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 Good First Impression

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Lord E V
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PostSubject: Good First Impression   Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:33 am

A bit of anxiety was probably reasonable for a fish out of water; paranoia, even, was surely understandable with the situation of this particular fish.  The ride up to Aileron was intimidating enough, but being a wingless creature in the flying village was... overbearing.  This would, after all, be the new home of this fish.  Or would it?  That would depend on how well this day went, which was all the more reason to search for a positive outlook and look presentable.  Reaching the guild without attracting too much attention seemed like a good first step, and from there, impressing Aeliana would be crucial.  Would this archeops be as friendly as Acro, or would she mirror the reputation of her strict and prestigious guild?  Regardless, only one thing mattered.

"Good first impression."

Fish metaphors aside, Dusk could barely keep track of all the reasons she had to be nervous.  She was out of her depth, quite literally, and she knew she would stick out with her lack of flight.  As if it wasn't bad enough that she had an edgy cloak that craved blood and beckoned her to maul everything in her general vicinity, she had to worry about not fitting in on top of that.  She had heard a bit about how the residents supposedly didn't take kindly to flightless visitors, but she was hoping these rumors would stay as just that: rumors.  If it turned out the birds did have a problem with her natural inability to fly, that would just make it all the more important to make sure she behaved herself and didn't get into any trouble with anyone.

"Good first impression."

Adding to the stress was the fact that this was her first time in Aileron and she was very, very lost.  She was moving toward the center of town in the hopes that it would lead her to the guild, but in truth, she had no idea where it was.  If she could just find Acro, everything would become so much easier; he could keep her leashed, guide her around town, and maybe help her look a little less out of place.  As an extra precaution to avoid any unnecessary time in public view, she was struggling her way through the of alleys and secluded areas of this unfamiliar maze, but this would only be an option until she reached her destination. Sooner or later, she would have to stop hiding if she wanted to join the guild.

"Good first impression."

She was muttering this chant to herself in an effort to keep the thought at the forefront of her mind, and she had been doing so for quite a while.  From her first step on the island onward, this had become her mantra.  There were so many reasons why she needed to try extra hard to make a good first impression; she was nothing like the natives, and more importantly, she was... short-tempered, to say the least.  She had accepted that she was technically insane due to the cloak's influence, which, coupled with the violent urges, made her a psychopath.  Right?  She didn't like thinking about it, and it kept bringing her back to the thought of how she didn't actually want to get rid of her curse.  It made her strong enough to win for a change, and she could control the impulses.  She had to.  How would she ever keep up with someone like Acro and manage in this guild without the aid of her new... associate?  She had grown accustomed to the view of the cloak as an entity all its own, as it made it easier to pin blame for her newfound aggression on something other than herself.  More importantly, it seemed to behave like it was actually alive on some level, somehow.

"Good first im-"

Dusk fell to an abrupt silence at a familiar sight in the street.  Rather thoughtlessly, she rushed out into the light of day, revealing her presence as she ran over to a familiar bird.  The archeops in the road was a sight for sore eyes.  "Acro!" she called out, but he didn't even turn to look at her.  Assuming he simply hadn't heard his name, she closed the distance and slowed her stride to a halt before repeating herself.

"Acro, I'm-"

The archeops finally noticed her and granted his gaze, but he didn't seem happy to see her; in fact, he gave a confused look that soon mingled with a distinct expression of annoyance.  This confused the lost umbreon for only a moment before she noticed the lack of red on his wings and realized she had just mistaken this random archeops for Acro.  "O-oh, um, I'm..." she tripped over her words, backing away in embarrassment, "I'm sorry, I uh... I-I thought you were someone else."  Her ears flattened and she turned to walk away, hoping this awkward little mistake on her part would be forgiven.  Life had never been very kind to her, and to her dismay, it didn't seem keen on changing that today.

"Do you think we all look the same or something?" the archeops responded, putting Dusk in a difficult situation where she had to entertain the conversation or risk offending someone within the first hour of her time here.  She slowly turned back to face the civilian she had clearly offended, stared for a moment with an apologetic frown, then redirected her gaze toward the ground in humility.

"I'm really sorry.  I'm just looking for a-"

"Now that doesn't sound like a very sincere apology," the archeops interrupted her with a sort of tone that suggested he knew he was being harsh and just didn't care.  He took a few steps forward, putting himself right in front of the umbreon as if just so he could properly look down on her.  There was a silence between the two, as if the bird was waiting for something, but Dusk didn't know what more to say.  "Well?  Come on, make me believe it," the sour archeops practically demanded, making every effort to intimidate the smaller pokemon in his shadow.  Dusk wasn't afraid, and in fact, she now found herself hoping he would try to make her submit to him, with the operative word being "try."  She restrained herself and instead simply stepped away before starting off down the street toward the center of town.

With an audible flap of his wings, the archeops literally leapt over the vixen, landing in front of her and cutting her off.  "You aren't leaving until you give me a proper apology and pay the fee for offending me," he growled, spreading his wings out to his sides as if to block her from trying to walk around him.  He expected her not only to grovel before him, but also to pay him for her innocent mistake.  It was at this point that she returned the ugly scowl on his face with one of her own, but she kept her wits and resisted the growing urge to bite into him.

Now neglecting to look the archeops in the eyes in an effort to control herself, Dusk took a deep, obviously agitated breath before responding: "Look, I don't want to start trouble.  I said I'm sorry.  I just wanna find my friend, so please leave me alone."  Her words were now more steady, concise, showing a shift from the anxiety present in her demeanor mere moments prior.  Her fear was fading fast, and it wasn't a fear of him to begin with; it was a fear of herself and it was starting to seem invalid.  She stepped to the right of the bird and, without giving so much as a glance up, walked straight past him.  He made no initial attempt to block her way again, which left her filled with relief and hope that she had diffused the situation.

Of course, she was wrong.  When had she ever been right?

