After their journey to the Whirl Islands, Jonathan and Beatrice took a few days in Olivine City to decompress. They spent some time with Jasmine at her Pokémon Gym and spent some time on the beach. The storm had dispersed and the water was now calm and crystal clear. It felt nice for the both of them to just enjoy some time together without worrying about some responsibility. It seemed like they were constantly going from town to town, gym to gym, badge to badge. But now they had a small moment of rest.
Well not really. Even though they had successfully found Raikou, battled against Lugia, and escaped the Whirl Islands in one piece, there was still one more legendary beast out there that needed to be rescued. Jonathan and Beatrice knew that their mini-vacation was going to come to an end at any moment and they would have to go out and find Entei.
“Jonathan, look,” Beatrice pointed toward Jonathan’s bag. “I think your Pokégear is ringing.”
Jonathan looked over and saw the small communication device flashing and buzzing.
“Oh right,” Jonathan said as he quickly brought it up to his ear. “Hello?”
“Hello? Jonathan? This is Morty.”
“It’s Morty,” Jonathan whispered to Beatrice and she gave a thumbs up.
“I just checked in with Jasmine. It seems like you were successful in rescuing Raikou,” Morty continued.
“Yeah. Yeah we did,” Jonathan replied.
“Great! Very happy to hear that! Now all you have to do is find and rescue Entei.”
“Do you have any updates on where we might find them?” Jonathan asked.
“Not exactly. However there may be something else strange going on. We don’t know if it’s related but it might be a good idea to check it out anyway, just in case,” Morty said.
“Yeah sure. We can check it out. What sort of strange thing?” Jonathan asked.
“I’m honestly not sure. I’ve heard from Falkner that there is some sort of archaeological dig happening at The Ruins of Alph. And apparently there have been strange sightings there,” Morty explained. “Again I don’t know if it’s connected or not, but if you are feeling up for it.”
“Yeah, yeah. We can go take a look,” Jonathan said. “Where exactly is this Ruins of Alph? Never heard of them.”
“They are these old ruins not too far from Violet City, where Falkner has his Gym. From Olivine Citythere is actually a bit of a secret trail that cuts through the deep woods around Olivine. You should be able to take it all the way to Route 36. From there you’ll head south and you should find The Ruins of Alph.”
“A secret shortcut through the woods. Sounds fun.”
“Ask Jasmine. She’ll know where it is. And please let me know what you find. If it is Entei and you rescue it, you’ll make everyone, including Ho-Oh very happy.”
“Of course. Ok we’ll ask Jasmine and head there as soon as possible,” Jonathan said.
“Alright, good luck!” Mory said, ending the conversation.
“So new mission?” Beatrice asked.
“Yeah, time to go to the Ruins of Alph.” Jonathan said.
After a quick conversation with Jasmine, she showed them the shortcut through the woods to Route 36. Jonathan and Beatrice said their goodbyes and then they were on the road again. This time it was a narrow path through the woods and up and down hills. There’s a reason why most trainers would go around these woods and through Ecruteak City, but time could be essential. If Entei was really being held at the Ruins of Alph, then Jonathan and Beatrice needed to get there sooner rather than later.
Of course the journey did take several days of travel, but this path did cut down on their journey by a ton. Eventually they emerged on Route 36 not too far from the park where the Bug Catching Contest was held. Then it was just a short journey to the Ruins of Alph.
Once Jonathan and Beatrice arrived it was about mid-day and they noticed several large stone structures built into the hills. Teams of researchers and scientists stood around talking to one another.
“Uh, any idea who we are supposed to talk to?” Beatrice asked.
“Not really,” Jonathan said, looking around. “Wait, there’s Falkner.”
Among the different scientists and archaeologists, stood a Blue-Haired Teenager wearing a traditional Johto outfit. He was in mid conversation, but seemed to see Jonathan and Beatrice out of the corner of his eye. He waved them over.
“Jonathan, Beatrice, happy to see you both,” Falkner said.
“Happy to see you too,” JOnathan said. “Thanks again for your help in Mahogany Town.”
“No worries. I’m glad I was able to help you get to Goldenrod to take out Team Rocket. Good riddance to those Pokémon thieves,” Falkner said.
“Are you out here investigating the ruins?” Beatrice asked.
“Not exactly. I’ve been spending my time training at the Violet City Gym. However I heard that there were some strange happenings here. That’s when I called Morty thinking it might be Ghost-Type Pokémon playing tricks on the researchers here. However I haven’t seen anything that would indicate it’s Ghost Pokémon.”
“Is it being caused by Pokémon at all?” Jonathan asked.
“Not sure. It’s hard to tell. Generally speaking there have been strange whispers. Flashes of dim light. Some people are even claiming that they see floating letters.”
“Letters?” Beatrice asked.
“Yeah, let me show you. Come on,” Falkner said as he led the two of them toward the large, central ruin.
