The end of his path had just become visible when he noticed movement upon it. He put his hands on his belt, but he had soon identified it as a man, rather than a pokémon. However, he noticed that, oddly enough, the figure was running. As the man attempted to race by him, Griffon grabbed the figure's shoulder.
The man spun around trying to pry Griffon's fingers off him. Griffon held him still, and then asked. "What? What is it? What's-" The man tore himself free, hollering a brief, "It's haunted! Run away!" as he followed his own advice, tearing off down the route as fast as he could.
Griffon looked quizzically at the fellow's receding back. "Well, that was odd." He shrugged and continued towards Mimosa City.
Twenty minutes or so later, he reached it. There, he looked about himself with great interest, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. He sait down on a nearby bench and checked his Guide to Hora to see information about the town. It read:
Mimosa City is one of the smaller true cities in Hora. It sits almost dead center of the region, at the foot of the great Mt. Hora, and is the only conventional passage between the eastern and western areas of Hora. It receives traffic mainly from those wanting to scale or explore the mountain, pass to the other side of Hora, or tourists coming to visit its fabled Pokémon Cemetery. Sitting in the woods at the southern edge of Mimosa City, this cemetery is the resting place of deceased pokémon. Here can be found those mourning dead pokémon, as well as Ghost-type pokémon, who lurk in the mist. A fountain has also been erected in the city in honor of the dead, and it is said in a local legend that any who disturb the graveyard shall be faced with the protector of the dead, the legendary pokémon Darkrai.
Griffon stowed the book away in his backpack before moving again. "Hmmm, a pokémon cemetery... Interesting. And if there's some supernatural haunting in the town, like that man said, that'd be the place to find it. So that's that!" He began to walk quickly down the road, where he saw at the end a grove of mist-cloaked trees, which must obviously house the graveyard.
The Resting PlaceEdit
Passing the last house, Griffon noticed that there was next to nobody going past the outskirts of town, save for a few obviously grief-stricken people who he passed every few minutes. As he stepped into the mist, he noticed something he hadn't seen before: a pair of large iron-wrought gates, standing open, clearly designating the entrance to the cemetery.
Now more hesitant, but unwilling to give in, Griffon walked through them with an undaunted air that was a complete lie. He looked around, and realized that there was no one there.
"Odd... Shouldn't a few griever at least be here? Wait a minute... Come to think of it, all those I passed on the way here were leaving. No one went in as the sun went down. Maybe I should..." Before he could finish his thought, he was already turned around and sprinting for the gates.
However, as he leapt for them, he ran into them with a clang. They had closed for the night, somehow. Maybe it was as the man had said? Maybe there were ghosts? But that was stupid. It was probably ghost pokémon, but there was nothing scary about-
He jumped near out of his skin as he turned to see a ghost pokémon that almost scared him to death.
It was taller than he was, seven or eight feet tall, and had a large, dark body. It appeared like a dark genie, with a black-and-gray body covered in zigzag yellow lines. On its chest it had a gray, cylinder-shaped head with another yellow band near the top and a single black glaring eye with a yellow iris and a red pupil, and on its head there was a yellow antenna-like bulb.
"Aaaah!" Jumping straight into the air, Griffon comically fled the other way without turning around, backpedaling frantically, with the pokémon looking on bemusedly, until he ran straight into a tree branch and fell on his face.
Looking up, Griffon was prepared to run again, looking in fear around himself, until he realized that the pokémon was laughing, floating up and down as it let out a deep chuckling sound. He was astonished. "Wha-?"
"It's not a wild pokémon, if that's what's confusing you." The voice rang out of the darkness, and Griffons head snapped to the side, where a pink-haired woman in long robes stood, shaking with barely restrained laughter. "All those trainers running away from my training place must have given you the wrong idea. It's mine. Well, I'm training it for its owner, at least."
Griffon stood up, brushing himself off. "Who... who are you?"
Laughter finally subsiding , the lady introduced herself. "I am Sapphire, psychic-type specialist and gym leader of the Aster Town Gym, and this is Dusknoir." Hearing its name, the ghost pokémon agreeed, "Duuuusknoir!"
Taking out his pokédex, Griffon identified the pokémon as a Gripper Pokémon. At this, Griffon nodded his head, but then looked at Sapphire quizzically, his eyes flicking from her to the Dusknoir and back again. "Wait... If your gym's a Psychic-type, then why-"
Sapphire's laugh interrupted him. "Why do I have a ghost-type pokémon with me?" At Griffon's quick nod, she continued, "As you know, Gym Leaders train others pokémon for them. Typically, they train their own type only, but Hora has no ghost-type Gym Leader. There is an Elite Four member who specializes in ghost-types, but Dennis doesn't tend to train pokémon for just anyone, so I get the honor of training psychic-types and ghost-types for trainers."
Griffon's face showed a dawning comprehension. After a second of thought, he asked, "Hey! I'm trying to be a ghost-type trainer! Could you train my pokémon for me?"
Sapphire shook her head with a serious look on her face, but as Griffon looked disappointed, she laughed. "Ah, lighten up! And get a sense of humor, while you're at it. I was only joking; of course I'll train it for you. Now, which one would you like me to train?"
Griffon looked surprised. "Huh? You can only train one? Can't you just, you know, take them all, so I can become a powerful trainer really fast?"
Sapphire laughed again, but her voice was serious when she spoke. "You have to do the work yourself, umm... what was your name again?"
It was Griffon's turn to laugh. "Whoops, I never told you. I'm Griffon."
"Well, Griffon, it's your responsibility to make sure you become a great trainer. I won't train your team for you. I can train one, but you have to work at it yourself. No one can make you great; your pokémon and you have to train together, otherwise you'll never reach your full potential."
Griffon, who had seemed saddened when she began, looked down at his pokéballs and thought for a moment, then looked up. "I... I think I understand," he said. However, seeing his disappointment, Sapphire looked thoughtful for a second. Then...
"Hey, I know! You do have tot rain with your pokémon, but maybe I can train you! What would you say to becoming my apprentice for a while?"
"Your apprentice?" Griffon was shocked; he was going to be trained by a gym leader?!
"Yeah. I'd help you train with your pokémon, and show you tactics and battling techniques, and you'd get to catch more pokémon! How's that sound?"
Griffon could barely believe it. He was overjoyed. "How's it sound?! That sounds amazing!"
Sapphire laughed yet again. "That sounds like a yes to me! Well, then, meet me at the port two days from now. But first, go ahead and explore Mt. Hora. It's a great adventure, and you'll see lots of pokémon and trainers. You'll probably catch a ghost or two, as well!" And with that, she waved goodbye, backing into the trees at the edge of the cemetery.