It was early in the afternoon in Cyllage city. Erica was inside the gym, climbing up the rocky wall to challenge the gym leader. As she traversed the wall, she became exhausted. 'Now I know why Keith was worn out yesterday.'
Once she got to the top, she was met with the gym leader. "You're here to challenge me?" Erica nodded without hesitation.
Grant sent out Tyrunt first. Erica sent out Venus.
"Use dragon claw." The dinosaur slashed its claw onto the, well, other dinosaur.
"Venus use your vine whip." The green dinosaur used its tentacles to wrap up Tyrunt and bring him closer. "And now use sleep powder." The larger flower puffed out the teal dust that put Tyrunt to sleep. With the tiny car ripper asleep, there was nothing to stop it from being assaulted by many vine whips.
The gym leader retrieved his defeated pokemon and sent out Amaura in its place. "Use your icy wind." The cute dinosaur blew its cold wind towards the grass dinosaur, which dealt a lot of damage as a result.
"Quick use poison powder!" Venus's flower launched purple gas that started a poisoning in her opponent. "And attack with bullet seed." Venus pointed her flower towards Amaura again and launched many seeds at a high speed.
"Use thunder wave." The little sails on Amaura's head began to flash before releasing an electric current onto the Ivysaur. "And now use icy wind."
Amaura blew its tiny (and cute) wind onto its opponent, ultimately defeating Venus. Erica was a little shocked at this turn of events, but she soon noticed that Amaura had a bit of a green face. It then fell over with swirls in its eyes, defeated by poisoning.
Because Erica had three other pokemon that were still capable of battling, she won the match. Grant walked over to her and handed her the Cliff Badge. The blond bowed, thanking him for the match.
In the local pokemon center, Brett was fidgeting around with his holo-caster, and Keith appeared to be mulling over something. The glasses-wearing trainer was broken out of his thoughts by his friend. "What're thinking about over there?" Keith turned to see that Brett had an extremely bored face.
"I was thinking about that group, Team Flare." Answered Keith with a serious expression.
"I wouldn't worry about it too much. They might be weak, and the two of use are pretty strong." Keith couldn't deny that as he had easily beaten the gym leader that morning. He couldn't help but think that Erica was also becoming a strong trainer.
And cue said novice. Erica walked over to the counter to get her Ivysaur healed up. She then walked over to her friends. "So how did it go?"
"Pretty easy, Venus was all I needed." Boasted Erica. She looked over towards a map of the Kalos region. "We're going up north next right?" Keith nodded.
"Yeah, we'll be making a loop around towards Lumiose city, this is what Sycamore recommended for us prior to coming here." Just in time, Erica's pocket monster was all healed up.
The trio then departed from the city to head up north. As they journeyed through this new route, they were met with a lot of peculiar stones. In a way, they seemed to represent ruins. Keith took a moment to mull it over.
'Does this region have some sort of history?' Brett turned to Erica. "What are these?"
"They're called the standing stones, nobody knows where they came from. They get the name from the fact that they look like they're standing in line." Answered the blond heroine. She walked over to one of the stones and touched the surface. A strange shiver ran down her spine.
'What is this feeling? Is it...sorrow?'
It was then that Brett had spotted something familiar, Team Flare.
"Hey you!" Brett had quickly switched over towards an angry attitude.
"What do you want?"
"Lets fight!" The blond was broken out of her thoughts by her friend's outburst. Erica stepped in front of Brett to stop him.
"I'll handle this one." The grunt sent out a Gulpin.
"Get em Psyedge." She threw out her Kirlia to fight.
"Gulpin use smog." The blimp of a pokemon blew a deadly gas towards Psyedge.
"Dodge and use confusion." The ballet pokemon followed its trainers commands perfectly.
Gulpin was now confused as a side effect of the attack. "Snap out of it!"
Gulpin hurt itself in its confusion, which left it vulnerable to another psychic attack. The grunt retrieved his pokemon and fled. Psyedge limped over to its trainer.
"What's wrong?" Erica was surprised at how her pokemon could be hurt.
"This shouldn't be too surprising." Said Keith. "Kirlia and Ralts are more-so meant for show rather than battle." Erica retrieved her pokemon with a sullen look.
"So did I make a bad choice?"
"Of course you didn't!" Yelled Brett, surprising his friends. "Any pokemon can amount to anything. Remember that Kirlia can also evolve into Gallade."
Erica pulled out her pokedex to search for this pokemon. Gallade was shown as a pokemon that only a male Kirlia could evolve from if it is exposed to a dawn stone. The blond put away the device, she didn't have said item.
"Oh well, I'm bound to find one sometime. Right?" Her mood changed quickly.
They continued down the road as they encountered other trainers, including more TF grunts. Erica took the pleasure of defeating them as well.
After the long trek, they made their way into Geosenge town. A very strange town that had three giant rocks right in the center of it. Brett thought it was kinda cool.
"It's like a giant claw!" Erica tried to not fantasize that would look like.
But guess who? Another grunt from you-know-who. It goes without saying that some of our heroes were upset at this. Specifically the one with black hair who isn't that bright.
