Errand #8 - Nightwatch

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Literature Text

“I take it you’re doing Kara’s errand?”

Ardor sighed. “For the umpteenth time, yes.” He glared at the Honege who was currently hovering above the table, his long, intricately patterned green scarf swishing around lazily.

“I just don’t see how a scouting mission is going to benefit a ‘mon of your... job.” Cael said flatly.

“Look. I’m doing this because she asked the Hunters specifically.” The Quilava replied irritably.

Cael blinked his single, bright blue eye. “And that means you have to do whatever she asked?”

Ardor huffed in irritation. For a centuries old sword who was supposed to be wise and all knowing, Cael is hard to reason with. “She’s the Hunter’s Guild Proxy Luminary! You can’t just ignore your superior’s orders, can you?”

There were several moments of silence as Cael pondered Ardor’s question. “You can’t.” He said finally.

“Good. I’m going now.” Ardor said, standing up.

“But she’s just the proxy, isn’t she? Then that means she isn’t-“

“She’s still my superior in the Guild. End of discussion.” Ardor shot back and walked down the stairs. The Quilava exhaled as he reached the landing below, calming himself as he exited into the dojo’s Training Room.

The room was a large space filled with punching bags, workout machines, several mats, and rows of weights which circled the training ring in the centre of the room. The ring itself was a wide circular sand pit bordered with thick ropes held by several thick posts set around the shallow pit.

Darius’ dojo had been quite popular among the Andalusst’s citizen lately, especially teens and young adults. It was still open even way after dusk. The sight of ‘mons training themselves in the Training Room greeted Ardor almost every time he went downstairs. As per Darius’ request, Ardor himself had helped the shiny Blaziken to assist his customers daily. Mostly in close ranged combat. Beside himself, Darius also had hired two other ‘mons to help him, which were Charles -Darius’ newly acquainted shiny Empoleon friend, and a Sawk called Cliff.

Right now, there weren’t as many ‘mons training in the room as any other day, which was not surprising. There had been an increase in number of mugging and late night assaults. It was only natural for Pokémon to stay at their homes after dusk, in order to avoid an unwanted confrontation with the local thugs and gangs.

Which brings to the subject at hand.

“Darius.” Ardor called as he went over to the sand pit, where the Blaziken was overseeing a spar between Clyde and Derek -the two being a regular at the dojo. Darius turned his attention away from the wrestling ‘mons and nodded at the approaching Quilava.

“Going out?”

“Yeah. The errand I told you about.” Ardor crouched beside the shiny Pokémon and observed the monkey-like Pokémon that had his opponent in a chinlock. Both were panting and covered with sweat and sand.

“Alright, ten minute break.” Darius announced, clapping his paws together. “Your errand partner had gone for the showers five minutes ago.” He informed Ardor, who nodded.

“Thanks.” Ardor replied and waved at Clyde, who had noticed him and was giving the Quilava a tired grin. Derek was panting beside the Dewott, too tired to respond.

Like Darius said, Ardor’s errand partner was in the showers. The Shinx was drying himself when Ardor passed by. Truth to be told, Tordon Ahlström was quite the enigma. The gruff and somewhat irritable Shinx acted like a normal fifteen-sixteen year old should at times, but there were instances (which are quite often) when he would become very mature and adult-ish, as if he had gone through some sort of war or hardship. Ardor couldn’t shake the feeling that Tor might be older than Darius sometimes.

Shaking the thoughts off his head, Ardor inclined his head at Tor. The Shinx zipped his black vest up and blinked.

“Took you long enough.” He said, throwing the towel into the laundry bin. “Well, let’s get going then.” He added without waiting for Ardor’s response, turning towards the front door.

Ardor exhaled in slight annoyance and quickly followed the solidly built Shinx out. A part of him wondering the piece of puzzle that was Tordon Ahlström.

* * *

“Alright! Everyone here?” Kara glanced around the small number of ‘mons that had gathered around with her beady black eyes. The Pancham chewed on her burning incense leaf as she nodded. “Right. I’m warning ya. No moves or offensive abilities for this time. I don’t want a repeat of last night’s mishap. I had enough paperwork for one day.” She growled in annoyance, glaring at the band of ‘mons. Her gaze lingered at the biped Shinx standing on the front row with his arms crossed. She fought the urge to groan. Her lips tightened. “More kids trying to act though. Just what we need.” She muttered under her breath as her gaze moved from the Shinx. “So! Are we clear?”

There was a murmur of collective yes’s.

“Good. Now get movin’!” she barked.

Andalusst’s night market was pretty lively to say the least. The vendors here were as lively as the ones in the day market, and it was quite packed. Crowds flocked the food and merchandise booths, buying snacks, clothes, toys, or simply enjoying the enjoyable atmosphere. Ardor was half tempted to sit back and enjoy the nice, evening weather, but he got more important things to do.

Everything seemed to be pretty fine for the first two hours. Most of the usual street thugs scurried away when they saw Kara’s Night Watch team approaching. Some needed persuasion, but nothing beats the Pancham’s piercing glare to make them bolt.

