Making their way through the village, Chris eventually managed to find his way toward the exit that led to the path that would guide them toward and through the nearby mountains lining the valley like a great wall between Frola Village and the town beyond, where the upcoming Aurora Festival awaited the group. Once they went past the exit and made a little distance, Chris stopped the carriage for a moment, looking back at the village and the sea shimmering just past it. "We're finally on our own again... Been a long time." he muttered, Serenity and Rose tilting their heads before looking back as well. "Is something the matter?" Alicia asked from within the carriage. "No, just reflecting on some stuff." Chris assured. "It's weird, ya' know? For so long we've been surrounded by tons of people. Feels like its been forever since it was just us by ourselves. After being in the city for so long, then living on the ship for a while, seeing so many back in that village... It's weird, yet at the same time refreshing to finally have some open space without a bunch of noise around us, don't you think?" Chris asked. Looking around, Serenity nodded with a smirk and leaned back with a sigh. "No humans, this just the ticket. Was getting sick of them, more than usual. You should thank me for putting up with!" she point out. "Y-Yeah, you did good." Chris praised with a nervous laugh before looking toward the ocean. "You did really well, actually... You amazed me back then." he added, making the Pokemon raise a curious eyebrow. "Back when? What mean?" she asked while sitting up, only to freeze when Chris gave her a kiss on the cheek. "When you helped em' all back on the ship. Even if it was just because I wanted it, I really mean it when I say I'm proud of you. Thanks for being so amazing, Serenity... You were so awesome." he praised, making her blink in surprise before a flush spread across her face.
"I-I tell you doing that not fair! Can't react right!" she snapped, quickly trying to shake the redness out of her face. "Kissing out of nowhere. You always play dirty." she scowled. "I'm sorry." Chris chuckled, putting a hand on her shoulder. "You did behave. And not only did you save everyone on the ship, but I'm also proud of the way you acted toward those kids back in the hospital. You're a really sweet girl Serenity, and I'm a lucky guy to have ya' with me." he smiled, making the Pokemon seemingly glow before facing away and giving Chris a nudge. "Y-You okay too. Lucky to have you." she replied, fidgeting shyly as he grinned. Stepping out of the seat, Chris stretched before walking up to the Rapidash, giving it a pet along its side. "Thanks for taking on the job of guiding my family through the valley. Sorry it was kinda thrown on you like this, but I really do appreciate what you're doing. You're making the trek a lot more convenient, and thanks to the carriage I can feel a lot better about having Alicia here too, so even though you're just pulling us along, believe me when I say it's a huge help. I'll keep ya' fed well and as comfortable as I can make ya' during the night. The least I can do is keep you out of the elements!" Chris assured, the Rapidash glancing at him and giving a nod in response. Heading back to the carriage, Chris went to the door and gave it a tap. "I know you uh, just kinda started talking to me again, but do you mind if I ask for just a little more attention from ya'?" he called out. "You want me to slither into the cold again? It's not another trinket is it?" the snake asked, looking out the door's window. "I appreciate the thought but I'd prefer it wait if so..." she added. "I promise it's not anything like that again. I just want to talk to you a minute, the two of us, before we get going." he assured.
Nodding, the snake pulled her head back, fixing the collar back around her neck before letting Chris open the door, allowing her to join him at his side. "What did you want to say?" Alicia asked, looking down at him with a raised eyebrow. "You'll know soon enough. Follow me." he coaxed with a smile, closing the door before heading off. "We come too?" Serenity asked, leaning over the seat and looking back curiously. "Not this time. Just wait there for me." Chris smiled, making the Pokemon let out a whiny groan. "Wait agaaaiiin?" she asked. "It won't take long! I promise." he assured with a wave, asking the Pokemon to expand her psychic range before guiding Alicia toward a nearby hill overlooking the village. "How far are we going exactly?" the snake asked as they reached the top. "This is it. I thought it would be a good place to talk." Chris smiled as they stood together and looked around, with Chris giving Serenity a wave and an O-K sign with his hand. "Okay then, do tell, what's on your mind?" she asked, looking down at him. "Please say it's not about last..." she began, only for Chris to cut her off with a hand up, shaking his head. "Tell me, wadaya see?" he asked. "Uhh..." she muttered, giving him a puzzled look before hovering her gaze around them. "The village? Not much to see asides that, trees, and the mountains." she point out. "Focus on the village." Chris instructed, making the snake return her gaze to the countless buildings. "What am I supposed to be focusing on?" she asked, tilting her head. "What do you see just beyond the buildings?" he asked, pointing toward the horizon. "The only thing past them is the ocean." Alicia replied, squinting her eyes as she looked at the sun reflecting brightly off the water.
