Savoir-faire – To Know and To Do

Updated: 5 April 2014

Edited: 5 May 2014

XVII: Imaginer – To Imagine

Day 25: The mysterious Hawlucha that appeared in our way has been pulled into active service. Currently, Fletchinder is learning Aerial Ace from it. This shall be good. Despite so, Donar has not neglected Bagon; it has set one Emolga swarm on fire. I am running out of Rawst Berries. (cancel)

We came across the principal filming of « L'histoire en commençant ». Although Kalos does have a film industry, the cast we came across was from Unova...

Despite that Route 10 was the only area in which wild Eevee could be found, I felt that anyone with five evolutions of Eevee needed to visit a therapist immediately. Apparently, Noël was of the same mind, as was Donar.

"What the hell?" Donar concurred in his exclamation, eyeing the Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon and Umbreon milling about with a single Eevee.

I spotted some equipment, and my doubts evaporated nearly immediately. "Filming," I pointed to the camp at the far end of the row of rocks on either side of the Trail, too much equipment left around to be proven as anything but outdoor filming. "If I am right... this series of movies is based on a Johto manga, Evolution Magica."

"Oh, yeah, the weird one," Donar nodded, surprisingly in comprehension. "I haven't read it myself, but it sounds... girly."

"Really?" Noël Duval commented. "I don't read manga from the Indigo Continent myself, but how is it?"

"It's a nice story," I commented. "About the evils of evolution."

"Eh?" Donar blinked as I hefted my backpack. Altair and his new catamite assisted me in support, and as we approached the set, which composed of a green screen, a Jolteon and an Flareon were squabbling as a Vaporeon, an Umbreon and an Eevee eyed them, and the director sighed in the face of the oncoming storm.

"Erm... what is the storyline?" Noël asked, eyeing the multiple Eeveelutions, especially as an Umbreon began to snap at everyone save the Eevee with uncannily large teeth.

"No!" the director was yelling. "What d'you mean, we don't have the stunt Pokémon for Meringue?!"

"Oh, that would be hard," I commented. "Meringue especially demands a Slurpuff to play the part."

"And we don't have the other stunt Pokémon? We have the Rose scene and the K9 scene due today!" the director huffed. "Try to get me a Slurpuff, at least!"

Anon-site assistant approached. "We're sorry, this area has being cordoned off- a Lucario!"

I blinked, before I realised that the slim boy was pointing to Altair. From what the director just said...

"Director, we have a Lucario!" the boy yelled.

A beret floated before my eyes, before I finally thought to lock eyes with a tired-looking man with silvered hair. "It's a Trainer's Lucario, we can't press-gang it, Hopkins!" the man shouted before turning to me. "Sorry. I'm-"

"Lestrade!" Donar shouted. "Erm, I- I'm sorry, I... I'm a big fan!"

"Erm, thank you..."

"Especially of the detective series!" Donar turned bright red the moment he finished. "The snake and the Stoutland."

"I think you mean the Serperior Holmes series," I corrected. I was a fan of that as well, something I forbore to mention.

"Oh yeah, that!" Donar eagerly nodded, looking around. "Is Holmes here?"

Director Lestrade put his face into his hands at my correction. "Again," he moaned. "Now he's going to taunt me for the rest of my life."

"He?" Donar muttered as something slithered up behind Lestrade. Orange eyes narrowed as the Serperior hissed, almost cackling in delight before it got tackled from behind by a scowling Stoutland.

"Thank you, Watson," Lestrade mumbled. "Not that it'll help any."

"This is the filming for « L'histoire en commençant », yes?" I asked.

"So that's the famous detecting Serperior Holmes," Donar mumbled in admiration.

"Do it, you said," Lestrade spoke, not to me but to Holmes, who simply sniffed. "Well, you didn't say as much as refuse to act until I looked at the script, and even Watson has limits, Holmes."

