Humidity hovered and loomed in the air of Andalusst. Pokémon tried to find coolness in whatever shade happen to befall their way but such relief was only temporary for the thick, sweltering air would constrict them like an Arbok entrapping its prey.
A shiny Pancham was condemned to the same fate. He sat against a large tree, the thick, leafy branches provided him with abundant shade as he watched Pokémon big and small repairing old carts while others dragged said carts behind them off to who knew where. Kamina could lie here all day. He wasn’t built to work in this kind of heat and considered kicking back and taking the day off. As far as he was concerned he deserved some time off.
However, Kamina’s partner had something else in mind…
“Wake up, lazy bones!” A female Chimchar exclaimed as she bonked Kamina over the head with a rolled up piece of paper. “We got work to do!”
“It’s too damn hot, Sun…” Kamina groaned. “Let’s just call it a lazy day.”
“Whataya mean it’s too hot? The weather’s perfect!” Sun-Sun retorted, causing Kamina to facepalm. He forgot that Sun-Sun was a fire type; therefore weather like this was like a breezy spring day for the Chimchar.
“Maybe to you, but I’m dying.”
“Maybe it’s from all the weight you’ve been gaining.” Sun-Sun suggested as if she hadn’t just flat-out told her partner that he was fat.
“How many times do I have to tell you, I’m big-boned, not fat?” The Pancham said with a glare.
“There’s no shame in it, but don’t worry because I got just the work out!” Sun-Sun unraveled the paper that was rolled up and revealed it to be a flier asking for any and all guilds to participate in the repairing of trade carts and/or retrieving them, with a reward included.
Kamina sighed as his last statement went in one ear out the other with Sun-Sun, just as it usually did. Some days he wondered why he decided to tag along with Sun-Sun…
“There’s been some reports of stolen carts and we’re gonna investigate!” Sun-Sun said it matter-of-factly and puffed out her chest. “Team Sun-Fist will be on the case!”
Kamina rolled his eyes. “You’re not gonna shut up until I get up and go with you, are you?”
“Mmm-Hm!” The Chimchar nodded happily.
The Pancham sighed, defeated as he stood up. “Alright, let’s get this over with.” Sun-Sun let out a cheer as she quickly caught up to Kamina and took the lead. “At least there’s a reward…”
An elderly Meinshao fanned himself with his bamboo hat as he sat against the hot stone wall with his merchandise laid out on a spring green cloth. He looked up when he suddenly found two shadows looming over his goods and saw that they belonged to a Chimchar and a Pancham.
“Can I help you…?” The Meinshao asked, sounding a little uncertain.
“Are you Mr. Misaki?” Kamina asked as Sun-Sun browsed at the elder Pokémon’s goods.
“Yes…” Mr. Misaki answered, still looking at the duo with uncertainty.
“You’re one of the Pokémon who reported a stolen cart to the guilds, right?”
At the mention of a stolen cart, the untrusting look in Mr. Misaki’s eyes vanished and was replaced with relief. “Yes. Do you intend to find it for me?”
“That’s the plan.” Kamina replied as he crossed his arms before glancing at Sun-Sun who still seemed distracted by the Meinshao’s merchandise. “Uh, Sun…I think this is the part where you’re supposed to introduce us.”
“Oh, right.” Sun-Sun snapped from her trance and confidently put her fists on her hips and held her head high like a super hero who had just saved the day. “We’re Team Sun-Fist, and you can rest easy, knowing we’re on the case!”
“Do you think maybe you can clue us in as to who might have stolen your cart?” Kamina asked.
“I’m afraid not, young ‘mon.” Mr. Misaki said with a saddened sigh. “They must have taken off with it while I was fast asleep because when I woke up the next morning it was gone. If I were to take a guess though, it could have been a band of dark type Pokémon. They tend to victimize a lot of the merchants in this part of Andalusst.”
“Any idea where we might be able to find them?”
“Most of them usually come out only at night, but you might find a few wandering around the market. They’re most likely trying to find another merchant to steal from and once they have their victim in mind they’ll report it to their leader when he or she wakes up.”
