Does it End here?
A pleasant cry of a bird Pokemon resonated above a trio of travellers as they sat at the base of a sand-coated stairway leading to Mt. Chimney. The youngest of the three, Noah looked up from the pot of stew he was mixing with a dazed expression, aqua eyes shimmering in the bright sunlight as a couple of Swellows circled above, clearly aware of the meal he was preparing. Drool slowly ran down the corner of his lips as he watched the birds circle above. 'I wonder what Swellow taste like with vegetables...'
The birds instantly vanished from above, shrieking loudly as they ascended higher into the sky.
They were nearing Lavaridge Town, Noah concluded with a sigh before he turned towards his friends; Cole and Elisa were wrapped up in a conversation about something he did not bother pay attention to. Stretching his arms behind his head with a gentle yawn, he couldn't help but notice the calm air that that surrounded the older pair; Cole listening intently to Elisa as the young researcher continued to explain something to him, most likely about Legendary Pokemon. But what surprised him the most was the expression on Cole's face; a small grin pushed his cheeks up as he was listening to her, completely engaged with what she was saying.
'Lucky bastard.' Noah's lips curved upward, he was definitely jealous of the two, he wouldn't deny that. They were getting much closer to each other ever since Mauville City. Neither Cole nor Elisa told him about what happened at the Game Corner, which only pushed his curiosity.
He usually liked to be the centre of attention between the three, but for now he stayed he just rubbed the bead of sweat from his brow before calling the two over. "It's ready!" He sang, smiling to himself as the pair got up from their seats to head over to him. It seemed very weird, but he was astonished at how easy it was to chat with them. '...Is it normal to become friends so quickly?' He questioned himself as he scratched at his blonde hair, the strands thick with sand to his dismay. The first thing on his list when they reached Lavaridge Town: The hot springs...maybe with Elisa-
Cole and Elisa turned around, their mouths stuffed with a spoon, to the source of a deep voice that broke the gentle silence of their large group. Cole and Noah's Pokemon, who were all resting under the thick shade of the trees paid no attention to the newcomer. However Riolu blinked curiously at a fairly large, dark-skinned man who was smiling at them, his white teeth gleaming through his thick black beard as he approached the three. He gazed back at Elisa for her response as the large man waved at them.
"Do you mind sparing some food for a weary traveller?" He waved at Cole, grinning at him.
"Cole!" Elisa nearly choked on her spoon, glaring at him as he paid no attention to her.
The large man took a step back from Cole's words before he glanced at Noah, the keeper of the pot over the small campfire. "I'll do anything! Even a Pokemon battle!"
"You don't really need to listen to him..." Noah butted in while glaring at Cole, "I can give you some-"
The large man's smile widened before he suddenly grabbed onto Noah's hand, all in one motion, to his sudden shock. His large thumb circled around Noah's entire hand, that was now trembling in fear. Cole looked on in with an annoyed glare as the man grinned at the boys of the trio.
"Anything! I swear it!" He beamed at Noah who was struggling to free himself. "I have been hiking on this mountain for sooo long! And no strong Trainers have come by because of the storms in the desert!" Noah squeaked as a jolt of fear ran up his spine from the old man's grin. "I haven't even talked to another man in weeks! It's just so good to see someone that has so much passion in their eyes!"
'This is why you don't hand out food to strangers...' Cole shook his head as the man rubbed his unruly beard into Noah's face, making him screech, but it came out muffled through the hairs. Cole knew this first hand, he did start his journey here after all.
Elisa nodded softly from his words, completely unaware that Noah was beginning to suffocate in the man's grasp. "...So you've been lonely, or hungry?"
A devilish smile arose from the man's lips, only making Noah pale. "Yes! Both! Oh, I wish I had a travelling buddy to hike with in these parts! And one that can cook!" He hugged Noah again, making Cole cringe this time as the boy looked at him with wide pleading eyes.
'I'm not helping you this time...' The Magma Admin turned away, taking another sip as tears fell down the boy's face.
'Traitor! You're eating my food!'
"It's a good thing these young lads are here for me!" He let go of Noah, who dropped instantly, before quickly turning to Cole who paled from the man's wide eyes. He reached for his front pocket on his green vest and pulled out a Poke ball. "My name is Harunobu by the way; and my Pokemon are quite lonely as well."
"So! Are we going to do this or what?"
"Do what?" The Magma Admin felt a bead of cold sweat run down his neck as Harunobu, the hiker, smiled at him again, more fondly than before. Cole glanced away, clearly freaked out by the man's forwardness before his sight caught onto Elisa who was looking back at him, clearly confused. He clearly did not want to battle this freak...Cole stared at her before a sudden thought hit him.
