Round Two: Blocking Out
“A water battle!” June exclaimed. “That should be interesting! Kingdra would do well, but you don’t have any other Water types.”
“That doesn’t matter, June,” I shook my head at her. “You saw what happened on the Grass Field. Lola used a Fire type and burned the entire field down! Her Water type flooded the place! This isn’t so much about matching types with the field, but how to use the field to your advantage. But I do think Kingdra is a good idea.”
“So who else will you be bringing?” June asked as we stepped outside and were met by the hot sun that challenged our tolerance.
I squinted against it, looking right into it, and then closed my eyes and lowered head, thinking. “I guess Hoothoot is a good option, right? Hoothoot and maybe Butterfree? They can both fly and stay out of the water.”
“It’s a fair enough idea. You should really have caught more Water types.”
I shot her an angry look.
June shrugged. “Well, I’m right, you know.”
“I’ll do just fine with what I have, thank you,” I snapped.
“Hey! Do you wanna borrow my Lanturn?” June asked eagerly, stopping, her eyes glistening.
“No way!” I shouted at her. “I made it here with my own Pokemon. I’m not using yours to advance!”
“Hmm,” June said thoughtfully. “I guess I understand that. But you don’t even have an Electric type Pokemon with you. There’s a good chance the opponent will be using at least one Water type, and probably an Electric type as well. Electricity will be a nice thing for you to have, and with my Lanturn, who has Volt Absorb Ability, any Electric moves used on her will heal her HP!”
“Porygon-Z has a couple Electric moves,” I considered out loud to myself, ignoring June.
We stopped at a building with the words Water Field on the top of it in bold, dark blue letters. “Hey, I guess we’re here.”
“Yeah, but we still have time. The battle doesn’t begin until two. We have about thirty minutes. Let’s look around the village.”
“Let’s get some souvenirs or something!” June smiled. “Look at that over there! I wanna buy one!” June pointed off into the distance and immediately ran towards one of the many booths lining the street.
“It’s too hot for that!” I complained, sighing. “I’m gonna go wait inside.” June didn’t seem to hear me and I totally didn’t care. Rolling my eyes, I walked into the building, refreshed by the air conditioning, and took a seat.
All of the buildings I’d been in looked the same as each other besides the paint job. This building’s inside was painted orange.
It was the day of my second round battle, taking place on the Water Field.
After my dinner with Prof. Oak, my mom, and June last night, we had attempted to locate Robin, but with no luck. Prof. Oak wasn’t even able to contact his parents when he made the phone call. They never picked up.
I wasn’t worried, though. I knew that Robin was gonna get past the preliminaries. Just like I would.
Several people were grouped up near the other end of the floor, where a TV hung from above.
What’s going on there? I wondered, and walked over.
A Pokemon battle!
“And that’s it, folks!” the announcer screamed. “With a terrifying Crunch attack from Raticate, Sableye has been defeated and Arnold wins the match!”
A young kid was shown hugging his Raticate joyously. The kid had short black hair and wore a red T-shirt and baby blue shorts.
“Hey!” I muttered, my eyes widening. I know him, I thought to myself, stepping up closer to the screen, squinting hard. Arnold? Where do I know him from...?
I turned to see June walking up to me, her arms crossed, scowling at me. “Why did you leave me out there?”
“I told you I was going inside. It’s hot out there. What did you buy?”
“Nothing. I changed my mind.”
I rolled my eyes. “Hey! Do you recognize this kid?” I asked urgently, pointing up at the screen.
“The most controversial movie of the year,” spoke a voice from the TV.
An angry little white eel Pokemon was glaring out from the black screen, its eyes red.
“Tynamo Untrained. Rated R. In movie theaters now.”
“I’m absolutely not seeing that,” one kid said. “That’s just wrong.”
“You’re too young, anyway,” another kid spoke up. “It’s Rated R.”
“I guess the battle ended,” I said with disappointment. “I saw this kid. He looked so familiar to me. His name was Arnold.”
“Arnold?” June repeated, thinking. She shrugged. “Doesn’t ring a Beldum, sorry.” She smiled widely.
I sneered at her poor pun and walked over to a nearby seat, June joining me.
“So did you figure out your Pokemon yet?” June asked.“I’m gonna keep the six I have and just decide what to use when I battle. Kingdra, Butterfree, and Porygon-Z seem like good choices, though.”
“I suppose so,” June replied uncertainly. “You never did use that Drifloon you caught. Maybe you should make a trade.”
“I’ve been thinking about that. I’m sure I’ll use it a bit later, but right now, I think these three are my best bet.”
“And on the Grass Field, for round two, we have Green Trainer, Becky Ansley, from Cerulean City going against Red Trainer, Joshua Fitle, also from Cerulean City,” the announcer spoke through the television. “A bit of hometown rivalry should ensure this is one of the more intense battles of the competition.”
