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Hi, mR here at another try for a fanfic. This recounts the adventure of Lawrence Herman, an eighteen-year old trainer. The events of this fanfic are heavily influenced by HGSS.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, nor the games, nor the creatures.
Prologue: I Entered the Mountain and Encountered a Gyarados
Before entering the infamous mountain, I let my Pokémon rest in their Pokeballs until I needed them, save my starter Dox whose thunderous walking is enough to deter any other weaker Pokémon from attacking. I took a deep breath and entered the mountain, fully geared and my Pokémon in tip-top shape. The air, like all of the insides of old caves, tasted stale and raw as if no fresh air has entered the area since the creation. I could hear several Pokémon screeches echoing throughout the whole area. I thought I could also see several Pokémon silhouettes scurrying about, although none of them braved up to approach us. I assumed that most of the Pokémon here are frightened of us because of Dox’ sheer size. As we trudged further inside the mountain, the light from the entrance of the cavern dimmed. Before I lose sight because of the darkness, I decided to send out my next Pokémon, Nox. I am risking my exposure to the stronger inhabitants of the mountain but I desperately needed the light provided by Nox to continue onwards. I continued walking with Nox in front of me, hoping that the light he is emitting will scare, and not attract, other Pokémon. Luckily, no Pokémon bothered us in the first part of the area. As we went further in, I noticed that the wild Pokémon were getting more and more daring. Instead of scurrying ahead of us, many of them watched our movements, still lurking in the shadows. I heard Dox growl uneasily.
“Dox, relax,” I crooned as I placed my hand on my starter’s body. Dox relaxed a bit, but I could feel that he is still a little tense. Nox, as usual, is impassive, simply continuing down the path made by many trainers who have walked upon this path. Nox is giving a soft glow in an approximately ten-foot radius circle around it. We were walking for what feels like two hours when we came across the “lake.” According to several accounts, the water form is home to several vicious Gyarados and the occasional Tentacruel. This is the furthest any trainer had ever traveled, as they usually black out in the middle of the lake. Well, only the legendary trainer had ever passed through the lake. However, I planned for this well, and I can consider myself no ordinary trainer. I recalled Dox; I would not tire him out by letting him fly or skim over the water. Instead, I called on my third Pokémon, Max. Seeing the water, he immediately jumped in. Of course, I do not like to ruin my travel clothes so I stripped down and changed to my swimwear. Max was playing with Nox, spitting out water at the latter. However, Nox simply ignored Max, and went higher. I jumped in after Max.
The first, and probably the only thing I noticed was the cold. It was freezing. I shivered as I swam my way to Max, who was still trying to hit Nox with his Water-type attacks. Being the youngest member of the team, Max is still a playful kid, always looking for attention from the older Pokémon like Nox. I grabbed hold of Max. “Max, let’s go. It’s freezing here,” I said. Max started to swim, slow at first, but picking up speed. There were several shadows swimming in front of us, although it is too deep for Nox’ light to give a proper illumination. Suddenly, a Gyarados erupted approximately fifty feet in front of us. I could see it clearly as Nox’ light goes all the way there. I immediately recalled Nox, shrouding the whole cavern in darkness again. Max stopped swimming and waited for my orders. I knew that the moment I move would cause some reaction from the wild Pokémon and I am afraid of what might happen. The Gyarados roared somewhere in front of us, although I have no way of telling whether it went near or ran away. I think that the problem most trainers faced when climbing the mountain is that they try to battle every wild Pokémon they encounter just to squeeze in some more training. Their Pokémon easily gets tired of the battles so, by the time they reach the lake, all their Pokémon are already fatigued and unprepared to face the wild Water-types. My plan is to avoid all battles if possible, saving my Pokémon’s energy until the end. I knew that my Pokémon are at the best that they could be, so it would be wiser if I run. So that is what I did. When I heard the slosh sound, signifying Gyarados’ diving into the water again, I ordered Max to circle around the area where we saw it. It might be in the depths again but I am taking no chances. An angry Gyarados will certainly tire my Pokémon out.
If my estimate was right, Max and I was swimming for almost fifty feet already when another Gyarados appeared. There was no way I could tell if it was the one before or a totally new one; there is only one thing I could conclude. It is angry. It roared and sent out a Hyper Beam. I screamed at Max.
“Swim!” Max swam faster, feeling Gyarados on a mad chase behind us. I spotted a bunch of rocks protruding from underwater somewhere in front of us. “Max, to the rocks and quickly!” I screamed urging my Pokémon to go faster. Another Gyarados emerged from underwater. This one I could tell is a new one; its scales were a deep-red in color. I had no time to appreciate the fact that I saw a shiny Gyarados as it sent out a Hydro Pump in our direction. Max managed to evade it by diving underwater, bringing me with him. I felt my lungs tighten but Max quickly beached into the rocks. I jumped from my Pokémon’s back. “Shoxx, out!” I threw another Pokeball and the fourth member of my team appeared. If I am going to battle, I need to utilize the type advantage. “Shoxx, Thunderbolt! Max, Focus Blast!” Long term attacks would hold the two Pokémon away from us, eliminating the risk of close-combat injuries, or my Pokémon being hit by a randomly thrown attack. I like to keep things under my control.
