literature

Geoda Desert - Pyrus - Find the Merchants

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Pyrus never knew how to cook let alone grill. The Guild held a gathering once the Guild had reached the secluded town of the Cactus Fields; a barbecue was to be organized that night to celebrate the success of the Guild's exploration and he was assigned to man the grill.

He was a fire-type, perfect for manning the grill. However, his lack of skill didn't do him justice. Despite this, he still wanted to help out so people may look up to him. Only problem is he was very bad.

Each instance he tried it would go wrong. It would either be burnt or undercooked. The meat may sprout into flames or the meat may be too raw to tear. Either way, Pyrus was very frustrated.

"Aurgh! What am I doing wrong?" He yelled.

Sherman, the Miltank and head of the Thirsty Cacturne, was supervising the Braixen with every mistake. He would tell Pyrus how its done and show him how its cooked but often times his message just won't stick to Pyrus. He was starting to see the mistake in letting Pyrus cook.

"Mayhaps your better off waitin' the tables."

"No. I can do this." Pyrus insisted, resuming his grilling.

"I just need to- Aurgh!" Pyrus flinched as the grill puffed out black smoke. His latest attempt bursted in flames which prompted the Miltank to stop him.

"Go on. Get goin'. Before ya burn the rest of me produce."

"Fine. I'll go wait the tables." Pyrus said, walking disappointedly out of the kitchen as he picked up a pen and paper lying by the counter to attend the tables.

The tavern was filled with many guild members, only now he had noticed. Chatter and laughter echoed around the tavern which gave a lively and busy environment.

Pyrus proceeded to attend to the tables so he may hopeful feel a bit accomplished tonight. He wrote down their orders and brought them their meals. Often times he would get clumsy and spill some juice or drinks on the table which ch he would quickly clean up. Other times he would drop a few plates as he was bringing them back to clean and more often than not he would be able to save the plates from breaking and a few close calls. Behind that busy and tired face, it was clear Pyrus was doing his best.

Later that night as he was heading back towards the counter, he was called out by a familiar voice.

"Pyrus!" The voice called to him.

Pyrus turning towards the direction he was called from and he spotted the Kirlia waving at him. She was seated at a table near the corner of the tavern. Two bowls of soup were already on the table, fresh by how relatively untouched it was. 

He was already close to her table when she called so he approached her. 

"Ariela. I didn't expect you to be here." Pyrus said.

"We're having supper here. You remember my partner, right? Craw, the Riolu who… you know what, never mind. Why not you leave before something happens ." The Kirlia suddenly changed tones, sensing something unpleasant in what Pyrus is feeling as well as remember their last encounter.

At the corner of Pyrus' eyes, he spotted another figure approaching the table. No doubt in his mind he knew who it was. With his eyes focused on the bag of coins in his paw, the Riolu didn't notice Pyrus glaring at him until he was close to the table when he lifted his head up and spotted the Braixen. Both exchanged piercing glares.

"YOU!" They said almost in unison.

"Dare to show your face around me after the beating I gave you?" Craw said bitterly.

"You'll be the one getting a beating." Pyrus replied, "I'll take you on any day."

Craw took Pyrus by the arm and prepared to strike him whilst Pyrus was preparing the counterattack.

The Kirlia felt distressed by this meeting and felt that it was a mistake to call out Pyrus while her partner was with her.

"Enough, guys!" Ariela urged them. "Craw, you promised you both won't fight. At least not here. There are people watching."

"Fine. But I'm not finished with you, Braixen." Craw said realising his grip on Pyrus and taking his seat but still giving him those piercing eyes.

Pyrus turned back begrudgingly and made his way back to the kitchen. The Riolu was about to take a sip off his soup when his spoon began to glow purple and jerked out of his paw, spilling the contents all over his face.

"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM!? " Craw erupted, lifting himself up to face the Braixen.

"You got a problem with me? I'm right here!" Pyrus provoked him, demanding a fight to settle this.

"When I'm finished with you, there be anything left for the medics to deal!"

"I like to see you Try!"

