Chapter 24: Suspicion

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Chapter 24: March Through the Desert

After several hours more of training, Kalim finally relented.
"That's it for today! Tomorrow we are going to March to the East Oasis. Be ready!"
He marched off, and the students were able to let down their facade of strength and were barely left standing.
"Ha...ha...I can't feel my arms and legs..."
"Someone...I need water..."
"And we have to march through the desert tomorrow."
"What happened to the Dorm Leader? He was never like this before..."
As Swampert, Lucario, Flygon, and Arcanine took pity on the students and helped them stay on their feet, (Y/N) noticed Jamil deep in thought. She gave him a searching glancing, not liking the feeling swirling in her stomach. Grim, on the other hand, collapsed against Cufant, wheezing.
"It's over! This guy was all smiles and happiness before, now he's a completely different person. What happened?"
"Surely he's just worried about Scarabia's results from the Magift Tournament and the exams." Jamil defended. "He probably feels responsible for it. He's been terribly emotionally unstable lately."
"Has he ever had such intense mood swings before?" (Y/N) asked.
Jamil shook his head.
"This isn't just emotional instability!" Grim argued. "It's as if he's become a completely different person."
"Grim's right." The trainer stated. "This isn't normal behavior in the slightest."
Jamil sighed. "I've known Kalim for a very long time and I've never seen him act like this before. His speech and demeanor are changing and he's become domineering. He's out of control. Before, all the dorm students gladly followed Kalim, but now everyone is confused. Unreasonable orders like this are becoming more and more frequent. It's only a matter of time before the students become unsatisfied and start to rebel. I've managed up until now, but...I'm already at my limits..."
The monster cat grunted. "Hm, you and Trey from Heartslabyul must have it rough, huh?"
"Ah!" Jamil said suddenly. "That's it! You guys must be the 'Diamond in the Rough'!"
"Ha? What's that?"
"You guys helped Heartslabyul and Savanaclaw, Octavinelle too! I heard rumors you were heroes that help solve everyone's problems!"
"Hehehe!" Grim cackled. "That's right! Everyone should be grateful for everything we've done for them!"
"That's why...I ask you to please help Scarabia!"
"Eh!?" Grim shrieked.
"Meeting you in the cafeteria that day was a fateful encounter! I'm sure you will come up with a solution that shines brighter than a diamond!"
"Don't get your hopes up!" Grim tried to curb his enthusiasm. "Yeah, I'm amazing but this is a completely different story!"
"Excuse me! I'm the one who ends up doing the brunt of the work!" (Y/N) hissed at the cat who hissed back.
"Hey! Stop getting us involved in other dorm's problems! I'm tired of fixing everyone else's messes!"
"Why are you mad at me? Half the time I only get involved to clean up your guys' mistakes!"
Jamil felt a bit annoyed at (Y/N)'s reluctance to help. Given her own weary glances and her Pokémon's aggression towards him, he could tell she was much more perceptive than he gave her credit for. Regardless, he needed to keep her under control for now. Once again, he tilted her chin to make her look him in the eyes.
"You'll help us, won't you?"
Once again, she felt the fog drift over her mind, but before she could answer, Jamil was violently yanked away and found himself with a threatening claw on his neck, courtesy of Gabite. No one moved as the Cave Pokémon glared angrily at the Vice Dorm Leader. (Y/N) shook her head and grabbed Gabite's shoulder.
"Gabite, stop! We'll help!"
"What!?" Grim yelled as Gabite stepped away from Jamil. "Hey, why are you agreeing to this!?"
"So you'll help us?" Jamil repeated, not fazed by Gabite's aggression. "I'm glad. Then, I'd be honored to have you both stay here in Scarabia as guests."
He clapped and several students came running in.
"You called, Vice Dorm Leader?"
"Please show our guests to their room."
(Y/N) motioned her Pokémon to follow, but made sure to side eye Jamil as they left. They were led to their private room, which was nice enough.
"Please enjoy your stay and have a good rest." One of the Scarabia students wished as they left.
Grim snapped at the girl. "Ughh!!! I told you not to get involved! Why do you like sticking your nose in everyone's problems?"
"Something is up here, Grim." She yelled back. "We can't just ignore it!"
"I don't care! This is Scarabia's problem. We need to worry about our own problems."
"Look, honestly I don't know why I said yes, okay?"
"Geez, you're too soft!"
