Chapter 25: Fighting Cunning with Cunning

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Chapter 25: Octopus vs Snake

(Y/N) and Grim spent the better part of an hour explaining to Azul and the twins exactly what had happened to them over the past couple of days.
"The Dorm Leader of Scarabia is acting like a tyrant?..." Azul said, his voice betraying his disbelief.
"That's right!" Grim growled angrily. "Kalim has been making the dorm students do intensive training every single day!"
Azul's face became even more confused. "Kalim would do something like that?"
"Eh!?" Floyd squeaked. "Sea Otter doesn't seem like the type to do something like that!"
Jade was also clearly baffled by the news. "I really can't see him doing that."
"Even the Vice Dorm Leader, Jamil, is having a hard time with this. I feel bad for him cause he is one of the rare nice guys at this school." Grim then huffed. "And we can't even get a hold of Headmaster! He's such an unreliable guy!"
"I'm not so sure about that..." (Y/N) mumbled.
Azul seemed to share her sentiments as he adjusted his glasses, a tick for whenever he was contemplating something. The older Leech caught it.
"Azul, you're in the same class as Jamil, aren't you?"
"Yes, we have a lot of the same electives, so we see each other often. Grim is right, he's a rarity amongst the other students at this school. I don't really notice him most of the time...he is quiet and keeps to himself."
"Ah, I'm on the basketball team with Sea Snake." Floyd mentioned. "He usually plays safe and doesn't take risks. I don't care about people from other dorms, so I don't know much about him, but he is Scarabia's vice dorm leader, isn't he?"
"So he's troubled because of the dorm leader's tyrant-like behavior..." Azul hummed.
"That's the thing though. I don't think he's as nice as he's making himself out to be." (Y/N) admitted.
Grim did a double take. "What!? Are you serious!? He's been doing his best to help everyone in Scarabia."
"You don't trust him?" Jade asked.
(Y/N) crossed her arms. "I can't explain it, but ever since we met, I've had this bad feeling around him. Even my Pokémon don't trust him. And his behavior looks super manipulative."
"What are talking about? He's even defended Kalim!"
"Grim, think about what happened earlier: does Jamil seem like the kind of person who would let something that important just slip out?"
"I...well...he could've been under a lot of stress."
"Okay, but don't you think it's weird that every time Kalim had a moodswing, he was alone with Jamil right before?"
Grim's eyes widened. "I...I didn't even notice that!"
"Gabite tried to check in on them while they were in the kitchen. He didn't see or hear much, but he said Jamil seemed to be pushing Kalim back into the common room. Whatever's happening, I think he has a hand in it." She then looked to Azul. "Azul, I can't reveal anything alone. If Jamil is behind this, I'll need someone just as cunning as he is to expose him. Will you help?"
The octopus blinked before smiling softly and nodded. "I suppose I have no choice but to help then."
"What magic did you use to get him to agree?" Grim whispered.
"How rude! I've mended all my way and reflected on my actions and had a change of heart. From now on, I've decided I would like to help by contributing to my school with mercy just as the Sea Witch would."
"He also knows Milotic would give him her disappointed face." (Y/N) added.
"In any event!" Azul interrupted. "Right now, Scarabia is in danger and my classmates need my help! Such a tragedy cannot be ignored!"
The twins were struggling not to burst out laughing as Azul went on.
"I'm getting tired of eating turkey with the same faces every year. Tomorrow, we will be infiltrating the Scarabia Dormitory."
"Eh!?" Grim screeched. "We just escaped that place and you're telling us to go back!? No! I'm not going!"
"Now, now, seal, don't be like that." Floyd taunted.
"Just leave everything to Azul and you will have a very entertaining holiday." Jade assured.
"It's rude to arrive empty-handed." Their Dorm Leader noted. "Jade, Floyd, prepare a nice gift for our arrival."
The twins grinned evily at the Ramshackle students. "Yes...fufufu."
(Timeskip)
(Y/N) and Grim were carried by the twins back to Scarabia the next morning (after checking in with the other Pokémon), Lucario following close behind because Swampert would throw hands. Two students were arguing at the entrance.
