Old Man Jonbi
Peaceful eyes gazed upon serene fields outside of Petalburg Forest. It was a calm and cooling afternoon, thought an old man as he smiled down at his long time friend, Meditite. The small Pokémon breathed in sync with its Trainer as the calming breeze continued to gently kiss the two softly, the day rolling on. It seemed like nothing could break the tranquil peace that the two friends were entranced in.
"What's the matter with you! You jerk! How could you do that to me!"
Peace suddenly snapping like a twig, the old man and his Meditite flinched in annoyance as a shrill cry yanked them from meditation. Both Pokémon and Trainer looked past the grassy pasture to see two young people emerge from the forest shrub. They continued to gaze curiously as the female of the pair continued her onslaught.
"I just told you that I've never flown before! But you think it's perfectly fine to just pick me up, without my consent by the way, and toss me on your Pokémon to fly to Petalburg!" Elisa fumed.
"Well if you stopped screaming for five minutes, we may have actually reached Petalburg City." Cole replied bluntly, cutting the argument short. Elisa just continued to glare at the Trainer as they continued to walk at a quickened pace, unaware of the old man and his Meditite.
"I swear, when I find out what you're scared of, I will get my revenge!" Elisa threatened turning away from Cole who clearly wasn't trying to listen to her. Only then did she realize that someone was in their presence. Hazel eyes immediately lit up as she recognized the old man.
The old man smiled when the young woman finally came into view, "Ah, Elisa how nice it is to see you so soon!" but before Elisa could even respond with a greeting of her own he pointed at her with a scolding finger, "You interrupted my peace."
Elisa smiled shyly, "I'm very sorry Jonbi, I know you don't like it when people interrupt your meditations." running up to the old man and sitting down next to him. Meditite greeted Elisa by performing its rhythmic head movements toward the girl, which she responded to with a giggle.
Jonbi smiled softly, his wrinkles stretching. "You are forgiven my friend. Eventually all peace must come to an end sometimes," Cole eyed the old man as he spoke. "But what brings you back so soon? When you left, you told me that you would come back with more information about the Dragon Plates." He quizzed curiously.
Elisa's smile faded, catching Jonbi's attention. "I found leads in Fallarbor Town, but when I went to Devon Corporation to state my thesis, most of the researchers didn't believe me that Rayquaza was linked to the Dragon Plates." Elisa then turned to Cole with a smile, which earned a confused look from him. "Fortunately, Cole here offered to help me on a journey to find more information about the Dragon Plates."
Cole looked away from the researcher's smiling face, slightly interested in the grassy field to hide the confusion on his face, 'How does she seem so mad at one moment, and then smile and call me a friend the next?' He wondered.
Jonbi glanced at the male Trainer with a light smile. "I'm very grateful that you are helping Elisa. I would love to help as well, but as you can see, I doubt you would want an old man holding such young and enthusiastic kids behind." Jonbi explained with a hearty laugh as he patted his small shoulders. Jonbi was rather small, his large grey shirt looking like a tunic covering his frail body. His hair was a snowy white and he had small bristles of grey poking through his jaw line, forming an unruly beard.
"Don't say that!" Elisa argued softly as she leaned in toward the old man pouting. "We would love for you to join us on our journey!" Elisa then leered her eyes up at Cole causing the Magma Admin to glare back just as hard. It was obvious for him to realize what she wanted him to say.
"Yes that's true sir. We need as much help as we can get." Cole lied with a unwilling nod toward the old man. He knew that he was strong enough without anyone's help.
Jonbi smiled at the two as his Meditite eyed its Trainer curiously, almost feeling as if he was going to agree to the invitation. "It's fine, it's fine! I've gone on so many journeys over my youth that right now I just want to relax and enjoy the peace of nature and Pokemon." Jonbi explained with a simple smile.
"Oh...I was hoping you would." Elisa's smile faded sadly listening to his reply.
