House Victreebel: Our Bells Toll for Thee
Ruby: Spruce, I am now almost 100% certain that she was not challenging you to a staring contest.
Ruby: Well, all right; to be honest, I was almost 100% certain of that before you started. It’s just stopped being amusing now.
Ruby: …he’s going to keep doing that until one of them blinks, isn’t he?
Fisher: Your magical sense did indicate that the stone we seek is in this Slowpoke’s possession, did they not? As odd as it seems, a staring contest would not be entirely out of step with the other trials presented to us by the various heathens of this island.
Ruby: If by ‘trials,’ you mean the group of Binacle who demanded an arm-wrestle, the Chatot who made Spruce sing for them, the Inkay with the overgrown hedge-maze, and the Exeggcute village that inexplicably challenged us to a riddle contest, then they prove only that life on this island apparently provides the indigenous creatures with no entertainment whatsoever. Well… and possibly that Azure Bay is home to a hitherto unknown Chatot subspecies that has tragically and against all probability been struck tone-deaf.
Fisher: Yet only after they heard of our goal did they pose these challenges. And the final riddle offered as a parting gift by the Exeggcute may yet prove important.
Martial: That lingers on my mind as well. What creature is it that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at midday, and three legs in the evening?
Ruby: Bah; the answer is plainly a male human. The question asks what creature can have three different numbers of ‘legs’ in a single day. In the morning he crawls out of bed on all fours, suffering from a hangover, by midday he has gotten to his feet, and in the evening-
Merneith: Don’t be ridiculous; the question is phrased to trick us. They never said it had to be the morning and evening of the same day! A two-legged Roggenrola might evolve into a three-legged Boldore one evening, and then again into a four-legged Gigalith the next morning.
Martial: Yet I was certain the riddle would refer to the stone’s guardian, and it seems she is neither a human nor a Boldore – nor do either of those species appear to be indigenous to this island.
Slowpoke: Oh… hello… I’m sorry; I didn’t see you there.
Ruby: See-!? We’ve been standing around you talking for over ten minutes!
Slowpoke: Well, that’s a relief. For a moment I was worried you’d been waiting a long time.
Spruce: Does that mean I win?
Merneith: …yes. Yes, you do.
Ruby: Don’t encourage him. You! Slowpoke! Reveal your identity to us!
Slowpoke: Hmm… For a long time I remember many Pokémon called me Hypatia… you may use that name if it pleases you… though it has been a while. I may only have imagined it… What do you believe you are called?
Ruby: …Ruby the Braixen, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supreme; perhaps you’ve heard of… oh, forget it.
Hypatia: Forget what?
Amaldos: Forgetting is a privilege reserved for those who are forgiven.
Hypatia: Oh… hello there, honoured master. How go your duties?
Amaldos: Every subject’s duty is his own soul, but no master’s soul is his own.
Hypatia: I see… And your exalted mentor? I trust he is well?
Amaldos: [sadly] He is banished from himself… a joyful thing for us, we who are wedded to calamity.
Merneith: You killed him. You literally killed him in front of us. Remember?
Amaldos: Remembering is a privilege reserved for those whose loss will be regretted.
Ruby: Argh; you’re all as mad as each other. Look, Slowpoke; you have a Mega Stone in your possession. Hand it over.
Hypatia: The stone…? But it was only just given to me to guard… only four or five generations have passed among the Exeggcute since I was left here by master Amaldos.
Spruce: Four or five… generations? [To Amaldos] …how old are you?
Amaldos: Enough to have seen mighty oaks grow from old chestnuts.
Spruce: Oaks grow from acorns. Um. Don’t they?
Amaldos: There is a time and a place for everything…
Ruby: Whatever; whatever; just hand it over.
Hypatia: …I remember once these stones were freely bought and sold as curiosities. And in another time, I think perhaps they were feared as terrible weapons. At one point they were considered an ideal base for a number of salads and chutneys. But I think I was left here because there was a time we thought them sacred… worthy of protection. Have our beliefs shifted once again?
Amaldos: Seeing is believing, and we who are blinded by the light see precious little…
Hypatia: Very well… I will trust your judgement, master. Sorceress… take the stone, and use it well…
Ruby: Ah… at last… and now we shall see what arcane secrets this mighty artefact can unlock…
Ruby: …right now.
Amaldos: If there is no time like the present, then only the absent have time.
Ruby: …no one wants to object?
Martial: I would rather save my breath for someone wise enough to listen.
Merneith: To be honest, I kinda want to see what this one does.
Ruby: Okay… here goes nothing…