*Cue opening song ‘Let’s Get Started In Here’ by Black Eyed Peas*
Year 1, June
“Okay, is everybody ready?” Miss Jasmine asked casually after the school bell rang, ending the class. “The end-of-year exams are coming and I hope you have all been studying. If you fail most of your exams, you’re going to have to repeat a year. I know that hard working people like Misty will have no problem with them at all.”
She then turned towards Ash with worried eyes. “But if you’re someone like Ash who copies homework from her… I’m afraid, you’ll struggle quite a lot,” she said.
Ash tried to respond to get himself out of trouble. “Um… some of them are Drew’s too,” he replied absentmindedly.
“You’re a bigger idiot than I thought,” Drew said in annoyance.
Pikachu, who was standing next to Ash, showed nothing but a look of embarrassment. “Pikapi…” he squeaked, scratching his head. If his memory served correctly, Ash often wore a dunce cap back in elementary school.
Normally, first year students who pass their exams would be able to advance into another class next year. Those who don’t pass the least amount would be retained, meaning they would have to repeat the grade. Ash for one would do whatever it took to get into next year’s class. Besides, he doesn’t want to be embarrassed by repeating the same year. During break time, he asked Misty for help with his revision, which she replied…
“Sorry, Ash. But no, I can’t help you,” she said this in a down tone, feeling sorry for her friend.
“C’mon, Mist. Why not?” Ash replied
“Didn’t Miss Jasmine gave you a warning about getting help from me and Drew? If you keep on doing that, you’re never going to learn anything.”
“I’ll tell you what, the next time we get homework, I’ll do them for you. How’s that?”
“Forget it! You’re just going to get everything wrong!”
“Pika…” Pikachu squeaked, nodding his head signalling that he’s agreeing with her.
“Pikachu! You’re supposed to be on my side!” Ash barked dejectedly.
Pikachu shrugged in return while letting out a small sigh before Ash turned his attention back to her. “Well… is there anything you can do to help me?” he asked pleadingly.
“I can give you one advice… do the revision yourself!” Misty replied moodily.
“Misty, you know I’m not good at that,” Ash said. “So I might as well get you to help me.”
“I’ll never help you!” Misty shouted angrily. “If you keep on doing that, you’ll be asking for help for the rest of your life! Honestly, are you really that dumb, Ash Ketchum!? Is your mind like a sieve or what!?”
Ash and Pikachu became scared of that reaction. “But… Misty…”
“Um… Misty, can you help me… please?” a girl’s voice asked pleadingly. They both turned their attention to the girl behind them and it turned out to be May, showing her puppy-like eyes. “Drew is refusing to help me. And my dad is forcing me to do the revision myself. I know I ask a lot from you and I didn’t want to bother you this time… but this is turning for the worst…”
Misty sighed in a sad tone. “Sorry, no can do,” she said.
“Well then, what about us?” shouted the third voice. It turned out to be Kim and his Invincible Brothers, Ken and Kai. “We’re not doing any good either.”
“If I said no to Ash and May, then it’s highly obvious that I won’t be helping you guys either.”
“What’s the matter with you, Misty?” Ken complained. “The exams are coming up and all we’re asking for is a little help.”
“Please,” Misty said moodily. “Kim needs more help being restrained when Barry’s around, Kai focuses on eating so much that he’s got the potential to be a sumo wrestler if he’s going for a martial arts career, and you don’t stand a chance of getting Rui’s attention!”
“Hey! Don’t call me fat!” Kai complained. “I have a thyroid problem!”
“Then stop eating thyroids!” shouted a familiar voice outside the classroom. They all recognised it as Barry’s from the other class.
“Shut up! No one’s asking you, you dope!” Kim shouted back angrily.
“See what I mean!” Misty said angrily. “I bet with all of you studying together, you dimwits won’t be able to beat Pikachu’s score if he took the exams!”
“Pika!” Pikachu squeaked dejectedly at Misty, not wanting to be compared with them.
“What!? What did you say!? Tell me you didn’t just call us dimwits!” May shouted in horror, not liking that name. He noticed that May and the Invincible Brothers didn’t show a reaction. “What’s the matter with you people? Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“She was referring to you as a dimwit, wasn’t she?” Ash asked.
“Dimwit-s!” May said, emphasising the ‘S’. “She was referring to us as dimwit-s!”
“Oh no! She did not say that!” the brothers shouted in unison, now finally understanding what that meant.