Is that the same Grass Field I battled on? I questioned as I watched the TV.
The grass looked green, fresh, and there were no signs of a fire having been there at all.
“Begin!” The referee raised a green flag in one hand, the red flag in the other.
“Gooooo!” the red haired Becky yelled with a smile, throwing a Great Ball.
An Octillery landed on the ground, the octopus waving its tentacles throughout the air.
The blonde Joshua also threw a Great Ball and sent out a Shinx, the cute little Pokemon smiling eagerly.
“Awwww! Look at the little cutie!” June cried out lovingly.
“This is gonna be a quick win,” one girl near the TV screen said slowly, shaking her head.
“Wring Out!” Becky ordered, and Octillery reached one of its tentacles out to wrap around Shinx.
“Dodge and use Thunder Fang!” Joshua responded.
Shinx leaped into the air, but Octillery caught it and squeezed hard. Shinx cried out, held high in the air by Octillery. Growling, Shinx opened its jaws, its teeth crackling with electricity, and bit into Octillery’s tentacle, shocking the octopus. Octillery let go of Shinx and collapsed, Shinx landing on its feet.
“Octillery is unable to battle! Shinx is the winner!” The referee raised a red flag to Joshua.
“Octillery and Shinx are the same gender,” June muttered.
I turned to her. “Huh?”
Her eyes stayed on the screen. “That Shinx may have Rivalry Ability. It boosts the attack of moves if the opponent is the same gender as the user. That must have really hit hard.”
“Oh, I get it,” I replied, looking back at the screen.
Becky sent out her next Pokemon.
A Steelix was sent out, towering high over Shinx.
“Oooooh, she’s in trouble now,” said one of the young kids watching.
Steelix’s Iron Tail was avoided, and Shinx fought back with Fire Fang, taking the Steel snake down to the ground and further weakening it with a Burn.
Steelix’s Earthquake took Shinx out, but an engulfing flame from the Burn knocked out Steelix!
“Wow! That Shinx was just too much!” June gushed, clapping. She looked off to the side of the room, away from the TV, and gasped. “Gary! Your battle is about to take place! I have to go take my seat! GOOD LUCK!” In the next second, she took off for the front door and ran out of the building.
I glanced back at the screen to see that Becky had a Pidgeot and Joshua had chosen a Cubone. Turning from the screen, I headed towards my upcoming match.
“We have Gary from Pallet Town, back for the second round match up on the Water Field!” the announcer screamed out to a deafening roar from the crowd.
The platform I stood on this time rose shorter than the one on the Grass Field.
A similar platform stood on the other side of the field, holding an adult Trainer with long blonde hair covering a good portion of his face. I couldn’t even see his eyes. He wore a blue suit.
“And from Gringey City, we have Mason Charles!” the announcer declared.
Our pictures were put up on the electronic bulletin boards, three Poke Balls by our pictures. Between me and Mason was an enormous pool of water with five circular platforms floating on top.
The referee stood to the side and raised a red flag towards Mason, a green flag towards me. “Both Trainers may now begin!”
“Slowbrow, I choose you!” Mason sent out his first Pokemon.
“Sloooowbro!” Slowbro smiled blankly, standing on one of the platforms.
“Then I’m going with Butterfree!” I decided, and sent her out from her Poke Ball.
“The match is kicking off with Butterfree against Slowbro!” the announcer stated. “Butterfree has the type advantage, but will it be enough to overpower this opponent?”
“Slowbro, attack with Water Pulse!” Mason began.
Slowbro opened its mouth and a blue ball formed in front of it. With a cry from Slowbro, the ball soared towards Butterfree.
“Dodge it and attack back with Supersonic!”
Butterfree was hit with the move and the ball exploded in the form of water. She fluttered around madly before regaining her composure. Opening her mouth, Butterfree let out a shrill shriek, sound waves flying at Slowbro.
“Slooooooooooow...” Slowbro said as it was hit. “Bro.” Slowbro cocked its head at Butterfree, still smiling.
“Slowbro does not seem to be bothered by Supersonic’s effect!” the announcer said. “Slowbro has either Own Tempo, or Oblivious as its Ability, preventing Confusion from taking place on the user!”
“Damn it! Should’ve know!” I shook my head angrily.
“That will cost you,” Mason said, shaking his head. “Psychic!”
“Stop that with Bug Buzz!”
Butterfree flapped her wings and let out a shrill cry, red waves coming off of her body and hitting Slowbro.
Slowbro was knocked off of the platform and into the water.
Butterfree and I kept our eyes on the pool, waiting for Slowbro’s return.
It was a couple of slow minutes later and Slowbro still hadn’t reappeared from where it sank.