"Where do they keep coming from!?" Brett then chased the guy, his friends following after him.
But once the got to the end of the track, they found a giant rock. But nothing else in sight. Enter frustrated Brett. He tried to break the rock with his fists.
"He's not going to get anywhere with that. Is he?" Asked Erica.
"Nope, he's always been like this." Replied Keith. It was then that an idea popped into the blond's head, when did her teacher's meet?
"How did you two meet?" Keith showed a little surprise, he tilted his head to recall the memory.
"He beat me in a bike race." Said Keith as he reflected on that memory.
Erica and Keith tried to pry Brett from the rock, but they had to ask his Snorlax to do it for him.
The trio spent a little while waiting for their pokemon to be healed up. Afterwards, they decided to continue onward.
Moving along to the east, they came upon another cave. This one was called Reflection Cave. There was a sign next to the entrance.
'Sometimes you see things.'
Before they entered, Erica got a message on her holo-caster. It was Professor Sycamore.
'You all seem to be doing good on this journey. You're heading to Shalour city next, right? Well there is someone there called the Mega Evolution Guru. He should be able to help with unraveling the mystery.' The message ended.
They then entered reflection cave. As the name implies, the cave is full of reflective rocks. Erica looked around, admiring her own reflection.
"Wow, I'd ask what a diva would be doing in a run-down place like this." Boasted Erica as she looked at herself. Keith turned to Brett, who just shrugged his shoulders.
They continued through the cave until they came upon Tierno. And as you can guess, he was messing around with dancing.
"One..two...one...two..thr-Hi Erica." He stopped his dance as soon as he noticed his friend.
"Hi Tierno, how is you dance team going?" Asked Erica, curious about her friend's progress.
"I am getting closer every second. I can feel it." Tierno did his casual dance. "What about you two, do you guys ever dance?" Asked Tierno.
"Well...thats...uh..." Keith was hiding something.
"We both tried and ran into each other." Stated Brett blatantly. Keith sweated at that memory.
Tierno laughed a little at that. You gotta admit, two guys running into each other while dancing can be hilarious.
Keith decided to move on through the cave and Brett followed him. Erica was about to follow till she saw a small pokemon pop out of the ground. It was the rock-fairy type, Carbink. It gave the cutest face, which instantly attracted Erica.
"Kawaii. I gotta catch it!" Erica chased the pokemon down to lower levels.
She didn't even pay heed to the fact that she was getting farther and farther away from her friends. Well, until the Carbink dug underground.
"Wait, come back!" Too late, the little guy was too far below the ground.
Erica then noticed that this room had a lot of mirrors. But they couldn't reflect anything further than 3 feet away. So Erica came close to it. Then a boy with brown hair, who was turned away from the mirror, appeared.
If Erica had to guess, he was about 10. She turned around to greet the boy.
But there was nobody there.
She turned around to see that his reflection was still there. "Is somebody there?" She asked.
It didn't respond. Instead it turned around to look at her. It had a worried look on its face, an eyepatch covered the right eye. But the strangest thing was that it looked like...
"Keith?" The image disappeared, and then another image of a young boy appeared. He had black hair, and a monotonous face. "Brett?"
Then that image disappeared, Erica was starting to feel very insecure. As if things weren't bad enough, another image appeared. It was in the form of a young girl in a school outfit, she looked like she was crying. All that the trainer could do was let out a sharp gasp.
On the ground level our heroes were looking for their lost friend. They heard a scream echo through the caves. It sounded like Erica.
"Come on, this way!" Brett ran in the direction and Keith quickly followed.
They ran down to the lower levels to find Erica crouched on the ground. She had her hands over her head and she was trembling. Her friends went over to comfort her.
"Hey now, its alright. We're here for you Erica." Said Keith as he brought her up.
Erica tried to calm herself but to no avail. Brett patted her on the head. "It's alright, everything's gonna be fine." He offered his signature smile, strangely that helped. She then looked to her teachers with very observant eyes.
"Uh nothing, lets move on."
So they trekked through the rest of the cave to the exit. Once they got outside, they were met with the sight of Shalour city. And off in the distance they could see the Tower of Mastery.
Erica thought over what had recently happened and mustered enough courage to ask.
"Hey Keith, have you ever worn an eyepatch?" Keith's eyes widened at that. He turned around with a very serious and questioned expression.
"Well...yeah. I got into a fight with some criminals a while back. They got me real good." Said Keith.
Erica's eyes widened a little. Brett looked at his friend sympathetically.
"Since you're sharing something like this, maybe it's only fair that I do so to." They both turned to him.
"My real name isn't Brett." Erica's face greatly widened in shock.
"But, it's the name that I want everyone to know me by. It's the name I want to keep." He gave a happy smile.
"Brett, Keith.." They both offered smiles that reminded her of their friendship.
Erica smiled too. She then realized that no person can go throughout their life without suffering. Suddenly, the blond's pain from her childhood seemed a lot lighter.
"Now, to the Tower of Mastery. For mega evolution!" Yelled Brett.
Erica and Keith laughed at their friend's bluntness. Times like this were what Erica really needed, just to have fun with friends. It's what everyone needs.