9th March 2013, 8:11 PM
The Barefoot, Fighting Genius!
This story is still being written, and is posted on another forum, but hopefully, this forum will catch up eventually. The Prologue and the first few chapters were written in 2011, so the quality of the writing should go up as the story progresses. This story follows Maylene.
‘Um… Now, a speech from the guest of honor,’ A young female spoke into a microphone to a room filled with the top trainers of Sinnoh. She had long blonde hair, and was dressed in a complete black outfit. And although she tried to, she couldn’t hide the nervousness in her voice. ‘Um… Let us clap for him.’
Her face became burning red as she heard her latest statement through the speakers, and a few chuckles were released. But she soon returned to her seat, and gave the stand to a large muscular man wearing only a pair of blue pants, orange shoes, and what seemed like a ripped mask.
‘Thank you,’ He said with a hint of accent in his voice. ‘But I think the real guest of honor is you, Cynthia! You’ve been the Champion for less than a month and you’re still handling things amazingly! You’re even younger than me, and stronger!’
Cynthia blushed again when everyone clapped for her. ‘But to all of Sinnoh,’ The man spoke once more. ‘No human or Pokémon can survive without water, yet water can sometimes cause great suffering,’ Everybody in the room became confused, and looked at each other to see if anyone had understood what the man was trying to say. ‘This is where it gets exciting!’
Everybody leaned forward, to hear what the man had to say, even though they still could not comprehend his random thoughts. ‘Thank you for accepting me in your ranks!’ He shouted into the microphone, causing everyone to jump out of shock in their seats. ‘I am flattered that you would consider me good enough to become a Sinnoh Gym Leader! Even though I’m from another region, I have seen Sinnoh as where my home really is! I, Crasher Wake, The Torrential Masked Master! I will become a great Gym Leader worthy of the Sinnoh region!’
The room was silent, and Crasher Wake showed disappointment; he had expected the crowd to cheer as in all of his wrestling matches. ‘Well… Um…’ Cynthia stuttered as she took the microphone back. ‘It’s time to present the guest with his gift…’ She reached into the empty area underneath the microphone stand while Crasher Wake tried to sneak a look.
After some seconds of rummaging, elbowing Crasher Wake’s knee, bumping her head against the wood of the stand, and a very childish scream, Cynthia produced a Pokémon egg. It was a normal-looking Pokémon egg, the same as all the others obtained from the Day Care. She handed it to Crasher Wake and stuttered her way out of the scene and back into her chair.
Everyone congratulated Crasher Wake and shook his hand. The trainers formed a line in no specific order, and none of them took more than thirty seconds talking to the new Gym Leader. But he wasn’t prepared for a punch to be delivered to him by a young girl.
The four-year-old girl had short pink hair and glowing eyes of the same color. She gave a very arrogant grin and slowly prepared to punch again. ‘Excuse my daughter,’ An average-looking man said as he held his daughter from delivering another punch. ‘This is Maylene; she’s quite the troublemaker. I’m the Veilstone Gym Leader. Nice too meet you.’ He offered his free hand to shake, and Crasher Wake accepted it.
‘I will beat you! And be Gym Leader!’ The little Maylene said and punched again with her free hand. ‘I am strongest than you!’
‘I’m sure you are!’ Crasher Wake laughed and brought his whole body in level with Maylene’s. His eyes met her eyes, and the determination in them almost disturbed Crasher Wake’s balance. ‘I can tell that you’ll be the strongest. Strongest than all of us!’ He reached for his egg and handed it to Maylene. ‘This is yours. An early gift from me to you for becoming a Gym Leader in the future.’
Last edited by Kyuu; 10th April 2013 at 9:18 PM.
10th March 2013, 7:14 AM
§1: A Father Figure
It was another rainy day in Route 212. The water smashed against the mud and caused everything in close proximity to be covered in it; Riolu and Floatzel were no exception.
The orange Pokémon with the two tails, an inflation device around his body, and fins attached to his hands covered his body with a great mass of water and jumped seemingly an impossible distance for such a Pokémon. His tails began spinning as he descended, causing the water covering him to spin as well, and he launched himself at an unmatched speed before he hit the ground. His tails were spinning more rapidly with every second and increasing his speed, and the water around him left a straight trail behind him that collided with the ground as he went forward.
The Floatzel smashed against a small blue and black Pokémon. The Riolu had red eyes, long arms compared to his size, swift black feet and a singly blue tail. The small Pokémon tried to hold Floatzel from connecting with his body, but his attempts failed. As soon as Floatzel’s Aqua Jet connected, the water exploded forwards and covered Riolu. Floatzel’s head pushed Riolu back a few paces and eventually flew him away towards his trainer, who jumped forward to catch her Pokémon.
A slightly older Maylene with a band-aid on her nose held her Pokémon in her arms and rubbed his bruised belly. ‘We didn’t lose,’ she said after Riolu looked at her with obvious concern in his eyes. ‘There’s no win or loss in training.’ Riolu smiled and she smiled back. Her head rose up to see her opponent.
Floatzel was looking with a different kind of concern in his eyes when his trainer, Crasher Wake, approached him and petted him. ‘We didn’t go too hard on you guys, did we?’ He said. Crasher Wake had lived enough time in Sinnoh for his accent to become faint, but it was still clear at some points.
‘We’re as strong as before!’ Maylene said excitedly. ‘We will even become strongest than this!’
Crasher Wake laughed and returned Floatzel to his Poké Ball, while Maylene carried Riolu in her arms. She followed her mentor through the rain as he talked. ‘You’re old enough now to know the difference between Strongest and Stronger!’ He laughed. ‘About time to say it the correct way, eh?’
‘Strongest is my catch phrase!’ Maylene shouted over the rain, even though it wasn’t necessary.
‘It’s a word, not a phrase,’ he laughed again, only harder this time, which also seemed unnecessary. ‘You’re a real fighter!’
Maylene grinned and let out an excited ‘Yeah!’ that Riolu helped her with as they both raised their right fists. By then, the group had reached Pastoria City, a city full of trees and fresh grass due to the close proximity it had with the rain. Crasher Wake opened the door of his Gym for Maylene and they walked to his room at the far end of the Gym. Crasher Wake had to press a few buttons to reach the Gym Leader spot, and a few secret buttons to open a door in the wall behind him that led to his room.
Maylene sat on one chair and let go of Riolu, who sat down on the floor quietly awaiting food. Crasher Wake noticed him and grabbed a small bag of berries; he handed it to Riolu. ‘Don’t eat too fast,’ he laughed again. ‘And don’t finish it. Keep some for your trip back to Veilstone City.’
He then grabbed his own chair and dragged it to sit in front of Maylene, who was rubbing mud off of her bare feet. ‘How are your parents?’
Maylene kept rubbing at her feet as she answered. ‘They’re fighting again,’ she sighed. ‘I don’t know why. They always go to their room and fight and think I can’t hear them. But I do and I sometimes hear ‘Money’ and they get too loud and I go outside and train and…’ She paused to catch her breath before continuing again. ‘And then I go outside and train and then come here when and train with you. Dad knows I come here to you sometimes, but mom always worry about me being alone outside. Do you have food?’
Crasher Wake got up and grabbed a microwaveable berry pie from his fridge. He stuck it in the microwave after removing the wrapping and setting it on a plate. ‘Just remember that you can always come here whenever you want to,’ he said. ‘You know that, right?’
‘I got mud on the floor,’ Maylene said even though the mud was visible ever since they had entered the Gym and she was just stating the obvious. ‘Do you clean?’
‘I just clean this room with Floatzel, but the rest of the Gym I just flood to clean!’ He laughed again and produced a fresh-looking pie from the microwave. The smell of berries overwhelmed the room and Riolu almost abandoned his food for this new meal. The purple pie appeared to shine as Crasher Wake carried it underneath the white lights of the room. He handed it to Maylene who almost jumped into it. ‘Your hands are muddy!’
She let out a sigh of frustration and got up to wash them. Crasher Wake dragged a table and set it between their chairs, put the pie on top of it, produced some utensils from a nearby drawer, and pushed it all to Maylene as she returned to her seat.
The utensils proved useless as Maylene dug into the pie with her hands and shoved large quantities into her mouth. Crasher Wake laughed while Riolu looked on in regret; Maylene destroyed a perfect pie! The Pokémon returned to his own food before the back of his head received what seemed like a ball of pie that pushed his forward and onto the floor. Maylene laughed as Riolu got up and threw some berries back, and soon enough the pair had ended up with one quarter of the pie on the floor, half the berries smashed against the walls, and the remaining divided between their stomachs.
Crasher Wake was worried at first when he saw Maylene eating berries as they were usually only eaten by humans, but throughout his time with her, he learned that she was no ordinary girl. There was no female in all of Sinnoh that was even slightly similar to her, not in the entire world either.
‘Are you ready to go back home?’ Crasher Wake said. ‘I want to visit Veilstone again, so I’ll come with you.’
‘We can train on our way back!’ Maylene jumped up in excitement and Riolu copied. ‘Come on! Let’s go! Run run run run run!’
Maylene punched the door open and jumped head first in to the waters of the Gym while Riolu jumped from one platform to the other. She eventually reemerged from the water and walked out of the door. She shook her entire body and splashed water all over Riolu. Crasher Wake appeared through the door behind them and grabbed them both. He put Maylene on his left shoulder while Riolu sat on his right. ‘We’re not training! We’re running! Are you ready?!’ He shouted.
‘Yes!’ Maylene shouted in happiness as Crasher Wake ran forward through the city aiming to reach Veilstone City quicker than ever. The wind caused Maylene’s pink hair to fly behind her in the same manner as Riolu’s ears.
For a few moments, Maylene forgot about her worries. She forgot about her parents, about becoming the strongest, about taking her father’s position as a Gym Leader, about one day defeating Crasher Wake, and every other bit of information that ever crossed her mind throughout her life. Her entire concentration was on the wind. At that moment, she became carefree again, just like the time where she received Riolu as an egg from Crasher Wake.
She didn’t know what the future held for her nor cared. It was all about her having fun with her life. She wrapped her arms around Crasher Wake’s neck as he began to pick up more speed. The receptionist at the Hotel Grand Lake shouted at them as they ran past; Crasher Wake had apparently knocked a few items and people down, which made Maylene give out her childish laughter. They ran through Route 214 and stopped as soon as they reached Veilstone City.
Crasher Wake panted heavily as he put the pair down. ‘I shouldn’t be this tired!’ He said and stood up straight. ‘I am strong!’
‘But I am Strongest!’ Maylene grinned and punched Crasher Wake, and he acted as if she threw him back a few paces. ‘Let’s go! Mom has dinner for sure!’ She grinned again and ran towards the Gym. Riolu ran after her and Crasher Wake followed. She burst through the door of the Gym, jumped over a few obstacles, evaded a few punches, and finally reached the Gym Leader spot, where she began to hit a few secret buttons.
‘Why did they try to punch you?’ Crasher Wake asked and looked at the other Trainers in the Gym. ‘Do you want me to punish them?’
‘I told them to do that!’ Maylene laughed. ‘I told them to help me become the Strongest! They said yes, and now I have to not get hit by them!’
‘What if one of them actually hits you?’
‘Then I hit back!’ Maylene grinned and punched Crasher Wake, something she got used to doing. ‘Just like you let me punch you to train! I let them punch me to train!’
‘Maylene, is that you?’ A delicate female voice came from the other side of the door and it slowly opened up to reveal her mother. ‘Crasher Wake, what a nice surprise. Please, do come in.’ She held the door open for the pair, and picked Riolu up as if he was am infant.
‘What’s for dinner, mom?’
‘Honey, I can smell the berry pie. You also have stains; so don’t deny it, you already ate’
Maylene and Crasher Wake exchanged laughs. ‘I’ll go catch up with your father!’ He said and walked away to her parents’ room, while Maylene followed her mother to the kitchen, where she was cooking, as far as Maylene was concerned, food.
‘How was your training today, Maylene?’ She said as she stirred something that was cooking on the oven.
‘Very good,’ Maylene smiled. ‘I’m sure I’ll become the next Gym Leader! You will give me food, right?’
‘I’m sure you will,’ she said. ‘You’re a very strong young lady, you can become the next Gym Leader. But honey, why don’t you aim higher? I’m sure you’re strong enough to become the Champion. Cynthia is young, and she managed to do it. You can do it as well. You can defeat her.’
‘Cynthia is a cool person,’ Maylene responded. ‘I liked watching her battle. I really like her hair.’ Maylene’s mother almost burs into laughter at the last statement, as Maylene was never the type of girl who took an interest in these issues, and hearing it just seemed odd. ‘I can defeat her,’ Maylene continued. ‘But I don’t want to! I want to make daddy proud by taking his position!’
Maylene held her fists up and crossed her arms to shape an X in front of her chest. ‘I will also become an Aura Master!’ She shouted and stretched her arms out, as if she was firing some sort of an aura attack. She then stood normally again and smiled at her mother. ‘You are giving me food, right?’
‘Sure thing, honey,’ her mother laughed and walked towards her. ‘I will feed you until you become the Strongest and even after you become all grown up.’ She flicked at Maylene’s forehead and smiled. ‘Because even when you grow up and become the Strongest, you will still be my child.’
10th March 2013, 8:42 PM
§2: Childhood Friends
Crasher Wake left back to Pastoria the next day after spending the night telling stories of his wresting matches to Maylene. It took her some time, but she eventually fell asleep. Her mother insisted on Crasher Wake spending the night in the guest room, as it was too dark outside, which seemed absurd considering that Crasher Wake could take care of himself.
‘Good morning, sleepy girl.’
‘I dreamed that I kicked Crasher Wake all across Sinnoh,’ Maylene said while rubbing her eyes. Her mother let out a fragile giggle and shifted her attention back to making breakfast. ‘I also became very strong and made a new city called MayleneWorld. I became Gym Leader and very strong. Everyone loved me because I was strong.’