"Good... Just keep looking at the ocean." he instructed, getting a nod from the snake as she looked at the sparkling surface, dotted with bergs and sheets of ice drifting about. "Way back, I told you about how your eyes were so intimidating it reminded me of watching the sunset on the edge of a cliff... Remember?" Chris began, making Alicia jolt. "Yes?" she asked with a slight scowl, still sensitive about her eyes. "Well, whenever you look at the ocean, your eyes have a different beauty going on. It's like, instead of being intense, they have a gentle look. Softer and more delicate in a way..." he point out. "Softer?" the snake asked, unsure of how she felt about the phrasing. "Most of the time, you're intense, intimidating. All sophisticated and stuff. Distant in a way. But sometimes, now and then, there's an entirely different side of you hidden deep down." he point out. "When you look at the ocean, I see that other side of you reflected through your eyes. I see a girl who's as gentle as the waves on the shore. Looking at your eyes now, it's like watching the same sunset as before, only now, instead of a cliff, your eyes take me to a beach somewhere far away, where it's warm, someplace peaceful, quiet..." he point out, looking at the ocean himself. "Your eyes tell an amazing story about yourself Alicia... And depending on where your gaze is focused, it's like a book flips its own pages and decides what I should read. Usually your eyes tell me a story about your willpower, about how invincible you seem to be, about how much you've grown. But with the ocean reflecting in your eyes, they tell me a somber story about a girl who's not invincible, a girl who just wants to escape, to forget, yet still find love, and be loved..." he point out, making Alicia face him curiously.
"It's that side of you I really hold near and dear, and it's a side of you I'm thankful to experience whenever I can. When you were acting the way you were today, it reminded me you're not as different as you or I thought. You're strong in a lot of ways, but when it comes to love, to relationships, that's still a delicate ground for you. It crumbles easily. A wrong step and it's like everything wants to fall apart..." he point out, making the snake glance away with a scowl. "I'm not weak." she replied. "Is it really wrong to be weak? At least sometimes?" Chris asked with a smile. "I want you to be strong, to harden you on the outside so you're never hurt by anyone and can stand up to the best of em'. I want to wipe away your fears of any challenge, no matter what it may be. I want you to always hold your head high and proud..." he point out before facing her. "But when it comes to love, to us, I don't mind if you're sensitive. I don't mind if there's a weakness there. I don't want your heart to harden to the point nothing between us or the others affects you." he affirmed. "I cherish what we have. The way you reacted toward me today... It scared me, it hurt, but at the same time, it reassured me too. Somewhere deep down, that scared, delicate little Snivy that I cradled is still tucked away." he chuckled, making Alicia blush slightly. "I don't understand this..." she muttered, glancing away as he reached out and placed his hand against her chest making the snake jolt. "The point is, the way you acted today is just another part of you that I love and cherish, and there's no reason to feel bad or be ashamed of it. It's that simple." he assured. "The girls tried to convince you otherwise, and even though I appreciate them sticking up for me..." he paused, rubbing his hand along her chest.
"I appreciate you sticking to how you felt too. I don't want you to be desensitized to things that bother you. A great relationship is one where things affect you in different ways. Not having any response to stuff, not caring... I think a relationship like that would hurt me way more than one where you never cared about anything, where no matter what I did you just wouldn't care." he affirmed, facing down before looking up with a smile. "Thanks for getting mad and putting me in my place Alicia!" he grinned, making the snakes eyes widen in surprise as a blush spread across her face. "I-I don't get this!!" she repeat in an embarrassed state. "Being thrilled over being hated?! Happy I got mad at you?!" she added. "And even happier you forgave me." he nodded, making Alicia groan in frustration. "To put it simply, I love you for having the heart to make it known when I've done something wrong, and for being able to stay true to your feelings no matter what others say." he explained, giving the snake another smile. "It doesn't matter how much they enjoyed something. If you didn't, you deserve to express that, and let me know it." he added. "S-So is that all?" she asked. "Yeah, except for one thing..." Chris replied. "And what's tha...!!" the snake asked, cut off when he suddenly jumped up and pulled her neck down, giving her a loving kiss on the cheek. "Just to show you and tell ya' how much I love you, and to apologize again." he grinned, making the snake flush brightly with her eyes widened before jerking away. "Wh-Whatever!! Are we done?!" she snapped. "Yeah, we can go now." he chuckled, Alicia responding with an embarrassed "good!!" before slithering back down the hill in an agitated, yet shy state.
On their way down, Alicia started suddenly slipping down the lower half, causing her to flail in a panicked state. "E-Easy!" Chris shout, reaching out and grabbing her tail. Trying to pull Alicia back and help her steady herself, her size compared to his resulted in Chris being pulled along with her, making him slip and fumble as well before they found themselves barreling down the rest of the hill together, with Chris entangled in Alicia's body as snow flew around the two giving them the appearance of a giant ball of snow before landing at the foot of the hill, both letting out a groan with snow piled around them while Serenity and Rose tilt their heads. "What you two doing?" Serenity asked. "Was that some kinda game? Didn't look very fun." Rose point out. "It wasn't a game!!" Alicia snapped with an embarrassed flush on her face. "S-Sorry, thought I could keep ya' from slippin'." Chris apologized. "Well look what happened!" the snake lectured, trying to pull free of her tangled form around his body. "E-Easy! Let me...!!" Chris panicked, trying to free himself at the same time, only for both to let out a tired groan before facing the girls. "Need a hand?" Rose asked, unable to resist laughing at their predicament. "Wish could take picture!" Serenity grinned. "Just get us out of this!!" Alicia snapped in agitation. "Being close isn't that bad you know." Chris point out, only for the snake to scowl at him in response. "Not now. I can still bite you..." she growled. "S-Sorry, bad timing." he apologized with a nervous laugh. Little did they know however that Serenity's suggestion of taking a picture wasn't needed, as while she and Rose helped untangle the two, the news crew from the city had resumed following the group, and had recorded the event from behind nearby trees in the distance, the duo giving each other a thumbs up and snickering at the event.
