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  #76   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
Old 2 Weeks Ago (7:40 AM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Daisuke Mitsuharu.
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Daisuke Mitsuharu Daisuke Mitsuharu is offline
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    Caius Flynn, 21, ♂ ; Tower of Mastery, Kalos

    Memoria - Part 3

    A nine-year old Caius walked through Veilstone City accompanied by an 18-year old Kaito. At the time, Kaito was off to investigate the crash site of the most recent meteor that hit the city. Caius had been bored all day, and with nothing better to do on his non-existent agenda, he begged Kaito to bring him along in his crash site adventure. The idea of excavating mounds of displaced dirt for shiny rocks Kaito called “mega stones” didn’t sound all too exhilarating to the young Caius, but it was certainly better than cooping himself up inside his family’s hotel room.

    “Why exactly are these stones important?” He asked Kaito, tugging on his shirt to get his attention.

    Kaito was on the lookout for his colleagues, who were going to help in the excavation effort. “It’s complicated.” He finally responded after letting a brief silence overtake the conversation, eyes still scanning the surrounding area.

    Caius didn’t feel like Kaito took his question seriously; he was probably right. Even the 9-year-old, in his limited wisdom, could tell that Kaito was being evasive by not giving him a proper answer. Perhaps he was just too preoccupied looking for his friends to give him the time of day, but that too didn’t sit well with Caius; he hated being ignored.

    “Aren’t they just rocks? Putting the 'mega' part on their name doesn’t make them any more special, you know.” The boy grumbled, puckering his lips into a pout.

    Kaito let out a chuckle at the comment. The little guy wasn’t wrong, necessarily; he just didn’t have the bigger picture. Leading into an example, Kaito pointed at the shy Dratini curling itself around Caius’ leg. “Ryu here is eventually going to become a Dragonite, right?”

    “What if I told you that he might be able to evolve even further?”

    A focused gaze gave way to bewilderment as Caius realized it was indeed possible for his best friend to grow bigger and stronger than he normally could. He’d heard about the prospect before from Maya, but the girl was so prone to exaggeration he couldn’t force himself to take her seriously.

    “How can I do that with Ryu?” He asked the 18-year-old.

    Kaito fished a Galladite out of his pants pocket and cupped it in his hands. “Using these.”

    Curiosity’s flame was snuffed out in an instant, and Caius’ eyes, which were clearly unimpressed by the stone Kaito presented before him, just seemed to glaze over at the sight. “That just looks like an oversized marble.” He jeered.

    Kaito felt a vein bulge on his forehead. “Oh, boo hoo. You generation Z kids and your unrealistic standards.” He fired back, half-joking but half-serious.

    A reception error prevented poor Caius from picking up on the “joke” part and immediately, he went on the defensive. In the next moment, he let it rip on Kaito. “I’m not the problem here; maybe you just have low standards.” If his heart sank any lower at those words, Kaito would’ve ended up feeling an uncomfortable pressure between his butt cheeks. And he didn’t want that.

    Kaito shook his head. “Guess Razor and I will just have to show you what you’re missing out on.”

    In an attempt to prove the tiny 9-year-old wrong, he released a Gallade from his Poké ball. After securing the mega stone inside Gallade’s pendant, he raised his keystone in the air.

    The keystone reacted to the mega stone and an outpouring of energy soon shot forth from the accessories, engulfing Kaito and his Gallade Razor in its wake.

    Streaks of lightning seemed to arc around Razor after the orb of energy that once encased him in a shell dissipated. The Gallade had taken on a different form. His blade-like hands grew wider and sharper, and a cape now extended from his back, giving him a dignified look as it flapped with the wind.

    It didn’t take more than a single glance for Caius to comprehend his position. In a one-on-one battle, he knew his Pokémon stood no chance against the mega-evolved Gallade. Still, he wanted to try. His pride wouldn't allow him to back down.

    “Feel free to use everything you have at your disposal against me.” Kaito called out after planting his feet some distance away from Caius. “I wouldn’t be opposed to fighting a 6-to-1 battle, either. Isn't that right, Razor?” He patted the Gallade on the head.

    Hearing the comment, Razor broke out a devilish smile, as if to say he was looking forward to the experience.

    Caius was thrown for a loop by the confidence that overflowed in Kaito’s voice. And it wasn't just Kaito who was confident -- evidently, so was Razor.

    Could a singular Pokémon handle such a one-sided battle? Caius wondered. Kaito certainly thought so, and that scared him. He could obviously tell that Razor was powerful, but Caius couldn’t quite size him up. He’d have to figure things out in the heat of battle.

    Since there was a vast difference in strength between the two trainers, Kaito put a handicap on himself to even the odds. After all, what he wanted to test were the bonds which tethered Caius to his Pokémon; he couldn’t have cared less if the Pokémon themselves were individually stronger or weaker than his Gallade.

    At first the move confused Caius. Why was Kaito going soft on him? Caius figured mega-evolution was reserved for the most formidable trainers. If he was an unworthy candidate from the get-go, why didn’t Kaito deny him the challenge then and there? Why did he go out of his way to make the challenge easier for him? Was it because they were acquainted? Caius didn’t understand.

    Then it hit him.

    “When Pokémon and trainer are in sync, a hidden power is unlocked...” He murmured to himself, recounting Kaito’s words from the distant past.

    The fog in his mind lifted, and in its aftermath, Caius came to an important realization: what he needed to display here was the extent of the bonds he had with his Pokémon.

    He let the slightest hint of a smirk emerge from his lips as he gestured at Kaito. “I hope you aren’t going to regret giving me the advantage like this.”

    Kaito liked his pluckiness. The guy was definitely going to need it for the thrashing he was about to serve up for him.

    “Bold words coming from a rookie,” he began, sounding like he was building up to some predetermined conclusion. “Razor and I have a lot of experience under our belts, so you’d best not underestimate us.”

    He finished with a taunt. “I wager that, even with all four of your Pokémon out on the field, you’d still fall short of beating us.”

    No more words needed to be exchanged. Now, it was time for action.

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      #77   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
    Old 2 Weeks Ago (8:01 AM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Magnificent Magilou.
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    Magnificent Magilou Magnificent Magilou is offline
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    Avril Morris
    Shalour City
    Chapter 19-1 | Unexpected Reunion

    Current Party:

    Avril stared at the tournament lineup in disbelief. Someone must have really thought that she needed a lot of grief in life recently. It was either that or Arceus itself thought that this was going to be absolutely hilarious. Now, Avril wasn't naive when it came to things like a tournament. She knew that there would be a multitude of trainers from across Kalos that she would have to face. Likewise, with so many of her former schoolmates all heading for Shalour City, the girl figured that it wouldn't be out of the ordinary that several of them would enter this tournament. That said, the last thing she expected was the very first match up in the tournament to be...

    "Crane..." Avril thought, feeling more than just a little bit anxious at the moment. Yes, out of all the possible trainers in the tournament, Avril was matched up against a Crane. And while it wasn't Jackson that the blonde would have to be dealing with right out of the gate, it was still more than just a little bit nerve wracking who she did get matched up against. "Out of everyone here... It had to be Malorie Crane."

    Avril had no idea that the girl in question was even a trainer. While she did indeed remember that she had given the girl her Mudbray a long time ago, all the way back when she and the others were beginning to make their departures from Lumiose to be exact, Avril was fairly certain that Jackson's younger sister was more of just an admirer of the creatures so to speak. In fact, she was fairly certain that the Mudbray was actually helping Malorie get around when she parted ways with the Crane siblings back then.

    Meanwhile, also just outside the arena, but at the other side, Malorie too was shaking in her boots. She had wanted to show Jackson AND Avril that she had become stronger... much stronger. Benjamin too! The little Mudsbray she had been gifted, the single moment of generosity that had inspired her so much. Both of them had grown up so much since that time a few months prior. Now fully evolved and packing a powerful moveset to boot? Malorie had been so eager to show the two trainers who had given her a pokémon of her own just how far she'd come. In terms of her health as well as her strength.

    Yet, to think, they'd both be going up against Avril for the very first round? Sure she wanted to show off her strength, but could she do that while fighting against the one who had granted it to her? Much like Avril, she was glad at least that it wasn't Jackson she was facing off against, but that was a small comfort. "...Benjie, I'm worried. I know we said this was the right thing but..." She placed a hand to the Mudsdale's neck and patted him lightly. He was nervous too, maybe moreso than her. Avril had saved him. She had given him hope and a chance when it seemed like he had none left. Avril had let him find Malorie too, as two broken individuals, both with so much to gain and not much left to lose, they had become stronger. Benjamin didn't want to let Avril down, not after everything she had done.

    "But we have to... right?" Malorie smiled gently and nodded to her Pokémon, glancing into his emphatic eye. "For Avril, for Jackson, for the Professor too... we owe it to them to show them what we've done, to let them see our strength. You think so too, right... Benjamin?" While it hesitated for a moment, after taking a deep breath the Mudsdale's eyes squinted with a small smile and he nodded, rearing up a little and neighing his approval. Just in time too, now that the previous fight had ended, it was their turn to take the stage. A member of the staff approached Malorie at the same time one did Avril.

    "Miss Morris?"

    "Miss Crane?"

    "It's time for your battle."

    "Right... I'll be right out," Avril responded. She put on her best smile for the staff member as they left, before turning to face the Jigglypuff by her side. "Okay, Mint... I guess it's now or never. We need to go out there and give it our all, you know?" She paused, thinking for a moment. Was it really in her best interest to go out there and throw all of her energy into this? She didn't want to accidentally put too much into this and hurt Malorie or anything of the sort... She could already picture Jackson's death glare... which she was pretty sure was a normal expression for the young man given a majority of their interactions, but it was generally never aimed at her. Then again, if she went too easy it might be just as bad. "I got a feeling there's no way outta this thing clean, huh?"

    She glanced down at Mint, the Jigglypuff too busy staring at the door to the arena and then back at her trainer with excitement plastered all over her face. Avril didn't know why she was even bothering questioning her concerns to the Jigglypuff. So long as Mint got to properly throw down in a good battle, anything was good to her apparently.

    With a sigh, Avril motioned for Mint to follow her and the duo made their way out to the tournament arena. As they got closer, the Pokémon and her trainer could hear the cries of excitement echoing out into the Shalour night sky. For something that was supposed to be such a simple little tournament, it certainly was drawing a lot of attention. In that regard, Avril began to reach the conclusion that giving anything less than 100% was not going to be well received.

    Malorie was already waiting inside... and immediately Avril would notice she was different than before. She stood with a warm gaze, just as she had before, but she stood up straight now with no walker in sight. She wore new clothes comfortably and confidently and her hair was different, a similar color now to Jackson's and even Avril's own, cut shorter to reach just below her shoulders. Her hand was placed to Benjamin's neck once more and the large Pokémon whinnied in acknowledgement as he noticed Avril approaching. He had evolved from the Mudsbray that the approaching trainer had given to Malorie so long ago. In seeing her, standing there, all of his fear had melted away.

    "Avril..." Malorie said a little quietly, but loud enough to be heard. She wasn't sure what to say, meeting this person now on the field of battle, so she could only speak what she felt, smiling gently all the while. "It's... good to see you again."

    Avril was speechless upon her reuniting with Malorie. It was like she was a completely different person than the girl she parted with back in Lumiose. "W-Wow... I... I hardly even recognized you," she eventually managed to spit out. "I guess there's no point in my asking if you've been doing well, the answer's pretty obvious."

    "Ah well... hehe..." Malorie giggled lightly in embarrassment, gently rubbing the back of her head in a pose that very much imitated Jackson's when he was embarrassed. " reality, it's only thanks to you and-"

    "Pardon me, Miss?" Malorie jumped slightly as she was interrupted, before gazing up starstruck at the gentleman who had done so. He was tall, sleek and handsome, his voice stern and strong as steel. His eyes shone in the moonlight and Malorie had to struggle to compose herself as she was greeted by the magnificence of one Steven Stone. "Why don't you tell the audience your name... and what it is you're doing here?" He smiled warmly and held the microphone out to her, which she spoke into gently. Smiling with a modicum of self understanding as she did so.

    "My name... is Malorie Crane." It was the first time she had ever announced it like that, it felt good to say it out loud. "...and I'm here to show my gratitude."

    Steven smiled and nodded his understanding, even as a portion of the crowd scratched their heads in confusion. Moving swiftly to the other side of the arena, he smiled an exceedingly charming smile to Avril in turn, holding out the microphone as he had before. "And you miss? I would ask of you the same."

    Avril felt her cheeks suddenly heat up. Battling was one thing, but suddenly being put on the spot was something completely different. Besides, what was she supposed to say for her intro? That she was forced to be here by her older sister's insistence? Avril was fairly certain that the only response that she'd receive from the crowd in that regard was one of pity, a feeling that she really wasn't looking forward to getting.

    "My name's Avril Morris," the girl began, though not without a prod on the back of her leg from her Jigglypuff. She paused for a moment, her head flowing with different responses until she finally settled on one."And um... I guess I'm here to see how strong I've gotten since this whole journey of mine started..."

    Steven noticed her reluctance, but gave her time and patience, as the words left her lips he smiled in turn, satisfied. "Both wonderful answers! I'm impressed by this young talents resolve..." He smiled and turned to the audience swiftly with his words, leading all around to clap and cheer their approval. "Now young trainers... the moment of conflict appears. Both of your Pokémon are ready and waiting... so now this battle begins!"

    "Alright then... Let's give it all we've got, Malorie... Benjamin," Avril stated, taking a deep breath before putting on her game face. As if to echo her trainer's point, the Jigglypuff by her side puffed out her cheeks before flexing one of her stubby little arms. "Mint, start things off with a Body Slam!"

    The Jigglypuff wasted no time in obeying Avril's orders. She quickly bounded forward, puffing out her round body with each step before suddenly launching herself straight in the Mudsdale's direction. Avril kept her focus on Benjamin the entire time, the girl being quite curious to see just what her former Pokémon had learned during their time apart.

    Malorie grinned a little as the thrill of battle took over. She shared more than she cared to admit with her brother sometimes, it was true. Now that she was fighting she felt the same rush he assumed took over him as well. A determination to win, after all, he was watching her. She knew he was. "Benjamin... brace yourself with iron defense!" The Mudsdale whinnied and reared, slamming its hooves into the ground below and stancing up. The small hairs on his body tightened and flattened, glowing a slick silver for a moment as Benjamin's defense increased significantly. His eyes focused on the Jigglypuff as it approached, there was a solidified determination in that gaze. Confidence and discipline was evident in the large Pokémon's stance, it had become the type of character to obey orders without question regardless of the origin. The amount of trust he now seemed to have in Malorie was deep.

    Mint slammed into Benjamin hard, but while the attack chipped away slightly at Benjamin's HP, the raised defense of the draft horse negated a lot of the incoming blow. However, Malorie's strategy wasn't done just yet... as the balloon Pokémon bounced back Benjamin closed his eyes and focused, catching his breath after the attack and using the force of the impact to adapt to Mint's power. Instantly he huffed out and the slick metal hairs shimmered on his body once more. His defense had increased even further.

    "High Horsepower!" Malorie called out and Benjamin responded, eager to show his strength. Rearing up before landing hard he broke into a charge towards Mint, before sliding to a stop and spinning swiftly, bucking his back hooves towards Mint with a powerful ground type impact.

    Avril winced herself as Benjamin slammed his hooves into Mint. The Jigglypuff let out a loud wail that was full of both pain and surprise, the balloon Pokémon just barely managing to regain her composure before she would have crashed into her trainer. Avril let out a small sigh of relief as Mint climbed back up to her feet, shooting off a rather angry looking glare in the direction of the Mudsdale. Clearly the Jigglypuff was not amused.

    "Let's go Mint, you can do this," Avril encouraged, trying her best to reassure the pink Pokémon. "Go for a Gyro Ball!"

    Mint quickly began to spin around on the ground, the Jigglypuff collecting a great deal of velocity and speed as she spun in a tight circle. With a sudden, loud cry Mint flung herself forward towards Benjamin. The Pokémon was rolling so fast that Avril could have sworn that she saw smoke coming from her.

    "Benjamin use Bulldoze!" Rearing up once more and turning in place to face his opponent, Benjamin's hooves surrounded themselves with a crushing ground type aura. Eagerly he charged forward, the ground shaking slightly with his vast weight, his head poised to slam into Mint full force. However, in his desire to get there as fast as possible, he failed to see the trajectory and movement of Mint's spinning. Missing by just a hair's width, he attempted to stop, sliding to a grind across the flagstones as Mint collided hard with his side. A whiney of pain echoed from the horse as he stumbled somewhat off balance and Malorie winced as her Pokémon suffered the critical hit.

    Still, even with a chunk of HP gone, Benjamin's special ability activated again. With the power of Stamina, his muscles tensed to the impact, hardening his form even further and boosting his defense more and more with every attack.

    He could take a few more hits like this, Malorie knew the Pokémon's ability to withstand damage better than anyone. Still, chipping away at Mint wasn't going to do much of anything either. She was far too quick for Benjamin to flail around at... he had to lure her into a false sense of security. Malorie nodded to herself, putting her faith in the plan. No more room for hesitation. "Benjamin... Bide your time!" Nodding it's head Benhamin slammed all four hooves into the ground, becoming the immovable object, he closed his eyes and braced himself for whatever Mint could throw at him next.

    "Mint, use Gyro Ball again!" Avril ordered.

    Jigglypuff continued on her spinning tirade. The pink Pokémon essentially made a u-turn before making her way back towards Benjamin with just as much speed and force as she did the first time. Without missing a beat, Mint slammed her rapidly spinning form into the Mudsdale. He grunted in response to the attack, clearly feeling some of the pain from the velocity at which Avril's Jigglypuff was moving, however the reaction from the Mudsdale was... visibly less than Avril was expecting. In fact, he seemed to be hardly moving at all. A part of it reminded the girl of her time with Benjamin back in Lumiose and Santalune City.

    "...Mint, Body Slam now!" Avril ordered. Mint released herself from her furious spinning long enough to jump her way forward. The Jigglypuff' took a deep breath, increasing her size a bit before throwing herself at Benjamin with all the strength she could muster. Once more however, there seemed to be very little effect from the attack. Benjamin remained firm in his stance, as if the battle wasn't even happening. "What in the world is going on...?"

    Both times as the attack hit, Benjamin's hairs grew tougher and his form bolstered in strength. His muscles were tight and an aura infused with ground type energy and flecks of sparkling iron surrounded him now. His defense had been raised by six stages, to its absolute maximum... and after two turns of attacks, the Mudsdale's attack was ready to be unleashed. All of the energy and damage Benjamin had taken so far rushed through his body and focused on his forehead, the ground and iron aura rushing to that singular point and letting his forehead light brightly with energy and power.

    "Benjie now! Unleash bide!" Suddenly rejoining the battle in force, Benjamin rushed forward, without caution or hesitation he put everything on the line, moving towards Mint at rapid speed, his head lowered to collide with the balloon Pokémon, in an attack that was poised to decide the entire battle.

    "Damn it! Mint, Sing!" Avril cried out.

    In a surprising change of pace, Mint's spinning came to a screeching halt. The pink Pokémon quickly stood to her feet and calmed herself... before closing her eyes and beginning to sing out a somewhat soothing melody. Despite the charging rampage that was Benjamin, the Jigglypuff seemed to be completely at peace. A soft smile escaped her lips as the gentle melody echoed out into the stadium, one that was causing even Avril to have difficulties keeping her eyes open. Still, she remained resolute in her attempts to stay awake. Much to her surprise and delight, it seemed like her last ditch effort to stop the oncoming onslaught was working.

    Avril noticed that Benjamin's speed began to drop drastically, his movements becoming quite sluggish and even clumsy. His eyelids began to droop as he approached the singing Pokémon, until he just... stopped. The Mudsdale was only mere inches from Mint as he simply could not hold his eyes open any longer. The Mudsdale let out a tired, loud yawn of sorts before falling to the ground and slipping into that peaceful state of slumber... and it was at that point, that Avril knew she had to make her move.

    "Mint, finish him off with a Wake-Up Slap!" she cried out.

    The Jigglypuff's crooning came to an end and her peaceful face was replaced with one of eagerness and confidence. Without wasting a single moment, Mint hopped in front of the napping Benjamin and readied the palm of her stubby little hands. What followed was a mighty set of slaps that repeatedly struck the Mudsdale, before the Jigglypuff pulled back and suddenly outright punched the horse Pokémon square in the middle of his face.

    A surprised whiney was what followed, Benjamin rearing back at the sudden onslaught of strikes, he did his best to gather his bearings, quickly pulling himself to his feet... but as Mint moved in, Benjamin stopped moving, instead letting out a small sigh. For the last second before the final blow he caught Malorie's gaze, she was smiling. The punch collided hard with Benjamin's back and finally his immovable defenses dropped, he stumbled backwards and lost his balance, his still sleepy mind a haze of directions and dizziness... but as he struggled to hold on he couldn't quite manage to stay standing.

    There was a loud thud as Benjamin slammed onto the ground, falling onto his side and letting out a lip flapping breath before falling unconscious. There was silence for a moment, as if the crowd was struggling to make sense of what happened, before they burst into cheers and applause.

    "Benjamin the Mudsbray is KO'd!" Steven cried out to the excited audience, gesturing to the battlefield before them, just before a solemn but still smiling Malorie returned her friend to his poké ball. "The winner is the lovely Miss Avril Morris!"

    Mint stood proud, the Jigglypuff beaming over her accomplishment of taking down the massive Mudsdale. Avril on the other hand, while thrilled that she and Mint had managed to win their first round in the tournament proper, seemed to be a bit more reserved than the dancing pink ball of joy. The girl made her way over towards Malorie and smiled softly at the younger of the Crane siblings, before offering a hand towards the girl.

    "That was incredible, Malorie!" Avril exclaimed. "If Mint had taken just one second longer, you would've definitely had us licked."

    Malorie smiled gently at Avril, flushing slightly at the compliment. "Aha... I don't think it was all that fantastic..." She was bashful... and more than a little tired just from that small amount of activity. Still, a little bit of pride shone through despite it all. "I don't think I was ever going to win really... I didn't come here to win, not against you, or my brother." Her smile took on a little bit of sadness, her gaze softening as she could see passed Avril for just a moment. Leaning against the side of one of the stands she saw him there waiting. Jackson had of course been watching the whole thing. Would he be annoyed that she entered without telling him?

    He was smiling... so maybe this had been a good decision after all.

    "I'm not that strong, not yet, maybe not ever... even if i change the way I look, how I dress, or the color of my hair. I know it'll be a while longer before I can get to the level that all of you are standing at now." She chuckled a little and smiled a little brighter. "It's hardly fair to call me amazing when all of you are the only reason I got this far... when you're the reason I have to become stronger." She gingerly took Avril's hand, the delicate touch making it clear that despite the strength she showed, Malorie was still frail. Every last drop of her energy had been expended for just this battle alone. "You're the amazing ones... you're the strength I aspire to have. So, I promise, one day I'll meet you there, at the pique of a trainer's strength."

    A distant look came to Avril's eyes. "Can't become stronger just based on looks...? You know, you're more right about that than you could possibly know." Shaking the thought from her head, Avril returned her focus to Malorie. "I'm looking forward to it, Malorie. Trust me, you're only gonna be going up from here. I can tell." As if to mirror her sentiment, Mint walked up and placed one of her stubby little hands against Malorie's leg. The pink Pokémon nodded knowingly, before jabbering away, something that Avril could only assume was some encouraging words for the girl. "Uh, yeah... What she said!"

    "Pfrt... hehehe..." Malorie placed a hand to her mouth to stifle a giggle, before taking the one holding Avril's to pat the small balloon Pokémon on the head. "Maybe one day, I can't let myself fall too far behind him, a-"

    "And so it is contestants! Our next pair of opponents will now be taking to the stage!" Steven declared, leaving the crowd to cheer wildly in approval once more. Two festival staff approached the girls as they still stood in the midst of the arena, each one beckoning and explaining to the pair that they were to exit at opposing sides as they had entered, so that the next match to begin.

    "O-Oh... right! Ehaha..." Malorie blushed further, awkward at the realization that they were still in front of a crowd. As she was ushered away, she quickly peeked over her shoulder to wave back at Avril and Mint. "Thank you! Both of you! The next time we meet on the battlefield, don't expect to win! Isn't that what trainers usually say?"

    "Heh... Yeah! We're looking forward to it!" Avril called back, making her exit with Mint by her side. She really wasn't sure just what the future had in store for herself. That said, she knew things were definitely going to be looking bright for Malorie.
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    Old 2 Weeks Ago (8:17 AM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Dragon.
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    Dragon Dragon is offline
    lover of milotics
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    The Emma Kuzunoha Case Files

    OVA 1: About the friends

    Emma had some important case paperwork to fill out, so she left her pokemon behind in the Pokemon Center's play area. It was about time the group had some down time, from what has been going on. The group were all together, doing their own thing. Alm the Minun, and Plusle the Celica were both new members of the team, so things have been a little awkward for them for a while.

    "What's the matter, new cuties?" asked Vida the Roselia, Emma's starter pokemon. She approached the new two members of the group with her loving, cheerful yet empathetic ways. "Feeling a bit shy?"

    "Well, uh," said Alm the Minun, the bother of the two. "Don't take it the wrong way, we're just not used to so many pokemon together like this before."

    "We've been always at home helping out with chores," said Celica the Plusle, the sister of the two. "We hadn't been outside much."

    "I see," Vida responded. She then turned to the rest of the pokemon. "Ok! How about this, why don't we all introduce each other? We actually hadn't done that too much; I'm really curious to get to know you all!"

    "Well, I'm not," said Titania the Milotic. She was beautiful, but awfully abrasive and snobby. Perhaps that was an attitude change after evolving. "Do you have any idea how much times you all make my skin crawl on a regular basis?"

    "Bwahahaha! That is a silly thing to be concerned about for Kaen!" responded Kaen the Arcanine. He likes to talk about himself highly. "Even Kaen could catch up to his own skin when it crawls!"

    "Kaen, it's called a figure of speech," Titania responded. "Do things like that go over your head?"

    "Nothing goes over Kaen's head!" explained Kaen. "Kaen's reflexes are too fast. He will simply catch it."

    "I am part of the biggest group of idiots in the region..." Titania sighed.

    "Me thinks group intro is good idea!" said Espeon, also known as Linde. Linde was not like the others; she was raised fighting all her life, becoming feral every day. Thus, language was not her strength. "Connections good. Bond stronger. We stronger together."

    "Aye!" Julia the Lapras agreed. She was a pokemon Emma had saved from a member of the Emerald Dragon's, after her trainer had been killed. She had a bit of an islander accent, and sense of idioms. "It takes all kinds to steer the boat, and to use an oar! I'm actually kind of a new member of the team too, so I'd love to get to know you all!"

    "Grah! You wanna know about ME? VERY WELL!" said an enthusiastic Drago, the Bagon. Drago was mischievous, yet loves a good battle. Beating powerful opponents, and biting on to things, was his favourite hobbies. "I am the BEST. Do you know about the best? I JUST told you! I am the BEST! POP QUIZ! Who is the best? Is it DRAGIE? BZZZT! IT IS DRAGO!"

    "As usual, Drago," Vida said with a chuckle. She then turned towards Kagura, the Lucario, who was resting against the wall, with her arms crossed. "How about you, Kagura dear?" Kagura only responded with a nod. She was awfully quiet -- the most quiet member of the team. Still, Vida accepted it, and gave her a smile. "Alrighty then! Group up, friends!"


    "Now then, allow me to start first!" Vida said, after the group fully gotten together. "I was Emma's very first pokemon on her journey. We've always been together; through good times, and bad times. I was a Budew when Emma first started, but I evolved into a Roselia by the time we were at Lumiose!" Vida cheerfully twirled around. but she then gave a less cheerful look. "Emma went through a lot. I really, really want to grow stronger for her, so she would have less worries... but all I can do is do everything I can."

    "Ah, yes! Become strong like Kaen," said Kaen. "Strong like Kaen, kind like Vida. a combination even Kaen respects!" Kaen then stood up from the spot he was sitting down in. "Kaen was strong, but was treated as a monster. The chaos of the blooming Santalune Forest is where master Emma caught me. She was not very fond of Fire-type Pokemon, but she took Kaen either way when Kaen was still a Growlithe. Kaen promises to be stronger and stronger, which he will!"

    "Whatever..." Titania mocked, rolling her eyes. She looked quite sullen... almost blushing. "Look, I-I was a ugly Feebas, before Emma evolved me, okay? There, I said it. Are you happy now? But it's not like... it's not like I desperately wanted to evolve or anything..."

    "Ohoho, you totally did!" Julia laughed, only to be met with a piercing stare by Titania, who seemingly turned away in disgust. "My trainer was killed by a cruel man, that he was. Emma saved me. and took me in! I hadn't gotten much battling yet, but when I do, I'll turn everyone into sushi!"

    "Lame," Drago yawned. "Let ME tell you what to do! You should BLAST them into oblivion, and then BLAST the foolish trainer who sent out that weakling pokemon!"

    "Now Drago, we can't solve all our problems by blasting everyone..." Vida warned.

    "AND WHY NOT?" Drago shouted. "I'll BLAST everyone SO MUCH that there will BE no more WARS! Everyone will already be BLASTED!" Drago then calmed down a little. "Papa always told me to fight and BLAST big and strong opponents, so that one day, I'll be strong enough to FLY. But, Papa was killed by those Emerald Dragons. I'll become stronger than him, and BLAST those guys away!"

    "Me... don't know what do," Linde added. "Me born to fight. Had no past. Fighting was everything. Fighting... and hunting. Now adopted by Emma. I am... lost. Perhaps I find purpose now. Purpose that is not fighting. "

    "You're all so different," Alm recognized. "It's kinda amazing, really."

    "Yes!" added Celica. "But still, maybe... maybe we can be all friends!"

    "Of course dears," Vida smiled, as she turned to Kagura. "Kagura? Do you have something you wanna share?" Kagura simply shook her head, and headed her own way, leaning back towards the wall. Vida sighed. It was typical of her, but she would of hoped Kagura would lighten up. "Don't worry about Kagura," Vida explained. "She's quiet and tough to read, but she's a loyal friend through and through."

    "I see," responded Celica. "Well, I hope we can become friends too, Kagura!"

    "Yeah!" Alm added. "Best friends!"

    Kaen let off a hearty chuckle. "You know, you two are awfully cute. And quite... similar."

    "Right," agreed Titania. "As in, they're both just kids." Alm and Celica turned to the group, seemingly in a trigger.

    "I am NOT as immature as heshe is!" they both said in unison, to both of their surprise. "SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND STOP INTERRUPTING!" they both shouted at each other. The group started to laugh in enjoyment. "Quit laughing!" they both said, as they turned to each other, then turned back away, pouting and crossing their arms.

    Kagura looked on to the group as they seemed to be having fun. She gave a small smile her self, as she then turned away. "This is sure to be an interesting journey..." she said to herself, seemingly in a curious anticipation.

    Emma's pokemon were like a dysfunctional family.
    While at home they may quarrel,
    Outside, they are a team.

    About the Group...
    Case Closed
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      #79   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
    Old 2 Weeks Ago (1:06 PM).
    gimmepie's Avatar
    gimmepie gimmepie is offline
    Join Date: May 2012
    Location: Australia
    Age: 23
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Adamant
    Posts: 19,221
    Kade Andrews
    Round 1: Kade vs Dwayne
    Stratus (Female, Reckless) - Growl, Wing Attack, Quick Attack, Double-Edge, Aerial Ace, Double Team
    Contrail (Male, Big Pecks) - Flame Charge, Roost, Quick Attack, Steel Wing, Ember, Aerial Ace
    Noctilucent (Male, Insomnia)
    - Tackle, Foresight, Hypnosis, Feather Dance, Peck
    Cumulus (Female, Dancer) - Pound, Air Slash, Helping Hand, Roost, Feather Dance, Captivate
    Floccus (Male, Defeatist) - Quick Attack, Agility, Ancient Power, Dragon Breath, Acrobatics, Quick Guard
    Nimbus (Male, Moxie) - Night Slash, Sucker Punch, Night Shade, Haze, Wing Attack, Sky Drop

    “Now we introduce our next two competitors,” Steven said, addressing the crowd with a conversational tone “From right here in Shalour City: Dwayne Cheeseman and his opponent, Kade Andrews who hails from Laverre City. This is sure to be an exciting match!”

    Kade strode out into the sunlight, paying little attention to the applause from the onlookers. He glanced up skyward hopefully before finally turning his attention to his opponent. The man opposite Kade had an interesting appearance to say the least. He had somewhat darker skin, was pushing seven feet tall and was so monstrously well built that he made the average Machoke look a little on the skinny side. Despite this however, he donned too-tight, velvety purple trousers and a matching dress vest. There was no shirt below it and it was too small to close over his muscular frame, leaving his washboard abs and bulging pectorals exposed. A cravat hung loosely around his neck and his dark hair was slicked back tight over his skull. Even someone as socially inept as Kade could tell this was a strange-looking guy.

    “Hello, good sir, I’m looking forward to a fabulous battle,” Dwayne said in a deep, but oddly silky voice.

    “Me too,” Kade said, still not entirely sure what to make of the person across from him, “I think.”

    Steven, for his part, looked even more bemused than Kade, but was quicker to cover it up. He straightened his tie before speaking once more.

    “Well, with both trainers ready, we’ll start the battle.”

    Kade reached down and took the azure form of the Flight Ball into his hand, expanding it to its full size. This was the moment of truth. It was time to see if Nimbus was ready to work with him. He tossed the ball and it exploded open with a bright white light and what appeared to be a swirling of clouds.

    From the light, the large black-feathered form of Nimbus the Honchkrow materialised. He looked around the arena, getting his bearings. Then he turned to Kade, gave what seemed to be a begrudging, slight nod of his head and spread his sizeable wings to take flight, leaving Kade beaming until he was brought to earth by Dwayne’s uncomfortably smooth voice.

    “I must say, that is simply a magnificent Honchkrow,” Dwayne said, “It is quite the pity that this match up is not to his favour. Brutus, if you please.”

    There was a second flash as the hulking stone beast appeared, red crystalline protrusions glinting in the sun. It stepped forward with each of its four stone legs, each movement heavy on the earth below. From above, Nimbus gave a squawk that sounded more like a scoff. This was one bird that wasn’t going to be intimidated by a type disadvantage.

    “If you think that, I can promise you meeting Nimbus will change your mind,” Kade said, still floating on air that Nimbus seemed willing to work with him. He was barely aware of who he was battling now.

    “I dare say we shall see about that,” Dwayne smirked “Brutus, use Rock Blast!”

    The Gigalith made a low, rumbling sound before unleashing the attack. Grains of sand coalesced into stones before it and fired one after the other into the air towards Nimbus.

    “Spiral dodge!” Kade instructed, and to his delight, Nimbus immediately gilded into a loose spiral around the incoming projectiles causing them to fly past him and break apart into a cloud of dust in the air behind him. Before Kade could give him the order to do so, Nimbus was already streaking towards the monolithic Rock type. “Works for me, Night Slash!”

    Nimbus’ wings darkened even deeper, outlined in a nefarious purple glow. He swung his flight pattern to the side and swept his wing across the Gigalith, the Rock type giving a shout of pain as the attack made contact. Nimbus immediately rounded on the Gigalith again and repeated the process with his other wing. Kade grinned, this was more like it.

    “That is indeed quite impressive, but we aren’t done yet,” Dwayne said confidently, “Stone Edge, my Brutus!”

    Jagged stones erupted from the ground, savage pillars rushing up from the earth in a line after the low flying Nimbus.

    “Wing Attack!” Kade yelled. Nimbus’ wings glowed with a bright white this time as the attack caught up to him. He pulled up and whipped around as the last stone was about to strike him. Several members of the crowd gasped with surprise as despite the type disadvantage, Nimbus’ wings smashed through the rock and he was only slightly thrown off kilter by the collision “Clear those with Night Shade!”

    A shadow aura flowed over Nimbus and then shot forward, its shape mimicking that of the Honchkrow’s. It spread its wings wide as it crashed through the line of jagged obelisks leaving a trail of debris before striking Brutus. The Gigalith dug its powerful legs into the ground as it was sent skidding back along the battlefield.

    “I must say, your bird is putting up a surprisingly good fight,” Dwayne said “But I am afraid your defeat is still iminent. Gravity!”

    Kade groaned, the change in the battlefield palpable. As though some invisible fist had punched him from above, Nimbus was slammed suddenly to the ground and found himself unable to return to the air, his thrashing and pushing serving to get him to his feet and no further. He let out a low, annoyed sound - the closest a bird had ever gotten to growling.
    “I really hate that move,” Kade sighed.

    “I imagine you would,” came the response “Stone Edge again and then Headbutt, please.”

    Brutus was happy to oblige, taking a few steps forward, far less hindered it seemed b the strange gravitational effect. Then it stomped its hefty foot to the ground and once more the jagged stones erupted from the ground like spines, the line racing for Nimbus.”

    “Night Shade!” Kade instructed as the stones came in closer and closer. One more the shadowy aura flowed over Nimbus and then shot forward as a winged phantom, smashing through the rocks as they came. The attacks petered out leaving two of the stone columns standing before the Gigalith.

    “Well well, not bad for a grounded bird. Headbutt, Brutus.” Brutus started moving forward, building speed. He wasn’t a particular fast Pokemon but his great bulk and stone body added force to his momentum. He barreled through the two remaining pillars and rushed forward in an attempt to ram Nimbus.

    “Sucker Punch!” Kade responded hurriedly and Nimbus narrowed his eyes in the approximation of a smirk. As Brutus closed in he shifted forward awkwardly on his feet and flung his wing out in a backhand swipe.

