Disclaimer:

This work is fiction. The work has no (intentional) relationship with any person existing at any time anywhere whether real or imaginary or copy written.

Feedback will be read, processed, and if it’s a flame it will be given the finger, then I will burst into hysterical laughter. Constructive feedback, be it criticism or praise, will be read, processed, given a smile, and filed away. To contact me, please send an email to socom.seal@(SPAM)yahoo.com. Remove (SPAM) for a valid email.

You should not read this if you are not of legal age where you reside. This work can contain rape, BDSM, cannibalism, and probably anything else my sick, twisted mind can come up with.

 

 

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Pure Vanilla Chapter 3

 

 

         Daniel trudged sleepily through the streets of Cardiff, searching vainly for a coffee shop. Settling on a small restaurant he found a table and ordered a coffee. When it came he took a few sips before staring out into the city as the sun rose.

 

         Sarah had been gone by the time he woke up, and with her the PPHU. So Lea was still sleeping off her drunken battle in her pokeball, with only Trish as his reserve. He sighed, watching the traffic slowly increase as more people woke up. Cardiff may not be a metropolis, but it had still been big enough to hide its pokecenters.

 

         Waving his waiter over he paid for the drink, asked for directions, and returned to his watch. It was already mid-morning by the time he finished and pushed back onto the street. “Two blocks down, four blocks over.” He muttered to himself. “Gym, center, and police building all in one plaza. Makes sense, I guess.” It didn’t take long for the pokecenter to come into view, and across from it Daniel could see a line already forming outside of the Cardiff gym. He snorted derisively. “The early comers never make it through.”

 

         “They made it through us.” Daniel slowed as a trio of shadows detached themselves from the alleyways and began to approach him. He debated whether to break for it but decided against it, turning and continuing his leisurely walk. “HEY!” He heard their footsteps pick up.

 

         “I have no business with you. I just got into town, so I’m going to the center.” Daniel continued. “If you’re looking to pick off newbies coming to the gym, I’m not your mark.”

 

         One of the three ran in front of him, forcing him to change course. “Sure you are. I challenge you to a battle for full salvage. One on one.”

 

         Daniel stopped. “Sure we can battle for salvage, but it’s not going to be one on one. You get one pokegirl, I get six, and we’ll be fighting on field two in Radyr.”

 

         The other Tamer frowned. “What? That’s stupid, you can’t have six pokegirls. I challenged you to a one on one.”

 

         Daniel frowned. “And I refused that challenge and offered my own. Are my terms not acceptable?”

 

         The Tamer grinned, pulling out his pokedex and tapping the screen. “Bingo. You just admitted to refusing my challenge. Can’t do that buddy, so either accept my terms or I’ll have to file a report.”

 

         “Sounds good.” Daniel replied, shouldering past and walking towards the police station. “Come on, we’ll file it together.”

 

         “H-H-Hey!” The guy yelled, chasing after Daniel. “Are you nuts? You’ll get a permanent strike! Just battle me, even if you lose a pokegirl it’d be better than losing your license.”

 

         Daniel snorted, yanking open the doors and ushering the other man inside. “Please, do blackmail me more.” He remarked drily. “Good morning, would there be anyone available to pass a ruling and possibly take a Tamer complaint report?” He asked the pokegirl behind the front desk.

 

         The girl nodded and pressed a button on her desk. “The Lieutenant will be out shortly.”

 

         “Thank you.” Daniel turned and sat down, lounging across the seats while he stared at the other Tamer. “Well?”

 

         The man shook his head and sat. “You’ve got some balls, kid. Sticking to your guns even though you know you’s gonna lose.”

 

         Daniel smirked, glancing over as a uniformed man walked into the lobby. “We’ll see.” He stood and offered his hand. “Lieutenant, I’m Daniel Adams. I’m afraid I don’t know the name of my friend here.”

 

         “I know who he is.” The man growled. “Baker, I’ve warned you before about this shit. Did Daniel here turn you down?”

 

         Baker shrugged. “I’m just following the laws, sir.”

 

         The officer shook his head. “Cut the crap and show me your latest evidence.”

 

         Daniel interjected before Baker could offer his pokedex. “If you’d like, sir, I also have a recording of the incident. I can guarantee mine is more complete.”

 

         The officer grinned, Baker wincing at the news. “Well, well. He finally tried to con a smart one. I’d very much enjoy seeing that recording, Mr. Adams.”

 

         “Of course, sir.” Daniel handed over his dex. “The recording unfortunately does not include my travels from the restaurant I had coffee in, but it picks up just after I was hailed by Mr. Baker and his two friends.”

 

         “You were recording the whole time?” Baker snarled. “You son of a-“

 

         “That’s enough.” The officer’s voice cut through Baker’s tyrade. He pulled out a pair of headphones, jacking them in and starting the recording. A few minutes later he took them out, offering the dex back to Daniel. “So, Baker, what exactly are you here for?”