Misty looked down in anger and frustration. Huge auras of those two emotions could be seen by psychics and anime fans. “Fine then, Misty!” Ash barked. “To prove you wrong! We’re gonna team up, study together and pass those exams together!”
Feeling slightly relieved that they came to that solution, Misty packed up her stuff and got up from her seat. “Good luck,” she said moodily before she left with a huff.
And so, Ash, May and the Invincible Brothers quickly got down to studying. They were all alone in the classroom with Pikachu watching them like a hawk. He was looking mainly as Ash’s math equation as his ‘trainer’ wrote the down an answer to one of the questions.
After seeing the answer, Pikachu shook his head signalling that it was the wrong answer while squeaking, “Pikapika.”
Ash crossed it out and wrote down another answer. Again, Pikachu shook ‘wrong answer’ signal…
“I’m not getting anywhere, aren’t I?” Ash complained being frustrated, tossing his pen away before rubbing his head.
The Invincible Brothers were staring at their respective books, trying to figure out the answer to one of the questions being showed on the book. Kai picked up this book and showed it to Ken. “Hey, can you explain this one?” he asked.
“I’m on the same question as you are,” Ken replied after taking a quick look.
“Ken, what about you?”
“Yay, study,” Kim sobbed sadly.
“Ash? Can you help me out?”
“Are you even trying?” Ash asked moodily before going into panic mode. “Aw! I got to get ready!”
“May, can you…”
“Mmm… doughnuts…” she said dreamily. She was already fast asleep after spending sometime studying and no one noticed.
Sometime after the end of their next class. Ash came to the conclusion that studying with May and Invincible Brothers proved to be useless so he decided to get help from the other classes. First person to get some information from was Wes. He was sitting inside Class Three’s classroom studying for the exams when Ash came in. “Wes,” he called out to him, catching his attention before walking over to him. “Remember me? Ash Ketchum. We competed against each on Sports Day.”
Wes had a confused look on his face. “Er…”
“You don’t remember?”
“What about that Christmas party at that hamburger place, we both saw each other onstage singing karaoke.”
Wes was silent for a moment. “I don’t remember that either. Sorry,” he said.
An awkward silence came between them. “You… don’t remember? You actually don’t remember?” Ash asked shocked that his ‘rival’ Wes doesn’t remember anything. “Well then… never mind! Bye!” he said in an embarrassed tone as he walked away and out of the classroom.
The Invincible Brothers decided to give Macey a spot of bother, asking her to help them out. “Please! Pwetty, pwetty, pwetty, pwetty please!” they asked in a begging fashion.
“Alright! Fine!” Macey complained, handing them her notebook. “But keep it here in this room where I can keep an eye on you and you better give it back to me when you’re done!”
“Yes, yes, anything! Thank you!” they replied gratefully as they took the book and brought to the other table. As they read through the pages, they tried to learn what Macey wrote down in her book but…
“Don’t get it,” they said in unison before turning the page. “Don’t get it.”
“Don’t get it.”
“Don’t get it.”
“Don’t get it! Don’t get it! Don’t get it!”
More pages later, they found a strange doodle of a young kid in a hat. “What in the world?” Ken asked.
“I guess Macey’s not the best artist here,” Kai said.
“Yeah… let’s make it worse!” Kim said as he took out his pen.
Soon, they returned the book to Macey. “Hey, thanks for the help,” Ken said.
“We didn’t understand much of it but still…” Kim said with a shrug.
“We gotta go now. See you later,” Kai said before they walked away, attempting to find any more help.
After they left, Macey opened her book to find the strange doodle kid with now a moustache and an arrow sticking through his head, much to her dismay. Her anger burned with rage. If this was an anime, viewers would most likely see a fiery background and some burning flames would be showing in her eyes. “That was my beloved Ash, you punks…” she snarled. “I’ll make you three pay for this!”
Elsewhere in the classroom, May was trying to solve a math equation to no avail. “I just don’t get it,” she said. “I just don’t get it at all.”
“Need some help?” asked a voice. She looked up and saw the green haired student, recognising him as Drew.
“From you, Drew?” she said almost smugly before she whimpered, “Yes, please,” in a begging way.
Drew sat down next to her, taking a look at the textbook she was using. “Okay, so this is algebra,” he said as he got started. “If you take this X and place it with another X…”
While he explained the whole equation, which was quite a lot, May couldn’t help but feel sick after having to digest all that information in her head. She felt that her head was swirling. “Hey, your face is all green,” Drew said noticeably.
