Three-on-Three! Jason and Silus, Together Again!

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Light & Dark

A Chance Meeting[edit]

Jason Reid was sitting on a bench inside the Pokémon Center, his eyes glued to a television screen which appeared to be showing a Pokémon Battle.

"So fast! Infernape is looking as good as ever, scoring a direct hit with it's signature Mach Punch!" On the screen, Jason could see the Pokémon known as Infernape. With it's flaming crown, it looked powerful. He rummaged for his Pokédex, flipping it open to look up this new Pokémon.

"Infernape, the Flame Pokémon and the evolved form of Monferno. Infernape's fiery crown reflects its fiery nature, and its speed is unmatched."

"So...that's what Silus is going to have when his Monferno evolves..." Jason mused, remembered his encounter with the fiery Pokémon.

"...but she refuses to back down, intent on defending her title as Champion Master of the Sinnoh League!" Due to Jason's brief attention slip, he nearly missed what the announcer was saying, and returned in time to see a young woman with long blue hair on the monitor, grinning as she commanded her Pokémon.

"And Garchomp makes it's move, weaving through the rock formations like a Seviper, it's blinding speed makes it hard to keep track of, and even Infernape is at a loss!" The announce continued the play-by-play as the Garchomp seemingly vanished from sight.

"Garchomp, Dragon Rush!" The woman ordered, and Garchomp's figure quickly became visible as it had taken to the air, it's head appendages glowing as it coated itself in a light blue aura, before making a dive downward, trailing streaks of the same colour.

"And it hits home!" The announcer shouted as Garchomp's Dragon Rush collided with Infernape, slamming into it with such force that when the Pokémon was thrown back and collided with the wall, the structure shattered as Infernape plowed through it, falling unconscious. "Infernape is down! Flint, the Fire Master of the Elite Four, has been defeated by our reigning Champion, Dawn, who has once again maintained her position as Champion of the Sinnoh League!"

"So that was the Dawn that the Professor was talking about..." Misty made presence known by speaking directly into Jason's ear, causing the boy to jump off the bench in surprise. 

"D-don't sneak up on me like that!" Jason snapped.

"Still scare easy, don't you Jase?" Jason heard a female voice, ripe with smugness, and quickl saw who it was connected to.

"Oh, Amelia." He frowned. Last thing he needed was a teasing by this girl. "Why are you even here?"

Amelia smirked, walking over to Jason and jabbing him in the forehead. "Last I checked, these Centers were open to all trainers, not just idiots clad in red."

"Why you...!" Jason's eye twitched; Amelia knew how to push all of his buttons. He reached for a Poké Ball. "You wanna have a go!?"

Amelia grinned. "Sure, I'd love to wipe the Pokémon Center floor with you!"

"You will not." Nurse Joy immediately stepped between the two bickering children, pushing them apart. "Pokémon are not tools to settle your petty little disputes. Put those Poké Balls away or I will report you to the League authorities."

"...tch..." The two seemed to be in agreement that the Nurse had just overstepped her bounds, but complied, putting their Poké Balls away.

"That's better." The Nurse sighed with relief. "Jason, your Pichu is all healed, you can come down to retrieve it when you're ready. Your Pokémon have been patched up as well, Amelia."

Jason, Amelia, and Misty descended the stairs, heading to the reception counter to receive their Pokémon back. Pichu immediately jumped on Jason's shoulder, it's usual perch.

"Where's Ivory?" Misty looked around, trying to find their companion.

"She's over there, talking to that boy and his friends." Nurse Joy pointed over by one of the video phones, where Ivory was talking to a boy with ridiculously spiky hair, oddly enough like a Qwilfish, and his two friends.

Jason's brain registered this appearance as someone he knew. "Hey! Silus!" He called over to the boy, running in his direction, leaving Misty and Amelia standing at the reception counter.

Silus had just taken a Pokéball off of the transporter when Ivory had come over to speak to him. It was a rest day, in between the P1 Grand Prix's first matches, which were yesterday, and the semifinals, which were tomorrow. Stashing the Pokéball along with his others, Silus looked up to speak to the newcomer, when he noticed someone shouting his name and tunneling straight towards him.

"Hey Silus," Lyra noted, watching from beside him. "Isn't that Jason?"

"Jason?" Nathan asked, confused. "Who's that?"

"Jason is Silus' rival and vice versa." Lyra explained to the younger boy. "Every time they meet, you can bet its going to be an amusing, yet interesting, confrontation."

"Hey Jase!" Silus shouted incredulously. "I didn't know you were in town! What're ya still doing in this neck of the woods?"

He then caught sight of the other female who was walking behind Jason, looking both haughty and slightly confused at the shout-fest that was taking place. Between the two groups, a small crowd had formed, with Silus' two friends, and Jason's three gathering together for a roundabout greeting.

"Eh, long story short, we stopped by the research institute." Jason shrugged. "We decided to sleep here before leaving. If I hadn't turned on the TV and saw the Sinnoh League Conference on TV, we may have left a bit earlier, but I had to watch it."

"Wait, you know each other?" Ivory asked, surprised. 

"Yeah, this is another friend of mine Ivory, his name is Silus." Jason introduced the Qwilfish-headed boy to his most recent companion. "Silus, this is Ivory. She joined with us only a little while back, so you never did get a chance to meet her."

"Nice to meet ya!" Silus smiled broadly. "Likewise, Jason, you haven't met Nathan here. He's the kid brother of Monkshood Town's Gym Leader, Cable. He decided to come along with Lyra and I."

"I'm surprised, Jason." Lyra interrupted, pushing herself to the front of the crowd. "I didn't see your name in the roster for the local P1 Grand Prix. I thought you'd jump at the opportunity to compete in a tournament like that."

"Yeah!" Silus chimed in again. "Lyra, Nathan, and I are all in the semifinals tomorrow."

Jason chuckled, a bit embarrassed. "Well, I don't have any Pokémon suited for that kind of contest. None of my Pokémon are Fighting-type, or know any Fighting-type moves. Add to the fact that we got lost in a sandstorm..." Jason trailed off.

Misty immediately swooped in. "Either way, it's nice to see everyone again, and it's nice to meet you Nathan."

"Oi!" Amelia butted into the conversation. "Am I suddenly not here?"

"I usually think that way." Jason smirked, his mood lifting again.

"You little..." Amelia hissed, but then turned to Silus. "It's nice to meet you Silus, I'm Jason's friend from childhood. I'm where all of his lunch money went."

Silus sweat-dropped. Jason definitely surrounded himself with a bunch of spunky females.

"Nice to meet you too, Amelia." he replied, shaking her hand in a friendly manner. "Good to see you again, Misty."

"Yes, its very good to see you again." Lyra replied, walking up next to Misty. "One more day with this airhead, and I was going to have to pull all my fine hair out. With you here, at least someone can relate to me."

"You take that back!" Silus shouted, waving his fist in mock anger.

"Well, since you're all back together," Nathan noted. "What're we gonna do? We have the whole day."

