Hey all...I'm sorry it's taken me 5 days to actually post this, but I found some flaws in the Chapter and have ben cutting bits out.
Hope you like it and it does better than the last, and I hope for a few of you that have been thinking that Budew has been left out a bit, she gets a well deserved piece of Character development!!
Also when I post Chapter 12 I will be re-posting 1, 2 and 3 with slight alterations to the story line!
Chapter 11: More Force behind the Punch
The sun broke free from the cloud cage that was thrust in front of its glare, throwing Petalburg City into a shadow, dampening the sounds emanating from around the town. The cool touch of the lake tickled Max’s skin as he swam further toward the bottom, looking around for particularly interesting items that may be of certain value. He stopped his momentum to gaze upon the life that lived under the water, feeling a certain pleasure from watching the tame Luvdsic perform their mating dance, settling it with a passionate kiss. If only life was that simple he thought to himself, turning his attention to scouring for objects again.
He could have stayed in the water for ever, carefree and not bound to any strict deadlines or schedules, but that would take the fun out of adventure. The water rippled from his body as he broke through what felt like a solid surface, being dazzled by the sun as it cropped its head around a grey cloud momentarily. He grabbed a hold of the edge that surrounded the lake, feeling the warmth from the sand migrate into his hand, all the sights and sounds were so tempting, but, he couldn’t let his Pokémon down. Max clambered to his feet, reaching for his towel that was filled with family pictures and Pokémon throughout their history, he was following in all their footsteps and was ready to prove himself once again to his father, after one last training session.
“Hey guys, having fun?” Max casually asked, briskly rubbing the towel over his body, trying urgently to dry himself so he could stick to his planned schedule. The Pokémon all looked at him, not responding to his question, as recently any answer they seemed to give was a disheartening blow to Max, he had changed since the lose.
“It’s our last day of training, and I know that come tomorrow we’ll be ready to win...” the trail of speech halted, for some reason he couldn’t find the correct words to finish his sentence. The whole experience was becoming overwhelming, overpowering his thoughts and actions, if he couldn’t win the first time, what difference did a week’s worth training do?
‘Char’ his starter Pokémon cried, sensing the nerves that were flowing though Max’s body, it seemed that he was finally feeling the repercussions from losing and after a week of having it build up inside; the effects were rather heartbreaking. Charmander had to raise his trainer spirits, and one way was through a practice battle between him and Budew, they were both ready to do so, and they could use more practice. ‘Char!’
The small fire Pokémon initiated the battle by sending numerous embers toward Budew, who nimbly dodged it by flipping her body to the side; this was a result from the intense training they had been through; his Dad relied on heavy speed attacks that left a Pokémon vulnerable and made it hard for them to escape, so Max worked on techniques that would help them dodge attacks easily.
Once Budew had regained stability on its little feet, she began to shake her body vigorously, producing a sweat like substance that cloaked Charmander and dampened his fire ability, the only attacks that would produce sufficient damage would be his close range ones.
Max looked on, realising that his Pokémon understood what was going on in his mind, they were showing him that he could rely on them, and take chances for the possibility to win.
“Okay you two, if this is how you want to play it...you choose your attacks and teach me a thing or two!”
The battle resumed with Budew’s quick Sleep Powder that was hopefully going to give her an edge, one that if Max used correctly against Norman would ensure victory. The green powder sprouted from the coiled bud tip, spiralling into the air and beginning to distil into the atmosphere that surrounded her partner. There was nothing Charmander could do to dodge this particular attack, so it rapidly succumbed to the sensations that filled its body, yawning once or twice before collapsing into a long sleep. It seemed nearly over. Budew then launched a tremendous Bullet Seed toward the unprotected Charmander striking and leaving noticeable injuries over its body, Budew had won!
“Well done Budew, I’m really proud of you and your tactics were spot on, we’ll incorporate that into our battling style,” Max knelt down and picked the Pokémon up, planting a kiss on top of its head, “And Charmander, you were great too,” Max diligently said, shaking the Fire type until it began to stir, “Because of your battle I now have my confidence back, and I know that if we go by the new battle strategy...we’ll win!”
The young trainer had finally dressed himself and lay back into the lush grass that tickled his skin, with Delcatty purring in his ear soothing his tense muscles; but their schedule had only just begun, and Max was ready to face his Dad again, right this second.