While she didn't have to stare down at the talons of her harasser again, he wasn't giving up; she barely got a few feet away before hearing the sounds of his talons clicking against the ground as he started up after her.  His steps were almost aligned with her own, implying he was in no hurry to catch up.  "What, you think your time's more precious than mine?  You're just gonna skip out without paying for my pain and suffering because you think you're more important than I am?"  His voice had a distinctly mocking tone to it despite the words he was saying.  He didn't even sound mad; on the contrary, it seemed like he was enjoying every second of this.  Dusk's eyes darted from one side of the street to the other, scouring for some escape from this situation.  She caught sight of a swellow perched on a rooftop, but it didn't seem interested in helping.  It saw her, it could surely see the desperation on her face, but it just... stared.  It almost seemed to take pleasure in seeing her wandering helplessly through the street with someone following and antagonizing her.

This theme of enabling bystanders continued with a bird of a more distinctly bipedal build, adorned with a mesh of brown and green feathers creating the illusion of a cloak around its body.  A... something-eye.  She couldn't recall the name of the species, but it, too, was unwilling to aid her.  Walking by from the other side of the street, the feather-cloaked bird barely even gave her a passing glance.  It took her too long to realize it was actively trying to avoid looking at her; unlike the swellow, this one didn't seem to have any sadistic interest in her torment, but it still wasn't helping.  She could hear the steps of the archeops growing closer as he spoke yet again: "You should start showing some respect... before something bad happens."  At this point her rings began to glow, presenting an unnatural grey light in contrast with their normal shade of vibrant yellow.  She didn't even notice it, but someone else did.

Before the umbreon could even register the flapping of wings, she was knocked off her paws by a blur of black and white sweeping under her legs.  She fell to the ground on her right side with a very audible oof; the glow of her rings flickered out for a moment before returning with a deeper, darker hue.  She slowly climbed up off the ground, taking her time so as to put more energy toward restraining herself from looking for something to lunge at.  She barely even got to take a breath before something slammed straight into her spine from above and knocked her right back down, this time throwing her violently to the ground on her belly and knocking the wind out of her.  A mix of a growl and whine coupled with the sharp expulsion of air made for a rather pathetic sound, eliciting a brief, triumphant laugh from whatever was now standing on top of her.

"I tried to warn you.  Now you're gonna have to donate that fancy cloak on top of the money you owe me... and whatever else you've got in your bag," taunted the archeops from what sounded like right behind her, pausing for a moment near the end just to think of more demands.  Still recovering from the assault, Dusk was unable to respond, but someone else was finally willing to step in.

"Come on, leave her alone!" called an unfamiliar and feminine voice.  Dusk struggled to move her neck from her position against the ground, but she managed to turn her head to the right to see the same cloaked bird from earlier, now staring straight at her... or... whatever was standing on her.  It didn't seem like this was going to be her savior, however, as the way the cloaked bird carried itself practically screamed a lack of confidence.  This individual was speaking out, sure, but she was clearly afraid of actually confronting the bullies, and they weren't afraid of her.  "Mind your own business!" the thing on top of the umbreon snapped back with haste.  It sounded male like the archeops, though a bit younger.  Why was this happening?  What had she done, bar simply exist?  Dusk, for one, couldn't think of a cause, but she could think of a solution.

"Leave me alone," she pleaded under her breath, still unfit to speak after the blows she'd sustained.  She could feel whatever was perched atop her shift, then its obnoxious, nasally voice in her ear.

"What was that?  I didn't hear-"

The cloak draped over the umbreon lit ablaze with fiery red markings as she suddenly rolled to the left, tripping the bird on top of her and revealing it to be a trumbeak.  A flap of his wings kept him from falling, but Dusk lunged up and snapped her mouth around the nearest nearest leg of the trumbeak before it could fly away.  In one swift, violent motion, she dragged the bird out of the air and slammed him against the street.  There was an ugly squawk from the creature as she returned his treatment of her and ripped the air from his lungs, and she could hear her avian supporter gasp from the sidelines.  Dusk spun to find the archeops without missing a beat, but something else caught her attention before she could lay into him; the swellow from earlier had left its perch and was coming right at her.  She ducked as it neared, leaving it to fly harmlessly past her and skid to a stop against the ground some distance away.

Before any of the damned bags of plumage could make another move, Dusk made a bee line for the archeops.  Her abnormally high speed kept the bully on his toes, but with a flap of his wings, he managed to lift into the air and pull himself away to his right before she could reach him.  Alas, flight was not enough to save him; propelled by the sheer speed of her sprint, Dusk leapt into the air after the archeops, biting down on his wing and dragging him back down with her before he could get far.  Before her victim could even move, she climbed atop him and stamped her front paws down on his wings, pinning him under her.  With a primal aggression painted on her face, she glared down at the archeops, baring her teeth and letting out furious grunts in tune with every breath.  "I said," she leaned in until her soulless red eyes and slit pupils were all he could see, "LEAVE ME ALONE, or I will rip your wings off and EAT THEM WHILE YOUR FRIENDS WATCH!!"  Her voice wavered with every word as she strained herself to control her rampant emotions, making a brief attempt to quell her quite literally painful screaming before forfeiting all resistance and allowing her shouts to go unchecked.  There was little conscious thought going into what she was saying.

A fog had come over her mind.  The visible fear of the bird pinned under her was nothing but encouragement to keep going, and every second she spent in this position thickened her desire to rip into his throat.  Then she heard a whimper.  She looked up to see the one bystander who had shown kindness with the tips of her wings cupped over her mouth and a horrified expression on her face.

Dusk's heart sank.  A bit of her consciousness returned and she slowly looked back down to the archeops.  Her tensed muscles began to relax.  An uninvited thought crept into her mind as if to mock her failure.

Good first impression.

She felt tears welling up in her eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:08 am

The early bird gets the worm as they say. It was a statement that was true, but in a place such as aileron everybody happened to be the early bird. As the sun would peek over the horizon, shopkeeps would declare open season. The market would be filled with a fervent chaos of producers trying to sell their products and consumers trying to get the best deal. As the sun would peak, business would slow down. It likely was not uncommon for shopkeeps to close up their shop-so as to not attract attention from the landwalkers that only just begun to stir and rouse themselves.

With the dark blanket that covered the sky, he would have to fly higher to check the position of the sun if a clock were not present. Fortunately, he got most of his checklist completed-plus a few extra items that happened to be on sale- before the better deals happened to close down for the day. Favoritism had its benefits-though it hardly occurred to the fool that the prejudice of those particular shops were the reason why he could have them.