Swampert growled a warning at him, shutting up any more insults.
"Whatever! I'm not getting involved in other dorm's problems again! Let's sneak out of here and go back to the Ramshackle Dorm."
The trainer sighed, but nodded her head. "Fine. We'll take Arcanine."
Returning her other Pokémon to their balls, the two students mounted the fire type and snuck into the hall.
"Okay, first let's head back to the mirror so we can get back to school." Grim whispered.
(Y/N) nodded a motion for Arcanine to go, only for a whistle to pierce the air.
The cat held her. "What was that!?"
A horde of Scarabia students swarmed the hall, blocking their way.
"You there! What do you think you're doing leaving your dorm by yourselves this late!?"
"During break, no one is allowed to leave this dorm under any circumstances without the Dorm Leader's permission!"
"We aren't even a part of this dorm!" (Y/N) yelled. "Arcanine, go!"
The Legendary Pokémon raced forward through the crowd and made a break for the mirror.
"Grab them!"
The horde chased after them, firing wild shots of magic. Arcanine was swift, but the narrow hallway made it difficult to maneuver. Eventually, Grim was knocked off by a stray blast and grabbed by the mob.
"Let us tie you up like the little gray rat you are!"
"I may be gray, but I'm not a rat!" He screeched back. "Let me go!"
"Drop him!" (Y/N) warned as Arcanine opened his mouth, charging a fiery attack. "You don't want to end up barbecued, do you?"
One student held up Grim. "You'll hit him too!"
(Y/N) growled. "Arcanine, Extreme Speed!"
In a burst of unseeable speed, Arcanine rammed into the students, knocking Grim free. However, more students had arrived, blocking their path back to the mirror. With little choice, (Y/N) scooped up Grim and forced Arcanine back to the room. She slammed the door as the student chase after them.
"Just try and break in here and you deal with all my Pokémon!"
That got them to stop, but the unmistakeable sound of a locking door was heard, trapping them.
"Hey!" Grim protested. "Let us out! The door won't budge! It's locked!"
"Wonderful!" (Y/N) huffed. "Now we're prisoners!"
"That's exactly what it feels like! I'm going to complain to Jamil in the morning! Oh that's right! Didn't Headmaster give you a phone in case of emergencies?"
"That's right!" (Y/N) exclaimed as she dialed the Headmaster.
"Yes?" A familiar voice was heard on the other line. "This is Crowley."
"Hey Headmaster! We've gotten into some trouble while you've been gone!" Grim informed him.
"I'm currently in the middle of my vacat- I mean my phone will be turned off during my important mission. Please leave a message after the beep and I will get back to you if I feel like it because I'm so kind."
(Y/N) gripped the bridge of her nose. "Note to self, replace Crowley with Corviknight at the next opportunity." She then began to text her friends an SOS. "Ace, Deuce, we're being held captive by Scarabia. Shady people all around us. Send help!"
Night came and the strange dreams returned. The setting was a lavished throne room, not unlike the Scarabia Dorm.
"A glistening royal palace?"
There was a pudgy short man in expensive clothes and an extravagant turban sat on a throne.
"It's the law that it has to be a prince."
The shady man from the previous stood before him, holding a serpent shaped staff up to meet his eyes.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures." The serpent's eyes glowed red, as did the short man's. "The princess will marry me."
As the short man began to drift, the red glow suddenly faded as he sat up.
"What's that? What's that music?"
The dream pulled out to the front of the palace, again looking very similar to the dorm. A young woman gazed over a balcony as a parade neared the palace, centered by a well dressed young man atop an elephant.
"Make way for Prince Ali! Say hey it's Prince Ali! Then come and meet his spectacular coterie! Prince Ali, fabulous he, Ali Ababwa!"
The dream faded away with (Y/N)'s final thought.
"A Sultan and a Vizier...this has to mean something."
Her eyes fluttered open as she felt Grim fidget beside her and mumble in his sleep.
"Hmm...I don't wanna eat another moldy cracker...hmm."
(Y/N) sighed and sat up, stretching. Swampert nudged her from behind and she patted his head.
"Morning buddy."
"I don't like that we're still here, either, but something bad is happening here, and someone needs to fix it."
He grunted, but didn't protest. Cufant, hearing her trainer, excitedly ran up to the bed. (Y/N) smiled and scratched the little steel type's head.
"Good morning to you too, little one."