After a minute or two of relaxing, he perched himself upright and sprang back into his fighting spirit; all he needed was the targets he had recently purchased, so he unpacked them and began to build. It didn’t take long as he was thoroughly use to their procedure now, if the Pokémon could aim, dodge and inflict power upon the targets, then their next stop would be closer than first thought.
“Okay you three, line up!” Max called, with the Pokémon responding immediately as if intimidated by Max’s second persona, “If you can show me that you’ve perfected the target training then we’ll be in and out of the Gym in no time.” They all hollered back at him, it was time to test them.
“The first challenge is a precision task, if you can hit the bulls eye on your target then that’s the first steps complete...Budew you use Bullet Seed, Charmander you use Ember and Delcatty you use Blizzard!”
With spilt second timing they all released their powerful attacks toward their assigned targets, hitting their marks in the direct centre; but the moves weren’t done yet as they rebounded back from the metal plates, heading back toward each Pokémon.
“Now let’s see you dodge these attacks,” Max called out from the sidelines where he was protected from all the fierce moves, it was time to see whether they were capable of escaping difficult situations that were unexpectedly thrown at them like certain circumstances that occur in Gyms.
The flames lunged toward Charmander, it seemed like a hopeless move to try and evade, although the little Fire Pokémon was ready for it; flipping backwards and raising itself above the attack letting it dissipate as it flew further away. The same applied to Budew and Delcatty; both also being able to dodge their own attacks. Max was pleased, only a few more practices and they would be on their way to EverGrande City where the Hoenn League would take place with the first of their eight badges.
“This time round, I want you to knock the targets backward, but combining all the other techniques! You’ll have to hit the bulls eye again but with enough force behind it to knock it over, then when the attack is hurled back at you, you’ll have to dodge.”
The Pokémon were ready, ready to prove themselves worthy of a challenge with Norman. Each again unleashed their power upon the helpless targets, striking the centres of the boards once more; the only difference was the power contained within the moves this time, capable of flinging the objects backwards, now they had to respond quickly and avoid the onslaught. The bud Pokémon opened the tip of its coiled rim head to allow for extra movement, it sprung itself to the side of the attack, immediately spinning on evasion which lifted it high into the sky and in a prime position for a follow up assault.
“I like it Budew, we will definitely use that to evade the Blizzard from Slakoth, and it will give us an advantage over Buneary!” Max was now filled with excitement once more; his Pokémon had successfully brought life back into the slumbering boy and revitalised his confidence. “Okay guys, you’ve proven yourselves capable of winning a Balance Badge, and from watching your training I’ve made a final strategy plan. Charmander you’re up first, Delcatty you’ll follow and then Budew you’ll be our ‘secret weapon’.” The creatures cheered in approval, a Gym win was well within their grasp, and if they all worked as a proper team and incorporated the training techniques into their battle style then it shouldn’t take them too long.
Max began to pack all his belongings together, folding all the different components of the targets into a neat compact structure that slipped inside its own portable carrier bag. He firmed out the creases in his clothes and started the short trek down the main high street of the City, increasingly nearing his soon to be win.
The Pokémon were trailing behind Max who was striding along the path with such dignity that caught the odd stare or two from passersby; Budew had decided that a trip to the Gym would be too tiresome for her little legs and hopped onto the back of the beige coloured cat, that had thoroughly matured from the evolution process that took place after it was given the Moon Stone; an evaluated decision that was necessary for the Jhoto Grand Festival.
He could now see the Petalburg Gym again; after a week from avoiding its appearance, the uniqueness of it became an attraction that captivated his thoughts. The doors hinges no longer creaked as they did before, but his Dad was still standing in the exact spot that he was in last time. His attention was lured towards the stands, where a surprise face was gleaming at him.
“May!” he screamed, feeling an overwhelming urge to burst into tears, “You’re here?”
“Hey Max...it’s a long story and can wait until you finish your Gym match; Roxanne’s been telling me how much effort you’ve been putting into your training, and I know that you can easily wipe the floor with Dad.”
“Yeah,” Max called back to her, swiftly arranging his focus back onto Norman who was very calm and collected, “Now Dad...I challenge you to a rematch!”
