Dawn sprayed yet more super potions on her beloved Pokemon as she walked. She knew she was running out of potions fast, but it was all she could do to keep her Pokemon fighting while stuck in this wretched cave.
But that was what Barry had said. Iron Island was a place to train. Which most likely meant it wasn't going to be a walk in the park.
She gritted her teeth and continued. The cave was growing darker, but none of her Pokemon knew Flash, and she didn't have the TM for it either. She switched on her Poketch to help illuminate the path directly in front of her.
There, right in front of her, was yet another elevator.
Oh great, she thought. Even deeper into this god-awful hole.
But she knew she'd have to continue if she was ever going to stand a chance against Byron.
Or any of the other challenges thrown her way, for that matter. Why did Team Galactic have to be so bloody annoying?
She ran up to the elevator, but just before she reached it, a Graveler stepped into her path.
She knew what it wanted to do. She checked she had picked up the right Poke ball from her belt, and threw it out. "Go! Swablu!"
The Normal-Flying type chirped as it was released. Dawn caught the ball that had been falling from where she threw it,
But it wasn't going to be out for long.
"Swablu, come back," Dawn called out to it, holding Swablu's ball out as well as the Poke ball containing her Empoleon, "that's all you need to do."
Swablu chirped again, but it was more confused than anything else. Yet, it still agreed, and accepted the warmth of its ball once again.
Dawn sent out her Empoleon just before the Graveler started firing rocks at it. Dawn recognised the move as Rock Blast.
The Graveler successfully threw three rocks before taking a quick break.
"Now, Empoleon!" She cried out, "use Bubble Beam!"
Prinplup looked back at her, nodded, and fired a blast of water at the Graveler, which formed into bubbles upon impact.
From the books which Dawn had read when she was younger, she knew that the Geodude evolutionary line was four times weaker to water than it would've been normally due to its typing. So it came to no surprise that the Graveler became unable to battle in one hit.
Dawn smiled at Empoleon. "Good job. Now come back here, I'll heal you up. Those rocks looked painful."
Empoleon happily returned to its Poke ball.
Dawn would've felt especially proud of herself if she hadn't done the same routine what felt like five thousand times already today.
She sighed, and stepped on the elevator.
It shook slightly, then made a whirring noise as it began to take her down to the next level.
There was nothing at the bottom except a small tunnel.
Dawn kept her left hand near her Poke balls on her belt, just in case.
She ran through the tunnel as fast as she allowed herself.
As she burst through the other side, she stopped suddenly. Her Poketch light had illuminated a boy's face in front of her.
He looked to be around her age, but maybe a couple of years older. From what the light gave, he wore a navy-blue hat and had dark hair.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry," Dawn told him, and stepped back a couple of steps.
The boy shook his head. "Don't worry. It's dark in here, so I'm not that surprised that I ended up bumping into someone."
Dawn blushed just a little. "Well, it was more me bumping into you, but-"
The boy interrupted her. "It's honestly fine. Anyway, we should get a brighter light in here."
A strange blue light began to fill the area. Although Dawn couldn't see what was causing it, she decided it was a question that wasn't worth asking.
"Hey, thanks," she said to the boy, giving him a smile.
"No problem," he replied. There was a short pause, then he asked his own question. "You seem a bit lost. Do you want to walk around with me? That way, you'll also be able to see more clearly."
Dawn nodded. "It's probably for the best. The light from this watch doesn't reach far at all. I'm surprised I haven't walked into a wall yet."
The boy smiled, and they both started walking together.
"So, what's your name?" The boy asked quietly.
"Dawn," she replied, "yours?"
"Riley. Nice name by the way."
"Yours is pretty good, too."
Riley laughed a little, then sighed. "So, Dawn, why did you come to such a remote island?"
Dawn shrugged. "I've been trying to collect all the Gym badges to take on the Pokemon league, and I had been doing pretty well. But then I had a battle with my rival, and his Pokemon were much stronger than mine. I just managed to pull through, but I felt like I couldn't continue defeating Gym Leaders out of pure luck. And my rival had suggested this place, so I thought I might as well come here. It hasn't been easy so far, but it's really helping my Pokemon."
