a/n: Welcome to another chapter of Alexandria! This chapter is sets the Grand Festival plot into motion! WHAT WILL HAPPEN? :O

That's for you to read and find out~~ ^^ Yay!

Enjoy~

-RV


ACT TWO

- it's a new day -

It's morning. An alarm clock rings in the distance, muted by the consistent and loud chirping outside; the culprits were a flock of Starly, flying and cawing about, gliding from evergreen to evergreen, in the southeast corner of Hearthome City. Volkner of Sunyshore City is not a morning person. He wanted to murder the annoying birds with the help of his Luxray.

But he couldn't do that without getting a couple of calls from Cynthia, Flint, and the new group in Isshu, Team Plasma. Damn, he couldn't get away with anything nowadays!

So he decided to shove the alarm clock off its desktop position and watch it shatter into a million of little pieces. Satisfied with his handiwork, Volkner buried himself back in the sea of hotel blankets, blue eyes closing, allowing him to go back to sleep.

Then, to Volkner's sheer luck, there was a loud knock at the door, a fist rapping against the wooden contraption. Outside the door, Jasmine stood, wearing dark, faded jeans and a cowl-neck sweater. Her brunette tresses were still in their usual style, the two little pigtails keeping her bangs out of her eyes. She held a clutch, a black little bag that contained various items, one of them being her contest pass. Today was a very important day, and she needed Volkner to get up and out of bed, immediately.

"Sunyshore, get up already!" Jasmine shouted, pounding her fist against the door. Her Magnemite buzzed, their way of saying 'hush!', but Jasmine continued pounding the door.

Finally, a sleep-deprived, drowsy, and irritated Volkner answered the door, left eye slightly twitching. He was still in his sleepwear, black pants and a plain white shirt. His hair wasn't brushed and he looked like he rolled off his bed.

"There you are! We're supposed to go to the Contest Hall in twenty minutes!" Jasmine's voice was reaching hysterical volumes and Volkner let out a sigh before grabbing the unsuspecting girl's forearm and dragging her inside his room, closing the door behind her. Jasmine let out an 'eek' as she was pushed into a plush recliner, in the middle of the war zone that was Volkner's hotel room. Bed sheets were thrown all over the floor, pillows were still on the bed, pieces of an alarm clock were scattered over the bed sheets and carpet.

Jasmine blinked, once and then twice. "What do you do in here? Have a war or something?"

Volkner let out a grunt as he grabbed whatever he needed to take a shower, entered the bathroom, turned the water on and started his morning routine. As he did that, Jasmine decided to help organize the room by kicking things into a desolate corner, while trying to keep track of the time. Five minutes passed, and Jasmine heard the 'click' of the shower head being turned off. She double checked her hair, then her outfit, grabbed her clutch off the desktop that once held the alarm clock, and stood near the door, ready to go at a moment's notice. Volkner stumbled out of the bathroom, his blond hair still wet from the water, but he was fully dressed, wearing his usual black jeans, black shirt, and blue coat. He quickly ran a hairbrush through his damp hair, dropped the brush in the bathroom sink and turned towards the front door, flashing a lopsided grin at his new…girlfriend.

"Hey there."

Jasmine snorted, her chuckles echoing in the room, as Volkner rolled his eyes and took her hand, escorting her out of the room and out of the hotel.

They ran through the streets of Hearthome, sprinting and dashing towards the Contest Hall; Jasmine was running late and Volkner was trying to make it up for her by running as fast as he could. He was thinking about finding a plausible excuse that would allow Jasmine extra time to prepare for her grand debut in the elite contesting world.

At least, that's what Jasmine told him when they conversed about the Grand Festival. Jasmine had done the impossible; a new coordinator from a different Region managed to get herself into the Grand Festival. It was a feat unheard of since…forever. She was one of the first people to actually be able to enter the Grand Festival with five consecutive wins and zero losses.

She was becoming a legend.

Yet, Volkner hadn't seen her contest battle; not once. That caused a feeling of nausea to settle in his stomach - he needed to be prepared for the long, grueling hours that lay ahead for both of them. Jasmine needed to get to the Contest Hall, like, right now, and he needed to scope out a good seat.

The blond male grabbed the brunette's wrist - Jasmine shot him a perplexed glare, until her face morphed into a mask of shock. Volkner was pulling the girl ahead, they were running faster and faster, until the old-Victorian era building that was the Contest Hall entered their line of vision. The ex-military man dropped let the girl's wrist go and let out a sigh.

"Wow, I don't think I've run that fast since...a while." Volkner joked, while attempting to catch his breath. Jasmine let out a short laugh and quickly composed herself and gave the blond male a sincere grin.

"Thank you for getting me here on time - I gotta go and get ready." She wrapped her arms around him in a hug and let go a second later. "See you soon~" She waved goodbye and the Olivine native headed towards where the inside of the Contest Hall, with the intention of changing into her contest attire and getting her two Magnemite ready for the first round.

The clock was ticking.

Volkner maneuvered himself through the large crowd that gathered inside Hearthome City's outdoor Contest Stadium, an impressive building that held over a thousand competitors, spectators, and judges, and that wasn't including their loyal Pokemon, that had a section all to themselves. The blond hair male drifted through the wave of people, mumbling apologies when needed to, until he spotted an empty seat. The seat was in a good enough location, three floors up, and had a great view towards the stage. Volkner smiled slightly as he made his way towards his designated seat until he finally sat down on the silver bench.