"I can't believe those two escaped to the Octavinelle Dorm."
"They even stole Kalim's magic carpet...if he finds out...what do we do?"
"Let's go talk to Jamil first."
Azul capitalized on the moment. "Good morning, pardon the intrusion."
Floyd (who was carrying (Y/N)) groaned loudly. "Ah, it's so hot. It's like summer."
The two Scarabia were baffled.
"It's the Octavinelle guys who beat us up yesterday!"
"What do you want with Scarabia?"
"Ah, my apologies about last night." The octopus lied through his teeth. "It seemed as if you were bullying a defenseless animal, but I ended up protecting them out of the goodness of my-UGH!" He gritted his teeth as (Y/N) kicked him hard in the side. "I mean! I came to smooth over a misunderstanding between you and my dear friend from Ramshackle. As a show of good faith, we're also returning the magic carpet."
Carpet hopped happily while Grim scowled as he was held by Jade. "Ugh...I was forced to come here..."
The Scarabia students scrambled to find something to say.
"T-that's-!"
"Thank you for your cooperation...?"
Lucario perked up as the group turned in time to see Jamil walk in.
"Hey you guys, it's almost time for morning training. Kalim will be mad if you're la-," he stopped dead as he noticed the Octavinelle trio and looked visibly panicked.
Azul smiled insincerely. "Oh my, Jamil. Good morning, how do you do?"
"Azul Ashengrotto...and the Leech brothers...what are you doing here?"
Jade began to explain. "Because it's difficult for us to return home during the winter.
"We spend our holidays here at the dorms every year." Floyd finished.
"Wait...what?"
"By the way, where is Kalim?" Azul asked. "We have come to return his magic carpet."
Jamil smiled, but (Y/N) could tell it was a nervous one. "Eh?...ah, I will take it and deliver it to him."
"No, that's quite all right. This magic carpet is like a national treasure. It would be a problem if blemishes were found on it and Octavinelle was blamed for it. I would like to deliver it to Kalim directly and have him inspect its condition."
"Kalim doesn't care about stuff like that, so I'll just take it and-,"
Azul ignored him. "Rest assured, we wouldn't want you to pay 20% of the labor cost for returning a lost item."
"We would like to apologize for our rudeness with some of the Scarabia students last night." Jade added as Floyd held up the food in his other arm.
"We also brought some seafood pizza."
"Anyways, I would like to hand this over to him directly." The dorm leader subtly challenged. "Is Kalim awake at this time?"
Jamil closed his eyes, his arms crossed. "I'm saying he's not in a good moo-," The octopus just waltzed past him. "Don't just let yourself in! Azu-!"
"We should follow them." Jade said.
(Y/N) just blew hair from her face. "Fine, but Floyd, put me down first."
The group tailed after Jamil and Azul and found themselves back in the common area. Kalim, who's eyes were normal again, greeted them.
"Ah, Azul? What are you doing here at our dorm?"
"Greetings." Azul greeted his fellow dorm leader. "How are you, Kalim? Oh my, Scarabia is just as wonderful as ever! Outside it is snowing, but here it is summer. This would be a wonderful location to open up a resort. I'd expect a large guest turn around."
Kalim beamed. "Oh? I don't really understand, but thank you so much for the compliment!"
"I've come here today to return your magic carpet to you."
"Eh!?" Kalim exclaimed. "He got out again? I'm so sorry for all the trouble."
"Oh no, it was nothing...by the way, Scarabia will be spending the holiday at the dorms this year?"
"Yeah, you guys too?"
"That's right! Oh, what a coincidence. So, why don't we take advantage of this opportunity and have a joint training camp between Octavinelle and Scarabia?"
"Wha-!?" Jamil stuttered.
Azul adjusted his glasses. "There is so much we can learn from Scarabia's style they learned so far during winter."
"That's a great idea!" Kalim declared. "I'd be honored to have the dorm leader stay with us at the Scarabia dorms!"
"Kalim, I'm against this." Jamil spoke up.
"Eh!? Why?"
"The reason we are staying here to train is so we can catch up with the other dorms. Then you go and invite another dorm leader to stay here? It's like we are revealing our secrets to the enemy."
