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The pair made their way to the entrance without a problem.  Gareth gave Grathiam a look, "You ready for this?"

"Sure am."  He smiled, "When we get back from THIS I want to show Kayli something."

Gareth gave Grathiam a look, "You've been focusing a LOT on Kayli lately, partner.  What's up between you two?"

Grathiam chuckled nervously and opened his hand.  In it was a dazzling water stone, "Nathan had one in stock a few days back.  I bought it and I…I want to give it to her and…ASK."

Gareth gave Grathiam a shocked look, "No.  Not…are you…you're SERIOUS!  Oh, why didn't you TELL me about this SOONER?!"  He laughed and grabbed Grathiam's shoulder, smiling, "I hope she says yes, partner.  You deserve the happiness."  He chuckled, "Well!  We have an even BIGGER reason to finish this silly exam!  Let's go!"

They eventually came to a spot in the forest that they could SEE the small pool from.  Gareth smiled, "This has been WAY to easy so far.  WAY to easy.  I mean, it felt like all those pokemon we went up against were barely even TRYING.  Like they WANTED us to go through."  He laughed, "And we're nearly there, too!"

"HEY!"  Both turned to see the teddiursa and ursaring from earlier.  The two came up to Grathiam and Gareth with smiles, "You find your Dark Master yet?"

"Not yet.  I'm thinking it was just a joke, to be honest."

The ursaring laughed, "Told you.  We come here all the time and have NEVER seen anyone like that.  Come with us to the spring.  Since you're here, we have something to show you."  He chuckled and tussled the little teddiursa's head, "Joey here thinks that since you two fixed time up, the spring should be working again.  He's hoping to change into me."

Grathiam frowned, "Say what?"

"Turn into an ursaring!"  Joey shouted happily, "Ever since you guys fixed time, I've been training REALLY hard!  And today we're gonna see if the spring is working again."  He looked up at the ursaring, "I wanna be JUST like my big brother, Kiko!"

Kiko grinned and patted Joey a little, "Well then let's hurry up."  He looked at Grathiam and Gareth, "See you two there?"

"We're right behind you."  They both smiled and watched Joey and Kiko leave.  Gareth smiled, "Okay!  Ready?"

"You better believe I am!"  They walked forward and the ground suddenly gave way beneath them, making them both shout out in surprise.  The hole they fell through closed up as well, sending everything into darkness.  Grathiam shouted out a moment, "Hey!  Something touched me!"

Gareth sighed, "Sorry.  My bad.  I can't see a THING down here…help me find a way up, will you?  Brighten your tail or something."

"Oh…okay.  Right.  I will."  He cried out again, "OW  Stop pulling my tail, Gareth!"

"…I'm not touching your tail."


"I am the Dark Master."  Came a low voice, "Welcome to my world of darkness."

Grathiam gasped in, "…L…let…let go of my tail…"

"You think he's alone?"  Came another voice, "He's got friends here, and we're ALL here to make sure you two never leave!  You can't see us, but you're completely surrounded!"  Grathiam and Gareth were suddenly surrounded by all KINDS of laughter.

The Dark Master stopped laughing and spoke again, "Coming here was your last mistake.  Prepare to—"  Light suddenly flooded the area…and…it was Luke.  He faltered a little, "Uh…"

Grathiam pulled his tail out of Luke's grip, "What's going ON here?!  Why's everyone from the guild here trying to scare us?!"

"Guild?  What guild?"  Frederick asked, changing his voice to sound different, "We aren't part of any guild."

Gareth scowled all around him, "This is a cheap trick you guys.  Cut out the act."

Luke shook his head, "No one's acting."

Grathiam snorted, "Yeah?  Then why is Sean the only one not here?  Is he up top and supposed to be covering the hole?"

Gareth glanced over at Mike who was wincing at Grathiam's words.  Yeah.  That was it exactly.  He even noticed Jade glaring up at something.  Gareth went to look and caught a flash of brown fur scrambling away from the edge.  Yeah.  This was the guild.  He shook his head, "Seriously.  CUT IT OUT."

Luke shook his head again, "Prepare to meet your maker."  And he took a fighting stance.

Grathiam sighed, "I don't think they're gonna stop acting."

