Part 43: A new day for Team Hugs.
Team Hugs hasn't had an easy time of it since Gengar got everyone riled up with his lies, and Jake's had the worst of it. We'd managed to clear his name and return home safely, but I knew we could use some time to recover from everything that'd happened. Even Jake's planned party turned more into him passing out on his bedding the moment we got back. I went over first thing the next day to make sure he was all right, of course.
Morning, Jake. Get a good night's sleep?
Uh huh! It felt so good to sleep in my own bed!
Okay, we're back in the rescue team business!
Pelipper's brought us mail already, too.
Let's give it our best like we always used to!
Of course, it turned out there wasn't any rescue mail, which was probably for the best; it gave us time to kick back and unwind. We did get a nice letter from Pelipper, though.
Yo! Amigo! It's awesome you're back! I'll be delivering mail to you again! I've been looking forward to this with my bill outstretched! I'll deliver tons of mail, so you'd better be ready, amigo! - The wandering postal carrier, Pelipper -
So we went into town to see how things were going, and everyone had something to say about how they'd treated us.
I'm so sorry. I was fully convinced of your guilt, Jake. But I am glad to hear you are free from that cloud of suspicion~♪ I'll never give you my business again! ...I hope you won't say that.
The Kecleon Brothers were distressed over how they'd treated us, though how much of that was genuine and how much was worry they'd lose a customer, I couldn't say.
I am so sorry! I was convinced that Jake had to be the one. I'm very ashamed that I treated a valuable customer with such disdain and suspicion...
It isn't just you, my brother. I am guilty of the same.
B-brother... *sniffle* My brother... We both promise, we will not repeat the same mistake. I will do my best to obtain even better Technical Machines and Orbs. I hope for your continued patronage!
Jake had nothing but forgiveness for them, though.
I expected this. I thought there had to be a mistake. I mean, look at you. You don't look like the sort who can be up to no good. I'll keep looking after your things, dears! You can always count on me!
And to be fair, Kangaskhan hadn't sold our stuff or anything. It was all just as we'd left it.
I do apologize. How could one run a bank without trusting clients? I promise to satisfy all your banking needs from now on. I hope you'll stay.
As was our bank account. I guess they really did believe in us, or at least were willing to give us a chance to prove ourselves.
I doubted you too! I do so apologize! If you could wipe the slate clean, I will do my best to serve your linking needs!
Jake's got a big heart, and somehow, despite everything, it hasn't been broken.
I believed in you, Jake! Because you're my friend!
I guess that's why so many Pokémon like him, myself included. I wish they'd been more willing to stand up to the mob on his behalf... but what's done is done.
I'm truly sorry for what happened. Sorry for suspecting you.
We got conned by Gengar... I'm sorry.
Aww. No... I thought you were completely guilty. I'm sorry you had to go through such a miserable time.
...so, what became of Alakazam's team? Did they head underground? Groudon... the mythical Pokémon... It is rather worrying... but I suppose it is Alakazam's team. They should be fine.
Not all the news in the square was about us, of course. For a moment, I wished we were out chasing Groudon down, but no, we needed to rest.
I just knew Jake couldn't be evil. I hope you keep doing good with your rescue work!
I'm so glad Jake isn't under suspicion anymore.
I regret this... how some old folklore I told... could cause such an uproar... I got carried away and recounted that tale... I should've left well enough alone...
In the end, even I couldn't blame Whiscash for his part in events. Gengar had used the legends against us, it's true, but Whiscash had no way of knowing about Jake being human, much less that Gengar knew. I'm just glad Jake's innocence is doubly proven; he isn't the cowardly human, and even if he were, the disasters wouldn't be his fault.
Only a few people weren't talking about our return. Dugtrio had missed the whole thing, apparently.
What do you think, Son? Isn't the sea wonderful?
Yes, Papa. Papa? Papa, can you swim?
...Of course. What do you take us for?
Oh! So you can swim! Papa, you're so special!
I'm still not sure what to make of him and his stories.