The archeops settled on one of the many perches constructed across the town. His tail shifted to help him balance. He felt a small sense of victory at the lack of a struggle he held in the mere act of perching. It had taken him nearly a year, but he had become competent at, well, being a bird. His flight lacked the particular sense of clumsiness that used to eat away at his self-confidence. Another goal achieved, only ten thousand seven hundred and sixty-four more things to get better at before he could grant himself the label of being a decent pokemon-being.

His claws plucked a small slip of paper that was pinned to his bag. His eyes skimmed the words briefly along with the little notes. Most of the list was checked off, but there still remained a few that would be a bit more challenging to keep within his finances that were still open. He took in a deep breath and gave a slow exhale. Today was...a good day surprisingly. He managed to stay out of anybody’s way and did not make a fool of himself. Hell, he’s pretty sure he hadn’t stuttered once today!

“Oh-Acro, hello!” an effeminate voice greeted him from below. He jumped slightly from the surprise and nearly fell off of the perch. A quick flap of his wings in a panicked flurry brought him back to balance. Another voice spoke up in a more monotonous drawl, “Oh come now, we didn’t even try.”  while a third more moody soul expressed itself with an annoyed “Hmph!”

“Heh, Hello Ms. Lorelai, Cher, Tai,”
Acro responded to the voices as he looked down to gaze upon the three-headed bird beneath him. A dodrio looked up at him with all three of its heads, each expression reflected their respective personality. “What brings you to this side of town?” he requested of the dodrio in hopes to make conversation. He needed to finish his grocery list, but it was always nice to talk to Lorelai, Cher, and Tai.

“Looking for you,” The middle head, Lorelai, spoke. “We saw something that we thought you would be interested in,” the dull tone of Cher sighed. “We think it was that umbreon you wouldn’t SHUT UP about,” the mean voice of Tai sneered. “Oh hush now he barely said two words about it!” Lorelai snipped with a swift peck to Tai’s noggin. The angered head of the dodrio hissed back at the middle head, but made no retaliation as Cher only groaned in exasperation.

Acro’s attention piqued, “Umbreon? You mean Dusk?” He had briefly mentioned the umbreon to this dodrio before. He paused for a moment with hesitation. It would not have been the first time the dodrio led him on some goose chase after someone they thought were a friend of his he wanted to meet. The two once went scouring all over the village in search of a particular dratini that ended up being some dragonair’s son. The dratini was not even the right color. “Did they have a cloak? Dark in color?”

“What, you think we’re stupid?” Tai snapped while Lorelai gave a more respectful nod. The middle head of the dodrio continued, “I’m fairly certain I saw her heading over towards the western district.” Cher decided to contribute to the conversation, “Hope she doesn’t run into Hain...or Rau….or Hanley...or-” Lorelai would cut in once more, “Cher that’s quite enough. Ah, but yes, it looked like she was struggling to go through this maze and figured it’d be best to get you so you can go look for her.”

“Why didn’t you just... bring her with you?” he blinked with a bemused expression.

“...” “...” “...” All three heads went silent. None of them thought of that.

“Uh...don’t worry about it. Thanks for the tip though,”
he thanked the dodrio before he would return the list to its rightful spot and spread his wings. With a good push, he was back in the air again.He could hear the dodrio wish him well as he left. The town was not quite-city sized, so it did not take him long to spy a commotion of sorts on the ground level after a moment’s flight. He could see that Dusk was being pinned! A quick gasp as his heart began to race. He swooped down to move in for the assistance, but it seemed as if she did not need it.

“I said, LEAVE ME ALONE, or I will rip your wings off and EAT THEM WHILE YOUR FRIENDS WATCH!!” she screamed into the face of a familiar face. It was Rau-an archeops he had a bit of a blunder with as well. It ended in a fight between them-one Acro had not meant to start but he sure as hell finished it. His attention, however, was a bit more focused on what the umbreon that was quite clearly Dusk said. Rip his wings off and eat it? The phrase was familiar to him. Both in words and in imagery. His heart was chilled as his final memories of Linus resurfaced.

He lowered himself onto the ground, small amounts of dirt and dust fluttered as he landed. “Uhhh…” he struggled to search for the right words to say. It was not the nicest thing Dusk could have said, but odds were that Rau started it-just like he had with Acro. He cleared his throat and decided to speak up, “Guess you’re handling yourself...well.” ‘Well’ was not an accurate descriptor of this situation. While Dusk was defending herself, it was still not the right thing to do in it.

Rau’s panicked expression flicked from the umbreon that just threatened him with cannibalism to Acro, then back to the umbreon. “N-No, not you…you’re with-...”

“...I think he’s learned-” his attention was diverted mid-sentence to yet another familiar face. A decidueye that seemed quite as frightened as he was, “Oh, hello Renna.” What? What was he doing? Oh-right, “Learned his lesson.” Acro’s eyes focused on the other archeops, “Is that right Rau?” The decidueye did not respond verbally, instead only a single wing would remove itself from her beak to give a small yet hesitant wave at the friendly archeops.

Whatever ego Rau had before, it was gone. The archeops nodded vigorously as they struggled to speak, “YepYougotit-I uh, yeah-I mean-I’ll go-let me-im uh...” His tongue seemed to form some kind of knot as he struggled to get a single coherent sentence out. Not a single one of his words were remotely close to an apology, but his cowering demeanor said it for Rau in Acro’s mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:05 pm

It was so tempting to give in to the impulses, to bite into this helpless archeops; his terror did nothing but encourage the idea. To Dusk, or perhaps to the dark force wrapped around her mind, this was only appropriate. It was almost enough to eclipse her own conviction to control herself, at least up until she noticed the other bird looking so stunned and scared of her after trying to defend her moments prior. She could still feel the ugly static in her heart, beckoning her to find a victim in this archeops, and there was a part of her that really did want to... but there was a bigger part that didn't. It wasn't for him, but rather, for herself; she wanted to be a "good guy," not... this. Frozen atop the colorful bird in mingling feelings of indecisiveness, it was all she could do to stop the tears from spilling from her eyes. The look of rage was, perhaps, better than the alternative of breaking into a crying fit, but she felt stuck with no right answer.