Their argument caused a ruckus throughout the tavern. Prying eyes stared at them from all directions and ceased their meal. Pyrus and Craw were about to lunge at each other when both of them were restrained. The Kirlia restrained the Riolu before he does anything he may regret. Likewise, Pyrus was restrained by Shermen, who was drawn from the kitchen by the ruckus the two were making.

"Craw, control yourself. You're causing a scene." The Kirlia urged him.

"He started it!" The Riolu replied to her.

The Miltank wasn't to pleased by their performance. She was about to throw a fit if not for all the eyes around. Being the head of the tavern, there is one thing she won't allow:

"I won't tolerate fightin' in my tavern! If ya both need to settle somethin', take it outside."

Pyrus struggled himself out of the Miltank's grasp and pulled himself loose. All his fight was burned out as he stared angrily at the Riolu.

"A'think your done for tonight, Braixen." The Miltank suggested, returning to the kitchen before the grill burns her food.

Pyrus turned around irritatingly to the door, ignoring the cussing the Riolu gave him behind his back while his partner convinced him to stop.

Ariela finally got Craw to sit down and resume their meal. The Riolu began to dip his spoon in the soup, when it erupted suddenly on him, causing the soup to splash all over him. The Kirlia made a giggle as the Riolu wiped off the soup from his face..

Outside the fields, Pyrus laid aimlessly in the sand, alone and staring intently at the stars. He remembered his father and wondered what had happened to him. Then he thought about Zeta and the offer to change his life. Ever since then, thinks have been smooth for him. He could sleep in the Guild's boarding rooms, but he still felt grim towards everyone else. Ever since he lost his father, the other kids began to poke fun on him, which lead to him getting into a fight. He tried to act better as well to correct the things he did in the past, but he would always mess things up.

"What am I doing wrong? No matter what I do, I always get into trouble." Pyrus contemplated.

He lay quiet on the sands for a good few minutes, staring deeply into the stars. A star shoot past and he began to recollect everything about his past. 

He could see his father playing with him. They were in a room together with his mother beside him. His father didn't look like the Liepard he had remembered. He was different, taller than a Liepard, with long red fur draping down close to the ground and certainly looking more regal. His mother looked like his father except shorter bit just as regal.

Then at the door he could see another Pokémon bursting through. He was like his father, but with violet-gray fur instead of the red his father had. He shut the door tight and muttering something he couldn't quite understand, looking very distressed like he was warning them. Suddenly the door bursted open, spilling out some sort of black fog into the room. His father grabbed a hold of Pyrus and gave him to his mother. There was an opening in the wall where they went through. His father was left behind and everything after that was black.

Before he knew it, it was already sunrise. His body was half buried by the sand when he rose up. He must've dozed off. It was all a dream, but it wasn't like anything he had seen before. Now that he thinks about it, the setting in the dream, stone walls and a draped bed, wasn't something he had seen anywhere in Andalusst.

He stood up and brushed of the sand off his fur and looked back at the fields. He spotted a number of Pokémon walking along at the edge of the town.

He spotted a party moving out along with his Guild leader, Gavina, which prompted Pyrus to approach them. Gavina was giving the party a briefing when Pyrus approached them.

"You here to help, Braixen, then listen up" Gavina stated.

"A group of merchants have wandered on their own into the desert and wound themselves lost."

Gavina pulled out a map, showing the vastness of the desert before them. They were located around the center of the map as pointed out by Gavina. The dungeon where they exited from is somewhere to the northeast. Another dungeon is located directly north and is where the merchants left from. The merchants were expected to head south but judging from the terrain and rock formation between the fields and them, they were expected to have diverted course west around the long stretch of canyon stretching across the majority of the west.

"A party had already been dispatched with a Garchomp towards the ravine to the west to coordinate with the resident Gabite in the area. We will be dispatching here, to the north west where the rock formation forks a path, one of which leads west to the ravines. The other seamed like hazardous route to follow, but no less closer to the Cactus Field than to Geoda City. We'll be heading to the hazardous route north to the fork in the road for an off chance some merchants may have strayed there.

Gavina rolled up her map and placed it back in her pack.

"Alright, thats all for this briefing. Let's head out." 

The bright yellow sunlight painted the desert with a golden hue. The suns warmth heated up the freeze of the night to prepare for another immensely hot day.