"Elisa, you battle him."
Winds screeched and howled, but they did not faze her as she leaned forward in her chair. The flapping of heavy tent cloths and screaming from outside would drive anyone insane with annoyance, but she could not let these childish, trivial things get in her way.
She was the leader after all.
Suddenly, the opening of her tent tore open, two young men bursting into, gasping for breath before they bowed quickly to her. "Mam! The entrance to the Ruins is locked shut!"
"And?" Deep red eyes darkened from their words, only earning cringes of fear.
"A-And..." The first one spoke, but shut his mouth, turning to the other man for help.
"And...we can't get in?"
The two men cowered in fear from the woman's cackling laughter as she slammed her fist into the table, breaking the plastic legs and dropping them to the sandy floor all in one motion. "That's so funny; It's stupid!" She snapped at them, earning yelps of fear. "Don't you people have Pokemon?"
They nodded silently, avoiding her icy glare. "Then use them to bust that entrance down! We only need one thing out of there! The faster we get that plate, the faster we can get out of this disgusting desert!" She pointed to the flapping folds of the tent, "Get out!"
"Y-Y-Yes Mam!" They ran back outside instantly, into the swirling winds of the hot desert as the woman tiredly rubbed her temple with a sigh.
"All of them...useless!" She spat, leaning back into her measly chair. She huffed angrily before playing with her puffy red hair. 'Idiots...' She gazed at the ceiling of the tent, the brown and green folds dropping and rising with each passing gust of wind. 'If only Archie was still here...'
Was she a good leader? She was using all of their resources in this attempt to get the last known artifact of Sky Pillar...all for the sake of bringing their true leader back. But from what her sources told her, this wasn't the one that would bring the great Kyogre back. "If we get this one...We could trade it with Magma." She told herself, twirling the red strands through her fingers.
She then smirked, the winds howling once again as if hearing her words. "Then it'll be an all out race to see who gets their weapon first."
Now standing by herself, Elisa meekly glanced behind her to two boys who were standing in the distance. "D-Do...Do I have to do this?" Her voice coated with anxiety as she peered back over to the husky man who was drooling over Noah and Cole. Due to their 'stupid kindness', Cole's words actually, the trio had been forced to pack up and head up the stairway to the base of Mt. Chimney, in order to man's own idea of paying them back for the meal. It was not like she could say no to someone who was starving for a meal. Cole's trademark smirk flashed across her face and she sighed, 'I should have listened to him...'
"She only has two Pokemon!" Noah called making Elisa jump slightly before turning to her unlikely opponent. "So it's only two against two! Good luck!"
"I...B-But..." Elisa whimpered as Harunobu smirked before patting his thick stomach. Their battlefield was rather small on the plateau, due to the large amount of boulders that jetted out of the rocky floors. The researcher panicked, frantically trying to get Cole's attention as she backed up to her own corner.
"This is the only way to pay back such honest men! I would have preferred the boy, but I guess I'll have to deal with you!" Harunobu called as he threw a Poke ball into the air. "Go, Numel!" In a flash of white light, a small, camel-like Pokemon materialized onto the field with a gentle cry of its name. The small hump on its back puffed out a few clouds of smoke as it stamped its feet on the rocky floor, glaring at Elisa for her reaction.
"So cute..." Elisa cooed.
"You're supposed to battle it!" Noah cried from behind the researcher, making her jump with a nervous laugh.
"Y-You're right!" Elisa recomposed herself as she pulled out a Poke ball of her own. She stared at the red and white ball, this was going to be her first battle...With knowledge this time.
She glanced behind her, noticing Cole's stone-like face before sighing to herself. 'He's really forcing me to battle...Do I need to do this?' Hesitating with the object in her hands, Elisa glanced back and forth between the Poke ball and Numel before nodding to herself.
"S-Sealeo!" Her voice was weak, Harunobu caught on immediately as a fairly large sea lion Pokemon quickly materialized onto the rocky field, bowing its head playfully before looking at its opponent.
Cole looked on, his dark brown eyes alight with interest of seeing Elisa battle for the first time in front of him. He had been training her along the roads of Route 111, teaching her about the attacks that Riolu could use, and a few strategies for beginners, but this wasn't his first time playing teacher. He smirked slightly as Sealeo slapped its tail against the rocks.
'...She must be a Trainer now.' His thoughts wandered while looking towards the high mountains that rose above the quiet small town; their destination, but one more person stood in their way.
