Long Road to Ruin (M)
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January 4th, 2013 (3:04 PM). Edited January 19th, 2014 by Rissa_Napier23.
The Lass Class Trainer
(AN: I was going to make this longer, and split it back to Professor Willow's PoV before the end of the chapter, then remembered that that's usually frowned upon. Here's Part 2!)
Lily stood on the deck of the SS Anne, the sea air blowing her already messy lavender pigtails all over the place. They were nearing Typhoon Bay, and while the ten year old wouldn't admit to it, she was very nervous. She'd sat inside her cabin for the whole trip, caring for the egg that she had found near her home in Hoenn. Its nest had been attacked by some Taillow, and Lily scrambled for the only unbroken egg she could see. In the lights of these circumstances, her mother had decided she'd be better off moving to Eiko with her aunt.
Now, it wasn't that Lily disagreed with her mother, but she did believe this whole situation was terribly unfair. She had friends in Petalburg and Rustboro, and she had to leave them without even saying goodbye. That fact alone tore a hole in the young girl's heart. Maybe she could call them from her aunt's house and explain why she'd missed going to Sarah's house that week.
"Right, guys. I've been shipped halfway across the Earth," Lily chimed to herself.
A female Ralts poked her head out of Lily's jacket, taking in the sights of the water Pokemon flying and swimming in the ocean below. This was the product of the egg that Lily had saved on her way home from school a couple of months before. The egg had hatched on the boat, and Lily couldn't have been more pleased. She loved a challenge, and this young psychic type would certainly pose a formidable one.
The Ralts tucked back into Lily's jacket, and she peered down at it. "Maybe we should put you in your Pokeball, hmm?"
It was a funny thing for Lily to ask, simply because she had never actually made the Pokemon stay in its Pokeball. After it first hatched, she felt like it was none of her business whether or not the Pokemon stayed in the capsule, and figured that maybe she could get the Ralts to like her more if she spent more time with it. Wasn't that something Professor Oak had said on that radio show? Be nice to Pokemon, and spend time with them, and they'll be nice to you? Yes, something like that, she supposed.
An older gentleman, who had been watching Lily for some time now, approached her, examining her intently. It seemed he had noticed she had a rather new Pokemon with her. Ralts poked Lily's arm from inside of the jacket, warning her of the incoming of the stranger. Lily twisted her neck to see the man approaching her, and an ominous feeling washed over her.
"Hello, little one. I don't recall seeing you earlier," he said, tipping his hat.
The girl looked up at him and cocked an eyebrow. She was, and for good reason, wary of strangers. Her mother made sure to drill that into her before putting her on the boat. It seemed her mother knew everything she had ever done wrong, and would completely rip the girl open the first chance she got. Well, maybe she could ignore her mother's advice, just this once.
"I've been in my cabin the whole time, sir," Lily said, pulling the Ralts close to her. "Haven't really had a reason to leave it."
"Is that so?" the man asked. He quirked an eyebrow and removed his hat before continuing, revealing a shock of greying-purple hair. "I'd assumed all young trainers would be battling on the way to a different region."
"Well, actually, sir, I'm not a trainer. And besides that, Ralts doesn't know any offensive moves yet..."
A chuckle escaped the man. "You're not? What a shame. I'm sure you could do wonderful things as one."
Lily was about to respond when the man swept away, his navy-blue trenchcoat trailing behind him. She watched as he nodded at a couple of people who looked at her, then followed him. 'How curious,' she thought. 'He must be a bigshot trainer or something!'
The only problem with that theory was she didn't recognize the man. While he seemed terribly familiar, Lily couldn't put her finger on it.
"Only one way to find out, Ralts."
Lily pulled the Pokemon back into its Pokeball and ran after the purple haired man. The door he had gone through was unlocked, luckily for the girl. She pushed the heavy steel door open, and revealed the long hallway to the first class cabins. At the farthest end, the man stood, unmoving. He was talking with the two figures, who kept replying "Yes, Sir!" and "No, Sir!" before heading back down the hallway in Lily's direction.
The girl did her best not to look nervous as the man and woman walked past her to the door. They only shot a slight glance at her, then continued on their way. Lily wasn't sure if she should be suspicious of that or not, but she continued on her way as well.
The end of the hallway came too quickly for Lily's liking. The temperature kept dropping steadily until she came across the last room on the right. This was where she'd seen the man enter. A pleasant warmth emanated through the door, and the sound of an Arcanine's bark hit Lily's eardrums. This caused her to stumble back, half from the loud noise, half from surprise. She had never seen anyone other than a policeman with a Growlithe, let alone an Arcanine. Wonder and amazment flooded the girl's mind as the door was pushed open and the Arcanine held back by the same man from earlier.
"What a surprise. Why did I have a feeling you would follow me?"