"I know." Silus replied, grinning mischievously while turning to Jason. "Its been awhile since our last battle, Jace. What'do'ya say? Wanna have a go?"

"Took the words out of my mouth." Jason's grin was one of excitement. "I was about to ask before everyone got all high-school-reunion on us."

The Rivals' Rematch![edit]

The large group exited from the back door of the Center, heading outside to the battle field that every Pokémon Center seemed to conveniently have. "So what's the terms of the battle?" Jason asked as they each took a side on the field and the girls and Nathan went to the benches. "Three-on-three sound good?"

"Sounds great!" Silus replied. "I've been wanting to test out a new strategy of mine. But let's amend the rules a bit. It'll be three-on-three, with no substitutions. First one to lose all three is the loser, and don't expect to beat me so easily this time!"

Lyra took up her seat next to Nathan in the bleachers nearby, "Watch carefully, Nathan. This is a good thing for you to see as a beginning trainer." she reminded him.

"My eyes are glued on the field. This should be good!" Nathan chirped excitably.

Misty stood up, walking over to the edge of the field. "Alright boys, I'm going to be your referee. This will be a three-on-three battle with no subsitutions! The first trainer to defeat all three Pokémon is the winner! When you're ready....begin!"

"Alright, let's get started!" Silus shouted excitedly, snatching a Pokéball from his waste and enlarging it with a touch of the central button. "Alright, center stage, Raichu!"

Silus sent the ball flying onto the field, which then erupted in a brilliant display of light energy, landing on the field and reforming into a large, orangish rodent Pokémon — Raichu!

"Rai! Rai!" Raichu cried excitedly upon seeing Jason again, "Chuuuu!"

"Good... looks like all that trainin' I sent it to do in Mimosa City after Jason and I's last match has made it a lot more confident." Silus thought to himself. "Raichu here has participated in all three of our matches so far, Jason. Let's see how much he's improved!"

"Oh, he has a Raichu as well?" Amelia looked excited. "This should be fun."

"Piiichuuuu...." Pichu glared at Raichu from over Jason's shoulder, it's little electric sacs sparking.

"No Pichu, not this time." Jason tried to calm the Tiny Mouse Pokémon. "I have a different friend who I want to give a turn." Jason reached for a Poké Ball, throwing it high into the air where it opened with a massive POP!, releasing a bright white light which hit the ground, forming into a Phanpy.

"Say hello to a friend of mine, Silus." Jason smile as Phanpy's ears fluttered happily. "Phanpy doesn't have quite the resumé your Raichu has, in fact, this is it's first battle. But I'm gonna count on a bit of beginner's luck."

"Isn't that...reckless?" Misty sighed. To be truthful, she wanted to smack Jason for using Phanpy in this battle, but, as referee, had to remain impartial. "Round One! Raichu vs Phanpy! Begin!"

Round One[edit]

"Phanpy, huh? I've heard Ryan speak of 'em. They're native to Johto mainly, I believe. Guess you can find 'em here too." Silus surmised. "No doubt, Jason is attempting to use Phanpy's Ground-type to negate Raichu's electrical attacks. Too bad for him."

"Rai!" Raichu chirped, electrical sparks jolting from the sacs on its cheeks.

"Alright, Raichu!" Silus commanded. "Let's give them a shocking performance! Use Iron Tail!"

"Rai!" Raichu cried, its tail glowing bright white. "CHU!"

Leaping forward, Raichu swept its tail in a large arc, aiming to smack Phanpy right across the face with a super effective Steel-type Iron Tail.

"Phanpy, dodge it with Rollout!" Jason commanded and Phanpy immediately curled into a spiralling ball, the spiralling motions increasing it's speed as it quite literally fled from Raichu's Iron Tail. the attack missing as the Long Nose Pokémon dashed past it, towards the edge of the field.

"Good, now turn back, and head right for Raichu!" Jason enthusiastically delivered the order to Phanpy, who skidded along the edge before making a U-turn back towards Raichu, barreling down at immense speed.

"Just as I thought. Using the Ground-type attacks to its advantage." Silus thought, "But you'll have to do better than that! Counter Rollout with an Iron Tail in Counter Shield formation! Go Raichu!"

"Rai!" Raichu cried in unison with his trainer.

Spinning into a ball, much like Phanpy had just done, Raichu's tail once more began to glow white with Iron Tail. As it spun, the ball that was its body became completely white, forming a ball just like the "Gyro Ball" Jason's Pichu had improvised in their last battle.

"This is a trick I learned from you!" Silus declared, "Now, forward Raichu!"

The spinning ball of light that was Raichu's Counter Shield-Iron Tail combination spun forward, attempting to clash with Phanpy's Rollout head on.

"Phanpy, make a leap!" Jason ordered, and Phanpy propelled it's rolling body into the air, the Rollout making the speed and power of it's jump tremendous as it soared over the spinning Raichu. "You'll need more than a borrowed bag of tricks to beat me, Silus. Phanpy, Water Gun, and use it on the ground!"

"Water Gun!?" Amelia called out incredulously from the sidelines. "How can you ask it to use a move it can't learn!?"

"You'd be surprised." Ivory kept her eyes on Jason's battle, but kept talking. "Quite a few Pokémon can learn unique moves by birth that they can't learn as they grow. This Phanpy may have just hatched before Jason caught it."

Phanpy unfurled itself in mid-air, extending it's small trunk forward. "Phaaaaaaaaanpy!" It cried, releasing a medium-sized stream of water not at Raichu, but towards the dirt ground in front of it, softening it and creating a slippery, mud-like substance. 

"And that's our opening!" Silus announced, "Up Raichu! Electricity is conducted by water. Even muddy water like that. And since the stream is directly connect to Phanpy through Water Gun, its a sure hit! Use Thunder!"

"Raiiiii!" the mouse Pokémon snarled, gathering electricity in its cheek pouches. "CHUUUU!"

Raichu came out of its spinning formation, unleashing several mighty bolts of electrical energy. This landed directly on Phanpy's muddy water, lighting it up in a frenzy of an electrical light show, which traveled up the stream of water from Phanpy's snout, right to the source.

The result was a spectuclar display of electricity as the attack connected with the descending Phanpy...however, the results were far from favourable. Phanpy crashed into the ground, twitching slightly, but it managed to stand back up and seemed absolutely unphased by the Thunder attack.

"Water might conduct an electrical move and strengthen it, but no matter how strong you make it, an Electric-type move is never going to damage a Ground-type." Jason goaded. "Nice try though, Qwilfish head!"

"It was a smart try, but that would have been more effective on an actual Water-type." Ivory agreed. 

"Phanpy, one more time, let's try Rollout!" Phanpy curled into it's ball shape and began to spin, charging forward to mow down the Raichu.

"Quilfish head, eh?! I'll get you for that." Silus snarled, somewhat annoyed. "I applaud your craftiness, but this is it! It still won't change your odds! Raichu stand your ground and use Iron Tail to bat it away! Use your weight to get an advantage!"

