Seen May 26th, 2019
Posted April 12th, 2018
29 posts
3.2 Years
Chapter Nine

Brenda could hardly sleep that night, not because the rain made noise as it hit the Pokemon Center roof, but because she could not stop herself from thinking the strategy she would employ on her first Gym battle.

As the clock hit 7 oclock, she jumped out of her bed.

She made an effort to keep silent for her sleeping friends, but she ended up bumping into more things that she planned. Even then, they only made vague complaints, evidently still asleep.

Brenda went out of the room, with her towel and change of clothes, hoping that thered be a shower space open for her.

Fortunately, the shower room was empty at quarter past 7.

No early risers, I suppose, she whispered to herself, and hummed a tune as she took off her shirt.

When the changing room door opened unexpectedly, she let out a gasp.

However, the culprit was none other than Ren, her ill-tempered traveling companion.

Come on, Ren, she reproached him. Didnt you see the sign that says this is the girls changing room? You should knock at least.

Ren pointed his nose upward, showing no concern.

Oh well, its fine this time, since no one is here. We can enjoy the shower room all by ourselves.

Brenda placed her towel around her torso, slid one of the shower curtains, and ushered Ren in.

She pumped some shampoo onto his head and body, and gently washed him clean.

It was not, by any means, an easy task. Though Ren had evidently come to splash water onto himself, he had not envisioned that his body would be covered with a foamy agent he had never seen before.

Ren, calm down, its just soap, Brenda said while trying to stop him from trying to run away.

At one point, Ren happened to touch some foam, and accidentally put it over his eyes, which stung him and made his aggression even worse.

We can rinse it out, Ren stop!

Elongating her arm to almost the point where she wouldve dislocated her shoulder, she turned the knob only to get both of them showered with cold water.

By the time Brenda somehow finished bathing Ren, her towel was so soaked that she wondered whether it would do its job as a towel anymore.

Aaugh, I wasnt planning on washing my hair today, she said as she picked up one of her damp strands from her face. But I guess I must change my plans now.

She pulled Ren out into the changing room, to which women had started to come in. Changing her mind, she asked Ren to return to their room alone, as she could not go out in a towel, and wait with Cheren and Bianca.

When she stepped back into the shower room, she realized that three people were already occupying the three showers, and that she would have to wait after all.

When she was done with the shower room, she returned to her room while drying her hair with her towel.

Cheren and Bianca were up, but still drowsy, sitting on their beds.

Rise and shine, everyone! she greeted, and then looked left and right for her riolu.

She found him behind her bed, munching on the snacks that were in her backpack.

She gasped with both hands on her cheeks.

Dont tell me you ate all the food? she checked the bag, and only a snack bar, which Cheren had given her the day before, fell out to the carpet. Man, just this? A forced diet, I guess.

Ren laughed at her disappointed face.

You selfish brat, she addressed him. You think youre smart, but now I have no money and no food. So we better win that Gym battle and get reward money. Not that we were going to lose, to begin with.

Then Brenda took a huge bite off the snack bar.

The three of them left soon after Brenda finished eating, though it took quite a bit of nagging and hurrying on Brendas part.

Are you guys also challenging the Gym now?

Bianca said that she was not ready yet, so she was going to explore the city, which she wasnt able to do the day before.

You should visit the Dream Yard after your battle, she invited. Ill be there once Ive seen the city. Its a famous tourist spot known for their dream-eating pokemon, Munna.

Once she was assured that Cheren and Brenda would visit the Dream Yard, she waved her hand and walked away.

What about you, Cheren? I bet you dont want to miss my first Gym battle, given that you missed my first trainer battle, Brenda teased.

Im headed to the Gym too, but not because of that, he said, with slightly colored cheeks.

So they walked, with their eyes facing the city which they could barely see through the rain before.

Look there, Brenda pointed to the west of the city, where she could see a park with a fountain. We must go there when were done collecting our badges.

Did you already forget we agreed to meet Bianca at the Dream Yard? Its that way, Cheren replied, pointing North East, close to where the Gym stood.

No, I havent forgotten. It can be after we meet Bianca, and it wouldnt contradict what I said, clever boy.

In any case, well be walking through the park to go to Nacrene City.

As he said this, they arrived at the footsteps of the Striaton City Gym.

