Pokémon OPEN Pokémon Spear [M] [IC] Page 22

Started by Jay October 24th, 2020 1:52 AM
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  • 537 replies

Songbird

Big brother... you're the worst.

Female
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
544 posts
8.3 Years
Today, Chloe decided to make something for her Pokemon, so she showed up at a Hammerlocke patisserie asking to use their kitchen. To be exact, she asked two bakeries first. They turned her down, but third time's the charm. She returned in the evening after the store closed with bags of ingredients.

It was a small family-owned business a few streets removed from the main drag, named L'Alcremie de la Crème after the owner's signature Pokemon. The name sounded better when she didn't actually think about what it meant.

The owner, Orion, came up behind Chloe to watch over her shoulder while she was stirring the first batch, casting a shadow on her and the counter even though he kept a reasonable distance. "You said you were making poffins, yes?" He was a head and a half taller than her, easily, maybe two—tall enough to hit his head on the door frame of most buildings in the city.

"Is that a nanab I smell?" As a master pastry chef, his nose was keen, picking up on the bitter berry Chloe already had blended into the batter.

"Yeah. Luxio loves sweets, but I have to tone it down or he'll get spoiled." The rest of the ingredients were on the sweeter side, consisting of pecha, bluk and magost.

"Ahaha!" he chortled. "You sound like my wife!"

Orion was also, to put it bluntly, incredibly buff. This was a hulk of a man with the muscle to make a Machoke feel inadequate, and his button-down shirt was doing the lord's work holding itself together. His hair was trimmed to a few centimeters, giving him quite the militaristic look.

He was surprised at first when Chloe, a foreigner, came into the shop and looked him in the eye without flinching. Normally such confidence only came from his regulars. To Chloe, however, she knew from experience that coordinators came in all sorts, so she reasoned that other professions shouldn't be any different.

The owner's Pokemon peeked into the kitchen when they heard his bellowing, then entered when Chloe was encouraged to let her own Pokemon out.

Per the store's name, Orion and his wife had a pair of Alcremie between them, and the former's rainbow swirl was the first in the spacious kitchen. Following was a perky Swirlix and bouncy Slurpuff, then the wife's ruby cream Alcremie.

After that was a Lampent. While Chloe finished preparing Luxio's batch for the oven and started on one for Froslass, Lampent tried to romance the Snow Land Pokemon.

It didn't go well.

Finally, three Milcery joined the group. Each one had a different decoration secured in its crown, and Chloe was enamored with them. When she asked about them, Orion explained that they had hatched almost a month ago. A week after that, he and his wife presented them with a batch of candies. The Milcery picked their favorites of the bunch, and they'd been keeping it in their crowns ever since. One had chosen a strawberry candy, another a clover, and the third carried one shaped like a purple ribbon.

Froslass wasn't very tolerant of bitter flavors, which made it easy to separate anything Chloe made for her team. To balance out Froslass' poffins, Chloe made something with more of a spicy kick. The rest of her bluk and pecha berries were mixed with leppa and a shuca berry. Back at the market, she spotted some rare liechi and got excited for a moment, but the price was too good to be true.

Luxio's batch was poured into molds and went in the oven, Froslass' was covered and set aside, and Chloe decided to make something extra with the ingredients she had left to thank Orion for the use of his kitchen. It was around this time the strawberry- and clover-toting Milcery climbed onto the counter to get a better look at what was happening. The third, the ribbon Milcery, was riding on Lampent's lampshade. She consoled it after an especially violent cold shoulder treatment from Froslass, who retreated to her ball.

The oven timer went off when she was in the middle of stirring, so Chloe left the bowl on the counter. As she popped the finished poffins out onto a rack to cool, the ribbon Milcery leapt off Lampent. It plunged straight for the ripe mixing bowl with all the precision of an Olympic diver, but without any of the skill of an Olympic diver.

Orion let out another booming laugh, both himself and Chloe splashed in batter. "I think she's taken a liking to your baking!" His own Pokemon seemed used to his volume, and the Alcremie duo quickly went to work cleaning up as though the Milcery couldn't be helped, but Luxio was briefly startled before he started licking the savory mixture off his fur.

"You know," Orion continued as he grabbed a pair of towels from a nearby closet, "they say Milcery is a blessing to patissiers. If one appears, the shop is guaranteed success. Bunch of malarkey, if you ask me, but I can tell you they enhance the flavor of anything you make just by being there."

He handed Chloe one of the towels—she was in the middle of licking her hands clean—and added, "If a Milcery likes you, it's a good sign you're doing something right." The way he looked at the bowl when he said it, Chloe got the feeling that he was reminiscing on a good memory. Chloe turned her head to the Milcery, swimming in the batter without a care in the world, and started laughing as well.

Unfortunately, there was no third batch of poffins. Although Luxio and the other two Milcery were more than willing to leave the mixing bowl spotless. The ribbon Milcery, having had its fill, sat happily on Chloe's shoulder while she took care of the batch for Froslass.

Before Chloe left, Orion asked her, "How do you feel about taking Milcery along with you?"

"Wait, really?" The one in question was still at Chloe's side, and she picked it up in both hands.

"Helen and I were planning to give them away next month. They're not our first." He mentioned that every year, they'd get another Milcery egg in the family without realizing it, and this was their biggest batch in a long time. L'Alcremie de la Crème had been open for a decade by now, so it would have gotten rather unmanageable quickly. "If they pick a trainer for themselves, then all the better."

"If you're sure about it, I'd love to! Thank you, Orion." Her eyes returned to the ribbon-carrying Milcery. "What do you think? Want to come with me?"

"Mil!" it affirmed, one of its creamy arms held high.

"Okay. Welcome to the team, Milcery!" It held steady on one of Chloe's hands as she freed the other, and she pulled out a white Pokeball with a red border. With a little tap on the head, Milcery and its candy were sucked inside, awarding her the standard congratulatory capture beep moments later. Immediately after, it popped back out onto Chloe's shoulder, where it seemed to have decided its favorite spot now was.

Chloe thanked Orion again at the door to the patisserie, and left the store behind. With a new companion in tow, she headed back to her hotel room for the night, making a mental note to visit L'Alcremie de la Crème again.

Chloe caught a Milcery!
Aroma Veil ((Held Item: Ribbon Sweet))
Tackle | Sweet Kiss | Aromatic Mist | Sweet Scent | Draining Kiss

Foxrally

Age 23
ya boi
a Torterra's back
Seen 34 Minutes Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
2,714 posts
8.6 Years
Simon Pearburgh
Vivillon ♀
Tackle | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder
Friend Guard
Burmy ♂
Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb
Shed Skin
Snom ♀
Powder Snow | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear
Ice Scales
Nevermeltice (held)
Princess ♀
Electroweb | Spider Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Absorb | Thunder Wave
Swarm
Larvesta ♂
Flame Charge | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel
Flame Body
Heat Rock {held}
Anorith ♂
Dig | Water Gun | Smack Down | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
Swift Swim

Spoiler: Inventory
ATC
Nevermeltice
*
held by Snom

Heat Rock
*
held by Larvesta

Shell shard
A LOT of cinnamon buns
Badges: 3
Grass badge
Water badge
Fire badge

Spoiler: Memories
~ NPC LIST ~
--- Wedgehurst ---
#1 - Caterpie joins the team!
#2 - The Mail Thief, pt. 1
#3 - The Mail Thief, pt. 2
#4 - Meet Sachiko
#5 - Train Battle!
--- Southern Wild Area ---
#6 - Burmy joins the team!
#7 - Snom joins the team!
#8 - Meet Raphael
#9 - Spirits Entombed
#10 - Meet Ruben
#11 - Suited Men Encounter!
--- Motostoke ---
#12.1 - Stadium Entrance [MEGA JP]
#12.2 - Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
#12.3 - New Beginningd [MEGA JP]
#13 - Motostoke Gym Mission
#14 - VS Kabu
#15 - Lunch with Sachi
#16 - Joining Blackspear
#17 - A Mysterious Egg
--- Route 3 ---
#18 - Meet Rosa
#19 - VS Rosa
#20 - Christmas Delivery
#21 - VS Catherine
--- Galar Mine 1 & Route 4 ---
#22 - Meet Aurora
#23 - Joltik joins the team!
#24 - Meet Pia
#25 - VS Oleana
#26 - Ferrothorn Rescue
--- Turffield ---
#27 - Blackspear Delivery
#28 - Turffield Gym Mission
#29 - VS Milo
#30 - Calling home
#31 - An Unexpected Interruption
#32 - VS Sachi, Rematch
#33 - Contest Date
#34 - Larvesta joins the team!
--- Route 5 ---
#35 - On the road again
#36 - Meet Jasper
#37 - VS Jasper
#38 - The young inventor
#39 - Meet Valerie
#40 - The Wishiwashi Squad!
--- Hulbury ---
#41 - Breaking & Entering pt. 1
#42 - Breaking & Entering pt. 2
#43 - Happy Birthday Raphael
#44 - Hulbury Gym Mission
#45 - VS Nessa pt. 1
#46 - VS Nessa pt. 2
#47 - VS Tristan
#48 - Heartbreak
--- Galar Mine 2 ---
#49 - Blackspear Security
#50 - A Power Boost
#51 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 1
#52 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 2
--- Motostoke (Revisit) ---
#53 - VS Kabu, Rematch
#54 - A point to prove
#55 - VS Catherine, Rematch
#56 - Strength
#57 - Blackspear Mission Briefing
--- Northern Wild Area ---
#58 - Meet Xan
#59 - Psychic Testing
#60 - Reconciliation
#61 - Teambuilding
#62 - The calm before the storm
#63 - The Pinsir Mission
#64 - Fighting back
#65 - One last hope
#66 - For better or for worse
--- Hammerlocke ---
#67 - Fatherly advice
#68 - Common ground
#69 - VS Nigel?
#70 - The Plan

Hammerlocke

“Oi, wait up!” Simon called out as he chased after Vivillon, the colourful Pokemon thankfully standing out from the crowds as she soared over them and he pushed through to get to her. The winged bug let out an inquisitive squeak and turned around before realizing she’d gone far ahead of her trainer, stopping in place. Simon finally caught up to her, huffing, “Listen… I know you can fly now, but you can’t start going full Larvesta on me. At this rate I’m going to be getting my cardio every day...”

Even though he was getting used to his Pokemon’s now-increased mobility, Vivillon was even more energetic than usual, Simon noticed. She’d insisted on going to the contestall of a sudden, and had made sure to prepare extra early to make sure they weren’t late- and then quickly rushed him out the door. Simon had left the rest of his team back at the hotel since they all seemed to be sleeping (even Larvesta, which was weird for the early-rising bug) though he could’ve sworn he heard his door lock itself as he was leaving…

Contest or not though, Simon had other things on his mind. As hard as he was trying not to think about it, today was also the young man’s birthday.

He hadn’t thought of telling his Pokemon about it; he found out that most bugs cared little about knowing the day they were born, let alone celebrating it. It wasn’t like Simon hated his birthday normally- even as a kid, with a family struggling to make ends meet, they had always managed to make every one special, and his father would invite every relative, neighbour and family friend to the event. It was also one of the few days Simon got a written message from his mother, before they inevitably stopped. And as much as he’d tried to cheer himself up and get himself to look forward to the day… he just couldn’t. That feeling of emptiness still followed him. How could he possibly celebrate something after what he’d done in the Wild Area? What kind of an insult would that be to his Pokemon’s memory?

...and he’d lost one of the few things that held him onto those memories. Nigel, Mustache, whatever that bastard was called- had taken it from him. He’d spent days afterwards looking for descriptions of the man, but nothing came out of it, and so he gave up. Only one message was carved into Simon’s brain: he’d lost because he was weak. Once again… his weakness had been the cause of his pain.

An excited squeak broke the boy from his self-pity trance. Vivillon floated down and grabbed Simon’s shirt, ently pulling up to show him that the contest was starting. She’d brought him to one of the larger parks in Hammerlocke, where massive screens broadcasting the contest were placed on stands, showcasing the main Strugglecon stage from different camera angles. The crowd was quite significant even outside the venue; several beanbags had been placed around the park for viewing purposes, and Vivillon ushered him to sit on one as she perched herself on his shoulder.

“Wow, you’ve really been into this whole contest thing since Turffield, huh?” Simon glanced over at his Pokemon as he sat down. The butterfly mon squeaked and nodded excitedly, mentioning that they had promised to watch Pia’s performance, after all.

“Ah man- I’m sorry I couldn’t take you there in person, then.” Simon rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “Felt a bit weird to go to this contest after the last time, y’know.”

Vivillon laughed and bopped him on the head, teasing that he’d have to settle for her to be his date this time around and to loosen up.

Before Simon could say anything back, the speakers crackled on and Lisia’s voice boomed through the park.

“Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to the CONTEST STRRRRRAVAGANZA!”

------------------------

The first contestant to go up was Aeliana, coincidentally someone who Simon recognized. The dancer’s acts were always exciting to watch back at the academy, and if he had to guess, she was going to treat the audience to a show for this one too.

As the trainer threw off her cloak and she broke into her dance-off against Jet, the crowd seemed to pick sides over who to cheer for, and Simon found himself disagreeing with Vivillon over who the better one was- was this Poke-favouritism for the Hitmontop?

------------------------

Next up was Melody. “Oh, she won the last contest. This should be interesting.” Simon said to Vivillon, and the bug nodded excitedly, mentioning that she missed talking to her Drakloak.

“Wait, how do you know he’s a Drakloak now?” Simon asked, raising an eyebrow.

Vivillon looked away nervously and motioned that the show was beginning. The performance was stunning; Simon wondered how she’d managed to do an outfit change so easily under that rock tomb. The twist on the ‘transformation’ theme was just the sort of thing he expected from Melody- she was never one to stick exactly to the rules, after all.

------------------------

A few contestants later, another name popped up which Simon hadn’t heard in a long time: ”Chloe Hayes!”

Simon tapped his chin pensively, “Hey, isn’t that the tourist girl who we battled in Wedgehurst once? With the Luxio?”

Vivillon nodded, letting out an annoyed growl, Simon had put her up against an evolved Pokemon at a time where she only knew Tackle and String shot.
“Heh, I guess I was a little overeager…” her trainer chuckled. Vivillon nodded sarcastically. Was. Sure.

The performance began and Simon recognized Chloe’s Luxio, alongside a Froslass he hadn’t seen before. As the latter covered the stage in ice and and erected spires for the electric-type to play on, Simon noticed his Pokemon was enamored by the performance, her beady eyes reflecting the electric sparks and shards let out by the music.

------------------------

Simon and Vivillon were discussing the previous contestants’ performance when the announcer called out a name which snapped both of them to attention: “Pia McGuire!”

So she had decided to join the contest after all, Simon thought as he smiled. Vivillon fluttered up onto Simon’s head excitedly, eager to get a good view of this performance. Several people around them whispered among themselves, no doubt about the rumours surrounding the girl- but Simon knew Pia wouldn’t let them define her.

The show was exhilarating. The clouds, the lights, the creativity- but then, when Pia started to sing, that’s when he heard all of the whispering stop. This was Pia’s moment, and nothing anyone could say would take that away from her. The performance ended to rousing applause, even from those watching remotely.

------------------------

The time had slowly turned into the evening and Rosa was up next- another classmate Simon hadn’t seen in a while. At her side was a Roserade, likely the very same one he’d met as a baby last winter. Holy crap, had it been that long since they’d graduated?

The transition from frozen tundra to blossoming flower was incredible- how on earth did she manage to fit so many outfits under each other? Once the performance was over Vivillon crawled down, commenting that the blossoming was more akin to a bug-type emerging from a cocoon than a grass-type, so she could have done better there. More Poke-bias, Simon supposed.

------------------------

Just as it looked like all of the performers were finished, the announcer called out one final name- well, more of a moniker: “The Tea Rose ensemble!”

Almost as mysterious as her title, the girl’s appearance on the stage was sudden and bewitching. The music, coupled with the amazing effects from the dusclops and torkoal, transformed the stage into the battlefield of the Hoennian gods which Simon had heard of countless times as a child. Seeing it recreated in live action was nothing short of fantastic, and once the show was over… the Tea Rose disappeared with it as well.

------------------------

By the time the judges were ready with the poll results, it was already nighttime and the bright lights of the park had long since turned on. Thankfully it wasn’t too humid of a summer night, and Simon had gone to grab a drink from one of the many sitrus berry vendors while waiting. This birthday wasn’t so bad after all, he thought- even though he couldn’t explain the concept of a birthday to Vivillon, bringing him to the contest on this day was more of a gift than he’d imagined.

The pair saw the fireworks light up the sky as the winners were announced: Melody, the Tea Rose, and unsurprisingly, Pia.

“Looks like she can finally put the past behind her, eh?” Simon said, passing the straw to Vivillon who nodded with a smile. Simon smiled back, but felt a bit of sadness behind it. If only he could do the same.

Paired to Gligar and gimmepie
Friend Code
SW-5146-5893-7210
I make memes and other carcinogens

gimmepie

Age 26
Male
Australia
Seen 31 Minutes Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
23,497 posts
9.5 Years


Indra (Male, Swift Swim) - Rain Dance, Hypnosis, Bubblebeam, Double Slap, Earth Power, Refresh
Stampede (Male, Poison Point) - Hydro Pump, Smokescreen, Twister, Focus Energy, Dragon Breath, Icy Wind
Holo (Female, Lightning Rod) - Tackle, Thunder Wave, Spark, Howl, Flame Burst, Flash

Vessel (Female, Dry Skin) - Fury Cutter, Absorb, Poison Powder, Spore, Rain Dance, Protect
Lancer (Male, Dry Skin) - Taunt, Revenge, Sucker Punch, Poison Jab, Rain Dance, Toxic


Inventory:
- ATC
- Expensive PokeGear
- Pokedex
- 800 Poke (On ATC)
- TM Icy Wind
- TM Flash
- Wishing Star
- TM Protect
- TM Rain Dance
- TR Thunderbolt


Badges:
CATHERINE CARLISLE
Protégé
Having spent much of the day drilling Kelly on battle tactics, Catherine had ended up having to book another room for the night. Now she was waiting for the kid to arrive at a smaller training field the morning after, her own morning training now complete. She had returned her own team to avoid causing a scene or inviting challengers. She was there to get one thing done and then she was out of there. She had a desert to cross.

“Catherine!”

There she was. Kelly was hurrying up to her from across the largely empty training area. She looked like a mess. The kid had obviously not gotten much sleep. Her hair was frazzled, there were bags under her eyes and she looked pallid. Yet there was an air of nervous excitement about her too. Catherine was momentarily struck by the thought that she couldn’t remember ever having such feelings as a kid. That was a much newer development for her.

Catherine nodded a greeting at the young girl. “Ready?”

Kelly fidgeted nervously. “I… I’m as ready as I’ll get.”

“Good enough,” Catherine said with a shrug, “Will they be much longer?”

Despite Kelly’s assurances that the other kids would be arriving quite soon, it was over thirty minutes before she spotted them and pointed them out to Catherine. There were five or six of them, boys mostly. They laughed and joked amongst themselves, gathered behind their apparent leader: a slightly chubby boy with heavily gelled-up hair. He looked like he was trying to look older than he was. But it was pretty clear he wouldn’t really have been any older than Kelly, a year at most.

Catherine had seen groups like this growing up. A pack of kids chasing the social clout of the “tough” kid or the “cool” one. She’d never had any interest in engaging with that sort of thing herself. She’d seen it a million times before she’d even gotten out of primary school. Those allegiances would switch on a dime. That was going to work in her favour here.

Taking their time, the group of brats eventually took notice of Kelly and sauntered their way over. Still laughing and joking. Obviously about her.

“Who’s that with her?” One of the weedier boys asked.

“Her sister?” Replied the lone girl in the group.

“Nah,” the kid at the front said, a muk-eating grin plastered on his face, “That’s the crazy rattata from the gym challenge. You know, the one who got all pissed at Kabu?”

Some more discourse between the group ensued. Mostly agreeing that Catherine was, indeed, batmuk crazy. She wondered if at any point it was appropriate to dropkick a first-grader.

“This is your secret weapon, Kelly?” the kid at the front said mockingly, his cronies laughing behind him like a pack of Poochyena on helium. “I thought it was the whore you were in love with? Did you finally realise how crap she is? Not that this psycho is any better. Didn’t you see her go crazy on TV?”

“I…” Kelly started to say, but instantly deflated. The kids across from her laughed.

Catherine took a deep breath. Okay. “You know, I was going to play nice since you’re just a bunch of dumb kids who think they’re hot muk. But since you’re a right little bastard and your pint-sized cult is just as bad, I think we should make some things clear.”

The assembled children all looked at Catherine with a mix of caution and surprise. Apparently they were not expecting an adult to talk to them like that. They were in for a shock.

“Firstly,” Catherine began, “Just because your parents don’t love you enough to give up their bodies to feed you doesn’t mean you get to talk muk because Pia’s mother does. Secondly, that stuck-up rattata is way too self-important to follow in her parents’ footsteps to begin with. Thirdly, I’m not crazy, I’m just seeing a big picture that other people are too selfish to notice. Finally, you’re like seven, so watch your psyducking language. Any questions?”

Said little bastard, his friends and Kelly all stood frozen, looking at Catherine with wide-eyed astonishment. None of the children had any idea how to react to that. For several long seconds, there was only silence.

“Right,” Catherine continued, “Now that this is all cleared up, figure out which one of you is going to get their ass handed to them by Kelly. I’ll referee for you. Make it quick.”

Catherine walked Kelly, who was still in a state of shocked silence, over to her side of the battle field. She looked down at the little girl, who was shaking with nerves, trying to move her mouth to speak but still not finding the words.

“I… uh…”

“Too late to back out now,” Catherine replied, “Don’t show them any weakness. Hold your head up high. You do what I taught you, exactly how I taught you, and you’ll win.”


Catherine moved to the side of the battlefield, standing in the centre between the two sides. She watched as Kelly clumsily pulled out her Surskit’s ball. To the surprise of none, the ringleader of her group of bullies stepped up to the plate on the other side.