"Tackle attack!" Harunobu called, pulling Cole out of his daydream as the small camel-like Pokemon cried gently before stampeding towards Sealeo.
Elisa took a step back, her mind frozen at the shocking speed of Numel. "W-We started? Uh, S-Sealeo use-" Her voice cut off as the Fire/Ground type collided head on with her Pokemon, sending the sea lion a few feet back into the air.
Cole and Noah cringed slightly as Sealeo cried out in pain after slamming into a boulder, the shards of rock spewing into the quiet air. Harunobu laughed heartily as Numel stamped its feet once again, grinning alongside its Trainer. "Not too sharp for a Trainer, now are you?" He laughed again as Sealeo got up, shaking its head loose of the cobwebs. "Ah, if only you were built like those men of yours!"
Elisa bit her lip slightly, giving her Pokemon an apologetic look. This was turning out be just like the battles she had back on that riverbank when Cole and Noah were gone. 'You can't keep up with anyone.' A voice mocked her from within, making her cringe. "Sealeo."
Harunobu smirked confidently as Sealeo shook itself free from the rocks. "Just give up-"
The sunken researcher jolted up, turning around to the location of the voice. Hazel eyes softened slightly once she noticed Cole. His look was fierce, but encouraging to her as folded his arms over his chest. "The Trainers out here are better than beginners, but that doesn't mean you can't beat them!" She looked at him quietly before nodding, heart fluttering lightly from his words. This was the first time she had seen him with such an expression focused on her; so full of life.
They were a team after all, she had to make an impact as well with them. "Okay!" Her voice was stronger now, confidence rising. The basics that Cole taught her finally flooding her mind. "Sealeo, Water Gun!"
The Ice/Water type obeyed immediately, taking in a deep breath before releasing a surprisingly powerful stream of water towards a now fearful Numel. Harunobu panicked as the jet of water zipped towards his Pokemon. "Dig!" With speed that contradicted Elisa's initial view of the Numb Pokemon, Numel dived into the rocky earth, clawing relentlessly, barely escaping the Water Gun as it slid along the open earth before crashing into a boulder just at the side of the field missing completely; Harunobu sighed with relief. 'Can't get hit with that.'
Cole's eyes flashed in the sunlight, he sighed, catching Noah's attention. "It's coming back up."
"Sea!" With a sudden crack of stone and rock, Numel erupted from the ground, crashing into Sealeo with a heavy collision of large bodies. "That's not fair!" Elisa panicked slightly as her Pokemon flew up into the air, spinning with the fragments of rock that followed the attack.
"Bwahaha! Don't let up!" Harunobu called hurriedly. "Ember!" Numel landed back onto the cracked earth before spouting multiple bursts of heated flames into the sky, the flares glowing brilliantly in the sunshine.
From the sidelines, the older male of the duo frowned as the Ember connected directly, hitting Sealeo in a small eruption of flames before it cried out in pain. Even though she was still learning the ways of battling, he couldn't help but clench his fists in annoyance at her lack of will to counter any of Harunobu's attacks. 'Don't let him just take over...Get back in there!'
'What...What do I do now?!' Elisa cringed as Sealeo slammed into the ground; dust, sand and ashes blowing up into the winds as her Pokemon panted heavily from the attacks. Should she return her? Or use Riolu?
"Water Gun again!" She finally called, Sealeo obeyed once again, sending another jet of cool water towards its target.
"I'm ending this!" Harunobu shot back quickly while pointing towards Elisa. "Dodge that attack, and go in with a Take Down!" Numel nodded frantically before jumping quickly to its side, avoiding the Water Gun to Elisa and Sealeo's surprise before trampling through the ground at a high velocity.
The thunderous movement froze the girl in place. Her knees buckled once a sickening head on collision was heard over the battlefield. Sealeo cried out in severe pain as Numel's Take Down sent the Ice/Water type across the field once again, slamming it into a boulder in another explosion of rocks and debris.
Cole and Noah gave each other side glances as the debris cleared to reveal a knocked out Sealeo that was laying on top of a boulder, panting heavily. "She sucks..." Noah said blatantly, all humour removed from his expression as he gawked at the view before him.
Cole nodded slightly in return, though keeping his mouth shut as he turned back to the battlefield. 'You're too slow...I don't want to ask Tori to help me out for the next plate...' He groaned slightly at the thought of having the promiscuous woman help him out again. If he asked her, he knew for a fact she wouldn't let him hear the end of it. Either deal with her or try to believe in Elisa.
A very tough choice.
