While Blue was taking of some police officers who had arrived because of all the ruckus the children created few minutes ago, Khali and Arthur stood there frozen still and couldn't over the fact that ...
"Did he say Blue ...", Khali began, his mouth wide open,
"... Oak?", Arthur finished the sentence, his eye-brows furrowed and his face filled with confusion.
Both boys were at first astonished hearing this news all of sudden, but then their reactions changed and both focused on different things:
"WHAAAAAAAT!?!?!?! That was Blue Oak?! OMG! Was that really Blue awesome Oak, the greatest Gym Leader of all time and the pride of Viridan City?!?! Shit, I can't believe a legend just talked to me ...,", Khali caused a small uproar, excitement radiating out from his body and soul.
"Hmm, Blue Oak ... did you also see his missing limb? Are you sure that's him?", Arthur had a vague understanding of Blue, maybe because his memories hadn't recovered fully. He could faintly remember he was the grand-child of Samuel Oak, commonly known as Professor Oak. But somehow he didn't expect to be ... this old. And also missing a limb.
"Of course that's him! Why shouldn't he be! I mean he has his own real butler! As for that limb, there a various rumours like for example that ...", as Khali was about to continue explaining something shocking crossed his mind. His face instantly turned pale and he gained a horrified expression suddenly.
"What's wrong with you?", Arthur asked concerned.
"Tha-that was Blue Oak, the second greatest Trainer of all time, and I almost hit him with my attack! I attacked a hero of the Great War and involved him in an accident, shit, MY LIFE IS OVER NOW!"
Arthur didn't get it:
"Why is your life over, he seemed fine as far I saw him."
"Damned, easy for you to say, he saved your life after all, twice already! I endangered his instead! And what about the first impression, now he will think I am rowdy or delinquent! How can I ever face him again uuuuuurgh.", Khali's eyes became distant and passive, stuck in his own depressed bubble.
His Spinarak crawled all over his body in an attempt to rais up his mood but Khali didn't respond at all.
At the same time Arthur saw his old pal Mr.Nyao walking in his direction. It looked embarrassed onto the ground and Arthur's expression turned pale suddenly:
"Damned! How could I forget!", the reason he was actually here to begin with, he had pushed all thoughts aside after being put into a dangerous situation and then being saved by a famous person.
Everything happened so quickly that he never thought about what he should do instead.
Judging by Mr.Nyaos looks, it seemed the mission had failed. Arthur could think of several reasons why this happened.
His mother's Glameow was fast but the wild Sniebel was even faster. Mr.Nyao also didn't have the strength necessary to overpower or only stall that cunning Pokemon in a wide open area like the city.
However, in the end it was mainly Arthur's failure to arrive punctually at their rendezvous point to blame that they weren't able to achieve this objective.
Arthur didn't put faults at Mr.Nyao and apologized for his mistakes instead.
He shortly explained the situation he was currently in to his partner and with a combination of gestures and mimics Mr.Nyao got the gist of it. It decided to rest for now and go back home first. Or that's what Arthur expected it to do if it really understood what he had tried to convey. How do Pokemon understand and see the world, and do they really understand human language?
With a slight sigh he turned his attention back to Khali. The Sniebel problem needed to be taken care of later.
Arthur didn't know how to help his friend for now, but seeing that the butler was patiently waiting further away next a black car, he pulled Khali forward to get moving.
"What happened to ths young man?", Alfred asked worried.
"Nothing ha-ha-ha, that's just a game he sometimes plays, nothing serious really.", Arthur didn't want to elaborate and shoved Khali into the backseats hurriedly to avoid this topic.
The car drove off away from the central square and moved north-east towards the more rural areas. After about 20 minutes the landscape changed sligthly and there were less shops or buildings nearby. Instead they entered a forested area cut through by one cemented road.
Arthur pulled on Khali's sleeve and finally asked:
"Hey, could you tell me now what you were doing just then? How did you get yourselves into trouble in the first place?", he was quite curious about since the incident started.