It was amazing, how the Serperior got around the difficulty of not having arms or legs with simply a glare, a scowl, and much hissing that sounded like rustling leaves while gesticulating with its tail towards one of the two Eevees, then towards the Jolteon, the other Eevee, and then at Umbreon before making a thump with its body and then hissing to the assistant, Hopkins.

"Y- yes!" Hopkins produced the storyboard. "Erm, director... he's saying that you're shooting it too straightforward, I think."

The Serperior actually groaned, and I think its eyes would have rolled and then taken a bite if Watson had not subtly growled before motioning with its ears.

Holmes is trying to express, in rather offending speech, how the order for the scenes are mixed up, Altair spoke telepathically. With rather more detail and less insults, Watson indicates that it is best to do the Rose scene first, before placing himself as the K9 monster in the respective scene.

"We can't," Lestrade sighed, barely pausing to comment on Altair's communication. "They specifically mentioned a Lucario, and no offence to you, Watson, because even though you're the only one Holmes likes, our selection's limited to single-stage Pokémon."

"Single-stage?" Donar asked.

"Pokémon with one evolution to reach full evolution," Noël clarified. "That includes the Eevee line, I guess. Pokémon like my Sapin has Snover and Abomasnow, so that's a single evolutionary stage between them. But, Pokémon like Stoutland have to start from Lillipup, then to Herdier and then to Stoutland, which gives them two evolutionary stages."

"I see," Donar considered the miserable Eeveelutions, huddled around the only unevolved member of their kind. "Dr du Bois... why don't you help them?"

"Do you understand the local filming regulations?" I archly enquired. "If we do this, Altair's image would remain forever part of this movie footage. It would haunt him everywhere. I also doubt that Altair is suited for the part."

"What is the plot, anyway?" Donar asked.

"The messenger of X, a Sylveon named K, encounters two Eevees, E and S," I recalled. "The messengers offer a contract in which an unevolved Pokémon can have any wish granted, in exchange for becoming an Évolué Pokémon tasked with fighting against Monsters. Meanwhile, an Umbreon named H tries to stop E from becoming a Évolué Pokémon at all costs."

I could see Donar's expression morph into an expression of it sounds like an action film. My lips twitched. "Luckily, Altair and I are huge fans of the manga series."

"Really?!" Donar yelled. "I mean, even the professor reads it..."

"Prepare a temporary contract and get makeup and costume on standby," Lestrade nodded. "Er, merci beaucoup!"

"Première tickets would be good enough," I nodded to Altair, and caught Holmes eyeing me with narrowed eyes. With a serpentine smirk, Holmes fairly nuzzled to Watson before both Pokémon followed Lestrade, though who owned whom was yet to be determined by any method other than technicalities. The Pokémon certainly seemed more independent than attached to their Trainer.

We followed the man to a trailer-car, where the director got a contract of temporary employment and I made ready the relevant documents to be e-mailed to the Sycamore Laboratory via Holo Caster.

"So... Holmes and Watson are your Pokémon, Mr Lestrade?" Donar asked as I was reading through the contract back in the trailer camp, Altair having been ambushed to the costume department with all the Eevees and the Holmes-Watson pair. "And all those Eevees?"

"Holmes and Watson are, but they're represented by Adler Media Management in public," Lestrade sighed. "Holmes was my starter, and on hindsight the Tepig would've been a better choice. At least Watson keeps him sane, and keeps me from going grey. As for the Eeveelutions, most of them are contracted from the BW Agency based in Virbank."

"Contracted?" Donar echoed, looking down at Bagon who was tottering beside him. "And their Trainers?"

"Call it... renting, I suppose, except that these Pokémon had the choice of participation," I explained, reading through before signing to ensure everything was accurate. "Remember the Third Convention? Since Virbank City is also a hotbed for the Unova film industry, the demand for Pokémon labour and actors have increased much, allowing for the set-up of such specialised talent agencies like the BW Agency to facilitate sourcing for talent. Here."

"Thank you very much!" Lestrade nodded eagerly, running his fingers through a greying scalp.

