The Super Punchy Pokémon!
With Route 6 finally behind them, our heroes have finally reached Phlox Town! What challenges await them now, as Silus continues on his journey to collect all of Hora's Gym Badges?
"Boy, for a small town, this place sure is busy!" Nathan noted, as the group of three fought their way through a large crowd along the city streets.
"I wonder if there is some sort of festival in town, or something." Lyra offered.
"Seems to be." Silus confirmed, reading out of the "Guide to Hora" guidebook. "According to the guidebook we bought back there, this time of year is when Phlox Town hosts the P1 Grand Prix."
"The P1?" Lyra queried. "There's one in Hora?"
"Are there others?" Silus asked, confused.
"Sure there is, silly." Lyra giggled. "The Kanto region also hosts the P1 from time to time. Its a tournament for Fighting-type Pokémon and is quite popular there."
"Looks to be popular here, too." Nathan interjected.
"A Fighting Pokémon tournament, huh?" Silus sought confirmation, suddenly gazing blankly into space.
"What's up Silus?" Nathan asked. "Thinking of joining up?"
"Well," Silus began. "I haven't gotten the opportunity to do any real training since before my last Gym battle. This might be a good opportunity to train my Tyrogue."
"Hey, yeah!" Nathan exclaimed.
"That's a wonderful idea, Silus." Lyra approved. "We should all join up and get some practice."
"All?" Silus blinked, again confused. "Do you guys even have Fighting-type Pokémon?"
Nathan nodded and displayed a Pokéball, "I have a Timburr that I caught some time ago!" he explained.
"And they make exceptions for Pokémon who can learn Fighting-like abilities, like my Golett." Lyra input. "So I can just enter it."
"Then its settled! We'll all enter the P1 Grand Prix!" Silus said jovially. "This will be good for us all."
Fighting Pokémon Smackdown!
Several minutes later, the group entered the Battle Club where the competition was to be held. The line to the front desk, where registrations were being taken, was considerably long, so Nathan retrieved his copy of the guidebook to review the rules for the competition.
"Okay, let's go over the rules real quick." Nathan said, thumbing through a few pages. "Each entrant will only be allowed to enter one Pokémon. From there, all of us will enter the Qualifying Rounds, and the winners of that will enter the Semifinals. The Finals will be a match for the prize; an exhibition match with a member of Hora's Elite Four — a lady named Mikayla."
"An exhibition match with a member of the Elite Four?!" Silus repeated excitedly. "That sounds like just the kind of training I need."
"Keep in mind we're entering too." Lyra said, in a snide-like fashion. "You may not win the tournament!"
"Oh yeah?!" Silus challenged, puffing his chest out.
"Cut it out you two!" Nathan snapped, slamming the book shut. "Its our turn to register."
Shortly after entering themselves into the tournament, Silus and friends were guided, along with the other trainers who entered, outside and into a fairly sizable stadium, where they were encouraged to fill the stands. Once the stands were filled, the competing trainers were quieted by Don George, who took mid-field to address the competitors.
"Welcome trainers, to the annual Phlox Town P1 Grand Prix!" Don roared into his microphone. "We will get started with the Qualifiers here in just a moment, but first, a word from our sponsor, Mikayla of the Elite Four!"
The crowd went wild as the blond woman made her entrance into the stadium. Even Silus found himself on his feet cheering as Mikayla made her way to where Don George was standing, shaking his hand before taking the microphone from him to address the crowd that was gathered before her.
"Trainers, do your best." she said, her voice clear and sharp. "And remember, Pokémon are our partners. What is happening here today is not just a battle competition, but a chance to bond with our friends on the field of combat. Make it a good show!"
Once more, the crowd went wild as Mikayla bowed and then handed the microphone back to Don George.
"Alright trainers!" his voice boomed, quieting the noisy crowd. "There are twenty competitors in this Grand Prix. The Qualifying Rounds will eliminate ten of these twenty. And heeere are the match ups!"
The massive scoreboard showed the twenty competitors and their match-ups for the Qualifying Rounds. Silus immediately spotted his opponent, an older gentleman by the name of Harlan. And to make matters more nerve racking, all Qualifying matches were to take place at the same time, so they would have to battle immediately.
"Trainers!" Don George cut in. "Once you've got your match up, please proceed to the cage arenas located just outside the main stadium. Good luck on the Qualifying Rounds!"
Harlan from Hoenn!
Silus walked up to the field he was designated to battle on. It was basic in its appearance, lacking the luster of the main arena which was inside the stadium; appearing as just a basic basketball court, which had the main field replaced by a standard Pokémon battlefield. Off to the side, just above where the referee was standing, was a smaller version of the main stadium's scoreboard. On the far side of the field, Harlan was already in his slot, awaiting Silus' arrival.
