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When the Sun Falls

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by bladewielder05, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. bladewielder05

    Feb 8, 2017
    Hello. So this is pretty much my Pokémon Sun and Moon story from Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own under the same name. Even though at the beginning it seems like it follows the main plot of the game to a T...I hope what I have planned in the future shows that this story would have its own special charm. But anyways, please criticize if possible. I would very much appreciate it, and I hope you enjoy this little adventure.
    People believed that he was different from her. She went insane studying about the Ultra Beasts, and he had to stop her with his team of Pokémon he raised and cherished. But that wasn't true. He had a lot more in common with her than others thought. They both loved Pokémon, people trusted them, they were strong trainers, and they hid a darker side few knew.
    However, unlike Lusamine, he was able to keep up his façade. He was able to keep up his deception, play his little game, and smile all the way up to his Champion position. Only the people and Pokémon close to him saw his true nature, or, at least, hints of it. And unlike Lusamine, they couldn't change him. For better or for worse.
    Though perhaps...that wasn't really a bad thing at all.
    Chapter 1: A Mistake in Its Choice​

    The moment they moved a couple of boxes into their new house in the Alola region, Sun straggled into his new room with Cloud on his shoulder and dropped dead on the bed. He was out like a light the moment his body hit the sheets, his pikachu curled up right at the crook of his neck. He had no idea that the airplane ride could take so much out of him considering all he did was sit in one place. The time difference between Johto and Alola probably had something to do with it. One hour was fine. One and a half was stretching it. Thankfully his mother didn't mind her son taking a nap for a while.

    Key words, for a while. Sun didn't think he slept that much when her meowth suddenly ran into the room to screech him awake. Although his heart leapt into his throat and he felt Cloud jump from his neck in surprise, Sun simply opened his eyes. Bare walls greeted him with nothing. He blinked once to clear his mind. The 11-year-old boy then calmly rolled to his side to see his pikachu angrily hissing at Meowth from his spot on the desk. Sun smirked at the sight before sitting up. Both Pokémon looked at him for a brief moment. With his errand done, Meowth quickly scampered from the room, leaving Cloud to his own devices. The pikachu, on the other hand, leapt from his spot to land on his usual place of Sun's shoulders. The electric mouse nuzzled his cheeks against Sun's, a tiny spark jolting through the boy's body. He barely flinched from the familiar feeling as his trademark smile widened. He scratched Cloud's chin, earning a small chirp of appreciation.

    "I wonder what Mom wants that made her get her damn meowth to wake us up," Sun muttered more to himself than to Cloud. Cloud still shrugged an answer. He remembered the first time Meowth woke Sun up, things did not bode well for the scratch cat Pokémon. That was why Meowth stood at such a distance to shriek the pikachu's trainer awake. The boy shrugged in turn before standing up to leave his room. Of course he still had his belongings to unpack, but there was also always the next day. He was more concerned with what his mom wanted now.

    Sun stepped into their spacious living room. His black eyes scanned the place on a more alert note, taking in the details he didn't notice before in his exhausted state. While there were a couple of boxes in the corner that still needed to be unpacked, the house still reflected their old home back in Johto as close as possible with a large TV in front of their dining table. He had a moment to wonder briefly to himself when his mother had gone out to buy food in the brown bags on the counter and table. Then Sun spotted the woman of the hour. His smile twitched slightly when he saw her meowth hiding behind her legs. She smiled brightly at him, placing her hands on her hips.

    "Good morning, Sun! Or should I say good evening?" She gestured to the open, side door where the sky inked black and the moon rose high. Sun covered his mouth to suppress his laugh.

    "Good evening, Mom. Did I sleep for long?"

    "Long enough, in my opinion. I think you should have enough energy to meet some Alolan Pokémon now. Excited?"

    "Hmm..." Sun crossed his arms and closed his eyes in thought. "I don't know..."

    At his answer his mother laughed. "Don't lie to me, young man! You're as excited as I am to see the different Pokémon here! Especially those variants of Kanto Pokémon! Do you know that Cloud would evolve into a different type of raichu if you give him a Thunder Stone here?"

    "Pi?" Cloud tilted his head to the side in confusion. The pikachu had no idea that he could evolve into something else other than a raichu. It still had the same name but something had to be different about the Alolan raichu for his trainer's mom to mention it. He glanced at the boy, who simply scratched the electric mouse's chin in response. Sun opened his mouth to answer only to be interrupted by the doorbell. Everybody looked over to the door.

    "That's probably Professor Kukui. Could you let him in, Sun?"

    The boy nodded as he made his way over to the door. However the moment he reached the end of their dining table, the professor simply opened and entered by himself. Sun blinked twice, his mouth twitching slightly. Sure, why not let yourself in? He thought to himself. It saves time and energy on my part. Despite the sarcastic thought, he retained his smile as he examined the man who just entered. He recognized him from their video chat yesterday but there were no signs of the rockruff that wanted to play with him. As ever, the professor had on his lab coat without a shirt to cover his muscled body. A white hat with a blue and red, half-Pokéball symbol covered his brown hair and he still wore his slightly tinted glasses despite it being night already.

    "Hey there, Sun! Good to finally meet you!" Professor Kukui smiled. "How you feelin' after all that jet lag?"

    Sun smiled. "Tired, but I should be good now."

    "Haha, I could tell! My daughter always feels the same way traveling back and forth!" the older man chuckled. His eyes left Sun's face to look at the woman who was walking up behind her son. "Hey there, Nova! Welcome to Alola!"

    "Do you always just walk through the door without an invitation?" Sun's mom giggled to let him know that she didn't particularly mind.

    The professor laughed at that. "Only for you guys! It's nice to finally see you here all the way from Kanto. Or was it Johto? You move between the two regions too often, Nova!"

    "The Johto region. And it's been too long since I returned to Kanto. But after seeing you battle all those Indigo Gym Leaders with your Pokémon, I fell in love with Alola's Pokémon. I just had to move here myself!"

    "Yeah, they sure showed me that they were a force to be reckoned with!" Professor Kukui laughed again. Then he looked back over at Sun, or rather, Cloud. The boy could feel his pikachu shifting himself on his shoulder. The professor's eyes sparkled at the sight of Cloud. "That's your pikachu, Sun?"

    The boy nodded in response. "Say hi, Cloud."

    "Pika!" Cloud held out a paw in greeting with a smile.

    "I bet you teach him some pretty neat moves, yeah? I'd like to see them sometime!" Professor Kukui placed his hands on his hips. "But I'm surprised. I wasn't expecting you to have a Pokémon already."

    "Well, surprise surprise!" Sun said cheerfully as he gently took Cloud off his shoulder to hug. His Pikachu squeaked affectionately as his cheeks sparked with electricity. Professor Kukui chuckled at the heartwarming bond between the two.

    "I still think it's a good idea to visit the Island Kahuna. What do you say? Who knows? Maybe he'll give a Pokémon too, yeah!"

    Sun lifted an eyebrow as the right side of his mouth twitched. "Really?"

    The professor nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah, sure. The kahuna who lives in Iki Town is always happy to give any kid who wants to have an adventure with their first Pokémon. Although you have a Pokémon already, I'm sure he wouldn't mind giving a Pokémon as a welcoming gift."

    "They'll simply give my boy a Pokémon? Then those kahunas really are worth meeting!" Nova commented. "Maybe I should get a Pokémon from them as well!"

    "Mom, you're too old for an adventure!" Sun giggled. He said slyly, "You already had one with Dad that might have been the worst mistake of your life!" He ducked underneath a swinging arm, giggling in time with his mom.

    "Don't get cheeky with me, young man! Get ready! Your things are still in those boxes."

    "Okay, Mum."

    "Bet you've got a stylin' hat that'll match mine, yeah?" Kukui said as he gestured to his hat.

    "Nope! Mine's a lot better than t-yours." Sun smiled. He hurried off into his room with Cloud still in his arms. The moment he closed the door, Cloud leapt from his arms to land on the floor.

    "Chu..." The Pikachu proceeded to rub down his face and cheeks. Sun's smile widened at the sight of Cloud getting ready before he turned his attention to the boxes at the foot of his bed. He dug through it and found his favorite hat and backpack. Thinking for a moment, he searched around some more to find his wallet with passport. The boy tucked those deep into his backpack for safekeeping. He had a feeling that he would be needing them despite the seemingly short visit. He stood up from his kneeling position to see that Cloud was ready as well.


    "Pika!" Cloud nodded as he climbed up Sun's leg. He didn't get far when his trainer grabbed him again to help him onto his usual spot. "Pi~."

    Sun exited his room to see the two adults laughing at something Meowth was doing. The sound of the door clicking shut prompted his mom to look up at him. Upon seeing him all ready in his gear, Nova grinned. "You look ready for anything now. Have a good time out there!"

    "That's one stylin' hat, cousin!" Kukui gave Sun a thumbs-up. "Let's head on over to Iki Town! Time for you to get a real nice Pokémon from the island kahuna, oh yeah!" Before Sun could respond, the professor exited the house. Sun raised an eyebrow, the right side of his mouth twitching slightly. He didn't expect the professor to be this active, though comparing Kukui's age to other professors Sun knew, it made sense. The boy was about to follow him when he felt warm, familiar arms wrap around him. Instinctively he patted the arms in response.

    "Good-bye, Sun."

    "Bye, Mom. I'll bring back a nice Pokémon," Sun said. He felt the arms loosen and he walked towards the door. The first thing he noticed upon leaving was the chilly night air. It was amazing, he thought, how cold it could get despite Alola being in the tropics. He wondered briefly to himself how hot places like Antarctica could get before searching around for the professor. Cloud tapped his cheeks to alert him to a direction. Sun saw Kukui standing at a fork in the road, waving to him. Sun smiled and hurried over there.

    "Now this is more like it, yeah!" Kukui said once the boy reached him. The professor inhaled deeply, taking in the natural air of the region. He spread out his arms to gesture to the surrounding nature. Leafy trees grew on either side with log fences paving the road. "Welcome to paradise, cousin. This is the Alola region! First, we're off to Iki Town! It's not fair if we cut up here. Come on!" Kukui started up the raised road towards the destination. Footsteps behind him alerted him that Sun was following close behind. He could hear the boy muttering muted words to his pikachu, who responded back with his own chirps. The thought of the close bond between the two made Professor Kukui smile. It reminded him of how he got along with his old Pokémon when he himself was doing the island challenge. If there weren't other things keeping him busy, he probably would have tried his hand at the trials once again, just to have that exhilarating surge of energy that could only be felt in a battle.

    His thoughts were broken when he saw two trainers just outside of Iki Town wave a greeting to them. They faced each other with the younger of the two commanding a yungoos while the older had a pikipek. Professor Kukui and Sun both waved back.

    "Hey, you're the new kid who just flew in, right?" the younger of the trainers asked. "Let's have a battle sometime!"

    Sun covered his mouth, the corners still lifted up in that same grin. "Sometime," the boy agreed. Kukui smiled at that.

    "All right! Iki Town's just right over here!" he said as he turned to walk up the stairs. Yet as he took one step up, he thought he heard somebody say "never" behind him. The word held slight contempt and bitterness in it. It sounded oddly like Sun even though he didn't seem to be the type to discreetly refuse the boy like that. The professor took a quick glance over his shoulder to see Sun interacting with his pikachu again. This time Sun held Cloud in his arms. Kukui shook away that strange thought. It was probably just his imagination.

    His cheerfulness returned when the pair finally step foot into their destination. "And we're here! This right here is Iki Town!" Professor Kukui introduced. Naturally both Sun and Cloud took a look at their surroundings. There were a few houses raised on different levels. Groves of trees grew between them with a larger grove of a forest standing just beyond the raised platform in the middle of the town. Sun blinked at the largest house behind the raised platform. He surmised that that was probably where the kahuna lived. His attention returned to Professor Kukui when the older man spoke again, "This town is where folks come to worship the Pokémon that watches over Melemele Island. Tapu Koko keeps us all safe and happy, see!"

    "Tapu Koko?" Sun questioned.

    Kukui nodded. "Yup. That's our island guardian. You'll hear more about it once you meet up with the kahuna..." Sun heard the merriment slowly slip from the professor's tone. He saw him look around the slightly empty town. There were perhaps only a few people waiting around. For what reason, Sun wasn't sure. It didn't take long for Sun to figure out what got the professor bummed. "Huh? What's goin' on here? We were supposed to meet everybody right here, yeah." Professor Kukui crossed his arms in thought. "Maybe they're all back there on Mahalo Trail. That's where the ruins of Tapu Koko are, yeah..." After a moment of weighing his options, the professor turned to look at Sun. "Sun, do me a solid and go find the island kahuna!"

    Sun's mouth twitched a bit as he blinked in slight confusion. "But I don't even know who the island kahuna is or what he looks like."

    "You can't miss him!" Professor Kukui laughed, to Sun's slight annoyance. "He looks just like a kahuna!"

    Well that explains a lot, Sun thought sarcastically. However he simply smiled and nodded.

    "Chu..." Cloud whined slightly as Sun walked past the professor to go up the stairs leading to the large house. Sun didn't realize how hard he was hugging his pikachu until the electric mouse started squirming. The boy quickly loosened his embrace to allow Cloud some breathing room. He rubbed Cloud's head in apology before continuing his pace. He soon reached the top of the stairs. Sun was just about to head over to the house when something curious caught his eye.

    He looked over to the entrance of the forest to see a blonde girl in white clothes and hat. The person wasn't in Sun's attention. Rather, it was the wiggling bag at the girl's side. He saw her mouth moving while she looked at her bag, as if talking to it. After a moment's hesitation, she held the bag still and disappeared into the forest. If Sun knew anything about girls' bags, it was that they weren't living things. So what was in that girl's bag? Sun felt like he had to know.