 

         “This kid refused my challenge. Under Blue league law, he can’t do that unless within 12 hours of a battle. Since he made no statement along those lines, I was forced to report him violating the law.”

 

         “I see.” The officer glanced at Daniel. “And your side?”

 

         “I am more than willing to accept Mr. Baker’s challenge for salvage, however he refused my conditions. As the parties in question were unable to reach an agreement, the battle could not be held. When I attempted to return to my travels Mr. Baker accosted me and attempted to blackmail me into accepting terms I was not comfortable with.”

 

         “I didn’t refuse his conditions, he refused MY conditions!” Baker yelled. “He’s just twisting his words to make me the villain!”

 

         “Baker, I just watched a full recording of the incident, including the conversation.” The officer replied. “Not only are you in the wrong, you should probably reread those statutes you’re so proud of twisting.” He looked back at Daniel. “As the challenged you had every right to set the battle conditions, and you are correct that non agreement meant the battle could not take place. Is there anything else you need from us today?”

 

         “Yes, please.” Daniel replied. “I’d like to file a harassment claim against Mr. Baker here. Even if it goes nowhere, I understand he pulls this stunt a lot. Having an actual case on file where he slipped up might help you.”

 

         The officer grinned and glanced at Baker. “I’ll happily write up the paperwork. Will you be in town long?”

 

         Daniel nodded. “I need to have bloodwork done and fully enroll in the Scorecard and League systems. I expect that to take an hour or two.”

 

         The officer nodded. “Very well. I’ll have the papers sent next door when ready for your signature.”

 

         Daniel smiled. “Thank you.” He turned to give Baker a snide look. “I told you I wasn’t your mark.”

 

         Daniel could feel the man’s hatred through his eyes. “I won’t forget this.” He muttered.

 

         “Might want to, unless you want that threat going on file as well.” The Lieutenant remarked drily. “Get out of here. Both of you.”

 

         Baker angrily pushed out the door, leaving Daniel to walk next door to the pokecenter in peace. Stepping inside he joined the short line for service.

 

         “Next.” The Rapha behind the counter waved him forwards. “Cleaning and healing, sir?”

 

         “Yes, but I also need some profile work done.” Daniel offered his pokedex and pokeballs. “I need updated blood work for blood traits, and since this is my first official day holding my license, I have not yet registered for the League and Scorecard programs.”

 

         The Rapha straightened up a bit. “Finally, some actual work to do. I’ll make sure your pokegirls get their cycles.  If you’ll have a seat, I’ll have someone come out momentarily for the profile work.”

 

         Daniel nodded and smiled. “Thank you.” He stepped out of the way of the next Tamer, taking a similar position as he had in the police station. A minute passed before another pokegirl came out of a side door, accepting a small tray from the Rapha and beelining towards Daniel.

 

         She stopped in front of him and smiled. “Daniel Adams?”

 

         Daniel stood and took the tray, putting his pokeballs and dex back where they belonged. “Yes ma’am.”

 

         The pokegirl giggled. “Why, thank you.” She took the tray back and motioned for him to follow. “If you’ll come with me, we can have your blood work run while I help you enroll.”

 

         “Thanks.” He waited for the door to swing shut behind him before continuing. “Will the psychological profile be updated at the same time?”

 

         The pokegirl’s step stuttered slightly and she glanced at him in surprise. “What makes you think that?”

 

         Daniel chuckled. “Maybe it’s just because I grew up with a Sama watching my every move, but no matter what you Megami look like I just know what you are.”

 

         The Pokegirl harrumphed. “Yes, I have been taking a psychological profile and will continue to do so while we work. It won’t mean anything since you know it’s happening, though.”

 

         Daniel grinned. “Just note that I knew.” He laughed at her glare. “Blood work?”

 

         “Yes, yes.” The Megami sighed, ushering him into a small patients room. “One moment.”

 

         Daniel waited patiently for her to prepare a needle and vial, offering his arm. The Megami swabbed it, swiftly took the sample and capped it before placing it into a small machine. “Now then. You wish to be enrolled in the League and Scorecard systems?” She asked, pulling a chair in front of a small terminal.

 

         “Yes, please.” Daniel replied, rubbing at the pinprick. “Specifically, I need to be credited for points gained under a family card.”

 

         “I see.” The Megami tapped a few keys. “I have you registered as the son of one Emmanuel Adams. Is that correct?” Daniel nodded and she opened a window. “Here we are. I’ll go ahead and merge the points accredited to you under your father’s name with your account.” She leaned back. “Unfortunately, as the points are now under a separate account, they have been credited with the full decay. You don’t have quite as many as you may hope.”

 

         Daniel shrugged. “Whatever I have, it’s more than nothing.”

 

         The Megami smiled. “Exactly. Now then, you also wish to register for the Welsh League?”

