Ep 15: Creative Souls
Episode 15: Beautiful Failure.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Anto stepped into the gym puzzle.
It was time for his Castelia Gym challenge and he was honestly a little nervous about it.
A majority of his Pokémon had a huge disadvantage against the typing of this gym.
Ohko was a fighting type. Fighting versus Bug types are a bad match up since both types are ineffective against each other. And putting him there would probably turn into a battle of stamina which Ohko may be good at, but he wouldn't want to drag fights longer than they could be.
Lily was a pure grass type Pokémon. And recalling that Burgh also had a Venipede, a bug and poison type Pokémon, she was sure to have a very hard first gym battle.
Then there was Sentinel, or Sen for short. Anto thought it would be a very good idea not to use him in an official or public fight at all times. Apparently Delta Pokémon only existed within the Torren Region and their presence can really… disturb someone not ready. Not to mention he had just promised to treat Sen better than the scientists did, so battling a gym leader off the bat was not going to be the best of ways to promise he didn't have to fight as much as he did before.
Which only left Takezo as his best option to face Burgh, and even that wasn't good enough.
Still, he still had one more trick up his sleeve. He had a whole day to think about the type advantage problems and taught of an honest strategy. He did consider re using the Choice items, but he would very much rather have his move pool open to adapt to any situation, and there was also the possibility of his Dual moves not working since the Choice Items requires focus on one move, not combining of two moves into one. He hadn't tried it yet, but he didn't exactly go out of his way to find and experiment with it either.
Anto found out that the theme for this gym was pushing through a large wall of honey. He let Ohko out of his Great Ball. He wanted him to lead off against the gym trainers in preparation for a battle of attrition since both types faired horribly against each other, and he wanted to test out one of Ohko's new moves before they got to Burgh.
Anto tried pushing through it, but it was a lot thicker than it looked and bounced him off of it.
"Is that honey?" Ohko asked after watching his trainer get pushed back. "Oh I get it! You're supposed to eat through this wall of honey to represent your appetite for victory!" He thought excitedly.
"Umm… no, but… good—good idea anyway. I'll just try a running start and bust through it…" Anto responded to Ohko.
"Pssh! Honey ain't no challenge to break through," He threw back his fist. "Let's smash down these walls!"
Anto figured out that this was going to be a long day.
As he made his way down the gym, and did his best to convince Ohko not to eat the Honey nor punch down the walls, Anto saw another room filled with switches that would release a gate in front of another wall of honey. Trial and error didn't seem like a bad idea, so Anto pressed the first switch closest to him. Then something burst from the ground directly in front of the switch.
"When you step—KAAAGRRH!?" The gym trainer cried out before he was punched into the wall.
Anto looked horrified at Ohko who had his fist extended out from a punch. "Ohko!?"
"What? He startled me." He explained casually.
Anto knew this would be a long day.
Even later, when Anto and Ohko finally burst through the final wall of honey, they saw Burgh waiting patiently for them.
"Ahh, welcome my silent but expressive friend! Even when mute, your actions tell all that need to be!" He started.
Tracey then called out from the stands he, Summer, and Wes were watching from. "He also forgives you for accidentally injuring several of his employees and knocking them out cold!"
Burgh dropped his pose. "Err yes. I have been meaning to give them a raise for a while now. But this may have brought some issues to the Union I work with…" He reflected nervously at the safety issues he might have accidentally broke.
Anto made some hand signs in quick succession.
Summer shouted out. "He's saying he's sorry about that!"
"There is no problem about that." Burgh dismissed easily.
Then it was Wes' turn to shout out. "By the way, why are all your gym trainers wearing clown suits, and hiding beneath the ground floor in order to surprise unsuspecting people!?"
Everyone slowly turned back to the gym leader to explain the logic behind grown men wearing clown costumes lying in wait to surprise smaller children.
He opened his mouth, only no sound came out. Then he looked to Anto. "My bug Pokémon are excited to have this battle! This will be 3 V.S. 3 single battle! Let's get started!"
Anto rolled his eyes before calling Ohko back and opening up the battle with Takezo.
Burgh smiled and called out his opener to the battlefield. "Go! Dwebble!"
"May we have a good fight." Takezo unsheathed his blade.
"Aww cool! You look like a samurai!" Dwebble commented excitedly. "I always wanted Burgh to paint something more cultural."
Anto mentally cursed as he saw the bug and rock type Pokémon. His best option was shut down instantly. But at least he could still out speed the Pokémon in question. Dwebble was basically a pre evolved form of Crustle and this battle seemed similar to Cilan's Gym fight.
He just hoped there were no unlimited boulders.
And with that, Takezo was off, allowing dark energy to glow into his plan and flow into his wooden blade.
