It was very pleasant out. Another warm day with a slightly cool breeze, just the weather Anana preferred. It was so lovely up in the Alomomola Bay area. Not like that dingy village her sister owned. It was really great up here. Pokemon always flooded in and out of her set of shops along the pier, today having been no exception. It was quieting down as the sun set, though. Slowly, more Pokemon trickled out than in, and she prepared to close the main shop.
She turned toward the window as she waited for the remaining Pokemon to complete their purchases. The sunsets were always so beautiful. The way the colors of the sky fell onto the water was a sight of which she was always grateful to be a witness. She was bursting with appreciative happiness; what an amazing view!
Aside from the way the sun looked when splattered over the ocean, she really loved to admire the glow it gave her golden skin. It was the exact opposite color from her sister’s disgusting, muddy-looking scales. Well, she supposed, it wasn’t quite an opposite. It was the complement to yellow. Still, why would you go with that color? Gross.
She shuddered, taking in more of the sun’s warm rays. Truly, this was a paradise. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else...? Especially out in the middle of nowhere. Especially in that village.
Oh well. It wasn’t her concern at the moment. One day, it was likely, she would find a way to take over that run down little hole and turn it into something really profitable.
And she’d get rid of that guild nonsense. No need to split profits like that... why would you hire so many inexperienced workers? It hardly made sense. Why not just work with a few, experienced Pokemon? Why not just-
Wait... what was that? She squinted, trying to peer past the waves, trying to get a glance at...
Was that a Pokemon? It didn’t match up with any of the aquatic varieties seen around here. Its colors didn’t match, they were foreign. It bobbed up and down, but any cries it made were lost to the roaring of the ocean around her.
She turned away from the window once more, realizing her shop still had customers milling about. Ahh... this wouldn’t do. Her curiosity about the figure in the distance overrode her desire to make a last few Poke for the evening.
“Excuse me, everyone,” she said, allowing a deeply serious expression to set in on her face, “if I could ask you all to depart now, that would be lovely. I’ve realized I have some very important business to take care of. I’m so sorry that I’d forgotten to warn you all...”
Her hard-earned reputation as a friendly and fair shopkeeper made most Pokemon very compliant when she asked of them simple requests. The remaining customers all understood and left without complaint. Well, except one. A rather small Cyndaquil stood in the way of the door as she went to close and lock up the shop.
“But... but miss lady, I’ll get in trouble if I don’t buy these things,” he said, looking up to her, pile of berries nearly overflowing in his tiny arms. “Please!”
She bit her tongue, thought for a second. She needed to get out to the part of the shore where she saw whatever that was... so...
“Listen, little guy,” she said, scooting him out of the shop, closing and locking the door behind her, “go on home. It’s on me.”
He his mouth was agape, he was stunned. Tears welled up and he nuzzled his head against her. “Thank you, thank you! My mom’s feeling so sick...”
Before she could even reply with anything more than a smile, the Cyndaquil had run off with his haul, intent on helping his mom or whatever it was he was out to do. She was happy to have helped, but... she really needed to get out to the shore.
She ran along the pier, cursing having put her largest shop at the end, cursing needing to drop her keys off with Nibble. She dashed inside the restaurant at the front of the pier, threw the shop keys over a bunch of dining Pokemon and to the surprised Mawile, and turned to run back out. “I’ll be back later!”
Time was of the essence. That’s just how it was in general in her business-related world, but, well, this was a matter of a Pokemon potentially needing help. It was a bit more important than the loss of a few berries’ worth of profit. Pokemon would always be able to come back the next day. Barring that, poorer Pokemon generally approached her personally to try and barter for cheaper after shop hours. Either way, needy Pokemon would have their needs met. She liked to ensure that. Those with excess would have it stripped of them unless they helped meet those needs, as well. She also liked to ensure that.