‘That’s sweet,’ her mother said. ‘Come here and have breakfast.’ Maylene walked up to a small chair and pulled it to the kitchen, where her mother had made something edible. She began munching away at it while her mother talked. ‘I also got a call from dad’s friend in Snowpoint, Candice is going to come to Veilstone. Isn’t that exciting? You haven’t seen her in a long time!’
‘Yeah!’ Maylene exclaimed. ‘But what do I do? She likes clothes and hair and makeup and looks and beauty and I don’t.’
‘But you’re still friends.’
That was partially true. Maylene and Candice weren’t close friends at all; everything that happened between was awkward and their conversations were shallow. Maylene didn’t like hanging out with Candice, but she has proved to be a good battler who was always willing to learn from Maylene, as well as teach her some skills.
‘I guess I can go play with her,’ Maylene said as she took the last bite of what she finally recognized as a sandwich, though the ingredients were still unknown. ‘When will she be here?’
‘In a few hours,’ her mother answered. ‘But I don’t want you to just spend your time battling; get to know each other.’
‘I will, mom,’ Maylene said, got up and ran to hug her mother. ‘Thanks for the food. I will go outside now!’
Maylene ran off before her mother could finish her generic ‘Be careful!’ sentences. She flung the door wide open and ran through the Gym. She jumped over obstacles, avoided a few kicks and punches, and got out of the Gym.
It was as sunny as ever. Maylene looked at her hometown and couldn’t help but feel proud. The future for Sinnoh was looking bright. Many greeted her as she walked around the town. After years of walking barefoot, she learned to ignore the pain, and slowly her body became accustomed to it.
She walked towards the meteorites that rested on the eastern side of the city. The four shiny rocks glittered under the sunlight, the gray reflecting on the small craters surrounding them, and the wind moving some of their dust around. Maylene was mesmerized by the sight, and reconsidered the differences between her and Candice; she obviously cared for beautiful things.
‘Maylene,’ a male voice called out to her, but the meteorites captivated her too much for her to notice it. ‘Maylene!’ He said again and she immediately recognized the voice.
‘Daddy!’ she jumped up and turned to see her father standing with a Poké Ball in his hand. ‘Good morning!’ She ran up to her father, and in a swift movement jumped up to kick him. Her foot connected with his chest, and the pair fell to the ground.
‘I just wanted to bring Riolu to you,’ he laughed. ‘You should really stop kicking me whenever you see me. I was young when I told you to start, but I’m not anymore.’
‘You’re still young,’ Maylene said. ‘Your hair is not white yet.’
‘Here’s Riolu,’ he rolled the Poké Ball over to Maylene and got up to dust himself off. ‘Have fun with Candice, and be careful.’
‘Sure thing daddy.’ Maylene wanted to talk more, but her father had already turned his body away from her and walked off. She sighed and looked down at the Poké Ball that was sitting in front of her.
She grabbed it and got up, dusted herself off in the same manner as her father, and sent out her Riolu. The Pokémon formed and yawned for what seemed like aged. ‘Are you ready, Riolu?’ Maylene asked excitedly and Riolu looked at her with a confused look. ‘Candice is coming!’
Riolu smiled and let out a cry of excitement as well. Maylene began running and he ran behind her. The pair seemed to just want to run around the city in circles, which was another form of training they would do. He feet made light sounds against the ground beneath her, her hair started flying farther behind her as she increased her speed, and a smile spread across her face as she saw Riolu beating her.
‘You’re getting faster!’ she shouted. ‘But I am getting faster too!’ She increased the speed in which he legs moved, and took even longer steps. She looked as if she was jumping from one point to the other. Her feet made louder sounds whenever she hit the gravel, her body started tiring, but she managed to run past Riolu.
The Pokémon copied her actions, and slowly started catching up to her again. Maylene looked back at the Pokémon with another wide smile, unaware of the Department Store in front her. She began laughing and closed her eyes, which made Riolu’s frantic arm waving for her to look forward useless. She opened her eyes after a few seconds to see that her surroundings has changed. The horizon lost the trees and adapted walls, the ground felt softer, and a faint sound of music surrounded her. She realized that she had gone through the automatic doors, which meant that she was heading for the counter.
But he realization came too late. Before Maylene could even think of slowing down, her legs hit a hard surface and her body flipped upside down. She could see the other end of the counter attached to the roof and everything else hanging upside down. Her back smashed against the opposite side of the counter, and she let out a scream of pain before falling to the ground.
A few people ran up to her and gasped as they realized that she was Maylene, the Gym Leader’s daughter. Riolu ran up to her and pulled her head, which seemed odd at first, but her body slowly moved after the Riolu. Her legs fell to the ground, her body straightened, and after Riolu jumped onto the side Maylene crashed into, her body became in a sitting position.
A few seconds later, she opened her eyes to hear gasps of relief. ‘I’m not that hurt,’ she said. ‘Just a scratch, it’ll go away.’ More gasps of relief, followed by a few people leaving the scene. ‘Sorry about that,’ she chuckled nervously. ‘Didn’t want to make problems. Riolu, let’s continue training!’
She jumped up and over the counter. Riolu followed her through the door and back outside. ‘How long have we been running for?’ She asked, even though she knew that Riolu wasn’t able to answer. The light of the day changed since she last remembered it; she never gave attention to her surroundings while running. ‘Candice should be here soon, I think.’ Riolu nodded and the pair walked back to the Gym, where, as expected, Candice was waiting.
She was as tall as Maylene. Candice had black hair tied into two braids the extended out, which matched her brown eyes. She wore a white shirt and a short orange skirt that was the same colour as her shoes. She had a blue sweater tied around her waist and a blue bowtie that matched her striped socks.
Beside her was a round black Pokémon covered in a yellow and orange triangular cape. She had small blue eyes and round feet and hands. The Snorunt noticed Maylene and pulled at Candice’s socks slightly, which cause her to turn her head a little and shift her attention from Maylene’s mother to Maylene.
‘Maylene!’ the smile on her face broadened. ‘I just got here! How are you?’
Maylene’s mother walked out of the scene after finishing her talk with Candice and went to watch a show about berries. Candice walked up to Maylene and shook a little, confused as to whether or not to hug her.
‘I’m good,’ Maylene responded. ‘How are you?’
‘Just feeling a little hot,’ she laughed. ‘You don’t have the snow that we have in Snowpoint.’
‘Yeah, we don’t,’ Maylene laughed as well. ‘What made you come here?’
‘I was going to Hearthome to see a Pokémon Super Contest! Why don’t you come with me?’
‘I’m fine with you going,’ her mother added. ‘I talked with Candice about it before you came here. You can go if you want, just be careful while on the road.’
Candice reached out and grabbed Maylene’s hand. ‘We will have fun!’ she said and dragged Maylene behind her. ‘Let’s go, Snorunt!’
Snorunt followed them, and Riolu was the last to leave the house. Candice let go of Maylene’s hand, and the pair began running through Veilstone, towards Hearthome. She couldn’t understand why she was going with Candice. Maylene has never been interested in these types of contests; she preferred battling. But having no friend but a foreign wrestler who is old enough to be her dad didn’t seem enough.
Candice was always warm and friendly to Maylene, who she didn’t object to that. Even though it was awkward and weird, she still appreciated their shallow friendships, and hoped that the contest would strengthen it.
Before realising it, she was already in Hearthome City. ‘We really ran fast,’ she said. ‘Is that even possible?’
She turned around to see that Candice wasn’t there, but Riolu was. ‘Were we too fast for them?’ Maylene laughed. ‘Let’s go back to join them again.’ Riolu nodded and turned around, ready to run back towards wherever they left Candice and Snorunt.
A beam of ice suddenly drew itself from the horizon and towards Maylene’s feet. A small dot began approaching them, and it was soon evident that it was Candice and Snorunt. The Pokémon skidded across the ice, with Candice right behind him. She looked as happy as Maylene was when Crasher Wake ran with her on his shoulder. Her hair blew back the way she came, and her smile was wide.
Maylene remembered the time when she was careless for a few moments in time, and relived it. She smiled and jumped onto the ice. The force made her skid across it towards the approaching Candice. Snorunt jumped off of the trail to avoid being crushed by the two girls.
‘I won’t get off!’ Candice shouted. ‘You should give up!’
‘I never give up!’ Maylene shouted back. ‘You’re the one who should get off of the ice.’
‘We’ll crash into each other!’
Candice bent her knees a little, which seemed to increase her speed. Maylene struggled to stay on the ice, but she didn’t want to fall off and allow Candice to win this. The girls approached each other. Candice flowing elegantly across the ice, one leg in front of her and the other bent awkwardly behind her.
‘If you don’t get off I might knock you over!’
The distance became shorter. Candice’s right foot was mere meters away from Maylene’s. Panic overtook the latter, and before she knew it, she was on the grass again. Candice passed her, laughing childishly as she waved for Snorunt to jump back onto the ice.
It was at that moment that Maylene realised something; she can’t be the Strongest without learning from Candice.
Their friendship was just starting.
Last edited by Kyuu; 12th March 2013 at 2:33 AM.
11th March 2013, 2:53 PM
§3: Who’s That Chick?
Maylene has been to Hearthome City before, but she had forgotten how beautiful it is. She didn’t expect it to be this entertaining for someone who is more interested in battling, but the display of beauty and coordination in the contest excited her; it showed a whole new side of Pokémon to her.
She sat between Candice and some loud girl who booed Fantina, the Hearthome City Gym Leader, when she won with Loony the Drifblim. Candice walked out with the crowd and Maylene followed. She struggled to keep up with her, as it was very crowded, and no one seemed to notice a small girl amongst them as they bushed her around. Riolu clang on to Maylene’s right foot until they managed to get out, where Candice and Snorunt were waiting.
‘Did you like the contest?’ Candice started. ‘I loved it! It was so exciting. Did you see Fantina? I want to be like her one day! Strong and elegant!’
‘It was very good,’ Maylene said. ‘And fun. We should do this more often.’
Suddenly, an arm wrapped itself around Maylene’s neck. It was covered with a black sleeve and a green cloak; Maylene recognized it as the loud girl’s arm.
‘Some contest, right?!’ she shouted. ‘Though I didn’t like that Ghost Pokémon, even if it was Fantina’s.’
‘Who are you?’ Maylene said as soon as she broke out of her grasp.
‘I’m Gardenia,’ she said. ‘And I know that you’re Maylene; I saw you at the party a few years back. Wanted to meet you ever since. Punching a large body like that; you must be rebellious.’
Maylene had turned around and managed to attach a more accurate look to the name. Gardenia had short orange and black hair, and her clothing seemed to be a wild mixture of green, black and orange, with most of her midsection showing.
‘I’m Candice,’ Candice said. ‘A friend of Maylene’s. Nice to meet you.’
‘Where are you girls going?’ Gardenia asked. ‘If you have nothing important to do, we could have out little adventure together.’
Maylene glanced over at Candice who seemed to have surrendered the decision away. She thought it over for a few seconds. Her mother wouldn’t want her getting into any kinds of trouble, but she trusted Maylene, and knows that she can take care of herself. Crasher Wake on the other hand, would approve in a heartbeat.
‘Alright,’ Maylene said. ‘What kind of adventure?’
‘I’ll call it ‘The Quest to Find a Cute Boy’, and I know just the one. You guys just follow me.’
‘Where to?’ Candice asked, but Gardenia had already run off, and Maylene followed her. She sprinted after the pair, all the while questioning why they should trust this complete stranger.
Gardenia led them out of Hearthome City and into a cave that everyone in Sinnoh knew as Mt. Coronet. Maylene jumped over obstacles and looked as if she was a free running expert; why didn’t Crasher Wake train her here before?
‘Where are we going?’ Maylene shouted after the speeding Gardenia.
‘To Oreburgh City!’ Gardenia responded. ‘To the Gym Leader’s son!’
The group went through an exit, and ran across a long path, then down a slope, where Oreburgh City awaited them. Gardenia seemed to know her way around, while Maylene looked around in surprise; all the buildings, roads, people, they were all different from Veilstone, Hearthome, and Pastoria City.
‘What do you think of this city?’ Candice asked, breaking Maylene’s trance of awe. ‘I’ve passed it before, but never visited it fully. Now, it makes me happy to know that where we live has so many different cities.’
‘I like it,’ Maylene responded simply. ‘It’s different.’
The pair followed Gardenia to the Gym, where they met the famous Byron. He was a large man with scruffy purple hair and worn-out clothes. But his son, Roark, was who they came to meet. He had a different shade of his father’s hair, though it was obviously more taken care of. His eyes matched his hair, and his clothes seemed to be those of a worker. The final touch was a helmet with a flashlight.
Gardenia seemed to know them both before hand, and it didn’t take long for Roark to leave his father’s side and follow them outside. ‘This is Roark,’ Gardenia started the typical line. ‘These are Maylene and Candice, from somewhere and somewhere.’
‘Nice to meet you two,’ Roark said and tipped his helmet a little bit. ‘Are you friends of Gardenia?’
‘You could say that,’ Maylene laughed. ‘We’re recent friends.’
‘Let’s train!’ Gardenia exclaimed. ‘I know you want to become a Gym Leader, Maylene; I also heard that at the party. Roark wants to become a Gym Leader as well, so do I! What about you Candice?’
‘I haven’t given it much thought…’ Candice said. ‘I’m not very good at battling.’
‘Then you’ll train with us!’ Gardenia shouted.
One Year Later
‘Hello, Maylene!’ Crasher Wake kicked down Maylene’s door, much to everyone’s surprise. But Maylene didn’t care about the door; Crasher Wake was here!
He had left for some business in Johto a few months ago, and seeing her mentor for the first time in years brought more joy to Maylene then she could have imagined.
‘Huge man!’ she shouted and jumped towards him to hug him. As soon as her body collided with his, they were both sent tumbling back towards the wall, which suffered an obvious dent as Crasher Wake smashed against it. ‘I missed you, stupid person!’
‘I leave for a few months and Gardenia affects your speech this much?’ he laughed, and Maylene followed. By now, his accent has transformed completely and became undistinguishable from Maylene’s, and his trip to Johto wasn’t long enough to change it.