"Rai!" Raichu agreed.

For the third time, Raichu gathered white energy on its tail, crouching into the ground in order to hold its position. As soon as Phanpy was in range, Raichu focused all its strength into its tail, and swiped at the rolling ball that was Jason's Pokémon like a bat at a baseball, slamming its Iron Tail into the opponent, hoping to send it flying.

"Phan!" The small  Pokémon collided with the force of the Iron Tail and was sent careening backwards, twitching from the pain of the powerful move.

"Phanpy! Can you get up!?" Jason asked deperately.

"Phaaaaaaaaan!" Phanpy forced itself to it's feet, glaring at Raichu with it's determination. 

"That's the way!" Jason grinned. "Now, Phanpy, show it your power! Earthquake!"

Phanpy reared onto it's hind legs, before smashing it's forelegs into the ground, causing the entire battlefield to tremble and shake in an unavoidable Earthquake.

"Earthquake?!" Silus thought, shocked. "Alright Raichu, things are going to get sketchy, but hang in there! Use Iron Tail on the ground to assist with your jump!"

Raichu's still glowing tail, struck the ground, helping Raichu leap into the air, high over the battlefield.

"With Raichu in the air, Earthquake can't hit it, but it has to come down. So here's my chance to strike! I'll use my strategy and Raichu's heavier weight to my advantage!" Silus pondered. "Now Raichu, one last Iron Tail-Counter Shield formation!"

While still in midair, Raichu spun itself into a ball, which quickly began to glow as it raced down towards Phanpy, picking up speed as it raced downwards. Even if Phanpy dodged, it would have to relent Earthquake to do so, meaning Raichu would be safe, hit or miss.

"Phanpy! We're not through yet! Let's try and mimic what he's been so graciously showing off!" Jason was actually nervous about attempting this technique; only Aipom had ever had any practice with this before. "Let's combine Rollout with Water Gun, use the spinning to bat Raichu away!"

"Phaaaaanpy!" Phanpy stopped the Earthquake, and curled into a sphere once more, spinning in place very quickly, before emitting a powerful jet of water that began to spin with Phanpy, sending out powerful bursts into the air. Unlike Silus' variations, which were all far more controlled, Phanpy's water was going wild, however it still provided a defense — Phanpy was copying the Counter Shield.

This was successful. Raichu was struck by several tendrils of water and thrown back, landing on all fours near Silus. It gritted its teeth in anger and frustration, which was further shown by the sparks that were flying from the pouches on its cheeks.

"This is bad..." Silus thought. "Phanpy can only be affected by one of Raichu's attacks and so far, I can't exactly land a hit with it. Wait! That's it! I might have a way to knock it out, but I need an opening. So...

Raichu leaped out of the way of a few more wild, out-of-control water whips, and then looked to Silus for orders.

"Raichu, hang tight! He may be able to resist a direct hit from our electrical attacks, but we've got other tricks up our sleeves! Use Electro Ball on the field!" Silus commanded.

"Raichu!" the mouse Pokémon shouted in agreement.

Forming a ball of electrical energy on its tail, Raichu leaped up and launched the ball of electricity at the ground, causing a sizable explosion and sending a large cloud of rocky debris into the air.

"That's it!" Silus shouted. "Now! Use Iron Tail like a bat! Send the debris right at it!"

Raichu's tail began to glow yet again, and the mouse Pokémon leaped up swatting the rocks at Phanpy at record speeds, forcing back the wisps of water and, with any luck, would soon overwhelm the inexperienced Pokémon with a barrage of stone.

"Phanpy, increase the speed!" Jason ordered and Phanpy began to spin faster, every stone that collided knocking itself away, flying off in random directions. However, even with the stones batted away, Phanpy stopped it's rolling, looking tired.

"Phan...Phaaan..." 

"Phanpy's getting exhausted...it can't take much more battling..." Ivory looked worried.

Jason wasn't blind to this, but the rule was a no-substitution, and this most likely extended to recalling as well. "Phanpy, it's nearly over! Can you hang in there for a bit longer?"

"Phan!" Phanpy trumpeted it's cry into the air, determined, despite it's fatigue, to take this down to the wire. 

"Phanpy, use Rollout, and weave around Raichu, now!" Jason commanded, and Phanpy cried out with gusto as it launched itself forward into a Rollout, before circling Raichu with immense speed, never stopping to give the Electric Mouse a clear hit. 

"Oh no you don't!" Silus thought, a sinister grin coming over his face as he folded his arms. "Raichu, let's wrap this up in our next couple of moves. Use Thunder on all four corners of the battlefield."

"RAI...CHUUUUU!" the mouse Pokémon shrieked.

Four immense bolts of electricity launched from Raichu's body, landing on each of the four painted corners of the outside battle arena. The explosion that came next send dust and dirt flying into the air, covering the entire battlefield with an immense cloud of debris — not only limiting the vision of Phanpy, but also of Jason, to see where Phanpy was.

"Phanpy's inexperience is showing." Silus deduced. "Its still a baby, and this is its first battle. The truth is, it probably wouldn't have made it this far if it weren't for its type advantage, and that's what Jason's counting on. Now I've cut it off from its trainer. Even if Phanpy can hear Jason, it can't see him, or Raichu for that matter. Raichu, on the other hand, saw what direction it was headed when it whizzed right by him. So, I'll make a gamble. Phanpy will probably be confused with all the dust and debris, and will either slow down to get its bearings, or stop spinning altogether. And that's all the opening I need!"

"Raichu, use Iron Tail, Counter Shield formation! Aim for the direction Phanpy spun! GO!" Silus commanded.

Raichu curled up in a ball, glowing white as he had done numerous times already, and spun with raw speed in the same direction Phanpy had headed, aided by the thick blanket of debris that now covered the field.

"Phanpy! Stop moving now, and listen! This cloud can only limit you so much, make use of your ears and take in every sound you can!" Jason ordered as loud as he could, the sound of his voice reaching to Phanpy through the smoke cloud, and it stopped, raising it's ears to take in every sound. "Wait and listen!" 

Phanpy obeyed, closing it's eyes in the cloud as it began to hear sounds it hadn't noticed before, the size of it's ears particularly helpful in picking up faint vibrations. "If you can hear it, brace yourself!" Jason urged as Phanpy plainly heard this instruction, and heard the vibrations of Raichu's own spinning as it suddenly came into plain view, glinting from the Iron Tail. 

The sensation rocked Phanpy's body as the spiralling Iron Tail collided, sending a massive wave of pain that causes Phanpy to cry out, alerting Jason. "Phanpy's on it's last legs....however, with that sound, Raichu cannot be too far away, in fact, it has to be close. And, while Phanpy may be tired, it wants to win as much as I do. It's all or nothing with this last one!" Jason clenched his fist. "Phanpy, use Earthquake!"

Unseen from inside the smokescreen of debris and dust, Phanpy had stomped onto the ground, using it's last bit of energy to smash into the dirt, causing the entire battlefield to rumble and quake, firmly intent on making it's last stand.

