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Fanfiction Calem’s Alola Adventure

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by warriorseadra, Nov 4, 2017.

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  1. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

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    A pyrrhic victory. Team Flare was stopped, but Kalos fell. Five years have passed since and Calem moves to Alola with his mother to start a new life. However, while the dead are mourned, the survivors are the ones burdened with living. What kind of adventure will Calem have in Alola? Can he even have one while chained down by his past?
     
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  2. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

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    Calem sits on his bed with a violet egg on his lap. He keeps it warm by holds it to himself while rubbing it. Mawile sleeps leaning against him. His vacant and sullen expression doesn't change even after a fletching enters through his open window and gives him a peck.

    "I wasn't sleeping, Fletching." He adjusts Mawile so that she's laying on his bed instead of him and rises. He sets the egg into its incubator and leaves for this kitchen.

    Calem's mother, Grace, enters from the deck. "It's been a long day, I hope you got plenty of sleep. So, Calem… are you pumped to meet some Alolan Pokémon?"

    "I guess…"

    "You should be more excited. We've been just about everywhere this past year: Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh, and even Unova, but I think we've finally hit the jack pot here in Alola. Think about it, these are the beautiful islands everyone wants to visit. This is a brand new start for us: you, me, Fletching, and Rhyhorn. The Pokémon living here must be friendly, so smile already."

    "Sure…"

    The doorbell interrupts Grace's reply. "That's got to be Professor Kukui. Why don't you let him in, Calem?"

    A man enters before Calem can get halfway to the door. For some reason, he isn't wearing a shirt underneath his lab coat. The man says, "Hey there, Calem! The name's Kukui. Good to meet you, cousin! You gotta be tired after that long trip all the way out here to Alola! Those are some nasty bags under your eyes. You feelin' any jet lag?"

    "No…"

    "We sure are a long way from Unova out here in Alola. It's still nighttime out here, yeah!"

    "It isn't jet lag…"

    Grace walks over to redirect the conversation. "Professor Kukui! Yes, we just arrived yesterday."

    "Hey there, Grace. I just let myself in. Oh, and call me Kukui, would you? Welcome to Alola!"

    "Of course. I still remember seeing you battle the Indigo Gym Leaders back in Kanto all those years ago when I there for my races. I've been in love with Alolan Pokémon ever since."

    Professor Kukui laughs. "I was supposed to be visiting there to research Kanto Pokémon moves and all. I thought I knew a thing or two about battling, but those Kanto Gym Leaders proved me wrong!

    "Hey now, Calem! Let's get a move on to the next town over, cousin. Time for you to meet the island Kahuna and get yourself a Pokémon, yeah."

    "The island kakuna?"

    Professor Kukui laughs. "Kahuna, not kakuna! Although, he does look like one. The Kahuna who lives in Iki Town is always happy to give any kid who wants to have an adventure their first Pokémon, yeah."

    Grace says, "Calem, that's wonderful. You've been shutting yourself in your room ever since we left Kalos. I've been worried sick over you. Go get a new partner and explore our new home." She turns to Professor Kukui. "Back in Kalos, four years ago, back when he was eleven, Calem and his friends used to play Pokémon. Then that happened… I really think this will be a good experience for him."

    Professor Kukui pats Calem's shoulder, "So, you already know the basics, that's great! Don't try taking on the Kahuna just yet, though. The Kahuna are crazy-strong Pokémon trainers. They're unbeatable for folks like us!"

    "I'm fine staying here."

    Grace says, "Oh, hush now. Hurry and get ready, Calem. Your bag, hat, and things are probably still in the boxes in your room."

    He turns for his room without another word. He finds his bag and hat in the bottom of the box. Putting them on makes him retch. He hurls the two items out the open window before collapsing onto the ground. Hunched over, he supports himself with one hand while covering his mouth with the other. He breathes in and exhales. He breathes in and exhales. After a few minutes, he gets up.

    A key-stone embedded necklace lays atop of his desk. Next to it rests a black Pokéball. He looks to Mawile who is hugging the incubator to herself. She must have placed them there when he wasn't paying attention. He shrugs and leaves his room with the excuse, "They broke during the move."

    Professor Kukui says, "Then we'll just have to get you some styling new ones later, cousin."

    Grace sees Calem to the door with, "I'll be sure to have everything cleaned up and put away by the time you come back with your new Pokémon."

    Professor Kukui says as they begin walking down the moonlit road, "Your mom there… She's sure looking forward to you getting a Pokémon, yeah?"

    "I have Mawile."

    "Now you can get another family member." He gestures to the palm trees along the trail. "Welcome to paradise, cousin. This is the Alola region! Folks here in Alola get along by living together with Pokémon and working together, too. After all… You can go anywhere, yeah, as long as you got Pokémon helping you out here. That's why we've got to get you to the Kahuna."

    "For some reason, I keep thinking it should be kakuna."

    Professor Kukui laughs. "Come on, Iki Town isn't far if we cut through here." After some walking, he says, "So, Calem, you loving Alola yet?"

    "I guess…"

    "Don't be like that. You just got to give it a fair shot and it'll grow right on you, cousin."

    A trainer spots them and waves. "Hey, you're the new kid! Howzit? Let's have a battle sometime!"

    Calem doesn't respond. He waves back, but his face remains impassive.

    Professor Kukui leads Calem up some log steps. "And we're here! This right here is Iki Town! This town is where folks come to worship the Pokémon that watches over Melemele Island. Tapu Koko keeps us all safe and happy, see!" Professor Kukui looks around and starches the back of his head. "Strange, we were supposed to meet everybody right here, yeah. Maybe they're back on the Mahalo trail. That's where the ruins of our guardian deity, Tapu Koko, are, yeah…

    "Calem, do me a solid and go out there to look for them. I'll wait around here to make sure we don't miss each other. And don't worry, you won't miss the island Kahuna. He looks just like a Kahuna."

    "Sure…" is all Calem says to the unhelpful description. He walks through the center of town and sees a girl in white talking to her duffle bag. She looks around the same age as him, maybe a year younger. After a short exchange with the Pokémon she's hiding, she leaves down a trail into the forest.

    Calem enters behind her figuring that that is the Mahalo trail. He could call out to her, but he doesn't want to speak with anyone. He just want to finish this pointless task and go home.

    The silent night lets the girl's words drift back to him. "You can't come out! We'll get in trouble if anyone sees you."

    Calem stops for a moment to let some space build between them and then continues. As long neither of them sees the others face, then there is no chance he will get involved in her problems. With his dilemma settled, he resumes climbing the trail of log steps.

    Upon reaching the top, he finds the girl panicking in front of a hanging bridge. Some spearow are circling a Pokémon that reminds him of the night sky. The girl hears him approach and turns to face him with an "Ah. You have to help it! Please! Save, Nebby!"

    Calem looks back to the spearow circling around the Pokémon, "Pe-e-ew!"

    "The spearows are attacking it! But… but I'm too afraid to go out there… My legs feel like they might give out…"

    His mind flashes to the Pokémon on route ten back in Kalos. Multiple Pokémon were bound to the slabs of rocks by a mysterious energy. Each one cried its life out before withering away to dust. Once one rock was free, another Pokémon would be pulled onto it by the same mysterious force that held them down.

    Calem clicks his tongue and runs across the bridge. With grit teeth, he forces himself past the swinging from the bridge and hunches over Nebby. The spearow attack with more vigor in response. As he cries out, Nebby envelops him within mysterious glow that shatters the slabs of wood underneath them.

    Calem hugs Nebby to himself as they fall and position his body so that it will protect Nebby from hitting the water below. A golden Pokémon blows the spearow away, catches him, and places him next to the girl. It stops to look Calem and Nebby over before zipping up into the night sky like a meteor.

    Nebby says, "Pew!" upon getting up.

    The girl says, "Oh… Oh, thank goodness! You tried using your power again… didn't you? Oh, Nebby. You know what happened last time you used it. You couldn't move for ages after that. I don't want to see you like that again. No… I shouldn't say that. I'm sorry, Nebby… I know you were trying to save me that time… And I couldn't even help you in return."

    Nebby says, "Pew!" and floats to where the golden Pokémon stood. A strange rock glitters from the moonlight.

    The girl says, "What… What is that?

    Nebby passes it to the girl. "Pew pew!"

    "A sparkling… stone? It feels almost warm somehow…" She then remembers Calem's presence. She says to him, "Please, forgive me… I am so grateful to you for helping us out of that dangerous spot."

    Calem remains passive as he says, "I'll never abandon a Pokémon."

    "I think this stone must belong to you."

    "You can keep it."

    She squeezes her eyes shut and shakes her head. "No, this is for you and you alone." After handing him the stone, she adds, "Please… Don't tell anyone about this… About seeing Nebby… It's… it's a secret, OK?"

    Everyone has things they don't want to talk about. This must be hers. "I was never here."

    "Thanks." She turns to Nebby, "Come on. Into the bag, Nebby."

    "Pew."

    Once Nebby is safe inside her duffle bag, she says, "Um, I'm worried we might get attacked again by some wild Pokémon or… or something. I know it's too much for me to ask, but… Do you think you could see us back to town?"

    Calem nods and accompanies her down the trail back to the plaza. Neither speak a word to the other. Calem is fine with the silence, but it makes the girl more nervous.

    Professor Kukui waves at them from the trail's entrance. "Hey! Calem! Looks like you missed the Kahuna, yeah? But you found my assistant, oh yeah!"

    As Calem and the girl get closer, Professor Kukui says, "Looks like you already met, but just in case, this is my assistant!"

    She turns to Calem. She does a decent job at hiding her discomfort, but to him it's clear on her face. "Oh, um, yes… You can call me Lillie."

    Professor Kukui says, "And, Lillie, this here is Calem. He just moved here to Alola! Take good care of him."

    "So… you're also one of the professor's acquaintances? It's nice to meet you…"

    "We just met today. He barged right into my house and my mother had him take me away."

    The town's folk begin making a rucks some distance away. Words such as "Kahuna," and "Back," drift over to them.

    A large, elder man wearing an open yellow robe enters the center of town. "Have I missed something?"

    Calem says, "The kakuna?"

    Lillie says, "Kahuna."

    Professor Kukui says, "Naw, but where'd you go off to, Kahuna, Hala? I thought we were meeting here."

    "I am Kahuna of this island, after all. Whenever there is a problem on this island, it is my duty to resolve it." He turns to Lillie. "Sorry about that. What were you saying before? For some reason I thought I saw Tapu Koko flying about…"

    Lillie nods twice, "Oh, um… Yes, Kahuna Hala… Nebby was being attacked by spearow on the Plank Bridge when this boy helped it get away… But then the bridge collapsed, and I thought both of them might fall to the bottom of the ravine… And that was when the island's guardian deity swooped in to save them!"

    Professor Kukui says, "Woo! That's something you don't hear every day!"

    Kahuna Hala says, "Ho! Although it is said to protect us, our Tapu Koko is a rather fickle creature. Yet our guardian was moved to save you. Kukui, my boy, I think we have cause to celebrate! It seems we should entrust this brave and kind boy with a Pokémon of his own."

    Calem shakes his head at the remark, but Kahuna Hala laughs. "Don't worry, raising a Pokémon is a big responsibility, but you can always turn to us for help. Child, I'm glad to meet you. I am Hala, the Kahuna if Melemele Island. Welcome to Alola! Young Kukui had told me of your coming. I'm glad we got the chance to meet today."

    Kahuna Hala calls out three Pokémon: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio." Calem looks at them, but each turns away in turn. Kahuna Hala gasps along with Professor Kukui and Lillie. "What's this? None of them want to choose you?"

    Calem forces a bitter smile. Pokémon can read the hearts of people. After losing almost everyone from his previous team, his heart isn't ready to meet new Pokémon.

    Lillie says, "Calem… I'm so sorry."

    "Pew, pew."

    Calem looks to Nebby and changes to the topic. "He broke out."

    Lillie sighs. "It fine. Kahuna Hala and the professor will keep him safe. But Nebby, you should stay in the bag and out of sight. It's safer that way."

    Professor Kukui says, "Well, I realize none of these Pokémon choose you, but I still want you to have this Pokédex, cousin. After all, you do have Mawile at home. It's off right now, but we're still waiting for one last component to come in. I'll come get'cha when it's in."

    Calem looks it over. It's nothing like the one Professor Sycamore gave him, not that he has it to compare with. He buried it in Kalos with the five pokeballs of his former team.

    "Also, take this too. It's your trainer passport. You'll need it to travel to the different islands."

    Calem looks to everyone. His expression remains unchanged since he left with Professor Kukui earlier. "Thanks, bonne soiree au revoir." With everyone confused by his French, he leaves.

    A boy around Calem's age approaches the plaza just as he walks away. He calls out to Calem, "Hey! You and me! Let's have a Pokémon battle!"

    Calem tenses at the suggestion. "Impossible…"

    "Come on, cuz! Don't be like that."

    Kahuna Hala, Professor Kukui, and Lillie approach having heard the boy's loud voice. Kahuna Hala' belly shakes as he laughs. "And what kind of Pokémon battle would that be where you don't even give a name first, eh?"

    "Fair enough. Then I'm Hau. And my partner's Popplio! Hey, now that I'm paying attention, where's you Pokémon? Tutu, didn't you give him one?"

    Everyone else averts their stares Hau's question. Confused, Hau says, "Hey, did something happen?"

    As Kahuna Hala clears his throat to explain, Calem steps back and slips away by stepping into the shadows. A few minutes later, he's walking down the moonlit road home. He's halfway there when he hears Hau calling out to him from behind.

    "Hey! Hey wait! Tutu explain the situation, but you still have Mawile, right? Take part in tomorrow's festival! We can battle there!"

    Kahuna Hala, Professor Kukui, and Lillie must have been worried about Calem's sudden disappearance because they soon appear. Kahuna Hala's gaze is attracted to the stone sticking out of Calem's pocket. "Hm? Calem, would you be so kind as to give me a look at that sparkling stone you have there?" Upon getting a closer look, "Could it be?

    "You were rescued by Tapu Koko at the bridge- isn't that what I heard, Calem?"

    "That's when I got the stone."

    "So, it did deign to give you a stone… Perhaps you are here in Alola, Calem, because this is where you are meant to be. Allow me to borrow this stone for now. Fret not! I'll return it to you tomorrow evening. I very much look forward to your match tomorrow. I get the feeling you'll make for an excellent trainer."

    Professor Kukui steps forward. "First, I'll make sure you get back home safe today, though, Calem. Lillie, you two should come with us, too, yeah. Wouldn't want to go losing you twice in one day. You or that precious Pokémon of yours!"

    "Yes… I will keep an eye on…" She doesn't even get to finish her sentence when everyone's gaze shifts past her. Nebby floats around without care to where it goes. "Pew."

    "Oh, you! Would you not try to escape the very moment that you were told not to wander off!" Her remark gets laughter from everyone but Calem.

    As professor Kukui leads the way back home, Lillie says to Calem. "I don't really like to see Pokémon battles where Pokémon can get hurt… but I'll watch your battle tomorrow."

    Calem, still hung up on Kahuna Hala's remark about his coming to Alola, doesn't hear her. Instead, he gazes ahead and says, "Fate did all that to bring me here?"


    A/N: First chapter down. Let me know what you think.
     
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  3. VictoryStar34

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    Ooh! I saw this and it's good! You wrote it? It's really good!
     
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  4. Auric

    Auric Platinum Addict

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    *This is really good. A few minor spelling mistakes, but really good so far.
     
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  5. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

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    Calem hugs his Pokémon egg to himself as his mother drags him out onto the deck to watch the sun set. Even though they're the sun's final rays of the day, they warm him by cutting into his skin. Grace stretches her arms towards the sky and says, "All, right! Today's the day I finally unpack!" Just as she bends over to pick up one of the boxes on the deck, the doorbell rings. "Go see who it is, Calem."

    "Tres bien…" Calem is halfway to the door when Professor Kukui lets himself inside. "Hey there, Calem! It's about time we set out for the festival, yeah! But first, I've got to show you something. Bring Mawile and come to route 1."

    Grace enters from the deck and says, "Have fun at the festival, sweetie! I'm sure you and Mawile will have a good time! Rhyhorn, Fletching, and I will unpack every last box here- you'll see!"

    Calem walks to his room to find Mawile holding his new bag and ready to leave. Similar to his previous one, it's also a satchel. He places the egg within its incubator and secures it within the bag. As he slings it over his shoulder, his gaze falls upon the pitch black Pokéball on his desk. He picks it up, and even though the cover is too dark to see through, he says, "I don't actually blame you..." His sight drifts to the mega-necklace as he sets the ball onto his belt.

    His grimaces and walks out the door with Mawile. He's just a rookie trainer. Things like mega evolution have nothing to do with him anymore. Everyone can just keep thinking that as well.

    Professor Kukui calls out to him once he's outside. "Hurry up, Cousin! Pretend you're a Pokémon and use agility."

    Calem wonders if he should just go back inside, but recalls Mawile's excitement from last night. She wouldn't settle down after he mentioned they were invited to a Pokémon battle. Fighting is a natural aspect of a Pokémon's life. He's been selfishly denying that from her these past three years. It's inexcusable, but there's no way he can battle anymore. He just can't, but when he looks at her eyes shine with anticipation, "Come on, let's go."

    Professor Kukui leads him to some tall grass. "Your mother mentioned you used to train Pokémon before, but let me give you a bit of a refresher." Calem pretends to listen to the explanation and accepts the pokeballs he's gifted with, but doesn't say anything. Instead, he gives absent minded nods to everything he's told. Suggestions for a warmup battle against other trainers or capturing a second Pokémon are ignored.

    Tiki torches beacon from atop of the log steps leading into Iki Town. Inside the town, people chat with one another while children run about. Kahuna Hala greets Calem and Mawile while they look around. "The Alola region is made up of four islands. Each island has its own guardian Pokémon. Our festival today is held to express our thanks to these great Pokémon guardian deities for always remaining by our sides. Well, we may call it a festival, buts it's just this little thing you see here. There might not be many of us, but at least everyone last one of us here goes all out."

    Calem and Mawile walk around and spot Hau chatting with some girls in grass skirts by a drink stand. "How nice…" From the way he's making them laugh, he really is carefree.

    "Ah, there you are, cousin. Looks like we're right on time." Professor Kukui clasps Calem's shoulder from behind.

    Lillie, who's with him, says, "But to what exactly?" A "Pew!" from her duffle bag sends her into a panic to calm Nebby.

    Professor Kukui laughs and says, "A full-powered festival for Pokémon battling! We battle in the name of Tapu Koko, pitting our best moves against one another in friendly competition to please out guardian. Woo!"

    Lillie says to Calem, "I don't like seeing Pokémon get hurt, but this seems like an important event. I'll watch you both, but please be careful."

    Kahuna Hala joins the group. "Your Pokémon really seems to trust you. Make sure you return that same care, Calem. We'll be starting soon, but for now, enjoy yourselves."

    "I'll never betray Mawile."

    Mawile's tugging takes Calem to a malasada stand. With a plate in hand, the two sit on a rock at the edge of town where they watch everyone else enjoy themselves. Even his mother is there dancing with a different islander every song. It all makes him nauseous, being there is wrong.

    Lillie joins him after a while. "So, this is where you were. Are you… nervous?"

    "Terrified."

    Her eyes widen in shock, but her words are drowned out by the heavy pounding of drums.

    Kahuna Hala speaks once they stop. "And now we shall begin the ritual battles! For all life on the islands… and for those who undertake the island challenge with joy in their hearts…we pray for your protection… for them and all Melemele. May this Pokémon battle be an offering to our island's guardian deity- Tapu Koko!"

    Calem, taking that as a cue, gets up and walks onto the stage in the middle of the plaza despite Kahuna Hala still giving his speech. Hau cries of excitement echo into the night at the bold act. He does the same while saying, "Yeah, that's right! Let's get this battle started!"

    Kahuna Hala laughs and says, "Before you stands Hau- grandson to the Kahuna. Before him stands Calem- one who has met with Tapu Koko."

    Members of the audience say, "What?" "What a curious little thing Tapu Koko is!" "Hah, that's just typical of it!"

    Hau ignores them and says, "As long as we both have a good time, then I think we can call it a great battle, eh?"

    Calem clenches his fists to hide their trembling. He takes a breath and forces himself to say, "Yeah… a good time."

    Kahuna Hala says, "Calem! Hau! Bring forth the power of your Pokémon!"

    Pichu appears from Hau's Pokéball. Mawile steps forth from Calem's side.

    "Pichu, quick attack!"

    "Sucker punch!" While Hau's order might have been strategy, Calem's is out of habit. He put no thought into his command.

    Pichu dashes forward to attack first. He loops around Mawile and pounces. Mawile, however, doesn't need to attack first. She times her attack to Pichu's pounce and knocks him aside with her second mouth.

    "Pichu, thunder shock!"

    Calem gives his second command, but it doesn't come out. His voice, it's gone. He tries to force something out, but nothing works. He raises a hand to his throat from fear, but no one notices.

    "Pichu, zap her again!"

    Mawile, picking up on her trainer's dilemma, avoids the attack on her own by leaping to the side. She gives Calem an encouraging glance before attacking Pichu with fire fang. She repeats the attack before Pichu can get up and knocks him out.

    "Pichu, return. You're up, Popplio! Water gun!"

    The torrent of water knocks Mawile aside. Calem tries calling out her name, but can't. Seeing Mawile tumble across the stage reminds him of the battle against a Malamar. It was difficult, they were literally on the edge of a boat, but they were she was able to pull through with a "Thunder fang!"

    Calem continues with, "Mawile!"

    His Pokémon dashes forward and chops down on Popplio with its second jaw. The water Pokémon cries out and soon faints.

    Calem's ragged breathing blocks out the crowd's cheering. He leaves the stage during the middle of Kahuna Hala's speech, much to everyone's confusion, and forces his way through the crowd. Many stare at him, but most wave him off as an egotistical upstart.

    Calem reaches an open field outside of town and collapses onto all fours. He takes deep breaths. He breathes in and out, and fights to not throw up.

    "You missed Tapu Koko's approval. Your match seems to have impressed him, but running off like that like sunk your standing to the islanders." Kahuna Hala's words sneak up on Calem.

    Calem gives him a glance, "N'a pas d'importance..."

    Kahuna Hala sits down next to Calem and gazes at the stars. "I heard from your mother. You were in Kalos when it fell. You lost many friends. But your eyes tell me a different story. There is more to it, something you haven't even told your mother, is there not?"

    Calem clenches the grass with his fists, but remains silent.

    Kahuna Hala chuckles. "Despite life's twists and turns, it always continues just how the waves will always break against the shore. Here, this is a Z-ring. A mysterious armband that can draw out power that lies deep within Pokémon. All Kahunas can make them by refining stones like the sparkling one you received from Tapu Koko. You will need the Z-crystals to make it work.

    "To receive your Z-ring this soon… Calem, partake in the island challenge. I believe Tapu Koko is also asks this of you. I do not know his reasoning, but I feel that if you can get through this, you will definitely break free of the chains binding your heart."

    Calem looks over the Z-ring once Kahuna Hala is gone. This is just like when Professor Sycamore gave him the mega-stone. He rubs Mawile who's sitting next to him and looks to the starry sky. Crumpling buildings, burning forests, mountains splitting open, lakes drying, the ocean boiling… the images flash through his mind. He looks to the tranquility surrounding him and listens to the lapping waves. "A second chance?"

    Calem, dragged onto the deck by his mother to greet the morning, leans against the railing as she stretches her arms. The doorbell cuts her sentence short and she says, "Go see who it is. Although, if it's Kukui, he'll probably let himself in without even waiting for us to open the door!"

    Mawile waits for him in the living room. She carries his satchel, his mega-necklace, the black Pokéball, and her own premier ball. Inside the satchel, judging from the bulge, is his Pokémon egg. She wears her mawilite around the stem on her head. Calem expects Professor Kukui to enter as he gets ready, but no one enters. Making sure that his mega-necklace is hidden underneath his shirt, he opens the door while wondering if someone else is outside.

    Lillie greets him. "Oh. Um… The professor said… 'Hey there, Lillie! Bring me that great new trainer. Woo!'" She blushes at Calem's, "You didn't have to add the 'Woo' part." and ignores the "Pew," from her duffle bag. "So I'm here to show you the way to his Pokémon lab, if you'll come with me. It's um… this way."

    "Calem!" His mother stops him before he can walk off. "Take some pocket money. Don't waste it on anything too silly!"

    "Merci."

    She then looks Lillie over and says, "Oh! Well done, Calem. You're already making friends. And what a cute little friend she is too! I knew Alola would be a great place for us. We just keep meeting wonderful people here!"

    Lillie, taken aback by the comment, almost shouts her first word. "M-me? Well, thank you… My name is Lillie. It's very nice to meet you."

    "Looks like it's finally time for you to shine, for real this time! Enjoy yourself out there with Mawile!"

    Lillie says as they walk away, "You… have a nice mother, don't you?"

    "She… tries."

    "You don't like her."

    "She doesn't know she's talking about."

    Some tall grass comes into view and Lillie says, "You can only reach the professor's lab by treading through the tall grass. He says he can research moves better when he is surrounded by Pokémon. Since I'm not a trainer though, I have to rely on using repels all the time."

    After a moment of silence, she adds, "Oh, about Nebby… I mean… Cosmog. Cosmog seems to be a very rare Pokémon. It came from far, far away."

    "Pew!"

    "It seems to have a very strange power… Is used that power to save me once when I was in danger. But some… other people want Cosmog for themselves, to use that power. That's why only the professor and Kahuna Hala and other people I can trust know about it…"

    "Sorry, I guess I'm forcing you to trust me now."

    "You'll keep Nebby secret? You will keep from telling anyone else about him or what happened on that bridge? Please…"

    "I promise."

    "Thank you…"

    Lillie bring Calem to ragged house patched by obvious, do it yourself, repairs. Sounds of bodies being thrown about into furniture get louder as they get closer. Professor Kukui's voice reaches them, "Oh yeah, Rockruff! Let's go! Give it everything you've got! My body is ready. Woo!"

    Calem turns to Lillie. His face is stoic and his tone flat, "His research?"

    Lillie doesn't hear him as she gets lost in her own thoughts. "Ahh… There they go again…" Remembering Calem, she turns to him with a nervous smile. "Professor Kukui brings his own unique charm to the lab, I think you might agree. I've actually been, um, imposing on the professor here for the past three months. I'm not much of an assistant, but it's the least I can do to pay him back for letting me stay. Maybe I'd be more help if I were a real Pokémon trainer, too."

    "If a Pokémon trusts you to keep it safe, then there is no way you aren't helpful. Breeders aren't trainers, but they're experts when it comes to raising and caring for Pokémon. Just because your method is different, doesn't mean it's useless."

    Lillie's soft, "Thank you," is over shadowed by a loud, "Raaaa-oooooohhh! Raff ruff!" from the lab. She spins to face the lab and shakes her head. "He never stops researching moves. Not even… inside the lab itself."

    Her face looks half ready to cry when as she turns to face Calem again. "Looks like we'll have to patch the roof again… And I had just washed his lab coat and finally gotten it clean, too. Now it'll be in shreds…and I'm no good at mending clothes… He'll just have to buy another new one… We should probably go in before he does any more damage…"

    Inside they find professor Kukui praising Rockruff. Calem looks around and realizes the consolation he gave Lillie was wrong. Professor Kukui doesn't need someone to look after his Pokémon, he needs a home maker/construction worker.

    Professor Kukui notices their arrival. "Hey there, Calem! Thanks for getting him for me, Lillie!"

    Lillie says, "Of course. However I can be a help… I am supposed to be your assistant, right?"

    Professor Kukui says, "Rockruff's moves were just so stylin', and I was making good progress with my research. Say, Calem, lemme see you Pokédex for a second, yeah?" He says while accepting the Pokédex, "So what do you think of the place? Not bad, right? But that's not why I called you here, eh? Here! It finally arrived!"

    He then looks to Lillie who frowns in confusion. "It?"

    "What's wrong, Lillie? Don't make me do all the talking!" To both her and Calem, he says, "See, there's this Pokémon inside your Pokédex called Rotom…"

    Calem thinks back to an abandoned house in Kalos. The upstairs had collapsed, but the basement had been refurnished into a hangout by young trainers and thugs. Rotom liked to hide in the trash cans so they could jump out and scare passerby. It made for a very popular dating spot. Now, however, even the basement is gone. It collapsed and buried various people and Pokémon alive.

    Lillie says, "Rotom is a peculiar Pokémon with a body made of something like electricity. The next generation of pokedexs take advantage of that skill by being specially developed to house them. This is a new way for people and Pokémon to communicate."

    Professor Kukui says, "And now to power up this little beauty…" A "kzzzt!" sound comes out as he tinkers with the Pokédex and out appears a Rotom. "Hey now! Sorry 'bout that, Rotom. Guess I surprised you?"

    "Zzzt?"

    "Rotom! Here, boy! I powered up your favorite 'dex! Give Calem here a helping hand, yeah?"

    "Kzzzttt!" Rotom zips into the Pokédex. Professor Kukui tinkers with it some more an up it floats. The Pokémon possessed device flies up, down, and to the sides before circling around Calem and entering his pocket. "Zzzzrrrt! Nice to meet you, Pal." An electric charged voice comes out from the same pocket.

    The greeting Calem always gives new partner Pokémon escapes him out of habit. "Let's work together from now."

    "Zzzt! Yeah! Make sure you're gentle on the goods, OK?"

    Lillie says, "And this will help how exactly?"

    "Calem hasn't been here in Alola too long yet. So I decided to give him this special Rotom dex to help him navigate around."

    Calem tries to smile, but his expression doesn't change. "Thanks…"

    "You can see where you're headed just by looking at Rotom, and if you give it a little tap, you can even check out the town map! Now, one more thing. An awesome styling hat! Try it on cousin!"

    Calem puts on the black cap. On it is a blue Pokéball surrounded by rays of white lines. It reminds him of the blue clothing only phase he went through when he was eleven. "Thank you."

    Hau enters lab with an "A-lo-la!"

    Calem asks Lillie, "Does everyone just walk into other people houses here."

    She avoids his gaze and says, "Only outside the city…"

    Hau looks around while saying, "The salty breeze sand to me and brought me here to you!" He then runs to toward the kitchen and looks at a ladder going up the wall. "Whoa-ho-ho! Is that a loft? That's awesome!"

    Lillie hurries to block his approach. "No, it's not! It's private! The professor has been kind enough to let me use it…"

    Hau cranes his neck to try and see up into the space. With a cheeky grin, he says, "That makes me want to see it even more."

    Professor Kukui says, "All right, there are some important things you need to know about the island challenge. It's a great adventure for you and your Pokémon. Succeed and you'll have a chance to become the island champion."

    Lillie says, "There are four main islands that make up Alola, and a Kahuna for each one of them. You must clear the seven trials if you wish to be recognized as worthy by them."

    Professor Kukui says, "Calem, go out there and give it a shot! I really want to see you out there meeting all kinds of Pokémon on your island challenge." He hands him an amulet with four slabs. Each is decorated with a shard; yellow, red, pink, and purple. "Here! Everyone on the island challenge gets one of these island challenge amulets."

    Calem pins it onto his bag's zipper.

    Hau says, "I got one from my gramps a few years back, too! I couldn't be bothered to go on this challenge back then, but with you around, I get the feeling everything's going to be a lot more exciting."

    Professor Kukui says, "Kahuna Hala's going to go wild hearing that! All right then you two! Get a move on! First stop, the trainers' school! Time to refresh the basics of being a Pokémon trainer through Pokémon battling. It's a long road to becoming the island challenge champion and the trainers' school is the first step! Hau, how about you?"

    "I'm good. I just wanna pick up some chicks! I mean, uh, train on my own. Right!"

    Professor Kukui turns to Lillie. "You take care of Calem, yeah? Until he gets used to Rotom, help him find his way around!"

    Calem, Lillie, and Hau leave together. Calem walks behind the two, letting them lead. Every once in a while Lillie turns back to him to ask, "Is there… anything your curious about?" to which Calem shakes his head. Most of the conversation, however, is monopolized by Hau to Lillie. "So Lillie, you've been here for three months now, right. I can't believe we haven't really gotten to know each other in all that time."

    "Um… yeah. I've been busy helping the professor."

    "That's cool, that's really cool! Gramps has me help him with the island Pokémon all the time, but what do you like doing on your free time? You know, when you're not helping the professor."

    "I… I investigate the ruins. I like reading books that help me understand them better."

    "So you want to be an archeologist, nice! Then you've gotta to stop by this island's ruins. They're just outside Iki Town. I can take you later."

    "Oh, no. I- I already saw them, thanks…"

    Calem thinks back to when he met Lillie. She went to see those ruins because of Nebby. It isn't archeology she's interested in, she just want to know more about that mysterious Pokémon.

    As they enter a city, Lillie breaks Calem from his thoughts. "Oh, that's right. You're new to the area, so you might not know this. I read in something like a travel guide, but the cafes of each Pokémon center carry different drinks. They also sell special treats and the staff offers tips to trial goers."

    The trainer school is right next to the Pokémon center. Hau walks off with a, "Well, I'll see you guys later. Good luck at school, Calem!"

    Lillie shakes her head upon seeing him call out to one of the school girls near the gate. She then turns to Calem, "Here we are. You see, this trainer school is… It's a… a… What in the world!"

    A rampaging tauros down the street draws her attention. She sighs and says, "Well, it looks like we won't be going that way anytime soon… But, we were only planning to go as far as the trainers' school anyway. We'll just leave that for someone else to deal with."

    From the way Tauros moves about, he's just bored. Calem gives the Pokémon a final glance and follows Lillie into the school grounds. Inside is Professor Kukui with a member of the staff. Professor Kukui says, "Hey there, Calem! I must've passed you two somehow, yeah? But welcome to the trainer's school, the place to learn how to be a Pokémon trainer!"

    Calem looks around. Repugnance enters his voice as he says, "Is battling all anyone learns here?" If that's all the trainers learn, then how will they know what to do when a disaster strikes?

    The staff member gives Calem a cold appraisal and says, "Professor Kukui! Is this the child you told me about?"

    "Yeah. Put him through the wringer, Teach!" Professor Kukui holds four fingers up to Calem. "Four trainers! That's how many you've got to beat! The experience will definitely help you grow stronger."

    The teacher says, "We'll be waiting. Try to find and defeat us," and enters the building.

    Professor Kukui says, "She may not look all that tough, but that teach trains her kids right! One of her students is even a captain!"

    "Are captains similar to gym trainers?"

    Lillie says, "I've read in a travel guide that you can make that comparison."

    Calem nods and enters the school building. Rotom voice reaches from his pocket. "Zzzt! You've got this Calem!"

    The first person is a little girl next to the stairs. Calem meets her Bonsly with Mawile. "Bonsly, tackle attack!"

    "Sucker punch!"

    Mawile slips around Bonsly's charge and attacks from the side. Bonsly stumbles and hobbles to remain standing. Calem goes to say "iron head," but freezes upon considering Bonsly is faking it. If Mawile attacks now, Bonsly can easily get in an attack. That attack might even send Mawile stumbling back and leave her open to be finished.

    Calem's moment of hesitation provides Bonsly enough time to regain his footing. The Pokémon's "fake tears" flashes Calem's mind to the aftermath of Kalos's destruction. Pokémon where crying everywhere. He still sometimes hears them in his sleep.

    "Ah, Bonsly!" The little girl's cries remind Calem of the battle. It's over. Mawile acted on her own and defeated her opponent.

    Calem takes a breath. That's right, he just returned to being a trainer. He'd rather not, but he can't keep Mawile cooped up inside like he has been so far.

    The next opponent is a girl holding a racket. She stands outside by the incinerator. She says, "I've been waiting here for you because the teacher told me to." From her Pokéball comes "Pikipek!"

    "Mawile, thunder fang!"

    Pikipek evades the attack by flying upward and then dives towards Mawile. Calem keeps his attention focused on the flying Pokémon. The way its body is positioned means it'll swoop up after getting below Mawile's head. The target is probably her stomach.

    Calem remembers that some flying Pokémon have gale wings. He isn't familiar with Alolan Pokémon and doesn't know if Pikipek has this ability. He might give Mawile an incorrect order and let her get hurt because of his lack of information. He needs to risk her getting hurt to find out, but he can't. Letting another Pokémon get hurt after everything that's happen isn't an option. "Iron defense!"

    Mawile strengthens her body to take the attack and then tries to grab Pikipek within its second mouth. She doesn't catch Pikipek, but ruffles some feathers. Two things, Pikipek doesn't have gale wings. Mawile's second mouth would have completely missed if that were the case. Second, Pikipek's is now off balance. However, Pikipek could still attack from a distance with something like echo voice or gust. Although, judging from the position of Pikipek's head and the way he flaps his wings, it's going for another dive. Then again, that could be a faint to get Mawile to lower her guard…

    Mawile stops waiting for Calem and rushes Pikipek with thunder fang. Pikipek, unable to fly properly, is caught within her second mouth and faints.

    Calem ignores the advice the girl gives and searches for the next trainer. Along the way he wonders how to face the next opponent. Four trainers shouldn't be a problem. Mawile proved it by defeating the previous two on her own using their previous tactics. He's just over thinking things. Next battle, he'll use whatever comes to mind without a second though.

    The third trainer is a young boy waiting by the shed. Calem, true to his thoughts, orders "Sucker punch," before seeing the opposing Pokémon, Metapod. With the Pokémon unable to move or attack, Mawile trips due to being unable to use sucker punch. At the young boy's snickering, Mawile walks up the Metapod of her own volition and defeats the bug Pokémon with fire fang despite the use of harden.

    Calem walks off for the next trainer without waiting to hear his advice. The fourth trainer is in the court yard. He says, "Do you want to know why I wanna be the strongest?"

    "Not particularly."

    The trainer makes a face and says, "Because it's cool to be strong! Show these guys who's boss, Grimer!"

    "That's stupid, grow up. Mawile, iron head." Calem gives a thoughtless command by taking comfort in Mawile's type resistance to poison. After Mawile knocks the poison Pokémon around twice, he realizes Grimer might know attacks of a different type. Before he can warn Mawile, she defeats Grimer and leaves him wondering if he'll ever stop over thinking the situation to act on the best course of action.

    The trainer says, "It's extremely frustrating, but you're stronger than me."

    Calem walks off saying, "You're just naïve." He finds Lillie waiting for him by the entrance. Just as he calls out to her, the P.A. system goes off, "Attention all students… Would Calem please come to the office on 2F? Calem to the 2F office please."

    Lillie says, "What terrible thing did you do to get called to the office so soon?"

    Calem can't recall doing anything to have put him in trouble. The only reason he could be getting called is because he won all the matches. "Let's just leave. This sound troublesome."

    "You can't just ignore it!" Lillie turns him around and shoves him towards the building.

    The teacher calls out to him upon reaching the second floor. Calem ignores her shock over how her students were defeated and asks, "This is the office?"

    "A real office would just get in the way. But the reason I called you up here wasn't to praise you. You're arrogant and conceited. Mawile defeated my students. You have a strong Pokémon, but you're holding her back. You need to improve yourself and make yourself wort-."

    Calem clicks his teeth and storms away. He ignores her calls to return, and leaves. Lillie tries asking why he was called to the office, but he brushes her off. Only after reaching the Pokémon center does he calm down enough to say, "Sorry."

    "So… What happened?"

    "Don't want to talk about it. I'm going home, I'll see you tomorrow."
     
    BraviaryScout likes this.
  6. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
    180
    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Calem receives a letter from his mother the following morning. According to her, it's from a pink haired trainer. It reads: I am captain Ilima. My trial is held in Verdant Cavern.

    Mawile's eyes shine bright with the expectation that they'll continue with their journey as she looks up at him. He rubs her head and says, "Fine, fine, let's go." He gets dressed, puts the egg he was sleeping with into its incubator and into his bag, tucks his mega-necklace underneath his shirt, and picks up the black Pokéball. He stares at it for a few moments before placing it on his belt behind Mawile's premier ball.

    Hesitating on the side of the road outside his house is Lillie. She jumps when he calls out to her. "O-oh, Calem… I just thought maybe I could keep showing you around since we've already come this far together. There's still a lot to see. But… maybe you don't want to? You were… very upset yesterday."

    Calem shakes his head. "Sorry, that wasn't because of you. Please, I'd be grateful if you could sho-" Calem points to the bushes behind her. "Nebby is out."

    "Pew!"

    "Nebby! Not again!"

    Lillie leads the way back into the city. Along the way, he tells her of the letter he received. Lillie says, "I can take you there after showing you around the city." As they pass the school, she says, "You know, Mawile really trusts you. So does Nebby. Maybe it's because of the courage you showed on the bridge? I still can't figure out why a person like yourself would have been rejected by Kahuna Hala's Pokémon."

    "Being liked by Pokémon doesn't make someone a good trainer. Pokémon need to be able to trust their trainers."

    "That doesn- Oh no, Tauros! He's blocking the road again!"

    Calem continues forward. Tauros snorts and leaps onto its hind legs in a show of might, but Calem isn't deterred. He waits for the Pokémon to plant its feet on the ground, before spreading his arms open. He speaks with a calm voice, "I'm not here to hurt you," and takes slow steps forward. Tauros snorts, but doesn't attack.

    Lillie watches in panic as Calem walks up to Tauros and hugs the Pokémon's head. "Calem… That's amazing. How did you do that? This Pokémon is famous for its rough temperament."

    Calem rubs Tauros's neck. A lot of Pokémon rampaged after the fall of Kalos, many attacked humans on sight. Maybe they could somehow tell it was humans who were responsible for what happened? Perhaps they were just lashing out at the race who destroyed their lives? Either way, what mattered was that those Pokémon were just frightened, desperate, and anxious. They wanted reassurance that everything would be okay.

