It was pretty much like any other normal afternoon. Almost. If you didn’t count the red stripe and pair of monocles zooming throughout the village at an alarming rate, it was kind of, maybe, almost like a normal day.
Shroomsworth stormed out of the Mechants’ hut and surveyed the plaza for a moment before spotting his quarry. The floating red stripe.
“M-MADAM!” He paused, expecting a response, receiving none. “Get back here right this instant,” he said, bringing one set of claws up to his eyes in an effort to shield them from the sun. Trying to keep track of the mostly-invisible figure wasn’t easy, but the floating lenses above the stripe made the task a bit less difficult.
The stripe continued to zoom around the fountain, gaining the attention of various Pokemon who were idly chatting and conducting business in the village.
He grew flush with anger and annoyance. The practical jokes were usually tolerated in stride, but no, not today! Today was important!
“Brother?” Sporegard peeked around the corner out from the Merchants’ hut as Shroomsworth had just done before him. “I thought we were going to meet with the lady leader?”
Shroomsworth’s eyes narrowed on his target. He could hear her bad impression of him all the way over here... what nerve. See if he did her any favors after this incident... after what she’d done with his things...
“Yes, yes,” he said, taking giant leaps off in the direction of the poor imitation work, “we are. Come along now.”
It was a lovely morning. It was nearly time to open shop and as such, PK and Shroomsworth were sharing a pot of a delicious brew of tea. It was a leafy variety, a touch smoky, as Shroomsworth often preferred. He sat at the tea table, contemplating, staring into the cup and at the swirling bits of dried leaves within.
She sat across from him, watching him zone out. Knew he hadn’t told her something yet. It was in his face, in his eyes.
“Hey, you, what’s up?” she asked. No beating around the bush here.
His head shot up and he jolted back into the moment, spilling a bit of tea onto the platter in the process.
“Ah... well, you recall my little brother Sporegard, yes?” She nodded at him. He hadn’t mentioned it all yet. She knew that, as well. She waited, fingered the rim of her teacup.
He paused, then continued, “Well, he’s actually coming today for a visit. I was planning on giving him an idea of what we do around here, and ah...” here it was. He’d probably be asking for some time off of work or something, she guessed. “...well, I was wondering if you might look over the shop for my shift.” Yep. She knew it. “I was hoping to also give him a tour of the village and treat him afterward.” Ugh.
“You shoulda’ told me a bit sooner, you know,” she said, cocking her head to the side. “It’s hardly much of a warning at all if he’s coming today, you know...” She set the teacup down gently and leaned back in her chair, feet against table.
“Madam, you ought not to do that. You’ll fall and knock your head, not to mention that I’d sooner you not place your feet on my table.”
“C’mon! Like my feet are even dirty! I keep them clean, you know!”
“Whether or not you do isn’t my concern here. I’d just rather you--”
“I’ll do whatever I want! I think if you’re going to make me slave through your shift, I can sit how I want, yeah?”
“Really, that’s fine and all, but you’re going to crack your head if you keep that up and I’d rather not deal with the bills from that,” he said, pursing his lips. “Anyway, since you’re fine with it, I really must head out and greet him. Little Sporegard should be arriving soon.” He set the cup down, stood up, and pushed the chair in. “And do drink your tea before it gets cold. You know how I don’t like it when you dally and it chills. It’s best enjoyed warm. Hot, even.”
She’d turned her head to the side and grumbled something of an acknowledgement of what he’d said before letting her chair fall back into its upright position with a thud.
“Oh,” he said, having forgotten something minor, “and I’d appreciate it if you could please take care of the few dishes just this once...” He rolled his eyes at her shocked expression and strode through the door, giving her plight little thought.
“WHAT?! That’s DIS-GUST-ing!” Augh, it didn’t matter how few dishes it was, they were her absolute bane. How did he ever put up with washing dishes? She often wondered but never questioned it. Now here he was, putting her in this most horrid position.
He was gone already, unwilling to argue with her, having left her to do what he found a reasonable and simple favor for him. After all, he did favors for her all the time, favors that amounted to ten, twenty, thirty times the effort of washing five pieces of china. And often, at that. He knew she would soon get over it. Or, he thought he knew.
He’d thoroughly enjoyed showing his little brother the different aspects of his wonderful village. They had both made their final stop at the Merchants’ hut and he intended to have Sporegard formally meet with PK. He passed Sandy at the item stand and nodded in her direction.
As he looked around for PK, he realized how glad he was that Barty’s Bluff had established its HQ in the village. It had made dangerous travel less necessary and allowed weaker Pokemon to make long trips in short amounts of time. Like this little Shroomish.
He wasn’t glad to hear that PK had been skirting on the donations to Barty’s establishment, however. He’d have to rectify that, as much as he hated allocating funds to donations. It was really important, though. Without this service, Sporegard might not have gotten to see Tao Village until he were much older or unless Shroomsworth himself escorted the boy over. That would’ve taken too much time.
No, time was too important lately. He wanted to give the boy a taste of the village, of what he and PK ultimately controlled. After all, the Merchants’ guild was what established the village some hundred and fifty or so years ago. They had ties with everyone, had stakes in everything. He wanted to give Sporegard an idea of what the boy would eventually have to do. Shroomsworth knew Elder Shroom was getting old, knew that someone would need to take over. It wouldn’t be he, himself, no-- he finally had a claim in Tao Village and wished to keep it. Shroomsworth instead would begin grooming his brother for the job.
After all, with one of his own controlling Sapling Village as well, the Merchants’ guild could envelop the market there and become a bit more of a monopoly. Maybe he’d work on getting someone out in Snowy Village next, or maybe someone from Tao Ranch... maybe even from the jungl--
Suddenly he realized something askew, amiss in the corner of his mind. What was it... he couldn’t quite put his finger on it...