    "Pika?" Cloud asked as Sun veered away from the big house towards the forest. The trainer didn't answer. He soon reached the bottom of a rising, zig-zagging path. At some points there were logs to help any pedestrian keep their footing. While there were no obvious signs of human interaction, the way the path formed with slight ridges on either side seemed a bit too precise for Mother Nature to do alone. Occasional stones of Tiki heads stood guard along the road. The sights weren't what Sun was looking for though. He began to walk up the path, eyes and ears pricked for some sign of the girl. Cloud had settled down again upon seeing his trainer so focused.

    Soon Sun heard somebody say a little harshly, "You can't come out! We'll get in trouble if someone sees you!" That only roused Sun's curiosity even further. He shared a questioning glance with Cloud. The pikachu then wiggled his way free to settle on Sun's shoulder. This way, Cloud would be in a better position to help out his trainer. Sun stealthily made his way up the path, making sure to keep quiet and ready to dive into some bushes. Fortunately there was no need as the girl didn't pay attention behind her at all. Once Sun reached the top, the path leveled itself to form one straight road. The quickening of footsteps prompted him to speed up his own pace. Two things he noticed upon exiting the path were the sudden drop in temperature and a roaring sound. They were near a waterfall, he realized. But that wasn't the main concern.

    Sun spotted the girl sprinting towards a rope bridge. Only closer inspection, he realized that the bag was pulling forward, dragging the girl with it. She tried her best to stop it, but the object inside was simply too much for her. Sun blinked in surprise when a purple cotton ball with two twinkling, blue clouds as arms flew from the bag. It flew into the air before gliding towards the rope bridge. The girl took one step forward with an arm outstretched before realizing the weakness of the bridge. She cried out "Nebby!" as she stood by helplessly to watch the creature float to the middle of the bridge. Then Sun saw the creature stiffen. Before he could blink three spearows dove towards the strange creature, pecking it and preventing it from escaping. Sun heard the girl gasp yet she still didn't run out to protect her Pokémon. At least, that's what Sun thought the little creature was. He never saw something like it before, and it could well be a native to Alola.

    Pokémon or not, he couldn't stand to see it being hurt like that. Especially by a Pokémon he was all too familiar with. Sun moved forward to help it. The crunching of his shoes must have alerted the girl because when he reached her, she turned around. Anxious, green eyes looked into calm, blue-gray ones. For a moment, nobody spoke. Then–.

    "H-help...Please save Nebby!" the strange girl cried. Without waiting for his answer, she turned around to stare helplessly at her Pokémon. Sun also looked over. Unlike the girl, he looked to access the situation. The three spearows still circled around Nebby. After one particularly hard peck, the strange Pokémon cried out for help. That sealed the deal for Sun. Without a second thought, he dashed over and across the rope bridge. He paid no attention to how the bridge swayed nor did he flinch at some of the boards squeaking loose to fall into the river below. The back of his mind registered the girl's frightened gasp and Cloud's warning squeak each time that happened. He was too focused on helping out the little Pokémon though to worry about his own wellbeing.

    Once he reached the victim, he shielded it with his body. Covering his head with his arm, Sun glared at the spearows flocking around. One of them caught his glare and actually flinched from the intensity of it. However it continued to peck at him when it saw that its comrades didn't let up. Sun had only the briefest moment to look at the strange Pokémon he was protecting, noting its coloring and shape, before one peck pushed him too far. He initially didn't want to use Cloud due to the possible chance of hurting the girl's Pokémon, but the spearows finally got on his nerves.

    "Cloud, Thunderbolt!" Sun commanded.

    "Pika!" Cloud replied. He jumped from Sun's back with electricity flowing through his cheeks. The pikachu then unleashed the blast onto the spearows. They reared back in shock, literally, from the violent counterattack. The super effective electricity coursing through their small bodies was too much for them to handle, and they quickly flapped away.

    Unfortunately, the electricity got to the bridge as well. When Cloud landed back on Sun's back, Sun could hear the ropes holding the bridge snapping. He had almost no time to react at all. The old structure gave way for the three to plummet into the river. Sun's mind almost went blank with shock, his stomach lurching from the unexpected fall. However the girl's cry snapped his wits back. He could feel Cloud's tiny paws digging into his shirt in desperation. Somehow he managed to twist in the air to grab his pikachu and hug him close with the girl's Pokémon. Sun shut his eyes tightly to brace himself against the undoubtedly horrible impact. If he didn't make it, at least the Pokémon would be able to. That was the last thing he wanted himself to think about. The last thing he figured that he would feel was the crushing force of water breaking his back.

    Then Sun felt something hold him, and the direction he was falling suddenly change. "Pi!" He heard Cloud chirp in surprise. He felt the wind blowing against his face rather than his back for a heart-splitting moment. Then nothing. Sun finally opened his eyes to see that he was sitting on the cliff with the girl again.

    "Are you all right?!" she asked with concern and fear in her eyes. Sun blinked in surprise before ignoring her question. Instead he looked at the Pokémon in his arms. While Cloud still clutch onto his shirt tightly, the pikachu seemed all right. The girl's Pokémon also glued itself to Sun's shirt. However both of them weren't looking at him. They were looking over to the side, prompting Sun to look that way as well. What he saw astonished him.

    A strange, black creature with white and yellow markings on its face floated a few feet away from them. It had a large, orange plume with bristles along the back. Looking at its arms, if put together, would form a yellow rooster head. There was something about the being that separated it from other Pokémon, something that only the instincts could sense. It seemed as though it was waiting for something, but what Sun wasn't sure. Perhaps gratitude from him? He had no doubt that that creature was the one who saved him from inevitable death. He slowly stood up with the two Pokémon still in his arms. He sensed the girl beside him also looking at the creature with wide eyes.

    For a few seconds nobody moved.

    "Cloud, Volt Tackle!"

    "Pika!" Cloud jumped from Sun's arms, surprising both the girl and her Pokémon. Even the strange creature seemed to have jolted slightly in shock from the unexpected attack. Cloud ran towards the creature, sparks already flying around his cheeks. The electricity soon covered the pikachu as his speed increased exponentially. Cloud crashed into the creature with the powerful move, staggering both parties. Sun took that opportunity to fish out a ready ultra ball and threw it at the creature. He heard another gasp from the girl when both saw the capture device hit the opponent. In a flash of white, the creature disappeared into the ball. The release mechanism began to beep red as everybody held their breath in expectation. The two children and their Pokémon watched the wiggling ultra ball intently, both parties hoping for different results.

    The ultra ball stopped wiggling. Then it opened and the creature was released in a flash of white. The left side of his smile started to twitch immensely when he saw his savior floating before him and Cloud again. It stared at him for a second. Then it screeched a horrible noise in his direction as electricity crackled around its body before zooming away at an unimaginable speed, leaving the two children to cover their faces from the flying dust. A strange, clunking noise sent Sun's mind wandering before he realized that the dust cloud and blown his used ultra ball off the cliff. That was fine; he had more where that came from. When the dust cloud cleared Sun looked at the sky where the creature could have possibly zoomed off. Cloud slowly trotted back to his trainer, looking a bit shaken not from the dust cloud. The pikachu stopped right at Sun's feet and also looked at the sky. Sun didn't realize how tightly he was holding the girl's Pokémon until a slight cry alerted him.

    Sun looked down at the weird Pokémon before remembering that it belonged to the girl next to him. He loosened his hold and held it out to the stranger with a smile. "Here, your Pokémon." His smile didn't falter even as the girl looked at him with horror.

    "Do you realize what you almost did?" she asked. Her Pokémon wiggled out of Sun's grip to float over to its trainer. It stopped in front of her and turned to look at the boy.

    "Pew!" Nebby cried in a happy tone despite the slightly-frightened tone its trainer had. Sun surmised that it was probably thanking him. Towards the Pokémon, his smile widened. Then Sun turned his attention back to the stranger. In reply to the girl's question, he shook his head.

    "Oh no. What did I almost do?"

    "You almost caught this island's guardian Pokémon!" she exclaimed.

    Sun tiled his head to the side. "That was Tapu Koko? Hmm..." He closed his eyes in thought and crossed his arms. In all honesty, he had no idea. He saw a Pokémon, it didn't belong to anybody, he sought to catch it. Simple as that. He was able to judge correctly that it would take more than a mere Pokéball to catch that Pokémon, especially when the air around it was different from other Pokémon he was used to. After juggling around the new information, Sun opened his eyes and smiled apologetically to her. "I'm sorry. I had no idea that was the guardian Pokémon."

    The girl stared at him with a look he didn't quite like. To his relief though, she dropped it for a slightly guilty look. "You...you're new here, aren't you?" When Sun nodded, the girl sighed. "I see. I shouldn't have gotten mad at you then. You couldn't have known. I should be thanking you rather than scolding you. Oh, please forgive me...I'm so grateful to you for helping us out of that dangerous spot." The girl bowed her head in gratitude.

    "It was nothing," Sun immediately responded with both hands held up. He shifted his feet. "If anything, you should thank Cloud. Right, buddy?" The boy's grin widened slightly as he looked to his Pokémon.

    "Pikachu!" Cloud smiled, scratching his head sheepishly. The girl giggled at the pikachu's action.

    "Well, thank you, Cloud. Nebby and I are so grateful for your help." She bent down to rub Cloud's head, earning cry of contentment from him. She didn't notice how Sun looked back over to where Tapu Koko once floated. Though the Pokémon was probably far away from them, he could still see the island guardian waiting for him, teasing him. He found himself wishing that his capture had been successful. He wouldn't know exactly what to do with Tapu Koko but that didn't change the bitter taste of defeat the failed attempt left in his mouth. His mind then cleared itself of that negativity when Nebby floated in his line of vision. He saw the strange Pokémon crouch down and bat the ground with one of its cloud puffs.

    "Pew!" it cried as it floated over to Sun. The boy watched the little creature curiously. With a huge grin, Nebby handed a small, sparkling rock to Sun. He gently took the strange rock from the Pokémon to examine on closer quarters. The first thing he noticed was an unknown sense of warmth radiating from it. Perhaps it was from its core? He couldn't be too sure. What he could slightly recognize was a Z incased in a diamond with two triangles on either side. A larger triangle stuck out from one side of the rectangle containing the simple shapes. Considering that Nebby found the sparkling stone from where Tapu Koko once stood, Sun could only surmise that the legendary Pokémon left it. He wondered whether it was possible that Tapu Koko left it on purpose. It didn't seem likely. However it didn't really matter when Sun decided to keep it. He pocketed the stone, making a mental note to ask Professor Kukui about it. Even if it turned out that he "stole" it with help from his Nebby accomplice, he still had to know exactly what it was that he "stole". And what better person than to ask the knowledgeable professor himself? Or his dad. There was always that choice.

    "Nebby. Come on. Back into the bag," Sun heard the girl call for the Pokémon. He looked up to see Cloud trot back over to him while the stranger held out the bag for Nebby. With a slight cry, the strange Pokémon floated over to the girl. Sun entertained himself with the thought that they were unofficially trading their Pokémon with how they switched places. Once it snuggled back inside the bag, the girl shook her head slightly. "Oh Nebby. Please don't do something like that again."

    Sun picked up his pikachu to place on his shoulder, earning a cry of gratitude from his best friend. He saw that he had no reason to be here anymore since his initial and only reason was to find out exactly what was in the girl's bag. The boy turned to head back to the village, a hand raised in farewell while the other hand idly scratched Cloud's chin. "Well then, I'll see you around."

    "W-wait!" The girl's frightened cry stopped Sun from taking another step. The boy's mouth twitched slightly as he glanced over his shoulder at her. She had her arm stretched out to implore him to stay. Sun turned on his heels to face her with his arms crossed. Now that she had his full attention, it seemed that the girl had cold feet. Her eyes widened before staring straight down to the ground. Sun waited as patiently as he could for the stranger to gather enough courage to speak again. "Please...please, don't tell anyone about this...about Nebby. It's...it's a secret, okay?" She looked back up with pleading eyes. It almost looked pathetic to Sun. However only the right side of his smile moved slightly.

    "...Then you can't tell anyone about my trying to catch Tapu Koko. It's...it's a secret, okay?" Sun smiled as he placed a finger to his lips in a quiet gesture. The girl stared at him to see if he was serious about this, especially with how he seemed to mock the way she asked him. Seeing nothing but honest truth in those eyes eased her hesitation. She nodded vigorously.

    "Of course. Also..."


    "I know it's too much for me to ask, but...do you think you could see us back to town? I'm worried we might get attacked again by some wild Pokémon or...or something..."

    Sun's smile twitched slightly on the left side. Despite his emotions barely changing on his face, underneath his mind was racing. He caught the little slip-up from the girl's voice. The boy wondered what could that "something" be that could possibly make her this terrified. However he didn't pursue it. At the current moment he knew he had something else to worry about. Finding that damn kahuna. Maybe once Sun escorted the girl safely back to Iki Town, she would be in a better mood to talk as it didn't seem like she'd give any useful information at the current moment, like her name. "I'll be happy to."
    1. So yeah. My Sun's pretty much based on the constantly smiling, staring into your soul, blank stare protagonist that's supposed to be you. He's going to have some interesting habits I myself have formed while playing Pokémon Moon, coughsleepinginotherpeople'sbedscough.

    2. I actually caught a Pichu and named him Cloud (because I was half-asleep and didn't want generic electric-type Pokémon names) since I planned to have an Alolan Raichu on my final story team. Then I got too attached to Cloud as a Pikachu and he helped me beat the Elite Four. Sweet.