"Ah," Riley nodded, "so you came to train. I came here to train as well, only I'm not collecting Gym badges. I just wanted to get stronger. I was nearly a Gym Leader myself, actually."
"Really?" Dawn looked up at him.
"Byron asked if I wanted to take up the role. Problem is, I wanted to only use a single Pokemon. However, the Pokemon League rules stated that two Pokemon had to be used, minimum, and I've always preferred to focus all my training on one Pokemon so I can bond with it more. So I declined, and told him that his son Roark should be considered."
Before Dawn could reply, the blue light began to show two Pokemon in front of them, both Gravelers.
Dawn sent out Swablu yet again. As she did, she looked at Riley. His hand was placed on top of his only Poke ball, and threw it out.
Dawn could see that the Pokemon he owned was a Lucario. A very strong Lucario at that.
She did the same routine as before, calling Swablu back and sending out Empoleon.
Riley looked at her, a look of faint confusion on his face.
Dawn explained. "I did some research on Pokemon evolution a while back. Apparently, any Pokemon within a battle gains experience. Once they have anough experience, they can evolve and reach their new form. I recently caught this Swablu, but I haven't found a good place for it to gain experience."
She quickly called out for Empoleon to use Bubble Beam, while Riley commanded Lucario to use Force Palm. Dawn continued. "The best place I can find has been here, but as Swablu is a Flying type and she's weak to Rock, and all the Pokemon here are Rock types, I've chosen that I should send her out in the very beginning of battle, before sending out a Pokemon that can defeat Rock types. That way she can gain experience without being damaged too much."
"Seems reasonable," Riley told her. As they both looked back at the battle, both Gravelers had run away.
Riley frowned. "Those Graveler were acting strangely. I feel like something isn't right here."
Dawn looked at him. "Then we should probably search the cave for anyone suspicious."
Both of them resumed walking, both of them sticking slightly closer together than previously in case of anything bad happening.
Dawn quickly remembered she had to heal Prinplup. She rummaged through her bag for a hyper potion, but just as she was about to use it, Riley stopped her.
"Here," he told her, "let me do it for you. I've got enough potions to last me a lifetime."
Dawn paused, smiled, then placed the hyper potion back in her bag. "Thanks a ton."
He healed her Pokemon, then they continued.
As they walked, they encountered more Pokemon. Onix were appearing, Golbats flew down from the top of the cavern, even the odd Steelix was making its presence known.
It was when they were battling an Onix and a Graveler when Swablu began to evolve.
Dawn and Riley stared upon the sight in awe. Swablu became surrounded in white light, making it painful to look at her. When the light faded, Dawn saw her Swablu. Except it was no longer Swablu.
The Pokedex she had been given informed her that she now owned an Altaria.
Altaria looked beautiful. Her cotton wings had grown to be magnificent, and her tail feathers were stunning.
Both Dawn and Riley grinned.
"But do you know the best part?" Riley asked.
Dawn shook her head.
"She's trying to learn Dragon Breath. She's become a Dragon-Flying type."
Dawn laughed slightly with glee. She told Altaria that she should use Dragon Breath instead of Take Down, before calling her back into her Poke ball.
As they poroceeded to walk around even more, Dawn realised something.
She was enjoying this much more than before she met Riley.
A few minutes later, Riley mentioned something to her. "We're nearly at the next elevator. There not much more to the cave after that, so if you want we can-"
Dawn suddenly glared at the two people just up ahead.
She had spotted someone who she had been really hoping to not encounter.
"Riley," she muttered slowly, "I think I know who has been causing the disturbance."
"Make sure you're ready for a battle."
Both of them stepped out in the line of sight of the two people Dawn had seen.
"I thought that perhaps you'd be causing the disturbance," Dawn said to them, "Team Galactic."
One of the grunts laughed. "Of course," she said, "who else?"