Burgh was actually impressed at the speed of the Patrat his opponent was displaying. But…
"Dwebble, Rock Polish!"
Takezo tried his best to make the attack connect, but at the last second, Dwebble finished the boost and dodged the swipe.
Burgh's smile only grew larger. "Now, Struggle Bug!"
Takezo avoided the blow thanks to the defensive analysis of Detect. However, that didn't stop Burgh from smiling. "Rock Polish again!"
"You've got to be kidding me. Takezo, stop him! Throw your blade at him or something!" Not one of his better tactics, but how else could he handle a Dwebble with an insanely high increased speed?
Takezo threw his blade at his opponent, but it was to no avail since all it hit was empty air and the ground where Dwebble once was.
"Now, Dwebble, attack however you wish!"
In one instant Takezo found himself hit by a Feint Attack quickly followed by Struggle Bug, and then was hit by several combos of Rock Blasts. Needless to say he was really not enjoying being hit by something he couldn't touch.
Anto tried to think of a strategy to counter this, but he couldn't actually think of one. Takezo's speed was his only advantage and with that gone, this looked to be a one sided fight.
He had one idea left. "Takezo, use Hypno Eyes!" Using a fusion move so early was already a sign of how bad things were getting.
Takezo nodded and understood what needed to be done. He closed his eyes, calmed his muscles, and waited patiently for Dwebble to make a move. Sensing his opponent move toward him, Takezo's eyes shone both blue and pink as he dodged another Faint Attack. Dwebble locked eyes with Takezo for one instant and it immediately put the bug type to sleep. However, he didn't stop his momentum and then crashed into the wall at high speeds.
"Wha—was that Hypnosis!?" Burgh cried out in surprise.
"Hurry, get your blade!" Anto pointed. He gritted his teeth, while Hypno Eyes was insanely effective in putting opponents to sleep because the Detect Half would easily lock into the eyes of its opponents no matter what; there was a drawback to it. Hypnosis's effect was reduced in half. In all of the practice matches with Wes and Ohko, Hypno eyes would only put a Pokémon asleep for at most two minutes rather than the longer amount of time asleep a normal sleep status would inflict. There was also the original fact that it also had a far shorter ranger than a regular Hypnosis, so this could only be used within close quarters.
Takezo hurried and got his blade.
"Swords Dance into Assurance go! Quickly!"
Takezo jumped, performed the attack booster mid-air then slashed at the almost waking Pokémon with an empowered dark attack.
The slash smacked the Pokémon a good distance back into the main battlefield, but Dwebble regained his momentum mid air and landed with a slide.
"Hmm… I think I got how you did that," Burgh mused. "Somehow, you timed the attack right when Dwebble was close enough. In that case, Dwebble, keep your distance and use Rock Blast!"
Anto mentally cursed to himself, they could only use Hypno Eyes one more time, but Burgh wised up and was out of range of the Hypnosis part of the attack.
It was then Takezo got blindsided by a direct hit and fell over from the chunk of rock that hit him at the back.
Anto felt rather annoyed that happened to him. It was almost like this gym was just made to counter his Pokémon. He then sent out Ohko as his next opponent.
"Sup. Why are you wearing a rock?"
"This isn't a rock, it's my shell!" Dwebble claimed.
"A shell? Hey, boss, maybe I need a rock shell!"
Dwebble seemed ticked. "Are you making fun of me!?"
"Umm we'll talk about that later…"
Burgh was slightly confused as to how Anto was able to command his Pokémon if he was mute, but there must have been some cue he had. Deciding to treat this like a regular battle, Burgh started off. "Dwebble, Struggle Bug!"
The life in Anto's eyes returned as he smirked at the call. "Ohko, Counter now!"
The moment Dwebble made contact with Ohko, he was instantly repelled by Counter and landed shell first into the ground.
"Double Kick, go!"
Ohko ran up, sweeping Dwebble upward with one rising kick, but using the same foot to axe kick him down in one quick motion.
Wes and all the others remembered Ohko's Axe Kick. The Pokémon had usually used that move at the end of his double hit combos, and for good reason. Each Axe kick looked beautiful in form and the results were usually powerful.
Dwebble wobbled before falling into unconsciousness. Burgh recalled him before trying to figure out how to deal with Ohko. He placed a finger frame around him and pretended to take a picture of him. "A strong and wonderful Pokémon! Even without an arm, the spirit of this Pokémon just shines even more with less! I feel inspired and I know just the Pokémon to handle such a piece of art! Go Swadloon!"
The pseudo cocoon Pokémon appeared into the battlefield. "One day, I will evolve into a Beautifly."
"That isn't part of your evolution chain." Anto pointed out.
"I shall evolve into one!" Swaldoon's left eye twitched uncontrollably.
