Chapter 28: Auditions

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Chapter 28: Practice Makes Perfect

"All your movements are sloppy and ill executed. There was absolutely no beauty at all." Ace said in a mocking Vil tone as he and Grim practiced in the gymnasium for the auditions.
The cat joined in. "5 out of 100. Gah! I'm so angry! (Y/N), you should've let Decidueye tear him apart!"
The girl was sitting on the bleachers reading while the Arrow Quill Pokémon and Swampert stood watch.
She sighed, patting the owl.
"Oh, Decidueye's far too much of a gentleman to do that, and I think I got my point across to blondie quite well."
"I'll show him that I can sing and dance with grace at the audition and then he's gonna say, 'Please Grim! Be out representative!' I'll show him!"
"Yeah!" Ace agreed before turning to his dormmate. "Hey, Deuce? What made you change your mind about auditioning?"
The bluenette pounded a fist to his palm. "I'm still pissed about what he said to us earlier!...and also..."
"You're worried Epel, aren't you?" (Y/N) finished.
He nodded. "Yeah."
"To be honest, so am I. I think I've made my stance on forcing people to do things they don't want to clear."
"When he...bumped into me that day, he was crying." Deuce admitted. "As an honor student, I can't ignore a student that's forced to do something they don't want to do!"
"The only honor student here is (Y/N)." Ace said bluntly.
She grinned. "And yet, remind me to put Vil on Weavile's hit list."
The red head nodded. "Still, I agree. Epel seems a little weak. I feel bad he's getting pushed around by that guy. Then, let's make our performance even cooler than Epel's and make him fail the audition! Weren't you the one that said we shouldn't even audition if we weren't going to take it seriously? If he really doesn't want to be in the competition, then let's take his spot!"
"Yeah!" Grim cheered. "Let's get started with special dance training! (Y/N), start the music!"
She did as commanded and watched as the boys began to practice. It was laughable to say the least, as the boys stumbled about like newly hatched Deerlings. Decidueye and Swampert were struggling not to burst out laughing, only stopped by the steely eye of their trainer, but Ace eventually broke down in the middle of the song.
"Hahaha! Deuce! You can't even do a single step!"
The boy blushed. "Wha-? I can't help it! I've never danced before!"
"Geehh!" Grim growled. "My front and back paws keep moving at the same time!"
"Just keep practicing, gentlemen." (Y/N) said halfheartedly.
It was then that Kalim and Jamil, in their PE uniforms, walked in, likely attracted by the music. Kalim beamed at them.
"Oh? You guys are dancing? Let us join you."
"Fnya!" Grim yelped. "It's the awkward Scarabia duo."
"Don't give us weird group names." Jamil ordered. "Besides, we aren't awkward."
"That's debatable." (Y/N) quipped.
"Are you two auditioning for the VDC too?" Ace asked.
"Yeah!" The white haired boy grinned. "It's a huge festival, isn't it? I wanna dance with all my might! Jamil and I are both pretty good at singing and dancing, right Jamil?"
"I really don't want to stand out too much in front of people." He sighed.
"We saw you guys practicing. You all suck! You look like a bunch of elephants stomping around on two legs! Hahaha!"
This time (Y/N) snorted as her Pokémon cackled in their own way. Something about that brutal honesty coming from Kalim's grinning face made it all the funnier.
"You have to sing during you performance and you still haven't mastered the dance. Are you going to be okay?"
Deuce groaned. "Guh...there was no ill intentions, but that wounded me."
Ace then grinned, crossing his arms. "That's it. Jamil, didn't you teach Floyd how to dance during basketball club before? Dancing is your hobby, right? Please share some tips with us!"
"Oh! Good thinking!" Kalim agreed. "Jamil can definitely be your coach!"
"Why are you answering for me!?" He then composed himself. "Ahem...well, teaching someone else will also be a good review for me...fine, I'll teach you. For beginners, let's start with isolation. Open your legs shoulder length apart."
For a time, Jamil helped correct the boys' awkwardness and answered their dumb questions. Eventually, the bell rang, putting an end to their practice and he encouraged them to practice their singing (apparently Jamil was a good singer according to Kalim). As they were cleaning up the gym, Azul walked in.
"Ah, thank goodness. I'm so glad I found you here, Jamil."
Jamil frowned. "Azul, what do you want?"
"You don't need to look so disgusted just from seeing a fellow classmate. You are on class duty today, right? Today's history lesson will be a self-study period. Mr. Trein would like you to go pick up worksheets from the staff room."
"Understood. I'll head over there."
"Oh yeah, didn't Azul expose Jamil's evil doings all over the world on his live-stream?" Grim remembered.
