Team Valor slowly awoke to find it was near midday. A note was left on the entrance doorway to the room. Curious, Rosa reached up and took the note off of the wall.
"Now, what could this be...?" Rosa asked herself as she looked the note over. "Oh, I see, Chatot gave us the day off since the expedition was a success. That makes sence..."
"Rosa, what are you babbling about?" Naomi groggily said rubbing her eyes.
"Nothin'. Just that Chatot gave us the day off." Rosa said. "Hold on... Ah, there's an add-on here saying he would like to see us."
"Well, what for?" Shin'ichi asked, hopping down from his tree root bunk. "We didn't mess anything up on the expedition, did we?"
"At least I don't think so," Rosa said. "He just wants to see us."
"Well, might as well get this out of the way," Shin'ichi said, stretching his arms. "Let's go see what the head Honchkrow wants..."
"Ah, there you three are!" Chatot said as the three members of Team Valor emerged from the hall. "Yes, I have a rather simple request for you three today."
"So, what would you like sir?" Rosa asked.
"Well first," Chatot started. "I must congratulate you three for an excellent job on the expedition. Without you three, we would have never found the lake."
"Oh, well thank you sir," Rosa said perkily. "We were glad to help out."
"Yes, yes, now," Chatot said. "Concerning your assignment for today, I need you three just to head down to Treasure Town and ask if the Kecleon Brother have any plans to stock Perfect Apples."
"Oh, I see," Naomi said. "That way you don't have to sen an exploration team to Apple Woods every time to restock."
Chatot nodded. "Now, this is the only thing I will be asking of you today. I will see you three back shortly."
Naomi gave a salute. "You can count on us sir!"
"So, compared to yesterday, this seems relatively simple." Rosa said as the three walked into town. "Just need to check on the store and see if they plan on stocking Perfect Apples."
"Yeah," Shin'ichi said. "You guys go ahead. I gotta deposit our money from the past couple of missions."
Naomi nodded. "We'll meet you there!" She said as Shin'ichi stopped in front of Duskull Bank.
"He seems nice." Rosa said. "You're lucky to have a friend like him."
"Yeah..." Naomi sighed. "He's been there for me."
"Heck, I would say you two would make the perfect couple." Rosa giggled.
"I dont know yet about that..." Naomi said.
"I mean, he seems my type but..."
"Ah, we can discuss it later." Rosa said. "Let's just go see the Kecleon Brothers for that request..."
"Ah, the young heroes of Team Valor! What a fine day for you to come!" The green Kecleon said as the trio arrived. "So, what purchase will it be today?"
"Nothing, unfortunately," Naomi said. "We're here on business for the guild."
"Oh, I see," the purple Kecleon said. "So, what is it that Chatot requests?"
"Chatot was wondering if you guys were planning on stocking up on Perfect Apples anytime soon." Rosa said.
"Perfect Apples?" The green Kecleon asked. "No, not in the immediate future. But perhaps we can get stocked up for the guild if need be."
"Chatot would highly appreciate it if you would." Shin'ichi said.
"Well, give him our regards that we will consider." The purple Kecleon said.
Naomi nodded. "Thanks guys."
"Come on Azurill, the beach is right down this way!" A voice said. The trio turned in time to see Marill and Azurill rushing through town.
"Whoa, hey!" Shin'ichi said. "Where are you guys going?"
"Oh! Mister Shin'ichi!" Azurill said. "Someone said they had found our rare item!"
"Rare item?" Naomi asked. "Weren't you two looking for it a while back before the Drowzee incident?"
"Yeah, we were looking for our Water Float!" Marill said. "Someone said they saw it wash up on the beach!"
"Ah, a Water Float?" The purple Kecleon said. "Such a rare find for you two!"
"Wait, what's a Water Float?" Rosa asked.
"A Water Float is an extremely beneficial item for Azurill. Imagine how much it would go for if we were able to sell such items!" The green Kecleon said.
"Sell?" Naomi asked to herself. "Oh, right! We need to get back to Chatot!"
As the trio got back to the guild, the entire guild seemed to be gathered around a Pokémon in front of the Guildmaster's chamber.
"Oh? What's all the hubbub going on?" Naomi asked, stepping to the outer wall of guild members. "Hey, Loudred?"