"Wait, then what about me, Jamil?" (Y/N) said slyly. "You invited me and Grim to stay."
He bit his tongue. "That's-!"
"She's right." Kalim agreed.
The Vice Dorm Leader narrowed his eyes at the Octavinelle trio. "I'm saying this for you too, Azul."
Azul crossed his arms. "I see where you are coming from, Jamil. All other dorms are rivals. Unfortunately, we must be on our way then. Kalim, Jamil, please do your best in training."
The fish began to walk away dramatically, crying about their woes of loneliness.
"Ha...it looks like it will be just the 3 of us again during this dark, cold winter...well it can't be helped." Azul moaned.
Jade placed a hand to his chest. "After we worked so hard to retrieve the magic carpet and return it."
"And the Monstro Lounge is completely destroyed." Floyd cried as they all sighed.
"So sad."
Lucario face palmed as (Y/N) coughed.
"Laying it on a bit too thick, gentlemen."
"Wait!" Kalim called out, clearly buying this. "Stop right there!"
Jamil groaned, rubbing his temples as Kalim ran up to Azul.
"Azul is one of the top magicians at this school. If he stays, then he can help the growth of Scarabia! Besides, turning down someone who went out of their way to pay us a visit is against the Asim family name."
"Ah, Kalim!" Azul hammed up. "You are such a kind and empathetic person. Of course! I will do whatever it takes to teach you all!"
"The two of us will be assisting with the cooking and cleaning if need be." Jade offered.
"Yes, yes!" Floyd agreed. "We've consistently worked at the lounge, so we are good at these things."
"That would be a big help!" Kalim thanked. "This will help lessen Jamil's workload."
"I told you not to worry about me...! Ugh, you're not listening at all!"
"All right! Let's start training right away! Just leave your stuff here and let's head to the garden!"
"Understood." Azul said. "Scarabia, please don't go too hard on us. Fufufu."
Training commenced and (Y/N) had Lucario and Gabite do most of the work. Gabite constantly attempted to use Dragon Claw, only for it to fail and him forced to switch to Slash. Poor boy was so frustrated and Kalim tried so hard to motivate him. A few times, (Y/N) noticed Jamil trying to get Kalim alone, only for Swampert to push between them, or a jovial Cufant to demand Kalim's attention. Training went well all things considered (not including a demoralized Gabite).
Later that night, everyone reconvened in the room that the Ramshackle resident were kept captive in.
"Kalim was in a good mood today." Grim said, relieved.
Azul nodded. "Yeah, Kalim seemed like his usual self to me."
"When Kalim gets mad, his eyes change and the way he talks gets scary."
"Could it be dependent on his mood?" Jade suggested.
"What do you mean?" His twin asked while cuddling with Cufant on the floor.
"Kalim doesn't seem like the type of person to have mood swings like Floyd. I believe (Y/N) is right to suspect other factors at work."
"Jamil said it was because Scarabia didn't do well in the Magift Tournament or during the exams." Grim mentioned.
"Eh?" Floyd hummed. "Sea Otter cares about things like that?"
"Sea Otter?" Grim repeated.
"He's talking about Kalim." Jade explained. "Floyd likes to give people nicknames based on sea creatures."
"He does seem very Oshawott-like." (Y/N) admitted.
"He calls Grim Seal because of his plump and adorable silhouette and (Y/N) Shrimpy due to her height."
"It's not my fault!" She hissed. "Everyone's short compared to you two (expect Tsunotaru)."
"And who are you calling plump!?" Grim demanded.
"I call Kalim Sea Otter because he's always smiling while playing the drums, like an otter."
"I agree." Azul noted. "He's cheerful all the time so I wouldn't think he'd be the type to get emotionally unstable over poor grades. You're most likely right about there being an outside force at work, (Y/N)."
"I'm telling you, boys, Jamil is shadier than a dark type!"
"We need to learn more about Kalim to solve this dilemma. Jade, could you please go have a 'talk' with him for a moment?"
"Understood. Jamil may be a bit difficult, but Kalim will be more obedient to have a 'talk' with."
"Then, I'm gonna go play with Sea Snake in the meantime." Floyd volunteered.
