Hey there! Yup, the next chapter came out quickly as my beta readers did the best they could. And won't ever be able to thank them enough for their help and investment in that story. To keep a more reliable flow, I'll try to keep a fixed schedule for chapters release every two weeks approx. At best after one month. It may not be as perfect as it was, but I believe that you guys prefer having a chapter that comes out quickly with a few more mistakes than waiting for absolute perfection. Again, the choice would be yours I suppose. So here it is. Enjoy.

Next chapter link : docsgooglecom/document/d/1wNC24UJLJ26Sjg5ALyr1p0MkCqZi6vx0YT1_5tKkBy0/edit

For generous donation : "https" : / / www."pay""pal"."com"/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=TFHUKTDRVQYTW&"currency"_code=CAD&source=url


{...When did he arrive again?}

{Yesterday. I heard they were chased by dangerous pokemon, so they took refuge here.}

{The hell are you talking about? I thought it was because their asses were poor and came here after they heard of this place.}

{No matter the reason, we got a pretty cute one.}

{I guess.}

{Still hesitant about trying a human, huh?}

{Well…}

Slowly, Max was stirred out of his slumber by voices. Pokemon voices to be precise. Opening his eyes, he saw the room bathing in bright daylight from the sunny day ahead. He then raised his head to see two pokemon resting against the opened window frame over the bed; a ledian and a vibrava.

{...And why the hell are you suddenly interested in what I do?} The vibrava asked, sounding slightly offended.

{Just asking, geez.} The ledian replied.

"Hem… Can I help you?" Max asked while grimacing due to the bright outside light.

{Khhyaa!} The vibrava exclaimed before both of them quickly ran away through the sky.

With a sigh, Max dropped his head back onto the pillow, which awakened Scarlet, who moved on his chest instinctively.

{Hnn… Morning already?}

"Yep, and I think it's gonna be a beautiful day."

*Sigh* {I couldn't care less right now.}

"Why is every morning so laborious with you?"

{Because I like being asleep.}

"Kind of depressing, but cheer up. Who knows what this place can offer?"

{I know too well what you mean by that, so forget me for the moment.}

"Tsk, alright love." Max gave up, stroking her hair. "You don't have to get out of bed right now."

{What's the point if you're not here with me? I'll get up. Just give me a minute.}

"Take your time," Max assured, delicately brushing her back with his fingers.

{If only you knew. A psychic's brain takes a bit more time to boot.}

"I wonder if it's a generality, or just you."

{Fuck you.} she retorted, giving him the middle finger lazily.

"Love you too."

With a heavy sigh, Scarlet rose and sat on the edge of the bed, hair a bit wild.

{Don't you dare say I look cute when I wake up.} Scarlet said before Max could speak.

"Shame, since for once, I had a compliment for you."

{Hah, hah.} She laughed sarcastically.

She then stood up, stretched a little, and readjusted her appearance a little with her powers. With him now on the edge, Max shook Dusk, who was still sleeping.

*Yawn* {Morning.} The braixen said while sitting up.

"Slept well too, I presume," Max remarked.

{Hm hmm.} Dusk confirmed.

Placing herself on the window and resting her arms on the frame, Scarlet inhaled the fresh air.

{That's the kind of day that I appreciate.} She mentioned while eyeing the horizon.

"Wow. Scarlet actually liking something." Max teased.

{Gotta enjoy what very little I have, don't you agree?} Scarlet retorted, playing along.

"Hehe, that's right."

As Scarlet was inspecting the outside and Dusk was waking up gradually, Max got dressed.

"Do you see something interesting?" Max asked as he was zipping his pants.

{Humans. Pokemon. Both. No, not really.}

"Tss, same old Scarlet." Max jested, embracing her from behind with his head next to her.

{Is that a problem?} Scarlet inquired, putting her hands on his arms, rubbing them.

"Hmm… That's a tricky question. I would say mostly, yes."

{Really? And what are you gonna about it?} Scarlet asked with a mild seductive tone.

"Well… I have a couple of ideas and ways to put you into submission and break you." Max answered, rubbing her outer thighs.

{Oh. Can't wait to see you try.}

"That's gonna be fun." Max finished, kissing her neck before leaving her.

With Scarlet turning so as to not unlock her gaze from her lover, Max took out his pokeball and released the rest of his team with everyone already awake.

"Breakfast time?"

{I'm already hungry, so good timing.} Bonny said.

"You're always hungry. Does your stomach even have a bottom?"

{Depends on what we're talking about. There are things that I'm never satiated with.} She replied with a smug.

"How elegant." He replied with rolling eyes.

{What? I'm just being honest here.} She said proudly.

"That's the scary part. Everyone's ready?"

{Do you even know where to go?} Aurora questioned.

"Nope. We'll see on the way."

Grabbing his backpack and putting May on it as she demanded, the group left the room and the building. Partially blinded by the strong sun, Max briefly looked around. All over the place, humans and pokemon were walking around, minding their business and not paying much attention to them, as if he was already one of them. The sight of human and pokemon couples just walking or with the pokemon helping a human, whatever it was for carrying something or something else, was pretty heartwarming for Max.

"Well, let's look around for a place to eat."

{Shouldn't be hard. Every place plagued with humans has a place to eat.} Scarlet commented.

"You know, I never saw myself as a disease, but I think it's worth thinking over." Max jested.

{You know that when I'm talking about humans, I don't include you.}

"I do, but that last statement had quite some depth in it."

{Are you mocking me?}

"Well, yes."

{Jerk.} The gardevoir retorted, static shocking him with a finger on the nose using Thunder Punch.

"Ow," Max complained sarcastically.

{Anyway, as she said, it shouldn't be hard. You just have to pick up the scent of food.} Aurora remarked.

"I'll leave it to our reliable lucario, then."

They walked for a couple of minutes until the group, mostly led by Aurora, arrived in front of a large building. From it, they saw a bisharp stepping out with a female human.

[If they are together, I wonder how they do it without the girl being sliced into pieces.] Max told Scarlet.

[Beats me. Must have been hella fun to see them at first, though. I'm sure there was a lot of blood.]

Max couldn't avoid noticing her amused tone, enthusiastic even, at her last sentence. He then also noticed that he was now used to her dark humor. He even stopped wondering if it was actually humor or sincere thoughts. With everyone behind him, he went towards the said building entrance and entered. As he guessed, they got into a canteen of some sort.

"Looks like we found it."

{I bet the food smell gave it away.} Scarlet mocked.

"You sure are on fire today," Max replied, looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

{When I sleep well, I tend to have a small surplus of energy.}

"Good to know."

{I hope you have some too. Remember, I'm planning on putting you back in shape.}

"I'm not out of shape."

{That's the point. I do that before you really are.}

*Sigh* "Whatever. But for now, I just want to eat." Max concluded, looking around.

A couple of tables and chairs were scattered all around in a rather convivial setting and a wall-mounted counter at the back left of the room. Strangely, no one was around.

"Hello?" Max called out through the wall counter when he got near.

Shortly, an old woman appeared from behind.

"Yes?" She said, looking at him interrogatively.

"Hi. I was wondering if we could get breakfast here."

The old woman looked at him and his pokemon.

"Yes, but you missed it."

"What do you mean?"

"Here we have a specific time for meals. If you're not on time, then you're on your own."

"Ah. Hard to guess since we arrived yesterday."

"I see. Well, what I can do is to go check for some leftovers."