"Yeah." (Y/N) sighed. "You would think they'd be a little more awkward around each other."
"How reluctant." Azul said. "It was just a little scheme so that he couldn't escape and run away from his actions. Also, you agreed to it, (Y/N)."
She nodded. "That is true."
"Do you really think someone as kind hearted as me would stoop so low as to try and destroy the reputation of a fellow classmate?"
Swampert rumbled at the word "kind hearted" as Jamil crossed his arms.
"Yes, I would."
(Y/N) nodded. "And you'd go so much further if I wasn't trying to beat some morales into your head."
"Someone who was actually a nice guy wouldn't need to say all that." Grim pointed out.
"Fufufu. In reality, I was only on the phone with Jade that day. Unlike Leona, I don't find pleasure in destroying my enemies any more than necessary. I would never reveal secrets I worked so hard on getting that easily."
" matter which way you say it...but, you're right." Jamil admitted. "I don't want to admit it, but thanks to Azul's mercy, neither my family nor the Asim family ever found out the true reason I went into Overblot. All the other students on the other hand..."
Jamil's eyes flashed with recollection. Kalim had told the Pokémon trainer about the confrontation with the other Scarabia students in the aftermath. Kalim had refused to name a new Vice Dorm leader and when others raised objections, Kalim took the blame and reminded everyone how helpful Jamil was. Regardless of what he said, she knew Jamil was at least grateful for Kalim's forgiveness.
"After everything that happened, everyone is doing their own thing as usual without any issues. The Scarabia motto is 'Forethought and Deliberation' after all. We don't jump to conclusions and take caution in who we surround ourselves with."
"And yet, you tried to manipulate the single most perceptive person on campus." Azul jabbed.
"...I...vastly underestimated her."
"Yeah you did!"
"Regardless, that's a very Scarabian thing to say." The octopus pointed out. "Everyone has a thick mask they wear on their face. Yet, you are still able to dance together after everything that happened."
"Hm, say whatever you want." Jamil growled. "In my case, everything inside and out crumbled to the ground after my Overblot. Until my reputation inside and out of Scarabia improves, I'll quietly and obediently follow Kalim's orders."
"Fufu, I'm sure other students are aiming for your position now."
"Well I quite like blunt Jamil." (Y/N) announced. "I don't know if I could handle anymore of his 'flirting'."
"I was not flirting with you."
Azul adjusted his glasses. "Jamil, your dormmates told me they thought you were going to kiss her, multiple times."
"Like I'd do that in front of her Pokémon! I quite like having my ribs not broken! Besides, there's no need to overreact."
"Give me a break, I've never kissed someone before!" She blurted out.
Ace snorted. "You've seriously never kissed someone? The powerful, champion, Pokémon trainer?"
She glared at him. "I have a lot of responsibilities as a champion. I never felt the need for romance."
"Wait, but Chenya kissed you during the Revenge Unbirthday Party." Grim pointed out.
Ace waved him off. "That was a cheek kiss, doesn't count."
Azul grinned. "Still, this seems like vital information, (Y/N)."
"I will sick Milotic on you, and it will hurt."
"I wouldn't mind kissing (Y/N)!" Kalim said cheerfully.
(Y/N) immediately returned her Pokémon before they could respond to that. "Okay, I'm leaving. Azul, go back to your convincing Jamil to join Octavinelle!"
"How did you know?"
"It was obvious!"
3 days of practice and drilling in techniques passed rather smoothly (thanks to Jamil and Gardevoir). The group was back in the gymnasium which was now filled with other hopefuls now practicing.
"Looks like more people are coming to the gym during lunch break to practice for the audition." Ace noted.
Grim hissed. "Are they all aiming for the grand prize?! You're not getting my canned tuna!"
Gardevoir smacked him as (Y/N) glared. "Grim, behave. This is perfectly fair. And no, you are not allowed to chase them off with your fire."
"I think they're more interested in their pro debut than the prize money." Jamil reasoned.
"Most of them." (Y/N) said, noting Ruggie in the crowd.
"Pro, huh?" Deuce pondered. "Now that I look around, the competition looks pretty tough."
"Don't worry about everyone else. You three have been improving in your performances. You're a lot better than those scared elephants you were before."
"At least dance wise." (Y/N) muttered, remembering how Grim's 'singing' had sent the baby Pokémon fleeing for the hills. "Regardless, practice makes perfect boys. You want this, then no slacking!"
"Yes ma'am!" Everyone said.
They got to rehearsing right away, and it was actually really good. The gang didn't make any notable mistakes and were fairly solid in their performances. Grim was still pitchy, but the others sounded great.