    Caught by surprise, Brutus was knocked sidewards and skidded back along the battlefield at an angle from his previous trajectory. Nimbus cawed mockingly at the Rock type as it charged again.

    The mismatched Pokemon clashed repeatedly, Brutus rushing Nimbus and the Honckhrow narrowly deflecting him, taking some damage each time from the shear mass of the the herculean Pokemon he was deflecting. Kade couldn’t help but feel his heart beating that bit faster with each collision and Dwayne seemed to finally be getting slightly frazzled, his confident smirk shifting into a grimace.

    “Finish this, Heavy Slam!” Dwayne ordered, and as he did so something in the atmosphere changed again. The air around the arena felt thinner. Kade smiled.

    “Sky Drop!” He called, knowing Nimbus was about to be in the air where he belonged once more.

    Brutus charged the Honchkrow, pressing off the ground and heaving his massive body into the air as Nimbus flapped his wings. The enormous Gigalith beared down upon Nimbus as he took flight, narrowly slipping below the bird and brushing his talons. Then those talons lashed out and dug into Brutus’ body as with an extraordinary effort he slammed his wings into the air, flapping harder than ever before against the Gigalith’s immense weight, rising as much as he could despite the strain. Then, unable to take it anymore, he thrust his legs down and let go, pushing the Gigalith towards the ground below.

    The Rock type slammed into the ground with an impact that rang out through the arena and beyond. Brutus started struggling to return to his feet as Kade gave the follow up instruction.

    “Night Shade!”

    As Brutus was almost back up, the phantasmal attack crashed into him from above with an explosive impact, knocking him back down. This time, the Gigalith didn’t get back up.

    As Nimbus landed in front of Kade, he stepped forward to hug the bird, but the Honchkrow stepped back. Kade stopped and smiled at him.

    “Fair enough,” he said pleasantly, watching as Dwayne recalled his Pokemon and made to exit the arena. “You did really well, Nimbus. I’m pleased we can work together now.”

    Nimbus inclined his head slightly before he was enveloped by clouds and a light drew him back into the Flight Ball. Still smiling to himself, Kade turned and exited the arena - freezing suddenly when he saw a young woman dressed in black shorts and tights but a violently yellow shirt walking towards him. She was imposingly tall with black hair, a dark tan and bright amber eyes.

    “Not too bad,” Sky said, grinning widely “Definitely better than our last battles and it seems that Honchkrow of yours has defrosted a little bit. I’ll see you in the next round.”

    “You’re competing?” Kade said, still adjusting to the out of the blue appearance of his rival and mentor.

    “Of course,” Sky said, trademark grin still plastered on here face “Well, winning more like it.”

    “I guess I’ll have to see about that.”

    “I guess you will!”

    Sky poked her tongue out at him before making her way towards the battlefield and Kade headed off to get Nimbus healed up and watch her battle. He was looking even more forward to the next round now, he was confident that Sky could win her battle.

    Spoiler: Pokemon at Sanctuary
    Arcus (Male, Sniper) - Drill Run, Leer, Pursuit, Fury Attack, Aerial Ace, Mirror Move

    Spoiler: Inventory
    Key Items
    - 1200Poké
    - 1 Pokédex
    - 1 Holocaster
    - Flight Saddle

    - 3 Potions
    - 1 Super Potion

    - 1 Pokéball
    - 2 Great Balls

    Technical Machines
    - Bug Bite (TM)
    - Aerial Ace (TM)
    - Sky Drop (TM)
    - Ancient Power (TM)
    - Power-Up Punch (TM)

    General Items
    - Pearls
    - Spell Tag (worn by Cumulus)

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      #80   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
    Old 2 Weeks Ago (7:00 AM).
    LuluRina's Avatar
    LuluRina LuluRina is offline
    Dragon Princess
      Join Date: Jan 2019
      Location: Australia
      Age: 16
      Gender: Female
      Nature: Relaxed
      Posts: 90

      Annika Jiraiya


      Tournament Round 1

      Annika walked into the waiting place for the tournament. She had already notified the people that she was there, so all she had to do was wait for her call. While she was waiting, she sat down, took out her drawing stuff, and, turning to a blank page in her notebook, started drawing, planning to make a forest with a river going over a hill. She had just finished the hill and was starting on the river when…

      “May Annika Jiraiya please come to the field for her battle”

      Annika nearly dropped her pencil when the speakers announced that. She got up and quickly put her stuff away, and left the room to go to the battling field.

      She stood just outside, looking out on the wave of people on the stands. She had a moment of nervousness until it was washed away when she saw the announcer -

      Steven Stone

      She was so focused on her drawing that she didn’t notice that he was here. She was in shock for a moment, before she composed herself as he was saying -

      “Now it is time for our next set of competitors. Please welcome them onto the field!”

      Annika walked out onto the field as the crowds cheering roared in the stands. She looked over at her opponent, and saw that this man was old. He had grey hair and his face was wrinkly, however he walked perfectly normal.

      Steven walked over to the old man, microphone still in hand. “Good evening kind sir” he began. “Would you mind telling us your name and why you are here today?”

      The old man smiled and said “Greetings to you. My name is Lawrence, and I’m honestly just here to test the skill of these youngins. I wish to see first hand how they handle their Pokemon”

      Annika liked him as soon as he answered the question, and the crowd cheered. Steven walked over to Annika and asked her the same set of questions. “I’m Annika” she replied, deciding to withhold her last name in case others knew it, “And I’m partly here to win. I’m also kinda here to have fun!” Once again, the crowd roared of approval.

      “Very well then” Steven said, heading back to the middle of the battlefield. “You both may send out your pokemon and the battle will begin!” He stepped back, allowing the entire field to the two competitors.

      “Hope you put up a good match!” Lawrence said, getting the Pokeball from his belt. Annika smiled and replied “You too!”

      “Go Bagel!” Annika shouted, throwing her Pokeball and Bagel popping out as Lawrence sent out his Delcatty.

      “Nice pokemon!” Lawrence said, before calling out “Fake Out!” Delcatty ran up to Bagel, before running back a bit, putting on an act of being scared. Bagel snorted in disapproval and Annika stared in disbelief before Delcatty turned back towards him and hit him in the face. Bagel was so shocked he stepped back a bit, unable to move afterwards and Annika was confused.

      “Now Disarming Voice!” Delcatty let out a sweet cry, and Bagel started feeling bad that he was going to fight this pokemon. But he had to and shook off the feeling. Annika finally got her muk together and shouted

      “Bagel! Ice Fang!” Bagel ran forward, his teeth covering with ice, and bit down onto the Delcatty.

      “Double Slap!” Lawrence shouted, and Delcatty turned to Bagel, slapping him with its paws until he let go.

      “Now Thunder Fang!” Annika shouted, and Bagel’s teeth surrounded with electricity as he bit back down onto Delcatty.

      “Hmm, more an offensive attacker I see…” Lawrence observed, and he called out “Delcatty, attract!” Delcatty sent hearts over to Bagel, and he let go, looking perplexed at it.

      “Muk she’s a girl” Annika said, then called over “Spark, Bagel!” Bagel’s body covered in electricity and he knocked her over. He felt really bad because of this so he helped her up.

      “Double Slap!” Lawrence yelled, and Delcatty started slapping Bagel repeatedly until he got away.

      “Spark again!” Annika yelled, and once again Bagel’s body covered in electricity. This time, however, he didn’t charge forward. Instead he let the electricity rush away.

      “Play Rough!” Lawrence shouted, and Delcatty rushed forward, hitting Bagel in the chest and knocking him back.

      Annika was contemplating on what to do next. She decided to do another Spark and hope it would hit. “Spark one more time!” Bagel’s body once again covered in electricity, and the electricity once again faded away.

      “Double Slap!” Delcatty ran up, about to slap Bagel once again.

      “Dodge it!” Annika shouted, and Bagel thankfully obeyed, moving out of the way. “Spark!” Annika shouted, pleading that he would attack it and possibly paralyze. Bagel didn’t let the electricity fade away this time, though. He ran up and hit the Delcatty, knocking her over once again. She got up and brushed it off.

      “Play Rough!” Delcatty ran up to Bagel and hit him again, this time knocking him over. He managed to get back up as Annika said “Okay, fine! Bagel use Crunch!”

      Bagel’s teeth started glowing and he ran up to the Delcatty, biting down on her. She cried out in pain as his teeth bit down deeper.

      “Double Slap!” Lawrence cried.

      “Dodge it!” Annika called out, and Bagel let go of the Delcatty right as she was about to slap him into oblivion. “Now use Ice Fang!” Bagel once again bit down on the Delcatty, his teeth surrounded by ice.

      They could tell that the Delcatty was getting weaker as Lawrence called out “Use disarming voice!” The Delcatty cried out, and Bagel felt really bad that he had hurt her so much and let go, kinda unwilling to keep going but still wouldn’t give up just yet.

      “Thunder Fang!” Annika called out, and Bagel’s teeth surrounded with electricity. He bit Delcatty once more, and this time sparks surrounded the Delcatty as she screamed. Bagel once again let go, feeling bad.

      “Double Slap!” Lawrence shouted, and Delcatty attempted to hit, but the electricity stopped her from moving.

      “We got this, Bagel!” Annika shouted. “Spark!” Bagel’s body started covering with electricity, but it disappeared and he didn’t move.

      Lawrence shouted “Play Rough!” Delcatty ran up to Bagel and hit him in the chest, knocking him over. He managed to get back up, but by this point he was panting.

      “Come on, Bagel!” Annika shouted. “Spark!” Bagel’s body covered in sparks as he ran up to the Delcatty, hitting her and knocking her over. She tried to get up, but she failed and laid on the floor, unconscious. After a bit, Steven shouted, “Delcatty has fainted, Annika is the winner for this round!” The crowd cheered, and Annika retrieved Bagel, waving.

      After Lawrence retrieved his Pokemon, he approached Annika. “Good match!” he said. “Your Luxio is pretty strong!”

      “He was my starter” Annika replied. “So I’m not surprised”
      “Your starter, huh? In my days, starters were set Pokemon. It wasn’t often that starters were different than the usual.” Lawrence said, thinking.

      “Well, times change, and so must we!” Annika replied.

      Lawrence smiled, growing a liking to this young lady. “I’ll be rooting for you in battles to come!” He said, offering his hand.

      Annika smiled back and grabbed it, saying “Thanks!” They shook each others hands, and went on their way.
      Spoiler: Inventory
      1x Pokedex
      10,050 Poke
      5x Super Potion
      2x Potion
      6x Great Ball
      4x Poke Ball
      1x Mysterious Blue Stone
      1x TM01 Focus Punch
      1x Festival Tourney Pass
      1x Drawing Notepad
      1x Pencil
      1x Sharpener
      1x Eraser
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        #81   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
      Old 2 Weeks Ago (3:38 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Pudding.
      Pudding's Avatar
      Pudding Pudding is offline
      [ alegría ]
      Join Date: Dec 2016
      Gender: Female
      Nature: Docile
      Posts: 350

      Margarita Fas
      Festival Tournament

      Steven Stone gave the two trainers one last glance before lifting his one arm. Pawniard stood tall and proud against an elegant Delphox, their fur blowing against the wind.

      "To a good battle!" Margarita's opponent hollered out in a thundering voice, hands cupped around his mouth. Delphox cheered in response, twirling their wand like a baton to impress the crowd. Pawniard grew envious of the attention, opting to slicing a random stick hurled in the air.

      Of course it didn't receive a standing ovation, but that one smile from a toddler on a man's shoulders was enough to prevent Pawniard from being embarrassed.

      "You know what to do," Margarita reminded her partner.


      Like clockwork Pawniard began with Embargo. Delphox did not wait for him to become available, an iridescent fireball forming at the tip of her raised wand. "Will o wisp!" The words gave her the go to release with the flick of her wrist.

      Pawniard easily slashed it into smithereens, yet its purpose was not to damage; it suddenly spread seconds after contact and vanished, as if evaporating. Not long after he felt the burn, making him wince.

      "Foxy, use Lucky Chant!" The bipedal fox recites a spell, hands and wand moving in synch in a mesmerizing dance. Pawniard began his charge during this, observing as the wand began to glow pink for a split second before returning to normal.

      Delphox didn't budge, a clear target for her charging opponent. Margarita questioned the lack of movement, puzzled. It's not moving. Why aren't they moving? Why.

      "Hit them with a flamethrower!" he ordered with a swift whip of his arm, forming a fist.

      Muk "Get out of the way!" Margarita blurted out, appalled at herself by the obvious strategy. He skidded to a halt instead of leaping to the side, a mistake that placed him a mere foot in front of a fire-wielding fox.

      Yip! The sight of a mischievous smile pierced by a wand was the last Pawniard saw before his vision became engulfed in crimson flames. The force tossed the steel knight back, super effective against him.

      "Can you stand?" Margarita asked, guilt plaguing her. From the moment she had signed up she secretly began to fret. She was fully aware they wouldn't go far, and yet she caved in to her Pokémon's wants. Unfortunately she was dreading the moment reality pummeled her dear Pokémon.

      Pawniard had long gotten up and dusted himself off, frustrated he was already feeling the pain mere seconds after the battle initiated.

      Delphox elegantly brushed her fingers through the red-orange fur protruding out of her ear, eliciting a war cry out of the steel knight. Flaunting her greatness pushed him slightly too far.

      "Use Slash," Margarita commanded to force Pawniard out of his distracted state. He lets his one blade drag against the pavement below, a shrill sound emanating from the action. A sharp pain stung the Delphox upon hearing it, wincing as Pawniard approached with a glowing, extended knife for an arm.

      "Foxy, use Mystical Fire!" With a grimace and one hand on her ear, Delphox twirled the wand in a circle, forming a crimson ring of thin fire. Pawniard easily leaped to charge from a different direction, forcing the fox to start over. This continued on.

      "Foxy use Flamethrower instead!" Hinata commanded. The maiden gladly complied, instead of the wand the burst of flames originated from her mouth.

      The flamethrower engulfed Pawniard, who didn't have enough time to react. "Hey... hey! HEY! Don't just stand in there!" Margarita shot out, upset he didn't bother to dodge or move out of the line of fire after being engulfed.

      Seconds felt like minutes as Margarita observed her companion withstand the scorching flames. It felt torturous, and Margarita felt slightly irate at the trainer for allowing the fox to blow the fire for as long as they did. Not that it was their fault, this is a battle afterall, and Margarita should be more than aware of it.

      But Margarita is beginning to feel overly protective of Pawniard after her travels, whereas towards the beginning of their journey she allowed her team to endure excruciating experiences.

      The Pawniard huffed in place, eyes piercing through the fire wielder as they prepared another attack. His blades elongated, albeit with a dull shine.

      "Get back here, you're too close-"

      "Flamethrower again!" The Pawniard attempted to dodge, but his legs buckled under the weight, far too weak to perform any major movements.

      Margarita debated her next action, unable to successfully separate her heart from the task at hand. Thus the lower half of her body suddenly felt chills, something she was unable to control. "Nene! Move!" she blurted out, panic in her voice. Not a second later she glanced over to the referee, succumbing to her swell of emotions. "F*ck this. I forfeit!"

      The audience gave a mixed reaction to the sudden event. "Stop!" her opponent hollered, startling the fox. Having already materialized some flames, smoke began to leak from her snout upon extinguishing them.

      Pawniard was not elated. In fact, he began to let out a flurry of words in rage, one only a Pokémon would comprehend. He refused to obey her as she called him over, instead stomping the ground in frustration. But the tantrum did not last.

      "That was a good match!" the male trainer spoke up, thumbs up. She did not respond, for her partner suddenly collapsed, trembling from exhaustion. "A-ah... hehehe, sorry about... that?" he sheepishly responded to her action, feeling at fault.

      Margarita tuned out her environment, more preoccupied with her Pawniard. "Nene!" She didn't bother to stop and kneel, sliding against the pavement to quicken her approach. "What the hell did you expect? You were all brave and muk taking those hits and-" she held her tongue, arms turning him to reveal a fainted comrade. "...I'm sorry. I need to heal you first before I lecture you."

      Margarita did not summon her Pokémon back into his Pokéball as her opponent had. She laid him on her chest, head resting over her shoulder.

      There was no words of departure from her, nor an acknowledgment of the young man's words.

      She had lost and she didn't care. But she felt at fault for what Pawniard had just been subjected to.

      They leave the arena.
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        #82   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
      Old 2 Weeks Ago (9:01 AM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Daisuke Mitsuharu.
      Daisuke Mitsuharu's Avatar
      Daisuke Mitsuharu Daisuke Mitsuharu is offline
      Punching Bag
        Join Date: May 2013
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        Caius Flynn, 21, ♂ ; Tower of Mastery, Kalos

        Memoria - Ending

        Caius waited with bated breath for the Gallade’s first move. Ryu, Sylph, Luca, and Phi stood in front of him and as confident as they were in their numbers, they couldn’t help but feel apprehensive at the same time.

        They’d never fought a mega-evolved Pokémon before. They weren't sure what to expect.

        Only the sound of lungs filling up with air could be heard as each Pokémon stared the other down. The lack of noise pollution prevailed until Caius issued a command.

        “Sylph, lay down some cover using Misty Terrain.” He declared to the fairy-type Pokémon.

        Like clockwork, Sylph started to produce a glittery mist from her body; it crawled its way towards the opponent Gallade until it completely consumed him.

        Now was his chance to attack, Caius thought. With Razor’s sightline obstructed by the thick mist, there was no better opportunity for his Pokémon to launch an omnidirectional strike.

        “Use the strongest ranged moves you can on him!” Caius shouted to no one in particular. As if receiving the message despite not having the details, his Pokémon began circling the fogbound Gallade.

        It was a maneuver they’d rehearsed countless times before for contest battles, so its execution was second-nature to them – even to the newcomer Phi, who was an unfamiliar cog in their machine.

        Soon after, a surge of colors headed straight for the Gallade, and the resulting blast whipped up a strong enough gale to dissipate the Misty Terrain Sylph had laid out. A shadowy figure started to emerge from the aftermath as the dust cleared. To Caius’ surprise, Razor was still standing, seemingly unscathed by the attack.

        “Psycho Cut.”

        As soon as the words poured from Kaito’s lips, Razor took off, bending his knees and allowing the momentum from his motion to propel him forward. He was fast – fast enough that even Luca, who was a close-combat specialist and who used aura to detect his foes, didn’t realize he was approaching until he was within reach.

        With the others unable to react, Luca did the only thing he could to intercept the Gallade. Batons bestowed on him through the move Bone Rush materialized in each hand, and he used both to block the force of the impact from Razor’s Psycho Cut.

        A blade-like hand covered in a dark miasma arced down on him in a swift motion. Crack. His batons broke.

        In that moment, panic swept over Caius, as if boring holes through each pore in his body.

        “Ryu, get him out of there with Twister!”

        As steady as he tried to sound, Caius knew the Dragonair could sense the trembling in his voice.

        Ryu wanted desperately to reassure his trainer, but in the heat of battle, time was a luxury that neither he nor the opponent possessed. Besides, Luca was going to be hurt if he didn’t act within the next millisecond.

        A gust of wind collected around the determined Dragonair, and as the last remnants of Bone Rush were fading away, he shot it in Luca’s direction. The wind allowed the struggling Lucario to escape the clutches of Razor’s Psycho Cut before it fully penetrated through his defenses.

        Ryu let out his battle cry as he looked his trainer in the eyes before quickly pivoting back to the battle at hand.

        Caius got the message. Suddenly, the anxiety swelling up inside him turned into a frantic resolve.

        He wanted to emerge victorious.

        He wanted his Pokémon to emerge victorious.

        He needed to believe in them.

        And believe he did as he rattled off his next string of commands.

        Once the Gallade regained his balance from the Ryu’s Twister, he found himself slashed at by Luca, new batons now in the Pokémon’s hands.

        A horizontal slash succeeded a vertical slash, and Razor was able to seize both mid-swing before Luca could follow through. Luca was impressed. What impressed him further was how the Gallade had enough momentum to spin into his own counterattack after snapping the batons in half with his Psycho Cut.

        Having his Bone Rush snuffed out by Razor didn’t particularly bother the Lucario, however. He had accomplished his goal. Narrowing Razor’s focus allowed Phi to catch him unattended with a Flame Charge from the rear. The steed was lit up in an infernal blaze as she rammed her entire frame on the Gallade’s side, sending him careening to a wall.

        Things were looking up for Caius and his Pokémon in that short while.

        Then, the tables were suddenly turned on them. In one fell swoop, Kaito and his Gallade took back control of the battle.

        Razor adjusted his position mid-flight, and as he hit the wall, his legs made first contact. Using every iota of strength he could muster, he pushed off the wall.

        In that moment, the Gallade became a blur against clear reality, the speed which physics afforded him making him nigh invisible to the naked eye. There was no escaping his next attack.

        Psycho Cut prepped, he zoomed past the Ponyta and dragged his blade across her. She went down in an instant.

        It didn’t stop there. Razor wasn’t letting up his onslaught one bit as he sunk into his shadow, zigzagging towards Sylph, who was none the wiser. When she realized what was happening, it was too late. Razor soon materialized beneath her feet, slashing her upwards with his Night Slash.

        One would’ve expected Caius to buckle under the stress of losing two Pokémon so quickly. And if it wasn’t for Ryu and Luca spurring him on, he probably would’ve buckled. Now, however, his sights were set on winning alone. The possibility of defeat couldn’t have been further from his mind.

        The battle hasn’t been lost yet, he thought. If there was even the slimmest glimmer of victory on their horizons, he and his Pokémon were going to pursue it with everything they had.

        “Ryu, get on top of Luca!” The Dragonair curled himself around the Lucario’s neck.

        Sylph had just been knocked out, and Razor was now heading full-speed-ahead in their direction.

        Caius knew he needed to buff up his Lucario for the inevitable encounter to stand a chance. He had time; Razor was still a few feet away. He and Luca could surely pull it off.

        “Luca, use Swords Dance!” An empowering energy began to blanket both Pokémon in a crimson glow as the Blade Pokémon attempted to close the distance.

        Luca was greeted with a vicious Psycho Cut upon the Blade Pokémon’s approach. He parried the strike through conjuring batons from the Bone Rush move.

        In his empowered state, he was able to hold his own against the mega-evolved Pokémon, forcing their standoff into a brief stalemate.

        Gallade’s hand-blade brushed ferociously against Luca’s batons until water from Ryu’s Aqua Tail pelted the Gallade in the eyes. Razor stumbled back, and in his confusion, Ryu sprung off from Luca’s shoulders.

        “Dragon Tail!”

        In a graceful serpentine motion, Ryu began twisting his body into a vigorous spin; with the centripetal force he accumulated, he slammed his tail into the Gallade.

        The Pokémon faltered backwards.

        Slam. Ryu wasn’t going to allow the Gallade to right himself.

        Slam. They had him on the ropes.

        Slam. The decisive blow was imminent.

        In a joint strike, Luca combined his Metal Claw with another of Ryu’s Dragon Tail. Razor was hit on his right by the Metal Claw, and on his left by the Dragon Tail. His body compressed at the applied forces.

        There was no room for him to fight back.

        The battle had been decided.

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        Old 2 Weeks Ago (12:10 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by Noraxia.
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        Noraxia Noraxia is offline
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          Vs. Colress
          Shalour Festival Tournament
          After the events at the Tower of Mastery, Odette hurried back to town. Thankfully, healing up her Pokémon didn’t take too long; most of them had been knocked out and exhausted, rather than wounded severely. The worst injuries were incurred by Grace, of all her Pokémon… something Odette still very much resented.

          The experience battling a Mega-Evolved Pokémon had left her feeling dejected and frustrated. Humiliated, even. Using all of her precious Pokémon against a single foe and still being so utterly outmatched had crumbled the confidence her previous victories of the day had built up. Worst of all, the successor’s dismissal of the bond with her Pokémon had shaken her. What was he even talking about? Nobody had a stronger bond with their Pokémon than she did with her Grace.

          Mulling over all of this, Odette eventually rejoined the festival grounds. Surely her turn to battle must be coming up, and so she sat in the stands to wait and watch. She was surprised to see Steven Stone, another one of the champions she adored, in the flesh, presenting the tournament she was to be participating in. A spark of excitement flared up in her chest, but was immediately extinguished by a sense of dread. What if she would embarrass herself again, and in front of him?

          “Excuse me.”

          A voice interrupted her train of thought. Odette quickly turned her legs to the side without looking, assuming someone simply wanted to pass her spot on the bleachers. She looked up in surprise when the person instead sat down next to her. A blond man with a peculiar blue lock of hair and a lab coat gave her a friendly smile. Too bad Odette was in no mood to reciprocate.

          “Pardon the intrusion. Are you by chance miss Radiuju?”

          “It just so happens that I am. What of it?” The annoyance was clear in her voice, but at this point Odette couldn’t care less.

          “Just as I expected! My name is Colress. I’ll be your first opponent in the tourney!”

          “Is that so.”

          “Indeed! I wanted to speak with you before our match. You see, I am a scientist devoted to bringing out the power of Pokémon!”

          Odette perked up slightly at that. Bringing out the power of Pokémon? Perhaps this overly excitable researcher had something interesting to say after all. “Oh? And what have you found?”

          “Oh, many things indeed!” The man spoke with such vigor, Odette could’ve sworn she saw a glint in his eye. “But for now, I am testing a new hypothesis, and I was hoping you would be willing to help me out.”

          Intrigued by his proposition, Odette decided to play along. “Then, of course. What would you have me do?”

          Colress placed his fingers to his chin as he grinned. “All I need is for you to give it your all in our battle! Showcase the bond between you and your Pokémon and let your shared might shine through!”

          “The bond…” Odette averted her eyes for a moment. “Right, of course. I’ll meet you again on the battlefield, then.” She managed to smile at Colress, before excusing herself from the conversation.

          Indeed, none other than Steven Stone himself was the one to announce the match’s start. Odette and her opponent moved onto the stage, under the accompaniment of a dutiful applause from the audience. It made her somewhat uncomfortable.

          “Welcome, trainers! The first round is fast approaching its end. Who of you will emerge victorious and proceed to the second?!”

          Colress and Odette exchanged glances. The former put on a confident grin, prompting Odette to reciprocate with an only slightly forced smile. Steven nodded approvingly before continuing.

          “A few words from our entrants then! Sir?” he spoke, holding up the microphone for Colress. To everyone’s surprise, he took it from his hand and turned to address the public.

          “My name is Colress! And we will endeavor to show you an inspiring battle that will bring out the power of our Pokémon and yours!”

          Odette watched him somewhat demurely, still confused by the man’s eccentricity. When he returned the mic however, she jumped a little when Steven placed a hand on her shoulder. “Very well! And you, miss?”

          She cleared her throat, before speaking with surprising confidence. “Yes… And I will win.”

          Steven smiled approvingly before spreading out his arms, gesturing the two to move to their assigned places on the battlefield. He continued to rev up the audience until the trainers were in position.

          “Excellent. Well then, ladies and gentlemen… Let the battle begin!”

          Both trainers released their Pokémon nigh simultaneously. On Odette’s side, a Magneton emerged onto the battlefield, while Colress called forth a Klinklang. Surprisingly similar Pokémon, Odette mused. But she’d prove this wasn’t something she couldn’t handle.

          “Start with Light Screen!” Odette ordered, and her Magneton quickly obliged. A barrier formed around the Pokémon, that became almost invisible immediately after completion. Her opponent didn’t seem surprised.

          “Oh! Of course! Why didn’t I think of that!” Odette wasn’t sure if he was mocking her. “Still, a Screen won’t help you if you’re vulnerable. Klinklang, use Metal Sound!”

          The gear Pokémon quite literally ground to a halt with a horrible metallic screeching noise. Even Odette felt inclined to cover her ears, but the Triplets were far more strongly affected. They shuddered with discomfort, but seemed to recover once the noise stopped.

          Klinklang wasn’t about to let them, however. Revving its gears back up to speed, its smaller gear shot a Charge Beam towards the Electric-type. Magneton wasn’t too bothered by it, but it seemed their opponents didn’t even mind that. Rather, Klinklang was using the leftover electricity to charge itself up.

          “That’s worrying,” Odette muttered, but decided that the best defense would be a strong offense. “Retaliate! Use a Metal Sound of your own!”

          The Triplets pushed their magnets together, grating the metal against one another to produce a similarly jarring noise for the Klinklang’s discomfort. Relieved to be back on somewhat equal footing, Odette commanded: “Alright! Use Discharge!”

          Magneton quickly twisted its magnets around to make the field surrounding them charge up electricity. However, Colress interrupted. “Oh ho! Two can play at that game, Klinklang!” prompting his Pokémon to prepare a charge of its own.

          Both of the Pokémon zigzagged across the battlefield, seemingly trying to provoke the other to make the first move. Odette grew impatient, but knew that releasing it at the wrong time could easily give Klinklang the upper hand. She’d have to trust the Triplets with this one.

          “So cautious! Where is your fighting spirit!? I need you to bring out their power, miss Radiuju!” Colress taunted from across the battlefield.

          Odette clenched her fist a little, immediately reminded of the successor’s words again. What was up with this man? How was he even conducting research through a battle? Utter nonsense.

          Having her attention falter from the battle was a bad idea however. As well as the Triplets could calculate probability, their trainer’s unease made them unsure in turn - and exactly then, Colress took the chance to strike.

          “Activate!” he shouted, and seemed to touch something on his wrist. Simultaneously, the Klinklang used a Gear Shift. Its smaller gear detached from the center one momentarily, and the two rubbed past each other as Odette caught a glimpse of something hidden between them. A shiny sort of stone? Was he—

          The Triplets at this point deemed the threat too great. With a loud whirr, it turned its magnets towards the Klinklang and released its Discharge. The electricity struck the Steel-type, but for some reason the Pokémon seemed to glow, and even grew bigger in size. Its shape didn’t change… but what was Colress trying to pull?!

          The Klinklang’s glow receded, and with its speed and power boosted further, it finally released its Discharge with incredible power. The electricity pushed back Magneton’s move with ease, and shocked its target thoroughly. The Triplets seemed to short circuit for a moment - but as its charge ran out, they thankfully seemed to shrug it off somewhat.

          Odette released the breath she didn’t realise she’d been holding, and shot an angry look at her opponent. He just seemed beyond exhilarated.
          Yes! This is what I was waiting for! Do your worst, miss Radiuju!” The excitement in Colress’ voice unsettled Odette somewhat, but she shook her head and focused on the battle once more. How to turn this situation around…

          Looking over the Triplets’ condition made an idea pop in her head. “Alright guys, I need you to get in close! Thunder Wave, then Electro Ball!”

          One of the Magneton’s cores turned to look at Odette, but it quickly turned back and rushed forward when it saw her determined gaze. Whereas the Triplets had nothing to fear of paralysis, the Steel-type wouldn’t have that luxury. The three moved in close, releasing waves of electrical energy into the air.

          Klinklang whirred, its movement slowed as the paralysis overtook its body. “No matter, Klinklang! We’ll stay ahead of the curve! Gear Shift!”

          The Steel-type followed the instructions, again detaching its gears briefly to speed up even further. Magneton had been waiting for that moment, however. Being in close with the Klinklang allowed its Magnet Pull to keep its gears from rejoining longer than before. That, on top of the paralysis hampering its movements, made the Electro Ball shot right at its vulnerable core land a critical hit.

          “Finish it off! Discharge!” Odette yelled. While Klinklang was dazed, the Triplets tacked their magnets directly onto their target’s outer gear, and made their attack course straight through the Pokémon’s body. Lightning sparks flew across the battlefield, demonstrating the sheer power of the Magneton’s move.

          Moments later, the Triplets detached… and the Klinklang fell limp to the floor.

          “Ladies and gentlemen, Klinklang can no longer continue! The winner is Magneton!”

          Colress seemed to shrug and smile, returning his Pokémon to its ball and retreating off the stage. In turn, Odette breathed a sigh of relief as her Pokémon returned to her side, and with a whispered “thank you”, she recalled the Triplets as well.

          “What was that during the battle? What did you do to that Klinklang?”

          Odette had intercepted the scientist in the streets after his rather swift exit from the tournament. Colress stood still for a moment, before turning to face her with a familiar grin.

          “Oh! You’re here! I must say, our battle was marvelous. Very interesting. I learned a lot!”

          “Stop dodging the question,” Odette spewed. Whatever he’d tried to pull, it felt awfully screwy.

          “That, miss Radiuju, was my first experiment with this!” He produced a small, unpolished round stone from his coat pocket. “This is, what I have dubbed, the Custom Mega Stone! I harvested it from the remnants of the Ultimate Weapon in Geosenge, and...“

          He proceeded to explain about his so-called ‘invention’ for a little while, but Odette could only think one thing. If that rock simulated the power of a Mega Stone, and it could be used on any Pokémon…

          “Can I have one?” she blurted out.

          Colress interrupted his story to raise an eyebrow. The determined look he was met with, made him shrug somewhat once more, but he seemed surprisingly on board with the idea.

          “Not a bad idea. Giving a Stone to a strong trainer might produce different results from my own. As I’ve not managed to complete a full Mega Evolution with one of these stones so far… perhaps you’ll have better luck.” He smirked, and pulled out another similar stone to place in Odette’s hand. The girl held the stone out to examine it carefully for a bit, but eventually put it away securely.

          “But keep in mind. You’ll still need a Key Stone to activate it.”

          Odette couldn’t help but look a little dejected at that. The scientist chuckled, before turning his back and walking away once more.

          “I’ll keep in touch to check on your progress! Let me know if you manage to use it!”

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            #84   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
          Old 2 Weeks Ago (12:17 PM).
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          Magnificent Magilou Magnificent Magilou is offline
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          Avril Morris
          Shalour City
          Chapter 19-2 | Unexpected Challenge

          Current Party:

          "Okay, Miss Morris! Thank you for being patient! Your Jigglypuff is back up and raring to go!" Avril smiled at the Nurse as she walked back to the counter carrying a tray of poké balls. Right after she had qualified for the tournament proper and received the pass that would allow her to enter the main event, the blonde had made her way straight to the Pokémon Center to get her Jigglypuff healed from the battle against Malorie's Mudsdale. "Also, your Shuppet and Noibat are back up to fighting health as well, so it looks like your whole team is back together now."

          "Good work, as to be expected," Avril replied, taking the three poké balls off the tray. "Thank you very much."

          "It's no problem at all," the nurse said, waving the blonde off. "I hope you have fun in the tournament, dear! I wish I was off so I could watch it all myself! I'll be rooting for both you and your Jigglypuff!"

          Avril thanked the nurse one more time before slowly starting to make her way towards the doors of the Pokémon Center. To be honest, she was feeling a bit more at ease about this tournament for the time being. Sure, she was a bit mad at Robin initially with how she had more or less forced her to enter... However now that she had managed to win the exhibition match against Sasha, the younger of the Morris sisters suddenly felt a lot more at ease about the whole thing for the time being. After all, it was just a friendly little tournament. In a sense, it was much less stressing than battling Team Cinder or even a gym leader. At least in this regard, there was nothing truly at stake such as her own life or whether or not she'd be able to continue her journey to reach the Pokémon League. It might even prove to be a good stress reliever.

          “Ready to head back to the gym?” The familiar face of the town’s beloved Gym Leader asks her Lucario, who answers with a happy growl. The night is young, they still have time for a few more challengers, and with the influx of trainers showing up for the tournament, there’s bound to be more. In fact…

          Korrina smiles at the blond trainer walking away from the counter. She had arrived at the tournament to give her support to Viola, when she saw this feisty young woman battling Ranger Sasha. “Hey!” She calls, waving in hopes of getting Avril’s attention. Without taking the time to see if Avril would respond, she jogs to her side. “You’re the trainer with the Jigglypuff, right?”

          Avril paused, turning to face the girl running up to her. Was this a spectator from the exhibition match? Well, it had to be. That was the only place in Shalour that Avril had battled with Mint that actually had spectators.

          Avril gave the other girl a quick nod. "Yes, I am. Can I help you with something um..."

          “You were amazing!” Korrina states enthusiastically. When Sasha’s new Rockruff charged Jigglypuff with an Iron Head, she thought the balloon Pokemon was done for, but then they turned it around! Not to mention the way she held her own against that Mudsdale. “Totally blew me out of the water!” She dials her enthusiasm back a notch, folding her hands behind her back. “You’re gonna challenge the Shalour Gym, right?”

          "Well, I mean... It is on my todo list, yeah," Avril replied. She was a bit taken back by this girl's enthusiasm. Clearly she had a lot of passion for battles if she thought that fight was so exciting. "I kinda meant to do it earlier, but um... well, I guess you already know that something else kinda got in the way. Heh..."

          “Then I accept your challenge!” So much for keeping herself dialed back, she simply can’t help it in the face of someone who’s shown such skill. “I’ve got some time now, if you’re not busy?” Maybe she wants to prep for the tournament instead? But what better way to prep than by battling more!

          "W-Wait a minute... You're the gym leader?" Avril questioned. Korrina, if she remembered right. She had never actually seen her in person, just her heard her name a few times here or there. Emma used to talk a bit about her back in the day too. That's when it all snapped into place for Avril. Of course it was Korrina. If anyone had a love for battling that intense, it would be her. "I mean... I do have the tournament in a bit, but..." She paused, glancing at the clock on the wall. She had roughly an hour before she needed to be there for her match. As long as she didn't use Mint, then Avril was sure everything would probably be fine. "...Sure, I guess I can fit in the time for it."

          “Great! I’ll meet you there. Do you know about the rules? Should I go over them now?” The tournament starts soon, right? There’s no time for things like pausing to take breaths between words.

          "Um... Sure, lemme hear 'em," Avril replied, trying her best to keep up with the girl. A fast mover and a fast talker, that much was certain. "What, a multi-battle? No falling off the stage?"

