P1 Grand Stand-Off
"Golett is unable to battle!" the nearby referee called out. "Hitmonchan and Silus are the winners!"
"Alright!" Silus hooted happily, exchanging a fist bump with his Pokémon. "You did great, partner."
A brilliant flash of red illuminated the other side of the arena, as Lyra recalled her defeated Golett to its Pokéball.
"You did a great job." she said solemnly. "Now rest well."
"Alright folks!" Don George stepped out on the stadium, microphone in hand. "Let's look at the results for the semifinals."
With a general wave in the direction of the scoreboard, Don George indicated to the ten pictures of the semifinalists for the P1 Grand Prix. Lyra's portrait grayed, indicating her loss. Nathan's portrait was also grayed, suggesting that Cheren had one their bout, and soon, both were standing next to Silus viewing the results.
"Looks like you'll be facing him in the finals." Nathan spoke up, stating the obvious.
"Don't get cocky, Silus." Lyra warned. "You may have won against me and Jason, but that guy is really tough. I watched Nathan battle him. He uses an Emboar in battle. They're fully evolved Pokémon."
"Emboar, huh?" Silus noted, curiously, pulling out his Pokédex to examine its data.
"Emboar, the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon and the evolved form of Pignite. It has mastered fast and powerful fighting moves. It grows a beard of fire." the Pokédex chimed mechanically.
"Looks intimidating." Silus noted, rather nonchalantly. "But I've come this far! I won't lose now!"
Lyra sighed, "You never learn, do you?"
The Finals Commence!
Minutes later, Silus found himself again standing in a painted box, on the opposite side of the arena, preparing for another Pokémon battle. This time, for the P1 Grand Prix's championship. Across from him, standing confidently on the other side of the arena, was Cheren, the trainer that had defeated Nathan in the Semifinals. Don George and the referee stood off to the side of the arena.
"Trainers!" Don George's voice boomed with enthusiasm. "This is what we've all been waiting for! The exciting conclusion of the P1 Grand Prix! In the green corner, we have Cheren, a trainer from the Unova region, and former Gym Leader. In the red corner, Silus! An aspiring trainer from Hora's very own Eden Town! Referee, if you will."
"Yes, sir!" the referee replied. "Trainers, this will be a one-on-one battle. The first Pokémon to rendered unable to battle will be disqualified and the P1 Grand Prix will be at an end!"
"Understood!" Cheren and Silus snapped in unison.
"Very well. Release your Pokémon!" the referee said.
Silus reached inside his jacket, snatching a Pokéball from the nearest holster, and enlarged it with a tap of its central button. With a toss, the ball spun in midair, snapping open and pouring forth a bright white energy, which continued to spill onto the field, reforming into the Punching Pokémon, Hitmonchan. Cheren, at that point, already had his Pokéball in hand, snapping his wrist backwards and then sending the ball hurdling into the sky, where it too burst open, releasing its contents, which then formed into a massive pig Pokémon; Emboar.
"Commence the match!" the referee commanded, flashing both flags to indicate the start of the battle.
"Go, Emboar! Wild Charge!" Cheren roared.
The large pig Pokémon was suddenly consumed by electrical energy, which radiated off of it as a powerful aura. Leaping forward, Emboar began a charge, tearing up the ground beneath it as it ran full speed at Hitmonchan.
"Counter that, Hitmonchan! Earthquake!" Silus countered.
Hitmonchan's boxing glove began to glow with intense light, and it immediately punched downward, slamming its fist into the ground below it, causing the ground to immediately begin shaking violently, and sending large chunks of debris skyward. The shockwave caught Emboar before its Wild Charge could reach, sending it scuffling backwards.
"Emboar!" Cheren shrieked in concern.
"You won't be able to beat me by charging at me head on!" Silus declared. "Use Sky Uppercut!"
Meanwhile, in the bleachers, Lyra facepalmed, sighing to herself, "I think that match with Jason boosted Silus' confidence a little too much." she said, a tone of annoyance in her voice.
"You sure you're not just mad that he beat you?" Nathan wisecracked.
"What was that supposed to mean?!" Lyra angrily snapped.