"That sounds good." Azul agreed. "I shall accompany you."
All three laughed and (Y/N) leaned towards Gabite and Lucario. "Make sure they don't do something illegal."
"Cario!"
"Ga."
(Timeskip)
While Jade interrogated Kalim with his Unique Magic, (Y/N), Azul, Floyd, and Grim were keeping Jamil busy in the common room with games.
"My win again, boys." (Y/N) smiled.
"No fair, Shrimpy! That's the third time!"
"You catch on quickly, (Y/N)." Jamil said kindly. "You're a good opponent."
"Eh, strategy is strategy I guess."
"Fgnya!" Grim cried. "I lost again! Azul, you don't hold back!"
"I am winning 5 to 0. Well, it's only natural as a member of the board game club."
"And this is why I strictly forbade gambling." (Y/N) snarked.
"What a shame." The octopus sighed. "Jamil is at 2 wins and 3 loses, correct?"
"Hm?" The dark haired male hummed. "Ah, it's been a while, so I'm a little rusty. Back then, I used to play with Kalim for hours every day until he won. It's kind of a bad habit."
"I seem." Azul noted. "Is that so?"
"What do you mean 'I see'? You're kind of weird."
(Y/N) quickly butted in to avoid suspicion. "Anyways! Jamil, you grew up with Kalim, right?"
"For a long time. Aren't you and the Leech brothers childhood friends as well, Azul?"
"Seems like it." Floyd answered.
"'Seems like it'?" Grim repeated. "Why do you say that?"
"We've been in the same class ever since elementary school. It was when I entered middle school that I actually recognized Azul. So, we don't really have any childhood memories."
"You didn't recognize him until after graduation?" (Y/N) said accusatory.
"I...was a quiet student." Azul bashfully admitted. "I preferred to not stand out in school."
"You stood out in other ways." The fire cat teased. "Especially width wis-,"
Gabite smacked Grim on the head.
"Thank you, Gabite. At least one monster has manners."
"Bite."
"And you're a dorm leader now?" Jamil interrupted. "You guys have a very strange relationship."
"You think so?" The younger Leech inquired. "I only pay attention to Azul now because what he says is interesting."
"Neither Jade nor Floyd will ever submit to me. For them, this is kind of just 'playing pretend'."
"Is this like playing master and servant?" Jamil asked. "I still don't really understand your relationship."
"When I make a mistake as a leader...or if I ever made a boring decision, these two will leave me and try to take my position as a dorm leader. Well, even if they challenge me, you have no intention of losing."
Floyd grinned. "I don't plan on challenging you, for now. Ahaha!"
(Y/N) absentmindedly patted Gabite's snout. "I will always be grateful for your guys' unwavering loyalty."
The Cave Pokémon just grunted.
"I...suppose they're on the same page." Jamil said, just as confused as the girl.
"It's fun right now, so we stick together." Floyd explained. "But as soon as it gets boring, we're gone. Well, the vice dorm leader isn't just some servant to the dorm leader. That's just normal."
"Normal?" His tone was bitter. "I've been a servant to the Asim family since I was born, so I just don't understand. The master is the master and the servant is the servant. For your entire life."
Both dorm leaders took notice of Jamil's repressed anger and nodded lightly to each other. Just then, Jade, Kalim, and Lucario wandered in.
"Oh?" Kalim greeted. "What are you guys doing? Are you still playing?"
Jamil's eye twitched. "Eh?"
"Hm? Mancala, huh? So nostalgic! We used to play this forever when we were younger."
"Weren't you asleep?" Jamil asked, panicking. "I keep telling you to stop wandering around on your own! What if you get kidnapped again?"
"Again?" (Y/N) repeated, very worried.
Kalim brushed her off. "You're always so worried, Jamil. It's okay, I'm fine. Jade and Lucario were with me. Lucario even gave me a piggyback ride! By the way, (Y/N), he feels really cold."
"He's a steel type, Kalim, it's to be expected."
"Oh! Okay then!"
Jade nodded to Jamil. "No need to fear, we were with him the whole time."
"Cario!"