"Do not worry though, there is a way I can assist you on your journey." Jonbi continued, causing the young woman to light up from his words. "But first, let us head back to my cabin. I'm sure you and your Pokemon are tired. I can prepare a lunch." Jonbi offered as he stood up, stretching his back. He grabbed his wooden walking stick and motioned for the pair to follow him. They nodded in response, following the old man back to his cabin.
Cole's nose twitched slightly as he took in the drifting scent of brewing soup and vegetables. Drool started to run from his mouth which he quickly rubbed off from his face before Elisa or the others could notice. He was sitting outside on a picnic bench with Elisa outside of Jonbi's cabin as the old man continued to cook from inside. Glancing over towards Elisa who had, to his surprise, released her Pokemon from their Poke balls. She had a Sealeo and a strange dark blue Pokémon with long black ears at its sides, it was playing with the young woman on the table as they waited for their meals.
"Where did you get that Pokémon from? I've never seen that one before." Cole simply asked, motioning towards the small jackal-like Pokemon.
The young woman blinked from the question, "Riolu here? My father got him when he travelled to the Sinnoh region last year. He was working with scientists that were studying the Legendary Lunar Pokemon and just happened to get an egg holding Riolu from one of the town's people as thanks. He may be rare, but that's not the reason that I love him so much." Elisa smiled as she tickled the young Pokemon playfully who kicked and laughed in response.
"What's the reason then? He must be extremely strong." Cole commented, eyeing the Sinnoh Pokémon with slight envy.
"No, I love him because he's so cute!" Elisa beamed which earned her a dead-panned look.
'That Pokemon could be a potential powerhouse and the only thing she does is cuddle with it? Weirdo...' Cole sighed to himself but was pulled out of his thoughts once Elisa's voice reached his ears again.
"Why don't you bring out your Pokemon? I'm sure they would love some lunch from Jonbi too. He's a very good cook." Elisa suggested, noticing that she had not seen her new colleague's team.
"Yeah. You didn't even get to see my team yet." Cole replied. 'Well most of my team.' His thoughts were bitter as the Poke balls flew into the air.
Elisa couldn't help but look on in quiet awe as Cole's Houndoom, Flygon, Solrock and the last one who she wasn't introduced to as of yet, Lairon materialized onto the grass. All four Pokemon greeted Cole and the others with a happy cry in unison as they stretched out their bodies on the field.
"They look very strong." Elisa complimented as Cole smirked with pride. Being strong and powerful was the only way you could be recognized in Team Magma. An average member wouldn't even be able to speak to a higher ranked member unless addressed to first.
"But what I really like about them is that they look happy. You must be very respectful and caring towards your Pokemon if they all greeted us with smiles." Elisa finished, her honest feelings expressed.
Cole snapped out of his thoughts as the words entered his ears. How did she know that? He had never shown any true affection toward his Pokemon when he was with Team Magma, nor did he even remember revealing anything to her. Cole felt the back of neck begin to feel hot as her words echoed softly in his ears. He was grateful at that moment that she was paying attention to his Pokemon instead of him.
"They're strong because I don't train them recklessly." Cole quickly responded before she could turn to him. He then noticed that Houndoom began to drool when Jonbi exited the cabin holding a massive steaming pot in his hands, followed by his Meditite who was carrying another large pot with its Psychic ability. Cole and Elisa looked on in surprise as Jonbi seemed to be carrying the pot with ease.
"He's stronger than a Pokemon..." Cole's abrupt opinion of the old man earned a soft giggle from Elisa.
Jonbi and Meditite placed the pots on the bench with a thud, jolting the pair in surprise. Jonbi then smiled softly at the two, "I hope you and your Pokemon like my Figy Berry Soup!" He bolstered happily before Meditite quickly ran back into the cabin, coming back out with dishes and utensils to give to the three; bowls were placed for each of the Pokemon as well.
Cole and Elisa's Pokémon immediately dove into their spicy meals, devouring their food as their Trainers looked at them with embarrassment. Jonbi laughed and waived off their apologies with a smile. "You two are young. There will be many more years for you guys to learn table manners." Elisa blushed and Cole looked down towards his soup, both eating their own meals slowly.