They followed the brushed path in the desert of sand until they arrived at an area filled with towers of rock and sandstone. A wall of basalt to their left stretched north along the winding road while to their right scattered were pillars of rock striking through the desert sand.

As they walk further down the valley, a Snivy, who had scouted ahead the rest, approached the party and informed them of a damaged wagon by the road.

"It appeared to belong to the merchants, but I saw no sign of them." The Snivy further noted.

They rushed to see if any of the merchants were still there. The wagon was resting beside the basalt wall, broken and in pieces. A wheel was broken off from the wagon and bits of wooden board were scattered everywhere as well as crates, busted and broken, and sacks torn.

"What could've happened here?" A Furret had asked.

Gavina approached to inspected the damage to the wagon. There were scratch marks on the side and some of the broken pieces had been cut clean. On some of the wood, there were burn marks with the wood scorched black. These suggested a struggle and with no sight of the merchants or their belongings around, it appeared they were kidnapped.

"Search the area. We need to know where the merchants may have been." Gavina instructed

With that command, the team began to scramble, covering a wide expanse of land; this should surely increase the chance of finding something.

Pyrus decided to scout to the northeast past a large stone arch leading to a wide plain of sand and dunes. Over in the distance, he could see large rock formation. On its side, there was wide cave opening that intrigued him, prompting him to investigate.

He strayed further past the sand dunes towards the cavern mouth. It was dark and cold. A thought came to him, "The merchants may be here."

But he was reluctant, "No, it can't be. Its only a regular cave."

He turned back to return to the party when he heard a mutter beyond the cave. He looked on deeper into the cave. He listened carefully, but all he heard was wind blowing through; There must be another opening somewhere. Nevertheless it didn't confirm the noise he had heard. He thought twice about investigating alone but surely enough he delved deeper down.

The cavern was cold, contrary to the outside. Its walls were dusty and the ground was unstable. The ground was solid rock but covered in patches of slippery green moss making traversing difficult. 

At the end of the cavern, a bright yellow flicker of torchlight painted the wall and with a large shadow stumbling across. A laughter began to echo through the walls as a slam on a table reverbed in the cavern. He could see a glimpse of a Skuntank and Krokorok sitting by a table as they laid cards down the table. A few barrels were lined up and some crates and sacks were stacked. Judging by their attire, red bandanas around their neck and arm, the two Pokémon are most likely bandits. A glimpse of another one, a Houndour, could be seen asleep on an elevated platform.

Pyrus snuck past the two bandits by the table and hid amongst the crates and barrel. He got a better look of the cavern and found a cage at the other side of the cave. Inside, he found a group of people which he believed to be who the Guild was looking for, the merchants. They were a group of six Pokemon comprised of an Azumarill, Kirlia, Ivsaur and three Ponyta.

Seeing as how the two guards are distracting themselves, he could free the merchants himself, but in off chance that the bandits notice him, hell need the help, but returning from where he came form would prove to be more troublesome.

He settled for freeing the merchants himself, which he was confident in fulfilling. Their stolen goods wouldn't be brought with them for it would alarm the bandits, but he could return with the group to deal with the bandits.

He snuck around the bandits, only three of them at best and it doesn't seem they were very focused in keeping watch on the merchants. He arrived at the cage in no time.

"Hold on. I'll get you out." Pyrus whispered to the trapped merchants.

The head of the group, an Azumarill, warned Pyrus.

"No! You have to get out of here! He'll be here soon!" The Azumarill urged him but her words didn't enter Pyrus ears as he was busy trying to unlock the cage.

As Pyrus figured out how to unlocking the lock the merchants got frightened. A large shadow loomed over Pyrus and before he knew it, he knocked unconscious by an Iron Tail.

An hour later, Pyrus awoke, surrounded by the merchants looking down on him as he rubbed his throbbing head.

"Uh… what happened?" Pyrus asked, still oblivious to what had happened to him.

"We tried to warn you. Then their Leader knocked you out."

Once Pyrus snapped back to his senses, he realized just how much trouble he's in. Along with the merchants, Pyrus was now trapped in the cage. 