Both attacks hit the second Gyarados, simply because it is nearer. I heavily relied on Shoxx’ Thunderbolt to deal out the bulk of the damage as I knew that Max’ Focus Blast would not do much damage. It only serves as a distraction. The shiny Pokémon sent out another Hydro Pump but it went wide as it was hit by another barrage of attacks. “Keep it up!” I willed the shiny Pokémon to faint as the first Gyarados was slowly approaching. I could not deal with two Pokémon at once, especially if they are fully-grown and angry Gyarados. The first Gyarados sent out a Hyper Beam which hit the rocks behind us. Luckily, the shiny Gyarados fell as the first one entered our attacking distance. “Switch targets!” Max and Shoxx sent their attacks again but the Gyarados dove underwater. I knew immediately what I had to do. “Max, Surf!” Max entered the water again but, instead of swimming, dove underwater. A few moments of tense watching later, Max reappeared riding a huge wave. He managed to upturn this part of the lake upside down, and I could see the shiny Gyarados, more Gyarados, and other Pokémon being washed away by the attack. I let out a huge sigh of relief as Max swam back towards us. I started to forget how strong my Pokémon could actually get.
“Thank you, both of you.” I recalled Shoxx back, confident enough that Max’ show of power is enough safeguard for us from attacks like that. While the two Gyarados provided a disturbance to the lull provided by the mountain, I cannot deny that we still have a long way to go. Beyond the lake, I am basically wandering in the unmapped region of the huge mountain. I will be walking in the path only one trainer had trotted upon. Max cleared the lake without any more problems.
I let Dox and Nox out again once we landed on hard ground. I took a moment to change my clothes, not sparing any second as Dox, despite his bulk, could not probably intimidate all the monsters here. We resumed our previous travelling syntax; Nox is in the front, providing the light, while Dox and I bring up the rear. I could feel the increase in difficulty in walking as this is probably the place where the mountain starts to slope. I don’t need to worry about Gyarados anymore but I still need to look out for the other stronger monsters. As if on cue, I heard a roar echo.
“Dox, Nox. Come on. We need to get away from that,” I nudged my Pokémon onwards. From that point onwards, I plan to go upwards, find some opening leading outside, and see if one of my Pokémon could carry me all the way to the summit. There were no more accounts of travelling from that point. I need blind faith to lead me around, until I meet the legendary trainer. I shivered, in anticipation this time, at the thought of meeting him again.
While the mountain is not the ideal place to look for a diverse collection of Pokémon species, it is certainly home to the strongest groups of Pokémon. It is also home to the most dangerous ones. It is not only twice that we caught a glimpse of a hunting Crobat and I could swear that we saw a pair of wrestling Tyranitars. Thankfully, I need not to confront any of them as we always move away from them at first sight and they don’t seem to notice me. Dox was not giving out the scary aura I needed him to give out to repel wild Pokémon.
After a really steep climb on some rocks, we spotted an opening. A slight, but extremely cold, breeze wafted in. Excitedly, I ran out, followed by Dox. I recalled Nox, as there is no more need for light. What we saw first as we emerged from the mountain is a heavy blizzard, threatening to whip us into the sky. The snow was so thick that I immediately lost sight of whatever is in front of us. I was simply surprised as Dox roared. I whipped around and saw a Weavile clinging on its body. Dox sent out a huge Hurricane but all it did was send a flurry of snow around us. The Weavile disappeared into the snow. I knew Dox would be at a disadvantage in the battle, so I recalled him out. I considered calling out Nox, simply for the type-advantage but her movement might be hampered by the blizzard. I need something heavy enough for the weather and light enough to at least match Weavile. The last two of my Pokémon fit the bill. “Jaxx!” My fifth Pokémon appeared from the light. Suddenly, Weavile emerged from the snow with an Ice Punch but Jaxx grabbed hold of its arms and threw it back into the ground. “Brick Break!” Jaxx brought down its arms into the Weavile’s body but it leaped away from the attack. It rushed forward with another Ice Punch. Both Pokémon were locked in a punching battle. I winced as Weavile landed an attack on Jaxx but grinned as he also managed to land the fatal Brick Break. Weavile fell down, and did not get up again.
I let Jaxx out, as it seemed to be enjoying the weather. However, I still need somebody to scout ahead. This time, I called on my sixth Pokémon for scouting. “Ax!” Ax appeared. She stared at me with her wild eyes. “Now, don’t go looking at me like that. I need you to go ahead and spot us some rocks with a good handhold.” Ax nodded and bounded in front of us, disappearing into the blizzard. Jaxx and I trudged through the blizzard, hoping that it will stop soon. Our progress was slow, unlike Ax’ whose agility provided her the proper speed needed. After an hour of walking (and several times of Jaxx saving me from falling off a cliff,) we felt the blizzard dying down. Around us, the landscape became clearer and clearer until the snow is only falling in small flakes. Ax found us and pointed at a mountain face. There were rocks jutting the whole side of the cliff and I doubt that it would be a hard climb. Barring wild Pokémon, it would be a fairly easy climb. However, Ax was not interested in the rock face. She was pointing to a cave. “Ax, no. We need to go up. Not in.” Ax shook her head and grabbed my hand. She led me to the opening and she pushed me inside.
It was pitch-black inside. I was forced to call Nox again to illuminate the whole area. I could see nothing around except rocks and the mountain walls. There were no Pokémon around even. Ax leaped into the darkness disappearing from our view. “Ax!” I shouted. I ran after her, Jaxx and Nox following closely behind me. I saw her stop in front of a staircase. A staircase in the mountain? Ax pointed upwards and my eyes followed.
A single trainer looked down on me. I recognized the cap and the jacket, fluttering in the stale, cave air. “Come,” he simply said.
Note: I personally left out the species of the Pokemon. Try a guess at what they are.
I will go on at least three weeks of writing hiatus to write a few more chapters for leverage. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: I Dropped out of School and Became a Pokémon Trainer
I am Lawrence Herman. Unlike other kids who went on their Pokémon journey at a really young age, I started when I was eighteen years old. Don’t get me wrong; ever since I was a little kid, I have dreamt of becoming a Pokémon trainer. However, I surprisingly excelled in school and even graduated valedictorian of my elementary class. When I was asked to stop my studies and pursue being a trainer, I had a hard time in deciding. In the end, I could not throw away my achievement as a student and went on to continue my studies. During my high school years, I noticed that the number of students was significantly lower than my elementary class because of Pokémon training. I graduated salutatorian in high school and took up a medical course in one of the local universities. I went onwards. However, everything changed during the first day of classes.
