Pokémon OPEN Hoenn: Square One [IC] Page 13

Started by Aquacorde June 14th, 2020 9:32 AM
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WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Arthur Weissmann
Location: Mossdeep City
In a Distant Past


Chapter 3 - 3
My Sister, Elaine

Why does she have a healthy body while I don’t?
Why does she gets all the praise while all I get was scorn?
Why does she looks attractive while I look miserable?
Why does she have a lot of friends while I have no one?
Why does she able to laugh while I have to constantly scream in pain?
Why does she has so many high hopes put on her while I have none?

Why does she have to exist?
Why?
Why!?
WHY!?

...I wish my sister would cease to exist.


That was all the feeling I could feel during my early childhood.

She came suddenly into my small family as my father’s eldest sibling suddenly passed away while I was 7, just a few months after my own mother had passed from illness. Her mother was long gone after the divorce from her father, and so after much deliberation, she was adopted into our household.

She always had an annoying smile plastered on her face at every single moment. No matter how many times I tried to ruin it, the lips on her porcelain-like skin never turned upside down like I was hoping it would be.

Her fake-looking smile made me want to vomit blood even more than I did at the time.

Every time I was able to barely pull out all the strength I had to drag myself outside, all I could hear was praises about my sister. How she could finally succeed my grandfather’s legacy while all I could hear about me was how I was responsible for my mother’s deteriorating condition that led to her passing away early.

‘Cursed child’ they said. No matter who it was, both children and adults seemed to look at me and my white hair with either the gaze of pity or fear. No one would want to become my friend or look at me like a normal human.

It brought so much pain into my life. It’s all her fault, if only she wasn’t here… Everything would’ve been different.

I wouldn’t have to deal with all of this.

My father would’ve looked at me differently.

And the one that would’ve inherited grandfather’s legacy would be me.

My life, my hopes, and my dreams. She stole it all without any hesitation.
All I could feel was sheer disgust and hatred against the girl that had come uninvited into my life. Yet all I got when I confront her was always a weak answer of ‘sorry’.

And so I made it my life goal to steal away her dream. The professional Trainer circuit she watched with glee every single day on the television? If she stepped on it, I would beat her so hard there that she would regret to ever try and dream about being a professional trainer.

One day, I could hear her inside my father’s room as he yelled against her.

Serves her right, I thought.

But the next day, I was in for some rude awakening. My father was so mad at me that he yelled so hard that even our neighbor knocked on our front door to check what was happening. He wanted me to say sorry to my sister for everything I’ve done against her, but I refused to do something even remotely close to that which led to my father getting even angrier against me.

I was grounded inside my room to reflect on my actions and indeed I had an epiphany inside the room, but just not what my father expected.

The only one who cared about me is myself. Even if grandpa showed affection to me, he doesn’t care enough to do something about Eli. And so, it was time for me to go out from here and make them regret how they treated me… Even if had to die trying.

I snuck out from the house when the right time arrived.

I dragged my limping body as I traversed the road shined upon by the moonlight.

No matter how much I panted, no matter how much my body screamed to stop, no matter how many droplets of blood trickled down my pale skin, all I could think of was going away where none of them could ever find me.

And I found myself ending up in the outskirt of a small forest before I finally tumbled down as my frail body had no more strength to soldier on. And no long after, I could hear a hissing voice came from a purple snake Pokemon which seemed to be very eager to gobble me whole.

At this point, I couldn’t help but to curse my own luck. However, all I hoped at that moment was that every single one of my family to live with the guilt of letting me die. Yet even this couldn’t stop me from shaking as the snake Pokemon slowly slithered towards me while hissing menacingly.

Never in a million years I ever thought that the thing that would save my life was a pink bicycle ramming against the Cobra Pokemon at high speed. I recognize that bicycle pretty quickly, especially since it was the main transportation of the person I hated the most.

The said person came to aid me, but I screamed and struggled as she tried to carry me away from the place and told her that she should leave me to die just like how she wanted me to. Only to be met by a sad smile as she realized that the Arbok already recovered and was about to lunge at us.

She put her back towards the Arbok as she tried to shield me from it. And even under that situation all she did was smiling softly as if she was trying to tell me that everything would be alright.

Thankfully grandpa and his Metagross managed to intercept the Arbok and chased it away from us before everything went South.

That night was a long night where all of us including father poured out what they thought about our current living situation.

I was an idiot.

My sister didn’t deserve the treatment I gave her.

I didn’t even realize the fact that she had the chance to ask father so she could go to a Trainer School and yet she discarded the chance to chase her dream so she could take care of a walking annoying baggage that was me.

My eyes were opened to how blind I was to her suffering and so I cried myself to sleep filled with regret.

The next day, I firmly decided that I was going to make up something for my sister as a token of my apology. And not long after I mulled about it, I realized that her birthday was tomorrow.

I never bought her a present even once without having father forced me to. And so when I remembered that a TV show anchor said that a homemade present was more desirable to some people, I knew I had to do just that.

My sister often tended to the roses our family grew in the backyard. And so I decided to find something that was related to it, something that wasn’t so complex yet was good enough for her. And after looking through the internet for the right stuff, I found a video instruction on how to make a rose-shaped brooch.

Not wasting any time, I used grandpa’s nap time to take some money away from his wallet. I didn’t care if I was going to be reprimanded afterward, what’s important was that I had to act quickly if I want to make this gift before her birthday tomorrow.

And so I pushed myself towards the nearest craft store. I couldn’t care less about people who glared at me with weird looks, all I could think of was buying the stuff I need as quickly as possible before Eli realized that I was not at home.

When the night-time came I decided to start making it while everyone else was asleep. However, using a glue gun wasn’t something as easy as I expected as I accidentally burned my hand with the scalding hot glue.

I continued to work on the flower brooch only to be scalded once again, yet I couldn’t stop… No matter how long it was, no matter how hurt it was to get burned by the molten glue, I just wanted to see my sister genuinely smiled because of me for once.

The dawn of the next day came and it was time to present her gift. I peeked out from my room and as soon as I realized that she was awake, I quickly showed her the best brooch I made after a lot of trials and error hoping that she would be happy seeing it.

Yet all she showed at that moment was a look of horror.

I was looking horrified at her reaction.

Is my gift won’t be used by her?
Is my gift looks too shabby?
Is my gift is a bad one?
Or…
Does she hate me so much that she was horrified at the fact I gave her a gift?


The last thought caused me to bawl my eyes and scream loudly in despair.

Eli hugged me tightly and told me that she was horrified seeing my hand, which was red, swollen, and full of burn marks and dried glue.

Yet even she was unable to stop the tears in her eyes to trickle down, causing both of us to cry while causing both grandpa and father to look at us with confusion as they rushed out of their room.

Ever since then, we were almost inseparable during my childhood. Mostly because I didn’t want to get away from her even for a moment.

Her hug gave me comfort, and her smile gave me the energy to power through the painful medical procedures I had to go through to help me recover my health. Even when grandpa passed away, she always tried her best to help me so I could walk forward.

And so...

Elaine,
The girl with the most beautiful smile in the world.
The girl with the sweetest voice in the world.
The most patient girl in the world.
The kindest girl in the world.

Thank you for being the best sister ever.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Female
My place
Seen 3 Days Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
197 posts
6.2 Years
Natsuki Soyokaze, Avril Reese, Robynn White, Junko Enomoto
September 23rd, Thursday, Afternoon
Petalburg Contest Hall, Round 1



Natsuko steps out onto the stage, smiling and waving to the crowd. "Hel~lo, Petalburg! Are you ready for some Pokémon?" The crowd politely cheers and applauds for her. Seeing the other competitors makes her a bit self-conscious, as she wasn't able to get a new outfit for herself, instead wearing her nicest skirt and a plain white t-shirt.

"Good to hear it! Not only are they strong, elegant, and amazing dancers, but some even protect our lands! Isn't that right, Sir Cyrano?" Tsu gestures offstage, and Shiny trots over to her, with Cyrano perched on her back. He's wearing an open-faced knight's helmet and carrying a lance, waving stiffly to the audience.

Doing so makes him lose his balance, and he falls off of Shiny, hitting the stage with a heavy *thud*. A few people gasp, while some laugh, and he quickly hops back to his feet. Shiny bolts offstage, boosted by Agility.

"Uh-oh, I guess duty calls, even if our noble protector isn't there to answer it! Sunshine, did you forget something?" Tsu exaggerates a shrug, and a few people laugh.

Shiny trots back over, her head lowered. Cyrano hurries over to her, but he's too short to climb back up. Tsu quickly retrieves a light bulb from Shiny's saddlebag, holding it over Cyrano's head. He steps back, his arms spinning full 360 degree rotations, and he throws a trio of rocks at Shiny's feet, making a small stairway so he can reach her.

"You're needed elsewhere, brave knight! Onwards, noble steed!" Shiny rears up, again dumping Cyrano to the floor, and speeds off. The audience laughs, this time getting the joke. Cyrano picks himself up, then sighs dramatically. He sits down, falling asleep and snoring.

"I guess she'll handle the danger. You've earned a Rest, good Sir." Tsu bows to the audience, who once again applaud. "Thank you, Petalburg! Enjoy the rest of the show!" Shiny trots back out, and Tsu returns both Pokémon to their Poké Balls and heads backstage.




Avril doesn’t look at the audience much as she walks towards the center of the stage, instead focusing on the judges. She has, nonetheless, slightly improved on her theatrics, and is no longer trembling, wobbling, or acting insecure… as long as she rattles her chime a few times before the curtain opens!

Her outfit is nothing new this time: just her polka dot dress, her usual sandals, and Poppy still hiding inside of yet another flower crown that she’s found laying around the props collection. But it’s fine, she doesn’t have to participate.

She lets the judges introduce her to the audience and just bows in silence, before calling out her two Pokémon: Hydrangea and Wisteria. She then gives them some space to start messing with the arena - in this case, letting Angie use Rain Dance and Mud Sport. A small attempt at recreating some lightning is put through when Inkay tries to use his lights while floating around, before gracefully landing next to Angie.

And that’s when the two Pokémon start sliding on the mud, circling around and bouncing off each other. One with Hidden Power ready to fire, one with his little beak glowing thanks to Pluck, they keep going side by side, essentially recreating as best as they can a little Medieval joust.

To end the routine, Wisteria uses Topsy-Turvy to jump on top of Angie, who keeps spinning around on her own Mud Sport as the Inkay shoots a Psybeam to the sky. The Rain Dance slowly fades away, as Avril smiles and bows once again towards the judges. "Thank you, thank you!"




"Thank you, thank you!" Robynn greets the audience, waving at them and even winking at some individuals in the crowd. Once the cheering dies down is when she decides to start.

"For my showcase today, I'd like to share a tale today. Let's introduce the actors, Peridot the Seel and Ruby the Meowth!" After her introduction, both Pokemon of hers walk out from the backstage, donning accessories: Ruby with a crown and royal cape, and Peridot with a jester hat.

"In a kingdom far away, a long time ago, there was a greedy king who hoarded all the wealth in his kingdom." As she begins, Ruby uses Pay Day to create a large pile of coins which she tosses into the air, which fall back down to shower her. "Day and night, he flaunted his wealth, and all his subjects were to praise him for it- even the jester." At her cue, Peridot uses Helping Hand to increase the amount of coins Ruby was throwing in the air.

"As his rule continued, his wealth only increased, as did his greed. Nothing was enough for him- but that would lead to his demise!"

The clapping of the Seel gets faster, and Ruby makes more coins that start to fountain up only to come crashing down, burying the normal-type in a pile of coins. Robynn makes a "ta-da" gesture as she embraces her applause. "Thank you everyone- I'll be here all week." She says with a wink.




"Now everyone, let's give a welcoming round applause for Contestant number four, miss Junko Enomoto!"

The tall brunette girl walks onstage, wearing an orange dress, holding two Pokeballs in hand, and interestingly enough, are decorated with lightning shaped stickers. The normal white light that appears when a Pokeball bursts open is complemented with energy taking the shape of lightning bolts.

Two Pokémon of hers are sent out, Sting and Einstein. "Sting, use Electroweb!" June commands, followed with her Beautifly tilting his head back to spit the aforementioned attack into the air. It falls down fast, and in response the Dottler's eyes and polka dots glow light blue, using Confusion to craft the Electroweb into a sort of cage around Sting, which rotates around the stationary Dottler.

"Oooohh"s and "Aaaahh"s can be heard from the audience, to June's excitement. A soft grin forms on her face before she gives a final command. "Okay now, Einstein and Chip, let's put this to a rest!" Einstein uses Confusion to lift the Electroweb cage high into the air, and Sting uses Air Cutter to destroy the electric cage and break it up into sparks that, with the help of Einstein's psychic energy, are kept into a lightning bolt shape.

When the sparks fade away, June bows at her applause. "Thank you everyone! I sure hope I adequately incorporated the themes into my performance!"




Kimberly, the last participant on the list, walks confidently towards the judges as soon as the curtain opens, eyeing one of them in particular. She’s all alone, with no Pokémon in sight, wearing what looks like a large black cape over her usual white dress - which is almost entirely concealed. She also has what looks like a mockup sceptre in her hand and a crown on her head - all stage props.

After the MC introduces her and the cheering fades, the Contest hall turns quiet at the sight of the girl standing completely still. It's only then that she acts.

“I, Kimberly, am the queen of Contests.” She boldly proclaims with a grin, watching the arched eyebrows and confused looks on all the faces around her, taking in all the attention for a brief moment before her two Zigzagoon appear as well, running in from the backstage area.

They let out a battle cry with Snarl and Growl, to which Kimberly turns around quickly as if to look scared. This way, she can see them charge towards her, their trajectories intertwining, until they start lunging at her and she has to block them with her sceptre. Of course, the attack is all staged: the two Zigzagoon only jump at Kimberly when she’s ready to take the hit, they give the stage prop a few bites, and then jump down again.

The girl takes the chance to move around and almost dance for a bit, turning around while always keeping her eyes focused on her Pokémon. “It’s a revolution taking place!” She yelps out, this way name-checking one of the themes, and as if on cue, her two Pokémon stop lunging at her, only to charge up a Pin Missile instead.

The needle-like spikes end up all over her black cape as she struggles to stay collected, and tear her black garment in small pieces as they are retracted. At the same time, she throws away her crown and sceptre behind her, bowing at the audience with her white dress now fully visible. “A Medieval revolt done right. Thank you everyone!” She announces, again locking her eyes on that one judge. And thank you, auntie.


NNID: Bluekirby2
3DS FC: 3050-8098-0622
Female
My place
Seen 3 Days Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
197 posts
6.2 Years
Robynn White
Thursday, September 23rd
Afternoon
Petalburg City
Well, by some coincidence, I am yet again facing off against June in the battle round. Back in Dewford there was a spark to our battle and a pinch of a blooming romance… but it's not quite like that today. There was a bit of an incident the other night I guess you could say, and to put it simply, I just wasn't ready. My body sort of acted on it's own, but unfortunately I think the way I acted that out gave her the idea that I turned her down. But I really wasn't trying to! I tried making it clear it wasn't her fault (pretty difficult with my state at the time) but I don't think she believed me. It's hard not to think that, seeing how she's been talking with Avril backstage… has she gotten over me that quickly? I guess that's just my fault after all, how else was she supposed to interpret my actions that night?

As we both walk on-stage I can see at least some kind of discomfort in her eyes. God, this is really awkward. I don't wanna fuel what sort of negativity she might hold towards me by going hard against her- but a contest is a contest. Even with all my feelings about June taking up space in my mind, my number one priority is to leave with a ribbon.

"Now then, let the battle between our contestants begin!"

"Let's get this show on the road! Ruby, Peri, let's give them a warm-up!"

Helping Hand and Fake Out is routine to them at this point, targeting Einstein to make him flinch. Weirdly though, June alarmedly gasps as soon as Ruby strikes, and desperation is heard in her voice as she orders Sting to use Gust to blow her back to my side of the field… I'm honestly not even sure if that's at all possible. This is starting off pretty weirdly.

Is… June alright? I'd ask her directly if she's okay, but this isn't the time. I will win that ribbon. "Peri, Icy Wind! Ruby, Fury Swipes!" Peridot's attack pelts both Pokémon, bothering especially Sting, who struggles to even stay airborne. Ruby gets close to Einstein, who puts up a Reflect at the last second due to a panicked command from his trainer, however Ruby has strong claws that quickly weaken the barrier.

Ruby starts using Fury Swipes, and I pay attention to June. She's very obviously not happy, and judging by the way her hand is placed near her mouth, is very concerned. Doesn't even seem like she's trying. It's probably not just about me, and if I had to guess, she's worried about her Pokémon. I don't get it, why would she just now be worried? She even has a gym badge, so she knew what she was in for when setting out for Hoenn.

After just a fourth slash of Ruby's claws, the barrier shatters, and June freezes in a shock, leaving Einstein open to an uninterrupted final blow of Fury Swipes. She hastily orders another Reflect to be put up, but a taunt from Ruby makes that impossible- judging by her pulling her Pokegear out, clearly this is the first time she's encountered Taunt in battle. The sight of Einstein failing to use Reflect only makes her expression more drastic. Meanwhile, I have Peridot use Water Sport to wet Sting's wings and make it impossible for him to stay afloat, and he thuds to the ground.

In any other circumstances, I have a feeling June would have Einstein use Confusion to get Ruby away, but she doesn't give any commands. She just stares hopelessly at her Pokémon. That just leaves another opening. Peri uses Encore on Einstein to encourage him to only use Reflect- thing is, since he can't actually use Reflect, he's a sitting Ducklett, and to take advantage of this I have my Meowth sink her teeth into his shell. It's fairly sturdy, but not enough to completely withstand Technician.

Sting still can't even fly, instead flapping his flimsy wings in an attempt to dry them. Without any input from June, he spits an Electroweb forward. A "Wait, Sting-" from June indicates to me she doesn't want that. Electroweb is no match for Ruby's claws which tear the web in half with ease, even without a Helping Hand. Instead of doing that, I have Peridot breathe an Icy Wind to damage and slow down both Pokémon. It's especially detrimental to Sting, as the water droplets on his wings freeze and make them too heavy for takeoff. With that and Einstein being locked into a move he literally can't even use, it's curtains for our match.

"Alright, time to finish this with my signature technique we've been working on! Peri, Ruby, it's time to wrap up!" Ruby launches coins with Pay Day and Peri freezes them with Icy Wind- nothing new for me but the audience loves it, exasperating their cheers when the defenseless Einstein and Sting are taken out by the attack combination.

"Wow! How effortless from Miss Robynn White!"

With that finished, I face towards the audience and bow for them. .

"You saw it here folks! Miss Robynn White outshined Miss Junk Enomoto, who was barely able to use a single attack! Such wit and quick-thinking are truly worth moving onto the final round!"

June, however, isn't a big fan. She looks at both her Pokémon that are passed out on the floor as if a murder just happened.

"Ei… Einstein… Sting, I'm…" She reaches for their Pokeballs with her shaky arms. That basically proves me right as to why she was so panicked. "I'm… I'm so sorry!"

"Hey, June! Is everything alright?" After she returns both Pokémon, she glances at me, and in the split-second I make eye-contact with her, I can tell she's doing her absolute best to hold any tears back. I've seen this too many times not to recognize it. Obviously though, our eye-contact doesn't last long because she immediately turns her head around and sprints off the stage. "Wait, June! I'm-"

I'm too late- she's gone before my sentence is finished. In frustration, I clench my fist while still keeping my cool in-front of the crowd- they don't need to know about the behind the scenes gossip. Somehow I don't think June will want to talk to me backstage- and could I blame her? I was able to pick up that she was worried about her Pokémon and despite that I pulled no punches when facing her. She's hurt because of what I did.

Goddamnit. I really psyducked up this time, didn't I?




Ruby grew to level 23!
Ruby forgot Growl and learned Screech!
Peridot grew to level 23!
Peridot forgot Water Sport and learned Aqua Ring!
Sting grew to level 25!
Sting forgot Gust and learned Silver Wind!