He got a glimpsed of their leader, a Mightyena who was almost as tall as he and the Krokorok. An eye patch covered his right eye and a wide hat covered his face. He was scolding the other bandits, saying a bunch of swears. When he turned to the cage to see Pyrus, his face turned to a smirk.

"You think you could free these merchants now, could you? I think not."

"I have the Guild looking for them. They'll be here for you as well."

The Mightyena laughed, "Hah! As if they'll come close. I paid a visit to your 'guild', who I managed to lure away by saying your 'merchants' were somewhere southeast."

Pyrus was infuriated. He tried to burn the Mightyena's smug face but he was too far for it to reach.

"Haha. Nice try, Fox! I'm not afraid of a few embers. Your friends won't be coming to save you."

The Mightyena turned to his grunts, who he hasn't finished scolding.

"As for you three. Get the goods in the cart. We're leaving before those Explorers find out it was a ruse. You're pulling the cart, Kage."

"What?! Why me? Zythe wasn't doing his job either and the Houndour was as useless as a Magikarp." The Krokorok objected.

"Enough! This ain't the worst I've thought up for  the three of you. Or would you rather I give your punishment now?"

The Krokorok was left silent, gulped down his words and shook his head nervously. The Mightyena went towards an opening at the back of the cave where their cart may be. The Skuntank and Krokorok began to carry the merchant's goods towards it.

"Watch the prisoners, dog, or you'll be getting worse from me." The Krokorok told the Houndour before catching up with the Skuntank.

Once the Krokorok left, Pyrus noticed a frown on the Houndour. Pyrus had noticed other things as well such as his affiliation with bandits at such an age. He was young, no more older than he was. He looked to still be a child. He called to him.

"Hey you! Houndour!"

"What do you want, prisoner?" The Houndour said bitterly, though his tone suggested he didn't want to act like that. Pyrus used it to ask him.

"Why are you acting so mean at such an age?"

"I didn't mean to. But if I don't do it, Kage will scold me." The Houndour said, losing the bitterness he had earlier portrayed.

"Why are you with them? Pyrus asked, showing sympathy towards the Houndour.

"They found me when I was lost. They let me live with them in exchange for doing what they say." The Houndour explained.

Pyrus now understood his situation. Pyrus was ,more or less, in the same situation before, doing misdeeds and thieving, except the Houndour wound up in a worse place amongst bandits, but that doesn't mean he can't change that.

"What's your name?" He asked him.

"Jack." The Houndour replied.

"Well, Jack. These bandits haven't treated you well. Help me and you can join me with the Guild, the Explorers. They treat you a lot better than them." Pyrus offered him, remember the time Zeta had offered him the same life-changing question.

"You would?" The Houndour felt a shine of hope.

"Of course. I was no different from you. Unlock the cage so we may leave."

With a second thought, Jack grabbed the keys and unlocked the cage. The merchants went off to check what's left of their goods.

"Thank you, Jack. I was hoping those bandits haven't yet tainted you."

"I should be thanking you- uh…"

"Pyrus."

"Thank you, Pyrus."

Pyrus assessed the situation. With the bandits coming back soon, they have no time to waste. Pyrus explained to the merchants what's going to happen.

"Carry as much of your goods as you can. We have no time to carry all of them out, so we must be quick. Once we meet with my group, we can return for the rest."

The Azumarill nodded and ordered her fellow merchants to carry the bags and sacks. The Kirlia   and Ivysaur were able to tie some of the sacks on their Ponyta. The Azumarill carried a barrel out herself while Pyrus and Jack help them with a crate. The rest of the merchants were already on their way, but as soon as the Azumarill stepped close to the exit, a black beam bursted from behind them.

"Where do you think you're going?" The Mightyena demanded.

He emerged from the opposite side of the cavern, accompanied by the Skuntank behind him. Pyrus and Jack dropped the crate they carried and maintained a fighting stance.

"Azumarill, head on ahead while we keep him busy." Pyrus urged the merchant.

The Azumarill didn't hesitate and went off. The Mightyena kept a grim glare at them which gave them constant unease. The Mightyena grinned.

"So, Jackal. You've finally turned against us."

The Houndour shuddered, but kept firm.

"I'm not afraid of you. My friend here will take care of you. "

"Hah! That runt can't even match Zythe."