"Can we see how you're going to make this film?" Donar asked in an excited manner, facing Lestrade squarely.

"Sure, just don't make any noise," Lestrade sauntered out to the set, to be confronted with the Serperior Holmes chatting with all the present Eeveelutions – with one Eevee – and the Stoutland named Watson on standby. I picked up Altair's Hawlucha, quite to commensurate with the Wrestling Pokémon. We sat by the sidelines, with a good view of the set.

"Ladies, ladies," Lestrade knelt down to be faced with several pairs of eyes. "We're going to be shooting the K9 scene, so Thunders, you'll be with Eve. It's the scene after M paralyses H but before K9 makes its appearance, so M, you'll be up. Eve and you will be running towards the Monster's lair-" he demonstrated with his hands "- where Showers is waiting. Thunders, then you'll transform and fight against the stunt Lucario, following by which the reveal would happen. Chandelle, you'll be off-screen for the moment, sorry."

The Flareon immediately retreated as Hopkins and a dark-skinned man rolled the camera to point it towards the area surrounded by green screens. Almost immediately, Hopkins reappeared with the Serperior, Holmes, in tow. The Serperior smirked, before it was tackled from behind by the Stoutland.

Lestrade took the clipboard and read through, before he heaved a sigh. "Fine. Then what are you waiting for? Grassy Terrain!"

I watched in great interest as the Serperior scowled, the golden markings along its body glowing faintly to scatter gold spores about. The grass underfoot shimmered slightly before the Serperior gave a sniff.

"Stations, people," Lestrade called out. "Thunders, Eve, start dashing. It's your last scene, Thunders, right before M is killed."

"Wait, what?" Donar echoed.

"It's in the plot," I answered. "As E contemplates becoming a Évolué Pokémon, she learns that the life of an Évolué Pokémon is not as glamorous as she thought, and is filled with anguish, suffering and despair."

The Umbreon appeared, growling. There would be looping added in, with human voice-actors, I presumed, but for now the body language of the Jolteon and the Umbreon had to be up to snuff. The Jolteon growled, firing a Pin Missile that the Umbreon dashed away from, but then fell to the following Thunder Wave. The Jolteon snorted, leading the Eevee away and onwards. It continued for some time with just dashing about, right before the Jolteon was ambushed.

A high-pitched cry came from the Eevee as it dashed to hide behind the Vaporeon that had suddenly appeared, right before the Monster K9 appeared. I was quite taken aback at his changed appearance; much of its cream fur was extended, thighs slimmed, more spikes on the back of its paws, which have turned crimson. The aura-sensing appendages had been extended, the two top ones tipped in crimson. Its shoulders also possess a spike each. Black markings on its blue fur made it stand out.

I had a sudden reflection that somehow... I looked down. The manacle I wore still bore its clef du voûte, and it bore no sign of use.

Of course, my Lucario fired an Aura Sphere, that was dodged. More Pin Missiles were fired, before the Jolteon, M, it unleashed a Thunder Wave, followed by a Charge Beam and then, finally, the super-enhanced Electric-type move Thunder. The ultimate shot...

As power rippled through the air with the incredible force of true Pokémon moves that no special effect could manage, my Lucario dodged. It landed, twisting before the stunned-looking Jolteon, and finally, his fist landed. A vicious, victorious picture of curses and hate, the shadow of blue and black.

Looming up from the fallen, red-spattered form of the fallen, the cursed Lucario then began to step towards the Eevee and the Vaporeon, prompting the sudden appearance of the Sylveon by the sidelines. Of course, the Umbreon H actually took to the field, using a Quick Attack to flash about, and then with a Confuse Ray and Sand Attack, followed with a Hidden Power. The Hidden Power took the form of flames.

The Monster fell.

I sighed, despite the worried murmurs of the Hawlucha beside me. "He's fine, don't worry."

"Cut!" Lestrade called. "Nice job, everyone. Thunders, M's death scene needs work, and Eve, good job. Altair, are you alright?"