Then through the static came a familiar sound. Her eyes widened at what she could swear was a voice she recognized, but she dared not turn to look; not with the state she was in. It was Acro... and she knew, she knew he was already looking right at her worst, but it still somehow felt worse to face him. She listened as he spoke, but kept her eyes trained on the other archeops beneath her, finding it easier to stare at him and his newfound cowardice. The addition of Acro only seemed to further terrify him, as if the two were already acquainted; it would have been confusing that someone as nice as Acro could strike fear into anyone, but Dusk wasn't in any shape to question it. Acro claimed this harasser had learned his lesson, and he seemed to concur, but Dusk wasn't so sure. She leaned in close so he could feel her heavy breath on his face, and she stared into his eyes for a few long seconds. She then lifted her head and straightened herself up, closing her eyes and taking a deep, slow breath to settle herself.

For the most part, the umbreon's feral air receded as she stepped off of the bird; the blazing marks on her cloak faded away and her bristled fur fell flat. Her victim flailed and panicked to flee the second he was released, displaying a rather pathetic liftoff into flight. As she turned to face Acro, she felt immediate relief, as if she had just been saved... and at the same time, she felt shame. It was ironic how an archeops had put her in such a bad state, then another archeops was the one to help. She tried to smile if only out of gratitude, but she couldn't hide the look on her face: tired and disappointed in herself. "Acro... I... um..." she trailed off, having trouble finding the right words to express how she felt in this moment, how sorry she was for putting him in this situation. "...I wanted to surprise you," she continued, hanging her head in defeat and giving up on trying to apologize or defend herself. Her intention had been to surprise Acro with her presence, but in a good way, not...

Well, now it was time to own up to her mistakes. Arceus himself couldn't compel her to apologize to the damned birds who'd so insistently badgered, harassed and even assaulted her, but it wasn't just them. "Sorry," she spoke with a glance in the direction of the nicer bird, who still seemed stunned by what had just happened. "I didn't mean to scare you. I, uh... wasn't serious," she tried to explain, though her words weighed heavy on her. She was truly sincere in her apology, but one part of it wasn't so honest. She "wasn't serious," she claimed, and yet... in the moment, it had been all she could think about. She'd wanted nothing more than to maul those who'd hurt her, and in fact, still wanted to. A part of her didn't, but there was another part of her that did... and it wasn't just the cloak.

The probably-traumatized bird didn't exactly "respond," and Dusk decided not to press her further for fear of just upsetting her more. At least she seemed a bit less tense now.

Dusk forced herself to face Acro once more despite her shame, but she hadn't the slightest idea what to say. What could she possibly say to make this better?

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Lazarus Rex

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:58 am

The way the umbreon acted towards the mortified creature should have unsettled him. It should have made him question whether or not he wanted her in the ranks of his team. Roark was a team that consisted of him, an emolga that needed to be wiped from the records due to a lack of attendance, and the presumed perpetrator of his current state of mind-a dead honchkrow. The last one needed to be wiped as well. At the current moment he was the only active member of his team-who permitted Dusk entry to become one of the members. This umbreon who had just threatened to eat the wings of a member of his own species. The eeveelution who may have gotten inspiration for the insult from another certain eeveelution who he thought was a friend. He still did think Sova was, but whoever was in control of the glaceon in that moment apparently wasn’t.

The umbreon removed herself from the pin and allowed Rau to break free. The scramble to get into the sky was clumsy, just as he once was. Rau had not gotten the hang of flying yet either. The lack of experience combined with the fearful scramble added up to a lack of attention of where he went. Rau picked up altitude and smacked right into a shopkeep’s sign that hung from their building. The sign bore a large red cross with writing just below it that could read “Medicinal”. Acro flinched at the sound of the impact and could only watch as Rau dropped back to the ground. To add to the irony, the archeops seemed to give up on flight and resort to a mad dash away from the group. Such an embarrassing display that the archeops deserved would have been good for quite the laugh, but Acro could not do more than promote a nervous chuckle.

His attention shifted away from the wild swings of the large wooden sign back to Dusk. The umbreon’s tone seemed uncertain. She struggled for words before she would say something a bit simpler. The look on the umbreon’s face tugged at his heart. It was apparent to him that she regretted what she did. She wanted to surprise him. It honestly kind of touched him that someone wanted to see him. It wouldn’t have been a lie to say that his mind would spiral into an internal debacle on whether or not she was actually going to do it or if she had changed her mind on the matter. The umbreon looked over towards Renna and apologized with the statement that the threat did not hold as much bite as it seemed. He...honestly believed it. Renna was a sensitive soul, particularly touchy about words. Her silence towards Dusk did not surprise him.

“Well,” he started once it seemed as if the dark type completed what she wished to say, “I can say for certain that you have.” His tone attempted to be a bit peppier than he actually felt. At this point, he just wanted the situation to end. Dusk felt bad, he felt bad, Renna felt bad, everyone that mattered felt bad. He wanted it to stop. “Rau’s kiiiind of a jerk” he spoke with the intention to imply that it was more than just “a little” with his tone, “Along with his friends.” He felt the need to get things to move, get out of the uncomfortable situation and return to some state of normalcy.

“He loves to harass anybody that can’t fly,” he spoke with the presumption that Rau had started it. Dusk was a nice umbreon from what he could recall and Rau did not exactly have the best reputation. It was an easy conclusion to jump to. “Probably because he got picked on when he was an Archen...” it seemed more like a musing realization to himself than an attempt to excuse the archeops’s behavior. There was no excuse for the blatant harassment and attempted robbery. He shook his head to clear the thoughts. He would have to address Rau’s behavior with the guild later. If the jerk and his lackeys upkeep this kind of behavior then it was only a matter of time before something truly horrific became of it.

“But uh, are you alright? Did they hurt you?” he asked as his eyes flitted over the Umbreon’s body to try and gauge for himself. “The last scuffle they got into ended up with a broken wing, so things can get pretty nasty with them.” Granted it was Rau’s wing that was broken and he was the one that did it, but that did not downplay the ferocity of the fight in his eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:53 am

Rau...