    3. The fact that Sun has an ultra ball already is me making fun of the game for giving you ultras so early in the beginning. I mean...you get ten of them from a guy in the Pokémon Center of the first town for just catching a certain number of Pokémon. Don't remember the exact number, but it sure as hell wasn't a lot. Like, seriously? I remember getting ultra balls in the other games near the end or something. Certainly not when I'm still at the beginning catching yungoos and pikipek. What was I supposed to use those ultra balls on, the Totem Pokémon?

    4. So could you guys figure out what emotions Sun was expressing? If not, I suggest you guys go back and try to see the signs. It would be helpful to know which gesture means what for future updates. That is...if you guys continue reading it, of course. Again, any criticism and feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
    Mandriel likes this.
  2. bladewielder05

    Feb 8, 2017
    Chapter 2: A Splashing Entrance​

    As the two kids silently walked down the slope, Sun's mind wandered back to the problem he had about finding the kahuna of Melemele Island. Returning to Iki Town without the person he was actually required to find made it seem like he failed the little task that Professor Kukui asked of him. Truthfully though, he didn't mind that he couldn't complete that request. He knew that eventually it would solve itself considering how Professor Kukui did say they were all planning to meet in town in the first place. Perhaps the kahuna had already returned and was simply waiting for Sun so that the boy could finally receive his first Alolan Pokémon. It was definitely possible. At least, Sun hoped that that was what happened.

    Sun glanced over his left shoulder since his right one was occupied by Cloud. He could see that the girl was clutching her bag tightly with Nebby safely tucked away. Her mouth was sealed shut as she watched where she stepped on the dirt path. She seemed to have flinched slightly when she noticed Sun watching her. The boy's mouth twitched slightly in annoyance before he turned back to walk forward again. He had a feeling that the girl knew there was something weird with him. Not a lot of people could sense it, he knew. But somehow she managed to. Probably it was when he attempted to catch Tapu Koko. She did look at him weird then. Either way, she still didn't seem to be in the mood to talk. That was just fine with him.

    The boy felt his pikachu shift on his shoulder. A small spark at his cheek alerted him that Cloud was trying to get his attention. He looked over to glance questioningly at the electric mouse Pokémon. "Pi...pika pika?" Cloud asked nervously. Sun sighed apologetically. He scratched underneath Cloud's chin, earning a hesitant chirp of appreciation.

    "Don't worry, Cloud. I'm not mad at you," he whispered so the girl wouldn't hear.

    "Chu, pi? Pikachu?"

    "Oh, I'm still upset that I couldn't catch Tapu Koko, but there's nothing we could do about it now, could we? So let's just see where the chips fall as they may," Sun replied. He faced forward again to ensure that he wouldn't trip and break his neck. It was quite dark with only the stars and moon out to light their way through the trees' foliage, and even then it was still difficult to see. Thankfully the return trip took less time than the first walk. Sun attributed to them already knowing their destination and seeing the sights beforehand. Soon enough they broke free from the entrance of the forest. The darkness that shadowed their sight cleared away to reveal the town of Iki lit by multiple torches. From his position, Sun saw his taskmaster speaking with an old, white-moustache man wearing his white hair in a top-knot like ponytail. The newcomer wore a yellow robe with white patterns over a blue shirt and white pants and had a fan tucked in a white knotted belt. Even from this distance, Sun immediately knew that the old man was the kahuna. The professor was surprisingly right. He would know who the kahuna was just because he looked like one. Sun wondered whether that would be true for all the island kahunas.

    "Oh, Professor! Professor!" the girl behind Sun suddenly cried out, surprising the boy. She rushed past him, making sure that she didn't push him aside. Hearing the abrupt call, both the professor and assuming kahuna looked up. Professor Kukui smiled and waved once he recognized who was calling him.

    "Hey there, Lillie, Sun!" Kukui shouted back. "Come on over! I've got somebody special here, yeah!" The right side of Sun's smile twitched slightly as he also made his way over there. He noticed that there were a couple more people around seeing how the kahuna was now present. Walking around the raised platform in the middle, he finally reached the small group consisting of the professor, the kahuna, and the girl. Lillie. He mentally stored that away for future usage. Hopefully she also took notice of his own name when Kukui called back. Otherwise he'd have to reintroduce himself to her. That wouldn't exactly be a bad thing since they needed proper introductions anyways. The professor then gestured to the older man beside him. "Sun, this is the kahuna of our island, Hala. Hala, this here is Nova's boy, Sun."

    "Pleased to meet you, sir," Sun said as he extended his hand. When Hala took his hand, Sun's eyebrow went up slightly in surprise at the unexpected strength of the old man. He quickly recomposed himself to smile brightly at the kahuna.

    "It's a pleasure to meet you too, my boy. And just call me Hala. No need for those polite sirs. I'm sorry for not being here earlier. As kahuna of Melemele Island, I have to resolve any problems here." Sun quickly waved away the apology, making Hala's smile widen. The kahuna then spread his arms out in a grandiose gesture. "Welcome to Alola! How are you liking it so far?"

    "It's really beautiful. I think I'm going to enjoy my time here very much." Sun's smile twitched slightly on its left. From the corner of his eye, he could see Lillie staring at the kahuna as if she wanted to say something. After some hesitation, she finally managed to gather the courage to say:

    "Oh, um...Kahuna Hala?"

    "Yes, Lillie. What is it?"

    "Nebby was being attacked by Spearow on Plank Bridge when...Sun helped it get away." Sun could tell from the pause that Lillie tried to recall his name from the professor's greeting. She continued, "But 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 swooped in to save them!" It looked like Lillie wanted to say something else, but she sealed her lips tightly into a smile.

    Almost immediately the whole crowd was swarmed with shocked murmurs. Both men's face mirrored the same surprise that everybody else had. Professor Kukui placed both hands on his hips as he leaned forward slightly. He shook his head, the smile and shock clear in his voice, "Woo! That's something you don't hear every day!"

    "Ho! So that was why I saw Tapu Koko flying!" Hala agreed. "Although it is said to protect us, our Tapu Koko is a rather fickle creature. Yet our guardian was moved to save you." Upon hearing that, Sun's smile faded slightly. He wondered what about him could merit saving from the legendary Pokémon. As far as he knew, Tapu Koko would have been in a better position if it didn't save him from the danger he put himself in. The island guardian wouldn't have somebody crazy hunting him down. At least Sun appreciated how Lillie seemed to have remembered her promise about not telling the others about his capture failure. The boy mentally shook his thoughts away to refocus on what old Hala was saying. "Kukui, my boy, I think we have cause to celebrate! Even though he already has his own Pokémon, I think I should still entrust this brave and kind young boy with a Pokémon as a gift of thanks. We'll make a fine trainer out of him."

    The kahuna then turned to the raised platform. Sun could feel a sense of anticipation from the surrounding crowd. Cloud quivered on his shoulder as the excitement was also getting to the pikachu. He knew that they were going to get a new teammate soon. Although he was excited like everybody else, Cloud was also very nervous. He felt a comforting finger curl underneath his chin. He squeaked in delight at the reassurance from his trainer. Though his nervousness was justified, Cloud rubbed his cheek against Sun's with a light jolt to let his trainer know that he wasn't as anxious as before.

    "Come, my Pokémon! Let's have a look at you!" Hala threw three pokeballs in the air. Sun watched each of them intently, wondering to himself exactly what kind of Pokémon the kahuna had in store for him.

    From the first Pokéball, a flash of white revealed a round owl. It flapped its little, brown wings quickly to land safely on the platform. It stared at Sun almost as soullessly as the stare the boy was giving it. It had a small green bowtie that Sun recognized as leaves. While it was mostly brown, some under feathers were white like its face.

    The second Pokéball released a black catlike Pokémon. Sun's mouth immediately twitched slightly at the sight of a creature similar in appearance to his mother's meowth. On each of its legs it had two red stripes while its head had a vertical one with two horizontal stripes through it. It also had a large tuft of red fur on either side of its cheeks and a tuft at the end of its tail. It glared at Sun lazily with its yellow eyes. The boy heard it hissing slightly at him, and he guessed correctly that it returned the same animosity.

    For the last Pokéball, a blue Pokémon landed on its two tail fins with its two flippers in posed in the air before it rested on the platform. The sea lion smiled at Sun with a happy grin and large eyes. A long white snout, black whiskers, and round pink nose completed the Pokémon's face. It also had a light blue ruff like a clown's extending past its shoulders.

    "Pika..." Cloud muttered as he also examined the new Pokémon with his trainer. He already knew that one of those starters was out of the question, so he wondered which of the remaining two Sun would choose. Though it seemed like the owl looked to be an optimal choice, the sea lion was also cute in its own right. Cloud wasn't sure about Sun's choice. His trainer could be quite unpredictable at times.

    Hala began introducing the boy to the starters. "First is the grass-type Pokémon, Rowlet!" At its name, the rowlet spun in a circle with a light "koo!" Sun saw that its tail also represented a leaf, making the right side of his smile move a bit. "Next is the fire-type Pokémon, Litten!" The litten begrudgingly meowed at Sun. The boy's smile twitched slightly, and the litten took a small step back, its nonchalant expression flickering a bit. Nobody seemed to notice the fire cat Pokémon's unease as they focused on the last introduction. "And last is the water-type Pokémon, Popplio!" Said Pokémon responded with a "bwark?" and clapped excitedly with its tail fins. It smiled again at Sun. The boy couldn't help but widen his smile a bit in return. Then he heard Hala ask, "Which Pokémon will you choose?"

    At the question, it seemed as if everybody agreed to hold their breath in expectancy. The simple yet meaningful question plagued all their minds. They watched the new boy cross his arms, close his eyes, and tilt his head in thought. Lillie gripped her bag tightly while Kukui and Hala watched calmly, only their eyes speaking volumes of the enjoyment they were experiencing. Sun's mouth moved in a small whisper, and Cloud responded with his own quiet squeak. Then Sun opened his eyes, his smile widening. He walked forward. And pointed to the popplio.

    The popplio blinked with its eyes wide in surprise, its gaze never wavering from the trainer since it first appeared. Then it giggled excitedly when it realized that this nice, smiling boy picked it. "Bwark! Bwark!" it cried joyfully. Everybody cheered along with it. Sun held out both hands towards the water starter. At the prompt the popplio leapt happily from the platform into Sun's arms. The boy immediately petted its head, earning barks of contentment. Cloud waved a paw in greeting at the newest member in their team. The popplio responded to the welcome with a happy bark of its own. Sun's smile widened at the immediate friendship Cloud struck. He heard Hala laughing behind him. The laugh sounded like something for an inside joke, making him turn around in question.

    "Ho! We usually see if the starter Pokémon also chooses the trainer since it's only then that you can truly call each other partners, but I think we don't need to do that with how attached Popplio is to you now!" the old man boomed. He returned the other two starters and handed Sun the popplio's Pokéball. A few people went to congratulate Sun, causing his smile to twitch slightly, before both Kukui and Lillie were able to come up to him.

    "I'm sure you two would make a great team together!" Lillie smiled.

    "That's right! I can't wait to see the different moves you guys can perform together, yeah!" Professor Kukui laughed. "So are you going to give a nickname to him?" The older man gestured to the now-clapping popplio still in Sun's arms. Sun nodded in answer. He gently lifted the popplio away to make him face the boy. He smiled brightly.

    "Hello there, Blue Doll! Welcome to our team!"

    "Pikachu!" Cloud also smiled.

    "Bwark!" Blue Doll cheered.

    "Nice to meet you, Blue Doll," Lillie smiled. Professor Kukui also added his greeting as he waved to the popplio. Blue Doll turned to both of them and clapped in their direction. "I think you chose a wonderful Pokémon. Please take good care of it," Lillie continued.

    The right side of Sun's smile twitched slightly. "Oh, you can be sure that Blue Doll is in good hands. Right, Cloud?" The pikachu nodded confirmation.

    Professor Kukui then stepped forward with something red in his hands. When Sun looked at it curiously the professor held it out to him. The boy took it gingerly, as if he might break it if he wasn't too careful. "Here. I'm sure you'll find this gift useful on your journey, Sun." Initially rectangular in shape, its top gave way to a more oval shape while its bottom had two half circles as if to serve as feet. The screen was also supposed to be rectangular but also at the top shaped into two ovals that could only be described as eyelike. Sun realized that the professor had just given him a Pokédex, a slightly weird shaped one at that. He had seen pokedexes before, but this one looked nothing like the old ones. Did technology evolve this far to be this stupid-looking? Sun wasn't sure. At least the blocky thing was barely small enough to put into his pocket still.

    "Thank you," he said politely.

    "That Pokédex would be able to scan all kinds of Pokémon in Alola, yeah. Blue Doll is already even registered! And this is a Trainer Passport that I had put together for you." The professor also gave him a small booklet. "You'll need it for the Island Challenge." Sun nodded. He placed Blue Doll on the ground before taking the passport. Cloud immediately jumped off his shoulder to converse with the popplio. Sun's smile twitched slightly on its right side when he understood what his first Pokémon was telling his starter as he stored the trainer passport deep with his wallet and his first passport. Sun shouldered his backpack back on. Then he picked up Blue Doll again. He noticed how Cloud sighed in resignation while the pikachu climbed to his usual spot of Sun's shoulder. Blue Doll had apparently listened to Cloud's warnings with a blank face. He didn't really understand what the pikachu was trying to say about their trainer. Something about don't get him mad or something. But Blue Doll was sure everything would be okay with the obviously nice Sun.

    "I'm going to go on ahead home to show Mom my new Pokémon," Sun said to Kukui in a slightly raised voice to let people know that he was leaving. The professor nodded in agreement.