          "It's one-vee-one, with two Pokemon each." Korrina skates with slow strides. "My gym's a huge skating rink. I'll be skating around it, and the Pokemon have to keep running at all times, and you have to keep up with them. I lend out pairs of skates to trainers who don't have any. Some people ride Pokemon." Her face wrinkles very briefly as she speaks, it's not technically against the rules, though it does kind of crush the spirit of her challenge. "Or just run-- they don't usually fair too well." They usually end up collapsing by the battle's halfway point. "If one of us stops moving, or your Pokemon fall too far behind you lose, but you can't like...throw a rock on me to stop me from skating, that's illegal. And murder."

          "I... think calling it murder might be a bit extreme, but point taken," Avril replied. She offered Korrina a friendly smile. "I guess it's a good thing I know how to skate. Granted I've never actually tried battling at the same time, but I think I can manage. It actually sounds pretty fun."

          "I think so!" Korrina grins. Standing still while your Pokemon bust their rumps, darting around the ring for you, is hardly fair (also boring). A trainer needs to understand how hard their Pokemon work for them. "We'll hook you up with a great pair of skates, and then it's right to the good part!"

          Avril watched as the excited girl skated right out the door, no doubt making a beeline straight for her gym. If anything, she had to admire Korrina's moxie. The gym leader definitely had energy to spare, and then some. Deciding that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to keep Korrina waiting, Avril picked up her pace and made her way towards the gym. She had a feeling that this match was definitely going to be one of her most exciting battles yet.

          Keeping up with Grant and Viola's, the Shalour City gym was yet again unlike anything Avril could have expected. The entire building was made up to look like a massive skating park inside. The blonde trainer found herself wondering just how the gym leaders managed to afford all these crazy designs and interior choices. Avril was no financial expert, but she had a feeling that this sort of decorating had to cost a pretty penny.

          "Korrina...?!!" Avril called out, announcing her presence to the bubbly gym leader. "It's me, Avril! Are you here?!"

          A clacking, followed by a thunderous, rolling sound as Korrina quickly skates towards Avril. There’s a huge smile on her face when she sees her fellow blonde, and she skids to a halt only inches from her opponent. “You made it!” She seems incredibly excited for someone who was talking to this girl only mere minutes ago.

          “Okay! We do things a little differently here. We each choose our Pokemon before the match, and we register them into this computer.” Korrina would likely be bouncing if she wasn’t on skates. “I’ve already registered mine. Once you’ve picked your team, come meet me in the rink. See you soon!~” The Gym Leader waves eagerly as she pivots, then takes off back towards the arena.

          "But I..." Avril began, only to watch as Korrina took off out of sight. The trainer sighed, turning her attention back to the bracelet on her left wrist. "Hmm... I don't even know what kind of Pokémon this girl uses... I guess an obvious pick would be Shino, so..."

          The girl began to reach for her newly evolved Greninja's poké ball, however she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. A sudden thought began to run through Avril's mind, causing her to think back to the battle against her father at the tower earlier that day. It wasn't that she was afraid of Shino being hurt or anything. He had proven himself to be a very powerful member of her team. What caused the girl to suddenly reconsider entering the frog into the battle was the state of her other team members. While she would never call them outright weak, the battle with her father had shown Avril that there was a... definite power gap in regards to several members of the team. In fact, Shino was practically on an entirely different playing field than the rest, especially now that he was fully evolved. She wasn't going to be able to get anywhere if she kept relying on only his strength alone.

          "Sorry, Shino... I think I'm gonna let you take your break for just a bit longer," Avril decided. The girl reached for two different poké balls and tossed them both out in front of her. Radar the Noibat and Marble the Flaaffy both took shape in front of the girl, both Pokémon taken by surprise at their surroundings. "Hey you two... Are you ready to get ourselves a new badge? Because I think I can really use your help right now."

          Marble let out an excited mewl, the sheep Pokémon clearly happy to be of use to her trainer. She was practically bouncing in place with joy at the very thought. Radar on the other remained quite a bit calmer than his teammate. The bat Pokémon perched on Avril's shoulder, thinking it over for a moment before responding to the girl with a quick nod. Avril gave both of the Pokémon a smile before the trio made their way up to the rink where Korrina was waiting for them.

          "Alright, I think we're ready," Avril said as she reached the top of the stairs.

          “These your guys?” A flying type and an electric type, not the best matchup for her own, but most people that come into her gym have a flying type or two: They quickly learn that type matchups aren’t everything. She’s got plenty of tricks up her own sleeve to get around an aerial assault. “Looking good!”

          With a slight push off, Korrina rolls backwards towards the opposite side of the rink, where she gestures to a hanging piece of machinery in the middle, somewhat resembling a traffic sign. “Once you see the green light, you start moving, and you don’t stop until we’ve decided a winner. Otherwise, you forfeit.”

          Avril nodded and made her way over towards the starting line. She used to skate all the time back when she was younger along with Robin. Of course, it had been a few years since then. The last time the girl could remember actually being on a pair was back before she ran away to enlist in the Aquacorde Trainer's Academy. Thankfully, the girl didn't seem to be too rusty on the skates. Granted, her legs were a bit shaky as she made her way over towards the line, but the longer she moved around in the skates, the more stable she seemed to get.

          Avril's Pokémon made their way beside her. Marble went as far as to do a few stretches as she prepared for the battle ahead. Radar however, remained perched on Avril's shoulder. He gave a cautious look towards Korrina, the Noibat more than just a bit curious at who his opponents were going to be.

          "Okay, I'm ready..." Avril said, bracing herself for the upcoming battle.

          The rink suddenly got absolutely silent. Both girls stared up at the light, their eyes not blinking once as if they were afraid they would miss the signal otherwise. With a bright flash of green, both Avril and Korrina, as well as Avril's Pokémon took off!

          “Ready, Hawlucha? Let’s make this a good one!” Korrina beams as she calls her Pokemon forward: The Flying Luchador bursting from his Pokeball and gliding above the rink. His powerful eyes focus intensely on Avril, as well as her Pokemon. He seems just as eager to fight as his excitable trainer, though his is a far more reserved, pensive excitement.

          "Go get him, Radar!" Avril called, the Noibat in question flying off of her shoulder as she did so. "Attack that Hawlucha with Air Cutter!"

          The small Noibat let out a small, yet fierce screech as he began to rapidly flap his wings. A surprisingly strong burst of wind began to kick up as he flapped, before he suddenly shot it forward. A barrage of sharp, blade-like wind gusts all aimed for the Hawlucha as he did so.

          "Let's dodge with agility!" Korrina calls out, and her Pokemon begins to fly forward, gaining speed as his body darts from side to side of the arena. If they can't land an attack, they can't win, and Noibat's little wings will have to go into overdrive to keep up with Hawlucha.

          "Radar, don't let that speed intimidate you! Match it with an Agility of your own!" Avril called out. The Noibat followed suit with the Hawlucha, his smaller body darting about in an attempt to make himself more difficult to hit as well. Of course, Radar had one sharp advantage on his side... his tiny size would make him a much more difficult target to hit. "Now, swoop in with a Wing Attack!"

          Radar screeched and zipped over to the Hawlucha as quickly as he could.

          "Hawlucha, Aerial Ace!" Korrina shouts excitedly. Radar might be small, but that hardly matters with a move like Aerial Ace, which is guaranteed to hit. Even better, the bat's tiny size will have him easily overpowered by Hawlucha's larger wing-- at least in theory.

          Hawlucha turns to fly towards Radar, his feathers taking on a sharp shimmer as his wing collides with Radar's own. The force of the blow is enough to knock Radar back, causing the bat to screech in surprise. He barely managed to keep himself airborne, but the bat seemed adamant in staying in the battle. He began to flap his small wings faster, narrowing his eyes at the Hawlucha as he got closer to the bird once more.

          "Radar, use Agility again and then go for a Razor Wind!" Avril shouted.

          The Noibat screeched in response, his body jiving back and forth and his speed increasing even more. Without warning, the Noibat suddenly dove down in front of Korinna's Hawlucha, a barrage of razor sharp wind slicing up against the gym leader's Pokémon.

          "Hawlucha, you use agility, too! And then Flying Press!" Korrina shouts excitedly.

          The masked fighter begins to flit back and forth, with each shift his speedy increasing. When Noibat dives down, Hawlucha takes higher to the skies. Several slices of wind clash against his body as he descends on the little bat, intent on crushing him beneath his bulkier body.

          "Radar, try and dodge it!" Avril cried out. The little Noibat tried his best to get out of the way, but the larger size of his opponent did not leave him with much room to fly away from the oncoming attack. A loud screech echoed out into the room as the Hawlucha crashed into Radar, sending him flying across the make-shift rink with ease. Avril winced at the attack results, watching as despite his injuries that her Noibat was trying to still continue the battle. Not wanting to see the small bat get hurt further, Avril quickly grabbed hold of the bat's poké ball and called him back. "N-No more, Radar... Come on back..."

          “That was excellent, Hawlucha!” Korrina cheers for her Pokemon, who glides down to fly beside his trainer, offering a thumbs up in response. Sparkling blue eyes flit back to Avril, the teen skater gaining speed due to her excitement. “Show me what else you’ve got!”

          "I'm just getting started," Avril replied back. "Let's go Marble!" With a loud wail of excitement, the sheep Pokémon charged out onto the field. The Flaaffy began running as quickly as she could, wanting to do her best to try and please her trainer. "Alright Marble, give it a zap with Thunder Shock!"

          Marble took aim at Hawlucha, static building up around her fluffy head all the while. A happy mewl escaped her mouth as she shot off a quick zap of electricity.

          “Okay, show ‘em what you got, Machoke!” Korrina cries as her next Pokemon makes his debut. As he hits the ground, the swirling energy floods into him, taking on the speed from Hawlucha’s double Agilities. “Let’s start with Karate Chop!”

          The bulky Pokemon darts towards Marble with an incredible amount of speed for one so bulky, his arm thrusting forward to chop at the tiny sheep’s middle.

          "Marble, try to knock him back with Iron Tail!" Avril called out.

          The Flaaffy quickly spun around, taking a swing at the charging Machoke. As her tail moved, it took on a metallic shimmer, its weight seeming to increase drastically in the process.

          “Machoke, Close Combat!” Korrina cries. With Flaaffy’s Thunder Shocks being able to attack from so far away, they might not have this chance again.

          Machoke instantly becomes a fury of arm movements, barraging the electric type with a multitude of frantic, powerful punches, leaving itself wide open for a number of retaliations-- if Marble can sustain the hit.

          Avril watched with bated breath as her Flaaffy took every blow. The wails of pain didn't make the spectacle any easier to watch, either. However despite it all, Marble managed to keep up and moving. Pain was etched all over the Flaaffy's face, but she still seemed determined to finish the battle against the Machoke.

          "Marble, now! Go for a Thunder Wave!" Avril shouted.

          Marble wasted no time in hopping onto the Machoke, wrapping her arms and legs around the muscular Pokémon in the process. The sheep Pokémon discharged a blast of electrical energy, all the while Korrina's Machoke desperately tried to pry her off. The longer Marble shocked the Machoke with her Thunder Wave however, the slower and more sluggish his movements became. It was as if every movement he made was taking a great deal of concentration and energy. Once she was pleased with her attack, Marble hopped off of the Machoke's back and quickly took to scrambling ahead of the Machoke. With a loud groan, the Machoke's movements slowed down to a complete stop before he toppled over, completely unable to move.

          Machoke has fallen too far behind. By league rules, Machoke is unable to battle. The robotic voice calls out.

          "Great job, Machoke. Rest up." Korrina smiles as she returns her fighter to his poké ball. "Alright, Hawlucha, let's finish this up!"

          The luchador bursts back out from his poké ball, a look of sheer determination. One way or another, this battle's coming to an end very soon, they're both down to their last Pokemon, both have taken a considerable amount of damage. "Let's do Swords Dance, and follow it up with Flying Press!"

          Hawlucha flies upward, his body spinning in an elegant formation, wings growing sharper and shinier, and once he reaches high enough, he descends onto the electric sheep.

          "Marble, Take Down now!" Avril ordered.

          The Flaaffy spins around upon Avril's command, taking aim at the descending Hawlucha. With a loud wail, the sheep Pokémon launched herself up at Korrina's Pokémon. The two opponents quickly closing space between each other, until the duo crashed in a powerful exchange of blows. Avril spun around, her eyes focusing on the duo as the collided with each other. Despite the two skating trainers, the room suddenly became so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.

          The Pokemon collide with a powerful clash of force, grappling against one another as they descend back towards the rink. The silence is broken with a loud crash, both Pokémon lying on the ground, unable to move.

          Flaaffy and Hawlucha are unable to battle. The winner is the challenger! The robotic voice rings out, causing Korrina to look up in surprise. Winner? No, this should be a draw-- No...Radar was never officially announced fainted, so...that’s that. The blonde skids to a stop to catch her breath, her vibrant smile instantly returning. “You heard ‘em. I knew you’d be a great fight!”

          Avril came to a stop of her own, the girl surprised by the announcement just as much as Korrina. In all her focus on the battle and keeping herself moving, the girl had completely forgotten that she recalled her Noibat before he fainted from the battle. A sigh of relief escaped her lips as she took a moment to calm down, before returning her focus back to the gym leader.

          "You were a great one yourself," Avril replied, smiling at Korrina all the while. "For a moment, I thought you totally had me there."

          “That’s when you know you’ve found something great.” Korrina returns Hawlucha as she skates to Avril’s side. “When you’re so focused on what’s right in front of you that you forget everything else.” What could be better? The Gym Leader reaches into her pocket, then reaches for Avril’s hand, where she places the sparkling new gym badge against her palm. “Avril, I’m proud to present you with the Rumble Badge!”

          Avril felt a sense of pride as she took the badge from Korrina. While this wasn't the first badge she had collected by any means, there was something about it that just felt... special. Maybe it was on account of the fact that she had won this one without relying on Shino... Maybe it was because there was just something about the girl in front of her that just felt so much more... inviting than Grant and Viola. Avril really couldn't put her finger on it, but she definitely knew that there was something else there.

          "Thanks, I'll take it with pride," Avril replied. She took a moment to recall her Flaaffy, giving Marble and Radar's poké balls a warm smile. "Thanks you two, I couldn't have done it without you."

          Just then, a sudden announcement coming from the tournament could be heard from outside. Avril quickly recognized the voice as Steven Stone's. "Alright, everyone! It's time now for our next match! Will Robin Morris and Sky Kingfisher please report to the arena!"

          "Oh! The tournament! I almost forgot all about it!" Avril exclaimed. She blushed lightly, turning to face Korrina one more time. "I... I hate to run like this, but... I mean, I'd stay and chat a while, but... My sister, you see... She's also in the tournament and..."

          "Say no more! Get going, and good luck! I'll be cheering for you." There's no promise that she won't have another challenger, so she can't say she'll be there in person, but that doesn't mean she can't root for her in spirit! And listen to the announcements from the nearby stadium, that too. She holds her arm out once more for a pre-tournament-good-luck-high-five. "Go get 'em!"

          Avril gave Korrina a high-five, before she turned and made her way out of the gym. She had a good feeling that the remaining tournament was going to be something that she wouldn't forget for a long time. After her battle with Korrina, she was definitely pumped to show just what she could do out there.

          Avril received the Rumble Badge!
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          Old 2 Weeks Ago (12:32 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by Magnificent Magilou.
          Magnificent Magilou's Avatar
          Magnificent Magilou Magnificent Magilou is offline
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          Robin Morris VS Sky Kingfisher

          An Odd Battle

          Sky walked out to the battlefield with a grin, her height and confident demeanor giving a striking impression as she took her place on one side of the battlefield.

          “Pleased to meet you,” she called across to her opponent “Looking forward to an exciting battle!”

          Robin looked out as her opponent approached her, a small yawn escaping her lips before offering the dark-haired girl a friendly smile. “Oh, yeah… It’s gonna be a good one, I tell ya that. ‘Course, would’ve been nice if we were a bit further down the roster… I could’ve used a few more minutes, know what I mean?”

          “Nope, not really,” Sky said, still grinning widely. She was now tossing a simple pokeball up and down in her hand, “Kinda raring to go actually.”

          “Well then, don’t let me keep ya waitin’,” Robin replied, reaching down and taking a ball off her belt. “Just don’t go too hard on me. Still a little groggy and all that.”

          Robin tossed the ball out onto the field, releasing out a rather sizable looking Blastoise from inside. The massive, water-turtle let out a loud groan as he stretched out his arms and legs, as if he too had just been woken up from a rather deep sleep like his trainer seemed to have been. He took a moment, looking around at his surroundings for a moment before coming to look down at Sky. An… awkwardly bright smile was quick to grace the Blastoise’s features, the Pokémon going as far as to offer the opposing trainer a very friendly wave.

          Sky chuckled, waving back to the Blastoise as she sized it up, giving Robin a look that suggested she had no intention of going particularly easy on her. She stopped toying with her own pokeball and released her own choice of competitor with a bright flash.

          The vibrant white light faded to reveal a Pidgeot, slightly larger than normal and a fierce expression on her face. She exuded the same supreme confidence as her trainer.

          “I’ll be taking the first move then, Sora use Quick Attack!” The Pidgeot was a blur as she shot forward towards the Blastoise like a bullet. Sora struck her target, the impact audible across the arena, belying a surprising strength. “Follow it up with Hurricane!”

          At close range, Sora flapped her wings hard whipping up a gale of immense force, allowing herself to be pushed back away from the Blastoise somewhat by the force of her attack.

          “Oooh, she’s good…” Robin said quietly, her eyes lighting up with mild interest. “Coral, go for a Withdraw.”

          The Blastoise quickly pulled his head and limbs inside of his massive shell, letting out a small moan as the fierce winds began to kick up against his shell. While the defensive maneuver wasn’t going to block all of the damage, it would help Coral at least reduce a good deal of it. Once the winds from the attack died down, Robin picked up the pace with her next command.

          “Now go for a Hydro Pump,” Robin ordered.

          Coral pulled himself out of the shell and quickly aimed at Sky’s Pidgeot with his cannons. A massive blast of water began to shoot out of the Blastoise’s guns, with enough pressure pouring out of them to slightly push the water Pokémon back.

          “Air Slash!” Sky responded. Sora swiped her wings forward as a pair of shimmering, silvery blades of wind sliced into the incoming torrent of water. The attack cut through the Hydro Pump, dividing it down the middle until the powerful water attack finally overcame it with a bang. The attacks were cancelled out but a final burst of water crashed into Sora and deflected her further back, although not hurting the stability of the experienced flier.

          Sky, grinning still, waggled a finger at Robin.

          “And you tried to get me to go easy on you. Sneaky, sneaky. Sora, Work Up and then another Air Slash!”

          A red glow radiated out from the Pidgeot before she once again swiped forward with her wings, this time sending for of the shimmering blades of air flying towards Coral. Robin smirked, crossing her arms as the attack flew towards her Blastoise. The brunette trainer not seeming all that concerned about the attack.

          “Coral, Iron Defense,” Robin called out. The Blastoise puffed out his chest as the attack started to connect, his body suddenly shining in a steel-like manner. The Blastoise grunted as the Air Slash connected, trying his best to brush off the attack as best he could. “Now, Giga Impact.”

          The Blastoise suddenly charged forward, his eyes narrowing as he closed the distance between himself and the Pidgeot. Without warning, Coral suddenly launched himself into the air before attempting to body slam the Pidgeot from above.

          “Quick Attack, straight forward!” Sky shouted, surprised by the sudden aerial assault. Sora responded immediately, rocketing forward with blinding speed, pulling back just before she would be in danger of running into Robin.

          Robin’s eyes opened a bit wider, which seemed to wake the girl up a bit more than she had been previously. She watched as her Blastoise slammed into the ground with enough force to cause the impact to echo out into the arena, before turning to glance over at Sky with a raised eyebrow.

          “Ya… cut it a bit close there, didn’t ya…?” Robin questioned, the tone in her voice still sounding somewhat tired however. “It felt like my heart was gonna burst out from my chest.”

          “I wasn’t too concerned, Sora knows what she’s doing,” Sky replied nonchalantly “Speaking of, Sora let’s get in close and prop it up a bit before it can move again.”

          Sora gave a screech of approval, turning away from Robin - not paying her much mind - and flying quickly to the downed Blastoise. She flew low to the ground, jamming her head in under the turtle before flapping hard, pulling it partially up.

          “Twister!” Sky called, but Sora was already acting before the words had properly left her trainers mouth. She thrust her wings forward, rocketing herself back as before the Blastoise could hit the ground again or right itself, the roaring tornado exploded up underneath it.

          The Blastoise let out a surprise, imposing wail echoing out as he suddenly found himself being catapulted back up into the air. Robin winced, knowing that the fall back to the ground was definitely going to be rough for Coral. Still the brunette seemed to have a few ideas in her head on how to help.

          “Coral, Withdraw again!” Robin ordered as the Blastoise fell to the ground. He quickly retracted back into his shell once more, slamming into the ground once more with enough force to cause cracks to form around where the massive turtle Pokémon landed. “Now, Gyro Ball!”

          Without warning, the Blastoise suddenly began to spin rapidly in the ground in a circle. He suddenly launched himself at Sky’s Pidgeot, the water-type moving so fast that it was like someone had launched him out of a cannon.

          After seeing the aerial maneuver earlier, Sky was less surprised by the Blastoise’s surprising agility this time, but that didn’t make it any easier to deal with.

          “Push it back with Hurricane!” She called frantically to Sora, who was too close to the ground to simply fly above the forceful attack.

          The Pidgeot twisted gracefully to have her back to Robin, facing the incoming Blastoise and unleashed another gale upon the arena. The attack came in strong though and before the Hurricane reached its full power, Coral was upon her. Although the force of the attack was greatly reduced by the Hurricane, Coral hit Sora and sent her reeling through the air. This time she had to fight to properly orient herself and stop herself from crashing, once again nearly running right into Robin.

          “I think you’re going to have to blame your Blastoise for that one,” Sky joked before immediately switching her attention back to the battle. “Work Up again, then Air Slash!”

          The deep red glow once more surrounded Sora as she rose higher into the air. As the red light faded, she unleashed her attack again. Six huge silvery air blades shot forth with a flap of her wings, raining down over Coral.

          “Withdraw,” Robin stated, a small yawn escaping the girl’s lips yet again.

          The Blastoise tucked himself safely into his shell once more, the blades of air crashing down into the stadium all the while. A vast amount of dust and dirt began to be kicked up from the powerful winds, obscuring the vision of both trainers and the Blastoise down below Sky’s Pidgeot. Slowly, the dust began to settle… only to reveal a rather curious sight. Robin was… sitting down on the ground. Her eyelids were looking rather droopy and the girl didn’t seem to be all too concerned about giving her Blastoise a command.

          “Uh… we just hammered you’re Blastoise,” Sky said incredulously “What on Earth are you doing? You good there?”

          “Huh…? Oh, yeah… Look, I dunno how you’re feelin’, but…” Robin began. “Truth be told, this just ain’t doin’ it for me. Like, don’t get me wrong, your Pidgeot is pretty good and all that. It’s just I thought this whole tournament thing was gonna be a lot more fun.”

          “You mean you were expecting an easy win.” Sky raised an eyebrow.

          “What? No, no… Ya got me all wrong,” Robin quickly argued. “The fact that ya didn’t just roll over and lose is amazin’. I’m just… bored I guess.” Without a further moment of hesitation, Robin slowly picked herself off the ground and began to stretch. The trainer pulled a poké ball and recalled her Blastoise. She then offered Sky a rather lazy smile, one that was interjected by yet another yawn. “I give. You’re the winner, kiddo.”

          “Kidd - wait, how old are you supposed to be?” Sky asked, utterly bemused by this turn of events. “What is even happening right now?”

          “Hey, didn’t anyone ever teach ya not to go ‘round askin’ for a lady’s age? It’s bad manners, ya know…” Robin replied with a smirk. “Besides, ya just won the battle. Ain’t this supposed to be the part where ya hug your bird up there in a spirited celebration…?”

          “Riiiiiiiiiight,” Sky continued to just stand there blinking. In all her years of training, this was one of very few times someone had quit the battle… and the only time in the middle of a tournament. “Sure… good job, Sora. We won. Apparently.”

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          Old 2 Weeks Ago (1:37 PM).
          Daisuke Mitsuharu's Avatar
          Daisuke Mitsuharu Daisuke Mitsuharu is offline
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            Caius Flynn, 21, ♂ ; Shalour City, Kalos

            Of Heated Battles and Renewed Connections

            It was Caius’ first tournament in Kalos, and rightfully, he felt a little nervous. As a coordinator, he should’ve been used to performing in front of crowds by now. Yet, today was different; something inside of him was screaming he was out of his element.

            “Maybe I’m just overthinking it.” He muttered under his breath, referring to the tournament. “No bad vibes, no bad vibes…” He tried to calm himself down.

            Considering he was a Pokémon coordinator first and foremost, the tournament scene was one beast he’d never tamed before. Surrounded by hopeful trainers gunning for first place, Caius felt shame prick him on the side as he reflected on his own motivations. In his heart of hearts, he knew he only joined the tournament because he ran out of things to do for the day, and it seemed like a great way to pass the time.

            “Might as well make the best of it.” He resigned himself to his fate. If he was ever half-hearted about the tournament before, he wasn’t now; he was going to win it, with Luca beside him.

            As his eyes were glued to the monitor which displayed the first match, he couldn’t help but crack a smile at the events unfolding before him. In particular, he quite liked the moment when that arrogant bastard Czar had the rug swept right from under him. He only hoped that the humiliating loss would teach the guy a lesson or two on humility.

            As Steven Stone announced the winner of the match over the loudspeakers, Caius heard a name which he vaguely recognized: Jackson Crane. He was a classmate of his back at Aquacorde, and from the little snapshots of the past his brain could piece together, he remembered Jackson to be that rebellious hothead who was frequently marked “absent.” For sure, Jackson was one individual who stood out to him.

            Caius was lost in his thoughts as the Champion of Hoenn quickly cycled through the following matches; before he knew it, it was finally his turn in the limelight. He stiffened like a board as Steven Stone rattled off his name with the same vigor his mom would when she’d tell him to wash the dishes. “It’s that time, Luca.” He said to his Lucario as he released him from his Poké ball. Luca gave a firm nod before the two were off to the platform where their battle would come to pass.

            Maya had often fantasized about meeting the charismatic Steven Stone in person, and Caius never understood why until he found himself face-to-face with the guy. Despite having boyish features overall, he exuded a unique sort of machismo that Caius looked upon with both admiration and envy. Perhaps that was what drew all the ladies’ attention to him.

            “On our right, we have Pokémon Coordinator Extraordinaire Caius Flynn!” He exclaimed into his microphone, which he then put to Caius’ lips. “Hey there.” Caius waved awkwardly at the audience. “I hope Simon and I manage to entertain you all in our battle.” He waddled back to his initial position.

            Shoot; he screwed up his introduction. Caius had been constantly rehearsing the lines he wanted to say after his bout with Kaito, but the staring faces of the crowd just seemed to wipe them all from his memory. He was drawing a blank, but he knew he had to improvise somehow; that cringeworthy display was the end result. He felt embarrassed. What made him more embarrassed was Kaito screaming at the top of his lungs in the stands. “Caius, you better beat that Simon’s ass!” He heard him yell.

            Caius tried not to make eye contact, but the urge was too strong, so he gave in. Curiosity killed the cat the moment Caius laid eyes on him and his Pokémon.

            There they were at his sides, both his Gallade Razor and Gardevoir Luciela, decked out in the skimpiest cheerleader outfits one could probably find in Kalos. Luciela’s getup didn’t particularly bother Caius; in fact, the outfit kind of suit her.

            What Caius gravitated most towards, however, was the mega stone tied around Luciela’s neck. He didn’t know Kaito had another Pokemon that could mega-evolve.

            Unlike Luciela, who was a feast for the eyes all on her own, Razor was an eye-opener in the worst ways possible. Caius had always pegged the Gallade to be the silent-but-strong type. However, the sight of him waving around pom-poms and wearing what was essentially a thong all but shattered Caius’ mental image of the Pokémon, as if Razor himself took a sledgehammer and just rammed through it.

            All the poor boy wanted to do now was look away, which he did immediately.

            Steven Stone locked his arms around Caius and ruffled his hair with his fist. “Looks like you’ve got your own little cheer squad here.” He teased, mouthing words in between his chuckling.

            Sigh. Even the champion was making fun of him now…

            “Moving forward, on our left, we have a certified Aura Guardian, Simon Peter!”

            Mr. Stone pivoted over to a rather tall man with distinct shaggy brown hair that made him look like the main character from a kids show Caius used to watch. He spoke in a goofy voice too, almost as if he’d come down with sore throat. “I’m ready to throw down when you are, Caius!” He uttered into the microphone Steven gave him; he shot Caius a friendly wink before he sent out his Mienshao.

            As soon as the referee’s whistle blew, the Mienshao wasted no time in closing the distance between it and Luca.

            “Shao, use Aura Sphere!” With the Mienshao still fast approaching, it conjured up a ball of blue energy midway and blasted it in Luca’s direction.

            Luca was vulnerable to moves like Aura Sphere due to his steel typing, so he needed to circumvent the attack somehow.

            “Luca, serve up a homerun using Bone Rush!”

            Batons made from earth materialized in Luca’s hands, and he swung one of them against the incoming Aura Sphere; the impact caused the blue sphere of energy to fly back to Mienshao, which it hit right on the torso. The Mienshao winced in pain at its own move but it quickly regained its composure.

            Luca was already within arm’s length by the time the Mienshao recovered and not allowing it to mount an attack of its own, he swung his other baton as it was getting up.

            The baton cut through wind as the Mienshao narrowly avoided Luca’s attack.

            “Shao, this is your chance to use Hi-Jump Kick!”

            Simon’s Mienshao was bending over backwards to avoid Luca’s Bone Rush. Once it was in the clear, it transitioned into a back handspring and kicked off the ground to rotate 180 degrees; that kick knocked the baton out of Luca’s right hand, disorienting the Lucario.

            “I spot an opening! Shao, use Hi-Jump Kick again!” Confident that its next move would make direct contact, Mienshao initiated yet another Hi-Jump Kick.

            This was bad. If the kick connected, Luca would be reeling from the blow. Caius ran through his options in his head. There was no time to prep another move, and Luca had only a single baton in his hand to defend with…

            A lightbulb went off.

            Caius was looking the situation the wrong way. The answer was not to defend, but to deflect; Luca had to divert the blow elsewhere.

            “Luca, try to throw Mienshao off balance with your baton!”

            The Lucario slid his baton in between the Mienshao’s legs as it kicked, and with a jerking motion, he flipped the Pokémon in the air.

            “Send it up higher with a Force Palm!”

            Luca brought his arm up from his underside to hit the Mienshao as it hung suspended in space. Upon contact, a yellow energy emanated from his fist and catapulted the Mienshao skyward.

            It wasn’t over yet.

            “Wrap things up with a Dragon Pulse!”

            Readjusting his footing to get a better look at the Mienshao, Luca charged up a volatile energy between his hands before thrusting it forward. The energy left his palm in waves, and it hit the Mienshao as it was falling.

            It became evident after the Mienshao plopped to the ground that it had fainted due to the blast.

            “Winner: Caius Flynn.” Steven announced after checking up on Simon’s Mienshao.

            If there was anything that could console him for the embarrassment Kaito put him through, this victory was definitely one.

            Caius stretched out his hands towards the audience, who rose up in uproarious applause, before he exited from the platform. Even Luca was caught up in the moment as he T-posed in front of the riled-up crowd.

            The two disappeared into a hallway as they were ushered out by Steven to prepare for the next round of fights.

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            Old 1 Week Ago (8:57 AM).
            Magnificent Magilou's Avatar
            Magnificent Magilou Magnificent Magilou is offline
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            Avril Morris &
            Emma Kuzunoha
            Shalour City
            Chapter 19-3 | The Long Awaited Duel

            Current Party:

            "...What's with you?" Emma had asked her Bagon, who was acting antsy and temperant all while long. He was kicking the dirt and growling in certain moments during each match. Perhaps he was just impatient to battle once more, ever since he struggled against that wild Zangoose that threatened Emma's new Plusle and Minun. Speaking of those two, Alm and Celica, they both sat together inside Emma's carry-on bag, callig out for their hot-blooded dragon friend. However, Drago the Bagon only responded by sticking out his tounge at them. Emma sighed.

            "Behave yourself!" Emma warned him. "Our next match is about to be soon, but you need to be paitent!" Typical Drago, only responded by a brief tantrum, and a pout.

            Avril on the other hand, groaned with frustration as she sat in wait for her next match. The girl unfortunately didn't make it in time to watch the match between Robin and her opponent. To make matters worse, she was rushed back into her waiting room so fast that she didn't even have the chance to see just how well the older of the Morris siblings faired against her opponent. While it wasn't the worst thing in the world, it was causing Avril's mind to wander a bit. With any luck, she'd be able to focus properly on the match ahead without being too distracted.

            "I wonder who I'm supposed to be battling against, anyways?" Avril questioned, glancing down at her Jigglypuff as she spoke.

            Mint glanced up at Avril, appearing to shrug in response to her trainer's question. Avril really couldn't tell if the pink Pokémon actually cared or not who their opponent was. It seemed that the only thing on Mint's mind was fighting against another strong Pokémon like she did against the Mudsdale. While her trainer thought that such a close battle would have calmed the Jigglypuff down a bit, it seemed to have just the exact opposie effect. Mint was practically bouncing around the room in excitement, as if she was some child on a sugar rush.

            Avril sighed, taking Mint into her arms. "Relax, Mint... You're gonna get all worked up and then be exhausted by the time it's time for our next match."

            "Ladies and gentlemen, we have had quite the number of exciting battles so far!" said Korrina's grandfather, head successor and mayor of Shalour city. He once again stood in the middle of the illuminated grand arena, addressing the crowd that gathered.

            "Indeed!" Steven Stone agreed, who stood next to him. "I'm quite imprssed by the level of talent, and powerful pokemon that are participating! To those of you who are about to enter the next round, good luck to you both! Now then, next round participants, please stand-by for the next tournament battle... Emma Kuzunoha vs. Avril Morris!"

            “This will be...something.” Sebastian murmurs after the announcer calls out the names of their next contestants.

            “You okay over there?” Sasha asks.

            “Avril and Emma are best friends, and they’re both your friends, right, Princy?” Victoria explains.

            “Yes, this will be a--” Before he can complete his sentence, Victoria has stood up from her seat, crossed to Sebastian’s, grabbed his wrist, and pulled him to his feet.

            “Come on. We’re getting closer.” The eager blonde tugs his wrist as she makes her way to the first row.

            "Emma blinked. "... ... ...Huh?" it's going to take her awhile to process this. She stared blankly, seemingly into space... "OWWW!" ...until Drago chomped on her head, falling her back into reality. She inconspicuolusly set Drago back down on the ground. "I-It's going to be Avril!" she told her three pokemon, who all responded in their own way.

            "...You've gotta be kidding me," Avril said quietly, staring in disbelief as she processed the words that Steven had just announced. It was so surprising that she dropped the Jigglypuff that she was holding at the time. "I'm... going up against Emma...?"

            The girl was not expecting this. In all the excitement of battling Malorie followed by that spontaneous battle against Korrina, Avril had somehow managed to forget that Emma was actually even registered in the tournament to begin with. She hadn't even seen the girl since they left Cyllage City. It was only when a small hand tapped her leg did the girl snap back to reality. She glanced down, finding her Jigglypuff staring back up at her rather impatiently.

            "R-Right! We should uh... we should get out there," Avril stammered, leading the way out towards the arena.

            Emma had entered the arena, as everyone in the audience looked on. Drago growled and roared as he spitfired flames from his mouth, shooting it in all sorts of directions, while stomping his feet. Emma meanwhile collected herself, as she reached for her bag, then seemingly putting on lipstick. Alm and Celica peeped out their heads, quite curious about how the proceedings will go down.

            "Sit tight you two," Emma directed them both. "Will you cheer Drago on?" the brother and sister pokemon both cried happily in agreement. Drago was still revving himself up, resorting to shadowboxing, shadowkicking, and shadow...headbutting Even performing stances like a Hariyama for some reason.

            Avril came out just a few seconds later, her Jigglypuff proudly struting by her side. The pink Pokémon began to wave to the cheering audience, clearly loving the attention and eager to put on another show for them. Her trainer merely rolled her eyes at the spectacle. While she was glad that Mint was having fun, she was beginning to wonder if all this attention was starting to go to her head.

            "...Hey, Emma," Avril greeted as she approached her fellow blonde. "Funny meeting you here."

            "Well. This tournament certainly didn't waste any time becoming more and more interesting," said Emma, who had just finished applying her lipstick. She gave Avril a warm greeting. "The feeling's mutual."

            Avril raised an eyebrow, watching as the girl across from her put away her lipstick. "Um... You do know this is a battle right? Not like... a modeling competition or something...?"

            Emma smacked her two lips together, as Drago finished warming up. "No Avril. Not a battle," she warned, giving Avril from a friendly look, to a fierce one. "You and I are going to war!"

            “You’ve got this, Avril!” Victoria cheers as they reach the front row. There are no free seats, though she’s just as happy to stand, she’s more noticeable this way. Sebastian’s silence earns his a soft elbow to his side. “Say something.”

            “I would prefer to remain impartial.” Sebastian explains. One way or another, one of his fellow trainers will lose this fight, one friend will beat another. It’s...bittersweet.

            “Why did I bring you?” Victoria grumbles, pointing towards Emma’s side of the arena. “Go over there, then. You’ll bring me down.”

            Why did she bring him? She knew they were both his comrades...By now he should know not to question this one’s antics. Sebastian sighs quietly, easing his hands into his pockets as he walks towards Emma’s side. Once there, he lifts his head in hopes of catching her eyes, flashing an encouraging smile.