"Yo, I too have dreams of evolving!" Ohko agreed.
"Your species can't even evolve!" Anto corrected.
"That's what they want ya to believe boss!" Ohko explained.
"Yes, we will leave the non-believers in a pool of their own blood and shattered bones for them to suffer an ironic death of drowning in their own life fluids! MWAHAHAHA!" Swadloon half cried with eyes filled with spinning hysteria.
Ohko pumped his fist. "Yeah! Ain't you a pumped up dude?" He obliviously agreed with his opponent and somehow missed the entire part where he implied horribly killing everything.
"Ohko, do not agree with the moderately questionable Swadloon." Anto decided to be really delicate with his words in case he accidentally caused a psychotic breakdown from a direct insult. What the heck? Were Pokémon always this crazy? That Dwebble actually seemed mild mannered for a kid, so how did this guy come up?
"Screw it, Dual Chop!"
Ohko complied, launching himself toward the smaller Pokémon and allowing purple-blueish energy to gather into his right hand.
"Swadloon, Protect!" Burgh called out. Swadloon complied and made a protective barrier appear between the two Pokémon and making Ohko recoil back from the force field. "Now String Shot!" The Gymleader commanded expertly.
Swadloon spit out a large amount of web to tie up Ohko's legs. The sudden tie made Ohko trip and fall.
"Keep it up!" Burgh commanded and then Swadloon complied by aiming the next web right into Ohko's face.
Ohko tried to pull it off his face, but it didn't work and it ended up trapping his hand. "Aww man this sticky, wet stuff is all over my face!"
Anto wasn't going to comment on that.
"Now, continuous Razor Leaf!" Burgh yelled out while Anto was distracted.
"Wait, I was distracted!" Anto was seriously starting to realize there were disadvantages to talking with Pokémon.
"Behold as I unleash pieces of my Soul! GAAAHHHH!" Swadloon wailed madly as he summoned leaves from himself and launched them speeding towards Ohko.
Unfortunately, due to how off guard Anto was thrown off by their conversation, his mind lacked the concentration to try and formulate a plan out of this. Poor Ohko was overwhelmed to the point where a grassy and leafy smiley face was now stuck over the webbing in his face.
Swadloon whispered in a fast and dark manner. "The Smiley Face has judged your sinful soul! Repent and watch Johto afternoon dramas as your penance!" He finished in a slightly hushed tone.
Anto sighed before looking at his last Pokémon.
Lily came out and saw her opponent laughing hysterically while randomly screaming about Beautifly and Smiley Faces.
"I stand by my previous statement in men being either idiots or maniacs." Lilly deadpanned.
"Foolish mortal! I will transcend both male and female to become a new gender, Beautifly!"
Anto and Lily shared a look. "I would try to argue that, but after seeing him… yeah, I got nothing."
Thankfully, Burgh returned the maniacal Pokémon before tossing out Leavanny.
Leavanny looked at the confused and slightly disturbed look on Lily's and Anto's face. "Oh I am terribly sorry. Did Burgh use Swadloon again? It's rather depressing he doesn't notice his mad ravings. Oddly enough he seems well behaved when Burgh is around usually…" She said.
"It's fine. I get used to it from males." Lily replied.
"You kind of sound sexist…"
"It's just a complaint. I don't really hate them."
Anto wondered why he let his Pokémon always have a quick conversation with a gym leader's Pokémon. "Magical Leaf!"
"Protect!" Burgh cried out.
The force field protected the taller Pokémon from the onslaught of leaves.
"Now use Hyper Beam!"
Leavanny unleashed a powerful beam that caught both Anto and Lily off guard. Unfortunately, it was direct hit and the explosion clouded the battlefield.
As the smoke settled, Lily was seen out cold. It also signified that Burgh was the winner.
"A wonderful battle!" Burgh exclaimed. "But you are going to have to do better than that if you want the badge!" He then noticed the look on Anto's face. It wasn't that of a sore loser. As he recalled Lilly he placed his hand on his chin and started walking out.
Burgh couldn't help but smile. It looked as if failure couldn't deter that boy's spirit at all, which he had to admit was quite an interesting sight. Not many people would keep their heads up even after from such a loss. Perhaps he would come back again, and when he does he would shine even brighter.
Until then, he would have to draw his newest master piece from this battle. Burgh felt inspired and quickly motioned Leavanny to come to painting room with him. This fight felt especially inspiring and he was going to do his best in capturing it in a muse.
Summer, carrying Delta Ivysaur who she now called Flow, came to Anto along with Wes and Tracey.
"Sorry about your loss, Anto." Tracey started.
"Oh it's no problem. This just means it's just going to be a little harder in getting this badge." Anto explained to them through Flow's telepathic powers.
