Happy holidays, everybody! I will admit that this next installment had been in off and on production for a little while, but I decided to push it up on the schedule in order to make it into a Christmas present given one of the stars of this installment.

So, this was the planned third part of the mini-series, but… now, it is also going to be the Christmas present for my good friend KKD and his character Hinata. Merry Christmas to you both! I'll admit that I didn't know what to do this year, so I decided to push this up the to do list and make it my gift.

I don't really know what else to say about this one, other than I hope that you enjoy it.

Disclaimers: Pokémon belongs to Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc, etc.


"There is a particular piece of this legend that shows that, no matter what, treating others with kindness, compassion, and care will always be good in the long run…"


Some weeks had gone by since the Noble Kleavor had been beaten. Akari and her small team were still going around, taking care of tasks, and becoming friends with some of the people in Jubilife Village.

One day, she had a request to help a girl who had purple hair, a pair of glasses, and a nice looking outfit to help her catch a Pokémon. The two were searching around for some Pokémon that would be easy to catch and train for a newbie and eventually found a small herd of some Starlys were chatting. Akari got to the grass and then motioned for the girl to follow her, with the purple haired girl lowering herself into the grass and observing the group.

"Okay, Hitomi-chan, I think this will be the right sort of first catch," Akari whispered as she handed a Pokéball over to the girl, Hitomi, just be very careful and quiet.

"Got it…" Hitomi nervously nodded. She inched forward, watching a few of the Starlys fly away. She then closed her eyes and chucked one of the Pokéballs forward. It made contact with one and actually managed to successfully catch it. The rest of the herd had flown away, leaving only the Pokéball that Hitomi had used to catch the one. She nervously walked forward and picked it up.

"Congrats," Akari smiled, "You're certainly a lot braver than most, Hitomi-chan. I've lost count how many people would refuse to follow me outside of either village I've taken requests for."

Hitomi gave a small nod and then sent out the Starly, which gave off a small shimmer as it emerged from the ball. The Starly landed on Hitomi's shoulder and nuzzled up to her a little bit.

"Wait…" Akari spoke, sending out a Starly of her own, "...yours looks different."

"...really?" Hitomi blinked, looking a bit confused.

"Yeah. This is what they usually look like," Akari informed, motioning to the Starly she just sent out, "Still, it is pretty cool. You got something unique."

Hitomi smiled and giggled a little bit, gently petting her new Starly on the head.


Akari returned to the village and put the Starly she had on her party for the task back to the storage ranch. Her attention went to her usual group of four, who were all looking happy.

"Alright, another task is done," Akari told them.

The group cheered a bit. However, before they could do anything else, Akari's Starly began to chirp loudly to get their attention and motioned towards the sky. Akari quickly turned to see a Rufflet was falling out of the air. She was quickly able to judge the distance where it would land and managed to successfully catch it in her arms.

"Thanks, Starly!" Akari responded.


The bluenette was soon back to the Galaxy Team building and waiting to hear back from someone about the Rufflet. She happily exhaled when she heard somebody exit the room.

"The Rufflet is going to be just fine," a medical personnel of the Galaxy Team informed, bringing the Pokémon out as well, "Could've been a lot worse had you not been there."

Akari nodded a little bit, gently petting the Rufflet to make sure it was calmer.


After a bit of time, the Rufflet was caught by Akari and soon placed into the ranch area to hang out with Starly. The two birds seemed to be happy together and playing nicely. With the task completed, Akari headed back to the base to report in.


"Excellent work, girl," Cyllene spoke as she looked at the reports.

"Thank you," Akari smiled.

"Your work has landed you another high level mission from one of the two clans. This time, it is the Pearl Clan," Cyllene informed.

"Ooh!"

"You will need to travel by Braviary in order to get to your destination," Cyllene informed Akari, "You will be heading towards the northern most part of the Hisui region. Irida will debrief you after you arrive."

"Okay…" Akari nodded, quickly glancing towards a map to see that it was going to have snow in it…


Rei let out a small sigh as he sat down in his lodgings, rubbing his right arm a little bit, before Akari headed over to him.

"Hi," she spoke.