"Ahh, thanks girls." Chris nodded while popping his back, letting out a relieved sigh. "Oohh, that right. Back okay?" Serenity asked. "F-Fine, it's fine." Chris assured, waving his hand. "Having Alicia wrapped around me helped cushion the fall, along with all the snow. Good thing it's the powdery kind!" he point out. "There's different kinds of snow?" Rose asked, tilting her head. "Snow starts off powdery most of the time and kinda packs down over time as it settles, and when it does, it turns pretty hard and it can be like walking on solid flooring, really slippery flooring. It could've been a nasty fall if this stuff had already settled enough." he point out. "Anyways, just wanted to talk to Alicia for a minute. You girls ready to go no...??" he asked, only to find himself cut off by an awkward noise. "Uhh..." he muttered, looking around before facing Alicia, the snake facing away with a vine across her mouth. "Y-You alri...!!" he tried to ask, only for Alicia to shout "sick!!" and rush off toward a nearby tree and hide her head behind it. "Oops... Guess all the rolling set off her stomach again." Chris muttered, scratching his cheek with slight sweat on his face. "My bad. Guess I just made the fall worse by tryin' to stop it." he added, turning to Serenity and Rose only to find the two covering their ears and letting out "la la la!!" noises to block out the sound of Alicia's sickness to avoid another round of their own coming on. "Geez, you girls are way too sensitive..." he point out. "The way all three of you are acting, I seriously think a center is for the be...!!" he tried to suggest, only for Serenity to give him what could only be called a death glare before walking up. "Not. Going. To. Center." she affirmed, poking him on the chest with each word she spoke.
"O-Okay!! Okay!!" Chris panicked with his hands up, Serenity nodding with a grunt before climbing back onto the carriage seat, facing away with her arms crossed. "G-Geez... I get why she's against it but still, I'm worried." Chris muttered. "Well, what about you Rose? You wanna go to one? Should be just a minute or two if we do! Saw one in the village on our way out." he asked, looking down at the rabbit as she heard the sounds coming from Alicia, making Rose groan and rub her stomach. "N-No, it's okay. Probably just what's left of something bad we ate. I don't wanna put off going to that festival." she replied while they heard Serenity let out a groan from the seat behind them, Alicia's sickness bothering her as well despite her assertive front. Letting out a sigh, Chris nodded before helping the rabbit up next to Serenity and heading for the door of the carriage, waiting for Alicia to return. Once her spell was over, she slithered up in a weakened and groggy state, with Chris taking out a handkerchief and cleaning her face in concern. "Do... You want to go to a center?" he asked, only to get a scowl. "I'm n-not weak. Your speech was just s-so tacky." she groaned, Chris letting out an apology while helping her inside. Once she was curled up within, Alicia offered an apology before he shut the door, letting Chris know it wasn't what he said making him smile and nod in response. Shutting the door, he looked at the trail they'd left from their fall. "Maybe even with the collar on she really is too sensitive for the cold?" he muttered before he heard Serenity and Rose shout for him, the two eager to continue their journey. "C-Coming! I'm coming!" he assured, hurrying to their seat and climbing up between the girls.
"Well, none of you wanna go to a center so I guess we'll be off. You sure you don't want me to pick up some medicine at least to ease things?" he asked. "I fine." Serenity assured. "Don't worry!" Rose nodded with a smile. "Okay then... If this stuff going on gets worse though, I'm gonna have to do something. Try not to hate me for it if I do." he affirmed, Serenity showing an agitated scowl in response. "You try making me go to center." she warned. "Yeah yeah... Lets go." Chris sighed, giving the reigns a slight snap and clicking his tongue, making Rapidash pull them along once more. As they progressed, Chris looked around and took in the fresh, albeit frigid air, letting out a sigh of relief. "I've been waiting for this. Just us, out in the open again. No boundaries. Just traveling around wherever we want, a nice, peaceful atmosphere, and all the time in the world to enjoy it." he chuckled as the girls looked around. "It really is a big change, not having anybody around again. It's weird and nice at the same time." Rose point out, leaning over the seat and looking back at the ever shrinking village behind them. "It good to me. No more humans. That all I could ask for." Serenity smirked, both she and Rose leaning against Chris and holding his arms in content. "Well, another plus for me is having two hot ladies keeping me warm along the way!" he grinned, making both Pokemon flush and suddenly pull away. "Stop tacky talk!!" Serenity snapped in embarrassment. "G-Geez, now I feel nervous." Rose point out, fidgeting shyly. "Aww, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ruin things." Chris apologized with a nervous smile, the two glancing at him before leaning against his sides once more.