"*Sigh* Love at first sight, but a path full of thorns Arthur. The moment my eyes fell upon her fiery lava like -"
Arthur gave him a small slap on the back of his head, just in case Khali hadn't recovered from his shocked state.
"Aiaiai, didn't remember you were this brutal my friend. The thing is like that, I walked down the mall, I just came back from the work on the Berry fields. I then saw her suddenly and our eyes met like we were destin-"
"Autsch, we stared at each other for several seconds and-"
"It wasn't just you staring at her like a creep and after a while she noticed your presence and got frightened?", Arthur asked suspicious.
"No, no, no. Of course, I am a gentleman. It was mutual! Well, I had this feeling we knew each other, I definetly had it and I am 100% sure she did as well! Maybe we were lovers from a past life reincar-"
"Broo, you're giving me headaches man!", Khali whined a little,
"We alolans embrace the path of peace and serenity. You should embrace that culture as well if you don't want to end up as a delinquent."
"Who was the one who started a fight in the middle of the city because of a notion about a past life, huh?"
"Me and fighting? No, amigo, you got this wrong. This was like a greeting! She said hello and sent her Eevee to deliver that message, I responded in kind with my Spinarak! That's how people meet each other nowadays."
"Shhzzzzz!", the Spinarak on Khali's legs supported him cheerfully.
Arthur kept sending him weird glances, but decided to let that matter rest for now.
"Ahh, I forgot to introduce you to my partner in crime. This is Webster, my first Pokemon Partner!"
Arthur took a closer look at the Spinarak now that the situation had calmed down. It looked small and green, the size of a backpack, and had darker patterns on its back. It was a little hairy on the surface of its body and had six small yellowish claws attached to it as well as two reddish mandibles at the sides of its mouth. It looked curiously at Arthur.
"Ehh, hello ... Webster?"
"Shhz-Shzzzz!", it responded happily. It then jumped up all of a sudden and climbed onto Arthur's body! Arthur didn't expect this kind of assault on him so suddenly and just sat there like a block of ice, frightened.
"Hahaha, man sorry, I should have warned you! He is quite mischivious and likes to climb around places and sometimes even people. I think he likes you!"
Arthur didn't know if he should be happy or scared. It felt like a mix of both to him. But he didn't sense any hostile intentions from Webster so he got used to it quickly. That was also the very first time he had this close contact to a Pokemon.
It didn't hurt all, but he felt Webster's claws exerting some kind of pressure on different places on his body to stay stuck on him.
"That's enough Webster, come back now!", Khali said after which Webster obeyed and jumped onto his shoulder.
Then they talked about mundane things in life and Arthur came to know more about his friend Khali. His father was an engineer and an expat who came from Alola to work in Kanto. There he met his mother and they seemed to have a harmonious relationship even though she was often away on business trips herself.
His father's wish was for Khali to have an Alolan Pokemon as his first one on his tenth birthday, and his mother wanted it to be a poison type Pokemon because of 'Family Traditions'. To the dismay of his father, Khali didn't like any poison type Pokemon found in Alola, and instead chose his Spinarak Webster he found by accident when strolling in the forest. His father accepted it reluctantly but made him promise that at least one of his future teammates should be from Alola.
Khali's family seemed to be quite well-off Arthur noticed. Not every family could afford to import Pokemon from the faraway region of Alola, considering the different climate, humidity, temperature or air pressure in Kanto it might have taken considerable resources to make the Pokemon acclimate properly.
He had read that there were sometimes similar Pokemon one could find in Kanto or Alola but because of the distinctive environmental conditions in each region the Pokemon got used to, they also had troubles to live in an environment foreign to them for an extended period of time without sufficient training and conditioning. This phenomenon was known as 'Home Bias'.
And when disregarding these factors, there were also costly administrative regulation issues involved. Some Pokemon were exclusively found in specific regions and could only be owned by those citizens in said regions which made these regions popular and increased tourism of course. Another problem was that no region or country was interested in exchanging the Pokemon that were native to them with any foreign species of Pokemon. Rattatta for example could be found in almost any part of the world. Those creatures reproduced themselves really quickly and only needed small amounts of food and rations to survive and make offsprings.
