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Thread: I sold my soul to Victini, and all I won was this stupid championship.

  1. #1
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    Default I sold my soul to Victini, and all I won was this stupid championship.

    Welp, here goes nothing.

        Spoiler:- Content Warnings:


    I Sold My Soul To Victini, And All I Won Was This Stupid Championship

    Part 1

    My right arm was shaking so badly I had to use my left hand to hold my watch steady enough to read it. Twenty-six hours and forty-three minutes left. If I didn’t succeed in either of the two remaining battles, I wouldn’t have much time left to come up with a Plan B. Plan D, actually, considering my previous failures.

    “I don’t mean to make assumptions, but if you were hoping that I’d grow bored and send out first like my colleague Bruno, I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” Will said.

    I glanced across the arena at the Elite Four member I was facing. Will was dressed up like a nobleman going to a masquerade party in some sort of low-budget period drama. It wasn’t nearly as intimidating an appearance as you’d expect from the third highest ranked trainer in the Indigo league. As for the pokemon standing beside him, well… It was hard to say whether the slowbro or exeggutor had the dumbest, goofiest looking expression. The palm tree pokemon was making up in quantity what the slowbro had in quality. Coming in a close third and fourth and fourth were Will’s two xatu, vacantly staring at nothing in particular. Will’s ice typed Jynx presumably found the room too warm for her liking, and remained in her pokeball.

    Moving my eyes down a notch, I surveyed the arena again. It was designed to look something like a ballroom from the aforementioned period drama. The floor was covered by a purple and gold carpet, and an elaborate glass chandelier hung from the ceiling. Circular dining tables, complete with chairs, tablecloth, and cutlery suited for a four-course meal, were lined up on the sides of the arena. Were the spoons evidence that Will had added an alakazam to his team? I could imagine one teleporting from table to table, snatching up spoons and channeling blasts of psychic energy through them, discarding each piece of silverware in turn as it became warped and twisted from the residual energy. Nah. The cutlery was probably just there to provide stuff to fling around with telekinesis.

    Standing to the side of the arena was a league referee, alongside a porygon2. I hadn’t had a chance to version it – the hacker’s term for finding the exact software version a porygon was using by carefully studying its response to certain innocuous seeming questions – but I didn’t want to use those sorts of tactics in this match. Besides, given the ranking of my opponent, it was probably one of the very latest models, with no known exploits that could be used to subtly turn its refereeing decisions in a hacker’s favor.

    Shifting my gaze away from the arena, I looked at the pokemon standing beside me. The machamp to the right of me was absent-mindedly picking his nose, something I prayed Will would recognize the significance of. Nicholas, the delibird perched on the fighting-type’s broad shoulder, was rooting through the contents of his tail-sack again, likely from boredom rather than an attempt to check his preparations. Then there were the two pokemon contained in the balls I was carrying, one among the three on my belt, the other hidden in my right pocket.

    Just to double-check, I grabbed the ball in my pocket again, but my arm once again refused to work to withdraw it from its resting place. Not yet. Despite the risk, I’d have to go with my earlier strategy, having thought of nothing better in the past several minutes.

    “Ryu, go.”

    Shrugging Nicholas off his shoulder, the machamp walked past the boundary of the arena, still picking his nose.

    “At last. Oscar, go-” Will started to call out, at the same time the Xatu beside him started fluttering towards his side of the arena.

    “I withdraw Ryu. Great job out there,” I interrupted. My chosen pokemon turned and walked right back out of the arena.

    “What are-”

    “I’m withdrawing my pokemon. The rules state that you can withdraw your pokemon from a match at any time, without having to state a reason.” I was now down to two pokemon against the three Will could use in this match.

    “I know what the rules are! Why-”

    “Good to hear. Go, Nicholas.” The delibird hastily finished packing up the presents that fell from his bag after being removed from the machamp’s shoulder, and flew towards the arena. The moment he crossed the boundary-

    “I withdraw Nicholas. That was great, Nick. Your best fight yet. Keep it up.” One pokemon left. I plucked the rightmost ball from my belt and weighed it in my hand as Nicholas returned to my side. Hmmm. This was going to be the tricky part… You were allowed to wait a certain number of seconds before sending in a replacement, and I decided to use all of them, letting my actions sink in with the Elite Four member.

    “Pardon me, but are you seriously intending to defeat my entire team with just a ditto?” Will knew what all the pokemon on my team were, sans the one residing in the ball in my pocket.