The other Pokémon slowly woke up and said their good mornings. Just then, there was the rattling of keys and the sound of the door unlocking. The door was unceremoniously slammed open as a student burst in.
"You two! How long do you plan on sleeping? Get up!"
The soul freezing glare (Y/N) shot him stopped him in his tracks.
"I'm sorry, did your mother never teach you to not barge into a LADY'S room? What if I was changing!?"
"Ugh, that's-,"
She got up as her Pokémon (minus Cufant) began to sharpen their claws.
"Were you hoping to sneak a peek or something?"
"N-no ma'am!" He backed away slowly.
"Then next time, try this thing called KNOCKING!"
He bolted out of the door. "S-SO SORRY! IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN!"
(Y/N) smirked as he bolted and Grim weakly crawled out of bed.
"What's happening?'s only 6 am..."
"He was probably here to wake us up for the walk through the desert."
"Do we have to?" The cat whined.
"You wanna be on the receiving end of an angry Kalim?"
"I'm up!"
The trip through the desert was long and tedious...for the guys. (Y/N) decided to spite them for their imprisonment and the little stunt from this morning by riding Arcanine, while Flygon flew above them. She still carried an umbrella though. Kalim, who was riding an elephant, had tried to order the female to walk, to which the girl threatened to have Swampert toss the elephant (a completely empty threat, I assure you). He immediately backed down with a fearful look. Eventually, the group came to what appeared to be a dried up oasis. The trainer took a look around at the precession: a prince atop an elephant, leading a group of lackeys
"Where have I seen this before?"
"Hey, what are you spacing out for?" Grim said, noticing her far off look. "Is the heat getting to your head?"
"I'm fine, Grim." She assured. "I've survived being inside an active volcano. Plus it helps we aren't walking." She gave Arcanine some appreciative scratches.
"All halt!" Kalim suddenly ordered.
Grim gripped her as Arcanine came to a sudden halt. "A-are we finally at the oasis?"
"We'll take a 15 minute break, then start marching back to the dorm." Jamil said.
"Water, water!" Grim cheered before he saw the dried up state of the form watering hole. "What the!? The oasis has no water!"
"Water...?" Kalim repeated. "You want water?
"Of course I do! My throat is so dry!"
The Dorm Leader grinned cheerfully, his hands sparkling with magic. "Then I'll give you some nice, cold, delicious water! Relaxation of the hot sand, an endless feast! Sing! Dance! Oasis Maker!"
Water began pouring from the sky, and (Y/N), without looking, put Arcanine back in his Pokeball and released Swampert, who opened his mouth wide to catch the rain.
"Wooah!" Grim cried. "Glorious rain!"
"Delicious!" Another student yelled as they all took a drink. "This water is refreshing my aching body!"
Another agreed with him. "I've come back to life!"
"I know right?" Kalim said, his kind personality back. "It's delicious! If you need water, I can make enough to fill up this whole oasis! My Unique Magic, Oasis Maker, makes so much delicious water with very little magic."
Grim frowned then. "How should I put this? Making a ton of water seems like a pretty boring Unique Magic. There's a lot of magicians who can do that."
"Grim!" (Y/N) scolded angrily.
"Don't say that. Making so much water with such little magic is what makes Oasis Maker special." Kalim insisted. "In the old era where water was scarce and there was no way to sterilize it with heat, I think my power is very useful. Though, you do make a point. This magic isn't as useful in an age where water is readily available." He laughed. "Well, I'm positive my water is the most delicious in the entire world!"
"I'd argue having a reliable source of drinkable water available at any time with very little cost is still a useful skill to have regardless of the era." (Y/N) voiced bluntly. "Ever heard of droughts, or contaminated water sources...or being stranded in, oh let's say, a desert?"
The boys ignored her insight as they kept bantering, but (Y/N)'s eyes were trained on Kalim's. She hadn't missed the fact that the second his eyes stopped having that unusual glow, he immediately reverted back to his happy self. His voice had also stopped sounding hollow. It was almost like a switch and it only made her even more suspicious. She then noticed Jamil watching her, not helping her suspicions of him. Not wanting to raise tensions between herself and the Vice Dorm Leader, she pulled Grim aside, saving him from Kalim shoving a cracker in his mouth again.
"Is it just me, or does he seem completely different from when we left earlier?"
The cat nodded. "You're right. He's acting like a completely different person."
"Hm?" The red eyed boy hummed. "What was that? Did you say something?"