Unfortunately for Phanpy, however, Silus heard Jason's command and for what was to happen next, sight wouldn't be required on Raichu's part.

"Alright Raichu, this is the end! Iron Tail-enhanced jump!" Silus barked out.

Raichu, still blinded by the cloud of dirt, enhanced its tail with Iron Tail and slammed the tail into the ground, leaping high into the air over both the battlefield and the smokescreen of debris. With it in the air, Earthquake couldn't touch it, and it had one last shot of ending the battle.

"Now, Thunder on the field!" Silus followed up.

Releasing for more bolts of Thunder, Raichu aimed the powerful electrical attack at the battlefield, this time uprooting larger rocks, which were launched into the air. Once these rocks reached a certain height, gravity took hold, and they began to rain down on the battlefield... and Phanpy, who was wide open.

The rocks slammed down onto the field, casting up a smokescreen that blocked everything from view. When it cleared, however, Phanpy lay unconcious, bruised from a collision with one of the falling rocks.

"Phanpy is unable to battle!" Misty called out. "Raichu is the winner!"

Jason recalled Phanpy into it's ball, smiling gently as he did so. "You were very good for your first battle Phanpy, so take a long, well deserved rest." Jason cast a look at Silus. "That was pretty good, taking better advantage of the field than I did to get over the type advantage. But we have two more left and you won't be prepared for what's coming!"

Silus ran onto the field, embracing Raichu in a large bear hug; the two friends laughing and whooping to celebrate their victory.

"Great job, Raichu." Silus said, petting it gingerly on the head. "Keep up the hard work!"

"Rai! Rai!" the electrical mouse replied.

Silus then returned to his place inside his box, whilst Raichu flexed its tiny arms in anticipation for the battle to come. Silus could already tell Jason was cooking up a counter attack plan. He would need to keep his head clear if he was going to win this next one.

Round Two[edit]

"That Raichu is too strong..." Ivory murmured. "It was trained very well...I'm starting to think the only effective counter would be to tire it out with as many Pokémon in a row until it drops..."

"I like this. Jason didn't even win the first round and he thought he was gonna battle me." Amelia laughed harshly. "I do wonder what he's got next though."

"Hey Lyra..." Ivory looked over at the girl. "How did that Raichu get so powerful? It's awfully strong for a trainer still fresh out of the village."

"The Ghost Pokémon Master." Lyra replied, eyes on Raichu. "When we stopped in Mimosa City, which was before Silus' last battle with Jason, Silus met a man named Darius and, through some working, got some lessons with him. That's why, in their last battle, Silus' Pokémon knew the Counter Shield. But Silus lost that battle, and deduced that its because he rushed his training. So, before we left Monkshood Town, where Jason and Silus last battled, he called up Darius and sent Pikachu over to get some more training. So, ever since then, Pikachu's been training one-on-one with Darius, and must've evolved then too. Its still surprising that its so strong."

"Sounds like the Heracross Jason told me about." Ivory said, remembering Jason mention it in passing. "I think he said he left it with the Daycare couple so Heracross could get stronger."

Jason, meanwhile, threw another Poké Ball into the air, and from the flash it light it expelled forth Aipom, who vocalized excessively as it greeted Silus, recognizing it's old trainer.

"Would ya look at that!" Silus exclaimed, happy to see his old Pokémon happy and healthy. "Aipom, you look great ol' buddy!"

"Rai! Rai!" Raichu greeted the Aipom.

"That's the Aipom Silus traded Jason after their last match." Lyra observed. "Wonder why he sent it out now of all times."

"Round 2! Raichu vs Aipom! Begin!"

"Okay Raichu, we won't go easy!" Silus yammered. "Let's keep going! Electro Ball!"

"Rai! Rai... CHUUUU!" Raichu shouted, leaping into the air and launching a large electrical sphere from its tail, directly at Aipom.

"Aibō, counter it with Shadow Ball!" Jason ordered, and Aipom swung it's tail, sending a msss of dark energy which collided with the Electro Ball, creating a minor explosion which obsured both of the combatants from each other and their Trainer's viewpoints. "Aibō, now, use Swift up into the air, and let it stay!" 

"Aiiiipom!" Aipom swung it's tail upwards, sending a flurry of Swift stars high into the air, which seemed to combine with others, culimating in several floating stars in the sky, which Aipom then proceeded to leap up onto, using them as footholds int he air, effectively gaining the high ground.

"So that's why." Ivory came to the realistion of what Jason's intention was.

"What do you mean, that's why?" Amelia blinked, confused. "I'm lost."

"Aipom, by nature, are energetic and love to show off. This is perfect for Contests, whose battle style is more unorthodox." Ivory explained quickly. "You would think Jason would use Aipom as a way to make Silus go easy on him, but that's not it at all. Aipom is the perfect Pokémon for Jason's battle style, which relies heavily on Contest-like moves! It's nature and his skills go hand-in-hand."

"That's a new trick." Silus observed, absentmindedly staring up at Aipom, who was still floating in the sky. "But it won't beat us! Just because Aipom has the higher ground doesn't mean a thing, right buddy?"

"Rai! Raichu!" Raichu replied, nodding its small head.

"Go Raichu! Take the center of the arena and fill the air with Thunder!" Silus commanded.

Raichu sprinted to the center of the field, marked by a large, white, painted Pokéball. Once there, it lit up with electrical energy, and released a massive barrage of bolts skyward; not necessarily just aimed at Aipom either. No, instead Raichu's attack was filling the sky, lighting up the entire area in a brilliant display of electrical attacks that would prevent Aipom from moving freely, lest it get struck with the wayward bolts of Thunder.

"Aibō, deflect all those bolts of Thunder. Spin and use Swift!" Aipom followed these orders to the letter, leaping off of one of it's Swift stars, spinning around like a ballerina in the air as it released Swift from it's tail. Swift began to expand out in a spiral-galaxy shape, crashing into the Thunder with it's multiple power, dissipating along with the bolts, creating a sparkling aftermath. A perfect appeal. Aipom landed back on one of the floating stars, looking down at Raichu, chuckling to itself.

Jason grinned; he liked his Aipom's attitude. "Now, Aibō, leap and descend with Aerial Ace!"

"AiAiAi!" Aipom leapt into the air, diving downward encircled in a bright white light. As it descended towards Raichu, it picked up both speed and power, intend on delivering a crushing blow.

"Brilliant!" Silus thought happily. "Raichu, time to enact our newest trick! Go! Thunder Armor formation! Wrap yourself in Thunder!"

"Raiiiichuuuuuu!" Raichu roared, releasing immense electrical energy from its body.

The electrical energy wrapped Raichu's rodent body, causing it to spark with an intense aura of electrical power — as if wearing it like armor. It then cracked a grin, not all that unlike the one its trainer had cracked during the earlier battle with Phanpy, bracing itself for impact with Aipom.