 

         Daniel shrugged. “I know I don’t have the scorecard to participate, but I’d like to at least get my name into the system now. Save some time down the road.”

 

         The Megami bobbed her head in agreement. “A smart plan. Full given name and age?”

 

         “Daniel Romeo Adams, 18.”

 

         “Thank you.” The Megami tapped a few more inputs before closing the window. “And you are registered and linked. That should save you some time at whichever gym you make it to first.” She shrugged apologetically. “Of course they will still require you to register your full team before any challenge, so that step can not be done in advance.”

 

         Daniel nodded. “Of course.” He glanced at the machine as it stopped moving. “That done?”

 

         “It is.” The Megami pulled up the results. “Let’s see here. A few markers for Strength and Rage, but nothing fully formed. Claws, Enhanced Auditory, Enhanced Olfactory, and… Am I reading this right?” She glanced at Daniel. “There are heavy indicators for Pokegene, enough to be classified as a tier 2 or even 3. But you look perfectly human.”

 

         Daniel bared his fangs and raised the ears off his head. “Just hidden.”

 

         The Megami laughed. “Well you hide it quite well. No tail?”

 

         Daniel snorted. “Sometimes when I lean back in a chair I can feel what could have been one, but no. Doctors say the bone growth started but aborted about 2 years in.”

 

         “Interesting.” The Megami shut off the terminal. “Well, I’ve updated your profile with your traits, including the latent ones. Have you experienced anything that might be linked to those two traits?”

 

         Daniel sighed. “When I get angry enough I act pretty irrationally. I’ve learned to control it, though. As for the strength, maybe? I’ve trained in hand to hand combat since I was a kid, so that might be why, but I was the strongest in my class.”

 

         The Megami looked surprised. “You’ve trained since you were a child? Why on earth?”

 

         Daniel chuckled. “Mom’s a Wolf Queen. I was taught pretty early on that the only way I was ever going to get what I wanted was to fight for it.”

 

         “I see.” The Megami analyzed his expression. “Well, we’re all done here. Probably should get out there and start rebuilding your scorecard.”

 

         Daniel nodded. “I will, thank you.” He started for the door but paused. “You know, I never saw you write down a psych profile.”

 

         The Megami blinked. “Well, I’m still… Still compiling it. I’ll input it after you leave.”

 

         “Mmhmm.” Daniel turned away. “Give the other one my regards, would you?”

 

         The Megami watched him go and shook her head in exasperation. “Perceptive kid.” She exited; walking to the next door down and entering, bowing to the Megami-Sama lounged there. “Sorry, madam.”

 

         “You did fine, child.” The Sama finished writing Daniel’s profile and closed his account. “You kept his attention long enough for me to get a true read. How did his aura look?”

 

         “Amazing.” The Megami beamed. “If you hadn’t warned me off I would have considered him a prime candidate for a purpose.”

 

         The Megami-Sama frowned. “I never warned you off, child.”

 

         The Megami blinked. “Then… What was the mark I saw on his aura? It came from a powerful Sama. I was sure it was yours.”

 

         The Megami-Sama turned the terminal back on. “What was that boy’s last name?”

 

         “Adams.”

 

         “Adams…” The woman murmured. “Oh. Well, this explains it all.” She moved aside to let the Megami see. “She is a part of his father’s Harem. Going by the name Angelica, it appears…” Her eyes unfocused. “She is a high ranking agent of the Alliance.”

 

         “So she protects her Master’s spawn.” The Megami looked troubled. “But, couldn’t she upset the balance by doing so?”

 

         “If she could, I would doubt that she cares.” The Sama replied. “Don’t worry yourself, child. From what I gleamed, she has trained him well. Though he may not find the greatest of threats, he is well prepared for any that find him.”

 

 

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         “THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!”

 

         Trish watched in amusement while Daniel struggled with the computer. “Master, I believe you are supposed to place the pokeball on the pad first, before attempting to negotiate the sale.”

 

         “Sure. That makes sense.” Daniel growled, slamming one of the Boobisaurs onto the teleportation pad. “It’s not like I hadn’t tried that alread-“ He watched as the machine came to life and the pokeball vanished. “-y. Shit.”

 

         Trish stifled her laughter. “Are you selling both?”

 

         “Yesss.” Daniel hissed, placing the second pokeball down more gently. “And please be quiet. I suddenly have a splitting headache.”

 

         Trish’s composure broke slightly. “Should I not remind you that I require a weapon then, Master?” She asked with a grin.

 

         “EUGHHHH.” Daniel growled. “YES. YES YOU DO.” He slammed his hand against the table. “Which only reminds me that in about an hour I will be BROKE.” He sighed as she burst out laughing. “What’s so funny.”

 

         Trish draped herself over his shoulder. “You get angry when you’re frustrated.”