    “It sure looks like it, doesn’t it?” I replied.

    “I hope you’re approaching this match with the gravity it's due. My ranking over Koga and Bruno isn’t from mere type advantage.”

    “But your ranking below Karen is, I assume?”

    Will shook his head. “No. Karen could defeat me with a team of six croagunks. But even she couldn’t manage to win with a single ditto. Honestly, are you trying to lose this match?”

    I could feel my jaw lock in place, controlled by the same force that prevented me from withdrawing the ball in my pocket. Maybe since I was so close to the deadline, the effect had started to wear off, or maybe my desire to speak was just that strong. Either way, with a supreme effort of willpower, I forced my mouth to open.

    “Honestly? Yes. I am.”

  2. #2
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    Honestly, there’s not much to say about this. It kind of felt like just a scene cut from a longer chapter. Anyway, from what I can see here, I guess the story is building up to something, perhaps the mystery pokemon the mc has yet to reveal. Quite strange he’s not taking the battle seriously, given who he’s up against.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Walrein View Post
    Were the spoons evidence that Will had added an alakazam to his team? I could imagine one teleporting from table to table, snatching up spoons and channeling blasts of psychic energy through them, discarding each piece of silverware in turn as it became warped and twisted from the residual energy. Nah. The cutlery was probably just there to provide stuff to fling around with telekinesis.
    Ok I gotta admit, now I really want to see an Alakazam do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Walrein View Post
    Standing to the side of the arena was a league referee, alongside a porygon2. I hadn’t had a chance to version it – the hacker’s term for finding the exact software version a porygon was using by carefully studying its response to certain innocuous seeming questions – but I didn’t want to use those sorts of tactics in this match. Besides, given the ranking of my opponent, it was probably one of the very latest models, with no known exploits that could be used to subtly turn its refereeing decisions in a hacker’s favor.
    Ok that’s interesting. 1, that you can even do that. 2, that this character is a hacker.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Walrein View Post
    Hmmm. This was going to be the tricky part… You were allowed to wait a certain number of seconds before sending in a replacement, and I decided to use all of them, letting my actions sink in with the Elite Four member.
    Hmm… intending to use sleight of hand to swap the belt ball with the pocket ball? Or perhaps, something else. You mention a few times that our MC is “locked” and while that could be due to nerves, it could also be a psychic lock to prevent cheating. Either way, cheating is quite obviously what our MC plans to do.

    Seriously, though, there’s a lot of strange stuff going on here. Intentionally confusing Will in order to get him to lower his guard and let the MC use their mystery Pokémon. But given that Will knows the final Pokémon should be a ditto, one would think that the moment the other Pokémon gets sent out, that would immediately reveal the cheat. Unless it’s something that won’t be visibly obvious. But then, why the need to swap the Pokéballs… why not just keep the mystery Pokémon on the belt instead of the Ditto? There’s probably a good reason for that…

    Honestly, you’ve immediately grabbed my attention with all these mysteries, but this felt more like a part of a chapter rather than a whole. Definitely want to see how this gambit plays out though.

    ~Chibi~



    "Everyone wishes they could catch a Legendary, deep down, whether they’ll admit it or not.
    If you knew you could use one to change the world, something you’d been dreaming about for years, are you telling me you wouldn’t take that chance?"

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    September 02 Update: CHAPTER 27: “The Revolt” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 28 progress: 10/13 pages

    «On reviewing hiatus for the rest of the year. See you all in 2018!»

  4. #4
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    Hey, thanks for the reviews! I really appreciate you two taking the time to review something from a noob like me. I feel a little guilty given that I've never reviewed anyone else's work myself, but hopefully I can correct that soon enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamSayer View Post
    Honestly, there’s not much to say about this. It kind of felt like just a scene cut from a longer chapter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Honestly, you’ve immediately grabbed my attention with all these mysteries, but this felt more like a part of a chapter rather than a whole. Definitely want to see how this gambit plays out though.
    Yeah, I was probably a little too eager to get something posted, and should've waited until I wrote a more complete scene. Didn't expect it would take me as long as it did, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Ok that’s interesting. 1, that you can even do that. 2, that this character is a hacker.
    The main character is actually closer to a lawyer than a hacker, but he's picked up a few tricks from some of the shadier online battle forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Hmm… intending to use sleight of hand to swap the belt ball with the pocket ball? Or perhaps, something else. You mention a few times that our MC is “locked” and while that could be due to nerves, it could also be a psychic lock to prevent cheating. Either way, cheating is quite obviously what our MC plans to do.

