At this point, it was difficult to tell which one was worse.
“Swerve down.” He commanded, ducking in closer to the Honchkrow. Honchkrow nodded, and took a dive down into a cloud. However, Honchkrow soon regretted attempting to do that.
When they soared back out, both rider and mount were shivering and Honchkrow’s wings had a little bit of frost on them. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Swellow kid had quite obviously seen him.
“Hey!” The kid said, her eyes widened. “You’re that gu-“
“No, I’m not.” Cyrus cut in. Honchkrow stopped in front of the Swellow kid for a second, and then resumed his previous speed.
“No way...” The girl muttered. “Duskwing, turn around and use Peck on that Honchkrow!”
“What?!?” Honchkrow squawked. Cyrus clenched his teeth. If this kid was going to go on the offensive, he would be forced to do the same.
Squawking angrily, the Swellow started making a beeline for Honchkrow, who took a nosedive.
“Night Slash.” Cyrus muttered softly to his mount, doing his best not to open his mouth for too long.
Making a quick midair loop, Honchkrow spun around and concentrated all of the dark energy he could muster into his right wing.
“Okay...” He muttered as the dark energy began to make the wing glow, “Swellow! Taste my Night Slash!” With that, he flew right past the Swellow, jutting out the wing practically dripping with dark energy to strike the giant blue bird on the stomach.
Swellow emitted a loud screech, and wavered for a bit to wrap a wing around his injured stomach (when he began to lose altitude, however, his opinion changed). Regaining control only by flapping its wings quickly, nearly toppling its rider, the Swellow swung its wing in a broad arc. “Air Slash!” The Swellow screeched loudly.
Honchkrow flapped frantically to keep the thermals under its wings under control. “Whoa, now! Don’t get too cocky!” It threatened weakly, beginning to get worried.
Looping back around again, Honchkrow charged a Dark Pulse. It stopped moving completely, only beating its wings, after the appropriate amount of malevolent thoughts had been brought out of its equally malevolent head. Honchkrow was panting by now; it’s hard enough just to carry a rider through the air, but now he had to waste valuable energy beating this thing out of the sky?
Honchkrow brought himself to a halt again, and he opened his eyes wide to glare at the Swellow. The solid thoughts were soon extracted from Honchkrow’s mind and were sent soaring towards the Swellow, who tried to fight them off to no avail.
“That’s why you should never start a midair battle.” Cyrus instructed calmly. “If your Pokemon faints, then you go plummeting towards the ground...” He watched as the two figures dropped like stones, screaming all the while. “Like so.” Cyrus retrieved from his pocket a Max Potion, and flung it down after them in hopes of the girl catching and using it.
“Well, that was fun.” Caro said sarcastically. “We didn’t even get to do anything!”
“Be satisfied that she didn’t attack you. If you had lost, which you probably would have, you would be plummeting to the ground instead, forcing Kris or myself to rescue you.” Cyrus said over his shoulder. Rolling his eyes, Caro flew off in pursuit, Kris right behind.
“Hmph!” The boy grunted.
“Let’s land here.” Honchkrow suggested. “If we get into some clearing in that forest, then there’s a lesser chance of someone recognizing us than in a Pokemon Landing Area.”
Without waiting for a response, the Honchkrow went into a level descent. While Caro and Kris instructed their bat Pokemon to follow Honchkrow’s lead. Cyrus hopped off when they were a few feet from the ground, and Honchkrow landed smoothly soon afterward. The other two had a bit more trouble, but did it.
“Honchkrow.” Cyrus turned to the bird Pokemon now preening itself, spreading the natural oil over its skin to keep the feathers in shape after his battle. “You are aware that you have just landed us near Jubilife City, one of the busiest cities in Sinnoh?”
Honchkrow looked up for a second, analyzing what he had said, and groaned dramatically. “Aw, crud! Listen. I’m sorry about this, and I-“ Honchkrow earned itself a bone-chilling glare, and shut its beak immediately.
“Well.” Cyrus turned towards the south, the location of Jubilife City, and ultimately, Lake Verity. “As Honchkrow has lead us to such an... inconvenient destination, I suppose we will just need to keep moving on foot... unless you have any objections.” Cyrus turned back to Honchkrow, who shook his head hastily.
“No. Nope! Not me! I’m perfectly fine with tha-“ Honchkrow caught himself and stopped abruptly.
