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Late in the morning with the midday sun shining down on the Module close to noon, Scarlet had awakened on the bed feeling rather fatigued.

{Oww…} She complained softly after sitting up.

She then crawled over Aurora and Max, who were still in the same position as she remembered them being when they passed out earlier and left the bed. Still, in wake-up mode, she wobbled outside holding her sore lower half. When she made it outside, she spotted Sally and Bonny, who were already up and sitting on the chairs.

{Good morning.} Sally greeted.

{Morning.} Scarlet replied, looking a little tired. {Oowwff!} She exclaimed while sitting on a chair, slightly in pain.

{Eesh. He really went crazy on us last night. It's rare to see you of all 'Mons having a hard time moving around.} Bonny said, smiling a little.

{Tell me about it. If it weren't for my powers, he would have pierced through my womb, rendering me sterile.}

{Haha. Pretty sure we can't breed with him, to begin with.} Bonny laughed lightly. {Funny how your fertility was the first thing you think about after a night like that.}

{And that extra dick girth… How can such a small amount of liquid make a human so big?} Scarlet added.

{Don't exaggerate. He didn't get that much bigger. Just enough for us to feel the difference.} Bonny pointed nonchalantly.

{Do I have to remind you how small and thin my vagina is compared to the rest of you?!}

{Well… I guess it did change a lot for you.}

{With my frame, even the smallest change can make the difference. He really stretched me good. Well, I admit my vagina doesn't feel that good, though.}

{Then why aren't you using Recover?} Bonny suggested.

{I did, but it still hurts when I sit for some reason. *sigh* It will pass. I guess we kind of deserved it. And by "we," I mean "me," because it was my idea to give that aphrodisiac to Max in the first place.}

{Yeah… and me too, since I encouraged you. With that last position he did with me, my back is a little sore too.} Bonny shared.

{What about you, Sally? You seem pretty well, all things considered.} Scarlet asked the cinderace.

{Well, besides being tired, I'm fine.}

{Lucky you. Shit. Let's not do that again anytime soon.} The gardevoir said, feeling a tiny cramp.

{Yeah, it wasn't that fun. I mean, it kind of was, but… I don't know… being tossed to the side here and there wasn't that pleasant. It felt like I was more of an object than a Pokémon, or a lover in this case.} Bonny mentioned.

{Now who's exaggerating? But I see what you mean. There wasn't much love in his actions.}

{I'm pretty sure there was, just… a bit hidden by his… lust for us? Is that the right word?} Sally mentioned.

{Yes, it is Sally. And you're right, I mean, sure I had a blast and don't regret anything, but… I still prefer it when he takes his time pleasing us.} Bonny admitted.

{I agree.} Scarlet said.

Then, all three of them were joined by Luna.

{Finally arose from your slumber, I see.} She engaged, also sitting on a chair, although she was a couple of inches away from not being able to fit in one.

{Tch. Easy for you to say, you who had it the easiest.} Scarlet commented.

{Don't mind her.} Bonny defended Luna. {She's still pretty sore. You know how she gets when she's in pain.}

{I can't really blame her. Our little pup was kind of merciless last night.} Luna mentioned.

{Say, that was the first time that I saw you make those faces. You enjoyed it a lot, didn't you?} Bonny remarked.

{I would be lying if I said no.}

{Did he… manage to…} Sally wondered.

{Make me orgasm? No. Not yet at least. However…} She started with closed eyes. {He did come very close.}

{There is hope for him, then.} Bonny said with a smile.

Then, as they were discussing last night, Aurora was the next to join them.

{Morning, girls.} She greeted them, joining them on a chair.

{Slept well?} Scarlet asked.

{Like a log. I came so many times that I ended up passing out next to him, but I didn't wake up once the whole night.}

{And how are you feeling now?} Bonny asked.

{Aside from a slight pain in my tail, pretty good, actually.}

{Oh yeah, I remember now. He pulled on your tail a lot.} Bonny remembered.

{Well, he was fucking me so good that I didn't notice he even was pulling it.}

{I think I speak for everyone when I say we had a really crazy night.} Scarlet concluded.

{You're telling me.} Aurora approved. {It wasn't that unpleasant to see him so hungry for our bodies.}

{Yeah. Despite everything, it kind of was the most intense mating session I've ever had.} Bonny shared.

{I one hundred percent agree.} Sally said.

Taking the time to wake up properly, the girls stayed and chatted a little while until the module's door opened one more time, this time with Max stepping out.

{Good morning, Mr. Bea-}

Scarlet stopped herself upon seeing him, as what stood before her was both sad and hilarious. While holding the back of his hips with one hand and resting the other on his head, Max was walking very, very slowly, as if he had instantly aged eighty years and had back problems.

{Are you okay, master?} Sally asked, worried.

"*groans* More or less." He answered, carefully heading towards them. "Every muscle in my lower half is so sore and stiff that every time I move, all I feel is pain."

{It's not that surprising. You did go full force with your hips for hours without stopping.} Aurora said.

"And these clothes are so rough from all the sweat, so it's even worse."

{Why don't you just go naked, then? It will be better for you.} Bonny suggested.

"I could, but I'm okay. It's not that bad."

Then, after an eternity, he reached a chair.

"Oh man… This is gonna hurt." Max said while about to sit.

{Let me help you.} Sally proposed while rushing next to him.

"...Thanks," Max replied before being helped by the cinderace. "...Oof!"

Scarlet and Bonny then looked at each other with guilt on their faces.

{I guess we owe you an apology, Max.} Scarlet started.

"*sigh* For what?"

{It's kind of our fault that you're like this.} Bonny pointed out.

"Are you talking about what Scarlet made me drink?"

{Yes.} Scarlet admitted. {Back when we were in Corsoacoast's shopping district, Bonny, Aurora and I visited a sex shop and got gifted a little aphrodisiac bottle. We never used it until last night, thinking that it may help you keep up with everyone at once.}

"I see," Max replied, not sounding mad in the slightest. "Well, I have to say that I would've preferred a warning beforehand, but I can't really get mad at you for something like that. You wanted some fun with me, and you made sure that I would be up to the task. Just tell me next time so I can pack some… Oof! Morphine and ice!"

{...Phew! That's a relief.} Bonny shared, relieved.

"Come on, now. Me, a stubborn yet understanding human getting mad at seven horny yet lovable girls? That's just ridiculous." Max affirmed.

{I never doubted it.} Scarlet said. {But I do feel bad for putting you in that state just to satiate our desires.}

"I'll survive, don't stress over it. I've been through worse. But- *oof* I don't know how I'll go to the shitter like this."

{I can always get you some sitrus berries to help you get back on your feet faster.} Scarlet proposed.

"I'd appreciate that, thank you."

With a nod, Scarlet stood up with a small grimace.

{I'll be back in a moment.} She announced before disappearing.

"Even though it was an interesting experience, let's try not to do that again any time soon." Max requested.

{Yeah…} Aurora approved.

{Last night was exceptional as we wanted to celebrate us being back on the road and your personal evolution.} Bonny explained. {But you're right, we shouldn't have to do that ever again.}

"I guess. I doubt you all would want some fun with me at the same time again."

{It has been a while since any of us had a good mating session. If you keep us satisfied regularly, maybe work out a turn-system with us, things should go back to how they used to be. Only this time, we'll be more organized with everyone's needs at a steady pace.}

"It shouldn't be too hard. I've never had trouble with that before. I guess that's one of my fantasies fulfilled." Max added with a smile.

{Mating with all of us?} Bonny guessed.

"Yes. Three or foursomes are great, but I sometimes wondered how it would feel to do all seven of you at once."

{How come you never ask us?}

"Well, it was kind of embarrassing to ask and… I never believed that I could keep up. Hell, I barely did even with a sex drug."

{We could have worked something out. We're not monsters.}

"I know, but you know how much of a perfectionist I am. When it's regarding you girls, that is. If I can't guarantee that I'll satisfy all of you, then I won't do it."

{*sigh* Stubborn as always.} Bonny said, a bit discouraged.

"Moreso vice versa when I repeat it in my head. Anyway, it was fun, but not as much as I imagined. It's way too much work."

{I admit that seven needy pokemon is a bit too much for a small and simple human.}

"Maybe one day, I could have sex with you all at once on a regular basis."

{If I'm being honest, it wasn't as fun as I had hoped.} Aurora shared. {It hurts just waiting for your turn, especially when your desire keeps rising and nothing is done about it for a while.}

{I agree.} Sally fervently said.

As soon as Max looked at her interrogatively alongside the others, she quickly became embarrassed.

{I-I mean, it was fun, but…} She started shyly, playing with her paws. {It's just… It kind of… sucked… having to wait for a turn with master.}

"I'm sorry, Sally. Since I can't exactly clone myself, I'll keep taking you one by one, or two at a time."

Scarlet then reappeared with a few sitrus berries that she gave to Max.

"Thanks a lot, Love."

{So, what's the plan for the day?} Bonny questioned. {You're clearly not in a state to walk all day long.}

"I'll manage, sitrus berries really do wonders. After a few of these, I'll be around fifty percent better, which is enough for me to walk for at least half a day."