Wes folded his arms. "Huh. I don't know why, but I expected you to be a little more upset over a loss in a gym fight."
Anto thought about it. "… It's not like I can't try again. Besides, despite how annoying it was to face a huge type and strategy disadvantage, I kind of enjoyed how this made me think on my feet… even if the others did get tossed around like rag dolls. If he still uses the same strategy though, I might have a better chance of knowing what to do."
Wes nodded at his casual view point.
"That's surprisingly pragmatic of you Anto," Tracey noted. "But does this mean you'll use you-know-who?"
Anto shook his head. "I do not want to force him to fight if he doesn't like it. While it would make things easier, I'd rather not use him."
"But how will you defeat Burgh then? I don't think if you noticed, but I think his specific style of fighting and tactics hard counters yours." Summer pointed out.
Anto reflected a bit on that. She was right, but he didn't think it was much of a problem as she put it. "… Hmm then I just have to switch up tactics… or," There was a suddenly gleam within Anto's amber eyes as he smiled and realized something. "Do the same exact thing…"
Summer and Tracey seemed confused and baffled as why Anto would want to do the same exact thing again when he lost 0-2. However, Wes couldn't help but smirk at the mute boy's enigmatic wording. "I know that look: it's the look of a mad genius."
Anto glanced back. "I prefer the term, 'Tragically misunderstood genius'. … Now, to actually heal up the other three unconscious bodies on me…"
"I'm sorry." Takezo apologized sadly as he, Anto and the rest of his Pokémon were out in the secluded area they found and let Sen out in previously.
"Nah it's fine. You win some you lose some right?" Anto petted the small one's head. "Besides it was a team effort, so I have to take the blame as well. Especially when I could have done better in planning."
"I want a rematch with that small dude in a blanket!" Ohko fist pumped passionately.
Sen glanced oddly at Ohko. "I thought the others said you face against a Swadloon? They don't have blankets."
Lily turned her gaze to the newcomer. "No, trust me, you learn not to question things as much as you should. It just causes more headaches."
"Anyway…" Anto called all of their attention back. "We're going back there tomorrow, but this time, we're going to do the same exact thing as today!"
His Pokémon all stared at him weirdly.
"Anto, were you hit by a stray Pokémon attack in the head?" Takezo inquired slowly. "If so I recommend resting first rather than using something damaged."
Anto looked disappointed and slouched in his sitting position. "Actually I just wanted to sound vague and enigmatic so you would question me then I would actually reveal my real plan."
"Why not just start off with, 'I got a new plan', boss?" Ohko asked bluntly.
"That's not how it works! I sound crazy, you question me, then I reveal the method of my madness in such brilliance that you have to acknowledge me being clever!" Anto responded quickly before sighing and calming himself down. "Anyway, we're going to take this time trying to put some last minute training. Sen, we need your help for this. Mind trying to spar with us?"
Sen shrugged his shoulders. "Will you let me stop if I ask?"
"OK, you're already a million times better than the lab coats. So all I have to do is attack you guys in a way that shouldn't kill you, right? … That might be a little tricky…"
Lily, Takezo, and Anto seemed a little nervous at this decision as they just realized Sen was still a recently retired killing machine that they had just asked to fight with.
However, Ohko slapped Sen's back happily and laughed. "It's simple, bro! Just don't kill us!"
The three really should have told him it wasn't as simple as it sounded.
"Sounds simple enough. En garde!" Sen shouted, launching a swiping Shadow Claw at Ohko, but the blue humanoid quickly ducked and assumed fighting position, oblivious at the attempt that the swipe would have cleaved his head off his torso.
Ohko smiled before charging his punch with a Dual Chop and running to clash with Sen.
Anto frantically spoke out. "Wait this isn't the real training I had in mind!" Anto found himself ducking for cover after seeing Sen charging a Dragon Breath attack.
It took a whole ten minutes to stop the two from actually 'sparring' and dragging the fight into an empty park.
And by no means was it easy for the other three. Anto saw his life flash before his eyes several times from the two heavy hitters, which was really a slap in the face to him as the only memories to surface were all the near death experiences he went through in the past month. Why couldn't he even catch a break in simply training Pokémon!?
Lilly decided to do the smart thing and bunker down in a safe zone and hope those idiots would stop.
Takezo being slightly more competent than the other two, was able to step the sparring duo. … But not without a price.
To this day, park rangers are still baffled at the Patrat shaped hole found in a part of a stone wall along with claw marks and punch marks.
A little later, back at the slightly ruined hide out, and using one of the dropped Revive potions some random yahoo left lying around, Anto and his team were going to attempt a different form of training.
"I'm surprised that people leave random medicine on the floor for anyone to pick up. Did other trainers drop these things or something?" Anto commented to himself as he held the empty Revive in his hand before tossing it in the trash.
