Ash's Ultra Journey @darkknight55
What Comes After

Chapter 53: What Comes After

After being cleared to leave, Gladion rushed the group back to Akala Island. From there, they rushed Nebby to Paniola Ranch, hoping Brock could do something for him. Presently, they were all waiting in the house, nobody making a sound. Ash had let his Lycanroc out, who spent time with its mother whom was pleased at her son's evolution, but other than that the atmosphere was tense.

After what felt like an eternity, Brock stepped out of the "operating" room. Lillie practically ran him over in worry.

"Where is Nebby? Is he safe? Is he alright?"

Regretfully, Brock shook his head.

"I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do."

"But Brock, you're the best Pokemon breeder I know. There has to be something you can do!"

"That's the thing, Ash. As far as I can tell, he's perfectly healthy."

Confused, the group of five followed Brock to the table Nebby was at, not making a move.

"His heartbeat is normal, breathing is steady, absolutely nothing is wrong with him medically. As far as I can tell, he's in perfect shape."

The room was silent, nobody knowing what else they could do.

"Well, thanks anything Brock."

"Of course, Ash. Anything for a friend."

Dejected, the group headed to Konikori City. They hoped Olivia might be able to offer some advice. When they reached the city, they were shocked to see it in disarray, the entire populace busy repairing broken structures and what not. When Olivia saw them, her face lit up as she waved them over enthusiastically.

"Guys, welcome! Sorry about the mess, we had a little trouble."

"Ultra Beasts?"

"How...how did..."

"Long story."

Lillie held up Nebby, and explained the whole story from Poni Island to her mother disappearing and Nebby's current state.

"Brock said there's nothing he could do for him, so we thought you might know something about this."

Olivia remained silent for a minute, before motioning for them to follow her back to her house. Confused, they did so, where Olivia rummaged through her books before finding what she was looking for.

"Lillie, you mentioned Nebby was related to the Legendary Pokemon of the Moon and Sun, correct?"

"Yes."

She set the book on the table, revealing a page detailing two interesting flutes. One had a bright sun carved into the woodwork, while the other showed a half moon.

"These two flutes, the Sun and Moon Flutes to be precise, are rumored to be mystical artifacts said to be a gift from the guardians themselves. In ancient times, Alolan people played them in times of need to wield the powers of the guardians of the sun and moon themselves. The Sun Flute gave them the power to grow crops and control the harvest, while The Moon Flute allowed them to control the tides and travel the seas."

Her audience oohed and aahed at the story.

"But what happened to them?"

"Sadly, with great power comes great responsibility, something our ancestors did not heed. The four Islands fought for power, each one having control over one or two at one point or the other. This all culminated in a disasterous war that nearly threatened to wipe the Alolan culture out."

The five gasped, horrified by how far this had been allowed to unfold. Olivia allowed the story to set in before continuing.

"After the dust settled, the survivors realized how foolish they were, and that they could not be trusted to wield such power. They returned the flutes to the guardians, who hid them deep where only the strong willed and brave hearted could find them. If you want to help Nebby, this may be your best chance."

"But where do we even start to look? If the Guardians wanted them to stay out of the wrong hands, they would've hid them somewhere remote."

Olivia thought for a minute, before something dawned on her.

"Just a few miles off the coast of Seafolk Village, there lies Exeggutor Island. They were once allied with the Poni people, but fled once it was clear the war could not be won. Now only the Exeggutor live there. That would be the best place to start."

Their next course of action decided, the group prepared for what would inevitably be a long journey.

"Thanks for everything, Olivia."

"You're welcome, Lillie. I only wish I could do more."

"Believe me, you've done more than enough."

With that, the group of five made their way to Heahea docks, Olivia being sure they left with lots of food. She waved to them as their ship departed, a small smile on her face.

"Good luck, Ash. You five will need it."

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