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Category: The River's Pull
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Austin let out a small sigh of relief when he finally trudged through the sliding doors of the Pokecenter, collapsing against the nearest chair to the entrance. Suzuka let out a small chuckle as she sat down beside her tamer, giving him a look. “Looks like we’re going to have to work on your stamina, Austin.” She teased, a wide smile crossing her lips.

The Jumper gave his Ronin a small lidded look, letting out a small huff of annoyance. “Hey, I wasn’t expecting to be the one running around during a training session that I was originally sold on was to be about training you, Suzuka...” Austin stated, his tone flat. Most of Yuel’s lesson hadn’t been about training Pokegirls, which is what he’d been expecting, but about his own abilities. The Battleaxe emphasized on the tamers ability to evade and run away, focusing on survival should the worst happen. What little that hadn’t been about the Jumper running for his life, as the man’s harem threw attacks at the newbies, had been focusing strategies using the terrain and their Pokegirls natural ability. Between the choice of running for your life from a fireball and listening to a lecture, Austin very much preferred the latter.

“To be fair, Austin, he was focusing on ensuring that survival was our main focus. People can die in the wilds when they’re not prepared, so escape needs to be an available option.” Suzuka said, her tone soothing as she wrapped her arm around his, giving it a small squeeze. It made the young man grin softly, enjoying the touch. It was only the second time she had ever done so, the woman otherwise keeping to herself, especially when around others. Despite himself, Austin couldn’t help but smile at the feeling of her hand against his arm.

“I get that… I just wish that it wasn’t so hard on me. I’m not exactly the most athletic of guys around and spent most of my time sitting for the jobs I did.” Austin pointed out, even miming writing on a keyboard, fingers tapping invisible keys before him. “The last few days have been the most exercise I’ve had in probably a year.”

“We’ll have to work on that, then. Don’t think I’m going to let you just sit around while I’m doing all the work, Mister.” The Pokegirl said with a small smirk, before giving him a slightly smoldering look with her eyes. “Trust me when I say a good work out helps fighting types like myself get more in the mood.”

That got the heat flowing to Austin’s cheeks again, memories of their first taming returning once more. Maybe exercising wouldn’t be all that bad? It struck the man then just how weird his life had become in just a matter of days. It left him… lost to a point. What exactly was he going to do now? It’s not like he had some goal, nor did he know if his skill set would have any place in this world of Monster girls. And after meeting up with The Battleaxe, he was certain he didn’t want to be a just there to fuck Suzuka when she needed it.

“So, what exactly are we wanting to do now, Suzuka?” he asked, rubbing at his legs, remembering how he had just barely avoided the razor sharp feathers from Nurono, though he still thought that the bald woman was purposely sending her shots wide as so to not actually hurt anyone.

“What do you mean, Austin?” The Ronin asked, looking up with a single raised eyebrow.

“Well, I know from what I’ve learned so far that a lot of Tamers tend to go off and journey the world to build their harems and to just generally see the world. I don’t think I can do that, since I’ve never really been out on my own like that and I don’t think I’m prepared physically just yet.” Austin said. Truth be told, he was a bit worse off than that. He was a stationary man by nature, a lover of computers, books, and video games. While he wasn’t exactly fat by any means, he was drastically enough out of shape that the thought of traveling day after day, with no real end goal in sight, didn’t exactly appeal to him.

“Well, definitely going to make sure we get you get at least an hour of exercise every day to start out with, Austin.” The Ronin teased again, prodding his shoulder with her right index finger. “We’ll get you at least fit enough that we can keep the option of an actual journey open should we want it. That said, though, I think for now we should just live here and see what we can do. I know some tamers decide to stay in a single city that they enjoy or grew up in, building their harems through Quests and modest treks out into the wilderness. Maybe that could be our goal, make sure you’ve got a half decent harem before we really think about leaving River’s Pass.”