And then there was the Makuhita Dojo. In the time we'd been gone, they'd opened some more training courses. Jake and I have been too busy to do them before, but maybe now's the right time.
Jake wanted to make sure the rest of Team Hugs was doing all right, though. We visited Molly at her new digs in Darkness Ridge, which she found on her own. It's kind of a creepy place, to tell you the truth, but she says she feels at home there.
This area is almost exclusively home to Ghost Pokémon like Gastly and Shuppet, but a few oddball Pokémon like Absol, Sneasel, and (oddly) Vulpix also like it here.
The rest of the team were doing fine; they hadn't been up to much in our absence, but they'd kept food on the table and hope in their hearts, and they were all glad to see us back-- some more than others. (Jake nearly got poisoned, Mister Pointy was so eager to hug him.) And that was pretty much it for the day. We had some lunch, mingled with the team for the rest of the day, then went home for a good night's sleep.
The next day, I decided to make use of Gulpin's services. Rapid Spin was fun and all, but a ranged attack would be more useful.
Okay, here goes! Gggggggg... Pwah! Gulpin! There! Success! Sheldon has forgotten the move Rapid Spin and remembered the move Bubble!
Then Jake and I went to the Makuhita Dojo to unwind. I remember how reluctant he was to even hit another Pokémon when he first came here; he may not be any more eager to, but he certainly does it when he needs to. And in the Dojo, it's just sparring among friends; he can handle that.
I briefly discussed the Makuhita Dojo when it first opened, but it's been quite a while, so let's review. In the dojo, you can pick one of a number of mazes to train in. The mazes are three floors, with no items, just random encounters on the first two floors (themed to the maze) and a 'boss fight' on the third.
Additional mazes are introduced throughout the game; at the moment, we have 16 of the 17 type-themed mazes (the lone holdout is the Ghost type). These vary in difficulty.
The Normal Maze? Your decision stands! Let the training begin!
We also picked up the tactic 'Go the other way', which is useless; it causes the partner to ignore us and wander around the dungeon looking for stuff to fight.
Ah... you have succeeded in your training! You've shown your worth! Without a doubt, you have grown more powerful from your training! May this success drive you to train even harder!
The Normal Maze is actually one of the harder ones we have access to right now; many of the other mazes have Pokémon who are rather pitifully leveled compared to Jake and Sheldon. That doesn't mean there isn't experience to be earned, though.
And then there's the Psychic Maze. The Psychic Maze is filled entirely with Wobbuffets. What's so bad about Wobbuffets? Well, in increasing order of annoyance, they know:
- Safeguard, a move that gives them a shield that prevents status ailments.
- Counter, a move that returns double the damage they took to the attacker if that damage is Normal or Fighting type. In PMD, it's a shield that lasts a few turns to make it even more powerful.
- Mirror Coat, a move like Counter, except that it activates on any special attacks (for instance, Water type attacks). It's also a shield in PMD.
- Destiny Bond, a move that creates a link between the Wobbuffet and its attacker. If the attacker kills the Wobbuffet while the link is active, the attacker also dies.
That nasty. Fuck you, Wobbuffet. Fuck you.
Aiyah... you failed to reach the end... More training is what you need. But effort is never wasted! Learn from this and move forward!
Oh, we're learning, all right. For instance, did you know that losing in the Makuhita Dojo is just like losing in a regular dungeon, complete with losing all your carried money, inventory... and held items?
My Friend Bow!
Yeeeeeeah, we're not keeping that result. At any rate, once we've completed all sixteen mazes, we get...
...nothing. (Except a star next to each of the completed mazes.) Which is annoying, because the whole reason I did these courses now was I thought I'd get a reward. Ah well, we got a few levels, and levels are good.
We were pretty tired after all of that, even with the complimentary beverages after each fight, so Jake and I decided to head home. Anyway, we were pretty sure business was going to pick up again for Team Hugs pretty soon, and we wanted to be ready.
Next time on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: mega mission mayhem!