As the Jolteon got up, snorting at the fake blood on its fur, Altair gave a single, straight nod.

"Go get retouched with Thunders. Eve, Showers, Blackie, the next scene."

The Jolteon and Altair stepped out of the screen, one accepting a good towelling from Hopkins and Altair nodding to us. Feathers rustled as the Hawlucha followed behind him. I hope the Pokémon was not so bird-brained as to try anything here...

"Why did the Umbreon save them?" Donar mumbled.

"Misunderstood hero thought of as villain," I recalled. "Much like the Evangelie series."

On set, the Eevee named Eve – and there was an oxymoron if there was one – was doing a good job of crying.

Quite the sad fate, I heard Darkrai comment. How does it end?

"E decides to become an Évolué Pokémon with the wish to stop Monsters before they are created, which rewrites the laws of the universe," I remembered. "It results in E becoming nothing more than a concept, and H being the only one who remembers her in the new world that is formed. She gave Évolué Pokémon hope."

I do not think I shall like it, Darkrai confessed. I do not like martyrs. I have seen them die.

I patted the terrifying Pokémon of nightmares on his soft head. "Chacun à son goût, Darkrai. Each to his own taste."

Of course, after Altair had cleaned up and we entered Geosenge, the Hawlucha left, returning to the silent graveyard as we entered the town in its heart. I think Altair was sad, to be here where love had begun and ended.

The town had had a long history dating from the ancien régime and followed by successive dynasties of old Kalosian monarchy. Of course, it was well-known for the broken headquarters of Team Flare at its outskirts now, but before, the cromlêh of Geosenge had marked as the Kalos region's oldest tomb.

"It's completely surrounded in stones," Donar whispered as we stepped on the main street, one that led up towards the main circus of the town and then branched off towards Miroir Way in the east.

"We just walked through the oldest known mass graveyard in the world," I informed them, Noël and Donar. "The Kalosian name of Geosenge, Cromlac'h, forms the base word cromlêh, used to describe a megalithic altar-tomb, made of rough stone. They are distinguished from cromlech by being located within a stone circle. Of course, the original monument is gone, but its remains are still present."

It was a hole. The bottom of the pit was barely visible, only due to the groundwater within, accumulated with Flare had left its indelible mark upon the face of Kalos, despite its pursuit of beauty... did it? Either way, the site of the Kalos region's martyrdom was dead.

"They burned her here in the town square, you know," I murmured. "The monument was already present when Geosenge was occupied by foreign invaders. Some of them decided that it made a nice place to burn the witch at the stake."

"What?" Donar echoed.

"Jeanne d'Arc," I nodded towards the gaping maw of the earth where the standing stones used to be, surrounded by houses. "The first Champion of Kalos, who was captured in the last battle of the Century War. She was placed in Maison Muguet-de-Mai was the ruling house at the time, and the king that she placed on the Jardin Throne refused to pay. She was burned here, we have documents dating from the XIII century. Soon after, the Muguet-de-Mai was overthrown by a fellow cadet branch family, the Morelle, who supported the Maison Fleur-de-Lis in their play for the Kalosian crown. The Fleur-de-Lis kings ruled, bringing Kalos to its height of power in the form of Parfum Palace, until the Kalosian Revolution, which overthrew the absolute monarchy but failed to remove the legitimate aristocracy, like the Maisons de Rais and Duval."

"Duval?" Donar exclaimed.

"Duval is the name of the ruling family of the Mozheim earldom," I commented.

"You're an earl?!" Donar exclaimed, pointing to Noël.

Noël flinched. "It's... difficult to get out of that elitist society. Trust me."

"Well, depending on your view of that," I commented. "It's quite well-established that most of the Kalos region's best Trainers throughout history tend to belong to one of the hundred branches under the Maison Cent-Feuilles, which is directly descended from the rulers of the AZ Empire. Even Diantha Carnet is from the Maison Œillet, distantly related to the Fleur-de-Lis by common ancestor. Come to think of it, so is Daisy."