"Kalim." Jamil interjected. "15 minutes are up. Let's get everyone and start heading back."
"Already? Can't we let them rest for a little while longer?"
"If we keep waiting, the sun is going to rise more and it's going to be hotter when we head back."
"I see what you mean. Okay everyone! Let's do our best on the back! Then we can have some breakfast!"
The way back was a bit easier after being refreshed by Kalim's magic. Still, the whole way back, (Y/N) would sneak glances at both the Scarabia leaders. Back at the dorm, everyone, including the Pokémon, chowed down on their breakfast.Grim munched quite aggressively.
"I want to escape his prison as soon as possible..." He grumbled, before smiling. "But I might regret it because the food is absolutely delicious!"
"Prisoner?" Kalim asked while looking at the girl concerned (he was also giving Cufant lots of cuddles). "I'm not sure what you mean, but feel free to eat as much as you want! Grim, we have some blue cheese today. Eat it with a bunch of crackers!"
The cat squealed and hid behind Swampert. "Eh...I think I'm good on crackers."
"Aw, don't be shy!"
In the end, Swampert ate the stuff for Grim happily and Kalim was quite pleased to have fed the Mud Fish Pokémon.
"Today, we will be having the leftover ice cream from yesterday's dessert!" Kalim announced excitedly. "You can use a big spoon to scoop different kinds of ice cream and eat them all at once! I call this the Kalim-style!"
"I call that a brain freeze waiting to happen." (Y/N) joked.
Grim ignored her. "A bunch...with one spoon...?"
Kalim grinned. "Yes yes! You have room for dessert right? I'll go get some! Just wait right here!"
Jamil got up. "Kalim, wait! I'll go get it. You sit down here."
"It's fine, I'm just getting it out of the fridge, right?"
"Dummy, what kind of servant would I be if I made the master serve me? You need to be more mindful of your status as the heir to the Asim family. Your father would be furious if he found out."
Kalim waved him off. "Jamil, you're always so serious. It's fine. We're both classmates at this school."
"Ugh..." Jamil sighed. "Fine, then how about you help me carry it out, but I serve the ice cream?"
"It's a deal!"
Grim fidgeted a bit and Kalim took notice.
"Something wrong, Grim?"
"Ah, no!? It's nothing..."
"All right! Wait here, we'll be right back!"
The two boys left and (Y/N) gave a subtle signal as Gabite slipped away in the background. Grim crossed his arms in confusion.
"I'm starting to get real confused...Kalim doesn't seem to listen to anybody, but I don't think that makes him a bad guy."
(Y/N) shrugged and drank her tea. Her ears pricked as she heard footsteps approaching them. She heard Kalim's voice.
"Hey, you long do you plan on sitting here and stuffing your faces!? Do you all think you're kings!?" (Y/N) was unsurprised when turned to see the eerie glow back in Kalim's eyes as everyone else yelped. "Clean this mess! We are going to start training right now!"
"Yes!" Everyone else agreed as Grim and Cufant comforted each other.
"Eh! Kalim is back to being scary again..."
"You two aren't getting out of this!" Kalim shot at them. "Today we are doing special training until dark! Go to the garden, now!"
(Y/N) made no effort to argue as she and the Pokémon headed out. Jamil emerged from the kitchen and once he thought everyone had exited, he looked rather pleased with himself. Everything seemed to be according to plan. He then moved to follow the group.
He swung around to see red eyes narrowed at him. Gabite's arms were crossed. He hadn't seen what had happened, but he had heard more than enough.
"Is something wrong? Your trainer is outside." Jamil tried to play off. When Gabite refused to budge, he sighed. "You know, you, your friends, and I are a lot alike."
Gabite raised a brow at him.
"We're all trapped. Chained to masters we never wanted. I'm sure you'd be much happier not taking orders from that girl. I could even sympathize with you having to deal with that overbearing green dragon as-."
Jamil didn't finish as he was struck against the cheek and knocked to the floor. He looked up to see Gabite looming over him with murderous intent. Gabite, for all his attitude, loved his father and deeply respected his trainer. He wasn't gonna let some scrawny punk with issues bad mouth them. Jamil rubbed his cheek indignantly. Guess (Y/N)'s monsters were just as blindly loyal to her as his parents were to the Asim family. It didn't matter, he could easily sway Gabite's loyalty, especially with him glaring at him directly in the eye.
