In the last chapter Erica had been taken back to Lumiose after surviving the battle against Team Flare. But that was the last chapter and this is a new one. Now she will continue her journey to become a stronger pokemon trainer.
Rays of sunlight penetrated the windows and woke up Erica in the luxury hotel room. Standing up and yawning, she found that the room was devoid of her two companions.
"Where are those two?" She asked to no one in particular. Her first thought would be that maybe the two went to battle somewhere, considering that they were now well enough for it.
Erica got up out of the bed and looked around. She found a note on Keith's bed, and one on Brett's. She picked up the one from Brett first.
'Sorry, but we need to catch up on gym badges and you were sleeping in too late.' Erica looked at her holocaster to see that it was 10:12 am. A slightly upset expression spread across her face.
"That's not too late." She went over to Keith's bed. He might side with her.
'I kind of have to agree with Brett.' Erica sighed in defeat.
Getting dressed, she went downstairs to get some breakfast. As she was eating a crepe, she realized something important. She had become a lot more capable of herself than when she first met them.
'If this was back when I first met them, I'd've been scared that they left me.' She gave a smile. 'I guess I'm a lot more independent.'
In Anistar city Keith was further investigating the giant crystal on the dock. He found that the material that it was made of was very rare. If not, the last one of its kind. Brett walked up to meet with his friend.
"She wasn't that much of a challenge." Bragged the black haired champion.
"And she predicted that you'd say that." Brett's spine chilled at the thought of somebody predicting his future.
It was then that the silhouette of a bird flying over caught their attention. Looking up, they were met with the sight of Erica flying in on her Talonflame. Upon landing she returned her pokemon and ran up to meet with the champions. She now bore a hat that was the same color as the one she lost in the Team Flare base.
"I'd say that it's nice to see you two again." Commented Erica.
"Ah Erica, good morning to you." Greeted Keith as he didn't take his eyes off the giant rock. The protagonist walked over and tapped him on the shoulder to gain more attention.
Keith turned around to meet with Erica's passive expression and her holocaster that showed the time to be 12:17 pm. He had a sweatdrop in the face of his younger friend.
"Ok, I guess it's not morning anymore." Admitted the analytical champion nervously. After a about thirty minutes, Erica and Brett convinced Keith to move away from the giant pink crystal.
They exited the city and headed into the next route. It didn't seem as chilly as some of the past routes that they had visited were, but it wasn't exactly sunshine and warmth either.
"Why is it that it keeps getting colder?" Complained Erica as put on her red trench coat.
"Now that you mention it, that does seem to be a pattern." Said Brett while he cupped his chin thinking about the other regions.
Keith and Erica chose to dismiss that fact, despite how coincidental it was. They continued walking through the chilly route, encountering many trainers along the way. Because of her experience, the blond trainer seemed to have little to no trouble with them.
Erica was walking along the route when a bush began to shake. Turning immediately she tried to figure out where the sound was coming from, but it had stopped. She just shrugged it off and continued walking, but the bush shook again.
"Hey do you guys-" Suddenly a pokemon jumped out of the bush at her and latched itself to her leg.
It was the iron ant, Durant. They are known for their raging attacks. And of course, Erica was panicking. Keith was about to help, but he wanted to see if Erica could tactically get it off with her pokemon's help.
"What is this thing!?" Screamed the blond. Instead of reaching for her pokeball, Erica grabbed the Durant and launched it away from them. Cue funny plot action from the champions.
"Erica used seismic toss!"
"Its super effective!"
Irritated, Erica turned back to her friends with an exhausted face. "You two are not commentators. And I'm not a pokemon."
Despite their friend's anger, Brett and Keith moved on anyways. The blonde protagonist gave back her look of irritation.
As the three ventured forward, they came upon what looked like an abandoned mine shaft. Keith curiously walked up to the door and pressed his hand against the large wooden gate.
Erica curiously approached to get a better idea of what he was doing.
"What exactly are you doing?" Asked the blonde. In response Keith snapped out of his daze and tried to give a reassuring face. But his face was a little nervous.
"It's nothing, I just got curious." He turned to the next town and continued towards it.
