Faith lay down on her back while a pair of Blastoise used Water Gun at her open mouth. By that time, despite help from the others, the toll of living outside in the tall hills had grown onto her with unkempt fur and covered in dirt. She was also exhausted as she remembered the images created of the Great Protector and wondered how she managed to maintained her looks in those times.
She waved a pat at the two Blastoise and they stopped using Water Gun, with their cannons folding back into their shells. “I'm good for now. Thank you.”
“Thank goodness,” one of the Blastoise said as he flopped onto the ground. “Anymore and my tank will really be empty.”
“It's for a good cause, bro,” the other Blastoise said, patting the first's back.
“I don't think 'blasting water into a giant's mouth so she doesn't die of thirst' is a good cause. Especially since, if the rest of town known of her, they'll be treating her like some sort of queen,” the first said as he winced at the pats. “I'm just hoping at this point that it'll worth it.”
“Come on, bro,” the second Blastoise said as he helped the first one back up. “I'm sure resting at home and refilling your tank will restore your mood.”
“Yeah, yeah,” the first one said as the two folded into their shells and spun out.
“See you later,” Faith said out loud as she rolled onto her stomach. “And thank you very much again.”
Her baby blue eyes looked around the high hills surrounding her. They did look much taller than two weeks ago when it felt like she could only be hidden if she lay down as low as she could. The area around her was also much wider to her, with more room to move around and the stones being much tougher.
“Hello there, Faith,” a voice below her said. Faith looked down and saw Dr. Erelah with Mayor Richard. “How are you feeling today?”
“Feeling much better now that I got water,” Faith answered with a smile. “Still, I also continue to hope that they'll also help wash out my fur.”
“Gal, you know how sacred the high hills are,” Mayor Richard said as he flicked a tail. “Massive amount of water could damage them in a way that we can't repair it.”
“I know,” Faith said with a shrug. “I just can't wait until I'm back to my normal size. Then I can finally relax. I hope that this week will pass by quickly.”
“It won't be all of this week,” Dr. Erelah said with a smile. “I calculated that, at your shrink rate, it shouldn't take any more than four days from now.”
“That's a relief.” Faith gave out a slight smile that shined as bright as a star. “As cool as it is to be this big, I think I'll do my best to stay as a normal Vulpix from now on.”
“Very much so, gal.” Mayor Richard poked his own nose with the back of his paw. “This is costing the town so much Poké. Oh, if only there was a way to repay it-”
The Pyroar paused when a sound-piercing noise came to the area. Everyone there cringed and covered their ears as a Pidgeot of the Pidgeot Aerial Express pierced through David's Illusion. The Pidgeot landed right between Mayor Richard and Dr. Erelah, his face etched in pure panic.
“Sir, something terrible is happening in the town!” the Pidgeot said, his face blue.
“What the hell is it?” Mayor Richard said, yelling out in anger. “Damn it, you could've blasted all of our ears off.”
“Sir, Arkanilacum is under attack!”
“What?” Mayor Richard looked at the Pidgeot in horror as his face turned pale. “By who?”
“Just one Pokémon, a strange looking Lycanroc,” the Pidgeot answered. “Yet this Lycanroc was growing in size and smashing everything in the way. When I left to came here, the Lycanroc had just reached 20 feet.”
“A strange looking Lycanroc,” Faith said and her mind pictured Maya just two weeks ago, looming over Adrian and herself. “This Lycanroc, was she strange because she has attributes from a Zoroark? Like coloring and teal on her tail?”
“Y-y-yes,” the Pidgeot answered, blinking up at the 50 feet tall Faith. “How did you know?”
“Because I met her and she could grow in size then too.” Faith's eyes narrowed. “She's also the reason why all of us are here since that Fire Stone that exploded when I tried to evolve and caused the evolutionary flux was from her.”
The three Pokémon below the Vulpix looked at each other.
“S-she's the cause of this mess,” Mayor Richard said with an angry tone. “Why, she should be captured and squeeze all the money I can get out from her so I can pay for this money sink.”
“I doubt that it'll be that easy,” Dr. Erelah said in a controlled voice. “Unless you have a secret weapon that can fight a Pokémon that big. Maybe several secret weapons since she might be even bigger than 20 feet by the time we get back.”