"What do YOU want?" Loudred said.
"Oh, nothing much," Rosa said. "Just wanted to know, who's tall dark and famous in front of the Guildmaster's chamber?"
"What?!" Loudred blurted. "You don't know who Dusknoir is?!"
"Is he like a famous explorer or something?" Shin'ichi asked.
"One of these most famous!" Loudred said. "He's a solo worker, but his exploration feats are something to be marveled at!"
"Man, this guy sounds like the real deal." Naomi said. "So, is he talking to the Guildmaster right now?"
"Yeah, looks like it." Loudred said. "Wonder what they're discussing though..." He said, turning back to the doorway.
"Hmm, I see..." The large grey ghost, Dusknoir said. "'Tis a disappointment that the expedition was a fluke."
"Unfortunately so," Wigglytuff said. "It seems that Fogbound Lake will still be forever a mystery."
"Well then, it seems my stop here may have been meaningless," Dusknoir said, dusting his arms. "I have some business to attend to in Treasure Town for the next few days, so if you ever need me, just give me a contact."
"We will notify you, Sir Dusknoir." Chatot said before Dusknoir turned to leave. As Dusknoir headed back up the ladder, Chatot let out a sigh of relief.
"It's not often we get the honorable around these parts," Chatot said, rubbing his temples with his wings. "That could have gone a LOT worse."
"Well, it didn't, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief." Wigglytuff said, giving Chatot a hearty slap on the back. "Speaking of which, I believe the three from Team Valor are back."
"Ah, yes, quite so." Chatot said, straightening his monocle as the three came over. "So then, how did the negotiating go with the brothers?"
"Well," Naomi started. "They do have plans to stock up, just...not in the immediate future."
Chatot sighed of disappointment. "Well, looks like I'll be having to make a few runs to Apple Woods for a bit..."
"Hey, we could always go," Shin'ichi started before Chatot raised a wing.
"The last thing I want is a repeat of that incident, understood?" Chatot said. With the trio nodding he appeared content. "Good. Now, you three are dismissed."
"Alright! Chow time!" Loudred said as everyone filed into the mess hall. "Let's eat, I'm starving!"
"Now hold up everyone!" Chatot said before everyone started to eat. "Before we start, I do have an announcement." Nearly everyone in the guild complained at the delay of dinner. "Look look, everyone, I know you all are frustrated, but please bear with me!"
"Well, spit it out!" Loudred blurted.
"Yes, yes," Chatot said, fixing his monocle. "Unfortunately I've received a news from Officer Magnezone that there has been another theft of a Time Gear."
"What?!" The rest of the guild blurted.
"You gotta be kidding me!" Loudred yelled. "How so soon?!"
"Oh my gosh, this is really bad!" Sunflora cried. "Another Gear stolen already?!"
"Wait!" Naomi yelled as the rest of the guild fell silent. "Don't tell me... Was it the one...the one from..Fogbound Lake?"
Chatot shook his head. "No, thankfully, Uxie's Time Gear is still under wraps." He said. "But I cannot stress this enough. Do NOT tell anyone about what really happened at the lake. If the thief gets wind of what really happened, it would be disastrous."
"What, you don't have faith in your guild members keeping their yaps shut?!" Loudred blurted angrily.
"With you, that'd be hard.." Bidoof muttered, before Loudred cracked him one on the head.
"Can it beaver." Loudred said.
"Settle down you two." Chatot said. "That's all I have to say. Now without any further ado,"
"CHOW TIME!" Loudred said, eating an Apple whole.
"Oh man..." Rosa said, flopping down onto the bed. "Can't believe we've got another Time Gear stolen already. And so soon after the expedition!"
"Well, it can't be helped," Naomi said. "We can't really do anything about it. I mean, we're only what, a Bronze Rank team?"
"Yeah," Shin'ichi said, hopping up to his branch. "We're not exactly record-breakers here."
"Still..." Rosa said. "You gotta think though, what about Uxie? Is he doing fine?"
"He's gotta be." Naomi said. "He's gotta be aware of what's been going on..."
"...I knew I shouldn't have trusted them." Uxie said to himself as the lone figure stood before him. "I should have wiped their minds when I had the chance."