Ladies first, Brenda winked, and cut in front of Cheren. Come Ren, were going to kick the Gym Leaders butt!

Brenda entered, took a look inside, and then pushed Cheren back out, saying that they had mistaken the place.

Theres no mistake, Cheren reassured her. The sign outside said this is the Gym.

So he opened the door again, and they went back in together.

The front most part of the Gym had tables, which half of them were occupied by people having breakfast. Waiters and waitresses walked around taking orders, never bumping into tables, which gave them an air of natural elegance.

This is a restaurant, though, Brenda said, confused.

Ren remained close to his trainer, for seeing all these people talking at once made him a little scared.

Welcome, finally a waitress took notice of them and approached them. Would you fancy a lovely breakfast, or a heated Gym battle?

Brenda laughed, relieved.

Id like one Gym battle, please, she said, and looked at Cheren. What would you like?

Two Gym battles, thatll be, he said, following the joke all the way through.

Two Gym battles. Come this way, please, the waitress made way for them, and followed them to another room, which had another waiter reclining on the wall.

Challengers? Lets see if they can pass through, he said, sending out a lillipup.

Patrat, lets go, the waitress also sent out her pokemon.

I guess its a double battle? Brenda commented. Ren, go destroy your opponents!

I wont let you steal the whole spotlight, Cheren laughed. Red, lets go!

Brenda couldnt help herself.

Its not just that the name Red on a snivy doesnt match, she explained. Now that I think about it, Red and Ren sound so similar. I shouldve called Ren Bre or Da instead.

Names are inconsequential, Cheren laughed. Whats important is the content. Red, show them what you can do!

The fastest pokemon, Red, obeyed his trainers orders, and used tackle on the patrat.

Dont you have grass moves? Theyd gain STAB on Snivy, Brenda said, in hopes to impress Cheren with her knowledge.

He knows Leaf Tornado, but that attack isnt good for double-battles, since it hits your neighboring ally as well.

How thoughtful! But Ren isnt so whimsy as to go down with that, Brenda said, and then had to change her thought last minute. Ren, use counter.

Fortunately, Ren answered her request, and waited for the enemy to hit him.

She would have used vacuum wave to finish the patrat off, but it was, like leaf tornado, a move that would hit an ally as well.

I cant use the move when Cheren was cautious not to hit Ren, she thought.

However, that meant that both patrat and the lillipup would be able to attack now. The two opponents both used tackle, the patrat on Red, and the lillipup on Ren.

At the end of the round, Ren used counter on the lillipup, which was, of course, not ideal.

Oh, snivy is eating! Brenda exclaimed.

Yeah, I made him hold a sitrus berry, and now it has healed itself.

Thats a pretty neat tactic, but Im not surprised since it comes from you, Brenda smiled.

Now, in round two, Red was able to finish off the patrat with another tackle. Ren still had to use counter, so in the end, it wasnt able to attack because the lillipup chose to attack Red instead.

Double battles are a pain, Brenda sighed. They limit my move pool, and now Ren has been outshone by Red.

Dont worry, the Gym Leader will battle you one-on-one, Cheren reassured her, as the lillipup fainted with Reds tackle.

The waiter and waitress gave them a little sum of pokecoins, and followed to show them the way to the Gym Leader.

Upon entering, however, Brenda was again surprised.

At the end of a large battle field were three Gym Leaders!

Welcome, challengers, the green-haired young man greeted. We are the Gym Leaders of Striaton Gym. My name is Cilan.

I am Chili, said the man with red hair that looked like flames.

And I am Cress, said the one with blue hair. Which of you will be the first to battle?

Me, me, Brenda waved her hand high.

Cheren patted her shoulder, wished her good luck, and walked towards a few chairs located against the wall.

Which starter did you choose, young lady? asked Chili.

Brendas movements halted, and she was lost as to what to reply.

The truth is, she said at last. I didnt choose a standard starter. My partner is Ren.

She guided Ren to take his spot in front of her.

Is it a new trend? Cilan asked.

Excuse me?

No, I wondered whether it was a trend among recent grads to choose non-standard pokemon as their starters.

Dont mind him, lady, followed Cress. He is only impressed because we just had a battle before you, and the challenger also had a non-standard pokemon.

Brenda widened her eyes, for she could only think of one person her age, who did not have one of the Unova starters beside herself.

N was here? she blurted out.