So that was the name of her latest antagonist. At this point, Dusk couldn't help but have a mental list, whether she wanted to or not. It was nice to know this guy was supposedly just a jerk and it wasn't just her; that she hadn't necessarily done anything wrong, bar exist in the wrong place at the wrong time. It helped ease the guilt creeping in as her emotions settled and she came to recognize her own behavior, but she still knew her behavior had been unnecessary. At that, there was the looming thought that some small part of her didn't at all regret it, and this thought was eating away at her. Much like the last time she'd had an outburst, it felt... good to not be a victim for a change. Sure, she had just threatened to eat someone's wings, but the guy clearly deserved to have some humility scared into him. From the sounds of it, this wasn't his first time getting into trouble either, so perhaps the umbreon had done this town a favor.

...But, that was only a small part of her, and the much bigger part felt regret at her actions. Regardless of if the guy deserved it, the fact of the matter was that she had lost control of herself yet again, even if only for a brief moment, and she'd gone and scared some bystander who definitely didn't deserve it. Then there was Acro, who surely had more thoughts about this than he was willing to voice. She was supposed to be here to give him a friend and a teammate... and presumably, vice versa. That was the plan, the whole point of her coming here, and she was already finding a way to screw it up. The archeops seemed to be handling it all relatively well, certainly better than the other one, but he still must have had some unspoken feelings about her outburst. She had just threatened to... well, as her mind settled, it became more difficult to think about what she had said. Her actions were hard to feel guilty for, but the choice of words... What she had said... was so very unlike her... Actually, come to think of it, she had gotten the idea from someone else...

Drifting off in her own thoughts, she almost missed it when Acro asked if she was hurt. With the adrenaline wearing off, she could feel that she was, in fact, sore from being thrown against the ground. Multiple times. However... turning back for a moment to see the trumbeak still on the ground, she decided she was better off than her opposition. "Nothing I can't walk off, and I think I paid them back in full," she responded, making an attempt at reassurance that she was alright. Physically speaking, she honestly was; this was nothing compared to some of the abuse she had suffered in the past, and the presence of this eerie cloak was admittedly a welcome one when it came to... pain tolerance? Durability? She wasn't exactly sure what it did, but she knew she could take hits a whole hell of a lot better since acquiring it.

But mentally... Well, hiding it seemed pointless now that Acro had just witnessed her threatening to eat someone, but... "Anyway, it's... no big deal. I found you- or, you found me; it's fine now," she continued, insisting that she was fine. Her aura was tame by this point, and while she still struggled to hide the regret for her prior behavior, it was lessening with every moment she spent in good company. She felt more secure around a familiar face, especially one who knew the area and had the authority - and clearly the reputation - to stick up for her.

...But she didn't need anyone to defend her. As nice as the idea was, it quickly soured as she reminded herself of her own insecurity. The whole reason she was keeping this horrid cloak in the first place was because it helped her fend for herself for once in her life, and she certainly hadn't come here looking for a bodyguard. A guide, on the other hand, was something she was thankful to now have. "I had no idea where I was going without you, honestly," she admitted with a halfhearted chuckle. It was embarrassing, to say the least, but that was the least of her worries at the moment. She was too exhausted by far worse feelings to care about a little bit of embarrassment. Honestly, she just wanted to get out of the street and lay down somewhere, but that would have to wait at least until she got herself signed up with the guild.

...If.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:31 am

It was a relief to him that she was not harmed by the bullies. She glanced over to a nearby trumbeak before she answered him. His own gaze followed her’s to see what she looked at. The trumbeak was not someone he was familiar with, but he could only assume it was one of Rau’s friends. He raised an eyebrow in the trumbeak’s direction with a quick assessment of its condition. It did not seem too hurt, but a glance over in Renna’s direction said all that he wanted to say without the need for words. The decidueye looked over to the trumbeak herself before she gave a soft sigh. She curled herself up in her wings before she trudged over to the knocked down flying type.

His attention was brought back to the umbreon as she would speak up. He believed her, considering she certainly looked the part for it. Whatever terrifying stature the umbreon had before was gone. It made it easier for him to speak, though it was still difficult to shake the image of the wing of a honchkrow. “Well, that’s good,” he stated the obvious, “If there’s anything at all though, there’s a medic right there,” he nodded towards the sign that Rau struck earlier.

“One of the locals told me they thought they saw you wandering in town earlier, so I went to come find you. Aileron isn’t as organized as Grassveil on the ground level. It’s much easier to get around in when you can fly. I’ve tried walking around here before when I first showed up and I ended up having to fly just to figure out what part of town I was in,” he told Dusk. When it first happened he thought it was simply his own incompetence, but it was nice to find out that he was not the only one. “You’re probably going to need a map to get anywhere to be honest-at least until you’re familiar with this place.” He folded his wings to his sides as he stood up on his legs, obviously not intending to fly unless Dusk wanted a ride. The way he spoke seemed almost certain that she was going to be invited into the guild. He was. It’s not like Dusk had done anything horrible or had some bad reputation. Yeah this particular event might have been a bad first impression once word reached her, but it’s not like Dusk hurt anybody. Knowing the guild leader though, she just might respect someone who had a bit of a bite to them...perhaps.

“I was in the middle of shopping, but I was almost done,” he admitted, “Is there anything you might need or want while we’re out here?” On one hand, he hoped she did. He wanted to finish the list-actually wait what was the state of his guild room? H e c k he never got a ground-dwelling bed. All of the beds in Aileron were typically nest-like in structure. It wasn’t every day that someone who couldn’t fly took up a position in the Aileron Guild. He would speak up about this, “Actually you’ll probably need a bed unless you want to sleep on a nest until the guild gets one for you.” Now that he thought about it, he needed to add a few more things to his grocery list. What was once just explorer supplies suddenly expanded to furniture. The room he occupied within the guild was pretty bare and dull in comparison to the more extravagant decor of the other members.

“Unless you’d rather not sleep there?” he questioned as his mind briefly flicked back to Sova’s method of ‘rooming’ within the guild.

