In the last chapter, Erica had fought hard against Korrina and earned the mega ring. Along with that, she also completed her team of six.
Now our heroes continue their adventure rounding the Kalos region. Now that they had all obtained the mega rings and third gym badges, they would now head to Courmarine city. As they headed through the route gate, Erica could've sworn that she heard somebody talking in German. She just shrugged it off as nothing.
On the outside, the trio was met with a familiar obstacle, crossing water. And am I the only one that finds it weird that they need a pokemon to help get them to cross a small body of water? I know that it's seawater, but still.
"Don't we need a pokemon that knows surf?" Asked Erica.
"On it." Brett released his snorlax, Laxer.
"Alright, hop on." They climbed on the giant pokemon and rode across the waves. Keith was just sitting patiently while Erica was pondering how Brett was able to teach a big pokemon like Snorlax how to surf (no offense intended).
"Hey Brett, I've got a question."
"I've got an answer."
"How were you able to teach this pokemon how to surf like this? I know that there are HMs that can help you teach your pokemon but I'm still curious." The black haired veteran obliged by pulling out a cylindrical case and pressing the button on the bottom. It flat opened to reveal many TMs and HMs.
"Do you want to borrow this so you could teach it to one of yours?" Offered Brett.
Erica, who was caught in the sight of the many colored disks, didn't think that that would be too much of a good idea. She only had two pokemon that could learn surf, and both were smaller than here. Politely, she turned her mentor down.
Once they got to the other side, Erica noticed the farm and decided to storm for a pokemon to pet. Keith just sighed at his student's eccentric attitude. Said student ran into the fields where the pokemon were. The pokemon inhabiting the field were grass types that looked like goats. One of the cuter pokemon, Skiddo.
"Ah kawaii." Gushed Erica at the sight of Skiddo jumping around one another.
Brett walked by and inspected the pokemon. For once, he was analytical. He hopped onto one of the pokemon.
"Alright, ikimashou!" The Skiddo ran across the plains while Brett held on to its horns for direction.
Keith cocked an eyebrow and jumped on a nearby Skiddo. He mimicked as best he could and chased his friend to the other side of the plains. Erica's eyes were gleaming with how fun that looked, and she decided to join in on the fun too.
Looking around, the novice found another Skiddo and jumped onto it.
"Forward!" Yelled Erica as she pointed forward. The Skiddo didn't really respond to her.
"Uh, ikimashou?" Suddenly, the Skiddo's eyes seemed a little angry. It reared up and steam blew from its nostrils.
Keith and Brett waited patiently on the other side of the plains for their friend to show up. A few seconds later, Erica was holding onto the backside of the Skiddo as it ran across the plains.
"I'm never gonna look at skiddo the same way again." Grumbled Erica as she got off the seemingly cute grass type.
"I thought you said that your mother taught you a lot about riding pokemon." Said Keith. Erica twitched at that statement, and turned in the opposite direction with a nervous smile.
"Yeah, I didn't really pay that much attention." Laughed the protagonist in a nervous manner. Smooth move.
They continued along the route as they battled more wild pokemon and trainers. When they started to get closer to the next town, Erica stopped and pulled out a map.
"We should be heading to Courmarine city next. It is a pretty big city, with a nice ocean harbor." Stated the blond.
Then a bird pokemon with a music note on its head appeared out of nowhere and attacked Erica. On instinct, the heroine pulled out her pokedex to scan the pokemon. The data revealed it as a Chatot, a pokemon that specialized in sound attacks. She replied by sending out her Ivysaur.
"Venus, use poison powder." The grass dinosaur shot out a spray of purple powder.
Even though the bird pokemon was poisoned, it still fought good. It let out a harsh shriek. On reflex, Erica covered her ears as the shriek was very loud. When it lifted, she took the opportunity to strike back.
"Use leech seed." Venus shot seeds that stuck to the bird. But despite that, it still let out the discordant noises.
"Finish it of with double edge." The Ivysaur impacted the chatot with a great force, enough to win, and the battle had been decided.
Suddenly a green light enveloped Venus. She grew bigger, and a large flower had appeared on her. She was now a Venusaur.
"Yay for us!" Cheered Erica. She picked out the venusarite and was tempted to mega evolve her partner. But then a thought resonated in her head.
'If Brett and Keith saw me do it...' The heroine couldn't help but think about all the collateral damage that would result from their battle. So she reluctantly put away the mega stone.
Once they entered the city, they were met with an oceanic sight. The city had a large harbor. And like Erica said, the city was so big that it was divided into two different parts. A monorail station was used to connect both parts.
On their way to the monorail station, Erica passed a fruit stand. It had a sign that read, 'Please take one'. The blondie obliged by taking a pecha berry. Taking a bit out of it, she shivered at how sweet it was.
"Never had a pecha berry?"
"I've tried the smoothies, but I never had one like this." Answered Erica.
Keith looked around and saw where the station was. When they entered they entered the station, professor Sycamore was there with somebody else. A woman who appeared to be in her early thirties with short gray hair. She wore some kind of white dress with wings, dor something.
