For the habitants of the forest, it was rare to see something like this… but they didn’t seemed to give much attention anyway.
The scene switched at three shadow running, two little, and one massive, which seemed to carry a fourth shadow, apparently injured. They looked like they were running for their lives… and their conversation didn’t arranged anything.
« I really wish I still had my legs when I was younger ! » panted Frank, which seemed really tired because of his sprint.
« W-where are we going like this ? » almost screamed Alicia, who was just besides the young Riolu.
« Well, away from them, of course ! I don’t wanna get hit by a Psybeam, even I know that it’lll hurt ! »
« N-no, whut she meant wash-»
« PETER !!! How many times do I have to tell you to not eat when your mouth was full !? » yelled the old turtle at the injured Nuzleaf was eating Oran Berries that were in Alicia’s bag in order to recover.
« Sh-shorry… »
Louis couldn’t help but grin by hearing this. He imagined that the Carracosta was a strict figure, but he wouldn’t have thought that he would be such a doting dad… even with his friends. (Man, I really wonder how his surroundings think about him.)
« A-anyway » said Peter after finishing his meal, « what she said was, where’re we going exactly ? »
« Huh ? »
« You mean you don’t know where you’re leading us ?! » yelled in furry the Water-Rock type Pokemon in anger.
« Hey, I’m new around here ! Excuse me for not knowing where I am ! » replied Louis in annoyance. « Besides, there’s no way this situation could get any wor-»
« EVERYONE, STOP ! »
The autoritary tone of the Grass-Dark type Pokemon made everybody stop, just before what looked like an entrance to somewhere… and Louis could tell this was somewhere dangerous. Because he could feel a little, yet strong aura emanating from it. In fact, it was as if the enrgy was escaping from it.
« Is that… »
« A Mystery Dungeon ! » anticipated the Nuzleaf.
(Why can’t I shut my mouth sometimes ?) thought an annoyed Louis, who silently facepalm.
« O-oh no… not now. » Alicia said, now scared again.
« Calm down, Alicia. It’s not the first time you entered one. » said Frank, trying to reassure his child.
« B-but it was in school, Grandpa ! It was fine then, but now I-»
Bip ! Bip ! Bip !
The four Pokemon turned their head worriedly towards the origin of the sound. It appeared that their pursuers were heading to them, and fast.
« Well, seems like we don’t have much of a choice here » said Louis, looking at the others. « We have to head in ! »
« I-I’ll take the lead. » said Peter, trying to get off Frank’s arms.
« Are you sure ? You’re still hurt » told him the latter, with clear worry in his voice.
« Nah, ah’m fine now ! Those berries were pretty good, and they filled me up with energy ! » Peter smiled to the old Carracosta.
« …Okay then. » And with that, he released him. The Nuzleaf then walked toward the Emanation Pokemon. « You’ll be just behind me, just in case. You’re okay with that ? »
A silent nod with a determinate look was enough for him.
« I’ll get everyone’s back. » Now it was Frank’s turn to speak. « Like this, I’ll tell you if I see them. »
« W-well… I suppose that m-means… I’m just b-behind you. »
Louis turned to see the timid and hesitant face of he female Pikachu which was now behind him. He couln’t help to notice her scars on her cheeks… and her beautiful blue eyes. (Pretty…)
And of course, the paternal figure took notice of this.
« Stop daydreaming, you two ! Do I have to remind the situation we’re in ?! »
Immediatly, the two younger Pokemon snapped out of their thoughts.
« Aaah, s-sorry ! »
« D-dont worry, it’s fine. »
« Okay, little troup, are ya ready ? » Peter took the nod of everyone as a yes. « Here we go ! »
And with the Wily Pokemon’s instruction, the little gang ran towards the forest. And when they entered the Mystery Dungeon, Louis could feel a strange energy all around him… and also behind him.
« The Dungeon’s entrance’s not here anymore. » said Frank. « They won’t follow us this way. »
« Uh ? »
« Which means we’ve gotta find a safe place, and fast ! » said Peter.
