“Helloooo!” the girl answered the call. It was her, indeed. Ten years being friends, he could recognize Deborah's voice easily. He called her to see if she was okay, considering the chaotic state of the city. Thankfully it sounded as if she was doing good.
“Thank god you’re fine…! Because you are fine, right?” he asked, just to confirm his own thoughts.
“Yeah, I think so. I had a fun, weird day today.” she said. “I tried to catch a two headed Pokémon that wanted to eat me and almost got arrested, you?”
Bruno sighed. Recognizing her voice was something but her definition of fun will continue to be a mystery for him, probably for the rest of his days. “... I found a Hidden Grotto, battled a Shiftry from a very angry guy that was stealing a Pokémon and Gospel almost got blown away.” he added.
“Cool!” an awkward silence flooded the conversation. Deborah’s cheerfulness faded away quickly and her tone changed into that of embarrassment “Uh, I mean… not cool as in cool, but still cool…! Err… well, you know what I mean!”
"Yeah… " he murmured as he thought of a way to change the subject "Where are you right now?"
"Cerulean. Got lost."
"You know you have a map too, don't you?"
Deborah laughed. "Maps are for the weak!" Bruno sighed "And well, I think I want to stay here a bit more time. Maybe get something from that place Buoy Kid talked about yesterday, I don't know."
"I was totally sure that you would find this city boring."
"Oh, I did!" She confirmed "But there is good food here! Once I'm done eating, I'm leaving."
"Be careful with the dragons, please… "
"Uh, sure… Don’t worry about that! Nothing can beat Dukko, Pancho and The Squad's marvelous combination!"
He sighed again, he didn't know how many times he had sighed during this entire conversation. "That's not what I meant…" sigh. "Forget it, just don't do anything stupidly risky." He added in a low voice.
"But there's no fun in that!"
The girl laughed, but she was also clearly annoyed "Don't call me that! You know I don't like you to call me that way!" She said in a hostile tone.
"I just find it weird calling you 'Debbie', I don't think I can do that anytime soon."
"Well, you should get used to— Oh!" She exclaimed surprised, regaining her usual, loud cheerfulness. "I need to go! I think I just found the place Buoy Kid was talking about!"
"You too! B—" she hung up before she could finish her "Bye", but that was just like her.
His relationship with Deborah was… strange. On the one hand, he found her annoying and too much of a troublemaker, but on the other hand she was the person he trusted the most and Bruno didn't know how he would overcome many of his fears without her. But just as he needed her to overcome his fears, she needed a voice of reason as well and that was his role here; she would get in trouble all the time and be risky just for the sake of being risky, and that wasn’t a good thing considering how clumsy she was at times, but for some reason she didn't seem to get badly hurt for it. She was the total opposite of Bruno. She was lively, she was strong, she was fearless. Bruno himself didn't know exactly why she decided to become a trainer, but he was sure that she would do it well.
Following Hoshi's previous advice, the boy took Artemis outside her Pokéball and let her sleep inside his hood, he told her that she could sleep there as long as she kept her arms away from his hair. Bruno continued walking the rocky roads of Route 9. He had avoided every Wild Pokémon and Trainer he spotted, while trying to stay on road, he just wanted to get out of this route as soon as possible because he didn’t like the idea of hiking under the strong sun.
The missing link 🍀🍀🍀 Arianne Chandler - Cerulean City - Day 3 - May 22nd
♫ - Sum 41 - Pieces
Her Pokégear proudly displayed "11 am" after surviving, unscathed, many tumbles and hits. But that’s all it could really do: tell the time, show the town map, let Arianne call her contacts. The girl had no time, no opportunity, to gather evidence of what she’d witnessed. When she got back to the cop, all she had was her words and her wounded Pokémon.
Growlithe was able to spot his owner quite easily and direct the girl towards him. She in turn had used a Potion on the Fire type, to let him recover from Drapion’s hit. The cop hadn’t moved much at all from where he was before, making it easier for Arianne to find him again. The two could easily battle for the gloomiest face tournament, though: as much as the cop was upset with himself for not stopping the criminal he was after and getting a random girl into this, such girl was equally sad for failing her task.