What’s going on? I squinted, scanning the water for any sign of the Pokemon.
“Slowbro’s been knocked into the water, but what could it be doing now?” the announcer asked after another minute passed without Slowbro resurfacing.
Bubbles appeared near the surface, and Slowbro slowly crawled out of the water and onto the platform. Its smile remained as it stared up at Butterfree.
“Living up to its name, Slowbro has very slowly returned back to us, folks, and the battle may proceed!” the announcer stated.
I cocked my head in exasperation but straightened up quickly. “Butterfree, use Aerial Ace!”
Butterfree flew fast above Slowbro and then dive bombed with lightning speed, slamming into Slowbro.
Slowbro skidded near the edge and waved its arms, trying to keep its balance.
“Psychic, now!” Mason demanded.
Slowbro caught itself and looked up to Butterfree, who was in the air. Its eyes glowed light blue and Butterfree froze, outlined in blue, now under Slowbro’s control.
“Attack!” Mason ordered.
Butterfree screamed out helplessly as Slowbro put pressure on it using its Psychic attack. She wasn’t able to move very much, struggling against the pain.
“Now toss that thing in the water and end this!”
“BRO!” Slowbro gave a wave of its arms and Butterfree tumbled down towards the water!
Once she hits the water, it’s over, I thought, scowling, watching as Butterfree got closer to the pool. She won’t be able to make it out of there and I’ll be one Pokemon down.
Butterfree’s wings flapped hard as she tumbled down fast.
That’s when it hit me. “Tailwind!”
“Frrrrrrreeee!” Butterfree flapped her wings even harder, trying to gain control, and a powerful wind blew from underneath her, forcing her up into the air at a blinding speed.
“There you go!” I cheered. “Now go for the Stun Spore!”
Butterfree flew back and forth above Slowbro, nearly impossible to see, and an orange powder suddenly appeared from the air, dropping over Slowbro.
Slowbro twitched in pain, struggling against Paralysis.
“Butterfree has become invisible right now as a mysterious powder immobilizes Slowbro!” the announcer yelled excitedly. “Tailwind has made Butterfree impossible to spot, keeping it in a safe position against the slow, bro.”
I hope that pun wasn’t intentional, I thought meekly. “Now, Bug Buzz!” An eager smile was on my face.
Butterfree attacked, and Slowbro let out a low moan of pain, nearing the edge.
“Jump in, Slowbro!” Mason urged.
Slowbro fell into the water.
Mason nodded with satisfaction.
The crowd was cheering loudly, the anticipation for the turn out of this match making this hot summer day even more difficult to handle.
I waited for Slowbro to appear.
Butterfree zoomed through the air.
My face was perspiring, and I only took notice of it now as I was waiting impatiently for Slowbro. I didn’t budge, letting sweat pour from under my cap.
Slowbro hadn’t popped back up after a few minutes.
“Slowbro is taking a pretty long time to appear,” the announcer spoke. “What could be going on?”
The crowd was quieting down a little, but there were still plenty of shouts as we all awaited Slowbro.
Butterfree continued soaring through the sky.
It was another few minutes later when I began to get irritated and glared at Mason, sucking my teeth. “Come on, already,” I said lowly.
Mason had his head facing the water, glancing up at my Butterfree for a second every moment or so.
“I’m not sure what’s going on here, ladies and gentlemen, but it seems that Slowbro is still down there doing exactly who knows what,” the announcer said, boredom in his voice.
“A Trainer must give an order to their Pokemon, or both Pokemon are disqualified!” the referee informed us.
“WHAT?!” I screamed at him. “He’s the one not attacking! Butterfree can’t do anything in the air!”
“Not to worry,” Mason spoke calmly, looking up at Butterfree.
Her Speed boost was now gone, Tailwind ending.
“NOW!” Mason waved his arm in front of him sharply.
“Sloooooooww!” Slowbro popped up from the water and landed on the platform. “Brooooo...”
“Now that the Paralysis is off, let’s make this complete! Slack Off!”
“The Paralysis is off?” I gasped.
“Slooooooooooooooooooooow...” Slowbro said slowly, and sat down on the platform it stood on. Its body started to glow white.
I watched in awe as Butterfree stared on in silence.
The glow from Slowbro’s body disappeared after a moment, and it stood up.
“Well, would you look at that! Mason had Slowbro wait out Tailwind from underwater, knowing Butterfree couldn’t go near it, and in the process, washing off the Stun Spore!” the announcer explained. “Then, Slowbro uses Slack Off to recover the energy lost from the battle, putting all of Butterfree’s hard work in the trash!”
I growled angrily, raising a fist near my face. “Butterfree, put it to Sleep!”
Butterfree flew above Slowbro, a blue powder falling from her wings.