    Calem was blind to those feelings the first time he was attacked, but with each encounter they became louder and clearer. Maybe it was because of the emotional shock he went through, but over time he learned how to approach and sooth them. "Pokémon are more aware of our intentions than ourselves. They won't attack someone who doesn't want to hurt them. Tauros here just wants someone to play with."

    Kahuna Hala's belly rumbling laugh gets their attention. "Right you are, Calem! Seeing this really shows your potential as a trainer. You can leave the rest to me. I'll get ol' Tauros back home from here."

    Hau says, "Yeah, thanks for your help! What you just did was really cool!"

    As Kahuna Hala walks off with Tauros, Lillie says, "He's right, that was really cool. Weren't you afraid?"

    "Tauros wasn't going to hurt me."

    Hau says, "You're totally down playing this too much. I've only ever seen the Kahunas calm rampaging Pokémon without battling first! I like Tauros and all, but he's pretty scary! I don't want to ride on him!"

    "No wonder Tauros is bored."

    Lillie says, "How do you know that?"

    "Picking up on the emotions of Pokémon… It's something a lot of people became able to do after Kalos…" The mood grows quiet as Lillie and Hau understand Calem's hidden implication, suffering breeds empathy.

    Hau tries to lift everyone spirits, "So, where're you guys off to now?"

    Lillie says, "I was thinking I should show Calem around Hau'oli City a bit."

    "Nice idea! Are you always so on top of things, Lillie? Let me tag along too and I'll show you both were to get some good eats!"

    "All right. Let's go together."

    "Then what are we waiting for? This way, come on!" Hau runs off without waiting for anyone else.

    Lillie shakes her head. "Oh, Hau… I guess we should go catch up with him before he gets too far, Calem. Hau'oli City is the biggest city in all Alola."

    Hau takes a slight detour through the beach as he waits for Calem and Lillie to catch up. They find him offering a sun bather to rub tanning lotion on her back. Lillie puffs her cheeks at the sight. "Are girls and food the only things on his mind?"

    Hau gives up upon seeing her boyfriend and returns to them. "What took you two? Come on, this way!"

    Lillie shakes her head. "Let's go… Who knows what will happen if we take too long."

    Once they catch up again, Hau says, "So, Calem, what do you think? Alola is something, right? It's gotta be the best place ever to live. The sights are to die for!"

    Calem follows Hau's gaze and find a group of bikini girls. Two of them are making out.

    Hau then claps his hands together. "Oh, right. We need to make a quick stop in this store." He walks up to the service counter and says, "Hey, miss. Is it true that you can get some kinda special gift if you have a Rotom dex?"

    "My goodness, you get the news fast! Hardly anyone has a Rotom dex, but it is true that we have a special item to go with it. It's our very own poke finder! Here you go."

    "Awesome, a poke finder! So, like, what's a poke finder?"

    "The poke finder is a tool that lets you take photos of Pokémon. Rotom will help point out places where you'll be able to take photos, too."

    "Man, Calem, that Rotom dex is cool. It's like a whole nother partner on top of your Pokémon partner."

    "Rotom is a Pokémon."

    "Oh, yeah, I guess you're right. Silly me! Either way, you're pretty darn lucky!"

    Rotom says, "A poke finder? I want to give it a try! Zzz-zzt! Boy, I might never want to leave this Pokédex!"

    Calem feels something stir inside of him. He looks at his hands, but has no idea what he's searching for. Instead, he walks outside and finds Hau and Lillie trying to peek through a crack in a wall. Hau calls out to him, "Hey, over here! Try and see if you can take picture of these Pokémon."

    Calem shrugs and gets the poke finder ready. Just as he gets closer, but before Lillie and Hau can walk away, the Rotom dex flies out of his hand snaps a picture of all three of them. Hau is grinning, Calem is impassive, and Lillie is shocked.

    Hau laughs, "What was that for, Rotom? Take pictures of Pokémon, not us!"

    Rotom giggles and says, "Saving, bzzt!"

    The first Pokémon Calem sees through the hole is a pikachu. He manages to get a picture of her rubbing her head, but then she walks away. The second picture is of a rockruff. The Pokémon scampers around, but Calem holds off on taking a picture. Only once the Pokémon jumps does he snap his pictures.

    He stops and finds Hau trying to flirt with Lillie despite her discomfort. He waits to see if she'll tell him to stop before acting, but after seeing her says, "Umm…" "Maybe…" and "N-no…" six times, he interrupt.

    To Lillie he says, "Do you want to see the pictures?"

    "Yes, please!" She answers faster than normal. Hau must have really made her uncomfortable. She says, "This rockruff is so cute! Getting it mid-jump like that is amazing!"

    Hau grumbles to himself on the side. He doesn't intend for anyone to hear him, but Calem does, "Maybe I should get a Rotom dex too…"

    Hau walks a bit ahead of them once they resume walking. From his appearance, he's deep in thought, probably wondering how he can get a Rotom dex. Lillie asks Calem as they pass by the clothing store, "Calem, do you pick out all your own clothes?"

    "I used to, years ago… My mother buys all my clothes now so they'll always match no matter what I choose."

    "Your mother has a great sense of style then. I love the way that you dress."

    "I stopped paying attention. I just grab whatever."

    "I… I've always just worn the clothes that my mother wanted me to wear. I don't really know what kind of thing would suit me."

    "Bright colors like sky blue or pink. If you do wear something dark, make sure to contrast it with a bright one. Green also goes with your eyes, so you could also add small bits of that to your wardrobe, too. Just try not to overdo it. Unless, of course, you're trying to match with Nebby. That open a whole different set of possibilities…" Calem stops upon seeing her shocked stare. He shrugs, "I used to live in Kalos. Not knowing how to dress was an invitation for public ridicule."

    Lillie giggles, "You sharing your fashion sense with me… I guess we both have something in common now." She hums to herself for the rest of the journey.

    Hau says, "And here we are! Time for some good eats, malasada! Once I get some fuel in me, I'm gonna go right down to the Marina and scream out loud, "Watch me, Tutu!" No! "Watch me, world!" I'm gonna beat even my old gramps someday!"

    Calem says, "Wait too long and everyone will beat him."

    Once they finish eating, Lillie leads them to route 2. Hau runs ahead saying, "Wait right there Lillie. I'll finish this trial way before Calem!"

    Once he's out of sight, Lillie says, "Your first trial, Verdant Cavern, is up ahead. A barricade will keep you from walking past it. Once you overcome the trial, the way further will be opened to you. I read something in an old book once. It said that the island challenges were once a journey made to prove yourself and gain the strength to battle against the guardian deities of Alola."

    Lillie's words, "Strength to battle against," causes Calem to grip his black Pokéball. Upon realizing what he's doing, he moves his hand away from it.

    Lillie continues unaware of Calem's dilemma. "Guardians like Tapu Koko. The people in Iki Town said that Tapu Koko loves Pokémon battles, didn't they? If we could meet Tapu Koko once more, do you think we would find the answer to why it saved you and Nebby that day?"

    "Pew?"

    "I don't think that Pokémon would care to tell us."

    "Calem… Good luck on your first trial. I will hope that it goes well for you."

    "Thanks."

    Calem ignores all the trainer battles and runs from all the wild Pokémon he encounters. One delibird, however, takes hold of Calem's bag. Calem asks, "You want me to follow you?"

    The Pokémon nods, tugs, and takes off running. Calem, concerned, follows the Pokémon to a berry farm where a pair of gangster thugs dressed in black are harassing the farmer. They try to act tough by shaking their arms to emphasis their words. One says, "You got a lame bunch of berries… Now Team Skull's your adversaries! Takin' berries off your hands is just the start of our plans, yo!"

    The other Team Skull thug says, "Let's get figy with it! Watch while I nanab me some berries."

    The farmer says, "I'll share my berries for free with any Pokémon, but you'll not have a single one from me!"

    The first Team Skull thug goes up to the farmer's face. "So, what? I'm lower than a Pokémon? I already got self-esteem issues, man!"

    The Skull themed clothes and dialect is different, but they're just like Team Flare. No one thought much of them at first; they were simple nuisances. As the weeks passed, the reports about them grew worse and finally, they used an ancient weapon to try and destroy the world. If Calem had acted sooner, could Kalos could have been spared too? It's a question he wonders every night.

    Calem won't make the same mistake in Alola. "Get lost!"

    The first Team Skull thug says, "What do you want? Huh? Huh? Huh!"

    The second Team Skull thug says, "You got a bone to pick with us, homie?"

    "Yeah, disband."

    The farmer says, "I appreciate your concern, child. But these Team Skull punks do nothing but talk big and act small. Carry on with your island challenge. Don't give them a moment's notice."

    Calem doesn't spare the farmer a glance. He holds up Mawile's premier ball, "I said, leave."

    The second Team Skull thugs says, "That's big talk for some kid. We're gonna hafta take your Pokémon along with the berries. Check out how underhanded Team Skull ge-"

    "Mawile, iron head!" Calem doesn't let him finish.

    The first Team Skull thug sends out a Drowzee to defend his partner. Mawile strikes the Pokémon before a command can be issued.

    Calem, speaking out in anger, says, "Fire fang!" There's no need to read Drowzee's posture or consider the possibility of a trap. The psychic Pokémon is off balance and he's going to keep it that way. "Don't let up, Mawile! Ice Fang!"

    The Team Skull thug calls Drowzee back after a few more hits. Both thugs act tough despite losing and leave.

    "Pathetic."

    "Maw!"

    The farmer says, "Ho! You and Mawile there did quite the number on them! Take some berries as thanks for driving off those Team Skull numskulls." He laughs and says, "Berries grow like weed here in Alola. Feel free to pick up any you find!"

    Calem thanks the famer and leaves. Rotom says, "I'm curiouszzz about Team Skull now. But right now, letzzz get to that trial!"

    "We'll probably see them again."

    A cutiefly attacks Calem as he crosses through some tall grass. He runs, but the bug Pokémon chases after him. Unable to shake the Pokémon, he darts into a Pokémon center with the intent to wait in the café until it leaves.

    Hau calls out to him upon entering the building. "Howzit, Calem? Guess you musta passed me. Your Pokémon doing all right?"

    "Never better…"

    "Ha, my team's seen better days, that's for sure! Anyway, you know that Verdant Cavern place, right? I guess it's kinda, like, sacred to Tapu Koko. You aren't even allowed to go into it unless you're on your island challenge. Well, I'll see you later."

    Calem steps out of the Pokémon center half an hour later and Cutiefly rams him from behind. "What a stubborn Pokémon… Fine, Mawile, fire fang."

    Mawile springs from its premier ball and swings its second mouth at Cutiefly. The bug Pokémon evades and uses gust. Mawile braces itself to take the hit and retaliates with iron head.

    Calem doesn't give Mawile any commands. He instead watches Cutiefly's movements. Right now, the bug Pokémon is still going strong, but she's favoring her left. She only evaded Mawile's attack by fly right the first time. Iron head must have damaged one of her wings. She could be faking, but unlikely…

    Calem pauses. His thoughts shouldn't be this clear, not anymore. He points his Rotom dex towards the cutiefly. Rotom says, "Cutiefly, bug/fairy, they detect the aura of plants, Pokémon, and people. That's how they detect which flowers are about to bloom. They sometimes even circle around the head of people with strong emotions. Buzzzt, looks like this one is attracted to you."

    Calem thinks. Strong emotion? He's angry, obviously. His focus returned because of his encounter with Team Skull. Once he calms down, he'll probably go back to how he was. Doesn't matter, this might not be the best method, but right now he can fight. "Mawile, iron head."

    Mawile strikes the Pokémon from below. Before Cutiefly can regain her balance, he throws a Pokéball at her. The ball lands, rolls to a stop, and shakes. It shakes once, twice, thrice, and grows still.

    Calem picks up the Pokéball. By keeping Cutiefly with him, maybe he'll be able to remember the determination he feels now and apply it to future battles. If not, at least this event can mark a beginning of sorts.

    With a new partner, Calem continues to Verdant Cavern. Outside stands a boy with pink hair. He's, maybe, a year or two older than him. "I'm Ilima. So, we finally meet. I wanted to talk to you back at the trainer school, but you walked off before I could introduce myself. Actually, I saw how you interacted with all the students there and I got to say, I'm not impressed. Seeing as to what type of person you are, let's just get to it.

    "For my trial, you'll have to defeat three of the Pokémon that lurk in the dens inside. Then reach the pedestal deep within the cave and collect the Z-crystal there. You'll fail if you aren't in complete sync with your Pokémon. Do be careful. The Pokémon in here are quite fierce and they don't take well to rudeness. Once you enter, you won't be able to leave until after seeing the trial through. This is only one of the seven trials you'll have to complete during your island challenge. Good luck, you'll need it." Ilima walks into the Verdant Cavern.

    Synchronizing with his Pokémon? A sense of nostalgia comes over him as he touches the mega-necklace hidden underneath his shirt. However, there's one problem. Ilima said synchronize, that implies something different than mega-evolution.

    Calem walk into the trial site. Rotom says, "Soundszzz exciting! Let's do thiszzzzt thing!"

    The first den is right in front of the entrance. An Alolan rattata jumps out, and is defeated by Cutiefly. The second Alolan rattata in the second nest is just as easy. At the third den, the two thugs from Team Skull return to get in his way. The first Team Skull thug says, "Yo, yo yo! It's your berry thief boys, back again! Remember us?"

    "I told you to disband."

    The second Team Skull thug says, "Who cares about that? We're here to mess up your trial, yo!"

    "Get lost, leave that stupid team, and go home."

    "Maw."

    The two Team Skull thugs step back at Calem's glare. The first one says, "Y-yo! Who you trying to intimidate? Yo-you're not scary at all."

    Calem steps forward, they step back. "Mawile."

    The second thugs says, "Fo-forget this, we're outta here! We've got bigger fish to fry!"

    Calem watches them run until their out of sight. "Idiots…" Once they're gone, he looks into the third den and finds an Alolan raticate. "Mawile."

    "Maw!" Mawile defeats the Pokémon with a single hit.

    "I guess the pedestal is further in?"

    Mawile nods.

    Calem finds an exit in the back of the cavern. Through it is a chasm with vines, grass, and small trees growing from its high walls. At the far end is a golden totem housing a strange stone. Nothing seems to be guarding it, but the area is too quite. He walks towards it while saying, "Mawile, get ready."

    He ignores the piercing gaze that falls on his back upon reaching the pedestal and takes the Z-crystal. A shrill "Kiiiiiiiiii!" echoes from above and down jumps a giant raticate. A flaming aura explodes out from within the Pokémon as it attacks.

    Mawile deflects the Pokémon's pounce with her second mouth and retaliates with, "Ice fang!" Raticate cries out as it gets up and a rattata comes to the Pokémon's aid. While the rattata scampers around Mawile with hit and run tactics to distract her, the raticate attacks with hyper fang.

    "Sucker punch!" Mawile turns around and smacks the large Pokémon aside despite the size difference. Calem would smirk if he could still feel the emotion for it; after everything he and Mawile have been through, simple tactics like this area easy to flip around. She then defeats the rattata with vice grip and turns her attention to the raticate. The Pokémon holds his left arm close to his chest- No, he's holding his chest. The way the Pokémon breathes isn't normal either. Those are controlled shallow breaths. Perhaps they are meant to minimize chest movement?

    "Mawile, let's go."

    Mawile gives the raticate an intimidating glare and walks off with her trainer. She looks up to Calem and says, "Maw Mawile?"

    "We already got the Z-crystal. Defeating that ratticate isn't part of the test."

    Ilima waits for by the chasm exit. "A loop hole, but I'll concede that you defeated my Totem Pokémon. Totem Pokémon are stronger and fiercer than the rest of their kind. You could consider than as a final boss of sorts. As much as I hate to admit, you've cleared the trial of Ilima. The normal Z-crystal, Normalium Z, is now yours."

    "Normal? You mean there's one for each type?"

    "Along with some special variants. Let a Pokémon hold it and then," Ilima places his arms together, moves them in a circle, spreads them apart, and strikes "an elegant pose. Do that with your Pokémon to bring out the true power of the normal type."

    Calem stops Ilima who begins to walk off. "Am I going to find a totem Pokémon at the end of each trial?"

    Ilima turns his head back towards Calem enough so that his voice will have clear projection. "That's right. Each trial will have a particularly strong Pokémon. A person like you definitely won't get that far though." Finished speaking, he leaves.

    Ilima didn't have any intention of telling him about the totem Pokémon. He didn't even comment about how raticate called for help. Is that a tactic all Alolan Pokémon do, or just totem Pokémon? Calem will have to be careful around Ilima from now on. He doubts the trial captain will actively stand against him, but being cautious won't hurt. Lack of precaution did destroy an entire region once.

    Outside on route 3, Calem searches for the barricade Lillie mentioned. A fenced off area is further up the mountain trail. A person stands guard in front of it. After speaking to him, and showing him the Z-crystal, he lets Calem through.

    Further up the road is Professor Kukui. "Hey there, Calem! Seeing you out here must mean you've cleared your first trial. Going to have to mention this to Kahuna Hala later. By the way, now that you can use Z-power, here's some advice. Using it heaps all of your emotions on your Pokémon and tires them out. The limit is once per battle, cousin." He then gives a quick demonstration with Rockruff against a wild Bagon.

    That sounds a lot like mega-evolution. However, as Calem though, something feels different about the two of them.

    "By the way, would you mind helping me look for Lillie? We were walking around this route and I seem to have lost her."

    "You should have said that first!" Calem says while running off. Trainers call out to him for a battle, but he ignores them. Lillie doesn't have any Pokémon. She uses repels, but that won't do her any good against thugs like Team Skull.

    A sign he comes across reads Melemele Meadow. If Lillie got lost chasing Nebby, then there's a high possibility the Pokémon ran in there to play. He hears Lillie before seeing her, "Nebby! Nebby, come back!"

    Lillie stands worried at the edge of a flower field. She turns upon hearing Calem call out to her. "Ah… Calem… Nebby ran off into the meadow here…" Nebby stares at some flowers on a ledge at the opposite end of the field. "And right after it got into so much trouble on the bridge, too… What if a wild Pokémon attacks it? It doesn't have any moves it can use to battle!"

    Calem makes his way through the field without encountering any Pokémon. He crouches down next to Nebby and the Pokémon says, "Pew!" Together, they walk back to Lillie.

    "Oh, you!"

    "Pew?"

    "Thank you, Calem. You too Mawile."

    "Maw."

    "Nebby, back into the bag please. I know there aren't many people around to see you here, but that's hardly an excuse! We should be going now, too. The professor will probably be worried after the way we just disappeared on him…"

    Calem recalls how Professor Kukui casually congratulated him earlier. "Maybe not as much as you'd think."

    Hau's voice calls out to them as they leave the meadow. "He-e-ey, Calem! Oh! You're with Lillie… in the meadow… We're you guys on a date?"

    Lillie's face burns bright red as she shakes her head. "N-no! Calem was just helping me find Nebby… What are you up to out here?"

    Hau flex an arm and pats his bicep. "I just finished my trial!"

    "That's great! Congratulations!"

    "I know! Calem, you finished yours too, right! We should celebrate! But first, let's battle and see if we learned anything."

    Calem hesitates for a second before saying, "Sure…" In the rush to search for Lillie, his anger from encounter Team Skull dissipated. Without that to help focus his mind, this match is going to be trouble. He has already been reviewing how he handled those earlier battles. Each reflection reveals a different way in which he could have messed up.

    "Great, come on out, Pikachu!"

    "Cutiefly!"

    "Electroball!"

    "Dodge it!"

    The electroball left Pikachu off balanced. That happens to Pokémon who use moves they haven't fully mastered. An opening? Would Hau really use such an attack without creating a way to cover that weakness? Pikachu could have static fur. Then a long distance attack? Which one would…

    "Electroball!" Pikachu sends another attack and Cutiefly again dodges. The pattern repeats itself five times until Cutiefly gets frustrated and charges Pikachu with a tackle.

    "No, stop!" Calem tries to warn her, but Cutiefly rams into Pikachus stomach. The bug Pokémon shakes as she flies away. Too late, Cutiefly is paralyzed.

    "Pikachu, thunder shock!"

    Cutiefly tries to dodge, but is too slow. The attack hits and she faints.

    Hau fist pumps saying, "Alright, I win! My Pokémon are awesome!"

    Calem calls back Cutiefly with a sigh. "Just rest for now." He over thought the battle, again. If he attacked when the opportunity showed, Cutiefly wouldn't have gotten hurt. Since he was worried about static, he should have used an attack like gust. Hopefully, Cutiefly won't hold the loss against him.

    Hau says, "Looks like I've gotten stronger, but I wonder if I'm strong enough to beat my gramps…"

    Professor Kukui calls out to them. "Hey there, Calem! Knew I could count on you, yeah! Thanks for tracking Lllie down for me!" Upon seeing Hau's glee, he says, "What's this, then? Hau, you finished your first trial, too? I bet you used some stylin' moves, yeah?"

    Hau chuckles and says, "That's right!"

    "Hala's probably rubbing his hands together in anticipation right about now, oh yeah!"

    Lillie says, "What do you mean?"

    Hau says, "It's all a part of the trials, yeah? After you clear one island's trials, you gotta battle that island's Kahuna."

    Calem says, "Wouldn't a beedrill be stronger."

    Lillie says, "Kahuna, not Kakuna."

    Professor Kukui says, "Taking on the island Kahuna in battle is called the grand trial! Events like those are the best opportunities for me to study fierce Pokémon moves."

    Calem says, "Four islands, four grand trials… They're like gym leaders and the elite four all in one."

    Hau says, "I guess, I've never been to any other region, so I wouldn't know."

    Professor Kukui says, "Anyway, come on! Back to Iki Town. We'll need to make preparations for your grand trials tomorrow."

    As they walk, Rotom says, "It's almost time to face the Kahuna himself. Tomorrow we return to Iki Town, if you dare."
     
  7. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Calem sits up on his bed upon waking up the next morning. He rubs the Pokémon egg he's holding as he sits in place and reflects on the previous day. Those battles were too reckless. How stupid can he be? A small slip up during any one of them would have been disastrous… Except, they weren't because he didn't.

    Calem clenches his fists. That's the mind set he needs to get back into, even if it is dangerous. If not for himself, then for Mawile. She wants that for him as well, even if she might get hurt in the process… He takes a deep breath and also reminds himself, one mishap and I'll lose everyone, again.

    His mother knocks on his door, "Calem, are you up? Lillie is outside. She said something about a grand trial."

    Calem finishes getting changed when his mother enters the room, "Calem? Say something if you're awake."

    His tone is still expressionless, "I'll be just a minute."

    "Today's your grand trial. From its name, it's obviously a huge event. You should smile; ever since the festival, everyone's been wondering if you're some sort of delinquent. Now is your chance to show them wrong!"

    Calem finishes preparing by tucking his mega-necklace underneath his shirt. "Sure…"

    Outside, Lillie says, "I'm not a trainer, so I'm sure I don't really understand how hard completing your first trial must have been, but I do think it's a great achievement."

    "Pew!" Lillie jumps at the shaking of her duffle bag. Once Nebby settles down, she says, "I'll watch your battle today, so good luck."

    Professor Kukui meets them at the entrance to Iki Town. "The Melemele Kahuna is strong, cousin. I'll eagerly await to see what moves you and your Pokémon pour your souls into. Be careful, though. Kahuna Hala is a trainer who can use fighting type Pokémon to the fullest, yeah."

    Rotom says, "A Pokémon battle against big Kahuna Hala! I'm tingling all over- almost like I'm electric!"

    Calem finds Kahuna Hala waiting on the plaza stadium. Hala says, "Congratulations on clearing your trial in Verdant Cavern. Good work. I suppose you're here to battle the Kahuna?"

    "Yes."

    "Hmmm, it isn't by much, but your eyes have changed. I look forward to seeing the extent of this transformation first hand." Kahuna Hala stomps his feet and assumes a sumo stance. "Allow me to properly greet the young adventurers embarking on their island challenge. I am Hala, the Kahuna of Melemele Island. Your final trial here on Melemele Island will be a Pokémon battle against me, the Kahuna! It is known as the grand trial. Calem, you have been entrusted with the sparkling stone by Tapu Koko! Now show me your's, Mawile's and the rest of your team's power! Old Hala here will also be going all out! Let the grand trial begin! Mankey!"

    "Cutiefly, stun spore!"

    Mankey dodges by rolling to the side. "Fury swipes!"

    "Dodge it!" Cutiefly's small size gives it a huge advantage in avoiding Mankey's attacks. In some cases, she literally slips through Mankey's fingers. With the right timing, it's a simple maneuver to pull off, but Mankey can just as easily counter it by closing his fingers. No, the fighting Pokémon has a short temper and will neither put that much thought into his action nor use such a dexterous technique. Although, Mankey could be faking his anger as a lure into false confidence for a sneak attack. If so…

    Calem needs to tell Cutiefly to create some distance. Nothing comes out. His voice… Just like when he battled Hau, it's gone, again. He clutches his throat. What should he do now? Cutiefly's waiting for a command, one he'll never give.

    Kahuna Hala says, "Karate Chop!"

    Calem gargles a sound out of panic and swings his fist. He doesn't know what he was trying to say, but Cutiefly's movements become precise. The bug Pokémon slips around Mankey's palm and uses fairy wind.

    An idea cross Calem's mind as he sees Mankey open his shoulders. Yet, instead of it, he makes a frantic struggle to speak. "Urgh, ung, unf, up!"

    Cutiefly stops spreading fairy dust with its wings, but instead of escaping, lets herself be squished between Mankey's two hands.

    "Cutiefly!"

    Mankey, instead of release Cutiefly, trembles and falls over. From the fighting Pokémon's palms buzzes Cutiefly. She must have used draining kiss the moment she was caught between the two hands. She drained Mankey's health faster than he could clap his palms.

    "Come on back and rest, Cutiefly. That was amazing." She executed the command he refused to give. A Pokémon that can see emotion… she understood him without having to hear him. "Really, you are amazing. Mawile, you're up."

    "Maw!"

    If Calem understands Hala's personality, he'll start soft and move on to his stronger Pokémon. In that case, after taking his own problems into account, he should do the same and save Mawile for last.

    Kahuna Hala says, "Makuhita!"

    Calem says, "Fire fang!" His best chance at defeating Kahuna Hala lies in crippling his attack power. Solution? Combine Mawile's intimidate with a burn. Kahuna Hala even anticipated the tactic by given his Pokémon a rawst berry.

    The real problem is landing fire fang. Mawile and Makuhita have been exchanging attacks and she hasn't gotten a clean hit yet. Makuhita keeps redirecting her second mouth. The way Makuhita is moving… An attack is coming!

    "Mawile!" Is all Calem can say. The possibilities on how Makuhita might attack are infinite. It will most likely come in angled from one of the sides, but that's not enough to tell her how to dodge. Even if he does see through the attack, it could just as well be a faint. Against any other Pokémon, he'd say "sucker punch," but dark type moves are pointless against fighting types. It could work as a method to redirect or weaken the attack, but there's no way Makuhita isn't prepared for such a counter.

    Calem grits his teeth as he gets ready to see Mawile knocked aside, but she surprises him by using sucker punch. The small opening she creates lets her slip behind Makuhita where she attacks with thunder fang. The fighting Pokémon's knees give out as paralysis takes over its body.

    Kahuna Hala calls back Makuhita and, "Crabrawler! Rock smash!"

    "Thunder fang!" Calem's order escapes him upon seeing the water Pokémon. The command comes from a memory. It's the same tactic Deino used to defeat Tierno's Corphish and Shauna's Krabby.

    Crabrawler deflects Mawile's attacks by punching her second mouth aside, but takes damage each time. Even if attacks are redirected, the electricity flows. But, this exchange has gone on way too long. Kahuna Hala must have thought up a counter by now. Calem needs to try something else or risk Mawile getting hurt. He could always try sucker punching whatever Crabrawler uses, but there's a chance that will be used against him too….

    "Crabrawler, that's enough!" Kahuna Hala recalls his Pokémon. "Calem, well done, you've defeated this Kahuna in both strategy and strength. You never even gave me an opportunity to use my Z-power."

    "What? How? There were dozens of ways for you to turn the battle around."

    "Yes, I did think of a few, but your Mawile reacts much too fast. Have more confidence in your Pokémon. She would have countered anything I could come up with. You may not have been battling these past few years, but your training as been top notch."

    "Not train? We can't do that… Something might happen."

    Kahuna Hala laughs and clasps Calem's shoulder. "I do not know what kind of trainer you were before, but I am certain you'll find yourself once your trial is complete."

    "Tapu Ko-ko-ko!" A Pokémon's cries echo from the sky.

    Kahuna Hala says, "Ho! And our mighty Tapu Koko agrees! Perhaps Tapu Koko is hoping that a day might come when you will be able to battle against it on proper footing… Accept this Z-crystal, Fightinium Z. Observe Calem," Kahuna Hala crosses his arm, circles them to his side, and punches with both fists. "That is how you use this Z-crystal. Now then, with this victory, you have cleared all of the trials of Melemele Island.

    "The moon in the daytime… The sun at night… Now to see if you can pour your heart into something that cannot be seen but is very much real. As you continue on your island challenge, consider what makes up the people and Pokémon that you meet: both what you can see and what you cannot. You will surely meet Tapu Koko again someday."

    Calem glances to the side and finds Ilima watching from within the shrubbery. The trial captain juts his chin towards Calem and turns his back towards him. The message is clear. "I do not accept you. Once we fight, I'll show everyone the kind of person you really are."

    Professor Kukui says, "I guess it's time for you to move on to the next island. Make sure you tell your mother and then head on down to the Marina in Hau'oli City. Oh yeah! Come on, Lillie, I'll need your help in cleaning the boat!"

    Lillie waits for everyone to leave before talking to Calem. "Um… I actually wanted to ask a favor of you first. If that's all right?"

    "What is it?"

    She turns to Nebby who's floating next to her. "You see… Nebby… Its real home is far away from here. And I want to help it get home. It's like I told you before… Nebby saved my life once when I was in trouble. Now I want to save it! I feel like there's not much I can do on my own, since I'm not a Pokémon trainer… But if I had a real trainer like you helping me, Calem, then maybe… But I probably shouldn't ask a near stranger to help, right? I know it's just my own wish and it has nothing to do with you…"

    An adventure with friends, this is almost like back in Kalos all those years ago. This is when Tierno said, "Mizzy, let's show the world what we're made of!" Calem's flat tone hide his inner thoughts, "It's fine. We have to help one another if we want to survive in this world. Besides, traveling is more fun with company."

    "Oh thank you so much. I'm so- Calem? What's wrong? You're crying…"

    Calem brushes his cheeks. They're wet… "It'll pass… Sorry, I'll meet you at the Marina." He walks off before Lillie can say anything else. He's crying? Because this adventure restarts the one stopped at Kalos? Tears of joy? Remembrance? Sadness? All of the above? He shakes his head. Once the tears pass, he'll go home and tell his mother what he plans to do.

    A small, well used, sail ship is docked to the Mariana. Professor Kukui and Lillie work on the final touches as Calem approaches. Hau watches them from the side and says, "Hey, Prof, are you sure this old thing's really seaworthy?"

    "Hey now! Don't you go calling my boat old! She's… classic. Well seasoned, yeah?"

    Calem says, "A reminder of times long ago."

    Professor Kukui says, "Hey!"

    Lillie says, "I quite like that it has a sense of history…"

    "Pew!"

    Professor Kukui shakes his head and says, "Well, since you're all here, let's get sailing, yeah!"

    Lillie asks Calem as they board, "Are you… feeling better now?"

    "I'm fine."

    Hau asks, "Did something happen?"

    "No."

    "You look like you were crying."

    "Shut up."

    "You were crying! Were you so moved by winning that your water works started flowing? Man, you're so sensitive."

    "… I am going to push you off the boat."

    Hau laughs and runs off to the front of the vessel.

    Ten minutes later, Hau is laughing and fist pumping on one of the two bows. "We-e-e are off! Come on, grandma! Kick it up a notch!"

    Lillie stands near the middle of the boat, one hand on her hat and the other keeping her dress down. "If we push the boat much harder than this, we may all end up at the bottom of the ocean."

    Hau laughs, "You're just worried your silly hat is gonna fly off! Actually, you should've changed into a bikini. You're totally wasting the opportunity!" Lillie frowns and covers her chest by folding an arm across herself. Hau continues, "Hey, Calem, weren't you gonna push me off?"

    Calem sits curled in a ball while hugging his bag to himself on the opposite bow. He glares at Hau, but then covers his mouth. He rode Greninja out to sea multiple times before and never felt anything like this. Pokémon truly are irreplaceable.

    "What's wrong? I'm waiting! Come get me!"

    Calem tries to speak, but again covers his mouth. He calls Mawile from her premier ball and gestures to Hau. He tries saying something, but is again forced to cover his mouth to Hau's amusement.

    Mawile runs up to Hau and whacks him off the boat with her second mouth. She then holds up her head, and with her hands on her hips, says, "Maw."

    Hau leaps off the ship. His clothes dried with the breeze kicked up from sailing. He stands proud with his arms at his side. "Land ahoy! All right! Akala Island, get ready cause here I come!"

    Lillie makes a face. "Isn't it a bit late to declare 'Land ahoy' after you've already arrived onshore?"

    "What a stick in the sand! Help me out here, Calem! It was funny, right?"

    "It was supposed to be funny?"

    Hau's jaw drops. He turns to Professor Kukui, "Come on, Professor. You though it was funny, right?"

    Professor Kukui grins. "The land is certainly ahoy, oh boy!"

    Lillie falls speechless as her eyes and mouth turn round from shock. Nebby appears at her side with cries of joy.

    Calem turns away as Hau and Professor Kukui laugh from the bottom of their stomachs. From the wharf's side he's hit by the bright smiles people and Pokémon playing on the sand and goofing around in the ocean. How nice… That's when he spots a blond girl sporting a red bikini with black frills. "Serena?"

    Hau slaps Calem's back. "What, you recognize someone? Wow, she's a total babe. Do me a solid and introduce me to her. Hey, Serena! Up here!" He waves his arms and, once he catches her attention, points to Calem.

    Serena's confusion gives way to a bright smile. She jogs over and takes the stairs four at a time up onto the wharf. She goes to hug him, but stops short by just grabbing his arms. "Mizzy! Your mother told mine you moved here, so I was wondering when we would run into each other. We were worried we might have lost you, but seeing you outside… I am glad, you are doing better than we though. How are you holding up?"

    Calem ignores Hau's, "Mizzy?" comment and, taking Serena's hand, breaks away from the group. "Honestly, I'm not sure. I tried getting in touch with all of you, really. It's just… I can't touch my holo-caster." He looks down at his left hand. "It makes them tremble. But, what about you? Why are you here? How are the others?"

    Serena sighs out. "I guess you have yet to hear, but as of last month, the Kalos region was declared abandoned by the Pokémon League. Soon after you left, for some reason, the wild Pokémon really started attacking people. They went so far as to invade the few cities we managed to restore. All we can do now is let nature heal the scars we humans created. I came here, Trevor went with Clemont to Hoenn, he's now Professor Rowen's assistant, and Shauna is with her family in Unova." Serena leans closer towards Calem. "Listen to this, her voice finally came back. Two days before she left, during dinner, she asked me to pass the salt."

    A fragile smile spreads across Calem's face. "That… that's great." He glances towards his shoulder, remembering the people he came with to Akala Island. Lillie is struggling with her bag. She must have hidden Nebby while he and Serena were talking. "Right, come on, I'll introduce you." He gestures to each person in turn, "Lillie, Professor Kukui, and Hau. Everyone, Serena is-"

    "The final Kalos league champion. I've been keeping an eye out for you." A woman interrupts. She and a girl with green hair walk up to the group. "Anyway, still haven't managed to find a shirt that goes with your lab coat, hmm, Kukui? I've told you you're going to scare off strangers looking like that… Hello there, nice to meet you all- I'm Olivia."

    The girl with her says, "Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I'm Mallow, one of the captains here!"

    Olivia says, "I ran into Mallow here on my way to see who was pulling into one of my ports."

    Mallow says, "My trials will let all the ingredients that make your team shine. Especially you two!" She beams a toothy smile to Hau and Calem, "Your Pokémon look ready to cook with gas!"

    Hau grins with anticipation, but Calem's face remains indifferent.

    Olivia says, "You kids better be ready. Mallow isn't my only captain here. You should join in too, Serena."

    Serena shakes her head. "Oh, no, maybe in the future. We just arrived yesterday, so right now, my Pokémon and I just want to relax."

    Olivia chuckles. "I'll be waiting. It isn't everyday a person gets to fight a champion. You kids better not let this opportunity slip past you either. Okay then, until we meet for our battle. Let's go, Mallow."

    Mallow gives a radiant smile as she waves goodbye to everyone and follows Olivia. Not once did she look Calem in his eyes.

    Professor Kukui cups his chin and begins, "I'm sure she wanted to come to make sure you arrived alright, but she'll never admit it to you," and ends with a laugh. "That's Olivia for you. She's a kind Kahuna, deep down." He turns to Hau and Calem. "There are three trials here on Akala Island. If you two decide you want to take on the trial straightaway, head up route 4 there and keep on goin' until you get to Paniola Town."

    Hau says, "Shoots, I know where I'm going first, and that is straight to the Pokémon center! Serena, come with me. I'll treat you to a malasada."

    "Sorry, I already ate."

    Lillie says, "Maybe I'll see about some shopping of my own… And I should find out about the ruins for Nebby's sake too…"

    Serena says, "Ruins? I am very curious about them too. How about I join you?"

    Lillie looks to the side. "I don't know… I don't really want to trouble you."

    Calem says, "Serena is one of the strongest, bravest, and most trustworthy trainers I know. She had just become league champion, but really stepped up to her role during the Last Night of Kalos."

    Serena clicks her tongue at Calem's introduction, but doesn't comment.

    Lillie says, "Well… if you're going that far to vouch for her, then… I'll be grateful for your company."

    After the two make plans to meet later, Serena pulls Calem to the side. "Listen, it belon-"

    "Stop, that match wasn't official. You're the one who overcame the elite four to reach her. Besides, I'd be a failure." Calem's hand slides over the black Pokéball on his waist. "I lost everyone, but Mawile."

    Serena squeezes his hand. "I really hope you find what you're looking for on this adventure." She then wraps her arm around his back and turns him to face everyone. "Meeting all of you was really great. Please look after Mizzy for me. He might not show it, but he's a real trouble maker." She and Calem exchange kisses to the cheek and with an, "Réunion de vous tous a été un plaisir," walks away.

    Hau slaps Calem's back. "What the heck, you didn't say she was your girlfriend! I thought she and I could have had something."

    "Serena and I aren't dating."

    Lillie, her hands covering her burning red face, says, "Bu-bu-but, the two of you… you ki-kissed."

    A "Pew!" comes from her bag.

    "That's how we greet each other in Kalos. Or, did..." Calem sighs. "Je vous verrai tous plus tard. I'm going to walk around town."

    His Rotom-dex zips up to his face as he steps off the pier. "You've made it to Akala, big boy!"

    "Ne m'appelez pas comme ça."

    "This means a whole new Island Pokédex, zzt! I'll try to keep you up to date on all the new Pokémon you uncover, Mizzy! Zzzzzt!"

    "Mizzy died three years ago. My name is Calem."

    "If you say so, zzzzt! But, this is Heahea City? I can see the sea! Let's give this place a good search before we go!" He then flies back into his pocket.

    After walking around for a bit, he finds Lillie looking into clothing boutique's window. "Looking for new clothes?"

    "Ah, Calem… I was just thinking how nice choosing my own clothes might be… But, something like that… just isn't for me…"

    "Pew?" Nebby tilts its head in concern at her side.

    "Oh, but don't worry about me… I'm meeting with Serena and someone very important to me at the Tide Song Hotel. It's that building down the road, so there's no way I'll get lost. I think."

    Nebby hops and cheers "Pew!"

    Calem says, "If anything, Nebby believes in you."

    Lillie turns to the Pokémon, "And you! I'll have you stay in your bag, mister."

    Nebby floats up to Calem, turns to face Lillie, and frowns while crying out. Lillie puffs her cheeks and shakes her head. Nebby laughs and then allows itself to be placed within the duffle bag.

    Calem notes that Lillie still looks at the clothes inside the store. "We could make a quick stop inside."

    "No, no… I'm fine. Listen, I've heard that there's a terrible group of people stealing Pokémon called Team Skull. We need to be careful if we want to escape the notice of such a collection of villains…"

    Calem's frown terrifies Lillie. His normal flat tone takes a dangerous edge, "Escape? No, I'm going to crush them."

    …..

    Serena washes the sand off herself and her Pokémon in one of the public showers before wrapping a towel around her shoulders. She then grooms her Pokémon and finishes by brushing absol's fur. "Come on, it is almost time to meet Lillie."

    On the way back to the hotel, she finds Lillie hesitating outside a boutique shop. "Do you want to buy some new clothes?"

    "Ah, Serena, no, no… I'm not good at that sort of thing. Besides, there's still someone I need to meet at the hotel soon."

    "Then, how about we go back together? Once we finish with the ruins, can I accompany you for some shopping?"

    As they begin walking towards the hotel, Lillie says, "O-oh, you really want to? I won't be a bother?

    "Do not be silly, it will be fun. I also need some new clothes. We can start by getting a new bag for your Pokémon to hide in."

    Lillie eyes and mouth turn into O's as she stops. "Ca-Ca-Calem… he-he…"

    "No, no, I saw you hiding it back on the pier, sorry. That little guy is the reason you are interested in the ruins, correct? Our adventure to uncover the secrets of mega-evolution was similar."

    "Mega-evolution?"

    "Calem never mentioned it?"

    "We only just met a few days ago. But, I don't think he wants to talk about his past. Every time Hau asks, he changes the subject…"

    "Pew!"

    Serena laughs at Lillie's attempt to calm her "duffle bag." She looks ahead and spots a familiar blonde and black haired duo. They are handing a green decahedron to a person hidden behind some trees and waving good bye. "Dexio! Sina!"

