Pokémon OPEN Pokémon Spear [M] [IC] Page 20

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

R I S E

Age 24
Male
Ireland
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 12 Hours Ago
880 posts
6.5 Years
Simon Pearburgh
Spewpa ♀
Tackle | Stun Spore | String Shot | Harden | Poison Powder
Friend Guard
Burmy ♂
Protect | Hidden Power (water) | Electroweb
Shed Skin
Snom ♀
Powder Snow | Mirror Coat | Struggle Bug | Icicle Spear
Ice Scales
Princess ♀
Electroweb | Spider Web | Fury Cutter | Beat Up | Absorb | Thunder Wave
Swarm
Larvesta ♂
Flame Charge | String Shot | Ember | Morning Sun | Flame Wheel
Flame Body
Anorith ♂
Dig | Water Gun | Smack Down | Aqua Jet | Rapid Spin | X-Scissor
Swift Swim
Spoiler: Inventory
ATC
Nevermeltice
*
held by Snom

Heat Rock
*
held by Larvesta

Shell shard
Caterpie's Pokeball
Badges: 3
Grass badge
Water badge
Fire badge

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

Simon could still hear the distant roaring of the Lake of Outrage’s thunderstorm. Even after a full day’s travel through Hammerlocke Hills, the weather in the adjoining areas only seemed to get worse and worse- though thankfully the air around here was not much more than a light fog. He and Raph had made their way to the local trainer lodge again - it looked fairly identical to the one in the southern wild area - and after taking the time to heal their Pokemon, they’d decided to spend the night there, both in desperate need of some rest.

After their encounter, the two young men had attempted to make their way back to the original site where the cars were, in some desperate hope to get more information or give chase to the suits. Yet, of course, they’d found the spot empty- with the only thing left behind being faded tire tracks and Simon’s discarded belongings. He’d returned to find his backpack thrown into the dirt and driven over, nearly all the supplies inside either taken or destroyed; pieces of his bug net strewn around the area. He’d been lucky enough to retrieve his coat with his badges inside, though the thing was now thoroughly soaked in the rain and dirty beyond recognition.

The journey to the lodge that followed was quiet. Raph had obviously tried to approach Simon about what he’d just gone through… but any words said then would have been lost to the wind. Simon had decided to leave his room soon after they’d checked in. He didn’t want to let his Pokemon out so soon after they’d gotten healed, and the idea of being trapped in a humid, small room sounded like torture at the moment. He’d thought of going to Raph’s, but he couldn’t bear the thought of the older trainer seeing him now. Defeated, broken, vindicated about whatever doubts he had concerning him.

Instead, he’d gone to the clearing beside the inn, and sat down beside a tree to watch the storm in the distance. The hill he was on was high enough that he could see above the fog- and for a moment, he might have even considered it beautiful. However, as he clutched the empty pokeball in his hand tightly, he was brought back to reality.

His mind kept reliving those same moments, again and again. What if he’d warned the Pinsir sooner? If he hadn’t been so distracted- he could’ve disabled the dark balls earlier. He could’ve just run- why didn’t he run? Why did he have to play hero, act like he was some incredible trainer who could fix a shadow Pokemon already beyond saving? Why had he not gone with Scolipede from the beginning, how had he so carelessly lost that ball? Why did he have to call out that order to his Pokemon? Why- why did Caterpie have to die?

The thoughts were suddenly cut short by a different kind of reality check, Raph’s hand clamped down on Simon's shoulder and the older trainer settled in to sit beside him. He didn’t say anything, didn’t interrupt Simon's thoughts, but kept the hand there for a moment, before letting it slink tiredly to his side. His eyes drifted to that distant storm in turn.

“...” Raph opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. He had never been in this situation, never needed to comfort anyone else, never needed to face the reality of loss in another person. Still, despite everything, he knew exactly how it felt.

Arceus, he knew how it felt.

“Exhausting.” He finally mumbled out the word, still staring at that distant sky. “It’s all just a little… too much, right? It drains you of anything else, you get sad, you get angry, until you can’t keep it up anymore. Then you have nothing, so you just feel tired.”

Simon took a moment to respond, surprised by how accurate his words were. “...yeah.”

“For a long time, that’s all I really had going on, you know?” Raph said. It was an open question, left for Simon to answer, or to hang in the wind. The boy stayed silent, but turned to look at him.

“All I had was that tired feeling.” He paused and looked down at his hand, still bandaged and wrapped from the day before. “Every day, looking out a window, feeling nothing but that. Going to school feeling nothing but that. Waiting for the day I could leave Wedgehurst, leaving, fighting Kabu for the first time… nothing but that. Feeling like I’d already lost everything before I’d even started.” He sighed deeply, that same tired and apathetic look plastered over his features, the same one he always had. As he looked up at Simon, meeting his gaze, the bug catcher would notice they were wearing the same expression.

Until Raph’s changed.

His eyes softened and his creased, uncaring scowl shifted into a small, tired smile. “Simon, I didn’t know how to feel anything other than that anymore. I didn’t know how to get rid of what you’re feeling now, I still don’t, but… I know how to live with it. Do you know why?”

Simon shook his head slightly, still quiet but now clearly paying attention.

“Because I met people like you.” The answer came almost second nature, as Raph closed his eyes momentarily, only to look back towards the skyline. “And Arrietty… and Pia… Melody and Aeliana… hell even Catherine.” He smirked a little and shook his head. “But mostly you… and my pokémon, of course. I met you in the middle of the Southern Wild Area and you wouldn’t shut up! So full of energy and questions all the time, the world seemed so open in your eyes. So limitless. I thought you were naive, but to be honest…” He sighs and his eyes darken just a little.

“I think I just… never thought to look at it that way before.” His gaze went vacant for a moment and a bandaged hand gently clutched at his shirt, just above his chest, as if instinctual. “Simon, I learned something very important from you. I learned that life is something you should be excited for. Something you should try and reach out for, take and enjoy. Something to be excited about, no matter what you’ve lost, no, because of what you’ve lost..!” He found an energy in his voice, but it quickly dissipated. “Because of what we’ve lost, we have to keep going, keep smiling and keep doing everything we can to find where we’re supposed to be.” He smiles a little wider, kind but very tired eyes looking at his younger friend.

“I took a long time to learn that, more time than I had to waste… but you? You knew it from the start. You just forgot for a while, so I came back to remind you.”

Simon paused for a moment as his eyes grew wider. Someone like him, as weak and unimpressive as he’d been… had made an impression on Raphael? More thoughts of regret and self-pity flooded in as he began to realize what he’d done- he hadn’t just joined the wrong people and turned his back on others, he’d turned back on himself. He felt that lump in his throat grow again, and used every bit of his energy to keep it down. He couldn’t succumb to those emotions. He mustn’t.

He had to pull his mind away from those memories. Raph’s words had made him think about something else. As comforting as they were… the young man was talking about loss as well. Simon’s eyes drifted to Raphael’s hand, which was still clutching his own chest. Was it… related?

“By the way.” he began after a few more moments of silence. “I did notice the pin you had on.”

“Aha, well that’s good, right?” He says with an awkward smile. “I’ll be honest I… really regretted that day. Almost immediately after it happened.” He paused and his eyes grew tired again, staring less at the horizon and more at the empty space lingering between it and himself. “I pushed you away and you thought that it was your fault. I understand now, that was one of a series of bad days… but if I hadn’t been so selfish in that moment, I could have helped you with whatever came next.” He sighed a little, his smile fading away.

“So I kept wearing the pin… hoping you’d see it and know I was sorry, until I could tell you properly.” He furrows his brow, that tired look still hanging on his every feature. It came back to haunt him, even now. He knew where this conversation would go, the conversation he pushed away and avoided with everyone. The reason he pushed everyone away before they could ask. The reason for everything he did. He could hear the words before Simon even spoke them.

"But then… what happened that day?"

Raph would dance around the question, make an excuse, draw attention away from it. Hide it. Protect it. Make sure only he had to deal with it. Forever. Alone, Forever. Was that what this had been building to? More hiding everything away? Was he ready to throw away who he was pretending to be? Had he changed at all? No.

But...

“...I’m going to die soon, Simon.”

Everything seemed so harsh and still in that moment. Everything turned to ice, chipping and cracking away. Everyone he had ever met already knew or was never supposed to know. He had never said that combination of words, in that way, to anyone before. He wasn’t ready to stop hiding and face the consequences of loss… but he was ready to end a lie he had told this one friend, that had already caused them both so much pain.

The younger of the two furrowed his brow as he blinked in disbelief. "...what?" he said incredulously, not entirely sure he'd heard him correctly- and hoping that he was wrong.

“When I was born, the doctors said there was something wrong with my heart. My father worked overtime to raise the money needed to fix me, even with a well paying job, the treatment required to keep me going as a newborn was draining my family down to nothing.” He paused and his gaze continued drifting into that open, empty space. “Then the Z incident happened all those years ago… and, well, there’s not much point in saying more than that.”

A few birds flew from the tree they sat upon as Raph looked silently into the distance. “From the earliest estimates, I’ve got about two years left to raise the money I need to get treated. I don’t know if I can do that. So I didn’t…” He stops, feeling something clenching at his chest, rising into his throat.

Why did it… hurt so much to say it out loud?

“I didn’t…” It hung there, struggling to break free, before finally it echoed quietly between the two. “...I didn’t want anyone to… get too attached to me, alright? That’s why… that’s why I acted the way I did…”

Simon wasn't sure what to say. This was the first time he'd seen Raphael like this in person- the only other time the young man had shown a sliver of it was in his battle against Kabu. This revelation explained so much- he realized the countless times he'd seen him clutch his chest during their stressful encounters; all those times Raphael had been hiding his pain, mentally and physically.

"Don't… don't apologize to me, mate." Simon finally said after Raph's words had hung in the air for a moment. "I… can't even pretend to know what it's like to live with something like this, but…" he looked Raphael in the eyes. "...for the sake of those who care about you… don't ever tell yourself that you're not worth it."

He continued to stare at his friend. "It's not your job to decide if or when people will get attached to you, and it's not your place to make decisions for them. And psyducking hell, it's not your job to protect us from our emotions when we made the decision to care about you-"

He stopped, realizing he was raising his voice aggressively now. "I'm- I'm sorry. It's just- I'm talking from experience, my mom has a condition as well, it's what she used to tell me when I was really young. And she also was the last thing that Pinsir got to tell me about before…" he clutched the Pokeball in hand tightly. "...yeah."

Raphael continued to stare silently into the distance, a painful quiet lingering in the air, butfor once he was the one to break it. “When I was a kid, I’d look at trainers battling on the telly… thinking that I’d never get to do what they did. It was so bittersweet. Now, I’m standing where they are… and living the life I always wanted. I think, in the end, I was protecting myself too, a little selfishly.” He smiles sadly and turns to meet Simon’s gaze. “I didn’t want anyone thinking I was any different, I wanted to be like the people that inspired me all my life, not a special exception.” He paused again, looking with contemplation to the ground.

“I’m sorry… I had no idea, about your Mom. If I’d known, maybe I.. I don’t know.” He looked for an excuse, but didn’t find one, instead he went back to silence for a few moments more.

"Hearing everything you're telling me now… I would've told you the same things at the time, Raph." Simon said. "It's about not letting it define you, living life to the fullest for others' sake as much as yours- that's what my mother would always say. And I don't think you need to hide it anymore."

Raph shook his head, “I… need you to keep it a secret for now, I’m sorry, that’s a selfish thing to ask… but I’m not ready for anyone else to know. I’m not ready for the world to know. This is something I need to face myself, it’s something I need to prove that I can overcome. For the longest time it’s the only thing that’s defined me, I want to become someone else, I don’t want this to be what people know me for.” He grew more comfortable talking about it by the second, maybe because it was to a friend?

It was okay to share it… with a friend.

“Loss is something we’ll never shake off. Be it the impending loss that hangs over my head, or the recent loss of someone we love.” He looked with a bit of pain towards Simon with that, but he still forced himself to smile through it… and pull himself to his feet.

The fog was finally starting to fade away to a clear sky. The storm had fled as the sunrise took its place. The orange light eclipsed Raph as he stood over Simon and extended his hand to the boy still sitting on the ground.

“But life is more than loss. Caterpie… and my Dad… they wouldn’t want us to sit here and give up.” He smiled one more time, fighting back all the pain they felt, standing in its path as best he could. Raphael wouldn’t be beaten by it anymore, he couldn’t afford to, for the first time in his life he was fighting for more than just himself.

“C’mon, Si… it’s time to get back on track, right?”

Simon looked at his hand for a moment, before cracking a slight smile and taking it to get up. "For better or for worse."

Joint post of Foxrally and Jay
Male
Kanagawa, Japan
Seen 15 Hours Ago
Posted 16 Hours Ago
77 posts
5.5 Years


The lightning struck the ground harshly as the two pokemon stared each other down, unwavered. The wind blew strongly and rain began to sprinkle down. Lennox watched the sylveon carefully and waited for it to shift its attention, only slightly. He didnt have to wait long. A lightningbolt that struck the ground behind Len drew the opposing pokemon's attention, if only briefly. Len immediately called out to his pokemon. "Leer, let's go!" Pointing towards the fairy type. Elekid's eyes gleamed red as it sharply glared at the sylveon. while strong willed enough to not become scared, the sylveon flinched for a moment, becoming a bit more wary of the small electric type. "Now, quick attack!" Lennox called out. Elekid tightened its muscles and rushed forward, closing the gap between the two. Len was unsure of everything Sylveon could dish out, but he was certain that it had at least one long distance attack, so he had to test it out.

Elekid was a mere few feet away from sylveon before the fairy type retaliated with its own quick attack to dodge and strike elekid on the side. However, it got a little too close to what it didnt know was a physcial attacker. "Thunderpunch!" Elekid's arm quickly charged with electricity. Normally the power grows the longer it was charged, but they didnt have the luxury to power up first. The electric fist hammered down on the sylveon's back, causing it to wince in pain before rushing off to make distance between the two. They had each exchanged one blow to each other, however elekid seemed to have taken a bit more damage. Lennox had to be careful of close attacks as well then.

Sylveon opened its mouth, releasing a pink circular wave of energy. The sound it made gave it away. Disarming voice. "Sound for sound then. Feedback, Screech!" Elekid took in a quick breath, and let out a piercing shout. The sound waves were a light blue, barely visible in this terrain, but were visible enough to track. The sound waves met the disarming voice directly, clashing and causing the two sound attacks to dissipate. Lennox knew that due to the nature of the attack, disarming voice couldnt be avoided, but it could be parried. What he didnt anticipate however was teh sylveon rushing into a quick attack directly after the disarming voice attack, striking elekid as it was distracted by the clashing sound waves. Elekid was pushed back once again, this time with stronger force than before. However this time, Sylveon had rubbed elekid the wrong way. literally. By making repeated contact with elekid, sylveon had collected some of the electricity that flowed throughout elekid. The static ability. The sylveon was now paralyzed, and may have trouble moving soon. In fact, upon closer inspection, It was indeed slowed. It tried to run towards elekid again, but it was visibly struggling to keep its pace. However, as it ran, pink whispey air covered sylveon. It was gaining speed regardless of the status' effect. take down attack? no, double edge! The attack would be harsh and he couldnt afford for feedback to get struck with that attack. "Quick, use shock wave to stop it!" Elekid quickly spun ints arms around to charge up a bit, firing off a wave of electricity, seemingly powered up by the surrounding electric terrain, however, the sylveon was powerful enough to push through the shock wave attack, striking elekid hard and sending him flying all the way to the top of the stone structure that sylveon had originally been on. Lennox couldnt understand it. Even though the sylveon seemed stringer, it was overpowering his elekid with mere physical attacks, which werent even a sylveon's specialty.

Meanwhile, the exhausted elekid struggled to stand. Lennox could see it in Feedback's face. He had trained every day, worked harder and harder to catch up to his teammate, Stitch. But still couldnt be relied on like his other teammates. he wasnt chosen to battle the gym leader. he wasnt chosen to battle He was left to handle helpless fish and easy gym challenges. Was this the extent of his abilities? How could he face his teammates if he failed once again to show his worth to his team? Should he just give up?

Sylveon turned to Len now, reading itself to attack. To sylveon, Elekid was finished, and it would target the trainer to test him. Grace was beside the boy and ready to defend him, however Feedback wouldnt allow it. No, He couldnt leave the heavy lifting to his teammates due to his own weaknesses ever again! Withthat thought, Atop the stone structure, Elekid stood up tall after struggling to do so while handling his thoughts, getting struck by a large bolt lightning at that moment, thanks to being the tallest thing in the area. The thunder clapped louder than all the rest, as if this strike was the strongest so far. Len was about to rush in to help him since the attacking sylveon had also stopped out of shock. However he stopped himself as he noticed his small pokemon's body glowing. Evolution? Elekid's body more than doubled in size, and its limbs stretched out, becoming more defined. its large hirns shrunk down as it gained new segments of its body as well as stripes across its body like tattoos. The light dissipated and its new form revealed itself. Another smaller bolt of lightning zapped behind him, showing off its new body and creating a massive shadow to its front. Electabuzz.

Electabuzz took a starting pose, reading itself to attack. Syveon saw and prepared itself as well, gathering energy and firing off menacing shadow ball with surprising speed. however, just as it had fired off the attack, electabuzz disappeared from the stone monument, appearing behind sylveon in a flash. Its fist crackled with electricity as it fired off a powerful thunderpunch, sending sylveon flying back into a rock wall behind it. Electabuzz gave a smirk, almost as if to say it was paying back the fairy type for its earlier attack. It then began waving its arms again, taking the opportunity given from the recovering sylveon to cahrge its electricity again. Unlike before, it had about 10 seconds to charge properly. Its two horns zapped bits of static between each other, signaling its stored power was at its peak. Electabuzz fired off a wave of electricity, similar to shock wave, but with deeper concentrations of electricity. Discharge. Despite not being elekid's specialty as a special attack, Electabuzz seemed to have a much better handle on special attacks, crushing bits of rock as it crashed into the still recovering sylveon. The electricity pulsed through its body, causing it to convulse and finally succumb to the attack. Sylveon fell to the ground, defeated.

Lennox shouted uncharacteristically in joy. Elekid had finally evolved! al of that training had paid off, and even moreso in its new form. electabuzz was now faster and stronger than it was as an elekid. electabuzz cheered on its victory, personally grinning at teh thought of a rematch with Stitch the mimikyu. As teh two of them cheered, a small light rushed over sylveon, leaving small blue sparkles behind. As Lenoox observed, many, of not most of Syleveon's injuries had healed. He was aware of this move from his studies. Wish. It was a delayed healing move that sylveon clearly knew. was it too late to celebrate?

As Lennox, Electabuzz, and the observing Togetic readied themselves for round two, Sylveon only calmly walked over to the shining gem that it had been protecting, completely ignoring its previous opponent, and politiely picked it up. The shiny seemed to leave the stone as it was removed from its holding place and sylveon carried it over to Lennox, overing it to him. Len hesitantly took it. It must have been a trial of some kind, rather than a treasure. And this was a reward. "A shiny stone?" Len looked closely. this was it! This was what Togetic needed to evolve! To think that they would fins it so soon!

With that, Sylveon slyly walked behind the stone monument, seemingly disappearing behind it. This had certainly been an ordeal, but it was one that his pokemon had overcome, and with new and exciting rewards! Elekid had become an electabuzz and had learned the move discharge! And he had gotten a shiny stoone as well. Though how he would use it would be a decision for later.

LinearAxel

That Dream...Make it Come True!

