I set down my Apple core in the bowl, and look around. The meal’s done, but as usual, Justin’s getting more. He is getting FOURTHS!!! How can he possibly eat so much?! Across from me, Anna is tapping the ground to the beat of a song going through her head, and Riley is talking to Loudred. Everyone else is finishing their meals, or helping Chimecho take the dirty dishes to the wash buckets. I stand up, grabbing the bowl of cores and, balancing it on my back, make my way to the compost bucket.
“Here, Croagunk.” I pass the bowl over to the Toxic Mouth Pokémon, who takes it, lifts the lid of the compost bucket and dumps the cores in.
“Meh-heh. Thanks, Eve.” I nod, and make my way back to where my teammates are sitting just in time to hear Riley say,
“Yeah, we’ll be there.”
“You’d BETTER be.” I slide back into my spot next to Justin.
“What is occurring?” I ask when Loudred walks off.
“All the apprentices are gathering in the guy’s room tonight.” He explains, then looks towards where everyone is gradually making their way from the mess hall. “We should probably join them.”
“SI.” Anna says in agreement. Justin reaches for another Bulk berry, but Riley pulls the bowl out of his reach.
“Hey! I wasn’t done with that!” The red color-traited Eevee complains.
“Too bad.” Riley stands up and passes the bowl to Chimecho. I smile, and stretch.
“Let’s go! I can’t wait to find out what’s going on tonight!” Anna rises, a grin on her face. Grumbling, Justin gets to his paws as well, following Riley out of the mess hall. Anna stops next to Chimecho. “Do you need any help?” She helps the Wind Chime Pokémon.
“No, that’s quite alright.” Chimecho waves a sudsy paw at us. “Go on, I’ll be with you in a minute.” She laughs, and goes back to washing bowls.
“Okay.” We continue through the main room, past where Chatot and Wigglytuff are comparing notes about the day. Or with more probability, Chatot is rattling the information off without Wigglytuff listening. Wigglytuff is standing there with a bored look on his face, occasionally nodding when apparently appropriate. We enter the hallway that leads to the crew rooms and make a right to where everyone except Chimecho and Diglett (who always goes to bed after dinner) are gathered. Bidoof, Sunflora, and Justin are sitting on Bidoof’s bed, chatting about how their day went. Loudred, Croagunk, and Dugtrio are comparing notes on exclusive items, and Corphish is sitting on his bed, eyes closed deep in thought. When Anna and I enter, we make our way to the side of the room, where Riley is sitting on the small wellspring that is in the boy’s room. Anna smiles at Riley, taking a seat on the ground next to the wellspring near Corphish., while I sit next to Bidoof, and listen to the conversation.
“-and then, she had the nerve to accuse me of cheating her! Oh my gosh, I was ready to slap her silly! Thankfully, Officer Magnemite showed up, and helped sort things out. But oh my gosh, I was so mad at that stupid Goldeen!” Sunflora concludes.
“That’s more drama than any of our jobs have ever had.” Says Justin.
“Justin,” I say softly, but loud enough to get his attention, “remember when we had to deal with Vespiquen?”
“Oh, right! I remember now!” He turns to Sunflora and Bidoof. “About two weeks ago, we took a Vespiquen into Apple Woods to go to the heart of the forest, but she kept stopping to collect honey. She was so weak, she kept getting knocked out when a dungeon Pokémon attacked her, and she didn’t even try to fight-”
“And Justin finally got tired of dealing with her and engaged in a full-blown argument in the middle of the mystery dungeon.” I finish, because Justin always forgets to add that part. He looks embarrassed, but is saved from Sunflora’s scolding by Chimecho entering the room and taking a seat next to Croagunk. He places an arm around her.
“So what are we doing tonight?” Corphish opens his eyes, and cracks an evil grin.
“Truth...or dare?” There is a moment of silence as his words sink in, and then mixed reactions emerge around the room. Loudred, Justin, and Croagunk absorb Corphish’s smirk; Bidoof looks absolutely terrified; Dugtrio appears thoughtful; Anna looks excited while Riley’s face is neutral; Chimecho and Sunflora look disappointed and annoyed.
“Oh. My. Gosh. Are you serious?” Sunflora waves her leaf in Corphish’s direction. “Don’t you remember the last time we played that...that...game?!”