{We woke up pretty late, too.} Scarlet stated.

"As soon as I've had enough rest, I'm gonna make us a kick-ass meal for brunch."

{Brunch?} Sally asked.

"Combination of breakfast and lunch," Max explained.

{You should just let Dusk handle it when she wakes up. You've done enough for us already.}

"Well, I-"

{She's right, master.} Bonny interrupted. {After last night, you deserve some rest and attention too.}

"You're not entirely wrong, but… tsk. Alright, fine. Phanny suggested that I let you guys pamper me a little bit from time to time, even if it does make me a bit uncomfortable."

{Still having trouble accepting that there are people, human or Pokémon, who care for you in this world?} Scarlet inquired.

"...A little. I've gotten so used to looking after myself that I have to remember to let others do the same for me. That's another thing that's gonna be hard to change. Guess I'm still afraid to look like I'm abusing your kindness."

{Saying "yes" or going along with our requests can hardly be considered "abuse." If we propose, it's because we really want to please you. You're not the only one around who likes pleasing those he loves and cares for.}

"You're totally right, but old habits do die hard."

{Would it make you feel better if we promise to tell you if we think you are abusing us?} Bonny asked.

"I guess it would."

{Great.} Scarlet acknowledged. {I'll go see how Dusk is doing.} She continued while standing with a slight limp in her step before heading inside.

Once inside, she saw Dusk already getting to work on breakfast, or brunch in this case.

{Oh, you're up already.} She stated.

{For a few minutes now.}

{Okay.}

Scarlet then went to sit at the table with an inaudible grunt. She then let out a sigh while dropping her chin on her arms on the table.

{Crazy night, wasn't it?} Dusk engaged.

{You tell me. Master looked like he was one hundred-year-old this morning.}

{Really? Poor him. I like the attention he gives us, but I feel like he goes overboard and does a bit too much sometimes.}

{You'd be right. He always gives it his all at everything he does, at the expense of his well-being. However, it was kind of our fault.}

{What did you do to him exactly?}

{I made him drink a little something I got in a sex shop a while back.}

{I see.}

{But enough about Max, how are you feeling?} Scarlet asked.

{A bit tired, but okay overall.}

{Really? I thought that with a night like the last one, you would sleep like a log as Aurora did.}

{Well… my sleep was… interrupted.}

It took Scarlet a few seconds to understand what she meant.

{...Still having a hard time controlling your psychic energy?} The gardevoir suspected, moving her back to the bench.

{*sigh* Mostly whenever I sleep. However it seems that it's happening occasionally now, so I sleep rather well.}

{Hm…} Scarlet hummed, crossing her arms and looking at the table. {It has been a little while since you evolved. In your current state, it's not uncommon, but not enough to still cause problems.}

{At least I can get through an entire day without having a migraine.}

{Still… If you ever feel like something is wrong, talk to me and we'll figure it out, okay?}

{I'll be okay, Scarlet. My evolution is still rather recent, so it should get better soon.}

{For your sake, I hope so.} She said, not insisting anymore. {Is May still asleep?} she asked, with the mawile being the only one she hadn't seen yet.

{Yes. Maintaining her mega form for that long really tired her out.}

{Yeah, I can relate.}

Scarlet then stared at Dusk a moment, who was now putting things in the oven.

{Need some help?} The gardevoir proposed.

{Are you sure? Your waist must be killing you.}

{It's alright. It's not that bad.}

{Alright. Just don't push yourself too much.}

{I've survived worse.} Scarlet replied, standing up to go help her. {Besides, when I'm in pain, I prefer keeping my mind busy.}

POVC

10 minutes later

"Gotta hand it to these berries, they really do work wonders," Max said, feeling his lower half a lot less sore.

{Think you could even walk after lunch?} Aurora asked.

"I think. Half a day should do it for me, though."

{Worst-case scenario, your legs give out and Luna could carry you the rest of the way.} Bonny suggested with a grin.

{Oh? Why me specifically? Wouldn't you rather carry him?} Luna replied, staring back at her.

{Look at me. I'm almost half his height. I can hardly picture myself having him on my back.} Bonny retorted, making Sally giggle at the thought.

{It's not like you lack the strength to do so.} Aurora stated, siding with Luna.

{But it'd be incredibly awkward.}

{Yeah, it would be kind of ridiculous.} Sally said, siding with Bonny.

"Those are all good suggestions, but mine's better."

{Walking by yourself?} Aurora guessed.

"Clever girl!" Max exclaimed, pulling the lucario into a hug with two chair arms between them. "You know me so well."

{You're not hard to read, even without an aura sense.} Aurora said, fighting him off. {After almost two years together, you pick up on their pattern.}

"Same for you girls." Max pointed out, rubbing her hair. "It's weird that your hair never grew past that length."

{Not that much.} She told him, briefly moving her hair with a paw. {Maybe because it would mess with my survival if it were too long.}

"Survival?"

{Yes, you know, being a wild creature and such. In the wilderness on my own, it would affect my survivability.}

"Makes sense… I think."

{Speaking of hair, we should do something about yours and that beard. No offense, but I prefer you without it.}

"Really?" He replied, rubbing his short beard. "What about you?" He asked the others.

{I don't mind.} Sally answered.

{Me neither.} Luna said.

{To be honest, I'm with Aurora on this one.} Bonny admitted.

"Great. Two on two. I guess I could shave it off. I don't especially like having one anyway."

{Scarlet could help with that with her Psycho Cut.} Bonny suggested.

"Good thinking." Max praised. "She could be my personal barber."

{I'm sure she will be pleased by that.} Luna pointed out.

Then, while speaking, they heard the sound of wood cracking and bush rustling coming from the woods. Looking towards the noise, they saw a human girl appear and entered the clearing. The girl was wearing punk rock attire complete with a light leather coat, high boots, and a black skirt with black tights underneath. Her black hair was arranged in a ponytail and had only the tip dyed red. She was rather tall and had a fit body with a moderately-sized chest, but was still shorter than Max. She also had a fairly large backpack with a pachirisu resting on top of it.

"Shit. I thought this zone wasn't occupied," she said.

"It's… okay. We were gonna leave as soon as we're done eating, anyway."

"Well, I kind of just wanted a nice spot to have lunch by myself and let my pokemon move around a little."

"Oh, so you're a pokemon trainer."

"Not a very good one, but yeah. And from what I can see, you're one too. Are these your pokemon?" She said while looking at Max's team.

"They are not mine, but they are with me, yes."

"Haha. A pokemon rights defender. I can respect that."

"I prefer seeing them as equals."

"Heh. So we're on the same page on that. Well, I guess I'll have to find another spot if there is one."

"Why not just chill here with us?" Max proposed.

"Are you sure? You're not one of those weirdos who's gonna sniff the chair I sat on, right?"

"Pfhaha! What kind of accusation is that?!" Max laughed.

"Hey, being an attractive girl isn't easy, you know. A lot of desperate losers roam this world and we're almost constantly targeted."

"Well, that's not inaccurate, and that's coming from a guy. But I promise you that I'm not like that."

"I guess I'll take your word for it," she said, accepting and getting closer to them. "You don't seem like that kind of guy."

Once she came close enough, she set her backpack down and sat next to Max in one of the recliner chairs.

"Oof. Thanks. My feet were starting to hurt." She said, getting overly comfortable.

"I take it that you have a name," Max asked her.

"Nope. I'm just a nameless hobo traveling across the land for no particular reason."

"...What?"

"Haha, I'm just messing with you, dude." She reassured him with a grin.

"Hehe. Sorry. I'm just not used to people having a similar sense of humor as mine."

"You haven't met a lot of people, then. My parents decided to call me Julia."

"Julia… nice name."

Julia then looked at Max a bit funnily.

"I'm serious. I'm not just saying that to flirt with you or anything."

"It's even more suspicious when you say it like that."

Max raised an eyebrow at that. "You're oddly defensive when it's about guys."

"Sorry. It's just that it's hard to get somewhere without being hit on. Most male pokemon trainers are lonely and horny jerks."

"Eesh. That's pretty harsh, even if it's kind of true. I'm not like that."

"Really? How are you holding up, then?"

"Already asking such personal questions?" Max mocked her.

"Sorry. Let's just start over. I'm Julia. What's your name?" She said as she reached out for a handshake.

"Max." He replied as he did the same and shook her hand.

"Alright. Thanks for letting me rest a little, Max."

"No problem. I couldn't just turn a fellow trainer down, can I?"

"Technically you could, but then you'd just be a massive dick."

"Fair point. I'll present my girls as well; This is Luna, Sally, Bonny, and Aurora." He presented, pointing at them simultaneously.

"Girls?"

{Nice one.} Aurora said sarcastically, with Bonny shaking her head in disapproval.

"What's wrong? She would've probably noticed sooner or later. None of you really have clothes to hide everything."

"Huh? Am I missing something or…?"

"Don't be surprised. I can understand my pokemon perfectly."

"Oh. That's neat. But what do you mean by girls?"