"Too easy!" Harunobu barked as his Numel trotted over to him, panting slightly from the last attack. "We might as well call this battle over, since you lack passion!"
Elisa's fist clenched slightly at the insult as she returned her beaten Pokemon. "...I'm sorry Sealeo." She whispered slightly before pulling out another Poke ball; her last one. This was it...Now she could see the truth behind Cole's words, it had not even been a minute, and she was already depending on a Pokemon she had never used before.
She turned slowly, crestfallen as she fiddled with the Poke ball. Why did Cole put her into this? 'I suck...' She sulked which Cole caught onto immediately before he sighed from her expression.
"Stop being such a pushover! Sealeo was defeated, so what now?!"
Hazel eyes widened from Cole's words. He said something like this back when they left Slateport...Now that she only had one Pokemon left, would she just give up? Sealeo was the one that was battling, and she didn't give her any support at all...She had more than just one Pokemon, someone who could help her little sea lion. Her mind raced as images of Cole and Noah's past battles flashed before her. They were all fighting...with all of their Pokemon; she looked down to her Poke ball. They were not giving up on themselves, she had to be like them.
She needed to believe in all of her Pokemon now.
In a flash of bright light, a small, blue furred Pokemon on hind legs landed onto the rough terrain with a gentle cry of its name. Harunobu peered at the Pokemon with confusion on his face as Riolu played with its yellow collar before getting into a fighting stance, its wide red eyes gleaming with confidence.
Riolu eyed his new situation, quickly feeling the anxiety emitting from Elisa before turning back to her. He gave her a smirk, to her surprise before turning back to Numel. He knew exactly what his Trainer was feeling, he wouldn't let her down.
"I've never seen a Pokemon like that before..." He breathed, his voice slightly off with awe from the figure in front of him.
'I can't waste all of that time I had with Cole and Riolu.' She stared at Riolu's form intently, he already knew the situation; that's right, he could feel her emotions.
"Time for another easy victory!" Harunobu pointed towards Riolu with a grin. "Show that Pokemon some passion, Ember now!" A flurry of scattered flames were released from the yellow camel, carried across the field with the help of the soft breeze.
"Dodge it with Quick Attack!"
Cole perked up while Noah gasped slightly from the quick response. 'That's more like it, don't hesitate.' Cole smirked to himself from the sudden change in her demeanour; her figure looked more confident now as the Fighting Pokemon vanished with surprising speed, dodging the flames that collided against a boulder, scattering in every direction. Harunobu gasped as Riolu jumped onto a boulder not far from its initial position before leaping off in a blur of wind. 'Riolu will be your ace.'
"No way!" Harunobu muttered in astonishment as he could only hear the impact of Riolu slamming into Numel, sending the Fire/Ground type across the floor in a heap of rocks and debris. "So, you were just playing around before?!" His voice became agitated as he eyed the confident smirk of Riolu, mirroring that of Cole's.
"Get up Numel! This battle just got better; use Take Down!"
Elisa's heart skipped a beat once the camel shot up with an angered glare, no longer looking cute like she once thought; it stampeded towards Riolu who stood its ground, waiting for her command. Suddenly words erupted from her mouth, Cole's training finally sprouting as she hurriedly pointed towards Numel. "Counter!"
This time, Cole and Noah gasped as a red aura surrounded Riolu as it took a defensive stance, its arms crossed in front of its body, awaiting Numel's attack. 'She remembered!' Cole couldn't help but smile slightly from the young woman's command; she was doing it!
Harunobu choked up on his words as Numel neared the Fighting Pokemon; he tried to recall his command, but it was too late. A loud warping screech was heard throughout the area as Numel crashed into Riolu, but to its surprise, it was the one that cried out in pain, suddenly sent back through the air, glowing a dark red.
"Great job Riolu!" The Counter attack had worked exactly to Elisa's liking as Numel was sent back into a boulder, crashing roughly into the jetted stones in an explosion of sand and ashes. As the debris cleared quickly in the rising winds, Elisa and Riolu smiled brightly as Numel lay on the ground, swirls in its eyes as a puff of smoke rose from its hump. "You did it!" Elisa cried happily as she jumped with glee.
"Elisa won!" Noah gaped before jumping up and down, pointing at the field for emphasis as Cole smirked to himself. "That's what you guys have been doing?! So cool!"
"Keep it up Elisa!" Cole called out, catching the researcher's attention. She smiled brightly at him; that was her first ever win. She had earned it, and it was all thanks to Riolu...and Cole.