"That's it. Thunder Armor. Raichu wraps itself in electrical energy and uses it as a defense. If Aipom comes in contact with that, it'll get the shock of its life, and Raichu will be A-OK. Not to mention, it'll receive a Static from the physical contact. I knew Jason would try to mimic my Counter Shield, so I came up with something to throw him off. A completely new strategy!" Silus thought to himself.

"Aibō can't stop itself! It's going to crash right into that insanity!" Jason could do nothing as Aipom was boosted by the descent, colliding straight with Raichu's skull. The collision sent jolts of electricity all throughout Aipom's body, even forcing it off of Raichu and into the air where it hit the ground hard.

"Aibō!" Jason cried out as the Long Tail Pokémon hit the ground.

"Great!" Silus applauded his Pokémon. "Its down, Raichu! Now's our chance! Use Charge!"

Raichu hunched down on all fours, as the Thunder Armor around it began to crackle wildly with electrical power and increased slightly in size, demonstrating a sizable increase in electrical output.

"That's Charge!" Lyra gasped. "If Charge is followed by an Electric-type attack, then that attack will be twice as strong!"

"Yeah, and it also boosts the user's Special Defense, so its brilliant to use in combination with that Thunder Armor." Nathan pointed out.

"Raichu!" Silus declared. "Use Electro Ball before it can get up!"

Swishing its tail into position, Raichu charged a massive Electro Ball on the end of its tail, galvanized by the extra power granted by Charge, and then swished its tail again in a fanning motion, releasing the Electro Ball directly at the downed Aipom.

"Aibō, propel yourself!" Jason ordered. "Use your powerful tail as a spring and get into the air!" 

Aipom's eyes snapped open as it pressed onto the ground, using it's tail to flip itself onto it's legs, and then, once more, into the air, narrowly avoiding the attack as it went airborne, clinging to one of the stars it left as a way of staying away from Raichu.

"The problem is...we need to land a solid hit...'Thunder' armor or not, armor is armor and it has to have chinks somewhere..." He hit his head in frustration.

"I think Jason's head is going into overdrive!" Amelia laughed. 

"Aibō, use Swift in the air once more!" Jason ordered and Aipom let loose a flurry of Swift attacks that shot up...and then began to rain down. Much like Raichu had used rocks before in the battle with Phanpy, Jason was unleashing a storm of falling stars on Raichu, ensuring that it would be nearly impossible dodge, while Aipom looked on safely from it's perch. 

"You underestimate me." Silus scoffed. "You're using my strategies without thinking about their weaknesses. But I'll show you soon enough. Raichu! Use Charge and then Counter Shield formation!"

Raichu's eyes narrowed as its electrical shield once more grew in response to Charge. Landing on its back, Raichu began to spin rapidly, emitting arcs of electrical energy from its Thunder Armor, which then branched out, swatting any Swift stars unlucky enough to come into its range. But that wasn't all of the danger that was present. As the electrical arcs reached further and further into the sky, they also threatened Aipom, which was perched on one of its stars at the far corner of the field.

"Now... I'll see what he does. Depending on his reaction, I can try that combination and this second round will be as good as mine." Silus thought to himself, smiling at his strategy.

"I'm underestimating no one!" Jason snapped, gritting his teeth. "Aibō, destroy your perch with Thunderbolt!"

"Ai!?" Aipom looked at Jason as if his mind had been lost — and perhaps it had, but Aipom released a huge blast of electricity which destroyed the perch he was standing on, creating a large explosion that sent several stars raining down, imbued with the power of Thunderbolt — an Electric Swift attack. The rain of stars themselves provided protection from the electrical energy, which was deflected by the enhanced Electric Swift that rained down, and provided Aipom decent cover as it landed onto the battlefield once more.

"And that is just the opening I was looking for!" Silus snarled, his grin betraying how pleased he was. "Raichu! Keep up the Counter Shield, but spin closer to Aipom as you do!"

The rotating cyclone of electrical energy began to move towards Aipom, easily swatting away the electrical Swift as it did so. The last of which created an explosion and created a small smokescreen, obscuring Aipom's view of Raichu's impending attack. Finally, Raichu was but a few feet away from Aipom, and with no attacks nearby to hinder it, and Aipom blinded by the small smokescreen that had just appeared, it was free to attack at full power.

"This is it, Raichu! Time to finish it off! Combine your Thunder Armor and Iron Tail and hit it at point blank range!" Silus roared.

Raichu erupted from behind the smokescreen, now towering over Aipom. There was nowhere to run, and with its electrical Swift all gone, there was nothing to interfere with Raichu's point-blank assault either. Wrapped in the electrical power of Thunder, and tail glowing white with Iron Tail, Raichu flipped, intended on landing a direct hit with its Electric-Steel-type combination directly on Aipom's skull.

"Aibō, you have to get out of there!" Jason was desperately shouting to Aipom, not giving any specific order, just trying to get it to move. If that hit Aipom's skull, it was finished. 

"Ai...pom!" Aipom made a wide leap, however, it wasn't quick enough and the enhanced Iron Tail collided with Aipom's stomach, winding the poor monkey as it was sent barreling backwards.

"Aipom's in trouble...!" Ivory gasped.

"Aibō, you can do this!" Jason encouraged and Aipom used it's stand as a ground, breaking it's movement and regaining balance. "I think I've got it! It's a long shot, but not even that armor is unbreakable!" Jason took a breath. If this didn't work, he may be out of options that didn't require just attacking blindly like an idiot. "Aibō, use Aerial Ace, and spin to increase it's power!" Jason ordered and Aipom leapt forward, spinning like a top as it coated itself in white, spiralling energy, firing forward at high speeds. "Now, use Shadow Ball and merge with it!" Jason followed up with this order and Aipom created a Shadow Ball in front of it's body, which merged with the white aura of the Aerial Ace, imbuing it and Aibō with enhanced power as well as the unique properties of the Ghost-type. "Hit the mark!" Aipom closed in on Raichu, it's enhanced Aerial Ace couldn't possible miss; the move was an example of perfect accuracy. 

Raichu was hit dead center. At such close range, it didn't have a chance to dodge, much less react with a counter attack. As it flinched from the attack, the Thunder Armor surrounding it broke, its focus lost, causing the aura around it to disengage.

"That was impressive." Nathan noted.

"Yeah, Raichu took a lot of damage from that." Lyra concurred. "I wonder what Silus will do now that its Thunder Armor is broken."

"Don't give up yet, Raichu! Quick, grab it with your tail!" Silus shouted, sweat forming on his brow.

Weakly, Raichu opened one of its eyes, reaching up with its tail and ensnaring Aipom as it passed through it, holding it firmly in its thick black tail. Gritting its teeth angrily, it rose to its feet, glaring at its former teammate as it struggled in its tail's grasp.

"This is bad. Raichu wore itself down in the battle with Phanpy. It'll take time for it to be able to use the Thunder Armor formation again, too. But, with it hanging on to Aipom, this will end it." Silus thought. "Go Raichu! Use Iron Tail to slam it!"