Jamil gritted his teeth as Jade went on.
"Kalim is such a kind person. He taught us so many things."
"...what did you do to Kalim?"
"Hey! No need to be hostile!" (Y/N) assured as she scratched her Pokémon behind the ears. "Lucario's a noble Pokémon!"
She even pulled out the Dex to prove it.
"Lucario, the Aura Pokémon. The evolved form of Riolu. It has the ability to sense the auras of all things. It understands human speech. It can tell what people are thinking. Only Trainers who have justice in their hearts can earn this Pokémon's trust."
Jamil bit his lip at the phrase "it can tell what people are thinking".
"It's fine, Jamil." Kalim assured. "I just showed them around the treasure vault. Oh yeah. Jamil, do you still have that silver and blue carpet? Do you know where it is? I couldn't find it anywhere."
Jamil let out a low growl. "Let's go back, Kalim."
"Eh!? Why?"
"Just go back to your room!" Jamil hissed as he pushed the white haired boy.
"Uwah! Okay! Okay! Fine! I'm going, just don't push me! I'm sorry, Jade. I'll find the carpet for you later!"
"Yes, until next time. Fufufu."
Jamil forced Kalim back and (Y/N) heard ink drip. The group reconvened at their room.
"Thank you for all your hard work, Jade." Azul praised. "Did you 'talk' to Kalim?"
"Yes, it seems both of you were correct. Kalim is most likely being brainwashed and manipulated by someone's magic."
"Brainwashed?!" Grim screeched.
"Called it." (Y/N) said, high-fiving Swampert.
"Apart from Ruggie's magic that manipulates the body, this magic seems to be more hypnotic to take over the mind. However, this kind of magic requires highly advanced magic abilities. There are very few magicians that are capable of it."
"You'd have to be at Azul's level to be able to do that kind of magic." Floyd said.
Azul shrugged. "I would even find it difficult to manipulate and control creatures, let alone humans."
"But I don't think anyone as good at magic as Azul is in Scarabia." Grim said.
"How many times do I need to mention Jamil is very suspicious!?" (Y/N) yelled, frustrated and pointing at Lucario. "Hello, my Pokémon capable of mind reading does not trust him!"
"I should mention I wasn't able to get everything out of Kalim." Jade said.
Floyd looked surprised. "Even with your Unique Magic?"
"Jade's Unique Magic?" Grim asked.
Jade narrowed his eyes at his brother. "Floyd. Don't I always tell you to not go around revealing other people's Unique Magic?"
"Well, I don't think there's any harm in revealing it to (Y/N)." Azul stated. "Without magic, she wouldn't be able to defend herself just knowing the truth."
"Wanna rephrase that?" She challenged as her Pokémon growled angrily.
Jade coughed. "I suppose it can't be helped. The more people who know my Unique Magic, the more wary my opponents will be, so I don't really like revealing it too often. My Unique Magic is Shock the Heart. This magic allows me to make a person tell me the complete truth."
Grim gulped. "Kya!? Does that mean they can't lie to you at all?!"
"With that being said, I can only use it once per person. Once I use it, I can never use it on that same person again. Moreover, it's ineffective on those with strong Magical resistance like Azul. It's very effective on someone whose guard is lowered or is a bit of an air head. It's a Unique Magic with many limitations."
"It works the best on scaredy cats and cry babies!" Floyd added.
"Fufufu, that's right."
Grim clung to Swampert. "His smile scares me."
"Anyways, Kalim is a very open and friendly person, it was easy to use my magic on him. However..."
Jade then explained how Kalim refused to answer the question due to a promise he made.
Azul cackled. "Jade's Unique Magic was defeated by Kalim's morality."
"It was very disappointing, but that is what happened."
"I thought Sea Otter would have let it slip, so that's a surprise."
(Y/N) snorted. "Well, I actually think that proves my suspicion."
"What do you mean, Shrimpy?"
"Every time I've tried to back out of helping out in Scarabia, a fog settled over my mind and I ended up agreeing to help."
"Yeah, it's super annoying!" Grim yelled.
Jade blinked at her. "That seems oddly out of character for you."