Let’s be real, Arianne didn’t know what the masked girl’s true objective was. Maybe she was part of a rebellious group fighting to change a corrupt system (classic book trope!), but that was way too optimistic for a girl with such a cruel attitude. And she was literally stealing a Pokémon belonging to the gym. As if, whatever this team of masked people was striving for, it wanted to be perceived as the most evil there was. After explaining everything to the cop, Arianne let him register her number, just in case. She could still be useful for the investigations, after all. Just like the trainer heard before in the Pokémon Center, the cop confirmed that there were in fact many Dragon types roaming the city. Most of them were already dealt with, or stolen by these evil people, but a few were still around and - because of them - people had to be careful when outside.
Seeing as she was quite late on her plan for the day, and her Pineco was still… well, fainted, Arianne decided to go back to the Pokémon Center and have lunch nearby. When she approached the counter though, it was easy to see for the nurse that she’d lost some of her enthusiasm.
Already knowing that Cerulean Gym was not suited for beginner trainers, she decided to just skip her visit there. She would have bought some supplies for the evening and ran straight for Route 9.
Given what happened that morning, following the Professor’s advice and training along the way was the best course of action. Arianne needed to get stronger without getting too much in trouble if she wanted Destiny to carry her where she wanted.
And the missing link is… winning battles. When Arianne headed towards Route 9, her shadow was already starting to grow in length. Her backpack was now full with fresh food, berries, and some basic caving equipment. Oh, and a sleeping bag, because apparently she would have needed it for sure! The whole area was more mountainous, and less populated.
Arianne decided not to fight trainers until she was certain of getting close to Rock Tunnel by the evening. Plus, if she interpreted that right, Ralph must have been ahead of her already! She tried to gather her forces, trying not to mind the lingering pain from Drapion’s claws, as she left the Goodbye sign of Cerulean City behind her.
Every good feeling Vera had felt for this road dried up around the time rocks started appearing in the road. She had tried to avoid them, but what had once been a smooth road was now more of a hiking trail, and the slopes up and down were starting to make her legs sore.
And then she came to the first cliff. A helpful sign informed her that these ledges were perfectly safe, only a five foot drop to continue on the road. Vera didn't trust it, but the road had gained walls at some point, and the only way to proceed was to play mountaineer, it seemed.
Sapphire, getting impatient, jumped off of Vera's shoulder, landing gracefully by her feet. She smiled her smug cat smile up at Vera, as if saying See, I just dropped 5 feet. So can you. Vera crouched by the edge of the cliff, looking nervously at the ground below. "Okay, I can do this. Just a hop... skip... and a JUMP!"
She cast herself from the cliff, her knees buckling upon impact and pitching her forward. She landed on her face, her exasperated sigh and tired sobs muffled by the dirt. "Ugghh-huh-huh-huh... I hate this..."
She felt Sapphire lick her cheek, the tongue warm and smooth. She pushed the Pokemon aside grumpily. "What did I tell you about... wait." Sapphire was a cat. Her tongue was always rough. Which meant...
Vera pushed herself up, seeing a small brown wolf sitting in front of her. It barked happily, tongue lolling from its mouth. Sapphire meowed angrily from atop the ledge, leaping to Vera's aid. She hissed at Rockruff, her fur bristling.
Vera got to her feet, wiping her face with her sleeve. "Okay, gross... but it's so cute! Who's an adorable little puppy? You are! Yes you are!"
Rockruff barked happily, spinning in a circle and wagging his tail. Sapphy looked at Vera in disgust. Vera was suddenly ready for a fight, her determined smile returning. "Sapphire, we're going to catch this puppy! Use Icy Wind!"
Sapphire didn't like the reason, but was happy to attack the dog. She exhaled a stream of cold air, making Rockruff shiver and whine as frost coated his fur. He swiped a paw through the dirt, kicking sand back at Sapphire.
"Wow, he really doesn't like ice." Vera mused, pulling out a Pokeball. "Go for a Scratch, Sapphire." Sapphire rolled her eyes in disdain, preferring to avoid physical attacks, but did as instructed. Rockruff barely seemed to feel it, apparently having some tough skin under that fluffy fur. Rockruff responded by Biting Sapphy, which earned Vera a stern glare from the cat.