"... I don't know who you are talking about. No one has led me here." The darkened figure said. "I have come here on my own accord."
"And that Time Gear," he said, the leafy blades on his wrists glinting. "is coming with me."
"Ahem, now then, are there any more announcements this morning?" Chatot said, surveying the room. "Well, seeing as there are none, dismissed!" He said as the other members filed out to their respective duties.
"Alright team, where's our next mission to now?" Rosa asked.
"Not sure," Naomi said. "But there's gotta be something worthwhile upstairs."
"HEY! YOU THREE!" Loudred yelled. "You got VISITORS! They want to meet you three up by the guild entrance ASAP!"
"Visitors?" Shin'ichi asked. "Who would be looking for us?"
The three Pokémon headed up the ladder and out the front entrance of the guild to meet their visitors, who turned out to be the sisters Azurill and Marill.
"Oh! Hey guys!" Naomi said as the trio exited the guild. "You came to see us?"
"Yup!" Azurill said, bouncing on her tail. "We need your help!"
"So, you need our help?" Rosa said, putting one of her rosy hands on her hip. "Not a problem sweetie! What can we do for you?"
"It's extremely important." Marill said. "We need help looking for our Water Float."
"The Water Float?" Shin'ichi asked, crossing his arms. "Weren't you two looking for that thing yesterday?"
"Well, yeah, but..." Marill started. "We found this down on the beach." She said, handing Naomi a piece of paper.
"Eh? What's this..." Naomi said, looking over the piece of paper in her hands. From her expression, it was clearly evident of her shock at what she was reading.
"This...! This is a ransom note!" Naomi said. "These crooks are calling these two out to Amp Plains!"
"Well, we can't have these two going out there! We're an Exploration Team, after all!" Rosa said. "I say we go out there, get that item, and teach those buncha crooks what happens when you mess with us!"
"I agree." Shin'ichi said, punching a fist into his other paw. "We've helped them before, let's help them again."
"Agreed." Naomi said, turning back to the sisters. "We'll get it back for you guys. I promise."
"Well, let's go." Shin'ichi said.
Rosa breathing intensified as the team neared the entrance to the Amp Plains. Her heart raced from the electric charge of the surrounding air.
"Hey, Rosa, you okay?" Naomi asked, waving a hand in front of her face. "You're kinda blankin' out here."
"S-sorry," Rosa stuttered. "There's a lot o-of electricity in the air around here. M-m-making my hea-art race."
"You want to stay back here?" Shin'ichi asked. "Naomi and I can go in if it's too much for you."
"N-no." Rosa stuttered. "I'll be fine. I just need to steady myself..."
Naomi nodded. "Then we'll need to get moving. Let's go."
"Oy! Who are you lot?" An enangered voice said from behind the trio. Shin'ichi whipped around to see a Pokémon standing on top of one rock formation. It was on four legs, with the back half of its body black, and the rest cyan. It's two moderate sized ears had a golden plus on them. Most notable was its black tail with a four-point golden star at the end of it and it's two fierce gold eyes, it's left one with a scar across it. Above his head was a set of broken lens goggles. The one quick to anger; a Shinx.
"Alright, fess up you three!" The Shinx growled. "What buisness do you have making an intrusion on this sacred ground?"
"Wait!" Naomi cried. "We're not here to make claims on you land! Honest!"
"Bah! What other reason do you have to be here?!" The Shinx growled.
"We're here to get an item." Shin'ichi said. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we'll be on our way." He said, the rest of the trio following him into the plains.
Soon a sharp bolt of lightning smashed in front of the trio, and the Shinx jumped in front of the trio again. "Sorry pal, but you got another thing comin' if you think you can just waltz in here like it's nobody's buisness."
"Well look, 'pal'," Shin'ichi said, grabbing the Shinx by its hair tuft and pulling it up to his eye level. "We're here to catch a bunch of criminals that stole something rather valuable. Now if you don't move it, you're gonna get what's comin'!" He said, setting the Shinx back down.
"Listen to me!" The Shinx said. "This is my tribe's homeland! Unless you three want to be paralyzed all over, you leave no- Hey! What are you doing?!" He yelled being lifted up by vines and set up on a large rock formation above him.
