Thunder boomed across a gray, pouring sky with a loud shout. The rain didn't let up its assault on the soft, muddy earth, cleaving off leaves, and even full branches alongside the wrathful wind. All the Pokémon of the bombarded forest fled for whatever shelter they could find- to their own little huts- but they still couldn't escape the harassment of the elements. But one Pokémon decided to stay: a lone Lucario.
He sat on a fallen trunk as if the storm around him wasn't happening, meditating with arms crossed while the impaling rain pelted his fur. The others poked their heads out from their huts, to watch this mad Pokémon in shock and awe. They all watched with the same question on their minds: has he gone insane? The weather didn't treat the challenger kindly, it cracked the sky with many blades of lightning in several attempts to faze the blue jackal. Lucario denied it the courtesy of even twitching his eyelids to the disaster.
The Pokémon calmly stood from his log, ignoring the continued fits of thunder and lightning happening around him. No matter how much the downpour drenched his fur like a wet towel, or the screaming wind tore it off, he payed no mind to nature's childish tantrum.
He brought both paws to the middle of his chest. Through the thick curtain of rainfall, the cowering denizens observed a faint bluish light he summoned, growing brighter while cutting through the grayness. Their eyes became fixated on the Lucario, who focused his aura into a single point, growing it larger, and larger, and larger, until it all collected into a large ball of light. Why did he want to practice his moves in a time like this, they all asked themselves, he really must have gone mad. Their scared and sheltered auras shrieked in his ears, questioning his guts without understanding the pure thrill moments like this give him. When face to face with death, he felt more alive.
Life and power flowed from every vein in his body, and into the Aura Sphere, it squealed in a soothing, high-pitched tone. He could just feel it- this was the most powerful Aura Sphere he ever made. But if he wanted to show nature's wrath its place, he needed more to his power. In the middle of trees falling right beside him, to shots of lightning threatening to strike him down, he stood firm, charging his attack. Suddenly something distracted him from reaching his attack's fullest potential: the insides of his body shook violently, like his heart was somehow causing an earthquake. A loud, shrieking voice harassed his thoughts, growing louder and louder the more he tried to ignore it-
“Wake up! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!!!”
The voice rung through Oran's ears, static screeching in his head like nails on a chalkboard. He opened his scarlet eyes wide, but gave the morning light a chance to burn his little eyeballs out. He rubbed the blindness out with his fist, but sadly the first thing he had to see in the morning was Loudred, the guild's living alarm clock, looming over his side. The first thing he saw every morning was always him. “WAKE UP, YOU'LL BE LATE FOR GUILD LESSONS! YOU'LL BOTH BE LATE,” the Big Voice Pokémon blared with his large, gaping mouth to both him and his still sleeping sister. Sometimes, Oran wondered to himself if Loudred could even hear himself talk; then his mind would answer back: he has Soundproof, of course he can't. Some Pokémon just don't know what an “off button” is.
“Rrgh.” The Riolu forced his groggy body from the pile of hay that he called a “bed”, dusting off the itchy straw from his black and blue fur. A little weak in his knees, his body felt heavy, and had a little jiggle to his stance, as if he was about to collapse any second into his hay pile for a few more Z's. “Do we have to get up so early?” He asked.
“YOU HAVE WORK TO DO TODAY. YOU BOTH DO. HOW WILL YOU WORK IF YOU BOTH ARE SLEEPING IN?!” Loudred screamed. Regardless of the time of day, it was as if Loudred had a sadistic fancy for bursting other Pokémon's ear drums.
“Agh, okay, okay,” the pup yielded, folding his ears over themselves to block out as much of that Pokémon's screeching roar as possible. “We'll be there! We'll be there!”
“BE THERE AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL, SOON. OR ELSE YOU'LL TALK TO THE GUILDMASTER AGAIN.” With nothing else left to say, and his job done, the Loudred stomped out of the room.
“Geez, how loud can that guy get?” Oran asked himself, while rubbing his aching head clear of that painful voice of his. “Just listening to him should be its own work.”
“I thought you wanted the guild life,” His sister yawned while shaking her body awake. For being the oldest sibling of the duo, she stood no taller than her brother, only a foot and four inches to his two feet four inches. Typical of a Buneary, she could rival a Teddiursa in cuteness, even after waking up. Despite being the older sibling, her baby brother towered over her by a foot. For her lack of height, she compensated with a quick tongue, sharper than any Seviper's tail. “Only a week in, and you're giving up. I knew you were just bluffing about joining.”
“I want adventure,” he replied. “I joined to be just like mom, and explore the Unido Region! I joined to learn how to use my aura powers! But I've just been getting chores ever since I came here. Speaking of which, how can you deal with him screaming every morning?”
“Soundproof,” Pecha joked.
“Whatever, let's just go, already.” With no more words he wanted to say to her, the two left the morning awkwardness of their quarters with a walk to the assembly hall; It was just an appetizer warm-up to prepare their bodies for the mountain of warm-ups that awaited them for the day.