    Serena takes Lillie's hand and runs up to meet them. "It has been so long! Why are the two of you here? Have you also decided to settle here?" Once they get closer, "Lillie, Dexio and Sina are the late Professor Sycamore's laboratory assistants. During our adventure in Kalos, they would always appear to help or provide advice."

    The blonde says, "I'm Dexio," and the black haired girl says, "I'm Sina, a beautiful name for a beautiful lady."

    Dexio says, "We're here for a couple reason, but the main one is probably the same as yours."

    Sina says, "Alola is a nice region for starting over. It's so diverse that some places even have a Kalos flavor."

    Serena says, "Then, with you two, that makes four. I saw Mizzy earlier."

    Sina says, "Really? Is he alright? How is he?"

    "A lot better than when he left. He is even taking the island challenge. Right now, he is on this island, so you might run into him. Sorry, I would love to stay and talk longer, but we are in a hurry."

    Lillie says as they walk off, "Their bracelets looks a lot like your necklace…"

    Serena cups the rainbow colored stone hanging around her neck. "The results of our adventure. This stone, when the bond between trainers and Pokémon peak, lets the power of mega-evolution shine."

    "Mega-evolution? I've read about it once… but the book wasn't very cle- Oh, no!"

    "Yo, yo, yo, girlies! Team Skull is here to take yo Pokémon."

    Serena's towel flutters as holds out an arm to cover Lillie. Her smile sours into a glare at the two approaching thugs. Team Skull, she was warned about them the other day, but seeing them now… The way they shake their arms and make symbols with their hands is supposed to intimidate, but for her serve to irk her ire. "You are curious about mega-evolution, would you like to see it?"

    The key-stone in Serena's hand shines as she throws a Pokéball. Absol is enveloped within a bright light to become mega-Absol. "Absol, night slash!"

    The two Team Skull thugs fight back with a drowzee and zubat, but are defeated in seven seconds. Despite trembling with fear, they talk tough, "We got beat here, but the two of you'll be hanging off our arms soon enough!" and, "Once we get serious, the two of you will be all over us!"

    "Absol," The Pokémon barks and chases the two Team Skull thugs down street.

    Lillie says, "It transformed!"

    "Pew!"

    Serena releases her anger with a sigh. Team Skull might just be a nuisance now, but so was Team Flare at first. "That is mega-evolution, the shinning release of a Pokémon's full potential." Serena's glances downward, "Your Pokémon escaped."

    Lillie bends over toward Nebby with her hands on her hips. "Oh, you, not again! How many times do we have to go over this?"

    They continue to the hotel once Absol returns. Serena leaves Lillie in the lobby and continues up to her room. Her parents have a house, but right now she wants to be on her own. She will return home in a week once the lease expires.

    She hangs her towel in the shower and sheds her swimsuit for a black blouse and red skirt. After brushing her hair, she places her six pokeballs onto her waist. The final one glitters like a rainbow. She then walks out the door while draping her champion's mantle over her shoulders. The emblem of Kalos, a wide shield covering a fasces and decorated with oak and olive branches, is embroidered on the white cape's center in bright blue, silver, and red.

    Lillie sits on a lobby sofa with her face cupped within her hands. "Thanks to Team Skull, I missed my meeting…"
     
  8. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
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    PokéPoints:
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 5
    Calem wakes up in one of, the Pokémon center's, trainer beds in Paniola Town the next day. Rotom says, "Ahhh… Now this izzz a mighty fine place. I reckon I could get to like it here, pardner."

    Tauros and Miltank are seen grazing in the pasture from the window. A small group are exercising by running up and down ramps on the side. He rubs his Pokémon egg while saying, "It doesn't feel right not seeing rhyhorn and ponyta."

    Hau calls out to him upon exiting the Pokémon center. "Hey, Calem! Glad I ran into you. Let's battle and see who's stronger now! My gramps must have thought I did good enough in my grand trial, 'cause he gave me a Z-ring too." Hau fist pumps, "Having a battle in a place like Paniola Town feels like we're in a real old-fashion Western showdown, right?" He then shoots a finger gun at a passing Pokémon breeder. The girl crosses her arms over her heart as she pretends to be shot before winking.

    The two walk to a more open part of the road. Hau says, "Awrite, Pikachu let's show this newbie what Alola's got!"

    "Cutiefly, stun spore."

    Pikachu dives underneath the powder and releases a thunder shock which Cutiefly dodges to the side. Judging from the quality and amount of electricity being released, Hau's Pokémon is in top form. In a match against speed, Cutiefly and Pikachu are about even. Pikachu, however, has an advantage with static fur.

    "Silver wind!"

    Pikachu again dives underneath the attack. Calem predicted the action, but stops himself from saying "stun spore." The small gap between shifting from silver wind to stun spore is more than enough time for Pikachu to use volt tackle. Cutiefly is a small target, but that's no guarantee she'll be fine. Better to create some distance.

    Cutiefly cries out as Pikachu lands a thunder shock. Pikachu proceeds to pounce on the fairy Pokémon as she falls and releases an electrical discharge.

    "Cutiefly, rest easy for now."

    Hau hugs Pikachu, "Great going, pal!" To Calem, "Well, I'll catch you later." He then walks off for the ranch with the Pokémon breeder from earlier. She's been batting her eyelashes at him since getting shot.

    Calem gets a quick breakfast at the Pokémon center café and also heads for the ranch. A rancher calls out to him. "Hey, you're a trial goer, right? Well, you've got some good timing. The captain's actually here now, so come on. If only my daughter was here and not messing around… This is a great opportunity learning opportunity for her, but instead she's sharing a tauros saddle with some boy."

    Mallow is in the pasture milking a miltank. She masks her cold glance at Calem with cheerful smile and big wave. "Thanks for stopping by! The Moomoo Milk from Paniola Ranch is always rich and creamy when used in white sauce. The taste can't be described." The miltank's "moo" emphasis her statement.

    "I'll take your word for it."

    Annoyance creeps into Mallow's voice, "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "I lost my sense of taste a few years back."

    "Shame, you're missing out."

    "I'll live."

    Mallow makes a face, but then shakes her head. She reasserts her cheerful smile and says, "If you go all the way down route 5, you'll come out on Brooklet Hill. You'll find my friend Lana up there." She then thanks the farmer for the milk and runs off.

    Calem wonders what he could have done to tick off Mallow. They first meet one another just yesterday. Then again, she is a trial captain. Ilima could have told her about him. To believe a simple rumor without verifying the facts… pathetic.

    Calem thanks the farmer, but before he can leave, is asked to help calm one of their Pokémon. A new tauros has been resisting all efforts into being trained into becoming a ride Pokémon and the farmer thinks he needs help burning some excess energy. "Couldn't you have asked the trial captain?"

    "I did, but she said some trial goers were coming and that this would be a good experience for them. The other one ran off with my daughter before I could ask, so help out, would ya?"

    "Fine."

    Tauros claims a corner of the ranch for himself. He snorts, thrashes his horns around, and jumps onto his hind legs as Calem and the rancher draw near. Unlike Tauros on Melemele Island who was looking for a good time, this one is determine to assert himself as an alpha male. He already has a pair of milktank lounging by his side.

    Tauros has the arrogant look of a king in his eyes. He won't accept anything less than full, outright defeat. Trickery, states conditions, sleight of hand, any of that and he'll act up again upon recovering. "Cutiefly, struggle bug."

    Tauros flails its horns and tails, but Cutiefly flies around them and onto an unreachable section of his back. Tauros bucks around, but Cutiefly holds tight and continues its attack.

    "Cutiefly, get away." The fairy Pokémon flies away just as Tauros flops onto his back. "Silver wind."

    Tauros charges through the scales with a head smash. Should he have Cutiefly flies over him? No, Tauros will whip her with his tail. Below? No, he can just throw himself down on her. The side? No, the tail again. Calem, unable to make a decision, is forced to watch Cutiefly take Tauros's attack.

    The fairy Pokémon slams into the ground, but undaunted, flutters its wings and rises once more. He shouldn't hesitate over this. Cutiefly is fast. Doesn't matter which direction she evades, she should be able to avoid all of Tauros's counters. No, she would have avoided them, and that's assuming Tauros would have been able to make any. If Calem wants to break past this hesitation, there's only one option. He takes a breath and forces himself to try again, "Cutiefly, silver wind."

    Tauros once more forces his way through with head charge. Calem visualizes Tauros flattening Cutiefly with his body and then stomping her with his feet. Even if she gets through, he could whip her with his tail. No, he shakes his head. He's prepared for the consequences. He won't lose his voice this time. "Cu-Cutiefly… Di-dive underneath!"

    This could fall apart at any moment. Calem shakes from fear that Cutiefly might get hurt. Still, he forces his eyes to remain open. Cutiefly is so small, Tauros doesn't even see her zip underneath his mane. He keeps imagining that the normal Pokémon will discover what happened and react, but Cutiefly breaks through. She then loops around and attacks Tauros's back with drain kiss. The Pokémon slows, stumbles, and falls over.

    Cutiefly flies to the front of Tauros's face as he tries to get back onto his feet. She zooms back and then smashes herself against his face with a headbutt. Tauros's head jerks to the side with a "Tau…" as he fall over unconscious.

    Calem's legs almost give out on him as he breaths out in relief. He pets Cutiefly as she lands upon his shoulder. "That was completely reckless. Nice going."

    Calem receives some Moo Moo milk from the rancher as thanks. After giving some to Cutiefly and Mawile, he leaves.

    Route 4 is full of trainers and wild Pokémon. Whenever Calem crosses eyes with one, he runs away at full speed. Upon entering route 5, he passes a girl riding atop of a Tauros. She is glowing with happiness, evident from the red marks on her neck. Other than her, this route is the same as the previous up until Hau calls out to him. "Man, Calem, did you see that? I totally lost."

    The person he lost against, a blonde about one to two years older than them, scowls. "Are you even taking this seriously?"

    "I am! I'm seriously enjoying it!"

    "Enjoying it? You can enjoy Pokémon battling when you put everything you have into it… which clearly you haven't."

    Hau turns to Calem. "Watch out, Calem. This guy is plenny scary!"

    The person cups his chin. "You're Calem?"

    Calem, put off by the person inquiring to his identity, says, "Who wants to know?"

    "You're pretty cautious. Looks like you have a high sense of preservation. I'm Gladion."

    "Calem."

    "I battle for my partner, Null, to make it strong. Though most of our time gets used up doing small jobs for Team Skull."

    Calem's indifference changes into irritation. His tone shifts from curious and guarded to annoyed. "You work for those low lives? Here I thought you were a decent person."

    "Battle me. I won't take no for an answer. Type: Null, crush claw."

    "Mawile, sucker punch." Mawile lets the opposing Pokémon get close and throws off its aim with her attack. Calem uses his next command to try and figure out the Type: Null's type, "Fire fang!"

    Mawile tries to clamp her second mouth into Type: Null's side, but its reflexes only let her attack brush against its side. Calem guessed wrong. Judging from the Pokémon's lack of reaction, it isn't a steel type. Whatever it is, it isn't weak against fire, either.

    Gladion says, "Take down!"

    "Iron head." The two attacks meet and cancel out. It isn't a type that's weak against steel either. "Thunder fang!"

    Again, the Pokémon twists away from being caught in Mawile's second mouth. The Pokémon also isn't weak against electric attacks.

    "Rage!"

    Calem thinks about Type: Null's name and considers its three attacks, crush claw, take down, and rage. "Brick break!"

    Mawile swings its second mouth into the oncoming Pokémon's side. Type: Null, too worked up by its own attack, is helpless to defend itself and ends up receiving the full brunt of Mawile's strike.

    Gladion calls back his Pokémon with a "How annoying…" under his breath. "Hmph… It's not like me to slip up like that. I've got to keep fighting stronger opponents. Looks like I'm still not ready…"

    "Who are you fighting against?"

    Gladion ignores Calem's question and points at Hau. "Your Pokémon aren't weak. And sure, it's fine to enjoy battling… But you! You're just using that as an excuse not to try hard because you can't beat the Kahuna. Because you can't beat Hala when he's serious!"

    Hau chuckles. "You know my gramps? Wait, you think I'm strong?"

    Calem says, "Your Pokémon are strong, he's calling you pathetic."

    "But I'm stronger than you and you beat him. Must mean I weakened 'im for ya, don'cha think?"

    A pair of Team Skull thugs, one female, the other male, appear from over a hill before Calem or Gladion can respond. "Awww, look at you, little Gladion! Aren't you just a real cool guy?"

    The second one says, "I guess it's no surprise a homeless kid would turn out spineless, too, huh? No worries, we've got enough backbone to cover for you!"

    Gladion says, "Just give it up already."

    "Huh?"

    "You know you can't beat me. You'll just get your Pokémon hurt for no reason." Gladion turns to Calem, "They're good Pokémon."

    Calem shrugs, "I just don't want them to get hurt."

    The girl Team Skull thug says, "We came all this way, and for what? For a big fat waste of our time, thanks to you. If you hadn't gotten in our way, we could've stolen the totem Pokémon from Brooklet Hill! Let's get out of here. Look, the murkrow are crying, and it's time we should be flying."

    The male Team Skull thug says, "Listen up good, Gladion… The boss does like you. That's true. But you're just some hired help we keep around for when we need you. You aren't part of Team Skull, not really. And you never will be. Got it? You better get it."

    Calem and Hau watch Gladion walk away after the Team Skull thugs leave. Calem says, "He really does come off as a decent guy." Could he be using Team Skull for some as a way to get stronger? Revenge against the reason he's homeless? What really stands out, however, is how similar he looks to Lillie.

    Hau says, "Thanks, Calem. And Mawile, too. It was a good battle! Still, saying you beat the guy I lost against really doesn't feel right… Looks like I've gotta train up my team if I'm gonna take on the trial at Brooklet Hill next! Come on, Calem! Let's beat this island challenge."

    Calem takes a short break in the Pokémon center before continuing onto Brooklet Hill. A blue haired girl three to four years younger than him sits on a pier like bridge. She's fishing, but doesn't appear to have caught anything. Calem intends to walk past her, but she calls out to him. "You look like an able-bodied trainer. Could I ask for your help with something?"

    Calem pauses for a moment to look the girl over. She has her own Pokémon and neither she nor they look weak. Normally, he'd say no, but running into Team Skull earlier skewed his thought process. "Yeah, ce qui est errone?"

    "Then follow me. This way, please." The girl leads Calem down the path to a small lake and directs his attention to something splashing in the water. "See? Do you see that there? Look at that vigorous splashing. I wouldn't be surprised to find a fearsome Pokémon causing it… Could I ask you to investigate it for me? Here, use my lapras. Just give me a moment to set up the riding equipment."

    "Stop, you don't need to do that." Calem jumps onto Lapras's bare shell and swims out to the splashing. As he gets closer, a school of wishiwashi break away and swim downstream. One remains and attacks. Calem, still somewhat angry from his encounter with Team Skull, has Cutiefly defeat it within the minute.

    The blue haired girl says, "So it was Wishiwashi kicking up all that water? Even small fish can make such big waves…" She turns her head at the sound of splashing. "Oh me. What is that?"

    "More splashing."

    "It comes from over there and sounds even larger than what we just saw. Is it a Pokémon? Is it a person? I suppose we had better go check."

    Calem follows the girl down another hill where she says, "Look, there it is. Ah… I'm sorry. What was your name?"

    "Calem."

    "Of course, Calem! It is a lovely name. Just lovely." Calem wonders if she's flirting with him, or just trying to slip underneath his guard. She turns to the lake. "Now look over there. Do you see that? Whatever is kicking up such lovely splashes must be rather big… A strapping young swimmer, perhaps? Or an amazing Pokémon specimen?"

    Calem rides Lapras out to the splashing. Water sprays him as he gets closer. It's refreshing underneath the hot sun. Upon getting closer, another school of wishiwashi break away and swim downstream. A remaining wishiwashi attacks and is also defeated within moments. Rain begins to fall the second Wishiwashi faints.

    The girl says from the opposite bank, "Oh my, so it was another Wishiwashi that was kicking up all that water? Hmm. How unfortunate. It wasn't a strapping young swimmer after all…"

    "Were you hoping to find some guy drowning?"

    More splashing gets her attention. "Oh my word. Now what is that? Even more furious splashing? It sounds as big as a wailord. It might just be another Pokémon, but… Maybe, just maybe, we'll be lucky enough to find a spry young swimmer floundering in the water in need of saving."

    "And maybe even in need of CPR?"

    The girl turns towards Calem with more vigor than she's shown before. "Let's go investigate it." Unlike the previous times where she walked, she runs ahead. Calem finds her at the bottom of the hill waiting for him to catch up. She says, "Brooklet Hill… Within it lies the legendary Pokémon said to be the embodiment of the sea itself… the mighty Kyogre."

    "Really?"

    Calem's expressionless face and flat tone make Lana blush. She shakes it off with a shrug and says, "Darn, I was really hoping to get you with that." She then turns around and walks Calem to the shore, "But we are near the sea. If that splashing sound is coming from the sea… then I wonder what is causing it. And now that it is raining, the power of water-type moves will be boosted. Could those splashes be caused by some Pokémon whose moves are now growing ever stronger in the falling rain?"

    They stop by the water's edge and she says, "Calem, you've come all this way with me… I didn't mention this earlier, but I am Lana, the trial captain."

    "I know."

    Lana almost shouts, "You knew? And you didn't say anything? Since how long?"

    "The start. Why else would strong trainer with strong Pokémon ask for help? So, did I pass your test?"

    "You even saw through that… Yes, you helped a complete stranger without hesitation or question. You're the cool, quiet, mysterious type, but also a good person at heart. Now, to clear my trial, you must defeat the great totem Pokémon known as the lord of the ocean! You'll probably find the totem over there by that spray of water. You've already proven your strength of character, defeat whatever comes at you and prove your strength of might."

    Calem rides Lapras out to the splashing to find a wishiwashi. The water Pokémon cries out and soon a school of wishiwashi surround the original one to create a wishiwashi sea-monster bigger than Lapras. Calem has the trembling Lapras evade the water Pokémon's pounce and make for some nearby rocks. "It really does look like Kyogre."

    Rotom says, "Wishiwashi have an ability known as school. It lets them combine with other wishiwashi to create that faux Kyogre there."

    "Strength in numbers, clever." He jumps off Lapras for a large flat platform and returns her to her Pokéball. He then calls out, "Mawile!"

    This battle will be difficult. Unlike the battle with the other wishiwashi, he's no longer angry. Lana's antics during their trek there calmed him down. His earlier guidance of Lapras was pure reflex. Thunder fang will be key to winning this battle, but with his fears and hesitation, how will they land it?

    A flaming red aura surrounds Wishiwashi as it stares down Mawile and Calem. Despite the water Pokémon's immense size, Mawile's glare intimidates the Pokémon.

    A horrible idea strikes Calem. His reflexive command of Lapras arose from an instinctive desire to survive. This idea is dangerous, but both breaks past his condition and also solves the issue of landing thunder fang. "Mawile…" He doesn't want to say it. He has to say it! Everything will be pointless unless he does. "Mawile," He swallows and, "Ta- taunt!"

    Wishiwashi leaps out of the water to dive bomb Mawile with Calem as collateral. Not only does this plan lure the water Pokémon in, it also prevents him from calling any help. But first, they need to avoid getting squashed underneath the enormous water Pokémon. Thunder fang will be pointless if they can't. Now to think of a solution…

    Calem doesn't turn away from the looming Wishiwashi. The stronger the sense of danger, the more his instincts and thoughts should refine themselves. He can see down Wishiwashi's gullet. He wants to close his eyes, turn away from the danger, but he won't. That would make this set up pointless. He grits his teeth and, "Iron head!"

    Mawile plants her feet on the ground and with a "Maw!", slams her second mouth upward and into the side of Wishiwashi's jaw. The force of her strike changes the angle of Wishiwashi's drop, creating an opening for Mawile and Calem to duck into where they avoid his body slam.

    Calem sees Wishiwashi's shadow pass underneath him. The water Pokémon is right above them… This is the perfect opportunity. He looks up towards the tail, "Thunder fang!"

    Mawile rips Wishiwashi's tailfin off with her attack and tosses the individual wishiwashi back into the ocean. "Taunt, once more!"

    Wishiwashi, enraged from the damage he received and the attack, dive bombs Mawile again. Calem repeats the same tactic as before, this time having Mawile rip off part of his fin.

    "Taunt!" This is a battle against Wishiwashi's intelligence. Repetitive use of this strategy gives the water that many more opportunities to learn and develop a counter. Not using it and letting such a powerful Pokémon call for backup is worse.

    Mawile succeeds in ripping out a few more chucks from Wishiwashi's left side, but the sixth "Taunt!" is ignored. Wishiwashi glares at them and soaks them with mucus and water. Brine, until the mucus dries, Mawile is for all practical purposes a water type Pokémon. Wishiwashi has no intention of getting close to them either.

    "Rock throw." Mawile rips out a piece of the stone from their platform with her second mouth and hurls it at Wishiwashi's left side. The water Pokémon tries to evade, but due to repeated damage to said side, finds he can only swim to the left and into the attack.

    Wishiwashi stops trying to evade the rocks after the second hit and calls for help. Answering the call is an Alomomola.

    "Taunt!" The new comer charges and leaps at Mawile. A "sucker punch" knocks it aside and a "thunder fang" scoops the water Pokémon out of the air. With "Spit up," Mawile throws the Pokémon back at Wishiwashi. Wishiwashi, however, is no longer there to receive the attack.

    "Mawile."

    "Maw!" Mawile nods and they both stop. They shut their eyes and breathe.

    Wishiwashi is circling around behind them. Calem waits for the sound of water breaching, "Iron head!"

    Mawile doesn't waste time turning. She flicks her second mouth to the side and slaps Wishiwashi onto the rocks. "Play rough!" Mawile jumps on the beached water Pokémon and literally tears him apart. When only the original Wishiwashi remains, she picks him up and tosses him into the ocean.

    Calem rubs Mawile's head. "Nice, you were amazing out there." He then shakes his hand the get off the goo he picked up from her head. More than just victory, he also learned something else. Being in danger also serves to focus his mind. It might be better than anger, but it's no substitute for a clear, rational thinking. There's also the problem of how often he will even be in danger.

    With Wishiwashi defeated, the rain stops and the sun appears. Calem and Mawile ride Lapras back to shore where he returns the water Pokémon to Lana. She says, "I… I must say that I find myself at an impasse here. All of the wishiwashi that I so diligently trained up were defeated, and that is very frustrating… but of course I cannot let your completion of my trial go uncelebrated, Calem. The way you faced that totem Pokémon head on was breath taking.

    "Please take this, the waterium Z. Watch, this is how you use it." Lana makes an X with her arms and then separates them to circle them around herself where she then waves them to her sides like in a hula dance. "One more thing, here, this is my special lure. Keep it with you at all times for good luck."

    Lana puts on a serious expression. "By the way. Did you know I once reeled in a red gyarados?" She doesn't shift her eyes and nor does her face twitch.

    "Did you really?"

    Lana turns around to giggle. "Well, what do you think?" She faces Calem upon regaining her composure, "You did a fine job today. Shall I see you back to the Pokémon center of route fi-" A low grumble from her stomach cuts her question short.

    "I'm actually about to stop at café. Want to come?"

    "Yes! Ahem, I mean, of course. Let's be going then."

    Lana sees Calem off with, "Next is Kiawe's trial at Wela Volcano Park. Oh, that reminds me… Did you see any sudowoodo by Paniola Ranch?"

    "I heard there were some around, but I didn't bother to search for them."

    "Well, they were causing some trouble for people, so I gave them a little dose of waterium Z. It was just a little lesson for them. I wonder how they will react now that they see that you have waterium Z, too?" She giggles and says, "Fare well."

    The sudowoodo in question bolt at the sight. A young trainer, brought to laughter at the sight, comments that they're heading towards the Battle Royal Dome. "Maybe they're trying to get stronger?" Calem ignores the comment and continues walking. He wants to get to the next town before nightfall.

    A mudsdale blocks the entrance to Royal Avenue. Calem circles around the ground Pokémon to find Team Skull harassing a trainer. She notices Calem and says, "You there, Trainer. Can you come to my aid?" She's protecting a drifloon from them.

    A Team Skull thug says, "Yo, yo, yo! Don't go turning your backside on us!"

    That phrase. "Yo, yo, yo" strikes a cord within Calem. He gives the two Team Skull thugs a look full of disgust. "Again?"

    The second Team Skull thug says, "You! You're that numskull trainer from Melemele, yo!"

    The trainer gives Calem a look. She says, "These scoundrels are Pokémon thieves. You're on familiar terms with them?"

    "Yeah, comme un exterminateur avec un rat embetants."

    The trainer hears his first word and tunes out the rest that's in French. "I'm Hapu. Life in the big city sure is something else. Pokémon thieves roam about brazenly and trainers interact with them like normal."

    The first Team Skull thug says, "We're not thieves, you! It's a legitimate business!"

    The second Team Skull thug says, "First we get straight messed up on Melemele… Then we get exiled to Akala and get played by some girl… Now this? We ain't going out so easy"

    Hapu clicks her tongue. "Forget it, I'll deal with this myself! Mudsdale!"

    The ground-type Pokémon stomps its hooves and rips through the drowzee and zubat sent out by Team Skull. The two thugs cower upon calling back their Pokémon. "With all these losses, we're gonna anger out bosses!"

    "These tears taste like salt, yo! It's all your fault, yo!"

    Mudsdale snorts and they run off. Hapu jabs a finger into Calem's stomach, "Don't think I forgot about you! Take this as a warning. Keep associating with punks like them and I'll set you straight too." Mudsdale gives Calem a snort before leaving with his trainer to see Drifloon home.

    Rotom says, "Wowzers, looks like you totally gave her the wrong impression! Think we'll run into her again? Zzzzt!"

    Calem continues into the city with a "Probably." The sun hasn't fully set by the time he's finished checking in at the Pokémon center, so he decides to explore the city. Outside the Battle Royal Dome, he recognizes Gladion's blond hair and distinct black hoodie.

    Calem follows him inside and finds that he's registering to compete. Calem is still angry from his recent encounter with Team Skull, but can't decide if it's enough to enter the competition. While still hesitating on what to do, a masked man from above says, "Glad you could make it!"

    Many people cheer and wave as the man descends the stairs with his head held high. "I'm here today, yeah, to spread the word, oh yeah, about Battle Royal! They call me… the Masked Royal! Woo!"

    From the wrinkles at the side of the Masked Royal's mouth, the shape of his teeth, and cut of his goatee, "Professor Kukui?"

    "The Masked Royal! I'm here to teach you, oh yeah, about the battle rules passed down in Alola for generations... The Pokémon Battle Royal. Woo!"

    Calem's flat expression doesn't break as he listens to the Masked Royal's overly dramatic explanation. By the end of the explanation, however, any irritation he had from seeing Team Skull is gone. When the Masked Royal says, "First, just give it a shot! Pick your Pokémon, and let's do this!" Calem's answer is overshadowed by Hau's appearance on the balcony. "Dude! It's the Masked Royal! I wanna battle! The girls won't get enough of me once I battle against you!"

    Masked Royal looks to Gladion, "You there! You just register! Looks like we'll be having fun together in the next match.

    "It's time for a Pokémon Battle Royal! Ready… fight!" Hau and Masked Royal drag Calem into the arena.

    The packed stadium shakes from the crowds cheering as Calem walks out the tyranitar corner. Upon entering the ring, "Cutiefly."

    Hau calls, "Brionne," Masked Royal, "Rockruff," and Gladion, "Type: Null!"

    Calem thinks back to when he and his partners would have thrown themselves into the center of the fry. Cutiefly's small size and speed make her a difficult target, but right now, he rather she stays by the sidelines.

    "Null, charge in there with crush claw!" Gladion's aggression separates him out from Masked Royal and Hau. Whatever drove him to join Team Skull really burns in this match. More than that is his frustration. Loosing really irked him, as if he defines himself through victory. Interesting is the way he clutches his arm. He did the same during their previous battle. Some sort of nervous tick, maybe?

    Masked Royal has Rockruff meet Type: Null head on. Hau keeps his distance and fills the field with bubbles. Their attacks tell a lot about their personalities. Masked Royal is the kind who'll throw himself into the wild and experience new thing to their fullest. Hau looks like he's just being cautious, but when compared to how he behaved in previous battles against Calem, fears committing himself unless he knows he can win.

    Rocks from Rockruff's mane fly about in the bubble covered field, but there's a pattern. Where they go depends on the angle Type: Null receives them in. The air pressure from those rocks, and bubbles popping from the rocks, influence the flow of Brionne's bubbles.

    Neither Calem nor Cutiefly want to sit by without doing anything. He sees the battle field's flow, he can guide Cutiefly though this mine field… but one misread and everything will explode in Cutiefly's face. The weight of that responsibility numbs him. It erases his voice.

    Calem clutches his throat. He wants to command Cutiefly, and she wants to receive a command. Going in is too dangerous. "Sea- sev- sail- sla-" He can't say silver wind. He can't give the command that would be safest. He shuts his eyes and, "Acrobatics!"

    The numerous methods this attack could fail play themselves out in his mind. Each one grows worse the further Cutiefly progress into the maelstrom. He can't make himself watch. But even while looking away, he can't shut out the buzz from her wings.

    The erupting cheer makes everything go silent from the noise. Calem hesitates, but cracks open an eye. The battle ended. Cutiefly is fine, her target Type: Null is limping, but also standing. Rockruff is down at the opposite end of the ring besides the untouched Brionne. Calem releases his breath. The battle is over.

    Outside in the lobby, Masked Royal says, "So what do you think? It's easy to have a fun time with Battle Royal. Woo! You even have a shot at beating real tough opponents this way, yeah?"

    A stranger interrupts. "That was an interesting battle. You, trial goers, both of you held back, but for different reasons it seems. I hope you bring real fire with you to my trial." He walks over once he has everyone's attention. "The name's Kiawe, the fire captain. I'll be waiting on the peak of Wela Volcano."

    Once Kiawe walks way, Masked Royal says, "So! Calem, Hau. How are your trials going? I hope you and your Pokémon are working hard and havin' a blast. Woo!"

    Hau's taken aback by Masked Royal's words. "But, Mr. Masked Royal… How's you even know that we're doing our trials right now? Oh! It must have been our amulets, huh? Well, I'm having a blast. I've gotten to know so many different girls." Hau then turns to Gladion, "Why are you here? Why would you even wanna do a Battle Royal?"

    Gladion gives Hau a cold glance. "Because Null and I have to make it on our own. And I don't ever want to forget that." He turns his back to everyone and leaves.

    Hau says, "…Wow. You're just a ray of sunshine, eh. I think you'd have a lot more fun if you just let yourself have a good time with everybody else. You can do a lot more together, too!"

    Calem says, "Not everyone gets that luxury. Fun and relaxation are pointless when you're trying to survive." He leaves without another word to check into the Pokémon center for the night.
     
  9. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
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    Jun 10, 2017
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 6

    Rotom wakes Calem up the next morning by buzzing around his head. "Come on, let'szzz go! Seemzzz like Wela Volcano Park lies off route 7. Careful you don't end up in any hot water, pal!"

    Calem gets a quick breakfast at the café, stocks up on some supplies at the market, and leaves Royal Avenue. A sign post on the side of the road directs him to Wela Volcano Park. Looking up from the mountain's base, the hike will be a lot easier than he anticipated. Some spots on the trail even have railings. As usual, he runs from wild encounters and ignores fellow trainers. He only stops twice, the first for lunch and the second to set up camp for the night.

    He could go a bit further, but "Amateur mistake." The survival skills he developed during his first adventure were reinforced and improved upon after Kalos fell. The times he was forced to camp out with his friends where a pain, but became useful experiences a year later. "I wish I never had to learn these skills…"

    Calem hugs his violet Pokémon egg to himself as he leans against a rock. He breathes in the aroma of berries and meat he's stewing over a fire; he's doing it just how he was taught, but, "Nothing." At the very least, "it'll be healthy," sans the excess salt used to preserve the meat.

    Calem glances towards some bushes while Mawile and Cutiefly jump to attention. A crunching twig and rustling branches tell Calem everything he needs to know. "Join me if you want."

    A girl with a red beanie and Munchlax with a strange stone around his neck appear from the sea of tall grass. "Phew, really? Thanks! I was planning to wait a bit more before setting up camp, but then the night just feel on me."

    She's a year younger than him by most. "First time adventuring?"

    "Is it that obvious?"

    "Just about everyone makes that mistake. Next is finishing your preparations before the sun finishes setting."

    "Bleh, any others?"

    Calem settles the egg between his legs and passes her a plate of his berry and meat mix along with some bread. Cutiefly settles herself on the girl's shoulder as she accepts the plate. "Scavenging and cooking."

    "Thanks," she makes a sandwich with the meat and dips it in the berry sauce. Her glee upon biting into it must mean it tastes good. She notices him staring, and with berry sauce covering her face, asks, "What?"

    "Just seeing if you like it." Calem says while taking a bite from his plate. "I'm Calem, she's Cutiefly, and she's Mawile."

    "Mahina," she says while dipping her sandwich into the sauce. "And he's Munchlax." She speaks fast and takes another bite of her sandwich. She then lifts her head to puff in and out. Finally, she downs a mouthful of water and sighs out in relief. The way she eats… She's just like Tierno.

    Mahina has a happy carefree personality. At least, that's what Calem judges as he waits for her to finish eating. It's a lot like theirs were when they first set out. He glances towards Munchlax who's pulling out berries from his fur coat and recognizes his stone as a Z-crystal.

    "You're a trial goer?"

    Mahina, who even cleared the berry sauce off her plate, still has her mouth full when he asks. She waves her hand and hurries to swallow.

    "Oh, sorry. Take your time."

    She swallows and despite her face being covered in sauce, gives a bright smile. Her teeth are stained purple. Exactly like Tierno's. "No, no, I'm just a normal trainer. Or, was. A pair of trainers I met the other day, Dexio and Sina, entrusted me with a special mission." From her bag she pulls out an emerald green decahedral with a Z on it. She holds her head up with pride as she says, "To collect the hundred Zygarde cells and cores scattered throughout Alola and gather them into the Z-cube."

    Mahina's smile breaks from Calem's lack of reaction. "I guess you don't really care…"

    "My face isn't very expressive." Calem reaches for his bag and pulls out some green slug like hexagons. He found them during his travels and was going to ask Professor Kukui about them, but this solves that mystery. They fly from his hand and meld into the Z-cube. "Dexio and Sina are friends of mine. They must have a really high opinion of you to entrust you with this mission."

    Mahina shrugs, "Munchlax and I beat Sina in a Pokémon battle?"

    "Pokémon battles can be windows into a trainer's heart and soul if you know how to look. Then again, some people are good at hiding their true nature. So, did they tell you Zygarde's story?"

    "There's a story? Sina said Zygarde is a legendary Pokémon that protects the land of Kalos. Right now the pieces are scattered across Alola, but once they're gathered together again, Kalos will be restored."

    Calem rubs his Pokémon egg while looking up to the stars, "This actually starts some thousand years ago; there was a terrible war in Kalos fought by both human and Pokémon. Of those Pokémon who gave their lives was Floette. When her owner, AZ, received a tiny box with her body, he set off to build a machine to revive his treasured Pokémon. He succeeded, but his rage still burned. AZ, unable to forgive the word for taking his beloved Pokémon away, converted his machine into the ultimate weapon. One shot was all he needed to end the war. His Pokémon, Floette, realized that many other Pokémon had to give up their lives for hers to return. The sadness that knowledge burdened her with made her leave AZ. She'd actually return to fight alongside one final time…"

    Calem glances toward Mahina. She and Munchlax sit at rapt attention. They don't say anything, but their eyes urge him to continue. "A few years back, Team Flare appear in Kalos. Much like Team Skull, they stole and caused petty crimes, but in time, their actions grew bolder. At one point they even took control of a Pokéball production factory." Calem pauses for a moment as he recalls the annoying conveyer belts he had to manipulate to get past the security. "Team Flare's goal was to use the ultimate weapon to wipe out all life on the planet. Their leader, Lysander, was convinced that was the only way to end the mistreatment of Pokémon by human hands. Only he and his chosen few would survive.

    "Just like with Floette's revival, the ultimate weapon needed a lot of energy to function. Team Flare, for this end, searched out the two other legendary Pokémon of Kalos, Yveltal and Xerneas. But, their spy on the Elite Four, Malva, she slipped up right at the last minute. With Team Flare's ambitions discovered, everyone: the champion, the elite four, the gym leaders, and trainers fought to stop it. Two trainers pushed ahead, broke into Team Flare's hideout first, and managed to rescue Yveltal and Xerneas, but not before the ultimate weapon finished charging. Diantha, Wikstrom, Drasna, Siebold, and Professor Sycamore gave their lives to try and stop it from firing. It would have been in vein if Zygarde hadn't appeared. It smothered the ultimate weapon and absorbed most of the blast with its own body. The world was saved, but Kalos fell."

    Mahina speaks with awe, "The Last Night of Kalos… The entire planet shook that day. It was right before my 11th birthday, right when I was getting ready set off on my trial challenge. My mother was so scared that she made me delay my journey until now. But you… you were there…"

    The gentleness within the smile Calem gives Mahina reflects everything he's experienced since then. He and Mahina just met, she's a complete stranger, yet, I'm completely exposing everything to her. His mother doesn't know even know all of this. "A lot of people and Pokémon died that night… I lost almost my entire team: Greninja, Charizard, Lucario, Aegislash, and Tyrantrum. Mawile is the only one left. Even more died during the nightmare that followed… A good friend of mine among them.

    "Anyway, this brings us to the present. The first issue, why is Zygarde here of all places? Second, the current Kalos Champion, Serena, is in Alola."

    "But, you just said the previous champion-"

    "In Kalos, to become champion, you had to overcome the Elite Four and then defeat the current champion. Back then that was Diantha. Afterwards comes a ceremony where the previous champion passes on the mantel. Serena defeated Diantha the day before everything ended. Diantha did pass on her mantel at the last minute, but officially, she died with her title. Now, as I was saying, Zygarde, Serena, and even Yveltal and Xerneas have gathered in Alola. This is just a feeling, but something may be happening here now too."

    Calem puts out the fire with some dirt he set aside earlier and lies down. "Well, I'm going sleep. See you in the morning."

    "Just like that?"

    Calem shrugs, "This is all just paranoia and speculation. You don't have to take it seriously."

    Mahina lays down as well. With her backpack as a pillow, she stares at the stars. After a few moments, "Hey, Calem?"

    "Yeah?"

    "Thanks for telling me that story."

    Calem feels a smile spread across his face. If he were Tierno, he would say, 'Don't worry about it.' He, however, isn't Tierno. He's avoided thinking about him for years. "Thanks for listening."

    "G'night."

    Calem wakes up the next morning feeling refreshed, better than he has in years. Mahina wakes up while he's fishing out bread to eat with the left overs. Cutiefly is still perched on her shoulder. Finding some, he makes a sandwich. An explosion of sweet bitterness goes off on his tongue. He's so shocked, he almost drops his breakfast.

    "Calem?"

    He takes another bite, chews, and swallows. He can taste again…

    "Calem, what's wrong?"

    A weak grin spreads across his face. Looking at Mahina, he's reminded of his encounter with Tapu Koko. That Pokémon stopped to look at him before flying off. That's what that meant. Calem takes off his Z-ring and lobs it towards Mahina. "There's a Pokémon on Melemele Island waiting to meet you."

    Mahina catches the Z-ring and points at herself, "Me?"

    "Hold him for a sec," he passes her his Pokémon egg. He steps back while saying, "Tapu Koko gave that to me with the intention that I'd pass it to you. Your second task is to face the Kakuna and master Z-power."

    "It's pronounced Kahuna, but more than that, I don't even know the first thing about Z-power!"

    "Really, Munchlax already has Z-crystal. Here, watch," Calem crosses his arms to make an X, makes a circle as he spreads them, and shrugs. "Then you do some sort of ritual thing. I can't really use it, myself. A trial captain could probably explain it a lot better. Demander a l'un d'entre eux."

    "What about you?"

    Calem hooks his thumb underneath his shirt to fish out his mega-necklace. "I'm from Kalos. I have to reclaim mega-evolution. Beside, even Cutiefly agrees."

    Mahina blushes upon realizing that Cutiefly is still perched on her shoulder. "This isn't- I'm not- I mean…"

    "Cutiefly was only attracted to me because of my aura, a very negative one at that. If my aura is no longer to her tastes, then that should mean I've become more positive. Well, that or your aura overshadows my negativity…"

    "I'm starting to feel like I'm some sort of thief…"

    "There's a saying, 'Don't say hello unless you're prepared to say goodbye.' I already accepted that something like this would happen sooner or later." Calem turns to Cutiefly, "Don't you go running off on her like this."

    Cutiefly nods.

    Mahina takes a breath and punches Calem's shoulder. "Then you better make sure you reclaim that mega-evolution thing like you said you will!" She then pushes the egg back into Calem's arms.

    She so much like Tierno it's scary. Calem's arms are even starting to shake. No, that's not why his arms are shaking. It's hatching! Scratches come from inside it. Then, cracks appear around the egg's top. They grow wider and deeper from the pressure being applied upward. A pair of large, violet ears break through the shell. The top of egg rises as a furry head of violet and purple with yellow eyes looks into the world. "Noi!"

    Calem holds Noibat to his face, "Congratulation on hatching. I've been waiting years to meet you."

    Mahina hops in place and claps her hands together. "Congratulations, your egg hatched!" After a few moments, they begin to clean up their mess from camping. Once they finish, Mahina says, "I guess I'm off to see Kahuna Olivia and start my island challenge."

    "I'll be continuing forward to resume mine."

    Calem turns to leave, but Mahina stops him with a sudden hug. She grins while saying, "Thanks, really… and good luck."