"H-Hey. What are implying, boss?"

"Shut it! Get those two."

"Will do."

The Skuntank spewed out a Sludge Bomb which prompted the two to dodge away from each other. Pyrus carried a few crates with his Psychic and hurled it towards the Skuntank. It shattered and trapped him under the debris. The Skuntank was out. 

"I have to do everything myself!"

The Mightyena launched his Dark Pulse at the Braixen who dodge the direct beam, but he didn't take into account the burst damage from the wall behind him. He was knocked forwards. The Mightyena began charging at Pyrus with his Fangs coated in Poison. 

Jack intervened by sending an Inferno between them. The Mightyena receded before he got burned. Pyrus got back on his feet and return his formation close to the exit. Jack followed shortly.

The Mightyena got on his feet, panting.

"You think I'm doing this to chase them? I already had Kage move on ahead."

Pyrus made a sudden realization. ("The Krokorok! He's not here!") Pyrus heard a wale behind him through the cavern exit. A cry for help and distress as the merchants sound attacked.

"Jack! Catch up with the merchants. I'll hold him off." Pyrus insisted.

Jack went off without further quarrel and now it was between Pyrus and the Mightyena. Pyrus went deeper in the hall leading to the exit so the Mightyena has to pass through him. The Mightyena smirked.

"You knew I had a feeling about you. There's more about you than I could see." The Mightyena laughed, "But that's just me babbling. No matter. You won't stop us."

"Try me." Pyrus said in the same tone as that fight with Craw yesterday.

The Mightyena charged at Pyrus, fangs baring. Pyrus stayed his ground and grabbed the stick on his tail. He spun it and the embers started. Pyrus closed his eyes in a form of meditation while the Mightyena came for him at full speed. 

As the Mightyena began to lunge at him, he opened his eyes. A red aura tinted his eyes and a trail of fire bursted around him in a cross pattern. The fire knocked the Mightyena back but there was still more. The fire emerged from the ground and receded to Pyrus. As all the flame got close, Pyrus sent the fire bursting outwards, slamming long the hall's walls and ceiling with massive force. The Mightyena was pushed back from the force but maintained his footing.

Pyrus dropped to his knees but he needed to leave quick. Once the carnage was over, he could hear the exit collapsing. He got out of the way and the entrance collapsed on the exit. They were now out of the Mightyena's reach, but it still wasn't over.

Moving along the hall, he caught up with the merchants ahead, but he arrived in a worse time.

Jack was slumped on the crowd with the Krokorok ready to lunge his fangs on him. Before the Krokorok could manage, Pyrus spewed out an Incinerate to blind the Krokorok.

The Krokorok retreated and Pyrus secured himself between Jack and the Krokorok.

"So you defeated the boss. That ain't enough to scare me. I may follow the boss, but I am  stronger than him in every way." The Krokorok boasted, but even that didn't intimidate Pyrus.

"We'll see." Pyrus said.

He maintained a fighting stance and firm footing. After the Overheat, his special attacks are no longer as strong, but he still has one trick up his sleeve. As the Krokorok lunged at him with jaws wide open, Pyrus swiftly evaded him. He jabbed at the Krokorok who hardly flinched.

The Krokorok went for Brick Break using his tail, bit Pyrus still managed to evade him. Pyrus took another jab at the Krokorok this time hitting him in the side of his head 

The Krokorok grew tired with this and went straight for an Earthquake. Pyrus dropped to his feet and couldn't move while the earth shuddered. Using this chance, the Krokorok lunged his fangs at Pyrus. 

Before the Krokorok could sink his fangs, Pyrus gathered all the energy he had accumulated from the previous jabs and sucker punched the Krokorok by the stomach. With enough force in the punch, it was strong enough to throw the Krokorok to the ceiling before he dropped down.

Pyrus sighed and knelt for a moment to collect his energy. He later returned to the merchants and Jack, who had been treated by the Kirlia amongst the merchant.

"He'll be alright. I used my Heal Pulse to tend his wounds."

"Thank you. We should be reaching the exit by now." Pyrus said as he lead the group out into the open sand. It was high noon when Pyrus entered the cavern. Now the sun was ready to set with the orange sunlight painting the sky.