“Croagunk, dear, I thought you had better judgment than that.” Chimecho scolds, and Croagunk just gives a shrug in response.
“G-Go-Golly, I don’t think I want to be here.” Bidoof is shrinking away beside me.
“Scaaaarrreeed?” Justin asks in a mischievous voice. Bidoof swallows loudly.
I am not sure how I should feel, having never participated in a ‘game’ of truth or dare before, even though I know how to play it. But there is a first time for everyone.
Still, the reactions of Bidoof, Chimecho, and Sunflora are making me cautious. And based on my previous observations...no. They would have more common sense than that.
“Hey hey, so is anyone here too Torchic to play?” Corphish asks, looking around. When his eyes land on Bidoof, the Plump Mouse Pokémon flinches, but doesn’t say anything. I gaze calmly back when Corphish looks in my direction. “We’re only allowed three truths, okay?”
“Why?” I cannot help but ask.
“Hey hey, so you don’t try to slip out of your dares!” He replies, a gleam coming into his eyes that causes me to begin to worry. I have a very bad feeling about this...
“Hey hey, Bidoof.” The Normal-type next to me flinches. “Truth or dare?” All eyes turn in our direction.
“Urp...” Bidoof thinks a moment. “T-Tr-Tr-Truth, I guess.”
“Out of everyone in this room, who would you kiss?” Loudred laughs, and Bidoof flushes bright red.
"G-G-Golly! That ain’t fair!”
...and now I know why Bidoof desired to not participate. And I suppose I will (hopefully not) recall my earlier comment of common sense. Guess it is not so common.
“Meh-heh. You can’t change. That’d be cheating.” Croagunk chuckles, and Chimecho gives him a disapproving look.
“ Urr......” He thinks a moment, then swallows. “E-Er...Eve...”
“WHAT?!” It was clear no one expected that answer. I can feel my cheeks turning pink as my eyes widen.
“Eep!” Bidoof edges away from me, slightly. “I mean, she’s nice and wouldn’t take it the wrong way, yah know? G-Golly...” He stammers, then falls silent.
I think I know why he said what he did. There are only four girls for him to choose between. Sunflora is out, because if Bidoof had said her name, Loudred would have made his life miserable. Chimecho would be fine with it, but there is no telling what Croagunk would do. Then it is between Anna and I. So suppose I cannot blame him for saying my name, even if it is embarrassing.
“Okay, Bidoof.” Loudred smirks. “Now KISS HER.” Bidoof stutters even more, and my face explodes. Okay, now that is too far... I avert my eyes to the ground, but thankfully Sunflora comes to the rescue.
“Go kiss a Voltorb, Loudred.” Sunflora warns him. “Bidoof doesn’t have to do that; he got a truth, and he answered it. He is under no obligation to do a dare in the same turn.” Turning to the poor Plump Mouse Pokémon, she kindly told him, “your turn. Choose someone.”
“D-Dug-trio.” The still-red Bidoof says to the Mole Pokémon, who looks up. “Dare or truth, I mean, truth or dare?”
“Hmm...” He thinks a moment. “Dare.” Bidoof appears unsure of himself.
“Um, I-I dare yah to...” he is silent for a minute, leading me to believe he has no idea what to say. “Yah gotta repeat anything everyone says.” Dugtrio thinks that over for a moment, then nods.
“So, everyone?” Justin says.
“So, everyone?” He repeats, and I blink. Something seems off about this situation, and his voice.
“Did you know that Justin’s the best?” The red-traited Eevee snickers. Dugtrio rolls his eyes.
“Did you know that Justin’s the best? Not.” I do a double-take when I realize why Dugtrio’s voice sounds off. When Dugtrio is repeating, only one of his heads is repeating what everyone else is saying. The other two heads are looking extremely bored.
“Dude, that’s CREEPY!!” Loudred shudders. “Thanks a ton, Bidoof.”
“Golly, I didn’t know...”
“Dude, that’s creepy/Thanks a ton, Bidoof/Golly, I didn’t know.” Now two of Dugtrio’s head are going. “Okay,” Dugtrio looks around, “let’s see...”
“Pick me, pick me, pick me...” I hear Loudred ‘whispering’ across the room.
“Chimecho.” Loudred sinks back onto his bed. “Truth or dare?”