"We won a battle!" She smiled, her cheeks full, she couldn't contain her happiness. The rush of emotions that filled her from the battle as Riolu jumped back over to her, its face beaming like its Trainer. 'Do Cole and Noah feel like this every time they battle?' Her smile remained, eyes fixed on her friends before a loud voice boomed from behind her, catching her attention.
"Missy!" Harunobu smirked while taking out another Poke ball after Numel was returned. "I still have one more, and by the looks of your strange Pokemon, its going to like this next opponent!" The large man laughed as he threw his last Poke ball into the air. In a flash of light, a fairly large, but very muscular grey Pokemon materialized onto the field. It immediately flexed its bulging muscles, letting out a loud exhale while slapping a golden championship belt around its waist before facing Riolu with a dark smirk.
"A Machoke?!" Noah cried while taking a step back. "Elisa can't beat that thing!"
"Let's just watch." Cole shook his head in shame of Noah's sudden change of heart before his dark brown eyes narrowed in thought. 'They're both Fighting Pokemon...' This would be an excellent test for Elisa. 'She'll find a way to keep up.'
"Machoke, head in with a Karate Chop!" The Fighting Pokemon obeyed with a cry of its name, sprinting towards its small opponent with a raised hand, prepared to strike.
Elisa didn't need any time to tremble in fear this time, she was enjoying this too much now, a rush, something so uplifting rose in her chest. "Dodge it Riolu!" The smaller Pokemon had the advantage; as it easily maneuvered around the quick strike. Machoke's hand cut right through the boulder behind Riolu, splitting it into two as one slab slowly slide to the ground with a thud. Elisa gasped as the ground shook beneath her, 'That Machoke is really strong!'
"Don't give it a chance to breath!" Harunobu yelled hurriedly, "Keep up the Karate Chops!" Machoke roared as it leaped towards Riolu, both hands now fixed into a striking position.
"Counter!" Elisa quickly cried out. Riolu nodded, its body suddenly glowing red as it prepared to knock the Superpower Pokemon back. But to Elisa's surprise, Machoke spun out of the way, landing to the side of Riolu with its arms raised. Her hazel eyes widened with fear once Riolu gasped, its red aura quickly fading.
"He's out waiting the Counter!" Noah gasped, realizing that the attack couldn't remain up forever as Harunobu smirked.
"Take it down!" As soon as the red aura disappeared, Machoke released a furry of blinding strikes towards Riolu. The large man was about to laugh in victory before an unbelievable scene finally caught his view.
Riolu was dodging the attacks!
"He's a Fighting Pokemon, and with that size..." Cole gaped in awe as Riolu dodged each strike, narrowly avoiding each one, but it looked completely unfazed by the speed of Machoke's fury. Riolu was built for these types of battles. The Magma Admin could only look on with surprise, the true potential he knew was there was finally showing.
"Elisa!" Cole's sudden voice caught Elisa by surprise before she quickly glanced back at Cole, "Riolu won't be able to keep up with those attacks forever! Don't let him get tired!"
The researcher nodded hurriedly, realizing that she needed to move quickly. "Force Palm!"
Harunobu gasped in shock as Machoke finally struck Riolu with one of its hands, the Emanation Pokemon sliding back a couple of feet before leaping off a boulder and coming down on Machoke with a brutal strike to his Pokemon's head. A wave of energy pulsed out from the strike, pushing him back as Machoke cried out in pain, wobbling back in a daze before dropping to the ground on its knees. "Machoke, you got to hang in there!" He cried, fearful that he was going to lose this battle, to a little girl of all people!
Suddenly, yellow sparks of electricity erupted from Machoke, making it howl in pain as its bulking arms tensed, slamming into the ground with a loud thud. "W-What happened?!" Harunobu glared at Elisa who was looking at him with the same amount of surprise written all over her face.
Elisa hesitated, looking worriedly over to Machoke's howling form. "...I...Well..."
Cole's voice was soft with amazement as he looked at Riolu in awe. "Force Palm inflicts a status problem." This Pokemon from the Sinnoh Region was quickly becoming one of his new favourites as Machoke got up angrily on one knee, sparks of electricity spewing from its muscles in multiple directions.
To Elisa's surprise after hearing Cole's words, Harunobu laughed. 'His Pokemon's paralyzed...why is he smiling?' She had the advantage now, "Riolu...Use-"
Elisa and Noah gasped in shock once Machoke suddenly shot up, its reptilian face dark as it smirked at an unsuspecting Riolu. It's body glowed a brilliant white before the light resonated towards its muscular arms. Machoke then bolted towards Riolu, roaring loudly as it trampled through the ground.
