B2 — 32. From Darkness To Light


1:  Rhea (Our Blonde, Awkward Bombshell MC!)

Pokemon Map: 

I loosely follow this map as a visual guide; the creator made it in paint?!?!  It’s insane!  Some errors here and there, but I follow its design for the most part.  Areas can be further apart, some cities are in the wrong places or not listed, and the regions aren’t nearly so close.  The best map I’ve found, though!

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9:41 p.m. July 5, Sunday, 106 PH (Post Hoopa Event)

Events:  The Joint Kanto and Johto Indigo Summer League have concluded; Saria Surge has become the new Vermilion Gym Leader, converting it to a Fairy Gym.  It will be open for challenges on the 10th.

Our girl started her journey on the 9th of June—she’s been a Trainer for 26 Days (25 officially; 26 since getting Maya and Nova).

Rhea’s childhood dripped through her veins like the edge of a poisonous knife as she walked beside the cliff with the sound of water against the stone below, eroding her happy past; the bright night helped guide her path, allowing her to focus on the tidal wave of emotion in her tight chest as she looked for a way to keep herself from the pain.

Even blaming Rainbow Rocket wasn’t a complete remedy that allowed her to escape the monster her parents revealed.

Her Pokemon seethed with Rhea’s internal list of wrongs the organization had done throughout her life as she used it like soil, attempting to bury every fault her parents had confessed.

Alice vibrated in her arms, raging at the image Rhea painted: the promises broken due to Rainbow Rocket attacks, waiting for her parents at home, only to be met by another sleepless night with Sabin comforting her, and the lives lost within the Master’s community everyone around her mourned.

Mom and Dad did bad things… but it’s all Rainbow Rocket’s fault…  They ruined everything…  Mom’s shattered heart…  Dad feels inhuman as a clone…  Him betraying Mom…  Mom experimenting on me…  They ruined everything…  Everything…

Resentful, excruciating, spiteful tears burned her cheeks; she had to blame something, and she couldn’t blame her terrified, tortured parents, so her insides screamed at the one thing she could hate.

Rhea fell to her knees a ways away from the still visible cliff, where her parents waited, jaw locked and skin tingling as if scalding water had been poured over her.  “It’s not fair,” she sniffed.  “It’s not…”

Dropping to her side, Alice wiggled free to hug her neck as Rhea hugged her shaking body, unable to see the ocean anymore through her blurry vision.  “Why did it have to be me?  Why can’t I eat like normal girls… have normal girl troubles… have a normal life?”

She rolled to her back on the grass, moving Alice to hug against her chest.

I don’t want to be a super weapon.  I just want to be me… but what am I if I’m not totally human?  Dad’s a clone… and Mom put Pokemon DNA, RNA, whatever—I don’t know—into me, so… am I a Pokemon or human…  A hybrid?

A small smile lifted her puffy eyes as Nova said she was Rhea—her human—and she was her Pokemon, followed by Alice and Mya.

I don’t know…  I just know I love my parents…  I love you three…  I love traveling with Amira and Lori… and I hate Rainbow Rocket.

Breathing back her tears and emotions, Rhea had one thing bubbling up from the chaos that gripped her soul; some way, somehow, she’d make Rainbow Rocket pay for causing everyone she loved so much pain.

It took several more minutes for her to collect herself, but with the help of Alice, Mya, and Nova, she got to her feet and returned to her parents; the weight against her heart hadn’t lessened, yet she knew she wasn’t shouldering it alone.

Ascending the cliff, she smiled at her mother and father, seeing the mirrored red and puffy cheeks of her mother.  “Hehe…  You look terrible.”

“I’m sorry, Rhea…”

Rhea moved forward to hug her.  “I love you…  I know Rainbow Rocket is really the one to blame.”

Her father embraced her next, yet his soft words made a shiver run down her spine.  “We aren’t blameless, Rhea…  We both made our own decisions, including lying to you all this time.  Right or wrong, we all lay in our own beds and have to take responsibility for them.”

“You have!”  she returned, hugging him tighter; Alice was still holding reservations toward her parents, but Rhea couldn’t see them as villains.  “All my life—since as long as I can remember—you’ve both done everything you can to help everyone.  You saved Mimi when I asked, when the other Pikachu, her brothers, and her sisters—her own parents—abandoned her.”

