The Apprentice's TaskForum-Index → Fanmades → Fanfictions → The Apprentice's Task
Two Ninetales were returning to a nice home in the neighborhood of Pastel Town, a place known for it's oddly colored sky and soft, pleasant colors. The fire-type kitsunes had just returned from a vacation to the lovely islands of Alola to enjoy themselves for a while. Ashe, a silver furred, shiny Ninetales, had been the one who had wanted the vacation. It was the 3rd anniversary of her and her mates' union, and they'd wanted to do something special. She and Sunny were happy to be home, though. It would be relaxing, Ashe thought, to be returning from the bright sun and the water to the more sleepy atmosphere of her hometown.
Both Ninetales placed down their bags and began settling in. Normally, Ashe and her golden-furred mate, Sunny, would hold off on this, taking the time to just nap and take a rest from the journey, however, this time was special, as both Ninetales were shocked at the sudden appearance of an egg on their way home. Where had it come from? Come on! No one ever knew the answer for that! All Ashe and Sunny knew was that it had been theirs, and they had a child at last! They had secured the precious package in a bundle of blankets and had been very careful while bringing it back via suitcase. This bundle was now very gently unpacked by the creature's mother, and taken out. Ashe designated a corner for the little to-be, setting up a little area for it while Sunny unpacked in the background. Ashe grew excited as she set up the blankets into a nest, and gently wrapped her tails around the egg, wondering what her child would look like....would it be a boy or a girl...what would its personality be....what should she name it? Questions like this cycled through her head...and that was the last thing she remembered before everything went black. Ashe was tired...
It was a few weeks later when the topic of the egg popped into the pair's minds again. Till now it had been a thought in the back of their minds. An anticipation of what was to come, but the little white and green spotted egg had remained unmoving, though it had little cracks appearing occasionally, showing that the time for it to come would be near, but so far, no sign of actual hatching. Not until Sunny and Ashe were rudely interrupted from sleep from little cries coming from their egg's little corner. It was early morning by now, and usually the two would sleep in, but the cries had them wide awake, and their egg had never had so many cracks. It was clear.
Sunny turned on the light, and by now Ashe was able to see a little black nose, then a snout, and then a full on fluffy head, with poofy little hair....
It had been a year since the time the little white Vulpix was first discovered, shocking his two parents. It seemed, as they had been in Alola, the egg developed into the Ice variant that was native to that region. Something about being tied to the mysterious Everstone...bla bla bla. The little creature hadn't retained much of it. He hardly cared. He was a little tiny white kit now, with one scraggly white tuft that was his tail. Like Kantonian Vulpix, Alolan Vulpix had a 'tail-splitting' process, during which his tail would split as he grew older. Alolan Vulpix's tails were more like a single fluffy cloud, though, so it would appear more as if his single tail were growing fluffier.
He was currently busy playing with a spec of dust on the fluffy pastel yellow living room carpet, his parents and sister nearby. Soon after he had been born, his parents had had another egg, this one hatching into a normal fire-type Vulpix, which had been named Summer. The older sibling had been named Winter once he was born, so the couple had thought they'd be cute with twin names. And cute they were. Winter seemed to have no idea anything had been wrong with him as he had wrestled with his fire-type sister and parents. Not even when he had refused to snuggle with his mother at night due to the heat radiating off her fur being too hot for him, or the fact that he was the odd one out whenever the family had gone on an outing. No one had ever brought it up, in fear of upsetting the parents, and they had never treated him as anything more or less than their son, so Winter hadn't even been bothered by the idea.
