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Ren’s body raced through the vegetation.
His memories of the previous battle flashed in front of his eyes.
The Battle with the Oranguru… the subsequent rewards and…
Ren had a strange feeling.
Throughout the course of the last battle, the Ralts had constantly followed him.
Perhaps he was being paranoid, but Ren felt that if he did not escape quickly the Ralts would be right behind him, like usual.
With his recovered spirit, Ren activated acceleration a few times.
‘What am I even doing?’ Ren thought to himself.
This was a fucking Psychic Pokémon, not some Pokémon adept at physical activity.
Surely, given the amount of time that it would need to devour the corpses and the distance already between them, the Ralts would have no way of finding him.
Had the Ralts affected his mental state to such a degree?
Why was he running so hard?
Ren slowed down, to a reasonable pace, heading back towards his home.
‘Home… what a strange world.’ Ren thought, distracting himself.
It was times like these that Ren realized how much his life had changed.
From living in a nice house (he presumed) on Earth to calling a fucking tree trunk ‘home’.
His body slipped in between the trees, heading down the mountain.
He had made it a habit.
Whenever he traveled and explored different regions, he would always mark the surrounding areas so that he could make his way back home safely.
His tree trunk gave a sense of security that other places did not.
‘Home is where the heart is.’ Ren remembered a phrase from his past life.
Ren observed his surroundings.
It was normal. The roars of the Pokémon in the distance. The rustling of leaves against the onslaught of the wind. The feeling of the dirt and rocks against the bottom of his body.
Yet not at the same time.
He turned his head.
‘Normal… just trees,’ Ren thought as he observed the grove of trees and vegetation behind him.
‘Am I going crazy…?’ Ren thought.
Was he just imagining things?
Shrugging off his stray thoughts, Ren continued his traveling through the vegetation.
After slithering forward for a bit, he once again felt a chill.
Ren turned his head back.
‘Nothing…’ Once again, his surroundings were empty.
Ren became concerned. What was this feeling? Were his instincts telling him that there was some danger behind him?
He could not sense anything.
‘Let’s get home before anything else.’ Ren continued onwards, this time with greater speed. His body zipped through the surrounding trees and vegetation, bouncing from tree to tree.
His body movements were smoother. His spirit flowed smoothly through his body.
Ren was filled with a sense of urgency.
Ren could feel it once again. It was as if something was staring at him.
Ren did not turn around like last time. He continued onwards as if nothing had happened. His body slowed down.
Energy gathered around him.
Using his aura, Ren turned his body around at lightning speeds.
He observed a flash of white ducking into the surrounding bush.
Ren slithered towards the bush cautiously.
He had some idea of what it was but he had to check.
Ren peered over the bush.
Sure enough, ducking on the ground was the Ralts.
Ren was expecting it but was still shocked. The Ralts had managed to follow him. How?
The Ralts noticed that it had been found. It stared at Ren for a while before backing away from the bush.
It stared at Ren, its deep red eyes sharp and bright.
The Ralts was still the same.
It's pure white skin glistened under the sunlight and its short green hair covered its large eyes.
Ren noticed some differences.
‘It’s face… it's red.’
The Ralts face was covered in a red tinge.
There were other peculiarities. Its hair was messy.
Ren used his tail to point at his head.
‘Use your skill’
The Ralts looked confused for a second, before realizing what Ren was signaling at.
The Ralts gathered its aura in front of it, before pushing it towards Ren.
Ren did not dodge the aura.
The minds of Ren and the Ralts were once again interconnected.
The two Pokémon lay there in silence for a while.
Ren pondered how he should begin the conversation. Should he lie? Should he tell it the truth?
‘Why did you leave me?’ The Ralts said one simple thing.
All of Ren’s preplanned excuses drifted away like a flame on a windy day.
He could hear the sadness in its voice.
Ren observed its features again. Its red-colored cheeks and its disarrayed hair.
‘Was it chasing after me?’ Ren thought. He could hear the soft puffing noises as the Ralts tried to get more oxygen into its body.
Even the spirit that the Ralts had used when activating its ‘telepathy’ skill had been weaker and dimmer.
The Ralts had essentially used up all of its energy to catch up to him. It had expended a large chunk of its spirit and stamina to meet up with him, putting its life on the line.
That was the one question on Ren’s mind.
It was not just targeted at the Ralts.
More than anything, it was targeted at himself. Why did he leave… why did he run away.
Ren realized something.
He was not just leaving to avoid the annoyances he was running away from something.
He was running away from the interactions… from the conversation from the potential friendship.
Ren identified the reason for this.
He was scared.
He was unwilling to attempt anything. He was unwilling to change his life.
The Ralts tilted its head.
Ren had already memorized the Ralt’s body language and what it represented.
‘Why did you chase me?’ Ren clarified.
He did not command the Ralts. He simply asked it.
The Ralts eyes darted for a while and its body spun around.
It was thinking.
‘I… you were the first one.’ The Ralts replied with some hesitancy.
‘You were the fi-fi-first one to talk to me…’ The Ralts stuttered.
Ren waited for the Ralts to continue.
‘All of the others… I have tried. They are scary. Their thoughts are full of blood, killing, and death. You… you are different…’ The Ralts continued.