"Well, it's always a bit embarrassing to say, but my team is one that's female exclusive."

"Embarrassing? How so?"

"Well… people tend to see it the wrong way."

"So? Who cares what others think? Whether you're a pokephile or not, who else's business is it?"

"That's…" Max started, looking at his pokemon. "Really open-minded of you."

"I'm not that open-minded, I just don't give a shit about what others are into. Especially when it's none of my business."

"It's pretty nice on its own."

"If you say so." Julia conceded, dropping her head on the back of the chair.

"Say, what did you mean when you said you're not a good trainer?"

"Ah. Well, my pokemon are pretty strong, but including this little guy, I only have three pokemon." She explained, rubbing her pachirisu's chin with one finger.

{Strong, huh? Mind asking her for a pokemon battle?} Bonny proposed.

"That all depends on her. Would you mind a little pokemon battle?"

"Now?" Julia inquired.

"Whenever you want to, really."

"Maybe in a moment. My feet still hurt a little."

"It's not that surprising with boots like yours. It doesn't seem very walk-efficient."

"Who cares? I like them."

"Aha. Fair enough."

"Anyway, if you're a pokemon trainer, you must be collecting badges."

"Yup I already have five."

"Oh. That's nice."

"Do you have any badges?"

"Just three."

"I see. Is there a reason why you stick with only three pokemon?"

"Not especially. I'm fine with three and didn't really look for more. If I come across some others that I like, I'll think about adding more."

"Aren't they just the best things to have in the world?" Max praised, petting Aurora.

"Yeah. Pokémon are really dope."

{Who is this, master?}

Scarlet then showed up and was glaring at Julia while hugging Max from behind, arms around his neck and head resting on his head.

"Oh, this is Julia. She was looking for a spot to take a break, so I offered her to chill here for the time being."

{...I see.} She acknowledged, still glaring at her with contempt.

To assert her feminine authority, Scarlet sat on Max's lap and hugged his arm, all while still staring at the female human.

"Scarlet! You're gonna make me look like a…"

Stopping, he then looked at Julia, who was looking back at them with a rather neutral face.

"I told you. What you do on your own time is none of my business, whether you're into pokemon or not. I must admit though that she seems very possessive." She said with an amused smile.

"She is. We can't really blame her. I was the first nice human she ever met."

"Ah, that explains it. Don't worry Miss, I don't plan on stealing your trainer. He's not really my type, anyways." She told Scarlet, a bit annoyed by being stared at.

{Hmpf. They all say that.} Scarlet replied, not believing her.

{Come on, Scarlet. Now you're just making a scene.} Bonny commented.

{No, I'm not. I'm just making sure that she knows that master is forbidden territory.}

{Yeah, I think she got it.}

"Anyways... I think I'm ready for that battle now." Julia said while jumping off the chair.

"Alright. May I?" he asked the sitting gardevoir.

Briefly looking at Max with narrowed eyes, she moved away. She then extended one hand at him to help him stand.

"Thanks." He said, standing up with difficulty with a hand on his waist, but less than before.

"What did you do to put yourself in that state?" Julia inquired, noticing.

"Well… I like training with my pokemon. It keeps me in good shape and they have fun kicking my ass, so…" Max lied.

"I see. That's kinda cute. Is one-on-one okay for you?" Julia suggested.

"Sure thing." Max accepted.

{Want me to smash things up?} Bonny asked, already warming up her shoulders after standing up as well.

"Well…"

Max's eyes then landed on his cinderace.

"How about we give Sally the opportunity to have her first real fight?"

{Huh? M-My first… w-what?} Sally blurted, taken by surprise.

{...I guess.} Bonny replied, sounding slightly disappointed.

"Sorry, Bonny. Next time for sure." Max reassured, gently scratching her head. "What do you say, Sally?"

{What? Wait wait wait! I'm… hem…} Sally protested nervously while waving her arms.

{Come on, Sally.} Bonny encouraged her. {Now is the time to show master how strong you are.}

{I…} She said, shyly looking away with dropped ears.

Max then chuckled as he approached Sally. Looking back at him, Sally saw him presenting her a hand.

"I know you can do it," Max reassured her with a warm smile.

Madly blushing, Sally nervously took his hand and gently got pulled off of the chair. Briefly smiling, Julia then walked a bit further away from the camp equipment, with the group following. While Max held Sally's paw and slowly tailed Julia, they stopped when they believed they were far enough.

"Nice camp you got there, by the way," Julia said, turning to face them.

"Yeah. Uh… I received a heritage, allowing me to buy that thing." Max lied again, pointing at the module.

"I see. That person must've been loaded. If it's what I think it is, then there are very few who can afford that."

"The C.P.E.H.? Yeah, you can say that."

"So, are you ready?"

"Yes. Come on, Sally. I believe in you." Max assured Sally, releasing her paw to affectionately rub her head.

{O-Okay. I'll try my b-best.} She nervously acknowledged.

"It's not that different from training, only that your opponent won't go easy on you."

{Well, Mad-Ji never went easy.}

"Then you have nothing to fear."

With a shy nod, Sally walked forward with an assured pace.

{You can do it, Sally!} Bonny encouraged her again.

{Kick her Pokémon's ass.} Scarlet encouraged her as well.

{Okay, Sally…} The cinderace started to mumble to herself. {You've trained very hard for this, so don't screw it up. Master is looking at you.}

Very lightly, Sally slapped her cheeks to man up and faced the female human with a not so intimidating expression.

"...Your cinderace is gorgeous. Nice shiny fur and is in good shape, meaning she's been eating and training properly… You really take good care of your pokemon." Julia mentioned.

"Isn't that just the basic stuff of being a pokemon trainer?" Max replied.

"It is, but not everyone understands it. Anyway…" She said, taking a pokeball out while her pachirisu jumped down from her backpack. "Come out, Cinor."

After her pokeball opened, an imposing and very menacing incineroar appeared, crossing his arms and immediately glaring at Sally.

{*Gulp* Crap baskets!} The cinderace mumbled, a bit scared.

{Oh, she says that too.} Bonny quipped.

{Poor Sally. She didn't get an easy first opponent.} Luna stated.

{That incineroar seems to have a lot of battle experience under his belt. No pun intended.} Aurora said.

"Sally may be at a disadvantage with that, but she trained like crazy with Mad-Ji, so she won't go down that easily."

"Are you ready?" Julia asked her pokemon, to which he only responded with a grunt and got into a wrestling-style stance.

"You can do it, Sally!" Max enthusiastically encouraged her.

Shaking uncontrollably from nervousness, Sally took the exact same stance as the incineroar.

{E-En garde.} Sally said with a failed attempt to sound a little intimidating.

{...What is she doing?} Bonny softly wondered out loud.

{Her best… I think.} Aurora answered, not sure of what to think.

"Are you trying to mock my Pokémon?" Julia asked calmly with the incineroar looking interrogatively at Sally.

"N-No. It's her very first pokemon battle, so she's a bit nervous." Max explained.

"...I see."

"Sally! Pull yourself together. You have your own stance." Max told Sally.

{Oh! Y-Yeah. R-Right.} The cinderace acknowledged, getting into the usual stance she practiced, but never really used.

"Are you sure it's a good idea to let your cinderace fight in that state?" Julia asked.

"Not as much as I wish, but if she wants to battle, she has to take part in one sooner or later," Max replied.

"...Fair enough." Julia conceded before both activated the battle dome. "I'll be magnanimous and let your cinderace start."

"Thanks." [Alright, Sally, let's strike hard and fast right off the bat. If you can destabilize him now, the rest of the fight will be smooth sailing.] Max said into her mind, thanks to Scarlet.

[Should I go with my strongest move?] Sally asked.

[Not yet, but maybe the second or third strongest. Start off with Pyro Ball then chain into a Blaze Kick.]

[Okay.]

Despite her nervousness, Sally relied on her muscle memory and used Pyro Ball, kicking a blazing fireball at the incineroar. Like Max anticipated, the fire cat pokemon blocked it without flinching, which was impressive considering Pyro Ball is a strong move. As the flames dissipated into floating embers, slightly obscuring the incineroar's sight, Sally was already on him and chained with Blaze Kick, aiming for the side of his head. However, in a quick motion, the incineroar blocked Sally's second move. As soon as the cinderace's leg touched him, Cinor grabbed her, spun a few times, and used Vital Throw, violently throwing Sally on the ground a few meters away.

{...Ow. That hurt.} Sally complained before standing up with slight difficulty.

"Don't let her retaliate. Go for the spin." Julia commanded her pokemon.

With a small grunt, Cinor rushed at Sally and used Darkest Lariat. Luckily, Sally was quick enough and dodged by jumping over him. Unfortunately...

[No, Sally! Not over him!]

"Flamethrower," Julia instructed.

As the cinderace descended from her fall, the incineroar exhaled a stream of fire at her, and all she could do was tank it.

{Shoot!} Sally cursed while blocking her face with her arms.

A few seconds later, she landed on the ground, a bit damaged by the attack, despite her typing and quickly got back to her stance.