Meanwhile, Renna cautiously picked up the unconscious bully and started towards the building Acro pointed out to Dusk just a moment before. She still seemed to avoid looking at Dusk, utterly baffled that the archeops was being so friendly with her after what she said to another of his species just a bit ago. The decidueye would disappear into the service and exit without the trumbeak, a quick glance inside would have revealed that she had simply unloaded the flying type onto the service counter and left him there. Whoever ran the desk seemed to have been in the back and would have quite the present to come back out to.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:54 am

Someone had seen her? And they had recognized her because of Acro?

...And they hadn't decided to, like, say anything to her?

Well, that didn't matter now. What Dusk was more interested in was Acro's increasingly apparent relationship with this town; he seemed to know at least two of the individuals she'd had the... pleasure of meeting thus far, and someone had even recognized her and relayed her presence to him within a few hours of her being here. Simply informing him of her arrival ahead of time certainly would have saved her the grief of trying to find her way through this place, and it seemed it would have gone a long way toward helping her avoid conflict. She was beginning to feel like her decision to show up unannounced and attempt to surprise him had been made in poor judgment and perhaps poor taste. At least Acro was forgiving of her for this mistake, if it was as such, but she still felt quite embarrassed and guilty at the idea that all of this could have been avoided if she had just been upfront instead of trying to do something... well, "nice."

What a depressing thought, that she was wrong for thinking to have a little fun and surprise her new friend. On the bright side, it was nice to know her trouble navigating the town wasn't entirely her fault. Having to use a map to get around the place she intended to make her new home sounded... well, humiliating, but it would only be until she could get used to the layout of things. She would just have to hope no one decided to mess with her for it... which seemed like wishful thinking. With her history, she was about ready to just accept that there would always be someone who saw her as an easy target for one reason or another. At least it wasn't true anymore.

Fortunately, she wasn't left to wallow in her own self-pity for long before being caught off-guard by Acro's sudden offer to... buy her stuff. Her gut reaction was to refuse to take his money and make him buy things for her, but then he was so thoughtful as to inform her that his room in the guild didn't have any... beds; or at least, it didn't have any "beds" that weren't nests. Considering how dearly she wanted a nap, the idea of sleeping in a bird nest sounded very unpleasant, and... well... she didn't have any money. Surely, a competent guild member like Acro had enough to spare some, especially if he was offering and even making suggestions. Was it wrong to take advantage of his generosity, or would it be wrong to turn him down out of... guilt? Pride? Regardless, one thing was for certain: she would need a bed, and she didn't want to wait for Aileron to provide her with something that wasn't made for birds.

And she did not want to sleep outside like a certain someone. "I'd rather sleep on the floor than follow Sova's lead," she responded confidently, and a bit annoyed. She wasn't mad at Acro, but rather, the idea of being like Sova. Not long ago, she'd wanted to join his team, but now... she felt a lot of things about him, and few of them were positive. She was still thankful for all he'd done for her, but she also found herself doubting how much she could trust him, questioning his sanity, and... honestly, she was even a bit afraid of him after what she'd seen. Acro, on the other hand, seemed like he could use a friend and had shown himself to be friendlier and considerably less unhinged. Sure, he had his own issues, but they seemed mostly limited to crippling depression and self-loathing. Not only did Sova not seem to need any help doing his job, but he was unpleasant to be around and she no longer trusted him, so that made the choice pretty obvious.

"So... I guess, uh... if it's no trouble, yeah, I'd kinda like a bed. If I even get in," she continued after a moment's pause, agreeing somewhat reluctantly that she wanted somewhere proper to sleep if she did get accepted into the guild. "B-but not if you don't have the money for it. I don't wanna be a burden; I can deal with a nest or sleep on the floor for a while if I need to." She really didn't want to accept charity, especially from someone she was trying to be partners with, and she especially didn't want to if it meant draining away his last coin. She had no idea how beds cost around here... or in general, come to think of it; she had never had to buy something like that for herself before, considering her living situation had gone from staying with her family to dying in the wild to being taken in by Sova... then...

Even the floor of the guild sounded leagues better than the old rundown house at Pricklemist Hill, and she wasn't going to burden Acro just to get more for herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:02 am

He should not have been surprised that Dusk was able to guess why he thought she might want to sleep outside, but he was. It probably should not have even been a question, but he did not want to just assume that she was even going to move into the guild with him and the other members. There were some here and there that had their homes in the village, maybe Dusk would have wanted that to? Although he wouldn’t have advised it. Pokemon like Rau lurked about after all.

All in all, Acro’s feign of cheeriness seemed to go well. So well in fact, that it seemed to actually make himself feel better. Dusk seemed to be getting better, so things were better overall. Renna might have been a bit moody, but she seemed intent on leaving now that the fuss was over. The dark type accepted his offer to purchase a bed for her. She seemed a bit hesitant about it, but it was understandable. He would have been uneasy about someone offering to buy him stuff as well. What caught his attention though was that she seemed to place an ‘if’ in front of getting into the guild. She would then proceed to go on about how it would have been fine and that she could deal with a nest or the floor if she needed to.

“I’m sure you’ll get in just fine-after all you managed a lot better with Rau than I did in my opinion.” Sure she threatened to eat his wings, but the fact of the matter was that she didn’t. She didn't break his wings. She didn’t bite into them. All she did was rough them up a little and yell at them. That’s...honestly how it should have gone. It’s how he expected his encounter with them to go, but things went differently at the time.

“But-well sleeping on the floor isn’t at all comfortable and there is a spare nest already in place if need be but...” a moment of hesitation. It wouldn’t take a genius to guess who’s nest it was. They needed to clear out that nest still, it's been a month. “We’ll get a bed,” he spoke more firmly in attempt to push aside the unpleasant thoughts. This was a good day. He needed to think positive. If he thought positively, then this day couldn’t possibly be ruined-after all, a friend had come all this way to see him and join his team. He should be happy. He needed to pull himself away from the sheer fact of the situation and focus on the positives. Sure, Dusk could potentially die by joining his team, but...but...

