It's been helluva 4 months since I started this fic, and here I am! Back to write and read! But anyway, here is Chapter 3. My sincere apologies to those who are following my other fic. I'm currently refreshing my writing skills by using this fic. I'll be back to writing the other as soon as my skills are as good as a great author. But enough chit-chat. Enjoy reading! :D
Chapter 3: Registration
"This is Oak's Guild." Serena said as she stands with her Fennekin in front of the Wigglytuff-shaped building alongside Ash and his Pikachu on the hill's summit.
It was just after they have retrieved Serena's treasured stone from the two thugs, Jesse and James. The sky was clear and dark, and they can see the heaven's beautiful stars shining its light down upon the land. The moon was jealous of the stars. They light, and it cannot do the same. That is why the sun was there to shine its outline, making the people of the earth stare in awe by its uniqueness.
The torches that surround the building burns bright to let it light up the way. The only thing that visitors can be startled of is the totems that stand beside each torch. One totem's head is of an Aipom's, smiling widely and frighteningly. The other is of a Hoothoot's, giving of the feeling of the night's darkness.
The building, on the other hand, is shaped like a Wigglytuff, with its hands raised up, and its mouth smiling, as if it was there to eat visitors alive, that is if the mouth was the gate leading inside. On Wigglytuff's belly is the gate made of dark steel bars.
Ash thought that this place was a little odd. It was not because of the totems, the building's shape, or the location. It was the fact that the building was small. It got him curious as to why a guild was here in the first place, and how small it is to fit such a great number of people and Pokemon.
"To form an exploration team, you need to register your team here." Serena said, looking at Ash, and the latter at her.
"Then you have to train until you become a first-rate exploration team." She added, turning her eyes on the building.
As she looks onto the building, she can't help but look around her surroundings, and eventually laying her eyes on the alarming totems. The torches intensify the totem's atmosphere, scaring her as well as Fennekin.
"Yikes!" "Fenne!" She and Fennekin screamed softly, startling Ash and Pikachu.
"Isn't this place just a little bit odd? It just is!" She said. Looks like Ash wasn't the only one thinking about it.
"No! I've got Ash with me this time! No time to chicken out!" Serena thought.
"I have to be brave." She thought, balling her right hand into a fist.
She then went ahead and stood onto the grate, and an alarming voice can be heard underground. She jumped as she heard the loud voice, but she kept it in, hoping that it can accept her and let her in.
"Human detected! Human detected!" The voice said.
"Whose shadow? Whose shadow?" Another voice can be heard.
"The shadow is a girl's! The shadow is a girl's!" The first voice said.
"Waah!" Serena internally screamed. "I can't lose it now!" She added. She held on to her bravery long enough until she heard…
"Before you enter, bring your Pokemon onto the grate!" The voice ordered. Serena quickly complied as she gestures her Fennekin to stand up onto the grate. Serena, on the other hand, stood beside the grate.
"Pokemon detected! Pokemon detected!"
"Whose footprint? Whose footprint?"
"The footprint is Fennekin's! The footprint is Fennekin's!"
"… Someone's with you, girl! So get that stranger to stand up there!" the voice frighteningly said. Fennekin jumped onto her partner's shoulders after the examination.
"I think they mean you, Ash." Serena said. "They said to stand up there." She added, pointing to the grate she just stood upon.
"There's a grate covering the hole." Ash thought. "It's made so that no one can fall through." He continued.
"Still, it's really strange. It looks like it will tickle my feet or…" He thought, but was cut off by the voice underground.
"Hey you, Stranger! Get on the grate!" The voice shouted irritatingly. He's been waiting too long to examine him. Ash stood upon the grate quickly, leaving Pikachu to watch the heart-pounding scene. Would he be accepted into the guild? Will a number of guards come out of the gate and arrest them? That's a question soon to be answered.
"Human detected! Human detected!"
"Whose shadow? Whose shadow?"
"The shadow is a boy's! The shadow is a boy's!"
"Your Pokemon. Tell it to stand up onto the grate!"
Ash then gestured to Pikachu to stand up onto the grate. Ash walked beside Serena who was watching the scene. Pikachu then set foot upon the grate.
"Pokemon detected! Pokemon detected!"
"Whose footprint? Whose footprint?"
"The footprint is… The footprint is… Umm…"
"What's the matter?! Sentry! Sentry?!"
"What's wrong, Sentry Max?"
"Sentry Max?" Ash and Serena asked simultaneously.
Underground, the sentry was sitting on a chair with a table on the entrance to a circular room. The sentry's name is Max, a young boy who wears glasses. In front of him was a white, clean floor made up of Iron. One thick layer of quartz was lying on top of the iron to prevent it from looking dirty. The iron floor was there so that the shadow of visitors can be seen clearly. The quartz is cleaned everyday so that Max can examine those who visit the guild easily. During the night shift, every light in the room is turned off for Max to see the shadows of the visitor clearly.