    Calem is at a complete loss on how to respond. He raises his free arm with some hesitation and closes it around her with some awkward stops in between. He's also clueless as to the amount of pressure to use or for how long to hold the position. He settles for letting go the same time she releases him.

    Mahina looks up at him and says, "You don't hug all that much, do you?"

    Calem shakes his head. "Nope, I forgot people do that."

    Mahina giggles as she steps back. They exchange good-byes once more and go their separate ways.

    Rotom says, "And thatzzz a new friend for you! Don't worry, if you ever want to call her, I have her number."

    "You're also a phone?"

    "That'zzz right… Hey, hey, you look happier. Did meeting her really change you that much? Bzzzt!"

    "Like a lock has been removed from a chain." Calem stops outside the entrance to Kiawe's trial. He places a hand over his heart. A stead beat follows the previous one. "Still, that's only one lock. There's a lot of keys left for me to find." He takes a breath and continues up to the mountain peak.

    Kiawe and three marowak stand on a stone platform surrounded by tiki torches. He notices Calem and says, "Your spirit is different today. Perhaps today you'll present a better version of yourself. My marowak and I are students of the ancient dances that have been passed down in Alola for generations. The trial of Kiawe… You will find that it is a bit different than the trials you have face thus far. Are you ready?"

    "Not like I came here for the sights."

    "My trial will test your powers of observation!"

    "I stand corrected."

    "There will be a dance… and then another. Your task- why do you now make such an expression? Do you find my trial lacking?"

    "My expression?" Calem hands rise to his face as it shifts from disillusionment to curiosity. "For years, everyone's been telling me my face died. Is it… really different from when we first met? I've been stuck with-"

    "Enough, I will not have my trial insulted. Find the differences!"

    He beats on some drums and his three marowak spin their clubs around while walking in a circle. They then stop and strike a pose. They then resume their starting positions, do the same pattern, and strike another pose. Kiawe says, "Well then, what was different?"

    Calem points to the marowak on the right. "He held his club closer to the center on the second attempt which in turn let him spin it faster. His steps were also a bit smaller the second time around." He then points to the marowak on the left. "She went through her routine faster the second time and finished sooner than the others. The flames from her club were also brighter and hotter. As for the middle maro-"

    "Stop, stop, I mean at the end. How do the endings differ from one another? That is the trial."

    "Why didn't you say so? The middle marowak struck a different pose."

    Kiawe averts his gaze and says, "Did you see any other discrepancies while he danced?"

    "First you don't want to know, now you do? Fine, whatever, there weren't any. His moves were exact replicas of themselves."

    The three marowak attack Calem. They form a line and rush him. He acts on instinct, "Mawile, sucker punch!" She stands between the marowak and Calem, taking out each one as they reach her. Each one attacks by swinging their club, but Mawile hits them before they can finish their attacks.

    Kiawe laughs and says, "The marowak were so pleased by your criticism that they simply had to battle you!"

    "That's not a demonstration of happiness."

    "Onward to the second dance!" He beats on some drums and his three marowak spin their clubs around while walking in a circle. They then stop and strike a pose. They then resume their starting position, do the same pattern, and strike another pose. "So, do you see the difference?"

    Calem points at a hiker posing with the marowak, "You mean beside that guy?"

    "Spectacular! And to add to the spectacle… Come my fine hiker!"

    The hiker takes a deep breath and, "Alola!"

    As the hiker sends out Magmar, Calem wonders if he can somehow skip this Z-crystal. He doesn't really need it anymore now that the Z-ring has been given to its rightful owner.

    "Mawile, thunder fang or play rough… Just… just end this, please…"

    "Maw!" She ducks underneath Magmar's flames and slams her second mouth into his stomach. Then, as he bends over, she finishes the match with thunder fang.

    Kiawe says, "My hiker friend was so pleased by your right answer that he simply had to battle you!"

    "You're not bothered that he interrupted their dance?"

    "Onward, to the final dance!" He beats on some drums and his three marowak spin their clubs around while walking in a circle. They then stop and strike a pose. They then resume their starting positions, do the same pattern, and strike another pose.

    The hiker is again posing with the marowak. "I'm going to take a guess here. Is she the totem Pokémon?"

    "Incredible! Come, totem Pokémon!"

    Salazzle takes a breath and, "Salaaa!" Flames burst from her tail as she drops down onto all fours. A burning aura surrounds her as she roars once more.

    The ridiculousness of Kiawe's trial leaves Calem unable to comprehend that Mawile is fighting against Salazzle until after hearing her cry out. Salazzle released a toxit spit and, seeing that it had no effect, now prepares a flame burst. Mawile can't do anything about it either because she's busy fighting a salandit. Salazzle then releases her flame burst at Mawile's exposed back.

    He rebukes himself. He never would have let himself get so caught up in the moment and distracted or muddleheaded before. But, now that he's here, what should he do? Salazzle is the more dangerous Pokémon, more so when her ability to call for help is considered, so she should be defeated first. Should Mawile go to her, or call her over? Both methods could end in disaster.

    "Maw!" Mawile cries out as she takes another hit.

    Mawile won't be able to shake off Salandit to attack Salazzle, therefore, "Taunt!"

    Salazzle, enraged, pounces for Mawile. Mawile, understanding Calem won't be able to make his next decision in time, knocks Salazzle aside with iron head. She then scoops up Salandit while he's still surprised at what just happened with vice grip and throws him aside. She then lures Salazzle in again with taunt and defeats her with sucker punch.

    Mawile walks back to Calem's side with her head held high. He rubs her head with a "Great going."

    Kiawe says, "You have keen observations, yet hesitate in battle. Just like your attitude, your fire is weak! That is my observation. Still, the totem Pokémon was defeated. She was carrying a firium Z. It is yours now."

    Calem accepts the Z-crystal and watches Kiawe's demonstration. He raises his arms above his head, lowers them, and then raises them again so he can lower them into a fighting pose. Kiawe's parting words are, "My belief is that the secret of Z-power lies in dance."

    Calem thanks Kiawe and leaves. His concept of dance differs on what he's seen on the island. Unlike the ridged and structured style he learned in Kalos, dance is much freer and relaxed in Alola. From what he saw at the festival when he first arrived, Everyone moves like water.

    He shrugs and calls out Noibat. As a just hatched Pokémon, he still needs to learn how to fly. He cups the flying Pokémon and tosses him upward. The little bat flaps his wings, but can't catch any wind with them. Calem chuckles as he catches the Pokémon. He waits for Noibat to get ready and he tosses him upward again. Once Noibat gets the hang of what he's doing, they'll be able to practice further distances. Their descent down the mountain side will provide many opportunities to do so.

    Night falls by the time they reach the bottom of the mountain.

    Calem wakes up the next day in one of Royal Avenue's, Pokémon center's, trainer beds. He tosses the pillow within his arms aside and cups his head within a palm. After years of holding Noibat's egg, getting used to not sleeping with it is going to be hard. That problem, however, has nothing to do with his growing irritation. He cannot forget the dream he just had; Hapu rode off atop of Mudsdale.

    He reaches for his Rotom-dex. "Rotom, were can I catch a ponyta?"

    "Sorry, they're not native to Alola. Bzzt!"

    Calem clicks his tongue. After a moment, he says, "Call my home…"

    His mother answers a few moments later, "Calem? What's wrong?"

    "I… Can you get me a ponyta?"

    His mother laughs at the other end. "Finally coming back to racing, are you? That's great! You got bucked off and now you're finally climbing back onto the reins."

    "Jamais quitte! I was just busy with other things…"

    She laughs again, "I was worried at first, but this journey really is doing you good. Fine, leave this to your mother. You'll have the best steed by tomorrow!"

    "That fast?"

    "Of course! Who do you think I am? I'm Grace, Rhyhorn Racer Champion! I'll call you later tonight about the details. Bye!"

    Calem hangs up with a, "Merci…" and gets out of bed. After a quick breakfast in the café, he proceeds for route 7 and then route 8. Although he still avoids trainer battles, he does stop to fight some of the wild Pokémon. Lana's gift turns out to be very helpful. The magikarp it draws in from the sea make excellent partners for Noibat.

    He stops at a mobile home belonging to the Aether Foundation for lunch. According to a person inside, the Aether Foundation, "Works to protect Pokémon through conservation. We accomplish our goal by knowing as much as we can about them such as how they live. A lot of the Pokémon here were hurt by Team Skull." She then gestures to a tailless slowpoke on an examination table.

    He reaches route 5 and Lush Jungle a few hours later. Mallow waits for him with a smile at the entrance, "Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to Lush Jungle, the trial grounds for me, Mallow!"

    "Stop, there's no one else around, quit pretending to be nice to me."

    Mallow's smile falls flat. "You're more perceptive than I gave you credit. Fine, I'll admit it, I hate your attitude. You brushed past everyone who called out for a battle on route 8. Heck, you practically ran from that rising trainer. The only battles you fought were against magikarp. You're nothing more than a rude coward. Well? Say something."

    Calem shrugs, "I can't really refute that…"

    Mallow's hands move to her hips as her frown deepens. "I cannot understand just what Tapu Koko saw in you to warrant a sparkling stone. My trial? Find me a mago berry, a tiny mushroom, a revival herb, and a miracle seed in this forest. Shouldn't be too hard with those eyes of yours, right? You have until the sunset two hours from now. Go on! Shoo!"

    Calem finds a tiny mushroom around the bend underneath some rocks. The foreign aid provided to Kalos after it feel was nowhere near enough for its remaining population. As a result, scavenging for supplies became a very common practice. Where certain things grow, what is edible, and how to prepare them, all skills he and his friends mastered. If only everyone could have embraced such an honest life style…

    The final ingredient, at least Calem believes he's gathering ingredients for a meal, is a revival herb. He plucks it from the middle of a shaded field and returns to Mallow at the jungle's entrance.

    Mallow examines the items and says, "Wow, that was fast, it hasn't even been an hour. I really want to accuse you of cheating, but these really are from the forest."

    "I found Calem to be cool and focused, even if a bit quiet and abrasive." Lana says while entering the jungle. She carries a rocky helmet filled with water.

    Kiawe is with her carrying a thick club and a rare bone. "My opinion is not so positive, or biased, but I found nothing with which to fault him as Ilima warned."

    Mallow goes "hump," but smiles. "My observations weren't so positive. Still, time for the second part of my trial. Calem, we'll be cooking food to lure out the Lush Jungle totem Pokémon." She proceeds to mix all the ingredients within the rocky helmet. She then passes the rare bone and thick club to Calem and says, "Pound everything to a pulp."

    Calem looks at the two tools and begins to beat everything inside the helmet. After a few minutes, Mallow says, "Grind it," and Calem begins to grind the forming paste into goo. As a unique aroma wafts into the air, Calem tosses Mawile's primer ball over his shoulder, "Sucker punch."

    "Lu-rahhhhh!" The Pokémon cries out.

    Calem turns around to find Mawile using fire fang against a giant Lurantis. Judging from the grass Pokémon's arms, the way she can attack is limited to downward and diagonal slashes along with forward strikes. Then again, Lurantis could hold her arms that way to make him reach that conclusion for a surprise attack. Should he risk luring her-

    "Taunt!" Calem surprises himself with the sudden order, but Mawile complies. The impulsiveness of his order leaves his mind exploring the various options of how to respond and what could go wrong with each one. Mawile could catch Lurantis's attack with vice grip to yank her off balance, but the grass Pokémon might still be able to reach Mawile. Another method would be to meet the attack with ice fang, but Lurantis might be faster and hit Mawile first. The safest method is still sucker punch. Even if Lurantis can predict the attack, anything she does will be weakened by the sucker punch.

    Mawile stands firm to take the attack with iron defense before Calem can give his order. Her action leaves him speechless. He wants to shut his eyes, but refuses to abandon his Pokémon. He forces himself to watch Mawile take Lurantis's attack with her own body. Mawile, instead of being blown away, grabs Lurantis's claws with her hands and smacks the grass Pokémon across the face with iron head.

    Mallow says, "Wow, that was intense! You didn't even give Lurantis enough time to draw out her Z power..."

    Kiawe says, "Agreed, your spirit today burned much brighter than during my challenge. Still, your flame isn't hot enough for the island challenge. You will fail if you stay as you are."

    Lana says, "You should have seen him during my challenge. Remembering how he fought the wishiwashi I trained still takes my breath away."

    Mallow says, "Despite my personal opinions, I acknowledge that you managed to clear my trial and have thus earned the grassium Z. This is how you use it." Mallow crosses her arms, brings them to her side, drops down, pushes her fist against her hand, maintains the tension while rising up, and then spreads them apart with a hop, "And that's it." She then looks down to the food she and Calem prepared. "No use letting it go to waste. Come on guys, let's dig in."

    Lana and Kiawe run off screaming "water!" after two bites. Mallow looks Calem over with a click of her tongue, "The heat doesn't bother you? Oh wait, you can't taste anything, can you?"

    "Spice isn't a flavor. Spice works by triggering pain receptors in the tongue while also releasing endorphins in the brain. It was one of the few things I could experience, so I've ended up building a high tolerance after leaving Kalos. Still, I'll admit that this dish is a lot more flavorful than what I'm used to."

    Calem gets a phone call as he leaves the jungle. "Paniola Ranch… Tomorrow around noon? C'est rapide! Yes… thank you." He spends the night at the Pokémon center and sets off for the ranch after a quick breakfast in the café early next morning.

    He's in such a hurry, he almost crashes into Lana who is outside stretching. He encountered her while off to take a shower the previous night. Turns out both of them had decided to stay in the same Pokémon center. She says, "Oh, good morning. You're up early."

    "You were up before me."

    Lana covers her giggle with a hand. "I come from a family of fishermen. Waking up early is a habit. What's your reason?"

    A strange feeling creeps over Calem as he answers. The feeling is unsettling at first, but becomes soothing after a few moments as he recalls past experiences. A gentle smile comes to him. "My mother was a Ryhorn racer. She'd take me to the stables every day when I was younger. I eventually became a trainer, but then some other stuff happened so I still had to wake up early. Well, seeing the stars give way to the morning light has a charm to it."

    Lana giggles again, "It does, one that you missed today. You appear to be in a hurry, headed to any place in particular?"

    "Paniola Ranch."

    She brushes some hair behind her ear while saying, "Ah, that's along the way to my home in Konikoni City. Would you mind if I accompany you?"

    "Sure, although half my attention is going to be on this guy."

    "Noi!" Noibat gives a sleepy cry as he's called from his Pokéball. He climbs up onto Calem's shoulder and resumes sleeping.

    "He's so cute."

    A few hours later, Noibat lands on Lana's head. He grabs her headband to keep from falling. She laughs while cupping the little bat into her hands and tosses him upward the same way Calem has been doing. Noitbat catches the wind underneath his wings and glides circles above their heads as they continue for Paniola Ranch. He has to flap his little wings a few times every minute, but stays aloft.

    Lana says, "He's gotten better."

    Noibat stumbles on a sudden breeze and tumbles out of the air. Calem catches him before he crashes into Lana's head. He places Noibat on his shoulder, "And you jinxed it. Guess that's enough for now."

    Lana stares at Calem's face. He matches her gaze and says, "What?"

    "You're different from when we first met, and your Z-ring is gone too. I've been wondering, but is there a connection? At first I was worried you might have given up your journey, but that fear, I'm glad, was baseless."

    Calem looks to his wrist. "I met its proper owner and passed it along. She… it wasn't intentional, but she helped me come to term with somethings. Well, you'll be meeting her soon enough yourself."

    "Hmm, for you to go that far, she must be an incredible person."

    "Maybe? It's not like we actually battled one another, but some friends of mine acknowledged her strength."

    "You're not making any sense."

    Calem gives a wry smile with a shrug. "Yeah, that senselessness is exactly what I'm trying to clear up on this journey."

    "Ah, Paniola Ranch, looks like this is where we part. Well then, I hope you find the answers you're looking for. Farewell for now."

    Calem waves goodbye and continues for the pasture. "Calem!" His mother waves him over from a stable. "Your timing couldn't have been any better." Inside is a ponyta surrounded by blue flames. The fire Pokémon snorts, neighs, and turns his head. "This little spit fire arrived just an hour ago. His pedigree is guaranteed, but no one's been able to break him in. My old sponsors were all too happy to pass him along to me."

    Calem picks up a brush and starts grooming Ponyta midway through his mother's introduction. Seeing his concentration, an expression different from the impassiveness he's been displaying for the past few years, relieves her worries. "I'll just leave the two of you to get acquainted."

    Calem makes small talk with Ponyta as he prepares him. He brushes Ponyta's entire coat, cleans his hooves, and feeds him a carrot before prepping Ponyta's back for a saddle.

    …..

    Grace sits back against the pasture's fence underneath the shade of a tree. As expected, her son prepares Ponyta with a bitless bridle. After what happened in Kalos, his dislike towards bit bridles must borderline hatred.

    Ponyta lets Calem mount him before leaping forward and kicking up his back legs to buck him off. Calem floats upward from his saddle, but keeps his hands on the reins and feet within the stirrup. Ponyta's bounds get higher and farther, but Calem keeps his hold regardless of the whiplash.

    "I never realized Calem was your son when he stopped to help out, Grace. No wonder he could calm Tauros down like that." The ranch owner says.

    "Oh no, I only taught him the heart to riding. Anything other than that is beyond me. I am a Ryhorn Racer, after all. My sponsors are the ones who took care of finding professional Rapidash and Ponyta race teachers for him. As for battling, that's something he learned on his own."

    The ranch owner laughs and slaps his daughter's back, "That boy there is grade A material. Forget that other kid you saw the other day and try ta seduce him instead."

    "Dad!" The Pokémon breeder blushes a deep red.

    Grace laughs and says, "I'm all for it if you can get him back to riding."

    "There, see, even his mother approves."

    The Pokémon breeder says nothing as her face turns into an even deeper shade of red.

    "Ah!" says a blue haired girl peeking out from behind a tree. Her shocked expression gives Grace an idea as to what happened. Sure enough, upon checking, Ponyta finally succeeded in throwing off Calem. Calem rotates his arms upon getting up and walks towards Ponyta's side. Ponyta snorts, but holds still to let Calem hop on again. The blue haired girl's bafflement to the unfolding scene makes Grace laugh.

    She hops off from the fence and sneaks up behind the girl. "Curious about riding?"

    "Ah!" The girl waves her arms out at her sides before bringing them back together before herself. "N-no, I- I'm just watching. Calem is a… an acquaintance of mine. He mentioned having business here, and I just happened to be in the area, so I just thought…"

    Grace laughs and says, "That's alright, that's alright. You don't have to explain yourself."

    "Ahem, thank you… There is one thing I don't understand. Ponyta let Calem mount him, but now tries to buck him off. Does Ponyta want Calem to ride him or not?" She winces as Calem is thrown off again.

    "They're just testing each other out. This ponyta is pretty prideful, he refuses to accept rude, spineless, or weak riders. All Calem's got to do now is prove his strength."

    The ranch head walks over with a, "Lana, what brings you here today?"

    Lana flusters herself, "Oh, I was just nearby and- and, I'm also fri- I mean acquainted with Calem and- and- oh, he said that he had business here so- so I..."

    Grace laughs and says, "What is your relation to my son, Lana?"

    "Yo- you- your son! He- he came to my trial the other day. Se-see, I'm a trial captain and he, as a tr-trainer, na- naturally had to come challenge mine. I- I did think that he was really cool during my trial, bu- but that isn't-"

    Grace cuts Lana of with her laughter and says, "Is that so? I always thought I'd be saying this to Serena, but maybe should I start calling you my daughter-in-law instead?"

    Lana's arms wave at her side. "N-no, no, no! We- we're not like that. Re- really, we're not!"

    The Pokémon breeder comes to Lana's rescue by pointing at the field. "Ponyta's trying something else."

    Ponyta's mane burns bright blue as he takes off at full speed. The flames lick Calem's arms, but spread out to blaze around his body. Grace says, "Ponyta must have realized he can't buck Calem anymore. All Calem has to do is take control here and it's over."

    Lana says, "Umm, excuse me, but you're Grace, the Ryhorn Racer Champion, correct? My grandfather is a huge fan of yours… If you don't mind, could I have your autograph for him?"

    "Of course."

    "Lana?" Calem strolls up to them atop of Ponyta as Grace gives Lana her autograph. "Something wrong? I thought you already left."

    "Oh-oh, no. No-nothing is wrong. There was something I forgot to do, that's all. I- I finished it and thought I'd stop by."

    Grace and the ranch head exchange knowing glances at Calem's, "Oh." She says to her son, "So, you break Ponyta in? How is he?"

    "Amazing, the speed he gets, it feels like we're flying."

    Grace claps her hands together. "That's great! Then how about taking Lana for a ride after lunch? She looked really curious while watching you."

    Calem turns to Lana who's holding her bright red face within her hands. "You really want to?" At Lana's shy nod, he dismounts Ponyta with a, "Cool, actually, we could probably give you lift to... Konikoni City, you said? "

    "Tha-thanks."

    Grace says, "Right, that reminds me. Calem, since you'll pretty much be lugging all the equipment yourself, I didn't bring you a saddle. You'll have to make do with that bitless bridle and a fastener around Ponyta's body to support the stirrup. Got that, Lana? There isn't going to be any support to sit on, so make sure you hold Calem really tight, okay?"
     
  10. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 7


    Ponyta stops outside Diglett's Tunnel. Calem wonders if he rode too fast as he looks down at Lana. She rides side straddle in front of him to keep from falling. When they first set off, she tried to maintain some distance, but now leans against him with her eyes squeezed shut. Yet, despite how tight her arms are wrapped around him, she doesn't appear upset.

    Lana loosens her grip around Calem and peeks open her eyes. She doesn't, however, remove herself from him. "We're here?"

    "Don't sound so happy. Ponyta can easily go over this mountain and drop you at home."

    Lana shakes her head and slides off of Ponyta's back. "N-no, Konikoni City isn't far from here. But more than that, my sisters would never stop bringing it up. But, I am thankful that you brought me this far. Riding together with you was… an experience. I'll be going, I'll see you again." She waves and enters the cave.

    Calem continues down the road at a slower pace atop of Ponyta. Professor Kukui called earlier asking him to stop by the Dimensional Research Lab in Heahea City. Apparently, there's something he wants him to see. He hears Lillie shouting just as he reaches the building's entrance. "Go, Nebby! Use… use splash!"

    He sees Serena giggling as he round the gate. She says, "You may want to use tackle attack instead."

    "Pew?"

    Lillie sighs, "I was just trying to act like you and Calem. Nebby… Nebby always seems to end up getting hurt. So I never really liked Pokémon trainers or thought that I'd want to become one myself. But when I see you, Calem, and even Hau, it's like some door has been thrown open I always thought closed. The way you three stride straight through into the future is just amazing."

    Nebby notices Calem dismounting Ponyta and drifts over to him with a, "Pew?"

    Lillie turns and, "Oh! Ca-Calem, how long have you been there?"

    Calem stops removing the bridle and stirrups from Ponyta and throws out his hand with an over dramatic pointing of his finger. His voice is monotone, but he still drags out each words, "Go, Nebby."

    Lillie's embarrassment changes into shock. Serena, however, hurries to Ponyta's side. She searches Calem's bag for a brush and scrubs Ponyta's fur. She says, "There are no carrots… Calem, years have gone by since the last time, take me riding later."

    Calem gives an awkward smile at Serena's comment. "Ponyta only knows how to go fast."

    Lillie says, "By the way, Calem, I feel like it's been a while since we last met. Thank you for introducing me to Serena, she's been very kind to me. Th- there's a laboratory here that studies the dimensions, did you know? The professor is waiting inside to meet you! How… how were your trials? It must be quite trying to do three in a row."

    Serena says, "Are they different from collecting the 8 gym badges?"

    Calem furrows his eyebrows as he thinks back on his journey. "They are if you compare each trial as a gym challenge. The trials are more like sections of the journey from getting a Pokémon to reaching the league. They're a lot like the daily, every day, struggles trainers and their Pokémon go through on their adventures."

    Lillie says, "Goodness, then tackling all three of Akala Island's trials were no trouble for you? I suppose that explains it. The reason Ponyta looks so content and has such faith in you, I mean."

    Lillie then leads Calem and Serena in to the building. As they reach the door, Rotom says, "Off to the Dimensional Research Lab! Zzzp! Though the dimensions of my 'Dex are perfect…"

    The joke gets a giggle from Serena. "What a lively Rotom-dex."

    "Lady, you szzzure know your szztuff. Bzzt."

    Professor Kukui meets them in the lobby. Upon riding the elevator up to the laboratory, he steps out and waves his hands, "Hey there, honey!"

    The head scientist, Calem assumes from her attire, turns to them. "Oh, hi!"

    Professor Kukui introduces her to Calem and Serena. "This here's Professor Burnet. She runs the Dimensional Research Lab, yeah…"

    Serena presses him with a hard stare, "And?"

    "And she's also my wife!"

    "That's amazing! Professor Sycamore always said never marrying was one of his biggest regrets. I believe that that is why he always treated us as his children."

    Professor Burnet says, "Professor Sycamore, we met a few times. He was always calm and well-mannered no matter what my husband did. The two of you must be Calem and Serena. Lillie has told me a lot about you. She claims you're both very reliable.

    "Three months ago… I found Lillie lying on the beach. Cosmog in her bag also unconscious." She looks around, "Hm? No Hau today?"

    Professor Kukui says, "Hau? He's out doing his own thing. But he'll be the real deal someday… He could even become a Kahuna, just like old Hala before him!"

    "You really think so?" Hau's voice surprises Lillie, Professor Kukui, and Professor Burnet. He must have taken the stairs since the elevator didn't sound off.

    Professor Kukui says, "Whoa-ho! Well, yeah, I really do."

    Professor Burnet says, "Good to see you again, Hau! It's been a while since I last saw you. Any luck finding a girlfriend?"

    Hau's eyes shift towards Lillie and Serena, but instead of answering, he chuckles.

    Professor Kukui says, "Anyhow, I brought Calem and Hau here because I wanted you to tell them about some of the mysterious phenomena here in Alola."

    "I'd be happy to! Now, if you're talking about Alola's mysteries, you've got to mean the ultra-wormhole!"

    Calem and Serena speak in complete synchronization even down to their emphasis and intonation. "The ultra wormhole?"

    Professor Burnet chuckles and continues. "It's extremely rare, but sometimes a hole opens in the sky over Alola. It appears that this rift leads to a different and unknown dimension. We think there may be a mysterious dimension because of the legends of fearsome Pokémon appearing from the ultra wormhole."

    "Pew!"

    "It's very weak as proof, but we can't ignore it. There is also plenty of evidence already in the Pokédex for the existence of different dimensions."

    Hau says, "Fearsome Pokémon…?"

    Professor Brunet says, "Normal wild Pokémon sometimes attack people, right? Well, the Pokémon that appeared from the ultra wormhole went way beyond that. They were called Ultra Beasts… and they were feared. If the stories are to be believed, the guardian deities of the islands fought desperately against them. But like I said, it's all legends and folktales. We can't know how much is true. I would be very happy if I could somehow unravel the mysteries of the ultra wormhole by studying the dimensional disturbances!"

    Calem's hand slides to his black Pokéball as he glances towards Serena. Her eyes meet with his in confirmation. She says, "Those stories are probably true. Kalos had a similar myth about a Pokémon known as Zygarde. A protector of the ecosystem, he would appear during times of great danger. True to the story, he sacrificed himself to protect the world from Team Flare's ultimate weapon. Calem, did something more just occur to you?"

    "Maybe… I met a trainer the other day. She told me Zygarde wasn't destroyed, just broken down and scattered about Alola. She going around collecting its cells and cores on behalf of Sina and Dexio. There's one thing that's been bothering me, though. Out of the entire planet, why are Zygarde's pieces just here? That blast should have spread the pieces into the regions surrounding Kalos."

    Professor Brunet says, "You think the ultra wormhole is involved."

    "The ultimate weapon was powered by two powerful Pokémon. When it fired… I wouldn't be surprised if it could blast through to another dimension."

    Serena says, "But, if Zygarde was involved, then other legendary and mythical Pokémon could have also been helping behind the scenes. Hoopa could have captured his pieces and sent them here. Although, one important question arises in both scenarios."

    Professor Burnet says, "You mean, why Alola? If either of those reason are true, then the ultra wormholes may be involved."

    "You were there…" Hau speaks in a low voice. He looks to Calem and says, "You also fought in the Last Night of Kalos."

    "Pretty much everyone in Kalos was involved in one way or another."

    "No, you were there. What you just said, you saw everything happen. In a battle where the best of Kalos were involved, you fought too. Where's your team who fought alongside you? I gotta battle them! Come on, let's battle! I want a real challenge against you this time."

    A moment passes and everyone but Hau picks up on the sudden mood shift. Calem's arm twitches as he stops himself from breaking Hau's nose. He takes a breath and forces his fist to uncurl. In the end, he shrugs, "You'd have a better chance of falling into an ultra worm hole than matching against them."

    Calem turns to Professor Burnet. He speaks with an natural sweetness that makes wonder if he's messing with them or if he ate something strange. "It was really nice meeting you, and I do wish you the best of luck, but I need to start preparing for Kakuna Oliva's trial. It's the grand trial, after all. Au revoir."

    …..

    Inside the Dimensional Lab, Hau cups his chin. "Actually, I can't really picture Calem being that strong. He should easily be beating me, but I've won every match so far. Hey, Serena, how exactly di-"

    A loud cracking sound echoes within the lab as Serena slaps Hau. The anger in her glare silences everyone. "Do you think of anything other than yourself?" She turns to Professor Kukui, "Calem left without saying anything, but does he actually know where to find Kahuna Olivia?"

    "Probably not, yeah. If you're going to go look for him, cousin, let him know that her home is in Konikoni City. One more thing, he doesn't have to face her today or anything. Oliva has already waited a few days for him to collect his Z-crystals, she won't mind waiting a few more, woo!"

    Serena nods and heads for the elevator. Lillie enters with her as the door opens. Before Serena can says anything, Lillie says, "That was weird. Nebby and I are worried."

    "Pew!"

    "He's always so impassive about everything. Today's the first I've ever seen him so… animated or interested in anything. But now, he… that just wasn't… he felt wrong." Lillie puts her hands together before her chest, "In Kalos… did he… did his Pokémon…"

    Serena stops Lillie by placing a hand upon her shoulder. "You are a kind person. Let us just say Calem and I were almost in each other's places."

    "I… I see. Then, do you know where we could probably find him?"

    Serena starts to answer as they leave the building, but an overwhelming sight shocks her into silence. A giant hole made of blue and purple light is in the sky. It closes in on itself after a few seconds, leaving both her and Lillie speechless. A few minutes pass before Serena can find her voice. "As- as I was saying. Calem will have mounted Ponyta and is now riding him wherever the road leads. He will not stop until he finds a quiet place to be by himself. Honestly, we would never find him; I just wanted an excuse to leave. The best we can do is leave Calem alone. He will come to us once he has calmed down."

    "Then… then what should we do?"

    "We still have yet to visit the ruins. Today we can travel Diglett's Tunnel, take a quick survey of the area, spend a night in the Pokémon center, and return to explore the ruins in depth at dawn."

    "What should we do about the ultra tunnel we just saw? Should we tell Professor Burnet?"

    "There is nothing we can do about it and their machines must have picked it up. Besides, I do not want to go back in there at the moment."

    Serena and Lillie walk through Diglett's Tunnel in casual chitchat. Lillie gasps upon reaching the top of some stairs and dives behind a stalagmite. Further ahead, a pair in white uniforms converse about how the diglett uprising "is finally being quelled." One of them notes Serena and calls out to her, "Oh! Alola! We're members of the Aether Foundation. We work to support Pokémon conservation. Team Skull did something to rile up the diglett in this cave."

    The other Aether Foundation member says, "Team Skull really is a batch of troublemakers. They delight in interfering with trainers and their Pokémon. Diglett normally live in elaborate systems of underground tunnels that take years to dig out. We're here to ensure that they return to their tunnels and let people pass through here without having to fight against each other so much."

    "Well, we need to get back to work. Be careful, now."

    Serena says to Lillie, "You can stop hiding, they have left. They appear alright, but did they do something to you?"

    Lillie is cut off from answering by a Team Skull thug. Two of them step forward, one male and the other female. "Man… Things were heatin' up and then I got surrounded by diglett and beat up, yo! Yo, since when can diglett use beat up? Now I'm in the mood to beat some fools up myself, yo! Don't be mad 'cause you're the fool dumb enough to be here right now."

    Serena places herself between Lillie and two Team Skull thugs. Furry laces her calm demeanor. "I am not in the mood."

    The female Team Skull thug wags a finger. "Hold up, there. I don't like your attitude. You'll be taking us both on, now."

    The first Team Skull thug says, "Yo, wait up. That cape, yo… don't that make her the chick who harassed our compatriots the other day. Yo, taking her out s'gonna make the boss super happy! Let's do this, yo!"

    Serena calls out "Absol" while clutching her mega-necklace. "I will show you the same thing I showed them!" A white light surrounds Absol as he mega-evolves, "Night slash!"

    Mega-Absol tears through their Salandit and Fomantis. The two Team Skull thugs call back their Pokémon, but before they can complain, Serena says, "Psycho cut!" The two scream and run away. "Make them regret everything they have done, Absol!"

    Lillie reaches out to Serena with some hesitation. Even Nebby trembles from the anger and hostility on her face. Lillie works up her nerve and touches Serena's shoulder. "Se- Serena? Serena, it's over. They're gone…"

    "Li- Lillie?" Serena says, remembering herself. She hugs Absol who returns to her side and says, "Sorry, I showed you something unsightly. Hau was just so thoughtless. He does not know the truth, so I cannot blame him, but still! Thinking about it makes me so mad…"

    As they trek through the cave, Serena fights off wild Pokémon with Chesnaught and Vaporeon. Many trainers call out to challenge her, but back off upon seeing her champion's mantel. Lillie says, "That cape must really be useful when you're in a hurry."

    "I hate it. People would always ask me to battle back when I was a random trainer. Now they are too afraid to even speak to me. Then there is all the invitations to visit different events, give speeches, and act as a representative for Kalos. I cannot do anything without first considering how it might affect my reputation or standing because that in turn reflects on the Pokémon league."

    "It's that heavy of a burden?"

    "I am the Final Champion of Kalos. My actions will influence the finishing touches to Kalos's legacy."

    A silence falls among the two as they enter Tapu Lele's Ruins of Life. Upon climbing up the stairs to the shrine, Lillie says, "I can't even begin to imagine the weight of that responsibility. My mother always insisted on deciding everything for me. She never even let me choose my own clothes. Learning more about Nebby… I mean Cosmog, was the first decision I ever made. That was three months ago.

    "I wanted to consult Professor Burnet, but got lost along the way and ended up wandering about until I collapsed on the shore… She listened to my story, staying up all night to hear it all. And then she even got her husband, Professor Kukui, to lend me his loft to stay in… And she told him to help me investigate Nebby's origins, too. Professor Burnet has been so kind, and she's still helping me try to find a way to get Nebby back to its own home… She's been like… like a real mother to me."

    The emotion in Lillie's tangent tells Serena more than the girl intended. Her decision to see Professor Burnet lead her into running away from home. Most likely, it was to protect Nebby. Everything she does is out of concern for that Pokémon.

    Lillie sighs, "Well, we came, but I still haven't learned anything more about Nebby…"

    Serena places a hand upon Lillie's shoulder. "Do not worry, this is only the temple. We should come back tomorrow and search the surroundings. There might be some clues hidden around."

    …..

    Calem brushes Ponyta's fur from atop of a rock within the deepest area of Brooklet Hill. The fire Pokémon gives a relaxed "neigh' and lowers his head to drink from the lake. Off on the side, Noibat practices flight maneuvers against Mawile. Calem isn't watching, but can hear them. Mawile lugs her second mouth at Noibat, but doesn't put any power behind her blows. This way, if the flying Pokémon reacts too slow and gets hit, he won't get hurt.

    "Calem? What are you doing-" Lana calls out to him. A ride Charizard is behind her. She starts running up to him but breaks at four feet away with her hand flying up to her nose. "Are there grimer and muk nearby? This is one of the cleanest springs on Akala Island…"

    Calem looks himself over and then turns to his small campsite underneath a tree. "No, that's probably just me. I've been camping out here for the past few days and lost track of time."

    "What? Why? The Pokémon center isn't that far from here. Where you trying to catch Kyogre? That was just a joke."

    "I just felt like camping out."

    "So you came here?"

    Calem points at the lake, "It has fresh water."

    Lana covers her mouth with her hand as she giggles.

    "That wasn't a joke…"

    "No, but still, the way you said that, it was funny. Actually, I came out here to get some fish for supper. I'm going fishing with my father and grandfather tomorrow morning and we need something to boost our energy. If you're free… maybe… perhaps you'd like to join us? You could come over today to meet everyone and get yourself cleaned up. You really should get yourself cleaned up…"

    Calem thinks back to Professor Kukui's rickety boat. He was rendered useless the entire time it was out on the sea. "I don't do well with ships."

    "You can help out by riding Lapras together with me. Our job will be helping guide the net out across the current. Then when it's full, we close it and bring it back to the ship."

    Calem can't make himself say, "no" to the eagerness shining from Lana eyes. "Sure, sounds like fun. But seriously, I can't handle ships."

    A relieved and bright smile spreads across Lana's face. "Great, then once I get enough fish, we can head to Konikoni City. I'll ride Charizard, you take Ponyta, and we can meet at the city entrance. From there we can walk the rest of the way."

    Lana opens the door to her house a few hours later. Calem walks in carrying the fish she caught. The stench helps mask his odor, or at least, that's what Lana said when she passed it to him. She points to a cooling box in the entry way and says, "You can dump everything in there." She enter the house and says, "I brought a friend to help out with the fishing tomorrow, is the shower free?"

    Her mother's reply comes from within the house. "Yes, your father already finished."

    Lana drags Calem down the hall and shoves him into the bathroom. "We'll be in the living room when you're finished. Oh, and be careful. Krabby sometimes crawl out of the drain."

    Calem steps out cleaned and refreshed ten minutes later. The living room, he recalls, is down the hall. Two little girls with blue hair step out from one of the rooms. One says, "Hey, a stranger! There's a stranger in the house." The other one says, "He must be sissy's friend. Are you friends with sissy?" They then take him by the hands and say, "Come on, we'll take you to sissy." They lead him into the living room and says, "Sissy, we found your friend."

    Lana's mother and father grow quiet the moment they see Calem. They give their daughter a glance and then start looking him over. She never told them her "friend" is a boy.

    Calem, doesn't notice. His attention is instead drawn to the wall. "Why are there so many pictures of my- ahem, Ryhorn Racer, Grace?" Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, a poster of her next to Ryhorn, and even an autograph decorate the wall. One picture makes him cringe. His mother, during her teenage years, is posing in a bikini. He did not need to see that.

    Lana's grandfather looks up from the fishing rod he's fixing. "You know Grace? She hasn't raced in years. For you to know of her… you're either a bigger race fan than me or you've met her in person."

    Calem stays silent for a moment. "We… know each other, yes."

    "I'd give my right arm to just shake hands with her. How did you meet?"

    "She's… she taught me the basics of riding."

    Lana's grandfather gets up and clasps Calem's shoulder. "What's your name, kid? Feel free to stay here as long as you'd like. Any friend of Grace's is a friend of mine."

    "Ca- Calem."

    "Calem, it's good to meet you. I've heard that Grace has moved to Alola just recently. If you ever get the chance, please introduce me to her."

    "I'll… see what I can do…"

    Lana's father shakes his head. "Don't pay my father any mind, Calem. Lana says you're a trial goer, new to Alola, what do you think so far?"

    "The people here are very nice and generous."

    Lana's father matches Calem's gaze for a few moments and then breaks away laughing. "Is- is that sarcasm? Cheeky kid, dad already invited you, we aren't going to kick you out." His expression hardens as he says, "You can sleep on the sofa. How much do you know about fishing?"

    "You cast a lure and reel it in?"

    "We'll be waking up early, before the crack of dawn."

    "That late? You guys sure sleep in."

    He claps Calem's back. "You've got the right attitude. Let's see if your actions can match it tomorrow."

    Lana's mother turns to her daughter with a sigh. The maturity and humility Calem carries himself with doesn't appear to be act. There's also an air of reliability around him. He must have gone through a lot to end up as he is at such a young age. "Even if your father does give his approval, promise me you'll wait until you're older."

    Lana's sisters overhear the remark and begin to ask, "Sissy is getting married?" "Calem is sissy's boyfriend?" "We're getting a new brother? Are we, are we?" "When, when, when?"

    Lana shakes her head as she turns red. "No, no, no, no! We're just friends! It's nothing like that!"

    Calem helps Lana's father and grandfather pack the supplies onto their ship. Once her father says, "Well, hop on." He blanches. "I thought we'd be riding lapras?"

    "Oh, relax you land lover. You'll be fine. This ship has survived everything the ocean has thrown at it and will weather to the end of time."

    Calem breathes deep and leaps onboard. Lana begins explaining the different type of fish that can be found depending on where they are on the ocean, but once the ship crosses from shallow to deep ocean, Calem goes from being unease and nauseous to wanting to die. Lana is explain how she almost reeled in a wailord, "He didn't notice my tugs at all. I was getting dragged further and further out to sea. In the end, dad cut- Calem, what's wrong? Are you sea sick?"

    Calem looks up at her from where he's curled into a ball. He tries to nod, but the nausea overwhelms him. Lana sticks out her tongue, "Maybe I should get Lapras ready. Just hold on a little longer, okay?"

    The second Lapras is out of her ball, Calem springs from the deck and onto her back. He uses the spikes from her shell to grab on and maneuver around. Unlike the ship, Lapras isn't rocked by the waves. She disperses the energy by treading the water.

    Lana says from the deck, "Wait, she isn't ready yet!"