Maylene had also changed with time. She had grown a little taller, her speech began resembling Gardenia’s, who had become a close friend along with Candice and Roark, and her free spirit grew to become wilder than it was before.
‘What did you do in Johto?’ Maylene said. ‘Tell me all about it, person!’
‘The details don’t matter,’ Crasher Wake said. The pair had got off of the floor and sat of the bed. ‘I came back for a short time, I will go back to Johto in a few hours.’
‘You came just to visit me?’
‘That and something else,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘I have talked to a friend of mine. His name is Chuck, he’s a Gym Leader there and is currently training some boy named Brawly to become a Gym Leader as well. He accepted to train you.’
‘But I was happy training with you and my friends,’ Maylene’s tone dropped to one that resembled her former speech. ‘I didn’t even have much time to grow Strongest.’
‘You will meet them again,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘And you will make new friends as well. This will help you, Maylene. Your parents had already agreed on you going. Besides, I’ll be there as well.’
Maylene lowered her head and faced the sheets of her bed. She thought it over for a few seconds. Was she really willing to abandon her friends without a goodbye? What will Candice, her most trusted friend, thin of her? What about Gardenia, the one who taught her the tough attitude she built upon? What will she do when she realises that Maylene had left? And Roark, the cute boy she had a crush on. Would she have to forget him as well?
‘You can always come back at anytime you want,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘It’s just a short boat trip away. So, are you coming?’
Maylene sighed and looked up. Her eyes met Crasher Wake’s, her body filled with determination, and her hand reached for Riolu’s Poké Ball. She jumped onto the floor and ran out of the room.
‘I’ll race you there!’ she yelled back, even though she didn’t know which way to go. But it was a new adventure, and a new quest to make her the Strongest. Who knows, maybe this Brawly boy is cute enough to replace Roark.
12th March 2013, 3:29 PM
§4: Where She Belongs
Crasher Wake and Maylene arrived in Cianwood City by boat. At first, Maylene regarded the city as still being developed, but the discovery that it was how they set out to build it made her think of Johto as primitive people. If the city housed Chuck, one of the greatest Gym Leaders, then why isn’t it as developed as Sunyshore City? Which, even though she never visited, is near the sea as well and far more advanced than this city.
Maylene began to doubt that Chuck was great. He could be amazing to the Johto people, but if that was their standard of a great city, then he can’t possibly live up to the great trainer standard they had back in Sinnoh. Crasher Wake led her to the Gym, where a young boy, slightly older than Maylene greeted them.
His hair and eyes were blue. He wore an orange shirt, blue pants, and shows that were primarily black. ‘Welcome, Maylene,’ he addressed her. ‘I’m Brawly, and I’m training under Chuck at the moment. I’m very glad that you’ve accepted the offer to train with us.’
‘It’s nice to meet you,’ Maylene said, and a rush of Gardenia-like insults climbed up her vocal cords, but she managed to hold them back. ‘Are you from Cianwood City?’
‘No, I’m from Hoenn,’ Brawly said, much to Maylene’s surprise. ‘But I came here just to train in order to become a Gym Leader.’
Maylene knew that trainers from Hoenn were very strong, and if a trainer from there believed that Chuck is good enough to train him, then he must be strong. The fact that he, like her, wanted to become a Gym Leader made him appeal to her. Maylene found herself suddenly taking a liking to Brawly.
Beside him was a Pokémon that Maylene had never seen before. Brawly noticed her glancing at him occasionally, and decided to introduce him. ‘This is Makuhita,’ he said. ‘He’s my Pokémon. Chuck will help you catch one soon, so don’t worry.’
Maylene alternated her head between Brawly and Crasher Wake in confusion. ‘In Johto, trainers like to keep one of their Pokémon out of their Poké Ball all the time,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘You should send out Riolu.’
‘Why don’t you send out one of your Pokémon?’ she asked as she grabbed Riolu’s Poké Ball and sent him out. He studied the bulky yellow Pokémon and his surroundings. Everything was different. Unlike Maylene, he didn’t get to experience the transition from the cold weather in Sinnoh to the warm breeze of Johto slowly.
‘I already did,’ Crasher Wake laughed loudly. ‘They’re all in the sea waiting for me.’
‘You’re not staying here with me?’
‘I have some business to take care of,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘I will visit you often though. I’ll be in Johto as well, so just ask Chuck to contact me anytime you need me.’
Maylene said her goodbyes to Crasher Wake again. Her mentor was leaving again, but at least he wasn’t going to be away this time. Crasher Wake jumped into the water, and swam alongside his Pokémon away from Cianwood City, and towards whatever his business was.
Brawly led Maylene into the Gym, and to her surprise, it was larger than expected. Many were training with their Pokémon, but one person stood out, and she guessed that it was Chuck. The man, who was as large and bulky as Crasher Wake, was meditating underneath a waterfall, seemingly unaware of any other’s presence in the Gym.
‘He’s just meditating,’ Brawly said. ‘The only way to get his attention is to shut down the water. I’ll take the one on the right, you take the one on the left.’
Maylene didn’t understand what he meant by ‘the one on the left’, but when Brawly began climbing the ledges on their right, she understood. She looked up at the place where he instructed her to go, and managed to spot a large winch, it must be what he meant by ‘the one on the left’.
She began to climb towards it, but was stopped by a man who shouted at her, causing Riolu to jump in front of her. ‘Words are useless,’ he said, which caused Maylene’s protests to fade away before she produced them. ‘ Let your fists do the talking!’
Before Maylene could respond, the trainer sent out a small gray human-shaped Pokémon with a tail, which Maylene recognized as Machop. She might as well train while she’s here.
‘Riolu, use Force Palm!’ Maylene ordered.
‘Seismic Toss!’ the trainer responded.
The two small Pokémon ran towards each other, each one swinging back one arm. Machop proved faster, and managed to grab Riolu with his entire arm. He made a quick turn, and ran in circles with amazing speed, while Riolu stayed almost attached to Machop’s arm.
‘Come on, Riolu!’ Maylene encouraged her Pokémon, who nodded back in response. He struggled against the air current that occurred due to Machop’s increasingly fast running. He put his palm against Machop’s face and yelled out as he released a small beam of aura that sent Machop flying back. But he had been running for so long, and Riolu’s attacked caused him to fly back as well.
The two Pokémon smashed against a rock, but Machop seemed to be the least harmed from the collision of attacks. ‘Revenge!’ his trainer order, and Machop grinned.
‘Force Palm again, Riolu!’ Maylene shouted. ‘You can do it!’
The Pokémon nodded confidently and ran forward towards the Machop that just prepared his body for another collision. His palm glowed with a faint light that shaped to a circle, and he pressed it against Machop as soon as he reached the opposing Pokémon. The beam fired once again, but it only caused Machop to take a few steps back that he made up for by taking more steps forwards.
‘Riolu, get out of there!’
Machop grinned as Riolu looked back at his trainer. His right hand shaped into a fist, and he dug it deep into Riolu’s body. The blue Pokémon gasped at the fist that twisted against his belly. Machop took a few steps forward. His entire body was behind Riolu, and they were back to back, except for Machop’s right fist. He pushed Riolu’s body in the direction he was facing, and his arm worked as a spring, causing Riolu to roll back towards Maylene before fainting.
‘That was a good battle,’ Brawly said, but Maylene was too concerned about Riolu to notice him. ‘I hope Nob didn’t go too tough on you.’
‘Will you be okay, Riolu?’ she asked her Pokémon, still unaware of Brawly’s presence. Riolu nodded at Maylene, who was hunched over her Pokémon, and slowly got up to his feet, causing Maylene to do the same.
Brawly coughed to draw Maylene’s attention to him. ‘Chuck asked me to make you go this way and battle Nob,’ he said. ‘There isn’t a winch on the other side, so I guess we kind of tricked you.’
Maylene did an amazing job of holding back her insults, and simple said ‘Oh.’
‘I turned the water off though,’ Brawly said. ‘Chuck should be waiting for us. Let’s go.’
Maylene began to miss her friends; they didn’t trick her into battling, they just asked. Sure, Gardenia was the prankster that always got her into trouble, but it was still a direct question when it came to battling. Brawly led her to Chuck, who stood tall waiting for them with his arms crossed.
‘There’s no greetings,’ he said. ‘You’s turn to battle her.’
‘Don’t worry,’ Brawly said to Maylene. ‘He actually can talk well, he’s probably just messing with you.’
Great. Another trick. At that moment, Maylene grew furious. Her homesickness overcame her, and it mixed with her anger. She did what she could do best. A few steps forwards, some body movement, and her fist ended up against Chuck’s face.
To everyone’s surprise, Chuck fell backwards. At first he tried to keep his balance, but the water beneath him didn’t help. His whole body created a loud thud as it smashed against the floor behind him, causing some water to splash.
‘I like you, girl!’ he shouted while still on the ground, which reminded her of Gardenia’s way of addressing people based on their gender. ‘Crasher Wake was right, but he didn’t tell me about your strength.’ He started to get up. ‘Was trying to break the ice, but I guess you do a better job at that than me.’ He began to laugh in a manner that, even though it was different than Crasher Wake’s, reminded her of her mentor. She felt an urge to punch again, but realised that everyone in the Gym was already looking at her like a villain, and more attention was not needed, even though Chuck didn’t express any disapproval.
‘Let’s go outside,’ Brawly said. ‘Chuck wants to see you battling me.’
‘Can’t Chuck say so himself?’ Maylene responded; she must get rid of Gardenia’s influence if she wanted to fit in. ‘I have to get Riolu healed first.’
Her Pokémon nodded, causing Brawly to nod back. He led her to the Pokémon Center, where the nurse was similar to the ones in Sinnoh, but not the same. Riolu got the treatment he needed, which wasn’t intensive, and followed Brawly alongside Maylene to the beach, where Chuck was waiting with another Pokémon she didn’t recognise.
It was another bulk Pokémon, but it was blue with a swirl in the center of his body. ‘Poliwrath,’ Chuck said his name to introduce him. ‘This is Maylene.’
A hint of anger returned to her; how is introducing her to the Pokémon, who should be aware that she was coming, more important than introducing the Pokémon to someone who has never seen the species before.
‘Is this the one I get to beat?’ Maylene said, mixing Gardenia with herself again, even though she was trying hard to stop it.
‘You’ll battle me actually,’ Brawly laughed. ‘Makuhita, are you ready?’
Riolu could sense that Maylene wanted to release all of her anger, and that he was the medium for her. Makuhita prepared to battle by punching the air. ‘Give your all, Maylene,’ Chuck said. ‘I want to see a real battle!’
‘Force Palm!’ Maylene commanded, catching Makuhita by surprise, and causing Brawly to react desperately.
Riolu ran forward, preparing his palm for another attack, but Makuhita managed to avoid the attack by stepping slight to the right. He brought one palm forwards, hitting it against Riolu, and the second palm followed, causing Riolu to fall back a few paces to his right.
‘Try it again!’ Maylene ordered swiftly, catching the opponents by surprise again.
This time, Riolu managed to hit. Makuhita’s body withstood the hit at first, but Riolu pushed his palm forwards, causing the attack to intense for a few more second before Makuhita was sent back a few paces as well.
‘Quick Attack, Riolu!’
The blue Pokémon used the experience he got from the running he did with Maylene as a tool to smash his body against Makuhita’s. The yellow Pokémon retaliated, and quickly punched Riolu’s head to cause him to fall to the ground, before punching his back again, causing Riolu to slam harder to the sand.
‘Arm Thrust again!’
Maylene knew that it was dangerous, but she had to risk it to win. ‘Reversal!’ she ordered, and Riolu prepared his body through breathing heavily. Makuhita’s attack hurt Riolu greatly, who accepted the attack. The spots that Makuhita had attacked flowed a white colour. The energy moved towards Riolu’s fist, which began glowing brighter than any of his other attacks.
He jumped forward and dug his fist into Makuhita’s body, whose mouth flew open to emit a painful sound, but failed. His heavy body fell to the ground, causing a loud thud and a cloud of sand to rise up before settling down. Riolu panted and smiled before looking at Maylene, who opened her arms to welcome Riolu. He ran forward and hugged his trainer.
‘I didn’t know you could make it through that one attack, but you did,’ she said. ‘I will never doubt you again.’
‘That was an excellent battle,’ Chuck stepped forward. His voice abandoned the tone it had, and was taken over by a more serious one. ‘I look forward to training you. You will fit in nicely with us.’
Maylene grinned at Chuck as she sat on the ground with Riolu in her arms. ‘I’ll be Strongest than you when I leave.’
20th March 2013, 10:45 PM
§5: Start Swimming
‘Ok then…’ Candice stuttered. ‘T-Thank you ma’am.’
She walked out of Maylene’s house, and Gardenia followed her. Even though she only knew her for a year, Candice was certain that Gardenia was holding back a gigantic rant about Maylene, who, as they have discovered, left for Johto without telling them. Gardenia was too experienced in the field that she knew they had to put a fair distance between them and the Gym before ranting away, as doing so just after the door was closed was not safe.
Candice walked slowly; a desperate attempt for Gardenia to forget about that topic, but the latter responded by grabbing Candice’s hand and pacing away, dragging the resisting girl with her. The pair had reached the meteorites before Gardenia opened her mouth and let it all out.
‘She’s an idiot!’ she started. ‘How could she go to Johto without telling us?! Is she too good for us now?! Did that stupid region with their stupid ‘We’ll walk with Pokémon!’ policy seem more important than our superior Sinnoh?! At least we have a League! They’re so poor that they share theirs with Kanto, another disaster I tell you. Did you hear about the sissy Erika? A tragedy! I should go there and release all her tormented Pokémon. And don’t even get me started about Hoenn; those idiots with their idiotic ‘We’ll be one with nature!’ attitude. I know I’m supposed to like grass and all, but come on! Can’t they grow up instead of living on trees?’
‘Are you done?’ Candice sighed.