Well, it was neither here nor there. As she got closer to the rocks she thought she saw the figure near, she was horrified to see it really wasn’t a water Pokemon - it was a Bagon, and its face was planted in the shallow waves! Was it unconscious? What was it doing in the water to begin with, what, with its stubby, useless legs? Where did it come from?
Anana ran. She ran through the sand, through the foam, through the water rushing around and receding from her feet. She honestly hoped she wasn’t too late, but the poor thing was definitely unconscious. It might have even drowned?
She placed a hand to its skin, which was cold and clammy. Ah, she realized, of course it would be! It was a lizard (like her!) after all, and cold water could be quite devastating to its body temperature... Despite it being a warm day, it wasn’t quite a day to go around in the water for extended periods of time for any lizard. No, that caused hypothermia. If this little dragon wasn’t dead, it soon would be. It was time to check for pulse.
She rolled it over to discover it was wearing a brass collar ring. No second guesses, she knew her precious metals. A collar ring... it reminded her of the items that Merlot let her highest regarded servants wear. She knew they tended to be given golden collar rings. But brass? It was familiar, but didn’t stir enough bells for her to make a connection.
Anana placed a hand on the creature’s chest and one on its palm, hoping to find a good sign. It seemed hopeless, it seemed like she was too late, but -- she was relieved to feel the faintest signal of life from within.
Well, it was time to get to work. She needed to haul this Bagon all the way to Lamia. The witch doctor always knew how to deal with minor ailments. Lamia, also being a reptile, was particularly capable of treating problems like this.
Anana grabbed under the Bagon’s neck and feet and hefted it up. Dead weight was the worst, but at least she kept herself fit and strong. Just because she was a fantastic merchant didn’t mean she was lazy or weak. No, she needed to be able to hold her own. Needed to keep on her toes, make her her good-for-nothing sister didn’t outdo her.
The sand became very harsh on her small feet after a short distance. She went from weighing nearly 40lbs alone to weighing nearly 140lbs with the Bagon. It was strenuous, but she kept on. To make it worse, her arms did most of the supporting. The only way she could carry the Bagon was bridal style; she had no real shoulders to heft it over.
And so, that’s how it would be. A mile and a half of rough sand and rocks tearing at her feet. Her precious feet. They’d definitely need some tending to, after this. She was doing this for... for a Bagon she didn’t know the name of. She didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl! To be honest, she didn’t really care.
It was unusual that she even noticed it bobbing in the ocean. A lot of Pokemon bobbed about. She wondered how no one had noticed it before her, though. The beach often had many Pokemon walking about it, though admittedly, today it had less traffic than other days. Perhaps everyone was too busy having fun or whatever to notice...
Half a mile left... She pondered what her sister was up to. She would never admit it, though. She didn’t like how often that subject crept into her mind. It wasn’t an obsession, no. No, no, no, she just... had to know what her sister was doing. All the time. That was it. That was all.
Something about a stone. That’s what she knew. A stone, a dragon?
Hmm. Hadn’t her sister also gotten a Deino assistant recently? As if that stupid Breloom wasn’t enough of a hassle. Deinos were known to be ridiculously loyal. Hmph...
There was the hut, she was nearly there.
Deino... her sister’s Deino... didn’t she hear that it wore golden collar rings? So, it was from Merlot? It had to be!
Anana finally reached the wooden hut, knocked at the door. A little Murkrow greeted her. Zabi, wasn’t it? He was Lamia’s assistant, she knew that, but had never seen it personally. He was usually running errands for Lamia, and Anana hadn’t much of a reason to see the witch doctor usually.
“Is Lamia in? It’s a bit of an emergency.”
“I ‘spose so. For you, I’ll fetch her,” Zabi said, fluttering off into the back room, past the grass curtains.
Finally, some release. Anana set the Bagon down on the dirt floor as gently as she could muster and immediately her body made its annoyance known. She ached in every possible place. It wasn’t often that she went around lifting double her body weight for such long periods of time.
Part one of (??).. Maybe one more illust will go with the next half of the story. I've been busy.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More