"That would be very kind. Thanks."

Not even smiling, the old woman left them.

"Why don't you girls take a seat? Scarlet and I will get us the meals."

After nodding, Max's companions went on to sit around a nearby table. As they were waiting, both Max and Scarlet heard the woman gibberish at someone. They didn't hear what she said but started calmly before quickly sounding a bit mad. Shortly after, a delphox appeared from where the old woman vanished with two metallic cauldrons, holding one and the other floating behind. Its morphology and face looked very feminine.

{Here you go.} The delphox said with a smile, dropping them on the counter. {We have chicken and noodle soup in this one and potato and oran berry salad in the other.} She enumerated.

"Wow. Thanks."

{Both are almost empty, but I think there is enough for all of you.}

"Nice."

{Say, it's the first time I've seen you. Are you new around here?} She questioned while lying on one of the cauldrons and looking at him with interest.

"Yeah. We arrived yesterday, but I don't think we'll stay very long. It's the first time I've seen a place like this, so…"

{I understand. Meeting others that are as deviant as ourselves is always something to get interested in.}

"I… guess," Max replied, a bit uncomfortable.

{How many species have you tried yet?}

"Hem…"

{I see that you already have a psychic and fire-type pokemon with you, but ever been with a fully evolved one?} She asked with a seductive tone and eyes.

"I-"

{We are very grateful for the food, dear, but if you don't mind…} Scarlet intervened a bit aggressively, grabbing the cauldron the delphox was resting on. {We are hungry and we would like to eat.}

The delphox only answered with a haughty smile, with what Scarlet glared at her.

"Like she said, thanks for your generosity," Max said, grabbing the other one before facing Scarlet. "Drop it. Come on." He mumbled to her.

Not feeling much for a fight anyway, Scarlet turned and followed Max to the table where the others were. After dropping the cauldrons, Max noticed the missing plates and cutlery. He then walked back to the delphox, who immediately guessed why he came back and made some bowls, forks, and spoons float on the counter.

"Thanks," Max said, a bit ashamed while taking what he needed.

{You're very welcome.} She replied with a wide smile.

As he was grabbing the stuff, Max's mind suddenly got invaded by images of him and the delphox doing nasty and dirty things, but mostly about what she could do to him, like an intense blowjob or relentlessly riding him. Unable to look at her in the eyes anymore, Max said nothing and walked to the table very embarrassingly.

{What's going on?} Scarlet asked while he was distributing the bowls to everyone.

"Nothing, but thanks for asking." Max lied.

Not believing him, she did a quick survey of his mind. Strangely, she wasn't able to see anything in the past thirty seconds that could have put him in that state.

{If you say so. I just hope she doesn't try anything funny on you.} Scarlet said, looking at the now empty wall counter.

{Since when you're jealous of our master's little adventures?} Bonny inquired while picking one bowl and going for the meatless meal.

{I'm not, but she got way too friendly towards him too quickly for my taste. Something is off about her and I don't like master being seen as a piece of meat.}

"How about we just forget about that? I'm hungry as hell and we're gonna need energy if we want to visit this place."

Even though she sensed something wasn't right, Scarlet tried to forget about it and went for chicken and noodle soup. Since the food was cold, Dusk heated them up like a microwave. She did a wonderful job and got thanked by the others. Midway through his plate, Max managed to forget about the delphox.

"So, Aurora? Still wanting to see that dojo?" He engaged.

{Of course. That is a 'must-see'.}

"Cool."

{What about you? Are you still coming?}

"Of course, but if it's okay with you, I wish to explore a bit more first."

{No, it's okay. I just hope you don't plan on running away, though.}

"Why would I?"

{You have a tendency to be a bit lazy from time to time.} The lucario teased.

{Don't worry about him, if he doesn't go spend his energy on his own, I'll take care of that myself. That was the agreement.} Scarlet mentioned.

"Yeah, I admit that I did become a bit too passive lately. If I do, can you go easy on me, please?"

{No problem, as long as you move a little.}

The breakfast lasted for a good half an hour. When done, all the cauldrons were empty, but everyone managed to eat properly. After Max put them back on the counter, they left the building.

"Alright, see you later, then?" Max wished Aurora.

{Yep. Later.}

{I'll go with you.} Bonny said.

{Me too.} May answered, siding with Aurora alongside Dusk.

"Okay. Almost everyone. You know where to go?"

{Nope, but we'll figure it out on the way.} Bonny assured him.

"What about you, Jade? Do you want to go with them?" Max asked, looking at the light green gardevoir.

{M-me?} She said, a bit startled.

"Why not? It could be instructive for you."

{...M-maybe.} She answered, looking interested.

"Don't worry, you're in good hands."

With a shy nod, the light green gardevoir joined Aurora and the others.

{See you later then, master. Keep an eye on them, Luna.} Bonny said before her group went on their way, leaving Max alone with Scarlet and Luna.

{So, what now?} Scarlet inquired with crossed arms.

"Well, let's go look around."

{I'm curious too. I'm always up to learn new things.} Luna shared.

"Cool. It's been a little while since we spent time together, so I'm glad you're here."

{Ah, so it's a double date then.} She speculated with a warm smile.

"What? I…"

{Nah, it's just a date, but two times better.} Scarlet corrected, hugging one arm.

{Works for me.} The zoroark agreed with a smile.

{Let's go, then.} The gardevoir concluded, pulling him.

The three of them then walked together through the place. After a couple of meters, Scarlet let go of Max's arm and looked around herself. Now that he was thinking about it, he rarely got to be alone with both Scarlet and Luna. Both are pretty, sexy as hell, and overly intimidating with their strength and presence. The thought gave him goosebumps, but the good type ones. Being the way he is, his thoughts quickly went on the dark side, and imagined how a threesome with them would be. However, considering their personalities, he didn't imagine soft lovemaking, but rather hardly tackling him on the ground and aggressively raping him. Those images excited him more than it should have and he felt a hard-on coming. He then gathered a lot of willpower to suppress those thoughts, not wanting to walk around with an erection, even though it would probably have little to no impact here. He turned his head to face Scarlet, who had been gazing at him for a little while now.

[Your perverted side will always surprise me.] Scarlet engaged.

[Don't tell me you saw everything?]

[Shit master, you're one sick poke molester.] She said, but with a semi seductive tone.

[I can't help it, it's stronger than me. It's too deep in me.]

[I was just messing with you, no need to justify yourself. You are the way you are, period. If being savagely and sexually assaulted by two strong pokemon is your thing, who am I to judge? But I gotta say, the way you make movies in your head… it's really enticing.] She explained with lewd eyes.

[I… if you say so.]

[But if you ask me, I'm sure those fantasies come from the sexual tension between you two.]

[Maybe on my part, but I doubt she's dying to have sex with me.]

[Who knows? But one thing is sure, you won't know before jumping on her. That's how canine type pokemon likes it, right?]

[And if she's not in it, I'll be shredded into pieces.]

[Yes master, that's totally how she is.] Scarlet confirmed sarcastically. {The worst you'll probably have is one hell of a slap or punch.]

[I'll pass, thanks. I still remember yours a couple of days ago.] Max said, rubbing his left cheek.

[You deserved it, but I admit that maybe I hit you a bit too hard.]

[Probably. I think it just stopped being red yesterday.]

[Okay, now you're starting to sound like a crybaby.]

[I like being one, just for you.]

[*Sigh* What will I do with that amount of privilege?]

