Merchant Tent, evening.
Ruins. Everything seemed to be in ruins. The Merchants' guild wasn't even a shadow of its former glory; it once stood tall upon Tao Village with the Kecleon-eye windows keeping a close vigil on each and every building. But now? Shattered glass was spread across the grounds even still. The Kecleon eye windows were blinded by the darkness of the blizzard, its cores broken into hundreds of pieces. Holes were dappled across the buildings—rips and tears spread like Poffin butter on the once glorious tent. Shreds of cloth were spread about the floor like garbage, damp from the still, humid air.
If one looked up from inside the tent, they could see the blue-grey sky staring right back at them, blanketed with thick grey clouds and patches of darkness here and there. The air was as thick and heavy as the clouds, a harbinger of the coming rain. And yet, one Pokémon still plopped through the mess that was the Merchants' tent, wandering around, picking up the pieces of cloth as she walked about. The sharp-eyed Kecleon kept alert in the silent air, trying to clean up the rest of the tent while she could. Shards of porcelain teacups scattered about the wooden floors—each one was a reminder to her of something, someone long gone.
She hadn't slept much the past few days, and sharp pains were beginning to push at the backs of her usually agile eyes. It came on as a headache, but worsened as it spread to her vision; there was no way she would stop, though. Not now, not for a very long time. Not until everything was fixed and back to normal.
The Kecleon sat at the old wooden table, placing there a map of what would be the new and improved Tao Village. As she sat at her chair, she eyed the glory that the village would soon become, her tail curling with excitement, her black scales taking on a sheen of silver. Her lips curled into a smile when she took a pencil from the side of the table, scribbling here and there, adding another building here or some more improvements to another place there. It would be a spectacle, Tao village would. It would become even more famed than Alomomola City, even more structured than Steel City…It would be perfect.
She muttered to herself every now and then certain thoughts while she scribbled some notes down on her new map. It could always be better, she thought; something could always be better. She would cross things out if they weren't perfect, grumble a bit and move on. It was a daily pattern, this habit of editing the map and making it perfect. She would prove it to them—no, prove it to him—that nothing would stop her. Nothing in the entire world would keep the village—her village--from becoming what she designed it to be.
Her work was continuous as usual. She made sure she was in a spot away from the rain, away from the dark skies of grey that reminded her of the friends she had lost, the mistakes she had made. Her quiet work continued as she scribbled away, that is, until a Miltank crept in through the main curtain of the tent, his eyes filled with worry. He slowly made his way up to the table, careful not to make any sudden sounds or movements—he knew it would set off her temper. He didn't have a need to, however, for she spoke up first, surprising him.
"I've been hearing things…seeing things," the Kecleon said simply. She returned to her work right after muttering that single thought, erasing something as she did. The Miltank was at a loss for words after the thought, trying to keep a strong face for his comrade.
"PK, um..." The Miltank tried to mutter, "Why don't you…I don't know, take a break? Just for a little. It doesn't have to be long, you just…you've been working quite a while." He stood next to PK expectantly, waiting for some kind of short-tempered answer. But that answer never did come. In fact, it was another answer. One that…wasn't quite like her.
"Fine. I need to go…sort things out, anyway," she began, turning her gaze from the map to the Miltank, "Take the map with you, Malt. I don't feel like carrying it." Pushing herself away from the table, she jumped right out of the chair with an agile pep in her step, as if something unknown and ominous was pushing at her to keep moving. Some force in her legs told her to keep on moving, even if she wanted to perfect the almost-perfect design of the village.
Part 1 of a story by
that I liked so much I decided to illustrate and implement!