❄️Robynn's lineup❄️

100,700

CREDITS

Spoiler:

CAST

Seel as Peridot
lv. 23|M|Ice Body
Aqua Jet|Aqua Ring|Encore|Icy Wind|Ice Shard|Helping Hand

Meowth as Ruby
lv. 23|F|Technician
Fury Swipes|Fake Out|Screech|Pay Day|Taunt|Bite

PROPS USED
Pokeball x9
Poryphone 2
Ultra Ball x3
Prop Case



NNID: Bluekirby2
3DS FC: 3050-8098-0622

Eleanor

💖 Mikoto Misaka 💖

Age 21
Italy
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
2,508 posts
4.8 Years





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

With Groc as Natsuko Soyokaze

Pokémon / Inventory:
AVRIL'S MONEY: $20 000

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabebe) -♀- lv. 29
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Lucky Chant, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) -♀- lv. 27 ↑
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) -♂- lv. 22 ↑
Infiltrator
Swagger, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Venus (Mawile) -♀- lv. 23
Intimidate
Fairy Wind, Feint Attack, Sucker Punch, Fake Tears, Taunt, Baton Pass

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 Various clothes and commodities

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/94097
Petalburg Weather Battle
Thursday, September 24th - about 3 p.m. - Petalburg Contest Hall
Avril watches with dread the backstage screen as Kimberly wins another battle. Maybe she’ll be able to win a ribbon, and that will calm her down, but… out of all the people that are left, it’s not Kimberly who deserves to win, as harsh as it may sound. That’s the feeling that the blonde girl has, especially after remembering what Kendrick said about Kimberly and how the silver haired girl treated her on the ferry.

That means that Avril has to stand her ground and win this battle round, in order to move onto the final showdown. But she’s not quite ready for it, is she…

"Hey, Avril!" Natsuko waves as she hurries over. "I saw your performance in the first round, you did great! That Rain Dance was pretty cool, you gotta teach me how to do that sometime!"

The enthusiasm coming from Tsu takes her mind off Kimberly for a bit. “Oh, uhm… thanks! And sure, I’ll be happy to help.”

"Next up, Miss Avril Reese and Miss Natsuko Soyokaze!" the MC calls out their names.

"Oh, that's us!" Tsu adjusts her hat before heading out. "Good luck out there!"

And there it goes. With this being the last battle, Avril has seen this coming, but it’s yet another time where she’s pitted against one of her friends. “Alright, good luck Tsu.”

The two girls walk beside each other, separating when it’s finally time to pick their side of the field. Somewhat trembling in front of her Slateport friend- the girl who helped her catch her first Pokémon- Avril sends out Wisteria and Hydrangea.

Tsu sends out Shiny and Cyrano, the Nosepass having ditched the helmet in favor of his iconic Magnet nose ring. Tsu looks at Avril’s Pokémon in concern, but nods and smiles at her friend. "Shiny, start off with Stomp! Cyrano, hitch a ride and use Thunder Wave! Both at Angie!"

Despite what the opening act implied, Cyrano is capable of easily mounting Shiny as the Ponyta charges toward Avril’s side. As the two bear down on her Shellos, Shiny's hooves seem to crackle with electricity.

"Mud Sport and Hypnosis!" Avril calls out, with the intent of slowing the two enemy Pokémon down. Angie quickly complies, surrounding herself in a muddy surface, while Wisteria floats in the air erratically as he lights up.

Tsu looks at the muddy floor with concern. "Hold still, you guys! Shiny, set up Sunny Day! Cyrano, see if you can hit Inkay with Rock Throw!"

Shiny snorts in annoyance at the command not to move, but tosses a glowing note into the air as instructed. It bursts into a globe, shedding radiant light on the stage. Meanwhile, Cyrano's arms rotate like windmills as he launches rocks at Wisteria from Shiny's back.

“Oh, I can deal with that! Rain Dance, Angie!” The blonde girl yelps, and in due time a calm rain starts to fall on the battlefield. The light from Sunny Day is still there, filtering through the makeshift cloud and the water droplets, and creating what looks like a rainbow above the Pokémon’s heads.

“Reflect, Wisteria!” is Avril’s next command. The Rock Throw hits him for only a small amount of damage, as some sort of shield surrounds him. The only thing that Avril should try to do now is separating Shiny and Cyrano now… in fact, this is likely too good to be true.

Tsu pulls the brim of her hat down, hiding her eyes as she looks to the ground. She tenses, not looking very confident anymore. Avril can just barely hear her mutter to herself, "What can I do?"

But she shakes her head, flashing Avril a genuine smile. Despite her moment of hesitation, she looks to be genuinely enjoying this. "Shiny, use Tail Whip, sweep some of that mud off of Angie! Cyrano, follow it up with Thunder Punch!"

The rain has washed away enough mud that Shiny can move with more confidence, her tail glowing as it grows and roughly swats at Angie. Cyrano leaps from her back, his fist crackling with electricity as he swings at the Shellos.

Avril definitely looks more worried now, but she has to trust in her Pokémon. “Mud Bomb!” She shouts even louder. “And… Hypnosis on Ponyta!”

Cyrano’s fist is no longer being swung through the air now, but through a large bubble of mud. It dampens the damage and explodes right in front of Nosepass, sending him stumbling back on the slick floor. Shiny snorts at the lights, her ears flicking in annoyance, but she stays alert.

"Wow, we just can't get close to you, can we?" Tsu laughs nervously, trying to come up with a solution to the problem. "Try to hit them both with Tail Whip! Cyrano, try Thunder Wave on Angie again!"

Shiny swats at both Shellos and Inkay, not hard enough to hurt them or knock Wisteria out of the air, but enough to get her point across. Cyrano charges up and unleashes an electric pulse, trying to stop Angie from moving.

Angie is already charging up a Water Pulse, straight towards Shiny, when Thunder Wave finally hits her. She has to let go of her attack, which connects with Shiny, but the trade-off is that she can no longer slide on the wet battlefield. Avril grimaces at that sight. “Try a Recover after this, Angie!”

Inkay keeps himself afloat with Topsy-Turvy instead, before trying to latch himself onto Ponyta’s legs. “Ok, looks good! Use Pluck!”

"Shiny, get him off you! Flame Charge!" Shiny neighs in displeasure at the squid attached to her legs. Her flames flare up, which causes steam to start rising from all the water at her hooves. Wisteria has to disengage or risk getting cooked. Once he does, Cyrano throws another rock at him, smacking him in the face and knocking him to the floor.

With her eyes fixed on Angie until a second ago, Avril yelps as she finds out that Wisteria is lying unconscious on the battlefield. She covers her mouth with her hands, growing more and more nervous, before telling Angie to charge up another Water Pulse. Fighting against the paralysis, the Shellos complies, eventually letting the bubble go in an attempt to hit Cyrano.

Tsu winces as the Water Pulse hits Cyrano. Water attacks are trouble for both of her Pokémon. "Okay, then, uh…"

Before Tsu can plan her next move, a bell rings loudly.

"And that's it, folks! Our time has officially run out! Looking at the score, Miss Natsuko Soyokaze is our winner! Give them both a hand, everyone!"

Avril is already looking quite resigned as she calls back her two Pokémon. That was a big mistake, wasn’t it? She wasn’t a very knowledgeable trainer anyway, it was to be expected, and really, this feels more like her against Shuna all over again.

For that reason, she still smiles when Tsu is declared winner. She deserves it more than her anyways, and… and it might probably avoid her some backstage drama, too, because if someone can win over Kimberly… it’s got to be her.

“You did very well, Tsu! I’m rooting for you.” Avril walks closer to her opponent, a slight blush on her face.

"Thanks! You did great, too!" Tsu offers a handshake, but pulls Avril in for a quick hug, too. "Wish me luck!"

“Sure thing! Good luck, Tsu!”



Paired with Ninetales and Fox 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge

Groc

Age 30
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 18 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
1,526 posts
10.8 Years
Natsuko Soyokaze, Kimberly, Robynn White
Thursday, September 24th, afternoon
Petalburg Contest Hall



Starting off the final round, Tsu hopes to leave a good impression. She stands to the side, wanting the audience's attention fully on her Pokémon. "Alright, let's start things off with a crowd favorite!" Shiny starts off with Sunny Day, while Cyrano uses Harden. There is silence, as so far nothing has happened. Now for the tricky part…

Shiny follows up with Tail Whip, swatting at Cyrano with her tail. Flecks of his armor are brushed from him, suspended in the aura of his Magnet Pull ability. He continues to Harden his armor, and Shiny brushes it off, the artificial sunlight making the resulting cloud of iron filings sparkle like glitter.

With one last Tail Whip, Shiny scatters the cloud as the Sunny Day fades. Cyrano uses Thunder Wave, the electric pulse causing bursts of static to jump between the iron shavings. With one move, his cloud of glitter has turned into a sparkler.

That would be fine, but Tsu really wanted to replicate the trails of fire and lightning from Shiny's match against Brawly’s Raichu. Unfortunately, Cyrano isn't nearly fast enough to pull off something like that. But she had figured out a trick they could do. "Time for the big finish!"

Shiny jumps back from the static, her flames flaring up as she charges her Flame Wheel. Cyrano rotates his arms, his hands sparking with Thunder Punch. Shiny charges in, spinning at the last second to lash out with her fiery hooves, which Cyrano meets with his electric hands. The two attacks collide, sending up a shower of sparks and cinders that burst in the air like tiny fireworks.

Shiny and Cyrano bow to the audience as little motes of light fall around them. Tsu hurries over to stand between them, bowing as well. "Thank you, Petalburg! It's an honor to be here! You've been a wonderful audience!" The crowd cheers as she leads her team offstage.



She and her two Zigzagoon have been at it for months, collecting way too many second or third places to admit, so they got this down to a science. But they still believe this exhibition is the best they can offer. And so…

Once again, Kimberly walks towards the center of the stage with a Leppa Berry in her hand. Her two Zigzagoon are running and jumping around near her, still using Leer and Baby Doll eyes against each other. But they give her enough space to move steadily and with confidence.

She then throws the berry somewhere on the field, and watches her two Pokémon scramble to reach it first. They keep stealing the berry from each other with no effort, thanks to Covet and Thief, and run circles around Kimberly. She keeps her eyes fixed on one of the judges, just like in the first round, before yelling “We don’t give up!”

In fact, neither of the Zigzagoon gives up - and at this point, it looks like they’re just fighting against each other. From all the commotion, the Leppa Berry is thrown into the air, and the two Pokémon jab at it with Pin Missile.

Now that the berry is up there, they just have to pull in different directions with their Pin Missile and have it break, just like they did many other times. “We fight to the end…”

Kimberly throws a nervous smile as she notices that the berry is still intact, and is now in her Galarian Zigzagoon’s paws. “S-so now we know who really deserves to prevail!”

That’s an unexpected ending - maybe the berry was not ripe enough this time, or maybe one of her Zigzagoon got the Pin Missile wrong - but she feels at least slightly better now that she’s said that. Her mind goes back to the other people in the backstage, then to her aunt who’s watching her right now. I deserve the ribbon, you can’t disagree.



"Hello one and all, seems we've saved the best for last!" Robynn enters to an applause while her Pokémon follow. Her footsteps seem a little off, but few can notice it. "I'll be sure to end this on a high note! To begin, why don't you use Aqua Ring, Peri?"

Her Seel surrounds himself in a single thing ring of water. "Of course, this isn't just any Aqua Ring, isn't that right Peridot?" Peridot exhales an Icy Wind on the ring, freezing it solid. Before it can fall over onto the ground, Robynn is quick to grab it with her gloved hands. "Now Ruby, why don't we play fetch?" She tosses the ring like a frisbee to the other side of the stage where her Meowth stands. Rather than trying to grab it, Ruby instead aggressively hurls two "coins" forward at the ring and shatters it to bits. "That's right, how could I forget? Cats don't fetch- but maybe I can teach this one to!"

While Robynn was giving her line, Peridot had made another ice ring in the background, so she was able to immediately throw another one, which again is destroyed by Ruby's Pay Day.

The process continues- Robynn speeds up the pace at which the rings are tossed and Peridot catches up to her pace. Ruby is able to continuously shoot each and every target down with fail even as the rhythm is increased, building up suspense. After about five rings are shot down, Ruby suddenly leaps into the air to grab one with her mouth and hurls it back seemingly with no regard for another ice ring heading her way. The two rings collide, both shattering into chunks of ice that fall to the ground.

"It took a bit, but I think that's a good start for teaching Ruby to fetch!" Robynn bows for the audience, and releases a deep exhale as she faces the stage floor. "Could have been way better, but at least I got my cool back." She mumbles under her breath.

"Alright, everyone, we've seen our three lovely finalists compete, now the judges will decide how they'll place!" The MC keeps the crowd's attention while the judges deliberate. "How will they fare, and who will be number one? Are you excited? I know I am! We'll have our answer shortly!"

A joint post between Groc, Eleanor, and QueenNothing.

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 27
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Online now
Posted 1 Week Ago
11,368 posts
16.8 Years

AGE: 17 ⟡ PRONOUNS: she/her ⟡ HOME REGION: Johto
DATE: Wednesday, September 23 ⟡ TIME: Morning
LOCATION: Petalburg City

Chapter 3 #03 - Present

Petalburg is a large, friendly, but rather quiet city overall. It's more a place where people live rather than a place people visit. That's not to say there aren't shops and theatres and sights to see- it's simply that Petalburg doesn't frame itself as a destination. The Enomoto Conservatory seems to be trying, and of course the gym and contest halls bring in their share of visitors, but there's just not much else.

That doesn't stop Marie from flitting from shop to shop, searching for something suitable.

What does Edison like? She really doesn't know him that well, even though she considers him a friend at this point. He dresses well, but she doesn't think he particularly likes fashion. And he probably doesn't want to carry trinkets with him on a journey, even if he likes that sort of thing. Any practical gift would have to be something she knows he needs but doesn't have, but Marie doesn't know what he needs or has at all. And normally she'd just call and ask, but Edison's Holotch is broken. And she can't just get him a new one of those, either. For one, she hasn't found a shop in Petalburg that sells them, and even if she did- she's supposed to be financially independent and buying a whole Holotch would be way beyond what she has on her. And probably a little over the top as an exchange for a Slowpoke in a Lure Ball anyway.

Marie's never really had trouble finding a gift before. This is new and strange and frustrating.

So she does what she normally does when things are annoying, and calls her dad to complain.

"I will not transfer money to replace an entire Holotch," Alton says vaguely. He's not listening well; he's probably making an attempt to organize his workstation again. The gentle rustling of paper gives it away. Marie tsks.

"I don't want you to! It's too much anyway, he just gave me a Slowpoke he didn't want and a Lure Ball that wasn't really his."

"Why do you feel he needs a gift in exchange, then?"

"I-" Marie opens her mouth, then lets it fall shut with a frown. "Well, he gave it to me."

"I'm not sure it was his to give." Her dad's not always good at following social convention, but this time he has a point. "A wild Pokémon and… whose Lure Ball was it?"

"His girlfriend's," Marie grumps. Edison's girlfriend, who'd blown up at him and at her and ruined the afternoon, really. Just because she didn't want Marie to have a Lure Ball that she wasn't going to use anyway.

"You should get her a gift, then," Alton says, with an air of having logically solved the problem. Marie groans.

"Even if I wanted to- which I don't- I don't know enough about her to get something either."

"Why do you not want to? Ah- is this... jealousy?"

"No!" Maybe a little. "She's just, rude and annoying. She thinks she's better than me just because she got Benji's badge, and thinks she's so cool and such a great trainer! As if there's nothing else in the world that matters, it only matters if you're a good trainer or not. She's gross," Marie sulks.

"Being a good trainer isn't everything, no," Alton says slowly, "but you are on a training journey with the end goal or participating in the league. So you will have to be skilled enough to get there."

"Some of us didn't have the luxury of going to a trainer's school!"

Alton sighs, and Marie knows he's pinching the bridge of his nose above his rectangular reading glasses. "Marie. You actively rejected the idea of going to a trainer's school. Multiple times."

"Well, that's still no reason for her to lord it over me!" A vaguely pacifying hum buzzes down the line. Marie huffs and lowers her voice as she enters another shop, bell above the door tinkling merrily. "I can be good at battling too. I don't have to go to trainer's school."

"No, but you'll have to work harder because of it." Marie grumbles. Her dad's right, of course. She's known this. She's been thinking about it. She's behind and she needs to catch up.

"I can't learn everything in a month," she sighs, frustration ebbing to make way for gloom. "There's too much to know."

Her father hums again, but this time he is fully present in the conversation. "You're a hard worker, Marie. You may not be able to learn everything, but you'll learn enough to compete. That is your goal at the moment. Use all the skills you have to supplement the process, and you will come out stronger than you went in."

Marie sighs again. "Yes. Okay. Will do. I'm gonna buy a thing now, call you later love you bye!"

Alton's faint "love you too" trails off as she drops her phone in her bag and pulls out her wallet to purchase the gift that caught her eye.

She can only hope it's appreciated.


Spoiler: Team
Pokémon On Hand
Tuie ⟡ Natu ⟡ Female ⟡ LV 23 ⟡ Magic Bounce ⟡
Peck // Teleport // Stored Power // Cosmic Power // Ominous Wind // Confuse Ray
Stunnie ⟡ Stunfisk ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 24 ⟡ Static ⟡
Revenge // Mud Shot // Thundershock // Tackle // Water Gun // Mud Sport // Charge
Cutie ⟡ Alolan Exeggutor ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 20 ⟡ Frisk ⟡
Bullet Seed // Hypnosis // Reflect // Leech Seed // Dragon Hammer // Barrage
Pokie ⟡ Slowpoke ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 15 ⟡ Own Tempo ⟡
Disable // Confusion // Yawn // Water Gun // Growl // Curse
Spoiler: Inventory
Trainers' License [registered in Johto and Hoenn] ⟡
$20,000 ⟡
Knuckle Badge ⟡
Empty PokéBalls x 3 ⟡

Sunscreen ⟡
Berry-Print Bikini ⟡
Beach Towel ⟡
Oversized Sunglasses ⟡
Large But Lightweight Backpack ⟡
Rechargeable Battery ⟡
Variety Of Necessary But Uninteresting Things ⟡
Variety Of Interesting But Unnecessary Things ⟡
A Gift ⟡
Spoiler: Contacts
Dad ⟡
Mom ⟡
Brothers #1, #2, and #3 ⟡
Brawly ⟡
Edison ⟡
Natsuko (via insta) ⟡
Sunny (via twitter) ⟡
Van ⟡

Eleanor

💖 Mikoto Misaka 💖

Age 21
Italy
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
2,508 posts
4.8 Years





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

With Groc as Natsuko Soyokaze and QueenNothing as Junko Enomoto and Robynn White

Pokémon / Inventory:
AVRIL'S MONEY: $20 000

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabebe) -♀- lv. 29
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Lucky Chant, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) -♀- lv. 27
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) -♂- lv. 22
Infiltrator
Swagger, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Venus (Mawile) -♀- lv. 23
Intimidate
Fairy Wind, Feint Attack, Sucker Punch, Fake Tears, Taunt, Baton Pass

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 Various clothes and commodities

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/94097
The defender
Thursday, September 24th - about 4 p.m. - Petalburg Contest Hall, backstage
"Uhm… June? J-June?"

Avril cannot help it. She's been keeping an eye on June for some time now, noticing how defeated she seemed from that defeat, and now that the white haired girl she lost to is out there for her third round, she has to check on her.

She'd been in a similar situation herself, with no one to help her out, so this is the least she can do - even if she's clearly not fit for the job. In fact, she's just lost a battle right now! That's gotta mean something.

"Everything ok?"

"Avril!" June looks alerted by her approaching, almost as if she wasn't even aware she was there. "Um… yes, everything is fine!" A wide disheartened smile is plastered onto her face while the rest of her body twitches.