“Under!” Mason insisted as Slowbro was hit with the Sleep Powder.
Slowbro stumbled sleepily towards the water and fell in. A moment later, it climbed out, wide awake.
I guess we have to keep on attacking, I thought in frustration. But what about Slack Off?
Butterfree fluttered about, looking tired.
Hey! Wait! I realized. I pulled out my Pokedex and put it away a moment later. There’s hope. We just have to keep trying! “Bug Buzz again!”
Butterfree used Bug Buzz, knocking Slowbro over onto its back.
“Do it again!”
Butterfree attacked once more.
Slowbro was knocked over into the water.
“Slack Off until fully recovered!” Mason called out to Slowbro.
Slowbro remained underwater for a few minutes.
Just as my patience was wearing thin in the heat, Slowbro appeared, looking just fine.
Butterfree attacked with the same move, pushing Slowbro back.
Bug Buzz knocked Slowbro into the water once more.
“Slack Off!” Mason repeated.
“It looks like both Trainers are running out of ideas as Butterfree’s type advantage is meaning less and less when Slowbro can just regain its health!” the announcer determined. “This battle has to go somewhere, but at what point will they just go all out?”
“Now, Zen Headbutt!” Mason decided.
After a couple of minutes, Slowbro burst from the water, its head glowing light blue, and soared into the air, headed for Butterfree.
“Get out of the way!” I commanded.
Butterfree was knocked out of the sky and tumbled towards the water. She landed on one of the platforms, sprawled out flat.
Slowbro landed in the water and a huge wave of water splashed Butterfree, washing her over to edge.
Butterfree shook her head, awakened by the water, and flapped her wings, ascending into the air, water dripping off of her body.
Slowbro’s head appeared on the surface of the water, smiling.
“Bug Buzz!” I told Butterfree again.
Butterfree attacked, Slowbro being forced back through the water.
The back of Slowbro’s head slammed into one of the floating platforms. It didn’t react, but instead crawled onto the platform and looked up into the air, smiling doofily. After a minute, it suddenly cried out and grabbed the back of its head!
“Looks like Slowbro finally felt that hit it took to the head just now!” the announcer pointed out. “It’s well known that Slowpoke and Slowbro aren’t known to feel too much pain until after a while due to how dense they are.”
“Butterfree, we can’t let up now! This has to be working! Another Bug Buzz!”
“Use Psychic to protect yourself!” Mason countered.
Slowbro’s eyes glowed blue and a huge wave rose from the pool.
The Bug Buzz attack smashed into the wave and the water split apart, falling back into the pool with the rest of the water.
“Aerial Ace!” Come on! I silently insisted.
“Psychic again! Drown the Bug!”
Butterfree flew at Slowbro as it used its Psychic powers to create another wave.
Butterfree continued forward and picked up speed as the water neared her, controlled by Slowbro.
The wave crashed down on Butterfree.
She flapped her wings hard and charged through the wave!
“Butterfree!” I gasped, watching what took place.
Butterfree came in contact with the water, and the wave separated as her wings touched it! Crying out loud and shaking her head, she tore through the hole she created around her wings in the wave and slammed into Slowbro, knocking it down.
The wave crashed into the pool and rocked the rest of the water, Slowbro’s platform swaying hard.
Butterfree soared high into the air, crying out happily.
“What was that?” I cried out, stunned, pulling out my Pokedex.
Butterfree. The Butterfly Pokemon. The final stage of Caterpie. Their wings are covered in waterproof scales, allowing them to fly in the rain. If flapped hard enough, the scales will fall off in a poisonous powder.
I turned to Slowbro, who was still smiling, looking into the sky after Butterfree.
Butterfree flew down and hovered in the air, staring back at Slowbro.
“That was an impressive show, I must say!” the announcer admitted. “Butterfree’s managed to avoid getting drowned thanks to its wings, which are waterproof and repelled the water! However, Slowbro is still standing strong and is ready for more!”
Still not enough, I shook my head. I used Bug Buzz repeatedly. Bug Buzz can lower the opponent’s Special Defense. I thought for sure that by doing that, we’d take it out easily, eventually. What more can we do? It’s too defensive.
“Sloooow...” Slowbro suddenly twitched in pain, holding its head. It bent over, and dropped down.
I gasped, smiling hopefully.
“Slowbro is unable to battle. Butterfree wins!” The referee waved the green flag to me.
“YOU DID IT, BUTTERFREE!” I leaped into the air, pumping my fists happily.
Butterfree fluttered about with joy.
Mason returned his Slowbro.
“It looks like all the damage Slowbro took finally sunk in through to its empty head and it was too much to take!” the announcer shouted. “Butterfree hung in there and delivered a stunning battle!”
That was long, I thought, removing my cap and wiping at my face.