Her mother’s lips drew in as she breathed.  “A right decision doesn’t make up for a wrong one…  I live with what I’ve done, Rhea, and that includes what I did to you.”

“Heh…”  Rhea pressed her forehead against her father’s chest as he rubbed her back.  “You’re not, haaa… making this easy for me.  Okay…  You did bad things before… but you’re not those people anymore—you’re the mom and dad I’ve always loved.  Is…  Does it get worse?” 

Her mother’s gaze lowered, and she shook her head.  “I don’t know what’s worse or better…  It all blurs together into my nightmares and regrets.  Huu-haaa.  Do you want to hear what I did to you… the reason I’ve tried so hard to make Training fun or enjoyable for you?”

Rhea sniffed back her stuffy nose and coughed before guiding them both back to the seat to collapse in it, holding their hands while staring across the ocean; the wind stung her wet cheeks, but it couldn’t match her vulnerable heart.

“I don’t think I can stop here.  No matter the reasons, I love Alice, Mya, and Nova…  I know I’ll love the other Pokemon you’ve prepared, and I’d feel as if I let them down if I didn’t love them…  It’s not their fault…  I don’t know whose fault it really is, heh, but Rainbow Rocket feels like a good start.”

Her mother squeezed her hand.  “Where to begin?  I told you the reason I swapped your fetus with the other Giovanni’s daughter… but… mmgh.”

“It kills your mother,” her dad sighed, scooting closer to draw her against his chest.  “In doing so… she put a target on your back.”

It clicked in Rhea’s mind as if an earthquake rippled through her bones.  “He thinks…  He thinks I’m his daughter?!  Am I?!”  she whispered, truly not knowing if she could take another hammer to her heart.

“No!”  Her mother cried.  “No—we’re your parents, period—genetically or otherwise!”

“Okay…”  she breathed, relieved at least that was cleared up.  “So, that’s why you feared for my safety—he probably still has spies in our world?”

“We know Rainbow Rocket does,” her father mumbled.  “We also knew we couldn’t keep you caged and hidden away forever… it wasn’t fair to you—none of this was fair to you, but we couldn’t let you go…”

“I couldn’t let you go,” her mother sighed.  “The guilt your father feels for betraying us…  I selfishly made him promise to never do it again, and he’s pleaded for me to let you out of my protective bubble for years… but then the drama with your cousin happened—I couldn’t let that happen to you…  I’m such a failure of a mother…”

“Christie…  I know you’ve only had Rhea’s safety in mind.”

Her mother sank against the stone.  “Not only…  I couldn’t let you get hurt after everything I did.  I used my own daughter out of spite…  I know you wanted nothing but to be normal and be free, and it was my own malice toward your father that ruined everything you wanted to have…”


She shifted to hold the back of Rhea’s hand against her forehead.  “I’m so sorry, Rhea…  I made the League fear you…  I made you a target for Rainbow Rocket…  I made you the product of resentment…  I made you a prisoner…  I made your father always stop you from running away when you were little…  I ruined your life.”

Tears leaked from Rhea’s eyes as she swapped for her father’s chest to guide her mother’s to her own, sniffing back the dagger digging into her heart.  “Maybe you did… but I still love you.”

“How…”  her mother shook, crying into her breast, “How can you love me after all I did that unraveled everything I love?  Your father betrayed me, and I betrayed you… even your brother… I poisoned everything I’d come to love to burn your father…

“I couldn’t believe it…  Should I have seen this coming, and were my feelings for your brother, and… and you so little?  No…”

Her voice broke.  “Nothing…  I just saw you as him…  I saw myself in his eyes after he opened up to me—the scars I left on him—and I laughed before realizing… I didn’t recognize who I was anymore.  Did it mean anything to me… or nothing at all?  I was the monster.”

The swirl in Rhea’s heart was surprisingly still as she held her mother’s head and stared up at the bright moon with its three overlapping rings.  “You’re not perfect…  I don’t know what I’d do if Sabin, Dad, or you did that to me…  I wouldn’t be the same either.  I’m sorry you went through so much heartache, Mom…  Why does it hurt so much to hear?  It hurts… so much.”

“Aura connection,” her father whispered.  “Your abilities are unstable right now, as you develop, but you’re able to resonate with those around you through their Aura and understand them on a fundamental level.”

“How is that helpful?”  she sniffed, trying to comfort her mother.  “It just… hurts, so much…  It feels as if Mom is shattering into pieces.”