"Here's the kicker, every time it happened, I was talking to Jamil. And he was very insistent on me looking him in the eye."
"Oh?" Azul smirked. "Well then, I believe I have a plan to catch this snake lurking in the sand.
(Timeskip)
That night (Y/N) dreamt she was back in the desert.
"The air is stagnant..."
She saw the dark man from the previous dream, leering down, the parrot on his shoulder and a golden lamp in his hand.
"Genie!" A voice cried. "No!"
Behind him was a shadowy figure loomed over a great palace that looked strikingly familiar.
"Sorry kid, I got a new master now."
"Now applaud!" The man cried. "To the most powerful sorcerer in the world! Ah yes! Abject humiliation!"
A young man raced forward towards a young woman, but the sorcerer stopped him.
"Prince Ali, yes it is he, but not as you know him! Send him packing on a one-way trip. The venue chosen is the ends of the earth! So long, Ex-Prince Ali!"
The sorcerer knocked the boy into a tower of the palace and sent it launching into the air.
"A sorcerer?" (Y/N) moaned as she drifted back into consciousness.
"(Y/N), Grim, wake up please." A familiar voice said.
Blinking her eyes open, she saw Jade leaning over them.
"Well good morning to you too." She groaned.
Grim stirred beside her. "Fnya...are we marching to the oasis?"
Azul, who was also there, snapped his fingers. "We're getting up early so we don't March. Now come on, let's go!"
(Y/N) was yanked from her bed and marched over to Kalim's room with little regard for her drifting mind. Swampert growled, but followed them quietly. Jade marched in without knocking and gently shook Kalim.
"Kalim, good morning."
"Hmmmm..." the white haired boy hummed. "Jamil? Good morning..."
"No, I'm Jade. Our names do sound a bit similar though."
"Why did I have to be here for this?" (Y/N) complained, summoning all her willpower not to crawl into Kalim's bed.
Kalim opened his eyes in surprise. "Eh? Huh. Why are you two here?"
"I've brought your morning tea and a change of clothes." Jade offered. "It's time to wake up."
"En? Why? Huh? Where's Jamil?"
"Please don't worry." Azul assured. "We can at least help you get changed."
There was a knock on the door as Jamil walked in.
"Kalim, it's time to get up...wha!? Azul, Jade, (Y/N), and Grim. Why are you all in Kalim's room."
"Ask them..." the girl yawned.
Azul smiled. "Oh Jamil! Good morning! You can go sleep in a little longer today. We will be taking care of Kalim every day, starting today until the end of vacation."
"Huh?!"
"I realized something after our talk last night. Out of everyone in this dorm, the one who's been working the hardest...is you Jamil."
"You're letting all of us stay here at Scarabia after all." Jade added. "So we wanted to do something to help and repay you."
Grim smirked. "We call ourselves the 'Jamil Relaxation Squad'!"
"What? This is stupid! No, you don't need to do this!"
Kalim disagreed. "Oh! Ooh! OOOHHH! This is great! I've always tried to think of a way to lighten Jamil's workload!"
Jade smiled slyly. "Kalim's feelings for his retainer is so beautiful. I would love it if Azul could learn a thing or two from you."
Azul looked ready to kill him. "Ha Ha Ha! And Jade, you need to learn to keep your mouth shut. Anyways, please leave the rest to us and Jamil, make sure to relax."
"Let them handle it, Jamil!" Kalim assured him. "I'm so glad!"
Jade then began to shove Jamil out the door. "Now, now, Jamil, please go back to your room and have a long rest."
"Uh, can one of you please help?" Kalim asked. "(Y/N) just fell asleep again."
Both turned back to see the Pokémon trainer snoozing peacefully while cuddled up to Kalim, who seemed completely fine with this. Jamil pushed past the eel.
"I'll get her."
Without thinking much, he picked up the sleeping girl bridal style...and it was only then that he remembered the important fact that she was a girl. His face ignited into a red blaze as she unconsciously curled into his chest. He then felt the deadly gaze of her beloved starter Pokémon, ready to kill him.
"So, should I take her to the common room or put her on your back?"
"Swampert!"