    Seriously, though, there’s a lot of strange stuff going on here. Intentionally confusing Will in order to get him to lower his guard and let the MC use their mystery Pokémon. But given that Will knows the final Pokémon should be a ditto, one would think that the moment the other Pokémon gets sent out, that would immediately reveal the cheat. Unless it’s something that won’t be visibly obvious. But then, why the need to swap the Pokéballs… why not just keep the mystery Pokémon on the belt instead of the Ditto? There’s probably a good reason for that…
    Heh. The secret ball in the pocket is a bit of a red herring for now. As for what trick the main character is trying to pull, well... read on.

    Part 2

    Will looked nonplussed for a moment, but his expression resolved into a slight grin.

    “Ah! I see the trick you’re pulling here. A very fine gambit, sir, but you’ve forgotten something quite critical… no, no, never mind. Oscar, move up to the line,” he ordered. The xatu fluttered to the center of the arena, stopping just before the border delimiting the area where each side’s pokemon could be released onto the arena. It seemed Will wanted the psychic bird to be as close to where he expected the ditto to be released as possible, so Oscar could rush forwards and unleash a point-blank attack before the ditto had a chance to transform. Dammit, dammit, dammit, he’d completely missed the point! Why did I always have to be so sarcastic?

    Sighing, I pitched the ball I was holding as close to the xatu as possible. It opened in a flash of light, revealing a muscle-bound, four-armed pokemon that was very much not a ditto.

    “Round one, start!” called out the referee, as the energy barrier forming around the arena sounded its familiar hum.

    “Fling!” I ordered. Traditionally, the move was used to charge a small object with dark-typed energy so it could be hurled at one’s opponent, but there was no reason it couldn’t be used in a more direct fashion.

    “Telep-” Will started, but he was too late. After the slowpoke line, xatu had the slowest reaction speed of any psychic pokemon, instead relying on their precognitive ability to avoid surprises. But the dimensional distortion in the spacetime around a pokeball release created a precognitive blind spot. The result was that by the time Oscar had begun to react, my machamp had already seized him in a crushing grip, and imbued the poor pokemon with enough dark-typed energy to prevent it from teleporting in the next fraction of a second it took to hurl the xatu out of the arena. The psychic bird crashed into the energy barrier that was just outside the arena boundaries, and fell crumpled to the ground.

    “Oscar is defeated by ring-out! The first round goes to the challenger,” the referee called.

    “But the match goes to me. My reason told me that at your level of experience, you’d know the rules well enough to not try a trick like that. My intuition told me you would, but Oscar told me to go with my reason, and unfortunately, he paid the price.” The elite four member shook his head slowly, but I could see a smug, triumphant grin forming on his face.

    “Uh, no? I haven’t lost the match at all,” I said.

    “Wait- Oh no- oh no- you’ve been training a second machamp this entire time!” Will said, his eyes widening behind his black mask. “Of course! It’s the only option that makes sense!”

    “Nope.” The skin of the machamp standing beside me started turning pink, and then the entire pokemon dissolved into an amorphous mass of pink slime. My ditto, Laplace. Ryu, my real machamp, was in the arena.

    “Ah. Then my initial instincts were correct. Sending a ditto into a match already transformed is an orange class violation – with a penalty of having to withdraw the pokemon from the battle. Since you already did so, you’ll have to withdraw your machamp, and so have no pokemon left.”

    In my journey, I had found that the people who knew the rules of league battling were vastly outnumbered by the legions of trainers who thought they knew the rules. Even in the Elite Four, it seemed.

    “Round. Not match. A ditto can’t be transformed at the start of the first round it enters the arena, and I withdrew Laplace before the first round started,” I said.

    “But the wording used by the rule specifically states that the violation occurs when the ditto ‘enters the arena’ while transformed! Yes, I suppose if you want to be drearily technical, the first round hadn’t begun when you sent in your ditto. But the intent of the rule is clearly to forbid ditto from entering the arena transformed, and I suspect the official who wrote it considered the start of the match and the start of the first round to be synonymous.”