“I’m only hurting you more!”


“Christie…  I’m sorry.”

Vilora, her father’s Butterfree, exited her pokeball to teleport her mother away, causing Rhea to feel as if the tears filling her cupped fingers slipped through, leaving her stunned.

Drawing her closer, her dad whispered, “I don’t want to make you feel guilty, Rhea, but you can also amplify a person’s aura, which can act as a sort of Mega Evolution to humans, increasing their Fortitude, but… unrefined as you are, it can also draw out the darkness within people’s twisted heart.”

“Oh…”  Rhea closed her eyes, feeling tired as she leaned against her father’s chest, hearing his soft heartbeat.  “Does Mom really hate herself that much?”

It took a few minutes before her father breathed out his sad emotions.  “Your mother lives in perpetual fear… trapped by her own mistakes, doing everything in her power to try and find redemption… when it’s her own self-judgment that keeps her trapped in the house of our past.  The shame she feels has always kept her distance, which only renews that vicious cycle of remorse and self-reproach…  She tries.”

“Huu-haaa…  I just want us to be happy…  Mom, you… I just want to be a happy family.  Can we… or is it impossible?”

Hot air pressed against her crown as her father shifted.  “I don’t know, Rhea.  I’ve come to terms with everything I’ve done—being a part of Sabin and your life for so long, but… it’s different for your mother.”

Rhea bit her lower lip, eyes stinging while reliving the emotions she’d felt from her mother.  “It hurts to be near me… hurts to be apart…  It’s not fair.  I hurt her no matter what I do.”

“No, Rhea…”  her father whispered, rubbing her back.  “Your mother hurts herself, and she tries—she tries so hard—but it’s not you, Rhea… it’s her trauma, and she knows it, which only hurts more.

“We just need to be patient and be there for her when we can…  It’s my responsibility; I started this cycle by breaking her, and it’s my sin that you’re feeling.  Did Rainbow Rocket have a part in it?  Yes, but I lived here for over ten years before choosing to side with my mother over my wife, and that decision haunts me every day.”

Wind and ocean waves filtered into focus as they became silent.  She felt her phone buzz in the following minutes—likely her teammates, wondering where she was—but she ignored it.

“Can we fix things if we’re honest?”  she squeaked.

“Hmm.  This has been everything I feared… everything we feared, and it’s why your mother put this off for so long, which only created a bigger monster.  Still, I’ll always be here for you, Rhea, and I’m glad you don’t hate your mother, but… if she’s going to heal, I think she does have to feel some kind of punishment.”

Rhea glared at the grass beside her father.  “I can’t hurt Mom.”

“I know.  Hehe.  So… punish her your own way.”

Vision softening, Rhea knew what her father meant; she lifted herself up and kissed him on the cheek.  “Thanks, Dad.  Is she okay to bring back?”

“Vilora will bring her back when she’s calmed down.”

“Okay…  Can we just sit here and wait?”

“Of course.”

She rested her weary and burning eyes, letting the cool ocean breeze, salty smell of the sea, and constant rise and fall of the waves clear her overstimulated mind.  Alice had calmed down by her feet, still not happy with her parents and the way they’d made her human feel; it made Rhea happy how protective her Pokemon were of her.

Even if she had strange Aura powers—or whatever else her mother did to her—she had to accept it if she wanted to move on, and realizing why her mother had been so terrified to let her go helped her understand how much her mother cared for her.

In her own controlling and trauma-filled way, her mother had modeled her life after trying to correct her mistake, yet she was also trapped in a box that her father couldn’t help her leave since it had to be by her choice.  The truth was so painful, but it was also the price of escaping an even more tormenting cage.

If I’m going to help her…  I have to become strong enough to show her everything she’s done has freed me from her sins.  We have to become stronger, Alice, Mya, Nova…  I want to free my mom and dad.  Will you help me?

Mya and Nova had the same reaction as Alice, gaze falling with a glare; it confused them that she wanted to save people that hurt her.  Nova was the first to respond that she would, followed by Mya, but her youngest Pokemon was far more hesitant, being the type to hold grudges.

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Yet, after some discussion between her three Pokemon, Alice begrudgingly accepted it on a trial basis; if she hurt Rhea again, she’d make sure her feelings were heard.