"So, you finally showed up!" Harlan cackled. "I was beginning to think you'd gotten cold feet and ran away."
"Me? Run?!" Silus barked. "Not a chance! Let's get this started."
"Alright," the referee began. "This is the Qualifying match between Silus from Eden Town and Harlan from Lavaridge Town. It is a one-on-one match. The trainer whose Pokémon is determined unable to battle, or refuses to battle first will lose and be eliminated from the tournament. The trainer who will choose first will now be selected."
Above the referee, a small wheel displaying a pattern of red and green colors lit up and began blinking rapidly. Silus knew this game. It was a game of chance. Silus was on the "green side" and Harlan was on the "red side". If the light lit up red, Harlan would choose his Pokémon first and get the first move. If it lit up green, the opposite would be true. Just as he finished that thought, the red light lit up and remained lit.
"Harlan will make the first move!" the referee declared. "That also means he gets to choose his Pokémon first."
"Alright, let's see what this guy is going to use..." Silus thought, watching carefully.
"Exploud, let's go!" Harlan declared, tossing his Pokéball.
An explosion of light energy erupted onto the field as Exploud's containment ball broke open, causing a large Pokémon, nearly the size of its trainer, to take form on the battlefield.
"Ex-loud!" the large Pokémon vocalized.
"An Exploud?" Silus questioned, pulling out his Pokédex and scanning the opponent.
"Exploud, the Loud Noise Pokémon and the evolved form of Loudred. Its roar in battle shakes the ground like a tremor--or like an earthquake has struck." the Dex informed mechanically.
"This says that Exploud is a Normal-type Pokémon." Silus exclaimed, somewhat surprised. "But why bring a Pokémon that is weak against Fighting-types to a tournament of mainly Fighting-types?"
"Don't underestimate Exploud because its a Normal-type." Harlan lectured. "Its one of the most powerful Pokémon in the Hoenn region."
"I'll take my chances." Silus muttered under his breath, "Go Tyrogue! Let's knock 'em flat!"
A smaller eruption of light shaded the field in silver luminescence, as it formed into the tiny Fighting Pokémon, Tyrogue.
"Tyrogue!" the petite Pokémon declared, flexing its tiny muscles.
"Predictable." Harlan chuckled.
"What's that supposed to mean?!" Silus snapped back.
"This is a Fighting Pokémon tournament. Tyrogue and its evolutionary line are the most common sights at these kinds of events. I'm not about to be beat by such a mediocre Pokémon!" Harlan declared. "Go, Exploud! Start us off with a Supersonic!"
Exploud leaped into the air, landing directly at mid-field. It then opened its sizable mouth, releasing a tremendous amount of powerful sound waves, aimed at confusing Tyrogue.
"Tyrogue, dodge it and then use Rock Smash!" Silus commanded, jabbing his finger towards Exploud.
At the last moment, Tyrogue skidded to the left, avoiding the Supersonic attack. Its fist then took on a deep reddish-brown coloration as it leaped into the air and struck Exploud on the head with its Rock Smash. Exploud flinched in agony, skidding backwards due to the recoil of the attack.
"Good work, Tyrogue! A direct hit!" Silus praised excitedly.
"Ex-ploud..." the large evolved Pokémon grunted, opening its eyes again, revealing itself to be virtually unfazed.
"But how?!" Silus exclaimed.
"Exploud, shake it off! Use your Rock Smash now!" Harlan countered.
Exploud shook its head to rid itself of its daze, then balled its fist, followed by the same effect that took place on Tyrogue's fist just moments before. With a jab, Exploud landed a powerful Rock Smash on Tyrogue, sending it flying hard into the cold earth beneath it.
"That Rock Smash just did a lot of damage." Silus noted. "Its only one attack, and it packed that much of a punch. Not to mention, Rock Smash has the ability to lower an opponent's defense. That means poor Tyrogue can't take another hit like that. Luckily, we also hit Exploud with a Rock Smash, so there is still a chance."
Tyrogue pushed itself to its feet, clearly winded from the punch it had just taken. Though it looked weakened, it had a glint of determination in its eyes that Silus couldn't overlook.
"Alright, Tyrogue! Use Low Sweep!" Silus commanded.
Tyrogue grunted and swept its legs low, attempting to knock Exploud off of its balance and secure the victory.
"Exploud, stop it!" Harlan countered.
Almost as if on instinct alone, Exploud reached down and grabbed Tyrogue's leg, stopping it dead in its tracks. It the proceeded to pick up the smaller Pokémon, trapping it in its larger and more powerful grip.