“Okay, let’s get this over with,” Catherine said.

“R-right,” Kelly stammered, “Come on out, Skitter!”

“Mess her up, Boss.”

Kelly’s jumpy little blue bug appeared before her. Opposing him was a black-feathered bird with a sharp yellow beak and hat-like plumage on its head: a Murkrow. Exactly as Kelly had told Catherine.

“Don’t keep me waiting,” Catherine said, “Get started.”

“Get ‘em Declan!” That was the same girl from before. Now Catherine had a name for the little mukhead.

“Right! Peck that weakass Bug!”

The Murkrow, Boss, took off to a low flight and swooped down towards Skitter.

“Uh… Protect!”

A green bubble of energy sprang up around the Surskit and the Murkrow slammed right into it. It screeched out, flapping to backpedal.

“Rain Dance!” Kelly commanded again.

What Skitter did looked more like flailing wildly than dancing, but it did the job. Storm clouds gathered overhead above them and rain began to fall.

“What the hell?” Declan grimaced, displeased at being rained on.

“You didn’t have those moves before!” One of the boys who hadn’t said much yet exclaimed from the side-lines as though accusing Kelly of cheating.

He was right of course. She hadn’t had either Protect or Rain Dance until Catherine had let her borrow her TMs.

“Like it matters!” Declan shouted, “Peck again!”

The Murkrow made another wild diving swoop, trying to land the super-effective move. It was much too slow though. Skitter easily darted around the attack, the bird slamming into the ground like a crashing plane.

Catherine couldn’t help but smirk just a little. Most Surskit had the Swift Swim Ability, the same as Indra did. Skitter was twice as fast in the rain.

“Sweet Scent!” Kelly was barely remembering to breathe as she focused on the battle.

Skitter took action as Boss flapped, trying to get back into the air. The Surskit sprayed it with a cloud of pink chemicals.

“What’s that even meant to do?!” Declan shouted angrily. “It doesn’t do anything!”

“Control the battlefield and you control the battle!” Kelly responded, parroting Catherine's most important lesson. She was so intent on the strategy that she barely even noticed her bully was saying anything. “Skitter, use Mist!”

From the little tip on top of its head, the same one that had produced the Sweet Scent, a thick white fog began to flow from Skitter. Quickly, the battlefield was being overtaken and visibility diminished.

Catherine couldn’t see through it after a few seconds and she knew that neither of their kids or Pokemon could either. Kelly had been worried about this, she remembered. It was all part of the plan though. The kid just had to trust her partner.

“I can’t see!” Declan whined. “What are you playing at? Now neither of us can do anything!”

“You sure about that?” Catherine chided. Psyduck impartiality.

“Use Bubble, Skitter!”

From within the thick fog cloud, the sound of a Murkrow screeching was heard as a bombardment of bubbles blasted it.

“How?!” Declan shouted angrily. Catherine almost laughed at how dense the kid was.

“Because your Murkrow stinks almost as much as you do!” Kelly shouted back across the battlefield. Apparently imminent victory was doing wonders for her confidence.

“What did you just s-”

Declan’s incensed question was cut off by the sound of his Murkrow howling again. And again. And again. Skitter was dashing all around the bird, blasting it with rain-boosted Bubble attacks. Boss couldn’t do anything to locate Skitter, but the Surskit could track the pungently sweet odour it was radiating well enough.

Several more times, Skitter’s Bubbles struck home. As the fog finally began to clear, the Surskit came into view, darting around the battlefield at a breakneck pace. It’s target was grounded, sopping wet from the rain and bubbles both and struggling to stay standing. It was time to end the battle.

“Quick Attack!” Kelly called.

The Surskit darted forwards like a bullet, slamming into Boss with all his might and knocking the Murkrow out before the bird could land a single hit.

The mean kids stood in stunned silence as Kelly cheered, rushing forward to embrace her Surskit.

“That’s that,” Catherine said, “Kelly and Skitter win.”

Declan recalled his fallen Pokemon as his friends converged on him.

“You didn’t even hit it once…”

“Dude, you just got murdered.”

“She was actually pretty cool, you have to admit.”

Declan looked like he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to scream, cry or both. It seemed like he wasn’t used to getting his just desserts.

“Well?” Catherine said.

“Well what?” the little brat spat.

“You lost. You didn’t even get a single hit in. She’s better than you. Admit it.”

“Yeah, yeah. She won this one. Fine.” The boy crossed his arms defiantly. That was probably the best anyone was going to get out of him though. It didn’t really matter though. His credibility was gone.

“She’ll win the next one too. Probably the next one after that. You’re going to have to work hard if you want to be as good as her. So I suggest you go and get to work,” Catherine said, “And if I hear you’re still giving her a hard time after how badly she just beat you, I will personally come back to Hammerlocke just to kick your tiny ass.”

Declan opened his mouth as though he intended to retort, but decided better of it and skulked off. Gradually, his friends followed off behind him, but not before Catherine caught a few of them waving goodbyes to Kelly. So fickle. She hoped the girl wouldn’t be foolish enough to trust them now they were being a little friendlier. She’d won social status not friendship.

“Um… thanks.”

Catherine turned back around. Kelly was standing there, still cuddling her victorious Surskit.

“Don’t worry about it.”
“How can I make it up to you? I wouldn’t have won without your help.”

Catherine shook her head. “I don’t want anything for it. There’s no point in doing good deeds just for the sake of getting something out of it. If you want to do something for me, you can make up for it by being a good person and expecting nothing in return the same way.”

“Oh… um… okay.” A confused look was plastered on the girl’s face.

“Maybe next time you see someone having a rough time like you were, help them out.” Catherine shrugged. “That sort of thing.”

“Oh! Right. I can do that!” Kelly’s face lit up again.

“Good. Now, I have a desert to cross so I’m going to go get to work. Be careful not to trust those kids too easily just because they’re being nice right now. They’re just as fickle as the media taking shots at Pia.”

Kelly nodded, listening intently to the sage wisdom she was receiving.

“Oh, and speaking of Pia, you better put a lot of effort into supporting her because I’m going to blow her out of the water.” Catherine waved at Kelly, then headed off towards the next route, releasing Indra for company.


RPWLA&MBattle ServerDaily

Foxrally

Age 23
ya boi
a Torterra's back
Seen 34 Minutes Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
2,714 posts
8.6 Years
Simon Pearburgh
Vivillon ♀
Tackle | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder
Friend Guard
Burmy ♂
Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb
Shed Skin
Snom ♀
Powder Snow | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear
Ice Scales
Nevermeltice (held)
Princess ♀
Electroweb | Spider Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Absorb | Thunder Wave
Swarm
Larvesta ♂
Flame Charge | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel
Flame Body
Heat Rock {held}
Anorith ♂
Dig | Water Gun | Smack Down | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
Swift Swim

Spoiler: Inventory
ATC
Nevermeltice
*
held by Snom

Heat Rock
*
held by Larvesta

Shell shard
A LOT of cinnamon buns
Badges: 3
Grass badge
Water badge
Fire badge

Spoiler: Memories
~ NPC LIST ~
--- Wedgehurst ---
#1 - Caterpie joins the team!
#2 - The Mail Thief, pt. 1
#3 - The Mail Thief, pt. 2
#4 - Meet Sachiko
#5 - Train Battle!
--- Southern Wild Area ---
#6 - Burmy joins the team!
#7 - Snom joins the team!
#8 - Meet Raphael
#9 - Spirits Entombed
#10 - Meet Ruben
#11 - Suited Men Encounter!
--- Motostoke ---
#12.1 - Stadium Entrance [MEGA JP]
#12.2 - Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
#12.3 - New Beginningd [MEGA JP]
#13 - Motostoke Gym Mission
#14 - VS Kabu
#15 - Lunch with Sachi
#16 - Joining Blackspear
#17 - A Mysterious Egg
--- Route 3 ---
#18 - Meet Rosa
#19 - VS Rosa
#20 - Christmas Delivery
#21 - VS Catherine
--- Galar Mine 1 & Route 4 ---
#22 - Meet Aurora
#23 - Joltik joins the team!
#24 - Meet Pia
#25 - VS Oleana
#26 - Ferrothorn Rescue
--- Turffield ---
#27 - Blackspear Delivery
#28 - Turffield Gym Mission
#29 - VS Milo
#30 - Calling home
#31 - An Unexpected Interruption
#32 - VS Sachi, Rematch
#33 - Contest Date
#34 - Larvesta joins the team!
--- Route 5 ---
#35 - On the road again
#36 - Meet Jasper
#37 - VS Jasper
#38 - The young inventor
#39 - Meet Valerie
#40 - The Wishiwashi Squad!
--- Hulbury ---
#41 - Breaking & Entering pt. 1
#42 - Breaking & Entering pt. 2
#43 - Happy Birthday Raphael
#44 - Hulbury Gym Mission
#45 - VS Nessa pt. 1
#46 - VS Nessa pt. 2
#47 - VS Tristan
#48 - Heartbreak
--- Galar Mine 2 ---
#49 - Blackspear Security
#50 - A Power Boost
#51 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 1
#52 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 2
--- Motostoke (Revisit) ---
#53 - VS Kabu, Rematch
#54 - A point to prove
#55 - VS Catherine, Rematch
#56 - Strength
#57 - Blackspear Mission Briefing
--- Northern Wild Area ---
#58 - Meet Xan
#59 - Psychic Testing
#60 - Reconciliation
#61 - Teambuilding
#62 - The calm before the storm
#63 - The Pinsir Mission
#64 - Fighting back
#65 - One last hope
#66 - For better or for worse
--- Hammerlocke ---
#67 - Fatherly advice
#68 - Common ground
#69 - VS Nigel?
#70 - The Plan
#71 - Hammerlocke contest

Hammerlocke

It was getting rather late as Simon reached his hotel room, chatting with Vivillon on the way back. As he stepped through the front door of the building he noticed the bug fluttering away to his window directly, instead of going in with him; clearly she was enjoying the new benefits of her flying-type.

As he made his way to the elevator, the front desk attendant grabbed his attention. “Excuse me, sir! Mr. Pearburgh?” Simon turned around and noticed the clerk beckoning him over, and walked up to the desk.

“My apologies for the rudeness, sir- I’m a bit of a league fan, so I knew your name when I recognized you.” the man said sheepishly. “I wanted to let you know that several packages came in for you this morning, after you left.”

“Oh?” Simon asked. Only his father and Raphael knew where he was staying, so that was strange.

“No worries, though- that darling little Kadabra of yours offered to teleport them up, so they should be in your room already.” the man grinned. “I personally thought you would only stick to bug-types, but exceptions do make the rule, I suppose.”

“A Kadabra…?” Simon echoed, not correcting the man yet but still confused. There was only one Kadabra he knew personally, but why and how would they have shown up at his hotel room...?

Thanking the clerk, Simon walked back to the elevator and took it to his floor, perplexed. As he approached his room he heard some noise coming from behind the door and walked a little faster. If he was going to come back again to a singed room and a second Larvesta he-

”S-UR-K-RI-S-E!”

The door burst open and Simon was blasted with a cloud of confetti so strong that it threw him against the other wall in the hallway and dropped him to the floor.

------------------------

One full heal and several profuse apologies later, Simon was un-paralyzed and safely back in his room. The confetti, he’d painfully discovered, was made of Spewpa particles, a ‘sight oversight’ by his Pokemon.

However, he’d quickly put that behind him as he sat on the floor, surrounded by his team who squeaked out happy birthday celebrations. “Birthday…?” Simon asked, still stunned. He hadn’t told them anything about today being special at all, how did they-

Vivillon shushed him and motioned for Anorith and Larvesta to grab their surprise. Both bugs quickly dashed under Simon’s bed, and emerged moments later with a…. cake…? At least that’s what it looked like, and Larvesta fired a weak ember at the twig that was sticking out of the cake, lighting the ‘candle'. As the brown lump on a plate was pushed over to him, all the bugs looked up at Simon expectantly.

“Guys, this is….” Simon began, at a loss for words. The misfigured shape that sat in front of him was wet in some places, clearly burnt in others, had pieces of random foods and packaging sticking out from the sides, smelled like dishwater, and already seemed to have a bite taken out of it... “It’s… so beautiful…” Simon murmured as tears began to well up in his eyes and he grabbed all of his Pokemon in a group hug. “YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!” he wailed, overjoyed.

A chirp from Princess sounded as she wriggled out of his arms and skittered to the corner of the room, dragging a giant bag of spider web and dropping it onto him.

Simon looked at the bag in shock, “What? Gifts? How did you guys buy these?!”

Burmy shook his head. These weren’t from them.

Simon was still speechless as Anorith cut open the bag and motioned for him to reach in. He put his hand in the bag and pulled out the first thing he felt- a pokeball, with a small note attached to it.

"Have a cool one, dude! - Aeliana"

Simon looked up at the bugs, “Wait, how did you get this-” he said, looking back inside the bag. This was a brand-new luxury ball, the most expensive ball on the market… He reached into the bag again.

"To the ultimate hope - Melody"

A Leech Life TR. Simon grinned, that was the Mel he knew- she’d picked the most dark-type-sounding bug move she could put her hands on, of course. And coincidentally the next gift was from another Spikemuth friend of his.

"For when you need that champion energy. Rock on, bug boy! - Haleigh"

A Piers and Marnie album- signed, too! For a Spikemuth resident, this was like gold. Simon cursed himself for not getting a new phone yet as he noticed the digital code in the back; he’d have to grab one at some strugglecon vendor. As he pulled out the next gift, his eyes lit up and he gasped.

"Captain braviary would still win but I’ll admit this guy is neat. have fun reading & happy birthday! - Ryan"

Not only was this from someone he hadn’t talked to since Wedgehurst- but it was the brand new Heracross Knight Quest Collection, a comic series which him and Ryan had spent eons debating over back in school. He held up the hardcover box in awe, his eyes reflecting the shine of the bug-themed superhero’s armor. All of his Pokemon let out enamored squeaks at the glorious sight. However, Vivillon seemed interested in something else- she pointed inside the bag again excitedly, hoping for him to pull out what she was looking for. Simon reached inside, and felt a cylindrical box about the size of his hand.

"Thanks for sticking with me in school. I hope to repay that with a good battle someday. know you are strong. I’ll get strong too. - Isla"

Within the box was a little crochet plushie of a Spewpa- now Simon knew why Vivillon was so excited. The slightly off shape with its big head made it clear it was homemade, but the construction itself felt solid. Before he could examine it further the butterfly Pokemon grabbed the toy and showed it off to the others, excitedly mentioning her likeness to it. Simon chuckled, and noticed the tube wasn’t empty. There was a piece of carefully-rolled paper he unfurled to reveal a detailed piece of artwork. Done in black pen with simple coloring, it depicted Simon himself posing confidently with his team at his back. They leapt out from behind him, ready for battle. A second letter sat inside the tube next to it.

"Your battles leave me at the edge of my seat, and I know you’ll only grow even stronger. I hope that one day I can inspire others with my work the same way you’ve done to me. Never stop reaching for the top. - Winston"

Burmy squeaked out something as he snatched the artwork from Simon’s hands and showed it to Vivillon, sticking out his tongue and saying that he looked much cooler than her on there. Larvesta and Snom disagreed as they pointed to themselves, and soon all of Simon’s Pokemon minus Princess were engaged in a heated debate over who looked the coolest on Winston’s art.

The Joltik squeaked and crawled onto Simon’s lap, patiently waiting for him to take the next gift. Simon reached in once more and pulled out a tiny metal object, too small to be a bracelet but too big to be a ring. It was a little metallic flower crown.

"I’m excited to show each other how much we’ve both grown. Happy birthday. - Rosa"

Princess squeaked as she looked at the gift, the only bug who was still paying attention. Simon laughed and placed the crown on her head. “There you go. Fitting for you, your highness.” he said.

The next gift was accompanied with a note that Simon immediately recognized before he even read the name:

"From your F4L (Friend 4 Life) - Demon Queen Valerie ♡♡♡"

The Mew book was signed by “the demon queen” as well, which was of course the moniker Val had been given after her Nessa battle. He looked at Princess, “Demon queen versus Bug king… it’s got a ring to it, don’t you think?” The Joltik nodded happily, readjusting the crown on her head.

Simon could tell there weren’t many more gifts in the bag, but it was still quite heavy. He reached in with both hands and pulled out a large box, wrapped with several layers of string shot, and a smile grew on his face. He could guess who this was from.

As he ripped the string-packaging off and opened the box, he spotted a note inside, signed and with two large ink-stamps of a Grimmsnarl and Heracross’ paws:

”Happy birthday, lad. Me and the fam can't be there in person yet, but I hope this makes up for it for now. Much love, - Da, Grimms & Ross. (P.S., drinking age is just a suggestion)"

Simon beamed and removed the packaging inside the box, and found a brand-new bug net inside, coloured to match his outfit and with his trainer number printed on the handle. The bug catcher grabbed it excitedly and swung it forward- it extended naturally just like his old one, and felt natural to hold in his hands. He twirled it in his fingers and slammed it onto the ground like a staff, striking a pose which immediately got the attention of the bugs as they cheered.

The bag was almost empty now, but Simon spotted a note inside an envelope. He pulled it out; it was marked ‘Open later - Pia’. He put the letter in his pocket, wondering what the contents were, and reminding himself to meet her later to congratulate her for winning.

Vivillon fluttered over asking if he’d enjoyed all the gifts. Simon wiped the leftover tears from his eyes and laughed. “Thank you guys again. I don’t know how you did it, but this was-”

An inquisitive squeak from Princess got his attention. There was still something inside the bag. Vivillon and Burmy looked confused; they hadn’t picked up any more packages. Had Kass snuck this one inside as well?

Simon reached in and felt a crumpled-up paper which seemed to be the wrapper for something inside. And as he opened it… there was Caterpie’s ball. Simon felt tears in his eyes again as he read the final note:
I gather this ball is of major sentimental import to you. I had intended to take an empty spare ball. I did not mean to take something of such value. There is no forgiveness to be had for such an affront, but I apologize all the same: I am sorry. In hindsight now I can understand how you were out of sorts at the time, and how then you could be made to lose to me. Had the situation been otherwise I maintain that you would have bested me, and readily. I firmly believe you to be one of the strongest Trainers of any of us who came from Sonia’s group at Wedgehurst. I look forward to seeing that strength in your future Gym Battles.

Happy trails to you, and good luck on your way.
—Tim
Simon folded the paper and held onto the ball tightly with a smile. This was the thing missing from his birthday. His father was right. In some way, Caterpie was still with them, celebrating.

A few more moments passed before Anorith squeaked. He was hungry. The rest of the bugs all chimed in, eager to have Simon try the cake they’d worked on all day.

“Uhh, well, I kind of ate before getting here, so-” A knock on the door cut the boy off mid-sentence. Saved, Simon thought, as he got up to answer it, but was still curious who it could be.

Standing on the other side of the door was Raphael. Vito smiling brightly behind him, with a small gift bag held in his mouth. “Did you… think I’d forget or something? You look gobsmacked.”

“Raph?!” Simon’s surprise quickly turned to joy as he opened the door wider, “Well, I didn’t think birthdays were your-” He was cut off by the stampede of bugs flying and pushing past him to pile on Vito, showering the Sealeo with cheers as they excitedly pulled him to see the cake they’d made. To which Vito very excitedly rushed forward, only for the bugs to rapidly shift their efforts to holding him back from plunging his face inside of it.

“...mine isn’t. This isn’t that though.” Raph picked up the gift hastily dropped by Vito, then handed it to Simon. “Here, this is for you.” As Simon opened the bag, he found a single, small black box. Upon opening it he found, on a small green cushion, sat a silver pin.

Two vibrant silver butterfly wings, angled stylishly from one side, embossed on stainless steel. It was remarkably high quality, fancy enough, but clearly built to be sturdy. “...thought it was fitting.” Raph mumbled tiredly, before stepping past Simon into the hotel room. “Thinking of a gift idea is also… a lot of effort. So I kind of stole yours.”

Simon beamed, his eyes sparkling as he quickly put the bug pin on his hat and posed. “How do I look?”

Raph simply raised an eyebrow and shrugged. “Exactly how I’d expected you would…” He smirked. “But that’s pretty decent, so not bad.”

“I’ll take it.” Simon adjusted his hat smugly. “Oh! You’re actually just time for cake.” He motioned towards the misshapen lump behind them, which was currently being passed around between the bugs as Vito and Anorith fought to take a bite out of it.

“...” Raph stared at the disaster of a dessert with trepidation, his face contorting into an expression of concern. “I’m… I already ate…”

With a sudden bark from Vito the cake was flung from the bugs’ grasp towards the two trainers.

Paired to Gligar and gimmepie
Friend Code
SW-5146-5893-7210
I make memes and other carcinogens

Fen-Fen

Me but more fabulous

Age 23
Female
Colorado, USA
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
342 posts
5.8 Years
Haleigh Windsor and Achille Beringer
18 | Female | From Circhester


Spoiler: Memories
--- --- Wedgehurst ---
#1 - Meeting Corey
#2 - Caught Coraline
#3 - Catching Up at the Station with Melody

--- Wild Area ---
#4 - Meet Achille
#5 - Camping out with Corey and Coraline

--- Motostoke ---
#6 - The Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
#7 - Opening Ceremony pt. 2 [MEGA JP]
#8 - Opening Ceremony pt. 3 [MEGA JP]
#9 - Record Store Chaos

--- Route 3 ---
#10 - Found Orion
#11 - Smuggler takedown
#12 - Visions at the factory printing press
#13 - Breaking down in the woods

--- Galar Mine 1 and Route 4
#14 - VS Oleana w/Melody
#15 - VS Rosa
#16 - Cerise "battles" Orion, joins the team

--- Turffield ---
#17 - Turffield gym mission
#18 - VS Milo
#19 - Hanging out with the girls

--- Route 5 ---
#20 - Corey has a nightmare
#21 - A “platonic” dinner w/Achille
#22 - Haleigh turns eighteen
#23 - Rescuing Squirtle and Piplup
--- Hulbury ---
#24 - VS Nessa
#25 - Corey runs away
#26- Haleigh gets help from Catherine
#27 - Haleigh gets help from Achille
#28 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 1
#29 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 2
#30 - Going for drinks with Rosa, Ruben and Pia
--- Galar Mine No. 2 -----
#31 - Encounter with Rory ft. Aeliana
#32 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 1
#33 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 2
-----Motostoke (Revisit) -----
#34 - VS Ian
#35- VS Kabu
#36 - Simon and Haleigh pump steel and have a heart to heart
#37- Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 1
#38 - Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 2
#39- Befriends Dart
#40 - Psychic things with Xan
#41 - Eiscue mission
#42 - Camping out with Achille
------Hammerlocke------
#43 - VS. Catherine
#44 - VS. Raph
#45 - Reflecting on the journey so far



Contest and Cosplay



Achille wandered the convention after parting ways with Ryan, absentmindedly browsing the stalls and eyeing a few trainer accessories he ultimately decided against. The convention was cool, make no doubt, but it definitely was more fun when he had someone to talk to while browsing. Hell, he barely noticed the line while hanging out with Ryan.