"What about Daisy?" Donar argued. "Daisy was from Johto!"

"Her father, Dr Hugo du- her father can trace his lineage to the Maison Luzerne," I commented, stopping myself before I revealed too much.

Actually, I could trace my whole family all the way back to the grand ducal houses of Mandragore and Coque-lourde, but far be it to claim that my other identity held a solid claim to a throne long torn down. I was already trying to escape the House of d'Arc; no need to scupper my own efforts to make Daisy Linden disappear soon. Privilege of blood has no place in the world of meritocracy. At least, it should not.

Of history, I suppose that Geosenge Town offered even more knowledge in a tour around the circus – the town plaza, that is – than any single lesson. While I could hardly be arsed to recall the history of Kanto or Johto, the Kalos region's history was surprisingly bloody and interesting.

What? I'm thirteen. I'm allowed to know about people hacking at each other.

Either way, the summary of a three-hour speech by Dr du Bois – leading to many people gathering to hear a history they knew, interjecting with details – is as thus:

The original inhabitants of the Kalosian region were a mass of tribal collectives whose bones we stood on now, who actually gathered and formed a united country of sorts. From this – and the invasion of what was currently southern Kalos – arose the AZ Empire, ruled by the legendary king who supposedly built an ultimate weapon to finish off invaders. He disappeared.

The king's brother, who took over the throne when AZ disappeared somewhere, was a man who fathered a hundred children – the Versant Road trade and Camphrier Town's concentration of aristocracy was apparently because the king really got around – and the kids had kids, who got their shit together to overthrow him. Those kids were united under a guy called Premier – really the guy's name – who then formed the large dynasty called the Maison Cent-Feuilles, or House of Hundred Leaves, placing his own family on top.

Between one branch or another, the Maison Cent-Feuilles would proceed to rule Kalos for the next three millennia. Before that, though, Premier died in an epic battle – that he won – against a legendary Pokémon named as Yveltal, resulting in more epic battles and political intrigue until they got their shit together once again to kick invader ass with Jeanne d'Arc in the Century War of the XIII century, establishing the Knightly House of d'Arc which all Champions of Kalos lay claim to today. Even though Jeanne was a princess, her status apparently didn't put her up as true royalty.

"With peace under the Maison Fleur-de-Lis, the other families of the Cent-Feuilles dissipated to form a grand part of the aristocracy, binding Kalos together into our modern-day idea of the Kalos region," Dr du Bois continued. "Efforts of the aristocracy plus a true understanding of noblesse oblige led to the Golden Age of the XV century, where Kalosian sailors apparently found the continent the present-day Unova region was – and resulting in the Unovan exchange and the presence of Unovan Pokémon in Kalos – and led to colonisation of places until Kalos itself became bankrupt as a result. Large famine and subsequent unrest led to the Kalosian Revolution. However, the Fleur-de-Lis still survived in branches because the power of the aristocracy remained intact, and subsequently Kalos itself might seem as a democracy, but true power actually lay in an aristocracy gathering itself around the Maison d'Arc."

Surprising how I didn't care about Kanto's history, but Kalos's history had me waiting for more. Dr du Bois's lecture on a summary of Kalosian history even had the audience clapping, a familiar Serperior bouncing about and grinning.

"Thanks," Director Lestrade was by the sidelines, clapping slowly. "You make a compelling lecture on the Kalos region. Are you a historian?"

"I guess you could call me a scholar of the humanities," Dr du Bois offered. "The cause-effect of history places history as relevant, but a lot of history is decided by those in charge, without alternative views. What I gave was simply a brief summary of events."

"Anyway, you sure know your stuff," Lestrade nodded. "And you sure can tell it. The whole town was listening to you. Is Menhir Trail really a mass grave?"

"Oldest known," she confirmed gravely. "The Pokémon there were nearly victims of Team Flare's gambit years ago, we could have had a second round of the destruction of Kalos. There's a good reason why « Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Brin » is the Kalosian anthem."