"All right!" Deuce cheered. "I was able to go through the whole song without missing a step or forgetting the lyrics!"
"Nyaha!" Grim laughed. "Me too! I didn't step on my tail! Not even once!"
Ace grinned. "As expected from Jamil-senpai! You were able to help us learn the dance in a short amount of time!"
"I know, right?" Kalim boasted. "Jamil is really good at teaching in a way that's easy to understand! He helped me for a long time!"
"Ahem!" The Vice Dorm Leader coughed. "That's enough about me...Now that I've taught you the basics, you have to keep practicing on your own for the audition."
"On that day, we'll be rivals!" Kalim declared. "But I wish you all the best!"
Jamil smirked. "Well, I don't feel like losing."
"That won't be hard for you guys, but we don't plan on failing." Ace assured them as Grim smirked.
"I'm gonna wow the judges with my amazing singing voice and killer dance moves!"
"Viper-senpai, Asim-senpai! Thank you for all your help!" Their blue haired friend thanked.
"Ah." (Y/N) sighed. "I love the sound of friendly competition in the morning."
"Oh yeah, have you guys already turned in your applications for the audition?" Jamil asked.
"Eh? What's that?" Grim responded.
"Good grief, you guys seemed like the careless type, but I thought (Y/N) would remind you."
"I did remind them. Twice."
"Ahaha!" Kalim asked. "As expected from Jamil. He always notices the littlest of things."
"I'm just used to being around a certain someone all day." He sighed as Gardevoir gave him a comforting pat. "You need to turn in an application to audition for the VDC. You turn it into Rook Hunt in class 3-A."
"Oh yeah, that was written on the poster." Ace remembered.
"The application deadline should be the day before the audition, but don't forget to do it before that."
"Yes!" Deuce said. "Thank you for reminding us!"
"Rook's trademark is blonde bob hair and a hat.'ll know it's him when you meet him."
"I don't like how you said that." (Y/N) stated.
Jamil rubbed his head. "Yeah...also (Y/N), it might be best if you don't have your Pokémon out when you meet him."
"'ll know when you meet him."
"Well that's not ominous in the slightest." (Y/N) noted to the Empathy Pokémon, who nodded.
After class (and since (Y/N) didn't trust the boys to remember), the group headed to the third year classes to find Rook. Taking Jamil suggestion, she didn't have her Pokémon out, much to Swampert's annoyance.
"Class 3-A..." Deuce investigated. "Is this Hunt-senpai's classroom? Coming into the seniors classroom makes me a little nervous."
Ace rubbed his neck. "Besides, we don't really talk much to older students from other dorms. Can't we just get a senior from Heartslabyul to find him?"
Grim then caught sight of a familiar face. "Hm? Isn't that...? Hey, Leonaaa! Come here for a second!"
The lion swung around and glared at them. "Ha?!"
"Geh! Grim!" Ace flinched. "Why are you calling him!?"
"Isn't that the Savanaclaw dorm leader?!" Deuce panicked.
"Well, he's the only one I know in this classroom."
(Y/N) rolled her eyes. "Relax guys. Kitty, can we talk to you for a sec?"
His ears perked at the girl as he grumpily made his way over to them.
"How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that, Herbivore?"
She grinned innocently. "You know you love it."
He groaned, but dropped it. "What do you want, Herbivore?"
"We want to meet Rook Hunt." Grim explained. "Can you introduce us to him?"
Leona scowled (more than usual). "Ha? You want me to introduce you to that weirdo?"
"They want to apply for the VDC auditions." (Y/N) added.
"C'est Vrai?" A blonde boy with a hat and bob cut asked, appearing from nowhere. "Wonderful! All new challengers are more than welcomed."
The guys all shrieked, Grim jumping into (Y/N)'s arms, and (Y/N) by now was used to people appearing from the aether.
"Y-you scared us!" Ace yelled.
"He just came out of nowhere!?" Deuce also yelled.
"Haha!" The boy laughed. "Oh, did I startle you? Pardon. I've always had the bad habit of silencing my footsteps when I get closer to someone. I am Rook Hunt. The Hunter of Love. My dream in life is to seek out all things beautiful and help it. Pleased to meet you."
Leona clicked his tongue. "Tch...the weirdo is here."
"Good morning, Roi du Léon. Oh my, it's lunch break, but what happened to Monsieur Dandelion?"
"He's not with me all the time. Take those herbivores and get lost."
"Monsieur Dandelion...?" Deuce repeated.
Rook chuckled. "Fufufu. He is Roi du Léon's confidant, Ruggie."
"Why do you call him Dandelion?" Grim asked. "Is it because he has yellow hair and it sticks up?"