He pulled out his phone, opening the contacts screen and scrolling through the names. A name came to mind, and he was fairly certain she’d be here. If not, she’d be interested in it anyways. He tapped Haleigh’s name, and sent a quick message.

Hey, are you at the convention, by any chance? And send.

yeah actually! u here? :o

Perfect. Yeah, I just left the battle floor. I’m over near the market booths if you want to hang out.

yes yes yes i'll be right there, i'll be just a few minutes!!!

Achille pocketed his phone and went up to one last stand to kill a few minutes, an accessory shop for Pokémon, much like the one he visited with Rosa back in Motostoke. Various pouches and clothing of all sizes were pinned against the back of the stall for display. He spent his time looking over the main table though, where both very small and very large pieces were stored. A metal crown looked about the right size for Aliénor, and he turned it over and over in his hands as more memories of the sketchy accessory shop floated back.

Nothing caught his eye in particular, again, but it did waste enough time that he felt good looking for Haleigh now. He slipped away from the booth, avoiding eye contact for spending several minutes looking but not buying. I should have asked her what direction she would be coming from. Finding a single person in this crowd seemed like an impossible task. He’d be better off checking somewhere less crowded for her first.

There was a spot near the entrance with several benches, right outside of the Vendor’s Hall. That was as good of a place to start as any, he reasoned.

Luck would have it that a familiar blonde was already in that area by the time he arrived. Haleigh was facing the other direction, and the crowd would block the sound of this approach. Time for a little payback for the Wild Area. The Kalosian snuck up behind his girlfriend and hugged her from behind. “Found you, madamé.”

Haleigh let out a small exclamation of surprise, giggling when she recognized the voice of the person who ambushed her. "Damn it, you scared me! Guess it's fair though considering I knocked you flat last time."

After Achille broke away from the hug, she turned around to face him. "I'm glad you texted me, it was getting a bit boring doing things by myself."

As opposed to the tank top she had been wearing last time, she went for her trusty pair of ripped jeans and a Piers and Marnie t-shirt. Though the sleeve covered most of her upper arms, a peculiar bit of black and red stuck out on the lower part of her biceps.

She started bouncing in place, her eyes lighting up as she exclaimed, "Ooh Achille, guess what I got since I got to Hammerlocke?"

She rolled up her sleeve, revealing the black and red flame tattoo she had recently gotten. "I got this really awesome tattoo at a shop here in town! Fits me, doesn't it?"

"It looks great on you," Achille said, admiring the artwork. "I think my father would flip his muk if I got a similar one though. He sure did when my brother pierced up."

"Anyways, I was looking through those rows," he motioned towards the two furthest lines of booths. "I kind of want to keep looking through here, if you're interested. I've almost found something cool, I can feel it."

"Sure!" Haleigh took Achille's hand and walked with him in the direction of where he had pointed to.

The two strolled through the rows and alleys of the vendor hall, passing by stores selling practically every nerd hobby available. Achille strongly debated picking up an Ice Stone at a dusty booth selling various stones, evolutionary and not. Ignace was nowhere near ready enough for the evolution, though. There’d be other chances down the line, when the little primate was more mature.

The couple had nearly gone through the entire floor with Achille remaining indecisive. He just beat Raihan(‘s one Pokémon), damn it, he wanted something to remember it by. The two turned into the last row of the market, with Achille about ready to admit defeat. Then a clothing shop happened to catch his eye.

“There’s no way,” he muttered while approaching. “In Galar?” The store looked to specialize in basic cosplay outfits. What drew him in was a basic full set, a light suit of armor with a leafy cloak and a green hood. He felt the material, finding it surprising in quality. The costumes wouldn’t win any awards for it, but it looked nice enough.

He pulled out the costume, revealing it to be obviously built for someone much larger than him. Still, he admired the details of the costume: how well the leaves of the cloak actually looked like several large interconnected branches, the dings and scuffs in the armor, even the clothing underneath looked accurate. “Damn, if only I was tall enough.”

As Haleigh looked for costumes in the same area, one costume besides the one he found caught her eye as well. The outfit had a black coat with some golden pauldrons that resembled some sort of military or royal outfit with a purple interior lining and a fake flower on the lapel. It also came with some black patterned leggings accented with small golden tassles and boots that came up to the knees. It seemed like it came from some fantasy show with some modernistic twists to the aesthetic. To Haleigh’s eyes, it looked like a neat subversion of the stuff her mother made her wear when she was younger.

She held it up to Achille and asked, "This from something you recognize?"

“Hell yeah I do,” Achille said, looking over at the outfit Haleigh had grabbed. “These are both from the same show, Mythic Knights. I didn’t think people would recognize it here in Galar. It was mostly aired in Kalos, I think.”

He looked back over the costume in his hands, reminiscing. “This was my favorite character: Gabriel, the Forest Knight. He was from a small farming village, but rescued a Shaymin he found in the woods. He found the armor and spear of the last Forest Knight after the Shaymin he nursed back to health led him to it.”

He returned his gaze to the outfit in Haleigh’s hands, reading another salvo of fanboyism. “That’s the attire of the Lady of Starfall Manor, a sorceress and former noble woman who helps the group.” He stopped, looking back towards the rack of clothing. “Now that I see that… I think I can actually pull off a Raynaud.”

Achille shelved the green suit of armor, giving it one last longing stare. After a silent goodbye and a silent curse at his own legs for being too short, he flipped through the costumes one by one. No, no, no, no, oh muk, but no, no. “Gotcha!”

The costume he dragged out was obviously from the same series as the green armor. This suit had less covered by the “armor”, leaving much more noticeable gaps, but a sleeker look overall. Underneath were simple black clothes; his armor had a space-like effect in the series between the gaps. The breastplate was etched with a closed eye, and a yellow headband with a star hung from the hanger. Tying the whole piece together was a steel gray cloak with a purple interior. “Found it, Comet Knight’s armor. And I think it fits.”

Haleigh rubbed her chin in thought as she examined the costume and said, "Tell me more about this Lady of Starfall Manor and the Comet Knight."

“Enora? She’s a minor noble in Kalos, and doesn't own much more beyond her manor home and the library she was left with. She started as a minor villain, but that didn’t last long at all. Her and Lunatone would usually show up when something magical was blocking their way, since she was wandering around Kalos during the War to learn more about magic. She finally joined the group in full at the end of the second season.”

Achille stopped for a breath. "Stop me if I'm going too fast," he added, self-consciously, "it's been a while since I've seen anything related to this show."

He held his outfit up to his body, looking at himself in a small mirror the booth had set up. "As for Comet Knight, well, he was my sister's favorite character. Stoic, somewhat broody. He lost his parents in the war and was a gifted knight in training when Jirachi fell from the sky. He was probably the strongest knight magically, but Jirachi had really limited energy for him to borrow, so he stuck mostly to his swords."

"And, uh," he added, looking back towards Haleigh. "his love interest was Enora."

While Haleigh had been intrigued by the lore that he was explaining, the last part was what really sold her on the whole thing. She beamed as she exclaimed, "Ooh now you got me all excited! Let's do this!"

Achille checked the prices on both and nodded. It's not trainer related either, so no need to dip into the trainer savings. He pulled out his family card and bought both of the costumes. "I think there's some actual changing rooms near the Cosplay area." He recalled.

—————————

The costume fit like he expected, a bit odd wearing something as bulky as it, but at least it wasn't heavy. The little pieces took a bit of effort to get correct, and a quick search for a reference picture to confirm they were all correct. Once fully settled, he pulled his hair back for the first time in a while, tying it with the included golden bandana. If only I had a Jirachi. He snickered at the idea of causing a scene by just casually showing up with a real Jirachi.

He left the changing room and hung around the small crowd clearing outside, waiting for Haleigh.

After a while of waiting, Haleigh finally emerged from the dressing room fully decked out in her costume. She tilted her head a little bit and asked, “How do I look?”

Achille just stared for a few seconds before snapping back to reality. "G-great." He forced out, remembering how to speak. He suddenly remembered why the character had such a fanbase back home.

He took a quick look around the room for something to distract him. His eyes narrowed in on a sign amongst the crowd, reading it between passerbys. There was a contest here at the convention. That’d be interesting, right? It’s been years since he actually went to one.

“What about visiting the contest?” Achille suggested, pointing out the sign. “I skipped the last one, but I’m sure some of our classmates are competing too.”

Haleigh said, “Wow, they’re holding the contest here too? This place really does have everything!”

Her thoughts immediately went to Melody and Rosa as potential contestants in the contest. “I’d love to go and see it with you, especially if I catch Mel or Rosa up on the stage. What do you say, Monsieur Comet Knight?”

She took his hand and looked up at him with an enamored expression. “Well then,” Achille said, “allow me to guide you to the stage.”

-------------------------------

The two sat in the center seats, finding the first rows both surprisingly formal for a convention and seemingly a ‘no fun’ zone. Beyond, the dress code was more relaxed, and the trainers found themselves in a mixed sea of formalwear, semi-formal outfits, and straight up cosplay.

“Well, at least the dress code is less relaxed at the convention, I can count the amount of times I’ve worn a suit since coming to Galar on one hand.”

Haleigh chuckled, “Yeah, we trainer’s ain’t much for suits and ties, are we? I ‘aven’t even worn a dress since I was like sixteen and I was dressin’ up for Halloween with Mel.”

An announcer called attention to the stage as Achille gave a quiet ‘damn it’. Just as we stopped getting interrupted. Still, this was a show, and one not actually involving his brother this time. He was going to sit back and enjoy this.

First to the stage was one of his own classmates, though one he hadn’t really come into contact with post-academy. He sat back and watched ice cover the stage, transforming it into a scene straight out of winter on this late summer day. The ice-cooled air coming from the stage was a welcome change in atmosphere, as his costume was surprisingly warm.

He’d almost forgotten what Aeliana looked like until the cloaked figure unveiled herself (and a Hitmontop). He remembered pretty much as soon as the dance picked up again, now fully de-cloaked; it was pretty hard to forget someone quite as dancey as her.

“That’s pretty damn impressive doing that on ice,” Achille said while clapping once the performance ended. “Even if this entire journey taught me that sudden snowstorms aren’t my thing.”

Haleigh joined in Achille’s applause, nodding her head as she said, “I’ll say. Though then again, it’s how we met and got close.”

“True,” Achille admitted, “I also met Ignace in a snowstorm like the one outside Froslass. Remind me to tell you that story later, actually.”

Just as Achille finished saying that, attention was once again called to the stage in preparation for the next participant. The girl was obscured somewhat by the shadows cast on the stage, but as she walked forward Haleigh instantly recognized the figure of Melody in a black dress with a mesh covering over the top of her chest, shoulders and sleeves.

Haleigh could only look on in awe as the show properly started off with the entrance of her shiny Gothita Celeste and a new Pokemon that Haleigh hadn’t seen on her team before. Some stones were cast all around the stage while Melody and Celeste twirled about the stage in sync after Melody gently tossed the shiny Rockruff into the air as it floated effortlessly between the teen’s arms.

Then, Celeste’s eyes glowed and cast waves of psychic energy that shattered the rocks around them and made the whole area light up with shattered geodes. Then, as more stones appeared to make a stairway, Haleigh let out a gasp as the makeshift stairs collapsed and entombed Melody. She looked over at Achille in worry before having her fears assuaged as she soon emerged from the stony tomb in a completely different outfit that reminded her a lot of that Sailor Lunatone anime that Melody was so fond of.

As the spectacle of a show closed out with Melody and her Pokemon riding on one of the rocks (no, asteroids based on the space theme going on), Haleigh got up from her seat and loudly shouted, “YEAH MEL, YOU KILLED IT OUT THERE!!!”

She looked back at Achille, glee and excitement seeming to barely be able to be contained within her, “Holy muk Mel looked so psyduckin’ awesome out there!”

“Yeah, that was pretty good.” Achille admitted with a hint of hesitation. He enjoyed the costume change, and the display was impressive, regardless of if he felt judged by the person behind it. He wasn’t that petty, he hoped. He clapped all the same.

Haleigh raised an eyebrow at the note of hesitation in his voice, but decided to let it go. Melody was pretty intimidating if you didn’t know her really well.

Another new contestant was called forth, and Achille settled in for the next performance. He watched as a girl in black and silver, Chloe, stepped onto the stage and brought out a Luxio to perform Rain Dance. “Spoke too soon, there’s an actual Froslass here too.” he whispered amusedly to Haleigh as the second Pokémon was released.

He watched on in curiosity as the frozen pillars formed. He’d seen ice get used a few different ways in these contests; it was a bit of a wild card with the Luxio though. The lion cub shocked the pillars, producing a surprisingly clear song after a few tuning attempts.

Achille clapped wholeheartedly at the end. “Merde, I’ve heard quite a few contest songs, but not one played on ice and lighting. That was psyducking cool.”

The blonde teen, similarly awestruck, exclaimed, “Yeah, that was pretty cool. Still thinkin’ Mel did the best so far though.”

Soon after the unfamiliar girl left the stage, another girl took her place covered in a cloak. Once she unwrapped the cape from around herself, a familiar blonde haired trainer graciously made her entrance: Pia. Haleigh had missed Pia's last performance in Turffield, so Haleigh was excited to see what she had to offer.

It was a mesmerizing and elegant performance, with her looking like a proper sorceress between the getup, the graceful moves and the very pretty effects that Pia had her Pokemon use. The song she was singing seemingly from the bottom of her heart also added to the otherworldly effect the performance was having.

It had affected her so much so that by the time it ended, Haleigh had started to tear up.

She said, her voice slightly strained, "That was so beautiful."

“Certainly an interesting take on transforming the stage without weather moves,” Achille said, letting the trainer side of the brain take over for a moment. “Perfectly fluffy too, I kinda want to take a nap on that stage… except for the electricity.”

Next came someone Achille hadn’t seen in quite some time, Rosa. Seeing the flower and ice theme dredged up memories of his Brother’s performances back in Kalos, alongside Weavile and Lurantis. Long and emotional performances set to ice and plants were strangely popular back home. The frozen bouquet was a nice touch though.

Then the dress fell off, revealing the much more tropical outfit alongside the musical use of the flowers. Yeah, that’s not like home. He giggled at the thought of his brother in the island dancer’s attire dancing along to music. It was a nice contrast to his brother’s usual pretentious ‘psyduck your expectations’ art attitude.

“I was afraid I was in for more snow, but I do like being reminded it’s summer,” he said while applauding. “I guess you could say it was bell-awesome.” He hated himself a little for that pun.

Haleigh groaned and rolled her eyes, but soon found herself breaking into a fit of giggles. "Goddamn it, that one took me off guard. That was bloody awful!"

There was a shifting around in the seats, seeming to mark that the contest was about to end. However, the lights dimmed and confused murmuring followed as the announcer announced one last performance of the night.

This contestant surely knew how to make an entrance. She was masked - so there was no real way for her to know who was in it and dressed in a frilly outfit that reminded Haleigh of a gentlewoman thief she read in a novel a long time ago. Her Pokemon - a Dusclops - emerged as she told a tale that Haleigh vaguely recognized as being the time someone had helped saved the Hoenn region from a rampaging Kyogre and Groudon, with accompanying Will o Wisps in the shapes of the legendary Pokemon and a surprisingly intense narration from the contestant that really drew her in.

Even her exit was flashy as she bid the crowd adieu with a Smokescreen. Haleigh turned to Achille and said, "Wow, that...certainly stood out. She really seemed to get into it there."

"It's an interesting end to the show," he agreed. "Having a mysterious theme certainly adds a little something. Turning the stage into basically a puppet theater is pretty cool too."

The two were left to chat about the performances as they waited for the crowd to clear. Eventually there was some movement, freeing the couple to wander towards the convention building. The crowd thinned once they actually entered the building, as the various convention goers split off to explore different areas of the venue. Achille and Haleigh found themselves in a small rest area after their portion of the crowd cleared, checking the convention layout for their next stop.

"Hey, asshole!" A familiar voice came from behind Achille. He stopped his suggestion for dropping by the arcade and stood up as a chill ran down his spine. He turned around and looked at the man behind him.

The man was over a head taller than him, and dressed in a deep blue suit. His long hair was now a pastel pink all around, save for a spot of blonde near his ear. His brother, here in Galar.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Achille asked Roland.


PastelPhoenix

How did this even happen?

Age 26
Male
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
450 posts
5.6 Years

Achille Béringer || 19 || ♂️
Location: Hammerlocke
A Brothers' War
Featuring Haleigh. (A JP with FenFen pt. 2)

Joiuse - Shadow Sneak, Slash, Autotomize, Metal Sound, Block, Aerial Ace
Proudhon - Tackle, Crunch, Flail, Bite, Brine, Waterfall
Alizé - Absorb, Tackle, Air Cutter, Supersonic, Double Team, Wing Attack
Ignace - Powder Snow, Tackle, Taunt, Bite, Avalanche, Work Up
Aliénor - Rock Tomb, Dragon Tail, Roar, Ancient Power, Charm, Bite
Terrot - Tackle, Growth, Razor Leaf, Tail Whip, Leech Seed, Worry Seed




Haleigh looked over at the man that had so rudely called out to Achille. She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes as she exclaimed, “Oi, who the hell are you calling asshole? That’s my boyfriend you’re speaking to, prick.”

She turned to Achille and asked, “D’you know this guy?”

The man smirked, placing a hand in his pocket and looking down towards Achille. “I thought I saw you in the crowd. I’m here because Lisia, the judge, invited me.” He looked over towards Haleigh and flashed a nicer smile. “I was wondering why little Achille here didn’t come running home as soon as he graduated. I wouldn’t have guessed he found himself a girlfriend here.”

“Sorry, let me introduce you,” Achille said while turning towards Haleigh, doing his best to ignore the barb. “This prick is my brother, Roland. Kalosian contest star, current challenger for the Kalosian championship, and knows exactly why I’m up here in Galar.”

"Oh, your brother!" Haleigh scratched her head and gave a sheepish, nervous chuckle to Roland. "Sorry mate. Name's Haleigh."

“I take it my dear brother hasn’t deemed it fit to mention me then,” Roland said with exaggerated hurt in his voice. “At least he isn’t badmouthing me then.”

“What do you want?” Achille interrupted, no warmth in his voice. “I don’t think you’re here to just catch up and meet my girlfriend.”

His brother sighed, pulling his hand from his pocket and crossing his arms as he shifted his weight to the back foot. “I told you already, I want to patch things up. You wanted to meet in person. I wanted a battle to settle this little feud you think we have. Happy coincidence, here we both are.”

Roland tilted his head, his pink hair completely covering his shoulder as he looked at Achille like he was an idiot. “I hope you’re picking up what I’m getting at.”

Achille had forgotten all about that incident. He snatched his bag and tucked it under his arm. “If you want a psyducking battle, then let’s head back outside. I’m happy to oblige, and I’ll hear you out after kicking your ass.”

Roland shrugged and motioned for the pair to follow him. He led them outside of the building and past the stage, to a relatively secluded area. A few benches and tables next to a large field wouldn’t draw too much attention with an entire convention center next to them. They’d be free from curious eyes who may recognize either of the regional league challengers dueling it out.

“Go ahead then, let’s see what this place has taught you.” Roland tugged at his tie, loosening the knot enough to remove it. “You’re not moping around like I thought you would be, but let's see if it made you a good trainer or not.”

Achille reached for a Pokéball, kicking himself for letting Joiuse get K.O.ed against Raihan. She could battle, but she was still probably tired and more prone to mistakes. He snagged the Pokéball next to it instead, tossing it. The ball impacted the center of the field and cracked open, releasing a large blue and tan sea serpent in a curled position.

His brother smiled upon seeing the Gyarados, nodding his approval. “Well, at least you picked something serious against me.” The pink haired man tossed his now-removed suit jacket aside, revealing a belt attachment with four Pokéballs. Roland also removed the second Pokéball on his holster and tossed it into the ring.

The light from the ball solidified into something looking like a black bipedal weasel. Red feathers adorned its head and neck, and the creature's fingers ended in long, sharp claws. The Weavile checked over it’s claws, tapping them against the pad of her paw.

The ice-type surprised Achille. “You’re sending out Violet and not Lily?” The Lurantis would be a better counter to Gyarados, he felt. Satisfied with the state of her claws, the weasel eyed Gyarados up and down. Finding her opponent up to snuff, the black furred Pokémon crouched into a fighting stance.

“You’re not using Joiuse either.'' Roland must have been watching his progress, Achille realized as his brother casually used the names of his own Pokémon. “Besides, I can tell Proudhon decided to follow you because he thinks you’re strong. Violet is the same way. Fitting, right?”

As Haleigh glanced between the two brothers, it was becoming clear that some real tension existed between the two of them. She'd need to ask Achille about it later; in the meantime, however, she felt herself get excited at the prospect of seeing Achille on the battlefield up close. He was no pushover based on what she'd seen against Kabu and Nessa.