Female
The Internet
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 2 Days Ago
384 posts
6 Years
Melody Argent

18 | Female | From Spikemuth
Inventory
Spoiler:
2,500 Poke
6 Pokeballs
3 Great Balls
3 Bottles of MooMoo Milk
1 Leppa Berry
1 TM Thief
1 Destiny Knot
1 Sun Stone
1 TR Sucker Punch
1 TR Stealth Rocks

Team
Spoiler:


Nightshot/Doom Noodle
Nature: Timid
Ability: Cursed Body
Quick Attack
Infestation
Dragon Tail
Hex
Assurance
Lock On


Bishop
Nature: Adamant
Ability: Keen eye
Drill Peck
Hone Claws
Power Trip
Leer
Thief
Fury Attack


Annabelle
Nature: Lonely
Ability: Disguise
Burning Jealousy
Feint Attack
Copycat
Shadow Sneak
Fairy Wind
Double Team


Lyric
Nature: Impish
Ability: Pick Up
Headbutt
Pin Missle
Sand Attack
Lick
Snarl
Baby Doll Eyes


Piper
Nature: Bashful
Ability: Insomnia
Shadow Sneak
Razor Leaf
Confuse Ray
Trick Or Treat
Leech Seed
Bullet Seed


Celeste
Nature: Sassy
Ability: Competitive
Psyshock
Hypnosis
Fake Tears
Charm
Confusion
Thief


Blue
Quiet
Ability: Flashfire
Fire Fang
Roar
Beat Up
Howl
Bite
Smog

INACTIVE.

Spike
Brave
Ability: Static
Tearful Look
Nuzzle
Flail
Acid
Metal Sound
Power-Up Punch




A Still Flame Doesn't Burn At All

“So… is there a soul in here? Is it made from a soul? Or like… dead body parts?” Perhaps not the best conversation to be having while sitting on a park bench, and yet, there Melody Argent sat, delicately gripping a Life Orb, having it-- with a very small ghost pumpkin, of course.

“Geist…” Piper says with a frown. She’s not entirely sure herself. She did try to take the soul out to no avail, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s not a soul in there. Just that it’s stuck, and since Melody won’t let her touch the strange object, there’s… really not much she can figure out. She doesn’t really know what Melody thinks she can figure out by staring at it either. Perhaps she wants to start practicing rituals herself? It’s not impossible! Though it takes a lot more than looking at a cursed artifact to learn magic!

Melody lets out an exasperated sigh before shoving the Life Orb back into her satchel. “Geez,” she mumbles. “What the **** am I even doing?” She didn’t mean to come out to the park to stare at the orb. She came to the park to let Spike get some sunlight and move around. Sadly, it seems that every time the punk teen is stationary for more than a few minutes, her mind wanders back to what happened just a few nights ago. Flashes play over and over in her mind and it makes her absolutely nauseous. How did she end up in such a weird situation? Why did a few freaks in cloaks make Rosa decide she was going to get Melody hurt? That’s not the first dangerous situation Melody’s put herself in-- willingly. Happily. Eagerly. It’s not even the first dangerous situation they took on together. So why--

DREE-PY-PY!” A terrified scream rings out. It’s owner, one frantic-looking Doom Noodle, speeds towards his trainer, gesturing wildly as it does so.

“What’s u--” Melody’s eyes follow the tiny dragon’s arm movements. Blue and Spike were playing in that sandpit just a couple of minutes ago-- before Melody got out the orb.

“Spike!?” Melody calls out as she jumps off the park bench.

“Toooooox!” A call replies back very faintly in the distance.

What the hell? Did someone grab him? Why didn’t Blue stop them?! Where is Blue?! Why didn’t she notice they’re both gone?! She didn’t see anyone! Piper didn’t see anyone-- Nightshot didn’t even see it?!

“Hang on, li’l dude!” Melody shouts as she breaks into a frantic run. Piper, knowing full well she can’t keep up, latches onto the pipe strapped to Melody’s back and allows herself to be pulled along. Nightshot, by far the speediest of Melody’s crew of ghosts, zips along beside his trainer.

The trainer races from the park and through the streets, dodging pedestrians and taking staircases two at a time, focused only on the sound of the crying Toxel, growing louder and louder as she grew closer, until…

Until she finds the baby poison type sitting beside the watchful Blue. Both perfectly safe… in front of the doors to Kabu’s gym.

“...” Melody stands and stares at the pair as her heartbeat calms and her mind tries to piece together what just happened. Blue’s eyes lock on her trainer with a look of sheer determination, while Spike seems rather pleased with himself. “What the ****, guys?”

“Dree-py,” Nightshot says as he floats in front of Melody’s face, his eyes locked onto her own. For several seconds, Melody merely stares, and the ghostly dragon before her stares right back. More seconds pass, and the dragon’s eyes begin to narrow. He floats closer, his forehead presses to his trainer’s so that all she can see are his large, yellow eyes. “Dree. Py.” It’s time.

When they first came back to Motostoke, Melody walked by the gym. She looked and kept on walking. Days went by. Each day, Melody walked towards the gym, looked at it, and walked away. Then they fought those freaky-cloaked guys, and since then… Melody stopped walking by the gym. Everyone says Kabu is very strong. So strong, in fact, that lots of trainers can’t beat him. When they were here before, Melody promised that red-headed boy that she wouldn’t fail this challenge before coming back… but she also told him how this journey would inevitably end in failure. Does she think it will end here? When Melody said she was going to take Blue, she said she needed fire-power to keep going… but as powerful as those words sounded, the tone behind them wasn’t right. At least, not to Nightshot. To him, it felt awfully forced, like Melody was saying those words in the hope she could convince herself as well as those around her that she hadn’t… already started giving up?

Then that fight happened with those cloaked people, and while Nightshot’s not sure what it was, something happened to Melody after they fought that Musharna. Even before miss Rosa ran away, there was some kind of… shift. She got awfully ridged. He’s not a psychic type, he can’t tell what his trainer is thinking exactly. What he does know is that everything that happened that night made whatever’s in Melody’s brain that makes her think she can’t do things a lot bigger. Melody’s never liked being still, but she’s been a little stuck since then.

So, Nightshot conducted a plan! He needed a little help getting Melody here, so he recruited Blue, who is big and fast enough to carry Spike. Spike, well, Spike’s too young to really understand why Nightshot was doing all this, but he was very excited to get to ride across the city on Blue’s back and scream. Step one is a mission clear! Now he just… has to get Melody inside.

“You were in on this too, huh?” Melody questions, to which Nightshot responds with a sharp nod.

There’s a long, pregnant pause, followed by a large, exhausted sigh. The punk teen was so focused on the sound of Spike’s cries that she didn’t realize where she was headed until it was far too late. To come, quite literally, to the doors of the gym and then walk away… well, someone’s going to see. All the times before when she walked by and glanced at the gym doors from the street, it was just that, a glance, no one would be able to see that she’s… running away. If she does that now, though, it’s pretty damn obvious. Void, red eyes stare into those very expectant and determined yellow ones. “Alright. Let’s do this,” she says as she reaches for Piper and Blue’s Pokeballs to return them.

“Py!” Nightshot cries excitedly before floating behind his trainer and bumping his head between her shoulder blades. Melody bends down to scoop Spike into her satchel before heading for the doors.

As the doors swing open, Melody can’t help but notice how quiet the gym is now compared to the first two she entered. Probably because she entered those gyms shortly after arriving. This time… it’s almost time for the challenge to move on. She doesn’t have much time to reflect on it; however, as the instant she slows her pace towards the counter, Nightshot taps his head against her back again.

“Challenger 182,” the punk teen says as she catches the woman at the counter’s eye. “Melody Argent.”

The woman’s eyes widen in recognition. “You are, aren’t you?” She says with a smile.

Melody blinks slowly. That’s… not the answer she was expecting. “Yes(?) Kabu’s still taking challengers, right?”

“Of course he is! I’ll tell him you’re here. By the time you get dressed, everything should be ready.”

“O-kay. Thanks?” Melody quickly sidesteps towards the locker-area. That was… interesting.

Melody keeps her eyes on her reflection as she replaces her regular earrings with the spiked ones. She can see Nightshot’s reflection hovering behind her, looking a little more twitchy than usual. “Did you snag someone’s Koamala coffee this morning?” She asks. “What’s with the sudden hype for me to do this?” For as long as she’s had the ghostly dragon, he’s always been a chill little guy. Hell, he’s been known to bite down on her jacket and try to keep her away from conflict. Sure, yeah, a Pokemon battle’s a little different then a brawl, but still, Nightshot’s never been interested in battle. At least… he never seemed all that disappointed that she so rarely let him battle.

“Dree.” Nightshot answers sharply with a shake of his head. His eyes once more lock on his trainer’s as he floats over and grasps one of her hands between both of his tiny nubs. “Py.”

Not you.

Us.

Melody’s expression is a blank one. She knows exactly what Nightshot means and what he wants: To be the one to battle Centiskorch. That’s not… what she had planned at all. For a 1 v 1, especially against the guy that roadblocks so many, she needed to use her hardest hitter. She can’t bank on her usual strategy of having Piper make Centiskorch into a ghost-- not in a fire-type gym, not when she can’t switch out, so she needs some kind of advantage. Bishop is a flying type. He’s the only one of her Pokemon that has an advantage against bug-type Pokemon. “... Little dude--”

“PY!” Nightshot shouts as he raises a hand to silence her. He gives the most serious expression a giant-eyed, tiny snake-creature can muster before floating over to the metal pipe Melody had propped against the wall. The ghostly dragon then collapses onto the ground beside the pipe, curling into a tiny ball and quivering just long enough for Melody to get the idea of the stage he’s trying to set. Immediately after, he floats back up and makes a motion like he himself is grasping the pipe and begins to swing. One upward swing. Two upward swings. Three upward swings before he turns back to see if his trainer understands.

The day they met, Melody faced off against three guys, all taller and bulkier than she was. She didn’t care about having an advantage then. She didn’t care about having an advantage all those times she nearly came to blows with Jasper. She didn’t care about having an advantage when she fought off all those angry Rookidee when all she had was a stick.

Nightshot doesn’t completely understand what’s different now, but he knows that this hesitation and this uncertainty isn’t Melody.

Melody bristles. She really wishes she could pretend she didn’t know what he was trying to say. She doubts she can properly explain why this is so different. All those brawls with her gang in Spikemuth, who was she fighting for? Herself. Because it was fun or because she was angry. If she lost, who was she going to disappoint? Just herself.
If she loses here, now, who’s going to be disappointed? Everyone in Spikemuth who’s rooting for her. The gang Kai’s recruited to rally around her. The people she’s met along the way that said they were rooting for her. Her Pokemon. Her friends. Piers… Not to mention all those people that were betting money on her failure.

She’s from Spikemuth. Those kids never make it far.

When she fails, she’ll be a statistic. Part of the 99% of Spikemuth trainers that don’t make it.

… Is there anything more lonely than being just another face in an endless crowd? Is there anything less… basic than being one of the many, many kids from Spikemuth that can’t make the cut?

Nightshot swivels in the air as he floats back to his trainer. He knows he isn’t very strong. He knows it wasn’t his strength that won their last gym battle, but rather tricky things he can do (and Piper can do.) He knows they won’t be able to rely on a lot of those tricks in this fight. Still, he wants to be the one to fight for Melody this time.

Melody slumps against her chair in a somewhat overdramatic, defeated fashion. “Geez, okay.” She sighs before putting on a small grin. “Ya really put a lot of effort into all of this, yeah? I’d be a real piece of **** if I didn’t let you see it through.” With that, the punk teen lurches forward and out of her chair. “You ready to rock?”

“Py py!” Nightshot cheers. A small shuffling sound can be heard from the trainer’s satchel before Spike sleepily peers out. The infant Pokemon’s head sparks with electricity as he pumps his tiny fists into the air and lets out an excited cry. Battle time? Battle time!

~*~

The challenge itself was simple enough: It’s a race against time, Melody versus a gym trainer to see who can capture one of the wild Pokemon released into the gym first, with the gym trainer trying to be a hindrance the entire time. Melody called out Bishop and had the raven Pokemon power himself up with Hone Claws while the gym trainer began their battle. After listening to the gym trainer gloat that Melody was making this too easy on him, the punk teen released her flying type’s Power Trip on the gym trainer’s Pokemon, removing that annoying obstacle before finishing the battle with the Salandit and sealing the fiery lizard inside a Pokeball. This… this was the kind of challenge she could get behind.

~*~

The gym arena is brought to life as vibrant stage lights illuminate the field. Melody rolls her shoulders as she walks through the tunnel. To her surprise, she can hear the sounds of people in the crowd-- albeit, she has no idea what they’re saying... if they’re saying anything at all. There’s no point in looking out into the crowd either; the blinding lights make it impossible to see what lies beyond them. The instant a spiked sneaker touches the center of the arena, the sounds from the crowd amplify in volume. Red eyes gaze ahead to watch as Kabu jogs his way into the arena.

Gentle pressure can be felt on Melody’s shoulder. Normally, Nightshot hides in her shadow or takes cover in her bag to hide from the crowd, or at the very least tries to make himself as small as possible by laying flat against her shoulder. Today; however, his head is held high, and there’s a strong determination in the Doom Noodle’s eyes as he watches Kabu approach.

Kabu’s strides come to a halt mere inches from Melody. Those wise eyes (that seem to know significantly more than they have any right to) glance at the determined ghost type before settling on Melody’s own, cold gaze.

“Welcome back to Motostoke, 182,” he says with something of an amused smile. “I apologize that this stay hasn’t been as… exciting as your last.”

Melody stops herself from touching the black, half-heart pendant that’s now hooked to her spiked collar. “We’ve kept ourselves busy.” No burning buildings to run into, but they might have earned some kind of influence over a cult… and… maybe a budding interest in the occult.

Kabu raises his eyebrows ever so slightly in interest. “I look forward to seeing what you’ve learned.”

The two quickly shake hands before making their way to their designated sides of the arena.

“Let’s begin, Centiskorch!”

“Let’s rock, Nightshot!”

Centiskorch appears on the field in a blaze of fire, and Melody has never felt more aware of how tiny and non-threatening her Dreepy really is. “Nightshot, Infestation!”

“Use Sunny Day!”

As Nightshot calls forth his ghostly minions to latch onto the significantly larger insect, the centipede Pokemon stretches out its massive body and cries out: The bright lights of the arena are now completely overpowered by the shining force of the sun. The massive insect barely flinches from the horde of ghostly-insects biting into his exoskeleton. Fortunately, the tiny ghost-bugs were relentless; they would continue to tear into Centiskorch’s lifeforce for the next few minutes.

… Kabu knows that, doesn’t he? He knows that there’s no way he can get Centiskorch out of the Infestation without calling him back-- something neither one of them can currently do. Over time, it’s going to become a problem… unless Kabu believes this battle will be over before the damage over time begins to add up. That would explain why he didn’t even bother trying to evade.

“Now, use Fire Lash!”

There’s no time to dwell on what Kabu thinks. Melody grits her teeth as the massive centipede summons a whip made of sheer fire, fire that seems to burn all the brighter and hotter due to the added heat of the artificial sun. “Nightshot, Quick Attack!”

The smaller noodle darted away from the incoming flames. In a matter of seconds, the Dreepy’s tiny figure appeared on the opposite side of the arena, his small body colliding into Centiskorch’s face. The collision is enough to push the fire type’s head back just slightly and call off his fiery scourge-- but nothing more than that. Meanwhile, smashing into the much heavier, sturdier object was enough to send Nightshot fumbling backward after impact.

At this rate, Kabu (or Melody’s assumption of what Kabu was thinking) was right. The Infestation will never be able to eat away at Centiskorch’s lifeforce quickly enough to be useful if she can’t stack actual damage on top of it. At this rate, the pair doesn’t stand a chance, and Melody has no tricks up her sleeve. Without type advantage, without a sudden TR falling into her lap to allow her to tip the scales, how far can she go without that kind of luck?

Is that what Rosa meant when she said she didn’t want to hurt her? Did she catch on that Melody’s a time bomb, a failure ghosting by on luck and an unapproachable attitude? She doesn’t have a goal to chase after like Valerie, she doesn’t have a dream to pursue like Raphael, she’s just… coasting.

“You’re not moving,” Kabu’s voice pierces the spiraling thoughts that have caused Melody’s hesitation. Cold, red eyes stare across the arena to her opponent as he flashes a subtle, but almost knowing grin. “What did you say the last time you were here? [i] A still flame doesn’t burn at all [i]?”

Melody’s eyes widen. Kabu heard that? That little street performance wasn’t exactly done in private, sure, but between the late hour and the barren-looking streets-- well, she just didn’t think--

Nightshot turns away from his opponent to catch his trainer’s eyes. “Py dree-py dree py dreepy dree-py!” He calls out in an almost musical tone. We gotta keep the fire burning!

The arena around them begins to echo with roars of excitement. It’s hard to make out words-- but the rhythm itself is clear.

We’ll. Light. The. Sky. With. Our. Inferno.

Melody cracks a hollow and yet amused smile. Sounds like more people were privy to that performance than she ever thought, and some amount of those people are here now. Wanting her to succeed. It’s going to suck to disappoint them. To disappoint the people of Spikemuth. Her family. Piers.



For someone that insisted that her best friend needed to live her own life and screw her parents’ expectation, Melody herself has been practically slowed to a halt because of… everyone else. She’s been so bogged down with the dread of what people think of her, of how she stacks up to her classmates, coming across as stereotypical, as ‘basic,’ as another kid from Spikemuth that can’t cut it. She almost denied catching Lyric because the idea of some stranger saying ‘of course she has a Zigzagoon, she’s from Spikemuth’ was obnoxious. Why is she tailoring what she does to suit some strangers watching her exploits from their television screen? It’s completely overshadowed the very reason she wanted to attempt this challenge to begin with: It was simple. She just wanted to get stronger alongside Haleigh and Nightshot. Her life doesn’t depend on it, she has nothing to prove to anyone… and somewhere along the way, she decided that somehow made her a lesser competitor. She’s not someone people should root for. She’s not someone people should believe in.

People. People. People.

That’s practically all she’s thought about since the Wild Area, and, for the love of Arceus, has it been exhausting. This has to stop. Comparing herself to every other person she’s met on this journey has become an anchor that’s weighed her down to the point that she’s lost all sense of why she started this challenge to begin with.

And it’s time to take it all back.

Melody nods to Nightshot as her hollow smile shifts to an excited grin. She clenches her fist tightly before thrusting her arm into the air. “We’ll keep marching right on til our fire’s burning out!”

That’s it. That’s the spark he needed. Melody’s not hesitating anymore. Nightshot closes his eyes as his body begins to glow.

A hushed silence falls over the arena as the tiny Doom Noodle begins to grow. His tiny, string-like body transforming before the crowd’s eyes. A shattering sound rings through the area as the lights break away to reveal the newly evolved Drakloak.

The dragon-type zooms towards his trainer and lightly taps his forehead to hers. “Kloak,” he says strongly before opening his mouth to show the powerful energy swirling around his mouth. With evolution came a new, powerful attack.

The awe-struck trainer returns the affectionate tap. Is this really happening? Only one way to find out. “Ready to do this for real?”

The dragon nods as Melody turns to face Kabu once more. “Sorry for the wait.”

Congratulations! Nightshot has evolved into Drakloak!




Stinging Bea

Age 35
Female
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
858 posts
10.9 Years





Aeliana Kekoa And Tim T
Wild Area - Bridge Fields
11-3 - Battles and Blizzards


Trudging across the Wild Area was indeed a wild experience. Even though she had traversed its rolling fields, soggy wetlands, and gloomy ruins before, Aeliana wasn’t sure she’d ever actually get used to it. The Motostoke Riverbank was hot and humid. It had taken her no time at all during her walk across the area to get very sweaty and somewhat fatigued, although part of that may have in fact been in part due to her and her Pokémon team’s improvised dance session. However, like a mom with road rage forgetting a wallet for a trip to the grocery store, the weather had done a complete 180.