“Let me think...” Chimecho hums a moment, then replies, “Truth.”
“Let me think... Truth. Chimecho, who was the first Pokémon you kissed?”
“Well, it was seven years ago, before I became a Rescuer.” Chimecho giggles. “It was a nice Drifloon.” Chimecho giggles again, then leans against Croagunk, who is looking annoyed. “But he wasn’t as nice as Croagunk here.” She places a kiss on his cheek, and the duel Poison/Fighting type recovers, kissing Chimecho back. Loudred whistles.
“Oookay, break it up now.” Justin rolls his eyes.
“It was seven years ago, before I became a Rescuer. He was a nice Drifloon/Oookay, break it up now/ But he wasn’t as nice as Croagunk here.” Dugtrio’s voice is overlapping with...himself? My mind is having a hard time understanding, even though I know what’s going on.
“Oh great.” Riley rubs his temple, and I give a small sigh in agreement.
“Now, Anna.” Chimecho turns away from Croagunk, cheeks slightly pink. “Truth or dare?”
“Oh great/Now, Anna, truth or dare/Truth.”
“What’s the one fear that keeps you up at night?” Chimecho asks, and without missing a beat, Anna answers,
“What’s the one fear that keeps you up at night...Spiders?”
“Ye-Yes.” She represses a shudder. I remember back when I first met Anna...
“YOU FREAK MUTANT BUG!!!” The blue-traited Vulpix screamed, tails glowing brightly in the dim light. She opened her mouth, and a star-shaped ball of fire shot towards Ariados, lighting the Long Leg Pokémon up.
“GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!!!” Her blue eyes were wild and terrified. Zorua had never seen a fire-type attack so powerful. Ariados screamed, and leapt away, scuttling towards the tunnels that led to the cave ruins.
“So...Ariados and Galvantula?” Loudred asks, and Anna nods. “WHAT?!” The volume of his voice makes us all jump, and Riley barely avoids falling into the small wellspring. “No fear of WATER?? Being ALONE?! DYING??” Anna, Riley, Justin, and I are all silent, and an uncomfortable feeling spreads around the room as they realize what Loudred said. Finally, Anna responds.
“I’m not afraid of dying, because I’ve already died once already.” I am stone still, remembering the golden bubbles surrounding me, and fading into the white light as Justin watched.
“Loudred, that’s uncalled for!” Sunflora scolds, throwing tentative glances our ways.
“So, it’s my turn?” Anna softly asks, then without waiting for a response, says, “Croagunk. Truth or dare.” The Poison-type recovers, pausing to think.
“Hmm...meh-heh...DARE.” I notice a challenging edge to his voice. A devilish grin cracks across Anna’s face as she leans forward.
“I dare you to go into the main room, and run around screaming “I have lost my voice”.” The previous atmosphere has vanished, and everyone is much more relaxed and excited now. Croagunk is resting his head on his paws, thinking, and then he nods.
“Meh-heh. You’re on.” Standing up, he looks around the room once before running down the hall. “OH MY GOSH!!” Everyone jumps at the high-pitched tone. “OH MY GOSH! I’VE LOST MY VOICE!!! SOMEBODY HELP ME FIND IT!!!” Loudred, Corphish, Chimecho, and Justin jump to their paws, and quickly stick their heads outside the room. Almost immediately, Corphish comes back in, laughing quietly, and Justin is trembling from trying to hold in his laughter, but he remains at the door. “HAS ANYONE SEEN MY VOICE!!! I CAN’T FIND IT!!” Riley, Anna, and Sunflora move to the door to see what is going on. “ANYONE!! HELP ME, PLEASE FIND MY VOICE!!”
“Heya! What’s going on?” I hear Wigglytuff’s voice.
“GUILDMASTER!” Croagunk shrieks, and Riley turns around, cracking up, and my curiosity finally gets the better of me. “GUILDMASTER, I’VE LOST MY VOICE! HELP ME FIND IT!!!” Standing up, I make my way over to where everyone else is gathering, and nudge my way to the front so I can see into the main room.
“You can’t find your voice???” Wigglytuff is scratching his head, standing in front of a wide-eyed Croagunk.
“IT’S LOST! AND I CAN’T FIND IT!!” Croagunk pretends to swoon, and the corner of my mouth tilts upward.