"Hey," Rei responded.

Akari was about to speak again before she saw that his arm was wrapped up in bandages, "Everything ok?"

"Yeah. I just sprained it during a task," he informed, "I'm gonna be alright. Uh… why are you here?"

"I was gonna ask you for a favor…" Akari began to speak, which made Rei exhale a little. Akari's Shellos and Goomy both moved over towards him and he just sighed a little more before Akari kept going, "So, I'm going to be taking on a mission that'll take me to a snowy area. I looked things over and saw that the cold doesn't mix well with these two…"

Rei nodded a little, yet had a skeptical look.

"So… do you think you can keep an eye on the two of them for me? I got ranch hands on anything else, but I just want to make sure that Shellos and Goomy will be happy until I get back," Akari asked, "I promise, I'll pay you when I get back."

Rei didn't quite know what to say as he looked to the two small Pokémon. He eventually let out a heavy sigh, "...ok."

"Thank you so much! I owe ya!" Akari smiled. She then turned to her two Pokémon, "Be good until I get back, ok?"

"Shell!"

"Goo!"

Akari quickly headed off, and Rei let out another sigh in response to this situation.


A couple of days went by before Akari had took a Hisuian Braviary to be brought towards the far north. Her Cyndaquil and Shinx were both in their Pokéballs as Akari was soaring through the skies. The girl couldn't help but look on in awe at the environment as she passed over it. After a bit of travel, they eventually arrived at a far snowier area of the region. Akari took a moment to pet the Hisuian Braviary before she shivered a little bit.

"Okay… very cold…" she noted, sending out her Cyndaquil before she picked him up and slipped him into the hood of her outfit, "Much better."

"Cyn?"

"Just for a bit of warmth. You okay with that?" Akari asked, soon getting a happy noise to confirm it would be fine.


Akari walked through the snow for a little bit before eventually coming across a small village. The Hisuian Braviary then remained nearby to act on standby in case Akari needed the air lift, with Akari waving to the Pokémon for a moment before she kept on going.

"Certainly is chilly…" Akari admitted. She then turned towards her Cyndaquil, "How you holding up?"

"Quil," Cyndaquil responded, giving a gesture to indicate things were fine.

The girl nodded and then looked around for the person she was supposed to get debriefed by. She brushed a bit of snow off of her hat as she roamed around a little, taking in the small village a bit.

"Oh, Irida!" Akari spoke after a bit, waving to the leader of the Pear Clan.

"Oh, Akari-san," Irida smiled, approaching the young Survey Corp member, "Good to see you again."

"Same to you," Akari responded, "So, what's the job?"

"Gotta bring you to somebody else to explain it a little bit," Irida informed.

"Lead the way then."

The two began to walk a little bit, with Akari smiling as they moved forward.

"There is another member of the Survey Corp here and it's part of why you're here. He's only, like… a year or two older than you," Irida informed.

"...wait. Isn't 15 the minimum to join the Survey Corp? I was almost turned down due to my age… so…?"

Irida glanced around quickly for a moment before she leaned close to Akari to whisper to her, "Nepotism. This guy is the commander's son."

"Ah…" Akari exhaled, her breath appearing in front of her due to the cold.

The two arrived at the center of the town and Akari noticed that somebody was waiting nearby, being a boy that she didn't quite recognize the face of. The boy was also in a Survey Corp uniform and was wearing a pair of glasses on his eyes. He rubbed his face a little bit, his brown hair gently moving, as Akari and Irida got to him.

"Akari-san, this is Rai," Irida spoke, "Rai-san, this is Akari."

"So, you're the prodigy?" Rai asked.

"Yeah," Akari nodded, "I didn't know the Commander had a son."

"...eh…" he shrugged.

The leader of the Pearl Clan just gave off a small exhale before she stood ready, "Akari-san, Rai-san was here to investigate some Pokémon that live around the area. However, in the process, he was attacked by an unknown Pokémon, which caused him to lose his notepad and his camera that he uses to get photos of Pokémon."

"O~h, you're the one who makes those photo references," Akari said in realization.

"Yeah," Rai nodded.

"You do pretty good," Akari smiled.

