Tales of Reborn: The Six Rifts of the Heavens (2024)


Pokejourney Enthusiast
Dec 22, 2020
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Chapter 7: Cerulean - Part 2

Rhin smiled to himself in that way that his mom always told him made him look really cool and, producing a Pokeball from his belt, he threw it up in the air as light pooled out of it.

"Ha! Finally, something to break up the monotony! Let's stretch those legs, Wyvern!"

The Charmander materialized amidst the blades of grass in the middle of the route, standing on all fours and growling defiantly at the Venonat before him. The purple Pokemon jumped out in fear. He let out a screech and spat a cloud of musky yellow gas toward his opponent.

"You're faster; run circles around him!" Rhin commanded. "There's no need to hurt him, we want him for our team after all."

As Wyvern began running on all fours around the scared creature, Wolfswift approached from behind with that usual nonchalance of his, hands on the pockets of his jacket. Even after having been blinded, he always looked as though he were in control of the situation. Rhin wished he knew how he did it.

"I'm starting to doubt we're going the right way," said Wolfswift. "Why haven't the others caught up to us?"

Rhin waved the matter away with a smile. "They probably got distracted causing chaos and destruction like the senseless criminals they are. They'll catch up to us, don't worry."

"I don't know about that. Something about this place smells… off."

"Trust me, it's gonna be fine Wolf. Can I call you Wolf?"


"Listen Wolf. Once we're inside Mt. Moon we can find a place to rest, and then when we wake up the others will surely be close by," said Rhin. "Trust me, I…"

And at that moment, Rhin narrowed his eyes, which emitted a pale, crimson glow. Wolfswift froze in place as a voice spoke in his head.

"I can check."

It took him a moment to relax. "Ah… I see. You're one of those."

"Righto! So there's nothing to worry, Wolf." Rhin gave him a thumbs up, then turned toward his battle once more. "Alright, Wyvern, you got him on the ropes! Whip your tail and use Ember around him!"

It was a matter of seconds. Wyvern ran past another cloud of paralyzing dust and, using the momentum of his run, whipped at the air with his tail, sending a coiling whip of flames that engulfed the grass around the poor Venonat. He screeched and shrunk into himself, horrified as the wall of flame closed in around him.

"Don't worry, you won't get hurt! I just wanted to intimidate you a lil'. Makes you easier to catch," said Rhin with a smile. "Here it goes!"

The Pokeball flew through the flames and bonked the Venonat on the head, trapping him inside. Wyvern ran to the scene and stomped all over the flames, extinguishing them, and once he did Rhin walked to the middle of the ring of scorched grass and grabbed the ball containing his new partner.

"Alright! Looks like we have a new partner!" exclaimed Rhin. "Couldn't have done it without you, Wyvern."

Wolfswift scoffed behind him. "If you're finished wasting your time with that Venonat, we should probably deal with the girl over there."

"Wh–girl? What girl?" Rhin turned around, frowning. "And how did you know it was a Venonat?"

"I'm starting to get used to the blindness. My other senses are slowly sharpening," explained the man. "Still… I can't quite discern if she's dangerous or not."

Before Rhin could ask who exactly he was referring to, they heard a soft, sweet voice behind them.

"Hehe, I guess you caught me!"

His first thought as he turned around and met the girl's eyes was 'How the hell did I not notice her there before'? She was sitting on a big rock, leaning forward casually as she greeted them with a smile of perfect white teeth, a gesture that the Magby atop her shoulder imitated a second after. She looked young, probably no older than either of them. She had short, disheveled orange hair and wore the traditional apron and thick gloves of a Pokemon breeder.

"I was watching your battle. A trainer, eh? Not many of those around anymore, so that's pretty cool!" She spoke dizzyingly fast, almost enough to make it hard to understand what she was saying. "I'm one too! Or, well, a breeder I guess but still. This Magby here helps me out with all the eggs, mostly to make them hatch faster, you would not believe how hard it was before I caught him! This one time I was commissioned by one of my clients to hatch a Dratini egg and I'm not joking you it took me six months to get it to…"

She seemed to catch herself, letting out a short chuckle and shaking her head.

"Ah, sorry, sorry. I tend to ramble. Anyway, my name's Charity!" She pointed at herself with a thumb, and the Magby did the same. "I was supposed to go to Lavender but got lost in the way, so lucky me to have run into you two, right?"

"Wait, hold on just a moment." Wolfswift interceded, raising a palm toward her. "What are you implying? We don't know you, so–"

Charity jumped out of the rock she was sitting on and dusted herself off, shining them a brilliant smile.

"Oh come on blindfold guy, I'm trustworthy! And also lost. Like, very lost," she clarified. "Anyway, where are you guys headed? Are you alone? How many Pokemon do you have? Which ones? Oh right, where are my manners. What are your names?"