Raichu's other eye snapped open, its tail glowing bright white around Aipom. It then raised its tail, the tiny monkey Pokémon still ensnared, and slammed it down hard on the battlefield with an Iron Tail; the result was an impact so hard that it shattered the the loose earth comprising the arena's make up, sending small shards of rock into the area.

"Aibō! We've come too far to lose now!" Jason called out to it. "It's not their time to win!"

"Ai..." Aipom was lying in a small crater, it's body pinned by Raichu. By this point, both battlers were equally tired; in fact, Aipom looked to be the worst off from the two. However, it wasn't unconcious. 

"Aibō! One last time! Use Double Hit!" 

Even though Aipom could not move the rest of it's body, Raichu's tail muscles were keeping it pinned, it's own tail was just as muscular, trained through constant use, and it began to glow white, rapidly extending on Aipom's own order, pummeling the Raichu that stood so dangerously close. However, as these last blows connected, Aipom's tail stopped moving and it fell unconscious.

Raichu clenched its tail, attempting to halt the assault on its hind-quarters, but it was too much. Raichu wasn't as damaged, per say, as Aipom, but it was far more exhausted. Having fought two, tough, drawn out battles, it was just too tired to continue. As soon as Aipom's attacks relented and it had fallen unconscious, Raichu relented, releasing it from its grip, and fell to the ground, also knocked out cold.

"Raichu!" Silus cried, rushing out to the field and scooping the electric mouse into his arms. "You did so great! I'm very proud of you. Now, take a nice long nap."

With that, Silus retrieved the mouse's Pokéball, and, with a red flash of light, called it back for a well-deserved rest. Clenching his fist, he then rose up and took his spot back in the box he had been standing in, retrieving another Pokéball from his waistband.

"You did well training Aipom." he conceded. "But this battle is far from over, and I've still got some tricks up my sleeve!"

Round Three[edit]

"Raichu and Aipom are unable to battle!" Misty declared. "This second round is a draw!"

Jason reached for a Poké Ball, looking at it closely. "I can't rely on my newbies anymore. I'm down to my last Pokémon while Silus still has two. I wanted to let my other new members battle but...this one has to count!" As opposed to throwing the Ball, he simply pressed the button on the center, and it opened, releasing from it's white light, Zoroark.

"RAWR!" The Pokémon bellowed mightily into the air.

"Why didn't Jason send it out disguised first!?" Ivory was confused. "That would have made more sense!"

"Jason's never been one for sense." Amelia chuckled. "Besides, that isn't how he wants this battle to end. Decieving Silus would seem unfair to him in the long run, he wants to win on his own terms. I know how he works."

"Logic would dictate for me to use Hitmonchan or Monferno." Silus thought, observing Jason's choice. "But Hitmonchan can't get injured, because it has to compete in the P1 Semifinals tomorrow and Monferno is who he'll be expecting, due to Zoroark's type. So, I'll go with..."

Silus tossed the Pokéball he had grabbed earlier, allowing the ball to land on the field and erupt with bright white light. This light then reformed into a smaller Pokémon. Smaller than Zoroark, anyways, with a black body, and long neck.

"Dei! Dei!" the tiny Pokémon cried happily.

"Hey, that's the Deino he caught when we met!" Nathan cried in surprise.

"I didn't expect him to pick that one." Lyra confessed. "I wonder what he's got going on in that head of his."

"Deino here will be my second Pokémon. Now, let's get to it, shall we?" Silus invited, trademark grin appearing on his face.

"Round Three! Zoroark vs Deino! Begin!" Misty called out.

"I was expecting Monferno, actually...but this isn't bad. It's not like I had a plan to confront a type-disadvantage to begin with." He looked closely at Deino, his eyes narrowed. "Phanpy only did as good as it did because of the advantage over Electricity, and Aipom itself brought this a draw. I need to think....Contests are all about exploiting what makes your own Pokémon unique, it's traits and abilities that are completely it's own, as well as exploiting the shortcomings of your opponent's own Pokémon. In other words...I can't treat this like a real battle, I have to treat it like a Contest!" He cracked his neck. "Zoroark, use Dig!" Jason ordered and Zoroark immediately dove underground, leaving a small hole where it had been but nothing more.

"Deino is a unique Pokémon, with a unique issue that most would consider a weakness. But, in my case, its an advantage and I'll start playing with that advantage depending on Jason's movements. For now though..." Silus thought, "Deino! Its below you, so lets decreased the odds of a hit. Use Double Team!"

Deino gritted its teeth in concentration, suddenly splitting into multiple duplicates of itself, until these copies covered the field. Fifteen in all. It was impossible to make out the copies from the original.

"Now Deino, listen to me carefully. Only you know which of the Double Teams is the real you. Use your sense of hearing to listen for the sounds of its movements underground. Feel the vibrations in your feet. If it gets near your original, dodge it. Otherwise, let it hit the Double Team." Silus methodically instructed. "Deino is blind. By default, that means its other senses are far more acute than even Zoroark's. I need to use that to my advantage."

"Alright, I've got it!" Jason knew what he had to do next. "Zoroark! Use Dark Pulse from underground!"

...

...

...

Silence. Was it a dud? It wasn't. The entire arena was rocked by a huge explosion as the ground was ripped open, large, spiralling beams of light ripping up from under the ground all over the area, covering the entire area in their dark light as the Dark Pulse shot up from multiple areas like a geyser of pure destruction.

"Oh!" Amelia gasped. "I get it! By releasing Dark Pulse like that, from underground with it shooting everywhere, it'll be easier to make a hit! Kind of overkill if you ask me."

And Deino was indeed hit, the tiny dragon Pokémon skidding backwards, flinching in both annoyance and pain as its duplicates vanished and it was struck by the Dark Pulse. A crafty move, but one that didn't have the exact effect that Jason had likely intended for it to make.

"Really overkill." Nathan shot, looking at Amelia. "That move is Dark-type, and Deino is also predominately Dark-type. I doubt it even felt that."

"Okay Deino, you've got it right where you want it!" Silus shouted. "Use Dragon Pulse on the ground and force it up!"

Deino opened its mouth wide, charging a luminescent ball of green energy, which it then launched at its feet, causing it to spread out as a tremendous wave of energy which then proceeded to steamroll right at Zoroark, tearing up the ground on the field to reveal its subterranean hiding place.

"Not a chance!" Jason barked. "Zoroark, Shadow Ball to keep it at bay!" The beam was creating vibrations in the ground as it moved, and Zoroark used this to determine the location of the oncoming attack. Suddenly, a large hole was ripped into the ground as Zoroark released what appeared to be several orbs of shadowy energy which collided with the wave, and then suddenly themselves, merging and expanding into a larger Shadow Ball, the power of this combination keeping the Dragon Pulse at bay long enough for Zoroark to leap out of the ground and gain distance from the ensuing explosion.