“I need the bathroom,” May whimpered before quickly running out of the room.
Meanwhile, Ash has been going round person-to-person randomly, desperately seeking help but…
“Please! Can you help me?”
“Get away from me, freak!” this person replied.
“Dude! Can you help me?”
“Ten bucks per question!” the second person responded.
“Please! I’m desperate here!”
“If you keep on asking for help, you won’t learn anything…” the third person replied before going further into this lecture and Ash had to go to another person.
“I’ll do anything! Please!”
“I’d keep that to myself if I were you,” the fourth person replied.
“Please! Can you explain this part to me?”
“Aren’t you even trying?” the fifth person replied.
“Please! Pretty, pretty, pretty, please!”
“Additional words of refusal!” the sixth person said.
Meanwhile, the Invincible Brothers were walking down a corridor, wondering what to do to pass the exams. “Hey, guys,” they heard a voice say, catching their attention. They turned and saw Wally nervously walking towards them.
“Great, it’s that loser who hangs out with the losers. Just what we need,” Kim said in an annoyed tone.
“Shut up, he might offer us some help,” Ken whispered to him before turning to the green haired shy guy. “What’s up?”
“A friend of mine told me that there’s a place where you can get a lot of help,” Wally said still being nervous. “It’s in one of the men’s bathrooms. I’ll take you there and in there, you have to call out ‘King of Tests’. The rest is up to you.”
“And who’s this friend you’re talking about?” Kim asked.
“He told me not to say. He just told me to spread the word around.”
“And who’s this ‘King of Tests?’” Kai asked.
“That, I don’t know.”
The brothers gathered around speaking to each other as though they were strategising. “This sounds very suspicious,” Kai whispered. “Could be a trick.”
“This may be the only chance we have though,” Ken said. “We may not get another one.”
“Might as well jump into an Arcanines’ den,” Kim said. They all turned around to face Wally, who was still showing a nervous look on his face. “Show us the way,” he said.
Soon, Wally guided them to the men’s bathroom. “Your turn, I’ll be off then,” he said before making his way back to the classroom.
Ken was going to call him but Kim stopped. “Let him go. We can take it from here,” he said. “Hey! King of Tests!”
“Yes?” replied a loud scratchy voice, coming from behind one of the toilet doors. That surprised the Invincible Brothers.
“We need some help with our studying,” Kim said loudly, trying not to sound nervous.
“Teacher? Subject?” the ‘King of Tests’ asked.
“Every teacher! Every subject! Just give us everything!” the three cried in a panicking fashion.
“Hmm… that’s quite a lot you’re asking for. How much have you got?” the voice asked.
“We’ll give you everything! Even our clothes!” the tall brother cried.
“Just give me all your money and snacks, not your clothes,” the voice said.
The brothers did as they were told as they emptied their pockets of their loose change and snacks, sliding them under the door. “Is that all of them?” the voice asked suspiciously.
“Serious! If you want you can check our pockets!” Kim asked.
“Hmm… good enough,” the voice before sliding out a small sheet of paper, which the brothers frantically picked up. They looked at the note and read numbers written next to each subject.
“What’s this?” Kim asked.
“Page numbers from your textbooks for each subject,” the voice replied. “Good enough for the amount you paid. And because you checked the information already, no refunds. Just follow the information on those pages and you’ll be fine.”
“What else can we do?” Ken said. “No one else is going to help us out.”
“Guess we got lucky on this one,” Kai said. “Thanks, King of Tests.”
Ken and Kai left the bathroom first to get started with their revision. Kim suspiciously looked back at the closed toilet door before taking his leave. After they left, the ‘King of Tests’ let out a small chortle… a chortle of a familiar blond. Soon, Brendan entered the room hearing that chuckle. “So there you are, Barry,” he said. “You’re supposed to be studying!”
A week later, the exams have started. A number of people were nervous about the exams while others were feeling quite confident. The Invincible Brothers were quite confident after studying the pages given to them by the ‘King of Tests’ himself. However…
“It’s not on here!!” they cried during the examination after reading their respective papers and discovering the worst thing that happened to them.
A week later, everyone got their marks from their exams and compared them to the their other classmates. Ash did pretty badly in a number of subjects. For example, for Mathematics he got a score of thirty-nine and wanted to compare scores with Misty but accidentally sneaked a peek at her score, which was eighty-nine, much to his shock and quickly changed his mind.
He overheard other two students comparing their scores. “It was pretty easy this exam,” said one of them.