    "I'm sure your mom would be ecstatic when she sees Blue Doll."

    "Oh she would be," Sun agreed before he started walking down the hill. The people parted the way to let the boy with a popplio in his arms and a pikachu on his shoulders through while still congratulating him on both the Tapu Koko save and popplio receiving. For a brief moment Sun thought he might suffocate with all the people crowded around him. Soon though he stepped clear of the swarms to head back home. He inhaled sharply, for once not taking in the odor of human bodies surrounding him. He couldn't wait to get home and introduce his mother to Blue Doll. His smile widened slightly as he thought about his newest Pokémon. Overwhelmed with affection for the little guy, Sun scratched Blue Doll's chin. He was only slightly distracted so he heard the sprinting sound coming for him. He looked up to see who was fast approaching him. A boy about his age stopped a few feet away from Sun.

    The newcomer's mouth widened brightly, his grin almost a mirror image of Sun's own smile. He wore his hair in a similar fashion as Hala while he had on a black T-shirt with orange shorts. Sun could see the straps of an orange backpack behind the boy. "Hey! You and me! Let's have a Pokémon battle!" the stranger shouted eagerly. Sun's smile twitched slightly at the boy's behavior. Cloud felt his trainer already loosening his shoulders slightly, a sign that the boy was about ready to retire for the day. The pikachu could tell that Sun was annoyed by this unforeseen battle. If only he could refuse the battle request...

    "Dahahaha! Where's the fire, boy?" Sun heard the kahuna ask behind him. When he glanced over his shoulder, he saw said man walking with Professor Kukui and Lillie. "And what kind of a Pokémon battle would that be where you don't even give a name first, eh?" The boy's smile turned slightly sheepish at the slight scolding.

    "Fair enough," he conceded. He turned back towards Sun, linking his hands behind his head. "Then I'm Hau. And my partners are Pichu and Litten!" Upon hearing that one familiar name, Sun's smile twitched slightly again. Cloud's ears flicked forward when he heard the name of his pre evolution. "Your pikachu and popplio look really cool, too!"

    "Oh. Thanks." Sun tightened his hug around the little Pokémon. "My name's Sun. I'm sure you'll be able to get a pikachu soon. But it won't be anything like mine." Only Cloud heard the last quiet statement, and although he appreciated the praise, he hoped that Sun wouldn't make a nasty habit of subtly putting everybody down like that. At least nobody would really notice, hopefully.

    "Yeah! So let's battle! After I heard that a new person moved in, I've been looking all over for you! I couldn't wait for the chance to meet you! So let's battle!" Hau repeated.

    "Um..." Hearing the soft hesitation, Sun turned around to look at Lillie. Her hands were wringing the strap of Nebby's bag. If she held it any more tightly, then she would have to get a new strap to replace her torn one. "I don't really like to see Pokémon battles where Pokémon can get hurt...but I'll watch for you."

    "You know you don't have to," Sun said, the smile still on his face. "We're not forcing you to." Lillie shook her head even before Sun finished his sentence.

    "I'll be fine. I really want to see how you bond with your Pokémon."

    "Oh yeah, your first battle in Alola already! Let's see what kind of moves you got, Sun! Woo!" Kukui cheered. The right side of Sun's smile moved a bit in amusement. Except this would actually be my second battle if you count my attempt to capture Tapu Koko to be my first...he thought to himself. He noticed how the townspeople were starting to gather around them again in anticipation for a Pokémon battle. It looked like Sun didn't have a choice in the matter anymore. It was as if Hau had tricked him into having this battle by having so many witnesses to his challenge. It irritated Sun slightly but not enough to upset him. Sun jumped slightly when he felt a warm hand clasp his shoulder. He looked up to see old Hala grinning at him.

    "I appreciate you being willing to take on my grandson here. I expect a good, one on one, no-holds-barred battle from the both of you!"

    Sun nodded in understanding before facing Hau again. The boy took multiple steps back in order to make ample room for the fighting Pokémon. Once he judged the distance to be about enough, he waved to his opponent.

    "You ready, Sun?"

    "Oh, I'm ready," Sun said, the right side of his smile twitching slightly.

    "All right! This is gonna be great!" Hau grabbed a Pokéball from his belt and threw it into the air. "Litten, I choose you!" In a flash of white, the fire cat Pokémon appeared, landing on all fours gracefully. It meowed once before it licked its paw clean. Sun couldn't help his smile from twitching at the sight of the litten. However he kept his composure as he set Blue Doll down.

    "Bwark?" the popplio asked curiously. He turned around to face his trainer with a grin, only to have Sun lift him gently and make him face the litten.

    "That way, Blue Doll. We're going to have a battle." At the word, Blue Doll's confusion cleared to be replaced with determination. He didn't realize that he would have a chance to prove that Sun didn't make a mistake picking him so soon. He nodded before moving himself forward slightly to be in a better position for the battle. The popplio smiled and clapped his hind fins when he heard his other new friend, Cloud, cheering for him from behind. Sun secretly took out his Pokédex to scan Hau's Litten:

    Litten, the fire cat Pokémon. It prefers solitude and doesn't allow its emotions to be easily seen. While grooming itself, it builds up fur inside its stomach to set alight for fiery attacks.

    Sun nodded slightly to himself when he heard the information. Looking through the entries so far, he saw that he also had Blue Doll and the rowlet from before registered. After taking a quick look at the popplio entry, he made a mental note to read them in full detail at home before going to sleep. He tucked the Pokédex away and looked up to signal that he was more than ready now.

    Hala looked to see whether both sides were ready. Once he saw that they indeed were, he raised one hand in the air. "You may begin!"

    "Litten, use Ember!" Hau immediately commanded. His Pokémon responded swiftly to the words. The hairs on its back stood straight up, revealing red tips, as it spat a flaming ball of fur at Blue Doll.

    "Water Gun," Sun countered. Blue Doll inhaled deeply. Once the ember attack got close, he opened his mouth to spray a shot of water to extinguish the small flame. The popplio didn't stop there and Water Gun ended up hitting Litten straight on. The catlike Pokémon cried out in pain at the super effective move. Sun pointed at Litten, not giving Hau a chance to react. "Now use Pound."

    "Bwark!" Blue Doll leapt forward. He struck out a flipper in order to swat Litten away. The normal-type move hit Litten square in the face, causing the fire-type Pokémon to leap backwards while rubbing its pained face. Sun's smile widened slightly at the red flipper print Litten now had.

    "Try a Scratch, Litten!"

    Cloud squeaked at the thought of the painful attack. Even Sun cringed slightly when he saw the fire cat Pokémon rake Blue Doll's face with its three claws. He wasn't going to let that cat get away with hurting his Pokémon like that. He thought back to the move set Blue Doll knew currently. "Growl!" The popplio responded to the order by opening his mouth to let out a high, piercing cry that distorted the air around them. The litten growled lowly in irritation as it batted its ears to futilely stop itself from listening.

    "Use your own Growl, Litten!"

    "One more time, Blue Doll!"

    Both Alolan starters took a deep breath before releasing similar growls that lowered the other's physical attack power. However Sun knew he benefitted from this more than Hau since his Blue Doll specialized in special attacks more than physical. Scratch was also the only attack doing work on Hau's side considering how water-types resisted fire-type moves. He felt that he had dragged this battle long enough. He wanted to get home quickly to show off the popplio before returning to a dreamless sleep.

    "Time to end this." Cloud shivered when he heard that quiet voice spoke. Sun pointed to the tired yet determined litten and raised his voice so everybody could hear, "Blue Doll, Water Gun."

    "Bwark!" Blue Doll cried as he opened his mouth to shoot the super effective move at his opponent.

    "Dodge it!" Sun could hear the panic in Hau's voice. However he knew that it was over. Litten was too exhausted to react and the attack hit it right in the face again. It hissed slightly before falling on its side, swirls in its eyes. The right side of Sun's smile twitched slightly when he saw the boy smile good-naturedly. Hau held out a Pokéball, firing the red laser to return the fainted litten. "You did great, Litten," the boy said to the Pokéball.

    Hala held up his right hand to indicate the winner. "This match goes to Sun and his popplio!" At the official result, the townspeople cheered much louder than when Sun received Blue Doll. The cheering got to Blue Doll as he leaned forward to clap his hind fins joyfully. The sight of his victorious popplio made Sun's smile widen slightly as he walked over to pick up Blue Doll.

    "Great job, Blue Doll," Sun cooed to the Pokémon. Said Pokémon giggled happily at the praise. He barked his thanks towards Cloud when the pikachu gave his congratulations as well.

    "Hoo-ee! That gave me chicken skin! Your popplio was awesome!" Hau laughed as he jumped up and down in giddiness. Sun looked over to Hau with a small smile.

    "Thanks. Your...litten, did pretty good too." Sun patted his popplio one last time before grabbing a potion from his backpack. The boy gently sprayed the wounds on Blue Doll, stopping and soothing the Pokémon whenever he cried out from the stings. Once he was done with healing Blue Doll, he grabbed another potion to hand to Hau. Sun smiled back at Hau when the boy grinned in gratitude. Sun then said, "Thanks for the battle and everything, but I want to head on home to rest."

    "Well that settles it! I'll be sure to go all out tomorrow! You are coming to the festival, right?"

    Hearing that word made Sun tilt his head to the side in curiosity. "Festival?"

    "It's to give thanks to Tapu Koko for remaining by our side. There's going to be a great battle and everything! You are coming, right?"

    The left side of Sun's mouth twitched slightly as he thought about it. Perhaps he should participate in this festival before exploring the other islands. While Blue Doll did well in this battle, he was nowhere near Cloud's level. The potential battle would give the popplio some much needed experience. Besides, participating in the festival would also allow them to relax just a little bit more. Sun would see the other traditions Melemele Island had and gather other information, which would be useful when exploring this particular island. With that in mind, he nodded in confirmation.

    Hau grinned back. "Great! I'll battle you again tomorrow! And we'll win then!"

    "Don't be too sure of that," Sun muttered to himself before waving good-bye to them. "I'll see you all tomorrow then!" He attempted to head down the hill again. Unfortunately for him, Hala saw something that merit questioning.

    "Hmm? Sun..." When Sun turned to look at the kahuna in question, Hala pointed to his pocket. Sun followed the direction of his finger and saw that he was pointing at the sparkling stone in Sun's pocket. To be honest, he almost forgot about it. Now that it caught Hala's attention, Sun wondered whether the shining stone was worth picking up since it was keeping him from going home. The poor boy just wanted to go home. "Would you be so kind as to give me a look at that sparkling stone you have there?"

    "Of course," Sun replied. He took the stone from his pocket and placed it carefully in Hala's open hand. Blue Doll also looked at it curiously as he tried to sniff the stone's identity. The kahuna examined it closely, his eyes almost blazing a hole in the strange object.

    "Could it be?!"

    Hau turned to his grandpa with the same look of surprise. "Tutu, isn't that...?" Hala nodded at the incomplete question. He looked up straight into Sun's eyes.

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

    Sun nodded.

    "So it even deigned to give you a stone..."

    Actually...I think I stole it, but okay. Sure, Tapu Koko gave me that.

    "Perhaps you are here in Alola, Sun, because this where you are meant to be. Allow me to borrow this stone for now. Fret not!" Hala laughed a bit when he saw the uncertain look in Sun's eyes. "I'll return it to you tomorrow evening at the festival. It would seem that you have the makings of a fine trainer. I'll see you then!"

    Still Sun hesitated a bit. Although he knew he could trust Hala, he still wished that he could take the stone home since it was "his" to begin with. However that didn't seem to be an option. At least he was going to get it back tomorrow. Despite the urge to simply take the stone back, Sun nodded in agreement. Retaining his smile he waved good-bye to them once again. He actually paused for a bit to see if anybody else wanted to stop him. Seeing that no such volunteer did, he started down the road. That was when he heard somebody say:

    "Here, Sun. I'll take you back home."

    The boy's smile twitched slightly in annoyance at the third interruption. Luckily he got his expression under control when Professor Kukui walked to his side. At least the professor didn't stop him completely for something long like the battle and stone. Sun nodded his gratitude before the two started down the trail together. Taking the same path as before, the pair walked while conversing with each other. The professor praised Sun on his battling once again, to which Sun simply waved away. However Kukui knew that the boy appreciated the input. He noticed how Sun hadn't put his popplio back into his Pokéball since he received it. Even now the boy still hugged Blue Doll in the same manner as pikachu on their first trip to Iki Town. Cloud stayed at his spot on Sun's shoulder, looking satisfied as could be.

    The trip back didn't take long, thank goodness. Once they reached Sun's house, Sun exchanged farewells with the professor before entering his home sweet home. His smile moved a bit when he saw his mom's meowth standing in front of the door. Meowth screeched at Sun's appearance and scurried to hide behind Nova. She looked up from the counter and smiled when she took notice of her son. She quickly patted the meowth's head to calm him down. She walked around the counter over to Sun, the expectancy in her eyes shining.

    "Welcome back, Sun! So! What kind of Pokémon did you get? Don't keep me waiting!"

    Sun's smile widened as he held out Blue Doll. "Ta-da! This is my popplio! Say hello, Blue Doll!"

    "Arf!" Blue Doll grinned widely. He held his flippers into the air in a happy poise. Nova giggled at the enthusiasm the starter showed. She tickled his chin to make him laugh. She could tell that Blue Doll was oblivious to his trainer's other side. However she predicted that the sea lion Pokémon would probably never see that darker half due to his naïve nature. Sun probably wouldn't want to show the young Pokémon that side either. That was obviously a good thing in her mind. The less people and Pokémon who knew about it, the better.