“Hmmm...okay! I’ll help you find your voice!” Wigglytuff grins, and Anna begins to giggle.
“I’VE LOST MY VOICE!!! WHERE IS IT?!” Croagunk began to run around the room, checking in every crack and corner.
“HEY! Has anyone seen Croagunk’s voice?!” Wigglytuff yells, bouncing around the room energetically. Everyone beside me is snickering or almost on the verge of breaking down, and I have a grin on my face. “Oh, Croagunk’s voice! Where aaaarrreee you??!!”
“Squawk! What’s going on down here!?” As one, we pull our heads back into the room at the sound of Chatot’s voice. We can still hear what’s going on, though.
“Chatot! We must help Croagunk find his voice!”
“MY VOICE IS LOST!!!” Croagunk yells.
“Guildmaster, this behavior is unacceptable! And Croagunk, off to your room now!”
“BUT MY VOICE IS LOST!!! I NEED TO FIND IT!!!”
“Croagunk! Now! Guildmaster, please! It’s practically the middle of the night!”
“Meh-heh...fine.” Moments later, Croagunk enters the room, looking incredibly proud of himself.
“...that was impressive.” Is all Anna can say. And I am floored. Croagunk took the dare and shot straight through the ceiling.
“That was impressive.” Dugtrio repeats, but with sincerity. It would not be a lie that we all are impressed.
“Meh-heh-heh-heh!” Croagunk chuckles. “Truth or dare, Riley?” The Riolu didn’t respond. “Riley?”
“Truth.” The Emanation Pokémon mumbles without thinking. Then he blinks, and waves his paws. “Wait! Wait! I didn’t mean that!”
“Truth or dare, Riley/Truth/Wait, wait, I didn’t mean that!”
“Meh-heh. Too late.” Croagunk smirks. “So, Riley, how old were you when you had your first kiss?” Riley mutters something under his breath that sounds like a curse against Croagunk, and I notice Anna is now focusing all of her attention to the ground, a pink tint to her cheeks. The Riolu does not respond, even with everyone looking at him.
“Hey! You gonna ANSWER or what?”
“Too late/Hey/So, Riley, how old were you when you had your first kiss/You going to answer or what?”
“...thirteen.” I catch Riley’s voice, but only because I am sitting next to him.
“Thirteen.” He repeats, staring at the ground, red tinting the tips of his ears. Anna has an equally red blush to her face. Croagunk looks from one to the other, and smirks.
“Meh-heh, I see now.” Riley’s paws twitch as others catch on.
“Oh, that’s sweet.” Sunflora sighs, making Anna turn even more red.
“What/Thirteen/I see now/That’s sweet.”
“Okay, my turn.” Riley shakes his head, trying to be less obvious, glancing between Justin and Loudred. Loudred gives Riley a pointed look, which seems to be unnoticed by the Riolu. “Justin.” There are two instant reactions to this decision. Loudred groans, burying his head in his arms. And Justin smirks, eyes gleaming. Now what in the world could cause...oh. Ooooohhhh....I see see now. I shake my head, pitying Louderd for when it’s his turn. “Truth or dare?”
“Dare.” Justin says without hesitating.
“Well, I dare you to go all day tomorrow with your fur dyed the colors of the rainbow.”
“Piece of cake.” The Eevee nods, then turns to his right. “Loouudreeed...” The Big Mouth Pokémon groans. “Truth or dare?” Loudred mutters something unkind about Justin under his breath before answering.
“Damn, DARE.” He growls.
“Do you know the song ‘I’m a Little Teapot’?” Loudred’s eyes widen.
“I dare you to sing that song, and do the paw-motions along with it.”
“Loudred/Dare/Truth or dare/Do you know the song ‘I’m a Little Teapot’/You wouldn’t/I dare you to sing the song, and do the paw-motions along with it.”
“Meh-heh. Come on, Loudred.” Croagunk chuckles, clearly enjoying himself. “Don’t be Torchic.”
“Fine.” Loudred scowls at Justin, standing. “But there’s gonna be PAYBACK next round.”
“They say for revenge, you should dig two graves.” Justin says without a care in the world. I have to admire his guts at going head-to-head against Loudred. But then again, he practically does that every day.