Soon, there was a knock on the door. Winter stopped playing with the flec, as he had lost the tiny speckle, and stared after his father as he went to answer it. He tilted his head, his tail lightly wagging. Who was it? They had never had visitors before! As the door opened, a loud female voice could be heard. "Oh brother! It's so good to see you! So good!" Winter's ears flattened. He didn't like the obnoxious, haughty voice already, and stepped back shyly from where he was, even back in the living room, where the stranger couldn't even see him. His mother, who had stayed with him and his sister, smiled at him. "Shh!" She soothed him. "Don't worry, that's your auntie! Shall we go see her?" She stood up, addressing her kits. Summer burst up and was bouncing around. "Yes please!" The Fire type had always been quite the ball of energy, more so than even her brother. She smiled with all her teeth, her little tail wagging. Winter went to stand beside her. "Then let's go!" Ashe happily led them to the newcomer, who had seemed to have been joined by a male as well. They were two beautiful golden-pelted Ninetales, and, beneath their paws, were two little Vulpix. Both had two tails, clearly older than Summer and Winter.
The Haughty Ninetales, 'Auntie', grinned at Ashe as she arrived. "Ashe! Darling! Long time no see! I was so excited to visit you and your little ones! Now little Supernova and Blast have little cousins to play with! Isn't that marvelous?" She then peaked at the Vulpix kits under Ashe's paws. She smiled as Summer gazed at her. ...Then her gaze shifted to Winter, and her face contorted into a scowl briefly. It faded before anyone else could see, but Winter had seen it, and, despite not really interacting with others much at this point, knew that this Ninetales did not like him. She had taken one look at him, and decided he wasn't worth it. The Vulpix was shocked. Why didn't she like him? He looked at his mother and sister, but they hardly seemed to notice his stress.
His cousins bounded up to them, greeting them. However, they too seemed to ignore Winter, seeming to favor his sister, who looked more like them. The ice type still wondered why. Was something wrong with him? Winter had never thought of himself as different. His family never seemed to think so...he went up to his cousin, Blast, and pawed one of the older Pokemon's tails playfully, causing him to whip around, startled. He looked at Winter, glared at him, before turning back around again. Winter's ears flattened, he was once again taken aback. He hadn't meant to be mean...but these Vulpix and Ninetales were being mean to him. Head down and tail drooping, He skulked back to his room, managing to disappear before he couldn't stop himself from crying. He didn't understand! What was it about him that made these creatures hate him?
It was a few hours later when there was a gentle knock on his door. "Winter...?" That was his sister's voice. Winter's eyes had tearstains by now, and he rubbed them away with a sniff. He didn't want his sister to know he was sad. He went to answer the door. "Yeah?" He opened it a crack. "I heard you crying in here. What's wrong?" His sister asked. The fur on his shoulders spiked. So she had heard him! Had she not seen what Blast had done to him? He supposed not. His sister wasn't dumb, she would mention it if she'd known, and would've tried to comfort him. Perhaps he could have used that comfort now, but Winter had a feeling Summer wouldn't understand if he told her. "Nothing." Was his only response.
"Oh...well, Mommy and Daddy want us to go have lunch with Auntie and our cousins." Winter could hear in his sister's tone that she didn't believe what he had said, but she'd know there'd be no use arguing. He followed her out, and she ended up running ahead to catch up with Blast. Once she was gone, Winter heard pawsteps next to him. Just by the sound and smell, he already knew it was Supernova, his other cousin. His hopes rose. Perhaps this one wasn't like his brother, perhaps this one would play with him! These hopes were crushed once he turned to face the Vulpix, who sneered. "Heard you hid in your room to cry, hmm?" Was his first words to Winter. The snow Vulpix's fur bushed up lightly. "Wh-what?" He stammered, clearly not expecting that. His cousin continued. "Mother was right! Your parents were unfortunate to be cursed with you! Ice typed Vulpix are all defective! It's in their heritage, and their typing!" He growled at the dumbfounded Winter. So many big words! He didn't know what they meant, but he was pretty sure they weren't nice ones, judging by Supernova's tone. His cousin scoffed and breathed a small flame close to Winter's face. It didn't touch him, but he could feel the heat close to his nose, and flinched. Supernova laughed maliciously and sauntered away.
The rest of the guest visit, Winter, of course, didn't speak to his cousins, nor did he tell anyone what was wrong, too embarrassed and shocked about how his cousins had treated him. He just avoided them. Now he knew why they hated him. It was because of his fur...his typing. He was different from them and they didn't like it, and there was no denying it now. He barely noticed when they left, though the visit had felt like forever.