"Back on track, your task is to locate his supplies and see if you can identify the Pokémon that had attacked him," Irida elaborated.

The bluenette gave a smile and a nod in response, "I'm on the case."

"Knew you would," Irida smiled.


Akari took the Hisuian Braviary to get towards roughly around the zone that Rai had been sent towards previously, based on the little bit of info he was able to describe to her before she headed out, and she let the Pokémon she used for the ride perch up somewhere nearby.

"Okay… uh…" Akari spoke, glancing around, not totally sure what to do, "...gonna have to get going…"

With that, Akari started to move around and start to observe some of the environment. There were some Pokémon that were walking around a little, but they clearly didn't seem to notice the bluenette as she kept going. She adjusted the height of her scarf a little to make sure it would cover up part of her face for the sake of keeping herself warm. Cyndaquil, meanwhile, kept in the hood of the uniform and was able to stay put in it in spite of Akari moving around.

"Sno?"

"Sno!"

Akari quickly tucked down behind some rocks and observed the area a little bit to find the source of the noise she just heard, soon spotting a few Pokémon that appeared to be eating the snow and ice along the ground. She took a quick sketch of their general shape, then slowly poked her head upwards, "...looks like an Ice-type…"

She kept observing the group for a moment and saw they seemed to know the way around. The distance between where she was and where the group was ended up being a bit further than she was expecting, so Akari ended up fishing out a special type of Pokéball that Volo had recently given her some supplies of and she had spent a bit of time practicing with.

'Feather Ball, don't fail me now…' Akari thought as she took aim, then flung the Feather Ball forward. The ball soared far further than that of the regular Pokéballs she had and made contact with one of the Pokémon. The others all scampered away out of surprise from the strange noise, while Akari waited to see if the catch was successful. The ball shook a little bit before it finally gave off a small hiss to indicate it had worked. The girl wiped away some sweat before she hurried over and got the ball, 'Alrighty.'

She picked up the ball and then sent out the Pokémon in it, which made it look around in confusion, "Hi. Uh… sorry, but I needed some help to navigate my way around this area."

"Sno?"

"I'm Akari, and this is Cyndaquil," she introduced, with her Cyndaquil giving a happy noise, "How about you?"

"...Snorunt!" the small Pokémon, a Snorunt, beamed as it jumped up and down in excitement.

Akari jotted the name down into her notebook really quickly, then presented the book, "Okay, so, I am looking for something kinda like this. It's called a notebook. Have you seen one like this? …one that is not the one I have."

The Snorunt studied the shape of the book for a moment, then it jumped up and made motions for Akari to follow.

"Alright. Just don't go super fast," Akari requested, which earned a small nod before Snorunt guided her forward.


The two walked towards a grown forest, with the shapes of the trees somewhat covering some of the light away from the area, but there was just enough visible light that Akari could still see.

"Ru ru!" Snorunt spoke, pointing forward.

Akari looked and saw, indeed, there was a notebook and a small camera. The girl hurried over and picked up both items, spotting 'Galaxy Expedition Team, Survey Corp member: Rai Kamado' written on the back end of it. Akari flipped open the notebook and turned through the pages. Thankfully, the writing was intact and legible enough for her to make out what Rai had written out.

"'Is that a Growlithe? No, a Vulpix. …no, not that either. The tip of its tail is red and swaying. It has white fur on top of its head and it has a fluffy amount around its neck. The eyes are round and yellow. It's adorable…'" Akari read to herself, but then she saw there wasn't any more writing, and the next few pages look like they had been damaged by a Pokémon of some sort. Akari soon found the camera that Rai had used and saw that the photos hadn't been taken out yet. She gently rolled on the side of it to get them out, seeing that the Pokémon that Rai had described in his writing was definitely quadrupedal and, while very blurry, the description he had written down was mostly on point, "...alright… guess I know what Pokémon I need to be on the lookout for…"

After another moment, Akari tucked both items into her bag. She then went over to the Snorunt and gently patted it on the head, "Thanks so much. I appreciate it."

The Snorunt smiled and jumped up happily for a bit. Cyndaquil gave a happy noise as well, making Snorunt blush and smile a little.