Statistics have said that ninety-five percent of the populations are trainers. I thought that it was simply an exaggeration; after all, how can statistics sample everybody? I have always thought that I was right. I was proved wrong at the freshmen day of University of Violet. There were just five of us freshmen in there. Five. I knew that the University is a small one, unlike University of Saffron or the Goldenrod University, but I guessed that “few” equates to at least two hundred freshmen. But five? I dropped out of the university that afternoon, the idea of graduating in college no longer in my mind.
When I came home to Cherrygrove City, my father was delighted in seeing me. I told him my experience. He is not one drop of angry about it; in fact, he was ecstatic by the fact that I dropped out of school and threw my whole high school life away. Being a Pokémon trainer himself, my father wanted me to follow his footsteps and start my own journey.
“My son is finally going to be a trainer! He is!” he said as I arrived. From his look, I could see true happiness.
“Dad, I dropped out of school but that does not mean I am going to be a trainer,” I said as I slumped on the couch, tired from the two-hour train travel. I grabbed the remote and started flipping the channel.
“Oh no, you don’t. Young man, if you ain’t going to become a Pokémon trainer, you’re going back to that university. Seeing you’ve quit the latter, there is only way out of this right?” My dad could be quite the persuasive one. I was not surprised that an hour later, we were standing in front of the Pokémon Laboratory in Newbark Town. “Go. It’s this or back to the university with you.” I shrugged and went inside. If this proved to be too tiring, I could quit in the middle of my training. Hey, half an adventure is still an adventure right?
The lab was polished clean inside. One man wearing a lab coat has his back facing me. There seemed to be no one else inside the building. Rows of books lined the walls of the lab. Seeing as the man was probably busy with his work, I took an interest in the books. Most of them were regarding Pokémon but there were also some titles regarding the basics of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. It’s all purely scientific as no books regarding religion were placed on any of the bookshelves. The closest title was “Legendary Encounters: Are they really Gods?”
“I see you’re interested,” a voice spoke. I whipped and saw the Professor looking at me. He was one of the elder Professors, although he is not as old as Oak or Rowan. His black hair reaches shoulder length and is tied up in a ponytail. His face is devoid of any facial hair, although there is a hint of stubble on his chin. From what I have heard, Professor Elm moved to the region of Unova and helped Professor Juniper Sr. in his research many years ago. This new Professor hailed from the Sinnoh region. Like all professors, this one has a specialty or a specific field of interest. Oak is to Pokémon-human relationships, Juniper is to origins of Pokémon, Birch is habitats, Elm is to breeding patterns, and Rowan is Pokémon evolutions; these are the fields of expertise of the top five famous professors in the whole world. Although not quite as known, the new Professor is interested in Pokémon Archaeology, or fossils.
“Professor Fir,” I said, extending my hand to him. “I am Lawrence Herman.” Fir took a scrutinizing look at me.
“Well, you do resemble your father!” Fir said, clapping my back. “Now, what is it that you want? Professor Elm told me that you have chosen not to become a trainer, am I right?” I nodded in reply. Fir asked me to sit in one of the couches. “Coffee?” I declined his offer.
“Yes, I did refuse to become a Pokémon trainer, then. However, um, due to certain circumstances, my father managed to convince me to go here and be one.”
“Let me get this straight,” Fir said, sitting down. He apparently had made himself some coffee as he is holding a cup and saucer in his hands. “You’re doing this half-heartedly just because your father asked you?”
“No, no. I mean, I wanted to become a trainer when I was a kid, but I chose to continue my studies. However, nothing in this world is permanent. My plans changed and so does my future.”
“What are you planning to do anyway, if ‘change’ did not happen?”
“Well, I took up a medical course in the University of Violet. I planned on becoming a doctor for humans, probably a surgeon,” I told him. There was the awkward moment of Fir just staring into my eyes.
“Okay, here’s the deal. I am going to show you three Pokémon. If none of them excites you, you’re not going to be a trainer. I am not going to send a half-hearted Pokémon trainer to travel around. Fir stood up. He beckoned to me and asked me to approach the machine. “I have already given the tamer ones to the younger trainers. Since you’re technically older, I will show you some good Pokémon. Go and choose.” Three Pokeballs appeared. All of them are unmarked. “You may call all of them out if you want to.” I nodded and tapped each of the balls. Three Pokémon appeared in red flashes of light. I knew all the species and, wow, I could tell that Fir certainly gave me some really good options. A serpentine Pokémon, a lizard-like Pokémon, and what seemed to be a floating ball-head Pokémon stood before me, their eyes darting here and there in curiosity. “Go, pick one.” Now, I would like to tell you that I took a moment in deciding which Pokémon to choose or that I really had a hard time in picking one but that would be a lie. The moment I saw the serpentine Pokémon, I knew that it would be my partner. I did not spare a second glance at the two other Pokémon.
“I choose Dratini,” I said.
It seemed like my father were pleased with my choice. “Dratini, huh? You think you got what it takes to train a pseudo-legendary Pokémon?” he asked. Professor Fir went out to join my father and me. He shook hands with my father as they were both acquainted before.
“Aaron Herman! It is nice to see you again!” Professor Fir exclaimed as he saw my father. My father beamed at him. “How are things going for you?” Fir looked at me and whispered. “I was the one who gave him his first Pokémon.”