But if there were Pokemon exclusive to one place and somehow got in contact with another regions environment, it could disrupt the well-established ecosystem in unpredictable and catastrophic ways. This process was usually a natural process and Pokemon em/immigration was a common occurrence that happened gradually and slowly so that the ecosystem could adapt to the new parties.
"I guess, his father's identity makes things easier for him", Arthur thought inwardly. As an Alolan citizen, it shouldn't be a problem for him to bring some Pokemon over.
He didn't tell Khali about the Sniebel yet. For one he didn't know Khali for a long time time due to his memory loss, and second it was quite embarassing for him to admit his first Pokemon partner had run away and left the very first moment the met each other.
Gradually a large black-iron fence became visible on the side of the road dividing the greenery into two sections. The trees became less and less, instead there was a greater focus on bushes and grassfields. Behind the fence Arthur saw bodies of water, moving, jumping, running figures, all around the fields.
Without realising it Arthur and Khali had already arrived at their destination in front of a big black-iron gate. But what shocked them the most wasn't the grand scenery and the huge imposing front garden but the stone stele erected next to the big iron gate which said:
After that, the big iron gate slowly opened itself and when the boys entered the area, it felt like they set foot into heaven itself. The serene and calm atmosphere as well as the beautiful garden with the several pools and fountains made them feel tranquil in their hearts and minds. They also found several different Pokemon who played on the different grounds and made the garden look even more heaven-defying. A bit farther away they could see a big manor on a hill, looking down on all places and declaring itself the sovereign of this territory.
Finally when they reached the actual mansion they had to pass by another gate till they could get off the car.
When standing right in front of the mansion, the awe and majesty they felt got even stronger than before. It was as if a hidden pressure pushed on their bodies and wanted them to kneel and pay respect to this place!
The butler had stayed silent all the time and led them to the interior of the building. But before they could get any further, an angry voice stopped them:
"Why are you two here! Get away from here ASAP or I will call the cops!! Alfred, what is going on?!"
The person turned out to be Cecile, the girl they had 'met' earlier. Now that they weren't in an immediate conflict, Arthur had more time to see her and notice a few things. She appeared to be around the same age as Arthur and Khali and red fiery twin tails emerged from her backhead.
Her menacing glare made the two boys believe she was going kill them right on the spot!
Sweat droplets formed on Alfred's face and he made an wryly smile:
"Young Miss, I am just following Master's orders. He told me to bring these young guests into his study room."
"He did what?!", she exclaimed shocked. Alfred didn't seem to lie and so she scrutinized the two boys again. She didn't find anything special on them. One of them looked rather weak and the other was full of plasters on his body. Did they think this was a hospital? But her father rarely took the efforts and requested Alfred to bring people into his personal study so it should be more important than she thought. Usually it was Alfred who took on the Job as his manager and met up with people and reported everything back to her father.
After a small time during which she still couldn't come up with a fitting explanation, she snorted coldly and was about to turn around, when a voice called out for her:
"Hey, wait please!"
She turned around and it seemed to be the dark skinned one of the two boy's. She glared at him and asked clearly irritatedly:
"You again, what do you want?! Do you want another fight?!"
"Have you ever tried alolan coconut-cake? If you didn't yet I could bring you some, trust me, it's like entering another realm of ...", before he could continue though Cecile turned around and stomped back inside the mansion. Completely ignored!
"Well, I would say that she definitely likes me! Hehe, she just hasn't realized it yet."
Arthur was impressed by his friend and didn't speak another word on his taste for women.
"Young guests, if you could please follow me now!", Alfred told them.
He stood by the side all this time and didn't dare to leave a bad image on Cecile.
The entered a big hallway and walked up some stairs, made some turns and finally arrived in a big room.
The first thing the two noticed was the big collection of books. There were large bookshelves on both sides of the room. The floor was bright and wooden and it had a picture of the World Map carefully ingraved on it.