    “Amazing! The official who wrote that rule is living in retirement in Hoenn, but you’ve managed to read his mind from hundreds of miles away! Only a master psychic-type trainer could’ve pulled such an amazing feat of telepathy! Quick, someone call the press!”

    Will sighed, then turned to the referee and his porygon2. “Please settle this for us. Has a violation occurred, or not?”

    “A violation has occurred, and the challenger is wrong,” the porygon2 stated in its usual monotone.

    “I would’ve expected better rules knowledge from someone who went to law school before becoming a trainer- but, then again, perhaps this is just evidence of why you had to drop out of that school,” Will said.

    “To specify: The challenger has incurred no violations, but the official who wrote rule J dot eleven dot fifty-one is in retirement in Kalos, not Hoenn. Will has incurred a yellow class violation for delaying sending out his next pokemon, and has fifteen seconds before it becomes an orange class violation.”

    The rule in question was admittedly a touch ambiguous. It was related to a broader restriction against sending a pokemon into battle for the first time already under the benefit of moves like swords dance or agility. Since not everyone agreed on whether or not a ditto’s transformation should count as a ‘boosting’ move like swords dance, a separate rule had been written to say, yes, it did. But, after a policy had been implemented saying that rules should avoid referring to other rules whenever possible, the ditto-specific rule had been hastily re-written with its unique phrasing of ‘at the start of the first round the ditto enters the arena’. Due to another policy saying that ambiguous rules should be interpreted with a bias towards avoiding penalizing trainers, a ruling had been made a few years ago saying that, yes, it was perfectly legal to send in a ditto transformed, as long as it was withdrawn before the first round started.

    As for Will’s yellow class violation, only the second one received within a match carried a penalty, so getting one wasn’t really a big deal. Unless you got them as frequently as I did, in which case any new infraction might be the one that broke the camerupt’s back and got your battling license suspended.

    “Oh, very well. I suppose winning through a rules violation wouldn’t have been satisfying, anyways. Bartholomew, return.” Will recalled the exeggutor by his side into a pokeball, and turned his attention from me towards my machamp.

    In the time I’d spent talking with Will, Ryu hadn’t just been twiddling his four thumbs, but had been using focus energy and bulk up to prepare for the next battle. Once a pokemon was on the field, they were allowed to use any boosting moves they liked, so, unless there was some special case like the opposing pokemon being poisoned, trainers usually sent in replacements as fast as possible. Will, believing that the battle had already concluded, had erred badly in letting the machamp build up its strength while he was arguing about the rules. In addition to his self-buffing moves, Ryu had grabbed hold of a chair in each hand, and stood facing sideways relative to me in the middle of my half of the arena. If Will released a pokemon at the midline, Ryu would charge into melee range, but if Will’s fighter was sent out further back, Ryu would move further back as well. At far range, psychic attacks would fizzle out, while hurled chairs would still have most of their initial velocity after being launched by a bulked-up machamp.

    Will waited the remainder of the fifteen seconds, assuming that Ryu would’ve finished buffing himself by then and that each extra second would be a second the machamp wasted energy maintaining his boosts. The psychic type trainer faked a long range throw, then threw Bartholomew the exeggutor’s pokeball with some spin on it, landing it behind one of the tables on the middle-left of his side of the field. As the palm-tree pokemon materialized, Ryu sprinted to a table at the back of my side of the field, then turned around. An inbuilt telekinetic mechanism in Bartholomew’s pokeball caused it to rewind its movements and return to Will’s hand, payload delivered.

    “Round two, start!” called the referee as the energy barriers went up again.

    “Fling!”

    Ryu launched his four chairs one after another at the exeggutor, which, applying telekinesis, hastily flipped the table in front of him up to intercept the projectiles. The first chair shattered the table and itself, sending a shower of splinters into the grass-type’s bark-like skin. As the next three hit, the exeggutor bent over backwards with each blow until his legs were at almost a ninety degree angle, as if he was preparing to walk under a limbo bar. Looking down, I noticed roots extending from the creature’s feet and drilling through the carpet into the floor, keeping him from falling over.

    Although I doubted any individual head had even one third the psychic capability of, say, an alakazam, exeggutors were masters of multitasking. Rather than having to hear commands, the exeggutor could dedicate one of his heads to reading Will’s mind and relaying the orders to the other two to execute. Bartholomew swung his body around in a hypnotic, gyrating movement, emitting a strange babbling chant from his left head, while the right head focused on releasing a cloud of purple dust into the surrounding air to deter Ryu from entering melee. Hypnosis and poison powder, I guessed.

