Picking up the failed Pokeball, Rick sighed, disappointed that he hasn't been having the best luck with what he wanted to capture, but greatful all the same that he at least had something that he could use. Figuring that he was going to need to rest up, Rick pulled out Deerling's Pokeball and returned it, putting it away for safe keeping. He looked off to the distance, estimating a good hour walk down the beech before he could make it to the woods. With the long distance awaiting and the depression of the sun, Rick took a turn-around and made his way over to Petalburg again. The long walk would take forever to make in the night and he didn't feel comfortable having a Lava slug walking in front of him in a dense woodland area.
Making his way quickly through the town, Rick watched as shops began to close and street lights flickered on. It was getting to be dark and no body seemed to want to be out late tonight. Rick made his way through the streets until he ended up at the door to the Pokemon center, ready to pack it in for the day. That is, until a punk slammed the door open, pinning Rick between it and the wall behind him. This was going to be irritable, but he was willing to shrug it off so that he could finally get some sleep. That is, until the punk saw him and grabbed him by the arm, his eyes were very angry and he looked like he was ready to start a fight.
And it turned out, Rick should take his intuition and drown it in the waters of Route 104 because the punk was now challenging him to a battle since according to some weird twist of ancient traditions, if you get caught in the path of an angry punk, you end up having to fight him to defend your pride. Looking inside of the open door, he saw a punk girl, hair pink and pulled in a mohawk and a chain hanging from her nose to her ear. Rick realized that these two must have been an item before she broke it off with him and sent him hurling towards him in a fit of rage. So Rick pulled out his own healthy Pokemon, Slugma, and prepared to do battle with the punk who wanted to prove his testosterone.
The punk pulled out his own Pokemon, a Wingull, and prepared to do battle with Rick and his Magma slug. the Punk started things off with a water gun, but Rick had predicted such an obvious move and had Slugma use Flame Charge to dodge it. He then had Slugma try to finish the charge at the bird, but thankfully it had a few braincells more than its master, as it took off to dodge Slugma. So to deal with the new height, Rick had Slugma use its incredibly hot body to melt its way through the earth and carve out a chunk of rock. Waiting for the perfect moment, Rick gave the signal and Slugma shot its back up, shooting the rock up at the enemy bird. As the bird began to fall, Slugma then poured Smog over it, poisoning it and knocking it out.
The punk gave a few swears and cries of anguish, which attracted the attention of the punk girl. They both turned their heads to see her giggling at the punk's failure despite having an obvious type advantage. Rick had to admit that he found this girl quite fetching if it weren't for the piercing, but he turned his attention back to the punk who had pulled out his second Pokeball. Releasing it, he revealed his secondary guy, a Surskit, which looked to be freshly caught with a weak move pool. Sadly, its low level did not neglect to prevent its still incredibly high speed, as it began to run circles around Slugma. They began to race around the street, which was pretty much black except for the lone street lamp and Slugma's own body light.
After a few Flame Charges, Slugma was finally able to keep up with the Surskit, but it was still unable to catch it. But Rick and Slugma's eyes still caught now and then and Rick was able to signal to Slugma to lead the Surskit to the hole they had previous dug during their fight with the Wingull. The Surskit had been having a lot of fun just running the track that it failed to listen to any of the punk's commands. Rick was right in guessing that it was a recently caught Pokemon and that the trainer didn't really have its trust or approval yet. So when the surskit fell into the whole, it didn't even expect the flame covered Slugma to leap out of the air and land in the hole, smothering the water/bug with his fire and magma.
Pulling out of the hole, the punk pulled his Surskit out and returned it. "THAT"S IT! I'm through with this. Prepare to face my trump card you punk!"
"You're the punk my friend, not me." Slugma looked ready to take on one more challenge, but only one more challenge. So it was good that the guy only had one Pokemon at his disposal, not another afterwards.
the punk released his third pokemon, a Snover. And with that, both the punk girl and Rick could do nothing but laugh at it all. The idiot punk had just sent a pokemon with both type weaknesses to Slugma's ONE type. It was like asking to be handed to loosing side of the bet. Rick told Slugma to use Ember, preparing to win this fight, but then the unexpected happened. "SNOVER! Use Rain Dance!" And the Snover began to do his little jig and rain began to fall from the black sky, putting out the fire in their Ember attack. All of their Fire attacks had been neutralized. But they still had an advantage. The Snover didn't know that many moves, which said that it was a low level Pokemon still. All it looked like it could do was Razor Leave and Powder Snow. Both of which weren't effective at all against Slugma's fiery body. The punk seemed to have enough though, as he ordered his Pokemon to use a Skull Bash. A pretty powerful move, had it actually hit. But as soon as the Snover got even the slightest bit close to him, Slugma poured the Smog on him, poisoning him and nocking him out in one move.
With his last Pokemon defeated, the Punk was depressed. So Rick decided to give him some pointers. "You did well in your last fight, for a beginner. Your Snover wasn't born with its famous Snow Warning Ability, so you used Rain Dance instead to provide protection against your guy's severe weakness to fire moves. But your skill stopped there. You tried to win a fight solely on type advantage in the first bit, and then you used a Pokemon you had just caught. None of your three Pokemon were of the proper level to fight, so it was like sending children to do battle with adults. Beaf up your team and try to get more moves on your team and you'll do much better. Do some schooling on what beats what and try to show what was your talent lies in." With his third and final victory done, Rick finally turned in for the night, docking his Pokemon in the center, and napped for the rest of the night.
The next day, Rick collected the rest of his Pokemon and saw a welcome party waiting for him outside. "Please don't tell me you guys are planning on fighting me are you?" They weren't. They were the punk from earlier and his gang. They told him that they would be training to get stronger until one day they finally defeat him. Rick gave them a smile and told them not to get in his way while he traveled. Heading out to route 104 to continue his quest.