“And it was a good Pokémon, I tell you. Beautifly and I have been resting from challenging all five regional leagues,” my father said, smiling. Let me tell you a few things about my father before we continue. Aaron Herman is a Johto native. However, his family moved to Sinnoh when he was just eight years old. He started his Pokémon journey there, receiving a Wurmple from Fir as a starter. He tried having a variety of Pokémon on his team but, due to his unnatural luck (or bad luck, whichever way you choose to see it,) he tends to only catch Bug-type Pokémon. He then specialized and managed to emerge in the top eight of the five main regional leagues, being hailed as League Champion in both the Johto League and the Sinnoh League. Because of his power, he was made the Gym Leader of Azalea Town until he retired as a Gym Leader five years ago. The reason he had was simply: “The job was boring.”
“And your other Pokémon?” Fir asked.
“Well, since I don’t do much battles right now compared then, they are mostly stuck with Rowan in Sinnoh or with me at our house,” my father answered. “Although, Cynthia contacted me and…” my father caught my eyes. “Well, let’s just say I am going to get a new job soon.”
Fir brightened up, apparently understanding what Aaron meant. “That’s great! I mean, who?”
“Well, Agatha retired from a career spanning almost 50 years. I’d say she had enough spotlight being a member of two regional Elite Four already. She did much in the Kanto Elite Four and her tenure as the first Elite in the Sinnoh League did nothing but filter the challengers. She’s a good trainer and she will be missed in the battling world,” my father explained. I could not understand then what any of them meant or who Agatha is. “Well, I guess I will be going now, Professor Fir. Thank you for your time and for giving Lawrence here his Dratini.” He went to the car and I followed him. “Where are you going?”
“Home, of course!” I answered, taken aback by his question. Where else would I go?
“Well, you’re a trainer now. They travel using the roads and other routes right? Very rarely do they ride vehicles. Now, go out and start your journey. I will wait for you in our house,” my dad said, closing the door. Scumbag. “Bye!” He turned on the engine and sped away towards Cherrygrove.
“Don’t worry about your father, Lawrence. He will be alright,” Professor Fir assured me. Well, the thing is that I am more worried about myself than my father. I looked at my Pokémon, watching the car disappear into the distance.
Last chapter before my hiatus!
Chapter 2: I Got my Hand Grabbed and was Given a Pokegear
The Professor gave me my Pokedex and some Pokeballs. He said that these things are a bit crucial to starting trainers as they provide the basic things needed in expanding a team. However, he added that since I am a special case, he held back on giving me the standard Potion saying that my starter is strong enough for the Pokémon in the first route, Route 29.
“It will already be overkill with the Dratini alone. Giving you a Potion to restore your Pokémon in the middle of the battle? That would be unfair to the wild Pokémon. Look at this as sort of a challenge,” he said, his eyes glinting. “And have you decided a name for the Pokémon?” I looked at the Dratini. “Well?”
“I think we’ll get to that later,” I merely replied, unable to think of any name for the Pokémon. The Professor nodded, apparently expecting that kind of answer.
“Off you go then. Good luck on your adventure!” Professor Fir entered the lab again without another word. So that’s it? No good byes and all? I sighed and turned to look at the Dratini. It was curiously staring at the different buildings in Newbark Town. The town is smaller than Cherrygrove which is saying something. However, there is a different kind of aura over the small town. It may be because of the cool breeze coming in from the east port or the distinct smell of apples, but Newbark Town has a kind of homely feel to it. Very few cars were roaming on the town streets as most people preferred to travel by bikes or by the occasional ship docked in Newbark Port. I think the reason for this is that nearby cities were not too much of a sight (Cherrygrove ain’t exactly Goldenrod or Saffron) and the ones that are worth visiting are too far from the town, reaching up to Cianwood City for the Safari Zone.
“Grr?” my Pokémon growled. I was suddenly jolted to reality by the sound.
“I almost forgot I had you. Well, can you understand me?” I asked it, not expecting any response at all. After all, how would a Pokémon understand Johtian language? To my surprise, it nodded. “Wow. OK. Do you have a name?” It nodded again. It would be no use asking what its name would be as it would just result to an answer in growls and tiny purrs. “Well, I’ll say every letter in the alphabet, and you nod if it’s the correct letter, okay? When we’re done, I don’t know. Jump or something. Just give me a sign that we are done.” The guessing game was hard as I need to run through the whole alphabet for the third letter but I was satisfied. “Alright, so you’re Dox. I am Lawrence and I guess we will be partners?” Dox nodded, its eyes getting smaller. I guess it would be the Dratini-version of a smile, as it had no apparent mouth on its face. “Oh well, let’s get started.”
Route 29 is the first route in the normal course of travelling, although it was not always the case as some trainers start off in Goldenrod or Olivine where the other two professors reside. But since Fir is essentially the leading Professor in the region, Newbark Town is the first one, technically. I decided to train Dox first and see what it could do before I catch any Pokémon. According to my Pokedex, Dox is only at level 5 with moves like Thunder Wave, Wrap, Leer, and Aqua Jet under its arsenal. It’s a good moveset, especially as most Pokémon in here were the Rattata and Pidgey with the occasional Sentret. We decided to duke it out on one of the wild game. We spotted a Rattata munching on a fallen apple (so that is where the smell came!) a few feet from us. It seemed to be oblivious to its surroundings, enjoying the treat. I felt bad for distracting it, but hey. Dox need some experience to boot.