 

         “Yea. Woop de doo.” He slapped her lightly. “Can I have non-spunky Trish for a while?”

 

         “Nu.” Trish replied and kissed his cheek. “I feel like spunky me right now.”

 

         “Then I’ll stop complaining.” Daniel stood, Trish still clinging around his neck as she was lifted slightly off the ground. He coughed and pulled at her arms. “But can you please not strangle me?”

 

         Trish giggled and dropped. “Are we going to get me a sword, Master?”

 

         “Yesss.” Daniel readjusted his gear and signed out of the terminal. “Those two ferals made me some money, and adding what my parents gave me for my birthday I have enough for some better supplies. Not enough for something like a pokepack, but a decent weapon for you and some basics for both you and Lea are doable. We’ll be eating rations for a few days until we can catch some more ferals.” He sighed. “Area around here is probably picked clean. The cities with gyms are always quieter thanks to last second scorecard padding.”

 

         Trish fell in behind him and cocked her head curiously. “Master, I was led to believe you are a new Tamer. How do you know so much about these things?”

 

         Daniel grinned. “That’s right. You never met my dad.” He paused to pull up his dex before continuing walking. “I didn’t get very good grades in school. Never felt that important to. Got all the knowledge I needed from my father.” He pulled up an entry and handed her the dex. “That’s him.”

 

         “’Blue League Master Tamer Emmanuel Adams Takes the World by Storm as he Announces his Retirement’?” Trish read. “Wait, your father is a celebrity?”

 

         “Was.” Daniel replied. “He was pushing to be the first Tamer to take every Laurel badge in the league. He never got past number 12.”

 

         Trish blinked. “This article doesn’t have any details, Master. Just a short statement that he’s retiring to build a family.”

 

         “That was the official reason, yea.” Daniel slowed. “Unofficially even I don’t know what happened.”

 

         “Was he injured?”

 

         “Not that I know of.” Daniel took the dex back and shut it off. “He holds himself like any other guy I know. But something must have happened. I’m not worth losing a life long dream.”

 

         Trish quickly stepped in front of him. “Master-“

 

         “Don’t.” Daniel snapped. “Whether or not there is another reason, it happened. I’ve hated him for it ever since I found out he was famous. It’s why I want to be the champion. I want to show him I can achieve everything he threw away.” He turned away. “God I’m petty.”

 

         Trish watched him for a few moments. “He held it over you.”

 

         Daniel blinked in surprise but nodded. “It was his fall back argument.”

 

         “Well he’s an idiot.” Trish proclaimed loudly to Daniel’s shock. “My Master is going to be the League Champion and that’s final.” She drove her sword into the ground and grinned at him. “Even if I have to beat Master’s enemies with nothing but a wooden sword.”

 

         Daniel chuckled. “Alright, alright. I get it.” He grabbed her in a brief hug. “Thanks.”

 

         Trish giggled and fell back behind him. “You still didn’t answer my question.”

 

         “Right. I know all this because I’ve been acting as a Tamer ever since my 16th birthday. On the day I was legally allowed to my dad took me out hunting. Every week we’d go for a day and I’d always have to be prepared. It wasn’t until almost a year later that I graduated from pretend hunts against the rest of his harem to real ferals. That’s how I have a few points already on my scorecard.”

 

         Trish bobbed her head. “So you have been accruing points for a full year, Master?”

 

         “Yep. But they got docked by two years of decay today, so I’m not even able to challenge a non-Welsh gym.” He grimaced. “And I’m not rich enough to travel to the other parts of Blue. We’re going to have to work our butts off to be able to compete in the next season.”

 

         “Oh! That’s right!” Trish followed him down another street. “The regionals are in, like, a month!”

 

         “Yep. That’s why the line for the gym was going out the door.” Daniel laughed as they stopped in front of a store. “Last minute Welsh panic. Well, we’re here.”

 

         Trish gazed at the sign as they went inside. “Did you find this place on your own, Master?”

 

         “No. I just know they do good work.” He gestured at the racks of blades around them, each in a unique sheath. “In fact, I named some of these blades myself.”

 

         Before Trish could ask what he meant a short pokegirl pushed out of a back area, steam billowing behind her. “Hello, and welcome to-“ She cut off when she saw who had entered. “Daniel, my boy! It’s been far too long since I’ve seen ya last!”

 

         Daniel grinned, bending a little to clap the pokegirl on the back. “Gaerel, it’s only been a few months.”

 

         The Moriae waved her hand dismissively. “There was a time you and yer father came in every week. But that’s beside the point. What brings you back?”

 

         “I need a blade.” Daniel glanced around. “A real one, not one of the cheap things you sucker people in with.”

 

         Gaerel growled. “Oh, I know you didn’t just say that.”

 

         Daniel winked. “You’re not denying it.”