"Look kid. We don't have time." Rosa said. "We're heading out now, and we don't have time for messing around."
Naomi nodded. "C'mon guys, let's get going." She said as the three headed out into the plains...
"Ah! I see, that is rather troublesome." The green Kecleon said as the Azurill sisters spoke to them. "What low down crooks that would think to do such a thing?"
"We don't know," Marill said. "But Team Valor already went out to find it!"
"They promised to help us, and we're grateful for it!" Azurill said, bouncing on her tail. "Hopefully they'll be back soon with it.!"
"Oho!" A voice said, coming from Dusknoir. "What seems to be all the commotion?"
"Ah! The great Dusknoir!" The purple Kecleon said. "What impeccable timing! We were just discussing a current issue."
"Yeah!" Marill said. "Some crooks stole our Water Float!"
"Ah! A rare item indeed!" Dusknoir said. "So, I am assuming you already have an exploration team out searching for it?"
"Yeah!" Axurill said, bouncing. "We've got Team Valor out looking for it!"
"Ah, this Team Valor. I've heard of their rising exploits during my travels, but I wasn't sure if it was they were true!" He said. "So, where exactly have they gone to?"
"The crooks to our item off to the Amp Plains!" Marill said. "Hopefully they should be back soon!"
"Pardon, did you say... Amp Plains?" Dusknoir said, a hint of worry in his tone. "But during this time of year..."
"Wait, is something wrong?" Azurill asked.
"Yes, Team Valor is in grave danger!" Dusknoir said. "I must depart for the Amp Plains immediately!"
Naomi's skin tingled with anxiety as the trio entered the clearing of the deepest part of the plains. Lightning strikes were happening around the clearing, startling the trio every now and again.
"J-jeez..." Rosa breathed. "S-so much el-lectri-i-icity in the air..."
"Yeah," Shin'ichi breathed. "Is this the deepest the place goes?"
"Looks like it." Naomi said. "Let's just find this piece of equipment and get ou-" She was shortly interupted as lightning cracked above the tree. Naomi shrieked and ducked behind Shin'ichi.
"Sheesh..." Shin'ichi said. "How much lightning can you have in one area? Seriously!"
"Just where is that thing?!" Naomi breathed, shuddering behind Shin'ichi. "Can either of you two see it?"
"There!" Rosa said, pointing at the stone rising at the far end of the clearing, resting atop of it was a gold ring with a blue gem embedded into it. "Grab it!"
Shin'ichi rushed for the relic, only to be blast back by a large electrical force. He spun head over tail before sliding flat on his back to the other two. He gritted his teeth in pain as he leaned up, holding his left arm in pain. "What in the name of San Hill was that?!"
"So... I see more have tried to make claims within our territory." A voice said, sharp and crackling with anger like sparks. Hmph! Should have expected no less from intruders if they managed to get this far!"
"Wh-who's there?!" Naomi said, a slight waver in her voice. "We-we're not here to claim land here! We-"
"Silence!" The voice said. "Intruders have no right to speak here!"
"Oh yeah? You think you're so high and mighty, yet you won't even show your face!" Rosa said, her thorny vines extending. "How about you show yourself you coward!"
"R-Rosa..." Naomi stutered. "I think you just prodded the Tauros where you're not supposed to prod it..."
Within a bright flash of lightning and a large flash, Team Valor soon found themselves outnumbered by a horde of Luxio, in the center of them, staring at the trio with golden blood-red eyes, was a golden Luxray.
"Such impudence from you three pests!" The Luxray growled. "When the tribe is through with you, there won't even be enough ashes for your grave! Now suffer under the power of thunder!" Beads of electricity started bouncing across all the Luxio's bodies and the Luxray's as large electrical orbs formed in front of them. Naomi shuddered in fear as the orbs got larger, and even Shin'ichi and Rosa couldn't hide the fear in their faces.
"Ready? Fire!" The Luxray shouted, as soon the beams of electricity were loosed from the tribe. Naomi shrieked and shielded her eyes...
..to find that she was still alive. Curious and scared, she moved her arm, only to see the Shinx from earlier, spinning his tail at an alarmingly fast rate, the electricity building up in a large orb above him.
"Y-you?!" Rosa gasped.