"Uh… I'm just sorry for that defeat, you deserved way better from this Contest! And, well, I guess I know how it feels too…" The blonde girl continues, afraid of going too much into detail. She doesn't want June to feel even less at ease, after all.

June tightly grabs hold of her pendant with her thumb and index finger.. "I-it really isn't an issue at all!" She says with her voice growing unsteady. "It's just… I couldn't st-stand seeing my Pokémon get hurt…" Her grasp on the locket grows tighter, drawing more fingers around it.

"I feel just the same, and that's my biggest limit as a trainer… but I couldn't have it any other way. I understand that feeling, June…"

Avril's hand instinctively reaches for her own pendant as well, rattling it a few times. There's a brief silence from June before she eventually speaks up again.

"I was very careless out there." She states plainly. "And… in general really. Grandma always… sh-she always said… would always make it clear that carelessness in such situations would always lead to catastrophe."

"June…" Clearly, she's in a bad state. "It's good, I was careless too out there. We're still learning and improving…" the blonde girl whispers. Without really noticing, Avril is getting progressively closer to the other girl, blushing more and more as well. June's headspace clearly prevents her from reciprocating the physical response, and instead she squeezes her locket. "But… at such a cost, I…" She chokes on her own words, unable to finish as she looks downwards.

"You… uhh?" Avril questions, but it's probably too soon for questions. Seeing June in that state is too heartbreaking for that. Eventually, Avril wraps her arm around the other girl and leans on her shoulder, trying to minimize her trembling. Her chime is heard once again, this time also accompanied by a Lucky Chant from Poppy. June's anxious shivers slowly die down before almost completely halting.

"Just… I'm always here if you need some comfort, June…" The blonde girl closes her eyes.

“Aw, cute. You lost together, as it should be!”

The totally unnecessary comment comes, of course, from Kimberly, who has definitely not understood the seriousness of the situation. Avril clenches her fist instinctively, but is not able to give any verbal response… and even then, she’s better off giving all of her attention to June as she helps her calm down.

“You still owe me a battle, blondie, but today I’m feeling merciful. There’s no way I’m not winning this ribbon. Finally, after so long, after so many botched contests…” The silver haired girl’s words start to turn into white noise. For the most part, June doesn't seem too bothered, although there is a subtle increase in her jitters.

“No need to feel bad by the way, it just had to happen! Plus, I can be the one who will put back in their place those terrible girls who hurt your Pokémon…” Kimberly chuckles.

"N-no, that really won't be necessary!" June shouts. "It wasn't Robynn's fault, rather it… it was my fault. I should have done better as a Pokémon trainer..."

“J-June…” Avril’s grip around her shoulder gets a little tighter. “You still did a great job out there, don’t feel bad… I-I totally get that feeling but it’s not like that…” She whispers quickly, almost eating back on her own words. Seeing June, a trainer that Avril still looks up to and thinks is more experienced and creative than her, being so insecure and jittery is something that deeply moves her.

“Aw, you two… just kiss while you’re at it, will you?” Kimberly smirks. “If you really don’t want my help…”

Rather abruptly, June bolts to her feet, releasing herself from Avril's arm, tightening her hand around her pendant. "I'm sorry, I…" She faces towards her feet, avoiding eye-contact with anyone. "I… I believe my uncle needs assistance right about now. I need to leave…" Without so much as even looking back, she walks off to grab her possessions and leave the premises. As she distances herself from the two, her footsteps grow wider and wider with each step taken.

Avril is left sitting alone inside the backstage room, unsure of what to do. She’s too afraid of going after June in a moment like this, because with all that happened already between them she might as well ruin her own moment of self reflection, but she’s also too afraid to lash out at Kimberly and give her the battle she asked for. She’s not entirely sure if she’s picked up on what June was saying but her words about being careless and about a certain ”cost” start to sound like bad omens in her head.

“T-that was so uncalled for. She was already unstable and this is how you treat her? I can’t understand…”

Sure enough, she’s got an answer. “Disagree? You know what to do, Avril.”

The blonde girl grinds her teeth. She’s even more determined not to battle Kimberly, no matter what.

"Hey! What's going on back here?" Alerted to the problem by June's swift departure, Tsu arrives on the scene, putting herself between Avril and Kim. "Is there a problem, Avril?"

And that brings Avril’s gaze to set on the only other friend of hers that’s left inside the backstage. The girl gets up and walks up to Tsu, hiding her teary eyes behind her black hair. “S-she’s making out of place comments and insists on battling me. But I don’t wanna!”

Tsu looks over Kim and her smug grin. "Seriously? She said no. Move on. No need to go about causing a scene."

“Pft, she robbed me of a ribbon back in Dewford and now is just scared of proving herself! Case in point, she needs you to be her knight in shining armor…” Kimberly replies. “Isn’t that right, Avril?”

The blonde girl limits herself to shaking her head, still hiding behind Tsu. “Well sort of…” She whispers, making sure that only her friend can hear what she’s saying.

"She 'robbed' you?" Tsu lifts an eyebrow in disbelief. "Unless she literally stole a ribbon off you, sounds like you're just making excuses. Didn't I hear you mention botched contests earlier?"

“Oh, yeah, I’ve had a long history of D-Rank contests… I got a ribbon almost immediately but after that, I either was unlucky, or the judges just sided against me. This girl won a ribbon by sheer luck, and I got second place despite clearly having the best exhibition.” Kimberly dramatically explains. “But hey, this time I’m sure I’ll finally get my C Rank! Just wait and see, Natsuko!”

🎭🎭🎭

"And the winner is Miss Natsuko Soyokaze!"

Kimberly is clearly grinding her teeth and clenching her fists in the back as Tsu receives her Ribbon. And really, that was the best outcome Avril could have hoped for. A slight smile appears on her face as she watches her friend on the backstage screen, doing better than both the girl who put her in trouble before and demanded a useless battle, and the girl who crushed June's Pokémon and feelings as well. Natsuko is the only one whom she trusts to take her defense against Kimberly, too, which right now seems too good to be true.

As the three girls return to the backstage room, Avril stands up and with a slight bow, compliments Tsu. "Congrats for your ribbon! You did very well." She turns to Kimberly, who is predictably looking quite upset.

"Of course she did, judges must be kinder to newcomers or something… Third place, how dare they…" Kimberly hisses, this time sounding more resigned than in Dewford. "Now I may have to fight all of you once we’re outta here!” She proudly belts out, to Avril’s dismay.

"Oh come on, Kim, don't be upset!" Tsu gingerly holds her ribbon, looking unsure of what to do with it. "We all did our best, and it was fun, right? Third place isn't so bad."

“Fun? Wanna see how fun it is to get third place so-” Kimberly immediately replies, but gets interrupted. Avril is already hiding behind Natsuko as she speaks.

"Hello there!" Robynn greets, cracking a plastic water bottle open. "I just wanted to say you all did really well today. Congrats on the ribbon Natsuko!"

"Oh, thank you!" Tsu glances toward Robynn, then returns her gaze to Kim. She stands a little straighter, as though trying to look larger and more imposing as Avril hides behind her. "Congratulations on second place."

"Thank you, although I could have done better." Robynn chuckles and takes a sip of water. "Kimberly did pretty good too, and…" She pauses to face Avril. "You're no exception to that, Avril! Shame you got knocked out in the second round, but we all make mistakes."

“T-thank you…” The blonde girl whispers, failing to sound very convincing. She’s still quite wary of anyone in the room but Natsuko, and it shows… case in point, Kimberly.

“I did pretty good? You could have done better? I’m just so tired of this!” She snaps. “I wanna play again, but by my rules! I will battle all of you again and if you run away, I will find you again!”

It doesn’t take long for Avril to realize that she’s almost like a scapegoat for the silver haired girl - not like she could make it any more obvious, with her eyes literally trying to push Natsuko aside in order to reach their desired destination. Did she make it angry by refusing the rematch back in Dewford? Yes, very likely - that’s what Kendrick said, too - but why was she still onto her after all this time? After another contest where the Kalosian girl didn’t even get to the final round?

"Yeesh, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed today." Robynn comments, playfully wincing.

"And yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that… That side of the bed has a certain charm to it, you know?" Kimberly smugly replies.

"Then you might wanna get a new mattress so you can give it a rest- Tsu won fair and square, and pestering us about it is just wasting our time."

"Nah… that's the point, you see? I don't trust these judges anymore. All I trust is my Pokémon!" Kimberly smiles, twirling in place as she grabs her two Pokéballs. "So? Let's do this. Who's first?" She smirks.

Robynn sighs. "What good would it be to give a child in the middle of a temper tantrum what they want? If you want a shot at taking me on, I'll be here Saturday."

"Okay, I'm tired of this." Tsu grabs a pair of Poké Balls from her pocket. Unlike Robynn, she isn't smiling. "Can we take this outside, though? I don't think there's enough room for a Gyarados in here."

"WaitasecondNatsukoyougotawhat?"

Kimberly shudders instantly, her eyes widening. "And A-Avril…" She keeps mumbling, to which the blonde girl grabs Natsuko's shoulder instinctively... even if she's very scared of Gyarados herself.

"You heard me." Tsu steps forward, the light reflecting off her glasses giving them a scary, shiny look. "No one messes with my friends. You want a fight, you'll have to go through me."

"W-well, I have to go immediately because of my parents' orders but we'll see… each other soon…"

And just like that, she runs off, going as fast as her heels allow her to. Kind of like the day before, when June was present…

"Wow, I'll have to take pointers from you." Robynn snickers.

"Well… thank you Tsu, really… She doesn't know what she's doing…" Avril whispers, slowly trying to get more at ease.

Tsu immediately stops acting tough, nervously laughing. "Wow, I can't believe that worked! Did you see her run? I think she was actually scared!" She puts an arm around Avril’s shoulders, pulling her in close. "But I was serious. No one messes with my friends. I got your back."

"It takes some getting used to." Robynn adds with a smirk. "Anyways, I had my fun today. I'll see you ladies at another contest soon." She turns around and tightens the lid of her bottle, getting ready to leave the backstage.

"Uhm… R-Robynn?" Avril finally finds the courage to talk to her. She has one thing she'd like to ask. "Just to make sure… June's Pokémon will be fine, r-right?" She questions, her voice rather unsteady.

Still facing the opposite direction, Robynn freezes. There's a brief moment of silence before an answer. "She knows where the Pokémon Center is- she'll be fine." The second she finishes, she continues to make her way towards the exit.

"I can never figure that girl out…" Tsu muses quietly as Robynn leaves. "What about you, Avril? Are you gonna be okay?"

"Uh… yeah I think! Thanks…" She smiles back. "As long as i don't run into Kimberly again, right?"

"Let's hope you don't. For her sake…" Tsu lets go of Avril, gathering up her stuff from backstage. As she puts her backpack on, she grins and waves at Avril. "Well, I'm gonna head out. I'll catch you later!"

"Alright Tsu! See you soon!"

Even Poppy, who was quiet this whole time, gives Tsu a friendly wave, chirping as she leaves.



Paired with Ninetales and Fox 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
Female
My place
Seen 3 Days Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
197 posts
6.2 Years
Junko "June" Enomoto
Thursday, September 24th
Petalburg City
Carelessness certainly always creates catastrophe.

The words of her grandma echo through June's mind as she reflects about what happened to Einstein and Sting. They've been sounding relevant since she lost against Robynn.

She doesn't know how long she's had her face buried in her futon in this position. It could have been thirty minutes, an hour, three hours, or even half a day. Time isn't much of a concern to her right now. It's just all sort of blended together since she fled the contest hall.

She's disappointed in herself. The actions of her consequences have been hard to handle. Maybe she's just not cut-out for the role. Maybe she should just give up and go home. That's not even difficult to arrange- she's already at her uncle's house, so if she likes Hoenn too much to leave she can stay here and enroll in school at Rustboro.

"Errr, hey Junko?" What a coincidence- from the other side of the door, Tetsuo checks in on June. "Are you alright? Ya haven't said a word since ya came home."

She could use this time to pitch her suggestion, but she'd rather be alone currently. "I'm… I'm fine."

"That don't sound very fine to me." He slides the door open to see June facing the opposite direction. "What's the matter?"

"It's nothing of importance. I just need some rest."

"Junko, you don't need to lie to me." The sound of him sitting on the floor and crossing his legs is a sign he'll stay there awhile- there's no way he'll leave at this point, as much as June wishes he would. "We're family. Spill your guts."

There's a moment of silence that's broken by a hefty sigh from June. "I lost the battle round."

"That's a normal part of being a Pokémon trainer, y'know."

"It's not exactly like that… I… I…" She can't even bring herself to finish- it's too painful to even bring up.

"Mmmm, I think I get it. Must have been a pretty bad loss, eh?"

June nods. "I'm sorry 'bout that. Sometimes ya get your ass handed to you, and it sucks, no gettin' around that. God knows that's happened to me and your dad, especially your dad- poor Junichi." Tetsuo chuckles. "But ya can't just call it quits. One thing that makes a trainer good is if they can learn from their mistakes, if ya can get up despite being knocked down. Stuff like this is what being a trainer is all about."

That's basically what Avril told her. As much as she wants to agree, she simply cannot after what she witnessed. "At what cost?" June takes a deep breath to help her stay calm. "Einstein and Chip… they were hurt… very badly… the way it made me feel was overwhelming, and it was all because of my carelessness. I shouldn't have had them battle to begin with. It only created a catastrophe..."

Sounding mildly irritated, Tetsuo exhales. "Ya sound just like your grandma, y'know?"

"Well… are those words not true?"

"You and mom were really close. Closer than any of us were with her, and I can see her influence in ya whenever we talk." As he goes on, June reaches for her pendant. "It's good to see ya take after her- she was a smart woman, so it's good to have someone in the family fill the role. But you're remindin' me of what she would say about Pokémon battles. And I gotta admit, the way she went on about it really grinded my gears."

Those words trigger something in June. Slowly, she sits up and faces Tetsuo. "Come to think of it, I never heard a word about battling from Grandma. What did she think…?"

"I had to tell ya this at some point…" A long exasperated wheeze comes from his jaw to prepare himself. "Mom hated Pokémon battles, she thought they were just senseless violence or somethin'." June plants face into her knees. She's not sure if she necessarily disagrees with that assessment.

"It was a big problem." Tetsuo continues. "Y'see, she hated Pokémon battles so much that she forbade us from becoming trainers."

June taps her lip. "But… did you not just say you and Dad were Pokémon trainers?"

"Yup." He says sternly. "Your dad was the first of her kids to become a Pokémon trainer. Mom 'n Dad always told him to take a different path, they scolded him, punished him, and begged him not to be. But that boy couldn't be tamed- nothin' could stop him from becoming a Pokémon trainer. He was determined, and even ran away from home to pursue his goal."

"Oh, I… I had no idea. Did you have to do the same?"

Tetsuo shakes his head. "When Junichi came back home with eight gym badges and a full team of six, mom thought that becoming a trainer was best for him- 'course, Akira taught him a lesson for making us worry sick." He chuckles. "So when I told 'em I wanted to start my journey, there was no big fights… although mom still hated battling. She never told us, but we could tell. When dad came with all my brothers and sisters to watch our battles, mom stayed home. She allowed it but never approved of it, and overtime grew slightly distant from us all."

June tightens the grip she has on her pendant. "I… I would only be betraying her if I continued my journey, wouldn't I? I just wish she would have told me."

"I ain't done yet, y'see, the reason she thought that-"

"Maybe she was right!" June surprises even herself with the volume in her voice, but she feels comfortable enough in the old home to continue. "Not right about how she went about it, but…"

"Junko-"

"How would she feel about this if she was still here… that Einstein and Sting only got hurt because of me and my failings! I'm a terrible trainer! All I've done is subject my Pokémon to misery..." June doesn't notice the tears that escape her eyes. "They would be much happier if I was more competent! I…"

"Junko…"

"I've failed my Pokémon! Sting has been defiant, Chip hasn't grown much, Kit won't even evolve, and Einstein…" June starts trembling and it becomes increasingly difficult to prevent herself from crying. "Ever s-since he's evolved… he's grown so cold. As a Blipbug, he was affectionate and full of life, and I know Dottler naturally settle down to learn about their surroundings, but I can't help but feel… he evolved right after a powerful attack from a Machoke, and all I've been able to think is if he evolved to grow distant from me…"

"Junko..."

"I put him on the same battlefield as a gym leader's Machoke! It was so careless of me! I should have never-" Her need to sniffle causes her to realize how many tears roll down her face. "...started… this jou-journ-" Unable to go on, June gives in and starts bawling- "spill her guts" as her uncle says. Her vision becomes blurry to the point where she'd think her glasses were removed. The sound of her weeping is the only thing she can hear, and with both senses obscured, she doesn't notice Tetsuo saying "Give me a second," and taking a step outside.

There's a moment before Tetsuo returns with a "Here we go, I was lookin' for this," walking through the doorway. He catches June's attention, who briefly removes her glasses to wipe tears from her eyes. Now that her vision is clear again, she can see him handing June a photo album with a green cover on it. "Junko, I think ya need to see this."

June sniffles before hesitantly grabbing the album. "Wh… what is it?"

"Somethin' we found when mom passed. Go on, take a peek."

June opens the cover, and the first thing she sees is a note with the most elegant hand-writing. The kanji inked down on the white paper looks painstakingly neat- enough of a sign for June to know it was written by her grandma.

My dear children,

If you're reading this, that means I am no longer with you all. I know this because I've made sure to hide this in such a secure location that I guarded during the twilight days of my long life, and will become accessible the second I pass into the next life.

I'm nothing but thankful for this life. I'm thankful for all my children, and even though he is no longer with me, I'm thankful for my husband. I'm thankful for all the connections I've created in Hoenn, but more than anything I am especially thankful for my dearest granddaughter, June. However, there is one aspect of my life I haven't been so proud of that I've kept a secret from everyone, and it's the reason this album is so well-hidden. I figured this is the opportunity I finally tell you all the truth about my past I've been so secretive about.

I see no use in keeping quiet about it any longer: As a young woman, I was the gym leader of Petalburg City, and I earned a reputation for being the toughest trainer in town even before that. Despite everything I've said about my dislike for Pokémon battling, I myself am guilty of it more than anyone in the family. I was very cruel and careless in the way I treated the Pokémon challengers would bring in- and even my own. The first Pokémon I had received at the start of my Pokémon journey was my signature, and I treated her with little regard for her well-being, and the consequences for those actions were very grave. She was no more after a particularly intense battle. To this day I've never been able to forgive myself for what I've done, and it's why I devoted my remaining years to this wonderful conservatory. Even with how long ago it was and how much my memory has deteriorated over the years, I still vividly remember every moment of my former career, and it will haunt me until the day I die.

Of course, this is no excuse for preventing Junichi from going on a Pokémon journey. While I still disapprove of battling, forbidding him caused more trouble than it was worth, and was a very foolish decision on my end. I was simply terrified that he would repeat my mistakes- and what mother wouldn't?

This album contains photos of my youth, and exists for me to remember this time of my life- I believe the phrase "Those who forget their history tend to repeat it" is older than I am. Hopefully everyone reading this learns a valuable lesson from my past errors.

As a final request, all I wish is that my dearest June never finds out about any of this. Much like the name "Junko" means, she is such a pure and innocent child that I could not even begin to imagine how she would feel if she found out about all the wrong her grandma has done. I hold absolutely no doubts that June's kind nature means she'll never go down the road I did during my youth, so I see no reason for her to know anyways.

Farewell,
Sachiko Enomoto


The note leaves June speechless. She can't even begin to comprehend what she just read, yet she turns the page anyways.

"I couldn't believe it either- apparently she used to look like that or something."

The first photograph June is greeted with is a black and white picture of a young woman wearing a long-sleeved kimono with a floral pattern, but what sticks out is her expression. Her eyebrows are furrowed and a smirk rests on her face- definitely not something she'd expect from her grandma. June remains so fixated on her expression she almost doesn't notice the Pinsir she towers over.