“I can’t believe that I lost to you by one point,” said another, slightly displeased with his score.
“Don’t worry, the important thing is that you passed. I checked out the other guys’ scores and I think the average is going to be pretty high this year.”
“High… average… score?” Ash murmured to himself. “This could be… very bad.”
The Brothers Invincible also failed this test as well. If their scores were to be added up, their total scores would be up to being around sixty. They snarled in anger, angry at the ‘King of Tests’ who gave them fake revision notes. “I swear. When I find out who this “King of Tests’ is, I’m going to tear him a new hole,” Kim snarled.
In the other classroom, Barry felt his left ear starting to itch.
Back in Class Five, May was checking her score for Science, which was fifty-nine. She was glad because she passed the exam. “Fifty-nine, huh?” Drew said, looking over her shoulder.
“Wah!” she yelped in fright, not knowing that he was standing right behind her. “How long have you’ve been standing here!? You can’t creep up on people like that!”
“And for the moment there I thought that I was going to get a little thanks,” Drew said.
“Oh… sorry,” May responded in realisation that if Drew didn’t help her, she wouldn’t have passed that exam. “Uh… thank you, Drew,” she said, bowing her head down towards him.
“No problem. Somebody’s got to stop your whining at some point.”
May angrily raised her head in anger. “I’m not whiny, Drew! How dare…!”
She stopped as soon as she felt some angry and sad tensions behind her and turned around to see Ash and the Invincible Brothers glaring daggers at her while Pikachu looked on in a dull way because of the way this was going. “What…?” she whimpered nervously.
“May… you traitor…” Ash said softly yet distastefully.
“He’s right! You’re a traitor!” Kim shouted. “If you had Drew’s help! Why didn’t you say anything!? You big traitor! Judas!”
While the boys continued blaming May, Drew let out a small sigh as he took his leave. “Guys, I don’t think Judas was involved in some examination.”
“Wait! Drew! Don’t leave me here!” she cried, sounding like she was begging.
Luckily for Ash and the Invincible Brothers, they passed a number of exams to get through to next year, much to their relief. Each one was good enough to exceed the passing marks.
“So, what did you learn?” Misty smugly asked the Brothers Invincible. Each one of them answered uninterestedly.
“We learned that if we study hard and not focus on anything else, we can manage anything,” Ken said.
“Relying on someone else too much would be a lot of trouble,” Kai replied.
“And never trust a guy who hides behind the door of a toilet room who claims to the ‘King of Tests’,” Kim said.
“Huh? King of Tests?” Misty asked.
Meanwhile Ash and Pikachu was staring vacantly outside the window and Macey sneaked over towards him. “Hey, Ash,” she said happily. “How did you do?”
“Brilliant. Passed them all,” he replied in a monotone voice.
“Then why aren’t you happy then?” she asked worriedly. “You look really down, Ash.”
“No, everything’s fine.”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Macey replied, trying to cheer him. “I know! How about we go out on a date to celebrate the end of our exams.”
“I’m broke,” he replied, still speaking in his monotone voice.
“Um… okay then,” Macey said, still worried and concerned. “You have games at home, right? How about we play some?”
“I don’t have any games… not anymore.”
Macey became shocked with disbelief. “Well then… what will you do in your spare time?”
Soon, it was the end of another school day. Marley was at a good, quiet spot as she sat next to a tree. “…Two ninety-nine… Three hundred,” she murmured as she finished counting her money.
Her best friend Rui walked over to her and noticed the amount she held in her hands. Surprised and curious, she asked her, “Where did you get all that money?”
The emotionless girl looked up at her and calmly replied, “Ash Ketchum sold me his soul.”
Rui’s next expression was quite expected.
*Cue closing song ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper*
Zoey: *Sighs* So mum and dad left on some emergency about their fashion company. The least they could’ve done is leave me a note!
Mrs. Nozomi: But we did leave you a note, darling! On the fridge!
Zoey: Oh, yeah. So you have.
Mrs. Nozomi: Before I forget, someone will be there in case you need a helping hand.
Zoey: Mum, I’m fifteen years! I don’t want anyone to… D-Dawn!?
Dawn: Hi, Zoey!
Zoey: Dawn! D-Don’t trouble yourself! You don’t have to!
Dawn: Please… I want to help.
Zoey: Whoa, Dawn. No need to get overdramatic.
A/N: Don’t forget to ask the characters questions for their upcoming interviews! ^^ Check the upper posts to see who’s available to answer. ^^