Riley looked at them. "So you're the ones disturbing all the Pokemon," he told them, "I should've known. I've heard a lot about you. Team Galactic is infamous. But whatever you're doing here, I won't let you get away with it." He turned to Dawn. "We can't lose this battle, Dawn. I want you to battle with me, so we can protect this area."
Dawn nodded. "Of course."
Both the grunts reached to their belts, and called out a Zubat and Glameow respectively.
Riley brought out his Lucario, while Dawn chose her newly-evolved Altaria.
As Riley called for his Lucario to use Force Palm on the Glameow, Dawn told Altaria to use Dragon Breath on the Zubat.
Before both of the opposing Pokemon had a chance to do anything, they had been defeated due to the sheer power of Riley and Dawn's team.
Both the grunts began to become agitated. One of them sent out a Houndour as their second Pokemon, while the other chose a Croagunk.
Dawn commanded Altaria to use Fly on the Croagunk, while Riley told Lucario to use Force Palm again on the Houndour.
The Houndour didn't stand a chance, but as Altaria's Fly took a couple of moments to work, the foe's Croagunk used Toxic.
However, it had planned to use it on Altaria, and since she had flown up out of where the blue light reached, it completely missed.
Altaria suddenly flew back into vision and crashed into the Croagunk, successfully rendering it unable to battle.
Both of the grunts were growing incredibly frustrated now. Their last two Pokemon were sent out, being a Golbat and a Stunky.
As Dawn told Altaria to use another Dragon Breath on the Golbat, Riley told Lucario to use yet another Force Palm on the Stunky.
Yet again, the Pokemon of the opposing grunts didn't even have a chance.
Both the grunts withdrew their Pokemon, and then cried out in anger, before walking away defeated.
"You know," Riley said to Dawn, "we make a pretty good team. That Altaria of yours is one you should look after."
Dawn blushed. "Yeah, I guess. And I think we make a good team, too."
Riley smiled. "Oh, I almost forgot!" He took something out from one of his pockets. "I was waiting to give someone this Pokemon egg. I was given it a while back, but I didn't have much use for it. Why don't you take it?"
"Ok," Dawn replied, "I'll make sure I take good care of it."
Riley handed her the egg. She placed it carefully in her bag.
"You know," Riley told her, "I feel like I can sense something in you. I feel like you're going to become a really great trainer, who'll grow to do wonderful things."
Dawn grinned. "Thanks, but I don't think you mean you sensed it. Humans can't do that."
Riley shrugged. "Well, who knows?"
Dawn waved to him, then walked up to the elevator.
Riley stopped her just before she stepped on. "I'm going to stay here and do more training before I leave. Are you going to stay here? Or are you leaving now?"
"Leaving," she replied, "I'm done here. I'll see you again some time, ok?"
Riley gave her a thumbs up. "Why not?"
She hopped onto the elevator. As it made its way down, she looked back up at Riley waving to her.
She wasn't sure if it was just the angle, but she could swear that the blue light that had been illuminating their way wasn't being created by an artificial device. Now that she could see Riley's other hand more clearly, it looked like he was holding the ball of light in his hand as though he has created it himself.
She was probably seeing things. She knew that humans couldn't do that.
But she decided to check at the Canalave library, just in case.
2 days later....
Riley had stopped off in Canalave City to go to the library. He was going there because he had simply wanted to do research on the lore of Sinnoh.
Someone had been playing their radio.
As Riley overheard, some breaking news came on. Apparently, a young trainer from Twinleaf Town had successfully beaten down the boss of Team Galactic, as well as successfully stop the Distortion that had been occurring around the top of Mount Coronet. The trainer had declined to appear on the radio, but the reporter said that all she would allow to be released was that her main ally in the battle had been an Altaria.
Riley smiled. He felt he perfectly knew who that trainer was.
He wished to see her again. Knowing how strong she must be now, she'd probably try to take on the champion of Sinnoh. And upon doing that, she'd have access to the Battle Frontier.
Riley knew it was a long shot, but if he managed to go to the Battleground there which was offered to all trainers, he might just get a chance of seeing her.
And maybe he could finally gain the courage to tell her about aura.