"She kinda looks like ya, eh?" Tetsuo asks somewhat jokingly. June stays quiet, opting to turn the pages. The album is packed to the brim with old photos June has never seen until now, some featuring other people, some featuring Pokémon, but all of them feature her grandma. Every Pokémon that makes an appearance happens to be a bug-type, Pinsir, Centiskorch, Araquanid, and Vespiquen being the most reoccurring.

"Hey, that guy looks like Mr. Yamaguchi, don't it?" Tetsuo points to a young man in a group photo of her grandma and gym trainers sitting on the porch of the gym. "I actually got a hold of him at some point and asked him if it was him. He says he's in here but is too embarrassed to say which one is him."

After silently examining the album cover-to-cover, June slams it closed. Her face is completely blank- she's not sure what to think right now.

"Weird, ain't it?" Tetsuo speaks up. "Spent yer entire life thinkin' she wouldn't harm a bug, and ya find out she's hurt much more than that- trust me, we all had a hard time believin' it- but what ya said reminded me so much of this that I couldn't help but share it with ya."

"B-but… why?" Is all June can say before finding her voice again. "I don't understand- why would you go against her wish like that?"

"There was no other way I woulda got ya to listen. We're humans, we all make mistakes, and we gotta learn from 'em… thing is, mom never did. It's the only thing she was wrong about, and it's important for ya to learn."

"But… How does that help? If she heard I repeated what she did she'd be immensely disappointed!" Tears start forming in her eyes again. June doesn't even bother to hold back. "I'm… I'm no better than she was!"

"That ain't true at all!" Tetsuo raises his voice. "You're not like that at all! Ya care very deeply about Pokémon- and it didn't take one of 'em to die to get there! Pokémon battlin' was different in her day, and the same goes for when I was a kid. Back then, laws were a lot less strict. Anyone could become a Pokémon trainer, regardless of knowledge or experience. Y'didn't need a license. Rangers weren't nearly as strict as they were now, and the worst part is there was nothin' sayin' whips and other nasty muk was illegal. And because of that, lots of top trainers did because nobody told 'em they couldn't. We've gotten a lot better about this today."

"But even then," He continues, "A lot of kids still need to be told to be nice to their Pokémon and muk. You don't."

Through her crying, June finds it's a little difficult to fully understand her uncle's words. "Wh-what does that mean?"

"It means ya understand Pokémon, more than most other kids do. Gotta admit, at first Junichi and I were pretty muk trainers. We could be pretty nasty, especially yer dad. He yelled at 'em, fought with 'em, pushed 'em to their limits, and even tried eatin' his Kingler a few times… errr, well he still does that actually. Feels like he's never changed sometimes." He snickers. "But that ain't important! Junko, you really get your Pokémon, and throwin' in the towel would be a waste- that's somethin' I wouldn't want ya to carry on from Mom. Yer the last person I'd ever think to call a bad trainer. Ya lost a battle- so what? It doesn't matter that ya lost, it matters what ya do with it. Course, you should know their limits n' all that, don't battle 'em if they don't wanna and other way around, yada yada yada. You get the drill."

June goes silent again. While she's hesitant to agree, she can't bring herself to come to any other conclusion. "I suppose you're right…"

"Course I am!" He grins. "Now with all that said, whaddya say about challenging the gym tomorrow?"

"Wh-what?"

"Ya heard me. Challenge Wally again. It's a leader's job to teach new trainers. Who better to teach you to get back up on your feet?"

June wants to say then and there "No!" but she can't bring herself to. Not because she doesn't want to drag the conversation out, but because it doesn't sound like a terrible idea. She thinks back to what she saw in the photo album, pictures of her grandma draped in a kimono she thought was quite beautiful and bug-type Pokémon. June had a shared appreciation with her grandma of bugs, so it doesn't seem like a stretch to think she was a gym leader who specialized in bug types.

In a sense, you could say she was trying to show the beauty of bugs- but she gave up before she could even properly achieve that. Perhaps by showing the beauty of bugs she can not only carry on the wisdom of her grandma, but also learn from her mistakes to correct them, even if trial and error is required.

"I… I think I will."

"'Atta girl!" Tetsuo laughs. "I'm glad we could sit down and talk about this!"

June nods meekly. "Me too."

"Good to hear! But errr uhh, I do have something I need to do, I was gonna have Pe-"

He tries standing up, but her niece's arms being thrown around her halt his movements. He's certainly surprised, but with no hesitations he hugs her back.

"Uncle…" June weeps into his chest. "Thank you…"

"No problem, kiddo." Tetsuo grins, ruffling her hair. "We're family afterall."


🐞 June's Party 🐞

34,492
Spoiler:
  • Einstein (Dottler) lv. 27 M|Telepathy
    Struggle Bug|Super Sonic|Confusion|Light Screen|Reflect
  • Chip (Wimpod) lv. 22 M|Wimp Out
    Struggle Bug|Sand Attack|Defense Curl|Aqua Jet
  • Sting (Beautifly) lv. 25 M|Swarm
    Mega Drain|Silver Wind|Poison Sting|Bug Bite|Electroweb|Air Cutter
  • Kit (Surskit) lv. 24 F|Swift Swim
    Bubble|Quick Attack|Sweet Scent|Water Sport|Bubble Beam|Agility

NNID: Bluekirby2
3DS FC: 3050-8098-0622

Groc

Age 30
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 18 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
1,526 posts
10.8 Years
Edison Kintobor
Tuesday, September 22nd, evening
Petalburg City



Ed approaches an alley cautiously, hearing something shuffling around in a trash bin. He looks down at Addie, who smiles up at him. Ed nods, mouthing the words, "One... two..."

He and Addie round the corner, startling the Meowth sitting on top of the bin. "Three!" He shouts, Addie charging in and smacking Meowth with Rock Smash. Meowth is knocked from the bin, picking itself back up warily. Gremlin rises from its shadow, grinning maliciously as she Low Sweeps the cat off its feet. She tips the bin over on top of Meowth, laughing at its misfortune.

"Gremlin!" Ed shakes his head at her, more disappointed than angry. "That was uncalled for, and look at the mess you've made. ...Addie, don't eat that, it's garbage."

Gremlin rolls her eyes at Ed, but slinks over to his side. Addie sadly puts down the crust of pizza he'd recovered from the trash, waddling over to Ed. "Let's go find Sunny, before someone sees us by this mess."

The bin rattles, tipping over once again as an angry Zigzagoon emerges from within. "Oh, that tracks..." Ed puts his hand to his chin. "Something was making noise inside, and Meowth was on top. Well, Gremlin, use-"

Zigzagoon speeds over, butting heads with Addie and knocking him down. Addie holds his face, wincing from the hit. Gremlin stares in surprise, then glares in anger. She sweeps Zigzagoon’s legs out from under it, pinning it to the ground like she'd seen Van do to Marie.

Zigzagoon struggles, its fur standing up like needles. Gremlin takes the hit, not overly bothered by them, holding Zigzagoon while Addie runs back over to exact his revenge with a flurry of Chip Away hits.

Zigzagoon worms its way out of Gremlin's grasp, fleeing from the 2-on-1 battle as quickly as it can. Gremlin glares after it, but Ed puts a hand on her head to stop her. "I think it got the hint, Gremlin. Are you okay, Addie?"

Addie pouts a little as he rubs his forehead. Gremlin smiles as she delicately pats his head, but Addie just moves closer to Ed, clinging to his leg. Gremlin pulls her hand back, crossing her arms and turning her back to Addie.

"Hey, what's all this?" Ed kneels down between his two Pokémon. "Let me see, Addie... you'll be alright. Just a bump on the head, nothing a short rest and a snack won't fix. Come here."

Picking Addie up is next to impossible for Ed, so the baby Munchlax will just have to settle for a hug instead. He seems to appreciate the gesture, grinning happily at the attention. Ed reaches out to Gremlin, but she just keeps looking down the alley.

"You two work well together. Don't be scared of her, Addie, she's just looking out for you. And she hasn't shown this kind of concern for the others, so she must like you." He scratches behind Addie's ears, earning a contented smile from the Munchlax and an embarrassed blush from the Sableye.

The three leave the alley, heading back to the bookstore Ed and Sunny had set up as a rendezvous point. They'd been seeking out local Zigzagoon for a little over two hours, but without his gear, Ed had to rely on Sunny's to track the Pokémon. He doesn't see her outside, so he leans against the wall to wait.

After a few minutes, a noise catches his attention. From down one of the alleys, a low boom echoes, as though a small explosion had just occurred. He frowns at the alley, more concerned than just curious. "Come on, let's go check that out." Addie falls into step by his side, while Gremlin slinks through the shadows ahead of him.

As they get closer, they hear the unmistakable sounds of a fight. Ed hurries forward, surprised to find a small garden area nestled between these buildings. In the center stands Sunny, with Sputter, Flare, and Striker facing off against a dozen Zigzagoon, while a Galarian variant barks orders at them from atop a fire escape.

Sunny orders Sputter to use Flame Burst, and her Litwick launches a purple fireball at a Zigzagoon. The fireball bursts on impact, the rapid heating of the air creating a small explosion that pushes back the Pokémon on either side of the initial target, likely the source of the noise that drew Ed's attention in the first place.

"Sunny, what did you do?" Gremlin eagerly charges in, Faking Out the closest Zigzagoon then Sweeping another off its feet.

"Perfect timing, Eddie!" Sunny looks relieved to see him. "I followed that darker one down this alley, but it was a trap! I guess we've had a bit of an impact on the local population." Flare rushes recklessly into the crowd, while Striker sticks close to repel any Zigzagoon that get too close to Sunny or Sputter.

"I told you not to underestimate Normal types." Ed sends out Neo to assist, specifically aiming a Magnet Bomb at the Galarian ringleader. The hit knocks it off the railing and onto the fire escape, so it hides behind the safety rail. "N.D., aim your Shock Wave at it."

Neo takes aim, their electrical attack unerring despite the cover provided by the guard rail. A few Zigzagoon come at Ed, but Addie moves to defend, his Rock Smash dissuading them from tussling with him.

With Neo's unavoidable attacks harassing the leader, Gremlin and Flare causing merry havoc in the middle of the horde itself, and Sputter, Striker and Addie defending the trainers, the gang of Zigzagoon cut their losses and flee. Sunny strolls over to Ed, reaching up to drape an arm over his shoulders. "Whoo! That was fun. Thanks for the assist, partner."

Ed stoops slightly rather than let Sunny hang off of him. "Happy to help. I think that's enough training for one night, though. How about we get some food, and get a good rest before our match tomorrow?"

Sunny recalls her team, allowing Ed to do the same with his. "Sounds good to me. You sure you don't want to come back out after dinner?"

Ed leads the way back out, and the two casually stroll back to the Pokémon Center. "I'm sure. We need to strategize, come up with a plan for the morning."

"Sure, do things the nerd way." Sunny scoffs. "I'm gonna get a bit more exercise in before bed. This Norman guy won't know what hit him!"

"Oh, I'm sure the battle will be a surprise, alright. But not for Norman." Ed jokes, earning a playful shove from Sunny.

WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Sophie
Location: Contest Hall, Dewford Town
Pokemon at hand :
Thursday, September 24th


Chapter 3 - 4
Bloom, Thorny Rose!
Part 1

Sophie took a deep breath as she looked at herself in the mirror.

She tried her best to apply makeup as decently as possible according to what she felt was right. After all, not even herself was dense to the idea that what she usually applied on her face was too much for this event.

In her musings inside the waiting room, she tried her best to deal with her anxiousness on her own but she eventually called Callie to ask her about her opinion. Callie said that Sophie looked really gorgeous in the white dress that they bought yesterday, but Sophie was still unsure about how she looked which was made very apparent by her keep looking at the mirror to check if anything went wrong during the time she didn’t check it. The ramblings continued to how she was afraid to mess everything up and how she didn't prepare enough to win the contest.

But Callie shook her head before clenching her fist over the screen. "Be confident! You've poured so much effort into this. You can do it, Sophie!"

It didn't help much, but not even Callie's words were able to erase the weighing doubts that had crept inside the poor girl's mind, although Sophie appreciated Callie for trying. As soon as Sophie hung up the call, she continued her self-reflection.

Sophie was used to attending parties for high-end socialites thanks to her mother, but unlike her calm and cool attitude during that kind of festivities, this time she was visibly fidgeting. This for her was a completely different ball game. There was no status, wealth, nor anything else that could cause the crowd to treat her in a special manner, she was just Sophie the Pokemon trainer just like everyone else there.

It was something she wanted dearly, but that also meant that at this very moment there was no cushion towards the expectation given to her.

After Sophie fully-heartedly accepted Callie’s offer, her hesitation to trust Callie was quickly replaced with the fear that Callie would end up feeling disappointed with her performance. Callie spent so much time helping her with choreography, move synergy, and other aspects of the contest while asking nothing in return. If she didn't win, then would Callie regret her decision to put so much trust in the young trainer? Would she even want to see her again after that? The thought of it sent shivers down Sophie's spine. But that wasn't the only problem weighing down the poor girl's mind.

She told Arthur to wait for her. But for how long would he wait? Would he feel disappointed in her if she didn’t manage to accomplish anything during their separation? And if so—

“Hello, are you okay?”

Hearing a sudden voice near her, Sophie stopped her musings and raised her head to see a violet-haired girl wearing a dark crimson dress with a warm smile on her face. She looked really gorgeous with matching high heels and beautiful moon-shaped earrings to match her attire.

Spoiler:


“Oh, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”

“Really? You frowned for quite a while, though.” The violet-haired girl took a seat on a bench across Sophie’s wheelchair.

Sophie wryly chuckled at the response that the girl gave and pulled out an assuring smile to dissuade the violet-haired girl from continuing the conversation with her. “I’m fine really, you shouldn't waste your time here.”

“That’s something people need to be worried about would say.” She giggled. “Don’t worry, I’m just here because I want to.” She smiled brightly once more towards Sophie.

Overfamiliar.

If one were to put a word to describe her actions, that word was certainly one of the easiest choices to pick. Sophie was used to those kinds of people during her time in Galar. After all, she knew full well how her family’s status and wealth attracted a lot of people who looked at her not as a person, but as a walking stepladder to reach their goal. But this didn't feel like it. Not only that she couldn’t hear anything other than concern in the girl’s tone, but the fact that she didn’t seem to know her identity cemented Sophie’s thought of her as purely being worried.

“Hehe… Are you nervous?” The violet-haired girl continued the conversation.

“Yeah, kind of. After all, this is my first time participating in a contest… Haha...” Sophie laughed sheepishly.

“Hey, it’s a D-Rank contest! Everyone here is a beginner, including me! So cheer up, okay?” The girl giggled with a warm smile still vividly painted on her face

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Sophie smiled politely towards her.

Just when she was about to utter some words from her mouth, a voice echoed throughout the backstage, interrupting their conversation.

“Please give it up for contestant number one, Miss Alice Roselle!” The MC called for one of the participants, and if Sophie had to deduce from seeing the wide smile from the girl who was talking with her as she heard the announcement. It was easy to guess that she was the Alice that the MC was calling.

“Well, I guess I’m going first. But before I leave, may I have the honor to know your name?”

“Kat— Sophie. My name is Sophie.”

“Sophie, huh? That’s a great name. Oops, I better hurry. Watch me closely okay?”

Alice walked towards the curtain with a lot of enthusiasm in her steps, almost like she was hopping even. And as soon she reached the edge of the curtain she added a little ‘oomph’ on her last hop just slightly before the curtain. Although, It caused her to almost lose balance and fell over, but she barely managed to keep herself standing.

She giggled at her own antics, causing the people around us to smile at her also including the attendant. She waved at me full of enthusiasm before she took a deep breath and entered the stage, her bright smile never left her as she talked to the audience.

But as soon as she started her performance, her expression and gesture quickly changed as if the person Sophie had spoken with earlier was nowhere to be seen. Her expression exuded confidence as if she already knew that she would whip out a top-notch performance out of the gate.

And just like that, she pulled a beautiful performance that caused the crowd to erupt in cheers as she used her Meditite and Larvesta to create a wonderful spectacle.

She playfully winked to the roaring crowd as she finished her performance and went straight towards the backstage with a cheerful expression.

That, however, didn’t carry through to the rest of the contestants in the waiting room. Alice's performance sent out a ripple that caused a mood change throughout the room.

The giggles that stemmed from Alice's clumsiness dissipated as soon as her performance ended. Few of the other contestants decided to no-show, either because they were too nervous in the first place or because Alice’s performance intimidated them so much that they ended up withdrawing from the competition. But those who didn’t manage to show their performance ranging from acceptable to slightly below what Alice had performed. There was no doubt in Sophie’s mind that Alice was a lock for the next round participant.

The clock continued to tick and before long—

“—Miss Sophie Purcell!”

Sophie’s name was called, or at least her alias was. She wasn’t willing to use her family name even if she was now comfortable enough to let out her actual first name. There was a high possibility that her mother might be able to track her if she used it, and she was not willing to risk it for just joining a contest.

“Your name finally got called, huh? Good luck! Let’s pass the round together, alright?”

Alice talked cheerfully, but this time Sophie was only able to chuckle nervously before she wheeled herself to behind the curtain.

Please, don’t let me fail.

Sophie took a deep breath as she clasped her hand strongly to stop herself from getting overly nervous. She couldn’t help but think that her first performance would end up in a disaster, but—

She was not willing to run away. Not anymore.

She knew full well that even Arthur was trying his best, despite him falling to such a state of despair after losing to Benji. But even in that state, he managed to claw his way back to a resounding victory against Brawly. She was envious of him, of his ability to persevere. But she knew well that envy alone would lead to nowhere, she had tried her best to master the performance she was about to show everyone and so it was the time for her to grab the future she envisioned with her own two hands.

Let’s go, me!

With a little self pep-talk, she gritted her teeth as she moved forward towards the stage. It was the time for her to shine.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Sophie
Location: Contest Hall, Dewford Town
Pokemon at hand :
Thursday, September 24th

Chapter 3 - 5
Bloom, Thorny Rose!
Part 2

The crowd was waiting in anticipation for the next performer, including the blonde-haired girl who had helped the next performer in her preparation for this moment.

Callie smiled widely as she saw Sophie rolled her wheelchair forward towards the standing microphone.

“Hel—”

Sophie accidentally moved her wheelchair forward, causing the stand alongside the microphone attached to it to fall and creating a loud piercing noise that caused most of the audience to wince in discomfort.

It was a concerning sight for the older girl.

She knew well from her experience that a problem like what had just happened in front of her could kill the confidence of a performer almost instantly, especially in a Pokemon Contest where the tiniest mistake could prove as your undoing. There were so many wonderful performances that didn’t make the cut in their respective contests because of mistakes like the one that just happened in front of her.

However, this contest was a D-Rank Contest, there was still a good chance that Sophie might be able to go to the next round if she managed to pull her performance according to plan. The question lied in whether Sophie could shake off what had just happened earlier, which was what Callie hoped to be the case.

After lifting the microphone back to the position, Sophie took a deep breath before she started to introduce herself.

“Good afternoon everyone, I’m sorry for what had just happened earlier. My name is Sophie, and I’m here to show you a wonderful performance for you all. So I hope all of you can relax and enjoy the show!”

The lights above the audience seats slowly dimmed out, leaving the one spotlight to shone over the performing trainer. The gaze of the audience was focused solely on Sophie, and with it the show finally began.

Without wasting more time, Sophie threw a Pokeball towards the field.

“Aurora!”

The Snow Fox Pokemon nodded and summoned a white curtain using Mist, all before she roared loudly unleashing a blue orb that caused thick white clouds above her.

As snow and ice particles rained down the stage, the audience who was astounded at the sight was left with bated breath as they waited for what was the other Pokemon Sophie would use in her performance.

The question was promptly answered by Sophie who threw another Pokeball, this time towards the clouds above.