            Avril opened her mouth to reply to Emma, but Victoria's sudden cheer quickly caught the girl's attention. Slowly, she glanced over in the direction of her would-be cheerleader, causing a deep flush to rise to her cheeks. "I uh... Um... Don't guess you have any more of that, do you...?' Avril questioned, glancing back over to Emma. Emma gave Avril a battle ready smile, then just so happened to catch Sebastian at the corner of her eye, as she was reading her position. She gave Sebastian a nod. I'll show you how strong I can be. she thought to herself... but mostly directed to him. And more importantly, Avril.

            "Alright, Avril. I know we're friends, but I won't forgive you if you hold back on me!' Emma called out. "Everything I feel is gonna be in this battle!" Drago spewed his flames, revved up even more.

            Mint seemed particularly pumped by Emma's declaration. The Jigglypuff began to bounce back and forth, practically bursting with excitement. Avril managed to regain her composure, facing her friend properly.

            "Right back at ya," Avril stated. "Trust me, I've been waiting for this for a while now."

            "If the two of you are ready..." Steven Stone announced, as the two trainers stared each other both on, with determined, passionate eyes. He was pleased by this. It reminded him of the days of his youth, as he encoutnered face to face against his own friend... and greatest rival. "Now then. Send out your pokemon, and let this battle commence!"

            "Let's go, Drago!" Emma shouted. Drago didn't even need to think twice. It hopped right upon the battle field, screaming his loudest battle roar. Alm and Celica both hopped out of Emma's bag, crying out and cheering their friend and ally on, as Drago gave both of them a thumbs.. or in this case, claws up.

            Avrl definitely has the advantage, Sebastian thinks to himself: Immunity to a Pokemon's key attacks is one of the greatest advantages one can hope for. While he would never count Emma out, he is very interested to see how she and her Bagon find their way around such an incredible disadvantage. "Good luck, both of you..." He murmurs to himself, his voice utterly blocked out by the cheers from the crowd.

            "Alright, Mint! Let's give it our all!" Avril exclaimed. Mint bounded forward, approaching the Bagon with glee. She paused just long enough, looking the dragon over before sticking her tongue out at the creature. The Jigglypuff began to taunt her opponent, clearly trying to get him worked up.

            Drago stomped on the ground repeatedly, seemingly already agitated. "Jigglypuff is a Fairy-type, so we can't use any Dragon-type moves..." Emma said to herself as a start of a battle plan. "So, we'll just have to take it head on. Go Drago! Headbutt attack!" Drago roared, lowering his head, charging right towards his foolish pink opponent with aggrivated force.

            "Mint, Gyro Ball!" Avril shouted out.

            The Jigglypuff quickly curled into a ball and practically launched herself in Drago's direction. Her spinning and speed picked up as the distance between the two Pokémon closed. With a loud crash, the duo collided into each other with enough force to send Mint flying back towards Avril in surprise. The pink Pokémon barely had a moment to catch hersef before she would have plowed right into her trainer. Drago was also hurled backwards, but managing to stop before he collided with his own trainer. He was kneeling slightly, seemingly having the wind knocked out of him for a spell.

            "Drago! Hit em' with your Ember! NOW!" Emma shouted. Her Drago brazenly recovered, and released a plethora of spitfire flames that rushed and closed in to the balloon pokemon's direction.

            That Gyro Ball continues to kick ass and take names. Victoria smirks as the little pink balloon continues to roll her little round body of doom straight into the dragon. She fights the urge to call out to the battling blonde again, if only because doing so might distract Avril, something she can't afford during such an important battle. Instead, she merely smirks at the dynamo-puff as it plows the dragon over.

            "Mint, Body Slam!" Avril ordered. Mint wasted no time in launching herself into the air, her size puffing up as she took in a deep breath before slamming herself downward in Drago's direction. Drago then pointed his Ember attack upwards, only for the attack to be sponged and bounced away by Mint's expanded size. Soon the balloon pokemon crashed down, with Drago barely avoided the worst of it, but the force of the attack still managed to make Drago soar upwards and diagonally from the battlefield.

            "Drago! Snap out of it! Counter-attack with Zen Headbutt!' Emma called, backed up with cries of cheers from Pluse and Minun. Drago regained itself, managing to absorb impact by sending his feet to land against a nearby post. It then used the post to spring itself quickly forward, releasing blue waves of energy from his head, performing an even stronger move than it's signature Headbutt attack.

            "Mint, watch out! Use another Body Slam!" Avril cried out. It was too late, however. As Mint recovered from her previous attack, she was greeted by a full-force blow from Emma's Bagon. The headbutt sent Mint flying across the arena, the Jigglypuff letting out a pain-filled wail along the way. The pink Pokémon landed roughly on the ground, but she wasn't down for the count just yet. Mint slowly picked herself back up, the Jigglypuff staring angrily at her opponent. "You've got this Mint, just hang in there!"

            "Don't let them rest! ANOTHER ZEN HEADBUTT!" Emma shouted. Drago set out even stronger blue waves of energy, rushing itself forward towards his opponent once again, with even more vigor and pride backed behind him.

            "Mint, use Sing!" Avril ordered. The Jigglypuff took a deep breath, before starting to sing out a sweet, gentle melody. The Jigglypuff's melody echoed out into the stadium, reminding many of the spectators of a soothing lullabye. Drago started to slow down, slower and slower... until it eventually dropped to the ground, victim of the menacing song. He fell asleep, snorling loudly. "Drago! Wake up!!" Emma shouted, once again backed by her Plusle and Minun, but Drago continued to sleep.

            "Whew... Good job, Mint..." Avril sighed in relief. She glanced over to Emma with a grin. "You almost had us with that one. But it looks like we're about to finish this off now. Mint, Wake-Up Slap!"

            The Jigglypuff bounded over towards the now sleeping Bagon. Without a second thought, she reared her small hands back and began to rapidly slap the slumbering Draco across his face over and over. Much like she had with Benjamin, Mint wound up and finished her assault with a fierce punch, right into the Bagon's snout. Drago was sent flying, crashing upon the battlefield, back first. The crowd looked on seemingly think that the battle was over. Emma however, in a moment's notice, gave a confident smile.

            "We're not done yet," Drago soon rose up from lying on his back. He woke up, it seems... but when he got back on his feet, he growled, his eyes glowed blood shot red, his whole body shook... and all at once, let loose an even firecer, louder roar. He was beyond angry.

            "Alright, let's use that rage," Emma planned. "Focus your energy!" Drago closed his eyes, as he started to emit a yellow aura. The aura blustered throughout his body, until it eventually was all concentrated to the hardest part of Drago's head. He opened his eyes once more, on the ready. "Don't hold back! ZEN HEADBUTT!" Drago emitted strong blue waves of energy once again, but this time, it envolped his whole body, as he charged recklessly, yet vigirously to take on his foe.

            "Mint, attack with another Gyro Ball!" Avril ordered. "Put all your energy into this one! We're gonna send him flying!"

            Mint fell to the ground and started to roll around in circles. She picked up more and more velocity with every circle, until she launched herself straight at Draco without showing the slightest bit of restraint. Avril widened her eyes at the sight, as she could have sworn she saw actual dust and smoke kicking up from the chargining Mint. A powerful slam echoed out into the arena as both of the Pokémon crashed into each other. However unlike before, both Mint and Draco weren't falling back from their attacks. The two Pokémon were instead pushing against each other with everything they had in them. Draco's head was pushing into Mint, attempting to send her flying away from him. Meanwhile, Mint's spinning body was practically grinding out against the Bagon's head. The two were at a tug of war, battle of strength. The two trainers could only watch on, alongside the crowd. The two pokemon astonishingly became even more energized, letting loose more strength to get as much of an advantage as they could. They pushed. And pushed. And pushed even more.

            Until the eventual conclusion.


            The collision activated an explosion, as the force sent out strong winds and smoke, causing everyone to cover themselves by the full force of the after effects of the strong wind. Soon, the wind died down, and everything was enveloped in a quiet, thick layer of dust and smoke. Nothing could be seen. Eventually the smoke dissipated, as the arena became clearer and clearer to see, even for the two rival trainers. Suprisingly enough, Drago and Mint were both on their feet, but both exhausted.

            Avril stared in disbelief at the sight. She honestly couldn't believe that Emma's Bagon was still standing on his feet after all that. Still, she knew that she couldn't let this moment go to waste. If she was going to win this thing, then Mint needed to finally strike the final blow.

            "Mint, use Body Slam now!" she cried out... only to watch in surprise as Mint slowly staggered back and forth before falling flat on her face.

            The Jigglypuff had fainted. The battle was over...

            "Jigglypuff is unable to battle! Bagon wins!" Steven Stone then announced. "So, the victory goes to Emma and Bagon!"

            Drago cried out a victory roar, spewing flames upwards. Plusle and Minun ran towards him, overjoyed to congratulate their friend. Drago seemingly tried to act cool in front of them, probably ensuring those two that it was no big deal, but deep down, he did appriciate all their support. Emma meanwhile, sighed in relief. "Good job... Drago," she congratulated him in a humble tone. Drago blushed, but tried to hide it as he sat down on the group, rubbing his head, seemingly tried to act tough and unfufilled. Somethings never change.

            Avril sighed, the girl kneeling beside her fainted Jigglypuff. "You did a good job, Mint... Rest up, you've definitely earned it after today..." the girl said, as she took Mint's poké ball into her hand and recalled the fainted Pokémon inside. She then turned her attention towards Emma, slowly climbing back up to her feet in the process. "Well... Looks like you won after all."

            Emma smiled sweetly. "Barely. This time," she said. "It could of gone either way." Drago looked the other way, as Emma approached her friend. "No hard feelings?"

            "Of course not," Avril replied, raising her hand up for a high-five like Korrina had done to her earlier. "Just don't think it'll go the same way next time... 'Cause it won't."

            "Heh! We'll see!" said Emma, raising her hand to give Avril a hearty, and warm hi-five. The two trainers clasped their hands... as they moved in together closer, to turn it into a warm, and friendly hug.
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            Old 1 Week Ago (2:47 PM).
            Shak's Avatar
            Shak Shak is offline
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            -Drew Tucker
            No Room for Big Fish

            The view was amazing. Everything he could have hoped for and then some. The vantage point allowed him to peer just off the brush of Shalour's border, the hollow crater of Geosenge Town a mere speck, swallowed up by the distant fog. The city below him was the real marvel. Bright and bustling, Shalour's festival had really brought a life to the city that Drew Tucker hadnt witnessed so far in all his time there. It was an energy only matched by Lumiose in volume. The distraction of his Gligar twirling through wasnt enough to sabotage the picturesque scene.

            Despite the dark of Shalour's night sky, the fireworks and bright festival lights kept every beat of the city conspicuous, distinct and flagrant. He watched the hurried exchanges of market stalls and the exhilerated cheers of kids winning their games of Hook-a-Psyduck or Toss the Voltorb in the Bucket. He could hear the familiar tune of Wild Torrent's hit song 'Battle Bond' blasting through the main stage speakers. Even the pungent aroma of an amalgamation of festival foods found themselves floating around the first balcony of the Tower of Mastery to tackle Drew's senses.

            All that is to say, the young trainer was struggling to enjoy any of it. His mind was still wracked by his misfortunes of the last several months, and any optimistic inkling that Shalour may have been a catalyst to some sort of upturn in his prosperity had been sorely dashed. If being under the scrutiny of the Kalos League wasnt bad enough, the scars of his 'Paige situation' had been violently re-opened. He threw himself back and stared up at the sky. With his legs hanging from the balcony and his hands clasped behind his head, he was comfortable enough. It was easier to feel free from his troubles that way.

            Behind him, an intense clash of wills ensued. Brycen and Caesar continued to test each other. The Quilladin's everpresent smirk was wiped away when he was clattered by a powerful Hi Jump Kick, and sent crashing to the Tower wall. A quick reflexive tumble was enough to get him out of the way of the follow up, meaning it was now the Scrafty's turn to collapse into the wall and fall in a crumpled mess.

            While their battle raged on, a much tamer conflict was just about subsiding. With Paige's Mawile gone, Nebula was once again made to be the victim of the playful Leafeon that she'd once managed to breed with. She hissed at Salad, raising the hair on the back of both her and her trainer. Salad backed off for the best part of a second, before diving back on top of the smaller pokemon. She was helplessly rolled onto her back as the evolved grass type proceded to prod curiously away at her now exposed core. She looked to her trainer for some aid, but he was distracted by the pokeball in his hand.

            "Must really suck to be a trained Wailmer..." Drew pondered, twirling the pokemon in question's pokeball. Watching the shennanigans of the rest of his team made him realise how uninvolved his new addition was destined to be. If her water typing and anatomy werent enough of a hurdle, her sheer mass would make it difficult for her to be released from her pokeball at any point that didnt provide an excessively large body of water. He'd been able to leave Mustang in the tower's fountain, and while the sea horse was surely frustrated by the lack of room to charge around least he could fit at all. "...really puts things into perspective, huh?" He mumbled to himself.

            "It certainly must be quite inconvenient." Drew practically jumped out of his skin at the sudden human voice that broke his train of thought.

            "You people need to stop sneaking up on me." The boy huffed upon realising it was Victor Marsden. "That's the second time you've done that since I've been in Shalour." He added with a sigh.

            "Well I do apologise Mr.Tucker. As I've said before, my lack of presence often comes as both a blessing and a curse." Victor began, rolling himself out of the way of Brycen and Caesar's battle. "Must be convenient to have pokemon that train themselves." A wry smile took the man's face, proud of his joke. He continued onward until his chair was next to Drew. It was clear why Drew had the appreciation he did for such vantage points. On all three occasions Victor had bumped into the boy, he always wore a gloomy expression as though he were carrying the weight of the world on his shoulder. As a man who had been confined to the seat of his chair for the majority of his life, Victor could identify with the lust for power that came with overlooking an entire city. "You're not partaking in the festivities?"

            "Festivals arent really that much fun when you're alone and low on cash...or so I've heard." Drew hunched forward, scanning the city once more.

            "What about that girl you saved the pregnant Wailord with? She seemed pleasant enough." He glanced down at Drew, a twinkle in his eyes. "Assuming whatever it is you had with the girl from the Parfum Contest is over."

            "I saw her today actually." Drew began, quickly biting his lip, but sighing at the realisation he'd already said too much. "I get the feeling she wanted me to join her at the tournament..."

            "But you didnt." Victor stated bluntly.


            "Is that what you're looking for now?" The older man asked, scanning the city to find where the tournament was being held. As he spotted the 'central plaza' (An area only central by name), he pointed it out to Drew, who was reluctant to even humour the ridiculous notion. " seems some of your friends from Aquacorde are taking part in the tournament aswell. Surely that makes things worth watching at the very least. That one? Kade Andrews, correct?"

            At the mention of his friends from Aquacorde, Drew glanced up, his gaze meeting the central plaza immediately. He squinted, just about making out the figure of Kade and a powerful black bird. "Honchcrow? Damn, I didnt realise Kade would get that strong." He grumbled to himself.

            The duo sat through several matchups as the hours of the festival passed them by. Drew took interest in two battles in particular: Odette Radiuju showing her tactical prowess against a scientist with a powerful pokemon himself, one Drew hadnt seen before. He explained to Victor how he had met Odette as recently as Spike Passage, and how his Gligar was the brother of the one she'd taken on.

            Following that was professor Sycamore's battle. It was a battle that had young Drew excited. He'd never actually seen the professor battle, and considering they attended his school, there was no doubt he'd put on a clinic. Drew expected him to pull out some powerful pokemon, a fully evolved starter? Maybe an Aigeslash or even a Tyrantrum? Not quite, the professor used an Espurr...and lost.

            Before they knew it, the intermission period was over and they were watching another battle. One that Drew was expecting to see in the final. Jackson Crane vs Laurent Hessel. Venusaur vs Crobat. Drew watched intently as the presence of the two fully evolved pokemon absored the attention of the whole plaza. The air even seemed to thicken around the tower balcony. His heart sank. These were his peers, yet he was watching their battle as though it were a pokemon league final.

            Kade, Sycamore, Odette, Jackson and Laurent had all got together to be part of this, and Drew had no business even trying to compete at that level. Sure Sycamore had lost, but it would be a safe assumption that he wasnt showing his full potential. Rather, the professor had showed up to survey the progress of his former students. From his perspective, they were meeting the mark. Most of them were...

            Drew glanced back at his Quilladin and Scrafty. He was surprised to see it was the latter that was left standing. It was reassuring. His team were getting stronger too, but was he really able to keep up. He knew Jackson's Crobat was his third pokemon, so no doubt the older trainer had a Gengar by now and it's strength was beyond that of even his Houndoom.

            Pensively, Drew watched the rest of the battle. He hadnt said a word to Victor since the battle had started, but the scientist knew how he was feeling. He always seemed to know.

            The next competitors stepped forward.

            Drew withdrew even more into his shell as the towering man summoned his pokemon. As if he needed more confirmation that he wasnt good enough, the man he lost to in Geosenge had entered the tournament too. It was an arduous battle to watch for that reason, but Drew endured it.

            Drew lurched forward as the next two competitors stepped onto the field. Emma Kuzunoha and...Avril Morris. They were there too? She was there too?

            Victor noticed the keen interest the boy had taken, watching him in the corner of his eye. "So who's this one then? I dont remember seeing her at the contest." He smirked.

            "What?" Drew had barely caught the fact the man was speaking, let alone the implication behind the question.

            "I may wear glasses Mr.Tucker, but despite my poor eyesight, I'm quite perceptive." He began, looking down at the boy through the top of his lenses. "As soon as this girl appeared your entire demeanour changed. Now you can deny it if you choose, but that will bring us to a standstill of the discourse regarding your classmates." Victor shrugged.

            Drew froze at that statement. His face and expression empty as he turned away from Victor and watched the two girls, as Emma gave the first order. He pointed out at the battle, first to the blonde with the Bagon, then to the one with the Jigglypuff. "That one is Emma. That one is Avril. They're best friends, and by the looks of it, they havent had too many battles since becoming trainers. Stakes are probably pretty high on both sides." He finished, the whole thing flat, without glancing away from the battle.

            "So where do you fit into all this?" Victor enquired. He leaned forward in his wheelchair. The man showed a giddiness akin to a child being read a bedtime story.

            "I suppose I don't." Drew sank into himself with those words. "I guess what you're getting at is the fact I'd like to." He bit his lip, still staring down at the battle. As he sulked, he felt a soft tuft of fur brush his hand. "Neb?"

            The Eevee looked up at her trainer, before reaching up and snapping her jaws on his hand.

            "Gahhh! ****! Dammit! What the hell? I thought we were past that!" Drew screamed, rolling himself into a safer position on the balcony.

            Nebula was completely unimpressed. She gestured over to the Leafeon, who was licking his wounds in a similar fashion to the young trainer.

            "Geez, what did you do to him?" He sighed, rubbing his own wounds. He pulled out the Leafeon's pokeball and returned him. "Happy now?" He grunted to the Eevee, who turned and flicked her tail as she walked away. With another sigh, the trainer walked back over to Victor and reclaimed his spot. The two silently watched the battle, but Drew felt urged to look back at Nebula. He chuckled to himself. She had claimed a spot in the far corner of the balcony, but kept watching him. "That Leafeon is hers aswell by the way." His words being left to wander as neither he nor Victor acknowledged each other.

            A moment passed with no response, until Drew finally turned to watch the battle again. The two pokemon were battered and bruised, but they still stood.

            "So you do fit in?" Victor flatly responded, reviving the conversation he'd allowed to die but a moment ago.

            "It's complicated. Not the way I want to." Again Drew's response was left without an answer. Not that it needed one. Avril's Jigglypuff fell, and the battle was over.

            Victor glanced down at him, again through the corner of his eye. Much to the man's surprise, the boy was...smiling. It was a worn, beaten smile, but a smile none the less. It was as if seeing the teenager he was quite clearly crushing on lose, gave him some sort of satisfaction. Victor daren't question it. He himself was once a boy as helpless and vindictive as this one. If anything, the likelihood of this young man growing up to be anything like himself was far more harrowing than the idea that he was wishing hurtful things on the girl he liked, albeit both were intriguing to him. "Perhaps she's in need of some consoling after that high stakes loss. If you had went to the tournament, perhaps you could have cheered her up."

            Drew ignored the comment. Whether or not Victor had said it to provoke him didnt really matter. It had him thinking. He took out his Wailmer's pokeball, then looked around at his team again. Brycen and Caesar were resting after their intense battle. Nebula had been distracted from her devilish staring and was now trying to tear apart a tumbling page in the wind. Zephyr had returned and was now sharing a collection of berries with Levi at the base of the small pebble tower the two had managed to construct together. "What do you do when something doesnt fit in the way you want it to?" The young trainer sighed.

            "You replace it." Victor replied nonchalantly, gesturing down to where Avril was now leaving the plaza, her hand interlocked with another blonde he hadnt recognised. He noticed Drew tilt his head in confusion. "Of course, that assumes you ever had plans for that thing to fit at all." Again, he noticed the boy furrow his brows. "What I'm saying is...perhaps Avril never saw you in that way in the first place. It may be better for you to move on."

            "I...I meant my Wailmer."

            Victor looked down at Avril, then back at Drew.

            "Never mind." The teen sighed, swinging his legs and putting Wailmer's pokeball away. Again as he put the ball away, he felt a tuft of fur brush his hand. He jumped up this time, avoiding any unprovoked attack from the Eevee.

            Instead though, Nebula just stared up at him.

            "We're not doing this right now." Drew stuck out a finger to Nebula with the warning, but that was all it took. Almost on instinct, the Eevee jumped up to bite his hand but, this time, Drew was ready. He grabbed her pokeball and returned her before she could clamp down on his hand.

            "Perhaps you asked me the wrong question. So I'll try this." Victor continued, ignoring the distraction of Drew's Eevee. "When you give the Leafeon back to Avril, what are you expecting to happen?"

            "What?" Drew questioned.

            "You're expecting her to thank you? Be joyous that you, her knight in shining armour, came and saved her from the despair of knowing her poor pokemon was trapped in the cold confines of, wherever it is you got it?" Victor spoke coldly, staring out over Shalour City as his scenario's dug like daggers into Drew's chest.

            "It was the only at the Day car-"

            "You think she'll owe you some favour because you did something nice for her? That's how your world works, Mr Tucker? You expect a competent, social girl in her late teens to come running into the arms of a pudgy fourteen year old who can't seem to figure out interacting with his own pokemon, let alone a girl several years his senior? You're an afterthought to this girl Mr.Tucker, an inconvenience."

            "Hey! She would-"

            "Mr.Tuck...!" Victor began, raising his voice just above the volume a weakened spirited Drew managed to muster. "Drew..." He corrected himself, adopting a softer tone. "You saw Avril holding that girl's hand. I'm sure you know what that means." He finished sternly, his expression stone cold.

            Drew paused for a moment. He looked back down at the arena, then up at the night sky. For a few seconds at least, the boy simply looked around, nowhere in particular. He managed to force out a chuckle, but it was swallowed by the anguish of his realisation. His body stiffened, but he managed to squeeze out a few words. "So what you're saying is..."

            "You were never intended to fit in the first place." Without hesitation, Victor was able to finish Drew's sentence. The boy was frozen in front of him. Victor unlocked the brakes of his wheelchair. He pulled up, and began for the doorway.


            The man could hear the strain in the boy's voice.

            "I need you to teach me about Mega Evolution."

            "I thought you might." Victor allowed himself to smirk, Drew not being able to see with him facing away. "You still want to see the view from the top? Meet me there." Victor turned his head to the side, to the sight of a single tear hitting the stone surface.


            : 400

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            Shalour City - Tower of Mastery

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            "It's so calm."

            art by the amazing Infinite
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              #89   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
            Old 1 Week Ago (3:16 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by Sephear.
            Sephear's Avatar
            Sephear Sephear is offline
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            Butting Heads

            "So it's Hessel next huh...?" Jackson looked at the tournament bracket for round two, clearly marked on the looming screen at the back of the arena. He had been watching the forthcoming battles with great interest. Malorie and Avril, Laurent and Lillie, Odette and Colress... even Caius and that Aura Guardian. He remembered Caius from school, but even with everything that had been happening he had never really interracted with the guy. He had a Lucario too, just like Emma and Korrina, so clearly he was doing something right, maybe they'd get a chance to throw down? He'd have to wait and see.

            "Laurent is a friend of yours right...?" Malorie mused, sitting on the rafters beside her brother, who stood firmly with his arms crossed. "We ain't friends, really..." Jackson mused, even though the definition of what a friend was had become very hazy for him lately. "He and I are too different, I think, so we butt heads a lot." He shrugs, turning from the screen to look at Malorie at last. "But hey, at least he can throw a punch... kind of... more than a lot of these losers can say."

            "You shouldn't talk so negatively of them you know... you mightn't see it, but I think a lot of them really respect you." Malorie mumbled, giving her brother a sideways glare, though he only scoffed in return. "Do they now? Muk, coulda' had me fooled..."

            "It's not as simple as you think, if you weren't such a blockhead you'd have gotten it by now..." Malorie smirked coyly and took a bite of a pretzel Jackson had purchased her, a reward for her performance in battle. "Respect isn't always honouring someone or even liking them, but you intimidate them, you're entire attitude is a full frontal assault and you don't hesitate. You've gotten strong bro... so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of your classmates see you as a challenge, someone they want to overcome. Of course, I don't know that but... from what I've seen at least one or two of them have to feel that way." Jackson tutted and turned away again, looking at the tournament bracket and examining the other matches to come. He hadn't much opinion on what Malorie had said, he didn't believe her of course, but even if he did... "Well, if somehow you're not completely wacko for thinkin' that... let 'em come. They want me to knock em down that bad I'll gladly oblige."

            Malorie just chuckled and shook her head. "I think... you'd do a lot better than you think, if you decided to help them, rather than hurt them." For a moment Jackson froze, he turned to Malorie as if he had something more to say, but was interrupted by the blaring of Steven Stone's voice through the megaphone.

            "And now as the second round goes on! We bring you our next match! Would Jackson Crane and Laurent Hessel take the stage!" His voice was as exuberant as ever... and Jackson sighed a little, whistling for Wave to come and perch on his shoulder. "No matter what, I know you're going to be important in shaping the way some of them grow... just like you were with me, right? Bronze?" Once again, Jackson stopped walking as his sister called him by a name he hadn't heard her say in a very long time.

            "I suppose you'll just have to wait and see, Mal." With that he pushed forward, moving slowly down towards the arena for his second match of the night.

            Laurent leaned against one of the pillars underneath the arena's stands, arms crossed and eyes closed in a rare moment of tense contemplation. For once he had too much on his mind to be concerned with the possibility of someone seeing his furrowed brow and taut muscles and damaging his reputation for never being phased by any troubles. 'Return after the tournament and we'll speak again.' What nonsense... Why must everything involving Mega Evolution be such a frustrating experience? Have I been cursed?

            Having only just returned from the Tower of Mastery and his 'modelling debut' such as it was, Laurent had missed some of the matches that came after his for the first round of the tournament, but he had been glued absolutely to Avril and Malorie's match. He didn't know much about Malorie, Jackson wasn't prone to talking about his personal life with much frequency or detail - especially to Laurent but even he had heard some important facts here and there about the precious sibling. Laurent had always been a good judge of character, to the point of reading most normal people like they were open books and almost as soon as he'd known about Malorie's existence he'd suspected she was Jackson's greatest source of strength. That special place that his drive came from.

            It was a beautiful thing, especially after seeing her healthy and participating in the very same tournament as the brother who wanted to protect her... so why did thinking of it make Laurent's chest tighten so uncomfortably? Why did watching that battle hurt? Surely not because she lost, she seemed to take it in stride. Was he just jealous that Jackson was so close to his sister and that she was on a journey like his? She was certainly a charming young lady and Laurent's own sister was content to study and watch TV all day, doing little more than riding her bike around Cyllage's track time and again. But that was such a small, simple thing, it shouldn't be able to stand in the way of this day. This tournament was a great
            opportunity to grow both his skills and his reputation, and today of all days he'd finally have his first battle against one of his classmates - and Jackson, no less. None of it made any sense.

            "And now as the second round goes on! We bring you our next match! Would Jackson Crane and Laurent Hessel take the stage!" The call to battle rang out. No more time to think, time to act. The breath Laurent hadn't realized he was holding escaped from him all at once in a massive sigh and he made his way toward his entrance to the arena.

            As he arrived he would find that Jackson was already there waiting for him. They had both changed a lot over the course of their journey thus far. Jackson himself looked older, somewhat more wisened than he had before. His hair was still blonde, but it was starting to show signs of the times, black roots starting to betray the true colour. His eyes were tired but his gaze was filled with fire, as it always had been, it acted like a spear. The piercing gaze assaulted Laurent the second he presented himself before his old rival. Jackson raised his chin lightly as he looked on, as if assessing Laurent's character at a glance. He had always been this way, just as Laurent was a good judge of character, so was Jackson... he was empathic and he could sense an invisible gravity to the battle at hand. There was a tension in the air, even the mumbling crowd slowly grew quiet as the two young men were left face to face for the first time in what felt like forever.

            "Hessel." Jackson acknowledged, his voice breaking the sudden tense silence. "Been a while... I saw your fight. You've gotten stronger." The statement lingered with genuine intent, Jackson was not so brazen as to deny Laurent any notice of prgress and growth. "I want you to tell me though..." He continued, closing his eyes before whistling quickly, in response to the sound of which Wave darted down from the sky above, landing perched on her trainer's shoulder and ready to rush into battle. " you think it's gonna be enough? I don't want you to bore me."

            "I always aim to please." Laurent replied smoothly, matching Jackson's gaze beat for beat. He withdrew his first pokéball from his belt and spun it on his index finger. "You've grown significantly too, even if I hadn't paid any attention I couldn't help noticing." His eternally composed tone belied the tingling running up the back of his neck. He still hadn't figured it out... whatever it was. All he knew was this battle had been a long time coming and he had to give it all he had. "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll keep me entertained until it's over." He curled his finger then firmly flicked the spinning ball just as it began to drop, sending it sailing into the arena. When the beam of light the pokéball released finished shaping Bernard, some of the glow remained with him after the ball had been yanked back to Laurent's hand by that invisible force they all seemed to share, as if the Venusaur hadn't used up all the solar power that had fueled his last victory.

            Bernard stamped his feet solidly, liking the new weight his impacts carried and marvelling at how his body moved even mroe easily than before despite the extra bulk and density. He pointed a pair of vines - one at Jackson, one at Wave - and bellowed out a challenge, the glow brightening as his call to battle rang out.

            "Tch... pretty confident in its power ain't it?" Jackson mumbled, looking to Wave to see her reaction. She was quiet and reserved, clearly this opponent would present more of a worthy challenge than the Larvitar from previously. Indeed, she was shuddering gently with anticipation, eager excitement for the clash soon to come, eyes practically glowing in the night. With a nod of approval from her trainer, Wave launched from Jackson's shoulder and sat ready in the middle of the battlefield, her eyes scanning the battlefield analytically, though it was difficult for her to suppress a devilish grin.

            "Both trainers pokémon are at the ready!" Steven called out, raising a hand skyward and holding it there for a moment, before striking it downwards in a definitive motion. "Begin!"

            "Wave test the waters with Air Cutter!" Jackson wasted no time making the first move, Wave's superior speed making the reaction times swift. She blasted into the air on poised winds and began whipping up currents of concentrated air, launching them from multiple angles at the Venusaur as she circled around him.

            "Dodge what you can, then fire off the Leech cannon!" Laurent ordered. Predictably the first few blades of wind cut into Bernard faster than he could get his enlarged body out of the way, then he hopped aside one and got into the rhythm well enough to vinevault himself over another group of them and somersault on the way down. The flower on the Venusaur's back had scrunched up tight while he was dodging and at the exact moment he was spinning at the angle he wanted the flower shot out a Leech Seed but it wasn't at all like the old ones. If previously Bernard's Leech Seed had been like a catapult, now it was like a sniper rifle, the seed shooting almost perfectly straight through the air at a blinding speed.

            "Substitute!" Jackson called out the command the second Bernard landed, Leech seed was not something he could allow to hit. A move like would drain Wave throughout the entirety of the fight and undo the damage he had already dealt. In the instant the seeds were fired, with a shocking amount of precision, Wave seemed to poof in a burst of smoke, the seeds colliding directly with her chest and clinging to her body... for a brief moment it seemed as if whatever Jackson had planned was a failure. However, mere moments later the form of 'Wave' fell harshly on the ground, the seeds continuing to leech off a small stuffed replica summoned using a portion of the bat pokémons HP.

            Jackson's head was spinning, he knew he had to take this fight more seriously than the one with Czar. That smug little muk was all talk, but Hessel had some ability to back up his hubris, the fact that his opponent was a Venusaur was enough to attest to that. Jackson had noticed something however... leech seed had launched from the flower on Bernard's back, with extreme accuracy and precision... Laurent was having Bernard use his vines to maneuver and angle himself to shoot Wave out of the air, but if she stayed close...? She was safer, even with the bulk of her massive opponent, her speed was almost impossible to match.

            "Wave! Get close and use cross poison repeatedly! Don't let the distance grow further than a foot!" Immediately the pokémon understood, she rushed out of the shadows where she had darted to hide while her substitute took the hit, in the blink of an eye she was floating in front of Bernard, grinning coyly into the Venusaur's eyes. Without missing a beat she began to spin, like a corkscrew she began to circle her opponent, trails of poison following her path as she attempted to dart in when she could with an x-shaped slash on Bernard.

            The Venusaur swatted at the air with his vines at a speed that made it hard to believe he wasn't using Vine Whip as Wave drew close but none of them struck. The best it accomplished was forcing the Crobat to be more cautious and attack less ferociously than she might have. "Sunny Day, Bernard!" Laurent called, leaving his partner to lower his head and endure free strikes of Cross Poison. Bernard groaned in pain but persevered and spat a false sun from the flower on his back.

            Laurent watched the orb of light rise above the arena for the second time that night, likely really angering the tournament's lighting staff when their work lost the contrast to stand out. The trainer's mind raced from one thought to the next. Crobat weren't only extremely fast pokemon, their quartet of wings gave them unrivaled freedom of movement, making quick turns, thrusts in any direction and complex maneuvers simple as a matter of course... But they were cave dwellers, not simply nocturnal but entirely creatures of darkness.

            Reaching its zenith, the fake star flared and cast harsh, warm sunlight over the battleground. Immediately Wave recoiled, covering her gaze with her wings to block the harsh light. Bernard and Laurent's eyes, however, sharpened simultaneously and the trainer firmly ordered "Synthesis!" His Venusaur roared in affirmation and began to glow brightly until light was shining on Wave from both sides, then bruises, scrapes and cuts began to rapidly disappear from Bernard's body, soaking in the Sunny Day and healing him.

            Jackson smirked, his gaze falling across the battlefield to Laurent. "A decent plan... but maybe you should'a payed more to our lectures on evolution..." Wave stumbled backwards, the light blinding one of her senses, but in that moment a shocking amount of familiarity washed over her. "Just 'cause you've gotten stronger doesn't mean you should forget what you learned when you were smaller."

            "Wave, close your eyes." The command was quick and quiet and lead many of the onlookers to murmur in confusion, breaking the awed silence at the intense battle. Spreading her wings, Wave immediately understood, memories of her time as a Zubat came rushig back to her. The sensation of sightlessness lead her ears to open widely, every sound in the arena amplified and echoing around her like a symphony of vision, clearly depicting the battlefield. She could hear Bernard's breath, she could hear the energy of synthesis coarsing through his body, she could hear his wounds knitting back together. Still, healed wounds left scars... and scars were vulnerable.

            "Poison Fang!" Wave darted forward, rushing up into the sky and flying behind the false sun, the warmth of the firey orb heating her back as she curved around it in a pivot, hoping to lead any following eyes to be blinded by the light in a ploy of reversal. As synthesis reached an ending, Wave darted forward, opening her maw as her sharp incissors began to glow brightly with purple, oozing light. Her attack was poised and aimed for the middle of Bernard's side, where she had hit most directly with her barrage of cross poisons.

            Laurent smiled back at the counterattack. "My my, aversion to light is just a happy side effect, that Sunny Day wasn't for you. Solar Beam!" In only a second all the energy that had been stitching away Bernard's damage changed direction and converged in the middle of his back. His entire body bent forward and even the palm tree-like stem curved itself to aim as precisely as possible. When the Solar Beam fired, Bernard maintained it, sweeping it like an absurdly long blade.

            Wave deftly avoided it and hurtled closer to her target but at that moment she felt another change in her target. The light flowing through him was no longer powering Synthesis or the Solar Beam, it was moving into his very blood, soaking into the Chlorophyll that infused it. Just when the frightening virulent teeth should have sunk into the scarred flesh of the Crobat's prey, he darted aside with speed that seemed impossible with his new bulk.

            "Another blast!" Laurent shouted. The crowd was really roaring now, there was no doubting the infectiousness of the battle's intensity but instead of basking in it like normal, Laurent's teeth were grit and he squinted when Bernard fired off the second Solar Beam.

            Wave seemed a little surprised at the movement of the Venusaur, so the sun was able to boost his speed? That was his special ability? She smirked, eyes still closed, her ears following the thundering footsteps of Bernard. It wouldn't be enough, she knew that and she could hear an increase in heart rate. It wasn't from Bernard however, much to her surprise it was his trainer's disposition that was weakening.