"What's that?" I asked.

"Song of War for the Army of the Sprig," she translated. "We really should get you a guide book for Kalosian."

"It's fine," I shook my head as we left the town plaza for Hotel Marine Snow. "You're already paying for my food and lodging, it's unreasonable-"

Dr du Bois stopped in front of me, nearly causing a crash collision before I stopped myself, or Frogadier stopped me to be more accurate. I turned from her silk-clad back to be greeted with a signboard at the double doors:

Dear all,
Hotel Marine Snow is closed until further notice.
Apologies, from
The Management.

"My deposit..."

"Ah, vous devez être clients," we turned around to be greeted with a middle-aged woman. "Je m'appelle Marine, je suis la femme du propriétaire et maître d'hôtel. Désolée, un petit hôtel comme le nôtre a besoin de tout son personnel pour le commerce les dimanches."

"Le dimanche? oh..." Dr du Bois visibly calmed. "Je suis Marguerite Linden du Bois. Je travaille au laboratoire de recherche Pokémon avec le professeur Platane. C'est mon assistant, Donar Oak. Il ne parle pas Kalosian. Nous avons émis des réservations pour des chambres séparées, oui?"

"Certainement," the woman nodded nodded. "Suivez-moi, s'il vous plaît."

"Excusez-moi, quel est le menu à prix fixé?" Dr du Bois asked as we followed her in, Darkrai lingering once more.

"Ah, le menu peut être vu au bureau de conciergerie," she replied. "Toutefois, le fromage Cromlac'h est très cher aujourd'hui. En fait, les Écrémeuhs ont peur de l'Absol... il est ridicule, le prix!"

"Oui, le prix de lait augmente chaque année," Dr du Bois murmured. "Une Absol ici?"

"Erm, Dr du Bois?" I interrupted the conversation. "I don't speak Kalosian."

"You don't have to know," she told me, before turning back to her. "Désolé."

"De rien," the woman smiled. "D'où vient-il?"

"Il vient de Kanto."

The wife of the hotel manager, Marine, as Dr du Bois later told me when she had left, spoke nothing but Kalosian. It reminded me of a nanny who only spoke Kantonese. She was nice, but in the end Standard won out. She died when I was ten, and with her all memory of that old dialect of the Kanto region. Somehow, listening to Dr du Bois talk to her made me recall that.

We just dropped our bags off before descending; there was a Sunday market, and I had money from winning against Trainers along Route 10. Quite a few had tried to challenge Dr du Bois, but they had ran when she pulled out Altair, and none of them won against Noël's Borealis.

The Lucario had run ahead and was waiting for us at the market, along with the Golett Dr du Bois had 'employed' in Route 10. It was contracted to take us through the Reflection Cave to Shalour City, after which it was free to return or continue. Dr du Bois had called it Durand on its contract. Durand shuffled along with Dr du Bois, leaving Altair free to walk ahead through the market. The market of Geosenge consisted of a few stalls around the giant hole of a plaza, each of them selling something unique. Around us, the cries of haggling, the smells of cheese and vegetables and fruits and some meat hung about. The market here was noticeably low on meat, I thought.

"We're going to be staying here for nothing more than forty-eight hours, and it'll take a few days to get through the Reflection Cave," Dr du Bois pondered. "Cheese, bread, eggs, maybe some alcohol... Donar, how much did we set aside for the Trangia stove?"

"We've got... one bottle left," I recalled. "And... erm, some beer Noël bought in Cyllage."

"His supplies are not our supplies," Dr du Bois corrected severely. "Either way, this time the road through the Reflection Cave is long and confusing. I will take along some meat, but be prepared to eat from a can for as long as we need to get through the cave and to Shalour City. There's no other way to get to Shalour from Geosenge."

"Got it..." I nodded. "Erm, Doctor... the Shalour Gym is a Fighting-type Gym, right?"