The Pyroar flustered as Faith closed her eyes. She imagined the destroyed buildings, smashed because of a bored, giant Lycanroc. This Lycanroc was grinning in her mind as it soon flashed to an imaged of several Pokémon getting crushed under her paw. And, worse of all, was an image of Maya with her jaws wide as Adrian fell into it.
Faith opened her eyes as they glared in determination. “I'll stop her.”
The three Pokémon below her blinked and, before they could say anything, Faith was already climbing over one of the high hills around her. Close to her was a giant Arcanine skull, much larger than her entire body, as she with a gentle walk went through the hills. On one of the hills was a Zoroark, looking at the town with fright himself. Even from this distance, he could see a growing Lycanroc rampaging through Arkanilacum.
David spotted Faith walking out of the high hills and jumped up high and grabbed the giant Vulpix's back leg. He with shocking speed climbed up the leg and soon ran up to Faith's head.
“What? Are you trying to tell me to stop? That it's too dangerous?” Faith asked, having felt every movement David made during his climb.
“Even if I did, would you stop?” David asked in turn, as he grabbed onto the turf of fur on her head.
“No,” Faith answered as her walk changed into a sprint with her paws digging into the ground, causing huge chunks of the ground to fly off.
“Then let me help you by hiding you,” David said with a grin. “So this threat won't see you coming.”
With that declaration, the two faded in sight like a mirage in a desert.
“Huh. This is the maximum size I can get to at the moment,” the massive Lycanroc said as she looked down at her fore-paw and the device onto it. “It'll have to do for now.”
The Lycanroc towered over the houses at 60 feet tall, her red claws piercing anything below them, whether if they were the roads or buildings. Her tail swayed behind her, the teal on her tail smashed through several buildings at once like a huge Golem rolling through them. Indeed there was a trail of destruction behind her from the heart of town to where she was near the edge, growing larger and destructive as she gets there. Yet, despite how huge she was, the Arcanine bones above her were even larger.
She stepped forward, stepping on a building with it crumbling under the weight like it was made of paper, as her eyes saw a number of Pokémon flee before her. Maya smirked, feeling like she was some unstoppable deity of destruction, even if it was in the name of testing her technology's limits. Her eyes then spotted a familiar Flareon to her and she grinned even wider. He could've run faster, she knew, if he only didn't stop and helped out any Pokémon close to him.
With a quick movement, she stepped near the Flareon so her claws are between him and grabbed him. She could've ended it for him, but why make it quick? Better to relished in his fear, his despair in knowing there was no hope no matter how much time she gave him than to kill him the second she got him. Maya lifted him up so that he's near her nose and showed him her fangs.
“Well, well, well,” Maya said. “I didn't think it'll be this soon that we'll meet again, Adrian.”
“Why? Because you thought I'll be back in the mountains?” Adrian asked as he struggled against the claws.
“Yes, I did think so. I didn't think you'll waste a wish to get back home in an instant, let alone awaken Jirachi,” Maya answered as she, with deliberate force, smashed down several buildings as she turned to the side, towards one of the giant Arcanine's ribs. “I was hoping that, when you and maybe that brat Faith get back here, all you'll find is ruins with not even the bones here standing.”
“You sounded like you have a major beef against Arkanilacum,” Adrian said, growling as he looked past Maya's head. “Letting a Fire Stone you created fall here, not even knowing what it can do. Following the one who used it, waiting for some side effect. Attacking Arkanilacum personally when you could've just found some valley.”
“I have no idea what you're talking about,” Maya said as her voice became cold. “Everything I've done here was done in the name of researching the anthro technology. After all, science doesn't just happen when you create something. You needed to test it out on the field, hoping that any 'theories' created became true and modifying it when it doesn't. This town is just a convenient place to test them out on.”
“I will not deny that things will not go as plan. That what you think will happen and what actually happens are different,” Adrian said, wincing at the increased pressure. “But it's no excuse to just defect fault when things go wrong, like with Faith who could've died and who knows how many else if we didn't meet Jirachi in time. And, as I just said, you could've used any other to test out your machine rather than my home. You aren't doing research work, seeing what the technology you found work. You're nothing more than a bully hiding behind your so-called 'science' to justify pointless deaths and devastation.”