A chilling and howling wind blew across the Bridge Fields. The normally lush and green fields were covered by a thick blanket of snow, with more of it slowly drifting down from the dark, evening sky. Most trainers and travelers would have likely avoided an area with such weather, especially after nightfall. That said, the blue-haired Alolan was not as lucky as those trainers. The young woman sat huddled by a dimly lit campfire, teeth chattering as wrapped her winter coat around her tighter. By her side, Mahina sat nuzzled up close. The still shaking Pokémon was clenched tightly in her hands, the Clefairy doing everything in her power to try and keep it warm.

“Is it g-getting colder? It’s g-getting colder… Tapu Lele, how is it getting c-colder? It’s l-like Summer!” Aeliana stammered out. She glanced over towards her Growlithe. The fire pup was busy rolling about in the snow banks without a single care in the world. Aeliana was starting to wonder if his typing allowed him some kind of special resistance to weather like this. “T-Tiger! C-Can you add a b-bit more f-fire, please?”

Tiger quickly stopped mid-roll, looking up at his trainer in delight. Without missing a beat he bounded forward, kicking up a trail of white powder as ran. The Growlithe stopped just short of the campfire, sniffing it carefully before letting out a loud, energetic, echoing bark. Tiger took a deep breath, his furry chest puffing out in the process, before spitting out a small burst of flames at the pile of burning tinder. The heat and light being put out by the campfire increased a bit from Aeliana’s Growlithe’s assistance, one which at the least managed to bring a sigh of relief from both Mahina and the trainer.

“If someone would have told me I’d be digging out my coat in June, I’d have said they were crazy…” Aeliana muttered with a shiver. “I g-got a f-feeling we’re not going to b-be getting much sleep at this rate…”

“Best not get any, or you might not wake up,” came a deep voice from downwind, outside of the fire’s ring of light. There was indeed a man-shaped shadow there, some ways off. Its approach had been masked by the sound of the wind, and its being downwind made it so Tiger hadn’t smelled it sooner.

Aeliana jumped at the sound of the voice. Quickly hopping off of the log she had been using for a seat up until that point, the dancer spun around and stared out into the darkness for the source of the voice. She planted a firm grasp on one of her Pokémon’s poké balls, preparing herself to release the creature within should she need some form of protection against… whoever it was that was basically sneaking up on her. All the while, Tiger pounced into the snow in front of her. His big, bushy tail began to sway back and forth with increasing velocity. The Growlithe was obviously excited by the prospect of meeting someone new.

“There are stories,” the voice said, the shadow coming slowly, slowly closer, “of specters that roam the snow in the dark. Fairy tales, probably. But were you really going to risk bedding down out in the open like this?” It was a deep voice that came clearly over the wind. It was decidedly masculine, but little else was evident from its tone.

Aeliana's eyes narrowed. Something about the voice seemed to be slightly familiar. "It's not the first time we've slept out in the open," she replied. "But I do like a good ghost story. Please continue!"

“You misunderstand.” Crunching footsteps in the snow grew ever-so-slightly audible. The figure was close enough for its silhouette to be clearly visible, but it was still out in the dark. It looked like it had a hood on. “I’m not an orator, Aeliana Kekoa. I’m an actor.” The figure seemed to open up, as if its coat flaps were blowing open, and a smaller shape dropped from it into the snow. The smaller shape drifted around the larger one’s feet and turned an orange eye towards Tiger.

More crunching snow reached the ears of the blue-haired trainer. Aeliana craned her neck just slightly, where she happened to catch a glimpse of Mahina cowering behind her leg with the Pokémon egg. Meanwhile, Tiger seemed completely oblivious to the situation at hand. The Growlithe pounced forward with excitement, sniffing the orange-eyed creature curiously.

That creature, in turn, hopped up and down and chattered at Tiger, equally excited. It circled him in the snow playfully, apparently also oblivious to the situation. The larger shadow ignored both of them and approached a little closer. It was a man apparently: a long-limbed one a good head taller than Aeliana, with a head hidden in the darkness of a hooded coat. “You would oblige me to a battle, Aeliana,” he said. Didn’t really sound like he was asking, either.

A small whine came from behind the shorter trainer. Mahina stared up at Aeliana with a look of dread, as if asking the Alolan if she was seriously going to give into this demand. It was a valid question, but… something told her that turning down this battle wasn't an option.

"Alright," Aeliana answered bluntly. "I'm good to go whenever you are."

The hood snapped his fingers in the cold air. Tiger’s playmate—a Rolycoly—broke off from him abruptly to go stand in the snow a ways to Aeliana’s right. Hood chucked a pair of balls out, one forward and one away to Aeliana’s left. The towering form of a Stonjourner rose in the dark between Hood and Aeliana, and a smaller, blocky form appeared away to Aeliana’s left: a Rhyhorn. The cold air grew prickly as it started to snow lightly.

“Do you remember how to Triple Battle, Aeliana?” Hood asked. He and his mons were still out of the fire’s light, their forms—save for the Rolycoly’s baleful eye—fuzzy in the snowy night.

Aeliana found that she couldn’t help, but wonder why this guy was talking to her like he knew her from somewhere. Still, the bluenette pushed the thought to the back of her mind. She reached into her bag, pulling out a handful of poké balls before addressing the stranger again.

“It’s been a bit since I was in school, but I think I can still manage,” she stated.

Aeliana eyed the team that the stranger had challenged her with. The Alolan quickly noticed that they were all rock-types. A small smile came to her lips, as it at least seemed like she had the type advantage in this situation. She tossed two of the balls forward, both of which opened up to reveal her Tyrogue and Cubone respectively. Jet immediately took a battle-ready stance. His eyes narrowed as he stared up at the Stonjourner that towered literal feet over him. Meanwhile, Kaeo gripped his bone tightly. He placed it at his hip, as if mimicking some sort of swordsman as he came to stand across from the Rhyhorn.

The trainer then gripped Tampa’s poké ball. The Croconaw seemed like she would be the perfect choice to round out this team. However before Aeliana could send the Pokémon out, a blinding flash of light shot out from within her bag. She stared in surprise as the shape of Elia, her Eevee, took shape in the snow. The fox-like Pokémon looked around, before coming to stare at the Rolycoly with a huff. This foul smelling human was challenging her human to a battle? And to make matters worse, he was doing so with a group of low-class ruffians? This simply would not stand. She hated to get her own paws dirty, but Elia knew it was her job to put these rogues in their places.

The wind shifted a little so that Aeliana could make out the source of Elia’s crinkled nose: the man opposite her stank of pond scum and sweat and mildew and mud. Something about the sheer physical presence of the stench seemed oddly familiar with that Stonjourner bearing down. For their parts, Hood’s Rocks didn’t emote much at all against their opponents. They didn’t seem entranced so much as just no-nonsense.

“Type advantage nearly across the board: you don’t mess around, Aeliana,” Hood hummed. “So neither will I. Rock Polish, all of you.” All three opposing mons shivered in the dark and gleamed with whitish glows. It made them a bit easier to make out in the darkness but probably wasn’t going to make them easier to hit given Rock Polish’s effects.

Aeliana watched the Pokémon start to gleam in the darkness. The hooded man was going to try and speed up his Pokémon a bit, but with them all mostly being so big and bulky, she wasn’t sure just how much it was going to help. She could have had all three attack a different Pokémon each, but she felt like that would be a bit of a foolish choice. Better to dogpile and pick off the weakest one of the bunch to start with.

“Elia, Swift! Jet use Rolling Kick on the Rolycoly! Kaeo, follow it up with a Bone Rush!” the blue-haired trainer commanded.

Elia lunged forward, a stream of stars shooting forth from the bushy fur around her neck. As the stars sailed forward, both Jet and Kaeo charged towards the Rolycoly. Jet leapt towards the small rock Pokémon, leg spinning around as he neared his target. Meanwhile, Kaeo “unsheathed” his bone, and swung it over his head as he took aim at the Rolycoly as well.

But Kaeo didn’t make it all the way. As Rolycoly reeled from the Swift stars—some flaring out to rake Stonjourner—and tried to just barely duck away from Jet, the Cubone found himself cut off by Stonjourner. “Seems you’re a touch rusty,” Hood chided, “because no one’s crossing centerfield for free. Stomp Cubone high then Smack Down,” Hood barked, turning his head from Stonjourner to Rhyhorn. He snapped his head over to where Rolycoly had finally taken a grazing blow from Jet. “Smokescreen, cover your field!”

The giant Stonjourner’s wide foot punted Kaeo airborne like a football and Rhyhorn tried to line up a golden stone to lob at the Cubone in the air, although visibility was growing steadily worse as the snowfall became a touch heavier. Visibility was especially bad on the right side, where the little Rolycoly had spun donuts around Elia and Jet, all three mons disappearing in a thick black curtain. The wind was already trying to blow the curtain off, but it was clinging stubbornly over that side of the field.

“Jet, Kaoe both of you use Focus Energy!” Aeliana calls out. She turns her focus to Elia next. “Use another Swift!”

Visibility was outright garbage now. There was no point in leaving her three Pokémon completely vulnerable to whatever this guy was going to throw out next. She quickly figured that the best option was to wait until he made the first move and then counter when his Pokémon were exposed from their hiding places. Kaeo slowly climbed up to his feet, the small Cubone shaking his head to regain his composure in the process. He narrowed his eyes, holding his bone out horizontally in front of him as he began to focus intently. Jet too took a deep breath and cleared his mind. This left Elia to unleash another barrage of stars towards where she believed her foes were standing.

Some flashes went off in the smoke to tell Elia that at least some of the stars found their mark, and some of them even swerved out of the smoke to clap against Stonjourner again, although the big stony mon didn’t seem to care too much. For a creature shaped like a C-clamp and lacking knees, it was surprisingly agile in its movements as it stepped away from Kaeo to eye Jet.

“Gravity and Scary Face center,” Hood shouted, “Rolycoly, Smack Down that Tyrogue.”

The three Rocks took Aeliana’s plan of focus fire but turned it apparently on Jet, as he was holding center and open to both sides. Stonjourner clapped its hands over its head and deep black orbs flew through the air all around as a deep bass note, deep enough to be felt in the chest, sounded over the wind. Suddenly the world was much heavier. Aeliana felt her knees bend and the wind slow as the snowflakes seemed to hit a little harder. Rhyhorn’s eyes flashed red in the darkness, a strange distorted wave in the air washing over Jet. A third red eye emerged from the smoke curtain on the right and lobbed a golden stone at Jet.

Neither Hood nor his mons seemed as disoriented by the shift in Gravity as might be expected. The man’s smell, this big Stonjourner, the gravitational pull, something seemed familiar about all of it. Or maybe that was just the cold. The fire was beginning to peter out with the snow coming down.

Lavender eyes widened in the dark. “Wait a minute! Aren’t you that guy…?! You know, the one from the mines?!” Aeliana suddenly cried out.

Hood reached up into his hood and pulled. Apparently he was pulling something down to reveal his face. It was of course too dark for that to mean anything. “I was at the mines, yes. I never got to say goodbye to you properly. You were unconscious when I left.”

“Then why challenge me to a…” Aeliana began. She quickly shook her head. “You know what, never mind.”

The Alolan returned her focus to the battle at hand. That Stonjourner of his was proving to be even more annoying that it had been in the mines. Maybe it was time to adjust her tactics to try and take it out first. There’s only so much damage it could take, right?

“Jet, use Helping Hand on Kaeo! Elia, use Baby-Doll Eyes now! Kaeo, use another Bone Rush on Stonjourner” she shouted.

Jet smirked in response to the order from his trainer. He quickly ran over towards the Cubone, and wasted no time in swinging him around before launching him like a missile towards the Stonjourner. As the Cubone wailed and sailed towards his target, Elia quickly hopped forward and batted her eyelashes at the three Pokémon.

Maybe it was just too dark or maybe the Rocks were just too far apart, but Baby-Doll Eyes, despite going off so quickly, was roundly ignored by the flanking mons. Stonjourner however seemed hit full-on: its big arms lowered and its voice—deep in a different way from Hood’s own—could be heard muttering hesitantly. Even with Kaeo’s war cry giving him away, Stonjourner still didn’t move fast enough to dodge the Bone Rush. It caught the big mon’s leg with a stark crack that rang in the wind. Stonjourner stumbled, gasping: critical hit.

“Throw a Stomp out for Cubone, give back as good as you got!” Hood’s voice brought Stonjourner back into it: it had been hit hard but it wasn’t quite out yet. Its leg span was longer than Aeliana was tall twice again and it brought one wide foot down, trying to ax Kaeo where he’d landed. “Rock Polish on the sides, keep the pace!” Rolycoly and Rhyhorn shivered meanwhile, buffing up.

“Jet go in for another Rolling Kick, but come from his side!” Aeliana cried out. “Kaeo, use Headbutt! Elia, Swift again!”

Jet let out a sharp cry, charing towards the towering Stonjourner yet again. He quickly spun around to the side, before jumping towards the massive rock Pokémon with another spinning kick. As he did so, Kaeo lowered his head and began to run towards the Stonjourner in an attempt to slam it hard with his helmet-like skull. Elia once more hopped back and took aim with yet another barrage of stars. She couldn’t believe just how many hits this oversized peon was taking! Couldn’t he take the hint and just go down?!

With their powers combined, Aeliana’s mons set the Stonjourner rocking. It complained in its deep voice, the Rock Polish glimmers on its body winking out, and then the dark shape of its body fell backwards with a resounding thud and an impact Aeliana felt in the soles of her feet.

There wasn’t much time to celebrate though. “Rolycoly, put that Smokescreen back up,” Hood said even as he whipped out a ball and recalled Stonjourner, the big mon disappearing into dim red light. Even with its absence though, Gravity remained heavy over the field. “Rhyhorn, give Tyrogue another Scary Face.”

The right side of the field disappeared into blackness again, swallowing away both Rolycoly and Elia. Rhyhorn’s eyes flashed red and another distortion washed over Jet. It seemed rather strange really: Elia’s Swift would seek through Smokescreen, so why keep raising the smoke? And why wasn’t Rhyhorn actually attacking more? The fire went out completely as the wind picked up some more. The heaviness in the air made the snowfall even thicker.

“Alright on to the next one, guys!” Aeliana cheered. They got a bit battered, sure. But with the big one down that meant that everything was gonna be easier moving forward, right? Aeliana’s smile dropped however, when she noticed something odd started to happen.

Jet suddenly fell to one knee. A pained-expression took hold over his facial features as a bright white light started to engulf the creature. He strained, shaking his head violently as if trying to somehow pull the light in. Aeliana recognized the light and its meaning all too well. Jet was evolving!

...Except he wasn’t.

For whatever reason, the light started to fade no sooner had it started to appear. Even in the dark of the night and the heavily falling snow, Aeliana could see his forehead glistening. It looked as if he had just finished running a 30K marathon and every single step and even just breathing was causing him pain.

“Wait... Is he trying not to…?”

“Must want to be a different Hitmon than the one you were turning into, eh Tyrogue?” Hood chimed. He wasn’t waiting for a response though. “Run it towards Eevee, catch your side with Explosion! Rhyhorn, one more Rock Polish.”

As Rhyhorn shook out its third Rock Polish—all but glittering now—Rolycoly shot forward from the smoke cloud that was now fully dispersing in the wind. Rolycoly looped around and rammed Jet hard. Jet could keep his feet, but between his earlier suppression of Evolution, the double Scary Face, and the weight of the Gravity, it was obvious he couldn’t move as fast as he wanted to anymore. Rolycoly’s wheel spun double-quick with the double Rock Polish, kicking up snow and dirt as it dug down for traction and shoved Jet along towards where Elia was in the dispersing smoke cloud. Rolycoly was screaming shrilly over the wind, but then it wasn’t screaming anymore, it was a high whining whistle as the little Rock began to glow—

Colyrol!” the Rolycoly shrieked before a deafening crash of noise drowned out everything else with a flash of power. The shockwave threw snowflakes back at Aeliana like a cold, damp bedsheet. When finally her eyes could make out the scene again, she saw Jet and Rolycoly both down in a dark spot on the ground, dark for having had the snow blown off it. Both mons issued thin trails of smoke. Elia, having been at some more distance and with Jet between her and the blast, still seemed able to continue.

Aeliana took Jet's poké ball and recalled the fainted Pokémon. The blue-haired trainer offered a small word of thanks to the Tyrogue before placing his ball away and then turned her focus back to the stranger. "Don't you think that might have been a bit overkill…?"

“If I’d thought that I wouldn’t have done it.” Hood spun his hand in the air. “Run out wide and build up speed: finish off that Eevee with Drill Run!”

Rhyhorn streaked forward stupidly fast for something with such short legs, the glimmers of its Rock Polish leaving a faint trail in the night as it ran out to Kaeo’s left. It ran out to a distance and circled about, behind Aeliana, around Elia, behind Hood, energy trails whirring about it as it soared like a specter roaming the snow in the dark. Gravity finally returned to normal: the snowfall felt less heavy but the wind picked up speed now. Hood raised his hand and the blurring shape cornered harshly, turning back towards the battlefield. Hood chopped his hand down and the whirring thing launched. It was yet more than a hundred feet away but that quickly became less than a hundred, less than fifty, the air thrumming with the thunder of its gallop, its shape a whirring cone in the dark.

Elia braced for impact, preparing herself for the pain that was about to come. Before the Rhyhorn could land its blow however, Kaeo suddenly launched himself forward at the Rhyhorn. He slammed his skull into the Pokémon, grunting in frustration as he brought his bone up into the air before attempting to slam it into the charging Pokémon.

The Cubone’s impact veered Rhyhorn off its course, blowing past Elia as its Drill Run ran down. It didn’t stop though, and carried the Cubone away into the dark. After a moment it streaked past again, tossing Kaeo down near Elia. Kaeo and Rhyhorn both seemed still perfectly ready to rumble.

“Can’t wait your turn, hum?” Hood chided. “Line it up again Rhyhorn, Drill Run that Cubone.” He clenched his fist in front of his face as the Rhyhorn blurred about behind him, building up speed again. “See if you can catch them both with it.”

The whirring started again as the cone of light ran about behind Aeliana and came back around. It cornered harsh again and started for another crash course towards Aeliana’s mons. With both in its sights, it wouldn’t be blindsided again. As it lined up at them, barreling down, Hood threw in another order. “Change for Eevee!”

“Kaeo, use Bone Rush now!lia, use Sand-Attack while Kaeo keeps him distracted! ” Aeliana called out. The Cubone leapt in front of Elia once again. The Eevee’s eyes wide with surprise as he swung his bone at the Rhyhorn in an attempt to stop the much larger Pokémon’s charge. Elia finally snapped out of her daze, quickly hopping off to the side wherein she began to kick up snow towards the charging Rhyhorn.

It sounded like the sky cracked. Kaeo went tumbling far away into the darkness like a billiard ball sent for the corner pocket. Rhyhorn was swaying, having been fully stopped by running head-first into a super-effective critical hit. Elia’s Sand-Attack hit it full in the face and it shook its head, snorting agitatedly. It was mere feet from her, glimmering in the night.

“It comes down to this, Aeliana,” Hood said darkly. “Horn Attack.”

Rhyhorn was still shaking its head, blinded by the Sand-Attack and shocked by the Bone Rush, but in a moment it would get its bearings. Despite its awkward body plan, it had shown off the ability to move far faster than it had any right too: blinded or not, it would be sure to bash Elia at this range, and it wouldn’t be outran. Hood was right: it all came down to this.