The suggestion brought another blush to the Jumpers face, making him look away from his Pokegirl to keep her from noticing. “I’m not sure if I’m exactly comfortable with that, Suzuka. I mean… where I come from, multiple partners like that aren’t exactly the most common… or accepted thing around. Are you sure it would be ok for me to have another Pokegirl when I got you?”

“Don’t think of it as her replacing me. Think of it as having another partner, one that will watch both of our backs and share our bed.” Suzuka said, even as she squeezed his arm softly in response to his question. It brought Austin’s attention back to his Pokegirls face, allowing him to see the blush dusting her otherwise pale cheeks. “While I really do appreciate thinking about me and wanting me to feel special, Austin, in the end it’s about your safety. Having more Pokegirls in your team won’t just make you have more hands around to help defend you, but will also make it so we could fight in more situations than just relying on my blade.”

A deep sigh escaped his lips, even as he fought the grin that stretched out over his face. “I get it, no one goes into a fight with a single skill. Better to spread out what we’re capable of than to just rely on you for absolutely everything.”

Suzuka nodded to her tamer, a small smile crossing her lips. She slipped her arm from Austins, standing before him. “If that’s going to be the goal then I’d suggest we focus on doing Quests. It would allow you to get used to the town a bit more and the surrounding area. Most of the ferals around here aren’t really worth catching, mostly weak girls that most other tamers tend to skip over or use as target practice.”

Austin nodded, humming to himself as he thought. “So you and that Sideviper were the strongest things in the area?”

“No, Austin, that honor would go to the Mileeboro. If she caught us in her Bad Breath attack, there’s nothing we could do to stop her from taking us down.” Suzuka corrected, her tone becoming serious as she looked down at her blade. “As for the Sideviper? I don’t even remember seeing that girl in the forest at all until I met you. That actually worries me a little.”

“Oh? Why’s that?”

“Sideviper’s are not exactly the most subtle of Pokegirls in the wild. They leave a lot of scaring on the land, especially if they’re chasing after prey. It makes them really easy to track when you can follow their devastation they’ve left in their wake. Outside of the destruction she made when she was chasing after you, Austin? There wasn’t anything to suggest she lived there.” Suzuka explained, gripping the handle of her weapon lightly.

“Could have she been just new to the area?” Austin asked, his own face twisted as he mulled over the information. Without more knowledge of the fauna of this world, he couldn’t give his own thoughts about what might be likely, but with something as deadly as the Sideviper, he couldn’t see her being forced out of territory without a fight.

Suzuka’s own face mirrored her tamers, lips dipping down into a frown. “Possible, though I shudder to think of the reason why she’d want for new hunting grounds. Regardless, with her dead, it’s nothing we’ll have to worry about in the future.”

That got the Jumper to nod, remembering how easily the Ronin had severed the snake’s head, with a wooden blade no less. It reminded him just how powerful the Pokegirl before him could be, that knowledge coupled with the fact that she was far from the strongest force on Earth. Just what else existed in this world?

Shaking his head free from those thoughts, Austin opened up his Pokedex, scrolling down to the Quest section of the device. He read over the different offers for jobs, raising his eyes at a few of them. “There’s a Quest here for shopping for someone?” he asked aloud, eyebrows risen high.

“Not every Quest is to go out and kill ten Titmice.” Suzuka pointed out, looking over her tamers shoulder to read the Quests. “Some people just need odd jobs done or need an extra hand to help out with their daily lives. The pay for those aren’t always the best, but it’s good for new tamers to get a bit of starting cash while also helping them learn some skills along the way.”

Nodding, Austin continued to scroll through the options for the quests, skipping over anything that seemed like it would be too simple to do or was outside his skill set. The fact that there were people asking for cleaning services or finding a lost cat made him tilt his head. Perhaps it didn’t matter what world you lived in, there were still folks that were misusing the system for one reason or another.

“Ah, here’s one we can do. A guy by the name of Cooper runs a couple of warehouses on the edge of town and it looks like a Pokegirl ended up getting into one of them. He needs help getting it out of there.” Austin said, pointing down to the one of the more recently submitted quests.