    “Blind, deaf, foresight, fling!” I called. Machamp were good at multitasking as well. Jamming a finger in each ear to block out the auditory part of the hypnosis, Ryu averted his gaze down towards the table in front of him, and picked up two more chairs with his spare hands. Foresight was a move that allowed pokemon to sense ki energy, the same type of energy manipulated by fighting type moves, and could be used even with closed eyes. By studying the flow of ki through a pokemon’s body, a skilled foresight user could not only detect the location of their enemies, but also predict where they would move next.

    Closing his eyes as he turned back towards his foe, Ryu flung two more chairs at the exeggutor, both charged with dark-type energy from fling. Once again, Bartholomew intercepted the first one with a telekinetically controlled table, and bent back with the blow as the next hit. The palm tree pokemon ceased his chanting and gyrating. Despite the multitude of wooden fragments embedded in him, the psychic-type showed no signs of pain or weakness, but his hypnosis attempt had clearly been thwarted.

    Noticing that the scattered silverware surrounding the exeggutor was starting to vibrate, I jumped into the air, waving my arms. Detecting the change in the position of my ki, my machamp took this as a signal to unplug his ears and open his eyes. Rather than face his opponent, Ryu turned his head to glance back at me. The mistake should have led to a cascade of knives embedding themselves in the machamp’s chest, but Will’s exeggutor seemed to be having some difficulty getting a good telekinetic grip on the cutlery. Perhaps all the dark type energy pumped into him with the fling attacks was taking its toll.

    “Table, shield!” I cried, prompting my machamp to look back at the arena and see the rather alarming number of knives and forks that were floating into the air.

    Ryu grabbed the edge of the table next to him with a lower hand and effortlessly flipped it up in front of him, leaving the fingers of his hand vulnerable like an idiot. Before I could tell him to hold the table by its legs instead, the floating silverware accelerated towards him.

    Thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk! The pointy ends of the silverware slammed into the table, but, judging from the lack of any grunts or moans coming from Ryu, none of it had hit his fingers. Dumb luck, or the result of my curse? It was a question I’d asked myself a thousand times in the past year.

    Shrugging off that thought, I considered the current battle situation. This round was pretty much in the bag for me and Ryu. If Will’s exeggutor had any better long range options than hypnosis or telekinetically flung projectiles, he would’ve already used them. Having rooted himself to the floor, he’d be unable to move to a more favorable range, so Ryu could simply keep his distance and continue flinging furniture until the palm tree toppled. The only way to lose this match now would be to order something stupid like moving to close range and using fighting attacks.

    “Dark shield, melee!” I ordered. Ryu used fling to charge the table he was holding with dark energy, but rather than throw it away, continued to hold it in front of him. Using one hand to pinch his nose shut to prevent inhalation of poison powder, Ryu sprinted towards his foe. I could see each of the three heads of the exeggutor concentrate as they prepared to release psychic attacks at the incoming fighting-type.

    “Jump!”

    Ryu leaped into the air just as a trio of psychic blasts slammed into him, causing his legs to spasm and flail in midair. The attacks must have been tuned specifically to disrupt motor control of his legs, and would’ve led to an awkward faceplant if he had tried to jump just a fraction of a second later. Momentum carried him onward towards his target, and Ryu slammed into the exeggutor table first. The angle and the force of the collision were enough to rip the Bartholomew’s roots out of the floor and knock him to the ground as the table snapped in half. A half second later, Ryu fell down on top of him, legs still flailing.

    “CONFUSION!” Will yelled, speaking for the first time since the round began.

    “PUNCH HIM!” I yelled back.

    Recovering first, Ryu launched a series of rapid fire punches, using one arm to focus on each head of the exeggutor. The blows came with such speed and strength that there was no chance for any of the heads to regain their senses between strikes.

    “I withdraw Bartholomew,” Will said. A beam of red light shot from the pokeball in his hand and sucked the exeggutor inside. Ryu fell to the floor as the pokemon disappeared from underneath him. Groaning, the machamp tried to stand up, only to fall over again as his legs refused to move in the proper directions.

    “Can your pokemon still battle?” the referee asked me.