"Err, sorry sword man. I thought you were skeleton bro." Ohko apologized to the normal type lying down on the floor in pain.
"…" Takezo simply glared at Ohko, thinking that was an appropriate response to his apology.
Anto sighed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Okay… let's try this again. This time, please listen to everything I say before trying to not kill each other. … Now, let me just get a few things…"
Powerful Pokémon was one thing. Great tactics were another. But as Anto had been learning from his adventure so far, there was one thing that factored into his fights, or at least most of his battles that really caught his interest.
And that was the spark of creativity.
If there was one thing Anto enjoyed when it came to a fight, it was coming up with something new. He once saw a broadcast of a far away region's Grand Festival where coordinators would combine their attacks in spectacular fashion. Almost a bit like fusion moves but more based on looks and appeals.
That got him thinking of something that there was always more than one way to use an attack. With that in mind, there were some recent and not so recent items he required that had some very interesting effects. If his battle with Burgh taught him anything it's that artists always use tools to convey their work. And there usually was nothing in the rules that didn't allow tools to be used in a gym battle.
[The Next Day…]
Anto was easily welcomed back into the gym. Thankfully there was this weird rule once you beat a gym trainer, they wouldn't challenge you again even if you lost to the gym leader. Of course there were trainers who didn't get to battle with Anto in the first place, but the fear of crossing with the fighting type again made Anto's journey back to Burgh a little more pleasant.
Burgh smiled at Anto. "And the prodigal Son returns! Welcome challenger! The rules are still the same: 3 versus 3 single battles. The first to have all three knocked out loses," He welcomed kindly. "Now, release your first pick!"
Back at the bleachers, Tracey, Wes, and Summer were all wondering what Anto was going to do differently for this fight.
After, his first battle with Burgh, Anto had been unusually silent—more than usual for a mute… like him. A mute like him. Yes.
Why was that still a thing?
Regardless, Anto spent the rest of yesterday training in secret with his four Pokémon. He had some brilliant idea that would help him overcome the problems he faced here previously.
"Think he's going to use Sen?" Summer asked as she turned to the two boys to her left. Flow looked up at the girl from her arms as she did that.
"No, I think he's still not going to use Sen unless, the Pokémon himself says he wants to join." Tracey theorized.
Wes kicked back and positioned himself into a comfy position. "I wouldn't worry too much. These gym battles are really fun to watch either way. I might even go for the next one myself just to see how well I can do."
The trio was quite surprised when they saw Anto throw out Takezo first again.
"This looks familiar… or is it? Very well then, I sense a twist to a classic!" Burgh cried out before he threw out Dwebble to face Takezo again.
"Déjà vu." Dwebble commented.
Takezo bowed. "I hope we will have another good match today as well." Takezo politely called out before reaching for his blade, spinning it along his palm and gripping it tightly into a stance.
It was then the trio in the bleachers noticed something different about Takezo. He was wearing a scarf around his neck.
Burgh noticed the odd scarf as well, but decided to act before something unfavorable happened to him. "Dwebble, Rock Polish!"
Dwebble quickly started, but then was just as quickly interrupted and shocked… by an electric attack! So basically he was shocked more ways than one…
Wes smiled and sat straight back up into his seat. "Ahh! I was wondering when he would use that Thunderbolt TM Lenora gave him."
"But that was the fastest Thunderbolt I've ever seen!" Summer cried as she watched Takezo continuously blast electricity on the Dwebble from all sides. "Not to mention, Takezo looks faster than usual… wait…"
"Anto is using the choice items!?" Tracey finished the thought of Summer. "But they only allow a Pokémon to lock onto one move!"
"Did you forget their advantage though? Choice Specs up the power of ranged attacks; Choice Bands multiply the physical power of a Pokémon by an extra fifty percent; and Choice Scarves … increase speed. If you can work around the disadvantage, you can make any Pokémon as good as a specialist in one of those departments." Wes explained.
They all turned back to the fight. Dwebble already looked tired being blasted from supposedly all corners with electricity.
This was a complete reversal of yesterday's fight where the two Pokémon have now swapped situations.
"Dwebble, power through and finish at least one Rock Polish!" Burgh cried.
The Pokémon complied, toughing out through one Thunderbolt and finishing the speed booster. With great speed, Dwebble tried to hit Takezo with a Feint Attack, a sure hit move.
The attack connected and sent Takezo back.
"Feint Attack again!" Burgh commanded and with great speed, just not as amazing as Takezo' currently was, Dwebble closed in on Takezo.
Both Anto and Takezo smiled. "Takezo, parry it!"
Takezo slashed his blade to stop the Feint Attack, forcing Dwebble to stop in close range with Takezo, a huge mistake.