“Sounds like the job for us then. Not only will it get us a bit of money and experience, but the Pokegirl might be a good addition to your harem as well.” Suzuka said with a smile. “Shall we then?”

~oOo~

Cooper’s Pack Rat Storage Facilities, Trademarked, lay on the opposite side of the town closest to the river for which it was named. It was a rather plain looking place, nothing more than at least half a dozen large warehouses running down the property. There was a large gate and fence that surrounded the entire place with heavy duty metal bars that would likely ward off most humans. Austin wondered if it would do anything, if at all, to even half the Pokegirls he had seen in his short time in this world.

The man himself sat at the entrance, being a burly, older man that looked like he had seen his fair share of troubles. He rubbed at the thinning patch of hair atop of his head before taking another drag of his cigarette and tossing it to the ground, stomping on it with his boot. He gave Austin and Suzuka a look before nodding at them. “I take it you two are the ones who took the Quest?” he asked, his voice rough and coming out in a wheeze.

“Yeah, we are. Mind telling us what’s going on?” Austin replied, stepping forward to offer his hand. Cooper just ignored it as he opened the gate, waving the pair in. The Jumper turned to his Pokegirl with a confused look before shrugging and following after the rude man.

Keeping up a quick pace, the warehouse owner led them over to the building furthest from the entrance and among the largest of the bunch, matched only by it’s twin next to it. Unlike the rest of its kind, though, this particular unit had seen better days with the front door blown nearly clean off its hinges, just barely clinging onto its former existence. There was a blackened circle that marred the inside of the door and a light mist that billowed out like low fog.

“Been like this for a few days now.” Cooper rasped out, coughing and spitting off to his left, thankfully away from the tamer and his Pokegirl. “Had some weirdo use this place for like a week or so, payed everything in full and advance, and not a day or so after he left this ‘girl walks in and starts controlling the place. I can’t even get in there without getting attacked.”

“Were you able to tell what kind of Pokegirl she was? Or what she wanted?” Austin asked, looking at the door once more. There was something about it that struck out as odd to him, though he couldn’t place his finger on what exactly.

“Like I give a flying Harpy shit about what the animal is? I just want her gone. Kill her, catch her, I don’t care. Just get her out of there so I can start using the place again, alright?” The man snapped. He turned around right after that, not even bothering to give them another look as he headed back to the entrance.

Austin turned once more to Suzuka, the Ronin giving her tamer a small shrug. “Just what in the blue bloody hell crawled up his ass?” The jumper asked.

“I don’t know… but then again, not all humans care or are even tolerant of Pokegirls.” Suzuka said with a small frown, stepping closer to the entrance of the storage unit. “Some treat us little better than an annoyance that is better gotten rid of as quickly as possible, though I’ll admit it’s rare to see that here in the Sunshine League.”

The tamer just shook his head for a moment before looking into the dark room. “So, what do you think we’re up against?”

“I’m not quite sure. There’s not exactly a shortage of Pokegirls that are capable of forming a mist like this… We should be prepared for just about anything.” Suzuka said, drawing her weapon and holding the blade close. She took a step into the warehouse before nodding back at Austin to follow.

A wave of cold air hit Austin in the face the moment he moved past the threshold, sending a shiver down his spine and making him hold his arms a bit closer to keep the heat in. Between the sudden drop in the temperature, the slick feeling of frost beneath his shoes and the glossy sheen on the walls, it didn’t take the Jumper long to figure out what we might be fighting. “I’m going to take a wild guess and say Ice is an element Pokegirls can control?” He asked, wondering for a moment how wild the powers these girls could control.

