It all depends on you. If you have no business to take care of, you can head to port and sail to Shuiea immediately. That was your destination, right?
Not exactly. I know what I want to do. I will have to talk with Citra though.
Knock knock on her room.
Citra is seated in the center of her chamber, facing you. It was hard to notice before, but this chamber feels isolated somehow. All your thoughts are clearer.
"Citra. Thank you for having me one more night. I think I know what I want to do with my time here, before leaving.
I would like to explore the lake."
"The lake?" She gazes at you. "I see. Its host will decide whether or not to admit you, that's not up to me. Why, though? Seeking a blessing of some kind?"
"In a way. I want to be accepted by the pokemon which lives in there. Perhaps that way, next time I meet Mew it won't be as overwhelming…"
"I see. Mind you, no boat is allowed on the lake. You must swim yourself or have one of your Pokemon assist you. Good luck, it may test you."
"I wasn't expecting anything less. Thank you Citra."
This will be great training for Wartotle. Off we go!
You go out to face the lake by the monastery. You had a battle on the shore before, and there you felt the prescence of the lake's master. At the center you see an island which may be your destination.
You're not sure what to do except maybe head for the center.
Reach for the shore, removing my shoes and dipping my feet in the cool water, walking along the surf.
Call Wartotle out, and exchange a smile with him.
"You feel up for a little swim?"
His fluffy tail and ears wag excitedly, and he leaps into the water. Are you planning to hang onto him?
Yep. Lose the rest of my clothes, revealing the conveniently placed single-piece swimsuit, and put my fins on after jumping in the water.
"Come here Wartotle! Let's go together!"
You leap into the cool water- or were about to, if not struck with a sudden impulse of fear. It comes from nowhere and freezes your body. The island is terrifying, and you shouldn't step there.. or should you? Why do you want to go there?
I know what this is…
Stop by the water's edge, sitting down, arms extended towards Wartotle, calling him to me.Guardian of the lake. I wish not to intrude on you but if you will have me, my devotion will be true.
Please let me approach your island.
The fear vanishes. In your mind's eye, the image of the island becomes clearer. Perhaps you have been granted entry.
Pet Wartotle a little while longer, scratching the top of his head, eventually going back towards the water.
"Here we go, try two."
Let's get swimming, holding with one hand onto Wartotle's shell at first, then, as and if we pick up speed, using both.
Wartortle is stronger than he looks, and easily pulls you with his tough body. The lake isn't large, so you reach yoru destination quickly, the freshwater hardly having time to warm up to your skin.
Amidst the strange flowers of the island is a cave, one you feel compelled to enter.
Walk in, leaving my fins by the shore, still dripping wet from the short swim. Don't recall Wartotle though, leave him to my side.
There is no light in the cave, and all you feel is the water under your feet. As strange silence falls over you as you enter, and the darkness overwhelmes you.
In the back of your head, you feel it. The buds of… desire. Want. It nags at the back of your head, looking for an object to cling to an take form. Memories flood your head of things you've wanted. Toys, adventures, and others.
Which of those bring out the strongest feeling of desire? Do you remember when it was at its strongest?
I want to know.
When my want was at its strongest?
With Eevee, that fateful night. Nothing else could compare.
You recall that sweet memory, relishing in every detail you remember. Of which there are none you do not. Instinctively, you walk forward, that desire guiding you.
Delightful. Pure and thoroughly indulged. But now you are asked something else. Wrath. A twinge of rage creeps from the corners of your head. I want to see anger.
Remember that horrible loss to pirates on the researcher's ship, while coming here to the islands. Remember how enraged I was during that battle. How angry I felt at our aggressor.
But what did you want to do? Freed of all restraint, be they physical or not, what would you like to do? I want to know. Show me.
Picture myself flying over the world, high up and fast as fast can be, only to lie down in a little clearing among the most beautiful woods, overlooking infinity.
Here, think about resting, happy, with my pokemon.
You feel the path forward closing… this is not what you were asked.
Wrong. I want to see rage. The desire to lash out at the world and all things. I want to see that from you. If you do not know the seven emotions, you are not welcome here.
But… I don't feel rage. My rage is always limited to protecting myself or Pentium. It's always been like this.
Kicking away those who would harm or oppress us, show them the arrogance of their ways, but other than that…
My rage can't hurt people. My rage can only protect.
So be it. Then you must show hate. The wish for the ruin of something, or someone. To see them scattered to the winds, utterly broken.
Do you know hate, Leila? Please show me.