[I have a few ideas. Maybe you can-]

*BAM*

Out of nowhere, a running pokemon bumped into Max and accidentally tackled him on the ground on his belly. Pulled by its own momentum, the pokemon fell on its back over Max.

"{Ow!}" Both exclaimed in slight pain.

The creature was a bipedal white and red bunny pokemon known as a cinderace and seemed to be playing with a soccer ball before hitting the human.

{I'm sorry. Didn't see you there.} The cinderace apologized, moving away from him.

"It's okay. I'm used to taking it rough." Max said, sitting up.

{Haha, dirty jokes. They are the best.} The cinderace said with a foolish smile.

{What's up with you? You could have hurt him.} Scarlet scolded her aggressively while helping Max standing up.

{I swear. There was no one last time I checked over here.} The fire pokemon justified.

"Don't take her too seriously. She's just overly protective." Max reassured, helping the pokemon to stand up as well. "And you are Miss…" He asked, guessing her gender by her frame.

{Miss Sally.} The cinderace enthusiastically announced. {But you can call me… hem… well, Sally I guess, haha.} She added with a foolish face.

Her odd answer made Scarlet raise an eyebrow at the cinderace.

"That's a nice name."

{Aha, thanks.} Sally replied, rubbing the back of her head. {Wait! How can you understand me so perfectly?}

{Seriously? You're asking now?} Scarlet inquired, surprised.

{Ah, I know I should have noticed sooner.}

At that, even Max looked at Scarlet.

"Anyway, sorry for being in your way. Take care, and be more careful from now on." Max suggested before giving the cinderace her ball.

{I'm the one at fault but will do. Thanks, mister. See you around.} She wished before turning around while kicking her ball.

After a couple of meters away while running, Sally kicked the ball and hit a human on the head.

{Oh my god.} She exclaimed, rushing towards her victim.

"That's quite the energetic one," Max commented, feeling bad for both of them.

{That's quite the dumb one you mean.} Scarlet corrected.

{That's not nice.} Luna scolded.

"She's right. What gives?"

{Did you see her? She's clearly mentally challenged. That or she bumped into someone one too many times.}

"And what's the problem if she is?"

{Nothing, but at this rate, she's gonna kill someone.} Scarlet pointed out.

"Okay, now you're just being a bit cruel. She seems to be a sweet pokemon." Max defended while looking at the apologizing pokemon in the distance.

The man didn't seem to hold a grudge against her as he only walked away without a word. She waved at him a short moment before getting back to the ball kicking.

"Do you have something against her?"

{No, but… well, she bumped into you, for a starter.}

"And?"

{And…}

"I'm not made out of paper you know. A few scratches won't kill me."

{Ghra! I don't know. I just hate it when someone hurts you.}

Max then gazed at her for a short moment.

*Sigh* "It honors you, but if you get that defensive every time I get a little booboo, you're not done being angry." Max said, with what Scarlet replied with a low groan.

{...Tsk, I'm sorry then.}

"Now that's the smart Scarlet I know and love." He praised, kissing her, making her anger melt almost instantly before resuming their walk.

However, as they were walking, Max couldn't help but think about the cinderace. Not only because she was kinda cute, but rather about how she seems to be. If she was a bit slow, he started to be afraid of how she may have it here.

[Why are you so worried about that cinderace?] Scarlet questioned.

[It's not that I'm worried, but I just hope she's not the black sheep here. I have faith that this community is more comprehensive than any other, but… that kind of personality normally has a very hard time being integrated, wherever or whatever you may be.] Max answered.

[If it's the case, she doesn't seem to be affected that much by it.]

[Either she really doesn't care, not understanding what's going on or it's just a facade.] Max enumerated.

[Okay, let's say she's unhappy here. Why doesn't she just leave?]

[Maybe she can't.]

[Good point. No way she will be able to survive on her own.]

[She's not that retarded. I'm sure she's just mostly distracted, that's all.]

[Everything's fine then. If not, what can you do about it anyway?]

[Tsk, I know, but…]

[But you don't like seeing a female being sad.]

[You know, sex isn't everything.]

[It sounds weird when it comes from you.]

[How so?]

[Well, to put it simply…]

[POVC]

Further away from them, the rest of the group were on their own way to find the local dojo. It had been quite a while now, but still nothing that looked like it could be found.

{I hope we find it soon. I don't really want to walk all day long.} Aurora commented.

{There isn't much more we can do since we don't know where it is.} Bonny replied. {Beside walking in a random direction, I mean.}

*Sigh* {I don't like it, but I suppose we should ask someone.}

{What is there to not like?}

{Because I don't like asking my way around, that's all.}

{Alright.} Bonny replied, disinterested. {I'll ask the next person we see.}

After some more walking, oddly without seeing anyone, they finally spotted a man who was working on his house a bit further.

{What about him?} May proposed.

{And how do you plan on making him understand you? Humans don't speak pokemon, remember?} Aurora reminded her.

{Ah shucks! I forgot about it.}

{I guess it's easy to forget since we're so used to having casual conversations with master.} Bonny pointed out.

{Maybe he's with a pokemon that can help us.} Dusk remarked.

{Good thinking. Let's go see, then.}

As they were getting closer to the man and his house, Bonny heard something to her right between two houses, which were rather close to each other, making the in-between look like an alley.

{Five times! Five times I got hit behind the head! I'm starting to wonder if you're doing it on purpose.}

{No, I'm not!}

Between the houses were three pokemon circling a single one, who had its back against the wall of a house. The three pokemon were respectively a grovyle, a charmeleon, and a ponyta. The one in front of them was Sally, the cinderace from earlier. By the look of the scene, the three were hazing the rabbit pokemon.

{Five times I got that freaking ball behind the head, and you think I'll believe you?} The grovyle aggressively said while waving a soccer ball between its claws.

{I swear I didn't do it on purpose. It just… happened.} The cinderace justified.

{She's mocking us.} The charmeleon stated.

{Do you think we're that stupid?} The ponyta demanded.

{No, I-}

{I doubt it. We all know who is the stupid one here. She doesn't even understand that you can't pass through a concrete wall.}

{I already said that I didn't see it.}

{Shut up. Now listen here, if you-}

{My my, three courageous pokemon picking on a single one. How brave.}

With the four of them turning their head, they saw Bonny and the others a few meters away from them, with Jade standing timidly behind Aurora.

{Who are you? I've never seen you before.} The grovyle engaged.

{We just arrived yesterday. And just in time as I can see.} Bonny replied with paws on hips.

Without saying anything, he quickly understood what they were trying to do and didn't want to cause any pointless ruckus.

{Whatever. I had warned you last time, so say goodbye to your little ball.}

In a quick and strong grasp, the grovyle pierced the ball with his claws, deflating it in a second. He then tossed the remains of the ball at her before the three pokemon left. The cinderace had her gaze locked at her broken ball and kneeled to grab it.

{Are you okay?} Bonny asked gently, crouching in front of her.

{Huh? Yeah, yeah. Don't worry. I just hope I'll be able to find another one.} The cinerace replied, examining the deflated ball while still on her knees.

{It shouldn't be something hard to find.}

{Yeah. Thanks.}

The cinderace's joy even after an episode like this surprised her a little.

{Aren't you… sad or… angry?}

{Not really. It's just a ball.} The cinderace replied, smiling.

After being dumbfounded for a short moment, Bonny stood up and smiled as well.