“Okay, Dox. Thunder Wave!” Dox slithered from the grass. A small spark emitted from its body, making a small crackling sound. The Rattata looked up from its food when it heard the sound. Suddenly, Dox let loose of the attack which hit the Rattata. It fell to the ground, twitching and apparently paralyzed. Dox went up to him and wrapped him, akin to how an Ekans would wrap its prey. However, Dox lacked the power to restrain Rattata as the Pokémon immediately broke free of the attack, albeit a little twitchy. “Aqua Jet!” A small bubble of water formed around Dox’ head. It rushed towards Rattata but it jumped out of the way easily. It tackled Dox which sent the dragon-type flying. “Dox!” His Pokémon had another idea in mind. Using another Thunder Wave, he crippled the Pokémon again. This time, he used Aqua Jet while the Rattata was paralyzed. The fight was over when Rattata fled the scene after the attack. He heard a ding in his Pokedex. The notification read that Dox had gained a level.
I assumed that the travel to Cherrygrove would take a day at the most but I was mistaken. When sun had set, I took lodging in the route gate connecting Route 29 to Route 46. The guard inside was an elderly man who gives free lodging to travelers coming from Route 46 and Newbark Town. “It’s a dangerous road, being a trainer. I was one in my prime, although I never quite reached past Goldenrod. The leader back then was a master trainer.” I was forced to listen to the old man’s stories since I was the only person who seemed to be staying here. Well, I am glad for the company, although I would prefer if I could get some peace and quiet. On the other hand, the bed provided by the man was so soft and comfy that I had a really good sleep.
I hit the road at first light, eager to get to my hometown that day. The training I done with Dox the day before seemed sufficient enough as Dox was merely one-hitting all the wild Pokémon, despite being only two levels higher at the most. I knew Dox would be powerful, being the pre-evolved form of a peudo-legendary but never in my dreams did I imagine he was that strong. I was not keen on catching any of the Pokémon from the area, usually because they are already fainted before I have the chance to catch one. The tricky mechanics of the ball fails when the opposing Pokémon is fainted and I have no idea why.
The arc separating Cherrygrove from Route 29 soon appeared in my view. I had Dox safely tucked inside his Pokeball and inside my bag, so it was safe to break into a run. I was not tired at all as the sleep was so refreshing. When I reached the arc, I saw an old man loitering around it, mumbling things to himself.
“Oh, young trainers today. Always rushing off and all thinking that the world will leave them if they don’t slow down. I’ll give them a piece of my mind if I had the chance, and I…” I failed to hear the rest of his rant as I crossed the boundary, eager to go home and see my dad. However, the old man noticed me. “Hey, young trainer!” I looked at him and I immediately regretted it. His eyes sparked gladly. “Let me tour you around Cherrygrove!” He took my hand and dragged me.
“Hey, mister. I am from around here so I think I know my way around, thank you,” I said, removing his grasp from my hand. The shock prevented me from noticing how hard his grip was; it left red marks on my skin. The old man looked at me then bowed his hand and went back to the arc. “Oh, kids these days. Running around without a care in the world…” I went the other way.
Now, Cherrygrove City, as I have said, is rather different from Newbark Town. While the former is a more of a nature-centric town, Cherrygrove is rising in industrial works. Route 30 opens up in the north of the town and Cherrygrove Port in the west. Unlike the port in Newbark Town, the city’s port has more ship docking in it, primarily because of our city’s exports to other parts of the region. More cars were frequenting the roads, most going up north to Violet City. There were also several buildings in the city, inclusive of the Pokémon Center and Mart. Our house was near the arc towards Route 30.
Before going home, I decided to head first to the Pokémon Center and have Dox checked up. I knew he was in prime shape but I’d not better take my chances. Dox could probably have something bad inside him because of the intense training I gave him the other day. The Nurse Joy in the counter welcomed me with a smile and took my Pokémon with her. After a few moments later, Dox was returned to me. He was still good as I thought. I then headed out for our home.
Despite being a Gym Leader once upon a time, my father remained a humble guy, as seen from our house. You would imagine a Gym Leader’s house to be a majestic structure, at least two floors in height. However, our house is only a single-floor bungalow. It is painted green, my father’s favorite color. When I arrived, all windows were shut as I expected. Only my father and I live in our house. My mother went away when I was still a child, leaving me with Dad. Since then, nobody ever lived in the house for a long time, as we were constantly traveling around. Only recently did we took up permanent residency and that was around the time I went to high school.
“Hey Dad?” I asked as I entered the house. The TV was flickering with a show entitled “National Geographic: Foreign Pokémon.” I could smell the blueberry pie my father was fond on cooking. “Hey, son.” I heard him shout from the kitchen. “I have something for you before you resume your journey again.”
“Wait, am I not allowed to get a little rest from all the travelling I have already did?” My father peeked out from the kitchen, looking confused.
“Hey, if you want to finish already, grab the Pokegear from the table and the few basics I prepared for you and go on your merry way. You can rest after,” he said, being a bit pushier. I get the feeling that he was still excited in me becoming a trainer, albeit at least four years late. I groaned and grabbed the things laid out on the table. As he said, it was the basics of travelling. Some Potions, an Antidote, and a handful of berries were quickly stuffed inside my bag. I then stared at the strange contraption on the table. It looked like a weird cellphone, only that it has a longer antenna and a speaker. It also has some dials along with the numeric keypad. On its sides were three slots, probably the size of a credit card. “What’s this?”
“It’s a Pokegear. It’s a phone and a radio at the same time. I’ll give you the map card later after I finished cooking,” he said. I heard oil sizzling and a silent ow! I turned the dials of the Pokegear and I heard some static. “How’d you use this?”
“Try tuning it to 99.9,” he simply said. I readjusted the knob. It was indeed a radio. An announcer was talking very rapidly and I barely understood it.
“…day, Red from…” some static. “…stepped down as the Champion with Lance…” another set of static. “…replacing him. No words from the ex-Champion, but here is Lance with an interview. Lance, so you’re the new champion…” The signal was lost from that point.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, nor the games, nor the creatures.