"B-But how? It's supposed to be-"
"Get Riolu out of there!" Noah cried, but it was too late; Machoke batted its arms into Riolu, the heavy blow knocking the wind out of the small Pokemon as it was hurled towards a mass of boulders at the end of the field.
"Riolu!" Elisa screamed in fear as an explosion of rocks and debris erupted from the end of the field. Stones and earth scattered across the area as Elisa frantically ran over to the rubble, worry dominating her features as she clasped her hands into fists. As the dust cleared, the researcher felt a pang of guilt strike at her as she saw Riolu laying against a rock, swirls in its eyes from the devastating attack. The battle was over.
"That's how you show passion!" Harunobu yelled to the sky as his Machoke roared alongside its Trainer, slapping its chest proudly in victory.
Elisa picked up the Fighting Pokemon, her face downcast as Riolu regained consciousness and slowly looked up to her. "I-I'm sorry Riolu..." Her voice cracked slightly. If she was just more assertive like Cole or Noah, then she would have won the battle. That was her weakness, 'I just can't-'
She gasped, a sudden gentle feeling touched the side of cheek. Opening her eyes, they softened once Riolu smiled brightly at her. She could feel a strong pulse emit from the Fighting Pokemon's paw, resonating within her as she blinked with awe.
"You still think...that I can be your Trainer?" Elisa choked slightly once Riolu nodded vigorously, smile still bright despite the pain from the battle. Her lips curled softly upward, "Thank you..."
A hand suddenly touched her shoulder and she jumped slightly, looking back to see Noah smiling down at her. "That was a really good battle Elisa!" He smiled, eyes closed with happiness. "That Riolu really knows how to battle, why didn't you train it sooner?" The sailor laughed, patting her gently on the back as she looked at him with wide eyes, unsure of how to respond to his words.
"R-Really?" She mumbled.
"Yeah!" Noah grinned as he hoisted the young woman up with ease. "You're not really going to be all mopy because of one loss are you?"
"But..." Elisa's glanced at him with surprise.
"Wins and losses hit everyone, even Cole, I bet! You just need work at it, you'll be fine!" Noah laughed, his thumb jerking towards the older male who was giving Harunobu a few Poke dollars for his victory, and the last dish of Noah's food.
"Hey!" Noah blurted out, aqua eyes wide with shock before he desperately reached for his backpack, only to see that it was open. "How did you get that?!"
Elisa's hazel eyes softened slightly as she looked down to Riolu who was now laughing along at Noah was desperately fishing through his backpack. "I...I just wanted to show you guys that I could battle..." Her words were quiet, making Noah narrow his eyes before he turned back to her. He was about to ask her to repeat herself before Cole and Harunobu suddenly came into his view, cutting him off.
"That was a good battle after all." Cole's words snapped Elisa from her thoughts as she looked up from Riolu towards him, her hazel eyes glittering in the sunlight. "It was fun, right?"
"Yeah-" She quickly shut her mouth, realizing the excitement in her voice before she quickly averted her eyes. "I-I mean...It was a good experience for Riolu." She looked back down to her Pokemon with a gentle smile. Sealeo was obedient, but much more docile, so battling was never really her thing. But this one here. Elisa had never seen Riolu express such vigour in something before, she would usually keep him at home when she was studying at the university, but that was not the life for him; Riolu enjoyed battling, and she was quickly realizing this..
"Seems like you really have the heart of a true man!" Harunobu laughed heartily before turning to leave, leftovers in hand.
"Umm...Thanks?" Elisa replied, unsure of how to respond as the large man skipped down the stairs.
"You'll be good in no time if you keep training with passion! Farewell!" And with those words, he began to head down the steep stairway that led towards the raging desert.
"I think that guy really liked you."
Noah glared at the older male, "He liked my food! Why did he get all of it?!"
"We didn't lose as much money that way."
The young sailor gaped at Cole, jaw slamming into the ground. "All of the money is yours anyway!"
"So I'm helping you out."
"Didn't you say you wanted to help him?" Cole added in with a righteous smirk. He got him.
Noah fought back tears, only making Elisa rub his back gently before she turned to Cole who was now looking towards a small building in the distance. A large pole was jetting out from behind the building, towering above the trees as Cole began to walk towards the building's entrance. "What is that?"
"The Cable Car station." Cole replied, turning around this time to face her. "It'll get us to Mt. Chimney, then we should be able to head down to Lavaridge by tomorrow." Elisa opened her mouth in an 'O' fashion before the Trainer suddenly smirked at her, catching her off-guard.