Most of the audience moved their head as they tried their best to understand what was going on, but not Callie. She was there when Sophie prepared her performance and so she stayed put, sitting calmly on her chair with a wide grin on her face as the show continued.

The clouds above suddenly swirled at a fast pace, as gold stars mixed with the ice and snow from the Hail encircled the Snow Fox Pokemon. This combined with the illumination coming from Garnet’s core towards Aurora who roared in a beautiful fashion caused the audience’s eye to widen with amazement. But that wasn’t the end, the best part was yet to come.

“Now!” Aurora continued the performance as she shot Aurora Beam upwards towards Garnet who was spinning above. The beam was reflected at all directions with the help of Garnet’s Mirror Coat, shattering the stars to pieces.

And finally, Aurora deactivated her Snow Warning ability. As the blue orb in the middle of the clouds disappeared, all that was left were Aurora and Garnet standing in the middle of the stage as rainbow and golden particles fell from above the clouds which then was left in a halo-like shape thanks to the Rapid Spin.

The crowd roared as Sophie bowed several times on her wheelchair to close the show leaving the audience with Callie among them smiled with a huge grin on her face.

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

(Backstage, at the same time)

“You did it! I’m so proud of you!” Alice rushed towards the returning Sophie with a warm smile painted on her face.

“Yeah!”

“You did a performance far beyond a D-Rank you know!? That’s a C… No, a B-Rank performance! How did you do that!?”

“I-I don’t know… I just tried to do my best, that’s all.” Sophie shyly answered.

Sophie had tried her best to avoid smiling to be polite, but she was barely able to after hearing the compliment that had validated her hard work.

She spent so much time and effort to overcome her inexperience head-on. Combining Pokemon moves, abilities, and typing to make a wonderful performance that could make the crowd turn wild was no easy feat. Not to mention the fact that she even used a Pokeball seal in her performance which added more things for her to think about.

Garnet not rotating fast enough to maintain its height, Aurora Beam that was too powerful for Garnet to stay in the proper position, Aurora getting showered by the reflected Aurora Beam, the stars shattering prematurely due to the ice shards. Those were just a few of the mistakes that happened in her training.

The fact that she and her Pokemon managed to whip up such a performance almost brought tears to Sophie’s eyes. She did it.

Of course, the job wasn’t done since there were two more rounds for her to work with, but for Sophie she at least had something to boost her confidence with. Her final performance was something she also prepared for a long time, so much so that she was so sure that the only thing separating her with her first ribbon was the second round.

Not long after, the result announcement came. And as predicted by both Alice and Sophie, both of them passed the round. And with almost no delay, the drawing for the next round was underway just like how they wanted it to happen, but the result—

“No way…” Sophie muttered as she glanced towards the screen.

—It was far from what they wanted as they had to face each other in the next round.

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

Eleanor

💖 Mikoto Misaka 💖

Age 21
Italy
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
2,508 posts
4.8 Years





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

With Groc as Natsuko Soyokaze

Pokémon / Inventory:
AVRIL'S MONEY: $16 000 (- 4 000)

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabebe) -♀- lv. ↑ 30
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Lucky Chant, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) -♀- lv. 27
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) -♂- lv. 22
Infiltrator
Swagger, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Venus (Mawile) -♀- lv. 23
Intimidate
Fairy Wind, Feint Attack, Sucker Punch, Fake Tears, Taunt, Baton Pass

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 2 Empty Pokéballs
🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 Various clothes and commodities

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/94097
So... you have a Gyarados now?
Thursday, September 24th - about 5 p.m. - Petalburg Lake
With two more empty Pokéballs in her cloth bag and $4 000 less in her wallet, Avril is ready to leave the Pokémon Center alongside Tsu. It’s still nice to reconnect with her, one of her Slateport friends, even if part of her mind is still worried about June and would like to be there to comfort her instead.

There is something that still bothers her though, one thing that she feels the need to bring up. As the two girls walk towards the lake, just as the black haired one suggested, the blonde one speaks up. “So… you have a Gyarados, now?”

By her side, her friend moves a hand to her pocket. "Yeah, I do. Remember my Magikarp from the Dewford Contest? After my battle against Marcella, she evolved during the third round. It was a bit of a shock, actually!"

“That’s…” That’s sooner than expected, too! To think that trainers that were that early into their adventure could already get a Gyarados made Avril shudder, but at least Poppy didn’t seem to be bothered by that. “That’s… incredible, Tsu! How’s she doing now?”

"She's doing better, now. Honestly, I was concerned about her at first, because she was so, uh… friendly when she first evolved, but then she was so grumpy when I fought Brawly. Turns out she was just tired! I mean, she's always been kind of laid-back, even as a Magikarp, so she's really nice as long as she's not in a bad mood."

“Hm…” Avril has to take her eyes off Tsu and think on her own for a moment. “I mean, nice to know that she’s n-nice… but what if she gets in a bad mood? Like…”

The blonde girl breathes in slowly. “How do you handle her when she’s mad?”

"I wasn't sure, myself. Believe it or not, I was kinda scared of her at first." The two girls arrive at the freshwater lake on the city's north side, and Tsu leans against the guardrail around the pier as she looks out over the water.

"I talked to my aunts about it. They used to be professional Trainers, I thought they'd have good advice. Turns out neither of them had ever raised a Gyarados before, though! The only advice they could give me was to treat her like my child. My aunt Nyamo gave me some anger management tips, said she used them if kids threw tantrums in her class."

Tsu smiles as she pulls out Stacy's Poké Ball. "Although, none of her students are giant sea monsters, so I'm a bit more cautious. But I try to calm her down, I talk to her, and if she's still mad, I put her in time out. Can't put a toddler in a Poké Ball!"

Avril nods, trying to understand every word to the best of her abilities. Maybe it’s right that even the most fierce Pokémon can remain docile and perfectly under control of their trainer, if said trainer is good and experienced… but Avril’s not even sure she wants to reach that level. She’s improved a bit ever since she started, sure, but the further she goes, the stronger and more menacing the Pokémon she’ll meet are going to be. Except her own, probably. She couldn’t do without her little, tiny, cheerful Poppy.

“Well… y-yeah, she is a giant sea monster, doesn’t that scare you a bit?”

"Well, a little, but…" Tsu looks at the ball in her hand. "But that's not all she is. She isn't just some scary monster, she's Stacy! I've known her since she was a little fish. Sure, she's scary now, but she's my friend."

“She is… yeah, I guess so. If you know her well…” Avril looks away once again, this time focusing on one Pokémon in particular. There’s one rather menacing Pokémon that she’s actually rather close to.

“I- I may need some help with one of my own Pokémon then… she’s kinda scary as well.”

Tsu is jolted from her thoughts, tucking the ball back into her skirt pocket. "Oh, sure! Always happy to help a friend. What kind of scary monster do you have, and what can I do?"

Instead of getting the Pokéball in question, Avril decides to go the Pokédex route, and pulls up the correct page after some seconds of fidgeting with the device. “This, Mawile. She’s kinda small but still very fierce…”

Venus has been inside her Pokéball ever since the Contest in Dewford, and that means… about one day. To tell the truth, she was out for her usual meals in Petalburg, but only for as long as it was necessary… after all, she was starting to look more grumpy and sad as time passed.

"A Mawile? It's kinda cute, actually, once you get past the jaws." Tsu frowns in thought. "So why is yours so scary? Is she mean? Does she try to bite you?"

“Well you’re right about the jaws, it’s a bit… creepy actually, especially when she grinds her teeth.” Avril speaks up, nervously. “She’s also kinda mean in battle yes. And I think I made a promise to her that… I can’t quite keep faith to, right now.”

“If it wasn’t obvious,” the Kalosian girl points at Poppy as she speaks, “I need to have more cute and small Pokémon, not creepy ones like Mawile. Even knowing that you have a Gyarados is… well…” She doesn’t continue the sentence.

"You know, I have cute and small ones, too. Do you want to go look for some more?"

“More? You… do think that having more Pokémon can help?”

"Well… maybe? It's a lot of extra work. And Pokémon all have different personalities, they need different things… I don't know. Maybe it'd be better to get to know your Mawile better." Tsu pauses, a reluctant thought coming to her. "Or maybe… less, instead of more."

Less Pokémon? Does that mean just letting go of Mawile? It’s… it’s a choice that makes sense. Avril is still supposed to get the stone back from Hikaru… the one that Mawile likes, but once that’s dealt with, there’s nothing that binds her and Venus together. If her attempts of getting to know her Pokémon don’t work out, or if she’s too scared, she can release them - trainers do have that possibility, don’t they?

“You’re probably right. Once I’ve given Mawile what I promised her…” Avril sighs heavily, leaving space for Poppy’s unamused chirping to be heard. Thinking about it, Poppy and Mawile performed together and did very well… maybe they like each other. And still…

“May I ask, how’s Stacy getting along with the other Pokémon? Did you get any more… more that I should be afraid of?” Avril tries to finish her question with a laugh, but it comes off nervous once again.

"Oh, she gets along fine with the others! Mostly ignores them, actually. Shiny doesn't like the water, and Cyrano doesn't really socialize, but I did get a new one, and he's best friends with her!" She digs out her Lure Ball, excited to show off her new Pokémon. "You don't have to be scared of him, he's really cute! Just… don't put your hands near his mouth. He's kind of a nibbler."

She opens the ball, sending out her Totodile. The little croc looks around curiously, heading straight for the water before Tsu scoops him up. She holds her hands under his arms, where he can't reach them with his mouth, despite his attempts. "See! He's so energetic! He likes playing with Stacy."

“O-oh wow… he really is! So maybe what you’re telling me is that… Stacy and Totodile being friends makes it easier for you to handle both, I think?” Avril tries to connect the dots.

"Yeah, something like that! I think he's pretty young, so Stacy's like a big sister to him. And it's good for her to have someone she can play with. I take Shiny out for walks all the time, but I can't do that with Stacy, so she was by herself all the time until I got this little guy." She scratches under Totodile's chin, which makes him settle down enough for her to scratch the top of his head. His eyes droop, and he starts… purring?

Tsu smiles at him, but it turns sad. "Look… I'm not saying get rid of Mawile. I really think you should try to befriend her. But… remember when we first met? How Poppy helped Shiny beat that Sandygast? I had to capture it, or it would've hurt Shiny. But I didn't want it. I couldn't care for it, and it didn't want to be with me, either. So… I gave it up. It's much happier where it is now. At the end of the day, you just have to do what's best. For all of you."

Not a good example, not a good example… Mawile was also caught by error. It was supposed to be a Nosepass, too, the one that Tsu has right now and that in her words seems to be so much less troublesome than Venus. And still… “You had to? I’m still… I’m still sorry to hear, but you’re right. I’ll have to think about it!”

"No need to rush! I just hope I could help." She puts down Totodile, who sits down by her feet. "How about we do something fun for a bit? We're at a lake, we could look at the boats, or look! There's a Fishing Spot over there! It's really fun, have you ever done it?"

"Hm… no, I never tried! But maybe I can find more friends, as it happened with your Totodile, right? Alright, I can try!" Poppy smiles in sync with Avril, who fixes her glasses and tries to look ready for the challenge.

"Awesome! Come on, I'll show you how it's done!" Tsu leads the way, and they rent a pair of fishing rods for the hour. Tsu skips over the lures and baits bit, as she doesn't remember a lot of it herself.

Tsu shows Avril how to cast the lure into the water, and how to withdraw it to entice Pokémon to bite. "But don't worry, it doesn't hurt the Pokémon, I've asked. They even get a free snack out of the deal!" The blonde girl listens carefully, not exactly knowing what she’s getting into.

It's a nice day, and the lake is quite peaceful. Surprisingly not many people around, either. Tsu takes the opportunity to take a picture of the lake, and one of her and Avril. "I know it's a little weird, but I'm really starting to like fishing. I guess if there was any country to pick up a water-based hobby, it'd be Hoenn!" Tsu jokes, when suddenly she gets a bite!

"Oh! Okay, this is the tricky bit! Just gotta reel it in… and pull!" With a mighty heave, she pulls the Pokémon from the water. A small tortoise-like Pokémon lands, spitting out the hook. Tsu retrieves her Pokédex, which identifies the Pokémon as Chewtle.

"See? Just like that! He's kinda cute, right?" Totodile doesn't share her opinion, a deep rumbling coming from his chest as he fixes Chewtle with a Scary Face. The turtle pulls its head back into its shell in response.

"Totodile, don't be mean! Look, you scared him!" But Totodile Leers in response, asserting dominance over the other aquatic reptile. Before Tsu can grab him, Chewtle charges forward, popping its head out from its shell to bash Totodile in the chest. The impact knocks Totodile down as he flies back, hitting the ground near Tsu’s feet. Avril still is holding her own lure in the water, but can’t help but focus on her friend’s battle.

"Totodile! Are you okay?" Tsu crouches down to help him up, but Totodile growls in frustration, angrily pushing out of her grip. Tsu huffs out an indignant breath. "Well, you started it."

Totodile charges forward, furiously clawing at Chewtle but unable to do more than scratch the thick shell. Chewtle Bites back, chomping down on Totodile's arm. Totodile cries out, his pupils narrowing to thin slits as a red aura starts building around him. He Bites Chewtle's head, tilting backwards to lift and flip the tortoise over his head. Chewtle shakes off the impact, chomping down on Totodile's tail. The crocodile cries out in pain, his red aura flaring even brighter.

"Totodile, that's enough! Get back here!" Totodile shakes his head, trying and failing to wrap his jaws around Chewtle's shell. It tucks its head into its shell to protect itself.

"What do you mean, 'no'? What's gotten into you?" Totodile manages to pick up Chewtle in his mouth, viciously shaking his head and tossing it to the ground. Chewtle bounces on impact, spinning like a top before charging back into the lake.

Totodile's eyes widen as his enemy runs away, rushing forward to dive into the lake. "Oh no, you don't!" Tsu closes the distance before he can jump, grabbing Totodile under the arms and lifting him up. Totodile struggles, firing a stream of water from his mouth into the lake. Tsu holds him tight as he fires off another couple shots, pulling him close once he stops struggling.

"Whoa, easy there, Godzilla! You won, you don't have to fight anymore!" Totodile snuggles up to her chest, letting out a few high pitched chirps. Tsu gently strokes his head, shushing him. "It's okay, you're fine! What was that all about?"

Once he's calmed, Tsu returns him to his Lure Ball and heads back over to Avril. "Sorry about that! He's never done that, I swear! I've never had him battle before."

“Well… I guess he does remind me of my Mawile, too! At least your Pokémon is small and all that, right?” The girl points out, once again trying to wrap her head around this. “You still seem so kind to your Pokémon, but at the same time you also are in control… meanwhile-”


Avril is interrupted by what appears to be another wild Pokémon tugging her lure. “O-oh! Help me get it up please!”

Tsu comes up beside Avril, grabbing the pole and helping her pull. Together, they reel the Pokémon out of the water.

On the pier now stands another Chewtle, perfectly identical to the one that Natsuko has already battled. The small Pokémon seems rather unamused, but still takes a curious look around before trying to slowly reach for the water again.

"Hey, not bad! You got something on your first cast!"

"So now… I can-" Avril is interrupted by Poppy, who of course can't waste the opportunity to play a bit, after watching the whole Contest from her trailer's head. She floats away and puts herself between Chewtle and the water, blowing it back with some well placed Fairy Wind. The Water type stumbles, but tries to hit back with a Water Gun… which Poppy keeps dodging, playfully laughing at her opponent.

"I guess Poppy wants to play." Tsu laughs, stopping when she sees Avril’s face. "Unless you don't want her to fight?"

“Hm… guess I owe it to her after she watched the whole contest without doing anything!” The blonde girl answers, before telling her Pokémon to use Magical Leaf instead - which she does right away. Chewtle uses Protect to shield itself from the sinister leaves though, before lunging at Poppy with a Tackle.

“Fairy Wind again from there!” Avril calls out again, pleasantly noticing that her Pokémon’s efforts seem to be enough to at least slow down the Water type. It sure acts as relevant information but, when Poppy gets eventually struck by Tackle, the girl has to admit that her plan was not really the best. Determined to keep fighting, Chewtle is able to also land a Bite attack, which only gets Avril more nervous.

Luckily, Poppy still has a way to respond. The powerful Magical Leaf that she casts, in fact, knocks Chewtle right away and sends it back inside the lake, much to the girl’s dismay. Her empty Pokéball that she’s holding in her hand will remain unused for some more time… although at the very least, her head becomes once again Poppy’s perfect spot to stand in as she heals up with a quick Synthesis.

“Well… that’s one way to end this…” Avril lets out a sigh of relief, before getting back to Tsu. “Thanks for helping me up with fishing, by the way! That was quick but intense!”

"Happy to help!" Tsu gives Avril a thumbs-up. "It's a good way to meet new Pokémon, even if it's just for a battle."

The girls return their fishing gear, but that's no reason to leave the lake itself just yet. They spend some more time just hanging out, talking more about their plans, their Pokémon, and their journey so far, before the setting sun convinces them to head back into town and get some food.




Paired with Ninetales and Fox 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge

Eleanor

💖 Mikoto Misaka 💖

Age 21
Italy
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
2,508 posts
4.8 Years
Spoiler:





Avril Reese

16 - ♀ - Laverre City

With QueenNothing as Junko Enomoto

Pokémon / Inventory:
AVRIL'S MONEY: $16 000

AVRIL'S TEAM:
🌼 Poppy (Flabebe) -♀- lv. ↑ 31
Flower Veil
Synthesis, Fairy Wind, Grassy Terrain, Lucky Chant, Wish, Magical Leaf

🌼 Hydrangea (Shellos) -♀- lv. 27
Storm Drain
Water Pulse, Mud Bomb, Recover, Rain Dance, Mud Sport, Hidden Power (?)

🌼 Wisteria (Inkay) -♂- lv. 22
Infiltrator
Swagger, Hypnosis, Topsy-Turvy, Pluck, Reflect, Psybeam

🌼 Venus (Mawile) -♀- lv. ↑ 25
Intimidate
Fairy Wind, Feint Attack, Sucker Punch, Iron Defense, Taunt, Baton Pass

AVRIL'S INVENTORY:
🌼 2 Empty Pokéballs
🌼 Holotch (phone version)
🌼 Fanclub Membership card
🌼 Eviolite
🌼 Silk Scarf
🌼 Various clothes and commodities

AVRIL'S CONTACTS:
Jordie, Shuna, Natsuko, June, Marcella, Hikaru

AVRIL'S BADGES AND RIBBONS:
🥊

🎀• 1

🌼 Character art made with https://picrew.me/image_maker/94097
😰
Friday, September 25th - about 9 p.m. - Petalburg Gym
Avril’s eyes are too busy looking for June to focus on the scenery around her, the shape of the Gym building, or the faces of the other trainers passing by. After what happened yesterday, the girl only wants to meet up again with her “date”. Plus… she should be close enough to her destination, as a second look at her Holotch’s map can confirm. She couldn’t have messed up this badly.

The reason that June gave her to meet up, all thanks to a quick message with some quick emojis, was actually battling the Gym Leader - and after what happened with the contest, the blonde girl had to be there for supporting June at the very least.

Luckily for her, June is a tall girl with round glasses, easy to spot in the otherwise rather empty clearing that stands in front of the Petalburg Gym, wearing a baby blue tank top with a sun print and knee shorts. Avril quickly approaches her, with Poppy flying ahead and chirping excitedly. “Hi there, June! How’s it going today?”

Avril might have caught June staring into space- she widens her eyes as Avril catches her attention but her expression morphs into a soft smile. "Oh, hello Avril! I'm…" She pauses for a brief moment. "... alright. Yes, I'm doing quite alright today!"

“Well… that’s great to hear!” Avril grins. “I’m feeling better too, all thanks to a good rest!”

"Rest is important." June nods. "My gran-"

She pauses again, taking longer to get back to what she was saying. "I- I mean, a good rest is half the work. It's… an old proverb."

"Very true!" Avril tries to keep smiling. "About today, though… well. Any reason you wanted to challenge the gym today?"