Haleigh went over to Achille, her fists clenched and held next to each other in front of her. "Ooh I can barely keep it in, this muk's exciting! I know you can beat his arse, so show 'em what you're made of!"

She gave him a light punch on the shoulder before giving him a peck on the cheek. "And there's a kiss for good luck."

Roland whistled, smirking as Haleigh left Achille’s side of the field. “Alright, now that you’re motivated, can we begin?”

Achille cracked his knuckles, feeling a smile beginning to creep across his face. “If you’re ready, Proudhon, start us off with a Brine!”

“Cut him off with an Ice Shard!” Roland shouted.

Proudhon straightened up, drawing upon his reserve of salt water. Before the attack could fully form, Violet breathed super-chilled air on her claws, creating a thick layer of ice. The ice-type swiped at her foe, sending large chunks of pointed ice flying.

The shards impacted against Proudhon’s throat, accompanied by a spray of brackish water from the Gyarados’ mouth. Pissed off from being beaten to the punch, Proudhon fired the Brine with extra force. The stream of water enveloped the dark-type, blocking it from view of both trainers.

The field quickly became soggy as the smell of salt began to overtake the air. The torrent finally ended, revealing Violet in a defensive pose that guarded her face. The Weavile had been pushed about a foot, judging by the gouges in the ground from her claws, but otherwise looked fine.

“There we go, now close the gap and Hone Claws, then Slash them!” Violet took off, her claws finding great traction in the now damp soil. She scraped her claws against one another as she ran, sharpening them.

Merde, get out of the way, then retaliate with a Bite!” Proudhon rapidly uncurled, sliding to the side as fast as he could. Violet leapt at the Gyarados, swinging her arms from behind in a wide arc and catching the Gyarados on his back. Proudhon roared as the claws cut right through his scales, before lunging forward and tearing into the Weavile’s foot with his fangs.

Proudhon tossed the ice-type away from him. Violet regained control of herself in the air and landed in a controlled roll. She jumped back to her feet, muddy, but still eager to fight.

Haleigh let out a cheer at the successful counterattack. Seeing Achille battle his brother was proving to be quite exciting, with both of them showing off some impressive maneuvering. Even with Jouise being his main Pokemon of choice, he was no slouch with Proudhon as evidenced by how far back the Weavile had been thrown.

“Good first round,” Roland said as the two Pokemon stared each other down, waiting for the command to go back at it. “I see Galar isn’t the pushover league that needs theatrics to keep interest like you thought it was.”

Achille let out a frustrated sigh. “How long are you going to keep poking at that. Obviously I’m enjoying it here if I’m staying.” Proudhon stood completely motionless, tense like a coiled spring. “Did you miss me that badly all those years? Brine!”

“Hard roll to the left, then Icy Wind.”

Proudhon unleashed another torrent of seawater at Violet. The weasel Pokémon jumped into a shoulder roll without any hesitation, narrowly avoiding the stream of water. The surge of water flooded the field more than it already was; a thin layer of water was now visible just under the grass.

The Weavile came to a stop on one knee. She snapped her attention towards Proudhon and closed the first and third claw of her free hand, leaving only the middle claw up. The Ice-type breathed forth a cloud of superchilled air over the battlefield, freezing the accumulated water and causing a thin layer of ice to form on the parts of Proudhon it touched.

Pérdon, did you teach Violet to make rude gestures at people?” Achille snickered, imagining his brother demonstrating the gesture over and over to the confused weasel.

From the sidelines, Haleigh was also highly amused at the image of a Weavile flipping off a large water serpent and started giggling as images of a certain video game she played with Mel popped into her head.

Roland sighed, looking surprisingly embarrassed by it. “I didn’t, she psyducking learned it. She saw how people reacted when I did it, and thought it was funny.” The man looked away from the offending Pokémon, who snickered at her trainer’s reaction more than anything else. “Nom de dieu, Violet, please just use Agility and take advantage of that ice you made.”

Violet returned her focus towards the battle, taking off on the makeshift ice rink with surprising speed. Her large strides helped her accelerate, her claws digging deep into the ice and soil underneath with ease.

Bordel de merde,” Achille shouted, shocked at the speed of the Weavile. “Proudhon, try to stop her!”

The Gyarados thrashed about, having to pry itself loose from the ice covering its body. Large chunks fell away as Weavile rapidly approached, but it wasn’t going to be fast enough. The serpent flailed in frustration, grunting and snorting as it struggled against the ice.

Haleigh could be heard shouting, “C’mon Proudhon, shake ‘er off!”

Violet leapt at the struggling sea serpent again, dragging her claws across his chest in a deep Slash. Proudhon was knocked off balance, the last of the ice falling away with the swaying of the Pokémon. The Gyarados retreated a few feet and snorted, rearing up until it was towering above Violet and peering down, eyes glaring below his scared crest.

Proudhon made a short hop and dove towards Violet, spitting water as he descended. The full weight of the Gyarados crashed down atop the Weavile, slamming her with the force of Proudhon’s weight and the Waterfall attack. The ice across the field shattered in a large circle from the impact, leaving Proudhon at the center of a bullseye.

“Yes! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Haleigh jumped up with her fist in the air. “Keep ‘im on the ropes, Achille!”

A few seconds passed without reaction, then Proudhon leapt off the Weavile and slithered back. The side of the Gyarados where Violet had been trapped under was frozen, victim to a point blank Icy Wind.

“Are you good, Vi?” Roland asked, not sounding too worried. His posture remained casual despite what looked to Achille like a pretty hefty attack. Violet pushed herself out of the small indent she made, feathers ruffled but still smirking. The Dark-type shook like a dog, knocking the shards of ice stuck to her fur off.

Belle,” the half-suited man continued, nodding contentedly as the Weavile picked herself back up. “Let’s keep the pressure up. Keep on Slashing.” Violet charged at the Gyarados for the third time, claws at the ready and kicking up large chunks of ice.

Achille balked, did his brother think he was stupid? “We’ve seen this before, Proudhon. Get out of the way then counter!”

Proudhon raised up again, readying another Waterfall. The Weavile leapt towards the Water-type’s belly, fingers outstretched. The blue bastard was ready, though, revealing his Waterfall as a feint by suddenly lunging for the Weaile’s readied arm.

Proudhon bit down on the weasel’s arm, dragging the ice-type up into the air and Crunching down on his captive. Violet hissed in pain, glaring daggers at the Pokémon who dared manhandle her like this.

“Get out of there, Vi,” Roland shouted, only a slight hint of worry to his voice. “Throat Chop.”

Violet gave a pained grunt as she swung away, kicking off the dragon’s throat to get some momentum going. The determined captive swung herself back towards Proudhon, delivering a hard kick to the throat. Proudhon gasped for air, releasing Violet’s arm and sending the weasel falling towards the ground.

Violet landed on her back, scrambling to her feet and holding the Crunched arm close. Her foe was still reeling from the attack, gasping for air and Flailing to hit the dropped Ice-type. “This is your opening,” Roland shouted, “finish it!”

Putain, Proudhon, aim.”

The Weavile jumped back from one of the Gyarados’ wild attacks, looking up towards the huffing Pokémon and firing a wide Icy Wind towards his face. The air feeling even thinner only caused Proudhon to flail harder, increasing his speed to try and knock out his foe before running out of breath.

Violet leapt, seeing an opportunity.

The relentless Weavile slammed into Proudhon’s neck again, the elbow of her good arm first. This Throat Chop was enough to send the sea serpent to the floor, collapsing in a heap with him. Violet pushed herself off of him, breathing heavily and knees shaking but victorious. Proudhon lie in an exhausted heap, gasping for breath and throat bruised.

Achille walked up and crouched next to his down companion, patting the massive Pokémon’s crest. “Merde, I think we almost had them.” Proudhon snorted, his breath condensing into vapor on the melting ice below. “Pfft, you learned two new moves. We’ll kick his ass next time he’s around.”

He heard a ‘catch’ from behind and barely caught something yellow flying at him. A Super Potion. Roland was crouched next to Violet with his own bottle, looking over the Weavile’s arm wound. Achille shouted a ‘thanks’, uncapped the bottle, and began to spray the medicine over Proudhon’s cuts and bruises.

Haleigh walked towards Achille, still chipper as ever despite his loss. She looked over to Proudhon and exclaimed, “You did amazin’ out there! Achille really knows his muk.”

She then turned to Achille and gave him a wide grin, “That was one hell of a battle! You’re still a winner to me no matter what though.”

“You’re giving me a cavity,” Roland smiled, watching his little brother squirm a bit in embarrassment. “How did you find someone so sweet to put up with you anyways?” He reached out and tousled Achille’s hair, smirking.

“Haha, she’s great, isn’t she.” Achille went back to an unamused tone of voice, removing the taller man’s hand. He pulled out Proudhon’s Pokéball and recalled the grumpy Pokémon before turning back to the conversation. “Now, you said you wanted to talk. Well, I’m here and you won. So let’s talk.”

Behind the pink-haired man, Violet picked up Roland’s jacket and rummaged through the pockets. The Weavile pulled out a granola bar from an inner pocket, then tossed the article of clothing back on the grass, unwrapping her self-obtained reward.

Roland brushed off his Pokémon, obviously used to it’s antics. “Right. Well... “ Achille watched as his brother struggled on wording what he wanted to say, rubbing his eyes in thought. “Psyduck it, has notre père reached out to you about anything while you were here? No favors, no requests, nothing?”

Achille squinted. A request from his father? “Papa? No. Why?”

Roland looked Achille over for a second before relaxing. Seeing if his confusion was genuine, he guessed. “Sorry, I just heard you were staying up in Galar after you graduated, and thought it had something to do with him.” Roland trailed off, leaving a thought half finished.

“Why would he want me up in Galar?” Achille asked while crossing his arms. “We don’t really do business up here, much less anything shady that you would have to be worried about.” His brother shot a look towards Haleigh, a silent reminder that there was someone else here. “She already knows, no need to try and tiptoe around it.”

Haleigh nodded. “Yeah, you two certainly have a very...interesting family. I can relate, believe it or not.”

Roland nodded. “If it’s what I assume, that’s reassuring. Getting involved in that mess would piss our dear father off.” He returned his focus to Achille, getting serious again. “I’m going to be blunt with it. I thought the school was a move to isolate you from all of us here in Kalos under the guise of not causing a fuss. You looked like you were giving up and just doing what he wanted just to play trainer for a bit.”

Achille rolled his eyes. “Oh, psyduck off. The School is very well established and ties directly into the Galarian league. I’m not rolling over and accepting scraps.” Achille remembered the call with his father in the Wild Area. Might as well use that to help prove his innocence. “I actually think he’s worried about me being up here. He called me and apparently wants me back home, saying he now approves of the sport and blah blah. That, or he’s scared of you in the Kalos league and wants me to come and stop you.”

Roland scoffed. “I think we just proved you can’t do that.” From the background, a Weavile laughed. “But that’s worrying in it’s own way. Trust me, when he finally approved of me being a coordinator he started trying to leverage my connections to his benefit. Mostly innocent business introductions, but there were some legal introductions, friend of friend mostly, that were suspect.”

Haleigh rubbed her chin in thought as she mulled over Roland’s words. All of what they were talking about seemed very in line with the manipulation that she had been subjected to while she was living with them - though the connections to an evil organization were tenuous at best as she didn’t even think her mother was involved, bad as she was.

She turned to Achille and said, “It sounds like he’s kinda playin’ you around if I’m bein’ honest. It reminds me a bit too much of my own parents for my own liking.”

Roland clapped, pointing at Haleigh. “See, she knows what’s going on. Just, keep your wits about you. You seem to be keeping better company here than you did back home, so I feel better about it.”

“Hold on,” Achille protested, “the guys at the Gym were okay.”

Roland sighed. “Okay, they were okay. The rest though… I know the really ‘good’ and ‘proper’ kids wanted to avoid you because of the stigma, but you could have done better than the people who just wanted to use pére’s money.”

That stung a bit. Yeah, they were kinda assholes who didn’t follow up with him when he left. “Okay, point made.” Achille said as his brother stepped away from their little circle. “Now, can I ask you a blunt question?”

“Sure.” Roland walked over towards his discarded suit jacket, picking it up and frowning as he realized one of the sleeves had landed in the Brine water after Violet tossed it.

“Why are you doing a run of the Kalos league, especially after working so hard towards being a coordinator.” At one point Achille felt like yelling that at his brother, but the words came calmly. He felt a lot of the tension gone after his battle. It was a loss, but it was reassuring to see his brother taking this seriously.

“Oh, uh, career advancement? Now I’m not just Contest Star Roland, but ‘Man Who Could Have Been Champion’. Good marketing.” Roland said, looking up from his damp jacket. “And I kinda thought it would piss you off enough to come home.” He said that completely casually. A year of Achille’s life languishing over his brother stealing his dream, and the truth comes out like a dud bomb.

Va te faire foutre.” Achille said plainly, no emotion or overreaction. “You probably caused me to stay in Galar longer, tête de noeud.”

“Ah, oops.” Roland said, slightly sheepishly. “At least you got a girlfriend out of it?” Achille opened his mouth to argue, but closed it after deciding it was not worth it.

Violet walked over towards her trainer and handed him the wrapper from her snack, getting a blank stare in return. “There’s a trash can right there.” Roland pointed towards the green bin, but was ignored by the Ice-type.

“Anyways, are we good here?” Roland addressed Achille while scrunching up the trash in his hand. “I made the trip and kicked your ass, can we put off this stupid game of chicken?”

Achille gave a ‘hmm’, but just to keep his brother in suspense. “Fine, we’re good. I’m not being brainwashed into becoming a good little Flare goon, and you’re not being a complete asshole for trying to steal my job.” Achille felt like he needed a drink. Away from his brother.

“Beautiful,” Roland folded his jacket over his arm and whistled for Violet to follow. “Now, if our brotherly bonding moment is done, I need to meet up with some friends for drinks.”

The two brothers exchanged goodbyes, and the older one left for the convention center after a quick stop by a rubbish bin, Pokémon trailing behind. Achille and Haleigh were left by the flooded plain, the smell of salt still in the air.

The blonde looked over at Achille, a small, wistful smile on her face. “I kinda wish I had siblings growing up. I can tell you still love him despite all that drama between you two.”

Achille smiled, “he’s alright. His ego started getting really big when he started going on stage with his first Pokémon, Lily, and winning some local contests. But he was usually there to bail me out when people at the Gym caused issues. And he didn’t lecture like my other brother or my sister does.”

“Ah, I’m sure they just wanted to keep you nice and respectable. It’s why I’m here with you after all.” She gave Achille a dopey, toothy grin.



Inventory:

Spoiler:
1000₽
Pokédex
ATC
Old Rod
Nevermelt Ice
String of Pearls






Fen-Fen

Me but more fabulous

Age 23
Female
Colorado, USA
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
342 posts
5.8 Years
Haleigh Windsor and Valerie Amity
18 | Female | From Circhester


Spoiler: Memories
--- --- Wedgehurst ---
#1 - Meeting Corey
#2 - Caught Coraline
#3 - Catching Up at the Station with Melody

--- Wild Area ---
#4 - Meet Achille
#5 - Camping out with Corey and Coraline

--- Motostoke ---
#6 - The Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
#7 - Opening Ceremony pt. 2 [MEGA JP]
#8 - Opening Ceremony pt. 3 [MEGA JP]
#9 - Record Store Chaos

--- Route 3 ---
#10 - Found Orion
#11 - Smuggler takedown
#12 - Visions at the factory printing press
#13 - Breaking down in the woods

--- Galar Mine 1 and Route 4
#14 - VS Oleana w/Melody
#15 - VS Rosa
#16 - Cerise "battles" Orion, joins the team

--- Turffield ---
#17 - Turffield gym mission
#18 - VS Milo
#19 - Hanging out with the girls

--- Route 5 ---
#20 - Corey has a nightmare
#21 - A “platonic” dinner w/Achille
#22 - Haleigh turns eighteen
#23 - Rescuing Squirtle and Piplup
--- Hulbury ---
#24 - VS Nessa
#25 - Corey runs away
#26- Haleigh gets help from Catherine
#27 - Haleigh gets help from Achille
#28 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 1
#29 - VS Nessa Rematch, part 2
#30 - Going for drinks with Rosa, Ruben and Pia
--- Galar Mine No. 2 -----
#31 - Encounter with Rory ft. Aeliana
#32 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 1
#33 - Encounter with the Black Suits part 2
-----Motostoke (Revisit) -----
#34 - VS Ian
#35- VS Kabu
#36 - Simon and Haleigh pump steel and have a heart to heart
#37- Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 1
#38 - Haleigh talks about her parents pt. 2
#39- Befriends Dart
#40 - Psychic things with Xan
#41 - Eiscue mission
#42 - Camping out with Achille
------Hammerlocke------
#43 - VS. Catherine
#44 - VS. Raph
#46 - Hitting up Strugglecon w/Achille
#47 - Achille VS. Roland



You Got a Friend in Me


All of it was a lie.
All of it. The friendship, the chats, the encouragement… It was all a lie.
Why?
Why, why, why?!


Negative, overflowing thoughts were rushing through Valerie’s head. She didn’t really know, nor care where she was going. The crowd made things difficult. Bumping into almost everyone she even came across, Valerie desperately wanted to be away… just, be away from it all. LunaBeam was her best friend… at least... that’s what she thought. What seemed like an eternity from hell, Valerie finally found some leeway and some space. In a daze, she found herself on a bench, and sat down.

Her facial expression was like she was in a trance. She couldn’t stop tearing up. She wiped away her tears using the base palms of her hands, but they just continued to flow. Then, she couldn’t hold it anymore. She started sobbing heavily, the tears now flowing like waterfalls.

After the excitement that the contest and Achille's battle with his brother had provided, Haleigh parted ways with him and started making her way out of the convention- though she kept getting distracted with various stands selling cute trinkets that she just barely managed to avoid splurging on.

In her distraction, Haleigh found herself in a more remote corner of the convention center. She was about to turn back to find her way back towards the exit when she caught sight of a familiar figure, sitting on a bench. Something about the way she was sitting, however, wasn't quite right; the woman had her hands up to her face and she was shaking as if she was crying.

Once Haleigh got a closer look, her eyes widened in surprise at who exactly it was that was crying: Valerie! Haleigh had only ever known her as a cheery and always in high spirits, so seeing her like this was quite jarring. It must have been quite serious to make someone like her cry. As Haleigh knew all too well, however, even the happiest people have some dark things lurking behind their smiles.

The blonde trainer walked up and asked, "Val, that you? What's wrong, mate?"

Haleigh looked down at the pink haired woman, her brow knit with worry and her expression concerned.

Valerie, a snivelling mess, peeked upwards to her. “Hal...eigh?”

Haleigh nodded. "Mind if I sit here next to you?”

Valerie simply shrugged. “Go ahead.”

Haleigh took a seat next to Valerie, positioning herself close to the other woman and putting a hand over her shoulder to comfort her. "It's gonna be alright. I'm here, just take some deep breaths and fill me in on what's going on."

Valerie wiped away some of her tears. “Your girl got hit by a bus,” she mumbled. “A bus called… betrayal. And it sucks. Really sucks. Man, I feel so stupid!”

For someone as oriented around friendship as Valerie, Haleigh reckoned someone stabbing her in the back would hit her hard. She softly replied, "Betrayal? Someone you knew did something behind your back?"

“Yeah…” Valerie slowly began. “It… It was a friend of mine who I met long, long ago. She was so kind, so gentle, so… inspiring. But… but, what a lie that was. Turns out, she never liked me at all. All I was, was just a dumb, nobody who… who was just obsessed with her, I guess. Turns out, she just used me to um… to boost her status, I guess… Local streamer saves girl from mental trauma, or something like that, idk. But… yeah.”

Valerie then gave another depressed sigh. “...Maybe... Catherine was right.”

Though she wasn't very knowledgeable about the world of streamers, Haleigh wouldn't put it past someone to fake a friendship and manipulate them to make them think they were friends all for the sake of some clout. That sort of stab-in-the-back behavior was something she detested above all else, reminding her of a particularly unpleasant figure in her own life; just thinking about it made her feel angry at someone doing that sort of thing, especially to someone as positive and carefree as Valerie.

Haleigh growled, “What a psyducking prick. The real dumbpsyduck was whoever decided they needed to fake a friendship with one of the friendliest people I know.”

She exhaled, letting some of her anger subside. Haleigh was ultimately here to comfort Valerie, after all. “I’m really sorry that happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of that Tauros muke. And don’t let anyone think you’re stupid for puttin’ your trust in someone.”

Haleigh scoffed as she added, “Especially not someone like Catherine. She doesn’t know the muk you’ve been through.”

“Still girl, it’s gotten me all kinds of confused,” Valerie pointed out. “Like… I wonder if more people feel the same. Do they just want to be friends with me, or… man, I dunno what to do from here. What… What do I believe in? Who can I believe in?”

Haleigh considered her words. Indeed, with the spot Valerie found herself in, it’d only be natural that her resolve for befriending people would be cast into doubt. That was certainly something Haleigh could relate to. “I can understand why you feel that way. There are some real mukty people out there and when they drag you down in the gutter, it can start to feel like maybe everyone is like that.”

Haleigh closed her eyes as she considered her next set of words before opening them again to look at Valerie. “I’m still learning myself how to best get back up when life kicks you down. I’ve hardly had an easy time on this journey. I’ve been in that place where you’re at now, unsure of what to do and starting to doubt yourself.”

Haleigh looked directly into Valerie’s eyes, her gaze piercing and unyielding yet seeming to shine with passion. “You can get through this. I know you. Maybe I don’t know everything you’ve been through, but I know that just by being you, you don’t give into the negativity that the world often hurls our way. The way you can look at the world and spread love and kindness despite how dark it can get, that’s some mad strength. And I know you have it in you, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.”