"I hope we aren't going to have to pay for this..." Jason looked at the destroyed battlefield as Zoroark and Deino stood, glaring at each other. "Head on assaults aren't going to work, not with their typing, which is a bad match-up to begin with, but Deino is part Dragon. ...I've got it!" He flicked the large bang of hair out of his eyes, which were now glinting with inspiration. "Zoroark, use your powers! Create an illusion!" Jason ordered, and Zoroark complied as it's eyes glew red, and suddenly, multiple Pokémon appearing alongside Zoroark, who stood before Jason as an three Alakazam, a Raichu, two Absol, and four Beedrill appeared. This small army stood alongside Zoroark, as if ready to defeat Deino with numbers.

"Ala!" One of the Alakazam thrust it's arm forward, launching a sphere of energy towards Deino.

Deino tilted its head, the small Dragon Pokémon clearly confused about what was supposed to be happening. Silus clapped, rather pleased with the display, from his box in the corner of the ring.

"Brilliant Illusion, Zoroark." Silus chirped happily. "Just one problem there, Jase. See, had you bothered to check your Pokédex when I brought Deino out, you'd know it was a blind Pokémon. That's why its other senses are so sharp. It can't see, and therefore, the illusions of Zoroark have no way of registering on it, since illusions are mere tricks of sight."

"Dei! Deino!" the dragon Pokémon romped about, happily kicking its feet up, likely because it was pleased with itself.

"Deino sure is playful." Lyra noted with a smile.

"Deino are emotional Pokémon." Nathan explained. "They're quick to anger, make sad, and when their trainers are pleased with them, it shows in their character."

"Now, its above ground and can't dodge that easily!" Silus noted. "Go, Deino! Another Dragon Pulse on the ground!"

"DEEEEIIINOOO!" the Dragon Pokémon roared.

Once more, it unleashed the sphere of draconic energy on the ground in front of it, causing the blast to cascade outwards in the shape of a wide sweeping wave, moving quickly to consume everything in its path.

"I can't believe his idiocy!" Amelia hissed. "He's fought a Deino before, mine specifically. How could he screw that up!?"

Barely having time to acknowledge his own stupidity, Jason knew he had to keep up and fast. "Zoroark, you cannot let it touch you! Leap into the air, now!!" Jason commanded, and Zoroark acknowledged this with a smirk, the illusion ceasing as it propelled itself high into the sky, the Dragon Pulse sweeping under it as it moved. "Zoroark, create a Shadow Ball, now!" Jason ordered.

Zoroark roared as it created an orb of shadowy energy, the Ghost-type Shadow Ball, floating before it as it descended to quickly to the ground, the choas of Dragon Pulse having ceased.

"Now! Take that energy and make it your own with Night Slash!" Jason barked, and Zoroark, it's claws glowing red, pierced the Shadow Ball with both paws, the energy dispersing and merging onto it's own arms, casting a ghoulish aura. 

"And now..." Silus grinned mischievously, "Ah, so that's how it is. In that case. Deino, Double Team! As many as you can give me!"

Deino focused itself once more, splitting into several copies, numbering at about fifteen once the attack stopped. Silus knew that Double Team was primarily a parlor trick, but he had a feeling that he knew Jason's mindset now, and could properly assess what his next move would look like, and this would just have to work.

"Okay Jason," Silus challenged, opening his arms in mocking invitation. "Come and get us."

"Zoroark, g-!

"Jason, don't even!" Amelia shouted over at him. "He's goading you! You can't possibly tell which Deino is the real Pokémon, and the moment you hit the fake one — and I know you will — Qwilfish over there will hammer Zoroark with Dragon Pulse! Stop and think!"

"I don't need a backseat driver, Amelia!" Jason called back, his eye twitching.

"That Deino..." Ivory eyed it suspiciously. "For a Pokémon that's only recently been caught, it shouldn't be displaying this kind of power."

Jason started to breathe slowly. "Double Team...what am I going to do? I could have Zoroark dig, and use it's combination move that way, but the ground has been mostly destroyed. Even if I tried that, it wouldn't provide a decent cover." He bit the tip of his thumb. "If this was a Contest, I'd be losing points right now. I need to think on my feet. Perhaps..." Jason closed his eyes, breathing once more. "No, Silus, why don't you come at me? You're cordially invited to face Zoroark."

"Oh ho?" Silus chuckled, folding his arms. "Using my own taunt against me... Well, your luck has run out."

"Its not that Deino is really that powerful." Nathan noted, meanwhile, to Ivory. "Deino hasn't really done much at all. Its letting Zoroark do all the work. Think about it. All Silus has been having Deino do is repeat Double Team and Dragon Pulse in various combinations. In fact, Deino itself has barely had to move at all, except in the instance of its dodging. From an outside perspective, its genius. Jason feels pressured, and because he does, so do his Pokémon. That's where Silus has improved the most. He's playing head games with both Jason and his Pokémon, while using just the bear minimum to cause them to reveal openings, and then goes for the kill."

"Now Deino, form your Double Team up in a circle around Zoroark! Then use Work Up!" Silus commanded.

"Dei! Dei!" Deino responded.

Leaping forward, Deino again used Double Team. This time, the copies surrounded Zoroark completely in a closed circle. As it completed this, Deino began to glow with a fierce aura as it focused its power.

"Work Up?" Nathan queried.

"That's a move that increases a Pokémon's Attack and Special Attack. It means that Dragon Pulse will be much stronger now, and its less effective moves, like Crunch or Slam, will have more impact if it needs it. Add onto that Deino's ability, Hustle, which increases its Attack by half already, and Deino is really powering up." Lyra explained.

"I don't know if Jason has a way out, honestly." Ivory resigned herself to her friend's possible defeat. "That move is usually a pre-cursor to lethal combos. If Jason doesn't do something, Zoroark may be getting a reserved room in the E.R."

Jason looked at the Deino horde with trepidation. "This could very well be it. But...I need to remain calm. Come on Deino...show me what you can do."

"Is he frozen up?" Silus wondered. "Well, whatever, he's practically giving me time to use. Deino, another Work Up!"

Deino and its clones once again lit up, the whole pack growling menacingly in unison as they focused their strength, though only the original, wherever it was, was actually getting the boost in power.

"At this rate," Lyra chirped. "Deino's strength will be monstrous. Silus is forcing Jason to attack, because if he doesn't, and Deino reaches its maximum, then even a shockwave from a Dragon Pulse will do massive damage, and that could spell major trouble for Zoroark."

"She has a point..." Jason frowned. "Even if I try to be patient, it simply hands Deino more time to raise it's power." He looked at the Deino formation. "They have me surrounded...but maybe that's what I need.

Zoroark looked at Jason expectantly, waiting for instructions, it's paws still glowing with the shadow energy.

"Zoroark. Take them all out, every single one, go!" Jason commanded, and Zoroark suddenly moved, forcing a Double Team clone to vanish as it cut them down with it's Shadow Slash combination, running in the circle formation, mowing down clones as it speedily closed in on the real Deino, extending it's claws to land it's mark.

"Deino!" Silus roared. "Let it get close!"

"What?!" Lyra shrieked. "What is he-?!"