{That's good optimism there. Say, maybe you can help us.}

{Sure thing!} The fire pokemon exclaimed, standing up as well with her deflated ball. {You helped me, so it's only natural that I do the same.}

{It's nice of you. We're looking for a dojo. Do you perhaps know where it is?}

{Yes. I go there from time to time. Follow me.} The fire rabbit pokemon said before heading down the path.

{What's your name, by the way?} Bonny questioned, walking next to her.

{Sally, but you, hem… just Sally.}

{Well, nice to meet you, Sally. I'm Bonny and this is Aurora, May, Dusk, and Jade.} The lopunny presented, pointing at her friends respectively.

{Nice to meet you too. So, you just arrived yesterday?}

{Yes. our master got caught in the rain, so he and Scarlet came here to find shelter. However, he took an interest in this place and wanted to snoop around a little.}

{I see. And who is Scarlet?}

{Oh, right. Scarlet is, well, master's girlfriend I'd say. She's a red gardevoir.}

{A red gardevoir? Hem, what is a gardevoir?} Sally asked, confused.

{Wait, you don't know what a gardevoir is?} Bonny replied, a bit astonished.

{I… didn't meet a lot of pokemon or humans in my life, so I don't know all the pokemon.}

{...Fair enough. Well, a gardevoir is like a human, but a lot skinnier with white skin, green hair and is psychic and fairy-type.}

{Oh, but didn't you say that she was red?}

{I did. She's a special type of shiny.}

{Shiny?}

For a moment, Bonny wondered if she was just messing with her, but seeing her interrogative eyes, she knew she was serious.

{Well, a shiny is a rare case of a pokemon recoloration. It means that a shiny is a different color than normal.}

{Ahh. So it means that if I were to be shiny, I could be blue, or pink?}

{Maybe. I don't know your species well enough to know, but it's possible.}

{That would be awesome. How can we get shiny?}

{You… can't. It's a birth feature.}

{Nhaww.} Sally complained, disappointed.

{...Is she…} Aurora started softly to Dusk.

{Shh. She could hear you.} Dusk whispered.

{Just saying.}

Then, a couple of steps later, Sally stopped.

{You see the building over there?} She asked, pointing to a distant building outside the skirmish of the town, almost in the forest itself.

{That's it?} Bonny said, narrowing her eyes.

{Yup. Just go there and old Fushiu will greet you.}

{Fushiu?} Aurora repeated.

{He's a nice pokemon, you'll see. Thanks for the help again, but now I have to go search for another ball. See ya.} Sally announced before dashing away.

{Hem… thanks to you too, I guess.} She mumbled after she was out of voice reach.

{She's a special type of pokemon.} Aurora commented.

{She seems to be a very nice pokemon.} Dusk said.

{I hope she is at least.}

{Alright, let's leave her alone. How about we go see that dojo?} Bonny demanded.

{That's what we're here for.} Aurora concluded before the group headed towards the instructed building.

It took them a couple more minutes to arrive in front of a rather large building. Despite being big, it was looking a lot like a regular house. Upon reaching the front door, they noticed that the rather big wooden door didn't have any lock or handle whatsoever.

{Someone sure is not afraid of thieves.} Bonny commented.

{Well, it's not like there is much to steal in a dojo.} Aurora replied.

The lopunny then pushed the door so the group could enter. The inside was like you could expect from a dojo, but this one was a bit more modest. Although mostly covered in tatamis, very little equipment was installed. A few punching bags and wooden dummies, that's it. Using them was mostly small and child looking pokemon with a few normal-sized pokemon. The small ones were oddly diverse in terms of type. One water type here, one electric type there and completed by fairy and normal type.

{I think that Sally confounded the dojo with a kindergarten.} Aurora commented to Bonny.

{Don't be ridiculous. It can hardly look more like a dojo.} Bonny replied.

{Well, I've been in one and I've never seen a jigglypuff there.}

{Makes sense since he was here.}

{Ooh, watch out. Clever Bonny, everyone.} Aurora mocked.

Shaking her head in disapproval, she ignored her and began to wander around. After only a few steps, a poliwrath approached them.

{Hey there, chums. What brings you here?} He engaged with an overly confident tone.

{Oh, hi. Nothing specifically, but we were looking around.} Bonny answered.

{We're here to train!} May exclaimed, passing next to Bonny.

{Are you now, little one?} The poliwrath said, slightly crouching to get closer to her with a smile. {If that's the case, you came to the right place.}

{I presume you're master… hem, Fush…}

{Fushiu? No, sorry but I'm not. Come, I'll present you to him.} He said, straightening up before turning.

The group followed the water/fighting pokemon to the far end of the room. There, they saw a lucario meditating on a small but well-sculpted pillar. It was quite short, only around five feet tall. The lucario was looking very old as the blued fur was partially replaced with silver hair, long eyebrows almost covered his eyes, his spikes became very dull and his face skin slightly dropped.

{We have fresh blood, master Fushiu.} The poliwrath announced before leaving.

Slowly, the old lucario opened his tired eyes to gaze upon the group. Crankily, he stood up before dropping in front of the pillar.

{Careful now. Don't you go break anything.} Aurora suggested.

{Aurora!} Bonny scolded.

{What?}

{I don't mind. My my, you seem to be a bunch of energetic youngsters. Welcome to my home.} The old lucario greeted them.

{Home?} Aurora repeated. {You live here?}

{Why yes, of course. Pardon the modesty of this place, however.}

{Modest indeed.} Aurora agreed, while Bonny glared at her. {Say, master Fushiu, is there a reason why the students here are mostly children?}

{Age doesn't matter for those who want to learn. Everyone is welcome here.}

{You don't say.}

{What's gotten into you?} Bonny demanded, a bit embarrassed by her rudeness.

{Is there something you would want to share with me, Miss Aurora?} The old lucario questioned.

{Actually, yes. I used to live in a dojo and I never heard of a certain Fushiu.}

{Well, I must admit that I didn't really ever leave this place. From as far as I remember, I've been here since my young age.}

{How convenient.}

{Godamnit, Aurora!} Bonny intervened, with which Fushiu motioned here to stop.

{Is something wrong?} The old lucario questioned.

After briefly looking around one more time, she closed her eyes and sighed desperately. She then opened them again and glared at the old lucario.

{Yes, there is. What's wrong is that you call this place a dojo. What kind of parody is that? You have practically no equipment and most of your students are kids. To me, it looks like someone is trying to soil a dojo's honor by playing around pretending to be a master.}

{I see.}

{Okay, Aurora, that's enough. You have gone too far.} Bonny scolded, glaring at the young lucario.

{Now now, let her speak her mind. After all, everyone is free to have their own opinion.} Fushiu insisted. {However, I also have to defend my point. Those youngsters are not here to play, Miss Aurora, and neither am I. They train hard to defend others or protect themselves from persecution and I make sure they train well. We have very little equipment because this town isn't very wealthy. }

{And I've never heard of you. From what I know, you could just try to fool those kids for your own amusement.}

{I can assure you I don't try to do such a thing.} The master pokemon calmly replied.

{I don't believe that you're an authentic master. Give up the title and then I'll forget about everything.}

{Give it up? My, that's quite the request. I've worked hard for that title.}

{Even if it was the case, your time is done, old dog. You can barely stand straight. } Aurora retorted.

At this point, some students had stopped to see what was going on.