"It okay. Really think hot huh?" Serenity asked, making Chris blush slightly. "Y-Yeah. The hottest." he nodded, making the Pokemon giggle before kissing his cheek. "You not bad looking either." she smiled. "Me too?" Rose asked, looking up at him. "Well, you're hot in your own way. You're a really cute kind of hot basically." Chris point out, making the rabbit giggle while holding his arm. "Hey! I cute too right?" Serenity asked with a scowl. "Y-Yeah! Cute and hot!" Chris smiled nervously. "I thought being cute and hot was my thing?" Rose asked with a scowl of her own. "I-It is!! Both of you!!" Chris panicked, making the girls look at one another with a scowl before suddenly snickering and laughing. "We just give hard time. Not worry." Serenity teased, poking his cheek. "Yeah, we're sorry." Rose apologized, resting her head against his arm. "G-Geez, don't do that to me, teaming up randomly like that isn't fair. It's two against one." Chris grumbled with a pouty scowl, making both girls let out an adoring "awww" while cuddling him together. Watching the group from behind, Alicia slowly opened the window behind Chris and pushed her head out, biting the back of his coat and giving it a tug making Chris jolt with an "eh?" before looking back, seeing the snake blushing shyly with an irritated scowl on her face while looking up at him. "What of me...?" she asked, seeking praise of her own making Serenity and Alicia look back as well. "You? Didn't we just go over that on the hill back there?" Chris asked, making the snake scowl all the more. "Alright, alright... Well, it's hard to call you CUTE. You have more of a mature kind of quality, an elegant and refined kind of beauty... It's kind of like you're this extravagant trophy in a way." Chris tried to explain. "Trophy? As in I'm a prize?" Alicia asked. "N-Not a prize! I mean, having you with me feels like I've won a prize... But you're more than that!" he assured. "Hey! I trophy too right?! I prize?" Serenity asked, tugging on his arm. "Y-You're beautiful!" Chris assured, only for Rose to pull his other arm. "Me too?" she asked. "Y-Yeah! But you're not prizes!" he affirmed. "We not good enough to be prize?" Serenity scowled. "I-Isn't it wrong to think of you as a prize?" Chris panicked, looking at the three as he found himself in a complicated corner once more.
As their flattered expressions turned into scowls, Chris hung his head with a frustrated groan. "I just love you girls alright? Geez... I only wanted to compliment ya' a little, not cause a war." he grumbled. "You too finicky." Serenity replied. "Like you're one to talk!" Chris lectured. "Well, that works I suppose." Alicia replied. "I am a trophy to behold, aren't I?" she asked with a smirk. "Y-Yeah, a big and shiny one." Chris nodded with a scowl, now wanting to drop the praise to avoid any further arguing. "Oh come now, don't let that spoiled sport ruin things! Flattery is the spice of life." Alicia smirked, dissing Serenity making the Pokemon face back with a grunt. About to say something, Serenity was cut off when Chris suddenly grabbed her and planted a kiss on her lips, making the Pokemon freeze wide eyed and flush before he pulled away. "No more fussing." he affirmed, the Pokemon responding with a startled "o-okay" and nodding, sitting quietly next to him with a wide smile on her face. "Aww, that's not very fair." Rose complained. "No more! Everyone will get plenty of attention later!" Chris lectured, making the rabbit sulk and nod with an "okay" while Alicia let out a "hrmph!" and pulled her head back into the carriage, shutting the window. After a moment, Chris let out a relieved sigh as they continued along, Rapidash glancing back and letting out a grunt while shaking its head. "Hey! I do my best okay?" Chris argued, the horse rolling its eyes in an "uh huh" kind of manner making Chris scowl. "I've got a horse mocking me now..." he muttered, making the girls unable to resist snickering and giggling. "I sorry, thank you for saying nice things." Serenity nodded. "Yeah, it was sweet. Sorry for being hard on ya'." Rose apologized. "The flattery is appreciated." Alicia added behind them, showing Chris a smirk as he looked back.
"You girls love giving me a hard time a little too much." he replied. "Aww. C'mere." Serenity grinned, pulling him close in her arms and rubbing his head, giving the top of it a kiss making Chris blush. "G-Geez, I don't need babied!" he affirmed in an embarrassed state. "It does make you look cute!" Rose point out, standing up and holding him as well, giving his head a loving kiss while rubbing it. "G-Gah..." Chris muttered, turning red while Rapidash glanced back with a smirk, causing Chris to jolt and nudge the two back. "I'm not a baby!!" he affirmed, making the horse laugh with a neigh while the girls laughed as well and let out another "aww" of adoration. "You sure about that?" Alicia asked with a smirk of her own, making Chris look back with a scowl. "I've changed my mind, no special meal for you tonight!" he replied before facing forward with his nose up. "Oh whatever will I do? Poor baby, throwing a tantrum!" the snake teased, making Chris's eye twitch while grumbling as the carriage made its way along, Serenity and Rose patting him on the back with a "there there" in a dotting tone. Making their way along, the group passed countless snow covered nature along the way, with smaller, more curious Pokemon ranging from ones like Snorunt and Cubchoo following nearby, to larger, more cautious Pokemon like Mamoswine and Abomasnow watching them pass from a distance, keeping an eye on the young. "Aww... So cute!!" Rose giggled. "It great to be with own kind again." Serenity smiled. "It really is nice being back out in the open again... It's awesome getting to see people, but at the same time, I really missed seeing Pokemon like this too." Chris smirked.