While sitting down, the Sunyshore native people-watched. It was only ten minutes into his arrival and the stadium was almost completely packed. There were various kinds of people, the blond noticed, his lazy cobalt gaze flickering from one side of the stadium to the other. There were the new coordinators, with their thick-rimmed glasses and messy school uniforms, the seasoned professionals, showing off their prized Pokemon, and the intermediate group that seemed to blend into each other.

As Volkner waited for the grand event to begin, Jasmine was panicking in the dressing room. She looked everywhere, up and down, behind extravagant costumes and inside of opened boxes, but she couldn't find her first performance dress.

This was awful, a tragedy! Jasmine felt dizzy, and her Magnemite buzzed around, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl's silver ball-gown. She couldn't lose the dress, not minutes before her Grand Festival debut...

"Um, excuse me, miss, are you okay?" A navy-haired girl tapped Jasmine's shoulder, and the brunette whipped around to face a much younger female. The girl had her navy tresses up in a curly up-do, with star barrettes taming her bangs. She wore a blue and white dress, with an off-the-shoulder cut, a one-sleeved ordeal. The hemline of the simple dress hit the girl's kneecaps and just by looking at her, Jasmine felt herself panic again, because the contest was going to start soon, and she wasn't ready, and oh my God, no, no, no!

"I'm sorry, not really, um, ah." Jasmine stumbled over her words and attempted to regain an once of coherency. The girl tilted her head and the brunette let out a sigh, dropping to her knees, placing her face in her hands. "I can't find my dress anywhere and I'm the fifth one up!"

The blue-haired girl's lips curled into a soft smile, as she crouched down next to the wailing brunette. She patted Jasmine's shoulder and motioned for her Empoleon to come closer. "Do you have a silver dress, by any chance?"

Jasmine peeked behind her extended fingers and nodded mutely. The stranger smiled and got up, turning towards her Empoleon and took a garment bag out of the emperor penguin Pokemon's feathery-hands. "Here you go, we found this in our dressing room. Just your luck, huh?" The girl grinned and Jasmine blinked, once, then again, before taking the dress out of the younger girl's grasp.

"Thank...you." Jasmine sniffled, wiping away a tear that had managed to escape. "Um, what's your...name? I'm...sorry, I must've been such a bother...to you. I'll...um, make it up or something. I'm Jasmine."

The girl chuckled and shook her head. "No need to pay me back, or anything. I'm Dawn, nice meeting you. Good luck today, you hear?" Dawn turned on her heel and waved, running off towards the main lobby of the Contest Hall, the lobby that would lead to the outdoor spectacle called the Grand Festival.

Jasmine held the bag tighter and ran off to the nearest changing room. After locking the wooden door, she yanked off her sweater and jeans and slipped on the silky, shimmering, dress. The dress ended at her ankles, the satin felt ethereal on her skin - like the softest cashmere caress. There wasn't much of a design to, it was simple, like Jasmine liked things. The dress was strapless, with detached sleeves that doubled as gloves, and an antique brooch was nestled where her usual bow would be in the front of her other dresses. She quickly kicked off her sandals and pulled on a pair of black ballet flats, and after that, she ran a brush through her messy hair.

Her eyes slowly wavered towards the mirror and Jasmine smiled. She looked fine; it was a pretty good recovery, if you asked her. She grabbed her items and stuffed them into the garment bag before busting out of the dressing room, her Magnemite following dutifully.

Outside, however, the festivities had already begun. Volkner stood on his feet when the Sinnoh National Anthem blared out through the speakers, and the master of ceremonies, Marian, was already introducing the panel of Grand Festival judges. The curly-haired woman twirled and dipped, wearing a daring number; she was wearing a flashy cocktail dress the color of roses.

Volkner looked anxiously into the mass of coordinators that stood in a straight line, in front of the makeshift curtains- he saw Dawn, the some-what love interest of his last challenger, Barry, Fantina, but that was expected of her, but he didn't see the person he traveled across the region to see.

Where was Jasmine?

"I hope she's okay." Volkner muttered his cobalt gaze dimming for a second. He sat back down as soon as the anthem ceased and crossed his legs at the knee. Well, he would wait for her, hell, he would wait forever if he had to.

Jasmine sprinted in her black ballet flats across the stage, taking her place behind entry number nine, some hopeful all the way from Hoenn. The brunette hastily patted down her dress as the gunshot that signaled the beginning of the official event echoed in the summer air.

The appeal round had begun.


a/n: Okay, you're probably all wondering one of the following:

1) Why are the chapter titles not making sense anymore?

2) WHERE'S CANDICE?

3) What was with the entire Kamitsure issue in the last chapter?

4) Is the red queen syndrome part of the Alexandria-canon?

5) What IS the Alexandria-canon? Your last explanation in The Glass Passenger sucked.

Here are your answers!

1) The chapter titles still make sense, my friend. All the act one titles, when put together, create a message. What the message is...will be revealed...eventually.

2) Candice is somewhere. ;D

3) I like Chekhov's Gunman.

4) I'm not sure yet. It seems like a fun idea...so yes~

5) All right. *sigh*

Alexandria (the red queen syndrome takes place in the middle of Alexandria) - like glitter and gold - The Glass Passenger.

Our Twisted Fairytale is not part of the Alexandria-canon, because that would mean Volkner would have to die. I don't plan on killing off Volkner.

Unless, you, like want me to. ^^;

Thanks, again~~

-RV