"That ought to be enough. Hey, Rockruff! Fetch!" She threw the Pokeball, which Rockruff eagerly tried to catch. It sucked him up, shook once, and clicked shut. Vera blinked in surprise. "Normally that takes longer. I guess he really wanted to come with us!" She called Rockruff back out, and he panted happily at the sight of her, wagging his tail.
She reached out to pet him, and he kept trying to lick her hand. She finally managed to get under his chin, and he stopped to let her scratch there. "You're going to need a name, but I'm terrible at clever nicknames. The only rock I can think of right now is 'igneous', so I'm going to call you Iggy. How's that sound?"
Iggy barked twice, smiling his doggy grin. Vera shrugged, figuring that meant yes. "Works for me. Potions for each of you, then you're on deck, Iggy. Lead the way out of here."
Sapphire pouted about not being able to ride on Vera's shoulder, but was too proud to actually mope about it, returning to her ball with dignity.
As it turned out, just because Iggy was local didn't mean he knew where he was going. He kept chasing after noises or jumping off ledges, and Vera was getting exhausted trying to keep up with him. At one point, he saw a Rattata run across the road and chased after it. Vera tried to grab him, but accidentally kicked a rock in the road, tripping and falling over.
"Gasp! Are you okay, lady?"
Vera growled in frustration. "No! I keep tripping over these stupid rocks! I've stubbed so many toes. And broken one... I think..." It took her a moment to realize she was actually talking to someone else, and she blushed red when she noticed a large man standing over her.
"Here, allow me to help you up." He was taller than Vera, with dark skin and eyes, and his beard had more salt than pepper. Still, he was quite muscular, and carried a large staff and several packs. He offered her a hand, which Vera reluctantly accepted.
The man pulled Vera to her feet, steadying her as she recovered her balance. "There you go. My name is Dusty. If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing so far out here, Miss...?"
"Hill. Vera Hill." Vera looked for Iggy, who was sitting at her feet, wagging his tail. When he noticed Vera looking at him, he rubbed his head against her leg, the rocks in his ruff snagging at her jeans. "I'm on a Pokemon journey, and the Professor said the main road was 'too boring' and 'the easy way', that only the most daring of travelers took this road. It's supposed to take me to Lavender Town."
Dusty nodded sagely. "Indeed, this path can be treacherous to first time Hikers. Not dangerous, especially not with a Pokemon Center just outside the entrance to Rock Tunnel, but you can certainly consider yourself daring for traveling it, Lady Vera!"
Vera's temper flared, and she wanted to yell at this man. "Well, I don't care about daring! Daring, my probably BROKEN foot!" She snapped. "I just want to get out of these stupid hills and away from all these rocks!" Iggy flinched at her tone, whimpering a little. Vera was surprised by her actions, crouching to comfort the puppy.
Dusty took her outburst in stride, stroking his beard in thought. "I understand your frustration, Lady Vera. The mountains aren't meant for everyone, and not everyone is meant for the mountains."
Vera would normally snark at something like that, thinking those two were the same thing, but she didn't want to be rude, especially if she wanted his help.
Dusty thumped his staff against the ground. "But take heart! You're on the right track if you're looking for Rock Tunnel! Don't let the ledges and slopes confuse you. They make this road a bit of a maze, but there is definitely a way through. Just keep heading east."
"Oh... thank you, Dusty." Vera started walking again, stopping when Dusty raised one giant hand.
"Just one thing, Lady Vera. You seem to be a bit light on supplies. Are you sure you brought enough to make this journey?"
Vera looked at her backpack. It had served her well at the college, and had been sufficient so far. "I... think so? I bought some medicine and Pokeballs in Cerulean City."
"Hmmm..." Dusty squinted at her bag, making Vera a little uncomfortable. She was about to say something when he leaned back, shaking his head. "No, I don't think you know what you're getting into. Medicines and Pokeballs are all well and good, but you're not just going on a Pokemon journey, you're going on a Pokemon journey."
Vera quirked an eyebrow, again thinking those two were the same thing, but before she could comment, Dusty pulled off his backpack, untying one of the smaller packs strapped to the side. "Here, consider this a gift, to make the mountains more bearable for you."
The pack had seemed small on him, but it was wider than Vera was, dwarfing her previous bag. It was lighter than she thought, but heavier than she'd hoped. "What's in here, bricks?"