“Come on, Loudred/Fine/For revenge, you should dig two graves /But there’s going to be payback next round.” All three of Dugtrio’s heads are saying the words of different Pokémon.
“...” Loudred looks roof-wards, then begins to sing. Incredibly off-pitch, I might add. “I’m a LITTLE teapot, short and stout,” he holds a paw at waist level, then extends both outward. “Here is my HANDLE, here is my SPOUT.” I cannot help but notice that he does indeed look like an oversized teapot. “When I get all steamed up, then I SHOUT,” we all wince,” so tip me over and...POUR. ME. OUT.” He growls out the last words, then plops back down onto his bed
Justin is curled up into a ball, laughing so hard he is crying. Everyone else is trying to hold straight faces and failing miserably.
“Shut UP.” Loudred growls.
“Hey-hee-hey. Your turn.” Corphish waves his pincers at Loudred, wiping a tear from his eye. Loudred scowls at the Water-type, then glances over at Sunflora.
“Um, Sunflora? TRUTH or DARE?”
“Hmm...Truth.” She decides.
“So, um, what was your first impression of me?” He looks hopeful, but even I know there is going to be a let-down.
“Oh my gosh! When I first saw you, it was when I came to apply to join the guild. You were doing Sentry Duty, and got into an argument with Dugtrio about the Pokémon who was trying to get in. Dugtrio was certain he was a criminal, but you let the gate up anyway, and then that Electrode exploded in the middle of the third floor, and almost got Chatot! You were obnoxious, ignorant, and way too loud!” Justin snickers, and Loudred shoots him a dirty look. “Although...” Sunflora continues almost shyly, “my opinion of you has improved.” He looks up, meeting her eyes. “A little bit.” Only a few of us can contain our snickers and chuckles. Sunflora admires the Normal-type, although she will not admit it.
“Do I have to repeat all that?” Dugtrio asks.
“No.” Riley responds.
“Okay, now. Truth or dare Corphish?” Corphish taps the ground for a moment, pondering what to say.
“I’ll take a truth.”
“Okay, truth or dare Corphish/I’ll take a truth.”
“If you could be with anyone for a day, who would it be?” Corphish chuckles.
“Hey hey! Easy question! I’d be with the lovely ladies of Team Charm!” A dreamy expression crosses his face, and I can see Justin making a face out of the corner of my eye. “Lopunny, Gardevoir, and Medicham. Ah...just to spend a day in their company...one of the greatest exploration teams in history...all so beautiful...” He looks like he could go on all night, but thankfully Dugtrio speaks up.
“I refuse to repeat this.” He says, a blank look written on all three of his faces. This stops Corphish’s monologue abruptly.
“Hey, hey! Am I the only one who-” The Water-type looks around, and when his eyes land on me, I shut my eyes, knowing what is going to happen. “Hey, Eve!” I wince. “You haven’t gone yet! Truth or dare?” I have no choice, do I? I give a deep sigh.
“I suppose I will take a...” I think it over for a moment, “dare.” Corpish’s face breaks out into a smirk.
“Hey Eve/You haven’t gone yet/I suppose I will take a/Truth or dare/Dare.”
“I dare you...to get one of Chatot’s tail feathers. And you have to pluck it. Using nothing other than your natural talents.” As his words sink in, I groan. Of all the things I could have been dared to do, why this?
“Oh, that’s not fair.” Chimecho groans, burying her face in her paws. Sunflora has a pained look on her face, as does Justin, and Riley, Dugtrio, and Anna look sympathetically at me. Loudred, Croagunk, and Corphish are chuckling.
“Chatot sleeps on one of the rungs that lead to the Entrance, so he makes sure we can’t "run away". But if he catches you...”
I will be dead. Or assigned to Sentry Duty until the end of my training here, at the least. Or go on half-rations for a month. Or be forced to go into Apple Woods every single day to gather food. Arceus, do you hate me this much?
“Oh my gosh, Corpish, if you can’t do it, why should she?” Sunflora tries to stick up for me, but without anvil. The Ruffian Pokémon is stubbornly refusing to change his opinion.
“Hey, hey! She asked for a dare, she got a dare. Now she has to finish it! Hey, hey!!” Everyone is watching me. There is no way out. There is no way I can do this without receiving repercussions.