"Now!" Takezo quickly swatted one of Dwebble's claws away and stabbed his wooden blade to the ground before quickly grabbing the other free claw of Dwebble and performing a Thunderbolt from close range.
The battlefield flashed with blinding light before the center of the field exploded.
As the dust settled, Takezo, with bits of electricity sparking along his body, swung his blade and stood over an unconscious Dwebble.
Burgh recalled the rock and bug type, making Takezo flip back into ready position nearby Anto. "Such a reversal! Well done! Now go Swadloon!"
In a flash of light the bug, grass type appeared. He looked into the Eyes of Takezo and wailed in hysteria
"I use to have legs much like you! Then I took an evolution to the knee!"
Takezo looked back at Anto confused.
"Don't ask. Anyway come back. I promised Ohko a rematch." Takezo complied and allowed himself to return to his Poké Ball.
Then Anto threw the Great Ball out to summon his fighting type.
"Yo man! I'm back an ready to kick yo face!" Ohko started off, battle ready.
"Go back to Las Vegas, Blue man!"
"What's Las Vegas?" Ohko turned to Anto.
The mute shrugged. "Dunno, but it sounds eerily familiar…"
Burgh pointed out to Sawk. "I see you're trying the same thing! Fine then, Swadloon, use String Shot!"
Quickly, silk thread wrapped around Ohko's torso. But this time, Ohko was able to tear through the silk with pure strength.
Burgh looked startled. The Sawk was not as strong as before. Even for a day of training, the chances of a fighting Pokémon gaining so much strength in such a short amount of time—it was then Burgh paid attention to the head band the Sawk was wearing.
The Patrat wore a scarf and moved faster than it did before. And now the Sawk looked stronger than before.
His challenger was using Choice Items and using them wonderfully! He had never seen a challenger use those items before nor heard any of his fellow gym leaders in saying that they had fought Choice Item users. So he was quite surprised to see them here of all places being used against him.
Ohko ran up to Swadloon, charging his fist with dragonic energy, signifying a Dual Chop. Burgh snapped out of his stupor and ordered Swadloon to release a Razor Leaf attack.
However, Ohko did not show any signs of avoiding the attack. He threw his fist behind his head, stopped running to slide into the attack then threw his fist right into the large storm of pointed leaves heading right for him.
The dragonic energy exploded from touching the first leaf, which caused a shockwave that cancelled the momentum of all the Razor Leaves! Ohko continued through, and while Burgh and Swadloon where momentarily shocked, Ohko was able to use the second part of Dual Chop to karate chop Swadloon hard in the skull and cause the ground beneath the dual type to crack from the impact.
Ohko jumped back and prepared himself for another go.
Swadloon seemingly took the hit well.
"Huh? Where am I? Everything looks… clear…" Swadloon coherently asked before falling into the ground unconscious.
Anto briefly wondered if Ohko's chop had just cured a crazy person's insanity… before realizing briefly that Ohko… just OHKO'ed a Pokémon.
Burgh returned his Swadloon. "Haha! Wonderful! I feel so inspired! Go, Leavanny!"
"Salutations." She greeted.
"Gesundheit." Ohko returned.
"No, I was greeting you."
"Then what did I say?" Ohko asked.
"Oh dear, I'm starting to see why she said that yesterday…" Leavanny thought back to when she and Lily had their brief conversation yesterday.
"String Shot!" Burgh cried out. Leavanny complied and quickly shot another blob of stick web aimed right towards Ohko's face. However, Ohko placed his hand out in front and blocked the attack, yet his hand was now covered in webbing because of it.
"Despite being evolved, it's pretty much going to be the same strategy. Attempt to pin down Ohko before a Hyper Beam comes out way."
However, the smile on Burgh's face gave Anto a hint something was wrong.
"Let's try that new move of ours! The Mach Leaf!"
In what happened in what could have been an instant, something hit Ohko like an invisible wind and knocked him into hard into the ground.
Weakly, Ohko got up. He seemed to be on his last legs which meant that the attack had activated Ohko's Sturdy ability. That signaled to Anto that it was a very powerful attack to almost one shot Ohko of all Pokémon.
"Yooo… what hit me?" As Ohko got up, he saw one leaf on his torso on top of his cloak. He also felt rather numb where the leaf was lying on, but felt the rest of his body ache and feel sore.
"I-I don't know! What happened!?"
Burgh smiled jubilantly. "Very well done in making me use this new move, Anto. It truly brings out the best in all of our Pokémon! Now, Razor Leaf to finish it!" Leavanny quickly complied and launched a multitude of leaves at Ohko and knocked out the poor Pokémon.
Meanwhile, Anto's friends were all wondering what was that.
"What… what was that?" Tracey asked as he rubbed his eyes to truly check if that really just happened.
