Previously in the Beautiful Adventure (always wanted to do that), the final gym of Kalos stood in the way of Erica. She and her pokemon friends fought hard through the challenge and succeeded in obtaining the final gym badge.
The next day Erica woke up first without the help of an alarm clock or any sunlight. Which was a strange occasion. She looked around to notice that both Brett and Keith were still in their beds.
She wanted to set up some kind of prank for her two friends. But a despair of emptiness was gripping at her heart. That feeling made it hard for her to stay in the room. So she put on her trainer outfit and trench coat.
Without eating anything, the blond wandered about the white town. This fact that she didn't know what the origin of the feeling was annoyed her. She thought critically about it, till the answer hit her hard.
'I beat all the gyms. Is there anything else that I can do on this journey?' Thought Erica. Her trek through the snow soon led her to a bench to sit down on.
"Should I just end my journey now?" Asked Erica to herself.
"Of course you shouldn't." The blond jumped off the bench and noticed that Keith was on it with her.
"How long were you there!?" Yelled the blond heroine.
"Only long enough." Said Keith as he took off his glasses to polish them.
Putting aside the illogical explanation that she was being stalked, Erica turned around to look up at the sky. Even though it wasn't snowing, it still seemed gray. She turned around to face her teacher.
"Well what should I do now, if I'm not to quit?" Asked Erica.
"You should do what you want to do." Answered Keith, she just sighed in response. Of all the people she knew, this guy seemed like the best to ask for the answer.
"That doesn't really help." Keith turned to her with light coming off of his glasses, and seriousness coloring his face.
"When I defeated the eighth Kanto gym leader, I asked myself the same question."
Keith looked down to his mega ring. And then he pulled out the pokedex with his other hand.
"I remembered that I wanted to prove myself to the world." Erica still felt like she was lost in all this. "Then I decided to keep getting better to prove myself. I challenged the Pokemon League."
Erica took a moment to let that sink in. She took a glance to her mega ring. Pulling out her pokedex, she noticed how it bore a few scratches. And finally she pulled out the orb that she found in Shalour bay.
Keith turned back to his student. "So what do you want to do?"
"Well, I guess that I want to get better...I'd challenge the pokemon league. But if they're anything like you and Brett are, I'll never win." Keith didn't seem to settle well with that answer.
He got up and grabbed Erica's shoulders and proceeded to shake her around, hard and fast. When she finally got him to stop she had to take a few seconds to recalibrate her vision. Looking back with an upset face, she expected a good reason for this.
"He's trying to tell you not to doubt yourself." The blond jumped again as she could see that Brett was standing behind the bench and bore a slightly disappointed face. And as usual, Erica felt that she could win an argument against them.
"Not that I don't appreciate the support, but history has proven that I cannot defeat you in battle." Argued the teenager as she referenced her battle with Keith in Lumiose city. However her friends didn't exactly buy into that.
"How can you doubt yourself after all you have been through?" Asked Brett seriously. She wanted to retaliate with some kind of witty answer, but nothing was coming to mind. Keith decided that they couldn't really help her with this decision.
"There is a way that you can find out what you want to do." Erica turned to him for an answer. He pointed towards Winding Woods, she followed his hand and felt a chill pass down her spine. "If you go there, I can promise that you'll find your answer."
Something in the back of Erica's mind was telling her that this was a bad idea, but what else could she do? And besides, these were her two friends who watched her throughout her entire journey. Her resolve was made clear as she wandered to the nearby forest.
Upon entry she already began to regret going there. Unlike her glasses wearing companion, Erica wasn't at all intrigued in ghosts. Unluckily for her Winding Woods had such a chilling atmosphere. Every few steps she could hear something rustling in the nearby bushes.
"If somebody is trying to play a trick on me it isn't funny!" Yelled Erica in frustration. She was already angry enough at her current situation, she didn't need a kid pranking her. But never-the-less the rustling continued.
"Quit it! I'm a skilled pokemon trainer!" That threat was empty as she had left her friends to rest some more in the hotel. The rustling continued without knowledge of the empty threat. At that moment, she couldn't take it anymore as she rushed over and pushed through the bush.
'What the...' She expected to see a little kid sitting there, but found nothing. Instead wooden arms stretched over to her and on instinct she jumped back. Only now did Erica realize the real threat.
A pack of wild Trevenant were stalking her through the woods, and now they had cornered her. The blond teenager took a couple steps back as she tried to come up with some kind of strategy to get out of this situation. However most of it was spent with her reassuring herself not to be afraid.
'I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid. I'm-" Suddenly an invasive feeling started to spread through her mind. The ghost-grass types were analyzing her. Her knees met the ground as Erica held her head in pain.
Her eighth gym battle.
Battling against Lysandre.
Telling AZ to forgive himself.
Challenging Brett and Keith.
The feeling melted away and she let go of her head. Each haunted tree gave a smile and crept away from the blond. As they left she started to smile and cry. It didn't take long before her companions arrived and helped her up.
"...Thank you." Whispered Erica. "I needed that reminder." She reached forward and hugged both of them. The three of them stayed like that for a few seconds, before Erica's stomach started to growl.
"It's ok, we missed breakfast too." The three of them shared laughter.
After some breakfast, the three prepared to move on from Snowbelle city. But as they were leaving, Erica got a message her holocaster. It was from her mother.
'Hi sweetie, I'm sorry that I haven't been able to call you lately. The signal around here has been terrible. I'm just sending this message to see how you are doing. Call me back ok? Love you.'