The black haired Ronin nodded, stepping even slower as she kept her balance. Her hand laid softly on her weapon, fingers just barely wrapped around the hilt. It made Austin wonder for a moment if that meant something in particular compared to the white knuckle grip she had on it when faced against the Sideviper. The pair slowly trudged through the storehouse, passing by mostly boxes and the odd sheet covered furniture. Among the only thing to really stand out in the dimly lit room was an odd symbol that was on the boxes, what looked like an upside down hammer with lighting erupting out from underneath it. It made Austin instantly think of the old legends of Thor.

Tamer and Pokegirl were roughly half way towards the center of the large depository when a shard of solid ice slammed down before Suzuka’s feet, embedding itself at least a good six inches into the frozen over ground. The attack drew their gaze to a sized mammoth chunk of ice that jutted out of the ground. Out from behind itstepped a naked woman, her steps soft and sure against the iced over floor. She was a shorter girl, her head barely coming up to Suzuka’s nose, with light blue hair that trailed down her back down to her round bottom. Tilting her head to the left, she gazed at the pair with emotionless eyes, the emerald green gaze seeming almost uncaring. With an almost bored uninterested wave of her hand, the ice embodied girl formed a shard of ice into her hand the size of a large dagger before throwing it at the pair before her. Like the first, it landed short of actually harming either tamer or pokegirl, but the threat was obvious. Leave or be skewered.

“Mind scanning her, Austin? I know a lot of Pokegirls, but she’s too human for me to tell what she is from appearances alone.” Suzuka said, spreading her legs apart into a wide stance, her fingers now gripping her weapon in a tight squeeze.

Nodding, the tamer pulled out his Pokedex and pointed it at the naked woman, the device taking a moment to scan her. The screen then lit up with something close to the woman before them, though the picture on it had marked differences such as hair. “Says here she’s an Icemaiden, though there’s nothing else on the entry that tells us anything useful. It reads like some guys’ opinion piece.”

Suzuka let out a small grunt at that, eyes never leaving her frosty foe. A small breath escaped her, letting out a small puff of steam before her lips as she spoke again. “Austin? I want you to leave.”

“Wait, what?” he asked, absolutely dumbfounded by his Pokegirls request.

“This isn’t a joke.” The Ronin snapped, turning her head just far enough to look at Austin out of the corner of her eye while still keeping her gaze focused on her enemy. “Icemaiden’s can be dangerous girls as is and I don’t need to worry about her going after you. I’ll be fine on my own.”

“But what about Yuel’s whole training session?” Austin asked, taking a step forward towards the raven haired woman. “I’m supposed to be there as your eyes and ears, aren’t I? I’m not going to let you go off and fight her without help!”

It was with the sound akin to that of shattering glass that broke the pair’s argument. The Icemaiden had summoned another dagger sized shard, the crystal shaped weapon floating before her in the air, a crack nearly splitting the thing in two. Clenching her hand together into a fist, the ice shattered into hundreds of tiny splinters, each needle sharp twisting into the air to point directly at them. The slight frown that graced the naked Pokegirls lips was all the warning they had before they went flying.

“DOWN!” Suzuka cried, pushing Austin to the ground with her free hand. She barely had time to bring her weapon up before the icy projectiles hit home, several of the tiny shards embedding themselves into the Ronin’s skin and tearing at her robes. Gritting her teeth in pain, the swords-woman charged forward only to nearly lose her footing on the icy floor, tripping right into one of the crates.

Shoulder skidding against the slick ground, Austin pushed himself up and growled. He didn’t go into the woods to face off against that stupid snake just for Suzuka to get skewered by a living icepop. Grabbing one of the smaller boxes nearby, the man lifted the entire thing above his head before tossing it at the Icemaiden.

The wooden projectile was met with a lance of ice leaping out from the woman’s outstretched hand, piercing through the box with ease. It fell to the ground with a resounding crash, breaking open and scattering it’s contents onto the floor, unmarked cans and other things that he couldn’t quite make out rolling about. The maiden’s eyes narrowed and locked with Austins after that, lips parting to show teeth. It made a chill go through his veins that had nothing to do with the cold.