"If you really want to get to Lavaridge," His confident smirk sent a spark up her spine as he gazed at her with mischievous eyes, "We could get there with Flygon in a couple of m-"
That small fire that Cole so easily sparked within her was hopelessly drenched by her words as Elisa stormed passed Cole and Noah to their surprise towards the Cable Car station. There was no way she would get on Flygon again, not after Petalburg, fear settling into her as she hurried towards the open doors of the building.
Noah blinked in confusion as he looked between Cole and the retreating girl. "What was that about?" He asked, scratching at his blonde hair as he waited for an answer.
'She's standing up for herself now.' Cole stifled a laugh as he followed after Elisa with a small smirk on his face, earning a wide-eyed look from the younger male from his expression. "I'll tell you when we get on the car."
Hands gripping onto the cushioned seats below her, Elisa held in her breath, face pale and sweaty as the cable car rocked gently, though menacingly to her, in the winds that blew around the base of Mt. Chimney. She had decided to sit by herself in fear of Cole or Noah playing a prank on her, but she was quickly regretting that decision as Cole and Noah continued to chat with each other across from her, the clear windows surrounding them as Noah looked outside to her left towards Route 111. She refused to look at the emerging scenery as the car began to move above the thick canopy.
This was just one of the things that prevented her from hanging out with the few friends she was able to make back at the university; the fear of heights. 'Why is this thing moving so much?!' She let out suppressed cry as the car suddenly jolted to its side from a gust of wind, making her legs tremble as she forced her sight down, avoiding the windows at all costs.
'If I went on Flygon...We could have gotten there faster!' She screamed at herself from her foolish decision, but the nagging feeling of Cole smirking at her made her blood boil that he would get satisfaction of seeing her suffer.
"Elisa.." It was Noah's voice, almost breathless, but she didn't look up from the steel floor. "You gotta see this..." Soft hazel eyes peeked open for a split second, but she quickly shut them again once the car rocked again, swinging on the cable that held their lives in its twisty grasp.
"N-No...I-It's okay, really!" She quickly replied, hands now clinging onto her pants for some kind of support as Noah playfully hopped on his seat to send shock waves of fear through her again.
"Oh come on, its safe...I'm just-"
"P-Please stop!" She whimpered as Noah continued to snicker, jumping more wildly this time. "The woman at the desk said it will only be a couple of minutes so rea-" Her voice escaped from her mouth once she suddenly heard a cry of pain from Noah and then a comforting hand place itself on her shoulders.
"It's a good view." A firm voice rang through her burning ears as Elisa slowly looked up to him, hazel never wavering from his deep brown. "You should enjoy it while we're here."
She hesitated as Cole removed his hand from her shoulder, Noah's angered voice falling on deaf ears as she felt the loss of warmth escaping from her open sweater before she glanced at the windows. "F-Fine..."
"Oh! So you listen to him, but not me!" Elisa ignored Noah's laughter, edging slowly to her left towards the window, she kept her eyes down to Cole and Noah's amusement as she cautiously reached out for the window screen. It was warm. Opening her eyes, finding their target, she placed her palm against the screen.
Looking back at Cole, she gulped slightly as he gave her an encouraging nod towards the window, his support pushing her forward to make the move. "I'm telling you; you don't want to miss it."
"Okay." She moved her eyes away from Cole, his gentle expression painstakingly hard to leave as she turned her head towards the window.
Words really couldn't define the sight before her eyes. As the cable car moved slowly upwards, creaking gently, the scenery before her looked like a fantasy, coming to life just for her eyes. The massive pine trees that populated the land below swayed with the winds around them as she gaped in awe.
It was truly breathtaking.
Curiosity overpowering her fear, Elisa leaned forward against the window, strands of dark auburn hair falling in front of her eyes as she gazed in every direction. Beyond the dense forest below her, the large fields that spanned continuously northward were coated a mesmerizing greyish silver, the sun sparkling off the ash that reminded her of the ocean's waters at night.
Now standing up, she walked along the cramped car before she squeezed between Cole and Noah to their surprise, pressing her forehead against the window once more; sighing with amazement as she noticed a splash of gold further in the distance.
"That's the desert." Elisa murmured. It was a vast ocean of sand. Clouds coloured a sandy copper and dark amber that teasingly reminded her of Cole's eyes whirled endlessly, towering over the horizon which blocked out any further view that she now desperately wanted to see.
