A quick cursory look revealed that no one else had cared to respond to the man’s inquiry.
Before the silence settled back down, he decided to speak up, “It seems to be a challenge of sorts, one that calls for testing people’s limits. The situations that ravage our day-to-day lives place so much stress upon our emotional capacities. —doesn’t it seem like they’re trying to break us?”
Pupils fixated on the boy who chose to respond, examining the individual’s disposition without so much as to speak a single word.
His own silence would soon fade as monochromatic, deadpan refrain escaped pursed lips, pondering aloud.
❝ Mm, that could very well be the case, although I have a feeling that they are conditioning us for a greater purpose. If they simply wished to push the civilians to their breaking limits, they have already achieved that purpose. Which brings me to my next question …
If that were the true reason, why are we still here? ❞
❝ Oftentimes I ponder what the ‘true’ meaning of this social experiment is … ❞
Thinking aloud, the enigmatic male turns to the nearest individual, posing a question.
❝ What are your theories?❞
she’d always been leagues more exuberant than he ever had. though he stood tall and quiet like an empty vessel, her small stature was filled to the brim with words and ideas to spill forth into the world.
and just as every other sound had, an excited cry of the boy’s short name left her lips as quickly as her feet left the ground, and her world again filled with a happy sort of glow.
and she leapt forth to throw her short arms around his waist in a friendly hug, though the years between them had grown so vast she found it essential to cling tighter than was acceptable, if only to lose the distance between herself and the back she’d been wandering so long in order to chase.
( do you know how long i’ve been looking for you? and it’s good to finally see me again? i thought i’d never see you! )
( how are your pokemon? )
Teal hues gazed at the fiery woman, who latched onto him without forewarning. Brow furrowed, quirking in slight confusion. Albeit a king, he was not necessarily used to such outward displays of affection - especially when it applied directly to himself, which caused him to gaze for a few moments in pure silence.
As a result, he matched her enthusiasm to the best of his abilities, wrapping his arms around her frame as a subtle smile formed around the brim of his lips. Had his lack of presence caused such an uproar? Never would he have guessed someone to react in such a jovial manner towards himself.
… and yet, while enthralled at the realization of another from his own realm, his heartbeat quickened at the thought of another ally being ported within the nightmarish experiment.
❝ I did not know my absence left such a profound impact on you, Touko. My apologies - but the time apart was necessary for me. I traveled across regions to study Pokémon and become one with the world … although my time was cut short. ❞
❝ I still have my companions beside me. Zorua, Darumaka and Tympole have kept me safe. How are your allies? ❞
“You mean there are people who aren’t expressing concern over something like this?”
You know, friends and family getting kidnapped. Even she expressed concern over complete strangers getting kidnapped. Still, it was comforting to know that there was someone who expressed concern about this.
“N? What an intriguing name…” Did it stand for something? Or was it just an unrelated alias. Such a peculiar man…
“I have been here for almost a year now. I have done much observing and exploring. It is my duty to keep the people safe, to make sure no harm comes their way. By doing that, I must observe the place on daily.” As for his next words, she is silent. She has had many theories about this place, theories that have changed over time.
At first, she simply thought this was another world. But then came the glitch…
“… Do you think this place is real, N?”
❝ There are plenty who have found complacency in our particular situation. I, however, am not in the minority. ❞
A quiet calm exuded from the enigmatic male, keeping his eyes fixated on the woman before him, breaking his gaze suddenly, gripping onto the tip of his cap to shield his visage momentarily. Stoic in mannerisms, lanky build stood completely still as she continued to further explain.
❝ Interesting. I have been a resident of this city for nearly three years now. However, I have been avoiding the watchful eye of the city’s handlers. In turn, I’ve devoted my time towards gathering information. Still, certain things do not seem to make much sense … ❞
Slight groan escaped his mouth as she poised an unexpected question. In actuality, her train of thought was akin to his own. After the initial shock, the king leaned towards her and whispered.
❝ The guise of this ‘social experiment’ is cracking at it’s core. This place is beginning to unravel as a sea of illusion. Do what you may with this information, lady Lucina - but recognize that your suspicions are not as far fetched as you may think. ❞
“The number of citizens have once increased again… I wonder when they’ll stop this entire experiment…” She mused to herself before turning to one of the newcomers. She replaced the frown on her face with a smile, bringing her hand to her chest and bowing.
“Good day, my name is Lucina. If you need any help, I will do my best to offer you assistance.”
❝ … It seems as if I am not the only one who expresses such concerns. How comforting. ❞
Upon viewing the woman, teal hues expanded in visage as a courteous smile formed around the rim of his slender lips. Despite his peculiar look, it wasn’t often that he was directly addressed by another - let alone privy to the individual’s musings—in which he wholeheartedly agreed.
❝ Lucina? What an intriguing name. I simply go by the name of N.
If anything, you seem knowledgable enough to recognize the atrocities that threaten to plague this city - which is quite an impressive feat, I might add.
What do you theorize, lady Lucina? ❞