 

         Gaerel watched him for a moment before a grin broke back across her face. “Na. I ain’t.” She motioned them to follow as she headed to the back room. “Master Bear isn’t here today. Just me and Moira in the forge room.” She grabbed a nearby poker and tossed it to him. “Heads up.”

 

         Daniel ducked as a form burst out of the steam; a clang echoing as Daniel barely parried the attack. “I FORGOT ABOUT THIS!”

 

         The shadow laughed and made another attack, sparks flying as its sword bit into Daniel’s poker. “Same rules as always, Daniel.”

 

         “Don’t baby me then.” Daniel spat back, flicking the sword away. Grabbing another poker he tossed his current, chewed up weapon at the shadow, which easily blocked it but stopped short of its next attack. Daniel smirked. “Haven’t you learned about vision in that stuff?”

 

         Gaerel took a deep breath and blew, the steam around them dissipating to show Daniel lightly holding his poker against the wrist of an armored pokegirl. The pokegirl stepped back. “I’m still training in my blindsight.”

 

         “Mom’s always going to have you beat.” Daniel replied, flicking the poker away. “It’s good to see you again, Moira.”

 

         The pokegirl reached up and removed her helmet, revealing a beaming Armsmistress. “And good to see you, Master Daniel.” She hooked the specially designed helmet to her armor. “Now then. I assume you didn’t come here with a young one in tow for a demonstration.”

 

         Daniel ignored her, inspecting the armor she wore. “That’s new, right? A new forge set?”

 

         “It is.” Moira lifted the helmet to show the darkened visor. “It’s as comfortable as I can make it, especially when my wings are cooped up like they are.” She said, turning slightly to show the two protrusions on her back. “One way glass and full sealant from any stray sparks. I only wear the helmet when I have to, because otherwise I’d be cooked alive.”

 

         “It’s awesome.” Daniel turned and nodded at Trish. “This is Trish. She’s a Slicer. She also doesn’t have a real weapon.”

 

         “Hmm.” Moira walked forwards and held out her hand. “May I?”

 

         Trish reluctantly handed over her sword, Moira inspecting the wear. “High quality, for a waster. Where did you get this?”

 

         Trish reached out and tried to snag it back. “It’s not a waster, it’s my sword. And I got it from Daniel’s… From Mistress Damika.”

 

         “Oho. I see.” Moira flipped the blade around, testing the weight. “No wonder it’s such a quality weapon.” She handed it back. “Do you want a sword of the same style? This is made in the image of an Edo Katana, though by the wear you do not use it as such. Would you like a different style of weapon?”

 

         Trish blinked in surprise. “I… I didn’t even know. I was using it wrong?” She looked to Daniel helplessly.

 

         “That’s why I came to her.” Daniel replied. “Trish, let Moira help you find a style you like.” He turned back to Moira. “Trish is a very recent threshold. I don’t think she’s found her favorite weapon yet.”

 

         “I see.” Moira looked Trish up and down. “Well, such a thing isn’t unheard of. Come. We’ll start small and work our way up.”

 

         The two walked further into the smithy to a small open space where Moira pulled out a target dummy. “First, show me how you fight. Attack the dummy.”

 

         Trish nodded and drew her sword, stepping forwards with a yell. She slashed the dummy twice across the chest before jabbing at its stomach. She looked at Moira. “Uhm… Like that?”

 

         Moira stepped forwards and took the sword. “Your grip is completely wrong for a weapon like this. And your swings were clumsy. A Katana is best used in flowing circles, not the linear attacks you use.” She stepped forwards with a cry, the wooden sword whistling as it cut into the dummy’s shoulder. With a slight step she pulled the blade free and down the body before flourishing it back and stabbing the dummy through the chin. “As such.”

 

         Trish watched in amazement. “My sword could do something like that?”

 

         “You can do something like that, with the right weapon.” Moira replied. “Let’s start with a dagger first.”

 

         Trish took the offered weapon, swinging it experimentally. “I don’t know. I like the length of the katana.”

 

         “Alright.” Moira handed her a slightly longer dagger. “Block me.”

 

         Trish yelped and threw up the weapons, Moira’s strike bouncing off. The Armsmistress shook her head. “Just pieces of metal in your hands. Alright, some straight swords.” She pulled out a pair of shortswords. “Try one of these.”

 

         Trish took it and hefted the blade. “It’s better.”

 

         “Try attacking with it.”

 

         Trish stepped forward and swung, the blade sailing harmlessly a few inches in front of the dummy. Her next attack was stopped when Moira grabbed her arm. “Don’t bother. You want a longer reach.” She took the blades and pulled out a heftier one. “Try this one.”

 

         Moira sighed as Trish once again attacked clumsily. “I don’t understand…” She frowned. “Maybe you don’t want a sword at all.”

 

         Trish handed the claymore back and watched Moira disappear into a storage room. When she came back she was holding an armful of blades and chains that she dumped on the floor. “You want longer reach, but your best attempt so far has been with a shortsword. Maybe this will fix both issues.”