    "So I'm guessing you picked the water starter. What were the others?"

    "A grass-type owl and," Sun made a face before he continued, "a fire-type cat." At that dreaded word, his mother couldn't help but laugh. She knew of Sun's unexplainable disdain for cats. It was unfortunate that he lived with her meowth for most of his life but there was nothing he could do about it. She put her hands on her hips and teased:

    "You should have picked the cat! We could use another one!"

    Sun's smile twitched wildly on its left side. "Never," he hissed as he tightened his hug on Blue Doll. He felt Cloud shift nervously on his shoulder with a frightened squeak. The pikachu wished that Nova didn't make that joke. It put his trainer in a terrible mood, and things never bode well whenever Sun was in that state of mind. Blue Doll glanced over his shoulder to stare curiously at his trainer. When Sun saw the movement, his smile stopped twitching. He loosened his hold to not squeeze the popplio too hard. To calm himself down, he patted Blue Doll, earning a joyful bark. His emotions under control once again, Sun started for his room. "It's been a long day. I'm going to sleep."

    "All right, Sun," Nova smirked. "Good night."

    "Good night," Sun replied as he opened the door to his room. Though it looked like Sun regained his composure after petting Blue Doll, Nova cringed at the loud slam of the closing door. It was clear that any mentioning of catlike Pokémon bothered Sun to no end. It was amazing that he was able to live with her meowth for so long. After all, Meowth had been with Nova even longer than Sun. Even Cloud eventually learned to tolerate Meowth, and the meowth reciprocated. She shook her head ruefully at her son's behavior before heading into her own room.

    Sun placed Blue Doll on the floor, prompting Cloud to jump from his shoulder. The pikachu avoided looking at his trainer because he knew from the door slam that Sun was still pissed at his mother's joke. Instead Cloud started to show Blue Doll around like a tour guide. The sight of his two Pokémon getting along appeased Sun even more to make his smile widen a bit. He walked over to his bed to lay down. Remembering one of his mental notes, he took out his Pokédex. He quickly clicked into the popplio entry and read it:

    Popplio, the sea lion Pokémon. It practices diligently so it can learn to make and control big, water bubbles. It snorts body fluids from its nose to make these balloons, which could be used for both attacking, defending, and acrobatics.

    Sun liked the sound of that. Blue Doll would need that characteristic to work hard in battle and reach Cloud's level. Speaking of Cloud, the trainer waved the pikachu over. Cloud had just finished showing Blue Doll the empty insides of Sun's closet when he noticed Sun gesturing for him. He swiftly scurried over, prompting Blue Doll to also pull himself over to the bed as fast as he could. Cloud leapt onto the bed and tilted his head to the side in question.


    "Here's Blue Doll's Pokédex entry," Sun said as he pointed to the screen. "And here's yours."

    Pikachu, the mouse Pokémon. It's in its nature to store electricity, a quality that makes it a good Pokémon to work at an electric power plant. It feels stressed now and then if it is unable to discharge the stored electricity.

    "Pikachu." Cloud nodded in agreement with what Sun read out loud. This earned him a tickle underneath his chin that made him laugh. At that point Blue Doll had finally reached the bed but couldn't get up. He barked to get his new friends' attention. Sun grunted from the exertion of sitting up. He gently picked up the popplio to place on his bed next to Cloud. Then he let himself fall back onto the pillow. Blue Doll waddled over to look at Cloud's Pokédex entry curiously. Sun scrolled back to Blue Doll's entry. His smile widened a bit when he heard an excited "arf!" from the popplio. He was probably reacting more to the picture of his species than the Pokédex entry. Then Sun scrolled up again to look at the last description:

    Rowlet, the grass quill Pokémon. It is able to surprise its targets with its silent flight and vicious kicks. This wary Pokémon uses photosynthesis to rest during the day before becoming more active at night.

    Just as Sun wondered whether he would be able to see a rowlet in battle, his eyes closed into a yawn. Cloud and Blue Doll caught the contagious yawn as well, signaling to all of them that it was probably best for them to rest. Sun sat up again to put his Pokédex and pokeballs onto the table.

    "Pika, kachu," Cloud said to Blue Doll. He crawled over to the pillow to pat it, signaling Blue Doll to sleep there. However Sun grabbed both of them before they could react. He yawned once again as he lay back onto the pillow. Cloud and Blue Doll moved slightly to get into a more comfortable position in Sun's arms. Then, after the long and exhausting day, they all fell asleep.
    1. So Sun ends up choosing Popplio! Hooray! Who did not see that coming? I mean...you really only had two choices since I hope I made it quite clear from the first chapter that Sun hates cats...but yeah, near the end I actually debated whether I should let him have Popplio or Rowlet, but I decided on Popplio because he fits the innocent role more than Rowlet. And yes, I also named my Popplio Blue Doll. It is a character reference to one of my other stories, although that form of address has yet to be made to that character of mine.

    2. Though I do appreciate the Alolan Pokédex's utilities, I can't really get over how it looks. It looks kind of stupid and kind of big to be put conveniently in your pocket. Kind of like today's cell phones...I thought "cell" meant "small", not "large-ass screens and too big to put in your pocket". My pockets can hold my cell phone just fine. But for others...yeah, I can see why you ladies have big purses now.

    3. The Pokédex entries throughout this story would be a mix between Sun and Moon's Pokédex entries.

    4. Sun's Pikachu is definitely on a different level than his Popplio. I know that sounds OP and Gary Sue-ish, but there is a legitimate reason for that. At least...I hope it's a legitimate reason. Kind of like Cloud in Smash Bros, haha! But anyways, it is because Sun's Pikachu is so much stronger that he rarely uses him, only for extreme cases. So yeah. I suppose that would explain why Cloud was able to hurt Tapu Koko to a certain extent.
  3. bladewielder05

    Feb 8, 2017
    Chapter 3: Celebrated Blunder​

    Sun placed the last of his possessions in its rightful place. He gave a soft grunt of satisfaction as he stood up from his kneeling position to stretch out his back. His smile widened when he saw Cloud and Blue Doll happily clapping for an effort well done. He knew that most of his cleaning he could have done by himself, though it was still nice to have his two little Pokémon help him with the little things. However he found it funny that he decided now to put away his belongings considering that he would be leaving on his adventure soon. Oh well. Sun rathered he finishing moving his things than his mother. Besides finding things Sun would like to keep a secret, Nova might put his possessions in the wrong places. The boy took one last look to make sure everything was in order before gesturing to his Pokémon.

    "Come on, guys. It's almost time for the festival," Sun said. Cloud nodded in understanding before leaping off Sun's table to land expertly on his shoulder. Blue Doll leaned forward on the desk to clap his tailfins excitedly. The boy gently took the popplio and made his way out the door. At the sound of the swinging door, Nova looked up from where she was feeding Meowth. She smiled at him.

    "Ready to go to the festival?" she asked cheerfully. Sun simply nodded in response. Even though Nova made it clear that she would be bringing Meowth along, the boy refused to let the presence of the scratch cat Pokémon rain on his parade. After all, from what he heard, the festival was supposed to be a joyous occasion with battles to participate in and people to converse with. There was also supposed to be one grand battle between two trainers to be offered as tribute to Tapu Koko. Despite himself, he had a small desire to be one of the grand battlers. It would be great experience for Blue Doll. "That's great! We should get going now! I think Professor Kukui would be here any-."

    "Alola, Nova! And alola, Sun!"

    Nova smiled as she turned to the door, where said professor stood with a huge grin on his face. "Speak of the Giratina. Sure, why don't you always barge in like you always do, Kukui?" The man laughed at that.

    "Sorry, I just got so excited about the festival. At least I knocked on the door before I Knock Off the door."

    The right side of Sun's smile twitched slightly while Nova giggled slightly at Professor Kukui's joking usage of the dark-type Pokémon move. Despite both adults' extreme words, Sun noticed that the professor actually came in without much fuss or damage. Said man then turned to the boy, taking note of his two Pokémon hanging with him. If it was even possible, Kukui's wide smile broadened even further at that friendly sight. He put both hands on his hips, a gesture Sun noticed that was common among the natives. Even his mom started getting into the habit of it. "Hope you two are ready to have a lot of fun at the festival!" Kukui boomed.

    "Oh, most definitely. Right, Sun?" Nova asked. Her son simply nodded in reply, allowing his smile to widen a bit. His Pokémon showed more enthusiasm than him with a happy "Pika!" and sweet "Bwark!" Even her meowth cheered in anticipation of the fun to come. Kukui joined in with Nova's laughter.

    "Great! Then let's get going with our Agility!" Similarly to the first time he barged in, the professor rushed out the door. Nova giggled a bit before exiting her house with her meowth and son following close behind. They found Kukui waiting at the same crossroad he led Sun the first time he took him to Iki Town. They also noticed how other people were heading the same way, presumably towards the festival as well. Nova and Sun exchanged friendly greetings with the neighbors before heading over to the professor. Once they caught up to him, Kukui pointed in the opposite direction. "That route over there is a detour to Iki Town filled with wild Pokémon. You should check it out sometime."

    Sun looked over there with some interest before nodding his comprehension. He made a mental note to explore that area at the optimal time. Now he was more concerned about what the festival had in store for him. He walked a little behind his mother and the professor, who were engaged in a deep conversation. He could see that Meowth padded slightly in front of Nova's left to keep well out of reach of Sun. The boy's smile twitched slightly on its right when he saw that. Sun listened in to the adults' conversation but didn't pay it too much attention. Instead he thought about the possible trainers he would meet when he went to the festival. Hau was most likely going to be there. What about Lillie? Would she be here too? She probably would be, considering how it seemed as if everybody on the island was going to Iki Town. Did Professor Kukui escort her to town first or did Hau take up that job? He also wondered about other activities it would have, hoping that there would be something there beneficial for his Pokémon.

    A couple of other people walked alongside them within their own little groups. Once one person started to interact with another from a different group, it seemed as if everybody was traveling together. Sun didn't really want to interact with other people yet but traveling with the Pokémon professor of this region didn't help his case at all. Still he put on a good smile as he answered a few questions his neighbors asked him, never answering more than he had to. His mother was more social than him, and soon these strangers became her friends. The interactions sped time up and before long the celebratory sounds reached them despite them still having some distance to go, adding to their anticipation of what's to come. The large assembly soon arrived to their destination.

    Iki Town looked extremely different from the first time Sun went there. For one, there were much more people with Pokémon chatting and having a great time, almost overcrowding the small place. Some saw the opportunity for a great business with the multiple stalls they set up. Even the raised platform, with a large lit bonfire behind it, was occupied by a fire breather, three hula dancers, and their Pokémon with people gathering around to watch the traditional entertainment. Though the sun still graced the skies with a beautiful indescribable orange, the torches running all throughout the town already lit up with swaying flames. Strung light bulbs hung overhead by the rooftops to add more light if necessary. The happy clatter and delicious aromas mixed together to create an extremely happy and relaxed atmosphere. Sun had never experienced anything like this back at home. While they did have similar festivals in Johto, there was something different about this setting. He thought for a moment, wondering exactly what that something was. He guessed that it was simply because of the community celebrating the festival. Everybody was so friendly with each other in their interactions. The air certainly reflected the warmness of Alola, both figuratively and literally. Through the combined chattering of people and Pokémon, Sun could still hear Cloud's enthusiastic squeaks and Blue Doll's thrilled barks. It was like his Pokémon were expressing his excitement for him, which made his smile widen.

    "It seems like the whole island is here!" Nova spoke Sun's thought as her eyes took in everything Iki Town had to offer. Her words reminded Sun that this was the first time she's been here. Even so, the town was making a great first impression on Nova and a great second impression on Sun. He had no idea that a town as small as this could fill this many people and Pokémon. His eyes focused mainly on the unfamiliar Pokémon accompanying their trainers. He could see some bird Pokémon with a long beak while other Pokémon stayed near the ground with their sharp teeth. There was a lot of new Pokémon to register in his Pokédex and a lot of old Pokémon to see what his Pokédex said as well. He recognized the smeargle, growlithe, and caterpie, to name a few. Sun looked at one specific Pokémon curiously. It looked like a black rattata with small tufts of fur on either side of its snout like a moustache. Yet it stood on two legs instead of the usual quadruped stance Sun was used to. Was this one of the Alolan variants his mother told him about? It certainly looked like it.

    "Pika!" Cloud tugged on Sun's cheeks, distorting his smile to catch his attention. Sun turned to the direction that his pikachu wanted him to look in. Cloud released his small grip and grinned with Sun when the boy realized what made the Pikachu so excited.

    "Lillie! Over here!" Sun called to her. The girl in the white hat started slightly when she heard her name. She looked in Sun's direction, her surprise clearing to a smile of recognition. Sun noticed how she tightened her grip on her bag's handle as she made her way over to him.

    "Yup! We're all here to give thanks to Tapu Koko, our island guardian! It may be fickle at times, but it really does pull through for us when we need it, oh yeah!" Professor Kukui said, catching the boy's attention. From the corner of his eye, he saw his mother giggling knowingly.

    "If that wasn't true, my son wouldn't be here right now. Right, Sun?" She nudged the boy, who nodded in response. "Good thing it found you worthy of being saved." Sun could hear the critical undertone in his mother's voice. The boy's smile twitched a bit on its right side. Besides Lillie, Nova was the only other person who knew of Sun's attempt to catch Tapu Koko. While she didn't exactly mind, she did warn Sun that he had to be careful the next time he encountered a Legendary Pokémon. She herself had past experiences with them, especially concerning two different trios, and she knew firsthand how dangerous they could be. That was when Lillie reached them.

    "Hey there, Lillie!" Professor Kukui smiled.

