Chapter 3: Rough Beginnings
"Alright, is everyone here accounted for?" Chatot asked, checking over the roster of guild attendance. "Let's see... Loudred, Sunflora, Corphish... Ah, yes, did anyone wake up the two new rookies?"
"Wait, we got ROOKIES?" Loudred asked. "When did THAT happen?"
"Just yesterday evening, Loudred." Chatot sighed. "The ones that you and Diglett were arguing over about footprints."
"Yeah, hey hey!" The small lobster, Corphish, said. "Aren't you technically guild alarm clock, hey?"
"That's SELF-APPOINTED!" Loudred blurted. "Why do you people NOT GET THAT?!"
"Please Loudred, settle down now!" Chatot said. "Just go wake up the two rookies and everything will be fine!"
"FINE." Loudred sighed, strolling back through the right hallway back to the two recruits' room.
"What's gotten into him?" Sunflora asked. "Oh my gosh, he's really becoming a lot more irritable recently!"
"It may just be him, Sunflora," Chimecho said. "You know about his mood whiplashes."
"Yeah, I guess so..."
"Gotta leave me to do EVERYTHING around here," Loudred grumbled, strolling back to the two recruits room. "Well, sorry kids, guild rules state for wake-up time. So..." He said, standing in the doorway to the room, he inhaled a sharp breath, and...
Naomi and Shin'ichi's sleep was interrupted by a loud blasting noise throwing them back against the back wall. From a dazed and confused state they saw Loudred standing in the doorway.
"Alright you two, wake up." Loudred said. "You both overslept and are going to miss morning announcements if you don't get yourself in gear. Now get MOVING." He said, walking back down the hallway.
"Owww... Good morning Shin'ichi.." Naomi said, trying to re-righten herself, dazed from the blast.
" 'Good' is sort of subjective here..." Shin'ichi commented, holding his head in pain. "Don't think I'm gonna get used to that..."
"Y-yeah," Naomi stuttered, sitting up. "Ow, my head..."
"What'd he say earlier? Something about morning announcements?" Shin'ichi asked, shaking his head to make the ringing in his ears stop.
Naomi gasped. "Morning announcements! We're late!" She cried, grabbing Shin'ichi by the arm and rushing down the hallway. Soon the two were at the other end of the tunnel, but Naomi tripped on a root, causing the two to land face first on the ground in the center hub.
"You're LATE." Loudred said. "Next time get up on time, or shattered eardrums will be the LEAST of your concerns."
"Please Loudred, behave yourself!" Chatot scoffed. "Let it slide, they're only rookies."
Loudred grumbled something under his breath that Chatot couldn't hear. Chatot turned his attention back to the rest of the guild in front of him. "Now then," he stated, looking over everyone in front of him. "everyone is awake and accounted for. Now then, let me call out the Guildmaster and we can get started with morning announcements." Chatot then turned and trotted over to the Guildmaster's door, rapping sharply on it.
"Guildmaster! We are ready for morning announcements!" He called. No response came from behind the door. "Uh, Guildmaster?" Chatot asked. Soon a loud snoring came from behind the door. A light smack was heard, and Shin'ichi looked over to see Loudred with a hand over his face.
"You're kidding, right?" He asked. "Is this the third time this week the guildmaster has been asleep even AFTER everyone has been gathered for morning announcements?"
"Apparently so, heh." Another Pokémon, Croagunk, spoke. "This might actually be the fourth."
"Fourth?!" Loudred said. "Get outta here! This can't be the FOURTH time!"
"If you count that one time during a previous meeting with Officer Magnezone, then yes, this is the fourth time."
"Please, everyone, settle down," Chatot said. "The Guildmaster will wake any minute now, and then we can proceed with announcements." At that point, a loud yawn was heard from behind the door, and soon a sleepy-eyed Wigglytuff emerged from the door.
"Ah yes, Guildmaster, time for morning announcements!" Chatot said, flitting up to a stump podium nearby the door. "Now then, first order of business, guild, give a warm welcome to our two new recruits into the guild, Team Valor." He said motioning to Shin'ichi and Naomi. Both Pokémon were met with a warm welcoming from almost everone in the guild. "Now, now, we'll get the full formalities out of the way after morning announcements are finished." Chatot said. "Please everyone, return to your spots."
After everyone as back in position, Chatot continued. "Now then, in terms of news today, I've received word from Officer Magnezone to keep watch over any suspicious activity going on around Treasure Town. Apparently some criminals had broken into Kangaskhan storage last night and stole a rather valuable TM. If found, please contact either myself or the Guildmater about this." He continued. "As for the duty roster for today, guild maintenance is needed today, and as such, we will not be accepting visitors as of today. Now, that does NOT mean that there should be any slacking off." He said, looking at Loudred as he said this. Loudred grumbled under his breath again. "Other than those, it should be a rather normal day today. Now then, guild, remember the rules! Do not try to pass off your responsibilities to others, fleeing is considered dishonorable to the guild, and last but not least, remember to be cheerful about what you do!" He said, scanning over the guild. "Now then, you all have your duties, let's get to work! Morning announcements are officially over!"