“Ha...I was wondering how long it would take for you to come barging back through that door. If you’re all set and ready then I accept!”
“The Gym Battle between the challenger Max Maple and the Gym Leader Norman will now undergo...the rules are three against three with only the challenger being able to make substitutes. Now begin!” Caroline enthusiastically stated with her adrenalin beginning to inspire Max to prove his merit in front of his entire family; with a win here he can then be acknowledged and deemed as a possible contender to entering the Hoenn League, an attribute only esteemed trainers may be receive.
“I think I’ll start things off, Charmander go!”
“Hmm...predictable. Buneary let’s get this over with fast!” Norman cried flinging the PokeBall up into the rooftops of the Gym, his posture explained all his thoughts, ready and willing, it was time to prove to his son that battling is a distinctive art that takes some time to master. “Buneary go straight into a Quick Attack and leave Charmander helpless.”
“A lot has changed Dad, Charmander bend backwards.” Within a split second of the command, Charmander had flexed his back enough creating what seemed like a Charmander bridge, luckily it gave it enough clearance to avoid the attack, having the rabbit pass right over him and crash into the entrance of the Gym. It sunk to the ground, flooded with a sense of shock and bewilderment, his Quick Attack had never missed, it had always been too quick to evade, yet Charmander had proven otherwise. “Woa...now what did I say? Told you this battle would be different and that just confirms it; hope you can handle a challenge.”
“Certainly not what I expected I must say, but that doesn’t show me that you can beat me, just that you can run,” Norman seemed sincere, not what either May or Max expected; there was a proud sense of growth from him, whatever he tried to deny.
“Come on Max, I know you can do it,” May called from the stands where she and Roxanne watched with Awe at a battle that had captured an audience within the first move, a rare sight.
“You ready to fight back? Use Ember in the style of our target training and aim for its stomach, full power,” Max shouted, becoming caught up within temptation of an early win. The strong flames struck Buneary, causing a streak of pain to inflame the area of contact, not only that but the flames also engulfed Buneary, pulling it into what seemed to be eternal fire everywhere you looked, everything seemed lost for the courageous Normal type. Though, in an unexpected twist, a white aura swallowed Buneary whole, causing the flames to evaporate instantaneously and releasing the Pokémon from their grip. All eyes became locked once more on Buneary as its outlined appearance began to change in an instant, extending the ears even further causing them to drape down the side of its body. Once the light cleared it revealed a new Pokémon, Lopunny that looked slightly similar to its predecessor who was only smaller by a few inches and had some slight changes in features.
“Nice, my Lopunny just evolved. You ready to pack a punch with your Dizzy Punch?” Lopunny gave a quiet purr in response as its ear started to illuminate a yellowish colour, being able to stretch the whole way across the Battle Field.
“Charmander dodge with your flips, and then strike back with Screech.”
The Fire Pokémon as it seemed was able to avoid most attacks that were now thrust upon it, benefitting from the sudden hype in confidence, although it would eventually turn into its downfall. The acrobatics were an astonishing sight to witness, as Charmander somersaulted from side to side, not once coming close to being hit at all. When it was able to secure its footing he released piercing sound waves toward the opponent, which would reduce its defensive capabilities and allow for more damage to be taken, but Lopunny wouldn’t be cast down that easily and struggled to escape the effects of Screech, launching its Dizzy Punch at Charmander again, productively causing its concentration to lapse. This was Norman’s time to strike and receive an upper hand.
“Hit it with Dizzy Punch and follow up with Jump Kick, this can’t possibly go wrong.”
The grown rabbit launched the Dizzy Punch directly at Charmander, who was incapable of stopping the Screech and evading at the same time; it struck the lighter colour orange belly, throwing it with incredible force into the air and leaving it vulnerable to the Jump Kick, which Lopunny was charging. It sprang above Charmander, ready to strike it as it came tumbling back to the ground, making contact just above the floor of the Gym, which caused Charmander to hurtle against the wooden floor, kicking up a cloud of dust that sprayed across the entire field. No-one could see what had happened to either Pokémon, all they could do was wait.
The air started to clear, allowing everyone to see two Silhouettes within the remainder of the dust, one heaped on the ground and the other standing proud and tall. The poor Fire Lizard had been beaten, Norman now had the advantage over Max.