"Don't be silly, Lady Vera!" Dusty laughed, then suddenly grew serious. "Bricks have no nutritional value." Vera glanced over at Iggy, who seemed similarly confused. Dusty kept talking, jovial again.
"I use that pack to carry extra rations! Dried fruit, meat jerky, mixed nuts, some candy, an extra blanket, and of course, WATER! You should always bring water with you on a hike. I personally carry canned foods as well, but none in that pack. So be sure to stock up when you get to the Pokemon Center. If you have to camp over night, you'll want more than just trail mix for dinner. And breakfast!"
Vera attached her regular bag to the side of the pack, adjusting the weight to sit more comfortably on her shoulders. "Um... thank you again, Dusty. What do I owe you for this?"
Dusty laughed, clapping a hand on Vera's shoulder. She felt her knees buckle under the impact, but managed to stay standing. "Nothing at all! Like I said, it's a gift! I just hate to leave a Lady stranded out of her element like this. You'll do great things, I'm sure of it. Just not out here, in the mountains."
Vera felt both inspired and insulted at the same time, so she just started walking, Iggy at her heels. Dusty waved at her as she walked, then returned to the mountains from whence he came.
“Shock Wave to my heart and you’re to blame~ Darling, you give Raichu a bad name~”
“Aw, come on Keith not Bon Jon Bovine again. Please, there must be some other songs from different singers you could sing.” Richard’s tone grew a bit sharper than usual, as he was sick hearing the same song from the same artist again and again over all the time they’ve spent together.
“What? You dare to diss The Outback Superstar!? you’ve got some nerve, Pal. Just wait until I sing ‘Turboblaze of Glory’.
Just as Keith was about to open his mouth, Richard blocked it with his hand. “You should know that I love Jon Bovine, Keith… it’s just that because you sing it so often, I’m currently sick of it, okay? Why don’t you sing something from The What? or The Spinning Boulder? Or you could sing ‘21st Century Scizor Man’ by Queen Scarlet, please?” Richard smiling widely, with his eyes appeared to plead Keith to either change song that he was going to sing, or not singing at all.
Just as Richard about to kick Keith in the calf as he usually does, a Hiker and his daughter came to them.
The Hiker came close and then whispered at both of them while telling his daughter to wait. “Uh, excuse me, you two. Can you spare me a little bit of your time? You see, my daughter and I were walking down this path and I suddenly have this sudden urge to show me how great I am… Sorry, but could you both become my opponent, please? Hahaha.” The laughter uttered from the hiker’s mouth annoyed both men who were standing very close with the hiker.
Richard and Keith asked for some time among themselves to do a discussion about this, the hiker accepted and both of them talked with each other about what should they do about this request.
“Hey Richard, I don’t know if we can even beat this man. I mean, he has the impression of a veteran hiker, I bet his Pokemon is also high leveled.” Keith whispered Richard about his assessment.
“Not to mention, we have to reach the Rock Tunnel entrance before sundown… Maybe, I was too stupid to believe that Picnicker who said the trip could be done in a day. I mean we don’t even have a sleeping bag right now, we should have refused to follow his advice.” Richard shook his head.
As both of them started to walk back to where the father-daughter pair were, Keith and Richard overheard the conversation the hiker was having with his daughter.
“Papa… When are you going to show me your strength?” The daughter asked enthusiastically, she was jumping a few times holding her enthusiasm in check.
“Haha, please wait, honey. The big brothers over there are finishing their business first.” The Hiker raised her daughter in the air and spun her around, which prompted his daughter to laugh at the action.
Both Keith and Richard stopped in their tracks, looking at each other before both finally broke out a sigh. They wanted to arrive as fast as possible sure, but looking at the hiker’s daughter made them think twice before refusing.
“Um… Mister? We accept your challenge.” Richard hesitantly told the hiker.
“Great! Hahaha.” The man laughed loudly while holding his belly. “Well, let’s make this a handicap match then, maybe you could beat me that way.”
“But Father, I want to fight too, Please?” The daughter tugged his father’s jacket sleeve while begging to be able to participate in the battle.
“I can’t do that Mary… You know that… Okay fine then, honey. But you can only use Wingull, okay?” The Hiker finally gave in when his daughter gazed at him with her puppy eyes.
“Yay!” She jumped around once more, looking very happy that she was allowed to participate in a Pokemon battle.
