After some time following the path indicated by the Pokedex Arthur finally found the entrance to the Green Garden.
It was located at the outer rings of the city while its actual entrance was hidden by conspicuous buildings. Honestly, without a guide like the Pokedex he might have never found this place otherwise.
He entered the garden and felt like being in a completely new world. Caterpies and weedles were hanging down some trees or eating at the leaves, the tall grass rustled and Arthur was sure to have seen something fluffy and purple moving in between the shades.
It was also only now that he realised how clean the air was and how peaceful the world could be.
It was a stark contrast to the busy hectic city life with lots of crowds and countless shops illuminating the streets at all times.
His PokeDex was blinking and making noises without stopping while informing him of various signals it picked up from the surroundings
[Attention Host! Higher density of Infinity Particles discovered beep! 93% chance of encountering caterpie! Beep.]
[Attention Host! Higher density of Infinity Particles discovered beep! 78% chance of encountering ! Beep.]
[Attention Host! Higher density of Infinity ...]
[... 47% chance of encountering ...]
Annoying, he should probably look up a function to deactivate the auto-search temporarily he thought.
He only wanted to meet Gary, but there wasn't a function for th...
"Ahhh!", how could he forget! Didn't he exchange contact numbers with Gary? Shouldn't he be able to connect with him?
After a quick switch to the communication app of the PokeDex, his thoughts were confirmed. His request connected him with another person on the line:
"Hello? Arty? Is that you?"
"Yes, it's me!"
"Good to hear from you again! That was quite embarrassing, haha, hope nobody saw me :)", Gary laughed and sent Arthur a smile emoticon.
Arthur didn't know how to respond and just replied:
"Probably not ...", well they didn't see him but his clothes ... .
"So, where are you? I am already waiting for you here."
"Yes, that's why I called, I just entered from the chimchar avenue, and all I see are trees, where should I go next, can you tell me?"
"Yeah, sure until you come across ..."
"Ok, good thanks, I will be there in a few minutes!"
After the call, Arthur quickly found the river and the bridge Gary mentioned to him. It was at a crossroad, and the left direction would lead him to where Gary was.
While crossing the bridge he suddenly heard a splashing sound in the water below him. He looked for the source of that noise but when he bent over the wooden fence he just found a ... Magicarp!
The Magicarp seemingly noticed Arthur and their gazes met in the air. Silence befell the small area, the only sound spreading was the flow of water and Arthur lost himself in the dark round pupils of that crimson Pokemon, and the darkness stared back at him.
The situation was too strange for Arthur and he felt goosebumps rising on his back. He quickly turned around to get away as far as possible.
And just when he was sure of his safety he heard someone's whisper in the distance behind. It was a very quiet whisper, as if the person was far way yet he could understand every word spoken clearly and without faults:
"Don't despair young carp, it doesn't matter who you are or where you are from but who you want to be and where you want to go next!"
Goosebumps! His hair stood straight on his neck and his most inner core shook when the words reverberated in his head. He looked back absent-mindedly but ... there was no one there ...
"I-I should better hurry up, ha haha!", Arthur gulped down his saliva and quickened his pace.
After a little while but without any further hiccups on the road, an unbelievable scene was painted in his eyes.
He finally found Gary, now visible again and with all his clothes on, squatting on the ground and surrounded by a sea of Pokemon!
Caterpie, zigzagoon, bellossom and many other Pokemon gathered around him as he fed each one with some food. He seemed fully immersed in the act of feeding them and taking care of them.
After a moment Gary suddenly looked up and noticed Arthur:
"There you are! I already wondered when you would finally arrive hahaha!"
"Yes, eh, took some time to find this place. Do you always feed Pokemon around this area?", he asked nervously.
"Sometimes I do haha, but this, is something different. What's wrong? Never seen so many at once?"
"Yeah, well ...", Arthur's experiences with large hordes of Pokemon weren't the best.
"Don't worry, these ones are docile. They won't attack if you won't either. It might even arouse them if you behave so nervously around them. They can feel and notice your feeling and will get alarmed, so just relax."
"K, sure, just relax.", he tried to change the topic and forget his uneasiness,
"So, at that time in the Umami King, did you really just disappear into thin air? Was that ... Infinity Force?", that was the only possible thing that might make some sense.
"Bullseye! Yeah, it's a special Infinity Force Technique. I can teach it to you when you are ready, but now you have other challenges you need to take care of first! Come and sit on my place! And also take off your clothes! Hahahaha!"
Arthur just smiled wryly. At least there was no one around to bother them, he thought to himself "Sigh!"
He hesitatingly approached the crowd of small creatures and took off his shirt and trousers.
"Why do I have to do this again?", Arthur said through clenched teeth. Ever since his accident in the forest, he felt a small fear rising up every time when approaching Pokemon too close. Even at home he kept a definite distance from Mr.Nyao, just to be sure. Everyone in his life was accustomed to them like they were as natural as air and light. But there was a small spirit inside him that still preached caution.
"Did you forget? The Infinity Energy in the space, gathering it to you to form Natural Energy ..."
"Yes, yes I got that part, I mean this here! And how were you able to gather them up in the first place?", it wasn't rare for him to encounter Pokemon on the way here but they hadn't been this curious or trusting towards him.
"Ah, yes. There are special objects that make such things a lot easier. Have a look towards that spot over there," he explained while pointing his finger.
Arthur followed the direction and found a small device which continuously released a faint pink gas.
"Scientists have tried determining the composition of the move Sweet Scent and came across a key component which could be synthesized chemically. It isn't as effective as the original molecule but it shows decent effects on weaker Pokemon as you can see.
As for the reason why, its to facilitate and accelerate your training a little. It isn't really orthodox and isn't recommended officially because of possible accidents hehe, but you see Pokemon als discharge a small amount of Infinity Energy and increase the overall concentration by nearly 10% !"
"Oh, ok.", Arthur nodded his head and sat at the prepared spot. The Pokemon closed in on him and looked curiously at the new arrival but didn't ... attack him. He heaved a sigh of relieve. They just moved around him, some poked at his naked skin and he even felt something crawling up his back and making his head into its new resting place.
"It's said that wandering sages or monks in the mountains already knew of this fact and tried living their lives as closely as possible with Pokemon to reach a higher state of existence ...", Gary kept explaining without noticing Arthur's state of mind and current predicament.
"Higher state of ... what?"
"It doesn't matter. Just don't tell anyone about our little activity here, especially the clothing part, kay? As you saw, people aren't used to this hahaha."
Arthur himself wouldn't be interested to tell others about what he was doing here. What would his mother say if she could see him like that?
I chopped up the last chap into smaller bits. New chaps are following though
Please enjoy ;)
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