“We’re not giving up that easily, Charmander take a long rest, you did great buddy.” Charmander was recalled back inside his PokeBall and attached back onto the Max’s belt, now safe from any more harm. The young trainer then clasped a hold of the borrowed PokeBall that contained Delcatty who was already a strong force to reckon with, and since Lopunny had been slightly tired out from his battle with Charmander, Delcatty should find it a quick win that wouldn’t drain too much of its energy, “Okay, Delcatty, you’re up now!”
The purring cat spiralled into action, calmly settling upon its brisk paws that could manoeuvre its body at extreme speeds. She glared at her opponent, who was acting clavicle and not the least bit worried at the battle it was about to face; both Buneary and Skitty had been playful buddies in the past, never once having to face each other in a battle, but now they were both evolved and packed more power than they ever had, these two weren’t going to give up easily.
“Okay Delcatty, use a charged up Blizzard and aim for Lopunny’s legs,” Max called, quickly glancing towards his sister who was now more anxious than ever at having to watch one of her own Pokémon battle without her commanding it; although she had her Father train it in Gym Battles, she had never seen one of them before and now she had the opportunity too, she wished she didn’t.
“Lopunny, attempt to...” Norman started to say, but cut off as his words were too late, the speed and power that was packed inside Delcatty’s attack was unlike no other that he had seen throughout his career as a Gym Leader, even when he was training Delcatty they weren’t producing anything like that, Max had done something special, “Now that was...magnificent son. If you fight like that through the rest of this battle then I can honestly say that you’ll have done better than Ash, which I understand is a target of yours!”
“Thanks Dad, but what’s with all this chit chat...get in close and use Iron Tail.”
“If you want to play it that way...Lopunny dive straight in with your Quick Attack, make sure you’re the first to make contact.”
What looked like a scene stolen from a Cowboy film, the two Pokémon launched themselves with incredible speed toward their opponent, neither one giving way or flinching from the possibility of direct damage. As Delcatty got further his tail began to glow a steel white, it swung its body 360 degrees around and made firm contact with the bunny’s face careering him off to the side of the Gym, where Lopunny slowly slid down the wall and landed heavily on its back.
“Lopunny is unable to battle, Delcatty is the winner.”
Norman was bewildered, no-one before had ever been able to brandish that amount of power inside a Pokémon in a week’s worth of training, even if they were already substantially powerful. “My next choice is Slakoth.”
The lazy sloth Pokémon emerged from within the white cloak that surrounded the Pokémon, lying flat out on the floor, seeming more interested in sleeping than battling. The coarse fur was spiked on end, as if the Pokémon had been spooked by a ghost; so it portrayed its attention upon Delcatty.
“Slakoth, start things off with your Blizzard attack.”
“Counter it Delcatty, with the exact same move, and pack some more force behind the punch.”
As the cold pressure blew towards their opponent, creating an interlock of the two Ice attacks that held each others at bay, Max became very aware that they could breach his Dad’s defence, obviously if their timing held no flaws. Max kept his eyes attuned to Slakoth, if anything gave way, then that would be his opportunity to get close to the sloth and defeat it with a powered Iron Tail, only leaving Norman’s final choice.
Roxanne looked on with eager eyes, taking mental notes on Max’s performance and certain areas that could be improved, so that when it was her chance to have a Gym Battle with him it wouldn’t just be the turf that she had the upper hand over, but tactics as well. Alongside her was one of her trusted Pokémon, Sudowoodo, who was cheering Max and his team to victory; he had never really been the battling sort of Pokémon, instead he preferred to make elegant appeals and showcase his moves, yet he loved his trainer and couldn’t bear to leave her to participate in these Contests. Roxanne had raised it since it was a beloved Bonsly, a little baby that was terrified of parting ways with his ‘Mum’, and their bond was something impossible to attempt to recreate with a new trainer.
“Slakoth, this isn’t going anywhere, so quickly dodge out of the way of Delcatty’s Blizzard, and use a Faint Attack.”
“Huh...this isn’t good! Delcatty, jump into a forward role and use the momentum of the Blizzard to pick up speed while charging your Iron Tail.”