{Incineroars are Fire and Dark-type, so maybe you want to use a more effective move against him.} Scarlet advised.

"Oh. Thanks for the tip." [Sally, how about you use that move you worked really hard on?]

[W-Which one? I worked hard on a couple of ones.] Sally asked.

[The one Bonny helped you learn.]

Sally then thought for a few seconds before understanding.

"Cross Chop," Julia commanded.

Following her instructions, Cinor charged forward and used the move on Sally. Fortunately, Sally was quick enough to dodge doing a high jump backward. As soon as she landed, she jumped again and used Jump Kick on the incineroar, who still took considerable damage despite blocking the attack.

"Good. Revenge." Cinor's trainer quickly commanded.

With a wide grin, the incineroar grabbed Sally, who was still making contact with her previous attack, turned her around to grab her from behind, and suplexed her very hard, creating a tiny crater under her, knocking her out instantly.

{Ooh! That's gotta hurt.} Scarlet commented, a bit worried about her friend.

"No! Sally?! Are you okay okay?! Can you stand?" Max asked, not wanting to see his beloved pokemon lose.

As the incineroar stood back up, Sally was on her back, not responding with eyes half-closed, extremely dizzy and stunned.

{Put me back in coach… I-I can still play.} Sally mumbled.

"Looks like I won," Julia said, deactivating the dome. "Nice work, handsome." She innocently praised her pokemon before they high-fived.

{Heh heh.} Cinor proudly smiled.

Max then walked next to Sally.

"You holding up there?" Max asked her after kneeling and raising her head.

{I… I'm sorry… master…} Sally apologized, seeing double vision.

"You did very well for your first match, so don't feel sorry," Max assured her.

Feeling a bit ashamed nonetheless, she then saw the incineroar approach her as well and kneeled.

{...You put up a pretty good fight. Let's do that again sometime.} Cinor kindly praised, presenting her one of his big paws with a warm smile.

Due to his intimidating stature and expression, both were surprised to see him as caring and a good sport. With Max smiling a little, Sally took his hand while blushing and got pulled up. Right as she did, she almost fell back to the dizziness, but Cinor held her.

{You should probably get some rest.} The incineroar suggested.

With her nodding, Sally got led by him towards a nearby tree, where he helped her sit.

{...Am I going crazy, or am I feeling some jealousy coming from you, master?} Scarlet asked with a smug after joining Max, both staring at them.

"What? Me? Impossible. I don't get jealous." Max lied.

{Uh huh.} Scarlet replied skeptically, still grinning.

As Max's team joined Sally to praise and congratulate her, Julia joined Max.

"Sorry about that. Cinor is a bit of a playboy." She sincerely apologized. "I don't know if she's already with someone, but if he disturbs you…"

"It's okay," Max assured, slightly annoyed. "Can't really blame him for being nice."

"He is," Julia said, looking at her pokemon. "He's just a bit… sorry. I shouldn't say that. It's complicated when it comes to him."

"It's okay. We all have our little scars." Max shared.

Looking beside him, he noticed Dusk, who was next to Scarlet.

"Oh, hi Dusk. Were you waiting for us?"

{More or less, I finished preparing our lunch. I didn't see the entire fight, but it's a shame Sally lost.} The delphox said, a bit saddened by the cinderace's defeat.

"It was her first real fight against someone who doesn't give advice on how to improve."

"It was obvious that she trained a lot, but without any battle experience…" Julia mentioned.

"I didn't lead her that well, so I am to blame as well." Max pointed out.

"You know, experience is not always about having to blindly obey every command," Julia affirmed.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"A pokemon battle isn't about a human controlling a pokemon to do what they want like in those turn-based RPG games. You can give them directives and suggest strategies, but they don't have to obey if they find the command inefficient or just plain dumb. You're more of a coach for them than anything else."

"Oh, like in a boxing match."

"Pretty much, yeah. After that, it comes down to trust, working as a team, and understanding how everyone thinks."

"I see. I never thought of it that way. In a sense, yes, but not as literal as how you explained it."

"Yet, it's not that hard to understand."

"Thanks. It doesn't make me look dumb at all," Max jested.

"Haha. I didn't mean it that way." Julia laughed lightly. "But personally, I think it's common knowledge when it comes to being a good trainer. It says so in the title, actually; we are pokemon trainers, not puppeteers."

"Well, aren't you a little philosopher, and a blunt one at that?" Max commented with a grin, with what Julia shrouded her shoulders with a 'meh' expression.

"Anyway, I think it's time for us to go. I'm getting quite hungry." Julia said while walking towards her pokemon.

"Why don't you stay with us for lunch?"

"Stay for lunch? With you?" Julia repeated, with a raised eyebrow. "Sounds kind of sus to me."

"It could take you a while before you find another suitable spot. We don't mind sharing ours with you."

{I would appreciate it if you don't speak for us without telling.} Scarlet said with crossed arms, who had joined them.

"Sorry. You're right. Would you mind if I invite her to lunch with us?" Max asked the gardevoir.

{...*sigh* I guess so.}

Max then looked at her funnily.

{What? It's the principle of asking,} she replied.

"Oh, you," Max said with a smile, pulling her into a hug.

{Now who's making us look like a couple?} Scarlet questioned, not resisting but not returning the hug.

"Nothing's wrong with a harmless hug," Max assured, making her sigh.

"...Well, it's true that it will save me the pain of having to search forever. Alright." Julia stated.

"Nice. I don't know what Dusk prepared, but I guess we could share a bit."

"Now hold on, there…" Julia said before Dusk could say anything. "I don't mind sharing space, but I'm not a beggar. I have my own food."

"I… Okay." Max replied, a bit dumbfounded.

"No offense to you, I just have some standards and values."

"Alright, fair enough." Max conceded before heading towards Sally and the others.

{...So basically, hesitation is a fighting-type's greatest enemy. Don't be afraid to take risks, but don't be completely reckless.} Cinor tipped Sally.

{I'll try to remember that,} The cinderace acknowledged with a smile.

"Lunch is ready, guys," Max announced.

{Awesome. I could eat an entire garden right now.} Bonny said.

"We'll join them and leave as soon as we're done," Julia said to her incineroar.

{Alright.} Cinor acknowledged.

After Max helped Sally stand up, they all walked towards the chair circle.

{...Quite the group of fighters you got there, man.} Cinor shared with Max.

"Thanks. They all worked very hard to get where they are."

{I can tell. Their bodies sure scream, "We went through harsh training sessions."}

Max wasn't sure that he liked how he was looking at his pokemon, but since he was in no place to talk, he didn't say much on the matter. A couple of seconds later, they were back at camp and Julia released her third pokemon, a corviknight. It was the first time Max saw that pokemon for real and was impressed by the size of it.

"Whoa. That's a big bird," Max commented.

"I personally think that a flying-type is a must in a team. He can do reconnaissance for various things and can even fly you around if they're big enough, like this bad boy here," she explained, tapping the chest of the black bird pokemon affectionately.

"I feel you. I feel the same way with psychic-type pokemon. There is so much they can do," Max added, looking at Scarlet and Dusk with a smile, making the delphox smile gratefully and Scarlet look away with a light blush.

"Yeah, that's exactly why I don't feel very comfortable around them, to be honest," Julia admitted, dropping her backpack before opening it and searching inside after sitting in a chair.

"Really?" Max said, doing the same on another one.

"Yeah…"

While Dusk went back inside to get everyone's food, the rest chose a chair to sit in and waited, including May who had just woken up and was brought up to speed on what happened. Since there weren't enough for everyone, May sat on Max's lap and Cinor on the ground next to Julia. After she tossed a rather large bag of beef jerky at the incineroar, who seemed delighted by it from how fast he opened it, she opened an even larger bag of balled food and began feeding her corviknight.

"Why though? They can be so reliable," Max said, trying to defend the psychic typing.

"True, but… it's just how I personally feel."

"Well…"

{Our powers and abilities can really scare humans, and even some pokemon, depending on their typing.} Scarlet justified with crossed arms. {Mind reading, mind control, telekinesis, and teleportation… Those are just a few reasons why no one can really defend themselves against us.}

"I'm aware, but like anything else, just because you can do it doesn't mean you will do it," Max pointed out.

{Of course, but it's not enough to reassure others. Our abilities are almost absolute, so I understand how fearsome we can be.}

"...If it reassures you, I promise you that you have nothing to fear from Scarlet and Dusk," Max said to Julia, trying to reassure her.

"I'm not really scared of them. As far as I can tell, they seem really sweet." The female trainer said. "But it's mostly towards psychic-types in general. I don't know a lot of people who are super comfortable around them. For most, just the thought of having a not-so-nice psychic-type pokemon with them gives them goosebumps. Add something like a mental disability or illness and they could lead themselves to their doom without even knowing."

{That's a bit exaggerated.} Bonny commented.

{Not that much,} Scarlet said. {Unfortunately, what she just mentioned is way too real and true. Like I already said; mental illness isn't exclusive to just humans. We could be very dangerous if left untreated.}

"By that logic, any pokemon is fearsome, then," Max said.