« Right ! »
And so, the little group ran, guided by the injured Nuzleaf. Louis looked all around him : the trees seemed connected all together, forming a hallway. As he continued to run, he couldn’t help but wonder, what did the Carracosta meant by they won’t follow them this way ? Does he meant hat something happened ? Was that what he felt when he entered the Mystery Dungeon ? Sure, he knew what it was, since he played at all the games, but he didn’t knew how it worked until now… nor did he cared, either.
« Hey, everyone ! Stop ! »
Once again, the group stopped in their halt, resulting to the giant turtle to almost fall on the kids.
« What is it ? »
« Shhh ! Look ! »
The group did as told, and could see why. A group of Paras and Doduo was sleeping in what looked like a medium room in the forest.
« T-There is so m-many of them… » whispered Alicia.
« I would have taken down easily, but considering the situation we’re in now… » grunted Frank.
Then, Louis noticed something at the end of the room. A weak, little light… which for some reason, Louis could feel as an exit, since the same energy from before entering the dungeon, only this time, he could feel the energy running towards it. Peter, who has noticed the Riolu’s face, confirmed his thoughts.
« It’s the exit of the dungeon. »
« What ? Already ? » asked an atonished Louis. He knew some of the dungeon were short in the beginning, but it took at least three or four floors, not just one.
« Yeah, kid. But we don’t wan’t’em to wake up, eh ? So keep quiet and don’t make any sounds, or else we’ll be in big trouble. »
« Okay. »
The little group began to cross the medium « room ». They tried to be as silent as possible… but something happened in the middle of the room.
« A-aah ! »
The female Pikachu tripped into something, probbly a branch. Letting a surprised cry, she wa about to fall…
And then, she felt something catch her by her head.
« Whoa ! You’re alright ? »
Alicia looked up to the one who grabbed her, which was none other than the Emanation Pokemon. Apparently, he saw her fall coming, so he grabbed her just in time.
« Y-yes, I’m fine. Thank y-»
« HEY ! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH HER ?! »
The autoritary voice of Frank was sol oud tht it made them yelp, jumping in surprise… and it also made every Pokemon in the room wake up.
« Oops… »
« G-grandpa ! »
« God damnit… »
« RUUUUN !! »
For the third time today, the little group obeyed to the Nuzleaf’s command. The four escaping Pokemon ran toward the exit as fast as they could, trying to avoid the waves of spores and becks. And once they reached it, They arrivd at what looked like a safe spot, which was a little room. Louis could feel the strange energy behind him… and towards him, at the end of the room.
« What’s this ? Another Mystery Dungeon ?! »
« Sounds like it… kid. » confirmed Peter, which was slowly recovering and panting.. « Ya said… ya didn’t knew… that place, right ? »
« Well, we just passed a portion of the dungeon inside the Open Pass. It’s connected to another dungeon in the Lush Forest… or at least, another portion. »
« A… another portion ? »
The confused look of the Riolu attracted everyone’s curiosity.
« You… you don’t know how a Mystery Dungeon work ? » asked worriedly Alicia, who was next to Peter.
« Well, I know what it is, but I don’t know how it works completely. It’s my first time entering one, after all. »
At this, everyone let out a gasp.
« Really, kid ?! Ya never entered one before ?! » asked a very surprised Nuzleaf.
« Well, no… I never had to. I mean, I heard about it once or twice, I know the basics, how it is different everytime you entered it, but I don’t know why. And there’s no Mystery Dungeon near my home, so… »
« That didn’t stopped you to hit the Beheeyem with you powers. »
Louis turned to see the Prototurtle looking at him. But the look and the tone of the voice he used indicated him that the elder was very suspicious of him already.