It was a spectacle to watch; with the elegant movements produced being the centre of everyone’s attention, and no-one could tell who would succeed with their attacks as both executed them perfectly.
Delcatty roared through the air, crashing into the remains of her own Blizzard which allowed her to pick up momentum and speed toward Slakoth, who was starting to flex his body enough to allow for quick movement across the Gym Floor and a sneak Faint Attack. He caught a glimpse of Delcatty in the corner of his eye, tail sparkling in the light that shone through the windows of the roof. Slakoth moved directly behind Delcatty who was completely unaware of the impending attack looming behind her. His glowing purple claws struck her back; interrupting her front roll which made her unstable within the air and unable to change course, it was all over as she came tearing toward the wooden wall implanting a thin dent into it. Max looked over in horror, his Dad had wrenched what seemed an easy victory from his grasp and left a horrible feeling inside his gut. Now there was only one course of action left, use his secret weapon!
“Budew, it’s your turn,” he called, sending his young Pokémon out onto the field indulged in an array of light; her bud head opening up to allow in more sunlight which would help give her a boost in speed, making her more unbeatable than ever.
“Well...looks like you’re down to your final Pokémon son. Hope that’s all you need to overcome me.”
Roxanne and May watched from the stands, carefully keeping their eyes focused upon the two boys glaring at each other from across the room; if someone who didn’t know the family waltzed right through the door, they would think these two were heated in rivalry.
“Right Budew, start things off with Sleep Powder and follow it up with Bullet Seed.”
There was no chance for Norman to react; Slakoth was hit instantly with the residue releasing from the small Bud Pokémon’s’ body and almost instantaneously collapsed to the floor with each cell filled with a sense of tiredness. His eye lids began to become heavier and slowly folded shut as he slipped away into a dreamland. The minute Slakoth slumped in a heap against the floor (curled up like a small toddler) Budew bounced high into the air launching a ferocious Bullet Seed that Max had never seen from his Grass Pokémon straight toward the sleeping Pokémon, knocking him out immediately upon contact. Now it was evened out...either person could win and Norman knew it, Budew was able to defeat one of his strongest Pokémon but his next choice would hopefully pull through.
“Now that was impressive Max, but can you beat one of your old friends?” his Dad smirked as he readied the PokeBall to release the Pokémon inside, having a smug feeling wash through his body. How could a tiny Pokémon defeat what was up next?
From within the PokeBall emerged a giant towering beast, rather in the way of a Panda Bear fused with a cat that mostly ate and slept, except the times that it battled for Norman or even May, compared to Budew, Snorlax was huge in both ways and seemed the likely winner in the upcoming battle.
“Snorlax, finish this with just one attack...use Hyper Beam,” Norman ordered as Snorlax stood up from his crouched position, mouth wide open collecting energy to form an orange ball of power. The stream of energy discharged itself from the Pokémon, colliding with Budew almost instantly as it attempted to leap out of its trajectory without having to be told, regrettably with no success. The impact flung a smokescreen around Max’s friend, he was helpless to offer aid if his Pokémon was badly injured as it was impossible to see anything. But as they stood amongst the dusty cloud they heard a high pitched noise that could have been classed as a battle cry which then initiated a green glowing light that evaporated the dust within seconds.
Budew had no scratches upon its body; it seemed unscathed although it had just been pelted with one of the strongest moves known. Max was astonished.
“Woh...Great use of Synthesis, without it we probably wouldn’t be able to continue, but that’s now a different matter. Retaliate with your Bullet Seed, and instead of aiming for the belly, hit his head.”
Once more Budew initiated her attack, striking Snorlax; yet it didn’t seem to make much of an effect or even slightly bother him, he just pulled his head forward and prepared to continue on, looking toward Norman who gave a simple gesture of the hand. This was signalising to Snorlax that he had control with his next movements and didn’t have to rely upon his trainer. He then opened his body wide and looked towards the windows in the roof, with a yellow energy form spiralling around his head, taking a while to charge. Both Max and Budew realised what was about to happen, but if they judged it correctly then there would be no need to worry.
“Quickly, hit Snorlax with a Sleep Powder to stop the Solarbeam.”