Back on the field, Hitmonchan's fist connected, sending Emboar skidding backwards once again — another direct hit. Emboar snapped back into place, ready for more once again.
"Emboar!" Cheren called out. "Use Brick Break!"
Like Hitmonchan before it, Emboar's fist began to glow with intense light, eliciting a karate chop-like movement, landing its own direct hit on Hitmonchan, sending it right back to its rightful spot in the arena.
"I watched your match yesterday at the Pokémon Center." Cheren suddenly said, giving their Pokémon time to rest. "You're no ordinary novice. I can tell you have an apptitude for battling."
"Really? Thanks." Silus conceded, caught off guard by the remark. "As a former Gym Leader, you're not too bad yourself."
"It is true, I am a former Gym Leader. I left Unova to seek the thrill of a good Pokémon battle. I hope to find that battle in your Caspia Conference. And that means I must prove my strength in ever battle until then." Cheren explained.
"Well, that's all good and all, but I'm also headed for the Caspia Conference! I can't lose here!" Silus declared confidently, "Hitmonchan, use Close Combat!"
"Flare Blitz, Emboar!" Cheren retorted.
Emboar lit up once more, this time with flames, which proceeded to engulf its entire body. It then charged head forward at Hitmonchan. On the otherhand, Hitmonchan charged energy in both of its fists, unleashing a furious barrage of punches on his opponents. An explosion took place thereafter, sending both Pokémon reeling backwards from the epicenter.
"Both Pokémon seem pretty evenly matched." Silus analyzed. "Then I'll just have to show off some of the strategy I used against Jason."
Meanwhile, back in the stands, three familiar faces were making their way through the crowds.
"Popcorn, soda, get your popcorn and soda!" Meowth of Team Rocket chimed loudly so that the roaring crowd could hear it.
It, Jessie, and James weren't dressed in their usual attire today, instead being dressed casually, carrying around trays full of snack foods and soda cans. This was a normal procedure for them. Whenever a big competition was in town, there was always a chance for the team to make some extra cash, and this is exactly how they always went about it.
James, unlike Meowth, however, was distracted, "That twerp isn't too shabby. Say, guys, why do we always follow the trainers that can beat the pants off of us?" he asked sarcastically, if not rather absentmindedly as well.
Jessie promptly swatted his purple-haired head, sending him scampering down the stadium bleachers' staircase, landing against the railing.
"I never want to hear you say anything that stupid again!" the fiery-headed woman snapped.
"Yeah!" Meowth chirped in agreement. "Besides, we're not here for the twerp. We're here ta make some dough. Now, shut yer yap and keep sellin'!"
Returning to the battlefield, Hitmonchan scored yet another direct hit, sending Emboar slamming face first into the arena.
"Now then, while its down! Hitmonchan, use Earthquake!" Silus roared, nearly leaping out of his box as he so often did.
Mimicking what it had done only a few minutes earlier, Hitmonchan channeled its energy into its fist, punching the ground with tremendous force, causing tremors to violently shake the entire arena; striking Emboar head on. The result was Emboar landing hard on its back, right in front of its trainer's eyes.
"Emboar is unable to battle!" the referee announced. "The victor is Silus, the challenger from Eden Town!"
"We did it!" Silus shouted triumphantly, earning him a fist bump from Hitmonchan.
"You preformed excellently, Emboar." Cheren consoled in the meantime, returning his Pokémon to its ball. "Have a good rest."
The two trainers then approached each other, meeting up halfway at center stage. Cheren was the first to offer his hand for a shake, offering no words to go along with it, simply a smile. Silus returned his smile, and firmly clasp Cheren's hand, giving it a hearty shake.
"You did well, even for a novice." Cheren conceded. "I hope we meet again in the Caspia Conference."
"Definitely, so get stronger until then!" Silus agreed, shaking Cheren's hand once more.
"Alright, trainers!" Don George suddenly came over the microphone, interrupting their conversation. "We have a Champion for the P1 Grand Prix! Its Silus from Eden Town!"
The crowd began cheering wildly, drowning out even the sound of Don George's microphone. In the middle of it all, both Lyra and Nathan were on their feet cheering for their friend.