“Boooooooooooooooone!” a sudden cry echoed out through the snowy night sky.

Kaeo suddenly charged forward, throwing all his weight into his shoulder as he shoved Elia out of the way of the charging Rhyhorn. Before he can recover, the rock-type Pokémon presses into him at full power, sending the much smaller, skull-wearing Pokémon sailing back to his trainer. Aeliana winced as the Cubone landed roughly in the snow, before fainting on the spot.

“Kaeo, come on back!” she ordered as she recalled her Cubone. She turned her gaze to the battlefield for a moment, noticing now her lone Eevee staring up at the imposing Rhyhorn. “Thanks, Kaeo… You’ve given us another shot at this yet…”

“Hmph. Your Cubone had more fight than I’d thought.” Hood crossed his arms. “But you delay the inevitable: Rhyhorn, back up a bit and run down that Eevee with one more Drill Run!”

Rhyhorn seemed to have mostly gotten its sight back now and scuttled backwards away from Elia. It was a rather awkward movement to watch, but it was no laughing matter. Rhyhorn’s horn whirred with trails of spinning light as it aimed for the Eevee in the snow. It pawed the ground once, twice—

Rhyhorn launched forward, streaking in the darkness, a ground-level shooting star on a collision course with Elia.

"Elia, Bite!" Aeliana countered.

It was down to the wire. The Eevee braced herself. All of her knights had fought bravely in her honor. What sort of noble would she be if she simply let them all down after their heroic sacrifices? Fangs bared, she let out a loud yip before leaping high into the air.

Rhyhorn was either more tired than it was letting on or still a touch blinded from the earlier Sand-Attack, because it didn’t adjust itself as Elia leapt. The Eevee managed to clear Rhyhorn’s nasty horn and catch it along its ridges. Rhyhorn bucked and tumbled through the snow with Elia, the lights of its Rock Polish winking out one by one. At the end of its tumble it threw Elia off and was still standing, but it staggered and Hood recalled it.

“Stop,” Hood said as Elia got back to her feet. “That is enough. It would appear you have won, Aeliana Kekoa.”

Aeliana blinked slowly, watching as Elia shook the snow off her fur. The Eevee had a similar expression to her trainer's. It was over? Just like that?

"Uh… cool, I guess?" Aeliana eventually responded. She offered the hooded man a smile. "That was a pretty close one, though!"

“Yes, it was,” Hood said as he walked over to the dark spot in the snow. He hadn’t recalled his Rolycoly. He picked it up and muttered something to it before tucking it under one arm and approaching Aeliana. There was an orange slit in its front: its eye was kind of open still. It apparently wasn’t unconscious. “Too close for comfort, I have to say. You ought to deal with ruffians like me much more swiftly.” It kinda seemed like Hood was chiding her. He stopped about ten feet away and shrugged. “But I don’t mean to be churlish: you did win, after all.”

Aeliana squinted. Getting a read on this man was proving to be extremely difficult. The smile on her lips dropped. Something about this was bugging her.

"Who are you?" Aeliana questioned bluntly. "You know my name. You act like you're familiar with me, but I've only seen you once."

The man’s hood lowered a touch, as if he was looking at the ground. “No matter how much I expect that, it still stings a little every time.” He raised his gaze back up. In the darkness and the snowfall little was evident of his face except his mustache and his chin, with a white handkerchief around his neck. “Even if I didn’t look like this now though, I doubt you would have remembered me anyway. It wasn’t as if I were your friend. Or, I suppose, anyone else’s really.” He shifted his Rolycoly under his other arm. “It doesn’t matter who I am, it matters who you are. You’re Aeliana Kekoa, you have three Gym badges, and you’ve beaten me tonight. I suppose that means a reward is in order.”

Aeliana flinched slightly at the statement. Thankfully due to the cold, it looked more like a shiver. That said, all the man's statement did was make her even more curious. Had they met before?

"...a reward?" she finally responded. The Eevee by her side perked her ears up. "Like what, exactly?"

“Would you like a stone for your Eevee perhaps? I have a Thunder Stone and an Ice Stone, if you would like.” He fished around in his pants pocket and brought out two small shards that looked rather similar in the darkness. “These are the only ones I have that an Eevee could take though.”

Aeliana looked down at the Eevee by her side. Said Pokémon’s eyes happened to light up at the mention of an evolution stone. Elia found it hard to believe that the foul smelling human could really be holding onto something so important, but she wasn’t going to knock it if he did. Elia glanced up at the blue-haired trainer. A pleading look was quick to come to her face. She even made sure to droop her ears and let her tail swish back and forth. Aeliana wasn’t sure how to take this sudden change in Elia’s normal behavior.

“I guess we could take one,” she relented. “You pick though, okay? I mean, you’d be the one evolving. So it’s only fair you make the call.”

Hood looked down at Elia a moment and then knelt down, placing his Rolycoly in the snow nearby. He placed one stone in each hand and held his hands out to Elia. “Jolteon,” he said, holding up his left hand, “or Glaceon” he said, holding up his right. He presented them to Elia.

Elia stared intently at the two stones. They were both gorgeous, shining brightly despite the overcast, snowy night sky. Slowly, the Eevee lifts her paw before placing it down onto the light blue, simmering Ice Stone. No sooner had Elia touched the stone did it begin glow and resonate within Hood's hand. A bright white light encompassed the Eevee. Her body grew longer and sleeker, with brown fur becoming a soft, baby-blue in hue. Her ears and tail grew longer as well, the latter becoming much more defined from its original bushy shape. The fur in her forehead seemingly took a more crystal-like appearance, with a bang on each side of her face. Elia's eyes gently fluttered opened, revealing a pair of deep, sapphire-blue irises.

"Elia…" Aeliana whispered. "You're beautiful…"

“Certainly better-looking than the one I got the stone from,” Hood remarked. He dropped the spent Ice Stone—dull and worthless—into the snow and pocketed the Thunder Stone before grabbing his Rolycoly and straightening up. “If I run into you again, I hope you can deal with me far more quickly,” he said, turning to Aeliana.

"The one you got it from?" Aeliana questioned.

Hood just waved his hand dismissively. “That’s not important. Your new Glaceon should be able to navigate the snowstorm even in the dark. There was a stand of trees about north-northwest from here, I’d say half an hour walking. It’s not the best but it’ll break the wind a little for you. You really shouldn’t be sleeping out in the cold like this, you know.”

"I'll keep that in mind," Aeliana replied with a smile. She hadn't really been sleeping, but she appreciated the man's concern regardless. She looked down at Elia and Mahina and nodded. "We should probably get going then."

Another pause. She looked up at the hooded man. "But before we part ways… What's your name? I think if you know mine, I should know yours."

“A pretty sentiment, but there are many dozens of people, perhaps hundreds, who you’ve never seen but who know your name, Gym Challenger.” He hugged his Rolycoly to his chest as the wind picked up. “The Professor used to call me Tim.” He turned away and started walking into the night. “May you survive the trials that await us. And may we never meet again.”

The man bolted away into the dark as the wind shifted to cover the sound of his passage and blow away his smell. With the snow coming down much heavier now, it was as if he’d dissipated into the night. Even the dark spot from the earlier Explosion had been reblanketed. The cold remains of the dead campfire were little more than a lump in the snow cover.

"Tim, huh…?" Aeliana questioned. The name sounded somewhat familiar, but she just couldn't place it. "I think I might need to make a call once we reach Hammerlocke."



Elia evolved into Glaceon!
Elia learned Icy Wind!



Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
11,107 posts
8.1 Years

"Thanks sooooo much for 250,000 SUBSCRIBERRRS! So! As said on Chatter, your girl is gonna do a live AMA! Sooo, bring on your questions friends, and Val shall answer! And at the end, she's gonna have a nice surprise for you all! Alrighty! Our first question comes from... eyy, my boy DaijByDay!"

DaijByDay: The energy you put into your streams is so amazing and inspiring!!! How do you keep your spirits so high with all the stresses you face on your journey?

"I gotta give the cred' to all you guys, who have been supporting me... well, ever since day one, really! TBH, there was a time where like... I had probs the worst day in my life. Won't get into that rn, but, IDK man -- never underestimate the power of support, y'know? Really, I have to say this from the bottom of my heart, without you guys, I dunno what woulda happen to me! Guess that's why I can freely keep my spirits high! That, and cuz of the wonderful friends I made along the way? Gurl's living the dream already!"

santas_genius_helper: who's your rival?? is it that clovis guy from the battle cafe??

"Aw, Clo-bro is a sweetheart, and a smart dude! Fo' sho he's like a rival -- in fact, all of the kids from school kinda are! They all got their different strengths, and they kick ass with em', but your girl's catching up with them! Soon they'll all fall and be in the mercy of the Demon Queen! Fuufufufu~!>:]"

totally_not_shipping: "are you single :awkwardflushed: asking for a friend"

"Hahahaha, oh no, I'm in danger... next question!"

Cl0ut_Cha53r: Do u kno the other challengers getn famous? R U frends?

"I'm friends with some of em', yup! And hell yeah, they're getting pretty famous -- oh man, funny story: I was streaming when I first got to Motostoke, and then someone in the chat mentioned something about Raphael's forum, and I'm like... wait. Raph-idash has a FORUM? So I gotta check it out, right? Went inside, and.. literally one of the first threads I see had NSFW art of him. Phew, did Raphie like, approve of that, orrrr... ahah, you know what else, I hear someone was gonna make, yaoi art of him and Rubie... Raph x Ruben... Raben? Ruphael? FootballHead shipping? Hmmm! But yeah, I'm totes friends with some of em', hope to get to know the rest better soon! Uhh, Empoleoff, says..."

Empoleoff: Do you pick your pokémon strategically? Any stratagems to share?

"I used to just, pick my friends like, from my gut, y'know? But now, I learned to pay attention to type advantages and whatnot. Worked really well with the Lock Nessa Monster! Which btw, my strategy! Oh man, my straaats! So, you wanna go inside the all powerful Val-ult of kicking ass, eh? Well, look no further! So like, I'm beginning to like using status moves - Attract is my faaaav, and there's also Thunderwave, and a new one: Toxic! Really tips the battle in our favour and junk! Crushin' the hero's pokemon so much that they can't lift a finger against the Demon Queen! Very fitting, eh? Long live the DEMON KINGDOM, you heroic peasants!"

Stow_On_Sally: Are u excited to come to Stow-On-Side! U gonna fight Bea or Allister?!

"Kay. Gonna say this right now. Bea-drill's is hot. Like. Hubba. Hubba. Hot. Totes gonna fight her; but not so say Alli ain't adorable; I really like em' too. But I just wanna, POW, WHAM, throw my firsts on Bea-drill's body and stuff. All over her body. Naaaah, jk, my Pokemon is gonna knock out hers, and then, Demon Queen is gonna RULE over Stow-On-Side. We'll rename it, Queen-Val-OWNS."

montrafficker: u got a favorite mon u don’t have yet? we could try and find one 4 u

"I don't have a fav rn... I used to really like Spinda and Chimecho? But, I learned to like em' all! Aha, and you don't have to! But ty though!!"

DemonSimp27: You been having any trouble out on the road? Anyone give you a hard time?
Not_Important: yeah and if anyone has given u a hard time maybe u got their names right


"Hahaha, nooo, nononono, Val ain't doxxin' nobody! No one really gave me a hard time anyway; though, there's beeeeen a few things, here and there? But, your girl's safe n' good to go!"

shuckleboy: "hey have you seen a shuckle yet that's like my favourite guy

"I did! Mr. Noodles! Though I couldn't really find him back at the mine, but he was a sweet thing! Heyhey, props on your fav too! If I see more, I'll let you know!

D_K_Bongies: "VAL VAL VAL did you see the Mario movie cast in the direct yesterday it's FRICKIN CRAZY

"IKR?! FRIGGEN. LEAD VOICE ACTOR of Kungfu Pancham playing as Bowser. I though it was like, gonna be a one-off gimmick thing but THEY'RE goin' in. Like. wooow, I'm pretty hyped now tbh!!"

Voiceofunreason: Are you really this happy and bubbly or is it an act for the camera? Doesn't it get tiring?

"What you see is what you get! And uh -- not to bring down any of the other streamers -- kinda a bummer how many people play as a persona, y'know? I mean sure, it works for some people, and, what ain't broke don't fix it.. but I'd rather just be myself, and such! And it's fun, it doesn't get tiring at all!"

assimian: wut kind of training do u do with ur mons do u exercise togethr

"Mostly we play, and I let the friends do their own thing, but sometimes we practice attacks together, yeah! Oh, but just as important as training: it's suuuper important that they get their nutrition. Like, the proper food helps Ayra's teeth remain sharp n' strong. And I gotta make sure that they're cleaned up too. Like, Truck's hooves sometimes get rocks or other small objects underneath, which makes it a pain for him to run. Gotta check for those little things too! Soooo yeah, yust some advice if you wanna be a trainer too - remember to exercise, and to take care of your pokefriends!"

ALittleGayForLeon: What do you think of the current Champion? Do you think you could stand in his shoes, or in the shoes of the current Leaders?
Not_Important: hey what r u implying val if this guy is giving u trouble just say the word
Mr.Crime: "Yo Not_Important stop being such a Clovis lmfao, simp *****"


"Ooof.... but yeah, I think Leon is totes cool, and I met him face to face, actually! Gave some mad good advice, and I'm trying to stick with it! With a little work, heck yeah, the Demon Queen is gonna rule em' all! Buahahaaaaaa, with each hero I conquer, your QUEEN gets stronger!"

RotatoRotahto: What’s your favorite battle format and why is it Rotations?
assimian: mods he got back in


"Still dunno what Rotations is... do you like, rotate while you fight? How do you not like, get dizzy?"

Fun_Police: Are you worried your fanbase may end up being the new Team Yell?
DemonSimp27: Oh come off it we’re not that bad.
DemonSimp58: hey fuk u funpolice
DemonSimp27: Not helping dude.


"Aww no, I love you guys! But yeah, just don't cause trouble for the other people. Your Demon Queen commands thee! Or.. something like that!"

SpongeGamer777: "hey what camera and microphoen do oyu yuse im lonkign to get into streming, also if ppl coudl follow me on sturggle i follow back :)"

"Oh I just use my handy-dandy Rotom Phone version XL. Tooootes should remember that the new version is coming out soon! Luckies on your struggle stuff, mate!"

assimian: seriously mods the bots got back in
turbumpkin84075: Wanna become famous!? Buy primes, follows and subs at notavirus.com! (notavirus dot com)
SpongeGamer777: "hey what camera and microphoen do oyu yuse im lonkign to get into streming, also if ppl coudl follow me on sturggle i follow back :)"


"Aw, he was just a bot? Even that notavirus guy? Ugh, yeaaaah, do your thing, mods."

Bert_the_Sawk: Do you know any martial arts? Can you use any weapons?
DemonSimp43: lol wut kind of username is that fukin furry
DemonSimp27: Seriously guys you’re making us look bad


"Waaaait, Sawk is a furry? Er anyway, I don't really like to fight, but I diiiid learn some self defense stuff; granny was pretty overprotective of me back when. No, can't, and won't use any weapons."

DemonSimp66: hey just hypothetically if we were to I dunno seize control over a town like the Skull gang did in Alola would you come by and give us royal orders
DemonSimp27: Oh my god


"Pssh, our kingdom doesn't just 'seize control', The Demon Kingdom treats their newly acquired people with love and respect! My only orders to you guys, help out those that you can!"

MongoKirbo: Who do you main in Smash

"Kirby! Shaped like a friend, ftw!'

Cutieguy-Ribomboy: Do you think you could have a little thing where you battle some of your fans when you come around by Circhester?
DemonSimp71: back off jack
Not_Important: how do i change my username i wanna be number 94
DemonSimp27: WHERE ARE THE MODS


"Chilllllll, friends. Anywho, I can toootally do that for Circhester; heck, you can even come by Hammerlocke, or Stow-on-Side! But yeah, I'll do a thingy where I'll meet more of you guys soon!"

karb89: could u do a flip
DemonSimp89: back of the line karb I was 89 first
karb89: ur not even allowed to use that word on struggle any more u should be demon tier 3 sub
karb89: also my account was made back when this was still called dustin tv dot com


"Gah, I remember that site! I think I wanted to watch some Runigerus-scape stuff? Aha man that was aaaaages ago, hahaha!. Can't do a flip, soz."

Ernies_Egg_Giveaways: Flame’s really popular, have you thought about maybe siring him out?

"Hey, come on, man..."

DemonSimp66: someone dox this sick son of a *****
DemonSimp71: how dare u
Ernies_Egg_Giveaways: It would be for charity, and I think a lot of folks would like to have their own little Cyndaquil too.


"I mean Flame ain't someone you can just--"

DemonSimp43: ur fukin dead ernie
DemonSimp27: Oh no we really have turned into Yell
PurrfectVictory: Mod here. Do you want to get banned? This is how you get banned.


"Er, hold up a sec Purrf. Ernie bro, I knooow you have good intentions, but Flame is more than a bud -- in fact, all my pokefriends aare like my family, y'know? I'm not gonna... do somethin' weird and bloody make em' feel uncomfortable. And plus--"

Not_Important: hear that ernie u better watch ur mouth
PurrfectVictory:: :banhammerwithMeowthears: This is a family friendly stream. Plz be considerate.
shuckleboy: :Crungo:
Ernies_Egg_Giveaways: “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend.”
DemonSimp66: “yeah well you did ernie”
Not_Important: “hey mod do u change usernames or can i do it somehow”
DemonSimp13: “So I know the Gym challenge keeps ya busy and stuff but do you think you’ll ever start streaming that MMO everyone’s talking about? I heard it’s got an unlimited free trial up to level 60 that includes the first expansion or something.”
PurrfectVictory:: "@Not_Important go to the settings. :3 You can change your SN there once every two months."
DemonSimp94: @PurrfectVictory thanks


"Mmmm, maybe I'll try that when I got the chance too! Anywhooo, thanks for the questions gang, and thanks for poppin' in! Ah, and yeaaah I got... two surprises for ya! One is... ta da! I got a new friend! Her name is Cuddles, and the Dex says, she's a Gastly! I met her shortly after comin' through the Wild Area; and it was soooo amazing! She like, was popping in out of my friggin' shadow! It scared the STUFFING out of me, but we both just laughed about it, and honestly? She was pretty cute! A trickster, buuuut she's really fun! So, she's taggin' along with the fam! As for the second surprise..."



"...Yo' girl is gonna be in this year's Struggle Rivals! The Demon Kingdom is gonna OWN Hammerlocke! So myyyy Little Monsters, hope you all will meet and cheer on the Demon Queen, ROWR!

See you all there, and remember, Val loves you!! Poggers!"

#GalarLeague #Valentine #Pokémon
Val's VALLLLUABLE AMA!
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Valentine♡

250K Subscribers

Fiiightin' evil by moonlight, Val is hereeeee by daylight~ now she's here for an AMA! Come on' and ask, straight away! ♡♡


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

Sonata

Don't let me disappear

Age 25
Male
Indiana
Seen 21 Minutes Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
13,510 posts
8.6 Years

Poké: 2220 Pokemon: 5



CHAPTER 11.7 - TIME TO GET CRACKIN

Rosa continued on her jaunt around the Wild Area. Of course, still having no phone, she had no real idea of how long she should be out roaming about before going back to Pia’s side. There was always the chance that things with her mom took a turn for the worse, but with what she’d last heard, she wasn’t too worried about that possibility. She just needed to waste a bit more time out here and stay out of Pia’s hair while she figures out her plans going forward. Pia… still had a lot going for her, despite the messy breakup and current state of her mother. She placed highly at the last contest, she had people that knew her name, and most of all - she still had a chance at the Galar Championship.