‘I’ll tell what I’m done with,’ Gardenia started again. ‘I’m done with that idiot girl and her ‘I will be an Aura Master!’ attitude. Johto are lucky if they know what aura is! Only we have a trainer who uses aura, those idiots probably don’t even have the education to know what it is. A punch of morons I tell you. Did you hear about their stupid Pokégear? Who needs radio? The world has MOVED ON! I’ll tell you what, I once saw this tour book, and in it was a picture of a monument, or a landmark, for Johto. It’s a burnt tower.’
Gardenia stayed silent for a while, tapping her foot rapidly against the ground, and waiting for a response. ‘And what?’ Candice said and rolled her eyes.
‘And what?! I’ll tell you what. A burnt tower! Who keeps a burnt tower! ‘Oh look, we angered the rainbow clown bird and he burned out tower, we must keep it around cause we have bad memory’. At least we have something significant for a landmark. Mt. Coronet, that library thing somewhere, the temple in your snow land, the beacon. Do they have an underground? I DIDN’T THINK SO!’
‘I think they have a beacon as well, and it’s called a lighthouse,’ Candice said. ‘And we also have an abandoned building, remember? The one you were too scared to enter?’
Candice stood opposite Gardenia in silence for a few minutes as the latter kicked some stones every once in a while. ‘Did you let it out now?’ she asked and tilted her head.
‘We’re going to Johto.’
‘I would like to visit Sinnoh sometime,’ Brawly said. ‘Do you know anything about Hoenn?’
The pair was facing the waves as they clashed against the sands of the beach, while Riolu and Makuhita were in the water. Brawly had been trying to teach Maylene to surf, but she ended up breaking his surfboard. Their swimming suits were covered in sand and water, as well as their bodies.
At first, Maylene felt awkward being next to a shirtless boy, but she eventually managed to adjust to the situation. ‘I know that you have water,’ Maylene said. ‘More than us. But I don’t know about Johto, since I didn’t see anything else.’
‘We do have a lot of water,’ Brawly laughed. ‘Which is great for surfing. Crasher Wake will love it if he sees it. But we also have Drake, one of the strongest Dragon Pokémon trainers. There is a Space Center in Mossdeep City, and I think there is one in Sinnoh near your city.’
‘We don’t have anything like that in Veilstone, but we do have meteorites,’ Maylene said. ‘We should go back to Chuck now and continue the training; I’m sure he wouldn’t want us taking a long break.’
Gardenia had dragged Candice to the beach of Sunyshore City, a very impressive city in the Sinnoh region. It was always busy, with tourists coming in and out, teenager girls hanging around the Gym in hopes of seeing the Gym Leader, but Gardenia had something else in her mind.
‘We can’t take a ship to Johto,’ Candice said. ‘We’re too young to be allowed on without parents. Besides, I don’t think any ship is leaving from here.’
‘We’re not taking a ship,’ Gardenia said. ‘We’re swimming!’
Candice looked at Gardenia for a few seconds, slowly tilting her head. ‘You’re crazy, aren’t you?’ she said as her head shot back into place. ‘We can’t swim to Johto!’
‘I am swimming,’ Gardenia replied and pointed at herself with her thumb. ‘And if you don’t want to come with me to get Maylene back, then maybe you’re not a true friend.’
‘Fine,’ Candice took a few steps forwards untill her face was almost touching Gardenia. ‘You want to swim, swim. I am sick of you and everything you dragged me into this past year, and Maylene. I’m glad she’s gone actually, at least now you’re not around her anymore. I only put up with you because you helped Maylene sometimes, but not anymore. I have no reason to stay friends with you. You’re a horrible person. Swim on your own. I hope you never come back.’
There was a cave under construction on the west of Cianwood City. They have just begun digging, and are apparently planning on reaching the other side, where they have just discovered is not just sea. Maylene was grinning, thinking of all the possibilities. She could easily go to the other side and prepare a surprise for them. It could be a tribute to Gardenia, who she met exactly one year ago today.
She walked towards the steep walls and started climbing. Riolu followed her closely, with a grin similar to Maylene’s on his face. The cliff was very slippery, and Maylene would occasionally slip, but she always managed to grab back onto the rocks before falling to the ground. The climb took a lot of her time, and when she reached the top, she was drenched in sweat.
‘What should we do, Riolu?’ she asked her Pokémon, who shook his head. ‘Gardenia would have had an idea by now. I wonder how everyone is doing back in Sinnoh. Now that I think about them, I regret leaving without telling them.’
Maylene sighed and kicked a stone, and in the most comical way, started a chain reaction of small rocks hitting each other for a few seconds. Maylene grinned and sat on the ground, but the collision caused the small rocks to fall off of the edge. It was then that she realized that this formation was not stable.
She could hear larger rocks colliding with the beach, and felt the earth shake beneath her. The formation tilted a little, and the sound of an avalanche was clearer. Her mind searched for the safest way down as soon as she got up, but she was unable to think clearly when her life was in danger. Before she knew it, the entire piece of land she was on fell to the opposite side of the edge she climbed, towards the water.
Riolu tackled Maylene and held on to her. The pair flew away from the rock. She screamed for help, but her voice was drained away when her right shoulder scrapped against the wall of another formation. She winced in pain and tried to grab the wound.
There was a large splash, followed by Maylene and Riolu falling into the water. The wave from the rock caused her to flip upside down, and the salty waters made her gasp as the wound ached her even more. She tried swimming out, but couldn’t operate her limps in her state of panic. The force of her body crashing into the surface left a pain that didn’t help.
Riolu was just a few meters below her, and he was just as hopeless and she was. Her arms became weak, her wound stopped hurting her, and her entire body became still. She felt her body rising before she lost consciousness.
Canalave City held ‘that library thing’ that Gardenia had mentioned, which was called the ‘Canalave Library’.
But Candice wasn’t interested in that. A boat was leaving to Johto soon, and that was the only thing that was important to Candice. She hated to admit it, but Gardenia was right; Maylene was irresponsible in going to Johto without telling them, and she was doing the same thing. No one knew that Candice planned on going to Johto, not even Gardenia. Just because Gardenia came up with the idea didn’t mean they had to go together.
Roark was the only person that saw Candice in Canalave, and she covered her actions by lying and saying that she was here for the library. She felt bad about lying to him and about not being with him to support him. His father was selected as the replacement for the Canalave Gym Leader, and asked to pick his own replacement. Roark wanted to become a Gym Leader, but Byron chose someone named Riley, whose current whereabouts are unknown.
She managed to sneak onto the ship, and his with the cargo. She hoped that Gardenia wouldn’t be able to sneak onto the ship as well, but couldn’t tell whether she was here or not; the places for hiding were varied.
She heard the sound that indicated for everyone to climb aboard, and she gave out a sigh of relief. The ship began moving slowly, the sound of the bridge rising echoed in the small cargo chamber, it began picking up speed, and Candice prepared herself for whatever happens to her in Johto.
Maylene had better have an explanation.
27th March 2013, 6:12 AM
§6: We’re Standing Firm!
Maylene lay on the shore. She had become unconscious, but thankfully, her body flipped again, and she floated to safety. The rock that smashed against the water sent the waves that flipped her up and pushed her away, and the same thing happened to Riolu, although he stayed conscious and hung on to Maylene’s body.
Chuck had been busy breaking a few rocks with Brawly, and they would occasionally find items that have been buried in the sand. The fact that Maylene was missing removed all the possibilities of her not being involved. Chuck was furious, and he called Crasher Wake back to Cianwood.
It was a hunt for Maylene, who lay on the shore of the other side of the formation. Riolu was sitting by her, waiting for her to wake up, when a man approached them. He was shirtless, and wore a black belt that held his torn pants. He wore weights around his wrists and ankles, and his hair was dirty and long.
Riolu didn’t trust the stranger, but he was Maylene’s only hope, so he allowed him to approach his unconscious trainer.
‘She’s the one that caused the avalanche,’ he said, as if ordering the truth to do as he commands. ‘You’re her Pokémon.’
Riolu nodded. The man placed his palm against her chest, moved it to her left lung, and pressed slightly. His hand was focused on just one spot in her lung, and his press became harder before Maylene gasped for air, but coughed water.
She coughed for what seemed like a minute. The man turned her to her side, as to keep her from swallowing the water again. ‘You’re alive,’ he said. ‘Now explain.’
Maylene stared at the man for moments, trying to recognise him, but she neither saw her before, nor heard of someone that matches his description. ‘I’m Maylene,’ she said. ‘Who are you?’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ he said. ‘You’re the one that caused the avalanche, aren’t you?’
‘It was an accident.’
The man stood up, and Maylene copied. She knew that it was hopeless for her; what she did was dangerous. Some could have gotten hurt, and no one will be pleased about it. They will probably try to kick her out of Johto. But her thoughts stopped when she was the man walking away from her, and a surprise came over her. She had thought that he would be the end of her time in Johto, but either way, she wasn’t going to let him just walk.
‘Hey, man!’ she called out to him, but he didn’t stop. ‘Don’t walk away!’
But her kept walking. Maylene ran after him, and her presence was obviously known, as the man started talking.
‘I don’t mind what you did,’ he said. ‘It was dangerous, but I don’t care. This is my training area, but they want to use it for themselves. It was a secret. At least you slowed their progress until I find another spot.’
Maylene was confused. How could he not care about the danger he caused? How is it possible for what happened to be good? She ran in front of him and stopped, which he did as well. They looked into each other’s eyes for seconds.
‘Someone could be hurt,’ she said. ‘You have to help them like you helped me.’
‘Out of my way, kid.’
The man walked past her, and as he did, Maylene became more confused, and anger took over her. ‘Listen to me!’ she shouted before directing a fist towards the man, who responded like no one did.
His left hand grabbed her fist, stopping her in midair, and his right hand formed into a fist that he dug into Maylene’s body. He didn’t care about the fact that she had just sustained an injury, or that she was a girl, or that she was a child. He punched with all of the force he could use to cause the most pain without killing her.
Maylene coughed blood, but the man didn’t stop. He lowered his left hand, dragging Maylene along with it, and raised it behind Maylene’s back, effectively twisting her arm. Riolu tried to jump and help, but was kicked away violently. The man then smashed his left knee against her back, causing her to scream in pain, and drove her to the ground.
Her body smashed against the sand and rocks. His arm still twisted, and the man’s knee still on her back, keeping her down. He used his right hand to grab her head and raise it, before smashing it against the ground. Just enough to haze her vision but not knock her out.
‘Don’t try that again,’ he said. ‘You won’t die, but you will be hurt for a long time.’
She felt her body being released. As soon as her arm hit the ground, she winced in pain; it must be broken. Her whole body rose up a few centimeters when the man’s weight was lifted. Her vision returned to her, and she saw the ground right next to her, where Riolu landed once again; the man had kicked him off again.
Riolu tried to attack the man again, but Maylene’s eyes told him not to before she drifted off into sleep. The pain wasn’t great, and it wasn’t enough to make her lose her consciousness again, but Maylene was tired. Her body was very strained, and she couldn’t find the energy to stay awake, so she fell asleep.
‘Calm down, Chuck!’ Crasher Wake shouted. ‘We don’t know if she did this! And we still have to find her!’
‘She could have killed someone!’ Chuck responded angrily. ‘I am not training her anymore! What she did was reckless!’
The men kept arguing about Maylene and forgot the world around them. At that moment, the girl was the most important person, and so far, the only suspect. She had to be found, but Crasher Wake and Chuck were too busy speculating on whether or not she was responsible for what happened.
Crasher Wake refused to believe that she caused the avalanche, and believed that she was the one most hurt by it, which is why she was missing. He knew Maylene his whole life, and concluded that she was not the type to cause such a thing then run away and hide. To him, Maylene was a noble human who would never flee.
‘She did it!’ Chuck insisted. ‘If she didn’t, then she would be here now! I should have never trained her! When we find her, she goes back to Sinnoh!’
Brawly listened to their argument outside the Gym, with Makuhita by his side, pulling him away from the Gym to no avail. He believed that Maylene caused the avalanche, but it was no reason to kick her out of Johto. His reasoning was simple; if she could break a surfboard easily, then she is capable of causing an avalanche in the formation that was hit many times by the water, and had a construction hole in the center.
Brawly felt a tug that wasn’t Makuhita’s. He turned around and looked down to see Riolu. ‘Where is Maylene?’ he asked the Pokémon, who responded by pointing at the opposite side of the sea. He was breathing heavily, and seemed to be about to collapse.
Brawly didn’t know where to go exactly, but there was a chance to stop the two men from arguing. He ran towards the southeast of Cianwood City and dived into the water. He began circling around to go wherever Riolu was pointing when Crasher Wake passed him on Floatzel.
‘You don’t get to run off to play the hero, kid,’ he said. ‘Hang on to Floatzel.’
Holding on to Crasher Wake was Riolu, who told the man to swim out to Maylene. Brawly held on to Floatzel and tried to avoid his spinning tails. They seemed to go at an amazing speed, and Brawly struggled to hold on. The water got into his nostrils and ears, his eyes were closed, and his clothes became heavy. It was unbearable, but it soon stopped when they reached a piece of land.
‘Maylene!’ Crasher Wake shouted, and Riolu pointed in a specific direction. Crasher Wake ran forward with Riolu in his arms, while Brawly stayed back with Floatzel; he was too tired of being dragged around to follow.
The pair spotted Maylene on the ground, and Crasher Wake dropped Riolu without care for the Pokémon. He picked up Maylene and ran back towards Floatzel. He passed Riolu, who grabbed the trainer’s left leg, as he was too weak to run behind him. They reached Floatzel, and he prepared to swim off again. Brawly climbed on behind Crasher Wake, and Riolu climbed onto his arms.
Floatzel didn’t find it difficult to carry the ground back to Cianwood City, which Brawly found surprising; Crasher Wake must have spent a lot of time training the Pokémon. He occasionally glanced at Maylene, who was held very carefully in Crasher Wake’s arm, peaceful-looking and safe.
The man sat on the edge of a cave many meters above the water. He watched as Crasher Wake carried Maylene off into the distance. He recognised the large body and the Riolu that he kicked a couple of times earlier. His guard was finally over. Now that someone has carried her to safety, he can leave his watch point. The girl was brave for trying to punch him, but also stupid. She obviously didn’t know who he was, evident by her actions and questions, and he regretted abusing his ambiguity to damage her without any consequences, but at the same time, he was glad that he did so. He will meet her again, and he couldn’t wait for it; there was no doubt that she would advance quickly and become an actual figure in this world.