 

         Trish accepted the strange weapon, letting the chain trail through her fingers as she inspected the blade attached to it. “What is it?”

 

         “The original design is a weapon called a Kusarigama.” Moira replied. “I’ve since experimented with different blades for the end. The original had a sickle.”

 

         “Huh.” Trish slashed the sword a few times. “This looks like a katana, but it’s a bit shorter. What is it?”

 

         “It’s called a Wakizashi. Like I said, I’ve experimented a lot with different weapons.”

 

         “It’s cool, and I like the weight and idea, but the sword has no reach to it.”

 

         Moira grinned. “That’s where the chain comes in. It has a counterweight on the end and you use it to entangle and draw in your opponents. Then, once they’re in your face, you use the sword.”

 

         Trish slowly whirled the counterweight. “Alright. I’ll try it.” She eyed the dummy as she slowly increased the speed of the chain before suddenly snapping her arm across and sending it spinning around its torso. With a yell she yanked it in, the shorter sword already moving to intercept the dummy’s heart. There was a soft thud as the two impacted, the wakizashi poking out from the dummy’s back.

 

         Moira smiled. “You’re a natural. The reach you wanted plus the mobility of a shortsword. Explains why your waster only had hard wear on the lower surfaces.” She extended her hand. “You want a chain weapon. Is the Wakizashi end good for you?”

 

         Trish nodded and let Moira take the chain back. “Is that not the one you’re going to give me?”

 

         Moira snorted. “Oh no. That’s a cheap practice piece. I’ll be able to forge you a weapon that’s balanced correctly and is of the correct materiel. It will take me a few hours, though.” She motioned back to where Daniel and Gaerel stood talking. “You can wait out front, or come back.”

 

         Trish bowed slightly. “Thank you.”

 

         Moira smiled. “You’re welcome. I’d hate to see Damika’s son hurt because his pokegirl didn’t have a decent weapon.”

 

         Trish bowed lower. “I understand.”

 

         “Good.” Moira turned and began pumping a forge. “I already have a chain ready and metal prepared for a weapon like yours. Tell Daniel it will take me about two hours to finish forging.”

 

         Trish nodded and returned to him. “Master, Moira says it will take her about two hours to forge my weapon.”

 

         Daniel blinked in surprise. “That fast? Oh, she probably has some blanks ready. Very well, we’ll come back then. I want to get some things for the two of you anyways.” He nodded to Gaerel. “Do you want me to pay now, or on pickup?”

 

         The Moirae shrugged. “Pay now so you don’t have to worry about over spending on the rest of your shopping trip.”

 

         Daniel chuckled. “Smart idea.” He pulled out his chip and dex and let her scan them. Seeing the number he winced, but finished the payment and pocketed his dex. “Come on, Trish.”

 

         Trish followed him out of the store, absent-mindedly rubbing her wooden katana as they walked. “Where to now, Master?”

 

         “Now it’s Lea’s turn. She needs a couple of things if she’s going to fight properly.” He threw the depleted chit into a bin as they walked. “Going to have to keep it minimal though.”

 

         They stopped outside of a small store and Daniel released Lea. The Amazon materialized, blinking sleepily as she tried to take in her surroundings. “Whuzat? Where are we?”

 

         Daniel recalled Trish and nodded at the store. “Going to get you a refrigerated flask, among other things. As of today, you train in drunken martial arts.”

 

         “Cool.” Lea pushed ahead of him and into the cluttered shop floor. “This place is just full of everything.”

 

         “Everything and anything.” A man replied from behind the counter. “Sal’s Salvage. My name’s not Sal. Whatcha lookin’ for?”

 

         “My Amazon needs a refrigerated flask. It’s going to be holding milk.” Daniel replied, breezing past the expected question. “Also, any cheap gear would be nice to look at.”

 

         “Why’d you call it Sal’s Salvage if you’re not Sal?” Lea called, ignoring Daniel’s motions to be quiet.

 

         The man laughed. “Because it’s catchy. People remember the name.”

 

         “My items?” Daniel asked.

 

         “The flask I can do new, but all the gear in here is salvage.” The man replied. “I can only guarantee it for the one use I tested it with.”

 

         Daniel sighed. “It’ll have to do.”

 

         The shopkeeper pointed at a shelf. “Flasks up there. They’re good business, especially the long lasting cold ones. You’d be surprised how many drunks pass through Cardiff.”

 

         Daniel snorted. “Doubt it.” He pulled down a small lightweight vial and tossed it to Lea. “Catch.”

 

         She grabbed it and inspected the side. “What’s this for?”

 

         “If you insist on wearing next to nothing, you can’t have excess weight.” Daniel replied. “Small and with it’s own clip means it shouldn’t go stealing your panties in a fight.”