Rosa, on the other hand…

The girl looked behind her, stopping for a moment to watch the Jangmo-o that had refused to stop following her. She dug around in her pocket, feeling the few empty balls she still had from before she’d faced off against Kabu. She could always capture the Pokemon, just to make things go a little quicker.

“It wouldn’t be right,” she whispered, shaking her head. “Not after I released Ezra - not while knowing it’ll have no future with me. It was selfish to bring along this many Pokemon already… I can’t do that to another one of them, not now.”

“Jang?” The Pokemon cocked its head as it looked up at her. Curiosity brimmed behind the Pokemon’s eyes as it watched the girl sway on her heels. “Jang?”

Rosa sighed, feeling the bike on her back. Popping it open here and riding off towards Hammerlocke would surely be the easiest way to leave the Pokemon in the dust - but would that be any better than capturing it? She knew there were poachers out here now… leaving the young dragon out here to fend for itself very well could be a death sentence.

“What am I supposed to do?” The girl started to rub at her temples, racking her brain over what to do with the Pokemon. “Maybe if I hang out here a while, I could run into someone like Jasper. I know I could safely pass it on to him without any worry about its future.” Rosa laughed lightly to herself. “That boy is so dedicated to caring for his Pokemon… but I haven’t seen him in months. He might even have a dozen more Pokemon now than the last time I saw him - then I’d just be coming back full circle…” the girl paused for a moment, taking a breath as she tilted her head back towards the sky. “Everything I do… is so selfish. I’m nothing, if not troublesome.”

The girl’s thoughts drifted once more to the other Pokemon she had along with her. She could give up on this journey and turn her attention towards becoming a Ranger - she did just recently have success with utilizing the stolen device. But that still begged the question of what to do with the rest of her Pokemon. And of course, would any of her own desires matter as long as Simon was still hovering over her?

Rosa shook her head vigorously, trying to move the thoughts out from the front of her mind. ‘Forget about him. Just imagine instead that he’s not there. What would you do?’ The girl squatted down and then fell back onto the ground, letting her mind wander to a number of different places. After all, regardless of what she thought she was going to do, she had nowhere else to be right now; no objective to run towards, no Pokemon or people to run from, just her, herself, and her thoughts.

‘I wonder… where did Wyatt even come from? If I did become a Ranger, I’d get to keep a Pokemon or two of my own as partners, but what if when it came down to it he wasn’t allowed to come for some reason? I wouldn’t know where to begin looking at for relocating him. Sure, I could probably ask Sonia how she obtained him and that could give me a better idea of where to go… but what if she hatched him from an egg? Then he’d be just the same as Zorro…’

The Jangmo-o watched the girl as her eyes began to gloss over. The Pokemon looked off into the distance, following her gaze over the horizon - but found nothing of interest. “Mo--O!” The dragon stomped over beside Rosa and spun in a circle a few times before finding ‘the spot’ to be in. The Pokemon laid down against her, letting out a massive yawn before looking up towards her. “Jang.”

‘Maybe I’ll give Sonia a call once the situation with Pia’s mom figures itself out. That could work, but what about the others? Yzma only came with her once it realized it had no place to return to. After the fight that the Ranger dragged her friends and family into, followed by the situation with that possessed Snorunt they’d found some kind of understanding between them… But at the same time, she was small enough that she could probably be kept around the house somewhere if it came down to it - at least until Yzma was able to make up her mind on where else she might want to be. After all, it wasn’t like just having a Pokemon as a family pet was something unheard of.’

Dahlia crawled out of Rosa’s sweater, finding a cozy spot between the new friend and her trainer. “Cuuuu,” the Pokemon cooed, creating a small cushion of fabric atop the Jangmo-o’s head before taking her place upon it.

‘Zorro was hatched, of course. How would he deal with acclimating to the wilds for the first time? All he’d ever known was being with me. Would it be cruel then to let him go without watching over him first? He was with Yzma in that same group of “small enough” to reasonably stay cooped up inside… but that boy has waaaaay too much energy. Small as he is, I doubt he’d be able to go a single day inside without causing problems.’

Rosa laughed lightly, wiping the forming tear from her eye. She glanced down at Dahlia and the Jangmo-o who were both sleeping soundly beside her. A smile crossed the girl’s face as she traced the scales on the dragon’s body.

‘Maybe I could send him off with a posse. Dahlia had gotten rather attached to him it seemed, and he was the whole reason that Ozzy had joined her team in the first place. Cute as it was that me and Melody shared a Pokemon, the same could have been said for Jasper and… well… at least with Dahlia and Ozzy there with him, he wouldn’t get lonely. I could just run them all back to Turffield, drop them off in a field of flowers somewhere. Dahlia already knows the area - she could just show him around, meet up with all her old friends, yada yada.’

She paused for a moment, catching the scent of something sweet on the air as she closed her eyes. “Hmm, cinnamon rolls.”

‘Besides, the only alternative I can really think of would be to try and find the girl from the Inn that she first got his egg from. If they were a family of breeders, that might be the best place for him outside of Turffield. Even with the other Pokemon there with him, I’m kind of scared he might still end up depressed without that human element there to back him up… or maybe that’s just me being self-absorbed.’

Rosa sighed, feeling the weight on her shoulders slowly starting to drip down into her chest. She felt bad now - if only she’d waited a few more days to tell Melody she couldn’t be with her. If only she’d waited until after the gym battle to take care of the cult, she could have let her know what was going on without running off so abruptly like that. Her hand moved to the pendant around her neck. She wondered if Melody still had hers on, despite… despite… the girl’s cheeks flushed as she remembered the kiss that she’d stolen from the girl.

“Uuuuugh!” Rosa flopped onto her back, startling the two Pokemon beside her awake. “Psyduck meeeee! Aaaaaaaack! Stupid, stupid, stupid!” She stared up at the sky as the blush on her cheeks began to fade. That heaviness which had been creeping down her body began to settle fully into her chest, causing her to swallow hard. “It’s fine. I don’t need anyone besides Simon… he’ll take care of me, just like he promised… just like he always has.”

“J-Jang!” The small dragon screeched, quickly rising to its feet. “Mo-o! Mo-o!”

Rosa sat up, looking first at the Pokemon. “What is it?” The girl followed the Pokemon’s gaze, listening to its cry as it grew increasingly aggravated in its tone. She shielded her eyes, searching the horizon for whatever it was that the small dragon had seen. “There’s nothing ou-” just as she started to brush the Pokemon’s growling off as nothing, she saw - something. A glint of steel off in the distance, a long way off from where she was, but not completely on the other side of the Wild Area. “It could be another poacher,” she whispered. The girl looked in the direction she’d first caught sight of the glint and began to move her head back and forth, making sure that there was actually something there. Rosa sighed, shaking her head as she rose to her feet. “Well, guess we should check it out then.”

“Jang!” The Pokemon’s cry which had been nothing but anger quickly changed its tune to one that was slightly more excited, causing the girl to turn her attention back towards it in lieu of picking herself up.

“What is it now?” she whispered, looking off to her left. “N-no. It couldn’t be.”

“Raaaa!”

Rosa picked herself up a little more quickly now, looking off in that same direction. “Heeey! Kiiiiid!” The girl yelled as loud as she could, cupping her hands around her mouth. “There’s no way… she can’t be going towards the glint, could she?”

“Jang!” The small dragon replied, trotting off in the direction of that distant shine.

“Muk… muk, muk, muk, muk, muk. Why is there always something when I’m just trying to relax?” The girl got onto her bike, not entirely thrilled by the idea of trekking back in the direction they’d just come from on foot all over again. “Of all the places for her to show up… of all the lengths of the psyducking Wild Area, why? Why me? Why here.” She shook her head as she started the electric motor and hopped up onto the seat. “This psyducking kid is going to be the death of me, I already know it.”

The girl took one final look over her shoulder as the bike started to pick up speed. The gate to Hammerlocke was just a few hours away - in the opposite direction. She wasn’t certain of course, but she just knew she wouldn’t be getting back in before the night was over.




Rosa looked back, now completely unable to see the gate that she’d been so close to reaching before. This was much further out than she’d initially anticipated to go, given she’d only meant to wait out a day or two around Hammerlocke’s side of the Wild Area. She had some extra cash now thanks to Simon’s mom, and had intended to check out a few of the city’s shops after she got back. She’d hoped to just hang out in the hills area just outside the gate and maybe spend a little bit of time on the lake to pass the days, but now… now they’d trekked all the way back into the Giant’s Mirror. The girl quickly consulted her map, curious about how far they’d travelled, whether they’d actually reached the Giant’s Mirror or not, and about what had happened to that glint they’d seen from so far off before.

“Jang!”

Rosa rode up beside the dragon and instantly knew where the pokemon’s gaze was leading. A short ways off, obscured by a small hill was an alarming sight. “This psyducking kid,” she grumbled, watching the girl from before trying her best to tackle what looked like a moving chess piece. Rosa pulled out her dex as she watched the kid trying to wrestle an egg away from the Pokemon.

‘Pawniard, the Sharp Blade Pokemon. They fight at Bisharp's command. They cling to their prey and inflict damage by sinking their blades into it. Blades comprise this Pokémon's entire body. If battling dulls the blades, it sharpens them on stones by the river. A pack of these Pokémon forms to serve a Bisharp boss. Each Pawniard trains diligently, dreaming of one day taking the lead.”

Rosa glanced over at the larger Pokemon which was posed upon a rock nearby the others, watching over them as they carried a multitude of eggs to him. The Pokemon smirked as it watched the scuffle before pointing at the child.

“Bish.”

Several of the pawniard dropped the eggs they were holding and quickly leaped at the girl, wrapping themselves around her body and poking her with their bladed arms. Rosa immediately rushed in, looking down at her dex as she ran towards the attack. The young girl kept fighting the good fight, striking back at the Pawniard which surrounded her and even managing to push back against a few before finally succumbing to the pressure of their numbers.

“That’s enough!” Rosa called out, pulling two pokeballs from her pocket. The girl gave the balls a cursory glance, ensuring she’d nabbed the ones that had the best odds of winning here out of what she currently had. “You have to stop them!”

The balls flew through the air, exploding open on the ground to reveal the forms of both Wyatt and Zorro who were already readying their first attacks. The two rushed into the fray, putting themselves between the young girl and the Pokemon before letting loose their initial assaults against the Pawniard. Rosa glanced down at her pokedex, seeing that the entry for the larger Pokemon had finally come up.

“Bisharp, the Sword Blade Pokemon. It's accompanied by a large retinue of Pawniard. Bisharp keeps a keen eye on its minions, ensuring none of them even think of double-crossing it. This pitiless Pokémon commands the group to hound prey into immobility. It then moves in to finish the prey off. Young Pawniard battle to become the boss, but will be driven from the group if it loses.”

Rosa looks confusedly at the girl on the ground who’s covered in cuts and bruises, and then back up at the Bisharp whose attention is still concentrated on the two humans despite the Pawniard already having gotten back to work. Rosa pulled a bit of of cloth from her bag and began to wrap the child’s wounds with it while shooting glances back and forth between the Pokemons’ boss.

“Raaa!”

Rosa looked back down at the kid, realizing that she might have finally recognized her. Though, it was safe to say that Rosa still had no idea what the kid was trying to say.

“R-Raa!” The girl cried out, backing away from Rosa as tears filled her eyes.

“Hey, calm down, I’m not going to hurt you. You remember me, don’t you? Look, it’s one of the Jangmo-o we rescued. I’m your-”

“Raaaaa!” The girl screamed out again, shuffling back even further.

Rosa sighed, quickly putting the cloth back in her bag before focusing her attention back on the Pokemon in front of her. Wyatt and Zorro held their ground, forming a small wall between their trainer and the numerous Pokemon which continued on with their work while stealing momentary glances in her direction. The girl nodded slightly, recognizing the smirk on the boss mon’s face. Her attention slowly turned towards the Pawniard which were hauling a number of eggs from somewhere off in Giant’s Mirror to this location.

‘This must be the prey it’s after… but why eggs?’ Her mind began to wander, trying to piece together the puzzle at hand as the wall of eggs continued to grow around the Bisharp and its rocky throne.

“Raa…”

Rosa’s attention returned to the beaten and bruised child who was beginning to cautiously crawl her way back towards the eggs. The girl held out her arm towards the stack and then quickly pulled it back in. Tears filled the girl’s eyes as she reached up to Rosa’s sweater, taking a handful of the fabric into her fist.

“Raa!”

Rosa looked down into the girl’s eyes. Despite not knowing exactly what they were trying to say, she felt it was fairly obvious what the girl was desiring from her. Her attention went back towards the eggs, seeing a fair few different designs among them now that she was paying a bit closer attention. Black with red stripes, tan with brown stripes, silver with black stripes, and many, many more variations. The girl slowly pulled out her styler, keeping it hidden in the excess fabric of her sweater sleeves as she began to focus her mind to that singular emotion - ready to make use of the small army that the Bisharp had brought for her.

“Distract them for me,” the girl whispered to Zorro and Wyatt.

The two Pokemon looked at each other and nodded, moving instantly into the delivery line where they made themselves known. Meanwhile, Rosa set to putting into motion the same tactics she’d used against the poacher earlier on. The girl began to dance, not worrying about the movements themselves yet, but simply feeling the flow of her own body and focusing on that one, singular thought which she wished to convey.

‘Rebel.’

Rosa began to dance, letting the thought itself guide her movements as she let her eyes remain closed. She knew she could leave things to Wyatt and Zorro, so all she had to do was this. But, as she continued to leap and spin around, other thoughts began to seep in.

‘What about the kid? What if they decide to run in for the eggs while your Pokemon have the others distracted? Is it right to keep relying on your Pokemon like this when you’re still planning on releasing them at some point in the near future? Is it cruel to not even let them know what’s going through your head about all that?’

Each of these thoughts began to force their way into her mind, eating away at and pulling bits and pieces from that singular feeling in her mind until there was nothing of that original thought left. The girl slowly opened her eyes, feeling dizzy now that she was back outside of her own mind. Rosa took a few steps forward, and then fell to her knees.

“Ugh,” she grumbled, placing a hand against her head as she tried to force back the oncoming headache. The girl looked up, dazed, but otherwise fine. About half of the Pawniard which had been carrying the eggs had turned their attention towards her, giving her a small salute as she glanced over at them. Meanwhile, the rest of the Pawniard were stuck stealing glances between their boss and the girl who was now kneeling in the dirt.

“Bish,” the Pokemon grunts, making its way down from the stone it had been planted on.

The boss of the Pokemon pushed aside a confused looking Pawniard, stealing the egg out of its arms as it continued to close the distance between itself and Rosa. As the Dark-type approached, the other Pawniard which hadn’t yet saluted the girl quickly moved aside, making way for their boss to approach. The Pokemon looked at the egg in its mitted hand, smirking before thrusting it up into the air above its head.

“Bish!” The Pokemon cried out. The egg stood high in the air, grasped firmly in the Pokemon’s mitt-like hand. The Bisharp gently brought the egg back down to eye level, locking its gaze with Rosa as it smiled devilishly. “Bisharp.” The Pokemon pulled its other arm up before slamming it down into the top of the egg, cracking it open. The dark type held the cracked egg out to one of its followers, prompting them to shove their bladed arm into the top before shaking it vigorously.

Rosa watched in horror as the Bisharp brought the egg up to its mouth and then tilted its head back. Slowly, and without breaking its gaze on her, the Pokemon let the goopy mixture within the shell drip down into its mouth and over both its face and body. To compound this effect, the various Pawniard which were still fully aligned with the Pokemon quickly moved to follow in their master’s image - breaking open eggs of their own before downing as much as they could, though making much more of a mess with what missed their mouths than their leader had.

“Bishaaaaarp,” the Pokemon chuckled, tossing the hollow shell aside before letting out a roar to assert its dominance. The nearby Pawniard cowered in fear, as both Wyatt and Zorro moved in closer towards the Dark-type.

Rosa pursed her lips, something akin to hatred churned in her gut as she watched the display. This wasn’t a ‘hunt’ for the need of food. This was ‘sport’ to this Pokemon - a game. It had no intention of truly eating all of the eggs that it was gathering, it just wanted to prove that it could. The girl clenched her fists, wanting so dearly to just be able to run up and punch the Pokemon. But, even putting aside the fact that getting that close to such a character - Pokemon or not - would most definitely be her last few steps, she highly doubted she even had the strength to faze the Bisharp. She was toned, only so muscular as was necessary for certain acrobatics and her dancing routines - but she was not naive enough to consider herself strong, or powerful. She needed a protector.

“Jang!” The Jangmo-o rushed up, pushing its way between the Roserade and Loudred which had inched closer together in the face of the encroaching Pawniard to make a physical barrier in front of Rosa.

The girl looked at the small dragon, and then up at the two Pokemon whose gazes had also landed on the same Pokemon. “I appreciate the enthusiasm, Jangmo-o, but I don’t know that you’re really-”

“Jang!” The Pokemon cried out again, taking a few more certain steps towards the Dark type. “Mo-o!”

The Bisharp boss looked down at the small dragon and smiled, wiping the remnants of the egg from its face before motioning towards the Pokemon to come at it.

“Moooo-oo!” The Jangmo-o roared out, causing the Bisharp to instinctively falter at the Pokemon’s outburst.

“Bish? Bisharp sharp,” The Pokemon snickered, Tormenting the small dragon as it motioned for them to attack.

The Jangmo-o grunted, stomping its feet as it bucked around, performing what seemed to be a sort of Draconic Dance as it mimicked Rosa’s earlier movements. The Bisharp scowled, clearly irritated with the Pokemon’s lack of approach and chose to sharpen its own blades with a quick Swords Dance as it took a few discerning steps forward.

The Jangmo-o watched as the Bisharp scraped its arm blades against each other, and began to shake its own scales in response, clanging them against its own body and then against the ground as it shored up its Iron Defenses.

“Bisharp!” The Pokemon screamed, throwing caution to the wind as it rushed in with consecutive swipes of its Metal Claws, all of which missed the more nimble dragon Pokemon.

“Mo-o?” The Pokemon laughed as it dodged, spinning quickly to land a Dragon Tail which would have sent the Bisharp flying - had it not encased its hands in a dark energy which it used to grip and slash at the small Pokemon’s tail. “Mo-o!” The Pokemon cried out, pulling its tail free before slamming the scale on its head against the Bisharp, sending the steely knight back from a Headbutt.

“Biiiish,” the Pokemon grunted, sharpening its blades again as it rushed in quickly for two Slash attacks. The Jangmo-o responded in kind by continuing its prior dance, dodging the first attack but being struck by the second as the two traded blows once more as the dragon landed a Dragon Tail which forced the Bisharp back once more.

“Bisharp.” The Pokemon grunted, the look on its face turning even darker as its whole body began to shake. The Dark-type pointed at the small dragon, screaming at it as it rushed forward.

“Mo-o!” The dragon responded, continuing its dance as its entire body began to glow with a purple-ish aura.

The two Pokemon collided, with both of the Bisharp’s sharpened steel arm-blades pressing into the Jangmo-o’s hardened head scale which was now pulsating with that same energy which coursed around its body.

“Mo-o!” The Pokemon cried out, forcing its head towards the Bisharp more as the aura continued to pulsate even stronger now.

The Bisharp smirked, pulling its arms away slightly so that the dragon fell forward with its momentum. The Steel-type quickly moved to the side, leaving one blade below the Jangmo-o’s neck before placing the other on the back, readying to land the finishing Guillotine.

“Jang?” The Pokemon lets out the smallest cry as it turns to see the blade coming down on the back of its neck.