As he made his way through the road alongside the beach, Rick stopped, realizing that he was being followed. Turning around, he saw the punk girl trying to find a place to hide in the open road. She looked different, her nose piercing was gone and her hair was now down and inside a hat. It was a fedora, which was cute in its own way. "What are you doing?" "I'm following you now." "Following?" "Yep, I'm a leach Trainer. I find capable trainers that are heading where I want to go and I study them as they fight. Once I get better than the trainer I'm following, I ditch them for a new trainer to follow" "Whatever you do, I suggest you don't get to close to me. I'm dealing with some dangerous forces right now." "Oh, I'm more than capable of protecting myself. I just want to study what you can do."
Leaving her to her own devices, Rick departed down the road, listening and answering any questions she had. Most of them revolved around his age and why he was taking his journey at such a late one. She seemed to find it funny that he went to school, and studied Pokemon instead of battled them. He dismissed her jests and came to a relaxed point when they were in the woods. Battling would soon commence within the forrest, which meant that the girl would shut up and watch him battle instead of ask him questions all the time.
As they walked through the woods, Rick decided that today would be best for training his Delibird. The little guy was getting tougher, but he was still too weak to be of any real use in the rest of the world. There were a bunch of Wurmples all over the forest, and every one of them wanted a piece of action with the little bird. Thankfully enough, the girl was not frightened by the worms, which saved him a lot of trouble as he walked through the forrest. Delibird didn't seem to min the girl and she seemed to love the little guy, cuddling with him whenever she got the chance. There were quite a few battles, with three of them happening all at once and none of them being a trouble. Delibird's Present attack was incredibly powerful, though there was the odd occasion of his attack healing all of the wounds previously inflicted instead of injuring them. After a significantly long walk, Rick sat down and they had lunch. Rick was prepared to bring out his own meal, but the girl instead pulled out a meal for them both.
"You don't have to do this." "If I'm going to be learning from you, I might as well pay in whatever way I can, and I'm much too young to do anything else." This was obviously wrong, as the girl looked older than he was, but he wasn't interested anyway. She poured him some soup and them handed him some sliced sandwiches with the CRUST cut off. She even had a bowl of pokemon food ready for Delibird. "My name is Carol, in case you were wondering." Rick apologized for not asking sooner, but she put it away. Carol, it seemed, was an eager Pokemon trainer, hoping to be the best, but she had been so pathetic during her past adventures as a preteen that she decided that she needed to learn from others before she could challenge the best. It looked like a sound argument, but he was still annoyed that he had to deal with her himself.
"Carol. I'm not some hotshot looking to be the very best. I'm on a research mission, trying to piece together whatever I can find about Team Gaia and these gemstones they have called Burst Hearts." He pulled out the gemstone and showed it to her, putting it back in his pocket before getting up. "Sooner or Later, Gaia is going to catch wind of my research and they are going to try and get rid of me. I can't have casualties in this." "Hey, I'm not weak anymore. I've trained under a lot of pretty strong guys. And if what you're saying is true, then you are going to need a body guard. Someone to protect you from these guys."
Rick let her words go and just let her follow like before. Soon though, Rick's face paled. "We've been waisting our time." "What do you mean?" "It'll take us at least 10 hours for a normal trainer to get from Petalburg to Rustboro. We left the center at 7 am. We've had at least 5 fights now and it is noon now. We've been on the road for five hours now and we aren't even half way there. We need to.. OOPH" Rck fell over, tripping on a Shroomish that was underneath him. "How cute, the little guy likes you." Sure enough, the Mushroom pokemon was now cuddling with his leg.
"Strange, Shroomish are pretty defensive Pokemon. They aren't one to just come willingly to humans." Then Delibird came crawling down him and began chatting with the shroomish. After a few exchanges in Poke-talk, how Rick wished they could crack the secret language, Delibird seemed to freak, and the Shroomish ran off, taking Delibird with it. Carol and Rick began to follow after then, wondering what they were going to find. Sadly, it wasn't a pleasant sight.
"Rick? How long has he been there?" "I'd say a few weeks? Maybe three. Poor soul must have been poisoned by a wild shroomish." "What makes you think it wasn't this guy?" "Look at the way it is treating the guy. This Shroomish was probably his. And remember when i fell over it? Shroomish have a tendency to spray poisonous spores when they are threatened. So even if it didn't through them out of shick, I had skin contact with it. This Shroomish has the Poison Heal ability, not the Effect Spore. It was a kind of evolution they picked up to keep themselves strong enough to handle their more well known varient. Poor little guy. He's been too accustomed to human existence. I don't know if he'll adjust back in time to be able to protect himself. Hopefully he'll be able to hide and feed on solar rays until he can protect himself." Turning to leave, he stopped when the Shroomish began to nudge his leg, gesturing to his master. "I'm sorry little guy. I can't save your master. He's dead." there was no doubting that, as his body had been eaten by Dustoxes and his blood drunk by Beautiflies. There was nothing for them to do. They didn't even have the equipment to give him a proper burial.
Carol started to cry, as did Delibird and the Shroomish. Unable to handle the sorrow around him, Rick pulled out a fresh Pokeball and placed it in front of the little guy. "Look. I may not be the same as your previous master, and this might be a hard time in your life, but I do promise that I won't be leaving you any time soon if you choose me. I may not look it, but I'm a very strong trainer." After that, Delibird stepped in to give his few words, giving a glorious recommendation of his mommy/father/trainer. Rick hoped that the shroomish would come with them, otherwise he wasn't sure what was to become of the little guy.