"Why don't you-,"
"Gabite? Jamil?" (Y/N) interrupted, walking in with Flygon.
Jamil immediately stopped the spell. "(Y/N)! What are you doing here?"
"I noticed Gabite was missing, so I-Arceus! Did Gabite hit you?!" She ran to the male and pulled him to his feet as Gabite slid over to Flygon.
Jamil waved it off. "No, no, it was my fault. I must have said something to make him angry."
"I'm so sorry! He's usually better about this!" She turned to her younger dragon. "Shame on you, Gabite! We do not hit others like that! Apologize!"
She turned back to the Vice Dorm Leader. "Again, I'm so sorry, Jamil. It won't happen again."
"It's fine. Why don't we go out before Kalim becomes angry?"
"Yes." She began to lead her Pokémon out. "Oh, and Jamil?"
She turned to him with a cold look in her eyes. "My Pokémon are free to choose whether or not to listen to me, or even stay with me. So get the idea that I have any sort of subjugation over them out of your head."
She marched out, leaving a stupefied Jamil behind as Gabite smirked at him.
That night, the group was locked back in their rooms. Both Gabite and Lucario overheard the students complain about Kalim's rule as Grim whined loudly.
"The training today was so brutal, I feel like I'm going to lose my lunch. Headmaster is basically useless and we can't get to your other Poké we're on our own in figuring this out. So, being the genius I am, I came up with a foolproof plan."
"What is your plan?" (Y/N) asked, slightly curious.
"Listen and be amazed. I got something today that will help us escape. Look!" He pulled out a shinning silver spoon. "With this spoon, we can dig out way outta here!"
Swampert sighed at his moronic plan while everyone else, besides Cufant, facepalmed.
"Grim, Lucario and Swampert are capable of crushing boulders...and Gabite literally knows the move Dig."
"Then why haven't you gotten them to bust us out yet!?"
"Because we can't afford to repair damages done to this dorm!"
The night passed again, followed by another march through the desert in the morning. Kalim was notably more aggressive, almost daring (Y/N) to attack to make her march. Jamil got between the two before it could escalate though. Once again reaching the oasis, Grim was half dead from thirst.
" throat is so dry. Kalim, can you give us some water?"
The Dorm Leader was still in 'one of his moods'. "Give you water? You think you can just order me around?"
"He's not ordering you around, he's asking you for basic necessities!" (Y/N) snapped at the male. "You don't like it, then maybe lay off these ridiculous training sessions. This is doing way more harm than good!"
The two dorm leaders looked ready to strangle one another, but (Y/N) then managed to catch Jamil offering water to the disgruntled Scarabia students, who's loyalty seemed to be falling to the Vice Dorm Leader. The young woman was starting to get a picture of what all this might be about, but she'd have to play Kalim's enemy for now if she wanted to weasel anything out of Jamil, and her earlier hostilities towards him would not make this an easy task. (Y/N) and Grim walked up to the conversation.
"Jamil-senpai, how can you stand taking orders from him!?"
Jamil sighed. "Because...he's 'Kalim Al-Asim'."
"You've been serving him since you were both little, correct?" The trainer asked.
"That's one reason. Let's talk about this later tonight. I'll make sure Kalim isn't there. Can you spare some time and join us?"
An irk mark appeared on her temple.
"Exactly what other choice do I have?"
Jamil in that moment actually seemed genuinely bashful at the stupid question. "Oh, right...sorry."
Night came, and the students gathered in the main area of the dorm. Jamil stood at the front of the group with (Y/N) flanked by Grim and Gabite.
"Is everyone here?" The Vice Dorm Leader asked.
"Yes." One student whispered. "And Dorm Leader Kalim is?"
"He's asleep. I gave him some tea that would help him sleep. So he'll be fast asleep."
"So, what did you want to talk about?" Grim asked. "I'm so tired...I just want to go to sleep."
"We're all tired." A student snapped. "So just be quiet."
"I understand you are unsatisfied with how Kalim has been lately." Jamil addressed the crowd. "The whole dorm is stuck here during break, harsh training from morning until night, of course no one would be happy about this. I don't think what Kalim is doing is right either."
"Then why don't you stop him!?" A student challenged.
"I have, many times...he just won't listen."
"If you guys want to complain, you should do it to Kalim." Grim pointed out the obvious.
"What's with you guys? You can say all this to Jamil, but not to Kalim? That's pretty cowardly if you ask me."