{I think I'm starting to see the problem. You're doubting me, am I right?}

{Exactly. At least you seem smart and sane.}

{Alright. I heard you, young one. Then I have a proposition to make.}

{What is it?}

{If you beat me in a fight, I'll give up the title.}

{...Seriously?} Aurora replied, skeptical.

{If you really think that I'm lying about my title and to my students, then it won't be hard for you to strip it away from me.}

{I don't feel like humiliating you. Those kids seem to believe in you and it makes them happy, even with lies, so I would feel bad about it. My goal isn't to destroy that place, but just to let you know that you disgrace what all of this means.}

Her sudden aggression took her friends by surprise. When she does, she usually has a reason, but this time, they didn't seem to understand why. However, her way of speaking seemed a bit less puerile than before.

{Trust me, I won't feel humiliated if someone could save those youngsters from a liar. Unless…} He said before doing a small grin. {You doubt your own words and are afraid of being wrong, of course.}

At that, Aurora narrowed her eyes at him.

{Heh, I won't fall for your pathetic attempt to provoke me.} Aurora said, crossing her arms.

{It's very noticeable that you lived to a dojo before. You have the spirit and vitality of a dojo student. However…} The elder remarked with his grin fading away. {You seem to lack discipline very much.}

{Excuse me?}

{I don't doubt the strength of your previous master, however, he or she seemed to have been a bit lax with discipline.}

Aurora's eyes now started to show some animosity.

{Don't you dare badmouth the grandmaster! He could crush you in seconds, even if he's a human. Don't push your luck, old dog.} She aggressively retorted.

{Then show me what he taught you.}

With clenched teeth, Aurora glared at the arrogant old lucario.

{You want a beat down? Fine. You're gonna have it.}

{Marvelous.} He said, walking to the middle of the dojo.

Joining him, Aurora faced him. Quickly, all the students turned to look at them.

{Remember, you asked for it.} She said, getting in her fighting stance.

{I'm totally aware of that.} The lucario master replied a bit arrogantly.

{I'm also gonna cool down that attitude of yours!}

Immediately, Aurora rushed towards her opponent, who wasn't even moving.

{Don't underestimate me.} She growled before channeling an Aura Sphere and threw it at him.

*Phewsh*

The projectile flew right next to him as he dodged it in a swift movement. Keeping her cool, Aurora went for Bone Rush and swung the weapon at him. The old lucario dodged the first strike almost effortlessly, with Aurora swinging at him another time, but only to be dodged again. She kept repeating the same pattern faster and faster with vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strikes, but all missed as the old lucario was moving even faster.

{Alright. Try to dodge this!}

Dematerializing her bone, Aurora charged up energy and went for Force Palm. As she was only a few inches away and was already tasting victory, her arm got deviated by the elder and instantly counter-attacked with Counter on her stomach. Even in the short amount of time between his deviation and the counter-attack, the old lucario gathered more energy than her and expelled it on Aurora, who was propelled all across the room with a loud impact noise. She rolled a couple of meters away until her course was stopped by a wall.

{Aurora!?} Bonny exclaimed before her and the others ran towards her.

{Sorry if I went a bit rough. I don't have the same energy as before, so I don't have the luxury to make combats last for very long.} The old jackal pokemon explained, back to a more serene mood.

{Are you okay?} Bonny asked, on her knee next to Aurora.

Hardly, she got up on all fours.

{Fuck.} She growled, holding her stomach with one arm in intense pain.

{I apologize for that scene. You can all return to your training.} The old lucario said to his students.

With a few of them a bit worried about Aurora, they resumed their training.

{It's okay, we're gonna take you back to our room.} Bonny assured, helping her to stand.

With one arm around Bonny's neck, Aurora painfully got up, as if the movement worsened the pain.

{Bring her over here.} The elder said before turning to head to a door at the other side of the dojo.

Not hesitating, Bonny carried Aurora to wherever they were led to with the others. Behind the door was a small, simplistic, and minimalist room, probably where the dojo's master was living.

{Drop her here.} The old lucario suggested, pointing at a small cushion on the ground.

Pretty much all the way here, Aurora didn't open her eyes due to focusing too much on enduring the pain. When she was sitting, the old lucario sat on his knees in front of her and placed one paw to where she was hurt. Then, greenish-blue energy emanated from it. Slowly, Aurora opened her eyes and was in less and less pain until she only felt a sting.

{There we go.} The old lucario said, removing his paw.

{What… was that?} Aurora asked, her arrogance now vanished.

{A simple healing move that humans call Healing Pulse.}

{I know that. I was talking about what was that all about? You feigned being weak and frail so you could hit me as hard as you can. Are you faking your old age as well? I'm sure it's just a disguise.}

{Don't you think you have done enough already?} Bonny scolded. {You underestimated him and got beaten. You have but yourself to blame for that.}

{I just got laughed at, so how do you want me to react?}

{Please, youngsters. I don't like disputes between comrades, so please, spare good ol' me that.} The old lucario asked nicely.

{And because of who, you think?} Aurora complained.

{And I'm terribly sorry for that.} The old lucario apologized.

{Don't be, mister. She asked for it.} Bonny defended.

{Thanks for the support.} Aurora mumbled.

{How do you feel?} Dusk asked.

{I'm fine.} Aurora replied abruptly.

{However, I have to say that you impressed me. Getting that far without mastering the aura is quite an achievement for a lucario.} The elder praised her.

{Not mastering the aura?} Bonny wondered.

{Don't listen to him. I may not be the strongest aura user ever, but I have perfect control over it.} Aurora argued.

{Are you sure about that?} The elder questioned.

{What's with you and who are you, exactly?}

{Me? Oh, just an old lucario nobody trying his best to live his life to its fullest.}

{Tsk, alright.} Aurora growled, standing up. {Thanks for the help I suppose. Well, it's the least you could do since you're the one who hit me.}

{Again, I'm sincerely sorry for that.}

{If you say so. I'm out.} She concluded before heading outside.

{Aurora!} Bonny called out, running after her alongside May.

{I'm terribly sorry about that. Aurora has trouble with socializing, but she does her best to improve.} Dusk apologized with a bow.

{We are sorry.} Jade followed, doing the same.

{Ooho, she has so much to live for and a great path ahead of her. I have the feeling that she's gonna go far.} The old pokemon laughed.

{She… had it hard in her life. Please, don't hold a grudge against her.} Dusk mentioned.

{Don't worry, I could never be mad against a young pokemon who tries their best to stay in the light, or in her case, to step out of the shadow.}

{You… noticed?} Dusk said, a bit surprised.

{It's easy to see. An underdeveloped aura like yours almost always a sign of a crushing and unaccepted past. She must carry a lot inside. I'm not mad, I'm sad to see how much she seems to suffer, which seems to refrain her aura development.}

{She… she is. But fortunately, we have a wonderful human as a trainer. Every day, she seems to slowly get brighter and brighter.} Dusk explained with a smile.

{I see that she's in good hands. However, I believe it won't be enough.}

{What do you mean?}

{Having someone to care for her will help her stand, that's for sure. But, it seems that she's still chained to her past. She may see better days now, but she still hasn't made up with her demons.}

Not knowing what to say anymore, Dusk sadly looked at Jade.

{That's a shame.}

However, despite his saying, he didn't seem that concerned about her. As if he…

{Do you…} Jade started.

Thinking she may have made a mistake, she stopped mid-sentence with Dusk a bit surprised about her sudden words.