Chapter 3: I Battled a Rattata and Got Myself a Partner
My father ushered me outside after feeding me his homemade blue-berry pie and fries. I knew it was not a great combo, but hey. Free food is scarce in the road and I need to stuff myself with it before leaving. He told me that the gym leader in Violet City was expecting me and that I have to train more if I am to defeat him. I never wanted to leave the place and yet, here is my father pushing me to go away.
“Come back if you already have 8 badges!” He called on after me. Eight badges seemed a long way still, seeing as I have none of those tokens yet. I sighed, thinking how long my journey is going to be.
The arc to Route 30 was, thankfully, devoid of any human. It was already midmorning when I left and the people who are to go to the next city using cars have already went for the three hour drive to Violet. My father told me that it would take me approximately two days to reach Violet City so I better stock up on my Potions. And that I did.
The wild Pokémon on the Route were not much stronger than the ones from Route 29, although there are species not found in the previous route. I thought of catching a Spinarak to add to my team but, as usual, Dox managed to faint it before I get to throw the Pokeball. While I was disappointed with my failure to capture another Pokémon, it was quickly dispelled by Dox leveling up. We continued on our training, not thinking of catching any more Pokémon primarily because I could not see myself training them.
By the time the sunset, we managed to stumble upon a house and were given a free lodging. The two elderly couple gave me free dinner and a bed to sleep in. I managed to deduce that I remind them once of their own son. When I left the next day, they handed me a bag of Apricorns. Although I am not exactly sure what they are, the old people told me that someone in the region crafts Pokeballs out of them. I am not exactly running out of Pokeballs, seeing as I have not caught a single thing, but freebies are always nice. I came across a fork in the road. A sign says that the eastern road leads to a certain Mr. Pokémon’s house, while the other leads to Violet City. Of course, as I have told you, I am not much of an adventurer. I chose the one that leads exactly where I wanted to go. Plus, the name Mr. Pokémon sounds a little creepy.
The path I followed was the last stretch of the route before it turns west into Violet City. Unlike Route 29 and the first part of route 30, this stretch seemed to be a plain and not a forest. There were several younger trainers than me, all of them training their Pokémon against the wild and against each other. I tried to avoid them at all costs but, as my luck goes, one of them did notice me.
“Hey! You, elder trainer!” I forgot I was already eighteen years old. I turned to look at the one who acknowledged me. He was probably thirteen years old, and really short. I could not believe that I was that short when I was thirteen. He was wearing a yellow top and a blue short. “Hey! Battle with me!” He sent out a Rattata. I tried shaking my head to tell him that I do not want to. “Are you afraid? My Rattata is top-percentage! Let me see your Pokémon!”
“Are you sure about this?” I asked him, holding Dox’ Pokeball in my hand. He nodded eagerly. Oh, well. I threw my Pokémon’s ball and out came Dox. The Pokémon stretched and yawned, apparently waking up from his slumber. What are Pokémon when they are inside the Pokeball anyway?
I saw the trainer’s eyes grew wide at the site of the Dratini. “Tha-That’s a Dratini, isn’t it?” I nodded. “Well, this is quite a turn of events. Rattata, Quick Attack!” His Rattata charged towards Dox who simply slithered out of the way. He looked at the Rattata and sent out a Thunder Wave, paralyzing the Pokémon. “Hey, no fair!”
“You’re the one who challenged me, isn’t it?” I said. “Aqua Jet!” The attack would be too much for the Rattata but it was agile. It leaped to the side, and used a Tackle, crashing into the Dratini. The next attacks were a series of Dox attacking then dodging Rattata’s attack. Despite not doing enough damage, the Rattata was fast enough so that Dox could barely hit him. I saw Joey’s eyes leapt with pride as the Rattata sent the Dratini flying once again. “Dox! Aqua Jet!” The Dratini covered itself with a veil of water. Rattata tensed in anticipation to evade. When the crucial moment arrived, I ordered Dox to stop and send out a Thunder Wave. The Rattata, expecting the Aqua Jet, leapt straight into the Thunder Wave. After that, it only took a single Aqua Jet to take the Pokémon out. Another ding! And Dox grew another level. The trainer recalled his Pokémon, whispering as he did so.
“You’re a good trainer,” he said, looking at me. I was surprised that he was not angry that I defeated him. In fact, he looked quite pleased with the battle. “I am Joey. What is your name?” He approached me and held out his hand.
“Lawrence Herman, from Cherrygrove,” I answered, shaking the kid’s hand. “You battled quite good. Better than the wild Rattata anyway.”
“Hey, I told you. We’re top percentage,” he said grinning. “I like the way you battle, though.” Joey has some weird accent. The word ‘though’ came out as ‘do’ as in do-re-mi. “Where’d you get the Dratini?” he asked. Well, I was quite ashamed that Fir took me in as a special case and gave me a choice between three equally good Pokémon. I gave a weird answer.
“Just somewhere,” I said, foolishly grinning. Joey’s face suddenly lit up, as if a bright idea popped inside his head. I swore I saw a light bulb lighting up above his head.
“I know! I’ll join you in your travel! That way, we could get stronger together!” he said, his face bright. Uh-oh. No way. I never thought I will go on in this adventure, and never with a travelling partner.
“I don’t think that it is a good idea, no,” I said.
“But, think about it we will be-”
“I said no!” Joey was taken aback by my sudden reaction. Oops.
“All right then. Where are you going anyway?” he asked, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
It was too late when I realized my mistake. “To Violet City and gain a gym badge.”
“That’s cool! I am going there too. We can separate afterwards!” Just like that, I gained a travelling partner. Well, I hoped only up to Violet City.