Later that night, while Winter and his family were eating dinner, Winter still felt down. He had taken the insults to heart, and was now feeling utterly useless. He'd never amount to anything, would he? His blue eyes flicked toward the television, where some TV show was playing. It seemed a huge wolf Pokémon with a rainbow scarf was wielding a glorious, bejeweled sword. And beside him, a magnificent Pokémon with a fluffy blue scarf that looked like a Ninetales, but more wispy and flowy...and blue...a light radiant blue. An inseparable and magnificent pair, fighting off strong Pokémon that dared hurt the innocent. He stared, starry eyed, at the two. "Who are they?" He asked his parents.
"Kiro and Roran. They are Zacian and Alolan Ninetales." Sunny answered. "Zacian, the legendary warrior wolf Pokémon, and Alolan Ninetales, the snow fox Pokémon. Both Roran and Kiro are famous for their skills as heroes, and movie actors." His mother cut it. "That's the ninetales you'll evolve into." She smiled. Winter gaped, staring at them. Even if it was a show, the two were amazing! And talented...and certainly not useless.
Right then and there, from a young age, Winter made his decision. No matter what Supernova or Blast said, he's show them he wasn't useless!
Title: Chapter 1
It still felt like a blur. The young Vulpix had since grown, his full, luscious snow-white tail had long since fully grown. Winter had gone through schooling, and had met friends that he cherished, and still hopes to see again some day. He keeps in contact with a few of them. He remembered how they had reminded him that he was more than a defective ice type, he was a beautiful creature who could do whatever he set his mind to, even if they had never properly said it. He hadn't told them about his cousins, he preferred to forget them. All the same, he had promised to never let anyone call him useless ever again. He was not useless, and would prove it countless times if he had to. He wouldn't even break a sweat. After all, he was going to be the best warrior ever. It sounded like a child's dream, and that it was...but to Winter it still felt like a promise. He had made it this far, and he owed it to that young kit to see it through.
His chance had come with a Kingdom of Ice...A new Kingdom. Winter's Kingdom. A place that had been named Shimo. The ruler of which was a powerful and respected Articuno named Kori. It hadn't been long before the Kingdom prospered, with opportunities for success, and snowball fights, bringing immigrants in. The Kingdom was in need of law enforcement, and protection, and offered training to those who'd volunteered. Winter was not about to miss out. With the skills he'd been taught in his Battle School, and the countless hours he'd dedicated to training on his own, Winter at last won the respect of the knights, and had proven himself worthy of a squire's status...the apprentice, who's trainer would turn out to be...his greatest hero.
He still remembered that moment, clear as if it had happened just the day before. Him standing in that circle, staring at the Zacian as he approached, his sword gleaming in the cold light, shining like his armor. He had sort of met Kiro in person before, when the celebrity had hosted a raffle to meet him as well as receive a costume from him and Roran. Winter had won, miraculously and he cherished both of them. A part of which had been a replica of Roran's fluffy blue scarf, which Winter had worn since then, and was still wearing now. He had been awed by Kiro's beauty then, and felt so again now. His eyes shining, he awaited the warrior's words.
"So, it seems you kept your promise." The Wolf rumbled. "I must admit, I didn't expect to see you here, young one, but I suppose I underestimated your determination. You have proven yourself to me, and I'm honored to take you in as my apprentice."
So that had been it. That was how Winter was known now, the hero's apprentice. Kiro had not gone easy on Winter during his training. His teaching could be described as very....hands on? Kiro preferred to use actions rather than words. To teach empathy he had forced Winter to pay out of pocket to homeless and poor Pokémon on the streets, and to listen to each of their stories, and to help them. For loyalty, he had payed Pokémon to try and manipulate Winter into crime, and trusted him not to betray is masters. For fear he had placed Winter in multiple precarious situations, even involving other Pokémon, in which he had to rescue himself as well as the victims. It was hard, to put it lightly, but Winter had pulled through. The lessons worked well, and Winter had learned a lot from Kiro and Roran. As it turned out, he would need those skills for his next task. He'd heard Roran mutter something about 'patience' and stopped himself from cringing, wondering what scenario they'd thrust him into this time...