Akari had her new Snorunt help guide her back to the village, but then gasped in horror when she saw the Hisuian Braviary that had helped her get around having gotten injured by something. It looked pretty badly wounded, with a few open cuts on the bird's body, and it was trying to stay calm.

"Hey!" Akari yelled, quickly hurrying over to the Pokémon, "Hey! What happened?"

"Brav… Brav…" the Braviary weakly responded.

"Hold on," Akari responded, managing to pick the bird up and start to walk with it in tow.


Irida and Rai began to work to wrap up the injuries of the bird Pokémon's wounds up. Rai proved to be pretty good at bandaging up the Pokemon, while Irida worked to make sure it was in a comfortable position.

"I don't know what happened…" Akari admitted.

"We don't know what Pokémon has been causing issues…" Irida admitted, pulling Braviary over to wrap up the open wounds, "It, thankfully, hasn't gotten super close to the village or the temple. We don't know what to do about it…"

Akari exhaled a little bit, but then remembered part of the reason she had been called over and took out the notebook and camera for Rai.

"Thanks," Rai smiled as he took back his notebook and camera, "You're not half bad."

Akari faintly blushed at the compliment, but it quickly faded as her mind went back to the injured Pokémon.

"Akari-san, do you think you could at least do a short patrol around and make sure the Pokémon that caused this isn't nearby?" Irida quickly asked, "I couldn't even begin to guess what's happening, so I think having just someone on patrol who can get away quickly if need be would be good."

"I'm on it," Akari nodded.


Akari spent the next couple of hours roaming around a little bit. The sun was dipping over the horizon and the snow was starting to fall a little bit faster. Akari glanced around a bit, seeing absolutely no signs of anything, then she brushed a bit of snow out of her face.

"Alright, let's-" Akari spoke, about to walk back… but the trail back to the settlement was now gone and Akari didn't seem to know which way she should go. She was about to send Snorunt back out, but she could hear it softly snoring from inside the ball, "...great… well… looks like we're on our own…"

"Quil…?" Cyndaquil worriedly asked.

"We're gonna be okay, promise," Akari responded, pulling the scarf up a little bit over her face again.

The girl kept on walking for a bit, but the snowfall had started to get a bit heavier and was obscuring her vision a fair bit. Cyndaquil did its best to keep her warm, but the snowfall was making it harder for both of them.

A roar soon echoed in the area, which made Akari look to try to find the source of the sound. Her visibility was growing less and less clear because of the snowfall, which made Akari start to hurry away from the source of the noise as quickly as she could.


"Well… we're lost…" Akari exhaled, leaning back against a tree. She ended up accidentally finding her way into the forest that Rai had lost his supplies in, which ended up being the best cover from the heavy snowfall and whatever the mysterious roaring was.

"Cyn…" Cyndaquil spoke.

"We're gonna be okay…" Akari responded in a calm tone. The two then heard something moving around and glanced around to try to see it.

"Zo…?"

Akari looked and soon saw a small white, quadrupedal, fluffy Pokémon that had red highlights and yellow eyes. She looked at it for a moment and couldn't help but coo a little at the sight of it.

"Zoru…" the Pokémon spoke before its stomach grumbled a little.

Akari then got out an Oran Berry and gently set it against the ground for the Pokémon. It slowly approached it, then began to eat it a bit, making Akari smile a bit, "I got more where that came from."

The small Pokémon quickly finished the berry and then its eyes brightened up a bit. The Pokémon motioned with its head for Akari to follow.

"Follow you? Alright," Akari nodded.

The small Pokémon moved forward quickly, with Akari keeping pace. Eventually, the two arrived at a small cave entrance and the Pokémon guided them in. Cyndaquil got onto Akari's shoulder and began to use its flames to light the area up for them.

"Thanks," Akari smiled.

A short walk soon presented Akari with what the smaller Pokémon had wanted her to see. It was bipedal, mostly white with a few red highlights, a wild and flowing mane, yellow eyes, and it clearly had a few open wounds that looked pretty bad.

"Okay," Akari nodded, setting her bag down and starting to go into it.