Rubbing the overprotective Buneary’s head, she giggled; it was funny that Alice had no issue with being the fastest and strongest, but the disconnect came from the reason.

Rhea knew she couldn’t have gotten through this without her three amazing Pokemon always being on her side and close to her soul.

I love you.

Alice latched onto her hand, holding it against her fluffy, small chest as the Buneary nuzzled her Trainer’s wrist against her cheeks.

“You have great Pokemon,” her dad whispered, watching the exchange.

“I do…  Mom made sure I had the best.”

A few more minutes went by before her mother returned, unable to look her in the face out of shame after losing control of her emotions, even if Rhea had an unconscious effect on her.

I’m Mom’s weakness, Rhea internally sighed to her Pokemon as a way for them to understand, guiding the vulnerable woman back down to sit next to her.  She’s really taken a beating in this battle.



“Can you make me a promise?”


Her father smiled, settling back in as Rhea took a deep breath and let it go; Alice’s narrowed eyes were watching her mother like a Pidgeot.

“I want you to focus only on getting my next Pokemon ready—Lori and Amira’s, too—I want you to help me become the strongest Trainer in the world… stronger than Red, Aunt Cynthia, Ash… everyone.”

Her mother rubbed her forehead and cleared her cheeks.  “I will… but do you really want to be a Trainer?”

“Not just that!”  Rhea proclaimed.  “I’ll be a Contest champion!  I’ll beat Chase.  I’ll beat Aunt Cynthia.  I’ll beat you, Dad, and everyone!  Because… I’m your daughter, and you’re my mom, and I wouldn’t trade you for any other mother… even if Lyra is a really cool mom.”

Her father chuckled with her crying mother, drawing her into a hug while babbling unintelligible things.

“Hehe… I usually can’t understand your techno-babble, but this is at a whole new level, Mom!”

Helping her calm down, Rhea puffed out the hot air in her lungs before whispering, “Can you tell me more about myself now?  I’m not mad… I just want us to be honest now.  Promise?”

“I promise…  I’ll never lie to you again.”

Rhea smiled as Alice seemed to be satisfied by the answers and patted her leg to let her know she approved.

“Okay…  So, I have crazy Pokemon powers—is that why Sabin and Dad always tried to make me guess stuff about Auras?”

Her father sighed.  “It was a game I developed with your brother to hopefully train you in it—my attempt at helping—and your brother ate it up.”

Clearing the emotion from her voice—without much success—her mother breathed a few times while collecting herself to explain.

“Humans and Pokemon share some distant history,” she choked, rubbing her throat.  “Either through breeding or genetic experiments done by ancient civilizations—like Pokémopolians—I can’t say, but it’s more prominent in specific groups of people.

“Psychic abilities can be unlocked in just about anyone who does the proper mental training, but Aura is… unique, and while Psychics can be strong, it’s a very diverse range… Aura isn’t that way.  So… mmgh…”

“Take your time, Mom,” Rhea urged, squeezing her hand to tell her she was okay.  “I understand why you did what you did, and I am mad at you—I really am mad at you—but… I could never hate you.  So… tell me how I can use these amazing gifts you gave me to keep myself safe.”

“Gifts…  Haaa.  Not all of them are gifts,” she whispered, staring up at the stars as she searched them for the words to continue.  “Hmm.  Only specific Pokemon have the capacity to naturally utilize Aura, such as Magearna, Lucario, Gardevoir…  Legendary Pokemon, like Dialga, Palkia, Giratina…  Mew, being the most potent of them all, next to the male Mewtwo.”

Thinking back to Ash’s statement, Rhea leaned back with a short hum.  “Aunt Cynthia is looking into this new Mewtwo…  Wait, no… it would be the original Mewtwo, created by the Pokémopolians?”

A weak shrug came from her mother.  “I don’t know…  It seems that way, and the male Mewtwo is one of the most powerful Pokemon… ever… stronger than Ho-Oh and Lugia—stronger than Giratina.

“It was that genetic data that I had collected from an old sample I hid away that I used in you—not the Psychic parts—it would be too unstable, as I explained, it isn’t as constant as Aura.”

Her father puffed out a long stream of air.  “Aura on that level…  You’ll be able to read the minds and actions of others, sense things unseen by Aura—that infuses everything—track anything by their Aura, and prevent forms of mind control to not just yourself but those around you.”