"What a scared Skitty!" Noah laughed as he nudged Cole's arm. "How could she possibly be afraid of this!" He snickered as Cole smirked to himself while glancing at the young woman that leaned above them. His eyes wandered though from the gentle expression on the side of her face, trailing down her back towards her legs that luckily hid beneath her dark pants. Flashes of the dress she had worn playing in his mind, he looked away, suddenly interested in the cliff face of Mt. Chimney; still in wonderment as to how this woman was beginning to enter his thoughts, day after day.
"I just needed time!" Elisa shot back at Noah's joking words, a bright smile emerging on her face as they continued to climb up the volcano, a beautiful calmness washing over her as she gazed at her country in awe.
"Hoenn..." Her eyes wandered back to the high clouds of sand; could she see the ocean from here?
'If that storm wasn't there...' She pouted playfully as her hands smudged the glass. It was like gazing upon all of Hoenn from a little world. She continued to smile in awe until...something flickered in the distance.
'What is that?' She perked up, oblivious to the Noah's banter as she focused her sight above the towering wall of sands that danced in the distance. 'It must be big if I can see it from-'
Soft hazel eyes bulged from their sockets as she pressed further against the glass. There in the distance, amongst the raging sands of the desert, Elisa could not believe her own eyes as a long trail of some green figure, a tail maybe, slipped through the thick clouds above the towering sandstorm.
She was dreaming right? Her heart struck against her chest, pumping with adrenaline as she suddenly gasped, catching Cole and Noah's attention.
"What is it?" Cole asked.
"You finally realized that you're in a cable car?" Noah smirked.
A sudden knot caught her throat as she saw the flash of green slip into the raging sands, as if all an illusion. She fumbled with her words, sweat now beginning to form at her temple. Elisa did not answer, completely fixed on the desert, oblivious to her friends words as they gently shook her, trying to get her attention.
"What's the matter? You okay?" Noah asked this time, concern now laced within his words as he looked over to Cole for some explanation.
The researcher's hands trembled as they slid down the now moist glass. Her hot breath blurring her view which was finally able to release her from her trance. 'It's here...' She had listened to her father's stories for so long. Tales of beasts that birthed Hoenn thousands of years ago, creating the balance between land, sea and sky; one of them had just pulled at her heart with the mere illusion of its existence.
'No..No...I..It couldn't be...' She remained silent as she slowly slipped back into the seat between her worried friends, her heart beating so relentlessly in her chest, it hurt.
"What happened?" Elisa snapped her head towards Cole, her eyes wide as she panted slightly. Cole eyed the young woman, worry clearly written over his face as he analyzed her features for any sign of an injury.
"I-It was-" She stopped, earning a confused look from the Trainer.
'A Legendary Pokemon is a once in a lifetime chance...' Those words that seemed so fleeting long ago, suddenly manifested themselves into her mind, so heavy within her now. She quickly averted his gaze.
That was the only reason he was travelling with her...But she needed to tell him.
"It was..." She gulped, looking away, "...Nothing." Guilt stabbed at her heart as Cole blinked in confusion, innocent to her lie before he glanced back out the window.
She tensed, snapping her attention to him as a small smirk hit his lips. "Worried about the storms?" Cole smirked as he glanced back at her, making Elisa's heart beat even harder than before. "Those storms can get really big sometimes but its okay. When it dies down, we'll get there." Dark brown eyes glinted softly in the late sunlight as Cole turned back to the view of Hoenn, a thoughtful look lighting his features.
"I...I see." Elisa could only mutter softly as she slumped between them, her eyes downcast.
"Don't scare us like that Elisa!" Noah pouted, rubbing her shoulder gently before glancing out the window. "It's just a storm."
It was just a storm to them...But, they would eventually reach the desert...that was inevitable. Hazel eyes flickered quickly as they turned on Cole who continued to look out the window, along with Noah.
"Have you ever gotten lost out there?" Noah asked, turning to Cole, peeking at the large storm in the distance.
"No. There's really nothing to be scared about out there."
"I'm not scared!"
'If we see Rayquaza...' Her emotions were mixed from the Cole's words that rang in her head. 'Does that mean Cole will leave?' She didn't want to admit it, but the feeling of Cole not being by her side sent chills down her spine, suddenly feeling cold in the heated cable car.
She didn't want him to leave. He could be rude, weird, and completely cold to her sometimes...'But.' She bit her lip softly: he was caring, strong-The positive words flooded her thoughts until one last word finally remained.
He was her friend. The first person she really felt a connection to. One that was willing to risk so much for her...She didn't want to lose him. But one way or the other, Rayquaza's appearance signalled one thing to her.
This journey would end.