The Vortex Caves had been a dead end, as there was no sight of the new Pokémon. Then there were the Nebula guys who were definitely up to no good and now there were even more. Or maybe they really weren't with Nebula. If they weren't though, did that mean they were with some other evil team? At least the disappearing rumours had been fake, Celeste thought optimistically.
''If you're not with Team Nebula, than what's with the uniform?'' Richard asked them. That was exactly what had been bugging Celeste. Both strangers were wearing an uniform, though they were different from the ones Team Nebula had worn. They could be special members or something though, so Celeste wasn't going to let her guard down anytime soon.
''We're from Team Ethereal,'' the guy explained. He still had his hands up to show that they meant no harm. ''We protect Pokémon. We're nice.''
Richard looked at Celeste. Being new in the region, he probably hadn't heard of Ethereal.
''I've never heard of them.''
''I have, though I've never seen them in action. If what he's saying is true...''
''It is!'' they guy sounded a bit offended that she didn't believe him immediately.
''Then we can trust them.''
The guy let down his hands and the girl sighed in relief.
''Thank Arceus! I'm Myra, this is Zack.''
Celeste and Richard introduced themselves, along with their Pokémon, who would have been offended had they been forgotten.
Zack and Myra released their Pokémon. It turned out that Myra had a Growlithe as well. Tim seemed thrilled about this and he immediately ran to the other Growlithe to play. The Pokémon that Zack released was new to both Celeste and Richard, who looked like he was about to burst from excitement at seeing another new Pokémon that day.
Celeste reached for her Pokédex.
''Phantump. According to old tales, these Pokémon are stumps possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest.''
All four of them stared at the Pokémon in silence. Possessed by the spirits of children who died while lost in the forest. Well, Celeste thought grimly, that's not disturbing at all.
''You had no idea?'' Myra asked Zack. He shook his head.
''Poor thing, though. And imagine what it's parents are going through, not knowing what happened to their child.''
''This region sure is fascinating,'' Richard exclaimed. ''So many creepy Pokémon!''
''Hey, Phantump isn't creepy,'' Zack patted his Pokémon's head. ''Though I do wonder what kind of creepy Pokémon you've encountered?''
Celeste told the two newcomers about her encounter with Gourgeist. The two shuddered.
''That's creepy alright.'' Myra muttered.
''What are you two doing in these Caves anyway?'' Celeste wondered out loud. ''Investigating the rumours about people disappearing? Team Nebula made those up to find the...Uh... What was it called again, the Something Orb.
Richard looked at her with amusement.
''The Corona Orb.''
Zack looked at them in alarm.
''I have no idea what that is, but no doubt they need that for their evil plans.''
The rest of them nodded in agreement. Evil teams all around the worlds usually needed something like an orb to put their plan into action.
''That's not why we're here though,'' Myra explained. ''We're here to find the new Pokémon and protect it from people who want to catch it.''
Richard looked uncomfortable at those words. For some reason Celeste didn't know, he wanted to catch every Pokémon in the world, including this new Pokémon of course. She herself was just curious to see what this Pokémon looked like, but she wasn't sure how their new friends would feel about Richard wanting to catch it.
''We're also looking for it, actually,'' she admitted. ''But out of curiosity.''
Zack and Myra nodded.
''That's good then. How about we search for it together? No doubt we could help each other. I suppose none of us wants something bad to happen to it.'' Zack suggested.
Myra nodded enthusiastically.
''That's a great idea!''
Celeste and Richard agreed, though Celeste could sense that Richard didn't really want to travel with the Ethereal members.