By Terrarian Pony
WARNING: Content of this story may include violence, gore, romance, same gender romance, Pokémon, and references to several video games. If anyone is offended by any of the content listed above, than please turn back now. You have been warned.
Terrarian Pony presents...
Legend tells of nine Eevees, who treated each other like family. Eight of them evolve, and each evolved into something different. The legend says they became heroes of their time, but they wanted more. They wanted to have a place to call their own after death, where they could be together for eternity. They went to a battle mage, who gave nine soul stones for binding, and special stone to create their own pocket dimension. They called it the Garden Stone. The leader, a Sylveon, held the Garden Stone 'til the end. When a soul stone was placed into the Garden Stone, the heroes could visit this pocket dimension whenever they wanted, and after death, their souls would stay forever. But this did not happen the way they expected. Only one soul stone stayed united with Garden Stone, and so only one soul sits in the Eevee Garden, waiting, preying for the day they see their adopted family again.
This story, however, is someone else's story, though closely entwined with the story of the nine souls. Somewhere in the country of Mythrolhia, an Eevee egg is getting ready to hatch in a few days, or hours... it could happen any moment. The egg's colors were brown with a white stripe in the middle, so you could tell that it would be a boy. If it were white with a brown stripe, it would be a girl. It sat in a nice little nest of straw, next to the fireplace. The door to the hatchery room flung open, and a black figure with bright yellow, bioluminescent circles on the head, four legs, two long ears, and around the tail, and crimson, red eyes, came stomping out into the room. Behind her, an angry-looking arcanine followed.
Arcanine:" Like heck you are! That is my egg, too! I played a part in making it!"
The Umbreon turned towards the Arcanine with a glare.
Umbreon:" That was when I thought you were worth it! I've forgiven before, but this time you've gone too far."
Arcanine:" What, you don't trust me, Kara?"
Kara:" No, I don't. You've hurt me more than once, and I forgave you. Even when I found out you cheated on me, I gave you another chance. But you attacked my friend, in front of me. You could have seriously injured her! How could I ever trust you again? This time, I've opened my eyes, Charles. I'm not going to let my son be abused by you."
Kara picked up the egg using the move psychic.
Charles:" I'm not letting you leave with my son!"
He used scratch, and Kara was too slow to react. It hit her leg, which caused her to drop the egg by accident. She managed to use psychic again, just as it hit the ground. A tiny crack formed in the side. Kara gasped in horror. Is it still alive? Will it survive? Would her child turn out normal? Would her child hate her all his life for this? A tear formed in her eye, and she set the egg back in the nest.
After ensuring the safety of her damaged egg, she whipped around and smacked Charles using iron tail. Charles flew into a nearby bookshelf, and it collapsed on him. Wish swiftness, Kara focused psychic again to grab her egg, and pull it next to her as she ran out the door. Charles recovered, and followed her outside, but she was already heading into the forest. Charles breathed a spur of fire in frustration, but gave up and went back inside.
Kara continued to run through the forest. Orino, where she just came from, was far away by now. She had to rest. Just for a minute... if at least just to see if her egg was okay. She examined the tiny crack on the side, and realized it was a bit bigger than she had originally thought. She covered her face with her front paws, and began to cry.
Kara:" Oh... oh no! I'm so... so sorry. This is my fault... I should have left earlier. I should have done something different... I never... Mew please, please don't punish my child like this. It's not his fault, I... I... wha-"
She stopped crying for a moment to listen. She heard a cracking sound, coming from just beneath her nose. The crack was branching out more, and suddenly the egg began to glow brightly. When the light dimmed, Kara gasped at the sight before her. It was... an Eevee. A beautiful male Eevee. But it looked very weak. He looked as though he was having trouble standing... and breathing. The poor child's breathing was very raspy and strained. Kara gasped, instinctively picking him up by his hind mane, and hauling him off to the nearest hospital. She found one in Karma City, a place known for rich Pokémon. Getting him help would be expensive, but if they could help, she would do it without hesitation.
Kara sat nervously in a waiting room, while her new born son was in the emergency room. She was preying to Mew and Arceus that her son would be okay, when a female Audino came in to comfort her. Kara braced herself for what she was about to hear. By her expression, this Audino seemed to be weighing both good news and bad news.
Audino:" The Eevee is yours?"
Kara nodded wordlessly, almost impatiently.
Audino:" I am happy inform you that your son will make a full recovery."
Kara's eyes lit up with hope.
Kara:" Oh... thank you so much... but there's something else... isn't there?"
Audino hesitated for a moment before answering.