"Now then!" Don George's voice again cut in, silencing the crowd. "We have a special event about to take place, which will bring our competition to an end. Our champion Silus will now have an exhibition match with Mikayla, the sponsor of our tournament, and a member of the Elite Four!"
"Hello, Silus." Mikayla announced herself, breathing out a puff of smoke from her pipe as she stepped into her corner of the ring. "Let's make this a good show."
Next to her was a small, horse-like Pokémon, which seemed to keep a close eye on Silus. Silus noticed it, completely forgetting to respond to Mikayla, and instead reaching for his Pokédex.
"Keldeo, the Colt Pokémon. Keldeo tends to cross the world, and often appears at beautiful watersides. It can walk across water by ejecting water from its hooves. It is thought that when Keldeo becomes Resolute, its body fills with power and it becomes swifter." the Pokédex reported.
"Keldeo here is my partner and lifelong friend, but it won't be the one battling you." Mikayla announced, smirking at Silus' interest in her Pokémon.
"Really? If Keldeo is your partner, I can't wait to see what other kinds of Pokémon you have!" Silus squealed excitedly.
"Come on out," Mikayla barked, tossing a Pokéball into the air. "Virizion!"
The ball snapped open, spilling its contents on the the arena's battlefield, which then reformed back into a large, green, antelope-like Pokémon. It seemed to regard Keldeo with a friendly gesture before facing Silus' direction.
"Virizion!" the Pokémon chirped.
"Virizion, huh?" Silus queried, looking back at his Pokédex.
"Virizion, the Grassland Pokémon. Its head sprouts horns as sharp as blades. Using whirlwind-like movements, it confounds and swiftly cuts opponents." the dex reported a second time.
"Wow!" Nathan exclaimed, watching the events below from high in the bleachers. "Virizion and Keldeo!"
"What's so special about those two?" Lyra blinked, confused.
"Virizion and Keldeo are both legendary Pokémon." Nathan reported, just as excitedly. "They're both part Fighting-type."
Back on the field, Silus seemed equally impressed with Mikayla's display of dazzling Pokémon.
"Since this is an exhibition match, and not an actual part of the tournament, I'll let you pick which ever Pokémon you want. One-on-one." Mikayla challenged. "Are those conditions acceptable to you?"
"Perfectly!" Silus replied, suddenly energized. "And my choice is Monferno!"
Hurling his own Pokéball into the air, Silus' Starter Pokémon appeared in a burst of light, flexing its muscles and chirping happily to see it was Silus' choice for battle.
"Begin the match!" the referee declared.
"Monferno, Flamethrower attack!" Silus jabbed.
Opening its mouth, the monkey Pokémon released a stream of flames directly at the legendary Pokémon. However, the attack was less than satisfactory in its results. Without even a verbal command from its trainer, Virizion leaped high above the Flamethrower, completely avoiding it in the process, and landing directly behind Monferno.
"Sacred Sword." Mikayla snarled, folding her arms.
Virizion's central head marking began to glow bright green, causing a horn to sprout from its head. Before Silus, or Monferno, for that matter, could react, Virizion leaned down, slamming its energy horn into Monferno's skull, sending it flying backwards.
"Monferno!" Silus cried out, shocked by the legendary Pokémon's speed and power.
"You attack blindly. I also assume that you use those types of moves to determine how your opponent will react, allowing you to better make a counter move." Mikayla deduced.
Silus gritted his teeth, now fully aware of the talent of his opponent, "She's good. Only one move, and she's put Monferno in the dirt and deduced my strategy." he thought in frustration.
"Virizion, Sacred Sword, once more!" Mikayla barked.
Once again, Virizion created a horn of green energy from out of its forehead, charging forward to finish the job it had started.
"Monferno! Counter it with Vacuum Wave!" Silus commanded.
Monferno rose to make its move, but didn't have a chance. Virizion's speed was far too great, and it slammed its horn into Monferno with exceptional force, once again sending it flying, unconscious, directly into the ground in front of Silus.
"Monferno is unable to battle!" the referee announced. "The winner is Mikayla and Virizion!"