Valerie swerved her head a little. She was taking in Haleigh’s words, more so than she had done so before. She didn’t understand much of anything, but… she felt she could trust those words. Even if she wasn’t sure if she could. “I dunno if I’m capable of all that, and… it still hurts inside…” she finally, finally gave a small smile. “...I don't know what to do yet, but… if Val drops down, I guess there’s nowhere to go but up, right?”

Haleigh gave Valerie a warm smile, nodding her head. “Only way to go is up.”

She paused for a second, before letting out a small chuckle. “You know, it’s kinda funny. It’s people like you that I looked to in my darkest hours to help me out and here I am givin’ it right back. It’s neat how that works. I hope that even if you’re having doubts about everyone else, you can at least look to me as a true friend. I got your back.”

“Haleigh… Thanks.” The two girls gave each other a nice, firm hug. “You are totally true friend.”


Sapphire Rose

Only thorns left on this rose.

Age 25
Female
Over the hills and far away.
Seen 12 Hours Ago
Posted 12 Hours Ago
3,280 posts
10.1 Years
Pia McGuire ft. Aeliana Kekoa
Poké: 5550 Pokémon: 4



Chances and Chasers




A lonely girl walking without her Pokémon and a disguise consisting of a hoodie, a pet and sunglasses all so people wouldn’t recognize her. That is what you would see if you saw Pia walking on the floors of Strugglecon. Alone and with her hands in her pockets. Frankly, she had to. Anytime she’d show up somewhere without wearing at least something to hide her identity, journalists would flock around her and start asking questions about the “scandal”. Now she knew how Ruben felt when she saw him on TV the other day. She wanted to zap away but Milla had gotten a hold on the remote and well… that’s a story for another time.

Pia was a nerd at heart. A “closet weeb” as one would call her. With a big event like this, she just couldn’t allow herself to miss the newest issues of her favourite series. Yet… That’s not at all where she was headed to right now. What had drawn her in instead was the music and the buzz of the meet and greet booths. People flocked towards their favourite fashionista’s, make-up guru’s, mewtubers and struggle streamers alike. It was a sight to behold but one that Pia viewed at a distance.

"Looks like Val's gonna be busy most of the day with another panel-question thing," Aeliana said with a sigh. The blue-haired trainer seated at a small table, casually sipping from a soda cup as she looked at the schedule for the day. "I guess sneaking out for lunch with her isn't gonna be such a hot idea, after all."

Disappointment was evident in the Alolan's voice, one that earned her a comforting pat on the arm from her Kirlia. Tampa shared a sad look with the trainer, albeit it was a bit hard to take seriously with the vanilla ice cream smeared across her mouth. Without even glancing in her direction, Clara used her psychic powers to lift a napkin from the holder and use it to wipe the gator Pokémon's mouth.

"Well, we'll just have to find something else to do today," Aeliana determined."Come on, let's go."

The girl and her Pokémon picked themselves up from their seats and disposed of their trash before making their way back onto the main floor of the convention. As they walked, Tampa spotted the young girl in a hood and sunglasses. The Croconaw gave the human a curious look, eyes narrowing as she tried to make out the facial features of the young woman. Suddenly, Tampa's eyes lit up. Wait, this is the girl who took pictures with Aeliana in the boat town! She looks different, but still has that same nice smell!

Tampa quickly waddled after the girl, gurgling with glee all the while. Her human would love a visit from a friend! She just knew it! It took a while before Pia even noticed that she was being followed by the Pokémon and when she did, it was already too late.

"T-Tampa…?" Pia almost jumped up in surprise at the sight of the crocodile Pokémon, though her surprise was moreso because she knew that her trainer would soon follow.

… Oh wait. Right. There was no need for her to hide away from Aeliana anymore. Not since Hulburry. Old habits, ha.

Pia glanced around to check if she could spot the blue haired dancer somewhere around but being on the short side like Pia was giving her a disadvantage.

Tampa gurgled with glee as she reached out to grab Pia's hand. However before the Croconaw got the chance, Aeliana and Clara both reached the duo. The Alolan grabbed a hold of Tampa's hand, much like a mother would of a younger child, before offering an apologetic smile to the hooded Pia.

"Sorry about that! You know how it is, turn your back for a second and…" she paused, her lavender eyes squinting as she examined the girl in front of her. "Pia…?"

“Shh!” Pia held a finger in front of her mouth and quickly looked around to see if anyone had heard her call her name. It seemed they were in the clear for now. “Sorry about that… long story.” Pia explained quietly with a sigh of relief. “Oh, your contest the other day was absolutely great by the way!” She shot the other girl a smile. “I meant to tell you afterwards but uh… Well, reasons…”

Aeliana raised an eyebrow. “Reasons…?” Something was definitely up with the shorter girl. She wasn’t acting like the usual Pia. Clara also eyed the girl carefully. She could feel a lot of emotional distress coming from Pia. Enough so it caused her to walk close enough to gently place a comforting hand on her own. “Is… everything okay? What have you been up to?”

“Well…” Pia sighed again. “I’m okay now at least.” She glanced at the Kirlia beside her before looking back up at Aeliana with a gentle smile, though she knew that just saying that she was okay was not going to cut it for this girl. “Ruben… and I broke up.” She explained awkwardly. “It’s a long story, honestly. What happened in Hulburry was only the start of it... ”

“I see…” Aeliana replied. Break-ups were nasty business. The bluenette decided not to press on that subject any further. It was probably for the best not to bring up her own relationship status with Valerie for the time being. “So… what brings you to Strugglecon? I didn’t picture you as a fan of the streamers and all that sort of thing.”

“Ah I didn’t come for the streamers really. I came for…” Pia hesitated to speak up. “Uh… things.” She scratched her chin with a sheepish smile.

“Excuse me, I happened to overhear.” A woman walked up to them from the nearby fashionista booth area. “Ah I knew it!” The woman clapped in her hands once she could see their faces more clearly, or more specifically, Aeliana’s. “You’re Aeliana Kekoa! I saw your photos with Gymleader Nessa in our magazine and-, if I may say so-, how bold and stunning they were.” She spoke excitedly. “Ah but how rude of me. My name is Nel. I’m the assistant-manager of the modelling agency that Nessa is part of. We are here today to-” The woman let her speech drop when her eyes lingered on Pia and the disastrous outfit she was wearing. In comparison to her own more business-like attire at least. It took her a second to realize who was standing next to the bluenette. “Pia McGuire?” She let out in surprise.

“Ah uh…” Pia sighed, her cover had been pretty much blown now. She took off her pet and sunglasses and blew a strand of hair out of her face. “Yeah, that’s me…” She confirmed in defeat.

“I see! I see! This is even better!” The woman clasped in her hands once more. “I would like to formally ask the both of you for another photoshoot. The photos from the previous shoot did so well that we’ve been dying to make new ones!” She glanced at both girls but once again lingered on Pia. “And don’t worry. We can get you a new outfit. At least you have a good face so we should be able to make something of you too.” She gave a gentle smile. “What do you two say?”

Aeliana stared at the woman in surprise. The wheels in her head were grinding as her brain struggled to come up with a response. The swimsuit photoshoot seemed like such a long time ago. Did they really make that big of a splash?

"I… um…" Aeliana began to stammer out.

Her gaze cast over towards Pia. The shorter girl was feeling down, and being so heavily reminded of the infamous photoshoot might not have been exactly a pleasant situation for the girl. That said, Aeliana couldn't help but wonder if this might help Pia get a mood boost. She was pretty. She liked fashion and such, right?

"We'd love to!" Aeliana blurted out. She offered Pia an encouraging smile, eyebrows raised as if trying to coax the shorter of the two into joining. "Right, Pia?"

“Y-Yes!” Pia agreed hesitantly, still a bit flabbergasted about the burn heal she had to apply after the woman’s earlier comment. It wounded her pride but she couldn’t let that dim the light of her newfound confidence. Maybe this was exactly something she needed.

“It’s decided then!” Nel winked to the two girls. “If you would follow me then, I’ll notify the team and lead you girls backstage.” She walked ahead of the girls and gestured to them to follow her. Aeliana and Pia glanced at each other, shrugged and then promptly followed her.




Aeliana stared at the woman in the mirror. If she hadn’t known any better, she would have sworn she had never seen the person staring back at her. She wore a beige sleeveless crop top with open décolleté and black fabric at her sides. It made her somewhat muscular stomach quite visible and made it evident that Aeliana had a strong body. Over the top, she wore a beige jacket. It was open, so as not to hide the top from within. A pair of matching slacks covered her legs, with her feet adorning a pair of black heels. Her hair had been tossed and shaped up, laying in a somewhat more wavy fashion than she was used to. Oddly enough, they had decided to leave her hair the color it was this time. They insisted that it brought a sense of mystique and beauty rarely seen in models in photoshoots, assuring the Alolan that it would make her pictures pop.

“Are the heels really necessary though?” Aeliana questioned. She glanced over her shoulder at Tampa and Clara, both of whom only offered the human girl a simple shrug in response. “I’m not used to wearing these things at all.”

“You’ll get used to it soon enough.” Aeliana heard Pia’s voice behind her. What appeared from the dressing room in comparison to what the girl looked like before in her sweater was a world of difference. Pia looked already pretty before, despite Nel’s earlier comments but was now absolutely stunning. She was wearing a black short sleeved dress with a short skirt of which the sleeves were translucent. A longer black translucent skirt that reached to the ground was attached to the other dress and had open sides that showed Pia's naked legs beautifully. The belt around her waist and the black glossy heels were the cherry on the cake. With her long hair now neatly brushed and put into her natural waves, she looked a lot more like the girl that Aeliana had seen on the contest stage a few days ago. Of course Milla was at Pia’s side again now that they were in a less occupied area.

“And walk heel to toe, not toe to heel. I guarantee that it will hurt less if you do that. Lean slightly back when you’re standing still and take smaller steps. Do those things and you’ll be fine.” Pia gave the older girl a thumbs up.

“Pika pi!” Milla agreed, despite not knowing what the hell her trainer was going on about.

Aeliana glanced down at her own feet, maneuvering her posture to mimic what Pia had described. With just the two of them in the dressing room with their Pokémon, Aeliana felt secure enough to try and take some practice steps across the small room. While not perfect, the Alolan's movements were at least much more stable. Tampa stared at her trainer with glee, gurgling in delight at her attempts.

"Like this… right?" she questioned, looking up to gain Pia's approval.

“Exactly, but take the steps more confidently. You don’t need to rush either. Like this.” Pia took a few steps herself to show Aeliana how it was done. You could clearly see that the shorter of the two had some more practice with them. She elegantly walked on them like it was second nature and now tried to bring her knowledge to the less experienced of the two.

Again, Aeliana studied Pia's movements. She took a deep breath before looking up from her feet and walking back across the room as the blonde had demonstrated. While still not perfect, Aeliana's movements were now much more confident and poised, making it look more like she wasn't desperately trying not to trip over herself as she walked.

"You're pretty good at this sort of thing," Aeliana mused as she came to a stop. She turned and offered a smile to the shorter girl. "Have you been doing this sort of thing for a long time?"

“I’ve always been into fashion.” Pia winked and brushed her hair out of her face. “I enjoy looking good and pretty. It gives me a confidence boost I otherwise don’t have.” Pia walked over towards a table in the corner that had some bottles of water displayed and a bowl with fruits. Pia only grabbed for the water bottle and took a few chugs before closing it again.

“Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I think it would be amazing to work alongside Pokémon and other people towards a movie, some kind of musical or Contest performances.” She started explaining. “Though at first it was because I wanted to be famous and rich. I never wanted to look at another meal ever again and wonder when I’ll have the next one. Modelling is one way to get your name out there quickly. That’s what I thought back then and that’s what drove me. Therefore I learned fashion to get closer to that goal.” The girl stared at the bottle of water she held in her hand. “... And look where that got me now. An ex-boyfriend and a whole lot of haters.” Pia chuckled. She then fell silent for a moment and while the smile remained on her lips, the expression she now had was a bit more sad.

“You know, Liana? I… I really did like Ruben.”

Aeliana stood in silence. She had never seen this side of Pia before. She was hurting… vulnerable. It sent a twinge of anger within the blue-haired trainer. Aeliana wasn't entirely sure what had happened between Ruben and Pia, although she had an inkling that the Hulbury modeling had a bit to do with it at the very least, and she wasn't sure what would make others hate her so much… but Aeliana knew that more likely than not? Pia wasn't deserving of any of this.

Aeliana hesitated for a moment, but soon threw caution to the wind. She crossed the room to where Pia stood silently before reaching out and putting a hand on her shoulder. Clara mimicked her trainer's actions, her tiny white hands reaching up to pat the blonde gently on her leg. Milla came over as well and got on her usual spot on Pia’s shoulder and rubbed her body against the girl for comfort.

"I… I'm not going to pretend I know what happened or how you feel, but… I know you're a strong person. I saw that with how you dealt with those guys during our modeling in Hulbury and during your recent contest performance. You'll get through this and everyone will see how amazing you can be. I've seen it a few times myself, you know?"

“Thanks, Liana…” Pia laid her own hand on top of hers and sighed. “I regret what happened but I’ll have to move on.” Pia got up and loosened herself from both Clara’s and Aeliana’s kind comforting hands to step forward with elegant steps with Milla still on her shoulder. “Can’t sit here moping forever, now can I?” She gave the other girl a smile while giving her Pokémon partner a few head rubs.

“Are you ready girls?” Nel came in just before Aeliana could even react. “If you are then follow me. The stage has been set.” the woman gave them a quick wink.

The girls followed Nel outside of the dressing rooms towards a larger area decorated with cameras, fans, stage props and lighting. A LOT of lighting. There were a lot of people talking to each other, some of them whispering and others readying their next work. One of those people was the lead photographer that Nel wanted them to meet.

“This is Casper. He will be your photographer.” Nel introduced the young man. He had long brown hair tied up in a bun and a beard while wearing more ordinary clothes in comparison to Nel who stood beside him.

“It’s good to meet you. I’m Pia McGuire.” Pia held her hand against her heart and made a little elegant bow before glancing at Aeliana for an introduction.

While Pia's greeting was much more formal and respectful, Aeliana's was much more relaxed and casual. She offered a friendly wave to the man. "Alola! I'm Aeliana Kekoa!"

“Hi there, it’s nice to meet the both of you.” He waved at them. “What we are going to do here is show off the fall collection of Dioré that you are wearing.” Casper immediately got to business. He grabbed something in his backpack and handed it over to the two girls in front of him. “These are mood boards. Those are the poses I would like for you to recreate.”

“I’ll leave you girls to it then.” Nel nodded to the trio and headed off towards an office in the back.

Aeliana looked at the various poses on the board. She remembered having to do something similar back in Hulbury when she and Pia modeled the swimsuits with Nessa. The crew involved in that seemed much more hands on, however. They had been directing the girls on what to do. Aeliana looked at one of the poses, placing her hand on her hip before bending over slightly. It didn't seem too difficult. Just an unusual way of directing, it seemed.

“That’s good but remember that you might look differently on camera so keep that in mind while you bend.” Casper approved of Aeliana’s pose. “I would like for you to choose a pose that will compliment hers. I think this one should be good.” Casper pointed down at a pose on the mood board he gave Pia’s. While Aeliana’s pose was more on the foreground, hers was a bit more in the back. She stood sideways, leaned on her toes with one foot to create an arch with her knee and her back and held her hair up with her arms.

“Yes like that, for you too, we might change your position around a bit.” Casper adjusted his camera settings a bit and gestured for the girls to take their place in the white canvas that was on both the floor and the wall. They took their poses as shown on the mood boards.

“Miss McGuire, could you tilt your hip a bit to the side? And could Miss Kekoa lift her chin a bit?” Casper asked from behind his camera. “Ah yes like that! Wonderful!”

The girls continued for a while, showing Casper different poses of the same outfit so that it could be decided later which set of photos were the best. It was a short shoot since they were still at struggle con but still exhausting enough that the girls needed to take a break after the shoot ended before returning to the con grounds. However, even before they got to open their bottles of water, Nel already came up to them. She was followed by a man in a business suit.

“Amazing! Truly astonishing!” The man clapped in his hands. He was fairly short but still taller than at least Pia, had a mustache and wore sunglasses. His black hair was neatly brushed to the back. “You’re a natural at this!” He walked over to the girls, though more specifically, Aeliana.

“This is Aeliana Kekoa, sir. She’s one of the gym challengers. She was also featured in the shoot with Nessa.” Nel whispered in his ear. Though it wasn’t really quiet enough for the girls to not hear.

“A beauty and a challenger! Magnifique!” Although his eyes shortly fell on Pia, he was mostly interested in the Alolan girl. That much was obvious from his overall behaviour. “I’m Jacques. I manage the models for this agency. Nessa is a client of mine, you see.” He tapped with his foot against the floor before turning back to the bluenette. “You're a fresh talent. You’re good at this and girl- You’re exactly what this agency needs.” He threw his hands up and took a few steps back in a more comfortable distance. “What would you think of a modelling career?”

Aeliana froze, staring wide-eyed at the short man before her. The water bottle she had been handed just a moment ago completely slipped from her grasp and bounced against the floor. Tampa looked up at her trainer curiously before waddling over to pick up the bottle. She wasn’t sure what all the male human had just said to her trainer, but it was clearly enough to grab her attention.

As if she hadn’t been hearing properly, Aeliana slowly shook her head before brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. “E...Excuse me?” she inquired.

“A modeling career!” the man repeated. The smile on his face grew wider as he spoke, his hands moving outward in a very animated stance as he rambled. “Your shoot with Nessa and now this… I’d have to be blind and dumb not to sign you on as soon as possible!”

Aeliana took in the words carefully, still finding it difficult to take in exactly what she was hearing. Her? A model? She had done the shoot with Nessa as a favor to Michael and Vella. Never in her wildest dreams did she think that someone was actually going to make a big enough deal out of it all that it could potentially open up doors to an actual career. The Alolan slowly glanced off to the side, quickly taking in the sight of Pia. No… No, she couldn’t leave her out of this.

“I’m… I’m flattered, I really am!” Aeliana said with an honest smile. She took a moment to try and catch her breath, pushing down the obvious surprise and excitement she felt from within herself. “But… Don’t you think Pia would be a wonderful addition as well?”

"What?" Jacques only now finally turned to Pia who had been standing there. She looked a bit bothered about being ignored but prepared herself for an introduction. "Oh, right." He sighed when he looked her up and down.

"Hi, my name is Pia McG-"

"I know your name." Jacques cut her off. "Look, it's true. You're very pleasing to the eye." He started but immediately turned back to Aeliana. "But the blonde hair pretty white girl shtick is overdone."

"Hi yeah I'm still standing here. I could hear that." Pia raised eyebrow but her words fell on deaf ears.

"What we need is the world to recognize the beauty of girls like you! You're unique!" Jacques praised Aeliana again and theatrically held out his hand.

Aeliana remained silent. She glanced between Pia and then Jacques and back to Pia. Her eyes softened, as if she was looking for a sign of what to do. It was as if the blue-haired trainer was asking Pia for permission almost or asking her for advice on the matter. Pia thankfully noticed this and sighed.

"Well, he is right that you're beautiful and unique. You shouldn't let that chance go, Aeliana." Pia shrugged. To her it really didn't matter as much. Sure, it sucked but with the way he's been talking to her Pia didn't really want to join this agency anyway. The… money would have been nice though.

Okay, yes, she was actually jealous but this wasn't the time to let pettiness ruin someone else's chances. Not anymore.

Aeliana turned to face Jacques again and nodded. As if she had just promised and delivered him the world, the man's eyes and already broad smile seemed to grow even more excited. He motioned for Nel to join them, ushering Aeliana to follow as he discussed further details and getting the proper paperwork drawn up. Aeliana cast one last look at Pia, before the blonde girl was left on her own.

Pia sighed. She knew the agency so she knew Aeliana was probably going to be treated well. Still, just when she had decided to fight for a better future, she already hit a pebble in the road and she didn't even really start yet.

"Chu…?" Milla tugged at Pia's leg, who had looked significantly annoyed. She was picked up by the trainer and received a few pats. The Pikachu certainly didn't like the faces that were being cast towards her favourite human and hoped she wasn't feeling too down because of that.

"Don't you worry, Milla." Pia whispered. "We'll get there. I promise."

The blonde made her way back towards the dressing rooms and left again a bit later with her bag hanging over her shoulder and Milla glued to her side. They left backstage together.

"Hmm…" a sound left the lips of an onlooker who had seen everything happen. His hair as black as the fur of an Umbreon and his eyes as gold as Amber.









Pia's Party







Pia's journal

Arrietty Maverick
Pia and Arrietty met in the Wild Area although the two have shared classes before. It struck Pia as odd that the girl seemed to have no ambitions or goals at all. Although disappointed upon finding out this girl had no fire burning that would light her path, Pia made it her mission to help this girl get a goal and become a bit more social. Arrietty is the closest Pia can consider a "friend".

As according to their promise, Pia helped Arrietty get ready for her very first contest in Turffield. However, the girl ran off from stage when she was up. Pia has been feeling guilty for "forcing her into contesting" ever since.

Ruben Sancho
Pia met Ruben during Motostoke while on a double date with him, Arrietty and Ainsley. The date went disastrous with both Arrietty and Ainsley running off but Ruben and Pia were able to grow just a tiny bit closer during their search for Arrietty. They have been texting since and are on good terms with each other. They both seem to be interested in just a little bit more...

Ruben and Pia are officially dating since the end of the year festival on Route 3 following their "official second date" that went well. Pia knows about Ruben's ankle and that it's still hurting. They're in close contact with each other through calling and texting. They went on another date on Route 4 where Ruben had a gig for a coaching session with kids with the promise to spend time together after that. Both confirmed their feelings for the other by sharing a kiss. Pia likes him a lot.

Their relationship became public knowledge when a picture of Ruben staring down Pia's shirt was shared on social media and all gossip magazines. Ruben has been hiding it from Pia but as they went shopping, Pia got vocally attacked by a group of girls calling her out for being a whore and having no dignity. Ruben stood up for her and made their relationship public knowledge, no longer wanting to submit Pia to such harassment. Ruben publicly announced he likes Pia a lot and that they have been dating as opposed to what he has been saying before. Pia still doesn't know about the picture that's going around.

