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January 31, 2013
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PMD-TJ3: A Bottle Full of Dust by Firkasa PMD-TJ3: A Bottle Full of Dust by Firkasa
For #PMD-Explorers

Application: [link]
Collab with: Team Goldberry
Guild: Rescuers
Task: Jan - Collecting Leather and Moondust from Mossy Village
Points: 1 + 2 + Beaded Bracelet (Accessory) = 3

Note to everyone: Do read my RP/Story blurbs down below! Story is told there.

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“...So, all I really need for now is the leather and the dust from Mossy Village. It's not far, and it shouldn't be any trouble getting it, especially with that letter from Micle. Um, any... questions?”

Chlora the Sewaddle seemed nervous as she went through all the details, and there was a noticeable relief in her voice when she finally concluded her explanation. She only had two pokemon for an audience, but that did not seem to ease her nerves as she spoke to them. The Dragonair, Raggs, tried to look reassuring to her as he listened, but it was likely the sharp gaze of the Zigzagoon, Emeline, that kept the Sewaddle on edge.

Their job was simple: head to Mossy Village, pick up some leather, gather “moondust” from some Shedinja that lived there, then return it all to Chlora at the tailor shop and get some needed rest. There was little room for misunderstanding, so Emeline responded with a firm shake of her head, while Raggs replied more warmly, “No, I think we got it.”

“Oh, good,” the Bug-type sighed with relief. “One last thing, you'll need a bottle for the moondust. I should have one... somewhere...” Digging through a couple nearby drawers, the Sewaddle soon produced a small glass bottle topped with a cork and a long thin length of leather looped around the neck. She held it out for the pair, and Emeline promptly stepped forward, took the bottle by the strap, and slipped it over her head, the small glass jar hanging securely against her yellow scarf.

With their goal clear in their minds, the pair of Pokemon left Chlora and the shop towards the distant bug village. The sun was gone and the stars were beginning to sparkle one by one in the darkening sky.


There wasn't much between Tao Village and Mossy Village aside from a bunch of rolling green hills, so there were no problems to deal with as they traveled. It was quiet, peaceful—almost tranquil, even. The night air carried a chill, but otherwise, it was a perfectly peaceful evening.

But that seemed to do little to make the Zigzagoon relax, as Raggs observed. She wordlessly walked ahead of him, looking intent on doing no more than reaching their distant destination. Emeline kept a fairly quick pace and hadn't spoken to him once since they left Tao Village, so it seemed it would be up to the Dragonair Rescuer to break the ice.

“Hey, what's your name?”

Her response was quick and short, bordering on curt. “Emeline.”

“Um... nice to meet you, Emeline. My name's Raggs.”

“Mm.”

It was silent again. The introductions didn't seem to alleviate the awkward air between them, but they finally knew each other's names. Her replies were gruff and blunt, which did not help the Dragonair learn much about her, other than she wasn't very chatty. Maybe she disliked him? But she wouldn't really have any reason to, would she? It was progress, at least. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. If Raggs was going to travel all the way to Mossy Village with her, he could stand to learn more about her along the way.

“So... um, what guild are you in?”

“Merchant.”

“Oh... uh, I haven't seen you around before, so...”

“I'm new in town.”

“Oh... okay...”

The stars painted the sky now, but the only sight of the moon was a tiny sliver, just barely visible even to those with superb vision. It was darker than a normal night without it, but it was still easy enough to make their way across the grasslands where few obstacles lied. It was hard not to stare at the shining lights above, as there was hardly anything to see on the earth. Without the moon to outshine them, each star seemed especially bright. They seemed to glow just enough to light up the way forward.

“...What guild do you work for?” Emeline suddenly asked after a moment of silence. It was surprising, as it was the first time she'd spoken to Raggs—or perhaps anyone, from what little he knew of her—without being spoken to first.

“Huh? Oh, I forgot to say... I work in the Rescuers Guild,” he answered. Emeline still walked ahead of him, so Raggs moved up to her side where it would be more comfortable to talk—if she was going to start talking, that is. She didn't seem to pay him much mind as he came up on her right.

After a pause, she asked, “Hard work?”

“Oh, yeah. It's about helping Pokemon in danger or in need, not making money and stuff. Er, not that there's anything wrong with what you do...”

“Hm...”

It was quiet again, but when Raggs looked over at the Zigzagoon, she seemed less focused on what lied ahead, as if she were contemplating something. He wanted to ask, but he couldn't be sure if she would answer. So it was only the sounds of her footsteps, his sliding across the grass, and the calm breeze drifting through the night.

“...Hardest work of all, then...” she remarked.

“Um... yeah, you could say that...”

It was still awkward. She seemed to be speaking more, but it was hard to tell what to make of it. Still, Emeline's tone seemed to be softening, in a way. She now sounded noticeably less gruff and abrupt in her responses; there was still a tension between them, but less than there was before.

“I see woods ahead. Mossy Village should be through there, yes?” she suddenly asked. There was only the darkest outline ahead of them, so how she could definitely recognize it as trees was odd.

“Um, I think so. It is this way, so if that is a forest, it's probably in there.”

“Good. This shouldn't take too long, then.”