"Non non. That's not the reason. Last spring...right when spring started to bloom and you could feel the gentle breathe around you..." He went into a long drawn out recollection that boiled down to him catching Ruggie picking a bunch of dandelions to eat. "That's why I call him Dandelion. Since then, I pay homage to him, as the roadside dandelion. I call him Monsieur Dandelion."
"Ruggie -senpai eats dandelions!?" Ace yelled. "Isn't that disrespectful?"
"On what planet?" (Y/N) asked.
Leona was just shaking his head. "That kid is really okay with anything as long as it isn't rotten..."
"Non non, they're not poisonous. Don't be so quick to judge, Roi du Léon."
"Are dandelions yummy?" Grim asked. "I'll try one next time I see one."
Deuce glared at him. "We've told you so many times: stop eating things you find on the ground!"
"Ha!" Ace suddenly gasped. "I got distracted by Rook's story! We came here to talk about the audition!"
"That's right! Rook-senpai, we would like to apply for the VDC audition."
"My apologies." He responded. "I have a bad habit of going off topic during conversations. You are from Heartslabyul. Class 1-A, number 25, height 172 cm, Ace Trappola. Also in class 1-A, number 24, height 173 cm, Deuce Spade. And from the Ramshackle Dorm, Grim, a monster standing at 70 cm tall, and of course, the lovely beast tamer (Y/N) Stone, height (Y/H)."
"I am entirely terrified at how you know those numbers." (Y/N) bluntly stated.
"Welcome to my world." Leona huffed.
"Fufufu, as a hunter, it's my job to know information on the students at this school in case an emergency arises."
"And suddenly Jamil's warning makes too much sense. Why are there so many weirdos at this school?" (Y/N) muttered that last one softly.
"If you express your intent, there is no need for any application. 3 days from today, we will be holding auditions in the Pomefiore ballroom. Don't forget to come by."
"Yes!" The boys replied.
"Hey hey, how long do you plan on hanging around me?" Leona growled. "Get lost."
"That's it! Leona-kun! Would you like to participate in the VDC audition? With your physique, you should be able to dance without issue and your voice is wonderful! I've never seen a lion sing in the meadows at sunset, but your performance would be incredible."
Leona looked ready to kill the blonde. "Like I'd participate in something like that."
"My sentiments exactly, Kitty."
"And that Vil is going to be there too. Absolutely not."
"Vil has urban beauty and Leona has wild beauty. The two of you singing and dancing together would be absolutely beautiful! A beautiful competition with two contrasting types of beauty! Très bien!"
"Tch. This guy really doesn't listen to what other people are saying..."
3 more days passed and the group found themselves in the Pomefiore Dorm for the audition. (Y/N) had chosen Glaceon and Vulpix to accompany them as Glaceon was popular with the first year Pomefiore students and Vulpix was a good morale boost for the boys.
Grim sat perched on (Y/N)'s shoulder, looking over the crowd.
"Fnya! There's so many people here for the audition."
"There's at least 50 people here." Ace noted.
Deuce twitched nervously, clinging to Vulpix for some reassurance. "I'm so nervous...oh! I'm gonna forget all the lyrics I worked so hard to remember!"
"You'll be fine." (Y/N) assured him. "You guys have been practicing really hard. You'll do great."
"Thanks (Y/N)." He said gratefully.
Glaceon suddenly perked up. She trotted off and was then picked up by a familiar green eyed boy.
"Oh my!" Cater greeted. "It's the Ace and Deuce combo, the Ramshackle Dorm combo, and my favorite Pokémon. Are you all here to audition for the VDC too?"
Glaceon purred loudly and as (Y/N) smiled. "Why does it not surprise me you're here too?"
"Well, since the VDC will be held here at our school and Vil will be participating this year, getting the opportunity to be around a celebrity with over 5 million Magicam followers will make such fond memories, won't it?"
Ace sighed. "Deuce was hesitant about joining, but all you seniors are so carefree."
"Well, I think most people are like that. I mean, come on, just look over there."
The group looked over at Ruggie, who was warming and mumbling about the prize money unsurprisingly. Yet Grim was still shocked.
"Fnya! It's so obvious he wants the prize money."
His dormmate side eyed him. "Pot, meet the kettle."
"Ooh?" Lilia suddenly dropped from the ceiling like the bat he was. "Cater. You came as well?"
The boys screamed (of course) while Cater and (Y/N) were unfazed.
The bat dropped to the ground, mischievously grinning. "Kufufu, pretty good reaction! Everyone at Heartslabyul is so lively!"
"Aw, come on, Lilia-chan!" Cater complained. "It's because you surprise people out of nowhere. Stop."
"He always pops upside down." (Y/N) retorted.