"Couldn't just leave ya for dead, mate." The Shinx responded. "Now get down!" He said as he discharged the electricity, blasting back all the other Luxio and causing the Luxray to stagger slightly.
"Traitor!" The Luxray growled. "You dare defy your own tribe?!"
"At least I try to be reasonable!" The Shinx growled back. "Father, this has to stop!"
"Insolent child!" The Luxray roared. "You dare support these intruders that make claims on our land?! You are no longer considered one of this pack! I will have you perish like the worm you are!" The electricity bounced across his fur at an alarmingly fast rate, as his gold eyes soon glowed a sickening blood red. The Shinx's expression turned to one of concern as he slightly started backing off, whereas Naomi's expression showed nothing but fear that struck her heart. She started shuddering uncontrollably and Rosa was no better. Even Shin'ichi was beginning to worry about their safety. "Now, YOU DIE!" The Luxray roared at the top of his lungs, loosing a blast of electricity at the four.
"We're gonna die..." Naomi cried to herself as tears fell from her eyes, the electric ball coming closer...
"ENOUGH!" A voice boomed. A bright flash of light soon blinded the explorers as well as the entire Luxray tribe. When the light died down, it was revealed that Dusknoir had rushed in front of the shot and blocked it himself and, being a ghost type, was immune to the effects of the electricity. But that wasn't the only Pokémon that was with him. Flapping it's mighty black and gold spiked wings, with its piecing eyes and long and sharp beak, was the legendary thunderbird, Zapdos.
"Luxray, what is the meaning of this?" Zapdos said in an authoritative tone. Luxray seemed to back off a bit.
"L-lord Zapdos!" He panicked, kneeling, as did the other Luxio. "These four were trying to make claims on our land! We were merely disposing of-"
"Luxray, listen to reason for once." Zapdos interrupted. "Firstly, these other Pokémon are merely children. They would not have any interest into claiming the land here. Second," He continued. "you have been like this for several years ever since your tribe was attacked when you were here before."
The Luxray was speechless. Here he was, thinking his territory was being encroached by others, and here was the lightning ruler himself telling him that was not so!
"...Very well." The Luxray said. "We will make our leave now. But by the time we get back, we expect those four" He said, pointing a paw at the small exploration team and the Shinx."to be gone. Tribe, fall back." He ordered, and the Luxray departed, the Luxio following suit.
Naomi sighed a sign of relief. "Oh my god... I thought we were dead..." She breathed, looking up to the legendary bird. "Th-thank you Zapdos!"
The thunderbird merely glanced back at the Ralts. "It is nothing child." The thunderbird said. "If not for this Dusknoir, I would have never known of this incident." He rightened. "Unfortunately, I must return to my post here. I hope everything works out for the four of you." He said before taking off, flying away to the nearby mountain.
"Now then," Dusknoir said, turning to the four Pokémon. "It's a good thing I found you four and Zapdos. Otherwise, I might have been too late."
"We really appreciate the help, Sir Dusknoir." Rosa said, curtsying in front of him.
"Right, now," Shin'ichi said, getting up. "Where's that item?"
"Think ya lost item's over there." The Shinx said, pointing his tail over by the other end of the clearing. Sitting on a rock was the Water Float.
"Well, that looks to be it." Rosa said, extending her vines and grabbing it, bringing it back and holding it with her two small hands. "But.. I don't understand how it got all the way out here..."
"I would think it was put here on purpose," Dusknoir said, looking at a large rock from behind them. The Shinx got the hint and turned, sensing three figures behind the rock. The electricity danced across his fur as he charged up.
"Isn't that right, you sneaking simpletons!" Dusknoir said. The other three turned in curiousity and confusion, wondering what he was talking to. The Shinx the loosed the electricity blast, shocking the three from behind the rock revealing that it was none other than Team Skull.
"Y-you three?!" Naomi gasped. "Wh-why?!"
"Nothing more then getting back at you for humiliating us back in the past!" Skuntank growled. "I was hoping that that Luxray would be able to rid you three for good, but then this little runt interfered..."