    Calem looks from Lapras's back to the equipment Lana is preparing. It looks like a chair is going to be strapped onto Lapras's back. "What's wrong with riding Lapras like this?"

    "Ride Pokémon need their riding gear or you might fall off…"

    Calem thinks to the people he's seen riding Tauros, Sharpedo, and Charizard. "Some Pokémon, yeah, but Lapras is pretty hard to fall off of."

    Lana's dad laughs and says, "Ride Pokémon is probably the one thing you can't comprehend, huh? Lana, in most regions, trainers ride Pokémon they've been training as the Pokémon is. They don't borrow or call special ride Pokémon like we do. Give it a try like this. With two of you on there, this method might actually be easier. It'll also be easier to see what the two of you get up to…"

    Lana hops onto Lapras. While she's finding her balance, her father tosses the opposite end of the net she and Calem will be responsible for manipulating. His throw is weak and the net arcs towards the water.

    Calem dives forward. One hand grabs Lapras's lowest spike while his other hand enters the water to grab the net. He hoists himself, and the rescued net, up onto Lapras's back. Lana turns to her father. "Dad, don't give Calem a hard time!"

    "Just showing him the ropes. Who knows, seeing as he can't handle boats, maybe this will be useful for him in the future!"

    "Dad!" Lana turns bright red.

    Calem says, "What are you getting embarrassed for? You should have at least expected much."

    "Not you too!" Lana shoves Calem off of Lapras's back.

    Calem grabs the lowest spike at the last second. He breathes out in relief as water splashes his cheek. If he had seen the spike even half a second later, he would have taken a plunge.
     
  11. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 8


    Lana walks a few paces in front of Calem with her fingers locked behind her back. She leads him to Olivia's house where a store aid tells them that Tapu Lele summoned her to clean the Ruins of Life. "You're certain you don't want to spend another night? My parents are okay with it and my sisters want to see us battle. You can come back after your battle with Kahuna Olivia."

    Calem shakes his head. "Seeing all those pictures of my mother is too weird... and creepy."

    "You're mom?", "Ryhorn Racer Grace is your mom?" A pair of voices pip up behind them. Lana's two sisters are spying on them from behind a park bench. "Does grandpa know?", "Why didn't you tell grandpa?" They then run off saying they can't wait to "Tell everyone."

    Calem imagines how Lana's grandfather will react to the news as he watches them run down the street. First he'll have heart attack, then he'll run out the door to find him and demand to know why he didn't tell him. He brings out Ponyta, sets up the riding gear, and hops on. He extends a hand down to Lana, "Riding is faster than walking. We shouldn't keep the kakuna waiting."

    Lana climbs up behind Calem while saying, "Kahuna," and wraps her arms around him. Calem pats Ponyta's neck and then takes the reins, "Let's go!" Ponyta neighs and dashes down the road. Lana's arms squeeze tighter the faster Ponyta runs. Calem, however, also makes sure to keep Ponyta's speed at a level Lana can handle.

    A pair of Team Skull thugs and two Aether Foundation employees come into view just beyond the cemetery. The two thugs stand in front of a slowpoke. Despicable. "Lana, hold on."

    Lana flinches at his warning and tightens her grip around Calem. She takes a breath and plasters the side of her face against his back. She close enough to hear and feel his heartbeat.

    Calem directs Ponyta towards the Team Skull thugs, "Wild charge!"

    The two Team Skull thugs scream at Ponyta's cries and scatter as he lands where they stood. One of the thugs says, "Yo, man! You trying to crush us here? You better not be underestimating us or we'll leave you hanging bone dry!"

    Calem looks down at them from atop of Ponyta. "Get lost." Ponyta snorts to emphasis Calem's words. The second thugs says, "We don't need this Pokémon anyway! Take it then! Good luck and good riddance!"

    The Aether Foundation employee gives Calem her thanks while picking up Slowpoke. The foundation scientist says, "Yes, indeed. You are a trial-goer, aren't you? And the lass behind you, she's one of the trial captains, no? Well, what splendid trainers you are. I am deeply impressed! I'd like to reward you both by showing you something truly astounding. Once you have finished this island's grand trail, come to Hano Grand Resort and I will take you to see a wondrous place."

    Lana says, "Excuse me, but I had nothing to do with this."

    "Nonsense, trainers don't become strong on their own. He most likely wouldn't have come through here without your help."

    The employee says, "I really owe you for this. If not for you, then I'd have had to fight those thugs. I'm so glad there are nice young trainers like you around. Good luck on your island challenge."

    As the two Aether Foundation members leave, Rotom says, "I think I like that Aether Foundation lady… Did you see, zzt? Was she looking my way?"

    "I don't think she noticed you." At Rotom's disappointment, he adds, "Then again, that one scientist wants to show us something. We might see her again."

    "Then, hurry up! Let'szzz go, let'szzz go!"

    Lana says, "You're plan to accept his invitation?"

    "There's no reason not to."

    Calem and Lana continue to Tapu Lele's ruins atop of Ponyta when a pink haired Team Skull thug calls out to them. She hops down from the rocks she's seated on and says, "So, you're the one Gladion was talking about? …Hmph. You don't look like anything special to me. I'm Plumeria. I help keep Team Skull together. I'm like a big sister to all these numskulls. You have realized what idiots all these guys are, right?"

    "They're members of Team Skull."

    "Punk, those are my cute, dumb brothers and sisters you're talking about. You picking on them really annoys me. Let's make him pay, Salandit."

    Calem hoists his leg over Ponyta to slide off of him. His tone turns cold as it drops to complete loathing. "You people are no different than Team Flare. The world would be better off if you stopped existing."

    "Wait!" Lana hops down from Ponyta and wobbles her way between Calem and Plumeria. "Calem, you're on your way to the Akala Grand Trial. Save your strength and leave this one to me. As one of this island's trial captains, I have a duty to keep this island clean. Isn't that right, Araquanid?"

    "Salandit, dragon rage!"

    Araquanid skirts around the attack with her long, thin legs. She maneuvers herself behind the fire Pokémon and, "Bug bite!"

    Salandit thrashes with his head and tail. Unable to break free, he spews out smog to envelop himself within a toxic cloud. Araquanid leaps back before she's covered up and, "clear it away with bubble beam!"

    Salandit dives underneath the bubble beam and scurries up towards Araquanid to spit a glob of poison at her. Lana smirks, having anticipated as much, and does the waterium Z-dance. She finishes waving her arms to say, "Hydro vortex!"

    Araquanid tears through Salandit's attack and knocks out the fire Pokémon. Plumeria grunts in frustration. "Go ahead and hide behind that girl today. But keep messing with anyone in Team Skull, and I'll show you how I am when I get serious."

    Calem says, "You held back against a trial captain?" Plumeria turns her head and leaves. Calem turns to Lana, "Thanks, but you didn't need to. I could have-"

    Lana's hair sways to the said as she shakes her head. "Nmm," she places a hand over her chest and says, "Like I said, I'm a trial captain. Helping others and keeping the peace is one of my responsibilities. Seeing you to your grand trial is another."

    A smile eases across Calem's face. "Then, let's get going." He places a hand underneath Ponyta's jaw, and with some clicks of his tongue, guides him along. They hear clapping as they approach the ruin entrance. Kahuna Olivia says, "Well spoken, Lana. That was really well spoken. You're every bit deserving to be a trial captain."

    As they get closer, Lillie, Serena, and Professor Burnet surprise everyone by emerging from the ruins. Professor Burnett speaks first, "Good to see you again, Calem. I'm glad to see that you're doing better than when we last parted."

    Lana says, "Did something happen?"

    Calem says, "A thoughtless remark."

    Serena clicks her tongue at Calem's comment. "That puts it mildly."

    Professor Burnett chuckles and says, "Well, I've gotta go. The Masked Royal has a match, and there's no way that I'm missing it!" She walks off saying, "I just wonder what he looks like under that mask."

    Serena says, "Calem, did you tell Professor Burnet you would be challenging Kahuna Olivia today? She called earlier saying she wanted to join us on our expedition to the Ruins of Life, but the way she spoke, it is as if she knew you would be here by the time we got out."

    Calem shrugs, "I don't even know her number." He glances to Lana who shakes her head.

    Kahuna Olivia laughs and says, "It's her researcher's intuition. You'd be surprised at how often she's been able to know where someone is based off a whim. Back when she and Kukui were dating, she'd go out to see him all the time regardless of where he was or what he was doing."

    Lillie says, "Serena and I have been coming here everyday for the past few days. Though, in all honesty, Serena's the one who's been bringing me here. Within these ruins waits the guardian deity of Akala Island… This is Tapu Lele's ruin."

    "Pew!"

    Lana gasps upon noticing Nebby floating on the ground by Lillie's feet. She drops to her knees to get a better look, "How cute!"

    Lillie gets worried at first, but Calem says, "Lana's a trial captain and a good person. You can trust her."

    Lana covers her mouth as she giggles. "I once reeled in Lugia on my lure. Do you know what they say? Lugia only let themselves get caught by honest people."

    Lillie's eyes sparkle as she says, "Really?"

    Calem and Serena, their tones flat, speak in unison. "How amazing that you actually caught one then."

    Lana sticks out her tongue and giggles.

    Lillie, relieved, that Lana isn't untrustworthy, turns to Nebby. "You! I know you tried to drag me along to the Ruins of Conflict on Melemele Island, too… Why are these ruins important to you? What do the guardians mean to you?" Nebby stares up at Lillie with a smile, but doesn't answer. "You don't know, do you? Just think what would have happened to you if Calem hadn't been there back then…"

    Lana turns to Calem, "Did something happen?"

    Calem says, "Some wild spearow attacked."

    Kahuna Olivia says, "Tapu Lele summoned me to do some cleaning, but I'm starting to suspect that reason was secondary." She looks Calem over, "So, I can assume you passed all three trials?"

    Lana says, "He was amazing." Realizing that she said that out loud and now has everyone's attention, she turns a bright red. She glances to the side as she speaks in a softer voice, "Well, it's true… The way he cleared mine and Mellow's trial… Calem's really cool."

    Kahuna Olivia chuckles and says, "Did you really just bring Calem here because of your duty as one of my trial captains? Should I be thinking that maybe, just maybe, you have a hidden agenda?"

    Lana shakes her head, "No, no, no, no! I'm here according to my duty as a trial captain and friend to the challenger, nothing more!"

    Kahuna Olivia, Serena, and Lillie laugh at Lana's embarrassment. Calem and Kahuna Oliva lock eyes and separate themselves from the group. Kahuna Olivia says, "Alright then, get ready for your hardest battle yet, the grand trial against the Akala Island Kahuna- me! My adorable, rugged rock type partners are giving this everything we've got! Right, Nosepass?"

    "Ponyta!"

    Calem's choice shocks everyone. Hau sudden appearance, however, is what makes everyone but Serena jump. "A fire type! What's he thinking?"

    Serena says, "He is not. Pay closer attention. Ponyta is the one who wants to battle."

    Lana's "look" returns everyone's attention to the battle. Blue flames dance around Ponyta's body as he weaves between the rocks thrown at him. Some rocks get close enough to blow gaps open within the fire, but none reach his body.

    Ponyta hops over Nosepass's face to get behind the rock Pokémon. "Low kick" knocks the Pokémon off balance leaving an opening for "Double kick!"

    Kahuna Olivia recalls Nosepass for "Boldore!" To destroy Ponyta's "footing," she has her Pokémon attack with "mud-slap" and "rock tomb!" Ponyta evades them with ease, but the attacks aren't well aimed.

    Calem gasps when Ponyta reaches Boldore. Those attacks were meant to lure in Ponyta. "Bounce!" Ponyta jumps to the sky, but not fast enough to avoid a "rock blast" from gashing his underbelly. As Ponyta keeps rising, Calem says, "Sunny day, flame wheel!"

    Boldore keeps launching "rock blast" at Ponyta, but no one knows if any are direct hits. Sunny day makes looking skyward difficult and the flame wheel makes pinpointing Ponyta's body impossible.

    Calem, expecting a trap, says "Don't land anywhere near Boldore!" Once Ponyta reaches the ground, "Double team!" Calem racks his mind for a way to fight back as Boldore hurls rocks through Ponyta's after images.

    Ponyta, growing tired of being on the defense, neighs from atop of one of the surrounding hills. The blue and white flames blazing from his body mix with the sun behind. To everyone watching, Ponyta transforms into a star. As Boldore takes aim for "Rock blast," Ponyta releases solar beam.

    With Boldore defeated, he trots over to Calem. Calem rubs his neck, "Looks like there's still a lot more to learn about you." Ponyta neighs and lets himself be returned to his Pokéball.

    Olivia has Midnight Lycanroc by her side as she waits for Calem to send out his next Pokémon. "Mawile!"

    "Maw!" The steel Pokémon emerges from her primer ball with both hands up and ready to battle.

    "Taunt" enrages Lycanroc into attacking despite Kahuna Olivia's calls to stop. Mawile cuts Lycanroc's attack short with "sucker punch," and while he's still recovering from the blow, "iron head."

    Kahuna Olivia laughs as she recalls her Pokémon. "After that second bout, I was really expecting a much more vigorous final match."

    Serena, in the midst of the congratulations, marches up to Calem and slaps him. "Are you an idiot? You know better than to have let Ponyta fight a second match. Why do you think you struggled so much? Skilled trainers will develop counters after seeing a strategy once! You of all people should know that. You let your anger blind you!"

    Calem clicks his tongue. Before Serena can retort, Kahuna Olivia interrupts. "Now, now, no need to get that angry. He did win. Although, I am curious. Did your encounter with Team Skull rile you up that much?"

    Calem shrugs to which Serena says, "Shape up. My rival is someone who rises above to control his emotional outbursts and uses them as guidance. He is not some petty slave to them."

    Hau says, "Wow, just a minute, hold up! Your rival? But, aren't you like, the Kalos Champion?"

    Lana gasps at his outburst. "The champion!"

    Calem says, "We started at the same time. Although, out of all our matches, Serena has the better score."

    Hau laughs and crosses his arms behind his head. "Well, if you put it like that, then doesn't that mean I'm strong enough to challenge a Pokémon league? I've beat Calem in every match we've had after all."

    Serena gives Calem a cold, disbelieving, look. One that reads, You lost against him?

    Calem rolls his eyes. The glance he gives her says. My condition, remember?

    Kahuna Olivia clears her throat. "Here, the rock type Z-crystal, rockium Z, is yours! This is how you use it. Watch carefully, hip movement is crucial!" She crosses her arm, brings them around, squats down, jumps up with her arms at her side, and then lunges to her right to again bring her arms around out to her side. "Use it well, or so I'd like to say, but you've seem to have lost your Z-ring."

    Calem looks to his wrist. "I passed it along to its rightful owner."

    Nebby floats up to Calem and Kahuna Olivia, "Pew!"

    Lillie says, "You look very pleased, don't you?"

    Kahuna Olivia says, "By the way, Lillie, this might be a weird question, but why even come to the Ruins of Life if you're not a trainer?"

    "Oh, because of Nebby… It's not originally from here, and I want to help it get back to its home… But I don't have any idea on how to do that… It seems fond of the ruins for some reason, so I keep visiting them and hoping that maybe I will find some clue to help it…"

    Kahuna Olivia says, "You certainly don't see Pokémon like that every day."

    Serena and Calem exchange glances before Serena says, "No, you really do not."

    Kahuna Olivia says, "Tapu Lele may be called the guardian deity of our island, but it can also run wild at times. Regular Pokémon normally avoid the guardians at all costs… Unless they are strong enough to face the tapu themselves, that is."

    "Pew?"

    "Wait, that can't be right… I think your journey will hold many surprises. And I hope it holds many joys. Lillie, you're doing all you can for your Pokémon even though you're not a trainer. Serena, you're doing your best to help Lillie despite all you've achieved. I like people like you. If you ever run into trouble, keep in mind you can always turn to me."

    Hau says, "Kahuna Olivia, I'm Hau from Iki Town. You've gotta let me battle you, too!"

    Lana says to Calem, "Then I suppose we should get going to Hano Grand Resort."

    Hau says, "What, you guys met that weird green guy, too?"

    Kahuna Olivia says, "Ooh, the Aether Foundation? You may as well. Finding out what they want with you might be pretty interesting."

    Lillie says, "The… the Aether Foundation…? I think I'll stay here. I'd like to see how Hau's battle goes, too."

    Hau fist pumps, "Thanks, Lillie. You're the best! Just watch how much stronger I've become!"

    Calem and Serena exchange glances at Lillie's reaction and nod. Calem will go investigate the Aether Foundation and Serena will watch over Lillie. As he and Lana separate from the group, they hear Kahuna Olivia say, "Well then, Hau. Show me what you've got!"

    Rotom says, "You do know how to get to the Grand Resort, right? Bzzt! It'szz only like the most popular hotel in Alola!"

    Ponyta gets them to the Hano Grand Resort in record time, but they receive an apology at the door. The scientist who invited them says, "We're still waiting for one more trainer. Until then, please, just relax and enjoy yourselves. If you want anything to eat or drink, consider it on the house."

    Lana rubs her stomach. "It has been a while since we've eaten." She soon regrets the decision. Hano Grand Resort, being a high class hotel, enforces a strict dress code. Both she and Calem are fitted into rentable clothing set aside for such situations. The staff even takes advantage of the situation to give them a matching dress and suit respectively.

    The dark blue gown they provide Lana with is tight around her waist. The limitations it places on her body movement combined with the fact that she's never worn heels before makes walking on her own impossible. She doesn't just need Calem to help her up from the sofa, she needs to cling to his arm the entire way into the dining area least risk falling over. If he weren't there to help her, she might have been too nervous to even enter. "I'm a fisherman, I don't belong in fancy places like this. Doesn't being here bother you at all?"

    "A friend once wanted to take ballroom dance. He didn't want to go alone, so he forced all of us to go together with him. Dressing like this was required to attend the monthly dance parties that he made us attend too. Although, to be honest, after everything that's happened, all this formality and setup is annoying."

    He pulls out the chair for Lana and sits down opposite of her. Lana's eyes budge upon glancing down. "Why are there so many forks?"

    Calem waits until after the waiter places the napkins on their laps before pointing to each fork while saying in turn, "Salad, fish, dinner." He then points to the two utensils at the top of her plate, "dessert." Finally, he points to the spoon and knives, "soup, salad, fish, and dinner. Easy trick, start from the outside in."

    "How do you know all this?"

    "Education in proper dining etiquette was required in Kalos."

    Lana glances down. "Sorry…"

    "Not your fault."

    "No, but I keep reminding you of it. I trying not to, but everything I've said so far-"

    "Stop… Seeing my Pokémon every day is a constant reminder to the Last Night of Kalos. Small comments like this, they remind me of all nights before that one."

    "Then… while we wait… maybe you… could you… if you want… on the dance floor… dance with me?"

    "You know how to waltz?"

    "I can use the waterium Z and Kiawe has always says that Z-moves are like dancing. How different can it be?"

    "It'll be easier to just show you…" Calem holds out his hand to Lana and walks her onto the floor. She breaks form after the first step which results with Calem crashing into her on the second step. "Yeah, that's what happens when you break connection with your partner. Keep your head up and close your eyes. That'll make this easier."

    Lana almost loses balance with the pivot, but manages to stay on her feet. Then on her turn to walk forward, she hesitates and takes too small of a step. She tries to make up the distance with her second step, breaks connection, and ends up crashing into Calem. On her third attempt, she slips on the pivot and would have fallen over if not for Calem catching her.

    She needs five tries before getting through the first two patterns, six steps. Then on the third pattern, she forgets to shift weight resulting in another crash. She slips as the recoil forces her back. Calem catches her, but to observers, it looks more like a low dip.

    Lana, from her position two feet above the ground, trembles a bit as she says, "Maybe we should head back. The food should be arriving soon."

    Calem and Lana head to the beach after dinner in their normal clothes. To pass the time, they accept work tossing pyukumuku back into the sea. Lana holds out her arms for balance as she walks on top of a low wall. "This is so much better than that stuffy dress."

    That's when a hotel attendant runs up to them with their pay and a message. Their presence is requested in the hotel. Lana says, "Finally, what took him so long? Did he take a nap after his battle?"

    "He probably stopped to go on a date with a random girl."

    "Seriously?"

    "We arrived on this island at the same time. There's a reason he waited so long in challenging Kakuna Olivia."

    "Kahuna, not Kakuna… Are you doing that on purpose?"

    They meet Hau and the scientist in the lobby. The scientist clears his throat and says, "Forgive the late introduction, but you may call me Faba. I told you before that I would show you someplace astounding, right? Well, that wondrous place is… Aether Paradise! Just as the name suggests, Aether Paradise is a veritable paradise for Pokémon that floats far out in the sea surrounding Alola. It's an artificial island, made entirely by human technology, for the protection of Pokémon! As an adult who keeps his promises, I will prove to you that all I've told you is the absolute truth with a tour of Aether Paradise. You will come, won't you?"

    Calem says, "That's why we're here."

    Kahuna Olivia and Professor Kukui catch up to them midway to the hotel's private docks. At Faba's surprise, Kahuna Olivia says, "As a Kahuna, I look after all the trial-goers who come to my island alongside my trial captains. They're like my own children. Not that I've got any- I've never even gotten married." To the trainers, "Listen up, you three. Your greatest opponent is always yourself. Your greatest allies, the Pokémon beside you."

    Hau chuckles and says, "Calem's greatest opponent is the ocean."

    Professor Kukui says, "Go see all the amazing tech that Aether's developing and tell me about it later, yeah? I'll see you on the next island, Ula'ula Island, yeah. Let's meet up at Malie Garden!"

    Hau says, "Yep! It's good bye to Akala Island for now."

    Faba says, "Before I forget, Calem, Lana, these are for you." They accept the folders given to them and look inside. Lana, upon pulling out the contents, turns a bright red. "As today's VIPs, we made sure to capture your evening so you'll never forget it."

    Kahuna Olivia looks over Lana's shoulder and smirks. It's a picture of Calem dipping her on the dance floor. "Oh, my. The two of you are getting along real nicely."

    Lana shakes her head and shoves the pictures back into the envelope. "No, no, no, no! We're just friends. When did these happen?"

    Calem, despite Hau's begging to see them, also puts his pictures away. "Probably that guy who was following us."

    Faba says, "You noticed? The camera men are trained to be very discreet."

    "Just something I picked up a bit back. It's something a lot of trainers learn to do sooner or later."

    "Well, time to get going. The ferry awaits."
     
  12. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
    180
    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 9

    Lana rubs Calem's back the entire trip to Aether Paradise. At Hau's questioning, she says, "It's a trick my grandfather taught me a long time ago. By the way, Calem, did you know that Aether Paradise floats because many Pokémon support it on their backs?" She giggles upon receiving a glare from Calem and sticks out her tongue. "Maybe this isn't the best time, huh?"

    Hau narrows his eyes and gives a serious expression. "Calem, I would'a never guessed you're into kids."

    Calem glares at Hau. He tries to reach for Mawile's primer ball, but his nausea forces him to keep his hands clutched against his chest and mouth. In his heart, he makes a note to push Hau into the ocean, again, the next chance he gets.

    Faba guides the three into Aether Paradise. Aether employees and Pokémon are everywhere. Surrounding trainers ask the employees questions or watching what they do. Faba says, "Aether Paradise is a facility for the conservation of Pokémon. Downstairs, our teams work on developing new pokeballs and more. Everything we do is for the sake of Pokémon conservation. Keep in mind, you will not be able to use any of your pokeballs to capture Pokémon within Aether Paradise. A jamming signal is broadcasting throughout the facility to prevent them from functioning. Although, the ones currently housing your Pokémon will work just fine."

    Faba leads them to an elevator where a woman with purple hair greets them. Faba leaves Calem, Lana, and Hau in her care and excuses himself to speak with the president about "conservation efforts in Akala Island."

    Wicke introduces herself and thanks them for their help. She then takes them to the main entrance where trainers bring their Pokémon to the reception desks to be looked over. She says, "Calem, Hau, the two of you are trial goers, correct. Both of you look 15, a bit older than most."

    Calem says, "I'm new to the area."

    Hau says, "I just couldn't be bothered to go out on my own. Having a rival like Calem around has been making this adventure a lot more fun than it would have been on my own."

    Calem gives Hau a blank stare. He doesn't say anything, but he's certain Hau cares more about picking up chicks than keeping a rivalry against him.

    Wicke says, "How… how lovely for you. But I suppose all children must yearn to take a journey of their own choosing, regardless of their age. Though, you're hardly children anymore. Trainers are like parents to their Pokémon."

    Her hesitation isn't lost to Calem. He says, "Do you have any children taking the adventure."

    Concern flashes through her eyes at the question. It's too fast and subtle for Lana and Hau, but for Calem it's a memory flash. That's an expression everyone in Kalos wore after the Final Night.

    Wicke recovers her composure and laughs off the question. "Oh, don't be silly. I'm still looking for a husband. Anyway, would you three like to see the conservation upstairs?"

    At everyone's agreement, she has the elevator take them up. As it rises, Calem turns to Lana, "Did you go on island challenge?"

    Lana nods, "It's the minimal requirement for all trial captains. I completed mine almost two years ago."

    Hau says, "Wait, you're almost 13? I swear, I thought you were 11."

    Lana's face darkens as she glares at Hau. "I can't believe a rude man such as yourself passed my trial."

    Hau chuckles saying, "My bad, my bad."

    The elevator reaches the upper floor, an indoor garden with trees, rivers, ponds, and mountains lined with fenced walkways. Wicke says, "Aether Paradise is a safe haven for all Pokémon. For this reason, the use of pokeballs is strictly forbidden within the conservation area."

    Hau looks around, "Wow, this is amazing!"

    Lana also gasps, "This room has everything. Calem, look, look, there's a starmie in that pond!"

    Wicke says, "We keep Pokémon that have been targeted by Team Skull here… And we also try to support Pokémon that need a little extra protection. Like corsola, they are quite terribly over hunted by a Pokémon called toxapex. They travel the ocean floors on their 12 legs leaving a trail of corsola bits scattered in their wake."

    Calem says, "Nature's biggest rule is survival of the fittest. Those unable to keep up, for whatever reason, die."

    Hau says, "Yeah, my gramps is always saying that nature's got its cruel side."

    Lana says, "We humans exert that judgment. When we fish, those neither smart enough, nor strong enough, to get away end up becoming dinner. But, can the Aether Foundation really protect all the Pokémon that're out there?"

    Calem says, "The better question is whether it should."

    Wicke's smile doesn't flinch as she says, "Nature does have its own balance, of course. It can be difficult to judge just how much we humans should try to affect that, can't it? For example, the former Kalos region was destroyed by mankind so the natural response would be that mankind try and fix its mistake. The Pokémon, however, feel differently and attack any human they come across."

    Lana gives Calem a worried glance, but he's unfazed by Wicke's comment.

    Hau says, "That's pretty amazing! The Aether Foundation seems awesome. But, why'd you bother setting up a branch in a place like Alola?"

    "I couldn't say… It's hard to know for sure what our president is thinking sometimes. If you three would like to meet president Lusamine, she should be here in the conservation area now."

    As they walk off to search for the president, Lana tugs on Calem's shirt. She speaks in a low voice while glancing towards Hau. "Your thoughtless friend?"

    "That's him."

    Rotom says, "The preszzzident is in here somewhere, right? Leave no rock unturned to find her!"

    She is near the upper end of the garden. Her similarity to Lillie and Gladion is uncanny, her green eyes are identical to theirs. She speaks to some Pokémon, "My sweet Pokémon… I promise I'll keep you safe… I'll protect you with my love…" Then notices the three with an "Ah…"

    The president speaks with Wicke and then turns to face, "Calem, Lana, and Hau, welcome to Aether Paradise. The Aether Foundation's own private island. I'm the president of the foundation, but please, just call me Lusamine. I'm so glad we got to meet. I'm glad that there are people like you, who travel the islands to learn more about Pokémon, and who guide your fellow trainers to the next area… Unfortunately, there are also those people who harm Pokémon for their own selfish reasons or even profit." She spreads open her arms, "And that is why I am here. I will be like a mother to all those poor Pokémon and shower them with love. Even Pokémon from distant worlds, far from the Alola region, are worthy of my love."

    Calem says, "Even if their presences harms other Pokémon."

    Lusamine closes her eyes to acknowledge Calem's point, "Even then, they are worthy of my love."

    Hau says, "Wow, Miss Lusamine! I don't know how you do all this! You're, like, not even that much older than us!"

    Lana says, "So, you weren't being rude earlier. You just need a new pair of eyes."

    Lusamine covers her mouth as she chuckles at Hau's confusion. "Oh, you sweet boy! I'm already over 40!"

    Hau says, "You are?" His eyes pop open as he steps back, "Wait, what!"

    Lusamine again covers her mouth as she chuckles, "Oh, you! The right style does wonders, you know. And, Hau, your style is a bit wanting, hm? I'll have to take you out sometime and help you pick a smashing outfit. You as well Lana, the dress they gave you at my hotel was simply marvelous on you."

    While Lana gives a bashful smile at the compliment, Hau says, "L-like what you wear? I don't think anyone else could pull of that kind of look! Except maybe Lillie…"

    A flash of recognition passes across Lusamine's face at Lillie's name. Calem wants to strangle Hau for mentioning Lillie, but is able confirmation some suspicions thanks to it. The physical resemblance, the way Lusamine said, "Oh, you," and her reaction just now, Lillie has to be her daughter. From the impression he gets of Lusamine, No wonder Lillie ran away.

    Lusamine says, "Oh, don't you worry. You just leave everything up to me. Trust me- children would all be much happier if they'd only listen to the adults around them."

    Calem says, "Lysander wanted to kill almost every human and Pokémon on the planet."

    Lusamine chuckles, "Responsible adults. But, you poor thing, you're from Kalos, aren'-" An alarm cuts Lusamine short.

    Wicke says, "That tremor, did something happen on the lower floors?"

    Above their heads appears a hole surrounded by what looks like cracks created from energy. From it appears a jellyfish like creature. From its posture, Calem says. "It kinda looks like a girl."

    Lana trembles while saying, "Ho- how are you so calm?"

    Calem's hand slides to his black Pokéball, but he lets it go for Mawile's premier ball. "Everything's relative. We've already survived the end of the world."

    Lusamine steps forward to speak with the creature, "Did you come… from another world?"

    The creature chirps and waves its tentacles.

    Hau says, "Miss Lusamine, stand back! That thing's… not right!"

    It keeps chirping and moving its tentacles.

    Calem says, "It's confused and in pain. It wants to know what it's doing here."

    Lana says, "You can understand it?"

    "No, just how it's feeling."

    Lusamine shakes her head, "You poor creature…"

    Rotom says, "Zzz? I've never seen a Pokémon like that! A-are we really gonna fight that… that thing?"

    Calem looks to Lana and Hau. They're too scared to move or think, much less battle. With a situation this desperate and dangerous, he should be able to manage a battle. "No choice, Mawile."

    "Maw!"

    The creature chirps and a flaming red aura surrounds it as it swoops down to attack. Calem has no idea on how to respond. It looks like a jellyfish, so could it be a water type? Or maybe it's a poison type? The best way to find out would be to hit it with an attack. "Rock throw!"

    Mawile scoops up some rocks into her second mouth from a nearby artificial mountain and flings it at the creature. It dodges most of the attack, but the few bits that graze its tentacles don't seem to bother it. Whatever it is, it isn't weak to rock type.

    It then drenches Mawile in what looks to be venoshock. The move jetted from underneath its gelatos head faster than Calem could react to it. The him from before would have recognized the attack coming from the Pokémon's preparation. He grits his teeth. The past is past, he has to fight as the him he is now.

    The mysterious Pokémon used a poison type move. Mawile, part steel, is unaffected, but it does coincide with the possibility of it being at least part poison. "Taunt!"

    The creature opens its tentacles as it flies towards Mawile to grab her. "Iron head!"

    The creature slams into the ground as it takes the hit. "Again!" It seems to have felt the attack. Best to deliver an unending barrage before it can get back up and counter attack.

    Mawile is able to get two more hits in before the Pokémon throws itself at Mawile with a headbutt. As Mawile stumbles back, the creature attacks with acid. It hasn't noticed that poison has no effect on Mawile.

    "Crunch, ice fang, thunder fang!" Calem calls attack after attack to keep the mystery Pokémon guessing and on the defense. It then attacks when Mawile stops to catch her breath. Mawile smirks and hits it a sucker punch, iron head combination. Not what the Calem has in mind, but it works.

    The mystery Pokémon chirps as it rises back up. What a monster, all that damage and it isn't hurt. But… it's frightened; it's no longer just in pain. It's now frightened of Calem and Mawile. That's when it begins to fade in and out of existence. He says, "Please… just go home." It then twists and contorts in on itself and vanishes.

    Lusamine says, "So it's true…"

    Calem hears Lusamine's whispering something to herself, but is too overcome from exhaustion to pay attention. With the adrenaline from battle fading, he and Mawile both collapse backward. Seated on the ground, he says, "Great going, Mawile."

    Mawile raises a trembling arm as she says. "Maw…"

    While Lana hurries to their side, Lusamine says, "That creature we just saw was undoubtedly an Ultra Beast… An unknown being from another dimension that suddenly appears from the ultra wormhole… It looked like it was suffering… Like it pained it to be in this strange place… I can't bear to see that happen! I will save it. And I will love it!"

    The conviction in Lusamine's voice give's Calem chills. He's able to stand with Lana's support, "If coming here hurts it, then we should leave it were it is."

    Lusamine smiles. "Wicke, these two are still in their island challenge, aren't they? Please deliver them to their next island and Lana back to her own."

    Lana says, "Oh, no. I would appreciate also being taken to the next island. I have some business there. I'll return home on my own later."

    Wicke says, "O-oh! At once, ma'am!"

    Lusamine says, "I will go to check that none of our poor resident Pokémon came to any harm. And I need to speak to Mr. Faba about exactly what happened downstairs. And of course, I will have to start preparing the foundation for our newest and perhaps greatest duty yet: the protection of the Ultra Beasts!"

    Wicke turns to Calem, Lana, and Hau, "I'll see you three to Ula'ula Island then."

    Lusamine waves them goodbye as the elevator descends for the docks. Wicke provides each of them with gifts as they board: Hau, a large malasadas, "Our artificial island specialty,"; Lana, a formal dress picked out from Lusmine's collection, "It's a bit big, but you'll grow into it soon enough,"; and Calem, a history book detailing Alola's myths, legends, and historical events, along with relevant geography, "Something to help you on your island adventure."

    Calem says, "Is this a bribe?"

    Hau claps Calem's back, "Who cares? We just got some great stuff."

    As they board the ship, Wicke says, "It might be best to describe what happened upstairs as an accident."

    Lana again rubs Calem's back once the ferry departs. Hau eats his malasada with a grin on his face, clueless that the smell of food makes Calem feel even worse. Upon his offering some to Calem and Lana, she snaps at him and tells him to leave. "Giving him food will only make him throw up!"

    Hau gets up saying, "Fine, I'll just find a cute girl to spend my time with instead."

    Once he's gone, Lana says, "You didn't like that place, did you?"

    Calem grimaces from the nausea, but forces himself to say, "She has… a god complex." He takes a deep breath, "Exactly like… Lysander."

    "You mean, the leader of Team Flare?"

    Calem nods. "No wonder… her children… left. Probably treated… them like… dolls." He glances in the direction Hau walked off in, "Any who… can think… for… themselves are… unwanted."

    Lana giggles, "You're saying she likes kids like Hau? But, what do you mean children? She didn't mention having kids."

    Calem shakes his head and doesn't say anything for the rest of the journey. Lana doesn't try to make him to speak, but continues an on off conversation with him. "I didn't think Ultra Beasts actually existed. I guess the legends are true.", "The way you challenge that Ultra Beast was really brave. I was so terrified, I couldn't do anything. At some points, I even forgot to breath", "I can't wait to wear that dress she gave me. It's so pretty.", and, after a lull of silence, "Whenever you talk about Kalos, it doesn't show on your face, but your voice gets really empty…" She stops rubbing his back and leans against him. She snakes her arms around Calem to him a gentle hug. "Then, when that Ultra Beast showed up, the way you casually mentioned surviving the end of the world… It was like… you became nothing. Like you didn't even want to live anymore."
     
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  13. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
    180
    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 10

    Calem's sea sickness leaves him unable to keep pace with everyone rushing off the ferry onto Ula'ula Island. As a result, with Lana's support, he is one of the last to disembark. She then continues to support him up to the city gate. There, Calem, upon seeing the tiled roofs coupled with hanging lanterns, says, "This place is a lot like Johto." He sniffs the air, "Is this what their food smells like?"

    "According to Mallow, it is. She says the food here has a strong Johto-Kanto blend."

    Hau leans against the city gate. He calls out to them and grins once they turn around and spot him. "Hurry up you slowpokes. Calem, shouldn't you be fine now that you're on land?"

    "Lana doesn't want to let go."

    Lana turns red and breaks away from Calem. "You should have said something!"

    Calem shrugs. He did, she just didn't believe him.

    Hau says, "Well, whatever, now that we're here, let's battle! I want my Pokémon to get a deep breath of this fresh air!"

    Lana responds before Calem can answer. "No way, that's completely unfair! Calem battled an Ultra Beast and then suffered an entire hour of sea sickness while you're in perfect condition. Save it for tomorrow!"

    Hau chuckles at her glare, finding that her anger only makes her look cute. He wraps his arms behind his head while saying, "Alright, alright, fine. Sheesh, I was just asking."

    Lana maintains her glare, "Professor Kukui said he'd be waiting at Malie Garden. Well, let's hurry, today is almost over."

    Calem wants to stop and admire the garden as they walk, but Lana shoves him from behind. "We shouldn't keep the professor waiting any more than we already have. We can take our time seeing everything after talking with him."

    Hau laughs and says, "Oh, just the two of you? You mean for a date?"

    Lana shakes her head, "No, no, no, no! Obviously I mean with those other two we saw at Akala Island as well. Their names were…"

    "Lillie and Serena? Are you sure you want to invite an extra pair of girls with you? Calem's really close to both of them, especially Serena."

    "I just said it's not like that!"

    They find Professor Kukui sipping tea in a pavilion near the back of the garden. His relaxed demeanor and tranquil expression is a strong contrast to his usual upbeat and energetic self. Calem says, "Are we sure that's him and not a ditto?"

    Lana covers her mouth as she giggles. "I'd believe it."

    Professor Kukui hears them and waves. "Lana, you're here too, cousin. What's going on with you three? Your eyes shine extra bright today, yeah. Did something big happen, woo?"

    Hau says, "Only something amazing! You've gotta hear this! The ultra wormhole opened up, like, right in front of us, and there really are Ultra Beasts in there! You've gotta tell Professor Burnet, too!"

    Professor Kukui says, "Woo! You got to see the ultra wormhole and an Ultra Beast? That is amazing, oh yeah!"

    Lana says, "You should have seen Calem. When the Ultra Beast appeared, we were all too terrified to move. But Calem, Calem stood up against it in battle until it left!"

    Professor Kukui says, "Amazing, sounds like an even better reason to train hard, yeah, on your island challenge! Then, maybe someday, we'll all be able to go through the ultra wormhole! Alright, Calem, Hau, your next trial is up on Mount Hokulani! The last bus there left an hour ago, but they'll start up again early in the morning, yeah."

    Hau says, "You guys can go ahead without me, Professor. I'm gonna find myself a hot date first! Finding one on each island is my own personal island challenge, yeah?"

    Professor Kukui nods and turns to Calem, "Then I'll see you tomorrow morning, Calem." After agreeing to a meetup time, he leaves.

    As the three walk out of the Garden, Lana says, "So, Calem, do you know?"

    Hau says, "Of course he knows. We all know"

    Calem says, "What am I supposed to know?"

    "Well… you see…umm…." Hau chuckles and says, "What exactly is it that we know?"

    Lana sighs, "There's an observatory on top of Mount Hokulani. They always send out messages whenever we can expect to see a comet or even another planet in the night sky."

    Calem says, "I'll have to keep my ears open for them."

    Hau chuckles, "Yeah, they do do that. Rotom will let you know when they send a message out."

    Rotom says, "I szzzure will!"

    Hau chuckles again and says, "Well, I'm out! I need to start searching for a malasada dinner date before it gets too late. Bye!"

    Once Hau is gone, Lana turns to Calem with an eager smile, "The best place to watch the night sky is out in the middle of the ocean away from all the lights." Her eyes widen as she realizes what she's about to say and clears her throat, "Anyway, it's getting late… We should probably check in at the Pokémon center?"

    As they walk back, Calem says, "Why did you want to come to Ula'ula Island?"

    "I'm a trial captain, but after everything that's happened, I realized I don't really know all that much about Alola or the world. The best way to learn more about this world we live on is by visiting the library and the best one in Alola is in Malie City."

    Upon reaching the Pokémon center, they find Lillie and Serena inside the café. As the four catch up with each other, Serena and Calem exchange glances and nod. It's their agreement to meet up an hour and 7 minutes after whatever they're doing ends. That is something they developed back when they were starting out in Kalos.

    Hau soon appears with some girl, but sits at another table. Seeing him on a date is all the stimulus the four need to turn in for the night.

    Calem goes to his room once he finishes washing. He reads a few pages from the book he was given in Aether Paradise to kill time until his meeting with Serena. Half an hour later, he marks his page, and steps outside. Serena is waiting on a bench across the street. "Je m'excuse."

    "Ne vous inquietez pas. I just got here myself." They place some distance between themselves and the Pokémon center and soon find themselves on the docks. The waves lapping against the cement structure creates a soothing atmosphere. Serena rubs Calem's side with her elbow. She smirks and speaks to him in their native tongue, "After everything that has happened, you finally decided to get a girlfriend? There will not be any problems in a few years, but you do realize she is a bit young now?"

    "You mean Lana?"

    "Quit messing around. I refuse to believe you of all people would fail to notice."