The assembly hall was nothing but a meadow of grass inside a stone dome, lit by the many torches lining the restrictive walls of the guild. Wind could only flow through the opening at the top of the dome.
The room filled with the gathering members, still a bit sluggish from their ears being assaulted so early in the day. Among the growing mass: Normal, Grass, and Bug outnumbered all other types, including Oran, the lone Fighting-type. Big and small, strong and weak, there's no such thing as discrepancy at the Florges Guild- only teamwork and happiness.
Pecha and Oran walked into the conversing crowd, with only talks of job requests floating around to be heard. Oran could only catch white noise as he dug around in his own ears, trying to clear out Loudred's lasting echo.
“Okay, the first thing we should do is find Azumarill for our duties,” Pecha told herself while exploring the hall, with Oran tailing her.
“Sis, what are you doing?” he asked his big sis while watching her wander. “The job board is that way,” he pointed the opposite direction they were walking, though Pecha refused to pay his notion any mind. “Why don't we just skip the chores, and grab a request while they're still good?”
“Because we're not big enough for those requests,” she replied to him with a blunt tone wreathing with irritation, about what she was uncertain, “I prefer being prepared over running into things head first.”
“But Azumarill's jobs are so boring! I mean, garden maintenance? Cooking? Sentry duty? Those are boring! I want an adventure!”
“Aww, how cute,” the Buneary stopped, teasing her brother as if what he said was absolutely precious, “you're so eager to take down a Legendary! Everyone, run away from the big, bad Riolu!”
“Cut that out,” he demanded, “I can tell when you're being sarcastic! I'm being serious!”
“Hmm? Me? Sarcastic?” She hummed, her left paw coyly placed by her mouth. “You must be saying things.”
“I'm not!” His sister's words stung him under his skin like a swarm of Beedrill. He pushed her to the grassy ground with his full upper body, thinking that would stop the teasing. She hit the soft lawn with a thud, her adorable fur coat got painted with mud and grass stains!
No matter how much she scraped her paws across her pelt, the stains never came out. “My fur! Oran, you jerk!” when she got back up to her feet she gave her brother a taste of his own medicine, returning the push he gave her; a war between siblings soon erupted: while each side pulled at the others' ears and fur, neither stood an advantage without grunting an angered, painful moan. The fight quickly took to the ground, with Pecha jumping onto her brother, pinning him down under the weight of her bottom. Oran squirmed for freedom, but his sad attempt only put a wide grin across his sister's face, “Ha! What are you gonna do now, Mr. Big Bad Riolu?”
“Get off me, Pecha,” Oran barked.
“Say, 'pretty please',” she said, ignoring the painless flailing her brother's giving her. “Now say you're sorry.”
“Never!” Too determined to give up in the face of his vain sister, he flailed even harder with every free limb he could control; to his disdain, even then, progress remained constant- he withered himself, while the punished only felt slight tickles to her skin.
“You always wanna do things the hard way,” She teased him some more.
“Of course,” he huffed under the little breath Pecha's weight squeezed out from his lungs, “H-how else'll I become strong? At least I'm not taking the backseat, like you!”
“That's not what I'm doing-!”
their vocal war soon broke to the cry of a peacekeeper, “Ch-children, please, stop fighting!” The gentle calling somehow was powerful enough to reach the two through the collective chattering of their surrounding, yet soothing enough to quell the children from fighting anymore. Pecha and Oran looked up with puzzled eyes to find Azumarill, the Guildmistress' assistant, on the verge of tears. “Wh-why are you two fighting? Don't you love each other?” She asked them in a faint voice, almost ready to break into a waterfall.
“Azumarill, tell Pecha that we're ready for a job request,” Oran told her at the top of his lungs, still struggling to catch breath from Pecha being on top of them.
“Be quiet, Oran, you're going to get us in trouble,” the Buneary hissed in his ears.
“I was told to bring you two to the Guildmistress' chambers this morning,” She told them.
Oran couldn't ignore the large pit that just dropped in his stomach; Loudred couldn't have reported him to her already! As his sister released him from the ground, he caught several quick gasps of air, then spoke, “w-w-w-wait, Azumarill, I-I can explain: I was going to wake up on time, this morning, I swear!”
“Huh? What are you talking about? Miss Florges said she had something special for you two.”
A moment of confusion befell the pair, which quickly sparked into a flame of curiosity that sparkled in their eyes. “Really? What is it?” The children asked her in high hopes.
“She wanted it to be a surprise,” Azumarill told them. Seeing the children not attempting to kill each other any more, her smile broke from the confiding gates of her own blues. “Are you interested in finding out?”
The children needed no words- their expressions of joy were enough to speak to the Aqua Rabbit Pokémon. They followed the assistant through the morning crowd, in hopes of finding out the secret.