“Sorry about that Kids, you could use all of the Pokemon you have to beat me since It’s going to be unfair otherwise.” The hiker seemed to boast his Pokemon’s power, which made Keith and Richard gulped before continuing.
The battlefield was then set, an empty field with several ledges surrounding parts of the battlefield.
“Well, I hope I won’t regret this. Go, Eileen!” Richard called out his Pokemon to the battlefield, hoping that Eileen could at least faint the Wingull.
“Me too. Go, Kallavan!” Keith followed suit and called out his Deino to the field.
With Mary’s Wingull already out on the field, both Richard and Keith was waiting with suspense on what Pokemon will her father call out to the field.
“Go, Rhydon!” Rhydon came out from his ball, it intimidated both Keith and Richard due to its size difference with their Pokemon.
“God… Please have mercy on us,” Keith muttered, hopeless with the situation on hand.
Continued in part 3-2
Rocky Horror Show
2-4: Jordan From Celadon // May 22nd, Early Morning
Mistaking Jordan's false bravado for genuine heroism, Spirit leapt off his shoulder and charged forward, bone club at the ready.
Cursing under his breath, Jordan followed his Pokémon. As he approached to catch up, he could see the man's eyes behind the mask. They were blue. Eerily pale. Cold. He studied Jordan's face, then shifted his gaze onto the small Cubone beside him. Perhaps more important than that, though, Jordan and Spirit finally got a good look at the Glalie with him up close. Oh, nope, nope, nope. Jordan thought to himself. Why did I do that?! He glanced down. Spirit was still acting tough, but he seemed to have picked up on the energy that Jordan didn't actually know what he was doing, and seemed less confident now.
A muffled voice came from behind the mask, drawing their attention back to the man. "And who might you be?" he asked softly.
Maybe it was his simpler upbringing, maybe he was just being stupid, but Jordan was used to answering questions in a very straightforward manner, and instead of saying... literally anything else, he reflexively blurted out, "Jordan... From Celadon," before he could stop himself.
"Jordan, from Celadon," the man repeated mockingly. "I have also... visited that area before for business. Lot of farming land, yes? You do look like a farm boy."
Jordan wasn't sure if that was meant to be an insult or not, so he gave a half-shrug half nod. When he failed to contribute more to the conversation, the man simply nodded at his Glalie. Before either Jordan or Spirit could react, it closed in on the wounded Dragon Pokémon, and with a final shriek, the Dragonair was left unconscious.
"To answer your question from earlier, Jordan from Celadon, I-" the man produced a dark, round object from his pocket, and smoothly tossed it at the unconscious Pokémon, who disappeared into it in a flash of red light without resistance. "Will be taking this Dragonair with me now. And you should be minding your own business."
There were quite a few questions running through Jordan's mind, like who this man was, why was he doing this, or what kind of Poké Ball he had just used that seemed to be capable of capturing trainer-owned Pokémon, and likely a gym trainer-owned Pokémon, at that. He knew from the pamphlets he read earlier, that the symbol meant the Pokémon had belonged to this gym.
Alas, what came out of Jordan's mouth was "...oh". He hadn't really planned past his initial outburst, if that could be called a plan at all, but just as the man had pocketed the Poké Ball and turned to leave with his Pokémon, a small, white object shot past Jordan with a whoosh and smacked the Glalie on its head, before zooming back in his direction.
The Glalie stopped following his trainer. He turned around to face Jordan. No, he wasn't looking at Jordan... he was looking at Spirit. With his bone club in hand, it was pretty obvious what happened. Ah, Jordan thought to himself. I see. We're in trouble.
Suddenly, he was reminded of the stupid Pokédex's poorly-timed outburst from earlier. After immobilizing its foe in ice, this Pokémon enjoys eating it in leisurely fashion...
"I uh- you're right... sir," Jordan stammered, motioning for the scrappy little Cubone to follow him before he could do anything else to piss them off. "I think we will be minding our own business now. Goodbye!"
Jordan turned to leave. He got several paces ahead, but froze when he heard the man's voice again.
He held his breath, but the air grew colder. He could feel the Glalie's presence right behind him.
"I think he's hungry."
"Wh-" Jordan turned around to see the Glalie no more than two feet away from him. The unsettling smile was still on its large, spherical face.