Despite the situation that had happened in the mall, Ruben insisted towards Raphael that they're just "friends" while Raphael announced to know more about their relationship due to being uncomfortable with the fact of calling Pia his "girlfriend". He has been slowly getting into the idea of being in a relationship with her throughout Turffield. The two of them visited his home in Wedgehurst during the events of Route 5 where Pia ended up meeting his sister Daija and his little brothers. He told Daija to stop calling her the "G" word but he ended up admitting to her he indeed considered Pia his girlfriend. During all of this Pia has been thinking about their time together and has grown quite fond of Ruben, more than she probably realizes herself as she has to constantly remind herself that she shouldn't be feeling the things that she is feeling. She believes that it will all come to an end but has recently started clinging on to a little spark of hope...

The two of them exchanged Applin's during their Valentine's day date where they also decided to release them, promising each other that they would stay together.

They've proven to be currently in love with both of them starting to show effort in their relationship. However, Pia's big secret that she's trying to keep hidden from Ruben is becoming a ticking time bomb...

In Hulburry things have started to get rocky for the two when Pia found out Ruben lied about not being in Hulburry when he broke into the gym Pia was having a photoshoot at with Aeliana and Nessa. He brought along Ainsley, two new friends Pia didn't know and Simon. The lie upsetted Pia greatly as lying is something she absolutely hated and the reason for it was so that Ruben could hang out with his friends. She hasn't messaged him since Nessa booted him out of the gym.

Pia and Ruben unfortunately broke up during the events of Motostoke when it was revealed that Pia's mother used to be a prostitute and pictures were made of Ruben with another woman.

Raphael Allard
Pia met Raphael during her train ride to the wild Area together with Aeliana. Thinking that he had a lot of potential in becoming a chamption which would benefit her, Pia approached him thinking they could become friends. Their interactions didn't go as smoothly as Pia had hoped. After their argument at the end of her battle with Aeliana, the girl ran off thinking she had blown her chances. Raphael doesn't harbour any ill intend towards the girl and only hoped to give her some advice.

They have resolved their issues in Galar mine 1 and worked together to battle Oleana in which they were victorious. Raphael brought the issues with Pia's overprotectiveness of Milla back up on Route 4 when Pia was refusing Milla from battling. Raphael spoke some sense into her, prompting her to finally trust Milla. Raphael understands Pia better now and Pia has a better opinion of Raphael now too.

They met again during the events of the Turffield contest and spend some time talking to each other while Pia tried to get Ruben to apologize to Arrietty. Raphael said something similar to what he said on Route 4 and confused Pia in her actions. He seems to know more than he lets on.

Aeliana Kekoa
Pia met Aeliana during the train ride to the wild Area together with Raphael. Although her interactions with Aeliana went a little bit more smoothly than with Raphael, Pia still ran off at the end of their battle in an attempt to distract her since Pia owed her money for losing. Although Pia has declared Aeliana her rival, they haven't spoken since and Pia attempts to keep it that way.

Pia met Aeliana again on Route 3 when she was on her way to the end of the year market. Together with Rosa and Valerie they went into an haunted mansion. Although they didn't converse much, Aeliana made some comments that Pia saw as snarky that were meant well by Aeliana. This indicates that Pia still thinks that Aeliana is out to get her.

Their friendship was given a second chance in Hulburry during a photoshoot with Nessa that Aeliana had invited Pia for. Pia saw this as a really good chance to start her own "career" rather on relying on Ruben and his fame. They shared a moment together and seem to be on good terms again.

Ainsley
Ainsley was Pia's date partner during the double date in Motostoke and is Ruben's best friend. Ainsley pretended to be rich and paid for the date with Ruben's money. Pia saw through the charade and called him out on it after Ainsley suggested they'd book a hotel together and make love. He ran off afterwards, angry that the feelings of lust he harboured towards Pia were not returned. Pia doesn't think highly of Ainsley and told Ruben that he needs "better friends".

Pia and Ainsley met again in the Hulburry gym after he and Ruben broke in so that they could ask Nessa's hand in marriage. He called Pia a "gold digging sket" because of her relationship with Ruben and the pettiness he holds towards her for the date that didn't end in the hotel room. They both dislike each other greatly.

Melody Argent
Although Pia and Melody attended the same Trainer school and were in the same class, they never once teamed up for an assignment. Both didn't have a very good impression of the other and avoided them like the plague. It's not until the Festival Fun-time Flurry that they have tried teaming up to win a competition as both of them were interested in the prize. They chased down a cheater together and have a better opinion of each other since their teamwork. They figured out that they're a pretty good team actually. Both of them thinks "the other is not so bad after all".

Valerie Amity
Pia met Valerie on route 3 where they went inside a haunted mansion together with Aeliana and Rosa. They didn't get to converse much but it was enough for them to establish some sort of familiarity. Valerie calls Pia "Lady P" as a nickname. Pia thinks of Valerie as someone with too much energy but not a bad person overall, maybe a little too naïve.

Pia was able to form a friendshop with Valerie in Turffield where she finally managed to catch the girl alone. Pia decided that Valerie's stream and followers could help her towards her goal of becoming rich, one she is trying to head towards to against ever since the events with Catherine. She feels guilty about this though.

Rosa Valdés
Pia met Rosa on Route 3 and went inside a haunted mansion together with Aeliana and Valerie. They were stuck inside a room together where Rosa found golden nuggets and shared one with Pia. Rosa's small moments of kindness seemed insincere in Pia's eyes, someone who is well versed with duality. When Rosa left the end of the year market after they had gotten out of the haunted mansion, Pia followed her and saw her crying. Pia comforted the crying Rosa but as soon as Rosa had gotten herself together again, Pia fell the need to call her out on her duality, telling her that how she was acting now was quite different from before. Rosa denied at first but as soon as Pia had driven her into a corner, she stopped trying. After Jirachi appeared for a brief second, Rosa walked off. They're neither on bad or good terms but both have things they probably need to speak off.

Simon Pearburgh
Pia met Simon in Galar Mine 1. Pia thought nothing more of him than a bug nerd. They partnered up to battle against Oleana and his clever strategies impressed Pia, prompting her to compliment him after their shared life/death situation on Route 4.

Pia considers Simon to be a positive influence and appreciates him cheering her on during the contest in Turffield where he appeared to be the loudest in the room.

Pia met Simon again in Hulburry after he broke into the gym that she was having a photoshoot at with Aeliana and Nessa. She was disappointed in his behaviour but guessed this was probably Ruben and Ainsley's idea as he just stumbled up behind them.

Catherine Carlisle
Yeah.... Pia really doesn't like Catherine but she enjoys getting under her skin.

Kit
Pia met Kit in the Wild Area. Kit had been trying to catch a Pokémon for days but had yet to catch one. He begged the girl to help him in exchange for money and a strange rock that he found. Pia taught him how to catch a Pokémon but after hearing that Kit is in search for his father, she decided to only take the strange rock as her reward and left the pouch with Poké behind for the boy to keep. Kit seems to have developed a crush for her because of that.

Daija Sancho
Daija is Ruben's little sister by 2 years. Pia met Daija during her trip to Wedgehurst with Ruben on Route 5. Daija was wary of the girl at first as she is well aware of her brother's "type". She has given Pia her nod of approval when she found the two being silly in the living room after she had left the house for a little bit to cool off. She thinks Pia is a positive influence in Ruben's life.

Jovian and Livia McMiller and Daniel
Pia met the McMiller couple and their foster son on Route 5 when she took a nap outside in the cold covered in her own Pokémon. Livia McMiller invited her at her home with happened to be the Nursery on Route 5. Pia investigated the Chimecho mystery of how she had suddenly laid two eggs. She appeared to be fostering them as trainer's had left those eggs behind. Chimecho have her a mint-green coloured egg with darker green swirls as a thank you for getting her wishes across to the McMiller couple.


Trainer ID


Pia McGuire:

Pia was born in the town of Hammerlocke in the Galar region and is part of the first graduating class of the Wedgehurt trainer's academy. Despite having lived in poverty, her mother has been able to pay for her tuition in alternative ways. She's quick witted and rather clever but is sometimes a bit "too" honest. Pia dreams of becoming an actress and does almost anything to get more money. When it comes down to it, what she really wants is to no longer live in poverty and live a bit more happily.

Inventory:



  • 4x Pokéball
  • Galarian Pokédex
  • Xtransceiver
  • Broken Flashlight
  • King's Rock
  • Sun Stone
  • Thunderstone
  • Mint green Pokémon egg with darker green swirls


Outfits:

Daily Outfit:
Spoiler:


Contest outfit:
Spoiler:


Ribbons:

Turffield Ribbon 2nd place:


Badges:

Turffield Grass badge


Hulburry Water badge


Motostoke Fire badge




FE: Three houses • Dorothea Arnault • Moderator of the RPT

Orx of Twinleaf

Branch into Psyche

Male
The Corner of Hither and Yon
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
260 posts
5.6 Years
Team:
Rij
Henj
Pelj
Tim T
Tim hauled back and planted a hard kick. The tree before him bore the blow with expected silence. Nearby, Rij the Rhyhorn put a clumsy short-legged mule kick into his own tree to similar results. Henj was juggling Pelj on the tips of his giant legs, tossing the little Rolycoly like a hacky sack as she practiced turning in the air to land against the Stonjourner’s legs with her wheel.

Training again. Always training. Increasingly bizarre training. Tim felt as if he’d almost never have a practical use for kicks. He was no martial artist and couldn't see himself ever choosing to sacrifice one of his precious balance-providing legs for the sake of doing something a punch could probably do anyway. What was he supposed to do if his target just grabbed his foot? Still, it didn't hurt to have practice. Training anymore had to be niche and strange. It helped to have a distraction, after all, more than just standard routines. Mere exercises weren't going to amount to anything meaningful. Not with Tim’s diet.

Tim had been eating roots, leaves, nuts, and several other things weaker stomachs would reject. Even with his lack of understanding in the field of nutrition though he still understood at least that humans couldn't just forgo certain foods. He couldn't bring himself to buy things like trail mix: too likely for it to go bad given Tim’s rough lifestyle. He dug around in the trash periodically just for variety’s sake though. But despite supplementing his diet with whatever random thing might be found in trash cans, Tim was sure he’d be dead by now were it not for Berries.

Tim wished he’d taken a moment to read more about Berries back in his days of wiki walking. He knew that pretty much any Pokémon could eat them—even those species that otherwise didn't take solid food and many of those that lacked mouths entirely. He knew also that Berries were not only safe for all those mons but sustaining enough that carnivorous creatures could subsist on them too. Tim did not, however, know whether or not it was safe for a human to live entirely on Berries. He imagined there had to be some reason against it. After all, people didn't subsist entirely on multivitamins. Sure people ate them, but people also ate grease and corn syrup. That they weren't toxic didn't mean they were advisable to exclusively live off of.

That's why Tim only ate a Berry or two a couple times a week. In a way, it was a little treat for himself, even if they weren't all very pleasant to the human tongue. Besides, if he ate them much more frequently it might end up rotting his teeth out. Even the ones that weren't sweet probably had all manner of cavity-inducing chemicals, and Tim’s dental regimen of periodic rinsing with river water probably wouldn't cut it if he ate Berries more often. But he couldn't just ignore them either. Tim had read enough historical fiction in his day to know to be wary of scurvy, never mind whatever other issues might come up from only eating leaves and roots.

The issue of diet was one of the things that had caused Tim to turn his training exercises into such strange activities. Tim felt that he couldn't expect to build up a whole lot of muscle mass considering the only protein he got was what was included in the thorough Berry nutritional make-up and the occasional day-old pizza topping from the garbage. Tim had briefly considered hunting but had quickly dismissed the idea. He didn't think he had it in him to kill. Hurt and maim sure, but not kill. That would only leave carrion, but even Tim wasn't insensitive enough for that, never mind how his mons would react. In lieu of more protein then, Tim had shifted training off of standard endurance and onto maneuvering practice and other such things. Performed under Gravity of course, just so he didn't get flabby.

Tim’s feet started to hurt. It was a testament to the modern cobblers that Tim’s boots still didn't show excessive wear despite their faded luster after all the abuse he’d put them through, and at this point it was looking more likely that Tim’s feet would split before the boots did. Tim changed to arm thrusts to give his feet a break. Nearby, Rij similarly ceased his own kicking and changed to swipes with his horn.

Really, it hadn't so much been that Tim’s feet had started to hurt as it had that his feet had started to hurt more than usual. Anymore, Tim’s everything was hurting to some degree. Be it the dull ache of his back against the Gravity or the hot pain of chafing at his ankles or the roiling of his guts in protest of whatever the last thing he’d considered to be food had been, Tim just accepted the pain as a matter of course. At first the pain had been distracting, but it was background noise now. If anything hurt a little more than normal, Tim would just favor it for a while until it came back into line. So had he recently been forced to do with his teeth.

It wasn't cavities, it was wear. Tim hadn't made many fires since starting this journey: most of what he took was safe to eat raw so it just seemed like a waste of effort and fuel to cook it. Eating raw plant matter was becoming rough on Tim’s mouth though. In the winter, Tim had managed to lean into a cache of acorns he’d leached, but he didn't think it would be wise to eat any more raw acorns like that now. He'd end up milling his teeth to dust before too long. On the other hand though, the leaching water could soothe his toothaches if he didn’t swallow it. Maybe he could just eat them in the moment, not carry a bunch around to eat too often. But they were such a pain to prepare, it was hardly worth the trouble if he were only fixing enough for a moment.

Tim supposed he’d probably just have to start swallowing most food unchewed now. Just as well. Less chewing meant less stuff lodged in his teeth. Maybe he would even be able to up his fruit allowance. Of course, he’d still only be taking Berries. The occasional other fruit, even if more palatable, could never be as nutritious. And half the time it wasn’t more palatable.

Tim was still disgruntled about the apple trees. Here in Galar, it seemed like those breeds of apple to be found in the wilderness were far too harsh to be eaten out of hand. Tim had tried one sort and spit it out immediately. It had been so offensively sweet he had almost felt it eating holes in his teeth. When he’d finally found another kind, he hadn't been much happier. That fruit may as well have been caustic for as sour as it had been. Perhaps cooking would have rendered the stuff more palatable, and maybe there was some other variety that was easier to eat, but Tim wasn’t going to spend his fruit allowance on those things anymore.

Tim’s hands started to ache but he kept arm thrusting. The tree stood quietly, uncaring. Trees were living things too. Though they apparently lacked the same kinds of mental activity that other creatures had, Tim didn’t take that to mean they were the equivalent of woody stones. Maybe it did feel pain. Maybe it had an opinion on that pain. Whatever the case, the tree took the pain unflinchingly, without concern. It stood in the weather, even in the punishing cold of the winter, but it stood all the same.

For as mundane as a tree was when it couldn’t walk or talk or spit fire or throw lightning, a tree bore its unsung place in the world with perfect stoicism. A tree didn’t make music, or dance, or seek to make something of itself. It was what it was, even with countless others like it, even when nobody cared. Tim had a certain respect for it, in its way. A tree was faceless. Just like him.

Tim’s thoughts had been gnawing at him for some days. He needed a distraction. Seeing Simon laid low and then having to waffle and return the ball Tim had stolen from him had made Tim question his resolve again. He found himself wondering why he was doing what he was doing. Who it was for. It didn’t matter. If Tim attacked someone and they won, then Tim’s interference wouldn’t have been necessary. It would have been a waste of everyone’s time. If Tim attacked someone and they lost, then it might go to informing them of their unpreparedness, but Tim couldn’t realistically expect to beat any of his peers outside of exceptional circumstances. It wasn’t as if he’d manage to find someone else out of sorts like Simon had been. So why even bother? What, just so Tim could have peace of mind knowing the others could defend themselves? What did that matter? Tim had no right to worry about them.

Well, it was the only way Tim could speak to them now. He missed their company. He missed talking to people. He missed having that distraction. He couldn’t talk to his mons. It would be a one-way conversation. Even if they understood him he couldn’t understand them back. Henj’s charades wouldn’t be able to convey anything outside the practical. Tim wanted to talk to people. But how could he? He would have to force an audience, but then such an audience could not be dragged out. Who was he to demand the time of the other challengers? Unless it was for a battle, there was no reason another Trainer should speak to Tim. But Tim still wanted to speak with them. Even when their words hurt.

Whatever other pain Tim felt, it was more painful to hear when his peers spoke to him. The tone Simon had taken, calling Tim by his stage name. The way Aeliana had regarded him as a total stranger. The sheer irritation Xan’s words had had in Motostoke. Tim still heard Haleigh’s protests from the mine, the scorn in her voice when Tim had suggested she let Simon go alone. Tim wanted to speak to them, but it was evident none of them wanted to speak to him.

Tim realized he’d stopped arm thrusting. He’d been staring at the tree opposite him for a while. His mons had stopped their own training to regard him concernedly. This wasn’t healthy. Tim shouldn’t let himself think so much. He needed a distraction. When Tim’s friend had been alive, he could set his thoughts on her and never be wanting for direction. Though the Gym Challenge afforded no shortage of possible replacements now, Tim could not think of any of them that way. It wasn’t his place to. It was clear that here at Hammerlocke, where food could be easily found and there was such an obstacle to bother with sniffing out information, training wasn’t enough of a distraction for Tim.

Tim looked at his mons. They didn’t care about the Gym Challenge or the other challengers. Tim was rather sure they only cared about Tim as a practical matter, valued him as a taskmaster to push them along on their private goals for betterment more than as a comrade to grow close to. They had each other for company should they desire. Tim didn’t have that luxury. But they were here to train, so Tim owed it to them to set them to training.

It would just have to be a different kind of training, so as to permit Tim better distraction. There was no mental stimulus in punching trees. There was no variety in sparring with one another. Other Trainers trained in battling though. Ferals battled all the time too. The wilderness was crawling with targets. There was nothing wrong with some battling. So what if it got a wee bit more rough than the norm?

“We’re going to start a new exercise,” Tim said. “Let us find some targets more mobile than trees.”

It would be more involved. Tracking, chasing, encircling. Practicing maneuvers with his team. Tim needed a distraction.

“Pleased to meet you. My name’s Tim.”

“You sound even stiffer than you look!”

She had been a Pokémon Ranger. Tim had met her and her Rhyhorn at the market one day. She had come from Galar.

Tim needed a distraction.
A Cup of Dreams, Pour in Your Soul, a Pinch of Knowing, Stir in with Hope,
and Drink to Despair and Celebration: Drink it All and Stay Asleep, Drink in Parts and Vomit it Back
Joy, Relief, Fury, Fear, Sorrow, Longing, and Pain, Colors that Forever Cope
Despondency and Guilt with Ambition and Pride, No One of this World and Species may Truly Lack

Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
11,119 posts
8.1 Years


Feelin' kinda better... kinda? (┳◡┳)
Lovely!
Poké: 1000 Friends: 23


The talk with Haleigh was nice; it calmed Valerie down a bit. After waving her goodbyes, Valerie just decided to wander around a bit. Take in the sights, do some people watching, and all sorts of more positive things. But still, in her mind, she still wondered about what to do next... and the situation with LunaBeam. It was tough, but her next step was to just accept things: accept that Luna never wanted to be her friend in the first place.

She found her way back into the food area of the building. She sighed to herself, finding a seat, sitting alone to recollect her thoughts. She liked the quiet change of pace; it helped soothe her. That was until she heard a bit of rumbling close by. "Eh?" It was the sound of something fussing about, and the sounds of cups and Styrofoam moving in and about. She turned her head left and right, seeing where it was coming from, Valerie then realized, after some more sounds, it was coming from below - and inside the nearby garbage can. She had a quick peep inside, where she found something she hadn't expected: it was a small, pink Pokemon who was stuck inside, and who was tangled up with some loose string.

"Hold up, lil'dude!" she declared. She quickly got as much string as she could, and untangled the Pokemon. She then reached in, and took out the Pokemon from the bin. When the pink Pokemon was free, it happily cried, cheering for its new found freedom. "Free at last!" Valerie said to the Pokemon. but then she gave it another hard look. "Hey... I know what Pokemon you are! You're a Luvdisc! I played as one in an awesome kids show! Ack! Hold up!"

First rule on finding a lost Pokemon from Valerie's trainer handbook: make sure it wasn't hungry! She peeped in her bag, to have Peko hand her a Pecha berry, then offering it to the Luvdisc. The Luvdisc looked at it, with a very wary glance. "No worries, you can have it!" Valerie reassured. "Pecha berries are super, super sweet! Aaaand it matches your colour, soooo bonus points!" Eventually, Luvdisc accepted it, and took a small bite from it. She was happy by the taste - so she took another, then another. Peko got out an Oran berry for herself. Two Pokemon sharing berries together? Now THAT was a fun time for her.

After she ate, the Luvdisc, looked around the place, very flustered. She looked as if she was looking for something, or someone. "S'wrong, sweetie? Oooh, maybe... you're lost?" Valerie said, observant. Luvdisc gave her a nod. Valerie figures -- this Luvdisc must've just been separated from her trainer. "Well, let's look for your buddy. Gotta be 'round here somewhere, right?"

***

And so, the duo looked. Lots of people, as usual, passed them both by, but none looked familiar to the Luvdisc. Valerie held the Luvdisc, giving it a warm vibe. "You must really like your friend, did'jya?" The Luvdisc nodded, seemingly in a better mood. "They gotta be worried sick... but we'll find em' soon!" A warm look resided on Valerie's face. She was happy to be helping the Luvdisc, after all, it had a good friend. Someone they can trust... someone they can even travel with.

The two made their way through the shopping district - until the Luvdisc caught her attention upon something. She failed out from Valerie's arms, flopping and hopping her way through a small crowd, to an open area. She then finally saw them: a couple of girls, talking with one another. Valerie followed closely behind, watching on the Luvdisc. Looks like Luvdisc found the friends she was looking for - as evident, when she saw the Luvdisc as giddy as a Meowth, falling for that cute Skitty down the block. All seemed right, and in place. Luvdisc was finally going back to her trainer...