As the team began to hurry to pull off their Sleep Powder before Snorlax had a chance to unleash his Solarbeam, the onlookers fell engrossed within the activity of the battle and all the hype that both team members were stirring. This became oblivious to Max as his nerves caught up with his actions and were steadily being passed onto his Pokémon, possibly doing harm against her judgments and abilities to perform, although at the moment in hand she was presently fine.
The powder substance one again was produced from her body, drifting in lowliness toward its target, inducing him into a boundless sleep. The Solarbeam was stopped and Max and Budew now had a chance to lay in powerful attacks and finally win their first badge, a small step towards a big goal.
“Okay, now hit him with an endless amount of Bullet Seeds and let’s finish this up now!” Max eagerly stated, feeling the win within his grasp, only a matter of seconds away. Max couldn’t allow anything to go wrong.
Striking the side of her foe with a great amount of vigour ladled into her moves, all May and co could do was watch Snorlax sleep off the pain with not much luck for him to prevail.
“Come on Snorlax, wake up. I know you have it in you. Come on buddy!” Norman’s efforts seemed greatly lost; Snorlax was only interested in snoring and now Norman was regretting not teaching him Snore. His eyes were watching the Pokémon, looking for any possibility of him stirring from the sleep, and he was in luck. Snorlax began to raise his head, blinking once or twice to separate his eye lids, still being pounded by the Bullet Seed. He raised himself from the floor, lifting up a glowing fist that was enveloped within an orange and white crystal light, beautiful in its gape. With one slick movement of the wrist he struck Budew, his fist beating the grass Pokémon’s entire body and causing some serious damage that could have put her out of the match instantly...but she was able to withstand it and proudly pulled herself back up, once more using Synthesis although it didn’t have the same effect to her health.
“Forget about Sleep Powder then, a continuous stream of Bullet Seed should do the trick...let’s do this for the team.”
“And Snorlax, Solarbeam once more!”
The Pokémon charged their attacks with Budew releasing hers first pushing the oaf backwards but not halting his attack. It was a do or die situation, neither team had a clear edge, and it was all down to these last attacks: Who would become victorious? With light like a sun (blinding all in the Gym) the Solarbeam flung toward the onslaught of seeds that were harrying forward causing a clash of grass attacks with a mighty repercussion. An explosion filled the entire stadium, pushing the two trainers against the wall and flinging Caroline into the stands. Budew and Snorlax were in the centre of the blast and either one could be critically injured. With enough energy to steady themselves upward, Norman and Max rushed into the cloud of dust that followed in the wake, searching on hands and knees for their beloved Pokémon.
“Beautifly, use your Gust to blow away the cloud of dust, and hurry,” May called, launching her first catch into the air. A majestic Butterfly like Pokémon sparkled as it appeared, wearing delectable wings that were shining in the light that portrayed upon it. The pattern that covered them were all most people could stare at, but in this situation Beautifly was needed for battling, and not being flashy.
Although it was a tiny Pokémon in comparison to most, it packed a large amount of power within itself that was able to fling open the doors and wash the remnants of the explosion out with the wind that was being produced from Beautifly. It was all gone with matter of seconds, where the picture of two human beings scrounging around on the floor was left. They both immediately saw their Pokémon...Budew was standing, just, and Snorlax was slumped against the ground, knocked out from the explosion, whatever had happened within the few seconds left Max victorious, and able to walk away with his first major victory.
Standing up, slightly dazed still, Caroline lifted the green flag, “I’m proud to say that Max is the winner of this match against the Gym Leader Norman!”
The young trainer wrapped his arms around Budew, squeezing as tightly as he could. It was down to Budew that he had won, she had come through on her own for the team and made Max the proudest he had ever been, with one win down there were only seven more to go.
“Son...I am proud, no, honoured to present you with the Balance Badge showing your win here at my Gym...and I hope someday soon we can have a re-match, this time I’ll have done all that special training!”
“Yea...Max I am so...annoyed at you, joking, joking...but you could have given Snorlax more of a chance don’t you think,” May chuckled, “And now I think it’s time to go get ready for dinner, I’m taking us all out to the new Noodle shop that opened in town last month.”
They all chuckled; May was back with her fixation of Noodles once more, and this gave Max some time to discuss with her what progress she had made, and how some of her old friends were doing. Again putting the mystery of the Leather Case box to the back of his mind, not daring to touch it!