"I… er…" Rhin swallowed, unsure of how to deal with the intensity of this girl. "Well, I'm Rhin and this is Wolfswift, and we were headed tow–"

"Great! See, I'm actually kinda scared of crossing the mountains by myself, so I was hoping I could get you two to accompany me! For security, you know? What do you say, Ron?"

"I-it's Rhin and–"

Wolfswift placed a hand on Rhin's shoulder, shaking his head. "Rhin, we don't know her. It would be reckless to have her with us."

It's not like he would've had much time for it anyway, but Rhin considered their situation as best he could. And then, as he usually did, he decided to go with the option that involved trusting in people.

"Come on, Wolf, don't be a cynic. She seems nice," he said. "And besides, we trainers have to help each other, right?"

Charity pumped her fist high into the air, and Magby imitated her.

"That's the spirit, Ron! There's few enough of us to go around, so of course we gotta stick together when we can!" she exclaimed. "Alright, let's get to it! Together, we'll figure out a way through the mountains in a jiffy!"

Against the combined forces of two optimistic idiots, Wolfswift had, unfortunately, no choice but to accept their proposition.


Muffin hummed happily to herself as she examined a shelf full of different kinds of fishing rods. The supply store was mostly empty. Only she, Sammy and Siegfried were perusing through its contents, though the boy seemed more preoccupied with the Pokemon egg he was carrying.

"Ah, there's so much variety here!" said Muffin, raising her sleeved hands to her chest. "We can buy everything we need for the rest of the journey."

Siegfried looked down at the egg and smiled. "I just hope the others don't take too long. I've got a good feeling about this egg an–"

As if on cue, they heard the chubby man behind the counter address a group of people approaching the store.

"Welcome! Come in, come in."

Muffin didn't need to turn around to know that Ñako was the one to open the door, what with him slamming it against the wall. Not to mention that booming voice of his filling the room a second later.

"Don't have to tell us twice, geezer!"

The second voice was unmistakably Sabrina's, cold and full of irritation.

"What do we even need from this place, anyway?"

They strolled into the store, looking around with different levels of interest at the wares lining the shelves.

"A map, probably."

Sabrina frowned. "We came all this way for a stupid $10 map?"

"Er… $20, actually," said the owner.

"$20!? You cheap f*ck."

Siegfried was the first to address them. "Was there any trouble on your side? You were gone for a while."

"And where are the other two?" asked Sammy. "Er, three. Vard, Silver and his… companion."

"They went ahead to secure our staying place for the night," explained Sabrina. "Big hotel, 5 stars. You're welcome, by the way."

"You don't need to ask how we got the money for it," Ñako. "It's okay."

"You… didn't set fire to anything, did you?" Sammy frowned.

Ñako shrugged. "Nothing of importance, right?"

"Nope," muttered Sabrina. "S'all good."

Sammy stood in front of them with her arms folded, the look on her face reminding Muffin terribly of the one her own mom often had whenever she was trying to determine if her brother was lying to her or not. After a few seconds, she just sighed and looked away.

"Anyway, we shouldn't spend too long here. Let's just get what we need an–"

A loud crack broke through the room. All eyes turned instantly toward the source of the sound, some more quickly than others. Sabrina's hand was already on her belt, though it froze in place when she realized what had caused the sound.


A happy grin spread across Siegfried's lips as he looked down at his egg, which had begun to crack. Muffin let out an excited gasp, and even Sammy couldn't stop herself from making a sound. All of them huddled around Siegfried as the Pokemon within the egg tried its hardest to free itself.

"Siegfried, look!" Muffin pointed excitedly. "You were right!"

"It's… it's about to be born!" declared the man, voice full of happiness. "We're about to witness the miracle of life."

Behind them, Sabrina muttered under her breath. "Tsk. Guess we can't eat it anymore, huh?"

The last of the cracks appeared on the shell, light filtering through, until finally with a sound like that of glass breaking the light exploded from within. The eggshells fell all over as a small creature began to take form on Siegfried's hands. It was round and blue, with big glassy eyes and a marking like a spiral on its stomach.

"A Poliwag!" Siegfried and Muffin yelled in unison, equally thrilled.

The rest looked somewhat disappointed, but Siegfried's reaction couldn't have been farther away from that. He raised the baby Pokemon high and shone him a kind smile.

"Welcome to this world, little one," he said. "Your name will be Murphy. I hope we can be friends."


"Ahh… that is wonderful," muttered Muffin. "I never thought I'd see a Pokemon being born."

"It's definitely not something you see much of nowadays," said Sammy.

"Eh. It's not that cool," Sabrina added. "I've seen b–"

Suddenly, the chubby owner slammed his hand on the counter and yelled out.


Every pair of eyes turned toward him, some confused, most of them irritated by the sudden noise. Even the newborn Poliwag frowned at the man.