A clawed wing reached over to his bag and plucked the list out of its spot once more to take another gander at it, desperate to bring himself away from his thoughts and distract himself. He already knew what he needed from the list, but he would look anyways as if he did not. “Don’t worry about money,” he spoke up once more, “I should have enough.” It was easy to cover the living expenses of a single pokemon with the rewards the higher ranked missions raked in. Especially so soon after managing two. He was by no means rich, but it’s not like he had nothing to sell or trade if it came to the matter.

As for what was on him at that moment, he would probably need to cut out a few things he had still yet to get. He wanted to avoid a second trip scouring the shops. “Come on,” he spoke up, “The craftsman should be just around the corner.” He would turn and begin to walk instead of taking flight. He could still remember where to go from here. A few other things on the list were a bit more difficult for him to remember, which made it easy on which ones he would need to cut out. “If you can’t find anything you like then we can just get something temporary until the next stock comes in. They don’t really carry much outside of nests around here.”

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:30 pm

Acro decided to bring up the Rau guy again to support the idea that Dusk deserved to be in the guild, but something about that immediately felt a bit... off to her. He claimed that she had handled Rau better than himself, but... he had hardly done anything in that situation, and definitely nothing so bad as threatening to eat someone. It sounded as if he had run into this Rau before, and the two did seem to know each other somehow... The umbreon was then reminded of Acro's previous statement that Rau's last fight had ended in a way that was arguably worse than threatening someone. Was it... Acro who'd broke the guy's wing? It really shouldn't have been a surprise that Acro might get into an occasional fight, considering fighting was part of his job description, but the implication that he had broken this guy's wing was still a bit of a surprise. Dusk had gotten used to seeing him as a friendly face, aided by the fact that he seemed prone to break down in the middle of fights.

But more importantly... He... thinks I handled it better than him?

The umbreon actually felt a bit... happy about this compliment, but she was also sad that Acro still seemed to be criticizing himself. She hadn't really hurt Rau, but she had definitely hurt his friend on top of threatening to eat a bird's wings, so why was she so much better than Acro? She didn't get much time to think about this before Acro moved back to the topic of beds, which Dusk was fine with since she really didn't want to talk more about her latest violent outburst. Alas, the prospect of going into a store and asking for a bed was about as stressful, at least after how her introduction into this town had gone. She figured Acro would be the one doing all the talking and buying, but it still worried her a bit, like something bad would somehow happen to her even if she opted to just sit outside while he went in. She knew this was just paranoia, though. "Alright, that sounds good," she spoke in agreement as she followed the archeops toward the unnamed craftsman, trying very hard to put her fears away.

"I don't need anything fancy, so if they don't have a good selection, I'll just take whatever they've got. I don't wanna waste your money on something pretty anyway," she continued, trying very hard to pretend the idea of sleeping on an uncomfortable bed wasn't at all unappealing. She had admittedly gone most of her life with a certain standard of living, and while it wasn't particularly high, decent bedding was something she was used to having. Sleeping on a bag full of rocks labeled a pillow, for instance, didn't sound like her idea of a fun time. Still, she was determined not to be a burden, so she would take whatever she could get and be grateful for it. Maybe the guild would provide her with some kind of "official" bed later, but she wasn't going to count on it and certainly didn't intend to make Acro fix that. She was willing to sleep on the floor if she needed to, so she would be happy with pretty much any bed.

Unless there were no beds. Her archeops guide seemed to think that was a possibility, so... that would be disappointing.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:03 am

While Dusk might have been comfortable with 'whatever they got', Acro would have at least liked for her to sleep comfortably. Concerns and fears once again floated around his mind as he walked. Still, he kept himself cheery with a nod and a smile, "Alright, hopefully they have something good in stock."

The craftsman was indeed just around the corner. A small shop settled itself betwixt what appeared to be a cafe and a shop of odd trinkets and nick knacks. From a pole, a sign hung off the side of the building. Expertise in the skill they serviced was put on great display in the elegant gilded words with the carving of a bird who looked to be absolutely thrilled about nothing in particular. Their shop had a window that displayed various objects and furniture that barely fit in the small space. Beautifully crafted perches, a fine pearly desk, and a much smaller looking box atop of it that held smaller windows and drawers with mirrors in the back of it-a jewelry case. It seemed as if Dusk might leave with something ‘pretty’ whether she liked it or not if they were to shop from here. Although, a more accurate way to describe the wares of this establishment would be one simple word: Gaudy.

Acro gave the door a light push. A bell gave a light chime to announce their presence to the shopkeep. His first reaction was to look up at the source of the noise, almost as if startled by it. He quickly reassured himself that it was nothing to be concerned with. The archeops had not been to this shop before, at least not himself. The only real reason he knew this place existed was because of the cafe the next door over. He stepped inside wish Dusk practically attached to his hip and took a quick look around. More fine furnishings decorated the sales floor, but all of them were tailored to birds. It was when he spotted the price tags for these products that he began to question if he really did have enough money.

Towards the front of the store, a squawk greeted them. He looked over to the shopkeep’s direction with a friendly wave. A toucannon stood upon a perch that hung from the ceiling. He swung ever so lightly as the elder avian trained a critical eye on him. It did not take long for the eye to trail down towards Dusk. The old bird squinted distastefully at her before he spoke up, “Can I help you?” the nasally growl grinded against Acro’s ears. He was taken aback by the voice, not because it was annoying by nature, but because of the hostility that seemed to come with it.

“Uh-,” Acro struggled to speak at first. ‘No stuttering’, he ordered himself. “Yes, actually we’re looking for a bed.”  He spoke to the normal type with a far friendlier tone than they gave to him. His wings gave a gesture to the umbreon in order to help imply that it was for her rather than him. Again, the old shopkeep’s eyes trained on the umbreon and studied her. Discomfort rose in Acro as a long silence began. He looked between the two as unease crawled through his feathers and into his skin. ‘What was the problem here?’, he wondered.

Just when Acro was about to ask, the Toucannon spoke up again with narrowed eyes that lacked any sort of kindness or joy that was in the sign outside, “I’ve got soggy cardboard boxes in the back from last night’s rain you could buy for three thousand a piece.”