 

         “Yea, I get that.” Lea griped. “Why the bottle in the first place?”

 

         “Because you fight better when you’re drunk.” Daniel replied matter-of-factly. “I’ll want you to learn how to do it sober, but for now, you’re going to need that bottle.” He left her contemplating it and turned back to the man. “Thanks to that price tag I can only go for one piece of equipment. Got any self-raising tents?”

 

         The shopkeeper nodded. “Second aisle from the flasks.”

 

         Daniel inspected the handful of tents, settling on a well used but intact model. “Got any stories with this one?”

 

         The man leaned over to see what Daniel was holding. “Ah, yea. Tragedy that one was. Not even a rookie, guy decided to go swimming without pokegirls and became Feraligarter lunch. Already sold off his pack and the rest of his gear, that’s all that’s left.”

 

         Daniel flipped the canvas over and inspected a small blinking device. “You won’t mind when I disable your tracker, right?”

 

         The man laughed. “Smart kid. No, I don’t mind. I doubt I’ll be reselling that anyways. You’ll get the full use out of it.”

 

         Daniel tore the device off and crushed it under his shoe. “I can’t fix the one you put inside the mechanism, but if you disabled it, that would be nice.”

 

         The man’s smile grew. “Bring that over here, kid.” He took the tent and placed it under a small machine for a few moments. “There you go. Dex, please?” He scanned the pokedex and handed it back. “How’d you know I mark my salvage for future reclaiming?”

 

         Daniel shrugged. “It’s an old con trick. And good business.”

 

         The man tipped an imaginary hat. “Indeed it is. Don’t go dying now, I’d hate to see that tent in someone else’s shop.”

 

         Daniel chuckled but waved as he left, Lea trailing behind.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         “How’d you know about the tracking devices, Master?” Trish asked, sipping at her drink. The three were sitting at a small outdoor café while they waited for Trish’s weapon. “According to Lea you just knew there was one you couldn’t see.”

 

         Daniel shrugged. “I didn’t know. I guessed. There’s always a reason so many Tamers are lost in the wilds without a trace, only to turn up later stripped bare. And while some of them are sinister, sometimes it’s just because it would be bad for business. If you were running a salvage operation, wouldn’t you want to sell the salvage before any claims could be made?”

 

         Trish blinked. “But… Wouldn’t the salvage…ers be breaking the law? Like, that’s stealing, right Master?”

 

         “I don’t think so.” Daniel set down his glass. “I think the property is supposed to go to the next of kin, or whoever, but if it’s ‘lost’ then it belongs to whoever has it.” He frowned. “Probably a claim could be made, if the gear could be proven to belong to someone else. But there are salvage laws, so that’s iffy at best.” He smiled at her. “Long story short, I’m not psychic, I just made a very good guess.”

 

         “Mmm.” Trish took a long sip of her drink. “It still seems kind of mean. They’re just leaving the people out there without notifying anyone?”

 

         “The world is not kind.” Lea remarked offhandedly. “Get used to it.”

 

         Trish slammed her glass down. “I know the world isn’t nice. Doesn’t mean I have to be like you and roll over and let it be that way.”

 

         Lea stood, sending her chair skidding along the ground. “You don’t get to call me submissive.”

 

         Trish gave her a sidelong glance. “No, that’s Master’s job, right?” She asked snidely.

 

         Daniel grabbed Lea’s arm as she lunged forwards, digging his claws into her wrist until she buckled. “This is not the place.” He snarled, darting his gaze to Trish. “And you. Don’t think I’m unaware of what you’re trying to do.” He released Lea’s arm, allowing her to nurse her wrist. “Let me set something straight, here and now. Lea has proven herself in combat. By all rights, she should be the Alpha.” He sneered at Trish’s gasp. “Oh, yes. I know what this is about. But here’s the kicker - Lea isn’t fit for the position.” He ignored Lea’s look of confusion. “So I’ve got two pokegirls caught up in a bitchy catfight over a role neither of them deserve.” He glanced between the two of them. “Here’s what we’re going to do. Lea, you are going to be the Alpha. For. Now. Either prove yourself to me, or get replaced by the first candidate that comes along.”

 

         “But you just said she isn’t the right choice!” Trish nearly yelled, completely dropping the honorifics in her rage. “So why does SHE get the chance?”

 

         Daniel sat back down and grabbed his drink. “Because you’ve shown me that you’re petty and not above manipulating people to get your way. Lea, on the other hand, is straightforward in defending herself. While it was the wrong thing to do in this situation, and that takes her out of contention, it means she’s more honest with herself and with others. It will be easier for me to make sure she’s not going behind my back.” He chuckled. “Oh, and before you go off and agree to work behind my back, know this.” He raised his head, his ears popping to attention. “Lea is smug but already thinking of who she’ll have to beat up to keep her position. Trish, you’re furious and just waiting for me to turn around so you can sneak a swing at Lea. Both of you are doing exactly the opposite of what I want.” He smiled at their looks. “I grew up with two younger sisters and a full harem that wasn’t afraid to show the behind the scenes when I was around. To me, the two of you are as easy to read as a picture book.”