"I don't know…" Summer responded as she looked to Flow on her lap. "Did you see anything?"
"No… I-I don't know…"
Wes pondered on what that was. Was it similar to how Anto created Fusion moves? Mach Leaf? But what exactly could it Razor Leaf be combined with? Hyper Beam? No, that wasn't it. Burgh must have found some secret with the Razor Leaf attack.
"Whoa! No way, Dia, that's your trick!"
The trio turned around to see the Sinnoh Trio right behind them.
"Platinum? Dia, Pearl? What are you doing here?!" Summer yelped out in surprise.
Platinum and her two friends looked over to see the people they had met a few days back.
"Oh. Summer, Wes, and Tracey… good afternoon." Platinum addressed formally.
Tracey asked them. "What are you doing here?"
Pearl pointed to Platinum. "Platinum was going to challenge this gym after resting a bit from our voyage, but when we came we were told someone was already taking a challenge. So we decided to go and watch the fight then we'd have an idea of what goes on in this gym," He looked to the field where Anto seemed stunned and deep in thought as he looked between two Poké Balls in his hands. "We didn't know it was Anto. I thought he was mute."
"Wait," Wes stopped him and looked to Dia, causing the boy and his Lax to be slightly intimidated by the stern look on the Snagger's face. "What did your friend mean by 'your trick'?"
"W-Well I found out a move that shows a Pokémon can focus using the power of a Razor Leaf attack into just one leaf. It becomes a super fast attack that never misses its target and hits super hard," Dia explained. "I've used it before sometimes, but I didn't know someone else figured out that trick besides me. The world sure is a big place."
Summer glanced back to the battle. "Um, is there by any chance a weakness to that?"
Dia's gaze returned to that of a more casual and laid back expression. "No."
Wes also returned to watching the fight. "Dang, Anto has horrible luck."
The mute in question was still debating on how to deal with that new move as he stood in the battlefield in deep thought.
"An attack so fast, you can barely see it. And it's powerful to boot. … How do I counter that? There was just one leaf on Ohko's chest, but it hit like a train… wait. I recall the science fact about how water could be pressurized in such a way that it can sometimes cut through steel. It's basic science. … What if Burgh has found a way to pressurize Razor Leaf into such an attack? I'd call it impossible, but seeing as how I created moves that combine each other, I'd be a hypocrite."
"I would very much appreciate you calling out your second Pokémon now." Burgh told Anto. He wasn't usually impatient, but he thought that was enough time letting the boy get over his new attack.
"As fast as Takezo is, I don't think he can avoid such an attack without Detect. But then I can't lock myself into that move! … And Lily, even if she's a grass type, if she gets hit by that leaf… hold up. … A hit can only work if it makes contact. … The move may never miss, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will always hit its target… especially if they don't know where their target is…"
Anto smiled nervously as he took out the Poké Ball he was going to use. This plan was again rudimentary and a little sketchy, but if he wanted to win this he needed to be just as creative as Burgh.
Lily came out into the field wearing Choice Specs. She thought it looked kind of stylish on her.
"Lily! Leavanny has a powerful move that's almost impossible to dodge and hits like a truck!"
"… Wait then why did you send me out?!"
"Umm… Ohko was knocked out and Takezo can only avoid the attack by locking into Detect."
"But how am I going to handle that!?" She looked really worried.
"I have one idea…"
Burgh seemed odd at how Anto's choice to bring out against him. The last fight, Leavanny one shot that small grass type. It may be wearing Choice Specs much like the other two were wearing Choice items that benefited them, but he felt like that wasn't going to be enough to overpower Leavanny, so what exactly would he do?
"Leavanny, String Shot!" Burgh cried out. Leavanny complied and launched a silk thread towards the small grass type.
However, Lily quickly summoned a bunch of Magical Leaves that came up and worked as a wall to shield her from the attack.
"Ahh so you lock yourself into Magical Leaf hmm? Not a bad choice, but not good—what?" Burgh stopped as he saw something weird happen.
After stopping the String Shot attack, Lily started building up more and more Magical Leaves but did not launch them at Leavanny instantly. It looked like she was going to set up something.
However, the thing that got everyone's attention was that Lilly used the stacked up attacks on herself.
"What!? What's she doing!?' Pearl cried out as he and the others all watched in shock as all of Lily's Magical Leaves were magnetized to her and covered up her entire body to the point where she was completely under a huge pile of magical leaves that took her shape.
Anto smiled. "Hope this works! Lily, now! Scatter the Attack!"
Lily then exploded.
Or close to one. A large gust of wind came up from the condensed energy and leaves blew throughout the large room. The leaves blew in all directions, forcing everyone to shield their eyes in case a stray leaf went and poked them in the eye ball.