"Excuse me?" asked Sammy.

Sabrina scoffed. "We haven't stolen anything yet, what the hell."

"Yeah, I just smell bad!" said Ñako. "That ain't a crime last I checked."

"I swear, the nerve of some people," whispered Muffin.

"No, you idiots!" yelled out the owner, pointing forward. "Behind you, it's–!"

The door flew open, slamming against the wall with a loud, sharp sound. Everyone except Siegfried and Muffin already had a Pokeball in hand before they even turned all the way around, and their quick reaction was well-founded, as they found themselves face to face with a couple of men wearing black wool hats and scarves over their mouths. They both held pistols.

"This is a robbery! Everyone get down!" yelled the shortest one, his voice deep and rough.

"Yeah, stay nice and put if you don't wanna be Magikarp food!" the other one added, his voice much more shrill.

Out of the entire group, Muffin was the only one who gave the two the reaction they were probably expecting, gasping in fear and clutching at her chest with her sleeved hands. The others simply looked at the thieves gormlessly.

"'This is a robbery'? Seriously?" muttered Ñako

"Yeah, and that line about the Magikarp food…" said Sammy.

"Talk about cliché. Where'd these clowns come from anyway?" finished Sabrina.

The lukewarm reaction was enough to shock the thieves for a few seconds, which gave the trainers enough time to reach for their Pokeballs. Ñako, however, hoisted his arm over his shoulder and unfolded his giant shuriken in front of him, a relieved smile on his face.

"Ah, whatever," said Ñako. "It's been almost fifteen minutes since we engaged in senseless violence. I was starting to get worried."

"W-wait!" yelled the owner. "Please, I don't want any trouble, I–!"

Ñako silenced him with a wink. "Don't you worry, we'll take care of these two and no one will even miss them. Everyone knows those who wear black wool hats are terrible people, right?"

Sabrina dug into the back of his head with her glare.

"Are we sure we should be–?"

But Siegfried's concern was cut short as the tallest thief scoffed and took a co*cky step forward. His partner tried to do th e same. He chuckled and then tried to spit dismissively to the side, but he forgot that he was wearing a scarf over his mouth and just ended up spitting on it instead. He froze, hoping that no one had seen that. Everyone had.

"You brats wanna step in, be the big heroes?" asked the tallest one. "We'll show you what happens to those who don't stick to the scrip–"

Two simultaneous lights exploded between the two groups, blinding the thieves as a Vulpix and a Treeko materialized inside the store.

"Alright, let's see if this works."

Sabrina grabbed a lighter from a nearby shelf and flicked it on, using it to light her cigarette. She took a drag, then threw the lighter down toward her Vulpix. As soon as the flame touched his fur it spread all throughout his body like a mantle of golden light. Inside Sabrina's head, a voice rang.

Flash Fire, activated.

"Light'em up, Rokon."

"Geek, take out these jokes!"

The roar of flames cut through the air, and by the time the tallest thief opened his eyes again they were already upon him. He screamed and threw his gun down to the ground on instinct as his hand was enveloped. His friend only had time to gasp at the sight before a green blur flew toward him and a thick green tail was buried in his gut.


He crashed against the doorframe and his gun fell to his side on the ground.

"Heh. This won't take long." Sabrina smiled to herself. "Hope you can hold your own, redhead."

Sammy scoffed. "Same goes to you."

The thieves stumbled back toward the door, disoriented and in pain. The shortest one swallowed, his eyes going wide in fear.

"S-sh*t, they got Pokemon!"

"Calm down, dumbass!" the other chastised him. "They're not the only ones!"

Three new Pokeballs flew through the air, the explosion of light pooling into the shapes of Pokemon a second after. A Gastly, a Beedril and a Kadabra. They stood between the trainers and the thieves, eyes narrowed, ready to attack.

"Get them!" yelled the tallest thief.

A buzz roared through the air as Beedril shot forward like a bullet, the tip of his spear-like hand going straight for Ñako's chest. The ninja raised his shuriken, deflecting the blow with a loud Tink as the Pokemon flew over him, maneuvering to his blind spot.

"Rokon, dodge and counter with Ember!" The Vulpix jumped out of the way of the Psywave and spat another mouthful of flames at the Kadabra. "Ninja, take care of the bug! Siegfried, protect the old man! We can ask for money in return for saving his store later!"

"Got it!"

"Y-yes, of course!"

The sounds of battle and chaos reverberated through the store as the five Pokemon and Ñako engaged in a mess of a fight, flames and waves of psychic energy flying through the air and destroying the shelves and items around them. Sabrina kept on shouting orders, but she stopped once she realized something.

"Hey, cat ears." The mere act of talking to Muffin was enough to make the girl jump in place. "Were you planning on just standing there with those Deerling eyes or are you actually going to do something?"