29th March 2013, 3:17 AM
Maylene’s mother had come to Johto in a matter of hours by using her husband’s connections. Crasher Wake had informed her of her daughter’s condition, and the hospital she was kept in. He sat at the far end of the room, while her mother talked to Maylene, who was covered in bandages and caskets.
Chuck was at his Gym, still refusing to accept Maylene back, though she was not informed of his decision yet. Brawly went on training; even though he cared about Maylene, he knew that she was alive, will recover, and since she won’t be staying here anymore, he might as well focus on himself rather than on the girl he didn’t know very well.
‘Can I talk to you for a minute?’ Maylene’s mother said to Crasher Wake. ‘Outside, please.’
‘Bring me some food from the cafeteria when you come back!’ Maylene shouted.
‘Sure thing, honey,’ her mother said and followed Crasher Wake to the hallway of the hospital. ‘I don’t want this happening ever again.’
‘It won’t,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘I’ll make sure of it.’
‘No, you don’t understand. I won’t let it happen. She’s coming back to Sinnoh with me.’
‘I think you’re overreacting,’ Crasher Wake said, almost begging. ‘This is for her own good.’
‘Her own good? Being crushed by rocks is her own good?’ she said, almost shouting. ‘Riolu won’t ever be coming back with us. Had he not run off, Maylene wouldn’t have followed him and-’ she breathed heavily. ‘I don’t want her here anymore.’
Crasher Wake could see the woman almost breaking into tears, and there was no arguing with an emotional mother. ‘I’ll go get Maylene some food,’ he said before backing away from the argument. ‘Please, think this through.’
Riolu searched relentlessly for the man who attacked Maylene; he didn’t care if he was weaker, the man had to be defeated. His search began in Cianwood City, which was the closest to the scene, meaning that the chanced of the man living here are high.
He would occasionally run into Poliwrath, who was smashing rocks. The bigger Pokémon would give Riolu an evil look before sending him away, and Chuck did the same. Brawly would offer him the chance to train with Makuhita, but Riolu would always refuse, and continue his search, but he found nothing in Cianwood, which meant that it was to return to the place where they were attacked.
Crasher Wake exited the hospital, and spotted Riolu pacing off to the direction they used to reach Maylene. ‘Riolu,’ he called out to the Pokémon and approached him. ‘Maylene is awake, and she told us what happened.’
Riolu lowered his head. He knew that Chuck wanted her sent away, and this would probably be what does it. Crasher Wake signaled for Riolu to follow him, and he did. They reached the shore they used, and sat next to Floatzel, who was resting after the long demanding ride.
‘She said that you had run off for a reason she didn’t know,’ he said. ‘And that she followed you. You two were on a cliff when the avalanche happened. She got hit by some rocks and dragged to the ground. You broke the rocks and dragged her across the water to where we found you, because you didn’t want more rocks falling on her. Is what she said true?’
Riolu managed to hide his surprise; Maylene had lied. And even though he didn’t like it, he nodded. ‘That’s good news,’ Crasher Wake said. ‘Well, not her getting hurt.’ He laughed loudly, making it evident that Crasher Wake was still Crasher Wake, even in tough times. ‘That means she’ll be able to stay here. Now we just have to convince her mother.’
Riolu gave a fake smile as Crasher Wake left. Searching for the man now would just destroy the lie. He walked to the water to wash of his dirt and sweat, when he noticed Floatzel. The Pokémon looked at Riolu with half-closed eyes, judging him. He knew that it was all a lie, and he looked as if he would attack Riolu.
Everyone gathered in Maylene’s room, with Chuck in front of all of them. He wanted Maylene to tell him that she wasn’t responsible directly, as he believed in his ability to detect lies. He stared down at Maylene, who tried hard to maintain her confidence. Her mother, Brawly and Crasher Wake were behind him.
‘So you didn’t cause the avalanche?’ Chuck finally said, demandingly.
Maylene tried to stay calm, and for the most part, managed to fake it. ‘I didn’t,’ she said. ‘I was hit by the rocks.’
Chuck looked down on the girl for a few second, showing no change in his expression at all, causing Maylene to worry that her lie was discovered. What will her mother, Crasher Wake, father and everyone in Sinnoh think?
‘You can stay,’ Chuck said. ‘Now you just have to convince your mother.’ He laughed before exiting the room, followed by Crasher Wake and Brawly.
‘Mom, please,’ she said. ‘Just let me stay. I’ll be more careful. Please.’
‘I love you, Maylene,’ her voice took on the motherly tone that Maylene had gotten used to. ‘When Crasher Wake told me about what happened, I came here without thinking it through. I know you’re a strong, and you can take care of yourself, but I can’t help but worry; I’m a mother.’ She chuckled and wiped at her teary eyes. ‘I’ve decided to stay here for a week before going back to Sinnoh. I’m not ready to leave you after this incident just yet.’
‘But I can stay right?’
‘Yes, you can.’
Maylene attempted hugging her mother, but the movement caused her to knock over some equipment, which in turn led to a beep that indicated her heart had stopped. The closest nurse rushed in terror, but emitted a sigh of relief as soon as she saw Maylene laughing nervously.
Riolu smashed a rock, and another, and another.
Chuck had allowed him to help in smashing some of the larger rocks that fell due to the avalanche, while passing trainers handled the smaller ones in hopes of finding some items. Maylene was going to be hospitalised for a few more days, so he might as well train on his own. He also took the opportunity to train with Brawly and Makuhita.
Maylene attempted joining the training after being discharged, but all she could do in her condition was sit under the waterfall with Chuck. And a few days later, her mother left, not for Sinnoh, but for a tour across Johto. Crasher Wake left after making sure that Maylene was taken care of and that she was recovering. She found herself alone again in Cianwood City, with no companion but Riolu.
One night she cried herself to sleep; leaving home was one thing, but having people from home leave her was another. The feeling of loneliness overcame her, and she regretted leaving home so abruptly. Her parents, friends, and everyone she knew in Veilstone and the Gym was away from her. She started to question her decision to train in Johto before falling asleep.
Her dreams were no different; homesickness and longing for the people she knew. She would wake up in the middle of the night at the feel of something moving next to her; it was Riolu attempting to keep her company in what was the hardest time of her life.
A week later, she was free to move her limbs as she wanted to, but the nurses advised her to take it easy, and demanded that Chuck wouldn’t demand the same intense training he did before. That week, Makuhita defeated Riolu for the first time due to Maylene’s mind being occupied by the people she left behind.
And the week ended with her crying herself to sleep again.
1st April 2013, 5:31 AM
§8: Control The Storm
Maylene woke up to the sound of Riolu opening the window, a habit which he took up to wake his trainer up before Chuck kicked open the door and summoned her for training. She got up and prepared herself for a busy day of training, and it started as normal. She joined Brawly and Makuhita in destroying some of the last rocks, but the avalanche has caused the formation to become very sensitive, and everyday new small rocks would fall whenever someone walked through the construction hole, but these were taken care of by passing trainers.
‘I think that’s enough for today,’ Brawly said. ‘It’s time to train with Chuck.’
‘Sure,’ Maylene said. ‘You go first, I’ll come after a minute.’
Brawly walked away silently, which Maylene didn’t mind; she found it very difficult to act the way she did around Brawly and Chuck after she lied to them. She stared at Riolu while he smashed some more rocks before getting up.
‘Come on, Riolu,’ she called out. ‘It’s time to train.’
Riolu looked back, nodded, and walked towards Maylene. She turned around to walk towards the Gym and saw Chuck standing directly behind her.
‘There’s someone here to see you,’ he said. ‘She says she’s from Sinnoh.’
‘Who is it?’ Maylene asked, and caught a glimpse of Riolu trying to look at the far end of the island.
‘She wouldn’t tell me her name,’ Chuck said. ‘But she’s wearing a lot of green and black.’
‘Gardenia!’ she exclaimed as if Crasher Wake had taken over her body and ran past Chuck towards the beach Riolu had been staring at. She saw the figure of Gardenia growing closer, and he smile widened. Gardenia didn’t seem to notice Maylene, as she was talking to Brawly. ‘Gardenia!’ Maylene shouted to grab her friend’s attention.
Brawly and Gardenia both turned their heads towards Maylene, who was running towards with unmatched speed, the same speed that caused her to caused a scene in Veilstone a little more than a year ago. Gardenia grinned and grabbed Brawly by the shoulders before pushing him towards Maylene. The two collided, causing Maylene’s face to crash first into the sand, while Brawly fell to his side.
‘How could you leave without telling us?!’ Gardenia shouted. ‘I searched all of this stupid Johto, only to find you in the one place where fun comes to die!’
‘I came to train,’ Maylene said as she got up and dusted herself. ‘You told me to not care about what people think and train as hard as I can, remember?’
‘What do you think you’re doing?’ Chuck said as he approached the group. His face red with anger, and the sand exploded under his stomps. ‘You can’t come in here and start assaulting my apprentices!’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll leave soon,’ Gardenia said. ‘And I’m taking Maylene.’
‘I’m not going back just yet!’
‘Who are you anyway?!’
The trio’s shouting and cries mixed with each other, and became indistinguishable. Each one of them talked to the other two at the same time, and it was evident that none of them could comprehend anything of what was said.
‘No one is leaving!’ Chuck’s voice roared, causing the three to silence themselves, and most of the city’s people to shift their attention towards the scene. ‘A storm is coming, and leaving or entering Cianwood City is dangerous for now, and thus, has been forbidden. That’s an order from the Pokémon League.’
‘But we’re taking about your Pokémon League,’ Gardenia mocked him. ‘It’s probably just a few drops of rain that you all will be overreacting about like idiots!’
‘I don’t care what you think, young girl,’ Chuck said. ‘For your safety, you will go nowhere.’
Brawly started to speak, but a pain suddenly shot up his right foot, causing him to wince. The water around his foot started to freeze, and he was stuck in it. Maylene and Gardenia shared a look; they knew that it was Snorunt; Candice was probably skating her way through the ocean, and they weren’t mistaken. A few seconds later, a figure appeared on the trail of ice, and approached the island at amazing speed. As it got closer, they could see Candice, Snorunt and another person on a boat that was sliding through the ice as if it was a rollercoaster.
Makuhita managed to chop the ice in time to knock Brawly out of the boat’s way before it collided against the sand and came to a stop. ‘Sorry,’ Candice said to Chuck, who towered over the group. ‘This fisherman offered me a ride across the ocean, but we encountered a storm on the way and I had to get us out of there.’
She was drenched in rainwater, as was the fisherman. The boat was damaged and a small pool had formed in the center of it, but was frozen. ‘Who are you?’ Chuck asked, arms crossed and anger still showing.
‘That’s Candice,’ Gardenia said. ‘A liar who didn’t want to come to Johto.’
‘Maylene, the Gym, now,’ Chuck said and marched off. ‘Everyone else stay here.’
Maylene exchanged happy glances with Candice, worried ones with Candice, and received pity ones from Brawly. Riolu started to follow her, but was stopped by Brawly, and since he knew Chuck more than them, Riolu trusted him. The two barefoot fighters walked towards the Gym. The door was fully open, but that didn’t stop Chuck from unnecessarily swinging them hard enough to detach them.
‘Are they your friends?’ Chuck said as soon as the pair stopped just a few centimeters before the waterfall.
‘Yes, they are,’ Maylene said. ‘They’re really good friends from Sinnoh.’
‘I don’t mind them visiting you, or even staying here,’ Chuck said. ‘But I won’t train them, and I certainly don’t like how they can come unannounced; they’ve disrupted everything. We were supposed to start training.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Maylene said. ‘I didn’t even know they were coming.’
‘I don’t care about what you knew or didn’t,’ he said. ‘I want you to find a solution to this. I don’t have the time to take care of more people; I’m a Gym Leader.’
‘What will you do now?’
‘They can stay for now, and training will have to be canceled for today either way, because of the storm I received news of before I came to find you. You can leave now.’
Maylene didn’t question his decisions; she knew that as long as she had the permission to go out of the Gym, she could stop the conversation, even though she had a lot of questions. She walked back towards the beach, where Candice, Gardenia and Brawly were waiting. Riolu seemed to be the only one who noticed her, as her two friends were arguing, while Brawly was taking care of the ice around his shoe with Makuhita’s help.
‘Brawly, Chuck said that training for today was canceled because of the storm,’ Maylene said. ‘Gardenia and Candice, how did you get here?’ Her tone suddenly shifted to that of excitement about meeting her old friends again.
‘I traveled normally,’ Gardenia said. ‘By foot.’
‘Boat,’ Candice said. ‘Though I did end up in Kanto, and had to walk all the way here.’
‘Well, you two are a real problem,’ Brawly said. ‘You didn’t even think about it before traveling all the way here from Sinnoh?’
‘Shut up, surfer boy,’ Gardenia said. ‘Go play in the waved or something. Make a sand castle.’
Brawly got up and placed a hand on Maylene’s shoulder. ‘I don’t think she’s a good friend,’ he said. ‘The other might be, but I’m not sticking around for long.’
Gardenia ignored his remark as he walked away from the group. ‘You shouldn’t be mean to him,’ Maylene said. ‘He’s a good friend.’
‘Unlike Candice,’ Gardenia said. ‘She didn’t even want to come visit you, at least not with me.’
‘That’s because you’re a horrible person!’ Candice shouted. ‘You keep making these insults and think it’s fun, but you’re only making me feel bad for hanging out for you!’
‘Shut up!’ Gardenia shouted and almost approached Candice as if to hit her, but Snorunt jumped in front of her trainer and kicked up some sand before freezing it. It got into Gardenia’s eyes, causing her to reach for a random Poké Ball and throw it at the ground.
A short green Pokémon covered by a large leaf appeared. She held a blue rose on one hand, and a red in the other. Three spikes emerged from her head, and her think legs stood close together as she took on a battle stance.