Regaining her composure from the slip, Suzuka let out a low growl. She tested her balance on the icy ground and then looked at the crate she had ran into, running her hand against the cold wood. A grin spread across her lips as she leapt onto the surface, crouching down to spring off the makeshift platform, her sword up high to strike down on the feral Pokegirl.

It missed by scant inches, Suzuka’s weapon embedding itself into the ground beside the Icemaiden as she slid backwards, her feet gliding on the frozen surface like an ice skater. Baring her teeth even more, the pale-haired woman darted back towards Suzuka with ease, her hand crystallizing into a solid block of ice. It slammed hard into the Ronin’s stomach, stealing her breath, her weapon vanishing as she slid across the ground into the nearby wall with a heavy thump.

“Suzuka!” Austin cried out, fists clenching to his side as he tried to figure out what to do. The Icemaiden had the home advantage here, with ranged attacks and the skill to use them. It’s exactly the kind of things that Yuel had warned against, to make sure you didn’t leave yourself completely at the mercy of any feral you went against. More often than not, the wild Pokegirls would just go for the kill on a human if they weren’t in the mood for a taming. He paused at that thought. What if he used that to his advantage? Leaping out from his cover, the Jumper let out another yell to get the feral Pokegirls attention, running as best he could without falling flat on his face.

Shards of ice started raining down on the man not ten feet out from his cover. The Icemiaden seemed to no longer be playing around with her foes, forming crystal into her hands only to shatter them and fling the scattered remains at the AUJ. Most were wide of their mark, thanks to Austin’s constant movement, but the sheer volume allowed the projectiles to get some hits in with the ice slicing at his legs and arms.

“Come on, you frigid bitch! You can do better than that!” Austin roared, ignoring the pain surging through his limbs as best he could, stopping at the far end of the warehouse. The ice and cold was weakest here, away from the Maiden and her icy pillar, and he demonstrated much as he jumped around. “You couldn’t hit me with the biggest snowball in Chicago!”

The Jumper quickly realized his mistake in angering a snow powered Pokegirl as a light blue aura started to pulse off the female. Her long white hair started to float up into the air like it was caught in some updraft as her hands raised up to the sky. In answer, the giant pillar she had emerged behind shook and rumbled for a moment before lifting out of the ground. It was with a single clench of both fists that the Pokegirl shattered the man sized shard of ice into thousands of razor sharp needles.

“Austin, RUN!” Suzuka’s voice came, standing up while clenching her stomach with one hand. Her sword had reappeared in the other, showing that his Pokegirl was still able to fight. It wouldn’t be a long one, though, if they kept on getting pelted like this.

“Right! Run AT her, now!” Austin shouted back to his Pokegirl, instantly charging at the Maiden at full speed. Both Pokegirls looked in surprise at the humans insane attack before recovering. With narrowed eyes, the frozen female launched her attack, raining down all of her frozen frenzy onto the human. Suzuka was a moment behind, her wooden weapon held close to her hip as she ran across the ice.

The Jumper got to the fearl first, slamming all of his weight into the smaller woman. She didn’t budge, her feet firm and rooted to the ice below. Shoving back against the human, the frozen woman once again formed ice around her hand. But instead of the solid brick she had hit Suzuka with, this time she summoned a blade.

A single slash whipped out from the Pokegirl and all Austin knew after that point was the searing pain across his right eye, blood blinding him as he screamed. The dripping line of red on the Icemaiden’s blade froze over in a moment, the ice type looking over the result of her attack. She only savored the sight for a moment before Suzuka’s bokken came down and separated the blade from the Pokegirl, hand and all. Pale blue eyes went wide at the sight of her disembodied limb, her body still before the scream erupted out of her. Power of ice and snow blasted out from around her body, the girl falling to her knees and clutching at the stump of her hand, ignorant about how her elemental strength had blasted the ronin and human away from her.