Silus was stunned. Never before had he witnessed a Pokémon with that much raw speed and power. Then again, Mikayla was among the Elite Four, some of the few in Hora considered to be a Pokémon Master. On top of that, she had demonstrated that she had caught and befriended not one, but two legendary Pokémon. Hanging his head in defeat, Silus pointed his Pokéball at the fallen Monferno, wordlessly recalling it with a flash of red light.
"You did well." he conceded solemnly. "Have a good rest."
"Good work, Virizion." Mikayla greeted her Pokémon warmly, scratching its neck affectionately. "Silus, don't be so down on yourself. You're still a beginner. You'll come into your power. I can tell, just from having watched your battles in this tournament, that you care a good deal for you Pokémon. As long as you continue forward with that attitude, you and I will face each other again, on equal planes."
The unexpected reassurance from Mikayla bolstered Silus' wounded confidence, causing him to lift his head up and offered a weak smile, "Thanks, Mikayla. Your Pokémon were pretty awesome."
"Well, that's it folks!" Don George announced, coming over the stadium speaker systems for the final time. "Thank you all for coming and competing. This is Don George, your host, Mikayla, our sponsor, and Silus, our champion! Hope to see you all next year, at Phlox Town's P1 Grand Prix!"
Evening was setting, and Silus, Lyra, and Nathan found themselves in Phlox Town's Pokémon Center, where Silus had called up his cousin, Ryan, on the video telephone. The two had been idly chatting for a few minutes when Silus brought up the competition.
"So, the P1 Grand Prix, huh?" Ryan said. "Who did you use?"
"The Pokémon that hatched from the egg you got me!" Silus reported proudly.
"Really? Tyrogue won?" Ryan asked, sounding somewhat surprised that a baby Pokémon could win such a prestigious tournament.
"Well, it started out as Tyrogue, but now its a Hitmonchan." Silus corrected him, drawing a visibly surprised look from the older cousin.
"Wow, Professor Elm and I were right to entrust the Egg to you. Its already fully evolved..." Ryan's voice trailed off. "Listen Silus, would you mind sending it back here to the Gym with me?"
"Send Hitmonchan to you?" Silus asked, suddenly curious and uncertain. "Why?"
"You see, Silus, Professor Elm sent me that Egg from Johto because it refused to hatch back at its infirmary. But it has flourished with you. Now that it has, it can go back home with its parents and train and get really strong, like it was meant to be."
"But..." Silus stuttered. "Hitmonchan and I have become really close. I don't want to just give it back and leave it in a place it wasn't doing so well to begin with."
"Hey, don't worry about it, I understand that feeling completely." Ryan replied. "But, Hitmonchan wouldn't be leaving you permanently. Think of it as an ambassador, that will help the people in Johto to better raise the Tyrogue at the infirmary. If you ever needed its help, you could call me, and I could have Professor Elm send it right back over. Plus, it'd get some good training while it was away."
"Well, when you put it that way..." Silus trailed off.
"You should do it, Silus." Lyra encouraged. "Sounds like that Hitmonchan could help the Tyrogue at the infirmary. And it'll get to see its mom and dad! That's a good opportunity for it."
"Alright." Silus conceded, placing Hitmonchan's Pokéball on the transporter. "Just make sure he's taken good care of, please."
"Of course." Ryan replied with a smile. "I'm a Gym Leader, remember? Its my job to protect and care for Pokémon."
"Talk to you soon, cuz." Silus waved, shutting off the connection just after Hitmonchan's Pokéball beamed away.
A New Road
"So, Silus, I was thinking we should head towards Crocus City, instead of going in the direction Jason took." Lyra mentioned, as the three set off the very next morning.
"Why, what's there?" Silus asked, intrigued.
"Well, that's where I was originally headed when we met. There's a Pokémon Contest taking place there in a few days and there might be some cool sights to see. Plus, there are a ton of rare Pokémon on the routes along the way." Lyra explained her logic.
"Rare Pokémon?" Nathan chirped. "Sounds fun to me."
"Sure, why not. Besides, there is a Gym in Safflower City, which is in the same direction." Silus conceded, smiling. "To Crocus City it is."
And so, with Phlox Town and the P1 Grand Prix finally behind them, our heroes set out for Crocus City, and the Crocus Pokémon Contest! But, what they are unaware of, is that their greatest adventure lies just ahead!