 

         Lea hesitated, but slowly picked up her chair and sat back down. “It’s just like in the shop. You’re right.”

 

         Trish looked at him. “Are you sure you’re not psychic, Master?”

 

         Daniel shook his head. “If you asked me to do complicated math, or name places or give information, I’d be stumped. I was raised in a world that required a different kind of education. Hopefully being a good judge of character and situations translates to me being a good strategist on the battlefield. Otherwise we won’t make it far.”

 

         Trish smiled. “I think you’ll do fine, Master.”

 

         “Thanks, Trish.” Daniel downed the rest of his drink. “But to be honest, the last time I made a wrong assumption I got knocked out for my stupidity. Let’s get back to the forge. Your weapon should be done soon.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         “…and the matching sheathe. The chain hooks on the strap here.” Moira motioned towards the fixture. “Traditionally a blade like this is worn behind you, but you should experiment with where it feels best.” She turned to Daniel as Trish fiddled with the straps. “I already had a blank for this sword, so the extra time was spent slow forging the temper. Make sure she sharpens it properly.” She handed him a small bag. “That weapon will last her as long as it needs to, provided she takes care of it properly.”

 

         Daniel glanced at Trish, observing how she was moving while getting used to the new weight on her body. “You said this was her weapon of choice, so I doubt she’ll ruin it too badly. Being a Slicer and all.”

 

         Moira chuckled. “No, probably not. But I once snapped a blade because I was careless in battle. Don’t let that happen in the wilds.”

 

         Daniel nodded. “We will be. Thank you.”

 

         The two pokegirls waited for them to leave before Moira turned back to the forge. “What did you charge him?”

 

         Gaerel smiled. “I charged him for what you gave him. Minus the family discount, of course.”

 

         “That’s good.” Moira pumped the bellows, waiting for the air to settle before repeating the process.  “If my Master heard I’d been giving out handouts, especially to his son, I’d be fucked.” She glanced at the Moriae. “And not in any good way, either.”

 

         Gaerel laughed. “I know. Damika would probably get in on it, too.”

 

         Moira shuddered. “Please don’t remind me of those claws.”

 

         Gaerel’s peals of laughter echoed faintly as Daniel closed the front door of the shop. “So, what now, Master?” Trish asked, half her attention on Daniel as she continued adjusting her sheathe. “Are we staying in Cardiff for a while?”

 

         “No. I planned to leave as soon as our shopping was done. Which, now that you have your weapon, is finished. I don’t know where exactly we’re going to head, but I doubt we’ll find many ferals in the area. With the combination of tamers coming in for last minute badges and tamers looking to inflate their scorecards, the wilds around Cardiff are most likely picked bare.” He pulled out the map. “I also don’t want to be on this side of the city anymore. I ran into a belligerent by the pokecenter. I figure the other one, since it’s away from the gym, will be a better place to be around.”

 

         Trish nodded, the two walking in silence for a few minutes before Daniel spoke up again. “Fifty ferals.”

 

         Trish blinked. “Hm?”

 

         “I want us to be going for badges before the regional final round. So, fifty ferals by then. That should be more than enough points to bring my scorecard up, and it’ll give us a chance to be a bit more relaxed while we watch the championship series. Fifty ferals in about three months, give or take…” He trailed off. “Average of about five a week. Or something like that. Shouldn’t be too hard.”

 

         Trish sighed. “Master, that’s at least twice as fast as most tamers. Why not aim to be ready by the championship itself? That gives us another five or six months.”

 

         Daniel snorted. “One a week? At that point I might as well forget about the whole thing. I want us making it to regionals next series, so this schedule will give us the training we need.”

 

         “If you say so.” Trish replied, squinting into the evening sun as they left the city boundaries. “Where to first?”

 

         “We’re headed back towards my home.” Daniel replied. “If that was really a pack of Boobisaur, we should sweep up as many as we can. Not to mention we didn’t see any trace of the flying-types that like to come around, so I know there will be a decent number of ferals to go for. Once we clear that area out, I’ll decide where to go next.”

 

         “Alright.” Trish drew her weapon. “Bring ‘em on, Master. I’m ready to go.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Daniel Adams

Age: 18

License: Basic

 

Traits:

Pokegene 2

Claws

Enhanced Senses (Auditory, Olfactory)

Latent Strength

Latent Rage

 

Scorecard:

Points: 445

 

 

Harem

Trish – Slicer

Lea – Amazon

 

 

 

Sarah Evies

Age: 17

License: Basic

 

Traits:

Access Restricted

 

Scorecard:

Points: 50

 

 

Harem

Jackie – Amazon

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