"Runt, eh?" The Shinx grwoled, lowering his goggles over his eyes. "I wanna make something clear here, ya got that?" He said, a dark tone in his voice. "First of all, ya got a lot of nerve thinkin' you can just waltz in here, and trample 'round here like you own the place. That's strike one." He growled, lashing his tail in a circle, a small blue electrical orb forming. "Ya try to lure three other Pokémon out to here so that they 're going to be killed by a vicious tribe of electric types. That's strike two." The orb was growing larger and larger. "And ya stole something of high value for luring these three out here, meany you are nothing more than petty thieves. And THAT-" He growled, firing off the large at the three, launching them so hard they flew out of the clearing. "...is strike three." He breathed, lifting up his goggles.
The other three were stunned. "Wow..." Naomi breathed. "That...was..."
"That was so cool!" Rosa squeaked, rushing up to the Shinx. "How did you do that?!"
"Oh what, tha' electric orb?" The Shinx asked. "Ah, 's nothin', really. My fur's a natural conductor for static electricity. By spinnin' my tail fast enough, I can build up enough power to launch electrical attacks as I pleas'."
"Well," Shin'ichi said, walking up and pulling out a badge. "despite being harsh to you earlier, I'd like to offer you a place in our exploration team."
"Wha, me?" The Shinx asked. "Well, to make up for the fact I was harsh against you guys earlier, no problem, 'll join." He said, extending his paw. "Mah' name's Solaris, by the way."
"Well Solaris," Naomi said. "Welcome aboard Team Valor."
"Oh, thank you guys so much!" Azurill squeaked in town square as Shin'ichi handed her the Water Float. "You guys are the best!"
"Man, I... I don't know how to repay you guys..." Marill said. "First saving my sister, and now doing this.."
"Hey, don't worry about it girl.." Rosa said, putting a hand on Marill's back. "We're just here to help, and that's what we did."
"Yeah, and honestly," Naomi said, looking over to Shin'ichi. "If it wasn't for Shin'ichi's vision, I don't think we'd have been able to find Azurill in time."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that.." Shin'ichi joked, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment.
"Pardon?" Dusknoir asked. "You say that your friend saw something in a vision?"
"Oh! Yeah, whenever he touches something, he gets visions of things in the past, or something that's about to happen in the future!"
A look of shock appeared on Dusknoir's face. "Why, it seems your Riolu friend has been blessed with a rather unique ability, the Dimensional Scream! I've only seen one case before in my lifetime!"
"Man, is thi' power that rare?" Solaris asked, intrigued at the subject.
"Indeed." Dusknoir said. "But here is not exactly the most appropriate location to talk about this. Tell me, Naomi, where exactly did you find Shin'ichi?"
"Oh! I found him at the beach." Naomi said. "C'mon, I'll show you where he was!"
"I see. So you found him right here.." Dusknoir said, examining the spot. "When he awoke, he had not a trace of memory aside from his name..."
"Yeah, he only remembered his name, and the fact he was a human before!" Naomi said.
"Pardon? A human?!" Dusknoir asked. "My, my, THIS is extrodinary! Never during my travels have I encountered a HUMAN with this ability!"
"So, wha'? He a rare breed or sumthin'?" Solaris asked.
"Very rare.." Dusknoir mused. "By chance, your name is...?" Dusknoir asked, looking at Shin'ichi.
"Shin'ichi." The Roilu replied.
"Hmm, interesting..." Dusknoir said.
"Does that name mean anything by chance?" Rosa asked, looking at Dusknoir with curiousity.
Dusknoir shook his head. "No, unfortunately, the name does not ring any bells..."
"W-wait. D-did he just..." Shin'ichi thought. "D-did Dusknoir just try to hide the faintest of smiles?"
"Well then," Dusknoir said, dusting off his arms. "I apologize for not being as big of a help that I could be.."
"No, no, thank you Dusknoir!" Naomi said, curtsying. "We really appreciate the help you've given us!"
"Yeah, thank you, really!" Rosa said, before being interrupted by a flock of Pelliper flying by overhead.
"Wha's with tha Pellipers today?" Solaris asked, looking up at all the pelican Pokémon flying overhead.
"Not sure..." Shin'ichi mused. It was then that Bidoof came running from the other side of the beach.
"E-emergency situation!" Bidoof squeaked. "All guild members report back to the guild immediately!"