There were some couches, a big long table and a large desk in front of them. Behind the desk was an older person, maybe in his fortys or fiftys sitting on a chair. He wore some shorts and a t-shirt. His bright orange hair was enhanced by the light shining through the window behind him and made it resemble fire. The only strange thing was that he was missing his left arm.
"Thank you Alfred. I think I will be able to take over from now.", the man told Alfred.
"Of course Master Oak. Please tell me immediately if you are in need of something!"
After Alfred had left, an awkward silence spread in the room. The man in front of the boys just looked at them curiously and had a smile on his face.
"Please boys, sit down. You are my guests here. Just relax and enjoy some tea! I hope that you had a good time on your way here!"
"Yes, yes definitely. It is really a beautiful place!", they told him honestly. They wanted to be as respectful as possible towards him.
"Hahaha, no need to be so modest. Is the energy pressure too much for you? Here, eat these snacks, they help you acclimate faster!",he said and offered them some biscuit.
They first wanted to decline but when he insisted again, they took some pieces and just ate them. The moment they swallowed them down, an easing feeling poured through their bodies and filled every centimeter, every nook and cranny inside them. It was as if a burden they didn't know it even existed, had been lifted from their shoulders..
"Hahaha, judging from you facial expressions, the cookies must have done their Magic!"
"They are amazing Sir! Super delicious!!"
"What did you put inside those biscuits?"
"That's a small secret hehe, but I can tell you that it's not really the cookies that are causing these effects. They just help you acclimate to the higher energy pressure on this hill. You see my grandpa wanted me to build this mansion here because he discovered an Energy Vein under this place."
"Energy Vein?", Arthur asked confused.
In contrast to him, Khali was simply shocked when he heard about the Energy Vein. No wonder Webster ran off on his own, the moment they entered this place!
"Ehh, I guess you didn't learn that in school yet. Ehh, in a nutshell it's a rare place where Pokémon feel more harmonic. Yep, that sounds all right. Pokémon feel very exhilarated near these kinds of places but humans need some time to get used to the abundance and density of Infinity Energy. I am sure you must have felt some kind of heavy pressure when approaching the mansion. That's what caused it."
"Not only that!", Khali's breathing quickened and he started talking faster,
"Energy Veins are mostly available in the wilderness! But most veins in urban areas have already been claimed by other parties or factions! It's super rare to still find one in a big city such as Viridian City! Not only do the Pokemon feel more harmonious and peaceful, but it's also been proven that the cultivation and training of Pokemon progresses much faster in such an environment than anywhere else! This is simply a heaven made for Pokemon and Trainers alike!"
"Hahaha, yes, you are quite a knowledgeable one. What's your name boy?"
"Ehh, Khali! Khali Akiona Sir!"
"Khali? Khali ... your mother's name, it's not Janine is it?"
"What?! How, how do you know?!", Khali felt shocked and perplexed when this unknown person actually knew about his mother!
"Ahh, so she is! What a small world, wow. Now that I look at you again, I do see the similarities. You could say ... that me and your mother, that we are old acquaintances ...", he was distracted for a moment when his eyes fell on Arthur again and he asked him,
"And you, you're Arthur, if I remember correctly, right?"
"Yes Sir!", Arthur responded.
"You definitely look healthier than before, haha! I am happy you recovered so well. You seem like you have something on your mind, please feel free to ask me anything you want."
"Ehh...", Arthur had been confused since entering the outer gate and really had some questions he couldn't find the answers himself to,
"you told me Professor Oak had passed away. Could you tell me a bit more about him?", something in Arthur's mind was just shocked and urged him to find out more about this Professor Oak.
"Ahh, yes. It's indeed as I have told you earlier. 'Professor Oak' has passed away a couple of years ago. He was buried in our family's burial place a little farther away from here. Most people only knew him as Professor Oak, but to me he was always only my grandpa."
Please enjoy ;)
When Blues says 'before' to Arthur, he actually means the accident in the forest :)
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