“Austin! Throw the damn Pokeball!” Suzuka screamed, arm covered in frost and her lips blue. Austin could barely nod his understanding, pain making the world spin. He still gripped the sphere he had gotten before from his pocket, enlarging it with a button press. The Jumper threw the ball at their frozen foe with all of his remaining strength behind it. Sailing through the air, it smacked right into the center of the prone woman’s head and opened wide, absorbing her completely in a flash of red light. It fell to the ground a moment later, shaking a few times before a click sounded of the capture.

Without the Icemaiden to enforce the cold, warm air immediately rushed into the room, feeling like someone had just taken a blow dryer to to entire place. Austin grinned over at his Pokegirl, giving her a small nod of a job well done before the pain of his injury and the lost of blood took its toll. With a sway and a stagger, he fell to the ground, darkness claiming him before he could ever hit the frost covered floor.

~oOo~

Bright lights and a sterile ceiling greeted Austin when he awoke, the sound of beeping echoing in his ears from a small heart monitor that was beside the patients bed he laid upon. Only one of his eyes could open, but he was fairly certain that was because the other had a bandage wrapped tightly around it. He let out a small groan as the situation hit him. “Damn it, I’m living a freaking episode of Evangelion…”

“You’re lucky to be living at all after all that.” A female voice snapped. Austin turned his head and found his vision nearly instantly flooded with a large pair of breasts. Between that and the voice, it didn’t take the Jumper long to figure it was Dalaa, even with his pain addled mind.

The Nurse Joy let out a small sigh of annoyance as she moved to be in front of Austin’s bed, arms crossed beneath her bosom. Her eyes were narrowed into a glare with such intensity that the male could feel the heat of her anger. “An inch. That’s it. If that attack had been just been one inch closer, you would have lost that eye! Our healing in this world is good, but it isn’t THAT good!”

“And what was I supposed to do, just run away?” Austin asked. He groaned just a bit as he sat up in bed a bit, wincing at the pain of the several little punctures his body had sustained.

YES!” Dalaa nearly screamed, stomping her foot down hard. If the sound of shattering was anything to go by, the pink haired Pokegirl had broken some of the tiling beneath her feet with her little tantrum. Austin gulped a bit as Dalaa continued her tirade. “The moment she had the upper hand, you should have returned Suzuka into her Pokeball and retreated! Instead you charged at her like a damn idiot!”

The young man gulped down a bit at the anger coming off the woman who had been so sweet to him since he arrived. It wasn’t like he didn’t understand how she felt. Had anyone of his friends or family had gotten into the same situation, he would have been pretty mad too. But this felt like she was going overboard. “I just wanted to do good on the first job, Dalaa.”

“A stupid job isn’t worth your life, Austin!” The pink-haired nurse snapped, eyes still blazing. “I don’t want another corpse to take care off because you decided to go face first into a feral!

Austin eyebrows went up at that. “What do you mean another?”

Dalaa went silent after that, taking a deep breath for a moment to calm herself. She spun around on her heel after that and headed out without another word, slamming the door with enough force to make the wood shake in it’s pane.

Releasing a small sigh, the AUJ laid his head back down in his bed, wondering. The way that Dalaa reacted wasn’t normal for the girl who seemed so sweet natured. It confused him, but if he was a betting men it had probably to do something either with the girls history or the way this world worked. Perhaps even both.

He lifted his head again when the door opened once more, Suzuka walking in this time. Unlike the nurse, she was silent as she looked down at her tamer. The red hot fire that had been Dalaa’s rage was nothing compared to the frosted look the Ronin was now giving him. “You didn’t run.” she said softly, her tone quiet.

“I didn’t want to our first job to be a bust…” Austin stated, the words tasting like ash on his lips. Even he could tell just how weak an excuse it was.

Suzuka stared at him for a moment longer, lips pursed before nodding softly to him. “Please… don’t do that again. I respect you enough for having risked your life for me once before… I’d rather not it be known that you’re just a halfwit fool with a wish for death.”