"You know, I remember, waaaay back when my journey began, right before I met Serenity one night, there was a ton of Pokemon that showed up at my camp while I was cooking. They reacted to me the same way as these Pokemon, but once I offered to share my food, it was like we became a family. In fact, if it wasn't for one of them deciding to pee all over my shoes I probably wouldn't have found Serenity!" Chris point out, peaking Serenity's interest as well as the others. "Your shoes were peed on? That's kinds funny." Rose snickered. "Tell me they aren't the same ones you're wearing now." Alicia groaned. "Moving on!!" Chris snapped. "As I was saying, a ton of Pokemon joined me for dinner that night. We ate together and it was a pretty good time, save for the baby taking a wiz on my shoes. It was kinda sad when the food was gone and they left, but I think what made me even sadder was knowing all of my supplies had vanished in a single meal!" he laughed as they started climbing a hill. "I'd forgotten about my shoes being dirty and went to bed not long after. Then later in the night, the smell got worse so I decided to head off and find some nearby water to wash em' with. And it's because of that I came across Serenity that night!" he smiled. "So pee brought the two of you together...? Alright then." Alicia snickered. "Yeah yeah, hyuck it up." Chris scowled. "It might not be the best reason to meet someone, but it's still a fact that, thanks to the Pokemon doing that to my shoes, I met the first Pokemon who would wind up being my best friend for life!" he grinned, giving Serenity a nudge making the Pokemon blush and smile. "Who'd of thought that tiny Ralts would turn out to be so strong and pretty, eh?" he chuckled, Serenity flexing her arm and giving it a pat. "That right! I strong and you not forget!" she grinned.
Once they reached the top of the hill, Chris stopped the carriage and stood up, looking back over the top of the carriage with his eyes squint. "Maaaan, pretty good progress! Excellent job Rapidash!" Chris grinned, giving the horse a thumbs up making it smirk proudly with a "naturally" kind of expression. "The village looks like a bunch of tiny dots now." Rose point out, leaning over the seat while looking back. "Good! Further we get the better!" Serenity nodded. "Oh come on... It wasn't THAT bad being with people. Think about Gerald, the Professor, and there's Arthur and Angela, plus Angela's dad was a pretty good guy! Funny how a blind man can keep such tight reigns on her husband... That was hilarious." Chris chuckled. "Was that human really blind though?" Rose asked, remembering how normal he'd behaved. "When you're blind, you still have a lot of other senses left. You just master them instead to the point it's like you can still see basically. Takes time and patience, but still. That's how it worked for Serenity too, back before the transplant." Chris explained while sitting back down. "She was so adorable. I remember how clumsy she was when we first met! I wanted to hug her so bad!" he grinned, Serenity flushing out of embarrassment and giving Chris a sharp nudge. "Not make fun of!! It not funny!!" she snapped. "I didn't say it was funny, I said it was adorable." he affirmed while putting an arm around her. "Back then you really were the most precious Pokemon in the world. And to think, you managed to win a gym battle in such a short time! You weren't just the cutest thing, but the most amazing! Although, you're still pretty amazing even now." he affirmed, making Serenity glance away with a flattered smile.
"I remember back when I was teaching you how to eat too... How I'd help feed you most of the time." he added, showing a nostalgic, yet for some reason slightly somber smile as well. "You've really grown up, all of you have. I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me sad sometimes... I feel like you grew up too quick, but at the same time I'm proud of you and I'm glad you've grown... Guess that's kind of how a parent feels?" he point out. "That's why I'd like to have kids too. After helping all of you grow, I've gotten a taste of that kind of life, so I'd really like to do that again, but with my own kids instead... I just hope they don't overwhelm me and grow as fast as you did!" he laughed. "Really want to have babies?" Serenity asked. "If possible, I'd definitely love to... I'm scared about raising them considering our life and all, but as time moves on, I've started feeling a little more sure of myself. I still have my doubts, but what person wanting a kid doesn't? Isn't that part of everything? Proving to yourself that you can?" he asked. "I know it's tricky between us, and the odds aren't very good probably, but if it does happen, I'd be the happiest guy in the world!" he smiled. "Odds not good... But that just mean we have to do more to make it happen." Serenity point out, facing down and fidgeting with a blush and an eager smile. "I uh... I don't mind trying harder..." Rose added, glancing away with the same look as Serenity on her face. "Must you start up that subject again?" Alicia asked, a blush across her face as well from her own interest in the idea. "S-Sorry, it just kind of trailed into the topic." Chris apologized, looking back with an embarrassed smile. "But you know, I bet you'd have some really awesome kids too Alicia! They'd inherit all your greatness!" he praised, making the snake flush.