Muffin's voice shivered as she spoke. "I-I… I d-don't…"

"If you're gonna be useless then you could at least find a way to cover the windows," Sabrina offered. "We draw enough attention as it is."

"S… s-shut up, I know how to fight!" spluttered Muffin, grabbing a Pokeball from her belt. "Milkshake, use T-Thunder Wave!"

The attack went out before the light of the Pokeball fully vanished, a cloud of crackling electricity shooting forward. Kadabra raised his spoon, blocking both it and the flames from Rokon. Gastly flew up and dodged. The thieves, however, weren't as quick to react.



The crackling bolts surrounded them like chains, paralyzing them in place. The tallest one fell back, holding himself up against the wall, while the other lost balance and fell to the ground, right next to the gun he'd previously dropped.

"T-this is getting out of hand!" yelled the former.

"I-I've got it. Here, I'll–!"

It happened too fast. Sabrina and Sammy were too focused on the fight and Ñako was busy deflecting the Beedril's stings with his shuriken. Muffin and Siegfried were the only ones who saw as the man on the floor grabbed the gun with incredible effort and raised his hand as much as he was able.

"Sir, get down!" yelled Siegfried.

"P-please, I don't want trouble!" yelled the owner, terrified. "Take what you want, just–!"

The gunshot boomed throughout the store, deafening. The owner gasped, then looked down at the dark spot on his chest and opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out. His eyes rolled back and he collapsed behind the counter, immobile.

"Tsk," muttered the thief. "I was aiming for the mannish girl."

"Sir!" Siegfried bellowed, eyes wide with horror. "Sir, are you–!"


Muffin's scream was loud and shrill and broken. She took a step back, tears falling down her cheeks, and without thinking she grabbed a second Pokeball from her belt and threw it into the air.

"V-Vodka, do s-something! Stop them!"

A tiny wall of flames rolled through the room, spat out from the mouth of the freshly-materialized Growlithe. This time, Kadabra wasn't as lucky. He took the brunt of the attack and was thrown back while the remaining tongues of flame fell upon the two men. They screamed and fell back toward the wall, the shortest one dropping the gun immediately.

Sabrina whistled appreciatively. "About time you did something useful."

"W-what is wrong with you!?" yelled Muffin, her voice little more than a sob. "T-that man is… he was…"

"Dead. Shot. I'm well aware," replied Sabrina. "And we'll follow suit if we don't finish these f*ckers off. And speaking of which…"

Grabbing her backpack, Sabrina put a hand inside and pulled out the heavy crossbow she'd used once before, a cold look of determination on her eyes.

"This is taking longer than expected," she said. "Ninja!"

"Just a sec!"

A spray of blood cut through the air as Ñako slashed through the Beedril's side, earning a loud buzz from the creature and sending it flying unevenly toward the ground, where it stayed. The man then turned around, shuriken bloody, and smiled at the two paralyzed men.

"There we go," he breathed out. "I'll be honest, I was looking for a reason to kill you two without feeling bad, so thanks for that."

Ñako threw himself forward. Sabrina raised her crossbow and whispered. "Stay still for me."

"W-wait! Stop, we…!"

"Gastly, Confuse Ray!"

A ball of disorienting light was shot toward Ñako's face. He frowned, unable to change his trajectory, and braced for the impact.

"Geek, intercept it!"

Using its springy legs, Treeko jumped in front of Ñako just as the ball of light was about to reach him, taking it straight to the face and falling back to the ground, eyes spinning in confusion. Ñako chuckled and raised his hand, ready to strike.

Something whistled through the air. The tallest thief opened his mouth to say something, but then the bolt from Sabrina's crossbow hit him square in the chest, going straight through him and impaling him against the wall behind him. His companion looked at him and shrieked in terror.

"Where are you looking you git!?"

Ñako fell like a reaper atop him, and a single slash was all it took to finish him off. A spray of blood painted the floor red as they both collapsed to the ground, dead.

Silence set in for a few moments. The trainers looked amist themselves, taking a moment to breathe, or in Muffin's case simply hiding her face behind her sleeves and shaking like a leaf. The enemy Gastly was the one of their opponents still conscious, but judging by that look of horror on his face he wasn't very keen to fight them anymore.

After a while, Ñako broke the silence.

"Think we might've gone a bit too far?"

The store around them was a complete mess. Three corpses laid on the ground and pretty much every item laying on the shelves had fallen off or been turned to ash by Rokon's flames.

"I don't know what you're talking about," replied Sabrina, lowering the crossbow. "That was a perfectly legitimate case of self-defense."

"What?" breathed Siegfried, holding on tightly to the baby Poliwag. "That wasn't self-defense no matter how you slice it!"