“Gastrodon, you’re up next!” Mason threw his Great Ball.
“Gastrodon!” the slug looking Pokemon cried out.
Gastrodon. The Sea Slug Pokemon. They will be of a different color depending on what side of the Sinnoh region their pre evolved form, Shellos, were born in. Long ago, Gastrodon’s back contained a sturdier shell for protection.
Wow, I reveled over it. That’s an interesting Pokemon. “Alright, then! Butterfree, use Bug Buzz!”
The half blue Gastrodon leaped into the water, and Bug Buzz missed. It rose up from the surface of the water.
“Its wings may be able to repel water, but not the rest of its body! Water Pulse!”
A blue orb formed in front of what seemed to be Gastrodon’s third eye on its forehead and flew at Butterfree, crashing into her, exploding into more water.
Butterfree tumbled backwards.
“Now, Ice Beam!” Mason added on.
Gastrodon used Ice Beam.
“Get into the air with Tailwind!”
Butterfree’s wings flapped hard and a gust of wind carried her into the air, dodging Ice Beam.
“Now, Confusion attack!”
Butterfree flew at Gastrodon and used Confusion, lifting Gastrodon into the air.
“Lift it higher!” I told her.
Butterfree held Gastrodon hostage and lifted it above her head. She seemed to be struggling with it.
“Hang in there!” I encouraged her. “HIGHER!”
Butterfree grunted and strained, but kept on lifting Gastrodon into the sky as high as she could, Gastrodon struggling against the attack.
“Freeeeeeeeeee...” Butterfree groaned.
Gastrodon was so high it was almost invisible against the sun.
“Now drop it and attack with back-to-back Aerial Aces!”
“FREE!” Butterfree let go of Gastrodon and disappeared into thin air.
Gastrodon fell from the sky. As it dropped like a rock, it grunted painfully repeatedly, squirming and yelling, twitching and calling out. Finally, it crashed into the water.
Butterfree soared gracefully through the air, her Speed still boosted by Tailwind.
Gastrodon slowly surfaced, a worn out look on its face.
“Gastrodon is out of the match,” the referee stated. “Butterfree is the winner!”
The crowd lost it completely.
“Two down, Butterfree!” I exclaimed, overwhelmed, tears filling my eyes. “We’re gonna take this one home!”
Butterfree was fluttering in a frenzy, thrilled by her second win.
“Absolutely stunning!” the announcer raved. “Butterfree has done it again! By tossing Gastrodon into the air and being boosted by Tailwind, Butterfree was able to pummel Gastrodon with an onslaught of hits from the already speedy move, Aerial Ace, attacking with record speed! Butterfree is making its mark in the Pokemon League this year for sure!”
Mason silently returned his Gastrodon. “It’s up to you, then!” He threw his last Poke Ball.
“And for his last Pokemon, Mason has decided to go with a Lanturn!” the announcer mentioned. “How will Gary counter this?”
Lanturn cried out at Butterfree with a smile.
Of all the Pokemon... I thought to myself, shaking my head. I knew June surely had a smug look on her face right now. “Use Psybeam!”
Butterfree hit Lanturn with the multicolored beam, causing it to call back in agitation, but it shook the attack off.
“Now counter it with Thunderbolt!”
Butterfree vanished on the spot, dodging the attacks of multiple strikes of lighting from Lanturn. Her Speed boost suddenly faded as Tailwind ended.
“Now we’ve got it! Wild Charge!”
Lanturn tore through the water, sparking with electricity, and leaped out, slamming into Butterfree.
Butterfree landed on the ground, out of the entire area of the pool.
“Butterfree is unable to battle!” The red flag was waved. “Lanturn is the winner!”
“Butterfree, you did really good! You deserve a rest!” I thanked her. “Come on back!” Porygon-Z might do well here, I considered, staring at Lanturn. But maybe I should hold it back for later. Charizard isn’t a good option here. Primeape can’t swim, so using him might be risky. Hoothoot is Flying, so that’s no good. Kingdra’s the best choice here. “Kingdra, go!” I threw her Poke Ball to the water.
The Poke Ball popped open before hitting the water and sent out what was inside.
“Doooo!” The bandages from her hard battle with Kabutops were finally removed. Her scars were barely visible. She looked absolutely great and was raring to battle.
“After a stunning show from Butterfree, the beaten Bug is now out and Gary has made a smart choice for his second option as he sends out Kindgra, a Water and Dragon type Pokemon who can take Electric moves fairly well and is especially strong against Water type moves!” the announcer proclaimed.
“Twister, now!” I let out.
“DOOOO!” Kingdra’s back fins moved quickly and an enormous water twister appeared in front of her, moving towards Lanturn.
“Lanturn, get away!” Mason begged.