Audino:" Well... we were able to get him breathing, but... may I ask, did he just recently hatch?"
Kara:" Y-yes... yes he did."
Audino's frown made Kara very nervous.
Audino:" Your son... he will live, but we took a few X-rays, and... he is missing his bulk-sprite."
Kara:" H-his what? Is that bad?"
Audino:" Oh no... well, not to his health. He is perfectly healthy. He was only temporarily cut off from oxygen. But you see... every Pokémon that is supposed evolve has a part of their brain that tells that how, and when they can evolve. It is called a bulk-sprite. However... his bulk-sprite is... well he doesn't have one. I'm sorry, but your son has been diagnosed with Evo-Negative Syndrome."
Kara:" Wait... so what does all of this mean?"
Audino:" He... he can't evolve."
17 years later...
Cory the Eevee, and Aaron the Fennekin were on their way to Rarity's Pokémon Guild. Rarity, the guild mistress, was a very rich Gardevoir, and very strict about punctuality. Cory and Aaron were always late, which meant they always got smaller jobs, which earned them smaller pay than most members of the guild. If they were lucky, they would at least get a courier job, with an average reward. But even that was hopeful, as most Pokémon would use the Pelipper Express.
Cory and Aaron lived in Karma City, where their mother lived, but they were living out of a separate house on their own.
Aaron wasn't like most Fennekins. In fact, most of his fur was black, with only a few parts colored the normal fennekin-yellow, including his for legs, forepaws, a large splotch on his back, and most of his face. His tail was black where it was usually yellow, and there was red where the dipstick part of his tail was supposed to be a blazing-orange. The same thing was with his right ear, and there was a small spot of black on the his left ear. Some would say he looked like a mix between a Fennekin and a Zorua, but he breathes fire, so he is indeed a Fennekin. His eyes were a sparkling purple, and he wore a purple bow tie that held his Guild Badge. Cory wore his badge on the red scarf he wore around his neck.
Cory:" Aw man. Late again."
Aaron:" I told you not to sleep in too late."
Cory:" Why didn't you wake me?"
Aaron:" I tried, but you were deep under. You have to learn to wake up on your own. The only person who can really do that... is you."
Cory folded his ears and thought on that for a moment. It had occurred to him that he should really be as dedicated to being on time, as he was at doing the job. Despite their constant tardiness, Cory and Aaron were one of the most hard working Pokémon Exploration teams in the guild. Cory and Aaron were known as Team Everstone, which started out as a joke because of Cory's Evo-Negative Syndrome, but they decided to go with it anyways.
Cory:" I know. Maybe I'll should set the alarm on my PokéHowler."
Mienfoo:" Late for the job again, I see. Did wittle Eevee need his nap time?"
A white and blue Mienfoo named Zach was walking towards them. This was the leader of Team Mischief. To his left, was a Zorua named Loki, and to his right, a Shuppet named Boo. Given their uncanny nature, they were denied as members of Rarity's guild. Instead, they made up their own independent Rescue Team, and have been the town bullies ever since. Zach and his team made fun of Cory's condition on several occasions.
Cory:" Get lost, Zach. We don't need to deal with you right now."
Loki:" I think you are confused about who should... get lost."
Zach:" It's funny how someone who is supposed evolve into one of eight Pokémon, can't evolve."
Cory:" Shut up!"
Boo:" Ooooh... It looks like yoooouuuu upset him. Hehehe."
Aaron:" Come on, Cory. Let's not let them antagonize us."
Zach:" I always knew the fox was a coward."
Aaron:" Just walk past them. We're already late."
Cory:" Fine, but I still don't like them."
Cory looked at the job board. As expected, there wasn't anything that paid much, which was a big deal, since for every job they did, they had pay the guild a 10% tax, just like every other guild, in order to keep the guild running. Rarity's guild was barely standing on its feat these days, so Cory and Aaron would normally choose two or three jobs a day, weather they took place in the same area or not.
Aaron:" How 'bout this one? Bring the client to the locked door?"
Cory:" You know don't like letting clients come along on our missions."
Aaron:" Okay, how about... retrieve the precious item?"
Cory:" Sure... 130 Poké to find a brooch that some other Pokémon lost in a dungeon. If you don't want to lose it, don't take it with you."
Aaron:" Okay... this one. 'Find my secret hideout'."
Cory:" Oh no. Last time we took one of those missions, the client ditched us, and it turned out to be a monster house. Now I like a challenge, but getting ambushed in a dungeon is not my slice of oran berry pie."