    "It's nothing more than a crush born from a false impression." Calem explains how and why he placed himself in danger to face Wishiwash and then says, "She'll get over it once she learns what I'm really like."

    Serena punches his arm. Her frown turns into a sly smile as she says, "I sincerely doubt that. If your determination against Wishiwash was even just a tenth of what it was back then… Well, trainers cannot see their expressions when they battle. Her judgment might not be as far off as you think." A sigh changes her smile into one of nostalgia, "Shauna and Tierno were a match made in heaven, but would have never happened without you." Serena then gasps and covers her mouth upon realizing what she said.

    She gives a Calem a worried look, but he cuts her off before she can apologize. His tone is sorrowful and full of longing, but also calm with resignation. "The five of us survived the end of the world, but only four made it through the nightmare that followed." He takes a breath, "I meet a trainer the other day. She was just like Tierno… Even the way they sleep is the same, randomly sleep punching out towards the sky during the middle of the night."

    Serena places a hand on Calem's shoulder and gives him a reassuring smile, "You know, I was actually a bit jealous of you two. No matter what happened, you would always had each other's backs. It made me feel left out a lot more than I wanted to admit."

    Calem looks up to the sky, "The Aether Foundation is going to destroy the peace in this region. Their president, Lusamine, is just like Lysander. She's selfishly pursuing a vision for the future she decided as best. Well… that's the vibe I got after speaking to her."

    "And Lillie? How does she connect to all of this?"

    "Her daughter."

    "You mean to say she ran away?"

    "Lusamine would be a horrible parent. Those which she like have no need to think for themselves. They just need to be obedient dolls. Although, I don't think that's the real reason she, or Gladion if I'm right, would run away."

    "Nebby, right? She is protecting Nebby."

    "Yeah, but from what? Their labs weren't part of the tour, but the Ultra Beasts are definitely connected."

    …..

    Hau takes off upon waking up that morning. Calem sees him hurry out the door with eager anticipation all over his face. From the way he's dressed, He's going to the beach?While everyone else gathers for breakfast in the café, Lillie says, "Calem, would you mind helping me find a book in the Malie Library? Serena agreed to help, but it's a big library, so I would appreciate all the help I can get."

    Lana says, "Really, what book? It might be one of the one's I'm looking for."

    "It's a really old one full of myths and legends. The tales in it seem to suggest that Alola's legendary Pokémon came from another world."

    Calem thinks back to the book he was given at Aether Paradise. It's similar to Lillie's description, but from what he's read so far, doesn't mention the origin of the legendary Pokémon. While he's thinking, Lana says, "Oh, that's one of them. I'm also looking for that book. How about we work together?"

    Calem nods, "I'd like to hear about those origins myself."

    "Thank you, both!"

    A mudsdale sneaks up on the four of them as they make their way for the library. The ground Pokémon places itself behind Lillie and snorts. She screams while Lana reaches for a Pokéball. Calem and Serena, not picking up any hostility from the Pokémon, remain calm as they turn around.

    Hapu walks alongside Mudsdale and says, "Lana, been a while, friend. Here to check out the library?" She crosses eyes with Calem and turns to the others. "So, who might these two ladies be?"

    "Oh! Hello… My name is Lillie."

    "My name is Serena.

    "My apologies if Mudsdale spooked you just now. Neither of you seem like trial-goers. What are you up to?"

    Lillie says, "Oh, I'm actually, um, studying the tapu's ruins. For… various reasons of my own."

    "Well, that's some fine initiative. I'd be happy to show you the way whenever you'd like to go. My Mudsdale here is as sturdy as all get-out. She can easily carry a few light weights like ourselves."

    "Thank you very much."

    Hapu nods, strokes her Pokémon, and walks off. Once she's out of earshot, Serena turns to Calem, "What happened?"

    Lillie says, "What do you mean?"

    "That person… er, she never introduced herself…"

    Lana says, "That's Hapu. Right now, she's a trial captain, like me. Although, there are some complications…"

    Serena says, "Thank you. Anyway, Hapu, what does she have against you, Calem? She looked ready to fight the second she saw you."

    Lana claps a fist into her palm, "That's right, Ilima called all the trial captains a bit back. He wanted to warn us about a rude and nasty trial-goer."

    Lillie gasps, "You mean Calem?"

    While Lana nods. "I completely forgot about that."

    Calem says, "Hapu also thinks I'm part of Team Skull."

    Lillie says, "Aren't you going to correct her?"

    Lana says, "You're the person she was talking about?" Upon receiving looks from everyone, she says, "She called all the captains the other day to warn us that one of the trial-goers is a member of Team Skull and that we should be careful with him. I never once suspected she could be talking about Calem."

    Calem shrugs, "Well, let's go find that book."

    Lana says, "Wait, you're just going to let it go?"

    Lillie says, "That's right! You should correct her before this misunderstanding gets worse."

    Calem says, "I'm pretty sure my reputation has already hit rock bottom. More than that, it doesn't really matter."

    Lillie says, "Serena, aren't you going to say anything?"

    Serena says, "He is right, though. A silly thing like this is not that big of a deal. The truth will come out eventually. Back in Kalos, those able to find food, water, and shelter garnered the ire of everyone else. Compared to that… Let us just say those days were terrible…"

    Calem and Serena enter the library. Lillie and Lana enter after thinking over Serena's words. The four search around the upper floor when a girl wearing a dress patched together from rags offers to help. Despite that, she's very cheerful. She's maybe a year younger than Calem.

    Lana says, "Acerola, thanks."

    Acerola says, "Lana, of course. Friends of yours are friends of mine."

    Acerola had been reading the book they're looking for earlier and left it on the table. "Is this what you're looking for, Princess? Give it a read."

    "O-of course!"

    Lillie says, "It's titled the Light of Alola. I'll just… um… read it aloud:

    The empty sky broke asunder,

    A hole appearing where had been none.

    A single beast appeared from in it:

    It was named the beast that calls the moon.

    The king of Alola bowed before it:

    The beast that stole all heavens' light.

    The island guardians fought against it,

    But in the end lost the fight.

    Then did the beast that brings the dark

    Cast its pall on the line of kings.

    So would the beast that had won

    Mark that path for all such finished things.

    Beast of sun and beast of moon.

    Through their union, they brought new life.

    A fragile heir in Alola born

    That island guardians would keep from strife.

    The ancient kings sand their thanks

    For Lunala with song of flute.

    Two tones rang out across the altar-

    A perfect pair, even after mute.

    Calem says, "So, the Tapu are babysitters?"

    Acerola chuckles and says, "That's one way to look at it." She then puts on a proud smile, "But isn't it great? My dad's books are all great!

    Lillie says, "What? I mean, yes, it is. But when you say your father… Isn't this book very old?"

    Acerola nods, "Yeah, it belonged to my dad. I know I don't look it, but my family used to be pretty much royalty. I had to have all my dad's books moved here so they didn't get ruined by the Pokémon. I can tell you lots of other old stories about Alola, too! Are you interested?"

    Lana nods, "Yes, please, hearing that would be a big help."

    Acerola says, "Lana, you've always just looked up books about the ocean, stars, and navigating. I'm so glad you're finally showing an interest in Alola's history."

    Lillie says, "I would be delighted if you did as well." She then turns to Calem, "I think I'll stay here… but you came to Ula'ula Island to undergo another trial. Good luck with it, Calem."

    Serena gives his shoulder a light punch, "Do not go losing now."

    Lana says, "Be careful."

    A gentle smile crosses Calem's face as he says, "Merci." He leaves the library and city for route 10 where he meets an elder lady panicking by the entrance. Her 8 stufful ran off on her and are now lost within the route. Without any Pokémon, she can't safely enter to search for them either.

    Calem is in a hurry to reach the meetup point with Kukui, but shrugs. I'd be a failure of a human if I just walked off. Finding them and getting them back to her is easier than he anticipated. The eight are just lazing around out in the open and upon being spoken to, run back to her in fright. This is kinda fun.

    Calem's lighthearted mood sours upon reaching the bus stop. Two Team Skull thugs are squatting there trying to dig it out. The first thugs says, "What, you never seen someone take a bus stop to go, before?"

    Calem cuts off the second thug. Although he wonders why anyone would want to steal a bus stop, he instead says, "I've told you to quit Team Skull… Forget it, Noibat!"

    They jump at Calem's sudden offense and send out Drowzee and Goldbat.

    Calem has Noibat disorient the two Pokémon with "supersonic." Then, while they're confused, hits them with "wing attack," and "bite." The two thugs call back their Pokémon in less than three minutes.

    The first thugs says, "Yo, think about the bus drivers! If we take this bus stop, they can all chill!"

    The second thug says, "Oh, I'm over this! Back to livin' large at the mansion! Hmmph!"

    Professor Kukui appears soon after the thugs run away. Calem had just finished brushing Ponyta and is putting on his brittle when, "Calem! What's going on? I saw some Team Skull punks talking about some strong trainer, yeah? I sure wish they'd challenge the League instead of getting up to no good all the time…"

    "Alola has a Pokémon League?"

    "Ho-ho! You'll find out soon enough! Just you wait, cousin. But first thing's first. If you want to head up to Mount Hokulani, we should take the bus. It should be here soon, yeah, but you seem to have other plans."

    Calem gives a rare grin and pats the underneath of Ponyta's jaw. "A long open road? How could we take a bus?"

    Kukui salutes Calem and says, "Well, I'll see you at the top, cousin! Yeah!"

    Rotom, as Calem mounts Ponyta, says, "Gitty up, cow boy! Time to szzztart this rodeo! Yee-haw!"

    Calem hoists himself on to Ponyta's back and relaxes his body into proper riding frame. He surveys the road ahead and clicks his tongue. Ponyta hops up onto his hind legs with a neigh dashes ahead. They're still picking up speed when a bus heading down the mountain passes them. Calem ignores it. The flashing sights, the wind in his ears, and the gallop of Ponyta's feet become his world. Everything else gets left behind.

    Ponyta slows to a stop as they reach the observatory. With nothing to drink from, Ponyta lifts his head and opens his mouth so Calem can pour water into it from a bottle. The bus arrives while Calem feeds Ponyta some juicy berries.

    Professor Kukui waves to Calem upon climbing off. He guides him to the side of the mountain and points at a snow covered peak off in the distance. Something can be seen being built on top of it. "Mount Hokulani is the second tallest mountain in Alola. The tallest is that majestic peak over there, Mount Lanakila. The highest peak in Alola! It's a sacred spot, yeah, the closet you can ever get to the legendary Pokémon of Alola, said to be the moon and sun incarnate. That's it! Right there! On the peak of Lanakila! That's where I'll establish our Pokémon League!"

    Calem gasps as he turns wide eyed to Kukui, "You're building the Alola Pokémon League?"

    "That's right! We'll get everybody who's finished their island challenges, yeah, and up there on the peak of Mount Lanakila, they'll battle against the Kahunas to become the island challenge champion! I've always valued our old traditions here in Alola, but it's time to make a Champion the whole world will recognize! It's time to get our own Elite Four and make our own Pokémon League! To think that, someday, the kiddos in Alola will be able to go from being the island challenge champion to the world Champion! And then, when we have our own Champion, they can show the rest of the world what's so special about Alolan Pokémon and their trainers, yeah!"

    "Building your own Pokémon League…" A chuckle escapes Calem. Then a second and a third. It gets louder and soon he's laughing loud and hard. The tone underlying it goes from shock and surprised to self-ridicule. Many people give him strange looks and Rotom starts taking pictures, but he continues. His laugh changes from being hollow to one full of anticipation. He grabs the guard railing as he stops laughing and says, "You're building your own Pokémon League. Where I'm from, the Pokémon League helped establish the regions. If the League leaves you, then that's it." He gives Professor Kukui a bright smile, "Je veux le voir!"

    "Taking the island challenge really has done you a world of good, yeah! Your mother would have loved to see you laughing." He claps Calem's back, "Well, your next step awaits. You can find Sophocles inside the observatory, woo!"
     
  14. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 11

    Professor Kukui brings Calem to the observatory entrance where they spot one of the engineers making adjustments to the door. "Hey there!"

    The person turns around with a knowing smile, "You're still fired up as ever, eh, "Royal"?"

    "Ha! Calem, lemme introduce you. This is Molayne. He runs the observatory here, and also manages the PC boxes, but he's not Hokulani's captain."

    Molayne shakes his head. The sigh that escapes him is one full of joyful memories. "But I was the captain once, my masked friend." He turns to Calem, "It's Calem, right? Thanks for coming all the way up Hokulani to visit us. A lot of our employees were amazed to see you and Ponyta zip past our road side cameras. They even started a little cheer squad for you. Heck, the first guy spit his coffee upon seeing you. Anyway, our Captain Sophocles is a busy young man. Always calculating comets' paths or planning festivals… So, I'll just determine whether you're qualified to take on the trial."

    Calem takes a breath and muses on Professor Kukui's words, "A world of good…" His journey hasn't been long. Two weeks haven't even gone by since he left home with Mawile. Yet all the different people he's met in that short time… It's almost like when he set off on his first adventure back in Kalos: the strict but kind elder blocking the bridge to route two, trainer Joey who lost his ratatta in the Santalune Forest, lass Anna with a pikachu who flirted with him just so he'd buy her lunch, and Alexa the photographer …

    He shakes the image of their corpses from his head. That won't happen again. He won't let it happen.

    Those thoughts happen every time he meets someone new. It's one of the reasons he stopped leaving his room. But now that he's doing this journey, he doesn't want to let that stop him anymore. A grim determination crosses his face as he says, "Let's do this, Noibat."

    Molayne, oblivious to Calem's inner turmoil, grins. "I'll gladly show you the skills of a trainer who toughened up while adventuring alongside Kukui back in the day. Metang!"

    "Supersonic!" Metang is a bad matchup for Noibat. Calem has keep the momentum and end this battle as soon as possible. Metang's two random punches into the air show Calem how well trained the steel type Pokémon is. Those punches had perfect form. Getting hit once is dangerous. "Dragon pulse!"

    Noibat, who's keeping his distance from Metang, zips towards the steel type. A purple shock wave blasts from his mouth. Metang is forced onto the ground, but levitates itself back up after a few seconds. Worse, from the sharpness of its stare, it's no longer confused. "Agility, acrobatics!"

    Noibat's quick reactions let him dodge Metang's "metal claw," and "zen headbutt." When Molayne says, "Confusion!" the attack, "Dragon pulse," comes from Calem's mouth before he can register the situation. His instinctual decision proves sound judgement. They canceled each other out.

    "Supersonic!"

    Metang, with "magnet rise," deflects the sound waves with electromagnetism. That leaves him open for, "Heat wave!"

    Metang takes the hit. It's hurt, but still able to continue. Molayne says, "Bullet punch!"

    "Supersonic!"

    Metang, committed to its attack, cannot deflect Noibat's with magnet rise. With its aim thrown off by the sudden confusion, its fist grazes Noibat's wing. Noibat tumbles to the ground. He acts tough as he scurries about, but from the way he tries not to move his shoulder, he can't fly anymore.

    Molayne tells Metang to "body slam" the ground, but Metang throws punches in front of itself, and blasts a psychic skyward. Once Noibat gets underneath the steel Pokémon, "Heat wave!"

    Metang could withstand an attack from the front, but with nothing to defend itself from below, it's knocked out and falls to the ground with a thud.

    Calem lifts Noibat who rubs himself against Calem's face, "Great job, all that training is paying off!"

    "Noi!"

    Molayne recalls his Pokémon. "Looks like Kukui brought along a good trainer. You certainly seem qualified to take on the trial."

    Professor Kukui says, "Yeah, I think he's even stronger than we were at this point of our island challenge, relatively speaking, woo. One more thing, cousin- the name's Kukui! Who's this Masked Royal you're talking about?"

    Calem says, "He's Professor Burnet's favorite battler at the Battle Royal. She kept going on and on about how cool and handsome he is the other day. Every two or three sentences, she'd say that he must look dreamy underneath his mask."

    Professor Kukui fights back his shock as he says, "Di- did she now?"

    "She was showering him in praises. Better be careful, Professor, or she might be stolen away from you."

    "I- I see… Well, cousin, I'm heading back to Malie Garden. Hau should be done with his date by now, assuming he hasn't moved on to a second, yeah. Either way, I'll make sure he makes it up here, too."

    Molayne watches Professor Kukui walk away and says, "That guy's as interesting as ever. My old buddy! Anyway, welcome to our observatory, Calem!"

    Calem enters through the front doors as Rotom gives him some encouragement, "I think you'd better go with Molayne there, pal. See what Hokulani Observatory haszzz to offer."

    Sophocles, a fat ginger, is in the center of the observatory. Calem's first thoughts upon passing through the recently refurbished door, What a comfortable life…

    Sophocles looks at Calem in hesitation for a few seconds before saying, "You're getting close to your goals. I imagine that you must have come here to attempt the trial, huh? So… uh… you coming to the festival?"

    "What festival?"

    "To celebrate the opening of the League, of course."

    "Maybe, I guess."

    "Oh… okay then. Well, let's get started."

    Calem looks around at the fancy and expensive equipment filling the room. "Here?"

    "Right here, right now. All trial involve summoning the totem Pokémon and fighting it. So I'll just call the totem here from the start. I tried some of this and that and whipped up a device that summons the totem Pokémon. It works by emitting a sound only they can hear. Time for the second test. Ping Totem Pokémon 2.0, engage!"

    A large Vikavolt smashes through the door. Electric sparks emit from her body as she roars and snaps her teeth at Calem. Calem points at a speaker. "That the device calling the Pokémon?"

    "Yeah."

    Calem tosses Mawile's premier ball at the device. She smashes it with her second mouth upon emerging from her ball. Sophocles's jaw drops. Calem cuts him off before he can complain, "Your device causes her pain. You just can't hear it."

    "Maw!"

    Sophocles makes an annoyed face. "You could have just said something. Ilima and Hapu were right… you are just a punk."

    A flaming red aura surround Vikavolt as she snaps her teeth at Calem. She's grateful for having destroyed the irritation and will show her appreciation by going full out in this battle.

    Calem says, "Then let's not keep her waiting, Mawile. Taunt!"

    Vikavolt opens her scissor like jaws to attack with X-scissor, but Mawile redirects her to the side with a sucker punch from below. She then catches the bug-type Pokémon with fire fang and slams her against the ground.

    Vikavolt cries out and summons Charjabug to her aid. Vikavolt picks her helper up with her legs and charges a thunder bolt. From the color of the sparks it emits, this attack will be more powerful than a normal one. Vikavolt's using Charjabug to boost her electricity…

    Calem says, "Don't let it touch you!" Mawile uses her second mouth to rip out a piece of the floor and throws it into the path of the electricity. She then dashes forward and swings the second mouth for, "Iron head!"

    Vikavolt bends her body and swerves around Mawile's attack. While Vikavolt attacks from behind, Mawile continues throwing her second mouth forward. She slams the mouth into the ground and flips herself into the air by the stem. Upon landing on Vikavolt's back, she lifts up her second mouth and forces Vikavolt to carry all of her weight. Then, just as she and Calem planned, "Fire fang!"

    Mawile defeats Vikavolt and Charjabug before any of them can use discharge.

    Molayne runs into the room as Vikavolt scurries away with Charjabug. "Soffy…"

    Sophocles says, "Big Mo!"

    "Nice work, Captain! You helped Calem through his trial, and your experiment was a success!"

    Sophocles says, "Yeah, but I didn't consider how it makes Vikavolt feel. Hey, Calem, I'll give you this Electrium Z to reward you for beating the Totem Pokémon. You were thinking about the Pokémon first, so I'll forgive what you did. But seriously, next time say something!"

    Molayne says, "Congratulations on clearing your trial! And you, Sophocles, you did well as captain. Don't worry, I'm sure I made the right choice in naming you captain. Even if you are my cousin." He turns to Calem and says, "Usually it's the Island Kahuna who appoint the captains. Ula'ula Island, er, has some unusual circumstances. Here, Calem, let me reward you as well. This is the Steelium Z. That's one of the Z-crystals I collected long ago during my island challenge. By the way, could I ask you to do a favor for me? Professor Kukui forgot this."

    Calem puts a mask that looks exactly like Mask Royal's into his bag while Molayne continues, "He said he'd be going back to Malie Garden. Could you take it to him?"

    "Sure."

    Calem is mounting Ponyta to descend the mountain when he realizes the Sophocles never showed him the Electrium Z dance. He shrugs, learning it is pointless without the Z-ring.

    The sun begins to set by the time they reach Malie City. After stopping to make sure Ponyta has had enough to drink from a stream, he continues for the garden. He catches Professor Kukui confronting a pair of Team Skull thugs by one of the garden bridges. Calem ignores the developing battle and calls out to Kukui. "Professor, you forgot your mask."

    "Battle Royal, huh? Nice idea there, Kukui. You can bear down three Pokémon at once, huh?" A man's voice carries from the bridge. He must be talking about the conversation Professor Kukui was having with the two thugs. Calem doesn't spare him a glance and keeps his attention on Professor Kukui.

    One of the thugs says to Calem, "Hey, that's Guzma! Show our boss some respect!"

    Taking a cue from the Professor, Calem turns his head towards the Guzma. "Urgh." The face he makes is full of repugnance. Unlike most trainers Calem's encountered, Guzma doesn't have a Z-ring. Another note is that while the Team Skull thugs remind Calem of Team Flare, Guzma doesn't remind me of Lysander. Also, looking at him doesn't evoke the same anger from his minions. Instead, he's overwhelmed by irritation and disgust. Both feelings are familiar to him, but nothing he can associate them with comes to mind.

    Guzma lords over Calem. "The hated boss who beats you down, and beats you down, and never lets up… Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here!" He then steps back and laughs. "Greetings, cowering public! We have an exciting bout for you tonight! In the opposing corner, the Pokémon Professor Kukui! And in this corner, the boss of Team Skull and the hardest guy around, Guzma!"

    Mawile burst from her premier ball at Calem's waist. "Maw!" Calem nod and steps forward. His voice comes out cold, empty, and tinged with revulsion. Nothing that would be expect from someone as young as him. "You're fighting us, instead."

    Guzma sneers. "Buzz off. This is a battle between fellow rejects who never could become captains." He turns back to Professor Kukui, "These moldy old traditions- the Kahuna, the captains… cutting out that silly garbage and make something new for ourselves. I get what you're saying, Kukui, but we don't need a league! After all, everyone already knows who the strongest trainer is on these islands!"

    Professor Kukui chuckles. "Speak for yourself, Guzma. I chose not to become a captain. I had different dreams. I'd tell you about them, but I don't think he'll wait any longer, yeah."

    Guzma glances towards Calem in time to hear, "Iron head." Guzma throws a Pokéball as he jumps back. Golisopod catches Mawile's second mouth with his six arms. A struggle develops with Mawile trying to break free and Golisopod trying to hold her mouth.

    Guzma says, "You don't have even have a Z-ring. This has nothing to do with you! What do you care?"

    "Faux, Z-power just wasn't for me!"

    "That's what they all say! Then, what? What'd you get out of all this?"

    "I want to see it! I want to see the establishment of a new Pokémon League and you're in the way! But in all honesty, you just tick me off! Mawile, thunder fang!"

    Golisopod jumps away as the mouth he's holding shocks him. He then charges forward with, "Razor shell!"

    Mawile takes hit with "Iron defense" without budging. Her second mouth swings for Golisopod's side with thunder fang. The water Pokémon scurries back and away from the attack. That Pokémon runs away whenever faced with a dangerous attack.

    Mawile follows after him with, "Taunt!" Golisopod throws itself at Mawile with rock smash, but she redirects his blow with sucker punch. Then, as Golisopod is off balance, "Thunder fang!"

    Guzma calls back his Pokémon. He then grabs his head and flails it around while shouting, "Guzma! What is wrong with you? Now's the time for your vaunted team to let loose and destroy everything! You're name's Calem, right? I'll remember you… as someone I'll be happy to beat down anytime!" Guzma leaves and his two thugs run after him.

    Calem's expression is full of loathing and distain as he watches them. The emotions remain even after they're out of sight. Professor Kukui breaks his concentration with a clap on his back, "Team Skull will have to go and lick their wounds now! Getting beat by a child just doing his trials! So, Mahina is the person you passed your Z-ring to, yeah? I was wondering what happened to it and then ran into her not too long ago, woo. Still, even without Z-power, those were some nice moves, cousin! My soul is still shaking, woo! By the way, that mask you got there… Molayne gave you that, yeah? I'll take it, if you don't mind. I can make sure it gets back to the Masked Royal safe and sound… By the way, where's Lillie, yeah? You lose her or something?"

    Calem shakes his head. "She probably at the library with Serena, Lana, and Acerola." They separate and Calem proceeds to check in at the Pokémon center for the night. In the café are Serena, Lillie, Lana, Acerola, and to his surprise Mahina. If Hau knew about this, he'd would probably sacrifice an arm and leg to be there.

    The five chat with bright smiles on their faces. At their sides are bags of new clothes. Lillie in particular looks very excited. They bonded over shopping? Serena notices Calem by the entrance and calls him over. "Mizzy! How'd it go? You won, right?"

    Mahina jumps and looks from Calem to everyone else. "You guys all know him too?"

    Calem draws a chair to the table, "Le monde est petit. Although, I didn't expect to run into you this soon."

    "Maybe me being here isn't as impressive as you think? This is my second island." She then glances towards Lana, "Although…"

    Lana giggles, "Under oath to my position as a captain, I promise to return to my trial ground in a few days. Please challenge Kiawe and Mallow until then. Right now, I plan to stay here and study."

    Acerola says, "Then the rest of us can head to the next trial in the morning."

    Lana says, "Calem, make sure to be careful, okay?"

    Acerola says, "I don't know, Lana. Men who take risks have a certain appeal about them too."

    Everyone laughs as Lana shakes her bright red face. "No, no, no, no! I don't mean it like that!"

    …..

    Rocky terrain from a mud slide blocks the path on route 12. Walking over it would be dangerous and slow. Acerola pulls a ride pager out from within her dress with a sigh. "I really thought they'd have cleared this by now. Well, looks like there's been some progress at least…"

    Calem and Serena watch as Lillie and Mahina also pull out ride pagers. Acerola notices and says, "Don't you two have ride pagers? Here, I'll call an extra pair of Pokémon for you."

    Ponyta bursts from his Pokéball at Calem's waist. He jumps up on his hind legs and neighs his complaint.

    Calem pacifies Ponyta while saying, "We're good, we're good. Ponyta will get jealous if I ride anyone other than him." Ponyta snorts and juts his head to accent Calem's claim.

    Serena says, "I have heard about the ride system, but how does it work? Do you just sit here and wait for the Pokémon to arrive?"

    Acerola gives a bright smile and says, "That's right. How long you wait depends on where you are and what Pokémon you call. Although, it's a really great service. The longest anyone ever has to wait is 30 minutes. So, Serena, do you need me to call you one?"

    Serena shakes her head. She turns to Calem's Ponyta and says, "My ride is right here."

    Calem says, "You're not even going to ask?"

    "Would you actually say no?"

    Calem shrugs and begins to brush Ponyta. Serena pulls out some berries from her bag and feeds the fire Pokémon.

    Mahina walks up to them while holding her hands behind her back. "Calem, did you and Ponyta run up Mount Hokulani yesterday? I was taking the bus down when-"

    Ponyta gives a triumphant huff of his lips. Calem pats his neck while giving a chiding sigh, "Yeah, that was us."

    Three Mudsdale arrive as Calem finishes preparing Ponyta with his riding gear. Serena slips a pair of pants up underneath her skirt as he mounts the fire Pokémon. Then, accepting his hand, she hops on behind him. Calem pats Ponyta's neck as she wraps her arms tight around him. "Hey, Ponyta, we've got an important guest with us today. Don't hold anything back and go full out."

    Ponyta neighs and jumps up onto its hind legs. After flailing his front legs, he jumps onto them and kicks out his hind legs. He bucks around and then gallops for the rock covered path. He reaches the end of the road and leaps. He clears the blocked path in a single bound. He then turns to the three mudsdale carrying Lillie, Acerola, and Mahina and taunts them to hurry up with a neigh.

    Calem swats Ponyta's neck, "Hey, don't be rude! You're built for speed, Mudsdale for power. You can't compare yourself against them."

    Ponyta snorts in dissatisfaction, but doesn't say anything else.

    Serena relaxes her grip around Calem as they wait for the others. "You meant Mahina, right? She's so similar to Tierno, it's scary."

    "Should you really be talking with contractions?"

    "Please, there's no one around to hear me. Just 'cause I'm still wearing the mantel doesn't mean I'm not allowed to stop being the Final Champion of Kalos and just be Serena." She slumps the side of her face against Calem's back with a sigh, "Apparently, she got her Z-ring from a passing trainer. To commemorate the event, said trainer's egg hatched."

    Serena chuckles and adds, "We found a whole batch buried in mud a year after everything happened. Then you said that one was still alive. We all thought you were crazy, but you… you've been nursing that guy for years."

    "I know dead, I'll recognize it when I see it. Noibat was struggling to stay alive."

    Once Acerola, Lillie, and Mahina catch up, Ponyta neighs and gallops to where the next mudslide blocks the road. He leaps onto the side of the mountain, trots a few steps horizontal and hops down where the road begins anew. As they wait for the others to catch up again, Serena laughs and says, "Show off."

    Ponyta gives a proud neigh.

    They leap over the final landslide and continue into a settlement on route 13. As Ponyta slows to a stop, Hau calls out to Calem. Surprise and jealousy color his face upon seeing Serena riding behind Calem. "Let me guess, you're on a date?"

    The two turn to each other as the comment takes them by surprise. Serena says, "No one has accused us of being a couple in years."

    Calem says, "Yeah, hearing it is a weird mixture of happy and sad." He passes the reins to Serena and hops off Ponyta. To Hau, "So, what's up?"

    Hau shakes his head, "Nothing, just wanted to say I heard you beat Sophocles. He kept grumbling about how you broke his totem-calling machine or whatever. He really didn't like having to do things the old fashioned way. Anyway, looks like we're both getting stronger!"

    Gladion steps out from a building. He notices them in front of Ponyta, "You only have one volume, don't you? Haven't you ever heard the expression that silence is golden?"

    Hau's taken aback by his appearance, but summons up the nerve to say, "But speech is silver!"

    Gladion clicks his tongue, "Whatever, that's not important. Listen, Team Skull is looking for a Pokémon called Cosmog… Do you two know anything?"

    Hau gaze shifts to the side, "W-what? N-not that we'd tell you!"

    Serena says, "Hau, you are a terrible liar."

    Calem says, "I pegged you a smooth talker with all the girls you pick up."

    Gladion shakes his head, "Look… Cosmog isn't a strong Pokémon. It has the potential to summon Pokémon so terrifyingly strong that you don't even know. If something like that happened, it would be a disaster for Alola…"

    Hau says, "A disaster? Like… a real disaster? Then what're we supposed to do about it?"

    Calem doesn't say anything. Instead, his hand slips to the black Pokéball on his belt while recalling the Ultra Beast appearing at Aether Paradise.

    Gladion says, "Protect it! If you do know where Cosmog is or if you do find anything out… just keep it safe! I know I might be working for Team Skull right now, so you may not trust me or care but… I'm going to tell you this just once. You have to protect Cosmog… no matter what!"

    Calem says, "What about Lillie?"

    Surprise flashes through Gladion's eyes for a moment, but he hardens his stare. "Just keep them safe. I don't understand how Team Skull found out about Cosmog in the first place, but it can't be anything good."

    As Gladion walks off, Hau says, "What does he mean no matter what? Anyway, do you think Lillie is in danger? Well, things will be fine as long as we keep her safe, right?"

    "Put short, yeah."

    "Then, I'm gonna take on my next trial and get even stronger. Tapu Koko is gonna recognize my strength and make me the next Kahuna." Hau makes a loud declaration and fist pumps, but it's just a performance. He gives off a faint reluctance to committing to what he just said.

    Calem ignores it and says, "What's so good about being a bug Pokémon?"

    "Kahuna! Not Kakuna!"

    As Hau walks off, Serena says, "Were you fishing for information? The resemblance between him and Lillie is quite uncanny."

    Calem looks up to Serena who's still mounted on Ponyta's back. "How long are you going to sit up there?"

    Serena blushes and speaks with a soft voice. "I- I am stuck. I can no longer move my legs…"

    Calem strokes Ponyta's neck. "You hear that? Great job." He then holds out his arms towards Serena. She bends down to place her arms into his so he can pull her off. She winces as she slides off of Ponyta's back. Even a loud cracking sound ringing out from one of her legs follows. Calem lets her fall onto him and hugs her to prevent her from falling over. She steps away from him, but remains latched to his arm for support.

    "That was fun, but I forgot how bad it can hurt afterwards."

    "You know, I've heard people complain about that, but never actually felt that pain."

    Serena narrows her eyes, "Well, you sure are a lucky one."

    Acerola calls out to them as she, Lillie, and Mahina catch up. All three have dismounted from Mudsdale and travel on foot. "What's going on you guys?" She gasps upon seeing Serena's posture and how close she stands to Calem. Her face turns a bit red as she says, "You two… We couldn't have taken more than 20 minutes. Are you going to cheat behind Lana's back?"

    Calem turns to Serena. She is standing really close to him. Judging by the way she's standing, from what he recalls through conversations with first time riders, she won't be able to walk straight for a few days. "It'll hurt for a while, but should pass once you start walking."

    Serena shakes her head. "You completely misunderstood her… Just… just shut up or I will make you carry me the rest of the way."

    Lillie says once they resume walking, "This… this might be a bit rude…. but… what kind of relationship do you two have?"

    The answer Calem and Serena give are in complete sync, a testament to the number of times they've answered that question. "Neighbors since before we could walk. Rivals in Pokémon."

    Mahina says, "Are you still rivals?"

    Serena says, "Of course, our bonds will not break that easily."

    A mischievous smirk crosses Acerola face as she says, "Okay, but how do you feel about each other as lovers?"

    Calem says, "Impossible." As everyone stares at him, he realizes he needs to explain himself. "Kalos is still too heavy on my mind to think about anything else."

    Acerola says, "So, hypothetically, let's say a girl does like you. What would you do?"

    Serena stops him from answering. "No, it will come out wrong if you say it." To the others, "Mizzy is not blind. He can be very smooth and has turned down plenty of dates before. His words were, "They just wanted brag about how they dated a trainer with their city gym badge." Now, if someone actually interested does come along, he would probably turn her down for the reason he just gave us. In other words, she is going to need patience." She winks and says, "Please let her know that as well."

    Acerola says, "I- I see… Oh, this is Tapu Village. Over there is the entrance to Mount Lanakila. It's closed while they build the Pokémon League, but to celebrate its opening, there's going to be a seven day festival here full of Pokémon battles and dancing. I can't wait!"

    Serena looks at Calem's face and sighs. She separates herself from his arm and says, "Try not to go too high, okay?"

    Lillie says, "Wait… what's going on? Calem, you're not… going to try and sneak past them, are you?"

    Calem says, "I'll catch up with all of you later." He doubles back and calls out Ponyta. They sneak as close as they can to Mount Lanakila and jump over all the barriers impeding their progress and then upward. Ponyta springs towards the sky each time his hooves touch the mountainside.

    Ponyta stops after ten hops. They are up high enough that no one from below should notice him. He still wants to go higher, all the way to the top, but that would take a lot more time than he has. He also doesn't have the right clothes for such a trek. He's dressed for summer while up there, for all intents and purposes, is winter.

    He doesn't walk long when he comes across a sandslash. Unlike the ones from Kalos, this one is blue and has ice spikes growing from its back. Rotom says, "Fleeing volcanic eruption, it szzetled on a szzznowy mountain. Itszzz body adapted to the cold by becoming an ice and szzzteel type."

    Calem calls out Noibat. "Supersonic!" This battle will be good training for him. "Steel wing!"

    Sandslash rolls onto her feet and retaliates with icicle spear. Confused from supersonic, her aim doesn't come close to Noibat. The flying Pokémon flaps his wings in place and waits for Calem's next instruction. Looks like they need to experience more battles together before their thoughts can sync during all battles.

    "Dragon pulse." Calem throws a Pokéball as the attack hits. It shakes once, twice, thrice, and holds still. Noibat lands on his shoulder as he picks up the Pokéball. He pets the Pokémon nuzzling against his neck, "I know, I know, it's cold. We're leaving, we're leaving."
     
  15. Pikachushua

    Mew
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 27
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
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    ₽91.9
    Imma post so I know when you post more cause its really good
     
    warriorseadra likes this.
  16. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
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    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 12

    Calem, satisfied with everything he's seen on Mount Lanakila, calls out Ponyta. While preparing Ponyta with his stirrup, he wonders, Does Lana's name and the Lana from Lanakila derive from the same source?

    He then mounts Ponyta and, from his back, hops off the mountain's ledge. Rocks, frozen dirt, and ice scrape against Ponyta's hooves as they slide down the mountain. Small rocks and bits of ice spray upward and cut his face. When the ground gets too ruff, or unsteady, they hop to the side and resume the slide from a different place.

    Calem keeps a sharp eye during their descent in order to properly guide Ponyta towards the Aether House. Upon getting close enough to spot it, Ponyta leaps. He covers the distance and drop with a single bound.

    Calem pats Ponyta's neck and gives him water from his bottle before entering the building. Inside, an Oranguru runs the front desk. On the sofas to the side, Hau flirts with Acerola. She smiling, but it's strained and cracking. Calem's attention, however, is captured by the gumshoos playing with a pair of children. The look he gives the Pokémon is a mixture of disgust and confusion.

    Acerola uses Calem's arrival as an excuse to escape from Hau, "Do you have some bad history with gumshoos, Calem?"

    "Gumshoos resemble the current prime minster of Unova. That guy… well, Unova was a good region, it had some of everything. But that guy, he just riled up the people with anti-refugee rhetoric and after three months, we were forced to move again. Gumshoos looks a lot like him..."

    Acerola struggles to keep herself giggling at his discomfort. "Then, how about starting the next trial? Mahina finished earlier and the totem will love the company. Come on, I'll show you the way."

    Hau says, "Wait, you're the captain?"

    "Of course!" She then spins and place a hand on her hip, "Guess you weren't expecting that. Anyway, I'll be back soon." The moment she and Calem step outside, they come across a Team Skull thug harassing Lillie and Serena. Serena is reaching for a Pokéball as the thug tugs on Lillie's bag.

    Calem jumps off the Aether House porch with a kick towards the Team Skull thug's face. While the thug struggles back up onto his feet, Calem lifts him by the collar and to decks him. Cold hatred laces his voice as he says, "Get lost."

    Lillie gasps, "Calem!"

    Serena looks annoyed, "I had that, Mizzy," but still says, "Je vous remercie."

    Acerola's eyes pop open as she says, "What a surprise, Calem. I didn't peg you as someone who'd burst with emotion like that."

    Calem returns to his passive tone, but its curt. "Depends on whom I'm dealing with."

    Lillie says, "Thank you, Calem. I was walking around with Serena, trying to see what it feels like to be a true trainer, but then Nebby tried to get out of the bag." She turns to her bag, "Didn't you! Go on, you little trouble maker… You'd better thank Calem, too!"

    "Pew!"

    Acerola gives the bag a curious look but decides not to inquire about it. She instead says, "Lillie, why don't you rest at the Aether House for a while?"

    Lillie nods, "Oh, Acerola… Thank you! I think I might take you up on that."

    Acerola skips ahead and turns around. She hops in place with excitement at having a second and potentially third visitor to her trial come on the same day. "Come on, Calem! We can reach my trial site from Tapu Village. Just follow me!"

    Calem and Serena look to each other and nod. They press both their cheeks together and exchange quick kisses. The messages, "Good luck," and "Be careful," transmit clear to each other.

    Calem says, "A bientot," to a blushing Lillie and hurries after Acerola. She waits for him not too far ahead. Her mouth hangs open from seeing him and Serena kiss.

    Acerola's tone is more of an accusation than a question. "Didn't you two say you're just friends?"

    "That's how we greeted and said goodbye in Kalos."

    Her voice softens from embarrassment and hesitation as she says, "Do… do you do the same for everyone… here?"

    "If they wanted to? I don't think anyone would feel comfortable about it though." As Acerola sighs out, Calem says, "What? You thought I'd forcefully give you a kiss or something? I'm not Hau."

    Acerola giggles, "Saying that might be a bit much, don't cha' think? Anyway, after you left to challenge Sophocles yesterday, Lana took me aside to say you're nothing like how Ilima, Mallow, and Hapu described. Talking to you now and seeing how you punched that guy earlier, she was right. Those three were completely wrong. Also," Her eyes take a mischievous glint, "You know, I don't think Lana would complain if you gave her a kiss hello or goodbye."

    Calem flicks Acerola's forehead. "Stop messing around. I am not going to lead anyone on like that."

    She rubs her forehead, "I knew you'd decline, but wasn't that a bit too violent?"

    Calem cups his chin as he frowns in confusion. He mutters more to himself than Acerola, "Yeah, that was strange. I'm usually more composed than that."

    Acerola's eyes sparkle as she reads into Calem's words. She waits with eager anticipation to what he'll say next, but face palms when he says, "Well, I might not like fighting, but won't hesitate when necessary."

    "Attacking my forehead was necessary? You really can't judge books by their covers. You don't show much expression and your eyes are really gentle, but there's a ferocious beast sleeping underneath all that."

    They come to a stop outside an abandoned and rundown supermarket. "And he-re we are! This spot is sacred to Tapu Bula, yet people tried to build on it anyway. Once the building was complete, he struck it down. Did you know that now it's full with lots of Ghost Pokémon? Guess I should explain the rules of my trial next, huh? You've got to find the totem Pokémon of the site and snap a shot of it with a poke finder! You do have one, right?"