Lanturn tried to dive, but was pulled up to the surface from the force of the Twister and sucked into it. It wailed loudly as it was spun around inside. The Twister finally ended and Lanturn was spinning in place in the water, dizzy.
“Now, Dragon Pulse!” I told my Pokemon.
A blue stream of energy came from Kingdra’s snout, slamming into Lanturn.
“Yes! Way to go, Kingdra!”
Lanturn was forced back through the water, hitting the landing behind it. It glared at Kingdra, breathing hard.
“We’re wearing it down! It’s time to finish this! Another Dragon Pulse!”
Kingdra used her attack once more.
Lanturn was forced underwater from the attack.
Did we win? I held my breath, my eyes wide. I think we got through the second round!
Mason was looking down into the water. “Stockpile!”
Lanturn leaped from under the water and dazzled as the sun hit it, drops of water falling from its body, the drops glistening in the sun. Its body started to glow purple.
“Follow up with Swallow!”
Lanturn continued to soar into the air and took a big gulp. The purple glow disappeared shortly after.
“Stockpile and Swallow...” I murmured, pulling out my Pokedex.
Stockpile. The user’s Defense and Special Defense are raised.
Swallow. The user takes a gulp and swallows energy it stored from Stockpile, getting rid of the boost in Defense and Special Defense, and recovering health.
“Now, Thunder from above!” Mason continued.
Lanturn’s body started to spark strongly.
“Kingdra!” There’s nowhere to run, I knew.
A huge beam of lightning struck Kingdra. She cried out helplessly, the water around her igniting from the electricity.
“You saw it, everybody! Lanturn used Stockpile and Swallow to heal itself and then launched a devastating attack! This is gonna leave quite the mark!” the referee told everyone watching. “This may not have been too bad on a Dragon type like Kingdra, but add in the fact that it’s in the water, and Thunder, an Electric type move, is going to become a whole lot more severe for Kingdra and much harder to ignore.”
The Thunder attack ended, and Kingdra’s body sparked as she shivered in pain, her eyes closed.
“End this with Wild Charge!” Mason pressed on.
Lanturn was still in the air, pointing its body down, and, while sparking with electricity, fell down a long distance, finally slamming into my disorientated Kingdra.
Kingdra’s body sparked, lighting up the water. “Doooooooo!” Kingdra was forced underwater.
The water stopped sparking after a moment and Lanturn appeared at the surface.
A minute later, Kingdra floated, groaning weakly on her back, eyes closed.
“Kingdra is unable to battle!” the referee ruled. “Lanturn is the winner!”
“What a comeback!” the announcer screamed over the loud audience. “Lanturn has managed to defeat two of Gary’s Pokemon, leaving them both with only one each! Lanturn was injured pretty badly, but it is still looking in fine shape. Can Gary pull out the one Pokemon to take Lanturn down, or is his time here at the Pokemon League over?”
Charizard, Porygon-Z, Primeape, and Hoothoot, I thought. Porygon-Z’s too dangerous. It’s a Normal type, but it’s a computer program, or something like that. I don’t know how it’d react with water. There’s just no telling what will happen. I won’t risk its health, and I’m not gonna risk this match. Charizard is weak to Electric and Water types, both of which are Lanturn’s types. Plus, Fire and Flying moves don’t do well against Water and Electric types. Hoothoot is only weak to Electric types, but he’s not even evolved. He can’t take it on. And again, Flying moves aren’t too strong against Lanturn. Primeape can’t swim. It’d just be too risky to bring him into this. I should go with Charizard. He’s my best option. Or is he...?
Lanturn was breathing hard, staring at me, waiting for my final Pokemon.
It’s almost beaten, I thought. But it has Stockpile and Swallow. It can recover health. I need to counter that with something. Someone who can recover as well, at least. To make it a little more even. I grabbed a Poke Ball and stared at it. “You’re my final hope, buddy,” I whispered, not even full sure about my decision, but knowing I had to choose. “I believe in you!!” Looking up at Lanturn, I threw my last Poke Ball. “Hoothoot, I choose you!”
“HOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot cawed.
“A strange option for Gary, sending out a Hoothoot to battle an Electric type Pokemon like Lanturn!” the announcer questioned. “Let’s hope Gary hasn’t grabbed the wrong Poke Ball and knows what he’s doing!”
Lanturn used Stockpile, glowing purple again.
“Hoothoot, Air Slash!”
Hoothoot spun in the air, a spiraling blue wind forming and encircling him. The blue energy gathered around Hoothoot and formed a ball. Hoothoot dove down, holding the ball in his right wing, and flung it at Lanturn.
Lanturn dove underwater and the Air Slash crashed into the water, raising up a small wave out of it. Lanturn appeared from the water, right under Hoothoot, and tackled him.
Hoothoot yelled out and landed on one of the platforms. He hopped onto his foot and flapped his wings, getting back into the air.