"That's not it! We've tried so many times!"
"But when he isn't acting like this, Dorm Leader is so nice and kind and fun to be around."
"Before he started changing, we all respected our dorm leader so much. We even thought he was better than other dorm leaders. He listened to our worries, trained with us if we fell behind, and even if he was a little wild and unreliable, we all loved our dorm leader. We loved being Scarabia students, but now..."
"Yes." Jamil agreed. "Kalim is a good dorm leader. He treats everyone equally and doesn't act like he's above anyone."
"Then you're even more obligated to call him out!" (Y/N) scolded them, but her eyes were locked with Jamil. "If everything you said is true, then tell him! He can't know he's going too far unless you call him out on it! Being a good person doesn't exempt you from being scolded when you're being an ass! If you want a problem solved, you first have to point that there is a problem!"
"Wouldn't it be good for Kalim to go see a doctor?" Her cat companion suggested. "Changing personalities like this isn't normal, you know? Did he eat something bad?"
"It could be an illness." (Y/N) offered, trying to play dumb.
"Surely that could be a possibility." Jamil also lied. "But a doctor? If he were to return home then he could see the Asim family doctor. Though in this current situation, it might be difficult to bring him back home."
"Then what?"
"At this rate, things will get worse!"
"Now we are facing a problem that's similar to the issue Heartslabyul had." Jamil noted. "The students were suffocating under the dorm leader's harsh rules. Nobody was able to stand up to him because they fear Riddle's Unique Magic. So, I would like to ask your advice, (Y/N), since you've dealt with this situation before. What do you think we should do?"
"Why don't you challenge Kalim to a duel to become dorm leader?" Grim said before (Y/N) could answer, making her and Gabite glare at him. "Headmaster suggested Ace and Deuce challenge Riddle to a duel."
"And it ended terribly!" (Y/N) tried to cut off his suggestion. "Why don't we discuss the root of the problem?"
Grim didn't take the hint. "Kalim's Unique Magic doesn't seem that powerful, so I think you could do it easy!"
"That will never happen." Jamil answered sternly.
"Gah! Don't ask for advice if you're just going to reject it! Why won't you?"
"My family, the Viper clan, has served under the Asim family for generations. Do you think it's forgivable to raise a blade against your master? Additionally, if Kalim's father were to find out, my entire family will be punished. I'm sorry, I can't put my whole family in jeopardy because of my own doing."
"That seems rather straining." (Y/N) sympathized.
"It can't be helped. This is the fate of one born into the Viper family."
"I get why you can't challenge him now, but a dorm leader shouldn't be acting this way with their students!" Grim said, frustrated. "Riddle was already like that to start, but Kalim's case doesn't make sense."
"He's right! We can't keep following Dorm Leader Kalim anymore!"
"Kalim isn't meeting the Dorm Leader Conditions and is going against the spirit of Scarabia."
"Conditions?" (Y/N) questioned.
Jamil answered. "One of the conditions of being a dorm leader at Night Raven College is 'to be the most suitable of the dorm's spirit'. However, if you aren't the best fit to be dorm leader, a duel is the easiest way to prove it. Each dorm has different characteristics, so it varied from dorm to dorm."
"So Kalim was chosen because he best fit Scarabia?" (Y/N) interrogated indirectly.
"He was nominated by the former dorm leader, which means Kalim's work and values made him qualified...when he was nominated, I was so happy."
"But that was because you were helping him! Everyone in the dorm knows that!"
"Why didn't the previous dorm leader choose Jamil-senpai?"
"Don't speak poorly of the previous dorm leader!" Jamil scolded them. "There's no way they'd pick me over the heir to the Asim Famil-Gah!" He bit his tongue and looked surprised.
Grim and (Y/N) we're confused.
"There you go bringing up the heir to the 'Asim Family' again..." Grim muttered.
"I didn't know that." One student called out. "So it's because of his family and their connections!?"
"That's dirty...the Asim Family is dirty!"
"Please forget everything I just said." Jamil insisted.
(Y/N)'s eyes were fixed on him. She was entirely sure now: Jamil was the person behind all of this. He wasn't the kind of person to let something that important slip, especially when it conveniently made everyone turn against Kalim in a second. Even his defense of Kalim, it was all a masterful act to turn everyone against Kalim, and he even managed to rope her and Grim into all this.
That slimy Seviper better "be prepared" as Leona would say. (Y/N) didn't take kindly to manipulators.