{We are all different,} Scarlet kept explaining. {Besides ghost-types, psychic-type pokemon are pretty much the only type that could cause havoc while being unstoppable. Humans can defend against all the other types with their weapons or ingenuity, but not with psychic-types. We could control everything if given enough power and knowledge. Some can even alter reality.}

{Or create a black hole.} Cinor said while munching his tasty jerky meats, making the group look at him. {I heard gardevoirs could do that.}

{It's—}

"Mostly used as a last resort to protect those they care about as they can be sucked in themselves should they lose control of it," Max cut.

Scarlet then looked at him a bit surprisingly.

"I did some research. I wanted to know more about you as much as I could," he justified.

{Anyway…} Scarlet started, slightly touched and blushing a little by Max's real interest in knowing more about her kind. {I can't blame her or anyone else feeling that way.}

At that moment, Dusk stepped out of the module and served everyone before sitting down.

"I guess I can't either…" Max admitted.

{...Well, good fight, by the way,} Bonny started, wanting to dismiss the slightly tense atmosphere. {You're pretty strong.} She said to Cinor.

{Eh, not that much. I still have a long way to go before I could even compete with the world's strongest incineroars. Though, I will admit that I'm not half bad either.} Cinor replied, briefly flexing.

{That's nice. I wish you the best of luck with that.} the lopunny replied, indifferent to his behavior before taking another bite of her meal.

Her absence of reaction took Cinor a bit off guard, used to at least attract the eyes of a few females. The only one glancing at him from time to time was Sally, but not the way he's used to.

{Though, not to toot my own horn here, but I'm pretty strong myself,} Bonny said.

{Really? That's interesting. Mind showing me?} Cinor asked with a mix of a seductive and arrogant tone.

"Heads up, you don't know what you're getting yourself into, dude," Max warned with a kind of jerk smile on his face, knowing the outcome of that.

{What? Is it wrong for me to see what my limits are from time to time?}

"What is he up to this time?" Julia asked, already exasperated by her pokemon.

"Your incineroar wishes to test his strength with my lopunny," Max answered.

"Cinor! We talked about this. We know you're strong, so no need to humiliate others to prove it," Julia scolded.

Bonny then let out a chuckle. Cinor noticed and looked funnily at her.

{You seem very confident. How about a quick arm-wrestling match, then?} Cinor proposed.

{...Right now?} Bonny replied, with the incineroar nodding. {Alright, bring it.} she accepted, putting her plate next to her chair.

She then laid on her stomach and faced Cinor.

{What are you doing?} he asked, a bit confused.

{Nothing else would be tough enough to withstand our combined strength.} Bonny explained, getting ready.

Briefly raising an eyebrow, Cinor did the same and grabbed Bonny's right paw.

{*sigh* Here we go again,} Julia's pachirisu said while munching on some pokemon food balls.

Oddly enough, no one seemed to be interested as much as she thought, as if they were already aware of the outcome. However, it didn't discourage Cinor and focused on the beauty in front of him.

"Ready…" Max started quite nonchalantly. "Set. Go."

As soon as he heard go, Cinor used half of his strength into his arm. To his surprise, Bonny's arm didn't budge.

{Is that all you got?} Bonny taunted, barely using her power.

With an unpleased face, Cinor put more and more strength into his arm, trying to pull Bonny's down. With slightly bulged muscles, Cinor managed to move Bonny's arm a few inches, his arm slightly shaking from resistance.

{I admit that you're indeed pretty strong.} Bonny praised. {However, you just got unlucky.}

{What… do you mean…?} Cinor asked with clenched teeth.

Instead of answering, Bonny put more power into her arm and slowly pulled Cinor's back at a steady pace.

{What the…}

Even by using all of his might, Cinor's arm was dangerously approaching the ground. In a matter of seconds, Bonny made Cinor's arm drag the dirt.

{...Damnit.} Cinor cursed, slightly panting.

Leaving his paw, Bonny sat up.

{Sorry, but you're the one that asked for a challenge.}

{...Hehe. Yeah, I know. Kinda walked into that one.} the incineroar said, oddly taking his defeat well. {You destroyed me.} he added while sitting up as well, moving his right arm around as it was a little sore.

{Maybe we should have told you, but Bonny is blessed with super-strength, making her stronger than your average normal type.} Aurora mentioned.

{A girl that stands out from the rest… I like that,} he said with a seductive smile.

{You're cute, but don't waste your time.} Bonny said, sitting back on her chair. {This booty already belongs to someone else.}

{Aaand there's the cold shoulder. Ouch! Definitely not my day today.} Cinor replied, smiling while rubbing the back of his head.

"Are you done making a fool of yourself?" Julia asked his pokemon, a bit upset.

{Yeah, yeah. Sorry,} Cinor apologized.

"*sigh* Sorry about that," Julia apologized as well to Max.

"It's okay. I actually feel kind of bad for him, though."

"Having no potable female in the team for him kinda makes him a bit too… clingy, to put it nicely."

{Well now that's just not true,} Cinor protested.

"Hehe. Ever thought of capturing one?"

"Yes, and I still do. If he meets a female someday that he genuinely likes, maybe I will."

{Don't force yourself into getting another pokemon just because you think I'm lonely.} Cinor said to his master.

"I know you don't like that idea, but I just want your well-being and happiness," Julia assured him, petting him.

{Tsk. Ghrr.}

"I'm kind of curious. You don't seem surprised that I understand pokemon perfectly."

"It's not the first time I've seen something like that. My grandmother had a friend that was pretty much literally speaking with pokemon as if they were human. I'm aware that things like that can happen, not to mention you have two psychic-type pokemon with you, so it's safe to assume that one of them may have helped you with that."

"You know about knowledge transfer?"

"When you study pokemon for a few years, you learn a thing or two about them."

"Fair enough."

"Well…" Julia said, putting everything back in her backpack when everyone was done eating. "It's been cool, but it's time for us to get back on the road. I wish to reach Oxgard as soon as possible."

"Oh, I just came from there. You should be able to reach it by nightfall at most."

"Alright. If I don't, I think I'll ask Crane here for help," the female trainer said, rubbing her corviknight's hard feathers. "Okay, come back you two." She announced putting both her corviknight and incineroar back in their pokeball, with Cinor smiling and waving at the girls before disappearing. "See you, dude. It was nice meeting you."

"Same."

After waving at him, Julia left, leaving Max alone with his pokemon again.

{Thank god they're gone. That incineroar was pretty annoying,} Scarlet commented.

{I could almost agree,} Aurora followed.

"Not cool, guys," Max scolded. "He was kinda nice."

{I wonder if you would think the same if he were to be after your ass} Bonny said.

"*sigh* Anyway, I hope it was a good first battle for you, Sally," He said to his cinderace.

{I don't know about that. I lost.} Sally replied, looking down.

"We lost, and if it wasn't for that Revenge move, I'm pretty sure we would have won," Max reassured.

However, it didn't seem to make Sally feel any better.

{Cheer up, Sally,} May encouraged her. {I didn't win my first matches either when I started battling.}

{Same here. You win some, you lose some.} Aurora supported.

{...Thanks, guys,} Sally replied, smiling a little.

"Well, I think it's about time we hit the road as well," Max said, standing up with his empty plate. "If possible, we should be ready in half an hour."

{Half an hour? Everything will be ready in five minutes.} Scarlet pointed out.

"I know, but I have a little something to take care of first. Would you mind coming with me, Sally?"

{Umm…} the cinderace said, pointing at herself. {O-Okay.}

After standing up, Sally followed Max inside with an unsure pace.

(I hope he won't scold me even more for losing. Well, it wouldn't be like him, but… talking with me in private…) the fire rabbit thought.

After dropping his plate in the sink of the kitchen, Max went inside the bedroom, where Sally stopped at the door frame. Standing next to the bed, Max looked at her.

{Before you say anything, I just want to say that I'm very sorry for losing. It won't happen again, I promise.} she quickly blurted.

"Whoa whoa! Calm down, little rabbit. I'm not gonna yell at you or beat you or do anything demeaning. I wasn't even thinking about that fight outcome anymore."

{...So, why did you bring me here all alone, then?}

Grinning, Max then motioned for her to come with one finger.

"Come here and find out."

By the way he was enticing her and knowing that he wasn't mad at him, Sally started to get slightly excited and was anticipating his next action. She then got close to him.

"Lay down on your belly," he instructed while pointing at the bed.

Trusting him fully, Sally executed herself and did as told. Due to not knowing what he had in mind, Sally was also getting slightly nervous. It worsened a little more when she felt Max getting on the bed as well and got over her, his knees resting next to her sides. Then, she felt Max's hands on her shoulder blades and delicately rubbed her fur all across her upper back. Even though she liked the touches, she was still wondering if he really called her over just to do that.

(Maybe he wants to do it with me again? Oh no. I would like to, but… I can't really do it right now. How do I tell him? Should I do it anyway? Will he get mad if I refuse? Crap! Why are relationships so complicated?) she thought.

A short moment later, Sally felt small pressure against her back and felt his fingers playing with her muscles, moving them around.