    No, I thought. Ryu probably wouldn’t be able to control his legs normally for at least the next five to ten minutes. In addition, he was probably exhausted, partly from maintaining focus energy and bulk up for as long as he had, and partly from using all those flings. Fling was not an energy-efficient move for a machamp, the two strikes against it being that it was a tm move, which tended to be more draining than naturally learned moves, and that it was a dark type move being used by a pure fighting type pokemon. That stunt with the ‘dark shield’ alone would have been enough to wear Ryu out, given how large the table was and how ill-suited the move was to being used like that. It was no wonder it had apparently failed to do anything to protect him.

    “Sure can. Ariados mode, activate!” I called out. Ryu rolled onto his stomach, then lifted himself up off the ground with three hands and one elbow, still pinching his nose shut. Moving like a four-legged spider, or a normally-legged ariados, he crawled back over the midline of the arena, then released the hold on his nose to gasp for breath. Temporarily balancing on three hands, he gave a thumbs up towards the referee.

    “…I see. Round two goes to the challenger,” the referee declared.

    “That was really dumb, Will. Sending out a pokemon with no arms to fight one with four arms?”

    “Quite the contrary! I was sending out a pokemon with three brains to fight a foe that had only one.”

    “And yet, you lost.”

    “The wise trainer fights to win the match, not the round. Go, Wells.” Will’s second xatu fluttered out onto the arena, perching on top of the table in the far right corner.

    “Round three, start!”

    “Don’t bother with fling, just throw stuff normally,” I said. Ryu scuttled to the side of the arena to grab another chair. After rolling to his side, he hurtled the item of furniture at the xatu, which had gained a fair amount of altitude by this time. By some combination of precognition and telekinesis to subtly redirect the path of the projectile, the psychic bird easily dodged the attack. Ryu reached for another chair, but the xatu swooped down and shoved the chair outside the bounds of the arena with a telekinetic push.

    “Shotgun!” I yelled. Having worked with me long enough to understand what I meant, Ryu grabbed the nearest table and began demolishing it with a series of strikes. Meanwhile, Wells the xatu was flying around, using telekinesis to push more and more furniture out of the arena.

    Having pummeled the table into small pieces, my machamp lay in the middle of the rubble on his back, and scooped up debris with each hand. It was difficult to use telekinesis on multiple objects at a time, and even precognition wouldn’t help if an attack simply covered a large enough area to be unavoidable. All at once, Ryu flung the pieces of table in each hand towards his foe.

    The xatu disappeared, and reappeared on the other side of the wall of debris. Teleport. Right. They could do that. Despite the carpeting, I felt a very slight tremor in the ground as Ryu slammed all four fists into the floor in frustration. Will’s xatu continued to fly about and remove potential projectiles from the arena as Ryu carefully gathered up the remainder of the debris around him. Why wasn’t the xatu attacking? Did Will just want to humiliate me?

    Once more, my machamp hurled a wave of splinters and debris, but this time staggered the throws with each arm rather than going all at once. It didn’t matter. Wells gracefully evaded every piece of debris. Ryu looked around for something else to throw, but there were no projectiles of any reasonable size remaining within the arena.

    “You should give up before your machamp gets hurt, Johann. There’s nothing left to-”

    Ryu slammed a fist into the floor, hoping to generate some more rubble, but whatever was beneath the carpet refused to yield. A psychic barrier, perhaps? Will’s exeggutor must have had a way to slip roots past it somehow.

    “-to throw. I’ve won,” Will finished.

    “Move to where the exeggutor was, and brick break the floor,” I told Ryu.

    “Very well. I’ll make this as gentle as possible. Your pokemon shouldn’t have to pay for your own stubbornness.”

    “Cancel that, go to the center!” I called, and Ryu started clambering towards the middle of the arena. Any ‘gentle’ method of winning the fight would probably involve a ring-out, I figured. Suddenly, the machamp stopped, and looked around the arena with a panicked expression. His hands bent into cups and his arms started to slap into the ground, alternating left and right, as though attempting to swim through the floor like water. I looked up. Will’s xatu was flying in a broad circle overhead, staring at Ryu intently. Night shade.

    “You’re hallucinating, Ryu! Snap out of it!” I yelled. Ryu ignored me, slowly moving towards the boundary of the arena, each back-stroke of his arms pushing him forwards.

    “I’m afraid your pokemon can’t hear you. He believes he’s in outer space, you see,” Will said. So Ryu knew enough to understand that sound couldn’t travel in space, yet still thought it could be traversed with a good front crawl?