Maya's smirk morphed into a frown as she gave out an ugly glare. “Please tell me why I won't just eat you here and now?”
“Because I was just buying time for them.”
Maya blinked as she looked behind her. “What are you-”
Five powerful yellow beams met the giant Lycanroc's face. One she could've shrugged off, but five Hyper Beam at once in the face caused her to stumbled and fell down with a deafening crash, dropping Adrian in the progress. The Flareon twisted in the air as he braced his knees before being caught by a pear-shaped dragon with small wings. He gave a grin as the Dragonite reunited with the other four.
“Thanks, Captain Galreon,” Adrian said as the five flew up to the top of the Arcanine's bones.
“No problem,” the Dragonite replied as he along with the others landed on the rib cage. “Thank you for telling us that this could happen.”
“You're welcome,” Adrian said as he was lowered down. “I admit that I wasn't expecting her to come this quickly, but I knew that I couldn't just keep this possibility to myself.”
“If you were so worried about this 'Maya', why didn't you tell the Mayor?” another Dragonite asked as he leaned down and observed the giant Lycanroc on the ground with loads of rubble around her.
“To be honest, I think telling Mayor Richard about it could've made it worse,” Adrian answered as he looked down himself. “Knowing him, he would've made it into one big show in order to draw lots of Pokémon around the world and, with Faith nearby, he could've portrayed it as one giant battle of the century. And, with loads of more Pokémon in the town, there could've been loads more needless deaths. No, we couldn't let him know about her.”
They crouched down, looking at Maya as she gotten up, with debris flying around.
“She's a tough one, isn't she?” Captain Galreon said.
“Yes, since that was five Hyper Beams to the face,” another Dragonite said. “Being that huge made her much tougher to powerful attacks like that. And there's nothing we can do about it until we can recharge.”
“To be honest, I don't think it'll be needed for you guys to do another Hyper Beam attack on her soon,” Adrian said as he glared at Maya, who responded by roaring at them. “Besides, that surprise attack can only work once.”
“Are you saying that we should watch the town get destroyed?” a third Dragonite asked, his tone shocked.
Adrian would've responded to it, but his green eyes saw a giant Vulpix materialized and, with a sharp bite to the Lycanroc's scruff, dragged her out of the edge of Arkanilacum. The Vulpix then, with a sharp turn of her neck, threw her to the field. Adrian gave out a grin as the others looked on in surprise.
“I thought Faith will come when the news got to her,” Adrian said. “Sometimes, in order to fight a giant, you need to bring in another giant.”
Faith, with a great amount of effort, flung Maya into the air. Her baby blue eyes were icy cold as, hundreds of feet away, the Lycanroc impacted the ground and rolled back with huge chunks of the ground flying. Her knees braced as she crouched low with the town behind her, like a mother protecting her kits. The Lycanroc rolled back up to her paws and saw the giant Vulpix glaring at her.
“F-Faith?!” the Lycanroc's eyes widened. “How did you become so massive?! It-it couldn't be the Fire Stone, could it?”
“Not really,” Faith answered, feeling the fire within her swelling up. “Just a mess up when we got our wishes from Jirachi.”
“A 'mess up', huh?” Maya said as she crouched low herself, looking past Faith to her prey. “I'm curious to learn more about what happened, but I'm in a strict time-frame. Perhaps if you're willing to work with me to unlo-”
“With you? You created that Fire Stone that nearly kills me, acted like it's some minor mistake in your study even though you knew that I could've exploded, taking who knows how many Pokémon with me, and you just were in the progress of destroying my home!” Faith said, spatting out the words in all the anger she could muster. “After all that, I have to be insane or stupid to even think of working with you!”
“That's a shame,” Maya said as she gave out a confident smirk. “I guess I'll have to test you and perhaps open you up after defeating you. Perhaps after that, I may have enough time to destroy Arkanilacum as well.”