The statement baffled Acro. His eyes widened in surprise as his head raised. “E-Excuse me?” he stuttered without even a thought about his brief stumble over his words. “Y-You could have just said you don’t have any-”

“Nah I have some,” the toucannon intercepted the archeops with a deliberate nod towards a certain part of the store. Acro turned his head to follow the direction the bird pointed him towards to find a section with only a few beds. Each one of them failed to meet the standards this store seemed to have-but that is not to say they were poor in quality. In fact they were just...average. They were all small in size, but not anything too small for Dusk. “I always carry at least one or two in case some grounded like your friend comes in.” Before Acro could question them further, they continued, “All I’m saying is you can’t afford my wares-even the beds of poor quality and disgusting taste. I gave you my cheapest offer: Soggy cardboard boxes for three thousand a piece.”

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:39 am

Dusk followed silently behind her guide, and as they approached the "craftsman," she began to dread whatever she was in store for. Just the things on display made her want to go ahead and sit out front without even giving the place a chance, but she persevered. Upon a glance inside, her ill feelings toward the place only grew stronger; everything was just... too much. Imagining herself laying in a bed that looked anything like the rest of this store was almost enough to make her sick. She certainly didn't want Acro wasting his money on her if this obviously high-priced sparkly junk was all they had to pick from. Sure, she'd had a nice bed back at home, but far from this kind of "nice." All she really wanted was something comfortable, and even then, it was entirely optional.

But this problem was quickly eclipsed in importance when she noticed... the owner. Probably. She assumed the toucannon was the owner, but either way, they sure were... memorable. The first words out of their mouth suggested they weren't fond of something about the pair, and they didn't seem too keen on playing nice upon prodding from Acro. In response to the rather simple declaration that they were looking for a bed, the shopkeeper simply stared. Dusk, of course, stared right back, even going so far as to cock her head to the left as if to question it. If this was supposed to intimidate her or something, it wasn't working. In fact, it was just beginning to do the opposite when the bird finally decided to respond with something. Alas, their words did nothing to remedy the situation; Dusk's fur bristled immediately at what seemed to be yet another person having a problem with her just because she couldn't fly. That was her assumption, anyway, but Acro responded before she could even begin to think of something to say.

Perhaps it was fortunate that he did, for this revealed that the bird's... behavior might not have been due to the unwelcome presence of an umbreon. Less fortunate was the impact it had on Dusk's feelings toward them, which was poor, to say the least. This ugly bird was just assuming both of them were broke and being an ass to them for it? She was broke, but some stranger had no way of knowing that, and Acro certainly seemed intent on buying a bed. The fur of her spine bristled all the way down to her tail at the toucannon's words. It was such a little thing, but the bird just spoke in such a condescending manner, not just to her but to Acro as well. Her cloak-influenced mind had mostly been led into self-defensive situations thus far, but the desire to protect someone else... this was different. It was as if a whirlwind had suddenly whipped up in the umbreon's head; she could hardly think as the desire to harm the obnoxious bird welled up in her.

After a brief moment, Dusk, swayed by the sudden impulse, opened her mouth to respond. She wanted to tell this bird just exactly how fast she would tear their throat out if they spoke another ill word to her friend. Of course, she wasn't quite so far gone as to make another mouth-related death threat today, which led her to the realization of a striking similarity between the shopkeeper and one of her attackers from earlier from earlier. Trumbeak and toucannon, both haters of land-walkers, and they were probably both pushovers... Dusk was suddenly very interested in exploring this idea, but as she opened her mouth, a sound suddenly snapped her back to reality. The sound was... Acro's voice... talking to the toucannon before she could.

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PostSubject: Re: Good First Impression   Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:17 pm

The attitude of the shopkeep was absolutely inexcusable for the archeops. It was not something he was not going to assault the bird about, but it was enough to prompt a desire for action. He did not hesitate, however, as he questioned how good of an idea it was. His moment of hesitation did not last long as he spied the absolute anger that crossed Dusk’s body language. His eyes darted towards her to see individual hairs stand on her body. She was already having a bad enough day as it was; he wondered if this toucanon single-handedly made her snap twice in the same day.

Still, he preferred not to have another situation to explain to the guild master. “I-I don’t think we’ll be taking cardboard boxes as a bed,” he spoke with a hint of force behind his words. It was apparent that despite his stutters, he was more displeased than uncomfortable with this situation.

“Shame,” the toucannon spoke solemnly, “I’m one of the few that carries beds for the grounded-and everyone else is all closed up by now.”

“Look just-how much are the beds?” he questioned with an exasperated sigh. What the toucan pokemon said was likely true. He did not have doubts about it-but there was also the fact that this was the only shop he knew of. If they left then they had to find another and that could have taken all day. He still had much he needed to go over with Dusk with the guild on top of the registration process. He preferred that they just get a bed and leave-even if it meant giving service to this jerk of a bird.

The flying type seemed to mull it over a bit as he swung back and forth on the perch. Each movement gave a small squeak of metal. Finally, the bird spoke up, “Twenty-Thousand a piece.”

The answer shocked Acro, the sheer absurdity of the price was beyond even his usual price range. The archeops refrained from looking to Dusk to see if she could believe what was even going on-odds were that she was likely growing more and more agitated by the second. He did not blame her. An idea popped into his mind, however, one that he did not quite want to do, but it seemed as if he did not have many other options. “How about...a trade?”

“Trade?” the toucannon seemed interested as the archeops reached for his bag. The wing of the archeops pulled out a small and strange item made of golden material in the shape of a mask. A mask for what creature, Acro did not know. The Archeops held the item up to the toucannon for them to see. The creature inspected the mask closely, the golden sheen of the item seemed to catch his interest especially. The toucannon flared out his wings and flapped himself closer to the two. He looked back to the Archeops, “What is it?”

“E-Explorer treasure,” Acro stated, “Found it during one of my expeditions. It’s made of gold, so that should cover the cost of the bed, right?”

The shopkeep glanced back at Dusk before his eyes were attracted to the shining object once more. The old coot gave a thoughtful hum. He was hesitant, but he seemed to consider this. Acro glanced to Dusk with a pleading look. Either he wanted her to help him sell the item, or he wanted her to not blow up against this birdbrain.

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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon RP :: The Floating Islands :: Aileron Village-
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