(Timeskip)
After narrowly avoiding death by Swampert, Jamil grumpily marched to the lounge and saw Floyd serving the Scarabia students breakfast. The younger eel grinned at him.
"Sea Snake! Good morning! Me and the other Scarabia fishies made all this. Azul said he wanted us to help you, Sea Snake."
"This...I can't make guests work."
"Bet we really aren't guests though? Aren't we training camp partners?"
"But Kalim only eats what I make, since there's always the threat of poison."
"Huh? What're you talking about? You think my food isn't well balanced? That I'd poison it? The Sea Snake can be the tester. Then Sea Otter can eat it after your approval."
With little choice, Jamil had to concede. "Then...that's okay."
"Vice Dorm Leader!" One student called. "Please taste these grilled vegetables."
Another pushed a bowl towards him. "I think...the soup was delicious, but what do you think?"
He sighed. "All right, I'll taste it. By the way, did you already prepare for the March to the oasis this morning! We usually eat breakfast when we come back."
Azul then made his grand entrance.
"As the dorm leader of Octavinelle, I have some concern regarding that matter. I proposed an improvement plan for Scarabia to Kalim."
Jamil once again had to bite back his curses. "Wha-what's this all of a sudden!?"
"Instead of aerobic exercise such as a long distance walk, let's perform moderate indoor muscle training, it will have a great effect on improving endurance and muscular strength. Above all, the desert in Scarabia is humid and I'm worried about the students getting heat stroke."
Floyd nodded. "Coincidentally, there's a huge fountain in the garden. If we want to improve their physical strength, we should try swimming! It'd be fun!"
"I agree." Azul said. "From my experience, you can burn fat from swimming much faster than walking."
"In other words...we don't have to march anymore!?" A student rejoiced.
"They did it, Vice Dorm Leader!" Another declared.
"Most importantly, skipping breakfast tends to lead to fatigue and lack of concentration, but be careful not to over eat." Azul warned.
Kalim, Jade, and the Ramshackle students (with a fully awake (Y/N)) then walked in.
"Good morning!" Kalim greeted. "Oh, is the food ready?"
"Woow! Looks delicious!" Grim complimented.
Jade nodded. "Floyd seems to be in a very good mood today, if he's not in a good mood, the food will taste terrible."
"Sea Snake tested the food for you, Sea Otter! Go ahead and eat!"
"Thanks for the food!" Everyone cheered.
All went according to plan. At every stage, the Octavinelle dorm made Kalim look more competent and (Y/N) kept Jamil from getting him alone. Throughout the day, the students actually enjoyed their training and everyone seemed to be having fun while Jamil was slowly simmering inside.
After lunch, Azul began to explain the importance of pacing and eating necessary meals.
"After having a sufficient meal and rest, taking a light walk will help get your brain going and improve efficiency during your afternoon studies."
"Tea will also promote better cognitive function and reduce stress and headaches." (Y/N) also noted. "And above all, it's important to remember to pace yourself. Not taking breaks actually regresses any progress you've made."
"(Y/N) and Azul know so much!" Kalim praised. "You're both amazing!" He then sighed. "I've always tried my best even if I didn't know anything...maybe I've been too hard on my dorm students. Even though I'm a dorm leader in my 2nd year, there is so much I need to learn."
"Everyone makes mistakes." Azul assured him.
"Believe me, I had that awful 'train non stop until you win or drop' mindset early in my journey." (Y/N) admitted, cringing at the memories as she hugged Swampert guiltily. "At least you didn't get to the point of hospitalization. All you can do now is try to fix what you can."
"I wouldn't mind staying at school if we have an awesome training camp like this." A student whispered.
"That's right!" Another agreed. "We can only spend time with you while we're at school."
"It all just seemed like a bad dream."
(Y/N) looked to the side and could practically see the steam coming out from Jamil's ears. Flygon tried to be friendly with him, only to get coldly rebuffed and Gabite being outraged on behalf of his heartbroken father.
(Y/N) signaled to Azul that they were getting close and to keep pushing. The octopus nodded.
"I see that many of your students are good at astrology and ancient magic spells."