Aaron:" They don't always end up being a monster house."
Cory:" If someone says 'hey meet me at my secret base, in the middle of a mysterious underground dungeon' you say no."
Aaron:" Well, we can't just skip work today. We got to do something to earn our pay."
Suddenly, Cory's PokéHowler started buzzing. He pulled it out to see who was calling. It was Izzy the Buizel, who happened to be the town librarian/historical researcher. She was also a good friend to Cory and Aaron, so he answered the call.
Izzy:" CORY, YOU'VE GOTTA COME QUICK! I HAVE A JOB THAT IS JUST YOUR SLICE OF ORAN BERRY PIE! BRING AARON, TOO!"
Cory:" Wait, Izzy slo-..."
But before he could even process what she said, she hung up.
Cory:" O... kay."
Aaron:" That's Izzy for ya. She said she had a job for us. Let's be there before Lady Rarity comes down on us for lallygagging. C'mon."
As they entered the library, they saw plenty of Pokémon reading books, from history, to fairytales, to horror fiction... Izzy kept her library neat and tidy, and organized. Despite her craving for historical knowledge, her favorite books are make believe. Izzy wasn't at the front desk, which meant she was in her secret room she refers to as "The Restricted Section", where she conducted all of her research on powerful historical artifacts. This is where they would meet her if it was something she thought was best kept secret, which was most of the time. She didn't want other treasure hunters getting wind of her findings. The Restricted Section, was hidden behind code protected door, which was hidden behind a vault door, which was hidden behind a large bookshelf.
The code was 646290. Izzy only trusted a select few with the location her Restricted Section, and the code. The Restricted Section was a circular room, with many bookshelves, aligned with books about special potions, spells, and a nearly complete series of "Commentaries of the Book of Blood". Cory tried not to think about most of the books in this secret library, especially ones with titles like that.
Izzy:" I found it!"
A female Buizel, with a shiny, yellow coat, and a silver floatation sac, in the middle of the room was squealing in delight. Her face was sparkling with enthusiasm. Her eyes were a deep green, the fur on her head was long enough to cover her right eye, and she had a tourniquet wrapped around her left arm to let others know that she meant business. She was sitting at a desk, surrounded by tables of experimental equipment, from potions, to smithing tools, to strange plants and etc. that neither them did not dare to ask about. She even had a small spot set up for art.
Aaron:" Found what, exactly?"
Izzy got up from her seat in excitement, holding a book in her paws.
Izzy:" Finally... after all these years of research, I've finally located... wait for it... the Garden Stone!"
Cory:" Izzy... if your looking for a stone in a garden, you can check Mister Finch's garden. He has plenty."
Izzy gave him a bemused expression.
Izzy:" This stone doesn't come from a garden, it created the Garden."
Cory:" What garden are we talking about exactly?"
Izzy:" I'm surprised that you haven't heard of the tale of the Garden Stone, given that you are an Eevee."
Aaron:" What do you mean?"
Izzy:" There is a legend... nine Eevees were adopted from different families. They all grew up to be heroes of their time, living under the same roof. The legend says wanted to ensure that they'd stay together after death, so they talked to a battle mage, who gave them nine soul stones, a special stone to create their own pocket dimension. This special stone was called the Garden Stone, and the pocket dimension was called the Eevee Garden."
Cory:" What's a soul stone?"
Izzy:" A soul stone is a stone used to steal the soul of a Pokémon after binding the soul to the stone. The intended purpose was to make the Pokémon who stole their soul more powerful. However, soul stones were also used to help communicate with loved ones after death, and as long as two soul stones are within a certain a certain proximity of each other, they were able to be together while their souls were trapped."
Aaron:" So this Garden Stone... was a way to create their own dimension, where they could live together? And it can hold all of the soul stones at the same time?"
Izzy:" Yup! And I've finally found the location. I used to think that it would be buried somewhere difficult to find, but then I thought about it a different way. What if... instead of looking for the stone, I look for the house the nine Eevees grew up in? And I found it!"
Cory:" So, you want us to go look for it... based on a theory?"
Izzy:" I-I know it's a long shot, I have a good feeling about this! If you don't find the Garden Stone, then maybe you'll find evidence of where to find it."
Izzy made pleading face at them.
Izzy:" Also... you guys are my bestest friends in the world?"
Cory and Aaron looked at each other, grinned, and looked back at Izzy.
Cory:" Alright, but only if you come along with us this time."
Izzy squealed again.
Izzy:" I'm going to grab my ADVENTURE KIT!"