{Yes?} The old lucario said, looking at the light green gardevoir.

Considering if she should speak or not, she decided to try what Max already told her a couple of times now and gathered up her courage to express herself.

{I… by the way you speak, it's almost like you can help her.} She said with a fervor Dusk never saw.

It wasn't overflowing with confidence, but she was getting somewhere. Maybe having a restrained auditory was helping too.

{My, you seem to be the very smart type. You saw right through my words.} The dojo's master said, looking at her with a smile.

Upon hearing him, Jade reverted back to her old self, and shyly looked away as if she had said something bad.

{Wow. I'm impressed. How did you guess that?} Dusk exclaimed, amazed.

{I… don't know. To me, it was kind of obvious.}

{Anyhow, you're right. If she's willing to do it on her own, I can help her.}

{Really?} Dusk said with hopeful eyes.

{It must come from her, though.}

{We can try to convince her.}

{I don't think it will be necessary.}

{Huh? Why?}

{I have the feeling that she will come back no matter what. I believe that she's not the one to walk away with unanswered questions.}

{I admit that it's very likely of her.}

{Then I'll try to make that sprout bloom for a better future.} He told them, making both her and Jade looking at each other with a smile.

{Thanks. It means a lot to us.}

{I'm sure it does.}

{Well, we won't bother you any longer. Sorry again for the disturbance.} Dusk said with a bow before leaving with Jade.

{Don't be. You all can come here anytime you want.}

With a last smile, they left the room and were now walking through the dojo.

{You made some progress, Jade. I think it's the first time I heard you speak your mind.}

{Well… Aurora is a nice pokemon. I just wanted to help, t-that's all.}

{You're also a nice pokemon.}

{...M-Maybe.}

As they were walking through the main room of the dojo in the direction of where Aurora probably went, Jade looked a few times at Dusk.

{I… really like being with you, Dusk.} she shyly stated.

{You do? I'm happy to hear that. It's the same for me, though I wish we could interact a bit more.}

{Sorry. I never really practiced my social abilities.}

{Keep trying and you'll see that, eventually, you won't recognize yourself.}

With Jade faintly smiling, they joined back with the others, who were waiting outside with Aurora not happy in her corner.

{How is she?} Dusk asked Bonny, who was close to the entrance.

{Well, you know, just doing her Aurora. Nothing to worry about.}

{I think she's gonna be like that for a while.} May commented.

{I don't really blame her. She didn't even manage to touch him.} Dusk commented.

{I agree. I would probably have a hard time swallowing that too if I were in her place. However, she's the one who started it.} Bonny pointed out.

{What do we do, now? I kinda wanted to train with the others.} May said.

{Me too. Well then, why don't you girls go back there? I'll try to convince her to join us.} Bonny suggested before walking towards Aurora.

As the others walked back in, Bonny reached her lucario friend, who had her back laid against a tree, arms crossed and angry looking.

{How are you feeling?} The lopunny asked.

{How do you think?} She angrily retorted.

{Like someone who harvested what she sowed, perhaps.}

{Thanks for the added salt to the wound.}

{Why are you so frustrated about it, though? You didn't react like this when you lost against that Dulshin.}

{I managed to land a few hits back there.}

{Why did you have to challenge him? What were you expecting?}

{...He didn't look like a believable grandmaster to me.}

{Now that you have your answer, why are you still so angry? Are you feeling that humiliated?}

{I… that's not it.} She replied, glaring at the ground before letting out a loud sigh. {Now that I think about it, I just made a fool of myself more than anything else. That human… Max wouldn't have been proud of me. I guess I haven't changed that much in the end, despite his effort.}

Suddenly, Aurora's angry expression metamorphosed into a more sad and ashamed one.

{I won't lie to you, maybe you would have disappointed him a little. However, I think it would have stopped there. He would have asked you what's wrong and would have tried to help you. I even wonder if he would have been slightly proud that you stood up for your conviction. I know for a fact that master loves passionate and grounded females.} Bonny reassured.

{Hmpf.} Aurora huffed with a tiny smile. {You may be right. He's just that much of an idiot.}

{Indeed. But we love our sexy and nice idiot, right?}

{I...guess.} She admitted, now looking embarrassed.

{There we go. You're starting to get it.}

{Oh, shut it.}

{Hehe. Say, why not get back inside with the others and vent on something for a while?}

{How? I doubt I'm welcomed anymore.}

{I'm sure you are, but some apologies won't hurt.}

{If you say so. Look, I just need some time alone, okay? Tell the others I'm okay if they worry about me.} Aurora announced before walking away.

{Tsk. Always like that with her.} Bonny mumbled before heading back inside.

[POVC]

{We have been walking for quite a while now, and there doesn't seem to be anything interesting here.} Scarlet announced to Max, who was still roaming through the town.

"That's a shame. I was hoping that there could be stuff we could do here. I guess it's just a boring town like any other." Max conceded, a bit defeated.

{The least we can say is that you already have some popularity here.} Luna remarked with a grin.

"A few females winking at me means popular to you?" Max protested.

{A few? The only time you weren't looked at is when it was a male.} Scarlet said.

"Don't exaggerate."

{I think you have turned blind.}

"Anyway, it looks like there is not much we can do here after all."

{I'm guessing that you'll go join the others now then.}

"Yeah. What about you? You two coming?"

{Well, I believe we don't really need to go.} Scarlet answered, looking at Luna.

{It can't hurt just to take a look.} Luna said back.

{Unless you have something else in mind.} The red gardevoir hinted with a grin at the human.

"Hem…" Max hesitated, looking at them simultaneously. "Not really." He simply said before walking away.

Before following him, Luna looked at Scarlet.

{At least I tried.} The gardevoir justified, making Luna smile suspiciously.

"We still don't know where it is though," Max stated.

{I know where they are. I'll guide you.} Scarlet assured.

"Alright."

They walked for a short moment before Max engaged the conversation again.

"So? Any plans on what new stuff you want to learn?" Max questioned Scarlet.

{Not really. I already know a couple of moves, so no, I didn't really give it a lot of thought.}

"You know what I was thinking?"

{No, but seeing you thinking is a surprise by itself.}

"You know Fire, Thunder and Ice Punch, right? I know you're strong physically, especially for a gardevoir, but your specialty still is special attacks. Ever thought of learning special attacks like Flamethrower or Ice Beam? You would do a lot more damage with that."

{Hmm. You have a fair point, I'll give you that, but I love the way my fists touch and break what they touch. It won't be the same feeling with ranged attacks.}

"Now you have a fair point. I'm not talking about forgetting them but adding the others. Learning Flamethrower won't prevent you from using Fire Punch whenever you want."

{Hmm.} Scarlet expressed with a pondered pose. {I reckon that it's something I may consider.}

"From what I know, it doesn't have to apply only to those types. You know Shadow Ball, a ghost type move. I don't know if I remember correctly, but I think there is a grass type move labeled Energy Ball. If you could expand your type variety, you could be very powerful and versatile."

{Yeah, but the learning process can be a pain sometimes, especially if it's not my type.}

"You did well with Ice and Thunder Punch."

{Well, I kind of had Fire Punch for a base, but it's true. I'll get onto that later.}

"Great. I believe Luna knows Flamethrower, right?" He added before looking at the zoroark, who confirmed with a nod. "Maybe she can help you a little."