"But getting into more serious matters, I think this will be able to help you guys on your journey." Jonbi reached into his side pocket and pulled out a small blue object. It was a brilliant sea blue colour, reflecting in the afternoon sunlight in a mosaic of light and dark shades of blue.
Dark brown eyes widened immediately as Cole caught site of the alleged Dragon Plate. It was truly beautiful, although small, he could feel a magical aura resonating from the small plate that Jonbi was holding.
'That light...' Cole swallowed his food in a gulp as he continued to stare at the chipped piece of the Dragon Plate. 'It's shining just like the Red Orb.' Cole put down his spoon and subconsciously put his hand out toward the plate, earning a confused look from the old man.
"I would like you guys to take the Dragon Plate with you on your journey. It may only be a chip of the original, but I feel that it can give you two a lead towards Rayquaza." Jonbi explained as he handed the Dragon Plate to Cole. Elisa glanced from her soup as the young man stared at the small plate silently.
Cole rubbed his thumb over the beautiful treasure, his dark brown eyes skimming over the small pieces of unreadable text that was engraved on the small plate. The cooling aura from the plate was intoxicating. A sudden numbing feeling clawing at him, Cole looked at it his hand in confusion.
There was a red aura coming out from his fingers!
"What the!" Cole cursed as he dropped the plate on the table, blowing on his fingers as if burned.
"Cole! That's an ancient treasure!" Elisa snapped at him as she picked up the Dragon Plate and checked for any damage, ignoring the fact that Cole was hurt. "No one respects history these days!" She cried, getting a laugh out of Jonbi.
"Something...just burned me." Cole muttered back defensively. He was about to continue before his mouth suddenly closed shut.
"Excuses excuses...You just-" Elisa looked at him in confusion as the young man suddenly seemed to be frozen in place. She felt a sting of panic in her chest when she noticed that his eyes were a strange colour.
'Why are his eyes green?!' Elisa shook Cole by the arms frantically as Jonbi and the Pokemon held their breaths in nervous suspense.
"Hey...Come on, snap out of it! What's wrong with you?" She didn't realize that her voice was rising as she continued to shake Cole trying to break his silence.
Suddenly, as if being pushed back into reality, Cole blinked multiple times before gasping for air. Elisa let out a sigh of relief as she dropped her arms. Houndoom and the rest of Cole's Pokemon let out a sigh in unison as well, thankful that their Trainer appeared to be okay.
Cole shook his head out of a daze before looking back at Elisa in confusion. His expression tired while catching his breath. "What just happened? Wasn't I just in a museum..."
"Museum?" Elisa repeated in confusion, "You didn't go anywhere, you just stopped talking and your eyes turned green! What happened?" She then snapped her head back to the Dragon Plate in her hand.
'He said that it burned him...Could the plate have reacted with him?' Elisa questioned herself in shock as she looked back and forth between Cole and the blue coloured tablet.
"It was a museum..." Cole responded as he shook his head once more to get the cobwebs out of his skull. "I couldn't see very well but it was a museum. There were tanks of water and I saw a bigger version of the Dragon Plate."
"What?" Elisa and Jonbi gasped in confusion as Cole looked up to them. "Bigger plate?"
"Yeah, it looked just like the one that you're holding, except...bigger." Cole answered in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Do you think that Cole could have seen a vision of the future or something?" Elisa asked Jonbi who was now tapping his stick against the bench in thought. "When he went into that trance, it must have shown him where the full Dragon Plate was located!" Elisa proposed, her voice quivering with excitement from the idea.
"Possibly." Jonbi agreed. "You said that you were at a museum with water?"
"The only museum that fits that description in all of Hoenn would be the Oceanic Museum in Slateport City. I think you may have seen the Dragon Plate there." Jonbi concluded as Elisa nodded also, realizing the situation.
"Alright, it's settled then. We're going to Slateport City to find that Dragon Plate!" Elisa cheered enthusiastically.