    I hollered at my machamp several more times, to no effect. Only a hand’s-breadth now separated him from the edge of the arena, defeat by ring-out, and the loss of the match. This was it. A member of the Elite Four had finally managed to do his job and take down a single type disadvantaged pokemon.

    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!” A bloodcurdling shriek pierced the air, and it took me a moment to realize I was the one screaming, my head tilted up at the xatu. Startled, the bird’s concentration broke for just a moment, but it was enough. Ryu blinked in confusion, then frantically scrambled back from the edge of the arena.

    “Yellow class violation for the challenger: Harassing the opponent’s pokemon,” called the referee.

    “Encore!” I ordered, ignoring him. There were more important things to worry about than a possible battling license suspension right now.

    Ryu clapped his hands in applause, and the xatu resumed concentration on the night shade. This time, my machamp closed his eyes and clenched his fists, trying to ignore the terrifying mirage clouding his senses. Given how good Ryu was with encore, it was likely to be the exact same illusion as before, which would make it much less effective. Still, it wouldn’t last forever. All I’d done was postpone my defeat. At this point, there was truly nothing I could do to-

    “Get ready to use your final attack, on my signal,” I heard myself say. Ryu nodded in affirmation, having resisted the illusion enough to not be deluded to the point of deafness. My right hand fished my switchblade out of my pocket and flicked it open behind my back, against the protest of every cell in my brain. Focused on the battlers in the arena, neither Will, the referee, my other pokemon, or the referee’s porygon2 noticed my arm draw back the knife. Only Will’s xatu showed any signs of alarm, but the bird was helplessly trapped in an encore.

    “NOW!” I yelled, and stabbed myself between the ribs with all my might. In that flash of pain, I realized the purpose of my actions. After that earlier scream, the xatu’s precognition would now be alert to the actions I took as well my pokemon’s, to prevent further surprise. That meant if I did something that registered as significant enough to the psychic bird, his precognitive sense would prioritize showing what I was doing over what my machamp was doing at the same moment, creating a blind spot.

    Ryu ripped off the power-save belt every human-trained machamp wore and hurled it at his foe. The belt struck dead-on, knocking the xatu right out of the arena.

    “Will’s final pokemon has been defeated by ring-out! The challenger has won the match!” called the ref.

    “That cannot possibly have been a legal move-” Will started.

    I was torn between whether I should call emergency services or tell Will that, given that a machamp would still feel the effects of a power-save belt for several minutes after it was removed, it was legal for a machamp to keep fighting for up to ten seconds after their belt was damaged or destroyed, to provide a chance of getting revenge on any pokemon that had just wrecked it, the intentional targeting of the belt not being illegal itself due to difficulty telling it apart from accidental damage, especially from electric attacks. Instead, I chose to fall over and start bleeding to death.

    A growing darkness consumed my vision, and I slipped into a merciful unconsciousness.
    Last edited by The Walrein; 12th September 2017 at 12:23 AM.

  5. #5
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    Well then.

    Even after reading what he was playing at, I still only have something of an idea of what just happened. xD Or rather why it happened. So he pulled his Ditto early in a way that would deliberately make it look like an illegal move, even though it just barely skirted the rules enough to be allowed. The motivation behind that, it seems, was to further drop Will’s guard. After all, the first Xatu wouldn’t have come so close if it wasn’t expecting to have to attack a Ditto immediately, and certainly wasn’t prepared for a dark-type attack out of the blue. And then the rules debate gave him the chance to use set up moves, which is almost certainly the only reason Ryu made it through the other two rounds.

    The big question is why. Why jump through all those convoluted hoops to make it possible to win the match with only a single type-disadvantaged Pokémon? Johann gives a small hint as to why--he mentions a curse...

    In any case mysteries aside, that was a fantastic battle. Loved the move variety and the creative interpretations of moves and how extensively the environment was used. And good lord that ending o__o This curse must be pretty serious if he was willing to go so far as to stab himself to focus the Xatu’s future sight onto him.

    ~Chibi~



    "Everyone wishes they could catch a Legendary, deep down, whether they’ll admit it or not.
    If you knew you could use one to change the world, something you’d been dreaming about for years, are you telling me you wouldn’t take that chance?"

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    September 02 Update: CHAPTER 27: “The Revolt” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 28 progress: 10/13 pages

    «On reviewing hiatus for the rest of the year. See you all in 2018!»

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