“This is where most of the archaeologists have been working. These ruins were built thousands of years ago by a group of people who had a rich connection to the land and the Pokémon that lived here. Eventually they left the area for unknown reasons, but they left behind these ruins. Each of them have walls with carved symbols on them that kind of resemble letters. There are also ancient puzzles that the scientists have been working on. It’s here where strange things have apparently been happening.”
“Wow this place is cool,” Beatrice said, studying the walls.
“But you haven’t seen anything or heard anything yourself?” Jonathan asked.
Falkner shook his head.
“No I haven’t. But according to all the scientists out there, strange occurrences have been happening more and more. Maybe, since you both are here, we’ll see one and we can figure out what is happening.”
“You are staying here to help us?” Jonathan said.
“Honestly I’m not that big into the whole mystery thing or ancient ruins, but I can only spend so much time training my Pokémon. This is new and I guess it could be exciting,” Falkner said.
“Has anyone tried solving the puzzles?” Beatrice asked.
“I’m not sure. I think their focus has been on the walls of the ruins. Why?”
“Well maybe the key to all of this is the puzzle. Maybe if we solve it, we can solve what is going on here at the ruins?”
“And maybe we can figure out if it’s connected to Entei,” Jonathan added.
“Oh right. You both met Ho-Oh and got a mission to do,” Falkner said. “Meeting the legendary, rainbow bird would be a dream come true for a Flying-Type Gym Leader like me. I wish I had that chance.”
“Well maybe if this thing is connected to Entei and you help rescue it, maybe Ho-Oh will show up and thank you for your help,” Jonathan said.
“That’s a very kind sentiment,” Falkner said.
“I’m going to go get started on this puzzle,” Beatrice said.
“I’ll help,” Jonathan rushed over to her.
“I’ll be right back. I want to finish talking to the scientists and see if they know anything else about this place or what’s going on. Don’t have too much fun without me,” Falkler said.
“We won’t,” Jonathan said with a laugh.
Beatrice and Jonathan entered into the ancient stone structure. Immediately they noticed that the walls were covered in symbols and hieroglyphics which looked like a mix between letters and living things.
“It’s almost like they are ancient Pokémon, but they form letters,” Beatrice said.
“They don’t spell anything,” Jonathan said. “It’s just nonsense.”
“What about that? That must be the puzzle that Falker was talking about,” Beatrice said.
Near the back of the stone structure was a raised stone dias which resemble something like an altar. It was also marked with these symbols and sitting on top of it was a group of stone tablets with lines chiseled into them.
Jonathan picked one up and examined it.
“What are these? They don’t look like the same symbols on the walls,” Jonathan noted.
Beatrice looked at the tablets and raised two of them. Her eyes darted between each one.
“I think that this is literally a puzzle. Not like something to solve, but an image made up of pieces. These tablets must be the pieces that make up the image,” Beatrice said.
“Ok so what’s the image?” Jonathan asked.
“I’m not sure,” Beatrice siad. “But maybe if we lay them all out, we can determine what it’s supposed to be.”
“Alright,” Jonathan nodded as he started to lay out the stone tablets so all of them were visible at the same time.
“Sixteen different puzzle pieces,” Beatrice noted. “ And now we just need to figure out what order they go in.”
“Look, this one kind of looks like a beak,” Jonathan said, pointing at a piece. “And this one looks like a bit of a wing.”
“You don’t think…” Beatrice’s words trailed off.
“We were sent here by a legendary bird. That can’t be a coincidence. I think this is supposed to be some sort of ancient depiction of Ho-Oh,” Jonathan said.
“In that case, move that beak piece to the middle. The wing is an edge piece,” Beatrice said. “And I think this is supposed to be Ho-Oh’s eye.”
Both Jonathan and Beatrice worked quickly shuffling the stone tablets and putting them into place. One after the other they seemed to fit into place on top of the stone altar. After a couple of minutes they had assembled the puzzle pieces into a picture of the legendary rainbow Pokémon, Ho-Oh.
“We did it, Bea, we did it!” Jonathan cheered.
“Good job,” Beatrice said. “That wasn’t too bad.”
The couple shared only a second of celebration before a new sense came over them. The pieces of Ho-Oh sank into the stone altar and then they began to glow with a dim light. The light then spread as the hieroglyphics on the altar began to glow as well. More and more symbols on the walls began to glow until the whole room had a faint glow.
“What now?” Beatrice asked.
But before Jonathan could answer, they both felt the stone beneath their feet give out as the floor opened up below them. They quickly fell through the floor and the stone moved back into place. As fast the glowing started, the glowing stopped and the room dimmed to its normal state.
“How’s the puzzle coming along?” Falkner asked as he walked into the ancient ruins, but no one was inside. “Uh, guys?”
All photos of Pokemon and related content used were taken from Bulbapedia