“I think we can work with that. Thanks for the information.” Kamina said as he bowed his thanks.
“You kids, best be careful. These thieves work in a very tight knit group and can easily outnumber.” The Meinshao warned the two.
“I think we’ll be okay, but thanks for the advice.” Kamina said as he grabbed his partner who was once again distracted by the Meinshao’s goods.
“I swear, these tasks keep getting more and more troublesome.” The Pancham grumbled. Ever since arriving in Andalusst he’s taken down a high-class ninja, and made a group of trouble makers think his long-time friend and partner was something out of the looney bin, Now he and Sun-Sun were about to take down a band of thieves just to retrieve one stupid cart. Was he the only one that saw something wrong with this?
“I think you’re just cranky from the heat, Kamina.” Sun-Sun replied as she skipped happily by the Pancham’s side.
“You’re lucky at least one of us has a type advantage.” Kamina sighed. He had a good feeling that with this fact he would be doing most of the fighting.
“Which is why this is gonna be easy.” The Chimchar chirped happily before stopping in her tracks when she saw an Umbreon at a nearby stand, seemingly browsing at the merchant’s goods. Sun-Sun quickly grabbed Kamina’s paw and pointed at the eeveelution. “Kamina, look.”
“Yeah, it’s an Umbreon, what about it?” Kamina asked, sounding a little annoyed.
“Didn’t that old Meinshao say that some of those dark type thieves stay up during the day and browse around the shops?”
“He did, but, Sun that doesn’t mean that he’s…Sun?” The Pancham’s eyes widen as he realized his partner was no longer at his side and snapped his head in all different directions to see where she might have gone off to. Only when a flash of orange caught his eye did he see that Sun-Sun had approached the Umbreon and the moonlight Pokémon looked almost terrified.
“Sun!” Kamina shouted as he ran over to her.
“Where were you between the hours of night and day?” The Chimchar questioned as she cornered the Umbreon from leaving.
Despite that, the eeveelution’s eyes still darted around for possible escape openings. “I-I don’t know.” He quickly responded.
“You don’t know or you don’t want to know?”
“Th-That makes no sense.”
“Answer the question!”
“I don’t know what you’re asking me!” The Umbreon shouted in fright.
“Sun, what the hell’re you doing?” Kamina exclaimed as he appeared behind Sun-Sun.
“I’m interrogating him, it works for the police.”
“Yeah for them, but we’re not the police.” Kamina scolded before turning to the Umbreon.
“I’m really sorry about her, she gets a little…excited when we get an assignment.” The Pancham explained.
“Um…That’s okay…” The Umbreon said, eyeing Sun-Sun with uncertainty. “What’s your assignment, anyway?”
“We’ve gotten some complaints from merchants about some stolen trade carts. One of them said he thinks a band of Dark-Type thieves stole his cart in the middle of the night while he was asleep, do you know anything about either one?”
The Umbreon shook his head. “Sorry, I’m just passing through. I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
“That’s alright; we’ll just have to ask around a little more.”
“I saw a Sneasel walking about the market not too long ago if that helps.”
The 3 Pokémon turned their heads to see the stand’s owner, a Kecleon come out of his tent, holding a small box.
“Did you catch him doing anything…illegal?” Kamina asked the Kecleon.
“Not exactly, maybe I’m just being as discriminating as your friend over there, but he did
look kind of shifty. Then again, I suppose all Sneasel’s look like that.” He explained as he handed the Umbreon the box.
“We’ll look into it. How long ago did you say he was here?” Kamina pressed.
“Oh, I don’t know. My memory’s a little foggy…” The Kecleon said with a smirk. “Perhaps a purchase will refresh my memory. Would you be interested in buying a TM?”
“We don’t have enough money for a TM!” Kamina shouted as he threw his hands in the air in aggravation.
“So sad, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
“Alright, listen here you-“Kamina was about to say before the Umbreon stopped him and placed a small bag of star coins in front of the Kecleon merchant.
“Tell them what they want to know.” The Umbreon commanded before facing Kamina. “As for you, pick any TM you want, my treat.”
“Splendid, I’ll go see what I have in the back.” The color change Pokémon said as he retreated back inside his tent.