Erica didn't buy into that explanation as a tinge of worry welled inside her. She turned towards Brett, hoping for an answer. He caught on to her suspicion and just shrugged his shoulders.
"Beats me. He has always sort of had the ability to sense odd things." Explained the black-haired champion.
'I guess that everyone has there own strange talents.'
She and Brett soon caught up to their friend. The three soon entered the small town of Couriway. Not much to this town. The only two attractions were the old railway and the waterfalls.
Quickly looking about, Brett noticed that there was no gym in the area. He turned to Keith who shook his head. The hot-blooded protagonist turned to Erica with a desperate face.
"Come on, you must know that you'd find it before me." She also shook her head in response.
"But what about that time in Courmarine city?" Erica was about to retort, but he was right about that. She took a few moments to look around, then looking at a nearby sign revealed that this town indeed had no gym.
"Hey, there you three are." They turned around to see their good professor, Sycamore. From his words, they could guess that he was looking for them.
"I should've known that you'd three would be here really soon." Admitted the professor, confirming the previous assumption. He walked over to the blond trainer and held out a pokeball. She thought it might be a present, but apparently the professor had something else in mind.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to battle you." That request shocked all three of them, especially the one he was challenging.
"Well I guess it can't hurt, but why?" Asked the blonde.
"I'd like to see first hand just how good you've become." Answered the professor as he tossed the pokeball up. That was a good enough answer for Erica as she stepped away to give some distance.
Brett and Keith also took some steps away so that Erica could properly focus on the battle. The first sent out by Sycamore was his venusaur. Erica decided to send out Laxus, despite electricity not being able to do much damage against grass types.
"Venusaur, use double edge." The giant dinosaur rammed itself into the Ampharos. The damage was great, but it also left the grass starter with recoil. The female blond decided to put up some defense.
"Alright Laxus use cotton guard." The use of cotton guard allowed the defense of the electric type to skyrocket.
"Now use power gem." Laxus released electric currents into the ground which picked out stones that rammed against Venusaur.
"Use your petal blizzard." The grass dinosaur shook its giant feather and brewed up a giant storm that quickly approached Laxus. But Erica anticipated this and came up with a quick strategy.
"Use electro ball and levitate off the ground." The electricity formed in Laxus's head and tail. He allowed the electricity to formed around his body and pushed him against gravity and avoid the incoming attack.
After the avoiding the petal blizzard, the electric type flew down and impacted against Venusaur. Knocking him out in the process, leaving the professor with the only choice of retrieving his pokemon.
"I can see that you've gotten stronger." He recalled his defeated pokemon and sent out his next choice. The flying-fire starter, Charizard.
"Now Charizard use flamethrower." The psuedo dragon blew fire towards the Ampharos.
"And use flare blitz." Charizard charged forth and impacted hard against the poor electric giraffe.
Erica recalled her pokemon and reached for her next choice, her loyal Psyedge.
'Shall I slay this foe?' That request caught his trainer off guard.
'Uh...no just defeat them.'
'Very well, Erica-sama.' She thought that maybe the psychic-fighting type might be a little reluctant to fight for her again because of the battle against Lysandre. But he seemed to be pretty confident in his abilities. A happy expression painted Erica's face.
"What are you so happy about?" Asked Sycamore.
"I'm just happy to have such great friends and pokemon." Answered the blond as she looked towards her partner. Sycamore also smiled as he was happy to hear this for his pupil.
"Charizard, take to the sky." The pseudo dragon flapped its giant wings as it took off into the sky.
"Use psycho cut." Psyedge drew up energy in his arm and flung it towards the fire-flying type.
"Now, use aerial ace." Charizard flew down and struck the psychic-fighting type. Utilizing the type advantage of flying against fighting.
"Counter with psychic." Psyedge launched a wave of energy. The Charizard was defeated.
Sycamore recalled and sent out his final pokemon, blastoise. Erica also took this chance to withdraw her pokemon, and sent out Dragulong.
"Blastsoise, use ice beam." Sycamore was taking this chance to abuse type advantage, again.