I managed to catch my second Pokémon that day. Joey was bugging me about not catching a Pokémon. It turned out he has a bunch of Rattata in Newbark Town, his hometown. He wanted me to catch the first Pokémon I saw. He even let me use his Rattata so that Dox would not do so much damage to faint it all at once. He persuaded me to do it so, a few moments later, I caught a Caterpie. According to the Pokedex, it was at level 4 with the usual Tackle and String Shot as its moves. However, this one seemed to have an attitude. Unlike other Caterpie, this one is a rather rude one as it tried to use a String Shot on me after I caught it. Dox managed to incapacitate it using a Thunder Wave. It was still looking at me with weird looks. What is more surprising, however, is that it tends to stick near to Joey when we were traveling. It mews (I don’t know any other word for the sounds it was making) while rubbing its head on Joey’s leg. I decided to give it to the youngster immediately. Hey, I caught my second Pokémon but I never said I would keep it. Plus, it does not want to follow any of my orders.
“I’ll pay you back, I promise,” Joey said, obviously happy with his new Pokémon. I laughed.
“Well, make sure you give me a fire-type as I am sure that your Caterpie will give me enough trouble as it is,” the Caterpie sent out another String Shot towards me. I managed to dodge it, and Dox, once again, paralyzed it. The two Pokémon looked at each other and turned away promptly. Really? A rivalry?
“Let’s make that happen,” Joey said, stroking his Caterpie on the head. He promptly recalled it back to its Pokeball. “So what’re your plans now? Are you going to challenge the first gym with just a single Pokémon?”
“Well, it seemed like I had no choice but to do it. I mean, I have no other Pokémon, right?” Joey nodded as if it was a confirmation of what he was thinking about.
Route 31 was fairly unremarkable. There was not much of a variety of Pokémon here. The only thing interesting on the route is probably the entrance to the Dark Cave. We avoided it altogether as it was famous for having many travelers trapped inside, never to emerge. We both know that it is just a myth but it still scared the living day out of us. Plus, it is already getting darker. Why make it more?
The gate to Violet City was guarded by a middle-aged man. There is a Donphan standing right beside him. He smiled at the two of us, one of his tooth glinting gold.
“Welcome to Violet City! I hope you enjoy your stay!”
Chapter 4: I Was Shot Up and Won my First Gym Badge
Violet City is a pretty humongous city, although it was pretty boring during the night. There were soft lanterns dotting the sidewalks as pedestrians loiter around, doing their last minute errands. Joey and I decided to crash in for the night at the Pokémon Center since we could not do anything more in the dark. Fortunately, there were a bunch of rooms for the night so Joey and I too separate rooms. The rooms the establishment provided where, while not five-star hotel quality, is remarkable. Well it seemed remarkable to me as it resembled my room back in Cherrygrove City. There is a single-sized bed and a drawer besides it. I took my time to place my things neatly on top of the drawer, not bothering to unpack as I would probably be leaving immediately in the morning. I lied down on the bed, savoring the comfy feeling as there is a high chance that I would be sleeping on hard ground again tomorrow night, probably with itchy grasses all around me. I let Dox out of his Pokeball. Since we started, I noticed that Dox never wanted to sleep inside the ball. He always wanted to curl up anywhere and sleep. This led me to think what becomes of a Pokémon when they are inside the Pokeball? Do they remain as Pokémon, albeit miniaturized version of themselves, or are they converted to energy material? I guess I’ll never know.
Dox purred as he slithered on the floor below me. It stretched for a bit before curling up into a ball. Soon enough, I heard some small growling which is probably the Pokémon version of snoring. From the other room, I heard Joey’s voices speaking to his Pokémon. The walls, however, were thick enough to filter most words, and the most I got to hear was a distinct kind of whispering. I fell asleep soon after, fatigue knocking me out.
The sun was fairly high when I arrived at the doorstep of the Violet City gym. When I woke up that morning, it was already half past ten. Dox was still dozing on the floor, but Joey’s room was already empty, the bed sheets he used already replaced with new ones. He stuck to what he said that he will accompany me only until Violet City after my refusal to travel with him. On hindsight, I knew I should have not rejected him quickly. His company during my travel on the previous routes is a welcome addition to the monotony of Pokémon training.
“Oh well, I guess it just you and me now, Dox,” I told my Pokémon, nudging it awake. The Dragon-type purred again. Two hours later, we checked out and decided to explore the city. I have already taken a tour in the city before, as the University of Violet saw it right to familiarize the new students around town. It was a pretty fun tour, with our tour guides avid Pokémon trainers who liked to show off their Pokémon. Well, according to the tour, the Violet City Gym is located right in the center of the city. The current Gym Leader, Falkner, is the twenty-third Gym Leader the city had. All of those twenty-three leaders were specializing in the Flying-type. It was a marvelous tradition but I did not take much interest in it during the tour as I was focused on the other establishments. Like the University itself. Once again, hindsight kicked in as I should have probably listened better. The guides might have mentioned a thing or two regarding Falkner’s Pokémon. I am basically coming in blind. “Well, it’s now or never.”
I pushed the door open and gaped at the inside of the establishment. While it was indeed a high building, I never thought that it was the whole gym. I thought that it would be divided into floors as the gym leaders essentially lives inside the gym. I was wrong. The Violet City gym, while standing at a good height of a four-story building, only has one floor. It was simply high. I craned my neck to look upwards and saw a transparent platform above us. In front of me is a square platform with a wing painted on it. Dox looked curiously at it.
“Oh, a challenger are you?” a voice beside me said. I saw a man of about thirty plus emerged from one of the doors on the side of the gym. He was holding a bottle of water and had just apparently drunk from it as he was screwing the cap back. “The name is Claude. How about you?” Claude was wearing a long and white coat with a grayish polo underneath it. He partnered it with a pair of black pants.