He chuckled, holding out his arm to twist it around.  “Grandmasters can enhance their bodies with Aura, sense Moves, and track things from a far distance, but the potency of what your mother has given you is far more robust…

“You can create barriers or attack with Aura, and the only other person that can do that is Ash, the last Aura Guardian.  You’ll be able to not only read minds, but experience what the other person has and share those memories with others around you, and, in general, do anything a Psychic can… teleport even since it’s more or less a sort of mental copy of the spiritual phenomena.”

It all sounded like fiction to Rhea.  “I… can teleport like Sabrina and Will?”

“You can,” her mother whispered, absently playing with her messy blonde locks.  “You’ll probably need to go to Ash to really understand how to train your Aura properly, but there is so much more you are capable of…  It isn’t just Mewtwo’s Aura strands I used.”

Closing her eyes as if in pain just thinking about what she did, her mother shook her head.  “Rainbow Rocket went around various universes through the Wormholes… and collected Victini… after they concluded through some of my research notes from Plasma that they could be used as the most potent form of power to use when fusing their Energy Core with another Pokemon.”

Sadness touched Rhea’s chest as she felt only the surface of how much her mother hated herself; there was nothing someone could do that her mother hadn’t done herself to rip her own heart out.  She hadn’t expected her to have gone so far into madness, feeling nothing and doing anything to hurt her father when losing all hope in life.

All the videos her mother had shown her when a little girl of the little, cute Victory Pokemon and the look her mother would have returned with the realization she was punishing herself; seeing the joy in Rhea as she saw the playful, blue-eyed Pokemon as she remembered the sins she’d committed.

“How many Victini?”

“Too many…” her dad mumbled.

Her mother shook her head and answered with a melancholy, trembling smile.  “Fourteen…  Used for different projects, and… six of them I managed to smuggle out when your father freed me.”

She shifted to hold her hand against Rhea’s breast.  “Victini Three… from Universe E93-5B I placed inside you.  A little seed embedded inside your heart, which gave you the strength to handle all these maxed Pokemon… and what Giovanni had planned.”

Rhea swallowed, fingers closing over her mother’s.  “I have a Victini in me?”

“Mythical and Legendary energy, which resonates between your Pokemon and you to awaken it with the strength of the connection of the Master Ball.  I… haven’t even told your aunt or my parents about all of this…  I’m too much of a coward.”

The heartbreak of knowing the heinous things her mother had done in the past still hadn’t sunk in, but she knew the inhuman experiments ripped her mother apart worse than anyone else could, which was why she’d dedicated her life to helping Pokemon through everything she’d learned.

“That’s terrible…  I’m glad you save Pokemon now.  I’m proud of you for coming back.”

A tear slid down her mother’s cheek.  “I don’t deserve that, Rhea…”

“I know… but even if two wrongs don’t make a right… you should be praised for doing what’s right…  I think you are doing what’s right, Mom.”

It took some time for her mother to speak again, wiping at her puffy, glistening eyes.  “You’re too kind, Rhea…  You’re going to make my heart give out.  I needed some way to get you interested in Training because if I didn’t… Victini’s Core wouldn’t have had anywhere to expand as you grew, and you… you would have died.

“The evolution stone I gave you was meant to help moderate its swelling within you, but… Brock discovered a flaw I hadn’t expected…  My mistake.”

Taking a shuddering breath, she choked a laugh.  “My stupid… overprotective nature caused an influx of Aura and emotion that created a strain on your body when you made your new friends and experienced the outside world, which is why the overstimulation created a reflux with Mya’s battle… nearly killing you.”

Mya was speechless at the admission that she hadn’t been the only reason for putting her Trainer in the hospital.

“What does that mean?”  Rhea asked.  “So… I’m growing faster, and it’s stressing my body?  Is that why Amira is having trouble with the Master Balls, but I’m not… because of the Victini Core inside me?”

“Not entirely…”  Biting the corner of her lip, her mother slowly shook her head.  “As gifted Amira and Lori are from their own powerful genetic lineage, they’re also being affected by your radial Aura; I’ve had to have a personal talk with Lyra and the others about your unusual Aura…”

She paused and breathed out a long sigh.  “It wasn’t enough that Giovanni wanted the strongest human… he wanted someone who could elevate those around them, but… that comes at a price.

“I unified Helping Hand with Pressure… to create a permanent Aura that would flex the fortitudes of those around you—I never do anything right, though—and, of course, it would produce an incredible amount of stress… just like a Legendary when someone tries to bond with them.”