The Glalie turned its attention away from Jordan, and cast a dark, arresting look towards Spirit. The Cubone shivered, both from the cold air emanating from the creature in front of him, and its menacing glare. He was locked in place, unable to leave the fight.
"You amuse me, Jordan from Celadon. If you want to leave, you'll have to fight us."
No way! Jordan thought. The Glalie was clearly very experienced in battle, and terrifying. Mostly terrifying. And Spirit, well... This wasn't a fair fight at all. But it was clear the man didn't intend to let them leave until Jordan agreed to battle. Or feed his Glalie. Jordan swallowed hard.
"Alright, Spirit, two can play that game! Leer back at him!"
The Cubone was still shaken with fear, but he did his best to listen. He steadied himself and took a step forward, throwing a sharp glare at his opponent. The Glalie barely flinched.
The man chuckled. "How adorable. Icicle Spear."
Glalie opened its mouth to reveal sharp the icicles forming inside.
Jordan's eyes widened. "Spirit, get away!"
With a toss of its head, the spears came out flying one by one towards the Cubone. He scurried to put some distance between them, and managed to swiftly block most of the shards, smashing the projectiles like glass when they came in contact with his club. He glanced back proudly at his trainer and gave him a "did you see that?" kind of look, but before Jordan could cheer him on, an icicle smacked him square in the back of Spirit's head, and shattered against his skull helmet. Jordan gasped, but the Cubone managed to draw himself back up.
"Hey, that's the spirit! Throw your Bone Club at him!"
Equally amused by his trainer's pun, Spirit brandished his club with zeal and charged forward, lobbing it at Glalie like a boomerang. His target was large, and not particularly quick, so he successfully landed the blow. It barely looked like a scratch was made on its giant, icy body, but Spirit still looked pleased.
"Hah! I do like the energy of that one. But we'll be finishing this with a..."
The mysterious man's voice trailed off as his attention turned to the surrounding lights, causing Jordan to glance around as well. One by one, the lights in the courtyard started coming on, signalling that the real trainers of the gym would be filing in shortly.
"You're lucky, kid. I think we will have to finish this some other day." As the man recalled his Pokémon, Spirit seemed to be released from the spell of Glalie's Mean Look. The man scaled one of the fences opposing the gym with surprising speed, and just like that, he was gone.
Seconds later, a pretty brunette trainer with brilliant green eyes stepped out into the courtyard. She was accompanied by a Sliggoo, and she eyed Jordan suspiciously as she approached. Jordan blushed, but smiled awkwardly at her.
"Uh, 'morning, miss. I'm Jordan from Celadon, and I'd like to report a crime."
The trainer who arrived wasn't Hoshi himself, interestingly. Perhaps he was too busy with all these other dragons running loose closer to the city core. It was instead a younger woman, with hair like a messy jungle and eyes almost black like deep wells.
She arrived very suddenly, landing in the grass in front of the group of trainer and pokémon, descending on the back of a quite large, very powerful looking pokémon that Ralph easily recognized as a Flygon. It wasn't seen too often in competitions, but it was quite popular as a favorite among kids and aspiring trainers.
"Hi!" the jungle said, winking her deep wells at the girl with the pink dreads. "You've been lucky!"
Ralph blinked back and put her hands on her slim hips. "Have I? This is lucky? I'm not sure I want to know what's normally going on in the gym then."
The woman laughed and walked up to Dragonite, who was conscious by now but had stayed put quite grumbling in his horizontal position.
"You ran into Hoshi's star, huh?"
"Yeah," Ralph said and looked over at Sandsy. They cemented her next words with a fistbump: "I guess we're stronger than we thought!"
The jungle head laughed again, but it didn't sound very nice in Ralph's ears.
"Oh honey. If things were as they normally are at the gym, you wouldn't have stood a chance! Even without Hoshi's orders to direct Dragonite. This fellow had a bit of a stomach sickness yesterday and was weak and on meds still today. You've basically been fighting a zombie!"
While Ralph struggled to reply or react to that, the gym trainer pulled up a fancy looking pokéball and returned the sick dragon to it.
"That's it. Fancy a ride back into town?"
Ralph had a growing feeling that she didn't really fancy anything at all with this person.
"No thanks, we're fine," she just said shortly, hands back on her hips.