The Ralts had tried to communicate with many other Pokémon. Its [Telepathy] skill allowed it to connect with the consciousness of others.
Each time it connected with other Pokémon, the same thoughts would be expressed.
Anger, Hatred, and Desire. And a desire for blood and killing.
It was surrounded by these thoughts. For days and weeks.
It was forced to undergo battle after battle to survive.
For an empathy Pokémon like the Ralts, this was a true hell.
The Ralt’s experiences were much like his own. A befuddled, intelligent Pokémon in a world full of bloody, ruthless monsters.
At least Ren had his knowledge and the system to guide his way. As for the Ralts?
It had nothing.
No one. No other voice.
For the first time since coming to this world, Ren felt it.
Empathy. A feeling of sadness for someone else.
‘And you saved me.’ The Ralts finally added.
The Ralts had been exhausted, fighting against the Oranguru with no support and no help.
That was when Ren had stepped in.
Perhaps in his eyes, he was only acting in the best interests of himself. In the eyes of the Ralts, however, he was a savior.
Ren looked at the Ralts that had just finished its statement.
‘How can you remain so pure?’ Ren thought.
The thoughts of why the Ralts could talk and why it was different from other Pokémon escaped Ren’s thoughts.
The Ralts trusted him.
‘I was confused before…’ Ren said.
The Ralts listened attentively. It was the first time that Ren was willingly contributing more than what he needed to.
‘I do not mind if you continue following me.’ Ren stated. ‘But let this be clear. It’s only temporary, ok?’
He would make use of the Ralt’s skills.
Yes. That was why he was letting it follow him.
The Ralts eagerly nodded. A wide smile was plastered on its previously deadpan face.
It was the first time that Ren saw a smile.
It was a smile that he created.
The Ralts eagerly nodded.
‘Ok!’ it exclaimed eagerly.
The Ralts had already forgotten its previous interrogative.
It had gotten the approval that it wanted. That was all that mattered.
Ren turned his head away from the smiling Ralts.
‘You will make me blush…’ Ren thought as he moved forward, hiding his face.
The Ralts followed him like a shadow, making sure to not let Ren out of its sight.
It was awkward for the two of them on their way back.
No, it was more accurate to say that it was awkward for Ren. He did not know what to say to someone else nor how to continue a conversation.
He had no memories of ever interacting with people personally.
As for the Ralts, it did not even know what an ‘awkward atmosphere’ was. It was still happy from the previous exchange.
Ren’s body moved through the undergrowth and through the vegetation.
After traveling for quite a while, finally reached the stream of water.
With a quick surge of Aura, Ren jumped over the stream.
With his newly refined spirit and his new skill [Spirit Control], Ren’s spirit application was much stronger.
He did need to use [Spirit compression] to cross the river any longer. His range with [acceleration] was much larger now.
The Ralts simply floated across the river.
Ren cursed the thing that had made it a snake for the millionth time.
After a few more minutes of trekking, Ren and the Ralts finally reached Ren’s humble abode.
Ren stared at the tree hole from below the large Oak tree before deciding.
‘No.’ Ren thought.
It was not going to work out.
With great control of his spirit, Ren manifested a drill. The contours on the drill were greatly accentuated, increasing its penetrative ability.
‘Move out of the way.’ Ren asked the Ralts.
The Ralts floated to the side.
Ren stared at a nearby tree. Like his own home, the tree was also quite large.
It was a perfect residence.
Ren moved to a nearby tree, slithered up its trunk and began to drill into it.
The sound of machine against wood echoed out in the forest.
With great control, Ren dug out a large hole. His mind worked in overdrive, making sure that he did not mess up the proportions or the size of the hole.
‘Mmmmm… that should fit the Ralts.’
Unlike other Red tier Pokémon; the Ralt’s bioenergy did not go into increasing its size but rather into increasing its psychic energy.
For that reason, the Ralts quite small standing at just above half a meter tall.
‘Perfect.’ Ren thought as he stared at the finished product.
Ren stared at the Ralts intensely.
‘You… go in there.’ Ren said as pointed at the hole with his head.
The Ralts tilted its head in confusion.
‘A demonstration, huh?’ Ren thought to himself.
Ren jumped into the hole and peered out.
‘See? Do you understand?’
‘Yes.’ The Ralts replied.
Ren jumped out of the hole and motioned to the Ralts.
‘Now go inside.’ Ren said.
The Ralts nodded.
It stared at the hole like it was some type of obstacle that it needed to overcome.
The Ralts floated up and entered the hole
It stared out of the hole at Ren.
‘Good. You can level up in there, ok. When I finish my leveling up I’ll get you.’ Ren informed the Ralts.
The Ralts seemed to visibly panic.
‘Don’t worry. Don’t worry. I won’t leave, ok?’ Ren said.
The Ralts calmed down a bit.
‘Ok… I am heading to sleep now, ok?’ Ren said.
‘Ok.’ The Ralts confirmed affirmatively.
‘Good.’ Ren thought.
He slithered away and jumped into his own tree hole. As soon as he got inside, he curled himself up into a coil.
It had been a tiring day.
It was time to sleep and evolve.
Ren activated his level-up process.
His mind felt groggy and his thoughts became cloudy.