Sammy rolled her eyes. "Self-defense or not, things will only get more complicated if we stay here. Let's go."

"Yeah. Redhead's got a point," said Ñako. "Besides, we got a five-star hotel waiting for us. The more we hurry the better."

After taking a moment to return their Pokemon and holster their respective weapons, the trainers hurried out of the door and away from the scene of the crime. Sabrina, however, stayed back.

"Hey. Gastly."

She approached the terrified Pokemon with a casual look on her face, hands in her pockets. Stepping over the pool of blood, she bent down and picked up the Pokeball that belonged to him.

"I know this is a bit sudden, that I killed your previous master and all that, but I'm afraid we've got little time, and you have a decision to make," she said, raising the ball. "I can trap you here and sell you to the highest bidder, or…"

A cold smile formed on her lips. "You can work for me, and become stronger. What do you say?"

Of course, both of them knew it wasn't much of a choice. After a moment of deliberation the Gastly did the best equivalent of its species to a nod, and Sabrina smiled to herself as she returned him to the ball.

"Welcome to the team, Stan," she muttered. "Now…"

But just as she was about to leave, Sabrina noticed that she wasn't the only one still in the room, disregarding the corpses. As she turned around she saw Muffin, frozen in place, eyes wide like plates. Her cheeks were stained with tears.

"What?" asked Sabrina, raising an eyebrow. "First time you see someone die?"

Muffin said nothing. She just glared at Sabrina with a mix of horror and hatred.

"Well trust me, it won't be the last," she continued. "But hey, first time's always the hardest, so you've gotten through that at least."


"You're free to leave. Turn tail and never come back. It's what's worked for me before," said Sabrina, shrugging. "Or you can open your eyes and see the world the way it actually is. It's up to you. I would suggest moving sometime before the police gets here, though. If you get caught and rat us out I will kill you."

And with that Sabrina turned around and walked out the door, leaving a scared, sobbing Muffin behind.


Half an hour later, Ñako came out of his hotel room's shower with only a towel tied around his waist.

"Oi, guys… you might wanna follow my example and take a bath," he told his Pokemon. "Assuming you want to experience new things… such as not smelling."

Most of his Pokemon were sleeping on different parts of the room. Gordolfa the Bulbasaur rested atop a flower pot, Paja the Abra sat with his eyes closed in front of the vanity mirror –not much different than his usual demeanor– and Gligar rested inside his Pokeball, which he'd forgotten next to the toilet of course.


Meowth, though. He was too busy tearing apart the room to sleep. The sheets, the curtains, the walls, they were all full his signature scratches. Ñako looked at this, opened his mouth, then closed it.

"Eh, whatever. I'm not paying for it."

He then walked toward the service phone and picked it up, waiting until he heard the 'Hello?' from the other side before speaking.

"Garçon! We're gonna need a lot of food and a loooooot of alcohol for the room next door, where Silver and Loli are!"

"Sir, I am not sure of who this Silver is, b–"

"Shut up and bring it! And also a change of clothes, and pretty much everything you could give us for free. Oh, and Pokemon food! It… uh… does my stomach good, yeah."

He hung up before the man had a chance to reply. Then he placed his hands on his hips and took in a deep breath, enjoying the moment.

"Alright, I guess I should tell everyone we're having a party in Silver's room," he muttered to himself. "I'll see if I can think of a way to convince them."


With her face buried in the pillows, Sabrina found herself faced with an existential dilemma. Fall asleep like she so desperately wanted to or… live, and stuff.

It was funny how in the little time she'd been here the room was already a disaster; clothes hanging from the chair, table and door handle, sheets balled up and thrown to the ground, Pokeballs strewn about everywhere, a crossbow next to her pillow and a quiver full of arrows hanging from the headboard.

For a moment Sabrina was about to fall asleep, but then she realized just how much she wanted to take a shower RIGHT NOW, and so despite her body's protest she got up and did just that.

After a full hygiene session, she put on her reserve shirt and pants and let her wet clothes hang from the window so they'd dry off by tomorrow morning. After that she went around the bathroom, grabbing every towel, soap, bottle of shampoo and tube of toothpaste she could find, shoving them all inside her backpack.

Once she finished stealing everything of value, she picked up the phone and was about to call to order dinner when she heard a distant knock, and then the muffled sound of Ñako screaming.

"Siegfried, we're going to use words that are very hard to understand in Silver's room!"

Ñako's steps echoed down the hall, and soon Sabrina heard him knock hard on her door, his voice booming through the halls.


Sabrina rolled her eyes and put the phone down.

In all honesty she had no desire to put herself in the same room as those… people, but if there was any chance of leaving this place without burning it to the ground then someone sensible needed to be there to look after them.

And so she let out a tired sigh, grabbed her sh*t and walked out of her room.