"Ark…" the larger Pokémon growled as it saw Akari, but Akari didn't seem to notice it was mad.

"Zo zo, zoru…" the smaller Pokémon pleaded.

"Ar…" the larger Pokémon growled, clearly not trusting Akari.

After a moment, Akari had gotten out some bandages, some clean water, a few berries, and a bit of wood. She unwrapped some of the bandages, then began to approach the larger Pokémon.

"Ark! Zoro!" it yelled in anger, clearly trying to tell Akari to leave, but Akari didn't stop approaching. The larger Pokémon attempted to stand, but it winced in heavy pain from the injuries it had and was forced to sit back down.

"Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you, I promise," Akari calmly spoke as she got up to the Pokémon and began to bandage up its leg, "And I promise that I'm going to help you."

The larger Pokémon just looked angry, but Akari didn't stop wrapping up the injuries. She moved along to the two arms and saw how badly wounded it was with a fairly large cut on the right arm. Akari poured a bit of water on it to try to clean it off, making the larger Pokémon wince more, before she double wrapped the arm injury. She looked satisfied and then got out the few Oran Berries and Sitrus Berries that she had obtained prior to traveling to the north.

"Try to eat up," Akari requested as she moved the berries forward.

The larger Pokémon let out another growl, clearly frustrated, but the smaller Pokémon nudged the berries closer to the larger one. The larger Pokémon let out a sigh and began to try to eat, which did help it a little.


"Akari?! Akari?! Akari?!" Irida called out in concern.

"Gla! Glaceo~!" her partner Pokemon called out as well.

Irida fanned herself for a moment, but then sighed, "No use, Glaceon. It's getting too dark and the snow's falling too hard. We're gonna have to wait until morning to try to find them. …may the divine Sinnoh protect them…"


Back over at the cave, Akari and her Cyndaquil set up a small campfire to try to keep warm. Akari's Shinx and Snover, her only other on-hand team members, were also out of their Pokéballs and were trying to relax at least a little. While Shinx was being calm and sitting next to Akari, Snover was still fast asleep and not doing anything.

"Well… this was unexpected, I'll be honest…" Akari admitted, keeping her hands near the fire, "But… at least we have somewhere warm to try to sleep."

"Cynda," Cyndaquil added.

"Shinx," Shinx nodded.

Snover's only contribution to the conversation was a bit more snoring. Akari gave a small, soft, giggle at that before she began to sketch out the Pokémon that were around. The smaller one stared at her a little bit in curiosity, while the larger one didn't seem to care at all. All Akari did was focus on some sketches for the sake of info gathering for a bit before she eventually tucked it away and the fire soon went out. Akari then cuddled up against Cyndaquil and shut her eyes to try to get some sleep…


Sunlight soon drifted into the cave, which caused Akari to stir from it getting to her. She let out a small yawn, rubbing her eyes a little, before she got up for the day with another yawn.

"Zo…"

Akari blinked and then saw the smaller Pokémon was nearby and gently staring at her a little, "Good morning."

"Ark…" the larger one added

Akari waved a little bit, then saw the smaller Pokémon continuing to stare at her. She kneeled down to the small one, "What's up?"

The small Pokémon motioned towards the larger one, then towards Akari's bag for a moment.

"We need to find more items to help?" Akari asked, earning a nod from the smaller Pokémon, "Alright. What do we need?"

The smaller Pokémon blinked for a moment, then scampered over to get the remains of the berries and then what looked like some sort of herbs.

"Oh, I think I've seen those before. I don't remember where I saw them, so…" Akari spoke, then let Snorunt out. Snorunt had finally woken up and was ready for the day, "Snorunt, we need to find stuff like this. Do you know where we can find it?"

Snorunt looked at the items for a moment, then gave a nod and smiled.

"Alright," Akari nodded, then she turned towards the smaller one, "...do you… wanna go with us?"

The smaller one beamed a little bit, with made the larger one sigh. The two conversed for a moment and the larger one just gave them a motion to get going.

"Okay. We'll be back as soon as we can," Akari responded.