Roselia put her two roses together, and created numerous small darts. They gathered around the tips of the roses and began to move closer towards the center, where they seemed to be sticking to each other with some purple liquid, creating a larger dart, although it was still small.
But Snorunt proved too fast for Roselia’s attack, she used the slight wind and lowered the temperature with her breath, and it was enough to causing a ferocious attack on Roselia. The Grass Pokémon winced at the sting of the cold, the dew on her leaves froze, helping the ice spread across her body, and soon the Pokémon fell to the ground covered in a thin layer of ice.
Snorunt grinned as she gathered energy around her to form a purple orb that shot at Roselia. The ice around it shattered, causing Roselia’s leaves and roses to suffer small rips before she was thrown back towards Gardenia’s feet.
‘If that’s what you want,’ Gardenia started, almost crying. ‘Then fine, I’ll go away.’
She withdrew Roselia into her Poké Ball and ran past Candice and Maylene. The latter tried to stop her and shout after her, but Gardenia jumped into the boat too fast, and force caused it to start sliding down the path that Snorunt had created, held in the center by the edges that were created when it went across the trail the first time around.
The fisherman looked on in disbelief before going into the Pokémon Center to take shelter from the approaching storm, while Candice looked at Maylene with coldness in her eyes. ‘We better go into the Pokémon Center as well,’ she said. ‘It’s safer there.’
‘What about Gardenia? It’s not safe for her to be in the middle of the sea, is it?’
‘It’s Gardenia,’ Candice said. ‘Why should we care?’
4th April 2013, 3:51 PM
§9: The Gathering
‘How could you say that?’ Maylene said, shocked and in disbelief at how Candice, her best friend, treated Gardenia worse than she would have treated a stranger. ‘Why were you so rude to her? I thought we were all friends!’
‘I never liked her,’ Candice said, her voice devoid of any kind of emotion. ‘I’m glad she’s gone, and you should be as well.’
Maylene was shocked. This was Candice, the outgoing friendly girl everyone loved. How she could change so dramatically was beyond her. Candice walked off, and Snorunt followed her. The sand beneath her feet was kicked up with each step, and was carried away by light winds; the storm was approaching.
Maylene walked behind Candice, and sped up her footsteps. She slowly approached her friend, and began passing her by. Riolu was already beside her, and he shared a look of confusion with Snorunt; their trainers were acting very out of character.
Chuck opened the door to him Gym, as if he knew that the group was approaching the Gym. Maylene went in first, and Candice followed her. The last ones in were Riolu and Snorunt, who looked up at the large body that is Chuck, and shared another look; he obviously had a plan in mind.
Maylene sat by Brawly and began talking to him, while Candice walked around the Gym, studying every aspect of it with a look of fascination on her face; at least she was herself again.
Maylene and Candice had a very strong friendship, and throughout the years they’ve been friends and the one year they’ve been closer than sisters, their relationship passed on to their Pokémon. But these two did not encounter the conflict their trainers did, and seeing each other once again meant that it was time to return to their old habits.
They couldn’t fully use their playful nature in the wide area, since the storm was approaching, and everyone was instructed to lock their doors, but the Gym itself had many opportunities. Snorunt started their sting of events, and approached the large Pokémon that Chuck referred to as Poliwrath. It was helping him and the other trainers reinforce the windows of the Gym with various objects. Riolu and Snorunt cannot help in anyway, but they weren’t meaning to.
Snorunt studied the Poliwrath in the same manner that Candice used to study the Gym. Her tiny legs barely allowed her to keep up with the strong Pokémon as it carried random chairs from the back of the Gym to the windows, and she would occasionally slip due to walking into the water then out of it, while Riolu found it easy to follow, especially with all the training he had done with Maylene.
She covered her mouth with her hands and giggled; why not make the Gym her own play zone?
The water was conveniently placed at the center of the gym, and part of it crept out onto the ground. As soon as no one’s foot was in it, she released the freezing breath she had held inside, and the entire water turned into ice. Snorunt’s face lit up; the Gym was suddenly hers to skate in as she wants. In her excitement, she forgot that everyone needed to go through it to get the items they need.
The first was a trainer, who slipped onto the ice, and a few others followed as they rushed to help him. That was when Snorunt knew what she has done. Candice knew right away that Snorunt was responsible, and approached her.
This was going to reflect badly on Maylene; her friends coming and causing a problem in a desperate time was not something that would reflect positively on her. He rushed up the Gym, and towards the wheel that would turn on the waterfall. He stood on one of the handles, and jumped on it to make sure that it would lower, and it did, along with the bridge.
‘No!’ Chuck suddenly shouted. ‘Don’t do that!’
But it was too late. The waterfall rushed down to meet the ice and broke it apart, but the chunks had blocked the drain, causing the water to creep onto the ground near it, and towards the door.
‘Lift up the bridge!’ Chuck shouted again, but Riolu’s thoughts were scattered. ‘The storm!’
His warning came too late; the water flooded towards the door in no time, and removed most of the furniture holding the door and windows, causing the frail walls of the Gym to give away and let the rainfall in. Everyone in the Gym was shocked to see what was flailing in the middle of Cianwood City. Dozens of tentacles smashed against the sand and would occasionally hit the Pokémon Center, which was stronger than most of the buildings in Cianwood and managed to withstand the hits.
‘It’s a Tentacruel!’ Check shouted over the wind and rain. ‘The storm must have washed it onto the beach.’
His thoughts and speech were incoherent in the middle of that storm, but everyone knew what was happening, and what they had to do. Poliwrath acted on instinct and jumped towards the Tentacruel, grabbing some of the flailing limps together to stop the assault on the Pokémon Center. Chuck ordered the trainers to help, and they all sent out several Fighting-types to help, but they seemed useless against the force of the Pokémon, whose hits threw the Pokémon away, the only who managed to hold on was Poliwrath, but his strength was slowly failing him.
‘He can’t hold on anymore!’ Brawly shouted. ‘Makuhita, let’s help!’
The short Pokémon nodded, and ran alongside his trainer. Brawly held his broken surfboard in his hand, and dug it into the ground for support. Makuhita leaned against it, and managed to catch and stop some of Tentacruel’s movements, but the situation was still helpless; Makuhita failed as quickly as all the other Pokémon before him.
‘It’s no use!’ Chuck screamed at the top of his lungs. ‘Go inside!’ He instructed, even though half of the wall was gone, but everyone still obeyed. They rushed back into the Gym, and everyone but Maylene and Candice seemed to know what was going to happen. The former’s attention stayed on Chuck, who produced a second Poké Ball.
‘Primeape!’ he shouted as he threw it towards the ground. ‘Behave yourself!’
The order sounded weird to Maylene; why wouldn’t a Pokémon behave itself around the trainer who raised it? Chuck must be a bad trainer for not being able to control his own Pokémon; how could Crasher Wake trust him with training her?
The sand would have kicked up at the force of the throw, but the Poké Ball produced no effect against the sand but a muffled sound as Primeape emerged from it. He was a round Pokémon covered in scruffy hair, with four limps emerging from it. But his most striking feature was his face; a look of violence overcame it, and he seemed to want to attack Chuck, but one of the tentacles smashed against his back, and that was it.
Primeape let out a violent war cry, almost deafening. He turned around to face the flailing Tentacruel and ran forward, while leaving wide footprints on the mud under him. His hands wrapped against a dozen of the limps, and lifted the Tentacruel up, before smashing it against the Pokémon Center, making the Pokémon shriek in pain. Poliwrath was knocked aside as well, and was unable to get up as Tentacruel hit him unwillingly.
‘This is horrible!’ Maylene shouted. ‘Crasher Wake wouldn’t allow this! Riolu, stop that thing! Force Palm!’
The blue Pokémon hesitated, but he couldn’t allow himself to endanger Maylene, who ran towards the scene. He followed his trainer, knowing exactly what was required of him. Makuhita joined the group halfway, while Brawly helped some of the people at the Pokémon Center move to a safer place; the building was shaking violently against the Tentacruel.
‘Makuhita, will you help us?’ Maylene said hopefully, and the Pokémon nodded. ‘Thank you. Now, let’s stop the Primeape!’
6th April 2013, 10:08 PM
Brawly joined the group somewhere in the distance between the Gym and Primeape, but Maylene was too concerned to notice. The raging Primeape had defeated the wild Tentacruel with ease, and knocked out Poliwrath without even intending to; how can her Riolu and Brawly’s Makuhita even hope to beat it?
It seemed hopeless, and for a moment, Maylene wanted to turn back and run away. This was dangerous, and Riolu could get seriously hurt; she herself could get seriously hurt.
‘Makuhita, Force Palm!’ Brawly ordered his Pokémon, and Maylene knew she would have to contribute to the battle; there was no turning back now.
‘Quick Attack!’ Maylene commanded, forgetting that she had already ordered an attack.
The sand, the rain, and the wind seemed to work against Riolu and Makuhita. Primeape glared at both of the approaching Pokémon, before rushing to meet them. With one fist, he propelled Makuhita backwards, causing it to crash into the mud, while he grabbed Riolu with the other by the neck.
‘Riolu!’ Maylene called out for her Pokémon, desperate for his safety. She ran forward as the Primeape brought Riolu down, and crashed him into the mud as well, before his gaze switched to Maylene.
Without a second of thinking, she jumped up, legs first, attempting to kick the Primeape away from her partner, only for her to feel a sudden rush of wind, and the see world spinning around her; Primeape had grabbed her ankle, and she was now flying towards the sea.
Surrounded by whirlpools, under the rain, and at night; this wasn’t Gardenia’s best day. Roselia was by her side, and she wasn’t too pleased with their situation either.
‘You can stop complaining!’ Gardenia argued with Roselia, who would sigh at every drop of rain that hit her, and groan at every thunder that shot itself from the sky. ‘I know we’re in a bad situation! It isn’t my fault.’
Roselia’s eyes widened and she turned her face slowly towards Gardenia; a dramatic gesture her trainer had taught her. ‘Oh, don’t do that!’ Gardenia insisted. ‘We’ll just wait for the storm to finish! And no! For the last time, there might be ghosts in there!’
Gardenia shouted at her Pokémon, and pointed at the cave behind them. ‘I wanted you to stay with me! Not because I needed you, but because I knew you would be worried about me!’
Roselia scoffed, and got up slowly before shaking her body, and sending all of the sand that was on here flying towards Gardenia. ‘What do you think you’re doing?!’ Gardenia cried. ‘N- No! You. Are. Not. Going. Into. The. Cave!’
Maylene felt the seawater rush into her lungs. She remembered when she fell off of that cliff, and how she lied about it to stay here; was it her decision that will kill her? It can’t be; she’s too young. She suddenly felt something grab her, and pull her down. No. Something had tackled her, and was now swimming her up.
She gasped for air as her emerged above the surface. A pair of strong hands wrapped themselves around her, and upon further inspection, she recognised them as Poliwrath’s; he must’ve regained consciousness while she was battling the Primeape, as much as getting thrown into the ocean counted as a battle.
Riolu and Makuhita were still battling, with Brawly commanding the both. Chuck and his students watched, and as Maylene looked around the island, she recognised several Fighting Pokémon helping the people out of the Pokémon Center.
The island approached Maylene as Poliwrath kept of carrying the little girl to the island. ‘Riolu!’ she shouted, unable to contain herself from joining the battle. ‘Copycat!’
Primeape knocked Makuhita to the mud again, and targeted Riolu. The two Pokémon’s actions became mirrored; Primeape raised his right fist, and Riolu copied. The pair exchanged several quick punches, and the raindrops rippled in the air between the two. For several seconds, they were locked in combat, until the wind became colder, and the air around them started to freeze.
Maylene was now on the beach, set down by Poliwrath, who started approaching the Primeape, but stopped at the sudden coldness of the weather. Primeape’s wet fur started to harden, his fists to slow down, and his movement eventually stopped.
‘Good job, Snorunt,’ Candice said, but her voice was devoid of the Candice Maylene knew as her friend. ‘It’s over.’
And it was. Riolu delivered the final punch, and Primeape fell to the mud, motionless. Chuck quickly seized the opportunity, and returned his still Pokémon to it’s Poké Ball. ‘Thank you, Candice,’ he said. ‘That was a great move.’ Chuck then turned to Maylene, who was almost collapsing due to the weight of her wet clothes. ‘Maylene, you really are made of tough stuff,’ he laughed. ‘And Brawly, great job with Makuhita’s endurance, and with being able to command two Pokémon; must be a skill from Hoenn!’
‘That’s it?’ Candice said as the last bit of rain turned to snow. ‘Good job? How about you learn to control your Primeape? Everyone was in danger!’
‘Don’t talk back to me, little girl,’ Chuck’s voice took on a more serious tone as he turned to Candice. ‘I am your elder, and your superior.’
‘No,’ Candice said. ‘No. I don’t care anymore. I’ve been nice to people for too long.’
Chuck stared at Candice; she was defiantly too young to be thinking like that. ‘I think there’s someone you would like to meet,’ he said. ‘But right now, we’ll put the Tentacruel back in the sea, and deal with the damage.’
As he finished his sentence, he glanced at where Tentacruel lay, only to see it missing, with Poliwrath emerging from the sea one more time. ‘Everyone, rebuild the Gym!’ Chuck ordered his students. ‘Maylene, Brawly, and Candice, follow me.’
Roselia scoffed, and got up slowly before shaking her body, and sending all of the sand that was on here flying towards Gardenia. ‘What do you think you’re doing?!’ Gardenia cried. ‘N- No! You. Are. Not. Going. Into. The. Cave!’
Roselia shrugged off Gardenia’s pleading, and walked into the darkness of the cave, leaving her trainer alone in the middle of the storm, wondering why everyone seemed to leave her. Seconds later, there was a thud, and Roselia rolled out of the cave.
‘Oh, now you decide to come back,’ Gardenia exclaimed. ‘Well, guess what, we’re no longer-’
She turned her head to see that Roselia was unconscious, and to her shock, someone kicked her away from the entrance. ‘You’re too annoying, kid,’ a barefoot, shirtless man said. ‘Why don’t you leave?’