Silver lay down on his bed, one hand holding onto his scythe while the other held the room's phone close to his ear.

"Yo, waiter! Get us a Neapolitan pizza with half anchovies!"

"But I don't like fish!" Loli yelled out from the couch.

"Tsk, always making things easy, eh?" he muttered with a smile. "Alright, take out the anchovies and put some pineapple in there."

"I'm on a diet!" yelled Loli. "I'd rather a salad."

"Son of a bitch. Hey waiter, on top of the pizza throw in a roasted Goldeen with an Oddish salad, yeah?"

"I want apple juice!"

"Hear that, waiter? Throw some fresh juice in there, all the flavors and colors you got!" Silver paused, then added. "Oh yeah, you got some nachos or something for the pre-game?"

Loli yelled out again. "We also need food for the Pokemon!"

"f*cking critters. Hey waiter, to finish it off bring in a skewered Tauros 'cause the Pokemon are hungry! Alright, later!"

He hung the phone and threw himself up to his feet from the bed, almost skewering the frame behind him with his scythe. He figured he should start dressing himself now that he'd showered.

And so he put his trusty weapon against the wall while he looked for his clothes. Meanwhile, Pogo and Flan were flying about the room, chasing each other and giving each other little playful pecks whenever they were caught. It was cute, Silver had to admit, but he really hoped he didn't have to deal with any unexpected Pokemon egg popping up soon.

Then again, Loli might like that.

Once he finished dressing himself, he stood in the middle of the room and aired his concerns.

"…When's the pizza coming?"

But before he could get a response, he heard the walls talk with a voice eerily similar to that of Ñako.


Silver looked around, confused.

"Is it me or are the walls talking?"

Loli stood up. "Sir, I think they're coming over!"

"… The pizzas?"


Rhin's face was red like a Scizor, and for once it had nothing to do with his proclivity for embarrassment. He was just trying to climb up the side of a cliff. A cliff high enough that he would certainly drop to his death were his hand to slip.

"Hngghhh! C-come on…"

Finally, after a couple minutes of struggling, he pushed himself with the last of the strength on his legs and emerged atop the platform he'd been trying to climb up to. Both Wolfswift and Charity were already waiting for him up there. The latter giggled and knelt in front of him, hugging her knees.

"Come on, come on! We're so close; I can see the entrance from here!"

"Hgh… Y-yeah, just give me a… a minute."

"Hurry up," said Wolfswift. "You're slowing us down."

Rhin decided not to tell Wolfswift where he could stick his advice, and instead used those few seconds to recover his breath, hands resting on his knees.

"A… are we really close?" he asked Charity.

Charity scrunched up her nose and looked away. Then she sighed.

"That attitude's not very attractive, you know," she said. "You have to be more confident, Ron! Put some determination in your voice!"

She shot up to her feet before Rhin could even reply, then turned around and pointed in the opposite direction of the cliff, through the small clearing in between the ridges of the mountain.

"There, look!"

Indeed, Rhin could see a depression on the wall in the distance; an entrance to the series of caves that ran through the entirety of the mountain.

"If we go through the inside of the mountain, then we'll get there a lot faster don't you think? Don't you?"

Rhin let out a breath that was almost a sigh, his shoulders dropping. "She's got a lot of energy, doesn't she?"

A scoff was all the response he got from Wolfswift before he changed the topic.

"Did you forget that we're supposed to meet with the others before heading to the prison?" he asked. "If anything we should go around the cave instead of through it."

"Oh come on, don't be boring Wolfsweets!"

"My name is not–"

But Charity was upon them in a flash, each of her hands grabbing onto theirs as she pulled them along with a huge grin on her face. Rhin felt his heart jump at the sudden touch.

"Where's y'alls adventurous spirit? Let's go!"

Rhin tried to stutter a response, his face tinted a pale red. "E-er, Charity, I think it's better if we–"

"Say no more! Through the mountain it is!"

There were no more arguments from the two men, mostly because they were too busy being dragged forward to be able to say anything.


The party inside of Silver's room was going well, so well in fact that nothing had been set on fire yet.

Loud rock music boomed through the walls, pulsing like a heartbeat out of the boombox Ñako had procured from Arceus knew where. The atmosphere was nice. Food and drink were abundant. Even the least friendly members of the group seemed to be having fun.

Silver, Ñako and Sabrina sat in a circle around the small table in the middle of the room, drinking beer and playing cards, while Loli watched with peaked interest, a glass of apple juice on her hand. Siegfried ran around the room, trying to keep the newborn Poliwag from stealing all the pizza. Sammy leaned against the nearest wall, arms folded, trying to pretend that her foot wasn't moving up and down with the rhythm of the music. Mycroft, draped in the hotel's fancy bathrobe, was too busy making tea in the room's kitchen to join his companions.