"Kufufu. Indeed, I am Lilia Vanrogue after all."
"Oh yeah." Grim said. "I remember you telling me someone gave you a holiday card after appearing upside down. He's the sender?"
"Aren't the initials on the card different from my name?'ll find out who it is soon enough."
"Lilia, are auditioning for the VDC too?" Cater asked.
"Yeah, as someone in the live music club, I got to participate in a performance involving music. I tried to invite Malleus, but he refused because he didn't want to stand out around the humans. He's pretty shy."
"Hmm..." Cater hummed doubtfully. "I don't think shy is the right word. It's very courageous of you to invite Malleus to the audition."
"It's an event for all the students, so I thought it would be nice for him to try at least once. Did you not invite your friend Trey?"
"I tried, but he rejected me. He's too busy helping Riddle with all of the school festival preparations."
"And he's completely tone deaf." (Y/N) added.
"That too."
Lilia nodded. "I see."
"Let's take a photo together to commemorate the audition, for the guys who rejected us!"
"All right! Come on, freshman! Be in the photo with us!"
"Huh? You mean us?" Deuce asked.
"But we haven't been rejected, you know!" Grim argued.
"It's fine." Cater assured. "Just go with it. Yay!"
"Yay!" Lilia also said.
Everyone gathered around, posed, and smiled (minus Deuce) as Cater snapped the photo.
"#NRC, #VDCAuditions, #We'regonnamakeit, #Dumpedboys. Upload complete!"
Ace then turned to Lilia. "Malleus is the infamous Diasomnia senior everyone talks about. He's a little bit're really friendly."
"Aw come on." Cater said. "You, me, and Riddle are all completely different types!"
"If you ask me, it is true how some dorm leaders like Rosehearts are scar-," Deuce stopped himself. "I mean very disciplined. Then what about the qualities of you soul will lead you to your most suitable dorm that the Mirror of Darkness talks about?"
Lilia laughed. " learn new things when you live with others that are different from you. Take a look. Ignihyde is said to be a dorm where everyone is quiet and doesn't like to stand out, yet someone from that dorm is here auditioning."
He pointed to a young looking boy in a high tech looking suit, with a blue flame over his heart, piercing yellow eyes, and flaming blue hair. (Y/N) had to blink a few times to make sure she wasn't seeing things as Cater recognized the boy.
"Ah! That's Idia's little brother. It's odd to see him be himself."
"His little brother?" Ace asked. "He looks like an elementary school student. He has a cool superhero-like suit!"
"I see, I guess you and Deuce don't know since you are freshmen. When Ignihyde Dorm Leader Idia Shroud entered school, he was with his younger brother Ortho."
"Ehehehe?!" The boys shrieked as (Y/N) furrowed her brows.
"Is that even allowed?"
Cater shrugged. "This is my first time being in the same class as Idia, so I don't know all the details. They are always in class together and the teachers never question it."
Deuce's eyes widened. "No matter how close you are to your brother, is it really okay to bring them to school like that?"
"I think this Idia guy has a brother complex!"
"Grim!" (Y/N) hissed.
Grim yelped as Vulpix leapt onto her trainer's head in surprise.
"Why do so many people at this school have good hearing?" Ace whispered. "We are more than 10 meters away!"
"The sound collecting microphone that my brother gave me can catch any human voice from up to 50 meters away."
Lilia looked impressed. "Oh, that's amazing! It's hard to even find a fae or a beast with that good of hearing."
Ortho giggled. "Hehe! I know, right? My brother is amazing!...Ahem! Anyway, my brother got permission from headmaster for me to attend class with him. He doesn't take me to school with him because he's lonely!"
Cater sweatdropped. "Oh, I see. Sorry, sorry. The Shroud brothers have always been a mystery at the school. We were out of line."
"It okay, I hope you understand." Ortho then blushed. "I'm sorry for getting carried away too. I just don't want you to get the wrong idea about my big brother..."
(Y/N) smiled at him gently. "It's okay sweetie. Next time these morons run their mouths, I'll punch them."
"Oi!" Ace hissed.
She glared. "Be grateful it's me and not Swampert!"
"By the way, are you auditioning for the VDC too, Ortho?" Cater asked, trying to change the topic.
"Yes I am! My brother has gotten into making vocal synthesizers. Since it's in the middle of development, we wanted to try and see if it works. So we decided to use it for the audition."
"Eh!?" Ace shrieked. "Is using some voice program allowed!?"
"Hahaha!" Lilia laughed. "As expected from the dorm leader of Ignihyde. He's famous for his magical tech skills and always thinking outside the box."
"That might actually work!" Cater smiled. "It's really popular to use those synthetic voice programs to make songs and upload videos. I like electro pop music."