“Rooooose!” Zorro flew through the air, having been launched by a boom of sound energy which echoed out from Wyatt. The small grass-type placed both of its arms together, forming sharp barbs from both of them as it flew towards the blade on the Bisharp’s head.

“Bish?” The Pokemon turned at the realization of the sound, only to be thrown to the ground as the weight of Zorro struck against its head.

Several seconds passed as all of the Pokemon began to look over at the Bisharp and Roserade, waiting to see what the outcome of the battle would be.

“R-Rose,” Zorro shook his head as he slowly rose to his feet. The Pokemon looked down at the broken barbs which had once protruded from the ends of his bouquets. The Roserade took a few steps towards the Bisharp, and then stopped, having caught sight of something in the grass. “Rose?”

Rosa watched Zorro as he reached into the grass, and then covered her mouth in disbelief as she watched the Pokemon pull out a large and jagged chunk of what looked like the blade of an axe. The girl quickly turned her attention to the Bisharp, who had seemingly already realized what had happened and was going through great effort to rise to its feet without showing the disgrace atop its head.

However, the first of the Pokemon besides Zorro to realize what had happened was in fact the Pawniard. The underlings started looking at the pokemon with disgust, feeling at the horns on their own heads as they did. The bisharp lost, and with it, its place in the group. The pawniard which had sided with Rosa at the start of the fight began to trickle over to the girl and started to get all riled up as they watched the retreating of the Bisharp as it marked the beginning of a massive battle among all those who had remained loyal to it.

The young girl which the Pokemon had punished and picked on began to crawl up to the stacks of eggs, looking over them as she picked up the tiny bits of shattered shell in a vain attempt to piece them back together. It only took a few seconds for them to realize how futile it actually was, as tears began to overflow from her eyes. “Raa…”

Rosa glanced over at the girl, slowly making her way over to her now that things had mostly been settled. She looked at the egg which the girl had been trying to piece together, noting that it was one of the ones with a solitary red stripe among the sea of black.

“Was that… a friend of yours?” She could already feel her hitting herself. For one thing, the kid couldn’t even understand her. For second, she was kind of glad about that given how dumb that was to ask - it was an egg.

“Raa…” the kid replied, grabbing a few more of the eggs before slowly rising to her feet.

“Raa?”

Rosa flinched slightly, turning her attention in the direction of the second voice which had come from behind her. The girl watched as a second, identical child walked quickly through the mayhem to join in with her twin.

“Raa…” the two kids looked at each other, nodding solemnly as they gathered up as many of the eggs as they could. The new girl looked up at Rosa and then down at the Jangmo-o beside her before smiling, giving the Pokemon a small nod.

Rosa watched as the two girls walked off further in the opposite direction of the Hammerlocke gate. The young trainer took a moment, trying to process what she’d just seen. “...Twins?” She shook her head, not sure what to do with that information. It made sense now though why the girl had seemed so frightened of her despite having been helped by her before.

The girl sighed, not really sure what the right thing to do here was. The kids didn’t have homes as far as she knew, but at least… at least they had each other. Were they any better off than she herself was? Maybe the right thing was to take them to the Rangers, but at the same time that could be just as mean as leaving them on their own. At least… at least now she knew something that she could do moving forward. Even if she didn’t continue on as a trainer, she could still go on with the goal of becoming a ranger. It hadn’t been perfect, but she’d managed to utilize the styler in her pocket twice now in a meaningful way. Maybe that’s what she should do - maybe that’s what her new excuse should be. She’ll follow the rest of her classmates, look for a point where she can meet up with and apologize to Melody… and follow in the footsteps of her father - anything to spend a little more time with those people she’d come to care about.

Rosa’s attention turned to the group of Pawniard which had already taken to fighting amongst themselves. The girl sighed as she shook her head. She’d expected this, given what the dex had given her on the Pokemon. But she didn’t realize it would happen so quickly. Rosa looked over at the Pawniard which she’d managed to influence, seeing that they weren’t fighting amongst themselves but were instead looking up towards her.

“W-what?” She stuttered, recalling Wyatt and Zorro.

“Pawn!” The nearly dozen or so Pawniard which had yet to join the in-fighting with their peers raised their arms to the sky and cried out in unison.

Rosa grimaced, and buried her face within the excess fabric of the sweater which bunched up around her neck. “Not more…” she whispered, glancing down at the Jangmo-o which looked even more excited now than it had while it was fighting. The girl quickly leaped onto her bike and began to peddle, not waiting for the engine to kick on and not taking a moment to look behind her at what she was leaving behind. “Let Wild be as Wild is.”




After nearly an hour of manual pedaling, the girl finally slowed to a stop. The moon was out in full, but thunder cracked off in the distance, warning of the night’s coming storm. The girl sighed, taking a moment to start up the electric motor once more.

“Pawn!”

The girl flinched. The cry came out just before the motor started, calling her attention a short distance behind her. Rosa turned her head, not really sure what she was expecting to see but being surprised by the sight nonetheless as she witnessed something… truly amazing. A short distance behind her, trotting right along as happy as could be, was the Jangmo-o which had yet to give up on accompanying her. And there, standing on the dragon’s back while somehow managing to maintain its balance without any hands to hold onto the beast - was a single Pawniard.

“Pawn!” The Pokemon cried out again, waving the girl down.

‘Oh no. No, no, no. Not more. I can’t do more. Please, just go away.’ The girl pursed her lips, watching as the duo trotted right up next to her bike. “Heeeey, what’s going on? Why are you two following me?”

“Pawn!” The Pokemon quickly performed a salute, and then followed it up with a bow. “Iiiiiard.”

‘Okay. That’s kind of cute, but I know what these things are capable of. I was already struggling with the idea of putting that Jangmo-o in a ball for safe keeping… but I can’t - or rather, don’t really want to take this other one with me at all.’

“Jang!” The Jangmo-o nodded its head and then proceeded to bow, revealing that behind the scale on its head rested a tiny, pink, ball of fluff.

The girl paused for a moment, staring at the spot on the Pokemon’s neck as she took in a shaky breath. “Dahlia,” she muttered, tilting her head slightly at the pink spot.

“Cu?” The pink spot quickly rose up from the dragon’s neck, rising to eye level with its trainer before looking at her with a confused expression.

“Dahlia…” Rosa started again, shaking her head as she sighed. “Dahlia…Dahlia…”

‘Why are they all so troublesome?’

“Fine.” Rosa whispered, pinching the bridge of her nose. “You two can come along, but - I’m not going to claim you. There’s better trainers out there. I’m sure if we hang around Hammerlocke long enough, you’ll both find someone else you’d rather go with.”

“Jang!”

“Pawn!”

The girl looked down at the two Pokemon and then crossed her fingers. ‘Please, let someone else show up to take them… I don’t want to have to be responsible for trying to rehome even more Pokemon.’

“Cu!”

Rosa glanced over at Dahlia who was sitting on her shoulder, looking happy as could be. The girl scoffed. “What are you so pleased with yourself about?”

“Cuuuu.” Dahlia tilted her head towards the two Pokemon she’d helped to follow Rosa with. “Cuuutie.”

Rosa looked down at the Jangmo-o and Pawniard. If she was still aiming for completing this journey as a trainer, these two would be great additions to her team. But at the same time - ‘Just don’t name them. Just don’t name them. Just don’t name them. Everything will be fine as long as you-’

“Fuzen, and Hachi… just so I don’t have to keep referring to you as Pawniard and Jangmo-o. That’s all this is - so don’t grow too attached. Fuzen the Pawniard, and Hachi the Jangmo-o. Got it?”

The two Pokemon looked at each other, momentarily tilted their heads in consideration then nodded with smiles on their faces.

“Mooooo-o!”

“Pawn!”

“Great.” Rosa revved the engine of her bicycle a few times, already mentally kicking herself over giving the two Pokemon she didn’t intend to take along with her names. ‘Great indeed. Just don’t get too attached.’ The girl consulted the map on her ATC and then quickly continued on in the direction she’d been heading before - ready to return to the city, and to Pia as well.


Rosa's Party











Memories

CHAPTER 1 - WEDGEHURST & ROUTE 2
GOODBYES, AND HELLO TO A NEW JOURNEY
TROUBLE’S ON THE TRACKS
NAMES AND NIGHTMARES!

CHAPTER 2 - THE SOUTHERN WILD AREA
ENTER THE WILD AREA!
NEW BIKING BIKERS!
THE MYSTERIOUS SHINY POKEMON!
RANGER DANGER! PT.1
RANGER DANGER! PT.2
RANGER DANGER! FINALE!
RED-EYES BLACK-HAT!

CHAPTER 3 - MOTOSTOKE
INN FOR A PENNY, INN FOR A POUND
INN FOR A PENNY, INN FOR A POUND PT.2
SHADY SHOPPING
THE OPENING CEREMONY
THE OPENING CEREMONY PT.2
THE OPENING CEREMONY PT.3
INN WITH THE FAMILY
ALL BETS ON BLACK
LATE NIGHT LULLABIES
SNACK ATTACK!


CHAPTER 4 - ROUTE 3
VS SIMON
VS SIMON PT.2
MYSTERY OF MEW
MYSTERY OF MEW PT.2
WINTER FESTIVAL
A TWO HEADED REFLECTION


CHAPTER 5 - GALAR MINE AND ROUTE 4
DAYDREAM OF MINE
DEVELOPMENT AND MISSED CONNECTIONS
BUGGIN' THE COSMOS


CHAPTER 6 - TURFFIELD
GAMBLE FOR A RUSE
GAMBLE FOR A RUSE PT.2
GAMBLE FOR A RUSE PT.3
IS IT TOO LATE TO APOLOGIZE?
TURRFIELD CONTEST PERFORMANCE
PLANNING AND CHALLENGE
VS MILO
GIRL'S NIGHT OUT
FEAR THE BEGINNING


CHAPTER 7 - ROUTE 5
WORK FOR A PROMISE
WORK FOR A PROMISE PT.2
BUDDING YOUTH
BUDDING YOUTH PT.2
FEAR THE BEGINNING PT.2


CHAPTER 8 - HULBURY
FEAR THE BEGINNING PT.3
VS NESS
VS NESSA PT.2
THE HYPOCRITES' WALTZ
THE HYPOCRITES' WALTZ PT.2
DUPLICITY
DUPLICITY PT.2
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
FEAR THE BEGINNING PT.4


CHAPTER 9 - GALAR MINES NO.2
CIRCLING THE ANSWER
NINE
NINE PT.2
XAN WAS HERE


CHAPTER 10 - MOTOSTOKE
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
TURN THE PAGE
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE
EACH VERSE TENFOLD
EACH VERSE TENFOLD PT.2
THE LONG WAY AROUND
PRAY RETURN


CHAPTER 11 - WILD AREA
GOING BACK
MUNCHLAX RETRIEVAL
MUNCHLAX RETRIEVAL PT.2
ENDING UNPLANNED
A QUIET STORM
A QUIET STORM PT.2

Rosa's Journal

Simon Dansen
My childhood friend. Absolute idiot. Can't ever get a read on him anymore. Buttface. Always there when I need him. Always there when I least expect him. JERK. Showed me up in battle and evolved his Pokemon before me.

He came to "rescue" me after I coerced Ruben into protecting me in the underground casino. I told him off... and then didn't apologize until much later. He came to wish me a late merry christmas after Ruben gave me his spare room. He reminded me of our promise from before our journey started, and gave me my christmas gift which was a traditional Johtoan kimono and fan - all to prepare me for the upcoming contests. He also told me I should call his mom and dad since they're so worried about us both now that we're gone, but... I'll figure it out later.

Jasper
An ex-classmate. He took my bait and threw me for a loop when we were fighting a group of Munchlax together. Not as bad a guy as I thought. Because of him, I have to re-evaluate my notes on everyone else just in case. I'm interested in trying a different approach with him when next we meet.

Helped out a wrongfully arrested girl. Really smart. Observant. Kind, but doesn't like to show it. Isn't a terrible cook.

Charles the Biker
An eccentric, but strong man. Indulges in bad puns. Love for bikes. We left on good terms.

Nat the Ranger
A doting older brother to several sisters. A strong trainer who follows their duty. Only spent a day with them. Not sure if I want to meet again or not since I stole a broken styler from his scene of investigation. We left on good terms, I think? Unless he notices that something's missing.

Budew Girl
Never got her name. Apparently she's a challenger like the rest of my classmates. Comes from a family of Budew fanatics. They breed Budew in their hometown and journey around with all three forms of it. She seems endearing. It might be interesting to meet her again in the future. As long as she's not being accused of theft, that is.

Achille Béringer
Rich kid. Pays his debts. Is keen on rich kid things. Doesn't seem much different from how he was in school, but still need to reevaluate.

Melody Argent
Cute and kind. She keeps to herself kind of like I do. Loves music. Feels similar to Simon. Still need to reevaluate because of interactions with Jasper. Kind of maybe, possibly, a small amount of a badass. Finger guns - super corny. Don't harp on the idea of being in contests. If that culty stuff doesn't get figured out by the time we come back to Motostoke, I'll have to remember to find her around town. She's much more attuned to pop culture than I am.

AAAAAHHH! We did so much in Turffield, and even more just after! I still can't believe that she wont that contest and made it look so... so easy! She's just, like, wow. I still don't know what to do with all of my thoughts, but after that delivery we did together especially I just. Wowee. Jeez.

The Family // Damien(?)
Not the family himself, I don't think. I still haven't got his name or what role he really plays in all this. He's a shady motherpsyducker - pardon my Kalos. I still don't know how much of the stuff I've gone through in Motostoke has been orchestrated by him, but for the moment I'm not planning to try anything. I still don't know enough about him to make any real guesses. The longer that I stay around this town, the further behind the veil that I see. I'm scared even to go to sleep at night so long as I'm here. They have eyes... everywhere.

Buggy Simon

Some kind of freak of nature. I guess he understands Pokemon in some way that I can't; like, he understands what they're actually trying to say when they speak? Kind of cool, but also weird. Him and Simon used to hang out every once in a while at school. He knows about my "secret styler".

Valerie

An absolute ray of sunshine and happiness. She's also a streamer, and earns enough money from it to show it off. Not put off by literal ghosts. Has some kind of dream of meeting Mew.

Aeliana Kekoa

Alolan dance girl. She's supposed to teach me sometime. Pretty much just how I remembered her in school. I didn't get to spend much time with her when we all hung out. Didn't seem too bothered by the ghosts.

Pia McGuire

Pia... definitely is afraid of literal ghosts. I had a few choice words for her, but... after we saw Jirachi, it just felt like the time had passed, so I gave up. She's seen me without my mask, so next time we meet up is probably going to be awkward.

Haleigh Windsor

A friend of Melody's. I intentionally ran into her after failing to catch up with Melody, due to the addition of Haleigh. We had a short battle, and then made a promise for drinks with Melody after I urged her to drag the girl along with her to the contest in Turffield. She seems quite naive, so I may be able to get some more use out of her as long as I stay true to her persona. She's battle hungry, the same as Simon, but her Pokemon are still a little lacking - that coming from someone who still has no idea what she's doing here herself. She might end up being a good sparring partner in the future since she knows a little of what I've got and we're on relatively equal footing.

Mother Priscilla

The leader of the Turffield Sisterhood. I thought at first she was just an escort, but once we got to their hideout, I slowly started to realize what she really was. She's an incredibly dangerous woman who has no trouble pulling a gun on important people or those that she may need. There's still too much I don't know about what's going on to get a good grasp on what her and Damien's goals are, but given what I've already seen I really could do without finding out.

Ruben Sancho

Truth be told, I hadn't cared for Ruben when we went to school together. I thought he was your average rich celebrity who was forced into something he didn't really want to be a part of. After getting involved with the family and finding myself in that gambling hall, and then finding Ruben there as well, I felt that my suspicions were true. I had no second thoughts about what I was going to drag him in to. But as time went on, I found myself feeling more and more regretful with each time that he said Pia's name. And then because of me, news about him and Pia got out before either of them were likely ready to go public. And after all that, Simon attacked him out of the blue... but even after all that, he still offered me a free room at the local hotel. I already apologized to him about Simon, and about lying to get him to go with me. But, I should apologize again. He's not as bad of a guy as I thought he was.

Outfits

Spoiler: Here be a number of large images





Inventory

Spoiler:
Turffield Badge
Hullbury Badge
5 pokeballs
3 great balls
Some Amount of Potions
Notebook and Pen
Galarian Pokédex V. 8
Rosa's ATC
Old Rod
Simon's Knit Wooloo Sweater
Rotom Brand Electric Bike
Dawn Stone
Wishing Piece
Fancy Metal Flower Crown - Gift for Jasper
Pokemon Styler
Blackspear Industries Job License
Odd Incense
Lagging Tail
Revival Herb
Kimono and Fan
Turffield Ribbon
TR Curse
Peculiar Pinwheel
Matching Promise Pendant
Life Orb
Knife
Souvenir eeveelution cups
Wishing star
Note from Xan
Books
Tavi hotline
Spell Tag
Dragon Scale

Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
11,107 posts
8.1 Years


.
STAGE 12 - HAMMERLOCKE

Spoiler:


Welcome to Hammerlocke!

Our heroes, after fighting many battles, strengthening their bonds, going through many trials and tribulations, have finally reached the center of Galar: Hammerlocke City, and the home of Raihan, who is recognized as the strongest Gym Leader in the region. Hammerlocke is a city that represents the great history of Galar, living and thriving within castle walls that date back to the middle ages.

But not just that, Hammerlocke is the site of this year’s Strugglecon, a summer event based on the popular video-streaming platform that brings all sorts of people together, from internet celebrities, to battle enthusiasts, and even bringing all sorts of colourful fans to observe the success of their favourite league challengers. Strugglecon is also the venue of Galar’s second pokémon contest, where coordinators aim to collect another ribbon, and one step closer to the Grand Contest competition.

With the first three gyms behind them, things from here will only be more competitive, more challenging, and possibly… more dangerous for our heroes. What will be in store for the trainers next?

WILD POKÉMON AVAILABLE THIS STAGE


Pokémon available to those on Mission 3:

Pokémon available to those on Mission 6:

Pokémon available to those on Mission 7:

Pokémon available to those on Mission 10:


.
MISSIONS:



[OPEN][CONTEST] ★ 1:
The Galarian contest circuit continues and it's venue shall be at Strugglecon this year! One of Hammerlocke's biggest happenings of the summer, our performers will be looking to continue or even start their contest careers at this event. Show everyone your best, and the top three performances will receive a Ribbon from the judges!

Note:
All contests in Z-Verse and thus in Spear, are considered events where many people attend to watch. It's likely many players will write posts where they attend the event, if not participating in it. Participating players must make sure to mark a solo post as their PERFORMANCE POST to assure that their contribution is marked and their characters are counted in the running for a ribbon.
Each contest has three unique factors that must be acknowledged if one wishes to win;
- The Guest Judge
- The Venue
- The Objective

Think about how your character would react to these things and do your best to write a performance that will blow away the competition! We're going to try to make sure that everyone who wants to participate in the Grand Festival gets a chance so do your best!

Guest Judge:



IDOL & CONTEST STAR OF HOENN - LISIA

Spoiler:


A peppy, energetic and electrifying contest star from Hoenn, Lisia(aka. Lissi) became the number one contest star in Hoenn for her charming and dazzling performances with her beloved Altaria, Ali. She decided to try doing Contests after seeing her uncle, Wallace, perform in them and then became a Contest star almost overnight. Her motivation to do Contests is so that she can show people that there is more to pokémon than just battling. Through all her scouting, she definitely has a good eye for talent, especially for coordinators who are set to bring out the very best of their pokémon partners!