Deino watched as one by one, its Double Teams were torn down until Zoroark finally reached it. The "Shadow Slash" combo struck, a painful hit, but not very effective due to the Ghost/Dark typing of the attack.

"NOW!" Silus nearly jumped out of his box in anticipation. "CRUNCH! Grab on tight to its claw!"

Deino reached up, latching onto to the claw that had just struck it and biting down as hard as it possibly could.

"That's a good move." Nathan noted. "Deino are known for the fact that they bite anything and everything that threatens them. With Work Up behind it, even though Crunch isn't very effective, it probably still hurt."

"Now, its right where you want it!" Silus screamed. "Finish it off! DRAGON PULSE!"

With the claw still firmly in its mouth, and enhanced with the power of Work Up, Deino gathered draconic energy at the back of its throat, and quickly released it at point blank, creating a brilliant explosion in the process, filled with greenish-blue smoke which engulfed the arena. Now Silus would just keep his eyes glued to the results of this strategy.

When the smoke cleared, Zoroark was still standing, weakened and battered. There was, however, something odd about it's stance. The arm that Deino hadn't bitten was free and extended, but the aura it had before was now gone. In addition, even Deino looked a little worse for wear.

"What...just happened?" Amelia blinked in confusion. "Did Zoroark do something?"

"Yeah, it did." Ivory confirmed. "People tend to forget, Pokémon have their own personalities and can very much think for themselves. They aren't tools of war, they are partners we instruct in battle, and can do as they want if they please. From the looks of it, Zoroark reacted, the instant Deino had to open it's mouth — thus releasing it's arm — to release Dragon Pulse, using it's remaining arm, which was still coated in the so called "Shadow Slash", as a means of defence! The aura protected Zoroark's arm, and halved the damage from the explosion due to the interruption from his strike when it tried to force it back into Deino's own mouth. Not only that..." She flashed a small grin when she looked at Deino. "The explosion, from such a close range, backfired on the poor little Deino as well. It, as well as Zoroark, felt the pain from that Dragon Pulse when it exploded. I think Jason's determination is rubbing off on Zoroark. It doesn't want to lose."

" ROWR! " Zoroark let out a mighty roar into the heavens as it cast a glare at Deino.

"Zoroark..." Jason was shocked. He hadn't expected Zoroark to be so determined to win. "You...you really want to win, don't you?"

The Illusion Fox Pokémon vocalised it's agreement, and then began to glow white.

"What...what now!?" Jason couldn't handle much more shock or stress.

Zoroark, complete with it's new white glow, propelled itself forward at Deino, white light spiraling around it, aiming to connect with Deino from this very close range.

"This...it's Aerial Ace!" Ivory practically stood up in her own excitement. "In desperation, Zoroark just learned Aerial Ace!"

Silus smiled, "Deino's still inexperienced. But, this is a brilliant example." he explained, looking up at Ivory, for he had heard her words earlier. "Never count a Pokémon as inconsequential because it is freshly caught. Deino, its attacking you head on now, use Dragon Pulse one last time!"

As Zoroark closed in with its blindingly fast Flying-type attack, Deino opened its mouth again, charging a large Dragon Pulse. With Zoroark so close, and still closing in, the result would be inevitable. Even if, like last time, the shockwave struck Deino, the Dragon-typing of Dragon Pulse would reduce the damage it took, allowing it to stand. With a roar of triumph, Deino launched the Dragon Pulse at the ground, causing it to explode into a crushing tidal wave, as it had done earlier in the battle, creating a wall of draconic energy that aimed to put a final end to Zoroark's head-on-assault.

"Like you said, Ivory." Silus continued as he watched. "Pokémon are partners. Not tools. From the moment I catch my Pokémon, I love them. Sometimes, even before then. I trust my Pokémon and put my faith in them. My job as a trainer is only to focus the power they already have. And this is the result... of that method."

"You speak like I don't value my Pokémon like you, Silus." Jason watched Zoroark carefully. "Pokémon are partners and are our friends. They stick with us through the hard times, we're supposed to be there for each other. If I didn't love these guys like family, they would up and leave me." 

"Pichu!" Pichu agreed vigorously. It had no tolerance for humans who didn't care about Pokémon.

"Zoroark! I believe in you! Use Shadow Ball one more time, boost the power of your Aerial Ace to push through!"

Zoroark roared as it formed a Shadow Ball in front of it, piercing it much like Aipom had done, merging with it as the white streaks of light became a corrupt black, and Zoroark boosted in speed, the shockwave of the Dragon Pulse rocking through it's body, but it persisted, flying towards Deino with what might be it's final combination move.

Silus smiled at Jason's answer, "And that's what makes you the only person worthy enough to call themselves my number one rival! Deino! This is it! Dragonbreath on top of the Dragon Pulse its pushing back!" he commanded.

Opening its mouth one last time, Deino launched a stream of greenish-blue fire from its mouth, colliding with the Dragon Pulse that Zoroark was frantically pushing at with its Aerial Ace-Shadow Ball combination. This monumentally increased the friction between the colliding attacks, and began to push back against Zoroark's physical exertions.

"That's all she wrote." Silus noted. "Zoroark is using its physical body, combined with its moves to push back. Its sapping its stamina at massive rates to do that. Deino, on the other hand, just has to sit back and breathe fire. This'll be over in no time."

And no time it was. Zoroark was too tired, and Deino has boosted it's own powers far too much. The result was a massive explosion that threw Zoroark back, rocking the field as Jason ran forward, diving to catch the Pokémon, softening it's fall. He sat up, Zoroark resting in his arms, exhausted. "Zoroark, you did really good. Don't worry, you don't have to fight anymore. Just rest now."

Jason recalled his Pokémon, standing up and returning to his side of the arena.

"Zoroark is unable to battle! Deino has scraped victory, and the victory of the match goes to Silus!"

"Jason lost...!" Ivory sat back down, suddenly sapped of her energy. All the excitement had just vanished.

Moving Out Again[edit]

"We did it!" Silus leaped out of his box and ran towards Deino.

The small Pokémon was romping around weakly. Kicking its legs up as a show of excitement, eagerly filling Silus' arms when he arrived and wrapped it in a hug.

"I'm so proud of you." he continued, retrieving a Pokéball and returning his Pokémon to it. "Take a good long rest."

Nathan and Lyra were soon by his side, Nathan hopping around like a monkey on energy drinks, and Lyra looking a mentally exhausted as Ivory had just moments before. Both appeared relieved that Silus had won.

"Don't get a big head." Lyra warned regardless, ever the voice of gloom. "You still won't beat me in our match at the P1 tournament tomorrow."

Silus seemed to ignore her, instead walking over to Jason and extending his hand in the form of a friendly handshake, "You and your Pokémon did extraordinary. Keep up the good training. I want to have more battles in the future."

Jason grasped Silus' hand firmly, shaking it. "You were awesome as well. The next time we meet, my Pokémon and I will win."

END

Scramble at the Pokémon Research Institute!! | A Fluttering of Wings
The Super Punchy Pokémon! | P1 Grand Stand-Off