"Oh, by the way," muttered Ñako, looking down at his cards. "Where's V–?"

The door flew open. All eyes in the room turned and saw as Vard strolled forward, raising one palm toward the sky.

"Your leader… has arrived!"

The first thing everyone noticed was that his spherical hair was somewhat crumpled and bent on the side he'd probably lay down on. The second was that he was wearing nothing but a pair of pink underwear. After a moment of awkward silence, the man seemed to notice the former.

"Ah, how careless of me. Fear not, my gentle men, for I have this under control," he declared, raising his hand. "Secret technique of Vard Nº 17! Prehensile Hair!"

He stuck his hand inside his hair and grabbed a short piece of rope, then pulled at it with all his strength. With a 'Pop', his hair immediately poofed outward into its usual spherical shape.

"H-how the f*ck did you do that?" Sammy asked, breathless.

"Ah, my candid redhead, explaining one of my techniques to regular people would be like trying to explain Algebra to an Ekans."

"R… right."

"Speaking of candid…" Ñako cleared his throat before changing the topic. "My dear Vard, your hair is as lustrous as usual but do you think you could put a shirt on? Or at least a pair of pants."

Silver laughed. "Yo', that's so cool, his boxers match his hair!"

Vard smiled to himself, folding his arms as he struck a pose as though he were thinking over something.

"The truth, my spiky ninja, is that I need to take a bath, but it is not like me to keep my subjects waiting," he explained. "As such, I decided to bless your bathroom with my nakedness. In the meantime, I'll be taking this!"

He walked toward the table and grabbed a slice of pizza before heading for the bathroom. Sabrina's voice caught his attention before he could enter.

"Er… not like I care, but are you going to eat that in the shower?"

Vard looked at Sabrina, then down at the slice of pizza, then up at her again.


He closed the door behind him, and the sound of the shower soon joined that of the rock music as the party went on.


Once Mycroft finished brewing some tea, he came out of the kitchen and immediately turned up his nose at the sight that met him. Food and empty bottles were strewn about everywhere. Pokemon ran through the room, toppling things over and scratching at the walls. And worst of all, they'd eaten all of the roasted Goldeen.


However, one more detail caught his attention. Wasn't someone missing? Where was…?

He saw a piece of her hat through the window separating the room from the balcony. Muffin was sitting outside, with her back to everyone. She sat still as a corpse, holding her knees tight.


He made his way through the room, politely declining a glass of beer from the smelly ninja, until he reached the window and walked out into the balcony, then closed it behind him. Somehow, Muffin hadn't noticed him yet. She stared out into space gormlessly, eyes full of sadness. Her Meowth slept soundly on her lap.

Mycroft stood there for a moment, thinking. What was he supposed to do in a situation like this?

"Would you like some tea, mademoiselle?"

She blinked in surprise, then turned to look at him with eyes glossy with tears. Stammering, she wiped her cheeks with her sleeve and swallowed down the redness in her cheeks before replying.

"M-Mycroft… yes, thank you."

He handed over the cup of tea that, yes, he had made for himself, but he knew that Muffin probably needed it more than him. While she held the cup and blew air on it to cool the contents, he let himself fall next to her, one hand over his knee.

"Give it a moment to rest. Tea is temperamental; if you drink it right away you'll just burn your tongue."

Muffin smiled laboriously. "Thank you… it already smells amazing."

"That's good to hear."

They sat there for what felt like an entire minute, the sounds of the ruckus and the music behind them seeming to get farther and farther away. It wasn't an awkward silence. It was a pleasant one, one they shared.

After a while, however, Mycroft spoke.

"I understand."

Muffin looked up at him, eyes narrowed.

"I heard from the others what happened today," he explained. "Such an ugly scene. To take a life without even a hint of remorse like Sabrina… and even worse, to be making jokes while spilling all that blood like Ñako did… It's sick."

A strained sound left Muffin's lips. Her eyes grew cloudy again and she looked down, the cup shaking on her hands.

"Silver, too. They're all a bunch of savages. Like bloodthirsty monsters," continued Mycroft. "But you shouldn't let them get into your head. You are better than them."

Muffin shook her head ever so slightly. "N-no, it's not just that. It's just… being there when it all happened, in the middle of a battle to the death, I realized…"

She swallowed. For a moment she said nothing, but then a sad laugh left her mouth.

"… What am I doing here? When I accepted this job, a part of me thought we'd be out here having adventures, meeting new people and Pokemon, like…"

Her expression grew dark.

"Like… trainers. Real trainers, the ones from before… all of this happened. But I think I let my imagination fly a little too out of control, and here I am."

Mycroft shone her a kind smile. "That's nothing to be ashamed of. Do you want to know something?"

"Hm?" She turned to look at him.

"Even if I only accepted this job because of my family, I think deep down… I was looking for the same thing," he said. "So you're not the only naïve idiot in this group."