Lanturn’s body glowed even brighter, raising its Defense and Special Defense even more.
“Echoed Voice!” I said.
Hoothoot opened his beak and let out a loud, piercing noise, sound waves flying at Lanturn.
“Dive!” Mason repeated.
Lanturn dove under again, and the sound waves crashed into the water, creating rocky waves.
“Watch out, Hoothoot! UP!”
Lanturn appeared underneath Hoothoot again, but Hoothoot flew out of the way, ascending.
It just keeps on dodging, I thought angrily. It’s too agile. Damn it!
“Ice Beam attack!” Mason commanded his Lanturn.
My eyes widened. I forgot Lanturn had that! Hoothoot! “Hoothoot, get out of there and FLY!”
Lanturn opened its mouth and fired a beam of ice.
Hoothoot was hit as he flew up, the beam hitting him in the back. Ice formed around his entire body as he screamed, and soon, he was frozen solid. His body began to drop.
“Thunder!” Mason commanded the powerful move.
Lanturn swam through the water until it was closer to Hoothoot. It sparked brightly, and the water around it flashed with the power of the electricity traveling through it.
“Hoothooooot!! Break out of there and use Fly attack!!” I screeched desperately. “HOOTHOOOOOOOOT!!!”
With a loud scream from Lanturn, the entire pool of water became a danger zone for Hoothoot. With the sound of thunder, an enormous, unavoidable blast of electricity, reaching up from the entire pool itself, fired into the air, reaching as high as the sky.
I was blinded and closed my eyes, covering my face and shouting out against the sharp brightness that burned my eyes. NNNOOOOOOOOOOO!! I roared angrily in my head.
The explosive sound from the blast of lightning from the pool faded in a few seconds, and I opened my eyes, blinking repeatedly, squinting. It took a while for my eyes to adjust. When they finally did, I couldn’t see anything but Lanturn. “Hoothoot?” I gasped, my heart dropping.
“Whoa!” The announcer sounded stunned. “Now THAT... was INCREDIBLE! Using the water to boost the Thunder attack, Lanturn has taken over this battle and has defeated Hoothoot for sure! But where is-oh, I see it now! In the sky!”
I looked up to see an object dropping from high up.
It was Hoothoot, still in his block of ice, falling fast.
It felt like I was watching all of my hopes and dreams crash to the ground. Watching Hoothoot drop was what my heart must have looked like as I felt it diving inside of me. I couldn’t stand anymore. I slowly rocked back and forth and collapsed to my knees as Hoothoot got closer to the water beneath him.
Suddenly, the block of ice stopped falling. It was hovering in the air, giving off a bright glow! Hoothoot was glowing from inside of the ice! The ice exploded into pieces and glistened in the sun, dropping into the water.
Hoothoot was floating in the air, glowing brightly, competing with the sun.
I swallowed hard. “Hoothoot...” I whispered in shock, pulling myself up to my feet on weak, shaky legs.
Hoothoot’s silhouette expanded and grew.
“He’s...” I managed.
“I can’t believe what’s going on right now!!” the announcer bellowed. “It appears that Hoothoot is still able to fight in this match!! What’s more, it seems that Hoothoot is actually EVOLVING!!!”
The glow left my Pokemon’s body, and an even larger Pokemon was in his place.
My Hoothoot had evolved into Noctowl!!
Noctowl. The Owl Pokemon and Hoothoot’s evolved form. Skilled in hearing and seeing, when they turn their heads at 180 degree turns, it increases their intellect. Like its prior form, Hoothoot, it can turn its head a complete 360 degrees.
“Noctowl!!” My eyes watered with joy. “You’re alright!! You evolved!!”
Noctowl hooted loudly, facing me.
I wiped at my eyes. “This is so great! Noctowl!”
Noctowl hooted again.
I turned to Lanturn determinedly. “Alright, let’s do this, Noctowl!” My confidence was regained. We couldn’t give up now. But what was the plan?
Mason was looking up at Noctowl. I couldn’t see much of his face, but I knew he had to be completely stunned. I heard him growl and he raised a fist. “Thunder attack!! That bird won’t survive another blast of that!”
He’s right, I knew. One more hit and... Yes! “That’s it! Noctowl, into the air and face downward!”
Noctowl took to the sky, soaring for a while as Lanturn sparked dangerous.
The water in the pool lit up and sparked.
“GET IT!” Mason raged.
Noctowl stopped flying and faced its body downward.
Noctowl’s body glowed white, and he could no longer fly as he used Roost to heal himself, losing his Flying typing and falling fast, heading straight for the electricity filled water below!
The entire pool erupted and lighting blasted from it.
“Psychic to protect yourself!” I beamed.