Oh. Why was PK hard to find? This was still the end of his shift. She should have been at the item stand.
Only Sandy was at the item stand.
Sandy was a Deino. She couldn’t even see, let alone run a stand by herself. He grit his teeth and placed a hand to his forehead, sighing, trying to think.
He heard rummaging upstairs, coming from his quarters. An intruder? No, not likely--it was quite obvious who it was at this point.
“Madam,” he shouted as he started up the staircase, ”I can’t believe you would be so brazen as to leave miss Sandy at the stand by herself. You know she can’t see.”
Sporegard was following behind as best he could, though he couldn’t compete with the giant bounds Shroomsworth easily made.
“Miss PK! Miss PK! Are you up there, wot? We’ve come to meet with you!” Sporegard said, hopping up single steps at a time. He’d hardly made it up four steps before Shroomsworth made it to his room.
His whole collection of china was strewn about, his assortment of various precious and fancy items he’d been gathering over the years was in a whirlwind about his room. None of it was broken, thank heavens, but he was still agitated that his items were in such a state. They’d all need a thorough washing before he placed them back on his shelves. Ugh, she’d even placed the dirty dishes from earlier in his room... somehow, not able to even do a minor task...
Suddenly, he realized she wasn’t up here despite having heard her moments prior.
And then he saw that his window was wide open.
He shot out of his room and back down the stairs, nearly tripping on poor Sporegard who was still talking as if PK was nearby and listening.
She shrieked with terror and in delight when she saw Shroomsworth headed her way at a godly speed. He’d sure caught on to her antics quickly! It had now turned into a game. She spewed more bad impressions of him and darted around and through crowds of Pokemon that gathered naturally in the village. Several of the Pokemon were confused, quite a few were laughing at the spectacle, and some were talking and pointing at Shroomsworth.
She ran around as best she could with the ridiculous monocles on each eye. She didn’t know how he kept them on normally, so she’d used some sticky sap to keep them attached to her face. As such, she had to be careful as she ran not to trip and break them. Paying for a new one wasn’t something she particularly felt like doing today.
Sporegard struggled to keep up with his brother. “Eh, chap! I said, when are we meeting with the lady leader?”
Shroomsworth made a hard right, trailing PK as she leapt on top and over the fountain. He followed suit. She was so tricky and hard to keep an eye on! He didn’t risk grabbing the chain hanging from either monocle... as he chased after her, he realized that despite being invisible, he had a pretty good idea of where her tail was.
She dashed over in the direction of her item stand and Sandy. He finally caught up to her with no one for her to dart around, and she squealed as he reached forward and grabbed (with a bit of good luck) right near the base of her tail. She was lifted clean off the ground by her tail, upside down, still sporting two pilfered monocles, and scared right back into her normal violet color.
Somehow, despite everything she’d done to his room, despite having left--no, placed dirty dishes on his floor, despite having left Sandy alone at the stand and despite having made a mockery of him in public, she was crossing her arms and acting indignant. He was in disbelief.
“Madam, really, what were you thinking?! You know Sandy can’t run a stand alone!”
“Hey... I’m perfectly capable,” Sandy replied. “I’ve sold a lot of things today!” she stated, a note of pride in her voice.
Shroomsworth looked over at her. He noticed there was no money in the coiffers. He shot a glare at PK, then spoke. “Miss Sandy, it’s quite all right if you take a break for the rest of the day. Thank you for covering my shift.”
PK dared not speak, knowing her prank had cost them quite a bit of money. Frankly, she couldn’t care less. Sandy quietly took her leave, deciding that she’d done enough of a good job for the day.
“Miss leader lady,” Sporegard said, finally having caught up with his brother in time to ask PK a most important question, “what in good heavens’ name are you doing wearing two monocles? They’re called MONO-cles, not... duo..duonocles... That is unfancy, indubiterbally!”
Shroomsworth cringed. He loved his brother, but the little Shroomish wasn’t quite cut out for classiness nor refined speech.
He still had a firm grasp on PK’s tail as she struggled to get free. “Let me down! I haven’t done a thing!” He rolled his eyes.
“What, is it a crime to wear a couple of monocles now?!” she shrieked. Struggle as she might, he clamped down on her tail harder.
“What have I told you about going through my things?”
She suddenly burst into laughter, unable to keep on her serious, annoyed expression any longer.
Sporegard was utterly confused. “Good miss, what’s so funny? I’m ‘fraid I don’t get it quite.”
Shroomsworth groaned. “You’re hardly making a good impression on the boy, you know.” He contemplated for a moment, wondering whether or not her mischief hour was over. He decided it was and dropped her down on the ground, head first.
She screeched suddenly and knocked her head on the dirt, monocles popping off and falling in the nearby grass. He scooped them up instantly.
“HEY! That WASN’T NECESSARY!” she yelped, getting up and rubbing at her new sore spot.
“Well, I did tell you to be careful or you’d knock your head.”
She shot him an ugly look and opened her mouth to argue, but then she broke into laughter again. After all, he wasn’t the type to just take her nonsense without a bit of retaliation. But, to drop her on her head? Really? That was utterly ridiculous.
“Madam, I’m afraid I don’t find the state of my belongings quite as funny as you do. I’ll just take over this shift with Sporegard and leave cleaning my things and the dishes up to you.”
The laughter stopped. “C’mon, that’s so boring...”
“So, you’re fine with me spending the rest of the afternoon and evening putting my room in order? Splendid!”
And so he bounded off before she could say a word, Sporegard slowly trailing him.
She didn’t even have Sandy to keep her company.
Ah, well. It was certainly a better fate than washing dishes.
A little story I wrote after drawing the picture! I quite find I like to draw a picture before writing out a story. Sorry if it's a bit long! I wanted to make something silly.