Faith, seeing red, sprinted forward to Maya. Fire flowed into her throat as smoke was emitted out of her mouth, with energy swelling in there. The fire then blasted out of her mouth as she continued her charge. “Flamethrower!”
Flames met the Lycanroc's pelt as she closed one of her eyes. Maya's teeth bared as she had energy built up into her left fore-paw. When Faith was within 30 feet, Maya swung her paw to Faith's side. “Brick Break!”
The Vulpix was knocked into the air with her flailing her limbs. When she met the ground, it shook with a force that every Pokémon felt in the town with huge lumps of the earth flying into the air. Faith rolled around as the Zoroark on her was still on the air, with him flailing his limbs in panic. Faith's claws extended and grabbed onto the ground with them creating small valleys with quick speed while David landed not too far behind her.
Maya glared at the Vulpix before noticing that, during that impact, Faith shrunk down by 5 feet. “Huh. That's curious.”
“Wha-why did I shrunk?” Faith asked, yelling out as she felt the spacious paw impression on the ground.
“Perhaps it's because, in order to recover from that attack, your body shrunk in response,” Maya answered before giving out a wide smirk that would slash down anyone who saw it. “That makes things much easier for me. I don't have to deal with a huge body to carry around when I defeat you but instead your pathetic, small size.”
Faith's eyes widened as the larger Lycanroc crouched low to the ground before leaping up to the air with her jaws wide open.
Faith's natural instinct was to jump back, but instead, she ran forward and leaped. Her body twisted upwards as she felt a fireball swelling in her throat, her eyes staring at Maya's stomach. “Flame Burst!”
A concentrated fireball exited from her mouth to Maya's stomach. The fireball exploded upon impact as the Lycanroc gave out a cry. The blast's force kept her on the air, over the Zoroark, and crashing on her back with a quake. Faith panted, feeling that she just shrunk more to 40 feet, as Maya ahead of her twisted back to her feet, shaking the ground. When their eyes met Faith realized that, at the way this fight was going, she wasn't going to win as long as Maya doesn't shrink down while she does. Her eyes diverted onto the Lycanroc's legs and an idea formed in her mind.
“This has been fun, little one, but I'll end this right now,” Maya said as she forced herself up on her hind legs. She then slammed her fore-paws onto the ground as the earth shook. “Stone Edge!!”
Faith's eyes widened as the ground broke around her and huge slabs of stones shoot into the air, surrounding her. They clamped around her with a force that left her unable to move, feeling them slicing through her fur and skin. She gave out a massive hour that pierced the air for miles.
“Oh Arceus, Faith's getting herself killed there,” Captain Galeron said, his voice trembled with fear.
Adrian stared downwards, feeling like something had pierced his heart. His face was filled with pain and whitening as his claws shook.
“We-we need to get down there now!” Adrian said as he looked back at the Dragonite. “We need to save her!”
“How?” another Dragonite asked. “That huge and crazy looking Lycanroc took five Hyper Beams to the face and didn't do any lasting damage. Not to mention that she managed to resist a few of the attacks from Faith, despite being nearly as big. What can we do that can stop that giant?”
“I-I'll think of something along the way,” Adrian answered, his entire body shook as if winter had come when it was only summer a few minutes ago. “Right now, Faith is in danger and we can't just watch.”
“Adrian,” Captain Galreon said as his short arms petted the Flareon, “we can't just blindly leap into action that can lead to certain death. We need a plan, something that can counter that giant, and we need it before leaping into action. Can't you think of an idea now?”
Adrian closed his eyes, doing his best to think. Yet all of this thoughts were about seeing a dead Vulpix. “I-I can't focus!”
Maya gave out a harsh laugh as she walked over to the massive slabs of stone 200 feet high, ignoring the Zoroark below her in the progress. Her smug grin radiates a monolithic sense of victory since not even a Charizard could still be awake after such an attack, let alone a Vulpix. All she needed to do, she knew, was to collect Faith's fainted body, finish up destroying Arkanilacum, and she would be on her wa-
Maya blinked and looked up, with her eyes wide in surprise. Standing on top of the stone slabs was a Vulpix, who had broken through the stone with her now 25 feet tall body by her observation. The Vulpix gave out a soul-piercing glare as she leaped down, her body giving out a red glow. She then landed before Maya's legs and gave out a massive yell.