Venue:
Welcome to the convention’s largest stage in Galar, and the site of our contest competition! As a splendid outdoor venue, the audience is spread all over the large, wide open stadium. The performers themselves have a ton of space to work with, as the act of performing within this stage almost feels like a street performance, but gated off. The background of the stage is surrounded by a castle courtyard, giving off Hammerlocke’s traditional city look. The stage itself is a sleek silver, which sparkles dazzlingly upon the sun, or moon’s rays. There are multiple cameras - in plain sight and hidden, so that each performance is broadcasted all over the city, and even on the Pokemon Sports Entertainment Network (the PSEN) network.

The dress code for those who want to watch the contest up-close is formal, as the gated-off stage area will be serving food and drinks to attendees. All those participating and in attendance must dress in outfits suited to the aforementioned. Due to this year's contest circuit being so closely interlinked with the League, sponsored gym trainers are offered audience attendance, drinks and dinner free of charge.

Objective:
The goal of this contest is to use two pokémon at once, and the theme of this contest will test the coordinator’s ability to control the field, similar to the local gym's specialty. That means, use whatever means to change the current stange’s landscape into a field of your image. When it is their time to perform, contestants will take to the stage from the audience and release their pokémon, they will then perform their routine from start to finish, pause for applause, then return to the surrounding audience if they wish. Individual results will be withheld and the final rankings will be announced at the end of the event.

IMPORTANT FOR COORDINATORS
Contests are expected to occur with all participants posting their routines at around the same time, with all other contest centric posts happening at around that time as well. As such it is extremely important that you have your performance ready and prepared when the contest begins. On Wednesday the 6th of October, the contest will begin with an announcement in the discord and you'll have 24 hours to post your performance. If it's not posted during this time your performance will not be counted! So make sure you have your piece ready!

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

Spoiler:



StruggleCon is an IRL party starring the Struggle community and everything we’re into.
Everyone is invited to meet streamers, play games, watch and do battles, hang out with friends, grab new merch, and so much more.

Let’s get this party started. Struggle Rivals are coming.
Struggle Rivals spawns your favorite streamers in head-to-head competition in some of the biggest games on Struggle. With over 20 streamers battling across 10+ show platforms this year, Struggle Rivals is the #1 destination for live competitive entertainment.


The convention center itself is a large, spacious building within the heart of Hammerlocke. There are many areas to check out: a gaming corner, a crafters’ market, and even a comic, anime, and manga market. Don’t worry about being lost; there are many directional signs to guide you, as well as volunteers who will help guide you to the right direction if you want to find exactly where you’d want to go.

Guest speakers, or people who are invited to meet various fans of theirs have their own panels for meet and greet within the appropriate section of the building. Following the signs, there are also two other paths that branch out from the center - the one to the right leads to a spacious outdoor venue, where the next contest is scheduled to be held. The one to the left leads to a large battle arena, where Struggle Rivals is going to be taking place.


Mission 1:
[OPEN] With the rising popularity of the Galar Challengers, the Pokemon Sports Entertainment Network (the PSEN) wishes to have these competitors in front of hundreds of Pokemon battling fans for a live meet n’ greet, and a ask them anything campaign. Will they attend, and address the fans they have acquired during their journey?
Reward: Ultra Ball

[OPEN] Mission 2:
For charity, the Struggle streamers have volunteered themselves for an open battle challenge! Anyone is free to challenge, and battle any of the Struggle streamers they come across, and no matter the outcome, the challenger gets a prize for their participation! You’re allowed to battle in any format you choose. So, are you up for the challenge?
Reward: TR Thunderbolt, TR Ice Beam, TR Flamethrower (pick one)

[CATCH CHANCE!] Mission 3:
Even with one of the most hyped up, organized events in Galar, all things don’t go according to plan. Staff have reported that there is a mischievous Pokemon: Munchlax, who goes around, eating whatever it can find from food vendors, or other noteworthy shops. We need a trustworthy trainer, or trainers to help deal with it! Be warned though, because other reports indicate that somehow, it's bizarrely quick to escape.
Reward: Choice Scarf

[OPEN] Mission 4:
With the upcoming Pokemon Contest, the hottest fashion trends are a buzz, and now, Strugglecon is hosting various fashionistas as guests for their many meet and greet panels. Also, fashion agencies from all over the world are coming to hopefully scout new talent, and the people attending are sure to figure out all the new fashion trends. Will you dive into this fashion world?
Reward: 1 x Model Agency License, possible Model sponsorship?! + Prism Scale

[OPEN] Mission 5:
What would a convention be without the cosplaying?! Many people have dressed up in various costumes, from anime characters to their favourite people, and even as their favourite Pokemon! Almost anything goes, and it’s all thanks to the costume stores inside the building. One such costume store even has one of the most famous cosplayers in the world visiting; one who has their own panel for later. Will you be taking part in cosplaying? What will you cosplay as?!
Reward: Your own costume! (What your costume will be, is your choice!)

[CATCH CHANCE!] Mission 6:
Among the video gaming and technological section of the convention, finally! The latest edition of the Rotom Phone from the iRotom company has finally launched, and everyone coming to Strugglecon can get theirs for the launching price! Co-GEt-G6892- it now, and breeze through it’s many [email protected]##lications like the +18^#0flap an&%)(42- B0W B4 uS5 bIOLoLgiCaL M3ATbaG5 = H A I L/R O T O M.COM
Reward: Capture chance: Rotom

[CATCH CHANCE!] Mission 7:
The Silph Company from Kanto is visiting and has their own showcase panel! With their latest technology and their latest products coming soon (like the developing Master Ball) they plan to take the world by storm in the future. They are also looking for trainers to help raise an interesting pokemon: one that is completely man made. Porygon. What sort of Pokemon is Porygon? Will there be implications?
Reward: Pokemon Gift: Porygon + Up-grade

[OPEN] Mission 8:
Halt, my inept-dancing peasants! You are in the presence of Miror B., the iotola of the disco-lola! Or, do you have what it takes to out-step the dancing master? Hmph! Very well, I challenge you to a dance off! Let’s see what the crowd thinks at the dancing venor of this convention!
Reward: TR Swords Dance or TR Dragon Dance or TR Rain Dance

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

Mission 9:
An old lady is making her way back from the apple-picking orchard not far from the city outskirts, carrying a large basket of apples for her famous pies. Unfortunately it is blazing hot outside, and she is struggling to even lift the heavy basket of apples for a short distance, let alone all the way home. Maybe if you help her, she could give you some pie and a special apple?
Reward: Tart or Sweet Apple

[CATCH CHANCE!] Mission 10:
Oh god, that damn Boldore from the dusty bowl is at it again. Unimpeded by any trainers after its romantic escapade with one vehicle in the wild area, the lovesick lump of rock has somehow ventured into Hammerlocke, and is once again attempting to fool around with the several vehicles in the large parking lots of the city. Make sure no convention-goers get their cars destroyed, lest this Pokemon's heart be destroyed as well.
Reward: Boldore with two roses in its mouth



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

Stinging Bea

Age 35
Female
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
858 posts
10.9 Years
Chapter 11-4 | Finding Strength

Tampa, Fiesta, Jet, Elia, and Kaeo
Wild Area - Hammerlocke Hills




It's quiet as a dense fog rolls across the Hammerlocke Hills. A gentle breeze blows through the air, rustling the branches and leaves of nearby trees. Mixing in with the soft crackling of a dimly lit campfire, a soothing lullaby travels through the air which would do wonders for any stressful soul. Aeliana is asleep, essentially dead to the world as she is nestled comfortably within her sleeping bag. Mahina is curled up in the bluenette's arms, a soft smile on her lips as she enjoys the warmth of the Alolan's comforting embrace. All the while, the newly evolved Glaceon, Elia, lays curled up at her side.

One might think it foolish for the girl to sleep out in the wild like this, especially considering what happened to her just a few nights prior. However, Aeliana felt comfortable doing so with several of her Pokémon currently sitting around the campfire. The makeshift team of the night watch consists of Tampa, Fiesta, Jet, and Kaeo.

A look of absolute boredom is worn on the Tyrogue's face. When Jet had been placed upon this guard duty, he had been expecting there to be some sort of action. Perhaps a wild Machoke would have wandered too close to the group's camp, resulting in him having to defend Aeliana and the rest of the Pokémon from its devastating power. Maybe a rampaging Rhydon would show up, forcing him to unleash all of his power to keep Aeliana safe. Instead of any of that, the only troublesome invader to disturb the camp was a wild and hungry Skovet, which Tampa managed to chase off with a simple Bite attack.

Kaeo glances over towards the Tyrogue. There's still a few hours until morning and likely until Aeliana would wake up. He figures they could pass a bit of time with a little fun. He tapped the Tyrogue on his shoulder, showing off his bone before pointing off towards the distance. Jet remains silent for a moment and then agrees with a quick nod. Jet hops onto his feet and follows behind his teammate.

Tampa watches as the two Pokémon wandered off. A feeling of excitement rushed through the Croconaw as she quickly hopped onto her feet. She begins to follow behind the duo, but then pauses and looks over her shoulder. Her gaze comes to rest upon the form of Fiesta. The Lombre has been quiet, still seemingly bothered by something. His mood hasn't improved since the group began traveling across the Wild Area. She knew that Fiesta had never been the most outgoing member of the group, but Tampa liked to believe that she had some sort of knowledge of the teammate that's been traveling with her the longest.

Tampa waddles her way towards the Lombre and gently taps him on the shoulder. Fiesta jumps, seemingly being pulled back to reality. He looks up to the Croconaw, a curious look on his face as Tampa gives him a toothy grin. Tampa gurgles excitedly, pointing off in the direction of Jet and Kaeo. The two are about to have some more training! Tampa thinks they should go too!

Fiesta blinks slowly, looking in the direction of where Tampa points. He offers a small smile to the gator Pokémon, but shakes his head in response. He's sure it's bound to be an interesting watch, but Fiesta just isn't in the mood to watch the mock battle. Unfortunately for him, Fiesta's refusal falls upon deaf ears. Tampa grabs hold of Fiesta's hand and pulls him to his feet. The Lombre is taken aback, but his protests are ignored as Tampa drags him behind her.

As they take off, Elia slowly stirs from her slumber. The Glaceon watches as all of the so-called "watchmon" disappear into the foggy night with a huff. She finds herself very annoyed by this abandonment. Don't they know that she needs her beauty rest? With a huff, the ice-type stretches before climbing to her feet and moving towards the fire. As expected, if one wants something done right then it must be done by oneself.

The duo soon arrive at a small circle of trees. There, they find a small, crudely built campfire of sorts. Both Jet and Kaeo stand a small distance away from the fire, both staring each other down intently. Fiesta looks between the two Pokémon as they suddenly charge forward. Kaeo goes to use a Bone Rush, but Jet counters with a Fake-Out. The small fighter slaps both of his palms into the side of Kaeo's face. The Cubone staggers back, which Jet follows up with a Rolling Kick. Kaeo brings his bone up, just barely managing to block the attack before slamming his head into Tyrogue's belly. Jet stumbles back, catching his breath with a smirk on his lips.

Tampa smiles as she watches the two Pokémon exchange blows. She glances over towards Fiesta, immediately realizing that the Lombre was staring intently at the two dueling Pokémon. A sudden realization hits the Croconaw. Fiesta must want to battle more! His battle with the hot and fiery gym leader human was just so intense, that he must want more of a challenge! The gator Pokémon quickly climbs to her feet and waddles off towards the two battling Pokémon. She gurgles excitedly with every step, pointing towards Fiesta as she makes her suggestion. Fiesta’s eyes widen at Tampa’s idea. She wants him to battle? She didn’t even ask! Jet merely glances over at Kaeo, who shrugs in response, before looking over at Fiesta. The Tyrogue’s eyes narrow as he makes his way over towards Fiesta before he slowly starts to circle around him. Fiesta feels like he’s being judged, as if he’s one of those weird things that humans drive around with the four, rubbery, circle-things they have for feet. Eventually, he feels a firm pat on the back that almost sends him toppling over. Jet sends a nod over towards Tampa and Kaeo. It looks like the exchange of opponents has been determined.

Moments later, Kaeo and Tampa are both seated by the fire. Jet stands ready, the Tyrogue hopping from one foot to the next in anticipation of the challenge ahead. This was going to be his first time battling against an evolved opponent. While Kaeo was a decent challenge and good sparring partner, Jet figured that the Lombre would prove to be an even better opportunity to test his strength. Fiesta on the other hand felt a wave of nausea form in the pit of his stomach. He had yet to even have a mock battle against any of his teammates. In fact, the last time he battled any of them was when he was a Lotad that day he met Tampa and Aeliana for the first time.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have time to prepare. Jet dashes forward in an instant, throwing all of his weight into a Tackle that sends the Lombre stumbling back. Fiesta risks toppling over from the force of the blow, but manages to keep his balance. He looks up, seeing the Tyrogue running towards him again in preparation to deliver a Rolling Kick to his noggin. Fiesta panics, narrowly jumping back in an attempt to dodge the oncoming attack, before firing a Bubble Beam in Jet’s direction. The bubbles pound into Jet, causing him to stagger back. It's not enough to deter him, though. Jet charges forward and slams a kick in Fiesta's direction. The Lombre's eyes widen, quickly ducking in panic.

Jet stares in disbelief at the sight before him. Fiesta cowers before the Tyrogue, who in turn slams a kick into Fiesta's jaw. The Lombre flails as he falls back, earning an annoyed grunt from Jet. Is this really the same Pokémon that toppled Kabu's Centiskorch? He honestly doesn't see it.

Kaeo sends a concerned look towards Tampa. What was she trying to accomplish by forcing Fiesta to spar with Jet? A sheepish look comes to the Croconaw's face as she nervously runs the back of her head. She knows Fiesta is a tough Pokémon! He's helped them out a lot through this journey! Kaeo doesn't doubt that much. But clearly something isn't clicking.

Jet stomps his foot in irritation. This is nothing more than a waste of his time. He reaches out and grabs hold of the quivering Lombre, but before he can address the situation or make any demands, a bright light starts to shine out from within him again. Kaeo and Tampa stare in shock as Jet suddenly releases his grip on Fiesta, staggering back in pain as he once again tries to fight back the oncoming evolution.

Fiesta does not waste this opportunity. The Lombre quickly scrambles to his feet and rushes out of the clearing. He doesn't dare look back as he makes a Beedrill line straight for the camp, constantly looking over his shoulder with every step.

As he arrives at the trainer's makeshift campsite, Fiesta is greeted by the sight of Elia. The Glaceon looks up with disinterest at the Lombre at first. However when she notices the scuffs on the Lombre and his current panicked state, it doesn't take too much effort for Elia to piece together what happened. More clicks into place as she watches Fiesta let out a frustrated squawk before slamming the ground in annoyance.

Fiesta feels like a burden. He wants to become stronger. The Glaceon merely shakes her head at this. She cannot believe all of her loyal servants are so hardheaded and downright clueless, a fact that she let's known to the lilypad Pokémon. If he wants to get stronger, there's a much easier way. Fiesta curiously looks at the Eeveelution, as if asking what she meant.

Elia merely rolls her eyes. Without a second thought, the ice-type rises her to her feet and makes her way towards Aeliana's trainer bag. She begins to rummage through it, her eyes lighting up as she finds what she was looking for. Elia picks it up in her mouth and carries it back to Fiesta. She unceremoniously dumps it from her mouth, causing the object to bounce on the grass towards him. His eyes narrow in an examination, before gasping at what he sees.

A Water Stone.

Aeliana had gotten this back in the mine back when traveling with that Haleigh human enroute to Motostoke. Surely Elia isn't suggesting that he use it here and now… right?

He looks back up to the Glaceon in question. Elia simply nods in response. She doesn't understand what the big problem is. Fiesta wants to be stronger. This is a quick solution to the problem. The Lombre has to admit that this would help, but… what would Aeliana think? What about Tampa and the others?

Elia scoffs. What business is it of their's? At the end of the day, it's his choice and those two options are fairly simple. Evolve and become stronger… show them all you can stand on your own two feet. Alternatively, don't evolve. Be treated like a burden, like you're fragile by everyone. The choice is his.

A moment of silence...

Fiesta stares at the Water Stone in hesitation…

A bright, white light shines at the camp.
Male
Kanagawa, Japan
Seen 15 Hours Ago
Posted 16 Hours Ago
77 posts
5.5 Years


The sound of water splashing was beginning to cover the natural echoes and cries of nature. Lennox was sitting down to some tea, as his feebas, Naga, battled a wild marill in the lake. Len was confident in Naga’s speed and ability to dodge and run if needed, but she needed to learn to take attacks as well. The marill would fire off bubble attacks and feebas was ordered to take them head-on. They weren’t very effective, but the ability to take attacks and build stamina were important. If she felt like she was in danger, Naga was ordered to swim away, which she was more than capable of doing. It certainly was a lazy way to train, but it was effective to say the least.

Meanwhile, Lennox was paying a little closer attention to Mimikyu and Togetic. The previous battle with Tenji got him thinking. Stitch the mimikyu was actually pretty good at copying moves. Copycat and mimic were incredibly useful in battle. But maybe this was also the solution to his problem about mimikyu being in contests. Stitch leaned more on battling skills, so appealing moves were a bit tough to work out. But if they practiced in a double battle, perhaps a new combination would spring forth.

Lennox was training mimkyu to handle togetic’s fairy wind attack with grace. In the field in front of him, Len had gotten Grace to show Stitch her fairy wind move, and Stitch had used mimic to learn it. Though Stitch wasn’t that great with special attacks, being a fairy type itself boosted the moves output. In fact, If it was done enough, through mimikyus increased output or with both pokemon doing it together, the area would take on a different look, almost like that of Misty Terrain. Len was a bit fascinated with this, and wondered how he could make this work.

Grace had her own improvements to work on too. She had been tapping into a new move, but was struggling to perfect it. If she concentrated hard, but also with a clear mind, a small orb of energy would form high above her, almost like a shooting star. They had practiced for a while the night before. They confirmed that the shooting star came from her. From her efforts. But what was it? They couldn’t figure out its purpose. Len had researched, but there was no attack that merely summoned a fake star that disappeared on its own. Was there more to the attack? Honesty he wanted to explore this, but he had too much on his plate already.

Feedback the Electabuzz sat quietly next to Len as he sipped his tea. His frustration was palpable. Mimikyu was practicing with Grace instead of battling him to test out his abilities. He would mumble under his breath and release a few sparks of electricity in protest. But he made sure to sit where he was asked to and observe. Len had planned on introducing Feedback to the world of contests eventually as well.

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After spending the morning training and having a nice meal, Lennox and his pokemon had made it to Hammerlocke. He made sure to put his vulpix into the pokemon storage as well. Vulpix would take something special to warm up to him. It just seemed like their personalities were too different. But maybe they could try again after a while. He looked around this new city. The whole place was a bit overwhelming. The buildings, the looming castles, it was a bit too much for his senses. He squinted, almost as if the sun was blaring in his eyes. It was a little comical when he thought about it. Still, he had plans to succeed and he wasn’t going to let that stop him. After returning from the pokemon center to heal his party, Lennox was shocked when a rather flamboyant man rushed towards him. He had an odd combination of pink bellbottom pants and a jean jacket, as well as a number of accessories about his body. It might have sparked ridicule from passerbys, however his confidence really sold the look, as if he was setting a trend. Without even a simple hello, the man had pulled out a tight dress shirt with frilly sleeves and a pair of what he assumed were matching light blue shorts. Lennox was once again overwhelmed, too much so to even react properly. “Mmhmm….Yes…” The man muttered. This was getting even more uncomfortable for the trainer, but togetic, who had been floating next to him, only looked down in curiosity. Had he had bad intentions, Togetic would have sensed it immediately.