"Hmm, yes," she answered, looking over a selection of cheese wheels. The sheer variety of cheeses available quite terrified me, sometimes. "You have Ivysaur and Fletchinder, you should be fine."

"But..." I pondered. "It's... not about that. Erm... can I learn Kalosian?"

"The Holo Caster has an app, you could probably try PokéLangue."

"Can you teach me?"

"Let's start from here," she waved, holding up the cheese wheel. "This is cheese. C'est du fromage."

"C'est du fromage..." I repeated dutifully.

"Il a coûté deux mille poké." She prompted. "It cost two thousand Poké... it costs two thousand Poké for a wheel of Tomme cheese. Durand."

Dr du Bois paid for the cheese wheel, dumping the wrapped package into the Golett's arms. The small Pokémon whirled around, holding the cheese with both arms.

"Darkrai, I need you," Dr du Bois called.

Silently, the Pitch-Black Pokémon arose, somehow not drawing a single stare from the people of Geosenge haggling and buying and generally the bustle of Geosenge Town's weekend market continued. Marguerite?

"Beef or mutton? Bœuf ou mouton?" Dr du Bois pointed towards a butcher; the cuts of meat hanging on wire hooks on a wire rack were sort of a dead give-away. "For our next meal outdoors. Since the hotel is serving gratin dauphinoise, tartiflette and kouign-amann for dinner, we might as well take the opportunity to pick new things. And we need to get you a toothbrush, too. Too much refined foods without proper dental care and exercise is bad for Pokémon and humans alike."

...oh. A pause. The fighter?

"Altair has a special brush," Dr du Bois commented, checking out a selection of Rawst Berries. "You never see it because you're usually up late. Donar, did you know that Pokémon can eat human foods, but with some restrictions?"

"T- They can?"

"Most things, within restrictions. For example, the Lumiose Galette and the Lava Cookie of Hoenn's Lavaridge Town can be eaten by all Pokémon and humans. However, Grass-type Pokémon should refrain from highly refined sugars, and most Fairy-type Pokémon have to stay away from smoking, alcohol and ferrous-based foods. Spiritual-based beings like Darkrai and Ghost-type Pokémon can subsist on ambient life energy, and the Golett line plus Sigilyph have no need for food although it helps. Fighting-types Pokémon need more balance, especially since they use so much energy, but that diet also needs to be tailored. Lucario, however, has an additional restriction on chocolate."

"Oh..." I murmured.

She continued talking to several shopkeepers, and throughout the babble of Kalosian that I did not understand, one word kept standing out: Absol. Even Dr du Bois noticed, as she kept frowning before she let me walk through the marketplace myself.

Personally, I felt conflicted. An Absol was not the cause of bad luck, but rather its herald. The PokéDex also listed its habitats as the cliffs of the Muraille Coast. So... why was it around?

There are pockets of monolingual Kalosian around, especially in Geosenge. It is refreshing.

I have stocked up on Berries and other medical necessities. The presence of the Absol is mystifying, but manageable. I hope whatever disaster happens does so quickly. I anticipate their necessity soon – I shall have Augustine compensate me.

Marguerite Linden du Bois.

Okay, so here, I make another note: we have the Imperial House of Cent-Feuilles, under which are several cadet branches of varying status and power. Here, I've mentioned Fleur-de-Lis (lily), Muguet-de-Mai (lily of the valley), Œillet (carnation) and Luzerne (alfalfa). Considerations also include Platane (plane-tree), Mandragore (mandrake) and Coque-lourde (pasque-flower) – large hint right here.

These names are separate from d'Arc, de Rais, and Duval, in that the above four are part of the royal blood – however distant, whereas the other three are of lower nobility, though they survived. Their relevance will be shown in later arcs, because we are going to build it up later in a separate arc.

However, a hint: is Pokémon Training really as meritocratic as the games and animé suggests, or are there deeper imperialistic connotations within the world of Pokémon Training?

Please review!