Oct 21, 2018 9:06 PM
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Promise and the Master
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Kotori returns the pokemon to the pokeball.

"That? That's just the pokeball punishing it. It's not hurt or anything."

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"You may be using the word 'hurt' differently than I'm used to."

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"I mean, it hurts, but it doesn't cause any damage or anything."

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"Why does it do that?"

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"Cause it's a pokemon? It's not gonna listen on its own."

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"I really don't follow. Try explaining as though I have never heard of Pokémon before."

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Mei sighs. 

"Pokemon," Kotori says, "all kinda hate humans right? Well, maybe not hate, but they'll attack you if they see you and won't be gentle about it. That doesn't change if you catch em. They'll try to attack you even harder the second you let them out. So the pain teaches them that's a bad idea and then they get rewarded if they do what you want. A trained pokemon isn't never gonna attack you and you barely have to punish trained ones at all."

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"And you have to do this because..."

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"Maybe you can prance around inside the walls not worrying about a thing, but someone has to keep the pokemon out," Mei says. 

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"Again, like I've never heard of them before. And am from someplace where there's only people and plants."

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"Are you supposed to be a sociologist or something?" Mei asks. 

"If we didn't have our own pokemon, we'd all be killed by wild pokemon," Kotori says.

"That's a bit dramatic," Mei says. 

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"Does anybody train them without punishing them?"

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"A few people, but it's dangerous and only really possible when you have other pokemon to protect you," Isao says. 

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"But people in general do own Pokémon so it's possible now."

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"Someone else's perfectly trained pokemon might try to eat you, if you can somehow scrape together the insane amount of money to afford it," Mei says. "Haven't you ever been in the real world before?"

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"No. I appeared fully grown in a tree and now wander in search of basic facts."

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Kotori giggles. 

"There are a lot of people in cities who never really see pokemon," Isao says.

"The pilgrimage is supposed to fix that, but not everyone takes it as seriously as they should."

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"And you're talking it so seriously."

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"We will!" Isao says earnestly, "but we have to be smart about it. We have to be stronger before go off into the wilderness. They say that's the most common cause of death on a pilgrimage."

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"Do a lot of people die?"

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"Nah. Some people do, but its mostly weeding out the idiots," Kotori says.

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"You must be very worried," the Master says.

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"About how many?"

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"Twenty, thirty percent. Depends on the year."

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"That's really a lot."

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