Rhea’s gut tightened.  “So… with how often Lori and Amira are around me…  Am I killing them?!”

Her mother shook her head.  “It’s not to that extent, but… if I don’t figure out how to regulate it, it could kill weaker people… just like Legendary Pokemon can by their pressure.  I engineered you to be a Legendary human of sorts…”

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They turned to her father as he gave Rhea a small smile.  “While you work on your angle, why don’t we ask Ash to try and help Rhea learn how to control it herself?”

He held up his hands before her mother could respond.  “Let’s give Rhea a shot to take hold of her own life and these problems—you don’t need to put the world on your shoulders, Christie—have faith in our daughter.”

Her father’s tender words and assurance warmed Rhea’s heart as she nodded.  “Yeah!  I can help, too.  Mom… what if you don’t sleep and make a mistake because you’re too tired?  You’re not alone.  Let me show you I’m as strong as you say I am.”

“It’s… complicated,” her mother hissed, but Rhea could feel she was desperately trying to hold onto control; being useful was the only way she could live with herself.

“I know, Mom,” she smiled, pulling her into a hug.  “I do trust you have my best interest at heart, but you work too hard, and I think it’s hurt things more than helped.  What’s the saying?  First, make sure you’re safe when going out into dangerous waters to rescue someone?  It doesn’t help to have two people needing rescue!”

Her father chuckled.  “I taught you well!  Plus, Ash’s already in the area, and it wouldn’t hurt to see if he’d be willing to give our daughter a few pointers.  You know Ash, somehow always showing up whenever he’s needed—I doubt Cindy even really invited him, and he just popped up at the right time—Aura Guardian and all,” he mused.

“Well, heh, knowing him, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to travel with you girls to Vermilion City.  He has a habit of gathering new people while traveling, and he does have a friend there he could visit.”

“Eh-heh, we’re actually going to go to Saffron City next—and then Celadon.”

“Oh…  Huh, well, I’m sure he’d still want to chill with you; he’s always up for an adventure.  Haha!  Also, your mother would be thrilled to have someone like Ash there if anything happens.”

“True…”  her mother hesitantly mumbled.

Happy she had something she could do with her Pokemon, and having a path forward to help redirect her mother out of her terrified glass box, Rhea let a lot of her own fear go.  Yes, she was disappointed in her mother after everything she’d heard, but, as flawed as her mother was, she tried time and time again to do what was right.

Rhea had lived in her mother’s petrified box for too long, and she needed to learn how to live in this dangerous world; she wasn’t normal—she had her own flaws—and it was time she stepped out of her mother’s shadow to face the world herself and grow up.

“Thank you, Mom… for everything you’ve done for me—for trying a million times.”

“I… am so scared, Rhea.”

“I know…  It’s okay, Mom,” she comforted, holding her as she broke down for what seemed to be the dozenth time.  “It’s okay.  I have so many people to help me… to help us.  I’m not afraid of what I am anymore…  Hehe.  I’m sure Amira and Lori aren’t all that normal, either.  We’re all little misfits, huh?”

“Ha… haha…  I’m sorry, Rhea…”

“I know…”

Comforting and taking care of her distraught mother, Rhea listened to her confessions and guilty conscience into the hour; she texted her teammates, letting them know she was okay and with her parents.

Around midnight, her mother collapsed from fatigue, and her father lifted her into a princess carry as Rhea stood.

“Thank you, Rhea…  I know it probably isn’t easy for you to hear everything your mother did… all her regrets.”

Rhea shook her head.  “It helps—it does—more than you know.  I know why she always kept her distance now…  Why she works so hard.  Thank you for being there for Mom…  Hehe.  She’s such a mess, huh?”

“Haha-haaa…  Such a mess.  Do you want me to talk to Ash?”

Holding her hands behind her back, Rhea shook her head before looking at the sea.  “I’ll get Aunt Cynthia to send me his number and give him a call in the morning.  I’m sure he’ll probably be busy tonight with the other Champions.  I love you, Dad.”

“Love you too, Rhea.”

She hugged her parents—being somewhat awkward in the princess carry position—before his Butterfree teleported her back to her hotel room.  Taking a deep breath, she went inside to explain what she’d learned to her teammates; she didn’t have secrets with them, and that’s the way she wanted to live.

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