Snorunt guided Akari forward, with the smaller Pokémon riding on her shoulder, in search of the items. Akari made sure to balance the smaller one well, noticing that it was fairly light, but it was certainly calm and looked relaxed as they moved forward.

"Cynda," Cyndaquil greeted.

"...zo," the small Pokémon responded, getting a little nervous.

"No need to worry. He's my friend," Akari assured.

"Snorunt! Sno, Snorunt!" Akari's Snorunt called out.

The girl looked to see some of the herbs along the ground. The small Pokémon quickly scampered over to them and used its mouth to pull two out of the ground. Akari gave a small smile and helped to pick them out, tucking them into her bag after they got all of them out.

"Alright. Now, the berries," Akari added.

Snorunt nodded and they moved forward for a bit, but soon saw a few Pokémon were around the nearest spots for the berries. Akari quickly flipped through her notebook, "Alright… Snover… and Abomasnow."

Akari glanced between them and her Pokémon as she considered her options. However, before she could do anything, the smaller Pokémon got her bag and slipped forward. Akari gasped in worry, but the small Pokémon was able to get right by the Snovers and Abomasnows, gather the berries, and then hurry back to Akari with the berries in her bag.

"Okay… that was amazing! Great work," Akari smiled.

The small Pokémon's eyes widened out of surprise at the compliment and then it snuggled up against her.


"We're back," Akari called out, with her Cyndaquil, Shinx, and Snorunt all giving a call in response to make sure the larger one knew they were back.

"Zoroar…" the larger Pokémon responded before Akari got the supplies out. This made the larger Pokémon's eyes widen in a bit of surprise at the sight.

"All for you both. The little one actually managed to get all the berries on its own," Akari informed.

The larger one looked a little bit surprised by this and then smiled a little.

"Great work… uh… huh. I don't know your name. What's your name?" Akari soon asked.

"Zo?"

"Name," Akari repeated before she motioned to herself, "I'm Akari."

"Cyndaquil!" her Cyndaquil chimed in.

"Shinx!" Shinx added.

"Snorunt!"

The smaller one eventually gave a small smile, "Zorua."

The injured one looked a little irritated, but eventually spoke, "Zoroark."

Akari quickly got out her notebook, then wrote down the names so she would remember them, "Nice to meet you both properly."

"Zorua," the small one, Zorua, smiled happily.

"Ark…" the larger one, Zoroark, scoffed.

Akari quickly jotted some things down about the two Pokémon for a moment, then tucked the notebook back into her bag and her Pokémon got to her side, "So… do you need anything else?"

The Zoroark ate one of the berries and the herbs, which gave it the ability to properly stand once more. It then motioned towards the cave exit in an annoyed way.

"Oh. Leave. Gotcha," Akari realized.

"Zo, zorua!" the Zorua spoke, clearly not wanting her to leave.

"Ark!" the Zoroark growled, clearly intent as 'out!'.

"Sorry, kiddo. I've gotta get going anyway," Akari responded, gently petting Zorua's head before standing up, "Good luck out there you two."

With that, Akari quickly headed out of the cave and the forest. She recalled both Shinx and Snorunt, with Cyndaquil getting back into her hood, before she headed out.

"Zorua! Zo zo zo zorua zo rua!" the Zorua yelled.

"Ark… zoroark… zoroark…" the Zoroark responded, clearly not trusting Akari.

The two just growled a little bit at each-other, and stayed like that for a few hours. They remained a bit upset at each-other following the sunset. Before they could say or do anything else, however, the two Pokemon could smell a scent that made them both get worried. They exchange a glance for a moment, with the Zorua having a pleading look…


"That Zoroark was a little upset at me for some reason…" Akari observed.

"Quil…" Cyndaquil responded, clearly intent as a 'yeah…' to her.

"Sorry. I just… don't get what the problem was…" Akari admitted as she kept going, "...the Zorua was pretty cute. Not sure what it was about it, but it was so precious."

Cyndaquil nodded a bit, but then tapped her shoulder quickly. Akari could then hear a large Pokémon breathing in anger and soon recognized the source of the shadow that was looming over her.

"Oh no…" Akari whispered, being forced to dodge out of the way of an Ice Punch from an Abomasnow, "Crud crud crud crud crud!"