Jungle shrugged. "Suit yourself! Oh right, Hoshi did ask me to give you this as a thanks, actually!"
She walked up to Ralph and put a small item in her hand. It was a Technical Machine! Not only could those be quite useful, but also mighty expensive. And this particular move it contained was very interesting.
"Bye now, and thanks again for battling our sickling!" Jungle said with one last wink and terrible laughter before she ascended again.
Ralph returned all of her pokémon to their balls as she started walking all the way back to the pokémon center on foot. The journey is the goal...
When she finally had healed Edgy and the others up at the pokémon center, it was past noon. Ralph stopped on a parkbench outside to check out the map on her pokégear carefully.
To the south was a pretty heavily trafficked road to Saffron. But they weren't going to take that path, oh no. Palm thought it much more interesting (for him or them??) to have his journeyers travel through Rock Tunnel and visit Lavender before the big city. Ralph scrunched her face. The map said there was some sort of stop with a pokemon center before the entrance on this side of the mountain, but the path through the caves was long... what would she need for it?
Not to mention the route to even get there. Route 9 wasn't too long, but the map app estimated that it would take her the rest of the day to reach the end of it if she left now. So she'd better do it. Camping out wasn't entirely uninteresting to her, of course; while she wasn't an incredibly outdoorsy person, she did feel quite happy in the wild nature. There were lots of pokémon living there, after all. Potential new discoveries... And team mates.
She took out Edgy from his ball when she thought of that. In this Kakuna form, he was too heavy and large to sit comfortably on Ralph's shoulder. Not to mention that he lackes limbs of any sort currently. But Ralph knew that this was a very temporary stage, a cocoon from which a form much more befitting his personality.
Question was how to get there. His glare was as feisty as ever, where he sat on the bench in front of her, but he certainly didn't look battle-ready. She wondered if he could even jump if he wanted to.
"He doesn't look ready at all," a voice said, pulling her out of her thoughts.
It belonged to a large, sturdy woman sitting on a bench nearby. She looked like she had been exercising every day in her life but also eaten slightly more than she needed for even that. Her clothes were functional rather than pretty, as if she was ready to get dirty and probably didn't mind it.
Her smile seemed genuine though.
"Ready for evolution?" Ralph asked, guessing at what the lady was getting at. "He only just evolved into Kakuna today, so that would make sense."
The big woman got up from her seat and walked closer, hands cuspes behind her back as she examined Edgy closely. Ralph could tell he got a bit nervous under the scrutiny and hoped he wouldn't somehow Poison Sting the stranger for it.
"No, not that," she replied. "I think he is experienced enough. But something is holding him back. Up here." She looked at Ralph and put a finger to her own temple.
"Mentally?" Ralph scoffed. "Are you implying I don't know what my pokémon is feeling? We've been-"
"Love, I'm only trying to help, I assure you," the woman interrupted her, hands in the air. Again, Ralph felt that she truly meant it.
"Sorry," she mumbled. "I'm not going to rush him though."
"Of course not. Tell me... What is he usually like?"
"Edgy as f- uh, very angry and aggressive," Ralph said reflexively.
"And proud of his power?"
"Very much so. And he is strong!"
"Makes sense. Right now, he feels he is not enough. And he eagerly awaits evolution as he does not believe in himself currently."
"And you don't really either, do you?"
"Of course I do."
"Then you should show him that he is fine the way he is now. Only when he has accepted that, do I believe he will evolve into a healthy, strong Beedrill."
"Seems like a pointless excercise to me," Ralph pointed out. "He will evolve regardless."
"Suit yourself, love," the woman said with yet another calm smile before she started to walk away.
She picked up a huge backpack from the bench where she had been sitting before, and proceeded to put it on. It and her clothes and whole atmosphere made her look very much like a veteran hiker.
"Ma'am?" Ralph called out, putting on her own smaller backpack and picking up the Kakuna into her arms.
“I hope I don’t swallow another loss, that Rhydon is going to be tough to beat.” Richard clenched his right hand.
“But there’s two of us here... Well, there’s also two on that side, but that kid isn’t an experienced trainer. So I think we could dispatch the Wingull easily.” Keith tried to assure Richard, even if his own face was showing uncertainty.