The students became riled up, chanting to get rid of Kalim. (Y/N) signaled Gabite, who roared to silence them.
She cleared her throat. "I know you are all frustrated, and tired, and upset. You have every right to be. But I need to emphasize something: the behavioral changes Kalim is exhibiting are not normal. Regardless of how he became your dorm leader, the fact of the matter is, something is wrong and causing him to change."
"So what?" A student yelled. "He shouldn't be-,"
"You just said the reason you didn't challenge him on his behavior was because you loved him being your dorm leader, true or false?" No one answered. "Look, I've dealt with this three times now, and I'm starting to see a pattern emerging."
"You do?" Grim asked as Jamil's expression remained neutral.
She nodded. "The cause of all three events...a wounded heart left in silence."
" that's cheesy."
She threw a pillow at the student who made that comment.
"Call it cheesy all you want, but the fact is, every person I helped was suffering from trauma that they refused to face, that they kept locked inside. A wound on the heart...well it's just like any other wound: leave it alone and do nothing, and it rots."
"What are you suggesting?" Jamil asked, nearing her.
Gabite growled, warning him to keep his distance as (Y/N) gave him a side glance.
"We treat the wounded heart causing this. As I said, a problem can't be solved until it's made clear. So Jamil," She turned to him, her face questioning, but her (E/C) orbs accusatory. "What do you think the problem is?"
Jamil met her gaze in a battle of wills. Unfortunately, luck was not on (Y/N)'s side.
"What are you all doing here this late at night?" Kalim asked, appearing from the hall.
Everyone started to panic and Grim hid behind Gabite.
"Gggeeeh! He found us!"
"Ka-Kalim." Jamil stuttered masterfully.
Kalim crossed his arms angrily. "Apparently afternoon training wasn't enough for you guys. You all seem to have so much energy. Jamil! Take everyone to the garden!"
"The garden?" Jamil repeated.
"They're going to train until they all reach their limit. Can you not hear me? Hurry up and go!"
"...Understood..." Jamil obeyed. "Everyone, go outside."
By the time training was done, everyone was half dead and too tired to complain about Kalim. After the Ramshackle students were looked in again, (Y/N) sat down and waited as Lucario and Gabite listened for sounds outside. Whatever was going on here, they couldn't deal with it alone, so right now, their main mission was to get reinforcements from her other Pokémon. (Y/N) was especially keen on getting some of her Psychic and Dark types if Jamil really was controlling Kalim.
Eventually, both Pokémon gave the all clear.
"All right, let's go!"
"I'm so happy to be getting out of here!" Grim cheered.
"Then be quiet!"
Gabite dug a small opening under the door, not enough to cause serious damage or be too noticeable, but enough for them to squeeze through. Returning her Pokémon to their Pokeballs, (Y/N) and Grim slipped through their escape route, coming out on the other.
"We did it!" Grim quietly celebrated.
(Y/N) just sighed. "Well, now I know what it's like to be squeezed like pasta. Let's get out of here! But be quiet!"
At that exact moment, Grim's stomach roared impossibly loudly.
(Y/N) facepalmed. "Damnit."
The guards were immediately alerted.
"What was that weird sound?"
"It came from the Ramshackle students' room!"
"You two! What are you doing there!?"
(Y/N) grabbed Grim and took off down the hall, not having enough time or brain function to even think about using Flygon to escape.
The whistle went off as the Scarabia students swarmed after them.
Grim clung to her arm. "Run faster!"
"I'm trying!"
"We need to shake them! Hide in that room!"
With little time to spare, (Y/N) dove into the nearest room and shut the door, listening for the Scarabia students.
"Where'd they go? Split up and find them!"
"Come on out, you little gray rat!"
Their footsteps faded away and both students let out a sigh of relief.
"Phew...looks like they're gone...but, how do we get out of here?" Grim asked.
"Where even is here?" His dormmate raised.
Before he could guess, Grim felt a familiar poking sensation.
"Hm? Something soft is poking me...hahahaha! That tickles! Hey, can I use your phone for light?"
(Y/N) pulled out the device and shined the light, revealing the mysterious room to be the storeroom Kalim had shown them. Meaning the poking came from-
"Wuah!!" Grim wailed. "You scared me! What if I screamed? Wait, this is...Kalim's treasure vault. He didn't even bother locking the doors..."