It went on for a few seconds until, the energy of the attack died down and the air returned to normal.
Burgh opened his eyes first and could not believe what was in front of him.
There were twelve Petilil-shaped leaf clones surrounding Leavanny.
Everyone in the stand immediately stood up to stare and get a better look at the incredible sight in front of them. What had happened? First Lily attacked herself with her own attack then this!? They were confused beyond their understanding.
"What is that!?" Pearl pointed out to the field where Leavanny was just as shocked looking around her to be surrounded at all sides by glowing leaves in the shape of a small Pokémon.
Burgh's laughter and excitement boomed across the room and everyone turned to look at him.
"Brilliant! Kudos! Le Magnifique! You sir deserve the highest praise for one of the most original and artistic moves I have ever seen! Fore shame that Unova has no Grand Festival for coordinators, for you would have been brilliant!" Burgh excitedly framed all the Petilil shaped leaf clones surrounding his Leavany. "You piled up the Magical Leaf attack so much before attaching it to your Pokémon. Then making an explosion to distract everyone watching! While that Explosion was still going on, your Pokémon made more clones of herself with the Magical Leaf attack and surrounded and hidden herself around my Leavanny! That is without a doubt the most creative way I have ever seen a Magical Leaf used in my life! I almost want to surrender right now and go paint this wonderful image on a canvas right away! But my soul cries out to battle to see how far your creation can take you! Leavanny! Return this fighting spirit in kind! Use Mach Leaf on all of them in rapid succession! Find the real one quickly!"
Leavanny moved in an instant, and the clone at her 1'o clock instantly burst to reveal nothing.
However, as soon as she destroyed that clone, the leaves of that clone froze mid air, pointed at her and raced towards her.
Burgh quickly commanded his Pokémon to use Protect and the energy field appeared to block the attack.
Anto saw his opportunity and quickly yelled before the first leaf made contact. "Now, before the shield fails!"
All of the clones exploded, revealing Lily at Leavanny's five o clock position. However, all leaves suddenly aimed at Leavanny and sped toward her.
The first wave made contact with the shield and it easily dissipated right after the first attack. Burgh's mind raced as he saw all leaves from the other eleven positions swarm immediately before the first wave ended. Making it Impossible for Leavanny to shoot an attack before the Protect barrier fell.
The moment the Protect ended, Leavanny was carried into the sky with a storm of magical leaves and was made crashing down like a meteor back into a ground with a strong tremble that caused the entire building to shake. It lasted several seconds as the swarm of Magical Leaves showered over the area like water being poured over an object—but far more powerful damaging.
As the last of the leaves slowed down as the fierce gales ended, Lily gasped for breath trying to control so much of those attacks, even with the Choice Specs greatly increasing her power over ranged attacks.
But it was done. Leavanny was out cold on the ground with her mouth filled with leaves.
"2-0! HA! Complete Reversal!" Anto cried at the score. "Way to go Lily!"
The shiny grass type sat down tired. "That… that was actually pretty cool. Tiring as all freak… but cool."
Burgh came up to them, returning Leavanny back into his person before smiling a huge smile to his opponent.
He fished his pockets and revealed the Insect Badge. "Please, accept this badge. No one deserves this badge more than you at this very moment. Your soul revealed itself during our fight and it was magnificently overwhelming!"
Anto blushed at the comments. He felt like he really didn't deserve them. But he still accepted the Badge and a Hand Shake from Burgh.
He excitedly continued to gush. "It's truly a shame you suck at artistry; the art world has been robbed of such a creative soul!" He chuckled.
Even when praised, Anto still get's the short end of the stick.
If he was a cartoon, a vein would appear on Anto's forehead on top of his smile for the hidden insult. But instead, he just decided to shake his hand… harder.
"Oww. Anto, you can let go now. Ow. Ow! OWOW! Sorry! Sorry!" Burgh cried as he tried to pry his hand out of Anto's grip.
Anto begrudgingly let go before looking into his third badge. As he watched the gleaming metal symbol, he couldn't help but wonder if his battles would only get harder.
Meanwhile, Tracey and Summer where cheering wildly for their friend. Pearl and Dia seemed utterly shocked while Wes and Platinum simply clapped at the battle in front of them.
"Go friend Lily!" Flow cried out in mental joy from the bleachers she was sitting on. Even Dia's Munchlax, Lax and Pearl's Chatot, Chatlord, also seemed excited.
That is… until the Sinnoh group all had their minds click in realization in something.
"Summer…" Platinum asked hesitantly before finally noticing the elephant in the room. "Did your Pokémon just talk? And isn't that an Ivysaur? Why does it look so different?" She pointed at the Delta.
It was at that moment the other three humans winced and thought of the same exact sentence in their head.
'Aw sugar honey iced tea…'
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