{I'll see in time.}

As they were progressing through the community, they passed some more pedestrians while being briefly flirted with by some female pokemon and even a male, to Scarlet's amusement, until they arrived next to a tiny park-like zone. It had a few trees mostly for decorative purposes, a few benches, and a small fountain in the middle. Max then noticed a pokemon on one of the benches, who seemed to be the cinderace from earlier from behind.

"Girls? Is that the cinderace that bumped into me earlier?" Max questioned.

{I believe so. I didn't see many cinderace around here, but that doesn't mean there are none besides her.} Scarlet stated after noticing the same pokemon as Max.

"Do you think we should invite her?"

{Why? She seems busy.}

"Busy being all alone?"

{Maybe. I don't know. Do as you want, actually. I don't really care.}

Max then proceeded to get near the bench and eventually, besides it.

"Hi there. Sally, right?" Max engaged, startling her a little.

Max was slightly eager to talk to her again since he really appreciated her, but his smile quickly faded away when he saw the pokemon in tears, wet lines staining the fur under her eyes with them being a little red.

"Oh, sorry. Maybe I came at the wrong moment."

{*Sniff* No.} She started before wiping her eyes and nose, quickly trying her best to look as less pathetic as possible. {It's okay. I think it's rather me *sob* that is at the wrong moment. I mean place. Damnit!} She replied before shoving her face into her paws, crying some more.

Max wasn't very comfortable with the situation since he didn't know her much, but couldn't just walk away like that. He would have felt way too bad about leaving her in that state. He then did what he thought was natural and sat next to her. While doing so, he noticed her deflated soccer ball at her feet on the ground.

"Did something happen to your ball?"

{What do you think?!} She aggressively retorted, glaring at him.

She immediately regretted it and covered her face again.

{I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled. I can't do anything right.} She bemoaned.

"I'm sure you're exaggerating a little." Max tried to reassure her as both Luna and Scarlet joined him to his side and behind him.

He was about to put a hand on her back to soothe her, but hesitated and decided not to at the end.

"How about you start relaxing a little and tell me what happened?"

*Sob* {O-Okay.}

She then straightened her back a little, hugged herself with her arms, and looked at the ground. She took a short moment to diminish her sobbing.

{I just can't help it. I'm clumsy and dumb, so of course, I'll cause catastrophes everywhere. It's so unfair.}

"Don't be that harsh on yourself. You broke your ball by tossing it on a metal fence or something?"

{No. That grovyle did it.}

"That grovyle? Who?"

{I don't know his name, but he was with a charmeleon and a ponyta.}

"Okay. And it's him who broke it?"

{Yes.}

"Why?"

{Because I tossed my ball at his head five times.}

"I see."

{Why didn't you kick him in the balls, then?} Scarlet asked, resting her arms on the bench's back.

{I…}

"Scarlet may have said it in a not so gracious way, but I also want to know; why didn't you do anything?"

{Because… I'm not like this.}

{You mean not defending yourself?} Scarlet commented, making Max look at her in disapproval. {Sorry if I'm being rude, but not doing anything when someone is looking for trouble isn't the best thing to do. In fact, it's the worst thing to do. If you don't show a bit of aggression, you'll never be respected.}

{But…} Sally stammered.

Then, all three of them got a bit of a surprise when they saw Luna crouching in front of her. Sally looked at her eyes and Luna took one of her paws.

{I understand you, Sally. Violence isn't always the answer and must be avoided as much as possible. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. Nothing good can come out of it.} She started, catching everyone's attention. {However, it doesn't mean you have to let everyone have their way with you as they please. Violence is a last resort, but you must show that you're not afraid to go there. You're pretty, Sally, and smarter than you think since you know better than anyone. Unfortunately, those are qualities that attract a lot of jealousy. Tell me, Sally. Do you think it's a reason for you to let the others strip that away from you by making you doubt yourself?}

Sally took a moment to come up with an answer.

{N-No.} She said between sobs.

{See? Even that you understand. Asserting your right to exist and be the way you are is the best defense you can have against them. Don't let anyone else decide who you are.} She said, gently poking where her heart should be.

*Sob* {But… I don't want to be mean.}

{You don't have to. Defending yourself isn't being mean. It's asserting your right as a pokemon. No matter what others may think, what's important is what you think about yourself.} She added with a warm smile.

{I…} She said, looking at everyone.

Max and Scarlet never saw Luna speak like that. She always had that motherly personality, but now it's like she was talking to one of her own children. They however smiled at Sally to reassure her.

{You think… it's okay?} Sally asked, sobbing a lot less than before.

"Of course it is," Max spoke. "I one hundred percent agree with Luna. Why should you be the only one that can't love and be loved? If you think you don't have your place, just make it, then. Humans have a proverb; if you're a doormat, people will step on you, but if you stand for yourself, they won't like you, but they will call you sir. Miss in your case."

{Well said. Females aren't one to be pushed around and can be as strong as males.} Scarlet approved.

As Sally was switching her gaze between them, a smile finally appeared.

{Well… if you say so… Thanks.} She said, rubbing her watery eyes while Luna was standing up.

"No problem, Sally. And if you have any more trouble, you can always count on us to help you." Max assured.

Thinking now was the time, he put a hand on her closest shoulder. Loving the softest of her fur, he unconsciously and lightly rubbed it. Upon feeling it, she looked at him and saw his honest eyes with her own emerald eyes.

{Okay. Thanks.} She said with a wider smile.

She then jumped up off the bench with an almost scary renewed determination.

{You're right. I'm Sally and no one will ever change that. I'll keep training at the dojo and they'll see how strong and cool I can be.}

"That's the spirit." Max praised, standing up as well. "Just remember what Luna told you, though."

{Of course. I'm gonna be a bringer of justice. I'm gonna scare the baddies away.}

Her simple but joyful mind made Max smile sincerely.

"Just don't overdo it, okay?"

{Promise!}

"Good. Glad to see you're feeling better."

{Yeah. Thanks to you three. I'm glad that I met you.}

"Same. Well, not that we don't like being with you, but we gotta go. We have a dojo to find."

{A dojo? Do you also need to get there?}

"Us also?"

{It's strange. A group of pokemon also asked to go to Fushiu's dojo earlier.}

{Fushiu?} Scarlet repeated.

"It must be Bonny and the others." Max theorized.

{Yes. It was a lopunny called Bonny, a lucario called… Maura I think. A mawile called… Mo? Ahh, I don't remember.}

"It's okay. So that means you know where it is?"

{Yes. I can lead you too as well.}

"We're right behind you then."

{Okay!} She enthusiastically said while passing in front of them with them following her.

[It's not like we really needed her help. I already know where they are.] Scarlet commented.

[Let her do it. It seems to really make her happy.]

[Alright.] Scarlet conceded.

They were walking for a couple of minutes until Sally was walking next to Max with Scarlet and Luna behind. If Max and his companions were mostly silent, Sally was happily humming while periodically looking at Max. She was so discreet and fast that she could look away every time Max turned his head and not be seen.

{So, if I understand correctly, you arrived not long ago, right?} Sally engaged.

"Yep. Yesterday. We initially just wanted to get shelter from the rain, but when I heard what this place was all about, I had to look around."

{Oh, so you're a trainer from the outside, then.}

"Yep."

{And you say when you heard about this place, you mean… like… you like pokemon very much, right?}

"Well, it's a bit complicated, but simply speaking, yeah. We can say that."

{Ah. So you like pokemon, huh?} She repeated, now slightly blushing.