Noctowl dove down at the lighting, and as the lightning came closer to him, his eyes glowed blue. The lightning split around Noctowl as he tore into it, curving around his body as he dove through the middle of the Electric beam!
“WWWWWHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!?!?” Mason exploded.
Noctowl’s body stopped glowing, and he spread his wings wide.
“SKY ATTACK!!” I told my Pokemon after Lanturn’s Thunder ended.
Noctowl’s eyes stopped glowing and his eyebrow tufts glowed white, his entire body giving off a white aura. He slammed into Lanturn’s head.
Lanturn’s head flashed white where it was hit, signifying a critical hit, and the opponent was tossed out of the water, slamming into the wall near the audience, beneath the stands.
Noctowl hooted and flapped his wings, hovering in place.
“Lanturn is unable to battle! This match goes the the Green Trainer, Gary, and his Noctowl!!” the referee declared, waving the green flag towards me.
“THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS JUST BEEN DONE!!! THE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT BEFORE OUR VERY EYES!!!” the referee voiced as loud as he could. “GARY HAS PULLED OFF YET ANOTHER WIN UNLIKE ANYTHING I’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY EIGHT YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL POKEMON BATTLE COMMENTARY!”
I screamed uncontrollably, jumping endlessly.
Noctowl flew over to me and collapsed in my arms, completely worn out.
I pet his head and laughed. “You’re absolutely the very best, EVER, Noctowl!” I hugged him tighter than I’d held anything in a long time. “You deserve a nice, long rest! I just knew you’d be able to pull it off!”
Noctowl was knocked out, exhausted, and silent.
“How do you feel about your next battle coming up?” June asked, breaking the silence of the room.
“I’m just upset it won’t be taking place tomorrow,” I replied. “ I have to wait two whole days.”
“Yeah,” June nodded. “That stinks. The Rock Field, right?”
“You know who you want to bring?”
“I’m thinking Weepinbell would be great, probably. Maybe Noctowl. Porygon-Z.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t use Porygon-Z. When you chose Hoothoot, I nearly ran down there to yell at you, ha ha. I should’ve known you knew what you were doing.”
I laughed a little bit. “I’m not so sure I did, to be honest, ha... Just a good thing I remembered Mason using Psychic to protect himself earlier with Slowbro. And then that critical hit went through the Defenses of Stockpile. I got really lucky when I think about that battle...”
“Gary, you stop that!” June scolded me. “You won that match fair and square! There’s no need to feel anything but proud!”
My eyes lowered, not sure if I fully agreed. “I’m just worried, you know? That match could’ve gone either way. And this is only the preliminaries. There’s a lot worse to come. I can’t expect to win like this again. I really need to start using my head if I wanna make it to the finals.”
“And so far, you are,” June assured me warmly, looking deep into my eyes. “You used the perfect Pokemon in all of your battles so far, combined with your quick thinking, that fit all of your situations to a T. You’re a big hit at this tournament. People are really surprised by the way you battle. I was there in the crowd, listening to other Trainers. You’re the big talk!”
“Yeah...?” I stared at June in surprise.
“Yeah! You can’t be so modest! While you’re thinking about the battles, downing yourself for the so-called ‘luck’ you’ve had, think about what you and your Pokemon accomplished!” June insisted, her stern eyes on me. “If an opponent got lucky against you and beat you, it’s just as fair! You’re all playing the same game, here. May the best man win!”
“You’re right,” I finally agreed. My head nodded as I exhaled a long breath I didn’t know I had taken in. “I was worried about using Porygon-Z in that last match.”
June kept her hard eyes at mine.
“It’s Normal, but it’s still... a little bit nuts, you know? I didn’t know how it might react if it got into the water. It could’ve gotten a bit too weird or something.” I managed a smile.
June’s face softened and she laughed. “Good thinking, I guess.” June inhaled and let out a relieved sigh. “I still can’t believe Hoothoot managed to take that Thunder. Before it evolved.”
“Maybe being encased in ice helped to avoid some of the damage,” I suggested.
“I don’t think it works that way, Gary.” June looked at me with a sympathetic smile. “I think your Hoothoot was just tough stuff.”
“You should’ve been there the night I caught him,” I laughed.
June, laying in her bed, rested her head in her hands, her elbows in the mattress, gazing over at me excitedly. “Tell me!”
“Okay!” I said from my bed.
And that was our night together. I wasn’t usually the talker, but tonight, I was competing with June.
The battles I’d been through so far today had given me an energy I wasn’t sure I wanted, but it did make me feel happy.
It was a warm night. Not too hot. The kind of warm, pleasant, summer night that makes my blood rush, not the slightest desire for sleep in my body.
Everything felt good.
Nothing could go wrong.
Right now, all was absolutely perfect.
Everything in the world was in my favor.