{What… are you doing?} Sally asked, strangely liking the sensation.

"A little massage for my pretty fighter. Why? Am I that bad that it isn't obvious?"

{N-No. It's just… I never heard of that.}

"Oh. Sorry to hear that. Well, you will like it, I guarantee."

After he was done with a small zone, Max moved to another one on her upper back, liking it more and more.

"Between ass-kicking sessions with Mad-Ji, I did a couple of things to improve my abilities to please my sweet little princesses. Learning massotherapy for pokemon is one of them."

{Hmm… it feels… very nice,} Sally commented, starting to feel pretty good.

"Awesome. I was a bit afraid to not be that good for my very first time."

{You are.}

"Thanks. I'll probably do it to the others too as they surely all need a little tension relief, but I planned to reward any of you after a real fight. Because sometimes, you know, we make bad movements in the heat of the action. You girls are the ones fighting, so it's the least I can do."

{Hm… oh yes. Right there,} Sally said, starting to really enjoy herself.

After her upper back, Max moved to her shoulders, after her neck, and then her lower back.

{Yes! I'm feeling better and better,} she said with a pleased expression.

He stayed on her lower back a little while before getting lower again.

"Normally, I'm not supposed to go there, but since we're pretty intimate…"

Sally then felt his hands gently grab her buttcheeks and massaging them.

{Oof! Yes!} she said a bit lustfully, raising her rear a little.

"Don't do that. You're not helping," Max kindly demanded.

{Sorry,} she apologized, trying her best to keep her hips down.

As Max was getting good handfuls of her moderately generous butt, Sally's eyes were getting unaligned while biting her lips. His touches were slowly turning her on since the very start, but from where he was, it was even worse. However, she kept telling herself that she had to contain herself. A moment later, he was now on her thighs, reducing her lust's raising a little.

{Master… your touches… feels too good,} she said with a slightly depraved face.

"I'm happy for you, but remember that it's simply a massage."

{Yes… but…}

When done with her thighs, he went over her calves before getting on her feet.

{Hihihi!} She loudly giggled. {It tickles.}

"Yeah. I've been told that it can happen often. People or pokemon are more likely to be ticklish with their feet than not. Try to bear it for a moment."

Feeling good as much as tickling, Sally tried her best to contain her laughs but had a bit of a hard time keeping her feet steady.

"Alright. I can go to the front now."

Happy to be done with her feet, Sally turned around after Max moved away. While she did so, he noticed that her privates were slightly lubricated.

"You liked it that much?" Max said, looking at Sally with an amused face.

{Sorry.} She apologized, quickly hiding her womanhood with her paws, immediately understanding what he was talking about.

"It's okay," Max reassured, starting with her front shoulders. "I kind of anticipated that it would happen. You guys are so into me that it's hard to not make it somehow sexual. *sigh* I still wonder how I'll be able to massage Bonny without turning it into a torrid sex session. Maybe if I skip her plumpy ass… nah, that wouldn't be fair. I guess I'll have to set rules with her, then."

Max then moved to her chest, with Sally intently looking at him, naughty thoughts invading her mind.

"Actually, what would be the problem to turn it into sex from time to time? I mean, real fights don't happen that often, so…"

{I… wouldn't mind…} Sally shared, trying her best not to give in to desire. (So close… so caring… so… hot…) she thought with slightly accelerated breathing.

When done, Max went over her arms. Strangely, it was slightly painful, managing to reduce her lust a little. When done, he moved back to her torso, more specifically on her stomach. Being in a soft spot, he didn't stay very long before getting lower. Biting her lips, Sally pressed her legs against each other, her lust raising once more due to being close to her womanhood. Obviously but slightly to Sally's disappointment, Max skipped it and went over her thighs again, focused more on the quadriceps this time. Very strangely again, having the front part of her thighs massaged felt a tad euphoric, contracting her feet and paws as if she was sexually stimulated.

{Crap! Why does it feel… so good…}

"Like Bonny, you work your legs quite a lot, so relieving tensions there must be almost ecstatic."

{It… does. Please, forgive me!} Sally said, slightly twirling around.

Before it degenerates, Max did what he had to do without staying longer than necessary. A moment later, he was done with almost all of her muscles feeling lighter. With Sally having sped-up breathing, Max smiled and got on all four above her.

"How was it?"

With a lightly depraved expression, Sally stared into his eyes.

{Wonderful! Too… good…} she answered with a satisfied smile. {I feel like… as if I was born once again.}

"Great. That's exactly the goal. I'm glad that sacrificing some personal time wasn't in vain."

Upon hearing that, Sally's eyes got more intense.

"...A problem?"

{...No. I just… never imagined falling so deeply in love with someone. You're my everything, master.}

"And so are you to me, Sally," Max assured before dropping a brief but passionate kiss on her lips. "...Let's not keep the others waiting any longer," he said before getting down from the bed.

{Go ahead… I'll just take a couple of seconds to enjoy what you did,} Sally said.

"Hehe, sure thing."

When out, he saw the rest of the group waiting and looking at him funnily.

"...What?" He asked, wondering what they had in mind.

{Nothing, but…} Bonny started.

{We were wondering if we could get the same treatment as well,} Scarlet finished.

"Ah," Max replied, not surprised they knew. "Surely you peaked a little. Of course, you can. Why wouldn't you?"

{Well, let's say that we never heard of that ability of yours until today,} Aurora mentioned.

"Yeah. I wanted to make it a little surprise for you all, but it looks like I got found out earlier."

{We saw you wanted to be with one of us privately, so of course, we got curious.} May stated.

{It's so nice of you, master,} Dusk said, ears dropped down from shyness. {I can't believe how lucky we are.}

{Like I always said: you won't find that much of a nice human any time soon,} Scarlet pointed out with a proud smile and a blush.

"Alright, that's enough now," Max demanded, getting a bit embarrassed.

{When can we expect to experience your expertise ourselves later on?} Luna asked, surprisingly interested.

"As soon as tonight, but since it's quite demanding for my fingers, maybe not everyone at once."

{I see,} Scarlet said, starting to ponder. {How about we divide the requests?}

{That's not that bad of an idea, but who's gonna go first?} Aurora questioned.

{How about choosing by seniority on the team?} Bonny proposed.

{Hm… that could do,} Scarlet approved.

{Hold on there! You always arrange things in your favor,} Aurora protested.

{What? In human society, it makes sense,} Bonny argued.

{Well, we're not at the moment.}

"Please, guys. Don't fight over that," Max tried to appease them.

At the same moment, Sally stepped out of the module.

{Since it's our little pup who gives the service, I believe he will be the one to decide.} Luna said.

{Please, Max. Can I be the first one for once?} Aurora demanded him.

{What do you mean for once? You went first for a lot of things before,} Bonny disapproved.

{Says the girl who has the second-highest priority.}

{Excuse me?!} Bonny retorted, getting upset.

"Girls!" Max called out rather loudly without sounding intimidating. "I'll think of something along the way, okay? In the meantime, can you please behave a little?" Max requested, almost begging.

With a huff, both Bonny and Aurora looked away in discontentment, making Max sigh a bit desperately.

[Those two, I tell you.] Scarlet commented in his mind.

[A love/hate relationship is always a bit tricky.]

[I doubt it's that far. They are good friends, but as two strong heads, they disagree on a couple of things.]

"Anyway, it's time to go."

At that moment, everything was stored and everyone was ready to move on. Pressing a rather large button up the front side, the module folded itself into a large wearable box.

"This thing is neat," Max commented, taking the thing to put it on his back. "A bit heavy, but neat."

{Are you sure you will be okay with your hips?} Scarlet asked, slightly worried.

"I should. Those sitrus berries were of great help. I still feel sore, but I can walk with very little discomfort. I'll manage."

{...Alright. You're the one knowing you better.}

"Yup. Girls? Do you know what I just thought about?"

{What?} Aurora replied.

"We should take a picture of all of us together before going. You know, as a souvenir."

{That's a fantastic idea!} Dusk approved enthusiastically.

{You bet it is!} May supported.

{...Hmpf.} Scarlet huffed, looking away with crossed arms.

"I'm sorry, Scarlet. I know you think you're not photogenic, but I assure you that you are. I promise it will be this time only."

{...}

"I just want to immortalize that moment and us together."

{...*sigh* Alright, but this one time only,} she finally accepted.

"Awesome! Thanks a lot, Scarlet," he said gratefully.

{Do we have a camera for that?} Bonny asked.

"I'm pretty sure the tablet has that function."

{Got it,} Dusk announced before materializing the tablet in one hand.

"Great. If we want everyone in the picture, we're gonna need your help, Dusk."

With a nod, Dusk quickly searched and activated the camera function and made the tablet float further, facing them.

"Okay, girls. Let's get closer and show your best face," Max instructed before the group went into a group photo stance.

On each side of him were Scarlet and Dusk with May held by Max on one of his shoulders. Luna was towering behind them and Bonny, Aurora, and Sally in front, with Bonny holding both the lucario and cinderace with her arms and doing victory poses with her clawed paws.