Flames and smoke engulfed the two giants and the surrounding area as the ground shook and a shock wave was emitted throughout, blasting David on the ground away by several feet. The stone slabs broke apart from the force with boulders flying around behind with the occasional few flying forward. David, with speed even he thought wasn't possible for him, moved out of the way from such boulders as his face screamed out panic.
The few trees and the grass field in the giant's battlefield was caught on fire, yet, despite Arkanilacum wasn't too far away, it was left unharmed from the behemoth of an Overheat attack, with the rib bones blocking the severed parts of the attack. What did go through the rib bones wasn't enough to do any lasting damages that Maya did. Every Pokémon, from the top of the high hills to the city, stared at the smoke in anticipation.
The smoke and dust soon faded and settled with Faith, now back to 1'11”, and Maya, still 60 feet tall. Maya, with a smug grin, looked down at the now tiny Vulpix while Faith glared back.
“Nice try, tiny, but I barely felt that.”
“I'm surprised that you did since I wasn't aiming at you.”
“What? What are you talki-”
Maya's eyes widened in horror as she looked down at one of her forelegs. The illusion device that she wore there was now melting as it gave out sparks and explosions. She gave out a horrified howl as she darkened into a shadow. The Lycanroc shadow shrunk down in size from an imposing 60 feet to an almost pathetic 2'7”. Colors came back to Maya as she stumbled and ripped out the device, with it almost burning through her skin.
“You-you little,” Maya said as she gave out an ugly glare, anger emitting off of her body. “I'll end you here right now!”
The Lycanroc then sprinted forward towards Faith as the Vulpix, teeth barred, braced herself. She felt so drained from that battle that, even though Maya with great speed got closer, she couldn't even produce flames despite her life being depended on it, let alone move out of the way. Maya leaped onto the air towards Faith with her jaws wide open.
A foot met Maya's face, knocking her to the side.
“Eh, I won't let you harm my friend, so I suggest that you leave while you still can.”
Maya rolled back up and saw a Zoroark standing in front of Faith now, his arms crossed.
Maya growled. “If I have to fight you too, I will. I will get that Vulpix!”
“Eh, maybe. If you can fight off five Dragonite too.” David looked up at the ribs protecting the town, his eyes observing five pear-shaped figures flying towards them.
Maya closed her eyes. “It seems that everything's going against what I planned on doing. Good-bye for now.”
The Lycanroc faded from sight as David blinked in astonishment. His eyes shifted towards where the device Maya ripped off from her foreleg was laying, yet saw that it too had disappeared. He then turned back towards Faith and saw that she wasn't surprised at all.
“Wh-where did she and that machine went off to?” David asked.
“Who knows,” Faith answered, feeling her knees shaking before she let herself fell onto the ground. “Especially since she knows the ability Illusion. I know, she's a Lycanroc. But she told me more than two weeks ago that she gained it after a mishap with another anthro device and a Zoroark. In fact, that device she was using was making her Illusion ability reality, even her giant size just earlier.”
“That-that does explain why she looks funny,” the Zoroark said as he kneels towards Faith. “So, her being a giant was nothing more than an Illusion brought to life?”
“Yes.” Faith yawned as she lay down her head. “I feel so tired now.”
“Faith! Are you alright?!”
The Vulpix's ears twitched as she looked up and saw a Flareon running towards her. Her eyes widened as Adrian pounced her, leaving David and the five Dragonite standing there and watching in bemusement.
“Thank goodness,” Adrian said, squeezing Faith into a hug. “When I saw you trapped in that Stone Edge attack and later in that explosion in attacking her, I-I thought that you-that you-”
“It's OK,” Faith said as she patted the Flareon's back in an attempt to break off from the hug. “It was a tight fit in there, but it also caused me to shrunk just enough for me to break out from the top. I'm alright aside from feeling tired.” A massive groan came out of Faith's stomach. “And hungry.”
Adrian gave out a loud laugh as he released Faith from the Ekans-like hug. “Alright. I'll get you something to eat when we head back into town. But there's one last thing for me to do.” Faith blinked as Adrian looked into his bag and pulled out a mint-green bow. He smiled as he puts it and ties it around Faith's neck. “There you go, Faith.”