"Oh no! Tyrogue's in trouble!" Silus shouted, panicked.
"Let's finish this, Exploud!" Harlan declared. "Hyper Voice!"
"NO!" Silus roared, as if it could somehow stop the inevitable.
However, what happened next surprised both trainers and Exploud. Finally pushed into a corner, and sharing its trainer's fighting spirit, it had begun glowing as brightly as it had when it had come out of its Pokéball just a few minutes prior. This light blinded Exploud, drawing a gaping expression from Harlan, which quickly turned into frustration. Both trainers knew what was taking place. The glowing form of Tyrogue quickly enlarged, and then faded, revealing a much taller Pokémon with boxing gloves on both hands.
"Hit! Hitmonchan!" the new Pokémon chirped happily.
Hitmonchan and Exploud!
"Oh yeah! Tyrogue evolved!" Silus shouted excitedly, whipping out his Pokédex.
"Hitmonchan, the Punching Pokémon. Its punches slice the air. They are launched at such high speed, even a slight graze could cause a burn." the Dex chimed.
"Don't get cocky, brat!" Harlan roared. "It may have evolved, but I can still beat you! Exploud, you've still got hold of it! Use Hyper Voice!"
"I don't think so!" Silus declared, his confidence fully returned. "Go, Hitmonchan! Break free and then attack with Close Combat!"
"HIT!" the Punching Pokémon declared, eager to turn the tables once again.
Hitmonchan began glowing a bright maroon color, immediately using its new found upper body strength to snap itself out of Exploud's grip, causing the Loud Noise Pokémon to flinch, and lose control of its forming Hyper Voice. Hitmonchan then delivered its Close Combat; two punches which both landed direct hits, sending Exploud reeling backwards and landing hard on its back.
"What?!" Harlan yelped.
"Finish it, Hitmonchan! Sky Uppercut!" Silus commanded.
Hitmonchan's gloves remaining glowing, leaping forward in a burst of speed unseen when it was just a Tyrogue. Exploud hadn't even begun attempting to rise off the ground when the punch hit, scoring immense damage, and launching Exploud sky high, causing it to land with even more force than the previous attack. Exploud didn't have a chance, and was firmly knocked out cold.
"Exploud is unable to battle!" the referee chimed in. "Hitmonchan is the winner! And that means the challenger from Eden Town is the victor!"
"Hell yeah!" Silus roared in victory, running onto the field to give Hitmonchan an enthusiastic hug. A hug the Pokémon eagerly returned.
Harlan silently returned his Exploud to its Pokéball, "You did well." he whispered to it silently. "Kid!"
Silus turned, Hitmonchan still at his side, to see what Harlan had called out to him for.
"Though you got lucky..." he began, drawing a frown from Silus. "That was a good match. Your faith in your Pokémon is clearly visible to me."
Harlan stuck out his hand, offering it for a handshake; a move that startled and surprised Silus slightly. Slowly, and with some hesitation, the younger trainer stuck his hand out and accepted the veteran trainer's handshake, breaking into a bright smile as he did so.
The Semifinals Revealed!
Only minutes later, Silus was standing back within the main stadium, alongside the other contestants, both winners and losers, who looked anxiously upon the scoreboard which would determine the match-ups for the semifinals. Finally, as the afternoon sun fully set in the middle of the sky, showing the stadium in intense light, Don George appeared from the main building, taking his place on the announcer's stage and taking up his microphone.
"Excellent work, trainers!" he applauded. "We began this tournament with twenty participants. Now, ten remain. The next round of the tournament will be done here in the main stadium. And here's the lineup!"
On-screen, all ten portraits of the remaining competitors lit up. Within the next few seconds, the portraits began to arrange themselves into pairs of two. Silus audibly gasped when he saw who he was paired with. It was Lyra! Immediately, his eye shot through the crowd around him, desperately trying to find his friends. There, in the distance, he saw Lyra, clearly expressing the same amount of shock as she stared on at the scoreboard. Glancing back at the scoreboard, he saw that Nathan was matched with a man named Cheren.
"So, we're up in the semi-finals?" Lyra announced herself, walking up.
"It would seem so." Silus replied, awkwardly putting his hands on his hips.
"Well," Lyra snorted, turning her nose to the sky. "You'd better bring your best game. Elsewise, I'll beat ya."
"Oh yeah?!" Silus snarled. "Well then, bring it!"
Lyra smiled competitively, "Oh don't worry, Silus. Its brought!"
The Semifinals have been announced! It'll be Lyra vs Silus and Nathan vs Cheren! Which of our heroes will win the P1 Grand Prix? Found out in the next exciting chapter!