The Abomasnow growled in anger and kept swinging towards her, with Akari narrowly evading the attacks as she kept on running. The snow kept going down, making her visibility a bit poorer…


It was now night and the snow was falling heavily again. Akari had to recall Cyndaquil to its Pokéball as she kept going after the amount of running and evading she had to do. The girl was slowly starting to shiver as she kept on going, yet she was trying to keep going on.

Akari panted a fair amount before she heard the cry of the Pokémon that was chasing her. She looked around, unable to see where it was due to how fast the snow was coming down.

"ARK!"

Akari gasped as she heard the loud roar. It was a very familiar sound to her. Something jumped down from a cliff and got between Akari and the Pokémon that had chased her.

"Zor!"

Her attention turned quickly, which made her see the Zorua rushing over to her side.

"Zorua! Zoroark!" she cheered.

The Zorua got close and snuggled against her leg, while the Zoroark looked around a little bit to check the area. They were both able to see whatever the unknown Pokémon was, while Akari was struggling to keep her eyes open at this point. There was a sudden jump, but the Zoroark was capable of parrying the attack.

"Wow…" Akari gawked.

The Zoroark managed to force the unknown assailant a bit away from the group and then winced a little bit. The Zoroark looked at the reopened injury, then just sighed at it. Akari and Zorua quickly hurried to Zoroark's side, which made the tall Pokémon just stare.

"You're hurt!" Akari remarked, ready to open her supply bag to get something out, "Hold still…"

Another cry echoed through the area, which got the attention of the three. Zoroark just growled, then turned to Akari.

"Ark… zoro, zoroark," Zoroark spoke.

"You… want me to do something?" Akari asked, earning a nod, "What is it?"

Zoroark moved Akari's hands so they would be able to hold something, then it placed Zorua in her hands. Zoroark then gave a motion to indicate to get away.

"You want us to leave?! I can't do that! You're still hurt and I said I would help you!"

Zoroark's yellow eyes glared at Akari, then it repeated the motion to leave. Akari could tell Zoroark was telling her it was not a request; it was an order to leave. The small Zorua began to whimper and protest, which led to Zoroark gently pressing its head against Zorua to tell it goodbye.

The cries of the unknown Pokémon grew louder, along with booming steps. Zoroark stepped away from the two, let out a roar, and ran towards the unknown attacker.

"NO!/ZORUA!"

The tall Pokémon disappeared into the cloudy fog, the tracks quickly getting covered by the fastly falling snow. Akari and Zorua looked in concern, but the snow was starting to fall faster and faster.

"I'm sorry…" Akari apologized, tucking Zorua into her coat and then just running in the opposite direction. The Zorua whimpered a bit, but clung to her out of fear.


Akari eventually got somewhere else, but the snow was still falling heavily. The girl was shivering, while trying to keep the Zorua warm with her own body heat, and she was scared. Unbeknownst to her, the Jewel of Life began to let off a glow from within her bag as if to give off an emergency signal.

"We're gonna be okay… we're gonna be okay… we're gonna be okay…" Akari repeated to herself and the Zorua.

She then stopped upon hearing a Pokémon's cry, but then seemed to recognize it. Akari looked up and saw a familiar bird circling around her location.

"AKARI! AKARI~~~!"

The girl opened her eyes a little, able to see a person's shadow quickly approaching her. She waved her hand a little bit, quickly seeing who was approaching.

"AKARI!" Irida yelled, quickly pulling her into a hug, "I'm so sorry that I sent you out!"

"It's okay…" Akari responded, "Can we just get somewhere warm now…?"

Irida nodded, with the recovered Hisuian Braviary getting towards the two and sending them away. As they were carried back, the Jewel of Life's glow faded and the jewel returned to its neutral position.


Akari was now inside a house at the Pearl Clan settlement and had some warm food served up to her. The Zorua sat nearby her as it was trying to warm up a little bit.

"Uh… Akari?" Rai spoke up.

"Yes?" she asked.

"You… you are aware of what you brought back with you, right?" he nervously questioned.

"Yeah. It's called Zorua," she informed.