"Well, I…" June looks to her right and scratches her cheek. "I just figured that after my loss yesterday that I should challenge the gym to learn where I've failed. That is a gym leader's job, afterall."

“Hm… that sounds about right… I think.” Avril runs her hand through her hair. “I’m more than happy to support you, like in Dewford, of course!” Poppy agrees as well, chirping enthusiastically as she flies in a circle around June’s head.

June giggles as her pupils follow Poppy's trail. "I appreciate that! Although I think you should challenge the gym first this time around. I'm sure you've grown enough as a trainer since then that it won't be too much of a problem."

This takes Avril somewhat by surprise. She’s still on the fence about challenging the Gym herself, but thinking about it… she may as well try with June by her side. Going first though? That may already push it a little too far, since she clearly doesn’t believe she’s as experienced as the other girl when it comes to Pokémon battles.

Her cheeks turn red as she replies. “Well… t-thanks! I still think you’re the better trainer but…” One more look at Poppy finally tips the scales. “Alright, I’ll give it a try too!”

"Th-thanks!" June twirls her hair and looks away from Avril as she blushes.

Without further delay, the two enter the gym through the sliding door. A receptionist greets them both and leads them through another sliding door which leads them to a wide-open dojo area. It's similar to the Dewford gym, but bigger and noticeably more well-kept.

Two other people are also inside the gym. An older man coaches a much younger, much shorter one doing sit-ups while a few Pokémon are practicing their attacks in the vicinity.

While the shorter one is fixated on his exercise, the older one is directed towards the challengers. "June, good to see you again! Back again to challenge Wally?" He gives a toothy grin. "And I see you brought a friend along this time!"

"June!" Wally says through heavy pants while still maintaining his routine. "Back… again… for round two?"

Avril turns right towards June, still hoping that she'd be the first one to speak up, but that happens to be Poppy instead. She floats towards Wally this time, buffing her chest and looking at him with a proud gaze.

June did want Avril to go first, after all - and given the blonde girl's relatively low confidence, Poppy's antics are fully justified. "Looks like… I may also give it a try, if that's alright."

"Give it a try, you say? You'll need more conviction if you want to get places, young one!" Norman catches up to that remark, and causes Avril to laugh nervously.

Wally does one more sit-up before standing up. "Oh! There's two of you now, huh?" He focuses on Avril while wiping sweat off his face. "What's your name?"

"Oh, I'm Avril. And that is Poppy!" She declares, pointing at the floating Fairy type, who lets out a giggle in response.

"Then welcome Avril!" Norman gleefully raises his voice, causing June to flinch. "My name is Norman, and while I am the official gym leader, you'll be battling my apprentice, Wally."

"A Flabébé…" Wally notes with a smirk. "I think I have an idea for who I want to send out!"

"But, before we begin, we need to know a few things." Norman crosses his arms, briefly making eye-contact with his apprentice before turning towards Avril and June. "How many badges do you have, and if any, what specifically?"

"Oh… well, I only got Brawly's badge. Sounds about right for someone like me…" Avril explains.

"There's no need to feel guilty!" Norman says, trying to cheer the girl up. "We all have to start somewhere- the Knuckle Badge is as good of a starting point as ever." June nods along in agreement.

"Yeah, Brawly has become such a push-over lately that he'll give a badge to anyone…" Wally remarks, getting a worried look from Avril in response.

"Wally!" The older man glares at his apprentice, giving him shivers. "There's no need to talk about your fellow gym leaders in such a way! Everyone has their own approach!" Norman turns back towards Avril, softening his expression. "Receiving the Knuckle Badge is as solid of an indicator of your growth as a Balance Badge."

"Sorry about that Master…" Wally scratches the back of his head. "But anyways, what format do you wanna go with, Avril? I'm really feeling singles right about now…"

So she's going first, uh? It's probably for the best anyways. "Uh… alright, singles it is!" It should be easier than doubles, at least on paper. “2 versus 2?” The girl asks, getting back a nod from both Wally and Norman.

With that settled, Wally and Avril create enough space for a battlefield, while June and Norman sit off to the sidelines. "Alright Avril, let me show you what I got!"

"To a reasonable extent, so she still has a chance of victory!" Norman speaks up.

"Y-yeah, of course." Wally nervously chuckles.

Poppy moves forward on the battlefield, after reaching out for a quick nudge on Avril’s cheek. On the opposite side, a Dunsparce comes out - or so says the girl’s Pokédex. It’s Wally’s Pokémon to act first, trying to charge up Ancient Power but missing the target, as Poppy twirls away in the air.

Things were not going so badly, but now it was time to see how much damage Poppy was capable of dishing out. “Ok… Magical Leaf!” Avril calls out, still quite nervous. This is no Brawly, unfortunately for her.

In the background, cheering is heard from June as she presses her face into her Pokegear, likely scanning the Pokémon.

“Water Pulse!” Wally calls out, as Dunsparce creates a water bubble right in front of her. This reduces the damage from Flabébé’s attack, but can also be used offensively right after. Avril looks at Poppy with worried eyes, as she manages to dodge the attack once again. But the point still stands, this is not going to be easy.

Case in point, the battle continues with Dunsparce still gaining momentum, forcing Poppy to dodge her attacks rather than hitting back - not too different from how Brawly’s Mantine was doing. And speaking of which…

History repeats itself in another way, too. Because when, eventually, Avril decides to take the risk and let Poppy get hit by a Water Pulse attack, she also gets confused. The girl can only hide her face behind her hands as her Pokémon starts to float around the battlefield mindlessly.

“That’s perfect, Persephone! Time to Coil up!” Wally commands, the enthusiasm getting a hold of him. What looks like an act of mercy for Avril is, actually, only going to make her loss quicker to achieve: Dunsparce is taking some time to focus, increasing her stats and her accuracy, while she’s left relatively undisturbed by Poppy.

“Snap out, please! Snap out!” Avril keeps calling, but to no effect - even when her Pokémon is able to cast out an attack like Fairy Wind, her opponent can dodge it without any trouble.

“Alright, that’s enough! Let’s Baton Pass, Persephone!” Wally calls out again, a new Pokéball already in his hand. Dunsparce happily complies, throwing what looks like an orb of energy in the air before returning safely inside her Pokéball. The orb is, instead, caught and absorbed by Wally’s second Pokémon.

“It’s your time to shine, Leon!” He cheers, as his Kecleon leaves his Pokéball and walks onto the battlefield. Avril scans the newcomer as well, but somewhat fails at making use of all the information that the Pokédex is providing her. Surely, very interesting stuff- but does she have the time to read it all now?

The answer is, obviously, no, because Kecleon briskly runs closer to Poppy and hits her from behind with a Shadow Sneak. Still having trouble reacting, the Fairy type is knocked down to the ground, to Avril’s dismay.

The girl looks around the battlefield as if she totally didn’t belong there. Her blank eyes cross June’s and Norman’s, then Wally’s, then focus on Poppy once again, who’s already on the receiving end of a Psybeam attack.

Just like with Brawly, she tries to keep her cool by reaching for her pendant and rattling it. Once again, she tries to remember all the good times that she and Poppy have spent together, this time also including those battles in Dewford, first against Marie and then against Brawly. Those were difficult times for her and her companion, but probably worth remembering anyways.

Her eyes are about to close and look away, when Poppy quickly lifts herself up with Fairy Wind, dodging the attack before recovering with Synthesis. Wally grins from across the field, complimenting the Pokémon.

“That was a great dodge, Flabébé! But you won’t be so lucky next time. Leon, use Shadow Sneak!”

Poppy is actually able to dodge that first attack, but gets caught off guard by the following one… which in this case is Lick. Too small to free herself, Poppy is caught effortlessly by Leon, who leaves her paralyzed on the ground. That’s not something that she can snap out of or heal off with her moves, that’s…

Avril looks at the battlefield with a resigned stare. Leon’s attacks are way too powerful for Poppy to take, and Baton Pass is definitely one of the reasons why… which means that even her other Pokémon will have trouble with it. Not to mention, Wally still has a Dunsparce in the back seat, ready to come out again. What has she got herself into?

It’s about that time again. “Uhh… Synthesis!” She calls out in a last ditch effort, but Poppy decides to use a different move. And so, as she’s knocked out by one last Shadow Sneak, a small comet starts spinning and twirling a couple meters above her motionless body. “Flabébé is unable to fight!”

“Time for your next Pokémon! I’m eager to see who you’ll send out next!” Wally eagerly cheers, but quickly switches to a dumbfounded expression as Avril leaves her place and walks on the battlefield towards Poppy, picking her up by hand.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t bring her Pokéball with me, I’ll be quick…” She whispers, trembling as Norman checks on her. Her mind is still too focused on her first partner to focus on the other Pokémon she can still send out, though… and so the choice ends up not being particularly reasonable. In Flabébé’s place, soon appears a pouting, hissing Mawile, who is seemingly left to her business as Avril still tries to lull her other Fairy type in her arms.

“Well, begin!” Norman belts out, and Wally wastes no time. “Now that you only have one Pokémon, Leon can show you his full power! Use Skill Swap!”

Avril’s command, in response, is… just a very quiet “Poppy, please… wake up!” which really doesn’t help things. And so, Venus takes it upon herself to Taunt the Kecleon - judging from Wally’s annoyed expression, it looks like the attack did work.

“Luck only gets you so far! Keep your focus Leon, Shadow Ball!” The Gym leader commands, all while Norman raises an eyebrow. “Avril, is everything ok?”

“I-I… Not q-quite…” Is all she mutters as she turns towards the older man and June, still trembling. In the meantime, Venus blocks the attack with Feint Attack and lunges forward for a Sucker Punch.

“Maybe it’s better if we end it here, girl!” Norman suggests - a very enticing perspective for the Kalosian girl, but… also a very disappointing one for Venus, who has likely started to take this fight personally, biting Leon right on the tail as she takes a point blank Shadow Ball. She hisses and grinds her teeth, just like in Dewford, letting everyone know that she means business… and that includes Avril, who is on the verge of tears by now. She has to keep fighting for Poppy as well, she has to stay focused…

Case in point, the small star circling around finally comes down, landing right onto Mawile and healing some of her battle wounds. “See, Avril? Even your other Pokémon wants you to continue. Just calm down and fight with Mawile.” Norman insists.

"Um, actually, I…" June, doing her best to look stern, speaks up, looking away from her device for the first time this battle. "I think If your Pokémon wish to keep battling but if you don't, you shouldn't push yourself. It's important to step away if you need to."

“W-well…” More than anything, that reminds Avril that June is indeed there, watching the battle, supporting her in times of need. And just like that, Avril can also help Venus out, working with her in order to win. She blushes and smiles towards the other girl, feeling at least a tiny bit more energized.

It takes Avril some time to get a hold of her Pokédex again. In fact, Venus and Leon can keep exchanging attacks in peace while that happens. But eventually, the girl issues a new command. “Uh… you’ll need to Fake Tears, quick!”

Venus understands. And so she backs up, showing her face soaked in tears, crying in pain. She keeps doing this for what seems an eternity, taking a few Shadow Ball and Psybeam attacks head on… even after Avril tells her it should be enough. After all, thanks to Persephone’s Baton Pass, it’s the physical attacks that really hurt.

Wally knows this as well, apparently, because at one point, he orders Leon to go for a Shadow Sneak. But when it happens…

Venus immediately grabs the opponent with her maw, keeping him locked in place as she charges up her best Fairy Wind in a good while. The particles pile up inside her second mouth, occasionally sneaking out, as Leon’s health slowly whittles away. Apparently - if she’s read the ability description correctly - Wally’s Pokémon has been turned into a Dark type by the previous Sucker Punch, which makes this Fairy Wind even more effective… crazy that Venus is giving her trainer all this time to read things.

At a certain point, the pressure is too much for Mawile’s maw to contain. As she lets go, Leon is sent flying right into the nearest wall, and the last impact knocks him out. Avril can barely keep her eyes open, but this time Norman has to declare that it’s one of Wally’s Pokémon to have fainted.

Her heart beat gets faster and faster as Persephone comes back out on the field, and some sinister memories come back to haunt her. What if she’s no better than all those soulless, merciless challengers that came to fight Valerie? What if her Pokémon, that she hoped would really become a friend, is just not compatible with her? Once again, she’s overwhelmed by doubt, leaving Venus on her own.

Not like it’s a problem for her. Now already quite hurt by Kecleon, all she wants is to end this one quickly as well, no matter what it takes. A chilling grinding of teeth can be heard as she quickly lunges at Dunsparce for a Feint Attack, dodging a Water Pulse in the meantime.

Persephone, at this point, is able to hit back with a Headbutt, lifting herself up from the ground slightly, before going for another Water Pulse. Venus, much like Poppy before, doesn’t seem to appreciate the attack and starts to act strange… but in this case, it’s just a lot more violent. “Venus… it’s all good, you don’t have to-”

Avril grimaces, both hands covering her mouth, as Mawile blindly swings her second mouth around, hissing loudly as she - somehow - struggles to keep her balance, but still manages to land some hits on her opponent. Persephone tries to charge up more attacks, like Ancient Power, but is never quite able to get enough time to ensure a perfect execution.

More Water Pulses and Feint Attacks are exchanged, and both Pokémon are clearly growing tired. Mawile seems to regain more control over herself as time goes on, gracefully dodging some attacks with Fairy Wind like she used to do against Glalie, but she still retains that fiery look and that blood-curdling determination to win.

All it takes at that point is for Dunsparce to lift herself up from the ground, with her little wings giving her just enough momentum for a quick Headbutt attack. Venus anticipates this with a Sucker Punch, getting once again her opponent locked into her maw, and at this point just proceeds to pummel Persephone into the ground over and over again. When she’s done with that, she’s left barely standing, but…

“Dunsparce is no longer able to fight! Avril wins the fight!”

The girl doesn’t cheer, but starts to cry again instead.

"Avril, are you alright!?" June yelps, hastily rushing up to Avril to check on her.

“J-June…” The girl replies, accepting her embrace. She’s definitely not alright.

“Ugh… You dare to beat me like this and now you cry about it?” Wally gets riled up. “You didn’t even do anything, you only let your Pokémon battle on their own! You got lucky that your Mawile knows what she’s doing, but you’re a terrible trainer yourself.”

He sighs. “And I even held back with you because you seemed so indecisive and anxious about it… I should’ve used my strongest team and taught you a lesson!”

Rather uncharacteristically, June's fist clenches. She seems as if she's about to yell, but is cut off by Norman. "Wally, that is not at all a way to talk to your challengers!"

“And you call her a challenger? She’s barely a trainer-” Mawile hisses as that last remark, before walking towards Avril and activating her own Pokéball - that the girl is still holding in her hand. She disappears like that, leaving just the four humans on the battlefield.

“Enough! I will agree that she needs to control her feelings during the battle, and that she has to bond with her Pokémon more, but she still knocked out two of your Pokémon by using two of her own. This means she’ll get the badge, the prize money, and the TM. Understood?” Norman sternly interrupts his apprentice. “I still trust Brawly to have some judgment, too, and she has his badge.”

"You trust Brawly's judgement?" Wally scoffs. "He's become a total softy and doesn't even put up a fight! He used to give a real beating to new trainers. Now look at him! He's a total joke!"

"Brawly has been a gym leader for decades, and more importantly than how he battles, he has the heart of a leader. That's what you need to work on."

"Don't listen to him." June grabs ahold of Avril's shoulder in an attempt to cheer her up. "The fact that you're aware of your mistakes puts you a step closer to improvement."

“June, my Pokémon is a monster too… how do I deal with that!?” Avril keeps crying. “No matter what Wally says.”

June looks at her with nothing but sympathy in her gaze. "Giving you advice should be the job of the gym leader…" She glances over to Wally initiating a shouting match, slightly furrowing her eyebrows at the man.

The blonde girl puts her hand on June’s shoulder, too. “Well… you’re also a good trainer. Maybe I can learn something from just watching your battle.” She blushes. “Best of luck, June… win for me too, alright?”

June's face flashes bright red, likely from both the comment and the physical contact. "O-o… y-yes, I'll be more than sure to!" With her balance thrown off, an attempt is made for her to stand up straight and face Wally.

"Ex-excuse me!" She raises her voice, prying Wally's attention away from his Master. "I… I would like a rematch battle!"




Paired with Ninetales and Fox 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge

Groc

Age 30
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 18 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
1,526 posts
10.8 Years
Edison Kintobor
Wednesday, September 23rd, morning
Petalburg City



A low, rhythmic buzzing wakes Ed from his sleep, especially as it sends tingles of gradually increasing intensity through his hand. He moves his hand, lightly stroking the alarm, and the buzzing stops as Neo leans into his hand.

After he'd learned of Neo's impeccable internal clock, Ed had asked them to wake him in the morning in lieu of setting an alarm. Neo had agreed, in their usual silent way, and Ed found the miniscule amount of electricity in the morning to be quite stimulating. He does five sit-ups before leaving his bed, moving on to five push-ups on the floor. From there, he stands and stretches.

He lifts his arms, bending his wrists at 90 degrees, palms up, making sure to keep each finger straight. He stretches his arms up, then out to the sides, and finally forward, palms up in front. Then, whilst maintaining the 90 degree angles, bends each finger. Thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky. Then, in reverse order, opens them back up. After holding for a moment, he lowers his arms, his exercise done. He then heads to the attached bathroom to shower and dress for the day.

After all that, he heads to the Pokémon Center café to find his friend, rival, and traveling companion waiting for him. Or rather, he finds her napping at one of the tables, her head in her arms and her breathing slow and regular.

"Good morning, Sunny." Ed sets a cup of coffee in front of her as he takes his seat. "I hope you weren't waiting long."

Sunny looks up at the sound of his voice, taking a second for her eyes to focus. She yawns loudly as she grabs the cup, taking a cautious sip as she blinks sleep from her eyes. "About time you showed up. We're gonna be late because of you."

"Nonsense! It's only 6:30, we have plenty of time." Ed adds a generous amount of milk to his own coffee. "Besides, it was your idea to go to the Gym so early, remember?"

Sunny grumbles incoherently as she sips at her unmodified drink. Ed knows she's not a morning person, but he's never understood how she could drink black coffee like that. It's too hot and bitter for his tastes, but she doesn't complain beyond the slight grimace as she drinks.

"You're staring, Eddie. Stop it."

"Sorry, just... thinking." Ed takes a quick sip of his coffee, setting it down. Still too hot.

Sunny yawns again, but looks more alert now. "Well, wake up, will ya? We've got a battle to win!"

Ed grins as he stands back up. "We won't be winning anything on an empty tank. Let's at least get some breakfast first. Something light so we're not sluggish. Some fruit? A few eggs, perhaps?"

"That does sound good..."

"Well, let's go, then. I'm not getting breakfast for myself, my Pokémon, and you."

Sunny sighs dramatically as she stands. "Truly, chivalry is dead. Fine, I'll do it myself."

They grab plates and head to the breakfast buffet, setting out bowls for their teams as well. Breakfast is a quick affair, but an enjoyable one. Addie quickly devours his food, so Ed shares some sausage links from his own plate with the little Munchlax.

Afterwards, Sunny sighs in content, but wastes no time sitting around. "You were right, that was good. Now let's go!"

"But, my coffee just reached the perfect temperature..." Ed complains, but returns his team to their Poké Balls anyway.

"Who cares? We gotta go!" Sunny shoulders her bag as she returns her own team.

Ed sighs, quickly gulping down his drink. He'd have preferred to enjoy it for longer, but Sunny is already hauling him to his feet, impatient as ever. He grabs his satchel and heads for the door, and the two make their way to the Gym.

☆☆Later!☆☆

Leader Norman might not accept challenges until 8 AM, but the Gym itself has been open for hours. Back at class, there had been a misconception that Gyms were places Trainers went to challenge Leaders and obtain badges, but Ed has noticed that Pokémon Gyms aren't too different from human gyms: a place to work out, to train, to improve one's self and Pokémon and to bond with other like-minded individuals.