With the end of that, the guild disbanded to start the daily routine. Naomi turned to Shin'ichi.
"So, what should we do today?" Naomi asked, a confused look on her face. "We technically don't have any assigned duties for the day."
Shin'ichi shrugged. "Beats me." He said. "We could always head out and try to pick up evidence on that theft at that storage place."
"Maybe," Naomi said, thinking. Her thoughts were soon interrupted by Chatot.
"Ah, you two!" Chatot said, flitting over to the two. "Now, since this IS your first day at the guild, you should start out easy for today. If you would just follow me..." He said, heading for the ladder. Shin'ichi shrugged and followed, Naomi close behind.
After they reached the floor above them, Chatot led them over to the wall on the left side of the room. "This," He said, tapping his wing on the board on the wall. "is the Mission Request Board. Often residents from Treasure Town will file job requests to be evaluated and posted on this board here. Missions usually come in the forms of retrieving an item from a dungeon, to helping locate a missing Pokémon, to even escort missions through dungeons. Now, since this is your first time ever doing something like this, I'll pick a rather simple mission for you." He said, looking over the board. "Ah, here we go." He said, pulling a mission off the wall.
"This is from one of our town residents. Apparently a Spoink had accidentally lost his pearl somewhere while taking an out-of-town stroll. He says, quote, "That pearl is like life to me! I simply can't live without it!" The location here says it was lost at a nearby bluff near Treasure Town. So that's the gist of it, find the pearl, he'll reward handsomely for whoever finds it."
"So, it's just a simple fetch-quest?" Shin'ichi asked, crossing his arms.
"I believe I just said that these types of missions are up on the job board." Chatot said, straightening his monocle. "Now, if I can make any recommendations, I highly suggest you two visit Treasure Town to gather supplies before heading out. Shin'ichi," Chatot said, turning to the Riolu. "Since this is your first time here, I'll have one of our former rookies help guide you. He should be back with a supply package any minute now..." At that point a loud thud was heard, and soon a Bidoof went tumbling down the ladder, hitting the floor, before a large crate of supplies fell on top of him.
"Oh my gosh, Bidoof!" Sunflora said, rushing across the room, trying to help lift the supply crate off of him. "Are you ok?!"
"You would not BELIEVE... how much this hurts, yup..." He said, trying to crawl out from under the crate.
"I take it that's our guide?" Naomi asked worriedly. Chatot nodded. "Don't worry, this isn't a common occurrence with him. If anything, stuff like this is somewhat rare with him."
After the crate was lifted off of Bidoof, Chatot called him over. "I'm here, yup yup." Bidoof said. "So, what am I needed for?"
"Bidoof, I would like you to accompany these two to Treasure Town today so that they may stock up on supplies." Chatot said. "Now if you would all excuse me, I have some formal business to discuss with Officer Magnezone." He said, flitting back downstairs.
"Golly then, okay," Bidoof said, turning to Shin'ichi and Naomi. "Nice to meet the both of y'all."
Naomi smiled. "Nice to meet you too Bidoof."
"So, I'm guessin' Chatot gave you two the rundown on how the mission boards work?" Bidoof asked as the three walked into town.
Naomi nodded. "Chatot gave us the basics on the mission workings. We'll just stock up and then we'll be out of here."
"Ok, so the least I can do is guide you two to the Kecleon Mart." Bidoof said. "It's just straight through town, first stand on the right after the bridge."
Naomi nodded. "Thank you Bidoof." She said, a warm smile on her face.
"Aw shucks, it's nothin'." Bidoof said, blushing. "Well, I might as well be headed back to the guild. Be seein' you two back there." He said, headed back off to the guild.
"We'll see you later Bidoof!" Naomi said, waving. "So, let's get to the mart. Wonder what they got today..."
"Customers?! Great!" The twin Kecleons said. "Yes, welcome travelers to the Kecleon Mart, where all your item and ware needs will be fulfilled!" The green Kecleon said. "First timers, I'm guessing?"
"Yep!" Naomi said. "We're headed out for a dungeon today, so we want to make sure we're prepared ahead of time!"
"Ah, so which dungeon is it today?" The purple Kecleon asked.
"We're headed off for Drenched Bluff." Naomi said. "Any recommended equipment?"
"Well, let's see," The green Kecleon said, reaching under the counter. "I think we might have something for the Riolu. This Power Band might do the trick." He said, putting a sash-like item on the counter. "This Power Band will raise his attack."
"So... How much is it?" Naomi asked, pulling out a small sack.
"Well, the normal price for something like this usually skyrockets into the thousands of Poké," The green Kecleon said, rubbing his chin. "But, since it is your first time, we'll give you a special discount. Price reduced to 500 Poké!"
"Let me see..." Naomi said, checking in the sack. "I have at least 700 Poké in here... you have a deal."
"Great!" The green Kecleon said, exchanging the Power Band for 500 Poké. "Pleasure doing business with you!"
"Same here," Naomi said, nodding. At that point Shin'ichi and Naomi were ready to leave, but they were interrupted when a pair of round blue Pokémon came running up to the mart stand.
"Mister Kecleon!" The smaller one said as the two rushed up to the stand.