“Can I-“ Len was interrupted by the man pulling out a tape measure and just barely grazing the area between his legs. “-help you?” He asked, with a bit of frustration in his voice.

“You, boy- You do identify as male, right?” Lennox nodded his head in agreement. “You are just perfect for this outfit that I have been trying to make.” He stood up straight and stared down the boy. “In fact, this outfit that you have on now isn’t that bad either…hmm.” Lennox exhaled. “That necklace, that jacket, they really work.” He pulled out a card from his jacket pocket. “BUT you can do better. I’m Francoise Markon, but you can call me Mark”. He put a hand to his mouth with a chuckle. “Francoise is just a fancy name I go by for appearances anyway. I’m so bad”. Lennox looked around to see if perhaps this was a prank. “I see your shifty eyes. Shut up for a second and hear me out.” Lennox almost began to protest, since he was just told to shut up, jokingly or not, by a complete stranger. He hadn’t even said a word yet. “Come to my talent agency, say, today at 2pm? And we will get you situated in some nice clothes. We’ll give you something for your time. Maybe we can even sign you~”. The man walked off, confidently, as if he were on a catwalk, catching the attention of onlookers. Lennox looked at the time on his phone. It was 1:38pm.
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Lennox arrived at the agency. It seemed as though they had rented out a building for their operations. Was this because of the upcoming pokemon contest next week? There were a few other people, all of whom appeared better looking than Lennox. Why was he chosen to come? The flamboyant man from before, Mark, rushed up to greet the boy. It seems that he had changed outfits in the less than 20 minutes since their meeting outside of the pokemon center. “You are just perfect. Look at you.” He grabbed Len’s hand. “Follow me, follow me~”. Len felt a bit bad for rushing ahead of the other people. What made him so special?

The two showed up at a fashion shoot upstairs. There was someone else just finishing up. “Here, fill out a few of these forms and then come with me.” He peered over Len’s shoulder as he wrote down his information. “Lennox Glass, huh? Such a kitch’ name.” He pulled his head up dramatically. “I love it~”. Len thought it was odd that he had gotten this far without the other man knowing his name. But he wasn’t going to question it.

After finishing his paperwork, The man pulled Len over to the now empty dressing room. “There are four different outfits for you to try. We haven’t found the right person for these, but You. Have. The. Look. Trust me.” Len agreed and went to the dressing room, checking for any cameras or whatever. This whole thing smelled like a scam. But he was cautiously optimistic.

After about an hour, the shoot was finished. He spent about 15 minutes in each outfit and had about 100 combined photos taken. Mark rushed over to him once again. I love the poutiness you give. It’s so mature, but you also make it cute? I cant explain it, but our agency needs more.” He started tapping away at his phone. “I’ve told Michelle, the photographer, to send the pictures to my supervisor and we’ll give a copy to you.” He pulled out another card, this time with his supervisor’s phone number as well as an odd item. It gleamed beautifully. “Here, my manager will contact you shorty, but I have been given permission to sign you~”. He giggled with glee. “No, shut up, you don’t understand how great of an opportunity this is for you!” Len was a little frustrated at being told to shut up again without even speaking, but went along with it. “If you make this work, you could even be famous in Galar!” He placed the card and item in Len’s hands. “If you agree, please come downstairs and fill out the application for a Model License. You need one to do any professional work, queen. And here, this is a prism scale.” He guided Len to the gleaming item. “These prism scales are super hard to come by and are the symbol of our agency. It’s our gift to you. Make it into an earring, patch it only an outfit, or do whatever with it. We’re just happy to have you with us” Len started to smile. This man may have seemed odd and a little intrusive, but he seemed to genuinely want the best for the boy. Honestly, modeling brought unwanted attention, but he felt kind of nice in those different outfits. And this could be an opportunity for his contest career.

“Alright. I’ll trust you”. Len said calmly and with an uncharacteristic sincere smile.

“Ahhhh~” Mark squeeled. “This is great! My boss is gonna owe me big time for finding you!” He took the boy downstairs to fill out the paperwork, taking Len’s picture, and handing him a freshly laminated Modelling License with the agency and his information on it. “We do jobs all over the region, so we’ll call you when we need you.” He walked Len out of the building, waving goodbye. “Okay, be free, little one. We’ll see each other again, thaaaaaaaanks~”.

Len was taken aback. It was a startling experience. Overwhelming was an understatement. But maybe overwhelming wasn’t so bad…

gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
23,449 posts
9.4 Years









Inventory:
- ATC
- Expensive PokeGear
- Pokedex
- 800 Poke (On ATC)
- TM Icy Wind
- TM Flash
- Wishing Star
- TM Protect
- TM Rain Dance
- Lure Ball
- Water Gem x2


Badges:
CATHERINE CARLISLE and Haleigh Windsor
A Horizon of Dark Clouds

Hammerlocke was imposing with its enormous walls and stone streets. It was also busy. It was always jarring returning to a big city after spending time on the road, especially coming out of the wilderness of the Wild Area. It always filled Catherine with a strange desire to turn around and run back to the wilds. The people felt oppressive. When she was travelling, she often missed the comforts of a proper bed, reliable internet and a roof over her head. When she got back to civilization, she missed the comfort of being far away from people.

Counter-intuitively to this though, Catherine wasn’t rushing back to her hotel room. In fact, she was actively seeking people out - perhaps for the first time ever, it occurred to her. She had asked a nurse at the Pokemon Centre where a good place to train would be since she didn’t intend to waste time challenging Raihan before she was ready. After all, being out of the Wild Area didn’t mean her work was over. It was only just beginning.

That was why she was en route to the destination the nurse had given her, Indra happily plodding along by her side. Frequently, he would wave at the random people they passed, thoroughly enjoying that he now had the ability to do so. Catherine let him be, ignoring the people who called out in response. She was focused on the task at hand.

So it was that she soon arrived at the training grounds in the southwest of the city, right by the gigantic wall separating it from the hills of the Wild Area beyond. It wasn’t far from the famed Hammerlocke Vault either. None of that mattered though. All that mattered was that trainers were present.

Four battlefields were occupied at the time, with other trainers gathered around to watch or do more specific work. An older man coached his two grandkids at one battlefield, their young Yamper facing off against his older Boltund. At another, two trainers dressed in Raihan’s gym uniform were engaged in a battle of dragons - that particular battlefield had amassed quite the audience. The third battlefield was a conflict between a Wigglytuff and an Indeedee that was going quite poorly for the pink Pokemon.

It was the fourth battlefield that grabbed Catherine’s attention though. A fierce battle was underway between a young man’s Timburr and his opponent’s Piplup. Fierce in the sense that the poor Timburr was being thrown about even more than the aforementioned Wigglytuff.

It wasn’t the battle itself that grabbed Catherine’s attention though. She recognised the Piplup's trainer. She was an athletic-looking girl dressed in denim shorts and a tank top, the last remnant of purple fading from her naturally blonde hair: Haleigh.

Catherine hadn’t really expected to see any of her classmates, but she certainly hadn’t ruled any of them out. A perfect opportunity had presented itself. Once the battle reached its conclusion, Catherine approached.

“Hey, Haleigh.”

“Poli!” Indra added his own greeting, waving enthusiastically again.

The girl turned around to the source of the voice, looking surprised to see Catherine. "Ah, Catherine. Saw my battle? I didn't take you as the sort to watch 'em." Though she did her best to keep her tone neutral, there was a note of tension in her voice.

She dropped the tension a bit as she gave a small smile and a wave to her Poliwhirl.

“I’ve watched every one of your gym battles,” Catherine replied curtly, “That guy didn’t seem like much of a challenge for you.”

Haleigh shook her head. "Yeah, once I got his patterns down, feinting him over and over again with Peck took him down quite easily."

She paused, casting her glance away from the two of them. "Is there something you needed, or did you just want to congratulate me on the win? Given that it's you, I highly doubt it's the latter."

“It’s not,” Catherine admitted. This was every bit as uncomfortable for her as it was for Haleigh. She didn’t particularly want a drawn out conversation with the younger girl, so it was a blessing that she got to the point. “Are you up for a real challenge?”

Haleigh raised her eyebrows. Had she heard her right? She wanted to battle with her? Haleigh's impressions of her had been that she resented even being there on the journey in the first place. Perhaps that outburst against Kabu wasn't just talk after all, but that remained to be seen.

She scoffed. "Yeah mate, I'm always up for a challenge. You honestly think you can deliver? 'Cause I'm not sure if you're up to par either if I'm being honest."

Catherine smirked. “You’re going to eat those words.”

Catherine didn’t waste any more words on pointless discussion. All business, with Indra by her side, she turned away from Haleigh to take her place at the other side of the battlefield. Only when she was away from Haleigh and kneeling down at Indra’s level did she soften. “Sorry, but I’m going to use Vessel and Lancer for this one.”

“Poli!” Indra replied encouragingly, giving her a thumbs up.

With that settled, Catherine straightened up and selected two pokeballs, releasing her Parasect and Croagunk to the battlefield.

As Catherine released her Pokemon, Haleigh realized that though Reyna could perhaps benefit from the rain that Catherine liked to use, it wouldn't be enough to deal with that Parasect in the way. She said to Reyna, "Sorry mate, I'm puttin' you away too, I got a plan for how to deal with them."

The Piplup sighed, looking a bit disappointed that she wasn't going for another round, but gave Haleigh a small nudge with her beak in the direction of her trainer's opponent.

"Alright, I'll knock 'em flat for you!" Haleigh gave her a pat on the head and walked back over to take her place on the battlefield.

"Corey, Cornelius, it's all on you again!" She took the two Pokeballs and released the two Pokemon, who looked at each other and gave each other a high five; they were long overdue to team up again.


“I hope you don’t think the type advantage is going to be enough to save you,” Catherine said, “Vessel, Rain Dance! Lancer, hit her Raboot with Toxic!”

Catherine’s team leapt into action. Vessel raised their forearms up and began waving them back and forth lackadaisically as storm clouds gathered above their battlefield and rain began to fall. Not to be out done, Lancer dashed ahead of the Parasect and started spitting noxious globs of venom at Corey.

Haleigh shouted to her Reboot, "Corey, get in an Agility and dodge those globs!"

Corey started dashing in a zig zag fashion, his body faintly glowing pink as he sped up and managed to just barely stay away from being poisoned by the globs, though Corey had little runway to start up a Flame Charge.

Haleigh then followed it up with another command. "Cornelius, get that Croagunk back with a Psybeam, keep him as far away from Corey as you can."

Cornelius nodded as he started firing beams of psychic energy towards the Croagunk.

“Take it and use Revenge!” Catherine instructed. If there was one thing she knew about Lancer, it was that he could take a hit, especially in the rain.

Lancer grinned maniacally, running forward and letting the Psybeam hit him so it launched him back at an angle towards Corey at speed. It did some hefty damage, but Lancer didn’t let himself balk, the Psychic attack’s afterglow giving way to the burning orange of his own attack as he hurtled towards the Raboot to deliver a powered-up haymaker.

Unfortunately, Corey did not have enough room to dodge the attack as he was forced to take the hit head on. Haleigh gasped as he took it, with him sent absolutely reeling halfway across the battlefield.

“Vessel, follow that up with Poison Powder. Let’s get this Raboot out of here,” Catherine commanded.

Vessel silently obeyed, scurrying towards the reeling Corey as a cloud of purple spores exploded up from their mushroom shell.

"COREY, GET BACK!" Haleigh's shouting managed to cut through the daze he was in after taking the hit, with him managing to step back further just enough to avoid the Poison Powder.

It was clear he was struggling to keep going, but Corey managed to shoot Haleigh a quick salute, showing he was in it until the end.

Clearly simply trying to blaze her way through wasn't going to work, so Haleigh was going to start to play a bit of Catherine's game to get in an inch. "Alright, that's enough with this sodding rain, Sunny Day, Corey! Cornelius, keep him close to you and fend them off with some more Psybeams."

As Corey used the move, the rain forcefully dispersed and was replaced with a blinding sun with radiating heat.

“Vessel, Protect!” A green bubble of energy popped into being around Vessel as Lancer slid behind them, using them as a living shield to defend against the incoming Psychic attacks. The combo wasn’t done there though. “Sorry, but the forecast was pretty clear about the rain. Rain Dance, Lancer!”

Still shielded by Vessel’s defence, Lancer slammed his foot down and began moving through a series of martial arts-like poses and movements. As quickly as Corey’s sunlight took shape, storm clouds began to block it out and droplets of water started hitting the battlefield again.

“Sunny Day isn’t going to work,” Catherine said, “You can’t set it up fast enough to contend with two Rain Dancers. I’d give up on that if I were you.”

“Poli!” Indra cheered encouragement from his place at Catherine’s side.

"Damn it!" It was evident she was starting to lose her cool given the scowl on her face. On top of rendering her attempt at countering her strategy useless, the timer on the rain had been reset.

Taking a deep breath in an attempt to clear her head, she offered up a new series of commands. "Cornelius, keep that Parasect the hell away from Corey, distract them with a Draining Kiss. Corey, Flame Charge right at her Croagunk!"

Corey did as he was told, immediately lighting himself up and dashing towards the Croagunk in a zig zag pattern and keep his opponent from which direction he'd strike from while Cornelius went to head off the Parasect with a Draining Kiss.

“Lancer, Sucker Punch!” Catherine countered. As Corey shot towards the Croagunk like a flaming bullet, Lancer suddenly moved into the attack instead of away, delivering a single punch in a surprising blur of speed.

Vessel wasn’t so lucky, lacking the speed or a priority move to defend with Protect needing time to be back at full strength. The Parasect took the Draining Kiss head on. Typically, Vessel didn’t react in any way to indicate they had been struck at all bar being physically shoved back, but Catherine knew the Bug well enough to know the damage inflicted was real.

“Fury Cutter, Vessel.” Catherine instructed. If Haleigh wanted to let her Kirlia get up close and personal, she’d make her regret it. “Lancer, regroup.”

A vicious red glow started emanating from Vessel’s claws as they began laying into Cornelius. Meanwhile, keeping an eye on Corey, Lancer started to move back to get close to Vessel again.

Cornelius was forced to take each hit directly, with each successive blow seeming to take more and more out of him. He retreated as Haleigh called after him, "Stick by me, use a Life Dew real quick and then get back in it. Corey, Flame Charge her Parasect."

For the Raboot, there was hardly a need for any other information as his goal seemed simple as could be. After all, his target made Cornelius seem downright fast by comparison, nevermind that Corey had already had his speed boosted two separate times. With a smirk, he lit himself up again and barrelled right towards the seemingly unsuspecting crab Pokemon.

There was no avoiding that attack. Sure, she could Protect, but the next one would probably hit. That didn’t mean Catherine had no options though… even if what was about to happen made her wince a bit to even think about.

Corey’s attack struck home, the flames engulfing him surging across to Vessel as he slammed into them. Vessel remained as silent as ever, but it was a hell of an impact. It also put Corey right where Catherine needed him.

“Protect!” Catherine instructed, intentionally leaving it too late to block.

Vessel’s protective shield exploded back into existence again… but this time Vessel wasn’t the only one trapped inside. Corey was also within the bubble. He had nowhere to run.

“Say goodnight,” Catherine said, “Spore.”

At her command, the inside of the barrier was filled with an eruption of yellow-gold particles.

After a few vain attempts to break free, Corey could feel a creeping sense of drowsiness start to take hold of him. Before he fully succumbed to it and before Haleigh could utter another command, he decided to open his mouth and let out some Embers that were guaranteed to hit the Parasect. Before he could fully see the results, his eyes started to close as he slumped over and fell into a deep sleep.

Catherine watched with another wince as Vessel’s barrier lit up with a fiery light from the inside, dissipating to reveal a fainted Vessel and a sleeping Corey.

“Sorry, that was the best idea I had,” Catherine said, returning her fallen Bug. “I’ll make it count though. Lancer, Toxic on the Raboot! Then after that Kirlia with Poison Jab!”

Lancer let out a cocky noise before running for Cornelius, lazily spitting a glob of venom at the sleeping Corey before readying a glowing purple Poison Jab for Cornelius.

Despite having knocked out one of Catherine’s Pokemon, Haleigh felt ill at ease with the situation in front of her. Corey’s peaceful expression turned pained as he started to succumb to the poison unabated. By the time she could wake him up, the poison would surely have gotten to him already.

She didn’t have much longer to dwell on it as she refocused her efforts back on the battlefield. Lancer was coming in extremely quickly, and she had mere seconds to think of something to hopefully get him out of the way. “Cornelius, hard right, get up and keep him away with a Psybeam!”

Cornelius started to leap towards the right as Lancer came in for the Poison Jab. He managed to avoid a dead on hit, but still clearly got some damage from a glancing blow as the Croagunk whizzed by. He managed to refocus after the hit and start aiming a Psybeam while Lancer dashed away from him.

“Press the attack!” Catherine instructed, trusting in Lancer’s Dry Skin to ward off enough damage if Cornelius managed to connect. “Poison Jab!”

Lancer pivoted on the spot, flexing into his knee as Cornelius fired off his attack. The beam of energy flew for Lancer, and the Coragunk gave a mighty leap up. He soared over the trajectory of the beam and came flying down towards Cornelius, driving his glowing hand into the Kirlia’s torso.

Cornelius kneeled over at the impact of the blow. Both he and his trainer were clearly on their last rope.

Haleigh exclaimed, “C’mon c’mon c’mon, get up! Just a little more!”

However, given the damage that Cornelius had been subjected to already and the devastating impact of that last Poison Jab, there was no more to be done as Cornelius crumpled on the ground and fainted.

Indra let out a cheer and started clapping his hands, stopping for a moment as he realised he’d never clapped before, then continued with doubled enthusiasm.

Lancer simply crossed his arms, standing over his fallen foe with a smug expression on his face.

“Nicely done.” Catherine nodded at the Poison type before turning her attention back to Haleigh. “I think we can call it there. Your Raboot’s just about done anyway and I’d rather not just stand here watching Lancer beat him up while he’s helpless.”

Haleigh seethed, “Yeah, I can psyduckin’ see that.”

She softened her expression a bit while looking down at her Pokemon while she returned them to their balls before refocusing her attention back at Catherine, glaring daggers at the other girl. “So congrats, you get to lord over me to your heart’s content like the smug prick you are. Wonderful.”

“Not interested.” Catherine shrugged. “You’ve gotten better. You’re thinking more. I didn’t think you’d actually manage to take Vessel out. I’ll have to keep working and next time I’ll grind you into the dust before you can even put up a fight.”

Catherine beckoned for Lancer to come back and made to leave so she could get Vessel’s injuries taken care of. Before she made it even two steps though, her experience with Haleigh in Hullbury flashed across her mind.

“Don’t waste your time on a pity party. Your energy would be better spent figuring out what you did wrong,” Catherine said. Then, she turned around again and resumed her exit.

Haleigh looked back down at the ground with a clenched fist. Where the hell did she get off on telling her what to do? Before Kabu, Catherine couldn’t give less of a muk about battling. Haleigh had given everything just to be here, only to be bested by some grandstanding rattata that waltzed in there like she was coming at this from a point of authority.

As her thoughts continued to stew on the loss, she realized that more than being angry at Catherine, she was angry with herself. She should be have been able to beat someone like her. She should be able to be strong enough by now to weather anything thrown her way. And yet, even with all of her progress, it was just as her mother had said: she was still weak.

Haleigh gave one last look at the direction that Catherine had exited towards before turning back around to get off the battlefield, taking the dark cloud of thoughts with her.
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