Despite herself, Muffin couldn't help but mirror the boy's smile.

"I guess I'm not."

They looked away from each other, their gazes getting lost in the dark horizon ahead. The tea had started to go cold in Muffin's hands, but neither of them minded.

"Kanto isn't ready yet. But maybe someday… we could be like them," said Mycroft. "Real trainers, like the ones we watched on T.V when we were young."

Muffin nodded, eyes distant. "I'd like that."


Ñako was the last one to wake up next morning, pushing away the pizza, empty bottles and sleeping Meowth on top of him before rising to his feet and letting out a big yawn.

"Ahh… is it eight already?"

"It's twelve, Ñako."

Mycroft said that as he entered the room with a handful of freshly washed white towels, which he proceeded to sniff before letting out a pleasured sigh.

"Ah, clean and perfumed. I guess the room service is acceptable."

The rest were scattered around Silver's room, either gathering their stuff or trying to wait out the hangover. Vard stood in the middle of the room, wearing a bathrobe as well as a towel wrapped around his hair.

"Good morning, my subjects! Let us embark on this new day with cheer and positivity!"

Sabrina scoffed, adjusting her hat in front of the mirror. "Can we get coffee first?"

"Did you all know that you snore a lot?" said Sammy from the other extreme of the room.

They finished dressing up and gathering their belongings while Loli and Silver's Pokemon sat back on the couch, watching T.V. It didn't take long before she called out to them, terror in her voice.

"E-everyone, come here! I think you'll want to see this!"

The group gathered around the couch, looking up at the T.V., which showed an interesting piece of news.

"Murder in Cerulean; there are three victims confirmed," Sabrina muttered under her breath. "sh*t."

Mycroft took a step back and sighed into his palm. "I knew it."

"Great news! Our legend expands!" yelled Vard.

"B-but… they can't know it was us!" Sammy argued. "Right…?"

At that, Silver walked over to the balcony and looked down, then let out a long whistle.

"Well, there are police cars down the street, if that answers your question."

Chaos ensued. Everyone started running around the room as fast as they could, grabbing onto their Pokemon and belongings and heading for the door. Siegfried was the first to ask what they were all thinking.

"C-could we get out from the back door?"

Sammy shook her head. "There's no way, they'll definitely follow us."

"I could take my clothes off in front of the police," said Ñako. "Would that help?"

"It's just as the good ninja says!" yelled Vard. "We must create a distraction in order to escape safely!"

Siegfried shook his head. "In what way does Ñako's genitalia mean that?"

Ultimately, however, it was Sabrina who came up with a solution.

"They won't pursue us if they have something even bigger to worry about."

At least half the group shivered at the coldness in Sabrina's voice, and that feeling only exacerbated when they saw that she held a Pokeball in her hand. There was a flash of light, and a moment later her Vulpix materialized before them.

"Rokon, do your thing."

The curtains were burning before she even finished saying that sentence. It didn't take long for the flames to start growing, until they started licking up the ceiling.

Muffin let out a scream as she ran out of the room. "Whyyyyyy!?"

"Tsk! What if someone gets hurt?" asked Siegfried as he did the same.

"Merde! Is it too much to ask to leave ONE town without committing arson!?" Mycroft yelled out.

Yet none of them could stay back and argue, as the entire group soon started running downstairs toward the lobby. Sabrina, Ñako and Silver ran together in the back, a more relaxed look on their faces. As they reached the base floor and saw the back exit in the distance, Silver spoke up.

"Cool hotel."

"Yeah," said Ñako. "We should come back sometime."

"For sure," added Sabrina. "Ah, where are my manners? I should tip the staff for their generosity."

Just as she ran past the receptionist's desk, she took a coin out of her pocket and flicked it toward the poor owner, who was too busy sweating and yelling at the phone for the firefighters to come as soon as possible.

As the door closed behind them, the three stood still for a moment to catch their breath.

"Y'know, if we're all done acting cool and aloof…" said Ñako. "We should probably…"

"f*ck off," finished Sabrina. "Yeah."


An hour later, the group stood over one of the high hills of Route 4, overlooking the city they'd just left far in the distance while the wind blew and the grass rustled under their feet.

"So how was the thing now?" asked Silver. "We head for Mt. Moon?"

"We should," said Mycroft. "We wasted enough time on Cerulean as it is."


Ñako muttered to himself, frowning at the horizon.

"Wolf… Wolfsy… the blind one, and that other guy. The one that believed in morality and Santa Claus. We never saw them again. Wonder what happened to them."

He only 'wondered' for a couple more seconds before shrugging and turning around, facing the majestic figure of Mt. Moon in the distance.

"Oh well."

Tales of Reborn: The Six Rifts of the Heavens (2024)
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