N? Is that the name of that young trainer?

Did he have long green hair, and was he wearing dull-colored clothes?

Now that you mention, Cilan laughed. He couldve gotten a little counseling from the fashion connoisseur.

Fashion connoisseur? Do you know someone like that?

Youre looking at one just now, Cilan said, with a hand on his chest. For I am a fashion connoisseur of top category.

I wouldnt have guessed, Brenda commented, looking at his waiter-like uniform. However, when Cilan asked her to repeat herself since he could not hear her remark, she said that it was nothing.

So N was here, she said to herself.

N? Is that your beautiful battling opponent? Cheren asked.

Brenda pressed a finger on her lips and hushed him.

What? Yesterday you said you meant it as a compliment.

But yesterday you took pity on him for being called so, Brenda pouted. Oh well. He said his Zorua didnt enjoy battling, and yet hes taking on the Unova League. I really dont understand that guy.

Brenda shrugged, and decided to focus on her Gym battle.

Im ready to start the battle, she announced.

Cress, you fight her, Cilan said, leaving the battlefield to join Chili, who had already sat down on their waiting chairs.

Leave it to me. Lillipup, lets go!

However, the first encounter finished rather quickly.

In the first round, Ren used counter, because Brenda was confident that he could take a hit from the lillipup. He did, and without the limit which Double battling placed, Ren was able to use Vacuum wave in the second round, which was super effective against the normal-type puppy.

Hah, type advantage is sweet! Brenda laughed.

Not so easy, Cress said. Lets show them, Panpour!

Were almost there, Brenda told Ren. Just one more opponent, and well have our first Gym badge.

Ren growled, and took a stance of concentration.

Ren, use vacuum wave!

Panpour, use play nice!

Though the Panpour was faster, Rens attack landed first.

The monkey fell to the ground, but jumped back up and fulfilled its trainers request.

The panpour approached Ren, and hugged him.

Ren broke out of the monkeys grasp, but it latched on him again and again. By the fourth attempt, he began to act strange, as though he were in a different dimension.

What did you do to Ren? Brenda shouted.

Play nice is a move that decreases your pokemons attacking strength, Cress explained. He and panpour have become friends, at least until the end of this battle.

Brenda looked at how Ren smiled at the Panpour.

Snap out of it, Ren. Youre not the friendly type, remember?

However, it was futile. Brenda would have to beat Cress with the effects of play nice.

Its not a problem, however, she remembered.

Vacuum wave is a special attack, so it would not be affected by play nice.

Ren, use counter!

Panpour, use lick!

Fortunately, lick was a physical attack, but the amount of damage counter did was not quite enough to knock the monkey out. Additionally, Ren became paralyzed, and was unable to move the next turn, when Brenda thought she could finish the battle with a vacuum wave.

Water gun, now, Cress said.

The move was by no means strong, but it was still STAB, and did enough damage to push Ren into a dire situation. If he was not able to move the next turn due to paralysis, he would be finished with one more water gun.

Please, Ren. I know it hurts and you can barely move, Brenda begged, with her heart going at a hundred beats per minute. Its just one last chance. Weve got to make it. I know you can do it, I know you hate losing!

Brenda closed her eyes, and tried to calm herself as she made the final request.

Ren, use vacuum wave!

Ren stood up as quickly as he could, and forced his legs to run forward. He locked his opponent in his eyes, but every step he took, his paralysis threatened to make him fall.

With a jump, he straightened his fist just an inch from the Panpours face.

The vacuum took his opponent out.

When the monkey fell backwards to the ground, Brenda seemed to have contracted Rens paralysis.

However, that lasted for only a split second - after the initial shock, she ran over to Ren in the middle of the battle field, and embraced him tightly.

We did it, she murmured on his ear.

It seemed as though she wanted to cry, but she had never been one to allow herself to cry in public.

We did it, Brenda repeated in a loud voice, standing up.

Cheren applauded, as she ran together with Ren toward the three Gym Leaders.

Yes you did, Cress nodded when she reached them. And as a proof of that, you can have the Trio Badge.

Just as she accepted the badge, she crouched in front of Ren. She took his paw, and placed it on top of her hand, which held the badge.

We have earned our first badge, Brenda told him, looking him with a unusually serious expression. The first of eight. We have done it together.

Ren showed an honest smile, the first she had seen, as well.