‘What is wrong with you?!’ Gardenia cried in disbelief. ‘What did you do to Roselia?! Are you crazy?!’
In her moment of rage, Gardenia threw a punch at the man, only for him to catch it. ‘I’m guessing you’re from Sinnoh as well.’
8th April 2013, 7:14 PM
§11: A Long Time Ago
To Maylene, it was absolutely amazing how a small command like ‘rebuild the Gym’ would cause those who were in the storm with their Pokémon and on the brink of death to actually rebuild the Gym, with their own hands, nonetheless. They grabbed the blanks of wood, held them against the borders of the Gym, and in the silliest manner Maylene had ever seen, used duct tape.
‘That’s not a solution,’ Brawly muttered before raising his voice. ‘Chuck, that’s not a solution.’
‘Yes, it is,’ said Chuck. ‘And when did you start calling me Chuck?’
Candice scoffed at the pair’s jokes and irritating laughs. She looked down to see Snorunt, who was walking beside her, but keeping her distance. Candice observed her Pokémon; it seemed to be rejecting her, and rightfully so. She had ignored her for a long time, and completely rejected Gardenia from her life soon afterwards. She became a cold person, as opposed to the warm girl who embraced life.
Looking back, Candice saw Maylene and Riolu, who were walking together, and playing some sort of ‘hit my hand with your paw’ game. Maylene held one hand in Riolu’s face, and kept the other underneath him as he sat on it; it must be some form of training that, although seemed to work, looked ridiculous. But that wasn’t what Candice was focused on.
Maylene and Riolu were still friends; they cared about each other, interacted, and actually enjoyed each other’s company. Of course, they weren’t always that close, it seemed like only moments away when Riolu’s best friend was Snorunt, and Candice was Maylene’s; why couldn’t that split have brought Candice and Snorunt close as well?
‘Very well then,’ bellowed Chuck, causing Riolu to fall off of Maylene’s hand. ‘Ever since you got here, Maylene, we’ve had problems piling up.’
‘Yes, Chuck, I caused the storm,’ sighed Maylene, before realising what she did. ‘Oh, I-’
‘That’s what happens when she spends just a few moments with Gardenia,’ said Candice. ‘She becomes rude like her.’
‘I think it’s called sarcasm,’ laughed Brawly. ‘I’m not sure, though.’
‘Are you kids done?’ Chuck sat in the puddle of water just in front of the waterfall. ‘I’m not going to send you back home, Maylene; you’re training under me, and I never give up on anyone, especially if they have the potential you have. I just want to tell you that I understand if you wanted to go back home. You were seriously hurt in that mountain accident, and that wasn’t your fault, it was mine. I failed to protect you.’
‘I-It’s not your fault,’ laughed Maylene nervously. ‘You didn’t cause that rockslide.’
‘And neither did you,’ said Chuck. ‘But let’s not dwell on that.’
‘Yeah, bad memories,’ said Maylene. ‘Of the rocks hitting me.’
She couldn’t control a small shiver that went through her body as she remembered the man she couldn’t land a hit on, and not because of the pain he caused her, but because he humiliated her.
‘Candice, I’m not sure why you want to stay in Cianwood, but you’re more than welcome to stay in the Gym,’ said Chuck. ‘I understand you’re a friend of Maylene.’
‘I don’t plan on staying here,’ replied Candice. ‘I will leave.’
‘Where to?’ said Chuck. ‘You don’t know any place in Johto.’
‘I’ll just go back to Sinnoh,’ said Candice. ‘I came here on my own, and I can go back on my own.’
‘I was hoping you’d stay here, Candice,’ said Chuck. ‘You’re a mature person, especially for your age, and Maylene would surely need you.’
‘Maylene doesn’t need me, and I’m sure my family is worried about me.’
And with those words, Candice turned around. She walked back from where they came, and Snorunt followed her. She was determined to leave, and no one can stop her. Her footsteps echoed out of the Gym, and Maylene felt abandoned again.
Crasher Wake, who she could call her true father, and even wished he were sometimes, had left Cianwood, and her mother followed him, and now her friends, Gardenia and Candice. It seemed as if home left her, and not the other way around.
This couldn’t happen again.
Her legs carried out her actions; she ran after Candice, and like her, said no word to the unsuspecting males. The hallway out of the Gym was a long way filled with turns, and Chuck was covering the waterfall, so she couldn’t go through it. Only one solution remained. She jumped to the side, tackling a wall that fell apart with a ripping sound. The Trainers and their Pokémon stares at her as the chain reaction started, and eventually, the Gym needed rebuilding again.
Shouts and protests and pointed fingers; Maylene destroyed their hard work, and they couldn’t stand building it again. Riolu finally reached his trainer, who was still on the ground, turning her head rapidly while the other Trainers surrounded her. But to her, all that mattered was that Candice was nowhere in sight, but a second ice trail was.
Her instincts took over again, and she ran for the trail. Those who tried to stop her were either kicked away or punched, with Riolu mimicking her actions for the Pokémon who tried to stop him. The mud under her feet slowed her down, but she soon found it helpful as she jumped onto the trail.
Riolu tried to comprehend what Maylene just shouted in the middle of their adrenaline rush, but he soon realised it. Due to his size, his entire body was covered with mud, and that gave him, and Maylene’s feet, a great speedy start. But he soon lost his balance.
His face crashed onto the ice, and his entire body flattened. Riolu’s own jump, and temporarily running across the ice, created a momentum that sent him flying through the trail, still spinning. He crashed onto the unsuspecting Maylene, and knocked her onto her back.
The mixture of the ocean water and the cold ice was almost nostalgic for Maylene. She couldn’t help but laugh as she lost complete control over her body, and trusted fate to carry her to wherever the trail of ice ended. The cold feel of Sinnoh, and the salty water of Johto; for a moment, she had it all.
Just for a moment, she had it all. Frozen in time, and in the two places she wanted to be, but the familiar sands ended that dream. They flooded around her and Riolu, and informed her that her fun was over. Riolu helped her up, and they exchanged looks before observing their area. The sand around them, and the sea with the ice trail behind them, and her friend in the distance.
‘Candice!’ Maylene called out desperately. ‘I need you to stay!’
Candice slowly turned around. There stood Maylene, panting and desperate, walking towards the only friend from Sinnoh that can stay with her, and with a smile, Candice walked towards her. ‘Maylene, I knew you’d follow me,’ said Candice. ‘I was counting on it. I will still get on the ship back to Sinnoh, though.’
‘W-What?’ Maylene’s fatigue slowly settled in, but it was nothing compared to Candice’s words.
‘I tried to be your friend, but you ignored me, and then left for Johto,’ Candice continued. ‘I already told you that I’m tired of being nice to others. I’m going, Maylene, just like you did. Goodbye.’
‘B-But, we’re friends,’ pleaded Maylene. ‘Why are you rude?’
‘I’m not rude!’ beamed Candice. ‘I’m not Gardenia! You’re not my friend!’
Candice’s arms shot out and pushed Maylene to the ground, sanding a cloud of dust up around them. Riolu, seeing how his friend was treated, turned to Candice. He didn’t care that they once were friends, and with a quick movement, sent his fist flying through the air to meet Snorunt. With a cough, and a gasp from Candice, she fell to the ground as soon as Riolu’s hit landed. He shot his eyes up at Candice, and walked away towards his trainer.
Snorunt’s eyes started tearing up as her former best friend rejected her, just because Candice rejected Maylene. And as soon as Riolu took Maylene’s side, Candice walked away, towards the ship back to Sinnoh. Snorunt glanced at her trainer, then back at Riolu; she knew where her loyalty was, and she didn’t like it. Candice has changed, and not for the good, but she was still her trainer, and she had to stick with her.
With a sad glace, Snorunt followed Candice, while Riolu remained with Maylene.
‘She was nice,’ Maylene spoke to Riolu. ‘Thank you, Riolu, for taking my side. I don’t have anyone left.’
Riolu lowered his head, before sitting on the sand next to Maylene, and patting her as if she were his Pokémon. ‘We should go back to Chuck,’ said Maylene. ‘Just across the… ice…’
The pair exchanged looks; it certainly was unfortunate. Melted ice could get them nowhere across the ocean, and Maylene couldn’t help but think that Candice had intended for this to happen. Everything was fine for a moment, but not now.
10th April 2013, 6:19 AM
§12: Leading Sinnoh
‘This must be why mom told me to be careful!’
‘It’s fine, Maylene,’ Gardenia shouted back. ‘We’re fine! It’s just snow!’
Four figures, completely surrounded by snow. One of them was the determined young Gardenia, who was taking the lead despite not knowing her way around. The girl right behind her, and the one who caught up to her often, was Candice. She knew the way to her hometown by heart, but Gardenia seemed to perceive this, like everything else, as a competition, and the fierce little girl pushed her back every time she caught up to her. Right behind the two were Maylene and Roark, who struggled the most.
Of course, some of them were hesitant on taking a trip to the north of Sinnoh without any adult accompanying them, as were their parents, but Candice convinced them that it was as safe as drinking water, and Maylene’s mother had to admit that her daughter wasn’t easily phased, and if there was any group of kids that were safer in the world than adults, it would be this one.
Throughout her life, Maylene challenged everything, and even defeated a few Trainers at her father’s Gym. She was easily the strongest in the group, but also the most rash, never thinking before delivering a hit. Gardenia followed up on the same rash personality, but produced such bluntness that easily repelled anyone who meant the group any harm.
Candice gave the brains that the group needed. Every situation she was in was one that she resolved with the least damage caused, and she got the group out of danger’s way many times. The same could be said for Roark, who served the ability to think about the future, and the safety of the group, as opposed to Candice, who specialised in the situations they were already in.
They would surely all be friends forever; they created a very unique combination of skills, and shared a common goal: help each other.
They kept battling their way through the blizzard, and Maylene took this opportunity to train her endurance. ‘We should be there soon!’ Candice shouted. ‘You’re finally going to see where I live!’
‘Right now, it seems very bad!’ Gardenia beamed. ‘What kind of crazy folk live here?! Crazy folk!’
Candice ignored Gardenia, as she always did when she fired an insult at anyone, and ran forward, attempting to finally go ahead of Gardenia. She used her speed in the snow and her experience as an advantage when she created a distance between them, and ran ahead of the group before returning to the path they were taking.
Furious, Gardenia ran even faster, and the pair behind them copied silently. Candice proved herself reliable when they did reach Snowpoint City in a few minutes. They ran to the Gym, where they took shelter from the cold for a little while.
‘You cheated!’ Gardenia started. ‘Candice cheated, everyone! She ran away from the path, and went in front of me!’
‘But you pushed her many times,’ Roark added, much to Gardenia’s annoyance. ‘Let’s see Snowpoint now; this trip would be useless if we don’t.’
‘Yes, I’ll show you,’ Candice said. ‘Follow me!’
With a scoff, Gardenia followed Candice, as did the others. Roark seemed very eager to learn about all the history of Snowpoint, and eager to study the Snowpoint Temple, even though Candice had already informed him that it was off limits, even for her.
‘How do you train in here?’ Maylene started. ‘Do you go to the blizzard?’
‘No, I don’t train like you three do,’ Candice smiled. ‘I think the stronger bond you have with your Pokémon, the stronger the Pokémon will be; you already know that. It’s why Snorunt and I are almost never apart. Oh, let’s send out our Pokémon!’
With a nod of agreement, they all sent out their Pokémon. Roselia appeared on Gardenia’s side, Riolu on Maylene’s, Cranidos on Roark’s, and Snorunt on Candice’s. Their first instinct was to look at their surroundings, and they eventually recognised the snowy ground as Snorunt’s home, and in turn, Candice’s home, and without a moment delay, they took the opportunity to play in the snow, while their trainers sat amongst some trees.
‘I like Snowpoint,’ Maylene said. ‘Every city in Sinnoh is different. And the trip here was good for my training.’
‘It was quite a challenge,’ Roark said. ‘I didn’t enjoy it, though. But Candice and Gardenia seemed to; they were racing in the blizzard!’
‘Yeah, you two are weird,’ Maylene added. ‘I was sure Gardenia would win.’
‘I would have won, but Candice cheated,’ Gardenia repeated. ‘Because she’s a cheater!’
‘When do you have to be back home, Roark?’ Candice asked, ignoring Gardenia again, but that wasn’t the only reason she had for changing the subject.
‘Tomorrow morning,’ Roark said. ‘Our parents know we’re spending the night here, but my dad wants me back home early to pack everything.’
‘Canalave City is very far away!’ Gardenia said. ‘It will be harder to drag you around Sinnoh, but I’ll still do it!’
‘We’ll be seeing less of you,’ Candice said, with a very faint hint of sadness, and a blush. ‘We won’t be the same group without you.’
‘Hey, Candice,’ Gardenia started. ‘Do you want me to help Roark up that tree for you?’
‘What do you-’ Candice suddenly realised what Gardenia meant. ‘T-That’s fine. We’re not g-going to climb.’
‘Yeah, I don’t like it,’ Roark said. ‘Canalave is far away, and I like Oreburgh. I’m not sure who my dad will put as the Gym Leader in Oreburgh to replace him, but my grandpa is the temporary replacement now. I just really wish he would pick me. He would never think that I’m strong.’
‘He will,’ Maylene said. ‘You’re strong, Roark! You even defeated Riolu once! You can become a Gym Leader, and eventually, we will become Champions!’
‘Two Champions?’ Roark smirked. ‘That’s not possible.’
‘The four of us will be Champions!’ Maylene corrected him. ‘We will be strongest than everyone!’
The spot where they last were a group was now back to it’s former cold glory. No more trace that they were there at all. Candice walked to it, and sat where Roark did, Snorunt by her side. She looked up at the tree Gardenia had pointed out, and then turned her gaze to Snorunt. Her eyes started watering, and her chest fluctuated with silent short gasps.
‘I’m sorry,’ she pleaded to Snorunt, letting all of her tears flow. ‘I’m so sorry. I- I don’t… It wasn’t me… I didn’t, I didn’t want to do this, but they never liked me. They always made fun of me. Snorunt, I’m sorry.’