"Ah yes, the young Marill and her younger sister Azurill! What brings you two here this fine day?" The green Kecleon asked.
"Mister Kecleon, we need an Apple!" Azurill said. "Mother sent us on another errand again!"
"I should have Apples in the back. One second!" He said, heading into the back of the stand's storage. He came back holding a small sack, handing it to the two sisters. "Freshest pick we've had all day."
"Thank you Mister Kecleon!" The Marill said, leaving the money due on the counter before the two headed out.
"Who are those two?" Naomi asked. "I haven't seen them around here much."
"Oh, those two?" The purple Kecleon asked. "That was Marill and her younger sister Azurill. Those two have been running errands for their mother ever since she fell ill."
"They seem like nice kids," Shin'ichi said. "Personally I think the world needs more caring hearts like theirs."
"Mister Kecleon!" Azurill called, rushing back to the stand. "There was an extra Apple in the bag!" She said holding the Apple on top of her head.
"We didn't pay for this much." Marill said.
"Oh, consider that as a gift from us." The green Kecleon said. "You two have been working hard running your mother's errands, so a little treat wouldn't hurt."
"Oh, thank you Mister Kecleon!" Azurill said.
"Let's go sis, mom's probably waiting on us!" Marill said.
"Oh!" Azurill said, taking off across the bridge with the Apple on her head, only to trip and fall face first, the Apple flying backwards and landing at Shin'ichi's feet. Shin'ichi picked up the Apple, only to be hit with a massive headache as he heard across time a cry for help. Then, as soon as it started, it stopped.
"Very sorry to bother you about that.." Azurill said, Shin'ichi handing the Apple back to her. With a quick nod of apology, Azurill took off with her sister.
"Heh, those two are pretty cute, eh Shin'ichi?" Naomi asked.
"Yeah..." Shin'ichi said hesitantly. "Did you guys just hear a scream?" He asked.
Both Naomi and the Kecleon brothers looked at Shin'ichi confusedly. "A... scream?" Naomi asked. "No, I didn't hear anything like that. You sure you didn't have a sudden daydream or something?"
"Well," Shin'ichi started, but then stopped himself. "Never mind, I'll discuss it with you tonight."
Naomi shrugged. "O..Kay, I guess." She said. "Let's head out for Drenched Bluff."
And so the two took off for the location...
"Oh I must truly thank you, yes I must!" The Spoink said back on the first sublevel of the guild.
"Please, it was nothing." Naomi said, smiling warmly. "It was the least we could do."
"Oh but words can not pay for the huge deed you have done for me!" The Spoink said. "Here, please take this reward!" He said, handing the two a sack. Naomi opened it and her eyes widened.
"F-five thousand Poké?!" She cried. "Isn't this a little overpay?!"
"Not at all!" The Spoink said "After the favor you have done for me, you deserve that reward!"
Shin'ichi shrugged. "I'm fine with it." He said.
"We'll, I must be off now. Again thank you!" Spoink said, before heading up the ladder.
"Shin'ichi... This is way too much money, even for first team standards. We can't take all this!"
"Ah, not to worry!" Chatot said, perched from the ladder. "Let me explain the reward system for you two. Any money earned by a job for teams founded under the guild has at least ninety percent goes toward funding for all guild activities. The remaining ten percent is for your team earnings. Any items you earn as rewards are yours to keep."
"So, we really earned only about 500 Poké?" Naomi asked. Chatot nodded. "Very good, Naomi! You are catching on fast!"
"Hey, at least we earned our money back, right?" Shin'ichi asked.
"Good point. We'll need to make a deposit tomorrow." Naomi said
Chatot sorted the money and gave Naomi the share of 500 Poké. "Now, dinner will be ready in just a couple hours, so don't leave the guild for the evening."
"Everyone!" Chimecho's voice rang from the east hall that headed to the dining room as she emerged. "I can now say that dinner is ready!"
The first thing out of anyone's mouth was Loudred's gaping maw as he yelled "FOOD!" and rushed past Chimecho to the dining hall, a couple other guild members chuckling at the sight of Loudred's sudden enthusiasm for dinner.
Over dinner the guild members discussed about their activities on what they did for the day. Corphish told of how he attempted a hostage rescue mission, only to end up fainting both the outlaw AND the hostage he meant to save. Needless to say, the client wasn't so pleased with that result. Diglett and Dugtrio told of maintaining the guild's tunnels, Loudred spoke of how he was assigned to make sure no one got into the guild unless they were a guild member, and Croagunk... well, he was just maintaining his magical pot in the second sublevel, nothing too exciting.
"Man, I am STUFFED!" Loudred said, patting his now full stomach. "Whelp, gonna hit the hay, g'night guys!" He said, lumbering off to his room.
Corphish let out a tired yawn. "Hey hey, I think dinner made us all a bit sleepy, hey!"
"Well, let's get some shuteye for tomorrow," Sunflora said. "We've still got another long day tomorrow."
"Yeah, let's get some sleep." Naomi said, yawning.
And so the guild turned in for the night after a long day of hard work. But new adventures awaited our heroes tomorrow...