Every hallway, every level I descended looked almost exactly the same, so it was a surprise when not only did I notice that the cave was shrinking but that there was light at the end of the hallway, and it was natural light.
Shelly stopped using Flash and I approached the doorway cautiously from which I could feel a breeze coming through, and some bird tunes with it.
I stepped through the threshold and entered a wide chamber with an extremely high ceiling. The cave funneled up into a peak, an opening from where the sunlight entered and reflected on each and every surface, filling the cave with bright light.
I could see some figures occasionally crossing the light, blocking it with their wings, and though I couldn’t tell exactly what they were, their songs echoed throughout the cave, from top to bottom.
Right in the center of room, there stood a man, bathed in light, searching for something through the dirt on the floor.
He was so focused on his task, so consumed by it, that he only noticed my presence when I was pratically next to him.
I called out to him as softly as I could, trying not to startle him. The man answered me, asking about what had brought me there, without losing his focus. I took the opportunity and introduced myself, politely asking for the man’s name.
He called himself Steve and I reached for the letter in my backpack. The man did not turn his head, but did extend his hand towards me, asking if I was the one with the letter.
And with a handshake, my task was done, the letter delivered.
Steve opened the letter and removed several small disks from the inside, they were TMs, according to him, they were all same copies of the same one, a move he himself helped create, Steel Wing.
He thanked me for my troubles, that he was sorry if this task had inconvenienced me in any way but that if I had been picked for this journey, it meant I could face the dangers it presented me and that I was up to the challenge.
One of the disks was presented to me as a reward for my efforts, he then touched his pokénav to mine, exchanging phone numbers. All this without stopping the intense scan he was doing of the floor.
I had to ask about what he was doing, to what he offered a simple answer, that he was a collector of stones and that he was looking for a new specimen.
He bid me farewell and that he hoped to see me at the pokémon league one day.
That bit of information caught me by surprise but it felt good to have someone encouraging me.