The Pokémon started crying with her trainer, and it was as sudden as Candice’s breakdown. She jumped into her arms, and they held each other in an embrace that felt cold, but couldn’t have been more comforting. Snorunt’s cold body froze some of Candice’s tears, and her own tears as well.
Candice could apologise, but she didn’t want to; it was too late now, and it would only cause Gardenia to make more fun of her. She slowly fell back, onto the snow that once was nothing to her, but now, she felt cold, as cold as ice.
It was just a few days ago that Candice returned to Sinnoh, but it was already different. Roark had moved to Canalave, Maylene to Johto, and Gardenia, who she never considered a friend, was nowhere to be found. She sat alone in front of Lake Acuity, not even her own Pokémon Snorunt was next to her.
By now, Maylene must be mad at her for rejecting everyone from her life, and the only person she didn’t push away was Roark, but he had been pulled away. She regretted her decisions; that wasn’t her, a girl who was praised for her rational decisions and wits couldn’t make such a great mistake, but she did.
Even if she regretted her choices, she was still determined not to back down; she would never beg someone to be her friend if they refused to, even if it was Maylene, who picked Gardenia over her. There wasn’t any hope for their friendship, not even hope for her at all.
Or so she thought. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, or rather, hope on the horizon; Roark battling his way through the blizzard.
‘You’re becoming really strong, really fast,’ Brawly punched his fist against Maylene’s. ‘That’s just in a few days, as well!’
‘Thanks, Brawly,’ Maylene said. ‘You’re a good friend.’
‘Or maybe, a good person in general,’ Brawly chuckled. ‘You’re a great friend as well, Maylene.’
‘Do you think I’m becoming stronger because my friends aren’t here?’ Maylene frowned. ‘I mean, you’re here, but I meant my friends from Sinnoh.’
The pair was sitting at the shore, where the mud was sand again, the ice trail Candice left was gone, and all forms of connection Maylene had with her Sinnoh friends was cut. The sun was setting, and Maylene decided to join Brawly in his daily routine of watching it, even though, to her, there wasn’t anything more boring that that.
‘It’s not that they are not here,’ Brawly said. ‘It’s just that there aren’t any more distractions. Even if they were there, that storm would have still hindered us, and that rockslide.’
‘I guess you’re right,’ Maylene said, and remained silent for the final moments of the sun’s day. ‘There she goes. I will miss her.’
‘You mean Riley refused the position?’ Candice gleamed. ‘And suggested you as his replacement?’
‘That’s right,’ Roark’s smile couldn’t get any wider. ‘And you’re the first to know, aside from my father and Cynthia. Maylene is in Johto, and I have no idea where Gardenia is, but I’m actually glad I told you first; you can keep a secret. I want to surprise everyone I tell by telling them personally.’
‘I’m so happy for you, Roark!’ Candice threw her arms around him. ‘Your dream has come true!’
Roark returned the hug, and they embraced for a while. It had always been Roark’s dream to become a Gym Leader, just like Maylene’s dream, and that was what connected the two. But when it came to Candice, something else connected them; they cared for each other greatly, more than anyone else. Not only did their intellect compliment each other, but so did their unspoken feelings.
‘So where is Gardenia?’ Roark asked after their embrace was broken.
‘Johto,’ Candice scoffed. ‘Better off, I never liked her.’
‘That’s unlike you,’ Roark frowned. ‘You are a friendly person; what happened?’
‘I never liked her,’ Candice repeated. ‘Since the start, I never liked her. The only good thing she did to me was introduce me to you.’
‘But she’s a nice person,’ Roark said. ‘I know you think she’s rude all the time, but she cares about us all. How many times did she defend your name?’
As much as Candice hated it, Roark was right. Gardenia had stood up for Candice several times when people called her weak for not training her Snorunt like everyone else, and even punched an old lady that dared to say that Candice was bad at contests.
‘Yeah, but she teased me,’ Candice said. ‘And made fun of me.’
‘Candice, listen to yourself,’ Roark pleaded. ‘You’re an amazing person, and I know that. It’s unlike you to be so cruel and rash; that’s Gardenia.’
She hated it again; Roark was right, again. She was being as rude as Gardenia, and as rash in making her decisions; she didn’t even see herself that way. Her feelings flooded back to her, her feelings of regret and remorse for what she did; that was the true Candice.
‘I’m sure you can work things between you two,’ Roark added. ‘And I hope you do, for my sake. It’s selfish, but I would like our group of four back.’
As everyone who met them would say, these four were the future of Sinnoh. Maylene, Candice, Gardenia, and Roark. They all had dreams, ambitions, and a lot to learn from each other. They were all quite mature in their way of thinking, but at their core, they were still children, and the world was still an open space to discover.
10th April 2013, 9:17 PM
Having rebuilt the Gym, and helped fix the Pokémon Center, Chuck finally returned to his regular training schedule. There were no more distractions, and no more obstacles; he expected the best from both Brawly and Maylene.
They trio stood next to the mountain that had suffered from the alleged natural disaster, which was actually just Maylene’s foolish actions, a tribute to the day she met Gardenia, nonetheless. Maylene stood between Riolu and the ocean, while Brawly stood in front of the closed cave entrance, with Makuhita right in front of him. Chuck observed the two, the tension rising at the wait for a command from Chuck to start the battle.
And he seemed to be toying with them for his own enjoyment, often opening his mouth and pausing to exhale, which causes the pair’s attack orders to freeze in the air. At that very moment, though, Maylene was determined to prove herself; she had advanced way past the little girl who just wanted to punch the new Gym Leader to prove her strength and ability to become a Gym Leader to Cynthia, the new Champion back then, at that party.
It was a little ignorant of her to think that by just daring to assault an older man, she would become a Gym Leader, and as time progressed, and she came to know Crasher Wake, she felt sorry for trying to use him back then, even though it seemed like an innocent move. Back then, she was very ignorant, but Crasher Wake had trained her until she was able to command Riolu, and became connected with the Pokémon. And her Johto trip hadn’t been in vain; Chuck had taught her strategies that she planned on using, and Riolu had gotten considerably stronger. And the back of her head was filled with the times she battled her friends in Sinnoh, and lost and won many times.
With a bark, Chuck snapped her back into the battle as he commanded it to start, and with similar shouts that overlapped, Maylene and Brawly ordered their Pokémon, almost ready to run forward and battle with their Pokémon; something that Maylene had attempted before.
Riolu’s agile body allowed him to run through the sand with the most graceful manner. He ran from side to side, strafing to avoid Makuhita’s gaze; the Gut Pokémon had already prepared the attack in the form of a glowing fist, much too familiar to Riolu’s own fist.
With a small ripple that broke through the air, they clashed, their arms extending towards the other, and blocking any attempts of an attack. They were locked in combat, pushing against the other, while their trainers clenched their teeth.
‘Sand-Attack!’ Brawly shouted, quicker than Maylene had expected.
Makuhita’s foot drew back, and kicked up sand towards Riolu’s eyes, but the Pokémon and his trainer knew each other too well; a split second before Maylene shouted her order to duck, he had ducked, only to meet Makuhita’s rushing knee at an order from Brawly.
Riolu fell to the ground in a sudden slump, and quickly rolled over to dodge whatever attack Makuhita had planned. He dug his palms into the ground, and jumped back to his feet with an agile cartwheel. Another set of commands, and two creatures’ moment of peace was over.
This time, both of them rushed towards each other. The sand around them kicked up in piles of dust as they met in another clash, but with another quick move, Makuhita slid to the ground, and Riolu tumbled forwards, meeting another direct hit from Makuhita in his midsection, and he was sent flying back towards the trainers.
He hit the sand with another similar thud, and saw Makuhita rushing towards him out of the corner of his eyes. This battle was far from over, and Riolu wasn’t going to lose that easily, especially not to Pokémon that was almost his equal; Riolu had the advantage of speed.
And utilising it under Maylene’s attack command, he began digging into the sand, and quickly created a sinkhole that closed as he went beneath the ground. Makuhita knew this move; it had been used against him many times. He gathered all of his strength in his fists, and leaned forward, anticipating Riolu’s move.
And once again, Maylene’s thoughts had long since stemmed into Riolu, and infected his mind with the same nonsensical, unpredictable decisions. His feet shot through the sand, and Makuhita blocked them easily, but it was the rest of Riolu’s body that he didn’t consider.
His fists shot up beneath Makuhita, and grabbed the Pokémon as they turned in the air before Makuhita’s back smashed against the sand, and Riolu delivered a Force Palm that sunk Makuhita deeper into the ground, and sent Riolu flying, ready to descend and land his final hit.
Brawly’s familiar shout broke through the air again, and Makuhita kicked sand up to meet Riolu, causing his to miss his attack, and land on the ground. Makuhita rushed to Brawly’s side, while Riolu struggled back to his feet, the sand in his eyes slightly hindering his movement.
‘Now, Makuhita,’ Brawly grinned. ‘Rock Slide! The mountain!’
Makuhita copied his trainer’s devious smile, and jumped back towards the mountain. He delivered a quick punch, and sent a few rocks rolling down before he flung them at Riolu, who wished he had kept the sand in his eyes.
The situation was too familiar for Maylene, and Riolu. Memories of the rockslide they were in rushed through her head. The small rocks hitting her body, the painful scratch against the jagged mountainside, and the possibility of never being able to achieve her dream. Her tongue was twisted with fear, unable to emit a single sound.
The same was for Riolu, who was neither able to move, nor wanted to. He had to protect Maylene, even if it meant falling to the ocean, another aspect that seemed to repeat itself.
A blur of blue appeared in front of the pair, and a rush of watery sounds followed. Rocks splashed into the ocean, the water rushed though Maylene’s ears, and the shadow of Riolu swimming to rescue her. Almost on the verge of losing her breath, Maylene returned to the battle with a shout from Chuck.
‘The battle is over!’ he said, seemingly only to Brawly. ‘Did you forget what I taught you?!’
Maylene breathed a sigh of relieve. Riolu walked back to her side, and they shared a look with the round blue shape that, now that thinking clearly was an option, she recognised as Chuck’s Poliwrath. He had blocked the rocks with an attack of his, and the ground connecting him and Makuhita was a wet line of dirt and rocks.
Following Chuck’s orders, Brawly walked back to the Gym, and Chuck gestured for Maylene to follow. The group walked back slowly to the Gym, a sign that meant Chuck was going to do something that would affect the course of their training, a sign Maylene had seen enough of to realise that she did something wrong, but in this instant, it seemed to be Brawly who was getting the blame.
He was facing the sand, and walking unusually fast. Makuhita behind him frowned as he exchanged apologetic looks with Riolu, who returned them with a comforting smile and a nod; the pair did have a brutal fight, and it was very plausible that they would think the other was out to kill them.
Finally at the Gym, Chuck walked the pair to his office, and withdrew his Poliwrath there. Maylene stood next to the entrance and faced the two males that seemed to be about to reveal something to her.
‘Maylene,’ Chuck addressed her, bringing back the feeling that it was actually her that did something wrong. ‘I’m sure you think you know why Brawly is training here. Would you care to tell her, Brawly?’
He exchanged looks with Chuck, almost avoiding his sight, but not wanting to back down. Brawly knew that whether he had met Chuck’s eyes or not, he still had to tell Maylene; this must be part of Chuck’s training.
‘Become a Gym Leader,’ Chuck said. ‘I was brought here to train to become a Gym Leader.’
‘Again,’ Chuck added before insisting. ‘again!’
‘Again,’ Brawly sighed of frustration. ‘I was already a Gym Leader before I came here, one of the best actually.’
‘You were only one of the best because of the reason you’re here,’ Chuck said before turning to face Maylene. ‘I was impressed with his reputation as an undefeated Gym Leader, so I went to Hoenn to visit his Gym, and found out what he should admit.’
Brawly’s eyes travelled to his mentor again, almost condemning him for making him admit his mistakes. Just as he was about to speak, Chuck pointed at Maylene, signifying that Brawly was to admit to her, and not to Chuck.
‘I cheat in battles,’ Brawly said after facing Maylene. ‘Chuck found that out, and reported me, which got me fired, and then he promised that he’ll get me my position back if I stopped cheating in my battles; he said I had potential. That’s why he brought me here; to train into becoming a Trainer who doesn’t cheat.’
‘It’s a very thin line,’ Chuck said. ‘Between using strategies, and cheating. You’ve crossed that line many times.’
‘I knew you were injured in that rockslide, and it would probably bring back bad memories,’ Brawly said. ‘Chuck noticed that I instructed Makuhita to attack the mountain, and not use the rocks that were already lying around. I’m sorry, Maylene, it was a cheap move.’
‘Oh,’ Maylene couldn’t find another way to express her reaction; she felt betrayed by Brawly. He tried to use her fear against her, and he had managed to paralyse her long enough for him to win had Chuck not intervened. ‘Oh.’
Riolu’s gaze darted from Brawly to Makuhita, who didn’t seem to care about his trainer’s actions as much as he cared about pleasing Brawly. Even though the two Pokémon weren’t close friends, Riolu was still disturbed by the realisation.
‘The important issue is that he apologised,’ Chuck said. ‘I hope you can forgive him, Maylene.’
Chuck dismissed the trainers with a wave from his hand, and Maylene was the first out of the Gym. She didn’t care about Brawly using her fear against her anymore, but the fact that she was now weak. It wasn’t the rockslide as much as the outcome of it that scared her; being defeated by a man, and facing the threat of losing her dream of ever becoming a Gym Leader when her mother wanted to take her back to Sinnoh. She didn’t use to be afraid of anything, but Riolu realised that his trainer was officially facing a threat that shook her to the core, and that concerned both of them; anyone can use that fear to defeat her.
His hand reached Maylene’s, and he pulled it down to drag her attention, before nodding slowly, as if to tell her that it didn’t matter. She smiled at him, and he smiled back before dragging her to the rocks; this time, it was him who would be training her.
‘You’re the best, Riolu,’ Maylene said. ‘Together, we’ll be stronger.’