Izzy bolted to a chest in a corner of the room. Aaron crossed his arms with a small smile.
Aaron:" I thought you didn't like bringing clients on missions."
Cory:" I don't. But this is Izzy we're talking about. We both know her, and we know she can handle her own."
Aaron:" Fair enough."
Cory:" Hey Izzy, you're also going to need one of these badges."
Cory pulled out a guild-issued badge, and gave it to Izzy.
Cory:" So where are we headed?"
Izzy:" We're going to have to go through Haunted Hallows to get there."
Aaron:" Sounds dangerous."
Cory:" Can't wait."
Haunted Hollows was of course filled with ghost/grass type Pokémon. Phantump and Pumkaboo were very common here. If Cory didn't know Shadow Ball and Bite, he would be totally useless in this dungeon. It also helped that Aaron was a fire type. Half a minute ago, Cory had accidentally stepped on a summon trap, which summoned three very eerie-looking Phantump, and a Gourgiest. The team made easy work, but Aaron laughed at Cory about "watching his step".
Cory:" Yeah, yeah. I know. It's not like I meant trigger the trap or anything. It's just... these things are buried beneath the floor. How was I supposed to see it?"
Aaron:" I suppose we should be grateful it wasn't an explode trap."
Cory:" That was ONE time."
Aaron:" Haha. Hey, hey. I'm just teasing ya, bro."
Cory and Aaron had been living in the same house with Cory's mother for a long time. Aaron was Cory's adopted brother. Aaron was found by Kara as a feral Pokémon, outside of Karma City when he was real young. This was also forbidden, because wild Pokémon were not allowed in Karma City. It is believed in most "civilized" settlements, that it is taboo to accept any Pokémon who was born outside of city borders. Therefore, once they were born, they were born as one of two things: Civilized, or feral. Aaron is technically in the "feral" category, despite his ability to be rational. But Kara still wanted to save him before he became dinner for some desperate wild Pokémon, so she brought him into the city, and called in a few favors, and was able to gain forged documents for the poor Fennekin.
Cory grunted and Izzy and Aaron chuckled a little. Izzy also knew Aaron was feral as well, but she was one of the only few who didn't mind. Izzy had even raised a protest once about how Feral Pokémon should be allowed within the city, at least by legal means, and she even petitioned. Sadly, her petition wasn't even considered by most of the residents.
They were close to the end of the dungeon before they found what they were looking for. This particular dungeon wasn't very big, but it did have some challenges for weaker Pokémon. A horde of Lampent was one of them, but thanks to Izzy...
A good Water Gun handled the problem with ease.
Cory:" Whoa! Nice shot Iz. You've got good aim for a Buizel with only one eye."
Izzy crossed her arms in a pout.
Izzy:" For your information I happen to like my fur covering half my vision. If I ever have to see in the dark, I could just switch it over to the other side."
Aaron:" Smart. I've that's why pirates wore eyepatches."
Cory:" Really? I thought it meant they were missing an eye."
The home of the nine Eevees was big, and ruined. It was an impressive mansion, emphasis on "was". Now vines snaked down the walls, and overgrown flowers bloomed in the windows. There were cracks here and there, and a few broken windows as well. Time has not been kind to the poor house.
Izzy:" This is the place."
Aaron:" How can you tell?"
Izzy:" One, it's the only house within miles, and two, my sources are very reliable."
Heading inside, the door was nearly rusted shut, but with a iron tail from Cory, the door opened. The first thing they noticed upon entry, was the crashed chandelier in the middle of the floor. There were two sets of stairs going up to a balcony that overlooked the mansion entrance. Beneath the balcony, was an entrance to what seemed to be a living room. On either side of the stairs, were two other hallways. Izzy ran ahead in fascination.
Cory:" Careful Iz. There could be more ghost Pokémon."
Izzy:" Oh sure... or maybe reeeaal ghosts. WooOoooh. Hehehe."
Aaron:" You worry too much. There's nothing here."
Cory:" You never know."
Aaron:" Don't tell me you're afraid."
Cory:" No. I'm just being cautious."
Izzy:" Cory being cautious? *Gasp*"
Izzy put her paws to her cheeks, pretending to be frightened.
Izzy:" It's the end of the world, Aaron!"
Aaron and Izzy both laughed.
Cory:" Okay... haha. Very funny guys. Well look, if an old, wooden beam crashes on your head, don't say I didn't say nothin'."
Aaron:" How is it that we're the rational ones in this situation?"
Cory rolled his eyes.
Cory:" I'm going to check upstairs."