"I-Idiot!! I've no intention of bearing any offspring this soon!!" she snapped abruptly, making Chris jolt in surprise. "O-Ouch... My bad." he smiled nervously, making Alicia freeze and glance away. "S-Sorry." she apologized. "No worries. Forget I said anything. You know me, I say stuff without thinking." he replied, tapping himself on the head. "N-No. It's alright." the snake assured, glancing away with a blush. "That was an accident, I didn't mean to lash out over the idea. You just surprised me." she assured, Chris looking at her for a moment before smiling and nodding in response. "Well then, onward we go!" he grinned, snapping the reigns lightly and clicking his tongue, Rapidash making his way along once more. "We've made some pretty good progress, but we're still a ways off from the mountains... I'd say at this rate we'll be at the foot of em' sometime in the early afternoon tomorrow. Depending on when we get there, we'll either start heading on through, or camp out at the base. This is new territory for me so I'd rather play it safe and stick to travel during the daylight. I might be used to mountain travel, but not the kind covered in a ton of snow and all." Chris point out as they trot along. "Imagine the view from way up there." Rose muttered, looking along the trail of mountains before them. "I know right? The village I came from had a ton of forestry all around it that went on for miles, and around the forest was this HUGE circle of mountains! It was like a natural wall all around us, and when I was heading through you could see forever pretty much." Chris chuckled. "Are we gonna get to see where you came from?" the rabbit asked. "I'm curious to see myself." Alicia chimed in.
"Well, someday I'd be glad to head back for a visit. But for now, I'd rather focus on the journey ahead until the time is right. I promise you'll get to see the place in time." Chris assured with a nod. "Under normal conditions, mountainous terrain can be tricky, so we've really gotta play it safe heading through these in particular. From what Gerald showed me that hot springs place is pretty much right at the half way point through the range, so we'll be able to enjoy some time to relax before we get all the way through. You haven't had a bath until you soak in a natural spring, it's the best! Right Serenity?" he asked, grinning at the Pokemon as she thought back and suddenly flushed. "U-Uhh..." she stuttered. "You... Did enjoy the springs back then, right? You remember, the one where the Mankey lived? Course, you couldn't see back then, but you've gotta be able to remember it. You sat on my lap and all." he reminded with a smile, Serenity continuing to blush as she recollected the feelings back then. "Helloooo? Serenityyyy..." Chris called out, waving his hand in front of her face making the Pokemon jolt and shake her head. "S-Springs nice! Good yes!" she answered loudly, making Chris inch back nervously. "You uh, you alright?" he asked, blinking at her confused. "Springs... Good. Yes." she repeat with a nod, facing down as she started recalling what else had occurred during their time at the Mankey's spring, the Pokemon's flush returning before shaking her head a second time. "Maaaaybe we should keep you outta the springs. Doesn't seem like they affect you too good." Chris smiled nervously. "What's wrong? You talked about the spring and she turned all funny." Rose point out, tilting her head.
"She's always strange. Does this really surprise you?" Alicia asked. "You not there! You be quiet!" Serenity snapped while facing the snake, making Alicia jolt and blink at her. "U-Uhh, okay..." she muttered before glancing at Chris. "Did you do something to her at this... Mankey Spring?" she asked. "Do something? Don't think so. We soaked for a while, and it felt pretty good to me. We had some good food, and it was a nice view from where we were at too. I wish Serenity could've seen it at the time." Chris chuckled. "But uhh, don't think anything out of the ordinary..." he added, thinking back for a moment before blushing slightly. "Well, then again it was around the time I was figuring out Serenity was a female. Considering we were just kinda friends back then maybe that's why she's acting..." he recalled before more started popping into his mind, recollecting their incident in their tent causing him to clear his throat. "K-Kinda remember some stuff, now that you mention it." he muttered in an embarrassed state, Serenity facing down and poking her fingers shyly. Looking at the two, Rose giggled and point out how they looked like a pure couple, whereas Alicia scowled and scoffed at their behavior. "It seems you ARE a habitual violator. For shame... To think I was beginning to feel otherwise." she point out, making Chris jolt. "I am NOT a violator!! It was an accident!!" he affirmed, making Serenity give him a shocked and hurt look. "Uh huh, what happened between us was an accident too. I knew you were a bad boy..." the snake teased with a grin, finding a means to mock him once more as an extra bit of payback. "I'm not I tell ya'! Seriously!" he tried to affirm.