Mossy Village was definitely mossy, among other things: green, forested, and filled with bugs. A few torches scattered across the small town helped the pair navigate. Retrieving the leather was simple enough; Emeline had brought some letter written by Micle and after showing it to a few insect-like residents, the Merchant and Rescuer were directed to the tanner, and soon enough they had a small stack of leather, which Raggs elected to carry on his back. This left only the moondust as their remaining errand. The pair of Pokemon were directed towards a small clearing in the woods where the Shedinja they sought were said to gather at night.

It was easy enough to find. After a short walk, they came upon it: a fairly large green field with a few gray rocks strewn about it, and above the field floated a nearly silent group of Shedinja. The flying brown Bug-types lazily glided through the air, almost aimlessly. If they noticed the Zigzagoon and Dragonair, they didn't show it.

“How do we get the dust out of them?” Emeline flatly asked as she took the bottle off of her neck and uncorked it, eager to complete their task.

“Uhh... I don't really know,” Raggs stammered. “I've never done something like this before. Maybe we should just ask—“ Before he could finish, Emeline had taken off towards a couple of the Shedinja that were floating close to the ground, leaving the Dragonair behind. Luckily, catching up to her was easy, and all she had done was seat herself beneath quiet bugs, staring at them with an intense focus.

The girl was an odd one.

“...Maybe we should just ask them,” Raggs suggested when it seemed like Emeline wasn't going to do much more than sit there.

“They don't seem talkative,” was her immediate reply. “You could throw me up there and I could catch one. We could shake it out of them.”

“What?! Wouldn't that just make them angry?”

“Likely. But it would also get us what we need quickly.”

“Can we do something else? Something less mean to them?”

“Like what?”

Raggs looked up at the Shedinja, examining them closely. He'd prefer to think of a way to get the moondust from them without doing something as rough as Emeline's idea. The Shedinja seem calm and peaceful, drifting above their heads. As one floated above him, Raggs blinked; it felt a few tiny things had fallen on his face. Shaking it all off and looking back up, he noticed very faint glints trailing behind the strange bug.

“Hey, look! I think that's the dust we need!” he tried to point out to his fuzzy companion. “It looks like it just flakes off of them.”

“Are you sure? I can hardly see them,” she replied, an incredulous look in her eyes as she squinted her eyes in an attempt to see it for herself.

“If you just follow it around with the bottle under it, I bet it'll get filled up in no time.”

Emeline grumbled a bit, clearly not fond of the idea. But she said nothing further. The Zigzagoon lifted the bottle up above her head and began to follow one of the floating Shedinja. Watching a fuzzy raccoon follow around a bug with a bottle above her head and the most serious expression on her face was a silly sight, especially in how she had to match the unpredictable meandering of the bugs. If one floated away, she had to switch to another and follow it, and occasionally she had to clamor over a large rock with bottle in hand to match the Shedinja's trail. Raggs followed her as he needed, trying not to smirk at the comical situation.

Eventually, Emeline stopped and brought the bottle back down. Panting and aching from wandering around the field so much, she took a close look at the small glass jar as Raggs came up to join her. “Do we have enough?” he asked her, peering closely at the bottle himself. She didn't respond, she only sighed wearily, as Raggs could see the bottle was only a little over halfway full. Looking back to her, he saw she was merely staring at the ground now. She said nothing still, but it was clear that she was tired and unhappy with their progress.

“Maybe I can carry the bottle around for a while?” Raggs offered, hoping to lift her spirits back up, but she just shook her head. “No, really. I haven't done much aside from carry around this leather, so it wouldn't be any trouble. C'mon, just let me try.”

“No, I can do it,” she mumbled back to him. “I just need a minute. One minute, and I'll be ready.”

“You've been doing this for a while...are you sure you're fine?”

“I'm fine. I am.”

She was being stubborn, that was clear. Raggs frowned, uncertain as to what he should do. He wanted to help her, but it was hard to help someone who refused it. As he sat next to the dispirited Zigzagoon, wondering what to do next, he heard a soft fluttering above. Looking up, one of the Shedinja was hovering above, staring down at the two. He nudged Emeline to get her attention. The ghostly bug did not budge from his spot over them, matching both of their gazes.

“I think it wants to help now,” Raggs said to Emeline. She looked at him, thinking it over. She gently set the bottle down in the grass beneath the Shedinja, and with an intrigued look on both their faces, the pair backed away a slight distance. The dust trailing from the Shedinja seemed to glitter a bit more than it did before as it gradually fell into the bottle, making it easy to watch it drift down. They were strange Pokemon, silent and seemingly senseless, but one was clearly helping them now, which raised more questions than it answered. But as the bottle filled up, neither Pokemon felt fit to question it. Soon enough, the bottle was full of the odd dust, and Emeline picked up the glass bottle to cork it. Placing it around her neck again, she looked back up to the Shedinja, and after a moment, she gave it a polite bow. It was an unexpected gesture, but Raggs felt right to mimic it alongside her. As if contented, the Shedinja that had helped them turned and floated away, leaving the two ready to return to Tao Village.


