Erica was ready to challenge the gym leader and earn her next badge. But she didn't expect it to be against Korrina, or even to be out of the gym. Never-the-less, she climbed the tower with Korrina. The spiral staircase ended and led to a balcony that gave a great view.
Erica was caught speechless at the sight of such. She ran towards the edge and looked over at the breath taking horizon.
"I can see my house from here." Yelled Erica, trying to be hysterical.
"Really?" Korrina wasn't so sure to believe this. The challenger couldn't help buy laugh at her friend's gullible question.
"No. But that aside, why did you decide for us to meet up here?"
"Well, I want to test your abilities with the mega ring." Korrina then pulled out two pokeballs and released two Lucarios, both of them had collars with a gem attached to it. The stones looked like the one Sycamore gave to Erica, except that they were colored with crimson, blue, and dunce. The athlete walked over and gave her opponent a mega ring.
"But I didn't even earn this." Protested Erica, Korrina just shook her head in response.
"This will also count as a gym battle. If you lose, I will take the ring back from you." Korrina turned to one of her Lucario on the right, she motioned for him to walk over to Erica.
"He will be your pokemon, this will be a one on one battle." The challenger suddenly became unsure.
Under normal circumstances, the challenger would use the pokemon that they had caught. This battle seemed both cheap and fair at the same time. Although Erica would be getting a pokemon pre-trained for her match, she would also have the disadvantage as it was one that she had no training with. The stakes were even higher, with both a gym badge and the rights to mega evolution on the line.
Erica mulled that over for a moment. Accepting the terms, she pulled out her pokedex to scan Lucario for his moveset. But she still couldn't understand the purpose of this kind of battle. The protagonist shook her head in frustration.
"I still don't understand why you would want to battle me in such a different manner than the others." Korrina sighed and patted her helmet.
"I have no doubt that your two friends can handle the power of the mega ring, but I'm not so sure about you." Explained the gym leader.
Erica took a couple steps back, her face bore the look of unease. She almost felt offended by that lasting remark. After everything she had already gone through, there was this criticism that awaited her?
"What about me is it that makes you so unsure?" Asked the heroine with a face of seriousness. Her opponent cupped her chin and thought about that for a moment.
"Well...lets see...it's kinda hard to explain...I guess the best way to interpret it is that you have little faith in your abilities from time to time." That really hit the blond hard.
Erica froze at that answer. Where in her heart did she doubt herself? The novice looked deeply into herself for an answer as to what Korrina meant. She found none. Without any solid answer, Erica bit her lip in frustration.
"I have no doubt that you have skill, your aura shows that easily. But I question whether or not you have faith in yourself or your pokemon." Korrina held up her left hand, revealing a keystone in her left glove.
Erica's face looked angry, stuck in confusion. But then a look of concentraition appeared on her face as she slapped the ring on and nodded her head. Several tense seconds passed. As seconds passed by, she could feel the knowledge of the mega ring flowing into her.
"Bring it on!" Challenged Erica.
"Alright, lets do this!" Yelled Korrina.
Both trainers activated the mega ring. The Lucarios transformed into the form that resembled the statue. And they both let out the same fearsome cry that echoed throughout the city. Both charged forth and began the battle.
"Lucario, use power-up punch on the ground." Commanded Erica.
"Jump and use bone rush." Countered Korrina.
"Dodge it." Both trainers were at their maximum.
From the city, Brett and Keith were (for once) not battling and enjoying time at the local cafe. Brett perked his head up when he heard a strange sound. He turned to the tower out of curiosity. Keith caught sight of this and also looked in the same direction.
"What is it?"
"An epic battle taking place."
"Are they legendaries?"
"No, but close." Keith pondered over that last comment for a bit.
"And Erica is involved." Keith did a double take at that last remark.
He smiled a few seconds after, confident in his friend's abilities. On the tower, Erica and Korrina continued their epic battle.
"Use your bone rush attack!" Commanded Erica. Her Lucario focused its energy and created a bone to whack the other with.
"Block it." The opposing Lucario put up its fist to stop the attack.
"Nani?" Korrina was losing faith in Erica's skill.
"Swords dance." Korrina's pokemon positioned itself in a fighting stance to raise its attack power. Erica knew she had to fight back.
"Use metal sound!" The fighting type scratched its barbs to create an shrill sound. Erica then realized her mistake that her choice would make this any easier since all of her partner's attacks were physical, not special.
At this moment, Korrina was sure that Erica couldn't make use of the mega ring. She sighed in disappointment.
"I'm sorry, but now you will lose." Her Lucario nodded.
The pokemon thrust itself forward for one final attack. Time slowed down for Erica. If she didn't make the right move, she would lose. Korrina's lucario charged forth, it was impossible to tell what attack it would use.
Erica carefully calculated what to do. But she contemplated over what Brett and Keith taught her. And nothing was coming up to help her. It was then that Erica began to feel like there was nothing that she could do to win. All that ran through Erica's mind was that she couldn't win and that it was hopeless. The image of the young little girl, stuck in her one state of sorrow, bounced around inside the consciousness of the challenger.
Suddenly she remembered the small gem from earlier. Red, strength. Yellow, wisdom. Blue, spirit. That all resonated within Erica's head. And then, her confidence in herself was reignited.
"Lucario, charge through." Commanded Erica. Her partner ran straight for it, regardless of the impending risk.
Once the two fighters were within range of each other, it was do or die.
