Chapter 24: The Haunting of Memorial Hill
Memorial Hill, a chilling lonely graveyard on Akala Island where Pokémon and humans alike are laid to rest. A thick fog lay over the field as Ash and his friends walked. The atmosphere was getting to Lillie, who cradled Snowy close to her in fear. Although Ash and Ilima tried to keep a straight face, they couldn't help but feel unnerved as well.
"How much longer, Ash? I don't like this."
"Just a little longer. The entrance to the Ruins of Life is just up ahead, right Rotom?"
"Zzzt, I think so, but all of this fog is messing up my GPS systems. But don't worry, this place can't go on forever, right? Heh heh…"
Somehow this did nothing to soothe Lillie's nerves. Seeing how much she was shaking; Ash gave her a hug.
"Don't worry, Lillie. I've been in plenty of situations like this before and have always found my way out before. Just stick with us and everything will be alright."
Blushing, Lillie felt much more relaxed and the trio got back underway. But as they walked farther, the fog grew thicker to the point where they could no longer see each other.
"Ash, we need to stop! I can't even see my hands in front of my face!"
"Just a little longer, I think I can see the entrance up ahead!"
Despite Ilima's protests, Ash kept pushing forward. After a few minutes, Ash stepped out of the fog and into the cave entrance, a triumphant smile on his face.
"Alright, I told you guys we'd make it!"
No reply was heard. This made Ash worry.
"Ilima? Lillie? Hello?"
When he still didn't receive an answer, Ash turned, hoping to find his companions…
Only to find nothing but white as far as the eye could see.
"Oh no! They must've stopped to wait for the fog to clear! Oh man, I should've listened. Come on buddy, we need to go find them!"
But before Ash and Pikachu could start their search, a pair of glowing red eyes appeared in the mist, followed by a pair of arms that snatched Ash up in the air, a Haunted floating above him laughing.
"Hey, put me down!"
The Haunter didn't and continued to carry Ash off with him to an unknown location.
Ilima straightened himself up, catching his breath as the fog grew thicker.
"I told Ash we need to stop. I'd better wait until it clears up, otherwise I'll just wind up where I started."
But no sooner than he said that, a low whistling sound reached his ears.
Before Ilima could investigate, he found himself floating in midair, a Mismagius drifting into view with a smirk on his face.
"Oh, you think you're funny, don't you? Put me down!"
Mismagius didn't and continued to carry him off into the fog.
Lillie looked every which way, scared out of her wits as she sat all alone, clutching Snowy closer to keep her safe as the little vulpix cried in fear.
"Shh, its okay Snowy, we'll find them. We just need to wait for the fog to let up some so we can see where we're going."
But even as she said that, Lillie couldn't help but feel just as worried. Suddenly, she felt a tugging at her skirt. She looked down to see a Marowhack trying to get her attention, pointing in the other direction.
"Hmm? Will you help me find my friends?"
The Marowhack nodded, walking in the pointed direction.
"Well, I guess it couldn't hurt. Thank you so much!"
And so Lillie followed him, having no idea where they were going but recognizing that she had no better alternatives.
The Haunter dropped Ash off in a small clearing, Ash groaning as he picked himself off the floor.
"Alright, what's the big idea! Where are my friends!"
"Put me down! You're lucky I can't reach my Pokeballs right now, or you would be in so much trouble!"
Ash turned to find Mismagius dumping Ilima on the ground not 10 feet away, Lillie appearing from the fog being led by Marowhack.
"Ilima, Lillie, are you two alright?"
"I'm just fine, but a CERTAIN Mismagius could work on its manners, not to mention its landings!"
"I'm just fine. This nice Marowhack helped me find my way."
"But what's going on? Why did those two capture us?"
"I believe I can explain that."
Everyone gasped in shock to see Olivia emerge from the mist.
"You see, the ghost Pokémon were having a little festival, and they don't like outsiders intruding. So, they set up this fog to ward them off. I was at the Ruins praying to Tapu Lele for a bountiful harvest this year when I was trapped here. Once I explained to them they were doing more harm than good, they allowed me to join in. Once a Palossand scout realized you had become separated looking for me, they decided to help you out."
"Wow, thank you!"
"Now they would be most happy if you would all join us for the celebration.
Ash, Ilima, and Lillie glanced at each other, the same thing on all of their minds.
"Great! Then without further ado, let the celebration begin!"
With a loud cheer, everyone went back to partying. Ash and his friends had a great time, their Pokémon getting along swimmingly with the friendly ghosts.
While the Pokémon danced around the fire, Ash couldn't help but stare at an amazing wooden sculpture. It was of some sort of Pokémon shaped like a massive bat; its large wings spread out impressively.
"Captivated by the statue, huh Ash?"
Ash turned to see Olivia walk up to him.
"Yeah, its amazing. But what Pokémon is it?"
"This is Lunala, the Pokémon who moves the Moon itself and controls the tides. Being part Ghost, many Ghost types in Alola hold it with the same revere as our Guardian Deities and build statues just like this all over Alola. No one has seen it for years, but they say to see a Legendary Pokémon means you are destined for great things."
"Woah, that is so cool!"
"By the way Ash, did you come here for your Grand Trial?"
"Yeah, but it seems like you were pretty busy today."
"Well, I'll be happy to give you a proper battle tomorrow, but for right now lets just enjoy the party."
"I'm way ahead of you on that!"
The next morning, Ash, Ilima, and Lillie made their way to the Ruins of Life for his next Grand Trial. Olivia was waiting there for them and waved them over.
"Over here, guys! You ready, Ash?"
"You bet! But don't think it'll be an easy win for you."
"Same goes for you."
Lillie walked over to a safe spot to watch while Ilima refereed.
"This will be a 2-on-2 double battle. When both Pokemon on either side have been deemed unable to battle, a victor will be decided. The challenger Ash shall make the first move. Are both trainers ready?"
"I sure am!"
"Same goes for me!"
"Then let this Grand Trial Begin!"
To Be Continued…