“Thank you very much,” Faith smiled as she patted the big bow on the back of her neck and her belly growls again. “Now let's go out to eat before my stomach eats itself.”
“You bet, Faith.”
The Pyroar walked down the empty road at dusk, thinking about the events that happened several hours before. It's good that the problem with Faith ended a few days ahead of schedule, yet it also resulted in a great deal of destruction of Arkanilacum even if the two were only somewhat related. He dealt with a great deal of paperwork trying to cover what's been destroyed and how many of his citizens got killed, which got boring after a while.
Mayor Richard looked from side to side, now heading towards the suburban parts of the town. No one, except those who already knew the truth, knew that Faith was the giant Vulpix that saved them all. The Pokémon of the town believed that their savior died in a suicidal attack in an attempt to stop the monstrous Lycanroc rather than returning back to their normal size as Faith did. It did help that her bow that she always wore wasn't on her since it couldn't grow with her.
Perhaps he could be able to talk some sense to Faith to admit the truth. After all, loads of Pokémon died or become homeless because of the attack. With the publicity that she's the newest Pokémon who can turn into a giant in a long time would bring in every Pokémon around the world to see her. She could rake in millions of Poké just for them to see how big she can grow and how it could help the town. Couldn't she see? And, if not, perhaps his help will convince-
“Hello, Mr. Mayor.”
Mayor Richard blinked and looked around before his eyes saw a Zoroark standing behind him. His ears twitched, having heard nothing of being followed.
“Hello, boy. What can I do for-”
“Going to see Faith?”
Paused. Then he answered, “Yes, I am.”
“Eh, thought so,” David said as he walked around the Pyroar. “And are those papers of how many died or are homeless because of the Lycanroc attack?”
“L-look. What are you here for?”
“To make sure that my friend isn't in some debt for the rest of her life,” David answered as he rubbed a claw under Mayor Richard's neck. “If it wasn't for her, the entire city would've been demolished with who knows how many lives lost.”
“You know how much money I lost because of this!”
“And I know how many more you still have,” David said and grinned when he saw the Pyroar paled. “What? I've been following you on my off times and looked around your paperwork. I saw how much Poké the city really gained from tourism and how much you've pocketed.”
Mayor Richard regained his composure as he said, “You have no proof. You're just scaring me.”
“Am I?” David went into his pouch and pulled out several pictures before showing them to the Pyroar. “Hehe. Is that a sweat drop? I must say that the camera you have was very helpful in getting proof of your embezzling.”
Mayor Richard, through a pale face, gave out a glare. “How did you know?”
“Eh, it was an educated guess. When I saw the camera for the first time, I did note how new it seems. For, you see, a new camera like that, especially one made by the anthros long gone from this world, would be worth an absurd amount of money, which I thought was odd for a tight-wad like you. I did some digging, at first by my own and later with my wife's help when she was getting worried on where I was going, and I found out just how much you kept for yourself. With a convenient excuse that you don't want to shell out money because of how broke the town's income was and, thus, had to keep spending to a minimum, you managed to produce a scheme that made you one of the richest Pokémon in the world.”
The Pyroar's claws extended. “Thank you for the explanation, but, fortunately, my enforcers will silent you since I'm never alone.”
The Pyroar twitched his tail and two Blastoise leaped down on beside both of Mayor Richard's side as he gave out a sneer to the Zoroark.
“Take him out.”
The two Blastoise nodded and they extended their cannons before aiming them at the calm Zoroark ahead of them. They stood like that for a couple of seconds before they, with a grin, leaped onto the Pyroar, pinning him down.
“W-what's the meaning of this!?” Mayor Richard said as he gave out a roar. “Don't you know how much I've been paying you two?! Why betrayed me?!”
“Because they aren't your men,” David answered and two Blastoise materialized beside David, both fainted on the ground. The two Blastoise on top of the Pyroar shifted into another Zoroark and a Dragonite as the Mayor's eyes widened in horror. “And even if you did kill me, I sent out copies of the photos, ready to be read with eager eyes by reporters. There's no way you'll be able to silence them all without looking suspicious.”