A book, a pen, and a white paper sit on the desk. The book is an encyclopedia of Pokemon. Everything about the Pokemon in this world is written here. In other words, it is the equivalent of the Pokedex from another universe. This is where he can distinguish Pokemon from Pokemon. How he distinguishes male and female on humans is unknown, but quite an ability for him.
Max writes those who visit the guild on the white paper just in case they pull something under their noses. It's their countermeasure so that anyone who would steal valuable things or even damage the place would be hunted down by them.
Max was sitting there, flipping the page where the footprint is shown. He was so used to the pages where the footprint of his guild mates resides that he doesn't know the page of Pikachu's information.
"Umm… The footprint is…" Max said, flipping pages after pages, and still doesn't find it. Finally, it was all up to guessing.
"Maybe Pikachu's! Maybe Pikachu's!" Max said, with uncertainty whether or not he was right.
"What? MAYBE?!" a voice said from deeper underground with a hint of anger.
"B-but… It's not a footprint that you normally see around here…" Max said.
"Ugh! That's pretty crummy! Checking the footprint of a visiting Pokemon… That's your job, isn't it, Max?" The voice said irritatingly.
"Yes, but… I don't know what I don't know!" Max said, sweat-dropping.
Up on the surface, Ash and Serena were confused about this situation. Are they merely fighting underground just because the sentry can't determine Pikachu's footprint?
"… Are they arguing?" Serena said, her sweat dropped from confusion.
"Looks like it." Ash said, also sweat-dropping.
"Pika pika…" "Fenne…" Pikachu and Fennekin conversed about what was going on underground.
After a few moments of utter silence, the voice underground spoke again. "Sorry to make you wait!" the voice said underground, surprising them.
"Well, it's true that you don't see any Pikachu, if it is one, in these parts, but you don't seem bad."
"Ok. Good enough. Enter!"
As the two looked at each other for confirmation, the building's gate rose up, and a loud, metallic sound was heard, signifying that the gate has reached its maximum height.
Although happy as she may seem after hearing she was accepted into the guild, the eerie invitation giving of by the building was scaring the Fennekin out of her. The shape of the building intensifies that.
"I'm so nervous! So jittery!" She said nervously.
"But I'm glad we're finally allowed in. My heart's pounding, though…" She added.
The two then looked onto the opened gate. "Anyway, let's go." Serena said.
Ash and Serena went into the small building. Ash was right; it was small. The inside of the building can be easily called a room. Three banners hang on the other end of the room, each with its own shape of insignia. They found a large board containing information about the guild to their left. They also found a hatch in the center of the room. The hatch intrigued them to think that the guild was actually underground. Who knew?
"Th-there's a hatch that leads underground!" Serena said as she nears the hatch. Fennekin decides to follow her. Serena then climbed down the ladder with Fennekin on her shoulder. They were followed by Ash and Pikachu seconds later.
"Wow!" Serena said with her eyes sparkling as she saw many various Pokemon with their partners. She and Ash went to the center to get a better view of the room.
In the room, there were many kinds of Pokemon. There was a Sunflora talking to a Bidoof on their left near a board. Their partners were also talking to each other. A Seedot, Pidgey, Swellow and a Wurmple were chatting together alongside their partners. They might be talking about their explorations earlier this day. They saw another hatch that leads underground just beside the hatch they had climbed down.
"So this is Oak's guild!" Serena said, still with her eyes glassy, as if she is about to cry in happiness.
"There are sure a lot of people and Pokemon here. Do they belong to exploration teams?" She added.
Pikachu and Fennekin went off to converse with the other Pokemon in the room. Swellow and Wurmple were the first to greet them and gave them a warm welcome to the guild.
"Look at that. They're already making friends." Ash said, smiling.
As they watch them conversing, a voice came from the hatch that leads underground.
"Excuse me!" the voice said.
The voice startled Ash and Serena, and they looked on where it came from. Seconds later, a young woman with a small penguin on her shoulders came up from the hatch. The young woman neared them, curious about their identity. Fennekin and Pikachu then returned to their respective partner's shoulders.
"It was you two that just came in, right?" She asked.
"Y-yes!" Serena said.
"I'm Platinum Berlitz." She introduced herself. "This is my partner, Piplup." she added to introduce her Pokemon.
Piplup jumped down from her shoulders, and bowed down formally.
"I'm the girl in the know around these parts. And to be more specific, I am Guild Master Oak's assistant." She said.
"Now, shoo! Leave the premises! We have no time for salespeople or silly surveys. Off you go, if you please!" She added, much to Ash and Serena's confusion. They didn't come here to do surveys or sale items in the first place.
"N-no! That's not why we came here!" Serena frantically said.
"We want to form an exploration team." She said. "So we came here. We want to get proper training as an exploration team." She added.
"Wh-what?! An exploration team?" Platinum asked. She then turned around to think about this.
"It's rare to see a kid like this want to appreciate at the guild, especially given how hard our training is." She thought.
"Surely, the steady stream of people that run away from our rigorous training proves how true that is." She thought once more.
"Excuse me." Serena said, snapping Platinum out of her thoughts. The latter then turned around to see them.
"Is the exploration team training that harsh?" Serena asked.