"Tell them Rose! You know I'm not that kinda guy!" he added, facing the rabbit as she grinned slyly. "I don't know, you really were kinda bad last night. I did feel a little violated... Then again I like a bad boy." she teased, making Chris seemingly glow. "C-Come on!! Stop messing with me!!" he snapped, facing Serenity only to jolt when he saw the hurt and saddened look on her face. "Wh-What's wrong?" he panicked. "It was accident? You not like what happened?" she asked, her eyes showing a hurt puppy dog kind of look making Chris sweat slightly. "I-It was an accident!" he affirmed, making the Pokemon sniffle. "B-But not a BAD accident! It was a good accident! I liked it!" he assured with a nervous smile. Sniffling again, Serenity turned her back toward him and curled up in a depressed state. "That was one of first experiences. It was accident..." she sulked. "N-No!! It was good!!" he tried to affirm. "Uh oh, you're in trouble!" Rose giggled. "The fool has done it again." Alicia grinned. "Stop that! Help me out here!" he replied in agitation. "Ooohh no. I'm staying out of this one." Rose replied, waving her hand before enjoying the scenery. "S-Seriously?" Chris asked, looking back at Alicia. "Oh no, don't look at me. I consider this justified karma!" she snickered. "C-Cruel!!" Chris snapped. "Accident... It was accident...?" Serenity sulked, twirling her finger on the seat. "Serenity, really... Come on." Chris coaxed. "Oohh yes, there was ANOTHER time you had an accident with her, wasn't there? I seem to recall catching you two in the bath together. Serenity had a rather distraught look on her face. She was a Kirlia back then... Whatever happened between you at that moment?" Alicia asked.
"B-Bath? When she was a Kirlia? Huh?" Chris asked nervously. "That was first time... It accident too. I remember." Serenity sulked, becoming all the more depressed. "Oh dear, first you were brought together because of Pokemon pee, then you're intimate life evolved solely because of incidental coincidences!" Alicia point out before bursting out in laughter, making a cloud loom over Serenity. "Not because of love? All accidents?" she sulked. "N-No way!! It WAS love!! I mean, it was a bunch of accidents, but they were all good ones!! Really, I love you!! Even when that stuff happened I loved you then too!! So it counts as love!!" Chris panicked, his attempt at pacifying Serenity only serving to make Alicia laugh all the more, begging for mercy due to pain in her chest as she teared up. "Oh wow, that IS kinda depressing." Rose smiled nervously. "Was your first time really an accident? How did it happen?" the rabbit asked. "W-Well uh... We uh, I mean I kinda..." Chris stuttered, scratching his cheek as he sat in the worst spot he could be in between Serenity's depressed state, Alicia's taunting attitude and Rose's curiosity. In front of them, Rapidash was letting out a groan, listening to their bickering and Alicia's cackling making him shake his head in agitation. After a moment, the horse finally let out an ear piercing neigh as it arched back high into the air, standing on its hind legs before stomping down, halting the carriage making Alicia thud against the wall of the carriage while Chris and the girls nearly fell forward out of the seat. "H-Hey!! Easy there!!" Chris lectured, Rapidash facing back and shouting in response making him jolt. "G-Geez, what's gotten into you?" he asked.
Looking at Serenity, the horse started neighing and grunting at the Pokemon in agitation, making Serenity scowl and cross her arms. "None of business!" she told the horse, only for Rapidash to continue speaking in agitation. "W-Whatever..." Serenity replied, her agitated aura slowly fading into a more simmered state. Eventually, she replied with a "fine" before glancing at Chris and apologizing for being sulky, making him blink in surprise. "Uh, sorry for making you sulky in the first place?" he nodded with sweat on his face. "What did he say to you?" Chris asked, only for the horse to turn its attention to Alicia, the snake jolting as Rapidash shout at her in its Pokemon tongue, leaving Chris at a loss of what was going on in the conversation. "Excuse me?! How dare you?!" Alicia snapped as the horse went on its tempered rant. "Who do you think you are beast?!" she replied, Chris looking between the two with a bewildered look while Rose covered her mouth in surprise, Chris tilting his head with an "eh?" as the horse went on until Alicia was facing away in silence, muttering something about a lowly animal before shouting "fine!!" and going silent, her back turned to everyone. "W-Woooow..." Chris thought, looking at Alicia before facing forward at the horse who gave Chris a glare and a grunt, nodding its head in a "keep it that way!" manner before facing forward. "H-How did he do that?" Chris asked, looking at Serenity who was now facing down in silence before he turned to Rose, the rabbit blinking in silence before suddenly shaking her head. "I've never heard anyone talk THAT way before!" she point out. "What did he say to the girls?" Chris asked curiously.
"I uh, I don't wanna repeat it. A lot of dirty words though... Even though what he said was right." Rose nodded. "What he said? Dirty words? What now?" Chris asked. "D-Don't worry about it. Lets just agree to be quiet for a little while." she laughed nervously, waving her hand as Chris scratched his head. "O-Okay then..." he nodded as he looked at Rapidash again. "Good to have another guy around I guess..." he added. "Stupid horse mean..." Serenity muttered while inching toward Chris and holding his arm, sitting against him in a sulky state. "H-Hey, come on. Lets just have a good time for the rest of the day, alright?" Chris asked, Serenity nodding silently in response. "You alright back there Alicia?" he asked, the snake snapping back with an "I'm fine!!" before grumbling to herself. "Insufferable beast... Foul mouthed slanderer..." she muttered, Rapidash picking up her words with his sensitive ears and twitching his eye in agitation before grunting and pulling the carriage forward, making Chris jolt and quickly grab the reigns. "G-Guess we're on our way again then. Sorry about the ruckus Rapidash." he apologized, the horse shaking its head and focusing on its task at hand once more.