            Shooting pain suddenly rushed through Wave's body, she hadn't stopped moving but her distraction had left her dodging sloppy and the Solarbeam had clipped her wing. Still, despite the power of the attack coming at her it bothered her little, her typing meant that grass type attacks struggled to hurt her in the best of scenarios. She quickly shook it off and continued flying, faster now, pushing herself even further beyond her previous pace. The light above was flickering gently, the false sun draining its supply of power quickly. It was running out soon and Bernard would have to suffer the loss of speed or waste time in re-activating Sunny Day.

            It was becoming a matter of time now, before the battle was decided. Jackson seemed to know it too, but he hadn't ordered Wave to press that advantage just yet. What was he waiting for? She thought to herself, but his words made it clear. "That's not good enough." Jackson's words were slow and purposeful, something was wrong, Laurent was acting differently. There was uncertainty and an uncomfortable expression in his eyes, he was still acting arrogant, still had those posh undertones, but there was something breaking.

            "Wave. No more playing around don't slow down and cross poison again!" Wave focussed herself fully and pushed her wings to the limit, her movement speed increased drastically and with her own ability, infiltrator, she closed the distance again before the solarbeam that had been chasing her had even ended. "Croooo!" She hissed, waiting for the exact moment the heat from the beam dissipated and the sound of the energy went still. She spun upwards and curlsed into a ball, aiming all four wings downwards as she flipped just above Bernard... and unleashed a full force attack at the flower on her opponents back.

            Why? Why was it like this? "Bernard, Solar Beam!" The Venusaur squared his shoulders and began to charge his energy to counter but "Scratch that, Leech Seed!" Laurent's head had cleared enough to make a move that felt right, but his hesitation had cost him the time he needed and the ways his voice wavered shocked away Bernard's concentration. The light gathering at the heart of his flower dispersed and it rippled as it produced a parasitic projectile but before anything could become of it the Cross Poison crashed down directly on top of it. The disctraction and the conflict Bernard felt coming from his trainer had robbed his stability and the hit on his back slammed him into the ground with all four of his legs spread like a victim about to be drawn and quartered.

            Jackson closed his eyes, he almost seemed disappointed... but when he opened them again there was no hesitation in his gaze. Laurent had hesitated, even if fancy pants was off his game, Jackson wasn't going to do the same. "It's over... Wave! Air Cutter! Don't stop until Venusaur ain't moving!" With Bernard sprawled out onto the ground, Wave grabbed at the opportunity presented to her and went with the flow. She used the momentum of her own attacks impact to launch backwards, the wind catching her outstretched wings as she dive bombed around the fallen Venusaur, the air itself rippling in a circular motion, a small whilrwind forming around the pair of pokémon.

            Until, beating her wings with greater intensity, she began to launch concentrated blasts of wind at Bernard, barraging him from all sides, striking at any signs of movement in order to beat her opponent down before he could retaliate or heal again.

            Each time Bernard was about to get back up another Air Cutter would keep him off balance. The sight of his partner's pain shook Laurent out of whatever funk he was in and he called out "Leech Seed!" Bernard's flower scrunched up once again even in the midst of the assault and after a short delay he cannoned out another seed at breakneck velocity. The seed flew faster than Wave could adjust from the recoil of her rapidfire Air Cutters and managed to make contact. As she began to recover the seed sprouted and spread vampiric tendrils over her body to posessively constrict and drain her, making it difficult to stay airborne. Bernard looked up with a tired smile at his last successful attack and just as the Crobat began to lose altitude, he slumped forward and closed his eyes, kicking dust up around the arena as his face met the ground.

            Wave found herself grounded for a moment, quickly perching she slashed her wings out violently, tearing the seed from her body before turning to face Bernard. She was aware that the small energy drained might be enough to grant the Venusaur another chance, if he used a more physical move against her she might not be able to-

            But as she turned, the Venusaur was already unconscious. Wave found herself oddly disappointed, she had been enjoying that.

            "...And the winner of this second round battle... is Jackson Crane!" Steven waved his hand towards the battlefield with a smile and the crowd went wild. Jackson, however, didn't make any move to speak or celebrate as Wave returned to perch on his shoulder. Instead, he looked across the battlefield, watching Laurent and his reaction.

            Laurent's face distorted for a moment when Steven officially announced the match's end but recovered almost instantly. He looked at the ground with a sad smile and muttered something that was inaudible but his lips read "Looks like that's my answer." He recalled Bernard and pressed the pokéball to his forehead for a few seconds. Sorry, mon ami. I failed you today. The ball was slotted smoothly back in its spot on his belt and Laurent made his way out of the arena without so much as waving at the audience.

            Jackson watched him go for a moment before shrugging a little and turning around... his hands slunk into his pockets and he made ready to return to his seat. He stopped however, as he saw Malorie, her words flashing into his mind.

            "I think... you'd do a lot better than you think, if you decided to help them, rather than hurt them."

            "...muk." Immediately he turned around and marched back through the arena and out the other side after Laurent. Gritting his teeth in annoyance all the while, he waved off the workers who tried to stop him and continued forward. Nobody was getting off that easy, not him, not Hessel.

            "Ever looking forward, ever thinking back. Everywhere you've been, everyone you've met was another step on your path, shaping your future even as they become part of your past. One must never discount the pieces that have made up your journey until now but to lose yourself in them would be equally great folly, instead let them hoist you up, carry you on until you find the strength to walk for yourself. So it is that I continue towards that endless horizon. Ever thinking back, ever marching forward, inexorable as the history that brought me down this road. This Lonesome Road."
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            Old 1 Week Ago (5:42 PM).
            Daisuke Mitsuharu's Avatar
            Daisuke Mitsuharu Daisuke Mitsuharu is offline
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              Caius Flynn, Minami Haruka, Hinata Haruka

              The Tale of Two Pretty Boys and One Lone Cinnamon Roll

              “That went better than expected.” Caius let out a sigh of relief, Luca trailing behind with cotton candy in one hand. He shared a sizable piece of the sweet delicacy with his trainer. “Thanks Luca.” Caius patted the Lucario on the head.

              Caius half-expected to lose his match from before, yet it seemed fortune was smiling upon him as he was granted permission to advance in the tournament. For a penniless Sinnoh native like Caius, the prize money was an enticing reward which the tournament offered to the winner.

              People often say money is the root of all evil, and perhaps there’s some truth there. But, once you’re short on it, that’s when reality starts to kick you in the shins. Caius would know that firsthand. The poor guy had been sustaining himself on cup ramen for longer than he wanted to admit; he figured he could use the prize money from tournament to treat himself to something else.

              That was only possible if he could rank high enough, however. “No pressure…” He muttered under his breath. “It’s fine; the steaks don’t matter. You don’t need that stuff to live, right?” To an outside observer, it might have sounded like Caius was trying to convince himself. And he totally was.

              Looking down at the piece of paper on his lap which listed each fight in the tournament, Caius saw his name move up one step. He gripped the paper tighter and put it closer to his face as he scanned it for his next opponent. “Hinata Haruka…” The paper read.

              “Haruka…” Caius repeated in his head. The name certainly rang a bell, but he couldn’t quite recall the face associated with it.

              As if fate wanted him to remember, a streak of familiar blonde hair passing him by brought back relevant memories. Minami Haruka was the face to the name, and like Jackson, she had been a classmate to Caius back at Aquacorde Academy.

              “Mina!” He called out to the blonde-haired girl now a few paces ahead of him; he sprinted towards her before she got any farther from him. There was no mistaking it; he was sure this person was the Minami Haruka he knew.

              "I wonder where nii-san is..." mumbled Mina as she looked around for her brother; Electra was on her shoulder eating a chocolate chip cookie that said trainer bought for her earlier.

              Rima must be with him by now...


              Mina looked in the direction the voice was coming from and her eyes widened, seeing a person dash madly towards her with a Lucario behind them, holding a cotton candy. Electra followed her trainer's sight and jumped at the sudden speed of the approaching trainer, dropping her cookie, making her look at said trainer in horror.

              What was his name... Caius, I think...

              "C-Caius? Is that you?" Mina stuttered, shocked to see one of her classmates from the academy at the festival, although it wasn't much of a shock once she remembered Drew, but that was after they departed from each other after saving Wailord.

              "What are you doing here?"

              Electra, who was still mourning over her cookie, jumped down and grabbed the remains of her food, tears in her eyes.

              As Caius came to a halt in front of Mina and her Pikachu, he felt the need to apologize. He wasn’t thinking, sprinting over to them like some loon. They were caught off-guard by him, and their astonished expressions were proof of it.

              “My bad!” He clasped his hands together; he shot the Pikachu a repentant gaze before going on to answer Mina’s question. “I’ve whipped up new contest combinations with Luca here, and I wanted to try them out.” He gestured to his Lucario.

              “I also wanted the prize money…” He remarked at the end, lowering his voice a bit. What he said now was the full, unfiltered truth.

              "Prize money? Is that what they give to the champion of the tournament?" Mina blinked, barely remembering what Hinata told her about the tournament since he spoke so fast due to being in a rush to start his battle. "That sounds nice, I know you must have a good reason for needing it, unlike nii-san..." She trailed off as she remembered the reason why her brother wanted the money.

              Pi... Electra slowly trotted over to Mina and climbed her way to her shoulder, still upset over her cookie; when Mina magically brought out another cookie, her sadness all but disappeared the moment she snatched the cookie.

              "I can't wait to see the new combinations you guys made! They must look so cool compared to mine and Poppy's." Mina exclaimed, excited to see the battle between an old friend and her brother. "How are you doing on the contests by the way?"

              Oof. That question hit a sore spot for Caius. He figured it was better to show the girl rather than tell, so he took out his ribbon case and opened it. “Tada. A grand total of 0 ribbons so far. Aren’t I awesome?” Sarcasm reeked from his voice as he ran his fingers through the empty indentations where ribbons belonged.

              “My first contest was at Santalune City, but it didn’t go all that well for me…” His mind traveled back to the botched circus performance he tried to pull then; he was almost lit on fire, as Phi barely managed to jump over the last hoop in their performance, which was situated so high it was a wonder how Phi overcame it.

              Considering the blazing hurdle could’ve ended him there, he felt fortunate he escaped that train wreck of an appeal without a scratch.

              “How about you Mina? I’m sure you and Poppy managed to secure at least one ribbon!”

              "Me? I managed to get a third-place ribbon, surprisingly." Mina brought out her own ribbon case, opening it to reveal the third-place ribbon secured in its place. "I didn't think my performance was that good to get third place."

              "All I had was Poppy use Bubble around the stadium, spinning in place and then using Icy Wind on the bubbles that floated around -- enough to freeze them, but not enough to stop them from floating."

              "Then, she used Disarming Voice to pop the frozen bubbles and sang right after." Mina explained her performance in great detail, recalling how the events occurred.

              "I'm sure you'll secure a ribbon soon! You and Luca have the talent to do so!"

              "First, they have to beat me, isn't that right, Caius~?" called a voice, causing Mina to turn, recognizing it immediately. She saw her brother right behind her, glaring at Caius before smiling at her. "Sorry I’m late sis. Had to tuck in Rima before I left. I see you already met my opponent."

              "Yeah! Apparently, he's an old classmate of mine! He's also doing contests like me and how you used to." explained Mina, closing her badge case and placing it back her bag.

              "O really~?" Hinata turned to Caius and smiled, extending his hand out for a greeting. "I'm Hinata Haruka, Mina's older brother. Nice to meet you."

              Oh ho ho ho. Here came the challenger, Caius thought. “Same here.” He shook Hinata’s hand. “I’m Caius, your executioner. But you knew that already.” Caius rarely trash-talked his opponents, but he was feeling cheeky today. Plus, he was sure Hinata wouldn’t take the comment lying down; Caius wanted to see how he’d react.

              So he's going down that route, eh?

              "Of course, they did announce it, so it was obvious. Are you sure you're the executioner though?" asked Hinata, tightening his hold on Caius's hand. "Just because you're Mina's old friend doesn't mean I’ll go easy on you."

              "Nii-san, don't be mean to Caius." scolded Mina as Hinata let go of his hand, before turning to her friend. "Sorry about him, he's like that with almost every boy he sees me talk with."

              So he's also into contests... and the way Mina talked about his performance... He sounds like he's good, but he doesn't have any badges...

              "You do contests too, huh? Can't wait to see how far that star goes Caius~."


              "Sorry, sorry!"

              Caius could only look at the familial display before him with a warm smile. It was nice that Mina and his brother got along enough to mess around like they did. That was a sign they were close.

              A brief “yeah” was all he could manage to say to Hinata before Steven’s voice boomed over the intercom.

              “And the next match: Caius Flynn vs Hinata Haruka.”

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              Old 1 Week Ago (5:38 AM).
              gimmepie's Avatar
              gimmepie gimmepie is offline
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              Posts: 19,221
              Kade Andrews
              Round 2 Rivals: Kade vs Sky
              Stratus (Female, Reckless) - Growl, Wing Attack, Quick Attack, Double-Edge, Aerial Ace, Double Team
              Contrail (Male, Big Pecks) - Flame Charge, Roost, Quick Attack, Steel Wing, Ember, Aerial Ace
              Noctilucent (Male, Insomnia)
              - Tackle, Foresight, Hypnosis, Feather Dance, Peck
              Cumulus (Female, Dancer) - Pound, Air Slash, Helping Hand, Roost, Feather Dance, Captivate
              Floccus (Male, Defeatist) - Quick Attack, Agility, Ancient Power, Dragon Breath, Acrobatics, Quick Guard
              Nimbus (Male, Moxie) - Night Slash, Sucker Punch, Night Shade, Haze, Wing Attack, Sky Drop

              “Please welcome back to the stage, Kade Andrews and Sky Kingfisher!” Steven said with a flourish of his hand, his voice echoing over the speakers in the area, a video screen displaying a close up on him as he did so before cutting to a wide view of the aforementioned trainers walking out to face each other.

              Kade walked out through the same entrance he had in his last battle, his heart pounding in his chest. He hadn’t been expecting to see Sky in Shalour, let alone in the tournament. The last two times he had battled her, she had defeated him with ease. She was the gold standard in training Flying types and an obstacle he’d have to overcome if he wanted to be good enough to be a gym leader. This was his chance to show her, and himself, how far he’d come and that he was worthy of the goal he’d worked so hard in pursuit of.

              Sky was standing across from him, dressed in her typical bright and dark colour combination. Imposing, standing taller than Kade with deeply tanned skin, brilliant amber eyes and a cocky, confident grin. Kade new from personal experience that she’d earned the right to wear that expression.

              “I was hoping you’d enter,” Sky said “So I was really excited when you sent for Nimbus and told Dad that you needed him for the tournament. Couldn’t wait to surprise you and see how far you’ve come. So far, I’d say you’re doing pretty well.”

              “Thank you,” Kade replied “I’ve learned a lot from you and I’m really happy to be working with Nimbus properly now.”

              “Well said,” Sky chuckled “Now, how about we get this show on the road and show this lot what a couple of powerful Flying types are capable of?”

              As she said this, she expanded the pokeball in her hand and tossed it forth. With a vibrant flash, Sora emerged into the air, a graceful but powerful figure in her flight. She flew at a measured pace around the top of the arena.

              “No time like the present,” Kade said and for perhaps the first time ever before a battle, he felt a slight shake in his hand. This was it, this could be his moment. He threw the Flight Ball and with the now familiar light and the whirling of shining clouds, Nimbus took shape. The Honchkrow took to circling the arena on the opposite side to Sora, as brutish and tough as the Pidgeot was elegant.

              “Our trainers are ready,” Steven announced “Let the battle begin!”

              Both bird immediately began closing in towards each other.

              “Sora, Quick Attack!”

              The Pidgeot was suddenly not where she’d been before, a streaking blur as she rushed for Nimbus. Sora wasn’t the only one with access to priority moves though.

              “Sucker Punch, Nimbus!” Kade called.

              The two birds clashed for the first time with a surprisingly loud impact. Sora shot forward but before she could land her attack, Nimbus brought a wing across his body and then flung it out, smacking the Pidgeot aside. Kade couldn’t help but grin, even as Sky smirked confidently.

              “Air Slash!”

              Even as Sora was deflected back by the Sucker Punch, she was already preparing to counter attack. At the command, her wings were thrust forward and from that motion, two silvery blades of hurtled towards Nimbus who was too slow to avoid them. There was a crashing sound as the attack sent Nimbus tumbling threw the air. He righted himself, flying in a wide arc as he closed back in on his quarry.

              “Back for more already?” Sky taunted, “Twister!”

              Again, it seemed almost like Sora was already acting before Sky had even finished her sentence. There was a flurry of wing beats as a raging vortex erupted into being between the two birds, churning up dust.

              Kade was instantly reminded of Stratus being caught in a smaller Twister and only narrowly escaping through a lucky evolution and a well-timed Quick Attack. Neither of those options were available to Nimbus. His first instinct was to have Nimbus dodge, but he knew that was an order that wouldn’t be obeyed when a more direct approach would work better. He wasn’t sure how he knew, but he knew.

              “Night Slash!” Kade yelled over the roaring tornado “We’re going straight through!”

              Nimbus gave a feral squawk of approval as his wings became dark as midnight, outlined by a faint purple glow. He flew straight forward into the vortex. For a second it seemed to Kade like he’d be stuck, but Nimbus slashed through the Twisted with his attack and dispersed it, making a B-line for Sora.

              “Not bad, but not good enough!” Sky called over “Quick Attack!”

              “Sucke -” Kade spluttered, but there was no time for him to get the command out or for Nimbus to transition between the two attacks. Faster than before, Sora slammed into Nimbus. She was a blur, a near-invisible missile and the sound of that impact was appropriate for that metaphor. Nimbus went careening back in the direction he came and Sky wasn’t done yet.

              “Follow up with Hurricane!”

              Kade winced as the Pidgeot followed through, whipping up a howling gale that blasted forward in the direction Nimbus was still tumbling through the air. The attack caught up to him and with a screech he was shot into the ground with a bang and a churning up of dirt.

              “Nimbus?!” Kade cried out “Are you alright?!”

              This time Sky said nothing, not wanting to taint a potential win with taunting. She simply stood there watching, smiling with that ever present confidence.

              Nimbus made an angry warbling sound as he pushed himself back up with his wings and then with a few hard flaps took back to the air. A swirling, shadowy aura flowed over his body and then took flight, a shadow avian form that rushed for Sora. Kade winced, he hadn’t ordered the use of Night Shade. He knew what was coming.

              Sora didn’t move as the phantasmal attack washed over her harmless, encasing her in shade before fading away. Sky raised an eyebrow as Nimbus shrieked with a wrathful fury and rushed for Sora. Kade ran with it.

              “Wing Attack!”

              Thankfully, Nimbus’ wings glowed white as he continued his forward trajectory. A Twister exploded into being before him again, blocking his path. Kade could already see in his the repeat performance that would come if he broke through again.

              “Pull up!” Kade shouted. There was a brief delay, but again Nimbus returned to following instructions, pulling up before it would be too late for him to stop himself from running into the impediment.

              Then, as the light faded from Nimbus’ wings, Sora suddenly exploded out from the Twister crashing into Nimbus again with another unusually powerful Quick Attack. There was split seconds to react, Kade shouting the first command that came to mind.

              “Grab her!”

              Even as Nimbus was rocketed back, he flung wildly out with his talons and was fortunate enough to find purchase. He closed them over Sora, holding her tight as both now went flying off with the momentum, although their combined weight reduced the speed of their movement.

              “Sky Drop!”

              With an impressive effort, Nimbus well back into an intentional tumble, bringing Sora over the top of him and hurling her at the ground below as he righted himself and released his grip on her. The Pidgeot let out a surprised sound before colliding hard with the ground below. Now it was her turn to force herself back into the air.

              “That’s more like it!” Sky called over “You have to know when to be direct and when to innovate. Nicely done! Now, Sora, use Work Up!”

              Sora gazed fiercely at Nimbus as he dived for her, a savage red light radiating out from her body. Kade could have sworn he could physically feel the increase in the Pidgeot’s power. There was no time to call for Nimbus to back up now though.

              “Night Slash!”


              Nimbus never to even begin his attack before a furious windstorm exploded into being, the gales rushing out in his direction from Sora. The wall of air slammed into him like a freight train and blasted him back up, higher into the sky. He fought to right himself but before he got the chance, four shimmering blades struck into him, a sudden Air Slash that KAde hadn’t even noticed being called for.

              Nimbus lost his stability and dropped out the air, rushing for the ground.

              “Nimbus!” Kade yelled, the bird’s eyes angrily flinging themselves open as he whirled, extending his wings and flapping with a herculean effort to keep himself airborne. Even as he did so though, Sky gave her next command.

              “After him!” Sora unleashed her Quick Attack again, dive bombing Nimbus.

              “Sucker Punch!”

              Much like at the beginning of their battle, Nimbus swung around with his wing extended, countering the fast attack with a fast attack of his own and swatting Sora away hard. Also just like the opening of their battle, Sora returned fire with an Air Slash, four silvery blades streaking forwards.

              “Wing Attack!” Kade yelled.

              Nimbus’ wings glowed white as the Air Slash closed in on him rapidly, he flung his wings forward and then as the attack reached him thrust them out, extending them to their full length. There was an explosion of whirling wind as the two attacks met, Nimbus being pushed back by the force of the attack but escaping the worst of it.
              The fuming, furious warbling sound rose up from Nimbus again and Kade found he could relate. He felt no anger, but he was in synch with Nimbus’ frustration. They were holding their own he knew, putting up a good fight, but they were struggling to ever take the lead, let alone hold it for long.

              “Work Up!” Sky instructed again, the familiar red light washing over Sora and radiating out, emanating power. The already monstrously powerful Pidgeot was reaching unbelievable levels of offensive potential now. The growling, warbling noise from Nimbus grew louder still.

              Kade, frustrated though he was, still had his head though, he knew that Nimbus’ moveset contained the perfect answer to this dangerous predicament.

              “Ha-” he began, but a familiar shadowy aura was already swirling over Nimbus’ body as though the phantom it summoned for his attack was raging itself, ready to unleash its wrath. Kade knew though, Night Shade could never hit a Normal type like Sora.

              He winced, but even as he did so, the shadows suddenly dropped, fading from existence. Instead, Nimbus’ eyes suddenly glowed a vibrant red, a fainter glower seeming so drift out between his feathers as he ruffled and puffed them up, an intimidating but unrecognisable sight.

              Then, Kade realised what he was seeing as he saw Sora’s own red glow fade, her once fierce expression looking unusually dull and empty. He glanced at Sky, it seemed she had worked out what the new move was before he could.

              “Well, that’s problematic,” she laughed “Swagger’s an irritating move if ever there was one. Making Sora stronger is gutsy, but I guess the hope rests on her doing more damage to herself with that power than to you. Let’s find out, Quick Attack!”

              Kade felt his heart thundering in the vicinity of his Adam’s apple. Swagger was indeed a double edged sword. Sora was stronger than ever before now. This was an important moment that could decide the whole battle.

              Sora shot off… in the wrong direction. Suppressing a cheer, Kade took his opportunity.


              A thick grey fog flowed out from around Nimbus even as Sora slammed into a wall near the audience and flapped back, stunned, unsure of what she’d just done. Soon the Haze was covering much of the arena and, Kade new, removing all stat boosts.

              “Really now?” Sky laughed again “I didn’t know he had Haze too. How bothersome. You okay, Sora?”

              Sora gave a low groan back, causing Sky to chuckle again.

              “It sounds like she’s still a bit out of it,” she said “But that’s okay, we can afford to risk a bit of extra damage. Roost!”

              “Oh no,” Kade couldn’t help but let slip from his lips.

              A faint, warm, light floated out from the Haze, on the ground. Kade new that the source of that glow was Sora, wings folded as she recovered her health on the ground.

              “Night Slash, we need to hit her now!” Kade called to Nimbus, who dived straight into the cloud as his wings darkened, encased in a faint purple light. Roost wouldn’t remove Sora’s confusion, but it was healing her, she could afford to take extra licks until the condition faded.

              “Hurricane!” Sky instructed.

              There was a delay as her dazed Pidgeot processed the order, but then, sure enough, the ferocious winds whipped up again and the Haze was cleared in an instant as Nimbus was once again launched back. He’d been flying low, and skidded roughly along the ground until the attack ended and he was able to collect himself and regain his altitude.

              “Let’s finish this, shall we?” Sky said to Kade from her side of the battlefield, her unwavering confidence never faltering.

              “Let’s do it,” Kade replied after a moment to steady himself, “Night Slash!”

              “Meet him in the middle, Sora!”

              Nimbus’ wings became midnight black once more, the purple glow not as faint now, seeming to grow in intensity with Nimbus’ desire to win this final stand. There was no attack yet from Sora, the Pidgeot just rushed to meet him.

              The two birds hurtled towards each other, closing in on the middle of the battlefield. Nimbus lashed out with his attack, ready to end the battle, determined to achieve victory. Sora suddenly pulled up, flapping hard to rise over the attack. Kade’s eyes opened wide as he recognised a maneuver that he too was fond of.


              He’d fallen for her bait. Sora flapped hard again, flying back as her attack erupted into being. A viciously spiralling tornado that Nimbus was trapped in, being flung around wildly in circles, unable to escape its clutches. Sky’s smile widened slightly.

              “Quick Attack!”

              Like a spear from the heavens, Sora slammed her wings shut to her sides and dived for Nimbus. She hurtled right into the vortex, there was a boom like the breaking of the sound barrier as she struck her target, the Twister exploding into nothingness from the force of the impact. A living projectile, Nimbus was shot like a bullet into the ground below with a second crashing sound. He lay there twitching, unable to move more than that, still emitting an irritated warbling.

              Kade felt himself slump slightly. He still couldn’t match Sky. He sighed, forcing back the negativity as he trudged up to where Nimbus was downed. He knelt down by the fallen bird.

              “You did really well Nimbus, you’re amazing. Next time, you’ll win.”

              Nimbus replied with a low, but perhaps appreciative groan as he was surrounded by clouds and drawn back into the Flight Ball by a beam of light.

              “Not too shabby,” Sky said from her place, Sora flying laps above, victorious as the crowd cheered her on.

              Kade looked up at the Pidgeot, proud and powerful. Even after healing up with Roost, she was dirty and her feathers were dishevelled. She wore the unmistakable signs of a Pokemon that just been in a ferocious battle. A smile touched Kade’s lips, widening as he looked on. She was an incredible bird.

              “Thanks,” Kade said, standing up, still watching Sora’s laps, “We lost in the end, we struggled to ever get ahead, but I can’t help but feel this time we held our own. Maybe, to some extent, I’m starting to catch up a little bit.”

              “Oh?” Sky raised an eyebrow, “Is that what you think?”

              “Should I not?”

              “You tell me,” Sky chuckled, holding up he left arm. Kade hadn’t noticed it before, but a simple silver bracelet adorned her wrist. What looked like a charm dangelled from it, a small orange stone with a swirl of pinkish red within, encased in strands of silver that held it to the chain. As the stone began to glow with a vibrant, prismatic light, Kade’s jaw fell open with recognition. His head snapped up to look at Sora.

              She was shining, glowing with that same shifting light, encased it it. The glow became more and more intense, obscuring her form from view before it burst into a shower of glittering sparks. Sora was still there, but she looked different. She was larger, her wings adorned with beautiful azure feathers, her pinkish tail tipped with the same and a long, flowing, crest streaming out behind her. She was even more beautiful, majestic and powerful than ever before. The crowd cheered louder still and Steven watched on, eyebrow cocked and a bemused expression on his visage.

              “Mega evolution,” Kade breathed.

              “Mhmm,” Sky replied nonchalantly “You’ve definitely gotten better, but you’ve still got a way to go. You’ve still got lessons to learn. Keep at it though and you’ll catch me eventually.”

              Sky lifted her Pokeball and called Sora back to its confines in a beam of red light.

              “Good battle, Kade,” she said “I’ll see you around.”

              “You will,” he agreed.

              “The winner is Sky!” Steven announced as the two parted ways, exiting the arena in their respective directions. Despite the loss weighing heavily upon him, Kade couldn’t help but smile a bit still. He couldn’t envy someone that powerful their win, and he understood she had showed him that not to brag, but to spur him on.

              Spoiler: Pokemon at Sanctuary
              Arcus (Male, Sniper) - Drill Run, Leer, Pursuit, Fury Attack, Aerial Ace, Mirror Move

              Spoiler: Inventory
              Key Items
              - 1200Poké
              - 1 Pokédex
              - 1 Holocaster
              - Flight Saddle

              - 3 Potions
              - 1 Super Potion

              - 1 Pokéball
              - 2 Great Balls

              Technical Machines
              - Bug Bite (TM)
              - Aerial Ace (TM)
              - Sky Drop (TM)
              - Ancient Power (TM)
              - Power-Up Punch (TM)

              General Items
              - Pearls
              - Spell Tag (worn by Cumulus)

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                #92   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
              Old 1 Week Ago (6:34 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by Pudding.
              Pudding's Avatar
              Pudding Pudding is offline
              [ alegría ]
              Join Date: Dec 2016
              Gender: Female
              Nature: Docile
              Posts: 350

              Margarita Fas
              Tower of Mastery: III

              The machine clicked to life. It fed on Margarita’s battle-earned money, yet the numbers that were being flashed in faded pixels reminded her of her poor performance. This transaction will show her parents how she has been declining instead of improving. Furthermore, the festival only added salt to her wounds; they witnessed her quick defeat.

              Pawniard is back in his Pokéball, albeit he did make a scene back at the Pokémon Center, refusing to accept services from Nurse Joy. Doing so meant he accepted his demise. [i]The poor thing,[i] she had thought then, [i]it’s what I deserve for not trying hard enough. I wonder how he feels about me.[i]

              Margarita finished her money transfer and left the store with Larvesta in tow. She remained inside the string bag, tuft of hair sticking out from the only opening in her cave. Thanks to the bug the egg was in constant warmth, always cared for and cuddled with love.

              “Hey, thanks for doing what you’re doing,” Margarita spoke to her bug Pokémon. Larvesta pokes her head out, always struggling to do so thanks to the horns protruding from her head. “I don’t want to make you think I don’t notice or appreciate what you do. I do.” A muffled hum and nudge rewarded the young trainer. "Thank you."

              They halt in the middle of the road, the Tower of Mastery in view. “Muk, I need to still show up there. Can’t be rude.”

              Larvesta nudged her trainer’s back yet again, providing a sense of comfort. It’s these kind of small gestures that she’s been blind to in order to save herself from feeling... well, what she feels now. Guilt. Disappointment.

              “Don’t be a b*tch Margarita, this is life. Being a moody mess won’t make them stronger and better.” Larvesta let out a small chirp in response to her apprehension. It was enough to shove her forward. “Alright.”

              She swallowed her self-pity and trekked into the tower. Not bothering to put any effort into her entrance, the trainer walked up to the floor she had previously met the mysterious man in her own good time.

              “You rarely smile, I noticed,” a familiar voice emerged from the shadows, hidden in a corner of the room she finally reached. “Why is that?”

              “I never stopped to think about it,” Margarita admits. Instead of him coming forth it was his Steelix. The gargantuan steel snake curiously studied Margarita. Larvesta grew cautious.

              “You would look better with a smile. Enchanting, even. Has nobody ever told you that?”

              “Anybody would." She kept shooting down his attempts at a conversation, more preoccupied with the possible battle approaching her. [i]Regardless of whether Nene won or not, he’s a steel-dark type. Nana has a better chance with Steelix, being a fire type.[i]

              “Keyword ‘would.’ Has any?” At last he revealed himself, his Steelix loosely wrapping itself around the man in a protective manner.

              “I don’t keep track.”

              “Clearly our conversation is trivial to you.” His words did not faze the woman, whose shoulder was now leaning against the wall beside her with arms crossed. “But let us drop the formalities.” His tone suddenly shifted, now carrying some vexation. “Do you honestly believe a battle will be the answer to your dilemma?”

              Margarita was appalled by his accusation, assuming he watched her earlier Festival Tournament performance.

              “I was hoping you did not return with such intentions, but to perhaps unfold those emotions you seem to keep locked away. It’s a dangerous thing.”

              “Thank you for wanting to help, but I don’t want any,” she responds, no longer leaning against the wall. “I know it’s stupid and pointless, but I can’t help how I feel.” And without her realizing it, she had begun to open up. The stranger immediately took notice, prying to let her unravel herself.

              The chuckle that left his lips unexpectedly rubbed her the wrong way, much to her surprise. “Normally I would say ‘Go rummage for your answer elsewhere. Perhaps then you can satisfy yourself with that false sense of accomplishment somebody else can gladly give you. I refuse to be somebody’s tool for redemption’ .”

              “That’s... very specific.”

              “Steelix. Prepare,” he suddenly ordered the steel snake, who left their trainer’s side to tower before Margarita. “It is not your fault that the outcome of the battle came out the way it did.”

              “It partially is.”

              “And you know you will not win this battle. Why do you proceed?” he questioned, pulling out a silver pocket watch from his inner jacket pocket.

              Margarita slid her bag off her shoulder, gently tapping it to signal her bug to make her appearance. “It’s like training. Real battles will help them grow stronger.” Her answer did not settle with the man.

              “This is no ordinary battle, you realize?” He observed her Larvesta crawl out of the string bag and on to the hard pavement. She gave Steelix a long glance before facing over to her trainer, unnerved by the size difference. “Do not feel limited to just one Pokémon. All of your team can be summoned and greet Bartholomew.”

              “Okay, I might do that. Nana, you have a chance.”

              Before the bug could begin, their adversary dug their nail into the small crack in the pocket watch, forcing it to open with a click. Inside was an iridescent stone, which began to glisten and beautifully let off a glow.

              "My name is Adriel," he hollered over the sound of the stone's metallic hum. "It is a pleasure to meet you, as late as my introduction may be." A thin choker was being worn by his Steelix, but hidden from view. Was it not for the glow, Margarita would have never realized it was there.

              She felt pressured for an introduction, but the sight of the Steelix transforming into a menacing form easily pulled her away from that thought. "String shot!"

              “I feel like a Sandstorm needs to happen, don’t you Bartholomew?” A deep roar emanated from the Steelix as they hovered above the pavement. Larvesta shot a white, sticky string from her mouth towards them. Unfortunately the behemoth had begun to spin in place before the string could take hold, instead sending it flying within the gusts it was creating.

              I need to start thinking strategy. But what do I know? A sandstorm brews, Larvesta's eyes squinting against the sand being released by the opponent. Steel is normally pretty good defense and attack wise. If I remember right. But speed is muk. Special defense is pretty bad too, so that's where I need to focus.

              "Ember then!" Margarita decided upon. The bug takes her time waiting for the steel snake to leave an opening, not wanting to miss as she had with her string shot.

              Multiple small fireballs are released from her mouth. But in their travels another sandstorm brewed, altering their trajectory to anywhere but their intended destination.

              "Iron Tail Bartholomew."

              "Stick yourself to the Steelix!" Margarita blurted out, arm lifted over her eyes in response to the sand.

              Larvesta nervously observed the gargantuan Steelix's tail begin to glow a metallic silver behind the sand-riddled vision. Despite the fear she awaited the opponent, attempting to find an opening to spit her attack.

              It then charged, body easily maneuvering through the sandstorm without a hitch. Larvesta kept squinting and flinching against the grains of sand, forcing her to spit a string shot aimlessly.

              And of course it misses.

              Clicks and whines could be heard from the battlefield coming from her Larvesta, who was filled with trepidation for the incoming attack.

              Roooooooar. A cold, bright whip slammed her against the ground, pinning her. The force took the breath out of her, sending the remaining small slivers of flames out of the whorled horns.

              "Muk, okay." What do I do now?

              "Thunder Fang," he commands. The Steelix does not hesitate, body quickly turning to face Larvesta.

              "Hey, hey! Get out of there!" she hollered with her free hand cupping around her mouth to louden her voice. But even though her bug was successful in dodging the first set of jaws, the sand pushed and shoved the poor bug. When she lost her footing the snake lifted his head, mouth hanging open as sparks danced around the opague teeth.

              Skreeeeeee! Margarita cursed under her breath at the scene; Steelix bit down upon the small bug, electricity then running through her veins. It was enough to squeeze a cry of pain out of her, body wriggling from it. Unfortunately they did not let go, instead making a sharp turn towards the balcony.

              "Wait, where are they going?! You're moving the battle?"

              "Since when did battles have to stay in one specific spot?" Adriel replied to her cry. In reality she could care less of the action, but seeing the bug remain in between the heavy set of jaws prompted her to blurt out the first thought in her head. "Getting soft, isn't that right?"

              "Tch." The sandstorm lessened by the second as the two trainers made their way to the balcony. Steelix leaped off the building, diving towards the beach far beneath.

              Adriel casually reached the edge, in no hurry to see the conclusion to the leap of faith. However, Margarita hastened her pace, worried for her companion. "Nana!"

              "Dig Bartholomew!"

              Margarita was powerless to help. She watched her bug get tossed into the ground, abandoned as her adversary vanished underground. Initially the vibration gave it away, but soon it was no more.

              "Trouble on your mind? Or is this the type of trainer you've become?" he comments, unimpressed. "Let me help." Margarita brushed off the offer, having picked up on the subtle hints prior.

              "Thank you for the offer, but I don't want it."

              "Mentoring sounds like a delight. And I'm willing to have you as my first customer. Free of charge," he continued to chat, leaning over the balcony. Despite the snake's size, it remained obscured, swimming within the sand beneath a nervous fire bug.

              "I'm sure there are others who want your mentoring." She kept glancing down, her companion a diminutive creature when seen from her height.

              "Nana! String shot yourself up here!"


              Larvesta made a straight shot into the balcony. It was tugged to reassure its strength before she began to climb. Fortunately she had crawled quick enough to avoid the steel torpedo that broke through the sand.

              Steelix plopped on the beach, somewhat surprised to see the small Larvesta already returning up high.