Aaron:" Need me to come with you and hold your paw?"
Cory gave him a pouty look, and Aaron snickered.
Aaron:" I'll check living room."
Izzy:" I'll check the kitchen!"
Cory:" You realize we brought food... right?"
Izzy:" Oh... uh... I knew that."
Upstairs, there seemed to be a whole bunch of bedrooms, all with names carved into gold plaques beside the rooms, three rooms on each side of the hall. The rooms to the left, in order were labeled "Cherry and Iris", "Terrance and Lucy", and "Greed, Jason, and Eleanor". On the right, was "Sheapard and Rose", "July and Markus" , and the last one was labeled "Guests". It seemed to be there weren't many qualms with males and females sleeping in the same rooms together.
Going into the room labeled "Cherry and Iris", there were two beds: one with pink and white sheets on the left, one with light blue sheets on the right, a large assortment of books on the side with the pink and white bed that Izzy would be foaming at the mouth to see, and on the side with the light blue bed...
Cory: I have never seen so much ice in one corner of a bedroom before. Maybe these two didn't get along, and one of them was a Glaceon... who marks her territory with ice.
Aaron:" Whoa. What an ice display, am I right?"
Cory was surprised to see Aaron behind him.
Cory:" Sweet Mew, you startled me. And that pun was so bad."
Aaron:" I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a better one."
Cory:" I don't. I'm trying to focus on not having a heart attack, not writing jokes."
Aaron:" Well, don't knock my jokes if you don't even have one."
Cory closed the door, and moved on to Terrance and Lucy's bedroom. On the left was a bed with green sheets, and laying on top was a small Eevee plush. On the right, was a bed with silver sheets. Cory wondered who it belonged to. In between was a night stand with a lamp. Heading over to the green bed, Cory examined the Eevee plush.
Aaron:" Daaaaw. He looks just like you."
Cory opened his mouth to say something, but he felt an overwhelming sadness, holding plush toy in his paws. The left ear seemed to have been slightly torn, and stitched. On the plush's right forepaw, written very carefully in such a small space "Love~ from Cherry", and on the left forepaw "To best brother, Terrance". Cory hugged the tiny plush close, a single tear rolling down his cheek.
Aaron:" C-cory? Are you... alright?"
Cory:" I think I should take this... it just feels right for some reason. I think it really meant a lot to someone."
Aaron:" O-oh. Uh, I won't judge. I'm sure someone would really appreciate you taking care of it."
The Eevee plush was big, but small enough to fit into Cory's bag. He was going to take care of it. Whoever Terrance was, Cory could feel nothing but tearful nights radiating from the toy.
Now knowing that this bed belonged to Terrance, he could deduce that the silver bed belonged to Lucy. He inspected the bed, and eventually checked under the pillow. Underneath the pillow was a key. A key to what? But checking the nightstand drawer, there seemed to be some sort of diary, which was locked.
Cory:" I wander who puts a lock on a diary."
Aaron:" Someone who wants to keep their secrets hidden from prying eyes."
Cory unlocked the diary, and opened it. He began to read aloud the diary entries.
Entry 1: Dear Diary...
I'm writing these entries because I'm scared. I'm always scared. I wish everyone would stop looking at me all the time when I walk into a room. I wish I could bury myself in a hole, and just keep digging until I find my safe place. The orphanage lady is mean. Not as mean as daddy was, but still... I want a real home. I want a real family. I want mommy to hug me again. I miss mommy every day. I know she is still here with me... but I can't help but feel sad.
Entry 2: Horrible Nightmares...
The orphanage is terrible. Almost as terrible as miss Carrie. I keep having these terrible nightmares, and I can't sleep, or they'll get me. Miss Carrie scolds me for halving my chores, but I'm just so tired. I want a home. A real home...
Entry 3: New Family...
I was adopted a couple weeks ago... with eight other Eevees. One of them... Terrance, was real nice to me. I told him about the orphanage I was held in, and he hugged me. I told him that I was a little scared to meet everyone, but he told me that everything was going to be okay. He said that it's okay to be sad and scared. He even hugged me, just because. July and Markus are great parents. They feed us, train us, and care for us. I love them, but... I wish mommy was here.
Entry 4: Iris' Temper...
Iris was throwing another tantrum today. She's always screaming about something or other. I wasnted to be scared, but Terrance was there to comfort me. I think he was scared, too. He doesn't like conflict.
Entry 5: A Mistake...
It was a mistake to walk in on her. Iris almost hit me with an ice shard. She tried to apologize, but I was too scared to face her. I don't think I want to go near her anymore.