Eomeoni, what would you do? And then, all of a sudden, I have an idea. And it is so obvious, I have to wonder why it was not the first thing I thought of. Taking a deep breath, I leave the room, head down the hallway, and into the main room. Under the ladder, I stop, and look up, seeing a dark figure resting on the rungs above me. If I had to guess, Chatot is near the middle of the Job Floor. Good. That means I do not have to go too far up. I look back. Riley, Justin, Anna, and the others are gathered at the edge of the hallway, watching me. I catch Corphish’s eye, and smirk, confusing him. I take another deep breath, then look at the door that leads into Wigglytuff’s room. Please, please, please let this work. I shut my eyes, an image of Wigglytuff appearing in my mind’s eye. Pink fluff, and wide round eyes. A plump body, and a curl on top of his head. I squeeze my eyes tighter, and whisper a single word under my breath,
“Illusion,” and jump into the air, yellow light surrounding me. I can feel arms, and feet, and even though they may not be real, I can move and act with them. My body’s color is changing, purple into pink, and my body’s mass is becoming rounder.
When the light dies away, I glance back at my guildmates. Anna is wearing a proud look on her face, as are Sunflora and Justin. Riley, Chimecho, and Dugtrio are smiling, but Loudred looks annoyed. Croagunk looks interested. Corphish does not appear to be able to comprehend how he was one-overed. I smile, and stick my tongue out at him, knowing all he will see the Guildmaster making fun of him. Sunflora giggles, and I wave at them, before making my way up the ladder.
My biggest block is my color-traits. Even though I may have an Illusion, my color-traits carry over, for better or worse. If Chatot sees my eyes, or the yellow-traited puff on my head, I am through. I will only have one shot at this. Taking a deep breath, I stop beneath him.
Abeoji, wherever you are, please give me courage. With that, I jump up, grabbing Chatot’s tail, effectively pulling the Music Note Pokémon to the ground.
“SQUAWK!” Without any hesitation, I grab one of his feathers, pulling it away, and spin around just as Chatot looks over his shoulder. “Guildmaster?!”
“Chatot!” It surprises me how my voice is no longer my own. It’s Guildmaster Wigglytuff’s. I square my shoulders. “This is a test!”
“A test!” I repeat.
“A TEST!” I cheer, waving his feather in the air.
“A test?! Guildmaster-”
“Silence!!” I yell, and Chatot immediately is silent. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
“What’s the Spanish Inquisition?” In the distance, I can hear Anna laughing. She is the only one who gets the reference. Because she is the one who told me about it.
“You have failed the test! Now turn around!” I order, paws on my hips.
“Guildmaster, I don’t see the point...”
“Yes Guildmaster...” He says weakly. I wait a moment, then turn slowly, peeking out from between my paws, to make sure he is indeed turned around. Then, taking the blue-green feather clutched in my paw, I carefully touch his head, brushing back and forth. “Err...Guildmaster...” he sweatdrops.
“Darn!” I feign disappointment. “You are not ticklish! Oh well!!” I spin back around, singing a random tune as I skip back towards the ladder. “Now back to your duty, Chatot!” With that, I drop down into the hole, foregoing the ladder completely. I land gracefully and turn, only to find myself face-to-face with the Guildmaster. I freeze, heart rate spiking. For a moment, we stare at each other. Then Wigglytuff scratches his head.
“Whadayah know.” I do not know what prompts me, but I scratch my head, mimicking Wigglytuff.
“Whadayah know.” Wigglytuff grins, raising both paws above his head. I do the same. He sticks his tongue out, making a funny face, and I mimic him. He pulls on his ears, rolling his eyes into his head, and I do my best to copy him. This goes on for a minute, until he smiles broadly, and my face reflects his.
“So that’s what I look like!” He says cheerfully. “Thanks, friend!” He pats my shoulder, and my Illusion flickers for a moment, reflecting my frayed nerves. But if Wigglytuff notices it, he does not say anything, instead walking to his room and shutting the door.
I stand rooted to the spot. How is it...that I escape not only Chatot...but also Wigglytuff...? I take a deep breath. Perhaps Arceus has decided to give me a break. Or maybe... Shaking my head, I twist my body, pink light shimmering into purple and red. Once I am back in my original form, I pick up Chatot’s feather, which had fallen to the ground, and make my way to the crew room. Everyone is sitting in their respective seats, waiting nervously. When I enter, they all looks up. I place the feather in the middle of the group and smile.