“Are you sure?” Kamina asked uncertain. “My partner here has already caused you enough trouble.”
“Hey!” Sun-Sun piped in.
“It’s the least I can do to help. I pass through Andalusst often, I was even thinking about moving here. Oh, my name’s Yoru, by the way.” The Umbreon introduced himself
“Kamina.” The Pancham and introduced himself.
“And I’m Sun-Sun and together, we’re Team Sun-Fist!” The Chimchar exclaimed as she punched the air.
“She sure is a bundle of energy isn’t she?” Yoru said as an anime sweat drop formed at the side of his head.
“Yeah, it takes a special kind of patience to put up with her.” Kamina agreed as the same happened to him.”
“Oh, and no hard feelings, Yoru? I’m sorry if I offended you.” Sun-Sun apologized as she smiled a smile of sincerity.
“That’s okay; you wouldn’t be the first to assume that.” Yoru said with a light chuckle and just as the Kecleon merchant came back out.
“Unfortunately I only have 3 to pick from. Hidden power, Toxic, or Fire Punch. Which would you like?”
Sun-Sun gasped when she heard the final choice. “Did you say Fire Punch? Ooh! Kamina get that one, get that one!”
“Why?” Kamina asked raising an eyebrow.
“Don’t question it, just trust me! Get it, Get it!”
“Fine. I’ll take the Fire Punch TM, please.” The Pancham as the Kecleon handed it over.
“Pleasure doing business with you.” The merchant smirked.
“Now it’s your turn to hold up your end of the deal. Kamina said as he glared at the shifty merchant.
“Fine, Fine. He had to be here no longer than an hour ago. If he left I assume he must be making his way towards some cave in the outskirts of town.”
“I’ve heard of that place.” Yoru added. It’s a hangout for Dark types but other types are welcome as well, I’ve been there once or twice, it’s usually a place for shady characters. I can take you there if you want.”
“If you keep doing these favors for us, I don’t know how we’re gonna repay you.” Kamina said as he crossed his arms with a sigh.
“There’s no time to lose! Lead the way Yori!” Sun-Sun Exclaimed.
“Um, it’s Yoru, and it’s this way.” The Umbreon said as he began to lead the way.
“Here we are.” Yoru proclaimed. “Welcome to the Cave. It’s a hopping place at night, a dark-type’s paradise, however like I said other types are welcomed too.”
Both Kamina and Sun-Sun exchanged looks with each other before scoping the perimeter of The Cave. Everything seemed normal, nothing out of the ordinary popped out to the duo.
“Do you know if it’s open?” Kamina asked Yoru.
The Umbreon shrugged. “Probably. If it is, it’s most likely like a ghost town.”
“That’s fine. The less there is to deal with the better. Come on, Sun, we’re going in.”
“Okay!” Sun-Sun said cheerily as she skipped ahead.
“Mind if I tag along? All this walking around has made me famished.” Yoru asked before
Kamina could follow Sun-Sun.
The Pancham responded with a shrug. “I don’t see why not.” And with that the 3 Pokémon made their way inside.
Just as Yoru had claimed, the inside of The Cave was indeed like a ghost town. All of the tables were unoccupied and empty and the bar in the back was also vacant with the exception of a Weavile who stood behind the counter reading a book of some kind. The sharp claw Pokémon happen to glance up when he saw the trio and slammed his book shut.
“Can I help you?” The Weavile said, his eyes seemed set into a permanent scowl.
“A Pecha Berry Tea for me.” Yoru said with a pleasant smile.
“And for you squirts?” The Weavile asked as he eyed Sun-Sun and Kamina.
“We wanted to ask you a few questions.” Kamina replied.
“Can I get a pecha berry shake please?” Sun-Sun asked with a grin.
“Sure.” the Weavile said as he readied both orders. “As for you, slugger what kind of questions did you have in mind?”
“Do you know anything about frequent complaints from merchants about stolen trade carts?” Kamina asked as he watched the Weavile intently.
“Not a lot of news gets up here. The only things I hear about are the stories exchanged by explorers and hunters that come here to rest after a mission.” The sharp claw Pokémon explained as he served Sun-Sun and Yoru’s order.