    "Hi, Professor, Sun," Lillie greeted. "And good to see you two again." She smiled brightly at Sun's Pokémon, who reciprocated her gesture. Then she looked curiously at the unfamiliar woman standing next to Kukui. "Are you Sun's mother?"

    "I am. It's nice to finally meet you, Lillie. Sun told me about you."

    "He did?" Lillie looked at said boy in surprise. Sun simply shrugged indifference, the smile still on his face. Yet he leaned in close to her to whisper:

    "Don't worry. I didn't tell her about Nebby." Just as he guessed, the slight worry in Lillie's eyes disappeared at his reassurance. Even so, she tightened her grip on her bag when she felt Nebby move around. She hoped that nobody saw the small movement. Sun leaned back just as his mother smiled at Lillie. The girl returned the kind smile. She couldn't help but think that Sun had inherited his smile from this woman. It was something nice to inherit, and she was suddenly struck with the thought of what she might have inherited from her own mother. Obviously she inherited the woman's blonde hair and green eyes, but she hoped she didn't inherit anything bad from her mother. Lillie quickly shook that sobering thought away.

    "It's very nice to meet you too, ma'am."

    "No need for that ma'am business. Just call me Nova. Thank you for being friends with my son. He can be a little off sometimes, so I'm glad he's making friends already."

    "Put a little more faith in your son, Nova. He's going to have a lot more friends than you think!" Kukui laughed.

    "I very much doubt it," Nova mockingly sighed.

    "Do you know when the grand battle's going to start, Professor Kukui?" Sun asked. He knew that a joking exchange between his mother and his professor could go on forever. Better for him to break it up now before they spend the whole festival standing around just talking with each other.

    "It's not time yet for the grand battle. You'll know though, when Kahuna Hala calls for everybody's attention. You should explore everything our festival has to offer while you wait for the main event!" Professor Kukui suggested. Nova nodded in agreement.

    "Good idea, Kukui. Come on, Sun. I want to go look at the stalls." The mother and son with the professor and assistant close behind began to explore the different stalls set up. Despite the swarms of people, there was still enough room for them to get around without bumping into others too much. They glanced at the different merchandises the shopkeepers had to offer. Some stalls they lingered a bit longer than others. At one point the small group dropped by one particularly popular booth to buy some malasadas. The long line took a while but once Sun bit into the piping hot malasada, he knew the wait was definitely worth it. He bit into it once more before feeding the rest to Cloud and Blue Doll. Both enjoyed it immensely, making quick work of the delicious treat. Sun's smile widened when he saw the satisfied look on his Pokémon's faces. It was a good thing that he bought another one beforehand, and they also finished that malasada just as quickly. As they continued to walk, one booth caught Nova's eye. She stopped to inspect some of the amulets and charms the shopkeeper had lay out for prospecting customers. The kids and professor also stopped to examine the same wares. As he and his Pokémon looked at the different trinkets sometimes made from the same material yet had a different form, Sun realized that the stall owner was looking right at him in curiosity.

    "Hey, you're the kid who Tapu Koko saved, right?" he asked. Sun nodded in response. The man smiled at the boy's answer. His eyes flickered quickly from Sun to Blue Doll in his arms, and back to the boy. "That's right. Kahuna Hala gave you that popplio yesterday. That means you're taking the Island Challenge, right?"

    "Island Challenge?" Sun tilted his head to the side in question. While Professor Kukui did mention it to him, Sun never received the full details. He had to admit to himself that those two words actually flew by him when he first heard them together. He wondered whether this island challenge was similar to the gym battles he was so used to back home. The boy heard the professor's deep chuckle on his side. When Sun looked over inquiringly, Professor Kukui held up four fingers.

    "The Island Challenge is a set of trials found throughout all four main islands of Alola. Each island has their own set of trials. Once you beat those trials, you get a chance to participate in the Grand Trial of fighting the island kahuna. If you manage to beat all four island kahunas, you become the Island Challenge Champion, woo!"

    "So it's like gym battles in other regions?" Sun asked.

    Professor Kukui's smile widened. "Something like that, yeah. It's all about being the strongest trainer."

    "Well, boy. Since you are doing the Island Challenge, you can have this for free," the stall owner said as he handed a yellow amulet to Sun. Shifting Blue Doll so he could hold the popplio comfortably with one arm, he took it with a polite gratitude before examining it with his Pokémon. He could see that both sides of the amulet had four triangles of red, yellow, pink, and purple. It was beautiful, skillfully carved and painted. "All trial goers get one to let people know that you're doing the Island Challenge," the man explained.

    "Why, thank you very much for giving this to my son," Nova said. "Here, let me put it on your backpack for you." Nova took the amulet from Sun's hands and gestured for him to turn around. The boy complied, allowing his mother to easily clip it onto his backpack. She leaned back with a satisfied look on her face, liking how the amulet looked on her son's backpack. "Looks good."

    "Thanks, Mom. And thank you, sir."

    "Think nothing of it." The man smiled brightly. He opened his mouth to say more but a loud voice cut in to interrupt:

    "Hey! Get back here, you scoundrel!" The small group at the stall looked up in surprise to see a strangely familiar Pokémon with a fish in its mouth sprinting towards them. Sun's smile twitched slightly in annoyance when he slightly recognized the Pokémon, though it looked different from what he saw every day at home. The main difference Sun noticed was its light blue-gray fur along with its arrogant, silver eyes. On closer inspection he would see that this meowth had a whitish-gray shade on areas where his mother's meowth had a brown coloration, and its whiskers were slightly curvier. Of all the Pokémon that could have ran towards them, it had to be the one thing that he hated the most. "Somebody, help!" the victim of the theft shouted.

    Due to the density of the surroundings, it was difficult for people with Pokémon to skillfully stop the thief without possibly hurting anybody else. People did attempt to clear away from the areas that the Alolan meowth ran to but it cleverly slipped through the crowds, hiding itself from its chaser. If it had continued this strategy, perhaps it would have gotten away. However it ran into something that endangered its escape.

    It ran into Sun.

    Sun had been praying that no encounter would be made between them. Unfortunately the Alolan meowth decided to take this route. The boy attempted to ignore and step away from the Pokémon but then it hissed angrily at him as if he purposefully blocked its way. Sun's smile jerked wildly on its left at that. Thoughts of ignoring it flew out the window. "Cloud, Brick Break," Sun commanded when he deemed that the Alolan meowth was close enough.

    "Ka!" Cloud leapt from Sun's shoulder and slammed his suddenly white tail into the wild Pokémon. It screeched in pain, the fish falling from its mouth. The force of the attack sent it flying almost three meters away. Cloud landed on his feet, sparks electrifying his cheeks. It was almost as if Sun's anger transferred over to the pikachu. Sun stared at the Pokémon closely in case though he knew that it would be rattled by that powerful attack. He was only slightly aware of the people parting on both sides to give him space. He didn't realize that Professor Kukui and Nova were watching him intensely while the tense look returned to Lillie's eyes.

    The Alolan meowth struggled slightly to get back on its feet. After some thought, Sun took this chance to call Cloud back. The pikachu glanced back at his trainer curiously. The boy didn't see the questioning look as he set his popplio down. "This one's yours, Blue Doll," Sun said. Understanding overtook Cloud's confusion, and he ran back towards Sun. On the way he patted Blue Doll's head encouragingly. The popplio cried out happily before pulling himself forward. His usual happiness cleared for the familiar look of determination from yesterday to return. Blue Doll stared intently at his newest opponent. The Alolan meowth finally got back to its feet albeit shakily. It didn't expect to be hit by such a powerful and super effective attack from a mouse. With a loud hiss, it glared at the human responsible for its sorry state. Despite Sun's smiling expression, his eyes looked at the Pokémon coldly. Though the thief flinched at the malicious look, it steeled itself to take its revenge. The Alolan meowth revealed sharp claws and ran towards Blue Doll with a Scratch ready.

    Sun was struck with the memory of Hau's litten scratching his popplio. Feeling his blood boil at the vivid image, the boy pointed towards the fast thief. "Water Gun." Blue Doll inhaled deeply and shot the stream of water at the scratch cat Pokémon. Given its momentum the Alolan meowth couldn't dodge the attack in time. Despite the attack doing only normal damage to it, it screeched painfully and irritatingly at the water seeping into its fur. A cat was still a cat. The Water Gun slowed down the Alolan meowth noticeably. Sun then considered his next options for a moment and came to a decision. He would be better off with another Water Gun, just to ram the lesson home into the scratch cat Pokémon.

    However, before he could give the command again, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see Professor Kukui grinning widely at him. Warning bells rang in Sun's head at this development. They rang even louder when the professor handed him a Pokéball. A sinking feeling formed at the pit of Sun's stomach at the gesture. Without thinking, he took the Pokéball. The next thing the professor said sealed it:

    "Now's your chance, Sun! Catch that Alolan meowth!"

    "What?!" The statement alone was almost enough to make Sun drop his smile. However he managed to retain it with its slight movements.

    "Come on! You can do it! Catch that Pokémon!" Kukui's cry was taken up by the people who encircled them. Wherever Sun looked, he only saw faces cheering for the capture of the Alolan meowth. One full circle around, and then he caught his mother's look. His irritation flared to new heights when he saw that smug light in Nova's eyes. It was as if she was taunting him, teasing him that he would soon have a Pokémon he hated so passionately on his team. It was almost enough to make Sun throw the Pokéball to the ground and have Cloud finish off the Alolan meowth. However there were too many witnesses here. That action would have told everybody here that there might be something wrong with their newest neighbor. Lillie might have already got wind of it. Sun couldn't let anybody else have a shred of evidence about his true nature.

    Sun reluctantly turned back to the Alolan meowth, still soaked and struggling from Blue Doll's attack. Gripping the Pokéball so tightly that it might have shattered, the boy took one step forward and hurled it right at the wild Pokémon's head. The thief cried out in pain when it felt the capture device hit its gold coin dead center. The next thing it knew, a red laser trapped it into the capsule. The Alolan meowth fought to break free of the prison. From the people's view, the Pokéball wiggled on the ground. Everybody held their breath in anticipation of whether Sun caught the Alolan meowth or not. It was many against one for the capture of the wild Pokémon.

    They didn't wait long as the scratch cat Pokémon stopped struggling and a beep signaled that the catch was successful. The crowd erupted into cheers at the achievement. Sun's smile twitched at the celebrating people around him. However he didn't voice anything as Professor Kukui slapped the boy on his back.

    "Great job, Sun! Now you caught yourself an Alolan meowth! Oh yeah!"

    "That was a good catch!" Nobody besides Sun heard the mocking undertones in Nova's voice. She giggled lightly at the subtle glare Sun gave her. "Now you have your own meowth! I'm sure you two would become fast friends!"

    "I doubt it," Sun muttered, only low enough for Cloud to hear. However the boy kept his smile constant as he walked over to pick up the Pokéball. Along the way he also picked up Blue Doll, who clapped his fins proudly. At least his popplio managed to get some more experience, the only benefit from this battle. All around him he heard the roars of approval and congratulations. His smile almost threatened to disappear but somehow the boy managed to maintain it. He gently took the Pokéball with a hidden grimace. Sun clipped it onto his belt, and, before he could return to his small group, a man made his way towards him. Sun wondered what the stranger could want until the man shook his hand wholeheartedly.

    "Thank you so much for catching the little rascal! He's been stealing from me for the past month! He must have followed me to the festival for more of my fish," the older man explained gratefully. Sun then recognized the voice that first shouted. He nodded in reply. The stall owner continued, "How could I ever repay you?"

    "Oh, there's no need. I was...happy to catch it," Sun somehow managed to say that without a murderous expression. Not wanting to prolong things any longer, the boy quickly waved a good-bye to the man before hurrying back over to his mother. His smile still plastered on his face to let everybody assume he was proud of himself. If one were to look deep into his eyes, however, one would be able to see the thinly-veiled odium and vexation the boy felt about the whole affair.

    "Your first caught Alolan Pokémon! Feels great, doesn't it?" Kukui chuckled once Sun reached them.

    "Yes," Sun lied. He took out his Pokédex to check up on his newest Pokémon:

    Meowth, the scratch cat Pokémon. This prideful and crafty Pokémon was not originally found in Alola. It would fly in a hysterical rage if its pride is wounded or gold coin is dirtied.

    He noticed that it was a male with the Pick Up ability. That ability could be useful on his travels if he was even planning to bring the thing along with him in the first place. Checking his move-set, Sun saw that the Alolan meowth knew Scratch, Growl, and Bite. Not too bad considering that he was still at a low level. A small feature caught his eye on his Pokédex screen just as he was about to put his tool away. When he swiped at it, he realized that his Pokédex had also registered his mother's meowth in its database:

    Meowth, the scratch cat Pokémon. It lies around all day, becoming active near dusk to search for loose change. It often fights with Mukrow over prey and shiny things they're both trying to catch.

    It didn't sound any different from his own meowth. Sun almost scowled at that mental statement. He never would have thought that he would be saying those three words together in the same sentence. He made a mental note to leave this Pokémon in the PC the first chance he got. Never look at it again. Or better yet, release it back into the wild with no witnesses. However what Lillie said stopped the trainer cold in his tracks:

    "Um...I hope you can be good friends with that Alolan meowth. No...after seeing you yesterday with Blue Doll, I'm sure you'll be great friends with that meowth. Take good care of it, okay?"