“No, sir. No objections.” He squeaked. Cyrus returned Honchkrow silently. Caro and Kris eventually did the same, after much confusion and shaking/prodding/rattling/yelling at Ultra Balls.
“That was fun.” Caro muttered.
“People know you again, right?” Kris turned to the older man, a bemused look on her face.
“I can only assume so. The city limits are where I leave you. Keep going straight down, until you reach the southernmost exit. Once you do, wait a few feet into the forest. Around dusk, I will find you again.” With that, he began to disappear into the trees, Caro and Kris trying to keep up behind him.
It was a silent trek to the city of Jubilife.
“Sort of stinks how he has to lurk around back in the woods, just because of something that happened, like, ten years ago...” Caro turned around to glance back at the entrance to the city, where they had been standing just a few minutes ago. Kris followed his gaze, and put her hands in the pockets of her white pants. “I guess he asked for it. Nobody forced him to do all that.”
“Yeah...” Caro muttered. “But we’d better get going. It’s nearly dusk right about now, and Helio might be expecting us.” Nodding, Kris turned to face the front too.
“Mhm.” They continued on, observing the city sights and dodging clowns insisting they answer simple questions.
It was getting progressively darker, and Caro and Kris had nearly made it out of thehuge metropolis (which, honestly, scared Kris out of her wits). Of course, there was one more thing in this city who wanted to smell- er, see them...
An excited, high-pitched squeak jarred Caro and Kris out of their thoughts. A few seconds after they stopped and whipped their heads around, the clattering of sharp claws scrabbling around on stone could be heard. A few seconds after that, a purple-and-white blur skidded around out of a side alley, and dashed towards the two teenagers. They barely had time to analyze that something was moving before it had skidded to a halt in front of them.
“I don’t believe it!” The shape chirped. “I don’t, I don’t, I don’t! It’s too good! I got him! I got him! Eeheehee! Listen up, Magnezone! I got hi- oh.”
Upon closer inspection, the shape was a large, four-legged thing with purple fur and a giant, poofy tail positioned in such a way that it stopped right above the creature’s head, which was also purple. It had a large muzzle, and small purple ears poked out from under the tail. Small, squinted eyes turned from happiness to disappointment to embarrassment, in the span of a few moments.
“I...don’t get it...” He muttered. Shaking his head wildly, the Skuntank said, “I must have mixed up his scent. It’s been a while since I saw him...”
“Saw who?” Kris asked confusedly. The Skuntank jumped.
“What...? Uhh... Tank! Skun-tank! Tanktanktank!” Both could feel an anime sweatdrop on their heads. It felt strange, like it was just floating next to them and dampening their hair.
“Why… are you saying your name?” Caro scrunched his eyebrows in confusion.
“What’s attracted you this time, Skuntank?” A metallic whirr that could almost be a sigh sounded from the alley that Skuntank had emerged from. The two absolutely dumbfounded kids turned to the origin of the noise.
A Magnezone hovered a few feet above the ground. It was a large, oval-shaped metal Pokémon, almost like a UFO, with two black magnets jutting out at the front, their tips red and blue. The magnets were attached to two circular things on each side of the main body. Each circular port looked like a Magnemite’s eye, but they stared straight ahead. A single red eye stared unblinkingly at them, and some huge screws near the back rotated slightly.
“I thought I found him... but I got these two humans instead.” Skuntank shrugged back to his metallic counterpart. But his tone dropped to a whisper and he looked around before continuing, “but I think they can understand what we’re saying.”
“What?” The Magnezone protested loudly. “That’s impossible.” Caro and Kris shared a quick glance. The UFO-shaped Pokemon suddenly pointed one magnet at Caro, who jumped visibly.
“You! What does Pikachu evolve into? And how?” The Magnezone’s glare intensified as the singular eye in the center of its mechanical body began to glow red.
Caro blinked for a second, and then responded.
“P-pikachu evolves into Raichu, with a Thunderstone...” The steel Pokemon lowered its magnet slowly, staring at Caro.
“Who... are you...?” He muttered.
“And just why should we tell you?” Kris glared at the two Pokemon, hands folded over her chest.
“All right, fine, Miss Defensive.” The Magnezone huffed. “Why are you here and where are you going?”
“You sure ask a lot of questions...” Caro pointed out.
“Shut up!” the Pokémon snapped in response.
“Fine, fine. We’ll tell you a little bit.” Kris grumbled. She didn’t like this street Pokémon at all.