"Forget that!" (Y/N) knelt down and pet the magic carpet, who greatly enjoyed the attention. "Hi there, Carpet. Do you think you can help us escape? It's a bit of a tight squeeze for Flygon."
It tilted its head(?) in confusion, making Grim angry.
"Listen, Carpet. We'll get you out of here if you take us back to our dorm!"
Carpet seemed to understand the deal and hopped before laying itself out for them to get on.
"All right!" Grim yelled. "Get on top of the carpet!"
"Well this can't possibly end horribly." (Y/N) said sarcastically, getting on anyway. Carpet took off into the night sky, making them free as birds.
Grim cheered. "Yahoo! We did it! Our escape plan was a success! We are free!"
"All right, back to Ramshackle for some backup!" (Y/N) said as the Scarabia students noticed their escape route and chased after them.
"Hehe! Try and catch us from up here!" Grim taunted.
(Y/N) suddenly blinked with a realization. "Grim...can you fly the carpet?"
"Hm?...well Kalim grabbed onto the tassels and-HYA!"
The minute he touched them, carpet went haywire, spinning and diving at maddening speeds, making the Ramshackle students cling on for dear life, again forgetting the large flyable dragon on (Y/N)'s belt. Eventually, after sweeping through the entire dorm, (Y/N) grabbed the tassel.
"UWAHHH!! We're headed straight for the mirror!"
"That's the idea!"
Carpet soared through the mirror, but (Y/N) unfortunately could not find the breaks as they emerged into the Mirror Hall, so they kept bolting forward, through another mirror before mercifully crashing, bringing an end to the wild ride.
"Fnyaa..." Grim moaned.
(Y/N) also moaned. "Not one of my better landings. Wait...don't tell me."
Looking around, the trainer noted the familiar setting of the Monstro Lounge, and the Leech brothers appeared.
"Oh my." Jade said. "I wonder who could be visiting us at this time of night?"
Floyd crossed his arms. "I came to strangle some food thieves, but only Shrimpy and the seal. How boring."
"Evening gentlemen." She moaned. "I promise there is a good explanation for this."
"I would hope there was after that spectacular crash." Jade said as he helped the poor girl to her feet, slightly amused.
"We made it!" Grim cried. "We finally got out of that prison!"
Carpet hopped happily as (Y/N) patted it with thanks.
"Prison?" Jade repeated.
"What's that square flounder thing you have there?" Floyd asked, now getting interested.
Jade recognized it. "It looks just like Kalim's magic carpet."
"It is." (Y/N) answered as a blur of people ran through the mirror.
It was the Scarabia students.
"You have nowhere to run, you little thieves!"
"Now surrender!"
"They chased us all the way here!?" Grim cried. "They just won't give up!"
"What is the meaning of all this commotion so late at night?" Azul demanded, appearing and looking a bit sleepy.
"You're the Octavinelle Dorm Leader, Azul Ashengrotto." One student noted.
"What is the meaning of this?" He repeated.
"This doesn't concern you, Octavinelle! Just mind your business and hand those two over!"
Azul looked over at Trainer and cat and realized what was about to happen.
"(Y/N), Grim."
"We were being held against our will!" (Y/N) shouted to him. "And I'm not going back there without a fight! So you can either help, or my Pokémon will fight tooth and claw to protect us."
He adjusted his glasses, calculating the best decision.
"We won't let you off if you don't hand them over." A Scarabia student foolishly threatened.
Floyd did not like that. "Ha? Just who do you think you're talking to?"
Azul crossed his arms. "Since this is a gentleman's establishment, there will be no rough housing permitted in the Monstro Lounge."
"She's a girl!"
"Then a gentleman will treat her like a lady then!"
"What is this? Are you trying to get in our way!? We'll just take them by force then!"
Azul shook his head. "Hmph, I'm afraid I can't deal with such barbaric customers. Jade, Floyd, please take them outside."
"Yes." The twins agreed.
The Scarabia students didn't stand a chance. It was an absolute massacre, especially on Floyd's end.
"Retreat!" A student screamed as they fled.
Floyd found this hilarious and laughed. "That's right! Scram you little fishies! HAHAHA!"
"We look forward to your return." Jade said.
(Y/N) sighed in relief. "Thank Arceus. They're gone."
"Not to damper the mood, but the tables and chairs damaged will need to be repaired."
"We can discuss that later." (Y/N) insisted. "For now, Azul, I'm cashing in the favors you owe me."

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