    Sun stared at his friend, his grinning face giving nothing away about his desire to slam his head against a pole or something and scream his frustration to Arceus. Thanks to that statement, he now had to keep this damned Pokémon in his party. Granted he could do what he initially wanted to do with the Alolan meowth. However, since Lillie practically asked him to care for the Pokémon, he couldn't find the heart to refuse that seemingly simple request. Not only that, he didn't want to destroy the image of him the people he met had in their heads. Not using the Pokémon on his team would do just that. And judging the people around him, he could see that they had a lot of sentimental value. If this Pokémon was his second or third catch, sure, it wouldn't have been a problem to store it or even release it. But this was the first Pokémon he caught here in Alola. That elevated the Alolan meowth's value in the people's minds and kept him safe from Sun's wrath.

    "Yup," Sun was able to force that word through gritted teeth. He couldn't say anything else beyond that without fear of dropping his smile.

    "So are you going to give a nickname to it like you did for your popplio?" Nova asked slyly. Her son looked at her for a second or two before responding:

    "His name's Gaffe."

    Nova frowned a bit at the implications of that nickname. She crossed her arms in careful disapproval. "Now really, Sun. You're going to name him that?" By this time, the people had gone back to their own business until the grand battle was to be announced.

    "Yes." This time, it was easy for Sun to say that word. His tone made it clear that anything his mother said would not change his mind. Nova shook her head slightly. Although she was hoping that this would be her son's chance to learn to like cat Pokémon, he was already making it difficult for himself to progress. She hoped that it would be a temporary thing. Perhaps once he grew comfortable with the Alolan meowth, he would change the Pokémon's nickname. It wouldn't do to have such a horrible name for such a respectable Pokémon.

    Even Professor Kukui and Lillie shared the same thoughts as Nova. Kukui scratched his beard thoughtfully. "Are you sure you want to name your Alolan meowth that?"


    "Even though it means 'mistake'?"

    "Now that isn't very nice, is it? How can you hope to be friends with it then?" Lillie asked. Sun's smile twitched on its right side. He shrugged, taking some entertainment at the professor and his friend's discomfort. Although he usually wouldn't want to do anything to make them uncomfortable, he still couldn't help the feeling of slight satisfaction from their reactions. It helped make him feel better about the whole matter.

    "Oh, I'll manage. Don't you worry," Sun hummed as he turned away from the stall to explore anything else the festival had to offer. Professor Kukui and Lillie shared puzzling looks while Nova simply sighed with a shrug of her shoulders.

    "That son of mine...I'm not sure whether I like that he takes after me and not his father." Her meowth hissed in agreement before following the woman after her son. The professor and his assistant also trailed behind, and they continued browsing as if there wasn't a disturbance caused by an Alolan meowth in the first place. Sun was pleased to see that Lillie didn't seem as disturbed about his earlier action as they conversed with one another while the grown-ups had their own private discussion. At one point he almost burst out laughing when Nebby attempted to fly out of the bag. Fortunately Lillie managed to catch the strange Pokémon before it revealed itself to everybody living on the island. Sun suggested that his friend unzipped the bag just so Nebby wouldn't feel so lonely. It helped that Cloud changed his position to Sun's arm so that he could keep Nebby a bit of company. Sun also discreetly fed the little guy some food while they walked, a task made easier from the fact that the two children strolled with the bag positioned between them. Yet despite the merriments, Sun couldn't stop his mind from wandering back to Gaffe. He wondered how he would deal with the Pokémon and whether he would even use it in future battles. He still questioned himself about that when they came upon a Pokémon Center stand and he had his Pokémon rested to perfect health. Sun returned Blue Doll to his Pokéball but kept Cloud out.

    Pretty soon, when the sun nearly set to say goodbye, a sense of anticipation rose in the air. Everybody's chatter became a bit subdued as they focused their attention on the sight of a familiar old man walking up to stand on the platform. Sun felt his heart quickening as he realized that this was the main event he had been waiting for. Along with everybody else he watched intently, excited for what was to come. Kahuna Hala smiled warmly at the people. Then his voice boomed:

    "Thank you all for coming to our festival to celebrate our peaceful way of life. It is thanks to our island's guardian deity, Tapu Koko, that we are able to live in harmony with our Pokémon. For all life on our islands...and for those who undertake the island challenge with joy in their hearts...we continually pray for its protection. As a gift and offering to our guardian deity for everything it has done, we will have a grand Pokémon battle for everybody to see!" At those words, everybody cheered. They had been waiting for this moment, and they impatiently waited to see who would be the lucky battlers. Hala waited until the crowd settled down before speaking again.

    "Please come forth...Hau, grandson to the kahuna." There was a slight pause. Then a ripple in the crowd revealed the boy smiling joyfully. The Alolans parted to allow Hau to step through and erupted into cheers once the boy went up the platform. His face flushed slightly from the people's adulation as he stood ready at one end. Sun wasn't very surprised as he already surmised that Hau would be picked from his status as the kahuna's grandson. He would have been surprised if Hau wasn't picked. Although Sun had beaten him soundly yesterday, Sun felt that his new friend had the potentiality to go further. If it had been anybody else but Sun, Hau probably would have won. The boy snapped his thoughts back to reality in order to hear the next battler come up.
    "And before him, please stand...Sun, one who has met with Tapu Koko."

    It took a second or two before the message sunk in. Sun couldn't believe it as Cloud squeaked in delight for his trainer. Was he actually picked to participate? He had a feeling that he might have been picked considering how Kahuna Hala still needed to give him back that sparkling stone along with a vague hope that he would be picked. But he never thought that it would actually come true. He still stood in his spot, processing the information, when his mother finally nudged him forward.

    "Come on, Sun! Don't keep everybody waiting!" she said cheerfully. When the people around him realized that he was right there, they also urged him on. The trainer's smile widened slightly as he glided through the masses with relative ease. He felt some people slapping his back in congratulations. However he didn't pay much attention to the cheers. Instead, his mind worked to form a strategy against his opponent. He initially planned to use only Blue Doll should he be picked for the grand battle as Cloud could finish the battle quickly. However, after catching the Alolan meowth, he wondered whether he should use him. Similarly to Blue Doll, Gaffe would need to train a lot before he could reach Cloud's level yet the Alolan meowth's low level wasn't the issue. The main problem was that whether or not Sun considered Gaffe to be a main part of his team. If Gaffe was, then he would have to use him to train him. If Gaffe wasn't...Still deep in thought he finally made his way up the stairs to the platform. Sun shared a grin with Hau. The newcomer walked to the opposite side of the platform before facing his opponent. Hau grinned brightly as he placed his hands on his hips.

    "No holding back! I'm going to win this time, Sun!"

    Sun covered his mouth with a hand to stop a chuckle from slipping through. "We'll see about that." He noticed Hala standing back a bit, giving ample space for their Pokémon to battle. The old man held up both hands towards the sky.

    "Hau! Sun! Bring forth the power of your Pokémon! Let the battle...begin!"

    "Pichu, let's go!"

    "Come out, Gaffe!" Both parties threw their respective pokeballs in the air. Flashes of white released the two opposing Pokémon from their confinements. Hau's pichu squeaked adorably as it faced its opponent. Gaffe, however, crossed his arms and turned his head away with his nose in the air, paying no attention to his opponent nor his trainer. Sun's smile twitched at the behavior his newest Pokémon was showing. He knew that Gaffe sensed his aversion of cat Pokémon, and the Alolan meowth was reciprocating that feeling. It annoyed him, especially when Sun finally decided with some distaste to attempt to keep Gaffe on his team. For Lillie's sake. He would have gladly used Blue Doll for the whole battle if he hadn't remember what Lillie asked him concerning his latest catch. As a result, now he had to struggle with a Pokémon he hated. I can't wait to see how this goes, he thought sarcastically to himself. He had a feeling things wouldn't turn out well.

    Hau took the first move. "Pichu, use Charm!"

    "Bite, Gaffe!" Sun responded.

    Pichu rubbed its cheeks with its paws as it looked adorably at the Alolan meowth. While Gaffe did hesitate a bit from the Charm, he still managed to ignore it to fight. Unfortunately he didn't open his mouth to reveal sharp fangs for a Bite. Instead the Alolan meowth extended his claws and used Scratch on the electric mouse Pokémon. Hau's pichu squeaked in pain as it ran a little bit away from Gaffe, tears in its eyes. Gaffe smirked to himself with his arms crossed in satisfaction. He didn't care to give his "trainer" a glance, which may have been a good thing. Sun's smile twitched wildly on its left side at the disobedience Gaffe showed. He felt Cloud nervously travel from his right shoulder to his left. The pikachu shook his head at the Alolan meowth's behavior. While Cloud shared Sun's hatred of cat Pokémon, also for Lillie's sake he felt that he could perhaps become friends with Sun's newly caught Pokémon. He hoped that he could discourage this sort of conduct before Gaffe took it too far. It certainly wouldn't do the Alolan meowth any good.

    "Gaffe, Bite," Sun repeated, his eyes trained on his Pokémon.

    "Mreowr." Gaffe snarked as he began to comb himself. Sun's smile convulsed even more. He could hear the people muttering questions to one another. Why wasn't the Alolan meowth obeying Sun? Was it naturally like that or was it because of the trainer himself? What did that say about the trainer? Sun could imagine all those questions and more running in everybody's head. Underneath his constant grin his teeth grinded in fury.

    "Chu..." Cloud felt Sun's jaw clench and knew that Gaffe was going to be in a world of hurt after this battle away from prying eyes. He couldn't remember the last time his trainer expressed his anger through something other than his endless smile and its slight movements.

    "Pichu, try a Thundershock!" Hau commanded. Sparks began to fly around the little mouse Pokémon as it charged its electricity. With a loud cry, Pichu unleashed its voltage at Gaffe. Sun didn't even care to tell his Pokémon to dodge. He watched Gaffe leap clear out of the way. The Alolan meowth landed on all fours, his fur slightly bristled in annoyance. He reared back on his hind legs and growled loudly at the pichu. Pichu flattened its ears on its head to futilely block out the sound. Unfortunately Sun saw that that move wouldn't do Gaffe much good as the only attacking move Hau's pichu showed was a special move. And unless Hau taught Pichu physical moves with some TMs and HMs, then using Growl would be a wasted effort. Of course, it was obvious that Gaffe didn't know that. Otherwise he wouldn't have used it.

    It was equally unfortunate that Gaffe currently only knew physical moves. Pichu's Charm already cut the Alolan meowth's attack power down two stages. As a result now the electric mouse had the advantage. If they both continued attacking with their respective moves, Hau's Pichu would win out. Sun thought about his next options, only to have his process interrupted by a surprisingly welcoming shout.

    "Come on, Sun! You can do it!" Sun's head snapped up to look at Lillie calling from the crowd. His heart lifted slightly when he saw the support from his new friend. He could also see his mother and Professor Kukui standing nearby. While the professor waved an encouraging hand, Nova grinned an expression so similar to Sun's smile.

    I taught you better than that. We taught you better than that.

    He could almost hear his mother saying that in her teasing voice. Driving that thought out of his mind to concentrate back on the battle, he crossed his arms. Sun decided to test the waters a bit further before turning this battle around. "Gaffe, Bite," he tried commanding again. Gaffe looked over his shoulder at the boy and hissed. From that Sun confirmed that his Alolan meowth would attempt to do everything to disobey him.

    With the Alolan meowth's attention drawn to his trainer, Pichu charged up another Thunder Shock. This time the attack hit Gaffe. He yelped loudly in pain, his fur sticking out with all the electricity flowing through him. Sun could smell the sizzling coming from his Pokémon. His only, slight response came from the right side of his smile.

    "That's it, Pichu! Keep it up!" Hau cheered at the successful Thundershock.

    "Pi! Pichu, pi!" the cute mouse Pokémon jumped up and down in excitement.

    Cloud couldn't help but grin at that. He patted Sun's cheeks lightly. When he saw Sun look from the corner of his eyes. "Pika. Pi, pika pi? Pikachu, pika, chu."

    Sun nodded. Somehow, though his expression didn't change at all, the air around him seemed to become a bit more pleasant than when the battle first started. "Of course, I remember. But let's see how to deal with our newest member, shall we?"

    "Pikachu," Cloud responded in agreement. He and his trainer turned their attention back to the battle. Sun judged from Gaffe's state that he could only take at most three Thunder Shocks before the Pokémon fainted.

    "Use Bite." Sun's voice was a calm contrast to Hau's cheery shout. Once again, Gaffe refused to obey the boy. Instead the Alolan meowth charged towards the pichu with his claws outstretched. Sun shook his head at Gaffe's action. He watched again as Hau's pichu managed to dodge the attack. Pichu used another Thunder Shock. Another hit. Things were looking grim on Sun's side. And they would continue to look grim if he didn't do something quick. Yet Sun already knew what he had to do. From the second Bite command, Sun already knew that the Alolan meowth would use other moves besides the one he ordered Gaffe to. So if Sun wanted him to actually use Bite...

    "Scratch attack, Gaffe."

    As Sun predicted, his Pokémon retracted his claws and ran towards Hau's pichu with his fangs gleaming from the torches' lights. Gaffe bit the top of Pichu's head, earning squeaks of pain. He wouldn't let the little thing go even as it attempted to run away with tears in its eyes. Sun saw Hau open his mouth, knowing what the other boy would say before he even formed the words:

    "Thunder Shock, Pichu!"

    "Pi...chu!" with that angry squeak, Pichu discharged as much electricity as it could. At such a close range the attack was devastating. Gaffe released his hold on the opponent but it was too late. The pichu continued to shock him. The Alolan meowth probably would have fainted right then and there had Sun not had his Pokéball ready. The red laser zapped Gaffe back into the capsule, giving him respite from the vengeful move. At the throwing of the towel, the people watching cheered at the victory of the electric mouse Pokémon. Some of the more observant people noticed that Sun didn't seem too disappointed by the loss. If anything, the boy had wanted that to happen, just so he had a legitimate excuse to recall Gaffe for a better Pokémon.
    "Looks like that battle was mine, Sun!" Hau laughed. His opponent nodded in confirmation.