Ed is watching a trainer run her Zigzagoon through an obstacle course when he hears someone approach behind him.

"Hello there! I've never seen you around here before, so you must be new!" An older gentleman dressed in a red and black tracksuit offers Ed his hand. "My name is Norman, and I make it a habit to meet everyone who comes to my Gym."

Norman? The Gym Leader? What luck! Ed shakes Norman's hand, noting the strength behind the handshake. Despite his warm smile and fatherly appearance, there's still a hard edge to the old Leader.

"A pleasure to meet you, sir. My name is Edison, and I'm actually here to battle you. I made an appointment."

Norman nods, looking over Ed with a more critical eye. "Straight to business then, I see. I can respect that. Follow me. I conduct my battles in the back room."

Norman leads Ed and Sunny past the training area, where a sliding door leads to a simple dojo. A young boy kneels on one of the mats, brushing a Linoone. He looks up in surprise as the door opens. "Oh, Norman-sensei! Is it time for your 8 o'clock already?"

His voice surprises Ed, who looks closer as the boy stands up. Although he's about a foot shorter than Ed, his small frame belies how fit he is. His voice is a higher pitch, but the quiet strength behind it tells that he's not a child, just a small adult.

Norman nods to the man, taking a stand in the center of the mat. "Challenger Edison, this will be an official Gym Battle, but you will not be facing me. Instead, you'll be facing Wally, my protégé, and Petalburg's next Gym Leader!"

Wally bows slightly as he stands on one side of the challenge mat. "I'm honored to stand in for Master Norman. I hope I don't disappoint him..."

Norman loudly clears his throat as he looks at Wally, a small frown on his face.

"Wait, did I say that out loud?!" Wally reacts in shock. Norman just sighs as he steps back.

"Is this a joke?" Sunny scoffs as Ed takes his place. "You got this in the bag, Eddie!"

"I assure you, it's no joke." Norman turns his gaze to Sunny, causing her to flinch and instinctively glare at him, standing her ground. His eyes soften as he smiles and gestures to the mats beside him. "Why don't you have a seat over here? I'll be the referee, so this is the best spot to see the whole battle."

Ed nods to her, and Sunny reluctantly complies. She grabs his shoulders as she passes behind him, giving him a little shake. "Good luck! You got this."

His composure literally shaken, Ed grins apologetically at Wally. Wally stifles a laugh, apparently much less nervous now. "This is an official battle, but let's try to have fun, okay? Now... show me the skills you've acquired as a trainer!"

"And in what format will this battle be, Leader Wally?" Norman faces ahead stoicly, not looking at Wally.

"Oh, right! Uh... Challenger Edison, you are allowed two to four Pokémon, in either single or double battle style. I'll match your number of Pokémon."

Ed puts a hand to his chin as he considers his options. This isn't what he expected, but after Brawly, he was starting to learn that Gym Leaders are an eclectic and unknown variable. They're human, with their own quirks and personalities, but the one constant is that they've earned their titles. If he brings anything less than his best, he's all but guaranteed a loss. He'll need to use everything at his disposal to stand a chance. Of course, the more Pokémon he uses, the more Wally uses as well, so he might have to risk a smaller team to limit the Leader's strength. But if he does that...

Sunny groans in annoyance. "We're waiting out here, Eddie! Snap out of it!"

Ed looks up, jolted from his thoughts. "More Pokémon means more moves being showcased!" He blurts out the last thing on his mind. "I mean... I'll use four Pokémon. Two on two doubles format."

"Four Pokémon double battle. Right!" Wally grabs two Poké Balls.

"Sorry about that." Sunny apologizes to Norman. "He needs a bit of help getting out of his own head sometimes, you know?"

"Hm." Norman nods once, glancing at Wally. "Challenger Edison vs Leader Wally! Select your first two Pokémon! Battle... begin!"

"I choose N.D. and Aster!" Ed tosses two Poké Balls, sending out Magnemite and Staryu.

"Let's go! Indy and DeeDee!" Wally sends out a pair of Indeedee, one male and the other female. They pop out a few feet above the ground, and the female poses cutely before landing. The male instead opts for a superhero landing, punching the ground as he touches down. Psychic energy surges outward from him, warping and distorting the air as the room takes on a faint violet hue.

"Fascinating..." Ed has heard of techniques that can reshape the land to a Pokémon’s liking, apparently Indy can do so with his Ability. He thinks back to what he knows of such Terrain moves, although it's been a while.

"N.D., set up a Light Screen! Aster, use Confuse Ray on the female!" At the same time, Wally calls out commands to his team. "DeeDee, give Indy a Helping Hand with his Mystic Fire!"

DeeDee grabs Indy's hand, sharing her energy with him as Aster's core lights up, the eerie light washing over her. She looks right at Aster, smiling and sticking her tongue out at them.

"DeeDee's Ability makes her immune to confusion, so I wouldn't try that again." Wally shrugs.

Meanwhile, Indy traces a finger through the air, leaving a flaming circle behind. He takes a deep breath, drawing in his power as well as DeeDee's, and breathes out a thin line of fire. As it passes through the ring, small tongues of flame reach off of the ring and feed into the thin line, growing it into a powerful stream of fire that washes over Neo.

Too late, Neo throws up a barrier to block the fire, but the damage has been done. Neo buzzes weakly, leaving Ed and Sunny shocked at Indy's strength.

"Not good..." Ed looks at the Indeedee pair, completely unharmed, while Neo is running on fumes. To make matters worse, their weapons were scorched by the fire, weakening their offensive ability.

"We need to shut down the male! Aster, Confuse Ray! N.D., Thunder Wave!"

"DeeDee, Ally Switch with Indy while he uses Mystic Fire again!"

Aster shines their light on Indy, but with a flash of purple light and a soft *pop*, DeeDee teleports herself to his location and him to hers. She ignores the light entirely, while Indy unleashes more fire at Neo. Even with the shield and without DeeDee's help, the flame is strong enough to knock out Neo before they can charge up a Thunder Wave.

"Magnemite is unable to battle!" Norman calls out. "Challenger Edison, send in your next Pokémon."

"I told you you shouldn't try that again. My team is too strong to be taken out by cheap tricks." Wally isn't smug about it. In fact, he looks more serious than Ed has seen him thus far.

Norman frowns, looking at Wally sternly. "Or perhaps your own tricks have merely countered his own. Slow down, Wally. The point is not to win, but to test and train the challenger's skills."

"Huh? Oh, sorry, sensei. I forgot..." Wally looks at the floor in shame.

"Wait, are you telling him to go easy on us?" Sunny glares up at Norman. He doesn't glare back, but his stern expression stays.

"Of course not. But a Gym Leader is not an obstacle blocking your path, they are a teacher trying to teach a lesson. But what kind of lesson would it be if Wally simply overwhelmed Edison’s team with brute force? What will he learn if he is not given a chance?"

Through all of this, Ed's mind was racing. Wally had called his moves "cheap tricks", but Ed won't be dissuaded. No, Wally had merely shown him that he needs to step up his game if he's going to get any kind of advantage here. If Wally thinks his tricks are cheap, he'll have to introduce him to a real Prankster.

"Gremlin, let's take things up a notch!" He calls out his Sableye, who cackles at the distortion effect caused by the Psychic Terrain, not impressed.

"A Dark type!" Wally looks to his Pokémon, who look back at him fearfully.

"I get it!" Sunny smirks at Norman. "Because the terrain boosts Psychic power, but Dark types are immune to Psychic attacks."

"That is accurate." Norman responds, watching Ed. "But are you certain that is all Psychic Terrain does?"

"Gremlin, strike fast! Aster, use Water Gun!"

"DeeDee, swap with Indy! Use Magical Leaf on Staryu!"

Gremlin rushes in, leaping at Indy. DeeDee teleports in to take the hit, but Gremlin dives right past her. Sinking into her shadow, her claw rises up to swipe at DeeDee in a Fake Out. Surprisingly, waves of distortion obscure her feet, causing Gremlin to miss. Gremlin hisses in displeasure as she rises from Ed's shadow.

Before Sunny can even ask, Norman explains the situation. "Another effect of Psychic Terrain is to grant foresight to those who invoke it, or their allies. Whenever an opponent uses a high speed technique like Fake Out, the terrain itself protects the user."

Meanwhile, Aster fires a stream of water from his top limb, finally dealing some damage to DeeDee. Indy waves his hands like a conductor, conjuring a trio of razor sharp leaves that follow the movements of his hands. Neo's Light Screen reduces their power, but the leaves still hurt as they hit Aster.

"Aster, Confuse Ray on the female! Gremlin, use Confuse Ray on the male! You can't protect against both of them!"

Wally seems to realize this as well. "Indy, use Protect! Let DeeDee handle Staryu with Terrain Pulse!"

Gremlin and Aster shine their eerie light on the Indeedee pair, but Indy's shield and DeeDee's Ability protect them from the effects. Waves of distortion gather in DeeDee's hands, converting into a beam of violet energy that she fires at Aster. The Light Screen flares as the beam strikes it, reducing the damage dealt, but the beam was already brighter and stronger than the Hyper Beam Addie accidentally used back on Slateport Beach. Aster is blasted back, struggling to stand back up as their core flashes in distress.

"I... I'm not familiar with that technique..." Ed looks at DeeDee warily. He'd been assuming the male was the more dangerous of the pair, but if the female had a technique like that in her arsenal...

"Eddie, what gives?" Sunny calls out from the sidelines. "You're the one who's always going on about all these different moves and stuff, why are you only using the same trick over and over?"

"In my defense, my opponents have never resisted it this hard before! The male used Protect! Have you ever seen someone Protect against Confuse Ray before?"

Wally looks like he's about to issue more commands, but Norman raises a hand, telling him to hold. Wally nods, watching the two teenagers talk it out.

"You don't have any other attacks?"

"Well... not that would be helpful here. They resist or are immune to anything Gremlin throws at them, and Aster is barely standing! I could ask them to Recover, but those two did this much damage with two attacks! I was thinking that if I could at least put the male out of commission, I could focus on the female, but you saw that blast!"

"So, what? You quit?"

"No! Well... maybe..." Ed looks at his Pokémon. Aster stands up straighter, as though they aren't about to collapse. Gremlin snarls menacingly, daring Ed to pull her away from this fight. "My Pokémon say no. But I'm not sure I can win this."

"You can!" Wally speaks up suddenly, surprising everyone. "I know I came on a little strong, and I may have been a bit harsh, but that's no reason to quit! I know I'm not a very good Gym Leader, but please, listen to me. I once stood where you stood, unsure of myself, doubting I had what it takes to succeed. But I kept at it! With help from my friends, and advice from Master Norman, I made it all the way to the top! Your Pokémon believe in you, and you have to believe in them! Together, you can fulfill your dream! You can be a Champion, you can make it to the Hall of Fame!"

He breathes heavily, apparently drained from his heartfelt speech. Norman looks at him in concern, Sunny looks at him in awe...

And Ed looks at him in confusion.

"Hall of Fame? My dream isn't to be Champion."

"W-wait, what?" Wally is surprised, taking a step back in shock.

"Yeah. I don't even care about Badges, really. I'm more interested in Pokémon techniques and Abilities, and finding practical ways to apply them. Discovering new moves, or figuring out interesting ways to use old ones. The whole Badge journey thing is more a means to travel the country and meet new Pokémon."

Everyone's staring at Ed now, until Wally cries out in despair. "AAAAHH! I really blew it this time! I'm supposed to be a wise and inspirational Gym Leader, and I made it all about me! I'm so sorry, Master!"

Norman is at a loss for words. "Calm down, Wally, please! It's fine, honestly!"

"What the hell is happening right now?" Sunny can only watch as whatever respect she'd gained for Wally crumbles before her eyes.

Ed shakes his head, grabbing Aster's Poké Ball. "Really, it's fine. I apologize for bringing it up. How about we continue the match? I'll declare Aster unable to battle, and we'll pick up with Gremlin and Addie against your two Indeedee. That seems logical, wouldn't you agree?"

Wally takes a few calming breaths, trying to regain his composure. "Are... are you sure? This puts you at a disadvantage."

"I was already at a disadvantage." Ed shrugs, returning Aster. "But now, both the Psychic Terrain and the Light Screen have faded, so we're on an even playing field, at least. Like you said before... let's try to have fun, right?"

"Heh... right." Wally nods, looking to Norman. Norman meets his eyes, then smiles slightly.

"Right. Fun. Staryu is unable to battle. Challenger Edison, send out your final Pokémon!"

Ed sends out Addie, the Munchlax immediately running over to hug his leg. Ed smiles at him, scratching behind his ears. "Make me proud, Addie. Like you always do."

"Okay, DeeDee! Use Helping Hand while Indy uses Mystic Fire!" The two set up the combo, but Ed had time to plan and anticipated something like this.

"Try to Detect it, Gremlin! Addie, start Stockpiling!"

Gremlin grins as she reads Indy's mind, able to predict his attack and dodge the flames with minimal effort. Addie focuses within, drawing in energy to protect himself.

"Alright then, use Draining Kiss on Sableye, DeeDee! Indy, use Psybeam on Munchlax." Indy unleashes his mental energy on Addie, while DeeDee moves in towards Gremlin. Gremlin tries to push her away, but DeeDee just grabs her hands and kisses her firmly on the cheek. Gremlin's eyes go wide as she feels her essence being drained.

"Don't let her get away with that!" Gremlin Sweeps DeeDee's leg out from under her, pushing the Psychic type to the floor. DeeDee makes a kissy face at her, to Gremlin's disgust, but stops when Addie Bites down on her arm. She shrieks in pain and surprise, hurrying back to Indy.

"He knows your weakness! Helping Hand and Psybeam, take out Munchlax!" Wally orders, his old League instincts kicking in.

"Confuse Ray on the male! Addie, Stockpile for more protection!" Gremlin's eyes light up, and with DeeDee holding Indy's hand to boost his attack, she can't swap places to protect him. Indy's hands shake as he gathers his energy, failing to properly harness it, resulting in a psychic backlash that knocks him to the floor. Addie draws in more energy, a faint silvery aura surrounding him.

"Good one." Wally reluctantly admits. "We'll have to divide and conquer. Mystic Fire and Draining Kiss, both at Munchlax!"

"Addie, time for Metronome! Gremlin, slow down the female!" Ed meant for her to use Low Sweep, but Gremlin sees Indy successfully draw the circle, and DeeDee start heading towards Addie, and uses Detect instead.

Reading their minds, she knows exactly how they'll attack, and how to dodge them. But she doesn't dodge. She sinks into the floor, rising from DeeDee's shadow and pulling her into a kiss. Surprised, DeeDee drains energy from Gremlin instead. It hurts, but Gremlin drops into her shadow, rising in front of Addie as he starts hypnotizing himself. She grins at him the Indy breathes fire, throwing her arms out to block as much of the attack as she can. The flames wash over her, and she grits her teeth as she takes the brunt of the attack, sparing Addie from the pain.

Gremlin grins at Addie, then falls to the ground as the Metronome energy forms into a bone in his hands. Addie throws the bone at Indy, striking him in the chest. Another bone forms, and again Addie throws it. Again it hits Indy, and another forms. And another, and another after that, as Bone Rush provides Addie with five solid hits to the male Indeedee.

"Sableye is unable to battle! Challenger Edison is down to his last Pokémon!"

"Gremlin, what were you thinking?" Ed recalls her to her ball, frowning in concern. Why would she sacrifice herself like that? "Addie, it's down to just you. If you can at least take out the male, we can at least count this as a partial victory."

"DeeDee, use Heal Pulse on Indy!" With one technique, DeeDee undoes most, if not all, of the damage Addie had dealt with his Metronome attack.

Addie frowns at Ed, clearly angry about that. "I agree, Addie." Addie raises his hands, extending a finger on each of them in a very rude gesture that Ed is certain he didn't teach him. He'll have to have a word with Gremlin later.

For now, he simply recalls Addie to his ball. "I know when I've been beaten. It was a long shot from the start. Good match."

Norman nods, looking a bit sad, but also respecting Ed's decision. "Challenger Edison is out of usable Pokémon! Leader Wally wins!"

"Oh. I won?" Wally is surprised, but recalls his Pokémon. "I mean... good match, Edison! If I were to give you advice, uh... try to diversify? Your team was shut down pretty hard by one technique. Maybe teach them some new tricks so that doesn't happen again?"

Ed bows his head respectfully, although as far as advice goes it isn't great. It wasn't just one technique, your Indeedee pair were tailor made to counter my whole team!

"Thank you, I'll take that under advisement." Edison bows his head to Norman as well. "Thank you for the opportunity, Leader Norman. I'll go heal my Pokémon, now."

Norman shakes his head, smiling at Ed. "You did well. Wally will need to heal his team as well, to be ready for our 8:30 appointment. But, since she's already here, I'll let you both use my private healing reserves. No sense making your friend wait, is there?"

"Uh, no, I guess not. Thank you, sir." Ed and Wally follow Norman, leaving Sunny to wait for their return.

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 27
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Online now
Posted 1 Week Ago
11,368 posts
16.8 Years

AGE: 17 ⟡ PRONOUNS: she/her ⟡ HOME REGION: Johto
DATE: Wednesday, September 23 ⟡ TIME: Afternoon
LOCATION: Petalburg City

Chapter 3 #04 - Problems

It occurs to Marie once again that she doesn't actually have a way to find or contact Edison, and it seems silly to think that she'll just happen to run into him in the middle of a big city. That only happens to romantic leads in fiction. Even both of them taking part in the gym challenge doesn't mean their schedules will line up in any way, so she can't just hang around gyms and hope he'll show up. He could be ahead of her already, even- gym leader Norman was taking challengers this morning, after all. Edison could have had his battle and moved on all before she rolled out of bed.

Marie pays for an orange-tinted smoothie and slurps daintily as she meanders through the charming streets of Petalburg. She supposes she could make an attempt to contact Sunny through social media. But yesterday- she’d pushed too far, hadn’t she? She’d just wanted to rile the girl up, flirt with Edison a bit, have a little fun. But Miss Sunny Dey hadn’t seen it the same way. Miss Sunny Dey had blown up, stormed off, cut their nice afternoon short. Taken Edison away from her too, which Marie still finds annoying. That’s her friend too, Sunny has no claim over him! And she’d left poor Natsuko behind. Marie grins to herself thinking of that, though, because Natsuko proved to be fun as well. She’d been somewhat background to Marie’s focus on Edison and Sunny, but at the end of the day there- yes, Marie has decided she would like to spend more time with Natsuko.

It’s a good thing she added her on Insta right away.

Marie stops in the shade of a building to scroll through Natsuko’s page. Photography is clearly her passion- there’s not a bad photo among them, even though a fair few are snapshots of memories and friends rather than a posed or carefully crafted shot. A few photos from yesterday make an appearance- Edison with his hand in Pokie’s mouth makes her grin, but ultimately just reminds her of another problem.

She has Pokémon.

Tuie, she knows what to do with Tuie. She's known Tuie for a long time, and spent so much time taking care of Natu with her great-aunt. Tuie is easy, especially since as an individual she's pretty docile and easy to transport. A good choice of companion.

But then Marie caught a fish.

Stunnie is playful, irritating, disobedient, and of a species Marie knows nothing about. He can't walk with her, and she wouldn't trust him to do so if he could. She can carry him, but as he's proven already- he shocks her randomly and wiggles his way to freedom when he decides he's bored and becomes a danger to all passersby. He tucks himself neatly into any sand patch he can find and gloats at the surprise of anything coming near him. He's a hindrance in day-to-day activities.

But he's the best at fighting, because her third… well.

Cutie was non-existent before Marie and Edison found him. And he went from nothing, to a baby, to a giant baby in less than a day! He's sweet and loving and listens well but he's also… slow, easily distracted, can't always hear her, and extremely tall. That obviously restricts his access to buildings, so he's not an ideal city companion. Marie frowns. Cutie should have stayed an Exeggcute longer and been allowed to experience more of the world. His size restricts him from so much. She can work on his coordination and attention span though. Yes, that will help. That will improve his speed to the point where he can keep pace with her; it's mostly distraction that's the current problem.