"I don't understand what you're all talking about." Grim sighed.
"Grim, have you ever seen virtual idols before? I'll show you a video right on a sec, I have to watch this ad so I can watch the video for free."
(Y/N) glanced at the screen and saw a young, cheerful boy around her face smiling sweetly at the camera. His hair was ebony, which contrasted with his bright white suit. He had little bird pins and a ruby pin on the flaps.
"Hey, do you want to know about a magical drink that makes your dreams come true? A brand new light carbonated drink with a red flavor of love, 'Red Apple Soda'."
"Oh, this is the hottest new drink commercial." Cater noted. "I got to get my hands on the new release! I'll go buy some from the school store later!"
"Who's the Togekiss in human form?" (Y/N) asked.
"Oh, that's Neige Leblanche." Lilia answered. "We discussed him during the dorm leader meeting. Apparently, he's going to participate in the VDC."
"Eh? There's gonna be famous celebrities like that at the championship?" Ace asked, now worried.
Deuce crossed his arms. "The fiercest of challengers are going to be at the championship. We have to take this seriously!"
"I wonder if I'll be able to take a picture with Neige if I pass the audition?" Cater joked to Ace's frustration.
"Cater, you're still talking about that..."
"It's because Neige is the most popular person on Magicam right now. You gotta take that commemorative photo when you have the chance, right? It'll be crazy if I get a pic with both Vil and Neige."
"Hey Cater! If you don't lower the phone, I can't see the video!" Grim complained.
"Let's project it on the wall with my built-in projector." Ortho offered.
The dorm slammed open as the only three Pomefiore students (Y/N) knew stepped out. Vil looked very focused.
"Silence, you sack of potatoes!"
There was a flash of light, blinding the group for a moment.
"Uh!" Deuce cried. "So bright! What's with all the sparkles!?"
Grim grabbed (Y/N)'s leg. "I'm seeing flashes!"
"I doubt there is anyone at this school that does not know who I am." Vil stated. "But as a courtesy, I will give you a brief greeting. I am the dorm leader of Pomefiore, Vil Schoenheit. For today, headmaster put me in charge of producing members that'll perform at the Vocal & Dance Championship. Well then, let's begin the member selection audition. Rook, please take care of the rest."
"Oui, Roi Du Poison. I am the vice dorm leader of Pomefiore, Rook Hunt. Pleased to meet you."
"Ah, it's the weirdo that was in charge of the audition applications." Grim noted. "I guess he's the vice dorm leader of Pomefiore."
"Now we will start with everyone performing the assigned song. You will be given points based on your dancing and singing abilities. We will do auditions 3 at a time. Please enter the room when your name is called."
The groups were called in over the course of a few hours. Eventually, everyone had their turn and were told to wait for the news.
The next day, the freshmen team, accompanied by Decidueye once more, dragged their feet from Magical History class.
Ace was complaining as usual. "Ha, Trein caught me sleeping in class, now we all have more homework."
"Yeah, thanks for that." (Y/N) snapped.
Grim's ears flattened. "That guy, I swear he's using a sleeping spell on us on purpose to give us more homework."
"I wear a rubber band on my wrist so I don't fall asleep." Deuce declared. "When I get sleepy, I snap myself with it to wake myself up."
"You really go that far?" Ace asked. "Oh, by the way, isn't today the day we find out the results of the VDC auditions?"
Grim crossed his arms. "It's almost lunch time, but we haven't heard any news."
"If we haven't heard anything by now, maybe we didn't make it?" Deuce suggested.
Before (Y/N) could encourage them to be patient, Decidueye stiffened.
"Something wrong, boy?"
The owl swung around and fired an arrow faster than anything of them could track. The feather arrow struck something midair, sending it spinning into the girl's hands. They all yelped as they realized it was an arrow.
"Did someone try to shoot us!?" Ace screamed.
"Decidueye, protect us!" Grim pleaded as he hugged the ghost/grass type's leg.
Decidueye's eyes were focused on where the arrow had come from. Deuce was just staring at him in disbelief.
"How fast can Decidueye shoot!?"
He pulled out the Dex.
"Decidueye, the Arrow Quill Pokémon. The evolved form of Dartrix and the final evolutionary form of the Alola grass starter Rowlet. As if wielding a bow, it launches the arrow quills hidden among the feathers of its wings. Decidueye's shots never miss. In a tenth of a second, it can notch and fire an arrow quill, piercing an opponent's weak point before they notice what's happening. Although basically cool and cautious, when it's caught by surprise, it's seized by panic."
"Wait, there's a letter tied to it." Ace pointed at the scroll.