"Counter with sludge bomb." The two attacks collided and created an explosion.
"Now use your poison tail!" The rotten seaweed dragon swiftly slammed his tail against the giant turtle.
"Take the hit and counter with your ice beam again." The giant turtle tried to fire again, but something held it back. Dragulong's poison was setting in to inhibit the Blastoise.
"What?" The professor was caught off guard as he didn't notice it before.
"Hit it one last time with dragon pulse." Dragulong fired the finishing attack. Apparently, the poison dragon's tail attack from earlier had left a toxic mark.
Sycamore retrieved his pokemon and laughed. Erica retrieved her pokemon and walked over to the unshaven man.
"I can't compete with you guys." Laughed the professor nervously.
"I guess there are just some things that others can not do good in." Commented Brett, and Erica was a little surprised at the fact that he was not talking about the battle.
Sycamore placed a hand on Erica's shoulder, gaining her attention. "I'm proud of how far you've come since the start of your journey. I hope that you can go even further. I have let something in this town that I would like you to find."
The professor turned and left the town. Although the blond was curious about the thing that Sycamore was talking about, she was more concerned for her pokemon. With that in mind Erica went to the pokemon center to get her friends healed.
Whilst she did that, Brett decided to take a look at what the railroad station was like. Low-and-behold, it was pretty boring without a working train. Without much to do the black-haired protagonist decided to leave, but as he was getting read to leave, he caught sight of some scribbling on the side of a bench. He walked over to take a look at it and was interested in what he found.
"Well, isn't that something?" He decided to take it back to get Erica to take a look at it.
In the center, Erica was reading a pop culture magazine that was talking about a man named Lance from a region called Johto. She wondered if Brett had met with this man. And speak of the Giratina, he comes the champion.
"Hey Erica I need you to do a favor."
"Ok, I'm listening."
"Just go up to the train station and read whatever you find." She decided to oblige, it wasn't like she had anything better to do. As she left though, the blond couldn't help but notice that Brett seemed a little excited.
Up on the train station platform, Erica couldn't find much to read. There were a few signs, and a time chart that was much outdated. Walking past one of the seats, she noticed the same writing that her friend had noticed earlier. She knelt down to read it.
'To the person reading this: What are you like now? Did you become who you wanted to be? For starters, what was the person you wanted to become even like? I don't know, but it would be wonderful if you can boast that you're living each day to its fullest.'
After reading that message, she was a little surprised at how it related to her adventure. She was even more surprised at how she looked to who had wrote it, and who it was addressed to. From Sycamore dreaming of the future, to the Sycamore of the future (aka current Sycamore).
A happy smile painted across Erica Tamashii's face as she realized that Professor Sycamore wanted her to read this message. A happy tear fell down her left cheek as she realized how she had become a strong trainer with her friends and pokemon. Happy because of what she had become.
After her pokemon were healed up, Erica regrouped with Brett and Keith and decided to make it to the next city before it got dark. It would be too cold to camp and there was still daylight to use. The next route over was a particularly wet one. Not as cold as the last route, but definitely wetter.
"An entire marsh?" Erica looked down towards the lower sections of the route.
"There is definitely some kind of pattern in how we go through the regions." Noted Keith.
Looking around, the three quickly found a bridge that they could use to cross. Once they started walking on it, Erica thought that she could hear voices.
"Wait up!" The blonde protagonist turned around to notice Shauna catching up to them. But she didn't anticipate that she would be knocked down by her friend, and into the nearby marsh.
"Was that Shauna?" Asked Brett.
"Yeah, but should we help them?" Answered Keith.
So after being hauled out of the marsh, getting a quick blow dry, and walking back up to the bridge, Shauna apologized to her friend for the accident. She was just lucky that Erica had already experienced this before.
"Again, I'm really sorry for that." Apologized Shauna for the third time. Erica just waved it off.
"Oh don't worry, I've already been through it before." She was referencing her time when she fell into the marsh and had to get new clothes entirely. Suddenly Shauna held out a pokeball and this time, Erica understood what that meant.
"Erica, I know that this is a little sudden, but battle me."