              "Clever, aren't you?" His constant commentary was beginning to crawl under her skin. From here on out she began to tune out the man, more preoccupied with the battle at hand. "I took you for more of a chatty-during-battle type. Tense, are we not?"

              The Steelix coiled itself, eyes never parting ways with the sight of Larvesta. Margarita pondered on the odd position. It can't jump that high. It's a heavy piece of thing... can it?

              "Thunder Fang Bartholomew!"

              Muk I guess it can. "Use Ember!" Larvesta glanced down out of curiosity, only to regret the action upon seeing the coiled snake propel itself forward. Within the blink of an eye it reached Larvesta, who immediately shot out balls of fire towards the gaping, electrified mouth.

              It was futile. Steelix flinched at the burns, but chomped down on the small fry. Again, small flames exited the horns from the pain and a blood curling cry escaped the bug.

              "I saw you battle. This is different and it needs to change," he mumbled, lifting his left hand. "Bartholomew, enough." The Steelix dropped the bug, who writhed in pain.

              Ariel's body faces Margarita, eyes locked with his Steelix's. "Rest. Clear your mind. Emotions can clearly affect you, I see that. Irregardless of whether you may want to or not."

              A glow consumed Steelix, masquerading their transforming back to normal.

              "My performance was poor in the tournament," she corrected Adriel.

              "I didn't say which battle I saw," he claims, letting out a small snicker as he summoned his Steelix back into his pokéball. Margarita does the same to her pokémon.

              The battle was one sided. Larvesta was summoned forth in preference to her typing, but was unable to dent the hulk of a snake despite it. They, too, tasted defeat, humiliated as they were beaten without much effort from their part. Hence the lack of the rest of her team's appearance. [i]Yeah no, it’s pointless to have them fight. It would be cruel.[\i]

              Her lack of response prompted him to speak once more. "Congratulations. How do you feel now?”

              “I feel okay.”

              “Honesty. How lovely,” he chuckles out, somehow able to hide the sarcastic tone behind his laughter. “You’re amusing.”

              “Thank you for helping, even if you already knew what was going to happen,” Margarita vocalized her thoughts, finding her bag uncomfortably lighter without Larvesta to keep the egg company.

              She waves and begins to descend. “Bye.”

              “And goodnight, Margarita.” Out loud her name sounded rather beautiful, especially coming from Adriel. But she couldn’t help but cringe knowing what the name meant itself.
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                #93   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
              Old 6 Days Ago (2:24 AM).
              LuluRina's Avatar
              LuluRina LuluRina is offline
              Dragon Princess
                Join Date: Jan 2019
                Location: Australia
                Age: 16
                Gender: Female
                Nature: Relaxed
                Posts: 90

                Annika Jiraiya


                Tournament Round 2
                Annika was leaning against a tree drawing with her Pokemon playing nearby when suddenly she heard “Hey Annika!” She looked up to see the gym leader Viola running up to her.

                “You’re my next battle, huh?” Viola said.

                Annika smiled. “Yea, I’m gonna look forward to it! And I can’t really break any rules this time either” She and Viola laughed.

                “Well, either way, it's going to be picture perfect!” Viola looked over at the Pokemon playing and asked “Hey are the Zorua and Eevee yours?”

                “Yea, I got them after beating your gym. You can take pictures of them if you want”

                Viola ran over to the Pokemon playing and started snapping pictures while Annika went back to her drawing


                “Please welcome our next competitors, Annika and Gym Leader Viola!”

                Annika walked into the battlefield, waving at the crowd cheered. She looked over and saw Viola doing the same. They both stopped on either side of the field and grabbed their pokeballs.

                “Let the battle


                “Go, Bagel!” Annika shouted, sending him out while Viola sent out a Ninjask. Annika, never seeing this Pokemon before, took out her Pokedex and scanned it.

                “Its cry leaves a lasting headache if heard for too long. It moves so quickly that it is almost invisible.”

                “Ninjask, use Swords Dance!” Viola ordered. Swords appeared around the Ninjask, upping its attack.

                “Bagel!” Annika shouted. “Spark!” Bagel’s body covered in electricity as he ran forward.

                “Dodge it!” Viola said, and the Ninjask moved away at such a high speed it seemed like it teleported. Bagel stopped in surprise as Viola called out “Now use Fury Cutter!” Ninjask appeared behind Bagel and hit him, knocking him forward and making him tumble. “Again!” Viola shouted as Bagel turned around. The Ninjask appeared next to him and hit him again.

                Annika was taken aback by Ninjask’s speed, so she cried “Bagel! Spark again!”

                “Dodge it!” Viola said as Bagel’s body covered in electricity. He ran towards the Ninjask and it disappeared again. The electricity ran off right before Viola said “Fury cutter again!” The Ninjask appeared in front of him and knocked him back. Bagel was trembling a little bit after those three fury cutters.

                Annika, realising that there was no way she would be able to hit it like this, called out “Bagel! Use Scary Face!” Bagel looked at the Ninjask intimidatingly and it shuddered. “Now use Spark!” Bagel ran towards it, body covering in Sparks.

                “Dodge it again!” Ninjask moved away, however this time Annika could see where it was moving, if only just barely. Bagel’s electricity ran off again.

                “Fury Cutter!” Viola shouted as Annika said “Spark!” Bagel’s body covered in electricity a few milliseconds before Ninjask hit him again. Bagel was knocked over and could barely stand, however the Ninjask fell down, damaged by the electricity. It hit the ground and struggled to get back in the air.

                “Thunder Fang!” Annika shouted, and Bagel ran over to the Ninjask, stumbling a bit, while his teeth was covering with electricity.

                “Dodge it!” Viola shouted, but the Ninjask barely got back to flying before Bagel chomped down on it. The Ninjask cried out, causing Bagel to drop it and for everyone to cover their ears and to close out the sound until it stopped.

                They slowly uncovered their ears and looked at the field. The Ninjask was fainted on the floor while Bagel was shaking his head, trying to get rid of the sound.

                “N… Ninjask has fainted!” Steven said, still trying to recover. “Annika wins!”

                “Yea with a huge headache” Annika groaned, holding her head.

                “I did not know he was going to do that” Viola said, also holding her head.

                Annika withdrew Bagel and headed off, planning to hang out in the waiting area until her headache was gone.

                Spoiler: Inventory
                1x Pokedex
                10,050 Poke
                5x Super Potion
                2x Potion
                6x Great Ball
                4x Poke Ball
                1x Mysterious Blue Stone
                1x TM01 Focus Punch
                1x Festival Tourney Pass
                1x Drawing Notepad
                1x Pencil
                1x Sharpener
                1x Eraser
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                  #94   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
                Old 6 Days Ago (4:02 PM). Edited 5 Days Ago by Shak.
                Shak's Avatar
                Shak Shak is offline
                Join Date: Jan 2015
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                Nature: Lax
                Posts: 868
                -Drew Tucker
                That View

                Screams turned to whispers. Every sensation Drew had been wrestled by when watching the festival was now no more than a gush of wind behind him. What he now endured was a far greater test. The edict of the Tower of Mastery stairs. The gut wrenching demand on each steep step: the chest pressing feeling that one wrong step could send him hurtling to the bottom; the hopeful longing that somehow, someway, he wouldnt have to walk back down.

                Above all of this, each step felt like he was carrying two hundred tonnes as he climbed. His mind still lingered on the highlights of his conversation with Victor. Paige, Wailmer, Nebula...Avril. The four washed over his head in a wave, dripping into his psyche, flushing his esteem.

                It was for your own good...

                You just don't fit in...

                You can't keep up...

                You' afterthought.

                He felt himself panting. Sweat dripped from his head. A twang of pain shot through his ankle, but he kept moving. He looked down to the step in front, where Brycen persevered beside him. That much kept him moving. His gaze wandered upward, where the peak of the stairway was now in sight.

                That view. He thought to himself.

                It was for your own good...The idea paige proposed to him, that she betrayed him to save him, echoed through his thoughts again.

                That view. He repeated in his mind.

                You just don't fit in...

                That view. He continued to echo the phrase in his mind like it was a self-affirming mantra. No doubt his peers had tested themselves against the might of mega evolution, so he'd do the same.

                You can't keep up...

                "That view." He grunted aloud. Every other step was now skipped as Drew, on his bad ankle, forced himself to his goal.

                You' afterthought.

                "Not anymore!" He sprung up the last couple of steps, practically jumping into the doorway of the Tower of Mastery's highest platform. Whether he overwhelmed himself from that last surge of energy or he was caught off guard by thinner air at this altitude, Drew fell to his knees. His breaths shuddered.

                The bright half moon shone over the boy's head, beckoning him to stand. He climbed to his feet and took one more look down to the bottom. "I really hope I don't have to walk back down there." He gulped as he verbalised his earlier thoughts. None of that mattered anymore though, it was time. He took his first steps toward the doorway, noticing Victor's briefcase sitting just under the arch.

                Sure enough, the owner of the case didnt take much searching for. Drew approached Victor cautiously. His attention on the man was lost in favour of gawking at the sealed structures of the balcony's dome and guardrail.

                "I'm sure you can imagine why this part might be sealed off." Victor spoke, barely turning his head to catch sight of Drew in the corner of his eye. He was stairing out of the prismatic stained glass windows, just about the only thing allowing any light into the structure.

                "To prevent accidents?" The boy asked, a hint of sarcasm in his tone.

                "Accidents?" Victor turned to fully face Drew, a genuine curiosity leaked from his expression.

                "I was being nice."

                "Cynical. I thought it just looked better." The elder man sighed, returning to look out over the darkened Shalour clouds.

                Drew glanced around, leaving Victor's last response to suffocate in the tension. He glanced down at the man's wheelchair, then back at the stairs he'd near killed himself to reach the top of. "I suppose I shouldnt ask how you got up here."

                "I took the elevator." Victor joked to the appreciation of no one.

                "So mega evolution. How do I do it?" Drew clenched his fist as he spoke. As far as he was concerned, Victor's games were over.

                Just for a moment, Victor let his eyelids rest. As his eyes opened again, the playful smirk he'd been wearing for some time went cold. A much more serious glare wiped over his face. He pulled his blazer jacket open, fiddling between a particular pair of hanging pokeballs before settling on one. Without a word, he tossed the ball not far from where Drew and Brycen were standing.

                The red light of the pokeball materialised a hulking orange beast. Two rocky cones protruded from its back, gooey orange liquid seaped from the cones. As the fur settled, three blue rings formed on the pokemon's sides.

                Drew watched intently, waiting for something a little more impressive to happen. He pulled out his pokedex, hoping it would provide some insight into how this thing related to mega evolution.

                The Eruption Pokemon
                The humps on Camerupt’s back are formed by a transformation of its bones. They sometimes blast out molten magma. This Pokémon apparently erupts often when it is enraged.

                "Don't make it mad, huh? Got it." Drew gulped.

                Victor waited for no more interjection from Drew. A prismatic glow eminated from the foot of his trouser leg, the light resembling the same shimmer of the tower's windows. That same prismatic sheen surrounded the orb that concealed Victor's pokemon. A ground shaking energy ripped away at the orb, before it began to shatter. Inside, a new beast had formed. The Camerupt before him was huge. The lava that had once seaped slowly from the two protrusions on his back now poured from the huge Volcano he was carrying. The pokemon let out a deep maw as he glared Drew and Brycen down.

                Drew flicked out his pokedex again.

                Mega Camerupt
                The Eruption Pokemon
                Camerupt has a volcano inside its body. Magma of 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit courses through its body. Occasionally, the humps on this Pokémon’s back erupt, spewing the superheated magma.

                "It's mad." Drew stated flatly. He shared a look with Brycen. What was a rare sight for the young trainer occurred right before him. His starter seemed hesitant to battle. It took a moment, but the Quilladin stepped slowly forward. "Yeah, I dont blame you bud." The trainer sighed.

                "Use as many pokemon as you need to in order to defeat my Camerupt." Victor suggested, about as flat as the previous statement from Drew. The disabled man's playful dry humour had been all but dried up completely.

                On instinct, Drew tossed Caesar's pokeball.

                Victor rolled his eyes at the sight. Drew's Scrafty lined up next to Drew's Quilladin. No doubt the backs of these pokemon had become a familiar sight to the young trainer. Even saving the wailord he resorted to that pairing. If Horsea hadnt have been out of its pokeball already, Drew surely would've forgotten about it. "Don't disappoint Drew. Surely you realise it's going to take more than those two to defeat Mega Camerupt."

                Drew's face stiffened. He glanced down at the collection of pokeballs clipped onto his bag. He looked back up at the two he'd chosen, who were now watching him expectantly. Hesitating again as he reached for them, Drew grabbed all five balls clipped onto his bag. The first three were thrown out within a beat of each other, Zephyr the Gligar, Levi the Aron and Mustang the Kingdra emerging from them.

                The next took another moment. Nebula. Drew stared down at the Eevee's pokeball. She'd been his pokemon for months, since Lumiose. Yet he'd used her once at the most in a battle. The faces of Avril, Emma, Dahlia and the police officer flashed through his mind. The Eevee was just shoved onto him without him having much say in the matter. None of them truly believed he was capable of training her. Still, after all this time, he had no idea if they were right. He pretty much got rid of her at every oppourtunity: Lumiose, Versant Road, Prairie Way. Yet she kept coming back. Latching onto him and never letting go. He hadnt repaid that faith in him. Not even Brycen kept trusting him after so many let downs, yet Drew had the scars on his arm to show for Nebula's unwavering attatchment to him.

                As the pokeball landed, the scarfaced Eevee took in her surroundings. The hair on her back rose as she saw the Mega Camerupt in front of her. "Vee." She hissed, glancing back at her trainer.

                "This one isnt gonna be easy Neb, please dont do anything rash, alright?" Drew mumbled. His attention wasnt on the Eevee though, instead he stared down remorsefully at his Wailmer's pokeball. "Dammit." He grunted, clipping the ball back onto the strap of his bag

                Victor watched the whole thing, keenly analysing Drew's every decision. "No Leafeon? No Wailmer?" He asked with a smirk.

                "If I'm battling you with my own strength, I can't use someone else's pokemon. As for Wailmer, you know exactly why I'm not using her." Drew responded, finally sounding resolute. "Mustang, I need you to lead with Rain Dance."

                On Drew's order, the Seahorse pokemon performed a pirouette, provoking a a cluster of grey clouds to collect above the battleground. Soon, a heavy rain poured over them, leaving both trainers drenched and dripping water.

                "We're not done there, I want the rest of you to help wear this thing down. Brycen, Leech Seed! Caesar, Swagger! Zephyr, Poison Sting!" With each order, the respective pokemon showed off their abilities. The Quilladin shot a cluster of parasitic seeds that sprouted vines that wrapped around the colossal camel. The Scrafty strutted casually, squaring up to his soon to be foe. The Gligar flew in, gleefully taking on the first battle order he'd ever recieved from his trainer. The tiny bat pokemon glided over the volcano, firing a toxic spine that caused the lava to bubble purple. The efforts of the group were capped off by a satisfied regrouping in front of their trainer. Now that they'd stacked the odds in their favour, they were ready to take this titan down.

                "Poisoned, confused, sapped dry by a Leech Seed..." Victor began, flat as ever as he glanced between each of Drew's pokemon. Finally, he looked up at the teary faux sky. "And rained in."

                "Caesar, lead up with Feint Atta-"

                "CAMERUPT, SUNNY DAY!" Victor near roared, his outburst outright shocking Drew into silence.

                A bright light raged over the battle. Within seconds, the moisture created by Mustang's Rain Dance was dried up and instead a sweltering heat seared through the balcony. Drew could barely see through the intense sunlight. Sunny Day had never been so overwhelming in Drew's experience.

                While the boy sheltered his eyes from the sun, Victor made his first move. "Camerupt, Lava Plume!" He ordered, much calmer than his initial order.

                Each of Drew's pokemon dove out of the way of the shot of lava that came their way. Zephyr flew straight back to Drew; the front two, Brycen and Caesar, were split by the attack and in turn flanked the Camerupt.

                As Drew himself regained his vision, he noticed his Kingdra was panting. The trainer glanced up at the sun once more. Once he caught his pokemon's eyes though, it was clear. No doubt the sun was causing the water type to struggle, but that was only part of the problem. Mustang was scared. Drew's brows furrowed. The frantic, wide eyed, expression on the pokemon's face was telling...but Drew needed him right now. "Mustang, fire a Bubblebeam for me, please!"

                Upon hearing the order, Mustang looked at the Camerupt, who huffed a hot smog from his nose. That alone was enough to spook the water dragon, he turned and high tailed it in the other direction. Mustang!Drew's desperate call for his pokemon was completely ignored.

                Again, in his distraction, Drew's opponent took advantage. Another lava plume sent the flanking pair of Brycen and Caesar tumbling in opposite directions, shuddering from their intense burns. It was then that things only got worse for Drew.

                With no craft or finesse, Nebula pelted toward the larger foe.

                Drew turned to the battle just in time to witness the impetuous attack. "Neb, stop! Dammit I need you to trust me here!" He grated, his head springing between watching his Eevee and Kingdra. He quickly returned Mustang to his pokeball, stuffing the ball down on his bag in a huff. Nebula had already taken a Lava Plume attack when his attention returned to her. It was obvious she hadnt taken it as well as Brycen and Caesar had taken theirs. She was on her last legs. "Neb, this isnt just some street fight against some idiot kid and his new Bunnelby, alright?! To win this one we ca-" Drew began to lecture. Nebula climbed to her feet and hissed back at him. Drew couldnt help but notice the orange tufts of fur between her fangs. Despite everything, a smile crept onto his face at that.

                "Drew, why do you think I chose to help you with this?" Victor asked, watching patiently as he watched the antics of Drew and his team.

                The young trainer furrowed his brows. It was something he hadnt even considered. Not for a second while speaking to Victor, had he ever wondered why the man had given him nearly as much time as he did. He simply had other things on his mind.

                "I've confused you again, havent I? No riddles this time, I see that doesnt seem to work with you anymore. You're weak Drew." He finally stated, pausing to guague the boy's reaction. Much to his surprise though, Drew didnt seem nearly as sad, surprised or angry as he'd expected. The teen's brows furrowed deeper, practically touching, but it wasnt from self-pity or misguided fury. It was a change. "Never short on surprises though, are you?" Victor chuckled. "I'm helping you because I pity the weak. I want to make them strong. I want to make the world strong Drew. I despise weakness."

                Drew ignored the spiel. He looked down at his Eevee, that same intensity he'd faced Victor with on his face. He walked up to the hissing Eevee and knelt to match her at eye level. "Listen, we've come this far. I'm not expecting you to wipe out this Camerupt and whether you do or not isnt the difference between you getting a meal and starving. It hasnt been for a while." He spoke calmly, placing his hand on the pokemon's head. She glanced up at his hand and hissed, but Drew didnt flinch. "Go ahead and bite me, I dont care." Despite his calm words, the boy's hand was trembling. "You're an important part of this team Slash Nebula. Dog eat dog just isnt how we do it here." He finished, stroking his scarred arm. Nebula flashed him one more glare, before turning to face the Camerupt once more. The trainer nodded. "I know how we're beating him."

                "Oh?" Victor raised a brow. "Camerupt, perhaps it's time we flex just a bit more of what we're capable of. Stockpile."

                That attack jolted Drew's head up. He knew it well. The Arbok move. It was one of Newt's favourites. Even before then it was one he saw many a trainer use in their attempts to take down Lt.Surge. Most of the time, it worked. The Leech Seed and poison were still sapping away at the behemoth's energy, but as he stocked even more bulk onto his mass he seemed further from being knocked out than he had when the battle started. Even Caesar's taunting barely seemed to aggrievate it. Drew knew what he needed to do. "Neb, dont get close to him. I need you to keep him busy with a Swift attack, alright?" He began, before noticing the discomfort from the Eevee. "I know you're not used to using it, but if there was ever a time..." With some hesitance, Nebula began firing a distracting flurry of stars into the Mega Pokemon's face.

                "...ron." Under all the commotion of the battle, a small steel type pokemon whispered in discontent at his trainer's lack of acknowledgement.

                "Sorry Levi, I was trying to keep you out of this one given the type matchup, but with Mustang gone, you might just be our MVP." Drew admitted somberly. "I'm gonna need you to keep our team protected with Rock Tomb, alright? Create a constant shelter." He managed a smile, as the Aron nodded in agreement, finally content at being found useful.

                Just as Caesar was about to be hit with yet another Lava Plume from the now frustrated Camerupt, a rock landed between the Scrafty and the burst of liquid magma.

                "Nice." Drew smirked. "Now, Bry, Caesar, you guys know what to do!" Without any more direction than that, Brycen shot a Vine Whip out for Caesar to catch, then began spinning into a Rollout attack. Caesar yanked the Vine, sending Brycen clattering into Victor's Camerupt.

                The older trainer was not smiling.

                "It's your turn Zephyr." Drew looked down at the Gligar with a warm smile.

                The Flying Scorpion looked stared into his trainer's eyes, complete dismay on his face. From Drew's shoulder, he had a great view of the battlefield and everything ensuing on it. Levi's Rock Tomb's were perfectly timed to block the Lava Plumes that were being fired at Caesar, while the fighting type's control over Brycen kept him nimble enough to dodged the ones that were shot his way. Nebula's Swift was doing just enough to make it hard for the Camerupt to get a good shot in edgewise. Even with all that extra bulk from multiple Stockpiles, the Camerupt was taking a lot of continuous damage. Even Zephyr could figure that much out. What the baby Gligar couldnt figure out, is where his trainer thought that he might fit in here.

                "I know he's missing a lot, but if you can get in there with your Sand-Attack..." The trainer continued to smile.

                He shook off his doubt. Seeing that smile from Drew reinvigorated the baby pokemon. He'd do it for his trainer to win. With a leap of faith, Zephyr nuzzled his trainer, then sped off toward the Camerupt.

                "Camerupt, Earth Power on the Aron." Victor's words were quiet, but sharp, they pierced through the commotion and just managed to get within earshot of Drew.

                The ground beneath Levi began to grumble and glow. The Steel/Rock type tried to stop his Rock Tomb's and hop off his spot, but he was too slow. The earth rose up and exploded beneath him, creating a hole in the tower's balcony. Drew quickly pulled out his Pokeball and withdrew the Aron, before it could plummet through the night clouds.

                That View. Drew trembled as his mantra echoed in his mind. There was now a huge hole in the ground, and the cold air from their extreme altitude blasted through the tower's highest lookout. It even beat out the heat from Camerupt's Sunny Day. Each of his pokemon glanced back fearfully at the large crater, surely considering that any one of them could find themselves plummeting to their death if they werent careful. Even Victor seemed unnerved at the development.

                Though, he wasnt distracted enough to waste the oppourtunity this presented. With the Aron gone, the Scrafty was now much easier to hit with a Lava Plume, so that's exactly what he had his Camerupt do.

                The Hoodlum pokemon was blasted far across the balcony, dragging the Rollouting spiny Armour pokemon with him.

                With them gone, the only distractions left were the annoying star shooting Eevee, and the little Gligar who had just put itself right in blasting range. The Camerupt looked up and fired a Lava Plume at the unsuspecting purple pokemon. The baby pokemon could do little more than watch helplessly with wide eyes as the fire type attack exploded in his face. He was knocked completely out of the battle with little more resistance than a high pitched wail.

                "Zephyr!" Drew called out, his expression drenched in guilt as the baby bounced across the surface. He let out a deflated gasp, returning the poor bat. He staired at the pokeball for just a moment. Levi had just been knocked out too, but with Zephyr it felt different. Throwing the Gligar into his first battle was always a risk, but he never thought the infant would go down like that.

                It was for your own good...

                The thought ran through his head again. He frowned. He glanced down at the hole in the floor.

                You just don't fit in...

                He glanced at the three pokeballs stuffed into his bag next to the egg, then the one clipped onto the strap. His frown grew deeper.

                You can't keep up...

                Without another beat, Caesar came crashing into the Camerupt with a Hi Jump Kick, knocking the fire type back for the first time. The attack caught Drew's attention. He looked up, eyes peaking out from under his hood, which had flicked up when his head dropped. Camerupt was finally starting to look hurt, but then, so did Drew's own final three: Brycen, Caesar and Nebula. He clutched on to the Gligar's pokeball.

                You' afterthought.

                "Maybe I am an afterthought!" He shouted to Victor. He returned his attention to the surviving members of his team, but continued as though the first statement had been directed at them too. "But Levi and Zephyr didnt go down for nothing, alright guys? They took risks, and were taken out with us in their minds. Now we're gonna do the same for them." The two Males glanced back and nodded; Nebula though, refused to miss a beat, staring intently at the Camerupt as the trio surrounded him.


                : 400

                Apricorn X 1

                Chesto Berry X1

                Cheri Berry X1

                Pecha Berry X1

                Rose Incense X1

                Shalour City - Tower of Mastery

                Friends for Infinity
                RPT | Pairs

                "It's so calm."

                art by the amazing Infinite
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                  #95   Link to this post, but load the entire thread.  
                Old 4 Days Ago (11:38 AM).
                Evily's Avatar
                Evily Evily is offline
                Poke is Life! :3
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                  Status: Shalour City | Round 2 - Caius vs. Hinata!


                  As Caius stepped out on the platform with his Lucario, he felt the collective gaze of hundreds of people bear down on him at once. It wouldn’t have been so bad in the daytime, but at night, with no sunlight to distort his view of the audience, he could see each person in attendance with a crisp clarity. “Round 2, here we go…” He was psyching himself up.

                  The lights in the stadium burst to life as he planted his feet in his final position. Steven greeted him when he approached and shook his hand. “Caius Flynn, ladies and gentlemen!” Steven’s voice boomed across the venue with a roar, which riled up the crowd for the upcoming battle.

                  Once Caius reached his side of the platform, Hinata sighed and slowly walked up the stairs onto the platform, Foxy the Delphox clinging onto his arm. How he wished that Foxy wouldn't cling onto him in front of an audience, but that's how she is sadly.

                  Once he reached the opposite side of the platform from Caius, the lights over his side lit up, revealing his appearance and his chosen partner. "And his opponent, Hinata Haruka!" announced Steve, causing the crowd into an uproar once again.

                  "Let's have a good battle, Caius~" called Hinata, smirking over at his opponent. Foxy let go of his arm and walked over in front of her trainer, brushing her fur dress of any dirt. She glanced over to the other trainer's partner, a Lucario, before turning her head and sticking her nose in the air, not impressed with her opponent.

                  “Yup! Let’s make this battle one for the books!” Caius shouted back, scooting out of Luca’s way as the Lucario moseyed onto the battleground. Staring at the Delphox before him, Luca could’ve sworn he saw it lifting its nose, as if it was underestimating the Lucario. Were his eyes playing tricks on him? Apparently not, as the Delphox maintained the pose. Luca didn’t like that; he snarled at the well-groomed Delphox to let it know that he wasn’t going to play around in their fight.

                  Foxy looked back at the Lucario and smirked as he snarled at her, finding his expression amusing. "The battle between Caius Flynn and Hinata Haruka shall now begin." A moment of silence passed before, "START!"

                  In that instant, Caius took the honor of having the first attack. “Lucario, Bone Rush! Try to close the distance between you and that Delphox!” Luca heard the order loud and clear, and with batons in hand, he beelined straight for Foxy.

                  Hinata smirked, "Foxy, grab one of the batons using Psychic." Foxy copied her trainer's expression as her eyes and wand glowed a light blue, grabbing the right baton with a light blue aura, and moved her wand up, lifting up the wrapped baton. "Throw it!" Foxy cried out as she swung her wand towards the incoming Lucario, causing the baton to twirl before flying towards its original owner.

                  Luca’s advance was put to a grinding halt as Foxy’s Psychic snatched a baton out of his hands to use it against him. The stolen baton hovered momentarily in the air before honing in on Luca. Crap.

                  “Looks like Foxy’s not the only sly one here.”

                  He had to admit that it was a clever strategy on Hinata’s part, turning Luca’s move into his Foxy’s own counterattack like he did. Now Caius had to respond in kind, and he wasn’t going to let Hinata or Foxy off easy for making a fool out of Luca.

                  “Send the baton right back at her using Force Palm!” The remaining baton dispelled, Luca spread his legs apart before thrusting a fist forward to strike the floating baton. Crack. Pressurized air from Luca’s Force Palm met the surface of the baton. It split into two before the fragments zoomed in Foxy’s direction.

                  Hinata stared as the wrapped baton twirled towards the Lucario only to be broken in two by his Force Palm, sending the shattered pieces back to them. "Flamethrower!" Foxy opened her mouth and breathed out a huge breath of fire towards the broken pieces and the Lucario. The pieces were burned away by the high temperature of the flames as they advanced on their target. 'As long as we keep the fight long distance, we should be okay.' "Keep it going Foxy!"

                  Yikes. Here came the fireworks from Foxy. Caius looked on with worry as the blaze from the bipedal Pokemon moved in an arc, incinerating the projectiles which were encroaching on it. Now the blaze was headed for Luca.

                  “Intercept with Dragon Pulse!”

                  With Caius’ command, Luca immediately changed gears, going from an offensive stance to a defensive one. After shifting his feet to face the roaring inferno, he fired off a draconic beam of energy in its direction. Blue mixed with red, and in the aftermath, a mushroom cloud formed at the intersection of the blasts, eventually spreading throughout the entire stage. Caius couldn’t see a thing through it, but Luca could. Having the ability to sense his opponent through aura, Luca didn’t need his sight to get a grip on the situation. That was a great boon for him. Caius only hoped the momentary lapse in vision would give Luca the chance to catch Foxy unguarded.

                  Hinata covered his face as the explosion went off, covering the whole field. He hesitantly looked over to where Foxy is, before flinching at the dark look overtaking her features. She was covered in dust from the explosion, especially her fur coat. That just won't do. "Time to get serious! Hope your words from before aren't as empty as your ribbon case!" called Hinata as he smirked, a drop of sweat forming on his forehead from the look Foxy was giving her opponents. She looked read to burn them for dirtying her coat.

                  "Lucky Chant!" Foxy recites her spell before her wand glowed pink, disappearing a second after. "Mystical Fire!" Foxy harshly swirled her wand in a circular arc in front of her before opening her maw, letting loose a stream of red-orange flames burn through the remains of the mushroom cloud towards where the Lucario was last seen. Hinata smirked as he plans his next move, 'Just need to wait and then we can use that.'

                  Caius tried his best to keep a Poker face, but Hinata’s comment lit a fire in him. A previously blank expression contorted into a slight frown. He was going to make the guy eat his words.

                  “Luca, use Swords Dance!”

                  Luca charged up for his next attack, hiding in the shadows as Foxy’s new flames seared empty space. As the smokescreen from the explosion dissipated with time, the Lucario emerged from it in a sprint. “Bone Rush!” Pieces of earth amalgamated in Luca’s hands to form batons when Caius rattled off the command, and in the next moment… “Give them a taste of our Bone Rush Javelin!”

                  With Luca suddenly hitting the breaks, inertia lurched him forward and he chucked a baton at Foxy. It flitted through the air with blinding speed, aided by the natural phenomenon of momentum which physics afforded it.

                  “Psychic!” Foxy’s eyes and wand glowed light blue as she took hold of the flames that missed the Lucario and controlled them to block the incoming Bone Rush, making the flames glide around her as a protective barrier. As the flames twirled around her, they deflecte the incoming attack, preventing any damage on Foxy.

                  “Use Flamethrower while keeping up the Psychic!” Foxy opened her mail and let loose a barrage of flames towards the Lucario while keeping the controlled stream of flames around her. ‘Let’s see how this goes...’

                  Once Luca’s baton came into contact with Foxy’s shield of flame, it seemed to lose all of its “oomph” as it crumpled into ash. Flamethrower followed up the Delphox’s Psychic, and Luca could barely react to it. As a split second decision, Luca rolled into the ground to avoid the attack.

                  “Luca, let’s do another Swords Dance!” Caius was determined to settle things in the next moves.

                  Now the red aura which surrounded Luca from before took on a deeper scarlet, indicating a drastic boost in Luca’s attack power. Like an agitated bull, the Lucario began to rush headfirst towards Foxy. This time, nothing was going to get in the way -- not even the colorful embers which danced around his opponent.

                  'A frontal attack...' "Foxy, relese the flames in their direction!" Foxy smirked as she twirled her wand before pointing at the incoming Lucario, using her Psychic to guide it towards him and released her hold, allowing it to soar towards its target.

                  "Shadow Ball!" The tip of Foxy's wand glowed as multiple dark and purple orbs of energy formed while she swing her wand, creating about four. "Throw them in the flames using Psychic!" Foxy did just that and swung her wand towards the stream of flames as her eyes and wand glowed light blue, directing the glowing shadow balls into the flames, causing them to disappear or camoflauge into the searing flames.

                  The spheres of shadowy goo interspersing with Foxy’s Mystical Fire was a spectacle for the eyes, and Caius couldn’t help but be impressed by it. If this weren’t a battle, Caius would’ve thought Hinata was making a contest appeal. Certainly he knew now that Hinata was a coordinator who was worth his salt. He’d heard from Mina that, for some reason, Hinata quit participating in contests. He’d have to get him back into it again somehow.

                  Though he let himself get carried away with watching the color show Hinata put on, Caius quickly shifted his attention back to the battle. It wouldn’t have sit well with him if he allowed Hinata to just show him up like that. “Time for our own appeal, Luca! Kick things off with Bone Rush!”

                  For the third time in their match, a new set of batons had appeared in Luca’s hands. There was one change, however -- the Lucario had now gripped them in reverse, having their entire lengths extend behind him rather than in front.

                  Then he shifted his weight to one side, causing him to -- slowly but surely -- rotate.

                  Whoosh. As the tip of his batons touched Foxy’s shadow-imbued flames, they started to converge around him. Fire and shadow encircled him in an arc, and soon, a tornado combining Foxy’s Shadow Ball and Mystical Flame was whipped up with Luca as its center. Its destination? The poor Delphox and her trainer.

                  "So that's you plan, eh?" smirked Hinata as he watched the mythical tornado close in on Foxy. 'Not bad for a beginner, but not good enough.' Hinata lifted his hand and swiped it towards the incoming tornado.

                  "Alright Foxy, clutch the tornado with Psychic!" Foxy smirked as she lifted her wand, her eyes and wand glowing, and pointed at the incoming tornado, causing her target to also glow and stop in its tracks.

                  "Keep rotating it and close it in on the Lucario!" The Fox Pokemon twirled her wand in a circular motion, causing the tornado to turn in the direction her wand was turning and as she turned it, she made the circle smaller and smaller, the tornado copying her actions, until she swiped her wand sideways. The tornado closed in on its original origin and, due to its psychic hold, fell to the side and disturbed the balance, causing an explosion to overtake the platform.

                  As the smoke cleared from the explosion, a Lucario could be seen trying to prop himself up. To no avail, however, as he simply fell backwards in his attempt to do so, indicating that he had fainted.

                  After checking up on the Lucario to see if it was down for the count, Steven declared Hinata Haruka to be the victor of the match.

                  Caius took out a Poke ball and scooped Luca back into it with a click. He was disappointed with the outcome for sure, but it gave him some things to think about. The loss was a learning experience, and he hoped to learn and grow from it.

                  Walking towards Hinata, he extend a hand and offered his sincere congratulations. “Looks like you’re the executioner for this match, Hinata. You and Foxy were a force to be reckoned with.”

                  "I'd say the same, Caius. Those were some good more you showed." Hinata smiled as she grabbed Caius's extended hand and shook it, but them smirked. "I hope to see your ribbon case not as empty as today next time mister.~"

                  Foxy walked over to her trainer's side, grooming herself trying to get all the dirt off her fur coat while glaring at Caius. Her master may be on good terms with him, but anyone who dirtied her dress was on her sh*t list, excluding Pidge, Rima, her pokemon, Mina, and her team. Hinata flinched a bit, sensing Foxy's rage as she clinged onto his other arm, brought out a brush from nowhere and handed it to her, causing her rage to subside as she grabbed it hastily and brushed her fur.

                  “Uh-oh. Looks like someone’s not happy with me.” Caius let out a laugh as Foxy’s glare locked in on him. “I’ll be sure to make it up to you at a later time.”

                  Having nothing else to say, he bid Hinata and his Foxy a brief farewell, waving his hands in the air as he strolled out.

                  His chance of winning the tournament may have been snuffed out by his opponent, but he didn’t feel like the experience was a waste.

                  I guess it's back to the drawing board, he thought, contemplating on his next actions. The curtains had fallen on him this time, but his journey as a coordinator and trainer was far from over.

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                  Old 4 Days Ago (8:02 PM). Edited 4 Days Ago by Magnificent Magilou.
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                  Magnificent Magilou Magnificent Magilou is offline
                  Perfalmost Victory!
                  Join Date: Nov 2010
                  Age: 33
                  Gender: Female
                  Nature: Naughty
                  Posts: 719
                  Avril Morris
                  Sebastian Allender
                  Victoria Levigne &
                  Emma Kuzunoha
                  Shalour City
                  Chapter 19-4 | Double Date

                  Current Party:

                  "Y'know, there's a festival going on out there, too. It would be a shame if we didn't learn the newest deep-fried-on-a-stick-fad." There's a playful gleam in Victoria's eyes, one that seems to intensify when she takes note of her old pal, Princey, looking awfully flustered as he speaks to Detective-chan. "...What do we have over there?" She asks, then tosses her head towards the duo. Her hands are occupied holding onto Avril's, making it impossible to point.

                  "Uhhh... I dunno? What do we have here?" Emma asked, seemingly perplexed.

                  Avril glanced over in Emma and Sebastian's direction. A small smile formed on her lips as she quickly began to catch on to where Victoria was leading. "Isn't it obvious...? I mean, you are a detective right? I don't think you need any clues to piece this one together, Emma."