Pyrus remembered the stone arch he had crossed by hours ago and used it to lead the merchants to their broken wagon. There, a Furret and Purrloin duo was waiting by the broken cart.

The Purrloin only got a glimpse at Pyrus to know he was in bad shape.

"What happened to you? We realized you weren't with us when the party decided to move south and decided to wait for you here." The Purrloin said.

"The Guild Leader was tipped off by a shady Mightyena about where the merchants may be." The Furret explained to Pyrus, but he already knew about it and more.

"I know. It was ruse by a bandit leader. I managed to track the merchants myself when I got caught by the bandits." Pyrus explained.

"Oh my!" The Purrloin gasped. "How'd you escape?"

"It was thanks to this Houndour." Pyrus said. "We need head back though. The bandit leader may still be on my tail." Pyrus said as he guided the merchants to the road.

On the way back, the Furret felt very impressed by Pyrus. 

"I gotta say. Even I couldn't manage to fight an entire bandit camp."

"Heh. It was only three Pokémon. Pyrus said modestly. "Four if you count the Houndour."

"He is?" The Furret wondered.

"He's young and hung out with the wrong Pokémon." Pyrus explained. "But I convinced him to help us in the end. I plan to enlist him on my team."

"That's sweet of you." The Purrloin commented.

"Its nothing. I was just like him, although a bit different. A thief. It was until a certain friend saw me as someone better."

When they arrived at the Fields it was already nightfall. It was apparent that the original party had arrived here before they did as they saw a few of the members that came with them. The merchants went straight to the Thirsty Cacturne but the Azumarill accompanied with Pyrus and Jack to report on his mission.

By the Explorer's tent, Gavina could be heard complaining to Luke about how they've wasted time because of a certain Mightyena. When Pyrus emerged to report, Gavina was surprised.

"Where have you been? No matter. Any report of the merchants?" Gavina asked though the Azumarill was directly in front of her.

Pyrus stopped the Azumarill from explaining himself to the Guild Leader. 

"I found the merchants. They were only six and I managed to get them and some of their hoods safely out. Their leader is standing before you."

The Azumarill greeted and Gavina returned the courtesy.

"You managed this on your own." Luke gave wondered who was eavesdropping behind Gavina.

"Just barely. I was captured by the bandits. This Houndour was once part of the bandits who took the merchants captive but I managed to convince him to help us. I plan to enlist him in my team."

Gavina expressed gratitude towards the Houndour.

"Of course. He may fill in the papers tomorrow."

"May I take my leave? I think my partner will be off doing who knows what without" The Azumarill pondered for a bit, shuddering on the thought.

"You may." Gavina approved.

"Oh right! Your reward. You'll be getting it tomorrow. Also, I heard about your ordeal yesterday. I went and ask Sherman of your 'service' and, despite that scene you pulled with a fellow member, you helped out enough with the tables and orders. For that, I'll hand you this recruitment slip."

Pyrus accepted the slip and nodded.

I swear this story has to be my longest written in one chapter yet. I say this was the first time I've taken alot of time in what to write. Take note that this story as I wrote, I've been winging it the entire time :B When something happens, I wonder what goes next as I wrote and even make up decisive plots that would impact greatly towards my team in the next chapters XD.

All cameos that Pyrus hasn't yet met personally or RP'd before have been mentioned as their species when they speak or act. It's up to you to find you're respective teams in the chapter XD. But I will state all of the teams I chose to cameo.

Task completed:
* Help at the Thirsty Cacterne
* Rescue the Merchants (+1 Merit)

Rewards gained:
* Recruitment slip x1
* Gritty Grapple x1

My team application(s):
Team Nova

Cameos:
Lord-Siver's Team Aura Guardian
Naguro's Team Glowards
DuskLugia's Temporal Travelers
© 2015 - 2023 PyroNapalm
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Lord-Siver's avatar
I like how you made Ariela but Craw... could you let him sound a bit more arrogant than in here? he is 25 and sounds a bit childish. (It's not bad thogh but if you continue this way I fear he could sound more like a mere boisterously teenager than like the arrogant asshole he normally is.)