"Hello professor." Greeted Erica. Keith turned towards the new person.
"And you are?" Asked Brett, informally.
"Good to see you all. This is the movie star Diantha." Said Sycamore as he introduced his friend.
"A pleasure to meet you all. Sycamore has told me a lot about you lot." Said Diantha.
"Did he tell you that Brett and Keith almost destroyed his office?" Whispered Erica.
"Why yes he did. And I must say that I missed that opportunity to see such." Laughed Diantha. Sycamore just sweated at the memory of that event. None-the-less, he regained his composure. He coughed to gain everyone's attention.
"As I understand, you all have obtained the mega rings?" Asked Sycamore. They all showed their rings as proof. "Excellent, now I think there is only one more component left."
"And what would that be?" Diantha seemed almost playful in her manner of asking.
"There needs to be a strong bond between the trainer and the pokemon. A great understanding, which can bring out the full potential of mega evolution." Explained the Professor.
"I suppose you're right." Answered Diantha, she turned to the three to give them some further insight.
"It's the same for acting, you must understand the role you're playing to perform it perfectly." Those words seemed to ring up a little with Erica, like some kind of code.
"That does sound like a valid viewpoint." Noted Sycamore.
"Well, I wish I could stay longer, but there is more to study." Said Sycamore as he left.
"I must be on my way as well, I bid the best of luck to the three of you." Diantha also left the room.
The monorail extended across the ocean, giving a great view of the entire area. Erica gave an open mouth smile at the magnificent sight.
The opposite side of the city gave a great view of the entire mountain, ocean. Erica was again, gazing at the great views.
"This is amazing." Said Erica.
"Have you guys ever rode on something like this?" Asked Erica, trying to be cute again.
"No, not really. Most trains I've been on have been merciless."
Erica was left curious at what that meant. Once on the other side, the view from the cliff was majestic. Erica turned around to see a mountain, with the pokemon league insignia on it. If she told Brett, he would run into there like he was on fire. She instantly had a remedy for that.
"Hey guys, I think that I saw the pokemon league insignia back on the other side." Brett sighed and left to go to the monorail. Keith pinched his nose in an upset manner.
"You sure that it wasn't on the other side?" Asked Keith, his student simply shook her head. He despondently walked over to the monorail.
With them gone, our blonde haired protagonist ran into the gym. Inside, she was met with a giant structure dotted with grass. There were ropes all over the make-shift tree. Erica sighed in exhaustion. She cracked her hands and approached the base.
"This is gonna be a lot of work."
Though it took about ten minutes, she made it to the top of the maze. There was a small library at the top. Inside was an elderly man who was caring a hedge trimmer.
"Well hello there whippersnapper." Greeted the man. "The names Ramos. What did you think of my treehouse playground?"
Erica had to hold back a lot of mean remarks. Come on, who wouldn't be physically tired after that climb (don't answer that). But Erica was a little more upset that this guy called her a kid. Ramos held out a pokeball.
"I assume you're here to challenge me?" Erica pulled out her own pokeball, eagerly.
"Yes. I Erica Tamashii accept your challenge." Ramos sent out a pokemon that resembled dandelions, and it was really light. Another cute grass type, Jumpluff.
Erica responded by sending out Dragulong.
"Use mega drain." The dandelion inexplicably drained out energy from the Skrelp.
"Dragulong, use camuflouge." The rotten kelp changed into a grass type.
"Well, you're on your feet." Commented the gym leader.
"Thank you. And now, Poison tail." Dragulong impacted the Jumpluff with a toxic tail.
"Finish with acid." A spray of deadly poison spilled out onto Jumpluff.
Ramos recalled his pokemon and sent out his next, Weepingbell. A plant trap pokemon that hoisted itself on the roof. Erica also recalled Dragulong and sent out her next choice, Psyedge.
'What can I do for you Erica-sama?'
"Start off with calm mind." Psyedge cleared his thoughts to improve his mental attacks.
"Toxic." The grass pokemon spewed acid onto psyedge, instantly poisoning him.
"Psyedge, use sword dance." The pokemon moved his arms around in the fashion of swords, boosting his attack.
"Weepingbell, attack with razor leaf." A small storm of sharp leaves attacked Psyedge.
"Now confusion." A mental storm was released onto the plant pokemon. Because of the attack boost, the attack was a one hit KO.
With weepingbell down, Ramos had only one pokemon left. But this one was his best, Gogoat.
"That pokemon..." Erica pulled out her pokedex and read about this pokemon. Apparently it was the evolved form of Skiddo. It looked much more intimidating that its pre-evolved form
Shivers ran down her back. 'Psyedge, can you still fight?'
'Yes, but not for long Erica-sama.'
"Alright, lets hit him with a confusion attack." The mental attack stormed the grass goat. But the attack was not that effective.
"That was a little reckless. Use take down." The Gogoat charged with full force onto Psyedge.
He took the hit, but then he collapsed, the poison took its toll. Erica sent out her ace in the hole for this match, Phoenix.
"Start of with take down." The goat jumped and rammed into the bird. Ramos tossed a hyper potion towards his injured pokemon.