Lily shrugged softly, and the man stepped aside to let her into the cabin. The Arcanine let out a soft whimper, and went to curl up in a corner.
"Well, come in, child. I can't in good conscience leave you out here by yourself."
The cabin had a warm glow emanating from the corner where the Arcanine slept. Lily had sat herself on the bed, and the man, whose name was revealed to be Maxwell, sat in an armchair, reclining backwards. His trench coat was laid across the bed, and he was puffing on a cigarette. They had started talking almost two hours ago, and despite being extremely hungry and tired, Lily just couldn't stop asking questions. To her, it seemed like this man may very well have known everything and she just wanted to know more.
"Mister Maxwell, why do some trainers only have one type of Pokemon, then?" Lily asked.
She truly was curious about why certain trainers acted like that. In school she'd learned that having a multitude of types could very easily overwhelm any opponent a trainer might face, but that most gym leaders often only used one type. The thought of only using one type where they could possibly all be disadvantaged confounded her. Why would someone put themselves, purposefully or not, at a possible disadvantage? It just plain didn't make sense!
"Well, dear, the answer to your question is simple. My mentor used all ground-type Pokemon, and was rather fond of having a pet Pokemon as well. As you can see, Rex is curled up in that corner, however I am most skilled with using Psychic-types. My team often contains an Alakazam, a Hypno, a Wobbuffet, and an Espeon. Regardless of what other Pokemon I have in my party, Rex will always have a place. You could say, though, that the matter is of personal preference or nature, but I say it's simply because certain Pokemon gravitate to certain people. They're far from stupid creatures you know, Lily. That isn't to say, however, that they can't and won't be taken advantage of. Even the strongest and smartest Pokemon may very well be confused and tricked. Even Alakazam, with their amazingly high IQ--"
As Maxwell droned on, the girl's gaze floated to the window. As much as she wanted to know the full answer, the sight of Typhoon City from so close was almost literally breathtaking. It had to be bigger than even Lilycove! There was the World Contest Hall, and the Global Trade Station, and a department store. What a beautiful town. Lily was so enraptured that she continued staring until Maxwell snapped his fingers close to her face.
"Dear, I do believe you were off somewhere else for a moment," he said, taking a lazy drag from his cigarette. "If you ask a question, I'd appreciate you paying attention to the answer. It's common courtesy, you know."
"Oh, I apologize, Mister Maxwell! Typhoon City is just so close, and my aunt will be waiting for me there. I might ask her to officialize my Trainer's card, and to give me a PokeDex..."
Maxwell's eyes lit up like a Charmander's tail. "Ah yes, Professor Willow. So, it seems I've swayed you, hmm?"
"Oh, yes sir!" the girl nodded fervently. "I think Ralts and I would make a great team, if we tried really, really hard!"
"Wonderful, Child. Wonderful. I do hope you'll find it to be an enlightening experience!"
Slowly, Lily pulled Ralts's red and white orb out of her pocket, staring at it intently. Was she truly sure that she and this unruly and unsocial Pokemon could make a good team? Would they really be able to win? It was said that the gyms and the Elite Four of Eiko were the most difficult and organized of all the known regions. Doubt floated over her, and her eyes flickered over to Rex, the large Arcanine still sleeping in the corner, his chin rested on his paws.
"How did you and Rex get to be such good friends?" Lily asked. "How did you get him to trust you and love you?"
"That's a completely different story all together," he responded, checking his watch. "And I don't believe we have time for that story today. The boat is about to dock. Go back to your cabin and get your bag; I'm sure your aunt would hate to be left waiting!"
"Thank you, Mister Maxwell," Lily sighed. "I'm glad we got to talk."
"As am I, Child. I love imparting my wisdom onto children. Now you had better get going!"
With an upset look on her face, Lily stood, left the room, and proceeded back down the hallway.
How ridiculous. There had to be plenty of time to hear that story! Maybe Lily was being ever so slightly immature about the whole situation, but she hated feeling like something was being hidden from her, whether it was as small as a crumb, or as large as a lie.
Ralts was let out of its Pokeball, and did its best to keep pace with Lily. The Pokemon let out tiny little cries as it kept tripping on the slightly uneven tiles, and eventually the wood of the deck. Even though Lily was in a hurry, and determined, she stopped and turned around to help the small creature. This time though, it had refused to get back up.
"Should I carry you, Ralts?"
It shook its head but held out one of its hands. Lily suddenly understood, and softly held its white stubby hand as Ralts pulled itself up. It coughed for dramatic effect, and looked upwards at its trainer with a small smile, almost as if it was saying thank you.
"I'll slow down, okay? I'm sorry."
The Ralts nodded, and Lily smiled. Maybe they could be a good team after all.
One day I'll have something interesting to put here.
And you guys should check out my Journey fic, Long Road to Ruin!
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