"So, you're never going back for it?"

Or at least, she was, until she started overhearing their conversation.

"No way, Luvdisc sucks, they aren't strong at all," another said. Valerie crept closer to listen in. Just from Luvdisc expression, she can probably tell, that was her trainer. "Don't know what I was thinking, catching her. Couldn't even win one stinking battle? C'mon!"

The Luvdisc was stunned... and confused. The trainer that she had thought had loved her... now bad mouthing her like this? "Hopefully her Pokeball doesn't just burst out while in that bin, but whatever. There are a ton of stronger Water-type Pokemon out there. Anyway, did you see that boy a while ago? He was cute, wasn't he?! And I heard the Jamesons--"

The group continued to talk, but the Luvdisc didn't want to hear anymore. She dropped her head slightly, and turned away. Abandoned by her master... and friend. Valerie couldn't help but clench her fist in disgust, watching tears drop from the Luvdisc's face. She had half a mind to walk in there and give them a piece of her mind...

Even though Haleigh told her otherwise, Valerie still thought, maybe Catherine was still right in some ways - people can easily use others all the time, and perhaps, there wasn't such a thing as 'the perfect friendship'. Valerie then thought to herself, was I like that too? Before looking back at her travels through Galar so far. Her goal was making 100 friends, and in her mind, that was the key to meeting Mew, but... maybe that was also kinda selfish. Well, she did genuinely like meeting and making new friends, and she would have hoped that she could reach out to Mew that, maybe this world isn't so bad?

It was by then she thought, and wondered what the story Mew really was. How did it make so many friends in the first place? It was a powerful Pokemon, beloved by others, as the story says... and it had about 100 friends before a terrible fate befell all of them. Making friends with 100 people was an amazing thing indeed, but... how was it sure that not one of them wanted to use Mew someday for some selfish things? Maybe... maybe that's why Mew's story had a bad ending.

Then it hit her - the story about Mew wasn't about having the courage to make many friends and keeping them.

No... it was more like a warning.

It was an obvious lesson, one that she remembered from the ghost lady she met: Making a hundred friends is not a miracle. The real miracle is making a friend who will stand by your side when hundreds are against you. Yeah... that sounded even cooler: it's not just about how many friends you have. It's how many of those you can count on.

She even went back to remember Haleigh's words: I know that just by being you, you don’t give into the negativity that the world often hurls our way. The way you can look at the world and spread love and kindness despite how dark it can get, that’s some mad strength. So... instead of confronting that group, she decided to scoop up the Luvdisc in her arms, and cradle it warmly as she cried.

"C'mon. Let's go."

It was then she finally made her choice. Even if people can be messed up, even if there were awful people out there... she wanted to live -- live back the only way she knew how. With Val's smile.



New friend!

"Lovely" the Luvdisc!

Friends lvl up!
23 --> 24








"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess...
DRAGON SLAVE!"

Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
11,119 posts
8.1 Years
Simon Pearburgh
Vivillon ♀
Tackle | Stun Spore | String Shot | Poison Powder | Gust | Powder
Friend Guard
Burmy ♂
Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb
Shed Skin
Snom ♀
Powder Snow | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear
Ice Scales
Nevermeltice (held)
Princess ♀
Electroweb | Spider Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Absorb | Thunder Wave
Swarm
Metal Flower Crown (held)
Larvesta ♂
Flame Charge | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel
Flame Body
Heat Rock {held}
Anorith ♂
Dig | Water Gun | Smack Down | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
Swift Swim

Spoiler: Inventory
ATC
Nevermeltice
*
held by Snom

Heat Rock
*
held by Larvesta

Metal Flower Crown
*
held by Princess

TR Leech Life
Luxury Ball
Caterpie's Pokeball
Bug Net
Shell shard
A LOT of cinnamon buns
Spewpa Plushie
Fanart of Simon
Heracross Knight Comics
Piers & Marnie Album
Mew Book
Badges: 3
Grass badge
Water badge
Fire badge

Spoiler: Memories
~ NPC LIST ~
--- Wedgehurst ---
#1 - Caterpie joins the team!
#2 - The Mail Thief, pt. 1
#3 - The Mail Thief, pt. 2
#4 - Meet Sachiko
#5 - Train Battle!
--- Southern Wild Area ---
#6 - Burmy joins the team!
#7 - Snom joins the team!
#8 - Meet Raphael
#9 - Spirits Entombed
#10 - Meet Ruben
#11 - Suited Men Encounter!
--- Motostoke ---
#12.1 - Stadium Entrance [MEGA JP]
#12.2 - Opening Ceremony [MEGA JP]
#12.3 - New Beginningd [MEGA JP]
#13 - Motostoke Gym Mission
#14 - VS Kabu
#15 - Lunch with Sachi
#16 - Joining Blackspear
#17 - A Mysterious Egg
--- Route 3 ---
#18 - Meet Rosa
#19 - VS Rosa
#20 - Christmas Delivery
#21 - VS Catherine
--- Galar Mine 1 & Route 4 ---
#22 - Meet Aurora
#23 - Joltik joins the team!
#24 - Meet Pia
#25 - VS Oleana
#26 - Ferrothorn Rescue
--- Turffield ---
#27 - Blackspear Delivery
#28 - Turffield Gym Mission
#29 - VS Milo
#30 - Calling home
#31 - An Unexpected Interruption
#32 - VS Sachi, Rematch
#33 - Contest Date
#34 - Larvesta joins the team!
--- Route 5 ---
#35 - On the road again
#36 - Meet Jasper
#37 - VS Jasper
#38 - The young inventor
#39 - Meet Valerie
#40 - The Wishiwashi Squad!
--- Hulbury ---
#41 - Breaking & Entering pt. 1
#42 - Breaking & Entering pt. 2
#43 - Happy Birthday Raphael
#44 - Hulbury Gym Mission
#45 - VS Nessa pt. 1
#46 - VS Nessa pt. 2
#47 - VS Tristan
#48 - Heartbreak
--- Galar Mine 2 ---
#49 - Blackspear Security
#50 - A Power Boost
#51 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 1
#52 - Black Suits in the mines pt. 2
--- Motostoke (Revisit) ---
#53 - VS Kabu, Rematch
#54 - A point to prove
#55 - VS Catherine, Rematch
#56 - Strength
#57 - Blackspear Mission Briefing
--- Northern Wild Area ---
#58 - Meet Xan
#59 - Psychic Testing
#60 - Reconciliation
#61 - Teambuilding
#62 - The calm before the storm
#63 - The Pinsir Mission
#64 - Fighting back
#65 - One last hope
#66 - For better or for worse
--- Hammerlocke ---
#67 - Fatherly advice
#68 - Common ground
#69 - VS Nigel?
#70 - The Plan
#71 - Hammerlocke contest
#72 - Birthday surprise
Valerie Amity
Flame
Drill
Peko
Arya
Flora
Captain
Truck
Honey
Shelly
Bassie
Nora
Queen
Cuddles
Luvdisc

Spoiler: Inventory
Pokédex
ATC
Badges: 3
Grass badge
Water badge
Fire badge
Hammerlocke

The Strugglecon venue was extra packed on this hot summer weekend, with even more guests than usual- and understandably so, because today was Animation Day at the convention. Cosplayers dressed like cartoon characters, vendors and events themed after animated shows and movies, not to mention all the exclusive stands where fans could meet the production teams, actors and artists behind all of their favourite family-free flicks. And of course, what other show to expect than the most popular children’s animated cartoon in Galar: The Wishiwashi Squad!

Simon and Valerie had been called to the panel on a rather last-minute basis - the production team explained that with the trainers’ rising popularity in the gym challenge, having the guest stars participate in the Q&A would be a great idea (and besides, the studio paid well). Simon had largely stuck to Valerie during the entire process - not only did the girl seem to know her way around Strugglecon better, but the whole ‘Q&A’ thing was second-nature to her at this point, and this she'd been surprised to find out this was his first time at a convention too.

The pair sat at the panel’s long table alongside the other voice actors they’d met; Gwen who played the main character Blue, Trisha who voiced the main secondary character pink, and Frank who voice the villainous King Carvanha, as well as the esteemed director of the show, Ryan Simonson and his Abomasnow. Each VA had a plushie or T-shirt of their respective Pokemon with them, except for Val and Simon, who had simply been told to take their actual Pokemon with them to the show - which proved to be a nightmare for Anorith, as every mention of the words ‘wishiwashi’ or ‘king carvanha’ immediately put the Pokemon on edge, and Simon had to practically wrestle with him to make sure he didn’t jump off the table. Surprisingly, Val had also captured a Luvdisc herself, and the fish Pokemon was swimming happily on a fishbowl on the table.

After they’d concluded their interviews, the panel had moved on to Q&As.

"Mister Dictator… Have you ever had a- that you- that you could- you- you would that- um- if you- that it was- th-that you would- you could do it?"

"Of course, young man! That's the magic of the show!" the ever-energetic director of the Wishiwashi Squad responded. It was kind of baffling how easily he seemed to understand all of the nonsensical questions his toddler-aged viewers had been asking during the panel, but that sort of skill was probably why his show was so popular, Simon and Valerie realized.

The young boy who'd asked the question seemed pleased with the answer as he gave a toothy grin and scampered off to give the floor to the next kid. “Um! How did Luvdisc make the bad guys fall in love in that one episode?”

“I got this!” Valerie beamed. “It’s Luvdisc's special power of love! The Attract-Gatling-Beam is the strongest move of all!” It looked like Valerie was starting to get into this as well.

“Whoa… thank you!” the little girl beamed and hopped off the stage, leading to the next kid.

The boy seemed a little nervous, and timidly stuttered, “U-um… mister c-carvanha… are you as scary as in the show…?”

“Of course not!” Gwen replied. “Not a lot of people know this, but Frank is a big softie. Sometimes if he feels too bad after a scene, he’ll buy us all pizza to make up for it.”

Frank let out a boisterous laugh, “But of course, I make sure it has pineapples on it, villain-style! Shaishaishaishaishai!”

The boy laughed and opened his mouth to say something else, but was tapped on the shoulder by the person behind him, grumbling something about one question per turn. The kid pouted a little and thanked the actors before getting off the stage.

The next individual to ask was… definitely not part of the target demographic for the show.

“Hey, hello.” the man asked in a deadpan voice, pushing up his glasses. “I have several questions, so I’m going to come back several times. My first one is for you, Ryan.” Val and Simon could almost feel the director slink back into his chair in annoyance as he nodded and prepared for the barrage of this nit-picky fan.

Valerie discreetly giggled. Guess we got one of THOSE fans, huh? she thought. It was something that was built in her, the all-knowing ‘sweaty-nerdy-fan’ detector.

“Now, I understand the show is based off of the schooling mechanic of the Pokemon Wishiwashi, which gives it increased physical abilities and the illusion of greater numbers when it is sufficiently healthy and strong. You must have used-”

“Sorry, we ask that you please keep your questions short for the sake of time.” Gwen cut in with a forced smile.

"...right. Anyway. So you made the creative decision to pick ’wishoo’ as your catchphrase...” the man began.

Oh no. Simon’s eyes grew wide as he heard the dreaded word. He glanced down at Anorith in his arms, whose own pupils had doubled in size upon hearing the iconic call said once, and began trembling in anticipation.

“...I know you said in interviews it was a childhood thing, but do you think the term ’wishoo’ refers to…”

Simon began to sweat. That was two now. Anorith’s shaking was becoming even more agitated. Simon looked at Val anxiously, trying to warn her of what was going to happen. She glanced back in his direction and tilted her head.

“...the trauma which Blue experienced in Episode 21, titled ‘The Witch who-

That was number three. Letting out a deafening battle screech, Anorith burst out of Simon’s arms and landed onto the table, eyes fixated on the man before he lunged into the crowd, claws slashing madly.

“Uhhhh, Simey??” Valerie had her ears covered, recoiling from the loud wail. The crowd was in a panic, bumping into each other and shouting in terror. “Explain??

“**** **** ****,” Simon bolted up from his chair and frantically searched through his pockets for his Pokeball, “It’s- a long story! That stupid word's hardwired into his brain, we have to-”

“Language, young man!” Simonson scolded.

“GAH, NO! NOT MY LIMITED EDITION ARROKUDA SHIRT!” the fan cried out as Anorith finally reached him, tackling him to the ground.

“Okay, panel’s over, everyone! Security! Security!”

------------------------

“Ta-daaa! Nothing beats coming out of impending chaos like a soda!” Valerie and Simon had finally found themselves lounging around in one of the resting areas of the building. After what happened, they sure needed it. Valerie had just bought them each a drink, as a way to wind down.

“Thanks! Safe to say we won’t be getting any more panel invitations soon, heh.” Simon rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry about that.”

Valerie laughed and sat down across from Simon. “Sooo… hard-wired into his brain?” she remembered his last words. “No… Did someone do something to him!? Give. Me. A. Name--

Simon shook his head, “No, no, it’s just, um- well- long story short, the guy who revived him from a fossil didn’t actually know what an Anorith’s behaviour was like, so he used our episode of the show as a basis and now he goes insane if he hears any references to it… god, it’s bloody ridiculous, sorry. Anorith’s normally really well-behaved, even if a he is a little, uh, special.” He lowered the straw down for Anorith to take a sip of the soda, the bug gurgling happily as it tried to bite the bottle. “Anyway, what’s your plan for the rest of the day?” Simon asked Val.

“Well, went though a lot of stuff... and my buddies and I did a heck of a lot of battlin’ prep,” she replied, with one finger on her chin. “Now, I'm feelin' good! But, gotta play it cool and let em’ rest until the match later on.”

Valerie stretched her arms. “Buuuut wait till Struggle Rivals! Blimey, that totes will give the DQ’s enemies a sense of false security, you know? Like, ’Hahaha! Val the Demon Queen is DEAD!’ says one hater… then BAM, I show up! They’ll be like, ’WTF?? I thought you were DEAD??’ then I’ll like, evilly chuckle and say in their ear… ’I lived, *****!’ It’s genius!” she sipped away at her soda. “Sho, ow bout’ foo’?” she forgot to let go of the straw from her mouth before she spoke.

“Weelll….” Simon tapped his chin. This was his first day actually being at Strugglecon, so he had a bunch of stands he wanted to check out. There was one that had caught his eye though, one which he’d reminded himself to go to a few days ago. “I want to check out more of the event, but first, I need to get a new phone. I kinda lost mine in the Wild Area, and I can only go so long without my own followers getting worried I dropped off the face of the internet.” he said proudly, though he knew that fanbase was basically twelve people at this point, and only half were human. “Also miss being able to listen to music, I got a new Piers and Marnie album to catch up on. I heard iRotom is selling some new phones at a discount, so I was hoping to get one before doing anything else, especially if I wanna take pics!”

“Ack, can’t let your fanbase down! Btw, I’ve heard about the sweet new phones too, and I was totally gonna check it out myself!” Valerie cheered. “Hey, I’ll come with ya! I might scout out a new phone too, just to glam up my streams n’ all when I get back to em’! Kyaaa, hope they have a pink one!”

“Sweet! Let’s roll, then!” Simon said. Both trainers got up and headed off to the tech section of the convention. They passed by several stalls, showcasing different new types of innovations: revolutionary advancements in Pokeball tech, a panel showing off the capabilities of the digital Pokemon Porygon (and the importance of keeping them in check), and a fascinating display for the new SwaloTech Home Vacuum Deluxe Pro 7. Eventually, they reached the iRotom Stand, which was much larger than the others. They had a showcasing of various hi-tech looking products, from the latest television models, to prototype watches… but most importantly, there was an arrangement of different phones, which came in all sizes, colours, and designs.

“Sweetness! Look at em’ all!” Valerie was starry-eyed, like a kid in a candy store. “Technology is SO amazing! Ooooh, look at that!! SwaloTech has the BEST phones; they’re sooo big!”

“Uh, Val… I think those guys only make vacuums. This is iRotom.” Simon pointed at the massive banner above them.

“Hello hello, my good friends! I can see you’re first-timers to our stand!” a man’s voice suddenly came from behind them, and the two turned around to find a well-dressed representative of iRotom beaming at them, extending both of his hands for a handshake.

Simon took the man’s hand, “Hey! I was actually looking for a phone for-”

“Eeeee, are you from iR?! I am such a stan!” Valerie squealed, cheerfully accepting the man’s handshake. “I’m Valerie, btw!”

“Enchanted, miss Valentine. Your reputation precedes you.” the man bowed. “Pleased to meet you as well, sir.” he told Simon. “If you’re looking for phones, you’re in luck! We happen to be selling our newest model, the 12 EX, at a convention-exclusive price, today only! I can show you if you’d like.”

“Ooh, sick! Yes please.” Simon nodded. It would certainly be an upgrade from his old Xtransciever, at least. The man led the two to the most popular display stand, and expertly split the crowd to allow them to see the phones. The device had a brand-new design: sleek, compact, and with a little zap at the top inspired by a rotom.

“Wow, this thing is really good!” Simon exclaimed, checking the camera’s quality. “And you’re telling me this is selling at a discount?”

The employee’s smile wavered for a second, but he nodded excitedly. “Yes indeed! This specific display model only- and we’re looking for the perfect person to take it.”

“Well lucky you, Simey!” Valerie said with a wide grin. She hovered over Simon’s shoulder to get a good look. “I know that Rotom-look anywhere; that’s iRotom for ya!”

“Alright then, if it’s got your recommendation, I’ll get it!” Simon nodded. He looked at the employee then back at the phone, “How much would it cost to get it if… uh… is it supposed to do that?”

He pointed at the screen, which had begun to glitch out strangely, the pixels cutting in and out and rearranging themselves at random, almost like they were trying to make a shape.

“Oh sweet Arceus... We’re too late.” the man muttered, his expression dropping.

Before either trainer could ask anything else, all of the other phones in the display began showing the same graphical issue, their screens glitching and bugging out just like the main one. Then, they all began to vibrate- but not in the normal phone way. They almost seemed to be… wriggling out of their cases.

“Um, Val…? Do iRotoms do that?” Simon stepped away nervously.

“Well--”

But as Valerie was about to answer, the phones all hovered, circling each other. At the center of them was the original phone, flashing more vibrantly and erratically. All of a sudden, they all flew upwards, and before everyone’s eyes…

…They started to combine.

The iRotoms first formed twin structures that were planted on the ground. Were those… legs? Then, most of the other ones combined together to create a large, sturdy looking base of sorts that attached to the two iRotom-formed pillars. A body being attached to the legs!? Then, two other long structures attached themselves to the body, resembling arms. At the top of it all, a smaller structure formed—that attached itself right on top of the body. A head. The iRotoms had formulated together to create… a mech-like body.

The body began to move, sticking out one of its arms. The rest of the phones then combined themselves to create the shape of a dangerous looking weapon: a long sword that attached itself to the arm. The body flashed all sorts of colours and made a bunch of telephone sounds as it swung the sword around, smashing the floor beneath it with great force. A crackling sound came from the electricity pouring from it — so much that it raged like a rapid stream of water, even affecting some of the other electronics that were stationed nearby, causing them to short-circuit as it let out a roar.

“…To answer your question, Simey?” Valerie said, while trying to hold her shock, but… failing. “No… no, that ain’t normal.”

“P-please, trainers!” the iRotom employee stammered. “There must be a Pokemon doing this! We need your help!”

Simon gulped and looked up at the towering phone-mech before them, then glanced at Valerie. He only had one Pokemon on him right now, and so did she… and that meant one thing. “Whaddaya say, down to team up again, Val? or should I say, fellow squad member?”

Valerie gave a nod and a cheeky, confident smile. “Swimming in the pretty blue ocean, covered in pretty pink! Ready to save the day with her ‘luv’!” After throwing one of her Pokeballs, Luvdisc came out. “Luvdisc—that is, Lovely, Luv-able protector of the ocean!”

“Anorith, time to tag team!” Simon stuck his arm out and the fossil mon leaped off, landing beside Luvdisc with a determined gurgle. Then, as he turned around to glance at his partner… he paused.

Time seemed to stop in the Pokemon’s eyes as his heart skipped a beat and his pupils grew bigger. Squad member Luvdisc… she was the most beautiful Pokemon he’d ever seen...! He let out an enamored coo as he gave the water-type a sheepish wave. Lovely the Luvdisc gave the Anorith a playful wink in turn. Luckily or unluckily? She was as in the love game as Valerie, but even more of a flirtatious fiend...

“Heck yeah! The heroes from the deep unite!” Valerie hollered.

The phone mech buzzed loudly as it lifted its sword-arm and lifted it above its head and the crowd around it ran away. “We have to take down its weapon first!” Simon exclaimed, pointing at the arm, “Anorith, use Smack Down!”

The Pokemon squeaked and formed a golden stone between his pincers, before launching it forward at the sword. The rock bounced off the armor with a clink, barely doing any damage- the mass of phones was so condensed that it was barely doing anything to the metal chassis.

“It’s of no use!” the employee wailed, “Our phones come with increased durability and strength - and are available in carbink blue, onix gray and minior red - we’re all doomed!”

“Don’t worry, Val and Lovely got this!” Valerie declared. “Electricity and water don’t mix, right? So, Lovely! Give em’ your Water Gun!”

A cry from the Luvdisc came before she shot out a powerful stream of gushing water from her mouth, aimed towards the sword as well… But the water simply splashed on it. The Water Gun seemed to have cleaned it, more than damaged it.

“It won’t work!” the man continued, “Our phones are made of the latest waterproof material - owning a water-resistant device means that you can snap pictures by the pool or use your handset in the rain without fear it'll be damaged - we’re all truly doomed!”

The phone-mech screeched and reared its leg back to kick at the new attackers. Simon, Val and their Pokemon quickly dodged to the side to avoid the attack as it crashed into the nearby stands.

“Wait, Val!” Simon exclaimed as he got up. “If this is being controlled by some Pokemon, that means we have to think of its type!”