"Is it asking for a duel?" Deuce challenged.
"Hey, not everything is connected to a fight. (Y/N)?"
The Pokémon trainer untied the parchment and began reading.
"Thank you for participating in the Vocal & Dance Championship audition. After long deliberation, we've come to the conclusion that Ace Trappola and Deuce Spade have passed the audition. Please come to the Pomefiore ballroom after school, today."
Ace didn't process it. "Eh?"
Neither did Deuce. "...we passed?"
It took them a moment.
"P-passed!" Deuce yelled. "Meaning we've been selected as members for the championship?!"
Ace beamed. "Would it mean anything else!? All right! Now we don't have to help Dorm Leader Rosehearts!"
"I'm proud of you guys." (Y/N) said genuinely as Grim began crying.
"Fnya?! What about me?! After I put on such a dazzling performance!"
"Oh, there's more." (Y/N) said. "PS: To Dorm Leader Stone, after school, please also come to Pomefiore with the other two. I have a bad feeling about this."
"Dec!" Her Pokémon agreed.
"My dreams of 4000 canned tunas..." Grim moaned as Decidueye gave him a comforting pat.
After school, the group was back outside the Pomefiore Dorm, this time Swampert as backup.
"I wonder if they're going to give us special training since we passed the audition." Deuce wondered out loud.
His dormmate nodded. "Probably."
Grim was grumbling while sitting on Swampert. "Grrrr...I'm even more mad knowing I lost to you two."
"Oh don't be a sore loser Grim." (Y/N) scolded as Kalim greeted them.
"Hey guys!"
Grim perked up. "Isn't that Kalim and Jamil? What are you doing here at Pomefiore?"
"We both passed the audition." Jamil explained.
"Congrats you two." (Y/N) said. "Ace and Deuce also passed."
Kalim smiled. "You performed well yesterday! I'm so glad!"
"But I didn't!" Grim whined. "I feel so discouraged!"
"I think Vil thought it might have been hard to put you on the team, Grim." Jamil told him.
"Cheer up, Grim!" Kalim tried to encourage. "You want a cracker?"
"Ugh, this again? No thank you!"
"You 5 and the 3 animals!" A voice called out. "Stop right there!"
They turned to see two Pomefiore students standing there.
"Is he talking to us?" Deuce asked.
"It seems you are the students who have passed the VDC audition." The other student noted.
"Yeah!" Kalim confirmed. "Vil told us to come here, could you take us to him?"
"Hmph!...well that's a shame. We can't let you pass that easily!"
"The ones who can pass the Pomefiore gates are those who possess both beauty and strength." The other said as he threw a glove at them. "Now, pick up the glove I just threw."
"Swampert, Decidueye?" (Y/N) said flatly.
The Pokémon pounced, Decidueye holding a Leaf Blade to the dark haired one's neck and Swampert holding the dirty blonde by the collar, his fist raised in an Ice Punch. The students understandably freaked.
"Have we proved our strength?"
"Yes, ma'am!"
"All right guys, drop em."
The Pokémon released as (Y/N) led the boys inside. A few more Pomefiore students challenged them, but immediately backed down as they were glared at by the starter Pokémon. Quickly, they reached the ballroom without too many delays.
"Have I mentioned how much I appreciate you and your Pokémon, (Y/N)?" Ace joked.
She smirked. "You can stand to mention it more."
In another blinding flash of sparkles, Vil appeared, looking a bit annoyed.
"It seems there are no dropouts, so you pass for now." He side glared (Y/N). "Though that barbaric display was not what I had in mind."
She gritted her teeth. "Well maybe next, your highness, get some people who aren't afraid to fight a few monsters. Till then, intimidation is a valid display of strength."
The two were locked in a deadly staring contest no one wanted to get between. Eventually, Vil looked away.
"Now that your bodies are warmed up, we can start immediately with the lesson. From now on, you will be the representatives of Night Raven College. We will be aiming for the top of the Vocal & Dance Championship. Members who did not make it through the obstacles won't be needed. The battle has already begun. From this moment on, there is no time for fooling around. Be prepared for strict training."
The boys looked scared and only Kalim was brave enough to say anything.
"Oh!?...I don't really get what's going on, but all right!"
"Somehow...does Vil remind you of a certain other dorm leader?" Ace whispered to his dormmate.
"Both Heartslabyul and Pomefiore's dorm leaders are based on the spirits of queens. Maybe it's just natural...?"
Rook and Epel then made their appearance.
"Oh my, oh my, Roi De Poison. It's full throttle from the very beginning. Your eyes shootout brilliance and now everyone is struck. Fufufu!" Decidueye immediately marched over to Rook, ruffling his feathers and puffing up his chest. "Hm? Is something the matter, Monsieur Hibou?"
