A series of loud thuds on the door, jarring PK out of a peaceful sleep. Great.
She opened her eyes and stared straight ahead at her desk. Light was making its way in from the window, but not a whole lot. It was maybe... 6am? Who the hell was bugging her this early? It was supposed to be a day she could sleep in, it wasn’t like every other day--
Another few thuds. “PK, you promised you’d go today. You can’t put this off any longer! Please, get ready and let’s go, all right? PK? I already told them you’d be coming!” spoke the Peaceful Sleep Assailant.
She groaned. She had forgotten, but it was coming back to her quickly. “Just a sec,” she croaked at the door, her morning voice still caught in her throat. She’d definitely need a cup of water; her tongue felt dry and papery. It was kind of gross. No matter: she would be ready in a moment, even if the thought of her chore for the day bored her to tears. Now that the village was done being built, she was unable to find any more excuses to delay the inevitable. There were no more Pokemon doing grand tasks to really manage... it was all just a bunch of planting for that confused little fairy girl. Well, at least that didn’t require a whole lot of supervision anymore. It was giving PK a chance to recuperate from all of the long days and nights that a devastated village had brought with it. Unfortunately, because it didn’t
require a whole lot of supervision, Malt was apparently feeling more entitled to PK’s time. This really wouldn’t have been a problem, except she, well..
“PK come on
! I told everyone at the ranch we’d all eat breakfast together! They all eat really early if they still do it the same time as before! You don’t want to waste their cooking do you? Come on!” This managed to pull another groan out of PK. She slid out of bed finally, looking back at the sheets longingly for but a moment more, then stretched. First her tail, then her arms (up and down, left and right), and then did a split. It was important to remain limber and alert. She was even more conscious of this after her period of... “deep purpleness,” as she liked to think of it. Black wasn’t a very nice color, so she wouldn’t think of herself as having been such. In any case, she found stretching a nice way to become more aware of your body at the start of the day.
After this quick physical and mental wake-up, she felt ready to go face Malt and see what he had in store for her. She was sure she wouldn’t like it. It was hard: she wanted to be positive, she really did,
and that was no lie, but... but she rather disliked ranches. Stories of her father’s ranch put an immensely grotesque and horrid impression in her mind on what such places were like. She was sure that if he had owned Tao Ranch instead of it having started off separately, well, that it would have been run in some similar way as to the ranch of his young adulthood. Even after she was well aware that Tao Ranch was simply not like that, she had avoided it without fail. She always took giant detours around it whenever the situation called for travel near it. It was just not somewhere she wanted to be. It would have been impossible for her to do proper business with them at all had Malt not always visited the village. Her former partner had offered to go to the ranch in her stead, but she much preferred getting to see Malt face to face. It wasn’t for lack of trusting Shroomsworth’s judgment; she simply felt the desire to oversee everything that happened between the village and the ranch.
But that was enough of that. She answered the door to her bedroom, and it had really only been five or so minutes, but Malt’s expression still said that she took too long. Well, whatever.
“PK, you don’t need anything, right? I mean I know you don’t, but I don’t want you to make up an excuse to come back here again and--”
She cut Malt off, tired of him already. “I don’t. I mean, I won’t. Need anything, that is. Let’s just get this over with.” Even if he was perfectly justified in thinking she would try to wriggle her way out of her obligation, she hated it regardless.
They silently made their way down the stairs leading to the main corridor and exited the hut. PK would have griped that no one competent was running the place, that they could be robbed, and so on and so on, but Malt had specifically secured a few of the teams PK trusted at all to run the main shop (and even the stall outside). She was certain he had handpicked only the teams on the very best of terms with her. This was agitating. She had been robbed of the only complaint she could think of. It seemed, unfortunately, that Malt had thought ahead quite a bit for this particular date.
Part 1 of "The Question"