Making their way along, Rose simply continued enjoying the scenery while playing with Chris's staff, while Serenity remained silent and childishly stuck her tongue out and made faces at Rapidash, Alicia venting by herself within the carriage leaving Chris in a complicated state of peace, enjoying the silence while at the same time feeling bad over what occurred, despite not even knowing what the horse said that left the girls submissively silenced around him...
Some time ago, a young man named Chris, now 23, discovered he was chosen to carry a curse passed onto him through his bloodline by a Ninetales his grandfather saved long ago, having grabbed its sacred tails to save it from falling to its demise. Burdened with this fate, which the young man now calls a blessing, Chris accepts the life chosen for him and allows the curse to guide him freely in life, destined to forever put others before himself, to forever follow the path the curse guides him along towards those in need most...
Along his journey thus far, Chris has come across a Ralts who was abandoned by her former trainer for being blind, hurled off the edge of a cliff and left to die that has since evolved into a full fledged Gardevoir by his side, swearing her life to the young man with the mysterious and terrifying ability to use the power of a Shadow Pokemon, granting her the title of a mysterious new Shadow Hybrid... Also traveling by his side is a Snivy who has since become a Servine, abandoned by her former trainer for refusing to evolve after a terrifying battle she had with a Serperior that left her mentally scarred, resulting in her former trainer neglecting and starving her in an attempt to persuade her to evolve, until he finally left her to die as well followed by a Buneary who has since evolved into Lopunny, who's former trainer became enraged due to her refusal to battle and tried to kill her off when he discovered she could only evolve via friendship...
Chris has met many people and Pokemon alike along his journey, each left as inspired by his presence as the last... He's nearly sacrificed himself to save Gardevoir and Servine from a deadly attack by a pack of Houndoom, lead by a Mega formed leader by hurling himself off a cliff to catch the two and nearly dying... Resulting in his lengthy stay in a location called Millennium City where he provided a hospital full of children an awe inspiring play room full of wonders any child would adore... Saved thousands of Pokemon eggs from dying out when their colossal incubation system malfunctioned in one of the cities many centers, and it's the location he saved Lopunny when she was a Buneary from being struck by a massive truck after being hurled into the highway by her former trainer... He's met and inspired a kindhearted old butler named Gerald who served the group during their stay in the city, and even came across the mysterious N from the Pokemon series, inspiring even this strange person during his stay in the city resulting in Chris being deemed a man worthy of keeping an eye on...
Most recently, Chris had become a criminal during his efforts to free Lopunny from her former trainer altogether, having forced his way into the city's top prison the man was held within and taking not only the Pokeball belonging to Lopunny, but taking all of his other Pokeballs to free the Pokemon within them as well only to discover the mans father was the Warden of that very prison in the process. Finding himself intrigued by Chris, the Warden gave him a chance to avoid prison time by revealing he was also the city's Gym Leader, striking a deal that if he won he would be pardoned of all crimes and allowed to leave the city.
Before the day of the match arrived, Chris found himself becoming close friends with the city's top scientist, Professor Rose, and together along with her staff they managed to complete Project Celebi, a device that could transplant sight between two people without surgery! The project turned out to be a success after Chris offered the sight in his left eye to give Gardevoir the ability to see the world for the first time via her right!
After this, the time for his showdown with the Warden arrived, and after a lengthy two part battle, Chris turned out the victor with the support of all those attending the event and beyond... To thank them for fighting for his sake, Chris gave Gardevoir, Servine, and Lopunny their own unique names, gaining the titles Serenity, Alicia, and Rose respectively, with Lopunny being named after the professor who had done so much for the group during their stay in the city...
After regaining his freedom, Chris and the girls spent a week at Arthur and Angela's massive manor on the outskirts of the city, followed by a first class cruise aboard the brand new S.S. Guardian, the first pollutant free ship in the world relying solely on solar power reservoirs! With its maiden voyage celebrating the 100th anniversary of the loss of the R.M.S. Arceanic, fate played its hand along their way to Arcticu Valley and led the Guardian to the exact location of the ships wreckage. Attacked by a massive Gyarados swarm, the Guardian was sank to the bottom of the sea, protected by a barrier crafted by Serenity which resulted in the discovery of the remains of the legendary ship.
In turn, many truths came to light in the dark depths, and after garnering the aid of the souls aboard the remains of the vessel, the Guardian managed to return to the surface of the sea once more and the Gyarados were defeated! Criminals were justly punished, a company was repossessed, and Chris was given total ownership of the entirety of the Arceanic wreck site! And now, they've finally arrived at their destination, and many more adventures are about to unfold...