Entry 6: They're gone...
July and Markus are gone. We don't know why, but they were killed. It was only luck that none of our adopted siblings got hurt. Cherry was the one who scared off the attackers. She was also the one to watch our adoptive parents be killed. She blames herself. Says she wasn't fast enough. But there was nothing she could have done. But she saved the rest of us. If it wasn't for her... we'd all end up like July and Markus. They were good to us, but now they're gone.
Entry 7: Magic?
Cherry said she never wanted to lose us... so she found a Pokémon who gave her a magic stone, and a bunch of soul stones. This is crazy. She actually wants to bind us all. I guess, after July and Markus... Maybe she's hoping that she can keep us all together, even if one us meets death. It sounds insane, but... I'm considering it. And so are the others.
Entry 8: Greed...
Greed hasn't come back. We don't know where he went or why. Iris keeps saying he is dead, but I can't think about that. I really hope he is okay.
Entry 9: Sad Day...
Everyone is mourning over Mariner. Jason died in such a terrible way. Burned alive... in lava. Eleanor couldn't bare to hear his cries of pain, so she zapped him. Gave him mercy. It's not fair. If only Greed was here, we could have retrieved Mariner's soul stone. Where are you Greed?
Entry 10: Where's Shepard and Rose?
Shepard and Rose are nowhere to be found. We fear the worst. Eleanor still hasn't forgave herself for what she did to Mariner. Cherry tried to tell her that if she didn't, he would have died suffering. The truth is... his death was because of her lightning. She keeps saying she doesn't deserve to be part of this family. That's ridiculous. She did the right thing. I wish she could see that.
Entry 11: Some Help...
A private investigator said he would help find out what happened to Dusk, Fate, and Greed. I really hope they're okay. Frost is getting really upset again. Not only did she set her side of her room afrost... she also froze the oven shut. I don't blame Iris for being so tempered in these times, but I'm sure everything will turn out okay in the end. and we can get Mariner back as soon as we find Greed... right?
The entries stopped there. Cory couldn't help, but to cry a little. Aaron held onto him as comfort.
Cory: *Sniff* "What happened to these Eevees? It's like... *sniff* like they just vanished."
Aaron wrapped his forelegs around Cory in a comforting hug as Cory began to sob loudly.
Aaron:" Hey hey. It's okay... Maybe you should let me do the reading from now on. Okay?"
Cory: *Hick, sniff* "O-okay."
Just then Izzy came in.
Izzy:" Aw. What's the matter? Did something happen?"
Aaron:" I think the secrets of this place are... a little too much Cory to handle. Why don't sit outside? We'll scope the rest of the place out... 'kay?"
Cory wiped away his tear.
Cory:" N-no! I mean... I want to stay. I want us to look for the Garden Stone together..."
Izzy:" Aw. Poor guy. C'mere."
Izzy picked up Cory, and hugged him tight, but he was comfortable with it. Cory was never good with sad stories. He had always been so sentimental. Izzy gently placed the Eevee back on the ground.
Izzy:" Hey, I... I th I may have found something, but I think it needs to be opened by an Eevee."
Cory wiped the tears from his eyes one last time before nodding.
Cory:" O-okay. I'll be there in just a moment."
Aaron gave Cory a tight, brotherly hug for support. Aaron may make fun of Cory sometimes, but the reason he cared about Cory so much was because of his sentimentality. The fact that Cory had the heart to cry for those who have been lost, or have lost. He liked that Cory would actively go out of his own way, and do anything to help others, even if it cost him and eye and a limb. He also worried, though that Cory might some day risk his life to do something impossible, just to help someone else. That's who Cory was. Brave, naive, and overall, determined to make the world a better place."
Aaron:" Someday you'll learn that there are some things that are just out of your paws. It's not like we go back and save them, so we should make do with what is happening now."
Cory sniffed again before nodding, slowly.
Izzy brought them to a fireplace in the living room. In this room, there were chairs for everyone in the family, and a large table in the middle. Cory wandered sadly if it was a meeting table, or a party table. Meh... why not both? It was odd that the fireplace seemed recently lit. Overhead of the fireplace was a painting of every member of the family. A Sylveon, a Glaceon, a silver Eevee, two Leafeons, one young and one elderly, two Espeons, one young and one elderly, a Vaporeon, a Flareon, and a Jolteon. They all look happy in this picture.
Cory: Because they were together... as a family.
All of this made Cory want to go home and hug his mother and never let go. On top of the fireplace was a small, brown bag with something inside. Izzy, the curious Buizel that she was, took the bag, and looked inside, gasped loudly, then threw the bag into the fire.