Rai got a bit nervous, "It's a Hisuian Zorua. They look different elsewhere. They're a bit dangerous, but… well… that one clearly isn't. Sorry."

He then backed away and Akari gently patted the Hisuian Zorua atop the head. Irida walked over and wrapped a blanket around Akari.

"Sorry I caused you a headache…" Akari apologized.

"I'm sorry I caused you to go outside and get lost. Is there any way I can make it up to you?" Irida asked.

"Well… there is one thing. I did manage to stumble onto the mystery attacker… but I was rescued by a Hisuian Zoroark. Do you… think you can see if the Zoroark is ok?" Akari requested.

Irida looked a bit surprised and a little worried at the request, but then she took in the worried expression that Akari had on her face.

"Please…?"

"Alright…" Irida exhaled.


The following morning, Akari and Rai had gotten back to Jubilife Village and reported in. Akari soon got back her Shellos and Goomy from Rei and returned home with a tired look on her face. Irida and the Pearl Clan hadn't found anything by the time they needed to return, but the Hisuian Zorua ended up going with Akari for the time being, while Snorunt was put into her ranches for a little while.

"It'll… be… okay…" Akari responded, trying to have a brave face as she sat down in her room, "It'll… be fine…"

"Goo?" Goomy asked.

"Shi…" Shinx responded.

Akari looked at her notes of Zoroark, trying her best to not cry. She started to write into the book, as a few tears began to form in her eyes. She tried to rub them away and focus on the new note she had written down…

"Anyone able to establish trust with a Hisuian Zoroark would likely find it an invaluable ally."

The tears finally began to run. Her Cyndaquil, Shinx, Shellos, and Goomy tried to comfort her, and Zorua soon joined as well…


Back over at the north, Irida and some members of the Pearl Clan had gone out to investigate a little bit and soon found signs of some sort of a struggle. The unknown Pokémon's prints weren't recognizable to the group, but they were able to recognize the prints of the other one.

"The Zoroark is alive… maybe…" a Pearl Clan person remarked.

"Yeah…" Irida nodded.


Akari had finished her tears by the next day. The Zorua she had walked alongside her as she took in the regular morning sky, with the small Pokémon taking in the gentle morning as well.

"I'm willing to try to take you back if you want to go home…" Akari informed the Zorua, "We can try to find Zoroark. But… your call."

The small Zorua blinked a little bit before it turned towards Akari and snuggled against one of her legs. Akari smiled and soon tapped a Pokéball against it and it was soon caught. The girl sent the Zorua back out and then hugged it happily.

"Welcome aboard, my friend," Akari whispered, cuddling against it softly…


So, I will say, I am cutting this a little closer than I was expecting because of a few outside circumstances. Eh, that's kinda usual fair for me. But, yeah, this part is now done.

I will admit that, originally, the climax of this with Zoroark defending Akari and giving her Zorua was the first part I wrote following the conclusion of part one. I had a burst of inspiration and it ended up looking cool. Admittedly, the identity behind the unknown Pokémon was something I never set in stone given how early I was working on that scene. Even with passing time, I still hadn't decided on it. It is SOME sort of a Dark-type, but I don't know what kind. …no suggestions, please.

Adding on, the original ending was going to be Akari being comforted by Cyndaquil and Shinx, since I hadn't had her obtained Shellos and Goomy when I originally made that earlier bit, but I decided that, since it is Christmas, I would make the ending a fair bit more optimistic and hopeful. Plus, I am an uplifting writer.

Oh, and as for Rai, his name comes from a Japanese word related to rowan trees. I will say that it is very close to 'Rei', but I couldn't think of a better name in time. We'll get to why he exists in due time.

Hisuian Zorua and Zoroark are great and I like them both. I know Hinata and KKD like them as well. I am hoping I'll get a Hisuian Zorua plushie tomorrow, but we will see in due time.

I think my favorite part has to be the ending scene with Akari and the Zorua cuddling. Just really cute stuff.

Anyway… I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy holidays if you don't celebrate. This was a fun write and, hopefully, I can finally get back to Legends Arceus soon.

Just Live More.