                  "If there were a million of me, and one of them knew what you two were going on about, I'd know. Trust me," Emma replied with a sigh. "What's up?"

                  Dark blue eyes narrow into a playful smirk as they flicker between Avril and the oblivious duo. “Well, there’s some time before your next match, right, Detective-chan~? You two wanna paint the town red with us?” It’s no fun just to flat out tell them, rather...shove them in a direction where they’re forced to figure it out for themselves, and then watch the magic happen.

                  “Aren’t you concerned we’d be...cramping your style?” Sebastian asks. The way Victoria’s holding onto Avril’s hands, their… town painting is clearly romantic, right?

                  “Oh, honey.” Victoria throws her head back such that her bangs flip. “You could never cramp my style.”

                  "Yeah, I still don't get what you mean," Emma replied with a shrug follow up. "But if you're saying you wanna hang out, sure, I'm free."

                  Avril's face seemed to light up at Emma's agreement to Victoria's suggestion. "Good call! This is gonna be a lot of fun. I've never gotten to go to a festival like this before, so I'm kinda curious to see what all there is to do!"

                  Aren’t these two supposed to be super smart? Did their booksmarts eat into their common sense? Ah, well, more fun for the ones in the know. Victoria’s attention falls back to the object of her affection. “Never, huh? Then we gotta make the most of it. Give me one minute.” Victoria releases Avril’s hand and darts up the steps towards the audience.

                  “...Should we be concerned?” Sebastian asks. It would seem Victoria’s turned over a new leaf since they first met in Lumiose City, and yet…

                  There’s no time to complete his thought, the Sinnoan trainer rushing back down with her Skitty and Glameow in her arms, some sort of access card around her neck. “Sasha’s husband to be’s in one of the bands, so she’s got a VIP pass. Since she’s gonna hang here, we’re gonna borrow it.” Sebastian and Victoria exchange glances, the latter rolling her eyes. “I asked, promise. C’mon, we’re burning moonlight!”

                  The Plusle and Minun twins cheered, as they both hoppoed off Emma's bag to perch on each of her shoulders. Drago growled cutely and briefly spit a small amount of fire in the air. In their own way, they were excited as well. Emma shugged once more, giving them a smile. "Maybe they'll have really nice desserts there..."

                  "Well if everyone else is gonna let their Pokémon have some fun, I guess I shouldn't be the only one leaving mine out," Avril decided. The girl took several balls off of her wrist and quickly released Shino, Lulu, Radar, and Marble out into the open. She then turned to Sebastian and smiled. "What about you? Don't you wanna let your little ones have some fun too?"

                  “They’ll be quite jealous if I don’t.” Sebastian says, only distracted by Shino’s new form for a brief second. He reaches into his bag and calls out Selkie, Hakkai, Ukyou, Fay’lene, Takumi and Loki-- who’s cast an illusion to make himself appear to be a Bagon.Selkie lets out a happy cry in greeting, before she takes notice of the large frog, whom she stares up at with a slightly agape mouth.


                  Shino glanced down at Selkie, the Greninja doing his best to try and keep his composure in her presence. For one brief moment, Avril could have sworn that she saw a small tinge of red grace the blue Pokémon's cheeks. Shino seemed to be doing his best to keep that hidden however, the frog turning away from Sebastian's Braixen with a small nod of greeting in her direction.

                  “Brai brai!” Selkie cries excitedly as she runs in a half circle around Shino, in order to look him in the eyes. He’s so tall now! And looks so strong! The fire fox begins hopping excitedly. How cool is this? How cool is he?

                  “Kinda crowded in here. I’ll free the others when we’re out.” Victoria sets Marie down so she can greet the others, and re-captures Avril’s hand.

                  Avril clearly didn't have long to think about such things, however. The moment Victoria retook her grasp on her hand, she felt her own cheeks start to heat up. It wasn't that she was bashful or anything of the sort in regard to this. It was just... holding her hand in the middle of the arena like this with everyone watching...

                  "Y-Yeah, let's get going then!" Avril quickly chimed in, hastily leading Victoria towards the exit.

                  "Oh, let me send out some of mine too..." said Emma, gathering up her pokeballs, and releasing each of them. Vida appeared, surrounding herself with blizzards of pedals that enhanced her entrance upon appearing, completing her arrival with a bow. Kagura appeared as well, with her arms crossed and as quiet and uninterested as ever. "By the way guys," Emma started again, glimpsing both of her shoulders. "These two are Alm, the Minun, and Celica, the Plusle." The two electric pokemon waved, with a happy cry of each.

                  "A pleasure to meet you both." Sebastian nods in greeting to the adorable duo. "This is Fay'lene." He gestures to the Rockruff circling Vida, her tail swishing excitedly. Her entrance was beautiful! Look at the rose petals! "And Takumi." He gestures to the Rowlet that gracefully lands on his shoulder. "And..." The redheaded trainer looks down in confusion at the sight of two Bagons. "...Loki."

                  The would-be-Bagon snickers playfully before leaping into the air, doing a backflip as the illusion fades. Upon landing, he's a Zorua once more.

                  "What should we do first?" Victoria asks as they exit the arena. There's plenty of games to play, foods to try, music to dance to, and with Sasha's ticket, they can push themselves to the front of the lines. Suck it, people not-related-to-people-dating-musicians.

                  "Well... I wouldn't mind a bite to eat," Avril mused. "Between this tournament, the match against Korrina, and um... some stuff earlier, I haven't really had time to even think about being hungry."

                  As if on cue, the girl's stomach suddenly let out a somewhat loud grumbling sound. Avril's cheeks flushed a deep shade of crimson as she looked away into Shino's direction. The Greninja's eyes widened as he quickly realized that Avril was attempting to frame him for the rather loud hunger pain and he quickly did his best to try and protest it.

                  "Ooh, I wonder if they have some anmitsu..." Emma dreamed. Meanwhile, the electric twins made their way over to Vida, as they both joined and held Vida's hands -- that is pedals -- and twirled around together. Drago in the meanwhile, glanced over at Mint's direct, only to quickly turn away, somewhat embarrassed. He seemed to have... blushed? Not that Kagura cared, as she simply leaned against a nearby post, to quietly gaze at the scenery.

                  “I saw at least twelve different food carts while they were setting up earlier. One of ‘em’s probably got...that. What are you in the mood for, Avi?” Victoria asks as she absent-mindedly swings their hands together.

                  “In Kalos? I’m not so sure.” Sebastian thinks aloud. He looks over his shoulder to make sure Selkie is following along; she is, albeit slowly, to stay with the shy frog. Ukyou is floating above them, seemingly chatting happily with Lulu. Hakkai is walking calmly by his trainer’s side-- until he catches sight of his fellow fighting type gazing at the scenery. He quickly turns tail from the humans in order to see what she’s looking at.

                  "I dunno... Honestly, it all smells so good I could probably eat a little bit of everything," Avril replied, laughing even though she was probably sure she could at this point. She closed her eyes for a moment, taking in the various scents wafting through the air. "I feel like... eating something fishy. Like, from the sea, you know? I never got to have any back in Cyllage or Ambrette, so I definitely wanna have some here."

                  Radar, who had been perched quietly on Avril's shoulder, suddenly perked up at the sound of this suggestion. He really hadn't seen why she bothered calling him out into such a crowded, busy place, but the sound of some fresh food from the sea is more than enough to fix that. The tiny Noibat gave his sign of approval by suddenly flapping about and around his trainer with excitement.

                  At the mention of fish, both Marie and Star glance up to look at Avril, and with excited mews of delight, weave around Victoria’s legs in order to walk beside the younger blonde. Their antics make Victoria laugh softly. “Looks like you’re speaking some-kitties’ language."

                  "Hah, yeah, Avril's metabolisum puts a Snorlax to shame," Emma giggled. "I'd love to play some games too. I can play a mean game o Wack-a-Diglett, you know..."

                  "It's ah... n-not that big you know," Avril quickly spat out, looking over towards Victoria as she stammered. "R-Really, I'm just a bit hungry, that's all. It's not all I think about or anything, I swear..."

                  “Well, duh. We spent a whole day together back in Ambrette, and I had to practically force you to get a smoothie with me.” Victoria winks at Avril. It’s cute that she’s getting so flustered. “People eat, y’know? It’s sorta important.”

                  “Do food carts sell fish related foods?” Sebastian asks, hands sliding into the pockets of his yukata as he turns his head to see the games they’re passing. He motions towards the whack-a-Diglett game with his head. “You mean that one, Emma?”

                  "Ohoho, yes!" Emma beammed. "I love that game soooo much.... but ahem, as a Detective, I can't advise doing this actual practice in a real situation as it is outlawed by multiple regions. Keep it in the games."

                  "...You don't say," Avril replied, raising an eyebrow at Emma's curious behavior. She smiled a moment in Victoria's direction, excusing herself for just a moment before scooting closer to her best friend and starting to whisper. "Why are you trying to act all uptight and serious? This is a festival, you know..."

                  "I'm not. It's just your imagination," Emma replied with a proud, firm posture. "Alright, are we all ready?"

                  "Yeah, yeah... Whatever you say, detective..." Avril sighed, before rejoining her place beside Victoria.

                  Sebastian raises his hand to his mouth, chuckling softly into his knuckle. “Don’t go after living creatures with an oversized, plastic hammer. Our lesson for the day.” He flashes a weak smile as his hand lowers back into his pocket. “Ready.”

                  Her hand free, Victoria takes the pokeballs from her belt, calling out Roman, Reina, Cleo and Lucian, to join the horde of free-roaming Pokemon following along. “Ready!”

                  Plusle, Minun, and Vida all cried in cheer, as Drago also barked. Kagura was still silent. "Looks like we're all set too!" Emma continued. "Let's go!"


                  "GRRRRRR!" The sounds of a thud intensified. That was the sound of Emma's frustration, as she slammed the booth's opening she was standing on with both of her hands. She was playing a game where she had to throw a ball into the set targets. She figured, since she throws pokeballs all the time this would be easy, but... no... no. She just sucked. At throwing things. "Okay, one more time... I'll finish this in one strike!" she stated. Vida released a few pink pedals in the air, as Alm and Celica, the twins both cheered her on by dancing while releasing small sparks of electricity, all three cheering her on. Emma was good at calculating things, she bet, so by caluclating the distance of the space between her and th targets, as well as the power needed, she should have her target ready.

                  Fire was in her eyes.
                  It was all or nothing.
                  She took aim carefully.
                  It was time for her special move.

                  And she didn't even throw the ball far enough. It dropped almost instantly.
                  Another failure.

                  Drago laughed so much he pratically cried. He at least, was having a field day. That was until Emma with her acute anger and frustration made her throwing hand into a fist, and knocked Drago upside his head. Fainted. Sure enough... one strike.

                  A quiet snicker of amusement at the poor Bagon’s expense echoes from Sebastian’s left shoulder, as Loki peers out from his trainer’s hair to look at the collapsed dragon. Fay’lene, on the other hand, trots over to the collapsed dragon to poke him with her paw. He’s...yes, he is down.

                  “Y-you...have quite the punch, miss Emma.” Sebastian smiles, if not a bit nervously, as he rubs the back of his neck. That being said, she should easily be able to knock the bottles down-- if she could get the ball close enough to them. Keeping a bit of a distance (not wanting to risk that Sailor-punch coming his way), he speaks up once more. “I might be holding your arm too high?”

                  "My... arm?" Emma replied, still a little bit frustrated and peeved, but compsoed enough to at least... talk. "How do you mean?"

                  “If you hold something too far up.” Sebastian takes one of the other balls laid out for Emma to-- attempt to throw, and holds it at an upward angle over his head. “And you have to lower it to hit the target.” He makes a downward throwing motion in order to be lined up with the bottles. “--Gravity will bring the ball down long before it meets its target.” His fingers release the ball, which falls pathetically to his feet.

                  As the redheaded trainer bends down to collect the ball, he feels a gentle tug of his hair from his right side. He looks to his shoulder to see Takumi has a beak-full of red hair, which he continues to tug on as Sebastian stands up. “Hm?”

                  “Hoo!” Takumi flutters off Sebastian’s shoulder and flies towards Emma. His eyes intently gaze at hers as he attempts to demonstrate a proper throwing technique with his wings, and a little leaf.

                  "I-I see," Emma observed, slightly flustered. BUt then she blushed slightly. "It's... kinda tough..."

                  “Agreed. Especially when games like this tend to be rigged.” Sebastian’s words earn him a stern stare from the man in charge of the booth. Sebastian meets his gaze for a brief second before turning back to Emma, who’s begun to blush-- which near instantly causes his own face to feel warmer. “I could...give you an example, if you’d like…?”

                  "Can you?" Emma asked excitingly, and pleadingly. "Please do!"

                  “Of course.” With that pleading tone, how can he not? Now-- just don’t make an absolute fool of yourself. Takumi lets out a small hoot of delight as he rests himself on Emma’s shoulder to watch. Sebastian steps back and grips the ball he had used as his example lightly in his hand. His eyes narrow on the dead center of the three bottles as he eases his arm into position (more like a shuriken-throwing stance rather than a simple ball tossing stance). A swift toss, the ball forcefully hitting between the two bottom bottles, sending all three tumbling down.

                  Emma beamed with pride and excitefulness. "You did it!" she cheered, as her three pokemon cried in glee. "That was amazing, Sebby!"

                  Fay’lene makes her way over to Emma’s Pokemon to join in the cheer as Takumi claps his tiny wings together. Sebastian can’t help but smile at Emma’s expression-- it’s been months since their group was able to have fun for the sake of fun. “Why thank you.”

                  “Not bad, guy.” The vendor mumbles, then gestures to a revolving container of little trinkets. “You wanna pick a prize, or go for three in a row and get somethin’ bigger?”

                  “Oh, I…what would you like, Emma?”

                  "Hmm... oh! This one!" Emma pointed to a fairly large Lapras plushie, that loomed overhead. She was able to recieve it after the vendor reached on over, and plucked it from the revolving container. Emma grabbed it with both her hands. "Thanks Sebby. I appriciate it," she thanked with a sweet smile. "It's Lapras! It reminds me of the one we saved."

                  “You are more than welcome.” Sebastian smiles affectionately at the detective. Her smile is infectious, and she looks...rather adorable holding the large plush. He almost wishes he had a camera; a group photo of this rare, fun occasion would do well to chase away the darkness that’s followed them since the forest...and will likely surface again. “It suits you well.” The plush, and the actual Pokemon. Not many could calm a Pokemon who had been through such an ordeal as quickly as Emma had-- and speaking of that day.

                  “Oh...I have something I’d like to show you.” He speaks quietly,taking a step closer to Emma as he activates his Holocaster.

                  "What is it?" Emma solumly asked, as she too, inched closer.

                  “Before we went through Reflection Cave, I sent Kira to my mother’s lab on Cinnabar Island, so he could stay close to the water.” Sebastian presses a button to pull up a picture of a young child, roughly nine year old, with short black hair and Sebastian’s purple eyes. The boy is grinning from ear to ear, holding the baby Mareanie in his arms. “...This is my brother, Shia.” Sebastian smiles fondly at the image before pulling up another one: A group of people standing by the shore, in the center is a woman wearing a lab coat, she too has Sebastian’s natural hair and eye color. The woman is holding Kira, who is wearing a small, golden medal around his neck.

                  “There was a sudden outbreak of a virus off the coast of the Sevii islands. My mother was able to create a vaccine...using a toxin found in a Mareanie’s spikes. Kira’s a hero.”

                  Emma became suprised... but in a good way. Her face in shock turned into a genuine feeling of happiness and relief. "I see..." she responded softly, with a sweet smile. Maybe there was a hint.. of tears? Tears of joy? "Hehe... so she became a hero... Sebastian, this is all because of you. I... I can't thank you enough."

                  Is Emma...crying? She's smiling, yet there's an unmistakable shimmer around her eyes. Sebastian finds himself torn between stepping back, and stepping closer-- though taking a small step closer wins out in the end. "Hardly. You're the one that kept her safe while she was an egg...and I've got a feeling she learned a great deal about how to be a hero during her time with you." Studies have shown that Pokemon are at least somewhat aware of their surroundings during their time as an egg, and Sebastian doubts Kira would have been as excited as she was to be a part of his mother's project without a strong desire to do good.

                  "Ehe... you think so?" Emma said, with a blush. "Still, you did your part too. I guess in a way, we're like... parents?"

                  Sebastian can't stop the soft chuckle that comes from his mouth. He never thought about it this way but... He looks down towards their shoes, a flustered look mixed with his contented smile. "I suppose we are."

                  Emma giggled. She sighed and breathed in the tranquil air that surrounded her. After a while, she looked sidelong, a more curious face. "I've been wondering," Emma started, as she turned to face him again. "Why did you choose to be a trainer?"

                  "I..." What a loaded question. Sebastian brushes his fingers through his hair as he turns back to face Emma. "I wanted to prove to my parents...and to myself, to a degree...that I could be worth something." That must sound so silly to someone as capable as the brilliant detective. "I was so frail as a child...they were terrified to let me do much of anything, and I...I didn't want to be made of glass any longer."

                  "I see," Emma replied. "That's actually normal though; a lot of kids experience the same thing and wanna branch out." She gave a sincere smile, then look back at the horizon, and at the night sky. "For me... I think at first, I just wanted to get away from it all." She sighed, and leaned up against the game's booth at it's side.

                  "When I was a kid, it was always the same thing... everyone reffered me as daddy's little girl, or Sakura's daughter] or even just, the boss's granddaughter. I kinda hated it, so I was secretly wishing to go on a journey to find people who can know the real me, you know? But then, my parent's both died, and I can't tell you how horrible it was, just lying there day after day... grandpa and the mafia volenteered to take me in to be officially be part of the family gang, but I refused... My parent's never wanted that life style for me after all. I myself, wanted to become a detective so I can hope to find my parent's killer and to do my part to fight crime."

                  Sebastian's eyes widened as Emma tells her story. "I...had no idea." He knew Emma’s parents passed away, such things get passed around the hallways of a school with relative frequency. He knew nothing of her lineage. The mafia…? He knew Emma’s parents passed away, such things get passed around the hallways of a school with relative frequency. He knew nothing of her lineage. The mafia…? It would have been so easy for her to give into that despair and join the only family she had left-- but she’s Emma, her will is the strongest he’s ever seen.

                  "You will. I know you will." She'll find her parent's killer, she'll bring them to justice...because she's Emma. "And ever need a...shoulder to lean on, I'll be there." How silly is that? Her iron will leaning on his glass bones. Even still, the quest she's taken on will be a draining one. Perhaps there will come a time when even she needs to rest from the pressure she's placed on herself.

                  "Sebby..." said Emma, gazing quietly upon Sebastian. His cool confidence and daemenor... Emma admired that, especially during these tough times. At one hand, she did feel guilty that her friends were involved in all this mess, but on another hand, it was her friends that gave her strength. Especially Sebastian. "Listen, I..." her next speech was interuppted by a sudden ring on her Holocaster. Answering it, it seemed to be an alert. "Oh, it.. it looks like the next match is about to start. I better go prepare..."

                  "Ah, that's right..." Sebastian keeps his calm smile. It's a shame this pleasant evening could only be short lived, though...perhaps that's for the best: Part ways before he says something so incredibly foolish that Emma regrets spending this time with him. "I should go collect Selkie and Ukyou, and then we'll be there to cheer you on." Sebastian steps back, offering his dear friend a respectful bow. "Good luck, miss Emma. Drago." Takumi, Loki and Fay'lene offer small cries of encouragement, and Hakkai, trying so hard to look as cool and confident as his fellow fighting type, offers a little nod of acknowledgement.

                  "Wow, this tastes even better than I thought it was going to!" Avril exclaimed, smiling happily as she nibbled into her plate of fish and rice. "And you managed to get a discount too? I didn't even know there were coupons for a place like this... Especially during a festval!"

                  "If you flash your tickets at the right people, you can get anything you want." Victoria hums happily as she breaks her fish apart in order to feed a piece to each of her Pokemon. "Aaand it doesn't hurt if your date looks so darn cute~"

                  Avril almost choked a bit at Victoria's comment. The girl had been flirty with her before, this much wasn't new. That said, she had never been... quite so open about it. Thankfully, the shorter of the two managed to keep her composure... at least so it wasn't so awkward and obvious for everyone else who happened to be around them.

                  "Ah... Um... well, you know... I... I could say the same about you," Avril responded, mentally berating herself as soon as the words left her mouth. "Was that really the best you could come up with to tell her? Come on, Avril... At least say it without stuttering like an idiot..."

                  She glanced over at her Pokémon for some sort of clue on how to respond. Radar was completely oblivious. The Noibat was far too busy enjoying his meal to notice. The same could be said about Marble, who was more or less seated in Avril's lap. Shino seemed to be having his own troubles as well. For some reason, Selkie had decided to follow them as opposed to remaining with Sebastian. Ever since she had reunited with the newly evolved Greninja, it was like the fox Pokémon had become infatuated with him... It was kind of cute... and more than a bit awkward. Mint, who had been healed rather promptly at the Pokémon Center following the parting with Sebastian and Emma, had been making herself rather close to Shino as well. Every now and again, the Jigglypuff kept giving Selkie a rather nasty glare, before trying to recapture all of Shino's attention for herself.

                  “You could.” Victoria winks. What did she say to get Avril so jumpy this time? The date comment? They went on a date for her birthday, this isn’t new. Ah, well, it just adds to her cuteness. Still...better change the subject before her demure young lady explodes. “So...tell me what you’ve been up to since the last time I saw you.” It’s been awhile, they parted ways in Cyllage. There’s been routes and caves and crazed mobs to fight off since then. Dark blue eyes follow Avril's to look at the flock of Pokemon they collected: Somehow they managed to break away from the detective and the prince of pretty boys with his Braixen and his Froslass. Man, he must really trust Avril if he lets his Pokemon stay around her while she's around.

                  They look cute: That Froslass is floating around above them with Lulu, and his Braixen is sitting beside Greninja. Mint's given Selkie more than a few cold glares, though it doesn't seem like the Braixen cares-- or maybe she doesn't notice. The fox is chatting away with Shino as her tail swishes from side to side. After the day they've had: Fighting in the Tower of Mastery and the Gym battle, it's nice to sit back and relax, the breeze in her ears, a dear friend at her side.

                  "Well... after we left Cyllage we made our way to Geosenge," Avril began. She took the time to recall her encounter with the strange, former member of Team Flare, as well as her recruitment of Mint into the ranks of her team. She sort of glossed over the following route and cave that led towards Shalour. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened there and even if it did, her mind was otherwise occupited with the thoughts of the challenge that awaited her as she arrived into Shalour City proper. "...We went to the Tower of Mastery after arriving into town. We had an... appointment of sorts to keep. My father was waiting there to battle us."

                  As Avril spoke of the incident at the tower, her team seemed to fall rather silent. Radar and Marble both paused in the devouring of their meals, with the latter nuzzling up against her trainer. Shino's eyes suddenly were cast downward towards the ground and a concerned look quickly overtook Mint's face as she looked at her froggy companion. Even Lulu, who had been busy giggling and frolicing with Sebastian's Froslass, seemed to quiet down for a moment.

                  "It was... pretty rough, I'm not gonna lie," Avril continued. "He... really did a number on us and it took my whole team just to take down his Aggron. Even then, it ended in a tie."

                  “Well, yeah, he’s a dad. He’s probably had that Aggron for what...twenty years? It’s probably level one-thousand or something.” Victoria attempts to make light of the situation that had everyone in Avril’s party suddenly have some kind of team-traumatic-flashback. “And if it was at the ToM, it was a Mega, right? I think it’s hella impressive that you guys pummeled him into a tie.”

                  Even Sebastian’s Pokemon seem to notice the tonal change. Braixen reaches up to give her old pal a reassuring arm rub, while Ukyou pulls Lulu into one of her infamous, chilly hugs. Even Marie abandons her fish-snack in order to trot over to Mint, her head tilted curiously as she lets out a curious meow to ask if she’s okay.

                  "Yeah, I guess so..." Avril replies, absent mindly poking at her fish for a bit. "I guess it was just a wake-up call? I mean, I know that whole saying that there's always someone stronger... still, it's a bit shocking. Mega evolution is such a powerful thing... I wonder if I'll be able to do it some day..."

                  Avril paused and took a look around at their little group. She suddenly noticed that the atmosphere was suddenly getting a bit heavy, which again was not something she had meant to bring on to their date. Shoving the events at the tower to the back of her head, Avril smiled brightly at Victoria. Clearly, a change in subject was needed.

                  "What have you been up to, though?" Avril questioned. "I mean, you've been watching the tourney and stuff for a while, right? I bet you saw a lot of interesting battles!"

                  "Weeeeell mostly I was only really paying attention to yours. And the one's Sasha insisted I pay attention to, like this guy who had this huge Pokeball shaped afro. Personally I wanted to march myself onto the stage and shave it off, but she thought it was fantastic." Victoria rolls her eyes. "Sash is a weird Ducklett. Oh, and your other pretty boy friend, Laurent? He's got a Venusaur now. He was battling that scowly guy I met at the Cyllage gym. Think he's one of your guy's too?"

                  "Scowly guy...?" Avril mused. Her eyes suddenly lit up. "Oh, you must mean Jackson! Yeah, I guess that would make sense for him to be there too. But wow, I can't believe that Bernard evolved too! Good for him!"

                  Thinking back, Avril realized that she probably missed a few good battles during this tournament. It probably would have provided some good insight to see how the others were progressing in their journey. Still, there were more important things at hand to deal with. If she would have stayed, then she wouldn't have gotten to meet Korrina and get the Rumble Badge. There was also the fact that she was here with Victoria...

                  "Oh, speaking of the tournament... I missed Robin's battle," Avril realized. "I don't even remember who she was supposed to be battling against, but I'm sure it doesn't matter. She's a pretty tough trainer, you know? I bet she wiped the floor with them!"

                  Every word out of Avril's mouth reminds the taller blonde why she's taken such a liking to her: She's a breath of fresh air, such kindness and positivity towards her friends and her sister...speaking of... "A...bout that." She wasn't going to bring up Robin's match, since they were trying to lift the mood up from the talk about her dad. "She...lost. It was a good match though! Sasha's really impressed with her." Yes, there, that's a good subject change. "Did you know Robin helped her on a ranger mission? They saved a kid."

                  "Well, darn.... I'm sure it was just a fluke or something. I mean, she's been a trainer now for like five years," Avril reasoned. It was mildly disappointing to hear her sister lost though. Avril made a mental note to check up on Robin after this little date. "The ranger thing is news to me, though. I wonder why Sasha didn't bring that up..."

                  There would be time to talk about that later. Right now however, there was more important things to worry about. That namely being the girl beside her. Avril looked over at Victoria, the girl busy finishing off the last bite of her fish. She was so nervous to actually say what she needed to. After all, they had been on a few dates, but... It had never been actually spoken. There were three words that Avril had been wanting to say for a bit now, but... she had never managed to work up the nerve to.

                  Shino watched curiously as his trainer seemed to fidget somewhat, as if she was hesitating about something very important. He was curious about what the girl could be thinking about, but the question was quickly answered by a nudge from both Mint and Selkie. The two Pokémon gave Shino a somewhat demanding look, before both began to practically drag the frog away from where he was sitting. Ukyou floated off after the trio as well. Radar seemed oblivious to the situation. The Noibat was busy still chomping away at the fish in front of him. Thankfully for once, Avril was pleased with Lulu being up to her usual antics. The Shuppet suddenly popped out in front of Radar, making a loud wailing noise that caused the Noibat to screech in surprise. Lulu giggled at the look on Radar's face before she began to float away, the annoyed bat Pokémon right on her tail.

                  "Um... I um..." Avril began. The girl felt her heart beating quickly as she began to ramble. "There's um... s-something that I wanted to tell you for a bit now. I mean... It's a bit c-corny, and I know you m-may not feel the same way, but... if you don't, it's cool. We can just pretend that this never happened and just... What I mean is..."

                  Oh boy. What's going on now? Why are all of Avril's Pokemon leaving? Are they under attack? Her own Pokemon don't seem to notice-- except Marie, who just ran off after Mint, although that's probably because she's shaped like a ball and the kitten Pokemon has been desperate to play with her since she popped out of her Pokeball against Sasha's Rockruff. Ths others have settled down: Star curled up in her lap, Lucian curiously sniffing around the tables, Reina lying on the ground with her head resting against Roman as he sits by her side, both looking at the human duo odd amount of interest, as if they're expecting something. That's...strange. "Anyway..." She looks away from her cats, her attention back to Avril. "What's up?"

                  Why did this suddenly have to become so much harder? Avril figured that this would be easier without all those Pokemon watching them. Avril took a deep breath and tried to resume once more.

                  "When we met... it was during a pretty rough time for me," she said. "I had just left Lumiose where Shino got hurt... really bad, like I almost lost him. Emma and I were having a really bad fight and... I was probably at my lowest in terms faith in myself. Honestly, I was thinking about just giving up and calling it quits..."

                  "I remember. I mean, I didn't know about any of that, you just...had this look in your eyes that said you were going through a bad time." She didn't have that spark in her eyes that she has now, and if memory serves she was more than a little snapish. When she looks back on that day, it's somewhat blurry: She was looking for a fight to lift her spirits as she had done dozens of times before, she had no idea that the person she decided to mess with would be someone she would ever see again, much less someone who's become special.

                  ...And that's's probably time to come clean about a few things.

                  "I wasn't having a great day either-- nothing like what you went through, I mean, if I came close to losing Roman I'd probably go on some kind of revenge-spree." Is she stalling for time? Yes. "But you took all that garbage that happened to you and made yourself stronger, like a champ." Okay, V, get to the point. "I was just...peeved because I tried to steal a Meowstic from an old lady and Sebastian caught me, and took her back."

                  Avril closed her eyes, taking in everything that Victoria was saying. She figured that there was some part of her that should have been angry with what the girl had told her. Yet at the same time, Avril couldn't even bring herself to be disappointed. She knew that if Victoria had wanted to, she could have easily ditched Sebastian and just kept that Meowstic, but... she didn't.

                  Avril smiled, taking Victoria's hand gently. "Victoria... If I hadn't met you that day, I don't know where I'd be. You kept me going... helped me build my confidence more... You even helped change my style so I could feel more... assertive and strong. I guess what I'm trying to say is... I think... No, I'm pretty sure..." She paused for a moment, biting her lip. She could feel her face heating up, her heart rate quickening even more. "...I love you."

                  Wait-- what? Uh, no, that’s not how this is supposed to go. When you admit to people that you stole from a sweet old lady they’re supposed to be mad, or at least disappointed and want to know why you stole a Meowstic from the sweet old lady (and ask if the one you have now is the same one-- it isn’t, but-- and where did Cleo go? Did she follow the horde that suddenly got up and peaced out? Right, back on subject!) Victoria’s confused face shifts from Avril to Star as the Glameow hops off her trainer’s lap. Guess she got the memo to make herself scarce a little bit late.

                  Eyes falling back to Avril, confusion turns to a small smile. Even knowing she’s a pretty crappy person, Avril still wants to use the L word-- and suddenly the fact that there’s a table between them is very obvious, and very annoying. Victoria stands up, still holding onto Avril’s hand, and makes her way around. She lightly tugs on the blonde’s arm to get her to stand, and then pulls her into a tight, loving embrace.
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                  Old 4 Days Ago (8:20 PM). Edited 4 Days Ago by LinearAxel.
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                  LinearAxel LinearAxel is offline
                  That Dream...Make it Come True!
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                  Instability Part 2

                  - Featuring Sebastian Allender and Chris Rodriguez -

                  Shalour City

                  Chris was beaming as he lay on the sandy shoreline with his toes in the water, staring up at the tower of mastery and watching a battle take place on the balcony a few hundred feet in the air. The moon was shining brightly down on him now, but his date still wouldn't be around for another few hours. He didn't mind much though, it gave him plenty of time to relax beforehand.

                  Of course it would have been better, had there not been a really obnoxious festival taking place up the hills a small ways. He sighed, he could have gone of course. Hell, he was pretty sure Sycamore had messaged him about free entrance tickets for all the students, but he didn't pay much attention to it. Parties never were Chris' thing. The small town boy in him didn't even like celebrating his birthday much when he was younger. Of course, Abuela would always take the whole family to Undella town and they would rent a nice villa for a day. He smiled, fondly remembering his happy childhood.

                  While the festival was fun for a short amount of time, the hustle and sounds from the crowd making it nearly impossible to think, it wasn’t long before the amount of people began to feel overwhelming; thus the Kantonian trainer found himself wandering away from the festivities, away from the music and the bright, flashing lights, seeking solace in the calm and the quiet of the lonely beach.

                  Or-- what would be a lonely beach. Seems he’s not the only one who felt the need to get away from it all. Is that Chris? It’s hard to tell from so far away, and he doesn’t want to disrupt his fellow trainer’s alone time, so he shouldn’t get too cl--

                  “Lass!” Ukyou, having been floating silently behind Sebastian, suddenly flies towards the man lounging in the sand. Chris was the one who gave Sebastian the Dawn Stone that allowed Ukyou to evolve from Snorunt, and since that day, the friendly ghost has been incredibly fond of him. Her excitement confirms it’s him-- and gives away their position.

                  Sebastian sighs before jogging after his companion, who is now floating, upside down, right above Chris’ head. “Ukyou...remember when we discussed personal space?”

                  "Que?" Chris glanced upwards and saw the "Oh hola pequeña amiga." Chris chuckles as he helps the Froslass right herself. "It figures I would see you here. Now the real question is, what sort of mischief are you bringing to me this time." The Unovan boy chuckles, sitting up from his beach towel and sliding the picnic basket to the side. He puts two fingers between his lips and whistles loudly. Small piles of sand began to shake and the forms of Rubbish, Whisper, and Co***rigus began to shake themselves off. A shadow crossed the moon, as a distant screeching creature began to make its way down to Chris and Sebastian. A small shell next to Chris, near the water but not quite going in begans to scuttle its way up next to his leg.

                  "Everyone, say hello." Chris says as he points towards Sebastian and Ukyou.

                  Froslass trills a happy greeting to the Pokemon, as well as a wave with her tiny, ghostly hand.

                  "It's good to see you all again." Sebastian bows his head respectfully. It had been some time since he had seen Chris; before Ambrette, wasn't it? When they fought the cloned Gyarados together. Whisper and Co***rigus were there that day, as was Rubbish-- the Omanyte and Aerodactyl are new, and impressive. The Kantonian trainer opens his mouth to ask where Chris managed to get his hands on such rare Pokemon, only for the picnic basket tucked away beside Chris to catch his eye.

                  "You shouldn't have. How did you know we were coming?" He asks, in a stunningly rare moment of playfulness. There are few, if any, other trainers Sebastian would joke with in such a way, given, there are no other trainers that drunkenly asked Sebastian to dance with them at parties.

                  "Ah ah, that is for a girl my friend; and while you might certainly be beautiful in your own right, i'm afraid you do not seem to be the one who asked me here." Chris responded in good faith. "How come you find yourselves out here instead of celebrating or participating in the festivities?"

                  "I've never been a fan of crowds." Sebastian explains calmly. Already he can feel the stress of the influx of people, the multitude of sounds and the bright, flashing lights, fading into the comfort of the night. He turns his attention away from the basket to watch as Ukyou strikes up what sounds like a rather exciting conversation with her fellow ghost types. Sebastian smiles as he motions with his head back towards the path that lead them here. "We'll make ourselves scarce, before your date arrives~"

                  "Ah, it's a few hours yet. Let's... go..." He trails off as he looks towards the festival, and the red haired child running towards them, tears and mud covering her face as she darts out of an alley that lead around the festival.

                  "Uh... is everything alright small one?" He asks the panicked child, alerting everyone to its presense.

                  Sebastian's heart begins pounding heavily in his chest when he sees the terrified child. Did something happen at the festival? Of course, with such a heavily populated area, someone was bound to try to start something. Is it Team Cinder? Sebastian jogs towards the running child, quickly crouching onto his knee to be on the young child's level. "Easy, easy now...what's frightened you?"

                  "The... theres a big... angry... metal Pokémon! It- it... impaled s-somebody! I-It was headed right for the festival!" The small child cries as it clings to Sebastian.

                  "Que? Where!" Chris interupts, shooting his gaze towards the festival, concerned for all the people who would be far too distracted or intoxicated to be paying attention for such a distraction.

                  "N-near the front gates! Nobody has been able to s-stop it!" The child sobbed.

                  "...Once more for old times?" Chris asks Seb, as he motions for all of his Pokémon to follow him.

                  "Once more." Sebastian nods, a look of cold determination in his usually calm eyes. He looks to the child clutched to his body, wrapping one arm around her to offer a supportive, protective hug. "Ukyou." He whispers.

                  "La!" The Froslass trills as she floats back to her trainer.

                  "Stay with her, okay?" The girl said the Pokemon was metal, meaning it's a steel type. There's little her attacks can do against such a Pokemon, and he can't, in good conscience, leave this poor girl alone. He takes one of the girl's hands that's clutching his sleeve, and eases it over to Ukyou, who puts her own little hand against the girl's palm.

                  "Wait for us. We'll come for you when it's safe. If you see anything scary, just hold onto my friend, alright? She'll keep you safe." With that he stands, Ukyou wrapping her ghostly arms around the girl in one of her chilly hugs. Sebastian's eyes return to Chris. "Let's go."

                  "Aero. Scout ahead. Report back once you've found it." Chris called as he stepped up onto the road and kicked out his roller blades. "If you've any way of moving quickly, I suggest you use it." he called over to Sebastian before kicking off, speeding into the night. The pteradon Pokémon screeched overhead and took off alongside him, easily surpassing him with its aerial advantage.