    Her grin widens at Calem's nod. "The totem is a bit of a trickster, and likes to play hide-and-seek, and mess around. If you take pictures of the other ghost Pokémon inside, it'll definitely come out to get in on the fun and have its photo taken, too! Don't worry, anything weird you see in there is probably a ghost Pokémon causing mischief. Make sure to get a photo before it's gone!" She then giggles and adds, "Rotom in your Pokédex finder is a ghost type, too. Your trial will begin once you enter the building, got it?"

    "I'll see you in a bit."

    As Calem enters, Rotom says, "Okay, this place iszzz creeping me out a bit. You sure we need to go in here?"

    "There's nothing to be afraid of."

    "That'szzz what you szzay."

    The light that enters through the cracked windows is enough to illuminate the front of the store. Some areas in the back are harder to see, but enough sun light seems to reach through for navigation. Calem picks up one of the remaining books from a shopping rack and coughs. Heavy layers of dust cover everything. He doesn't want to test his luck on something breaking underneath his weight and settles for walking around the fallen shopping carts, misaligned shelves, and scattered boxes.

    A conveyer belt he walks past begins turning. He looks behind the counter and finds there is no power. He takes out Rotom, despite his fearful complaints, and looks for the ghost Pokémon. Gastly floats above his head. Gastly, startled by the picture, attacks. An "ice ball" from Sandslash ends the battle.

    Something yellow scurries past Calem's peripheral. Calem looks around, but doesn't see any other clues. Rotom says, "You saw something, didn't you? No! Don't follow it! Haven't you seen those szzzcary movieszzzz? Investigating mysteries never ends well for the protagonist!"

    A shopping cart begins rattling as he presses deeper into the abandoned market. He again ignores Rotom's complaints and prepares the camera. After some searching, he finds a Haunter underneath the cart. She too attacks after the camera's surprising flash and is defeated with a "Dragon pulse" from Noibat.

    Something yellow again scurries past Calem's side. It had a lightning bolt shaped tail? He walks after it with Rotom saying, "Why? Why won't you heed my adviczzze?"

    The store gets darker as Calem reaches the back. To keep from crashing into anything, he walks with his hands held out before himself. The idea works against walls, but smaller things and shelves that have gaps between them are a different matter.

    He rubs his stomach when a pair of dolls float upward and circle around him. Rotom screams as Calem drags him out of his pocket. Gengar takes a strong man pose for the picture and after flexing his muscles, leaves.

    Pikachu waits for Calem to turn around. The electric Pokémon scurries away before he can get a good look. He disappears by ducking underneath a crack in a door.

    Rotom cries tears as Calem goes to push the door open. "No, no, no, I want a new trainer! Thiszzz one iszzz going to get uszzz killed!"

    Calem lets go of the door. "Rotom, you're already a ghost. What are you so afraid of?"

    Rotom stops crying and frowns as he thinks about Calem's words. "That'szzz right, I can't die. But szzzcary thingszzz are szzztill szzzcary!"

    Calem ignores Rotom's pleas of "Szzztop!" and "Don't go!" and enters the room. A blinking light bulb shows various pictures and posters of a pikachu. Some depict the electric Pokémon playing with a little girl. "Pikachu's owner?"

    Calem feels a strong set of eye looking him over. From behind chirps a "Kyu~" sound. What he finds isn't Pikachu, but a large homemade Pikachu doll? No, it's a costume, there are eye holes on the stomach. "Mimikyu~" the ghost Pokémon says as it waits for its picture to be taken. Her voice sounds like it says, "See me?" She's… lonely.

    "Want to come with us?" Calem says while snapping the picture. The Mimikyu stares at Calem for a few moments and then scurries away into the store.

    Calem shrugs and leaves.

    "He-y! You're not supposed to catch Pokémon during your trial!"

    Calem looks behind him and finds a Mimikyu tailing him like a second shadow. This one is smaller than the one inside. "I didn't." He bends down and holds out his hand to the ghost Pokémon. "Want to come with us?"

    Mimikyu's Pikachu head lobs back and forth as she says, "Mimikyu, mimi!" She then runs forward and nuzzles against Calem's hand.

    Acerola sighs and shakes her head. "Technically, I guess you didn't catch her during your trial... And having a ghost Pokémon on your team isn't a bad idea." She gives Calem a dusk ball and then smiles, "So, how was it?" She gives him a sly grin, "I could hear your screams all the way from here? You didn't run into any trouble, did you?"

    Calem pulls out his Rotom-dex to show her Mimikyu's picture. "Not me, him."

    "Rotom's a ghost Pokémon…"

    Rotom says, "Szzzcary thingzzz are szzzcary!"

    Calem turns to Mimikyu, "She lead me all the way to that room with the Pikachu in the back."

    Acerola laughs and says, "Room in the back? Quit trying to scare me! There are no rooms in the back. I'm friends with Lana, how gullible do you thin-" A shiver cuts her sentence short. Her eyes pop open as she shakes her head, "Let's… let's get going."

    Calem watches her walk off. She didn't give me the Z-crystal…

    They find Team Skull threatening Hau outside the Aether House upon returning. He tries to act tough against Plumeria, but his legs are shaking. Did he lose against her?

    Plumeria notices Calem and says, "And now you're back. It takes these dumb grunts way too long to deal with you kids… Fine, guess it's my turn. I warned you before, next time you get in my way, I'm not holding back! Salazzla!"

    "Hold it!" Serena runs up the path Calem and Acerola just walked and places herself before them. "Mizzy, you and your Pokémon just returned from a trial. Allow me to handle this." Alteria glows with a white light upon appearing from a Pokéball. Serena holds her mega-necklace with a pair of fingers while saying, "Mega-Alteria, moon-blast!"

    Salazzala avoids the attack by darting to side. The Pokémon reacted just how Serena wanted, "Dragon breath!"

    Plumeria clicks her tongue and calls back her Pokémon. The two Team Skull thugs with her shake their heads and step back at Serena's glare. They force themselves to step forward while saying, "Do-don't look down on us!"

    Acerola says, "Was that… mega-evolution? I heard about it, but never thought I'd get the chance to see it." She looks to Calem, "Is this the so called legacy of Kalos?"

    Calem paws at the necklace hidden underneath his shirt, "Yeah, out of the five trainers Professor Sycamore entrusted, Serena is the one who unraveled the mysteries enveloping mega-evolution. We battled against each other for that right in front of the mega-evolution guru and his successor, but in the end, Serena came out on top."

    Hau says, "Well, that's just amazing. It's almost like Z-power!"

    Calem says, "Mega-evolution is the answer when Pokémon and humans unite with the same wish. Z-power is the answer when Pokémon and humans unite in the heat of battle."

    Acerola eyes at how Calem unconsciously fiddles with the necklace hidden underneath his shirt. "Can you use it too?"

    "No…"

    Plumeria growls upon seeing the two Team Skull thugs lose. She juts her chin at Calem and looks down on him, "Pathetic, you're still hiding behind girls! Well, whatever, if you want us to return the Pokémon, then come to Po Town, alone! The boss is dying to meet you."

    Acerola says, "Pokémon…?" as Plumeria and the two thugs leave. She gasps and runs into the Aether House. "Hey! Are you guys ok?"

    Calem and Serena follow her inside and find Lillie trying to consul the two crying children. The young girl says, "M-my Gumshoos…"

    Acerola's concern changes to fury. "We can't forgive this! Darn it, those numbskull actually did something clever for once!"

    Serena says, "I am sorry. I never thought anything like this would happen and carelessly left to explore the surrounding area."

    Acerola says, "No, no one could have seen this coming."

    Hau enters the building. He clenches his fist and punch his own hand while muttering in a low voice, "This is… my fault…?" He then swallows and says "If we want to get the Pokémon back… then Calem has to go to Po Town…" Fear creeps into his tone, "All alone? With no backup?"

    Calem's voice is cold and hard. Everyone but Serena flinches upon hearing him say, "Where is it? Where is Po Town?"

    Acerola says, "You're really going to go? By yourself?"

    Hau says, "You can't! Who knows what'll happen. I'm stronger than you and still lost against them! Going by yourself just… just isn't fair!"

    The young girl tugs on Calem's pants. She looks up at him with tears running down her face, "Mister… pl-please get my Gumshoos back…"

    Calem rubs her head and gives Hau a look fierce enough to make him step back. Calem takes out his Rotom-dex. "Do you know how to get there?"

    Rotom says, "Of course! But, my circuitzzz can't take this kind of stress!"

    Acerola takes hold of Calem's arm as he reaches for the door, "Wait, listen, Team Skull has taken over Po Town… It's basically their private playground now."

    Calem's, "That just makes it easier," makes her flinch into releasing him. "I'll just burn the place down."

    Serena says, "Mizzy, no! You cannot do that! Find Gumshoos, beat up Team Skull, and come back. In the meantime, I will go to go look for Mahina. Team Skull might be trying to take her hostage too."

    Calem hops onto Ponyta and gallops towards Po Town.

    …..

    Hau bends over and hits his leg. Guilt at what's happening laces his words, "I can't believe he's actually going on his own. They're gonna kill him."

    Serena says, "Calm down, Hau. This is not the first time this has happened."

    Acerola frowns as she hugs the crying children, "It isn't? Just what kind of adventures have the two of you faced?"

    A confident smile flashes across Serena's face. "Back in Kalos, Team Flare once took over a Pokéball factory. My Pokémon and I charged in and fought off every grunt we came across. We fought all the way to the president's office where we found the two goons orchestrating the operation. We were exhausted, but there was no way we could back down. Honestly, I was doubtful to whether we would win or not. That exact moment was when Mizzy burst through the door. Turns out, the only reason I got that far is because he kept half of Team Flare busy. Then, together, we rescued the factory president and drove those goons off. If not for him, there is no telling what could have happened."

    Hau clicks his tongue, "But… he's so weak. It must'a just been numbers. There's no way Team Flare could'a been that strong. You don't really believe he'll be fine, do you?"

    Serena's hair flutters over her shoulders and she turns for the door. She opens it while saying, "Of course I do. The Mizzy I know can do anything."

    Acerola finds herself also believing in Calem upon hearing Serena's conviction. She then blushes upon realizing the amount of trust Serena places in him and what that could mean. Lana might have a tougher battle ahead of herself than they've been lead to believe.

    …..

    Ponyta crosses the bay on route 15 by hopping from the many rocks jutting from the water, bursts through the flower fields of Ula'ula meadow, and stops outside a large wall. Rotom announces their arrival with, "Po Town…"

    Two Team Skull thugs stand guard in front of a door. "Open them," Calem says as he walks up to them. The two thugs try to talk back, but Mawile bursts from her premier ball and slams her second mouth on the ground. "Maw!"

    The two thugs look at each other and run inside screaming. The door clicks as they lock it behind them.

    Calem looks to his Pokémon, "Mawile."

    "Maw!" She lifts her second mouth and walks up to the door.

    A disheveled police officer calls out to them. "Hold on there, boy. I see that you're determined to get inside, but no need to break the door down. I can get them to let you in, but you better be ready for this."

    "Just open the door."

    "Fine, fine, don't say I didn't warn you. If you don't make it, I'll be sure your remains at least get back home."

    Calem steps into the city without answering. Barricades line the streets and Team Skull thugs stand watch everywhere. The thugs standing behind the barricade point and laugh at him. "I have no idea what you're doing here, but turn back now. There's no way we're letting you through. Even if you find some way pas-"

    Calem calls out Sandslash and points at the barricade, "Rollout!"

    The thugs behind the barricade jump away as Sandslash burst through the wall. "Why you!" All the nearby thugs gather and call out their Pokémon.

    Calem calls out "Niobat" and "Mimikyu." He looks at the oncoming Pokémon and says to the three, "Don't spare anyone." He defeats them and repeats the process two more times at each barrier. By the time he reaches the mansion at the end of the road, a small army of Team Skull thugs has gathered. News must have spread.

    Calem calls out Ponyta to help his three Pokémon and battles his way through. Two thugs sneak past the battling Pokémon to attack Calem himself. This is just like back in Kalos during the food shortages. Those able to scrape something together became… Tierno… He disregards that one of the two attackers is a girl and cracks her across the jaw. He then grabs her and throws her into the other attacking thug.

    Upon defeating the gathered Team Skull thugs, those still able to move open the mansion doors for him. "Bo-boss Guzma is right upstairs, yo. He-he's right this way. Do-don't worry, we'll show you the way."

    Rotom says, "Wow, you've really shown thezzze guyszzz a thing or two! Guesszzz I waszzz worried for nothing!"

    Calem calls back his four Pokémon and continues forward. A thug standing in front of a door looks at Calem. He ignores his fellow thug's head shaking and warnings to say, "Password. You ain't going through without it."

    Mawile steps forward and slams the door with her second mouth, tearing it off its hinges where it hits the ground with a deep thud. Calem glares at the thug who shivers while backing away. He slips and falls before saying, "M-my bad, ju-just go on through."
     
  17. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
    180
    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 13

    Guzma stands with his arms crossed in front of what once was an extravagant chair. Its former majesty can be seen underneath the dirt, alcohol stains, and ripped cushions, but its current state is much more fitting to his position. He made himself a throne room. In fact, the entire section of the room Guzma is on is elevated above the half before the door. The irritation Calem felt while plowing through the Team Skull thugs is replaced with an intense sensation of self-loathing. Guzma sneers as he looks down at Calem. "The hated boss who beats you down and beats you down and never lets up-"

    "Shut up, I don't care. Return Gumshoos!" Calem glances at the grunt standing guard before the stolen Pokémon.

    Guzma laughs, "I see, I'm not even good enough to be an after though! I don't get you kid, but at least this is a change of pace. It's not every day someone comes straight to me for a beating!"

    Mawile slams her second mouth against the floor. The floor board cracks from the force. "Mawile!"

    "Fine, let's see if I can't smack some sense into you, Golisopod!"

    Mawile taunts Golisopod into attacking and sneaks in a sucker punch. Golisopod blocks Mawile's attack and counters with "X-scissor!" She takes the hit with iron defense and retaliates with thunder fang.

    Guzma says, "You're one messed up kid! Can't you just watch out for your own Pokémon and stay out of other's people business?"

    Calem ignores the taunts and says, "Iron head!" Golisopod catches Mawile's second mouth and pulls. Mawile leaps and uses the leverage to hoist herself towards Golisopod with "Mega kick!"

    Golisopod pivots his body to let the slide past by his side and then lifts his arms. Small spikes launch from his arm guards with, "Pin missile!" Guzma says, "This is no different than at the garden! Who cares about any of this? Kukui's dream is just that, a pipe fairytale! We don't need a League, the Kahuna, or even the Tapu!

    Calem scoffs as he picks up on the hidden meaning within Guzma's words. "So, that's it? You were rejected? You became an island champion, but never got a Z-ring?"

    "Shut up! That's just a crutch for chumps who can't stand on their own! You think you're better than me? You've been ticking me off since we first met! I'll beat down and put you your place with my own power!"

    Calem feels a sense of familiarity within the phrase, "own power." He bites his lips and says, "So, that's what it is… You're the me who kept losing against Serena. You're a broken reflection."

    "Golisopod! Let's stop playing around and end this already!"

    Mawile waves her arm with a "Maw!" She's reassuring him that she'll be fine. That he should continue without worrying himself about the battle.

    Calem takes a breath and says, "You disgust me. You disgust me the same way Mizzy did! You're both disgusting!"

    "Shut up! But if Mizzy is anything like me, then he's a perfect. I'll beat him down next and then make him a member of my Team Skull!"

    "Mizzy isn't a scum bag like you! He'd never join you!"

    "Then how about you tell me what he's like? I'll judge if he's Team Skull material myself!"

    "A boy who became a trainer. A trainer who could never beat his best friend…" Calem's voice turns soft as he continues, "They were inseparable. They knew each other longer than each could remember. Rivals."

    "Hey, hey, hey! This is about Mizzy! I ain't got time for stories about some side chick!"

    "There's no Mizzy without Serena! If you want his story, she comes along too!"

    Guzma glares at Calem. He doesn't say anything, but his expression speaks for him. He doesn't care about this story anymore.

    Calem, having already started, refuses to stop. "Serena's background gave her a head start. Her parents, both ace trainers, taught her about Pokémon battling since she was little. Mizzy only knew about riding. Obviously, he lost their first match. Then, he lost during their rematch when they met Professor Sycamore. He lost again, and again, and again. It didn't matter how far he ventured, how many gym badges he collect, or even if he got a Pokédex, he couldn't beat her."

    "Shut it! I don't want ta hear it anymore!"

    Calem continues speaking, more to himself than to Guzma. "Mizzy's hardest loss was in his failure to acquire a key-stone. Professor Sycamore tasked Mizzy and Serena with the mission of uncovering the secrets of mega-evolution, a task which required a key-stone. The mega-evolution guru and his successor only had one left between them."

    Guzma snorts, "A battle to the finish, huh? Winner get's the prize, right? Let me guess, Mizzy lost! You trying to say you didn't give up? That you kept going? Get on with it!"

    "My name is Calem! Mizzy died! And you're wrong! Mizzy smiled for Serena, he congratulated her, pretended to be happy for her, but once he was alone, whenever he was alone, he just wanted to quit! He wanted to stomp on his Pokédex and go home, to go back to riding! But he was also stubborn. A lesson from riding. If the horse buckles you, grab the reins and get back on! So he kept going, kept exploring, kept challenging new people, and kept fighting to develop his own power! The power of him and his Pokémon! Besides, he couldn't just abandon Serena, not after she said she wanted to fight Team Flare. Well, his journey eventually took him to victory road where he battled the strongest trainer in Kalos, Diantha. That was a battle he would never forget because Diantha- Diantha had the power of mega-evolution too."

    "Oh, Mizzy lost again! Right? He should'ave quit while he was ahead!"

    "Mizzy gave it his all to polish himself as trainer! He had to! Unlike Serena, he started knowing nothing of Pokémon training! He hated how he only knew about racing! But, because of that, nothing escaped his eyes! No matter how slight, no matter how miniscule the detail, he saw everything! He just didn't know how to use it! But he learned, slowly, over time, each battle! And then his Greninga defeated Diantha's Mega-Gardevoir! She was so impressed, she gifted him with the power of mega-evolution. She said, "I look forward to seeing you challenge the Pokémon League." But not yet! To Mizzy there was still one more challenge!"

    Guzma clicks his tongue, but doesn't say anything.

    "Mizzy and Serena fought on victory road. They were just before the Pokémon League. Serena wanted to test how far they progressed, if she was ready to face the League. He just wanted to see if he could beat her. The battle was intense, but there was something Mizzy never noticed. The reason Serena respected Mizzy as a trainer, in every battle they had, he pushed her harder than the previous one. Their rematch ended, it was close, they came down to one Pokémon, but Mizzy finally won. Serena rejoiced at seeing how strong her friend has become."

    "Great, you done already?"

    Calem takes a breath. "Serena congratulated Mizzy. She always knew she'd lose to him one day. But for Mizzy, that battle was too close. Sure, he and his Pokémon faced mega-evolution, but that wasn't enough. He wanted a rematch. The two of them agreed to train together and fight again on the seventh day. It was the happiest week of their lives…

    When they first fought, Mizzy didn't feel ready to use mega-evolution. The results this time left no room for debate. Mizzy surpassed Serena. She was shocked at his growth. She was happy, but also a bit sad. Her childhood friend and now rival had left her behind. Regardless, she wiped her tears and congratulated him. She wished him luck on conquering the Pokémon League." Calem shrugs, "Oddly enough, Mizzy wasn't interested. He just wanted to get back to racing… That night is forever remembered now as the Last Night of Kalos. Mizzy survived, but died in the ensuing nightmare."

    "So what? You continued to struggle while I just gave up? Is that it? I've heard that tale plenty of times!"

    "Like I said, Mizzy died! My name is Calem!" He hooks his thumb underneath his shirt for his mega-necklace. He catches the key-stone within two fingers and says, "Seeing you- I'm nothing like you! I could never become you! You gave up! You only thought of yourself!"

    "Maw!" A while light surrounds Mawile. It fades revealing her to have grown taller, developed a third mouth, and the fur on her legs changed to violet.

    Calem continues his rant, "You gave up and started a worthless group of thugs who do nothing more than lick each other's wounds. Well, that ends today! Mega-Mawile, play rough!"

    Mawile pounces on Golisopod. Her two spare mouths fly around the water Pokémon, striking him from multiple sides until Guzma calls him back.

    Guzma then grabs his head and says while shaking it, "Guzma! What is wrong with you?" He turns to the thug standing guard in front of Gumshoos, "Yo! Give the Pokémon back to the kid. Now!" He clicks his tongue as Gumshoos scurries out of the room. Scared, the thug also runs out of the room. To Calem, "I'm gonna beat you down one of these days! No matter whose help I need to do it…" He then storms out of the room.

    Calem takes one of the buginium Z piled in a suitcase by a corner of the room. "Maw?" his Pokémon asks. He rubs her head and says, "Yeah… yeah… you were great. Everyone was." He gives a self-depreciating chuckle and says, "It's funny, with everything that happened, I forgot I used to feel that way. I forgot I even could feel that way." He looks at Guzma's throne, "Just one last thing."

    Mawile nods and uses her two mouths to rip the chair in half, tossing the pieces aside as she turns around. She reverts back to normal and the two leave the mansion. The police officer from before is there to greet him. His speaks with a mostly bored and somewhat amused tone, "A number sure has been done here. Have I got you to thank for this?"

    Gumshoos growls from beside his leg. The officer says, "Thing must've been scared half to death if it's glad to see a wretch like me." He stares Calem down.

    Calem says, "You're the Island Kakuna…"

    "What a hassle. A trial-goer, huh? Figures. Look, I'm not gonna fight someone who is taking on Team Skull."

    Calem looks around. He is curt, "Taking on? I annihilated them."

    The officer sighs, "Look, go… just go."

    Acerola runs up the road saying, "Uncle Nanu!"

    Nanu says, "And here come the noise again…"

    Gumshoos growls at Acerola. She looks down and says, "Aue! I'm so sorry… You must've been so scared, huh?" She then looks around in amazement, "Uncle… What happened here? Did you do all this?"

    Nanu shakes his head and looks to Calem. Acerola gasps, "You're this strong? Wow, Serena was right, we really didn't have to worry! Thank's Calem!" She then turns to Nanu, "Uncle, you're a great police officer. I really hope that you're keeping a good eye on things here!"

    Nanu shakes his head, "You're over estimating me."

    Acerola smiles. "Don't say that. What else do you stay here for, if you're not putting a stop to Team Skull's shenanigans?"

    Calem says, "He got them to open the door for me."

    Acerola says, "Really?"

    Nanu says, "It was that, or watch him break it down."

    Acerola smiles and says to Calem, "Well, come on. Let's get back to Aether House." As she and Calem walk off, she stops to wave back to Nanu, "I'll come back to see you again soon, Uncle!"

    Nanu mumbles something to himself. Calem can't hear it, but from the way his lips move, he more or less makes out, "No one's asking you to…"

    Calem says to Acerola, "He seems like a decent guy."

    "He's great. He might say otherwise, but he stays there to look after the Pokémon Team Skull hurt all on his own. He could rely on the Aether Foundation for help, but no. He chooses to live there just to keep an eye on things. Then again, you're pretty good too. You came all this way for Gumshoos. I can't wait to tell Lana."

    Night falls by the time they return to the Aether House. They ran into Serena and Mahina midway back. Apparently, Serena, after finding Mahina and explaining the situation to her, asked her for help. Yet, neither were surprised to discover that everything was already over.

    Acerola opens the door saying, "We're home. We brought Gumsho-"

    She stops short upon seeing Hau and the children panicking.

    Calem looks around and turns to Hau, "Where's Lillie?"

    Hau says, "I'm sorry! I… I can't even make myself smile right now… This is all my fault…"

    Acerola places her hand on her hips, "Why? What happened?"

    "Miss Lillie… She's gone. Right after Acerola left, that Plumeria lady came back and took her."

    Acerola shakes her head, "What!"

    Calem and Serena exchange glances. They were played. Everything they did was calculated by Team Skull. Even defeating Guzma might have been part of their plan.

    Hau says, "I'm supposed to be a trainer, but when it came down to it, Lillie had to protect me… Lillie, who's not even a trainer to begin with! Darn it!"

    Gladion bursts into the room. "Did I hear that right? They took Lillie? Was Cosmog with her when she left?"

    Hau says, "Geh! You know who Lillie is?"

    Gladion clicks his tongue. "You all are so useless and weak. Now Cosmog is… Arghhh! I'll show you how angry you make me!"

    Serena slaps Gladion before he can grab a Pokéball. She says, "Now is not the time! What we need to do is figure out where they took Lillie. If they took her off the island, then we also are going to need transportation."

    Gladion breathes out, "You're right… A battle would be meaningless." He looks to Calem and Hau, "But I told you both to protect them. I told you that Cosmog would bring disaster to all of Alola!"

    Serena says, "That no longer matters. What we need to do is get her and Nebby back. Do you know where she is?"

    "Aether Paradise. I have a boat in the ferry terminal." He again looks to Calem and Hau, "You two are coming whether you like it or not."

    Acerola says, "Excuse me? We're all coming with you. Lillie is our friend. We're not abandoning her."

    Mahina says, "I contacted Lana. She says to get there as soon as we can. She'll buy supplies and meet us at the docks."

    Gladion looks at the five trainers. "Then, if you're ready, let's get going."

    Six ride Charizard transport them to the terminal. Despite their hurry, a full hour is lost. They lose half an hour waiting for the ride Pokémon to arrive and another to reach their destination. Lana calls out to them in panic as they land. "All the ships have been sunk! I've been calling around, but the soonest anyone can get here won't be until dawn."

    Gladion says, "No!"

    Calem says, "Can't we just fly there with Charizard or ride a top of Lapras?"

    Acerola says, "It's too far. Ride Pokémon don't have the strength to handle such a journey."

    Calem clicks his tongue and reaches for his black Pokéball. Serena stops him by grabbing his arm. A shake of her head is enough for him to convince him of the stupidity of his plan.

    Acerola then says, "What about Nanu? He has a boat!"

    Lana shakes her head, "That's the person I was talking about. He's working as fast as he can to prepare it for us."

    Hau says, "What are we supposed to do in the meantime?"

    Calem turns for the town. "I'm going to get something to eat." Serena nods and walks up to join him.

    Hau says, "Food! How can you think about eating at a time like this? Don't you two care about Lillie and Nebby?"

    Calem says, "I don't know about you, but my Pokémon and I have been running around all day on only breakfast. The best thing we can do right now is get some food and rest. If you're not hungry, then lay down and go to sleep."

    Hau says, "Sleep… You're crazy, how do you expect any of us to fall asleep?"

    "Ponyta knows hypnosis."

    Gladion clicks his teeth. "Calem's right." He turns to Lana, "This is the place we'll be meeting that guy with the ship, right?" At Lana's nod, he says, "Then, everyone, do what you have to and come back here."

    Hau says, "You want to sleep out here?"

    Serena says, "He is right. Camping out here is the best way to save time and maximize the amount of sleep we can get."

    Calem and Serena awaken with Nanu stepping onto the dock. What awoke them was his presence, a survival skill they picked up in Kalos. The two are close enough that their elbows and shoulders bump against each other upon sitting up. Nanu stares at them and says, "Was I too loud?"

    Calem ignores him and stares towards his left. He and Serena grew up together. When they were younger, they would sometimes sleep while holding hands. Sleeping next to each other with only a hands widths distance between them is natural. He has no such history with Lana. Why is she facing him in her sleep at a distance of little more than an arm lengths away?

    Nanu says, "Let them sleep a bit longer. We need to talk a bit first… You know, I really wish Team Skull would have kept their troublemaking to Po Town. Instead, they've gone and made this fuss. Boy, you know who I am, right?"

    "The Island Kakuna."

    Lana murmurs "Kahuna…" in her sleep. Calem glances towards her, but she isn't close to stirring. She heard me? How?

    "Right, so battle against me. The experience might be helpful."

    Calem gets up and looks around. Acerola sleeps next to Lana. The distance is barely less than he and Serena. Makes sense. Maybe it's because they're both trail captains, but the two of them are pretty close to one another. Mahina sleeps just as close to Serena.

    Serena gives a bashful smile, "She really is a lot like Tierno. She just drew me in yesterday and we bonded."

    Gladion sleeps away from everyone. A loner? Hau also sleeps away from everyone. He tried sleeping next to the girls, but each one shooed him away. Acerola got sick of it after the fifth time and had her drifblim use hypnosis on him. They then decided to leave him where he fell, although some did joke about pushing him into the water.

    Calem separates himself from everyone and, "Noibat." The battle against Nanu's Persian is tricky. The dark Pokémon dodges Noibat's "wing attack" and pounces. Noibat, having succeeded in luring in his opponent, spins around to unleash "dragon pulse." Persian drops down with quick reflexes and rolls away.

    Persian gets up and attacks with bite. Calem says, "Supersonic!" Persian takes the attack, but remains unbothered thanks to his high sense of balance. The dark Pokémon pins Noibat to the ground. "Heat wave!"

    Noibat's attack weakens Persian's attack. The dark Pokémon's teeth don't sink into Noibat's side with as much strength as they should. Persian tries to increase the pressure of his jaw, but is unable to withstand the heat and faints.

    Nanu grins and says, "Well shoot… Of course I already knew you had the heart and the strength to storm Team Skull's stronghold, but I didn't know you were this good. Couldn't even find the time to use my Z-power. Then again, thinking back about the number you did on that place, I shouldn't be surprised. Here, the darkium-Z is yours." He shows the routine on how to use the Z-power and holds the final pose.

    Serena comments aloud to herself, "So… that is how Z-power is activated…"

    Gladion, having awoken during the battle, stares at Nanu with shock on his face.

    Nanu drops has arms and turns away. His shoulders slag at his sides as he walks. "There. Congratulations or whatever. You've officially finished your Ula'uka trials. Take my boat whenever you feel like setting off. Acerola knows where to return it to when you're done." He then stops. Without turning around, he says, "Oh, and you boy, Gladion… If you're really trying to get stronger as you say, then what're you depending on Team Skull for?"

    Serena clears her throat to break the silence. "We should start waking everyone up. Gladion, would you please kic- I am, wake up Hau?" For Serena to almost break her polite and refined act, Hau must have really ticked her off last night. She then proceeds to shake Mahina's arm.

    Calem shrugs and shakes Lana and Acerolas' arms to stir them. Within minutes, everyone is on the Nanu's ship to Aether Paradise.

    Lana steps into the cabin out from captain's bridge. She shrugs and says, "Gladion is so impatient, letting him take us there might be better. Either way, we're not going to get there for at least two hours." She then looks to Serena who's rubbing Calem's back, "I can take over if you want to get some rest."

    Serena shakes her head. "You have been to Aether Paradise. Someone who knows the layout needs their rest more."

    Lana makes a face as she sits down next to Calem, but doesn't say anything. She just hugs her knees to herself and rests her face atop of them as she tries not to pout.

    Acerola sets a tray of sandwiches she made on the table, "Breakfast." Next to one of the glasses of water is a pill. She passes the glass and pill to Calem while saying, "Did any of you even bother to look for sea sickness medicine? Uncle Nanu can't handle going out to sea either, so he always keeps a full supply handy."

    Calem forces himself to drink the pill, but doesn't look hopeful. Serena says, "Medicines do not have any effect on Calem. We tried just about all of them."

    Acerola smiles, "Well then, aren't you lucky. Uncle Nanu is the same. He made this one himself from natural herbs found on Ula'ula."

    Fifteen minutes later, Calem finds himself well enough to talk. He's still uneasy, but not to the point where he can't move anymore. Serena jumps upon seeing him move around and says, "I have to ask him to share that recipe."

    Acerola grins and says, "Best of all, it's quick acting. The effects are guaranteed to last two hours. Down side, you're gonna be hungry." She then gestures to the remaining sandwiches, "So eat up!"

    He picks one up while saying, "For what we're about to do, we need to keep our strength up anyway." He makes a face as he hesitates on whether he should eat or not. I'm not going to throw up, am I? He breathes in and takes a bite.

    Hau says while eating, "I've been wondering, but is Lillie really at Aether Paradise? It doesn't make sense. Aren't they good people who are care about conserving Pokémon?"

    Serena says, "Even those with the best of intentions can commit the worst atrocities. Lysander wanted to create a pure and beautiful world for Pokémon and humans, but look at what resulted."

    Hau says, "Well, I guess the real reason doesn't matter. What matters is going in there and rescuing Lillie. Then we can all go back to smiling and laughing together on our island adventure."

    Mahina says, "Do we know where Lillie's being kept? Sure, Aether Paradise, but what part? Even if it's an artificial island, it's huge with multiple floors and undersea labs."

    Calem says, "Gladion probably knows. He'll tell us when we get there."

    Hau makes an annoyed face, "For a guy you barely know, you're putting a lot of faith into him." Calem and Serena exchange glances. After a few seconds, they both nod. This prompts Hau to say, "It's really annoying when you two do that. What's the big secret you can't tell us?"

    Serena says, "We never trusted Aether Paradise. The two of us have been suspicious of them and their president from the start."

    Lana says, "Really, but we met their president. Even with what Calem said before, Miss Lusamine was a wonderful person."

    Calem shakes his head, "She looks at us like dolls. We're nothing more than things she can play with and throw away once she's bored. Don't you remember back when we were invited to Aether Paradise? Lillie didn't just refuse to come with us, she was scared."

    Hau says, "Really? I didn't notice a thing. Wasn't she just excited for me?"

    Calem says, "You're an idiot… Why do you think Professor Kukui and Kakuna Olivia came to see us off?"

    Lana gives an absentminded "Kahuna," in response to Calem's mispronunciation.

    Serena says, "Lillie is honest with her feelings, but will avoid talking about things by casually changing the subject. She does so every time the Aether Foundation arises in conversation."

    Mahina says, "Well, none of that changes what we're doing. We go in, rescue Lillie and Nebby, and leave."

    End Ch. 13
     
  18. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Posts:
    180
    PokéPoints:
    ₽140.0
    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 14

    Nanu's boat pulls into the Aether Paradise docks without any trouble. Everyone looks around as they disembark. Crates are scattered everywhere and the machines used to move them abandoned. Some sit turned-off in mid transport. Hau says, "We got in pretty easy. Honestly, I thought it was gonna be harder."

    Acerola flinches and says, "Don't say things like that!"

    Calem looks around for cameras as he says, "No, Hau's right; this should have been harder." He finds one and stares into it, "We're walking into a trap."

    Gladion says, "Doesn't matter, this would have been their response to anyone showing up. Don't let your guard down. There's no telling where they'll attack from."

    Calem says, "So, where to first? You know the layout better than any of us."

    Gladion gives Calem a spiteful glare at the remark, but says, "We need to get to the elevator."

    Mahina says, "Huh? Not the stairs? I mean, wouldn't that be the first thing they shut down?"

    Gladion says as they begin walking, "Aether Paradise doesn't have stairs as a safety precaution. If anyone gets in, security can trap them by shutting off the power."

    Mahina says, "What if there's a fire? How will everyone escape?"

    Gladion says, "They operate on the assumption that they will be able to contain any fires that occur."

    Upon leaving the docks for the central elevator, they come across 20-30 Aether Foundation employees. Serena steps forward with a Pokéball, but Lana and Acerola hurry past her and cut her off by extending their arms.

    Lana says, "Save your strength. We'll take care this," while calling out Araquanid, "Liquidation!"

    Acerola says, "She's right. No need for you to waste your time on cannon fodder," while calling out Palossand, "Earth power!

    Hau runs forward and calls out Decidueye, "I can't let two ladies fight all on their own. Spirit shackle!"

    Muk, Primape, Porygon, Parasect, Magnaton and various other Aether Foundation Pokémon fall underneath their onslaught. The employees call back their Pokémon upon being defeated and run away. Lana defeats the final Pokémon, Sliggoo, and says, "All clear, let's get going!"

    Everyone steps onto the elevator, but Gladion slams the controls with his fist. "Darn, they cut the power! I was afraid of this."

    Hau says, "Then, what do we do? Lillie must be scared right now… We can't just sit here doing nothing."

    Serena says, "Gladion, are we trying to go up or down?"

    Gladion says, "The labs are downstairs, but we won't be able to access them without Faba's security clearance. Faba himself is probably on one of the upper floors."

    Acerola says, "If it's a door… Can't we smash through with our Pokémon?" Her comment gets everyone to stare at her. Nothing about her character would ever suggest her coming up with such an idea. She looks down and speaks with a bashful voice, "Calem did that at Po Town and worked out alright for him…"

    Gladion shakes his head, "That's no good. This place was made strong enough to resist a barrage of draco meteor from 100 Rayquaza."

    Serena calls out Alteria while saying, "Either way, this is not a problem." She climbs onto the dragon Pokémon's back while saying, "Even if we cannot go down right now, up is easy."

    Calem calls out Ponyta. He pats the fire Pokémon's neck, "She's right. Are you guy so dependent on ride Pokémon that you forget other Pokémon can also help you get places?"

    Everyone else looks to one another before calling out their own Pokémon. Hau has Decidueye, Acerola Drifblim, and Mahina Aerodactyl. Serena offers Gladion a space on Alteria's back and Calem helps Lana atop of Ponyta.

    Calem reaches the next level expecting to undertake a long search throughout the complex. He anticipates spending hours searching rooms and facilities, facing constant delay from the unending battles against Aether Foundation employees the same way he did inside of Team Flare's base. Instead, Faba is at the entrance waiting for them behind a wall of employees. "How stupid…"

    Faba, despite taking shelter behind others, assumes a high and mighty tone. "I, Faba, am the Aether Branch Chief. The only one in the whole world, I'm irreplaceable."

    Calem motions to have Ponyta used ember on Faba, but Lana stops him. She speaks in a hushed tone, "He might say something important."

    Faba continues, unaware to what almost happened. He faces Gladion and says, "And here you come back… uninvited?"

    Gladion says, "You of all people should know everything that happens in the Aether Foundation. Isn't that right, high-and-mighty Branch Chief?"

    Faba sneers, but keeps his distance. "Look at you… Living out in the world hasn't been kind, has it? But I'm not giving you anything! And you of all people should understand why… Gladion."

    Gladion says, "You know, the thing about Pokémon battles is that everyone can join in regardless of their status. Everyone becomes equal in battle!"

    Faba says, "Oh ho… Is that right? Is that what you think? So you wish to battle me? Branch Chief Faba? I am Aether Paradise's last line of defense. Get past everyone else and then I'll battle mere children like you."

    Lana and Acerola step forward. Lana says, "Fine then, we accept." Like before, the Aether Foundation employees don't last long. Gladion pulls out a Pokéball to battle Faba, but Mahina cuts him off.

    Mahina says, "Sorry, but it's my turn. This guy… the way he looks at us… he's making me so angry right now. Come on, Snorlax!"

    Faba rubs his hands together as Snorlax appears. With a half-hearted lob, he brings out Hypno from a Pokéball. "As you will, hypnosis!"

    Snorlax slumps onto his side with a floor shaking thud, but Mahina grins. "Sleep talk!" As Snorlax gets up and uses body slam, Mahina says, "Snorlax spends 18 hours a day sleeping. Did you really thing we wouldn't be able to counter a small trick like that?"

    Hypno avoids being flattened by Snorlax and uses psychic. Snorlax, who hasn't moved from where he tried to crush Hypno, scratches his belly upon taking the attack.

    Mahina says, "Sleep talk!" This time, as Snorlax rises, she presses the Z-ring on her wrist. As she does the Z-dance and makes a Z with her arms, a flaming aura surround Snorlax. He dashes forward and leaps towards Hypno.

    Hypno, shocked by Snorlax's burst of speed, has his reactions delayed.

    Mahina says, "Pulverizing pancake!" as Snorlax crushes the psychic Pokémon. She then pounds her fist within her hand, "Ok, Faba, now talk. Tell us what we want to know!"

    Faba's eyes bulge open as he shakes his head. "H-h-how can this be? How could a child…"

    Hau says, "Aue, look at you, Mahina! Faba was no pushover, but you showed him."

    Gladion says, "So, as I said Faba. You of all people know what I'm here for."

    "Indeed… The world truly hasn't been kind to you, has it? Look how hard it has made you. Cosmog may be downstairs."

    Hau says, "What do you guys do down in those labs, anyway?"

    Faba shrugs, "Well… if you must… I've heard experiments are held down there. Experiments aiming to tear the very boundaries of the world apart."

    Gladion says, "We're in a bit of a hurry, Faba. Your key card."

    Mahina places her hands on her hips as she says, "That's right, give it."

    Faba says, "Why not? This is an act of kindness I can do for you thanks to my position as branch chief." He gives Mahina the card in his front pocket and walks off.

    Mahina hurries to the elevator and inserts the card into a slot on the panel. Some lights blink and the machine hums to life. It rises up to them a few moments later and everyone rides it to the lower levels. Everyone braces for an ambush, but there is no one to greet them upon reaching the undersea labs.

    Gladion looks around, "Everything looks the same…"

    Hau says, "This place is like a secret hideout!"

    Serena says, "This is a secret hideout! Were you not paying attention? They are clearly planning a trap for us."

    Gladion shrugs, "Being excited is probably better than freezing from fear and nerves."

    Acerola looks at the three paths before them and says, "Which way do we go now? Should we split up?"

    Calem says, "Too dangerous. We all need to come back from this together."

    Serena glances towards Calem. He is staying composed, but she knows that the time she and him split up inside Team Flare's hideout must be going through his mind. "Mizzy is right. There is no telling what defenses they might have prepared. This rescue will be pointless if a single one of us or our Pokémon is lost."

    Gladion says, "There's a pair of labs all the way in the back. If Cosmog and Lillie are down here, that's where they'll be."

    Mahina says, "Then, let's go! Lead the way, Gladion."

    They walk through one of the doors and continue in silence. After a while, Lana turns her head towards a wall. She puts her hand against it and concentrates. "How- how deep did we go?"

    Gladion says, "You noticed? We're on the ocean floor. This is all to keep Aether Foundation secrets away from prying eyes."