The blond smiled and sent a message back to her mother that told her exactly what she had been up to. She didn't really expect her mother to believe it all, but it was worth mentioning. Once she finished Erica turned to her companions, confirming that she was ready to move to the next route.
The next route didn't seem nearly as cold. Erica was once again boggled by the physics of climate change as she had to remove her trench coat.
"I will never understand how the temperature changes so quickly." Sighed Erica. She then looked over to her left to notice Brett battling against a random trainer.
A thought suddenly popped in her head. Why did Brett challenge the Pokemon League? Regardless of how urging it was Erica decided to ask him later, it would be a bad idea to take him through the whole shopping adventure again.
It came sooner than she expected, but Erica reached the entrance to Victory Road. This would be her final challenge before reaching the Pokemon League. And there was absolutely no doubt in her mind this time.
"All right, lets do it!" Yelled the challenger as she pumped her fist in the air.
"We believe in you."
Surprised, Erica turned around to notice her two friends not following her. Half of her expected this to be a quick joke. "You guys aren't coming?"
"Champions aren't allowed to enter other victory roads of different regions without a warrant." Answered Keith
"Even if we could, only the challengers may go through." Continued Brett.
Erica deadpanned to the ground. She got up and faced her friends with an exhausted face. She decided that rules were rules and gave in.
"But how will you two get around?"
"Don't worry, there is a method for non-challengers." Stated Brett.
Right on cue, a hot air balloon came down in front of them. Brett and Keith boarded into the balloon and waved their friend off.
"Ok, I guess I'll see you later." Said Erica half-heartedly as she watched her friends ride away.
Turning back to the entrance, she ventured into the trying challenge that was Victory Road.
Upon walking into the place, Erica was greeted by the sight of an ace trainer messing with a holo-caster.
"I take it that you are here to challenge the pokemon league?" Asked the ace trainer as he put away his device.
"Thats right, I am." Claimed the protagonist as she held out her gym badges.
The guard took a minute to examine them thoroughly, irritating Erica a little. He stopped for a moment and pulled out a magnifying glass to further examine them. Once again, irritating Erica.
"Come on, I earned them fairly."
"Alright, but just to make triple sure." He pulled out a pokeball.
The feminine protagonist sighed and pulled out a pokeball. She sent out out Jirai. The ace trainer sent out carbink.
"Carbink, use-" He stopped as soon as he realized that Erica was bubbling at the sight of the cute pokemon. Need a visual image? Well you know what Tamama's face naturally looks like? Something like that.
"I know I have to attack, but I just can't bring myself to do so." Gushed the protagonist.
Jirai walked over to his trainer and licked her with his long tung. That was both good and bad, good because she snapped back, bad because her hair was messed up. A smile that seemed to be holding back anger decorated her face.
"Are you sure you earned those badges?" That question pulled Erica out of her 'kawaii' trance and back into battle.
"Of course I did! Jirai, use water shuriken!" The ninja frog jumped into the air and launched its signature attack.
"Carbink, use dig." The rock fairy dug underground to avoid the attack.
"Double team." Jirai used the classic ninja trick of cloning to avoid the attack.
The rock pokemon quickly surfaced and phased through a clone. "Crap." Cursed the ace trainer.
"Now use extrasensory." Jirai used the psychic force to hold the fairy in place. "And finish with water shuriken." Jirai launched his signature attack and finished off carbink.
The trainer retrieved his pokemon and sent out raichu as a reinforcer. Erica sent out Laxus. The ace trainer was surprised at her choice.
'She is not going for type advantage.' He decided to go through with this regardless.
"Raichu use body slam." The big mouse slammed inot its target in an attempt to damage.
"Laxus use cotton guard." The fur covering the ampharos suddenly poofed up and boosted his defense.
"Raichu use brick break."
The two punching melee attacks collided against each other and knocked the air away like some kind of scene from Dragonball.
"Now defeat him with dragon pulse!" Laxus generated the purple energy in his mouth and launched the finishing move onto the electric mouse.
The guarding trainer reluctantly retrieved his pokemon. "Its not over yet, you still have to beat this one."
"Bring it on." Mocked Erica.
The last pokemon sent out was the regal sea horse pokemon, Kingdra. Erica retrieved Laxus and sent out Dragulong. Once again she had no intention of taking any type advantage.
"Kingdra use dragon rush." The water dragon charged into the poison dragon.
"Use sludge bomb at close range." Dragulong countered with his own toxic attack at point-blank range.
"Dragon pulse!" Commanded both trainers at the same time. The pokemon launched another dragonic blast that mimicked dragonball.
When the smoke cleared, Dragulong was out of sight. The ace trainer was caught off guard by one of Erica's favorite tactics
"Now dragon pulse!" The seaweed pokemon shed its camouflage and launched the final attack. The Kingdra was knocked all the way back into they nearby wall.
The ace trainer called back his Kingdra and stepped out of the way, conceding that Erica had earned the badges.
"Best of luck to you."
"Thank you." Complemented Erica as she walked down the hall decorated with flags. Each different flag had a pattern of one of the badges on it. She kept walking till she came to a flight of stairs.
"Here I go."
On the other side Keith, his Barbaracle, his Chesnaught, and his Charizard were all restraining Brett from going into victory road.
"Come on, this is so boring." Whined Brett as he struggled against the multiple vice grips.
"Then call Kate." Suggested Keith.
"Good idea." He ran back into the pokemon center. The brown-haired champion sighed.
"Maybe we should of knocked him out."