Cory:" What? What was in it?"
Izzy:" You really don't want to know."
Aaron:" The fact that you say we don't want to know, makes us want to know even more."
Izzy:" Have you ever heard of a hex bag?"
Cory and Aaron both shook their heads.
Izzy:" They are basically spells made with witchcraft ingredients. I don't know what that spell was for, but there is a chance that it was meant to kill someone in this room."
Cory:" Oh... then it's a good thing you burned it, right?"
Izzy:" Trust me... I more than saved your hides."
Cory:" So what did you want to show us?"
Izzy pointed at an emblem in the fireplace, that took shape of an Eevee paw.
Izzy:" I think that opens this fireplace like some sort of secret door."
Aaron:" You realize we aren't in one of your fairytales, right?"
Izzy:" Just try... for me?"
Cory rolled his eyes and walked over to the fireplace. He placed his paw on the tiny emblem. There was a click sound, and the fireplace began to open up into a secret room. Heading into the room, it was empty, except for what seemed to be a shrine in the back of the room.
Cory looked up at the shrine, knowing by now exactly what he would find. This... was a family shrine. Portraits of each sibling, each labeled by names, and nicknames if that had one. Lucy the silver Eevee, Jason/Mariner the Vaporeon, Iris/Frost the Glaceon, Eleanor the Jolteon, Terrance the Leafeon, Shepard/Dusk the Umbreon, and Rose/Fate the Espeon, both in the same portrait, Greed the Flareon, and finally Cherry the Sylveon. There were two more portraits in the back of the shrine. Markus the Espeon, and July the Leafeon. These were their caretakers... before they died.
Cory:" That's so sad. They all lost each other."
Izzy:" That's not right..."
Izzy walked up the shrine, inspecting it. In between all of the portraits, was a circular slab of stone, with nine round slots in it, and in the middle of the slab, was a carved shape of an Eevee head. In one of the slots, was a pink-glowing pearl-like object.
Izzy:" That's not right at all!"
Aaron:" What is it?"
Izzy:" There is supposed to be nine soul stones! Where are the other eight!?"
???:" Lost somewhere you'll never find them!!!"
The voice came from outside the shrine room. Coming into the room was a large, purple spiral, with green spots all over. The face was green as well, and the form was being held by some sort of stone.
Spiritomb:" So... you thought you could hide yourself here, did you? It doesn't make any difference. I already found what I am looking for. Now I only want you."
Cory:" Wha- who the heck are you?"
Spiritomb:" Now what do we have here? Hehehe... I suppose I should thank you for helping me locate the Garden Stone. Give it to me now, and I will pay you handsomely for this find."
Izzy:" Oh no you don't! The Garden Stone is not for you to profit from! It belongs in a museum!"
Spiritomb:" What... so it can sit on display? Collecting dust?"
Cory:" Well what do you need it for?"
Spiritomb:" I have... other uses for such an artifact. But after I am done with it, you can do whatever you want with it. There is no need to die over a silly stone."
Izzy:" This is OUR find! We deserve this! This entire place has historical value!"
Spiritomb:" History has no value. No matter what Pokémon know that happens in the past, they still keep on making the same mistakes. Go on, little Eevee. Give me the stone. I assure you... you do not want to test my wrath."
Cory:" Um... Iz? Is this stone really worth dying over?"
Aaron:" It's one against three. I'd say the odds are in favor."
Cory:" Right. Have you ever done an alliance attack, Izzy?"
Izzy:" No, but I always wanted too!"
Cory:" Then let's start with that!"
They began to surround Spiritomb on all sides. All three of them began radiating power, as if coming into perfect synch with other. Cory used Shadow Ball, Izzy used Water Gun, and Aaron used flamethrower. Each move hit their mark at the exact same time, causing a large shadowy smoke to appear. Once it cleared, the Spiritomb was nowhere to be seen.
Spiritomb:" So predictable. No strategy. Hasn't anyone ever told you... never make the first move, and don't get hit.
Suddenly, Izzy's shadow began to grow.
Cory:" Izzy! Your shadow!"
Izzy looked at her shadow, and Spiritomb came out and attacked her with Shadow Sneak, injuring her badly.
Spiritomb then used Shadow Ball on Aaron, knocking him into the wall. Cory tried to use Shadow Ball himself, but was hit first with a Dark Pulse that knocked him all the way back towards the shrine. Aaron tried to use Ember, but the Spiritomb used Psychic to hold him against the wall, crushing Aaron with only the shear force of his mind. Aaron was in trouble. Cory had to figure something out. Suddenly, he heard a another voice.
