Chapter 3: A New Journey Begins
After saying goodbye to his new friends, Ash, Pikachu, and Litten headed back to their vacation home to show his mom his new Pokémon.
Delila and Mr. Mime on the back porch, exhausted.
"Phew! Glad that's over with. How about some ice cold lemonade, Mimey?"
"Mom, I'm home!"
Delila looked up to see Ash running down the dirt road from Iki Town, Pikachu and Litten following close behind.
"Ash, you're back later than expected. Oh, and I see you've met a new friend."
"Heh, yeah well that's a pretty long story."
And so Ash told her everything, from saving Nebby and meeting Tapu Koko to meeting Kakui and receiving Litten. Delila just shook her head and smiled.
"That's my Ash, always putting others before himself. But I must ask, why Litten?"
Litten snarled at this, while Ash merely shrugged.
"It looked cool."
"Well, I certainly agree that it looks cool, and even cuter!"
Litten calmed down, but continued to silently glare at Delila for her earlier remark.
"Well, I'm going to hit the hay. Its been a long day, and I want to get to Iki Town bright and early tomorrow!"
"Alright, Ash. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Pikachu. Goodnight, Litten."
The next morning, Ash set off first thing after breakfast, making a beeline for Iki Town, bursting with excitement. Hala had called the house earlier, letting him know that his gift was ready, and Ash wanted to see what it was immediately.
It wasn't long before the three of them climbed up the steps into town. Hala, Kukui, and Lillie waved him over from the small fighting stage in the middle of town.
"Ash, Whoo! Why don't ya teleport over here so we can give you your surprise?"
Ash ran over to the stage, literally jumping onto it. Professor Kukui and Hala laughed.
"Ah, the youth of today, so energetic. I remember you were quite like that when you were his age, eh Kukui?"
"What? I'm not that old!"
Everyone had a good laugh before Hala stepped forward towards Ash, opening his hand to reveal a strange, black bracelet. Ash could only stare in confusion.
"My surprise is a bracelet?"
Hala gave a long, hearty laugh.
"To the unknowing eye, perhaps. But in Alola, these bracelets are used to unleash your Pokémon's full potential. You see, when used in conjunction with Z-Crystals, this
Z-Power Ring will allow your Pokémon to unleash a super powerful attack."
Ash's eyes widened.
"Well, well, well, looks like we've found our target."
Everyone turned in shock to see Jesse, James, and Meowth standing at the edge of town. Ash grinded his teeth in anger.
"Not you three."
"Who are you?"
The terrible trio laughed before beginning their model.
"Prepare for Trouble!"
"And Make It Double!"
"To Protect the world from devastation!"
"To unite all people within our nation!"
"To Denounce the evils of truth and love!"
"To extend our reach to the stars above!"
"Team Rocket blasts off at the speed of light!"
"Surrender now or prepare to fight, fight, fight!"
"Meowth, that's right!"
Before anyone could react, James opened an arm out from his backpack, grabbing the Z-Power Ring from Hala's hand and dropping it into James's.
"If this ring is as powerful as you say, then its just the ticket we're looking for! Thank you so much for your gratuitous donation, but we must get going."
"Hey! You won't get away with this!"
Before Ash could confront the three, Hala held him back.
"Ash, please allow me to handle these intruders."
"As the Kahuna of this island, it is my job to deal with any threats. Please, allow me to do my appointed duty."
"So, the old man wants to get on da action, huh?"
"Go, Mime Jr.!"
"You too, Seviper!"
"Crawbrawler, Lets show these miscreants not to mess with us!"
The three Pokémon appeared in a brilliant flash of light, including one Ash had never seen before.
"It doesn't matter what Pokémon you send out, Team Rocket will knock them all out! Seviper, Poison Sting!"
"Psybeam, Mime Jr!"
"Crabrawler, use Focus Energy. Maintain your ground!"
Seviper sent out several poison shots from it mouth, while Mime Jr. sent out a wave of psychic energy. Despite these attacks, Crabrawler stood firm, focusing deeply.
"Alright Seviper, Wrap Attack!"
"Crabrawler, use vice grip on its tail!"
As soon as Seviper got close, Crabrawler grabbed it by the tail, clenching so tight that the snake yowled in pain.
"Now use Seismic Toss!"
Spinning around rapidly, Crabrawler built up Momentum before releasing Seviper, sending it right into Mime Jr and Team Rocket, knocking them all back.
"Why, you little-"
"Lets finish this off with our Z-Power, Crabrawler!"
To Ash's surprise, Hala's Z-Power Ring began to glow as he began pumping the air rapidly, empowering Crabrawler.
"All Out Pummeling!"
First, Crabrawler pumped the air rapidly, sending out energy fists that relentlessly pummeled Team Rocket and their Pokémon. Lastly, it ran at them rapidly, hitting them so hard it sent them all flying.
"Looks like Team Rocket's blasting off again!"
With that, the trio and their Pokémon went soaring into the sky, disappearing with a twinkling star.
Worn out, Hala knelt down, sweating profusely. Ash's Z-Power Ring fell down to Earth, where he picked it up gently.
"Wow, Hala, that was amazing. But what was that."
"That, Ash, was what I was explaining to you."
Opening up a compartment in his ring, Hala brought out a small crystal and held it up to Ash. Embedded into it was the symbol of a fist.
"This is a Z-Crystal, the secret to what you just saw. With it, you can empower your Pokémon to use its most powerful attack. But it also takes a lot out of you, so you can only use it once per battle."
"WOAH! Where can I find some?"
"You need to go through the Island Trial Challenge."
"Island Trial Challenge?"
Before Hala could continue, Kukui stopped him.
"You rest up Hala, I've got this."
Hala nodded. Before Ash could say anymore, kukui stuck four fingers in his face.
"Four! Four Islands make up this beautiful region we call Alola. And throughout these islands, trial captains have set up all kinds of challenges to test your bond with your Pokémon. Pass, and be rewarded with a Z-Crystal to call your own."
Ash's eyes went wide with excitement.
"Woah! That sounds so totally awesome!"
"What do you say, Ash? Think you're up to the challenge?"
Ash nodded excitedly.
"You know it! What about you guys? Ready for a new adventure?"
Hala laughed heartedly. In the distance, Tapu Koko's cry could be heard.
"If you ask me, I think Tapu Koko is cheering you on as well."
"Oh, and Ash, stop by my lab later today. I have something I think you'll enjoy."
"Sounds great, Professor!"
With that, Ash headed back for home, his new goal in mind. He had a new kind challenge to take on, and he was ready for a challenge.
"Look out Alola, here comes Ash Ketchum!"