"Hurry up, uncle Roy! You're so slow!"
The Mismagius smiled and floated after the small child, who dove down the stairs of spinda's café head first. He gasped and grabbed her with psychic before she hurt herself.
"Goodness, child… I'm not always going to be here. You can't be that reckless!"
The human just giggled and brushed her hair out of her face as Roy set her on the floor. The child grinned and sprinted over to the counter, placing an oran berry and an apple on the counter. "Oh! Oh! Mr. Spinda! Can I have a drink?"
The café owner tilted his head and glanced at Roy, who placed several poké on the counter. "She's with me."
The spotted pokémon smiled, grabbed the two fruits and placed them in a cup and began twirling behind the counter whilst shaking the mixture. The little human clapped and cheered as he mixed the drink, and Roy sighed, looking towards the stairs while Connor's daughter watched Spinda in awe as he used ice punch to chill the drink in an instant by supercooling his hand.
"Roy. We have an assignment." Jade emerged from the floor, and he glanced at the little human with a small smirk. "You mean you have an assignment. My mission is to babysit until Connor and Vulcan get back from their 'official business' at the Guild, whatever that means."
"No; I mean we." Jade clarified.
"I don't think you heard me-"
Roy paused and narrowed his eyes, trying to maintain eye contact with her bright yellow irises. "Okay, I know you're lying… He told me to keep her safe. What do you want?"
"...Meet me at Wigglytuff's Guild in five minutes."
"Okay, got it," he rolled his eyes and turned back to Connor's daughter, who was now chugging the ice-cold drink. Jade phased into shadows, and Roy gasped as the child dropped the cup and grabbed her forehead, groaning in pain.
"Brain… freeze…" the little human fell to her knees and collapsed to the ground, and Roy just chuckled. "That's what you get for not savoring the drink."
He placed a shadow-infused hand on her shoulder and chanted a quick healing spell. "Parantua hänen mielessään."
She sighed with relief and stood up, still grinning. "Come on! Let's go exploring!"
"Whoa, slow your roll, young lady." Roy held her back with his cloak, and she pouted while crossing her arms. "...Meanie."
"You know I'm not being mean," Roy chided her. "If I was mean, I'd put you in a coma for a few hours so I didn't have to deal with you."
"I know… Oh! Uncle Roy!"
"That's my name," he sighed. "...What?"
"I remember dad talking about Time Travel… What's it like?"
"I… I don't know, personally. He and Vulcan are the only ones who have experienced it."
"Huh. I want to travel through time some day… I think that would be cool." she giggled.
"I'd imagine so," he murmured.
"If you could go back in time and change one thing about the past, what would you change?"
"Goodness me, one thing?" the Mismagius blinked back tears, but managed to force a smile. "There are so many things I would change… I can't choose. How about you?"
"If I could go back, I wouldn't change anything!" she beamed.
"Really? Not even a time you got in trouble?" Roy said with a joking smile.
"Nope! I wouldn't change a thing about anything!"
Roy turned around as Magnus lumbered down the stairs, ducking slightly to avoid the top of the doorway, then fully elongating his neck and stretching out his wings. "...This place is quiet. Where is everyone?"
"It's the middle of the afternoon," Roy informed him. "Nobody's going out for a drink right now. They're out exploring or shopping."
"It was a rhetorical question, smartas-"
"Nah-ah-ah! Not in front of the kid!" Roy cut him off, and the Tropius growled softly while handing Spinda two sitrus berries. "Don't make it super cold this time. It hurts my head."
"Of course," Spinda took the two ingredients, and Roy gasped lightly. "Right. I need to meed Jade at Wigglytuff's guild!"
"Yeah; She was saying something about 'Roy's gonna freak out'." Magnus grunted. "Honestly, I couldn't care less."
"That's not nice, uncle Magnus!" Connor's daughter exclaimed. "You should always care about others!"
"I'm not a nice guy. Caring gets you hurt." the Tropius shrugged as Nocturne and Atlas came down the stairs, followed shortly by Vincent and Rose.
"Took you all long enough," Roy joked. Then he turned to Connor's daughter, then back to them. "I have to meet Jade at Wigglytuff's guild. Rose, can you watch Petra for me?"
"Yeah; I can do that!" Rose said with a smile.
"Whaaat? Uncle Roy, you said we were gonna go exploring!"
"Jade needs me real quick. Then we can go exploring; How does that sound?"
"Yaaay!" the little human jumped with joy, and Roy chuckled as he phased into shadows. "I'll be back soon."
Then he rematerialized inside of the guild, startling several apprentices and causing them to scramble backwards. "Good afternoon, recruits. Have you seen Jade?"
"Roy!" a familiar voice sung from above the Mismagius, and he smirked as Chatot landed on the ground in front of him. "I believe she's in the mess hall."
He shrugged and hovered into the empty room, and suddenly he was dragged into the floor by an icy hand. Jade wrapped her arms around him with a smile and kissed him as they floated weightlessly in the shadow dimension. After a moment to regain himself, he smiled and stared into her eyes. "What's this about?"
"I just love you," she said with a grin. "And wanted to remind you."
"I love you too," he said with a small laugh. "But I've got babysitting duty today."
"That's fine, I just wanted to take a moment to ourselves," she whispered. "It's been too long."
"Indeed it has…"
Their badges suddenly flashed to life, and they were hovering in spinda's café, much to their annoyance. Roy was better at masking his disappointment than Jade, but even her scowl was replaced by a curious smile as Connor sat Petra down at the table. "I have some great news, baby girl."
She looked up at him excitedly as he handed her a small wooden crate engraved with Asmortic runes. "Vulcan and I just talked to Guildmaster Wigglytuff. He's normally super strict about who he lets in..." his tone was hinted with sarcasm at that statement. "...but I've talked him into apprenticing you." She flipped open the box and leapt up to give her father a massive hug. "Really?! Thank you thank you thank you!"
The rest of the team smiled and clapped as she took the explorers' badge out of the crate and fastened it to her shirt. "I'm an explorer just like you guys!"
"Oh yeah, you're gonna be awesome," Atlas said with a grin. "The strongest in the world!"
"You're going to do great, Petra!" Alice assured her.
"I'll drink to that," Magnus agreed. Upbeat music began pouring from the walls while everyone celebrated the next prodigé explorer, with several teams showing up and telling her stories about how they've worked with Connor's team over the years and how she's going to do great things.
"I'll do my best!" she said with a grin. Her first day would start tomorrow, but for now she celebrated with her family, dancing the evening away.
I realize that this may not be the ending many of you were expecting. I want to use this epilogue to explain a little bit of my life the past two years. As I've gotten better at writing and matured in my creativity with much help from many of you, I've decided to take the next step beyond fanfiction: writing my own novel series as a legit published author. I had never intended to be writing for this long when I created this account, as I only wanted to show my version of Grovyle's backstory, but I am so glad that it turned out the way it did. As the years have gone by, I've made several good friends on this website that I've been able to bounce ideas off of, and many of you have reached out to me during my period of silence!
I want to personally thank several contributors, namely Aerojester, OnyxWhip and Parousia45 for being there through pretty much all of it and keeping me motivated to write!
I'm probably rambling on at this point, so I'll get to the point: My main focus has shifted to writing professionally, and once I have a title and stuff decided, I'll post information here for anyone who's interested! So for now, I don't expect to be writing any more PMD fics. It has been a wonderful experience these last 6 years or however long it's been now, and I wouldn't change any of it for the world!
This will be my final chapter for a while. Farewell everyone. As always, Much Love!