Mayor Richard gave out a low chuckled. “You don't think I've paid off the reporters already? The ones who really enforced how poor our town is?”
“I didn't,” David answered with an indifferent shrug. “Good thing I've also thought of sending the pictures to the other towns as well.” He smiled as the Pyroar become white. “And I have one just waiting for Faith. You really didn't think it through at all, did you?”
“What do you want?”
“For you to leave Faith alone and to stop stealing the town's money. If you do, I'll guarantee that you'll last for the next few weeks for your 'retirement'. Deal?”
The Pyroar gave out a low growl. “Sure. I'll put it in writing.”
“Good,” David said as he gestured the two Pokémon on top of the Pyroar to get off of him. “Don't be so sad. After all, the world will know that a giant rampage and battle did happen here. Pokémon will come to visit here more than ever, so it's not like the town will be left poor or anything. Just leave your filthy paws off of the money, though.”
The three Pokémon left Mayor Richard with high spirits as the Pyroar left the other way, head low and with tail and ears drooping.
When they got outside of the Pyroar's range of hearing, Amber said, “Good thing you thought of creating copies of those pictures.”
“I didn't,” David said with both Amber and the Dragonite blinking at him. “There was no way I could think of that can create more copies of those pictures. At least, without taking more with that camera and I'm not sure how long it would've taken before he noticed that someone used up a full reel and was looking for another one. But it doesn't matter now. He accepted the deal.”
Indeed, as David said, Pokémon did come to Arkanilacum in droves, in part to donate for the loss of lives and property and in part to look over the battle where the two giants, the Vulpix and the Lycanroc, fought. They looked over the paw-steps in the battlefield the size of parks and claw-marks as wide as a river and remarked how incredible they were. But, most of all, they looked at the Stone Edge remains, where the climax of the battle happened.
The Mayor noted in his report two weeks afterward that, because of what happened, tourism revenue increased by 400% (in actually 300% because of him not stealing money anymore), allowing the town to be repaired like it never happened within a month. Though it didn't improve his mood, some Pokémon noted, and the citizens were surprised when he announced his retirement, with his final day being when it was scheduled for the end of the repair period. Many believed that the sudden stress after a long lull of nothing might have broken his spirit of leading the town.
Faith, for her part, tested to see if she could grow in size again and blushed when, after using Flash Fire to absorb a fireplace's fire, she grew an extra six inches. She decided to keep it to herself and Adrian, who she told, so she could be able to live in harmony rather than be some sort of tourist spot or protector. After what she went through the last few weeks, being big like that was stressful to her and everyone around her and she doesn't want to be put into that spot again.
Though, she admitted to herself, a part of her enjoyed it and wouldn't mind if she was big again.
Faith walked down the main road, her baby blue eyes looked around the shops on both of her sides. She wore a pouch around her neck and shoulder as the mint green bow flapped in the breeze. The late summer sun shined against her red-orange pelt with her white paws walked on the yellow dirt road.
“I really hope to find a Fire Stone this time and not one that's been tampered,” Faith said with a smile.
“If you say so, Faith,” a voice behind her said as her ears twitched and she looked behind her.
“That trick won't work on me again, Adrian” Faith said as she pressed a white paw against his nose.
Adrian blushed as he took a step back. “I wasn't trying to scare you this time. I just wanted to talk to you. That's all.”
“Oh? What is it?” Faith asked as she nuzzled the Flareon's blushing cheek.
“W-well, I've been thinking,” Adrian said as he shifted his eyes. “After what had happened the last several weeks, I-I wanted to ask you something.”
“Adrian, being shy like this isn't like you,” Faith said in a teasing tone. “But please try to spit it out.”
“W-w-well, here's the thing,” Adrian said while sweating. “It's had something to do with what I said during our meeting with Jirachi. Namely, I want us to live together from now on.”
“W-what?” Faith replied, blushing as well. “What do you mean by this?”
“Faith, I-I meant to tell you this. I-” Adrian said before choking on his words. “I-I-”
“Hello!” a new voice said as a Zoroark appeared between both, causing them to jump back, with Adrian on his back. “Sorry to interrupt you two, but there's a famous Explorer in the city visiting!”
