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Old September 3rd, 2018 (7:24 AM).
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BZRich64 BZRich64 is offline
The Mustachioed Machamp
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
    Age: 22
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 145
    Chapter 136
    Gary had to hold one of his arms above his eyes to block out the sun as he and his Growlithe made their way back out of the lava tube in Cerise Island. After having spent several hours inside of the dark cavern with only Growlithe’s flame as a light source, the sun seemed far brighter than he remembered it being. He sat down on a large rock near the tunnel’s entrance and rested for a moment.
    “I feel exhausted again.” He moaned lightly and looked up at the top of the volcano. “And now I have to climb back up there. Great.”

    He stood up again and stretched out his legs before sending Growlithe back into his Pokéball, then started climbing back up the side of the dormant volcano.

    “This certainly isn’t how I expected to spend my day when I got up this morning.” He said sarcastically to himself. “Then again, I woke up washed up on the beach with no idea how I got here.”

    * * *

    “What did Koga want to talk to you about?” Misty asked Ash as he made his way out of the glass maze and back to the entrance of the Fuchsia Gym.

    “What?” It took a moment for Ash to realize what she meant. “Oh, nothing. He was just saying that I have the potential to be a good trainer but that I’m not on his level yet.”

    “Wow.” Ash didn’t expect Misty to react so surprised. “That’s pretty high praise coming from him. Koga’s usually pretty hard on newer trainers.”

    “Really?” It was Daisy’s turn to act surprised. “He seemed pretty supportive when I fought him this morning.”

    “That’s odd. Koga’s always been really hard on me.”

    Ash just shrugged and walked over to the front doors to leave. “I don’t know. Maybe you’re just not a good enough trainer?” He teased as he walked out the door.

    “What was that?” Misty yelled angrily as she ran out after him.

    Daisy sighed and smiled weakly before walking out of the Gym. Ash and Misty were already at least halfway down the street by the time she stepped outside, so Daisy had to run after them in order to try and catch up. She wasn’t used to running and was practically out of breath by the time she got to the Pokémon Center.

    Ash was just getting his Pokémon handed back to him by the nurse when Daisy walked in. She was so tired from running that she went over and took a seat around the table, where Shu and Ritchie were still talking. Meanwhile, Ash walked over to the public PC set up near the front desk and logged on to it.

    “What are you doing?” Misty asked, standing next to him and watching as he signed into his Pokémon Storage account.

    “If I want to put Pika back on my team, I’m going to have to take someone out.” Ash explained, a bit of disappointment in his voice. “Since I’m not allowed to have more than six Pokémon on my team at once.”

    “Oh, right.” Misty nodded. “Wait, you already have six other Pokémon? I thought you had, like, five.”

    “I have, um… nine, I think.” Ash said. “When you left I had Pika, Fearow, Sandslash, Kingler, Volty, Haunter and the Raticate King. So that was seven. But then I gave Volty to you and had to leave Pika at the Pokémon Center there because he got sick, which left me with five. But I, um, don’t have the Raticate King with me, so really I only had four Pokémon in my team. Then I was given an egg by the Professor and caught a Ditto earlier today, which put me back to having a full team of six Pokémon. With Pika back that means I have seven with me so I have to put one in storage for now.”

    “Huh.” Misty wasn’t sure what to say. “So, who are you taking out of your team to make room for Pika?”

    “I’m not really sure.” Ash replied. “I don’t really want to send any of them away. I know they’ll all be fine over at the Professor’s place but I kind of wish that I could have all of them with me.”

    “That’s against Pokémon regulations.” Misty pointed out

    “I know.” Ash sighed. “I need Fearow with me in case I need to use Fly, Haunter and Ditto are my two strongest fighters, so I should keep them with me, and I want to keep the egg with me so that I can hatch it. That means that I have to pick between Sandslash and Kingler. It would be nice if I knew what the egg would hatch into.”

    “You don’t know? But shouldn’t Professor Oak have told you when he gave it to you?”

    “He doesn’t know either.” Ash explained. “He found it but doesn’t know where it came from, so there’s no telling what it could hatch into.”

    “That’s odd.”

    “I think I’m going to take Kingler out for now.” Ash said. “I can always swap him back in later.”

    Ash moved the icon representing Kingler out of his party and into Professor Oak’s ranch, then saved and logged out. He could feel Kingler’s Pokéball disappear from around his belt and felt a twinge of guilt even though he knew that he shouldn’t feel bad about this. He then turned to Misty and held out his hand.

    “What?” She asked.

    “I need Pika’s Pokéball back.” Ash pointed out.

    “Oh, right.” Misty blushed slightly in embarrassment and handed the small red and white orb back to Ash. “Here.”

    “Thanks.” Ash said as he clipped the empty Pokéball to his belt.

    * * *

    Gary finally made his way to the top of the volcano and walked over to the empty Gym. Fortunately, Lance had left it unlocked for him so he was able to go inside and head over to the healing machine he had used earlier so that he could heal up his Pokémon again. Once that was done he headed back outside and looked around. Lance wasn’t back yet and he really didn’t have anything else to do until the Gym Leader returned, so he decided to let his Pokémon out and check up on how his team was doing.

    “Come on out, everyone.” Gary said as he sent out his Pokémon one by one.

    First, he sent out his Blastoise, which had just evolved from Wartortle while they were training in the cave. The large blue turtle landed on the ground with a thud and stood up tall, blasting two massive streams of water from the cannons protruding from the back of his shell, which rained back down as a light spray. Gary’s Nidoqeen landed beside Blastoise and seemed agitated by the water, giving Blastoise a nasty glare. Growlithe also didn’t seem to like the spray of water too much but wasn’t as annoyed by it as the Ground-type.

    Gary’s Exeggcute danced around merrily, five of the six egg-like ‘heads’ that made up Pokémon hopped around the sixth, which seemed to be the leader among them. Gary had just recently put his Kangaskhan and one of his Pinsir in his team as well and the two both seemed to stand away from the rest of the group. Their body language showed that they hadn’t quite gotten used to being a part of the group yet.

    Gary walked around his Pokémon, looking them up and down in an attempt at evaluating them. He felt that each of the six Pokémon that he had currently assembled together were adequate enough for his tastes, though they still had some room to grow. He would have to make sure to pick up some evolutionary stones soon for his Growlithe and Exeggcute, who he was almost ready to have evolve into their higher forms. He also wasn’t entirely sure he really wanted Kangaskhan and Pinsir to stay as main members of his team, though, but he was willing to test them out for a while before looking for better options. Kangaskhan, in particular, felt a bit redundant when he already had Nidoqueen on his team and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of Pinsir yet. Still, they would do for now. And it wasn’t like he had to limit himself to just six Pokémon, either. It would probably be better to train up more Pokémon to swap in and out of his team for more versatility and variety.
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