"You shot an arrow at us!" (Y/N) yelled.
"Ah, oui! It was magnificent watching your beast shoot it out of the air with such precision and confidence!"
(Y/N) sighed. "Well, when it comes to accuracy, few Pokémon can match a Decidueye."
"Anyways, congratulations to all the selected members: Ace, Deuce, Kalim, Jamil, Epel. Vil and I, as well as all of you, will be a tribe starting today. It will be a pleasure working with you until the day of the VDC. Monsieur Crabapple, give a brief greeting."
Epel, who looked entirely upset, looked at them. "I am Epel. It is a pleasure to meet you."
"Hey hey!" Grim yelled. "Hold on a sec! You've been ignoring me and (Y/N) this whole time! If I didn't pass, why did you even tell us to come here?"
"Allow me to explain!" Crowley said, appearing from nowhere. "For I am so kind!"
"Fnya! Headmaster!? Stop jumping out of nowhere like that! You scared me!"
"Oh, excuse me. I didn't mean to pop out all of a sudden."
"What do you want, crow?" (Y/N) asked.
"Ahem, there is a reason why you needed to come here with the selected members. There are only 4 weeks left before the VDC. We will be using the Ramshackle Dorm as housing for the training camp!"
"TRAINING CAMP!?" The boys yelled.
(Y/N) eye twitched.
"ARE YOU CRAZY!? Why in Arceus's name would you choose the Ramshackle Dorm!?"
"Headmaster, why do we even need to stay at another dorm for camp if we all go to the same school?" Jamil asked.
"To build teamwork. You all are from different dorms, years, birthplaces, and cultures. I want you all to live together and get a better understanding of each other."
"Indeed." Vil agreed. "It's common for music groups to live and eat together to enhance their teamwork."
"I thought about using Pomefiore, but then I thought it might be hard for other students to be far away from campus. However, at the Ramshackle Dorm, everyone will be on the same grounds for training camp."
"Yes, the structurally unstable, filled to the brim with protective monsters dorm." (Y/N) snarked.
"This is all so sudden..." Deuce said.
Ace shook his head. "Dang it...I want to quit already..."
"A training camp with a bunch of dorms sounds like fun!" Kalim cheerfully said. "But, will it be okay for Jamil and I to be away from our dorm?"
"There is no need to worry." The headmaster assured. "I will use my authority as headmaster to find backups for all the participating members. For I am so kind. The school needs you to defeat the other competing schools so we can earn the title 'best in the world'."
"Wait a minute!" Grim protested. "We aren't even selected members, so why do we have to listen! I refuse!"
"Oh my, Grim, do you really want to say that? There might be something good in it for you if you go along with the training camp."
"Fnya?...What's that? Something good?"
"If our team wins, we will give a portion of the prize money to the Ramshackle Dorm." Vil explained.
"Why?" (Y/N) asked skeptically.
"I'm not the type that's interested in pocket change like that."
"It's only natural to give gratitude to those who help Vil." Rook said.
The trainer crossed her arms. "...if you win? Sorry that's not a risk I can take."
"Eh?!" The headmaster said in surprise.
"I have plenty of business experience and I know a risky deal. Unlike Azul, though, this isn't a gamble I'm willing to take. And don't think emotional blackmail will work on me, crow. However, I will agree to it, if regardless of the outcome, you fix the Ramshackle Dorm. I'm sick of worrying of the building collapsing in my sleep."
The headmaster pouted. "But the funds..."
"My terms or nothing, crow."
"...yes ma'am..."
"Then we're in agreement."
Crowley soberly dragged himself out as (Y/N) rolled her eyes. Ace blinked at her.
"'s fine every now and then, right? At least we won't have to deal with the Queen of Hearts' laws. It will be more relaxed than usual."
"First the Octavinelle training camp, now we have a joint camp with Heartslabyul, Pomefiore, and Ramshackle." Kalim said. "This is going to be so fun!"
Jamil pondered it. "Well, since it's the headmaster's orders, it can't be helped."
"This concludes the training camp meeting." Vil announced. "Let's start our lesson right away."
"Eh?" Ace said. "We aren't waiting until the training camp?"
"Don't run your mouth, potato #1! You have no room to waste even a single minute. You are all amateurs in singing and dancing."
"How grand!" Rook declared. "Let's celebrate before the NRC tribe goes with one last song!"
"Now then, start the music. Piece of My World!"
(Y/N) sighed.
"This is gonna be fun, explaining this to the team."

Translations in order (these are rough translations):
Is that so?
King of Lions
No no
Very good
Yes, King of Poison

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