“Ah well… What the hell did I dream until I end up in this spot.” Richard’s day was definitely far from smooth sailing, he almost got killed by an Electrode, got beaten by Keith, and now he had to beat a Rhydon far powerful than his and Keith’s Pokemon combined. He frowned at the fact that this could be his third defeat in a row in a single day.
“If you’re not going to take initiative, Kids, then let me. Rhydon, Rock Blast!”
Rhydon sent multiple small rocks flying at Eileen and Kallavan, both only able to barely dodged the attack.
“Yikes, this is bad… Eileen, Thunder Shock at Wingull!”
Eileen shot out a bolt of small lightning against the Wingull, however, the lightning changed direction suddenly, like it was pulled by something until it was redirected to Rhydon’s Horn.
“Bad luck for you kid, but my Rhydon’s ability is Lightning Rod, good luck in trying to hit the Wingull. Rhydon, Horn Attack!”
Kallavan managed to dodge the Drill Pokemon, but the attack destroyed a big rock near him with ease, the power of Rhydon shocked Keith.
“Damn it, we can’t play the chasing game or we’re eventually done for. Do something, Richard!” Keith desperately called out Richard.
“I’m trying okay, hard to hit a flying Pokemon without a long-range attack!”
Eileen was only able to dodge the attack thrown against her instead of retaliating due to the Lightning Rod ability Rhydon has, she was only barely able to keep dodging Wingull’s barrage of Water Gun.
“Shoot! I have plan Keith, but you have to shot the Wingull using your Dragon Breath!” Richard panicked, but he tried to find a solution in the midst of the panic both he and Keith felt.
“Are you kidding me!? It’s hard for Kallavan to maintain concentration against two enemies at once, you…” Keith was about to shout once more at Richard, but Richard’s gaze was showing that he was totally serious about the plan. “Damn it! Fine, but make it count, Pal. Kallavan, Dragon Breath at Wingull!”
Wingull with its speed managed to dodge the blue flames spouted by the Irate Pokemon, however, it was now in an enraged which was the reason it then decided to make a charge ahead against Kallavan.
“Wingull, Wait!” Mary was confused as to why Wingull was acting on its own.
“Sorry, Mary… Clip her down Eileen, Quick Attack!” Eileen ran at the wall using Quick Attack before intercepting the swooping bird Pokemon, catching it in mid-air which rendered the Seagull Pokemon immobile.
“Follow up with Thunder Shock!” Eileen emitted lightning bolt that surrounded her and the Wingull, knocking the Wingull out with the type advantage she has over it.
“No, Wingull!” Mary ran towards the Wingull, halting the battle and stopping Rhydon who was going to take advantage of Kallavan’s divided attention.
“It’s going to be alright Honey, your Wingull is fine. We will bring it to the Pokemon Center later.” The hiker assured his daughter. After she moved out of the way, the father bowed slightly.
“Sorry Kids, as you can see my daughter hasn’t been able to control Wingull perfectly since she is still very young. But… on the other hand.” The hiker smiled widely which elicit anxiousness from both Keith and Richard.
“I could go all out! Hahaha. Rhydon, Dig!” Rhydon burrowed its way at the ground, which confused two of the Pokemon on the field.
“Now, Drill Run!” Suddenly the ground beneath Kallavan collapsed as Rhydon emerges from beneath in a high-speed rotation akin to a drill. Kallavan was thrown into the air.
“Follow up, Hammer Arm!” Rhydon’s arm glowed white while it smashed the airborne Kallavan into the ground, immediately knocking him out of the battle.
“Yikes… This is going to be a massacre.” Richard was expecting the hiker to be a strong opponent, but not that strong. He was unsure about the idea of winning the battle against the powerful Rhydon.
Richard was awakened from his deep thoughts by a sudden tap in the shoulder by Keith. “Richard… There’s no way we’ll be able to knock the Rhydon out with brute force… But, there’s one last strategy worth trying.” Keith was visibly trying hard to keep his smile.
“Which is?” Richard was surprised that Keith still has a strategy in this situation. However, he was all ears to any solution feasible enough to be the Rhydon.
“Remember the mixed martial arts fight we watched last month? Hotei versus Toshi for the Heavyweight Championship? Let’s just use that strategy…”
“What!? That’s it! Keith, you’re a genius!”
Continued in part 3-3