"Now!" It was then somehow, that Erica lined her aura with her pokemon's. Lucario ducked with a split second to spare. Having ducked, he dodged his counterpart's oncoming attack.
The punch of one landed against the. Korrina and her pokemon were left speechless. All was silent for more than a few seconds, then the gym leader's pokemon collapsed to the ground.
Korrina's lucario fainted, Erica won.
Korrina returned her pokemon. Both of the pokemon reverted back into their base form and were returned to their pokeballs. Erica took a deep breath and walked over to her competitor, serious expressions colored across their faces.
"Thank you for that, and the match." Erica bowed in thanks. Korrina couldn't help but laugh.
"Congratulations, that was a really good match." She shook Erica's hand and gave her the Rumble badge. The heroine was left a little too much surprise. But then she started to laugh as well.
"You know, I could tell you where to get Lucarionite if you wanted to." Offered Korrina. Erica shook her head in response.
"I appreciate the offer, but I think that I want to unlock the potential of this one first." She held up the mega stone, Venusarite. She then handed the back the other Lucario.
Korrina shrugged her shoulders and left the balcony. With a few moments by herself, Erica contemplated on how she now felt. Smart, strong, and in tune with her spirit, but she still had ways to go.
She turned around to leave and reunite herself with her companions. After descending from the tower, Erica met back up with her friends.
"How did the match go?" Asked Brett.
"It was epic." Answered Erica happily. Keith stood up and walked next to her.
"Thought as much." He took a look at the mega ring on her wrist.
"So Korrina gave that to you?" Erica nodded. The brown haired trainer then started towards the next route. The black haired trainer sat where he was. Without a word from either, Erica decided to follow Keith.
Erica and Keith continued along the next route too see what pokemon were around. Brett stayed behind to train some more for his gym battle.
The route was dotted with islands here and there, but there was a gap of water that was far too big for the them to cross without a surfing pokemon. Keith took notice of the farm that was on the other side. Erica seemed pretty excited about it.
"Yeah, I mean, who wouldn't want to pet farm pokemon?" Suggested our blonde protagonist.
"That makes sense. But you should wait for Brett. He is an expert on farm pokemon." Erica had a little hard time believing that. Come on, Brett? The battle maniac of the pokemon world?
Before they could make a crossing to the next island, Erica noticed some pokemon fighting each other. They resembled sheep, aside from their orbs and the fact that they were blue. They were Mareep. The battle seemed more of a gang fight on one Mareep.
Erica threw a great ball at the one challenging the others. They were about to fight her, but she released her menacing glare. The scared little sheep ran away. Keith walked over and used his pokedex to analyze the newly captured pokemon.
"This one is relatively weak. You're gonna train it, I presume?"
"Yeah, I'll go back to Cyllage city. There should be plenty of water types to battle there." She turned to pokeball.
"And I think I'll name you Laxus."
"Laxus?" Asked Keith who apparently never watched Fairy Tail.
He handed her a good rod. "You'll need it for to pick up good battles."
So the next day, Erica returned to Shalour city after training Laxus to become a member of her team. She found Brett and Keith at the city exit. As the student came closer to her teachers, she noticed that they too had mega rings.
"Hi guys, sorry I took so long." She ran over to the exit to greet them.
"Hey Erica, was your training successful?" Asked Keith. She nodded and released Laxus from his pokeball, only this time, he was pink and bipedal.
"Yep, Laxus has leveled up into a Flaffy, and also..." She opened up a sixth pokeball that contained a new pokemon. The seaweed pokemon, Skrelp.
The poison-water type looked up a Keith and Brett a little reluctantly, before waddling behind his trainer's leg. "Don't worry, Dragulong is just a little shy."
Brett reached into his pocket and pulled out a gem. It was teal with what looked like a sparkle in the center. He tossed it over to Erica. She was a little curious about what it could be.
"Not to look a gift-Ponyta in the mouth, but what is this?" Asked the blond as she examined her gift.
"It's a dawn stone. I found it in the bay, and I think you'd might make good use of it." It took only a few seconds till Erica became excited as she knew what that meant.
Erica ran over to Brett and hugged him, very tightly. When she released her friend, the blond found that her small gemstone from yesterday fell out. She quickly reached down and picked it up.
"Where did you find that?" Asked Keith.
"Oh, it was in the bay yesterday. Do you think that it could be a mega stone?" Keith took the stone and examined it closely.
"I can't tell. But you should hold onto it." He returned the stone to his friend. The blond agreed, she had no plans to get rid of it from the start.
Erica released her Kirlia proceeded to use the dawn stone on him. He evolved into the sword-armed, psychic-fighting type, Gallade.
'Thank you for my evolution. Mistress.'
Erica gawked, Psyedge was now mentally connected to her?
"I can hear you in my head? But how?"
"Sometimes, if a humanoid psychic pokemon shares a strong enough bond with its trainer, they can share mental thoughts from time to time." Explained Brett.
"Oh, well thats great then. Are you ready for the battles ahead, Psyedge?"
'Yes my mistress.' That name didn't really sit well with Erica.
"Uh, can you call me something besides mistress?" Asked Erica.
'How about queen?'
"No." Answered Erica quickly. Too young for that
'What if I call you princess?'
"No." Too old for that.
'Erica-sama?' Offered the psychic type.
"Oh yeah, I like the sound of that."
Brett and Keith just stood off to the side shaking their heads. The trio began to exit the city to head on through the islands ahead. But Erica took on last look at the tower before leaving.