{I think someone is getting a crush on master.} Scarlet whispered close to Luna.

{I think so too. Our little pup is so charming, so it's not that surprising.} She whispered back.

{Even if it's you who helped her the most?}

{I didn't do that for recognition. I'm sure she's very grateful, but our little pup is the one that caught her eyes. There's nothing more to say.}

{*Sigh* Good thing I'm not jealous like those pesky humans. Otherwise, I would have gone mad by now.}

{Not all humans are jealous, but I must admit that they have a bit of trouble with the concept of freedom.}

{I hear you. All they want is to possess everything without giving anything back. They think that everything is due to them.}

{That's a bit of a generalization.}

{So? I've seen how cruel and twisted they can be.}

Not wanting to argue anymore, Luna dropped it and only smiled.

{Then… can I ask how long you plan to stay?} Sally asked Max.

"Well, I was mostly about to go see and maybe move a little at the dojo for a bit. I was planning to stay until the late afternoon."

{Oh, so not for very long, huh?} Sally said, looking disappointed.

"Yeah. This place is cool, but I'm on a journey to become a great trainer."

{A great trainer? That's so cool.} Sally exclaimed, back to her joyful self again.

"I guess." Max shyly confirmed.

{But… what is a trainer exactly?} Sally asked, making him smile.

"It's a human training a team of six pokemon or less to be the strongest. We mix strategy and power to make an unstoppable team."

{That sounds so epic. Do you already have your six pokemon?}

"Yeah. Since a little while ago now."

{Ah.} She replied, sounding disappointed again.

"Sometimes, I wish I could carry more."

{That would be nice.}

"Yeah, but I wonder if I would survive though. The seven I already have drains my energy so much."

{Is training them that difficult?}

"Well, yes, but not only. It's more about taking care of them all day long. Subsisting to all of their needs is tiresome, especially when your team is female exclusive."

{All their needs? You mean…}

{Master?} Scarlet intervened, hugging Max from behind. {Are you planning on telling our secrets?}

"Huh?"

{Secrets?} Sally wondered.

{Oh, right. Master doesn't like it when everyone knows that he has sex with almost his entire team.} Scarlet shared, making Max look at her with scolding eyes and Sally with surprised ones. {Whoops. Silly me, I said it. Oh well, I'll try my best to shut up next time.} She finished before joining back Luna.

{I wonder sometimes if you're not more of a dark-type than me.} Luna jested, with what Scarlet expressed a satisfied grin.

{I… see.} Sally stammered. {With… almost your… entire t-team?}

"*Sigh* Well, I don't know how you see it, but it was never planned. It kind of just happened. Every day I struggle on thinking if it's a blessing or a curse. By the way, almost the entire team means only five of them."

{That's mean. I didn't know I was such a burden.} Luna said with a fake saddened tone.

"No, not you Luna. You're-"

{I understand. No need to justify yourself.} She kept jesting.

With Max sighing and trying to convince the zoroark that it wasn't like this and her doing her drama queen just to mess with him, Scarlet looked at Sally from behind, who seemed to have gotten lost in her thoughts. She wasn't the kind to peep into others' minds for various reasons, but seeing how Sally seemed to have taken the news got her interested a bit in what she was thinking right now.

(Five of them? God! He must be really good at it. I wonder if he… no no, Sally. Stop thinking like that. He's nice but no way he would like an idiot like me. Well, not liking, but just wanting to… nhaa! I don't even know what I'll do. I never even saw anyone naked before and I never did it with anyone whatsoever. What interest could he have in an experimental virgin like me? No one ever-)

Having heard enough, Scarlet stepped out of the cinderace's mind. It's moments like this when she wonders if she should be proud or irritated by her master's popularity. Seeing how... limited she was, she decided to just not think too much about it this time.

"Anyway, as you can see, it's not easy," Max said, a bit exasperated. "
Every day, I have to go through all of this."

{It seems hard.} Sally remarked.

"More or less, but I wouldn't exchange any of them for anything in the world. It may sound presumptuous, but they gave me all the love I lacked ever since I was young. And you can say I give back what I couldn't too."

{I understand.}

"I don't want to sound like that kind of guy, but being loved and… well, loved very much by so many girls is… pleasant, to say it gracefully," Max admitted, going all red.

{Well well, would you look at that. Master being all honest and true to himself.} Scarlet said, hugging him from behind.

"I'm not saying I feel extremely proud about it. But there is no point in trying to deny what I am, especially with you."

{You bet you can't, haha.}

"But no matter how you look at it, it is how it is. From the very moment, we had our first discussion about that I sensed it would have gone that way. It's just not something I share when I go shopping, you know. The only thing that still bugs me is what could I have done to deserve such… well, all of you I guess."

{Personally, I don't believe if you deserve it or not the way you mean it. You're nice, we love you. That's all there is.} Scarlet explained.

"Pretty easy and simple answer from how much there is at stake."

{It is a very unrefined answer I admit, but that's still it.}

"A touch of luck too, I believe. How are the odds that I capture only female pokemon that are all interested in me?"

{Good point. Then thank the stars, your guardian angel, or whatever you want and stop complaining.}

"And let's not forget a brutal but not stuck up beautiful red gardevoir that helped me with that."

{See? Whether you deserve it or not has nothing to do with anything.}

"I love you so much."

{Me too. You have no idea.} Scarlet assured, hugging him from behind.

Sally couldn't help but feel a small sting on her heart upon seeing Max swimming in joy with his pokemon. It was always a sight she liked to see compared to arguments and yelling, but she was a bit envious as she had never had the chance to experience that. Some were nice to her, but she never had proximity like the one he and his companions had.

"Sally?" Max asked, now free of Scarlet's hug.

{Huh? Oh, sorry. I think I spaced out for a moment, hehe.} She assured him with a convincing smile.

"It's okay. I was just wondering if we were getting close."

{Y-Yeah. It's not far away now.}

A couple of minutes later, Sally successfully guided them to the dojo, where the others were.

"Thanks, Sally. Are you coming with us?"

{I… I would, but… t-today's is my day off. Yeah. So, maybe another time.} She refused with a smile and an apologizing face.

"Oh, Shame. I wish I could have introduced you to my other princesses more properly, but if you have other business…"

{Yeah. I'm very sorry. So, hem…}

{You sure you don't want to join?} Scarlet asked, floating next to her.

{I…}

Oddly, Scarlet leaned forwards and started to whisper something in her ear. Max wondered what she could possibly tell her, but had a wild guess when she looked at him with a smug face as soon as she was done. Sally had gone red and got strangely all nervous, unable to look at anyone around her.

{O-On second t-thought, m-maybe I can c-come for a m-moment.} She horribly stammered, playing with her paws.

"Are you sure? You didn't want to a second ago."

{Y-Yeah.}

"Alright, then."

They then all went towards the entrance while Max waited for Scarlet to be next to him.

"If I ask what did you tell her, will you tell me?"

{Well, you know, my usual persuasive sentences, like; you're gonna have fun with us; we're a nice bunch of crazy being; you teaching her a thing or two about sex. Stuff like that.}

"Ah. Wait, what?!"

{But that's not important. Remember that I told you that I'm gonna make you sweat a little. I like my mates to be strong and energetic.} She deviated while pulling him by the arm.

"Can we speak a little first?"

{Maybe tonight.} She told him before pulling him some more.

"Scarlet!? Wait! What was the last thing you said?!"