                  Move quickly? No, he has no such thing. None of his Pokemon are large enough to carry him-- except Ksenia, who's currently at the Pokemon center, and there's no time to go get her. Sebastian brushes the thought aside as he breaks into a run. As he sprints back towards the city, he reaches for his remaining Pokeballs, releasing his own companions to run along side him, calling them forward when they get to the scene could waste precious seconds they didn't have. "Hakkai, Selkie, take the lead."

                  The Mienshao and Braixen rush ahead, Zorua, Rockruff and Rowlet staying close to Sebastian. When they find this Pokemon, they'll need Hakkai's fighting power, and Selkie's fire.

                  It didn't take long for the cheers of the festival to become drowned out by screams of terror. Aero began to screech and circle above whatever seemed to be the issue, and Chris swerved through alley after alley, hoping over dumpster bins and crates as he raced forward.

                  "Seems we've found something." Sebastian calls to his companions when Aero screeches. Sebastian darts towards the circling reptile, gracefully weaving his way around a franic, panicked crowd as they run for safety.

                  "Yer goin' the wrong way, boy!" An old man shouts as he skids to a stop to block Sebastian's path.

                  "Don't worry about us, my friend and I have dealt with this type of beast before." Sebastian calls, never slowing, merely running around the elder.

                  "Yer funeral." The old man grumbles as he breaks back into his run.

                  It didn't take him long to hear the roar of the aggresor. A large stone bodied Pokémon with a horned metalic facemask was currently tearing through a hot dog stand to get at a woman and two children cowering behind it, a trickle of some form of crimson liquid dripping from the horn on it's facemask.

                  "Que? What Pokémon is that?" Chris muttered as he skittered to a stop.

                  Aggron: The Metal Armor Pokémon. The evolved form of Lairon, and Aron.
                  Aggron claims an entire mountain as its own territory. It mercilessly beats up anything that violates its environment. This Pokémon vigilantly patrols its territory at all times.

                  "Well that isn't good. Aero! Let's push it back!" Chris shouted to the Pteradodon Pokémon, causing the Aggron to shift it's gaze from the helpless family towards the young adult. "Mierda!" He swore.

                  Sebastian joins the scene as Chris lets out-- what he can only assume is a foreign swear. The sight of the massive beast, and its bloodied horns, cause him to cringe. Its eyes have locked on Chris, and he's certain it's about to charge right for his . "Hakkai, Drain Punch!"

                  The weasel Pokemon lunges into the air, its little paw balled into a fist. It glides towards the Aggron's face and lands a punch to its blood splattered horn, glowing energy flowing from the large beast and floating into the Mienshao's body.

                  "Chris!" Sebastian calls as Hakkai lands on the ground several feet from its target. "We need to take cover!"

                  "Mhm!" Chris nods as Aero bashes its head into the side of the metal armor Pokémon's jaw, a loud metal on metal clang ringing out. "Hold it there as long as you can buddy!" The boy calls as he slides back about twenty feet, putting plenty of space between the rampaging Pokémon and him.

                  The Aggron turns angrily and stomps a few steps towards Chris

                  "Go! Now!" He calls towards the family, as his Aerodactyl continues to try and get its jaws wrapped around the metallic mask, claws scraping along the armor as it tries not to lose its footing.

                  "Don't let it get any closer to the town!" Sebastian calls to his team. Selkie is the quickest to act, summoning a Flame Thrower from her branch to cascade over the massive creature in a field of flames.

                  "Fay'lene, blind it!" He calls as he runs towards the cowering parent and child, intent on getting them standing and running to safety. The small pup rushes forward, kicking up a clump of gritty sand from the terrain around them and kicking it into the monster's eyes.

                  "Loki, Foul Play!" They'll use this massive beast's own power against it. A loud shriek roars behind him, the tiny fox has cast an illusion to make himself look like a low-flying Aerodactyl, which collides with the sturdy creature in a field of darkness. "Takumi, Leaf Blade!"

                  The baby owl summons a long, vibrant green blade between its talons as it flies towards Aggron, slashing into one of its arms. Hakkai awaits no further instruction, he pivots on his toes and leaps for the rampaging monster's backside with another Drain Punch.

                  The Aggron roared angrily, as it was assaulted by an almost unfair amount of Pokémon. It launches a brutal swing forward with its right hook, tossing the small puppy into the air as its tail smashes into a nearby building causing bricks and chunks of stone to cascade downwards in a rockslide and knock the Pokémon clinging to it away.

                  "Fay!" Sebastian shouts as the wolf pup is thrown upward. The rock type manages to right herself, and as she falls back to the ground, her teeth begin to glow, soon sparking with electricity, and as she falls onto the Aggron's head, she chomps down on his horn with a Thunder Fang.

                  "Aero!" Chris shouted, the Pteradon screeching as it shakes off the rocks and takes off into the air again. Gritting his teeth, Chris looks back towards his other Pokémon. "Whisper, stay back with me and use swords dance a few times." He muttered before turning to Rubbish. "Buddy, you're not going to be able to do much here, but let's make sure that family gets away safely okay?" The trash bag nods, and rolls around the thrashing Aggron, and starts waving the family away, aiding them in making an escape.

                  "Follow him, we'll hold Aggron back." Sebastian speaks as he helps the woman to her feet. She nods, speechless, and grabs her children by the hand, hurriedly rushing to the waving garbage bag.

                  "Alright, Dios! Hit him with a mudshot! Cof, Will-o-wisp!" The mud begins to coat the metal plates, as the ghostly willows begin to illuminate the cracks in the armour.

                  "Perfect!" Sebastian smiles victoriously as the wisp begins to burn at the massive rock type's body: That ghostly burn will not only tick away at their opponent's health, but also reduce his strength considerably: His attacks won't have nearly the power against their group of fighters. "Selkie, Flame Thrower! Hakkai, Aura Sphere! Loki, Dark Pulse! Takumi, grab Fay'lene!"

                  The three Pokemon dart away, placing some distance between themselves and the thrashing Pokemon before they aim their attacks: A stream offire,a bright blast of energy, and Loki, still disguised as a low-flying dinosaur, launches pulsating darkness into the beast's back. The baby owl flies through the chaos, grabbing the wolf pup from atop Aggron's head and begins flying her to safety.

                  The Aggron roared angrily as it tried to shake off the aggresive pokémon. Claws and arms swung from side to side in an attempt to bat them away, but the overwhelming numbers were rapidly draining the aggressive pokémon; albeit it didn't seem to care much for its own personal safety as it continued to struggle recklessly.

                  "Keep holding it back guys! Dios! Time for a brine attack!" Chris called, the small tentacle Pokémon releasing a stream of salty water and flooding the cracks underneath the metal armor.

                  With water flooding every crevice of the Pokemon's body, Sebastian saw an opportunity. "Takumi, Pluck! Fay'lene, Thunder Fang!"

                  The small owl turns around and dive bombs the massive rock type, his peck does little to penetrate the Pokemon's thick skull, but as he swoops down, Fay'lene leaps from his talons and latches onto one of the monster's horns, electricity bursting from her teeth and zapping to the Aggrons' core: electrifying its entire body, strengthened by the water coating its body.

                  The large metal Pokémon stepped awkwardly as it moaned in pain, swiping at the trainers Pokémon as cracks began to violently trace along it's metallic armour. Growling with primal fury, it stomps its foot into the ground, causing fierce tremors to affect all ground based Pokémon, before raking forward at Fay'lene with a heavy slam of its back hand.

                  "Fay'lene!" Sebastian shouts as the wolf pup is slammed by the larger beast's massive hand, sending her flying from atop his head. Takumi once more flies forward, his tiny wings working in overtime in order to grab the rock type before she hits the trembling ground, sparing her from the extra damage. Selkie, Loki and Hakkai are not so lucky, each being struck by the earth's tremors, and taking hefty damage.

                  Chris' Pokémon all took the Ground type attack, and most of them appeared rather beaten by it, but the smallest among them, Dios the Omanyte, seemed to show another effect. A brilliant white light began to radiate from the small Pokémon as it's form began to distort and extend. Multiple additional tentacles began to sprout as the Omanyte began to change into its evolved form: Omastar.

                  Wounded from the attack that it had just sustained, Omastar began to channel its pain into an additional salty brine, now with an additional 2 or 3 bars of pressure, managing to actually begin to force the metal Pokémon backwards.

                  "Everyone! Work together: Hit him now!" Chris shouted, his Pokémon all throwing something into the frey, an Iron Head attack from the dual swords as they effectively slapped against the metal armour, a grievous thunder fang from the Aerodactyl who joined it's companion in taking advantage of the torrent, while a ghastly hex was placed by the sarcofogus. There was even a simple double slapping from his trubbish for good measure.

                  Sebastian's Pokemon group together, exhausted, but ready to finish this fight by assisting in the team attack. A Flamethrower flashes through the night sky, followed by an Aura Sphere and a tumbling of rocks from Fay'lene's Rock Throw, a Dark Pulse from Loki, all blown towards the massive creature by an Omious Wind by Takumi.

                  "AGRRRRRRROOOO" The metal armour began to break off and shatter upon impact with the ground, however, it didn't stop with the armour. As the torrent of water continued, the Pokémon began to glow red hot and then almost dissolve clump by clump like wet ash being washed away. An effect both Chris and Seb had seen at least once before on Rivierre Walk with the red Gyarados they had faced before.

                  "Another one?" Chris muttered as he began to scoop up some of the ashes and put them into a small empty pouch.

                  "Indeed." Sebastian's eyes narrow as he looks down at the pile of ashes, his expression morphing into a harsh glare. "That can only mean Team Cinder isn't far behind."

                  "Ahhh... now a part of me feels like this was all a distraction and that something is about to go down at the festival." Chris sighs. "It's irresponsible of me not to go, but I made a promise that i'd meet this girl at the beach and i'm a man of my word." He frowns and turns back to Sebastian.

                  "Perhaps people aren't your favourite thing, but I would certainly feel better if somebody I could trust was keeping an eye out over the whole thing." The Unovan boy practically pleads.

                  With so many people within the confines of the city due to the festival, most distracted due to the festivities, now would be the perfect time for Cinder to come crashing down to cause massive carnage. It's all too perfect-- and yet if they're wrong, and attempt to warn or evacuate the city, they could cause a mass panic, and that would be no better. Despite the crazed Pokemon's outburst-- it would seem the loud music and the sheer multitude of people managed to keep this attack from being noticed by many.

                  While Sebastian's grateful for the trust his companion has placed in him, he's very aware that there are many others that could handle this situation much better-- He can make his way back towards Ranger Sasha and professor Sycamore, they will be better suited for handling this situation. "I'll do what I can." Sebastian adjusts his stance, feeling somewhat unsteady after that Bulldoze attack rattled the ground beneath them. Takumi flies towards his trainer, placing the exhausted Fay'lene in Sebastian's arms before perching on his shoulder.

                  "There's a Ranger overseeing the festivities. I'll notify her of the situation on the way back to the beach." Someone needs to escort the young girl back to her parents, and he needs to get Ukyou back.

                  "I leave things in your hands. I'm sure i'll see you around." Chris smiles and waves and starts heading back to the beach.

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                  Old 4 Days Ago (12:22 AM).
                  Pudding's Avatar
                  Pudding Pudding is offline
                  [ alegría ]
                  Join Date: Dec 2016
                  Gender: Female
                  Nature: Docile
                  Posts: 350

                  Margarita Fas
                  The Gym: I

                  Margarita found solace in the coffee shop she had previously encountered the babbling salesman. She sat underneath the barely visible stars, hard to distinguish due to the explosion of lights that originated from the Festival Tournament. Keeping her company is Larvesta and Eelektrik, the latter of which Margarita felt she hadn’t seen in a short while.

                  She held the eel in her arms, finding comfort in him. “I really got chewed out there. He wasn’t wrong though,” she mumbled to her trusted companions. Both gave her their full attention. “What if-“

                  “What if you told me your name? Yes, my thoughts exactly.” The sudden emergence of the voice startled Margarita, who flinched and gasped. Her hands covered her face, hiding her dumbfounded expression. “Aren’t you the tiny bit of curious?” Eelektrik, no longer being embraced, happily hopped over to the stranger. Larvesta did not budge, beginning to grow frustrated with the man.

                  "I didn’t feel like telling,” she replies behind her hands, muffling the words. They fall back down, revealing a rather annoyed Margarita.

                  He continued to pry into her life. “Won’t you ask why I am here despite our unpleasant conversation from earlier?”

                  “I wasn’t going to. I thought you would stay back at the tower.”

                  “I am aware some may find it hard to believe. However, I am, indeed, a human being. I, too, have to eat and sleep.”

                  “I’m... sorry?” was all Margarita could muster, pairing it with a slight head shake.

                  "And since I am, indeed, a human being, I must get going to my errands," he ends the short-lived conversation. "Goodbye, Margarita." He leaves at a steady pace, not bothering to turn around as he lifted his hand to wave at her.

                  Eelektrik bounced atop the table, filled to the brim with glee upon meeting a new friend.

                  How did he know my name? A quick glance down to her check answered her inquiry. "Oh."

                  The festival grounds were no different than when she left. Its atmosphere was uplifting, at times sucking her into a moment of nostalgia, where her own family would all sit together to watch live tournaments such as this.

                  Larvesta purred and happily hummed in the company of the egg. She would often partake in a time-consuming cleaning session, nibbling and licking the surface of the egg despite being unnecessary.

                  "Please welcome our next competitors, Annika and Gym Leader Viola!” The announcement acted like a reset button, reinvigorating the crowd for another battle to come. According to the conversations surrounding Margarita, she had missed quite a few already. The first round, even.

                  Everybody is here. Meaning the gym might actually be free for once. "Ey, maybe the gym is free," Margarita mumbled to Larvesta. The bug couldn't catch that, the rowdy audience loud enough to amalgamate their sounds with that of her trainer's.

                  Indeed it was open.

                  "Maybe we'll have better luck with this one?"

                  "You better be kidding me." The skating rig and conditions to partake in the gym challenge were childish to Margarita. Not only did she not know how to skate, but she has no Pokémon she could ride; no flying or rideable creature.

                  Despite this drawback she found herself wearing the skating shoes, standing at the starting point with an ecstatic Korrina positioned to begin.

                  Eelektrik had been chosen. Beside him stood Hawlucha. Eelektrik's electric typing should help with Hawlucha. Deino won't be able to do muk to Lucario, but Lucario's defenses aren't as good as their attack, special or not, so I guess I really need to try to dodge it or somehow weaken those attacks? I got Larvesta for that... eh. I'll figure it out as I go. Margarita's left foot slipped to the side, causing her to slightly jerk. Were it not for her hands she would have face planted on the ground. Muk. How the hell am I going to make it without falling?

                  So focused Margarita had become that she failed to acknowledge the signal to begin their match. She gasped upon seeing everybody else shoot forward with a puzzled Eelektrik that screeched at their trainer to snap to reality. "I'm going!"

                  "Hahaha, can ya catch up?" Korrina laughed at her slow start, but it did nothing to the young woman. "Do'ja remember? As long as you keep movin'!"

                  On the sidelines both Pawniard and Deino watched. Deino's energy spilled out, running back and forth in order to get the best view at every moment. However, Pawniard fumed in resentment, the image of Margarita reigniting all those moments of frustration he had experienced.

                  Eeeeee, the small dragon shrieked, using Pawniard's helmet as a stepping stone to leap on.


                  Margarita struggled to keep herself afoot, legs wobbling as she raced behind Korrina. The gym leader gracefully rolled ahead, grin an indication of her enjoyment. But it didn't last long; Eelektrik's hilarious, quick-paced bouncing that sounded as if its breath were being slapped out of it with every leap was amusing. He wasn't the first choice for Margarita, but having already put both Larvesta and Pawniard in tough situations of their own today, she believed Eelektrik and Deino needed experience of their own.

                  Korrina wasted no time in spitting a command in between giggles. "Hope ya don't mind we steal that first move... Agility!" The bird, already far ahead of Eelektrik, had to backtrack to meet with the eel. But with such speed the Hawlucha vanished within the blink of an eye, only to reappear closer to them elsewhere.

                  Eelektrik gasped, believing it to be magic. Eeee eeeeeeeee! the eel yells out to his trainer, wanting to share the moment. Ee eeeeeek!

                  "Focus Nunu, they're going to attack," she reminds her partner. Their beige fins flap as they return back to earth, trying to pin point where their opponent could be. Meanwhile Margarita rushed to her left to dodge an incoming obstacles, only for her knees to buckle under the stress; hands stopped her inevitable fall, muscles sending her back up to continue skating forward, although with a wobble.

                  "Y'know it! Flying Press!" Korrina ordered, catching up to Margarita. Eelektrik failed to notice Hawlucha far above, already encased in a white glow before discovering their whereabouts.

                  "Above you, you eel!" Margarita points out, but all the eel did was shriek at the image of Hawlucha descending upon him, body shaking wildly yet not bothering to move.

                  Hawlucha slammed down against Eelektrik. He whimpered over the pain, but to Margarita's relief the Pokémon continued to bounce forward in a slower pace.

                  Korrina burst into another fit of giggles. "...Hahaha, what's up with that? Why your Eelektrik?"

                  She wondered if, just for the short while he had been slapping his stomach to the ground, the poor thing's bottom was red.

                  "I don't know what the hell I was thinking having Nunu fight if he flaps to move around."

                  "Nah, nothing wrong with that... pffft, was just curious s'all." With that said, the gym leader continued the battle. "Swords dance!"

                  "Thunder wave." Hawlucha's eyes glow light-blue, and multiple light-blue swords circle around them. They halt and point towards the avian Pokémon, ends first. As they disappear, Eelektrik dishes out a wave of static. It heads towards the bird, who gets washed by swords dance's red aura prior to getting hit by thunder wave.

                  Despite the attack boost, the status effect immediately took effect, forcing Hawlucha to slow down. "Well, we're not done yet, Baton Pass!"

                  Hawlucha punched the air above them, body materializing into a red flash, vanishing. Eelektrik reacted with a war cry, speeding ahead while Machoke was kicked into the battlefield, both agility and swords dance's benefits passed along.

                  "Okay great."

                  Korrina had mumbled to the pokeball before releasing the fighting type. Once fully integrated into the match and running, the humanoid Pokémon started to make a straight line towards Eelektrik.

                  "Charge Beam Nunu!" Margarita commands, unable to guess what attack the Machoke may have been told to pull off.

                  A yellow orb formed in front of Eelektrik's mouth. But Machoke's boost in speed was enough to beat the electric type, delivering a low kick that caused the beam of light to be shot towards the ceiling and the eel against Margarita.

                  "F**CK," Margarita blurted out, seeing her companion shot at her like a speeding bullet. Fortunately she caught him in her arms, albeit it whipped the air out of her. "You okay? Be honest-" Unfortunately she lost her balance, tumbling on the battlefield with her partner in arms.

                  EEEEeeeee! the eel sung, cuddling with his trainer before being thrown back on to the derby amidst the rolls. Margarita rapidly leaped into position, forcing her exhausted legs to continue moving. "Then you're good to continue, let's go." She recuperated, hand firmly pressed against her chest from the sting Eelektrik left behind. Her body was not used to the odd movement required to skate, their soreness now palpable.

                  I can still do this. Might not. But I might as well try.

                  As the battle rages on and Deino had his attention grabbed by it, Pawniard had long slipped by. He was gone.
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                  Old 3 Days Ago (4:55 AM).
                  Noraxia's Avatar
                  Noraxia Noraxia is offline
                    Join Date: Mar 2017
                    Location: CET
                    Gender: Female
                    Nature: Modest
                    Posts: 75

                    Vs. Crimson
                    Shalour Festival Tournament
                    The second round of the tournament was upon her. Odette was once again summoned to the stage, to face off against another unfamiliar opponent. Though she already struggled to win her first match, having witnessed other round two battles made her realise playtime was about over… only serious trainers made the cut from here on out.

                    Being part of that list filled her with some pride, but the memory of her loss at the Tower of Mastery still weighed heavily on her mind. So too did the words of Colress, her previous opponent, who had left her with a custom Mega Stone. It would need to be activated, he said, and she’d need a Keystone to use its full potential. Knowing she lost her chance at one of those at the Tower made it so the Mega Stone was now truly burning a hole in her pocket.

                    Odette shook her head. She needed to keep her wits about her. Focusing her gaze on the other side of the battlefield, she watched as her opponent rose to face her. A strange appearance, their face was wholly covered by an intimidating helmet with pitch-black glass, making it impossible to see who was underneath. It took looking at the long red hair flowing out from under it and the body, wrapped in a black dress, to even make out it was a woman. Odette was a little perturbed, but shook it off hastily, before the announcer took back her attention.

                    “Trainers, are you ready?” Steven exclaimed enthusiastically. “Then… let the battle begin!”

                    Throwing her Pokéball out before her, Odette once again summoned her Triplets onto the field.

                    "Ms. Odette Radiuju." The voice from below the mask was hollow and rung out softly across the arena, it lacked emotion and seemed to be muffled and altered by the helmet like mask she wore upon her head. Even with the glistening black surface Odette could feel two piercing eyes beneath. A gold and glassy stare that seemed to take her apart and reconstruct her in full. "I am sorry, but I cannot allow you passed me." She didn't speak seriously, as if her words weren't given to an opponent but to a victim of circumstance. "It is imperative that I reach the finals. It is there I will meet Jackson Crane or Emma Kuzunoha. I cannot allow you to get in the way of that."

                    With a sudden and swift flick of her wrist she reached into a pocket on her black dress and launched a sealed pokéball towards the field. In a burst of light a small pink pokémon landed gracefully on the field. Her eyes bore a similar cold calm, its movements were elegant and purposeful as it watched its opponents mechanical form with mild interest. Even though the Triplets were in many ways a machine, somehow the Sylveon's gaze felt even more devoid of emotion.

                    Watching this display made Odette tense up. Jackson? What did she want with Jackson? And Emma Kuzunoha... that was one of the other Aquacorde graduates, wasn't she? Odette sighed in an attempt to ease her nerves. She'd have to get full disclosure from that yellow-haired delinquent afterwards. Steeling her gaze, she tried to return that of the masked woman - wherever her eyes may have been - and made her voice sound equally calm and quiet.

                    "I am sorry, too... but if that's the case, I'm afraid I can't let you through."

                    "How unfortunate... Sylveon." Without a sound the intertwining pokémon darted forward, incredibly quick, her paws darted back and forth apart the pavement as she began to run circles around the area where the Triplets hovered. At a seemingly random interval, it altered course and darted right at the floating baubels, spinning in the air and diving with two paws outstretched for a savage double kick.

                    Odette was surprised by the Sylveon’s attack - a Fighting-type move like that would make this battle more of a challenge than she’d anticipated. Her Triplets would have to adjust their calculations accordingly, too. As the kicks struck one of the Magneton’s cores, the other two rubbed their magnets together to create a familiar grating Metal Sound, before twirling in the air and attempting to throw Sylveon off balance in mid-air. Their body grazed the Sylveon at best, but allowed them an opening to put some distance between them and their foe.

                    “Flash Cannon!” Odette commanded, and the Triplets whirred in agreement, charging up a silver beam in front of them. Zigzagging around the battlefield to avoid the Sylveon countering, as well as surprising it with the angle of its shot - the Magneton released its Flash Cannon straight towards its target.

                    "Light screen Sylveon... followed by Misty Terrain!" Responding immediately to her mysterious trainer's orders, Sylveon quickly spun as her eyes glowed with yellow psychic energy. Immediately a similarly coloured barrier sprung forth and surrounded her form. The flash cannon still hits its mark, but as it crashed through the protective sheen of luminescence the damage dealt was decreased, causing Sylveon to wince but nothing more as the attack grazed her side.

                    Immediately to follow, Sylveon leaped upwards and her eyes began to glow once more, now taking on an illustrious sheen the shade of moonlight. Immediately a thick fog began to flow in from outside the arena, the clouds glowing with glittering specks of moonlight throughout its lunar sheen. Sylveon dropped down into those clouds and began to move close to the ground, darting left and right through the fog and obscuring a large part of her movement. "Your eyes changed when I mentioned their names." The masked figure spoke, her tone never shifting from the mildly accusatory, dulcet sonata that she had held from the start. "Why is that...? How do you know them?"

                    She didn’t, clearly. That was the first thought that shot through Odette’s mind, but she wasn’t about to let her opponent see her falter. “None of your business,” she spewed, before raising her hand to command her Pokémon once more. “Reciprocate, then release, Triplets!”

                    The Triplets whirred excitedly - they quite enjoyed, and excelled in, decoding cryptic commands. Two of the cores closed their eyes as their magnets twisted and turned together, while the third enveloped their body in a similar yellow sheen as the Sylveon had done before. They then hastily shifted through the fog, pretending to try and find their target through it, but as soon as its silhouette even appeared in their vicinity…

                    “Did you think you could hide so easily?”

                    Odette’s words barely preceded the Triplets’ massive release of electricity. Discharge shocked through the Misty Terrain, sparks and static visibly affecting the fog cloud; leaving the Sylveon no escape.

                    The fog immediately lit up with electrical energy, but the masked trainer gave no command to dodge. The Sylveon cried out in pain as electricity covered the entirety of the field in sparking surges of mist, the current pulsing through her small body and causing intense discomfort to say the least. For a moment it seemed as if the shocks would be sure to paralyze the eeveelution, yet just as the mist shocked Sylveon its natural properties gave way to greasing her limbs before they could lock up. The extra affect of Misty Terrain was a complete blockade on non-volatile status conditions... the masked figure knew the only worry was damage she could afford to take.

                    "Sand attack... then Moonblast!" Dashing through the fog and charging herself with mist and the moon above, Sylveon kicked her paws into a patch of gravel, left over from shattered cobblestones from a previous battle. A cloud of dust pushed up and shot towards the Magneton's three eyes... and with the moment of distraction Sylveon leaped backwards once more, hovering in the air slightly as the mist and moonlight coalesced into a glowing orb of shimmering, silvery light. With a quick flick of her form forward, Sylveon fell back to the shocking mist below... but not before launching her attack full force at the triplets. "A quick response... if you have something to hide I will draw it out of you. It is non-negotiable that I discover as much about those two and the others as possible."

                    Odette clenched her fist subconsciously, but tried to scoff confidently at her opponent’s words. “How ridiculous. What ‘others’ are you on about now? Who do you even think you are?!” she retorted, but the frustration in her voice shone through more and more.

                    Thankfully, the Triplets were barely affected by the Fairy type move. Despite its close proximity, it had little effect, thanks to the Steel-type’s resistance and the Light Screen put up earlier. Though their body was knocked back slightly, Odette only sought to use the opportunity to retaliate. “Flash Cannon, once more! Take her out!”

                    The Triplets responded as quickly as they could, but still needed to find their equilibrium again before charging up another silver beam. Although they were still close to their target, the Flash Cannon shot out shakily, as if the Moonblast had somehow done more than just throw them off-balance.

                    The beam once again pierced through the light screen, weaking even further but catching Sylveon in the side still. The super effective damage was mitigated by a lowered special attack on multiple fronts, but between two flash cannons and the coursing electricity, the masked figure knew they had to finish this quickly. "Who...? It is surprising to me that despite our records on you, that you cannot infer the rest." Her gaze softened slightly beneath the helmet, though it was impossible for Odette to see. "So full of potential, just like you... it really is a shame."

                    From the side of the battlefield, Steven furrowed his brow suddenly... he had been listening in as best he could, to bits and pieces of the two trainers conversation. As he thought on the words exchanged, after a few moments his eyes widened slightly and he turned away, placing a finger to a device attached to his ear. "Alas, Ms. Radiuju... you have impressed me, so rare is it that a battle draws out long enough to cause a slip of the tongue. Still, it is time we bid adieu, witness now our coup des gras... Sylveon! Last Resort!"

                    Digging its paws into the ground, Sylveon focused itself and the memories of every attack made so far rushed to her mind. The ineffectiveness of most of them bore frustration but the knowledge she had gained of her opponent and the time spent in the heat of battle granted her a sudden surge of strength and access to an otherwise restricted technique. The small pokémon's eyes began to glow and all of the shocking mist around her began to rush inwards and coalesce into silvery, sparking stars. They rushed around the pokémon form, spinning like a great wave... before finally unleashing forward, towards the Triplets as a torrent of focussed energy.

                    Odette was nearly caught off guard trying to make sense of the woman’s cryptic explanation, but she managed to get out a command just as the Triplets were flooded by a tsunami of little stars. “Discharge! Get out and counter again!” their trainer ordered, and the Triplets responded. Taking the brunt of the attack took a toll on their body, but they needed to charge… dents and scrapes became visible on the Magneton’s steel exterior, but they finally readied to counter.

                    Unleashing their electricity once more, the Triplets countered the stars that surrounded them, creating a space filled with magnetic power around them, and allowing them to escape from the whirlpool of lights. They levitated higher into the air, continuously shooting out lightning in all directions, until they floated right above the Sylveon’s head. One, then two, then all three of the Magneton’s eyes focused on the creature below them… and released a final devastating Flash Cannon.

                    With a loud crash, the beam shot into the ground, breaking up the cobblestones even more. Odette covered her mouth with her fingers, waiting for the dust to clear.

                    And as it did... Sylveon was lying on the ground, unconscious.

                    The crowd erupted into uproars of applause, the dramatic finish of the battle inspiring them to near leap out of their seats. Standing and clapping, crying out with joy and excitement. Without a word, the masked individual returned her pokémon to its ball as the cries of the audience echoes around the battlefield. "Aha..." She let loose a small laugh, it was an empty gesture, yet somehow it held some of the only shreds of emotion that the mysterious trainer had allowed to slip passed throughout the entire encounter.

                    "So that is the power you hold... Odette Radiuju." She mused, the mist from the battles climactic finish still hanging around the arena before them. "You must forgive me, as I mispoke before. The potential held by the likes of Crane, Kuzunoha, Hessel... it is nothing like what you have. No, you have something far more potent. In a way, you remind me of myself." She gently pushed her hair around to the front of her body, holding it in a bundle that she idly ran her hands through, her curiosity shining through the mask she wore. "I will be watching you closely... I should think.

                    From the other side of the field, Odette walked forward. Nodding to her Magneton for a job well done, and returning them to their Pokéball, she then focused her gaze upon the woman once more.

                    “Take off your mask,” she demanded calmly.

                    The woman froze slightly at the demand and even the crowd seemed to quiet slightly. Steven looked on from the sidelines, his attention now turned to the battle. He wasn't speaking or introducing the next battle... he was taking a stance... and Metagross was slowly starting to drift closer to the arena. The tension in the air grew and grew, the masked woman the focus of everyone's attention.

                    "What a strange request... mayhaps you really can infer more than I have you credit for." She considered for a moment, lightly flicking her hair back over her shoulder, where it flared to life... a sudden wind seemed to rush beneath the woman and a prismatic stone began to glow brightly on her left hand. A ring. "Very well... I shall grant your request."

                    Without missing a beat, the woman unlocked a seal on the helmets back, a small sound escaping as it collapsed and fell away, eventually falling to the ground uselessly at her feet. The womans scarlet hair was finally free, her lips full and smiling gently and her eyes were shining with a brilliant hue of crimson... one quickly overtaken by prismatic light. "I think we can both agree, this farce and pretense of peace has pervaded long enough. My name is Crimson... and I am an admin of Team Cinder."

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                    Old 3 Days Ago (5:42 AM).
                    Evily's Avatar
                    Evily Evily is offline
                    Poke is Life! :3
                      Join Date: Dec 2016
                      Location: Everywhere :3
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                      Nature: Bashful
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                      Minami 'Mina' Haruka
                      Status: Shalour City P. 2 |Open Mission 3 -- The Obstacle Course!

                      1x Wallet - 6,700 Poke
                      1x 3rd Place Contest Ribbon
                      1x Pokedex
                      10x Pokeballs
                      2x Heal Balls
                      5x Great Balls
                      2x Net Balls
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                      1x Cynder Ball
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                      1x Fashion Case
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                      1x Holocaster
                      1x Altarianite

                      Obstacle Course

                      “A Pokeradar Dex Chip?” asked Mina as she looked at the man in front of her, Electra stood on her left shoulder, eyeing the man.
                      “Yes! If you finish one of the courses picked specifically for you and your partner, you get a Pokerader Dex Chip and an Ultra Ball as a reward.” Explained the man, pointing to the different courses spread out around the area, multiple trainers going through each one. “There’s a catch, isn’t there? I don’t see everyone getting a chip even when they finished it?” “Ah, how observant of you! You see, the catch is that you have to finish the course in a matter of 10 minutes!”

                      ||Minutes Later||

                      “Ready Miss Haruka?” asked the referee, waiting for Mina and Electra at the starting line. Mina walked over with Electra on her shoulder, wearing her usual outfit except that her granite jacket was replaced with a black zip-up jacket and her pink skirt with blue denim shorts. Momo, who was brought out earlier, was standing by the referee with Mina’s hip bag around her neck and sitting on her back.

                      “Ready as I’ll ever be.” The girl replied as she stood at the starting line, Electra jumping off her shoulder and on all fours beside her.

                      “There are four sections to this course. First is the orange section with is mostly just passing through without hitting your face on any coming walls, the second is the green section, based off of a snowy mountain, having you climb steeps and pass through trees, the third is the red section, where you have to climb a lot, the last one is the yellow section, coming with a lot of spikes, so beware.” As the referee explained, Mina tied her hair into a mess and low ponytail to refrain from her hair flying around.
                      “On your mark. Get set. GO!” At the final word, the referee blew his whistle, making Mina and Electra to run straight into the course.

                      /1st Section - Orange\
                      Mina and Electra ran through the inflatable poles in the beginning before hey rounded a gray square and entered a small space with twin handles inflated around. The girl tried to push the handles, but they wouldn’t budge, so she used her gymnastics to her use and jumped over the handles as Electra ran under, small enough to pass quickly.

                      Once they got out, they rounded a huge inflatable football placed upright before entering another small space, filled with inflatable footballs the same sizer as the twin handles. This time, Mina swiftly ran through the footballs evading them while Electra jumped from football to football.

                      Next was to climb a small wall with inflatable rocks needed into it, which was easy for Mina, but since Electra was small and it would take her awhile to jump from rock to rock, the girl grabbed Electra and threw her to the top of the climb, the Pokémon squeaking at the sudden action before disappearing into the other side. Just as Mina reached the top, she yelped at the sudden slope, sliding down to the inflatable’s ground, Electra standing, waiting.

                      /2nd Section - Green\
                      After finishing the orange section and getting though the trees in the beginning of the green section, Mina and Electra had to crawl up a small slope with a tarp over the slope. As Mina crawled, Electra simply ran though, causing Mina to chuckle at the mouse’s energy.

                      Afterword’s, there were trees with and without snow placed closely together, with little space in the bottom, but enough for small Pokémon to crawl through. Mina had to speed-walk in between the trees due to how close they were while Electra, like before crawled under the trees avoiding the stumps in the way.

                      After climbing another slope, they entered an inflatable shed with trees inside as well, which would be difficult to navigate through in the darkness. Electra lit up her cheeks, allowing some light into the shed, allowing Mina to see any trees nearby, making it quicker to pass through.

                      After exiting the shed and running around a small step mountain(?), they had to climb twin slopes, one after another. Mina quickly climbed over with Electra on her head, who jumped off the moment Mina climbed the second slope.

                      /3rd Section - Red\
                      Entering the red section, they entered through two inflatable triangular pyramids and stopped in front of more sloped, twins this time. They repeated the actions from before, but with Electra clutching onto Mina’s shirt from the back.

                      Next was inflatable walls with rocks embedded into them, having Mina climb them while Electra continued to clutch her shirt, causing Mina to sigh at the mouse.

                      After the walls and a tunnel, they had to jump through holes in an inflatable wall, but there were black inflatables behind some holes, so Mina looked through some before jumping though one without a wall behind, Electra following right after.

                      Last was for them to jump over inflatable poles laid down on the ground, which Mina did with ease while Electra jumped onto the first one and then jumped to the second and third before entering the yellow section.

                      /4th Section - Yellow\
                      On the final section, after running through inflatable spikes, they then stopped to see bigger spikes in front of a semi-cylinder with spikes on the sides with its twin behind it, sporting the same details. Mina quickly passed the spikes before climbing over the semi-cylinder and repeating it for the twin, Electra running through the spikes and climbing the semi as well, sliding down the other side and repeating.

                      Next, they had to jump through one of the two holes, both trainer and Pokémon jumping at the same time and rolling to a stop in front of the next course.

                      After finishing the obstacle, they came upon towers of spikes placed closely together like the trees from the green section. Mina speed-walked through them while Electra zigzagged through, trying not to trip and stumble into one of the spikes.

                      After running through a small field and exiting another shed, but pyramid-shaped, they came across the final obstacle of the course, an inflatable wall with stones imbedded into it. This time, Mina had Electra jump up from rock to rock as she climbed. Once they reached the top, they leaned over and slid down the slope to the finish line, making the referee blow the whistle, ending their time.

                      /End of Course\
                      “Amazing job! That was fantastic! You ran through that course like it was nothing!” complimented the man from before, having watched Mina and her partner zip through the course.

                      “I took gymnastics class back in my home region and continued to take it when we moved her to Kalos.” Explained Mina as Electra jumped onto her shoulder, munching onto a cookie it got from Mina’s hip bag, which is on Momo’s back who is beside them. “I see, that explains everything! Your time was 7 minutes and 47 seconds! Marvelous!” The man waved his hand over and the referee walked over with a small box in his hands, extending it to Mina. “Since you finished the course in under 10 minutes, here is your reward!”

                      “Woah…” Mina grabbed the box and opened it, revealing an ultra-ball and a small chip. ‘Must be the Pokerader Dex Chip…’ “Thank you. This obstacle was fun, I didn’t think I’d get to use my gymnastics here, but I guess I was wrong.”

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