"Use ember." Phoenix tossed small flames. Gogoat dodged to avoid the flames.
"Now use leech seed." Gogoat reached back and pulled seeds out that it threw at Phoenix. The seeds were implanted amongst the bird.
"Try aerial ace." Her fletchinder impacted the Gogoat, but hit the horns. The damage was sufficient.
Erica was starting to get desperate in her decisions. Suddenly, a bright light enveloped Phoenix. She was bigger, and her wings now looked like flames. Phoenix evolved into a Talonflame.
"Phoenix, you evolved again?" The giant bird nodded in approval. Erica regained her smile of confidence.
"Then lets use ember."
The fires that impacted Gogoat were now stronger, so blocking with horns wasn't gonna change much.
The effects from leech seed were stating to take more of a toll on the bird. "Uh, use roost." Erica was panicking a little. Small feathers floated around Phoenix, and restored her health.
"Gogoat, use take down." The goat jumped into the air to impact.
"Counter with aerial ace." The two impacted against each other.
Gogoat struggled a bit before falling down. With all three pokemon down, Erica won.
Ramos returned his pokemon and walked over to Erica. "Well, looks like the new young'n's are really bringing in a lot of new things." He handed her the Plant Badge as a reward.
"With your bird that big, you should be able to fly around the region." Erica became amazed at that thought, who wouldn't?
"Thank you for the match, mister." A small wooden door opened, revealing a slide to go down on.
Erica rode down the slide, but she couldn't suppress a 'wee' as she rode down. Upon exiting the gym, she met up with her companions.
"How could you lie to me like that!?" Screamed Brett comically. Erica shrugged her shoulders and gave a nervous smile.
"What can I say, I wanted first dibs."
Erica checked into the hotel for the night while Brett and Keith went to challenge the gym. Today's battle proved that maybe she could stand alone. But she dwelled on that one fact.
'I've always been able to stand on my own, but did I really want to?' She thought about the fear she had prior to it, and her resolve cleared very easily.
'No, I'm happier this way.' She fell to sleep very easily with that happy thought.
In the morning, the trio were readying to leave town. But as they were leaving, Erica was starting to receive a message on the holo-caster. She opened the message to show Lysandre. Erica tensed up a little at the memory of their last encounter.
'I've heard from Sycamore that you've acquired the power of mega evolution. I hope that you can use that power to benefit the world.' The clip ended and Erica let out a sigh.
"Is something the matter?" Asked Keith.
"I'm just still a little uneasy about the last time." Admitted Erica, looking in the other direction. Brett patted her on the head.
"Well we're sorry about the stress we put on you." Apologized Brett. Erica smiled at her friends' kindness and concern.
They walked out of town into a vast, and hot desert. Erica grunted at this. A large desert with all this heat would not feel good, even if she had a good night's rest.
"Do we really have to walk across, isn't there another way?"
"This desert is a connecter route between north-western Lumoise city and western Kalos. We're gonna have to cross it." Explained Keith.
"That and it would take too long if we went back in the other direction." Said Brett.
With reluctance, Erica walked into the desert. A sudden a gust of wind blew across the plains. And Erica was trying to hold her hat down to avoid it blowing off.
"This wind is really a problem."
"Uh, Erica?" She looked over to her friends to notice that they both had nervous faces. Looking down, Erica let out a sharp scream as she realized her skirt was getting caught on the wind.
It seemed that the hot sun wasn't the only problem that the desert was bringing onto our heroes. Blaring winds that came from time to time were also a problem. The force was so strong that their pace was slowing down.
"When will this end!?" Screamed Erica.
They noticed a man in an orange tux in the distance. Now you do the math of what happens next. Luckily, Erica and Keith saw this coming. They hooked ropes onto Brett as he ran to the team flare member. As Brett was running, fast and powerful winds were blowing on him, slowing him down. Lets just picture that for a moment...hehe.
"What do you want brat? Can't you see that I'm on guard duty?" That instantly got Erica interested in this. She was reluctant about this at first, but now she knew that they had to interfere.
"I want..'huff'...to...'huff'...battle you!" Yelled Brett. Keith walked up and patted his friend's back.
"I'll take care of this one."
Because of how good Keith was, it didn't take him long to beat this guy. "Curse you. Time for a stylish retreat."
As the grunt was preparing to leave, he seemed to be searching himself for something.
"Where is my key, no matter, I will make it look like I still have it so that they don't know." Whispered the grunt to himself. Even though he whispered, Keith and Erica could still hear him.
"Lets get it out of him." Suggested Erica. Keith nodded in approval.
But before they could do anything-
"Got you!" Yelled Brett as he punched the flare grunt, knocking him out.
"Brett, we need to know where he lost the key." Whined Keith.
"Is that what this is?" Asked Brett as he held up a card key.
"Where did you get that?" Asked Keith.
"It was just laying on the ground." Erica and Keith stayed silent for a few seconds at their dumb luck. Erica ended up taking the card and swiping it to get in. Even though they knew that Team Flare was involved, the three had no idea of how dangerous this would become.