???:" Here! Over here!"
He looked around, frantically.
???:" Touch the Garden Stone! Hurry! You wanna save your friend, don't you?"
Cory looked towards the stone and reached for it. And then everything turned white.
Cory felt totally different. He seemed taller, and he was walking differently, too. Actually, he wasn't even sure he was the one walking. He was just along for the ride. But he didn't understand why. The host walking him extended a pale-white-colored leg, with a pink-colored paw, towards the same fireplace they came in through? Wait a minute. Was this a Sylveon? He... Oh, she... seemed sad. Lonely, and very sad. The fireplace opened to the same secret room.
???:" Mistress Cherry?"
Cherry? Was he living a memory of Cherry the Sylveon? She turned to see a Lopunny, who seemed to be worried for the Sylveon.
Lopunny:" A-are you absolutely sure you want to do this? You'll be all alone. You do know this will not bring them back."
A tear rolled down Cherry's face.
Cherry:" All I ever wanted was to do right by the family who loved me. And I failed them. This is on me. I have to do this, Lola."
Lola:" I wish you would reconsider, miss. You've been so kind to me as a servant of your house."
Cherry:" You are free, Lola. You will no longer have to deal with me, anymore."
Lola:" I... I don't want to be free, mistress. I have a home because of you."
Cherry paused for a moment. She walked over to the living room table, lifted the carpet underneath, and began to tear at the floor board. Underneath was a dozen bags, filled with gold coins. Cherry lifted them up, and walked over to Lola.
Cherry:" I want you take it. All of it. And I want you to find a home that suits you."
Lola looked absolutely frustrated now.
Lola:" B-but...! Yo- you can't..."
Tears began to form in the Lopunny's eyes. Cherry raised one of her feelers to Lola, brushing her cheek. She looked her in the eyes with a sad expression.
Cherry:" I am happy to have such a loyal servant. But it is time to let go. For both of us."
Lola wiped away tears.
Lola:" I-I will miss you. A-and I do hope someday... someday you'll find your siblings. May I at least bury you?"
Cherry:" I would appreciate that. Thank you."
Cory: Bury? Wait! Cherry, no! Don't do it!
Cherry went in, leaving the fireplace wide open.
Cherry:" If anyone happens to find me... and see this last memory of mine... no matter what happens to me in my soul stone, make sure to remind me of my real mission. To find my family, and unite us the way I did before. Whoever I become... remind me that I... we are nothing without the ones we love."
Cory: It's as if she's talking directly to me. Oh... because she is. But why? Why would she do this?
She walked over to the shrine, placing one of her feelers onto it, looking at all of her brothers and sisters.
Cherry:" I know you are wandering why I am doing what I'm about to do. I've been looking for my adopted siblings for a long time. They might be dead... they might not. But if I could find their soul stones... then I can still see them. Talk to them... I just want to feel their hugs, hear their voices. Even if Mariner's jokes were a little annoying, even if Iris was a hothead, I still saw them all as family. And all I want is to find them. I love them... more than they will ever know."
Cory felt Cherry pick something up with feelers, and seconds later, he felt a stab of pain. Cherry had stabbed herself, tears hitting the floor at a rapid pace. Fresh blood began to flow from her mouth.
Cherry:" Please... remind me..."
Cory felt Cherry's body hit the ground hard, and everything went red, and then to black.
Cory was back in the present, and it seemed that whatever that memory was, it had flashed for only a second. But something was off. He was still a Sylveon. Did he evolve? No, he was still not in control of himself. Aaron was still being crushed into the wall, and Izzy could barely move, even though she was trying.
Cherry:" Hey! Why can't you take a hint, moron!?"
Cory's voice was high-pitched, as if he was Cherry. Spiritomb released Aaron, causing him to fall to the floor, coughing and spitting.
Spiritomb:" Ah... so you've touched the Garden Stone. Not a smart move on my part, I suppose."
Cherry:" You. Are. MINE THIS TIME!"
Cherry used Moon Blast, and Spiritomb was knocked away. Spiritomb turned into a cloud of smoke and whisked away. Izzy and Aaron both looked up at Cory... or was he Cherry now?
Aaron:" Cory... y-you did it..."
Cherry:" Yeah... f-for now..."
Aaron:" Cory? Are you... CORY!"
Cory and Cherry's vision began to get blurry, and they both tipped over from exhaustion. Everything went black.
To be continued...