Looking into her eyes, Platinum can see a great weakness in her. Just looking at her, Platinum already knew that she was the coward type. Serena asking how hard the training is attests that.
She then looked into Ash's eyes to see any signs of weakness in him, yet she cannot find a single one. She knew that Ash can handle such training, given how strong and capable Ash and his Pokemon is, but with Serena, that is a different story to tell.
During the moment of silence, Serena felt her chest being weighed down by the heavy feeling. She felt Platinum's strictness just as she looked into her eyes. She felt how long the night is going to go on before they can be registered as an official exploration team.
Ash seems to be a bit dense in this situation. He looked on Serena, then Platinum, then vice versa, and cannot seem to read into the atmosphere. Pikachu seems to feel the same.
"… What's going on?" "… Pika pika?" Ash and Pikachu thought, sweat dropping.
After a moment of awkward silence, Platinum spoke. "Alright. Follow me." The guild master's assistant gestured them to follow her deeper underground.
"This is the guild's second underground floor." Platinum said. Ash, Serena, Pikachu, and Fennekin looked around the area. "This is mainly where the apprentices work." Platinum said. "Team registration is this way. Come this way." She continued.
As they come towards the door, Serena noticed a large window up ahead of them, and ran to see the outside.
"Wow! We're two floors under the ground, but you can see the outside!" Serena said in amazement.
"The guild is built into the side of a cliff." Platinum explained, causing the two to look at her. "It's only natural that you would be able to see outside." She continued. Serena returned to their side.
"Now here we are at Guild Master Oak's chamber." Platinum said, facing the round door that is in front of them. "On no account… I repeat, on no account should you be discourteous to our Guild Master." She gave a warning. The two then sweat-dropped upon the statement. Hearing her heartbeat fasten, Serena quickly toughen it up, letting her courage return to her.
"Are you ready?" Platinum asked, just for the two to nod in affirmative. Platinum faced the door and said, "Guild Master! It's Platinum! I'm coming in!" She turned the knob for the door to open. The trio then entered the Guild Master's room, with the two in intense and nervous feeling.
"Guild Master!" Platinum said, alarming the Guild Master from his work on the desk and waking Wigglytuff who was sleeping on his its bed on beside the Guild Master's worktable. Wigglytuff looked on to see who had come in, on to its feet, and looked on to its master for answers. The Guild Master stood up, his annoyed eyes staring at Platinum. The latter then sweat-dropped, thinking about what she had done to discomfort the Guild Master as well as waking up Wigglytuff.
"Platinum, how many times must I tell you to lower your voice while I'm working?" The Guild Master spoke.
"My apologies, Guild Master Oak." Platinum said, and bowed for forgiveness. After that, she gestured her left hand towards the two soon-to-be explorers and introduced them.
"Guild Master, I present to you two people who wish to join our guild as apprentices."
Oak walked towards them to get a better look. He looked at Ash, from head to toe, with no evidence of familiarity within his eyes. Ash and Pikachu kept themselves as presentable as possible, even though they are drowning in extreme nervousness from the assumption that the Guild Master is very strict, let alone his assistant.
"You don't seem from around here. What is your name?" Oak asked.
"Uhh- My name's Ash, and this is-" Ash was about to introduce Pikachu, but was cut off by Oak saying "Pikachu." Oak then went to get a better look on Pikachu. "I've seen many from my days, but I've never seen something like this. Such a strong and agile Pokemo, yes." Oak said, surprising Ash and Pikachu. Yes, Pikachu is like what he said, strong and agile, but they never knew how he had known that it is. A feat of a Guild Master indeed.
"Now for someone I am very much familiar with." Oak said as he turned to face Serena next. Just like what Ash and Pikachu did, Serena and Fennekin did their best to look as neat as possible. But wait, did he just said 'familiar with'?
"So, Serena. Do you now have the courage to achieve what you have always wanted, to be an explorer?" Oak asked. How did he come to know her dream?
"H-how do you know my name?" Serena asked.
"As a Guild Master, it's only natural for me to know every single person of Treasure Town. Every day, I walk the streets for some fresh air, talk to some few friends, as well as Pokemon, and return to work." Oak said. "You worked for Mr. K at the market in town, correct?" Oak added.
"Y-Yes." Serena answered.
"Ah, I see." Oak said. "Okay, enough chit-chat. Time for your registration as new explorers." He added.
"First, we must register your exploration team's name. What is your team's name?" Oak asked.
"Oh? Our team's name?" Serena said. "I didn't think about a team name." She added. She then turned to face Ash.
"What do you think would be a good name for us, Ash?" Serena asked.
"A name? Hmmm…." Ash thought for a moment.
So yeah, I left a little cliffhanger at the end for a very specific purpose. I want YOU guys to give a decent name for our team. You can take it as a player's perspective. I'll be expecting some reviews (well, most of it would probably be suggested names :D) in the next 4 days, and I'll update this fic and possible post the next chapter. Of course, if no one can give a name, then it's up to me.
That's it for today. Stay tuned for the next chappy and as always, don't forget to review! :D