“Is that right?” The Pancham asked giving a hard stare into the Weavile’s eyes.
“Yeah…” He said, turning his back to Kamina and took up a glass and a rag which he used to
clean the glass as if to distract himself from Kamina’s hard stare.
“So you wouldn’t happen to know anything about a Sneasel that once witness said made his way up here after loitering for an hour at the market. A couple of merchants said he looked pretty shifty.”
Both Sun-Sun and Yoru exchanged looks as they sipped their drinks while watching Kamina continued to interrogate the Weavile who suddenly began to become a little fidgety.
“I…I don’t know what you’re-“
“Hey bro, I think we might want to consider splitting town. I think the Guilds might be on to us about-“The Sneasel had suddenly come in through the entrance as he said this causing the Weavile to pale and all three Pokémon turn around to face him.
“Stealing their…trade carts…” The Sneasel slowly finished.
“Aha! A confession!” Sun-Sun stood up out of her chair and pointed at the Sneasel.
“Damn it, Luka…” The Weavile growled.
Kamina smirked, knowing he had caught the Weavile in a lie. “We’re with the Explorer’s Guild and it’s our duty to report you to our higher-ups of your crimes and return the stolen property. If you come with us quietly we’ll make this as easy as possible.”
“Over my dead body, Little Bear.” The Weavile growled. “Security!”
A Pawniard, Larvatar, Scraggy, and Houndour came out as soon as the Weavile had shouted the word.
All four Pokémon released their strongest attacks, causing the trio to jump from their seats and make a run for the Exit.
“Don’t let them get away, and make sure they don’t get a hold of the carts!”
“Yes sir!” all 4 Pokémon saluted before running off to follow the trio.
“You go with them too. Luka.”
The Sneasel named Luka nodded. “Got it, Bro.” and with that he also ran after the group.
“We have to find the carts!” Kamina shouted as all three Pokémon ran into the forest.
“They have to have them hidden somewhere.”
“Are those it?” Sun-Sun pointed at a nearby shrub that looked like it had a wooden handle sticking out of it.
The team stopped and together quickly uncovered the shrub to reveal that it was indeed the missing cart that belonged to Mr. Misaki.
“We found it!” Sun-Sun cheered.
“I think it’s a little too soon for a victory dance.” Yoru said as his ears twitched. “I think they’re coming.” The moonlight Pokémon then proceeded to look at the cart and then at Team Sun-Fist. “Get on the cart, I have an idea.”
“Stop right there!” The Sneasel shouted as he ran towards the trio with his mini-army of dark types in tow.
“Quickly!” Yoru shouted.
The team quickly complied and climbed inside of the cart. Yoru grabbed some of the rope with his mouth and broke out into a run as he dragged the cart behind him.
“Yoru, are you crazy!” Kamina screamed as he hung onto the side of the cart for dear life.
Sun-Sun on the other hand looked like she was having a blast. “Mush Yori! Onward and upward!”
The 5 Pokémon tried firing their strongest attacks but the trio was much too far away as they made their way back into Andalusst.
By the time they made their way back to the market, Yoru had almost collapsed from exhaustion as Sun-Sun and Kamina climbed out of the cart.
“Are you okay, Yori?” Sun-Sun asked the Umbreon. Her expression was one of concern.
“It’s…Yoru…” The Umbreon panted tiredly.
“That’s 3 favors in one day.” Kamina said as he patted Yoru’s back. “I dunno what you want from us but whatever you want we’ll try to get for you. We just can’t promise it right away.”
“Just your thanks…is necessary.” Yoru said with a smile. “I go around doing favors like this for Pokémon all the time. Sometimes I’m rewarded and other times it’s a thankless effort, but at the end of the day I’m happy with myself.”
“Well if you ever need our help with something, we’ll be there for you in a heartbeat!” Sun-Sun said with her signature grin.
“Thank you, Team Sun-Fist. I’ll be sure to remember you two in the future.”
“Likewise.” The Pancham said with a small smile
And the three Pokémon went their separate ways.