Ardor exhaled, pulling down his hood and mask as they stopped by a food stall for a small break. The shops seemed to get livelier as the night progressed. The small, impromptu Night Watch slowly began to relax too after a while. Even Kara allowed herself to enjoy some snacks.

“Here you go.”

Ardor nodded at Tor as the Shinx handed him a bowl of fries. “Thanks.”

“Anytime.” Tor shrugged, taking the seat beside the fire type. “So I heard that you’re an instructor.”

“Hmm? Yeah. I am.” Ardor replied.

Tor ‘hmm’ed. “You know, for a new dojo, Darius’ place is sure quite popular.” He remarked.

“Yeah. Who knows, huh?” Ardor added nonchalantly, biting into the fried fleshroot.

Tor smirked. “So what do you teach?”

The Quilava blinked. “Oh, well, basic hand to hand com- what was that?”

Both Tor and Ardor turned their heads towards the source of the noise that had alerted them. It sounded like something had fell and crashed. “Let’s check it out.” Tor said, getting up.

“Oi! Where are do you think you’re going?!” Kara shouted, noticing the two retreating figures. “You two get back this instant!”

“Back in a minute!” Ardor shouted before they disappeared around the corner.

“Damn fools.” The Playful Pokémon gritted her teeth, chewing on her half burned incense leaf before running after the two Pokémons.

Tor quickly found the source of the commotion. It’s actually not quite far from the night watch’s break spot. It was on the quieter parts of the market, and nobody, except for a group of hooglians with a Luxio were in the vicinity. What Tor saw made his blood boil.  

The beat up looking Luxio must have been around 16 or 15, and a very scrawny one at that. His wild, unkempt mane was riddled with dust and dirt as the leader of the hoodlum gang -a ferocious looking  Infernape- proceeded to pound the electric type right to the ground.

“Trying to play the tough guy, eh, punk?” the Flame Pokémon growled, picking the Luxio up by the scarf and threw  him right towards the booth behind him, sending the assortment of pots scattering across street. “Listen here, kid. We take what we want and how many we wanted to, ya got that?”

Surprisingly, the Luxio managed to push himself up to his knees, while casually dusting himself off. Though, his appearance looked worse for wear.  “I'm sure haggling a scrawny Luxio would do wonders for your street credentials.” He said in a monotone.

The Infernape’s cronies cracked their knuckles and started to advance on the  Spark Pokémon. But their leader smirked cockily and held out his arm, stopping his sidekicks. “Heh.” He chuckled, sending a powerful kick right at the Luxio’s abdomen. “Ya got what we really wanted. Now give'em to us, or we'll take 'em by ourselves...” the group of ‘mons behind him chuckled in anticipation and eagerness. “After beating you to pulp that is.” He finished, giving the Luxio a menancing smile. “So, what do you say, cub?”

The Luxio clutched his stomach, shutting his eyes in pain as he uncurled himself from the foetal position. He emitted a low whine as he pulled himself up, coughing as he replied, “If you can't even shut up a kid like me, then I'm positive you'll rise to the top...”

The thug leader cracked his fists, which had ignited in flames and sneered. “Someone can't even shut up.”

It was enough for Tor as the Shinx jumped out from his hiding place and was right between the Luxio and the Infernape on the next second. Ardor blinked. He’s quite fast...

“You can't pick someone your own size, can't you?” Tor raised an eyebrow, glaring at the Infernape, who glared back.

“Oh look, another looser.” The fire type rolled his eyes and sneered, looking up and down Tor’s short, but well built (but nonetheless tiny) figure. “And what'choo gonna do, shorty? Beat me up?” he snorted, followed with a chorus of laughter from his small gang.

The Luxio blinked at the sudden arrival of his pre-evolved form before looking at Tor with a critical eye. “I think you guys are dead.” He said flatly.

“Hear that?” the Infernape laughed mockingly, sending another wave of laughter through the group. “’We are dead.’” He quoted the air.

What Ardor expected from Tor is not the determined grin that spread on the Shinx’s face. The electric type replied, “Exactly.” And launched himself towards the Infernape so quick that the fire type didn’t even realize that he had been punched through his jaw and landed a few feet away. Almost immediately, the rest of the gang advanced on the Shinx, and soon backed away as one by one, their numbers fell.

Ardor had never seen anyone fighting with such speed and precision. Tor subdued a Mightyena who was thrice his height with a kick and a knuckle punch at the dark type’s chest, knocked out two Rattatas with one sweep, and caught a Stunky in a leglock before slamming him down on the incoming Electrike in a reverse judo flip.

Where the heck this guy learned to fight? The Quilava thought incredulously.

Seeing that their chance at the Shinx was not very good indeed, the rest of the ‘mons rushed in towards the Luxio. But they soon found their paths blocked by a Quilava in a black and red hood, his face half hidden in the mask he was wearing. They stopped and went into fighting stances, albeit rather reluctantly. Noticing their hesitation, Ardor decided to give them a little push by igniting his paws. The flames burned bright around his fists before it slowly travelled up his arm, like a fire following a trail of oil. The fire soon covered Ardor’s chest, head, and with a blast, his whole body combusted into flames.