« N-no, but I trained with my dad… time to time… so I know how to defend myself… » Louis then turned to Peter. « Anyway, what did you meant by « another portion » ? »
« O-oh. » Peter was a little taken aback by this turn of event, but answered netherless. « Well, ya see kid, a Mystery Dungeon is a place that changes constantly, like ya said. The dungeon we just exited was short today, but it could have taken the Open Pass entirely. » Louis gave him another nod, which was enough to let the Nuzleaf continue. « But the thing is, there’s a weird energy which travel into this kind of place. Nobody knows how it works in detail, or when exactly it appeared… It just take a different form everyday, or when we enter it, and it changes of place. For example, today, it could have been two more rooms in the dungeon. »
« Okay, so if I resume it correctly, a strange magic power transform this place everyday and everytime we enter it ? »
« Pretty much, kid. And it seems like luck his with us this time. » added the Nuzleaf with a smile.
« Because you call having him with us luck ? »
The autority voice of Frank surprised everybody… especially Louis.
« Uh ? What does that mean ? »
« It means that we’re in this mess because of you ! » angrily said the Carracosta, pointing hs « fingers » towards the Riolu, which surprised everyone even more
« WHAT ? »
« There, there, mister Frank, » tried to reassure Peter. « Ah think ya’re a little harsh on the little buddy. »
« Oh, but quite the contrary ! Think about it a second : why someone would chase a kid, if not because he’s a trouble maker ?! »
« What ?! » If Louis was not angry before, he was now. « Are you saying that I attacked them ? They’re the one who wanted to find me ! »
« Of course ! » retorqued the older Pokemon. « And next you’re gonna say that you woke up in this forest, completely randomly, and that you don’t remember what happened to you ! »
« Wh- YES ! That’s exatly what happened to me ! I woke up here, in a forest I never went to before, and I don’t remember why ! Then, those Beheeyem come out of nowhere, and they searched me ! And again, I don’t know why ! » As the Riolu explained his situation, the two other Pokemon where looking at him strangly. « But they found you guys instead, and they wanted to litteraly KILL YOU, which could have happened if I haven’t done anything ! Why is it so hard for you to understand ?! »
« Because I know how you kids work ! » yelled more the Carracosta. « Always planning something nasty to other Pokemon who haven’t asked for anything, and then trying to put the blame on someone or something else ! You kids just never learn from your mistakes, and that’s all ! »
« If I’m like this, then I don’t know what to say about you, » Louis then pointed his finger towards Frank, « but I can assure you you’re not better than me in that case, old man ! »
That caught everybody outguard, and especially the Prototurtle Pokemon, who didn’t hesitated a single second to express his exploding anger… again.
« WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME ?! »
« You heard me ! Let me remind you, again, that all of you guys were in danger, and could have simply take your life away without me. And back in the dungeon, I think I’m not the one who shouted at full force in a room full of sleeping, savage Pokemon who could have done God know what ! »
« Oooh, you’re sooo gonna regret this ! No one called me like that and got away with -»
« STOP THAT ! BOTH OF YOU !! »
Once again, the voice of the Nuzleaf had an immediate effect. (Man, this guy sure know how to make others obey…) thinked the Riolu.
« Ah know that all of us are scared right now, but it ain’t a reason to yell at each other like that ! » He then pointed at Frank, « The kid’s right, ya know. Just because those Pokemon were looking for him doesn’t mean he really did something to them, and without him, they could have done Arceus know what to us ! », then turned to Louis. « And ya kid should watch yar mouth. Even if you’re right, that ain’t a reason to insult an adult ! »
Bip ! Bip ! Bip !
« T-the Beheeyems ! » The alerted cry of Alicia made them snap. Judging by the sound, they were coming, and fast.
« Not to mention the others are coming ! So save your energy for running okay ? »
The two concerned Pokemon looked at Peter, then to each other. And quickly after that, the older adult spoke.
« Uuurm… fine ! But remember this, kid, this story between us is not over ! »
« Don’t you think I’m a little too young for that kind of thing ?» replied with a taunting tone in his voice.
« What was that ?! »
« I SAID STOP AND RUN ! » yelled the Nuzleaf.
And so, the four Pokemon reformed their formation before entering the dungeon of the Lush Forest, with all the tension built up… and all the