    "Yes, but I promise the next wouldn't be. Your turn, Blue Doll!" Sun eagerly clipped Gaffe's Pokéball back onto his belt and threw Blue Doll's Pokéball into the air. The popplio appeared in the flash of white. Landing on his tailfins, he barked happily with a flashy pose before settling down. All around him Sun could hear the questions of the people again. Why use a water-type Pokémon against an electric-type? Why not just use the pikachu on his shoulders for this battle? It would have been a much better matchup than this. Even Hau was confused about Sun's choice. Unlike everybody else though, he raised that question.

    "Why not use your pikachu?"

    Sun's smile twitched slightly on its right. "Oh, but I want to use Blue Doll. Is there a problem with that?"

    "No, not really..." Hau scratched his head, still puzzled. However his bewilderment quickly cleared. "No, not at all!" he said now with more assurance. "As long as we can have fun in this battle! Right, Pichu?"

    "Pi! Pi!" Pichu cheered, its confidence a bit higher after almost taking out the arrogant Alolan meowth. Sun's smile twitched again a bit on the right side at their enthusiasm.

    "Let's see how you fare then," he whispered to himself. In a raised voice, "Water Gun, Blue Doll!"

    "Bwark!" the popplio cried. He open his mouth to fire powerful water at the pichu.

    "Dodge it!"

    Obeying Hau perfectly, Pichu jumped out of the way. But Blue Doll began to turn his head, following after the little mouse Pokémon. It continued to run around the platform with the Water Gun hot on its tail. Eventually the popplio ran out of steam and ceased fire.

    "Use Charm!"

    "Don't let it! Slide and end this with a Pound!" Sun countered, his response quicker than when he was battling with Gaffe. As Pichu began rubbing its cheeks again to lower Blue Doll's attack, the popplio slipped from the pichu's line of sight by sliding on the now-wet platform. Hau's eyes widened in shock as Blue Doll zipped around much like his pichu had when it was dodging the Water Gun. Due to Blue Doll's astonishing turn of speed, Pichu's Charm proved to be ineffective. The opposing trainer opened his mouth to correctly counter the move but he was too late. The popplio covered the distance between him and his opponent swiftly. The pichu barely had time to react when the water-type Pokémon smacked it away with one flipper. The attack combined with the momentum of the slide sent Pichu flying. It stayed in the air for a few seconds before it landed on the platform. Swirls were in its eyes to notify them that it was out of commission.

    The crowd was stunned for a moment before they erupted in praise. They had expected Hau's pichu to end the battle quickly with a Thunder Shock. However, Sun was able to turn things around and make a seemingly failed move work to his advantage. The hype was getting to the islanders, and they waited excitedly for Hau's next move.

    Hau, for his part, called back his pichu. He smiled warmly at the Pokéball. "Good job, Pichu. We'll get some malasadas later." He looked back up to grin at Sun. "I wasn't expecting that to happen."

    Sun shrugged, his smile broadening slightly. "That's good. If you did, I wouldn't have won." Hau nodded thoughtfully.

    "Maybe. But don't think I'm out yet!" He grabbed the last Pokéball from his belt and threw it forward. "Litten, I choose you!"

    The fire-type starter landed on the platform with a cry. Then it noticed all the water from Blue Doll's Water Gun and hissed angrily. It wasn't expecting this at all. Sun almost couldn't stop the chuckle from slipping at the sight of the fire cat Pokémon's discomfort. Oh, he was going to enjoy beating this Pokémon again.

    "Blue Doll, use Growl!" Sun pointed to the litten.

    "Counter it with your own Growl!" Hau commanded. The two starter Pokémon simultaneously released high-pitched Growls designed to lower the opponent's attack. Similarly to their last face-off, Blue Doll benefitted from the exchange. Hau shook his head slightly when he saw how ineffective his counter was. If Litten was facing Gaffe or even Cloud, then perhaps his Growl would have done some good. With Blue Doll though, he might as well have done nothing at all. Hau's mind raced for any options he could use. Yet Sun barely gave him time to think as he went on the offensive again. He noticed that his new rival seemed to prefer attacking.

    "Water Gun!"

    "Brr...arf!" Blue Doll barked in confirmation before firing the deadly attack at the litten. It hit him square in the chest, earning a screech of pain and annoyance.


    "Dodge it!" Hau managed to say this time. If he hadn't, that might have been the battle. Litten tensed his muscles and leapt out of the way at the last minute. He took care not to land in any of the puddles from the earlier Water Guns. Even as his opponent continued his attack, the litten managed with some effort to dance around it. Blue Doll stopped with a slightly disappointed light in his eyes. He had wanted to finish the fire-type off with that move as he sensed that that was what Sun wanted. Fortunately his trainer didn't seem too perturbed that the battle didn't end there. He would have been slightly disappointed if it did.

    "Scratch attack!"

    "Pound, Blue Doll!"

    Litten sprang forward with all the speed of a cat. Blue Doll also slid towards him through the water puddles again. This time Litten got the better exchange as not only did he deflect Blue Doll's Pound, he also got two Scratches in. The popplio winced a bit from the attack. He slid a good distance away and shook his fin where the double Scratch got him.

    Sun looked at his Pokémon, his smile fading just a tad bit. "You all right, Blue Doll?" He saw how the popplio nodded confirmation that the attack hadn't bothered him too much.


    "Meowr!" Litten spat a flaming hairball at Blue Doll. The projectile landed on a surprised Blue Doll's tailfins. The water-type jumped in the air in shock before he crashed back onto the platform. He waved his tailfins around quickly, then slapped them in one of his puddles. Immediately the burning sensation went away and allowed Blue Doll some respite. However his opponent went back on the offensive with Hau commanding another Scratch attack.

    "Slide out of there, Blue Doll," Sun ordered calmly. The popplio obeyed but not before Litten got his attack in. The cry of pain caused the left side of Sun's smile to twitch wildly. Now he felt that he had dragged this battle long enough. It was fun while it lasted but Hau was getting in too many hits. Sun didn't want his Pokémon to be hurt any more than they had to. Time to end it so he could get his Pokémon healed up, Gaffe included, he realized with some surprise. He pointed directly at the litten and said, "Water Gun." While still sliding away from the fire-type Pokémon, Blue Doll spun around perfectly and blasted water at him. "Keep at it." Sun didn't want Blue Doll to let up even when he saw the super-effective move hit Litten.

    Try as the fire starter might, he couldn't avoid the relatively strong move. Litten was stubborn but while his character might not have a limit, his body did. Blue Doll pushed for one last blast, and soon Hau's Pokémon collapsed with swirls in his eyes. Hau was quick to return his litten back to his Pokéball. It was almost as if the crowd didn't realize that the battle was over until the opposing Pokémon to the popplio disappeared. Once the red laser retreated, a thousand voices joined together in an enormous cheer.

    "Hoo-ee! Another great battle this year's."

    "I bet Tapu Koko liked it, too."

    Hau grinned sheepishly and scratched his head. "Wow! That was a great battle! I thought I almost had you there for a second, but I still had a blast fighting you!"

    Sun nodded in some satisfaction as he covered his mouth. He was slightly disappointed that he didn't see a good opportunity to try Blue Doll's newest move, a move that was also unfamiliar to him, but overall he felt that the battle gave his popplio some more valuable experience. "It was a good battle." He was about to say more when a resounding cry from the forest hushed everybody. Almost as one, the whole town turned their attention to the forest leading to Tapu Koko's ruins.

    "Ko-ko-kooo!" the island guardian roared its approval of the tribute battle. At that the people erupted into more cheers. Sun heard Hala laugh:

    "Ho! You heard it yourself! Tapu Koko's song of approval. A fine battle it was! Oh, I nearly forgot!" The kahuna then walked over to Sun. "I think it is time you take this, Sun." He had a white bracelet-like object in his hands. The boy recognized some of the parts to be the exact same ones as the ones on his sparkling stone. He held it gingerly, instinctively in fear that he might break the beautifully crafted bangle. Although he appreciated how it looked, Sun had no idea what it was. Hala soon answered that for him. "Your Z-Ring, a mysterious armband that can draw out the power that lies deep within Pokémon...It can bring forth their Z-Power, but only if you have the correct Z-Crystal. You can collect more Z-Crystals during your island challenge."

    Z-Ring? Z-Power? Z-Crystals? All the new terms made Sun's head swim a bit. Were they something like the Mega Stones he heard his mother and her friends talk about? He wasn't too sure. However he knew that these Z-things were something to be reckoned with. Sun nodded in understanding as he examined his Z-Ring again. Even Cloud and Blue Doll, who had slid his way over, looked at it in curiosity. Sun could see an indent where the presumed Z-Crystal would be held. He wondered whether Z-Crystals were exclusive to certain Pokémon like the Mega Stones or any Pokémon could use them. It would be nice if any kind of Pokémon could use them.

    "It seems Tapu Koko took quite a liking to you." Sun looked up in curiosity. Kahuna Hala looked like he was in deep thought as he examined the trainer who beat his grandson a second time. He continued, "Or perhaps it has a mission for you."

    "That sounds like it's time for you to get out there and start your island challenge! If you visit every island, maybe you'll figure out what that mission is," Professor Kukui suggested. Sun turned to look at him where he along with Nova and Lillie had stepped closer to the platform. It was a strange feeling, looking down at the professor from his position. The trainer mentally shook that sensation away as he nodded. He returned Blue Doll to his Pokéball and then started down the stairs, people bombarding him with congratulations all around. Sun noticed how the community here was not at all afraid to interact with one another. It was heartwarming, but at the same time Sun wished it wasn't so. While expressing his gratitude to the crowd, he finally wormed his way over to his mother, Professor Kukui and Lillie. Nova gave her son a huge hug once Sun was in arm's reach.

    "You did a great job, Sun." And in a lower voice, "You might have been able to do a bit better though." Sun's smile moved a bit in annoyance. He knew she was going to say something along those lines, especially with his performance concerning Gaffe. Seeing how she herself got very far in the Indigo League and helped him train along with her friends, her standards were quite high even for her son. Still at least she praised him.

    "Thanks, Mom," he said sincerely. Nova mirrored her son's smile, and he knew that despite what she said, she really was proud of him. He made a mental note to tell his dad about today's events as well.

    "Both of you did a really good job," Lillie said to him. "But do you think you'll be okay with Gaffe? He didn't seem to like you at all..." At that, Sun shrugged indifferently.

    "It'll take time, but I'm sure we'll be able to pull through. Don't you worry, Lillie." And he meant it. He had promised himself that Gaffe wouldn't disobey him like that again. If the Alolan meowth did, he would face dire consequences in the future, consequences that would surely convince the scratch cat Pokémon that it was an unwise idea to challenge his trainer. Sun's smile twitched slightly on its left as he had that thought. Then he shook it away. He didn't want to think about that anymore for the time being. Lillie still looked slightly unconvinced, but she slowly nodded in agreement. Sun then looked at Professor Kukui. "Professor, what exactly is Z-Power?" The older man only grinned widely as he slapped the boy's back in another laudatory gesture.

    "I'll tell you tomorrow when you start out on your journey. For now, let's enjoy the rest of the festival!"

    "Yeah!" Sun turned around to see Hau jumping behind and almost crashing into him. Fortunately the excited rival stopped himself just in time to wrap an arm around both Sun and Lillie's shoulders. "Come on, Sun, Lillie! Let's go get some malasadas!" Without waiting for their response, Hau quickly grabbed his two friends' wrists to pull them towards the delicious stall that still had quite the long line. While Lillie gave a slight shout of surprise, Sun couldn't stop the chuckle from slipping and Cloud squeaked in excitement of the delicious flavors to come. While he wished that the professor had actually answered his question, Sun settled with the thought that he would know everything tomorrow. Professor Kukui's advice of simply enjoying the festival for the rest of the evening sounded pretty good to the boy, especially since the thought of what to do with Gaffe had slipped right back in his unconscious mind. He had to shake the thought away again before resuming his chat with his two friends. Nova and Kukui followed close behind the trio of children, each exchanging a knowing smile of what the near future would hold for them on the adventures. Little did they know that things would turn out quite different due to one child's influence.
    1. "Speak of the Giratina" is literally my Pokémon version of "speak of the devil" considering how Giratina was banished by Arceus (the usually accepted god of the Pokémon universe) to the Distortion World for its violence.

    2. My final Pokémon team for Moon did not have an Alolan persion named Gaffe. I do have an Alolan meowth named Garfeit, which was supposed to be Garfield but I was lazy in changing it and liked how Garfeit looked.

    3. Sun has yet to learn that HMs are not allowed in the Alola region. Similarly, because he was raised in both the Kanto and Johto regions when Mega Evolution isn't as wide-spread as in the Kalos region, the concept of it is still relatively new to him and his mother.

    4. Unlike the games, I'm not limiting my Pokémon to only four moves. My rule is that each Pokémon knows eight moves. Two TM moves and a possible egg move can be a part of the move set, with the remaining of the moves coming from the Pokémon's natural move pool. I think that Pokémon are intelligent enough to learn more than just four moves. In this case, psychic-type Pokémon actually have a slight advantage with them being able to remember ten moves. Despite that though, each Pokémon would still have a "main" move set consisting of four moves. These moves are the ones that trainers usually use in battle the most. Still legal for them to use their other moves, of course.

    5. Just wondering, does anybody want to know like the stats of Sun's team? Like their moveset, nature, etc.? Or naw? I'm fine either way.

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