{Time to smile!} Dusk exclaimed before taking the picture.

"Nice. Let's see how it went," Max said with the group moving away and the tablet floating towards his hands. "...Wow," he said, already in love with the picture. "I need to somehow print it so I can cherish it forever."

{It's really well taken,} May commented, liking it as well.

{Indeed,} Dusk agreed.

{Why so pumped up for a simple picture?} Scarlet asked.

"For me, it's not a simple picture. No matter what happens in the future, I want to keep a trace of us together and what we did."

{Don't dig too much, Scarlet,} Luna started. {Humans are very inclined to be nostalgic. Humans want to remember the emotions they had at the moment they took the picture.}

"You explained it better than me," Max praised.

{*sigh* I guess.} Scarlet conceded, looking at the shot. {Tsk. Why do I always look like I have a 'bitch attitude' written on my forehead in photos?} she complained.

"That's a perception problem because all I see is a beautiful gardevoir who seems happy and fulfilled."

{Maybe you're right, but who has that said problem?} she asked accusingly.

"I'll let you have the pleasure to choose."

{Can we see?} Sally asked.

"Sure," Max accepted, handing her the tablet.

{Damn! I have to admit that I'm kinda hot. No wonder why master can't resist me,} Bonny boasted a little.

"Eh, I wish I could say otherwise, just to shrink that big head of yours." Max nagged playfully, making her pull her tongue at him.

{I agree. You're very pretty, Bonny,} Sally complimented.

{Thanks Sally, but you're not bad yourself. You're very cute in that picture.} Bonny reflected.

{I don't know. I… look a bit dimwitted, to be honest.}

{That's not true, Sally.} Aurora disagreed. {You're perfect.} She finished, making Sally smile and blush a little.

{Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for you.} Bonny told her. {You could have smiled a little more.}

{*sigh* I did my best, but since I've never been good with smiling…}

"She was perfect as well," Max assured her. "Pictures reflect who we are. If she had forced a smile, it would have been too noticeable and less authentic."

{I suppose.} Bonny conceded.

Max's words reassured Aurora, who was a bit scared of having ruined the picture.

{And then… we have Luna.}

{Hm?} The zoroark hummed interrogatively.

{Yeah… I mean, she's pretty, but…} Aurora followed.

"What's wrong?" Max asked, almost offended instead of Luna.

{Nothing, really. I don't know if it's me, but she looks even more intimidating in pictures.} Bonny pointed out.

"What are you talking about?" He said, wanting the tablet back. "...Well, she does look a bit scarier, but maybe it's the shading. Other than that, that's a cute face I wouldn't mind doing naughty things with."

{I'm not sure how I should take that.} Luna wondered out loud.

"Mostly as a joke," Max reassured her. "Anyway, we're not taking another one. For me, this one is just perfect. It captures all the essence in your personalities very well."

He then handed the tablet to Dusk, who teleported it to its original place.

{Are we good to go, now?} Scarlet asked.

"Well, I thought about it today, I wish to do one more thing before we leave."

{What is it?} Aurora inquired.

"You guys trained really hard in that past year and a half and even learned new moves, so I would have wanted to be up-to-date with all of your information."

{Altogether, we have a huge bank of moves. Do you think you can memorize everything?} Scarlet questioned.

"It's worth a try. Anyhow, I don't especially need to remember them more than the users themselves. You're the ones fighting."

{It's true, but if you want to come up with last-minute strategies, you're gonna have to remember all of them.} Aurora pointed out.

"It's a well-made point. At the very least, Scarlet could help communicate them to me if anything."

{Again, I'm gonna be a pillar to this team.} The gardevoir said, sounding almost exasperated.

"How about we start with you, Miss smarta-"

While speaking, Max interrupted himself while searching in his pocket.

{Looking for this?} Dusk said, handing him his pokedex.

Smiling, Max took it.

"Damn you became much more reliable than before." Max praised, making Dusk blush a little. "As I was saying, let's start with you." He said, pointing it at Scarlet. "Okay. Personal information; Height: 5.9, like I remember; Weight 67 lbs, oh, you got heavier."

{All muscles, baby.} Scarlet affirmed, flexing her moderately small muscles.

"I don't even doubt it. Temperament, nature, yadi yada… age: 19… ah, true. Your birthday was a little bit after we got into that mansion."

{The 14th of September.} Scarlet reminded him.

"Right. I'm glad you all agreed to ask to know your birthday with Phanny."

{Why wouldn't we?} Bonny inquired. {As a personal matter, I don't care much about that, but it seems to hold you dear, so…}

"Yeah. Humans take quite the importance for birthdays."

{For a pokemon like myself, you're not done counting them.} Scarlet mentioned.

"That's something I'm willing to do. Anyway, now, the most important part; Known moves. Shit!" Max exclaimed upon seeing the amount. "That's gonna take a little while to mention all of them. Alright, let's start. Shadow Ball, Fire, Thunder and Ice Punch, Gravity, Psychic, Psybeam, Teleport, Protect, Healing Pulse, Flash, Hypnosis, Recover, Zap Cannon, Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Psycho Cut, Reflect, Disable, Mega Punch and… Calm Mind?"

{What?} Scarlet wondered.

"You? Having a calm mind?" Max jested.

{Well, fuck you.} The gardevoir retorted, flipping him the bird.

"Hehe. However, now that I think about it, you still have no Fairy-type moves yet."

{It was the next step, but we ran out of time. I just learned Calm Mind two weeks ago. Mad-ji didn't see the point in starting work on it if I couldn't learn it in time.}

"I see. It could be the next thing to work on, then."

{That would be nice.}

"We'll look into what you can learn. Alright, let's go with you next." Max resumed, looking at Bonny. "Height: 4,0; Weight: 82 lbs. I guess you got heavier too."

{I think it's safe to assume that we all did.} Aurora pointed out.

"Yeah. I'm proud of you all. Okay; Age: 7, and your date of birth is around the… 9th of march, right?"

{6th of march.} Bonny corrected.

"Damnit! I always mess yours up. I'm sorry."

{Relax, like I told you; I don't care much about that. Anyway, three days of difference isn't dramatic.} Bonny reassured.

"I'll try to remember anyway."

{I was wondering.} Scarlet started. {Why isn't your pokedex telling you our date of birth since it's supposed to know all of that?}

"I don't know. Maybe it's because it can't determine the exact day of your birth precisely. I can't really tell, to be honest. It doesn't tell a lot of personal information."

{Alright. Just wondering.}

"Now, known moves: Tackle, Pound, Jump Kick, High Jump Kick, Ear Punch, Return, Flail, Mega Kick, Blaze Kick, Dig, Dizzy Punch and Attract." Max enumerated before looking at Bonny funnily."

{What?}

"Attract, huh?"

{Tsk, that's not what you think. Mad-ji said that the more attractive a pokemon is, the more powerful it gets. She said, and I quote 'With my fuckable face, it could even work on other females'.}

"I see. Fuckable face… What…" Max murmured quietly, returning his attention to the pokedex.

{What is it, master? Could you be a bit… jealous?} She asked with the best smug she can make.

"Sure, if you want." Max retorted, disinterested.

{Hihi. See? He reacted just the way I anticipated.} She mumbled to Sally with a light elbow hit, making her giggle.

"Next." Max said, now pointing at Aurora. "Height: 3,10; Weight: 203 lbs; Age: 10 and your date of birth is the first of July."

{Correct.} Aurora confirmed.

"Known moves: Aura Sphere, Close Combat, Bone Rush, Force Palm, Sky Punch, Seismic Toss, Bulk Up, Double Team, Focus Punch and Meteor Mash."

{*sigh* I really went through hell with the two last ones. They were tough to learn in a short period of time. I sacrificed tons of hours of sleep to achieve it.}

"Eh, I feel you. There were some nights I couldn't sleep because of how in pain I was in. The next one would be this cute little thing." Max said with a smile, looking at May. "Height: 1,10; Weight: 50 lbs. So far, you're the one that gained weight the least."

{For her size, it's decent.} Scarlet remarked.

"Fair enough. Age: 8. Interestingly enough, your birthday is almost the same as Aurora."

{The fourth of July.} May said.

"What are the odds. Now, known moves; Pound, Headbutt, Steel Fang, Iron Defense, Brick Break, Crunch, Fairy Wind, Fake Tears, Fire, Thunder and Ice Fang… that's neat, and… Fairy Fang?"

{With Steel Fang, Mad-Ji said that it's my second species-exclusive move.} May explained.

"Oh, okay. I didn't know that a move like that existed."

{I thought you did research about us?} Scarlet wondered, almost sounding offended.

"I did, but other things took so much time that I didn't have the time to learn everything. So far, good job, everyone. Well, now is the time to inspect the one that changed the most." Max announced, pointing his pokedex at Dusk.

{I did change a little, but I'm still the Dusk you know.} Dusk mentioned, sounding slightly worried.

"Of course, Dusk. I mean physically. A little with your personality, but I'm glad that it's barely noticeable." Max reassured her, putting a relieved smile on her face. "Height: 5.11; Weight: 151 lbs; Age: 8 and your date of birth is in December, the… 18th, right?"