“I believe I completed my dare.” And the room explodes. Anna and Justin cheer, while Riley applauds. Sunflora, Chimecho, and Dugtrio are grinning and complimenting, while Bidoof, and even Loudred, look impressed. Corphish looks annoyed.
“Hey, hey! That’s cheating!”
“How so?” I scratch my head. “I plucked one of his tail feathers. I did not use anything other than my ‘natural talents’.” I smile broader at Corphish’s stumped look, and return to my seat. Riley reaches over, and pats my back. Bidoof grins hesitantly at me, then blushes. Gradually the noise dies down.
“Okay, NEXT!” Loudred declares, and I know what I am going to do.
“Corphish.” I stare at the Ruffian Pokémon. “Truth or dare?” It takes a moment for him to register my words.
“Hey hey! Wait a moment! Why is it my turn again?” I smile innocently.
“I believe it is Round Two now. And, unless I am mistaken, the order restarts. So, I ask, truth or dare?”
“...” He looks around, realizing he is trapped. Shifting nervously, he says “Dare.” I smile again. He thinks I do not have anything too bad hidden in my fur. Too bad for him, I watched my relatives play once, and have one of the worst cards in my paw. This will be revenge for sending me against Chatot.
“Chimecho.” I say sweetly. “Can you please go get a cup from the dining hall?” She examines my face carefully.
“Okay...?” She rises, and floats off. I turn to look at the Water-type, and smile even broader.
“Corphish, have you ever heard of Roulette Cocktail?” Dugtrio, Croagunk, Loudred, and Sunflora’s jaws drop.
“Then allow me to inform you. A Roulette Cocktail is essentially a blend of different ingredients. But there is no set recipe. Anyone can add anything they want to the mixture. Seeds, Gummis, Energy Drinks, Fermented Juice, or any type of food item. Normally, it is quite harmless. However, if certain ingredients are put in, the result can be quite interesting.” Awareness is dawning on his face, just as Chimecho returns with the cup. “Will everyone please take out a single food item?”
“Hey hey hey!!! Wait a second! That’s not fair!” He is panicking.
“Would you rather go pluck one of Chatot’s tail feathers? I am sure he would be more vigilant the second time around.” I can see this knowledge processing in his mind, and he knows there is no other option.
Sunflora, Chimecho, and Bidoof place Pecha, Razz, and Oran berries down, and for a moment, he believes he is safe. Until Riley puts down a small vial containing some kind of clear liquid without saying what it is. From there, it goes downhill. Croagunk and Loudred place a Gravelyrock and Grimy Food down, and Anna discreetly adds a Blast Seed to the pile while Justin puts an extra-bubbly Elixir in. I pull the ingredients and cup toward me, and begin to work. The final result is a yellow-brown non-translucent drink that bubbles ominously with small vapors of smoke coming from it. I slide the cup over to Corphish, who looks at it distastefully. When he sniffs it, one of his eyes twitch, and threaten to roll back into his head.
“Hey hey, Eve, I thought we were friends...” I smile.
“We are. Now drink up.” He swallows, takes the cup in between his pincers, squeezes his eyes shut, and downs the whole thing in one gulp. Immediately, he clamps his pincers over his mouth, eyes rolling into his head as his scales take on an unhealthy brown color. He then dashes from the room, and seconds later I hear a miniature explosion. Sticking our heads out into the hallway, we see Corphish lying in the middle of a black ring. I pull my head in, and examine the still-smoking cup with interest.
“So once he recovers, it is his turn, correct?”
We managed to play three more rounds (which included Loudred getting on all four paws and barking like a Poochyena, Justin having to identify everyone by smelling them, Bidoof telling us the most embarrassing moment of his life, Riley laughing so hard at something Dugtrio did that he fell into the wellspring, and Sunflora slow-dancing with Wigglytuff (on a dare from Croagunk to troll Loudred)) before (a very frazzled and annoyed) Chatot told us to go to bed.
I am fairly certain Chatot will never allow us to play Truth or Dare again.
Also, I should add he has not turned his back to Wigglytuff since that night. Something about trust issues…? Oh well.