pokemon from this forest? In that case, don't worry. We're doing the same as you are," I explained.
"I can't say I'm from the forest, but this has been my home for a while." She walked a few steps in my direction. I seemed to have calmed her down a little. "Well, it seems like I'm building quite a collection of outsiders today..."
"What do you mean?," I asked.

As if on cue, the Meowth who had been talking to her appeared from the back of the corridor. It turned out to be none other than Lucky. His voice preceded his image.
"What on earth were you going..." Lucky began, but then jumped in surprise when he saw us."What? Hero? Katnip???"
"Lucky!!," I returned the shout, as surprised as he was. But that wouldn't be my last surprise yet.
Straight out from the shadows came the bird I was most used to seeing, making the last kind of entrance I expected from him.
"I was wondering how long it would take for you to notice us," Pidgeot said.
"You were spying on us?," I roared. "Only for the last 30 seconds. I heard noises, so I hid in the shadows and... Look what I found!"
He let out a chuckle, but I didn't find the situation funny at all. Wasn't he supposed to have issues with Faint Attack or something? Or had he resolved them just in time to annoy me?
"Oh, by the way, this is Rhiannon," Lucky interrupted my train of thoughts. "We helped her get rid of one of the pendants earlier."
"Oh. Nice to meet you. I'm Hero, and my friend here is Katnip," I introduced us before turning to scold my oldest teammate. "And Pidgeot, don't you ever do that again."
"It's not like I'd find pleasure in sneaking around and watching you like a stalker," he excused himself. "Things just turned out like that, no worries."
"A pleasure to meet you both," Rhiannon spoke out at about the same time. "Now shall we get moving again?"
"Sure. Let's keep going," said Pidgeot, who'd somehow managed to hear her while he was speaking.
"Don't mind Rhiannon, you'll get used to her abruptness eventually," Lucky turned to me and Pidgeot. I can't say I knew what he was referring to, unless it was for her speaking on top of others.
"That was not abrupt at all. You should see an everyday conversation between Gabi and Ventura," I told him. "By the way, have you found anything interesting?"
"Other than our Eevee friend here, not really. You guys found anything?"
"Tons if ya happen ta like weird statues..." Katnip replied.
"And dust. let's not forget dust," I added. "I think I still have some stuck in my nose."
"Yeah, there's been tons of that as well," Katnip confirmed.

Rhiannon coughed up loudly, making it clear that she wanted our attention.
"We need to get moving," she said once she'd got it. "Now would you like to join us or do you stick to your little group?"
"Either way is fine," I said. "We split up to cover more area, but at this rate we may all end up getting lost on different corners of the temple."
"Rhiannon, I hope I'm not pressing you too much," Pidgeot began kindly, "but do you remember if, while you were possessed, you caught any of the spirit's thoughts?"
"I recall something about a central chamber... it had something to do with the possession process."
"That sounds like something we should be looking for," I pointed out. "Any idea where it is?"
"Beyond that there's nothing. I'm afraid my mind was elsewhere," she said while Pidgeot stared at me for some odd reason.
"It's alright. Thank you," the bird told her.
"At any rate, we should press on," she insisted. "I don't want to sound alarmist, but something seems amiss beyond the obvious tainting of the area."
"I was wondering why we hadn't been attacked yet," I mentioned.
"Say again?," asked Katnip.
"Oh, I think they know we're here," Rhiannon said in a gloomy tone. "It's in the nature of these beasts to toy with their prey, though."
"I don't like being toyed with," protested Pidgeot. "Let's get moving, so we can finish this off."
Now that was the Pidgeot I'd met years ago. I was beginning to fear he might have changed too much without my noticing. That wouldn't have helped my reputation among my teammates.


?? Lady VulpiX ??

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