"It'll take too long." Cole interjected, silencing the girl's cheer. "You can't even fly past a forest on Flygon's back; meaning it will take us at least two weeks just to reach Verndanturf Town from here." Cole explained, thinking about the path to Slateport from Rustboro. Elisa sat back down on the bench, her cheeks a modest red. He was right, attempting to race on foot would be too demanding and the Dragon Plate could be moved to somewhere else by then.
"I-I'm not going to fly there if that's what you think." Elisa argued, folding her arms over her chest. Jonbi just looked between Cole and Elisa, trying to hold back a laugh.
"Well, you could reach Slateport in less than a week if you go there by boat." Jonbi announced with humour in his voice. The pair turned from each other to look at Jonbi waiting for him to continue. "There is a small harbour just West from here. I'm pretty sure you can ask one of the sailors to take you down to Dewford Town and then to Slateport City. You will just need to bribe them with money or something shiny." Jonbi explained clearly.
"That's a great idea! We won't need to fly and I can enjoy the ocean view." Elisa beamed happily as Cole frowned, not particularly a fan of travelling by sea but ignored it as long as they reached Slateport City in time.
"Well you two should go now. Those sailors usually head home early in the evening. I have some extra food for the road." Jonbi then disappeared behind the cabin door before coming back with a duffle bag filled with breads and berries. Cole took the bag and nodded a thank you towards him.
"I'll make sure that we find this Dragon Plate and find the mystery behind Rayquaza, Jonbi." Elisa promised as she returned her Pokemon and prepared to leave; Houndoom remained outside as Cole returned his other three Pokemon.
"Can you give me your number so I can call you when we find it?" Elisa asked politely while pulling out her PokeNav.
Jonbi laughed softly as Cole smirked to himself, anticipating the answer. "I don't have a phone here. Phones bring too much noise and confusion in my life. But I'll meet you guys on your journey don't worry." Jonbi smiled.
"But how are you going to do that? You're not leaving to go anywhere. How come you don't have a phone?" Elisa quizzed his gentle expression.
"If he did, he would have the problem of listening to you over the phone every day." Cole surprisingly jabbed as he hoisted his backpack on as well as the small food bag. Elisa's cheeks flared in anger as Jonbi laughed harder.
"I-I don't talk...that much-"
"He said that he will be in touch, don't worry." Cole finished, cutting the young woman off mid-sentence. "We need to continue our journey and find these Dragon Plates. You want to be recognized by Devon Corporation, right?" Cole asked. Elisa opened her mouth to say something but then stopped and nodded. She put on her own backpack and prepared to leave.
"Good luck you two. Be careful and protect one another!" Jonbi called out as he and Meditite waved after the retreating pair. Elisa waved back happily while Cole gave a quick wave himself. Houndoom barked a goodbye as well as the old man and his partner began to disappear from sight.
"Hope to see you soon Jonbi!" Elisa called back before turning forward and running to catch up with Cole. The Magma Admin looked at Elisa curiously as the young woman smiled to herself.
"You're happy about getting the Dragon Plate?" Cole asked curiously.
"Well yes...But I've never been on a journey before. My second dream was to become an explorer you know, to travel and find rare treasures to bring back home." She smiled childishly, hearing her own words.
"It's basically coming true! We get to travel together and become a real team." Elisa admitted shyly looking up at Cole for his reaction.
"Oh," Cole casually replied causing Elisa to look back down. Her eager thoughts now crestfallen since her new ally did not seem share the same level of enthusiasm.
"So you're not excited about traveling with me?" Elisa bit her lip, cursing herself for letting her thoughts slip.
Cole answered, the question not seeming to faze him. "Well I guess that I am. I've been on journeys in the past," Elisa nodded shyly at his reply, trying to remain casual.
"But I've never travelled with anyone before now that I think about it. I guess it will be fun to go with you." His tone almost sounding excited.
Elisa peeked back up to him, feeling a sudden spark of happiness. "Yeah, I guess it will be fun too." She smiled before turning to the road ahead.