Valerie crossed her arms, deep in thought. “Hmmm… hmmmmmmmm…” Then something caught her eye: the iRotom logo. “Hmmmmmmmm.... Oh! Waaaait a minute! Val, you mad genius!” she exclaimed in a rare moment of clarity.

"So," Valerie began. “From the lightning everywhere, it’s obvs an Electric type, right? Well, check this out: I think it’s also a Ghost type! I’ve made friends with a ghost Pokemon who can totally control my shadow. So, maybe this one can control, like, electronics and stuff.” Valerie turned to the employee. “...Ain’t that right?”

The man’s eyes grew wide. “You mean our iRotom phones are being controlled by…. a Rotom?!”

“So that means it’s weak to ground-type moves!” Simon exclaimed triumphantly. “Anorith knows Dig! Val, does your Luvdisc know anything?”

“Errrrr… hold up,” Valerie whipped out her Pokedex, and flipped through the pages of Lovely’s status. “Moves… moves… no… oh! Maybe…”

The mech swung its sword in their direction again, forcing them to duck and the employee to cry out in despair once more. Simon looked at Val nervously, “So??”

“Umm, all I got is this weird move called Hidden Power?” Valerie said, looking at her Pokedex awkwardly. “Says here that it changes depending on the Pokemon, soooo for Lovely, it’s a Dark type move.”

“Huh. That’s surprising, they say the type depends on the Pokemon’s personality...” Simon raised his eyebrows. “Well, we should combine our powers! Anorith can attack from below with Dig to trip it, and then Lovely can use Hidden Power to topple it!”

“Oh, I liiiike it! The classic Val/Si, Luvdisc/Anorith secret combo!” Valerie agreed with a nod. “Right, ready, Lovely?! On our mark, ready yourself for a luuuuvable Hidden Power!” Lovely nodded, then winked to the Anorith. It’s all him.

“Alright, Anorith! Dig on its left leg!” Simon called out. Anorith let out an infatuated squeak at the Luvdisc before snapping out of his trance and diving underground, scratching furiously with his claws and barely avoiding a slam from the rotom-mech’s fist. Moments later he reappeared right under the giant’s foot, causing the phone-creature to stumble forward.

“Now, Lovely! Time for Hidden Power!” Her body glowed sinisterly for a brief moment - Lovely's body was surrounded by orbs of dark energy. She set her sights on the other leg -- the right -- and released the balls all at once. They all struck the leg, causing the mech to lose its footing completely and to topple over with a mighty crash.

“Nice! Alright!!” With Valerie being distracted by her cheering, Lovely secretly hid a somewhat sinister grin.

"You must go for the main phone!" The iRotom employee yelled out. "That must be its core!"

The device in question, despite being covered by layers of other phones was shining brightly under the mass of metal pieces, and especially vulnerable in the mech's current position.

"Okay, then- Val!" Simon exclaimed. "I'll use X-scissor to remove the phone armor- then it's all on your Luvdisc!"

“Kay!” Valerie agreed. “Then it’s tiiime for a super underwater secret technique!”

"Anorith, use X-scissor on that glowing spot!" Simon called out, to which his Pokemon nodded and charged at the pile of protective phones. Anorith raised his glowing Pincers and charged them up with white energy before bringing them down upon the mech, scattering away several phones and carving a small path to the core. After several more slashes, they had a clear shot to the original iRotom 13, which was buzzing and sparking with more intensity than all the others. "Now, Val!"

“Alrighty! Straight from the hero’s book of luuuuuv!” Valerie made a shape of a heart with her hands, then drew a heart shape in the air. “Heart Stamp!!” Luvdisc recreated the same motion, before her body glowed a brilliant, bright pink. Little hearts teemed from her as she charged towards her mechanized target. Like a predictable yet classic anime from the 90s, she sought the power of ‘luv’ to vanquish the foe.

Finally, in one strike, she attacked the core with all her might, crashing into it with the full weight of her body. Multiple hearts poured out and danced through the air, turning the air pink like a cheap love hotel from Kanto. But finally, the hearts dissipated, and the rest of the electrically charged phones spread out and all fell to the floor.

"It's… defeated!" the employee cheered, throwing up his hands, and the crowd began to cheer. He grabbed the core phone from the pile and handed it to the trainers, "You've done it-"

He'd spoken too soon. Suddenly, the phone began vibrating more intensely than before, and floated upwards ominously… before a strange red creature emerged from it, crying out in annoyance.

"That's the Rotom!" Simon exclaimed. "Get it!"

The Pokemon gasped and looked at the inactive phones around it nervously, before looking at the nearest piece of technology it could find- the watch on that man's wrist! With a zap it darted into the device, causing the employee to squeal in terror.


Employee Steve caught a Rotom!

Seconds later, however, the Pokemon emerged from the watch, seemingly disgusted by the lack of power of the device. It looked around once more, and spotted the ATC sticking out of Simon's pocket-


Simon caught a Rotom!

Once again, the Pokemon emerged. What was that- it didn't even have a processor! The Rotom looked downwards at a phone lodged inside Anorith's claw, which still had a working screen, and sighed before darting inside it.


Anorith caught a Rotom…?

It didn't take long for the Pokemon to get out of that one too. Broken devices were not it's cup of tea. The electric-type looked around nervously again, seeing the trainers close in on it, before suddenly spotting an amazing device, sticking out of Valerie's back pocket: an advanced phone! With streaming capabilities, even! The Rotom buzzed excitedly and darted behind the girl before entering her phone.

Valerie watched on with a dazed look on her face, at first. She carefully got out her phone, observing any changes. None.. until she tried turning it on. She was greeted with Rotom’s face, right on her screen, as the Rotom, still inside her phone, floated upwards and around Valerie. “I guess you like my phone?” she asked. The Rotom danced around as a response… looks like it really did.


Valerie caught a Rotom in her phone!

“H-Hold on a sec!” Valerie was once again pondering what to do next. “I do loads of streams and stuff on that phone, y’know! But…” she then had a realization. “...were you just looking for a home?”

Not much of an answer came from the Rotom this time, save for a a beep from one of the phone’s default sounds.

“Aw, well…” Valerie decided, you know what? Why the heck not? “Consider the phone yours, Roto-buddy! Oh! Ah, as long as you can help me with streaming! Deal?”

Yes!

That sound coming from the Rotom was surprising. “...Can you uh… speak?”

Does not recognize command!

“Wait... that sound… that’s the Alexandra app on my phone…” Valerie then recognized. She then smirked and let out a hearty laugh. “Haha! You’re a reaaaaal interesting mon’!”

The iRotom employee let out a sigh of relief and the crowd cheered once more as the threat of the rotom was fully neutralized. The man approached the two trainers, beaming, "Thank you once again, my good friends! You've truly saved us from the inevitable wrath of this mega-bot - of course, I figured if technology were to ever take over it would be using iRotom phones - and saved our stand as well."

Though pleased with his Pokemon and happy that nobody was hurt, Simon was a little annoyed at the man. "Yeah… something tells me you knew something was wrong with that phone beforehand, and that's why you were selling it for cheap." he said, pointing at the phone in his hand.

“Yup, knew it,” Valerie added. “HQ Phones never go for that cheap, bro. You knew lil’Rotom was innit the whole time.”

The employee dropped his shoulders in defeat, "I admit I did, yes... I knew there was some sort of Pokemon in there, and I thought selling the phone to a trainer would be the safest and easiest way to get rid of the problem- but I didn't think it would come out so soon, I swear! As a token of my apology, and also of our gratitude, I would like to offer you this phone for free instead."

Simon looked at the phone in question; it actually wasn't too banged up by the attacks from earlier, and all things considered, it wasn't a bad deal.

As the two trainers dusted themselves off and the iRotom employees scrambled to pick up all the fallen phones, Simon and Valerie heard a stampede of people coming their way. Squinting in the distance, they noticed that the people in that group were all wearing blue shirts, bearing a familiar fish-shaped logo.

"Oh no. Val, let's move before the fans come in and say the cursed words again." Simon muttered.

“What words? Oh! You mean wish—“

Joint post of Dragon and Foxrally


"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess...
DRAGON SLAVE!"

Foxrally

Age 23
ya boi
a Torterra's back
Seen 34 Minutes Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
2,714 posts
8.6 Years


.
STAGE 13 - ROUTE 6

Spoiler:



Route 6, the treacherous desert road which stretches between Hammerlocke and the mountainous city of Stow-on-side. The dry and dusty climate of the area is only exacerbated by the summer heat, and gets even more unbearable once the difficult mountain path is reached. A fitting physical challenge, however, as at the end of it lies the fighting-type gym run by Bea, and the ghost-type gym run by Allister.

The first half of the route is a sandy desert, frequented by fire-types and ground-types who enjoy the heat, though they are sparse due to the lack of vegetation. You can find some oases with more abundant life in shaded areas, however, and they are popular with travelers as rest stops- just be careful not to get stung by an angry Skorupi. The second half of the route is a mountain hike- though the heat remains unrelenting, and coupled with strong winds, make this an even more difficult path. The mountains are home not only to Pokemon, though, but also to centuries of history. From mysterious statues and ruins to fossil Pokemon hidden away in the rock, this part of route 6 is as popular with hikers as it is with researchers, so you can expect to come across more people in this part of the desert.

As the journey to the second bracket of gyms begins, what will the sands of fate hold for our heroes? New adventures, new friends, and ever more memories await the graduates of the Wedgehurst class as they continue their travels.

WILD POKÉMON AVAILABLE THIS STAGE




Pokémon Available to those on Mission 1:

Pokémon Available to those on Mission 2:

Pokémon Available to those on Mission 3:

Pokémon Available to those on Mission 7:

Pokémon Available to those on Mission 8:

Pokémon Available to those on Mission 9:



.
MISSIONS:


[OPEN][CATCH CHANCE] Mission 1:
Despite being a desert, Route 6 is still home to a few water-types, who live in the shallow ponds and watering holes strewn about the shaded areas of the mountains and which eventually connect to the sea. Fishing here is quite different than in rivers or the ocean- a local sport is mud-fishing, where participants use their bare hands to grab fish out of the water and potentially capture them. Want to try your hand at it?
Reward: Soft Sand

[CATCH CHANCE] Mission 2:
The desert is harsh and unforgiving, and many a traveler can succumb to its blazing heat if unprepared, or worse, succumb to the Pokemon ready to take down weakened prey. One such Pokemon is a Mandibuzz: seeing you, a lone trainer, travel through the sands, it has decided to follow you from above in the hopes that the heat finishes you off and it can make a snack out of you. It looks like it's getting impatient and considering attacking you though… what will you do?
Reward: Rare bone + Mandibuzz catch chance

[CATCH CHANCE] Mission 3:
The sound of commotion coming from a short distance away catches your attention. As you go to investigate the source of the noise, you discover a unique sight: a family of the rare Pokemon Fennekin, hunting what looks to be a poor Maractus trying to spread its seeds for the season. The lone grass-type isn't faring too well against these empowered fire Pokemon, and hops to you for help. Will you battle your way through this, or sort it out in a civil way?
Reward: TR Spiky Shield

Mission 4:
The leader of Stow-on-side’s ghost gym, the mysterious Allister, has traveled to the sands of Route 6 to investigate a rise in the population of non-Galarian Yamasks in the area. He has come to the conclusion that it was likely due to illegal breeding- though the Yamask population seems to coexist fairly easily with the other local wildlife, so there doesn’t seem to be any issue. Since the gym leader doesn’t seem busy now, maybe he’ll humour you for a friendly battle…?
Reward: Phantom Force TR or Shadow Ball TR

Mission 5:
As you pass by a resting stop, you are approached by a merchant hailing from Stow-on-side. The woman explains to you that she are a vendor of custom perfumes and cosmetics, and uses rare maractus flowers for the process- unfortunately, it appears her most recent batch has been stolen by a group of jealous Cacnea, and she has no Pokemon of her own to get it back. Could you help?
Reward: Sachet + Tutor move: Aromatherapy/Sweet Scent

[OPEN] Mission 6:
After just a few hours of walking on the sharp rocks of the Stow-on-side mountains, you begin to realize you probably should’ve brought the proper footwear for this environment- at this rate, your shoes are going to be torn to shreds. Luckily, a rest stop near the base of the mountain happens to be selling hiker equipment- and boots too! They seem to have a sort of ‘hikers-only’ club membership though… Maybe could you convince them to let you buy a pair with a battle?
Reward: Heavy Boots (for you and your Pokemon)

Mission 7:
The rocky desert mountains which Stow-on-side sits on are rife with history- both human and natural, and this of course means plenty of fossils for archaeologists to harvest. Abigail Johnson, niece of the famous researcher Barnabus Johnson, has just completed her latest expedition, and collected many artifacts to examine back at their lab in Turffield. However, She seems to be in quite the pickle: a cave-in has left her trapped in her excavation site, and the next group isn’t coming for another week! Perhaps if you help her, she’ll reward you with a potential Pokemon.
Reward: Sail Fossil OR Root Fossil
(Note: Fossils can be revived at the Stow-on-side research lab. If you complete this mission with another player, it is possible to get both fossils.).


[MULTI][CATCH CHANCE] Mission 8:
After the notorious Cara Liss’ exile from the scientific community and her (dubiously acquired) archaeologist license being taken away, the researcher has decided to lay low for now, and hidden away her fossil-reviving technology in a mysterious cave along Route 6. She has left an apprentice behind, however. Her loyal Archeops, which guards the forbidden fossils, has been instructed to give them to anyone he deems worthy. If he does, he will allow you to use the fossil-reviving machine. What kind of creature will you create?
Reward (pick two different fossils):
- Fossilized Fish x Dino = Arctovish
- Fossilized Dino x Bird = Arctozolt
- Fossilized Drake x Bird = Dracozolt
- Fossilized Fish x Drake = Dracovish
Note: A maximum of four people can take this mission, please pay attention to what Pokemon is already taken.


[CATCH CHANCE] Mission 9:
It looks like the rangers were able to sedate, capture and release the rampant romantic Boldore from Hammerlocke without issues- unfortunately for our heartbroken friend, they mistakenly released him into Route 6 rather than his home of Dusty Bowl. Nothing to deter his infatuated adventurous spirit however: Boldore has continued its quest for love, but is now unfortunately defacing local heritage sites, mistaking the ancient statues as fellow rock-types.
Reward: Boldore with three roses in its mouth

Mission 10:
Looking at the intimidating mountain range before you and the exhausting climb ahead, you begin to wish that you could just skip the entire thing and hop onto a Pokemon to fly above the peaks. It's a trainer tradition and even an expectation to train and complete a journey on your own two feet - but skipping one bit wouldn't hurt, right? As you contemplate this, you come across a Corviknight cabbie who has stopped for a rest. He explains his Pokemon was injured mid-flight and requires time to recover and rest, and he has an urgent delivery to make on Stow-on-side… perhaps a trainer like yourself has a healing item to help?
Reward: TM Fly

Mission 11:
The ladder networks used to access the path to Stow-on-side are essential for trainers to easily and quickly make it through the longer parts of the trek. Unfortunately, some have been damaged by local wildlife or the weather and closed off for construction- but the blistering heat has prevented crews from working on it recently. You could try to help cool them down, or even fix the ladders yourself - and there's always a reward for your trouble.
Reward: TM Rock Climb + Heavy Ball


Paired to Gligar and gimmepie
Friend Code
SW-5146-5893-7210
I make memes and other carcinogens

Shak

Male
UK
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
938 posts
6.7 Years
Ruben Sancho

He Dared.


He dared to lose. It was a simple enough task and one that the bug eyed, blue rapscallion could surely handle. Chasing down the wool covered plebeians would be a mindless task for Lesca, but for the brat? A Zubat could see it. This was their chance to make their mark, stamp their authority into the spotlight. Instead, their trainer had condemned them to humiliation and ridicule. She daren’t even utter his name on the eve of the disaster he allowed to unfold. Incompetent as ever, the fool bounded around after the flock of imbeciles while her trainer barked orders as if the Froakie had the mental capacity to carry any of them out with any certainty. “Bubble, cut them off!” he commanded with a determined glare on his face. All the while the brat scampered with a doltish, dopey grin on his face.

He dared to choose; the simpleton instead of her. Lesca was forced to endure the circus from the sidelines. How does he continue to get it so wrong? Even if the bounding baby managed to overcome the challenge, the adversity he had to overcome would surely reflect poorly on this team. The team that she had chosen. What if they did succeed? Would she become obsolete? She had chosen this team, but allowed Sir Chrome and Luckey the flairhound to complete tasks that were beneath her up until now. They had proven themselves only moderately competent until now.

He dared to prove her right: Ignorant, incompetent, negligent. The trainer proved just how fitting all those words were to describe him. Those words the press had levelled at him and his footballing teammates while she stood in the stands and supported. Still, she stood in the stands but support, she’d do no more. Somehow, Carbon had proven he had some worth. The Wooloo were so dim-witted, they allowed themselves to be intimidated by the sheer boundlessness of the bubble frog. As if that silly neck foam he wore as a mask could really be considered intimidating. They really allowed that to lure them into captivity. The thought made Lesca look over to her trainer. That mask of knowledge, of competence, conscientiousness he wore was wearing thin.

He dared to use that mask here. He stood across from the gym leader. The gym was empty, with only Lesca in attendance, but she wouldn’t cheer. Not for him. Not now. He had deemed her no more than decorative bauble to accentuate his team’s appearance. No more, no less. That’s what she’d be. No more, no less. She left his side and stormed off into the stands with little more than a huff. Milo summoned his Appletun, where Ruben did the same with Chrome. The Rookidee took to the sky immediately at his trainer’s command but the oversized apple pie covered himself in a rocky texture and crashed the bird back to the ground. Lesca gasped, but collected herself as the battle raged on. Chrome would launch attacks from the air, while Milo’s Appletun would defend, then launch well timed counter attacks with Apple Acid and Energy Ball. While the Rookidee absorbed the damage well, each accumulative hit wore him down. He had no answers to the apple monster’s defenses.

He dared to excuse the Rookidee for his poor performance. A red beam absorbed the bird before it could be knocked out by another hit. Lesca watched as he apologised to the ball. She was staggered. The mask was stripping away. He looked up at her. Milo followed his gaze.

“That Bounsweet of yours looks as though she’s raring to go,” the gym leader said, thumping his chest with enthusiasm. Lesca saw her face appear on the big screen, the light shining on her. It was only right, she’d be the narrative of this battle. Yet her trainer’s eyes fell to the ground and he shook his head. He readied the Boltund’s pokeball in his hand. This wouldn’t be Lesca’s battle.

He dared to refuse. Boltund stood now in front of Appletun, eliminating Lesca from contention. She’d have no say, no influence on the battle henceforth. The revelation angered her. She knew from the beginning but something about it becoming a reality fueled the rage inside the little grass type. Rather than voice her fury as she’d come so accustomed to doing, the little Bounsweet sat in her chair and huffed. She stared into space, but listened as the sound of slashing, glooping acid, raging flames and crunching teeth echoed through the empty stadium. Boltund and Appletun fought at their trainer’s behest. However, Lesca couldn’t help but notice how quiet the place was. Sure there were cameras, lights but they had arrived in the building to no ceremony. In all her time with her trainer, Lesca had never seen a moment so quaint and without the bombast of attention of spectacle. Even despite his struggle, Lesca saw a smile. He was enjoying himself. She couldn’t help but smile herself.

Dress an Ampharos in as much wool as you like but don’t try to convince the Wooloo it’s one of them.

He dared his dues and they always came back to make him pay. He was a Wooloo all along. Lesca let out a shout as a Crunch attack rendered Appletun unconscious. He nodded up to her and Boltund raised his head with pride. Eldegoss followed and Lesca watched intently. She reached out to the intensity of the battle as the two pokemon exchanged their first blows. Lesca’s legs grew beneath her, arms sprouted from her sides. She clutched onto the barricade in front and cheered.

“Sweee!” She called out.



Lesca evolved into Steenee!

“Don’t think your Bounsweet evolving will change anything.” Milo teased, noticing the flash of white light in the corner of his eye. Lesca watched in her new form as her trainer was taken out of his focus. He glanced up at her and smiled. She called out to him again and pointed to the battle as Luckey was pounced upon by the Eldegoss. She was beginning to overpower him. Boltund fought back. He blasted a Thunder Wave to paralyze the grass type. Lesca watched her with keen eyes as the cotton bloom pokemon twitched and staggered before falling onto her back. This was it.

“Finish it! Fire Fang!”

“Not so fast! Leaf Tornado!” Both trainers shielded their eyes as an explosion of leaves and dust engulfed the interior of the gym. As the dust settled, Lesca winced. Luckey the flair hound had been knocked out. Eldegoss on the other hand, stood twitching at the will of the electricity that zapped around it. Milo smiled. “Well, it was a good battle,” he began but his own smile faltered as his opponent raised a pokeball. He tossed it and the very same Rookidee that began the battle emerged. He was bruised and battered but the gleam in his eye said it all. He had plenty of fight left. Lesca cheered in response. Even Milo smiled again. “I’m glad you don’t plan on making it easy. I was convinced your heart wasn’t in the Gym Challenge Ruben.”

He dared to muse over that statement and Milo made him pay for it. Lesca noticed his expression harden in response to the comment. The spores of cotton that now covered his Rookidee would surely be an equaliser in what was already a close battle. Chrome struggled with the new weight on his wings, but still readied himself to fly. His trainer halted him though, barely dodging the Leaf Storm fired just above his head.

“Stay low and hit it with Pluck!” He called, a fierce determination in his own eyes now. Rookidee followed the order. Eldegoss redirected the storm, but Rookidee was able to sidestep and nab a direct hit, even plucking out some of the Bloom pokemon’s cotton. “Finish with Peck!” With its own cotton in his beak, Chrome charged down one more time and drilled into the Eldegoss. It didn’t get up. It couldn’t. The sparks of electricity ceased and Chrome was able to rest. Milo tipped his hat. Lesca cheered.

He dared to lose.

Ruben dared...but he won.

Turffield



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