Title: Chapter 2
Alex blinked his eyes open. It seemed as if he had been asleep for a while. He couldn't see anything, his vision was too blurry, but he got the sense he was in a very strange place...
He felt a pounding headache that seemed not to go away. Had he not drank enough last night? This sometimes happened when he was dehydrated...usually not to this scale, though. ...oww. He clutched his head with his hand. It was minor, but he noticed something was...off about his hand. He felt like he was in his bed. That everything was normal...but when his vision cleared, he quickly found that was not the case.
The first thing he saw was his hand. His hand was a...cream color? "What?!" He exclaimed out loud. His hand was lighter than he was used to, his skin was on the darker side, usually. It was also way smaller now, it seemed. His hand was attached to an arm...and it was...blue. "Holy--" He was cut off.
"Shhh. It's okay, little Chimchar, the Guild has you now. You're okay." A strange purple creature approached him, speaking in a gentle tone. It looked like...wait.
He checked himself over. It seemed he was a... blue monkey? He was a Pokémon? Yeah, he was familiar with the series. He played it almost religiously when he was younger, but...wasn't Chimchar usually orange? He was oddly blue, but apart from that, he seemed to share all the attributes of the fire starter. Including a fire butt. How it wasn't burning up the bed under him was something the boy failed to understand. He looked up at the purple creature, a shiny Audino, figuring he owed him a response. "Er...where? Guild?" He inquired. He knew what Guilds were in Pokémon...if he remembered right, they were where Pokémon in the Mystery Dungeon series made rescue teams. In those games, you were a human turned Pokémon.
"Er, the Guild? Like, the guys who rescue unconscious Pokémon of mysterious origin? First time?" The Audino responded.
"Uh, yeah." Alex let out a nervous laugh. "Did I just, show up out of nowhere, then?"
The Audino nodded. Great.
Title: Chapter 3
Miku heard a good-humored voice call as she slipped fully out of her unconsciousness. She felt like she had been asleep for quite a while. She'd had this amazing dream...she had won a soccer tournament. The MVP as well. She had been smiling proudly at her teammates as she had accepted a big, huge trophy...
But now, she remembered that she wasn't playing soccer. The game she had been playing was scheduled for...game? The thought slipped from her mind. She didn't have a game...for soccer? Did she play soccer? Why yes, she had been practicing every...wait, when? What had she been practicing? Like water down a drain, the memories slipped from her mind. Now she couldn't remember a thing. What had she been doing before she fell asleep? When had she fallen asleep?
She opened her eyes finally. At this point she was fully awake, and listening to the sounds around her. Albeit with quite the headache. The good-humored voice sounded again.
Now that she had opened her eyes, she saw the strange, alien creature that had created the sound. Wasn't that...a Pokémon? Audino, right? A purple shiny audino, to be exact. He appeared to be speaking to a chimchar...an odd looking chimchar as well. Though this one wasn't shiny. He appeared to have the same cream-colored hands and underbelly, and the same orange fire as any other, but he seemed to have blue fur where the red should be. They seemed to have noticed Miku, as she had now shown signs of movement.
The audino approached her. "You don't exactly look like a normal riolu either." He observed. Pretty aqua color, though.
"Riolu?" Miku replied quietly. She looked at herself. Paws...PAWS! "Omigosh! I am a cute little riolu!" She squealed. She was excited. She LOVED Pokémon. It was one of her favorite games! Along with Animal crossing, and Mario cart...she used to play all the time with...come again? Grr...there went the memory slipping again.
"Er...yep." The Audino chuckled nervously. "You seem to have aqua where most just have a dark blue..." He observed, pointing at her fur. "The lillipup also seems special. A much darker brown then normal. A rare find indeed."