Adrian glared at David as Faith said in a high-pitch voice, “A-an Explorer?! Who?!”
David turned around and pointed up the road as Faith and Adrian follow the red claw to the new figure coming their way. The foxy Pokémon's golden-white fur shined in the light with all nine tail-tips being orange in color. The green scarf he wore bore an Explorer's badge, with yellow wings on both sides. Yet the oddest thing about this sea blue-eyed newcomer's badge was a light green A engraved on it.
Faith let out a gasp. “It's it's him!”
Before Faith could answer Adrian's question, the Ninetales approached them.
“Hello there. My name is Daren, but folks called me A-Ninetales,” the Ninetales said. “I was hoping to meet with the leader of this town to discuss with, from what I heard, an attack by a giant Lycanroc.”
Faith held her breath, her face as red as the top half of a Voltorb while Adrian's green eyes glared at A-Ninetales, his face just as green.
“Sure. Of course, Mayor Richard won't be mayor for long, but I don't see why you shouldn't meet with him,” David said as he glanced at the Flareon with a mischievous smile. “I'll see you two later.”
A-Ninetales bowed his head to David before he gave a glance at the Vulpix with a curious face. The Zoroark gave a poke to the Ninetales' shoulder and walked for a couple of seconds, but he doesn't seem to notice, his eyes still looking at Faith. Adrian's face, if it was even possible, got greener as his claws dug into the ground.
“Didn't you noticed?” Adrian asked, his voice as cold as a Glaceon's attack. “He wants you to follow.”
“Oh, sorry,” A-Ninetales answered as he glanced at the Flareon, not bothered by the piercing glare. “Just that I also heard that a macro Vulpix was there at the time and your friend, Faith, reminded me of her.”
“Faith had nothing to do with it,” Adrian said, his tone still cold. “And, in case you didn't notice, this Vulpix isn't large like the one from before.”
“It is true that she isn't a giant at the moment, Adrian,” A-Ninetales said before looking back at David. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Let's go.”
The Zoroark smiled as he nodded and gestured the Ninetales to follow. A-Ninetales nodded back and walked behind David, though he gave one last look at Faith. Adrian breathed back and forth, doing his best to think and relax again, as Faith looked at A-Ninetales, still awestruck.
“We just met the legendary A-Ninetales! I just feel so-so honored!” Faith said with an expression that screamed out how much her mind was up in the clouds. “Don't you feel the same way, Adrian?”
Adrian closed his eyes as he lowered his head, feeling like he was next to a cliff and was about to slip down. Something was holding him back. Something said before that was trying to reach into the forefront of his mind.
“Adrian? Are you being envious of how great A-Ninetales is?”
It drifted to the back of his mind. All he could think of was falling.
“I think that he's a devious, arrogant Ninetales who's just full of himself!”
Adrian lifted his head as he realized what he just said in horror. He opened his eyes and recoiled, meeting a glare from a pissed off Vulpix.
“Adrian! How could you?” Faith said as her paw slammed against the Flareon's face. He felled back onto the ground with a stunned look on his face. “How could you not see how awesome A-Ninetales is? As a result, I don't think I want to live with you!”
Faith stormed off, leaving behind a flustered Flareon behind. Adrian's ears then flattened back, his eyes glanced towards the ground as he felt a massive pain his chest. He had a chance to be with Faith for the rest of his life and he blew it! All because he couldn't keep his thoughts straight; because he couldn't help but noticed how much A-Ninetales looked at Faith and how much she idolized him. His mind went through ways on how to apologize to Faith, how he was jealous of A-Ninetales, who knew them by-
“Wait,” Adrian said to himself. “He referred to us by our names. But we never even told him our names. How did he know? And, come to think of it, he was certain that the giant Vulpix who defended this town was a she. How?”
Adrian looked down the road where A-Ninetales walked down with David and, with a leap back onto his paws, ran down the road. Whether if this was a way to make up with Faith or to learn more about A-Ninetales, one thing was certain, Adrian realized. This Explorer might have guessed or even knew the truth about Faith and her giant part in defending this town.