The Jumper nodded, though grumbled a bit at the name calling by his Pokegirl. He got it, men were the squishy ones here. He’d seen enough from the Sideviper alone to get that point across. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try his damnedest to help in a fight. He’d just have to be smarter about in the future, both to save his own skin and to avoid the wrath of the two Pokegirls keeping their eyes out for him.

“What are we going to do with the Icemaiden?” Suzuka asked, turning her cold gaze away and brushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

Austin shrugged, sitting up once again in his bed. “What are our options? I know we talked about possibly adding her to the team.”

“Under normal circumstances it would be that, selling her, or disposing of her. Without a hand not many people, tamers or otherwise, are going to be very eager to acquire her.” The Pokegirl explained, her voice losing some of it’s edge. Her fingers gripped her blade and squeezed tightly as she spoke the next part. “And while killing in the heat of battle is one thing, I will not be a part of killing just to lower the amount of ferals in this world.”

“Agreed.” Austin told her, feeling ill. He still wasn’t sure where he stood on the Sideviper’s death, the girl still too monster in his mind to be personally effected by it. But if all Pokegirls had the capability to be as human as Dalaa and Suzuka, killing should always be an absolute last resort. The Jumper bit his lip as he mulled over their remaining option. “Will you be ok with her on the team? Will she be ok with us considering we cut her hand off?”

“Any other Pokegirl will increase the strength of your harem, Austin. Icemaidens are powerful pokegirls in their own right, as we both can attest to. It would be idiocy to be angry at a feral for simply doing what her instincts told her to.” Suzuka said as she stood back up and headed towards the door. She turned her head back towards him as she stood in the portal, a small grin crossing her lips. “As for her caring about being a part of our team, I believe a nice hard taming will be all that’s needed to convince her… In that case is to make sure you give her hot bath before hand, otherwise… shrinkage might be an issue.”

Cringing slightly at the picture the girl painted, Austin nodded. Suzuka gave a small laugh before leaving the young man alone once more to heal.

~oOo~

A weeks time passed slowly for Austin, with most of it spent in his hospital bed. While the powers of a healing Pokegirl left him more than capable of being up and about in two days, eye injuries were still delicate things and Dalaa refused to let him leave until she was certain that no other issues arose. While the AUJ was more than certain that she did it in part to punish him for his stupidity, he wasn’t going to tell her that to her face.

What that did give him, though, was plenty of time. So the sandy-haired teen spent most of it with his newest capture, the now one handed Icemaiden. The first thing he did, after making sure she didn’t try to turn his hospital room into another frozen cave like she had with the warehouse, was to name her. Avoiding the snow and ice based names that flitted through his head at first, he eventually decided to name her Beryl after some gemstones he had backed in his home dimension, remembering how their color matched closely to that of the girls pale skin.

He then took Suzuka’s advice, giving Beryl a nice, hot bath. The change in the Pokegirl was almost instant. She went from a silent, stationary girl that occasionally glared at him to a shuddering, moaning mess that was grabbing eagerly for her new tamer. Even with the bath, though, the woman was cool to the touch and required Austin to put his limited erotic skills to the test to keep the girl in a heated state to tame her. After that, he spent most of his time teaching the feral. He focused on how to speak and how to work things one handed.

It was after the third dropped jug of water on the floor, shards flying everywhere, that Austin was struck by a flash of inspiration. A small smile crossed his face as he looked up at the pale green eyes of his pokegirl. “Beryl?” He asked, grabbing the girls attention.

“Mast-er?” She answered, struggling still with only half a weeks lessons in English. Such a thing would have been amazing back home, but apparently most Pokegirls were incredibly fast learners, with even most ferals being able to string together words after minimal exposure to humans.

“Remember before we caught you, how you formed the blade?” Austin asked, pointing to the long, thin scar that now went across his right eye.

The Pokegirl instantly looked down, clearly upset at the memory. Chuckling, the Jumper lifted her face back up to his with the crook of his index finger, smiling at her. “I’m not upset at you, Beryl, just trust me on this. You remember how you did that?”