“Lawrence Herman, and this is Dox my partner,” I gestured toward Dox who was still staring at the strange platform.
“Herman as in the son of Aaron Herman?” I nodded. “Wow. Following in your father’s footsteps are you? Anyway, I am part of a group called The Guide. We have factions in all major cities. We aim to help trainers in their battle against the leader by providing quality information,” Claude drank from his water bottle again. “Well, this gym uses the flying-types. As you know, Flying-types are weak against electric-types, rock-types, and ice-type attacks.”
“Will you tell me something I don’t know? I’ve learnt all of this in Pokémon School,” I asked. The information he told me was general knowledge. How could that be helpful?
“Well, if you’re Pokémon can’t cut it, the Sprout Tower offers a good prize if you clear their challenge,” Claude said. “Oh, and Falkner has a Pidgeotto, the evolved form of Pidgey.” Finally, some useful information.
“Okay, I guess I am OK. Thanks for the help,” I said. Claude nodded and leaned on one of the entry pillars, probably waiting for other challengers. “Dox! Come here!” Dox followed me as I stepped into the strange panel. From the looks of it, it was purely wooden. There was a wooden handrail in front of me. I grabbed it. Suddenly, the whole panel started to shake. Dox, in fear, wrapped itself around me. Then the panel shot up, going at a breathtaking speed.
It jarred to a stop, and saw that we face a simple maze. It was also wooden, but I knew that the metal bars I had seen below were holding it up. There were two trainers in the maze and I think I could spot Falkner and his Pidgeotto at the far end. “Hey, Dox. This is our first gym battle. Let’s do our best okay?” Dox purred in contentment.
The two gym trainers were fairly easy to beat. Dox, using his Thunder Wave and Aqua Jet combination did very well in making the opponent’s Pokémon to faint. And I even managed to squeeze in an extra level before the gym battle. The gym trainers used one Pokémon each, a Spearow and a Pidgey. Dox had a fun time, but it’s time for the real deal.
Falkner stood in front of us, his blue vest flapping. I don’t how he did it, but there seemed to be a slight wind buffeting us. Falkner’s blue hair is also swaying. “Welcome to the Violet City Pokémon Gym. I am Falkner, the leader.”
“Lawrence Herman,” I said. The wind was making my posture pretty unsteady. It is getting stronger by the minute. Falkner nodded. “I am here for the gym badge.”
“I know. The rules of this gym are simple. It is a one-on-one battle. I will be using my Pidgeotto. The person whose Pokémon faints first would lose the battle. Also, this gym tests the trainer’s rigidity. In a battle, the Pokémon is not the only one battling. The trainer must watch out for hazards in the environment. Therefore,” the wind increased into a tumultuous current. “The trainer who falls with the onslaught of the wind is considered as defeated. It is considered a fall when the trainer is not in a standing position.” So, I also need to watch out for the wind. It was blowing everywhere. “Start!”
“Dox!” According to the Pokedex, Dox is already in level 12. He learned the Dragon-type attack called Twister. It would be a fun attack to utilize. Falkner called out his Pidgeotto. Despite the buffeting winds, the Pokémon seemed to be unperturbed, obviously trained under harsher conditions. “Start off with a Thunder Wave!” Dox sent out a spark of lightning towards the bird. It dodged the attack and sent out a Gust attack. Dox slithered out of the way, but was buffeted by a sudden current of artificial wind.
“Your Pokémon also needs to be careful,” Falkner calmly said. “Now, Tackle!” Pidgeotto crashed into the Dratini, sending the Pokémon flying. Good thing that the field was big; we’re also in danger to the grounds below.
“Dox, another Thunder Wave!” Dox sent out another spark of electricity. It hit the Pidgeotto and caused it to flap around wildly in the wind. It gusted again. I nearly fell, and Falkner stumbled. “Twister!” The wind grew in intensity. This time, it wrapped itself around the Pidgeotto.
“Pidgeotto! Fly high and use another Tackle!” Pidgeotto escaped the wind tunnel and started to fly towards Dox with the intent to crash. However, the Thunder Wave stopped in its tracks only to fall to the ground. The wind picked it up and started carrying it. “Snap! Roost!” The Pidgeotto opened its eyes and landed on the ground, its wings preventing it to crash rather unpleasantly. I saw my chance when it landed. “Dox! Modified attack! Thunder Wave and Aqua Jet!” Dox purred and used another Thunder Wave. This time, he did not send it out, but immediately used Aqua Jet, cloaking himself in a veil of water and lightning. The artificial wind roared again and, this time, I was raised to my feet. Oh man. I scrambled for balance but the wind decided to die and let me fall.
My leg nearly buckled in the impact and I was simply lucky that I landed with my two feet. Otherwise, I would be defeated. I saw that Dox’ attack missed as he was also carried by the wind. The Pidgeotto was roosting on the ground. What I saw surprised me.
Falkner was just standing up, apparently carried by the rogue wind himself. “It seemed I fell,” he simply said. He recalled his Pokémon. “You are the winner of this battle. I admit, it was a pretty fun one. If I did not lose by the wind, I am pretty sure that your Dratini’s attack would have knocked my Pokémon out. It was just beginning to roost and have not fully recovered.” Falkner walked up to me and handed me a badge and a disk. “This is Roost. Use it wisely. And this,” he held the badge. “This is the Zephyr badge. Your first badge for the circuit.” I accepted the badge and placed it inside my badge case.
“Hey, Dox.” I couldn’t help but grin. “We won.”
(Writer's Note: I have just written until chapter 8. Writing this things are painstakingly taking a long time. As usual, feel free to comment and rate. )