"Me neither.  Guess we just beat 'em?"

"We'll have to."

…bunch of pushovers.  Really.  The entire guild was NOTHING compared to the fight they'd had against Telrick.  They watched everyone scramble away, then climbed out of the hole.  Gareth dusted himself off, "Well!  That's over with.  Shall we head to the spring?"

"Yeah.  Let's get that treasure and get OUT of the guild.  It has officially gone crazy."

They walked for not even five minutes and found Kiko and Joey again.  The two were looking at an odd box, "Hey you two!  What's up?"

Kiko looked at them, "Oh!  There you are!"  He smiled, "Joey and I think this box is for you two.  That treasure you're supposed to find and bring back."  He chuckled, "So what kept you two?  You fall down a hole?"

Gareth shrugged, "You could say that.  It wasn't that big a deal."  He stepped up and opened the box.  Inside, true to form, was a Perfect Apple.  He chuckled and picked it up, "Of course.  Leave it to Luke to make a treasure be something like this, eh?"  His laughter faded as he became dizzy, "W…Grathiam?  Grathiam, a little…I'm gonna fall!  Help me up!"  A strong set of hand grabbed him as his vision went black.

It was night…Luke was sneaking into the clearing and smiling.  He looked around a moment, then set the box down.  After a quick nod, Luke hurried out, giggling like a little kid.

The vision ended and Gareth sighed, "…Oi…I haven't had one of those in a while."  He smiled at Grathiam, "Well, we got what we came for.  Should we head back?"

Joey shook his head, "No!  Wait!  Stay and watch!  I wanna see if the spring is working again, and if it is, you guys should SEE it!  It's so COOL!"

Grathiam shrugged, "Why not?  It isn't like we're in a ru—"  He paused as a few quick flashes shot through the area.  Everyone looked over toward the small pool of water and saw a beam of light slowly extend toward it, illuminating the very center of the pool.

Joey squealed, "It IS working!  Oh BOY!  I'm gonna see if it'll let me change!"  He laughed and rushed into the pool.

A strange voice…reminiscent of Telrick's rang out from nowhere, "Those that seek awakening…with time flowing once more, I am alive again.  If you seek renewed strength, step forward."  Everyone walked forward, but Joey stepped right into the light.  The voice spoke again, "Do you require an item to grow?"


"Very well.  You've grown strong enough to allow the change.  Wait a moment, and behold your new form."  One BRIGHT flash, and Joey was suddenly an ursaring like his brother!

As he stepped out of the light, Gareth chuckled, "…you two look EXACTLY the same, now.  It's gonna be hard for me to tell you two apart…"

Grathiam's eyes were sparkling, "…wow…I wonder if I'm strong enough to become a charmeleon?"  He laughed, "I'm gonna try, Gareth!"  Grathiam stepped into the light, smiling wide.  He turned back to Gareth and waved, then waited for the voice.

"Those that seek awakening…do you require an item to do so?"

"No…I don't think so."

"Very well.  You've grown strong enough to allow the change.  Wait a moment and… … …you…cannot awaken a new form."

Grathiam blinked, "WHAT?!  But you just said—"

"I know, and I apologize.  It is nothing you haven't done.  For some reason, time itself is warped around you.  It is preventing you from changing forms, and it isn't just you.  The totodile behind you is also in this state."

Grathiam stared at Gareth, eyes wide, "What?!  But…but why?!"

"I do not know.  I am sorry.  If I could answer your questions I would.  Go…and I hope you find the reason."

Grathiam sighed and left the pool.  He walked up to Gareth, "…well, at least we GRADUATED.  Let's get back to the guild and give them the treasure."

On the way back, Gareth frowned, "…okay…I can see why I wouldn't be able to…because I'm from a future that doesn't EXIST anymore, but why you?  That part doesn't make any sense at all.  I mean…you were the one the Key Chose, yeah, but that doesn't have anything to do with time warping around you."

Grathiam still frowned, "Either way, after we graduate, let's go ask Kayli to take us back to the Hidden Land so we can talk to Master Telrick ourselves."

Everything you see is based off the game, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon-Explorers of Sky. I don't own any of it except the names I gave the characters. ^__^
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October 25, 2010
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