…No. I do not know hate. I'm a young girl, I've lived happy most of my life. I felt profound sadness, I felt out of place and lonely and happy and scared, but I never felt hate. I guess that, after all, I might be too inexperienced for hate yet.
Desire. Anger. Hate. Fear. Sorrow. Joy. Love. To be complete in soul, one must know all of these emotions intimately.
Young human. There is much for you to learn. The day you develop these aspects of your soul, I, Mesprit will welcome you with my open arms.
You suddenly find yourself facing outside the cave, towards the entrance, light pouring on your face.
I sigh and sit, fully aware of what went down in that cave.
_Thank you Mesprit._
And just like that, I'm suddenly aware how much of a kid I am. Sigh softly, ashamed, defeated. Once more beckon Wartotle over and hug him, to relax.
"We should leave this island, Cutie. Good job bringing us here though. At least one of us is good at something."
Wartortle hugs you back, and you feel warmed. You feel the despair creep up on you… but at the same time, your head is clear enough to understand that perhaps this is one thing Mesprit wants. For you to know intimiately sorrow and its many forms. Perhaps this is its gift for the next leg of your journey.
What a twisted thing to be thankful for.I will see you, Mesprit. Once I grow up.
"Let's get back on the road, okay Wartotle?"
If we cuddle any longer I might get weird ideas.
It because humans know the sting of despair that they move forward, young one. Now go forward.
Wartortle goes red, but nods. Will you go to the port now?
After gathering my stuff and saying goodbye to Citra, yes.
I want to get on with the next gym, but first I need to do some quick searching online.
Look for sites of ancient ruins, was anything ever discovered nearby?
You sit at a Pokemon center public terminal while giving your Pokemon a simple checkup. Hmm, no. Of recent interest is the Tomb of the First Imperator, one of if not the first of the Imperial line, but despite that nothing has turned up.
So no ruins have ever been found here on the island region, right? Very well, time to find a way to the next gym then… How far away is that island? Check the map.
The ones that have been discovered have already been thoroughly investigated ages ago, and visiting them will be difficult, seeing as they're underwater, if you're still interested.
By ferry, it'll take you until late afternoon-evening if you leave now.
…Mew's words ring in my head, and suddenly an idea comes over me.
Screw the ferry, I'm going by foot. All the way down to Lake Henzi and then Tumi town, crossing between Muika Island and Tumi Island by swimming.
Are you serious? You barely know how to work the sea and if you make it to land you'll be going offroad for a good hundred or so kilometers. Do you know the geography, the climate? You should think about this carefully.
That's just it! I do want to go on foot for a few hundred kilometers! I want to camp under the stars and be alone with my pokemon! I want to test my ability and resilience!
I do have some experience with hot and dry climates, let's study a bit on ranger handbooks how to adapt to hot and wet ones, too. And hey worst case scenario, I have a sat phone.
You don't have a sat phone, you still rely on cell tower reception, which may be nonexistent if you're far enough. If you truly want to test yourself, you would do well to properly train first.
The ranger handbook describes the tropical rainforests and associated environments as one of the most gruelling challenges a wanderer can face. It is for that very reason that the Bug gym in Dervor Town teaches its challenges how to survive in one and awards the badge based on that, and the water gym of Shuiea uses the sea itself as a trial.
Gulp a bit, slightly deterred.
This might not be a good place to test myself so soon, but…
Okay change of plans. Let's go into the forest south of Muika town to look for pokes. Maybe stay the night, but not much longer.
I still have my camping gear, right?
Of course you do. Your food supplies should be satisfactory too. Failing that, the guide should help you forage.
Off you go, past increasingly sparse settlements and fields, till you reach the forest. It's milder than the pictures of rainforests in your guidebook make it seem. Thankfully, there's been dry weather recently.
This is too nice a sight to hoard it for myself.
Call out both Pentium and Umbreon, walking through the sunlit grass with the two of them at my side.
They flank you, but for once they seem more eager to take in the atmosphere than gush over you. There's a serene feeling that overcomes all of you.
The forest looms at the edge of the cleared plains. You can feel the cacophony of thoughts before you can hear the Pokemon cries.
I stop for a brief moment, eyes wide in surprise at first, and amazement later.
Walk into the forest, using my compass to follow a straight line through the dense vegetation.
Let's try and gain the high ground around here, or follow a stream…
You search for higher ground and find it following a steep incline. You can hear the flow of water, and following it you find a small waterfall, being tended to by severa poliwag and wurmple.