    Calem says, "Well… if they try to escape, we'll know which way they'll go."

    Acerola says, "What bothers me is that we haven't met a single guard down here. I was really expecting to run into someone by now."

    Mahina says, "I figured they're all gathering in the lab to make a final stand. You know, that whole strength in numbers sort of thing."

    Calem says, "Better that than them detaching the lab and jettison us into the sea once we get there… Actually, they could just open a valve and fill this tunnel with water…"

    Hau pales at the thought. "That's… you don't really think they'd do that? Do you?"

    Serena takes Calem's hand and squeezes. Him coming up with such scenarios does not surprise her; something similar happened inside of Kalos's aquarium's undersea tub. Convincing him to enter it was almost impossible and then she had to hold his hand to keep him from running away. Then Team Flare showed up and damaged the glass during the ensuing chaos. Luckily, the tube was not very deep. Still, for him to be walking without a shred of hesitation makes her smile.

    Her smile falters as she realizes that the change is nature considering everything that happened… Priorities change with time and experience. "I agree with Mizzy. We cannot deny such a development as possible."

    Lana notices Serena's actions and says, "Has something similar happened before?"

    Calem says, "I get paranoid when it comes to being underwater. That's probably why I didn't catch a water Pokémon…"

    Mahina turns to Gladion, "You're familiar with this place. Can they do that?"

    Gladion says, "It's been two years since I've last been here. It isn't likely, but it is possible."

    Hau says, "Hey, hey… that isn't very reassuring."

    Calem shrugs, "The local Pokémon will help us out."

    Hau says, "You really think so?"

    Calem says, "Probably?"

    Lana notices Serena about to reassure him and hurries to cut her off. "You have nothing to worry about. Or did you forget? Water Pokémon are my specialty. If anything happens, I'll definitely get us all to safety."

    Gladion says, "Enough chatter, we're here. I'll check lab A, the rest of you check lab B."

    Hau says, "Alone? What part of everyone going back together didn't you understand?"

    Serena and Calem exchange glances. They nod to one another and she says, "Gladion has his reason, Hau. Come on, we cannot afford to waste time here." She leads everyone to the next lab while Calem stays behind.

    Gladion turns to Calem, "What about you?"

    Calem leans against the wall. "Look, I get it. You and Null probably have some sort of connection with this lab. I'll wait out here. If anything happens, then I'll come in."

    Gladion smiles for once and says, "Thanks… You know, Null and I are more alike than we look. We're both what we were made to be. I was nothing more than an ornament to my mother. Wearing whatever she told me to wear, acting how she wanted me to act… Null was crafted with the same meticulousness. It was made just to battle ultra beasts in this very lab here…"

    As Gladion enters the lab, Lana returns down the hall. She walks with a silent determination and also leans against the wall. A moment of silence passes between he and Calem before she gazes towards him and says, "Aren't you getting somewhat ahead of yourself? If anything does happen, are you really certain the two of you alone will be enough?"

    Calem looks Lana over and chuckles to her annoyance. Before she can complain, he says, "Thanks."

    She makes a face, but says, "…You're welcome." Another spell of silence falls over them. Lana fidgets against the wall and then says, "So, what are you planning to do once this is over? Not this here, but I mean your island challenge. Sure, the Pokémon League is coming, but what about after that?"

    Calem breathes in at Lana's question. That's a topic he's been pondering for a while now and one thing stands above everything else. Once everything is over, "Racing… I want to get back to racing."

    Lana giggles and says, "Grandfather will go around telling everyone you stayed at our house the second he sees you on T.V."

    Before Calem can comment, rapid footsteps interrupt. Mahina runs up to them where Lana says, "What's wrong? Did something happen?"

    Mahina says, "N-no… Everything's fine. It's just, what we just learned… I thought you'd need to know as soon as possible."

    Calem says, "What is it?"

    "We found a report about Cosmog- I mean Nebby. Nebby can open ultra wormholes when under stress. It does so to escape. Not only that, they also have a device that can control the ultra wormholes Nebby makes… And, one more thing, Nebby… Nebby too! Nebby is an ultra beast too."

    Lana says, "An ultra beast…"

    Calem says, "No wonder he isn't afraid of the Tapu…"

    Lana says, "That's it? It being an ultra beast doesn't bother you?"

    Calem says, "Nebby is Nebby, a blue fluffball cloud that goes "Pew, pew," and goes wherever it pleases without a single care in the world."

    Lana purses her lips, "Well… when you put it like that… No, you're right. If Nebby was bad, Lillie wouldn't have done so much for it. We have to make sure we rescue Nebby and Lillie!"

    The door to the lab opens as Gladion steps out. "Under stress … you mean cause it pain. That must be why she ran away with it. Did you find anything?"

    Mahina says, "Everyone else is still searching, but no. I guess no dice on your end either?"

    Gladion says, "No wonder Faba was so cooperative. This was a dead end. Darn… Looks like we'll have to back track."

    They gather and return to the elevator. On the way, Gladion says underneath his breath, "They played us… All this was to stall us…"

    Serena says, "Gladion, we will get Lillie and Nebby back."

    Serena pulls Calem to the side as they walk and thrusts a starry, blue Pokéball into his hands. "According to their notes, this is a beast ball."

    Calem stores the ball along with his other pokeballs. Serena's few words are enough for him to understand. A Pokéball designed to capture ultra beasts…

    They reach the elevator and ride it past the docks up to the entrance lobby. A squad of Aether Foundation employees surround them once the elevator comes to a stop. One says, "Director Faba has given us directions regarding all of you. Now that you've learned of the darkness at the heart of Aether Paradise, we'll need you all to conveniently disappear!"

    Calem and Serena look to each other and nod. Serena grabs her champion's mantel and throws it outward where it flutters back down. Altaria appears by her side as she says, "Well then, looks like our turn has finally arrived." She grins, "This takes me back to the Pokéball Factory… What about you, Mizzy?"

    A grin plays on Calem's face as he calls out, "Ponyta." Blue flames blaze from the fire Pokémon's back as he says, "Do you think they'll fall to their knees screaming "Aether"?"

    "Flare blitz!" "Dragon pulse!" "Low kick!" "Dragon breath!" "Flame wheel!" "Steel wing!" "Hypnosis!" "Dream eater!"

    Lana says, "A-amazing, they're in perfect sync with one another."

    Acerola says, "Every attack they make builds off the previous one. Nothing's wasted."

    Mahina says, "Serena's the champion, but Calem isn't falling behind one bit…"

    Ponyta glows white during the midst of battle. His flames grow hotter and a horn shoots out from his forehead. Lana gasps, "He's evolving!"

    Calem says, "Rapidash, wild charge!" The final enemy Pokémon, Nidoking, falls over upon being rammed into. An employee calls it back and says, "Ridiculous… These two kids… they're not normal!"

    Gladion says, "Now that you understand our strength… how about you get out of our way?"

    Hau says, "Amazing… When did he get so… Is this how- is this how trainers become in battles they can't afford to lose? Just what have I been… Is this what it means to become serious?"

    Gladion places a hand on Hau's shoulder. "I know we aren't friends… but I'm glad you're all here. I remember what you said at the Battle Royal Dome. About how people can achieve more if they do something together." He cracks a smile and says, "Looks like maybe you were right."

    Wicke steps out from around a corner, "Young master." While Hau becomes confused, everyone else turns to Gladion. Gladion gives her a heavy glare, but Wicke approaches with a smile on her face, "I has been a long time… And hello to you as well, Calem, Lana, Hau, everyone."

    Gladion says, "What happened to Lillie? Do you know anything?"

    Wicke says, "I… imagine that she is with the president."

    "Then that's where I'm going. That's all I need to know."

    Hau says, "You mean Miss Lusamine, right? She's a nice person, or… I think she is. She'll listen to us if we explain everything, right?"

    Gladion says, "Yeah, she nice… but only as long as you mean nothing to her."

    Wicke shakes her head, "I'm afraid the doors have been locked."

    Gladion turns to leave, "That's not stopping me!"

    Wicke says to everyone else as they follow Gladion, "Please look after young Master Gladion. When he is worked up about something, he doesn't consider the consequences. Even going so far as stealing Pokémon… Really, those two truly are very much alike…"

    Hau says as they walk away, "Those two?"

    Mahina says, "She means Lillie."

    Hau says, "How does Lillie play into all of this?"

    Everyone reacts to Hau's comment; Calem and Serena facepalm, Lana shakes her head, Acerola's jaw drops, Mahina rolls his eyes, and Gladion stares at him in disbelief.

    Hau says, "What?"

    End Chapter 14
     
  19. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 15

    Hau's question is forgotten as the wall sized doors slide apart. Behind it appears Faba with an army of Aether Foundation employees and scientists. Behind them is another set of doors of equal size. "That's far enough for all of you. The lot of you really are naughty children. You should have just laid your heavy heads down. But I knew that you would struggle onward- I could see through every action you would take."

    Calem glances towards the ceiling. "Probably helps having all those security cameras."

    Lana, despite giggling, hushes him. Faba ignores the interruption, "I knew you would try to reach the president."

    Mahina says, "She has Lillie and Nebby! Any idiot should be able to figure out our end goal!"

    Faba still presses forward with his speech, "That is why I knew I would be able to ambush you here and remedy my previous failure. The only reason I let you on the lower floors was to buy time to gather the resources to stop you."

    Acerola says, "Wouldn't sinking our ship have been easier? You must have seen us before we were anywhere near Aether Paradise."

    Many of the Aether employees glance towards Faba at the remark. Faba ignores them and says, "Now, allow me to reiterate. This is the end of the line for you."

    Hau says, "So, uh, Mr. Faba, do you have the key to the president's room?"

    Faba chuckles and pats his coat pocket. "Indeed! I have it right here."

    Hau laughs and says, "So… if you'd just stayed hidden, we would've been stuck here anyway, right? Or, actually, you could have just left the island."

    Faba's eye's pop out of their sockets as he screams, "What?"

    Serena holds out her hands with a sigh. "This guy is dumber than Team Flare's grunts…"

    Faba clears his throat, "E-enough, you lot! Everyone, teach these children a lesson."

    Hau, Mahina, Lana, and Acerola step forward. Lana says to everyone else, "I get the feeling we're going to need your strength after this. Rest up and leave the fight to us."

    Raichu, Ribombee, Araquanid, and Dhelmise charge ahead to take on the Aether Foundation Pokémon. After a few minutes, Calem turns to Gladion, "This is a waste of time. Do any of your Pokémon know thief?"

    Gladion's frown deepens as he understand Calem's intent. He pulls out a Pokéball and Sneasel appears on his shoulder. The two nod at each other and the dark Pokémon vanishes. He reappears a minute later with the key.

    Acerola notices they have the key and informs Lana, Hau, and Mahina. Lana and Hau call their back Pokémon and join the Calem, Gladion, and Serena away from the battle. Lana says, "We'll go with you. Let's hurry while they're distracted here."

    Gladion says, "What about Acerola and Mahina?"

    Hau chuckles as he says, "We've thinned out their numbers pretty good. They'll be fine on their own."

    Lana shakes her head and clenches her fists. "Don't worry. They will catch up once they finish here. There's no doubt about it! The Aether Foundation has numbers, but that's it."

    Gladion grits his teeth, but says, "Fine, let's go."

    The doors behind Faba slide open. He turns around in shock to see Calem, Serena, Gladion, Lana, and Hau slipping through. He taps his pocket, but finds the key missing. "How can this be? I'm being lead around by mere children!" He tries to send some people after them, but Snorlax blocks their way.

    Mahina's voice echoes as the door shuts, "Body slam!"

    The courtyard beyond the door is filled with Team Skull thugs. Guzma is at the opposite end in front of the entrance to a small mansion. Gladion runs unobstructed past all the thugs to confront him. His shout of "What are you doing here?" can be heard from where the Calem and his group stand.

    Guzma looks down at Gladion with a haughty grin and laughs.

    Hau looks at all the Team Skull thugs in shock. "I can't believe it. The Aether Foundation really is working with these thugs! I can't stand here. I'm gonna kick them out!"

    Lana steps forward with a Pokéball in hand. "I'll fight, too. Calem, Serena, please. I understand you want to fight, but hold on just a bit longer. My fisherman's intuition is telling me there's going to be a huge match just beyond those doors."

    Gladion calls back his Sneasel and Golbat by the time everyone else catches up to him. He falls to his knees with a growl, "So I'm still not strong enough. All those days I struggled on my own… it was all for nothing? Is that it?"

    Guzma chuckles and says, "The hated boss who beats you down and beats you down and never lets up… Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here!" To everyone else, he says, "I did that spoiled little brat a favor and crushed him. Yeah, that was me. Y'know, I kinda liked you, kid. Leaving home like that and wanting to get stronger and stronger. You had some real guts. Going as far as coming over to Team Skull and rejecting your own mother? That was impressive." Guzma laughs and adds, "And now it's your turn! You little misfits keep getting up in my grill, like a cloud of smoke that I can't brush away. It's time I put out your fire at the source!"

    Calem says, "Not yet, Guzma! Gladion, get up. You lost the first round, so what? You still have more Pokémon at your side, right?"

    Serena says, "Mizzy is correct! We will not be able to advance any further if you give up now."

    Guzma laughs and says, "Hey, hey, hey! He just lost and you want him to fight again!"

    Calem stares Guzma down with steady determination. "Friends encourage each other when they're down. That's something everyone knows. Consider it something else we don't have in common!"

    Serena says, "Gladion, on your feet! Lillie and Nebby are in danger. Are you giving up on them?"

    Hau and Lana both say, "Gladion!"

    Gladion relaxes as he breathes out. "The power of friendship… huh? Not bad… actually, it feels pretty good." He grabs a Pokéball from his waist as he stands up, "Type: Null!"

    Guzma laughs and says, "Alright, round two! Beat him down, Golisopod!"

    Gladion says, "Crush claw!" Type: Null glows as it lunges forward with its attack. The helmet covering its face melts off and vanishes, freeing the fin on its head. "Let's go, Silvally!"

    Golisopod deflects the attack and retaliates with "Razor shell!" Silvally ducks underneath the attack and rams a headbutt into Golisopod. The water Pokémon staggers back which Silvally takes advantage of with "Multi-attack!"

    Golisopod falls over, but rolls onto his feet. He thrusts his two armored arms forward and fires "Pin missile!" Silvally knocks the attack away with razor wind and dashes towards Golisopod again. The water Pokémon tries to catch the normal Pokémon, but is too slow. Silvally bites down on Golisopod's side with thunder fang.

    Golisopod staggers around in pain, but uses his arms to pry Silvally loose. The normal Pokémon eventually releases Golisopod only to unleash "Tri-attack" from point blank.

    Golisopod staggers, but regains its balance after a few steps and retaliates with "Liquidation!" Silvally takes the hit and repels it. Silvally then roars and ends the match with "Multi-attack!"

    Guzma says, "I was supposed to smash you again!" He grabs his head and says, "Guzma! What is wrong with you?" He then steps to the side with a click of his tongue, "Looks like I got no choice. Go on… go through." He glares are everyone, but doesn't say anything more.

    Gladion walks towards the door, "I'm going to save Lillie and Cosmog." Calem, Serena, Lana, and Hau follow him into mansion. He and Silvally falter within the lobby. While leaning against his partner, he says, "I- I just need a moment." He forces a grin, "I'll catch up as soon as I can, the rest of you go on ahead."

    With Hau staying behind as well, Calem nods. He says, "We'll be waiting," and leads the way past the lobby and through the central doors to find the master bedroom. Inside, Lillie is pleading with Lusamine.

    Lusamine notices her guests and says, "Ah, it's been a while since I've last seen you two, Calem, Lana. Serena, the Final Champion of Kalos, so good to meet you as well."

    Lillie turns around saying, "Wha? Calem, Serena, Lana! Yo- you came? All of you actually came to help me?"

    Serena says, "Of course we would come!"

    Calem points behind himself and says, "Acerola, Mahina, Hau, and another guy are here too."

    Lillie's face brightens as she says, "Really? Thank you… Thank you!"

    Lusamine hums to herself and nods, "So all of you do know each other… Gifted young trainers actually bother with someone like you…" she glances towards the door way, "and, another one was it? Do you mean, him?" She looks back to Lillie and shakes her head. "How disappointing."

    Lillie turns to face Lusamine. "I don't need your approval, Mother! Or your permission! I will save Cosmog!"

    Lusamine says, "My… You do say such incomprehensible things. Calling me mother? I don't have any children!" Anger fills her face as she grits her teeth, "Certainly not any wretched children who would run off and reject my love! So tell me how you'll save that Pokémon. What can you do, Lillie? You failed to convince me to listen to you. You don't even have the strength of a trainer. The only thing you've ever done on your own is steal someone else's research material!" As Lillie drops her head in defeat, Lusamine turns her back to everyone, "You're not beautiful enough for my world… but fine. Since you're here anyway, you can watch me summon my sweet beast. And then… you can leave."

    Lillie says, "I'm not being foolish or selfish… I am asking you to listen, Mother! Do not sacrifice Cosmog for that beast's sake! If you open the ultra wormhole, Cosmog will… Cosmog will die!"

    Lusamine steps towards a mirror on the wall. As she fiddles around with a panel at its side, she says, "You're right… it probably will die. Because I'm going to force it to use its power whether it wants to or not!" The mirror slides up into the wall to reveal a glowing floor panel behind it. Lusamine turns to face everyone as she steps onto it. "Maybe if you had been a real daughter to me, I would have listened to you…" Then, with a "Too bad," she vanishes.

    Lillie turns and looks at everyone, "Calem, Serena, Lana, thank you so much for coming. But… but… I have to be selfish again. I have to ask you one more time… Please… Help me! Help Nebby! We have to save Nebby!"

    Lana sighs and walks forward, "Lillie, why do you think we came all the way here in the first place? Of course we're going to help you!"

    Calem steps towards the teleporter, "Exactly, now come on. We have to rescue Nebby!" Lillie nods as he disappears from the room.

    Calem reappears in a secret laboratory surrounded by water. Statues of Pokémon preserved in cubes decorate the room. The sight of it churns his stomach and covers his mouth. Memories of the death and destruction he saw after the fall of Kalos flood his mind. He'll vomit if he spends too much time in there. Everyone else appears one at a time as he forces himself to step forward.

    Lana and Lillie gasp as they look around. Lana says, "Wh- what is this place…?"

    Lillie calls out to her mother in the center of the room. Lusamine smiles at everyone and with a gesture, says, "Hurry. This way." As they get closer, Lusamine adds, "What do you think? It's my private collection. My precious babies… They will all be preserved for eternity here." She ignores everyone shock and says, "But my poor beast… What confusion, what rage must it feel, arriving in this strange world? It would not be right to confine its feelings in such a small case as these ones…"

    Rage laces Calem's tone. "But it's okay for these Pokémon here? This is disgusting!"

    Lusamine smiles at Calem and says, "I think I'll let it release its fury upon Alola."

    Calem's mind flashes through all the people he's met on his journey. Kakuna Hala with his stomach burst open impaled on a fence post with Tauros's head by his feet, Kakuna Oliva's decapitated body dyeing a nearby pool of water red, Professor Kukui limbless with his lifeless head being picked at by murkrow. Calem's tone is empty as he reaches for his black Pokéball. "No, you won't."

    Serena grabs his hand and says, "Mizzy, get a hold of yourself! I understand how you feel, but if you do-"

    Calem rips his hand away from her grasp, "Shut up! There's no way you understand!" He reaches for the Pokéball again, "This ends here and now!"

    Serena, knowing she can't overpower Calem, tackles him. He kicks her aside only for Chesnaugh to attack him. The Pokémon keeps him away from his own pokeballs. While he struggles to stay out of the grass Pokémon's reach, Serena shoots Lana a look pleading for help.

    Lana doesn't understanding the situation, but from Calem's cold expression, realizes that he can't be allowed to continue. He'll regret it if he does. The way Calem was when they first met flashes through her mind. His sullen and semi-lifeless eyes motivate her into dashing forward and pouncing on him. She wraps her arms around him and holds his head to keep it from colliding against the marble floor. "Calem, stop, please!"

    Serena jumps on top of them before Calem can throw Lana off. While Lana holds him, she works to keep his hands away from the black Pokéball. "Mizzy, get ahold of yourself! We can stop Lusamine, but not like that!"

    "Let go of me!" Calem fights to break free. With a roar, he braces himself to break free and goes limp upon failing. He then braces himself again only to go limp. Each attempt is weaker than the previous one. Each roar filled with less rage and more despair. The anger that drives him melts into grief. After failing to force the Lana and Serena off himself once more, all strength and purpose fade from his body. He trembles and speaks a low voice that might break out in tears, "I'm sorry… Everyone… So sorry…"

    Lana, noticing something changed, looks up. Tears flow down the side of Calem's face. Not knowing what to do, she changes from holding him down into hugging him.

    Hau, Gladion, Mahina, and Acerola appear in turn from the teleporter. With Lusamine standing in the center of the room, she's the first one they notice.

    Hau says, "Mrs. Lusamine!" He notices Lillie as he runs forward and adds, "Whoa-ho! And Lillie! Man, I'm so glad to see you're OK!"

    Lusamine says, "Ah, sweet Hau. So you came, too?"

    Hau looks around at all the preserved Pokémon and says, "Actually, what is this place? It's creepy."

    Serena releases Calem and stands. She glances towards him, but he just mutters the same names, "Greninja, Charizard, Lucario, Agislash, Tyrantrum…" to himself. For his sake, she needs to end this, and get him some place else. She says, "Hau, do you remember our discussion about good people committing horrible atrocities? Here is another example."

    Hau looks towards Serena and then notices Calem and Lana behind her. Lana kneels next to Calem while calling out his name, but he lays lifeless on the ground. As Acerola and Mahina run over to them, he says, "What happened here?"

    Hau's question remains unanswered as Lusamine says, "Hmph. Gladion, must you be so untidy?"

    Gladion walks forward and says, "Will you listen to me at least? You mustn't open the ultra wormhole. You cannot let the beasts run wild!"

    Lusamine looks at both Gladion and Lillie only to grit her teeth. "The daughter who stole my Cosmog from me and the son who took my Type: Null! All I ever did was give you two all the love I had, and all you did was betray me! You have no right to ask for my attention now!"

    Hau looks at the three of them in turn, "What? Daughter? Son? Wait! You all are a family?"

    Lusamine says, "Perhaps once we were… Sweet Hau. But those wretches beside you left me." She shakes her head, "But it doesn't matter now. None of that matters now!" Lusamine walks towards the back of the room, "I was able to open the ultra wormhole using just the gases we extracted from Cosmog when it was in Aether Paradise, wasn't I?"

    A small black cube-like device in the back shakes with a "Pew!"

    Lilly gasps with horror as Lusamine continues, "But now I have Cosmog itself inside this crate here… If I use its entire body, how many ultra wormholes will I be able to open? How many sweet beasts will come to me then?"

    Lillie shakes her head, "Please… Stop… If Nebby isn't- If you make it use up too much of its power… you don't understand what will happen! Like when we ran away from the Paradise… it couldn't move for ages after that… If you use too much of its power, it will die!"

    Calem, upon hearing Lillie's pleas, slowly sits up. He almost falls back down, but Lana catches him and helps him up. He takes a breath and forces himself to speak. His voice is horse. "She- she doesn't care, Lillie. You hav- have to stop her."

    As Lillie looks towards Calem, Lusamine holds up the black cube, "Watch… I will open the ultra wormhole for you… Come to me, my sweet beast!"

    Gladion runs forward to stop her, but is too late.

    Electric blue particles of light emit from the box as Nebby cries out in pain. A blue sphere flies up and opens a tunnel on the ceiling from which emerges the jellyfish ultra beast. It chirps as it rubs its tentacles together and looks around.

    Lusamine admires the ultra beast and says, "You see! All over Alola!" A weak "P..ew…" comes from the cube Lusamine tossed aside. She looks at it with disgust, "Ugh… Must you be so noisy, even inside there? What an annoying Pokémon. The only thing I need from you is your power!" She rests her chin on a hand and says, "But I will admit… it looks like that power has served me well. There should be plenty of beautiful beasts appearing all around Alola as we speak! Akala, Poni… enough for each island." Ecstasy fills her face as she laughs.

    Lusamine sighs as the ultra beast chirps once more. "My sweet beast."

    Guzma and Faba appear from the teleporter. Guzma says, "Madam Prez… the experiment was a success, huh? Looks like it's time to catch this wicked Ultra Beast to beat down these annoying upstarts!"

    Lusamine says, "You're right… Guzma, Faba, quiet those children for me. I don't want to hear from them again."

    Gladion resumes his charge and stops before the floating jellyfish. "I'll stop the beast! My partner Silvally was born to be a beast killer! Hau, Lana, you take Guzma and Faba! Serena! Stop the president! If we fail here, Alola will be flooded with beasts!"

    Mahina and Acerola try join in, but Gladion says, "No, you two are already exhausted. Just rest up for now. Getting us here was the plan, after all!"

    Calem gets up and forces himself to Serena's side. His gait is unsteady and he stumbles a few times. His tone is sullen, but he forces himself to say, "I was one of those brought here, too."

    Concern fills Serena's face. Calem's face is devoid of color. He looks like he'll fall over at any moment. "Mizzy, are you sure?"

    Calem looks over Lusamine and says, "I am not going to sit around moping forever. Besides, she's strong. I'll be leaving my back to you."

    Serena shakes her head with a, "How reckless…" and gives him a smile. She reaches for the key-stone on her necklace while saying, "Together, then. Let's show her the legacy of Kalos."

    End chapter 15
     
  20. warriorseadra

    warriorseadra PKMN Breeder

    Mythical Egg
    (Mew Egg)
    Level 16
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    Legendary Triforce ★★
    Chapter 16

    Calem fishes out his mega-necklace from underneath his shirt with a weary grin. Both he and Serena nod towards each other as their respective key-stones glow. The rainbow light emitted from the stones fills their hands and connects them with their Pokémon.

    Lusamine shakes her head, "What a disappointment… To think that you are all so small-minded…" She shrugs, "You're going to startle my sweet beast! Serena, Calem… it looks like I'll be silencing you two first."

    "Mawile," "Absol," the two glow with a rainbow light upon appearing from their pokeballs, "Mega-evolve!"

    Lusamine sends out Clefable, "Metronome!" She wags her finger and draco meteor drops from above her head. Mega-Mawile blocks the attack with iron defense while Mega-Absol leaps out from behind her to retaliate with psycho cut.

    Calem frowns. They got lucky with draco meteor. Other than a finger wag, metronome's selected attack has no setup. Without that, There's nothing for me to read. He can't give an appropriate counter. Not when it's random. They're just going to have to be faster than whatever comes out.

    Clefable takes the slash without flinching and wags her finger again. From her open mouth shoots aeroblast.

    Mega-Absol carries Mega-Mawile out of the attack's way. The blast of air continues and sinks the corner of the floor it hits. Mega-Absol carries Mega-Mawile up to Clefable where she delivers twin "Iron head!" with her two extra mouths.

    Clefable rises after taking the hit and again uses metronome. An aura envelops her and heals her few wounds with recover. She continues to wag her finger and a bolt of lightning flies from her finger.

    The two mega Pokémon dodge the attack and retaliate. Mega-Absol lands a clean "X-scissor" across Clefable's chest. Mega-Mawile then jumps in with another iron head to buy her partner time to fall back.

    Clefable gets up and wages her finger again. Electricity crackles around her as she's enveloped within light. Calem shouts, "Get back!" Mega-Absol carries Mega-Mawile as far as he can. At Serena's, "Get down!" Mega-Mawile covers Mega-Absol drops as he drops onto the ground. That's when the energy gathered by Clefable bursts with explosion.

    Both Mega-Mawile and Mega-Absol tumble across the floor as they're blown away. Their breathing is a bit heavy and they need to shake their heads, but both of them stand back up ready to continue.

    Clefable floats within a pool of water after having blown the floor underneath herself away. Lusamine calls back her Pokémon and sends out "Lilligant." Mega-Absol again carries Mega-Mawile towards the grass Pokémon. He opens a path towards the Pokémon's body with "Megahorn" for Mega-Mawile to land "Iron head."

    Lusamine recalls her Pokémon with a tisk and sends out, "Milotic." The water Pokémon dives into the water surround them and surfaces from the hole Clefable made. She rises up and attacks with Scald. Mega-Absol tries to leap away with Mega-Mawile, but moves too slow. He cries out as his hind leg gets burned.

    Mega-Absol tumbles, sending Mega-Mawile head first into the marble ground from his back. The two Pokémon get up, but Milotic drops underneath the surface before they can retaliate.

    A moment passes and Calem says, "Giga impact!" Mega-Mawile lifts her spare mouths and slams them against the ground. A pair of craters appear is she bashes the floor and a cry of pain fills the room. The water surrounding them shakes from Milotic thrashing.

    Milotic shoots up from the platform's side and in blind fury dives towards Mega-Mawile. Mega-Mawile lifts one of her mouths to try and deflect Milotic, but her recent attack leaves her too tired to defend herself. Milotic's body arcs sideways as Mega-Absol lunges into her with giga impact.

    Cracks spider web from the crater formed by their landing. Some stretch out and connect with the crater Mega-Mawile made to form a small fissure. Milotic starts to rise, but Mega-Mawile smashes her forehead with "iron head." The floor shatters underneath the pressure, dropping both Pokémon towards the water. Mega-Absol, despite wincing, catches Mega-Mawile with his back and leaps to safety.

    Calem grimaces, Mega-Mawile and Mega-Absol can't continue going full out like this, but there's no choice. None of their other Pokémon are strong enough to face Lusamine. Switching out with them would mean letting them get hurt for no reason. Their only recourse is to finish every battle as fast as they can.

    Lusamine calls back her Pokémon and sends out "Mismagius." Mega-Mawile lures her in with "Taunt" before she can attack. Then, while she's distracted, Mega-Absol strikes from the side with sucker punch. While she's disoriented, Mega-Mawile knocks her out with play rough.

    Calem takes a breath, last one, and strains his focus to his limit. If Lusamine has a trump card, this is where she'll show it.

    Lusamine sends out, "Bewear." The normal Pokémon stomps his feet to create an earthquake. Cracks spiderweb out from floor underneath Bewear to cover the entire platform. Many of the already damaged parts splinter off and sink.

    The attack succeeds in tripping up Mega-Absol, Mega-Mawile, and their trainers. Mega-Absol more or less shakes it off after a few seconds, but Mega-Mawile remains flat on the ground. She grits her teeth as she struggles to move.

    Bewear raises an arm and charges Mega-Mawile. Mega-Absol throws off Bewear's aim by striking his shoulder with psycho cut. Bewear's attention shifts to Mega-Absol. The normal Pokémon stops charging and turns around. His eye glints as he raises his other arm and punches with superpower. The attack strikes the dark Pokémon's underside and sends him rolling across the floor.

    Mega-Absol pushes itself back onto his feet, but falls over after taking a step. He grits his teeth, but his panting is clear for everyone to see. He's exhausted and an open target for Beware.

    Mega-Mawile clamps Bewear's legs from behind with her two mouths. She threw herself forward to save her partner. The normal Pokémon grunts more from surprise than pain. He twists around ready to pummel the steel Pokémon, but Mega-Mawile forces a weak grin. While pulling on her eyelid, she flicks Bewear off the platform and into the water.

    The two mega Pokémon regroup during the time Bewear is underwater. Their bodies quake with heavy breathing. They've been going full out since the beginning and neither have any strength left. Both of them are plowing on threw the determination burning in their eyes. Neither are ready to give up.

    Serena calls out to Mega-Absol, and after an exchange of glances, the two nod. His eyes glow for a moment, but nothing happens.

    Calem notes that they're planning something as he strains his eyes against at the floor. Anything, something, small, big, whatever, where is it? A small pebble falls over. It didn't make a sound as it tipped. It wouldn't have made one even if it was underfoot instead of halfway across the platform.

    The pebble doesn't even finish falling when he says, "Move!" Mega-Mawile grabs Mega-Absol's back as the Pokémon leaps to the side. Bewear bursts upward from where they stood with an upheld paw. The force he propelled himself out of the water with creates a geyser with his body at the point.

    Bewear reaches the peak of his ascent when Mega-Absol's future sight hits him from behind. Calem's, "Now!" comes before Bewear can even reach the ground. Mega-Mawile lunges forward with play rough. She continues her assault without pause even after they fall onto the ground.

    Bewear ignores the hits as he stands up. Even if Mega-Mawile is fatigued, he should at least feel something. This is impossible! Calem grits his teeth, but continues urging Mega-Mawile to continue. Bewear, however, gives Mega-Mawile a menacing smile.

    Mega-Absol attacks Bewear's joints with psycho cut, but only succeeds in redirecting the normal Pokémon's two "superpower"s. The strength behind Bewear's blows remain unhampered, evident by the craters forming just from the shockwaves created by his swings. Mega-Mawile would have been finished had those hit.

    Bewear jumps up and spreads his arms. Mega-Mawile and Mega-Absol try to escape, but their injuries and exhaustion cause them to fall over and revert back to normal forms after 3 paces. Dust rises as Bewear hits the ground and with giga impact. Mawile and Absol are sent flying to their trainer's feet, waves splash around, and dust gets kicked up as the room shakes.

    The smoke clears to reveal Bewear floating unconscious on the water. The flooring he meteored into sunk underneath the water.

    Calem and Serena lean against each other for support after the exhausting battle. Their attacks did more damage to Bewear than they realized. Bewear's toughness must have even fooled Lusamine, or she wouldn't have ordered that final attack. She's really out of her mind.

    Serena and Calem recall their respective Pokémon back into their pokeballs. Serena says, "Mega-evolution… really takes its toll after a while." She give Lusamine a hard stare, "But, with this, it's over."

    Lusamine trembles with rage as she calls back her Pokémon, "How- how can you be so awful! All that I want is my precious beast! I don't care about any of the rest of you!"

    Calem breaks away from Serena and hobbles a few steps towards Lusamine. "That selfishness is…" Calem shakes his head. He's still in Lusamine's private room, but looking forward is like staring down a tunnel. He reassures himself that his feet are firm against the ground and continues, "That selfishness is exactly why we're stopping you."

    The jellyfish ultra beast chips. As everyone looks towards it, a breaking sound followed by a splash resounds within the chamber.

    Calem opens his eyes. The light… it's below me? It's getting away from me. No… I'm sinking? He stretches his hand towards it, but then recalls Lusamine's preserved Pokémon. They remind him of Greninja, Charizard, Lucario, Agislash, Tyrantrum… That journey ended. Then, with the encouragement of others, he started a new one. Am I done? Can I see them, again? He stops reaching for the light and lets everything turn black.

    Something presses against Calem's mouth. It's… soft. His body jolts and lurches to the side with a fit of coughing when he tries to inhale. Each hack sends a burning, stringing, pain through his chest. Cupping the sting with a hand settles it, but the action also creates a different pain. His breathing normalizes as his chest clears, but each breath hurts.

    Lana kneels right next to him. She avoids his eyes, but looks relieved. Serena, Lillie, Hau, Acerola, Mahina, and Gladion surround them. They're either laughing, smiling, or crying. He's soaking wet… so is Serena. Right, she's the only one who'd jump in after me. He runs his fingers across his lips, "CPR?"

    Lana averts her gaze, "You're not a spry young swimmer, but close enough…"

    Calem takes a breath and winces. Despite clutching his side, he says, "Thanks." He looks around and discovers they're the only ones remaining. Lusamine, Guzma, and Faba all vanished. "What happened?"

    Gladion says, "They went into the ultra wormhole, but Nebby…" He looks down.

    Lillie's sniffle draws Calem's attention. She holds a round object similar to the night sky in her arms. Her eyes are squeezed shut as she shakes her head, "We- we were too late. Mo- mother sucked all the life from it."

    Calem stares at the object for a moment and says, "Nebby's not dead." His words shock everyone. They all look to him for an explanation. Calem leans forward to get a better look despite the flashes of pain moving brings him. "This looks… more like a chrysalis stage."

    Lillie's voice comes out pleading, almost begging, "Are- are you sure? Is that really true?"

    Calem forces himself to keep from looking away. His body trembles at what he says, but he keeps it from showing. "A Pokémon that… when Pokémon have… It looks different. They- They shrivel into empty, leathery, dry husks… Ne-Nebby… Nebby's just sleeping."

    Lillie says, "Really? You're sure? Are you positive?"

    Serena says, "Back in Kalos, we once found a batch of Pokémon eggs that had been buried in cold mud for months. Calem, despite everyone else's judgement, insisted that one still lived. The egg took years of care-"

    Mahina gasps, "Noibat!"

    Serena smiles as she nods, "If Calem says something is alive, then I believe him."

    Lillie cries tears of joy as she hugs Nebby's new form to herself.

    Gladion gets up. He tries to act collected, but can't keep a smile off his face. "Let's go. Nothing good will come out of staying here any longer."

    Calem's hand flies to his side as he gets up. Looking as though he's about to teeter over, Serena and Lana support him at his left and right. "Thanks…"

    Wicke waits for everyone in Lusamine's room as they take the teleporter back. She breathes out in relief upon seeing them. "You are all unharmed… Oh, thank goodness…"

    Gladion looks towards Calem, "Not exactly, Calem might have a broken rib. Get him to a doctor. A ton of works lies ahead for us to do. The president, Guzma, and Faba have disappeared into the ultra wormhole. Not to mention what's going on with Cosmog… Lusamine… even if she is like that, she's still out mother. We might be able to reach her with Alola's legendary Pokémon." He clicks his tongue, "There's no guarantee they even exist, though."

    Hau says, "Of course they do! The beasts are real, after all. All we have to do is find them!"

    Calem sighs out with a smile, "When you're right, you're right."

    Serena says, "There's bound to be clues within the stories."

    Lillie says, "Everyone, Calem, Serena, Lana, Acerola, Mahina, Hau… Gladion, thank you for everything."

    Wicke says, "Miss. Lillie… I have prepared some beds for you and your friends. Food will also be prepared shortly. Please use the facilities to clean yourselves and recuperate."

    Gladion says, "We'll take you up on that."

    Mahina says, "Finally, I'm beat!"

    Lillie walks towards Lusamine's bed, "I think… I'll sleep here. In the bed I once shared with my mother when I was small… Just one last time…"

    Wicke nods and says, "Very well, I'll send someone later to alert you when dinner is ready. Master Gladion, if you could show everyone to our facilities, I'll guide Calem to the medical bay."

    Calem, despite having a broken rib and being advised to rest, absconds from his bed during the middle of the night. A crescent moon and countless stars illuminate the cloudless sky. Calem looks across the ocean as he leans against a railing. The crashing waves against Aether Island and the salty air are soothing. He knows Serena is there before hearing her delicate footsteps, "What are you still doing up?"

    "You have no right speaking such a phrase."

    "I almost slept forever. Staying up sound pretty reasonable to me. Well, back at the moment, that was also pretty tempting." He chuckles, but then winces and holds his side.

    Serena leans against the rail next to him. "Is that what happened?" She glances at Calem before looking the black horizon, "You were trembling…"

    "You noticed…"

    "Of course I did. I will always notice. Whether you are happy, embarrassed, angry, sad, or scared; you will never escape my eyes."

    Calem stares at the determination shining with Serena's eyes. He stares until his attention is drawn towards a corner. With a sighs, he looks back out at the ocean and says, "Mawile fainted before we got there… Although, we got through the last gate because she gave her all… Greninja, Charizard, Lucario, Agislash, Tyrantrum…" He places a hand over the black Pokéball at his side, "We rushed in to free Yveltal. We succeeded.

    "You remember the story? Upon reaching their sacred ends, one giveths and the other takeths." Calem clicks his tongue, "Everyone was fair game. The Team Flare grunts, the scientists, their Pokémon, me…" Calem swallows and his hand slides to the lower half of his stomach. "They made a wall. I didn't order it, didn't ask them, never even considered it… They just jumped in front of me. I still see it happening at night…"

    "They saved you…"

    "Yveltal spared me. Seeing Pokémon so dedicated to their trainer… He wanted to experience it." He takes a breath. "I don't actually blame him for what happened. He didn't choose… he doesn't choose to steal everyone's… That's the role he was given…"

    Serena wraps her arms around him from the side. She's firm enough to comfort him, but gentle enough to avoid aggravating his rib. "And so you became unable to battle."

    "I was broken as a Pokémon trainer. More than a year later, I was broken as a person. Now, we're here." A moment of silence passes and Calem says, "I'm going to stay out here and watch the sea a bit longer."

    Serena leans forward to press her lips against his cheek. "See you tomorrow, Mizzy." She walks away with a glance towards the same corner Calem spied.

    Once alone, Calem calls out, "It's fine to come out. You don't have to pretend you were never here."

    Lana scratches her cheek as she steps from around her hiding spot. She's uncertain about herself, but says, "You noticed? Sorry, I wouldn't have stayed had I realized the contents of your conversation."

    "I wouldn't have said anything if that bothered me."

    "Why did you say it? Serena, she's your… friend, you've known her for years."

    "Those who help others really can't see the impact they have…"

    "Huh?"

    "Just something someone else said to me a while back. It means you're not such a stranger anymore. But, about earlier. I've been keeping that to myself for years. I finally found the courage to face it and I wanted someone to listen. That's all."

    A few moments pass and Lana points out a star constellation, "That's Kyogre. The really bright star in the middle is his eye. With it, he watches over the safety of all fishermen by giving them a beacon to guide them home. Water Pokémon swim towards it when they pass to become the stars across the night sky where they can forever swim in the great ocean."

    Lana points to a second constellation with red stars, "That's the Mask of Entei. Every year, it grows brighter. It does so by inheriting the flames of every fire Pokémon that passes. Oh, a shooting star! Flying Pokémon become them upon passing. Free to soar the skies for eternity and no longer tethered to the mortal plane, they become our guides to the next word. As for the moon, it's the home of all fairy Pokémon…"

    End Chapter 16
     

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