Needless to say, the gang members scurried away with their tails between their hind legs.

“H-hey! Get back here you useless- urk!”

Tor stomped his feet on the fallen Infernape’s back and pulled his arm and twist it, making the fire type cry out in pain. “Had enough?”

The Infernape coughed and wheezed painfully. “W-wha.. h-how did w-we lose to a punk like you?!” he shouted, only to receive a kick to his head from the Shinx.

“This ‘punk’ had dealt with far worse opponents than you, FYI.” Tor shot back, shoving the Infernape away. “Now scram!”

The Flame Pokémon didn’t waste any time to scramble up and took off to the nearest alleyway. He turned and sent Tor a heated glare. “I’ll remember this, you just wait! You’ll regret this!!!”

And he was gone.

“So they say.” Tor snorted.

“They all do.” Ardor added nonchalantly. The Shinx blinked.

“Okaaaaay... well.” Tor sighed and turned to the Luxio, who had stayed silent and observed all the time. He extended his arm. “You alright?”

Instead of accepting the Shinx’s paw, the Luxio glanced away from Tor with a huff. “If you really want to help me, then pull back your arm. You're making me look bad, not that I care in the first place.” He stood, with some difficulty, and looked flatly between Ardor and Tor.

“For a scrawny little 'mon, you have an annoying mouth.” Tor’s eye twitched.

The Luxio narrowed his eyes. “I can't help it I'm born with HFA, can it?”

Ardor exhaled. “Alright, cut it out you two.” He said, turning to the Luxio. “HFA?”

“High-functioning autism.” The Luxio replied as he adjusted his yellow scarf.  “So next time you comment on my annoying mouth, try to look before you leap.”

Tor rolled his eyes. “Fine, fine.” He huffed in annoyance. “You know...” he added, looking at the state of the Luxio. “You should get that bruise and cuts treated.”

The electric type turned to look at his body. “I'd have to walk to the other side of Andalusst since the one near my house is still in repairs.” He said, wiping away the blood that had trickled down his chin. “...These will heal up on their own.”

Tor blinked. “Other side of the city?” He hummed thoughtfully for awhile. “Well, why don’t me take you to my friend. He can patch you up real quick. And he lived around the neighborhood.”

“You have a doctor for a friend?” Ardor asked. “Okay...”

“Any reason you wanna help me? You've done more than enough.” Said the Luxio with a small frown.

“You're hurt, and you need help. Do I need any more reason?” Tor deadpanned.

“There's a difference between needing and wanting help. There's no need for you to concern yourself with a weakling like me.” The Luxio replied.

“Look here, kid.” Tor glared, rearing to his full height. “You need some patch up ASAP. And that thug kicked you real good.” He shook his head. “I don't know what's going in your head right now, but you're coming with me.”

The Luxio looked down calmly at Tor. “I can't exactly leave the pot stand. I'm doing this as a favour.” He said, sighing at the state of the ransacked booth.

“Well then.” Tor exhaled in frustration and reached into his vest pocket. He took out a piece of paper and handed it to Ardor. “Bring Dr. Leonard O'Seinn. Just mention my name and he’ll definitely follow you. Here's the address.”

Ardor nodded, looking at the address written on the paper. “Alright. Stay safe.” He said to the Luxio before he went away.

When the Quilava was out of earshot, the Luxio went to gather the pots and vases that had somehow survived the brawls and set them on the booths. “So why is a 20-something guy like you still a Shinx?” he asked as he arranged the vases around from size.

To say that Tor was stunned was an understatement. The Shinx gaped at the Luxio. “H-How did you know that I'm in my twenties?”

“Observation... Kinda like the Holfords.”

“I see...”

“I just don't see the point in being busybodies like them.”

“Huh.” Tor nodded. He turned his head around. “Ardor is sure taking his time...”

“Your doctor friend is probably asleep by now.” The Luxio said.

Tor hummed. “Good point.” He said, looking back at the Luxio. “I’m Tordon Ahlström by the way.”

The Luxio nodded calmly. “Houtarou Fueki. Hajimemashite.

Client: Kara
Errand: #8
Date Issued: August 5, 2014
Date Due: August 9, 2014

Errand #8 for Team Stormfront and Scorch Recon.
Nothing much to say here except enjoy and tell me what you think. 

And thanks to Setsuna-Senso for the help on Houta's parts. :D

Team Apps:
-Scorch Recon

-Derek, Team Scorch Recon © Quarteon01
-Houtarou Fueki, Team Hyouka © Setsuna-Senso

NPC Cameos:
-Darius and Cael © Quarteon01
-Kara © ClockworkShrew
© 2014 - 2023 Quarteon01
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writercoda's avatar
I keep saying it, but this is really damn good for a "rush job". Didn't see Tor's age coming, either.