"The Sorcerer of the Sands was very good at seeing the future, so it's very easy for students with that quality to get into Scarabia." Kalim explained. "I'm not really good at that either. Ahaha!"
"I've heard that the Sorcerer of the Sands succeeded in seeing the future and required both natural energy and artificial machinery. Astrology advanced a lot faster than other magicians let on. That was due to his achievements and pioneering ideas, is that correct?"
Kalim nodded. "Yep! The Great Seven are amazing after all!"
Azul, noting Jamil's anger, glanced at the clock. "Oh, it's almost 3 o'clock. Let's study a little bit more and then take a break."
"Shall I go prepare some tea?" Jade offered.
"No, I will prepare it." Azul assured. "Since I've got most of my work done."
Jamil shot up. "I'll help you."
"That would be great, let's go Jamil."
They walked into the hall and (Y/N) nodded to Gabite and Lucario before turning to Kalim, who was playing with Cufant.
"Hey Kalim? Can I borrow your phone real quick?"
Outside in the hall, Azul played none the wiser for Jamil.
"All the students have had a 15% improvement from yesterday. Very good results. I heard from (Y/N) that Kalim has been a bit emotionally unstable lately. That girl is honestly too empathetic for her own good. She practically begged me to help improve things! It seems he has calmed down a bit since we've arrived. I'm glad the students have regained faith in Kalim."
Jamil closed his eyes. "...this is going to be a problem."
"Eh?"
He crossed his arms. "I'm sorry, but you can't stay here in Scarabia any longer. Go back to the bottom of the sea."
"What's the matter, Jamil? Did I do something to upset you?"
"You don't understand, do you? Do you see how upset I am?"
"Eh?"
"You looked into my eyes. You fool." Jamil then activated his magic. "The one that is reflected in your eyes is your master. If I ask, you answer, if I order, now your head to my command. Snake Whisper."
Azul flinched. "What!? Ugh! My head...!"
"If you resist, it will only hurt more. Give up now and obey. Now...Azul, who is your master?"
Azul relaxed. "My master is...you. It's you, Jamil. Please give me an order...Master."
Jamil began to laugh and grin quite sinisterly. "Fu..haha...hahahaha! Did you let your guard down because you thought I was just some average magician? How could you possibly be the dorm leader of Octavinelle? Honestly...my plan was finally starting to work until you showed up. I was so close to getting Kalim kicked out of Scarabia by using those two from the Ramshackle Dorm. To force Kalim out of his dorm leader position without getting my hands dirty. Do you not realize how much trouble I went through to do all this? For my first order, I will have you, Azul, order the twins to go back to the Coral Sea...no wait...Azul, did you return all those abilities to the people who you had contracts with the other day?"
"Yes."
He clicked his tongue. "Tch. Then it's impossible to use you like some sort of genie of the lamp. Azul's Unique Magic is very valuable, but it's gonna be difficult to keep brainwashing this guy for a long period of time."
"...but I do remember the contract details."
"What?"
"The secrets of each person who has made a deal with me. Their worries, weaknesses, desires. I remember them all."
Jamil smirked. "What a horrible collection. I was right about not becoming friends with you. With all those secrets, would you happen to have the headmaster, Dire Crowley, in that collection?"
"Of course I do. I know his deepest secrets that he never wants to be revealed."
Jamil started laughing again. "Haha...I did it! I finally did it! Everything is going to plan! You are my genie of the lamp, Azul."
"Master, is it the secrets of the Headmaster you wish for?"
"That's right. Once I get a hold of Headmaster's weakness...I can finally be free. I can get Kalim kicked out of this school and become the dorm leader of Scarabia!"
"I think we've heard enough." Jade said, revealing himself. "Lucario! Gabite!"
Jamil had a split second to react as Lucario appeared behind him. It was only enough time to turn as Lucario shoved his palm to the boy's chest, using Force Palm to send him flying towards Gabite, who struck him to the ground with Dig. Jamil groaned as he struggled to his knees, only to be met by the legs of a certain female. Looking up, he saw (Y/N) glaring down at him, her Pokémon flanking her with bared teeth.
She crossed her arms. "Good work, boys. Jamil, looks like you're the one who dropped their guard for a magicless student."

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