Itís a beautiful afternoon, a familiar Riolu walks alone in Tao Woods. He is just like any other Riolu in Tao, except that he wears a bright red bandanna around his neck. Along the trail, he walks past innumerable tall pines that stand around three meters high. Lifting his head, he could see several Pidgeys flying across the sky, cueing in some noises over the quiet surroundings.
The Riolu continues walking, until he comes across a great stump on the floor. He sits on it to rest for a while, as he starts counting the wheels. One, two, threeÖ fourÖ It starts to get more and more complicated as the Riolu counts inwards. As soon as he reaches around twenty, he has got messed up. He sighs and laughs at himself for what he is doing. Though, it is quite obvious that the tree that used to sit atop of the stump was pretty old, the wheels seem to go on forever. In addition, the diameter of the stump is quite long. It must have been standing here firmly, even under heavy rainstorms, providing reliable housing for many Pokemon. It is just caring, respectable and trustworthy, like anyoneís parents. Yes, exactly. Parents are always just as caring, just as respectable, and just as trustworthy. The Riolu stares at the stump for a while, as he hops off of it, gazing up and visualizing what the tree would had looked like. It must had been magnificent!
Soon as he gets up, a lake at the corner of his eye catches his attention. Very faintly, he could hear the sound of water splashing, as he walks closer to get a better view. Carefully, he avoids the branches and roots lying on the floor and approaches the lake. After passing a giant tree, he arrives at an opening, where he could clearly see all the view of the whole lake. It is surrounded by numerous aquatic plants and trees, while the background is filled with mountains and the mesmerizing pink afternoon sky. It is slightly cloudy, but even the clouds are dyed pink. If you donít look closely, you may even think that they are marshmallows on the sky.
Just as he is stunned by the fascinating scenery, he is alerted by another similar sound of water splashing. As the Riolu tilts his head sideways out of curiosity, he pans his vision to the direction of where the sound was heard, only to notice a Swanna swimming across the lake full of grace. The Swanna expands her wings to the fullest, showing how admirably wide they are. Soon as she does so, several Duckletts drop off her back, splashing on the water playfully. The Duckletts seem to be enjoying a good time with their siblings. They flap their wings and impishly splatter water onto each other. Even in quite a distance, the Riolu can hear their laughter. The mother Swanna, on the other hand, just stays around her children, looking at them gently, protecting them from harm.
The Riolu sits down and watches their interactions carefully. He holds his knees with his soft paws and places his head on his knees, almost curling up into a ball. A sudden breeze blows over the environment, carrying countless red petals. Added to the pink-dominated landscape, the red petals contribute significantly as it highlights the already-impressive scene. Sniffing the air gently, you can even smell the lovely aroma of flowers. It must have been the pollens that are caught up in the strong wind.
In usual situations, the Riolu would be immobilized and hypnotized by the beauty of nature, sitting on the soft grass, humming his favorite song. But for today, itís not quite the case. Yes, the scene is heavenly, but the Riolu is hardly impressed, since the scenery in the Rioluís eyes is blurred, blurred by water flowing out. He carefully gazes upon the horizon, watching over the Swanna and her children. However, even that is not possible, for the Rioluís sight is obscured, veiled by loneliness, covered by sadness, and drown by the overflowing tears. Tears drop along the Rioluís cheeks, following the outline of his slightly round face. They run through his fine blue fluffs, leaving two visible trails of wet fur.
Why am I crying? What am I crying for? What is this feeling? He asks himself repetitively, as he tries to wipe away the dropping tears with his paws. It is of no use, more and more tears are sliding down. The Riolu is trembling all over. He tries to breathe in and out heavily to relax himself. But all of those are in vain, he just couldnít stop crying. He sobs, he chokes, and he frowns. The air is no longer filled with the sweet scent of flowers, but is replaced by a sharp and intense sourness, choking the crying Riolu. It is as if the surroundings are muted, you couldnít hear a thing except for the sobs and pants. He hugs himself tighter, trying to gain a bit more warmth and comfort. He buries his head between his knees, while covering his head tightly. He doesnít want to be seen, nor does he want to be heard. He just wants to hide, away from everyone. He doesnít want to let others see his fragility, his weaknesses.
The Riolu shrinks himself even more as he hugs himself with more force and tugs his fluffy tail close to his body. Tears are still slipping out his red eyes; they wet his face and his paws, as the Riolu is shaking from distress. He tries his best to stop himself from crying. This is not him. He should not be the one who is crying. He thinks of his teammates and his friends, he imagines them surrounding and sympathizing him. No! Thatís not what he wants. He doesnít need sympathy, he doesnít need the comfort, nor does he need the pity. He needs to be strong. He needs to protect everyone. Thatís what he wants. Thatís what he needs. Thatís what he will fulfill.
With a few more heavy breaths, tears stop flowing. The Riolu wipes his tears as he stands up and gazes upon at the scenery for the last time. As soon as he memorizes the sight, he turns and heads back, with the most determined eyesight. He forces himself to dispose of the loneliness and the sadness. I want to protect you! I have to protect you! I will protect you! He reminds himself certainly and clearly, as he marches through the forest covered with dried leaves, disappearing into the thick woods.
--------------------------Leon from The Masked