Miku hardly heard the last part, just stoked about the new situation. She had this overreaction a lot when exciting things happened. She was aware that she was a bit of a hyper-enthusiast at times. But then again, who wouldn't freak out when they had just been turned into a cute anthro jackal puppy? And a pretty-colored one at that? Upon looking herself over, though, it seemed she was normal apart from the aqua...that was fine, though. She wasn't about to complain! She sat up, waving at the chimchar and Audino. "Hi! Nice to meet you! So...where are we?" She asked.
The nurse chuckled. "I'll explain everything when she wakes up." He pointed to the lillipup, still asleep in the third hospital bed. She was strange too. Her fur was a dark reddish brown, and where the lighter brown normally was was a slightly lighter reddish brown, and she had a white-spotted muzzle. Was it normal for Pokémon to look this weird? She waited anxiously for the final Pokémon to wake up.
Title: Chapter 4
Bella awoke to absolute confusion. This wasn't her bed...was she in the hospital? She couldn't fathom why. Had she had an accident? Her head certainly ached...but more so an ache she would feel during sickness, not the same as the pain one would experience upon hitting their head on something hard.
Well, something must have happened, because this was definitely a hospital bed, in a totally hospital, with hospital smells, and hospital sounds. Bella yawned, and rubbed her eyes, figuring a doctor would soon arrive.
As she rubbed her eyes, Bella felt her arm push aside hair. Not just a stray hair from her head, but on her arm. She finally opened her eyes, staring at...a paw. There was a paw attached to her arm. A fluffy, chocolate brown paw, with hints of red, speckled with white. What. The. Heck???
"So, looks like our final patient has awakened at last." Rang the voice of what must be the doctor. What she turned to see was a purple, alien creature. She wouldn't figure out what it was. It was all swirly and cutesy with a bit of sparkle to its fur. "A strange lillipup to go with the Riolu and Chimchar, eh?"
A what what and WHAT??? Nothing was making any sense whatsoever. The heck was a chimchar, lillipup, or riolu? She looked at herself, and recognized the build of a dog. She was a dog. A little dog. "Lillipup" sounded like it could be the name of a dog. She couldn't guess what the other two were. "Chimchar and Riolu?" She questioned.
"Over here!" Called another voice, coming from nearby. On the bed next to Bella's, there was a weird blue furry dog thing smiling and waving its paw at her, the bed beside her had a blue monkey-looking thing with blue fur and what appeared to be fire coming out of its...rear end? What the--? "Hi!" The blue furry thing spoke again. "I'm the riolu, and he's a chimchar! My name is Miku by the way!"
Miku... At last, something that sounded familiar. She couldn't gather why...perhaps an old friend...? Actually, now that Bella tried to look back on her memories...blank. She couldn't remember anything but her own name...and Miku. She looked back up, figuring she owed the blue dog a response...actually, it seemed like an Egyptian thing, come to think of it...Anubis, was it? Eh whatever, furry Egyptian dog. "My name is Bella." She introduced herself.
"Well nice to meet you, Bella." Went the alien purple thing. "And Miku." He added to the Egyptian furry. "And whatever your name is." He said to the fire-booty monkey. "Alex." Booty monkey responded swiftly. The alien purple thing acknowledged him with a nod. "My name is nurse Case, not that it really matters, and I feel it's about time I deliver the explanation I promised." Yes. Thought Bella. Explain to me why I am a friggin dog right now! Nurse Case continued. "You three were found together, unconscious, near the borders of our city. Thank Arceus you were so close. We figured you'd been attacked or something, but found no signs of injury apart from your being unconscious, so we took you here to the guild to keep you safe. Are you feeling anything? Pain, discomfort?" He asked them.
No! Welp, that told her basically nothing, apart from explaining why she was here. Here in the hospital specifically. Not why she was a weird brown yipyap dog thing. "Er, other than this headache, not really." Bella replied. "I don't feel hurt by anything." She looked back at the other two, Miku and Alex, who seemed to nod. "Erm, well." Case responded. "If that's all, then I guess you're all free to go. You can stay at the guild for now, unless you have a place to stay?" He paused for a bit, as if waiting for one of them to say something. No response. He continued, albeit confusedly. "If you start feeling anything off, you know where to find me. I'll get Guildmaster Ampharos to send a guide to show you around."