{Bullseye, master.} Dusk confirmed happily.

"Oof. I don't know why, but yours is a bit hard to remember. And now, known moves; Scratch, Ember, Flamethrower, Psybeam, Flame Charge—"

{You know what I just thought?} Scarlet interrupted.

"Hm?"

{You could pretty much forget weaker moves. Dusk, for example, knows Ember and Flamethrower. I highly doubt she will use Ember ever again since she has Flamethrower. Same with Bonny with Jump Kick and High Jump Kick.}

"I get your reasoning, but who knows? She could need a weaker move in some particular situations."

{First, I wonder in which situations, and secondly, she can adjust the power of Flamethrower to the point that it could be even weaker than Ember.}

"...Good point. You're probably right, but since she knows it already, I mostly just mentioned it to give everyone an idea of where she is."

{It was mostly a shared opinion, so you don't have to take it as it is.}

"Noted. Now, where was I… Ah, yes. Flame Charge, Psychic, Mystical Fire, Protect, Magic Coat, Psyshock, Fire Rend, Reflect and Overheat. The last one is a risky one if I remember correctly."

{Yes. It's very powerful, but it temporarily weakens me until I cool down.} Dusk explained.

"I see. It's not something to use randomly, then. Sally, you're next."

Oddly, Sally got a bit uncomfortable when Max pointed the pokedex at her.

"Okay. Height: 4.03; Weight: 66 lbs; Age: 13 and I believe your birthday is soon, am I right?"

{The 13th of May.} Sally answered, oddly sounding a bit off.

"...Known moves; Tackle, Jump Kick, Flame Charge, Pyro Ball… and Blaze Kick."

Instantly, Sally's ears dropped down, and put her paws behind her back, looking very ashamed.

"...So that's what's going on. Are you ashamed that you don't know many moves?"

{...I'm sorry, master.} She replied, looking away. {I tried my best, but…} She continued, her voice cracking a little due to the emotion. {...It's so hard… I don't understand the explanations because I'm too du-}

Not seeing him, Sally failed to see him getting near her and put a finger on her lips to make her stop speaking after he kneeled.

"Sorry Sally, but you won't finish that sentence," Max commanded. "There is no shame in having trouble on hard things. We all have our brimtonite in life."

{Brimtonite?} Bonny wondered out loud.

{It's from a human show where a well-intended alien with immense powers arrived on earth.} Scarlet started to explain. {The brimtonite is a stone from his home planet that makes him weak. He basically means that we all have our weaknesses.}

"Just like Scarlet said, Sally."

{But…} Sally said, looking away again. {Everyone knows a lot of moves and I don't…}

"Hey," Max said, pulling her chin towards him. "It's okay, Sally. No one here thinks less of you. You may know just a few moves, but I'll be damned if you didn't master them perfectly."

{...Well, I did work hard on those I managed to learn…}

"You didn't have to tell me as I already knew that. Having a bit of difficulty learning new moves doesn't take your strength away, right?"

{...}

"You're strong, Sally, and fast too. If we keep working on that, you could become the fastest one in the team."

{You… really think so?}

"Sorry for the cliché answer, but I know so, Sally. No matter how much time it takes, I'm gonna- we're gonna help you become a very fearsome fighter. We'll work on your speed and help you learn new moves, no matter what."

Max's words really heated her heart up. With her ears still down, Sally smiled and stared at Max with her beautiful light red eyes.

{...Thanks, master.} She said, dropping her head on his chest.

"You're welcome," Max replied, rubbing her soft back while hugging her. "Never give up, Sally. We believe in you."

Sally then broke the hug, wiping a few tears away.

{I… won't, master. I won't disappoint you.}

"I know you won't. You never will." Max assured her with a smile, caressing the top of her head, to the cinderace's delight.

As soon as he removed his hand while standing up, Sally's ears instantly perked up.

{Was it enough to straighten your mind?} Bonny mumbled with another elbow hit.

{Hehe. Sorry about that.} She apologized with a foolish smile while rubbing the back of her head.

"Alright, and last but not the least, Luna." Max said, facing the zoroark with his pokedex. "Height: 7.2, damn you're tall." Max started, looking at Luna with impressed and pleased eyes. "Weight: 269 lbs; Age: 33… Now that I think about it, I think it's the first time I'm doing this with you."

{I believe so too. Or at least I don't recall you ever doing it.} The zoroark said.

"So I'm gonna learn a couple of things about you today. Let's dig a little, then. Nature: Lonely… I almost figured that one on my own."

{I hope it doesn't disappoint you too much.} Luna said, with her worried tone barely noticeable.

"Not at all, Luna. As much as I wish to spend time with you, I won't get into your personal space, especially if you need it a little more than others." Max assured her.

{Thanks, little pup.} The zoroark said, smiling gratefully. {I'll keep trying to please both of us equally.}

"Thanks. That's very sweet of you and I really appreciate it. Just prioritize your needs before mine. Now, temperament: Choleric?" Max read, looking at Luna interrogatively. "I admit that I didn't see that one coming, though."

{Having my impulsivity under control doesn't mean that, sometimes, I don't want to… well, not have it under control, to put it simply.}

"And to think most would misjudge you because of your stature and dark-type. You're really a good example to follow." Max praised. "Ability: Illusion, that we already know... known moves: Shadow Claw, Flamethrower, Beast Shadow, Night Slash, Hone Claw, Smokescreen, Agility, Detect, Scary Face and Copycat. Is it me, or did you do some training on your own?" Max suspected.

{Who knows.} Luna replied, looking away innocently.

"Either that or those were moves you knew but never used."

{Well, let's say that I don't really need someone to learn things. I'm my best tutor.}

"I see. Not really surprising, actually. I always knew that you were smarter than you look."

{And what am I supposed to understand from that?} Luna demanded, paws on hips.

"Huh? Wait, no. I didn't—"

{It's okay, little pup. I can't really do anything if you think I'm stupid.} She said, sounding a bit sad. {But I thought better of you.}

Max was about to fall for it, but quickly retaliated and only stared at her with a raised eyebrow.

{...}

"..."

{...Pfft.} Luna cracked a giggle. {You're getting very reactive. You learned quickly. I really can say now that I'm proud of having you as a trainer.}

"Because you weren't before?" Max retorted, sounding offended.

This time, it was Luna who looked at Max with a raised eyebrow, enhanced with a triumphant smile.

{Nice try. You still have a long way to go before being able to trick me.}

"Yeah, it was kind of too obvious."

{A little. And, as for your birthday, it was...}

Luna then waited a few seconds before answering.

{15th of January.}

"15th of January, that's what I was about to say," Max replied, making Luna roll her eyes.

{Good. Now that you're done, maybe we can go.} Scarlet said impatiently.

"Alright, alright. Who's game to walk?" he asked everyone.

{I don't really feel like it.} Bonny said.

{Me neither.} May supported.

{Same here.} Aurora followed.

"I don't know why, but I kind of figured that it would happen," Max commented with a smile and rolling eyes.

{You really tired us out last night. To be honest, now would probably be the only time in my life where I wouldn't mind having a pokeball of my own.} Scarlet shared.

"You don't say. Alright girls, return." Max called out, getting everyone back in their respective pokeball. "I can carry you if you want, my love."

{You would?} Scarlet replied with a small smile.

"Nope," Max said, making her smile vanish. "You're gonna carry that nice butt of yours on your own." He said with an arrogant smile.

{...You bitch.} Scarlet retorted a bit angrily.

"Haha. Sorry. I had to nag you a little for all those times you did."

{It's not the same. I would carry you if you were to ask.}

"Maybe, but the only difference being that I'm not an overpowered being."

{I'm not that heavy… and you're still a bitch.}

"Come on, Scarlet, be a good player. You like to tease, but I shouldn't?"

Scarlet then sighed in defeat.

{...Alright. It's my fault for not seeing it coming. You win this time.} She said with crossed arms and slightly upset.

"Aww, don't make that face. I'll make it up to you later."

{You better. I'm supposed to be the mean one, not you.}

"Can't we switch roles from time to time?"

{Hardly. Being mean doesn't suit you.}

"It doesn't suit your beauty any better, and yet…"

{We should get going before I show you what being mean really means.} She threatened him with an odd touch of seduction.

"Scarlet. You know that threats like that only make me want you to actually do it." Max challenged.

{Oh yeah?!}

She then went near him and grabbed him by the shirt collar before pulling near her like a bully. She then glared at his eyes, who wasn't reflecting any fear.

{...You're lucky that your hips aren't in a good shape, otherwise, I would just have raped you right here, right now.} She told him rather before aggressively kissing him and shoving her tongue inside his mouth.

After a fierce and brief make-out session, Scarlet broke the kiss, slightly biting his lips.

{How about we get going. Now!} She demanded lustfully, her lips running around his lips, about to explode at any moment.

"Alright." Max agreed, abruptly moving away from her to head towards the road.

{You… fucking tease.} She mumbled, a mix of anger and lust in her voice with balled fists before following him.