The stars glowed just the same as they had when they were traveling towards Mossy Village. With the forest behind them, it was once again just the two Pokemon quietly making their way over grassy hills, side by side. The tiny sliver of the moon still hung above as well, barely noticeable among the tiny lights. Fatigue was setting in, both from the traveling, the work, and the late hour, but they still had to make it back to Tao Village before they could rest.

Emeline still wasn't chatty, but with how weary they were both feeling, it was hard for Raggs to blame her for it. He didn't feel very talkative himself, hefting a small yet surprisingly heavy stack of leather on his back. Why did they need so much leather just to fix Mike's hat? It definitely felt like a lot more than an ordinary hat would need.

“Raggs?” Emeline spoke up, though she still stared ahead.

“Yeah?”

“Have you lived in Tao Village long?”

It was an odd question, but easy enough to answer. “Oh, yeah. I've lived there for a while, way back when I was a Dratini.”

“Hm...”

Another moment of silence between the two as Emeline seemed to mull his response over. He wanted to ask what was on her mind, but before he could, she spoke again. “What is it like?”

“What's it like? Uh...” The answer to that was not so easy to answer. Tao Village was a nice place, but it wasn't without its problems and bad memories. “It's great. I'm glad I live there, and I've met a lot of good Pokemon, so I think Tao's a good place... but...”

“...But?”

“Well... some bad things have happened before...”

“Bad... like this 'time' problem?”

“Er... kind of... A while back, there was this big dragon named Sorbet...”

As they traveled, Raggs recounted the story of Sorbet's rampage through Tao Village to the curious Zigzagoon, who listened quietly and raptly as she learned about the damage done to the village and it's citizens, including Raggs himself, thanks to the machinations of Shade the Zoroark, the same Pokemon who had caused Jasmine's injuries and inadvertently thrown them all into the past.

When he finished the tale, Emeline only nodded her head and said, “I see,” and was quiet yet again, reflecting on all that he had told her. It was difficult to discern her reaction, leaving Raggs wondering if he shouldn't have told her the whole story. She did mention that she was new in Tao Village and clearly didn't know much about it. She looked to be deep in thought, but as usual, it was nearly impossible to read her; had he accidentally convinced her to leave it as soon as they got back to their own time? Would she bail on the Merchants and find somewhere else to live?

“I should apologize.”

Her comment broke that train of thought and brought Raggs' attention back to her. “Apologize for what?” he asked, giving her a bemused look.

“For being worn out so easily back in the forest. I don't usually get tired that quickly. It's just been a long day.”

“That? You don't need to apologize for that, we all get tired. I'm pretty tired too, especially after a weird day like today. Don't worry about it.”

She was definitely an odd one. She refused his help because she was embarrassed about getting tired?

“I'm used to working hard, so I shouldn't be getting slow now. But if you're not feeling well, I'll help carry the leather. I'm feeling better anyway.”

Raggs had to consider her offer. Emeline still sounded sore about herself, so maybe letting her carry some of the weight would help her feel better. It was starting to make him ache a bit as well.

“Sure, just take some off. Thanks, Emeline.”

“Just want to do my share, no need to thank me.”

Disregarding his suggestion of just taking “some,” Emeline hefted half the stack off of him and onto her own, balancing it with ease. Suddenly Raggs felt a lot more comfortable with less weight slowing him down, and Emeline had no trouble keeping pace with him despite her new luggage. It almost looked like she was happy hauling it on her back.

Soon enough, the old version of Tao Village came into sight, a small bunch flickering lights on the horizon sitting below the bright and many lights in the sky.


The nervous Chlora was overjoyed when Emeline and Raggs appeared at her door again. The Sewaddle was quick to take the leather and the moondust and place them wherever she needed them, thanking the two profusely for procuring the materials for her so quickly. “Not many Pokemon would go to Mossy Village and back in a single night! I hope it wasn't much trouble,” she said to them. “I'm going to be busy all night, but if you come back in the morning, I'll have a couple of beaded bracelets ready for you by then. They won't have much moondust in them but it's the least I can do for you!”

With thanks and gratitude all around, Emeline and Raggs departed the tailor shop. Standing in the streets of Old Tao, they faced each other.

“Thank you for your help, Raggs,” she said to him, a slight smile on her face. “I likely would have taken all night if I'd gone alone.”

“You don't need to thank me, I was just doing my share,” he cheerfully replied to her. She seemed a lot different than when he had first met her earlier that night: cool-headed, but not as cold as he thought.

“Well...thank you anyway. I would like to now do my share of sleeping, if that's alright with you. Good night, Raggs.”

“Good night to you, too.”

With their job done, the two Pokemon parted ways to get their well-earned and much-needed rest.

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Artist notes:
Collab with :iconzaka51:'s Team Goldberry! He wrote the story. : D

Here's a rebloggable gif on Tumblr: [link]

I usually don't do collabs too often so I was excited to get another chance to do so. It was great working with Zaka. Go check them out! Do eeet.

Pokemon belongs to Nintendo and its respected parties
:iconelephantfreak:
Elephantfreak Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Gah! your pop-ups are so fun!
Reply
:iconfirkasa:
Firkasa Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks Ele! : D
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