At Beryl’s slow and unsure nod, he grinned even wider. “Alright, I want you to do the same thing as you did before… but I want you to try and form a hand like mine here…” He patted softly at the stump where her hand once lived, hoping the feral understood what he was wanting her to attempt to do.

Frowning as she worked over his words, the Icemaiden eventually followed her tamers instructions. Closing her eyes and focusing, the cold aura of her power grew for a few minutes before ice eventually formed about her right limb. It slid up the appendage like water before slowly forming into a half splayed hand. She looked down at her new ice hand and lifted it up, turning it right and left to really see it. A small frown and another pulse of her aura went through the air as the frozen fingers slowly but surely closed into a fist that looked more like a block of ice than a hand, but was close enough.

“I think it might take a bit of training for you to get a real good control over it, but I think it’ll be worth it.” Austin said, giving the Pokegirl a small kiss on her forehead. The ice type couldn’t stop the blush at the small sign of affection, her pale skinned cheeks turning pink.

~oOo~

The end of the week proper saw both Austin and Beryl being given full leave from the Pokecenter’s hospital room and back to the tamer’s personal room proper. It was also about the time Suzuka stopped looking at Austin with that cold gaze. He wasn’t sure if it was the simple fact that she missed him or what, but the taming they had the night out of the room was more than enough to convince the Jumper that she had forgiven him.

Dalaa, on the other hand, was still simmering and would under no circumstance allow Austin to take any more Quests until he had received more lessons from Yuel. While the young man had planned on doing that anyway, he was certain to make sure to do everything the Nurse Joy said less he give her all the more reason to keep him in bed… or to unleash that anger that had required the retiling of his room.

Taking part of Yuel’s training seminar again, though, meant dealing with Flat Nose Wendell once more, the squat man already making his way towards Austin. “Where’s Suzuka?” the man demanded, glaring daggers at Beryl, the Icemaiden standing beside the Jumper this time around. She looked uncertain at the other tamers anger, bringing her handless arm up close to her body protectively.

“Not that it matters at all to you, but she’s taking a break today.” Austin shot back, crossing his arms and glaring down at the man at least a head and a half shorter than him. “And I wanted to give my new girl Beryl some of Yuel’s training.”

Wendell gave the ice type a once over and sneered, showing off his teeth. “What kind of hack tamer are you, getting yourself a banged up girl with a missing limb? I can’t believe a joke like you ended up with Suzuka.”

Austin felt a flash of anger wash through his mind, the man wanting nothing more than to punch the bastard in his face. The sudden drop in temperature of the field told the AUJ that his Pokegirl was of the same opinion, the ice type’s face taking on that same cold disinterest that she had when she was feral. Forcing a smile on his face, Austin bent down low enough to get right into his face before delivering his threat. “What was it that Nurono said last time? Something about not shooting your mouth off? I think you should probably take that advice before you end up writing a check your mouth can’t cash.

The squat tamer opened and closed his mouth a few times like a fish before turning and walking off to wait for the Battleaxe, clearly not wanting to get into a fight with the condor Pokegirl. It was with his back turned that Beryl formed another ice hand on her stump, but instead of being the simple fist that she had formed that first day, the middle finger was extended outwards. Austin couldn’t help but let out a bark of laughter at the attitude of his Icemaiden. He was certain that he had made the right choice in keeping her.

Author’s Notes: This one was a bit tough for me to get out, mostly because I was wanting to get some really good story elements in this chapter… but couldn’t make it work. It’s here that I really learned that you can’t rush a good story and sometimes, you’ve got to take it slower if you want to turn out a good product. You can’t just have fight scene after fight scene and find it that entertains people. Just look at anything Rob Liefeild’s done. Sometimes a breather is what’s needed.

Oh, and for anyone a little sad that we didn’t get to see a full out and out taming scene with Beryl? Don’t worry about that, I’ve got plans to really show that and, oh boy, is it a dozy!