Unlike her newest catch.

Pokie is cute. Pokie is so cute. Pokie is also half her weight and by very nature, extremely slow physically and mentally. Marie can't carry him and he can't walk with her and really, she's not entirely sure what to do with him.

"Excuse me… are you okay?"

The soft voice at her elbow makes her jump and fumble her phone and time seems to slow as she watches it twist screen-down and aim for the one sharp rock at her feet. But her unexpected companion is much quicker than she, and nabs the device before Marie can roll out the several curses waiting on the tip of her tongue.

"Aha! That was close," the man says cheerily, offering her phone. Marie murmurs a "thank you" as she takes him in properly. Thick verdant hair pulled back in a short ponytail at the base of his neck, storm-colored eyes, soft features graced by flawless pale skin and an obvious strength and confidence projected onto a small stature.

All told, very cute.

"You seemed like you were spacing out. Are you okay?" the man repeats.

Marie's rather blank mind only comes out with: "I was thinking about my Slowpoke."

"Oh."

Silence ensues. The man's brow furrows and he opens and closes his mouth a few times, as if trying to find the correct way to use that information. "Do… do you want to come inside?" he finally decides on, which Marie is absolutely baffled by.

"Do you normally invite people in off the street?"

"...Yes?"

"Why?"

"What?"

"I- I don't do that," Marie flounders. She feels like she's missing something- this man so casually just inviting her into his home just because she was standing outside. She hadn't even looked at the building, she had just been looking for some momentary shade, and now-

"It's not weird," he insists, but a flash of worry crosses his face. "Is it?"

"Um. It's fine if you're fine with it, I suppose."

He nods, all seriousness. "Okay." And pushes open the building's side door.

Marie laughs as everything clicks into place. "Oh, is this the gym?"

"I thought-" the green-haired man covers his face with slender hands. "I thought you knew that, oh, no wonder that conversation was so weird, I'm so sorry-"

"No, no, it's fine, I should have known! I just wasn't paying attention to where I was." And now she's at the gym. Definitely not where she intended to be today. But then again, she'd have to come sometime. "Is the gym leader here?"

The man perks up again. "Oh, you're a challenger? Do you want to battle him?"

"Um…" Does she? She's very clearly unprepared for such a thing. "No, I think… maybe I should train?"

The man tilts his head to the side. "Why is that a question?"

"I've just, um. Never done that before. Well, not in a gym. And not much otherwise either."

“But you’re a trainer!”

“Yes, well, not a very good one apparently,” Marie huffs. The man winces.

“Sorry, I… hm.” He pauses, tapping his fingers together in thought. “I should ask where you are in your journey.”

“Why do you need to know that?” She knows she’s on the defensive, but it always stings to be reminded that she’s not up to par.

“So I can help you, of course. Oh! I’m sorry, I never introduced myself. My name is Wally Greene; I’m one of the senior gym trainers here at the Petalburg Gym.” Wally bows, deeper than he probably should, and Marie returns the gesture.

“Marie Rachelle Mocinno,” she responds automatically. “You… want to help me?”

“Of course!” Wally’s enthusiastic grin makes him look much younger than he must actually be. “That’s my job, right? Helping people understand and work with their Pokémon.”

Marie knows this, of course. She knows what gym trainers are meant to do, but she’s never really considered that she herself was included in “people”. She hadn’t done more at Benji’s gym than show up, get trounced, and leave. Brawly’s gym hadn’t had much in the way of gym trainers, unless one counted the Alexes, who may not have been as helpful as Marie first thought they were. But here, at Petalburg, she can glance around even this medium-sized training room and see a fair amount of people coaching others and their Pokémon, through obstacle courses and in various moves. These are gym trainers at work, and here she is being offered individual help by one of the most senior of them.

“Um, I guess… how do we start?”


Spoiler: Team
Pokémon On Hand
Tuie ⟡ Natu ⟡ Female ⟡ LV 23 ⟡ Magic Bounce ⟡
Peck // Teleport // Stored Power // Cosmic Power // Ominous Wind // Confuse Ray
Stunnie ⟡ Stunfisk ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 24 ⟡ Static ⟡
Revenge // Mud Shot // Thundershock // Tackle // Water Gun // Mud Sport // Charge
Cutie ⟡ Alolan Exeggutor ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 20 ⟡ Frisk ⟡
Bullet Seed // Hypnosis // Reflect // Leech Seed // Dragon Hammer // Barrage
Pokie ⟡ Slowpoke ⟡ Male ⟡ LV 15 ⟡ Own Tempo ⟡
Disable // Confusion // Yawn // Water Gun // Growl // Curse
Spoiler: Inventory
Trainers' License [registered in Johto and Hoenn] ⟡
$19,500 ⟡
Knuckle Badge ⟡
Empty PokéBalls x 3 ⟡

Sunscreen ⟡
Berry-Print Bikini ⟡
Beach Towel ⟡
Oversized Sunglasses ⟡
Large But Lightweight Backpack ⟡
Rechargeable Battery ⟡
Variety Of Necessary But Uninteresting Things ⟡
Variety Of Interesting But Unnecessary Things ⟡
A Gift ⟡
Spoiler: Contacts
Dad ⟡
Mom ⟡
Brothers #1, #2, and #3 ⟡
Brawly ⟡
Edison ⟡
Natsuko (via insta) ⟡
Sunny (via twitter) ⟡
Van ⟡

WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Sophie
Location: Contest Hall, Dewford Town
Pokemon at hand :
Thursday, September 24th

Chapter 3 - 6
Bloom, Thorny Rose!
Part 3

“I certainly didn’t expect this to happen at all. I won’t pull any punches, though.” Alice spoke with a serious tone.

Sophie only nodded slightly as she tried to keep her nerves in check. Unlike the more enthusiastic Alice, she was more cautious about the situation. She had used almost her entire free time yesterday to perfect the performance for the final round of the contest, yet everything might be gone in less than five minutes unless she managed to pull a victory against Alice.

Sophie had no basis to judge how capable Alice was other than the first-round performance, but she had a gut feeling that somehow she would regret the fact that she barely put any time on the second-round training due to time restraints. However, it didn’t mean that she came there without any preparation.

While she waited for the next round, she had studied about both Larvesta and Meditite. It wasn’t anything much, but it was a solid foundation for her on how to act in certain situations if it happened.

Also, Larvesta was a Pokemon Sophie was familiar with. After all, there were some of her acquaintances that had them in their possession. It was a rare Pokemon with a powerful battling and contest potential, which made them one of the top Pokemon choices for high-end socialites with deep wallets.

As the commentator started the battle, the crowd started to cheer loudly for both of the contestants as the timer for the battle started to tick down.

“Sol, Flamethrower!” Alice’s Larvesta spouted a powerful stream of flame towards both Aurora and Garnet.

“Huh!? Water Gun!”

Sophie’s split-second hesitation caused both of her Pokemon to be the victim of the Fire-type move. Her quick research result from earlier didn’t show any indication of Sol learning Flamethrower naturally. However, she knew that she had no one else to blame other than herself for her misjudgment.

With one step taken towards the jaws of defeat, Sophie decided to take her chances.

“Aurora, Snow Warning!”

Aurora roared loudly as a white orb was conjured above the battlefield as the temperature surrounding us sharply dropped at an alarming speed. Allowing a swirling white cloud to loom over the battlefield as snow and ice particles fell down from it.

Sophie was saving the ability until the end for the final performance due to how taxing it was for Aurora to spam the ability in one day, but there would be no use for it if she didn’t win now.

“A great attempt, but unfortunately it won’t matter in the end. Sol! Tomoe!”

Flames started to erupt from Sol’s horns, allowing it to float in the air which caused the crowd to erupt in amazement. Alongside the floating Tomoe, it mounted an offensive against both Garnet and Aurora.

“Water Pulse! Aurora Beam!”

Sophie launched a combination attack but both of Alice’s Pokemon managed to maneuver their way out of harm’s way as a huge chunk of ice formed in the middle of the stage.

The battle raged on as the crowd continued to roar in excitement, and not long after the battle devolved into a separate one-on-one match between Sol against Garnet and Tomoe against Aurora.

On paper, Sophie should’ve had the upper hand since her two Pokemon had a type advantage over their respective adversaries, but she was unable to capitalize because of her inexperience. Focusing and directing two separate battles at the same time was too much for her to handle. Meanwhile, Alice looked so effortless in coordinating her Pokemon as both Sol and Tomoe pressured their opponents.

But even when the situation was turning bleak, giving up was the last thing Sophie wanted to do. She had promised both Callie and Arthur on separate occasions that she would give it her all, and surrendering was definitely not it.

Sophie frowned as she stole a glance at the timer. There was not much time left to turn the things around, it was a go big or go home situation.

So, Sophie went for it the only way she could as she ordered Garnet and Aurora to regroup. Stubbornly attempting to stick with the current situation didn’t look like the play to do, yet she didn’t realize the grave error she committed by calling her Pokemon back.

Just as her Pokemon attempted to fall back, Aurora suddenly fell as if she accidentally slipped because of the ice which opened her up for a Fire Punch from Meditite. However, her trainer quickly realized that it was not the case.

A thin thread wrapped around her leg was the culprit. The thread managed to blend with snow and Aurora’s skin so seamlessly that not even Sophie realized it.

“...Finally. I thought you would never try to regroup. Time to wrap everything up.”

Alice’s change of tone sent down chills down Sophie’s spine. She figured that everything was over at that point, but maybe… Just maybe… Alice would somehow make a mistake and open up a chance for her to retaliate.

Sadly, that window of opportunity never came.

Sol used String Shot once more to release a more powerful thread ensnaring Aurora’s body while Tomoe kept Garnet busy using Confusion and Detect. The horn around Sol’s body then blared out powerful bursts of flames from each of them as Sol propelled himself forward as it took a big swing, sending Aurora crashing against the huge chunk of ice.

One more powerful Flamethrower coming from Sol for good measure and it was all over for Aurora.

Garnet didn’t do so well after its partner was out of commission. It couldn’t run out the clock as the Recover spam it did to stay in the fight was not enough to turn the tides against Alice's Pokemon.

And so the curtain fell for Sophie’s first contest experience. She was glad that she had tried her best, but the fact that she didn’t manage to at least reach the third round was something she considered disappointing.

The path of being a successful trainer was much steeper than she initially thought.
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WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Sophie
Location: Contest Hall, Dewford Town
Pokemon at hand :
Thursday, September 24th

Chapter 3 - 7
Bloom, Thorny Rose!
Part 4

The contest was finally over, everyone stood up from their seats and left the building one by one. Backstage, the atmosphere turned out much lighter than during the competition, some felt disappointed about how their endeavor turned out but most of them were happy enough with how they performed.

Meanwhile, Sophie was sitting in her wheelchair with her head hung down.

She knew that she shouldn’t feel too down considering she only spent two days preparing her very first contest, a fact that she tried her best using to cheer up herself. But losing still hurts, perhaps even more than when she lost against Benji, especially since she didn’t prepare much against the Slateport Gym Leader compared to this contest.

She couldn’t imagine how bad Arthur had it considering the fact he had spent a lot of his time doing formal education and still had to suffer consecutive losses against gym leaders.

Sophie took a deep breath. She shouldn’t feel down in the dumps, she was just getting started. And so she wiped the tears from both of her eyes and went straight for the exit to meet with Callie.

“Hey, are you okay?”

The voice stopped her from taking another move forward, it was coming from Alice. As she held her ribbon case with her newly gained ribbon inside, the girl in red approached Sophie with concern in her eyes.

“Do I look like I'm remotely okay to you?” Sophie spoke out with a sarcastic tone, it was her attempt to joke around in an effort to lighten up the mood—

“...Sorry.”

—But Alice didn’t seem to understand that she was only joking. Sophie’s eyes widened hearing the weak answer coming from her new friend’s mouth. Her attempt to joke around and lighten the mood had backfired spectacularly.

“For what? There’s nothing you should be sorry about.” Sophie giggled to lighten up the situation.

Alice was unable to answer the question and averted

“Hey, congratulations on the win. You had a really great performance out there.”

Alice weakly nodded without answering Sophie's attempt to cheer her up. Her expression painted on her face was a somber one and Sophie didn’t like it, not at all. She was feeling bad about Alice especially since Alice was the one who tried to cheer her up in the first place.

It wasn’t something she was used to doing, but Sophie decided to give Alice a hug to ease her feelings.

“I’m okay, there’s nothing to worry about,” Sophie reassured her new friend.

“Thanks, it’s just that… Well… Never mind…”

Sophie had a feeling that whatever the baggage that Alice had, her joke was the trigger that evoked Alice’s sadness. She could only lament the fact that she should’ve been more careful, if she did, they wouldn't be stuck in this situation.

In the middle of the hug, her Holotch started to ring several times.

Sophie glanced at the screen to find out that it was an incoming call from Callie. Sophie figured that perhaps she was taking too long to meet her at the front entrance.

"You have someone waiting, huh? Go on, you should go first."

"But…"

"I'll be fine, trust me." Alice smiled weakly.

Sophie was hesitant, she felt that she couldn't leave Alice alone as she was the one who was responsible for her current state. Moreover, she couldn’t trust Alice’s words, especially since she also used to do the same thing. However, she didn't have much of a choice. If she stayed there, she might upset Alice, and upsetting her was the last thing Sophie wanted to do. And so she decided to do the next best thing she had in her mind.

"Hey, wanna exchange contacts? You know, it'll be nice to have someone to talk with."

"You sure about this?"

"Of course, I mean you are my friend."

Sophie's remark raised Alice's eyebrows. The latter's expression immediately softened as the warm smile she gave when she encouraged Sophie finally found its way back to her.

"Thanks."

Both of them exchanged contacts before bidding farewell to each other. Sophie wished that they would be able to meet each other again down the road, hopefully in a more cheerful atmosphere.
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WizardOfOdd

Kirbmeister

Age 20
Male
Workshop of Dreams
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
1,448 posts
1.8 Years

Arthur Weissmann
Location: Southern Pokemon Center, Slateport City
Pokemon at hand :
Wednesday, September 23rd


Chapter 3 - 4
Turning Point
Part 1

“T-there’s no need to say all of that you know? I just did what any other sister would do for her sibling, no need to make that big of a fuss.”

Elaine tried her best to keep her composure in check as she tried to stop the waves of praise her brother had showered her with. Her face was turning flushed red like a ripe tomato due to how embarrassed she was with how Arthur talked about him.

It was pretty easy to tell that at the moment that Elaine was very embarrassed about what his brother said. Her face was red with embarrassment as Arthur gushed about her sister with Vincent grinning ear to ear hearing what Arthur had to say about her.

Her brother meanwhile only looked at her with a happy expression. He was feeling a bit mischievous at the time that he went above and beyond on his praises, but it didn’t mean that he wasn’t sincere about his admiration of his sister.

“I doubt everyone shares the same sentiment as you. It’s wonderful to hear Arthur has such a supportive sister.” Vincent chimed in.

“Right? You know, there’s one time where—”

“A-Artie! Um, Mr.Vincent, I do think it’s time to talk about the reason why we had this meeting in the first place.” Elaine cut off her brother before he managed to tell more embarrassing stories.

“Sure, but please cut the formalities, Elaine, after all, we’re not that far apart in age… So, Arthur. I’ve talked with your sister regarding— Cody, I'm talking right now, can this wait until later?”

Just as the main topic was about to be brought up, Cody interrupted Vincent’s attention by pulling his shirt collar with his beak.

Perhaps it wants some food? Arthur thought to himself.

“Look, can’t you wait—”

The word ‘wait’ seemed to trigger Cody’s anger, as he puffed his cheek while showing his back towards Vincent as soon as Vincent finished uttering the word.

Cody’s actions drove Vincent to do a facepalm while shaking his head before he raised himself from his seat.

“I’m sorry, but please wait for a bit. It won’t take long.” Vincent walked away from the lobby towards the corridor carrying Cody to cater to the latter’s need for food. Leaving Elaine and Arthur alone in their seat.

Vincent’s abrupt exit gave some time for Arthur and Elaine to converse with each other only, which Elaine didn’t waste any time to capitalize on.

“Artie! Why are you saying all of those things!?” Elaine asked his brother while trying to keep her voice as low as possible.

Her sister looked very cute when she’s angry, which was something that caused the mischievous urge inside Arthur to reemerge. And so he decided to tease her once more before Vincent returns.

“Why, you’re mad because I praised you in front of Vincent? Sorry, I won’t do that again, next time I guess I’ll just say bad things about you.” Arthur spoke with a teasing tone.

“You know that’s not what I want you to do...”

“So you don’t want me to say anything bad about you?”

“Of course not, dummy!” Elaine raised her voice before covering her mouth in embarrassment when she realized that few other visitors looked at them with curiosity visible in their expression.

“In that case, you don’t have to worry. There’s nothing bad about you anyway.” Arthur smiled widely while tilting his face, her sister on the other hand showed a blank expression on her face in disbelief of what his brother was saying.

“Uh… Elaine, are you— Awawaw, shtop!” Arthur winced in pain as Elaine pulled his cheeks like a rubberband.

It didn’t take long for Elaine to stop, but she immediately turned her head away from his brother as she started to pout. Arthur who saw this didn’t waste his chance to push her sister’s puffing cheek with his index finger.

“Come on, Sis… I’m sorry, pretty please?”

“Psh, I didn’t expect my little brother to become this mischievous.”

“And I certainly didn’t expect you to become a brute. My cheeks hurt you know...” Arthur rubbed his reddened cheeks while showing a pained expression. This of course was still a part of Arthur’s plan to tease her older sister.

“Let me take a look...”

Unlike the reaction Arthur expected, Elaine didn’t waste any time leaning her body towards Arthur as she tried to check her little brother for any signs of injury. It left Arthur scrambling in panic as he didn’t expect this to happen at all.

“No! I’m sorry! You don’t have to worry, Elaine. I’m fine… I’m not really in pain, trust me!” Said Arthur while holding her sister’s hand to calm her down.

Arthur finally remembered the reason why he never jokes around about himself Elaine, he was so used to other people joking around him that he forgot that his sister took his jokes seriously most of the time.

In his eyes, she cared so much about him that she rarely thought of whether what he told was a lie, even when it was obvious that it was the case.

At this point, he regretted his decision, If he knew she would be worried instead, he wouldn’t do this in the first place.

Thankfully the awkward atmosphere dissipated pretty quickly as Vincent returned with a pacified Cody wrapped around his arm.

“Sorry it took a while, Cody was fussier today for some reason.” Vincent sat down once more on the seat.

However, what washed over the awkward feeling was the feeling of anxiety.

At this point, Arthur couldn’t hold back his curiosity anymore. His heart was beating fast as he rapidly tapped his index finger against the table while he waited for Vincent to bring out the main conversation topic.

Whatever it was, he didn't like the implications from the fact that Vincent had to talk about it beforehand with his sister.

"So… Before we talked about that. Remember when I told you about the work I did at Mount Coronet?"

"Yeah, I do… Hey, before you continue, can we just go straight to the point, please?”

Vincent shrugged at Arthur’s request.

"You want me to go straight to the point? Sure, have it your way. So before I was taking freelancing gigs including the stuff about Mount Coronet, I was the manager and coach of the Scarlet Nova. Which was one of the reasons why I decided to offer you a chance to study under my wing, you happy now?" Vincent calmly took a sip of his morning coffee as soon as he finished talking.

Unlike the older gentleman's composed look, Arthur’s eyes widened in shock as he heard the jaw-dropping revelation. He shook his head slowly in disbelief as he tried to process what Vincent had revealed in front of him. It was of course a given thing, almost everyone that followed the professional circuit knew well about the name that Vincent had just dropped.

After all, the Scarlet Nova was not an ordinary trainer. Far from it.
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